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the Deity, as they which you shall evermore note to have attributed much to fortune and providence. Contrariwise, those who ascribed all things to their own cunning and practices, and to the immediate and apparent causes, and as the prophet saith," have sacrificed to their own nets," have been always but petty counterfeit statesmen, and not capable of the greatest actions. Lastly, this I dare affirm, in knowledge of nature, that a little natural philosophy and the first entrance into it, doth dispose the opinion to atheism; but, on the other side, much natural philosophy, and wading deep into it, will bring about men's minds to religion; wherefore atheism every way seems to be joined and combined with folly and ignorance, seeing nothing can be more justly allotted to be the saying of fools than this, There is no God."
The first edition of his Essays, which was published with the Meditationes Sacræ, in 1597, does not contain any essay upon Atheism. The next time the subject is mentioned by Lord Bacon is in 1605, in the passage which I have just quoted from the Advancement of Learning.
In 1612, Lord Bacon published an enlarged edition of his Essays, and in this edition there is an essay on Atheism, containing the very same sentiments; and in 1625, the year before his death, he published another edition of his Essays, in which there are additions and alterations, and considerable improvements of the essay on Atheism, but a repetition of the same opinions. He says, in his sixteenth essay, which is "Of Atheism," "I had rather believe all the fables in the legend and the Talmud and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind; and therefore God never wrought miracle to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it. It is true that a little philosophy inclines man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate and linked together, it must needs fly to providence and deity."
My singular good Lord,-Your lordship's so honourable minding my poor fortune, the last year, in the very entrance into that great action, (which is a time of less leisure; and in so liberal an allowance of your care, as to write three letters to stir me up friends in your absence, doth, after a sort, warrant me not to object to myself your present quantity of affairs, whereby to silence myself from petition of the like favour. I brake with your lordship myself at the Tower; and I take it, my brother hath since renewed the same motion, touching a fortune I was in thought to attempt, in genere œconomico. In genere politico, certain cross winds have blown contrary. My suit to your lordship is, for your several letters to be left with me, dormant, to the gentlewoman and either of her parents. Wherein I do not doubt, but as the beams of your favour have often dissolved the coldness of my fortune, so in this argument your lordship will do the like with your pen. My desire is also, that your lordship would vouchsafe unto me, as out of your care, a general letter to my Lord Keeper, for his lordship's holding me from you recommended, both in the course of my practice, and in the course of my employment in her majesty's service; wherein, if your lordship shall, in any antithesis or relation affirm, that his lordship shall have no less fruit of me than of any other whom he may cherish, I hope your lordship shall engage yourself for no impossibility. Lastly, and chiefly, I know not whether I shall attain to see your lordship before your noble journey; for ceremonies are things infinitely inferior to my love and to my zeal. This let me, with your allowance, say unto you by pen. It is true that in my well meaning advices, out of my love to your lordship, and, perhaps, out of the state of mine own minde, I have sometimes persuaded a course differing: Ac tibi pro tutis insignia facta placebunt: Be it so: yet remember, that the signing of your name is nothing, unless it be to some good patent or charter, whereby your country may be endowed with good and benefit. Which I speak
both to move you to preserve your person for further merit and service of her majesty and your country; and likewise, to refer this action to the same end. And so in most true and fervent prayers, I commend your lordship, and your work in hand, to the preservation and conduct of the divine majesty; so much the more watchful as these actions do more manifestly in show, though alike in truth, depend upon his divine providence.
That nobleman embraced the cause of his friend with his wonted zeal, and instantly dispatched two letters from Sandwich, to be given to the father and mother of the lady. The letter to Sir Thomas Cecil was as follows:
Sir,-I write this letter from the sea side ready to go abroad, and leave it with my secretary, to be by him delivered to you, whensoever he shall know, that my dear and wortthy friend, Mr. Francis Bacon, is a suitor to my Lady Hatton, your daughter. What his virtues and excellent parts are, you are not ignorant. What advantages you may give, both to yourself and to your house, by having a son-in-law so qualified, and so likely to rise in his profession, you may easily judge. Therefore, to warrant my moving of you to incline favourably to his suit, I will only add this, that if she were my sister or daughter, I protest I would as confidently resolve to farther it, as I now persuade you. And though my love to him be exceedingly great, yet is my judgment nothing partial; for he that knows him as well as I do, cannot but be so affected. In this farewell of mine I pray receive the kindest wishes of your most affectionate and assured friend,
Sandwich, this 24th of June.
