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was selected to attend the conferences of the privy council; to report the result; and to prepare various remonstrances and addresses; was nominated as a mediator between the Commons and the Lords; and chosen by the Commons to present to the king a petition touching purveyors.
To his address, clothed in language the most respectful, yet distinctly pointing out what was expected by the people, the king listened with the patience due from a sovereign to his suffering and oppressed subjects; and instead of the displeasure felt by Elizabeth at his firm and honest boldness, he received it kindly, and replied to it graciously.
Many of his speeches are fortunately preserved: they are all distinguished for their fitness for the hearers and the occasion, their knowledge of affairs, and their pithy, weighty eloquence.
The king had hitherto continued to employ Bacon, in the same manner in which he had served the late queen; but he now thought fit to show him higher marks of favour than he had received from her majesty; and, accordingly, on the 25th of August, 1604, constituted him by patent his counsel learned in the law, with a fee of forty pounds a year, which is said to have been a
grace scarce known before;" and he granted him the same day, by another patent under the great seal, a pension of sixty pounds a year, for special services received from his brother Anthony Bacon and himself.
To Sir Henry Saville.
Coming back from your invitation at Eton, where I had refreshed myself with company, which I loved; I fell into a consideration of that part of policy whereof philosophy speaketh too much, and laws too little; and that is, of education of youth. Whereupon fixing my mind a while, I found straightways, and noted, even in the discourses of philosophers, which are so large in this argument, a strange silence concerning one principal part of that subject. For as touching the framing and seasoning of youth to moral virtues, (as tolerance of labours, continency from pleasures, obedience, honour, and the like,) they handle it; but touching the improvement and helping of the intellectual powers, as of conceit, memory, and judgment, they say nothing, whether it were, that they thought it to be a matter wherein nature only prevailed, or that they intended it, as referred to the several and proper arts, which teach the use of reason and speech.
But for the former of these two reasons, howsoever it pleaseth them to distinguish of habits and powers; the experience is manifest enough, that the motions and faculties of the wit and memory may be not only governed and guided, but also confirmed and enlarged, by customs and exercise daily applied: as if a man exercise shooting, he shall not only shoot nearer the mark, but also draw a stronger bow. And as for the latter, of comprehending these precepts within arts of logic and rhetoric: if it be rightly considered, their office is distinct altogether from this point; for it is no part of the doctrine of the use or handling of an instrument, to teach how to whet or grind the instrument, to give it a sharp edge, or how to quench it, or otherwise, whereby to give it a stronger temper.
Wherefore, finding this part of knowledge not broken, I have, but "tanquam aliud agens," entered into it, and salute you with it; dedicating
It must not be supposed that either political altercations or legal promotions diverted his attention from the acquisition and diffusion of knowledge. He knew well the relative worth of politics and philosophy.
His love of knowledge was never checked, perhaps it was increased by his occupations in active life. "We judge," he says, " that mankind may conceive some hopes from our example, which we offer, not by way of ostentation, but because it, after the ancient manner, first as to a dear
it may be useful. If any one therefore should | friend, and then as to an apt person; for as much despair, let him consider a man as much employ- as you have both place to practise it, and judged in civil affairs as any other of his age, a man ment and leisure to look deeper into it than I of no great share of health, who must therefore have done. Herein you must call to mind, have lost much time, and yet, in this undertak- "Apisov μèv vô☎p. Though the argument be not ing he is the first that leads the way, unassisted of great height and dignity, nevertheless it is by any mortal, and steadfastly entering the true of great and universal use. And yet I do not see path, that was absolutely untrod before, and sub- why, to consider it rightly, that should not be a mitting his mind to things, may somewhat have learning of height which teacheth to raise the advanced the design." Politics employed, but highest and worthiest part of the mind. But the love of knowledge occupied his mind. It ad- howsoever that be, if the world take any light and vanced like the river, which is said to flow with- use by this writing, I will the gratulation be to out mingling her streams with the waters of the the good friendship and acquaintance between us lake through which it passes. two. And so recommend you to God's divine protection.
