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especially that of Bacon and Shakespeare, then such disputes have not altogether been in vain.

One may truly say that the attempt to write a short Life of Bacon is beset with many difficulties, not only on account of the unusual personal qualities and eccentricities of the man, but also because his whole life was so full of historical interest and detail. To study such a life in its completeness one must necessarily turn to the actual pages of history, in which may be found all those events and conditions which served as the impulses of his actions and tested his moral character. Therefore while I am deeply conscious of my responsibility and the feebleness of the present effort, I would wish at the same time to emphasize the fact that my object has in no wise been to add to, or supplant in any way, those larger works whose comprehensiveness and usefulness it is here my chief purpose and duty to recommend.

In the consideration of the Works, if more attention has been given to some than may seem necessary, or, on the other hand, the space devoted to the larger, and what are usually considered greater, publications of Bacon appears relatively and unnecessarily curtailed, it has not been because the latter have been deemed less important, but rather that a few of the less known and smaller compositions have not hitherto received their due.

As a matter of fact, many editions of the great philosophical works, issued with copious explanatory

notes, are always accessible; besides, it would be quite beyond my present purpose to attempt a disquisition on them; my object being to endeavour to point out the way to those who are on the threshold of a study which is full of interest, whether approached from a purely literary, bibliographical, or psychological point of view, and if these few pages assist such inquirers in any small degree, the pleasant "recreations" of my leisure moments have been profitably chosen.

I wish to add my grateful acknowledgments to those whose names will be found in different portions of this book, and whose work on the subject has been of the greatest service in the preparation of it. Finally, I would express my indebtedness to many biographical treatises, especially the Dictionary of National Biography, from whose pages I have gathered much valuable information relating to the subject.




His home-Parents-Youth-Residence

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at Cambridge-Early
philosophical views-Entrance at Gray's Inn—On the Continent
-Invention of his cypher-writing system-Death of his
father and return to England-In monetary straits-Called
to the Bar-Member of Parliament-Letter of Advice to
Queen Elizabeth-His attitude towards the Puritans and
Catholics Sworn "Queen's Counsel Extraordinary"— His
objections to the action of the Lords interfering with the rights
of the Commons in financial questions-Registership of the Star
Chamber-Rivalry of Sir Edward Coke for the hand of Sir
Thos. Cecil's daughter, and the offices of the Earl of Essex in
the matter-The friendship of Essex and Bacon-The liberality
of the former-Essex's administration in Ireland and his

subsequent downfall-Bacon's prosecution in the case of Essex

-Bacon receives his knighthood from James the First-The

Apology in Certain Imputations concerning the late Earl of

Essex-Appointed King's Counsel-His marriage to Alice

Barnham-Receives the appointments of Solicitor-General and

Attorney-General-Case of the "Post-Nati" of Scotland-

Publication of the Advancement of Learning-Wisdom of the

Ancients-Appointment of Lord Keeper of the Great Seals

-Hostility between Bacon and Coke-Cases in the Star

Chamber-Becomes Lord High Chancellor of England and

Viscount St. Albans-His country seat at Gorhambury-Essays

-Novum Organum-His sixtieth birthday-Narrative of his fall

-His sentence-Freedom-Literary work during his retirement

-History of Henry VII-Translations of his Works-Applica-

tion for Provostship to Eton College-Publication of various

books-Translations of Psalms-His Prayers, etc.-His health

-Last scientific investigation-His death-Will, etc.-Con-

siderations with respect to his character, surroundings, and

Pages 1-39

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