« AnteriorContinuar »
CXXVI. To the KING, touching the chancel- Rawley's lor's sickness.
It may please your most excellent Majesty,
I AM glad to understand by Mr. Murray, that your majesty accepteth well of my poor endeavours in opening unto you the passages of your service, that business may come the less crude, and the more prepared to your royal judgment; the perfection whereof, as I cannot expect they should satisfy in every particular; so, I hope, through my assiduity there will result a good total.
My lord chancellor's sickness falleth out duro tempore. I have always known him a wise man, and of just elevation for monarchy; but your majesty's service must not be mortal. And if you lose him, as your majesty hath now of late purchased many hearts by depressing the wicked; so God doth minister unto you a counterpart to do the like, by raising the honest. God evermore preserve your majesty. Your Majesty's most humble subject and bounden servant,
Feb. 9, 1615.
CXXVII. To the KING.
It may please your most excellent Majesty, YOUR worthy chancellor, I fear, goeth his last day. God hath hitherto used to weed out such servants as grew not fit for your majesty; but now he hath gathered to himself one of the choicer plants, a true sage, or salvia, out of your garden; but your majesty's service must not be mortal.
Upon this heavy accident I pray your majesty, in all humbleness and sincerity, to give me leave to use a few words. I must never forget, when I moved your majesty for the attorney's place, that it was your own sole act, and not my lord of Somerset's; who when he knew your majesty had resolved it, thrust himself into
Stephens's first collection, p. 84.
the business to gain thanks; and therefore I have no reason to pray to saints.
I shall now again make oblation to your majesty, first of my heart, then of my service; thirdly of my place of attorney, which I think is honestly worth 6000l. per annum, and fourthly, of my place in the star-chamber, which is worth 1600l. per annum; and with the favour and countenance of a chancellor much more. I hope I may be acquitted of presumption if I think of it, both because my father had the place, which is some civil inducement to my desire, and I pray God your majesty may have twenty no worse years in your greatness, than queen Elizabeth had in her model, after my father's placing, and chiefly because the chancellor's place, after it went to the law, was ever conferred upon some of the learned counsel, and never upon a judge. For Audeley was raised from king's serjeant; my father from attorney of the wards; Bromley from solicitor; Puckering from queen's serjeant; Egerton from master of the rolls, having newly left the attorney's place. Now, I beseech your majesty, let me put you the present case truly. If you take my lord Coke, this will follow; first your majesty shall put an over-ruling nature into an over-ruling place, which may breed an extreme; next you shall blunt his industries in matter of your finances, which seemeth to aim at another place; and lastly, popular men are no sure mounters for your majesty's saddle. If you take my lord Hobart, you shall have a judge at the upper end of your council board, and another at the lower end; whereby your majesty will find your prerogative pent; for though there should be emulation between them, yet as legists they will agree in magnifying that wherein they are best; he is no statesman, but an œconomist wholly for himself; so as your majesty, more than an outward form, will find little help in him for the business. If If you take my lord of Canterbury, I will say no more, but the chancellor's place requires a whole man; and to have both jurisdictions, spiritual, and temporal, in that height, is fit but for a king.
For myself, I can only present your majesty with gloria in obsequio; (a) yet I dare promise, that if I sit in that place, your business shall not make such short turns upon you, as it doth; but when a direction is once given, it shall be pursued and performed, and your majesty shall only be troubled with the true care of a king, which is, to think what you would have done in chief, and not how for the passages.
I do presume also, in respect of my father's memory, and that I have been always gracious in the lower house, I have some interest in the gentlemen of England, and shall be able to do some effect in rectifying that body of parliament-men, which is cardo rerum. For let me tell your majesty, that that part of the chancellor's place, which is to judge in equity between party and party, that same regnum judiciale, which since my father's time is but too much enlarged, concerneth your majesty least, more than the acquitting of your conscience for justice: but it is the other parts, of a moderator amongst your council, of an overseer over your judges, of a planter of fit justices and governors in the country, that importeth your affairs and these times most.
