Such were his imaginations of the tranquillity | knowledge a couch whereupon to rest a searchand occupations in our universities.

ing and restless spirit; or a terrace for a waine: He could not long have resided in Cambridge ing and variable mind to walk up and down, uith before he must have discovered his erroneous no- a fair prospect; or a tower of state for a pavid tions of the mighty living, and of the pursuits in mind to raise itself upon; or a fort or comn: ardiwhich they were engaged. Instead of students ing ground for strife and contention; or a shop

a ready at all times to acquire any sort of know- for profit and sale; and not a rich storehouse for ledge, he found himself “amidst men of sharp the glory of the Creator and the relief of mur's and strong wits, and abundance of leisure, and estate.”

small variety of reading, their wits being shut It was not likely that, with such sentiments, he ! up in the cells of a few authors, chiefly Aristotle would meet with much sympathy in the univera

their dictator, as their persons were shut up in sity. It was still less probable that the anti thy the cells of monasteries and colleges; and know- by which he was opposed would check the arious ing little history, either of nature or time, did, of his powerful mind. He went right onward in out of no great quantity of matter, and infinite his course, unmoved by the disapprobation of agitation of wit, spin cobwebs of learning, admi- men who turned from inquiries which they mi rable for the fineness of thread and work, but of ther encouraged nor understood: and, sting „ no substance or profit."1

through the mists, by a light refracted from bra Instead of the university being formed for the low the horizon, that knowledge must be risi discovery of truths, he saw that its object was on other foundations, and built with other matr. merely to preserve and diffuse the knowledge of rials than had been used through a long tract if our predecessors: instead of general inquiry, he many centuries, he continued his inquiries into found that all studies were confined to Aristotle, the laws of nature,5 and planned his immortal who was considered infallible in philosophy, a work upon which he laboured during the greau'r dictator to command, not a consul to advise;" part of his life, and ultimately published when the lectures both in private in the colleges, and he was chancellor, saying, “I have held up a in public in the schools, being but expositions of light in the obscurity of philosophy; which will his text, and comments upon his opinions, held be seen centuries after I am dead.”6 as authentic as if they had been given under the After two years residence he quitted the uniseal of the pope.3 Their infallibility, however, versity with the conviction not only that these he was not disposed to acknowledge. Whilst in the seminaries of learning were stagnant, but that university he formed his dislike of the philosophy they were opposed to the advancement of kpore of Aristotle, not for the worthlessness of the au- ledge. “In the universities,” he says, “ they thor, to whose gigantic intellect he ever ascribed learn nothing but to believe: first to believe that all high attributes, but for the unfruitfulness of others know that which they know not; and alter, his method, being a philosophy, as he was wont themselves know that which they know not. to say, strong for disputations and contentions, They are like a becalmed ship; they never mr ve but barren for the production of works for the but by the wind of other men's breath, and have benefit and use of man; which, according to Ba- no oars of their own to steer withal :"7 and in his con's opinion, is the only test of the purity of our Novum Organum, which he published when he motives for acquiring knowledge and of the value was chancellor, he repeats what he had said when of knowledge when acquired; “ Men,” he says, a boy. “In the universities, all things are tvu iu " have entered into a desire of knowledge some opposite to the advancement of the sciences; fir times from a natural curiosity and inquisitive ap- the readings and exercises are here so mamo u petite; sometimes to entertain their minds with that it cannot easily come into any one's mind !, variety and delight; sometimes for ornament and think of things out of the common road: er reputation; sometimes to enable them to victory here and there, one should venture to use a liberty of wit and contradiction, and most times for lucre of judging, he can only impose the task upon and profession; and seldom sincerely to give a himself without obtaining assistance fron: bois true account of their gift of reason, for the benefit fellows; and if he could dispense with this, he and use of man:-as if there were sought in will still find his industry and resolution a great

: See the Advancement of Learning, under Contentious hinderance to his fortune. For the studies of men Leaming. See Gibbon's Memoirs. See vol. viii. London in such places are confined, and pinned down to


