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During the day the queen saw her ministers.1 | ship it is as mists are, if it go upwards, it may After dinner he found her much changed: she re- perhaps cause a shower, if downwards it will ceived him coldly, and appointed the lords to hear clear up. And therefore, good my lord, carry it him in council that very afternoon. After sitting an hour, they adjourned the court to a full council on the next day; but, between eleven and twelve at night, an order came from the queen that Essex should keep his chamber."
On the next day the lords met in council, and presented a favourable report to the queen, who said she would pause and consider it, Essex still continuing captive in his chamber,3 from whence the queen ordered him to be committed into custody, lest, having his liberty, he might be far withdrawn from his duty through the corrupt counsels of turbulent men, not however to any prison, lest she might seem to destroy all hope of her ancient favour, but to the lord keeper's, at York House, to which in the afternoon he was taken from Nonsuch.4
Bacon's steady friendship again manifested itself. He wrote to Essex the moment he heard of his arrival, and in an interview between them, he urged the advice which he had communicated in his letter. This letter and advice are fortunately preserved. In his letter he says: My lord, conceiving that your lordship came now up in the person of a good servant to see your sovereign mistress, which kind of compliments are many times "instar magnorum meritorum;" and therefore that it would be hard for me to find you, I have committed to this poor paper the humble salutations of him that is more yours than any man's, and more yours than any man. To these salutations, I add a due and joyful gratulation, confessing that your lordship, in your last conference with me before your journey, spake not in vain, God making it good, that you trusted we should say, "quis putasset?" Which, as it is found true in a happy sense, so I wish you do not find another "quis putasset," in the manner of taking this so great a service; but I hope it is as he said, "nubecula est citò transibit;" and that your lordship's wisdom and obsequious circumspection and patience will turn all to the best. So referring all to sometime that I may attend you, I commit you to God's best preservation.
so, as you take away by all means all umbrages and distastes from the queen, and especially if I were worthy to advise you, (as I have been by yourself thought, and now your question imports the continuance of that opinion,) observe three points: first, make not this cessation or peace, which is concluded with Tyrone, as a service wherein you glory, but as a shuffling up of a prosecution which was not very fortunate. Next, represent not to the queen any necessity of estate, whereby, as by a coercion or wrench, she should think herself enforced to send you back into Ireland; but leave it to her. Thirdly, seek access, importune, opportune, seriously, sportingly, every way. I remember my lord was willing to hear me, but spake very few words, and shaked his head sometimes, as if he thought I was in the wrong; but sure I am, he did just contrary in every one of these three points."5
After his committal to the lord keeper's, there was great fluctuation of opinion with respect to his probable fate. On one day the hope of his restoration to favour prevailed; on the next, as the queen, by brooding over the misconduct of Essex, by additional accounts of the consequences of his errors in Ireland, by turbulent speeches and seditious pamphlets, was much exasperated, his ruin was predicted. Pamphlets were circulated and suppressed; there were various conferences at York House between the different statesmen and Essex; and it was ultimately determined that the matter should be investigated, not by public accusation, but by a declaration in the Star Chamber, in the absence of Essex, of the nature of his misconduct. Such was the result of the queen's conflict between public opinion and her affection for Essex.
In this perplexity she consulted Bacon, who from this, and from any proceeding, earnestly dissuaded the queen, and warned her that, from the popularity of Essex and this unusual mode of accusation, it would be said that justice had her balance taken from her; and that, instead of promoting, it would interrupt the public tranquillity. She heard and was offended with his advice, and acted in direct opposition to it. At an assembly of privy councillors, of judges, and of statesmen, held on the 30th of November, they declared, without his being heard in his defence, the nature of Essex's misconduct; a proceeding which, as Bacon foretold, and which the queen too late acknowledged, aggravated the public discontent. At this assembly Bacon was not pre
And his advice is thus stated by Bacon: "Well, the next news that I heard, was that my lord was come over, and that he was committed to his chamber for leaving Ireland without the queen's license: this was at Nonsuch, where (as my duty was) I came to his lordship, and talked with him privately about a quarter of an hour, and he asked mine opinion of the course that was taken with him; I told him: My lord, nubecula est, cito transibit: it is but a mist; but shall I tell your lord-sent, which, when his absence was mentioned by
1 See Sydney Papers. Michaelmas day at noon, (vol. ii. p. 128,) containing the account of the different persons who
hastened to court on that day.
