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LIII.

Raleigh.

This drew upon him a sarcasm from Sir Walter Raleigh, CHAP. then at variance with the Court, who (without quoting Hansard) referred to Bacon's famous patriotic speech, and Sarcasm of said "that he was afraid our enemies, the Spaniards, would Sir Walter hear of our selling our pots and pans to pay subsidies. Dulcis tractus pari jugo, says an honourable person. Call you this par jugum, when a poor man pays as much as a rich, and peradventure his estate is no better than he is set at, when our estates, that be 307. or 407. in the Queen's books, are not the hundredth part of our wealth? Therefore, it is not dulcis nor par." The supply, nevertheless, was carried by a large majority.

on Bacon sup

But the great question of the session was MONOPOLY, which Bacon took a most discreditable part. The grievance ports monopolies. of grants of the exclusive right to deal in commodities had become altogether insupportable, and had caused the deepest ferment throughout the kingdom. It is difficult to conceive how society could subsist at a time when almost all matters of household consumption or commercial adventure (with the exception of bread, which was expected soon to be included) were assigned over to monopolists, who were so exorbitant in their demands that they sometimes raised prices tenfold; and who, to secure themselves against encroachments, were armed with high and arbitrary powers to search every where for contraband, and to oppress the people at pleasure. A declaratory bill having been brought in by Mr. Lawrence Hide to put down the grievance, and to restore common-law freedom of trade, it was thus opposed by

His speech

in the

House of

Mr. Francis Bacon. "The bill is very injudicious and ridiculous; injurious, in that it taketh, or rather sweepeth away her Majesty's prerogative; and ridiculous, in that there Commons. is a proviso that the statute shall not extend to grants made to corporations; that is a gull to sweeten the bill withal; it is only to make fools fain. All men of the law know, that a bill which is only expository, to expound the common law, doth enact nothing; neither is any promise of good therein."

Mr. Secretary Cecil quoted Bracton: "Prerogativum nostrum nemo audeat disputare;" adding, "and for my own part, I like not these courses should be taken; and you, Mr.

LIII.

CHAP. Speaker, should perform the charge her Majesty gave unto you in the beginning of this parliament, not to receive bills of this nature; for her Majesty's ears be open to all grievances, and her hand stretched out to every man's petitions."*

Queen obliged to yield upon the question of monopo

lies.

Close of the reign of Elizabeth.

The House, nevertheless, showed such a determined spirit, that the Queen was compelled to yield; and she wisely put an end to the discussion by sending a message, through the Speaker, that the monopolies should be cancelled. Bacon did not openly retract his defence of them; but Secretary Cecil now observed, "there is no patent whereof the execution, as I take it, hath not been injurious. Would that there never had been any granted. I hope there shall never be more." Whereupon there were loud cheers, according to the fashion of the time: "all the House said, AMEN."† There is nothing more interesting in our constitutional history, than to trace the growing power and influence of the House of Commons, from the increasing wealth and intelligence of the middling orders during the reign of Elizabeth, notwithstanding the arbitrary orders which she issued to them, and her habit, hardly considered illegal, of sending members to gaol when they offended her. The abolishers of monopolies were the fathers of those who, in the next generation, passed "the Petition of Right," and assembled in the Long Parliament. Bacon himself lived to see both Houses unanimous in putting down judicial corruption.

In this reign he did not again take part in any affairs of importance. Like the Cecils, he was turning his eyes to the north, where the rising light he was desirous to worship was to appear.

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CHAPTER LIV.

CONTINUATION OF THE LIFE OF LORD BACON FROM THE ACCES-
SION OF JAMES 1. TILL HIS APPOINTMENT AS LORD KEEPER.

He

BACON had not contrived to open any direct communica-
tion with James during Elizabeth's life; - but no sooner
had she breathed her last at Richmond, than he took active
steps to recommend himself to the new monarch.
first wrote letters to Fowlys, a confidential person at the
Scottish court, to be shown to James,-in which (among
other flatteries), he says, "We all thirst after the King's
coming, accounting all this but as the dawning of the day
before the rising of the sun, till we have his presence." * He
wrote similar letters to Sir Thomas Chaloner, an Englishman,
who had gone down to salute James, and was made governor
to Prince Henry, - to Dr. Morrison, a physician at Edin-
burgh, in the confidence of James, and to Lord Kinlosse,
his prime favourite, who, strangely enough, for want of a
place for which he was fitter, was made Master of the Rolls.
In a few days after he addressed a letter directed to James
himself. Having heard of his pedantic taste, he thus tries
to suit it:

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CHAP.
LIV.

March 24.

