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There are various letters extant upon this subject, | God, in the maintenance of the prerogative, and exhibiting the king's pecuniary distresses, his to oblige the hearts of the people to him by the rash facility in making promises, and the discon- administration of justice." tent felt by the people at his improvidence, and partiality for his own countrymen.

From these political expedients he turned to his more interesting judicial duties. How strenuously he exerted himself in the discharge of them may be seen in his honest exultation to Buckingham, and may be easily conceived by those who know how indefatigable genius is in any business in which it is interested: how ardent and strenuous it is in encountering and subduing all difficulties to which it is opposed.

In a letter to Buckingham, of the 8th of June,

Though evidently rejoicing at this windfall for his royal master, Bacon, regardless of the importunities of the attorney-general, refused to issue writes of ne exeat against the merchants till he had obtained evidence to warrant his interposition, and cautioned his majesty against granting the forfeitures accruing from this discovery. He entreated that a commission might be formed, impowering Sir E. Coke, the chancellor of the ex-1617, he says, "This day I have made even with chequer, the lord chief justice, and himself, to the business of the kingdom for common justice; investigate this matter. These observations not one cause unheard; the lawyers drawn dry of were well received, and immediately adopted by all the motions they were to make; not one petithe king; and although informations were filed tion unanswered. And this, I think, could not against a hundred and eighty, only twenty of the be said in our age before. This I speak, not out principal merchants were tried and convicted. of ostentation, but out of gladness, when I have They were fined to the amount of £100,000, done my duty. I know men think I cannot conwhich, by the intercession of Buckingham, was tinue if I should thus oppress myself with busiafterwards remitted to about £30,000. The rest ness: but that account is made. The duties of of the prosecutions were stayed at his instance, life are more than life; and if I die now, I shall intercession having been made to him by letters die before the world be weary of me, which in from the States-General, and probably by the our times is somewhat rare." And in two other merchants themselves, in the way in which he letters he, from the same cause, expresses the was usually approached by applicants. same joy.

While this cause was pending, the Earl of These exertions did not secure him from the Suffolk, lord treasurer, was prosecuted, with interference of Buckingham, or protect him, as his lady, in the Star Chamber, for trafficking they have never protected judge, from misreprewith the public money to the amount of £50,000; sentation and calumny; but, unmoved by friendand they were sentenced to imprisonment and ship or by slander, he went right onward in his fine, not, according to the judgment of Sir course. He acted as he taught, from the convicEdward Coke, of £100,000, but of £30,000. tion, that "a popular judge is a deformed thing: Bacon commended Coke to the king, as having and plaudits are fitter for players than magisdone his part excellently, but pursued his own trates. Do good to the people, love them, and constant course, activity in detecting the offence, give them justice, but let it be nihil inde exand moderation in punishing the offender. After pectantes ;' looking for nothing, neither praise nor a short confinement they were released at the in-profit." tercession of Buckingham, and the fine reduced to £7,000.

Notwithstanding Bacon's warning to Buckingham, that he ought not, as a statesman, The motives by which Buckingham was influ- to interfere, either by word or letter, in any enced in this and similar remissions, may possibly cause depending, or like to be depending in be collected from his conduct in the advance-any court of justice, the temptations to Buckment of Lord Chief Justice Montagu, who, for a ingham were, it seems, too powerful to induce sum of £20,000, was appointed to the treasurer-him to attend to this admonition, in resistship, vacated by the removal of Lord Suffolk, and was created a peer; for which offence this dispenser of the king's favours was, in the reign of Charles the First, impeached by the Commons; but he, after the death of Bacon and of the king, solemnly denied the accusation, by protesting "that the sum was a voluntary loan to the king by the lord treasurer, after his promotion, and not an advance to obtain the appointment."

Such were the occupations to which this philosopher was doomed; occupations which, even as chancellor, he regretted, saying, most truly, "I know these things do not pertain to me; for ny part is to acquit the king's office towards

ance of a custom so long established and so deeply seated, that the applications were, as a matter of course, made to statesmen and to judges, by the most respectable members of the community, and by the two universities.

Early in March, Sir Francis was appointed lord keeper, and, on the 4th of April, Buckingham thus wrote: "My honourable lord :-Whereas the late lord chancellor thought it fit to dismiss out of the chancery a cause touching Henry Skipwith to the common law, where he desireth it should be decided; these are to entreat your lordship in the gentleman's favour, that if the adverse party shall attempt to bring it now back

again into your lordship's court, you would not he hath always despised riches, and set honour retain it there, but let it rest in the place where now it is, that without more vexation unto him in posting him from one to another, he may have a final hearing and determination thereof. And so I rest your lordship's ever at command,


"My lord, this is a business wherein I spake to my lord chancellor, whereupon he dismissed the suit."

and justice before his eyes. My lords, I was of counsel with Fisher, and I knew the merits of the cause, for my lord chancellor seeing what recompense Fisher ought in justice to have received, and finding a disability in Wraynham to perform it, was enforced to take the land from Wraynham to give it to Fisher, which is hardly of value to satisfy Fisher's true debt and damages."

