Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

to bear a wallet; nor I, that desire to live to study, may not be driven to study to live.'* In the following month of October he received the King's pardon, which did not permit him, however, to come within the verge of the court, nor did it include the fine. This last exception, which was designedly

• Bacon's Works, vol. 12, p. 51. In the same letter he says, “This theme of my misery is so plentiful, as it need not be coupled with any thing else. I have been somebody, by your majesty's singular and undeserved favour,—even the prime officer of your kingdom. Your majesty's arm hath been often over mine in council, when you presided at the table, so near I was. I have borne your majesty's image in metal, much more in heart. I was never, in nineteen years' service, chidden by your majesty, but contrariwise, often overjoyed, when your majesty would sometimes say, “I was a good husband for you, though none for myself;" sometimes, “That I had a way to deal in business suavibus modis, which was the way which was most according to your own heart;" and other most gracious speeches of affection and trust which I feed on till this day. But why should I speak of these things which are now vanished, but only the better to express the downfall.'

made in order to save Bacon from the present importunity of his creditors, called forth a remonstrance from the lord Keeper Williams, who staid the pardon, (until commanded to pass it,) on the ground, that if it were sealed before the approaching assembly of Parliament, it would be prejudicial to the service of the King, to the honour of his lord of Buckingham, and especially to his own judgment and fidelity.*

In March, 1621-2, Bacon was permitted to leave Gorhambury, yet he did not return to York House, but much against his own and lady Bacon's inclination, retired to a house which he had taken at Chiswick. + To York House Bacon seems to have been

1

* See Bacon's letters on this subject, vol. 13, p. 34, and vol. 12, p. 212.

+ Bacon's Works, vol. 12, pp. 428, 429. In a letter to the lord Treasurer, written in March, 1621-2, he says, 'Purposing to be at Chiswick, where I have taken a house, within this sevennight, I hope to wait upon your lordship, and to gather some violets in your garden, &c.—Ib. p. 428.

much attached. It is the house,' said he,

wherein my father died, and wherein I first breathed; and there will I yield my breath, if so please God, and the King will give me leave; though I be now by fortune (as the old proverb is,) like a bear in a monk's hood. At least no money, no value, shall make me part with it.'* Buckingham, (to whom, be it remembered, Bacon had been a true friend, both in the watery trial of prosperity, and in the fiery trial of adversity,'t) cruelly endeavoured to wrest from him a spot made dear by early associations, but not succeeding, considered himself ill-used by Bacon, who in consequence lost his favour. I This seems to have been one cause, at least, of Bacon's not then receiving a full pardon. • If York House,' said sir Edward Sackville, in a letter to Bacon, $ were gone, the town

• Bacon's Works, vol. 12, p. 420. + Ib. p. 273.

Ib. pp. 273, 426, 432, 433. § Ib. p. 432.

U

were yours, and all your straitest shackles cleared off, besides more comfort than the city air only. I have told Mr. Meautys how I could wish your lordship to make an end of it. From him, I beseech you, take it, and from me only the advice to perform it. If you part not speedily with it, you may defer the good, which is approaching near you, and disappointing other aims, (which must shortly receive content, or never,) perhaps anew yield matter of discontent, though you may be indeed as innocent as before. The great lords,' said Mr. Meautys,* • long to be in York House; I know your lordship cannot forget they have such a savage word among them as fleecing.' York House was soon afterwards sold, and, with the consent of Buckingham, passed, we believe, into the possession of lord treasurer Cranfield.t

* Bacon's Works, vol. 12, pp. 429, 436. + See Bacon's letter on the coarse usage he had re

On the 20th of March, 1621-2, lord Bacon wrote to the King, thanking him for having been pleased to grant him that which the civilians say, is res inæstimabilis—his liberty; ‘so that now,' he adds, 'whenever God calleth me, I shall not die a prisoner; nay, further, your majesty hath vouchsafed to rest a second and iterate aspect of your eye of compassion upon me, in the referring the consideration of my broken estate to my good lord, the Treasurer, which as it is a singular bounty in your majesty, so I have yet so much left of a late Commissioner of your Treasure, as I would be sorry to sue for any thing that might seem immodest. These your majesty's great benefits, in casting your bread upon the waters, as the Scripture saith, because my thanks cannot any ways be sufficient to attain, I have raised your progenitor of famous memory, and now

ceived from this person, (vol. 12, p. 437,) who means, says he, 'to coax me (it is his own word of old,) and to saw me asunder.'

« ForrigeFortsæt »