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THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE KING.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE KING.
ardini maketh the same judgment, not of a parti- / would do, in this, which is not proper for me, nor cular person, but of the wisest state of Europe, in my element, I shall make your majesty amends the senate of Venice, when he saith, their prospe in some other thing, in which I am better bred. rity had made them secure, and under-weighers God ever preserve, etc. of perils. Therefore, I beseech your majesty, to Jan. 2, 1618. deliver me in this, from any the least imputation to my dear and noble lord and friend. And so expecting, that that sun which, when it went from us, left us cold weather, and now it is returned towards us hath brought with it a blessed harvest, will, when it cometh to us, dispel and
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, disperse all mists and mistakings.
Time hath been, when I have brought unto you I am, etc.
66 Gemitum Columbæ" from others, now I bring July 31, 1617.
it from myself. I fly unto your majesty with the wings of a dove, which, once within these seven days, I thought, would have carried me a higher flight. When I enter into myself, I find not the
materials of such a tempest as is come upon me. IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, I have been (as your majesty knoweth best)
I do many times, with gladness, and for a re- never author of any immoderate counsel, but medy of my other labours, revolve in my mind always desired to have things carried o suavibus the great happiness which God (of his singular modis.” I have been no avaricious oppressor of goodness) hath accumulated upon your majesty the people. I have been no haughty, or intoleevery way, and how complete the same would be, rable, or hateful man, in my conversation or carif the state of your means were once rectified, and riage: I have inherited no hatred from my father, well ordered ; your people military and obedient, but am a good patriot born. Whence should this fit for war, used to peace; your church illightened be; for these are the things that use to raise diswith good preachers, as a heaven of stars; your likes abroad. judges learned, and learning from you, just, and
For the House of Commons, I began my just by your example; your nobility in a right credit there, and now it must be the place of the distance between crown and people, no oppressors sepulture thereof. And yet this Parliament, upon of the people, no over-shadowers of the crown; the message touching religion, the old love reyour council full of tributes of care, faith, and vived, and they said, I was the same man still, freedom; your gentlemen, and justices of peace, only honesty was turned into honour. willing to apply your royal mandates to the nature For the Upper House, even within these days, of their several counties, but ready to obey ; your before these troubles, they seemed as to take me servants in awe of your wisdom, in hope of your into their arms, finding in me ingenuity, which goodness; the fields growing every day, by the they took to be the true straight line of nobleness, improvement and recovery of grounds, from the without crooks or angles. desert to the garden ; the city grown from wood And for the briberies and gifts wherewith I am to brick; your sea-walls, or Pomerium of your charged, when the books of hearts shall be openisland, surveyed, and in edifying; your merchants ed, I hope I shall not be found to have the troubled embracing the whole compass of the world, east, fountain of a corrupt heart, in a depraved habit of west, north, and south ; the times give you peace, taking rewards to pervert justice; howsoever I and, yet offer you opportunities of action abroad; may be frail, and partake of the abuses of the and, lastly, your excellent royal issue entaileth times. these blessings and favours of God to descend to And therefore I am resolved, when I come to all posterity. It resteth, therefore, that God hav- my answer, not to trick my innocency (as I writ ing done so great things for your majesty, and to the Lords) by cavillations or voidances; but you for others, you would do so much for yourself, to speak to them the language that my heart as to go through (according to your good begin- speaketh to me, in excusing, extenuating, or innings) with the rectifying and settling of your genuous confessing; praying God to give me the estate and means, which only is wanting, 6 Hoc grace to see to the bottom of my faults, and that rebus defuit unum. I, therefore, whom only no hardness of heart do steal upon me, under love and duty to your majesty, and your royal show of more neatness of conscience, than is line, hath made a financier, do intend to present cause. unto your majesty a perfect book of your estate, But not to trouble your majesty any longer, like a perspective glass, to draw your estate nearer craving pardon for this long mourning letter; that to your sight; beseeching your majesty to con- which I thirst after, as the hart after the streams, ceive, that if I have not attained to do that I is, that I may know, by my matchless friend that
TORY OF HIS MAJESTY'S TIME.
