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mander might incur the like, but, in confidence of | my lord's part: I perceive old love will not easily her majesty's mercy, he agreed with the rest.
Of this day's proceedings a confused and imperfect account has been published by several historians,1 and an unfair view taken of the conduct of Bacon, who could not have any assignable motive for the course they have attributed to him. The queen was evidently determined to protect her favourite. The Cecils had abated their animosity. The people were anxious for his reinstatement. Anthony Bacon was at this time living under the protection of Essex, and the brothers were in constant and affectionate in
The sentence had scarcely been pronounced, (6th June, 1600,) when Bacon's anxiety for his friend again manifested itself. On the very next day he attended the queen, fully resolved to exert his utmost endeavours to restore Essex again to favour. The account of his interview with the queen, from which his friendship and the queen's affection for Essex may be seen, is thus stated by Bacon: "As soon as this day was past, I lost no time; but the very next day following, as I remember, I attended her majesty, fully resolved to try and put in use my utmost endeavour, so far as I in my weakness could give furtherance, to bring my lord again speedily into court and favour; and knowing, as I supposed at least, how the queen was to be used, I thought that to make her conceive that the matter went well then, was the way to make her leave off there; and I remember well I said to her, 'You have now, madam, obtained victory over two things, two things, which the greatest princes in the world cannot at their wills subdue; the one is over fame; the other is over a great mind: for surely the world is now, I hope, reasonably well satisfied; and for my lord, he did shew that humiliation towards your majesty, at I am persuaded he was never in his lifetime more fit for your majesty's favour than he is now: therefore, if your majesty will not mar it by lingering, but give over at the best, and now you have made so good a full point, receive him again with tenderness, I shall then think that all that is past is for the best.' Whereat, I remember, she took exceeding great contentment, and did often iterate and put me in mind, that she had ever said, that her proceedings should be ad reparationem,' and not ad ruinam;' as who saith, that now was the time I should well perceive that that saying of her's should prove true. And farther she willed me to set down in writing all that passed that day."2
be forgotten." Availing himself of these favourable dispositions, Bacon ventured to say to the queen, "he hoped she meant that of herself;" and in the conclusion suggested that it might be expedient not to let this matter go forth to the public, since by her own command no record had been kept, and that it was not well to do that popularly which she had not suffered to be done judicially. The queen assented, and the narrative was suppressed.3
Amidst these exertions, known at that time. only to the queen, to Essex, and to his confidential friends, Bacon was exposed to great obloquy, and, at the time when he was thinking only how he could most and best serve his friend, he was threatened by the populace with personal violence, as one who had deserted and betrayed him. Unmoved by such clamour, upon which he had calculated, he went right onward in his course.
To Sir Robert Cecil, and to Lord Henry Howard, the confidential friend of Essex, and who had willingly shared his banishment from court, he indignantly complained of these slanders and threats. To Lord Howard he says:5" My Lord, There be very few besides yourself, to whom I would perform this respect. For I contemn mendacia famæ, as it walks among inferiors, though I neglect it not, as it may have entrance into some
3 Bacon's account is as follows:-I obeyed her commandment, and within some few days after brought her again the narration, which I did read unto her in two several after noons; and when I came to that part that set forth my lord's own answer, which was my principal care, I do well bear in mind that she was extraordinarily moved with it, in kindness and relenting towards my lord: and told me afterwards, speak
ing how well I had expressed my lord's part, that she perceiv ed old love would not easily be forgotten: whereunto I answerconclusion, I did advise her, that now she had taken a repreed suddenly, that I hoped she meant that by herself. But in sentation of the matter to herself, that she would let it go no farther: "For, madam," said I, "the fire blazeth well already, what should you tumble it? And besides, it may please you to keep a convenience with yourself in this case; for since your express direction was, there should be no register nor clerk to take this sentence, nor no record or memorial made up of the proceeding, why should you now do that popularly, which you would not admit to be done judicially ?" whereupon she did agree that that writing should be suppressed; and I think there were not five persons that ever saw it. Apology.
4 His Apology to the Earl of Devonshire contains various observations to this effect:-I was not so unseen in the world, but I knew the condition was subject to envy and peril, &c., but I resolved to endure it, in expectation of better. According to the ordinary charities of court, it was given out, that I was one of them that incensed the queen against my lord of Essex; and I must give this testimony to my lord Cecil, that one time in his house at the Savoy, he dealt with me directly, and said to me, "Cousin, I hear it, but I believe it not, that you should do some ill office to my lord of Essex; for my part, I am merely passive, and not active in this action; and I follow the queen, and that heavily, and I lead her not; my lord of Essex is one that in nature I could con
In a few days Bacon waited upon the queen with the narrative, who, upon hearing him read Essex's answer, which was his principal care, " was exceedingly moved in kindness and relent-sent with as well as with any one living; the queen indeed ing," and said, “How well you have expressed
See particularly Hume.
