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person to whom it was addressed, not ed; but the earl of Somerset had so many only great but good. He told him he friends, that notwithstanding nothing was a new risen star, and the eyes of all could be clearer than the proceedings, men were upon him ; « let not your own they endeavoured, by misrepresenting negligence then, adds he, make you fall what had passed at Weston's trial, and like a meteor.” In another letter to him, by asking him questions at the gallows, he has these remarkable words : “ It is to make the whole pars for nothing now time that you should refer your better than an artificial contrivance to actions chiefly to the good of your love. ruin that nobleman. This brought Sir reign and your country. It is the life of Francis Bacon into the business : for, as a beast always to eat, and never to attorney-general, he received his majesty's exercise. In this dedication of yourself to commands to profecute those who had the public, I recommend to you prin- been the busieft in these base arts, in the cipally that which I think was done Star-chamber. Accordingly, he there never since I was born, and which not brought a charge against Mr. Lumsden, done, hath bred almost a wilderness and a courtier, and a gentleman of good fafolitude in the king's service; which is, mily in Scotland ; Sir John Hollis, after. that you countenance, encourage, and wards earl of Clare ; and Sir John Went'advance, able and virtuous men, in all worth. The design of this profecution kinds, degrees, and professions." This ex- was to vindicate the juttice of the nation, cellent advice the favourite received with and to prevent the obstructing of its thankfulness, and neglected.
course, which might have been the conThe application of Sir Francis Bacon sequence, if the methods taken by these to this rising ftar bas been by some ob- gentlemen, and indeed by many others, jected as a defect in his conduct. There out of their too great affection to the might be lightness and indiscretion in the earl of Somerset, had prevailed, and elta. king's choice of fo young a favourite ; blished a notion that Weston died innobut certainly there was nothing strange, cently, or had not accused the earl; besides, or that could give offence, in the endea the honour of the king was deeply injured vours of Sir Francis to make him become by these aspersions. Sir Francis made
1616 his place ; to enable him of a young a very excellent speech upon this 1 courtier to be a good ftatesman; and to occasion. Amongst many other learned obe turn to the benefit of the nation what servations, he said, “ Every one undoubt. the king had no other view in doing edly might speak freely at their last hour, than to please himself. And whoever but then it must come from the free mo. thall conlider what occasion Sir Francis tion of the parties, not by temptation of Bacon had of the interest of Sir George questions. The questions that are to be Villiers, and, on the o: her hand, how asked, added he, ought to tend to farther necessary to Sir George Villiers the revealing of their own or others guiltiness, counsels of Sir Francis Bacon were, will But to use a question in the nature of a casily discern that this was, in its begin- false interrogatory, to falfify that which is ning at least, a very equal friendship ; already judged and determined, is into. and that the king's attorney-general did lerable : for that were to erect a court not run himself into a halty and indecent or commission of review at Tyburn, dependence upon a youth just come into agrinst the King's Bench at Westminster: favour at court.
And besides, it is a thing vain and idle ; * But while Villiers was rifing, his pre. for if they answer according to the deceffor Robert Car, earl of Somerset, was judgment passed, it adds no credit ; or, falling. The occasion of this unexpected if it be contrary, it derogateth nothing; event was the discovery of the deep con- but yet it subjecteth the majesty of justice éern, that the earl and his counters to popular and vulgar talk and opinion. had in the barbarous affair of Sir Thomas My lords, these are great and dangerous Overbury's death, who had been poisoned offences ; for if we do not maintain through their means by one Weston, an justice, justice will not maintain us," apothecary's servant in 1613. Weston Sir Edward Coke did not behave lo civilly was now tried, condemned, and execute to the offenders, but created them rudely
• See the Life of Archbishop Abbot, in the former volume,
