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and then the child after it again, and so in infini- me, I know not whether I were unnatural, untum, I am weary of it: as also of wearying my thankful, or unwise. This causeth me, mos! good friends, of whom, nevertheless, I hope in one humbly to pray your lordship (and I know mine course or other gratefully to deserve. And so, not own case too well to speak it as weening I can forgetting your business I leave to trouble you do your lordship service, but as willing to do it, with this idle letter, being but "justa et mode- as) to believe that your lordship is upou just title rata querimonia." For, indeed, I do confess, a principal owner and proprietor of that I cannot • primus amor,” will not easily be cast off. And call talent, but mite that God hath given me; thus again I commend me to you.
which I ever do and shall devote to your service. And in like humble manner I pray your lordship
to pardon mine errors, and not to impute unto me TO THE LORD TREASURER BURGHLEY. the errors of any other; (which I know also, Most HONOURABLE AND MY VERY GOOD LORD, themselves have by this time left and fore
I know, I may commit an error in writing this thought :) but to conceive of me to be a man that letter, both in a time of great and weighty busi- daily profiteth in duty. It is true, I do in part ness; as also when myself am not induced thereto, comfort myself, supposing that it is my weakness by any new particular occasion : And, thereof, and insufficiency that moveth your lordship, who your lordship may impute to me either levity or hath so general a command to use others more ignorance, what appertaineth to good respects and able. But let it be as it is; for duty only and forwardness of dealing; especially to an honour homage I will boldly undertake that nature and able person, in whom there is such concurrence true thankfulness shall never give place to a of magnitudo honoris et oneris, as it is hard to politic dependence. Lastly, I most humbly desay, whether is the greater. But I answer myself sire your lordship to continue unto me the good first, that I have ever noted it as a part of your favour and countenance and encouragement in the lordship's excellent wisdom, “ parvis componere course of my poor travails; whereof I have had magna,” that you do not exclude inferior matters some taste and experience; for the which, I yield of access amongst the care of great. And, for your lordship my very humble good thanks. And myself, I thought it would better manifest what so 'again craving your honour's pardon for so I desire to express, if I did write out of a deep long a letter, carrying so empty an offer of so unand settled consideration of my own duty, rather puissant a service, but yet a true and unfeigned than upon the spur of a particular occasion. And, signification of an honest and vowed duty, I cease, therefore, (my singular good lord,) "ex abundan- cominending your lordship to the preservation of tia cordis," I must acknowledge how greatly and the Divine Majesty. diversely your lordship hath vorchsafed to tie me unto you by many your benefits. The reversion of the office which your lordship only procured unto me, and carried through great and vehement Most HONOURABLE AND MY SINGULAR GOOD LORD, opposition, though it yet bear no fruit, yet, it is one of the fairest flowers of my poor estate; your thanks for your lordship’s remembering my name
I cannot but importune your lordship with lordship's constant and serious endeavours to have me solicitor; your late honourable wishes, for the article of time, could not but be exceedingly en
to my lord keeper; which being done in such an place of the wards; together with your lordship's attempt to give me way by the remove did well discern by the manner of expressing
riched both in demonstration and effect: which I of Mr. Solicitor ; they be matters of singular thereof by his lordship again to me.
This accuobligation; besides many other favours, as well by your lordship’s grants from yourself, as by hitherto worketh only this effect; that it raiseth
mulating of yonr lordship's favours upon me, your commendation to others, which I have had for my help; and may justly persuade myself, out my mind to aspire to be found worthy of them; of the few denials I have received, that fewer But whether I shall be able to pay my vows or no,
and likewise to merit and serve you for them. might have been, if mine own industry and good I must leave that to God, who hath them in dehap had been answerable to your lordship’s good. posito. Whom, also, I most instantly beseech tu ness. But, on the other side, I most humbly pray your lordship’s pardon if I speak it; the time is give you fruit of your actions beyond that your
heart can propound. “ Nam Deus major est corde." yet to come, that your lordship did ever use or Even to the environing of his benedictions, I command, or employ me in my profession in any services or occasion of your lordship's own, or
recommend your lordship. such as are near unto your lordship; which hath made me fear sometimes that your lordship doth more honourably affect me than thoroughly dis
TO SIR THOMAS LUCY. cern of my most humble and dutiful affection to Sir,—There was no news better welcome to me your lordship again. Which, if it were not in this long time, than that of the good success of
TO MY LORD OF ESSEX.
