« PreviousContinue »
LORD BACON'S WORKS.
LETTERS FROM THE CABALA.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE LORD TREASURER, 1 his place with great sufficiency. But those anıl
the like things are as her majesty shall be made
Fr. Bacon. But I may justly doubt, her majesty's impres
June 6, 1595. sion upon this particular, as her conceit otherwise of my insufficiency and unworthiness, which, sir FRANCIS BACON TO THE LORD TREASURER though I acknowledge to be great, yet it will be the less, because I purpose not to divide myself My Lord, between her majesty and the causes of other men,
With as much confidence as mine own honest as others have done, but to attend her business and faithful devotion unto your service, and your only: hoping that a whole man meanly able, may honourable correspondence unto me and my poor do as well as half a man better able. And if her estate can breed in a man, do I commend myself majesty thinketh that she shall make an adven- unto your lordship. I wax now somewhat ancient; ture in using one that is rather a man of study one-and-thirty years is a great deal of sand in the than of practice and experience, surely I may re- hour-glass. My health, I thank God, I find conmember to have heard that my father, an example, firmed; and I do not fear that action shall impair I confess, rather ready than like, was made solici- it: because I account my ordinary course of study tor of the augmentation, a court of much business, and meditation to be more painful than most parts when he had never practised, and was but twenty- of action are. I ever bear a mind, in some middle seven years old; and Mr. Brograve was now in place that I could discharge, to serve her majesty; my time called attorney of the duchy, when he had not as a man born under Sol, that loveth honour; practised little or nothing, and yet hath discharged nor under Jupiter, that loveth business, for the Vol. III.-1
contemplative planet carrieth me away wholly:
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE LORD TREASURER but as a man born under an excellent sovereign,
BURGHLEY. that deserveth the dedication of all men's abilities. Besides, I do not find in myself so much self-love, My SINGULAR GOOD LORD, but that the greater parts of my thoughts are to
Your lordship's comfortable relation of her deserve well, if I were able, of my friends, and majesty's gracious opinion and meaning towards namely of your lordship; who being the Atlas of me, though at that time your leisure gave me not this commonwealth, the honour of my house, and leave to show how I was affected therewith; yet the second founder of my poor estate, I am tied upon every representation thereof it entereth and by all duties, both of a good patriot, and of an striketh more deeply into me, as both my nature unworthy kinsman, and of an obliged servant, and duty presseth me to return some speech of to employ whatsoever I am, to do you service. thankfulness. It must be an exceeding comfort Again, the meanness of my estate doth somewhat and encouragement to me, setting forth and putmove me: for though I cannot accuse myself, that ting myself in way towards her majesty's service, I am either prodigal or slothful, yet, my health is to encounter with an example so private and donot to spend, nor my course to get. Lastly, I mestical, of her majesty's gracious goodness and confess that I have as vast contemplative ends, benignity; being made good and verified in my as I have moderate civil ends: for I have taken father, so far forth, as it extendeth to his posterity. all knowledge to be my providence;* and if I Accepting them as commended by his service, could purge it of two sorts of rovers, whereof during the nonage, as I may term it, of their own the one with frivolous disputations, confutations, deserts, I, for my part, am very well content, that and verbosities : the other with blind experiments I take least part, either of his abilities of mind, and auricular traditions and impostures, hath com- or of his worldly advancement; both which he mitted so many spoils; I hope I should bring in held and received, the one of the gift of God imindustrious observations, grounded conclusions, mediately, the other of her majesty's gift; yet, in and profitable inventions and discoveries; the the loyal and earnest affection which he bare to best state of that providence.* This, whether it her majesty's service, I trust my portion shall not be curiosity, or vainglory, or nature, or, if one be with the least: nor in proportion with the take it favourably, philanthropia, is so fixed in youngest birth. For methinks his precedent my mind, as it cannot be removed. And I do should be a silent charge upon his blessing unto easily see, that place of any reasonable counte- us all, in our degrees, to follow him afar off, and nance doth bring commandment of more wits than to dedicate unto her majesty's service both the use of a man's own, which is the thing I greatly affect. and spending of our lives. True it is, that I must And for your lordship, perhaps, you shall not find needs acknowledge myself prepared and furnished more strength and less encounter in any other. thereunto with nothing but with a multitude of And if your lordship shall find now or at any lacks and imperfections; but calling to mind how time, that I do seek or affect any place, whereunto diversely, and in what particular providence God any that is nearer unto your lordship shall be con- hath declared