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hibited trade; nevertheless they would have brought in lawful and settled trades, full manufactures, merchandise of all natures, poll-money or brotherhoodmoney, and I cannot tell what. And now lastly, it seemeth, they would go back to lay it upon the whites; and therefore whether your majesty will any more rest and build this great wheel of your kingdom upon these broken and brittle pins, and try experiments farther upon the health and body of your state, I leave to your princely judgment.
The other answer of repulse is a kind of apposing them what they will do after the three years contracted for; which is a point hitherto not much stirred, though Sir Lionel Cranfield hath ever beaten upon it in his speech with me; for after the three years they are not tied otherways than as trade give encouragement, of which encouragement your majesty hath a bitter taste: and if they should hold on according to the third year's proportion, and not rise on by farther gradation, your majesty hath not your end. No, I fear, and have long feared, that this feeding of the foreigner may be dangerous; for as we may think to hold up our clothing by vent of whites, till we can dye and dress: so they, I mean the Dutch, will think to hold up their manufacture of dying and dressing upon our whites, till they can clothe: so as your majesty hath the greatest reason in the world to make the new company to come in and strengthen that part of their contract; and, they refusing, as it is confidently believed they will, to make their default more visible to all men.
For the second main part of your majesty's consultation, that is, what shall be done supposing an absolute breach, I have had some speech with Mr. Secretary Lake, and likewise with Sir Lionel Cranfield; and, as I conceive, there may be three ways taken into consideration: the first is, that the old company be restored, who, no doubt, are in appetite, and, as I find by Sir Lionel Cranfield, not unprepared; and that the licences, the one, that of 30000 cloths, which was the old licence; the other that of my lord Cumberland's, which is without stint, my lord of Cumberland receiving satisfaction, be
compounded into one entire licence without stint; and then, that they amongst themselves take order for that profit which hath been offered to your majesty. This is a plain and known way, wherein your majesty is not an actor; only it hath this, that the work of dying and dressing cloths, which hath been so much glorified, seemeth to be wholly relinquished, if you leave there. The second is, that there be a free trade of cloth, with this difference, that the dyed and dressed pay no custom, and the whites double custom, it being a merchandise prohibited and only licentiate. This continueth in life and fame the work desired, and will have a popular applause: but, I do confess, I did ever think that trading in companies is most agreeable to the English nature, which wanteth that same general vein of a republic which runneth in the Dutch, and serveth to them instead of a company; and therefore I dare not advise to adventure this great trade of the kingdom, which hath been so long under government, in a free or loose trade. The third is a compound way of both, which is, to go on with the trade of whites by the old company restored; and that your majesty's profit be raised by order amongst themselves, rather than by double custom, wherein you must be the actor; and that nevertheless there be added a privilege to the same company to carry out cloths dyed, and dressed, custom-free; which will still continue as a glorious beam of your majesty's royal design. I hope and wish at least, that this which I have written may be of some use to your majesty, to settle, by the advice of the lords about you, this great business: at the least it is the effect of my care and poor ability, which, if in me be any, it is given me to no other end but faithfully to serve your majesty. God ever preserve you. Your majesty's most humble subject and bounden servant, FR. BACON,
Feb. 25, 1615.
CXXXIII. To Sir GEORGE VILLIERS.
I HUMBLY pray you not to think me over-hasty or much in appetite, if I put you in remembrance of my motion of strengthening me with the oath and trust of a privy counsellor; not for mine own strength, for as to that, I thank God, I am armed within, but for the strength of my service. The times I submit to you, who knoweth them best. But sure I am, there were never times which did more require a king's attorney to be well armed, and, as I said once to you, to wear a gauntlet and not a glove: the arraignments, when they proceed; the contention between the chancery and king's bench; the great cause of the rege inconsulto, which is so precious to the king's prerogative; divers other services that concern the king's revenue and the repair of his estate. Besides, it pleaseth his majesty to accept well of my relations touching his business, which may seem a kind of interloping, as the merchants call it, for one that is no counsellor. But I leave all unto you, thinking myself infinitely bounden unto you for your great favours, the beams whereof I see plainly reflect upon me even from others; so that now I have no greater ambition than this, that as the king sheweth himself to you the best master, so I might be found your best servant. In which wish and vow I shall ever rest,
Feb. 27, 1615.