During the vacation of this year, he escaped from exertions respecting the Union, to Eton, where he conversed on the subject of education with his friend, Sir Henry Saville, then provost of the college; to whom, upon his return, he wrote the following letter:
With this letter he presented a tract upon "Helps to the Intellectual Powers," which contains similar observations upon the importance of knowledge and improvement of the body.
From these suggestions, the germ of his opi- | search of knowledge, and in the judgments it nions upon the same subject in the Advancement makes: yet the last resort a man has recourse of Learning, it appears that he considered the ob- to in the conduct of himself is his understanding. ject of education to be knowledge and improve- A few rules of logic are thought sufficient in this ment of the body and of the mind. case for those who pretend to the highest improvement: and it is easy to preceive that men are guilty of a great many faults in the exercise and improvement of this faculty of the mind, which hinder them in their progress, and keep them in ignorance and error all their lives."
How far society has, after the lapse of two centuries, concurred with him in these opinions, and, if he is not in error, how far we have acted upon his suggestions, may deserve a moment's consideration.
Bacon arranges knowledge respecting the body into
These subjects, considered of importance by Bacon, by the ancients, and by all physiologists, do not form any part of our university education. The formation of bodily habits, upon which our happiness and utility must be founded, are left to chance, to the customs of our parents, or the practices of our first college associates. All nature strives for life and for health. The smallest moss cannot be moved without disturbing myriads of living beings. If any part of the animal frame is injured, the whole system is active in restoring it: but man is daily cut off or withered in his prime; and, at the age of fifty, we stand amidst the tombs of our early friends.
At some future time the admonition of Bacon, *hat “although the world, to a Christian travelling to the land of promise, be as it were a wilderness, yet that our shoes and vestments be less worn away while we sojourn in this wilderness, is to be esteemed a gift coming from divine goodness,” may, perhaps, be considered deserving at
1. The understanding. 3. Memory.
At some future time it may be deemed worthy Bacon arranges knowledge respecting the mind of consideration, whether inquiry ought not to be
made of the nature of each passion, and the harmony which results from the exact and regular movement of the whole.
At some future period our youth will, perhaps, be instructed in the different properties of our minds, understanding, reason, imagination, memory, will, and be taught the nature and extent of our powers for the discovery of truth;-our different motives for the exercise of our powers;the various obstacles to the acquisition of knowledge, and the art of invention, by which our reason will be "rightly guided, and directed to the place where the star appears, and point to the very house where the babe lies.'
In the English universities there are not any lectures upon the passions; but this subject, deemed important by all philosophy, human and divine, is disregarded, except by such indirect information as may be obtained from the poets and historians; by whom the love of our country is taught—perhaps, if only one mode is adopted, best taught in the midst of Troy's flames: and friendship by Nisus eagerly sacrificing his own life to save his beloved Euryalus: and with such slight information we are suffered to embark upon our voyage, without any direct instruction as to the tempests by which we may be agitated; by which so many, believing they are led by light from heaven, are wrecked and lost; and so few reach the true haven of a well ordered mind ; “ that temple of God which he graceth with his perfection and blesseth with his peace, not suffering it to be removed, although the earth be removed, and although the mountains be carried into the midst
of the sea.
In the fall of the year, Bacon expressed to the lord chancellor an inclination to write a history of Great Britain; and he prepared a work, inscribed to the king, upon its true greatness.
"Fortunatos nimium sua si bona norint.”
In this work, in which, he says, he has not any purpose vainly to represent this greatness, as in water, which shows things bigger than they are, but rather, as by an instrument of art, helping the sense to take a true magnitude and dimension, he intended an investigation of the general truths upon which the prosperity of states depends, with a particular application of them to this island
He has, however, only drawn the outline, and | but when they decayed in arms, then greatness filled up two or three detached parts, reserving became a burden; like as great stature in a na. the minute investigation of the whole subject for tural body is some advantage in youth, but is a other works. burden in age; so it is with great territory which when a state beginneth to decline, doth make it stoop and buckle so much the faster."
