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The reference comes in the name of my brother Christopher, because they thought it would succeed the better but the prince wisheth well to it.
Touching the business of wills.
TO THE KING. (a)
AMONGST the counsels, which, since the time I had the honour to be first of your learned, and after of your privy council, I have given your majesty faithfully, according to my small ability; I do take comfort in none more, than that I was the first, that advised you to come in person into the Star-Chamber; knowing very well, that those virtues of your majesty, which I saw near hand, would out of that throne, both as out of a sphere, illustrate your own honour, and, as out of a fountain, water and refresh your whole land. And because your majesty, in that you have already done, hath so well effected that, which I foresaw and desired, even beyond my expectation; it is no marvel, if I resort still to the branches of that counsel, that hath borne so good fruit.
The Star-Chamber, in the institution thereof, hath two uses; the one as a supreme court of judicature; the other as an open council. In the first kind, your majesty hath sat there now twice: the first time, in a cause of force, concerning the duels: the second time, in a cause of fraud, concerning the forgeries and conspiracies against the lady of Exeter; which two natures of crimes, force and fraud, are the proper objects of that court.
In the second kind, your majesty came the first time of all, when you did set in frame and fabric the
(a) This letter appears to have been written after the proceedings against Sir Thomas Lake, and his lady and daughter, in the Star-Chamber, in January 1619-20, and before the resolution of calling the parliament, which met January 30, 1620-1.
several jurisdictions of your courts. There wants a fourth part of the square to make all complete, which is, if your majesty will be pleased to publish certain commonwealth commissions; which, as your majesty hath well begun to do in some things, and to speak of in some others; so, if your majesty will be pleased to make a solemn declaration of them in that place, this will follow :
First, that your majesty shall do yourself an infinite honour, and win the hearts of your people to acknowledge you, as well the most politic king, as the most just.
Secondly, it will oblige your commissioners to a more strict account, when they shall be engaged by such a public charge and commandment. And, thirdly, it will invite and direct any man, that finds himself to know any thing concerning those commissions, to bring in their informations. So as I am persuaded it will eternise your name and merit, and that king James's commissions will be spoken of, and put in ure, as long as Britain lasts; at the least, in the reign of all good kings.
For the particulars, besides the two commissions of the navy, and the buildings about London, wherein your majesty may consider, whether you will have any thing altered or supplied, I wish these following to be added.
Commission for advancing the clothing of England, as well the old drapery as the new, and all the incidents thereunto.
Commission for staying treasure within the realm, and the reiglement of monies.
Commission for the provision of the realm with corn and grain, and the government of the exportation and importation thereof; and directing of public granaries, if cause be.
Commission for introducing and nourishing manufactures within the realm, for the setting people a-work, and the considering of all grants and privileges of that nature.
Commission to prevent the depopulation of towns
and houses of husbandry, and for nuisances and high
Commission for the recovery of drowned lands. Commission for the suppression of the grievances of informers.
Commission for the better proceedings in the plantations of Ireland.
Commission for the provision of the realm with all kind of warlike defence, ordnance, powder, munition, and armour.
Of these you may take and leave, as it shall please you and I wish the articles concerning every one of them, first allowed by your council, to be read openly, and the commissioners' names.
For the good, that comes of particular and select committees and commissions, I need not common place, for your majesty hath found the good of them; but nothing to that, that will be, when such things are published; because it will vindicate them from neglect, and make many good spirits, that we little think of, co-operate in them.
I know very well, that the world, that commonly is apt to think, that the care of the commonwealth is but a pretext in matters of state, will perhaps conceive, that this is but a preparative to a parliament. But let not that hinder your majesty's magnanimity, in opere operato, that is so good; and besides that opinion, for many respects, will do no hurt to your affairs.
TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR. (a)
By his majesty's directions, Sir Francis Blundell will deliver you a petition of Sir Francis Annesly, his majesty's secretary of Ireland, with his majesty's pleasure thereupon. To the gentleman I wish very well,
(a) Harl. MSS. vol. 7006.
and do therefore recommend him and his cause to your lordship's good favour; and your respect of him, in his absence, I will thankfully acknowledge. So I take my leave.
Your Lordship's very loving friend,
Theobalds, the 2d of Oct. 1620.
TO THE KING.
It may please your most excellent Majesty, Ir being a thing to speak or write, specially to a king, in public, another in private, although I have dedicated a work, (a) or rather a portion of a work, which, at last, I have overcome, to your majesty by a public epistle, where I speak to you in the hearing of others; yet I thought fit also humbly to seek access for the same, not so much to your person as to your judgment, by these private lines.
The work, in what colours soever it may be set
(a) Novum Organum. In the library of the late Thomas, earl of Leicester, the descendant of Sir Edward Coke, at Holkham, in Norfolk, is a copy of this work, intitled Instauratio Magna, printed by John Bill, in 1620, presented to Sir Edward, who at the top of the title page has written, Edw. C. ex dono auctoris.
Instaurare paras veterum documenta sophorum:
And over the device of the ship passing between Hercules's pillars,
"It deserveth not to be read in Schooles,
"But to be freighted in the Ship of Fools."
Alluding to a famous book of Sebastian Brand, born at Strasburgh, about 1460, written in Latin and High Dutch verse, and translated into English in 1508, by Alexander Barklay, and printed at London the year following, by Richard Pynson, printer to Henry VII. and Henry VIII. in folio, with the following title: "The Shyp of Folys "of the World: Translated in the Coll. of Saynt Mary Otery, in "the counte of Devonshyre, oute of Latin, Frenche, and Doche, into Englesshe tongue, by Alex. Barklay, preste and chaplen in the "sayd College, M,CCCCC, VIII." It was dedicated by the translator to Thomas Cornish, bishop of Tine, and suffragan bishop of Wells, and adorned with great variety of wooden cuts.
forth, is no more but a new logic, teaching to invent and judge by induction, as finding syllogism incompetent for sciences of nature; and thereby to make philosophy and sciences both more true and more active.
This tending to enlarge the bounds of reason, and to endow man's estate with new value, was no improper oblation to your majesty, who, of men, is the greatest master of reason, and author of beneficence.
There be two of your council, and one other bishop (a) of this land, that know I have been about some such work near thirty years; (b) so as I made no haste. And the reason why I have published it now, specially being unperfect, is, to speak plainly, because I number my days, and would have it saved. There is another reason of my so doing, which is to try whether I can get help in one intended part of this work, namely, the compiling of a natural and experimental history, which must be the main foundation of a true and active philosophy.
This work is but a new body of clay, whereinto your majesty, by your countenance and protection, may breathe life. And, to tell your majesty truly what I think, I account your favour may be to this work as muchas an hundred years time: for I am persuaded the work will gain upon men's minds in ages, but your gracing it may make it take hold more swiftly; which I would be very glad of, it being a work meant not for praise or glory, but for practice, and the good of men. One thing, I confess, I am ambitious of, with hope, which is, that after these beginnings, and the wheel once set on going, men shall
(a) Dr. Lancelot Andrews, bishop of Winchester.
(b) Mr. Chamberlain, in a letter to Sir Dudley Carleton, ambassador at Holland, dated at London, October 28, 1620, mentions, that Mr. Henry Cuffe, who had been secretary to Robert, earl of Essex, and executed for being concerned in his treasons, having long since perused this work, gave this censure, that a fool could not have written such a work, and a wise man would not. And, in another letter, dated Feb. 3, 1620-1, Mr. Chamberlain takes notice, that the king could not forbear sometimes, in reading that book, to say, that it was like the peace of God, that passeth all understanding.