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evil. And since I must needs be dead, I require it may not be done before mine enemies, that I be not stript before I be cold; but before my friends. The night was even now; but that name is lost; it is not now too late, but early. Mine eyes begin to discharge their watch, and compound with this fleshly weakness for a time of perpetual rest; and I shall presently be as happy for a few hours, as I had died the first hour I was born.




Monsieur l'Ambassadeur mon File,

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VOYANT que vostre Excellence faict & traite mariages, non seulement entre les Princes d'Angleterre & de France, mais aussi entre les langues (puis que faictes traduire non livre de l'advancement des sciences en Francois) j'ai bien voulu vous envoyer mon livredernierement imprimé, que avois pour veu pour vous, mais j'estois en doubte, de le vous envoyer, pour ce qu'il estoit escrit en Anglois. Mais a' cest' heure pour la raison susdicte je le vous envoye. C'est un Recompilement de mes Essayes Morales & Civiles, mais telement enlargiés & enrichiés, tant de nombre que de poix, que c'est de fait un œuvre nouveau. Je vous baise les mains, & reste.

Vostre tres affectionée ami,

& tres humble serviteur.



Just before his death, being the last letter he ever wrote.


I WAS likely to have had the fortune of Caius Plinius the elder, who lost his life by trying an experiment about the burning of the mountain Vesuvius: for I was also desirous to try an experiment or two, touching the conservation and induration of bodies. As for the experiment itself, it suc ceeded excellently well: but in the journey (between London and Highgate) I was taken with such a fit of casting, as I knew not whether it were the stone, or some surfeit, or cold, or indeed a touch of them all three. But when I came to your lordship's house, I was not able, to go back, and therefore was forced to take up my lodging here, where your house-keeper is very careful and diligent about me; which I assure myself your lordship will not only pardon towards him, but think the better of him for it. For indeed your lordship's house was happy to me; and I kiss your noble hands for the welcome which I am sure you give me to it, &c.

I know how unfit it is for me to write to your lordship with any other hand than my own; but by my troth my fingers are so disjointed with this fit of sickness, that I cannot steadily hold a pen.

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E. Regr. Curiæ Prærogat. Cantura. Extract.




FIRST, I bequeath my soul and body into the

hands of God by the blessed oblation of my Saviour; the one at the time of my dissolution, the other at the time of my resurrection. For my burial I desire it may be in St. Michael's Church near St. Albans: there was my mother buried, and it is the parish church of my mansion-house of Gorhambury, and it is the only christian church within the walls of Old Verulam. I would have the charge of my funeral not to exceed three hundred pounds at the


For my name and memory I leave it to mens charitable speeches, and to foreign nations, and the next ages. But as to that durable part of my memory, which consisteth in my works and writings, I desire my executors, and especially sir John Constable and my very good friend Mr. Bosvile, to take care that of all my writings, both of English and of Latin, there may be books fair bound and placed in the king's library, and in the

library of the university of Cambridge, and in the library of Trinity college, where myself was bred, and in the library of Bennet college, where my father was bred, and in the library of the university of Oxonford, and in the library of my lord of Canterbury, and in the library of Eaton.

Also whereas I have made up two register books, the one of my orations or speeches, the other of my epistles or letters, whereof there may be use; and yet because they touch upon business of state, they are not fit to be put into the hands but of some counsellor, I do devise and bequeath them to the right honourable my very good lord the lord bishop of Lincoln, and the chancellor of his majesty's dutchy of Lancaster. Also I desire my executors, especially my brother Constable, and also Mr. Bosvile, presently after my decease to take into their hands all my papers whatsoever, which are either in cabinets, boxes or presses, and them to seal up until they may at their leisure peruse them.

I give and bequeath unto the poor of the parishes where I have at any time rested in my pilgrimage, some little relief according to my poor means; to the poor of St. Martin's in the fields where I was born, and lived in my first and last days, forty pounds; to the poor of St. Michael's near St. Albans where I desire to be buried, because the day of death is better than the day of birth, fifty

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