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to a great king, to be solicitor for one of the MR. TOBIE MATTHEW TO SIR FRANCIS BACON meanest subjects that he hath.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HONOUR,
Such as know your honour may congratulate with you the favour which you have lately received from his majesty, of being made a counsellor of state:* but as for me, I must have leave to congratulate with the council-table, in being so happy as to have you for an assessor. I hope these are but beginnings, and that the marriage, which now I perceive that fortune is about to make with virtue, will be consummate in your person. I cannot dissemble, though I am ashamed to mention, the excessive honour which you have vouchsafed to do unto my picture. But shame ought not to be so hateful as sin; and without sin I know not how to conceal the extreme obligation, into which I am entered thereby, which is incomparably more than I can express, and no less than as much as I am able to conceive. And as the copy is more fortunate than the original, because it hath the honour to be under your eye, so the original, being much more truly yours than the copy can be, aspires, by having the happiness to see you, to put the picture out of countenance.
I send my letter to my lord's grace open, that before you seal it (if you shall think fit to seal it, and rather not to deliver it open) you may see the reasons that I have; which, if I be not partial, are very pregnant. Although I confess, that till it was now very lately motioned to me by some honourable friends, who have already procured to disimpression his majesty of some hard conceit he had me in, I did not greatly think thereof; and now I am full of hope that I shall prevail. For supposing that my Lord of Canterbury's mind is but made of iron, the adamant of your persuasion will have power to draw it. It may please you either to send a present answer hereunto, or, since I am not worthy of so much favour, to tell either of those honourable persons aforenamed what the answer is, that accordingly they may co-operate. This letter goes by Sir Edward Parham, a gentleman whom I have been much beholden to. I know him to be a perfect honest man; and since, I protest, I had rather die than deceive you, I will humbly pray, that he may rather receive favour from you than otherwise, when he shall come in your way, which at one time or other all the world there must do. And I shall acknowledge | rived here at the Spa, and is so wise as to honour myself much bound to you, as being enabled by this means to pay many of my debts to him.
I presume to send you the copy of a piece of a letter, which Galileo, of whom I am sure you have heard, wrote to a monk of my acquaintance in Italy, about the answering of that place in Joshua, which concerns the sun's standing still, and approving thereby the pretended falsehood of Copernicus's opinion. The letter was written by occasion of the opposition, which some few in Italy did make against Galileo, as if he went about to establish that by experiments which appears to be contrary to Holy Scripture. But he makes it appear the while by this piece of a letter which I send you, that if that passage of Scripture doth expressly favour either side, it is for the affirmative of Copernicus's opinion, and for the negative of Aristotle's. To an attorneygeneral in the midst of a town, and such a one as is employed in the weightiest affairs of the kingdom, it might seem unseasonable for me to interrupt you with matter of this nature. But I know well enough in how high account you have the truth of things: and that no day can pass, wherein you give not liberty to your wise thoughts of looking upon the works of nature. It may please you to pardon the so much trouble which I give you in this kind; though yet, I confess, I do not deserve a pardon, because I find not in myself a purpose of forbearing to do the like hereafter. I most numbly kiss your hand.
Your most faithful and affectionate servant,
Brussels, this 21st of April, 1616.
I understand by Sir George Petre,† who is ar
you extremely, though he have not the fortune to be known to your honour, that he had heard how my Lord of Canterbury had been moved in my behalf, and that he gave way unto my return. This, if it be true, cannot have happened without some endeavour of your honour; and, therefore, howsoever I have not been particularly advertised that your honour had delivered my letter to his grace; yet now methinks I do as good as know it, and dare adventure to present you with my humblest thanks for the favour. But the main point is, how his majesty should be moved; wherein my friends are straining courtesy; and unless I have your honour for a master of the ceremonies to take order, who shall begin, all the benefit, that I can reap by this negotiation, will be to have the reputation of little judgment in attempting that which I was not able to obtain; and that howsoever I have shot fair, I know not how to hit the mark. I have been directed by my Lord Roos, who was the first mover of this stone, to write a letter, which himself would deliver to the Master of the Horse, who doth me the honour to wish me very well and I have obeyed his lordship, and beseech your honour, that you will be pleased to prevent, or to accompany, or second it with your commendation, lest otherwise the many words that I have used have but the virtue of a single 0, or cipher. But, indeed, if I had not been overweighed by the
* Sir Francis Bacon was sworn at Greenwich of the privycouncil, June 9, 1616.
