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TORY OF HIS MAJESTY'S TIME.
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présenteth 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 abyssas of misery) towards me. I have been majesty's hopes, so his highness doth, in all ever your man, and counted myself but an things, right to her memory; a very just and usufructuary of myself, the property being yours. princely retribution. But from this occasion, by And now, making myself an oblation, to do with a very easy ascent, I passed farther, being put in me as may best conduce to the honour of your mind, by this representative of her person, of the justice, the honour of your mercy, and the use of more true and more perfect representative, which your service, resting as
is, of her life and government. For as statues Clay in your majesty's gracious hands, and pictures are dumb histories, so histories are
Fr. St. ALBAN, Can. speaking pictures ; wherein (if my affection be March 25, 1620.
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 SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, UPON THE
And though she was of the passive BENDING UNTO HIM A BEGINNING OF A HIS- sex, yet her government was so active, as, in my
simple opinion, it made more impression upon IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
the several states of Europe, than it received Hearing that you are at leisure to peruse story, from thence. But I confess unto your lordship, a desire took me to make an experiment what í I could not stay here, but went a little farther into could do in your majesty's times, which, being the consideration of the times which have passed but a leaf or two, I pray your pardon, if I send since King Henry the Eighth ; wherein I find it for your recreation, considering, that love must the strangest variety, that in so little number of ereep where it cannot go. But to this I add successions of any hereditary monarchy, hath these petitions : first, that if your majesty do dis- ever been known; the reign of a child, the offer like
any thing: you would conceive I can amend of a usurpation, though it were but as a diary it
upon your least beck. Next, that if I have ague; the reign of a lady married to a foreigner, not spoken of your majesty encomiastically, your and the reign of a lady, solitary and unmarried majesty will be pleased only to ascribe it to the So that, as it cometh to pass, in massive bodies, law of a history
, which doth not clutter together that they have certain trepidations, and waverpraises upon the first mention of a nane, but ings, before they fix and settle; so it seemeth, rather disperseth them, and weaveth them that by the providence of God, this monarchy throughout the whole narration. And as for the (before it was to settle in his majesty and his proper place of commemoration, (which is in the generations, in which I hope it is now establishperiod of life,) I pray God I may never live to ed forever) hath had these preclusive changes in write it. Thirdly, that the reason why I pre- these barren princes. Neither could I contain sumed to think of this oblation, was because, myself here, (as it is easier for a man to multiply, whatsoever my disability be, yet I shall have that than to stay a wish,) bat calling to remembrance advantage which almost no writer of history hath the unworthiness of the History of England, in had
, in that I shall write the times, not only the main continuance thereof, and the partiality since I could remember, but since I could ob- and obliquity of that of Scotland, in the latest serve. And, lastly, that it is only for your ma- and largest author that I have seen; I conceived,
it would be an honour for bis majesty, and a work very memorable, if this island of Great Britain, as it is now joined in mon
onarchy 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 hisLOR, TOUCHING THE HISTORY OF BRITAIN.
