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your main discourse) you are not able to impanel a jury in any university that will give up a verdict to acquit you of error; yet it cannot be gainsaid, that all your treatise over doth abound with choice conceit of the present state of learning, and with so worthy contemplations of the means to procure it, as may persuade with any student to look more narrowly to his business, not only by aspiring to the greatest perfection, of that which is now-a-days divulged in the sciences, but by diving yet deeper, as it were, into the bowels and secrets of nature, and by enforcing of the powers of his judgment and wit to learn of St. Paul, Consectari meliora dona:" which course, would to God (to whisper so much into your ear) you had followed at the first, when you fell to the study of such a study as was not worthy such a student. Nevertheless, being so as it is, that you are therein settled, and your country soundly served; I cannot but wish with all my heart, as I do very often, that you may gain a fit reward to the full of your deserts, which I hope will come with heaps of happiness and honour.
in all kind of literature, and of those there is not | stand well assured (for the tenor and subject of now so much as one pamphlet (only some parcels of the Bible excepted) remaining to posterity. As then there was not in like manner to be found any footing of millions of authors that were long before Solomon, and yet we must give credit to that which he affirmed; that whatsoever was then or before, it could never be truly pronounced of it, "Behold, this is new." Whereupon I must for my final conclusion infer, seeing all the endeavours, study, and knowledge of mankind, in whatsoever art or science, have ever been the same as they are at this present, though full of mutabilities, according to the changes and accidental occasions of ages and countries, and clerks' dispositions; which can never but be subject to intention and remission, both in their devices and practices of their knowledge. If now we should accord in opinion with you; first, to condemn our present knowledge of doubt and incertitude (which you confer but by averment) without other force of argument, and then to disclaim all our axioms and maxims, and general assertions that are left by tradition from our elders to us; which, (for so it is to be pretended) have passed all probations of the sharpest wits that ever were Abecedarii, by the frequent spelling of particulars, to come to the notice of new generals, and so afresh to create new principles of sciences, the end of all would be, that when we should be dispossessed of the learning which we have, all our consequent travail will but help us in a circle, to conduct us to the place from whence we set forwards, and bring us to the happiness to be restored in integrum," which will require as many ages as have marched before us, to be perfectly achieved. And this I write, with no dislike of increasing our knowledge with new-found devices, (which is undoubtedly a practice of high commendation) in regard of the benefit they will yield for the present, that the world hath ever been, and will forever continue, very full of such devisers; whose industry that way hath been very obstinate and eminent, and hath produced strange effects, above the reach and the hope of men's common capacities; and yet our notions and theorems have always kept in grace both with them, and with the rarest that ever were named among the learned.
By this you see to what boldness I am brought by your kindness; that (if I seem to be too saucy in this contradiction) it is the opinion that I hold of your noble disposition, and of the freedom in these cases, that you will afford your special friend, that hath induced me to it. And although I myself, like a carrier's horse, cannot baulk the beaten way, in which I have been trained, yet since it is my censure of your Cogitata that I must tell you, to be p.ain, you have very much wronged yourself and the world, to smother such a treasure so long in your coffer: for though I
Yours to be used, and commanded,
From Fulham, Feb. 19, 1607.
SIR, One kind of holdness doth draw on another; insomuch as methinks I should offend to signify, that before the transcript of your book be fitted for the press, it will be requisite for you to cast a censor's eye upon the style and the elocution; which, in the framing of some periods, and in divers words and phrases, will hardly go for current, if the copy brought to me be just the same that you would publish.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE BISHOP OF ELY, UPON
My VERY GOOD LORD,
Now, your lordship hath been so long in the church and the palace, disputing between kings and popes, methinks you should take pleasure to look into the field, and refresh your mind with some matter of philosophy; though that science be now, through age, waxed a child again, and left to boys and young men. And because you are wont to make me believe you took liking to my writings, I send you some of this vacation fruits, and thus much more for my mind and purpose. "I hasten not to publish, perishing I would prevent." And I am forced to respect as well my times, as the matter; for with me it is thus, and I think with all men, in my case: if I
bind myself to an argument, it loadeth my mind; but if I rid my mind of the present Cogitation, it is rather a recreation: this hath put me into these miscellanies, which I purpose to suppress, if God give me leave to write a just and perfect volume of philosophy, which I go on with, though slowly. I send not your lordship too much, lest it may glut you. Now, let me tell you what my desire is. If your lordship be so good now as when you were the good Dean of Westminster, my request to you is, that not by pricks, but by notes, you would mark unto me whatsoever shall seem unto you either not current in the style, or harsh to credit and opinion, or inconvenient for the person of the writer, for no man can be judge and party; and when our minds judge by reflection on ourselves, they are more subject to error. And though, for the matter itself, my judgment be in some things fixed, and not accessible by any man's judgment that goeth not my way, yet even in those things the admonition of a friend may make me express myself diversely. I would have come to your lordship, but that I am hastening to my house in the country, and so I commend your lordship to God's goodness.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO SIR THOMAS BODLEY,
(as for any impediment it might be to the applause
In respect of my going down to my house in the country, I shall have miss of my papers, which, I pray you, therefore, return unto me. You are, I bear you witness, slothful, and you help me nothing; so as I am half in conceit that you affect not the argument; for myself, I know well you love and affect. I can say no more to you, but, "non canimus surdis, respondent omnia silvæ." If you be not of the lodgings chalked up, (whereof I speak in my preface,) I am but to pass by your door. But if I had you but a fort- SIR FRANCIS BACON TO MR. MATTHEW, TOUCHnight at Gorhambury, I would make you tell me another tale, or else I would add a cogitation against libraries, and be revenged on you that way: I pray you send me some good news of Sir Thomas Smith, and commend me very kindly to him. So I rest.
