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knights in my mess in Gray's-Inn commons; and because I have found out an alderman's daughter, (c) a handsome maiden, to my liking. So as if your honour will find the time, I will come to the court from Gorhambury, upon any warning.
How my sales go forward, your lordship shall in a few days hear. Mean while, if you will not be pleased to take farther day with this lewd fellow, I hope your lordship will not suffer him to take any part of the penalty, but principal, interest, and costs.
So I remain your Lordship's most bounden,
3 July, 1603.
TO THE SAME.
It may please your good Lordship,
In answer of your last letter, your money shall be ready before your day, principal, interest, and costs of suit. So the sheriff promised, when I released errors; and a Jew takes no more. The rest cannot be forgotten; for I cannot forget your lordship's dum memor ipse mei: and if there have been aliquid nimis, it shall be amended. And, to be plain with your lordship, that will quicken me now which slackened me before. Then I thought you might have had more use of me than now, I suppose, you are like to have. Not but I think the impediment will be rather in my mind than in the matter or times. But to do you service, I will come out of my religion at any time.
For my knighthood, (a) I wish the manner might be such as might grace me, since the matter will not: I mean, that I might not be merely gregarious in a
(c) Probably the lady whom he afterwards married, Alice, one of the daughters and coheirs of Benedict Barnham, Esq. alderman of London. She survived her husband above twenty years. Life of Lord Bacon, by Dr. William Rawley.
(a) He was knighted at Whitehall, 23 July, 1603.
troop. The coronation (b) is at hand. It may please your lordship to let me hear from you speedily. So I continue
Your Lordship's ever much bounden,
From Gorhambury, this
16th of July, 1603.
From the MS. collec
tions of Robert Stephens, Esq. deceased.
TO SIR JOHN DAVIS, HIS MAJESTY'S ATTORNEY
I THANK you for your letter, and the discourse you sent of this new accident, as things then appeared. I see manifestly the beginning of better or worse: but me thinketh it is first a tender of the better, and worse followeth but upon refusal or default. I would have been glad to see you here; but I hope occasion reserveth our meeting for a vacation, when we may have more fruit of conference. To requite your proclamation, which, in my judgment, is wisely and seriously penned, I send you another with us, which happened to be in my hands when yours came. I would be glad to hear often from you, and to be advertised how things pass, whereby to have some occasion to think some good thoughts; though I can do little. At the least it will be a continuance in exercise of our friendship, which on my part remaineth increased by that I hear of your service, and the good respects I find towards myself. And so in Tormour's haste, I continue
Your very loving friend,
From Gray's-Inn, this 23d of Octob. 1607. .
(b) It was solemnized, 24 July, 1603,
TO ISAAC CASAUBON. (a)
CUM ex literis, quas ad dominum Carew misisti, cognoscam scripta mea a te probari, et mihi de judicio tuo gratulatus sum, et tibi, quam ea res mihi fuerit voluptati, scribendum existimavi. Atque illud etiam de me recte auguraris, me scientias ex latebris in lucem extrahere vehementer cupere. Neque enim multum interest ea per otium scribi, quæ per otium legantur, sed plane vitam, et res humanas, et medias earum turbas, per contemplationes sanas et veras instructiores esse volo. Quanta autem in hoc genere aggrediar, et quam parvis præsidiis, postmodum fortasse rescisces. Etiam tu pariter gratissimum mihi facies, si quæ in animo habes atque moliris et agitas, mihi nota esse velis. Nam conjunctionem animorum et studiorum plus facere ad amicitias judico, quam civilis necessitatis et occasionum officia. Equidem existimo neminem unquam magis vere potuisse dicere de sese, quam me ipsum, illud quod habet psalmus, multum incola fuit anima mea. Itaque magis videor cum antiquis versari, quam cum his, quibuscum vivo. Quid ni etiam possim cum absentibus potius versari, quam cum iis, qui præsto sunt; et magis electione in amicitiis uti, quam occasionibus de more submitti? Verum ad institutum revertor ego; si qua in re amicitia mea tibi aut tuis usui aut ornamento esse possit, tibi operam meam bonam atque navam polliceor. Itaque salutem tibi dicit
Indorsed, To Casaubon.
Amicus tuus, &c.
(a) This letter appears to have been written after Sir George Carew, mentioned in it, returned from his embassy in France, in October, 1609; and before the arrival of Casaubon in England, in Octob. 1610.
The beginning of a Letter immediately after my Lord Treasurer's (a) decease. (b)
It may please your Majesty,
May 29, 1612.
IF I shall seem in these few lines to write majora quam pro fortuna, it may please your majesty to take it to be an effect, not of presumption, but of affection. For of the one I was never noted; and for the other I could never shew it hitherto to the full; being as a hawk tied to another's fist, that might sometimes bait and proffer, but could never fly. And therefore if, as it was said to one, that spoke great words, Amice, verba tua desiderant civitatem, (c) so your majesty say to me, “Bacon, your words require a place to speak "them;" I must answer, that place, or not place, is in your majesty to add or refrain: and though I never grow eager but to * yet your majesty
TO THE KING,
Immediately after the Lord Treasurer's death.
31 May, 1612.
It may please your excellent Majesty,
I CANNOT but endeavour to merit, considering your preventing graces, which is the occasion of these few lines.
Your majesty hath lost a great subject and a great servant. But if I should praise him in propriety, I should say, that he was a fit man to keep things from growing worse; but no very fit man to reduce things to be much better. For he loved to have the eyes of all Israel
(a) Robert earl of Salisbury, who died 24 May, 1612.
(b) The draught of this imperfect letter is written chiefly in Greek characters.
(c) These words of Themistocles are cited likewise by lord Bacon at the end of his book De Augmentis Scientiarum.
a little too much on himself, and to have all business still under the hammer; and, like clay in the hands of the potter, to mould it as he thought good; so that he was more in operatione than in opere. And though he had fine passages of action, yet the real conclusions came slowly on. So that although your majesty hath grave counsellors and worthy persons left; yet you do, as it were, turn a leaf, wherein if your majesty shall give a frame and constitution to matters, before you place the persons, in my simple opinion it were not amiss. But the great matter, and most instant for the present, is the consideration of a parliament, for two effects: the one for the supply of your estate; the other for the better knitting of the hearts of your subjects unto your majesty, according to your infinite merit; for both which, parliaments have been, and are, the ancient and honourable remedy.
Now because I take myself to have a little skill in that region, as one, that ever affected, that your majesty might, in all your causes, not only prevail, but prevail with satisfaction of the inner man; and though no man can say but I was a perfect and peremptory royalist, yet every man makes me believe that I was never one hour out of credit with the lower house: my desire is to know, whether your majesty will give me leave to meditate and propound unto you some preparative remembrances, touching the future parlia
Your majesty may truly perceive, that, though I cannot challenge to myself either invention, or judgment, or elocution, or method, or any of those powers; yet my offering is care and observance and as my good old mistress was wont to call me her watch-candle, because it pleased her to say, I did continually burn, and yet she suffered me to waste almost to nothing; so I must much more owe the like duty to your majesty, by whom my fortunes have been settled and raised. And so craving pardon, I rest
Your Majesty's most humble servant devote,