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ents and monopolies, had not sufficed to make her independent of Parliamentary subsidies; which in her latter years had become, contrary to ancient precedent, matters of annual necessity. Nor when reasons had to be given year after year for departing from those time-honoured precedents and inevitable exigencies of state to be pleaded in answer to dissentients, could all the art of her ministers or all her own fearless selfreliance disguise from the Commons the fact, that by refusing to vote the supplies they could place the government in a serious difficulty. This fact once recognized made the Commons potentially an overmatch for the Crown. They could, if they chose and had resolution to face the immediate consequences, make their own conditions with the Crown. Apprehension of those consequences, joined with force of custom and that conservative instinct which prevails in assemblies of Englishmen, made the majority hesitate to use their advantage all at once. But they had it; they knew they had it; and every debate on every grievance reminded them of it, and encouraged them to venture further on. In the absence of foreign quarrels the busy spirits of the time occupied themselves the more with internal discontents and James had not been four years on the throne before Parliament had shown symptoms of a disposition which gave Bacon serious anxiety. In the Commentarius Solutus, to which I have frequently had occasion to refer (see Preface to the Temporis Partus Masculus), I find two pages of memoranda relating to" Policy." They are set down so briefly, the heads only, without the connexion, and many of the principal words indicated merely by the first two or three letters, that one cannot gather much more than
the general nature of the topics alluded to; but the subject of meditation seems to be, the policy to be pursued by a government short of supplies; and the conclusion has a direct connexion with the subject of this fragment.
The first note stands thus, literatim:
"The bring. y K. low by pov. and empt. cof."
The next indicates an apprehension of serious troubles:
"The revolt or troub. first in Sco. for till that be no dang. of Eng. discont. in dowt of a warre frō thence."
There then follow several notes relating to the greatness of particular persons or bodies- the Lower House of Parliament among others - but without any thing to explain the connexion.
Further on there are notes of commonwealth reforms; such as "limiting all jurisdictions: more regular; "new laws to be compounded and collected; lawgiver perpetuus princeps: " (measures, both, on which Bacon was always harping :) "restoration of the Church to the true limits of authority since H. 8th confusion;" all subjects fitted to occupy Parliament and divert attention from matters of dispute between Commons and King. Then a few memoranda as to choice of persons. After which an allusion to this paper with which we are at present concerned :
"Finishing my treat. of ye Great. of Br. wth aspect ad pol." And finally the two following notes, which appear to point at the conclusion:
"The fairest, without dis. or per. is the gener. perswad. to K. and peop. and cours. of infusing every whear the foundat. in this
Ile of a mon. in ye West as an apt seat state people for it. Cyvilyzing Ireland, furder coloniz. ye wild of Scotl. Annexing ye Lowe Countries.
"Yf anything be questio. touch. Pol. to be turned upon ye ampliation of a mon. in the Royalty."
After which the note-book passes to other subjects. Of course all inferences drawn from memoranda like these, which were not intended to explain themselves to any one but the writer, are uncertain; but we have other evidence to show that Bacon considered it an essential point of policy to provide the people and the House of Commons with some matter of interest or ambition which they might pursue with the gov‐ ernment, and not against it; and that, on that principle, a legitimate occasion for taking part in a foreign quarrel was at all times regarded by him as a fortunate accident. And as we know that the pacific policy of James and his preference of embassies to armies was at the time unpopular, it may well be conceived that a policy aiming apparently and avowedly at the aggrandisement of Great Britain among the nations (the second in dignity, according to Bacon's own estimate, Nov. Org. i. 129., among the ambitions of man) would, if commenced in 1608, have carried popular sympathy with it and entirely altered the relation between Crown and people. Bacon had seen a few years before, in the Parliament which met after the Gunpowder Plot, how rapidly disputes and discontents could be forgotten under the excitement of a common passion; and the same thing was seen not less conspicuously a few years after, when upon the determination to raise an army for the recovery of the Palatinate, a Benevolence was levied, without parliamentary authority and with universal
applause; and a double subsidy was voted with unusual alacrity, without delays questions or conditions, by the Parliament which met immediately after.
This then I take to have been the "policy" with a view to which he proposed in the summer of 1608 to go on with the treatise of the Greatness of Britain, which it seems he had then begun. How much further he proceeded with it, it is impossible to know: for the manuscript which has been preserved is in a disjointed state, and any number of leaves may have been lost either from the middle or the end without leaving evidence of the fact. I suppose however that he never finished it; finding that the courses taken by the government, then chiefly guided by the Earl of Salisbury, were directly at variance and incompatible with it, and so the chance gone. And he afterwards turned it into a general treatise on the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates; the Latin version of which is given in the De Augmentis Scientiarum (lib. 8, cap. iii.) as a specimen of a treatise De proferendis finibus imperii, and the English will be found (vol. xii. p. 176.) among the Essays.
This fragment was first published by Stephens (second collection, 1634, p. 193.) from a manuscript then belonging to Lord Oxford, now in the British Museum: Harl. MSS. 7021. fo. 25.;-the. only copy I have met with or heard of. It is a transcript in two different hands, which seem to have been at work at the same time, if one may infer as much from the fact that though the first leaves off in the middle of the page the second begins at the top of a fresh sheet. All of it however, except a few leaves at the end, has been revised and corrected by Bacon himself; and on