Imagens das páginas

bled with them as with all the troops. But though these be warrants for my seldom writing, yet they shall be no excuses for my fainting industry. I have written to my Lord Keeper and some other friends to have care of you in my absence. And so, commending you to God's happy and heavenly protection, I rest

Your true friend,

Essex. Plymouth, this 17th of May.

The next letter, which comes from the supplementary collection in the ‘Resuscitatio' and is without date, is obviously the answer to this, and must have been written after the 20th of May, and probably before the 30th.

To my LORD OF Essex.? Most honourable, and my singular good Lord,

I cannot but importune your Lordship with thanks for your Lordship’s remembering my name to my Lord Keeper ; which being done in such an article of time, could not but be exceedingly enriched both in demonstration and effect; which I did well discern by the manner of expressing thereof by his Lordship again to me. This accumulating of your Lordship’s favours upon me hitherto worketh only this effect; that it raiseth my mind to aspire to be found worthy of them, and likewise to merit and serve you for them. But whether I shall be able to pay my vows or no, I must leave that to God, who hath them in deposito ; whom also I most instantly beseech to give you fruit of your actions, beyond that your heart can propound. Nam Deus major est corde. Even to the environing of his benedictions I recommend your Lordship.

On the 29th of May, Sir John Fortescue showed Anthony Bacon's foreign intelligence to the Queen, and the next day Francis sent his brother the following report :

Good Brother,

Yesternight Sir Jh. Foscue told me he had not many hours before imparted to the Queen your advertisements, and the Gazetta likewise, which the Queen caused Mr. Jh. Stanhope to read all over unto her, and her Majesty conceiveth they be not vulgar.

| Resuscitatio, Supplement, p. 91.

2 Lambeth MSS. 657. 29. Original : own hand. Docketed, “ De Mons? Fra' Bacon, le 31 me de May, 1596."


The advertisements her Majesty made estimation of as concurring with other advertisements, and belike concurring also with her opinion of the affairs. So he willed me to return you the Queen's thanks. Other particular of any speech from her Majesty of yourself he did not relate to me.

For my Lord of Essex and your letters, he said he was ready and desirous to do his best. But I seemed to make it but a lovewish, and passed presently from it, the rather because it was late in the night, and I mean to deal with him at some better leisure after another manner, as you shall hereafter understand from

I do find in the speech of some ladies and the very face of this Court some addition of reputation, as methinks, to us both, and I doubt not but God hath an operation in it that will not suffer good endeavours to perish. The Queen saluted me to-day as she went to chapel. I had long speech with Sir Robert Cecil this morning, who seemed apt to discourse with me, yet of yourself ne verbum quidem, not so much as a quomodo valet. This I write to you in haste, aliud ex alio ; I pray set in a course of acquainting my Lord Keeper what passeth at first by me, after from yourself

. I am more and more bound to him. Thus wishing you good health, I commend you to God's happy preservation. From the Court, this 30th of May.

Your entire loving brother,

F. Bacon.


The manuscript volume in the Library of Queen's College, Oxford, which I have mentioned as containing copies of most of the letters in Rawley's supplementary collection, contains also one or two which are not there. One of these is headed “Mr. Francis Bacon to Mr. Robert Cecil,” and being addressed to some young man on his travels, apparently in Italy, has been supposed to be of very early date. But as I cannot find that Robert Cecil ever made a travelling tour, it seems that there is some mistake: a perception of which may have induced Rawley to omit the letter from his collection. I find however from Burghley’s diary (Murdin, p. 805) that in September, 1594, a licence was granted " for Richard and Edward Cecyll, Sir Thomas Cecyll's sons, to travel

" See Works, vol. vii. p. 69. It probably once contained all; but some leaves have been lost at the beginning.

abroad for the space of three years ;” and the letter in question inay very well have been addressed to one of them. “Mr. R. Cecyll” or “ Mr. Rich. Cecyll” would easily be altered into “Mr. Robert Cecyll” by a collector or transcriber to whom that name was more familiar and the difficulty not apparent. If so, no date seems more probable than the early part of June, 1596, when the fleet was on its way

to Cadiz. Sir Thomas Cecil was Burghley's eldest son by his first wife: not related to Bacon therefore by blood. The letter seems to be an answer to one received from one of the young men, written, I should think, in Italian.


I am very glad that the good affection and friendship which conversation and familiarity did knit between us, is not by absence and intermission of society discontinued; which assureth me it had a further root than ordinary acquaintance. The signification whereof, as it is very welcome to me, so it maketh me wish that if you have accomplished yourself as well in the points of virtue and experience which you sought by your travel as you have won the perfection of the Italian tongue, I might have the contentment to see you again in England, that we may renew the fruit of our mutual good will; which, I may truly affirm, is on my part much increased towards you, both by your own demonstration of kind remembrance, and because I discern the like affection in your honourable and nearest friends.

