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Spanish ambassador, that I would willingly for- for philosophy; and in aphorisms, the Novum

bear the honour to get rid of the burden; that I had always a desire to lead a private life. Gondomar answered, that he would tell me a tale; My lord, there was once an old rat that would needs leave the world: he acquainted the young rats that he would retire into his hole, and spend his days in solitude, and commanded them to respect his philosophical seclusion. They forbore two or three days: at last one, hardier than his fellows, ventured in to see how he did; he entered, and found him sitting in the midst of a rich Parmesan cheese.""

Organum and his tract on Universal Justice are composed. But, although this was his general opinion; although he was too well acquainted with what he terms the idols of the mind, to be diverted from truth by the love of order: yet, knowing the charms of theory and system, and the necessity of adopting them to insure a favourable reception for abstruse works, he did not reject these garlands, at once the ornament and fetters of science. They may now, perhaps, be laid aside, and the noble temple which he raised may be destroyed; but its gorgeous magnificence will never be forgotten, and amidst the ruins a noble statue will be seen by every true worshipper of beauty and of knowledge.

To form a correct judgment of the merits of this treatise, it is but justice to the author to remember both the time when it was written and the persons for whom it was composed ; ̈“length and ornament of speech being fit for persuasion of multitudes, although not for information of kings."

In such familiar explanations did he indulge himself: it being his object not to inflate trifles into marvels, but to reduce marvels to plain things. Of these simple modes of illustrating truth it appears, from a volume of Apothegms, published in the decline of his life, and a recommendation of them, in this treatise, as a useful appendage to history, that he had formed a collection. When the subject required it, he, without departing from simplicity, selected images of a higher nature; as, when explaining how the The work is divided into two books: the first body acts upon the mind, and anticipating the consisting of his dedication to the king:—of his common senseless observation, that such investi- statement of the objections to learning, by divines, gations are injurious to religion, “Do not," he | by politicians, and from the errors of learned men; says, "imagine that inquiries of this nature ques--and of some of the advantages of knowledge. tion the immortality of the soul, or derogate from If, in compliance with the custom of the times, its sovereignty over the body. The infant in its or from an opinion that wisdom, although it mother's womb partakes of the accidents of its ought not to stoop to persons, should submit to mother, but is separable in due season." So, too, occasions, or from a morbid anxiety to accelerate when explaining that the body is decomposed by the advancement of knowledge, Bacon could dethe depredation of innate spirit and of ambient lude himself by the supposition that this fulsome air, and that if the action of these causes can be dedication to the king was consistent either with prevented, the body will defy decomposition; the simplicity or dignity of philosophy, he must "Have you never," he says, "seen a fly in have forgotten what Seneca said to Nero: "Suffer amber, more beautifully entombed than an Egyp-me to stay here a little longer with thee, not to tian monarch?" and, when speaking of the resemblance in the different parts of nature, and calling upon his readers to observe that truths are general, he says, "Is not the delight of the quavering upon a stop in music the same with the playing of light upon the water,

"Splendet tremulo sub lumine pontus ?"" Such are his beautiful and playful modes of familiarizing abstruse subjects: but to such instances he did not confine himself. He was too well acquainted with our nature, merely to explain truth, without occasionally raising the mind by noble and lofty images to love it.

It must not be supposed that, because he illustrated his thoughts, he was misled by imagination, which never had precedence, but always followed in the train of his reason: or, because he had recourse to arrangement, that he was enslaved by method, which he always disliked, as impeding the progress of knowledge. It is, therefore, his constant admonition, that a plain, unadorned style, in aphorisms, is the proper style

flatter thine ear, for that is not my custom, as I have always preferred to offend by truth than to please by flattery." He must have forgotten that when Æsop said to Solon, "Either we must not come to princes, or we must seek to please and content them;" Solon answered, "Either we must not come to princes at all, or we must speak truly, and counsel them for the best." He must have forgotten his own doctrine, that books ought to have no patrons but truth and reason; and he must also have forgotten his own nervous and beautiful admonition, that "the honest and just bounds of observation by one person upon another, extend no further but to understand him sufficiently, whereby not to give him offence, or whereby to be able to give him faithful counsel; or whereby to stand upon reasonable guard and caution with respect to a man's self: but to be speculative into another man, to the end to know how to work him, or wind him, or govern him, proceedeth from a heart that is double and cloven, and not entire and ingenuous, which as in friendship it is want of integrity, so towards princes or superiors it is want of duty."

