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TO ROBERT, LORD CECIL.
How my sales go forward, your lordship shal). IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD 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 ere this; howsoever, I shall never forget this take any part of the penalty, but principal, inteyour 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 such an honourable and kind friend.
most bounden, For that matter, I think I shall desire your
Fr. Bacon. assistance for the punishment of the contempt;
30 July, 1603. not that I would use the privilege in future time, but because I would not have the dignity of the
TO ROBERT, LORD CECIL. king's service prejudiced in my instance. But, herein I will be ruled by your lordship.
IT MAP PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP, It is fit likewise, though much against my mind,
In answer of your last letter, your money shall that I let your lordship know, that I shall not be be ready before your day, principal, interest, and 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 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 time, as I thought to have become an humble lordship's dum memor ipse mei: and if there have sultor to your honour to have sustained me with been aliquid nimis, it shall be amended. And, to your credit for the present from urgent debts,
be plain with your lordship, that will quicken me
now which slackened me before. Then I thought with taking up three hundred pounds till I can 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 : I 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 ine, 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 From Gorhainbury, this 16th of July, 1603.
FR. Bacox. private thrist and practice, and to marry with some convenient advancement. For, as for any ambition, 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. I muorum 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, † a handsome maiden to my liking. So them;" I must answer, that place, or not place, is a3, if 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
jesty . From the IIatfield Collection.
* He was knighted at Whitehall, July 23, 1003. + Gorhambury.
+ Robert, Earl of Salisbury, who died 24th of May, 1612. I Probably the lady whom he afterwards married, Alice, The draught of this imperfect letter is written chiefly ir one of the daughters and co-heirs of Benedict Burnham, Esq., Greek characters. alderman of London.
8 These words of Themistocles are cited likewise by Lord twenty years. Life of Lord Bacon by Dr. William Rawley. Nacon at the end of his book De Augmentis Scientánrur..
She survived her husband above
TO THE KING, IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE LORD majesty, this most humble oblation of inyself; I TRCASURER'S DEATH.
may truly say with the psalm, Multum inco:a 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
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. 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 hath 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. 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 elocution, 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. 1 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; whereby I gather, God And so, craving pardon, I rest
preferreth, sometimes uncertainties before cer. Your 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 the greatest kings to be in debt: and, if a man shall parvis componere magna, I have seen an
Earl of Leicester, a Chancellor Hatton, an Earl Ir MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT Majesty,
of Essex, and an Earl of Salisbury, in debt; and My principal end being to do your majesty sercice, I crave leave to make, at this time, to your
* The beginning of this letter is wanting
TO THE KING..
TO THE KING.
yel 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 symmetry 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 chose courses did wholly flow. So have your your majesty somewhat ex pro prio. For as no wants and necessities in particular, as it were, man loveth better consulere 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, wlich 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 that, 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 furlund: 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 vobis, 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 parily, 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, thing could make me active but love means and course to be taken of the assurance, and allection. 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 to 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 near 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 those by just weight and proportion, and that of mands on the lord treasurer, which all his skill, in the busifinances, con
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 re: poisons, but, mixed and broken, and in just quan. centment against his old servant and even retained it against | tity, are full of virtue. And, secondly tha! as his memory.
TO THE KING.
not answer, but which drew
TO THE KING,
your majesty's growing behindhand, hath been in general have place next the e.dest brothers' work of time, so must likewise be your majesty's wives, I hold convenient. coming forth and making even. Not but I wish Lastly, Whereas it is desired, that the apparent it were by all good and fit means accelerated, but heirs males of the bodies of the baronets may be that I foresee, that if your majesty shall propound knighted during the life of their fathers; for that to yourself to do it per saltum, it can hardly be I have received from the lord chamberlain a without accidents of prejudice to your honour, signification, that your majesty did so understand safety, or profit.
it, I humbly subscribe thereunto with this, that
the baronets' eldest sons being knights, do not Endorsed, My letter to the king, touching his estate in gene- fathers live.
take place of ancient knights, so long as their ral, September 18, 1612.
