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some model; at what time, methought, you were more
CII. To Mr. MATTHEW, upon sending his Rawley's book De sapientia veterum.
I DO very heartily thank you for your letter of the 24th of August from Salamanca; and in recompence thereof I send you a little work of mine, that hath begun to pass the world. They tell me my Latin is turned into silver, and become current: had you been here, you should have been my inquisitor before it came forth: but, I think, the greatest inquisitor in Spain will allow it. But one thing you must pardon me if I make no haste to believe, that the world should be grown to such an ecstacy as to reject truth in philosophy, because the author dissenteth in religion; no more than they do by Aristotle or Averroes. My great work goeth forward; and after my manner, I alter ever when I add. So that nothing is finished till all be finished. This I have written in the midst of a term and parliament; thinking no time so possessed, but
that I should talk of these matters with so good and dear a friend. And so with my wonted wishes I leave you to God's goodness.
From Gray's Inn, Feb. 27, 1610.
Rawley's CIII. To the KING, desiring to succeed in the attorney's place.
It may please your Majesty,
YOUR great and princely favours towards me in advancing me to place; and, that which is to me of no less comfort, your majesty's benign and gracious acceptation, from time to time, of my poor services, much above the merit and value of them; hath almost brought me to an opinion that I may sooner, perchance, be wanting to myself in not asking, than find your majesty's goodness wanting to me in any my reasonable and modest desires. And therefore perceiving how at this time preferments of law fly about mine ears, to some above me, and to some below me; I did conceive your majesty may think it rather a kind of dullness, or want of faith, than modesty, if I should not come with my pitcher to Jacob's well, as others do. Wherein I shall propound to your majesty that which tendeth not so much to the raising of my fortune, as to the settling of my mind: being sometimes assailed with this cogitation, that by reason of my slowness to see and apprehend sudden occasions, keeping in one plain course of painful service, Imay, in fine dierum, be in danger to be neglected and forgotten and if that should be, then were it much better for me, now while I stand in your majesty's good opinion, though unworthy, and have some little reputation in the world, to give over the course I am in, and to make proof to do you some honour by my pen, either by writing some faithful narrative of your happy, though not untraduced, times; or by recompil ing your laws, which, I perceive, your majesty laboureth with; and hath in your head, as Jupiter had Pallas, or some other the like work, for without some endeavour to do you honour, I would not live; than to spend my wits and time in this laborious place wherein I now
serve; if it shall be deprived of those outward orna-
CIV. To the KING, upon the attorney's
It may please your most excellent Majesty,
I DO understand by some of my good friends, to my
Stephens's CV. To the most high and excellent prince, HENRY, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and Earl of Chester. (a)
It may please your Highness,
HAVING divided my life into the contemplative and active part, I am desirous to give his majesty and your highness of the fruits of both, simple though they be.
To write just treatises, requireth leisure in the writer, and leisure in the reader, and therefore are not so fit, neither in regard of your highness's princely affairs, nor in regard of my continual service; which is the cause that hath made me choose to write certain brief notes, set down rather significantly than curiously, which I have called Essays. The word is late, but the thing is ancient; for Seneca's epistles to Lucilius, if you mark them well, are but essays, that is, dispersed meditations, though conveyed in the form of epistles. These labours of mine, I know, cannot be worthy of your highness, for what can be worthy of you? But my hope is, they may be as grains of salt, that will rather give you an appetite, than offend you with satiety. And although they handle those things wherein both men's lives and their persons are most conversant; yet what I have attained I know not; but I have endeavoured to make them not vulgar, but of a nature, whereof a man shall find much in experience, and little in books; so as they are neither repetitions nor fancies. But, however, I shall most humbly desire your highness to accept them in gracious part, and to conceive, that if I cannot rest, but must shew my dutiful and devoted affection to your highness in these things which proceed from myself, I shall be much more ready to do it in performance of any of your princely command
(a) Sir Francis Bacon designed to have prefixed this epistle to his Essays, printed in the year 1612, but was prevented by the prince's death; yet it was so well liked by Mr. Matthew, that he inserted part of it in his dedication to the duke of Tuscany, before his translation of those Essays, printed in 1618.
ments. And so wishing your highness all princely felicity I rest.
Your Highness's most humble servant,
CVI. To the Earl of SALISBURY, lord Trea- Rawley's surer, upon a new-year's tide.
It may please your good Lordship,
I WOULD intreat the new year to answer for the old,
CVII. To my LORD-MAYOR, upon a proceed- Ibid. ing in a private cause.
My very good Lord,
I DID little expect, when I left your lordship last, that there would have been a proceeding against Mr. Barnard to his overthrow: wherein I must confess myself to be in a sort accessary; because he relying upon me for counsel, I advised that course which he followed. Wherein now I begin to question myself, whether in preserving my respects unto your lordship, and the rest, I have not failed in the duty of my profession towards my client. For certainly, if the words had been heinous, and spoken in a malicious fashion, and in some public place, and well proved; and not a prattle in a tavern, caught hold of by one who, as I