Two Letters framed by Sir Francis Bacon,

the one as in the name of Mr. Anthony Bacon, his brother,
to the Earl of Essex;
the other as the Earl's answer thereunto;
  Both which by the advice of Mr. Anthony Bacon and with the privity of the said Earl were to be showed Queen Elizabeth upon some occasion, as a mean to work her Majesty to receive the Earl again to favour and attendance at Court. They were devised while my Lord remained prisoner in his own house.    

  My singular good Lord,
    This standing at a stay in your Lordship's fortune doth make me in my love towards your Lordship jealous lest you do somewhat, or omit somewhat, that amounteth to a new error; for I suppose of all former matters there is a full expiation. Wherein for anything that your Lordship doth, I for my part (who am remote) cannot cast nor devise wherein any error should be, except in one point, which I dare not censure nor dissuade; which is, that (as the prophet saith) in this affliction you look up ad manum percutientem, and so make your peace with God. And yet I have heard it noted that my Lord of Leicester (who could never get to be taken for a saint) nevertheless in the Queen's disfavour waxed seeming religious; which may be thonght by some, and used by others, as a case resembling yours, if men do not see and will not see the difference between your two dispositions. But to be plain with your Lordship, my fear rather is, because I hear how some of your good and wise friends, not unpractised in the Court, and supposing themselves not to be unseen in that deep and inscrutable centre of the Court, which is her Majesty's mind, do not only toll the bell, but even ring out peals, as if your fortune were dead and buried, and as if there were no possibility of recovering her Majesty's favour, and as if the best of your condition were to live a private and retired life, out of want, out of peril, and out of manifest disgrace; and so in this persuasion of theirs include a persuasion to your Lordship to frame and accommodate your actions and mind to that end: I fear, I say, that this untimely despair may in time bring forth a just despair, by causing your Lordship to slack and break off your wise, loyal, and seasonable endeavours and industries for reintegration to her Majesty's favour; in comparison whereof all other circumstances are but as atomi, or rather as vacuum without any substance at all. Against this opinion it may please your Lordship to consider of these reasons which I have collected; and to make judgment of them, neither out of the melancholy of your present fortune, nor out of the infusion of that which cometh to you by others' relation (which is subject to much tincture), but ex rebus ipsis, out of the nature of the persons and actions themselves, as the trustiest and least deceiving grounds of opinion. For though I am so unfortunate as to be a stranger to her Majesty's eye and to her nature; yet by that which is apparent, I do manifestly discern that she hath that character of the divine nature and goodness, quos amavit amavit usque ad finem; and where she hath a creature she doth not deface nor defeat it. Insomuch as, if I observe rightly, in those persons whom heretofore she hath honoured with her special favour, she hath covered and remitted not only defects and ingratitudes in affection, but errors in state and service. Secondly, if I can spell and scholar-like put together the parts of her Majesty's proceeding now towards your Lordship, I can but make this construction; that her Majesty in her royal intention never purposed to call your Lordship's doings into public question, but only to have used a cloud without a shower, in censuring them by some temporary restraint only of liberty, and debarring you from her presence. For first, the handling the cause in the Star Chamber, you not called, was enforced by the violence of libelling and rumours, wherein the Queen thought to have satisfied the world, and yet spared your Lordship's appearance. And then after, when that means, which was intended for the quenching of malicious bruits, turned to kindle them (because it was said your Lordship was condemned unheard, and your Lordship's sister wrote that piquant letter), then her Majesty saw plainly that these winds of rumours could not be commanded down without a handling of the cause by making you party and admitting your defence. And to this purpose I do assure your Lordship that my brother Francis Bacon, who is too wise (I think) to be abused, and too honest to abuse, though he be more reserved in all particulars than is needful, yet in generality he hath ever constantly and with asseveration affirmed to me that both those days, that of the Star Chamber and that at my Lord Keeper's, were won from the Queen merely upon necessity and point of honour, against her own inclination. Thirdly, in the last proceeding I note three points, which are directly significant that her Majesty did expressly forbear any point which was irreparable, or might make your Lordship in any degree incapable of the return of her favour, or might fix any character indelible of disgrace upon you. For she spared the public place of the Star Chamber; she limited the charge precisely not to touch disloyalty and no record remaineth to memory of the charge or sentence. Fourthly, the very distinction which was made in the sentence, of sequestration from the places of service in state, and leaving your Lordship the place of Master of the Horse, doth to my understanding, indicativè, point at this, -- that her Majesty meant to use your Lordship's attendance in Court, while the exercises of the other places stood suspended. Fifthly, I have heard, and your Lordship knoweth better, that now since you were in your own custody her Majesty in verbo regio, and by his mouth to whom she committeth her royal grants and decrees, hath assured your Lordship she will forbid and not suffer your ruin. Sixthly, as I have heard her Majesty to be a prince of that magnanimity, that she will spare the service of the ablest subject or peer when she shall be thought to stand in need of it; so she is of that policy, as she will not lose the service of a meaner than your Lordship, where it shall depend merely upon her choice and will. Seventhly, I hold it for a principle, that generally those diseases are hardest to cure whereof the cause is obscure, and those easiest whereof the cause is manifest. Whereupon I conclude that since it hath been your errors in your courses towards her Majesty which have prejudiced you, that your reforming and conformity will restore you, so as you may be faber fortunae propriae. Lastly, considering your Lordship is removed from dealing in causes of state, and left only to a place of attendance, methinks the ambition of any man who can endure no partners in state matters may be so quenched, as they should not laboriously oppose themselves to your being in Court. So as upon the whole matter, I can find neither in her Majesty's person, nor in your own person, nor in any third person, neither in former precedents, nor in your own case, any cause of dry and peremptory despair. Neither do I speak this, but that if her Majesty out of her resolution should design you to a private life, you should be as willing upon her appointment to go into the Wilderness as into the Land of Promise; only I wish your Lordship will not preoccupate despair, but put trust next to God in her Majesty's grace, and not to be wanting to yourself.