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, page Let is fond dream-like existence go to Oxford, and stay there ; let him study this magnificent spectacle, the same under all aspects, 3 I remember in Trinity College in Cambridge, there was with its mental twilight tempering the glare of noontide, or an upper chamber, which being thought weak in the roof maellowing the shadowy moonlight ; let hin wander in her of it, was supported by a pillar of iron of the bigness of sylvan suburbs, or linger in her cloistered halls; but let him arm in the midst of the chamber; which if you had nok, not catch the din of scholars or teachers, or dine or sup it would make a little flat noise in the room where it wiis with them, or speak a word to any of the privileged inha" struck, but it would make a great bomb in the chamber bebitants; for if he does, the spell will be bro the poetry neath. - Sylra and the religion gone, and the place of enchantment will

“Mortius fortasse id effecero, ut illa posteritati, nová kac See Advancement of Learning, under Credulity, p. 300. accenså face in philosophiæ tenebris, perlucere possint. • Rawley-Tennison.

See the traci in Praise of Knowledge, p. 006.

6 See the dedication of the Novum Organum to the king.

melt from his embrace into thin air.

• Tennison.


the writings of certain authors; from which, if These warnings seem to have been disregardany man happens to differ, he is presently repre-ed, and the art of governing, not a ship, which hended as a disturber and innovator.”'1

would not be attempted without a knowledge of Whether the intellectual gladiatorship by which navigation, but the ship of the state, is intrusted, students in the universities of England are now not to a knowledge of the principles of human stimulated, then prevailed, does not appear, but nature, but to the knowledge of Latin and Greek his dislike of this motive he early and always and verbal criticisms upon the dead languages." avowed. “It is,” he says, “an unavoidable de- And what has been the result? During the cree with us ever to retain our native candour and last two centuries one class of statesmen has resimplicity, and not attempt a passage to truth sisted all improvement, and their opponents have under the conduct of vanity; for, seeking real been hurried into intemperate alterations: whilst nature with all her fruits about her, we should philosophy, lamenting these contentions, has, inthink it a betraying of our trust to infect such a stead of advancing the science of government, subject either with an ambitious, an ignorant, or been occupied in counteracting laws founded upon any other faulty manner of treating it."'2 erroneous principles; erroneous commercial laws;

Some years after Bacon had quitted Cambridge, erroneous laws against civil and religious liberhe published his opinions upon the defects of ty; and erroneous criminal laws.* universities; in which, after having warned the So deeply was Bacon impressed with the mag. community that, as colleges are established for nitude of this evil, that by his will he endowed the communication of the knowledge of our pre- two lectures in either of the universities, by "g decessors, there should be a college appropriated lecturer, whether stranger or English, provided to the discovery of new truths, a living spring to he is not professed in divinity, law, or physic.” inix with the stagnant waters. - Let it,” he The subject of universities, and the importance says, “ be remembered that there is not any col- to the community and to the advancement of scilegiate education of statesmen, and that this has ence, that the spring should not be poisoned or not only a malign influence upon the growth of polluted, was ever present to his mind,and, in sciences, but is prejudicial to states and govern- the decline of his life, he prepared the plan of a ments, and is the reason why princes find a soli- college for the knowledge of the works and cre-tude in regard of able men to serve them in causes ations of God, “ from the cedar of Libanus to the of state." 3

moss that groweth out of the wall;" hut the plan

was framed upon a model so vast, that, without · Ax. 90. lib. i. a See the chapter on Vanity, in the admirable work, the purse of a prince and the assistance of a peo“ Search's Light of Nature :” where the distinction be ple, all attempts to realize it must be vain and tween the love of excelling and the love of excellence, as a motive for acquiring knowledge, is fully explained.

