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conversion of your revenue of land into a multiplied present revenue of rent; wherein I say, I have considered of the means and course to be taken, of the assurance, of the rates, of the exceptions, and of the arguments 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 remedia ordinaria, recurrendum est ad extraordinaria. Of this also I am ready to give your Majesty an account.
Generally upon this subject of the repair of your Majesty's means, I beseech your Majesty to give me leave to make this judgment; that your Majesty's recovery must be by the medicines of the Galenists and Arabians, and not of the Chemists or Paracelsians. For it will not be wrought by any one fine extract or strong water, but by a skilful compound of a number of ingredients, and those by just weight and proportion, and that of some simples which perhaps of themselves or in over-great quantity were little better than poisons, but mixed and broken and in just quantity are full of virtue. And secondly, that as your Majesty's growing behind-hand hath been the work of time; so must likewise be your Majesty's coming forth and making
Not but I wish it were by all good and fit means accelerated, but that I foresee that if your Majesty shall propound to yourself to do it per saltum, it can hardly be without accidents of prejudice to your honour, safety, or profit.?
Lastly, I will make two prayers unto your Majesty, as I use to do to God Almighty when I commend to him his own glory and cause; so I will pray to your Majesty for yourself.
The one is, that these cogitations of want do not any ways trouble or vex your M's mind. I remember Moses saith of the land of promise, That it was not like the land of Egypt that was watered with a river, but was watered with showers from heaven; whereby I gather, God preferreth sometimes uncertainties before certainties, because they teach a more immediate dependence
· Here the fair copy, which has begun to grow less fair in the course of the last few lines, ends in mid-page without any mark of ending. The draft, of which the beginning will be found in the same volume, fo. 232, and the end at fo. 8, goes on as in the text. I presume that Bacon made a fresh copy of the whole and sent it to the King.
upon his providence. Sure I am, nil novi accidit vobis. Jt 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 of Essex, and an Earl of Salisbury all in debt; and yet was it no manner of diminution to their power or greatness.
My second prayer is, that your Majesty in respect of the hasty freeing of your state would not descend to any means, or degree of means, which carrieth not a symmetry with your majesty and greatness. He is gone from whom those courses did wholly flow. To have your wants and necessities in particular as it were hanged up in two tablets before the eyes of your lords and commons, to be talked of for four months together; To have all your courses to help yourself in revenue or profit put into printed books, which were wont to be held arcana imperii : To have such worms of aldermen to lend for ten in the hundred upon good assurance, and with such * *, as if it should save the bark of your fortune: To contract still where mought he had the readiest payment, and not the best bargain : To stir a number of projects for your profit, and then to blast them, and leave your Majesty nothing but the scandal of them : To pretend even carriage between your Majesty's rights and the ease of the people, and to satisfy neither : These courses and others the like I hope are gone with the deviser of them ; which have turned your Majesty to inestimable prejudice.”
I hope your Majesty will pardon my liberty of writing. I i I could not make out this word. 'Entreaty'?
The passage which followed here is struck through with Bacon's pen. Birch had printed it, but at the request of Lord Hardwick cancelled the leaf, and filled up the space with a note of his own, containing a kind of protest against the foregoing censure of Salisbury. Whatever reason there may have been for suppressing the passage at that time--and I do not myself see any (for it does but tell us of something which Bacon felt, but thought it better to leave unsaid)—there can be no doubt now, since the publication of Lord Hardwick's letter to Birch [Life of L. Ch. Hardwick, vol. in. p. 437], the terms of which would lead any one to suppose that the cancelled leaf contained something very discreditable to Bacon, that it ought to be published. The words are—“I protest to God, though I be not superstitious, when I saw your M's book against Vorstius and Arminius, and noted your zeal to deliver the majesty of God from the vain and indign comprehensions of Heresy and degenerate philosophy, as you had by your pen formerly endeavoured to deliver Kings from the usurpation of Rome, perculsit illico animum that God would set shortly upon you some visible favour, and let me not live if I thought not of the taking away of that man.”
Bacon's judgment of Salisbury's financial policy may have been wrong ; but there can be no reason now why we should not know what it was ; and we could not have better evidence of what he really felt than the setting down and then striking out of a passage like this.
know these things are majora quàm pro fortuna : but they are minora quàm pro studio et voluntate. I assure myself, your Majesty taketh not me for one of a busy nature; for my state being free from all difficulties, and I having such a large field for contemplations, as I have partly and shall much more make manifest to your Majesty and the world, to occupy my thoughts, nothing could make me active but love and affection. So praying my God to bless and favour your person and estate, &c.
