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echo;1 and, in his twelfth year he was meditating | both admitted of Trinity College, under the care upon the laws of the imagination.o of Dr. John Whitgift, a friend of the lord keeper's, then master of the college, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, and distinguished through life, not only for his piety, but for his great learning, and unwearied exertions to promote the public good.
At the early age of thirteen, it was resolved to send him to Cambridge, of which university, he, with his brother Anthony, was matriculated as a member, on the 10th of June, 1573.3 They were
The laws of sound were always a subject of his thoughts. In the third century of the Sylva, he says, "we have laboured, as may appear, in this inquisition of sounds diligently; both because sound is one of the most hidden
portions of nature, and because it is a virtue which may be
What must have passed in his youthful, thoughtful, ardent mind, at this eventful moment, when he first quitted his father's house to engage
called incorporeal and immateriate, whereof there be in na-in active life? What must have been his feelture but few." As one of the facts, he says in his Sylva Sylvarum, (Art.ings when he approached the university, and saw, 140,) "There is in St. James's fields a conduit of brick, unto in the distance, the lofty spires, and towers, and which joineth a low vault; and at the end of that a round house of stone; and in the brick conduit there is a window; venerable walls, raised by intellect and piety, "and hollowed by the shrines where the works of the mighty dead are preserved and reposed,5 and by the labours of the mighty living, with
and in the round house a slit or rift of some little breadth: if you cry out in the rift, it will make a fearful roaring at the window. The cause is, for that all concaves, that proceed from more narrow to more broad, do amplify the sound at
the coming out.
2 In the tenth century of the Sylva, after having enume-joint forces directing their strength against nature rated many of the idle imaginations by which the world then was, and, more or less, always will be, misled, he says, "With these vast and bottomless follies men have been in part entertained. But we, that hold firm to the works of God, and to the sense, which is God's lamp, lucerna Dei spiraculum hominis, will inquire with all sobriety and severity,
whether there be to be found in the footsteps of nature, any such transmission and influx of immateriate virtues: and
what the force of imagination is, either upon the body ima
ginant, or upon another body.'
He then proceeds to state the different kinds of the power of imagination, saying it is in three kinds : the first, upon the body of the imaginant, including likewise the child in the mother's womb; the second is, the power of it upon dead bodies, as plants, wood, stone, metal, &c.; the third is, the power of
last we will only meddle.
it upon the spirits of men and living creatures; and with this The problem therefore is, whether a man constantly and strongly believing that such a thing shall be; as that such a one will love him; or that such a one will grant him his request; or that such a one shall recover a sickness, or the like, it doth help any thing to the effecting of the thing
In the solution of this problem he, according to his custom, enumerates a variety of instances, and, among others, the following fact, which occurred to him when a child, for he left his father's house when he was thirteen.
For example, he says, I related one time to a man, that was curious and vain enough in these things, that I saw a kind of juggler, that had a pair of cards, and would tell a man what card he thought. This pretended learned man told me, that it was a mistaking in me; for, said he, it was not the
knowledge of man's thought, (for that is proper to God,) but it was the enforcing of a thought upon him, and binding his imagination by a stronger, that he could think no other card. And thereupon he asked me a question or two, which I thought he did but cunningly, knowing before what used to be the feats of the juggler. Šir, said he, do you remember whether he told the card the man thought himself, or bade another to tell it. I answered, (as was true,) that he bade another tell it. Whereunto he said, so I thought; for, said he, himself could not have put on so strong an imagination, but by telling the other the card, who believed that the juggler was some strange man, and could do strange things, that other man caught a strong imagination. I hearkened unto him, thinking for a vanity he spoke prettily. Then he asked me another question; saith he, do you remember whether he bade the man think the card first, and afterwards told the other man in his ear what he should think, or else that he did whisper first in the man's ear, that he should tell the card, telling that such a man should think such a card, and after bade the man think a card: I told him, as was true, that he did first whisper the man in the ear, that such a man should think such a card; upon this the learned man did much exult, and please himself, saying, lo, you may see that my opinion is right; for if the man had thought first, his thought had been fixed; but the other imagining first, bound his thought. Which, though it did somewhat sink with me, yet 1 inade lighter than I thought, and said, I thought it was confederacy between the juggler and the two servants; though, indeed, I had no reason so to think; for they were both my father's servants, and he had never played in the house before.
