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for it appears that he had in notion a triple good, an hospital, and a school, and maintaining of a preacher: which individuals refer to these three general heads; relief of poor, advancement of learning, and propagation of religion. Now then if I shall set before your Majesty, in every of these three kinds, what it is that is most wanting in your kingdom; and what is like to be the most fruitful and effectual use of such a beneficence, and least like to be perverted; that, I think, shall be no ill scope of my labour, how meanly soever performed; for out of variety represented, election may be best grounded.
Concerning the relief of the poor; I hold some number of hospitals, with competent endowments, will do far more good than one hospital of an exorbitant greatness: for though the one course will be the more seen, yet the other will be the more felt. For if your Majesty erect many, besides the observing the ordinary maxim, " Bonum, quo communius, eo melius," choice may be made of those towns and places where there is most need, and so the remedy may be distributed as the disease is dispersed. Again, greatness of relief, accumulated in one place, doth rather invite a swarm and surcharge of poor, than relieve those that are naturally bred in that place; like to ill tempered medicines, that draw more humour to the part than they evacuate from it. But chiefly I rely upon the reason that I touched in the beginning, that in these great hospitals the revenues will draw the use, and not the use the revenues; and so, through the mass of the wealth, they will swiftly tumble down to a miscmployment. And if any man say, that in the two hospitals in London there is a precedent of greatness concurring with good employment; let him consider that those hospitals have annual governors, that they are under the superior care and policy of such a state as the city of London; and chiefly, that their revenues consist not upon certainties, but upon casualties and free gift*: which gifts would be withheld, if they appeared once to be perverted; so as it keepeth them in a continual good behaviour and awe to employ them aright; none of which points do match with the present case.
The next consideration may be, whether this intended hospital, as it hath a more ample endowment than other hospitals have, should not likewise work upon a better subject than other poor; as that it should be converted to the relief of maimed soldiers, decayed merchants, householders aged, and destitute churchmen, and the like; whose condition, being of a better sort than loose people and beggars, deserveth both a more liberal stipend and allowance, and some proper place of relief, not intermingled or coupled with the basest sort of poor; which project, though specious, yet in my judgment will not answer the designment in the event, in these our times. For certainly few men in any vocation, which have been somebody, and bear a mind somewhat according to the conscience and remembrance of that they have been, will ever descend to that condition, as to profess to live upon alms, and to become a corporation of declared beggars; but rather will choose to live obscurely, and as it were to hide themselves with some
private friends: so that the end of such an institution will be, that it will make the place a receptacle of the worst, idlest, and most dissolute persons of every profession, and to become a cell of loiterers, and cast serving-men, and drunkards, with scandal rather than fruit to the commonwealth. And of this kind I can find but one example with us, which is the alms-knights of Windsor; which particular would give a man small encouragement to follow that precedent.
Therefore the best effect of hospitals is, to make the kingdom, if it were possible, capable of that law, that there be no beggar in Israel: for it is that kind of people that is a burden, an eye-sore, a scandal, and a seed of peril and tumult in the state. But chiefly it were to be wished, that such a beneficence towards the relief of the poor were so bestowed, as not only the mere and naked poor should be sustained, but also, that the honest person which hath hard means to live, upon whom the poor are now charged, should be in some sort eased: for that were a work generally acceptable to the kingdom, if the public hand of alms might spare the private hand of tax: and therefore, of all other employments of that kind, I commend most houses of relief and correction, which are mixt hospitals; where the impotent person is relieved, and the sturdy beggar buckled to work; and the unable person also not maintained to be idle, which is ever joined with drunkenness and impurity, but is sorted with such works as he can manage and perform; and where the uses are not distinguished, as in other hospitals; whereof some are for aged and impotent, and some for children, and some for correction of vagabonds; but are general and promiscuous: so that they may take off poor of every sort from the country as the country breeds them: and thus the poor themselves shall find the provision, and other people the sweetness of the abatement of the tax. Now if it be objected, that houses of correction in all places have not done the good expected, as it cannot be denied, but in most places they have done much good, it must be remembered that there is a great difference between that which is done by the distracted government of justices of peace, and that which may be done by a settled ordinance, subject to a regular visitation, as this may be. And besides, the want hath been commonly in houses of correction of a competent and certain stock, for the materials of the labour, which in this case may be likewise supplied.