And with respect to each part being profitable to the whole, he says, in allusion to the fable in Esop, by which Agrippa appeased the tumult, that health of body and of state is promoted by the due action of all its parts, "Some provinces are more wealthy, some more populous, and some more warlike; some situate aptly for the excluding or expulsing of foreigners, and some for the annoying and bridling of suspected and tumultuous subjects: some are profitable in present, and some may be converted and improved to profit by plantations and good policy."
He proceeds with the same minuteness to expose the error, that the power of government consists in riches; by explaining that the real power of wealth depends upon mediocrity, joined with martial valour and intelligence.
The importance of martial valour and high chivalric spirit he avails himself of every opportunity to enforce. "Well," he says, "did Solon, who was no contemplative man, say to Croesus, upon his showing him his great treasures, When another comes with iron he will be master of all your gold:' so Machiavel justly derideth the adage that money is the sinews of war, by saying, There are no sinews of war but the sinews and muscles of men's arms.’”
Having thus generally refuted this erroneous opinion, he beautifully explains that the power of territory, as to extent, consists in compactness, So impressed was he with the importance of -with the heart sufficient to support the extremi-elevating the national character, that, three years ties;-the arms, or martial virtues, answerable before his death, he spoke with still greater enerto the greatness of dominion;-and every part of gy upon this subject, in his treatise upon the "Above all things," he the state profitable to the whole. Each of these Greatness of States. sections is explained with his usual extensive and says, "cultivate a stout and warlike disposition minute investigation, and his usual felicity of of the people; for walled towns, stored arsenals, familiar illustration. goodly races of horses, chariots of war, elephants, ordnance, artillery, and the like, all this is but sheep in a lion's skin, unless the breeding and disposition of the people be warlike;" and, "as to the illusion that wealth may buy assistance, let the state which trusts to mercenary forces ever remember, that, by these purchases, if it spread its feathers for a time beyond the compass of its nest, it will mew them soon after;" and, in this spirit, he records various maxims to counteract the debasement of character attendant upon the worship of gold: and, above all, the evil of sedentary, and within-door mechanical arts, requiring rather the finger than the arm: which in Sparta, Athens, and Rome, was left to slaves, and amongst Christians should be the employment of aliens, and not of the natives, who should be tillers of the ground, free servants, and labourers in strong and manly arts.
Such were the opinions of Bacon. How far they will meet with the approbation of political econo
According to his usual method, he commences the tract by clearing the way, in the removal of some erroneous opinions, on the dependence of government upon extent of territory ;-upon wealth;-upon fruitfulness of soil;-and upon fortified towns. Each of these subjects it was his intention to have separately considered, but he has in this fragment completed only the two first sections.
To expose the error, that the strength of a kingdom depends upon the extent of territory, "Look," he says, "at the kingdom of Persia, which extended from Egypt to Bactria and the borders of the East, and yet was overthrown and conquered by a nation not much bigger than the isle of Britain. Look, too, at the state of Rome, which, when too extensive, became no better than a carcass, whereupon all the vultures and birds of prey of the world did seize and ravine for many ages; as a perpetual monument of the essential differences between the scale of miles and the scale of forces: and that the natural arms of each province, or the protecting arms of the principal state, may, when the territory is too extensive, be unable to counteract the two dangers incident to every government, foreign invasion and inward rebellion."
With respect to compactness, he says, "Remember the tortoise, which, when any part is put forth from the shell, is endangered."
With respect to the heart being sufficient to sustain the extremities, "Remember," he says, "that the state of Rome, when it grew great, was compelled to naturalize the Latins, because the Roman stem could not bear the provinces and Italy both as branches; and the like they were contented after to do to most of the Gauls: and Sparta, when it embraced a larger empire, was compared to a river, which, after it had run a great way, and taken other rivers and streams into it, ran strong and mighty, but about the head and fountain was shallow and weak."