presenteth to you this letter, your majesty's heart beth; wherein I may note much, but this at this (which is an abyssus of goodness, as I am an time, that as her majesty did always right to his abyssus of misery) towards me. I have been majesty's hopes, so his highness doth, in all ever your man, and counted myself but an things, right to her memory; a very just and usufructuary of myself, the property being yours. princely retribution. But from this occasion, by And now making myself an oblation, to do with a very easy ascent, I passed farther, being put in me as may best conduce to the honour of your mind, by this representative of her person, of the justice, the honour of your mercy, and the use of more true and more perfect representative, which your service, resting as
is, of her life and government. For as statues Clay in your majesty's gracious hands, and pictures are dumb histories, so histories are
Fr. ST. ALBAN, Can. speaking pictures; wherein (if my affection be March 25, 1620.
not too great, or my reading too small) I am of this opinion, that if Plutarch were alive to write. lives by parallels, it would trouble him, for virtue
and fortune both, to find for her a parallel amongst SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, UPON THE
And though she was of the passive SENDING UNTO HIM A BEGINNING OF A HIS- | sex, yet her government was so active, as, in my
simple opinion, it made more impression upon IT MAY PLEASE your MAJESTY,
the several states of Europe, than it received Hearing that you are at leisure to peruse story, from thence. But I confess unto your lordship, a desire took me to make an experiment what I I could not stay here, but went a little farther into could do in your majesty's times, which, being the consideration of the times which have passed but a leaf or two, I pray your pardon, if I send since King Henry the Eighth ; wherein I find it for your recreation, considering, that love must the strangest variety, that in so little number of creep where it cannot go. But to this I add successions of any hereditary monarchy, hath these petitions: first, that if your majesty do dis- ever been known; the reign of a child, the offer like any thing, you would conceive I can amend of a usurpation, though it were but as a diary it upon your least beck. Next, that if I have ague; the reign of a lady married to a foreigner, not spoken of your majesty encomiastically, your and the reign of a lady, solitary and unmarried : majesty will be pleased only to ascribe it to the So that, as it cometh to pass, in massive bodies, law of a history, which doth not clutter together that they have certain trepidations, and waverpraises upon the first mention of a name, but ings, before they fix and settle; so it seemeth, rather disperseth them, and weaveth them that by the providence of God, this monarchy throughout the whole narration. And as for the (before it was to settle in his majesty and his proper place of commemoration, (which is in the generations, in which I hope it is now establishperiod of life,) I pray God I may never live to ed forever) hath had these preclusive changes in write it. Thirdly, that the reason why I pre
these barren princes. Neither could I contain sumed to think of this oblation, was because, myself here, (as it is easier for a man to multiply, whatsoever my disability be, yet I shall have that than to stay a wish,) but calling to remembrance advantage which almost no writer of history hath the unworthiness of the History of England, in had, in that I shall write the times, not only the main continuance thereof, and the partiality since I could remember, but since I could ob- and obliquity of that of Scotland, in the latest
And, lastly, that it is only for your ma- and largest author that I have seen; I conceived, jesty's reading.
it would be an honour for his majesty, and a work very memorable, if this island of Great Britain, as it is now joined in monarchy for the ages to come, so it were joined in history for the times past; and that one just and complete history were compiled of both nations. And if any
man think, it may refresh the memory of former [T MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,
discord, he may satisfy himself with the verse, Some late act of his majesty, referred to some 6. Olim hæc meminisse juvabit.” For the case former speech which I have heard from your being now altered, it is matter of comfort and lordship, bred in me a great desire, and by gratulation, to remember former troubles. Thus strength of desire a boldness, to make an humble' much, if it may please your lordship, was in the proposition to your lordship, such as in me can optative mood, and it was time that I should look be no better than a wish ; but if your lordship a little into the potential; wherein the hope that should apprehend it, it may take some good and I received was grounded upon three observations worthy effect. The act I speak of, is the order The first, of these times, which flourish in learngiven by his majesty for the erection of a tomb ing, both of art, and language; which giveth or monument for our late sovereign, Queen Eliza-' hope, not only that it may be done. but that it
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE LORD CHANCEL
LOR, TOUCHING THE HISTORY OF BRITAIN.