If his work had been addressed to the philoso- | frenzy is a good emblem; for words are but phy of the country, instead of having confined his images of matter, and to fall in love with them is professional objections to divines and politicians, all one as to fall in love with a picture." he would have explained that, as our opinions always constitute our intellectual and often our worldly wealth, prejudice is common to us all, and is particularly conspicuous amongst all professional men, with respect to the sciences which they profess.

His objections to learning from the errors of learned men, contain his observations upon the study of words; upon useless knowledge; and upon falsehood, called by him delicate learning; contentious learning; and fantastical learning; all of them erroneously considered objections to learning; as the study of words is merely the selection of one species of knowledge; and contentious learning is only the conflict of opinion which ever exists when any science is in progress, and the way from sense to the understanding is not sufficiently cleared; and falsehood is one of the consequences attendant upon inquiry, as our opinions, being formed not only by impressions upon our senses, but by confidence in the communication of others and our own reasonings, unavoidably teem with error, which can by time alone be corrected.

These different subjects are classed under the quaint expression of "Distempers of Learning," to which, that the metaphor may be preserved, he has appended various other defects, under the more quaint term of " Peccant Humours of Learning."

His observations upon the advantages of learning, although encumbered by fanciful and minute analysis, abound with beauty; for, not contenting himself with the simple position with which philosophy would be satisfied, that knowledge teaches us how to select what is beneficial, and avoid what is injurious, he enumerates various modes, divine and human, by which the happiness resulting from knowledge ever has been and ever will be manifested.

After having stated what he terms divine proofs of the advantages of knowledge, he says, the human proofs are:

1. Learning diminishes afflictions from nature. 2. Learning diminishes evils from man to man. 3. There is a union between learning and military virtue.

4. Learning improves private virtues.

1. It takes away the barbarism of men's minds.

2. It takes away levity, temerity, and in-

3. It takes away vain admiration,
4. It takes away, or mitigates fear.
5. It disposes the constitution of the mind
not to be fixed or settled in its defects,
but to be susceptible of growth and

5. It is power.

6. It advances fortune.

7. It is our greatest source of delight.
8. It insures immortality.

As it is Bacon's doctrine that knowledge consists in understanding the properties of creatures and the names by which they are called, "the occupation of Adam in Paradise," it may seem extraordinary that he should not have formed a higher estimate than he appears to have formed of the study of words. Words assist thought; they teach us correctness; they enable us to acquire the knowledge and character of other nations; and the study of ancient literature in particular, if it is not an exercise of the intellect, is a discipline of humanity; if it do not strengthen the understanding, it softens and refines the taste; it gives us liberal views; it accustoms the mind to take an interest in things foreign to itself; to love virtue for its own sake; to prefer glory to riches, and to fix our thoughts on the remote and perinanent, instead of narrow and fleeting objects. It teaches us to believe that there is really something great and excellent in the world, surviving all the shocks and accidents and fluctuations of opinion, and raises us above that low and servile fear, which bows only to present power and up-together, listening to the airs and accords of the start authority. Rome and Athens filled a place in the history of mankind which can never be occupied again. They were two cities set on a hill which cannot be hid; all eyes have seen them, and their light shines like a mighty sea-mark into the abyss of time:

"Still green with bays each ancient altar stands." But, notwithstanding these advantages, Bacon says, "the studying words and not matter is a distemper of learning, of which Pygmalion's

These positions are proved by all the force of his reason, and adorned by all the beauty of his imagination. When speaking of the power of knowledge to repress the inconveniences which arise from man to man, he says, “In Orpheus's theatre all beasts and birds assembled, and, forgetting their several appetites, some of prey, some of game, some of quarrel, stood all sociably

harp; the sound whereof no sooner ceased, or was drowned by some louder noise, but every beast returned to his own nature; wherein is aptly described the nature and condition of men, who are full of savage and unreclaimed desires of profit, of lust, of revenge; which, as long as they give ear to precepts, to laws, to religion, sweetly touched with eloquence and persuasion of books, of sermons, of harangues, so long is society and peace maintained; but if these instruments be silent, or sedition and tumult make

them not audible, all things dissolve into anarchy | tigation of every species of philosophy, divine, and confusion."

