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him, for the present, to relinquish; and the young philosopher immediately returned to England.
Finding, on his arrival, that his patrimony was too scanty for his support, ( for my father,' said Bacon,* though I think I had greatest part in his love to all his children, yet, in his wisdom, served me in as a last comer;') he endeavoured, under the countenance of his uncle, lord Burleigh, to obtain some employment at court. His suit, however, was rejected; and with great reluctance, he entered upon the study of the law. It was about the year 1580 that he became a fellow of Gray's Inn,-a place to which he was always fondly attached. In the walks of its spacious garden, he caused to be planted an avenue of elms, substituting, as occasion required, new plants for those that decayed.t In these tranquil occupations Bacon took great delight, finding, as he himself says, that a garden yielded not only the purest of human pleasures, but afforded the greatest refreshment to the mind. How exquisitely beautiful is his remark, that the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air, where it comes and goes, like the warbling of music, than in the hand!'* Besides improving the garden of Gray's Inn, he also erected,' says Dr. Rawley, 'that elegant pile or structure, commonly known by the name of the lord Bacon's lodgings, which he inhabited, by turns, the most part of his life.' In which house, adds his worthy chaplain, he carried himself with such sweetness and generosity, that he was much revered and loved by the readers and gentlemen of the Inn.
* Bacon's Works, vol. 13, p. 87. + Dugdale's Orig. Jurid. p. 273.
* Essay on Gardening, vol. 1, p. 154. In his Sylva Sylvarum, he says, “Gentlewomen may do themselves much good by kneeling upon a cushion and weeding. I knew a great man that lived long, who had a clean clod of earth brought to him every morning as he sat in his bed, and he would hold his head over it a good pretty while.'-Bacon's Works, vol. 4, p. 500. '† Rawley's Life of Bacon. There is a tradition that
Having been admitted within the Bar, he was soon called up to the Bench, and nominated Reader;* and shortly afterwards appointed,ʻratione verbi Regii Elizabethæ,' her counsel learned extraordinary,—a grace,' says Rawley, “if I err not, scarce known before.'t
In the Parliament which met in the year 1592, Bacon sat as one of the knights for Middlesex; and early in the session delivered a speech in favour of reform in the law, to which subject the Queen had called the attention of the house. The following report of it has been preserved :
• Mr. Speaker,—That which these honourable personages have spoken of their experience, may it please you to give me leave, likewise, to deliver, of my common knowledge. The cause of assembling all
the lord Bacon's lodgings were in Gray's Inn Square, No. 1.
• Dugdale's Orig. Jurid. p. 295.
+ Rawley's Life of Bacon; Rymer's Fædera, vol. 16, p. 596; and see Note (A.)
parliaments hath been hitherto for laws or monies; the one being the sinews of peace, the other of war; to one I am not privy, but the other I should know. I did take great contentment in her majesty's speech the other day, delivered by the lord Keeper; how that it was a thing not to be done suddenly, or at one parliament, nor scarce a year would suffice to purge the statute-book, nor lessen it, the volumes of law being so many in number, that neither common people can half practise them, nor lawyers sufficiently understand them, than the which nothing would tend more to the praise of her majesty. The Romans they appointed ten men who were to collect or recall all former laws, and to set forth those twelve tables so much of all men commended. The Athenians likewise appointed six for that purpose; and Lewis the ninth, king of France, did the like in reforming his laws.'*
* Bacon's Works, vol. 16, note (B. B.)
In the same session, Bacon signalized himself by his opposition to the immediate* payment of a double subsidy, to the grant of which the House had assented, alleging that the 'poor men's rent is such as they are not able to yield it, and that the gentlemen must sell their plate, and farmers their brass pots, ere this will be paid ;' and for us,' he added, we are here to search the wounds of the realm, and not to skin them over.' The Queen, incensed at this unusual freedom of speech, signified her displeasure in a way not to be mistaken; and it appears to have been thought that Bacon was endeavouring
* Writing to the lord Treasurer, who had told Bacon that her majesty was somewhat gravelled, upon the offence she took at his speech in parliament,' he says, “It is not unknown to your good lordship, that I was the first of the ordinary sort of the lower House that spake for the subsidy; and that which I after spake in difference, was but in circumstance of time, which methinks was no great matter, since there is duriety allowed in counsel, as a discord in music, to muke it more perfect.'-Works, vol. 12, p. 3.