3 An. 1573, June 10. Antonius Bacon Coll. Trin. Convict. i. admissus in matriculam Acad. Cantabr. Franciscus Bacon Coll, Trin. Convict. i. admissus in matriculam academie Cantabr. eodem die et anno. (Regr. Acad.)
herself, to take her high towers, and dismantle her fortified holds, and thus enlarge the borders of man's dominion, so far as Almighty God of his goodness shall permit?”6
"As water," he says, "whether it be the dew of heaven, or the springs of the earth, doth scatter and lose itself in the ground, except it be collected into some receptacle, where it may by union comfort and sustain itself, and for that cause the industry of man hath made and framed spring heads, conduits, cisterns, and pools, which men have accustomed likewise to beautify and adorn with accomplishments of magnificence and state, as well as of use and necessity; so this excellent liquor of knowledge, whether it descend from divine inspiration, or spring from human sense, would soon perish and vanish to oblivion, if it were not preserved in books, traditions, conferences, and places appointed; as universities, colleges, and schools, for the receipt and comforting of the same. All tending to quietness and privateness of life, and discharge of cares and troubles; much like the stations which Virgil prescribeth for the hiving of bees:
Principio sedes apibus statioque petenda,
4 See the Biog. Brit. In 1565, Whitgift so distinguished himself in the pulpit, that the lord keeper recommended him to the queen.
5 But the works touching books are chiefly two; first, Libraries, wherein, as in famous shrines, the relics of the ancient saints, full of virtue, are reposed. Secondly, New Editions of Authors, with correct impressions; more faithful Translations, more profitable glosses, more diligent annotations; with the like train furnished and adorned.
In a letter to Sir Thomas Bodley, he says, "and the second copy I have sent unto you, not only in good affection, but in a kind of congruity, in regard of your great and rare desert of learning. For books are the shrines where the saint is, or is believed to be. And you, having built an ark to save learning from deluge, deserve propriety in any new instrument or engine, whereby learning should be improved or advanced."-Steph. 19.
6 Nor doth our trumpet summon, and encourage men to tear and rend one another with contradictions; and in a civil rage to bear arms, and wage war against themselves; but rather, a peace concluded between them, they may with joint force direct their strength against Nature herself; and take her high towers, and dismantle her fortified holds ; and thus enlarge the borders of man's dominion, so far as Al mighty God in his goodness shall permit.-Adv. Learn.
Such were his imaginations of the tranquillity | knowledge a couch whereupon to rest a searchand occupations in our universities.
