« PreviousContinue »
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
FR. ST. ALBAN. 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 PREbut encouragement and instructions to give life
SENTING HIS DISCOURSE, TOUCHING THE PLANunto 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. IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, And so craving pardon that I have taken so much I know no better way how to express my good time from your lordship, I remain, etc.
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. BIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, ABOUT THE couraged by my experience of your majesty's PARDON OF THE PARLIAMENT'S SENTENCE. former grace, in accepting of the like poor field
fruits, touching the union. And certainly I reckon Most GRACIOUS AND DREAD SOVEREIGN,
this action as a second brother to the union, for I Before I make my petition to your majesty, I assure myself, that England, Scotland, and Iremake my prayers to God above, “pectore ab land, well united, is such a trefoil as no prince imo,” that if I have held any thing so dear as except yourself (who are the worthiest) weareth your majesty's service, (nay) your heart's ease, in his crown, “si potentia reducatur in actum.” and your honour, I may be repulsed with a denial. I know well that for me to beat my brains about But if that hath been the principal with me, that these things, they be “majora quam pro fortuna," God, who knoweth my heart, would move your but yet they be " minora quam pro studio et majesty's royal heart to take compassion of me, voluntate.” For as I do yet bear an extreme zeal and to grant my desire.
to the memory of my old mistress, Queen ElizaI prostrate myself at your majesty's feet; I, beth, to whom I was rather bound for her trust your ancient servant, now sixty-four years old in than for her favour; so I must acknowledge my. age, and three years and five months old in self more bound to your majesty, both for trust inisery. I desire not from your majesty means, I and favour; whereof I will never deceive the
TATION OF IRELAND.
one, as I can never deserve the other. And so, his lieutenant, I do understand, there hath been in all humbleness kissing your majesty's sacred expected from me, heretofore, some justification, hands, I remain
and therefore I have chosen one only justification instead of all others, out of the justification of Job; for, after the clear submission and confes
sion which I shall now make unto your lordships, BIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF SALISBURY, I hope I may say, and justify with Job, in these UPON SENDING HIM ONE OF HIS BOOKS OF AD- words, “I have not hid my sin, as did Adam, nor VANCEMENT OF LEARNING.
concealed my faults in my bosom.” This is the IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,
only justification I will use : it resteth, therefore, I present your lordship with a work of my and acknowledge, that having understood the
that, without fig-leaves, I do ingenuously confess vacant time, which if it had been more, the work had been better. It appertaineth to your lordship particulars of the charge, not formally from the (besides
my particular respects) in some propriety, House, but enough to inform my conscience and in regard you are a great governor in a province memory, I find matter both sufficient and full
, to of learning, and (that which is more) you have move me to desert the defence, and to move your added to your place affection towards learning, will I trouble your lordships by singling out parti
lordships to condemn and censure me. Neither and to your affection judgment, of which the last I could be content were (for the time) less, that culars, which I think may fall off: "Quid te exyou might the less exquisitely censure that which / empta juvat spinis do millibus una ?" Neither I offer to you. But sure I am, the
will I prompt your lordships to observe upon the
argument is good, if it had lighted upon a good author ; but I proofs, where they come not home, or the scruples shali content myself to awake better spirits, like touching the credit of the witnesses : Neither bellringer which is first up, to call others to
will I present unto your lordships, how far a church. So, with my humble desire of your offence, in respect of the time, or manner of the
defence might in divers things extenuate the lordship’s good acceptation, I remain
gift, or the like circumstances; but only leave these things to spring out of your own noble
thoughts, and observations of the evidence, and THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE LORDS. examinations themselves, and charitably to wind
about the particulars of the charge here and there, IT MAY PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIPS,
as God shall put in your minds; and so submit I shall humbly crave at your lordships' hands myself wholly to your piety and grace. a benign interpretation of that which I shall now And now that I have spoken to your lordships write; for words that come from wasted spirits, | as judges, I shall say a few words unto you as and an oppressed mind, are more safe in being peers and prelates, humbly comme
mending my cause deposited in a noble construction, than in being to your noble minds, and magnanimons affections. circled with any reserved caution. Having made Your lordships are not only judges, but parliathis as a protection to all which I shall say, I will mentary judges; you have a farther extent of gu on, but with a very strange entrance, (as may arbitrary power than other courts : and if you be seem 10 your lordships at the first;) for in the not tied to the ordinary course of courts or precemidst of a state of as great affliction as I think dents, in point of strictness and severity, much a mortal man can endure, (honour being above more in points of mercy and mitigation. And life,) I shall begin with the professing gladness yet, if any thing I should move might be contrary in some things.
