Francis Bacon.

The works of Francis Bacon, baron of Verulam, viscount St. Alban, and lord high chancellor of England (Volume 3) online

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216 Sir Francis Bacon's Apology.

that which would breed in the queen jealousy, in him-
self presumption, and in the state perturbation : and I
did usually compare them to Icarus's two wings,
which were joined on with wax, and would make
him venture to soar too high, and then fail him at the
height. And I would farther say unto him ; " My
" lord, stand upon two feet, and fly not upon two
" wings : the two feet are the two kinds of justice,
. " commutative, and distributive ? use your greatness for
" advancing of merit and virtue, and relieving wrongs
" and burthens; you shall need no other art or
" finesse :" but he would tell me, that opinion came
not from my mind, but from my robe. But it is very
true, that I, that never meant to inthral myself to my
lord of Essex, nor any other man, more than stood
with the public good, did, though I could little prevail,
divert him by all means possible from the courses of
the wars and popularity : for I saw plainly the queen
must either live or die ; if she lived, then the times
would be as in the declination of an old prince; if she
died, the times would be as in the beginning of a new;
and that if his lordship did rise too fast in these courses,
the times might be dangerous for him, and he for
them. Nay, I remember, I was thus plain with him
upon his voyage to the islands, when I saw every
spring put forth such actions of charge and provoca-
tion, that I said to him, " My lord, when I came first
* ( unto you, I took you for a physician that desired to
" cure the diseases of the state ; but now I doubt you
" will be like those physicians which can be content to
" keep their patients low, because they would always
" be in request." Which plainness he nevertheless
took very well, as he had an excellent ear, and was
patientissiimis veri* and assured me the case of the
realm required it : and I think this speech of mine,
and the like renewed afterwards, pricked him to write
that Apology which is in many mens hands.

But this difference in two points so main and mate-
rial, bred in process of time a discontinuance of private-
ness, as it is the manner of men seldom to communicate
where they think their courses not approved, between

Sir Francis "Bacon's Apology. 217

his lordship and mvself; so as I was not called nor
advised with for some year and a half before his lord-
ship's going into Ireland, as in former time: yet, never-
theless, touching his going into Ireland, it pleased
him expresly, and in a set manner, to desire mine opi-
nion and counsel. At which time I did not only dis-
suade, but protest against his going; telling him, with
as much veheinency and asseveration as I could, that
absence in that kind would exulcerate the queen's
mind, whereby it would not be possible for him to
carry himself so as to give her sufficient contentment;
nor for her to carry herself so as to give him sufficient
countenance : which would be ill for her, ill for him, and
ill for the state. And because I would omit no argu-
ment, I remember I stood also upon the difficulty of the
action ; setting before him out ot histories, that the
Irish was such an enemy as the antient Gauls, or Bri-
tons, or Germans were; and that we saw how the
Romans, who had such discipline to govern their sol-
diers, and such donatives to encourage them, and the
whole world in a manner to levy them ; yet when
they came to deal with enemies, which placed their
felicity only in liberty, and the sharpness of their sword,
and had the natural elemental advantages of woods and
bogs, and hardness of bodies, they ever found they had
their hands full of them ; and therefore concluded, that
going over with such expectation as he did, and through
the churlishness ot the enterprise not like to answer it,
would mightily diminish his reputation: and many
other reasons I used, so as I am sure I never in any
thing in my life-time dealt with him in like earnestness
by speech, by writing, and by all the means I could
devise. For I did as plainly see his overthrow chained,
as it were by destiny, to that journey, as it is possible
for any man to ground a judgment upon future
contingents. But my lord, howsoever his ear was
open, yet his heart and resolution was shut against
that advice, whereby his ruin might have been pre-
vented. After my lord's going, I saw then how true
a prophet i was, in regard to the evident alteration
which naturally succeeded in the queen's mind -, and