3. Of the "joint account” alluded to in the first paragraph of the last letter as about to be given by the sub-commissioners to the Lords of the Council, there is a manuscript copy in the Cotton col. lection. And though conclusions in which several have to agree cannot be assumed to represent the personal judgment of every one, it seems probable that in this case Bacon had enough to do with the report to entitle it to a place among his writings of this nature. We have seen that it was not in this direction that he himself expected to find an effectual remedy; the remedy in his opinion must come from Parliament. But as it had been decided to try this course first, it was not the less important that it should be tried out; and the very expectation that it would fail would be a motive with him for exhausting its possibilities of success, and depriving its advocates of all plausible ground for wasting more time in the attempt.
There are no signatures to this copy of the report, nor are the names of the sub-commissioners mentioned. But I find it stated in a letter of Chamberlain's, dated 11 August 1612, that there was a commission out till the end of the month “ to Sir Thomas Parry, Sir Julius Cæsar, Baron Sotherton, Mr. Attorney, Sir Francis Bacon, Sir George Carey, Sir Walter Cope, and two or three more, to devise projects and means for money.” If these were the sub-commissioners, it is the more likely that Bacon bad a principal hand in guiding their deliberations and framing the report.
ACCOUNT OF THE COMMITTEES FOR
OF THE King's ESTATE AND RAISING OF MONIES.3 It may please your Lps: we do find the heads of service re
'Docketed in Bacon's hand, “Letter in general touching his M. estate and want:" no date. But on the other side of the leaf, not in the usual docketing place, some later pen has written, “ Copy of a Ire to the Kinge 6 Aug. 1612:” a mistake which accounts for the disarrangement of the sheets, and the printing of the last sheet of the draft as a fragment of another and an earlier letter.
2 C. and T. of Jas. I., i. 194. 3 Cott. MSS. Cleop. F. VI. f. 82.
ferred unto us by your Lps concerning the raising of benefit to his Maty's estate by way of improvement or addition, to fall upon 4 natures.
1. Disinherison of the King by Concealments and detainers
of his right.
4. New projects. And having sorted the particulars according to this distribution, thereby to make our certificate both the shorter and the clearer, we shall now give your Lps account of our labours upon every particular head; wherein agreeably to that which we conceive to be your Lps end (which is as well the giving of some light what his M. may expect for the time to come, as the putting of things in some way to be ordered for better profit than they have been for the time past), we have thought good to observe this order; first, to set down an estimate where it could be probably made, together with the grounds of the said estimate; and then to set down our advice, with the reasons of the same, where we thought it needful ; whereby we hope we have brought things a degree nearer to receive from your Lps wisdoms both a better judgment upon the estimates and a more perfect order upon the thing ad. vised; And if your Lps do find (as needs you must) our information in some parts unperfect, your Lps will be honorably pleased to take knowledge, that in many things there was requisite both long search of accounts and otherwise, and sometimes the presence of some persons
that could best inform, so that were our care never so great, it could not overcome things to perfect them at this present time, but yet we conceive it may serve for an effectual preparation to your Lps further directions.
[I] Touching Concealments and the Disinherison which his Ma'y receives thereby, the first head is
The present profit being about 15001. per annum we esteem an increase may be made of 15001. per annum more for 7 years after 6 months.
Ground of this Estimate. The undertaking of Mr. Nicolson who hath been the man employed in this service.
Secondly, the proportion between that part of the service who he hath gone through with and that which remaineth ; for the number of forests and chaces of this realm being about 80 he hath compounded for 15 only; though it is true some of those are of the greatest of the kingdom.
Advice, Finding by experience that the service hath heretofore been performed by Mr. Nicolson with reasonable benefit, and without clamour; we advise for the present no other new course; but that his service, which hath for a time been suspended, may now proceed with effect. And although by the great proportion of the forests which yet remain in respect of those already dealt in, it is probable a greater sum might be made for those 7 years ; yet we dare not advise the employing of new men, or more men, in a business of this nature, as the time doth stand.
The second head is
Estimate. The present profit hath risen to about 10001. per annum, an increase is conceived may be made of 30001. yearly more for 5 years.
Grounds of this Estimate. The undertaking of Mr. Tipper, with this further probability, that whereas the service in former times, as well by his M. proclamation as otherwise, hath received divers interruptions, now, way being given to certain reasonable demands for the furtherance of the service, some increase is like to follow; but of this we have no further warrant.
Advice. There are certain articles tending to the furtherance of the service allowed by the Commissioners, and ready to be showed their Lps, the observance of which articles is all we shall advise in this point.