ING INSTAURATIO MAGNA.
MR. MATTHEW, I heartily thank you for your letter of the 10th of February, and I am glad to receive from you matter both of encouragement and advertisement, touching my writings. For my part, I do wish that, since there is almost no lumen siccum" in the world, but all madidum, maceratum," infused in the affections, and bloods, or humours, that these things of mine had those separations that might make them more acceptable; so that they claim not so much acquaintance I plainly perceive by your affectionate writing of the present times, as they be there by the less touching my work, that one and the same thing like to last. And to show you that I have some affecteth us both, which is the good end to which purpose to new mould them, I send you a leaf or it is dedicated: for as to any ability of mine, it two of the preface, carrying some fure of the cannot merit that degree of approbation. For whole work; wherein I purpose to take that which your caution for church men, and church matters, is real and effectual of both writings, and chiefly
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO MR. MATTHEW, UPON
to add pledge, if not payment to my promise. I lords, and towards the end of the last term, the send you, also, a memorial of Queen Elizabeth, manner, also, in particular, was spoken of; that is, to requite your Eulogy of the late Duke of Flo- that Mr. Solicitor should be made your majesty's rence's felicity. Of this, when you were here, I sergeant, and I solicitor, for so it was thought showed you some model, though, at that time, best, to sort with both our gifts and faculties, for methought you were as willing to hear Julius the good of your service. And of this resolution Cæsar as Queen Elizabeth commended. But this both court and country took knowledge. Neither which I send is more full, and hath more of the was this any invention or project of mine own, narrative; and farther hath one part that I think but moved from my lords; and I think, first, from will not be disagreeable, either to you, or that my lord chancellor. Whereupon resting, your place, being the true tracts of her proceeding majesty well knoweth, I never opened my mouth towards the Catholics, which are infinitely mis- for the greater place, though I am sure I had two taken. And though I do not imagine they will circumstances, that Mr. Attorney now is, could pass allowance there, yet they will gain upon ex- not allege. The one, nine years' service of the cuse. I find Mr. Lezure to use you well, (I mean crown; the other, being cousin-german to the Lord his tongue, of you,) which shows you either of Salisbury, whom your majesty seemeth and honest or wise. But this I speak merely; for, in trusteth so much. But for less place, I conceived, good faith, I conceive hope, that you will so it was meant me. But after that Mr. Attorney govern yourself, as we may take you as assuredly Hubbert was placed, I heard no more of my prefor a good subject, and patriot, as you take your- ferment, but it seemed to be at a stop, to my great self for a good Christian; and so we may enjoy disgrace and discouragement. For, (gracious your company, and you your conscience, if it may sovereign,) if still when the waters are stirred, no otherwise be. For my part, assure yourself another shall be put before me, your majesty had that, as we say in the law, "mutatis mutandis," need work a miracle, or else I shall be still a lame my love and good wishes to you are diminished. man to do your majesty service. And, therefore, And so I remain. my most humble suit to your majesty is, that this which seemed to me was intended, may speedily be performed. And I hope my former service shall be but beginnings to better, when I am better strengthened. For sure I am, no man's heart is fuller (I say not but many have greater hearts, but I say, not fuller) of love and duty towards your majesty, and your children, as I hope time will manifest against envy and detraction, if any be. To conclude, I most humbly crave pardon my boldness, and rest
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, TOUCHING
SUCCEED IN THE ATTORNEY'S PLACE.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,
How honestly ready I have been, most gracious sovereign, to do your majesty humble service to the best of my power, and in a manner beyond my power, (as I now stand,) I am not so unfortunate but your majesty knoweth. For, both in the commission of union, (the labour whereof, for men of my profession, rested most upon my hand,) and this last parliament in the bill of the subsidy, (both body and preamble,) in the bill of attain- SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, HIS SUIT TO ders of Tresham, and the rest, in the matter of purveyance, in the ecclesiastical petitions, in the grievances, and the like; as I was ever careful (and not without good success) sometimes to put forward that which was good, sometimes to keep back that which was not so good; so your majesty was pleased to accept kindly of my services, and to say to me, such conflicts were the wars of peace, and such victories, the victories of peace; and, therefore, such servants that obtained them were, by kings that reign in peace, no less to be esteemed than services of commanders in the wars. In all which, nevertheless, I can challenge to myself no sufficiency, but that I was diligent and reasonably happy to execute those directions which I received either immediately from your royal mouth, or from my Lord of Salisbury; at which time it pleased your majesty to promise and assure me, that upon the remove of the then attorney, I should not be forgotten, but brought into ordinary place. And this was after confirmed to me by many of my
