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than in the examples of England and France, whereof England, though far inferior in territory and population, hath been nevertheless always an overmatch in arms; in regard the middle-people of Eng. land make good soldiers, which the peasants of France do not. And herein the device of Henry the Seventh King of England (whereof I have spoken largely in the history of his life) was profound and admirable, in making farms and houses of husbandry of a standard; that is maintained with such a proportion of land unto them, as may breed a subject to live in convenient plenty, and to keep the plough in the hands of the owners, or at least usufructuary, and not hirelings and me naries; and thus a country shall merit that character whereby Virgil expresses ancient Italy,
“ Terrà potens armis atque ubere głebê.” His love of familiar illustration is to be found in various parts of the history; speaking of the commotion by the Cornish men in behalf of the impostor Perkin Warbeck, he says, “ The course he held towards the rebels, it was utterly differing from his former custom and practice : which was ever full of forwardness and celerity to make head against them, or to set upon them as soon as ever they were in action. This he was wont to do. But now, besides that he was attempered by years, and less in love with dangers, by the continued fruition of a crown; it was a time when the various appearance to his thoughts of perils of several natures and from divers parts, did make him judge it his best and surest way, to keep his strength together in the seat and centre of his kingdom: according to the ancient Indian emblem, in such a swelling season, to hold the hand upon the middle of the bladder, that no side might rise.” And again, “ All this while the rebellion of Cornwall, whereof we have spoken seemed to have no relation to Perkin; save that perhaps Perkin's proclamation had stricken upon the right vein, in promising to lay down exactions and payments, and so had made them now and then have a kind thought on Perkin. But now these bubbles by much stirring began to meet, as they use to do upon the top of water." And his kind nature and holy feeling appear in his account of the conquest of Granada. 6 Som.. hat about this time came letters from Ferdinando and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, Egnifying the final conquest of Granada, from the Moors; which action, in itself so worthy, King Ferdinando, whose manner was never to lose any virtue for the showing, had expressed and displayed in his letters at large, with all the particularities and religious punctos and ceremonies, that were observed in the reception of that city and kingdom : showing, amongst other things hat the king would not by any means in person enter the city, until he had first aloof seen the cross set up upon the greater tower of Granada, whereby it became Christian ground. That likewise before he would enter, he did homage to God above, pronouncing by a herald from the height of that tower, that he did acknowledge to have recovered that kingdom by the help of God Almighty, and the glorious Virgin, and the virtuous apostle Saint James, and the holy father Innocent the Eighth, together with the aids and services of his prelates, nobles, and commons. That yet he stirred not from his camp till he had seen a little army of martyrs, to the number of seven hundred and more Christians that had lived in bonds and servitude, as slaves to the Moors, pass before his eyes, singing a psalm for their redemption.”
HISTORY OF HENRY VIII.
Of this tract Archbishop Tenison says, “the Second is, the fragment of the History of Henry the Eighth, printed at the end of his lordship’s miscellany works, of which the best edition is that in quarto, in the year 1629. This work he undertook, upon the motion of King Charles the First, but (a greater king not lending him time) he only began it; for that which we have of it, was (it seems) but one morning's work.”
This tract is thus noticed in his letters.
To the Marquis of Buckingham. « Excellent lord, “ Though your lordship's absence fall out in an ill time for myself; yet because I hope in God this noble adventure will make your lordship a rich return in honour, abroad and at home, and chiefly in the inestimable treasure of the love and trust of that thrice-excellent prince; I confess I am so glad of it, as I could not abstain from your lordship's trouble in seeing it expressed by these few and hasty lines.
“I beseech your lordship, of your nobleness vouchsafe to present my most humble duty to his highness, who, I hope, ere long will make me leave King Henry the Eighth, and set me on work in relation of his highness's adventures. “I very humbly kiss your lordship’s hands, resting ever
“ Your lordship's most obliged friend and servant. “February 21, 1622.'
To the Prince. “ It may please your excellent highness, “I send your highness, in all humbleness, my book of Advancement of Learning, translated into Latin, but so enlarged as it may go for a new work. It is a book, I think, will live, and be a citizen of the world, as English books are not. For Henry the Eighth, to deal truly with your highness, I did so despair of my health this summer, as I was glad to choose some such work, as I might compass within days; so far was I from entering into a work of length. Your highness's return hath been my restorative. When I shall wait upon your highness, I shall give you a farther account. So I most humbly kiss your highness's hands, resting
“ Your highness's most devoted servant. “I would (as I wrote to the duke in Spain) I could do your highness's journey any honour with my pen. It began like a fable of the poets; but it deserveth all in a piece a worthy narration."
HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN.
The first letter upon this subject is
“ To the Lord Chancellor, touching the History of Britain. “It may please your good lordship, “Some late act of his majesty, referred to some former speech which I have heard from your lordship, bred in me a great desire, and the strength of desire a boldness to make an humble proposition to your lordship, such as in me can be no better than a wish: but if your lordship should apprehend it, it may take some good and worthy effect. The act I speak of, is the order given by his majesty for the erection of a tomb or monument for our late sovereign Queen Elizabeth :1 wherein I may note much, but only this at his time, that as her majesty did always right to his majesty's hopes, so his highness doth in things right to her memory; a very just and princely retribution. But from this occasion, by Abery easy ascent, I passed farther, being put in mind, by this representative of her person, of the more true and more vive representation, which is of her life and government: for as statues and pictures are dumb histories, so histories are speaking pictures ; wherein if my affection be not too great, or my ring too small, I am of this opinion, that if Plutarch were alive to write lives by parallels, it wou trouble him both for virtue and fortune, to find for her a parallel amongst women. And though she was of the passive sex, yet her government was so active, as, in my simple opinion, it made more impression upon the several states of Europe, than it received from thence. But I confess unto your lordship I could not stay here, but went a little farther into the consideration of the times which have passed since King Henry VIII; wherein I find the strangest variety, that in so little number of successions of any hereditary monarchy hath ever been known. The reign of a child; the offer of an usurpation, though it was but as a diary ague; the reign of a lady married to a foreigner; and the reign of a lady solitary and unmarried; so that as it cometh to pass in massy bodies, that they have certain trepidations and wavering before they fix and settle; so it seemeth that by the providence of God this monarchy, before it was to settle in his majesty, and his generations, in which I hope it is now established forever, hath had these prelusive changes in these barren princes. Neither could I contain myself here, as it is easier for a man to multiply than to stay a wish, but calling to remembrance the unworthiness of the history of England,2 in the main continuance thereof; and the partiality and obliquity of that of Scotland, in the latest and largest authors that I have seen: I conceived it would be honour for his majesty, and a work very memorable, if this island of Great Britain, as it is now joined in monarchy for the ages to come, so it were joined in history for the times past: and that one just and complete history were compiled of both nations. And if any man perhaps should think it may refresh thn memory of former discords, he may satisfy himself with the verse olim hæc meminisse juvabit:' for the case being now altered, it is matter of comfort and gratulation to remember former troubles. Thus much, if it may please your lordship, is in the optative mood; and it is time that I did look is little into the potential; wherein the hope which I conceived was grounded upon three observations. The first, the nature of these times, which flourish in learning, both of art and language; which giveth hope not only that it may be done, but that it may be well done. Secondly, I do see that which all the world sees in his majesty, both a wonderful judgment in learning, and a singular affection towards learning, and works which are of the mind more than of the hand. For there cannot be the like honour sought and found, in building of galleries, and planting of elms along high-ways, and in those outward ornaments, wherein France is now so busy, things rather of magnificence than of magnanimity, as there is in the uniting of states, pacifying of controversies, nourishing and augmenting of learning and arts, and the particular actions appertaining to these; of which kind Cicero judged truly, when he said to Cæsar, • Quantum operibus tuis detrahet vetustas, tantum addet laudibus.' And lastly, I call to mind, that your lordship at some times hath been pleased to express unto me a great desire, that something of this nature should be performed ; answerable indeed to your other noble and worthy courses and actions : joining and adding unto the great services towards his majesty, which have, in small compass of time, been performed by your lordship, other great deservings both of the church and commonwealth, and particulars; so as the opinion of so great and wise a man doth seem to me a good warrant both of the possibility and worth of the matter. But all this while I assure myself, I cannot be mistaken by your lordship, as if I sought an office or employment for myself; for no man knows better than your lordship, that if there were in me any faculty thereunto, yet neither my course of life nor profession would permit it; but because there be so many good painters both for hand and colours, it needeth but encouragement and instructions to give life unto it. So in all humbleness I conclude my presenting unto your lordship this wish; which, if it perish, it is but a loss of that which is not. And so craving pardon that I have taken so much time from your lordship, I remain—"
1 “The monument here spoken of was erected in King Henry VII's chapel at Westminster, in the year 1606."
