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no man should better content yourself: which your exceeding favour you have not since varied from, both in pleading the like signification into the hands of some of my best friends, and also in an honourable and answerable nomination and commendation of me to her majesty. Wherein I hope your lordship, if it please you to call to mind, did find me neither overweening in presuming too much upon it, nor much deceived in my opinion of the event for the continuing it still in yourself, nor sleepy in doing some good offices to the same purpose.
Now upon this matter I am to make your lordship three humble requests, which had need be very reasonable, coming so many together. First, that your lordship will hold and make good your wishes towards me in your own time, for no other I mean it, and in thankfulness thereof, I will present your lordship with the fairest flower of my estate, though it yet bear no fruit, and that is the poor reversion, which of her majesty's gift I hold; in the which I shall be no less willing Mr. John Egerton,* if it seem good to you, should succeed me in that, than I would be willing to succeed your lordship in the other place.
My next humble request is, that your lordship would believe a protestation, which is, that if there be now against the next term, or hereafter, for a little bought knowledge of the court teacheth me to foresee these things, any heaving or palting at that place upon my honesty and troth, my spirit is not in, nor with it; I for my part, being resolutely resolved not to proceed one pace or degree in this matter but with your lordship's foreknowledge and approbation. The truth of which protestation will best appear, if by any accident, which I look not for, I shall receive any further strength. For, as I now am, your lordship may impute it only to policy alone in me, that being without present hope myself, I would be content the matter sleep.
Attorney of the Wards,* for the one's remove to the rolls, and the other to be drawn to his place. Which, to be plain with your lordship, I do apprehend much. For, first, I know Mr. AttorneyGeneral, whatsoever he pretendeth or protesteth to your lordship, or any other, doth seek it; and I perceive well by his dealing towards his best friends, to whom he oweth most, how perfectly he hath conned the adage of proximus egomet mihi; and then I see no man ripened for the place of the rolls in competition with Mr. AttorneyGeneral. And lastly, Mr. Attorney of the Wards being noted for a pregnant and stirring man, the objection of any hurt her majesty's business may receive in her causes by the drawing up of Mr. Attorney-General will wax cold. And yet, nevertheless, if it may please your lordship to pardon me so to say, of the second of those placings I think with some scorn; only I commend the knowledge hereof to your lordship's wisdom, as a matter not to be neglected.
And now, lastly, my honourable good lord, for my third poor help, I account [it] will do me small good, except there be a heave; and that is this place of the Star Chamber. I do confess ingenuously to your lordship, out of my love to the public, besides my particular, that I am of opinion, that rules without examples will do little good, at least not to coutinue; but that there is such a concordance between the time to come and the time passed, as there will be no reforming the one without informing of the other. And I will not, as the proverb is, spit against the wind, but yield so far to a general opinion, as there was never a more ✶ ✶ or particular example. But I submit it wholly to your honourable grave consideration; only I humbly pray you to conceive that it is not any money that I have borrowed of Mr. Mills, nor any gratification I receive for my aid, that makes me show myself any ways in it, but simply a desire to preserve the rights of the My third humble petition to your lordship is, office, as far as is meet and incorrupt; and that you would believe an intelligence, and not secondly his importunity, who, nevertheless, as take it for a fiction in court; of which manner I far as I see, taketh a course to bring this matter like Cicero's speech well. who, writing to Appius in question to his farther disadvantage, and to be Claudius, saith; Sin autem quæ tibi ipsi in men- principal in his own harm. But if it be true that tem veniant, ea aliis tribuere soles, inducis genus | I have heard of more than one or two, that besides sermonis in amicitiam minime liberale. But I do assure your lordship, it is both true and fresh, and from a person of that sort, as having some glimpse of it before, I now rest fully confirmed in it; and it is this, that there should be a plot laid of some strength between Mr. Attorney-General,† and Mr.
Second son of the lord keeper, whose eldest son, Sir Thomas, Knighted at Cadiz upon the taking it in 1596 by the Earl of Essex, died in Ireland, whither he attended that earl in 1599,
as Mr. John Egerton likewise did, and was knighted by his
lordship, and at the coronation of King James, was made
knight of the bath. He succeeded his father in the titles of Baron of Ellesmere and Viscount Brackley, and, on the 17th of May, was created Earl of Bridgewater.
this forerunning in taking of fees, there are other deep corruptions, which in an ordinary course are intended to be proved against him; surely, for my part, I am not superstitious, as I will not take any shadow of it, nor labour to stop it, since it is a thing medicinable for the office of the realm. And then, if the place by such an occasion or otherwise should come in possession, the better to testify my affection to your lordship, I shall be glad, as I offered it to your lordship by way of [surrender], so in this case to offer it by way of
* Probably Sir Thomas Heskett, who died 15th of October, 1605, and has a monument erected to his memory in Westminister Abbey.
joint-patency, in nature of a reversion, which, as it is now, there wanteth no good will in me to offer, but that both, in that condition it is not worth the offering; and, besides, I know not whether my necessity may enforce me to sell it away; which, if it were locked in by any reversion or joint-patency, I were disabled to do for my relief.
