« ForrigeFortsæt »
ness that concerned his customs and the navy, I dealt more earnestly and peremptorily in it; and, as I think, restrained in the messengers' hands for a day or two some that were the more stiff; and afterwards the merchants presented me with a thousand pounds out of their common purse; acknowledging themselves that I had kept them from a kind of ruin, and still maintaining to me that the vintners, if they were not insatiably minded, had a very competent gain. This is the merits of the cause, as it then appeared unto me,
“28. To the eight and twentieth article of the charge; viz. the lord Chancellor hath given way to great exactions by his servants, both in respect of private seals, and otherwise for sealing of injunctions :I confess, it was a great fault of neglect in me, that I looked no better to my servants.
* This declaration I have made to your lordships with a sincere mind: humbly craving, that if there should be any mistaking, your lordships would impute it to want of memory, and not to any desire of mine to obscure truth, or palliate any thing: for I do again confess, that in the points charged upon me, although they should be taken as myself have declared them, there is a great deal of corruption and neglect, for which I am heartily and penitently sorry, and submit myself to the judgment, grace, and mercy of the court.
“For extenuation, I will use none concerning the matters themselves; only it may please your lordships, out of your nobleness, to cast your eyes of compassion upon my person and estate. I was never noted for an avaricious man. And the apostle saith, that covetousness is the root of all evil. I hope also, that your
lordships do the rather find me in the state of grace;
for that in all these particulars, there are few or none that are not almost two years old, whereas those that have an habit of corruption do commonly wax worse and worse; so that it hath pleased God to prepare me by precedent degrees of amendment, to my present penitency. And for my estate, it is so mean and poor, as my care is now chiefly to satisfy my debts.
And so, fearing I have troubled your lordships too long, I shall conclude with an humble suit unto you, that if your lordships proceed to sentence, your sentence may not be heavy to my ruin, but gracious, and mixed with mercy; and not only so, but that you would be noble intercessors for me to his majesty likewise, for his grace and favour. Your Lordships' humble servant and suppliant,
'Fr. St. ALBAN, Cance'
NOTE (H.) P. 271.
Ma. Bushell was sent by lord Bacon to know the result of his confession and submission, 'which I was loath,' says he, *at my return, to acquaint him with; for, alas! his sovereign's favour was not in so high a measure, but he (like the Pharisee,) must be sacrificed in flames of his own raising, and so perished, (like Icarus,) in that his lofty design, the great revenue of his office being lost, and his titles of honour saved but by the bishops' votes; whereto he replied, that he was only bound to thank his clergy: the thunder of which fatal sentence did much perplex my troubled thoughts, as well as others, to see that famous lord, who procured his majesty to call this Parliament, must be the first subject of their revengeful wrath; and that so unparalleled a master should be then brought upon the publick stage for the foolish miscarriages of his own servants, whereof (with grief of heart,) I confess myself to be one. Yet, shortly after, the King dissolved the Parliament, but never restored that matchless lord to his place; which made him then to wish the many years he had spent in state-policy and law-study, had been solely devoted to true philosophy: for (said he) the one at best doth but comprehend man's frailty in its greatest splendour, but the other the mysterious knowledge of all things created in the six dayes work.'-[From pp. 19, 20 of the Post-script to An Extract by Mr. Bushell of his late Abridgment of the Lord Chancellor Bacon's Philosophical Theory in Mineral Prosecutions. London, 1660.]
NOTE (I.) P. 186.
The 127th aphorism of the Novum Organum, cited in the text, abundantly proves that whatever may be the opinion of some learned writers, lord Bacon himself considered that the precepts which he laid down for conducting us aright in our search after knowledge, were not confined to physics, but alike applicable to the phenomena of the human mind—indeed to all science. If the inductive method cannot be properly applied to psychological science, how is it, we would ask, that we have become acquainted with the laws and constitution of the mind? Our knowledge of these subjects is not instinctive-we do not imbibe it with our breath; but slowly and with difficulty obtain it. “The mind,' says lord Brougham, in his late discourse of Na. tural Theology, ' equally with matter, is the proper subject of observation, by means of consciousness, which enables us to arrest and examine our own thoughts: it is even the subject of experiment, by the power which we have, through the efforts of abstraction and attention, of turning those thoughts into courses not natural to them, not spontaneous, and watching the results.' How much the science of Natural Theology would suffer, if these were not undeniable truths, the readers of this profound Discourse will be best able to judge.
NOTE (J.) P. 307.
Most, if not all, of lord Bacon's biographers positively assert that he died childless. Aubrey, however, who had good opportunities of informing himself on this head, both from the time in which he lived and his position in society, expressly says that he left a daughter, who married her gentleman usher, sir Thomas Underhill, and was living after the beheading of King Charles I.
Lord Bacon's wife, one of the daughters of Benedict Barnham, alderman of London, survived her illustrious