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others, who, powerful when he was nothing, might | and politics, an idol, whose golden head and have blighted his opening fortunes forever, for- hands of base metal form a monster more hideous getting his advocacy of the rights of the people in than the Dagon of the Philistines. the face of the court, and the true and honest counsels, always given by him, in times of great difficulty, both to Elizabeth and her successor. When was a "base sycophant" loved and honoured by piety such as that of Herbert, Tenison, and Rawley, by noble spirits like Hobbes, Ben Jonson, and Selden, or followed to the grave, and beyond it, with devoted affection, such as that of Sir Thomas Meautys.
Forced by the narrowness of his fortune into business, conscious of his own powers, aware of the peculiar quality of his mind, and disliking his pursuits, his heart was often in his study, while he lent his person to the robes of office; and he was culpably unmindful of the conduct of his servants, who amassed wealth meanly and rapaciously, while their careless master, himself always poor, with his thoughts on higher ventures, never stopped to inquire by what methods they grew rich. No man can act thus with impunity; he has sullied the brightness of a name which ought never to have been heard without reverence, injured his own fame, and has been himself the victim upon the altar which he raised to true science; becoming a theme to "point a moral or adorn a tale," in an attempt to unite philosophy
His consciousness of the wanderings of his mind made him run into affairs with over-acted zeal and a variety of useless subtleties; and in lending himself to matters immeasurably beneath him, he sometimes stooped too low. A man' often receives an unfortunate bias from an unjust censure. Bacon, who was said by Elizabeth to be without knowledge of affairs, and by Cecil and Burleigh to be unfit for business, affected through the whole of his life an over-refinement in trifles, and a political subtlety unworthy of so great a mind: it is also true that he sometimes seemed conscious of the pleasure of skill, and that he who possessed the dangerous power of "working and winding" others to his purpose, tried it upon the little men whom his heart disdained; but that heart was neither "cloven nor double." There is no record that he abused the influence which he possessed over the minds of all men. He ever gave honest counsel to his capricious mistress, and her pedantic successor; to the rash, turbulent Essex, and to the wily, avaricious Buckingham. There is nothing more lamentable in the annals of mankind than that false position, which placed one of the greatest minds England ever possessed at the mercy of a mean king and a base court favourite
LORD BACON'S WORKS
ESSAYS OR COUNSELS,
CIVIL AND MORAL.
TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE MY VERY GOOD LO. THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM HIS GRACE, LO. HIGH ADMIRALL OF ENGLAND.
EXCELLENT Lo. Salomon saies; A good name is as a precious oyntment; and I assure myselfe, such wil your Grace's name bee, with posteritie. For your fortune, and merit both, haue beene eminent. And you haue planted things, that are like to last. I doe now publish my Essayes; which, of all other workes, have beene most currant: For that, as it seemes, they come home, to mens businesse, and bosomes. I haue enlarged them, both in number, and weight; so that they are indeed a new work. I thought it therefore agreeable, to my affection, and obligation to your Grace, to prefix your name before them, both in English, and in Latine. For I doe conceiue, that the Latine Volume of them (being in the Vniuersal Language) may last, as long as Bookes last. My Instauration, I dedicated to the King: My Historie of Henry the Seventh, (which I haue now translated into Latine) and my Portions of Naturall History, to the Prince: And these I dedicate to your Grace: Being of the best Fruits, that by the good encrease, which God gives to my Pen and Labours, I could yeeld. God leade your Grace by the Hand. Your Graces most Obliged and Faithful Seruant,
The first edition of the Essays was published in the year 1597. It is entitled1