hopeless. Some conception of his gorgeous mind 3 Bacon says, First, therefore, amongst so many great in the formation of this college, may appear even foundations of colleges in Europe, I find strange that they are all dedicated to professions, and none left free to arts

at the entrance. and sciences at large. And this I take to be a great cause, “We have (he says) two very long and fair that hath hindered the progression of learning, because these fundamental knowledges have been studied but in galleries: and in one of these we place patterns

For if you will have a tree bear more fruit than 1 bath used to do, it is not

any thing you can do to the and samples of all manner of the more rare and boughs, but it is the stirring of the earth, and putting new excellent inventions; in the other we place the mould about the roots, that must work it. be forgotten, that this dedicating of foundations and dota- statues of all principal inventors. There we have Lions to professory learning, hatli not only had a malign as, the statue of your Columbus, that discovered the , pect and influence upon the growth of sciences, bui hath 1 Iso been prejudicial to states and governments. For hence West Indies; also the inventor of ships; your it proceedeth that princes find a solitude in regard of able monk that was the inventor of ordnance and of men to serve them in causes of state, because there is no education collegiate which is free, where such as were so gunpowder; the inventor of music; the inventor disposed might give themselves to histories, modern lanpages, books of policy and civil discourse, and other the of letters; the inventor of printing; the inventor like enableinents into service of state. This truth, con- of observations of astronomy; the inventor of tirmed by daily experience, was, tifty years after his death; works in metal; the inventor of glass; the inrepeated by Alilton, who indignanily says, “when young men quit the university for the trade of law, they ground ventor of silk of the worm; the inventor of wine; their purposes, not on the prudent and heavenly contemplation of justice and equity, which was never laught them, the inventor of corn and bread; the inventor of but on the promising and pleasing thoughts of litigious cerins, fat contentions, and flowing fees: and if they quit it sugars; and all these by more certain tradition souls so unprincipled in virtue and true generous breeding, we erect a statue to the inventor, and give him a tör state affairs, they betake themselves to this trust with than you have. Upon every invention of value, that flattery, and court-shists, and tyrannous aphorisms appear to them the highest points of wisdom. After having liberal and honourable reward. These statues prescribed the proper order of education, he adds, The next Lemoval must be to the study of politics; to know the be

are some of brass; some of marble and ginning, end, and reasons of political societies; that they may not in a dangerous fit of the commonwealth be such all the Roman edicts and tables with their Justin, poor, shaken, uncertain reeds, of such a tottering con- so to the Saxon laws of England. Milton, Educa'. science, as many of our great counsellors have lately shown i. p. 270. themselves, but steadfast pillars of the state. Alter this * "Such," says Milton, "are the errors, such !!. they are to drive into the grounds of law and legal justice, of mispending our prime youth at schools and un delivered first, and with best warrant to Moses, and as far as we do, either in learning mere words, or as human prudence cau be trusted, in those extolled remains chiefly as were better unlearned." See his Tracto of Grecian lawgivers, Lycurgus, Solon, &c. and thence to tion


Neither is it to


stone; some of cedar and other special woods After having enumerated al, the instruments gilt and adorned; some of iron; some of silver; of knowledge, “such,” he says, “is a relation of some of gold.”

the true state of Solomon's house, the end of Such is the splendour of the portico, or ante- which foundation is the knowledge of causes, room. Passing beyond it, every thing is to be and secret motions of things; and the enlarging found which imagination can conceive or reason of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting suggest.

of all things possible.”

In these glorious inventions of one rich mind, This entryte to Bacon's college always forces itself on iny mind when I visit the University Library of Cambridge; may be traced much of what has been effected in in which I see the portrait of Mr. Thomas Nicholson, known science and mechanics, since Bacon's death, and by the name of Maps, the proprietor of a circulating library, a laborious pioneer in literature. Under his feet are some more that will be effected during the next two relies from classic ground, more valuable, perhaps, for their centuries. antiquity than for their beauty. Delightful as is the love of antiquity, this artificial retrospective extension of our After three years' residence in the university, existence, (see Shakspeare's Sonnet, 123,) might it not be his father sent him, at the age of sixteen, to Paadorned, in the present times, by casts from the Elgin marbles, of which the cost does not exceed 2001. By one of the ris, under the care of Sir Amias Paulett, the universities (I think it is of Dublin) these casts have been procured. Let any parent of the mind, who considers the English ambassador at that court: by whom, various modes by which the heart of a nation is formed,