himself to tender the state of her current, say then that I am a most dishonest man. majesty's affairs, I conceive and gather hope, that And if your lordship will not carry me on, I will those whom he hath in a manner pressed for not do as Anaxagoras did, who reduced himself her majesty's service, by working and imprinting with contemplation unto voluntary poverty: but in them a single and zealous mind to bestow their this I will do, I will sell the inheritance that I duties therein; he will see them accordingly aphave, and purchase some lease of quick revenue, pointed of sufficiency convenient for the rank and or some office of gain, that shall be executed by standing where they shall be employed : so as, deputy, and so give over all care of service, and under this her majesty's blessing, I trust to receive become some sorry bookmaker, or a true pioneer a larger allowance of God's graces. And as I in that mine of truth, which, he said, lay so deep. may hope for this, so I can assure and promise for This which I have writ unto your lordship, is my endeavour, that it shall not be in fault; but rather thoughts than words, being set down with what diligence can entitle me unto, that I doubt out all art, disguising, or reservation: wherein I not to recover. And now seeing it hath pleased have done honour both to your lordship’s wisdom, her majesty to take knowledge of this my mind, in judging that that will be best believed of your and to vouchsafe to appropriate me unto her serlordship which is truest; and to your lordship's vice, preventing any desert of mine with her quod nature, in retaining nothing from you. And princely liberality; first, I humbly do beseech cven so, I wish your lordship all happiness, and your lordship, to present to her majesty my more to myself means and occasion to be added to my than humble thanks for the same: and withal, faithful desire to do you service.
having regard to mine own unworthiness to reFrom my lodging at Gray's Inn.
ceive such favour, and to the small possibility in me to satisfy and answer what her majesty conceiveth, I am moved to become a most humhle
suitor to her majesty, that this benefit also may be and inscrutable centre of the court, which is her
divine nature and goodness, as “ quos amavit, Your lordship’s, etc.
amavit usque ad finem;" and where she hath a creature, she doth not deface nor defeat it: insomuch as, if I observe rightly, in those persons
whom heretofore she hath honoured with her speTWO LETTERS FRAMED, ONE AS FROM MR. AN- (cial favour, she hath covered and remitted, not THONY BACON TO THE EARL OF ESSEX, THE only defections and ingratitudes in affection, but OTHER, AS THE EARL'S ANSWER.
errors in state and service. MY SINGULAR GOOD LOBD,
2. If I can, scholar-like, spell and put together This standing at a stay doth make me, in my the parts of her majesty's proceedings now tolove towards your lordship, jealous, lest you do wards your lordship, I cannot but make this consomewhat, or omit somewhat, that amounteth to a struction: that her majesty, in her royal intention, new error; for I suppose, that of all former mat- never purposed to call your doings into public ters there is a full expiation; wherein, for any question, but only to have used a cloud without thing which your lordship doth, 1, for my part, a shower, and censuring them by some restraint (who am remote,) cannot cast or devise wherein of liberty, and debarring from her presence. For my error should be, except in one point, which I both the handling the cause in the Star Chamber dare not censure nor dissuade; which is, that as was enforced by the violence of libelling and ruthe prophet saith, in this affliction you look up mours, wherein the queen thought to have satisfied " ad manum percutientem," and so make your the world, and yet spared your appearance. And peace with God. And yet I have heard it noted, then after, when that means, which was intended that my Lord of Leicester, who could never get for the quenching of malicious bruits, turned to to be taken for a saint, yet in the queen's disfa- kindle them, because it was said your lordship pour waxed seeming religious. Which may be was condemned unheard, and your lordship’s sisthought by some, and used by others, as a case ter wrote that private letter, then her majesty saw resembling yours, if men do not see, or will not plainly, that these winds of rumours could not be see, the difference between your two dispositions. commanded down, without a handling of the But, to be plain with your lordship, my fear rather cause, by making you party, and admitting your is, because I hear how some of your good and defence. And to this purpose, I do assure your wise friends, not unpractised in the court, and sup- lordship, that my brother, Francis Bacon, who is posing themselves not to be unseen in that deep too wise to be abused, though he he both reserved
in all particulars more than is needful, yet in trust (next to God) in her majesty's grace, and generality he hath ever constantly, and with asse- not be wanting to yourself. I know your lordveration, affirmed to me, that both those days, ship may justly interpret, that this which I perthat of the Star Chamber, and that at my lord suade may have some reference to my particular, keeper's, were won of the queen, merely upon because I may truly say, “ tu stante non virebo,” necessity and point of honour, against her own for I am withered in myself; but manebo, or inclination.
