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by which I received it, yet I humbly pray your
TO TIIE CARL OF ARUNDEL AND SURREY. lordship to give me leave to add these few lines. My very good Lord, My lord, as God above is my witness, that I ever I was likely to have had the fortune of Cajus have loved and honoured your lordship as much, Plinius the elder, who lost his life by trying an I think, as any son of Adam can love or honour experiment about the burning of the Mountain any thing that is a subject; and do still continue Vesuvius. For I was also desirous to try an exin as hearty and strong wishes of felicity to be periment or two, touching the conservation and leaped and fixed upon you as ever: and so yet 1 induration of bodies. As for the experiment protest, that at this time, as low as I am, I had itself, it succeeded excellently well; but in the rather sojourn the rest of my life in a college in journey (between London and Highgate,) I was Cambridge, than recover a good fortune by any taken with such a fit of casting, as I knew not other than yourself. But now, to recover your-whether it were the stone, or some surfeit, or self to me, (if I have you not already,) or to ease cold, or indeed a touch of them all three. But your lordship in any business of mine, wherein when I came to your lordship's house, I was not your lordship would not so fully appear, or to be able to go back, and therefore was forced to take made partaker of your favours in the way that up my lodging here, where your housekeeper is you like best, I would use any man who were very careful and diligent about me, which I assure your lordship's friend. Secondly, if in any thing myself your lordship will not only pardon towards of my former letters I have given your lordship him, but think the better of him for it. For inany distaste, either by the style of them or any deed your lordship's house was happy to me; particular passage in them, I humbly pray your and I kiss your noble hands for the welcome lordship's benign construction and pardon. I which I am sure you give me to it, &c. confess it is my fault, though yet it be some hap I know how unfit it is for me to write to your piness to me withal, that I many times forget my lordship with any other hand than my own; but, adversity: but I shall never forget to be, &c. by my troth, my fingers are so disjointed with
this fit of sickness, that I cannot steadily hold a pen.
LETTERS FROM BIRCH.
LORD KEEPER OF THE GREAT SEAL.*
MR. FRANCIS BACON TO SIR JOHN PUCKERING, the manner shall be to impeach the end, it shall
teach my devotion not to exceed wishes, and My LORD,—It is a great grief unto me, joined those in silence. Yet, notwithstanding, (to with marvel, that her majesty should retain a speak vainly as in grief,) it may be her majesty hard conceit of my speeches in parliament. It hath discouraged as good a heart as ever looked might please her sacred majesty to think what toward her service, and as void of self-love. And my end should be in those speeches, if it were so, in more grief than I can well express, and not duty, and duty alone. I am not so simple much more than I can well dissemble, I leave but I know the common beaten way to please. your lordship, being as ever, And whereas popularity hath been objected, I Your lordship’s entirely devoted, &c. muse what care I should take to please many, that take a course of life to deal with few. On the other side, her majesty's grace and particular favour towards me hath been such, as I esteem to sir THOMAS EGERTON, LORD KEEPER OP no worldly thing above the comfort to enjoy it, except it be the conscience to deserve it. But, IT MAY PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIP, if tne no: seconding of some particular person's I am to make humble complaint to your lordopinion shall be presumption, and to differ upon ship of some hard dealing offered me by one * Hurl. MSS. vol. 286, No. 129, fol. 232.
Sympson, a goldsmith, a man noted much, as I on Wednesday, the oth of March, 1592-3, upon the three have heard, for extremities and stoutness upon subsidies demanded of the House of Commons; to which he his purse; but yet I could scarcely have imaassented, but not to the payment of them under six years, gined he would have dealt either so dishonestly urging the necessities of the people, the danger of raising public discontentment, and the setting of an evil precedent * From the original in the Hatfield Collection of State akainst themselves and their posterity. See Sir Simmons Papers, communicated to me by the Rev. William Murdin, DEwes's Journals, p. 493. He sat in that parliament,
which B. D., and intended by him for the public in a third volume of met November 19. 1592, and was dissolvod 10 April, 1593, as the collection of those papers, if his death had not preveniod one of ibe knights of the shire for Middlesex.
him from executing his design.
