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which will render his name immortal, and which he believed to be owing to his own reflect eternal honour on his country, as appearance in his friend's cause, that he made long as learning shall continue to flourish. him a very handsome present, by way of In the law he made as rapid a progress as amends, out of his own fortune. So fincere a in the other sciences, and distinguished mark of friendship and tender regard, one himself in his practice, which was very would have thought, inust for ever have atconsiderable; and after discharging the ofa tached Mr. Bacon to his fortunes: but, unfice of reader at Gray's-Inn, in the year happily for the character of the latter, we 1988, he was become so eminent, that find it otherwise, When the earl was tried for queen Elizabeth, who never over valued bis lise, our author pleaded on the side of any man's abilities, conferred a great ho- the crown, and appeared against him in nour upon him, by appointing him her his profesion as a lawyer. Nay, after the counsel-extraordinary. This contributed earl had payed by his death for the errors much to his reputation, but very little to of his conduct, he drew up that treatise, his fortune, for which he was never great eotitled, A Declaration of the Treasons of the ly indebted to her majesty.
earl of Elex; which was calculated to He seemed to come into the world with justify the government in their proceedings as great advantage and high pretenfions of against this unhappy nobleman, and to preferment, as any man; for besides being ward off the public hate from those who the son of a lord-keeper, and very eminent had ruined him, and never done Mr. ftatesman, he was nephew to Cecil, lord Bacon any good. The clamour against Burleigh, lord-high-treasurer, and of course him was so great, that he was forced to first caufin to his son Sir Robert Cecil, then write an apology for his conduct, which secretary of state. But the court and ini. he addressed to the earl of Devonshire. It nistry of Elizabeth were divided into two was admirably well penned, wrote with parties. At the head of the one were the fincerity, and adorned with the greatest Cecils, and at that of the other, first, the eloquence. The ground-work of his deearl of Leicester, and afterwards his son-in fence was, that he was indeed greatly inlaw, the earl of Effex. He was in high debted to the earl of Effex as his friend credit with both factions, and this contri. and patron, but he then likewise owed buted more than any thing to spoil his for duty and obedience to the queen, which tune. If he had steadily adhered to the he thought, ought not to be sacrificed to Cecils, he might very probably have risen his private obligations to Effex. But this by their interest; but he made a very early comes not up to the point, which is this : friendship with the earl of Eflex, who whether, after the earl had been so active headed the other party, and attached like in his favour, he Ahould have been so busy wise his elder brother, Mr. Anthony Ba. as he was in the proceedings against him. con, to that nobleman's service, and that That he was not bound to rebel with the in so Itrict a manner as could not fail to earl of Effex, because he was his friend, give great jealousy to the Cecils. How. which yet the earl of Southampton did, ever, that they might not seem to neglect no man in his wits would deny; but that so near a relation, or Night a person of he should be so ready to do against the such distinguished abilities, the Cecils pio. man that he had professed such friendship cured for him the reversion of the place of for, and that had been so good a friend to register of the court of Star-chamber, him, what any other man might have which was very confiderable ; but he did done as well, is what the wit of this able not receive the actual pofleffion of it, till auchor could never satisfactorily account 20 years after, in the next reign. The for; and le remained as long as he lived earl of Effex was his warm friend. He with the stain of ingratitude upon his used his utmost endeavours to procure for character, which has never been entirely him the place of solicitor in the court of removed. The best excuse which can be
Chancery ; but in vain. It was found, and which he dared not make for 1994 noc till then, that Mr. Bacon found himself, though perhaps it is the true one,
how little he had to trust to the was, that he acted in this manner not so friendships of the Cecils. As for the earl much out of duty and obedience to the of Essex, he had so generous a concern queen as out of fear. If we may credit for his failure of success in this application, a writer of those times, the queen and her
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minister's drove the prosecution on Eflex's He was chosen double reader by the treason, which might as well have been learned society of which he was a memstiled madness, with such unaccountable ber; and this office he discharged with fury, and exercised such rigour against all remarkable sufficiency, as appears by his offenders ; nay, and all suspected of having Reading on the Statute of Uses. It is printed a will to give offence, as is scarce credible in his works, and is an everlasting to us in better times. In a season like this, monument of his abilities in his 1600 Mr. Bacon, who had been both a favourite, profession. During the latter part and of the privy-council, to the earl of of the queen's reign, he greatly diftinEffex, might very well doubt his safety, guished bimself in the house of commons; and make it his choice rather to perform and his fentiments were generally approvsuch a disagreeable office, yet with tender- ed by that august assembly. He gained ness and decency, (as it is owned he did) much esteem and popularity. At the same than expose himself either to the queen's time he preserved his zeal and fidelity to anger, or to the resentment of those mini- his sovereign to the last hour of his life; fters who had her confidence at that time, and though he had received but sender and whose power in the succeeding reign marks of honour, and scarce any of profit, not only continued but increased.