+ Grandson of John, the first Lord Petre, and son of William, second baron of that name.
Sir George Villiers, who was appointed to that office, January 4, 1615-6.
authority of my Lord Roos's commandment, I should rather have reserved the master of the horse's favour to some other use afterward. In conformity whereof I have also written to his lordship, and perhaps he will thereupon forbear to deliver my letter to the master of the horse: whereas I should be the less sorry if your honour's self would not think it inconvenient to make the suit of my return to his majesty; in which case I should, to my extreme contentment, have all my obligations to your honour only.
His majesty's being now in progress, will give some impediment to my suit, unless either it be my good fortune that your honour do attend his person, or else that you will be pleased to command some one of the many servants your honour hath in court, to procure the expedition of my cause; wherein I can foresee no difficulty, when I consider the interest which your honour alloweth me in your favour, and my innocent carriage abroad for so many years; whereunto all his majesty's ministers, who have known me, I am sure, will give an attestation, according to the contents of my letter, to his Grace of Canterbury. If I durst, I would most humbly entreat your honour to be pleased, that some servant of yours may speedily advertise me, whether or no his Grace of Canterbury hath received my letter; what his answer was; and what I may hope in this my suit. I remember, that the last words which I had the honour to hear from your mouth, were, that if I continued any time free both from disloyalty and priesthood, your honour would be pleased to make yourself the intercessor for my return. Any letter sent to Mr. Trumball for me will come safely and speedily to my hands.
The term doth now last with your honour all the year long, and therefore the sooner I make an end, the better service I shall do you. I presume to kiss your hands, and continue
your honour that I expressed thereby an act rather of obedience than prudence, as not holding his lordship a fit man, whom by presenting that letter the king might peradventure discover to be my favourer in this business. In regard whereof I besought him, that howsoever I had complied with his command in writing, yet he would forbear the delivery: and 1 gave him divers reasons for it. And, both in contemplation of those reasons, as also of the hazard of miscarriage that letters do run into between these parts and those, I have now thought fit to send your honour this enclosed, accompanied with a most humble entreaty that you will be pleased to put it into the master of the horse's hands, with such a recommendation as you can give. Having read it, your honour may be pleased to seal it; and if his honour have received the former by other hands, this may serve in the nature of a duplicate or copy: if not, it may be the original; and, indeed, though it should be but the copy, if it may be touched by your honour, it would have both greater grace and greater life than the principal itself; and, therefore, howsoever, I humbly pray, that this may be delivered.
If my business should be remitted to the council-table (which yet I hope will not be) I am most a stranger to my lord chancellor and my lord chamberlain, of whom yet I trust, by means of your honour's good word in my behalf, that I shall receive no impediment.
The bearer, Mr. Becher,† can say what my carriage hath been in France, under the eye of several ambassadors; which makes me the more glad to use him in the delivery of this letter to your honour: and if your honour may be pleased to command me any thing, he will convey it to my knowledge.
I hear to my unspeakable joy of heart, how much power you have with the master of the horse; and how much immediate favour you have also with his most excellent majesty: so that I cannot but hope for all good success, when I consider withal the protection whereinto you have been pleased to take me, the
Most humble and most obliged of
Spa, this 16th of July, stylo novo, 1616. P. S. It is no small penance, that I am forced to apparel my mind in my man's hand, when it speaks to your honour. But God Almighty will have it so, through the shaking I have in my right hand; and I do little less than want the use Spa, this last of July, stylo novo, 1616. of my forefinger.
