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what he afterwards called the Idols of the Theatre is fully and finely handled. It will be found in Vol. III. pp. 557-585: and any one who compares it with the Præfatio just mentioned will, I think, admit that the two are to each other as the fist and the open hand: the Redargutio being a development of the same argument on a larger scale. The letter which was to have accompanied it comes from Bacon's own collection; and runs thus :—
A LETTER TO MR. MATTHEW, UPON SENDING TO HIM PART OF 'INSTAURATIO MAGNA.'1
I plainly perceive by your affectionate writing touching my work, that one and the same thing affecteth us both; which is the good end to which it is dedicate; for as to any ability of mine, it cannot merit that degree of approbation. For your caution for church-men and church-matters, as for any impediment it might be to the applause and celebrity of my work, it moveth me not; but as it may hinder the fruit and good which may come of a quiet and calm passage to the good port to which it is bound, I hold it a just respect; so as to fetch a fair wind go not too far about. But the troth is, I shall have no occasion to meet them in my way, except it be as they will needs confederate themselves with Aristotle, who, you know, is intemperately magnified with the schoolmen; and is also allied (as I take it) to the Jesuits, by Faber, who was a companion of Loyola, and a great Aristotelian. I send you at this time the only part which hath any harshness; and yet I framed to myself an opinion, that whosoever allowed well of that preface which you so much commend, will not dislike, or at least ought not to dislike, this other speech of preparation; for it is written out of the same spirit, and out of the same necessity. Nay it doth more fully lay open that the question between me and the ancients is not of the virtue of the race, but of the rightness of the way. And to speak truth, it is to the other but as palma to pugnus, part of the same thing more large. You conceive aright that in this and the other you have commission to impart and communicate them to others according to your discretion. Other matters I write not of.
Myself am like the miller pray for peace amongst the
2 Grancester in Res.
willows; for while the winds blew, the wind-mills wrought, and the water-mill was less customed. So I see that controversies of religion must hinder the advancement of sciences. Let me conclude with my perpetual wish towards yourself, that the approbation of yourself, by your own discreet and temperate carriage, may restore you to your country, and your friends to your society. And so I commend you to God's goodness. Gray's-Inn, this 10th of October, 1609.
It seems that this letter had to wait some time for its enclosure, the paper which was to go with it not being finished, or the copy not made; and before it was despatched the friend through whom it should have been forwarded, and who was a friend of Matthew's as well as Bacon's, died. The addition of such a piece of news induced Bacon to write his letter over again; and so both copies have been preserved for us, the first in his own collection and the second in Matthew's. There can be no doubt that this is the true history of the relation between them. Except for the mention of the friend's death, and a parting word on the In felicem memoriam (of which Bacon was probably reminded in reading over again Matthew's last letter), it will be seen that the subject and substance of the two is the same, and the differences only such as would naturally occur in different versions of the same thing by the same man-the later being the more concise.
To this, which we owe to Matthew, he or his editor has prefixed the following heading. "Sir Francis Bacon to the same person upon the like subject" [that is "to a friend about reading and giving opinion upon his writings"]"with an addition of condoling the death of a friend." But the name of this friend, according to the strange rule which he seems to have laid down for himself, and which has so much diminished the value and interest of his collection, he has thought fit to suppress. I have no doubt however that it was Sir Thomas Smith,-the same of whom in 1607 Bacon desired Sir Thomas Bodley to "send him some good news,' " and who died on the 28th of November, 1609. He was a student of Christ Church, and became acquainted with Bacon probably in his early life through his connexion with the Earl of Essex, to whom he was at one time secre
tary. Birch mentions him as "almost the only person advanced from the Earl's service to higher posts: being made Clerk of the Council, and Register of the Parliament, and afterwards Secretary of the Latin tongue, and one of the Masters of the Requests.' He
1 See Vol. III. p. 366.
2 Mem. of Eliz. I. p. 112.
was knighted by K. James on the 20th of May, 1603; and was a friend of Carleton, Edmunds, and Winwood, from whose correspondence we learn that he had been ill all the summer. He was buried at Fulham, where a very simple and graceful epitaph in Latin tells who he was; and it seems a pity that an editor's crotchet should have so long defrauded his name of this other memorial, which he would not have valued less.