which his family, his merit, and his cirHe had been long composing his Maxims cumstances, his near relation to the miniof the Law, and having now finished it, he sters, and personal favour with the queen,
dedicated it to queen Elizabeth, seemed to require ; yet this did in no wise 1596 but never printed it himself. As warp his affection to the queen's memory;
we have it now, it has suffered con- but he immediately after her decease, comsiderably. Soon after, he published a work posed a Memorial of the Happiness of ber Reica, of quite another kind, the first part of his which did equal honour to her administra. Elays or Councils civil and moral, an admi- tion, and to the capacity of the autbor; rable work, in which the author instructs who appears to have added to bis other us in the most useful principles of wisdom great qualities that of an admirable and and prudence, and teaches us how to acquire profound politician. It was not published what are esteemed the greatest blessings, till after his decease. There is not, in all and how to avoid the evils most dreaded the works of the lord-chancellor Bacon, in the conduct of human life. His pene- any that does more honour to his name tration, exactness, and perfect skill in all than this. the offices of civil life appeared to great He early applied to the queen's fuccefadvantage in this performance; which, for, king James I. from whom he met as he himself was sensible, proved of great with a very gracious reception. He offerservice to his character, and promoted the ed his pen, and drew up a proclamation, high esteem that was already conceived which, though it was not used, was kind. of his parts and learning. He coinpored ly received, as a mark of his duty and af.
on a particular occasion, his Hif- fection. At Whitehall, he had 1598 tory of the Alienation Office. There the honour of knighthood conferred 1603
never fell any thing from his pen on him. The subject of the purwhich more clearly and fully demonstrated veyors being now greatly debated in the his abilities in his profession. In this piece house of commons, the parliament aphe hath shewn how great a master he was, pointed him to set forth the sense of the not only in the law, but in our history and house on this affair, which was found to antiquities. It is not written in a dry, be a great grievance to the people, and dark, and unentertaining way, which so had in part, and was intended wholly to much discourages young readers in books have been redressed in the preceding of this kind : the stile is pleasant and reign. This office, which shews his credit agreeable, though plain and suitable to the in parliament at that juncture, he performsubject; and facts, authorities, observa. med in such a manner, as both satisfied the tions, remarks, and reflections, are so ju. house and pleased the king; who was not diciousy interwoven, that whoever reads content with continuing him in the same it, with a competent knowledge of the station in which he had served the queen, subject, must acknowledge him to have but when his affairs were better fettled, been an able lawyer, and an elegant thought fit to thew him higher marks of writer :
favour; favour; and accordingly constituted bim Barnham, Esq; alderman of London, a
by patent one of his council, with lady who brought him an ample fortune, 1604 a fee of 40 1. a year. This is said but by whom he never had any children.
to be the first act of royal power The place of solicitor-general becoming in that nature. The same day he granted vacant, he renewed his application to his him by another patent under the great cousin the earl of Salisbury, and at last seal, a pension of fixty pounds a year, for obtained it; and then he appeared more special services received from his brother frequently in Westminster-hall, grew into Anthony Bacon, and himself. He seemed more extenfive piactice as a lawyer, and now to be in a fair road for preferment: had a part in almost all causes. but he found himself Nill crolled by two He assured the king before he 1607 great men ; namely, his old antagonist, Sir obtained this employment, that it i Robert Cecil, (now earl of Salisbury, and would give him such an increase of capain as great credit with king James as his city, though not of zeal, to serve his ma. father, lord Burleigh, had been with queen jesty, that what he had done in time past Elizabeth) and the famous Sir Edward should seem as nothing in comparison of Coke, then attorney-general. They were the services he could render for the future. both afraid of his parts, and apprehended In this respect he kept his word; for in that the course of his fortune might thwart the session of parliament held that same the views of their ambition. The latter in year, he ran through great variety of busia particular affe&ted to Night Sir Francis ness, and that of such a nature as demanded Bacon's knowledge in his profeffion, enired a man, not only of extensive abilities but his general reputation, and feared his abi- great art, and yet of general reputation; lities as a staresman. Sir Francis knew for he was employed from the house of all this perfectly well ; yet he behaved to- commons to king James, to represent to wards them with civility. The former, him the grievances under wbich the nation however, he would frequently admonish laboured ; and though the paper relating of his friendship, fair promises, and what to them was couched in pretty strong from their near relation, he might reason. terms, which could not but be disagreeable ably expect; and the latter he would some to his majesty's temper, yet Sir Francis times treat with less ceremony, as appears Bacon, by a soft and smooth speech, ro by a letter he once wrote to him, in which abated their harshness, as to perform this he expoftulated with Mr. Attorney very difficult commission with universal apa roundly, on the usage he had met with.. plause. When the commons conferred
