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yet was it no manner of diminution to their power or greatness.
ted to the subcommissioners, touching the repair and improvement of your majesty's means: and My second prayer is, that your majesty, in this I have done, not only in meeting, and conrespect of the hasty freeing of your estate, ference, and debate with the rest, but also by my would not descend to any means, or degree of several and private meditation and inquiry: so means, which carrieth not a symmetry with your that, besides the joint account, which we shall majesty and greatness. He is gone from whom give to the lords, I hope I shall be able to give those courses did wholly flow. So have your your majesty somewhat ex pro prio. For as no wants and necessities in particular, as it were, man loveth better consulere in commune than I hanged up in two tablets before the eyes of your do; neither am I of those fine ones that use to Lords and Commons, to be talked of for four keep back any thing, wherein they think they months together; to have all your courses, to may win credit apart, and so make the consultahelp yourself in revenue or profit, put into printed tion almost inutile. So, nevertheless, in cases books, which were wont to be held arcana where matters shall fall upon the by, perhaps of imperii; to have such worms of aldermen, to no less worth than that, which is the proper sublend for ten in the hundred upon good assurance,|ject of the consultation; or where I find things and with such **, as if it should save the bark of your fortune; to contract still where might be had the readiest payment, and not the best bargain; to stir a number of projects for your profit, and then to blast them, and leave your majesty nothing but the scandal of them; to pretend an even carriage between your majesty's rights and the ease of the people, and to satisfy neither. These courses, and others the like, I hope, are gone with the deviser of them, which have turned your majesty to inestimable prejudice.*
I hope your majesty will pardon my liberty of writing. I know these things are majora quam pro fortuna: but they are minora quam pro studio et voluntate. I assure myself, your majesty taketh not me for one of a busy nature; for my state being free from all difficulties, and I having such a large field for contemplations, as I have partly, and shall much more make manifest to your majesty and the world, to occupy my thoughts, nothing could make me active but love and affection. So, praying my God to bless and favour your person and estate, &c.
TO THE KING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
* It will be but justice to the memory of the Earl of Salisbury, to remark, that this disadvantageous character of him, by Sir Francis Bacon, seems to have been heightened by the prejudices of the latter against that able minister, grounded upon some suspicions, that the earl had not served him with so much zeal as he might have expected from so near a relation, either in Queen Elizabeth's reign, or of that of her successor. Nor is it any just imputation on his lordship, that he began to decline in King James the First's good opinion, when his majesty's ill economy occasioned demands on the lord treasurer, which all his skill, in the business of the finances, could not answer, but which drew from him advices and remonstrances still extant, which that king not being very ready to profit by, conceived some resentment against his old servant and even retained it against
passed over too slightly, or in cases where that, which I should advise, is of that nature, as I hold it not fit to be communicated to all those with whom I am joined; these parts of business I put to my private account; not because I would be officious, (though I profess I would do works of supererogation if I could,) but in a true discretion and caution. And your majesty had some taste in those notes which I gave you for the wards, (which it pleased you to say, were no tricks nor novelties, but true passages of business,) that mine own particular remembrances and observations are not like to be unprofitable. Concerning which notes for the wards, though I might say, sic vos non vobis, yet let that pass.
I have also considered fully, of that great proposition which your majesty commended to my care and study, touching the conversion of your revenue of land into a multiplied present revenue of rent: wherein, I say, I have considered of the means and course to be taken of the assurance, of the rates, of the exceptions, and of the arguments for and against it. For, though the project itself be as old as I can remember, and falleth under every man's capacity, yet the dispute and manage of it, asketh a great deal of consideration and judgment; projects being, like Æsop's tongues, the best meat and the worst, as they are chosen and handled. But surely, ubi deficiunt remedia ordinaria, recurrendum est ad extraordinaria. Of this also I am ready to give your majesty an account.
