페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

read, all was then further deferred till Monday next, the time being now far spent, and the house ready to rise.

Extract from Dewe's Journal, 39 and 40 Eliz. 4 Feb. 1598, page 593.Mr. Francis Bacon, one of the committees in the bill lately passed in the upper house by the Lords, and sent down to this house, against the decaying of houses and towns of husbandry, shewed the meeting and travel of the committees and amendments to the same bill, which amendments being read to the house, was very well liked of by the whole bouse.

Éxtract from Dewe's Journal, 39 and 40 Eliz. 3rd Feb. 1598, page 592.Mr. Francis Bacon, one of the committees in the bill lately passed in the upper house, and sent down by the Lords to this house, entitled an act against the decaying of towns and houses of husbandry, shewed the meeting of the committees, and that the more part of them being employed in the committee of a bill for the more speedy payment of the Queen's majesty's debts (who were appointed on Tuesday, the 31st day of January foregoing), and in the bill for the better explanation of the act made in the thirteenth year of her majesty's reign, entitled an act to make the lands, tenements, goods and chattels of tellers, receivers, &c. liable to the payment of their debts, they would proceed in the said other bill, and so moved for another meeting for that purpose. Whereupon it was ordered the same should be at two of the clock of the afternoon of this present day in the Exchequer Chamber.

Extract from the Parliamentary History, 43 Reg. Eliz. Nov. 5, 1601, p. 436. --The famous Mr. Francis Bacon, so often mentioned before, stood up to make a motion, and on the offering of a bill spoke thus :-Mr. Speaker, I am not of their minds that bring their bills into this house obscurely, by delivery only to yourself or the clerk, delighting to have the bills to be incerto authore, as though they were either ashamed of their work, or afraid to father their own children; but I, Mr. Speaker, have a bill here, which I know I shall no sooner be ready to offer, but you will be ready to receive and approve. I liken this bill to that sentence of the poet, who set this as a paradox in the fore front of his book, First water, then golà, preferring necessity before pleasure. And I am of the same opinion that things necessary in use, are better than those things which are glorious in estimation. This, Mr. Speaker, is no bill of state or novelty, like a stately gallery for pleasure, but neither to dine in or to sleep in : but this bill is a bill of repose, of quiet, of profit, of true and just dealings; the title whereof is, An Act for the better suppressing of abuses in weights and measures. We bave turned out divers bills without disputation; and for a house of wisdom and gravity as this is, to bandy bills like balls, and to be silent as if nobody were of counsel with the commonwealth, is unfitting in my understanding for the state thereof. I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, out of my own experience, that I have learned and observed, having had causes of this nature referred to my report; that this fault of using false weights and measures has grown so intolerable and common, that if you would build churches, you shall not need for battlements and bells other than false weights of lead and brass ; and because I would observe the advice given in the beginning of this parliament, that we should make no new laws; I have only made this bill a confirmation of the statute of the 11th of Henry VII. with a few additions, to which I will speak at the passing of the bill, and shew the reasons of every particular clause, the whole being a revival of a former statute; for I take it far better to scour a stream than to turn a stream: and the first clause is, “ That it is to extend to the principality of Wales, to constrain them to have the like measures and weights to us in England.”

Extract from the Journal of the House of Commons, 43 Eliz. 7 Nov. 1601, page 632.-Mr. Francis Bacon, after a repetition of somewhat was done yesterday, that the three pound men might not be excluded, he concluded that it was, Dulcis tractus pari jugo, therefore the poor as well as the rich not to be exempted.

Extract from Dewe's Journal, 43 Eliz. 13 Nov. 1601, page 636.--Mr. Francis Bacon said, It is far more honourable for this house my opinion, when our warrant shall move the principal member of justice, that when it shall com