He could not long have resided in Cambridge before he must have discovered his erroneous notions of the mighty living, and of the pursuits in which they were engaged. Instead of students ready at all times to acquire any sort of knowledge, he found himself "amidst men of sharp and strong wits, and abundance of leisure, and | small variety of reading, their wits being shut up in the cells of a few authors, chiefly Aristotle their dictator, as their persons were shut up in the cells of monasteries and colleges; and knowing little history, either of nature or time, did, out of no great quantity of matter, and infinite agitation of wit, spin cobwebs of learning, admirable for the fineness of thread and work, but of no substance or profit."1
Instead of the university being formed for the discovery of truths, he saw that its object was merely to preserve and diffuse the knowledge of our predecessors: instead of general inquiry, he found that all studies were confined to Aristotle, who was considered infallible in philosophy, a dictator to command, not a consul to advise ;2 the lectures both in private in the colleges, and in public in the schools, being but expositions of his text, and comments upon his opinions, held as authentic as if they had been given under the seal of the pope.3 Their infallibility, however, he was not disposed to acknowledge. Whilst in the university he formed his dislike of the philosophy of Aristotle, not for the worthlessness of the author, to whose gigantic intellect he ever ascribed all high attributes, but for the unfruitfulness of his method, being a philosophy, as he was wont to say, strong for disputations and contentions, but barren for the production of works for the benefit and use of man; which, according to Bacon's opinion, is the only test of the purity of our motives for acquiring knowledge and of the value of knowledge when acquired; "Men," he says, "have entered into a desire of knowledge sometimes from a natural curiosity and inquisitive appetite; sometimes to entertain their minds with variety and delight; sometimes for ornament and reputation; sometimes to enable them to victory of wit and contradiction, and most times for lucre and profession; and seldom sincerely to give a true account of their gift of reason, for the benefit and use of man:-as if there were sought in 1 See the Advancement of Learning, under Contentious Learning. See Gibbon's Memoirs. See vol. viii. London Magazine, page 509. Let him who is fond of indulging in a dream-like existence go to Oxford, and stay there; let him study this magnificent spectacle, the same under all aspects, with its mental twilight tempering the glare of noontide, or mellowing the shadowy moonlight; let him wander in her sylvan suburbs, or linger in her cloistered halls; but let him not catch the din of scholars or teachers, or dine or sup with them, or speak a word to any of the privileged inhabitants; for if he does, the spell will be broken, the poetry and the religion gone, and the place of enchantment will melt from his embrace into thin air.
2 See Advancement of Learning, under Credulity, p. 000.
ing and restless spirit; or a terrace for a wandering and variable mind to walk up and down, with a fair prospect; or a tower of state for a proud mind to raise itself upon; or a fort or commanding ground for strife and contention; or a shop for profit and sale; and not a rich storehouse for the glory of the Creator and the relief of man's estate."
It was not likely that, with such sentiments, he would meet with much sympathy in the university. It was still less probable that the antipathy by which he was opposed would check the ardour of his powerful mind. He went right onward in his course, unmoved by the disapprobation of men who turned from inquiries which they neither encouraged nor understood: and, seeing through the mists, by a light refracted from below the horizon, that knowledge must be raised on other foundations, and built with other materials than had been used through a long tract of many centuries, he continued his inquiries into the laws of nature,5 and planned his immortal work upon which he laboured during the greater part of his life, and ultimately published when he was chancellor, saying, "I have held up a light in the obscurity of philosophy; which will be seen centuries after I am dead."6
After two years residence he quitted the university with the conviction not only that these seminaries of learning were stagnant, but that they were opposed to the advancement of knowledge. "In the universities," he says, "they learn nothing but to believe: first to believe that others know that which they know not; and after, themselves know that which they know not. They are like a becalmed ship; they never move but by the wind of other men's breath, and have no oars of their own to steer withal:"7 and in his Novum Organum, which he published when he was chancellor, he repeats what he had said when a boy. "In the universities, all things are found opposite to the advancement of the sciences; for the readings and exercises are here so managed that it cannot easily come into any one's mind to think of things out of the common road: or if, here and there, one should venture to use a liberty of judging, he can only impose the task upon himself without obtaining assistance from his fellows; and if he could dispense with this, he will still find his industry and resolution a great hinderance to his fortune. For the studies of men in such places are confined, and pinned down to
5 I remember in Trinity College in Cambridge, there was an upper chamber, which being thought weak in the roof of it, was supported by a pillar of iron of the bigness of one's arm in the midst of the chamber; which if you had struck, it would make a little flat noise in the room where it was struck, but it would make a great bomb in the chamber beneath.-Sylva
6 See the dedication of the Novum Organum to the king. "Mortuus fortasse id effecero, ut illa posteritati, novâ hac accensâ face in philcsophiæ tenebris, perlucere possint. See the tract in Praise of Knowledge, p. 006.