Our news are all but in seed; for our navy is set forth with happy winds, in token of happy adventures, so as we do but expect and pray, as the husbandman when his corn is in the ground.

Thus commending me to your love, I commend you to God's preservation.


The promise of happy adventures was not belied by the event. The fleet sailed from Plymouth with a favourable wind on the second of June, arrived at Cadiz on the 20th, and on the 21st performed one of the most brilliant day's works that was ever accomplished. “This journey” (Bacon wrote twenty-six years after) " was like lightning. For in the space of fourteen hours the King of Spain's navy was de

Queen's College, Oxford. Arch. D. 2.

stroyed and the town of Cales taken. The navy was no less than fifty tall ships, besides twenty galleys to attend them. The ships were straightways beaten, and put to flight with such terror as the Spaniards in the end were their own executioners, and fired them all with their own hands. The galleys, by the benefit of the shores and shallows, got away. The town was a fair, strong, well-built, and rich city; famous in antiquity, and now most spoken of for this disaster. It was manned with four thousand soldiers on foot, and some four hundred horse. It was sacked and burned, though great clemency was used towards the inhabitants. But that which is no less strange than the sudden victory, is the great patience of the Spaniards; who though we stayed upon the place divers days, yet never offered us any play then, nor never put us in suit by any action of revenge or reparation at any times after.'' ]

Essex (to whom the successful assault upon the town as well as the measures taken to keep order and protect inoffensive persons from outrage were chiefly due) was urgent to follow up the advantage and endeavour to destroy the Indian fleet, then on its way homeward; but his colleagues would not risk it. So the fleet returned with its spoil and its honour; and Essex himself with an immense increase of favour with the people, and not a little of discontent with the Court. There seem to have been many charges and counter-charges; and much dispute about the division of the spoil, as well as who was entitled to the credit of what had been done, and who to blame for what had been left undone. Essex wrote some papers in justification of his own views, and was so little satisfied with the reception of his service, that he appears to have thought of keeping aloof from Court and Council, as he had so often done before on similar occasions. But news arriving that the homeward-bound Indian fleet, which he had proposed to wait for, had sailed safely into the Tagus within a day or two after his proposal had been overruled in the Council of War, seemed to show that the rejection of his advice had in fact been the loss of a great prize : upon which his opponents were obliged to draw in their horns, and at the date of the letter which comes next all was fair weather between him and the Queen. The time was not however the less critical on that account, with a man who had so strong a love for glory and popularity and so little patience with those who crossed him, and who had been so often successful in carrying his ends by the open expression of discontent. Enemies at Court he was sure to make, and the favour of the people and the army was a dangerous ally to meet them with, when the decision rested with such a queen as Elizabeth. It was at this juncture

I Considerations touching War with Spain, 1624, to be printed in its place.

that Bacon wrote him a letter of advice, which, though of the most confidential character, and one which cannot have been intended for strange eyes, has been by some accident preserved. It comes from the supplementary collection in the ‘Resuscitatio,' and therefore with Dr. Rawley's sanction as to genuineness; and we could hardly have better evidence as the nature of Bacon's relation with Essex at this time, or of the policy which he wished him to pursue.

To my LORD of Essex, from Mr. Bacon. My singular good Lord,

I will no longer dissever part of that which I meant to have said to your Lordship at Barn-Elms from the exordium which I then made. Whereunto I will only add this; that I humbly desire your Lordship, before you give access to my poor advice, to look about, even jealously a little if you will, and to consider, first, whether I have not reason to think that your fortune comprehendeth mine. Next, whether I shift my counsel, and do not constare mihi : for I am persuaded there are some would give you the same counsel now which I shall, but that they should derogate from that which they have said heretofore. Thirdly, whether you have taken hurt at any time by my careful and devoted counsel; for although I remember well your Lordship once told me that, you having submitted upon my wellmeant motion at Nonsuch (the place where you renewed a treaty with her Majesty of obsequious kindness), she had taken advantage of it; yet I suppose you do since believe that it did much attemper a cold malignant humour then growing upon her Majesty towards your Lordship, and hath done you good in consequence. And for my being against it, now lately, that you should not estrange yourself, although I give place to none in true gratulation, yet neither do I repent me of safe counsel, neither do I judge of the whole play by the first act.

But whether I counsel you the best, or for the best, duty bindeth me to offer to you my wishes. I said to your Lordship last time, Martha, Martha, attendis ad plurima, unum sufficit; win the Queen: if this be not the beginning, of any other course I see no end. And I will not now speak of favour of affection, but of other correspondence and agreeableness; which, whensoever it shall be conjoined with the other of affection, I durst wager my

| Rawley's ‘Resuscitatio,' Supplement, p. 106.

« AnteriorContinuar »