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TO SIR ROBERT CECII.
my kinsman; wherein if he be happy he cannot
The argument of my letters to ycar lordship assuring you that this bond of alliance shall, on rather increaseth than spendeth ; it being only the my part, tie me to give all the tribute to your
desire I have to salute you: which, by your abgood fortune upon all occasions, that my poor
sence is more augmented than abated. For me strength can yield. I send you so required an
to write your lordship occurrences either of Scotabstract of the lands of inheritance, and one lease tish brags or Irish plants, or Spanish ruffling, or of great value, which my kinsman bringeth, with Low Country states, were (besides that it is a note of the tenures, values, contents, and state,
66 alienum quiddam” from mine own humour) to truly and perfectly drawn; whereby you may per- forget to whom I write; save that you, that know ceive the land is good land, and well countenanced true advertisements, sometimes desire and delight by scope of acres, woods, and royalties, though to hear common reports; as we that know but the total of the rents be set down as it now goeth common reports desire to hear the truth. But to without improvement: in which respect it leave such as write to your fortunes, I write to
may somewhat differ from your first note. Out of this, yourself in regard of my love to you, you being what he will assure in jointure, I leave it to his as near to me in heart's blood as in blood of deown kindness; for I love not to measure affection. scent. This day I had the contentment to see To conclude, I doubt not your daughter might your father upon occasion; and methought his have married to a better living, but never to a lordship's countenance was not decayed, nor his better life; having chosen a gentleman bred to all cough vehement; but his voice was as faint all honesty, virtue, and worth, with an estate conve- the while as at first. Thus, wishing your lordvient. And if my brother or myself were either ship a happy and speedy return, I commend you thrivers, or fortunate in the queen’s service, 1 to the Divine Majesty. would hope there should be left as great a house of the Cokes in this gentleman as in your good friend, Mr. Attorney General. But sure I am,
TO THE QUEEN. if Scriptures fail not, it will have as much of God's blessing and sufficiency as ever the best IT MAY PLEASE YOUR SACRED MAJESTY, feast, &c.
I would not fail to give your majesty my most humble and due thanks for your royal choice of such commissioners in the great Star Chamber
cause; being persons besides their honour of such TO SIR ROBERT CECIL, AT HIS BEING IN
science and integrity. By whose report I doubt not but your majesty will find that which you
have been heretofore informed, (both by my lord IT MAY PLEASE YOUR HONOURABLE Lordship, keeper, and by some much meaner person,)
I know you will pardon this my observance, in touching the nature of that cause, to be true. writing to you empty of matter, but out of the This preparatory hearing doth already assail me fulness of my love. I am sorry that, as your with new and enlarged offers of composition; time of absence is prolonged above that was which, if I had borne a mind to have hearkened esteemed at your lordship’s setting forth ; so, now, unto, this matter had been quenched long ago, upon this last advertisement received from you, without any benefit to your majesty. But your there groweth an opinion amongst better than the majesty's benefit is to me in greater regard than vulgar, that the difficulties also of your negotia- mine own particular : trusting to your majesty's tion are increased. But, because I know the gravity gracious disposition and royal word, that your of your nature to be not to hope lightly, it maketh majesty will include me in any extraordinary me to despair the less. For you are “natus ad course of your sovereign pleasure, which your ardua :" and the indisposition of the subject may majesty shall like to take in this cause. The honour the skill of the workman. Sure I am, other man I spoke to your majesty of, may, within judgment and diligence shall not want in your these two terms, be in the same straits between 'ordship’s self: but this was not my purpose; your majesty's justice and mercy, that this man being only to signify unto your lordship my con- now is, if your majesty be so pleased. So, most tinual and incessant love towards you, thirsting humbly craving pardon for my presuming to seek after your return for many respects. So I com- access for these few lines, I recommend your mend you ever to the good preservation of the majesty to the most precious custody, and best divine majesty. Gray's Inn.
preservation of the Divine Majesty. At your honour's commandment, ever,
Your majesty's most humble and entirely and particularly.
obedient servant and subject.