Generally, upon this subject of the repair of your majesty's means, I beseech your majesty to give me leave to make this judgment, that your majesty's recovery must be by the medicines of the Galenists and Arabians, and not of the chymists or Paracelsians. For it will not be wrought by any one fine extract, or strong water, but by a skilful company of a number of ingredients, and those by just weight and proportion, and that of some simples, which perhaps of themselves, or in over-great quantity, were little better than poisons, but, mixed and broken, and in just quantity, are full of virtue. And, secondly, that as
your majesty's growing behindhand, hath been in general have place next the e.dest brothers' work of time, so must likewise be your majesty's wives, I hold convenient. coming forth and making even. Not but I wish it were by all good and fit means accelerated, but that I foresee, that if your majesty shall propound to yourself to do it per saltum, it can hardly be without accidents of prejudice to your honour, safety, or profit.
Lastly, Whereas it is desired, that the apparent heirs males of the bodies of the baronets may be knighted during the life of their fathers; for that I have received from the lord chamberlain a signification, that your majesty did so understand it, I humbly subscribe thereunto with this, that the baronets' eldest sons being knights, do not take place of ancient knights, so long as their
My letter to the king, touching his estate in gene- fathers live. ral, September 18, 1612.
All which, nevertheless, I humbly submit to your majesty's judgment.
Your majesty's most humble
TO THE KING.
MAY IT PLEASE your Majesty,
According to your highness's pleasure, signified by my Lord Chamberlain,* I have considered of the petition of certain baronets, made unto your majesty for confirmation and extent, or explanation of certain points mentioned in their charter, and am of opinion, that first, whereas it is desired, that the baronets be declared a middle degree, between baron and knight, I hold this to be reasonable as to their placing.
TO THE KING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, Having understood of the death of the lord chief justice, I do ground, in all humbleness, an assured hope, that your majesty will not think of any other but your poor servants, your attorney† and your solicitor,‡ one of them for that place. Secondly, Where it is desired, that unto the Else we shall be like Noah's dove, not knowing words degree or dignity of baron, the word honour where to rest our feet. For the places of rest, might be added; I know very well, that in the after the extreme painful places wherein we serve, preface of the baronets' patent it is mentioned, have used to be either the lord chancellor's place, that all honours are derived from the king. I find or the mastership of the rolls, or the places of also, that in the patent of the baronets, which are the chief justices; whereof, for the first, I could marshalled under the barons, (except it be certain be almost loath to live to see this worthy counselprincipals,) the word honour is granted. I find lor fail. The mastership of the rolls is blocked also, that the word dignity is many times in law with a reversion.§ My Lord Coke is like to outa superior word to the word honour, as being live us both: so as, if this turn fail, I, for my applied to the king himself, all capital indict- part, know not whither to look. I have served ments concluding contra coronam et dignitatem
nostram. It is evident also, that the word honour and honourable are used in these times in common speech very promiscuously. Nevertheless, because the style of honour belongs chiefly to peers and counsellors, I am doubtful what opinion to give therein.
Thirdly, Whereas it is believed, that if there be any question of precedence touching baronets, it may be ordered, that the same be decided by the commissioners marshal; I do not see but it may be granted them for avoiding disturbances.
Fourthly, For the precedence of baronets I find no alteration or difficulty, except it be in this, that the daughters of baronets are desired to be declared to have precedence before the wives of knights' eldest sons; which, because it is a degree hereditary, and that, in all examples, the daughters
Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk.
The order of baronets was created by patent of King James I., dated the 22d of May, 1611. The year following, a decree was made relating to their place and precedence; and four years after, viz., in 1616, another decree to the same purpose. See Selden's Titles of Honour, Part II., Ch. V., p. 21. Ch. XI., p. 910, and 906. 2d Edit. fol. 1613.
your majesty above a prenticehood, full seven years and more, as your solicitor, which is, I think, one of the painfullest places in your kingdom, specially as my employments have been: and God hath brought mine own years to fiftytwo, which, I think, is older than ever any solicitor continued unpreferred. My suit is principally that you would remove Mr. Attorney to the place. If he refuse, then I hope your majesty will seek no farther than myself, that I may at last, out of your majesty's grace and favour, step forwards to a place either of more comfort or more ease. Besides, how necessary it is for your majesty to strengthen your service amongst the judges by a chief justice which is sure to your prerogative, your majesty knoweth. Therefore, I cease farther to trouble your majesty, humbly craving pardon,
and relying wholly upon your goodness and me with wonderful tokens of kindness. We both remembrance, and resting, in all true humbleness, wept, which I do not often. Your majesty's most devoted, and faithful subject and servant,
A letter to Sir George Villiers, touching a message brought to him by Mr. Shute, of a promise of the chancellor's place.
