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This tract is supposed by Mallet to have been the first work written by Lord Bacon, and to have been written about the year 1580, when he was between 19 and 20 years of age:-because it states, "that Henry III. of France was then 30 years old: now that king began his reign in 1576, at the age of 24 years, so that Bacon was then 19." How far this evidence is satisfactory, may be collected from other parts of the same tract. It says, "Gregory XIII. of the age of 70 years:”—but Gregory XIII. was 70 years old in the year 1572, when he was elected pope, so that according to this reasoning, it might be inferred that it was written when Bacon was 12 years of age. In another part of the tract it states, "The King of Spain, Philip, son to Charles the Fifth, about 60 years of age:" but he was born on the 21st of May, 1527, so that he was 60 years old in 1587, when Bacon was between 16 and 17 years old.-The author of Bacon's Life in the Biographia Britannica, from these different dates, concludes that the tract was written at different periods of time, beginning, as he must suppose, when Bacon was quite a boy: but, as it was not necessary for the purposes of this tract that the ages of the different monarchs should be ascertained with great precision, it is, perhaps, not probable that they were accurately examined, and the only fair inference is, that it was written at a very early period of his life.1

The same author says, "But what is extremely remarkable in this small treatise, is the care and accuracy with which he has set down most of the little princes in Germany, with the state of their dominions." This minute observation, however, extends to all his works: and of all the extraordinary properties of Bacon's wonderful mind, his constant observation of what we, in common parlance, call trifles, appears to be one of the most extraordinary. "See," he says, "the little cloud upon glass or gems or blades of swords, and mark well the discharge of that cloud, and you shall perceive that it ever breaks up first in the skirts, and last in the midst. May we not learn from this the force of union even in the least quantities and weakest bodies, how much it conduceth to preservation of the present form and the resisting of a new. In like manner, icicles, if there be water to follow them, lengthen themselves out in a very slender thread, to prevent a discontinuity of the water; but if there be not a sufficient quantity to follow, the water then falls in round drops, which is the figure that best supports it against discontinuation; and at the very instant when the thread of water ends, and the falling in drops begins, the water recoils upwards to avoid being discontinued. So in metals, which are fluid upon fusion, though a little tenacious, some of the mettled mass frequently springs up in drops, and sticks in that form to the sides of the crucible. There is a like instance in the looking-glasses, commonly made of spittle by children, in a loop of rush or whalebone, where we find a consistent pellicle of water." Possessing this peculiar property himself, Bacon constantly admonishes his readers of its importance. "The eye of the understanding, (he says,) is like the eye of the sense: for as you may see great objects through small crannies or levels, so you may see axioms of great nature through small and contemptible instances." And again, "it should be considered as an oracle, the saying of the poor woman to the haughty prince, who rejected her petition as a thing below his dignity to notice then cease to reign;' for it is certain, that whoever will not attend to matters because they are too minute or trifling, shall never obtain command or rule over nature." And again, "he who cannot contract the sight of his mind as well as disperse and dilate it, wanteth a great faculty: for certainly this may be averred for truth, that they be not the highest instances that give the best and surest information. This is not unaptly expressed in the tale, so common, of the philosopher, who while he gazed upward to the stars fell into the water; for if he had looked down, he might have seen the stars in the water, but looking up to heaven he could not see the water in the stars. In like manner it often comes to pass that small and mean things conduce more to the discovery of great matters, than great things to the discovery of small matters; and therefore Aristotle notes well, that the nature of every thing is best seen in its smallest portions. For that cause he inquires the nature of a commonwealth, first in a family and the simple conjugations of society, man and wife; parents and children; master and servant, which are in every cottage. So likewise the nature of this great city of the world, and the policy thereof, must be sought in every first concordances and least portions of things. So we see that secret of nature, (esteemed one of the great mysteries,) of the turning of iron touched with a loadstone towards the poles, was found out in needles of iron, not in bars of iron."