TO THE QUEEN.*
believe your lordship looked to have found her IT mar pleASE YOUR MAJESTY,
majesty in all points as you have done; neither 11 were great simplicity in me to look for better her majesty, percase, looked to have found your than that your majesty should cast away my letter lordship as she hath done. And, therefore, I hope as you have done me; were it not that it is pos- upon this experience may grow more perfect sible your majesty will think to find somewhat in knowledge, and upon knowledge more true conit, whereupon your displeasure may take hold; sent; which I, for my part, do infinitely wish, as and so indignation may obtain that of you which accounting these accidents to be like the fish, favour could not. Neither might I in reason pre- remora, which, though it be not great, yet hath it sume to offer unto your majesty dead lines, my- a hidden property to hinder the sailing of the ship. self being excluded as I am; were it not upon And, therefore, as bearing unto your lordship, this only argument or subject; namely, to clear after her majesty, of all public persons the second myself in point of duty. Duty, though my state duty, I could not but signify unto you my affeclie buried in the sands, and my favours be cast tionate gratulation. And so I commend your upon the waters, and my honours be committed good lordship to the best preservation of the to the wind; yet standeth surely built upon the Divine Majesty. rock, and hath been, and ever shall be unforced From Gray's Inn. and unattempted. And, therefore, since the world out of error, and your majesty I fear out of art is pleased to put upon me; that I have so much as any election or will in this my absence
TO SIR ROBERT CECIL. from attendance; I cannot but leave this protestation with your majesty; That I am and have IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD Honour, been merely a patient, and take myself only to
I am apt enough to condemn “mendacia famæ," obey and execute your majesty's will. And, yet it is with this distinction, as fame walks indeed, madam, 1 had never thought it possible among inferiors, and not as it hath entrance into that your majesty could have so disinterested some ears. And, yet, nevertheless, in that kind yourself of me; nor that you had been so perfect also, I intend to avoid a suspicious silence, but in the art of forgetting; nor that after a quintes- not to make any base apology. It is blown about sence of wormwood, your majesty would have the town that I should give opinion touching my taken so large a draught of poppy; as to have Lord of Essex’s cause; first, that it was a prepassed so many summers without all feeling of munire ; and now last, that it reached to high my sufferings. But the only comfort I have is
treason. And this opinion should be given in this
, that I know your majesty taketh delight and opposition to the opinion of the lord chief justice contentment in executing this disgrace upon me. and of Mr. Attorney-General. Sir, I thank God, And, since your majesty can find no other use of whatsoever opinion my head serveth me to delime,
I am glad yet I can serve for that. Thus ver to her majesty, being asked, my heart serveth making my most humble petition to your majesty, me to maintain; the same honest duty directing that in justice (howsoever you may by strange- me and assisting me. But the utter untruth of ness untie, or by violence cut asunder all other this report God and the queen can witness ; and knots
) your majesty would not touch me in that the improbability of it every man that hath wit, which is indissoluble ; that is, point of duty: and more or less, can conceive. The root of this i
your majesty will pardon this my unwar- discern to be not so much a light and humorous ranted presumption of writing, being to such an envy at my accesses to her majesty, (which of end : I cease in all humbleness;
her majesty's grace being begun in my first years, Your majesty's poor, and never
I would be sorry she should estrange in my last so unworthy servant,
years, for so I account them, reckoning by health, Essex. not by age;) as a deep malice to your honourable
self; upon whom, by me, through nearness, they think to make some aspersion. But, as I know
no remedy against libels and lies, so I hope it IT MAY PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIP,
shall make no manner of disseverance of your That your lordship is in « statu quo prius," no honourable good conceits and affection towards man taketh greater gladness than I do; the rather, me; which is the thing I confess to fear. For, because I assure myself that of your eclipses, as
as for any violence to be offered to me, wherewith this hath been the longest, it shall be the least; my friends tell me, to no small terror, that I am as the comical poet saith, * neque illam tu satis threatened, I thank God I have the privy coat of noveras, neque te illa, hoc ubi fit
, ibi non vivitur." a good conscience; and have a good while since For, if I may be so bold as to say what I think, I put off any fearful care of life, or the accidents of
life. So, desiring to be preserved in your gocul • Written by Mr. Bacon for my Lord of Essex.
opinion, I remain.
TO MY LORD OF ESSEX.