may be well done. Secondly, I do see that which nor place, nor employment; but only, after so all the world sees in his majesty, a wonderful long a time of expiation, a complete and total judgment in learning, and a singular affection remission of the sentence of the Upper House,
ds learning, and works which are of the to the end that blot of ignominy may be mind, and not of the hand. For there cannot be removed from me, and from my memory with the like honour sought in building of galleries, posterity, that I die not a condemned man, but and planting of elms along highways, and the may be to your majesty, as I am to God, “nova outward ornaments wherein France now is busy, creatura.' Your majesty hath pardoned the like (things rather of magnificence than of magnani- to Sir John Bennet, between whose case and mine mity,) as there is in the uniting of states, pacify- (not being partial to myself, but speaking out of ing of controversies, nourishing and augmenting the general opinion) there was as much difference, of learning and arts, and the particular action I will not say, as between black and white, but appertaining unto these; of which kind Cicero as between black and grey, or ash-coloured ; look, judged truly, when he said to Cæsar, “Quantum therefore, down (dear sovereign) upon me also in operibus tuis detrahet vetustas, tantum addet pity. I know your majesty's heart is inscrutable laudibus.” And, lastly, I called to mind, that for goodness; and my Lord of Buckingham was your lordship, at some times, hath been pleased to wont to tell me, you were the best natured man express unto me a great desire, that something in the world; and it is God's property, that those of this matter should be done, answerable indeed he hath loved, he loveth to the end. Let your to your other noble and worthy courses and ac-majesty's grace, in this my desire, stream down tions; joining, and adding unto the great ser- upon me, and let it be out of the fountain and vices towards his majesty (which have in small spring-head, and "ex mero motu," that living or compass of time been performed by your lord- dying, the print of the goodness of King James ship) other great deservings, both of the church, may be in my heart, and his praises in my
mouth. and commonwealth, and particulars : so as the This my most humble request granted, may make opinion of so great and wise a man doth seem to me live a year or two happily; and denied, will me a good warrant, both of the possibility, and kill me quickly. But yet the last thing that will worth of the matter. But all this while, I assure die in me will be the heart and affection of myself, I cannot be mistaken by your lordship, Your majesty's most humble and as if I sought an office or employment for myself;
true devoted servant, for no man knows better than your lordship, that
FR. ST. ALBAN. if there were in me any faculty thereunto, yet July 30, 1624. neither my course of life, nor profession would permit it. But because there be so many good painters, both for hand and colours, it needeth SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, UPON PREbut encouragement and instructions to give life
SENTING HIS DISCOURSE, TOUCIIING THE PLANunto it. So, in all humbleness, I conclude my presenting unto your lordship this wish, which if it perish, it is but a loss of that which is not. IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, And so craving pardon that I have taken so much
I know no better way how to express my good time from your lordship, I remain, etc.
wishes of a new year to your majesty, than by this little book, which in all humbleness I send you. The style is a style of business, rather
than curious or elaborate, and herein I was enSIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, ABOUT TIIE couraged by my experience of your majesty's
former grace, in accepting of the like poor field
fruits, touching the union. And certainly I reckon Most GRACIOUS AND DREAD SOVEREIGN,
this action as a second brother to the union, for I Before I make my petition to your majesty, I assure myself, that England, Scotland, and Iremake my prayers to God above, “pectore ab land, well united, is such a trefoil as no prince imo,” that if I have held any thing so dear as except yourself (who are the worthiest) weareth your majesty's service, (nay) your heart's ease, in his crown, “si potentia reducatur in actum.” " and your honour, I may be repulsed with a denial. I know well that for me to beat my brains about But if that hath been the principal with me, that these things, they be 6 majora quam pro fortuna," God, who knoweth my heart, would move your but yet they be “minora quam pro studio et majesty's royal heart to take compassion of me, voluntate.” For as I do yet bear an extreme zeal and to grant my desire.
to the memory of my old mistress, Queen ElizaI prostrate myself at your majesty's feet; I, beth, to whom I was rather bound for her trust your ancient servant, now sixty-four years old in than for her favour; so I must acknowledge myage, and three years and five months old in self more bound to your majesty, both for trust misery. I desire not from your majesty means, and favour; whereof I will never deceive the
TATION OF IRELAND.
PARDON OF THE PARLIAMENT’S SENTENCE.
