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for my constitution,) was ready to have waited | may say to your lordship, in the confidence of upon your majesty this day, all respects set aside; your poor kinsman, and a man by you advanced, but my lord treasurer, in respect of the season," in idem fer opem qui spem dedisti:" for I am and much other business, was willing to save me. I will only conclude, touching these papers, with a text divided; I cannot say "Oportuit hæc fieri," but I may say, "Finis autem nondum." God preserve your majesty.
Your majesty's most humble and
Feb. 14, at 12 o'clock.
sure, it was not possible for a man living to have received from another more significant and comfortable words of hope: your lordship being pleased to tell me, during the course of my last service, that you would raise me, and that, when you are resolved to raise a man, you were more careful of him than himself, and that what you had done for me in my carriage, was a benefit for me, but
I humbly pray your majesty, to keep the papers of no use to your lordship; and, therefore, I might safe.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO MR. TOBY MATTHEWS. MR. MATTHEWS,
Do not think me forgetful, or altered towards you: but if I should say, I could do you any good, I should make my power more than it is. I do fear that which I am right sorry for, that you grow more impatient and busy than at first, which makes me exceedingly fear the issue of that which seemeth not to stand at a stay. I myself am out of doubt, that you have been miserably abused, when you were first seduced; and that which I take in compassion, others may take in severity. I pray God, that understands us all better than we understand one another, continue you, as I hope he will, at least, within the bounds of loyalty to his majesty, and natural piety to your country. And I entreat you much, to meditate sometimes upon the effect of superstition in this last powdertreason, fit to be tabled and pictured in the chambers of meditation, as another hell above the ground; and well justifying the censure of the heathen, that "Superstition is far worse than Atheism," by how much it is less evil to have no good opinion of God at all, than such as are impious towards his divine majesty and goodness. Good Mr. Matthews, receive yourself back from these courses of perdition. Willing to have written a great deal more, I continue
assure myself, you would not leave me there, with
better, when I am once settled.
finish a good work, and consider, that time
LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE KING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY. I dare not presume any more to reply upon your majesty, but reserve my defence till I attend your majesty at your happy return, when I hope verily to approve myself not only a true servant to your majesty, but a true friend to my Lord of Buckingham; and for the times also, I hope to give your majesty a good account, though distance of place may obscure them. But there is one part of your majesty's letter, that I could be sorry to take time to answer; which is, that your majesty conceives, that whereas I wrote that the height of my lord's fortune might make him secure, I mean, that he was turned proud, or unknowing of himself. Surely, the opinion I have ever had of my lord (whereof your majesty is best witness) is far from I am not ignorant how mean a thing I stand for, that. But my meaning was plain and simple, in desiring to come into the solicitor's place: for that his lordship might, through his great fortune, I know well, it is not the thing it hath been, time be the less apt to cast and foresee the unfaithfulhaving wrought an alteration, both in the profes-ness of friends, and the malignity of enemies, and sion, and in that special place. Yet, because I accidents of times. Which is a judgment (your think it will increase my practice, and that it may satisfy my friends, and because I have been voiced to it, I would be glad it were done. Wherein I
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF SALIS-
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,
majesty knoweth better than I) that the best authors make of the best, and best tempered spirits "ut sunt res humanæ;" insomuch as Guicci
ardini maketh the same judgment, not of a parti- | would do, in this, which is not proper for me, nor cular person, but of the wisest state of Europe, in my element, I shall make your majesty amends the senate of Venice, when he saith, their prospe- in some other thing, in which I am better bred. rity had made them secure, and under-weighers God ever preserve, etc. of perils. Therefore, I beseech your majesty, to Jan. 2, 1618. deliver me in this, from any the least imputation to my dear and noble lord and friend. And so expecting, that that sun which, when it went from us, left us cold weather, and now it is returned towards us hath brought with it a blessed harvest, will, when it cometh to us, dispel and disperse all mists and mistakings.
July 31, 1617.
I am, etc.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE KING.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE KING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, Time hath been, when I have brought unto you "Gemitum Columbæ" from others, now I bring it from myself. I fly unto your majesty with the wings of a dove, which, once within these seven days, I thought, would have carried me a higher flight. When I enter into myself, I find not the materials of such a tempest as is come upon me. I have been (as your majesty knoweth best) never author of any immoderate counsel, but always desired to have things carried “suavibus modis." I have been no avaricious oppressor of the people. I have been no haughty, or intole rable, or hateful man, in my conversation or carriage: I have inherited no hatred from my father, but am a good patriot born. Whence should this be; for these are the things that use to raise dislikes abroad.
