Page images

ments. And so wishing your highness all princely felicity I rest,


Your Highness's most humble servant,


CVI. To the Earl of SALISBURY, lord Trea- Rawley's surer, upon a new-year's tide.

It may please your good Lordship,

I WOULD intreat the new year to answer for the old, in my humble thanks to your lordship; both for many your favours, and chiefly that upon the occasion of Mr. Attorney's infirmity I found your lordship even as I could wish. This doth increase a desire in me to express my thankful mind to your lordship; hoping, that though I find age and decays grow upon me, yet I may have a flash or two of spirit left to do you service and I do protest before God, without compli ment or any light vanity of mind, that if I knew in what course of life to do you best service, I would take it, and make my thoughts, which now fly to many pieces, be reduced to that centre. But all this is no more than I am; which is not much; but yet the entire of him that is, etc.


CVII. To my LORD-MAYOR, upon a proceed- Ibid. ing in a private cause.

My very good Lord,

I DID little expect, when I left your lordship last, that there would have been a proceeding against Mr. Barnard to his overthrow: wherein I must confess myself to be in a sort accessary; because he relying upon me for counsel, I advised that course which he followed. Wherein now I begin to question myself, whether in preserving my respects unto your lordship, and the rest, I have not failed in the duty of my profession towards my client. For certainly, if the words had been hainous, and spoken in a malicious fashion, and in some public place, and well proved; and not a prattle in a tavern, caught hold of by one who, as I

hear, is a detected sycophant, Standish, I mean; yet I know not what could have been done more, than to impose upon him a grievous fine, and to require the levying of the same; and to take away his means of life by his disfranchisement, and to commit him to a defamed prison during Christmas; in honour whereof, the prisoners in other courts do commonly of grace obtain some enlargement. This rigour of proceeding, to tell your lordship and the rest, as my good friends, my opinion plainly, tendeth not to strengthen authority, which is best supported by love and fear inter, mixed; but rather to make people discontented and servile; especially when such punishment is inflicted for words not by rule of law, but by a jurisdiction of discretion, which would evermore be moderately used. And I pray God, whereas Mr. Recorder, when I was with you, did well and wisely put you in mind of the admonitions you often received from my lords, that you should bridle unruly tongues; that those kind of speeches and rumours, whereunto those admonitions do refer, which are concerning the state and honour thereof, do not pass too licentiously in the city unpunished; while these words which concern your particular, are so straitly enquired into, and punished with such extremity. But these things your own wisdom, first or last, will best represent unto you. My writing unto you at this time is, to the end, that howsoever I do take it somewhat unkindly, that my mediation prevailed no more; yet that I might preserve that farther respect that I am willing to use unto such a state, in delivering my opinion unto you freely, before I would be of counsel, or move any thing that should cross your proceedings; which, notwithstanding, in case my client can receive no relief at your hands, I must and will do; continuing, nevertheless, in other things, my wonted good affections to yourselves and your occasions,

CVIII. To Sir VINCENT Skinner.

Sir Vincent Skinner,"

I SEE that by your needless delays, this matter is grown to a new question; wherein for the matter itself, if it had been stayed at the beginning by my lord Treasurer and Mr. Chancellor, I should not so much have stood upon. For the great and daily travels which I take in his majesty's service, either are rewarded in themselves, in that they are but my duty, or else may deserve a much greater matter, Neither can I think amiss of any man, that in furtherance of the King's benefit moved the doubt, that knew not what warrant I had. But my wrong is, that you having had my lord Treasurer's and Mr. Chancellor's warrant for payment above a month since; you, I say, making your payments, belike upon such differences, as are better known to yourself, than agreeable to the respect of his majesty's service, have delayed all this time, otherwise than I might have expected from our ancient acquaintance, or from that regard which one in your place may owe to one in mine. By occasion whereof there ensueth to me a greater inconvenience, that now my name in sort must be in question amongst you, as if I were a man likely to demand that which were unreasonable, or be denied that which is reasonable: and this must be, because you can pleasure men at pleasure. But this I leave with this: that it is the first matter wherein I had occasion to discern of your friendship, which I see to fall to this; that whereas Mr. Chancellor, the last time, in my man's hearing, very honourably said, that he would not discontent any man in my place; it seems you have no such caution. But my writing to you now is to know of you where now the stay is, without being any more beholden to you, to whom indeed no man ought to be beholden in those cases in a right cause. And so I bid you farewel. FR. BACON.