TO THE QUEEN.
entrance into some ears. For your lordship’s IT MAY PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENT MAJESTY, love, rooted upon good opinion, I esteem it highly,
I presume, according to the ceremony and good because I have tasted the fruits of it; and we both manner of the time, and my accustomed duty, in have tasted of the best waters, in my account, to all humbleness to present your majesty with a knit minds together. There is shaped a tale in simple gift; almost as far from answering my London's forge that beateth apace at this time; mind as sorting with your greatness; and there that I should deliver opinion to the queen in my with wish that we may continue to reckon on, Lord of Essex's cause; first, that it was pre. and ever your majesty's happy years of reign: ruunire, and now last, that it was high treason; and they that reckon upon any other hopes, I would and this opinion to be in opposition and encounter they might reckon short, and to their cost. And of the lord chief justice's opinion, and the atso, craving pardon most humbly, I commend your torney-general's. My lord, (I thank God,) my majesty to the preservation of the Divine goodness. wit serveth me not to deliver any opinion to the
queen which my stomach serveth me not to main
tain: one and the same conscience of duty guiding TO THE QUEEN.
me, and fortifying me. But the untruth of this IT MAY PLEASE YOUR Most EXCELLENT Majesty, there I leave it : knowing no more remedy against
fable God and my sovereign can witness, and I most humbly entreat your majesty not to impute my absence to any weakness of mind or
lies than others do against libels. The root, no unworthiness. But I assure your majesty I do question of it, is, partly, some light-headed envy find envy beating so strongly upon me, standing at my accesses to her majesty, which being begun as I do, (if this be to stand,) as it were not strength
and continued since my childhood, as long as her of mind, but stupidity, if I should not decline the majesty shall think me worthy of them, I scorn occasions, except I could do your majesty more
those that shall think the contrary. And another service than I can any ways discern that I am
reason is, the aspersion of this tale, and the envy able to do. My course towards your majesty
thereof, upon some greater man, in regard of my (God is my witness) hath been pure and unlea
And, therefore, (my lord,) I pray you vened; and never poor gentleman (as I am per
answer for me to any person that you think worthy
Lord suaded) had a deeper and truer desire and care of your own reply, and my defence. For my your glory, your safety, your repose of mind, of Essex, I am not servile to him, having regard your service; wherein if I have exceeded my out
to my superior's duty. I have been much bound ward vocation, I most humbly crave your ma
unto him ; and, on the other side, I have spent jesty's pardon for my presumption. On the other more time and more thoughts about his wellside, if I have come short of my inward vocation, doing than ever I did about mine own. I pray
God I most humbly crave God's pardon for quenching
you his friends amongst you be in the right. the spirit. But in this mind I find such solitude,
“ Nulla remedia, tam faciunt dolorem, quam quæ and want of comfort, which I judge to be because sunt salutaria.” For my part, I have deserved I take duty too exactly, and not according to the better than to have my name objected to envy, or dregs of this age, wherein the old anthem might my life to a ruffian's violence; but I have the never be more truly sung; “ Totus mundus in privy coat of a good conscience. I am sure these maligno positus est.” My life hath been threat- courses and bruits hurt my lord more than all. ered, and my name libelled, which I count an
So having written to your lordship, I desire ex. honour; but these are the practices of those whose ceedingly to be preferred in your good opinion despairs are dangerous, but yet not so dangerous and love, and so leave you to God's goodness. as their hopes; or else the devices of some that would put out all your majesty's lights, and fall on reckoning how many years you have reigned, which I beseech our blessed Saviour may be THE EARL OF ESSEX'S LETTER TO THE COUNCIL, doubled: and that I may never live to see any AT HIS EMBARKING FOR SPAIN. JUNE, 1596. eclipse of your glory, interruption of safety, or My VERY GOOD LORDS, indisposition of your person, which I commend to the Divine Majesty, who keep you and fortify you. to our land forces, and staying only till the ships
Having taken order for all things that belong be ready to take in our soldiers, I am come aboard,
as well to draw other men by my example to leave TO MY LORD HEN. HOWARD.
the shore, as to have time and leisure to ask ac
count of myself what other duty I have to do, Ms LORD,— There be very few besides yourself besides the governing of those troops, and the to whom I would perform this respect ; for I con- using of them to good purpose. In which meditemn mendacia famæ," as it walks among in- tation, as I first study to please my most gracious frriors; though I neglect it not, as it may have sovereign, as well as to serve her; so my next
care is, to leave your lordships well satisfied of my divided his fleets : some appointed to be set out, past carriage since I was nominated to this service; and yet scant in readiness; others upon point of and apt to make favourable construction of what coming home, and not fit to defend themselves, I shall do hereafter.
