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busiest with all its cares, and as anxious as the most anxious to discharge the functions of its journeyman. His engagements appear to have been those which demanded an almost undivided attention; and yet while engaged in the most practical of pursuits, he was distinguished beyond all comparison in those which are strictly theoretical. Belonging to a profession the most noble and arduous—in which, from the multiplicity of the subjects which it embraces, and the responsibility of dealing with the emergent cases of daily occurrence, there is necessitated a vision at once contracted and intense; and engaging largely in the politics of the day, which require of their votary as absolute a devotion,-in both of which he had to compete with the first men of his time—with the vast knowledge and subtlety of Coke, with those wily panderers to prerogative and popularity the Cecils, with the crafty and sullen Somerset, with the rapacious and unconscienced Buckingham,—for subordinates; and with the mistress of modern Europe and her wayward successor,-for principals, and in those assemblies of his fellow-citizens in both Houses of Parliament, which have tried and tasked the highest powers, without a rival in oratorical and senatorial abilities, -he yet commanded the leisure that is requisite for pursuits of the highest and most beneficial nature, in which he has earned his immortal repute—succeeding beyond all contemporary success in the former avocations, and working out for himself an endless reputation in the latter. The intellect of Bacon was such as to make way through all obstacles to its destiny. It made for itself a solitude in the midst of society, and created for itself a retirement in the very midst of the most bustling, pressing, and exciting crowd of engagements. His delights, in common with those of all the true benefactors of the species, have been realized in the midst of them; and he sighs, not for the sounding seashore, or the up-country waterfall, which almost drive man into himself; or the sequestered valley, or the solemn woods, whose stillness leads to reflection, and is therefore, with the most of those that fly to them, a mere place of resort for physical activity; but the habitable portions of the earth, and the children of men, are ever the spheres and the objects of all these delights—thinking in the midst of distraction, accumulating in the midst of privations, and gathering every where the materials of profit and action. This is that mental

bsorption, which takes in all, and makes uses of all; to which every thing is aliment, by virtue of a vigour that tires not, a charity that fails not, a humility for which nothing is too low, and a comprehension for which, humanly speaking, nothing is too high or too minute.

It would comparatively be an easy task, to discriminate between the various powers of this wonderful intellect,—to ascribe to him a reason of the most comprehensive grasp, exercising itself upon multifarious subjects, or an imagination keeping pace with that reason, and as wonderful in all its creations as the reason was wonderful in the premises upon which it dealt; but we must leave these things to the reader, to whom we have been catering throughout our prologue. Bacon was enabled to feel that he lived in a grand juncture of affairs, requiring the union of high genius and wisdom answerably to deal with, and he foresaw it, felt it, and turned it to the best account. He devoted himself to the exigencies not only of his time, but of his race. He was, as we have seen, busy with the one; but the fact of his opinions being valuable now-a-days, shows that he was devoted to the other; and that it was not merely for the times in which he lived that he was living, but for succeeding tiines as well. He was literally, that man, with whom all men should be acquainted ; both by way of encouragement and instruction—by way of failure and example. To act for the moment, and yet act for posterity; to act for a party, and yet act for a people; to be the glory of a faction and also of a nation; to act for a kingdom as a minister, and yet for the human race as their servitor; to be bold before the intellect of all past times, and weak before minions; to serve princes, to discuss with judges, to attend assemblies, and to control legislative gatherings,—and yet to electrify and revivify science; to be Hercules abroad, and to fall before the most trumpery vanity in his own breast ;-was Francis Bacon.









THERE were, under the law, excellent king, both of the body are sequestered) again revived and redaily sacrifices, and freewill offerings; the one pro- stored : such a light of nature I have observed in ceeding upon ordinary observance, the other upon a your majesty, and such a readiness to take flame devout cheerfulness: in like manner there belongeth and blaze from the least occasion presented, or the to kings from their servants, both tribute of duty, least spark of another's knowledge delivered. And and presents of affection. In the former of these, I as the Scripture saith of the wisest king, “That his hope I shall not live to be wanting, according to my heart was as the sands of the sea ;" which though most humble duty, and the good pleasure of your it be one of the largest bodies, yet it consisteth of majesty's employments: for the latter, I thought it the smallest and finest portions ; so hath God given more respective to make choice of some oblation, your majesty a composition of understanding adwhich might rather refer to the propriety and excel- mirable, being able to compass and comprehend the lency of your individual person, than to the business greatest matters, and nevertheless to touch and apof your crown and state.