With respect to martial valour, "Look," he says, "at every conquered state, at Persia and at Rome, which, while they flourished in arms, the largeness of territory was a strength to them, and added forces, added treasure, added reputation:
mists in these enlightened times, it is not neces- charge of the Commons respecting ecclesiastical sary in this analysis of his sentiments, to inquire. If he is in error, he may, in the infancy of the science of government, be pardoned for supposing that the national character would not be elevated by making sentient man a machine, or by those processes, by which bones and sinews, life and all that adorns life, is transmuted into gold. The bell by which the labourers are summoned to these many-windowed fabrics in our manufacturing towns, sweeter to the lovers of gain than holy bell that tolls to parish church, would have sounded upon Bacon's ear with harsher import than the Norman curfew. He may be pardoned, though he should warn us that in these temples, not of liberty, the national character will not be elevated by the employment of children, not in the temper of Him who took them in his arms, put his hands upon them and blessed them, but in never-ceasing labour, with their morals sapped and undermined, their characters lowered and debased. It is possible that if he had witnessed the cowering looks and creeping gait, or shameless mirth of these little slaves, he might have thought of Thebes, or Tyre, or Palmyra, and of the instability of all human governments, whatever their present riches or grandeur may be, unless the people are elevated by virtue.
In every debate in this session he was the pow erful advocate, in speeches which now exist, for the union of the kingdoms and the union of the laws; during which he availed himself, according to his usual mode, when opportunity offered, to recommend as the first reform, the reform of the law, saying, "The mode of uniting the laws seemeth to me no less excellent than the work itself; for if both laws shall be united, it is of necessity for preparation and inducement thereunto, that our own laws be reviewed and recompiled; than the which, I think, there cannot be a work that his majesty can undertake in these his times of peace, more politic, more honourable, nor more beneficial to his subjects, for all ages."
In the midst of these laborious occupations he published his celebrated work upon the Advancement of Learning," which professes to be a survey of the then existing knowledge, with a designation of the parts of science which were unexplored; the cultivated parts of the intellectual world, and the deserts; a finished picture, with an outline of what was untouched.
Within the outline is included the whole of science. After having examined the objections to learning;—the advantages of learning;—the places of learning, or universities;-the books of learning, or libraries, "the shrines where all the relics of the ancient saints, full of true virtue, and that without delusion or imposture, are preserved and reposed;"-after having thus cleared the way, and, as it were, "made silence, to have the true nature of learning better heard and understood," he investigates all knowledge:
Such, however, were his sentiments; and, even if they are erroneous, it cannot but be lamented that the only parts of this work which are completed and applied to Great Britain, are those which relate to extent and wealth. The remaining errors of fruitfulness of the soil, and fortified towns, are not investigated.
Having thus cleared the way by showing in what the strength of government does not consist, he intended to explain in what it did consist:
During the next terms and the next sessions of parliament, (1605, Æt. 45,) his legal and political exertions continued without intermission. Committees were appointed for the consideration of subsidies; of articles for religion; purveyors; recusants; restoring deposed ministers; abuses of the Marshalsea court, and for the better execution of penal laws in ecclesiastical causes. He was a member of them all; and, mindful of the mode in which, during the late session, he had discharged his duties as representative of the House, he was elected to deliver to the king the
1st. Relating to the Memory, or History.
Such is the outline: within it the work is mi
nutely arranged, abounds with great felicity of expression, and nervous language: but not contenting himself, by such arrangement, with the mere exhibition of truth, he adorned it with familiar, simple, and splendid imagery.
When speaking of the error of common minds retiring from active life, he says, "Pythagoras, being asked what he was, answered, that if Hiero were ever at the Olympic games, he knew the manner, that some came as merchants to utter their commodities, and some came to make good cheer, and some came to look on, and that he was one of them that came to look on; but men must know, that in this theatre of man's life, it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers-on." So, when explaining the danger to which intellect is exposed of running out into sensuality on its retirement from active life, he says, in another work, "When I was chancellor I told Gondomar, the
bear the honour to get rid of the burden; that I had always a desire to lead a private life. Gondomar answered, that he would tell me a tale; My lord, there was once an old rat that would needs leave the world: he acquainted the young rats that he would retire into his hole, and spend his days in solitude, and commanded them to respect his philosophical seclusion. They forbore two or three days: at last one, hardier than his fellows, ventured in to see how he did; he entered, and found him sitting in the midst of a rich Parmesan cheese.'