tenebo, I should in some sort be or hold out. 3. In the last proceeding, I note three points, But though your lordship's years and health may which are directly significant, that her majesty expect return of grace and fortune, yet your did expressly forbear any point which was irrecu- eclipse for a time is an “ultimum vale” to my perable, or might make your lordship in any fortune : And were it not that I desired and hope degree incapable of the return of her favour, or to see my brother established by her majesty's might fix any character indelible of disgrace upon favour, as I think him well worthy for that he you: for she spared the public places, which hath done and suffered, it were time I did take spared ignominy; she limited the charge pre- that course from which I dissuade your lordship. cisely, not to touch disloyalty, and no record re- Now, in the mean time, I cannot choose but permaineth to memory, of the charge or sentence. form those honest duties unto you, to whom I
4. The very distinction which was made in have been so deeply bound, etc. the sentence of sequestration, from the places of service in state, and leaving to your lordship the place of master of the horse, doth, in my understanding, point at this, that her majesty meant to THE EARL OF ESSEX'S ANSWER TO MR. ANTHONY use your lordship's attendance in court, while the exercises of other places stood suspended. Mr. Bacon,
5. I have heard, and your lordship knoweth I thank you for your kind and careful letter, better, that now since you were in your own it persuadeth that which I wish for strongly, and custody, her majesty, “in verbo regio," and by hope for weakly, that is, possibility of restitution his mouth to whom she committeth her royal to her majesty's favour; your arguments that grants and decrees, hath assured your lordship, would cherish hope, turn into despair: you say she will forbid and not suffer your ruin. the queen never meant to call me to public cen
6. As I have heard her majesty to be a prince sure, which showeth her goodness; but you see of that magnanimity, that she will spare the I passed it, which showeth others' power. I be. service of the ablest subject or peer, where she lieve most steadfastly, her majesty never intended shall be thought not to stand in need of it; so she to bring my cause to a public censure: and I beis of that policy, as she will not blaze the service lieve as verily, that since the sentence she meant of a meaner than your lordship, where it shall to restore me to tend upon her person: but those depend merely upon her choice and will. which could use occasions, (which it was not is
7. I held it for a principle, that those diseases me to let,) and amplify and practise occasions to are hardest to cure, whereof the cause is obscure; represent to her majesty a necessity to bring me and those easiest, whereof the cause is manifest. to the one, can and will do the like to stop me Whereupon I conclude, that since it hath been from the other. You say, my errors were my your errors in your lowness towards her majesty prejudice, and therefore I can mend myself. It which have prejudiced you, that your reforming is true; but they that know that I can mend myand conformity will restore you, so as you may self, and that if I ever recover the queen, that I be “ faber fortunæ propriæ.”
will never loose her again, will never suffer me Lastly, considering your lordship is removed to obtain interest in her favour: and you say, the from dealing in causes of state, and left only to a queen never forsook utterly where she hath inplace of attendance, methinks the ambition of wardly favoured; but know not whether the hourany which can endure no partners in state-mat- glass of time hath altered her; but sure I am, ters may be so quenched, as they should not the false glass of others' informations must alter laboriously oppose themselves to your being in her, when I want access to plead mine own cause. I court. So as, upon the whole matter, I cannot know Iought doubly, infinitely to be her majesty's, find, neither in her majesty's person, nor in your both “jure creationis,” for I am her creature: and own person, nor in any third person, neither in jure redemptionis," for I know she hath saved former precedents, nor in your own case, any me from overthrow. But for her first love, and cause of peremptory despair. Neither do I speak for her last protection, and all her great benefits, this, but that if her majesty out of her resolution I can but pray for her majesty; and my endeashould design you to a private life, you should be vour is now to make my prayers for her and as willing, upon the appointment, to go into the myself better heard. For, thanks be to God, that wilderness, as into the land of promise; only I they which can make her majesty believe I coun. wish that your lordship will not despair, but putterfeit with her, cannot make God believe that I
heart and yours.