Thus your lordship may perceive how assured a persuasion I have of your love towards me, and care of me; which hath made me so freely to communicate of my poor state with your lordship, as I could have done to my honourable father, if he had lived: which I most humbly pray your lordship may be private to yourself, to whom I commit it to be used to such purpose as, in your wisdom and honourable love and favour, should seem good. And so, humbly craving your pardon, I commend your lordship to the divine preservation.
At your lordship's honourable
commandment humbly and particularly.
between his lordship and me, he may have re-
Your lordship's ever deepliest bounden,
MR. FRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF ESSEX,*
THE EARL OF ESSEX TO MR. FRANCIS BACON.⭑
SIR, I have thought the contemplation of the
ON HIS LORDSHIP'S GOING ON THE EXPEDITION art military harder than the execution. But now
MY SINGULAR GOOD LORD,
I see where the number is great, compounded of
I have no other argument to write on to your good lordship, but upon demonstration of my deepest and most bounden duty, in fulness whereof I mourn for your lordship's absence, though I mitigate it as much as I can with the hope of your happy success, the greatest part whereof, be it never so great, will be the safety of your most honourable person; for the which in the first place, and then for the prosperity of your enterprise, I frequently pray. And as in so great discomfort it hath pleased God someways to regard my desolateness, by raising me so great and so worthy a friend in your absence, as the new placed lord keeper,† in whose placing as it hath pleased God to establish mightily one of the chief pillars of this estate, that is, the justice of the land, which began to shake and sink, and for that purpose no doubt gave her majesty strength of heart of herself to do that in six days, which the deepest judgment thought would be the work of many months; so, for my particular, I do find in an extraordinary manner, that his lordship doth succeed my father almost in his fatherly care of me, and love towards me, as much as he pro- MR. FRANCIS BACON TO HIS BROTHER ANTONY. fesseth to follow him in his honourable and sound courses of justice and estate; of which so GOOD BROTHER,-Yesternight Sir John Forspecial favour, the open and apparent reason I tescu‡ told me he had not many hours before can ascribe to nothing more than the impression, imparted to the queen your advertisements, and which, upon many conferences of long time used
Among the papers of Antony Bacon, Esq., vol. xi. fol. 69, in the Lambeth Library.
Your true friend,
Plymouth, this 17th of May, 1596.
* Among the papers of Antony Bacon, Esq., vol. xi. fu! 139, in the Lambeth Library. + Ibid. fol. 29. Chancellor of the Exchequer. S2
the gazette likewise; which the queen caused Mr. John Stanhope* to read all over unto her; and her majesty conceiveth they be not vulgar. The advertisements her majesty made estimation of as concurring with other advertisements, and alike concurring also with her opinion of the affairs. So he willed me to return you the queen's thanks. Other particular of any speech from her majesty of yourself he did not relate to me. For my Lord of Essex's and your letters, he said, he was ready and desirous to do his best. But I seemed to make it but a love-wish, and passed presently from it, the rather, because it was late in the night, and I mean to deal with him at some better leisure after another manner, as you shall hereafter understand from me. I do find in the speech of some ladies and the very face of the court some addition of reputation, as methinks to us both; and I doubt not but God hath an operation in it, that will not suffer good endeavours to perish.
The queen saluted me to-day as she went to chapel. I had long speech with Sir Robert Cecil this morning, who seemed apt to discourse with me; yet of yourself, ne verbum quidem, not so much as a quomodo valet ?
This I write to you in haste, aliud ex alio, I pray set in a course of acquainting my lord keeper what passeth, at first by me, and after from yourself. I am more and more bound to him.
Thus, wishing you good health, I recommend you to God's happy preservation.
Your entire loving brother,
From the court, this 30th of May, [1596.]