the writings of certain authors; from which, if These warnings seem to have been disregardany man happens to differ, he is presently repre-ed, and the art of governing, not a ship, which hended as a disturber and innovator."1 would not be attempted without a knowledge of
not to a knowledge of the principles of human nature, but to the knowledge of Latin and Greek and verbal criticisms upon the dead languages."4
Whether the intellectual gladiatorship by which | navigation, but the ship of the state, is intrusted, students in the universities of England are now stimulated, then prevailed, does not appear, but his dislike of this motive he early and always avowed. "It is," he says, "an unavoidable decree with us ever to retain our native candour and simplicity, and not attempt a passage to truth under the conduct of vanity; for, seeking real nature with all her fruits about her, we should think it a betraying of our trust to infect such a subject either with an ambitious, an ignorant, or any other faulty manner of treating it."2
Some years after Bacon had quitted Cambridge, he published his opinions upon the defects of universities; in which, after having warned the community that, as colleges are established for the communication of the knowledge of our predecessors, there should be a college appropriated to the discovery of new truths, a living spring to mix with the stagnant waters. "Let it," he says, “be remembered that there is not any collegiate education of statesmen, and that this has not only a malign influence upon the growth of sciences, but is prejudicial to states and governments, and is the reason why princes find a solitude in regard of able men to serve them in causes of state."s
1 Ax. 90. lib. i.
And what has been the result? During the last two centuries one class of statesmen has resisted all improvement, and their opponents have been hurried into intemperate alterations: whilst philosophy, lamenting these contentions, has, instead of advancing the science of government, been occupied in counteracting laws founded upon erroneous principles; erroneous commercial laws; erroneous laws against civil and religious liberty; and erroneous criminal laws.*
So deeply was Bacon impressed with the magnitude of this evil, that by his will he endowed two lectures in either of the universities, by “a lecturer, whether stranger or English, provided he is not professed in divinity, law, or physic."
The subject of universities, and the importance to the community and to the advancement of science, that the spring should not be poisoned or polluted, was ever present to his mind,—and, in the decline of his life, he prepared the plan of a college for the knowledge of the works and creations of God, "from the cedar of Libanus to the moss that groweth out of the wall;" but the plan was framed upon a model so vast, that, without the of a prince and the assistance of a peopurse
2 See the chapter on Vanity, in the admirable work, "Search's Light of Nature:" where the distinction be-ple, all attempts to realize it must be vain and tween the love of excelling and the love of excellence, as a motive for acquiring knowledge, is fully explained. hopeless. Some conception of his gorgeous mind 3 Bacon says, First, therefore, amongst so many great in the formation of this college, may appear even foundations of colleges in Europe, I find strange that they are all dedicated to professions, and none left free to arts at the entrance. and sciences at large. And this I take to be a great cause, that hath hindered the progression of learning, because these fundamental knowledges have been studied but in passage. For if you will have a tree bear more fruit than it hath used to do, it is not any thing you can do to the boughs, but it is the stirring of the earth, and putting new be forgotten, that this dedicating of foundations and dotations to professory learning, hath not only had a malign aspect and influence upon the growth of sciences, but hath also been prejudicial to states and governments. For hence it proceedeth that princes find a solitude in regard of able inen to serve them in causes of state, because there is no
mould about the roots, that must work it. Neither is it to
"We have (he says) two very long and fair gallèries: and in one of these we place patterns and samples of all manner of the more rare and excellent inventions; in the other we place the statues of all principal inventors. There we have the statue of your Columbus, that discovered the West Indies; also the inventor of ships; your monk that was the inventor of ordnance and of gunpowder; the inventor of music; the inventor of letters; the inventor of printing; the inventor of observations of astronomy; the inventor of works in metal; the inventor of glass; the inventor of silk of the worm; the inventor of wine; the inventor of corn and bread; the inventor of sugars; and all these by more certain tradition than you have. Upon every invention of value, we erect a statue to the inventor, and give him a liberal and honourable reward. These statues are some of brass; some of marble and touch