TO MR. MURRAY.*
GOOD MR. MURRAY,
MAY IT PLEASE YOU, SIR,
The notice I have from my Lord Roos, Sir Henry Goodere, and other friends, of the extreme obligation wherein I continue towards you, to
gether with the conscience I have of the knowand daily pray that you may rise to that height ledge how dearly and truly I honour and love you, which the state wherein you live can give you, hath taken away the wings of fear, whereby I was almost carried away from daring to importune in this kind. But I know how good you have you
According to his majesty's pleasure by you MR. TOBIE MATTHEW* TO SIR FRANCIS BACON, signified to me, we have attended my lord chancellor, my lord treasurer, and Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, concerning Sir Gilbert Houghton's patent stayed at the seal; and we have acquainted them with the grounds and state of the suit, to justify them that it was just and beneficial to his majesty. And for any thing we could perceive by any objection or reply they made, we left them in good opinion of the same, with this, that because my lord chancellor (by the advice, as it seemeth, of the other two) had acquainted the council-table, for so many as were then present, with that suit amongst others, they thought fit to stay till his majesty's coming to town, being at hand, to understand his farther pleasure. We purpose, upon his majesty's coming, to attend his majesty, to give him a more particular account of this business, and some other. Meanwhile, finding his majesty to have care of the matter, we thought it our duty to return this answer to you in discharge of his majesty's direction. We remain
TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS.
SIR,-The message which I received from you by Mr. Shute hath bred in me such belief and confidence as I will now wholly rely upon your excellent and happy self. When persons of greatness and quality begin speech with me of the matter, and offer me their good offices, I can
but answer them civilly. But those things are
February 15, 1615.
*Harl. MSS. vol. 6986. + Ellesmere.
Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk.
Sir Fulk Grevile, advanced to that post October 1, 1614, in the room of Sir Julius Cæsar, made Master of the Rolls. VOL. III.-13
always been, and are still, towards me; or rather because I am not able to comprehend how much it is; I will presume there is enough for any use, whereupon an honest humble servant may employ it.
It imports the business of my poor estate, that have divers friends in that court, who will further I be restored to my country for some time; and I my desire thereof, and particularly Mr. Secretary Lake and my Lord Roos, whom I have desired to confer with you about it. But nothing can be done therein, unless my Lord of Canterburyt may be made propitious, or at least not averse; nor do I know in the world how to charm him but by the music of your tongue. I beseech you, sir, lose some minutes upon me, which I shall be glad to pay by whole years of service; and call to mind, if it please you, the last speech you made me, that if I should continue as I then was, and
neither prove ill-affected to the state, nor become otherwise than a mere secular man in my religion, you would be pleased to negotiate for my return. on my part the conditions are performed; and it
remains, that you do the like: nor can I doubt but that the nobleness of your nature, which loves nothing in the world so well as to be doing of good, can descend from being the attorney-general
* Son of Dr. Tobie Matthew, Archbishop of York. He was born at Oxford in 1578, while his father was Dean of Christ Church, and educated there. During his travels abroad, he was seduced to the Romish religion by Father Parsons. This cccasioned his living out of his own country from the year 1607 to 1617, when he had leave to return to England. He was again ordered to leave it in October, 1618; but, in 1622, was recalled to assist in the match with Spain; and, on account of his endeavours to promote it, was knighted by King James I. at Royston, on the 10th of October, 1623. He translated into Italian Sir Francis Bacon's Essays, and died at Ghent in Flanders, October 13, 1655, N. S.
+ Dr. George Abbot.
to a great king, to be solicitor for one of the | MR. TOBIE MATTHEW TO SIR FRANCIS BACON, meanest subjects that he hath.
