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may be well done. Secondly, I do see that which nor place, nor employment; but only, after so all the world sees in his majesty, a wonderful long a time of expiation, a complete and total judgment in learning, and a singular affection remission of the sentence of the Upper House, towards learning, and works which are of the to the end that blot of ignominy may be mind, and not of the hand. For there cannot be removed from me, and from my memory with the like honour sought in building of galleries, posterity, that I die not a condemned man, but and planting of elms along highways, and the may be to your majesty, as I am to God, "nova outward ornaments wherein France now is busy, creatura." Your majesty hath pardoned the like (things rather of magnificence than of magnani- to Sir John Bennet, between whose case and mine mity,) as there is in the uniting of states, pacify- (not being partial to myself, but speaking out of ing of controversies, nourishing and augmenting the general opinion) there was as much difference, of learning and arts, and the particular action I will not say, as between black and white, but appertaining unto these; of which kind Cicero as between black and grey, or ash-coloured; look, judged truly, when he said to Cæsar, "Quantum therefore, down (dear sovereign) upon me also in operibus tuis detrahet vetustas, tantum addet pity. I know your majesty's heart is inscrutable laudibus." And, lastly, I called to mind, that for goodness; and my Lord of Buckingham was your lordship, at some times, hath been pleased to wont to tell me, you were the best natured man express unto me a great desire, that something in the world; and it is God's property, that those of this matter should be done, answerable indeed he hath loved, he loveth to the end. Let your to your other noble and worthy courses and ac- majesty's grace, in this my desire, stream down tions; joining, and adding unto the great ser- upon me, and let it be out of the fountain and vices towards his majesty (which have in small spring-head, and "ex mero motu," that living or compass of time been performed by your lord- dying, the print of the goodness of King James ship) other great deservings, both of the church, may be in my heart, and his praises in my mouth. and commonwealth, and particulars: so as the This my most humble request granted, may make opinion of so great and wise a man doth seem to me live a year or two happily; and denied, will me a good warrant, both of the possibility, and kill me quickly. But yet the last thing that will worth of the matter. But all this while, I assure die in me will be the heart and affection of myself, I cannot be mistaken by your lordship, Your majesty's most humble and as if I sought an office or employment for myself; true devoted servant, for no man knows better than your lordship, that if there were in me any faculty thereunto, yet July 30, 1624. neither my course of life, nor profession would permit it. But because there be so many good



painters, both for hand and colours, it needeth SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, UPON PRE-
but encouragement and instructions to give life
unto it. So, in all humbleness, I conclude my
presenting unto your lordship this wish, which
if it perish, it is but a loss of that which is not.
And so craving pardon that I have taken so much
time from your lordship, I remain, etc.

SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, ABOUT THE Couraged by my experience of your majesty's


former grace, in accepting of the like poor fieldfruits, touching the union. And certainly I reckon this action as a second brother to the union, for I assure myself, that England, Scotland, and Ireland, well united, is such a trefoil as no prince except yourself (who are the worthiest) weareth in his crown, "si potentia reducatur in actum." I know well that for me to beat my brains about these things, they be "majora quam pro fortuna," but yet they be "minora quam pro studio et voluntate." For as I do yet bear an extreme zeal to the memory of my old mistress, Queen Elizabeth, to whom I was rather bound for her trust than for her favour; so I must acknowledge myself more bound to your majesty, both for trust and favour; whereof I will never deceive the

MOST GRACIOUS and dread Sovereign,

Before I make my petition to your majesty, I make my prayers to God above, "pectore ab imo," that if I have held any thing so dear as your majesty's service, (nay) your heart's ease, and your honour, I may be repulsed with a denial. But if that hath been the principal with me, that God, who knoweth my heart, would move your majesty's royal heart to take compassion of me, and to grant my desire.


