« AnteriorContinuar »
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO MR. TOBY MATTIEWS.
for my constitution,) was ready to have waited | may say to your lordship, in the confidence of upon your majesty this day, all respects set aside; your poor kinsman, and a man by you advanced, but my lord treasurer, in respect of the season, " in idem fer opem qui spem dedisti :" for I am and much other business, was willing to save me. sure, it was not possible for a man living to have I will only conclude, touching these papers, with received from another more significant and coma text divided; I cannot say“ Oportuit hæc fieri," fortable words of hope: your lordship being but I may say, “ Finis autem nondum.” God pleased to tell ine, during the course of my last preserve your majesty.
service, that you would raise me, and that, when Your majesty's most humble and you are resolved to raise a man, you were more care
devoted subject and servant. ful of him than himself, and that what you had done Feb. 14, at 12 o'clock.
for me in my carriage, was a benefit for me, but I humbly pray your majesty, to keep the papers of no use to your lordship; and, therefore, I might safe.
assure myself, you would not leave me there, with many like speeches; which I know too well my duty to take any other hold of, than the hold of a thankful remembrance: and I know, and all the
world knoweth, that your lordship is no dealer of MR. MATTHEWS,
holy water, but noble and real; and on my part, Do not think me forgetful, or altered towards on sure ground, that I have committed nothing
deserve you: but if I should say, I could do you any good,
any alteration; and if I cannot I should make my power more than it is. I do
observe you as I would, your lordship will impute fear that which I am right sorry for, that you
it to my want of experience, which I shall gather grow more impatient and busy than at first, which better, when I am once settled.
And therefore my hope is, your lordship will makes me exceedingly fear the issue of that which seemeth not to stand at a stay. I myself am out
finish a good work, and consider, that time of doubt, that you have been miserably abused, groweth precious, and that I am now « vergentiwhen you were first seduced ; and that which i bus annis:” and although I know your fortine is take in compassion, others may take in severity.
not to want a hundred such as I am, yet I shall be I pray God, that understands us all better than we
ever ready to give you my best and first fruits, understand one another, continue you, as I hope
and to supply, as much as in me lieth, a worthihe will, at least, within the bounds of loyalty to
ness by thankfulness. his majesty, and natural piety to your country.
Fr. Bacon. And I entreat you much, to meditate sometimes upon the effect of superstition in this last powdertreason, fit to be tabled and pictured in the chambers of meditation, as another hell above the ground; and well justifying the censure of the IT MAY PLEASE your most excellent Majesty, heathen, that “Superstition is far worse than
I dare not presume any more to reply upon your Atheism,” by how much it is less evil to have no majesty, but reserve my defence till I attend your good opinion of God at all, than such as are majesty at your happy retnrn, when I hope verily impious towards his divine majesty and goodness. to approve myself not only a true servant to your Good Mr. Matthews, receive yourself back from majesly, but a true friend to my Lord of Bucking. these courses of perdition. Willing to have written ham; and for the times also, I hope to give your a great deal more, I continue
majesty a good account, though distance of place Your, etc.
may obscure them. But there is one part of your Fr. Bacon.
majesty's letter, that I could be sorry to take time to answer; which is, that your majesty conceives, that whereas I wrote that the height of my lord's fortune might make him secure, I mean, that he was turned proud, or unknowing of himself.
Surely, the opinion I have ever had of my lord IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOUD LORDSHIP,
(whereof your majesty is best witness) is far from I am not ignorant how mean a thing I stand for, that. But my meaning was plain and simple, in desiring to come into the solicitor's place : for that his lordship might, through his great fortune, I know well, it is not the thing it hath been, time be the less apt to cast and foresee the unfaithfulhaving wrought an alteration, both in the profes ness of friends, and the malignity of enemies, and sion, and in that special place. Yet, because I accidents of times. Which is a judgment (your think it will increase my practice, and that it may majesty knoweth better than I) that the best ausatisfy my friends, and because I have been voiced thors make of the best, and best tempered spirits to it, I would be glad it were done. Wherein Il “ut sunt res humanæ;" insomuch as Cuicri.
LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE KING.
