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entertainment, than remove; and thereby new chiefest worldly comfort is, to think, that since men may have their pay, yet, the old be mingled the time I had the first vote of the Lower House in the country, for the strength thereof. In this of Parliament for commissioner of the union; proposition two things may be feared; the one, until the time that I was this Parliament chosen discontent of those that shall be put off; the by both Houses, for their messenger to your maother, that the companies should be stuffed with jesty in the petition of religion, (which two, novices, (tirones) instead of “ veterani.” I wish, were my first and last services,) I was evermore therefore, that this proposition be well debated, so happy, as to have ny pour services graciously before it be admitted. Thus having performed accepted by your majesty, and likewise not to that which duty binds me to, I commend you to have had any of them miscarry in my hands. God's best preservation.
Neither of which points I can any ways take to Your most devoted and bounden servant. myself, but ascribe the former to your majesty's July 5, 1616.
goodness, and the latter to your prudent directions, which I was ever careful to have, and keep.
For, as I have often said to your majesty, I was SJR FRANCIS BACON, TO THE EARL OF NORTHUM- towards you but as a bucket, and a cistern to
draw forth, and conserve, and yourself was the IT MAY PLEASE your LORDSHIP,
fountain. Unto this comfort of nineteen years I would not have lost this journey; and yet, I prosperity, there succeeded a comfort even in my have not that I went for: for I have had no private greatest adversity, somewhat of the same nature, conference to purpose with the king, no more hath which is, that in those offences wherewith I was almost any other English; for the speech of his charged, there was not any one that had special majesty admitteth with some nobleman, is rather relation to your majesty, or any your particular matter of grace, than matter of business: with commandments. For, as towards Almighty God, the attorney he spake, urged by the Treasurer of there are offences against the first and second Scotland, but no more than needs must. After I table, and yet all against God; so with the had received his majesty's first welcome, and was servants of kings, there are offences more immepromised private access, yet, not knowing what diate against the sovereign, although all offences matter of service your lordship's letter carried, against law are also against the king. Unto which for I saw it not, and knowing that primeness in comfort there is added this circunstance, that as advertisement is much, I chose rather to deliver my faults were not against your majesty otherwise it to Sir Thomas Hoskins, than to let it cool in than as all faults are, so my fall is not your mamy hands, upon expectation of access. Your jesty's act, otherwise than as all acts of justice lordship shall find a prince the farthest from vain- are yours. This I write not to insinuate with glory that may be, and rather like a prince of the your majesty, but as a most humble appeal to ancient form than of the latter time; his speeches your majesty's gracious remembrance, how honest swift and cursory, and in the full dialect of his and direct you have ever found me in your service, nation, and in speech of business short, in speech whereby I have an assured belief, that there is in of discourse large; he affecteth popularity by your majesty's princely thoughts, a great deal of gracing them that are popular, and not by any serenity and clearness to me, your majesty's now fashions of his own; he is thought soinewhat prostrate, and cast down servant. general in his favours; and his virtue of access Neither (my most gracious sovereign) do I, by is rather because he is much abroad, and in press, this mentioning of my services, lay claim to your than he giveth easy audience: he hasteneth to a princely grace and bounty, though the privilege mixture of both kingdoms and nations, faster of calanvity do bear that form of petition. I know perhaps than policy will well bear. I told your well, had they been much more, they had been lordship once before my cpinion, that methought but my bounden duty; nay, I must also confess, his majesty rather asked counsel of the time past, that they were, from time to time, far above my than of the time to come. But it is yrt early to merit, super-rewarded by your majesty's benefits, ground any settled opinion. For other particu- which you heaped upon me. Your majesty was, larities I refer to conference, having in these gene- and is, that man to me, that raised and advanced rals gone farther in these tender arguments than me nine times, thrice in dignity, and six times in I would have done, were not the bearer hereof office. The places indeed were the painfullest of so assured. So I continue your, etc.