enough. In the conclusion, they were tions, so he conducted himself towards most severely punished by fines and im- him in this matter with a laudable indif. prisonments. It was Sir Francis Bacon's ference, shewing a warm, but decent, wise and prudent conduct in these prose- diligence in the discharge of his dury; cutions, that engaged king James to en- and thereby deservedly gained the approtrust him chiefly in the management of bation of the king his master, and the the trials of the earl and counters of general applause of the whole nation, Somerset. After many examinations, Sir Francis Bacon was now trustet and and much unnecessary parade, Frances, employed by the king, not only in the countess of Somerset, was brought to her business of his profession, but in so many trial, and pleaded guilty : upon which affairs of another nature, and of superior our author made a very learned speech. consequence to the state, that he judged The next day, Robert, earl of Somerset, it would be for his own honour, and adwas brought to his trial ; and Sir Francis, vantageous to his majesty's service, that he as attorney-general, opened the matter mould be sworn of the privy-council. This, very fully, and with much perspicuity; though unusual for a man in his station, and though the earl defended himself with was accomplished by the intercession of great art and skill, he was found guilty. his friend, Sir George Villiers; and he Yet, neither the counters, who confessed took his place at the board, on the ninth her guilt, nor her huiband, who was con- of June at Greenwich, where the court victed upon evidence, suffered; though then was. So great was his credit at all who had been their instruments in this this time with the king, that his majesty black and barbarous affair did : but the depended chiefly upon his integrity and mercy extended to the former was in abilities, in the regulation of an affair regard to her family, the noble house of that very nearly concerned himself, and Howard, the most eminent and diftin. 'was of great (consequence to the nation. guished in the kingdom, and the inter. This was the settling a very important cession of the peers in her behalf; and difference in point of jurisdiction between that to the latter flowed from the king's the courts of Chancery and King's-Bench. tenderness to a man, who had been once Sir Francis Bacon took uncommon pains so high in his favour, and who is generally in this business ; and his opinion, it is allowed to have been much less guilty apprehended, went the fartheit. than his wife. However, the pardoning. Though the favourite promoted the them has been always accounted one of interest of his friend, as he certainly was the greatest stains on king James's ad- in justice bound to do, with great warmth ministration; and is a proof that ill-timed and sincerity ; yet Sir Francis did not mercy in a prince is often an act of fe. entirely reft upon his assistance : on the verity to himself, and was more especially contrary, when there was a prospect of so in this cafe ; because the king had the chancellor's place becoming vacant, taken uncommon pains to make the he addressed himself with much plainness justice of that sentence appear, which he and freedom to the king, representing afterwards declined to execute. It may very strongly and fairly, though with monot be amiss to observe, that it was in defty and decency, the nature and length this affair, that king James said, sometime of his services, and the several reasons he before the trial, he wished the curse of had to expect, that the king would think God might fall on him and his posterity, of him for keeper of the seals, as a matter if he failed punishing the delinquents, honourable to the attorney-general, and provided they were found guilty. From not disadvantageous, he hoped, to his hence fome people have fondly and ridi- majesty's service. It is not easy to conculously believed, that all the disasters ceive, how applications for favour can which have almost ever attended the un- be conducted with dignity, or how a man fortunate house of Stuart, proceeded from can set forth his merits and services, exthe breach of this solemn promise. It plaining at the same time his own fitness would be difficult to reconcile so strange for any particular employment, and markan opinion with the justice of the Al. ing the inaptitude of others, without a mighty. Sir Francis Bacon had no hand mixture of meanness on the one hand, at all in procuring the earl of Somerset's and of envy and injustice on the other. pardon ; to whom, as he had no obliga. But the more difficult such a task appears, November, 1761.
the more his excellency must shine,' who his warrants for patents, and the grants was able to discharge it, with honour to of land. himself, without wrong to others, and Somerset had enjoyed a greater mea. with duty and benefit to the king his sure of power than Sir George Villiers master. This did Sir Francis Bacon, had hitherto done ; yet Sir Francis Bacon at a time when the death of the then never paid any particular court to him; lord-chancellor was daily expected, and and therefore it is not unfair to conclude, consequently, when he might aspire to that if he gave the former, besides the that high dignity, without any breach of bare duties of his function, fome marks the friendship with which he had been of particular friend thip, they may very honoured by that worthy person. It is well be attributed to the affe&tion he had true, the libellers of those times, or to for Villiers, and his regard for a man, speak the same thing in milder words, who had shewn great willingness to serve the writers of secret bistory, report other- him, and not to a mean spirit, and ferwise : but, for the honour of his memory, vile adulation of power. As it is not the letter he wrote upon that occasion