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to his majesty likewise, for his grace and favour. In another letter, "God is my witness, that, Your lordships' humble servant and suppliant, when I examine myself, I find all well, and that " Fr. St. ALBAN, Canc." I have approved myself to your lordship a true
friend, both in the watery trial of prosperity, and in This confession and submission being read, it the fiery trial of adversity :” “I hope his majesty was agreed that certain lords do go unto the lord may reap honour out of my adversity, as he hath chancellor, and show him the said confession; done strength out of my prosperity.” and tell him that the lords do conceive it to be " For the briberies and gifts wherewith I am an ingenuous and full confession, and demand charged, when the book of hearts shall be opened, whether it be his own hand that is subscribed to I hope I shall not be found to have the troubled the same; and their lordships being returned, re-fountain of a corrupt heart, in a depraved habit of ported, that the lord chancellor said, “ It is my taking rewards to pervert justice; howsoever I act, my hand, my heart. I beseech your lord- may be frail, and partake of the abuses of the ships, be merciful unto a broken reed.”
time,” was his expression in the midst of his agony. On the 2d of May, the seals having been se- In a collection of his letters in the Lambeth questered, the House resolved to proceed to judg- Library there is the following passage in Greek ment on the next day.
characters; Οφ μγ οφενσ, φαρ βειτ φρoμ με το σαγ, δατ In this interval, on the evening of the 2d of | νενιαμ κορνις; νεξατ κενσυρα κολυμβασ: βυτιωιλλ σας May, the chancellor wrote to the king, “ to save θαη ιαυε γοοά ωαρρανη φορ: θεγ ωερε νοτ θε γρεατεστ him from the sentence, to let the cup pass from οφφενδερς ιυ Ισραελ υπον ωρομ θε ωαλλ φελλ. him; for if it is reformation that is sought, tak
In his will, he says, “For my name and ing the seals will, with the general submission, memory, I leave it to men's charitable speeches, be sufficient atonement."
to foreign nations, and the next ages.” These his last hopes were vain: the king did
These words, not to be read till he was at rest not, he could not interpose.
from his labours, were cautiously selected, with On the 3d of May the Lords adjudged, 6 that, the knowledge which he, above all men, possessupon his own confession, they had found him ed of the power of expression, and of their certain guilty: and therefore that he shall undergo fine influence, sooner or later, upon society. and ransom of forty thousand pounds; be impri
The obligation to silence, imposed upon Bacon, soned in the Tower during the king's pleasure; extended to his friends after he was in the grave. be forever incapable of any office, place, or em
Dr. Rawley, his first and last chaplain, says, ployment in the state or commonwealth ; and “Some papers touching matters of estate, tread shall never sit in parliament, nor come within the too near to the heels of truth, and to the times of verge of the court.":
the persons concerned.”
Archbishop Tennison says, “ The great cause Thus fell, from the height of worldly prosperity, of his suffering is to some a secret. I leave them Francis, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain.
to find it out by his words to King James : • I The cause of his having deserted his defence wish that as I am the first, so I may be the last he never revealed. He patiently endured the of sacrifices in your times:' and when, from agony of uncommunicated grief. He confidently private appetite, it is resolved that a creature relied upon the justice of future ages.
shall be sacrificed, it is easy to pick up sticks however, passages in his writings where his deep enough from any thicket whither it hath strayed, feeling of the injury appear.
to make a fire to offer it with.”
be In the Advancement of Learning we are ad- there was a conflict in the minds of these excelmonished that, “ Words best disclose our minds lent men between their inclination to speak and when we are agitated,
their duty to be silent. They did not violate this
duty ; but one of his most sincere and grateful Vino tortus et ira ;
admirers, who, although he had painfully, but for, as Proteus never changed shapes till he was sacredly, preserved the secret from his youth to his straitened and held fast with cords, so our nature old age, at last thus spoke: appears most fully in trials and vexations." - Before this could be accomplished to his own
By observing his words in moments of agita- content, there arose such complaints against his tion, the state of his mind is manifest.
lordship, and the then favourite at court, that for When imprisoned in the Tower, he instantly some days put the king to this quere, whether he wrote to Buckingharn, saying, “ However I have should permit the favourite of his affection, or the acknowledged that the sentence is just, and for oracle of his council, to sink in his service; reformation sake fit, I have been a trusty, and whereupon his lordship was sent for by the king, honest, and Christ-loving friend to your lordship, who, after some discourse, gave him this positive and the justest chancellor that hath been in the advice, to submit himself to his House of Peers, five changes since my father's time.”
