« VorigeDoorgaan »
The Substance of a Letter I now wish your Lordship should write to her
you desire her majesty to believe id, quod res ipsa loquitur, that it is not conscience to yourself of any advantage her majesty hath towards you, otherwise than the general and infinite advantage of a queen and a mistress ; nor any drift or device to win her majesty to any point or particular, that moveth you to send her these lines of your own mind : but first, and principally, gratitude; next a natural desire of, you will not say, the tedious remembrance, for you can hold nothing tedious that hath been derived from her majesty, but the troubled and pensive remembrance of that which is past, of enjoying better times with her majesty, such as others have had, and that you have wanted. You cannot impute the difference to the continuance of time, which addeth nothing to her majesty but increase of virtue, but rather to your own misfortune
Wherein, nevertheless, if it were only question of your own endurances, though any strength never so good may be oppressed, yet you think you should have suffocated them, as you had often done, to the impairing of your health, and weighing down of your mind. But that which indeed toucheth the quick is, that whereas you accounted it the choice fruit of yourself to be a contentment and entertainment to her majesty's mind, you found many times to the contrary, that you were rather a disquiet to her, and a distaste.
Again, whereas in the course of her service, though you confess the weakness of your own judgment, yet true zeal, not misled with any mercenary nor glorious respect, made you light sometimes upon the best and soundest counsels; you had reason to fear that the distaste particular against yourself made her majesty farther off from accepting any of them from such a hand. So as you seemed, to your deep discomfort, to trouble her majesty's mind, and to foil her business ; inconveniences, which, if you be minded as you ought, thankfulness should teach you to redeem, with stepping down, nay throwing yourself down, from your own fortune. In which intricate case, finding no end of this former course, and therefore desirous to find the beginning of a new, you have not whither to resort, but unto the oracle of her majesty's direction. For though the true introduction ad tempora meliora be by an amnestia of that which is past, except it be in the sense that the verse speaketh, Olim hæc meminisse juvabit, when tempests past are remembered in the calm ; and that you do not doubt of her majesty's goodness in pardoning and obliterating any of your errors and mistakings hereiofore; refreshing the memory and contemplations of your poor services, or any thing that hath been grateful to her majesty from you; yea, and somewhat of your sufferings, so though that be, yet you may be to seek for the time to come. For as you have determined your hope in a good hour not willingly to offend her majesty, either in matter of court or state, but to depend absolutely upon her will and pleasure, so you do more doubt and mistrust your wit and insight in finding her
majesty's mind, than your conformities and submission in obeying it; the rather because you cannot but nourish a doubt in your breast, thai her majesty, as princes' hearts are inscrutable, hath many times towards you aliud in ore, et aliud in corde. So that you, that take her secundum literam, go many times farther out of your way.
Therefore your most humble suit to her majesty is, that she will vouchsafe you that approach to her heart and bosom, et ad scrinium pectoris, plainly, for as much as concerneth yourself, to open and expound her mind towards you, suffering you to see clear what may have bred any dislike in her majesty; and in what points she would have you reform yourself, and how she would be served by you. Which done, you do assure her majesty, she shall be both at the beginning and the ending of all that you do, of that regard, as you may presume to impart to her majesty.
And so that hoping that this may be an occasion of some farther serenity from her majesty towards you, you refer the rest to your actions, which may verify what you have written; as that you have written may interpret your actions, and the course you shall hereafter take. Indorsed by Mr. Francis Bacon-A Letter framed for
my Lord of Essex to the Queen.