Sydney Papers, vol. ii. p. 129.
Sydney Papers, 131-139.
the queen, he excused by indisposition."
Bacon's Apology, vol. ii. p. 336.
Bacon's account of this proceeding is as follows: "Immediately after the queen had thought of a course (which was also executed) to have somewhat published in the Star Chamber, for the satisfaction of the world, touching my lord of Essex his restraint, and my lord of Essex not to be called to it, but occasion to be taken by reason of some libels then dispersed; which when her majesty propounded unto me, I was utterly against it, and told her plainly that the people would say, that my lord was wounded upon his back, and that justice had her balance taken from her, which ever consisted of an accusation and defence, with many other quick and significant terms to that purpose; insomuch that I remember I said, that my lord in foro fame was too hard for her; and therefore wished her, as I had done before, to wrap it up privately: and certainly I offended her at that time, which was rare with me; for I call to mind that both the Christmas, Lent, and Easter Term following, though I came divers times to her upon law business, yet methought her face and manner was not so clear and open to me, as it was at the first. But towards the end of Easter terin, her majesty brake with me, and told me that she had found my words true, for that the proceeding in the Star Chamber had done no good, but rather kindled factious bruits, as she termed them, than quenched them."
I came first unto you I took you for a physician that desired to cure the diseases of the state; but now I doubt you will be like those physicians which can be content to keep their patients low, because they would always be in request: which plainness he nevertheless took very well, as he had an excellent ear, and was patientissimus veri, and assured me the case of the realm required it; and I think this speech of mine, and the like renewed afterwards, pricked him to write that apology which is in many men's hands."
Essex had scarcely been liberated, when the Apology was reprinted by some injudicious partisan. The queen, greatly exasperated, ordered two of the printers to be imprisoned, and meditated proceedings against Essex; but he having written to the Archbishop of Canterbury and various of his friends, and having ordered the publishers to suppress the work, the storm was averted. The spirit in which the republication of this tract originated extended to the circulation of other libels, so reflecting upon the con duct of the queen, that she said the subject should be publicly examined; and, acknowledging the foresight of Bacon with spect to the former inquiry, she consulted him as to the expediency of proceeding by information.
Against this or any proceeding Bacon earnestly protested; and, although the honest expression of his sentiments so much offended the queen that she rose from him in displeasure, it had the effect of suspending her determination for some weeks, though she ultimately ordered that Essex should be accused in the Star Chamber.
The following is Bacon's account of this reso
lord was committed to my lord keeper's, I came divers times to the queen, as I had used to do,
If the partisans of Essex had acted with the cautious wisdom of Bacon, the queen's affections undisturbed would have run kindly into their old channel, but his followers, by new seditious discourses and offensive placards, never gave her indignation time to cool. About Christmas, Essex, from agitation of mind, and protracted confine-lution: "After this, during the while since my ment, fell into a dangerous illness, and the queen sent to him some kind messages by her own physician, but his enemies persuaded her that his ill-about causes of her revenue and law business: ness was partly feigned; and when at last his near approach to death softened the queen in his favour, the injudicious expressions of those divines who publicly prayed for him, amounting to sedition, entirely hardened her heart against him. Upon the earl's recovery, and after some months' patient endurance on his part, the queen desired to restore him to favour; and on the 19th of March Essex was removed to his own house, in the custody of Sir Richard Barkley."
About three years previous to his accepting the command in Ireland, Essex published a tract, entitled "An Apologie of the Earl of Essex against those which jealously and maliciously tax him to be the hinderer of the peace and quiet of his country." This tract originated, as it seems, in an admonition of Bacon's, which he thus states: "I remember, upon his voyage to the islands, I saw every spring put forth such actions of charge and provocation, that I said to him, My lord, when
1 Sydney Papers, vol. ii. p. 138-164.
when the queen at any time asked mine opinion
Sydney Papers, vol. ii. 182-187. 191-193.