      I know your Lordship may justly interpret that this which I persuade may have some reference to my particular, because I may truly say, Te stante, not virebo (for I am withered in myself), but manebo, or tenebo I shall in some sort be able to hold out. But though your Lordship's years and health may expect a return of grace and fortune, yet your eclipse for a time is an ultimum vale to my fortune and were it not that I desire and hope to see my brother established by her Majesty's favour (as I think him well worthy, for that he hath done and suffered), it were time to take that course from which I dissuade your Lordship. But now in the meantime, I cannot choose but perform these honest duties to you, to whom I have been so deeply bounden.

The Letter framed as from the Earl
in answer of the former Letter.

  Mr. Bacon,
    I thank you for your kind and careful letter. It persuadeth me that which I wish strongly, and hope for weakly; that is a possibility of restitution to her Majesty's favour. Your arguments that would cherish hope turn to despair. You say the Queen never meant to call me to public censure, which showeth her goodness; but you see I passed it, which showeth others' power. I believe most steadfastly her Majesty never intended to bring my cause to a sentence: and I believe as verily that since the sentence she meant to restore me to attend upon her person. But they that could use occasions (which it was not in me to let), and amplify occasions, and practise occasions, to represent to her Majesty a necessity to bring me to the one, can and will do the like to stop me from the other. You say my errors were my prejudice, and therefore I can mend myself: it is true. But they that know that I can mend myself, and that if ever I recover the Queen, I will never lose her again, will never suffer me to obtain interest in her favour. You say the Queen never forsook utterly, where she inwardly favoured. But I know not whether the hour-glass of time hath altered her; but sure I am the false glass of others must alter her, when I want access to plead my own cause. I know I ought doubly infinitely to be her Majesty's: both jure creationis, for I am her creature, and jure redemptionis, for I know she hath saved me from overthrow. But for her first love, and for her last protection, and all her great benefits, I can but pray for her Majesty. And my endeavours are now to make my prayers for her and myself better heard. For, thanks be to God, they that can make her Majesty believe I counterfeit with her, cannot make God believe that I counterfeit with him. And they which can let me from coming near unto her, cannot let me from drawing near unto him, as I hope I do daily. For your brother, I hold him an honest gentleman, and wish him all good, much the rather for your sake. Yourself I know hath suffered more for me than any friend I have: but I can but lament freely, as you see I do, and advise you not to do that which I do, which is to despair. You know letters what hurt they have done me, and therefore make sure of this: and yet I could not (as having no other pledge of my love) but communicate freely with you, for the ease of my heart and yours.


    [T]he Queen might be better satisfied as to the real state of his mind if she knew how he expressed himself to other people, -- speaking of her, not to her. Anthony Bacon was the person to whom on such a subject he would most naturally open himself, and it was accordingly arranged that letters should pass between them framed for that purpose. "It was at the self-same time that I did draw with my Lord's privity and by his appointment two letters, the one written as from my brother, the other as an answer returned from my Lord, both to be by me in secret manner showed to the Queen; ... the scope of which was but to represent and picture forth unto her Majesty my Lord's mind to be such as I knew her Majesty would fainest have had it: which letters whosoever shall see (for they cannot now be retracted or altered, being by reason of my brother's or his Lordship's servants' delivery long since come into divers hands), let him judge, especially if he knew the Queen and do remember those times, whether they were not the labours of one that sought to bring the Queen about for my Lord of Essex his good" (Apology).
    These letters have fortunately been preserved in two independent copies; one printed by Rawley in the 'Resuscitatio' from Bacon's own collection, the other in the 'Remains' -- no doubt from one of the copies which Bacon speaks of as having previously got abroad. But they are evidently derived from the same original; the differences being merely such as would naturally occur through errors in transcribing or printing. The copy [above] is from the manuscript collection in the British Museum (Additional MSS. 5503) -- which appears to be more correct than either, being probably the original of Rawley's copy. The heading explains fully and clearly the nature and occasion of them.
[@ Spedding, Works IX, 196-201]