TO SIR ROPERT CECII.
TO THE QUEEN.
my kinsman; wherein if he be happy he cannot
The argument of my letters to ycar lordship assuring you that this bond of alliance shall, on rather increaseth than spendeth ; it being only the my part, tie me to give all the tribute to your
desire I have to salute you : which, by your abgood fortune upon all occasions, that my poor
sence is more augmented than abated. For me strength can yield. I send you so required an
to write your lordship occurrences either of Scotabstract of the lands of inheritance, and one lease tish brags or Irish plants, or Spanish ruffling, or of great value, which my kinsman bringeth, with Low Country states, were (besides that it is a note of the tenures, values, contents, and state,
alienum quiddarn” from mine own humour) to truly and perfectly drawn; whereby you may per- forget to whom I write; save that you, that know ceive the land is good land, and well countenanced true advertisements, sometimes desire and delight by scope of acres, woods, and royalties, though
to hear common reports; as we that know but the total of the rents be set down as it now goeth leave such as write to your fortunes, I write to
common reports desire to hear the truth.
But to without improvement: in which respect somewhat differ from your first note. “Out of this, yourself in regard of my love to you, you being what he will assure in jointure, I leave it to his as near to me in heart's blood as in blood of deown kindness; for I love not to measure affection. scent. This day I had the contentment to see To conclude, I doubt not your daughter might your father upon occasion; and methought his have married to a better living, but never to a lordship’s countenance was not decayed, nor his better life; having chosen a gentleman bred to all cough vehement; but his voice was as faint all
the while as at first. honesty, virtue, and worth, with an estate conve
Thus, wishing your lordnient. And if my brother or myself were either ship a happy and speedy return, I commend you thrivers, or fortunate in the queen's service, 1 to the Divine Majesty. would hope there should be left as great a house of the Cokes in this gentleman as in your good friend, Mr. Attorney General. But sure I am, if Scriptures fail not, it will have as much of God's blessing and sufficiency as ever the best IT MAY PLEASE YOUR sacred MAJESTY, feast, &c.
I would not fail to give your majesty my most humble and due thanks for your royal choice of such commissioners in the great Star Chamber
cause ; being persons besides their honour of such TO SIR ROBERT CECIL, AT HIS BEING IN
science and integrity. By whose report I doubt not but your majesty will find that which you
have been heretofore informed, (both by my lord IT MAY PLEASE YOUR HONOURABLE LORDSHIP, keeper, and by some much meaner person,)
I know you will pardon this my observance, in touching the nature of that cause, to be true. writing to you empty of matter, but out of the This preparatory hearing doth already assail me fulness of my love. I am sorry that, as your with new and enlarged offers of composition; time of absence is prolonged above that was which, if I had borne a mind to have hearkened esteemed at your lordship's setting forth ; so, now, unto, this matter had been quenched long ago, upon this last advertisement received from you, without any benefit to your majesty. But your there groweth an opinion amongst batter than the majesty's benefit is to me in greater regard than vulgar, that the difficulties also of your negotia- mine own particular: trusting to your majesty's tion are increased. But, because I know the gravity gracious disposition and royal word, that your of your nature to be not to hope lightly, it maketh majesty will include me in any extraordinary me to despair the less. For you are “natus ad course of your sovereign pleasure, which your ardua:” and the indisposition of the subject may majesty shall like to take in this cause. The honour the skill of the workman. Sure I am, other man I spoke to your majesty of, may, within judgment and diligence shall not want in your these two terms, be in the same straits between lordship's self: but this was not my purpose; your majesty's justice and mercy, that this iman being only to signify unto your lordship my con- now is, if your majesty be so pleased. So, most tinual and incessant love towards you, thirsting humbly craving pardon for my presuming to scek after your return for many respects. So I com- access for these few lines, I recommend your mend you ever to the good preservation of the majesty to the most precious custody, and best divine majesty. Gray's Inn.
preservation of the Divine Majesty. At your honour's commandment, ever, Your majesty's most humble and entirely and particularly,
obedient servant and subject.
TO SIR ROBERT CECIL.