I send my letter to my lord's grace open, that before you seal it (if you shall think fit to seal it, and rather not to deliver it open) you may see the reasons that I have; which, if I be not partial, are very pregnant. Although I confess, that till it was now very lately motioned to me by some honourable friends, who have already procured to Jisimpression his majesty of some hard conceit he had me in, I did not greatly think thereof; and now I am full of hope that I shall prevail. For supposing that my Lord of Canterbury's mind is but made of iron, the adamant of your persuasion will have power to draw it. It may please you either to send a present answer hereunto, or, since I am not worthy of so much favour, to tell either of those honourable persons aforenamed what the answer is, that accordingly they may co-operate. This letter goes by Sir Edward Parham, a gentleman whom I have been much beholden to. I know him to be a perfect honest man; and since, I protest, I had rather die than deceive you, I will humbly pray, that he may rather receive favour from you than otherwise, when he shall come in your way, which at one time or other all the world there must do. And I shall acknowledge myself much bound to you, as being enabled by this means to pay many of my debts to him.
I presume to send you the copy of a piece of a letter, which Galileo, of whom I am sure you have heard, wrote to a monk of my acquaintance in Italy, about the answering of that place in Joshua, which concerns the sun's standing still, and approving thereby the pretended falsehood of Copernicus's opinion. The letter was written by occasion of the opposition, which some few in Italy did make against Galileo, as if he went about to establish that by experiments which appears to be contrary to Holy Scripture. But he makes it appear the while by this piece of a letter which I send you, that if that passage of Scripture doth expressly favour either side, it is for the affirmative of Copernicus's opinion, and for the negative of Aristotle's. To an attorneygeneral in the midst of a town, and such a one as is employed in the weightiest affairs of the kingdom, it might seem unseasonable for me to interrupt you with matter of this nature. But I know well enough in how high account you have the truth of things: and that no day can pass, wherein you give not liberty to your wise thoughts of looking upon the works of nature. It may please you to pardon the so much trouble which I give you in this kind; though yet, I confess, I do not deserve a pardon, because I find not in myself a purpose of forbearing to do the like hereafter. I most humbly kiss your hand.
Your most faithful and affectionate servant, TOBIE MATTHEW.
Brussels, this 21st of April, 1616.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR Honour,
Such as know your honour may congratulate with you the favour which you have lately received from his majesty, of being made a counsellor of state:* but as for me, I must have leave to congratulate with the council-table, in being so happy as to have you for an assessor. I hope these are but beginnings, and that the marriage, which now I perceive that fortune is about to make with virtue, will be consummate in your person. I cannot dissemble, though I am ashamed to mention, the excessive honour which you have vouchsafed to do unto my picture. But shame ought not to be so hateful as sin; and without sin I know not how to conceal the extreme obligation, into which I am entered thereby, which is incomparably more than I can express, and no less than as much as I am able to conceive. And as the copy is more fortunate than the original, because it hath the honour to be under your eye, so the original, being much more truly yours than the copy can be, aspires, by having the happiness to see you, to put the picture out of countenance.
I understand by Sir George Petre,† who is arrived here at the Spa, and is so wise as to honour you extremely, though he have not the fortune to be known to your honour, that he had heard how my Lord of Canterbury had been moved in my behalf, and that he gave way unto my return. This, if it be true, cannot have happened without some endeavour of your honour; and, therefore, howsoever I have not been particularly advertised that your honour had delivered my letter to his grace; yet now methinks I do as good as know it, and dare adventure to present you with my humblest thanks for the favour. But the main point is, how his majesty should be moved; wherein my friends are straining courtesy; and unless I have your honour for a master of the ceremonies to take order, who shall begin, all the benefit, that I can reap by this negotiation, will be to have the reputation of little judgment in attempting that which I was not able to obtain ; and that howsoever I have shot fair, I know not how to hit the mark. I have been directed by my Lord Roos, who was the first mover of this stone, to write a letter, which himself would deliver to the Master of the Horse, who doth me the honour to wish me very well and I have obeyed his lordship, and beseech your honour, that you will be pleased to prevent, or to accompany, or second it with your commendation, lest otherwise the many words that I have used have but the virtue of a single 0, or cipher. But, indeed, if I had not been overweighed by the
* Sir Francis Bacon was sworn at Greenwich of the privycouncil, June 9, 1616.