THE GREAT SEAL.
towards myself, or so contemptuously towards causes, much more in matters of this nature, her majesty's service. For this Lombard (pardon especially in persons known to be qualified with me, I most humbly pray your lordship, if, being that place and employment, which, though u admonished by the street he dwells in, I give worthy, I am vouchsafed, I enforce nothing, him that name) having me in bond for three hun thinking I have done my part when I have made dred pounds principal, and I having the last term it known, and so leave it to your lordship's confessed the action, and by his full and direct honourable consideration. And, so with signifi. consent, respited the satisfaction till the begin- cation of my humble duty, &c. ning of this term to come, without ever giving me warning, either by letter or message, served an .xecution upon me, having trained me at such time as I came from the Tower, where Mr. Waad TO SIR ROBERT CECIL, SECRETARY OF STATE." can witness, we attended a service of no mean IT MAY PLEASE YOUR Honour, importance;* neither would he so much as vouch
I humbly pray you to understand how badly I safe to come and speak with me to take any order have been used by the enclosed, being a copy of in it, though I sent for him divers times, and his a letter of complaint thereof, which I have written house was just by; handling it as upon a despite, to the lord keeper. How sensitive you are of being a man I never provoked with a cross word, wrongs offered to your blood in my particular I no, nor with many delays. He would have have had not long since experience. But, herein urged it to have had me in prison; which he had I think your honour will be doubly sensitive, in done, had not Sheriff More, to whom I sent, tenderness also of the indignity to her majesty's gently recommended me to a handsome house in service; for as for me, Mr. Sympson might have Coleman street, where I am. Now, because he had me every day in London; and, therefore, to will not treat with me, I am enforced humbly to belay me while he knew I came from the Tower desire your lordship to send for him according to about her majesty's special service, was to my your place, to bring him to some reason; and this understanding very bold. And two days before forth with, because I continue here to my farther he brags he forbore me, because I dined with discredit and inconvenience, and the trouble of Sheriff More: so as with Mr. Sympson, examiThe gentleman with whom I am. I have a hun- nations at the Tower are not so great a privilege, dred pounds lying by me, which he may have, eundo et redeundo, as Sheriff More's dinner. But and the rest upon some reasonable time and secu- this complaint I make in duty; and to that end rity, or, if need be, the whole; but with my more have also informed my Lord of Essex thereor; trouble. As for the contempt he hath offered, in for, otherwise his punishment will do me no regard her majesty's service to my understanding, good. carrieth a privilege eundo el redeundo in meaner
So, with signification of my humble duty, I It is not easy to determine what this service was; but it commend your honour to the divine preservation. spens to relate to the examination of some prisoner; perhaps At your honourable command particularly, Elward Squire, executed in November, 1598, for poisoning
FR. Bacox. the queen's saddle; or Valentine Thomas, who accused the
From Coleman street, this King of Scots of practices against Queen Elizabeth (Histori
24th of September, 1598. cal View, p. 178;] or one Stanley, concerning whom I shall insert here passages from two MS. letters of John Chamberlain, Esq., to his friend, Dudley Carleton, Esq.; afterwards ambassador to Venice, the United Provinces, and France ; these letters being part of a very large collection, from 1598 to 1625, which I transcribed from the originals. “One Stan IT MAY PLEASE your Honour, ley," says Mr. Chamberlain, in his letter dated at London, 3d of October, 1698, “that came in sixteen days over land
Because we live in an age,
every with letters out of Spain, is lately committed to the Tower. imperfections are but another's fable; and that He was very earnest to have private conference with her there fell out an accident in the Exchequer, which majesty, pretending matter of great importance, which he would by no means utter to anybody else."
I know not how, nor how soon may be traduced, letter, dated 2011 of November, 1598, Mr. Chamberlain ob though I dare trust rumour in it, except it be serves, that on “the day that they looked for Stanley's malicious, or extreme partial; I am bold now to arraignment, he came not himself, but sent his forerunner, one squire, ihat had been an under purveyor of the stable, possess your honour, as one that ever I found who being in Spain was dealt withal by one Walpole, a careful of my advancement, and yet more jealous Jesuit
, to poison the queen and the Earl of Essex; and ac of my wrongs, with the truth of that which passearl in his own ship the last journey, and poisoned the arms ed; deferring my farther request, until I may or handles of the chair he used to sit in, with a confection he attend your honour: and so, I continue had received of the Jesuit; as likewise he had done the
Your honour's very humble and pummel of the queen's saddle, not past five days before his going to sea. But, because nothing succeeded of it, the priest
particularly bounden, thinking lie had either changed his purpose, or betrayed it,
Fr. Bacon. gave Stanley instructions to accuse him; thereby 19 get him Gray's Inn, this more credit, and to be revenged of Squire for breaking pro. juise. The fellow confessed the whole practice, and, as it
24th of April, 1601. secmed, died very penitent."
