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I find that the ancients, as Cicero, Demosthenes, Plinius Secundus, and others, have preserved both their orations and their epistles. In imitation of whom I have done the like to my own; which nevertheless I will not publish while I live; but I have been bold to bequeath them to your lordship, and Mr. Chancellor of the duchy. My speeches, perhaps, you will think fit to publish: the letters, many of them, touch too much upon late matters of state, to be published; yet I was willing they should not be lost. I have also by my will erected two lectures in perpetuity, in either university, one, with an endowment of 2001. per annuin apiece: they to be for natural philosophy, and the sciences thereupon depending ; which foundations I have required my executors to order, by the advice and direction of your lordship, and my lord bishop of Coventry and Litchfield. These be my thoughts
second col lection,
CCXCVII. The Bishop's answer to the pre- Stephens's
ceding letter. Right honourable and very noble Lord, MR. Doctor Rawley, by his modest choice, hath much obliged me to be careful of him, when God shall send any opportunity; and, if his majesty shall remove me from this see, before any such occasion be offered, not to change my intentions with my bishopric.
It is true that those ancients, Cicero, Demosthenes, and Plinius Secundus, have preserved their orations, the heads and effects of them at the least, and their epistles; and I have ever been of opinion, that those two pieces are the principal pieces of our antiquities: those orations discovering the form of administring justice, and the letters the carriage of the affairs in those times. For our histories, or rather the lives of men, borrow as much from the affections and phantasies of the writers, as from the truth itself, and are for the most of them built altogether upon unwritten relations and traditions. But letters written e re nata, and bearing a synchronism
or equality of time cum rebus gestis, have no other fault, than that which was imputed unto Virgil, nihil peccat, nisi quod nihil peccat; they speak the truth too plainly, and cast too glaring a light for that age, wherein they were, or are written.
Your lordship doth most worthily therefore in preserving those two pieces, amongst the rest of those matchless monuments you shall leave behind you; considering, that as one age hath not bred your experience, so is it not fit it should be confined to one age, and not imparted to the times to come. For my part therein, I do embrace the honour with all thankfulness, and the trust imposed upon me with all religion and devotion. For those two lectures in natural philosophy, and the sciences woven and involved with the same; it is a great and a noble foundation both for the use, and the salary, and a foot that will teach the age to come, to guess in part at the greatness of that Herculean mind, which gave them their existence. Only your lordship may be advised for the seats of this foundation. The two universities are the two eyes of this land, and fittest to contemplate the lustre of this bounty: these two lectures are as the two apples of these eyes.
An apple when it is single is an ornament, when double a pearl or a blemish in the eye. Your lordship may therefore inform yourself if one Sidley of Kent hath not already founded in Oxford a lecture of this nature and condition. But if Oxford in this kind be an Argus, I am sure poor Cambridge is a right Polyphemus; it hath but one eye, and that not so steadily or artificially placed; but bonum est facile sui diffusioum: your lordship being so full of goodness, will quickly find an object to pour it on. That which made me say thus much, I will say in verse, that your lordship may remember it better;
Sola ruinosis stat Cantabrigia pannis,
Atque inopi lingua disertas invocat artes. I will conclude with this vow : Deus, qui animum
istum tibi, animo isti tempus quam longissimum
CCXCVIII. To the Queen of BOHEMIA.
Stephens's It may please your Majesty, I HAVE received your majesty's gracious letter from Mr. Secretary Morton, who is now a saint in heaven. It was at a time when the great desolation of the plague was in the city, and when myself was ill of a dangerous and tedious sickness. The first time that I found
any degree of health, nothing came sooner to my mind, than to acknowledge your majesty's great favour, by my most humble thanks: and because I see your majesty taketh delight in my writings, and to say the truth, they are the best fruits I now yield, I presume to send your majesty a little discourse of mine, touching à war with Spain, which I writ about two years since; which the king your brother liked well. It is written without bitterness or invective, as king's affairs ought to be carried; but if I be not deceived, it hath edge enough. I have yet some spirits left, and remnant of experience, which I consecrate to the king's service and your majesty's; for whom I pour out my daily prayers to God, that he would give your majesty'a fortune
9 The princess Elizabeth, eldest daughter of king James, was married to Frederick V. elector palatine, who by accepting the crown of Bohemia, was soon deprived both of that and his ancient principality. Under all her afflictions she had the happiness of being mother of many fine children, and at length of seeing her son restored to the Palatinate, and hết nephew to his kingdoms. To her, who had been so much injured by Spain, my lord St. Alban presents his discourse touching a war with Spain, in acknowledgment of the favour of her majesty's letter, sent by her secretary Sir Albertus Morton; in which quality he had served his uncle Sir Henry Wotton, in some of his embassies : and as he was tenderly beloved by him in his life, and much lamented in his death; so Sir Harry professed no less admiration of this queen, and the splendour of her virtues under the darkness of her fortunes. Stephens.
worthy your rare virtues ; which, some good spirit
FR. ST. ALBAN,
Stephens's CCXCIX. A letter of the Lord Bacon's, in lection, po
French, to the Marquis Piat, relating to his
Monsieur r Ambassadeur mon Fil,
C'est un recompilement de mes Essayes morales & civiles; mais tellement enlargies & enrichies, tant de nombre que de poids, , que
c'est de fait un puvre nouveau. Je vous baise les mains, & reste
Vostre très affectioné ami,
& très humble serviteur.
Sir Tobie CCC. To the Earl of ARUNDEl and SURRY:
just before his death, being the last letter he ever wrote.
My very good Lord, I was likely to have had the fortune of Caius Plinius the elder, who lost his life by trying an experiment about the burning of the mount Vesuvius: for I was also desirous to try an experiment or two, touching the conservation and induration of bodies. As for the experiment itself, it succeeded excellently well; but in the journey, between London and Highgate, I was taken with such a fit of casting, as I knew not whether it were the stone, or some surfeit, or cold, or indeed a touch of them all three. But when I came to your lordship’s house, I was not able to go back, and therefore was forced to take up my lodging here, where your house-keeper is very careful and diligent about me; which I assure myself your lordship will not only pardon towards him, but think the better of him for it. For indeed your lordship's house was happy to me; and I kiss your noble hands for the welcome which I am sure you give me to it, etc.