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halfe of her majesty, he fully satisfied the auditors. Master Secretary gave the earle his right alwaies, and shewed more curtesie than any; yet, saied he, the earle in all
his iourney did nothing else but make (as it were) circles of errours, which were all bound up in the unhappy knot of his disobedient returne. Also he gave the earle free liberty to interrupt him at any time in his speech. But the earle being contented with the opinion of loyalty so cleerely reserved unto him, was most willing to beare the whole burthen of all the rest of the accusation, and therefore never used any further reply; onely by reason of a question or two, that were moved by my Lord of Canterbury and my Lord Admirall : some little speech there was to and fro. My Lord of Canterburies question was concerning the conditions of yeelding anto Tyrone in tolleration of religion ; the earle heartily thanked him for moving that doubt, and then protested, that it was a thing mentioned in deed, but never yeelded unto by him, nor yet stood upon by the traitor, to whom the earl had said plainely, Hang thee up, thou carest for religion as much as my horse. Master Secretary also cleered the earle in that respect, that he never yeelded to Tyrone in that foule condition, though by reason of Tyrones vaunting afterwards, it might have some shew of probability. By reason of my Lord Admirals question, the earle spake somewhat of his returne, that he did it upon a false ground of hope, that her majesty might pardon him, as shee did the Earle of Leicester in the like case, who returned out of the Low Countries, contrary to her majesties expresse letter. This I thought with myselfe (quoth the earle) if Leicester were pardoned, whose end was onely to save himselfe, why might not Essex be pardoned, whose end was to save a kingdome. But Master Secretary replied, that upon his knowledge there never . passed any letter from her majesty, to forbid the Earle of Leicester's returne.
Judge Walmesley his speech was more blunt then bitter: Prisoners at our barres (saith he) are more gracelesse, they will not confesse their faults. Againe, he compared my lord his comming home, and leaving the army there, to a shepheard that left his flocke to the keeping of his dogge.
In conclusion, the earle protested, that all he sought for was the opinion of a true and a loyall subject, which might appeare by the speech wherewith he hedged in all his answeres, namely, that he intended onely to shew those false guides which misled him, whether they were his owne errours, or the errours of his counsillors, whom he followed, that he yeelded himselfe wholly to her maiesties mercy and favour, and was ready to offer up his poor carkasse unto her, he would not say to doe (for alasse he had no faculties), but to suffer whatsoever her majesty should inflict upon him, and so requested them all to make a just, honourable, and fauourable report of his disordered speeches, which had fallen from him in such sort, as his aking head and body weakened with sicknesse, would give him leave. This done, they proceeded to the censure.
My Lord Keeper beganne with a good, powerfull, and eloquent speech. That by justice and clemency the throne is established ; as for mercy, her majesty had reserved it to herselfe; but for the satisfying of her justice, shee had appointed them to enquire into the cause. That they were to enquire onely of those faults of contempts and disobedience laid unto the earle, and to censure him accordingly, and for her mercy they had nothing to do with it; onely God was to worke it in her princely breast. "In examining the earles faults, he laid these for his grounds: that the two grounds and foundations of the princes scepter and estate, are the reputation of a diligent and carefull providence for the preservation of her estate and countries, and the obedience of her subiects; and he that should take either of these from her, should take from her the crowne and scepter. For the first, he notably shewed at large, how her maiesty had deserved it in the whole course of the Irish warres ; for obedience, he shewed the nature of it, consisting in precisely following the streight line of the princes commandement, and upon that straine he amplified to the uttermost all the earles contempts and disobediences, that her maiesties great mercy might appeare the more cleerly. Among the rest, (for he went through them all in order) he answered thus to the pretence of Leicesters president for excuse of the earles
In good things the example is better then the imitation of another ; he that doth wel of his owne head, doth best, and he that doth wel by imitation,
doth commendably in a lesșe degree; but in bad things the proportion is otherwise, the example being naught, the imitation is worse : therefore if my Lord of Leicester did evill, in comming over contrary to the Queenes commandement, my Lord of Essex did worse in imitating my Lord of Leicester, and is so much the more to be punished for it. In the end he came to the censure, which was this. If, quoth he, this cause had beene heard in the Starre-chamber, my sen. tence must have been so great a fine as ever was set upon any man's head in that court, and perpetuall imprisonment in that place which belongeth to a man of his quality, that is the Tower; but now that we are in another place, and in a course of favour, my censure is, that he is not to execute the office of a counsellor, nor to holde himselfe for a counsellor of estate, nor to execute the office of earle marshall of England, nor of the master of the ordinance, and to returne to his owne house, there to continue a prisoner as before, till it shall please her majesty to release both this and all the rest.