So when explaining, amidst the advantages of knowledge, its excellency in diffusing happiness through succeeding ages, he says, "Let us conclude with the dignity and excellency of knowledge and learning in that whereunto man's nature doth most aspire; which is, immortality or continuance for to this tendeth generation, and raising of houses and families; to this buildings, foundations, and monuments; to this tendeth the desire of memory, fame, and celebration, and, in effect, the strength of all other human desires. We see then how far the monuments of wit and learning are more durable than the monuments of power or of the hands. For, have not the verses of Homer continued twenty-five hundred years, or more, without the loss of a syllable or letter; during which time infinite palaces, temples, castles, cities, have been decayed and destroyed? It is not possible to have the true pictures or statues of Cyrus, Alexander, Cæsar; no, nor of the kings or great personages of much later ycars; for the originals cannot last, and the copies cannot but leese of the life and truth: but the images of men's wits and knowledges remain in books exempted from the wrong of time, and capable of perpetual renovation. Neither are they fitly to be called images, because they generate still, and cast their seeds in the minds of others, provoking and causing infinite actions and opinions in succeeding ages; so that, if the invention of the ship was thought so noble, which carrieth riches and commodities from place to place, and consociateth the most remote regions in participation of their fruits, how much more are letters to be magnified, which, as ships, pass through the vast seas of time, and make ages so distant to participate of the wisdom, illuminations, and inventions, the one of the other?"

After having thus explained some of the blessings attendant upon knowledge, he concludes the first book with lamenting that these blessings are not more generally preferred.

The second book, after various preliminary observations, and particularly upon the defects of universities, of which, from the supposition that they are formed rather for the discovery of new knowledge than for diffusing the knowledge of our predecessors, he, through life, seems to have formed too high an estimate, he arranges and adorns every species of history, which he includes within the province of memory, and every species of poetry, by which imagination can "elevate the mind from the dungeon of the body to the enjoying its own divine essence:"-and, passing from poetry, by saying, "but it is not good to stop too long in the theatre: let us now pass on to the judicial place or palace of the mind, which we are to approach and view with more reverence and attention," he proceeds to the inves

natural, and human, of which, from his analysis of human philosophy, or the science of man, some conception may be formed of the extent and perfection of the different parts of the work.

These different subjects, exhibited with this perspicuity, are adorned with beautiful illustration and imagery: as, when explaining the doctrine of the will, divided into the image of good, or the exhibition of truth, and the culture or Georgics of the mind, which is its husbandry or tillage, so as to love the truth which it sees, he says, "The neglecting these Georgics seemeth to me no better than to exhibit a fair image or statue, beautiful to behold, but without life or motion."

Having thus made a small globe of the intellectual world, he, looking at the work he had made, and hoping that it was good, thus concludes: "And being now at some pause, looking back into that I have passed through, this writing seemeth to me, 'si nunquam fallit imago,' (as far as a man can judge of his own work,) not much better than the noise or sound which musicians make while they are tuning their instruments, which is nothing pleasant to hear, but yet is a cause why the music is sweeter afterwards: so have I been content to tune the instruments of the muses, that they may play that have better hands. And surely, when I set before me the condition of these times, in which learning hath made her third visitation or circuit in all the qua lities thereof: as the excellency and vivacity of the wits of this age; the noble helps and lights which we have by the travails of ancient writers; the art of printing, which communicateth books to men of all fortunes; the openness of the world by navigation, which hath disclosed multitudes of experiments, and a mass of natural history; the leisure wherewith these times abound, not employing men so generally in civil business as the states of Græcia did, in respect of their popularity, and the state of Rome, in respect of the greatness of their monarchy; the present disposition of these times at this instant to peace; the consumption of all that ever can be said in controversies of religion, which have so much diverted men from other sciences; and the inseparable property of time, which is ever more and more to disclose truth,-I cannot but be raised to this persuasion, that this third period of time will far surpass that of the Grecian and Roman learning; only if men will know their own strength, and their own weakness both; and take, one from the other, light of invention, and not fire of contradiction; and esteem of the inquisition of truth as of an enterprise, and not as of a quality or ornament; and employ wit and magnificence to things of worth and excellency, and not o things vulgar and of popular estimation."

Of this work he presented copies to the king

and to different statesmen, and, to secure its perpetuity, he exerted himself with his friends to procure a translation of it into Latin, which, in the decline of his life, he accomplished.

