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LETTERS FROM THE CABALA.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE LORD TREASURER, | his place with great sufficiency. . But those an! CONCERNING THE SOLICITOR'S PLACE. the like things are as her majesty shall be made AFTER the remembrance of my humble duty, capable of them; wherein, knowing what authorthough I know, by late experience, how mindful|ity your lordship's commendations have with her your lordship vouchsafeth to be of me and my majesty, I conclude with myself, that the subpoor fortune, and since it pleased your lordship, stance of strength which I may receive, will be during my indisposition, and when her majesty from your lordship. It is true, my life hath been came to visit your lordship, to make mention of so private, as I have had no means to do your lordme for my employment and preferment; yet being ship service; but yet, as your lordship knoweth. now in the country, I do presume that your lord- I have made offer of such as I could yield; for. ship, who of yourself had an honourable care of as God hath given me a mind to love the public, the matter, will not think it a trouble to be solicited so, incidently, I have ever had your lordship in therein. My hope is this, that whereas your lord- singular admiration; whose happy ability her ship told me her majesty was somewhat gravelled majesty hath so long used, to her great honour upon the offence she took at my speech in parlia- and yours. Besides, that amendment of state or ment; your lordship's favourable endeavour, who countenance, which I have received, hath been hath assured me that for your own part you con- from your lordship. And, therefore, if your lordstrue that I spake to the best, will be as a good ship shall stand a good friend to your poor ally, tide to remove her from that shelve. And it is you shall but "tueri opus" which you have henot unknown to your good lordship, that I was gun. And your lordship shall bestow your benefit the first of the ordinary sort of the Lower House upon one that hath more sense of obligation than that spake for the subsidy: and that which I after of self-love. Thus humbly desiring pardon of so spake in difference, was but in circumstance of long a letter, I wish your lordship all happiness. time, which methinks was no great matter, since Your lordship's in all humbleness to be comthere is variety allowed in counsel, as a discord manded. in music, to make it more perfect.
But I may justly doubt, her majesty's impression upon this particular, as her conceit otherwise of my insufficiency and unworthiness, which, though I acknowledge to be great, yet it will be the less, because I purpose not to divide myself between her majesty and the causes of other men, as others have done, but to attend her business only hoping that a whole man meanly able, may do as well as half a man better able. And if her majesty thinketh that she shall make an adventure in using one that is rather a man of study than of practice and experience, surely I may remember to have heard that my father, an example, I confess, rather ready than like, was made solicitor of the augmentation, a court of much business, when he had never practised, and was but twentyseven years old; and Mr. Brograve was now in iny time called attorney of the duchy, when he had practised little or nothing, and yet hath discharged You. III.-1
June 6, 1595.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE LORD TREASURER
With as much confidence as mine own honest and faithful devotion unto your service, and your honourable correspondence unto me and my poor estate can breed in a man, do I commend myself unto your lordship. I wax now somewhat ancient; one-and-thirty years is a great deal of sand in the hour-glass. My health, I thank God, I find confirmed; and I do not fear that action shall impair it: because I account my ordinary course of study and meditation to be more painful than most parts of action are. I ever bear a mind, in some middle place that I could discharge, to serve her majesty ; not as a man born under Sol, that loveth honour; nor under Jupiter, that loveth business, for the
contemplative planet carrieth me away wholly :) but as a man born under an excellent sovereign, that deserveth the dedication of all men's abilities. Besides, I do not find in myself so much self-love, but that the greater parts of my thoughts are to deserve well, if I were able, of my friends, and namely of your lordship; who being the Atlas of this commonwealth, the honour of my house, and the second founder of my poor estate, I am tied by all duties, both of a good patriot, and of an unworthy kinsman, and of an obliged servant, to employ whatsoever I am, to do you service. Again, the meanness of my estate doth somewhat move me for though I cannot accuse myself, that I am either prodigal or slothful, yet, my health is not to spend, nor my course to get. Lastly, I confess that I have as vast contemplative ends, as I have moderate civil ends: for I have taken all knowledge to be my providence;* and if I could purge it of two sorts of rovers, whereof the one with frivolous disputations, confutations, and verbosities: the other with blind experiments and auricular traditions and impostures, hath committed so many spoils; I hope I should bring in industrious observations, grounded conclusions, and profitable inventions and discoveries; the best state of that providence.