4 F. Life, p. xc.
In the Harl. MS. No. 6854, fol. 188, entituled a description of the arraignment of Robert, Earl of Essex, and Henry, Earl of Southampton, the 19th day of February, 1600, is the following speech of Lord Bacon's :
Then Mr. Bacon entered into a speeche much after this fashion, in speaking of this late and horrible rebellion which hath been in the eis and eares of all men. I shall save my self much labour in opening and enforceing the particular poinctes therof, insomuch as I spake not before cuntrey jury of ignoraunt people, but before a most honorable assemblie of the gravest and sagest peeres of the realme, whose wisdomes conceaves farr more then my tonge can utter; yet with your gratious and honorable favours, I will presume, if not for informacion of your lordshipps, yet for dischardge of my duetie to saie this much, that there was never any traytor hard of soe shameleslie desperat that durste directlie attempt the seate of his liege soveraigne, but alwais covered his practizes with some plausible pretence, for God hath ymprinted such a majestie in the face of princes, that noe subiect dare aproach the person of his soveraigne with any open traiterous yntent, and therefore they runne another side course oblique and altare, makeing shew to reforme some corrupcion in the state of religion, to reduce some auncyent libertie, or to remove some persons in highe places, yet still ayming at the subversion of the estate and destruction of their princes : so Cayne, the first murtherer, tooke upp an excuse, as shameing to out face that fact with impudency; and soe this traytor Essex made his collour the scowring of some noble men and councellors from her majesties favour and the feare he stood in of his pretended enemies, lest they should murther hime. Therefore he said he was compelled to fily into the cittie for favour and defence, not much unlike Pisistrates, of whom yt is so auncyentlie written, how he gasht and wounded himself and in that sort rann cryeing into Athens that his lief was sought, and like to have been taken awaie, thinking to move the people to have pittie on him by such counterfett dainger and harme, wheras his ayme was to take the government of the cittie into his handes; and after the forme therof, with like pretence of dainger and assaultes, the Erle of Essex entered the cittie of London throw the bowels therof, wheras he had noe such enemyes nor such daingers. But you, my lo. should know, that althoughe princes geve their subiectes causes of discontent, thoughe they take away the honors they heaped uppon them, thoughe they bringe them to a lower estate from whence they first raysed them, yet ought they not to be soe forgetfull of their alleageaunce, that therfore they should enter into any undutifull action, lesse upon rebellion, as they have donn.
Here the Erle of Essex spake to answer Mr. Bacon. I muste call foorth Mr. Bacon against Mr. Bacon: you must then that Mr. Bacon hath written twoe severall lettres, the one artificialie framed in my name, haveing first framed one from me; and Bacon, to provoke me, he layed doune the groundes of my discontement, and the resons I pretended against my enemys much like such a lettre as my sister Lady Rich wrott, and was therfore called before your lordshipps; yf those resons were then iuste and true, not counterfett, how can yt be that now my pretences are false, and iniurious, ffor ther Mr. Bacon joyned with me in opinion and poincted out those to be my enemyes, and hold me in disgrace with her majesty, whom now he seemeth to cleere of any such mynde towards me, and therfore leave the truth of what I saie, and he opposeth, to your lordshipps indifferent consideracions. Then said Mr. Bacon, for those lettres, my lord, if they were here they would not blushe for any thing conteigned in them. I thinke soe, said the Erle of Essex; for you have thrust them into many men's handes. Well, my lo. said Mr. Bacon, I have spent more houres in vaine, in studiing how to make you a good servaunt to her majestie and state then I have donn in any thing ells. Who, I ? Mr. Bacon, a good subject by your studye, said the erle with scornful countenance.
In the Harleian MS. No. 5202, entitled Proceedings against the Earl of Essex, 1600, the following speeches of Mr. F. Bacon occur:
Then Mr. Baconne speake to this effecte. I expected not, quothe hee, that the matter of deffence should have bine excused. Therefore I must elatt my speache for that I intended, to rebell in deffence is matter not had of morther to defend is lawfull, but in this cause to doe all that was donne that day, and to goe about to blanche I cannot allowe, I speake not to simple men, I speake to them that cane draw prooffe out of the matter; the thinges themselves is known by boockes, by experience, and by common lawe, that noe unlawful intendmentes bent against the prynce, but that is an alteringe of government, as the phrease is in Scotland, they goe by noe meanes but by particulars enimies. My ford, I cannot assemble your proceedings to bee more aptly then that of Passis. sortus of Athens, who lanched himselfe, to the intent that by the sightes of his bleedinge woundes, the people might belive he was sett upon, your lordshipe gave out that your lyffe was sought by my Lo. Cobham and Sir W. Ralighe, and came in shuche a shewe of religion, that mens eies weare not able to behould the dept of it throughe shuche a mist. But your imprisoninge of the lordes of the councell, what refference had that face to my Lo. Cobham or the rest? you alledge the matter against to bee resoulved vpon a sudon, when you were 3 monthes in a deliberation. Oh, my lord, destren with your selfe, and stripe you of all excuses the persons whom you shot att, yf you righly vnderstand are your best frendes.