our design to conceal the truth from the still remains to set the affair in its true reader, we subjoin, that the enemies of light. Impartiality, however, obliges us the lord-chancellor Bacon have, in anto own, that, in faying Sir Francis Ba- swer to this, alledged, that it is true, he con is not be blamed for this proceeding, did not court the friendship of Somerset, we have spoken all we can in his favour. but he found his mistake, and that to It is a remark of the ingenious editor of rise at court, or gain the king's favour, his works, that he was never promoted no other way was so safe as an atto any post, without repeated and earnest tachment to a favourite, and therefore applications. Sentiments of honour at he connected himself closely with the court were not then regarded in so high successor of Somerset, as the only method a light, as at this time : but, to a man to serve his own interest. Amidit the of strict severity, preferment thus obtain- praises of one party, and the detractions ed may almost be filed disgrace a little and calumnies of the other, it is always palliated and disguised. Pofts of honour difficult to discover the real truth of ought ever to be voluntary; they, pro any distinguished or public character. perly, should always proceed from the As Sir Francis Bacon began his office free-will of the donor.---The lord chan. of attorney general, with a prosecution cellor recovered ; and therefore Sir Fran for duelling, so he ended it with another cis Bacon applied himself to the duties of against one Mr. Markham, for sending his office, and to such other employments a challenge to the lord d'Arcy; and he as the king laid upon him. Various, in- gained in this, as in every thing else, deed, they were, and thereby speak the great reputation. Thus in the course of vast extent of his abilities : for, besides three years, whilft be held this post, the the businefs of his office, we find him rock on which many lawyers (plit, he frequently consulted in affairs of state, behaved himself with such prudence and and of the revenue, particularly in those moderation, and transacted so many difrelating to Ireland. In all which he acted cultand perplexed affairs with such evengels not as a busy and forward man, fond of and integrity, that it does not appear his thrusting himself into every thing, but as conduct was ever called in question ; nor an active and diligent servant to his has malice itself dared to utter of him the prince, and one who thought nothing a least reproach. burden, nothing a hardship, that was in When this is considered, we need the his power to perform for the benefit of less wonder at his so confidently expecting the state, or as an instance of his grati the high employment to which he was tude to the king his benefactor. He raised. It was a very natural elevation thewed himself particularly careful in from the poft he was then in. The whatever related to the fortunes of good old lord-chancellor desired to have Villiers ; to whom, if we may judge him for his successor; and indeed there from his letters, be did nothing offi- was no one at that time so fit for it ciously, but rendered him such services as himself. The manner in which it only, as fell properly in the way of the was done, was every way noble : for attorney-general : such as the preparing the then lord-chancellor "Egerton, who
had had been raised to the peerage by the conferring on him the title of an earl, title of viscount Brackley, being worn with a pension for life. There he did out with age and infirmities, 'at a visit not live long enough to receive; but the king paid him, resigned the seals into they were made good to his son, who his majesty's hands, whose tenderness was created eart of Bridgewater, by the at parting with so ancient and faithful first patent to which the new keeper a servant caused him to shed tears. The affixed the real. king soon after delivered them to Sir It is clear that Sir Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon, with the title of lord. thought himself, in some respect, indebta -keeper, he, being then in the 54th year ed to Sir George Villiers, even for this of his age. At the same time his majefty promotion to the custody of the feals ; gave him these three cautions : To real fince, on the very day of his advancenothing till after mature deliberation; ment, he wrote a letter of acknowledgeto give righteous judgments between ment to him. . However, he enjoyed parties ; and not to aim at extending the favour of his majesty at this time in the royal prerogative too far. These ro eminent a degree, and stood so securewere wise admonitions, worthy of a goodly on his own interest, that there reprince. The lord-keeper Bacon went quired but little occasion for the asistance afterwards to visit the lord Brackley, as of any other perfon. well to acquit himself of the debt of (To be concluded in our next; with wbicb personal gratitude, as to acquaint him will be given a fine Head of Lord Chan. with his majesty's gracious intentions of cellor Bacon.]
An Account of the Customs, Manners, and Ceremonies of the Inhabitants of the
Kingdom of Kongo, on the Western Coast of Africa ; and of their Monarchs.