if either they be met at sea, or found in harbour; In my past carriage I will neither plead merit and all so dispersed in several places, as if at any nor excuse imperfections : for whatsoever I shall time we might do good that way, it is now. And be able to do, I know, is less than I owe; and whether he will make war upon us, if we let him besides my faults, my very faith and zeal (which alone: let his solicitations, offers, and gifts to the are the best things in me) do make me commit rebels of Ireland ; his besieging and winning of errors. But I would fain approve the maiter Calais, and those parts of France that front upon itself of undertaking this service to have been us; and his strengthening himself by sea by so good, howsoever my former have been erroneous; many means; let these things (I say) tell us. or at least, my intent and ends unblameable, So, as if we will at any time allow the counsel though my judgment were faulty. Your lordships of prevention to be reasonable, we must now conknow it hath been the wisdom of all times rather fess it to be opportune. But whatsoever the to attempt and do something in another country counsel were, I am not to be charged with it. than to attend an enemy, and be in danger much For as I was not the contriver, nor offerer of the in our own. And if this rule among the ancients project, so if I had refused to join with him was generally held true, it might be better allowed (that did invite me to its) I should have been of us in particular cases, where a state little in thought both incompatible and backward in her territory, not extraordinary rich, and defended majesty's service. I say not this, for that I think only with itself, shall have to do with another the action such as it were disadvantage to be state that hath many and ample dominions, the thought the projector of it; but I say, and say treasure of the Indies, and all the mercenaries of truly, that my lord admiral devised it, presented Christendom to serve it. For we have, as the it to her majesty, and had as well the approbaAthenians had with the ancient usurping Philip; tion of her majesty and the assent of such of your "* prælium facile, bellum difficile.” Therefore, it lordships as were acquainted with it, as my prois our disadvantage to draw the war into length. mise to go with him. One thing (I confess) I And if any man in this kingdom should be allowed above all men am to be charged withal: that is, to persuade to prevention, he might be one that that when her majesty's, the city of London's, and saw the Spaniard at home apprehend an invasion the states of the Low Countries' charge was past, with greater terror than he makes it abroad : and the men levied and marching to the rendezvous; that was a witness how a handful of men, nei- I could not see how with her majesty's honour ther armed, victualled, nor ordered as they should and safety the journey might be broken. Wherebe, landed, marched, and had done what they in, although I should be carried with passion, yet listed, if either the ships had come up, or they I pray your lordships consider who almost that had had any provisions to make a in a wall or to een in my case named to such an action, voiced break open a gate. But though the counsel be throughout Christendom, and engaged in it as good for some states, and for ours at some times, much as I was worth; and being the instrument yet the opportunities ought to be watched, and it of drawing more voluntary men of their own must appear that this it is which is now taken. charge than ever was seen these many years : The opportunity for such service I take to be when who (I say) would not have been so affected? either the enemy may receive the most hurt, or But far be it from me, in any action of this imwhen he is likeliest to attempt against us, if he portance to weigh myself or my particular forbe not impeached. The hurt that our estate should tunes. I must beseech your lordships to rememseek to do him is, to intercept his treasure, whereby ber that I was from time to time warranted by all we shall cut his sinews, and make war upon him your opinions, delivered both amongst yourselves with his own money; and to beat, or at least dis- and to her majesty: which tieth you all to allow continue him from the sea, whereby her majesty the counsel. And that being granted, your lordshall be both secured from his invasions, and ships will call that zeal, which maketh a man become mistress of the sea ; which is the great- constant in a good counsel, that would be passion ness that the queen of an island should most in an evil, or a doubtful. I confess, her majesty aspire unto. In matter of profit we may this offered us recompense for all our charges and journey most hurt him, and benefit ourselves; losses. But (my lords) I pray your lordships since he hath (as is agreed on by all men) more consider how many things I should have sold at caracks to come home now than ever any year once for money? I will leave mine own reputabefore. Besides many good advantages which tion as too small a matter to be mentioned. But shall be offered if we command the coast. And I should have sold the honour of her majesty, the so give him a blow, and discountenance him by safety of the state, the contentment of her consta, now is the time, when he hath declared his federates, the fortune and hope of many of my ambition to command the seas; and yet, so poor countrymen, and the possibility of giving a