+ Grandson of John, the first Lord Petre, and son of William, second baron of that name.
Sir George Villiers, who was appointed to that office, January 4, 1615-6.
authority of my Lord Roos's commandment, I should rather have reserved the master of the horse's favour to some other use afterward. In conformity whereof I have also written to his lordship, and perhaps he will thereupon forbear to deliver my letter to the master of the horse: whereas I should be the less sorry if your honour's self would not think it inconvenient to make the suit of my return to his majesty; in which case I should, to my extreme contentment, have all my obligations to your honour only.
your honour that I expressed thereby an act rather of obedience than prudence, as not holding his lordship a fit man, whom by presenting that letter the king might peradventure discover to be my favourer in this business. In regard whereof I besought him, that howsoever I had complied with his command in writing, yet he would forbear the delivery: and 1 gave him divers reasons for it. And, both in contemplation of those reasons, as also of the hazard of miscarriage that letters do run into between these parts and those, His majesty's being now in progress, will give I have now thought fit to send your honour this ensome impediment to my suit, unless either it be closed, accompanied with a most humble entreaty my good fortune that your honour do attend his that you will be pleased to put it into the master person, or else that you will be pleased to com- of the horse's hands, with such a recommendamand some one of the many servants your honour tion as you can give. Having read it, your hath in court, to procure the expedition of my honour may be pleased to seal it; and if his cause; wherein I can foresee no difficulty, when I honour have received the former by other hands, consider the interest which your honour alloweth this may serve in the nature of a duplicate or me in your favour, and my innocent carriage | copy: if not, it may be the original; and, indeed, abroad for so many years; whereunto all his majesty's ministers, who have known me, I am sure, will give an attestation, according to the contents of my letter, to his Grace of Canterbury. If I durst, I would most humbly entreat your honour to be pleased, that some servant of yours may speedily advertise me, whether or no his Grace of Canterbury hath received my letter; what his answer was; and what I may hope in this my suit. I remember, that the last words which I had the honour to hear from your mouth, were, that if I continued any time free both from disloyalty and priesthood, your honour would be pleased to make yourself the intercessor for my return. Any letter sent to Mr. Trumball for me will come safely and speedily to my hands.
The term doth now last with your honour all the year long, and therefore the sooner I make an end, the better service I shall do you. I presume to kiss your hands, and continue
Your honour's most entirely, and
humbly ever at commandment,
though it should be but the copy, if it may be touched by your honour, it would have both greater grace and greater life than the principal itself; and, therefore, howsoever, I humbly pray, that this may be delivered.
If my business should be remitted to the council-table (which yet I hope will not be) I am most a stranger to my lord chancellor and my lord chamberlain,* of whom yet I trust, by means of your honour's good word in my behalf, that I shall receive no impediment.
The bearer, Mr. Becher,† can say what my carriage hath been in France, under the eye of several ambassadors; which makes me the more glad to use him in the delivery of this letter to your honour and if your honour may be pleased to command me any thing, he will convey it to my knowledge.
I hear to my unspeakable joy of heart, how much power you have with the master of the horse; and how much immediate favour you have also with his most excellent majesty: so that I cannot but hope for all good success, when I consider withal the protection whereinto you have been pleased to take me, the
Most humble and most obliged of
Spa, this 16th of July, stylo novo, 1616.
TO SIR FRANCIS BACON, ATTORNEY-GENERAL. IT MAY PLEASE YOUR HONOUR,
I presumed to importune your honour with a letter of the 16th of this month, whereby I signified how I had written to the master of the horse, that he would be pleased to move his majesty for my return into England; and how that I had done it upon the direction of my Lord Roos, who offered to be the deliverer thereof. Withal I told
TO SIR FRANCIS BACON, ATTORNEY-GENERAL. MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HONOUR,
I have been made happy by your honour's noble and dear lines of the 22d of July: and the joy that I took therein was only kept from excess
* William, Earl of Pembroke.
+ William, afterwards knighted. He had been secretary l
Sir George Calvert, ambassador to the court of France, and