soon after his arrival, he was intrusted with a (which is beautifully described in Ramsden's sermon on the Cessation of Ilostilities,) look in Boydell's Shakspeare, at mission to the queen, requiring both secrecy and Barry's Cordelia, to be found, most probably, in the Fitz: despatch: which he executed with such ability

: magni-
ficent affecting fainting female in the Elgin marbles, and he as to gain the approbation of the queen, and jus-
will see the benefit which would result from the university tify Sir Amias in the choice of his youthful mes-

: We have large and deep caves of several depths: the senger.
deepest are sunk six hundred fathom, and some of them are
digged and made under great hills and mountains: so that From the confidence thus reposed in him, and
if you reckon together the depth of the hill and the depth from the impression made upon all with whom he
of the cave, they are (some of them) above three miles
deep; these caves we call the lower region, and we use conversed ; upon men of letters, with whom he

conservations of bodies. We use them likewise for the contracted lasting friendships; upon grave states-
Imitation of natural mines, and the producing also of new men and learned philosophers, it was manifest
artificial metals, by compositions and materials.

We have high towers, the highest about half a mile in that the promise in his infancy of excellence, whe-
height, and some of them likewise set upon high mountains, ther for active or for contemplative life, seemed
so that the vantage of the bill with the tower is in the high-
est of them three miles at least. And these places we call beyond the most sanguine expectation to be real-
the upper region. We use these towers, according to their ized.s
several heights and situations, for insolation, refrigeration,
conservation, and for the view of divers meteors, as winds, After the appointment of Sir Amias Paulett's
rain, snow, bail, and some of the fiery meteors.
We have great lakes, both salt and fresh; whereof we


Bacon travelled into the French prohave use for the fish and fowl. We use them also for buri- vinces, and spent some time at Poictiers. He als of some natural bodies: for we find a difference in things buried in earth, or in air below the earth; and things prepared a work upon Ciphers,+ which he afterburied in water. We have also some rocks in the midst of the sea; and some bays upon the shore for some works, where- likewise for dissections and trials, that thereby we may in is required the air and vapour of the sea. We have like- take light what may be wrought upon the body of man. wise violent streams and cataracts, which serve us for We have also particular pools where we make trials upon many motions: and likewise engines for multiplying and fishes, as we have said before of beasts and birds. enforcing of winds, to set also on going divers motions. We have also places for breed and generation of those



We have also a number of artificial wells and fountains, kinds of worms and flies which are of special use, such as made in imitation of the natural sources and baths; as

are with you your silk worms and bees. tincted upon vitriol, sulphur, steel, brass, lead, nitre, and We have also precious stones of all kinds, many of them other minerals.

of great beauty and unknown; crystals and glasses of divers We have also great and spacious. houses, where we imi- kinds. We represent also ordnance and instruments of war, * tate and demonstrate meteors, as snow, hail, rain, some ar- and engines of all kinds; and likewise new mixtures and tificial rains of bodies, and not of water, thunders, light-compositions of gunpowder, wildfires burning in water nings.

and unquenchable; also fireworks of all variety, both for We have also certain chambers, which we call chambers pleasure and use. We imitate also flights of birds; we of health, where we qualify the air as we think good and have some degrees of flying in the air; we have ships and proper for the cure of divers diseases, and preservation of boats for going under water, and brooking of seas; also health. We have also fair and large baths of several mix- / swimming girdles and supporters. tures, for the cure of diseases.