VANCEMENT OF LEARNING.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE LORDS.
one, as I can never deserve the other. And so, his lieutenant, I do understand, there hath been in all humbleness kissing your majesty's sacred expected from me, heretofore, some justification, hands, I remain
and therefore I have chosen one only justification instead of all others, out of the justification of Job; for, after the clear submission and confes
sion which I shall now make unto your lordships, SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF SALISBURY, I hope I may say, and justify with Job, in these UPON SENDING HIM ONE OF HIS BOOKS OF AD- words, - I have not hid my sin, as did Adam, nor
concealed my faults in my bosom." This is the I'T MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,
only justification I will use: it resteth, therefore, I present your lordship with a work of my and acknowledge, that having understood the
that, without fig-leaves, I do ingenuously confess vacant time, which if it had been more, the work had been better. It appertaineth to your lordship particulars of the charge, not formally from the (besides my particular respects) in some propriety,
House, but enough to inform my conscience and
memory, in regard you are a great governor in a province
I find matter both sufficient and full, to of learning, and (that which is more) you have move me to desert the defence, and to move your added to your place affection towards learning, will I trouble your lordships by singling out parti
lordships to condemn and censure me. Neither and to your affection judgment, of which the last will I trouble your lordships by singling out partiI could be content were (for the time) less, that culars, which I think may fall off: "Quid te exyou might the less exquisitely censure that which empta juvat spinis do millibus una ?" Neither I offer to you. But sure I am, the argument is
will I prompt your lordships to observe upon the good, if it had lighted upon a good author ; but I proofs, where they come not home, or the scruples shali content myself to awake better spirits, like touching the credit of the witnesses : Neither a bellringer which is first up, to call others to
will I present unto your lordships, how far a church. So, with my humble desire of your offence, in respect of the time, or manner of the
defence might in divers things extenuate the lordship's good acceptation, I remain
gift, or the like circumstances; but only leave these things to spring out of your own noble thoughts, and observations of the evidence, and examinations themselves, and charitably to wind
about the particulars of the charge here and there, IT MAY PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIPS,
as God shall put in your minds; and so submit I shall humbly crave at your lordships' hands myself wholly to your piety and grace. a benign interpretation of that which I shall now And now that I have spoken to your lordships write; for words that come from wasted spirits, as judges, I shall say a few words unto you as and an oppressed mind, are more safe in being peers and prelates, humbly commending my cause deposited in a noble construction, than in being to your noble minds, and magnanimous affections. circled with any reserved caution. Having made Your lordships are not only judges, but parliathis as a protection to all which I shall say, I will mentary judges; you have a farther extent of gu on, but with a very strange entrance, (as may arbitrary power than other courts : and if you be seem to your lordships at the first;) for in the not tied to the ordinary course of courts or precemidst of a state of as great affliction as I think dents, in point of strictness and severity, much a mortal man can endure, (honour being above more in points of mercy and mitigation. And life, I shall begin with the professing gladness yet, if any thing I should move might be contrary in some thing's.
to your horourable and worthy ends to introduce The first is, that hereafter the greatness of a a reformatica, I should not seek it, but herein I judge or magistrate shall be no sanctuary, or beseech you lordships to give me leave to tell protection to him against guiltiness; which, in you a story. 'Titus Manlius took his son's life few words, is the beginning of a golden world. for giving b«ttle against the prohibition of his
The next, that after this example, it is like that general. Not many years after, the like severity judges will fly from any thing in the likeness of was pursued by Papirius Cursur, the dictator, corruption, (though it were at a great distance,) as against Quintus Maximus, who, being upon from a serpent; which tendeth to the purging of the the point to be sentenced, was, by the intercescourts of justice, and reducing them to their true sion of some principal persons of the senate, honour and splendour. And in these two points, spared; whereupon Livy malieth this grave and God is my witness, (though it be my fortune to be gracious observation: Neque minus firmata the anvil, upon which these good effects are beaten est disciplina militaris periculo Quinti Maximi, and wrought,) I take no small comfort. But 10 quam miserabili supplicio Titi Manlii.” The pass from the motions of my heart, whereof God discipline of war was no less established by the is only judge, to the merits of my cause, whereof questioning only of Quintus Maximus, than by your lordships are only judges, under God, and the punishment of Titus Manlius. And the same VOL. III...24
OF ADVANCEMENT OF
reason is of the reformation of justice, for the a £100,000. But the judges first, and most questioning of men of eminent place hath the of the rest, reduced it as before. I do not dislike same terror, though not the same rigour with the that things pass moderately, and, all things conpunishment. But my case stayeth not there; forsidered, it is not amiss, and might easily have my humble desire is, that his majesty would take been worse. There was much speaking of interthe seal into his hands, which is a great downfall, ceding for the king's mercy, which (in my opinion) and may serve, I hope, in itself, for an expiation was not so proper for a sentence: I said, in conof my faults.