Wraynham was convicted by the unanimous

Scarcely a week passed without a repetition of opinion of the court; and the Archbishop of Canthese solicitations.

When Sir Francis was first intrusted with the great seal, he found a cause entitled Fisher v. Wraynham, which had been in the court from the year 1606. He immediately examined the proceedings, and, having ordered the attendance of the parties, and heard the arguments of counsel, he terminated this tedious suit, by decreeing against the defendant Wraynham, who was a man described as holding a smooth pen and a fine speech, but a fiery spirit. He immediately published a libel against the chancellor and the late master of the rolls: for which he was prosecuted in the Star Chamber.

Sir Henry Yelverton, in stating the case, said, "I was of counsel with Mr. Wraynham, and pressed his cause as far as equity would suffer. But this gentleman being of an unquiet spirit, after a secret murmuring, breaks out in a complaint to his majesty, and not staying his return | out of Scotland, but fancying to himself, as if he saw some cloud arising over my lord, compiled his undigested thoughts into a libel, and fastens it on the king. And his most princely majesty finding it stuffed with most bitter reviling speeches against so great and worthy a judge, hath of himself commanded me this day to set forth and manifest his fault unto your lordships, that so he might receive deserved punishment. In this pamphlet Mr. Wraynham saith, he had two decrees in the first lord chancellor's time, and yet are both cancelled by this lord chancellor in a preposterous manner: without cause; without matter; without any legal proceedings; without precedent, upon the party's bare suggestions, and without calling Mr. Wraynham to answer: to reward Fisher's fraud and perjuries; to palliate his unjust proceedings; and to confound Wraynham's estate: and that my lord was therein led by the rule of his own fancy. But he stayeth not here. Not content to scandalize the living, he vilifies the dead, the master of the rolls, a man of great understanding, great pains, great experience, great dexterity, and of great integrity; yet, because he followed not this man's humour in the report thereof, he brands him with aspersions."

And Mr. Sergeant Crowe, who was also counsel for the prosecution, said, "Mr. Wraynham, thus to traduce my lord, is a foul offence; you cannot traduce him of corruption, for, thanks be to God, VOL. I.-(10)

terbury, in delivering his judgment, said, "The fountain of wisdom hath set this glorious work of the world in the order and beauty wherein it stands, and hath appointed princes, magistrates, and judges, to hear the causes of the people. It is fitting, therefore, to protect them from the slanders of wicked men, that shall speak evil of magistrates and men in authority, blaspheming them. And therefore, since Wraynham hath blasphemed and spoken evil, and slandered a chief magistrate, it remaineth, that in honour to God, and in duty to the king and kingdom, he should receive severe punishment."

According to the custom of the times, a suit of hangings for furniture, worth about £160, was presented to the lord chancellor, on behalf of Fisher, by Mr. Shute, who, with Sir Henry Yelverton, was one of his counsel in the cause.

This present was not peculiar to the cause Wraynham and Fisher, but presents on behalf of the respective suitors were publicly made by the counsel in the cause, and were offered by the most virtuous members of the community, without their having, or being supposed to have any influence upon the judgment of the court.

In the cause of Rowland Egerton and Edward Egerton, £400 was presented before the award was made, on behalf of Edward, by the counsel in the cause, Sir Richard Young and Sir George Hastings, who was also a member of the house of commons, but the lord keeper decided against him: and £300 was presented on behalf of Rowland, after the award was made in his favour by the chancellor and Lord Hobart; and in the cause of Awbrey and Bronker, £100 was presented on behalf of Awbrey, before the decree, by his counsel, Sir George Hastings, and a severe decree was made against Awbrey.

In a reference between the company of grocers and apothecaries, the grocers presented £200, and the apothecaries a taster of gold, and a present of ambergris.

In the cause of Hody and Hody, which was for a great inheritance, a present of gold buttons, worth about £50, was given by Sir Thomas Perrot, one of the counsel in the cause, after tho suit was ended.

This slander of Wraynham's was not the only evil to which he was exposed.