For the House of Commons, I began my credit there, and now it must be the place of the sepulture thereof. And yet this Parliament, upon the message touching religion, the old love revived, and they said, I was the same man still, only honesty was turned into honour.
For the Upper House, even within these days, before these troubles, they seemed as to take me into their arms, finding in me ingenuity, which they took to be the true straight line of nobleness, without crooks or angles.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, I do many times, with gladness, and for a remedy of my other labours, revolve in my mind the great happiness which God (of his singular goodness) hath accumulated upon your majesty every way, and how complete the same would be, if the state of your means were once rectified, and well ordered; your people military and obedient, fit for war, used to peace; your church illightened with good preachers, as a heaven of stars; your judges learned, and learning from you, just, and just by your example; your nobility in a right distance between crown and people, no oppressors of the people, no over-shadowers of the crown; your council full of tributes of care, faith, and freedom; your gentlemen, and justices of peace, willing to apply your royal mandates to the nature of their several counties, but ready to obey; your servants in awe of your wisdom, in hope of your goodness; the fields growing every day, by the improvement and recovery of grounds, from the desert to the garden; the city grown from wood to brick; your sea-walls, or Pomerium of your island, surveyed, and in edifying; your merchants embracing the whole compass of the world, east, west, north, and south; the times give you peace, and, yet offer you opportunities of action abroad; and, lastly, your excellent royal issue entaileth these blessings and favours of God to descend to And therefore I am resolved, when I come to all posterity. It resteth, therefore, that God hav-my answer, not to trick my innocency (as I writ ing done so great things for your majesty, and to the Lords) by cavillations or voidances; but you for others, you would do so much for yourself, as to go through (according to your good beginnings) with the rectifying and settling of your estate and means, which only is wanting, "Hoc rebus defuit unum." I, therefore, whom only love and duty to your majesty, and your royal line, hath made a financier, do intend to present unto your majesty a perfect book of your estate, like a perspective glass, to draw your estate nearer to your sight; beseeching your majesty to conceive, that if I have not attained to do that I
And for the briberies and gifts wherewith I am charged, when the books of hearts shall be opened, I hope I shall not be found to have the troubled fountain of a corrupt heart, in a depraved habit of taking rewards to pervert justice; howsoever I may be frail, and partake of the abuses of the times.
to speak to them the language that my heart speaketh to me, in excusing, extenuating, or ingenuous confessing; praying God to give me the grace to see to the bottom of my faults, and that no hardness of heart do steal upon me, under show of more neatness of conscience, than is cause.
But not to trouble your majesty any longer, craving pardon for this long mourning letter; that which I thirst after, as the hart after the streams, is, that I may know, by my matchless friend that
presenteth to you this letter, your majesty's heart | beth; wherein I may note much, but this at this (which is an abyssus of goodness, as I am an time, that as her majesty did always right to his abyssus of misery) towards me. I have been ever your man, and counted myself but an usufructuary of myself, the property being yours. And now making myself an oblation, to do with me as may best conduce to the honour of your justice, the honour of your mercy, and the use of your service, resting as
Clay in your majesty's gracious hands,
March 25, 1620.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, UPON THE
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
Hearing that you are at leisure to peruse story, a desire took me to make an experiment what I could do in your majesty's times, which, being but a leaf or two, I pray your pardon, if I send it for your recreation, considering, that love must creep where it cannot go. But to this I add these petitions: first, that if your majesty do dislike any thing, you would conceive I can amend it upon your least beck. Next, that if I have not spoken of your majesty encomiastically, your majesty will be pleased only to ascribe it to the law of a history, which doth not clutter together praises upon the first mention of a name, but rather disperseth them, and weaveth them throughout the whole narration. And as for the proper place of commemoration, (which is in the period of life,) I pray God I may never live to write it. Thirdly, that the reason why I presumed to think of this oblation, was because, whatsoever my disability be, yet I shall have that advantage which almost no writer of history hath had, in that I shall write the times, not only since I could remember, but since I could observe. And, lastly, that it is only for your majesty's reading.