After my Lord Keeper all the rest in order gave their censures (amplifying her majesties clemency and the earles offences), according to the manner in the Starre-chamber ; but all accorded to this censure, (for so they called it, and not a sentence), Master Secretary said, my censure is, that the earle deserveth, &c. The greater part of the day was spent in the lords censures, who were many of them very long, onely the noble men (not counsellors) were short. The Earle of Worcester cited these two verses ;
Scilicet a superis etiam fortuna luenda est,
Neither can chance excuse, if a god frowne. The Earle of Cumberland said, if he thought that censure should stand, he would crave longer time, for it seemed unto hime somewhat hard and heavy, intimating how easily a generall commander might incurre the like; but (quoth hee) in confidence of her maiesties mercy, I agree with the rest.
The Lord Zouch would give no other censure, but that which he thought the earle would lay upon himselfe, that was, that he would restraine himselfe from executing his offices, &c. and keepe himselfe in his house, till her majesty shall release all.
They all seemed by their speeches to conceive a sure hope of her majesties releasing this censure, and the earl was reasonably chearefull, onely his body seemed weake and distempered with sicknesse, and now and then he shewed most manifest tokens of sorrow for his offence to her maiesty, by teares in his eyes (specially in the first part of his owne speech, and when my Lord Keeper spake).
(Fynes Moryson's Itinerary, fol. Lond. 1617. Part II. Ireland, anno
1600. pp. 68–74.
4 D. Life, p. Ixxviii. A Letter to the Earl of Essex, in offer of his service when he was first enlarged
to Essex House. My Lord,- No man can expound my doings better than your lordship, which makes me need to say the less; only I humbly pray you to believe, that I aspire to the conscience and commendation of bonus civis, and bonus vir ; and that though I love some things better, I confess, than I love your lordship, yet I love few persons better; both for gratitude's sake, and for your virtues, which cannot hurt but by accident, of which my good affection it may please your lordship to assure yourself, and of all the true effect and offices I can yield. For as I was ever sorry your lordship should fly with waxen wings, doubting Icarus's fortune, so for the growing up of your own feathers, be they ostriches or other kind, no man shall be more glad. And this is the axletree whereon I have turned and shall turn. Which having already signified to you by some near mean, having so fit a messenger for mine own letter, I thought good also to redouble by writing. And so I commend you to God's protection. From Gray's Inn, this 9th day of July, 1600.(a) An Answer of my Lord of Essex to the immediately preceding Letter of
Mr. Bacon's. Mr. Bacon, I can neither expound nor censure your late actions, being ignorant of all of them, save one, and having directed my sight inward only, to examine myself. You do pray me to believe that you only aspire to the conscience and commendation of bonus civis and bonus vir; and I do faithfully assure you, that while that is your ambition (though your course be active and mind contemplative), yet we shall both, convenire in eodem tertio, and convenire inter nos ipsos. Your profession of affection, and offer of good offices, are wel. come to me; for answer to them I will say but this, that you have believed I have been kind to you ; 'and you may believe that I cannot be other, either upon humour or mine own election. I am a stranger to all poetical conceits, or else I should say somewhat of your poetical example. But this I must say, that I never flew with other wings, than desire to.merit and confidence in my sovereign's favour; and when one of these wings failed me, I would light nowhere but at my sovereign's feet, though she suffered me to be bruised with my fall. And till her majesty, that knows I was never bird of prey, finds it to agree with her will, and her service, that my wings should be imped again, I have committed myself to the mue. No power, but my God's and my sovereign's, can alter this resolution of your retired friend, Essex.