and that, upon his princely word, he would then
restore him again, if they, in their honours, should of a new, temperate, fruitful region, where none not be sensible of his merits. Now, though my had before inhabited; and which mariners, who lord saw his approaching ruin, and told his majesty had only seen as rocks, had esteemed an inacthere was little hopes of mercy in a multitude, cessible and enchanted place." when his enemies were to give fire, if he did not This temperate region was not unforeseen by plead for himself: yet such was his obedience to the chancellor. him from whom he had his being, that he resolved In a letter to the king, on the 20th March, his majesty's will should be his only law; and so 1622, he says, “ In the beginning of my trouble, took leave of him with these words: Those that when in the midst of the tempest, I had a kenwill strike at your chancellor, it is much to be ning of the harbour, which I hope now by your feared, will strike at your crown; and wished, majesty's favour I am entering into : now my that as he was then the first, so he might be the study is my exchange, and my pen my practice last of sacrifices.
for the use of my talent." “Soon after, according to his majesty's com- It is scarcely possible to read a page of his mands, he wrote a submissive letter to the House, works without seeing that the love of knowledge and sent me to my Lord Windsor to know the was his ruling passion; that his real happiness result, which I was loath, at my return, to acquaint consisted in intellectual delight. How beautihim with; for, alas! his sovereign's favour was fully does he state this when enumerating the not in so high a measure, but he, like the phenix, blessings attendant upon the pursuit and possesmust be sacrificed in flames of his own raising, sion of knowledge: and so perished, like Icarus, in that his lofty “ The pleasure and delight of knowledge and design: the great revenue of his office being lost, learning far surpasseth all other nature : for, shall and his titles of honour saved but by the bishops' the pleasures of the affections so exceed the votes, whereto he replied, that he was only bound senses, as much as the obtaining of desire or victo thank his clergy.
tory exceedeth a song or a dinner; and must not, “ The thunder of which fatal sentence did much of consequence, the pleasures of the intellect or perplex my troubled thoughts as well as others, to understanding exceed the pleasures of the affecsee that famous lord, who procured his majesty tions ? we see in all other pleasures there is satito call this parliament, must be the first subject ety, and after they be used their verdure departeth, of their revengeful wrath, and that so unparalleled which showeth well they be but deceits of pleaa master should be thus brought upon the public sure, and not pleasures; and that it was the novelty stage, for the foolish miscarriage of his own ser- which pleased, and not the quality; and therefore vants, whereof, with grief of heart, I confess we see that voluptuous men turn friars, and ambimyself to be one. Yet, shortly after, the king tious princes turn melancholy; but of knowledge dissolved the parliament, but never restored that there is no satiety, but satisfaction and appetite are matchless lord to his place, which made him then perpetually interchangeable; and therefore appearto wish the many years he had spent in stateeth to be good in itself simply, without fallacy or policy and law study had been solely devoted to accident. Neither is that pleasure of small efftrue philosophy: for, said he, the one, at the best, cacy and contentment to the mind of man, which doth but comprehend man's frailty in its greatest the poet Lucretius describeth elegantly, splendour; but the other, the mysterious know
Suave mari magno, turbantibus equora ventis, &c. ledge of all things created in the six days' work.”
On the 11th of July the great seals were deli- . It is a view of delight, to stand or walk upon the vered to Williams, who was now Lord Keeper of shore-side, and to see a ship tossed with tempest England and Bishop of Lincoln, with permission upon the sea ; or to be in a fortified tower, and to to retain the deanery of Westminster, and to
see two bottles join upon a plain; but it is a pleahold the rectory of Waldegrave in commendam.
sure incomparable for the mind of man to be settled, landed, and fortified in the certainty of truth; and from thence to decry and behold
the errors, perturbations, labours, and wanderings CHAPTER IV.
up and down of other men.''
