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terial, except in so far as it might help to fix the exact date. The letter explains itself, and has the same value for us, to whomsoever addressed.

It may be worth observing that, though the view here taken of the Queen's proceedings towards the Catholics, is the same which Bacon maintained to the end of his life, and took pains to impress upon posterity (see the "In Felicem Memoriam Elizabetha"), yet with regard to the policy of her dealing with the Puritans (except on one occasion, where he denies that breaches of the law and disturbances of church and state on that side had been allowed to go unpunished), he was, so far as I know, silent. And the truth I take to be that, after the year 1590, he could not have said that her proceedings towards them had been "with as great moderation as the peace of the church and state would permit."

From this time till the latter part of 1591, I find no other composition of Bacon's; nor any important piece of news concerning him, except the following entry in a note-book of Burghley's, dated October 29th, 1589: "A grant of the office of the Clerk of the Counsel in the Star Chamber to Francis Bacon." It was procured for him by Burghley, and the office was a valuable one; worth £1,600 a year, and executed by deputy. It was only the reversion, however, that was granted to him, which did not fall in for twenty years.

Occasional allusions in his brother's correspondence show that he continued as before at Gray's Inn, but tell us little or nothing of his occupations. During this interval, however, it must have been that he became acquainted with the Earl of Essex; an acquaintance which had so great an influence upon his after-life that what I have to say concerning the commencement of it may fitly open a new chapter.

VOL. I.

1 The Works of Francis Bacon, vol. ii., pt. 1, page 413.

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WHEN, or under what circumstances, the acquaintance between Bacon and the Earl of Essex began, I cannot exactly learn. In his brother's papers I find no allusion to it earlier than February, 1591-92, by which time it had ripened into intimacy; and since Essex had been engaged in France during the latter half of 1591, as commander of the forces sent to assist Henry IV., the commencement of the acquaintance cannot well be dated later than the preceding July.1 Essex was then twenty-three, and had been for some years high in the Queen's favor. In 1585 and 1586, he had served with distinction under the Earl of Leicester in Holland. In 1587, the Queen had made him her Master of the Horse. In 1588, on occasion of the Spanish invasion, she had appointed him General of the Horse. In 1589, when he returned from the expedition to Portugal in aid of Don Antonio, which he had joined against her orders, she had received him, in spite of his disobedience, with greater favor than ever. Had this been all, a man in Bacon's position could not but be glad of his friendship, and their common relation to Burghley (to whose guardianship Essex had been especially bequeathed by his father on his deathbed) would naturally bring them together. But the attraction which drew them towards each other was not of that ordinary

1 A letter from Bacon to the Earl of Leicester, asking for his furtherance of some suit which the Earl of Essex had moved in his behalf, has since been found,-written in 1588.

kind. Bacon had many things at heart besides the advancement of his own fortune; and there was promise in Essex of something far greater than ascendancy in the Queen's favor. Except Sir Philip Sidney, no man had appeared on that stage who seemed so likely, if he attained great power, to make a great use of it; especially in those things which Bacon was most anxious about, but for which he had little reason to expect encouragement in high places. How to steer the State through the dangers and difficulties of the present time, none knew better then Walsingham and Burghley; whose skill and policy, along with their offices, Robert Cecil seemed destined to inherit. How to maintain the dignity of the Crown, the greatness of the kingdom, and the authority of the existing laws,how to attract, attach, and use the ablest servants both for peace and war, no one knew better than the Queen herself. But her cares did not extend beyond her own people and her own times. Though one of the greatest of governors, she was no great legislator. Though of the most learned of women, she was no great patroness of learning, except where (as in the church and the law) she wanted it for an instrument to govern with. Though the champion of Protestantism, and without any shade of religious bigotry, she took no care to provide for the spiritual wants of the next generation, by making room within the church for those varieties of opinion which the spirit of Protestantism was sure to develop. Though a reverencer of the laws herself, and well aware that the reverence of the people for the laws was the foundation and life of government, she took but little interest in projects for the reformation of them, by correcting abuses, removing uncertainties, simplifying complexities, and settling principles. Whatever savored of "speculation" she regarded with indifference or distrust, as a disqualification for practical service. And as for the recovery to Man of his lost dominion over Nature" by

means of Knowledge, she had enough to do in maintaining the dominion of England within its own shores by means of vigilance and state policy. Neither to her therefore nor to her ministers could Bacon have looked for much encouragement in the prosecution of those larger reforms in philosophy, in letters, in church, in state, upon which his mind was brooding, and which he certainly believed to be practicable if the Government would take them in hand.

But the rise of a man like Essex offered a new and unexpected chance. He was a man of so many gifts and so many virtues, that even now, when his defects and the issue to which they carried him are fully known, it still seems possible that under more favorable accidents he might have realized all the promise of his morning: then it must have seemed more than possible. From his boyhood he had been an eager reader and a patient listener. The first year after he left Cambridge he spent happily in studious retirement. His knowledge was already considerable, his literary abilities great, his views liberal and comprehensive, his speech persuasive, his respect for intellectual qualifications in other men earnest and unaffected. His religious impressions were deep, and without being addicted to any of the religious parties in the state, he had points of sympathy with them all. His temper was hopeful, ardent, enterprising; his will strong, his opinions decided; yet he was at the same time singularly patient of oppugnant advice, and liked it the better the more frankly it was given. He had that true generosity of nature which appeals to all human hearts, because it feels an interest in all human things; and which made him a favorite, without any aid from dissimulations and plausibilities, at once with the people, the army, and the Queen. A character rare at all times and in all places; most rare in such a station as he seemed destined thus early to occupy; and promising fruits proportionably rare,

if it might only escape the dangers incident to an overforward season. It was easy for Bacon to see that here was a man capable by nature of entering heartily into all his largest speculations for the good of the world, and placed by accident in a position to realize, or help to realize, them. It was natural to hope that he would do it. The favorite of a mighty Queen, herself the favorite of a mighty nation; with a heart for all that was great, noble, and generous; an ear open to all freest and faithfullest counsel; an understanding to apprehend and appreciate all wisdom; an imagination great enough to entertain new hopes for the human race; without any shadow of bigotry or narrowness; without any fault as yet apparent, except a chivalrous impetuosity of character; the very grace of youth, and the very element out of which, when tempered by time and experience, all moral greatness and all extraordinary and enterprising virtue derive their vital energy; in times when the recent agitations of society had stirred men's minds to hope and dare, and exercise them in all kinds of active enterprise; he must have seemed in the eyes of Bacon like the hope of the world. We need not seek any further surely, to account for the attachment which soon sprang up between the two. The proffered friendship and confidence of such a man — what could Bacon do but embrace it as frankly as it was offered? Such a friend and counsellor seemed to be the one thing which such a spirit stood in need of. If Essex seemed like a man expressly made to realize the hopes of a new world, so Bacon may seem to have been expressly made for the guardian genius of such a man as Essex. And thus their acquaintance began, about the time at which we are now arrived; in 1590, probably, or the early part of 1591. For "I held at that time," wrote Bacon fourteen years after, "my Lord to be the fittest instrument to do good to the state; and therefore I applied myself to him in a manner which I think happeneth

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