Page images

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 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 times past: and that one just and complete history were compiled of both nations. And if any man perhaps should think it may refresh the memory of former discords, he may satisfy himself with the verse olim hæc meminisse juvabit: for the case being now altered, it is matter of comfort and gratulation to remember former troubles. Thus much, if it may please your lordship, is in the optative mood; and it is time that I did look a little into the potential; wherein the hope which I conceived was grounded upon three observations. The first, the nature of these times, which flourish in learning, both of art and language; which giveth hope not only that it may be done, but that it may be well done. Secondly, I do see that which all the world sees in his majesty, both a wonderful judgment in learning, and a singular affection towards learning, and works which are of the mind more than of the hand. For there cannot be the like honour sought and found, in building of galleries, and planting of elms along high-ways, and in those outward ornaments, wherein France is now so 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 tlemen, and some other memoirs, he hath not forgotten to do much honour to the English nation: beginning his history also with Henry VII. Stephens.


7 This I take to be meant of Buchanan's history of Scotland; a book much admired by some, though censured by many, for his partiality in favour of the lords, against Mary queen of the Scots, and the regal power. In other respects, archbishop Spotswood informs us that he penned it with such judgment and eloquence, as no country can shew a better. Stephens.

The magnificent gallery at the Louvre in Paris, built by Henry IV.

9 The union of England and Scotland.

The conference at Hampton court held between the bishops and puritans, as they were then called, soon after the king's coming to the crown of England, and where his majesty was the moderator. Stephens.

* Great masters. Matth.


árts, and the particular actions appertaining to these; of which kind Cicero judged truly, when he said to Cæsar, Quantum operibus tuis detrahet vetustas, tantum addet laudibus. And lastly, I call to mind, that your lordship at some times hath been pleased to express unto me a great desire, that something of this nature should be performed; 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 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 but 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—

Rawley's LXXXIV. To the King, upon sending unto him a beginning of the History of his Majesty's



It may please your Majesty,

HEARING that your majesty is 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 these 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 would be pleased only to ascribe it to the law of an history; which doth not cluster together praises upon the first mention of a name, but rather disperseth and weaveth them through the whole narrative. 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 of times not only since I could remember, but since I could observe. And lastly, that it is only for your majesty's reading.

LXXXV. A Letter of expostulation, to Sir ED- Rawley's WARD COKE, attorney-general.

Mr. Attorney,


I THOUGHT best, once for all, to let you know in plainness what I find of you, and what you shall find of me. You take to yourself a liberty to disgrace and disable my law, my experience, my discretion. it pleaseth you, I pray, think of me: I am one that knows both mine own wants and other mens; and it may be, perchance, that mine mend, when others stand at a stay. And surely I may not endure, in public place, to be wronged without repelling the same to my best advantage to right myself. You are great, and therefore have the more enviers, which would be glad to have you paid at another's cost. Since the time I missed the solicitor's place, the rather I think by your means, I cannot expect that you and I shall ever serve as attorney and solicitor together: but either to serve with another upon your remove, or to step into some other course; so as I am more free than ever I was from any occasion of unworthy conforming myself to you, more than general good manners, or your particular good usage shall provoke; and if you had not been shortsighted in your own fortune, as I think, you might have had more use of me. But that tide is passed. I write not this to shew my friends what a brave letter I have



Stephens's first collection, p. 28.

written to Mr. Attorney; I have none of those humours; but that I have written is to a good end, that is, to the more decent carriage of my master's service, and to our particular better understanding one of another. This letter, if it shall be answered by you in deed, and not in word, I suppose it will not be worse for us both; else it is but a few lines lost, which for a much smaller matter I would have adventured. So this being to yourself, I for my part rest

[Before June, 1606.]

LXXXVI. To the Earl of SALISBURY, concerning the solicitor's place.

May it please your Lordship,

I AM not privy to myself of any such ill deserving towards your lordship, as that I should think it an impudent thing to be a suitor for your favour in a reasonable matter; your lordship being to me as, with your good favour, you cannot cease to be; but rather it were a simple and arrogant part in me to forbear it.

It is thought Mr. Attorney shall be chief justice of the common pleas; in case Mr. Solicitor rise, I would be glad now at last to be solicitor; chiefly because I think it will increase my practice, wherein God blessing me a few years, I may mend my state, and so after fall to my studies and ease; whereof one is requisite for my body, and the other serveth for my mind; wherein if I shall find your lordship's favour, I shall be more happy than I have been, which may make me also more wise. I have small store of means about the king, and to sue myself is not fit: and therefore I shall leave it to God, his majesty, and your lordship, for I must still be next the door. I thank God, in these transitory things I am well resolved. So beseeching your lordship not to think this letter the less humble, because it is plain, I rest, etc. FR. BACON.


LXXXVII. Another letter to the earl of SALIS- Rawley's BURY, touching the solicitor's place.

It may please your good Lordship,

I AM not ignorant how mean a thing I stand for, in desiring to come into the solicitor's place: for I know well, it is not the thing it hath been; time having wrought alteration both in the profession, and in that special place. Yet because, I 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 may say to your lordship, in the confidence of your poor kinsman, and of a man by you advanced, Tu idem fer opem, qui spem dedisti: for, I am 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 had resolved to raise a man, you were more careful of him than himself; and that what you had done for me in my marriage, was a benefit to me, but of no use to your lordship; and therefore I might assure myself, you would not leave me there; with many like speeches, which I know my duty too well, to take any other hold of than the hold of a thankful remembrance. And I acknowledge; and all the world knoweth, that your lordship is no dealer of holy water, but noble and real; and, on my part, I am of a sure ground, that I have committed nothing that may deserve alteration. And therefore my hope is, your lordship will finish a good work, and consider, that time groweth precious with me, that I am now in vergentibus annis. And although I know that your fortune is not to need an hundred such as I am, yet I shall be ever ready to give you my first and best fruits; and to supply, as much as in me lieth, worthiness by thankfulness.

Resuscita tio.

« PreviousContinue »