218 Sir Francis Bacon s Apology.

thereupon I was still in watch to find the best occasion
that in the weakness of my power I could either take
or minister, to pull him out of the fire, if it had been
possible : and not long after, methought I saw some
overture thereof, which I apprehended readily ; a par-
ticularity wh : ch I think to be known to very few, and
the which I do the rather relate unto your lordship,
because I hearir should be talked, that while my lord
was in Ireland I revealed some matters against him,
or I cannot tell what; which if it were not a mere
slander as the rest is, but had any, though never so
little colour, was surely upon this occasion. The queen,
one day at Nonesuch, a little, as I remember, before
Cuffe's coming over, where I attended her, shewed a
passionate distaste of my lord's proceedings in Ireland,
as if they were unfortunate, without judgment, con-
temptuous, and not without some private end of his
own, and all that might be ; and was pleased, as she
spake of it to many that she trusted least so to fall into
the like speech with me. Whereupon I, who was
still awake, and true to my grounds which I thought
surest for my lord's good, said to this effect: " Madam,
** I know not the particulars of estate, and I know this,
fc that princes actions must have no abrupt periods or
<c conclusions ; but otherwise 1 W 7 ould think, that if
" you had my lord of Essex here with a white staff in
" in his hand, as my lord Leicester had, and conti-
" nued him still about you for society to yourself, and
" for an honour and ornament to your attendance and
ec court in the eyes of your people, and in the eyes of
" foreign ambassadors, then were he in his right ele-
<e ment ; for to discontent him as you do, and yet to
" put arms and power into his hands, may be a kind
" of temptation to make him prove cumbersome and
cc unruly. And therefore if you would imponere bo-
" nam dausulam, and send for him, and satisfy him
" with honour here near you, if your affairs, which
cc as I have said, I am not acquainted with, will per-
" mit it, I think were the best way." Which course,
your lordship knoweth, if it had been taken, then all
had been well, and no contempt in my lord's coming

Sir Francis Bacon's Apology. 219

over, nor continuance of these jealousies, which that
employment of Ireland bred, and my lord here in his
former greatness. Well, the next news that I heard
was, that my lord was come over, and that he was
committed to his chamber for leaving Ireland without
the queen's licence ; this was at Nonesuch, where, as
my duty was, I came to his lordship, and talked with
him privately about a quarter of an hour, and he
asked mine opinion of the course that was taken with
him : I told him, my lord, i Nubecula esf, cito tran-
" sibit ; it is but a mist. But shall I tell your lordship,
" it is as mists are: if it go upwards^ it may perhaps
"cause a shower; if downwards, it will clear up.
" And therefore, good my lord, carry it so, as you take
" away by all means all umbrages and distates from
" the queen ; and especially, if I were worthy to ad-
" vise you, as I have been by yourself thought, and
" now your question imports the continuance of that
" opinion, observe three points : first, make not this
" cessation or peace, which is concluded with Ty-
" rone, as a service wherein you glory, but as a shuf-
" fling up of a prosecution which was not very fortu-
" nate. Next, represent not to the queen any ne-
" cessity of estate, whereby, as by a coercion or
" wrench, she would think herself inforced to send
" you back into Ireland, but leave it to her. Thirdly,
" seek access importune* opportune, seriously, sport-
" ingly, every way." I remember my lord was wil-
ling to hear me, but spake very few words, and shaked
his head sometimes, as if he thought I was in the
wrong; but, sure I am, he did just contrary in every
one of these three points. After this, during the
while since my lord was committed to my lord
Keeper's, I came divers times to the queen, as I had
used to do, about causes of her revenue and law busi-
ness, as is well known ; by reason of which accesses
according to the ordinary charities of covirt, it was
given out, that ( was one of them that incensed the
queen against my lord of Kssex. These speeches I
cannot tell, nor 1 will not think, that they grew any
way from her majesty's own speeches, whose memory

22O Sir Francis Bacon's Apology.

