« AnteriorContinuar »
man; Now tell me truly, what say you of your cousin that is gone? Mr. Bacon answered, Sir, since your majesty doth charge me, I'll e'en deal plainly with you, and give you such a character of him, as if I were to write his story. I do think he was no fit counsellor to make your affairs better : but yet he was fit to have kept them from growing
The king said, On my so'l, man, in the first thou speakest like a true man, and in the latter like a kinsman.
274. King James, as he was a prince of great judgment, so he was a prince of a marvellous pleasant humour; and there now come into my
mind two instances of it. As he was going through Lusen by Greenwich, he asked what town it was? They said Lusen. He asked a good while after, what town is this we are now in? They said, still 'twas Lusen. On my so'l, said the king, I will be king of Lusen.
275. In some other of his progresses, he asked how far it was to a town whose name I have forgotten. They said, six miles. Half an hour after he asked againOne said six miles and an half. The king alighted out of his coach, and crept under the shoulder of his led horse. And when some asked his majesty what he meant? I must stalk, said he, for yonder town is shy, and flies
276. Count Gondomar sent a compliment to my lord St. Alban, wishing him a good Easter. My lord thanked the messenger, and said, he could not at present requite the count better than in returning him the like; that he wished his lordship a good Passover.
277. My lord chancellor Elsmere, when he had read a petition which he disliked, would say ;
hand to this now? And the party answering, yes : he would say farther, Well, so you shall; nay, you shall have both my hands to it. And so would, with both his hands, tear it in pieces. 278. Sir Francis Bacon was wont to
of angry man who suppressed his passion, that he thought worse than he spoke: and of an angry man that would chide, that he spoke worse than he thought.
279. He was wont also to say, that power in an ill man, was like the
of a black witch; he could do hurt, but no good with it. And he would add, that the magicians could turn water into blood, but could not turn the blood again to water.
280. When Mr. Attorney Coke, in the exchequer, gave high words to Sir Francis Bacon, and stood much upon the higher place; Sir Francis said to him, Mr. Attorney, the less you speak of your
own greatness, the more I shall think of it; and the more, the less.
* 281. Sir Francis Bacon coming into the Earl of Arundels garden, where there were a great number of ancient statues of naked men and women, made a stand, and as astonished, cried out, the resurrection!
282. Sir Francis Bacon (who was always for moderate counsels), when one was speaking of such a reformation of the church of England, as would in effect make it no church; said thus to him, Sir, the subject we talk of is the eye of England, and if there be a speck or two in the eye, we endeavour to take them off; but he were a strange oculist who would pull out the eye.
283. The same ,Sir Francis Bacon was wont to say, that those who left useful studies for useless scholastic speculations, were like the Olympic gamesters, who abstain'd from necessary labours, that they might be fit for such as were not so.
284. He likewise often used this comparison : the empirical philosophers are like to pismires; they only lay up and use their store. The rationalists are like to spiders; they spin all out of their own bowels. But give me a philosopher, who like the bee hath a middle faculty, gathering from abroad, but digesting that which is gathered by his own virtue.
285. The lord St. Alban, who was not overhasty to raise theories, but proceeded slowly by experiments, was wont to say to some philosophers, who would not
Gentlemen, nature is a labyrinth, in which the very haste you move with, will make
your way 286. The same lord, when he spoke of the Dutchmen, used to say, that we could not abandon them for our safety, nor keep them for our profit. And sometimes he would express the same sense in this manner; we hold the Belgic lion by the ears.
287. The same lord, when a gentleman seem'd not much to approve of his liberality to his retinue, said to him ; Sir, I am all of a piece ; if the head be lifted up, the inferior parts of the body must
288. The lord Bacon was wont to commend the advice of the plain old man at Buxton that sold besoms; a proud lazy young fellow came to him for a besom upon trust: to whom the old man said ; Friend, hast thou no money? borrow of thy back, and borrow of thy belly, they'll ne'er ask thee again, I shall be dunning thee every day.
289. Jack Weeks said of a great man (just then dead) who pretended to some religion, but was none of the best livers; Well, I hope he is in heaven. Every man thinks as he wishes ; but if he be in heaven, 'twere pity it were known.