education collegiate which is free, where such as were so disposed might give themselves to histories, modern languages, books of policy and civil discourse, and other the like enablements unto service of state. This truth, confirmed by daily experience, was, fifty years after his death, repeated by Milton, who indignantly says, "when young men quit the university for the trade of law, they ground their purposes, not on the prudent and heavenly contemplation of justice and equity, which was never taught them, but on the promising and pleasing thoughts of litigious terms, fat contentions, and flowing fees: and if they quit it for state affairs, they betake themselves to this trust with souls so unprincipled in virtue and true generous breeding, that flattery, and court-shifts, and tyrannous aphorisms appear to them the highest points of wisdom. After having prescribed the proper order of education, he adds, The next removal must be to the study of politics; to know the beginning, end, and reasons of political societies; that they may not in a dangerous fit of the commonwealth be such all the Roman edicts and tables with their Justinian; and poor, shaken, uncertain reeds, of such a tottering con- so to the Saxon laws of England. Milton, Education, vol. science, as many of our great counsellors have lately shown | i. p. 270. themselves, but steadfast pillars of the state. After this they are to drive into the grounds of law and legal justice, delivered first, and with best warrant to Moses, and as far as human prudence can be trusted, in those extolled remains of Grecian lawgivers, Lycurgus, Solon, &c. and thence to
4 "Such," says Milton, "are the errors, such the fruits of mispending our prime youth at schools and universities as we do, either in learning mere words, or such things chiefly as were better unlearned." See his Tract on Fducation
stone; some of cedar and other special woods gilt and adorned; some of iron; some of silver; some of gold."
Such is the splendour of the portico, or anteroom. Passing beyond it, every thing is to be found which imagination can conceive or reason suggest.
This entrance to Bacon's college always forces itself on my mind when I visit the University Library of Cambridge; in which I see the portrait of Mr. Thomas Nicholson, known by the name of Maps, the proprietor of a circulating library, a laborious pioneer in literature. Under his feet are some relics from classic ground, more valuable, perhaps, for their antiquity than for their beauty. Delightful as is the love of antiquity, this artificial retrospective extension of our existence, (see Shakspeare's Sonnet, 123,) might it not be adorned, in the present times, by casts from the Elgin marbles, of which the cost does not exceed 2001. By one of the universities (I think it is of Dublin) these casts have been procured. Let any parent of the mind, who considers the various modes by which the heart of a nation is formed, (which is beautifully described in Ramsden's sermon on the Cessation of Hostilities,) look in Boydell's Shakspeare, at Barry's Cordelia, to be found, most probably, in the Fitzwilliam collection: and let him compare it with the magnificent affecting fainting female in the Elgin marbles, and he will see the benefit which would result from the university
containing these valuable relics.
2 We have large and deep caves of several depths: the deepest are sunk six hundred fathom, and some of them are digged and made under great hills and mountains: so that
if you reckon together the depth of the hill and the depth of the cave, they are (some of them) above three miles deep; these caves we call the lower region, and we use them for all coagulations, indurations, refrigerations, and conservations of bodies. We use them likewise for the imitation of natural mines, and the producing also of new artificial metals, by compositions and materials.
We have high towers, the highest about half a mile in height, and some of them likewise set upon high mountains, so that the vantage of the hill with the tower is in the highest of them three miles at least. And these places we call the upper region. We use these towers, according to their several heights and situations, for insolation, refrigeration, conservation, and for the view of divers meteors, as winds, rain, snow, hail, and some of the fiery meteors.
We have great lakes, both salt and fresh; whereof we have use for the fish and fowl. We use them also for burithings buried in earth, or in air below the earth; and things
als of some natural bodies: for we find a difference in
buried in water. We have also some rocks in the midst of the sea; and some bays upon the shore for some works, wherein is required the air and vapour of the sea. We have likewise violent streams and cataracts, which serve us for many motions: and likewise engines for multiplying and enforcing of winds, to set also on going divers motions.