As a philosopher, Bacon, who beheld all things from a cliff, thus viewed the intellectual globe, dilating his sight to survey the whole of science, and contracting it so that the minutest object could not escape him.

and the education of youth; institute orders and fraternities for nobility, enterprise, and obedience; but, above all, establish good laws for the regulation of the kingdom, and as an example to the world."

On the first day of the ensuing year he thus presented, as a new year's gift, to the king, a discourse touching the plantation of Ireland: "I know not better how to express my good wishes of a new year to your majesty, than by this little book, which in all humbleness I send you. The style is a style of business, rather than curious or elaborate. And herein I was encouraged by my

Sweet as such speculations were to such a mind: pleasing as the labour must have been in surmounting the steeps: delightful to tarry upon them, and painful to quit them, he did not suffer contemplation to absorb his mind; but, as a states-experience of your majesty's former grace, in man, he was ever in action, ever advancing the accepting of the like poor field-fruits touching the welfare of his country. These opposite exertions union. And certainly I reckon this action as a were the necessary result of his peculiar mind; second brother to the union. For I assure myself for, as knowledge takes away vain admiration; as that England, Scotland, and Ireland, well united, no man marvels at the play of puppets who has is such a trefoil as no prince except yourself, who been behind the curtain, Bacon could not have are the worthiest, weareth in his crown." been misled by the baubles by which common In this discourse, his knowledge of the miseminds are delighted; and, as he had examined theries of Ireland, that still neglected country, and nature of all pleasures, and felt that knowledge of the mode of preventing them, with his heartfelt and benevolence, which is ever in its train, sur- anxiety for her welfare, appears in all his ardent passed them all; the chief source of his happiness, endeavours, by all the power he possessed, to insure wherever situated, must have consisted in dimi- the king's exertions for "this desolate and negnishing evil and in promoting good. lected country, blessed with almost all the dowries of nature, with rivers, havens, woods, quarries, good soil, temperate climate, and a race and generation of men, valiant, hard and active, as it is not easy to find such confluence of commodities, if the hand of man did join with the hand of nature; but they are severed,—the harp of Ireland is not strung or attuned to concord. This work, therefore, of all others most memorable and honourable, your majesty hath now in hand; specially, if your majesty join the harp of David, in casting out the evil spirit of superstition, with the harp of Orpheus, in casting out desolation and barbarism."

With his delicate health and intense love of knowledge, he ought in prudence to have shunned the broad way and the green, and retreated to contemplation; but it was his favourite opinion that, "in this theatre of man's life, God and angels only should be lookers-on; that contemplation and action ought ever to be united, a conjunction like unto that of the two highest planets, Saturn, the planet of rest, and Jupiter, the planet of action."

He could not, thus thinking, but engage in active life; and, so engaged, he could not but act in obedience to the passion by which he was alone animated; by exerting himself and endeavouring to excite others to promote the public good. We find him, therefore, labouring as a statesman and a patriot to improve the condition of Ireland; to promote the union of England and Scotland; to correct the errors which had crept into our religious establishments, and to assist in the amendment of the law; and, not content with the fruits of his own exertions, calling upon all classes of society to co-operate in reform.

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His exertions respecting the union of England and Scotland were, both in and out of parliament, strenuous and unremitted. He spoke whenever the subject was agitated. He was a member of every committee that was formed to carry it into effect: he prepared the certificate of the commissioners appointed to treat of the union: and he was selected to report the result of a conference with the Lords; until, exhausted by fatigue, he was compelled to intercede with the House that he might be assisted by the co-operation of other members in the discharge of these arduous duties; and, it having been decided by all the judges, after an able argument of Bacon's, that all persons born in Scotland after the king's commission were na tural born subjects, he laboured in parliament to extend these privileges to all Scotland, that the rights enjoyed by the children should not be with held from their parents.

