Page:The house of Cecil.djvu/186

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158 THE CECILS

that to the Queen, to his father, or of himself, he would be glad and ready to do Mr. Bacon any kind office if the latter would make proof of him."

All this is very easy to understand, and no part of his relations with the Bacons redounds in any degree to the discredit of Sir Robert. He did all he could for them, and never allowed his attitude towards them to be affected by their

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injustice and rancour. " He had too much good sense, too much self-control and moderation, to be moved by the perpetual calumnies to which he was exposed, wisely remarking : ' He that will not be patient of slander must procure himself a chair out of this world's circle.' '

An examination of his relations with Essex produces still greater testimony to his kindness of heart and forbearance. It is often said that he and his future rival were brought up together at Hatfield. But this is an exaggeration, as Essex was not a member of Burghley's household for more than a few months. It is certain that Cecil was only too willing to be friendly with him, but Essex, in spite of his extraordinary influence at Court, felt that Sir Robert stood in the way of his ambitions. The two men were, in fact, antagonistic in every way. The contrast between them has been well brought out by John Bruce. 2

" Essex was what in those days was termed ' full of

1 Brewer, English Studies, p. 131.

2 In his Introduction to the Correspondence of King James VI. of Scotland with Sir R. Cecil, &c." (Camden Society, 1861).

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