Of the importance of biography, Bacon speaks in his Advancement of Learning; concluding his remarks by saying, "Bona fama propria possessio defunctorum," which possession I cannot but

"The tract says, 'D. Antonio, elect King of Portugal, is now in France, where he hath levied soldiers, whereof part are embarked, hoping to be restored again."

note, that in our times it lieth much waste and that therein there is a deficience. This deficience with respect to Elizabeth he was anxious to supply by the publication of his sentiments, “in Felicem Memoriam Elizabethæ :" but this publication seems to have required some caution, and to have been attended with some difficulty. In 1605, Bacon thus spoke: "But for a tablet, or picture of smaller volume, (not presuming to speak of your majesty that liveth,) in my judgment the most excellent is that of Queen Elizabeth, your immediate predecessor in this part of Britain; a princess that, if Plutarch were now alive to write lives by parallels, would trouble him, I think, to find for her a parallel amongst women. This lady was indued with learning in her sex singular, and rare even amongst masculine princes; whether we speak of learning, language, or of science, modern, or ancient, divinity or humanity: and unto the very last year of her life she was accustomed to appoint set hours for reading; scarcely any young student in any university more daily, or more duly. As for her government, I assure myself, I shall not exceed, if I do affirm that this part of the island never had forty-five years of better times; and yet not through the calmness of the season, but through the wisdom of her regimen. For if there be considered of the one side, the truth of religion established, the constant peace and security, the good administration of justice, the temperate use of the prerogative, not slackened, nor much strained, the flourishing state of learning, sortable to so excellent a patroness, the convenient estate of wealth and means, both of crown and subject, the habit of obedience, and the moderation of discontents; and there be considered, on the other side, the differences of religion, the troubles of neighbour countries, the ambition of Spain, and opposition of Rome: and then, that she was solitary and of herself: these things, I say, considered, as I could not have chosen an instance so recent and so proper, so, I suppose, I could not have chosen one more remarkable or eminent to the purpose now in hand, which is concerning the conjunction of learning in the prince with felicity in the people." So he wrote in the year 1605; but, about the year 1612, "The king," says Wilson, "cast his thoughts towards Peterborough, where his mother lay, whom he caused to be translated to a magnificent tomb, at Westminster. And (somewhat suitable to her mind when she was living) she had a translucent passage in the night, through the city of London, by multitudes of torches: the tapers placed by the tomb and the altar, in the cathedral, smoking with them like an offertory, with all the ceremonies, and voices their quires and copes could express, attended by many prelates and nobles, who paid this last tribute to her memory."1 Before this time Bacon had written his essay "in Felicem Memoriam Elizabethæ." which he sent to Sir George Carew, whose death M. De Thou laments, in a letter to Mr. Camden, in the year 1613. The following is the letter to Sir George Carew.3 Being asked a question by this bearer, an old servant. of my brother Anthony Bacon's, whether I would command him any thing into France; and being at better leisure than I would, in regard of sickness, I began to remember that neither your business nor mine, though great and continual, can be, upon an exact account, any just occasion why so much good-will as hath passed between us should be so much discontinued as it hath been. And therefore, because one must begin, I thought to provoke your remembrance of me by a letter: and thinking to fill it with somewhat besides salutations, it came to my mind, that this last summer vacation, by occasion of a factious book that endeavoured to verify Misera Fœmina, the addition of the pope's bull, upon Queen Elizabeth, I did write a few lines in her memorial, which I thought you would be pleased to read, both for the argument, and because you were wont to bear affection to my pen. Verum, ut aliud ex alio,' if it came handsomely to pass, I would be glad the president De Thou, who hath written a history, as you know, of that fame and diligence, saw it; chiefly because I know not whether it may not serve him for some use in his story; wherein I would be glad he did write to the truth, and to the memory of that lady, as I perceive by that he hath already written he is well inclined to do. I would be glad also, it were some occasion, such as absence may permit, of some acquaintance or mutual notice between us. For though he hath many ways the precedence, chiefly in worth, yet this is common to us both, that we serve our sovereigns in places of law eminent: and not ourselves only, but that our fathers did so before us. And lastly, that both of us love learning and liberal sciences, which was ever a bond of friendship in the greatest distance of places. But of this I make no farther request, than your own occasions and respects, to me known, may further or limit; my principal purpose being to salute you, and to send you this token: whereunto I will add my very kind commendations to my lady; and so commit you both to God's holy protection."