We have also a number of artificial wells and fountains, made in imitation of the natural sources and baths; as tincted upon vitriol, sulphur, steel, brass, lead, nitre, and other minerals.
We have also great and spacious houses, where we imitate and demonstrate meteors, as snow, hail, rain, some artificial rains of bodies, and not of water, thunders, lightnings.
After having enumerated all the instruments of knowledge, "such," he says, "is a relation of the true state of Solomon's house, the end of which foundation is the knowledge of causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible."
In these glorious inventions of one rich mind, may be traced much of what has been effected in science and mechanics, since Bacon's death, and more that will be effected during the next two centuries.
After three years' residence in the university, his father sent him, at the age of sixteen, to Paris, under the care of Sir Amias Paulett, the English ambassador at that court: by whom, soon after his arrival, he was intrusted with a mission to the queen, requiring both secrecy and despatch: which he executed with such ability as to gain the approbation of the queen, and justify Sir Amias in the choice of his youthful messenger.
From the confidence thus reposed in him, and from the impression made upon all with whom he conversed; upon men of letters, with whom he contracted lasting friendships; upon grave statesmen and learned philosophers, it was manifest that the promise in his infancy of excellence, whether for active or for contemplative life, seemed beyond the most sanguine expectation to be realized.3
After the appointment of Sir Amias Paulett's successor, Bacon travelled into the French provinces, and spent some time at Poictiers. He prepared a work upon Ciphers, which he afterlikewise for dissections and trials, that thereby we may take light what may be wrought upon the body of man. We have also particular pools where we make trials upon fishes, as we have said before of beasts and birds.
We have also places for breed and generation of those kinds of worms and flies which are of special use, such as are with you your silk worms and bees.
We have also precious stones of all kinds, many of them of great beauty and unknown; crystals and glasses of divers kinds. We represent also ordnance and instruments of war, and engines of all kinds; and likewise new mixtures and compositions of gunpowder, wildfires burning in water and unquenchable; also fireworks of all variety, both for pleasure and use. We imitate also flights of birds; we have some degrees of flying in the air; we have ships and boats for going under water, and brooking of seas; also
We have also certain chambers, which we call chambers of health, where we qualify the air as we think good and proper for the cure of divers diseases, and preservation of health. We have also fair and large baths of several mix-swimming girdles and supporters. tures, for the cure of diseases.
We have also large and various orchards and gardens; wherein we do not so much respect beauty, as variety of ground and soil, proper for divers trees and herbs: and some very spacious, where trees and berries are set, whereof we make divers kinds of drink, besides the vineyards. In these we practise likewise all conclusions of grafting and inoculating, as well of wild trees as fruit trees, which produceth many effects.
We have also furnaces of great diversities, and that keep great diversity of heats, fierce and quick, strong and constant, soft and mild, blown, quiet, dry, moist, and the like. But above all we have heats, in imitation of the sun's and heavenly bodies, heats that pass divers inequalities, and (as it were) orbs, progresses, and returns, whereby we may produce admirable effects.
We procure means of seeing objects afar off, as in the heaven, and remote places; and represent things near as afar off, and things afar off as near, making feigned distances. We have also helps for the sight, far above spectacles and glasses.
We have also parks and enclosures of all sorts of beasts and birds; which we use not only for view or rareness, but
We have also sound houses, where we practise and demonstrate all sounds, and their generation. We have harmonies which you have not, of quarter sounds, and lesser slides of sounds. Divers instruments of music, likewise to you unknown, some sweeter than any you have; with bells and rings that are dainty and sweet.
We have also a mathematical house, where are all instruments, as well of geometry as astronomy, exquisitely made. We have also houses of deceits of the senses, &c. &c.