2 See Bacon's Apology,
is my sovereign, and I am her creature, I may not lose her, and the same course I would wish you to take." Whereupon I satisfied him how far I was from any such mind.
For your lordship's love, rooted upon good opinion, I esteem it highly, because I have tasted of the fruits of it; and we both have tasted of the best waters, in my account, to knit minds together. There is shaped a tale in London's forge, that beateth apace at this time, that I should deliver opinion to the queen, in my lord of Essex's cause. First, that it was premunire, and now last, that it was high treason; and this opinion, to be in opposition and encounter of the lord chief justice's opinion, and the attorney general's. My lord, I thank God, my wit serveth me not to deliver any opinion to the queen, which my stomach serveth me not to maintain; one and the same conscience of duty guiding me and fortifying me. But the untruth of this fable, God and my sovereign can witness, and there I leave it; knowing no more remedy against lies than others do against libels. The root, no question of it, is, partly some light-headed envy at my accesses to her majesty; which being begun, and continued since my childhood, as long as her majesty shall think me worthy of them, I scorn those that shall think the contrary. And another reason is, the aspersion of this tale and the envy thereof, upon some greater man, in regard of my nearness. And therefore, my lord, I pray you answer for me to any person that you think worthy your own reply and my defence. For my lord of Essex, I am not servile to him, having regard to my superior's duty. I have been much bound unto him; and, on the other side, I have spent more time and more thoughts about his well-doing than ever I did about mine own. I pray God you his friends amongst you be in the right. Nulla remedia, tam facient dolorem, quam quæ sunt salutaria. For my part, I have deserved better than to have my name objected to envy, or my life to a ruffian's violence. But I have the privy coat of a good conscience.] I am sure these courses and bruits hurt my lord more than all. So having written to your lordship, I desire exceedingly to be preferred in your good opinion and love. And so leave you to God's goodness."
portionable to an infinite desire; his study, in
The partisans of Essex again interfered, to raise the flames which Bacon had so judiciously suppressed, and again were the queen's ministers compelled to check their imprudence.
On the 12th of June, 1600, the lord keeper, in his usual speech in the Star Chamber to the country gentlemen, mentioned the late proceeding against the Earl of Essex, who, he observed, had acknowledged his errors, and expressed his scrrow for them; but that some wicked persons had intermeddled by libelling what her majesty had done in that point, which occasioned a proclamation to be published against such seditious practices.1
Notwithstanding this ill-advised conduct, the queen was desirous to remove from Essex the re
The answer of Lord Howard to this letter, the best answer that could be made to the slanderers of whom Bacon complains, is as follows: "I might be thought unworthy of that good conceit you hold of me, good Mr. Bacon, if I did not sympathize with so sensitive a mind in this smart of wrongful imputation of unthankfulness. You were the first that gave me notice, I protest, at Rich-straint of a keeper, when her indignation was mond of the rumour, though within two days after again excited by a rumour, that Essex had been I heard more than I would of it: but as you suffer duly authorized by her to create knights, though more than you deserve, so I cannot believe what his having conferred that honour had been made the greedy malice of the world hath laid upon a charge against him before the commissioners. you. The travels of that worthy gentleman in In the first moment of her displeasure she deteryour behalf, when you stood for a place of credit; mined to rescind the honours he had bestowed the delight which he hath ever taken in your com- Bacon advised her against this step, and recompany; his grief that he could not seal up assu-mended that a letter written by her own hand to rance of his love by fruits, effects, and offices pro
1 Sydney Papers, vol. ii. 201,
Essex, when in Ireland, should be made public, | it was ebbing-water, now exerted all his
reconcile her to her favourite, whom, in his many power accesses to the queen, he availed himself of every opportunity to serve; and, although he could not, without exciting her displeasure, directly communicate with him, he, by the intervention of a friend, regularly acquainted him with the progress he made in abating the queen's anger; and, the moment he was restored to liberty, the
letter, and through the whole summer were regularly imparted to Essex.