It seems probable that this tract was intended for publication during the life of the king. It says,

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"Sir George Carew, of Cornwall, was Master in Chancery in the time of Queen Elizabeth; and in 1597 sent ambassador into Poland; and in 1606 went to the court of France with the like character. After about three years continuance, he was recalled by the king to make use of his services at home: but he survived not many years. M. De Thou, in a letter to Mr. Camden in 1613, very much laments his death; as losing a friend he much valued, and an assistant in the prosecution of his history: having received helps from him in that part which relates to the dissensions between the Poles and the Swedes in the year 1598, as appears before the contents of book cxxi."-Stephens.

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"Restant felicitates posthumæ duæ, iis quæ vivam comitabantur fere celsiores et augustiores: una successoris, altera memoriæ. Nam successorem sortita est eum, qui licet et mascula virtute et prole, et nova imperii accessione fastigium ejus excedat et obumbret; tamen et nomini et honoribus ejus faveat, et actis ejus quandam perpetuitatem donet: cum nec ex personarum delectu, nec ex institutorum ordine, quicquam magnopere mutaverit: adeo ut raro filius parenti, tanto silentio, atquæ tam exigua mutatione et perturbatione successerit." But it was not published during the life of the author; and the praise of Elizabeth, in the Advancement of Learning, is wholly omitted, and certainly not for its want of beauty, in the treatise" De Augmentis," published in 1623, where he also omits the passage already cited in this preface. "Then the reign of a queen matched with a foreigner: then of a queen that lived solitary and unmarried, and yet her government so masculine that it had greater impression and operation upon the states abroad than it any ways received from thence;" merely saying, Rursus regnum fœminæ solitariæ et cœlibis." Whatever were the motives by which he was induced to suppress, for a time, the just praise of Elizabeth, he ordered the publication in a will, which he afterwards cancelled, but, in all probability, after some understanding with Dr. Rawley, that the publication should appear, as it did, soon after his death. This appears from Rawley's account. "I thought it fitting to intimate, that the discourse, within contained, entitled, A Collection of the Felicities of Queen Elizabeth; was written by his lordship in Latin only, whereof, though his lordship had his particular ends then; yet in regard that I held it a duty, that her own nation, over which she so happily reigned for many years, should be acquainted and possessed with the virtues of that excellent queen, as well as foreign nations, I was induced, many years ago, to put the same into the English tongue; not ad verbum,' for that had been but flat and injudicious; but, (as far as my slender ability could reach,) according to the expressions which I conceived his lordship would have rendered it in, if he had written the same in English: yet ever acknowledging that Zeuxis, or Apelles' pencil could not be attained, but by Zeuxis, or Apelles himself. This work, in the Latin, his lordship so much affected, that he had ordained, by his last will and testament, to have had it published many years since: but that singular person intrusted therewith, soon after deceased. And therefore it must now expect a time to come forth amongst his lordship's other Latin works." And Archbishop Tenison says, "the third is, a memorial, entitled The Felicities of Queen Elizabeth. This was written by his lordship in Latin only. A person of more good will than ability, translated it into English, and called it in the singular, Her Felicity. But we have also a version, much more accurate and judicious, performed by Doctor Rawley, who was pleased to take that labour upon him, because he understood the value his lordship put upon this work; for it was such, that I find this charge given concerning it, in his last will and testament. In particular, I wish the eulogy which I writ, in Felicem Memoriam Elizabethæ, may be published.""


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Of these tracts Tenison says, "The fifth is, the Imago Civilis Julii Cæsaris.' The sixth, Imago Civilis Augusti Cæsaris.' Both of them short personal characters, and not histories of their empire: and written by his lordship in that tongue, which in their time was at its height, and became the language of the world. A while since, they were translated into English, and inserted into the first part of the Resuscitation."

In the few lines upon the character of Augustus Cæsar, there is a maxim well deserving the deep consideration of every young man of sensibility, apt to be

Misled by fancy's meteor ray,

By passion driven :

And yet the light that leads astray,
Is light from heaven.

