« AnteriorContinuar »
abilities are, the more they ought to be contracted ad
For the present, I humbly pray your majesty to accept my most humble thanks and vows as the forerunners of your service, which I shall always perform with a faithful heart.
Your Majesty's most obedient servant,
TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
The humble petition of the Lord VERULAM, viscount
ST. ALBAN. THAT whereas your supplicant, for reward of full sixteen years service in the painfullest places of your kingdom, how acceptable or useful, he appealeth to your majesty's gracious remembrance, had of your majesty's gracious bounty two grants, both under the great seal of England; the one a pension of 12001. the other a farm of the petty writs, about 600l. per annum in value, which was long since assigned to your supplicant's wife's friends in trust for her maintenance : which two grants are now the substance of your supplicant's and his wife's means, and the only remains of your majesty's former favours, except his dignities, which without means are but burdens to his fortunes :
So it is, most gracious sovereign, that both these are now taken from him ; the pension stopped, the lease seized, the pension being, at this present, in arrear 500l. and at Michaelmas 800l. is stopped, as he conceiveth, upon the general stop of pensions; though he hopeth assuredly, that your majesty, that looketh with the gracious eye of a king, and not the strict eye of an officer, will behold his case as especial, if not singular. The latter was first seized for satisfaction of a private gentleman, your supplicant unheard, and without : any shadow of a legal course. Since it hath been continued, in respect of a debt to your majesty for the arrear of rent upon the same farm, amounting to 15001, But whereas your majesty's farmers debtors for their rents, and other your debtors, have usually favours, sometimes of stallment, sometimes upon equity, if their farms decay, or at least when they are called upon, have days given, put in security, or the like; your supplicant was never so much as sent to, no warnings to provide, no days given, but put out of possession suddenly by a private and peremptory warrant, without any spark of those favours used to the meanest subjects. So that now your supplicant having left little or no annual income, is in great extremity, having spread the remnant of his former fortunes in jewels and plate, and the like, upon his poor creditors, having scarce left bread to himself and family.
In tender consideration whereof, your supplicant, and overthrown servant, doth implore your majesty's grace and goodness felt by so many, known to all, and whereof he cannot live to despair ; first, in general, that your majesty will not suffer him, upon whose arm your princely arm hath so often been, when
you presided in counsel, so near he was, and who hath borne your image in metal, but more in his heart, utterly to perish; or, which is worse, to live in his last days in an abject and sordid condition. Next, in particular, that your majesty would be graciously pleased to take present order to have the arrear of his pension paid, and likewise that for the future it may be settled, that he be not at courtesy, nor to beg at that door, which is like enough to be shut against him. Secondly, that the possession of his wife's lease may
be restored to her, and this bit of arrear to your inajesty, that you will be pleased to remit it, accord.
, ing to your majesty's gracious and pious promise, when you admitted him to you in the night of his troubles, which was, that you would not meddle with his estate, but to mend it. In the restoring the possession, you shall remove your hand of arms; in the remitting of the rent, you shall extend your hand of grace : and if he be not worthy of so much favour, as to have it released yet, that it may be respited for some good time, that he may make somewhat of that his father left him, and keep himself out of want, in such sort, that your supplicant, that aspireth but to live to study, be not put to study to live. And he, according to his bounden duty, shall not intermit, as he ever hath done, to pray to God for your majesty's health and happiness.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
My very good Lord,
my Lord Buckingham after my troubles.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
My very good Lord, I THOUGHT it my duty to take knowledge to his majesty, from your lordship, by the inclosed, that, much to my comfort, I understand his majesty doth not forget me nor forsake me, but hath a gracious inclination to me, and taketh care of me; and to thank his majesty for the same. I perceive, by some speech, that passed between your lordship and Mr. Meautys, that
, some wretched detractor hath told you, that it were strange I should be in debt : for that I could not but have received an hundred thousand pounds gift since I had the seal; which is an abominable falsehood.
Such tales as these made St. James say, that the tongue is a fire, and itself fired from hell, whither, when these tongues shall return, they will beg a drop of water to cool them. I praise God
for it, I never took penny for any benefice or ecclesiastical living; I never took penny for releasing any thing I stopped at the seal ; I never took penny for any commission, or things of that nature; I never shared with any servant for any second or inferior profit. My offences I have myself recorded, wherein I studied, as a good confessant, guiltiness, and not excuse; and therefore I hope it leaves me fair to the king's grace, and will turn many mens hearts to me.
As for my debts, I shewed them your lordship, when you saw the little house and the farm, besides a little wood or desert, which you saw not.
If these things were not true, although the joys of the penitent be sometimes more than the joys of the innocent, I could not be as I am.
God bless you, and reward you for your constant love to me.
I rest, &c.
DRAUGHT OF A LETTER TO THE MARQUIS OF
BUCKINGHAM NOT SENT (a).
My Lord, I say to myself, that your lordship hath forsaken me; and I think I am one of the last, that findeth it, and in nothing more, than that twice at London your lordship would not vouchsafe to see me, though the latter time I begged it of you. If your lordship
. lack any justification about York-house, good my lord, think of it better ; for I assure your lordship, that mo
: tion to me was to me as a second sentence; for I conceived it sentenced me to the loss of that, which I
(a) Among lord Bacon's printed letters, is, one without a date, in which he complains, as in this, that he, being twice now in London the marquis did not vouchsafe to see him.
thought was saved from the former sentence, which is your love and favour. But sure it could not be that pelting matter, but the being out of sight, out of use, and the ill offices done me, perhaps, by such as have your ear.
Thus I think, and thus I speak; for I am far enough from any baseness or detracting, but shall ever love and honour you, howsoever I be
Your forsaken friend and freed servant,
FR. ST. ALBAN.
TO THE MARQUIS OF BUCKINGHAM.
My very good Lord, It is in vain to cure the accidents of a disease, ex.
w cept the cause be found and removed. I know adversity is apprehensive ; but I fear it is too true, that now I have lost honour, power, profit and liberty; I have, in the end, lost that, which, to me, was more dear than all the rest, which is my friend. A change there is apparent and great; and nothing is more sure, than that nothing hath proceeded from and since my troubles, either towards your lordship or towards the world, which hath made me unworthy of
. served favours or undesired promises. Good my lord, deal so nobly with me, as to let me know, whether I stand upright in your favour, that either I may enjoy my wonted comfort, or see my griefs together, that I may the better order them; though, if your lordship should never think more of me, yet your former favours should bind me to be Your Lordship's most obliged
and faithful servant,
FR. ST. ALBAN.