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express, and they understand nothing of his majesty's pleasure of the manner of carrying the evidence, more than they may guess by observation of my example, which they may ascribe as much to my nature, as to direction; therefore, that his majesty would be pleased to write some few words to us all, signed with his own hand, that, the matter itself being tragical enough, bitterness and insulting be forborne; and that we remember our part to be to make him delinquent to the peers, and not odious to the people. That part of the evidence of the lady's exposition of the pronoun, He, which was first caught hold of by me, and afterwards by his majesty's singular wisdom and conscience excepted to, and now is by her re-examination retracted, I have given order to Serjeant Montague, within whose part it falleth, to leave it out of the evidence. I do yet crave pardon, if I do not certify touching the point of law for respiting the judgment, for I have not fully advised with my lord chancellor concerning it, but I will advertise it in time.

I send his majesty the lord steward's commission in two several instruments, the one to remain with my lord chancellor, which is that which is written in secretary-hand for his warrant, and is to pass the signet; the other, that whereunto the great seal is to be affixed, which is in chanceryhand his majesty is to sign them both, and to transmit the former to the signet, if the secretaries either of them be there; and both of them are to be returned to me with all speed. I ever rest Your true and devoted servant, May 5, 1616. FR. BACON.

long as he stood upon his innocency and trial, your majesty was tied in honour to proceed according to justice; and, that he little understood, being a close prisoner, how much the expectation of the world, besides your love to justice itself, engaged your majesty, whatsoever your inclinations were: but, nevertheless, that a frank and clear confession might open the gate of mercy, and help to satisfy the point of honour.

That his lady, as he knew, and that after many oaths and imprecations to the contrary, had nevertheless, in the end, being touched with remorse, confessed; that she that led him to offend, might lead him likewise to repent of his offence: that the confession of one of them could not fitly do either of them much good, but the confession of both of them might work some farther effect towards both: and, therefore, in conclusion, we wished him not to shut the gate of your majesty's mercy against himself, by being obdurate any longer. This was the effect of that which was spoken, part by one of us, part by another, as it fell out; adding farther, that he might well discern who spake in us in the course we held; for that commissioners for examination might not presume so far of themselves.

Not to trouble your majesty with circumstances of his answers, the sequel was no other, but that we found him still not to come any degree farther on to confess; only his behaviour was very sober, and modest, and mild, differing apparently from other times, but yet, as it seemed, resolved to have his trial.

Then did we proceed to examine him upon divers questions touching the impoisonment, which indeed were very material and supple

TO THE KING, ABOUT SOMERSET'S EXAMI- mental to the former evidence; wherein either NATION.


We have done our best endeavours to perform your majesty's commission, both in matter and manner, for the examination of my Lord of Somerset; wherein that which passed, for the general, was to this effect; That he was to know his own case, for that his day of trial could not be far off; but that this day's work was that which would conduce to your majesty's justice little or nothing, but to your mercy much, if he did lay hold upon it; and therefore might do him good, but could do him no hurt. For, as for your justice, there had been taken great and grave opinion, not only of such judges as he may think violent, but of the most sad and most temperate of the kingdom, who ought to understand the state of the proofs, that the evidence was full to convict him, so as there needeth neither confes

his affirmatives gave some light, or his negatives do greatly falsify him in that which is apparently proved.

We made this farther observation; that when we asked him some question that did touch the prince or some foreign practice, which we did very sparingly at this time, yet he grew a little stirred; but in the questions of the impoisonment very cold and modest. Thus, not thinking it necessary to trouble your majesty with any farther particulars, we end with prayer to God ever to preserve your majesty.

Your majesty's most loyal and faithful servant, FR. BACON.

Postscript. If it seem good unto your majesty, we think it not amiss some preacher, well chosen, had access to my Lord of Somerset for his preparing and comfort, although it be before his trial.

sion, nor supply of examination. But for your
majesty's mercy, although he were not to expect
we should make any promise, we did assure him, SIR,
that your majesty was compassionate of him if he
gave you some ground whereon to work; that, as


I send you enclosed a warrant for my Lady of Somerset's pardon, reformed in that main and

material point, of inserting a clause [that she was not a principal, but an accessary before the fact, by the instigation of base persons.] Her friends think long to have it despatched, which I marvel not at, for that in matter of life moments are numbered.

