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any of the many public declarations made afterwards by the Government concerning these matters)-he manifestly felt that he had no case left. The time for carrying his end by violence according to Blount's advice,—the time for making sure of the Court and so making his own conditions,—had been let slip. He could now no longer hope to carry it by persuasion. His only resource therefore, while other projects were ripening (for that he had other projects on foot I shall show presently), was to assume the tone which was most likely to prevail with the Queen to set him free. The state of his health also had its influence, and may possibly through the depression of his spirits have made his purposes more than usually changeable. For he seems to have had a fit of real illness at this time,-long, serious, and depressing:' an illness which anxiety for the safety of his Irish secrets would naturally aggravate. At any rate there he remained, close prisoner though in friendly hands, seeing (or at least professing to see) nobody except by special warrant, and expressing himself as a man weary of the world.
But though the danger of a violent rescue was avoided by the course taken, a danger of another kind was incurred. The people were still in the dark as to the whole matter. Some doubtful rumours had gone abroad as to the nature of the offences with which the Earl was charged: but upon what grounds of evidence they rested, and what he had to say in his own excuse, they were left to guess. They saw their favourite under displeasure and in restraint; and anything being more credible to them than that he could have given just cause for it, symptoms of popular dissatisfaction began to show themselves: the more dangerous because, as the Council were reported to be using their influence in his favour,? the unpopularity of the proceedings fell upon the Queen herself. And it was very true that if any one was to blame in the matter, it was she. She was acting for herself, under no influence or information except that of her own judgment and observation. Nor was there any one who had so good means of judging; or so good
· R. Whyte, 20th Oct., 23rd and 29th of Nov., and 13th Dec. Syd. Pap.
2 13th Oct.—“I hear that the Lords do very well like of his reasons, and that her Majesty by them is reasonably satisfied,” etc. “I hear that Sir R. Cecil at his last being with him should say that he was glad to see her Majesty well pleased with his courses, and that he would do anything to further his good and contentment: which my Lord thanked him for."
16th Oct.—“It should seem that the Lords are very well satisfied with his reasons for the service in Ireland, and the Queen by them well pleased withal.”
25th Oct.—“ All the Lords are in this matter his friends ; for all speak for him." --Syd. Pop. ii. pp. 133-5.
a right to be dissatisfied with the Earl's story. He must have been a much more skilful dissembler and a much warier politician than he was, if he could play his new part without falling into inconsistencies, suggestive of the gravest suspicions to one who had for so many years been so familiar with him in all his moods. Formerly his most contumacious proceedings had been consistent with his professions of love and loyalty, because the greatness they aimed at was to come by her favour and be employed in her service. But now that he was endeavouring to carry his ends in spite of her, and by working upon her fears, his words and actions produced discords to which she could not be deaf. It must have been clear to her that she did not yet know all. Nor did the news which presently arrived from Ireland make the case less suspicious. Sir William Warren had been sent by Essex to confer with Tyrone. They had met at Blackwater on the 29th of September; the day after Essex arrived at Nousuch. And on the 4th of October his report of the interview was forwarded from the Council at Dublin to the Council in London.
· By way of conference with the said Tyrone, and the report of others, the said Sir William did conceive a disposition in Tyrone to draw up all the force that he could make to the borders as near Dundalk as he could, and all his creats' to bring thither with him : which maketh the said Sir William much to doubt of any good or conformity to be looked for at his hands."
So far, if there was nothing to satisfy, neither was there anything to surprise. It was no more than anybody who knew the history of previous treaties with Tyrone must have looked for. But what was the meaning of the next paragraph ?
By further discourse, the said Tyrone told to the said Sir William and declared it with an oath, that within two months he should see the greatest alteration and the strangest that he the said Sir William could imagine, or ever saw in his life; but what his meaning was thereby, neither did he declare the same to the said Sir William, nor could he understand it; more than that Tyrone did say he hoped before it were long that he the said Tyrone would have a good share in England. These speeches of the alteration Tyrone reiterated two or three several times."?
Some light was thrown upon the meaning of this by information obtained at a later period; but for the present it remained a mystery, and no doubt suggested the necessity of proceeding warily. But if it was hazardous to set the Earl free, it was hazardous also, by
So MS. Qy. vriaghts. ? A Declaration of the Journey of Sir William Warren to Tyrone. 3rd Oct., 1599. Lambeth MSS. 617. 334.
keeping him in restraint without apparent cause, to provoke popular discontent; of which symptoms began already to appear both in the press and the pulpit. To quiet these, the Queen resolved after some hesitation and vacillation that on one of the days when it was usual to issue public admonitions in the Star Chamber, an official declaration should be made of the principal faults laid to his charge. But it is not easy for a Queen, who cannot mix freely with the people, to understand the conditions of popular opinion; and she seems to have forgotten that they would want to hear the Earl's story as well as hers, and that to publish the charges without the answers would only increase discontent and excite suspicion of unfair dealing. Her real motive for choosing this course was probably tenderness towards the Earl himself, whom she did not wish to bring before the public as a culprit. But the effect would be not the less unsatisfactory; and when she told Bacon what she meant to do, he warned her what the consequence would be: “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.”)