faction of the world, to proceed against my lord It was determined that proceedings should be in the Star Chamber, by an information ore tenus, instituted; but, as the queen assured Bacon, only and to have my lord brought to his answer; how-"ad castigationem non ad destructionem," not to beit she said, she would assure me that whatso- taint the character of Essex, by which he might ever she did should be towards my lord ad castiga- be rendered unable to bear office about her person, tionem, et non ad destructionem, as indeed she had but before a selected council, "inter domesticos often repeated the same phrase before: where- parietes, non luc: forensi." This resolution having unto I said, to the end utterly to divert her, been formed, the queen's counsel learned in the Madam, if you will have me speak to you in this law, were assembled to determine upon the mode argument, I must speak to you as Friar Bacon's of proceeding. At this meeting, it was said by head spake, that said first, Time is, and then Time one of the courtiers, that her majesty was not rewas, and Time would never be; for certainly, solved whether Mr. Bacon should act in this trial said I, it is now far too late, the matter is cold, as one of her counsel. What must have passed and hath taken too much wind; whereat she in his mind when he heard this observation! He seemed again offended, and rose from me, and knew enough of the common charities of courts that resolution for a while continued; and after, to suspect every thing. He knew that the queen in the beginning of Midsummer term, I attending | looked with great jealousy and distrust at his her, and finding her settled in that resolution, having "crossed her disposition" by his steady which I heard of also otherwise, she falling upon friendship for Essex. He saw, therefore, that the like speech, it is true, that seeing no other whether this remark was a stratagem to sound remedy, I said to her slightly, Why, madam, if his intentions, or that some attempt had been you will needs have a proceeding, you were best made to ruin him in the queen's opinion, by inhave it in some such sort as Ovid spake of his ducing her to suppose that he would sacrifice her mistress, Est aliquid luce patente minus, to make to the popular clamour, of which she was too sena council-table matter of it, and there an end; sible, it required his immediate and vigilant attenwhich speech again she seemed to take in ill part, tion. In this situation of no common difficulty, but yet I think it did good at that time, and the conflict of his various duties, to the queen, to helped to divert that course of proceeding by in- Essex, and to himself, were instantly present formation in the Star Chamber. Nevertheless, to his mind. afterwards it pleased her to make a more solemn matter of the proceeding, and some few days after, when order was given that the matter should be heard at York House, before an assembly of councillors, peers, and judges, and some audience of men of quality to be admitted."
To the queen he was under the greatest obligation: she was the friend of his father, and had been his friend from his infancy; she consulted with him in all her difficulties; she had conferred upon him a valuable reversion of £2000 a year, had promoted him to be her counsel, and, what Such were the measures adopted by the queen perhaps was her greatest kindness, instead of havto dispel, as she termed them, "the bruits and ing hastily advanced him, she had, with a contimalicious imputations" of her people; but, jea- | nuance of her friendship, made him bear the yoke lous of their affections, she resented every mur- in his youth. Such were his obligations to Elimur of public disapprobation by some new seve-zabeth, of whom he never spoke but with affection rity to Essex; and her conduct, neither marked for her virtues, and respect for her commanding by strict justice, or generous forgiveness, exhibited more of the caprice of an angry woman than the steady resentment of an offended monarch. What calamities would have been averted, if, instead of suffering herself to be hurried by this conflict of agitated feelings, the queen had at tended to the advice of Bacon, whose care for her honour, and love for his friend, might have been safely trusted, and who, looking through the present, decided upon consequences with a certainty almost prophetic. The most profound statesman of the present day, possessed of all the light which history gives him, can add nothing to the prudent politic course which Bacon pointed out to the queen. She rejected this advice with a blind despotism that would neither be counselled with or against her inclinations, and fearing and suspecting all around her, ruined the man she wished to save, and eventually made total wreck of her own peace of mind.
He had also great esteem for the virtues of Essex, and great admiration of the higher powers of his mind. He felt for him with all the hopes and fears of a parent for a wayward child, and with all the affection of a friend, from a deep feeling of his constant regard, and the grateful recollection of what, in the common world, would be deemed of more importance, an act of pecuniary kindness, not, as in these cases is generally supposed, to purchase, but to procure his liberty of thought and action.