affectation. And because former laws are medicines of our understanding, he said he had perused the preambles of former statutes, and by them did see the inconveniences of this matter, being scarce then out of the shell, to be now fully ripened ; and he said that the overflowing of the people makes a shrinking, and abate elsewhere; and that these two mischiefs, though they be exceeding great, yet they seem the less because qui mala cum multis patimur, leviora videntur, and though it may be thought ill and very prejudicial to lords that have inclosed great grounds, and pulled down even whole towns, and converted them to sheep pastures; yet considering the increase of people and the benefit of the commonwealth, I doubt not but every man will deem the revival of former moth-eaten laws in this point a praiseworthy thing. For in matters in policy, ill is not to be thought ill, which bringeth forth good ; for inclosure of grounds brings depopulation, which brings, first, idleness; secondly, decay of tillage ; thirdly, subversion of houses, and decay of charity, and charges to the poor ; fourthly, impoverishing the state of the realm. A law for the taking away of such inconveniences is not to be thought ill or hurtful to the general state ; and I would be sorry to see within this realm that piece of Ovid's verse prove true, Jum seges ubi Troja fuit, so in England, instead of a whole town full of people, nought but green fields, but a shepherd and a dog. The eye of experience is the sure eye, but the eye of wisdom is the quicksighted eye; and by experience we daily see, Nemo putat illud videri turpe, quod sibi sit quæstosum, and therefore there is almost no conscience made in destroying of the life, bread, I mean, for Panis sapor vite, and therefore a strict and rigorous law had need to be made against those viperous natures who fulfil the proverb, Si non posse quod vult, velle tamen quod potest, which if it be made by us, and life given unto it by execution in our several counties, no doubt they will prove laws tending to God's honour, the renown of her majesty, the fame of this parliament, and the everlasting good of this kingdom, and therefore I think them worthy to be received and read. Thus far out of the aforesaid fragmentary and imperfect journal : that which follows is out of the original Journal Book itself. In the end of which said speech, as it should seem, the said Mr. Bacon did move the house that a committee might be appointed to consider of the said matter touching inclosures.

Extract from the Journal of the House of Commons, 39 and 40 Eliz. 1597, 23rd Nov. p. 562.—Mr. Francis Bacon, one of the committee, concerning tillage and reedifying of houses and buildings (who were appointed on Saturday, the 5th day of this instant November foregoing) shewed very eloquently and at large the travels of the said committee in their sundry meetings together, with his framing, a bill, by their appointment, for some fit means of procuring the reedifying of such houses and buildings, and so offered the bill to the house, and recommending the same to their good consideration, delivered the bill to Mr. Speaker.

Extract from the Journal of the House of Commons, 39 and 40 Eliz. 1597, 5th Dec. page 568.—Mr. Francis Bacon, one of the committees of the bill for tillage and building of houses (who were appointed on Saturday, the 26th day of November foregoing), shewed at large the meeting and the travel of the committees, and their framing of two new bills, and delivereth both the old and the new bill to the house.

From the Journal of the House of Commons, 8th Dec. 40 Reg. Eliz. 1597, p. 571.-Mr. Francis Bacon, one of the committees in the bill to preserve the property of stolen horses in the true owner's, brought in the bill with some amendments, which being thrice read, was ordered to be engrossed.

Extract from Dewe's Journal, 39 and 40 Eliz. 14 Jan, 1597, page 580.Mr. Bacon reciting in part the preceedings yesterday in the conference with the Lords at the court, and putting the house in mind of the objections of the Lords, delivered this day in writing by Mr. Attorney General, moved for a committee of some selected members of this house to be nominated to confer and consider upon the said objections, for the better answering of the same to the maintenance of the bill. Whereupon some desiring that the said objections might be

7

VOL. XV.

read, all was then further deferred till Monday next, the time being now far spent, and the house ready to rise.

Extract from Dewe's Journal, 39 and 40 Eliz. 4 Feb. 1598, page 593.Mr. Francis Bacon, one of the committees in the bill lately passed in the upper house by the Lords, and sent down to this house, against the decaying of houses and towns of husbandry, shewed the meeting and travel of the committees and amendments to the same bill, which amendments being read to the house, was very well liked of by the whole house.

Éxtract from Dewe's Journal, 39 and 40 Eliz. 3rd Feb. 1598, page 592.Mr. Francis Bacon, one of the committees in the bill lately passed in the upper house, and sent down by the Lords to this house, entitled an act against the decaying of towns and houses of husbandry, shewed the meeting of the committees, and that the more part of them being employed in the committee of a bill for the more speedy payment of the Queen's majesty's debts (who were appointed on Tuesday, the 31st day of January foregoing), and in the bill for the better explanation of the act made in the thirteenth year of her majesty's reign, entitled an act to make the lands, tenements, goods and chattels of tellers, receivers, &c. liable to the payment of their debts, they would proceed in the said other bill, and so moved for another meeting for that purpose. Whereupon it was ordered the same should be at two of the clock of the afternoon of this present day in the Exchequer Chamber.