Concerning the advancement of learning, I do subscribe to the opinion of one of the wisest and greatest men of your kingdom: That for grammar schools there are already too many, and therefore no providence to add where there is excess: for the great number of schools which are in your highness's realm, doth cause a want, and doth cause likewise an overflow; both of them inconvenient, and one of them dangerous. For by means thereof they find want in the country and towns, both of servants for husbandry, and apprentices for trade: and on the other side, there being more scholars bred, than the state can prefer and employ; and the active part of that life not bearing a proportion to the preparative, it must needs fall out, that many persons will be bred unfit for other vocations, and unprofitable for that in which they are brought up; which fills the realm full of indigent, idle, and wanton people, which are but " materia rerum novarum."
Therefore, in this point, 1 wish Mr. Sutton's intention were exalted a degree; that that which he meant for teachers of children, your Majesty should make for teachers of men; wherein it hath been my ancient opinion and observation, that in the universities of this realm, which I take to be of the best endowed universities of Europe, there is nothing more wanting towards the flourishing state of learning, than the honourable and plentiful salaries of readers in arts and professions. In which point, as your Majesty's bounty already hath made a beginning, so this occasion is offered of God to make a proceeding. Surely readers in the chair are as parents in sciences, and deserve to enjoy a condition not inferior to their children that embrace the practical part; else no man will sit longer in the chair, than till he can walk to a better preferment: and it will come to pass as Virgil saith,
"Ut patrum invalidi refcrant jejunia nati."
For if the principal readers, through the meanness of their entertainment, be but men of superficial learning, and that they shall take their place but in passage, it will make the mass of sciences want the chief and solid dimension, which is depth; and to become but pretty and compendious habits of practice. Therefore I could wish that in both the universities, the lectures as well of the three professions, divinity, law, and physic; as of the three heads of science, philosophy, arts of speech, and the mathematics; were raised in their pensions unto 1007. per annum apiece: which though it be not near so great as they are in some other places, w here the greatness of the reward doth whistle for the ablest men out of all foreign parts to supply the chair; yet it may be a portion to content a worthy and able man; if he be likewise contemplative in nature, as those spirits are that are fittest for lectures. Thus may learning in your kingdom be advanced to a farther height; learning, I say, which under your Majesty, the
most learned of kings, may claim some degree of elevation.
Concerning propagation of religion, I shall in few words set before your Majesty three propositions; none of them devices of mine own, otherwise than that I ever approved them; two of which have been in agitation of speech, and the third acted.
The first is a college for controversies, whereby we shall not still proceed single, but shall, as it were, double our files; which certainly will be found in the encounter.
The second is a receipt, I like not the word seminary, in respect of the vain vows, and implicit obedience, and other things tending to the perturbation of states, involved in that term, for converts to the reformed religion, either of youth or otherwise; for I doubt not but there are in Spain, Italy, and other countries of the papist, many whose hearts are touched with a sense of those corruptions, and an acknowledgment of a better way; which grace is many times smothered and choked, through a worldly consideration of necessity and want; men not knowing where to have succour and refuge. This likewise I hold a work of great piety, and a work of great consequence; that we also may be wise in our generation; and that the watchful and silent night may be used as well for sowing of good seed, as of tares.
The third is, the imitation of a memorable and religious act of queen Elizabeth; who finding a part of Lancashire to be extremely backward in religion, and the benefices swallowed up in impropriations, did, by decree in the duchy, erect four stipends of 100/. per annum apiece for preachers well chosen to help the harvest, which have done a great deal of good in the parts where they have laboured. Neither do there want other corners in the realm, that would require for a time the like extraordinary help.
Thus have I briefly delivered unto your Majesty mine opinion touching the employment of this charity; whereby that mass of wealth, which was in the owner little better than a stack or heap of muck, may be spread over your kingdom to many fruitful purposes; your Majesty planting and watering, and God giving the increase.