THAT you desire her majesty to believe id, quod res ipsa loquitur, that it is not conscience to yourself of any advantage her majesty hath towards you, otherwise than the general and infinite advantage of a queen and a mistress; nor any drift or device to win her majesty to any point or particular, that moveth you to send her these lines of your own mind: but first, and principally, gratitude; next a natural desire of, you will not say, the tedious remembrance, for you can hold nothing tedious that hath been derived from her majesty, out the troubled and pensive remembrance of that which is past, of enjoying better times with her majesty, such as others have had, and that you have wanted. You cannot impute the difference to the continuance of time, which addeth nothing
to her majesty but increase of virtue, but rather to your own misfortune or errors. Wherein, nevertheless, if it were only question of your own endurances, though any strength never so good may be oppressed, yet you think you should have suffocated them, as you had often done, to the impairing of your health, and weighing down of your mind. But that which, indeed, toucheth the quick is, that whereas you accounted it the choice fruit of yourself to be a contentment and entertainment to her majesty's mind, you found many times to the contrary, that you were rather a disquiet to her, and a distaste.
Again, whereas, in the course of her service, though you confess the weakness of your own judgment, yet true zeal, not misled with any mercenary nor glorious respect, made you light sometimes upon the best and soundest counsels; you had reason to fear, that the distaste particular against yourself made her majesty farther off from accepting any of them from such a hand. So as you seemed, to your deep discomfort, to trouble her majesty's mind, and to foil her business; inconveniences, which, if you be minded as you ought, thankfulness should teach you to redeem, with stepping down, nay, throwing yourself down, from your own fortune. In which intricate case, finding no end of this former course, and, therefore, desirous to find the beginning of a new, you have not whither to resort. but unto the oracle of her majesty's direction. For though the true introduction ad tempora meliora, be by an amnestia of that which is past, except it be in the sense, that the verse speaketh, Olim hæc meminisse juvabit, when tempests past are remembered in the calm; and that you do not doubt of her majesty's goodness in pardoning and obliterating any of your errors and mistakings heretofore; refreshing the memory and contemplations of your poor services, or any thing that hath been grateful to her majesty from you; yea, and somewhat of your sufferings, so, though that be, yet you may be to seek for the time to come. For as you have determined your hope in a good hour not willingly to offend her majesty, either in matter of court or state, but to depend absolutely upon her will and pleasure, so you do more doubt and mistrust your wit and insight in finding her majesty's mind, than your conformities and submission in obeying it; the rather because you cannot but nourish a doubt in your breast, that her majesty, as princes' hearts are inscrutable, hath many times towards you aliud in ore, et aliud in corde. So that you, that take her secundum literam, go many times farther out of your way.
Therefore, your most humble suit to her majesty is, that she will vouchsafe you that approach to her heart and bosom, et ad scrinium pectoris, plainly, for as much as concerneth yourself, to open and expound her mind towards you, suffering you to see clear what may have bred
any dislike in her majesty; and in what points | own dedication doth to learning itself. she would have you reform yourself; and how therefore, you have no need to doubt, but I will she would be served by you. Which done, you emulate, as much as in me is, towards you the do assure her majesty, she shall be both at the merits of him that is gone, by how much the more beginning and the ending of all that you do, of I take myself to have more propriety in the printhat regard, as you may presume to impart to her cipal motive thereof. And, for the equality you majesty. write of, I shall, by the grace of God, as far as may concern me, hold the balance as equally between the two universities, as I shall hold the balance of other justice between party and party. And yet in both cases I must meet with some inclinations of affection, which, nevertheless, shall not carry me aside. And so I commend you to God's goodness.
And so that, hoping that this may be an occasion of some farther serenity from her majesty towards you, you refer the rest to your actions, which may verify what you have written; as that you have written may interpret your actions, and the course you shall hereafter take.
Endorsed by Mr. Francis Bacon,
A letter framed for my Lord of Essex to the queen.
Your most loving and assured friend,
TO SIR JOHN DAVIS, HIS MAJESTY'S ATTORNEY-
OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.*
AFTER my hearty commendations, I having heard of you, as a man well deserving, and of able gifts to become profitable in the church, and there being fallen within my gift the rectory of Frome St. Quintin, with the chapel of Evershot, in Dorsetshire, which seems to be a thing of good value, eighteen pounds in the king's books, and in a good country, I have thought good to make offer of it to you; the rather for that you are of Trinity College, whereof myself was some time: and my purpose is to make choice of men rather by care and inquiry, than by their own suits and commendatory letters. So I bid you farewell. From your loving friend,
MR. ATTORNEY,-I thank you for your letter, LORD KEEPER BACON TO MR. MAXEY, Fellow and the discourse you sent of this new accident, as things then appeared. I see manifestly the beginning of better or worse: but methinketh 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 October, 1607.
TO THE REVEREND UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.† AMONGST the gratulations I have received, none are more welcome and agreeable to me than your letters, wherein, the less I acknowledge of those attributes you give me, the more I must acknowledge of your affection, which bindeth me no less to you, that are professors of learning, than my
* From the MS. collections of Robert Stephens, Esq., deceased.