to your honourable and worthy ends to introduce The first is, that hereafter the greatness of a a reformation, I should not seek it, but herein I judge or magistrate shall be no sanctuary, or beseech your lordships to give me leave to tell protection to him against guiltiness; which, in you a story. Titus Manlius took his son's life few words, is the beginning of a golden world. for giving battle against the prohibition of his
The next, that after this example, it is like that general. Not many years after, the like severity judges will fly from any thing in the likeness of was pursued by Papirius Cursur, the dictator, corruption, (though it were at a great distance,) as against Quintus Maximus, who, being upon from a serpent; which tendeth to the purging of the the point to be sentenced, was, by the intercescourts of justice, and reducing them to their true sion of some principal persons of the senate, honour and splendour. And in these two points, spared ; whereupon Livy maketh this grave and God is my witness, though it be my fortune to be gracious observation : “ Neque minus firmata the anvil, upon which these good effects are beaten est disciplina militaris periculo Quinti Maximi, and wrought,) I take no small comfort. But 10 quani miserabili supplicio Titi Manlii.” The pass from the motions of my heart, whereof God discipline of war was no less established by the is only judge, to the merits of my cause, whereof questioning only of Quintus Maximus than by your lordships are only judges, under God, and 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 questioning of men of eminent place hath the of the rest, reduced it as before. I do not dislike same terror, though not the same rigour with the that things pass moderately, and, all things conpunishment. But my case stayeth not there; for sidered, it is not amiss, and might easily bave my humble desire is, that his majesty would take been worse. There was much speaking of interthe seal into his hands, which is a great downfall, ceding for the king's mercy, which (in my opinion) and may serve, I hope, in itself, for an expiation was not so proper for a sentence: I said, in conof my faults.
clusion, that mercy was to come “ ex mero motu," Therefore, if mercy and mitigation be in your and so left it. I took some other occasion pertilordships' power, and do no ways cross your ends, nent to do the king honour, by showing how why should I not hope of your favours and com- happy he was in all other parts of his governmiserations? Your lordships may be pleased to ment, save only in the manage of his treasure by behold your chief pattern, the king our sovereign, these officers. 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 BUCKHURST, UPON THE SAME OCCASION OF reed, nor quench smoking flax.
You all sit upon a high stage, and therefore cannot but be more sensible of the changes of MAY IT PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP, human condition, and of the fall of any from high I have finished a work touching the advanceplaces. Neither will your lordships forget that ment or setting forward of learning, which I have there are « vitia temporis,” as well as vitia dedicated to his majesty, the most learned of a hominis," and that the beginning of reformation sovereign, or temporal prince, that time hath hath a contrary power to the pool of Bethseda, for known. And upon reason not unlike, I humbly that had strength only to cure him that first cast present one of the books to your lordship, not only in, and this hath strength to hurt him only that is as a chancellor of a university, but as one that first cast in; and for my part, I wish it may stay was excellently bred in all learning, which I have there, and go no farther.
ever noted to shine in all your speeches and be Lastly, I assure myself, your lordships have a haviours. And therefore your lordship will yield noble feeling of me, as a member of your own a gracious aspect to your first love, and take pleabody; and one that, in this very session, had some sure in the adorning of that wherewith yourself taste of your loving affections, which I hope was are so much adorned. And so, humbly desiring not a lightning before the death of them, but rather your favourable acceptation thereof, with signifia spark of that grace which now, in the conclu- cation of my humble duty, I remainsion, 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
CHANCELLOR. 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.