On the 12th of November, 1616, John Bertram, (G)

judge, he availed himself of the opportunity to explain the nature of judicial virtues, of which an extensive outline may be seen in his works.

a suitor in chancery, being displeased with a re- the care of great: and, upon the promotion of any port made by Sir John Tindal, one of the masters of the court, shot him dead as he was alighting from his carriage, and, upon his committal to prison, he destroyed himself. An account of this murder was published under the superintendence of Sir Francis, to counteract the erroneous opinions which had been circulated through the country, and the false commiseration which the misery of this wretched offender had excited, in times when the community was alive to hear any slander against the administration of justice.

"The judge is a man of ability, drawing his learning out of his books, and not out of his brain; rather learned than ingenious; more plausible than witty; more reverend than plausible. He is a man of gravity; of a retired nature, and unconnected with politics: his virtues are inlaid, not embossed.-He is more advised than confident. -He has a right understanding of justice, dependWhen the morbid feeling of insane minds is ing not so much on reading other men's writings, as awakened, there is always some chance of a re- upon the goodness of his own natural reason and petition of its outrages. Towards the end of the meditation. He is of sound judgment; not diyear the lord keeper was in danger of sharing the verted from the truth by the strength of immedifate of Sir John Tindal, from the vindictive ate impression. He is a man of integrity :—of temper of Lord Clifton, against whom a decree well regulated passions; beyond the influence had been made, who declared publicly that he either of anger, by which he may be incapable of was sorry he had not stabbed the lord keeper in judging, or of hope, either of money or of worldly his chair the moment he pronounced judgment." advancement, by which he may decide unjustly; As soon as this misguided suitor, who afterwards or of fear, either of the censure of others, which destroyed himself, was comitted to the tower, is cowardice, or of giving pain when it ought to be Bacon wrote to Buckingnam, saying, "I pray given, which is improper compassion.-He is your lordship in humbleness to let his majesty just both in private and in public. He without know that I little fear the Lord Clifton, but I solicitation accepts the office, with a sense of much fear the example, that it will animate ruf-public duty.—He is patient in hearing, in inquiry, fians and rodomonti extremely against the seats of justice, which are his majesty's own seats, yea, and against all authority and greatness, if this pass without public censure and example, it having gone already so far as that the person of a baron hath been committed to the Tower. The punishment it may please his majesty to remit, and I shall, not formally but heartily, intercede for him, but an example, setting myself aside, I wish for terror of persons that may be more dangerous than he, towards the first judge of the kingdom." Not content with discharging the common duties of a judge, he laboured, whenever an op-never ashamed of being wiser to-day than he portunity offered, to improve the administration of justice.

and in insult; quick in apprehension, slow in anger.-His determination to censure is always painful to him, like Cæsar, when he threatened Metellus with instant death, Adolescens, durius est mihi hoc dicere quam facere.'-He does not affect the reputation of despatch, nor forget that an over-speaking judge is no well-tuned cymbal.

He is diligent in discovering the merits of the cause: by his own exertions; from the witness, and the advocates. He is cautious in his judgment; not forming a hasty opinion: not tenacious in retaining an opinion when formed:

was yesterday:' never wandering from the substance of the matter in judgment into useless subtilty and refinement. - He does not delay justice. He is impartial; never suffering any passion to interfere with the love of truth.-He hears what is spoken, not who speaks: whether it be the sovereign, or a pauper; a friend, or a foe; a favourite advocate, or an intelligent judge.—He decides according to law; jus dicere: non jus dare,' is his maxim.-He delivers his judgment in public, palam atque astante corona.'

He carried into effect the proposal, which, when attorney-general, he had submitted to the king, that two legal reporters, with an annual stipend to each of £100, should be appointed. He realized the intention, which he expressed upon taking his seat, by issuing ordinances for the better administration of justice in the chancery, upon which the practice of the court at this day is founded. Before the circuits he assembled the judges, and explained his views of their "He discharges his duty to all persons.-To duties, when they, as the planets of the kingdom, the suitors, by doing justice, and by endeavouring were representing their sovereign, in the adminis- to satisfy them that justice is done:-to the wittration of law and justice;-to advance kind feel-nesses, by patience, kindness, and by encourageing and familiar intercourse, he introduced a mode, ment;-to the jurors, by being a light to lead at that time not usual, of inviting the judges to them to justice:-to the advocates, by hearing dinner; thus manifesting, as he says in a letter to them patiently; correcting their defects, not sufLord Burleigh, that it is ever a part of wisdom fering justice to be perverted by their ingenuity, not to exclude inferior matters of access amongst and encouraging their merits:―to the inferior