BIR PRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF SALIS
THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE KING.
ardini maketh the same judgment, not of a parti- I would do, in this, which is not proper for me, nor cular person, but of the wisest state of Europe, in my element, I shall make your majesty amends the senate of Venice, when he saith, their prospe in some other thing, in which I am better bred. rity had made them secure, and under-weighers God ever preserve, etc. of perils. Therefore, I beseech your majesty, to Jan. 2, 1618. deliver me in this, from any the least imputation to my dear and noble lord and friend. And so expecting, that that sun which, when it went from us, left us cold weather, and now it is returned towards us hath brought with it a blessed
THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE KING. harvest, will, when it cometh to us, dispel and disperse all mists and mistakings.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT Majesty,
“ Gemitum Columbæ" from others, now I bring July 31, 1617.
it from myself. I fly unto your majesty with the wings of a dove, which, once within these seven days, I thought, would have carried me a higher flight. When I enter into myself, I find not the
materials of such a tempest as is come upon me. IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST Excellent MAJESTY, I have been (as your majesty knoweth best)
I do many times, with gladness, and for a re- never author of any immoderate counsel, but medy of my other labours, revolve in my mind always desired to have things carried “ suavibus the great happiness which God (of his singular modis.” I have been no avaricious oppressor of goodness) hath accumulated upon your majesty the people. I have been no hanghty, or intole. every way, and how complete the same would be, rable, or hateful man, in my conversation or carif the state of your means were once rectified, and riage: I have inherited no hatred from my father, well ordered ; your people military and obedient, but am a good patriot born. Whence should this fit for war, used to peace; your church illightened be; for these are the things that use to raise diswith good preachers, as a heaven of stars; your likes abroad. judges learned, and learning from you, just, and For the House of Commons, I began my just by your example; your nobility in a right credit there, and now it must be the place of the distance between crown and people, no oppressors sepulture thereof. And yet this Parliament, upon of the people, no over-shadowers of the crown; the message touching religion, the old love reyour council full of tributes of care, faith, and vived, and they said, I was the same man still, freedom; your gentlemen, and justices of peace, only honesty was turned into honour. willing to apply your royal mandates to the nature For the Upper House, even within these days, of their several counties, but ready to obey ; your before these troubles, they seemed as to take me servants in awe of your wisdom, in hope of your into their arms, finding in me ingenuity, which goodness; the fields growing every day, by the they took to be the true straight line of nobleness, improvement and recovery of grounds, from the without crooks or angles. desert to the garden ; the city grown from wood And for the briberies and gifts wherewith I am to brick; your sea-walls, or Pomerium of your charged, when the books of hearts shall be openisland, surveyed, and in edifying; your merchants ed, I hope I shall not be found to have the troubled embracing the whole compass of the world, east, fountain of a corrupt heart, in a depraved habit of west, north, and south ; the times give you peace, taking rewards to pervert justice; howsoever I and, yet offer you opportunities of action abroad; may be frail, and partake of the abuses of the and, lastly, your excellent royal issue entaileth times. these blessings and favours of God to descend to And therefore I am resolved, when I come to all posterity. It resteth, therefore, that God hav- my answer, not to trick my innocency (as I writ ing done so great things for your majesty, and to the Lords) by cavillations or voidances; but you for others, you would do so much for yourself, to speak to them the language that my heart as to go through (according to your good begin. speaketh to me, in excusing, extenuating, or innings) with the rectifying and settling of your genuous confessing; praying God to give me the estate and means, which only is wanting, “Hoc grace to see to the bottom of my faults, and that rebus defuit unum. ." I, therefore, whom only no hardness of heart do steal upon me, under love and duty to your majesty, and your royal show of more neatness of conscience, than is Jine, hath made a financier, do intend to present cause. unto your majesty a perfect book of your estate, But not to trouble your majesty any longer, like a perspective glass, to draw your estate nearer craving pardon for this long mourning letter; that 10 your sight; beseeching your majesty to con- which I thirst after, as the hart after the streams, ceivo, that if I have not attained to do that I is, that I may know, by my matchless friend that
SENDING UNTO HIM A BEGINNING OF A MIS-
presenteth to you this letter, your majesty's heart beth; wherein I may note much, but this at this (which is an abyssus of goodness, as I am an time, that as her majesty did always right to his abyssus of misery) towards me. I have been majesty's hopes, so bis highness doth, in all ever your man, and counted myself but an things, right to her memory; a very just and usufructuary of myself, the property being yours. princely retribution. But from this occasion, by And now making myself an oblation, to do with a very easy ascent, I passed farther, being put in me as may best conduce to the honour of your mind, by this representative of her person, of the justice, the honour of your mercy, and the use of more true and more perfect representative, which your service, resting as
is, of her life and government. For as statues Clay in your majesty's gracious hands, and pictures are dumb histories, so histories are
Fr. ST. ALBAN, Can. speaking pictures; wherein (if my affection be Murch 25, 1620.