TO SIR FRANCIS BACON, ATTORNEY-GENERAL. IT MAY PLEASE YOUR HONOUR,
I presumed to importune your honour with a letter of the 16th of this month, whereby I signified how I had written to the master of the horse, that he would be pleased to move his majesty for my return into England; and how that I had done it upon the direction of my Lord Roos, who offered to be the deliverer thereof. Withal I told
TO SIR FRANCIS BACON, ATTORNEY-GENERAL MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HONOUR,
I have been made happy by your honour's noble and dear lines of the 22d of July: and the joy that I took therein was only kept from excess
*William, Earl of Pembroke.
William, afterwards knighted. He had been secretary to
Sir George Calvert, ambassador to the court of France, and was afterwards agent at that court; and at last made clerk of the council
by the notice they gave me of some intentions and advices of your honour, which you have been pleased to impart to others of my friends, with a meaning, that they should acquaint me with them; whereof they have entirely failed. And, therefore, if still it should import me to understand what they were, I must be enforced to beg the knowledge of them from yourself. Your honour hath by this short letter delivered me otherwise from a great deal of laborious suspense; for, besides the great hope you give me of being so shortly able to do you reverence, I am come to know, that by the diligence of your favour towards me, my Lord of Canterbury hath been drawn to give way, and the master of the horse hath been induced to move. That motion, I trust, will be granted, howsoever; but I should be out of fear thereof, if, when he moves the king, your honour would cast to be present; that if his majesty should make any difficulty, some such reply as is wont to come from you in such cases may have power to discharge it.
foreign princes. My king is wise, and I hope
Your honour's ever most obliged
Antwerp, this first of Sept., stylo novo, 1616.
This letter goes by Mr. Robert Garret, to whom I am many ways beholden, for making me the best present that ever I received, by delivering me your honour's last letter.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING.
so it is. But if his company make this good, then I am very glad to see in the case wherein we now stand, there is this hope left, and your majesty's honour preserved in the entier. God have your majesty in his divine protection.
Your majesty's most devoted
and most bounden servant, &c.
This is a secret to all men but my lord chancellor; and we go on this day with the new company without discouraging them at all. September 18, 1616.
I have been told rather confidently than credibly, (for in truth I am hardly drawn to believe it,) MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, that Sir Henry Goodere should underhand (upon Because I have ever found, that in business the reason of certain accounts that run between the consideration of persons, who are instrumenta him and me, wherein I might justly lose my right, animata, is no less weighty than of matters, I if I had so little wit as to trouble your honour's humbly pray your majesty to peruse this enclosed infinite business by a particular relation thereof) paper, containing a diligence which I have used oppose himself to my return, and perform ill in omnem eventum. If Towerson,* as a passionoffices, in conformity of that unkind affectionate man, have overcome himself in his opinion, which he is said to bear me; but, as I said, I cannot absolutely believe it, though yet I could not so far despise the information, as not to acquaint your honour with what I heard. I offer it not as a ruled case, but only as a query, as I have also done to Mr. Secretary Lake, in this letter, which I humbly pray your honour may be given him, together with your best advice, how my business is to be carried in this conjuncture of his majesty's drawing near to London, at which time I shall receive my sentence. I have learned from your honour to be confident, that it will be pronounced in my favour: but, if the will of God should be otherwise, I shall yet frame for myself a good proportion of contentment; since, howsoever, I was so unfortunate, as that I might not enjoy my country, yet, withal, I was so happy, as that my return thither was desired and negotiated by the affection, which such a person as yourself vouchsafed to bear me. When his majesty shall be moved, if he chance to make difficulty about my return, and offer to impose any condition, which it is known I cannot draw myself to digest, I desire it may be remembered, that my case is common with many of his subjects, who breathe in the air of their country, and that my case is not common with many, since I have lived so long abroad with disgrace at home; and yet have ever been free, not only from suspicion of practice, but from the least dependence upon
To the king, upon Towerson's propositions about
the cloth business.
RICHARD MARTIN, ESQ.† TO SIR FRANCIS BACON.
By attendance at court two days (in vain, considering the end of my journey,) was no loss
English merchants executed by the Dutch at Amboyna, in 1623.