DELIVERED BY THE KING'S ATTOBKEy
SIR FRANCIS BACON,
IN THE LOWER HOUSE,
WHEN THE HOUSE WAS IN GREAT HEAT, AND MUCH TROUBLED ABOUT THE UNDERTAKERS;
WHICH WERE THOUGHT TO BE SOME ABLE AND FORWARD GENTLEMEN i WHO, TO INGRATIATE THEMSELVES WITH THE KING, WERE SAID TO HAVE UNDERTAKEN, THAT THE KING S BUSINESS SHOULD PASS IN THAT
HOUSE AS HIS MAJESTY COULD WISH.
[in THE PARLIAMENT 12 JACOSI.]
I Have been hitherto silent in this matter of undertaking, wherein, as I perceive, the house is much enwrapped.
First, because, to be plain with you, I did not well understand what it meant, or what it was; and I do not love to offer at that, that I do not throughly conceive. That private men should undertake for the commons of England! why, a man might as well undertake for the four elements. It is a thing so giddy, and so vast, as cannot enter into the brain of a sober man: and especially in a new parliament; when it was impossible to know who should be of the parliament: and when all men, that know never so little the constitution of this house, do know it to be so open to reason, as men do not know when they enter into these doors what mind themselves will be of, until they hear things argued and debated. Much less can any man make a policy of assurance, what ship shall come safe home into the harbour in these seas. I had heard of undertakings in several kinds. There were undertakers for the plantations of Derry and Colerane in Ireland, the better to command and bridle those parts. There were, not long ago, some undertakers for the north-west passage: and now there are some undertakers for the project of dyed and dressed cloths; and, in short, every novelty useth to be strengthened and made good by a kind of undertaking: but for the ancient parliament of England, which moves in a certain manner and sphere, to be undertaken, it passes my reach to conceive what it should be. Must we be all dyed and dressed, and no pure whites amongst us? Or must there be a new passage found for the king's business by a point of the compass that was never sailed by before? Or must there be some forts built in this house that may command and contain the rest? Mr. Speaker, I know but two forts in this house which the king ever hath; the fort of affection, and the fort of reason: the one commands the hearts, and the oilier commands the heads; and others I know none. I think Msop was a wise man that described the
VOL. I. 2 K
nature of a fly that sat upon the spoke of a chariot wheel, and said to kerself, "What a dust do I raise?" So, for my part, I think that all this dust is raised by light rumours and buzzes, and not upon any solid ground.
The second reason that made me silent was, because this suspicion and rumour of undertaking settles upon no person certain. It is like the birds of Paradise that they have in the Indies, that have no feet; and therefore they never light upon any place, but the wind carries them away: and such a thing do I take this rumour to be.
And lastly, when that the king had in his two several speeches freed us from the main of our fears, in affirming directly that there was no undertaking to him; and that he would have taken it to be no less derogation to his own majesty than to our merits, to have the acts of his people transferred to particular persons; that did quiet me thus far, that these vapours were not gone up to the head, howsoever they might glow and estuate in the body.
Nevertheless, since I perceive that this cloud still hangs over the house, and that it may do hurt, as well in fame abroad as in the king's ear, I resolved with myself to do the part of an honest voice in this house, to counsel you what I think to be for the best.
Wherein first, I will speak plainly of the pernicious effects of the accident of this bruit and opinion of undertaking, towards particulars, towards the house, towards the king, and towards the people.
Secondly, I will tell you, in mine opinion, what undertaking is tolerable, and how far it may be justified with a good mind; and on the other side, this same ripping up of the question of undertakers, how far it may proceed from a good mind, and in what kind it may be thought malicious and dangerous.
Thirdly, I will give you my poor advice, what means there are to put an end to this question of undertaking; not falling for the present upon a precise opinion, but breaking it, how many ways there be by which you may get out of it, and leaving the choice of them to a debate at the committee.
And lastly, I will advise you how things are to be handled at the committee, to avoid distraction and loss of time.