We have also sound houses, where we practise and deWe have also large and various orchards and gardens; monstrate all sounds, and their generation. We have barwherein we do not so much respect beauty, as variety of monies which you have not, of quarter sounds, and lesser ground and soil, proper for divers trees and herbs : and slides of sounds. Divers instruments of music, likewise to some very spacious, where trees and berries are set, where you unknown, some sweeter than any you have; with of we make divers kinds of drink, besides the vineyards. bells and rings that are dainty and sweet. In these we practise likewise all conclusions of grafting and We have also a mathematical house, where are all instruinoculating, as well of wild trees as fruit trees, which pro- ments, as well of geometry as astronomy, exquisitely made. duceth many effects.

We have also houses of deceits of the senses, &c. &c. We have also furnaces of great diversities, and that keep

. It is a fact not unworthy of notice, that an eminent argreat diversity of heats, fierce and quick, strong and con- tist, to whom, when in Paris, he sat for his portrait, was so stant, soft and mild, hown, quiet, dry, inoist, and the like. conscious of his inability to do justice to his extraordinary But above all we have heats, in imitation of the sun's and intellectual endowments, that he has written on the side of heavenly bodies, heats that pass divers inequalities, and his picture : Si tabula daretur digna animum mallem. (as it were) orbs, progresses, and returns, whereby we may • In the Augmentis Scientiarum, lib. vi, speaking of ciproduce admirable effects.

phers, he says, Ut verd suspicio omnis absit, aliud inven. We procure means of seeing objects afar off', as in the

tum subjiciemus, quod ceriè cùm adolescentuli essemus heaven, and remote places; and represent things near as Parisiis excogitaviinus, nec etiam adhuc visa nobis rog a far off, and things afar off as near, making seigned dis- digna est que pereat. Watts's English translation of this

We have also helps for the sight, far above specta- part is as follows: But that jealousies may be taken at wav, cles and glasses,

we will annex another invention, which, in truth, we de We have also parks and enclosures of all sorts of easts vised in our youth, when we were at Paris : and is a thing and birds; which we use not only for view or rareness, but that yet seemeth to us not worthy to be lost. It containetta


wards published, with an outline of the state of Law and politics were the two roads open beEurope, but the laws of sound and of imagina-fore him; in both his family had attained opulence tion continued to occupy his thoughts." and honour. Law, the dry and thorny study of

Whilst he was engaged in these meditations law, had but little attraction for his discursive and his father died suddenly, on the 20th February, imaginative mind. With the hope, therefore, that, 1579. He instantly returned to England. under the protection of his political friends, and

the queen's remembrance of his father, and notice of him when a child, he might escape from the

mental slavery of delving in this laborious proCHAPTER II.

fession, he made a great effort to secure some small

competence, by applying to Lord Burleigh to reFROM THE DEATH OF HIS FATHER TILL HE ENGAGED commend him to the queen, and interceding with IN ACTIVE LIFE.

Lady Burleigh to urge his suit with his uncle.

But his application was unsuccessful; the queen 1580 to 1590.

and the lord treasurer, distinguished as they were Discovering, upon his arrival in England, that, for penetration into character, being little disposed by the sudden death of his father, he was left with- • My singular good lord, out a sufficient provision to justify him in devot

My humble duty remembered, and my humble thanks pre

sented for your lordship's favour and countenance, which it ing his life to contemplation,it became necessary pleased your lordship, at my being with you, to vouchsafe for him to select some pursuit for his support, « to me, above my degree and desert: my letter hath no further

errand but to think how to live, instead of living only to think." of my suit, which then I moved unto you; whereof it also

pleased your lordship to give me good hearing, so far forth as the highest degree of cipher, which is to signify omnia per in behalf of it, that which I may better deliver by letter than

to promise to tender it unto her majesty, and withal to add, omnia, yet so, as the writing infolding, may bear a quintu by speech; which is, that although it must be confessed that ple proportion to the writing infolded; no other condition or restriction whatsoever is required.