Bacon says, "Those persons which are of a turbulent nature or appetite, do commonly pass their youth in many errors; and about their middle, and then and not before, they show forth their perfections; but those that are of a sedate and calm nature, may be ripe for great and glorious actions ir their youth." The very same sentiment which he expresses in his Essay on Youth and Age: "Natures that have much heat, and great and violent desires and perturbations, are not ripe for action till they have passed the meridian of their years; as it was with Julius Cæsar and Septimus Severus; of the latter of whom it is said, 'Juventutem egit, erroribus, imo furoribus plenam;' and yet he was the ablest emperor, almost, of all the list: but reposed natures may do well in youth, as it is seen in Augustus Cæsar, Cosmus Duke of Florence, Gaston de Foix, and others."


I have selected this piece of biography from the letters, and restored it to what appears to me to be its proper place. Of this a MS. may be found in the British Museum.

Preface to the Resuscitatio.

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THE antiquities of the first age (except those we find in sacred writ) were buried in oblivion and silence; silence was succeeded by poetical fables: and fables again were followed by the records we now enjoy so that the mysteries and secrets of antiquity were distinguished and separated from the records and evidences of succeeding times, by the veil of fiction, which interposed itself, and came between those things which perished and those which are extant. I suppose some are of opinion that my purpose is to write toys and trifles, and to usurp the same liberty in applying, that the poets assumed in feigning, which I might do (confess) if I listed, and with more serious contemplation intermix these things, to delight either myself in meditation, or others in reading. Neither am I ignorant how fickle and inconstant a thing fiction is, as being subject to be drawn and wrested any way, and how great the commodity of wit and discourse is, that is able to apply things well, yet so as never meant by the first authors. But I remember that this liberty hath been lately much abused, in that many, to purchase the reverence of antiquity to their own inventions and fancies, have for the same intent laboured to wrest many poetical fables; neither hath this old and common vanity been used only of late, or now and then: for even Chrysippus long ago did, as an interpreter of dreams, ascribe the opinions of the Stoics to the ancient poets: and more sottishly do the chymists appropriate the fancies and delights of poets in the transformations of bodies to the experiments of their furnace. All these things, I say, I have sufficiently considered and weighed and in them have seen and noted the general levity and indulgence of men's wits above allegories; and yet for all this, I relinquish not my opinion.

For, first, it may not be that the folly and looseness of a few should altogether detract from the respect due to the parables; for that were a conceit which might savour of profaneness and presumption for religion itself doth sometimes delight in such veils and shadows; so that whoso exempts them, seems in a manner to interdict all commerce between things divine and human. But concerning human wisdom, I do indeed ingenuously and freely confess, that I am inclined to imagine, that under some of the ancient fictions lay couched certain mysteries and allegories, even from their first invention; and I am persuaded, whether ravished with the reverence of antiquity, or because in some fables I find such singular proportion between the similitude and the thing signified, and such apt and clear coherence in the very structure of them, and propriety of names wherewith the persons or actors in them are ascribed and intituled, that no man can constantly deny but this sense was in the author's intent and meaning, when they first invented them, and that they purposely shadowed it in this sort : for who can be so stupid and blind in the open light, as (when he hears how Fame, after the giants were destroyed, sprang up as their younger sister) not to refer it to the murmurs and seditious reports of both sides, which are wont to fly abroad for a time after the suppressing of insurrections? Or when he hears how the giant Typhon, having cut out and brought away Jupiter's nerves, which Mercury stole from him and restored again to Jupiter, doth not presently perceive how fitly it may be applied to powerful rebellions, which take from princes their sinews of money and authority: but so that by affability of speech and wise edicts (the minds of their subjects being in time privily, and as it were by stealth reconciled) they recover their strength again? Or when he hears how, in that memorable expedition of the gods against the giants, the braying of Silenus's ass conduced much to the profligation of the giants, doth not confidently imagine that it was invented to show how the greatest enterprises of rebels are oftentimes dispersed with vain rumours and fears.

Moreover, to what judgments can the conformity and signification of names seem obscure? Seeing Metis, the wife of Jupiter doth plainly signify counsel: Typhon, insurrection: Pan, universality: Nemesis, revenge: and the like. Neither let it trouble any man, if sometimes he meet with historical narrations, or additions for ornament's sake, or confusion of times, or something transferred from

one fable to another, to bring in a new allegory; for it could be no otherwise, seeing they were the inventions of men which lived in divers ages, and had also divers ends, some being ancient, others neoterical; some have an eye to things natural, others to moral.