tory were compiled of both nations. And if any
man think, it may refresh the memory of former IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,
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
oper blet it of er l the
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 remission of the sentence of the Upper House, towards learning, and works which are of the to the end that blot of ignominy, may be mind, and not of the hand. For there cannot be removed from me, and from my memory with the like honour sought in building of galleries, posterity, that I die not a condemned man, but and planting of elms along_highways, and the may be to your majesty, as I am to God, "nova outward ornaments wherein France now is busy, creatura.” Your majesty hath pardoned the like (things rather of magnificence than of magnani- to Sir John Bennet, between whose case and mine mity,) as there is in the uniting of states, pacify- (not being partial to myself, but speaking out of ing of controversies, nourishing and augmentiug the general opinion) there was as much difference, of learning and arts, and the particular action I will not say, as between black and white, but appertaining unto these; of which kind Cicero as between black and grey, or ash-coloured; look, judged truly, when he said to Cæsar, “Quantum therefore, down (dear sovereign) upon me also in operibus tuis detrahet vetustas, tantum addet pity. I know your majesty's heart is inscrutable laudibus." And, lastly, I called to mind, that for goodness; and my Lord of Buckingham was your lordship, at some times, hath been pleased to wont to tell me, you were the best natured man express unto me a great desire, that something in the world; and it is God's property, that those of this matter should be done, answerable indeed he hath loved, he loveth to the end. Let your to your other noble and worthy courses and ac- majesty's grace, in this my desire, stream down tions; joining, and adding unto the great ser- upon me, and let it be out of the fountain and vices towards his majesty (which have in small spring-head, and “ex mero motu," that living or compass of time been performed by your lord- dying, the print of the goodness of King James ship) other great deservings, both of the church, may be in my heart, and his praises in my mouth. and commonwealth, and particulars : so as the This my most humble request granted, may make opinion of so great and wise a man doth seem to me live a year or two happily; and denied, will me a good warrant, both of the possibility, and kill me quickly. But yet the last thing that will worth of the matter. But all this while, I assure die in me will be the heart and affection of myself, I cannot be mistaken by your lordship, Your majesty's most humble and as if I sought an office or employment for myself;
true devoted servant, for no man knows better than your lordship, that
FR. ST. ALBAN. 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 painters, both for hand and colours, it needeth sir FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, UPON PREbut encouragement and instructions to give life
SENTING HIS DISCOURSE, TOUCHING THE PLANunto 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. IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJesty, And so craving pardon that I have taken so much
I know no better way how to express my good time from your lordship, I remain, etc.
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 enEIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, ABOUT THE couraged by my experience of your majesty's PARDON OF THE PARLIAMENT'S SENTENCE. former grace, in accepting of the like poor field
fruits, touching the union. And certainly I reckon Most GRACIOUS AND DREAD SOVEREIGN,
this action as a second brother to the union, for I Before I make my petition to your majesty, I assure myself, that England, Scotland, and Iremake my prayers to God above, “pectore ab land, well united, is such a trefoil as no prince imo," that if I have held any thing so dear as except yourself (who are the worthiest) weareth your majesty's service, (nay) your heart's ease, in his crown, “si potentia reducatur in actum." and your honour, I may be repulsed with a denial. I know well that for me to beat my brains about But if that hath been the principal with me, that these things, they be “majora quam pro fortuna," God, who knoweth my heart, would move your but yet they be “minora quam pro studio et majesty's royal heart to take compassion of me, voluntate.” For as I do yet bear an extreme zeal and to grant my desire.
to the memory of my old mistress, Queen ElizaI prostrate myself at your majesty's feet; I, beth, to whom I was rather bound for her trust your ancient servant, now sixty-four years old in than for her favour; so I must acknowledge myage, and three years and five months old in self more bound to your majesty, both for trust inisery. I desire not from your majesty means, I and favour; whereof I will never deceive the
TATION OF IRELAND.
ing or Janies aouth,
1, will at wil
one, as I can never deserve the other. And so, his lieutenant, I do understand, there hath been
and therefore I have chosen one only justification
sion which I shall now make unto your lordships,
concealed my faults in my bosom." This is the
only justification I will use: it resteth, therefore, I present your lordship with a work of my that, without fig-leaves, I do ingenuously confess Facant time, which if it had been more, the work
and acknowledge, that having understood the
House, but enough to inform my conscience and
lordships to condemn and censure me.
will I prompt your lordships to observe upon the
the argument is good
, if it had lighted upon a good author; but I proofs, where they come not home, or the scruples
will I present unto your lordships, how far a
defence might in divers things extenuate the
gist, or the like circumstances; but only leave
examinations themselves, and charitably to wind
about the particulars of the charge here and there,
as God shall put in your minds; and so submit
to your honourable and worthy ends to introduce
Titus Manlius took his son's life
The next, that after this example, it is like that general. Not many years after, the like severity
my witness, (though it be my fortune to be gracious observation : “ Neque minus firmata
in some things.
reason is of the reformation of justice, for the a £100,000. But the judges first, and most questioning of men of eminent place hath the of the rest, reduced it as before. I do not dislike same terror, though not the same rigour with the that things pass moderately, and, all things conpunishment. But my case stayeth not there; for sidered, it is not amiss, and might easily bare my humble desire is, that his majesty would take been worse. There was much speaking of interthe seal into his hands, which is a great downfall, ceding for the king's mercy, which (in my opinion) and may serve, I hope, in itself, for an expiation was not so proper for a sentence: I said, in conof my faults.
