Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

trouble and storm abroad, that he found a sweet calm at home. He had another conference for an hour with the Queen before midday, from which he returned well contented with his future prospects, receiving the visits of the whole court, Cecil and his party excepted.(6)

During the day the Queen saw her ministers. (c) After Confinedinner he found her much changed : she received him,

"Essex to coldly, and appointed the lords to hear him in council that his chamvery afternoon. After sitting an hour, they adjourned the e 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. (d)

On the next day the lords met in council, and presented To York a favourable report to the Queen, who said she would House. pause and consider it, Essex still continuing captive in his chamber, (e) from whence the Queen ordered him to be committed into custody, lest, having his liberty, he might be far withdrawn from his duty through the corrupt counsels of turbulent men, not however to any prison, lest she might seem to destroy all hope of her ancient favor, but to the Lord Keeper's, at York House, to which in the afternoon he was taken from Nonsuch. (f)

Bacon's steady friendship again manifested itself. He Bacon's wrote to Essex the moment he heard of his arrival, and in steady

* friendship. 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

(6) See Sydney Papers, 117–127. Camden and Birch.

(c) See Sydney Papers. Michaelmas day at noon, (vol. ii. p. 127) containing the account of the different persons who hastened to court on that day.

(d) Sydney Papers, vol. ii. p. 129.
(e) Sydney Papers, 130–133 (1) Sydney Papers, 131-9.

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 some time that I may attend you, I commit you to God's best preservation.

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 licence: 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 lordship it is as mists are, if it go upwards, it may perhaps cause a shower, if downwards it will clear up. And therefore, good my lord, carry it 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.”(a) After his committal to the Lord Keeper's there was great Private in

vestigation fluctuation of opinion with respect to his probable fate. in Star On one day the hope of his restoration to favour prevailed; Chamber. 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. (6)

In this perplexity she consulted Bacon, who from this, Bacon oband from any proceeding, earnestly dissuaded the Queen, jects. 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 councellors, A. D. 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

1597.

(a) Bacon's Apology, vol. vi. p. 254.

(b) Sydney Papers, 131—139.

Bacon foretold, and which the Queen too late acknowledged, aggravated the public discontent. At this assembly Bacon was not present, which, when his absence was mentioned by the Queen, he excused by indisposition. (g)

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 famæ 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 me thought her face and manner was not so clear and open to me, as it was at the first. 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.(h)

If the partizans 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

(8) Bacon's Apology, vol. vi. p. 262.
(1) Sydney Papers, vol. ii. p. 138—164.

followers, by new seditious discourses and offensive placards, never gave her indignation time to cool. About Christmas, Essex from agitation of mind, and protracted confinement, 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 illness was partly feigned; and when at last bis 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 favor; and on the 19th of March Essex was removed to his own house, in the custody of Sir Richard Barkley. (i)

About three years previous to his accepting the command Apology in Ireland, Essex published a tract, entitled “ An Apologie of the Earl of Essex against(k) 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 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.” (1) (1) Sydney Papers, 149. (k) See note 3 V at the end.

(1) Bacon's Apology, vol. vi. p. 254.

« ZurückWeiter »