All which, nevertheless, I humbly submit to your majesty's judgment. Your majesty's most humble and most bounden servant,
Fr. Bacon. MAY IT PLEASE your MAJESTY,
According to your highness's pleasure, signified by my Lord Chamberlain, * I have considered of the petition of certain baronets,f made unto
TO THE KING. your majesty for confirmation and extent, or IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, explanation of certain points mentioned in their
Having understood of the death of the lord charter, and am of opinion, that first, whereas it chief justice,* I do ground, in all humbleness, an is desired, that the baronets be declared a middle assured hope, that your majesty will not think of degree, between baron and knight, I hold this to any other but your poor servants, your attorneyt be reasonable as to their placing.
and your solicitor,f one of them for that place. Secondly, Where it is desired, that unto the Else we shall be like Noah's dove, not knowing words degree or dignity of baron, the word honour where to rest our feet. For the places of rest, might be added ; I know very well, that in the after the extreme painful places wherein we serve, preface of the baronets' patent it is mentioned, have used to be either the lord chancellor's place, that all honours are derived from the king. I find or the mastership of the rolls, or the places of also, that in the patent of the baronets, which are the chief justices; whereof, for the first, I could marshalled under the barons, (except it be certain be almost loath to live to see this worthy counselprincipals,) the word honour is granted. I find lor fail. The mastership of the rolls is blocked also, that the word dignity is many times in law with a reversion. My Lord Coke is like to outa superior word to the word honour, as being live us both: so as, if this turn fail, I, for my applied to the king himself, all capital indict- part, know not whither to look. I have served ments concluding contra coronam et dignitatem your majesty above a prenticehood, full seven nostram. It is evident also, that the word honour years and more, as your solicitor, which is, I and honourable are used in these times in common think, one of the painfullest places in your king. speech very promiscuously. Nevertheless, be- dom, specially as my employments have been: cause the style of honour belongs chiefly to peers and God hath brought mine own years to fiftyand counsellors, I am doubtful what opinion 10 two, which, I think, is older than ever any solicigive therein.
tor continued unpreferred. My suit is principally Thirdly, Whereas it is believed, that if there that you would remove Mr. Attorney to the place. be any question of precedence touching baronets, If he refuse, then I hope your majesty will seek it may be ordered, that the same be decided by no farther than myself, that I may at last, out the commissioners marshal; I do not see but it of your majesty's grace and favour, step forwards may be granted them for avoiding disturbances.
to a place either of more comfort or more ease. Fourthly, For the precedence of baronets I find Besides, how necessary it is for your majesty to no alteration or difficulty, except it be in this, strengthen your service amongst the judges by a that the daughters of baronets are desired to be chief justice which is sure to your prerogative, declared to have precedence before the wives of
your majesty knoweth. Therefore, I cease farther knights’ eldest sons; which, because it is a degree to trouble your majesty, humbly craving pardon, hiereditary, and that, in all examples, the daughters
* Sir Thomas Fleming, who died about August, 1613. Thomas Howard, Earl of Buffolk.
+ Sir Henry Hobart, who was made Lord Chief Justice nt + The order of baronets was created by patent of King the Common Pleas, November 26, 1613, in the room of Sir James I., dated the 220 of May, 1611. The year following, a Edward Coke, removed to the post of Lord Chief Justice of decree was made relating to their place and precedence; the King's Bench, October 25, and four years after, viz., in 1616, another decree to the same Sir Francis Bacon himself, who was appointed attorney. purpose. See Selden's Titles of Honour, Part II., Ch. V., p. general, Oct. 27, 1613. 821. Ch. XI., p. 910, and 906. 20 Edit. fol. 1613.
To Sir Julius Cæsır.
and relying wholly upon your goodness and me with wonderful tokens of kindness. We hou, remembrance, and resting, in all true humbleness, wept, which I do not often. Your majesty's most devoted, and
Endorsed, faithful subject and servant, A letter to Sir George Villiers, touching a message
brought to him by Mr. Shute, of a promise of the chancellor's place.