In the same spirit, and with the same parental anxiety by which all Bacon's conduct had been influenced, he wrote two letters, one as from Anthony Bacon to Essex, the other from Essex, in answer, both to be shown by Bacon to the queen; and prepared a letter to be sent by Essex directly to her majesty, the scope of which
what the earl himself would have written. But there are
Upon this release, which his declining health rendered necessary, he solicited permission to re-assurances of his exertions were repeated by tire to the house of a relation near Reading; a permission which the queen, although she commanded him to dismiss two of his friends from his service, and although disturbed and displeased, seemed inclined to grant, as she listened to friendly communications made on his behalf, and received letters from him," in which, having, discovered the wisdom of his friend's advice, "that the queen could not be controlled by resistance," he was endeavouring to regain by obsequiousness the ascendancy which he had lost by his rude and headstrong violence; assuring the queen, "that he kissed her royal hand and the rod which had corrected him; that he could never recover his wonted joy till he beheld her comfort- was even at the mouth of the grave. No worldly means had able eyes, which had been his guiding stars, and power to stay me in this world but the comfort which I reby the conduct whereof he had sailed most hap-ceived from your majesty. When I was weak and full of pily whilst he held his course in a just latitude; infirmities, the increase of liberty which your majesty gave, that now he was determined to repent him of his offence, and to say with Nebuchodonosor, my dwelling is with the beast of the field, to eat grass as an ox, and to be wet with the dew of heaven, till it shall please the queen to restore my understanding to me.”3
This abasement gratified Elizabeth, who said, "though she did not expect that his deeds would accord with his words, yet, if this could be brought to pass with the furnace, she should be more favourable to the profession of alchymy." Bacon, who was too wise to cross Elizabeth in the spring-tide of her anger, without waiting till
1 Sydney Papers, p. 204. Her majesty is greatly troubled with the last number of knights made by the Earl of Essex in Ireland, and purposes, by public proclamation, to command them from the place due to their dignity; and that no ancient gentleman of the kingdom gave them any place. The
warrant was signed, as I heard; but by Mr. Secretary's very special care and credit, it is stayed till Sunday the lords meet in court. Mr. Bacon is thought to be the man that moves her majesty unto it, affirming, that by the law the earl had no authority to make them, being by her majesty's own letter, of her own hand written, commanded the contrary.
Her majesty had ordered the lord keeper to remove my lord of Essex's keeper from him; but a while after, being somewhat troubled with the remembrance of his making so many knights, made a stay of her former order, and sent unto the earl for her own letter, which she writ unto him to command him to make none. But with a very submissive | letter, he returned auswer that he had lost it or mislaid it, for he could not find it; which somewhat displeases her majesty. As yet his liberty stands upon these terms, &c., &c -23 June, 1600.
2 Sydney Papers, 205-7-8-12.
3 Camden, 169. Birch's Elizabeth, 461. One of the letters written by Mr. Francis Bacon for the earl, and printed among the works of the former, beginning with these words, it were great simplicity in me," &c., is much inferior to
two others, which appear to have come from his lordship's own hand, and have not yet been seen in print. The first is in these terms:
"Let me beg leave, most dear and most admired sovereign, to remember the story of your own gracious goodness, when
and the gracious message which your majesty sent me, made me recover in a few weeks that strength, which my physi cians in a long time durst not hope for. And now, lastly, when I should be forever disabled for your majesty's service,
and by consequence made unwilling to live, your majesty at my humble supplication granted, that that cup should pass from me. These are deeply engraven in my memory, and
they shall ever be acknowledged by my tongue and pen
to speak; but my humble (now exiled, though once too hap-
Your majesty's humblest vassal, ESSEX.