Your great and princely favours towards me in advancing me to place, and that which is to me of no less comfort, your majesty's benign and gracious acceptation from time to time of my poor services, much above the merit and value of them, hath almost brought me to an opinion, that I may sooner perchance be wanting to myself in not asking, than find your majesty's goodness wanting to me, in any my reasonable and modest desires. And, therefore, perceiving how at this time preferments of law fly about my ears, to some above me, and to some below me, I did conceive your majesty may think it rather a kind of dulness, or want of faith, than modesty, if I should not come with my pitcher to Jacob's Well, as others do. Wherein I shall propound to your majesty, that which tendeth not so much to the raising my fortune, as to the settling of my mind, being
sometimes assailed with this cogitation, that by reason of my slowness to sue and apprehend sudden occasions, keeping on one plain course of painful service, I may (in fine dierum) be in danger to be neglected and forgotten. And if that should be, then were it much better for me now while I stand in your majesty's good opinion, (though unworthy,) and have some reputation in the world, to give over the course I am in, and to make proof to do you some honour by my pen; either by writing some faithful narrative of your happy (though not untraduced) times, or by recompiling your laws, which, I perceive, your majesty laboureth with, and hath in your head, (as Jupiter had Pallas,) or some other the like work, (for without some endeavour to do you honour I would not live,) than to spend my wits and time in this laborious place, wherein now I serve, if it shall be deprived of those outward ornaments, and inward comforts, which it was wont to have in respect of an assured succession to some place of more dignity and rest, which seemeth now to be a hope altogether casual, if not wholly intercepted. Wherefore, (not to hold your majesty long,) my suit (than the which I think I cannot well go lower) is, that I may obtain your royal promise to succeed (if I live) into the attorney's place, whensoever it shall be void, it being but the natural, and immediate step and rise, which the place I now hold hath ever (in sort) made claim to, and almost never failed of. In this suit I make no friends to your majesty, but rely upon no other motive than your grace, nor any other assurance but your word, whereof I had good experience when I came to the solicitor's place, that they were like to the two great lights, which in their motions are never retrograde. So, with my best prayer for your majesty's happiness, I rest
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO SIR GEORGE CARY IN
book that endeavoured to verify, "Misera fæmina" (the addition of the pope's bull) upon Queen Elizabeth; I did write a few lines in her memorial, which I thought you would be well pleased to read, both for the argument, and because you were wont to bear affection to my pen. "Verum, ut aliud ex alio," if it came handsomely to pass, I would be glad the President De Thou (who hath written a history, as you know, of that fame and diligence) saw it; chiefly because I know not, whether it may not serve him for some use in his story; wherein I would be glad he did right to the truth, and to the memory of that lady, as 1 perceive by that he hath already written, he is well inclined to do; I would be glad also, it were some occasion (such as absence may permit) of some acquaintance or mutual notice between us. For though he hath many ways the precedence, (chiefly in worth,) yet this is common to them both, that we may serve our sovereigns in places of law eminent, and not ourselves only, but that our fathers did so before us; and, lastly, that both of us love learning, and liberal sciences, which was ever a bond of friendship, in the greatest distances of places. But of this I make no farther request, than your own occasions and respects (to me unknown) may further or limit, my principal purpose being to salute you, and to send you this token, whereunto I will add my very kind commendations to my lady. And so commit you both to God's holy protection.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING.
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, It is observed, upon a place in the Canticles by some, "Ego sum Flos Campi, et Lilium Convallium;" that it is not said, Ego sum flos horti, et lilium montium:" because the majesty of that person is not enclosed for a few, nor appropriate to the great. And yet, notwithstanding, this royal
FRANCE, UPON SENDING HIM HIS WRITING, "IN virtue of access, which nature and judgment hath
FELICEM MEMORIAM ELIZABETHÆ."