Extract from the Parliamentary History, 43 Reg. Eliz. Nov. 5, 1601, p. 436. - The famous Mr. Francis Bacon, so often mentioned before, stood up to make a motion, and on the offering of a bill spoke thus:-Mr. Speaker, I am not of their minds that bring their bills into this house obscurely, by delivery only to yourself or the clerk, delighting to have the bills to be incerto authore, as though they were either ashamed of their work, or afraid to father their own children; but I, Mr. Speaker, have a bill here, which I know I shall no sooner be ready to offer, but you will be ready to receive and approve. I liken this bill to that sentence of the poet, who set this as a paradox in the fore front of his book, First water, then gold, preferring necessity before pleasure. And I am of the same opinion that things necessary in use, are better than those things which are glorious in estimation. This, Mr. Speaker, is no bill of state or novelty, like a stately gallery for pleasure, but neither to dine in or to sleep in : but this bill is a bill of repose, of quiet, of profit, of true and just dealings; the title whereof is, An Act for the better suppressing of abuses in weights and measures. We have turned out divers bills without disputation; and for a house of wisdom and gravity as this is, to bandy bills like balls, and to be silent as if nobody were of counsel with the commonwealth, is unfitting in my understanding for the state thereof. I will tell you, Mr. Speaker, out of my own experience, that I have learned and observed, having had causes of this nature referred to my report; that this fault of using false weights and measures has grown so intolerable and common, that if you would build churches, you shall not need for battlements and bells other than false weights of lead and brass ; and because I would observe the advice given in the beginning of this parliament, that we should make no new laws; I have only made this bill a confirmation of the statute of the 11th of Henry VII. with a few additions, to which I will speak at the passing of the bill, and shew the reasons of every particular clause, the whole being a revival of a former statute; for I take it far better to scour a stream than to turn a stream : and the first clause is, “ That it is to extend to the principality of Wales, to constrain them to have the like measures and weights to us in England."

Extract from the Journal of the House of Commons, 43 Eliz. 7 Nov. 1601, page 632.-Mr. Francis Bacon, after a repetition of somewhat was done yesterday, that the three pound men might not be excluded, he concluded that it was, Dulcis tractus pari jugo, therefore the poor as well' as the rich not to be exempted.

Extract from Dewe's Journal, 43 Eliz. 13 Nov. 1601, page 636.-Mr. Francis Bacon said, It is far more honourable for this house in my opinion, when our warrant shall move the principal member of justice, that when it shall com

mand a base, petly, or inferior servant to the clerk of the crown or the clerk of the petty bag, it will be said that our warrant emanavit improvide, when we shall direct our warrants to these base officers when we may move the great seal of England by it, even as soon as either petty bag or petty officer.

Extract from Dewe's Journal, 43 Eliz. 18 Nov. 1601, page 642.—Mr. Bacon, one of the committees in the bill touching process and pleadings in the court of Exchequer, maketh report of the travel and meeting of the committees, and brought in a new bill drawn to the same purpose ; upon the referring whereof he spake as followeth (out of the private journal): Mr. Speaker, This bill hath been deliberately and judiciously considered of by the committees, before whom Mr. Osborn came, who I assure this house did so discreetly demean himself, and so submissively referred the state of this whole office to the committees, and so well answered in his defence, that they would not ransack the heaps, or sound the bottom of former offences, but only have taken away something that was superfluous and needless to the subject. Touching the committees they have reformed part; yet they have not so nearly eyed every particular as if they would pare to the quick an office of her majesty's gift and patronage. This bill is both public and private : public, because it is to do unto the subject; and private, because it does no injustice to the particular officer. The committees herein have not taxed the officer by way of imputation, but removed a task by removing way of imposition. I will not tell you what we have taken away, either in quo titulos, in Exchequer language, or according to the poet, who saith, Mitte id quod scio, dic quod rogo; I will omit that which you have known, and tell you that you know not and are to know, and that in familiar terms. And so he told the substance of the bill. We found that her majesty, whose eyes are the candles of our good days, had made him an officer by patent; in which that he might have right, her majesty's learned counsel were there in centinel to see that her majesty's right might not be suppressed. If my memory hath failed me in the delivering of the truth of the proceeding, and the committee's determination, I desire those that were present to help and assist me.

Here is the bill. So he called aloud to the serjeant of the house, and delivered him the bill to deliver to the Speaker, which said bill was read primâ vice.