Happy would it have been for himself and society, if, following his own nature, he had passed
his life in the calm but obscure regions of phi1621 to 1626.
losophy. Such was the storm in which he was wrecked. He now, however, had escaped from worldly * Methinks,” says Archbishop Tennison, they turmoils, and was enabled, as he wrote to the are resembled by those of Sir George Summers, king, to gratify his desire to do, for the little who being bound by his employment to another time God shall send me life, like the merchants coast, was by tempest cast upon the Bermudas : of London, which, when they give over trade, and there a shipwrecked man made full discovery lay out their money upon land : so, being freed
FROM HIS FALL TO HIS DEATH.
from civil business, I lay forth my poor talent work of Instauration had in contemplation the upon those things, which may be perpetual, still general good of men in their very being, and the having relation to do you honour with those dowries of nature ; and in my work of laws, the powers I have left.”
general good of men likewise in society, and the In a letter to Buckingham, on the 20th of dowries of government: I thought in duty I March, 1621, he says, “I find that, building upon owed somewhat to my country, which I ever your lordship’s noble nature and friendship, I loved ; insomuch, as, although my place hath been have built upon the rock, where neither winds nor far above my desert, yet my thoughts and cares waves can cause overthrow :" and, in the conclu- concerning the good thereof were beyond and sion of the same year, “ I am much fallen in love over and above my place : so now, being as I am, with a private life, but yet I shall so spend my no more able to do my country service, it remaintime, as shall not decay my abilities for use." ed unto me to do it honour; which I have endea
And in a letter to the Bishop of Winchester, voured to do in my work of the reign of King in which, after having considered the conduct in Henry VII. As for my Essays, and some other their banishments, of Demosthenes, Cicero, and particulars of that nature ; I.eount them but as the Seneca, he proceeds thus: “ These examples con- recreation of my other studies, and in that sort I firmed me much in a resolution, whereunto I was purpose to continue thein ; though I am not ignootherwise inclined, to spend my time wholly in rant that those kind of writings would, with less writing, and to put forth that poor talent, or half- pains and embracement, perhaps, yield more talent, or what it is that God hath given me, not lustre and reputation to my name than those other as heretofore to particular exchanges, but to banks which I have in hand. But I count the use that or mounts of perpetuity, which will not break. a man should seek of the publishing his own Therefore having not long since set forth a part writings before his death to be but an untimely of my Instauration, which is the work that, in mine anticipation of that which is proper to follow a own judgment, si nunquam fallit imago, I may man, and not to go along with him.” most esteem, I think to proceed in some new The sentence now remained to be executed. parts thereof; and although I have received on the last day of May, Lord St. Albans was from many parts beyond the seas testimonies committed to the Tower; and, though he had touching that work, such as beyond which I could placed himself altogether in the king's hands, not expect at the first in so abstruse an argument, confident in his kindness, it is not to be supposed yet, nevertheless, I have just cause to doubt that that he could be led to prison without deeply it flies too high over men's heads. I have a pur- feeling his disgrace. In the anguish of his mind pose, therefore, though I break the order of time, he instantly wrote to Buckingham and to the to draw it down to the sense by some patterns of king, submitting, but maintaining his integrity a natural story and inquisition. And, again, for as chancellor. that my book of Advancement of Learning may be some preparative or key for the better opening Good my lord,-Procure the warrant for my of the Instauration, because it exhibits a mixture discharge this day. Death, I thank God, is so of new conceits and old; whereas the Instauration far from being unwelcome to me, as I have called gives the new unmixed, otherwise than with for it (as Christian resolution would permit) any some little aspersion of the old, for taste's sake, time these two months. But to die before the I have thought good to procure a translation of time of his majesty's grace, and in this disgracethat book into the general language, not without ful place, is even the worst that could be; and great and ample additions and enrichment there when I am dead, he is gone that was always in of, especially in the second book, which handleth one tenor, a true and perfect servant to his master, the partition of sciences, in such sort, as I hold it and one that was never author of any immodemay serve in lieu of the first part of the Instaura- rate, no, nor unsafe, no, (I will say it,) not unfortion, and acquit my promise in that part. tunate counsel ; and one that no temptation could
Again, because I cannot altogether desert the ever make other than a trusty, and honest, and civil person that I have borne, which if I should Christ-loving friend to your lordship: and, howsoforget, enough would remember, I have also en- ever I acknowledge the sentence just, and for retered into a work touching laws, propounding a formation sake fit, the justest chancellor that naracter of justice in a middle term, between hath been in the five changes since Sir Nicholas the speculative and reverend discourses of philoso- Bacon's time. God bless and prosper your lordphers and the writings of lawyers, which are tied, ship, whatsoever become of me. and obnoxious to their particular laws; and al- " Your lordship's true friend, living and dying, though it be true that I had a purpose to make a Tower, 31st May, 1612. 6. Fr. ST. ALBAN." particular digest, or recompilement of the laws of mine own nation, yet because it is a work of assist- After two days' imprisonment he was liberated; ance, and that I cannot master by my own forces and, the sentence not permitting him to come and pen, I have laid it aside. Now, having in the within the verge of the court, he retired, with the
king's permission, to Sir John Vaughan's house smile, “Well, do what we can, this man scorns at Parson's Green, from whence, although anx- to go out like a snuff.” ious to continue in or near London, he went, in Unmindful that the want of prudence can compliance with his majesty's suggestion, for a never be supplied, he was exposed, in the decline temporary retirement to Gorhambury, where he of life, not only to frequent vexation, and his was obliged to remain till the end of the year, but thoughts to continual interruption, but was frewith such reluctance, that, with the hope of quently compelled to stoop to degrading solicitaquieting the king's fears, he at one time intended tions, and was obliged to encumber Gorhambury to present a petition to the House of Lords to and sell York House, dear to him from so many remit this part of his sentence.