THIS kingdom is of a very large ex. the grandeur of their palaces and edifices,
tent, and exceeding populous. The the riches and happiness of their subjects, towns and villages swarm fo with inhabi- the vast progress they have made in the tants, that were not great numbers sold arts and sciences, commerce, manufactoannually for Naves, the country could not ries, and other advantages, to which the fupport them. They are descended from Kongoese are wholly strangers; they will the ancient Ethiopians, and though few coolly answer, that all this must come nations live in a more wretched manner, vaftly mort of the dignity and splendor of there is hardly one under heaven that en- the kings and kingdom of Kongo: that tertains a more exalted idea both of them there can be but one Kongo in the world, selves and of their country, or is more to the happiness of whose monarch and hardened against all conviction to the con- people, all the rest were to contribute, and trary, either from reason, experience, or to whose treasury the sea and rivers pay the most impartial comparison with other their constant tribute of Zimbis, (the thells places in Europe or Africa. Neither, in which are their current coin) whilst other deed, can they easily be brought to think princes must condescend to enrich themotherwise, when it is a fundamental ar- selves, by digging through rocks and ticle of their belief, that the rest of the mountains, to come at the excrements of world was the work of angels; but that the earth; for so they stile gold and the kingdom of Kongo was the handy- silver. : work of the Almighty himself, and there. Accordingly they imagine the nations fore must have the highest advantages and that come to traffic among them are forced prerogatives above all others; their mo- to that servile employment by their ponarchs must be the most opulent, wise, and verty, and the badness of their country, powerful; and their subjects the noblest, * rather than induced to it by their luxury richest, most ingenious, and happiest peo- or avarice ; whilst themselves, with the ple in the univerfe. Tell them of the utmost ease and content, can indulge their magnificence of some of the European or natural indolence and noth, though atAfiatie courts, their immenfe revenues, tended with the most pinching hunger and
misery, misery, rather than disgrace the dignity of without giving them any other assistance their blood by any kind of industry, which, than that of the lash, whenever tbey find how laudable and beneficial foever, is look- them lazy or negligent. In like manner, ed upon by them as a lesser degree of those who live in villages or hamlets have Navery. Hence it is, that they are neither also learned from them to grub and cul. ashamed or afraid of their extreme indi- tivate the lands, to plough and low, and gence or poverty, though it obliges them to weave coarse stuffs for their own use. But go almost naked, without covering on their even there usually commit the most laboheads, or shoes to their feet, exposed to the rious part to their wives and Naves, withScorching beams of a vertical fun from out the least ambition of excelling one anabove, and the burning sands and stones other in any one branch under their care"; beneath. With the same care and content and this not for want of natural capacity, they can take their repose on the bare for both those burghers and peasants who ground, either in their wretched huts, ex- are more conversant with the Portuguese, posed to all winds and weathers; or, if have since discovered a very fertile genius need require it, in the open air, without and readiness to imitate them in several any inconvenience: if they contract any curious works; from which it is supposed distemper by it, patience and natural, the credit and profits they gain by it will strength are their only remedies. This is spur them on to still farther improvements, the cause why they support nature with But though it be generally esteemed ro such a small quantity of grain or pulse, much beneath their dignity to apply to as their wives can low and reap; or, when any useful work, yet they think it no disthat fails, with some fruits, roots, and grace to beg or steal ; in both which arts other spontaneous vegetables, rather than they are perfectly well versed, and practise debase their nobility, by joining their hands them to the highest degree of excellence. to the plough or spade. And on the same . They are mistrustful, jealous, envious, aceount they neglect the breeding of cattle and treacherous; and where they once take of any kind, how profitable foever they a diftafte or affront, will spare no pains, might prove to them, and alledge, that it nor stick at any base means to be avenged is too much below their dignity to take of their enemy. They are brought up the care of beats upon them. Was their without the least natural affe&ion either country properly cultivated, it might pro- to their neareft relations, or even between duce sufficient to maintain its inhabitants; their parents and children, husbands and but fo little use as they make of it, and as wives; infomuch, that a father will sell a the women are prodigiously fruitful, it is son or daughter, or perhaps both, for a no wonder that they are forced to have piece of cloth, a collar or girdle of coral, secourse to the odious method of selling or beads, and often for a bottle of wine Naves, a practice fo contrary and deroga or brandy. Labai, from Cavazzi, tells us tory to the nature of a human being. among other instances, of this brutith un
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It must, however, he owned, that since naturalness, that the latter being one day the coming of the Portuguese among them, in his convent of St. Salvador, a private which has been ever since the year 1482, man came into the church belonging to it, their example hath drove many out of their and made such loud and doleful lamentafantastic pride, and mameful noth, into tions, as drew the whole convent thicher, some kind of laudable industry. The At first, they imagined fome dreadful mis
burghers, for instance, who had till then chance to have befallen the poor wretch; , an irreconcileable aversion to all sorts of but, upon farther inquiry, were informed labour, and used to spend their whole by him, that the extreme misery he latime in inging, dancing, smoking, and boured, under bad reduced him to the other idle diversions, have been since ex- utmost despair ; that he had sold all bis cited to apply their thoughts to fome ure brethren, and one fifter he had, and next ful works; such as weaving of nets, and to them his wives and children, and last of other coarse fails, sawing of boards, leve- all bis father and mother, and that he had ral branches of carpentry, and other not one foul left of his family to make a trades. But it must not be supposed, that penny of. The good fathers, strangely furthey did any more in it than set their llaves prised at this declaration, endeavoured, in to work, and make a gain of their labour, vain, to convince him what an unpatural