« AnteriorContinuar »
life, (let them make what prosopopæias they will of her Majesty's nature,) that in you she will come to the question of Quid fiet homini, quem rex vult honorare? But how is it now?
A man of a nature not to be ruled; that hath the advantage of my affection, and knoweth it; of an estate not grounded to his greatness; of a popular reputation; of a military dependence: I demand whether there can be a more dangerous image than this represented to any monarch living, much more to a lady, and of her Majesty's apprehension ? And is it not more evident than demonstration itself, that whilst this impression continueth in her Majesty's breast, you can find no other condition than inventions to keep your estate bare and low; crossing and disgracing your actions; extenuating and blasting of your merit; carping with contempt at your nature and fashions; breeding, nourishing, and fortifying such instruments as are most factious against you; repulses and scorns of your friends and dependants that are true and steadfast; winning and inveigling away from you such as are flexible and wavering; thrusting you into odious employments and offices, to supplant your reputation; abusing you and feeding you with dalliances and demonstrations, to divert you from descending into the serious consideration of your own case; yea and percase venturing you in perilous and desperate enterprises. Herein it may please your Lordship to understand
for I mean nothing less than that these things should be plotted and intended as in her Majesty's royal mind towards you: I know the excellency of her nature too well. But I say, wheresoever the formerly-described impression is taken in any King's breast towards a subject, these other recited inconveniences must, of necessity of politic consequence, follow; in respect of such instruments as are never failing about princes : which spy into their humours and conceits, and second them; and not only second them, but in seconding increase them; yea and many times, without their knowledge, pursue them further than themselves would. Your Lordship will ask the question, wherewith the Athenians were wont to interrupt their orators, when they exaggerated their dangers; Quid igitur agendum est ?
I will tell your Lordship quæ mihi nunc in mentem veniunt ; supposing nevertheless that yourself out of your own wisdom, upon the case with this plainness and liberty represented to you, will find out better expedients and remedies. I wish a cure
applied to every of the five former impressions, which I will take, not in order, but as I think they are of weight.
For the removing the impression of your nature to be opiniastre and not rulable: First and above all things I wish that all matters past, which cannot be revoked, your Lordship would turn altogether upon insatisfaction, and not upon your nature or proper disposition. This string you cannot upon every apt occasion harp upon too much. Next, whereas I have noted you to fly and avoid (in some respect justly) the resemblance or imitation of my Lord of Leicester and my Lord Chancellor Hatton; yet I am persuaded (howsoever I wish your Lordship as distant as you are from them in points of favour, integrity, magnanimity, and merit) that it will do you much good between the Queen and you, to allege them (as oft as you find occasion) for authors and patterns. For I do not know a readier mean to make her Majesty think you are in your right way. Thirdly, when at any time your Lordship upon occasion happen in speeches to do her Majesty right (for there is no such matter as flattery amongst you all), I fear you handle it magis in speciem adornatis verbis, quam ut sentire videaris ; so that a man may read formality in your countenance; whereas your Lordship should do it familiarly et oratione fidá. Fourthly, your Lordship should never be without some particulars afoot, which you should seem to pursue with earnestness and affection, and then let them fall, upon taking knowledge of her Majesty's opposition and dislike. Of which the weightiest sort may be, if your Lordship offer to labour in the behalf of some that you favour for some of the places now void; choosing such a subject as you think her Majesty is like to oppose unto. And if you will say that this is conjunctum cum aliend injuria, I will not answer, Hec non aliter constabunt ; but I say, commendation from so good a mouth doth not hurt a man, though you prevail not. A less weighty sort of particulars may be the pretence of some journeys, which at her Majesty's request your Lordship mought relinquish; as if you would pretend a journey to see your living and estate towards Wales, or the like: for as for great foreign journeys of employment and service, it standeth not with your gravity to play or stratagem with them. And the lightest sort of particulars, which yet are not to be neglected, are in your habits, apparel, wearings, . gestures, and the like.