I know no better way 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 en

I prostrate myself at your majesty's feet; I, your ancient servant, now sixty-four years old in age, and three years and five months old in misery. I desire not from your majesty means,

one, as I can never deserve the other. And so, in all humbleness kissing your majesty's sacred hands, I remain




I present your lordship with a work of my

vacant time, which if it had been more, the work

had been better. It appertaineth to your lordship (besides my particular respects) in some propriety, in regard you are a great governor in a province of learning, and (that which is more) you have added to your place affection towards learning, and to your affection judgment, of which the last I could be content were (for the time) less, that you might the less exquisitely censure that which I offer to you. But sure I am, the argument is good, if it had lighted upon a good author; but shali content myself to awake better spirits, like a bellringer which is first up, to call others to church. So, with my humble desire of your lordship's good acceptation, I remain


his lieutenant, I do understand, there hath been expected from me, heretofore, some justification, and therefore I have chosen one only justification instead of all others, out of the justification of Job; for, after the clear submission and confession which I shall now make unto your lordships, I hope I may say, and justify with Job, in these words, "I have not hid my sin, as did Adam, nor concealed my faults in my bosom." This is the only justification I will use: it resteth, therefore, and acknowledge, that having understood the that, without fig-leaves, I do ingenuously confess particulars of the charge, not formally from the House, but enough to inform my conscience and memory, I find matter both sufficient and full, to move me to desert the defence, and to move your lordships to condemn and censure me. Neither will I trouble your lordships by singling out particulars, which I think may fall off: "Quid te exempta juvat spinis do millibus una?" Neither will I prompt your lordships to observe upon the proofs, where they come not home, or the scruples touching the credit of the witnesses: Neither will I present unto your lordships, how far a offence, in respect of the time, or manner of the defence might in divers things extenuate the gift, or the like circumstances; but only leave these things to spring out of your own noble thoughts, and observations of the evidence, and examinations themselves, and charitably to wind about the particulars of the charge here and there, as God shall put in your minds; and so submit myself wholly to your piety and grace.


I shall humbly crave at your lordships' hands a benign interpretation of that which I shall now write; for words that come from wasted spirits, and an oppressed mind, are more safe in being deposited in a noble construction, than in being circled with any reserved caution. Having made this as a protection to all which I shall say, I will go on, but with a very strange entrance, (as may seem to your lordships at the first;) for in the midst of a state of as great affliction as I think a mortal man can endure, (honour being above life,) I shall begin with the professing gladness in some things.

The first is, that hereafter the greatness of a judge or magistrate shall be no sanctuary, or protection to him against guiltiness; which, in few words, is the beginning of a golden world. The next, that after this example, it is like that judges will fly from any thing in the likeness of corruption, (though it were at a great distance,) as from a serpent; which tendeth to the purging of the courts of justice, and reducing them to their true honour and splendour. And in these two points, God is my witness, (though it be my fortune to be the anvil, upon which these good effects are beaten and wrought,) I take no small comfort. But to pass from the motions of my heart, whereof God is only judge, to the merits of my cause, whereof your lordships are only judges, under God, and VOL. III.-4

And now that I have spoken to your lordships as judges, I shall say a few words unto you as peers and prelates, humbly commending my cause to your noble minds, and magnanimous affections.

Your lordships are not only judges, but parliamentary judges; you have a farther extent of arbitrary power than other courts: and if you be not tied to the ordinary course of courts or precedents, in point of strictness and severity, much more in points of mercy and mitigation. And yet, if any thing I should move might be contrary to your honourable and worthy ends to introduce a reformation, I should not seek it, but herein I beseech your lordships to give me leave to tell you a story. Titus Manlius took his son's life for giving battle against the prohibition of his general. Not many years after, the like severity was pursued by Papirius Cursur, the dictator, against Quintus Maximus, who, being upon the point to be sentenced, was, by the intercession of some principal persons of the senate, spared; whereupon Livy maketh this grave and gracious observation: "Neque minus firmata est disciplina militaris periculo Quinti Maximi, quam miserabili supplicio Titi Manlii." The discipline of war was no less established by the questioning only of Quintus Maximus than by the punishment of Titus Manlius. And the same


reason is of the reformation of justice, for the a £100,000. But the judges first, and most of the rest, reduced it as before. I do not dislike that things pass moderately, and, all things considered, it is not amiss, and might easily have been worse. There was much speaking of interceding for the king's mercy, which (in my opinion) was not so proper for a sentence: I said, in conclusion, that mercy was to come “ex mero motu,” and so left it. I took some other occasion pertinent to do the king honour, by showing how happy he was in all other parts of his government, save only in the manage of his treasure by these officers.

