Imágenes de páginas

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 unadmonished 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 significonsent, 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 execution 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 thereof; 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 et 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. seems to relate to the examination of some prisoner; perhaps At your honourable command particularly, Edward Squire, executed in November, 1598, for poisoning

FR. BACON. 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, where every man's 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 20th 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 arraignment

, he came not himself, but sent his forerunner, malicious, or extreme partial; I am bold now to one squire, that 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 Jesnit, to poison the queen and the Earl of Essex; and ac- of my wrongs, with the truth of that which passcordingly came prepared into England, and went with the earl 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


In another

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 he had either changed his purpose, or betrayed it,

Fr. BACON. gave Stanley instructions to accuse him ; thereby to get him Gray's Inn, this more credit, and to be revenged of Squire for breaking pro

24th of April, 1601. inise. The fellow confessed the whole practice, and, as it seemed, died very penitent."

From the Hatfield Collection


How my sales go forward, your lordship shall, IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,

in a few days, hear; meanwhile, if you will not They say late thanks are ever best: but the be pleased to take farther day with this lewd felreason 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;

3d 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 MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP, It is fit likewise, though much against my mind, be ready before your day, principal, interest, and

In answer of your last letter, your money shall that I let your lordship know, that I shall not be

costs of suit. So the sheriff promised when I able to pay the money within the time by your within the time by your released errors; and a Jew takes no more.

The lordship undertaken, which was a fortnight.

rest cannot be forgotten; for I cannot forget your Nay, money I find so hard to come by at this 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, to 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

the impediment will be rather in my mind than For my estate, (because your honour hath care

in the matter or times. But, to do you service, I of it,) it is thus: I shall be able with selling the 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, not: I mean, that I might not be merely gregathree hundred pounds land per annum, with a fair

rious in a troop. The coronation is at hand. It house, and the ground well timbered. This is

may please your lordship to let me hear from you now my labour. For my purpose or course, I desire to meddle speedily. So I continue

Your lordship’s ever much bounden, as little as I can in the king's causes, his majesty

FR. BACON. now abounding in council; and to follow my From Gorhambury, this 16th of July, 1603. private thrift 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 mistress's time, the AFTER MY LORD TREASURER'ST DECEASE.I 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 those points agreed with my nature and judgment. majora quam pro fortuna, it may please your maMy 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 right 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,g 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 as, 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


* He was knighted at Whitehall, July 23, 1603. of Gorhambury.

† Robert, Earl of Salisbury, who died 24th of May, 1612. $ 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 Barnham, Esq., Greek characters.

These words of Themistocles are cited likewise by Lord twenty years. Life of Lord Bacon by Dr. William Rawley. Bacon at the end of his book De Augmentis Scientiarum,

* From the Hatfield Collection.

alderman of London.

She survived her husband above



If your

TO THE KING, IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE LORD majesty, this most humble oblation of myself; I

may truly say with the psalm, Multum incola 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. 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 favour, 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 majesty 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. I to say I did continually burn, (and yet she suf- remember Moses saith of the land of promise, that fered 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


fortunes have been settled and raised. showers from heaven; whereby I gather, God And so, craving pardon, I rest

preferreth, sometimes uncertainties before cerYour majesty's most humble

tainties, because they teach a more immediate servant devote, F. B. dependence upon his providence. Sure I am, 31 May, 1612.

nii 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 service, I crave leave to make, at this time, to your

* The beginning of this letter is wanting



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 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 I 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 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 gain; 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 fortunâ : but they are minora quam pro studio Concerning which notes for the wards, though I 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 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 make 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 to the memory of the Earl of Salis- your majesty's means, I beseech your majesty to bury, lo 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

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 business of the finances, could not answer, but which drew some simples, which perhaps of themselves, from him advices and remonstrances still extant, which that in over-great quantity, were little better than sentment against his old servant and even retained it against poisons, but

, mixed and broken, and in just quanhis memory

tity, are full of virtue. And, secondly, that as


of her successor.



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,


According to your highness's pleasure, signified by my Lord Chamberlain,* I have considered of the petition of certain baronets, f made unto 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, 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.s 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 kingspeech 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 to 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, hereditary, and that, in all examples, the daughters

* Sir Thomas Fleming, who died about August, 1613. * Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk.

+ Sir Henry Hobart, who was made Lord Chief Justice of # 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 22d 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 attorneypurpose. See Selden's Titles of Honour, Part II., Ch. V., p. general, Oct. 27, 1613. 821. Ch. XI., p. 910, and 906. 2d Edit. fol. 1613.

To Sir Julius Cæsar.

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