? Officer of the receipts of the exchequer. Rymer, XVI. p. 497.

Stephens's first collec

tion, p. 53.

Stephens's first collection, p. 54.




COMING back from your invitation at Eton, where I had refreshed myself with company which I loved, I fell into a consideration of that part of policy, whereof philosophy speaketh too much, and laws too little; and that is, of education of youth. Whereupon fixing my mind awhile, I found straightways, and noted even in the discourses of philosophers, which are so large in this argument, a strange silence concerning one principal part of that subject. For as touching the framing and seasoning of youth to moral virtues, as tolerance of labours, continency from pleasures, obedience, honour, and the like, they handle it: but touching the improvement, and helping of the intellectual powers, as of conceit, memory, and judgment, they say nothing: whether it were, that they thought it to be a matter wherein nature only prevailed; or that they intended it as referred to the several and proper arts which teach the use of reason and speech. But for the former of these two reasons, howsoever it pleaseth them to distinguish of habits and powers, the experience is manifest enough, that the motions and faculties of the wit and memory may be not only governed and guided, but also confirmed and enlarged by custom and exercise duly applied as if a man exercise shooting, he shall not only shoot nearer the mark, but also draw a stronger bow. And as for the latter, of comprehending these precepts within the arts of logic and rhetoric, if it be rightly considered, their office is distinct altogether from this point; for it is no part of the doc

Sir Henry Saville, so justly celebrated for his noble edition of St. Chrysostom, and other learned works, was many years warden of Merton college in Oxford, in which university he founded a geometry and astronomy lecture, 25 May, 1620. See the instrument of foundation, Rymer XVII. p. 217, and likewise provost of Eton. To this gentleman, as of all the most proper, Sir Francis Bacon sends this discourse touching Helps for the Intellectual Powers in Youth; but being an imperfect essay to incite others, he places this useful subject among the deficients reckoned up in his Advancement of Learning. Stephens.

trine of the use or handling of an instrument, to teach how to whet or grind the instrument to give it a sharp edge, or how to quench it, or otherwise whereby to give it a stronger temper. Wherefore finding this part of knowledge not broken, I have, but tanquam aliud agens, entered into it, and salute you with it; dedicating it, after the ancient manner, first as to a dear friend, and then as to an apt person, forasmuch as you have both place to practise it, and judgment and leisure to look deeper into it than I have done. Herein you must call to mind "Agrov u dwę. Though the argument be not of great height and dignity, nevertheless it is of great and universal use and yet I do not see why, to consider it rightly, that should not be a learning of height, which teacheth to raise the highest and worthiest part of the mind. But howsoever that be, if the world take any light and use by this writing, I will the gratulation be to the good friendship and acquaintance between us two: and so I commend you to God's divine protection.

A Discourse touching the Helps for Intellectual Powers.

I DID ever hold it for an insolent and unlucky saying, Faber quisque fortunæ suæ; except it be uttered only as an hortative or spur to correct sloth. For otherwise, if it be believed as it soundeth, and that a man entereth into an high imagination that he can compass and fathom all accidents; and ascribeth all successes to his drifts and reaches; and the contrary to his errors and sleepings: it is commonly seen that the evening fortune of that man is not so prosperous, as of him that without slackening of his industry attributeth much to felicity and providence above him. But if the sentence were turned to this, Faber quisque ingenii sui,it were somewhat more true, and much more profitable; because it would teach men to bend themselves to reform those imperfections in themselves which now they seek but to cover, and to attain those virtues and good parts which now they seek but to

« PreviousContinue »