all your service, but then they had both honour Fr. Bacon. and profit, and the then profits might have main
tained my now honour, if I had been wise. Neither was your majesty's immediate liberality
wanting towards me, in some gifts, if I may hold MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MOST Excellent Majesty, them. All this I do most thankfully acknowledge,
In the midst of my misery, which is rather and do herewith conclude, that for any thing assuaged by remembrance, than by hope, my arising from myself, to move your eye of pity
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING.
towards me, there is much more in my present which your sacred hand hath been so oft for new misery than in my past services; save that the ornaments and additions. Unto this degree of same your majesty's goodness, that may give compassion, I hope God above (of whose mercy relief tv the one, may give value to the other. towards me, both in my prosperity, and adversity,
And, indeed, if it may please your majesty, I have had great testimonies and pledges, though this theme of my misery is so plentiful, as it need mine own manifold and wretched unthankfulness not be coupled with any thing else. I have been might have averted them) will dispose your somebody, by your majesty's singular and unde- princely heart, already prepared to all piety. And served favour, even the prime officer of your king- why should I not think, but that thrice noble dom. Your majesty's arm hath been often over prince, who would have pulled me out of the fire mine in council, when you presided at the table, of a sentence, will help to pull me (if I may use so near I was. I have borne your majesty's image that homely phrase) out of the mire of an abject in metal, much more in heart. I was never, in and sordid condition in my last days? And that nineteen years' service, chidden by your majesty, excellent favourite of yours (the goodness of but, contrariwise, often overjoyed, when your whose nature contendeth with the greatness of his majesty would sometimes say; "I was a good fortune, and who counteth it a prize, a second husband for you, though none for myself;" some- prize, to be a good friend, after that prize which times, “That I had a way to deal in business, he carrieth to be a good servant) will kiss your suavibus modis,' which was the way which was hands with joy, for any work of piety you shall most according to your own heart;" and other do for me? And as all commiserating persons most gracious speeches of affection and trust, (specially such as find their hearts void of malice) which I feed on till this day. But why should I are apt to think, that all men pity them; I assure speak of these things, which are now vanished, myself, that the lords of the council (who out of but only the better to express my downfall. their wisdom and nobleness cannot but be sensible
For now it is thus with me; I am a year and a of human events) will, in this way which I go half old in misery, though (I must ever acknow- for the relief of my estate, further and advance ledge) not without some mixture of your majesty's your majesty's goodness towards me. For there grace and mercy. For I do not think it possible, is a kind of fraternity between great men that are, that any you once loved should be totally mise- and those that have been, being but the several rable. My own ineans, through mine own impro- tenses of one verb; nay, I do farther presume, vidence, are poor and weak, little better than my that both Houses of Parliament will love their father left me.
The poor things which I have justice the better if it end not in my ruin. For 1 had from your majesty, are either in question, or have been often told by many of my lords, (as it at courtesy: my dignities remain marks of your were, in excusing the severity of the sentence,) past favour, but yet burdens withal of my present that they knew they left me in good hands. And fortune. The poor remnants which I had of my your majesty knoweth well, I have been all my former fortunes, in plate or jewels, I have spread life long acceptable to those assemblies, not by upon poor men, unto whom I owed, scarce leaving flattery, but by moderation, and by honest expressmyself bread. So as, to conclude, I must pour ing of a desire to have all things go fairly and out my misery before your majesty, so far as to well. say, “Si deseris tu, perimus."
