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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, (m) so reflecting upon the conduct of the Queen, that she said the subject should be publicly examined; and, acknowledging the foresight of Bacon with respect to the former inquiry, she consulted him as to the expediency of proceeding by information. Public Against this or any proceeding Bacon earnestly proproceeding tested. anc| although the honest expression of his sentiagainst ° r
Essex. ments 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 resolution: "After this, during the while since my lord was committed to my Lord Keeper's, 1 came divers times to the Queen, as I had used to do, about causes of her revenue and law business: when the Queen at any time asked mine opinion of my lord's case, I ever in one tenor, besought her majesty to be advised again and again, how she brought the cause into any public question: nay, I went further, for I told her my lord was an eloquent and well spoken man, and besides his eloquence of nature or art, he had an eloquence of accident which passed them both, which was the pity and benevolence of his hearers; and therefore wished the conclusion might be, that they might wrap it up privately
(1) Sydney Papers, vol. ii. 182-5-7, 191-2-3.
PUBLIC PROCEEDINGS AGAINST ESSEX. lvii
between themselves, and that she would restore my lord to his former attendance, with some addition of honour to take away discontent. But towards the end of Easter term 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, and therefore that she was determined now for the satisfaction of the world, to proceed against my lord in the Star Chamber, by an information ore tenus, and to have my lord brought to his answer; howbeit she said, she would assure me that whatsoever she did should be towards my lord ad castigationem, et non ad destructionem, as indeed she had often repeated the same phrase before: whereunto I said, to the end utterly to divert her, Madam, if you will have me speak to you in this argument, I must speak to you as Friar Bacon's head spake, that said first, Time is, and then Time was, and Time would never be; for certainly, said I, it is now far too late, the matter is cold, and hath taken too much wind; whereat she seemed again offended, and rose from me, and that resolution for a while continued; and after, in the beginning of Midsummer term, I attending her, and finding her settled in that resolution, which I heard of also otherwise, she falling upon the like speech, it is true, that seeing no other remedy, I said to her slightly, Why, madam, if you will needs have a proceeding, you were best have it in some such sort as Ovid spake of his mistress, Est uliquid luce patente minus, to make a council-table matter of it, and there an end; which speech again she seemed to take in ill part, but yet I think it did good at that time, and helped to divert that course of proceeding by information in the Star Chamber. Nevertheless, 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."(n)
Such were the measures adopted by the Queen to dispel, as she termed them, "the bruits and malicious imputations" of her people; but, jealous of their affections, she resented every murmur of public disapprobation by some new severity to Essex; and her conduct, neither marked 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 attended 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.
It was determined that proceedings should be instituted; but, as the Queen assured Bacon, only "ad castigationem non ad destructionem," not to taint the character of Essex, by which he might be rendered unable to bear office about her person, but before a selected council, " inter domesticos parietes, non luce forensi."(o) This resolution having been formed, the Queen's counsel learned in the law, were
(n) See note 3 W at the end.
(o) See 3 X at the end.
assembled to determine upon the mode of proceeding. At
this meeting, it was said(p) by one of the courtiers, that Bacon
her majesty was not resolved whether Mr. Bacon should counse} J f against
act in this trial as one of her counsel. What must Essex, have passed in his mind when he heard this observation! He knew enough of the common charities of courts to suspect every thing. He knew that the Queen looked with great jealousy and distrust at his having "crossed her disposition" by his steady friendship for Essex. He saw, therefore, that whether this remark was a stratagem to sound his intentions, or that some attempt had been made to ruin him in the Queen's opinion, by inducing her to suppose that he would sacrifice her to the popular clamour of which she was too sensible, it required his immediate and vigilant attention. In this situation of no common difficulty the conflict of his various duties, to the Queen, to Essex, and to himself, were instantly present to his mind.
To the Queen he was under the greatest obligation: she Bacon's was the friend of his father, and had been his friend from °^1u^tion his infancy; she consulted with him in all her difficulties; Queen, she had conferred upon him a valuable reversion of 2000/. a year, had promoted him to be her counsel, and, what perhaps was her greatest kindness, instead of having hastily advanced him, she had, with a continuance of her friendship, made him bear the yoke in his youth. Such were his obligations to Elizabeth, of whom he never spoke but with affection for her virtues, and respect for her commanding intellect.
He had also great esteem for the virtues of Essex, and Friendship great admiration of the higher powers of his mind. He for Essex' felt for him with all the hopes and fears of a parent for a
(ji) See note 3 Y at the end.
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 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 earn non ut vivam.'"(r) And when Essex proffered him assistance, he, weighing 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,
(r) See note 3 Z at the end.