To John Davies.

    Mr. Davis,
    Though you went on the sudden, yet you could not go before you had spoken with yourself to the purpose which I will now write. And therefore I know it shall be altogether needless, save that I meant to show you that I am not asleep. Briefly, I commend myself to your love and to the well using of my name, as well in repressing and answering for me, if there be any biting or nibbling at it in that place, as in impressing a good conceit and opinion of me, chiefly in the King (of whose favour I make myself comfortable assurance), as otherwise in that court. And not only so, but generally to perform to me all the good offices which the vivacity of your wit can suggest to your mind to be performed to one, in whose affection you have so great sympathy, and in whose fortune you have so great interest. So desiring you to be good to concealed poets, I continue
Your very assured,    
    Gray's Inn, this
  28th of March, 1603.


    [This is an] original letter apparently: for the seal remains [Lambeth MSS. 976, fo. 4.]. The signature is Bacon's own, and the docket is in his hand: the body of the letter in the hand of one of his men. There is a copy of it in the Register book, with two or three slight verbal differences, and without the date. Mr. Davis was no doubt John Davies, the poet, -- author of 'Nosce Teipsum:' and afterwards Attorney-General for Ireland. The allusion to "concealed poets" I cannot explain. But as Bacon occasionally wrote letters and devices, which were to be fathered by Essex, he may have written verses for a similar purpose, and Davis may have been in the secret.
[@ Spedding, Works X, 65]