prehend the least; whereas it should seem an imWherefore, representing your majesty many times possibility in nature, for the same instrument to unto, my mind, and beholding you not with the in- make itself fit for great and small works. And for quisitive eye of presumption, to discover that which your gift of speech, I call to mind w Cornelius the Scripture telleth me is inscrutable, but with the Tacitus saith of Augustus Cæsar: “ Augusto proobservant eye of duty and admiration; leaving aside fluens, et quæ principem deceret, eloquentia fuit." the other parts of your virtue and fortune, I have For, if we note it well, speech that is uttered with been touched, yea, and possessed with an extreme labour and difficulty, or speech that savoureth of the wonder at those your virtues and faculties, which the affectation of art and precepts, or speech that is philosophers call intellectual; the largeness of your framed after the imitation of some pattern of elocapacity, the faithfulness of your memory, the swift-quence, though never so excellent; all this has someness of your apprehension, the penetration of your what servile, and holding of the subject. But your judgment, and the facility and order of your elocu- majesty's manner of speech is indeed prince-like, tion : and I have often thought, that of all the per- flowing as from a fountain, and yet streaming and sons living, that I have known, your majesty were branching itself into nature's order, full of facility the best instance to make a man of Plato's opinion, and felicity, imitating none, and inimitable by any. that all knowledge is but remembrance, and that the And as in your civil estate there appeareth to be an mind of man by nature knoweth all things, and emulation and contention of your majesty's virtue hath but her own native and original notions (which with your fortune; a virtuous disposition with a forby the strangeness and darkness of this tabernacle, tunate regiment; a virtuous expectation, when time

VOL. 1.



was, of your greater fortune, with a prosperous pos- In the entrance to the former of these, to clear the session thereof in the due time ; a virtuous obsery- way, and, as it were, to make silence, to have the ation of the laws of marriage, with most blessed and true testimonies concerning the dignity of learning happy fruit of marriage; a virtuous and most chris- to be better heard, without the interruption of tacit tian desire of peace, with a fortunate inclination in objections ; I think good to deliver it from the disyour neighbour princes thereunto : so likewise in credits and disgraces which it hath received, all these intellectual matters, there seemeth to be no from ignorance, but ignorance severally disguised; less contention between the excellency of your ma- appearing sometimes in the zeal and jealousy of jesty's gifts of nature, and the universality and per- divines, sometimes in the severity and arrogancy of fection of your learning. For I am well assured, politicians, and sometimes in the errors and imperthat this which I shall say is no amplification at all, fections of learned men themselves. but a positive and measured truth; which is, that I hear the former sort say, that knowledge is of there hath not been since Christ's time any king, or those things which are to be accepted of with great temporal monarch, which hath been so learned in limitation and caution ; that the aspiring to overall literature and erudition, divine and human. For much knowledge, was the original temptation and let a man seriously and diligently revolve and peruse sin, whereupon ensued the fall of man; that knowthe succession of the emperors of Rome; of which ledge hath in it somewhat of the serpent, and thereCæsar the dictator, who lived some years before fore where it entereth into a man it makes him Christ, and Marcus Antoninus, were the best learned: swell ; Scientia inflat: that Solomon gives a cenand so descend to the emperors of Græcia, or of the sure, “ That there is no end of making books, and West; and then to the lines of France, Spain, Eng. that much reading is a weariness of the flesh ;” and land, Scotland, and the rest, and he shall find this again in another place, “ That in spacious knowjudgment is truly made. For it seemeth much in a ledge there is much contristation, and that he that king, if, by the compendious extractions of other increaseth knowledge increaseth anxiety;" that St. men's wits and labours, he can take hold of any Paul gives a caveat, “ That we be not spoiled superficial ornaments and shows of learning, or if he through vain philosophy;" that experience demoncountenance and prefer learning and learned men; strates how learned men have been arch-heretics, but to drink indeed of the true fountains of learning, how learned times have been inclined to atheism, nay, to have such a fountain of learning in himself, and how the contemplation of second causes doth in a king, and in a king born, is almost a miracle. derogate from our dependence upon God, who is the And the more, because there is met in your majesty first cause. a rare conjunction, as well of divine and sacred lite- To discover then the ignorance and error of this rature, as of profane and human ; so as your ma- opinion, and the misunderstanding in the grounds jesty standeth invested of that triplicity, which in thereof, it may well appear these men do not observe great veneration was ascribed to the ancient Hermes; or consider, that it was not the pure knowledge of the power and fortune of a king, the knowledge and nature and universality, a knowledge by the light illumination of a priest, and the learning and uni- whereof man did give names unto other creatures in versality of a philosopher. This propriety, inherent paradise, as they were brought before him, accord. and individual attribute in your majesty, deservething unto their proprieties, which gave the occasion to be expressed, not only in the fame and admira- to the fall; but it was the proud knowledge of good tion of the present time, nor in the history or tra- and evil, with an intent in man to give law unto dition of the ages succeeding; but also in some solid | himself, and to depend no more upon God's comwork, fixed memorial, and immortal monument, mandments, which was the form of the temptation. bearing a character or signature, both of the power Neither is it any quantity of knowledge, how great of a king, and the difference and perfection of such soever, that can make the mind of man to swell ; a king.