I will ever honour; if they did, she is with God, and
Miserum est ab illis laedi, de quibus non possis quaeri.
But I must give this testimony to my lord Cecil, that
one time in his house at the Savoy he dealt with me
directly, and said to me, {< Cousin, I hear it, but I
" believe it not, that you should do some ill office to
" my lord of Essex ; for my part I am merely passive,
" and not active in this action ; and I follow the
" queen, and that heavily, and I lead her not ; my
" lord of Essex is one that in nature I could consent
" with as well as with any one living ; the queen in*
" deed is my sovereign, and I am her creature, I may
" not lose her, and the same course 1 would wish you
" to take." Whereupon I satisfied him how far I was
from any such mind. And as sometimes it cometh to
pass, that mens inclinations are opened more in a toy,
than in a serious matter : a little before that time, being
about the middle of Michaelmas term, her majesty
had a purpose to dine at my lodge at Twicknam Park,
at which time I had, though I profess not to be a poet,
prepared a sonnet directly tending and alluding to
draw on her majesty's reconcilement to my lord ;
which, I remember, also, I shewed to a great person,
and one of my lord's nearest friends, who commended
it. This, though it be, as I said, but a toy, yet it
shewed plainly in what spirit I proceeded ; and that I
was ready not only to do my lord good offices, but to
publish and declare myself for him : and never was I
so ambitious of any thing in my life-time, as I was to
have carried some token or favour from her majesty to
my lord j using all the art I had, both to procure her
majesty to send, and myself to be the messenger. For
as to the former I feared not to alledge to her, that
this proceeding toward my lord was a thing towards
the people very unplausible j and therefore wished her
majesty, however she did, yet to discharge herself of
it, and lay it upon others ; and therefore that she
should intermix her proceeding with some immediate
graces from herself, that the world might take know-
ledge of her princely nature and goodness, lest it
should alienate the hearts of her people from her:

Sir Francis Bacon's Apology. 221

which I did stand upon ; knowing well that if she
once relented to send or visit, those demonstrations
would prove matter of substance for my lord's good.
And to draw that employment upon myself, I advised
her majesty, that whensoever God should move her
to turn the light of her favours towards my lord, to
make signification to him thereof; that her majesty, if
she did it not in person, would at the least use some
such mean as might not intitle themselves to any part
of the thanks, as persons that were thought mighty
with her to work her, or to bring her about ; but to
use some such as could not be thought but a mere con-
duit of her own goodness. But I could never prevail
with her, though I am persuaded she saw plainly
whereat I levelled ; and she plainly had me in jea-
lousy, that I was not hers intirely, but still had inward
and deep respects towards my lord, more than stood
at that time with her will and pleasure. About the
same time I remember an answer of mine in a matter
which had some affinity with my lord's cause, which
though it grew from me, went after about in others
names. For her majesty being mightily incensed with
that book which was dedicated to my lord of Essex,
being a story of the first year of king Henry IV. think-
ing it a seditious prelude to put into the peoples head
boldness and faction, said, She had an opinion that
there was treason in it, and asked me if I could not
find any places in it that might be drawn within case
of treason : whereto I answered ; for treason surely
I found none, but for felony very many. And when
her majesty hastily asked me, Wherein ? I told her,
the author had committed very apparent theft ; for he
had taken most of the sentences of Cornelius Tacitus,
and translated them into English, and put them into
his text. And another time, when the queen would
not be persuaded that it was his writing whose name
was to it, but that it had some more mischievous
author; and said with great indignation, That she
would have him racked to produce his author : I re-
plied ; f( Nay, madam, he is a doctor, never rack his
" person, but rack his style ; let him have pen, ink,

222 A; 1 Francis Bacon's Apology.

" and paper, and help of books, and be enjoined to
" continue the story where it breaketh off, and I will
" undertake by collating the styles to judge whether he
" were the author or no." But for the main matter,
sure I am, when the queen at any time asked mine opi-
nion of my lord's case, I ever in one tenour said unto her ;
That they were faults which the law might term con-
tempts ; because they were the transgression of her
particular directions and instructions : but then what
defence might be made of them, in regard of the great
interest the person had in her majesty's favour ; in re-
gard of the greatness of his place, and the ampleness
of his commission , in regard of the nature of the busi-
ness, being action of war, which in common cases
cannot be tied to strictness of instructions; in regard
of the distance of the place, having also a sea between,
that his demands and her commands must be subject
to wind and weather ; in regard of a council of state
in Ireland, which he had at his back to avow his ac-
tions upon ; and lastly, in regard of a good intention,
that he would alledge for himself: which, I told her,
in some religions was held to be a sufficient dispensa-
tion for God's commandments, much more for princes :
in all these regards, I besought her majesty to be ad-
vised again and again, how she brought the cause into
any public question. Nay, I went farther ; for I told
her, my lord was an eloquent and well-spoken man ;
and besides his eloquence of nature or art, he had an
eloquence of accident which passed them both, which
was the pity and benevolence of his hearers ; and there-
fore, that when he should come to his answer for him-
self, I doubted his words would have so unequal a pas-
sage above theirs that should charge him, as would
not be for her majesty's honour ; and therefore wished
the conclusion might be, that they might wrap it up pri-
vately between themselves ; and that she would restore
my lord to his former attendance, with some addition
of honour to take away discontent. But this I will ne-
ver deny ; that I did shew no approbation generally of
his being sent back again into Ireland, both because it
would have carried a repugnancy with my former dis*

