Page images
PDF
EPUB

good brother towards your majesty's service, and were on your majesty's part, through your singular benignities, by many most gracious and lively significations and favours accepted and acknowledged, beyond the thought of any thing he could effect: all which endeavours and duties, for the most part, were common to myself with him, though my design between brethren dissembled. And, therefore, most high and mighty king, my most dear and dread sovereign lord, since now the corner-stone is laid of the mightiest monarchy

in Europe, and that God above, who is noted to From Gray's Inn, etc.

have a mighty hand in bridling the floods and fluctuations of the seas, and of people's hearts, hath by the miraculous and universal consent,

the other side, I will not omit to desire humbly
your lordship's favour, in furthering a good con-
ceit and impression of my most humble duty, and
true zeal towards the king, to whose majesty
words cannot make me known, neither mine own
nor others, but time will, to no disadvantage of
any that shall forerun his majesty's experience,
by their humanity and commendations. And so
I commend your lordship to God's protection.
Your, etc.
FR. BACON.

(the more strange, because it proceedeth from SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF NORTHUM

BERLAND, CONCERNING A PROCLAMATION UPON
THE KING'S ENTRY.

such diversity of causes,) in your coming in,
given a sign and token, what he intendeth in the
continuance; I think there is no subject of your
majesty, who loveth this island, and is not hollow
and unworthy, whose heart is not on fire, not only
to bring you peace-offerings to make you propiti-
ous; but to sacrifice himself as a burnt-offering
to your majesty's service: amongst which number,
no man's fire shall be more pure and fervent; but
how far forth it shall blaze out, that resteth in
your majesty's employment: for, since your for-
tune, in the greatness thereof, hath for a time
debarred your majesty of the fruitful virtue which
one calleth the principal, "Principis est virtus
maxima nôsse suos," because your majesty hath
inany of yours, which are unknown unto you, I
must leave all to the trial of farther time; and,
thirsting after the happiness of kissing your
royal hand, continue ever
Your, etc.

FR. BACON.

IT MAY PLEASE your Lordship,

I do hold it a thing formal and necessary, for the king to forerun his coming, be it never so speedy, with some gracious declaration for the cherishing, entertaining, and preparing of men's affections. For which purpose I have conceived a draught, it being a thing to me familiar, in my mistress her times, to have used my pen in politic writings of satisfaction. The use of this may be in two sorts: First, properly, if your lordship think convenient to show the king any such draught, because the veins and pulses of this state cannot but be known here; which if your lordship should, then I would desire your lordship to withdraw my name, and only signify that you gave some heads of direction of such a matter to one of whose style and pen you had some opinion. The other collateral, that though your lordship make no other use of it, yet it is a kind of portraiture of that which I think worthy to be advised by your lordship to the king, to express himself according to those points which are therein con

SIR FRANCIS BACON, TO THE LORD KINLOSS, ceived, and perhaps more compendious and signi

UPON THE ENTRANCE OF KING JAMES.

ficant than if I had set them down in articles. I would have attended your lordship, but for some little physic I took. To morrow morning I will wait on you. So I ever continue, etc.

FR. BACON.

MY LORD,

The present occasion awakeneth in me a remembrance of the constant amity and mutual good offices which passed between my brother deceased and your lordship, whereunto I was less strange, than in respect of the time I had reason to pretend; and withal I call to mind the great opinion my brother (who seldom failed in judgment of a person) would often express me of your lordship's great wisdom and soundness, both in head and heart, towards the service and affairs of our sovereign lord the king. The one of those hath bred in me an election, and the other a confidence, to address my good will and sincere affection to your good lordship, not doubting, in regard my course of life hath wrought me not to be altogether unseen in the matters of the kingdom, that I may be in some use, both in points of service to the king, and your lordship's particular: And, on

SIR FRANCIS BACON TO SIR EDWARD COKE
EXPOSTULATORY.