Lady Cecil, to whom the next letter was addressed, was one of the daughters and coheirs of John Nevil, Lord Latimer.
Madam,―The end in my writing to your ladyship now, is to do that office to my worthy and dear friend, which, if I had stayed in England, I would have done by speech; and that is, to solicit your ladyship to favour his suit to my Lady Hatton, your daughter; which I do in behalf of Mr. Francis Bacon, whose virtues I know so much, as you must hold him worthy of very good fortune. If my judgment be any thing, I do assure your ladyship I think you shall very happily bestow your daughter. And if my faith be any thing, I protest, if I had one as near me, as she is to you, I had rather match her with him than with men of far greater titles. And if my words do carry credit with your ladyship, you shall make me very much bound to you, and shall tie me to be at your ladyship's commandment, ESSEX.
Sandwich, the 24th of June, 1597.
3 N. Life, p. xlii.
This was a most unhappy marriage, and Bacon's subsequent knowledge of Lady Hatton's violence of temper must have made him thankful for his defeat. This lady's name is still connected with a wild legend, and not many years since she was believed to revel nightly with much pomp, in the old mansion in Hatton Garden, which Count Swedenborg afterwards converted into a chapel.
30. Life, p. xlii.
To Sir Thomas Egerton, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal.
It may please your Lordship,---I am to make humble complaint to your lordship of some hard dealing offered me by one Sympson, a goldsmith, a man noted much, as I have heard, for extremities and stoutness upon his purse; but yet I could scarcely have imagined he would have dealt either so dishonestly towards myself, or so contemptuously towards her majesty's service. For this Lombard (pardon me, I most humbly pray your lordship, if being admonished by the street he dwells in, I give him that name) having me in bond for three
hundred pounds principal, and I having the last term confessed the action, and by his full and direct consent, respited the satisfaction till the beginning of this term to come, without ever giving me warning, either by letter or message, served an execution upon me, having trained me at such time as I came from the Tower, where Mr. Waad can witness, we attended a service of no mean importance; neither would he so much as vouchsafe to come and speak with me to take any order in it, though I sent for him divers times, and his house is just by; handling it as upon a despite, being a man I never provoked with a cross word, no nor with many delays. He would have urged it to have had me in prison; which he had done, had not Sheriff More, to whom I sent, gently recommended me to a handsome house in Coleman Street, where I am. Now because he will not treat with me, I am inforced humbly to desire your lordship to send for him according to your place, to bring him to some reason; and this forthwith, because I continue here to my farther discredit and inconvenience, and the trouble of the gentleman with whom I am. I have a hundred pounds laying by me, which he may have, and the rest upon some reasonable time and security, or if need be, the whole; but with my more trouble. As for the contempt he hath offered, in regard her majesty's service to my understanding, carrieth a privilege eundo et redeundo in meaner causes, much more in matters of this nature, especially in persons known to be qualified with that place and employment, which, though unworthy, I am vouchsafed, I inforce nothing, thinking I have done my part when I have made it known, and so leave it to your lordship's honourable consideration. And so with signification of my humble duty, &c.
To Sir Robert Cecil, Secretary of State.
It may please your Honour,---I humbly pray you to understand how badly I have been used by the inclosed, being a copy of a letter of complaint thereof, which I have written to the lord keeper. How sensitive you are of wrongs offered to your blood in my particular I have had not long since experience. But herein I think your honour will be doubly sensitive, in tenderness also of the indignity to her majesty's service; for as for me, Mr. Sympson might have had me every day in London; and therefore to belay me while he knew I came from the Tower about her majesty's special service was to my understanding very bold. And two days before he brags he forebore me, because I dined with Sheriff More: so as with Mr. Sympson, examinations at the Tower are not so great a privilege, eundo et redeundo, as Sheriff More's dinner. But this complaint I make in duty; and to that end have also informed my lord of Essex thereof; for otherwise his punishment will do me no good.