associations, the seat of his ancestors, the scene In the month of July he wrote, both to Bucking- of his former splendour. These worldly troubles ham and to the king, letters in which may be seem, however, not to have affected his cheerfulseen his reliance upon them for pecuniary assist- ness, and never to have diverted him from the ance, his consciousness of innocence, a gleam of great object of his life, the acquisition and adhope that he should be resto ed to his honours, and vancement of knowledge. When an application occasionally allusions to the favours he had con- was made to him to sell one of the beautiful woods ferred. To these applications: he received the of Gorhambury, he answered, “ No, I will not be following answer from Buckingham :
stripped of my feathers."
In September the king signed a warrant for the To the Lord St. Alban.
release of the parliamentary fine, and, to prevent My noble lord :-The hearty affection I have
the immediate importunities of his creditors, borne to your person and service hath made me
assigned it to Mr. Justice Hutton, Ms. Justice ambitious to be a messenger of good news to you, mas Crew, whom Bacon, in his will, directed to
Chamberlain, Sir Francis Barnham, and Sir Thoand an eschewer of ill; this hath been the true reason why I have been thus long in answering of his debts and legacies, having a charitable care
apply the funds for the payment and satisfaction you, not any negligence in your discreet, modest
that the poorest creditors or legatees should be servant you sent with your letter, nor his who now
first satisfied. returns you this answer, ofttimes given me by your master and mine ; who, though by this may Keeper Williams misunderstood, and endeavour
This intended kindness of the king the Lord seem not to satisfy your desert and expectation; ed to impede by staying the pardon at the seal, yet, take the word of a friend who will never fail you, hath a tender care of you, full of a fresh
until he was commanded by Buckingham to obey
the king's order. In October the pardon was memory of your by-past service. His majesty is
sealed. but for the present, he says, able to yield unto the three years' advance, which if you please to ac
He had scarcely retired to Gorhambury, in the cept, you are not hereafter the farther off from summer of 1621, when he commenced his History obtaining some better testimony of his favour,
of Henry the Seventh. worthier both of him and you, though it can never
During the progress of the work considerable be answerable to what my heart wishes you, as
expectation of his history was excited : in the your lordship's humble servant,
composition of which he seems to have laboured G. BUCKINGHAM.
with much anxiety, and to have submitted his
manuscript to the correction of various classes of That he was promised some compensation for society ; to the king, to scholars, and to the the loss of his professional emoluments seems uninformed. Upon his desiring Sir John Danprobable, not only froin his letters to the king, and vers to give his opinion of the work, Sir John from the aid received, but from his having lived said, “. Your lordship knows that I am no schoin splendour after his fall, although his certain lar.' "'Tis no matter,' said my lord, 'I know annual income seems not to have exceeded £2500. what a scholar can say: I would know what you With this income he, with prudence, might, can say.' Sir John read it, and gave his opinion although greatly in debt, have enjoyed worldly what he misliked, which my lord acknowledged comfort: but in prudence he was culpably negli- to be true, and mended it. "Why,' said he, “a gent. Thinking that money was only the bag- scholar would never have told me this;' gage of virtue, that this interposition of earth notwithstanding this labour and anxiety, the puber:lipsed the clear sight of the mind, he lived not lic expectation was not realized. as a philosopher ought to have lived, but as a If, however, in the History of Henry the nobleman had been accustomed to live. It is re- Seventh, it is vain to look for the vigour or lated that the prince, coming to London, saw at a beauty with which the Advancement of Learning distance a coach followed by a considerable num- abounds : if the intricacies of a court are neither ber of people, on horseback; and, upon inquiry, discovered nor illustrated with the same happiwas told it was the Lord St. Albans, attended by ness as the intricacies of philosophy: if, in a his friends; on which his highness said, with a work written when the author was more than
?" but, sixty years of age, and if, after the vexations that tower, that he did acknowledge to have reand labours of a professional and political life, covered that kingdom by the help of the Althe varieties and sprightliness of youthful ima- mighty; nor would he stir from his camp till he gination are not to be found, yet the peculiar pro- had seen a little army of martyrs, to the number perties of his mind may easily be traced, and the of seven hundred and more Christians, that had stateliness of the edifice be seen in the magnifi- lived in bonds and servitude, as slaves to the cence of the ruins.