MR. ATTORNEY,

I thought best, once for all, to let you know in plainness, what I find of you, and what you shall find of me. You take to yourself a liberty to disgrace and disable my law, experience, and discretion; what it pleases you I pray think of me. I am one that know both mine own wants and other men's; and it may be, perchance, that mine may mend when others stand at a stay: And, surely, I may not in public place endure to be

wronged, without repelling the same to my best advantage, to right myself. You are great, and therefore have the more enviers, which would be glad to have you paid at another's cost. Since the time I missed the solicitor's place, the rather, I think, by your means, I cannot expect that you and I shall ever serve as attorney and solicitor together, but either to serve with another upon your remove, or to step into some other course. So as I am more free than ever I was from any occasion of unworthy confirming myself to you, more than general good manners, or your particular good usage shall provoke; and if you had not been short-sighted in your own fortune, (as I think,) you might have had more use of me; but that tide is past. I write not this to show any

friends what a brave letter I have writ to Mr. | SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE LORD CHANCELLOR.

Attorney; I have none of those humours, but that I have written is to a good end, that is, to the more decent carriage of my master's service, and to our particular better understanding one another. This letter, if it shall be answered by you in deed, and not in word, I suppose it will not be the worse for us both; else it is but a few lines lost, which for a much smaller matter I would adventure. So, this being to yourself, I for my part rest,

Yours, etc.

FR. BACON.

pleasure. But this I leave with this, that it is
the first matter wherein I had occasion to discern
of your friendship, which I see to fall to this,
that whereas Mr. Chancellor, the last time in my
man's hearing, very honourably said, that he
would not discontent any man in my place, it
seems you have no such caution. But my writing
to you now, is to know of you, where now the
stay is, without being any more beholden to you,
to whom indeed no man ought to be beholden in
those cases in a right course.
And so I bid you
farewell.

FR. BACON.

SIR FRANCIS BACON TO SIR VINCENT SKINNER,
EXPOSTULATORY.

SIR VINCENT SKINNER,

I see by your needless delays, this matter is grown to a new question, wherein, for the matter itself, it had been stayed at the beginning by my lord treasurer, and Mr. Chancellor, I should not so much have stood upon it; for the great and daily travails which I take in his majesty's service, either are rewarded in themselves, in that they are but my duty, or else may deserve a much greater matter. Neither can I think amiss of any man, that in furtherance of the king's benefit, moved the doubt, that I knew not what warrant you had, but my wrong is, that you having had my lord treasurer's, and Mr. Chancellor's warrant for payment, above a month since, you (I say) making your payments, belike, upon such differences as are better known to yourself, than agreeable to due respect of his majesty's service, have delayed all this time, otherwise than I might have expected either from our ancient acquaintance, or from that regard that one in your place may owe to one in mine. By occasion whereof there ensueth to me a greater inconvenience, that now my name, in sort, must be in question among you, as if I were a man likely to demand that that were unreasonable, or to be denied that that is reasonable; and this must be, because you can pleasure men at

IT MAY PLEASE Your Lordship,

his majesty, and among your lordships of his As I conceived it to be a resolution, both with council, that I should be placed solicitor, and the solicitor to be removed to be the king's serjeant; ness and forwardness therein, your lordship beso I most humbly thank your lordship's farthering the man that first devised the mean; wherefore my humble request unto your lordship is, that you would set in with some strength to finish this your work; which (I assure yourself) I desire the rather, because, being placed, I hope, for your many favours, to be able to do you some better service: for as I am, your lordship cannot use me, nor scarcely indeed know me; not that I vainly think I shall be able to do any great matter, but certainly it will frame me to use a more industrious observance and application to such as I honour so much as I do your lordship, and not, I hope, without some good offices, which may deserve your thanks. lord, I humbly pray your lordship to consider, And herewithal, good my that time groweth precious with me, and that a married man is years seven older in his thoughts the first day; and therefore what a discomforta ble thing it is for me to be unsettled still. For, surely, were it not that I think myself born for to do my sovereign service, and therefore in that station I will live and die; otherwise, for mine own private comfort, it were better for me that the king should blot me out of his book, or that I should turn my course to endeavour to serve him in some other kind, than for me to stand thus at a stop, and to have that little reputation which by my industry I gather, to be scattered and taken away by continual disgraces, every new man coming in before me; and sure I am, 1 shall never have fairer promises and hope from all your lordships, and I would believe you in a far greater matter: and if it were nothing else, I hope the modesty of my suit deserveth somewhat; for I know well the solicitor's place is not as your lordship left it, time working alteration, somewhat in the profession, much more in that