*Whose brother, Captain Gabriel Towerson, was one of the
Born about 1570, entered a commoner of Broad-gate's Hail, now Pembroke College, Oxford, in 1585, whence he reserved for the borough of Barnstable in Devon; and in the moved to the Middle Temple. In the Parliament of 1601, he first Parliament of King James I. he served for Cirencester in Gloucestershire. He was chosen recorder of London in September, 1618; but died in the last day of the following month. He was much esteemed by the men of learning and genius of that age.
so full instruction from his majesty, that there is
To the Right Honourable Sir Francis Bacon, knight, one of his majesty's privy council, and his attorney-general.
SIR EDMUND BACON TO SIR FRANCIS BACON,
unto me, seeing thereby I made the gain of the overture and assurance of your honour's affection. These comforts have given new life and strength to my hopes, which before began to faint. I know what your honour promiseth you will undertake, and what you undertake, you seldom fail to com- Royston, the 13th of October, 1616. pass; for such proof of your prudence and industry your honour hath of late times given to the swaying world. There is, to my understanding, no great Intricacy in my affair, in which I plainly descry the course to the shore I would land at; to which neither I nor any other can attain without the direction of our great master pilot, who will not stir much without the beloved mate sound the way. Both these, none can so well set awork as yourself, who have not only their ear, but their affection, MY LORD,-I am bold to present unto your and that with good right, as I hope in time, to hands, by this bearer, whom the law calls up, good and public porpose. It is fit likewise that some salt of wormwood, being uncertain whether your honour know all my advantages. The pre- the regard of your health makes you still continue sent incumbent is tied to me by firm promise, the use of that medicine. I could wish it otherwhich gives an impediment to the competitors, wise; for I am persuaded that all diuretics, which whereof one already, according to the heaviness carry with them that punctuous nature and caustic of his name and nature, pelit deorsum. And quality by calcination, are hurtful to the kidneys, though I be a bad courtier, yet I know the style if not enemies to the other principal parts of the of gratitude, and shall learn as I am instructed; body. Wherein, if it shall please you, for your whatsoever your honour shall undertake for me, better satisfaction, to call the advice of your I will make good; therefore I humbly and earn- learned physicians, and that they shall resolve of estly entreat your best endeavour, to assure to any medicine for your health, wherein my poor yourself and your master a servant, who both can labour may avail you, you know where your faithand will, though as yet mistaken, advance his ful apothecary dwells, who will be ready at your honour and service with advantage. Your love commandment; as I am bound both by your and wisdom is my last address; and on the real favours to myself, as also by those to my nephew, nobleness of your nature (whereof there is so whom you have brought out of darkness into light, good proof) stands my last hope. If I now find and, by what I hear, have already made him, by a stop. I will resolve it is fatum Carthaginis, and your bounty, a subject of emulation to his elder sit down in perpetual peace. In this business I brother. We are all partakers of this your kinddesire all convenient silence; for though I can ness towards him; and, for myself, I shall be ever endure to be refused, yet it would trouble me to ready to deserve it by any service that shall lie in have my name blasted. If your honour return the power of not, and you think it requisite, I will attend at court. Meantime, with all humble and hearty wishes for increase of all happiness, I kiss your Redgrave, this 19th of October, 1616, honour's hands.
Your lordship's poor nephew,
For the Right Honourable Sir Francis Bacon, knight, his majesty's attorney-general, and one of his most honourable privy counsellors, be these delivered at London.
TO THE KING.†
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
Nephew of Sir Francis Bacon, being eldest son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, eldest son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. Sir Edmund died without issue April 10, 1619. There are several letters to him from Sir
Henry Wotton, printed among the works of the latter.
His majesty had begun his journey towards Scotland, on the 14th of March, 1616-7.
