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TO SIR HUMPHREY MAY, CHANCELLOR OF THE | miration, that those civil acts of sovereignty,
DUCHY OF LANCASTER.
GOOD MR. CHancellor,
I did wonder what was become of you, and was very glad to hear you were come to court; which, methinks, as the times go, should miss
you as well as I.
I send you another letter, which I wrote to you of an old date, to avoid repetition; and I continue my request then to you, to sound the Duke of Buckingham's good affection towards me, before you do move him in the particular petition. Only the present occasion doth invite me to desire, that his grace would procure me a pardon of the king of the whole sentence. My writ for Parliament I have now had twice before the time, and that without any express restraint not to use it. It is true, that I shall not be able, in respect of my health, to attend in Parliament; but yet I might make a proxy. Time hath turned envy to pity; and I have a long cleansing week of five years' expectation and more. Sir John Bennet hath his pardon; and my Lord of Somerset hath his pardon, and, they say, shall sit in Parliament. My Lord of Suffolk cometh to Parliament, though not to council. I hope I deserve not to be the only outcast.
God keep you. I ever rest
Your most affectionate friend,
I wish you a good new year.
To the Chancellor of the Duchy. Gor. 1625.
TO THE MARQUIS D'EFFIAT, THE FRENCH AMBASSADOR.
MONS. L'AMBASSADEUR, MON FILS,
Vous scavez que le commencement est la moitié du fait. Voyla pourquoy je vous ay escrit ce petit mot de lettre, vous priant de vous souvenir de vostre noble promesse de me mettre en la bonne grâce de nostre très-excellente reyne, et m'en faire recevoir quelque gracieuse demonstration. Vostre excellence prendra aussi, s'il vous plaist, quelque occasion de prescher un peu, à mon advantage en l'oreille du Duc de Buckingham en général. Dieu vous ayt en sa saincte garde.
Vostre très-affectionné et très-humble serviteur,
Jan. 18, 1625.
FR. ST. ALBAN.
The following letters, wanting both dates and circumstances to determine such dates, are placed here together.
TO KING JAMES I. MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
Thinking often, as I ought, of your majesty's Virtue and fortune, I do observe, not without ad
which are of the greatest merit, and, therefore, of truest glory, are, by the providence of God, manifestly put into your hands, as a chosen vessel tc receive from God, and an excellent instrument tc work amongst men the best and noblest things. The highest degree of sovereign honour is to be founder of a kingdom or estate; for as, in the acts of God, the creation is more than the conservation; and as among men the birthday is accounted the chiefest of the days of life; so, to found a kingdom is more worthy than to augment, or to administer the same.
And this is an honour that no man can take from your majesty, that the day of your coming to the crown of England was as the birthday of the kingdom entire Britain.
The next degree of sovereign honour, is the plantation of a country or territory, and the reduction of a nation, from waste soil and barbarous manners, to a civil population. And in this kind also your majesty hath made a fair and prosperous beginning in your realm of Ireland. The third eminent act of sovereignty is to be a lawgiver, whereof he speaketh,
Pace datâ terris, animum ad civilia vertit Jura suum, legesque tulit justissimus author. And another saith," Ecquid est, quod tam propriè dici potest actum ejus, qui togatus in republicâ cum potestate imperioque versatur, quam lex. Quære acta Gracchi; leges Semproniæ proferentur: quære Syllæ, Corneliæ quid? Cnei Pompeii tertius consulatus in quibus actis consistit? Nempe legibus. A Cæsare ipso si quæreres quidnam egisset in urbe et toga; leges multas se respondeat et præclaras tulisse."