Not that he was prepared to recommend the other course of a formal judicial proceeding; for he thought the sympathy of the people would be with the Earl, and the result to the disadvantage of the Government.? His advice therefore was that she should make matters up with him privately, and restore him to his former attendance, with some addition of honour to take away discontent." She had to admit afterwards that his objections to the Star Chamber proceeding had been just; but the freedom of his expostulation offended her at the time, so that she would hear no more from him on the subject for some months; and proceeded in the meantime to carry out her own plan. A declaration was made in the Star Chamber on the 29th of November, by the mouths of all the principal councillors. It consisted of a statement of the leading facts,—what the Earl had been sent out to do, what means had been provided, and what he had done. And the story they told agrees, as far as it goes, with that which I have myself told upon independent evidence; differing only in this—that it contains no allusion to the worst features
2 “Ì besought her Majesty to be advised again and again how she brought the cause into any public question. Nay, I went further ; for I told her that 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 therefore that when he should come to his answer for himself, I doubted his words should have so unequal a passage above theirs that should charge him as should not be for her Majesty's honour. ... I remember I said that my Lord in foro fame was too hard for her ; and therefore wished her, as I had done before, to wrap it up privately."— Apology.
of the case; some of which were not yet even suspected, and others were still doubtful. It was in fact a fair and temperate statement of the grounds which the Queen had for being dissatisfied with him; and not being in the nature of a charge to be followed by a sentence, he was not called to answer.
The lawyers having no part in the proceeding, Bacon was not wanted in his place; and popular feeling had in the meantime taken a turn against him, which, though due to a mere misapprehension of the facts, made him prefer to stay away. I have said that the Coun. cil did not share the unpopularity of the proceedings against Essex, because it was given out that they were using their influence in his favour; whereby it would naturally have fallen upon the Queen in person. But she was herself too much of a popular favourite to be supposed capable of doing anything unjust or ungracious, unless misled by sinister influence somewhere. Somebody there must be upon whom indignation might discharge itself freely: and suspicion in such cases always falls on those who cannot speak for themselves. Now it happened that Bacon, to whom his old privilege of access had now for a good while been fully restored, was at this time much employed about matters of law and revenue, concerning which he often bad occasion to attend the Queen and was often admitted to speech with her. And though he had really been using all his influence to dissuade her from bringing the Earl's case in question publicly, and induce her to receive him again at Court with such conditions as should make him content to remain at home, that fact was not known; and as he could not talk about what passed between the Queen and himself, rumour might circulate what stories she pleased : nor did she spare her powers of invention. It is not necessary to ask how the suspicion arose. Such suspicions come of themselves. There was blame due to somebody. It could not be Essex. It could not be the Queen. It was not the Council. It might be Bacon. He stood next; and against him the popular wrath gathered with a fury proportioned to its ignorance. There were those who undertook to say what opinions he had given to the Queen upon the Earl's case: and indignation ran so high that his friends apprehended some violent attack
him. To this occasion the three following letters (which come from Rawley's supplementary collection and have no dates)' obviously
1 The letter to Lord H. Howard has the date 3rd December, 1599, added in Birch's copy : probably on the authority of some MS. copy, of which more than one exist.
refer. That Bacon was absent from the Star Chamber on the 29th of November, and that the Queen charged him with it, we know upon his own authority.? I am not aware that anything else is known about the threats or the slanders to which be was exposed; and the letters require no further explanation.
TO THE QUEEN.?
It may please your excellent Majesty,
I most humbly entreat your Majesty, not to impute my absence to any weakness of mind or unworthiness. But I assure your Majesty I do find envy beating so strongly upon me, standing as I do (if this be to stand), as it were not strength of mind, but stupidity, if I should not decline the occasions; except I could do your Majesty more service than I can any ways discern that I am able to do. My course towards your Majesty (God is my witness) hath been pure and unleavened : and never poor gentleman (as I am persuaded) had a deeper and truer de. sire and care of your glory, your safety, your repose of mind, your service: wherein if I have exceeded my outward vocation, I most humbly crave your Majesty's pardon for my presumption. On the other side, if I have come short of my inward vocation, I most humbly crave God's pardon for quenching the Spirit. But in this mind I find such solitude and want of comfort; which I judge to be because I take duty too exactly, and not according to the dregs of this age, wherein the old anthem mought never be more truly sung, Totus mundus in maligno positus est. My life hath been threatened, and my name libelled, which I count an honour. But these are the practices of those whose despairs are dangerous, but yet not so dangerous as their hopes ; or else the devices of some that would put out all your Majesty's lights, and fall on reckoning how many years you have reigned; which I beseech our blessed Saviour may be doubled, and that I may never live to see any eclipse of your glory, interruption of safety, or indisposition of your person; which I commend to the Divine Majesty, who keep you and fortify you.
2 Rawley's ‘Resuscitatio,' Supplement, p. 99.