not too great, or my reading too small) I am of this opinion, that if Plutarch were alive to write lives by parallels, it would trouble him, for virtue
and fortune both, to find for her a parallel amongst SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, UPON THE
And though she was of the passive sex, yet her government was so active, as, in my
simple opinion, it made more impression upon IT MAY PLEASE your Majesty,
the several states of Europe, than it received Hearing that you are at leisure to peruse story, from thence. But I confess unto your lordship, a desire took me to make an experiment what 1 I could not stay here, but went a little farther into could do in your majesty's times, which, being the consideration of the times which have passed but a leaf or two, I pray your pardon, if I send since king Henry the Eighth; wherein I find it for your recreation, considering, that love must the strangest variety, that in so little number of creep where it cannot go. But to this I add successions of any hereditary monarchy, hath these petitions: first, that if your majesty do dis- ever been known; the reign of a child, the offer like any thing, you would conceive I can amend of a usurpation, though it were but as a diary it upon your least beck. Next, that if I have ague; the reign of a lady married to a foreigner, not spoken of your majesty encomiastically, your and the reign of a lady, solitary and unmarried : majesty will be pleased only to ascribe it to the So that, as it cometh to pass, in massive bodies, law of a history, which doth not clutter together that they have certain trepidations, and waverpraises upon the first mention of a name, but ings, before they fix and settle; so it seemetli, rather disperseth them, and weaveth them that by the providence of God, this monarchy throughout the whole narration. And as for the (before it was to settle in his majesty and his proper place of commemoration, (which is in the generations, in which I hope it is now establishperiod of life,) I pray God I may never live to ed forever) hath had these preclusive changes in write it. Thirdly, that the reason why I pre- these barren princes. Neither could I contain sumed to think of this oblation, was because, myself here, (as it is easier for a man to multiply, whatsoever my disability be, yet I shall have that than to stay a wish,) but calling to remembrance advantage which almost no writer of history hath the unworthiness of the History of England, in had, in that I shall write the times, not only the main continuance thereof, and the partiality since I could remember, but since I could ob- and obliquity of that of Scotland, in the latest serve. And, lastly, that it is only for your ma- and largest author that I have seen; I conceived, jesty's reading.
it would be an honour for his majesty, and a work very memorable, if this island of Great Britain, as it is now joined in monarchy for the ages to come, so it were joined in history for the
times past; and that one just and complete hisLOR, TOUCHING THE HISTORY OF BRITAIN.
tory were compiled of both nations. And if any
man think, it may refresh the memory of former IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,
discord, he may satisfy himself with the verse, Some late act of his majesty, referred to some “Olim hæc meminisse juvabit.” For the case former speech which I have heard from your being now altered, it is matter of comfort and lordship, bred in me a great desire, and by gratulation, to remember former troubles. Thus strength of desire a boldness, to make an humble much, if it may please your lordship, was in the proposition to your lordship, such as in me can optative mood, and it was time that I should look be no better than a wish ; but if your lordship a little into the potential; wherein the hope tha: should apprehend it, it may take some good and I received was grounded upon three observations. worthy effect. The act I speak of, is the order The first, of these times, which flourish in learngiven by his majesty for the erection of a tomb ing, both of art, and language, which givetn or monument for our late sovereign, Queen Eliza- hope, not only that it may be done, but that it
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE LORD CHANCEL
may be well done. Secondly, I do see that which nor place, nor employment; but only, after so
true devoted servant, for no man knows better than your lordship, that
FR. ST. ALBAN. if there were in me any faculty thereunto, yet July 30, 1624. neither my course of life, nor profession would permit it.
But because there be so many good painters, both for hand and colours, it needeth sir FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, UPON PREbut encouragement and instructions to give life
SENTING HIS DISCOURSE, TOUCHING THE PLAN-
wishes of a new year to your majesty, than by
than curious or elaborate, and herein I was enSIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, ABOUT THE couraged by my experience of your majesty's
fruits, touching the union. And certainly I reckon Most GRACIOUS AND DREAD Sovereign,
this action as a second brother to the union, for I Before I make my petition to your majesty, I assure myself, that England, Scotland, and Iremake my prayers to God above, “ pectore ab land, well united, is such a trefoil as no prince imo," that if I have held any thing so dear as except yourself (who are the worthiest) weareth your majesty's service, (nay) your heart's ease, in his crown, “si potentia reducatur in actum.” and your honour, I may be repulsed with a denial. I know well that for me to beat my brains about But if that hath been the principal with me, that these things, they be · majora quam pro fortuna, God, who knoweth my heart, would move your but yet they be “minora quam pro studio et majesty's royal heart to take compassion of me, voluntate.” For as I do yet bear an extreme zeal and to grant my desire.