In the midst of these difficulties and dir. with the lords, in order to persuade them appointments, he prosecuted his studies to join in an application to the crown for with the utmost steadiness, and published taking away the ancient tenures, and althe first specimen of his great work, in his lowing a certain and competent revenue
book of the Advancement of Learning. in lieu of them, they employed Sir Francis 1605 The author afterwards incorporat. Bacon in this business; and in his speech
ed it into the great fyftem, of on the occasion, he fet that affair in la which it was only a part. He likewise clear a light, as to excite that fpirit which continued his diligence in parliament, procured the diffolution of the court of where he did, the king and his ministers" Wards : a point of the greatest conse. great service. The king was very de- quence to the liberties of the kingdom, firous of uniting the two kingdoms of He likewise satisfied the house at a time England and Scotland, that he might be when they were much out of humour, at fully and perfectly, as well as literally, the manner in which the king's messages king of Great-Britain. In parliament, Sir were conveyed to them; and at the close Francis Bacon laboured this point with of the sellion, when the supply stuck in the the greatest diligence and reputation, tho' house, he procured a passage for it by a it went on Nowly, and never came to any short and well-timed speech. This effecconclufion. He used the same application tually shews of how great consequence so in other affairs of the like nature, which able and popular a speaker was to his mapot only procured him great countenance jesty. at court, but gained him a general esteem . Amidit so many arduous affairs of from men of all ranks. About this time ftate, joined to the care of his employhe married Alice, daughter of Benedict ment, and business of his profession, one
Mould should have imagined that Sir Francis expedient to have asked of the king; ro, Bacon would have had but little leisure on the other, there was no danger that
e for his philofophic studies; any fuit he obtained thould beget either ibos and yet he had about this popular dislike, or distaste of those of time in rome measure digested the plan his profession : yet it does not appear, of the second part of his great work, that he made any great advantages of this which he transmitted to his friends, who favourable fituation. Indeed, he procured were the ableft and best judges in the the office of judge of the marshal's court, kingdom, in order to have their free sen- jointly with Sir Thomas Vavafor, then timents upon the subject ; for as he la- knight-marthal ; by which he prefided, boured only at truth, and not to acquire though for a very short time, in the court a mighty reputation, so he was rather newly erected, uncler che title of the padesirous of hearing the objections that lace court for the verge of the king's might be made against his new fyftem, house; in which station he has left us a than to seek the applause of such as were very learned and methodical Cbarge, giver more willing to bestow applaufe than to to the Fury tbere, upon a Commission of Over enquire whether he had any juft title to and Terminer. it. This piece was entitled, 'Cogitata He now found himself at very great Vifa, and contained the groundwork or ease ; his private fortune was never in plan of his Novum Organum, so effential a better condition, or his domestic affairs à part of his Inftauration, that it some. in a happier fituation. He was poffefTed, times bears that title. It was by these and had been so many years, of a good means, which very few writers have estate in Hertfordshire, and of his father's taken, that Sir Francis Bacon obrained fine seat at Gorhambury, which had come fuch lights, as enabled him to finish those to him by the death of his brother Anparts of the Infauration to fo high a thony. He was in great practice at the degree of perfection. He likewise avoided, bar; king's follicitor; and behides had by taking this method, those ill natured just taken poffeffion of the office, which cenfures and criticisms, to which works had been granted to him twenty years of this nature are usually exposed ; and before, of register of the court of Starhis own system in particular, as it was chamber; a place of great value. So on entirely new principles, therefore that at this time he could not enjoy less could be supported only by its own worth,' than five thousand pounds a year, inand stand on no other foundation than cluding his wife's fortune : a very great its own rolidity. But that he might re. fum in those days. Besides, his employ. lieve himself a little from the severity of ments were of a nature that did not rethere studies, and, as it were, amuse bim- quire much grandeur or expence ; so that, self with ercting a magnificent pavilion, notwithstanding the generosity of his while his great palace of philorophy was femper, which bordered a little upon pro.