The impression of greatest prejudice next, is that of a militar dependence. Wherein I cannot sufficiently wonder at your Lordship’s course; that you say, the wars are your occupation, and go on in that course; whereas, if I mought have advised your Lordship, you should have left that person at Plymouth ; more than when in counsel, or in commending fit persons for service for wars, it had been in season. And here (my Lord) I pray mistake me not. I am not to play now the part of a gownman, that would frame you best to mine own turn. I know what I owe you. I am infinitely glad of this last journey, now it is past; the rather, because you may make so honourable a full point for a time. You have property good enough in that greatness. There is none can, of many years, ascend near you in competition. Besides, the disposing of the places and affairs both, concerning the wars, (you increasing in other greatness) will of themselves flow to you; which will preserve that dependence in full measure. It is a thing that of all things I would have you retain, the times considered, and the necessity of the service; for other reason I know none. But I say, keep it in substance, but abolish it in shows to the Queen. For her Majesty loveth peace. Next, she loveth not charge. Thirdly, that kind of dependence maketh a suspected greatness. Therefore, quod instat agamus. Let that be a sleeping honour awhile, and cure the Queen's mind in that point. Therefore again, whereas I heard your Lordship designing to yourself the Earl Marshal's place, or the place of Master of the Ordnance, I did not in my mind so well like of either; because of their affinity with a martial greatness. But of the places now void, in my judgment and discretion, I would name you to the place of Lord Privy Seal. For first, it is the third person of the great officers of the crown. Next, it hath a kind of superintendence over the Secretary. It hath also an affinity with the Court of Wards, in regard of the fees from the liveries. And it is a fine honour, quiet place, and worth a thousand pounds by year. And my Lord Admiral's father had it, who was a martial man. And it fits a favourite to carry her Majesty's image in seal, who beareth it best expressed in heart. But my chief reason is, that which I first alleged, to divert her Majesty from this impression of a martial greatness. In concurrence whereof, if your Lordship shall [not] remit anything of your former diligence at the Star
1 Omitted in R.
Chamber; if you shall continue such intelligences as are worth the cherishing; if you shall pretend to be as bookish and contemplative as ever you were: all these courses have both their advantages and uses in themselves otherwise, and serve exceeding aptly to this purpose. Whereunto I add one expedient more, stronger than all the rest; and, for mine own confident opinion, void of any prejudice or danger of diminution of your greatness ; and that is, the bringing in of some martial man to be of the Council; dealing directly with her Majesty in it, as for her service and your better assistance; choosing nevertheless some person that may be known not to come in against you by any former division. I judge the fittest to be my Lord Mountjoy, or my Lord Willoughby. And if your Lordship see deeplier into it than I do, that you would not have it done in effect; yet in my opinion, you may serve your turn by the pretence of it, and stay it nevertheless.
The third impression is of a popular reputation; which because it is a thing good in itself, being obtained as your Lordship obtaineth it, that is bonis artibus ; and besides, well governed, is one of the best flowers of your greatness both present and to come; it would be handled tenderly. The only way is to quench it verbis and not rebus. And therefore to take all occasions, to the Queen, to speak against popularity and popular courses vehemently; and to tax it in all others : but nevertheless to go on in your
honourable commonwealth courses as you do. And therefore I will not advise you to cure this by dealing in monopolies, or any oppressions. Only, if in Parliament your Lordship be forward for treasure in respect of the wars, it becometh your person well. And if her Majesty object popularity to you at any time, I would say to her, a Parliament will show that; and so feed her with expectation.
The fourth impression, of the inequality between your estate of means and your greatness of respects, is not to be neglected. For believe it (my Lord) that till your Majesty find you careful of your estate, she will not only think you more like to continue chargeable to her, but also have a conceit that you have higher imaginations. The remedies are, first, to profess it in all speeches to her. Next, in such suits wherein both honour, gift, and profit may be taken, to communicate freely with her Majesty, by way of inducing her to grant, that it will be this benefit to you.
Lastly, to be plain with your Lordship (for the gentlemen are such as I am beholding to), nothing can make the Queen or the world think so much that you are come to a provident care of your estate, as the altering of some of your officers; who though they be as true to you as one hand to the other, yet opinio veritate major. But if, in respect of the bonds they may be entered into for your Lordship, you cannot so well dismiss yourself of them, this cannot be done but with time.
For the fifth and last, which is of the advantage of a favourite; as, severed from the rest, it cannot hurt; so, joined with them, it maketh her Majesty more fearful and shadowy, as not knowing her own strength. The only remedy to this is, to give way to some other favourite, as in particular you shall find her Majesty inclined; so as the subject hath no ill nor dangerous aspect towards yourself. For otherwise, whosoever shall tell me that you may not have singular use of a favourite at your devotion, I will say he understandeth not the Queen's affection, nor your Lordship’s condition. And so I rest. October 4, 1596.
Well would it have been for Essex if he could have taken this view of his own case, and been content to rest upon the honour which he had achieved. For fortune had no more prizes of that kind in reserve for him. And besides the policy of leaving off a winner in a game where there were many chances against him, it is probable that a serious endeavour to follow Bacon's advice would have corrected the defects of his character as well as made his fortunes secure: for the habit of self-control and submission would have taught him the constancy and composure which he wanted. But it was advice which, if not followed consistently, might better have been let alone. Fits of affected obsequiousness, interrupted by outbreaks of haughty selfopinion, formed the worst mixture: the one losing all its grace, and other all its excuse : and such a mixture, I am afraid, it really led to. For awhile however, Essex seems to have acted upon it with good effect; and the rest of the year passed without any differences that we hear of. For Bacon bimself also things looked better, During the Christmas holidays he received “gracious usage and speech " l from the Queen: prelude, it was hoped, to more substantial favours. While he on his part presented her with a sample of a work which he meditated, on the Maxims of the Law; which was
* Anthony Bacon to his mother, 31st December, 1596.