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by writing and receive our pleasure hereafter for your further warrant and authority in that behalf."
What was to be done now? Though Essex had taken care to dispatch his messenger the day before the Commissioners met,-thinking I suppose that the case being incomplete the decision would be deferred, -he could not contrive this time to be involved in a fresh action before the answer arrived. The truce being concluded and the army dispersed, he had now no pretext for postponing esplanations. The campaign was over. The question was, what had been done? A question indisputably fair and reasonable; though to put on paper an answer to it which had a chance of being considered satisfactory was no easy matter. For whatever might be said in justification of this or that item of the account, the totals must stand thus : - Expended, £300,000 and ten or twelve thousand men : received, a suspension of hostilities for six weeks, with promise of a fortnight's notice before recommencing them, and a verbal communication from Tyrone of the conditions upon which he was willing to make peace. The obtaining of this information was in fact the Earl's great achievement. And if he had indeed induced Tyrone to offer conditions really satisfactory, he had deserved well of his country after all, and for his discharge had only to produce them. But here was a new difficulty. The Queen required a report in writing. Now Tyrone, fearing that if the conditions were committed to paper they would be communicated to Spain, had made him promise to deliver them verbally. The evidence of this otherwise incredible fact is still extant in Esser's own declaration under his own hand. If the statement had proceeded from anybody else, or if the words had been less precise, I should have suspected a mistake : I should have suspected that the promise was not exacted by Tyrone-for what difference could it make to him whether Essex made a verbal or a written report of what he had said, or which of the two were communicated to Spain, so long as he did not himself sign either?-but volunteered by Essex himself, for the very purpose of putting it out of his power to make a report in writing, and of thereby compelling the Queen to send for him. But his words can bear only one meaning. “The conditions demanded by Tyrone I was fain to give my word that I would only verbally deliver, it being so required of him before he would open his heart; his fear being lest they should be sent into Spain, as he saith the letter with which he trusted Sir John Norreys was.”'l If
See a paper “in Essex's handwriting, indorsed by Sir R. Cecil, “30th Sept.,
the stipulation really proceeded from Tyrone, it must have been by way of bravado; and certainly if he wanted a written record of the fact that he had negotiated the truce on terms of acknowledged superiority, he could have nothing better than such a statement as this. But however it came about, it served Essex now as a pretext for going over to England—the Queen's repeated commands to the contrary notwithstanding. And since it happened that these mysterious conditions amounted to nothing less than what we should now call“ Ireland for the Irish,” and were such as the Queen could not be asked to grant except on the assumption that Tyrone was master of the situation and must be allowed to make his own terms -a view which it seemed she was not yet prepared to take-it was necessary to go provided with the means of convincing her. Reason, in such a case, he could not trust to. It was his old complaint that he could never do her service but against her will.? The Court and Council were full of “enemies,” in whose hands he could not safely trust himself. What should he do? On receipt of the Queen's last letter (which having been dispatched from Nonsuch on the 17th of September could hardly reach him before the 21st or 22nd), he held a consultation with his confidential friends Blount and Southampton; told them (this is Southampton's own statement, attested by Nottingham, Cecil, and Windebank, to whom it was made, published at the time to all the world, and never contradicted or retracted, though Southampton lived many years after with every motive for doing so if he could) “ that he found it necessary for him to go into England, and thought it fit to carry with him so much of the army as he could conveniently transport, to go on shore with him to Wales, and there to make good his landing till he could send for more : not doubting but his
army would so increase in a small time, that he should be able to march to London and make his conditions as he desired.” That he seriously meditated such a design seems monstrous: but I find it impossible to doubt the fact; and the impossibility of either disputing it or reconciling it with the popular view of his character is implied in all our modern popular narratives of this business; which with one
1599: A relation of the manner of gorernment of the kingdom of Ireland, as the Earl of Essex left it, and hath now delivered it under his own hand.'” S. P. O. Ireland, | Lives of the Earls of Essex, i. p. 340.
Appendix to ' Declaration of Treasons, etc., published by authority in 1601. There is some doubt however about the exact date of the conversation. In the examination of Blount, signed by himself, which has just been printed from the Hatfield MSS., it is said to have been “some days before the Earl's journey into the North.” But as I suspect some mistake,-for it is expressly stated in the Declaration of Treasons' that he was not known to have communicated his design to anybody before his conference with Tyrone,-I leave my story as it was.
accord forget to mention it. To any one however who seriously desires to find the true meaning of his proceedings and what sort of subject he really was, it must appear a fact far too significant to be left out of account. A subject making his own conditions with the Government at the head of an army is a successful rebel; and successful rebellion without bloodshed was no doubt what he wished,may have been wbat he hoped. But knowing as he did that England had been in arms at very short notice only a month before, civil war is what he must have expected and been prepared for. Nor was it that consideration which deterred him from the project. He gave it up because the two friends whom he most trusted, having taken a night to think it over, concurred in protesting against it.