I humbly present your lordship with a work, Your lordships', etc
wherein, as you have much commandment over Francis St. Alban, Can. 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 THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE DUKE.
lordship. And, again, your lordship hath been a MY VERY GOOD Lord,
great planter of learning, not only in those places My Lord of Suffolk's cause is this day sen- in the church which have been in your own gist, tenced. My lord, and his lady, fined at £30,000, but also in your commendatory vote, no man bath with imprisonment in the Tower at their own more constantly held, “detur digniori;" and, charges. Bingley at £2,00Q and committed to therefore, both your lordship is beholden to learnthe Fleet; Sir Edward Coke did his part, I have ing, and learning beholden to you. Which act heard him do better : and began with a fine of 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 rate 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 $IR FRANCIS BACON, OF THE LIKE ARGUMENT, sowing with the basket, than with the hand. TO THE EARL OF NORTHAMPTON, WITH RE- Wherefore, since I have only taken upon me to QUEST TO PRESENT THE BOOK TO HIS MA
ring a bell, to call other wits together, (which is
the meanest office,) it cannot but be consonant to IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP, Having finished a work touching the advance-l my desire, to have that bell heard as far as can
be. And, since that they are but sparks, which ment of learning, and dedicated the same to his sacred majesty, whom I dare avouch (if the can work but upon matter prepared, I have the records of time err not) to be the learnedest king abroad, that they may the better find, and light
more reason to wish, that those sparks may fly that hath reigned; I was desirous in a kind of congruity, to present it by the learnedest coun, kindled. And, therefore, the privateness of the
upon those minds and spirits which are apt to be sellor in this kingdom, to the end, that so good language considered wherein it is written, excludan argument, lightening upon so bad an author, ing so many readers, (as, on the other side, the might receive some reparation by the hands into obscurity of the argument, in many parts of it, which, and by which, it should be delivered. excludeth many others ;) I must account it a And, therefore
, I make it my humble suit to your second birth of that work, if it might be translated lordship to present this mean, but well meant
into Latin, without manifest loss of the sense and writing to his majesty, and with it my humble
matter. For this purpose, I could not represent and zealous duty; and also my like humble
to myself any man, into whose hands I do more request of pardon, if I have too often taken his
earnestly desire that work should fall, than yourname in vain, not only in the dedication, but in self; for, by that I have heard and read, I know the voucher of the authority of his speeches and
no man a greater master in commanding words writings. And so I remain, &c.
to serve matter. Nėvertheless, I am not ignorant
of the worth of your labours, whether such as SIR FRANCIS BACON, HIS LETTER OF REQUEST your place and profession imposeth on you, or TO DOCTOR PLAYFER, TO TRANSLATE THE such as your own virtue may, upon your volunBOOK OF ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING INTO | tary election, take in hand. But I can lay before LATIN
you no other persuasions, than either the work Mr. Doctor PLAYFER,
itself may affect you with, or the honour of his A great desire will take a small occasion to majesty, to whom it is dedicated, or your partihope, and put in trial that which is desired. It cular inclination to myself; who, as I never took pleased you a good while since, to express unto so much comfort in any labours of my own, so I me, the good liking which you conceive of my shall never acknowledge myself more obliged in book, of the Advancement of Learning, and that any thing to the labour of another, than in that more significantly (as it seemed to me) than out which shall assist this. Which your labour if I of courtesy, or civil respect. Myself, as I then can, by my place, profession, means, friends, took contentment in your approbation thereof, so travail, word, deed, requite unto you, I shall I should esteem and acknowledge, not only my esteem myself so straitly bound thereunto, as I contentment increased, but my labours advanced, shall be ever most ready, both to take and seek if I might obtain your help in that nature which occasions of thankfulness. And so leaving it, I desire. Wherein, before I set down in plain nevertheless, “ Salva amicitia," (as reason is,) to terms my request unto you, I will open myself, your own good liking, I remain, etc. 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 UPON SENDING HIM HIS BOOK OF THE AD that a man maketh of his own doings, had need VANCEMENT OF LEARNING. be spoken with a «Si nunquam fallit imago.") I Sir, have this opinion, that if I had sought my own I think no man may more truly say with the commendation, it had been a much fitter course | psalm, “multum incola fuit anima inea.” For I
UPON HIS NEW PHILOSOPHY.