1 "The unworthiness of the history of England hath been long complained of by ingenious men, both of this and other nations, Sir Francis Bacon hath expressed himself much to the same effect, though more at large in his second book of the Advancement of Learning: where he carries this period of remarkable events somewhat higher than in this letter, beginning with the union of the roses under Henry VII. and ending with the union of the kingdoms under King James. A portion of time tilled with so great and variable accidents both in church and state, and since so well discovered to the view of the world, that had other parts the same performance, we should not longer lie under any reproach of this kind. The reign of King Henry VII. was written by our author soon after his retirement, with so great beauty of style, and wisdom of observa. tion, that nothing can be more entertaining; the truth of history not being disguised with the false colours of romance. It was so acceptable to the P. of Wales, that when he became king, he commanded him to proceed with the reign of King llenry VIII. But my Lord Bacon meditating the history of nature, which he hardly lived to publish; his ill state of health, and succeeding death, put an end to this and other noble designs ; leaving the ecclesiastical and civil affairs of those times to be related by the learned pens of Dr. Burnet, notwithstanding the objections of the avowed enemies, and seeming friends to the reformation, and the Lord Herbert of Cherbury: that I think there is not much of moment to be expected from a future hand. And for the annals of Queen Elizabeth compiled by Mr. Camden, the esteem of them is as universal as the language in which they are written. Nor must I forget in this place to take notice of two fair and large volumes lately published in French by Monsieur de Larrey; where building upon the foundations laid by these gentlemen, and some other memoirs, he hath not forgotten to do much honour to the English nation : beginning his history also with Henry VII."--Stepåens.
* “This I take to be meant of Buchanan's history of Scotland; a book much admired by some, though censured by many for his partiality in favour of the lords, against Mary Queen of the Scots, and the regal power. In other respects, Archbishop potswood informs us that he penned it with such judgment and eloquence, as no country can show a better."'--Stephen .
The next letter is
“ To the king, upon sending unto him a beginning of the history of his majesty's times.
" It may please your niajesty, “ Hearing that your majesty is at leisure to peruse story, a desire took me to make an ey periment what I could do in your majesty's times, which being but a leaf or two, I pray your pardon, if I send it for your recreation; considering that love must creep where it cannot go. But to these I add these petitions: First, that if your majesty do dislike any thing, you would conceive I can amend it upon your least beck. Next, that if I have not spoken of your majesty encomiastically, your majesty would be pleased only to ascribe it to the law of a history; which doth not cluster together praises upon the first mention of a name, but rather disperseth and weaveth them through the whole narrative. And as for the proper place of commemoration, which is in the period of life, I pray God I may never live to write it. Thirdly, that the reason why I presumed to think of this oblation, was because whatsoever my disability be, yet I shall have that advantage which almost no writer of history hath had; in that I shall write of times not only since I could remember, but since I could observe. And lastly, that it is only for your majesty's reading."
Of this tract, Archbishop Tenison says, “ This was an essay, sent to King James, whose times it considered. A work worthy his pen, had he proceeded in it; seeing (as he saith) he should have written of times, not only since he could remember, but since he could observe; and by way of introduction, of times, as he further noteth, of strange variety; the reign of a child; the offer of usurpation by the Lady Jane, though it were but as a diary ague; the reign of a lady married to a foreigner, and the reign of a lady solitary and unmarried.
“ His lordship, who had given such proof of his skill in writing a History of England, leaving the world, to the unspeakable loss of the learned part of it; his late majesty, a great favourer of that work, and wise in the choice of fit workmen, encouraged Sir Henry Wotton to endeavour it, by his royal invitation, and a pension of 500l. per annum. This proposal was made to that excellent man, in his declining years; and he died after the finishing some short characters of some few kings; which characters are published in his Remains.
1 "The magnificent gallery at the Louvre in Paris, built by Henry IV.” 9“The union of England and Scotland."
3“The conference at Hampton Court held between the bishops and puritans as they were then called, soon after the king's coming to the crown of England, and where his majesty was the moderator."-Stephens. Vol. I.-36
2 A 2
STATE OF EUROPE.