"Vouchsafe, dread sovereign, to know there lives a man, though dead to the world, and in himself exercised with continual torments of body and mind, that doth more true honour to your thrice blessed day, than all those that appear in your sight. For no soul had ever such an impression of your perfections, no alteration showed such an effect of your power, nor no heart ever felt such a joy of your triumph. For they that feel the comfortable influence of your majesty's favour, or stand in the bright beams of your presence, rejoice partly for your majesty's, but chiefly for their own happiness. Only miserable Essex, full of pain, full of sickness, full of sorrow, languishing in repentance for his offences past, hateful to himself, that he is yet alive, and importunate on death, if your favour be irrevocable; he joys only for your majesty's great happiness and happy greatness: and were the rest of his days never so many, and sure to be as happy as they are like to be miserable, he would lose them all to have this happy 17th day many and many' times renewed with glory to your majesty, and comfort of all your faithful subjects, of whom none is accursed but your majesty's humblest vassal, Essex,
were, says Bacon, "but to represent and picture | his fortunes: which my intention, I did also sigforth unto her majesty my lord's mind to be such, nify to my lord as soon as ever he was at his as I knew her majesty would fainest have had liberty, whereby I might without peril of the it: which letters whosoever shall see, for they queen's indignation write to him; and, having cannot now be retracted or altered, being by received from his lordship a courteous and loving reason of my brother's or his lordship's servants' acceptation of my good-will and endeavours, 1 delivery, long since come into divers hands, let did apply it in all my accesses to the queen, him judge, especially if he knew the queen, and which were very many at that time; and purdo remember those times, whether they were not posely sought and wrought upon other variable the labours of one that sought to bring the queen pretences, but only and chiefly for that purpose. about for my lord of Essex his good."1 And on the other side, I did not forbear to give To such expedients did his friendship for Essex my lord from time to time faithful advertisement induce him to submit: expedients, which, how- what I found, and what I wished. And I drew ever they may be sanctioned by the conduct of for him, by his appointment, some letters to her courtiers, stooping, as they suppose, to occasions, majesty; which, though I knew well his lordnot to persons, but ill accord with the admoni- ship's gift and style was better than mine own, tion of Bacon's philosophy, that "the honest and yet, because he required it, alleging, that by his just bounds of observation by one person upon | long restraint he was grown almost a stranger to another, extend no further but to understand him the queen's present conceits, I was ready to persufficiently, whereby not to give him offence; | form it; and sure I am, that for the space of six or whereby to be able to give him faithful counsel; or whereby to stand upon reasonable guard and caution with respect to a man's self: but to be speculative into another man, to the end to know how to work him, or wind him, or govern him, proceedeth from a heart that is double and cloven, and not entire and ingenuous." Such is Bacon's doctrine, but having, as it appears, in his youth, | two. As at one time, I call to mind, her majesty taken an unfortunate bias from the censures of Burleigh and Cecil, and from the frequent assertions of Elizabeth, that he was without knowledge of affairs; he affected, through the whole of his life, an overstrained refinement in trifles, and a political subtlety, which never failed to awaken the suspicions of his enemies, and was altogether unworthy of his great mind.
From these various efforts Bacon indulged the most flattering hopes of the restoration of his friend to the queen's favour, in which, if Essex had acted with common prudence, he would have succeeded; though the queen kept alive her displeasure by many passionate expressions, "that he had long tried her anger, and she must have further proof of his humility, and that her father would not have endured his perverseness;" but Bacon, who knew the depths and soundings of the queen's character, was not dismayed by these ebullitions; he saw, under the agitated surface, a constant under-current of kindness.
Bacon's account is as follows: "From this time forth, during the whole latter end of that summer, while the court was at Nonsuch and Oatlands, I made it my task and scope to take and give occasions for my lord's redintegration in 1 In another part of his Apology he says: "And I drew for him, by his appointment, some letters to her majesty; which though I knew well his lordship's gift and style was far better than mine own, yet, because he required it, alleging, that by his long restraint he was grown almost a stranger to the queen's present conceits, I was ready to perform it; and sure I am, that for the space of six weeks or two months it prospered so well, as I expected continually his restoring to his attendance."
weeks or two months, it prospered so well, as I expected continually his restoring to his attendance. And I was never better welcome to the queen, nor more made of, than when I spake fullest and boldest for him: in which kind the particulars were exceeding many; whereof, for an example, I will remember to your lordship one or
was speaking of a fellow that undertook to cure, or at least to ease my brother of his gout, and asked me how it went forward; and I told her majesty, that at the first he received good by it, but after in the course of his cure he found himself at a stay, or rather worse: the queen said again I will tell you, Bacon, the error of it: the manner of these physicians, and especially these empirics, is to continue one kind of medicine, which at the first is proper, being to draw out the ill humour; but after, they have not the discretion to change the medicine, but apply still drawing medicines, when they should rather intend to cure and corroborate the part.' Good Lord! madam,' said I, 'how wisely and aptly can you speak and discern of physic ministered to the body, and consider not that there is the like occasion of physic ministered to `the mind: as now in the case of my lord of Essex, your princely word ever was, that you intended ever to reform his mind, and not ruin his fortune: I know well you cannot but think that you have drawn the humour sufficiently; and therefore it were more than time, and it were but for doubt of mortifying or exulcerating, that you did apply and minister strength and comfort unto him: for these same gradations of yours are fitter to corrupt than correct any mind of greatness.””