TO THE KING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
A full heart is like a full pen; it can hardly make any distinguished work. The more I look upon my own weakness, the more I must magnify your favours; and the more I behold your favours, the more I must consider mine own weakness. This is my hope, that God, who hath moved your heart to favour me, will write your service in my heart. Two things I may promise; for, although they be not mine own, yet they are surer than mine own, because they are God's gifts; that is, integrity and industry. And, therefore, whensoever I shall make my account to you, I shall do it in these words, ecce tibi lucrifeci, and not ecce mihi lucrifeci. And for industry, I shall take to me, in this procuration, not Martha's part, to be busied in many things, but Mary's part, which is, to intend your service; for the less my abilities are, the more they ought to be contracted ad unum. For the present, I humbly pray your majesty to accept my most humble thanks and vows as the
DRAUGHT OF A LETTER TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM, NOT SENT.*
MY LORD: I say to myself, that your lordship hath forsaken me; and I think I am one of the last, that findeth it, and in nothing more, than that, twice at London, your lordship would not vouchsafe to see me, though the latter time I begged it of you. If your lordship lack any justification about York House, good my lord, think of it better; for I assure your lordship, that motion to me was to me as a second sentence; for I conceived it sentenced me to the loss of that, which I thought was saved from the former sentence, which is your love and favour. But sure it could not be that pelting matter, but the being out of sight, out of use, and the ill offices done me, perhaps, by such as have your ear. Thus I think, and
thus I speak; for I am far enough from any baseness or detracting, but shall ever love and honour you, howsoever I be
Your forsaken friend and freed servant,
FR. ST. ALBAN.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY VERY GOOD Lord,
I thought it my duty to take knowledge to his majesty from your lordship, by the enclosed, that, much to my comfort, I understand his majesty doth not forget me nor forsake me, but hath a gracious inclination to me, and taketh care of me; and to thank his majesty for the same. perceive, by some speech, that passed between your lordship and Mr. Meautys, that some wretched detractor hath told you, that it were strange I should be in debt; for that I could not but have received a hundred thousand pounds gifts since I had the seal; which is an abominable falsehood. Such tales as these made St. James say, that the tongue is a fire, and itself fired from hell, whither when these tongues shall return they will beg a drop of water to cool them. I praise God for it, I never took penny for any benefice or ecclesiastical living; I never took penny for releasing any thing I stopped at the seal; I never took penny for any commission, or things of that nature; I never shared with any servant for any second or inferior profit. My offences I have myself recorded, wherein I studied, as a good confessant, guiltiness, and not excuse; and, therefore, I hope it leaves me fair to the king's grace, and will turn many men's hearts to me.
As for my debts, I showed them your lordship, when you saw the little house and the farm, besides a little wood or desert, which you saw not. If these things were not true, although the joys of the penitent be sometimes more than the joys of the innocent, I could not be as I am.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
MY VERY GOOD Lord,
It is vain to cure the accidents of a disease,
except the cause be found and removed. I know adversity is apprehensive; but I fear it is too true, that now I have lost honour, power, profit, and liberty, I have, in the end, lost that which to me was more dear than all the rest, which is my friend. A change there is apparent and great; and nothing is more sure, than that nothing hath proceeded from and since my troubles, either towards your lordship or towards the world, which hath made me unworthy of your undeserved favours or undesired promises. Good my lord, deal so nobly with me, as to let me know whether I stand upright in your favour, that either I may enjoy my wonted comfort, or see my griefs together, that I may the better order them; though, if your lordship should never think more of me, yet your former favours should bind
God bless you and reward you for your con- date, in which he complains, as in this, that he, being twice Among Lord Bacon's printed letters, is one without a stant love to me I rest, &c. now in London, the marquis did not vouchsafe to see him
ous than felt, as whereby I am not likely to be | safing so to visit this poorest and unworthiest of able to wait upon your lordship, as I desired, your servants. It doth me good at heart, that, your lordship being the person, of whom I promise myself more almost than of any other; and, again, to whom, in all loving affection, I desire no less to approve myself a true friend and servant. My desire to your lordship, is to admit this gentleman, my kinsman and approved friend, to explain to you my business, whereby to save further length of letter, or the trouble of your lordship's writing back.
TO MR. TOBIE MATTHEW.
GOOD MR. MATTHEW,
The event of the business, whereof you write,
is, it may be, for the best: for seeing my lord,
of himself, beginneth to come about, quorsum as yet? I could not in my heart, suffer my Lord Digby to go hence, without my thanks and acknowledgments. I send my letter open, which I pray seal and deliver. Particulars I would not touch.
Your most affectionate and assured friend, FR. ST. ALBAN.
TO MR. TOBIE MATTHEW.
GOOD MR. MATTHEW,
When you write by pieces, it showeth your continual care; for a flush of memory is not so much; and I shall be always, on my part, ready to watch for you, as you for me.
I will not fail, when I write to the lord marquis, to thank his lordship for the message, and to name the nuntius. And, to tell you plainly, this care they speak of, concerning my estate, was more than I looked for at this time; and it is that which pleaseth me best. For my desires reach but to a fat otium. That is truth; and so would I have all men think, except the greatest; for I know patents, absque aliquid inde reddendo, are not so easily granted.
I pray my service to the Spanish ambassador, and present him my humble thanks for his favour. I am much his servant; and ashes may be good for somewhat. I ever rest
Your most affectionate and assured friend, FR. ST. ALBAN. I have sought for your little book, and cannot find it. I had it one day with me in my coach.
But sure it is safe; for I seldom lose books or papers.
TO THE LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN.