This tract is supposed by Mallet to have been the first work written by Lord Bacon, and to have been written about the year 1580, when he was between 19 and 20 years of age :—because it states, “ that Henry III. of France was then 30 years old: now that king began his reign in 1576, at the age of 24 years, so that Bacon was then 19.” How far this evidence is satisfactory, may be collected from other parts of the same tract. It says, “Gregory XIII. of the age of 70 years :"-but Gregory XIII. was 70 years old in the year 1572, when he was elected pope, so that according to this reasoning, it might be inferred that it was written when Bacon was 12 years of age. In another part of the tract it states, “ The King of Spain, Philip, son to Charles the Fifth, about 60 years
of age:” but he was born on the 21st of May, 1527, so that he was 60 years old in 1587, when Bacon was between 16 and 17 years old.—The author of Bacon's Life in the Biographia Britannica, from these different dates, concludes that the tract was written at different periods of time, beginning, as he must suppose, when Bacon was quite a boy: but, as it was not necessary for the purposes of this tract that the ages of the different monarchs should be ascertained with great precision, it is, perhaps, not probable that they were accurately examined, and the only fair inference is, that it was written at a very early period of his life.?
The same author says, “ But what is extremely remarkable in this small treatise, is the care and accuracy with which he has set down most of the little princes in Germany, with the state of their dominions.” This minute observation, however, extends to all his works: and of all the extraordinary properties of Bacon's wonderful mind, his constant observation of what we, in common parlance, call trifles, appears to be one of the most extraordinary. “See,” he says, “the little cloud upon glass or gems or blades of swords, and mark well the discharge of that cloud, and you shall perceive that it ever breaks up first in the skirts, and last in the midst. May we not learn from this the force of union even in the least quantities and weakest bodies, how much it conduceth to preservation of the present form and the resisting of a new. In like manner, icicles, if there be water to follow them, lengthen themselves out in a very slender thread, to prevent a discontinuity of the water; but if there be not a sufficient quantity to follow, the water then falls in round drops, which is the figure that best supports it against discontinuation; and at the very instant when the thread of water ends, and the falling in drops begins, the water recoils upwards to avoid being discontinued. So in metals, which are fluid upon fusion, though a little tenacious, some of the mettled mass frequently springs up in drops, and sticks in that form to the sides of the crucible. There is a like instance in the looking-glasses, commonly made of spittle by children, in a loop of rush or whalebone, where we find a consistent pellicle of water." Possessing this peculiar property himself, Bacon constantly admonishes his readers of its importance. “The eye of the understanding, (he says,) is like the eye of the sense: for as you may see great objects through small crannies or levels, so you may see axioms of great nature through small and contemptible instances.” And again, wit should be considered as an oracle, the saying of the poor woman to the haughty prince, who rejected her petition as a thing below his dignity to notice then cease to reign;' for it is certain, that whoever will not attend to matters because they are too minute or trifling, shall never obtain command or rule over nature." And again, “ he who cannot contract the sight of his mind as well as disperse and dilate it, wanteth a great faculty: for certainly this may be averred for truth, that they be not the highest instances that give the best and surest information. This is not unaptly expressed in the tale, so common, of the philosopher, who while he gazed upward to the stars fell into the water; for if he had looked down, he might have seen the stars in the water, but looking up to heaven he could not see the water in the stars. In like manner it often comes to pass that small and mean things conduce more to the discovery of great matters, than great things to the discovery of small matters; and therefore Aristotle notes well, that the nature of every thing is best seen in its smallest portions. For that cause he inquires the nature of a commonwealth, first in a family and the simple conjugations of society, man and wife; parents and children; master and servant, which are in every cottage. So likewise the nature of this great city of the world, and the policy thereof, must be sought in every first concordances and least portions of things. So we see that secret of nature, (esteemed one of the great mysteries,) of the turning of iron touched with a loadstone towards the poles, was found out in needles of iron, not in bars of iron.”
BIOGRAPHY. Of the importance of biography, Bacon speaks in his Advancement of Learning; concluding his remarks by saying, “Bona fama propria possessio defunctorum,” which possession I cannot but
1 «The tract says, 'D. Antonio, elect King of Portugal, is now in France, where he hath levied soldiers, whereof part are embarked, hoping to be restored again.”