blow to that enemy that ought ever to be hateful wars is peace, so she might have had peace when to all true English hearts. I should have sold she would, and with what conditions she would, all this for private profit; therefore, though I ask and have included or left out whom she would. pardon of her majesty, and pray your lordships For, she only, by this course, should force hi.. to mediate it for me, that I was carried by this to wish for peace, and she had the means in her zeal so fast that I forgot those reverend forms hands to make the conditions: and as easy it had which I should have used, yet I had rather have been to have done this as to have performed my heart out of my body than this zeal out of my lesser services. The objections against this will heart. And now, as I have laid before your be hazard and charge. Hazard, to hold any lordships my past carriage, and entering into this thing of his that is so mighty a king: and action, so I beseech your lordships give me leave charge, to send such supplies from time to time to prepare you to a favourable construction of as will be needful. For hazard, it is not the that which I shall do hereafter; in which suit I hazard of the state or the whole, as are the ain resolved neither to plead the hazarding of hazards of a defensive war, whensoever we are life, nor spending of my substance in a public enforced to fight, but it is only a hazard of some service; to the end that I might find your lord- few, and such commanders, as shall be set out ships (who are public persons) more favourable for such a service. And those also that shall be judges: but will confess, that I receive so much so hazarded, shall be in less danger than is they favour and honour by this trust and employment, were put into any frontier places of France, as, when I have done all I can, I shall still be or of the Low Countries, for they should not be behindhand. This suit only I make, that your left in any part of the main or continent of Spain lordships will neither have too great an expecta- or Portugal, where the enemy might bring an tion of our actions, nor too little, lest all we do army to attempt them; (though I doubt not but seem either nothing, or to be done by chance. I after he had once tried what it were to besiege know we must be tied to do more than shall be two or three thousand English, in a place well for her majesty's service, nor no less; in which fortified, and where they had a port open, he straight way, though it be hard for-so weak a would grow quickly weary of those attempts ;) man as myself to walk upright, yet the example but they should be so lodged as the seat and of our raw soldiers may comfort an insufficient strength of the place should warrant their safety, general; for they, till they grow perfect in all so that to pull her majesty's men out of it should their orders and motions, are so afraid to be out, be a harder task than to conquer any country that and with such a continual heedfulness, observe stands on firm land by him: and to let English both themselves and those that are near them, quietly possess it, should so much prejudice him, that they do keep almost as good order at the first as he were not able to endure it. And, for as ever after. I am sure I am as distrustful of charge, there need not so much be expended but myself as they, and because I have more sense that it might easily be borne. And the place of duty, 1 shall be more industrious. For sea- being well chosen, and the war well conducted, service, the judgment of my honourable compa- in a short time there would not only arise nion shall be my compass; and for land, his enough to pay the charge, but the great profit to assent, and the advice of those her majesty hath her majesty, and wealth to our country would named as counsellors at war shall be my war- grow from the place that should be held, for in a ranties. It will be honour to her majesty, and a short time a great part of the golden Indian great assurance to her state, if we either bring stream might be turned from Spain to England, home wealth or give the King of Spain a blow by and her majesty be made to give law to all the sea. But to have made a continual diversion, world by sea without her charge. Besides, this and to have left, as it were, a thorn sticking fearful enemy, which is now a terror to all Chrisin his foot, had been a work worthy of such a tendom, should be so weakened in strength, requeen, and of such a preparation. For then her putation, and purse, as her majesty should forever majesty should have heard no more of his inten- after have an easy enemy of him. It may be, tions for Ireland, and attempts upon the coast of your lordships will desire to know the place France, or his drawing of ships or galleys into that should be attempted; the means, first to take these narrow seas, but should at once have deliver- it, then to hold it; the commodity or advantage er all Christendom from his fearful usurpation. I that might grow to this estate by it, but that Wherein, as she had been great in fame for such with your lordships' leave shall be reserved will a genera! preservation, so she had been as great iny next. This is only to beseech you, for our in power in making all the enemies of Spain in dear sovereign's sake, for the glory and weliare Christendom to depend upon her. She should of her, and her estate, that you will think upon be head of the party; she only might be said to this general proposition; and if your lordships inake the wars with Spain, because she made find it reasonable, that you will move it lo the them to purpose, and they all but as her assistants queen; by whom if I be commanded to set down and dependants. And, lastly, as the end of the the hypothesis, or to descend unto particulars, I