clusion, that mercy was to come “ ex mero motu," Therefore, if mercy and mitigation be in your and so left it. I took some other occasion pertilordships' power, and do no ways cross your ends, nent to do the king honour, by showing how why should I not hope of your favours and com- happy he was in all other parts of his governmiserations? Your lordships may be pleased to ment, save only in the manage of his treasure by behold your chief pattern, the king our sovereign, | these officers. à king of incomparable clemency, and whose I have sent the king a new bill for Sussex, for heart is -inscrutable for wisdom and goodness. my Lord of Nottingham's certificate was true, and You well remember, that there sat not these hun- I told the judges of it before, but they neglected dred years before, in your house, a prince (and it. I conceive the first man (which is newly set never such a prince) whose presence deserveth to down) is the fittest. . God ever preserve and keep be made memorable by records and acts, mixed you, etc. of mercy and justice. Yourselves are either nobles, (and compassion ever beateth in the veins of noble blood,) or reverend prelates, who are the sIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE LORD TREASURER servants of him that would not break the bruised BUCKHURST, UPON THE SAME OCCASION OF reed, nor quench smoking flax.
BOOK OF ADVANCEMENT OF You all sit upon a high stage, and therefore cannot but be more sensible of the changes of May it PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP, human condition, and of the fall of any from high I have finished a work touching the advanceplaces. Neither will your lordships forget that ment or setting forward of learning, which I have there are “ vitia temporis," as well as “ vitia dedicated to his majesty, the most learned of a hominis, and that the beginning of reformation sovereign, or temporal prince, that time hath hath a contrary power to the pool of Bethseda, for known. And upon reason not unlike, I humbly that had strength only to cure him that first cast present one of the books to your lordship, not only in, and this hath strength to hurt him only that is as a chancellor of a university, but as one that first cast in; and for my part, I wish it may stay was excellently bred in all learning, which I have there, and go no farther.
ever noted to shine in all your speeches and beLastly, I assure myself, your lordships have a haviours. And therefore your lordship will yield noble feeling of me, as a member of your own a gracious aspect to your first love, and take pleabody; and one that, in this very session, had some sure in the adorning of that wherewith yourself taste of your loving affections, which I hope was are so much adorned. And so, humbly desiring not a lightning before the death of them, but rather your favourable acceptation thereof, with signifia spark of that grace which now, in the conclu- cation of my humble duty, I remainsion, will more appear. And, therefore, my humble suit to your lordships is, that my voluntary confession may be my sentence, and the loss of the seal my punishment, and that your lordships A LETTER OF THE LIKE ARGUMENT TO THE LORD will spare any farther sentence, but recommend me to his majesty's grace and pardon for all that May IT PLEASE YOUR Good LORDSHIP, is past. And so, etc.
I humbly present your lordship with a work, Your lordships'; etc
wherein, as you have much commandment over FRANCIS ST. ALBAN, Can. the author, so your lordship hath also great
interest in the argument. For, to speak without XX flattery, few have like use of learning, or like
judgment in learning, as I have observed in your THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE DUKE.