I do more and more take contentment in his majesty's choice of Sir Oliver St. John, for his deputy of Ireland, finding, upon divers conferences with him, his great sufficiency; and I hope the good intelligence, which he purposeth to hold with me by advertisements from time to time, shall work a good effect for his majesty's service.

I am wonderful desirous to see that kingdom flourish, because it is the proper work and glory of his majesty and his times. And his majesty may be pleased to call to mind, that, a good while since, when the great rent and divisions were in the parliament of Ireland, I was no unfortunate remembrancer to his majesty's princely wisdom in that business. God ever keep you and pros

per you.

Your true and most devoted and bounden servant, FR. BACON.











Ir may please your good lordship, I cannot be | ignorant, and ought to be sensible of the wrong which I sustain in common speech, as if I had been false or unthankful to that noble, but unfortunate earl, the Earl of Essex: and for satisfying the vulgar sort, I do not so much regard it; though I love a good name, but yet as a handmaid and attendant of honesty and virtue. For I am of his opinion that said pleasantly, "That it was a shame to him that was a suitor to the mistress, to make love to the waiting-woman ;" and, therefore, to woo or court common fame, otherwise than it followeth on honest courses, I, for my part, find not myself fit or disposed. But, on the other side, there is no worldly thing that concerneth myself, which I hold more dear, than the good opinion of certain persons; among which, there is none I would more willingly give satisfaction unto, than to your lordship. First, because you loved my Lord of Essex, and, therefore, will not be partial towards me, which is part of that I desire: next, because it hath ever pleased you to show yourself to me an honourable friend, and so no ⚫ baseness in me to seek to satisfy you: and, lastly, because I know your lordship is excellently grounded in the true rules and habits of duties and moralities, which must be they which shall decide this matter; wherein, my lord, my defence needeth to be but simple and brief; namely, that whatsoever I did concerning that action and pro

ceeding, was done in my duty and service to the queen and the state; in which I would not show myself false-hearted, nor faint-hearted, for any man's sake living. For every honest man that hath his heart well planted, will forsake his king, rather than forsake God, and forsake his friend, rather than forsake his king; and, yet, will forsake any earthly commodity, yea, and his own life, in some cases, rather than forsake his friend. I hope the world hath not forgotten these degrees, else the heathen saying, "Amicus usque ad aras," shall judge them.

And if any man shall say, I did officiously intrude myself into that business, because I had no ordinary place; the like may be said of all the business, in effect, that passed the hands of the learned counsel, either of state or revenues, these many years, wherein I was continually used. For, as your lordship may remember, the queen knew her strength so well, as she looked her word should be a warrant; and, after the manner of the choicest princes before her, did not always tie her trust to place, but did sometime divide private favour from office. And I, for my part, though I was not so unseen in the world, but I knew the condition was subject to envy and peril; yet, because I knew again she was constant in her favours, and made an end where she began, and, especially, because she upheld me with extraordinary access, and other demonstrations