The date of the letter must have been December, 1609-probably early in December.
To MR. MATTHEW.1
The reason of so much time taken before my answer to yours of the fourth of August, was chiefly my accompanying my letter with the paper which here I send you; and again, now lately, (not to hold from you till the end of a letter, that which by grief may, for a time, efface all the former contents,) the death of your good friend and mine A. B. to whom because I used to send my letters for conveyance to you, it made me so much the more unready in the dispatch of them. In the mean time I think myself (howsoever it have pleased God otherwise to bless me) a most unfortunate man, to be deprived of two (a great number in true friendship) of those friends whom I accounted as no stage-friends, but private friends, (and such, as with whom I might both freely and safely communicate), him by death, and you by absence. As for the memorial of the late deccased Queen, I will not question whether you be to pass for a disinteressed man or no; I freely confess myself am not, and so I leave it. As for my other writings, you make me very glad of your approbation; the rather because you add a concurrence of opinion with others; for clse I might have conceived that affection would perhaps have prevailed with you, beyond that which (if your judgment had been neat and free) you could have esteemed. And as for your caution touching the dignity of ecclesiastical persons, I shall not have cause to meet with them any otherwise, than in that some school men have with excess advanced the authority of Aristotle. Other occasion I shall have none. But now I have sent you that only part of the whole writing, which may perhaps have a little harshness and provocation in it: although I may almost secure myself, that if
1 Sir Toby Matthew's Collection of Letters, p. 23.
the preface passed so well, this will not irritate more, being indeed to the preface but as palma ad pugnum. Your own love expressed to me, I heartily embrace; and hope that there will never be occasion of other than intireness between us; which nothing but majores charitates shall ever be able to break off.
All this time the great pen-and-ink war between the King and the Pope had been growing hotter and spreading wider. The King's book in defence of the oath of allegiance against the Pope's breve had been answered by Cardinal Bellarmin: and as it was not according to the laws of the duello that a Cardinal should be answered by a King, some champion of inferior rank had to be appointed to meet him, and the man chosen was Bishop Andrewes: one of many things which ought to be remembered to the credit of James's judgment and taste, better than they are.
"We say," says Chamberlain writing to Carleton on the 21st of October, 1608, "that the Bishop of Chichester is appointed to answer Bellarmin about the oath of allegiance; which task I doubt how he will undertake and perform, being so contrary to his disposition and course to meddle with controversies." And again on the 11th of November-"I thank you for your remonstrance of the French clergy, which will give me occasion perhaps to visit the good Bishop of Chichester; though I doubt he be not at leisure for any bye matters, the King doth so hasten and spur him on in this business of Bellarmin's; which he were likely to perform very well (as I hear by them that can judge) if he might take his own time, and not be troubled nor entangled with arguments obtruded to him continually by the King."
In this warfare Bacon took no part, and apparently not much interest. He was in eager pursuit of an object to which he regarded such disputes as impediments. He saw that "controversies of religion hindered the advancement of the sciences;" and as the miller of Huntingdon prayed for peace among the willows, he prayed for peace among the theologians. I am not called upon therefore to enter further into that famous dispute, and I mention it chiefly for its bearing upon the date of the next letter. We hear of Bishop Andrewes's book being in the press in June, 1609. September he was translated from Chichester to Ely. that about that time Bacon sent him a copy of the with the last additions and amendments, (for though we have heard of a work with that title being in circulation two years before,' we
On the 22nd of
must think that the copy which has come down to us was the fruit of more vacations than one) the letter which follows will need no further explanation or introduction. It comes from Bacon's own
A LETTER TO THE BISHOP OF ELY, UPON SENDING HIS
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 were wont to make me believe you took liking to my writings, I send you some of this vacation's fruits; and thus much more of 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 of 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 diversly. 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.
1 Addl. MSS. 5503, fo. 31 b.