majesty's hopes, so his highness doth, in all things, right to her memory; a very just and princely retribution. But from this occasion, by a very easy ascent, I passed farther, being put in mind, by this representative of her person, of the more true and more perfect representative, which is, of her life and government. For as statues and pictures are dumb histories, so histories are speaking pictures; wherein (if my affection be not too great, or my reading too small) I am of this opinion, that if Plutarch were alive to write lives by parallels, it would trouble him, for virtue and fortune both, to find for her a parallel amongst women. And though she was of the passive sex, yet her government was so active, as, in my simple opinion, it made more impression upon the several states of Europe, than it received from thence. But I confess unto your lordship, I could not stay here, but went a little farther into the consideration of the times which have passed since King Henry the Eighth; wherein I find the strangest variety, that in so little number of successions of any hereditary monarchy, hath ever been known; the reign of a child, the offer of a usurpation, though it were but as a diary ague; the reign of a lady married to a foreigner, and the reign of a lady, solitary and unmarried: So that, as it cometh to pass, in massive bodies, that they have certain trepidations, and waverings, before they fix and settle; so it seemeth, that by the providence of God, this monarchy (before it was to settle in his majesty and his generations, in which I hope it is now established forever) hath had these preclusive changes in these barren princes. Neither could I contain myself here, (as it is easier for a man to multiply, than to stay a wish,) but calling to remembrance the unworthiness of the History of England, in the main continuance thereof, and the partiality and obliquity of that of Scotland, in the latest and largest author that I have seen; I conceived, it would be an honour for his majesty, and a work very memorable, if this island of Great Britain, as it is now joined in monarchy for the ages to come, so it were joined in history for the
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE LORD CHANCEL- times past; and that one just and complete his
LOR, TOUCHING THE HISTORY OF BRITAIN.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,
tory were compiled of both nations. And if any man think, it may refresh the memory of former discord, he may satisfy himself with the verse, Some late act of his majesty, referred to some "Olim hæc meminisse juvabit." For the case former speech which I have heard from your being now altered, it is matter of comfort and lordship, bred in me a great desire, and by gratulation, to remember former troubles. Thus strength of desire a boldness, to make an humble much, if it may please your lordship, was in the proposition to your lordship, such as in me can optative mood, and it was time that I should look be no better than a wish; but if your lordship a little into the potential; wherein the hope that should apprehend it, it may take some good and I received was grounded upon three observations worthy effect. The act I speak of, is the order The first, of these times, which flourish in learngiven by his majesty for the erection of a tomb ing, both of art, and language; which giveth or monument for our late sovereign, Queen Eliza- hope, not only that it may be done. but that it
remission of the sentence of the Upper House, to the end that blot of ignominy may be. removed from me, and from my memory with posterity, that I die not a condemned man, but may be to your majesty, as I am to God, “nova creatura.'
may be well done. Secondly, I do see that which, nor place, nor employment; but only, after so all the world sees in his majesty, a wonderful long a time of expiation, a complete and total judgment in learning, and a singular affection towards learning, and works which are of the mind, and not of the hand. For there cannot be the like honour sought in building of galleries, and planting of elms along highways, and the outward ornaments wherein France now is busy, (things rather of magnificence than of magnanimity,) as there is in the uniting of states, pacifying of controversies, nourishing and augmenting of learning and arts, and the particular action appertaining unto these; of which kind Cicero judged truly, when he said to Cæsar, "Quantum operibus tuis detrahet vetustas, tantum addet laudibus." And, lastly, I called to mind, that your lordship, at some times, hath been pleased to express unto me a great desire, that something of this matter should be done, answerable indeed to your other noble and worthy courses and actions; joining, and adding unto the great services towards his majesty (which have in small compass of time been performed by your lordship) other great deservings, both of the church, and commonwealth, and particulars: so as the opinion of so great and wise a man doth seem to me a good warrant, both of the possibility, and worth of the matter. But all this while, I assure myself, I cannot be mistaken by your lordship, as if I sought an office or employment for myself; for no man knows better than your lordship, that if there were in me any faculty thereunto, yet July 30, 1624. neither my course of life, nor profession would permit it. But because there be so many good
Your majesty hath pardoned the like to Sir John Bennet, between whose case and mine (not being partial to myself, but speaking out of the general opinion) there was as much difference, I will not say, as between black and white, but as between black and grey, or ash-coloured; look, therefore, down (dear sovereign) upon me also in pity. I know your majesty's heart is inscrutable for goodness; and my Lord of Buckingham was wont to tell me, you were the best natured man in the world; and it is God's property, that those he hath loved, he loveth to the end. Let your majesty's grace, in this my desire, stream down upon me, and let it be out of the fountain and spring-head, and "ex mero motu," that living or dying, the print of the goodness of King James may be in my heart, and his praises in my mouth. This my most humble request granted, may make me live a year or two happily; and denied, will kill me quickly. But yet the last thing that will die in me will be the heart and affection of Your majesty's most humble and true devoted servant, FR. ST. ALBan.