Of his relative duties to the queen and to Essex, no man was a more competent judge than Bacon: no man was better, none so well grounded in the true rules of this difficult part of moral science. In his tract on Duty, in the Advancement of Learning, he truly says, "There is formed in every thing a double nature of good; the one as every thing is a total or substantive in itself, the other
culties of his profession, he was entitled, by his commanding intellect, to possess the power,which, although it had not precedence in his thoughts, followed regularly in the train of his duty; not the common vulgar power, from ostentation, loving trivial pomp and city noise; or from ambition, which, like the sealed dove, mounts and mounts because it is unable to look about it; but power to advance science and promote merit, according to his maxim and in the spirit of his own words "detur digniori." "Power to do good is the true and lawful end of aspiring; for good thoughts, though God accept them, yet towards men are little better than good dreams, except they be put
as it is a part or member of a greater body; whereof the latter is in degree the greater and the worthier. This double nature of good and the comparative thereof is much more engraven upon man, if he degenerate not, unto whom the conservation of duty to the public ought to be much more precious than the conservation of life and being, according to that memorable speech of Pompeius Magnus, when being in commission of purveyance for a famine at Rome, and being dissuaded with great vehemency and instance by his friends about him, that he should not hazard himself to sea in an extremity of weather, he said only to them, Necesse est ut eam non ut vivam.'" And when Essex proffered him assistance, he, weigh-in act; and that cannot be without power and ing these duties, admonished his friend that this was not to interfere with his duty to his sovereign. His words were, "I must and will ever acknowledge my lord's love, trust, and favour towards me, after the queen had denied me the solicitor's place, when he said, You have spent your time and thoughts in my matters; I die, these were his very words, if I do not somewhat towards your fortune. My answer, I remember, was that for my fortune it was no great matter; but that his lordship's offer (which was of a piece of land worth about £1800) made me call to mind what was wont to be said when I was in France of the Duke of Guise, that he was the greatest usurer in France, because he had turned all his estate into obligations. He bad me take no care for that, and pressed it; whereupon I said, "My lord, I see I must be your homager, and hold land of your gift; but do you know the manner of doing homage in law? Always it is with a saving of his faith to the king and his other lords."1
place, as the vantage and commanding ground.” With these prospects before him, he could not be so weak as hastily to abandon them, by yielding to that generous illusion by which the noblest minds are often raised in their own esteem by imagined disinterestedness.
With respect to his professional duties, he was in less difficulty. He knew that his conduct would be subject "to envy and peril," but knowing also that these aspersions would originate in good feeling, in the supposition of ingratitude and disregard of truth, he could not be alarmed at the clamours of those who knew not what they did. To consider every suggestion, in favour and in opposition to any opinion, is, according to his doctrine in the Novum Organum, the only solid foundation upon which any judgment, even in the calm inquiries of philosophy, can be formed. In public assemblies, therefore, agitated by passions by which the progress of truth is disturbed, he of all men knew and admired the wise constitution of our courts, in which it has been deemed expedient, that, to elicit truth, the judge should hear the opposite statements of the same or of different powerful disinterested minds, who may be more able than the suitors to do justice to the causes upon which their interests depend. A more efficacious mode to disentangle difficulty, to expose falsehood, and discover truth, was, perhaps, never devised. It prevents the influence of passions by which truth may be impeded, and calls in aid every intellectual power by which justice may be adIt is, perhaps, to be lamented that, formed for vanced. He was not likely, therefore, to be moved contemplation, he was induced, either by his ne- by the censures of those who, ignorant of the princessities, or any erroneous notion of the virtue of ciples upon which this practice is founded, imaactivity, to engage in public life; but he was al-gine advocates to be indiscriminate defenders of ways unskilful to note the card of prudent lore, right and wrong, instead of being officers assistand it was his favourite opinion that, to dignifying in the administration of justice, and acting and exalt knowledge, contemplation and action should be nearly and strongly conjoined and united together: a conjunction like unto that of the two highest planets, Saturn, the planet of rest and contemplation, and Jupiter, the planet of civil society and action.
His considerations were not, however, confined to his duties to the queen and to Essex, but extended to the peculiar situation in which, with respect to his own worldly prospects, he was placed. He saw that, if he did not plead against Essex, all his hopes of advancement might, without any benefit to his friend, be destroyed; and that if he did plead against him, he should be exposed to obloquy and misrepresentation. The consideration of his worldly prospects were to him and to the community of great importance.