Most devoted and affectionate
CXXXIV. To his MAJESTY, about the Earl of Stephens's
It may please your most excellent Majesty, AT my last access to your majesty, it was fit for me to consider the time and your journey, which maketh me now trouble your majesty with a remnant of that I thought then to have said: besides your old warrant and commission to me, to advertise your majesty when
you are aux champs, of any thing that concerned your service and my place. I know, your majesty is nunquam minus solus, quam cum solus; and I confess, in regard of your great judgment, under which nothing ought to be presented but well weighed, I could almost wish that the manner of Tiberius were in use again, of whom Tacitus saith, Mos erat quamvis præsentem scripto adire; much more in absence. I said to your majesty that which I do now repeat, that the evidence upon which my lord of Somerset standeth indicted is of a good strong thread, considering impoisoning is the darkest of offences; but that the thread must be well spun and woven together; for, your majesty knoweth, it is one thing to deal with a jury of Middlesex and Londoners, and another to deal with the peers; whose objects perhaps will not be so much what is before them in the present case, which I think is as odious to them as to the vulgar, but what may be hereafter. Besides, there be two disadvantages, we that shall give in evidence shall meet with, somewhat considerable; the one, that the same things often opened lose their freshness, except there be an aspersion of somewhat that is new; the other is the expectation raised, which makes things seem less than they are, because they are less than opinion. Therefore I were not your attorney, nor myself, if I should not be very careful, that in this last part, which is the pinnacle of your former justice, all things may pass sine offendiculo, sine scrupulo. Hereupon I did move two things, which, having now more fully explained myself, I do in all humbleness renew. First, that your majesty will be careful to choose a steward of judgment, that may be able to moderate the evidence and cut off digressions; for I may interrupt, but I cannot silence: the other, that there may be special care taken for the ordering the evidence, not only for the knitting, but for the list, and, to use your majesty's own words, the confining of it. This to do, if your majesty vouchsafe to direct it yourself, that is the best; if not, I humbly pray you to require my lord chancellor, that he, together with my lord chief justice, will confer with myself
and my fellows, that shall be used for the marshalling and bounding of the evidence, that we may have the help of his opinion, as well as that of my lord chief justice; whose great travels as I much commend, yet that same plerophoria, or over-confidence, doth always subject things to a great deal of chance.
There is another business proper for me to crave of your majesty at this time, as one that have in my eye a great deal of service to be done concerning your casual revenue; but considering times and persons, I desire to be strengthened by some such form of commandment under your royal hand, as I send you here inclosed. I most humbly pray your majesty to think, I understand myself right well in this which I desire, and that it tendeth greatly to the good of your service. The warrant I mean not to impart, but upon just occasion; thus thirsty to hear of your majesty's good health, I rest
22 Jan. 1615.
CXXXV. To his MAJESTY, about the Chancel- Rawley's
It may please your most excellent Majesty, THE last day when it pleased your majesty to express yourself towards me far above that I can deserve or could expect, I was surprised by the prince's coming in: I most humbly pray your majesty, therefore, to accept these few lines of acknowledgment. I never had greater thoughts for myself, farther than to maintain those great thoughts, which, I confess, I have for your service. I know what honour is, and I know what the times are; but, I thank God, with me my service is the principal; and it is far from me, under honourable pretences to cover base desires; which I account them to be, when men refer too much to themselves, especially serving such a king. I am afraid of nothing but that the master of the horse, your excellent servant, and I shall fall out, who shall hold your stirrup best. But were your majesty mounted and ceated without difficulties and distastes in your business,