questioning of men of eminent place hath the same terror, though not the same rigour with the punishment. But my case stayeth not there; for my humble desire is, that his majesty would take the seal into his hands, which is a great downfall, and may serve, I hope, in itself, for an expiation of my faults.

Therefore, if mercy and mitigation be in your lordships' power, and do no ways cross your ends, why should I not hope of your favours and commiserations? Your lordships may be pleased to behold your chief pattern, the king our sovereign, a king of incomparable clemency, and whose I have sent the king a new bill for Sussex, for heart is inscrutable for wisdom and goodness. my Lord of Nottingham's certificate was true, and You well remember, that there sat not these hun-I told the judges of it before, but they neglected dred years before, in your house, a prince (and it. I conceive the first man (which is newly set never such a prince) whose presence deserveth to down) is the fittest. God ever preserve and keep be made memorable by records and acts, mixed you, etc. of mercy and justice. Yourselves are either nobles, (and compassion ever beateth in the veins of noble blood,) or reverend prelates, who are the SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE LORD TREASURER servants of him that would not break the bruised reed, nor quench smoking flax.


You all sit upon a high stage, and therefore cannot but be more sensible of the changes of human condition, and of the fall of any from high places. Neither will your lordships forget that there are "vitia temporis," as well as "vitia hominis," and that the beginning of reformation hath a contrary power to the pool of Bethseda, for that had strength only to cure him that first cast in, and this hath strength to hurt him only that is first cast in; and for my part, I wish it may stay there, and go no farther.

Lastly, I assure myself, your lordships have a noble feeling of me, as a member of your own body; and one that, in this very session, had some taste of your loving affections, which I hope was not a lightning before the death of them, but rather a spark of that grace which now, in the conclusion, will more appear. And, therefore, my humble suit to your lordships is, that my voluntary confession may be my sentence, and the loss of


the seal my punishment, and that your lordships A LETTER OF THE LIKE ARGUMENT TO THE LORD will spare any farther sentence, but recommend me to his majesty's grace and pardon for all that | MAY IT PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP, is past. And so, etc.

Your lordships', etc



I have finished a work touching the advancement or setting forward of learning, which I have dedicated to his majesty, the most learned of a sovereign, or temporal prince, that time hath known. And upon reason not unlike, I humbly present one of the books to your lordship, not only as a chancellor of a university, but as one that was excellently bred in all learning, which I have ever noted to shine in all your speeches and behaviours. And therefore your lordship will yield a gracious aspect to your first love, and take pleasure in the adorning of that wherewith yourself are so much adorned. And so, humbly desiring your favourable acceptation thereof, with signifi cation of my humble duty, I remain


My Lord of Suffolk's cause is this day sentenced. My lord, and his lady, fined at £30,000, with imprisonment in the Tower at their own charges. Bingley at £2,000 and committed to the Fleet; Sir Edward Coke did his part, I have not heard him do better: and began with a fine of

I humbly present your lordship with a work, wherein, as you have much commandment over the author, so your lordship hath also great interest in the argument. For, to speak without flattery, few have like use of learning, or like judgment in learning, as I have observed in your lordship. And, again, your lordship hath been a great planter of learning, not only in those places in the church which have been in your own gift, but also in your commendatory vote, no man hath more constantly held, "detur digniori;" and, therefore, both your lordship is beholden to learning, and learning beholden to you. Which maketh me presume, with good assurance, that