MY VERY GOOD Lord,
Being asked the question by this bearer, an old servant of my brother Anthony Bacon, whether I would command him any service into France, and being at better leisure than I would, in regard of sickness, I began to remember, that neither your business nor mine (though great and continual) can be, upon an exact account, any just occasion why so much good-will as hath passed between us should be so much discontinued as it hath been. And, therefore, because one must begin, I thought to provoke your remembrance of me, by my letter. And thinking how to fit it with somewhat besides salutations, it came to my mind, that this last summer, by occasion of a factious VOL. III.-5
placed in your majesty's mind, as the portal of all the rest, could not of itself (my imperfections considered) have animated me to have made oblation of myself immediately to your majesty, had it not been joined to a habit of like liberty which I enjoyed with my late dear sovereign mistress, a princess happy in all things, but most happy in such a successor. And yet, farther, and more nearly, I was not a little encouraged, not only upon a supposal, that unto your majesty's sacred ears (open to the air of all virtues) there might have come some small breath of the good memory of my father, so long a principal counsellor in your kingdom, but also, by the particular know ledge of the infinite devotion, and incessant endeavours, beyond the strength of his body, and the nature of the times, which appeared in my
good brother towards your majesty's service, and were on your majesty's part, through your singular benignities, by many most gracious and lively significations and favours accepted and acknowledged, beyond the thought of any thing he could effect: all which endeavours and duties, for the most part, were common to myself with him, though my design between brethren dissembled. And, therefore, most high and mighty king, my most dear and dread sovereign lord, since now the corner-stone is laid of the mightiest monarchy
the other side, I will not omit to desire humbly your lordship's favour, in furthering a good conceit and impression of my most humble duty, and true zeal towards the king, to whose majesty words cannot make me known, neither mine own nor others, but time will, to no disadvantage of any that shall forerun his majesty's experience, by their humanity and commendations. And so I commend your lordship to God's protection. Your, etc.
in Europe, and that God above, who is noted to From Gray's Inn, etc.
BERLAND, CONCERNING A PROCLAMATION UPON
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR Lordship,
(the more strange, because it proceedeth from SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF NORTHUMsuch diversity of causes,) in your coming in, given a sign and token, what he intendeth in the continuance; I think there is no subject of your majesty, who loveth this island, and is not hollow I do hold it a thing formal and necessary, for and unworthy, whose heart is not on fire, not only the king to forerun his coming, be it never so to bring you peace-offerings to make you propiti-speedy, with some gracious declaration for the ous; but to sacrifice himself as a burnt-offering cherishing, entertaining, and preparing of men's to your majesty's service: amongst which number, affections. For which purpose I have conceived no man's fire shall be more pure and fervent; but a draught, it being a thing to me familiar, in my how far forth it shall blaze out, that resteth in mistress her times, to have used my pen in politic your majesty's employment: for, since your for- writings of satisfaction. The use of this may be tune, in the greatness thereof, hath for a time in two sorts: First, properly, if your lordship debarred your majesty of the fruitful virtue which think convenient to show the king any such one calleth the principal, "Principis est virtus draught, because the veins and pulses of this maxima nôsse suos,” because your majesty hath state cannot but be known here; which if your nany of yours, which are unknown unto you, I lordship should, then I would desire your lordship must leave all to the trial of farther time; and, to withdraw my name, and only signify that you thirsting after the happiness of kissing your gave some heads of direction of such a matter to royal hand, continue ever one of whose style and pen you had some opinion. The other collateral, that though your lordship make no other use of it, yet it is a kind of portraiture of that which I think worthy to be advised by your lordship to the king, to express himself according to those points which are therein con
SIR FRANCIS BACON, TO THE LORD KINLOSS, ceived, and perhaps more compendious and signi
UPON THE ENTRANCE OF KING JAMES.
The present occasion awakeneth in me a remembrance of the constant amity and mutual good offices which passed between my brother deceased and your lordship, whereunto I was less strange, than in respect of the time I had reason to pretend; and withal I call to mind the great opinion my brother (who seldom failed in judgment of a person) would often express me of your lordship's great wisdom and soundness, both in head and heart, towards the service and affairs of our sovereign lord the king. The one of those hath bred in me an election, and the other a confidence, to address my good will and sincere affection to your good lordship, not doubting, in regard my course of life hath wrought me not to be altogether unseen in the matters of the kingdom, that I may be in some use, both in points of service to the king, and your lordship's particular: And, on
ficant than if I had set them down in articles. I would have attended your lordship, but for some little physic I took. To morrow morning I will wait on you. So I ever continue, etc.
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO SIR EDWARD COKE
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, experience, and discretion; what it pleases you I pray think of me. I am one that know both mine own wants and other men's; and it may be, perchance, that mine may mend when others stand at a stay: And, surely, I may not in public place endure to be