of confidence and grace, I resolved to endure it his service to be at my lord's disposing. And, in expectation of better. But my scope and on the other side, I must and will ever acknowdesire is, that your lordship would be pleased to ledge my lord's love, trust, and favour towards have the honourable patience to know the truth, me; and last of all his liberality, having in in some particularity, of all that passed in this feoffed me of land which I sold for eighteen cause, wherein I had any part; that you may hundred pounds to Mr. Reynold Nicholas, which, perceive how honest a heart I ever bare to my I think, was more worth; and that at such a time, sovereign, and to my country, and to that noble- and with so kind and noble circumstances, as the man, who had so well deserved of me, and so manner was as much as the matter; which, though well accepted of my deservings, whose fortune it be but an idle digression, yet, because I am not I cannot remember, without much grief. But, for willing to be short in commemoration of his beany action of mine towards him, there is nothing nefits, I will presume to trouble your lordship that passed me in my lifetime, that cometh to my with relating to you the manner of it. After the remembrance with more clearness, and less check queen had denied me the solicitor's place, for the of conscience: for it will appear to your lordship, which his lordship had been a long and earnest that I was not only not opposite to my Lord of suitor on my behalf, it pleased him to come to Essex, but that I did occupy the utmost of my me from Richmond to Twickenham Park, and wits, and adventure my fortune with the queen, brake with me, and said: "Mr. Bacon, the to have reintegrated his, and so continued faith- queen hath denied me the place for you, and hath fully and industriously, till his last fatal impa- | placed another; I know you are the least part of tience, for so I will call it, after which day there your own matter, but you fare ill because you was not time to work for him; though the same, my affection, when it could not work on the subject proper, went to the next, with no ill effect towards some others, who, I think, do rather not know it, than not acknowledge it. And this I will assure your lordship, I will leave nothing untold, that is truth, for any enemy that I have to add; and, on the other side, I must reserve much which makes for me, in many respects of duty, which I esteem above my credit: and what I have here set down to your lordship, I protest, as I hope to have any part in God's favour, is true.

It is well known, how I did many years since dedicate my travels and studies to the use, and, as I may term it, service of my Lord of Essex, which, I protest before God, I did not, making election of him as the likeliest mean of mine own advancement, but out of the humour of a man, that ever from the time I had any use of reason, whether it were reading upon good books, or upon the example of a good father, or by nature, I loved my country more than was answerable to my fortune; and I held at that time my lord to be the fittest instrument to do good to the state, and therefore I applied myself to him in a manner which I think happeneth rarely among men: for I did not only labour carefully and industriously in that he set me about, whether it were matter of advice or otherwise, but, neglecting the queen's service, mine own fortune, and in a sort my vocation, I did nothing but advise and ruminate with myself, to the best of my understanding, propositions and memorials of any thing that might concern his lordship's honour, fortune, or service. And when, not long after I entered into this course, my brother, Mr. Anthony Bacon, came from beyond the seas, being a gentleman whose ability the world taketh knowledge of for matters of state, especially foreign, I did likewise knit

have chosen me for your mean and dependence; you have spent your time and thoughts in my matters; I die," these were his very words, “if I do not somewhat towards your fortune: you shall not deny to accept a piece of land which I will bestow upon you." My answer, I remember, was, that, for my fortune, it was no great matter; but that his lordship's offer made me call to mind what was wont to be said, when I was in France, of the Duke of Guise, that he was the greatest usurer in France, because he had turned all his estate into obligations: meaning, that he had left himself nothing, but only had bound numbers of persons to him. "Now, my lord," said I, "I would not have you imitate his course, nor turn your estate thus by great gifts into obligations, for you will find many bad debtors." He bade me take no care for that, and pressed it: whereupon I said, "My lord, I see I must be your homager, and hold land of your gift; but do you know the manner of doing homage in law? Always it is with a saving of his faith to the king and his other lords; and, therefore, my lord," said I, "I can be no more yours than I was, and it must be with the ancient savings: and if I grow to be a rich man, you will give me leave to give it back again to some of your unrewarded followers."

But, to return: sure I am, though I can arrogate nothing to myself but that I was a faithful remembrancer to his lordship, that while I had most credit with him, his fortune went on best: and yet in two main points we always directly and contradictorily differed, which I will mention to your lordship, because it giveth light to all that followed. The one was, I ever set this down, that the only course to be held with the queen, was by obsequiousness and observance; and I remember I would usually engage confidently, that if he would take that course constantly, and

pricked him to write that apology, which is in many men's hands.