From the Hatfield Collection
TO MR. SECRETARY CECIL.*
I OF 3117
TO ROBERT, LORD CECIL.
How my sales go forward, your lordship shall. e qualidade IT MAY PLEASE YOUR goop LORDSHIP,
in a few days, hear; meanwhile, if you will no! They say late thanks are ever best: but the be pleased to take farther day with this lewd fel.
reason was, I thought to have seen your lordship low, I hope your lordship will not suffer him to en Ibarra
ere this; howsoever, I shall never forget this take any part of the penalty, but principal, intepour le your last favour amongst others; and it grieveth rest, and costs.
me not a little, that I find myself of no use to So, I remain your lordship's
Fr. Bacon. assistance for the punishment of the contempt;
30 July, 1603.
TO ROBERT, LORD CECIL.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,
In answer of your last leiter, your money shall that I let your lordship know, that I shall not be be ready before your day, principal, interest, and Thite able to pay the money within the time by your released errors; and a Jew takes no more. The
costs of suit. So the sheriff promised when I e ri 23
lordship undertaken, which was a fortnight.
Nay, money I find so hard to come by at this rest cannot be forgotten; for I cannot forget your Ball
time, as I thought to have become an humble lordship's dum memor ipse mei: and if there have
suitor to your honour to have sustained me with been aliquid nimis, it shall be amended. And, is her sam your credit for the present from urgent debts,
be plain with your lordship, that will quicken me with taking up three hundred pounds till I can
now which slackened me before. Then I thought put away some land. But, I am so forward with you might have had more use of me, than now, I some sales, as this request I hope I may forbear. suppose, you are like to have. Not but I think For my estate, (because your honour hath care
the impediment will be rather in my mind than of it
, it is thus : 1 shall be able with selling the in the matter or times. But, to do you service, I skirts of my living in Hertfordshiret to preserve
will come out of my religion at any time. the body, and to leave myself, being clearly out be such as might grace me, since the matter will
For my knighthood, * I wish the manner might of debt, and having some money in my pocket, three hundred pounds land per annum, with a fair not: I mean, that I might not be merely gregahouse, and the ground well timbered. This is
rious in a troop. The coronation is at hand. It now my labour.
may please your lordship to let me hear from you For my purpose or course, I desire to meddle speedily. So I continue as little as I can in the king's causes, his majesty
Your lordship's ever much bounden, now abounding in council; and to follow my Fron Gorhainbury, this 16th of July, 1603.
FR, Bacox. private thrist and practice, and to marry with some
convenient advancement. For, as for any ambiBack
tion, I do assure your honour, mine is quenched. THE BEGINNING OF A LETTER IMMEDIATELY In the queen's my excellent inistress's time, the AFTER MY LORD TREASURER'S+ DECEASE quorum was small; her service was a kind of IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY : freehold, and it was a more solemn time. All If I shall seem, in these few lines, to write chose points agreed with my nature and judgment. majora quam pro fortuna, it may please your ma. My ambition now I shall only put upon my pen, jesty to take it to be an effect, not of presumption, whereby I shall be able to maintain memory and but of affection. For, of the one I was never merit of the times succeeding,
noted ; and for the other, I could never show it Lastly, for this divulged and almost prostituted hitherto to the full, being as a hawk tied to antitle of knighthood, I could, without charge, by other's fist, that might sometimes bait and proffer, your honour's mean, be content to have it, both but could never fly. And, therefore, if, as it was because of this late disgrace, and because I have said to one that spoke great words, Amice, verba three new knights in my mess in Gray's Inn com- tua desiderant civitatem, so your majesty say to mons; and because I have found out an alderman's me, “ Bacon, your words require a place to speak daughter,f a handsome maiden to my liking. So them;" I must answer, that place, or not place, is
your honour will find the time, I will come in your majesty to add or refrain : and, though I to the court from Gorhambury, upon any warning. never grow eager but to ******, yet your ma
* He was knighted at Whitehall, July 23, 1003, 4 Gorhambury.
+ Robert, Earl of Salisbury, who died 211h of May, 1612. I Probably the lady whom he afterwards married, Alice, | The draught of this imperfect letter is written chiefly in one of the daughters and co-heirs of Benedict Burnham, Esq., Greek characters. allerman of London.