to the memory of my old mistress, Queen ElizaI pr rate myself at your majesty's feet; I, beth, to whom I was rather bound for her trust your ancient servant, now sixty-four years old in than for her favour; so I must acknowledge myge, and three years and five months old in self more bound to your majesty, both for trust sery. I desire not from your majesty means, I and favour; whereof I will never deceive the
PARDON OF THE PARLIAMENT'S SENTENCE.
one, as I can never deserve the other. And so, ' his lieutenant, I do understand, there hath been in all humbleness kissing your majesty's sacred expected from me, heretofore, some justification, hands, I remain
and therefore I have chosen one only justification instead of all others, out of the justification of Job; for, after the clear submission and confes
sion which I shall now make unto your lordships, SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF SALISBURY, 'I hope I may say, and justify with Job, in these UPON SENDING HIM ONE or 18 BOOKS OF AD. words, “I have not hid my sin, as did Adam, nor VANCEMENT OF LEARNING.
concealed my faults in my bosom.” This is the It may PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,
only justification I will use: it resteth, therefore, I present your lordship with a work of my and acknowlerige, that having understood the
that, without fig-leaves, I do ingenuously confess Vacant time, which if it had been more, the work had been better. It appertaineth to your lordship particulars of the charge, not formally from the (lvesides my particular respects) in some propriety, House, but enough to inform my conscience and in regard you are a great governor in a province memory, I find matter both sufficient and full, to of learning, and (that which is more) you have move me to desert the defence, and to move your added to your place affection towards learning, lordships to condemn and censure me. Neither and to your affection judgment, of which the last will I trouble your lordships by singling out partiI could be content were (for the time) less, that culars, which I think may fall off: “Quid ie exyou might the less exquisitely censure that which empta juvat spinis do millibus una ?” Neither I offer to you. But sure I am, the argument is
will I prompt your lordships to observe upon the good, if it had lighted upon a good author; but I proofs, where they come not home, or the scruples shali content myself to awake better spirits, like touching the credit of the witnesses : Neither a bellringer which is first up, to call others to
will I present unto your lordships, how far a church. So, with my humble desire of your offence, in respect of the time, or manner of the
defence might in divers things extenuate the Lordship's good acceptation, I remain
gist, or the like circumstances; but only leave these things to spring out of your own noble thoughts, and observations of the evidence, and
examinations themselves, and charitably to wind THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE LORDS.
about the particulars of the charge here and there, IT MAY PLEASE your Lordships,
as God shall put in your minds; and so submit I shall humbly crave at your lordships' hands myself wholly to your piety and grace. a benign interpretation of that which I shall now And now that I have spoken to your lordships write; for words that come from wasted spirits, as judges, I shall say a few words unto you as and an oppressed mind, are more safe in being peers and prelates, humbly commending my cause deposited in a noble construction, than in being to your noble minds, and magnanimous afiections. circled with any reserved caution. Having made Your lordships are not only judgt., but parliathis as a protection to all which I shall say, I will mentary judges; you have a farther extent of gu on, but with a very strange entrance, (as may arbitrary power than other courts : and if you be seem to your lordships at the first ;) for in the not tied to the ordinary course of courts or precemidst of a state of as great affliction as I think dents, in point of strictness and severity, much a mortal man can endure, (honour being above more in points of mercy and mitigation. And life,) I shall begin with the professing gladness yet, if any thing I should move might be contrary in some things.
to your honourable and worthy ends to introduce The first is, that hereafter the greatness of a a reformation, I should not seek it, but herein I judge or magistrate shall be no sanctuary, or beseech your lordships to give me leave to tell protection to him against guiltiness; which, in you a story. Titus Manlius took his son's life few words, is the beginning of a golden world. for giving battle against the prohibition of his
The next, that after this example, it is like that general. Not many years after, the like severity judges will fly from any thing in the likeness of was pursued by Papirius Cursur, the dictator, corruption, (though it were at a great distance,) as against Quintus Maximus, who, being upon from a serpent; which tendeth to the purging of the the point to be sentenced, was, by the intercescourts of justice, and reducing them to their true sion of some principal persons of the senate, honour and splendour. And in these two points, spared; whereupon Livy maketh this grave and God is my witness, (though it be my fortune to be gracious observation: Neque minus firmata the anvil, upon which these good effects are beaten est disciplina militaris periculo Quinti Maximi, and wrought,) I take no small comfort. But 10 quam miserabili supplicio Titi Manlii.” The pass from the motions of my heart, whereof God, discipline of war was no less established by the is only judge, to the merits of my cause, whereof questioning only of Quintus Maximus than by your lordships are only judges, under God, and the punishment of Titus Manlius. And the sanie Vol. III.-4