the request is rare and unaccustomed, yet if it be observed · His meditations were both upon natural science and hu- / how few there be which fall in with the study of the common man sciences, as will appear from the following facts.

laws, either being well left or friended, or at their own free In his History of Life and Death, speaking of the differences election, or forsaking likely success in other studies of more between youth and old age, and having enumerated many delight and no less preferment, or setting hand thereunto of them, he proceeds thus? When I was a young man at early, without waste of years ; upon such survey made, it Poicticrs in France, I familiarly conversed with a young may be my case may not seem ordinary, no more than my gentleman of that country, who was extremely ingenious, suit, and so more besceming unto it. As I forced myself to but somewhat talkative; he afterwards became a person of say this in excuse of my motion, lest it should appear unto great eminence. This gentleman used to inveigh against your lordship altogether indiscreet and unadvised, so my ine manners of old people, and would say, that if one could hope to obtain it resteth only upon your lordship’s good affecsee their minds as well as their bodies, their minds would tion toward me, and grace with her majesty, who, methinks, appear as deformed as their bodies; and indulging his

needeth never to call for the experience of the thing, where own humour, he pretended, that the defects of old men's she hath so great and so good of the person which recomminds, in some measure corresponded to the defects of their mendeth it. According to which trust of mine, if it may please bodies. Thus, dryness of the skin, he said, was answered your lordship both herein and elsewhere to be my patron, by impudence; hardness of the viscera, by relentlessness; and to make account of me, as one in whose well-doing your blear-eyes, by envy; and an evil eye, their down look, aná lordship hath interest, albeit, indeed, your lordship hath had incurvation of the body, by atheism, as no longer, says he place to benefit many, and wisdom to make due choice of looking up to heaven; the trembling and shaking of the lighting places for your goodness, yet do I not fear any of limbs, by unsteadiness and inconstancy; the bending of your lordship's former experiences for staying my thankfultheir fingers as to lay hold of something, by rapacity and

ness borne in art, howsoever God's good pleasure shall enable avarice; the weakness of their knees, by fearfulness; their me or disable me, outwardly, to make proof thereof; for I wrinkles, by indirect dealings and cunning, &c.

cannot account your lordship's service distinct from that And again, for echoes upon echoes, there is a rare in

which I to God and my prince; the performance whereof stance thereof in a place which I will now exactly describe.

to best proof and purpose is the meeting point and rendezIt is some three or four miles from Paris, near a town called vous of all my thoughts. Thus I take my leave of your lordPont-Charenton; and some bird-bolt shot or more from the ship, in humble manner, committing you, as daily in muy river of Sein. The room is a chapel or small church. The prayers, so, likewise, at this present, to the merciful protecwalls all standing, both at the sides and at the ends. Speak- / tion of the Almighty. ing at the one end, I did hear it return the voice thirteen

Your most dutiful and bounden nephew, several times. (Sylva, art. 249.)

From Grey's Inn,

B. FRA. There are certain letters that an echo will hardly express;

this 16th of September, 1580. as 8 for one, especially being principal in a word. 'I re- To Lady Burghley, to speak for him to her lord. member well, that when I went to the echo at Pont-Cha- My singular good lady, renton, there was an old Parisian, that took it to be the work I was as ready to shew myself mindful of my duty, by of spirits, and of good spirits. For, said he, call “Satan, waiting on your ladyship, at your being in town, as now by and the echo will not deliver back the devil's name; but will writing, had I not feared lest your ladyship's short stay, and say, “ va t'en;" which is as much in French as “apage,” | quick return might well spare me, that came of no earnest or avoid. And thereby I did hap to find, that an echo woulderrand. I am not yet greatly perfect in ceremonies of court, not return an S, being but a hissing and an interior sound. whereof, I know, your ladyship knoweth both the right ise, (Art. 750.)