If it is imagined that the apparent coldness of this letter ought to be ascribed to injured feeling, to that lofty spirit, which could not brook any real or apparent opposition, let the time when it was written : let it be connected with the letters in note E: let the conclusion of the letter, beginning at “till her majesty," and let Bacon's accidental account of these letters in page lxxxi, “and having received from his lordship a courteous and loving acceptation of my good will and endeavours,” be considered ; and it will, perhaps, clearly appear that this was a letter intended to be seen by the Queen,
4 E. Life, p. lxxix. The following are the letters : Two Letters framed, one as from Mr. Anthony Bacon to the Earl of Essex ; the
other, as the Earl's answer. My singular good Lord,—This standing at a stay doth make me, in my love towards your lordship, jealous, lest you do somewhat, or omit somewhat, that amounteth to a new error; for I suppose that of all former matters there is a full expiation ; wherein, for any thing which your lordship doth, I, for my part, (who am remote) cannot cast or devise wherein my error should be, except in one point, which I dare not censure nor dissuade; which is, that as the prophet saith, in this affliction you look up " ad manum percutientem,” and so make your peace with God. And yet I have heard it noted, that my lord of Leicester, who could never get to be taken for a saint, yet in the Queen's disfavour waxed seeming religious; which may be thought by some, and used by others, as a case resembling yours, if men do not see, or will not see, the difference between your two dispositions. But, to be plain with your lordship, my fear rather is, because I hear how some of your good and wise friends, not unpractised in the court, and supposing themselves not to be unseen in that deep and unscrutable centre of the court, which is her majesty's mind, do not only toll the bell, but even ring out peals, as if your fortune were dead and buried, and as if there
(a) A copy of this letter is supposed, erroneously perhaps, to have been sent by Bacon to Lord Salisbury, on the 20th of July.
were no possibility of recovering her majesty's favour ; and as if the best of your condition were to live a private and retired life, out of want, out of peril, and out of manifest disgrace. And so, in this persuasion to your lordship-wards, to frame and accommodate your actions and mind to that end; I fear (1 say) that this untimely despair may in time bring forth a just despair, by causing your lordship to slacken and break off your wise, loyal, and seasonable endeavour and industry for redintegration to her majesty's favour, in comparison whereof all other circumstances are but as atoms, or rather as a vacuum, without any substance at all. Against this opinion, it may please your lordship to consider of these reasons, which I have collected; and to make judgment of them, neither out of the melancholy of your present fortune, nor out of the infusion of that which cometh to you by other's relation, which is subject to much tincture, but "ex rebus ab ipsis,” out of the nature of the persons and actions themselves, as the truest, and less deceiving ground of opinion. For, though I am so unfortunate as to be a stranger to her majesty's eye, much more to her nature and manners, yet by that which is extant I do manifestly discern that she hath that character of the divine nature and goodness, as “quos amavit, amavit usque ad finem ;” and where she hath a creature, she doth not deface nor defeat it: insomuch as, if I observe rightly, in those persons whom heretofore she hath honoured with her special favour, she hath covered and remitted, not only defections and ingratitudes in affection, but errors in state and service.
2. If I can, scholar-like, spell and put together the parts of her majesty's proceedings now towards your lordsbip, I cannot but make this construction ; that her majesty, in her royal intention, never purposed to call your doings into public question, but only to have used a cloud without a shower, and censuring them by some restraint of liberty, and debarring from her presence. For both the handling the cause in the Star Chamber was enforced by the violence of libelling and rumours, wherein the Queen thought to have satisfied the world, and yet spared your appearance : and then after, when that means, which was intended for the quenching of malicious bruits, turned to kindle them, because it was said your lordship was condemned unheard, and your lordship's sister wrote that private letter, then her majesty saw plainly that these winds of rumours could not be commanded down, without a handling of the cause, by making you party, and admitting your defence. And to this purpose I do assure your lordship, that my brother Francis Bacon, who is too wise to be abused, though he be both reserved in all particulars more than is needful, yet in generality he hath ever constantly, and with asseveration affirmed to me, that both those days, that of the Star Chamber, and that at my Lord Keeper's, were won of the Queen, merely upon necessity and point of honour, against her own inclination.
3. In the last proceeding, I note three points, which are directly significant, that her majesty did expressly forbear any point which was irrecuperable, or might make your lordship in any degree uncapable of the return of her favour, or might fix any character indelible of disgrace upon you : for she spared the public places, which spared ignominy; she limited the charge precisely, not to touch disloyalty, and no record remaineth to memory of the charge or sentence.