1603. Accession of James I.

Bacon's let

ters to be

shown to

the King.

letter to

"It may please your most excellent Majesty, It is Bacon's observed by some upon a place in the Canticles, Ego sum flos the King. campi et lilium convallium, that a dispari, it is not said, Ego sum flos horti et lilium montium, because the majesty of that person is not inclosed for a few, nor appropriated to the great." He then goes on to say, that he would not have made oblation of himself, had it not been for the liberty which he enjoyed with his late dear sovereign Mistress, princess happy in all things, but most happy in such a successor." Having extolled the services of old Sir Nicholas

* Works, vol. v. 272.

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66

a

This seems to have afforded a happy hint for the famous Dedication ("with a double aspect ") of a law-book to Lord Eldon by a gentleman, who, after ob

CHAP.
LIV.

Renewal of his patent as King's Counsel.

Proposed proclamation.

and of his brother Anthony, and modestly alluding to his own, he thus shows the measure he had taken of the discernment and taste of King James. "And therefore, most high and mighty King, my most dear and dread Sovereign Lord, since now the corner-stone is laid of the mightiest monarchy in Europe, and that God above who hath ever a hand in bridling the floods and motions both of the seas and of people's hearts, hath by the miraculous and universal consent, the more strange because it proceedeth from such diversity of causes in your coming in, given a sign and token of great happiness in the continuance of your reign, I think there is no subject of your Majesty's which loveth this island, and is not hollow and unworthy, whose heart is not set on fire not only to bring you peace-offerings to make you propitious, but to sacrifice himself a burnt-offering or holocaust to your Majesty's service."*

-

Nevertheless, by some accident, Bacon's name was omitted in the first warrant sent from Holyrood, for continuing different persons connected with the law in their offices; but on the 21st of April, when James had reached Worksopp in his progress to the south, he addressed another warrant to the Lord Keeper, whereby, after reciting that he had been informed that Francis Bacon, Esq., was one of the learned counsel to the late Queen by special commandment, he says, "Therefore we do require you to signify our pleasure to him and others to whom it shall appertain to be thereof certified, that our meaning is he shall continue to be of our learned counsel in such manner as before he was to the Queen." As James approached, Bacon sent him the draught of a proclamation which he recommended to be issued, — “giving assurance that no man's virtue should be left idle, unemployed, or unrewarded;" but it was not adopted, as greater expect ations of advancement had been already excited than could possibly be gratified.

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taining permission to dedicate to him, and before the book was published, seeing his intended patron suddenly turned out of office, - after some compliments to departing greatness, says, "but your felicity is that you contemplate in your successor a person whose judgment will enable him to appreciate your merits, and whose talents have procured him a name among the eminent lawyers of his country."

• Works, vol. v. 275.

Immediately on the King's arrival at Whitehall, Bacon was CHAP. presented to him, and had a promise of private access.

66

He

LIV.

the King.

thus confidentially describes James to the Earl of Northumber- He is preland, who had not yet been at Court: His speech is swift sented to and cursory, and in the full dialect of his country; in speech Bacon's of business, short; in speech of discourse, large. He affecteth description popularity by gracing such as he hath heard to be popular, of James. and not by any fashions of his own. He is thought somewhat general in his favours, and his virtue of access is rather because he is much abroad and in press than that he giveth easy audience. He hasteneth to a mixture of both kingdoms faster than policy will well bear. I told your Lordship, once before, that methought his Majesty rather asked counsel of the time past than of the time to come*; but it is yet early to ground any settled opinion."

to be

He pretended that he had formed a resolution to devote Bacon's himself for the rest of his days to philosophy, saying:—" My anxiety ambition now I shall only put upon my pen, whereby I shall knighted. be able to maintain memory and merit of the times succeeding." But in reality a ludicrous anxiety had entered the mind of the great Bacon-that he might be dubbed a knight, and in creditable fashion. Under the Tudors, knighthood was a distinction reserved to grace the highest offices, and to reward the most eminent services. James, from his accession, lavished it on almost all who solicited it, and turned it into a source of profit, by compelling all who had land of the yearly value of forty pounds to submit to it on payment of high fees, or to compound for it according to their ability. Bacon, perhaps, would have been better pleased with the rare distinction of escaping it, but for the special reasons he assigns in the following letter to Cecil, soliciting that it might be conferred upon him:-"It may please your good Lordship July 3. - For this divulged and almost prostituted title of knighthood, I could, without charge, by your honour's mean, be content to have it, both because of this late disgrace ‡, and

* Bacon immediately discovered this defect in the Stuart character, which proved fatal to the dynasty.

† Letter to Cecil, July 3. 1603.

I do not know what this refers to. I do not find that he complained of the re-appointment of Coke and Fleming as Attorney and Solicitor General.

1603.

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