« AnteriorContinuar »
Sir FRANCIS BACON, Knight,
Council ; touching the Compiling and Amendment of the
your favour, having made me Privy-Counsellor, and continuing
by putting off the dealing in causes between party and party, I should keep holy-day the more ; but that I should dedicate my time to your service with less distraction. Wherefore, in this plentiful accession of time, which I have now gained, I take it to be my duty, not only to speed your commandments, and the business of my place ; but to meditate and to excogitate, of my self, wherein I may best, by my travels, derive your
virtues to the good of your people, and return their thanks and increase of love to you again. And after I had thought of many things, I could find, in my judgment, none more proper for your Majesty as a master, nor for me as a workman, than the reducing and recompiling of the laws of England.
Your Majesty is a Řing, blessed with posterity; and these Kings fort best with acts of perpetuity, when they do not leave them, instead of children ; but transmit both line and merit to future generations. You are a great master in justice and judicature, and it were pity that the fruit of that virtue should die with you. Your Majesty also reigneth in learned times; the more, in regard of your own perfections and patronage of learning; and it hath been the mishap of works of this nature, that the less learned time hath wrought upon the more learned, which now will not be so. As for my felf
, the law is my profession, to which I am a debtor. Some little helps I may have of other learning, which may give form to matter ; and your Majesty hath set me in an eminent place, whereby in a work which must be the work of many, I may the better have coadjutors. Therefore, not to hold your Majesty with any long preface, in that which I conceive to be nothing less than words, I will proceed to the matter ; which matter it self nevertheless requireth somewhat briefly to be faid, both of the digniVOL. IV.