unscrupulousness. It was supposed to be written
by the ablest of the Roman pamphleteers, Father Parsons.
The Government felt it to be a dangerous indictment,
and Bacon was chosen to write the answer to it.
He had additional interest in the matter, for the pamphlet
made a special and bitter attack on Burghley, as the
person mainly responsible for the Queen’s policy.
Bacon’s reply is long and elaborate, taking
up every charge, and reviewing from his own point of
view the whole course of the struggle between the
Queen and the supporters of the Roman Catholic interest
abroad and at home. It cannot be considered an
impartial review; besides that it was written to order,
no man in England could then write impartially in
that quarrel; but it is not more one-sided and uncandid
than the pamphlet which it answers, and Bacon is able
to recriminate with effect, and to show gross credulity
and looseness of assertion on the part of the Roman
Catholic advocate. But religion had too much
to do with the politics of both sides for either to
be able to come into the dispute with clean hands:
the Roman Catholics meant much more than toleration,
and the sanguinary punishments of the English law
against priests and Jesuits were edged by something
even keener than the fear of treason. But the
paper contains some large surveys of public affairs,
which probably no one at that time could write but
Bacon. Bacon never liked to waste anything good
which he had written; and much of what he had written
in the panegyric in Praise of the Queen
made use of again, and transferred with little change
to the pages of the Observations on a Libel
 Dr. Mozley.
BACON AND ELIZABETH.
The last decade of the century, and almost of Elizabeth’s
reign (1590-1600), was an eventful one to Bacon’s
fortunes. In it the vision of his great design
disclosed itself more and more to his imagination
and hopes, and with more and more irresistible fascination.
In it he made his first literary venture, the first
edition of his Essays (1597), ten in number,
the first-fruits of his early and ever watchful observation
of men and affairs. These years, too, saw his
first steps in public life, the first efforts to bring
him into importance, the first great trials and tests
of his character. They saw the beginning and they
saw the end of his relations with the only friend who,
at that time, recognised his genius and his purposes,
certainly the only friend who ever pushed his claims;
they saw the growth of a friendship which was to have
so tragical a close, and they saw the beginnings and
causes of a bitter personal rivalry which was to last
through life, and which was to be a potent element
hereafter in Bacon’s ruin. The friend was
the Earl of Essex. The competitor was the ablest,
and also the most truculent and unscrupulous of English
lawyers, Edward Coke.