But (if it may please your majesty) for saints, But 1 can offer to your majesty's compas- I shall give them reverence, but no adoration. sion, little arising from myself to move you, My address is to your majesty, the fountain of except it be my extreme misery, which I have goodness: your majesty shall, by the grace of truly laid open; so looking up to your majesty God, not feel that in gist
, which I shall extremely yourself, I should think I committed Cain's fault, feel in help; for my desires are moderate, and my if I should despair: your majesty is a king, whose courses measured to a life orderly and reserved': heart is as unscrutable, for secret motions of hoping still to do your majesty honour in my way. goodness, as for depth of wisdom. You are cre- Only 1 most humbly beseech your majesty, 10 ator-like, factive, and not destructive; you are a give me leave to conclude with those words which prince in whom I have ever noted an aversion necessity speaketh ; help me, dear sovereign lord against any thing that savoured of a hard heart; and master, and pity me so far, as I, that have as, on the other side, your princely eye was wont borne a bag, be not now, in my age, forced 1 to meet with any motion that was made on the re- effect, to bear a wallet; nor I, that desire to live lieving part. Therefore, as one that hath had happi- to study, may not be driven to study to live. ] ness to know your majesty near hand I have (most most humbly crave pardon of a long letter, after a gracious sovereign) faith enough for a miracle, long silence. God of heaven ever bless, preserve, much more for a grace: that your majesty will and prosper your majesty. not suffer your poor creature to be utterly defaced, Your majesty's poor ancient servant and beagisnor blot that name quite out of your book, upon, man,
FR. ST. ALBAN Vol. Ill.-3
SIR FRANCIS BACON, THE KING'S ATTORNEY, RE
offenders did none of them TURNED WITH POSTILS, OF THE KING'S OWN
make a clear contession. HAND.
That the great downfall of so IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
great persons carrieth, in itYour majesty hath put upon me a work of pro
self, a heavy punishment, vidence in this great cause, which is to break and
and a kind of civil death, distinguish future events into present cases, and
although their lives should so present them to your royal judgment, that in
not be taken. this action, which hath been carried with so great All which may satisfy honour, for sparing their prudence, justice, and clemency, there may be lives. (for that which remaineth) as little surprise as is But, if your majesty's mercy should extend to possible, but that things duly foreseen may have the first degree, which is the highest, of sparing iheir remedies and directions in readiness; where- the stage and the trial; then three things are 10 in I cannot forget what the poet Martial saith; be considered. -0! quantum est subitis cassibus ingenium !"
REX. This ar First, That they make such signifying, that accident is many times more ticle
a submission or deprecation, subtle than foresight, and overreacheth expecta be mended in as they prostrate themselves, tion: and, besides, I know very well the mean
point thereof. and all that they have, at your ness of my own judgment, in comprehending or
majesty's feet, imploring your forecasting what may follow.
mercy. It was your majesty's pleasure also, that I
Secondly, That your mashould couple the suppositions with my opinion
jesty, in your own wisdom, do in every of them, which is a harder task; but
advise what course you will yet your majesty's commandment requireth my
take, for the utter extinguishobedience, and your trust giveth me assurance.
ing of all hope of resuscitating
of their fortunes and favour; I will put the In this case, it seemeth your
whereof if there should be the which I majesty will have a new con
least conceit, it will leave in wish; that So- sult. The points whereof will
men a great deal of envy and merset should be (1) Whether your majesty
discontent. make a clear con- will stay the trial, and so save
And, lastly, Whether your fession of his of them both from the stage, and
majesty will not suffer it to be fences, before he that public ignominy. Or (2)
thought abroad, that there is a be produced to Whether you will (or may
cause of farther examination of trial. fitly by law) have the trial
Somerset, concerning matters REX. I say with proceed, and stay or reprieve
of estate, after he shall begin Apollo, “ Me- the judgment, which saveth
once to be a confessant; and dia tutius the lands from forfeiture, and
so make as well a politic itur," if it may the blood from corruption. Or
ground, as a ground of clestand with (3) Whether you will have
mency, for farther stay. law; and if it both trial and judgment pro
And for the second degree of proceeding to cannot, when ceed, and save the blood only, I shall hear not from corrupting, but from trial, and staying judgment, I must better inform that he con- spilling.
myself by precedents, and advise with my lord
chancellor. fesseth, I am to make choice
The second In this case, first, I suppose of the first, or
case is, if that your majesty will not think of the last.
fall out which is any stay of judgment, but that
likest (as things the public process of justice These be the depths of your majesty's mercy stand, and which pass on. which I may not enter into; but for honour and weexpect) which Secondly, for your mercy to reputation, they have these grounds:
is, that the lady be extended to both, for pardon
confess : and that of their execution, I have That the blood of Overbury is Somerset him- partly touched, in the consi
already revenged by divers self plead not derations applied to the former executions.