They agreed however (at least Blount did) that he must not go without force enough for his personal protection. It was foreseen that he would probably be placed under some restraint. And as they could not tell how much was known or suspected by the Government of what was known to themselves, a committal, unless it were to friendly hands, might prove dangerous. To guard against this danger, Blount advised him “ to take with him a good train and make sure of the Court, and then make his own conditions ;” or (as he expressed it on another occasion)" to take a competent number of choice men, who might have secured him against any commitment, unless it were to the houses of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Keeper, or Sir W. Knolles." 2 This advice he foilowed. And accordingly, on the 24th of September, he surprised the Irish Council by swearing in two Lords Justices; and at 10 A.m. on the 28th, surprised the Queen at Nonsuch by appearing in her bedchamber, before she was drest for company, full of dirt and mire. There had come over with him “the most part of his household and a great number of captains and gentlemen,"—though only six accompanied him from London to Nonsuch.
It is a remarkable proof of the charm which his personal presence exercised over the Queen, that her first emotion on seeing him was pleasure. So deeply as she had been displeased with all he had been
| This was written before the appearance of Mr. Hepworth Dixon's 'Personal History of Lord Bacon ;' and of Mr. Bruce's Secret Correspondence of James VI. of Scotland with Sir Robert Cecil,' where the fact has due prominence given to it (Camden Soc. 1861).
? Note of Sir Christopher Blount's confession, made on the 5th of March, 1600. S.P.O.
3 R. Whyte to Sir R. Sydney, Michaelmas Day at noon, 1599 (Syd. Pap. ii. 128); and again, 3rd Oct. : “His Lordship's sudden return out of Ireland brings all sorts of knights, captains, officers, and soldiers, away from thence; that this town is full of them. ... The most part of the gallants have qnitted their commands, places, and companies, not willing to stay there after him; so that the disorder seems to be greater there than stands with the safety of that service” (Ib. 131).
doing during the last half-year, and with such deep cause,-bis very latest communication having brought the displeasure to a climax,one would have thought she would have been in no humour to pardon this new act of daring disobedience. But so it was that when he went to his room presently to wash his face and change his dress, he was observed to be “very pleasant—and thanked God that though he had suffered much trouble and storms abroad, he found a sweet calm at home." As soon as he was dressed he had another interview, which lasted an hour and a half: and still all was well. “He went to dinner, and during all that time discoursed merely of his travels and journeys in Ireland, of the goodness of the country, the civilities of the nobility that are true subjects, of the great entertainment he had in their houses, of the good order he found there. He was visited frankly by all sorts here of lords and ladies and gentlemen ; only strangeness is observed between him and Mr. Secretary and that party." What face he liad put upon the matter as yet to make this fair weather we do not know. Perhaps the Queen let him tell his own story, and postponed questions and remarks to the afternoon; and be, who had apprehended a different kind of reception, mistook silence for satisfaction. After dinner she did seem so well satisfied : many things had to be explained: the Lords of the Council must talk to him. He was with them for an hour that afternoon: the result not known: only that night between ten and eleven he was commanded to keep his chamber.
Bacon not being at Court does not appear to have heard of his arrival till the next day; for the first news he had of it was accompanied with the intelligence that he had been committed to bis chamber for leaving Ireland without the Queen's licence. And it must have been on hearing this that he wrote him the following letter : which comes from Rawley's supplementary collection, and has no date. Bacon, it will be remembered, was not at this time aware of what Essex had been doing, beyond what everybody knew of the general course and result of the campaign. He knew that he had done no good, but not how far he had gone in evil beyond his darkest apprehensions. He took his present arrival for one of his rash and dangerous acts, but of the real nature of it, which was not known till long after, he had no notion.
Syd. Pap. i. 131.
To MY LORD OF Essex.? My Lord,
Conceiving that your Lordship came now up in the person of a good servant to see your sovereign mistress, which kind of compliments are many times instar magnorum meritorum, and therefore that it would be hard for me to find you, I have committed to this poor paper the humble salutations of him that is more yours than any man's and more yours than
To these salutations I add a due and joyful gratulation, confessing that your Lordship, in your last conference with me before your journey, spake not in vain, God making it good, That you trusted we should say Quis putasset ? Which as it is found true in a happy sense, so I wish you do not find another Quis putasset in the manner of taking this so great a service. But I hope it is, as he said, Nubecula est, cito transibit : and that your Lordship's wisdom and obsequious circumspection and patience will turn all to the best. So referring all to some time that I may attend you, I commit you to God's best preservation.
This letter was probably written at Nonsuch, whither (it being of the first importance to lose no time in putting the Earl in the right way at so critical a juncture) Bacon immediately repaired. He succeeded in getting a quarter of an hour's private conversation with him, of the effect of which we have his own report. “He asked mine opinion of the course that was taken with him. I told him, My Lord, nubecula est, cito transibit. 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 there." fore, good my Lord, carry it so as you take away by all means all umbrages and distastes from the Queen: and especially, if I were worthy to advise 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 Tyrone as a service wherein you glory, but as a shuffling up of a prosecution which was not very fortunate. Next, represent not to the Queen any necessity of estate whereby as by a coercion or wrench she should think herself enforced to send you back into Ireland; but leave it to her. Thirdly, seek access, importune, opportune, seriously, sportingly, every way.-I remember my Lord was willing to bear
· Rawley's 'Resuscitatio,' Supplement, p. 86.