8 These words of Themistocles are cited likewise by Lord lwenty years. Life of Lord Bacon by Dr. William Rawley.
Racon at the end of his book De Augmentis Scienlaaruir.
* From the Ilatfield Collection.
She survived her husband above
TO THE KING, IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE LORD majesty, this most humble oblation of myself; I
may truly say with the psalm, Multum incon IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, fuit anima mea ; for my life hath been conversant
I cannot but endeavour to merit, considering in things, wherein I take little pleasure. Your your preventing graces, which is the occasion of majesty may have heard somewhat, that my father these few lines,
was an honest man; and somewhat yet, I may Your majesty hath lost a great subject and a have been of myself, though not to make any true great servant. But, if I should praise him in judgment by, because I have hitherto had only propriety, I should say that he was a fit man to potestatem verborum, nor that neither. I was three keep things from growing worse; but no very fit of my young years bred with an ambassador in man to reduce things to be much better. For he France, and since I have been an old truant in the loved to have the eyes of all Israel a little too school-house of your council chamber, though on much on himself, and to have all business still the second form, yet longer than any that now under the hammer, and, like clay in the hands of sitteth hath been in the head form. If your the potter, to mould it as he thought good; so that majesty find any aptness in me, or if you find he was more in operatione than in opere. And, any scarcity in others, whereby you may think it though he had fine passages of action, yet the fit for your service to remove me to business of real conclusions came slowly on. So that, al state, although I have a fair way before me for though your majesty haihi grave counsellors and profit, and, by your majesty's grace and farour, worthy persons left, yet you do, as it were, turn a for honour and advancement, and in a course less leaf wherein, if your majesty shall give a frame exposed to the blast of fortune, yet, now that he and constitution to matters before you place the is gone quo vivente virtutibus certissimum exitium persons, in my simple opinion, it were not amiss. I will be ready as a chessman, to be wherever But the great matter, and most instant for the your majesty's royal hand shall set me. Your present, is the consideration of a Parliament, for majesty will bear me witness, I have not sudtwo effects; the one for the supply of your estate, denly opened myself thus far. I have looked on the other for the better knitting of the hearts of your upon others. I see the exceptions; I see the dissubjects unto your majesty, according to your in- tractions; and I fear Tacitus will be a prophet, finite merit; for both which, Parliaments have magis alii homines, quam alii mores. I know mine been, and are, the ancient and honourable remedy. I own heart; and I know not whether God, that
Now, because I take myself to have a little hath touched my heart with the affection, may not skill in that region, as one that ever affected that touch your royal heart to discern it. Howsoever, your majesty might, in all your causes, not only I shall go on honestly in mine ordinary course, prevail, but prevail with satisfaction of the inner and supply the rest in prayers for you, remainman; and though no man can say but I was a ling, &c. perfect and peremptory royalist, yet, every man makes me believe that I was never one hour out of credit with the Lower House; my desire is, to knew whether your inajesty will give me leave to meditate and propound unto you some preparative remembrances, touching the future Parliament. *** Lastly, I will make two prayers unto Your majesty may truly perceive that, though your majesty, as I used to do to God Almighty
, I cannot challenge to myself either invention or when I commend to him his own glory and judgment, or eloention, or method, or any of cause; so I will pray to your majesty for those powers, yet my offering is care and obser- yourself. vance: and, as my good old mistress was wont to The one is, that these cogitations of want, do call me her watch candle, because it pleased her not any ways trouble or vex your mind. I to say I did continually burn, (and yet she suf- remember Moses saith of the land of promise, that ered me to waste almost to nothing,) so I must it was not like the land of Egypt, that was much more owe the like duty to your majesty, by watered with a river, but was watered with whom my fortunes have been settled and raised. showers from heaven; wherehy I gather, God And so, craving pardon, I rest
preferreth, sometimes uncertainties before cerYour inajesty's most humble
tainties, because they teach a more immediate servant devote, F. B. dependence upon his providence. Sure I am, 31 May, 1612
nil novi accidit vobis. It is no new thing for
shall parris componere magna, I have seen an Ir MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
of Leicester, a Chancellor Hatton, an Earl My principal end being to do your majesty ser
of Essex, and an Earl of Salisbury, in debt; and rice, I crave leave to make, at this time, to your
"The beginning of this letter is wanting
TO THE KING..