your lordship will accept well of these my for me, to have done as gardeners use to do, by labours, the rather because your lordship in pri- taking their seeds and slips, and rearing them vate speech hath often begun to me, in expressing first into plants, and so uttering them in pots, your admiration of his majesty's learning, to when they are in flower, and in their best state. whom I have dedicated this work; and, whose But, forasmuch, as my end was merit of the state virtue and perfection in that kind, did chiefly of learning, to my power, and not glory; and, move me to a work of this nature. And, so with | because my purpose was rather to excite other signification of my most humble duty and affec- men's wits, than to magnify my own, I was tion towards your lordship, I remain, etc. desirous to prevent the uncertainness of my own life and times, by uttering rather seeds than plants; nay, and farther, as the proverb is, by Sowing with the basket, than with the hand. Wherefore, since I have only taken upon me to ring a bell, to call other wits together, (which is the meanest office,) it cannot but be consonant to my desire, to have that bell heard as far as can be. And, since that they are but sparks, which can work but upon matter prepared, I have the more reason to wish, that those sparks may fly abroad, that they may the better find, and light upon those minds and spirits which are apt to be kindled. And, therefore, the privateness of the language considered wherein it is written, excluding so many readers, (as, on the other side, the obscurity of the argument, in many parts of it, excludeth many others;) I must account it a second birth of that work, if it might be translated into Latin, without manifest loss of the sense and matter. For this purpose, I could not represent to myself any man, into whose hands I do more earnestly desire that work should fall, than yourself; for, by that I have heard and read, I know no man a greater master in commanding words to serve matter. Nevertheless, I am not ignorant of the worth of your labours, whether such as your place and profession imposeth on you, or such as your own virtue may, upon your voluntary election, take in hand. But I can lay before you no other persuasions, than either the work itself may affect you with, or the honour of his majesty, to whom it is dedicated, or your particular inclination to myself; who, as I never took so much comfort in any labours of my own, so I shall never acknowledge myself more obliged in any thing to the labour of another, than in that which shall assist this. Which your labour if I can, by my place, profession, means, friends, travail, word, deed, requite unto you, I shall esteem myself so straitly bound thereunto, as I shall be ever most ready, both to take and seek occasions of thankfulness. And so leaving it, nevertheless, "Salva amicitia,” (as reason is,) to your own good liking, I remain, etc.



IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP, Having finished a work touching the advancement of learning, and dedicated the same to his sacred majesty, whom I dare avouch (if the records of time err not) to be the learnedest king that hath reigned; I was desirous in a kind of congruity, to present it by the learnedest counsellor in this kingdom, to the end, that so good an argument, lightening upon so bad an author, might receive some reparation by the hands into which, and by which, it should be delivered. And, therefore, I make it my humble suit to your lordship to present this mean, but well meant writing to his majesty, and with it my humble and zealous duty; and also my like humble request of pardon, if I have too often taken his name in vain, not only in the dedication, but in the voucher of the authority of his speeches and writings. And so I remain, &c.




A great desire will take a small occasion to hope, and put in trial that which is desired. It pleased you a good while since, to express unto me, the good liking which you conceive of my book, of the Advancement of Learning, and that more significantly (as it seemed to me) than out of courtesy, or civil respect. Myself, as I then took contentment in your approbation thereof, so I should esteem and acknowledge, not only my contentment increased, but my labours advanced, if I might obtain your help in that nature which I desire. Wherein, before I set down in plain terms my request unto you, I will open myself, what it was which I chiefly sought, and propounded to myself, in that work, that you may


perceive that which I now desire to be pursuant SIR FRANCIS BACON, TO SIR THOMAS BODLEY,
thereupon, if I do not err. (For any judgment
that a man maketh of his own doings, had need
be spoken with a "Si nunquam fallit imago.") I
have this opinion, that if I had sought my own
commendation, it had been a much fitter course


