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I assure myself that of your eclipses, as this hath been the longest, it shall be the least; as the comical poet saith, Neque illam tu satis noveras, neque te illa; Terent. hocque fit, ubi non vere vivitur. For if Í may be so
bold as to say what I think, I believe neither your lordship looked to have found her majesty in all points as you have done, neither her majesty per case looked to have found your lordship as she hath done. And therefore I hope upon this experience may grow more perfect knowledge, and upon knowledge more true consent; which I, for my part, do infinitely wish, as accounting these accidents to be like the fish Remora ; which though it be not great, yet hath it a hidden property to hinder the sailing of the ship. And therefore, as bearing unto your lordship, after her majesty, of all public persons, the second duty, I could not but signify unto you my affectionate gratulation. And so I commend your good lordship to the best preservation of the divine Majesty.
LIV. To Sir ROBERT CECIL.
It may please your good Honour,
I AM apt enough to contemn mendacia fama, yet it is with this distinction, as fame walks among inferiors, and not as it hath entrance into some ears. And yet nevertheless, in that kind also I intend to avoid a suspicious silence, but not to make any base apology. It is blown about the town, that I should give opinion touching my lord of Essex cause; first, that it was a præmunire; and now last, that it reached to high treason; and this opinion should be given in opposition to the opinion of the lord Chief Justice, and of Mr. Attorney-General. Sir, I thank God, whatsoever opinion my head serveth me to deliver to her majesty, being asked, my heart serveth me to maintain, the same honest duty directing me and assisting me. But the utter untruth of this report God and the queen can witness; and the improbability of it, every man that hath wit, more or less, can conceive. The root of
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this I discern to be not so much a light and humourous envy at my accesses to her majesty, which of her majesty's grace being begun in my first years, I would be sorry she should estrange in my last years; for so I account them, reckoning by health 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 lyes; so I hope it shall make no manner of disseverance of your honourable good conceits and affection towards me; which is the thing I confess to fear. For as for any violence to be offered to me, wherewith my friends tell me, to no small terror, that I am threatened, I thank God I have the privy coat of a good conscience; and have a good while since put off any fearful care of life, or the accidents of life. So desiring to be preserved in your good opinion, I remain.
This last letter seems to be wrote 1600, in the interval between the return of the earl of Essex from Ireland, and his hearing before the lord Chancellor, etc.
LV. To my Lord HENRY HOWARD.
THERE be very few besides yourself, to whom I would perform this respect. For I contemn mendacia fama, as it walks among inferiors; though I neglect it not, as it may have entrance into some ears. For your lordship's love, rooted upon good opinion, I esteem it highly, because I have tasted the fruits of it; and we both have tasted of the best waters, in my account, to knit minds together. There is shaped a tale in London's forge, that beateth apace at this time, that I should deliver opinion to the queen in my lord of Essex cause: first, that it was a præmunire; and now last, that it was high treason; and this opinion to be in opposition and encounter of the lord Chief Justice's opinion, and the Attorney-General's. My lord, I thank God, my wit serveth me not to deliver any opinion to the queen, which my stomach serveth me not to maintain; one and the same conscience of duty guiding
me and fortifying me.
3 December 1599.
Two LETTERS, framed,
The one as from Mr. Anthony Bacon, to the Rawley's Earl of ESSEX; the other, as the earl's an-tio. swer thereunto.
Both written by Mr. Francis Bacon, at the instance of Mr. Anthony Bacon his brother, and to be shewed to the queen, upon some fit occasion; as a mean to work her majesty to receive the earl again to favour and attendance at court. They were devised whilst my lord remained prisoner in his own house. See Sir Francis Bacon's Apology, to the earl of Devonshire. My singular good Lord,
THIS standing at a stay in your lordship's fortunes doth make me, in my love towards your lordship, jealous
lest you do somewhat, or omit somewhat, that amounteth to a new error. For I suppose that of all former matters there is a full expiation; wherein, for any thing that your lordship doth, I for my part, who am remote, cannot cast nor devise wherein any error should be, except in one point, which I dare not censure nor dissuade; which is, that as the prophet saith, in this affliction you look up ad manum percutientem, and so make your peace with God. And yet I have heard it noted, that my lord of Leicester, who could never get to be taken for a saint, nevertheless in the queen's disfavour waxed seeming religious: which may be thought by some, and used by others, as a case resembling yours, if men do not see, or will not see the difference between your two dispositions. But to be plain with your lordship, my fear rather is, because I hear how some of your good and wise friends, not unpractised in the court, and supposing themselves not to be unseen in that deep and unscrutable centre of the court, which is her ma jesty's mind, do not only toll the bell, but even ring out peals, as if your fortune were dead and buried, and as if there were no possibility of recovering her majesty's favour; and as if the best of your condition were to live a private and retired life, out of want, out of peril, and out of manifest disgrace; and so in this persuasion of theirs include a persuasion to your lordship to frameand accommodate your actions and mind to that end: I fear, I say, that this untimely despair may in time bring forth a just despair, by causing your lordship to slacken and break off your wise, loyal, and seasonable endea vours and industry for redintegration to her majesty's favour; in comparison whereof all other circumstances are but as atomi, or rather as a vacuum without any substance at all. Against this opinionit may please your lordship to consider of these reasons which I have collected, and to make judgment of them, neither out of the melancholy of your present fortune, nor out of the infusion of that which cometh to you by others relation, which is subject to much tincture, but ex rebus ipsis, out of the nature of the persons and actions themselves, as the trustiest and least deceiving grounds of opinion.
For though I am so unfortunate as to be a stranger to her majesty's eye, and much more to her nature and manners; yet by that which is apparent, I do manij festly discern, that she hath that character of the divine nature and goodness, quos amavit, amavit usque ad finem: and where she hath a creature, she doth not de face nor defeat it; insomuch as, if I observe rightly in those persons whom heretofore she hath honoured with her special favour, she hath covered and remitted not only defects and ingratitudes in affection, but errors in state and service. Secondly, if I can spell and scholarlike put together the parts of her majesty's proceedings now towards your lordship, I cannot but make this construction, that her majesty in her royal intention never purposed to call your lordship's doings into public question; but only to have used a cloud without a shower, in censuring them by some temporary restraint only of liberty, and debarring from her presence. For, first, the handling the cause in the Star-chamber, you not being called, was inforced by the violence of libelling and rumours, wherein the queen thought to have satisfied the world, and yet spared your lordship's appearance; and after, when that means which was intended for the quenching of malicious bruits, turned to kindle them, because it was said your lordship was condemned uns heard, and your lordship's sister wrote that piquant letter, then her majesty saw plainly, that these winds of rumours could not be commanded down without a handling of the cause, by making you a party, and admit ting your defence. And to this purpose I do assure your lordship, that my brother Francis Bacon, who is too wise, I think, to be abused, and too honest to abuse; though he be more reserved in all particulars than is needful, yet in generality he hath ever constantly and with asseveration affirmed to me, that both those days, that of the Star-chamber, and that at my lord Keeper's, were won from the queen merely upon necessity and point of honour, against her own inclination. Thirdly, in the last proceeding, I note three points, which are directly significant, that her majesty did expressly forbear any point which was *irreparable, rable, Cab.