* This, whether it be curiosity, or vainglory, or nature, or, if one take it favourably, philanthropia, is so fixed in my mind, as it cannot be removed. And I do easily see, that place of any reasonable countenance doth bring commandment of more wits than of a man's own, which is the thing I greatly affect. And for your lordship, perhaps, you shall not find more strength and less encounter in any other. And if your lordship shall find now or at any time, that I do seek or affect any place, whereunto any that is nearer unto your lordship shall be concurrent, say then that I am a most dishonest man. And if your lordship will not carry me on, I will not do as Anaxagoras did, who reduced himself with contemplation unto voluntary poverty: but this I will do, I will sell the inheritance that I have, and purchase some lease of quick revenue, or some office of gain, that shall be executed by deputy, and so give over all care of service, and become some sorry bookmaker, or a true pioneer in that mine of truth, which, he said, lay so deep. This which I have writ unto your lordship, is rather thoughts than words, being set down without all art, disguising, or reservation: wherein I have done honour both to your lordship's wisdom, in judging that that will be best believed of your lordship which is truest; and to your lordship's good nature, in retaining nothing from you. And even so, I wish your lordship all happiness, and to myself means and occasion to be added to my faithful desire to do you service.
From my lodging at Gray's Inn.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE LORD TREASURER
MY SINGULAR GOed Lord,
Your lordship's comfortable relation of her majesty's gracious opinion and meaning towards me, though at that time your leisure gave me not leave to show how I was affected therewith; yet upon every representation thereof it entereth and striketh more deeply into me, as both my nature and duty presseth me to return some speech of thankfulness. It must be an exceeding comfort and encouragement to me, setting forth and putting myself in way towards her majesty's service, to encounter with an example so private and domestical, of her majesty's gracious goodness and benignity; being made good and verified in my father, so far forth, as it extendeth to his posterity.
Accepting them as commended by his service, during the nonage, as I may term it, of their own deserts, I, for my part, am very well content, that I take least part, either of his abilities of mind, or of his worldly advancement; both which he held and received, the one of the gift of God immediately, the other of her majesty's gift; yet, in the loyal and earnest affection which he bare to her majesty's service, I trust my portion shall not be with the least: nor in proportion with the youngest birth. For methinks his precedent should be a silent charge upon his blessing unto us all, in our degrees, to follow him afar off, and to dedicate unto her majesty's service both the use and spending of our lives. True it is, that I must needs acknowledge myself prepared and furnished thereunto with nothing but with a multitude of lacks and imperfections; but calling to mind how diversely, and in what particular providence God hath declared himself to tender the state of her majesty's affairs, I conceive and gather hope, that those whom he hath in a manner pressed for her majesty's service, by working and imprinting in them a single and zealous mind to bestow their duties therein; he will see them accordingly appointed of sufficiency convenient for the rank and standing where they shall be employed: so as, under this her majesty's blessing, I trust to receive a larger allowance of God's graces. And as I may hope for this, so I can assure and promise for my endeavour, that it shall not be in fault; but what diligence can entitle me unto, that I doubt not to recover. And now seeing it hath pleased her majesty to take knowledge of this my mind, and to vouchsafe to appropriate me unto her service, preventing any desert of mine with her princely liberality; first, I humbly do beseech your lordship, to present to her majesty my more than humble thanks for the same: and withal, having regard to mine own unworthiness to receive such favour, and to the small possibility in me to satisfy and answer what her majesty conceiveth, I am moved to become a most humble