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taken for hunting out complaints against me,) but that I may answer them according to the rules of justice, severally and respectively.
• These requests, I hope, appear to your lordships no other than just. And so thinking myself happy to have so noble peers and reverend prelates to discern of my cause, and desiring no privilege of greatness for subterfuge of guiltiness; but meaning, as I said, to deal fairly and plainly with your lordships, and to put myself upon your honours and favours, I pray God to bless your counsels and persons. And rest your lordships' humble servant,
. Fr. St. ALBAN, Canc. * • March 19, 1620.' A message was immediately sent to the Chancellor, to the effect that the Lords had received his letter, and intended to proceed in his cause, according to the right rule of justice; adding, that they should be glad
* Bacon's Works, vol. 13, p. 28; State Trials, vol. 2. p. 1099.
if he would clear his honour therein, and
* Bacon's Works, vol. 12, p. 406; and see Hacket's Scrinia Reserata, p. 51.
Churchill a guilty register, by his own confession. I know, that fear of punishment and hopes of lessening it, may make them to say much, yea more than is true. For my own part, I must say I have been a witness of my lord's proceedings. I know he hath sown the good seed of justice, and I hope that it will prove, that the envious man hath sown those tares.'*
The additional complaints to which we have alluded, were shortly afterwards laid before the Lords, who appointed a committee to continue the examinations begun by the Lower House. On the twenty-fifth of March-two days before the adjournment of both houses Bacon communicated, through Buckingham, the following letter to the King, in which he thus expresses himself on the subject of the parliamentary próceedings :—When I enter into myself, I find not the materials of such a tempest as is come upon me. I have been (as your Majesty knoweth best,) never author of any immoderate counsel, but always desired to have things carried “suavibus modis.” I have been no avaricious oppressor of the people. I have been no haughty, or intolerable, or hateful man, in my conversation or carriage. I have inherited no hatred from my father, but am a good patriot born. Whence should this be; for these are the things that used to raise dislikes abroad.
* State Trials, vol. 2. p. 1096.
· For the House of Commons, I began my credit there, and now it must be the place of the sepulture thereof. And yet this parliament, upon the message touching religion, the old love revived, and they said, I was the same man still, only honesty was turned into honour.
'For the Upper House, even within these days, before these troubles, they seemed as to take me into their arms, finding in me ingenuity, which they took to be the true
straight line of nobleness, without crooks or angles.
And for the briberies and gifts wherewith I am charged, when the books of hearts shall be opened, I hope I shall not be found to have the troubled fountain of a corrupt heart, in a depraved habit of taking rewards to pervert justice ; howsoever I may be frail, and partake of the abuses of the times.
. And therefore I am resolved, when I come to my answer, not to trick my innocency (as I writ to the Lords,) by cavillations or voidances; but to speak to them the language that my heart speaketh to me, in excusing, extenuating, or ingenuous confessing; praying God to give me the grace to see to the bottom of my faults, and that no hardness of heart do steal upon me, under show of more neatness of conscience, than is
* Bacon's Works, vol. 12, p. 67.