« AnteriorContinuar »
The last will of Sir Francis Bacon, viscount St. Alban,
SPEECHES, CHARGES, ADVICES, &c.
LORD VISCOUNT ST. ALBAN, LORD CHANCELLOR OF ENGLAND;
FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE YEAR 1763,
BY THOMAS BIRCH, D.D.
CHAPLAIN TO HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCESS AMELIA, AND
TO THE HONOURABLE
ATTORNEY-GENERAL TO HIS MAJESTY.
THE gratitude, which I owe you for the honour and other important advantages of your friendship, hath often made me wish for an opportunity of making you some return equal, in any degree, to your merit, and my own obligations. It was, therefore, a very agreeable incident to me, when, by means of your noble brother, the Lord Viscount Royston, always attentive to enlarge the fund of history, as well as to encourage and reward every attempt in favour of literature in general, there was put into my hands a volume of original papers of the
great Lord Bacon. This volume was, at his lordship's request, readily intrusted with me by his grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, whose zeal for the advancement of useful learning of all kinds, bears a just proportion to that which he has shewn in every station of the Church filled by him, for the support of religion, and for what is the most perfect system of its principles, laws, and sanctions-Christianity.
From the long acquaintance with which I have been favoured by you, and the frequent conversations which we have had upon subjects foreign to the profession which you so much adorn, I well knew your high veneration for the writings of Bacon, and your thorough knowledge of the most abstruse of them. Having, therefore, with an application little less than that of deciphering, transcribed from the first draughts, and digested into order a collection of his letters, little inferior in number, and much superior in contents, to what the world hath hitherto seen, intermixed with other papers of his of an important nature, I could not doubt, but that the publishing of them