do confess, since I was of any understanding, my, acquaintance with scholarship or learning, you mind hath, in effect, been absent from that I have should have culled forth the quintessence, and done, and in absence errors are committed, which sucked up the sap of the chiefest kind of learn. I do willingly acknowledge; and amongst the ing. For, howsowever, in some points, you do rest, this great one that led the rest; that know-vary altogether from that which is and hath been ing myself by inward calling to be fitter to hold a ever the received doctrine of our schools, and book, than to play a part, I have led my life in was always by the wisest (as still they have been civil causes, for which I was not very fit by deemed) of all nations and ages, adjudged thu nature, and more unfit by the preoccupation of truest; yet it is apparent, in those very points, in my mind. Therefore, calling myself home, I all your proposals and plots in that book, you have now for a time enjoyed myself, where like-show yourself a master workman. For myself, wise I desire to make the world partaker; my I must confess, and I speak it ingenuè, that for labours (if so I may term that which was the the matter of learning, I am not worthy to be comfort of my other labours) I have dedicated to reckoned in the number of smatterers; and yet, the king, desirous, if there be any good in them, because it may seem that being willing to comit may be as fat of a sacrifice incensed to his municate your treatise with your friends, you are honour; and the second copy I have sent unto likewise willing to listen to whatsoever I or you, not only in good affection, but in a kind of others can except against it; I must deliver unto congruity, in regard of your great and rare desert you, for my private opinion, that I am one of the of learning: for books are the shrines where the crew, that say there is, and we profess a greater saint is, or is believed to be. And, you having holdfast of certainty in your sciences, than you built an ark, to save learning from deluge, deserve, by your discourse will seem to acknowledge : in propriety, any new instrument or engine, for where, at first, you do object the ill success whereby learning should be improved or advanced. and errors of practitioners of physic, you know So, etc.
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
able in that kind to explicate themselves; or by SIR THOMAS BODLEY TO SIR FRANCIS BACON,
reason their diseases are by nature incurable,
which is incident, you know, to many sort of SIR,
maladies; or for some other hidden cause, which As soon as the term was ended, supposing your cannot be discovered by course of conjecture; leisure was more than before, I was coming to howbeit, I am full of this belief, that as physic thank you two or three times, rather choosing to is ministered now-a-days by physicians, it is do it by word than letter; but I was still disap- much ascribed to their negligence or ignorance, pointed of my purpose, as I am at this present or other touch of imperfection, that they speed no upon an urgent occasion, which doth tie me fast better in their practice: for few are found, of to Fulham, and hath now made me determine to that profession, so well instructed in their art, as impart my mind in writing. I think you know I they might by the precepts which their art doth have read your “Cogitata et visa ;" which, I afford; which, though it be defective in regard of protest, I have done with great desire, reputing it such perfection, yet for certain it doth flourish a token of your singular love, that you joined me with admirable remedies, such as tract of time with those your friends, to whom you would hath taught by experimental effects, and are the commend the first perusal of your draught; for open highway to that knowledge that you rewhich I pray give me leave to say but this unto commend. As for alchemy, and magic, some you. First, that if the depth of my affection to conclusions they have that are worthy the preyour person and spirit, to your works and your serving: but all their skill is so accompanied words, and to all your ability, were as highly to with subtilties and guiles, as both the crafts and be valued as your affection is to me, it might the crafts-masters are not only despised, but named walk with your's arm in arm, and claim your with derision. Whereupon to make good your love by just desert; but there can be no compa- principal assertion, methinks you should have rison, where our states are so uneven, and our drawn the most of your examples from that means to demonstrate our affections, so indiffer- which is taught in the liberal sciences, not by ent; insomuch as, for mine own, I must leave it picking out cases that happen very seldom, and to be prized in the nature that it is; and you may, by all confession, be subject to reproof, but shall evermore find it most addicted to your worth. by controlling the generals, and grounds, and As touching the subject of your book, you have eminent positions and aphorisms, which the set afoot so many noble speculations, as I cannot greatest artists and philosophers have from time choose but wonder and I shall wonder at it ever, to time defended; for it goeth for current among that your expense of time considered in your all men of learning, that those kinds of arts public profession, which hath in a manner no! which clerks in times past did term Quadrivials,