About this period the king conferred upon him the valuable farm of the Alienation Office, and he succeeded in obtaining for his residence, York House, the place of his birth, and where his father had lived, when lord keeper in the reign of Elizabeth.

officers, by rewarding the virtuous; skilful in pre- Such was the gorgeous splendour, such the cedents, wary in proceeding, and understanding union of action and contemplation in which he in the business of the court; and discountenanc-lived. ing the vicious, sowers of suits, disturbers of jurisdiction, impeders, by tricks and shifts, of the plain and direct course of justice, and bringing it into oblique lines and labyrinths: and the poller and exacter of fees, who justifies the common resemblance of the courts to the bush, whereunto, while the sheep flies for defence in weather, he is sure to lose part of his fleece:-to himself, by counteracting the tendency of his situation to warp his character, and by proper use of times of recreation:-to his profession, by preserving the privileges of his office, and by improvement of the law-and to society, by advancing justice and good feeling, in the suppression of force and detection of fraud; in readiness to hear the complaints of the distressed; in looking with pity upon those who have erred and strayed; in courtesy; in discountenancing contentious suits; in attending to appearances, esse et videri; in encouraging respect for the office; and by resigning in due time."

In his youth he had exerted himself to improve the gardens of Gray's Inn: in gardens he always delighted, thinking them conducive to the purest of human pleasures, and he now, as chancellor, had the satisfaction to sign the patent for converting Lincoln's Inn Fields into walks, extending almost to the wall where his faithful friend Ben Jonson had, when a boy, worked as a bricklayer.

For relaxation from his arduous occupations he was accustomed to retire to his magnificent and beautiful residence at Gorhambury, the dwellingplace of his ancestors, where, "when his lordship arrived, St. Albans seemed as if the court had been there, so nobly did he live. His servants had liveries with his crest: his watermen were more employed than even the king's."

About half a mile from this noble mansion, of

This may be considered the summit of this great man's worldly prosperity. He had been successively solicitor and attorney-general, privy councillor, lord keeper, and lord chancellor, having had conferred upon him the dignities, first of knight, then of Baron of Verulam, and, early in the next year, of Viscount St. Albans; but, above all, he was distinguished through Europe by a much prouder title, as the greatest of English philosophers.

At York House, on the 22d of January, 1620, he celebrated his sixtieth birthday, surrounded by his admirers and friends, amongst whom was Ben Jonson, who composed, in honour of the day, a poem founded on the fiction of the poet's surprise upon his reaching York House, at the sight of the genius of the place performing some mystery. Fortune is justly represented insecurely placed upon a wheel, whose slightest revolution may cause her downfall. It has been said that wailing sounds were heard, before the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, and at last the rushing of mighty wings when the angel of the sanctuary departed. Had the poet been a prophet, he would have described the good genius of the mansion, not exulting, but dejected, humbled, and about to depart forever.



October, 1620, to June, 1621.

GLITTERING in the blaze of worldly splendour, and absorbed in worldly occupations, the chancellor, now sixty years of age, could no longer delude himself with the hope of completing his favourite work, the great object of his life, upon which he had been engaged for thirty years, and had twelve times transcribed with his own hand. He resolved at once to abandon it, and publish the small fragment which he had composed. For this act of despair he assigned two reasons :

which the ruins yet remain, and within the bounds FROM THE PUBLICATION OF THE NOVUM ORGANUM of Old Verulam, the lord chancellor built, at the expense of about £10,000, a most ingeniously contrived house, where, in the society of his philosophical friends, he escaped from the splendour of chancellor, to study and meditation." Here," says Aubrey, "his lordship much meditated, his servant, Mr. Bushell, attending him with his pen and inkhorn, to set down his present notions. Mr. Thomas Hobbes told me that his lordship would employ him often in this service, whilst he was there, and was better pleased with his minutes, or notes, set down by him, than by others who did not well understand his lordship. He told me that he was employed in translating" Because I number my days, and would have it part of the Essays, viz. three of them, one whereof was that of Greatness of Cities, the other two I have now forgot."

saved;" and "to try whether I can get help in one intended part of this work, namely, the compiling of a Natural and Experimental History,

1 The art of experimenting is,

which must be the foundation of a true and active | more apparent than in his more abstruse works. philosophy." Such are the consequences of vain An outline of it is subjoined.1 attempts to unite deep contemplation and unremitting action! Such the consequences of forgetting our limited powers; that we can reach only to our arm's length, and our voice be heard only till the next air is still!

It will be remembered, that in the Advancement of Learning, he separates the subject of the human mind into

(1. Systematic.