3 It is a fact not unworthy of notice, that an eminent artist, to whom, when in Paris, he sat for his portrait, was so conscious of his inability to do justice to his extraordinary intellectual endowments, that he has written on the side of his picture: Si tabula daretur digna animum mallem.
4 In the Augmentis Scientiarum, lib. vi. speaking of ciphers, he says, Ut verò suspicio omnis absit, aliud inventum subjiciemus, quod certè cùm adolescentuli essemus Parisiis excogitavimus, nec etiam adhuc visa nobis res digna est que pereat. Watts's English translation of this part is as follows: But that jealousies may be taken away, we will annex another invention, which, in truth, we de vised in our youth, when we were at Paris: and is a thing that yet seemeth to us not worthy to be lost. It containetli
wards published, with an outline of the state of | Europe, but the laws of sound and of imagination continued to occupy his thoughts.1
Whilst he was engaged in these meditations his father died suddenly, on the 20th February, 1579. He instantly returned to England.
Law and politics were the two roads_open before him; in both his family had attained opulence and honour. Law, the dry and thorny study of law, had but little attraction for his discursive and imaginative mind. With the hope, therefore, that, under the protection of his political friends, and the queen's remembrance of his father, and notice of him when a child, he might escape from the mental slavery of delving in this laborious profession, he made a great effort to secure some small competence, by applying to Lord Burleigh to re
FROM THE DEATH OF HIS FATHER TILL HE ENGAGED commend him to the queen, and interceding with
IN ACTIVE LIFE.
1580 to 1590.
DISCOVERING, upon his arrival in England, that, by the sudden death of his father, he was left without a sufficient provision to justify him in devoting his life to contemplation, it became necessary for him to select some pursuit for his support," to think how to live, instead of living only to think." the highest degree of cipher, which is to signify omnia per omnia, yet so, as the writing infolding, may bear a quintuple proportion to the writing infolded; no other condition or restriction whatsoever is required.
1 His meditations were both upon natural science and human sciences, as will appear from the following facts. In his History of Life and Death, speaking of the differences between youth and old age, and having enumerated many of them, he proceeds thus: When I was a young man at Poictiers in France, I familiarly conversed with a young gentleman of that country, who was extremely ingenious, but somewhat talkative; he afterwards became a person of great eminence. This gentleman used to inveigh against the manners of old people, and would say, that if one could see their minds as well as their bodies, their minds would appear as deformed as their bodies; and indulging his own humour, he pretended, that the defects of old men's minds, in some measure corresponded to the defects of their bodies. Thus, dryness of the skin, he said, was answered by impudence; hardness of the viscera, by relentlessness; blear-eyes, by envy; and an evil eye, their down look, and incurvation of the body, by atheism, as no longer, says he, looking up to heaven; the trembling and shaking of the limbs, by unsteadiness and inconstancy; the bending of their fingers as to lay hold of something, by rapacity and avarice; the weakness of their knees, by fearfulness; their wrinkles, by indirect dealings and cunning, &c.
And again, for echoes upon echoes, there is a rare instance thereof in a place which I will now exactly describe. It is some three or four miles from Paris, near a town called Pont-Charenton; and some bird-bolt shot or more from the river of Sein. The room is a chapel or small church. The walls all standing, both at the sides and at the ends. Speaking at the one end, I did hear it return the voice thirteen several times. (Sylva, art. 249.)
There are certain letters that an echo will hardly express; as S for one, especially being principal in a word. I remember well, that when I went to the echo at Pont-Charenton, there was an old Parisian, that took it to be the work of spirits, and of good spirits. For, said he, call "Satan," and the echo will not deliver back the devil's name; but will 66 va t'en;" which is as much in French as 66 apage, or avoid. And thereby I did hap to find, that an echo would not return an S, being but a hissing and an interior sound. (Art. 750.)