for nothing can fill, much less extend the soul of Therefore I did conclude with myself, that I man, but God, and the contemplation of God; and could not make unto your majesty a better oblation, herefore Solomon, speaking of the two principal than of some treatise tending to that end, whereof senses of inquisition, the eye and the ear, affirmeth the sum will consist of these two parts ; the former that the eye is never satisfied with seeing, nor the concerning the excellency of learning and know- ear with hearing; and if there be no fulness, then · ledge, and the excellency of the merit and true is the continent greater than the content; so of glory in the augmentation and propagation thereof; knowledge itself, and the mind of man, whereto the the latter, what the particular acts and works are, senses are but reporters, he defineth likewise in which have been embraced and undertaken for the these words, placed after that calendar or ephemeadvancement of learning; and again, what defects rides, which he maketh of the diversities of times and undervalues I find in such particular acts: to and seasons for all actions and purposes; and conthe end, that though I cannot positively or affirma- cludeth thus : “ God hath made all things beautitively advise your majesty, or propound unto you ful, or decent, in the true return of their seasons : framed particulars; yet I may excite your princely Also he hath placed the world in man's heart, yet cogitations to visit the excellent treasure of your cannot man find out the work which God worketh own mind, and thence to extract particulars for from the beginning to the end :" declaring, not obthis purpose, agrecable to your magnanimity and scurely, that God hath framed the mind of man as wisdom.

a mirror, or glass, capable of the image of the uni

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versal world, and joyful to receive the impression | darkness: and that the wise man's eyes keep watch thereof, as the eye joyeth to receive light; and not in his head, whereas the fool roundeth about in only delighted in beholding the variety of things, darkness : but withal I learned, that the same morand vicissitude of times, but raised also to find out tality involveth them both.” And for the second, and discern the ordinances and decrees, which certain it is, there is no vexation or anxiety of throughout all those changes are infallibly observed. mind which resulteth from knowledge, otherwise And although he doth insinuate, that the supreme than merely by accident; for all knowledge and or summary law of nature, which he calleth, " The wonder (which is the seed of knowledge) is an work which God worketh from the beginning to the impression of pleasure in itself: but when men end, is not possible to be found out by man;" yet fall to framing conclusions out of their knowledge, that doth not derogate from the capacity of the applying it to their particular, and ministering to mind, but may be referred to the impediments, as themselves thereby weak fears, or vast desires, there of shortness of life, ill conjunction of labours, ill groweth that carefulness and trouble of mind which tradition of knowledge over from hand to hand, and is spoken of: for then knowledge is no more Lumen many other inconveniences, whereunto the condition siccum, whereof Heraclitus the profound said, of man is subject. For that nothing parcel of the “Lumen siccum optima anima ;" but it becometh world is denied to man's inquiry and invention, he Lumen madidum, or maceratum, being steeped and doth in another place rule over, when he saith, infused in the humours of the affections.

