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and furtherers of the plot, the men that blew the coals, heat the iron, and made all things ready; they owe you a good turn, and will, if they can, pay it you; you see their hearts by their deeds, prove then your faith so to the best good work you can do, is to do the best you can against them, that is, to see the law severely, justly, and diligently executed.
And now we beseech you, my lord, be sensible both of the stroke and hand that striketh; learn of David to leave Shimei, and call upon God; he hath some great work to do, and he prepareth you for it; he would neither have you faint, nor yet bear this cross with a stoical resolution: there is a Christian mediocrity wor thy of your greatness. I must be plain, perhaps rash; had some notes which you had taken at sermons been written in your heart to practise, this work had been done long ago, without the envy of your enemies; but when we will not mind ourselves, God, if we belong to him, takes us in hand; and because he seeth that we have unbridled stomachs, therefore he sends outward 'crosses, which, while they cause us to mourn, do comfort us, being assured testimonies of his love that sends them. To humble ourselves therefore before God is the part of a Christian; but for the world and our enemies the counsel of the poet is apt,
Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito. The last part of this counsel you forget, yet none need be ashamed to make use of it, that so being armed against casualties, you may stand firm against the assaults on the right hand, and on the left. For this is certain, the mind that is most prone to be puft up with prosperity, is most weak and apt to be dejected with the least puff of adversity. Indeed she is strong enough to make an able man stagger, striking terrible blows: but true Christian wisdom gives us armour of proof against all assaults, and teacheth us in all estates to be content: for though she cause out truest friends to declare themselves our enemies; though she give heart then to the most cowardly to strike us; though an hour's continuance countervails an age of prosperity; though she cast in our dish all that ever we have done; aux beef s
yet hath she no power to hurt the humble and wise,
I remain a faithful servant to you,
CXLIII. To Sir GEORGE VILLIERS.
THE time is, as I should think, now or never, for his majesty to finish his good meaning towards me; if it please him to consider, what is past, and what is to
If I would tender my profit, and oblige men unto me by my place and practice, I could have more profit than I could devise; and could oblige all the world, and offend none; which is a brave condition for a
man's private. But my heart is not on these things. Yet on the other side I would be sorry that worthless persons should make a note that I get nothing but pains and enemies; and a little popular reputation, which followeth me whether I will or no. If any thing be to be done for yourself, I should take infinite contentment, that my honour might wait upon yours; but I would beloth it should wait upon any man's else. If you would put your strength to this business, it is done; and that done many things more will begin. God keep you ever. I rest
May 30, 1616.
Your true and devoted servant,
Stephens's CXLIV. To the King, about the Commendams.
May it please your most excellent Majesty,
I AM not swift to deliver any thing to your majesty before it be well weighed. But now that I have informed myself of as much as is necessary touching this proceeding of the judges to the argument of the Commendams, notwithstanding your majesty's pleasure signified by me, upon your majesty's commandment in presence of my lord chancellor and the bishop of Winchester, to the contrary, I do think it fit to advertise your majesty what hath passed; the rather, because I suppose the judges, since they performed not your commandment, have at least given your majesty their reasons of failing therein; I being to answer for the doing your majesty's commandments, and they for the not doing.
I did conceive, that in a cause that concerned your majesty and your royal power, the judges having heard your attorney-general argue the Saturday before, would of themselves have taken farther time to be advised.
And, if I fail not in memory, my lord Coke received from your majesty's self, as I take it, a precedent commandment in Hilary term, that both in the rege inconsulto, and in the Commendams, your attorney should be heard to speak, and then stay to be made of farther
proceedings, till my lord had spoken with your majesty.
Nevertheless, hearing that the day appointed for the judges argument held, contrary to my expectation, I sent on Thursday in the evening, having received your majesty's commandment but the day before in the afternoon, a letter to my lord Coke; whereby I let him know, that upon some report of my lord of Winchester, who by your commandment was present at my argument of that which passed, it was your majesty's express pleasure, that no farther proceedings should be, until you had conferred with your judges: which your majesty thought to have done at your being now last in town; but by reason of your many and weighty occasions, your princely times would not serve; and that it was your pleasure he should signify so much to the rest of the judges, whereof his lordship might not fail. His answer by word to my man was, that it were good the rest of the judges understood so much from myself: whereupon I, that cannot skill of scruples in matter of service, did write on Friday three several letters of like content to the judges of the common pleas, and the barons of the exchequer, and the other three judges of the king's bench, mentioning in that last my particular letter to my lord chief justice.
This was all I did, and thought all had been sure; in so much as the same day being appointed in chancery for your majesty's great cause, followed by my lord Hunsden,* I writ two other letters to both the This case chief justices, to put them in mind of assisting my lord is reported by my lord chancellor at the hearing. And when my lord chan-Hobart, p. cellor himself took some notice upon that occasion 109. openly in the chancery, that the Commendams could not hold presently after, I heard the judges were gone about the Commendams; which I thought at first had been only to adjourn the court, but I heard after that they proceeded to argument.
In this their doing, I conceive they must either except to the nature of the commandment, or to the credence thereof; both which, I assure myself, your majesty will maintain.
* Mag. Chart.
For if they should stand upon the general ground, *Nulli negabimus, nulli differemus justitiam, it receiveth two answers. The one, that reasonable and mature advice may not be confounded with delay; and that they can well alledge when it pleaseth them. The other is, that there is a great difference between a case merely between subject and subject, and where the king's interest is in question directly or by consequence. As for the attorney's place and commission, it is as proper for him to signify the king's pleasure to the judges, as for the secretary to signify the same to the privy-council; and so it hath ever been.
These things were a little strange if there came not so many of them together, as the one maketh the other seem less strange: but your majesty hath fair occasions to remedy all with small aid; I say no more for the present.
I was a little plain with my lord Coke in these matters; and when his answer was, that he knew all these things; I said he could never profit too much in knowing himself and his duty. God ever preserve your majesty.
Stephens's CXLV. A Memorial for his MAJESTY, corrected with Sir FR. BACON's Own hand, 1616.
IT seemeth this year of the fourteenth of his majesty's reign, being a year of a kind of majority in his government, is consecrated to justice: which as his majesty hath performed to his subjects in this late memorable occasion, so he is now to render and perform to himself, his crown and posterity.
That his council shall perceive by that which his majesty shall now communicate with them, that the mass of his business is continually prepared in his own
2 By the laws, several ages are assigned to persons for several purposes and by the common law the fourteenth year is a kind of majority, and accounted an age of discretion. At that time a man may agree or disagree to a precedent marriage: the heir in socage may reject the guardian appointed by law, and choose a new one: and the woman at that age shall be out of ward, etc. Stephens.