I think no man may more truly say with the psalm, "multum incola fuit anima mea." For I

do confess, since I was of any understanding, my mind hath, in effect, been absent from that I have done, and in absence errors are committed, which I do willingly acknowledge; and amongst the rest, this great one that led the rest; that knowing myself by inward calling to be fitter to hold a book, than to play a part, I have led my life in civil causes, for which I was not very fit by nature, and more unfit by the preoccupation of my mind. Therefore, calling myself home, I have now for a time enjoyed myself, where likewise I desire to make the world partaker; my labours (if so I may term that which was the comfort of my other labours) I have dedicated to the king, desirous, if there be any good in them, it may be as fat of a sacrifice incensed to his honour; and the second copy I have sent unto you, not only in good affection, but in a kind of congruity, in regard of your great and rare desert of learning: for books are the shrines where the saint is, or is believed to be. And, you having built an ark, to save learning from deluge, deserve, in propriety, any new instrument or engine, whereby learning should be improved or advanced. So, etc.

acquaintance with scholarship or learning, you should have culled forth the quintessence, and sucked up the sap of the chiefest kind of learning. For, howsowever, in some points, you do vary altogether from that which is and hath been ever the received doctrine of our schools, and was always by the wisest (as still they have been deemed) of all nations and ages, adjudged the truest; yet it is apparent, in those very points, in all your proposals and plots in that book, you show yourself a master workman. For myself, I must confess, and I speak it ingenuè, that for the matter of learning, I am not worthy to be reckoned in the number of smatterers; and yet, because it may seem that being willing to communicate your treatise with your friends, you are likewise willing to listen to whatsoever I or others can except against it; I must deliver unto you, for my private opinion, that I am one of the crew, that say there is, and we profess a greater holdfast of certainty in your sciences, than you by your discourse will seem to acknowledge: for where, at first, you do object the ill success and errors of practitioners of physic, you know as well, they do proceed of the patient's unruliness, for not one of a hundred doth obey his physician in their own indisposition; for few are


SIR THOMAS BODLEY TO SIR FRANCIS BACON, able in that kind to explicate themselves; or by reason their diseases are by nature incurable, which is incident, you know, to many sort of maladies; or for some other hidden cause, which cannot be discovered by course of conjecture; howbeit, I am full of this belief, that as physic is ministered now-a-days by physicians, it is much ascribed to their negligence or ignorance, or other touch of imperfection, that they speed no better in their practice: for few are found, of that profession, so well instructed in their art, as they might by the precepts which their art doth afford; which, though it be defective in regard of such perfection, yet for certain it doth flourish with admirable remedies, such as tract of time hath taught by experimental effects, and are the open highway to that knowledge that you recommend. As for alchemy, and magic, some conclusions they have that are worthy the preserving: but all their skill is so accompanied with subtilties and guiles, as both the crafts and the crafts-masters are not only despised, but named with derision. Whereupon to make good your principal assertion, methinks you should have drawn the most of your examples from that which is taught in the liberal sciences, not by picking out cases that happen very seldom, and may, by all confession, be subject to reproof, but by controlling the generals, and grounds, and eminent positions and aphorisms, which the greatest artists and philosophers have from time to time defended; for it goeth for current among all men of learning, that those kinds of arts which clerks in times past did term Quadrivials,


As soon as the term was ended, supposing your leisure was more than before, I was coming to thank you two or three times, rather choosing to do it by word than letter; but I was still disappointed of my purpose, as I am at this present upon an urgent occasion, which doth tie me fast to Fulham, and hath now made me determine to impart my mind in writing. I think you know I have read your "Cogitata et visa;" which, I protest, I have done with great desire, reputing it a token of your singular love, that you joined me with those your friends, to whom you would commend the first perusal of your draught; for which I pray give me leave to say but this unto you. First, that if the depth of my affection to your person and spirit, to your works and your words, and to all your ability, were as highly to be valued as your affection is to me, it might walk with your's arm in arm, and claim your love by just desert; but there can be no comparison, where our states are so uneven, and our means to demonstrate our affections, so indifferent; insomuch as, for mine own, I must leave it to be prized in the nature that it is; and you shall evermore find it most addicted to your worth. As touching the subject of your book, you have set afoot so many noble speculations, as I cannot choose but wonder and I shall wonder at it ever, that your expense of time considered in your public profession, which hath in a manner no

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