So with signification of my humble duty, I commend your honour to the divine preservation. At your honourable command particularly, FR. BACON.
3 P. Life, p. xlii.
The following is the title of the work: An Account of the lately erected Service, called the Office of Compositions for Alienations. Written [about the close of 1598] by Mr. Francis Bacon, and published from a MS. in the Inner Temple Library. There is a MS. of it in the Harleian MSS. 4888-5.
The biographer of Bacon, in the Biographia Britannica, thus speaks of this work. How far this eulogium is correct I leave the reader to discover. "This curious and highly finished tract, which has been but lately published from a MS. in the Inner Temple Library, is one of the most laboured pieces penned by our most learned author, containing his resolutions of a very perplexed question, whether it was most for the Queen's benefit, that the profits arising from this office for Alienations, should be let out to farm or not? In handling this he has shewn such diversity of learning, and so clear a conception of all the different points of law, history, antiquities, and policy, as is really amazing; for I think it may be truly said, that there is not any treatise of the same compass extant in our language, which manifests so comprehensive a genius, and so accurate a knowledge, both with respect to theory and practice as this, and
therefore it cannot but seem strange, that it lay so long hid from the world; but what appears to me most surprising is, that it shews our author to have had as true notions, and as good a turn for economy as any man ever had, which before the publication of this treatise, was thought the only kind of knowledge in which he was deficient. But it seems it was one thing as a lawyer, statesman, and candidate for court favour, to enter into a detail of the Queen's revenues, to consider the various methods in which they might be managed, together with the advantages and disadvantages attending each method; and quite another, to enter with like spirit and diligence into his own affairs, which if he had done, he might have passed his days more happily, and have left his fame without blemish.'
About the close of the succeeding year, 1598, he composed, on a particular occasion, his History of the Alienation Office, which, however, was not published till many years after his decease. In this learned work he has fully shewn how great a master he was, not in our law only, but in our history and antiquities; so that it may be justly said, there never fell any thing from his pen, which more clearly and fully demonstrated his abilities in his profession. It is not written in that dry, dark, and unentertaining way, which so much discourages young readers in the perusal of books of this kind; but, on the contrary, the style is pleasant and agreeable, though plain and suitable to the subject; and facts, authorities, observations, remarks, and reflections, are so judiciously interwoven, that whoever reads it with a competent knowledge of the subject, must acknowledge him an able lawyer and an elegant writer. It is needless to mention some smaller instances of his abilities in the law, which nevertheless were received by the learned society of which he was a member, with all possible marks of veneration and esteem, and which they have preserved with that reverence due to so worthy a person and so eminent an ornament of their house.
3 Q. Life, p. xlii.
Chudley's case, Le Argument de Fr. Bacon, Lansdowne MSS. 1121. I have procured a copy, and had I procured it in time, it should have been inserted in the volume in this edition appropriated to law works.
3 R. Life, p. xlii.
I subjoin some notices and observations upon the reading in the Statute of Uses.
The first edition of which I have any knowledge, and of which there is a copy in the British Museum, was in 1642. It is thus noticed in the Baconiana: "His lordship's seventh writing, touching Civil Policy in special, is his reading on the Statute of Uses. The following is a copy of the title page: The learned Reading of Sir Francis Bacon, one of her Majesties learned Counsell at Law, upon the Statute of Uses: being his double Reading to the Honourable Society of Grayes Inne. Published for the common good. London: printed for Mathew Walbancke, and Laurence Chapman. 1642.
There have, of course, been various editions since 1642, of which the last was by W. H. Rowe. No. 342 of Hargrave's MSS. contains Index to Bacon on Statute of Uses. The copies in MS. in the Harleian collection in the British Museum appear from the hand writing to have been both written prior to the first printed edition; that in No. 1853 is a complete copy, the other in No. 6688 is written very close in a neat hand, and contains about two-thirds only of the reading; it ends with this passage: "The words that are common to both are words expressing the conveyance whereby the use ariseth."