MOST HONOURED LORD,
I have received your great and noble token and favour of the 9th of April, and can but return the bumblest of my thanks for your lorast ip's vouch
although I be not where I was in place, yet I am in the fortune of your lordship's favour, if I may call that fortune, which I observe to be so unchangeable. I pray hard that it may once come in my power to serve you for it; and who can tell but that, as fortis imaginatio generat casum, so strange desires may do as much? Sure I am, that mine are ever waiting on your lordship; and wishing as much happiness as is due to your incomparable virtue, I humbly do your lordship reverence. Your lordship's most obliged
TO THE LORD ARCHBISHOP OF YORK.* MY VERY GOOD Lord,
I must use a better style than mine own in saying, Amor tuus undequaque se ostendit ex literis tuis proximis, for which I give your grace many thanks, and so, with more confidence, continue my suit to your lordship for a lease absolute for twenty-one years of the house, being the number of years which my father and my predecessors fulfilled in it. A good fine requires certainty of term; and I am well assured, that the charge I have expended in reparations, amounting to one thousand marks at least already, is more than hath been laid out by the tenants that have been in it since my remembrance, answerable to my particular circumstance, that I was born there, and am like to end my days there. Neither can I hold my hand, but, upon this encouragement, am like to be doing still, which tendeth to the improvement, in great measure, of the inheritance of your see by superlapidations, if I may so call it, instead of dilapidations, where with otherwise it might be charged.
And whereas a state for life is a certainty, and not so well seen how it wears, a term of years makes me more depending upon you and your succession.
For the providing of your lordship and your successors a house, it is part of the former co
venant, wherein I desired not to be released.
So, assuring myself of your grant and perfecting of this my suit, and assuring your grace of my earnest desire and continual readiness to deserve well of you, and yours chiefly, and likewise of the see in any the causes or preeminences thereof, I commend your grace to God's goodness, resting, &c.
* Dr. Tobie Matthew.
MINUTE OF A LETTER TO THE COUNT PALATINE
Je me tiens à grand honneur, qu'il plaise à vostre altesse de me cognoistre pour tel, que je suis, ou pour le moins voudrois estre, envers vous et vostre service et m'estimeray heureux, si par mes conseils auprès du roy, ou autre devoir, je pourroy contribuer à vostre grandeur, dont il semble que Dieu vous a basti de belles occasions, ayant en contemplation vostre très-illustre personne, non seulement comme très-cher allié de mon maistre, mais aussi, comme le meilleur appui, après les roys de Grande Bretagne, de la plus saine partie de la chrestieneté.
Je ne puis aussi passer sous silence la grando raison, que vostre altesse fait à vostre propre honneur en choississant tels conseilleurs et ministres d'estat, comme se montre très-bien estre Monsieur le Baron de Dhona et Monsieur de Plessen, estants personages si graves, discrètes et habiles; en quoy vostre jugement reluict assez.
Vostre altesse de vostre grâce excusera la faulte de mon langage François, ayant esté tant versé es vielles loix de Normandie: mais le coeur supplera la plume, en priant Dieu de vous tenir en sa digne et saincte garde,
Monseigneur, de vostre Altesse le plus
humble et plus affectionné serviteur.
Endorsed, May 13, 1619.
LETTERS FROM THE BRITISH MUSEUM.
NEVER BEFORE PRINTED.
TO LADY BURGHLEY, TO SPEAK FOR HIM TO HER TO LORD BURGHLEY, TO RECOMMEND HIM TO LORD.*
MY SINGULAR GOOD LADY,
I was as ready to show myself mindful of my My humble duty remembered, and my humble duty, by waiting on your ladyship, at your being thanks presented for your lordship's favour and in town, as now by writing, had I not feared lest countenance, which it pleased your lordship, at your ladyship's short stay, and quick return might my being with you, to vouchsafe me, above my well spare me, that came of no earnest errand. I degree and desert. My letter hath no further am not yet greatly perfect in ceremonies of court, errand but to commend unto your lordship the whereof, I know, your ladyship knoweth both the remembrance of my suit, which then I moved right use, and true value. My thankful and ser- unto you; whereof it also pleased your lordship viceable mind shall be always like itself, howso- to give me good hearing, so far forth as to promise ever it vary from the common disguising. Your to tender it unto her majesty, and withal to add, ladyship is wise, and of good nature to discern in the behalf of it, that which I may better deliver from what mind every action proceedeth, and to by letter than by speech; which is, that although esteem of it accordingly. This is all the message it must be confessed that the request is rare and which my letter hath at this time to deliver, unaccustomed, yet if it be observed how few there unless it please your ladyship further to give me leave to make this request unto you, that it would please your good ladyship, in your letters, wherewith you visit my good lord, to vouchsafe the mention and recommendation of my suit; wherein your ladyship shall bind me more unto you than I can look ever to be able sufficiently to acknowledge. Thus, in humble manner, I take my leave of your ladyship, committing you, as daily in my prayers, so, likewise, at this present, to the merciful providence of the Almighty. Your ladyship's most dutiful and bounden nephew,
From Grey's Inn, this 16th September, 1580. * Lansd. MS. xxxi art. 14.