Sir Francis Bacon's Apology. 223

course, and because I was in mine own heart fully
persuaded that it was not good, either for the queen,
or for the state, or for himself: and yet I did not dis-
suade it neither, but left it ever as locus Inbricus. For
this particularity I do well remember, that after your
lordship was named for the place in Ireland, and not
long before your going, it pleased her majesty at
Whitehall to speak to me of that nomination : at
which time I said to her ; " Surely, madam, if you
cc mean not to employ my lord of Essex thither again,
" your majesty cannot make a better choice ;" and
was going on to shew some reason, and her 'majesty
interrupted me w r ith great passion : " Essex !" said
she ; " whensoever I send Essex back again into Ire-
" land, I will marry you, claim it of me." Where-
nntp I said ; " Well, madam, I will release that con-
" tract, if his going be for the good of your state."
Immediately after the queen had thought of a course,
which was also executed, to have somewhat pub-
lished in the Star-chamber, for the satisfaction of the
world, touching my lord of Essex his restraint, and
my lord not to be called to it ; but occasion to be
taken by reason of some libels then dispersed : which
when her majesty propounded unto me, I was utterly
against it -, and told her plainly, That the people would
say, that my lord was wounded upon his back, and
that Justice had her balance taken from her, which
ever consisted of an accusation and defence ; with
many other quick and significant terms to that purpose;
insomuch that, I remember, I said, that my lord in
forofamae was too hard for her; and therefore wished
her, as I had done before, to wrap it up privately.
And certainly I offended her at that time, which was
rare with me : for I call to mind, that both the Christ-
mas, Lent, and Easter term following, though I came
divers times to her upon law business, yet methought
her face and manner was not so clear and open to me
as it was at the first. And she did directly charge me,
that I was absent that day at the Star-chamber, which
was very true ; but I alledged some indisposition of
body to excuse it : and during all the time aforesaid,

224 Sir Francis Bacon's Apology.

there was altum silentium from her to me touching rny
lord of Essex's causes.

But towards the end of Easter term her majesty
brake with me, and told me, That she had found my
words true : for that the proceeding in the Star-cham-
ber had done no good, but rather kindled factious
bruits, as she termed them, than quenched them ;
and therefore, that she was determined now, for the
satisfaction of the world, to proceed against my lord
in the Star-chamber by an information Ore ttnus> and
to have my lord brought to his answer; howbeir, she
said, she would assure me, that whatsoever she did
should be towards my lord ad casfigationem, et non ad
destruc tionem ; as indeed she had often repeated the
same phrase before : whereunto I said, to the end ut-
terly to divert her, " Madam, if you will have me
<c speak to you in this argument, I must speak to
" you as Frier Bacon's head spake, that said first,
" Time is ; and then, Time was; and Time zvill
" never be : for certainly, said I, it is now far too late ;
" the matter is cold, and hath taken too much wind."
Whereat she seemed again offended, arid rose from
me ; and that resolution for a while continued : and
after, in the beginning of Midsummer term, I attend-
ing her, and finding her settled in that resolution,
which I heard of,also otherwise, she falling upon the
like speech ; it is true, that seeing no other remedy, I
said to her slightly, " Why, madam, if you will needs
" have a proceeding, you were best have it in some such
" sort as Ovid spake of his mistress ; est aliqmd luce
" patente minus; to make a council-table matter of
<c it, and there an end :" which speech again she
seemed to take in ill part ; but yet I think it did good
at that time, and helped to divert that course of pro-
ceeding by information in the Star-chamber. Never-
theless, afterwards it pleased her to make a more so-
lemn matter of the proceeding ; and some few days
after, an order was given that the matter should be
heard at York-house, before an assembly of counsel-
lors, peers, and judges, and some audience of men of
quality to be admitted ; and then did some principal