And as “ The spirit of man is as the lamp of God, where for the third point, it deserveth to be a little stood with he searcheth the inwardness of all secrets.” If upon, and not to be lightly passed over : for if any then such be the capacity and receipt of the mind man shall think by view and inquiry into these of man, it is manifest, that there is no danger at sensible and material things to attain that light, all in the proportion or quantity of knowledge, how whereby he may reveal unto himself the nature or large soever, lest it should make it swell or out- will of God, then indeed is he spoiled by vain phicompass itself ; no, but it is merely the quality of losophy: for the contemplation of God's creatures knowledge, which, be it in quantity more or less, if and works produceth (having regard to the works it be taken without the true corrective thereof, hath and creatures themselves) knowle ; but having in it some nature of venom or malignity, and some regard to God, no perfect knowledge, but wonder, effects of that venom, which is ventosity or which is broken knowledge. And therefore it was swelling. This corrective spice, the mixture most aptly said by one of Plato's school, “ That the whereof maketh knowledge so sovereign, is charity, sense of man carrieth a resemblance with the sun, which the apostle immediately addeth to the former which, as we see, openeth and revealeth all the terclause ; for so he saith, " knowledge bloweth up, restrial globe ; but then again it obscureth and conbut charity buildeth up;" not unlike unto that cealeth the stars and celestial globe : so doth the which he delivereth in another place: “ If I sense discover natural things, but it darkeneth and spake," saith he, “ with the tongues of men and shutteth up divine." And hence it is true, that it angels, and had not charity, it were but as a hath proceeded, that divers great learned men have tinkling cymbal ;” not but that it is an excellent been heretical, whilst they have sought to fly up to thing to speak with the tongues of men and the secrets of the Deity by the waxen wings of the angels, but because, if it be severed from charity, senses: and as for the conceit, that too much knowand not referred to the good of men and mankind, it ledge should incline a man to atheism, and that the hath rather a sounding and unworthy glory, than a ignorance of second causes should make a more meriting and substantial virtue. And as for that devout dependence upon God, who is the first cause : censure of Solomon, concerning the excess of writ- First, it is good to ask the question which Job asked ing and reading books, and the anxiety of spirit of his friends : “ Will you lie for God, as one man which redoundeth from knowledge ; and that admo- will do for another, to gratify him ?" For certain nition of St. Paul, “ That we be not seduced by it is, that God worketh nothing in nature but by vain philosophy;" let those places be rightly under second causes; and if they would have it otherwise stood, and they do indeed excellently set forth the believed, it is mere imposture, as it were in favour true bounds and limitations, whereby human know- towards God; and nothing else but to offer to the ledge is confined and circumscribed ; and yet without Author of truth the unclean sacrifice of a lie. But any such contracting or coarctation, but that it may farther, it is an assured truth, and a conclusion of comprehend all the universal nature of things: for experience, that a little or superficial knowledge of these limitations are three : the first, that we do not philosophy may incline the mind of man to athe$0 place our felicity in knowledge, as we forget our ism, but a farther proceeding therein doth bring the mortality. The second, that we make application mind back again to religion ; for in the entrance of of our knowledge, to give ourselves repose and con- philosophy, when the second causes, which are tentment, and not distaste or repining. The third, next unto the senses, do offer themselves to the mind that we do not presume by the contemplation of of man, if it dwell and stay there, it may induce nature to attain to the mysteries of God. For as some oblivion of the highest cause : but when a touching the first of these, Solomon doth excellently man passeth on farther, and seeth the dependence expound himself in another place of the same book, of causes and the works of providence; then, accordwhere he saith ; " I saw well that knowledge re- ing to the allegory of the poets, he will easily believe cedeth as far from ignorance, as light doth from I that the highest link of nature's chain must needs





be tied to the foot of Jupiter's chair. To conclude | Julius Cæsar the dictator; whereof the one was therefore : let no man, upon a weak conceit of so- Aristotle's scholar in philosophy, and the other was briety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or main-Cicero's rival in eloquence : or if any man had tain, that a man can search too far, or be too well rather call for scholars that were great generals, studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of than generals that were great scholars, let him God's works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let take Epaminondas the Theban, or Xenophon the men endeavour an endless progress, or proficience Athenian; whereof the one was the first that abated in both ; only let men beware that they apply both the power of Sparta, and the other was the first that to charity, and not to swelling; to use, and not to made way to the overthrow of the monarchy of ostentation ; and again, that they do not unwisely Persia. And this concurrence is yet more visible mingle, or confound these learnings together. in times than in persons, by how much an age is