be which fall in with the study of the common laws, either being well left or friended, or at their own free election, or forsaking likely success in other studies of more delight, and no less prefer. ment, or setting hand thereunto early, without waste of years; upon such survey made, it may be my case may not seem ordinary, no more than my suit, and so more beseeming unto it. As I force myself to say this in excuse of my motion, lest it should appear unto your lordship altogether indiscreet and unadvised, so my hope to obtain it resteth only upon your lordship's good affection toward me, and grace with her majesty, who, methinks, needeth never to call for the experience of the thing, where she hath so great and so good
*Lansd. MS. xxxi art. 11.
such persons as are of nature bashful (as myself is,) whereby they want that plausible familiarity which others have, are often mistaken for proud. But once I knew well, and I most humbly beseech your lordship to believe, that arrogancy and overweening is so far from my nature, as if I think well of myself in any thing, it is in this, that I am free from that vice. And I hope upon this your lordship's speech, I have entered into those considerations, as my behaviour shall no more deliver me for other than I am. And so, wishing unto your lordship all honour, and to myself continuance of your good opinion, with mind and means to deserve it, I humbly take my leave.
of the person which recommendeth it. According themselves, yet laborant invidia; I find, also, that to which trust of mine, if it may please your lordship both herein and elsewhere to be my patron, and to make account of me, as one in whose well doing your lordship hath interest, albeit, indeed, your lordship hath had place to benefit many, and wisdom to make due choice of lighting places for your goodness, yet do I not fear any of your lordship's former experiences for staying my thankfulness borne in heart, howsoever God's good pleasure shall enable me or disable me, outwardly, to make proof thereof; for I cannot account your lordship's service distinct from that which I owe to God and my prince; the performance whereof to best proof and purpose is the meeting point and rendezvous of all my thoughts. Thus I take my leave of your lordship, in humble manner, committing you, as daily in my prayers, so, likewise, at this present, to the merciful protection of the Almighty.
Your lordship's most bounden nephew,
Grey's Inn, this 6th of May, 1586.
TO SIR ROBERT CECIL, KNIGHT.* SIR-I thank your honour very much for the signification which I received by Mr. Hickes, of your good opinion, good affection, and readiness; and as to the impediment which you mention, and I did forecast, I know you bear that honourable disposition, as it will rather give you appre
otherwise, not only because the trial of friends
Your honour's in faithful affection
I take it as an undoubted sign of your lord-hension to deal more effectually for me than ship's favour unto me, that, being hardly informed of me, you took occasion rather of good advice than of evil opinion thereby. And if your lordship had grounded only upon the said information of theirs, I might, and would truly have upholden that few of the matters were justly objected; as the very circumstances do induce, in that they were delivered by men that did misaffect me, and, besides, were to give colour to their own doings. But because your lordship did mingle therewith both a late motion of mine own, and somewhat which you had otherwise heard, I know it to be my duty, (and so do I stand affected,) rather to prove your lordship's admonition effectual in my doings hereafter, than causeless by excusing what is past. And yet, (with your lordship's pardon humbly asked,) it may please you to remember, that I did endeavour to set forth that said motion in such sort, as it might breed no harder effect than a denial. And I pro- TO MR. MICHAEL HICKES, SECRETARY TO THE test simply before God, that I sought therein an case in coming within bars, and not any extraordinary or singular note of favour. And for that, your lordship may otherwise have heard of me, it shall make me more wary and circumspect in carriage of myself; indeed, I find in my simple observation, that they which live, as it were, in umbra and not in public or frequent action, how moderately and modestly soever they behave
* Lansd. MS. li. art. 5, Orig.
From Grey's Inn, this 16th of April, 1593
LORD HIGH TREASURER †
MR. HICKES, Still I hold opinion that a good solicitor is as good as a good counsellor, I pray as you have begun so continue, to put Sir Robert Cecil in mind. I write now because I understand, by occasion of Mr. Solicitor's ordering at the court, things are like to be deliberated, if not resolved. I pray learn what you can, both by your nearness
Lansd. MS. Ixxv. art. 36, Orig.