Having engaged and encountered all the diffi
under the impression that truth is best discovered by powerful statements on both sides of the question. He was not likely to be moved by that ignorant censure which mixes the counsel with his client, instead of knowing that the advocate is indifferent on which side he pleads, whether for the most unfortunate or the most prosperous, for the most virtuous or the most abandoned member of
words of compliment, signifying to her majesty, "That if she would be pleased to spare me in my lord of Essex's cause, out of the consideration she took of my obligation towards him, I should reckon it for one of her greatest favours: but otherwise desiring her majesty to think that I knew the degrees of duties; and that no particular obligation whatsoever to any subject could sup
the community; and that, if he were not indifferent,—if he were to exercise any discretion as to the party for whom he pleads, the course of justice would be interrupted by prejudice to the suitor, and the exclusion of integrity from the profession. The suitor would be prejudiced in proportion to the respectability of the advocate who had shrunk from his defence, and the weight of character of the counsel would be evidence in the cause. In-plant or weaken that entireness of duty that I did tegrity would be excluded from the profession, as the counsel would necessarily be associated with the cause of his client; with the slanderer, the adulterer, the murderer, or the traitor, whom it may be his duty to defend.
Such were the various conflicting duties by which a common mind might have been perplexed; but, strong in knowledge, he, without embarrassment, looked steadily at the undefined shapes of difficulty and danger, of possible mistake or mischance, and, without any of the vacillation in which contemplative genius is too apt to indulge, he saw instantly the path of his duty, and steadily advanced in it. He saw that, if he acted in obedience to general rules, he ought neither to desert the queen, or to bereave himself of the power to do good. If, not adhering to general rules, he exercised his own understanding upon the particular circumstances of the case, he saw that, by yielding to popular feeling, he might gain momentary applause, might leave Essex to a merciless opponent, and, by depriving himself of all influence over the queen, might sacrifice his friend at the foot of the throne.
He therefore wrote instantly to the queen, and, by this sagacious and determined conduct, having at once defeated the stratagems by which it was vainly hoped that he would be entangled, he, regardless of the senseless clamour of those who praise they know not what, and know not whom; of those who could neither be put in possession of his real sentiments towards Essex, or the private communications on his behalf with the queen, went right onward with his own, and the approbation of intelligence.
owe and bear to her and her service." And this was the goodly suit I made, being a respect no man that had his wits could have omitted: but nevertheless I had a farther reach in it; for I judged that day's work would be a full period of any bitterness or harshness between the queen and my lord: and therefore, if I declared myself fully according to her mind at that time, which could not do my lord any manner of prejudice, I should keep my credit with her ever after, whereby to do my lord service.
The proceedings after this communication to the queen are thus stated by Bacon:-" Hereupon the next news that I heard was, that we were all sent for again; and that her majesty's pleasure was, we all should have parts in the business; and the lords falling into distribution of our parts, it was allotted to me, that I should set forth some undutiful carriage of my lord, in giving occasion and countenance to a seditious pamphlet, as it was termed, which was dedicated unto him, which was the book before mentioned of King Henry IV. Whereupon I replied to that allotment, and said to their lordships, That it was an old matter, and had no manner of coherence with the rest of the charge, being matters of Ireland: and therefore, that I having been wronged by bruits before, this would expose me to them more; and it would be said I gave in evidence mine own tales. It was answered again with good shew, that because it was considered how I stood tied to my lord of Essex, therefore that part was thought fittest for me, which did him least hurt; for that whereas all the rest was matter of charge and accusation, this only was but matter of caveat and admonition. Wherewith, though I was in mine own mind little satisfied, because I knew well a man were better to be charged with some faults, than admonished of some others; yet the conclusion binding upon the queen's pleasure directly, volens nolens,' I could not avoid that part that was laid upon me."1
The following is Bacon's own account of this extraordinary event:-And then did some principal counsellors send for us of the learned counsel, and notify her majesty's pleasure unto us: save that it was said to me openly by one of them, that her majesty was not yet resolved whether she would have me ferborns in the business or no. On the 5th June, 1600, this trial took place. And hereupon might arise that other sinister and It was marked by the same indecision that had untrue speech, that I hear, is raised of me, how I characterized the whole of the queen's conduct. was a suitor to be used against my lord of Essex To give effect to her wishes that Essex should at that time; for it is very true, that I that knew be censured, not sentenced, each man had his well what had passed between the queen and me, part allotted; and lest this mark of her disappro and what occasion I had given her both of dis-bation should hereafter be urged against him, she taste and distrust in crossing her disposition, by commanded that no official record should be kept standing steadfastly for my lord of Essex, and of the proceedings, that he might not be rendered suspecting it also to be a stratagem arising from incapable of bearing office in her household. some particular emulation, I writ to her two or three See Bacon's Apology, vol. ii. p. 339.