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1621 to 1626.

SUCH was the storm in which he was wrecked. "Methinks," says Archbishop Tennison, "they are resembled by those of Sir George Summers, who being bound by his employment to another coast, was by tempest cast upon the Bermudas: and there a shipwrecked man made full discovery of a new temperate fruitful region, where none had before inhabited; and which mariners, who had only seen. as rocks, had esteemed an inaccessible and enchanted place.

This temperate region was not unforeseen by the Chancellor.

In a letter to the King, on the 20th March, 1622, he says, "In the beginning of my trouble, when in the midst of the tempest, I had a kenning of the harbour, which I hope now by your majesty's favour I am entering into: now my study is my exchange, and my pen my practice for the use of my talent."

It is scarcely possible to read a page of his works without seeing that the love of knowledge was his ruling

"that of all he had given him he would leave him nothing," a threat which he fulfilled to the letter.-Hacket's Life of Williams, part 2, p. 19. The Countess of Buckingham told the Lord Keeper that St. David's was the man that did undermine him with her son, and would underwork any man that himself might rise.

In two years of King Charles's reign Buckingham pulled down Williams, Lee, Conway, Suckling, Crew, and Walter.

passion; that his real happiness consisted in intellectual delight. How beautifully does he state this when enumerating the blessings attendant upon the pursuit and possession of knowledge:

"The pleasure and delight of knowledge and learning far surpasseth all other in nature: for, shall the pleasures of the affections so exceed the senses, as much as the obtaining of desire or victory exceedeth a song or a dinner; and must not, of consequence, the pleasures of the intellect or understanding exceed the pleasures of the affections? We see in all other pleasures there is satiety, and after they be used their verdure departeth, which sheweth well they be but deceits of pleasure, and not pleasures; and that it was the novelty which pleased, and not the quality; and therefore we see that voluptuous men turn friars, and ambitious princes turn melancholy; but of knowledge there is no satiety, but satisfaction and appetite are perpetually interchangeable; (a) and therefore appeareth to be good in itself simply, without fallacy or accident. Neither is that pleasure of small efficacy and contentment to the mind of man, which the poet Lucretius describeth elegantly,

Suave mari magno, turbantibus æquora ventis, &c.

'It is a view of delight, to stand or walk upon the shore side, and to see a ship tossed with tempest upon the sea; or to be in a fortified tower, and to see two battles join upon a plain; but it is a pleasure incomparable for the mind of man to be settled, landed, and fortified in the certainty of truth; and from thence to decry and behold the errors, perturbations, labours, and wanderings up and down of other men.'” (b)

(a) "Heaven and earth pass away, but my words do not pass away." (b) Advancement of Learning.

Happy would it have been for himself and society, if following his own nature, he had passed his life in the calm but obscure regions of philosophy.

He now, however, had escaped from worldly turmoils, and was enabled, as he wrote to the King, to gratify his desire "to do, for the little time God shall send me life, like the merchants of London, which, when they give over trade, lay out their money upon land: so, being freed from civil business, I lay forth my poor talent upon those things, which may be perpetual, still having relation to do you honour with those powers I have left."

In a letter to Buckingham, on the 20th of March, 1621, he says, "I find that, building upon your lordship's noble nature and friendship, I have built upon the rock, where neither winds nor waves can cause overthrow:" and, in the conclusion of the same year, (a) “ I am much fallen in love with a private life, but yet I shall so spend my time, as shall not decay my abilities for use."

And in a letter to the Bishop of Winchester,(b) in which, after having considered the conduct in their banishments, of Demosthenes, Cicero, and Seneca, he proceeds thus: "These examples confirmed me much in a resolution, whereunto I was otherwise inclined, to spend my time wholly in writing, and to put forth that poor talent, or half talent, or what it is that God hath given me, not as heretofore to particular exchanges, but to banks or mounts of perpetuity, which will not break. Therefore having not long since set forth a part of my Instauration, which is the work that in mine own judgment, si nunquam fallit imago, I may most esteem, I think to proceed in some new parts thereof; and although I have received from many parts beyond the seas testimonies touching that

(a) Sept. 5, 1621.

(b) See vol. vii. p. 113.

work, such as beyond which I could not expect at the first in so abstruse an argument, yet, nevertheless, I have just cause to doubt that it flies too high over men's heads. I have a purpose, therefore, though I break the order of time, to draw it down to the sense by some patterns of a natural story and inquisition. And again, for that my book of Advancement of Learning may be some preparative or key for the better opening of the Instauration, because it exhibits a mixture of new conceits and old; whereas the Instauration gives the new unmixed, otherwise than with some little aspersion of the old, for taste's sake, I have thought good to procure a translation of that book into the general language, not without great and ample additions and enrichment thereof, especially in the second book, which handleth the partition of sciences, in such sort, as I hold it may serve in lieu of the first part of the Instauration, and acquit my promise in that part.

Again, because I cannot altogether desert the civil person that I have born, which if I should forget, enough would remember. I have also entered into a work touching laws, propounding a character of justice in a middle term, between the speculative and reverend discourses of philosophers and the writings of lawyers, which are tied, and obnoxious to their particular laws; and although it be true that I had a purpose to make a particular digest, or recompilement of the laws of mine own nation, yet because it is a work of assistance, and that I cannot master by my own forces and pen, I have laid it aside. Now having in the work of my Instauration had in contemplation the general good of men in their very being, and the dowries of nature; and in my work of laws, the general good of men likewise in society, and the dowries of government: I thought in duty I owed somewhat to my country, which I ever loved; insomuch, as although my place hath been far

Imprisonment of Bacon.

above my desert, yet my thoughts and cares concerning
the good thereof were beyond and over and above my
place: so now, being as I am, no more able to do my
country service, it remained unto me to do it honour;
which I have endeavoured to do in my work of the reign
of King Henry VII. As for my essays, and some other
particulars of that nature, I count them but as the recrea-
tion of my other studies, and in that sort I purpose to
continue them; though I am not ignorant that those kind
of writings would, with less pains and embracement, per-
haps, yield more lustre aud reputation to my name than
those other which I have in hand. But I account the use
that a man should seek of the publishing his own writings
before his death to be but an untimely anticipation of that
which is proper to follow a man, and not to go along
with him."

The sentence now remained to be executed. On the
last day of May, Lord St. Albans was committed to the
Tower; and, though he had placed himself altogether in
the King's hands, confident in his kindness, it is not to be
supposed that he could be led to prison without deeply
feeling his disgrace. In the anguish of his mind he
instantly wrote to Buckingham and to the King, sub-
mitting, but maintaining his integrity as Chancellor.

"Good my Lord,—Procure the warrant for my discharge this day. Death, I thank God, is so far from being unwelcome to me, as I have called for it (as Christian resolution would permit) any time these two months. But to die before the time of his majesty's grace, and in this disgraceful place, is even the worst that could be; and when I am dead, he is gone that was always in one tenor, a true and perfect servant to his master, and one that was never author of any immoderate, no, nor unsafe, no (I will say it), not unfortunate counsel; and one that no tempta

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