Extract from the Journal of the House of Commons, 43 Eliz. 20 Nov. 1601, page 644.—Mr. Francis Bacon said, The gentleman that spake last coasted so for and against the bill, that for my own part, not well hearing him, I do not perfectly understand him. I confess, the bill as it is, is in few words, yet ponderous and weighty. For the prerogative royal of the prince, for my own part, I ever allowed of it, and it is such as shall never be discussed. The Queen, as she is our sovereign, hath both an enlarging and distraining power. For by her prerogative she may at first set at liberty things restrained by statute law or otherwise ; and secondly, by her prerogative she may restrain things which be at liberty. For the first, she may grant non obstante, contrary to the penal laws, which truly, according to my own conscience (and so struck himself on the breast), are as hateful to the subjects as monopolies. For the second, if any man out of his own wit, industry, or endeavour finds out any thing beneficial for the commonwealth, or bring in any new invention, which every subject of this kingdom may use ; yet, in regard of his pains and travels therein, her majesty is pleased to grant him a privilege to use the same only by himself or his deputies for a certain time. This is one kind of monopoly: Sometime, there is a glut of things when they be in excessive quantity, as perhaps of corn, and her majesty gives license of transportation to one man : this is another kind of monopoly. Sometime there is a scarcity or small quantity, and the like is granted also. These and divers of this nature have been in trial both at the Common Pleas upon actions of trespass, where if the judges do find the privilege good and beneficial to the commonwealth, they then will allow it; otherwise, disallow it. And also I know that her majesty herself hath given commandment to her Attorney General to bring divers of them, since the last parliament, to trial in the Exchequer, since which time at least fifteen or sixteen, to my knowledge, have been repealed; some by her majesty's express

[graphic]

commandment upon complaint made unto her by petition, and some by quo wurranto, in the Exchequer. But, Mr. Speaker (said he, pointing to the biil), this is no stranger to this place, but a stranger in this vestment; the use hath been ever to humble ourselves unto her majesty, and by petition desire to have our grievances remedied, especially when the remedy toucheth her so nigh in point of prerogative. All cannot be done at once; neither was it possible since last parliament to repeal all. If her majesty make a patent (or as we term it, a monopoly) unto any of her servants, that must go, and we cry out of it; but if she grant it to a number of burgesses or a corporation, that must stand, and that forsooth is no monopoly. I say, and I say again, that we ought not to deal, to judge, or meddle with her majesty's prerogative. I wish every man therefore to be careful in this business; and humbly pray this house to testify with me that I have discharged my duty in respect of my place, in speaking on her majesty's behalf, and protest I have delivered my conscience in saying that which I have said.

Extract from the Journal of the House of Commons, 43 Eliz. 9 Dec. 1601, page 674.--Mr. Bacon said, The old commendation of Italy by the poet was, Potens viris atque ubere gleba, and it stands not with the policy of the state that the wealth of the kingdom should be engrossed into a few graziers' hands. And if you put in so many provisos as be desired, you will make it useless. The husbandman is a strong man, the good footman, which is the chief observation of good warriors, &c. So he concluded the statute not to be repealed.

From the Journal of the House of Commons, 43 Eliz. 4 Dec. 1601, page 669. .-Mr. Bacon said, I am, Mr. Speaker, to tender unto this house the fruit of the committee's labour, which tends to the comfort of the realm, I mean the merchant, which if it quail or fail into a consumption, the state cannot choose but shortly be sick of that disease. It is inclining already. A certainty of gain is that which this law provides for, and by policy of assurance the safety of goods assured unto merchants. This is the loadstone that draws him on to adventure, and to stretch even the very punctilio of his credit. The committees have drawn a new bill, far differing from the old : the first limited power to the Chancery, this to certain commissioners of Oyer and Terminer; the first, that it should only be there, this that only upon appeal from the commissioners it should be there finally arbitrated. But lest it may be thought for vexation, the party appellant must lay it in deposito, &c. and if tried against him, to pay double costs and damages. We thought this course fittest for two reasons ; first, because a suit in Chancery is too long a course, and the merchant cannot endure delays; secondly, because our courts have not the knowledge of their terms, neither can I tell what to say upon their causes, which be secret in their science, proceeding out of their experience. I refer the bill both old and new to your considerations, wishing good success therefore in both for the comfort of the merchants and performance of our duties. The act is entitled, An Act touching Policies of Assurances used among Merchants.

3T. Life, p. xlviii. See Bacon's Essay on Friendship. The following, from Bacon's Apology respecting Essex, is a specimen of Elizabeth's sensibility upon this subject : “ Ånd another time I remember she told me for news, that my lord had written unto her some very dutiful letters, and that she had been moved by them, and when she took it to be the abundance of the heart, she found it to be but a preparative to a suit for the renewing of his farm of sweet wines, whereunto I replied, O Madam, how doth your Majesty construe these things, as if these two could not stand well together, which indeed nature hath planted in all creatures. For there are but two sympathies, the one towards perfection, the other towards preservation. That to perfection, as the iron contendeth to the loadstone; that to preservation, as the vine will creep towards a stake or prop that stands by it, not for any love to the stake, but to uphold itself. And there fore, madam, you must distinguish my lord's desire to do you service, is as to

« 이전계속 »