For the first of these, I can say to you but as the Scripture saith, "Si invicem mordetis, ab invicem consumemini;" if ye fret and gall one another's reputation, the end will be, that every man shall go hence, like coin cried down, of less price than he came hither. If some shall be thought to fawn upon the king's business openly, and others to cross it secretly, some shall be thought practisers that would pluck the cards, and others shall be thought papists that would shuffle the cards; what a misery • is this, that we should come together to fool one another, instead of procuring the public good!
And this ends not in particulars, but will make the whole house contemptible: for now I hear men say, that this question of undertaking is. the predominant matter of this house. So that we are now according to the parable of Jotham in the case of the trees of the forest, that when question was, Whether the vine should reign over them? that might not be: and whether the olive should reign over them? that might not be: but we have accepted the bramble to reign over us. For it seems that the good vine of the king's graces, that is not so much in esteem; and the good oil, whereby we should salve and relieve the wants of the estate and crown, that is laid aside too; and this bramble of contention and emulation, this Abimelech, which, as was truly said by an understanding gentleman, is u bastard, for every fame that wants a head, is filius populi, this must reign and rule amongst us.
Then for the king, nothing can be more opposite, ex diametro, to his ends and hopes, than this: for you have heard him profess like a king, and like a gracious king, that he doth not so much respect his present supply, as this demonstration that the people's hearts are more knit to him than before. Now then if the issue shall be this, that whatsoever shall be done for him shall be thought to be done but by a number of persons that shall be laboured and packed; this will rather be a sign of diffidence and alienation, than of a natural benevolence and affection in his people at home; and rather matter of disreputation, than of honour abroad. So that, to speak plainly to you, the king were better call for a new pair of cards, than play upon these if they be packed.
And then for the people, it is my manner ever to look as well beyond a parliament as upon a parliament; and if they abroad shall think themselves betrayed by those that are their deputies and attorneys here, it is true we may bind them and conclude them, but it will be with such murmur and insatisfaction as I would be loth to see.
These things might be dissembled, and so things left to bleed inwards; but that is not the way to cure them. And therefore I have searched the sore, in hope that you will endeavour the medicine.
But this to do more throughly, I must proceed to my second part, to tell you clearly and distinctly what is to be set on the right hand, and what on the left, in this business.
First, if any man hath done good offices to advise the king to call a parliament, and to. increase the
good affections and confidence of his Majesty towards his people; I say, that such person doth rather merit well, than commit any error. Nay farther, if any man hath, out of his own good mind, given an opinion touching the mind of the parliament in general: how it is probable they are like to be found, and that they will have a due feeling of the king's wants, and will not deal drily or illiberally with him; this man, that doth but think of other men's minds as he finds his own, is not to be blamed. Nay farther, if any man hath coupled this with good wishes and propositions, that the king do comfort the hearts of his people, and testify his own love to them, by filing off the harshness of his prerogative, retaining the substance and strength; and to that purpose, like the good housekeeper in the Scripture, that brought forth old store and new, hath revolved the petitions and propositions of the last parliament, and added new; I say, this man hath sown good seed; and he that shall draw him into envy for it, sows tares. Thus much of the right hand. But on the other side, if any shall mediately or immediately infuse into his Majesty, or to others, that the parliament is, as Cato said of the Romans, "like sheep, that a man were better drive a flock of them than one of them:" and however they maybe wise men severally, yet in this assembly they are guided by some few, which if they be made and assured, the rest will easily follow: this is a plain robbery of the king of honour, and his subjects of thanks, and it is to make the parliament vile and servile in the eyes of their sovereign; and I count it no better than a supplanting of the king and kingdom. Again, if a man shall make this impression, that it shall be enough for the king to send us some things of show that may serve for colours, and let some eloquent tales be told of them, and that will serve ad faciendum populum; any such person will find that this house can well skill of false lighfs, and that it is no wooing tokens, but the true love already planted in the breasts of the subjects, that will make them do for the king. And this is my opinion touching those that may have persuaded a parliament. Take it on the other side, for I mean in all things to deal plainly, if any man hath been diffident touching the call of a parliament, thinking that the best means were, first for the king to make his utmost trial to subsist of himself, and his own means; I say, an honest and faithful heart might consent to that opinion, and the event, it seems, doth not greatly discredit it hitherto. Again, if any man shall have been of opinion, that it is not a particular party that can bind the house; nor that it is not shows or colours can please the house; I s»y, that man, though his speech tend to discouragement, yet it is coupled with providence. But, by your leave, if any man, since the parliament was called, or when it was in speech, shall have laid plots to cross the good will of the parliament to the king, by possessing them that a few shall have the thanks, and that they are, as it were, bought and sold, and betrayed; and that that which the king offers them are but baits prepared by particular persons: or have raised rumours that it is a packed parliament; to the end nothing may be done, but that the parliament may be dissolved, as gamesters used to call for new cards, when they mistrust a pack: I say, these are engines and devices, naught, malign, and seditious.