guilty, and be case; whereunto may be addThat confession and penitency found guilty. ed, that as there is ground of
are the footstools of mercy, REX. If stay of mercy for her, upon her peniadding this circumstance judgment can tency and free confession, and likewise, that the former stand with the will be much more upon his
law, I would finding guilty, because the be very sorry seen (as I conceive it) that even wish it malice on his part will be should happen; there should be any rejecting in this case; thought the deeper source of but, it is a future of the verdict, or any respiting in all the rest the offence; so there will be contingent, that of the judgment of the acquitthis article ground for mercy, on his part, is, if the peers tal; so, on the other side, this cannot be upon the nature of the proof, should acquit case requireth, that because mended. because it rests chiefly upon him, and find there be many high and heni
presumptions. For, certainly, him not guilty. ous offences (though not capithere may be an evidence so
tal,) for which he may be balanced, as it may have suffi
questioned in the Star Chamcient matter for the conscience REX. This is so ber, or otherwise, that there of the peers to convict him, also.
be some touch of that in geneand yet leave sufficient matter
ral, at the conclusion, by my in the conscience of a king,
Lord Steward of England. upon the same evidence, to
And, that, theref re, he be repardon his life; because the
manded to the Tower, as close peers are astringed by neces
is free. And For matter of examination, or other proceed-
To-morrow, being Monday, for the re-examinaThirdly, It shall be my care tion of the lady. so to moderate the manner of Wednesday next, for the meeting of the judges, charging him, as it might concerning the evidence. make him not odious beyond Thursday, for the examination of Somerset the extent of mercy.
himself, according to your majesty's instructions. REX. That dan
Which three parts, when they shall be perLastly, all these points of ger is well to mercy and favour, are to be formed, I will give your majesty advertisement be foreseen, understood with this limita
with speed, and in the mean time be glad to lest he upon tion, if he do not, by his con- receive from your majesty (whom it is my part
to inform truly) such directions, or significations the one part temptuous and insolent carcommit unpar- riage at the bar, make himself
of your pleasure, as this advertisement may donable errors, incapable and unworthy of
induce, and that with speed, because the time
conieth on. and I on the them,
Well remembering who is the perother
son, whom your majesty admitted to this secret; part
I have sent this letter open unto him, that he punish him in
may take your majesty's times to report it, or the spirit of
show it unto you, assuring myself that nothing is
more firm than his trust, tried to your majesty's revenge.
Your majesty's most humble and most
bounden subject and servant. stand mute, self and chiefly my lord chan
April 28, 1616. and will not cellor, (sitting then as Lord plead, whereof Steward of England) should your majesty dehort and deter him from that knoweth there desperation; so, nevertheless, hath been that as much should be done SIR FRANCIS BACON, THE KING'S ATTORNEY. secret for him, as was done for Wes
GENERAL, TO TJIE MASTER OF THE HORSE, UPON question.
THE SENDING OF IIIS BILL FOR VISCOUNT, SC. ton, which was to adjourn the court for some days, upon a Sir,
Christian ground, that he may I send you the bill for his majesty's signature, REX. This ar- have time to turn from that reformed according to his majesty's amendments,
ticle cannot be mind of destroying himself; both in the two places (which I assure you, were amended.
during which time your ma- altered with great judgment) and in the third jesty's farther pleasure may be place, which his majesty termed a question oniy. known.
But he is an idle body, that thinketh kis majestv The fourth
In this case, the lord stew- asketh an idle question; and therefore his majesty's is, that, ard must be provided what to questions are to be answered, by caking away thes which I should do. For, as it hath been never cause of the question, and not by replying.