SENTING HIS DISCOURSE, TOUCHING THE PLAN-
painters, both for hand and colours, it needeth SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, UPON PREbut encouragement and instructions to give life unto it. So, in all humbleness, I conclude my presenting unto your lordship this wish, which if it perish, it is but a loss of that which is not. And so craving pardon that I have taken so much time from your lordship, I remain, etc.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY,
I know no better way how to express my good wishes of a new year to your majesty, than by this little book, which in all humbleness I send you. The style is a style of business, rather than curious or elaborate, and herein I was en
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, ABOUT THE Couraged by my experience of your majesty's
PARDON OF THE PARLIAMENT'S SENTENCE.
MOST GRACIOUS AND DREAD Sovereign,
Before I make my petition to your majesty, I make my prayers to God above, "pectore ab imo," that if I have held any thing so dear as your majesty's service, (nay) your heart's ease, and your honour, I may be repulsed with a denial. But if that hath been the principal with me, that God, who knoweth my heart, would move your majesty's royal heart to take compassion of me, and to grant my desire.
I prostrate myself at your majesty's feet; I, your ancient servant, now sixty-four years old in age, and three years and five months old in misery. I desire not from your majesty means,
former grace, in accepting of the like poor field-
one, as I can never deserve the other. And so, in all humbleness kissing your majesty's sacred hands, I remain
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF SALISBURY,
VANCEMENT OF LEARNING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,
I present your lordship with a work of my vacant time, which if it had been more, the work had been better. It appertaineth to your lordship (besides my particular respects) in some propriety, in regard you are a great governor in a province of learning, and (that which is more) you have added to your place affection towards learning, and to your affection judgment, of which the last I could be content were (for the time) less, that you might the less exquisitely censure that which I offer to you. But sure I am, the argument is good, if it had lighted upon a good author; but I shali content myself to awake better spirits, like a bellringer which is first up, to call others to church. So, with my humble desire of your lordship's good acceptation, I remain
THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE LORDS.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIPS,
I shall humbly crave at your lordships' hands a benign interpretation of that which I shall now write; for words that come from wasted spirits, and an oppressed mind, are more safe in being deposited in a noble construction, than in being circled with any reserved caution. Having made this as a protection to all which I shall say, I will go on, but with a very strange entrance, (as may seem to your lordships at the first;) for in the midst of a state of as great affliction as I think a mortal man can endure, (honour being above life,) I shall begin with the professing gladness in some things.
The first is, that hereafter the greatness of a judge or magistrate shall be no sanctuary, or protection to him against guiltiness; which, in few words, is the beginning of a golden world.
The next, that after this example, it is like that judges will fly from any thing in the likeness of corruption, (though it were at a great distance,) as from a serpent; which tendeth to the purging of the courts of justice, and reducing them to their true honour and splendour. And in these two points, God is my witness, (though it be my fortune to be the anvil, upon which these good effects are beaten and wrought,) I take no small comfort. But to pass from the motions of my heart, whereof God is only judge, to the merits of my cause, whereof your lordships are only judges, under God, and VOL. III.-4
his lieutenant, I do understand, there hath been
And now that I have spoken to your lordships as judges, I shall say a few words unto you as peers and prelates, humbly commending my cause to your noble minds, and magnanimous affections.
Your lordships are not only judges, but parliamentary judges; you have a farther extent of arbitrary power than other courts: and if you be not tied to the ordinary course of courts or precedents, in point of strictness and severity, much more in points of mercy and mitigation. And yet, if any thing I should move might be contrary to your honourable and worthy ends to introduce a reformation, I should not seek it, but herein I beseech your lordships to give me leave to tell you a story, Titus Manlius took his son's life for giving battle against the prohibition of his general. Not many years after, the like severity was pursued by Papirius Cursur, the dictator, against Quintus Maximus, who, being upon the point to be sentenced, was, by the intercession of some principal persons of the senate, spared; whereupon Livy maketh this grave and gracious observation: "Neque minus firmata est disciplina militaris periculo Quinti Maximi, quam miserabili supplicio Titi Manlii." The discipline of war was no less established by the questioning only of Quintus Maximus, than by the punishment of Titus Manlius. And the same