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ing of Parliament in November, 1605, enabled Bacon "The Aa- to complete his Two Books of the Proficience vancement and Advancement of Learning. He dedicated ing," Bks. it to the King, hoping thereby to interest James I. II; 1605 (whom he avouches to be "the learnedst king that hath reigned") in his great intellectual enterprises; but James, unfortunately, was busy with other affairs. Probably the book would have made more of a stir in the London world had it not appeared at the time of the infamous Gunpowder Plot, which overshadowed everything else. That it was an important book will be evident from the following words of Dean Church:
"The Advancement was the first of a long line of books which have attempted to teach English readers how to think of knowledge; to make it really and intelligently the interest, not of the school or the study or the laboratory only, but of society at large. It was a book with a purpose, new then, but of which we have seen the fulfilment. He wanted to impress on his generation, as a very practical matter, all that knowledge might do in wise hands, all that knowledge had lost by the faults and errors of men and the misfortunes of time, all that knowledge might be pushed to in all directions by faithful and patient industry and well-planned methods for the elevation and benefit of man in his highest capacities as well as in his humblest. And he further sought to teach them how to know; to make them understand that difficult achievement of self-knowledge, to know what it is to know; to give the first attempted chart to guide them among the shallows and rocks and whirlpools which beset the course and action of thought and inquiry."
On May 10, 1606, Sir Francis Bacon married Alice BarnMarriage, ham, the "handsome daughter" of a London alderman and sheriff. Continuing to sue for preferment, he was at length successful. In June, 1607, he became Solicitor-General, receiving an annual salary of £1000. A year later the office of Clerk of the Star Chamber, the reversion of which had been promised him nineteen years before, fell vacant; the additional salary brought Bacon's income up to Clerk of the nearly $25,000 a year (£4975). An interesting Star Cham- document which has come down to us from this ber, 1608 time, the Miscellaneous Commentary, reveals
much as to his secret thoughts and ambitions. His philosophical work has the chief place. He plans to inquire into the kinds of motion; to write a history of marvels, and a history of progress in the mechanical arts; to secure the foundation of a college for inventors. As a statesman and public servant he meditates much on the welfare Bacon's of Britain; on the problem of replenishing the ambitions coffers of the spendthrift King without further for England alienating the people and bringing on civil war; on confederation with the Low Countries; on reforms limiting the jurisdiction of courts of justice; on making and codifying new laws; on restoring "the Church to the true limits of authority since Henry 8th's confusion;" in short, on making Britain a real "Monarchy in the West," a power in European affairs. Truly these were great ends. Though constantly seeking office, Bacon was none the less a patriot.
And England needed the loyal services of her sons. The struggle was beginning between King and Commons. "The great and pressing subject of the time," says Mr. Church, was the increasing difficulties of the revenue, created partly by the inevitable changes of a growing state, but much more by the King's incorrigible wastefulness." By 1608 James was running behind £83,000 a year and was a million pounds in debt. The Earl of Salisbury, Bacon's cousin, who now became Lord Treasurer, proposed that the Commons should, by paying a fixed sum annually to mons the King, secure relief from certain burdens incident to the exercise of the royal prerogative. But after a good deal of haggling over terms, the "Great Contract" came to nothing. Bacon on the one hand defended as legal the King's claim of the right to levy custom duties on merchandize, and on the other tried to persuade the Commons to content themselves with restraining and limiting this right. But the breach was already too wide to be closed by any one
sition in the struggle
Bacon's literary activity kept pace with his energetic public life. His great philosophical scheme was constantly in his mind. In 1608 he wrote Heat and Cold and A
History of Sound and Hearing, and probably began his Novum Organum, which he was not to publish for twelve years. The next year he sent to Bishop Andrewes a revised copy of his Thoughts and Judgments on the Interpretation of Nature, which he had written some two years before; and to Toby Matthew his including Wisdom of the Ancients. In this he attempted a new edition of the an allegorical treatment of the Greek myths and "Essays " fables, in which he thought there "lay enshrined physical discoveries and political mysteries." An enlarged edition of the Essays appeared in 1612. In the same year he wrote his Description of the Intellectual Globe, an account of astronomy, and his Theme of Heaven, its sequel, in which, ignoring Kepler's researches, he denied not only the density and solidity, but also the revolution, of the earth! He had too little time or inclination for patient study before writing.
