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Edward Coke, in saying, "Si quid moves a principio moveas. Errores ad principia referre est refellere." His opinion was that he, "who in the cure of politic or of natural disorders, shall rest himself contented with second causes, without setting forth in diligent travel to search for the original source of evil, doth resemble the slothful husbandman, who moweth down the heads of noisome weeds, when he should carefully pull up the roots; and the work shall ever be to do again."

Cautious, gradual, permanent reform, from the love of excellence, is ever in the train of knowledge. They are the tests of a true reformer.

Such were the principles which he carried into law and into politics.

As a lawyer he looked with microscopic eye into its subtleties, and soon made great proficience in the science. (a) He was active in the discharge of his professional duties: and published various works upon different parts of the law. In his offices of Solicitor and Attorney General, "when he was called, as he was of the King's council learned, to charge any offenders, either in criminals or capitals, he was never of an insulting and domineering nature over them, but always tender-hearted, and carrying himself decently towards the parties, though it was his duty to charge them home, but yet as one that looked

(a) When the celebrated lawyer, Mr. Hargrave, is speaking of the powers displayed by Lord Bacon, in his reading on the statute of Uses, he says, "It is a very profound treatise on the subject, as far as it goes, and shows that he had the clearest conception of one of the most abstruse parts of our law. What might we not have expected," he adds, "from the hands of such a master, if his vast mind had not so embraced within its compass the whole field of science, as very much to detach him from professional studies."--Such are the observations of Mr. Hargrave, an eminent lawyer, upon Lord Bacon's legal attainments.

upon the example with the eye of severity, but upon the person with the eye of pity and compassion." (a)

As a Judge, it has never been pretended that any decree Judge. made by him was ever reversed as unjust. (b)

As a Patron of preferment his favourite maxim was Patron. "Detur digniori, qui beneficium digno dat omnes obligat."

As a Statesman he was indefatigable in his public Statesman. exertions. "Men think," he said, "I cannot continue if I should thus oppress myself with business; but my account is made. The duties of life are more than life; and if I die now, I shall die before the world is weary of me, which in our times is somewhat rare."


His love of reform, his master passion, manifested itself Reform as both as a statesman and as a lawyer; but, before he and lawyer. attempted any change he, with his usual caution, said, "There is a great difference between arts and civil affairs; arts and sciences should be like mines, resounding on all sides with new works, and further progress: but it is not good to try experiments in states except the necessity be urgent or the utility evident; and well to beware that it is the reformation that draweth on the change and not the desire of change that pretendeth the reformation."

The desire to change he always regarded with great jealousy. He knew that in its worst form it is the tool by which demagogues delude and mislead ; (c) and in its best form, when it originates in benevolence and a love of truth, it is a passion by which kind intention has rushed on with such fearless impetuosity, and wisdom been hurried into such lamentable excess: it is so nearly allied to a contempt of authority, and so frequently ac

(a) Rawley.

(b) See Rushworth, vol. i. p. 28. (c) See note, next page.

companied by a presumptuous confidence in private judgment: a dislike of all established forms merely because they are established, and of the old paths merely because they are old: it has such a tendency to go too far rather than not far enough; that this great man, conscious of the blessings of society and of the many perplexities which accompany even the most beneficial alterations, always looked with suspicion upon a love of change, whether it existed in himself or in others. In his advice to Sir George Villiers he said,-" Merit the admonition of the wisest of men: My son, fear God and the King, and meddle not with those who are given to change.""

(c) False patriotism, till it gain its end,
Is as the true in many semblances.
Like that it takes upon it to reform
Oppressive judgments and injurious laws,
That bear too hard upon the common weal:
Cries out upon abuses, seems to weep
Over the country's wrongs: and by this face
Of seeming zeal and justice, craftily

It wins those hearts for which its bait is thrown.

But when its end is gained,

'Tis flattering, cruel,

Pompous and full of sound and stupid rage
Of faith neglectful: heaping wrong on wrong:
Ambitious, selfish :—while the true is calm,
Firm, persevering, more in act than show.

Deux citoiens haranguoient sur la place,
Montés chacun sur un tréteau :

L'un vend force poisons, distillés dans une eau
Limpide à l'œil; mais il parle avec grace;

Son habit est doré, son équipage est beau;
Il attroupe la populace.

L'autre, ami des humains, jaloux de leur bonheur,
Pour rien débite un antidote:

Mais il est simple, brusque et mauvais orateur;

On s'en moque, on le fuit comme un fou qui radote,
Et l'on court à l'empoisonneur.


As a statesman his first wish was, in the true spirit of Reform as his philosophy, to preserve; the next, to improve the constitution in church and state.

In his endeavours to improve England and Scotland he was indefatigable and successful. He had no sooner succeeded than he immediately raised his voice for oppressed Ireland, with an earnestness which shows how deeply he felt for her sufferings. "Your majesty," he said, "accepted my poor field fruits touching the union, but let me assure you that England, Scotland, and Ireland well united, will be a trefoil worthy to be worn in your She is blessed with all the dowries of nature and with a race of generous and noble people; but the hand of man does not unite with the hand of nature. The harp of Ireland is not strung to concord. It is not attuned with the harp of David in casting out the evil spirit of superstition, or the harp of Orpheus in casting out desolation and barbarism.'


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In these reforms he acted with his usual caution. He looked about him to discover the straight and right way, and so to walk in it. He stood on such an eminence, that his eye rested not upon small parts, but comprehended the whole. He stood on the ancient way. He saw this happy country, the mansion house of liberty. He saw the order and beauty of her sacred buildings, the learning and piety of her priests, the sweet repose and holy quiet of her decent sabbaths, and that best sacrifice of humble and simple devotion, more acceptable than the fire of the temple which went not out by day or by night. He saw it in the loveliness of his own beautiful description. of the blessings of government. "In Orpheus's theatre all beasts and birds assembled, and forgetting their several appetites, some of prey, some of game, some of quarrel, stood all sociably together, listening to the airs and accords

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