To professional men he says, "I hold that every man is a debtor to his profession, from the which, as men do of course seek to receive countenance and profit, so ought they to endeavour themselves by way of amends, to be a help and ornament." And he admonishes the king, that, "as a duty to himself, to the people, and to the King of kings, he ought to erect temples, tombs, palaces, theatres, bridges, make noble roads, cut canals, grant multitude of charters and liberties for comfort of decayed companies and corpora- The journals of the Commons contain an outline tions; found colleges and lectures for learning of many of his speeches, of which one upon the


union of laws, and another upon the general natu- | brier with the thistle, which is most unprofitable, ralization of the Scottish nation were completed, but as the vine with the olive, which bears best and have been preserved; and are powerful evidence of his zeal and ability in this good cause, exerted at the risk of the popularity, which, by his independent conduct in parliament, he had justly acquired. But he did not confine his activity to the bar or to the House of Commons. In his hours of recreation he wrote three works for the use of the king: "A Discourse upon the happy Union;""Considerations on the same;" and a preparation towards "the union of these two mighty and warlike nations under one sovereign and monarchy, and between whom there are no mountains or races of hills, no seas or great rivers, no diversity of tongue or language, that hath created or provoked this ancient and too long continued divorce."

His anxiety to assist in the improvement of the church appears in his exertions in parliament, and in his publications in his times of recreation. When assisting in the improvement of our civil establishment, he was ever mindful that our country ought to be treated as our parents, with mildness and persuasion, and not with contestations; and, in his suggestions for the improvement of our religious establishments, his thoughts have a glory around them, from the reverence with which he always approaches this sacred subject, and particularly on the eve of times, which he foresaw, when voices in religion were to be numbered and not weighed, and when his daily prayer was, "Remember, O Lord, how thy servant hath walked before thee; remember what I have first sought, and what hath been principal in my intentions. I have loved thy assemblies: I have mourned for the division of the church: I have delighted in the brightness of thy sanctuary. This vine, which thy right-hand hath planted in this nation, I have ever prayed unto thee that it might stretch her branches to the seas and the floods."

His publications are two: the one entitled, "An Advertisement, touching the Controversies of the Church of England;" the other, "Certain Considerations touching the better Pacification and Edification of the Church of England." These tracts abound with thought; and, according to his usual mode, consist of an extensive survey of the whole of our religious establishment, and the most minute observations of all its parts, even to the surplice of the minister, that simple pastoral garment, which, with the crook to guide, and to draw back the erring flock, beautiful emblems of the good shepherd, are still retained by the established church.

His tract upon church controversies contains an outline of all religious disputes, and abounds with observations well worthy the consideration of ecclesiastical contro sialists; who will, percance, submit to be dmonished by Bacon that, as Christians, they should contend, not as the

The considerations touching the pacification of the church, are dedicated to the king; and, after apologizing for his interposition as a layman with ecclesiastical matters, and describing the nature of the various reformers, and the objections to the reform of the church, he examines with great accuracy the government of bishops, the liturgy,—the ceremonies, and subscription,-a preaching ministry, the abuse of excommunications, the provision for sufficient maintenance in the church, and non-residents, and pluralities, of which he says: "For non-residence, except it be in case of necessary absence, it seemeth an abuse, drawn out of covetousness and sloth; for that men should live of the flock that they do not feed, or of the altar at which they do not serve, is a thing that can hardly receive just defence; and to exercise the office of a pastor, in matter of the word and doctrine, by deputies, is a thing not warranted." And he thus concludes: "Thus have I, in all humbleness and sincerity of heart, to the best of my understanding, given your majesty tribute of my cares and cogitations in this holy business, so highly tending to God's glory, your majesty's honour, and the peace and welfare of your states; insomuch as I am persuaded, that the papists themselves should not need so much the severity of penal laws, if the sword of the spirit were better edged, by strengthening the authority, and suppressing the abuses in the church.”

Early in this year, (1607, Æt. 47,) an event occurred of considerable importance to his worldly prospects and professional tranquillity, by the promotion of Sir Edward Coke from the office of attorney-general to the chief justiceship of the common pleas, occasioning a vacancy in the office of solicitor-general, which Bacon strenuously exerted himself to obtain, under the delusion, that, by increasing his practice, he should be enabled sooner to retire into contemplative life. He applied to Lord Salisbury, to the lord chancellor, and to the king, by whom, on the 25th day of June, 1607, he was appointed solicitor, to the great satisfaction of his profession, the prospect of worldly emolument, and the hope of professional tranquillity, by a removal from conflict with the coarse mind and acrid humour of Sir Edward Coke, rude to his equals and insolent to the unfortunate.

Who can forget his treatment of Bacon? who, when reviled, reviled not again, but in due season thus expostulated with him:

Mr. Attorney, I thought best, once for all, to let you know in plainness what I find of you, and what you shall find of me. You take to yourself a liberty to disgrace and disable my law, my experience, my discretion. What it pleaseth you I

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