Sir Francis Bacon* s Apology. 225

counsellors send for us of the learned counsel, and
notify her majesty's pleasure unto us ; save that it was
said to me openly by one of them, that her majesty
was not yet resolved whether she would have me for-
born in the business or no. And hereupon might arise
that other sinister and untrue speech, that, I hear, is
raised of me, how I was a suitor to be used against
rny lord of Essex at that time : for it is very true, that
I that knew well what had passed between the queen
and me, and what occasion I had given her both of
distaste and distrust, in crossing her disposition, by
standing stedfastly for my lord of Essex, and suspect-
ing it also to be a stratagem arising from some parti-
cular emulation, I writ to her two or three words of
compliment, signifying to her majesty, " That if she
'* would be pleased to spare me in my lord of Essex's
" cause, out of the consideration she took of my obli-
" gation towards him, I should reckon it for one of
Cf her greatest favours : but otherwise desiring her ma-
" jesty to think that I knew the degrees of duties; and
" that no particular obligation whatsoever to any sub-
" ject could supplant or weaken that entireness of duty
" that I did owe and bear to her and her service."
And this was the goodly suit I made, being a respect
no man that had his wits could have omitted : but ne-
vertheless I had a farther reach in it ; for J judged that
day's work would be a full period of any bitterness or
harshness between the queen and my lord : and there-
fore, if I declared myself fully according to her mind
at that time, which could not do my lord any manner
of prejudice, I should keep my credit with her ever
after, whereby to do my lord service. Hereupon the
next news that I heard was, that we were all sent for
again ; and that her majesty's pleasure was, we all
should have parts in the business ; and the lords falling
into distribution of our parts, it was allotted to me, that
I should set forth some undutiful carriage of my lord,
in giving occasion and countenance to a seditious
pamphlet as it was termed, which was dedicated unto
him, which was the book before mentioned of king
Henry IV. Whereupon I replied to that allotment,


226 Sir Francis Bacon's Apology.

and said to their lordships, That it was an old matter*
and had no manner of coherence with the rest of the
charge, being matters of Ireland : and therefore, that
I having been wronged by bruits before, this would
expose me to them more; and it would be said I gave
in evidence my own tales. It was answered again
with good shew, That because it was considered how
I stood tied to my lord of Essex, therefore that part
was thought fittest for me, which did him least hurt :
for that whereas all the rest was matter of charge and
accusation, this only was but matter of caveat and ad-
monition. Wherewith though I was in mine own
mind little satisfied, because I knew well a man were
better to be charged with some faults, than admo-
nished of some others: yet the conclusion binding upon
the queen's pleasure directly, nolens nolens, I could
not avoid that part that was laid upon me : which part,
if in the delivery I did handle not tenderly, though no
man before me did in so clear terms free my lord from
all disloyalty as I did, that, your lordship knoweth,
must be ascribed to the superior duty I did owe to the
queen's fame and honour in a public proceeding, and
partly to the intention I had to uphold myself in credit
and strength with the queen, the better to be able to
do my lord good offices afterwards : for as soon as this
day was past, I lost no time ; but the very next day
following, as I remember, I attended her majesty,
fully resolved to try and put in use my utmost endea-
vour, so far as I in my weakness could give fur-
therance, to bring my lord again speedily into court
and favour ; and knowing, as I supposed at least, how
the queen was to be used, I thought that to make her
conceive that the matter went well then, was the way
to make her leave off there : and I remember well, I
said to her, " You have now, madam, obtained vic-
" tory over two things, which the greatest princes in
" the world cannot at their wills subdue ; the one is
" over fame ; the other is over a great mind : for
" surely the world is now, I hope, reasonably well
" satisfied ; and for my lord, he did shew that humi-
" liation towards your majesty, as I am persuaded he

Sir Francis "Bacon's Apology* 227

cc was never in his life-time more fit for your majesty's
" favour than he is now : therefore if your majesty will
<c not mar it by lingering, but give over at the best,

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