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so with my wonted wishes I leave you to God's good


From GRAY'S INN, the 17th of February, 1610.

Among Bacon's memoranda of the 26th of July 1608, one runs thus: "Q. of learned men beyond the seas to be made, and hearkening who they be that may be so inclined." "To be made" means of course to be persuaded to take an interest in the "Great Instauration." In the course of the next year a chance presented itself, which he did not neglect, though I am not aware that anything came of it. Isaac Casaubon, the famous scholar, was then at Paris, invited by a pension from Henry IV. and hopes of a professorship. He had there become acquainted with some of Bacon's writings, probably through Sir George Cary, and perhaps at the instance of Bacon himself; and had written to Sir George to express his admiration of them. Bacon took hold of the occasion to invite a correspondence, as we learn from the following letter; which comes from the collection at Lambeth. It is only a draught, and may probably therefore be the record of an intention only, which was not fulfilled. But for our purposes the intention is enough. The date is not in this case of much consequence; except that if the letter was sent to Casaubon in 1609, we might have expected to hear of some further communication between them after he arrived in England; which he did the next year. Birch, by whom this letter was first published, observing that Casaubon had written to Sir George Cary, appears to have inferred that they could not have been both in France or both in England; and as Sir George returned from his embassy in France in October, 1609, and Casaubon arrived in England in October, 1610, concluded that the letter must have been written between those dates. But as it is obvious that Casaubon might have sent a letter to Sir George when they were both in

Paris or both in London, there is not really any ground for that conclusion. All that can be said is that this is as likely a date as any other, and that the letter comes in here more conveniently than it would anywhere else. Only it must be understood that any speculation which depends upon the assumption of this date as a fact, ought to be rejected as wanting evidence. Casaubon came to England after the death of Henry IV., and was well entertained by James, both with attentions and preferments, till 1614, when he died; but I find no traces of any further correspondence between him and Bacon; which, if they had come into personal communication, could hardly have failed to be found in the "Ephemerides."

“Understanding from your letter to the Lord Cary that you approve my writings, I not only took it as a matter for congratulation with myself, but thought I ought to write and tell you how much pleasure it had given me. You are right in supposing that my great desire is to draw the sciences out of their hiding-places into the light. For indeed to write at leisure that which is to be read at leisure matters little; but to bring about the better ordering of man's life and business, with all its troubles and difficulties, by the help of sound and true contemplations,

this is the thing I aim at. How great an enterprise in this kind I am attempting, and with what small helps, you will learn perhaps hereafter. In the meantime you would do me a very great pleasure if you would in like manner make known to me what you are yourself revolving and endeavoring and working at. For I hold that conjunction of minds and studies has a greater part in friendships than civil ties and offices of occasion. Surely I think no man could ever more truly say of himself with the Psalm than I can, My soul hath been a stranger in her pilgrimage.' So I seem to have my conversation among the ancients more than among these with whom

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I live. And why should I not likewise converse rather with the absent than the present, and make my friendships by choice and election, rather than suffer them, as the manner is, to be settled by accident? But to return to my purpose. If in anything my friendship can be of use or grace to you or yours, assure yourself of my good and diligent service and so biddeth you farewell "Your friend, etc."

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THE great political problem which the times of James the First had to solve had been kept waiting hitherto by other business, but could not be kept waiting much longer. During the last two sessions the Union and the Gunpowder Plot had prevented the question how the Crown should be supplied with a revenue adequate to its wants from being pushed to a crisis; the discussion of the Union having occupied the time of the Lower House, and the horror of the conspiracy having disposed them to be liberal. But even in 1606, when their excited loyalty showed itself in so large a grant a grant without any precedent in a time of peace-the pertinacity with which they insisted that the petition of grievances should be presented to the King before the bill of the three subsidies went up to the Lords,1 gave sure sign of a struggle The truth was that the business of government had outgrown the provision for carrying it on. The ordinary income of the Crown was no longer equal to the ordinary demands upon it. Even Elizabeth, with all her power of obtaining zealous service without paying for it in money, and with a practice of economy in all departments which every modern historian condemns (in respect to the particular departments which he happens himself to favor) as parsimony, - parsimony in the reward of servants, in the provisioning of armies, in the keeping up of national defenses, in the subsidizing of allies,

to come.

1 See p. 479.

even Elizabeth could not carry on the government in her later years without calling upon Parliament for annual contributions far beyond all former precedent, nor even then without borrowing money to the amount of a whole year's income and selling land to the value of as much more. The cause was simple enough. Large estates are costly to manage. The nation had increased greatly in wealth and population; the business and cost of government had increased along with it: but the fund out of which the cost was to be defrayed was comparatively stationary. As the kings of England were never merchants, the patrimony of the Crown could not be expected to grow with the growth of a nation whose commercial activity was bringing honey to the hive from every land over every sea; while prices were rising from the influx of gold into Europe; and the value of the Parliamentary subsidy, in which (as being a direct tax upon real and personal property) a proportionate increase might have been looked for, was, for some reason which I do not clearly understand, gradually diminishing. Whatever may have been the cause, there is no doubt about this fact: and it is important enough to be worth exhibiting in detail. The following statement, authenticated by a note in the handwriting of the Earl of Salisbury, is preserved among the State Papers.

A comparison of Subsidies and Fifteenths drawn down from the first year of Q. Eliz. to the present 10th of Feb. 1609.

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