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seek more truth out of Christian pens, than hitherto they have done out of heathen. I say with hope; because I hear my former book of the Advancement of Learning, is well tasted in the universities here, and the English colleges abroad: and this is the same argument sunk deeper.
ed And so I ever humbly rest in prayers, and all other duties,Congr
Four Majesty's most bounden
and devoted servant,
VD TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR(@). Ba
My honourable Lord,
THERE is a business in your lordship's hands, with which Sir Robert Lloyd did acquaint your lordship; whereof the prince hath demanded of me what account is given. And because I cannot inform his highness of any proceeding therein, I desire your lordship to use all expedition that may be, in making your answer to me, that I may give his highness some sadisfaction, who is very desirous thereof. And so I rest
DOW Your Lordship's faithful friend and servant,
Royston, 14th of October, 1630,
Touching the register of wills.t
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR (b).
My honourable Lord,
I DESIRE your lordship to continue your favour to Sir Thomas Gerrard, in the business concerning him, wherein I signified his majesty's pleasure to your lord
ship. And one favour more I am to intreat of your lordship in his behalf, that you will be pleased to speak to one of the assistants of the chancellor of the duchy, in whose court he hath a cause depending, as he will more fully inform your lordship himself, to see that he may have a fair proceeding, according to justice for which I will ever rest
Your Lordship's faithful friend and servant, Royston, 15th of October, 1620.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
My very good Lord,
YOUR lordship desiring to understand what cometh of the business, after which the prince hearkeneth, I was in doubt which of the two businesses you meant; that of the Duchy or that of the Prerogative-Court for wills; for both are recommended from the prince. But be it one, or be it the other, no time hath been lost in either; for Mr. Secretary Naunton and I have entered into both. For the Duchy, we have already stayed all proceeding to the king's disservice for those manors, which are not already passed under seal. For that which is passed, we have heard the Attorney (a) with none or little satisfaction hitherto. The Chancellor (b) is not yet come, though sent for. For the other, we have heard Sir John Bennet (c), and given him leave to acquaint my lord of Canterbury; and have required the Solicitor (d) to come well prepared for the king. So that in neither we can certify yet; and to
(a) Sir Henry Yelverton.
(b) Sir Humphrey May, made chancellor of the duchy, March 9, 1617-8.
(c) Judge of the Prerogative-Court of Canterbury. In 1621 he was fined 20,000l. for bribery, corruption, and exaction in that office. He died in 1627.
(d) Sir Thomas Coventry.
trouble your lordship, while business is but in passage, were time lost. I ever rest
Your Lordship's most obliged friend
October 16, 1620.
and faithful servant,
FR. VERULAM, Canc.
TO THE KING, THANKING HIS MAJESTY FOR HIS GRACIOUS ACCEPTANCE OF HIS BOOK.
May it please your Majesty,
I CANNOT express, how much comfort I received by your last letter of your own royal hand (a). I see your majesty is a star, that hath benevolent aspect and gracious influence upon all things that tend to a general good.
Daphni, quid antiquos signorum suspicis ortus?
Astrum, quo segetes gauderent frugibus, et quo ca
This work, which is for the bettering of mens bread and wine, which are the characters of temporal blessings and sacraments of eternal, I hope, by God's holy providence, will be ripened by Cæsar's star.
Your majesty shall not only do to myself a singular favour, but to your business a material help, if you will be graciously pleased to open yourself to me in those things wherein you may be unsatisfied. For though this work, as by position and principle, doth disclaim to be tried by any thing but by experience, and the results of experience in a true way; yet the sharpness and profoundness of your majesty's judgment ought to be an exception to this general rule; and your questions, observations, and admonishments, may do infinite good.
(a) of the 16th of October, 1620, printed in Lord Bacon's works. (b) Virgil, Eclog. IX. vers. 46–50.
This comfortable beginning makes me hope farther, that your majesty will be aiding to me, in setting men on work for the collecting of a natural and experimental history; which is basis totius negotii, a thing which I assure myself will be, from time to time, an excellent recreation unto you; I say, to that admirable spirit of yours, that delighteth in light: and I hope well, that even in your times many noble inventions may be discovered for man's use. For who can tell, now this mine of truth is opened, how the veins go; and what lieth higher, and what lieth lower? But let me trouble your majesty no farther at this time. God ever preserve and prosper your majesty.
[October 19, 1620.]
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
My very good Lord,
I SEND now only to give his majesty thanks for the singular comfort which I received by his majesty's letter of his own hand, touching my book. And I must also give your lordship of my best thanks, for your letter so kindly and affectionately written.
I did even now receive your lordship's letter touching the proclamation, and do approve his majesty's judgment and foresight about mine own. Neither would I have thought of inserting matter of state for the vulgar, but that now-a-days there is no vulgar, but all statesmen. But, as his majesty doth excellently consider, the time of it is not yet proper. I
In answer to his majesty's directions touching the proclamation for a parliament.
Notes of a Speech of the LORD CHANCELLOR in the Star-Chamber, in the cause of Sir HENRY YELVERTON, Attorney-General (a).
SORRY for the person, being a gentleman that I lived with in Gray's-Inn; served with him when I was attorney; joined with him in many services, and one, that ever gave me more attributes in public, than I deserved; and, besides, a man of very good parts, which with me is friendship at first sight; much more, joined with so ancient an acquaintance.
But, as a judge, I hold the offence very great, and that without pressing measure; upon which I will only make a few observations, and so leave it.
1. First I observe the danger and consequence of the offence for if it be suffered, that the learned council shall practise the art of multiplication upon their warrants, the crown will be destroyed in small time. The great seal, the privy seal, signet, are solemn things; but they follow the king's hand. It is the bill drawn by the learned council and the doc-. quet, that leads the king's hand.
2. Next I note the nature of the defence. As first, that it was error in judgment; for this surely, if the offence were small though clear, or great, but doubtful, I should hardly sentence it. For it is hard to draw a straight line by steadiness of hand; but it could not be the swerving of the hand. And herein I note the wisdom of the law of England, which termeth the highest contempts and excesses of authority, misprisions; which, if you take the sound and derivation of the words, is but mistaken: but if you take the use and acceptation of the word, it is high and hainous contempts and usurpations of authority; whereof the
(a) He was prosecuted in the Star-Chamber, for having passed certain clauses in a charter, lately granted to the city of London, not agreeable to his majesty's warrant, and derogatory to his honour. But the chief reason of the severity against him was thought to be the marquis of Buckingham's resentment against him, for having opposed, according to the duty of his office, some oppressive, if not illegal, patents, which the projectors of those times were busy in preparing.