and true value. My thankful and serviceable mind shall be So too the nature of imagination continued to interest always like itself, howsoever it vary from the common dishim. In the Sylva, art. 986, he says, the relations touch- guising. Your ladyship is wise, and of good nature to dising the force of imagination and the secret instincts of na- cern from what mind every action proceedeth, and to esteem ture are so uncertain, as they require a great deal of exami- or it accordingly. This is all the message which my letter mation ere we conclude upon them. I would have it first hath at this time to deliver, unless it please your ladyship thoroughly inquired, whether there be any secret passages further to give me leave to make this request unto you, that of sympathy between persons of near blood; as parents, it would please your good ladyship, in your letters, wherechildren, brothers, sisters, nurse-children, husbands, wives, with you visit my good lord, to vouchsafe the mention and

There be many reports in history, that upon the recommendation of my suit; wherein your lady'ship shall death of persons of such nearness, men have had an inward bind me more unto you than I can look ever to be able sufli. feeling of it. I myself remember, that being in Paris, and ciently to acknowledge. Thus, in humble manner, I take my my father dying in London, two or three days before my leave of your ladyship, committing you, as daily in my faiher's death I had a dream, which I told to divers English prayers, so, likewise, at this preseni, io the merciful provigentlemen, that my father's house in the country was plas-dence of the Almighty. tered all over with black mortar.

Your ladyship's most dutiful and bounden nephew, » Rawley Biog. Brit.

From Grey's Inn,

B. FRA. 3 This is an expression of his own, I forget where. this 16th of September, 1580.




to encourage him to rely upon others rather than His agreeable occupations, and extensive views upon himself, and to venture on the quicksands of of science, during his residence in Gray's Inn, did politics, instead of the certain profession of the law, not check his professional exertions. In the year in which the queen had, when he was a child, pre- 1586, he applied to the lord treasurer to be called dicted that he would one day be her« lord keeper." within the bar;and in his thirtieth year was

To law, therefore, he was reluctantly obliged sworn queen's counsel learned extraordinary,5 an to devote himself, and as it seems, in the year 1580, honour which, until that time, had never been conhe was admitted a student of Gray's Inn, of which ferred upon any member of the profession. society his father had for many years been an illustrious member. 1

Having engaged in this profession, he, as was to be expected, encountered and subdued the diffi

CHAPTER III. culties and obscurities of the science in which he was doomed to labour, and in which he after- FROM HIS ENTRANCE INTO PUBLIC LIFE TILL HIS wards was eminently distinguished, not only by

DISAPPOINTMENT AS SOLICITOR. his professional exertions and honours, but by

1590 to 1596. his valuable works upon different practical parts of the law, and upon the improvement of the sci

He thus entered on public life, submitting, as a ence, by exploring the principles of universal jus

lawyer and a statesman, to worldly occupations tice the laws of law.

(being then but twenty-eight years of age) the honourable so

ciety of Gray's Inn chose him for their lent reader. Orig. p. 295. Extensive as were his legal researches, and great In the time of Lord Bacon there was a distinction between as was his legal knowledge, law was, however, it will appear that he applied to the lord treasurer that he

outer and inner barristers. By the following letter in 1556, but an accessory, not a principal study. It was might be called within bars.

To the right honourable the lord treasurer.* not to be expected that his mind should confine

My very good lord, its researches within the narrow and perplexed I take it as an undoubted sign of your lordship's favour study of precedents and authorities. He contracted rather of good advice than of evil opinion thereby. And if

unto me that, being hardly informed of ine, you took occasion his sight, when necessary, to the study of the law, your lordship had grounded only upon the said information

of theirs, I might and would truly have upholden that few but he dilated it to the whole circle of science, and of the matters were justly objected; as the very circumcontinued his meditations upon his immortal work, did misaffect me, and, besides, were to give colour to their

stances do induce, in that they were delivered by men that which he had projected when in the university. own doings. But because your lordship did mingle there. This course of legal and philosophical research you had otherwise heard, I know it to be my duty (and so do

with both a late motion of mine own, and somewhat which was accompanied with such sweetness and affa- i stand affected) rather to prove your lordship's admonition