clusion, that mercy was to come 6 ex mero motu, Therefore, if mercy and mitigation be in your and so left it. I took some other occasion pertilordships' power, and do no ways cross your ends, nent to do the king honour, by showing how why should I not hope of your favours and com- happy he was in all other parts of his governmiserations? Your lordships may be pleased to ment, save only in the manage of his treasure by behold your chief pattern, the king our sovereign, these officers. a king of incomparable clemency, and whose I have sent the king a new bill for Sussex, for heart is inscrutable for wisdom and goodness. my Lord of Nottingham's certificate was true, and You well remember, that there sat not these hun- I told the judges of it before, but they neglected dred years before, in your house, a prince (and it
. I conceive the first man (which is newly set never such a prince) whose presence deserveth to down) is the fittest. God ever preserve and keep be made memorable by records and acts, mixed you, etc. of mercy and justice. Yourselves are either nobles, (and compassion ever beateth in the veins of noble blood,) or reverend prelates, who are the SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE LOND TREASURER servants of him that would not break the bruised BUCKHURST, UPON THE SAME OCCASION OF reed, nor quench smoking flax.
You all sit upon a high stage, and therefore cannot but be more sensible of the changes of MAY IT PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP, human condition, and of the fall of any from high
I have finished a work touching the advanceplaces. Neither will your lordships forget that ment or setting forward of learning, which I have there are “vitia temporis," as well as 66 vitia dedicated to his majesty, the most learned of a hominis,” and that the beginning of reformation sovereign, or temporal prince, that time hath hath a contrary power to the pool of Bethseda, for known. And upon reason not unlike, I humbly that had strength only to cure him that first cast present one of the books to your lordship, not only in, and this hath strength to hurt him only that is as a chancellor of a university, but as one that first cast in; and for my part, I wish it may stay was excellently bred in all learning, which I have there, and go no farther.
ever noted to shine in all your speeches and beLastly, I assure myself, your lordships have a haviours. And therefore your lordship will yield noble feeling of me, as a member of your own a gracious aspect to your first love, and take pleabody; and one that, in this very session, had some sure in the adorning of that wherewith yourself taste of your loving affections, which I hope was are so much adorned. And so, humbly desiring not a lightning before the death of them, but rather your favourable acceptation thereof, with signifia spark of that grace which now, in the conclu- cation of my humble duty, I remainsion, will more appear. And, therefore, my humble suit to your lordships is, that my voluntary confession may be my sentence, and the loss of the seal my punishment, and that your lordships A LETTER OF THE LIKE ARGUMENT TO THE LORD will spare any farther sentence, but recommend me to his majesty's grace and pardon for all that MAY IT PLEASE YOUR Good LORDSHIP, is past. And so, etc.
I humbly present your lordship with a work, Your lordships', etc
wherein, as you have much commandment over FRANCIS ST. ALBAN, Can. . the author, so your lordship hath also great
interest in the argument. For, to speak without flattery, few have like use of learning, or like
judgment in learning, as I have observed in your THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE DUKE. lordship. And, again, your lordship hath been a MY VERY GOOD LORD,
great planter of learning, not only in those places My Lord of Suffolk's cause is this day sen- in the church which have been in your own gift, tenced. My lord, and his lady, fined at £30,000, but also in your commendatory vote, no man hath with imprisonment in the Tower at their own more constantly held, “detur digniori ;” and, charges. Bingley at £2,000, and committed to therefore, both your lordship is beholden to learnthe Fleet; Sir Edward Coke did his part, I have ing, and learning beholden to you. Which not heard him do better; and began with a fine of I maketh me presume, with good assurance, that