I will add also, that I hope by my care the inventive part of your council will be strengthened; who now commonly do exercise rather their judgments than their inventions, and the inventive part cometh from projectors and private men, which cannot be so well; in which kind my lord of Salisbury had a good method, if his ends had been upright.
(a) Gloria in obsequio is taken from the sixth book of the Annals of Tacitus: where some persons being accused for their intimacy with Sejanus the late great favourite of the emperor Tiberius; M. Terentius, a Roman knight, did not, like others, excuse or deny the same for fear of punishment; but doth in the senate make an ingenuous confession thereof, and gives his reasons why he not only courted, but rejoiced in obtaining the friendship of Sejanus. And then addresses himself as if speaking to Tiberius, in these words; Non est nostrum æstimare, quem supra cæteros, et quibus de causis extollas: tibi summum rerum judicium dii dedere: nobis obsequii gloria relicta est. "It does not become us to inquire into the person
you are pleased to prefer above others, or into the reasons: to you "heaven has given a consummate judgment; to us there remains "the glory of a chearful obedience." Stephens.
To conclude: if I were the man I would be, I should hope, that as your majesty hath of late won hearts by depressing, you should in this lose no hearts by advancing: for I see your people can better skill of concretum than abstractum, and that the waves of their affections flow rather after persons than things: so that acts of this nature, if this were one, do more good than twenty bills of grace. If God call my lord, the warrants and commissions which are requisite for the taking of the seal, and for the working with it, and for the reviving of warrants under his hand, which die with him, and the like, shall be in readiness. And in this, time presseth more, because it is the end of a term, and almost the beginning of the circuits; so that the seal cannot stand still: but this may be done as heretofore by commission, till your majesty hath resolved of an officer. God ever preserve your majesty. Your Majesty's most humble subject, and bounden servant,
Feb. 12, 1615.
Rawley's CXXVIII. A Letter to the KING, of my lord chancellor's amendment, and the difference begun between the chancery and king's bench.
It may please your excellent Majesty,
I Do find, God be thanked, a sensible amendment in my lord chancellor : I was with him yesterday in private conference about half an hour; and this day again, at such a time as he did seal, which he endured well almost the space of an hour, though the vapour of wax be offensive to him. He is free from a fever, perfect in his powers of memory and speech; and not hollow in his voice nor look; he hath no panting or labouring respiration; neither are his coughs dry or weak. But whosoever thinketh his disease is but melancholy, he maketh no true judgment of it; for it is plainly a formed and deep cough, with a pectoral surcharge; so that at times he doth almost animam agere. I forbear to advertise your majesty of the care
I took to have commissions in readiness, because Mr. Secretary Lake hath let me understand, he signified as much to your majesty: but I hope there shall be no use for them at this time. And as I am glad to advertise your majesty of the amendment of your chancellor's person, so I am sorry to accompany it with an advertisement of the sickness of your chancery court, though by the grace of God, that cure will be much easier than the other. It is true I did lately write to your majesty, that for the matter of the Habeas corpora, which was the third matter in law you had given me in charge, I did think the communion in service between my lord chancellor and my lord chief justice, in the great business of examination, would so join them as they would not square at this time; but pardon me, I humbly pray your majesty, if I have too reasonable thoughts.
And yet that which happened the last day of term, concerning certain indictments in the nature of præmunire, preferred into the king's bench, but not found; is not so much as is voiced abroad; though I must say, it is omni tempore nimium, et hoc tempore alienum : and therefore I beseech your majesty not to give any believing ear to reports, but to receive the truth from me, that am your attorney-general, and ought to stand indifferent for jurisdictions of all courts; which account I cannot give your majesty now, because I was then absent; and some are now absent, which are properly and authentically to inform me touching that which passed. Neither let this any ways disjoint your other business, for there is a time for all things, and this very accident may be turned to good. Not that I am of opinion that that same cunning maxim of Separa et impera, which sometimes holdeth in persons, can well take place injurisdictions; but because some good occasion by this excess may be taken to settle that which would have been more dangerous, if it had gone out by little and little. God ever preserve your majesty.
Your Majesty's most humble subject
Feb. 15, 1615.
and most bounden servant,