effectual in my doings hereafter, than causeless by excusing bility of deportment, that he gained the affections what is past. And yet (with your lordslip's pardon humbly of the whole society, and the kindness he expe- asked) it may please you to remember, that I did endeavour to

set forth that said motion in such sort as it might breed 110 rienced was not lost upon him. He assisted in their harder effect than a denial. And I protest simply before God, festivities ; he beautified their spacious garden,

that I sought therein an ease in coming within bars, and not

any extraordinary or singular note of favour. And for ihat your and raised an elegant structure, known for many lordship may otherwise have heard of me it shall make me years after his death, as • The Lord Bacon's Lodg- find in my simple observation, that they whicti live as it were

more wary and circumspect in carriage of myself; indeed I ings,” ," in which at intervals he resided till his death. in umbra and not in public or frequent action, how mode

rately and modestly soever they behave themselves, yet laWhen he was only twenty-six years of age, he borant invidia ; I find also that such persons as are of nature was promoted to the bench ; in his twenty-eighth bashful

, (as myself is, whereby they want that plausible

familiarity whích others have, are often mistaken for proud. year he was elected lent reader;s and the 42d of But once I know well, and I most humbly beseech your lordElizabeth he was appointed double reader.

ship to believe, that arrogancy and overweening is so far

from my nature, as if I think well of myself in any thing it 1 The admission book at Gray's Inn begins in the year 1580; is in this, that I am free from that vice. And I hope upon but the first four pages have been torn out. Bacon's name, this your lordship's speech, I have entered into those consihowever, appears in the list of members of the society, in the derations, as my behaviour shall no more deliver me for other year 1581 : the book abounds with Lord Bacon's autographs. than I am. And so wishing unto your lordship all honour,

? Contemplation feels no hunger, nor is sensible of any and to myself continuance of your good opinion, with mind thirst, but of that after knowledge. How fresh and exalted and means to deserve it, I humbly take my leave. a pleasure did David find from his meditation in the divine

Your lordship's most bounden nephew, law! all the day long it was the theme of his thoughts. The

Grey's Inn,

FR. Bacox. affairs of state, the government of his kingdom, might indeed this 6th of May, 1586. employ, but it was this only that refreshed his mind. How • Rawley, in his life, says, he was, after a while, sworn to short of this are the delights of the epicure! how vastly dis- the queen's counsel learned extraordinary; a grace, if I err proportionate are the pleasures of the eating and of the think not, scarce known before. “He was counsel learned extraing man! indeed as different as the silence of an Archimedes ordinary to his majesty, as he had been to Queen Elizabeth." in the study of a problem, and the stillness of a sow at her Extract from Biographia Britannica, vol. i. page 373.--He wash. --South.

distinguished himself no less in his practice, which was very Being returned from travel he applied himself to the study considerable; and after discharging the office of reader at of the common law, which he took upon him to be his pro- Gray's Inn, which he did, in 1588, when in the twenty-sixth session. Notwithstanding that he professed the law for his year of his age, he was become so considerable, that the livelihood and subsistence. yet his heart and affection was queen, who never over valued any man's abilities, thought more carried after the affairs and places of state ; for which, fit to call him to her service in a way which did him very great if the majesty royal then had been pleased, he was most fit. honour, by appointing him her counsel learned in the law The narrowness of his circumstances obliged him to think of extraordinary: by which, though she contributed abundantly some profession for a subsistence ; and he applied himself, to his reputation, yet she added but very little to his fortune, more through necessity than choice, to the study of the com- as indeed in this respect he was never much indebted to her smon law, in which he obtained to great excellence, though majesty, how much soever he might be in all others. He. he made that (as himself said) but as an accessory, and not in his apology respecting. Lord Essex, says, " They sent 10 his principal study.-Rawley.

us of the learned council." 3 Dugdale, in his account of Bacon, says, in 30th Elizabeth,

• Lands. MS. li. art. 5. Orig.

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