note, that in our times it lieth much waste and that therein there is a deficience. This deficience with respect to Elizabeth he was anxious to supply by the publication of his sentiments, “ in Felicem Memoriam Elizabethæ :" but this publication seems to have required some caution, and to have been attended with some difficulty. In 1605, Bacon thus spoke: “But for a tablet, or picture of smaller volume, (not presuming to speak of your majesty that liveth,) in my judgment the most excellent is that of Queen Elizabeth, your immediate predecessor in this part of Britain; a princess that, if Plutarch were now alive to write lives by parallels, would trouble him, I think, to find for her a parallel amongst women. This lady was indued with learning in her sex singular, and rare even amongst masculine princes; whether we speak of learning, language, or of science, modern, or ancient, divinity or humanity: and unto the very last year of her life she was accustomed to appoint set hours for reading; scarcely any young student in any university more daily, or more duly. As for her government, I assure myself, I shall not exceed, if I do affirm that this part of the island never had forty-five years of better times; and yet not through the calmness of the season, but through the wisdom of her regimen. For if there be considered of the one side, the truth of religion established, the constant peace and security, the good administration of justice, the temperate use of the prerogative, not slackened, nor much strained, the flourishing state of learning, sortable to so excellent a patroness, the convenient estate of wealth and means, both of crown and subject, the habit of obedience, and the moderation of discontents; and there be considered, on the other side, the differences of religion, the troubles of neighbour countries, the ambition of Spain, and opposition of Rome: and then, that she was solitary and of herself: these things, I say, considered, as I could not have chosen an instance so recent and so proper, so, I suppose, I could not have chosen one more remarkable or eminent to the purpose now in hand, which is concerning the conjunction of learning in the prince with felicity in the people.” So he wrote in the year 1605; but, about the year 1612, “ The king,” says Wilson, "cast his thoughts towards Peterborough, where his mother lay, whom he caused to be translated to a magnificent tomb, at Westminster. And (somewhat suitable to her mind when she was living) she had a translucent passage in the night, through the city of London, by multitudes of torches: the tapers placed by the tomb and the altar, in the cathedral, smoking with them like an offertory, with all the ceremonies, and voices their quires and copes could express, attended by many prelates and nobles, who paid this last tribute to her memory."1 Before this time Bacon had written his essay “in Felicem Memoriam Elizabethæ." which he sent to Sir George Carew, whose death M. De Thou laments, in a letter to Mr. Camden, in the year 1613. The following is the letter to Sir George Carew.% “ Being asked a question by this bearer, an old servant. of my brother Anthony Bacon's, whether I would command him any thing into France; and being at better leisure than I would, in regard of sickness, I began to remember that neither your business nor mine, though great and continual, can be, upon an exact account, any just occasion why so much good-will as hath passed between us should be so much discontinued as it hath been. And therefore, because one must begin, I thought to provoke your remembrance of me by a letter: and thinking to fill it with somewhat besides salutations, it came to my mind, that this last summer vacation, by occasion of a factious book that endeavoured to verify Misera Fæmina, the addition of the pope's bull, upon Queen Elizabeth, I did write a few lines in her memorial, which I thought you would be pleased to read, both for the argument, and because you were wont to bear affection to my pen. • Verum, ut aliud ex alio,' if it came handsomely to pass, I would be glad the president De Thou, who hath written a history, as you know, of that fame and diligence, saw it; chiefly because I know not whether it may not serve him for some use in his story; wherein I would be glad he did write to the truth, and to the memory of that lady, as I perceive by that he hath already written he is well inclined to do. I would be glad also, it were some occasion, such as absence may permit, of some acquaintance or mutual notice between us. For though he hath many ways the precedence, chiefly in worth, yet this is common to us both, that we serve our sovereigns in places of law eminent: and not ourselves only, but that our fathers did so before us. And lastly, that both of us love learning and liberal sciences, which was ever a bond of friendship in the greatest distance of places. But of this I make no farther request, than your own occasions and respects, to me known, may further or limit; my principal purpose being to salute you, and to send you this token: whereunto I will add my very kind commendations to my lady; and so commit you both to God's holy protection.”
It seems probable that this tract was intended for publication during the life of the king. It says,
9 "Sir George Carew, of Cornwall, was Master in Chancery in the time of Queen Elizabeth ; and in 1597 sent ambassador into Poland; and in 1606 went to the court of France with the like character. After about three years continuance, he was recalled by the king to make use of his services at home: but he survived not many years. M. De Thou, in a letter to Mr. Camden in 1613, very much laments his death; as losing a friend he much valued, and an assistant in the prosecution of his bistory: having received helps from him in that part which relates to the dissensions between the Poles and the Swedes in the year 1598, as appears before the contents of book exxi.”—Stephens.