lordship. And, again, your lordship hath been a MY VERY GOOD LORD,
great planter of learning, not only in those places My Lord of Suffolk's cause is this day sen- in the church which have been in your own gift, tenced. My lord, and his lady, fined at £30,000, but also in your commendatory vote, no man hath with imprisonment in the Tower at their own more constantly held, “detur digniori ;” and, charges. Bingley at £2,000, and committed to therefore, both your lordship is beholden to learnthe Fleet; Sir Edward Coke did his part, I have ing, and learning beholden to you. Which not heard him do better; and began with a fine of I maketh me presume, with good assurance, that
lordship will accept well of these my for me, to have done as gardeners use to do, by labours
, the rather because your lordship in pri- taking their seeds and slips, and rearing them rate speech hath often begun to me, in expressing first into plants, and so uttering them in pots, your admiration of his majesty's learning, to when they are in flower, and in their best state., whom I have dedicated this work; and, whose But, forasmuch, as my end was merit of the state virtue and perfection in that kind, did chiefly of learning, to my power, and not glory; and, more me to a work of this nature. And, so with because my purpose was rather to excite other signification of my most humble duty and affec-men's wits, than to magnify my own, I was tion towards your lordship, I remain, etc. desirous to prevent the uncertainness of my own
life and times, by uttering rather seeds than
plants; nay, and farther, as the proverb is, by SIR FRANCIS BACON, OF THE LIKE ARGUMENT, sowing with the basket, than with the hand. TO THE EARL OF NORTHAMPTON, WITH RE- Wherefore, since I have only taken upon me to QUEST TO PRESENT THE BOOK TO HIS MA
ring a bell, to call other wits together, (which is
the meanest office,) it cannot but be consonant to IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP, Having finished a work touching the advance- my desire, to have that bell heard as far as can
be. And, since that they are but sparks, which nent of learning, and dedicated the same to his
can work but upon matter prepared, I have the sacred majesty, whom I dare avouch (if the
more reason to wish, that those sparks may fly records of time err not) to be the learnedest king abroad, that they may the better find, and light that hath reigned; I was desirous in a kind of
those minds and spirits which are apt to be congruity, to present it by the learnedest coun- kindled. And, therefore, the privateness of the sellor in this kingdom, to the end, that so good language considered wherein it is written, exeludan argument, lightening upon so bad an author, ing so many readers, (as, on the other side, the might receive some reparation by the hands into
obscurity of the argument, in many parts of it, which, and by which, it should be delivered.
excludeth many others;) I must account it a And, therefore, I make it my humble suit to your second birth of that work, if it might be translated lordship to present this mean, but well meant into Latin, without manifest loss of the sense and writing to his majesty, and with it my humble
matter. For this purpose, I could not represent and zealous duty; and also my like humble request of pardon, if I have too often taken his to myself any man, into whose hands I do more
earnestly desire that work should fall, than yourname in vain
, not only in the dedication, but in self; for, by that I have heard and read, I know the voucher of the authority of his speeches and
no man a greater master in commanding words writings. And so I remain, &c.
to serve matter. Nevertheless, I am not ignorant
of the worth of your labours, whether such as SIR FRANCIS BACON, HIS LETTER OF REQUEST your place and profession imposeth on you, or TO DOCTOR PLAYFER, TO TRANSLATE THE such as your own virtue may, upon your volunBOOK OF ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING INTO tary election, take in hand. But I can lay before
you no other persuasions, than either the work Me. Doctor PLAYFER,
itself may affect you with, or the honour of his A great desire will take a small occasion to majesty, to whom it is dedicated, or your partihope, and put in trial that which is desired. It cular inclination to myself; who, as I never took pleased you a good while since, to express unto so much comfort in any labours of my own, so I me, the good liking which you conceive of my shall never acknowledge myself more obliged in book, of the Advancement of Learning, and that any thing to the labour of another, than in that more significantly (as it seemed to me) than out which shall assist this. Which your labour if I of courtesy, or civil respect. Myself, as I then can, by my place, profession, means, friends, took contentment in your approbation thereof, so travail, word, deed, requite unto you, I shall I should esteem and acknowledge, not only my esteem myself so straitly bound thereunto, as I contentment increased, but my labours advanced, shall be ever most ready, both to take and seek if I might obtain your help in that nature which occasions of thankfulness.
And so leaving it, I desire. Wherein, before I set down in plain nevertheless, “Salva amicitia," (as reason is,) to terms my request unto you, I will open myself, your own good liking, I remain, etc. what it was which I chiefly sought, and propounded to myself, in that work, that you may perceive that which I now desire to be pursuant SIR FRANCIS BACON, TO SIR THOMAS BODLEY, thereupon, if I do not err. (For any judgment that a man maketh of his own doings, had need VANCEMENT OF LEARNING. be spoken with a “Si nunquam fallit imago.") I Sir, have this opinion, that if I had sought my own I think no man may more truly say with the commendation, it had been a much fitter coursel psalm, "multum incola fuit anima mea.” For 1
UPON SENDING HIM HIS BOOK OF THE AD.