TO MR. MURRAY. Good MR. MURRAY,
According to his inajesty's pleasure by you MR. TOBIE MATTIEW* to sir FRANCIS BACON, signified to me, we have attended my lord chancellor, t my lord treasurer,f and Mr. Chancel
MAY IT PLEASE you, Sir, lor of the Exchequer,ġ concerning Sir Gilbert
The notice I have from my Lord Roos, Sir Houghton's patent stayed at the seal; and we have acquainted them with the grounds and state
Henry Goodere, and other friends, of the extreme of the suit, to justify them that it was just and obligation wherein I continue towards you, tobeneficial to his majesty. And for any thing we
gether with the conscience I have of the knowcould perceive by any objection or reply they and daily pray that you may rise to that height
ledge how dearly and truly I honour and love you, inade, we left them in good opinion of the same, which the state wherein you live can give you, with this, that because my lord chancellor (by the hath taken away the wings of fear, whereby I advice, as it seemeth, of the other two) had acquainted the council-table, for so many as were
was almost carried away from daring to importune then present, with that suit amongst others, they always been, and are still, towards me; or rather
you in this kind. But I know how good you have thought fit to stay till his majesty's coming to because I am not able to comprehend how much town, being at hand, to understand his farther
it is; I will presume there is enough for any use, pleasure. We purpose, upon his majesty's coming, to attend his majesty, to give him a more
whereupon an honest humble servant may em
ploy it. particular account of this business, and some other. Meanwhile, finding his majesty to have
It imports the business of my poor estate, tha care of the matter, we thought it our duty to have divers friends in that court, who will further
I be restored to my country for some time; and I return this answer to you in discharge of his
my desire thereof, and particularly Mr. Secretary majesty's direction. We remain Your assured friends,
Lake and my Lord Roos, whom I have desired to Fr. Bacon,
confer with you about it. But nothing can be Henry Yelverton.
done therein, unless my Lord of Canterbury July 6, 1615.
may be made propitious, or at least not averse; nor do I know in the world how to charm him but
by the music of your tongue. I beseech you, sir, TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS.
lose some minutes upon me, which I shall be
glad to pay by whole years of service; and call SIR,—The message which I received from you by Mr. Shute hath bred in me such belief and to mind, if it please you, the last speech you made
me, that if I should continue as I then was, and confidence as I will now wholly rely upon your neither prove ill-affected to the state, nor become excellent and happy self. When persons of
otherwise than a mere secular man in my religion, greatness and quality begin speech with me of the matter, and offer me their good offices, I can On my part the conditions are performed ; and it
you would be pleased to negotiate for my return. but answer them civilly. But those things are but toys: I am yours surer to you than to mine remains, that you do the like : nor can I doubt
but that the nobleness of your nature, which loves own life; for, as they speak of the turquois stone in a ring, I will break into twenty pieces before nothing in the world so well as to be doing of you have the least fall. God keep you ever.
good, can descend from being the attorney-general Your truest servant, Fr. Bacon.
* Son of Dr. Tobie Matthew, Archbishop of York. He was
born at Oxford in 1578, while his father was Dean of Christ February 15, 1615.
Church, and educated there. During his travels abroad, he
was seduced to the Romish religion by Father Parsons. This My lord chancellor is prettily amended. I was cccasioned his living out of his own country from the year with him yesterday almost half an hour. He used 1607 to 1617, when he had leave to return to England. Ho
was again ordered to leave it in October, 1618; but, in 1622,
was recalled to assist in the match with Spain; and, on ac* Harl. MSS, vol. 6956.
count of his endeavours to promote it, was knighted by King Ellesmere.
James I. at Royston, on tlie 10th of October, 1623. He trans. Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk.
lated into Italian Sir Francis Bacon's Essays, and died at Sir Fulk Grevile, advanced to that post October 1, 1614, Ghent in Flanders, October 13, 1055, N. S. in the room of Sir Julius Cæsar, made Master of the Rolls. Dr. George Albot. VOL. III.-13