TO THE KING.
yet was it no manner of diminution to their power ted to the subcommissioners, touching the repair or greatness.
and improvement of your majesty's means: and My second prayer is, that your majesty, in this I have done, not only in meeting, and conrespect of the hasty freeing of your estate, ference, and debate with the rest, but also by my would not descend to any means, or degree of several and private meditation and inquiry: so means, which carrieth not a syminetry with your that, besides the joint account, which we shall majesty and greatness. He is gone from whom give to the lords, I hope I shall be able to give those courses did wholly flow. So have your your majesty somewhat ex pro priv.
For as no wants and necessities in particular, as it were, man loveth better consulcre in commune than 1 hanged up in two tablets before the eyes of your do; neither am I of those fine ones that use to Lords and Commons, to be talked of for four keep back any thing, wherein they think they months together; to have all your courses, to may win credit apart, and so make the consultahelp yourself in revenue or profit, put into printed tion almost inutile. So, nevertheless, in cases books, which were wont to be held arcana where matters shall fall upon the by, perhaps of imperii; to have such worms of aldermen, to no less worth than that, which is the proper sublend for ten in the hundred upon good assurance, ject of the consultation; or where I find things and with such **, as if it should save the bark passed over too slightly, or in cases where tha:, of your fortune; to contract still where might be which I should advise, is of that nature, as I had the readiest payment, and not the best bar- hold it not fit to be communicated to all those gin; to stir a number of projects for your profit, with whom I am joined; these parts of business and then to blast them, and leave your majesty I put to my private account; not because I would nothing but the scandal of them; to pretend an be officious, (though I profess I would do works even carriage between your majesty's rights and of supererogation if I could,) but in a true discrethe ease of the people, and to satisfy neither. tion and caution. And your majesty had some These courses, and others the like, I hope, are taste in those notes which I gave you for the gone with the deviser of them, which have turned wards, (which it pleased you to say, were no your majesty to inestimable prejudice.*
tricks nor novelties, but true passages of busiI hope your majesty will pardon my liberty of ness,) that mine own particular remembrances writing. I know these things are majora quam and observations are not like to be unprofitable. pro furtunâ: but they are minora quam pro studio Concerning which notes for the wards, though ) et voluntate. I assure myself, your majesty might say, sic vos non robis, yet let that pass. taketh not me for one of a busy nature; for my
I have also considered fully, of that great prostate being free from all difficulties, and I having position which your majesty commended to my such a large field for contemplations, as I have care and study, touching the conversion of your partly, and shall much more make manifest to revenue of land into a multiplied present revenue your majesty and the world, to occupy my of rent: wherein, I say, I have considered of the thoughts, nothing could niake me active but love means and course to be taken of the assurance, and affection. So, praying my God to bless and of the rates, of the exceptions, and of the argufavour your person and estate, &c.
ments for and against it. For, though the project itself be as old as I can remember, and falleth under every man's capacity, yet the dispute and manage of it, asketh a great deal of consideration and judgment; projects being, like Æsop's tongues, the best meat and the worst, as they are
chosen and handled. But surely, ubi deficiunt IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
remedia ordinaria, recurrendum est ad extraordiI have, with all possible diligence, since your naria. of this also I am ready to give your majesty's progress, attended the service commit- majesty an account.
Generally, upon this subject of the repair of * It will be but justice in the memory of the Earl of Salis- your majesty's means, I beseech your majesty to bury, to remark, that this disadvantageous character of him, give me leave to make this judgment, that your by Sir Francis Bacon, seems to have been heightened by the prejudices of the latter against that able minister, majesty's recovery must be by the medicines of grounded upon some suspicions, that the earl had not served the Galenists and Arabians, and not of the chyhim with so much zeal as he might have expected from so mists or Paracelsians. For it will not be wrought hear a relation, either in Queen Elizabeth's reign, or of that of her successor. Nor is it any just imputation on his lord by any one fine extract, or strong water, but by a ship, that he began to decline in King James the First's good skilful company of a number of ingredients, and opinion, when his majesty's ill economy occasioned de. mands on the lord treasurer, which all his skill, in the busi- those by just weight and proportion, and that of ness of the finances, could not answer, but which drew some simples, which perhaps of themselves, or from him advices and remonstrances still extant, which that in over-great quantity, were little better than king not being very ready to profit by, conceived some reBentment against his old servant and even retained it against
poisons, but, mixed and broken, and in just quantity, are full of virtue. And, secondly thar as
TO THE KING.