Yours, etc.

special place. And were it not to satisfy my diligent, and reasonably happy to execute those wife's friends, and to get myself out of being a directions which I have received, either immediatecommon gaze, and a speech, (I protest before ly from your royal mouth, or from my Lord of God,) I would never speak word for it. But to Salisbury. At that time it pleased your majesty conclude, as my honourable lady was some mean also to assure me, that upon the remove of the to make me to change the name of another; so, then attorney, I should not be forgotten, but be if it please you to help me, as you said, to change brought into ordinary place; and this was conmine own name, I cannot be but more and more firmed unto me by many of my lords. And towards bounden to you; and I am much deceived, if the end of the last term, the manner also in particuyour lordship find not the king well inclined: as lar spoken of, that is, that Mr. Solicitor should be for my Lord of Salisbury, he is forward and affec-made your majesty's serjeant, and I solicitor; for tionate. so it was thought best to sort with both our gifts and faculties for the good of our service, and of this resolution both court and country took notice. Neither was this any invention or project of mine own, but moved from my lords, I think first from my lord chancellor; whereupon resting, your majesty well knoweth, I never opened my mouth for the greater place, although, I am sure, I had two circumstances that Mr. Attorney that now is could not allege; the one nine years' service of the crown; the other, the being cousin-german to my Lord of Salisbury; for of my father's service I will not speak. But for the less place, I conceive, it was never meant me: but after that Mr. Attorney Hubbard was placed, I heard no more of any preferment, but it seemed to be at a stop, to my great disgrace and discontentment. For, gracious sovereign, if still, when the waters be stirred, another shall be put in before me, your majesty hath need work a miracle, or else I shall be a lame man to do your services. And therefore my most humble suit unto your majesty is, that this, which seemed to me intended, may speedily be performed; and I hope my former services shall be but as beginnings to better, when I am better strengthened: for sure I am no man's heart is fuller, I say not, but many may have greater hearts, but I say not fuller of love and duty towards your majesty and your children, as I hope time will manifest against envy and detraction, if any be. To conclude, I humbly crave pardon for my boldness, Yours, etc.

etc.

FR. BACON.

FR. BACON.

SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING.*

IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
How honestly ready I have been, most gracious
sovereign, to do your majesty humble service to
the best of my power, and in a manner beyond
my power, as I now stand, I am not so unfortunate
but your majesty knows; both in the commission
of union, the labour whereof, for men of my pro-
fession, rested most upon my hands; and this last
parliament, for the bill of subsidy, both body and
preamble: in the bill of attainders of Tresham,
and the rest; in the matter of purveyance, in the
ecclesiastical petitions, in the grievances, and the
like; as I was ever careful, not without good suc-
cess, sometimes to put forward that which was
good, sometimes to keep back that which was
worse; so your majesty was pleased kindly to
accept of my services, and to say to me, such con-
flicts were the wars of peace, and such victories
the victories of peace; and therefore such servants
as obtained them were, by kings that reign in
peace, no less to be esteemed than conquerors in
the wars.
In all which, nevertheless, I can
challenge to myself no sufficiency, that I was

This is merely a copy of a letter, which will be found in page 32, but there are some variations, which have induced me to insert both of them: In the latter letter he refers to his father.

[ocr errors]

LETTERS FROM THE RESUSCITATIO.

