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morem, to replant and refound the policy of that nation; to which nothing is wanting, but a just and civil government; which design, as it doth descend unto you from your noble father, who lost his life in that action, though he paid tribute to nature, and not to fortune; so I hope your lordship shall be as fatal a captain to this war, as Africanus was to the war of Carthage, after that both his uncle and father had lost their lives in Spain in the same war. Now although it be true, that these things which I write, being but representations unto your lordship of the honour and appearance of the success of the enterprise, be not much to the purpose of any advice; yet it is that which is left to me, being no man of war, and ignorant in the particulars of estate. For a man may, by the eye, set up the white in the midst of the butt, though he be no archer. Therefore I will only add this wish, according to the English phrase, which termeth a well-willing advice, a wish; that your lordship in this whole action, looking forward, would set down this position; That merit is worthier than fame; and looking back hither would remember this text, That obedience is better than sacrifice. For designing to fame and glory may make your lordship in the adventure of your person to be valiant as a private soldier, rather than as a general: it may make you in your commandments rather to be gracious than disciplinary: it may make you press action, in respect of the great expectation conceived, rather hastily than seasonably and safely: it may make you seek rather to achieve the war by force, than by intermixture of practice: it may make you, if God shall send prosperous beginnings, rather seek the fruition of that honour, than the perfection of the work in hand. And for the other point that is the proceeding, like a good Protestant, upon express warrant, and not upon good intention, your lordship in your wisdom knoweth that as it is most fit for you to desire convenient liberty of instructions, so it is no less fit for you to observe the due limits of them; remembering that the exceeding of them may not only procure, in case of adverse accident, a dangerous disavow; but also, in case of
prosperous success, be subject to interpretation, as if all were not referred to the right end.
Thus have I presumed to write these few lines to your lordship, in methodo ignorantiæ; which is, when a man speaketh of any subject, not according to the parts of the matter, but according to the model of his own knowledge; and most humbly desire your lordship that the weakness thereof may be supplied in your lordship by a benign acceptation, as it is in me by my best wishing.
XLIX. To my Lord of ESSEX.
CONCEIVING that your lordship came now up in the person of a good servant to see your sovereign mistress; which kind of compliments are many times instar magnorum meritorum; and therefore that it would be hard for me to find you: I have committed to this poor paper the humble salutations of him that is more yours than any man's; and more yours than any man. To these salutations I add a due and joyful gratulation, confessing that your lordship, in your last conference with me before your journey, spake not in vain, God making it good; that you trusted, we should say, Quis putasset? Which, as it is found true in a happy sense, so I wish you do not find another Quis putasset? in the manner of taking this so great a service. But I hope it is, as he said, Ňubecula est, cito transibit: and that your lordship's wisdom, and obsequious circumspection, and patience, will turn all to the best. So referring all to some time that I may attend you, I commit you to God's best preservation.
L. A LETTER to the Earl of ESSEX, in offer of his service when he was first enlarged to Essex House.
No man can expound my doings better than your lordship, which makes me need to say the less; only I
humbly pray you to believe, that I aspire to the conscience and commendation of bonus civis, and bonus vir; and that though I love some things better, I confess, than I love your lordship, yet I love few persons better; both for gratitude's sake, and for your virtues, which cannot hurt but by accident; of which my good affection it may please your lordship to assure yourself; and of all the true effect and offices I can yield. For as I was ever sorry your lordship should fly with waxen wings, doubting Icarus's fortune, so for the growing up of your own feathers, be they ostrich's or other kind, no man shall be more glad. And this is the axle-tree whereon I have turned and shall turn. Which having already signified to you by some near mean, having so fit a messenger for mine own letter, I thought good also to redouble by writing. And so I commend you to God's protection. From Gray's Inn this (a) 9th day of July, 1600.
LI. An Answer of my Lord of Ess Ex, to the Rawley's preceding LETTER of Mr. BACON.
I CAN neither expound nor censure your late actions; being ignorant of all of them save one; and having directed my sight inward only to examine myself. You do pray me to believe, that you only aspire to the conscience and commendation of bonus civis, and bonus vir; and I do faithfully assure you, that while that is your ambition, though your course be active, and mind contemplative, yet we shall both convenire in eodem tertio; and convenire inter nosipsos. Your profession of affection, and offer of good offices, are welcome to me; for answer to them I will say but this; that you have believed I have been kind to you, and you may believe that I cannot be other, either upon humour or mine own election. I am a
stranger to all poetical conceits, or else I should say somewhat of your poetical example. But this I must say, that I never flew with other wings than desire to (a) 19 Jul. Cab.
merit, and confidence in my sovereign's favour; and when one of these wings failed me, I would light no where but at my sovereign's feet, though she suffered me to be bruised with my fall. And till her majesty, that knows I was never bird of prey, finds it to agree with her will and her service that my wings should be imped again, I have committed myself to the mue. No power but my God's, and my sovereign's, can alter this resolution of
Your retired friend,
LII. To my
Lord of ESSEX.
I AM glad your lordship hath plunged out of your own business: wherein I must commend your lordship, as Xenophon commended the state of his country, which was this, that having chosen the worst form of government of all others, they governed the best in that kind. Hoc pace et venia tua, according to my charter. Now, as your lordship is my witness that I would not trouble you whilst your own cause was in hand, though that I know, that the farther from the term, the better the time was to deal for me, so that being concluded, I presume I shall be one of your next And having communicated with my brother of some course, either to perfect the first, or to make me some other me; or rather, by seeming to make me some other way to perfect the first; wherewith he agreed to acquaint your lordship; I am desirous, for mine own better satisfaction, to speak with your lordship myself: which I had rather were somewhere else than at court; and as soon as your lordship will assign me to wait on you. And so in, etc.
It may please your Lordship,
THAT your lordship is in statu quo prius, no man taketh greater gladness than I do; the rather, because
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I assure myself that of your eclipses, as this hath been the longest, it shall be the least; as the comical poet saith, Neque illam tu satis noveras, neque te illa; Terent. hocque fit, ubi non vere vivitur. For if I may be so bold as to say what I think, I believe neither your lordship looked to have found her majesty in all points as you have done, neither her majesty per case looked to have found your lordship as she hath done. And therefore I hope upon this experience may grow more perfect knowledge, and upon knowledge more true consent; which I, for my part, do infinitely wish, as accounting these accidents to be like the fish Remora ; which though it be not great, yet hath it a hidden property to hinder the sailing of the ship. And therefore, as bearing unto your lordship, after her majesty, of all public persons, the second duty, I could not but signify unto you my affectionate gratulation. And so I commend your good lordship to the best preservation of the divine Majesty.
From Gray's Inn.
LIV. To Sir ROBERT CECIL.
It may please your good Honour,
I AM apt enough to contemn mendacia famæ, yet it is with this distinction, as fame walks among inferiors, and not as it hath entrance into some ears. And yet nevertheless, in that kind also I intend to avoid a suspicious silence, but not to make any base apology. It is blown about the town, that I should give opinion touching my lord of Essex' cause; first, that it was a præmunire; and now last, that it reached to high treason; and this opinion should be given in opposition to the opinion of the lord chief justice, and of Mr. Attorney-general. Sir, I thank God, whatsoever opinion my head serveth me to deliver to her majesty, being asked, my heart serveth me to maintain, the same honest duty directing me and assisting me. But the utter untruth of this report God and the queen can witness; and the improbability of it, every man that hath wit, more or less, can conceive. The root of