4. The very distinction which was made in the sentence of sequestration, from the places of service in state, and leaving to your lordship the place of master of the horse, doth in my understanding point at this, that her majesty meant to use your lordship's attendance in court, while the exercises of oiher places stood suspended.
5. I have heard, and your lordship knoweth better, that now since you were in your own custody, her majesty, " in verbo regio,” and by his mouth to whom she committeth her royal grants and decrees, hath assured your lordsbip sbe will forbid, and not suffer your ruin.
6. As I have heard her majesty to be a prince of that magnanimity, that she will spare the service of the ablest subject or peer, where she shall be thought not to stand in need of it; so she is of that policy, as she will not blaze the service of a meaner than your lordship, where it shall depend merely upon ber choice and will.
7. I held it for a principle that those diseases are hardest to cure, whereof the cause is obscure; and those easiest, whereof the cause is manifest. Whereupon I conclude, that since it hath been your errors in your lowness towards her majesty which have prejudiced you, that your reforming and conformity will restore you, so as you may be “ faber fortunæ propriæ.'
Lastly, considering your lordship is removed from dealing in causes of state, and left only to a place of attendance, methinks the ambition of any which can endure no partners in state matters may be so quenched, as they should not laboriously oppose themselves to your being in court. So as upon the whole matter, I cannot find, neither in her majesty's person, nor in your own person, ror in any third person, neither in former precedents, nor in your own case, any Cause of peremptory despair. Neither do I speak this, but that if her majesty out of her resolution should design you to a private life, you should be as willing, upon the appointment, to go into the wilderness as into the land of promise; only I wish that your lordship will not despair, but put trust (next to God) in her majesty's grace, and not be wanting to yourself. I know your lordship may justly interpret, that this which I persuade may have some reference to my particular, because I may truly say, " tu stante non virebo,” for I am withered in myself; but manebo, or tenebo, I should in some sort be, or hold out. But though your lordship's years and health may expect return of grace and fortune, yet your eclipse for a time is an “ultimum vale” to my fortune : and were it not that I desired and hope to see my brother established by her majesty's favour, as I think him well worthy for that he hath done and suffered, it were time I did take that course from which I dissuade your lordship. Now in the mean time, I cannot choose but perform those honest duties unto you, to whom I have been so deeply bound, &c.
A Letter framed as from the Earl, in answer to the former letter. Mr. Bacon,- I thank you for your kind and careful letter. It persuades me that which I wish strongly, and hope for weakly; that is, possibility of restitution to her majesty's favour: but your arguments that would cherish hope turn to despair. You say the Queen never meant to call me to public censure, which sheweth her goodness; but you see I passed under it, which sheweth other's power. I believe most steadfastly her majesty never intended to bring my cause to a sentence; and I believe as verily, that since that sentence she meant to restore me to attend upon her person. But they that could use occa
sions, which was not in me to let, and amplify occasions, and practise upon - occasions, to represent to her majesty a necessity to bring me to the one, can , and will do the like to stop me from the other. You say, my errors were my prejudice, and therefore I can mend myself, and that if I ever recover the Queen, that I will never loose her again, will never suffer me to obtain interest in her favour : and you say the Queen never forsook utterly where she hath inwardly favoured, but know not whether the hourglass of time hath altered her; but sure I am, the false glass of other's informations must alter her, when I want access to plead mine own cause. I know I ought doubly infinitely to be her majesty's, both “jure creationis, for I am her creature; and jure redemptionis,” for I know she hath saved me from overthrow. But for her first love, and for her last protection, and all her great benefits, I can but pray for her majesty; and my endeavour is now to make my prayers for her and myself better heard. For thanks be to God, that they which can make her majesty believe I counterfeit with her, cannot make God believe that I counterfeit with him; and they that can let me from coming near to her, cannot let me from drawing nearer to him, as I hope I do daily. For your brother, I hold him an honest gentleman, and wish him all good, much rather for your sake; yourself, I know, hath suffered more for me, and with me, than any friend that I have : but I can but lament freely, as you see I do, and advise you not to do that I do, which is, to despair. You know letters what hurt they have done and therefore make sure of this; and yet I could not, as having no other pledge of my love, but communicate openly with you for the ease of my heart and yours.
Your loving friend, R. Essex.