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The last will of Sir Francis Bacon, viscount St. Alban,
LORD CHANCELLOR BACON.
MR. FRANCIS BACON TO MR. ROBERT CECIL.
• From the original draught in the library
and to have
I AM Very glad, that the good affection and friendship, College, which conversation and familiarity did knit between Arch. D.2. us, is not by absence and intermission of society This letter discontinued; which assureth me, it had a farther be of a very root than ordinary acquaintance. The signification early date, whereof, as it is very welcome to me, so it maketh been writme wish, that, if you have accomplished yourself, Rob. Cecil, as well in the points of virtue and experience, while he which you sought by your travel, as you have won his travels. the perfection of the Italian tongue, I might have the contentment to see you again in England, that we may renew the fruit of our mutual good will; which, I may truly affirm, is, on my part, much increased towards you, both by your own demonstration of kind remembrance, and because I discern the like affection in your honourable and nearest friends.
Our news are all but in seed; for our navy is set forth with happy winds, in token of happy adventures, so as we do but expect and pray, as the hus · bandman when his corn is in the ground.
Thus commending me to your love, I commend you to God's preservation.
• Among the papers of Antony Bacon, Esq.
MR. FRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF ESSEX.*
fol. 74, in I DID almost conjecture by your silence and countenance a distaste in the course I imparted to your lordship touching mine own fortune; the care whereof in your lordship as it is no news to me, so nevertheless the main effects and demonstrations past are so far from dulling in me the sense of any new, as contrariwise every new refresheth the memory of many past. And for the free and loving advice your lordship hath given me, I cannot correspond to the same with greater duty, than by assuring your lordship, that I will not dispose of myself without your allowance, not only because it is the best wisdom in any man in his own matters, to rest in the wisdom of a friend (for who can by often looking in the glass discern and judge so well of his own favour, as another with whom he converseth?) but also because my affection to your lordship hath made mine own contentment inseparable from your satisfaction. But, notwithstanding, I know it will be pleasing to your good lordship, that I use my liberty of replying; and I do almost assure myself, that your lordship will rest persuaded by the answer of those reasons, which your lordship vouchsafed to open. They were two, the one, that I should include** *
The rest of the letter is wanting.
BACON TO SIR JOHN PUCKERING, LORD KEEPER OF THE GREAT SEAL.(a)
Ir is a great grief unto me, joined with marvel, that her majesty should retain an hard conceit of my
(a) Harl. MSS. Vol. 286. No. 129. fol. 232.
speeches in parliament.(a) It might please her sacred majesty to think what my end should be in those speeches, if it were not duty, and duty alone. I am not so simple, but I know the common beaten way to please. And whereas popularity hath been objected, I muse what care I should take to please many, that take a course of life to deal with few. On the other side, her majesty's grace and particular favour towards me hath been such, as I esteem no worldly thing above the comfort to enjoy it, except it be the conscience to deserve it. But if the not seconding of some particular person's opinion shall be presumption, and to differ upon the manner shall be to impeach the end; it shall teach my devotion not to exceed wishes, and those in silence. Yet, notwithstanding, to speak vainly as in grief, it may be her majesty hath discouraged as good a heart, as ever looked toward her service, and as void of self-love. And so in more grief than I can well express, and much more than I can well dissemble, I leave your lordship, being as ever,
Your Lordship's intirely devoted, &c.
MR. FRANCIS BACON TO ALDERMAN JOHN
Mr. Alderman Spencer,(b)
• Among the papers of Antony Bacon, Esq. vol. III.
THOUGH I be ready to yield to any thing for my fol. 186, in brother's sake, so yet he will not, I know, expect, no, bet i nor permit me, that I should do myself wrong. For brary.
(a) On Wednesday the 7th of March, 159, upon the three subsidies demanded of the house of commons; to which he assented, but not to the payment of them under six years, urging the necessities of the people, the danger of raising public discontentment, and the setting of an evil precedent against themselves and their posterity. See Sir Simonds D'Ewes's Journals, p. 493. He sat in that parliament, which met November 19, 1592, and was dissolved 10 April, 1593, as one of the knights of the shire for Middlesex.
(b) Sir John Spencer, lord mayor of London in 1594. His vast fortune came to his only daughter, Elizabeth, married to William, lord Compton, created earl of Northampton, in August, 1618.