CONCERNING THE SOLICITOR'S PLACE.
counterfeit with him ; and they that can let me because, of all the accidents of state at this time, from coming near to her, cannot let me from the labour resteth upon that most; and because drawing nearer to him, as I hope I do daily. For the world will make a kind of comparison beyour brother, I hold him an honest gentleman, tween those that set it out of frame, and those that and wish him all good, much rather for your sake; shall bring it into frame : which kind of honour yourself, I know, hath suffered more for me, and giveth the quickest kind of reflection. The transwith me, than any friend that I have: but I can ferring this honour upon yourself consisteth in two but lament freely, as you see I do, and advise you points: the one, if the principal persons employed not to do that I do, which is, to despair. You come in by you, and depend upon you; the other know letters what hurt they have done me, and if your lordship declare yourself to undertake a therefore make sure of this; and yet I could not, care of that matter. For the persons, it falleth as having no other pledge of my love, but com- out well that your lordship hath had no interest in inunicate openly with you for the ease of my the persons of imputation : For neither Sir Wil
liam Fitz-Williams, nor Sir John Norris was Your loving friend,
yours: Sir William Russel was conceived yours, R. Essex. but was curbed : Sir Coniers Clifford, as I con
ceive it, dependeth upon you, who is said to do
well; and if my Lord of Ormond in this interim BIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF SALISBURY, do accommodate well, I take it he hath always
had good understanding with your lordship. So MAY IT PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIP,
as all things are not only whole and entire, but of I am not privy to myself of any such ill de- favourable aspect towards your lordship, if you serving towards your lordship, as that I should now choose well: wherein, in your wisdom, you think it an imprudent thing to be a suitor for your will remember there is a great difference in choice favour in a reasonable matter, your lordship being of the persons, as you shall think the affairs to into me as (with your good favour) you cannot
cline to composition, or to war. For your carecease to be: but rather it were a simple and arro
taking, popular conceit hath been, that Irish gant part in me to forbear it.
causes have been much neglected, whereby the It is thought Mr. Attorney shall be chief justice very reputation of better care will be a strength : of the Common-place; in case Mr. Solicitor rise, and I am sure, her majesty and my lords of the I would be glad now at last to be solicitor: chiefly council do not think their care dissolved, when because I think it will increase my practice, where they have chosen whom to employ; but that they in God blessing me a few years, I may mend my will proceed in a spirit of state, and not leave the state
, and so after fall to my studies and ease; where- main point to discretion. Then, if a resolution be of one is requisite for my body, and the other taken; a consultation must proceed ; and the serveth for my mind; wherein if I shall find
consultation must be governed upon information to
your lordship’s favour, I shall be more happy than I be had from such as know the place, and matters have been, which may make me also more wise. in fact; and in taking of information I have always I have small store of means about the king, and noted there is a skill and a wisdom. For I canto sue myself is not fit; and therefore I shall leave not tell what account or inquiry hath been taken it to God, his majesty, and your lordship: for 1 of Sir William Russel, of Sir Ralph Bingham, of must still be next the door. I thank God, in these the Earl of Thomond, of Mr. Wilbraham: but I transitory things I am well resolved. So, beseech-am of opinion, much more would be had of them, ing your lordship not to think this letter the less if your lordship shall be pleased severally to conhumble, because it is plain, I rest, etc.
fer, not obiter, but expressly, upon some caveat FR. Bacon.
given them to think of it before, for, “ bene docet qui prudenter interrogat.” For the points of opposing them, I am too much a stranger to the busi
ness to deduce them: but in a topic methinks the SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF ESSEX, pertinent interrogations must be either of the WHEN SIR ROBERT CECIL WAS IN FRANCE.
possibility and means of accord, or of the nature MY SINGULAR GOOD LORD,
of the war, or of the reformation of the particular I do write, because I have not yet had time abuses, or of the joining of practice with force in fully to express my conceit, nor now, to attend the disunion of the rebels. If your lordship doubt you touching Irish matters, considering them as to put your sickle in other men's harvests, yet they may concern the state ; that it is one of the consider you have these advantages. Firsı, timo aptest particulars that hath come, or can come being fit to you in Mr. Secretary's absence : next, ppon the stage, for your lordship to purchase “ vis unita fortior :" thirdly, the business being honour upon, I am moved to think for three mixed with matters of war, it is fittest for yon : reasons ; because it is ingenerate in your house in lastly, I know your lordship will carry it with that respect of my lord your father's noble attempts; modesty and respect towards aged dignity, and