Then the E. of Essex interrupted him and sead that the speache of Mr. Ba. conne gaue him occation to speake for himselfe; for, saithe hee, Mr. Baconne beinge a dailie courtier, and havinge free access to her majestie, vndertooke to goe to the Queene in my behalfe, and did write a letter most artificially, which was subscribed with my name, also another letter was drawne by him to ocation that letter with others that should come from his brother, Mr. Anthony Bacone, bothe which he shewed the Q. Gosnall and he brought me bothe the letters, and in my letter hee did plead for me feelingly against thous enimies, and poynted them out as particularly as was possible.
Here Mr. Baconne answeared that thees degressions weare not ffit, nether would be suffered, but that the honorable parties of assemblys weare great, yet hee spent more tyme to make him a servant for her majestie then ever he desarued, and for any thinge contayned in the letters, they would not blushe at the clearest light.
But, saith the Earle, lett it be judged indifferently whether I have cause of greefe or not, when I was informed by thous of good credit, that a honorable gentelman and a wise councellor did with teare lament the courses that weare talkinge, besides of that I speake in London, that the infant was entyteled the succession. I had reason for it, for it was tould me that Mr. Secretary should say it to one of his fellow councelors, that the infantes tytle, &c. &c.
Then Mr. Baconne speake to thes effecte. I doubte the veriatie of the matter and the degressions haue seuered the judgmentes of the lordes, and therefore I hould it necessary to trye the judges opinions ; that donne, hee proceeded to this effecte : nowe putt the case the E. of Essex's intent were as you would have it beleued, to goe as a spectakell to her majestie, yet shall there pelitions be armed petitions, which all was losse of libertie to the prynce, nether is it a nyce poynt of law, as my lord of South. would haue it, that condemes them of treason, even common sence to consult, to executt, to rune and gether a nomber in there dublettes and hosse, armed with weapons, what can bee the cause ? Warned by my Lo. Kep. by a harowld, and yet presist, will any simple man take this lese then treason.
The E. of Essex replyed, that if he had purposed any thinge against any other than honeste fore his privat enimies, hee would not have shewed with soe small a company.
Mr. Baconne answeared, that not the company that you carried you that you trusted in, but the assistment hoped for in the city. The Guies thrust
theme selves into Paris with only viij gent. and soe was aded, but thankes be to God, you fayled of it in London, but what followed ? the kinge was put to his pilgrimage habit, and in them devised to escape from the feare of the Guies ; you came with all hale to the citie, but thend was treason, as hath bene already proved.
There is another copy of this speech of Lord Bacon's, nearly in the same words, in the Harl. MS. No. 6854, fol. 231. See also State Trials.
4G. Life, p. xciv. Birch, vol. ii. p. 505. But in the beginning of June the year following her majesty, in a conversation with Count de Beaumont, successor to Mons. de Boissise, as ambassador to her from France, after owning herself to be weary of life, with sighs and tears in her eyes, touched upon the subject of the earl's death, and said, that having been apprehensive, from the impetuosity of his temper and his ambition, that he would precipitate himself into destruction by some ill design, she had advised him above two years before to content himself with pleasing her on all occasions, and not to shew such an insolent contempt for her as he did; but to take care not to touch her sceptre, lest she should be obliged to punish him according to the laws of England, and not according to
which he had found too mild and favourable for him to fear any suffering from them; but that her advices, however salutary and affectionate, could not prevent his ruin.
The ambassador wrote again to his master on the 28th of March, N. S. that the Queen continued to grow worse, and appeared already in a manner insensible, not speaking sometimes for two or three hours, and within the last two days pot for above four and twenty, holding her finger almost continually in her mouth, with her eyes open and fixed upon the ground, where she sat upon cushions without rising or resting herself, and was greatly emaciated by her long watching and fasting,
In his next letter, of the 1st of April, N.S. he informs Mons. Villeroy, that the Queen was drawing to her end, and had been abandoned the day before by all her physicians, but was now forced in a manner into bed, after having sat ten days upon cushions, refusing to repose herself on it except for one hour, and that in her clothes. She seemed once to be so much better, calling for broth, that those about her entertained some hopes of her ; but soon after began to lose her speech, and from that time eat nothing, but lay on one side on the day of the date of this letter, without speaking or looking upon any person, though the day before she had directed some meditations to be read to her, and, among others, those of Mons. du Plessis,
4 H. Life, p. xciv. Between the year 1605 and 1612, Bacon wrote an Essay “ in Felicem Memoriam Elizabethæ.” This appears by a letter of Lord Bacon's to Sir George Carew, who was dead in 1613, as Mr. De Thou, in a letter to Mr. Camden, in 1613, laments his death.