For the name, his majesty's will is a law in (but you may think your private fortunes establishthose things; and to speak the truth, it is a well- ed; and therefore it is now time, that you should sounding, and noble name, both here and abroad : refer your actions to the good of your sovereign, and being your proper name, I will take it for a and your country. It is the life of an ox or beast good sign, that you shall give honour to your always to eat, and never exercise; but men are dignity, and not your dignity to you. Therefore borr (and especially Christian men) not to cram I have made it Viscount Villiers, and for your in their fortunes, but to exercise their virtues; and barony, I will keep it for an earldom: for though yet the other hath been unworthy, and (thanks be the other had been more orderly, yet that is as to God) sometimes unlucky humour of great perusual, and both alike good in law.
sons in our times. Neither will your future forFor Roper's place, I would have it by all tune be the farther off; for assure yourself, that means despatched; and therefore I marvel it fortune is of a woman's nature, and will sooner lingereth. It were no good manners, to take the follow by slighting, than by too much wooing. business out of my lord treasurer's hands, and And in this dedication of yourself to the public, I therefore I purpose to write to his lordship, if I recommend unto you principally, that which I hear not from him first, by Mr. Deckome; but if think, was never done since I was born; and I hear of any delay, you will give me leave which, because it is not done, hath bred almost a (especially since the king named me) to deal with wilderness and solitude in the king's service; Sir Joseph Roper myself; for neither I, nor my which is, that you countenance, and encourage, lord treasurers can deserve any great thanks in and advance able men, in all kinds, degrees, and this business of yours, considering the king hath professions. For in the time of the Cecils, the spoken to Sir Joseph Roper, and he hath promised; father and the son, able men were by design and and, besides, the thing itself is so reasonable, as it of purpose suppressed : and though, of late, choice ought to be as soon done as said. I am now gotten goeth better, both in church and commonwealth, into the country to my house, where I have some yet money and turn-serving, and cunning canlittle liberty, to think of that I would think of, and vasses and importunity, prevaileth too much. not of that which other men hourly break their And in places of moment, rather make able and head withal, as it was at London. Upon this honest inen yours, than advance those that are other. you may conclude, that most of my thoughts are wise, because they are yours. As for cunning and to his majesty, and then you cannot be far off. corrupt men, you must (I know) sometimes use (iod ever keep you, and prosper you: I rest them, but keep them at a distance; and let it always,
appear rather, that you make use of them, than Your true and most dutiful servant. that they lead you. Above all depend wholly The 5th of August, one of the happiest days.
(next unto God) upon the king, and be ruled (as
thoughts for you are according to the thoughts of SIR FRANCIS BACON TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS, a great king; whereas your thoughts concerning UPON THE SENDING HIS PATENT FOR VISCOUNT yourself are, and ought to be, according to the
thoughts of a modest man. But let me not weary SIR,
you: the sum is, that you think goodness the best I have sent you now your patent, creation of part of greatness, and that you remember whence Lord Bletchly of Bletchly, and of Viscount Villiers. your rising comes, and make return accordingly. Bletchly is your own, and I liked the sound of God keep you. the name better than whaddon; but the name Aug. 12, 1616. will be hid, for you will be called Viscount Villiers. I have put them in a patent, after the manner of the patent for earls, where baronies are joined ; but the chief reason was, because I would SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, ABOUT A CER. avoid double prefaces, which had not been fit; nevertheless, the ceremony of robing, and other. IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, wise, must be double.
I send your majesty enclosed, my Lord Coke's And now, because I am in the country, I will answers, I will not call them rescripts, much less senu vou some of my country fruits, which with oracles. They are of his own hand, and offered me are good meditations; which, when I am in to me (as they are) in writing, not required by me the city, are choked with business.
to have them set down in writing, though I am After that the king shall have watered your glad of it, for my own discharge. I thought it new dignities, with the bounty of the lands which my duty, as soon as I received them, instantly to he intends you, and that some other things con- send them to your majesty, and forbear, for the cerning your means, which are now likewise in present, to speak farther of them. I, for my part, intention, shall be settled upon you, I do not see, (though this Moscovia weather be a little too hard
VILLIERS TO BE SIGNED.
TIFICATE OF MY LORD COKE'S.