Now for the remedy; I shall rather break the matter, as I said in the beginning, than advise positively. I know but three ways. Some message of declaration to the king; some entry or protestation amongst ourselves; or some strict and punctual examination. As for the last of these, I assure you I am not against it, if I could tell where to begin, or where to end. For certainly I have often seen it, that things when they are in smother trouble more than when they break out. Smoke blinds the eyes, but when it blazeth forth into flame it gives light to the eyes. But then if you fall to an examination, some person must be charged, some matter must be charged; and the manner of that matter must be likewise charged; for it may be in a good fashion, and it may be in a bad, in as much difference as between black and white: and then how far men will ingenuously confess, how far they will politicly deny, and what we can make and gather upon their confession, and how we shall prove against their denial; it is an endless piece of work, and I doubt that we shall grow weary of it.
For a message to the king, it is the course I like best, so it be carefully and considerately handled: for if we shall represent to the king the nature of this body as it is, without the veils and shadows that have been cast upon it, I think we shall do him honour, and ourselves right
For any thing that is to be done amongst our
selves, I do not see much gained by it, because it goes no farther than ourselves; yet if any thing can be wisely conceived to that end, I shall not be against it; but I think the purpose of it is fittest to be, rather that the house conceives that all this is but a misunderstanding, than to take knowledge that there is indeed a just ground, and then to seek, by a protestation, to give it a remedy. For protestations, and professions, and apologies, I never found them very fortunate ; but they rather increase suspicion than clear it.
Why then the last part is, that these things be handled at the committee seriously and temperately; wherein I wish that these four degrees of questions were handled in order.
First, whether we shall do any thing at all in it, or pass by it, and let it sleep?
Secondly, whether we shall enter into a particular examination of it P
Thirdly, whether we shall content ourselves with some entry or protestation among ourselves?
And fourthly, whether we shall proceed to a message to the king; and what?
Thus I have told you my opinion. I know it had been more safe and politic to have been silent; but it is perhaps more honest and loving to speak. The old verse is, Nam nulli tacuisse nocet, nocet esse locutum. But by your leave, David saith, Silui a bonis, et dolor meus renovatus est. When a man speaketh, he may be wounded by others ; but if he holds his peace from good things he wounds himself. So I have done my part, and leave it to you to do that which you shall judge to be the best.
HIS LORDSHIP'S SPEECH
IN THE PARLIAMENT,
BEING LORD CHANCELLOR,
THE SPEAKER'S EXCUSE.
Mr. Serjeant Richardson,
The king hath heard and observed your grave and decent speech, tending to the excuse and disablement of yourself for the place of Speaker. In answer whereof, his Majesty hath commanded me to say to you, that he doth in no sort admit of the same.
First, Because if the party's own judgment should be admitted in case of elections, touching himself, it would follow, that the most confident and overweening persons would be received; and the most considerate men, and those that understand themselves best, would be rejected.
Secondly, His Majesty doth so much rely upon the wisdoms and discretions of those of the house of commons, that have chosen you with an unanimous consent, that his Majesty thinks not good to swerve from their opinion in that wherein themselves are principally interested.
Thirdly, You have disabled yourself in so good and decent a fashion, as the manner of your speech hath destroyed the matter of it.
And therefore the king doth allow Of the election, and admit you for speaker.