1. Simple.<

1. Production.
2. Inversion.
3. Variation.

4. Translation.

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(1. By repetition.

2. By extension.
(3. By compulsion.

(1. Of the matter.
2. Of the efficient.
3. Of the quantity.

(1. From nature.
1. To nature.
2. To art.

2. From art.

1. To a different art.

2. To a part of the same


3. From experiment to experi

2. The Will.

3. Memory.
4. Tradition.

Under the head of Invention he says, "The invention of sciences, I purpose, if God give me leave hereafter to propound, having digested it into two parts; whereof the one I term experientia literata, and the other interpretatio naturæ: the former being but a degree and rudiment of the latter. But I will not dwell too long, nor speak too great upon a promise." This promise, he, however, lived partly to realize.


A few moments consideration of each of these subjects will not be lost.

PRODUCTION is experimenting upon the result of the expe

riment upon the result of the experiment; as Newton, who,

riment, and is either, 1st, by Repetition, continuing the expeafter having separated light into seven rays, proceeded to separate each distinct pencil of rays; or, 2dly, by Extension, mory being helped by images and pictures of persons: may it not also be helped by imaging their gestures and habits? or, 3dly, by Compulsion, or trying an experiment till its virtue is annihilated: not merely hunting the game, but killing it; as burning or macerating a loadstone, or dissolving iron till the attraction between the iron and the loadstone is gone.

or urging the experiment to a greater subtlety, as in the me

INVERSION is trying the contrary to that which is manifested by the experiment: as in heating the end of a small

bar of iron, and placing the heated end downwards, and your

iron, and place the hand on the ground, to ascertain whether heat is produced as rapidly by descent as by ascent.

VARIATION is either of the matter, as the trying to make paper of woollen, as well as of linen; or of the efficient, as by trying if amber and jet, which when rubbed, will attract straw, will have the same effect if warmed at the fire, or of the quantity, like Esop's housewife, who thought that by doubling her measure of barley, her hen would daily lay her two eggs.

TRANSLATION is either from nature to nature, as Newton

translating the force of gravity upon the earth to the celestial bodies; or from nature to art, as the manner of distilling might be taken from showers or dew, or from that homely experiment of drops adhering to covers put upon pots of boiling water; or from art to a different art, as by transferring the invention of spectacles, to help a weak sight, to an instrument fastened to the ear, to help the deaf; or to a different part of the same art: as, if opiates repress the spirits in diseases, may they not retard the consumption of the spirits

In the year 1623, he completed his tract upon Literate Experience, in which, after having ex-hand on the top, it will presently burn the hand. Invert the plained that our inventions, instead of resulting from reason and foresight, have ever originated in accident; that "we are more beholden to a wild goat for surgery: to a nightingale for modulations of music: to the ibis for some part of physic to a pot-lid that flew open for artillery: in a word, to chance rather than to logic: so that it is no marvel that the Egyptians had their temples full of the idols of brutes; but almost empty of the idols of men:" he divides this art of Discovery into two parts: "For either the indication is made from experiments to experiments, or from experiments to axioms, which may likewise design new experiments; whereof the former we will term Experientia Literata; the latter, Interpretatio Naturæ, or Novum Organum: as a man may go on his way after a threefold manner, either when himself feels out his way in the dark; or, being weak-sighted, is led by the hand of another; or else when he directs his footing by a light. So when a man essays all kind of experiments without sequence or method, that is a mere palpation; but when he proceeds by direction and order in experiments, it is as if he were led by the hand; and this is it which we understand by Literate Experience; for the light itself, which is the third way, is to be derived from the interpretation of nature, or the New Organ."

He then proceeds to explain his doctrine of "Literate Experience," or the science of making experiments. The hunting of Pan.

In this interesting inquiry the miraculous vigilance of this extraordinary man may possibly be

so as to prolong life; or from experiment to experiment: as upon flesh putrefying sooner in some cellars than in ing good or bad air for habitations.

others, by considering whether this may not assist in find

Such are the modes of experimenting by translation,*

open to all men who will awake and perpetually fix their yes, one while on the nature of things, another on the appli

cation of them, to the use and service of mankind.

COPULATION of experiments is trying the efficacy of united experiments, which, when separate, produce the same effect : as, by pulling off the more early buds when they are newly knotted, or by laying the roots bare until the spring, late roses will be produced. Will not the germination be more delayed by a union of these experiments?

CHANCES of an experiment, or the trying a conclusion, not

for that any reason, or other experiment, induceth you to it,

*They may be thus exhibited:
1. From nature

2. From art

To nature.
To art.

To a different art.

To a different part of the same art.

3. From experiment to experiment.

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