Moors, pass before his eyes, singing a psalm for His vigilance in recording every fact tending to their redemption.” alleviate misery, or to promote happiness, is The work was published in folio, in 1622: and noticed by Bishop Sprat, in his History of the is dedicated to Prince Charles. Copies were Royal Society, where he says, “I shall instance presented to the king, to Buckingham, to the in the sweating sickness. The medicine for it Queen of Bohemia, and to the lord keeper. was almost infallible: but, before that could be It had scarcely been published when he felt generally published, it had almost dispeopled and expressed anxiety that it should be translated whole towns. If the same disease should have into Latin, “ as these modern languages will, at returned, it might have been again as destructive, one time or other, play the bankrupts with books; had not the Lord Bacon taken care to set down and, since I have lost much time with this age,
I the particular course of physic for it in his History would be glad, as God shall give me leave, to of Henry the Seventh, and so put it beyond the recover it with posterity:" a wish which was possibility of any private man's invading it.” more than gratified, as it was published, not only
One of his maxims of government for the en- in various editions, in England, but was soon largement of the bounds of the empire is to be translated into French and into Latin. found in his comment upon the ordinance, stated Such was the nature of his literary occupations in the treatise “ De Augmentis.” “ Let states and in the first year after his retirement, during which kingdoms that aim at greatness by all means take he corresponded with different learned foreigners heed how the nobility, and grandees, and those upon his works; and great zeal having been which we call gentlemen, multiply too fast; for shown for his majesty's service, he composed a that makes the common subject grow to be a treatise entitled, “An Advertisement touching a peasant and base swain, driven out of heart, and Holy War," which he inscribed to the Bishop of in effect nothing else but the nobleman's bond- Winchester. slaves and labourers. Even as you may see in In the beginning of this year, (1623,) a vacancy coppice-wood, if you leave your studdles too occurred in the Provostship of Eton college, thick, you shall never have clean underwood, but where, in earlier years, he had passed some days shrubs and bushes : so in a country, if the no- with Sir Henry Savile, pleasant to himself bility be too many, the commons will be base and and profitable to society. His love of knowledge heartless, and you will bring it to that, that not again manifested itself. the hundredth poll will be fit for a helmet, espe- Having, in the spirit of his father, unfortunately cially as to the infantry, which is the nerve of an engaged, in his youth, in active life, he now, in army; and so there will be great population, and the spirit of his grandfather, the learned and conMittle strength.”
templative Sir Anthony Cooke, who took more His love of familiar illustration is to be found pleasure to breed up statesmen than to be one, in various parts of the history: as when speaking offered himself to succeed the provost: as a fit of the commotion by the Cornish men, on behalf occupation for him in the spent hour-glass of his of the impostor Perkin Warbeck : “ The king life, and a retreat near London to a place of judged it his best and surest way to keep his study. strength together in the seat and centre of his The objection which would, of course, be made kingdom; according to the ancient Indian em- from what we, in our importance, look down blem, in such a swelling season, to hold the hand upon as beneath his dignity, he had many years upon the middle of the bladder, that no side before anticipated in the Advancement of Learnmight rise.”
ing, when investigating the objections to learning And his kind nature and holy feeling appear in from the errors of learned men, from their forhis account of the conquest of Granada. “Some- tunes; their manners; and the meanness of their what about this time came letters from Ferdinan- employments: upon which he says, “As for do and Isabella, king and queen of Spain, signi- meanness of employment, that which is most trafying the final conquest of Granada from the duced to contempt is, that the government of Moors ; but the king would not by any means in youth is commonly allotted to them; which age, person enter the city until he had first aloof seen because it is the age of least authority, it is transthe cross set up upon the great tower of Granada, ferred to the disesteeming of those employments whereby it became Christian ground; and, before wherein youth is conversant, and which are conhe would enter, he did homage to God above, versant about youth. But how unjust this trapronouncing by a herald from the height of ducement is, if you will reduce things from