with choice of good particulars to express it, the queen would be brought in time to Ahasuerus's question, to ask, "What should be done But this difference in two points so main and to the man that the king would honour?" Mean- material, bred in process of time a discontinuance ing, that her goodness was without limit, where of privateness, as it is the manner of men seldom there was a true concurrence: which I knew, in to communicate where they think their courses her nature, to be true. My lord, on the other side, not approved, between his lordship and myself: had a settled opinion, that the queen could be so as I was not called nor advised with for some brought to nothing, but by a kind of necessity year and a half before his lordship's going into and authority; and, I well remember, when, by Ireland, as in former time; yet, nevertheless, violent courses at any time, he had got his will, touching his going into Ireland, it pleased him he would ask me, "Now, sir, whose principles expressly, and in a set manner, to desire mine be true?" And I would again say to him; "My opinion and counsel. At which time I did not only lord, these courses be like to hot waters, they dissuade, but protest against his going; telling will help at a pang; but if you use them, you him, with as much vehemency and asseveration shall spoil the stomach, and you shall be fain as I could, that absence in that kind would still to make them stronger, and stronger, and yet exulcerate the queen's mind, whereby it would in the end, they will lessen their operation;" not be possible for him to carry himself so as to with much other variety, wherewith I used to give her sufficient contentment; nor for her to carry touch that string. Another point was, that I herself so as to give him sufficient countenance: always vehemently dissuaded him from seeking which would be ill for her, ill for him, and ill for the greatness by a military dependence, or by a state. And, because I would omit no argument, I popular dependence, as that which would breed remember, I stood also upon the difficulty of the in the queen jealousy, in himself presumption, action; setting before him, out of histories, that the and, in the state, perturbation: and I did usually Irish was such an enemy as the ancient Gauls, or compare them to Icarus's two wings, which were Britons, or Germans were; and that we saw how joined on with wax, and would make him venture the Romans, who had such discipline to govern to soar too high, and then fail him at the height. their soldiers, and such donatives to encourage And I would farther say unto him; "My lord, them, and the whole world in a manner to levy stand upon two feet, and fly not upon two wings: them; yet when they came to deal with enemies, the two feet are the two kinds of justice, commu- which placed their felicity only in liberty, and tative, and distributive: use your greatness for the sharpness of their sword, and had the natural advancing of merit and virtue, and relieving elemental advantages of woods, and bogs, and wrongs and burdens; you shall need no other art hardness of bodies, they ever found they had or finesse:" but he would tell me, that opinion their hands full of them; and therefore concluded, came not from my mind, but from my robe. But that going over with such expectation as he did, it is very true, that I, that never meant to enthral and through the churlishness of the enterprise, myself to my Lord of Essex, nor any other man, not like to answer it, would mightily diminish his more than stood with the public good, did, though reputation: and many other reasons I used, so as, I could little prevail, divert him by all means I am sure, I never in any thing in my lifetime, possible from courses of the wars and popularity: dealt with him in like earnestness by speech, by for I saw plainly, the queen must either live or writing, and by all the means I could devise. die; if she lived, then the times would be as in For I did as plainly see his overthrow chained, the declination of an old prince; if she died, the as it were by destiny, to that journey, as it is times would be as in the beginning of a new; possible for any man to ground a judgment upon and that, if his lordship did rise too fast in these future contingents. But, my lord, howsoever his courses, the times might be dangerous for him, ear was open, yet his heart and resolution was and he for them. Nay, I remember, I was thus shut against that advice, whereby his ruin might plain with him upon his voyage to the islands, have been prevented. After my lord's going, I when I saw every spring put forth such actions saw then how true a prophet I was, in regard of of charge and provocation, that I said to him, the evident alteration which naturally succeeded My lord, when I came first unto you, I took you in the queen's mind; and thereupon I was still in for a physician that desired to cure the diseases watch to find the best occasion, that, in the weakof the state; but now I doubt you will be like ness of my power, I could either take or minister, those physicians which can be content to keep to pull him out of the fire, if it had been possible: their patients low, because they would always be and not long after, methought I saw some overin request." Which plainness, he, nevertheless, ture thereof, which I apprehended readily; a took very well, as he had an excellent ear, and particularity which I think to be known to very was "patientissimus veri," and assured me the few, and the which I do the rather relate unto case of the realm required it: and I think this your lordship, because I hear it should be talked, speech of mine, and the like renewed afterwards, that while my lord was in Ireland, I revealed


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