A LETTER TO QUEEN ELIZABETH, UPON SENDING | ipsos." Your profession of affection, and offer

OF A NEW YEAR'S GIFT.

of good offices, are welcome to me: For answer
to them, I will say but this; that you have be-
lieved I have been kind to you; and you may be-
lieve that I cannot be other, either upon humour
or mine own election. I am a stranger to all
poetical conceits, or else I should say somewhat
of your poetical example. But this I must say ;
that I never flew with other wings than desire to
merit; and confidence in my sovereign's favour;
and when one of these wings failed me, I would
light no where but at my sovereign's feet, though
she suffered me to be bruised, with my fall. And
till her majesty, that knows I was never bird of
prey, finds it to agree with her will and her service,
that my wings should be imped again, I have com-
No
but
power, my
God's, and my sovereign's can alter this resolu-
tion of Your retired friend,
ESSEX.

IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
According to the ceremony of the time, I would
not forget, in all humbleness, to present your
majesty with a small New Year's gift: nothing
to my mind. And therefore to supply it, I can
but pray to God to give your majesty his New
Year's Gift; that is, a new year that shall be as
no year to your body, and as a year with two
harvests to your coffers; and
every other
prosperous and gladsome. And so I remain.

way

A LETTER TO QUEEN ELIZABETH, UPON THE mitted myself to the mue.
SENDING OF A NEW YEAR'S GIFT.

MOST EXCELLENT SOVEREIGN MISTRESS:

The only New Year's Gift which I can give
your majesty, is that which God hath given to me:
which is, a mind, in all humbleness, to wait upon
your commandments and business: wherein I
would to God that I were hooded, that I saw less;
or that I could perform more: for now I am like a
hawk, that bates, when I see occasion of service,
but cannot fly, because I am tied to another's fist.
But, meanwhile, I continue my presumption of
making to your majesty my poor oblation of a
garment, as unworthy the wearing as his service
that sends it: but the approach to your
person may give worth to both: which is all the
happiness I aspire unto.

excellent

AN ANSWER OF MY LORD OF ESSEX, TO A
LETTER OF MR. BACON'S. (See p. 8.)
MR. BACON,

I can neither expound, nor censure your late
actions; being ignorant of all of them, save one;
and having directed my sight inward only, to
examine myself. You do pray me to believe,
that you only aspire to the conscience and com-
mendation, of "Bonus Civis," and "Bonus Vir;"
and I do faithfully assure you, that while that is
your ambition, (though your course be active and
mind contemplative,) yet we shall, both, "Conve-
nire in eodem Tertio;" and "Convenire inter nos

A LETTER COMMENDING HIS LOVE AND OCCA-
SIONS TO SIR THOMAS CHALLONER, THEN IN
SCOTLAND, UPON HIS MAJESTY'S ENTRANCE.

SIR,

:

For our money matters, I am assured you received no insatisfaction: for you know my mind; and you know my means; which now the openness of the time, caused by this blessed consent and peace, will increase; and so our agreement according to your time be observed. For the present, according to the Roman adage, (that one cluster of grapes ripeneth best beside another;) I know you hold me not unworthy, whose mutual friendship you should cherish and I, for my part, conceive good hope that you are likely to become an acceptable servant to the king our master. Not so much for any way made heretofore, (which in my judgment will make no great difference,) as for the stuff and sufficiency, which I know to be in you; and whereof I know his majesty may reap great service. And, therefore, my general request is, that according to that industrious vivacity, which you use towards your friends, you will further his majesty's good conceit and inclination towards me; to whom words cannot make me known; neither mine own nor others; but time will, to no disadvantage of any that shall forerun his majesty's experience, by

your testimony and commendation. And though occasion give you the precedence of doing me this special good office; yet, I hope no long time will intercede, before I shall have some means to requite your favour and acquit your report. More particularly, having thought good to make oblation of my most humble service to his majesty by a few lines, I do desire your loving care and help by yourself, or such means as I refer to your discretion, to deliver and present the same to his majesty's hands. Of which letter I send you a copy, that you may know what you carry; and may take of Mr. Matthew the letter itself; if you pleased to undertake the delivery. Lastly, I do commend to yourself, and such your courtesies as occasion may require, this gentleman, Mr. Matthew, eldest son to my Lord Bishop of Durham, and my very good friend; assuring you that any courtesy, you shall use towards him, you shall use to a very worthy young gentleman, and one, I know, whose acquaintance you will much esteem. And so, I ever continue.