TO THE LORD KEEPER.†
MY HONOURABLE LORD,
Whereas, the late lord chancellor thought it fit to dismiss out of the chancery a cause touching Henry Skipwith, to the common law, where he desireth it should be decided; these are to entreat your lordship‡ in the gentleman's favour, that if
* Additional instructions to Sir John Digby,—[ambassador to the court of Spain :]—
Besides your instructions directory to the substance of the main errand, we would have you in the whole carriage and passages of the negotiation, as well with the king himself, as the Duke of Lerma, and council there, intermix discourse
upon fit occasions, that may express ourselves to the effect
That you doubt not, but that both kings, for that which
concerns religion, will proceed sincerely, both being entire and perfect in their own belief and way. But that there are so many noble and excellent effects, which are equally acceptable to both religions, and for the good and happiness of the Christian world, which may arise of this conjunction, as the union of both kings in actions of state, as may make the
difference in religion as laid aside, and almost forgotten.
As, first, that it will be a means utterly to extinguish and extirpate pirates, which are the common enemies of mankind,
and do so much infest Europe at this time.
THE LORD KEEPER TO HIS NIECE, TOUCHING HER MARRIAGE.
GOOD NIECE,-Amongst your other virtues, I know there wanteth not in you a mind to hearken to the advice of your friends. And, therefore, you will give me leave to move you again more seriously than before in the match with Mr. Comptroller. The state wherein you now are is to be preferred before marriage, or changed for marriage, not simply the one or the other, but according as, by God's providence, the offers of marriage are more or less fit to be embraced. This gentleman is religious, a person of honour, being counsellor of state, a great officer, and in very good favour with his majesty. He is of years and health fit to be comfortable to you, and to free you of burdensome cares. He is of good means, and a wise and provident man, and of a loving and excellent good nature; and, I find, hath set his affections upon you; so as I foresee you may sooner change your mind, which, as you told me, is not yet towards marriage, than find so happy a choice. I
Also, that it may be a beginning and seed (for the like ac-hear he is willing to visit you before his going tions heretofore have had less beginnings) of a holy war
against the Turk; whereunto it seems the events of time do invite Christian kings, in respect of the great corruption and relaxation of discipline of war in that empire; and much more in respect of the utter ruin and enervation of the Grand Signor's navy and forces by sea; which openeth a way (with congregating vast armies by land) to suffocate and starve Constantinople, and thereby to put those provinces into mutiny and insurrection.
Also, that by the same conjunction there will be erected a tribunal or prætorian power, to decide the controversies which may arise amongst the princes and estates of Christendom, without effusion of Christian blood; for so much as any estate of Christendom will hardly recede from that which the two kings shall mediate and determine.
Also, that whereas there doth, as it were, creep upon the ground, a disposition, in some places, to make popular estates and leagues to the disadvantage of monarchies, the conjunction of the two kings will be able to stop and impedite the growth of any such evil.
These discourses you shall do well frequently to treat upon, and therewithal to fill up the spaces of the active part of your negotiation; representing that it stands well with the greatness and majesty of the two kings to extend their cogitations and the influence of their government, not only to their own subjects, but to the state of the whole world besides, specially the Christian portion thereof.
+ Harl. MSS. vol. 7006.
This is the first of many letters which the Marquis of Buckingham wrote to Lord Bacon in favour of persons who
into France, which, by the king's commandment, is to be within some ten days: and I could wish you used him kindly, and with respect. His return out of France is intended before Michaelmas. God direct you, and be with you. I rest
Your very loving uncle and assured friend,
Dorset House, this 28th of April, 1617.
had causes depending in, or likely to come into the court of Chancery. And it is not improbable that such recommendations were considered in that age as less extraordinary and irregular than they would appear now. The marquis made the same kind of applications to Lord Bacon's successor, the Lord Keeper Williams, in whose life, by Bishop Hacket, part i. p. 107, we are informed, that "there was not a cause of moment, but, as soon as it came to publication, one of the parties brought letters from this mighty peer, and the Lord Keeper's patron.
* Sir Thomas Edmondes, who had been appointed to that office, December 21, 1616, and January 19, 1617-8, was made treasurer of the household. He had been married to Magdalen, one of the daughters and coheirs of Sir John Wood, knight, clerk of the signet, which lady died at Paris, De cember 31, 1614.
The proposal for a second marriage between him and the lord keeper's niece does not appear to have had success.