TO THE QUEEN.*
believe your lordship looked to have found her IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
majesty in all points as you have done; neither Il were great simplicity in me to look for better her majesty, percase, looked to have found your than that your majesty should cast away my letter lordship as she hath done. And, therefore, I hope as you have done me; were it not that it is pos- upon this experience may gro more perfect sible your majesty will think to find somewhat in knowledge, and upon knowledge more true conit, whereupon your displeasure may take hold; sent; which I, for my part, do infinitely wish, as and so indignation may obtain that of you which accounting these accidents to be like the fish, favour could not. Neither might I in reason pre- remora, which, though it be not great, yet hath it sume to offer unto your majesty dead lines, my- a hidden property to hinder the sailing of the ship. self being excluded as I am; were it not upon And, therefore, as bearing unto your lordship, this only argument or subject; namely, to clear after her majesty, of all public persons the second myself in point of duty. Duty, though my state duty, I could not but signify unto you my affeclie buried in the sands, and my favours be cast tionate gratulation. And so I commend your upon the waters, and my honours be committed good lordship to the best preservation of the to the wind; yet standeth surely built upon the Divine Majesty. rock, and hath been, and ever shall be unforced From Gray's Inn. and unattempted. And, therefore, since the world out of error, and your majesty I fear out of art is pleased to put upon me; that I have so much as any election or will in this my absence from attendance; I cannot but leave this protestation with your majesty; That I am and have IT MAY PLEASE YOUR Good Honour, been merely a patient, and take myself only to I am apt enough to condemn “ mendacia famæ," obey and execute your majesty's will. And, yet it is with this distinction, as fame walks indeed, madam, I had never thought it possible among inferiors, and not as it hath entrance into that your majesty could have so disinterested some ears. And, yet, nevertheless, in that kind yourself of me; nor that you had been so perfect also, I intend to avoid a suspicious silence, but in the art of forgetting ; nor that after a quintes- not to make any base apology. It is blown about sence of wormwood, your majesty would have the town that I should give opinion touching my taken so large a draught of poppy; as to have Lord of Essex's cause; first, that it was a prepassed so many summers without all feeling of munire; and now last, that it reached to high my sufferings. But the only comfort I have is treason. And this opinion should be given in this, that I know your majesty taketh delight and opposition to the opinion of the lord chief justice, contentment in executing this disgrace upon me. and of Mr. Attorney-General. Sir, I thank God, And, since your majesty can find no other use of whatsoever opinion my head serveth me to delime, I am glad yet I can serve for that. Thus ver to her majesty, being asked, my heart serveth making my most humble petition to your majesty, me to maintain; the same honest duty direciing that in justice (howsoever you may by strange- me and assisting me. But the utter untruth of ness untie, or by violence cut asunder all other this report God and the queen can witness; and knots) your majesty would not touch me in that the improbability of it every man that hath wit, which is indissoluble; that is, point of duty: and more or less, can conceive. The root of this i that your majesty will pardon this my unwar- discern to be not so much a light and humorous ranted presumption of writing, being to such an envy at my accesses to her majesty, (which of end: I cease in all humbleness;
her majesty's grace being begun in my first years, Your majesty's poor, and never
I would be sorry she should estrange in my last so unworthy servant, years, for so I account them, reckoning by health,
Essex. not by age;) as a deep malice to your honourable
sell; upon whom, by me, through nearness, they
think to make some aspersion. But, as I know TO MY LORD OF ESSEX.
no remedy against libels and lies, so I hope it IT MAY PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIP,
shall make no manner of disseverance of your That your lordship is in "statu quo prius," no
honourable good conceits and affection towards man taketh greater gladness than I do; the rather, me; which is the thing I confess to fear. For, because I assure myself that of your eclipses, as
as for any violence to be offered to me, wherewith this hath been the longest, it shall be the least; my friends tell me, to no small terror, that I ani as the comical poet saith, “ neque illam tu satis threatened, I thank God I have the privy coat of noveras, neque te illa, hoc ubi fit, ibi non vivitur.” a good conscience; and have a good while since For, if I may be so bold as to say what I think, I put off any fearful care of life, or the accidents up
life. So, desiring to be preserved in your g 3:41 • Written by Mr. Bacon for my Lord of Essex. opinion, I remain.