There is another argument, and that no small one neither, to prove that these fables contain certain hidden and involved meanings, seeing some of them are observed to be so absurd and foolish in the very relation that they show, and, as it were, proclaim a parable afar off; for such tales as are probable they may seem to be invented for delight and in imitation of history. And as for such as no man would so much as imagine or relate, they seem to be sought out for other ends: for what kind of fiction is that wherein Jupiter is said to have taken Metis to wife, and perceiving that she was with child, to have devoured her, whence himself conceiving, brought forth Pallas armed out of his head? Truly, I think there was never dream, so different to the course of cogitation, and so full of monstrosity, ever hatched in the brain of man. Above all things this prevails most with me, and is of singular moment; many of these fables seem not to be invented of those by whom they are related and celebrated, as by Homer, Hesiod, and others: for if it were so, that they took beginning in that age, and from those authors by whom they are delivered and brought to our hands, my mind gives me there could be no great or high matter expected, or supposed to proceed from them in respect of these originals. But if with attention we consider the matter, it will appear that they were delivered and related as things formerly believed and received, and not as newly invented and offered unto us. Besides, seeing they are diversely related by writers that lived near about one and the selfsame time, we may easily perceive that they were common things derived from precedent memorials; and that they became various by reason of the divers ornaments bestowed on them by particular relations; and the consideration of this must needs increase in us a great opinion of them, as not to be accounted either the effects of the times, or inventions of the poets, but as sacred relics or abstracted airs of better times, which, by tradition from more ancient nations, fell into the trumpets and flutes of the Grecians. But if any do obstinately contend, that allegories are always adventitially, and as it were by constraint, never naturally and properly included in fables, we will not be much troublesome, but suffer them to enjoy that gravity of judgment which I am sure they affect, although indeed it be but lumpish and almost leaden. And, if they be worthy to be taken notice of, we will begin afresh with them in some other fashion.

There is found among men, and it goes for current, a twofold use of parables, and those, which is more to be admired, referred to contrary ends, conducing as well to the folding up and keeping of things under a veil, as to the enlightening and laying open of obscurities. But, omitting the former, rather than to undergo wrangling, and assuming ancient fables as things vagrant and composed only for delight, the latter must questionless till remain as not to be wrested from us by any violence of wit, neither can any (that is but meanly learned) hinder, but it must absolutely be received as a thing grave and sober, free from all vanity, and exceeding profitable and necessary to all sciences. This is it, I say, that leads the understanding of man by an easy and gentle passage through all novel and abstruse inventions which any way differ from common received opinions. Therefore, in the first ages, (when many human inventions and conclusions, which are now common and vulgar, were new, and not generally known,) all things were full of fables, enigmas, parables, and similes of all sorts; by which they sought to teach and lay open, not to hide and conceal knowledge, especially seeing the understandings of men were in those times rude and impatient, and almost incapable of any subtilties, such things only excepted as were the objects of sense; for, as hieroglyphics preceded letters, so parables were more ancient than arguments: and in these days also, he that would illuminate men's minds anew in any old matter, and that not with disprofit and harshness, must absolutely take the same course, and use the help of similes. Wherefore after all that hath been said, we will thus conclude, the wisdom of the ancients, it was either much or happy: much, if these figures and tropes were invented by study and premeditation; happy, if they, intending nothing less, gave matter and occasion to so many worthy meditations. As concerning my labours, if there be any thing in them which may do good, I will on neither part count them ill bestowed, my purpose being to illustrate either antiquity or things themselves. Neither am I ignorant that this very subject hath been attempted by others: but to speak as I think, and that freely, without ostentation, the dignity and efficacy of the thing, is almost lost by these men's writings, though voluminous and full of pains, whilst not diving into the depth of matters, but skilful only in certain commonplaces, have applied the sense of these parables to certain vulgar and general things, not so much as glancing at their true virtue, genuine propriety, and full depth. I, if I be not deceived, shall be new in common things; wherefore, leaving such as are plain and open, I will aim at further and richer


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