Upon the death of Salisbury in 1612, Bacon came into greater favor with the King. In 1613 he became AttorneyBacon made General, and now took a more prominent part in state affairs. He delivered before the Star Chamber an earnest argument against duelling, 1613 which had become alarmingly prevalent. He also besought Parliament, though in vain, to provide for a thorough revision and codification of the laws.
"The New Atlantis,"
To this period, though tradition has assigned it to the last years of his life, probably belongs The New Atlantis, an unfinished romance recalling the imaginary commonwealth of Plato's Critias, and describing 1613 especially an institution "for the interpreting of nature," as Rawley says, "and the producing of great and marvellous works for the benefit of men. . . His Lordship thought also in this present fable to have composed a frame of laws, or of the best state or mould of a commonwealth; but foreseeing it would be a long work, his desire of collecting the Natural History diverted him, which he preferred many degrees before it." This torso is of peculiar interest, not only as the dream of an enthusiast in the cause of scientific investigation, but also from the fact that it undoubtedly
had its share in leading to the establishment of the Royal Society (1660).
Bacon continued to give King James constant proofs of his usefulness; and when Viscount Brackley resigned Bacon the chancellorship in 1617, Bacon succeeded to the office, once held by his father, of Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. On January 1, 1618, he was formally Lord created Lord Chancellor for life, with an increase Chancellor, of £600 a year over his salary as Lord Keeper. Verulam, Six months later he became Baron Verulam.
Constantly mindful of his great intellectual ends, Bacon devoted the long vacations to the studies nearest his heart. In October, 1620, he presented King James with 66 Novum his Novum Organum or "New Instrument," Organum," by which he desired "to make philosophy and 1620 sciences both more true and more active." The book, notwithstanding Bacon had "been about some such work near thirty years," and had composed the first draft about 1608, was incomplete; but the author had begun to number his days, "and would have it saved." The great object he sought to achieve was to teach men to invent or discover and judge by induction, as finding syllogistic or deductive reasoning "incompetent for sciences of nature." The King received the book with expressions of but moderate praise, and even permitted himself the jest that it was "like the peace of God, which passeth all understanding." To Bacon's plea for aid in making collections for a Natural and Experimental History, James was deaf.
The Novum Organum was to form the second part of a great work which Bacon called Magna Instauratio, "The Great Restoration," and which was to consist of the following parts: 1. The Divisions of the Sciences, a general survey of the state of knowledge at that time. 2. The New Instrument. 3. The Phenomena of the Universe, Bacon's considered as materials on which the new method was to be employed. 4. The Ladder of the Understanding, giving illustrations of the working ratio" of the new method. 5. Forerunners of the Second Philosophy, containing such discoveries as Bacon had made with
the "Magna Instau
out the aid of the new method, the conclusions being merely tentative. 6. The Second Philosophy or Active Science, to contain some results of the application of the new method to phenomena. Of these parts only the second and a part of the third (published also in 1620 and entitled Preparation for a Natural and Experimental History) appeared. The conception was indeed a noble one, but was even then too vast for one man. Scientists value Bacon less for his achievement than for his inspiration. He himself said, indeed, "I only sound the clarion; but I enter not the battle."
Notwithstanding his flippant reception of the Novum Organum, the King was not unmindful of the value of Made Vis- Bacon's services, and in January, 1621, created count St. him Viscount St. Alban. Bacon was now at the Alban, 1621 pinnacle of his fame. A peer of the realm, he held the highest legal office in the kingdom, with an annual income of probably £10,000. Ben Jonson wrote of him as
"England's High Chancellor, the destin'd heir,
Whose even thread the Fates spin round and full
Yet in the struggle for advancement Bacon's moral fibre, never robust, was weakened. The King was more than ever under the influence of a favorite the infamous George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham; and to keep in the favor of both James and Buck ham and at the same time preserve a high moral integrity was to serve both God and Mammon. "There is rarely any rising," says Bacon in his Essay of Nobility, 'but by a commixture of good and evil arts." Bacon well understood both kinds.
Yet Bacon's chief fault was, perhaps, that he fell in too readily with what were common practices of the day, disdaining to protest over much against trifles. Every one accepted bribes, from the Favorite down; and Bacon did not scruple to accept gifts from persons whose suits were pending. There is no absolute proof that these presents affected his judicial decisions; but he had not avoided the appearance of evil, and his enemies made the most of the advantage this gave them.