Lady Burleigh to urge his suit with his uncle.a But his application was unsuccessful; the queen and the lord treasurer, distinguished as they were for penetration into character, being little disposed
4 My singular good ford,
My humble duty remembered, and my humble thanks presented for your lordship's favour and countenance, which it pleased your lordship, at my being with you, to vouchsafe errand but to commend unto your lordship the remembrance me, above my degree and desert: my letter hath no further of my suit, which then I moved unto you; whereof it also pleased your lordship to give me good hearing, so far forth as in behalf of it, that which I may better deliver by letter than to promise to tender it unto her majesty, and withal to add, by speech; which is, that although it must be confessed that the request is rare and unaccustomed, yet if it be observed how few there be which fall in with the study of the common laws, either being well left or friended, or at their own free election, or forsaking likely success in other studies of more delight and no less preferment, or setting hand thereunto early, without waste of years; upon such survey made, it may be my case may not seem ordinary, no more than my suit, and so more beseeming unto it. suit, and so more beseeming unto it. As I forced myself to say this in excuse of my motion, lest it should appear unto your lordship altogether indiscreet and unadvised, so my hope to obtain it resteth only upon your lordship's good affection toward me, and grace with her majesty, who, methinks, needeth never to call for the experience of the thing, where she hath so great and so good of the person which recommendeth it. According to which trust of mine, if it may please your lordship both herein and elsewhere to be my patron, and to make account of me, as one in whose well-doing your lordship hath interest, albeit, indeed, your lordship hath had place to benefit many, and wisdom to make due choice of lighting places for your goodness, yet do I not fear any of your lordship's former experiences for staying my thankfulness borne in art, howsoever God's good pleasure shall enable me or disable me, outwardly, to make proof thereof; for I cannot account your lordship's service distinct from that which I to God and my prince; the performance whereof to best proof and purpose is the meeting point and rendezvous of all my thoughts. Thus I take my leave of your lordship, in humble manner, committing you, as daily in my prayers, so, likewise, at this present, to the merciful protection of the Almighty. Your most dutiful and bounden nephew, From Grey's Inn, B. FRA. this 16th of September, 1580.
To Lady Burghley, to speak for him to her lord.
I was as ready to shew myself mindful of my duty, by waiting on your ladyship, at your being in town, as now by writing, had I not feared lest your ladyship's short stay, and quick return might well spare me, that came of no earnest errand. I am not yet greatly perfect in ceremonies of court, whereof, I know, your ladyship knoweth both the right use, and true value. My thankful and serviceable mind shall be always like itself, howsoever it vary from the common dis
So too the nature of imagination continued to interest him. In the Sylva, art. 986, he says, the relations touch-guising. Your ladyship is wise, and of good nature to dising the force of imagination and the secret instincts of nature are so uncertain, as they require a great deal of examination ere we conclude upon them. I would have it first I would have it first thoroughly inquired, whether there be any secret passages of sympathy between persons of near blood; as parents, children, brothers, sisters, nurse-children, husbands, wives, &c. There be many reports in history, that upon the death of persons of such nearness, men have had an inward feeling of it. I myself remember, that being in Paris, and my father dying in London, two or three days before my father's death I had a dream, which I told to divers English gentlemen, that my father's house in the country was plastered all over with black mortar.
2 Rawley Biog. Brit.
3 This is an expression of his own, I forget where.
cern from what mind every action proceedeth, and to esteem of it accordingly. This is all the message which my letter hath at this time to deliver, unless it please your ladyship further to give me leave to make this request unto you, that it would please your good ladyship, in your letters, wherewith you visit my good lord, to vouchsafe the mention and recommendation of my suit; wherein your ladyship shall bind me more unto you than I can look ever to be able sufficiently to acknowledge. Thus, in humble manner, I take my leave of your ladyship, committing you, as daily in my prayers, so, likewise, at this present, to the merciful providence of the Almighty.
Your ladyship's most dutiful and bounden nephew, From Grey's Inn, B. FRA. this 16th of September, 1580.