Spanish ambassador, that I would willingly for- for philosophy; and in aphorisms, the Novum Organum and his tract on Universal Justice are composed. But, although this was his general opinion; although he was too well acquainted with what he terms the idols of the mind, to be diverted from truth by the love of order: yet, knowing the charms of theory and system, and the necessity of adopting them to insure a favourable reception for abstruse works, he did not reject these garlands, at once the ornament and fetters of science. They may now, perhaps, be laid aside, and the noble temple which he raised may be destroyed; but its gorgeous magnificence will never be forgotten, and amidst the ruins a noble statue will be seen by every true worshipper of beauty and of knowledge.
To form a correct judgment of the merits of this treatise, it is but justice to the author to remember both the time when it was written and the persons for whom it was composed; "length and ornament of speech being fit for persuasion of multitudes, although not for information of kings."
When the subject required it, he, without departing from simplicity, selected images of a higher nature; as, when explaining how the The work is divided into two books: the first body acts upon the mind, and anticipating the consisting of his dedication to the king:—of his common senseless observation, that such investi- statement of the objections to learning, by divines, gations are injurious to religion, "Do not," he by politicians, and from the errors of learned men; says, imagine that inquiries of this nature ques--and of some of the advantages of knowledge. tion the immortality of the soul, or derogate from If, in compliance with the custom of the times, its sovereignty over the body. The infant in its or from an opinion that wisdom, although it mother's womb partakes of the accidents of its ought not to stoop to persons, should submit to mother, but is separable in due season." So, too, occasions, or from a morbid anxiety to accelerate when explaining that the body is decomposed by the advancement of knowledge, Bacon could dethe depredation of innate spirit and of ambient lude himself by the supposition that this fulsome air, and that if the action of these causes can be dedication to the king was consistent either with prevented, the body will defy decomposition; the simplicity or dignity of philosophy, he must "Have you never, he says, "seen a fly in have forgotten what Seneca said to Nero: "Suffer amber, more beautifully entombed than an Egyp- me to stay here' a little longer with thee, not to tian monarch?" and, when speaking of the re-flatter thine ear, for that is not my custom, as I semblance in the different parts of nature, and have always preferred to offend by truth than to calling upon his readers to observe that truths are please by flattery." He must have forgotten that general, he says, "Is not the delight of the qua- when Æsop said to Solon, "Either we must not vering upon a stop in music the same with the come to princes, or we must seek to please and playing of light upon the water, content them;" Solon answered, “ Either we must not come to princes at all, or we must speak truly, and counsel them for the best." He must have forgotten his own doctrine, that books ought to have no patrons but truth and reason; and he must also have forgotten his own nervous and beautiful admonition, that "the honest and just bounds of observation by one person upon another, extend no further but to understand him sufficiently, whereby It must not be supposed that, because he illus- not to give him offence, or whereby to be able to trated his thoughts, he was misled by imagina- | give him faithful counsel; or whereby to stand upon tion, which never had precedence, but always reasonable guard and caution with respect to a followed in the train of his reason: or, because man's self: but to be speculative into another he had recourse to arrangement, that he was en-man, to the end to know how to work him, or wind slaved by method, which he always disliked, as him, or govern him, proceedeth from a heart that impeding the progress of knowledge. It is, is double and cloven, and not entire and ingenuous, therefore, his constant admonition, that a plain, which as in friendship it is want of integrity, so anadorned style, in aphorisms, is the proper style towards princes or superiors it is want of duty."
'Splendet tremulo sub lumine pontus?""
Such are his beautiful and playful modes of familiarizing abstruse subjects: but to such instances he did not confine himself. He was too well acquainted with our nature, merely to explain | truth, without occasionally raising the mind by noble and lofty images to love it.
In such familiar explanations did he indulge himself: it being his object not to inflate trifles into marvels, but to reduce marvels to plain things. Of these simple modes of illustrating truth it appears, from a volume of Apothegms, published in the decline of his life, and a recommendation of them, in this treatise, as a useful appendage to history, that he had formed a collection.