am building, he composed and fuseness, he must have been at this Horosent abroad his celebrated juncture in very easy circumstances : a treatise, of the Wisdom of ribe Ancients; very agreeable fituation to a man, who in which he shewed that none had itudied never affected riches, more than necetfity them more closely, was becter acquainted required, Gnce nothing could be done with their beauties, or had pierced deeper without then ; especially when joined to into their meaning. There have been the great reputation, and unenvied credit, very few books published, which deserved he as this time enjoyed. or received greater applause than this, or He had now the king's ear lo entirely, that will retain it longer.
that his majesty promised him he should Had he been of a covetous difpofition, succeed Sir Henry Hobart, then attorneyhe might have now greatly increased his general, in care either of his death or preferments; for he was in the highest removal. That worthy man being taken sa credit with the king, and in with a very severe fit of illness, Sir Francis 101 the greatest efteem' with all Bacon reminded king James ofre.. ranks and degrees of people ; and, as on his promise, and the earl of
1612 the one hand, he might have attained, Salisbury, with whom he was now on vrith little or no stance from the min very good terms, supported bis preten. Bilters, whatever he might have thought fions; but, however, the attorney re.
covered ; and he did not fucceed him in an enquiry. To pacify the heats, occa
that 'employment, till the year fioned by this project, the attorney-gene103 following, when Sir Henry was ral, (Sir Francis Bacon) made a long and made chief justice of the common pleas, very fine (peech, which is still preserved, in the room of Sir Edward Coke, removed but it had not the defired effe&t : for the to the king's-bench. In this office, Sir house was so much out of humour at this, Francis Bacon made as great a figure as and some other errors in the administraany of his predecessors; and had some tion, that James dissolved the parliament honours conferred on him, which few in great heat, and committed fume of or none had ever received ; in particular, the members, who had spoken freely, he was allowed to take his reat in the This, instead of allaying, increased the house of commons, though, by reason of ferment in the nation. In the mean time, his office, he had no right to it, as being the attorney-general, in right of his office, an attendant on the house of lords. But was employed in the prosecution of two this favour was granted him purely out offenders for high treason. The first of respect to his person, and to the services was one Peacham, a clergyman, for inhe had formerly rendered his country in serting several treasonable passages in a that house. Shortly after a folemn de ree fermon : he was afterwards pardoned. was made in the court of Star-chamber, The other was Mr. Owen, of Godstowe against the fashionable, though facal, in Oxfordshire, who, returning out of practice of duelling; and the Speecb of Sir Spain, affirmed and enforced a doctrine Francis Bacon, which gave occafion io it, he had imbibed from the Jesuits, chat if was, contrary to custom, printed there. the king was excommunicated and dewith.
prived by the pope, it was lawful for any The earl of Salisbury being dead, and person to kill him. This being a position Sir Francis having overcome all difficul- in direct terms contrary to the oath of ties, now ftood securely on his cwn in allegiance, and of dangerous consequence, terest with the king, without any de- (as it might affe& weak and superstitious pendence on the earl of Somerset, the minds) if believed and propagated, it was then reigning favourite, with whom he thought necessary that he should be made was always at a distance, when he was an example of ; and accordingly he was in his greatest power, and so had nothing piosecuted in the king's bench, and conto answer for with respect either tc mg victed. The Speecb of Sir Franais Bacon personal or political failings. It is, how. on this occasion is extant in his works ; ever manifeft, that after the death of the and it appears by his letters, that he had The earl of Salisbury, there grew a great concern, and much trouble in
"* many disorders in the govern- these prosecutions. ment, which verified the character Sir The famous George Villiers, afterwards Francis Bacon gave of that great minister well known by the title of duke of to the king his master; “Thac though it Buckingham, began now to engross the was not likely the king's affairs should good graces of king James. Among. have gone much better under his manage those who courted this rising favourite, ment, yet he was such a minister as none was more zealous chan Sir Francis would have hindered them from grow. Bacon; as none was more able to serve him ing worse." There were several persons, more nobly or more usefully. Vil. . about this time, who to ingratiate them- liers had at this time fense enough selves with the court made a tender of to feel his inexperience in business, and there. their interest to the king, with a promise, fore had recourse to our author for his ad, that, in case they were obliged, his ma- rice; which he gave him fully in a letter, , jesty's affairs in parliament should be con- ftill extant among his works, writren with ducted to his with ; but there undertakers, so superior a judgment and such honest as they were called afterwards, having freedom, that it does honour equally to presumed too much upon their own power his head and heart. He ranged his thoughts and abilities, foon found their influence under seven or eight principal topics of too small to effect what they had pro- confideration, and entered into an accurate miled ; and the whole scheme was disco- detail of what a minister ought to know vered. The commons immediately took and practise. The whole was equally cognizance of this affair, and commenced free and friendly, calculated to make the