The following is a copy, from the Cabala and Stephens's collection, of the letter :
To Sir George Carew. My very good Lord,-Being asked the question by this bearer, an old servant of my brother Anthony Bacon's, whether I would command him any thing into France; and being at better leisure than I would, in regard of sickness, I began to remember, that neither your business nor mine, (though great and continual) can be, upon an exact account, any just occasion, why so much good will as hath passed between us should be so much discontinued, as hath been. And therefore, because one must begin, I thought to provoke your remembrance of me by a letter; and thinking to fit it with somewhat besides salutations, it came
to my mind, that this last summer vacation, by occasion of a factious book, that endeavoured to verify, Misere Femina (the addition of the Pope's bull), (a) upon Queen Elizabeth, I did write a few lines in her Memorial, which I thought you would be pleased to read, both for the argument, and because you were wont to bear affection to my pen, Verim, ut aliud er alio, if it came handsomely to pass, I would be glad the President de Thou, (who hath written an history, as you know, of that fame and diligence) saw it; chiedy because I know not whether it may not serve him for some use in his story; wherein I would be glad he did right to the truth, and to the memory of that lady, as I perceive by that he hath already written, he is well inclined to do. I would be glad also it were some occasion (such as absence may permit) of some acquaintance, or mutual notice between us. For though he hath many ways the precedence (chiefly in worth) yet this is common to us both, that we serve our sovereigns in places of law eminent; and not ourselves only, but our fathers did so before us. And lastly, that both of us love learning and liberal sciences, which was ever a bond of friendship, in the greatest distance of places. But of this I make no further request than your occasions and respects (to me unknown) may further or limit; my principal purpose being to salute you, and to send you this token. Whereunto I will add my very kind commendations to my lady, and so commit you both to God's holy protection. It seems also
that he then had, if not the intention, the inclination to publish it; the following passage is from the tract:-There are two fair issues of her happiness, born to her since her death, I conceive not less glorious and eminent than those she enjoyed alive. The one of her successor, the other of her memory. For she hath gotten such a successor, who although for his masculine virtues, and blessing of posterity, and addition of territories be may be said to exceed her greatness and somewhat to obscure it; notwithstanding he is most zealous of her name and glory; and doth even give a perpetuity to her acts, considering both in the choice of the persons, and in the orders, and insti. tutions of the kingdom, he hath departed so little from her so as a son could hardly succeed a father, with less noise of innovation. As for her memory, it hath gotten such life in the mouths and hearts of men, as that envy being put out by her death, and her fame lighted, I cannot say whether the felicity of her life, or the felicity of her memory be the greater. For if, perhaps, there fly abroad any factious fames of her, raised either by discontented persons, or such as are averse in religion ; which notwithstanding dare now scarce shew their faces, and are every where cried down ; the same are neither true, neither can they be long lived. And for this cause especially have I made this collection, such as it is, touching her felicity, and the marks of God's favour towards her; that no malicious person should dare to interpose a curse, where God bath given a blessing.
“Restant felicitates posthumæ duæ, iis quæ vivam comitabantur feri celsiores et augustiores : una successoris, altera memoriæ. Nam successorem sortita est eum, qui licet et mascula virtute et prole, et nova imperii accessione fastigium ejus excedat et obrumbret; tamen et nomini et honoribus ejus faveat, et actis ejus quandam perpetuitatem donet : cum nec ex personarum delectu, nec ex institutorum ordine, quicquam magnopere mutaverit : adeo ut raro filius parenti, tanto silentio, atquæ tam exigua mutatione et perturbatione successerit.”
In 1605, he published the Eulogium on Elizabeth, which is in page xev, of the text of this life.
About the year 1612, The King," says Wilson, “cast his thoughts towards Peterborough, where his mother lay, whom he caused to be translated to a magnificent tomb, at Westminster. And (somewhat suitable to her mind
(a) I have a tract in my possession, entitled, Felix Memoria Elizabethe Angliæ Reginæ Auctore Francisco Bacono, Barone de Verulamio, Vice Comite S. Albani, Helmstadi, Typis Georg-Wolfgangi, Hamı Acad. Typogr. Anno
At the conclusion of this tract the Pope's bull is annexed.