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Of inducing and accelerating putrefaction,
Of prohibiting and preventing putrefaction,
Of acceleration of growth and stature,
Of bodies sulphureous and mercurial,
Of congealing of water into crystal,
Of preserving the smell and colour in rose leaves,
Of the goodness and choice of waters,
Of temperate heats under the equinoctial,
Of the coloration of black and tawny moors,
Of infusions or burials of divers bodies in earth,
Of the effects of men's bodies from several winds, 383
Of winter and summer sicknesses,
Of preservation of liquors in wells, or deep vaults, 385
Of compound fruits and flowers,
Of sympathy and antipathy of plants,
Of curiosities about fruits and plants,
Of the degenerating of plants, and of their transmuta-
Of the procerity and lowness of plants, and of artificial
Of the rudiments of plants, and of the excrescences of
Of producing perfect plants without seed,
Of the seasons of several plants,
Of some principal differences in plants,
Of the different heats of fire and boiling water,
Of the qualification of heat by moisture,
Of the affinities and differences between plants, and
Of affinities and differences between plants and living
creatures, and of the confiners and participles of
Of plants experiments promiscuous,
Of the quickness of motion in birds,
Of the insecta, or creatures bred of putrefaction, 480
Of the pleasures and displeasures of hearing, and of the
Of the impressions upon the body from several passions
Of casting the skin, and shell, in some creatures, ibid.
Of some prognostics of hard winters,
Of certain medicines that condense and relieve the
LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR OF ENGLAND.
THE ancient Egyptians had a law, which ordained that the actions and characters of their dead should be solemnly. canvassed before certain judges, in order to regulate what was due to their memory. No quality, however exalted; no abilities, however eminent; could exempt the possessors from this last and impartial trial. To ingenuous minds this was a powerful incentive, in the pursuit of virtue; and a strong restraint on the most abandoned, in their career of vice. Whoever undertakes to write the
life of any person, deserving to be remembered by posterity, ought to look upon this law as prescribed to him. He is fairly to record the faults as well as the good qualities, the failings as well as the perfections, of the dead; with this great view, to warn and improve the living. For this reason, though I shall dwell with pleasure on the shining part of my lord Bacon's character, as a writer; I shall not dare either to conceal or palliate his blemishes, as a man. It equally concerns the public to be made acquainted with both.
Sir Nicholas Bacon was the first lord keeper of the seals invested with all the dignity, and trusted with all the power, of a lord chancellor. This high employment he held under queen Elizabeth
near twenty years: a minister considerably learned, of remarkable prudence and honesty; serving his country with the integrity of a good man, and preserving, through the whole course of his prosperity, that moderation and plainness of manners which adorn a great man. His second wife was a daughter of Sir Antony Cooke, who had been preceptor to Edward the sixth, and of whom historians have made honourable mention for his skill in the learned languages. Neither have they forgot to celebrate this lady on the same account. To the truth of which the Jesuit. even an enemy bore testimony, while he reproached her with having translated, from the Latin, bishop Jewel's Apology for the Church of England.
Such were the parents of Francis Bacon, whose life I am writing. Of two sons, by this marriage, he was the youngest: and born at York-house, in the Strand, the twenty-second of January, 1561. As hẹ had the good fortune to come into the world at a period of time when arts and sciences were esteemed and cultivated, by the great and powerful, almost in the same degree they are now neglected, so he brought with him a capacity for every kind of knowledge, useful and ornamental. An original genius, formed not to receive implicit notions of thinking and reasoning from what was admitted and taught before him; but to prescribe laws himself, in the empire of learning, to his own and succeeding ages.
He gave marks, very early, of a pregnant and happy disposition, far above his years. We are told that queen Elizabeth took a particular delight in trying him with questions; and received so much satisfaction from the good sense and manliness of his answers, that she was wont to call him, in mirth, her young lord keeper. One saying of his deserves to be remembered. The queen having asked him his age, while he was yet a boy; he answered readily, that he was just two years younger than her happy reign.
Of his education I know no particulars, till he was sent to study in the university of Cambridge,