In the latter end of August, 1600, Essex was summoned to attend at York House, where the lord keeper, the lord treasurer, and secretary signified the queen's pleasure that he should be restored to liberty. He answered that his resolu (D 2)
tion was to lead a retired life in the country, but | you service, is as to his perfection, that which he solicited them to intercede with her majesty that, thinks himself to be born for; whereas his desire before his departure, he might once come into the to obtain this thing of you is but for a sustentapresence of the queen, and kiss her hand, that tion." with some contentment, he might betake himself to his solitary life: hopes which, however, seemed not likely to be realized, as the queen's permission for him to retire into the country was accompanied with the declaration, that, although her majesty was contented that he should be under no guard but of duty and discretion. yet he must in no sort suppose that he was freed of her indignation, or presume to approach the court, or her person.'
Thus liberated, but not restored to the queen's favour, he walked forth alone, without any greetings from his summer friends.'
In the beginning of September, 1600, Essex retired to the country, with the pleasing hope that the queen's affection was returning, and that he would not only be received into favour, and restored to power, but that by the influence of this affection he might secure an object of the greatest importance, a renewal of his valuable patent for the monopoly of sweet wines, which, after having enriched him for years, was now expiring.
The result, however, was, that hurt by this letter, she indignantly and somewhat coarsely refused his suit, saying, "that an unruly beast ought to be stinted of his provender." After a month's suspense, it was notified to him that the patent was confided to trustees for the queen's use.
In the storm that now (October, 1600) gathered round Essex, the real state of his mind revealed itself. "When I expected," he said, "a harvest, a tempest has arisen to me; if I be wanting to myself, my friends, and my country, it is long of others, not of myself; let my adversaries triumph, I will not follow the triumphal chariot." He who had declared his willingness" to wander and eat grass with the beasts of the field, like Nebuchadnezzar, until the queen should restore his senses," now, that this abject prostration proved fruitless, loudly proclaimed that "he could not serve with base obsequiousness; that he was thrust down into private life, and wrongfully committed to custody, and this by an old woman no less crooked in mind than in body." These ebullitions. of peevish anger were duly repeated to the queen by those who hoped for his utter ruin. Elizabeth, shocked at the ingratitude of a man upon whom she had lavished so many favours; whose repeated faults she had forgiven till forgiveness became a folly, now turned away with extreme indignation from all whom she suspected of urging one word in his favour; and, remembering the constant exertions which had ever been made by Bacon on his behalf, began to think of him with distrust and jealousy. She would not so much as look at him; and whenever he desired to speak with her about law business, sent him out slighting refusals.
Essex considered this renewal as one of the most critical events of his life, an event that would determine whether he might hope ever to be reinstated in his former credit and authority; but Elizabeth, though capable of strong attachments, inherited the haughty and severe temper of her father; and, being continually surrounded by the enemies of Essex, was persuaded that his lofty spirit was not sufficiently subdued; and when, at length, she was more favourably disposed towards him, he destroyed all that her own lurking partiality and the kindness of his friends had prepared for hun by a letter, which, professing affection and seeking profit, was so deficient in good taste and in knowledge of the queen's temper, that she saw through all the expressions of his devotion and humility, a view only to his own interest. The queen told me, says Bacon, "that my lord had written her some very dutiful letters, and that she had been moved by them, but when she took it to be the abundance of his heart, she found it to be but a preparative to a suit for the renew-bering, belike, the continual, and incessant, and ing of his farm of sweet wines." To this com- confident speeches and courses that I had held on plaint Bacon made the following characteristic my lord's side, became utterly alienated from me; and ingenious reply: "O madam, how doth your and for the space of at least three months, which majesty construe these things, as if these two these two was between Michaelmas and New-year's-tide could not stand well together, which indeed na- following, would not so much as look on me, but ture hath planted in all creatures. For there are turned away from me with express and purposebut two sympathies, the one towards perfection, like discountenance wheresoever she saw me; and the other towards preservation: that to perfection, at such time as I desired to speak with her about as the iron tendeth to the loadstone; that to pre- law business, ever sent me forth very slight refuservation, as the vine will creep towards a stake sals, insomuch as it is most true, that immediateor prop that stands by it, not for any love to the ly after New year's-tide I desired to speak with stake, but to uphold itself. And therefore, ma- her; and being admitted to her, I dealt with her dam, you must distinguish my lord's desire to do plainly, and said, 'Madam, I see you with draw
Bacon, acting in obedience to his own doctrine, "that the best mean to clear the way in the wood of suspicion is frankly to communicate with the party who is suspect, if he is of a noble nature," demanded the cause of this alienation, in an interview with the queen, which he has thus related : (January, 1601, Et. 41 :)-" Then, she remem