Blackburn, vol. i. p. 184. We are now come to the learned reading upon the Statute of Uses, being Mr. Bacon's double reading to the honourable society of Gray's Inn, 42 Eliz. When this piece was first published, the state of printing resembled the state of monarchy, both being at a low ebb; and none of our noble author's works have been more miserably racked and disjointed
than this before us. I have been fortunate in procuring a corrected copy of the whole; and further still, a second and much better copy in MS. which I take, upon comparison of hands, to be the character of our author's clerk or amanuensis; for as the proprietor of this MS. was a lawyer by profession, so being cotemporary with our author, the probability of its being an original is the stronger. However, I presume to say, meo periculo, that the internal proofs of the excellency of this MS. so far as it goes (viz. to p. 169) are such that they make our author speak masterly sense, and render the work in a manner new. In the Harleian collection in the British Museum are the following MSS. with these titles:
Lectura Francisci Bacon unius ex consilio Domina Reginæ in Legibus Eru ditis, Duplicis Lectoris, Super Statutum edictum 27 Hen. VIII. cap. 10. de Usibus in Possessionem transferendis. In English. Harleian MSS. British Museum, No. 1853, fol. 90-167.
Lectura secunda Francisci Bacon militis super Statutum provisum, 27 Hen, VIII. cap. 10. de usubus in possessionem tranferendis, &c. Harleian MSS. British Museum, No. 6688, f. 16.
Mr. Hargrave has written the following note on the first leaf of his copy of the edition by Rowe, now in the British Museum :-The first edition of Lord Bacon's Reading on the Statute of Uses was in 1642, which was about seventeen years after his death. In the title page of that edition it is expressed to be "The Learned Reading of Sir Francis Bacon, one of her Majesty's Counsel at Law, upon the Statute of Uses, being his Double Reading to the Honourable Society of Grayes Inne." It appears therefore to have been delivered in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. I collect also from the early part of the Reading, where Lord Bacon mentions Master Attorney's having read upon the statute, that the Reading of Lord Bacon was composed whilst Lord Coke was attorney general to Queen Elizabeth, which was from 10th April, 36th Eliz. to the end of her reign. My inference that by Master Attorney Lord Bacon meant Lord Coke, is from my having a manuscript volume of Readings, with an imperfect note of part of a reading by Lord Coke upon the Statute of Uses, entitled Lecture of Master Coke, Attorney General; and from Lord Coke's being Attorney General when the Reading by Lord Bacon was delivered, which must have been after the judgment in Chudleigh's case, in 37th Eliz. he citing that judgment as made in that year. Upon the whole, I think that Lord Bacon's Reading was delivered about three or four years before the death of Elizabeth. -F. H.
In Coke upon Littleton, 17 Edw. l. i. c. 1. gg 4. p. 13, there is the following accidental observation by Mr. Hargrave: "As to an uses ensuing the nature of the land, see 1 Co. 127, 2 Co. 58, and Bac. Reading on Stat. Uses, 8vo. edit. 308, in which latter book the author controverts the generality of the doctrines, which certainly ought to be understood between uses and the land itself; or rather, as he expresses himself between uses and cases of possession. It may be proper to observe, that all the editions of Lord Bacon's Reading on Uses are printed with such extreme incorrectness, that many passages are rendered almost unintelligible, even to the most attentive reader. A work so excellent deserves a better edition."
3S. Life, p. xliv.
The following selections from D'Ewer's Journal will enable the reader to form some estimate of his unremitted exertions; and will be the means of publishing some speeches not hitherto contained in any of the works.
Extract from the Journal of the House of Commons, 39 and 40 Reg. Eliz. 1597, p. 551.-Mr. Francis Bacon spake first, after that one bill, mentioned in the original Journal Book of the House of Commons, had been read the first time, viz. the bill against Forestallers, Regraters, and Ingrossers, and made a motion against inclosures and depopulation of towns and houses, of husbandry and tillage; and to this purpose he brought in, as he termed it, two bills not drawn with a polished pen, but with a polished heart free from affection and