A LETTER TO MR. DAVIS, THEN GONE TO THE
KING, AT HIS FIRST ENTRANCE.

MASTER DAVIS,
Though you went on the sudden, yet you could
not go before you had spoken with yourself to the
purpose, which I will now write. And, therefore,
I know it shall be altogether needless, save that I
meant to show you that I was not asleep. Briefly,
I commend myself to your love and the well using
my name; as well in repressing and answering
for me, if there be any biting or nibbling at it in
that place; as by imprinting a good conceit and
opinion of me, chiefly in the king, (of whose
favour I make myself comfortable assurance ;) as
otherwise in that court. And, not only so, but
generally to perform to me all the good offices,
which the vivacity of your wit can suggest to
your mind, to be performed to one, with whose
affection you have so great sympathy; and in
whose fortune you have so great interest. So,
desiring you to be good to concealed poets,
continue.

hope to have some means not to be barren in friendship towards you. We all thirst after the king's coming, accenting all this but as the dawning of the day, before the rising of the sun, till we have his presence. And though now his majesty must be Janus Bifrons, to have a face to Scotland as well as to England, yet, "Quod nunc instat agendum:" The expectation is here, that he will come in state and not in strength. So, for this time I commend you to God's goodness.

A LETTER TO MR. FAULES, 28 MARTII, 1603. MR. FAULES,

I did write unto you yesterday, by Mr. Lake, (who was despatched hence from their lordships,) a letter of revivor, of those sparks of former acquaintance between us in my brother's time: and now upon the same confidence, finding so fit a inessenger, I would not fail to salute you; hoping it will fall out so happily, as that you shall be one of the king's servants, which his majesty will first employ here with us: where I

A LETTER TO THE EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON, UPON

THE KING'S COMING IN.

IT MAY PLEASE YOur Lordship,

I would have been very glad, to have presented my humble service to your lordship by my attendance, if I could have foreseen that it should not have been unpleasing unto you. And, therefore, because I would commit no error, I chose to write; assuring your lordship, how credible soever it may seem to you at first, yet, it is as true as a thing that God knoweth; that this great change hath wrought in me no other change towards your lordship than this; that I may safely be now that which I was truly before. And so, craving no other pardon, than for troubling you with my letter, I do not now begin to be, but continue to be, Your lordship's humble and much devoted.

A LETTER TO THE EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND,
AFTER HE HAD BEEN WITH THE KING.

IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,

I would not have lost this journey, and yet I have not that I went for. For I have had no private conference to purpose with the king. No more hath almost any other English: for the speech, his majesty admitteth with some noblemen, is rather matter of grace than matter of business; with the attorney he spake, urged by the Treasurer of Scotland, but no more than needs must. I After I had received his majesty's first welcome, and was promised private access: yet, not knowing what matter of service your lordship's letter carried, (for I saw it not,) and well knowing that primeness in advertisement is much, I chose rather to deliver it to Sir Thomas Heskins than to cool it in mine own hands upon expectation of access. Your lordship shall find a prince the furthest from vainglory that may be; and rather, like a prince of the ancient form than of the latter time: his speech is swift and cursory, and in the full dialect of his country, and in speech of business short, in speech of discourse large: he affecteth popularity, by gracing such as he hath heard to be popular, and not by any fashions of his own. He is thought somewhat

« PreviousContinue »