TO THE QUEEN.
entrance into some ears. For your lordship's IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, love, rooted upon good opinion, I esteem it highly,
I presume, according to the ceremony and good because I have tasted the fruits of it; and we both manner of the time, and my accustomed duty, in have tasted of the best waters, in my account, to all humbleness to present your majesty with a knit minds together. There is shaped a tale in simple gift; almost as far from answering my London's forge that beateth apace at this time; mind as sorting with your greatness; and there that I should deliver opinion to the queen in my with wish that we may continue to reckon on, Lord of Essex's cause; first, that it was preand ever your majesty's happy years of reign: munire, and now last, that it was high treason; and they that reckon upon any other hopes, I would and this opinion to be in opposition and encounter they might reckon short, and to their cost. And of the lord chief justice's opinion, and the atso, craving pardon most humbly, I commend your torney-general's. My lord, (I thank God,) my majesty to the preservation of the Divine goodness. wit serveth me not to deliver any opinion to the
queen which my stomach serveth me not to main
tain: one and the same conscience of duty guiding TO THE QUEEN.
me, and fortifying me. But the untruth of this IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
fable God and my sovereign can witness, and
there I leave it: knowing no more remedy against I most humbly entreat your majesty not to impute my absence to any weakness of mind or
lies than others do against libels. The root, no unworthiness. But I assure your majesty I do question of it, is, partly, some light-headed envy find envy beating so strongly upon me, standing
at my accesses to her majesty, which being begun as I do, (if this be to stand,) as it were not strength
and continued since my childhood, as long as her of mind, but stupidity, if I should not decline the majesty shall think me worthy of them, I scorn occasions, except I could do your majesty more
those that shall think the contrary. And another service than I can any ways discern that I am
reason is, the aspersion of this tale, and the envy able to do. My course towards your majesty
thereof, upon some greater man, in regard of my (God is my witness) hath been pure and unlea
And, therefore, (my lord,) I pray you vened ; and never poor gentleman (as I am per
answer for me to any person that you think worthy suaded) had a deeper and truer desire and care of your own reply, and my defence. For my Lord your glory, your safety, your repose of mind, of Essex, I am not servile to him, having regard your service; wherein if I have exceeded my out- to my superior's duty. I have been much bound ward vocation, I most humbly crave your ma
unto him; and, on the other side, I have spent jesty's pardon for my presumption. On the other more time and more thoughts about his wellside, if I have come short of my inward vocation, doing than ever I did about mine own. I pray I most humbly crave God's pardon for quenching
his friends amongst you be in the right. the spirit. But in this mind I find such solitude,
“ Nulla remedia, tam faciunt dolorem. quam quæ and want of comfort, which I judge to be because
sunt salutaria.” For my part, I have deserved I take duty too exactly, and not according to the better than to have my name objected to envy, or dregs of this age, wherein the old anthem might my life to a ruffian's violence; but I have the
am sure these never be more truly sung; “ Totus mundus in privy coat of a good conscience. Iar maligno positus est.” My life hath been threat- courses and bruits hurt my lord more than all. ered, and my name libelled, which I count an
So having written to your lordship, I desire exhonour; but these are the practices of those whose ceedingly to be preferred in your good opinion despairs are dangerous, but yet not so dangerous
and love, and so leave you to God's goodness. as their hopes; or else the devices of some that would put out all your majesty's lights, and fall on reckoning how many years you have reigned, which I beseech our blessed Saviour may be THIE EARL OF ESSEX'S LETTER TO THE COUNCIL, doubled : and that I may never live to see any eclipse of your glory, interruption of safety, or My very good Lords, Indisposition of your person, which I commend to
Having taken order for all things that belong The Divine Majesty, who keep you and fortify you. to our land forces, and staying only till the ships
be ready to take in our soldiers, I am come aboard, as well to draw other men by my example to leave the shore, as to have time and leisure to ask ac
count of myself what other duty I have to do, Mr Lord,—There be very few besides yourself besides the governing of those troops, and the to whom I would perform this respect; for I con- using of them to good purpose. In which meditemn • mendacia famæ," as it walks among in- tation, as I first study to please my most gracious feriors; though I neglect it not, as it may have sovereign, as well as to serve her; so mv nest
AT HIS EMBARKING FOR SPAIN. JUNE, 1396.
