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with authority, *_'He is destined, if indeed any thing in the world be so destined, to remain an instantia singularis among men, and as he had no rival in the times which are past, so is he likely to have none in those which are to come. Before any parallel to him can be found, not only must a man of the same talents be produced, but he must be placed in the same circumstances; the memory of his predecessor must be effaced, and the light of science, after being entirely extinguished, must be again beginning to revive. If a second Bacon is ever to arise, he must be ignorant of the first.'
* Professor Playfair.
NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS.
NOTE (A.) P. 12.
In the third volume of his Commentaries, sir William Blackstone observes, that the first king's counsel, under the degree of serjeant, was sir Francis Bacon, who was made so, honoris causa, WITHOUT patent or fee; so that the first of the modern order, who are now the sworn servants of the crown, with a standing SALARY, seems to have been sir Francis North. For the first position reference is made to Bacon's own letter; for the second, to Roger North’s Life of the Lord Keeper. It is surprising that not one of the numerous editors of the Commentaries, has ever animadverted on the erroneous statement in this passage. From the whole tenor of it, and especially from the manner in which the words without fee' and 'with salary' are used-evidently placed in opposition to each other-it is plain that the illustrious Commentator designed to convey to his readers the impression that Bacon was the first
king's counsel under the degree of serjeant who did not receive a fee or salary, and that North was the first king's counsel, under the degree of serjeant, who did receive a salary.
1. It is to be observed, that the only authority for the assertion that Bacon was the first king's counsel under the degree of serjeant, etc., is the scholastic expression individuum vagum,' used in the passage which we shall presently cite; but surely this of itself is of little weight, especially when we find lord Bacon's own chaplain, Dr. Rawley, asserting that the appointment
a grace, if I err not, scarce known before.' 2. If sir William Blackstone means, (as he evidently does,) that Bacon did not receive any fee or salary, as counsel extraordinary, then he is most certainly mistaken; for, in Rymer's Federa, vol. 16, p. 596, there is a copy of the letters patent which settle upon Bacon, as counsel extraordinary, a salary or fee of forty pounds a year. He appears not to have been aware of this patent, and solely relied upon the following passage in one of Bacon's letters to the King :
-You formed me of the learned counsel extraordinary, without patent or fee, a kind of individuum vagum.' (Bacon's Works, vol. 12, p. 402.) It might, with some plausibility, be argued, that, in this passage, Bacon means to say, that the King did not put him to the er