† From the collections of the late Robert Stephens, Esq., Historiographer Royal, and John Locker, Esq., now in possession of the editor.
From Dorset House, April 23, 1617.
FR. BACON, C. S.
TO THE LORD KEEPER BACON.†
MY LORD,-If your man had been addressed only to me, I should have been careful to have procured him a more speedy despatch: but now you have found another way of address, I am excused; and since you are grown weary of employing me, I can be no otherwise in being employed. In this business of my brother's, that you overtrouble yourself with, I understand from London, by some of my friends, that you have carried yourself with much scorn and neglect both toward myself and friends; which, if it prove true, I blame not you, but myself, who was ever Your lordship's assured friend, G. BUCKINGHAM.
*From the collections of the late Robert Stephens, Esq. † Ibid.
TO HENRY CARY, LORD VISCOUNT FALKLAND.*
MY VERY GOOD LORD,
your advantage; and if you can think of any thing to instruct my affection and industry, your lord
Royston, March 27, 1623.
Your lordship's letter was the best letter I re-ship may have the more quick and handsome proof ceived this good while, except the last kind letter of my sure and real intentions to serve you, being from my lord of Buckingham, which this confirmyour lordship's affectionate servant, ED. CONWAY. eth. It is the best accident, one of them, amongst men, when they hap to be obliged to those whom naturally and personally they love, as I ever did your lordship; in troth not many between my lord marquis and yourself; so that the sparks of my affection shall ever rest quick, under the ashes of my fortune, to do you service: and wishing to your fortune and family all good. Your lordship's most affectionate, and much obliged, &c.
I pray your lordship to present my humble service and thanks to my lord marquis, to whom, when I have a little paused, I purpose to write; as likewise to his majesty, for whose health and happiness, as his true beadsman, I most frequently pray.
The five following letters, wanting both date and circumstances to determine such dates, are placed here together.
TO THE LORD TREASURER.*
IT MAY PLEASE. Your honourable Lordship,
I account myself much bound to your lordship for your favour shown to Mr. Higgins upon my commendations about Pawlet's wardship; the effect of which your lordship's favour, though it hath been intercepted by my lord deputy's suit, yet the signification remains: and I must in all
March 11-Copy of my answer to Lord Falkland. reason consent and acknowledge, that your lord
ship had as just and good cause to satisfy my lord deputy's request, as I did think it unlikely, that my lord would have been suitor for so mean a
SECRETARY CONWAY TO THE LORD VISCOUNT matter.
I do so well remember the motives, why I presented you so with my humble service, and ticular application of it to your particular use, as I neither forget nor repent the offer. And I must confess a greater quickening could not have been added to my resolution to serve you, than the challenge you lay to my duty, to follow, in his absence, the affection of your most noble and hearty friend the marquis.
I lost no time to deliver your letter, and to contribute the most advantageous arguments I could. It seems your motion had been more than enough, if a former engagement to Sir William Becher upon the marquis his score had not opposed it.
So this being to none other end but to give your lordship humble thanks for your intended favour, I commend your lordship to the preservation of the divine majesty. From Gray's Inn.
TO SIR FRANCIS VERE.†
SIR:-I am to recommend to your favour one Mr. John Ashe, as to serve under you, as agent of your company: whose desire how much I do affect, you may perceive if it be but in this, that myself being no further interested in you, by acquaintance or deserving, yet have intruded myself into this commendation: which, if it shall take place, I shall by so much the more find cause to take it kindly, by how much I find less cause in myself to take upon me the part of a mover or commender towards you, whom, nevertheless, 1 will not so far estrange myself from, but that in a general or mutual respect, incident to persons of our qualities and service, and not without particu
I will give you his majesty's answer, which was, That he could not value you so little, or conceive you would have humbled your desires and your worth so low. That it had been a great deal of ease to him to have had such a scantling of your mind, to which he could never have laid so unequal a measure. His majesty adding further, that | lar inducements of friendship, I might, without since your intentions moved that way, he would study your accommodation. And it is not out of hope, but that he may give some other contentment to Sir William Becher in due time, to accommodate your lordship, of whom, to your comfort, it is my duty to tell you, his majesty declared a good opinion, and princely care and respect.
breaking decorum, offer to you a request of this nature, the rather honouring you so much for your virtues, I would gladly take occasion to be beholden to you; yet no more gladly than to have occasion to do you any good office. And so, this being to no other end, I commend you to God's goodness.
From my chamber at the
* From the original draught in the library of Queen's College, Oxford. Arch. D. 2. † ld. ib.