TO MY LORD HEN. NIOWARD.
care is, to leave your lordships well satisfied of my divided his fleets: some appointed to be set out, past carriage since I was nominated to this service; and yet scant in readiness ; others upon point of and apt to make favourable construction of what coming home, and not fit to defend themselves, I shall do hereafter.
if either they be met at sea, or found in harbour; In my past carriage I will neither plead merit and all so dispersed in several places, as if at any nor excuse imperfections : for whatsoever I shall tiine we might do good that way, it is now. And be able to do, I know, is less than I owe; and whether he will make war upon us, if we let him besides iny fuults, my very faith and zeal (which alone: let his solicitations, offers, and gifts to the are the best things in me) do make me commit rebels of Ireland ; his besieging and winning of errors. But I would fain approve the matter Calais, and those parts of France that front upon itself of undertaking this service to have been us; and his strengthening himself by sea by so good, howsoever my former have been erroneous; many means ; let these things (I say) tell us. or at least, my intent and ends unblameable, So, as if we will at any time allow the counsel thou zh my judgment were faulty. Your lordships of prevention to be reasonable, we must now conknow it hath been the wisdom of all times rather fess it to be opportune. But whatsoever the to attempt and do something in another country counsel were, I am not to be charged with it. than to attend an enemy, and be in danger much For as I was not the contriver, nor otlerer of the in our own. And if this rule among the ancients project, so if I had refused to join with him was generally held true, it might be better allowed (that did invite me to it,) I should have been of us in particular cases, where a state little in thought both incompatible and backward in her territory, not extraordinary rich, and defended majesty's service. I say not this, for that I think only with itself, shall have to do with another the action such as it were disadvantage to be stite that hath many and ample dominions, the thought the projector of it; but I say, and say treasure of the Indies, and all the mercenaries of truly, that my lord admiral devised it, presenied Christendom to serve it. For we have, as the it to her majesty, and had as well the approba. Athenians had with the ancient usurping Philip; tion of her majesty and the assent of such of your “prælium facile, bellum diflicile.” Therefore, it lordships as were acquainted with it, as my prois our disadvantage to draw the war into length. mise to go with him. One thing (I contess) I And if any man in this kingdom should be allowed above all men am to be charged withal: that is, to persuade to prevention, he might be one that that when her majesty's, the city of London's, and saw the Spaniard at home apprehend an invasion the states of the Low Countries' charge was past, with greater terror than he makes it abroad: and the men levied and marching to the rendezvous ; that was a witness how a handful of men, nei. I could not see how with her majesty's honour ther armed, victualled, nor ordered as they should and safety the journey might be broken. Wherebe, landed, marched, and had done what they in, although I should be carried with passion, yet listed, if either the ships had come up, or they I pray your lordships consider who almost that had had any provisions to make a hole in a wall or to been in my case named to such an action, voiced break open a gate. But though the counsel be throughout Christendom, and engaged in it as good for some states, and for ours at some times, much as I was worth; and being the instrument yet the opportunities ought to be watched, and it of drawing more voluntary men of their own must appear that this it is which is now taken. charge than ever was seen these many years: The opportunity for such service I take to be when who (I say) would not have been so affected ? either the enemy may receive the most hurt, or But far be it from me, in any action of this imwhen he is likeliest to attempt against us, if he portance to weigh myself or my particular forbe not impeached. The hurt that our estate should tunes. I must beseech your lordships to rememseek to do him is, to intercept his treasure, whereby ber that I was from time to time warranted by all we shall cut his sinews, and make war upon him your opinions, delivered both amongst yourselves with his own nioney; and to beat, or at least dis. and to her majesty: which tieth you all to allow continue him from the sea, whereby her majesty the counsel. And that being granted, your lordshall be both secured from his invasions, and ships will call that zeal, which maketh a man become mistress of the sea ; which is the great constant in a good counsel, that would be passion ness that the queen of an island should most in an evil, or a doubtful. I confess, her majesty aspire unto. In matter of profit we may this offered us recompense for all our charges and journey most hurt him, and benefit ourselves; losses. But (my lords) I pray your lordships since he hath (as is agreed on by all men) more consider how many things I should have sold at caracks to come home now than ever any year once for money? I will leave mine own reputabefore. Besides many good advantages which tion as too small a matter to be mentioned. But shall be offered if we command the coast. And I should have sold the honour of her majesty, the 10 give him a blow, and discountenance him by safety of the state, the contentment of her consea, now is the time, when he hath declared his federates, the fortune and hope of many of my a'nbition to command the seas; and yet, so poor countrymer, and the possibility of giving a