And as for the disgraces which learning receiveth a greater object than a man. For both in Ægypt, from politicians, they be of this nature; that learn- Assyria, Persia, Græcia, and Rome, the same times ing doth soften men's minds, and makes them more that are most renowned for arms, are likewise most unapt for the honour and exercise of arms; that it admired for learning; so that the greatest authors doth mar and pervert men's dispositions for matter and philosophers, and the greatest captains and of government and policy, in making them too curious governors, have lived in the same ages. Neither and irresolute by variety of reading, or too peremp- can it otherwise be : for as, in man, the ripeness tory or positive by strictness of rules and axioms, or of the strength of body and mind cometh much too immoderate and overweening by reason of the about an age, save that the strength of the body greatness of examples, or too incompatible and dif- cometh somewhat the more early ; so, in states, fering from the times, by reason of the dissimilitude arms, and learning, whereof the one correspondeth of examples; or at least, that it doth divert men's to the body, the other to the soul of man, have a travails from action and business, and bringeth them concurrence or near sequence in times. to a love of leisure and privateness; and that it And for matter of policy and government, that doth bring into states a relaxation of discipline, learning should rather hurt, than enable thereunto, whilst every man is more ready to argue than to is a thing very improbable : we see it is accounted obey and execute. Out of this conceit, Cato, sur- an error to commit a natural body to empiric physinamed the Censor, one of the wisest men indeed cians, which commonly have a few pleasing receipts, that ever lived, when Carneades the philosopher whereupon they are confident and adventurous, but came in embassage to Rome, and that the young know neither the causes of diseases, nor the commen of Rome began to flock about him, being allured plexions of patients, nor peril of accidents, nor the with the sweetness and majesty of his eloquence and true method of cures: we see it is a like error to rely learning, gave counsel in open senate, that they upon advocates or lawyers, which are only men of should give him his despatch with all speed, lest he practice, and not grounded in their books, who are should infect and enchant the minds and affections many times easily surprised, when matter falleth out of the youth, and at unawares bring in an alteration besides their experience, to the prejudice of the of the manners and customs of the state. Out of causes they handle : so, by like reason, it cannot be the same conceit, or humour, did Virgil, turning his but a matter of doubtful consequence, if states be pen to the advantage of his country, and the disad- managed by empiric statesmen, not well mingled vantage of his own profession, make a kind of sepa- with men grounded in learning. But contrariwise, ration between policy and government, and between it is almost without instance contradictory, that ever arts and sciences, in the verses so much renowned, any government was disastrous that was in the hands attributing and challenging the one to the Romans, of learned governors. For howsoever it hath been and leaving and yielding the other to the Grecians; ordinary with politic men to extenuate and disable “ Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento, learned men by the names of pedants ; yet in the Hæ tibi erunt artes, etc.". So likewise we see that records of time it appeareth, in many particulars, Anytus, the accuser of Socrates, laid it as an article that the governments of princes in minority (notof charge and accusation against him, that he did, withstanding the infinite disadvantage of that kind with the variety and power of his discourses and of state) have nevertheless excelled the government disputations, withdraw young men from due rever- of princes of mature age, even for that reason which ence to the laws and customs of their country; and they seek to traduce, which is, that by that occasion that he did profess a dangerous and pernicious the state hath been in the hands of pedants: for so science, which was, to make the worse matter seem was the state of Rome for the first five years, which the better, and to suppress truth by force of eloquence are so much magnified, during the minority of Nero, and speech.

in the hands of Seneca, a pedant: so it was again But these, and the like imputations, have rather for ten years' space or more during the minority of a countenance of gravity, than any ground of justice : Gordianus the younger, with great applause and for experience doth warrant, that, both in persons contentation in the hands of Misitheus, a pedant : and in times, there hath been a meeting and con- so was it before that, in the minority of Alexander currence in learning and arms, flourishing and ex- Severus, in like happiness, in hands not much unlike, celling in the same men, and the same ages. For, by reason of the rule of the women, who were aided as for men, there cannot be a better, nor the like by the teachers and preceptors. Nay, let a man instance, as of that pair, Alexander the Great and look into the government of the bishops of Rome,

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