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names ; and it is one art to discourse and another to relate and describe; and herein use and action is most conversant.

Also to sum up and contract, is a thing in action of very general use.

This paper, or at least the first part of it, was sent by Bacon to his friend, the learned Sir Henry Saville, Provost of Eton College, accompanied with a letter in which he tells Sir Henry that the thoughts he had hastily set down had occurred to him as he was returning home from a visit he had made to him on his invitation at Eton,

where,” says he, “ I had refreshed myself with company which I loved.” Sir Henry Saville was Provost of Eton from 1596 till his death in February, 1622. It is probable that this letter was addressed to him towards the close of his incumbency. He was succeeded as Provost by Mr. Thomas Murray, who, however, held the office only for a few months, having died on the 1st of April, 1623. Upon the occurrence of this last vacancy, or rather when it was anticipated, Bacon, in his fallen fortunes, made application for the place. Among his Letters published by Birch (1763) is one to Mr. Secretary Conway, dated from Gray's Inn, the 25th of March, in which he says,

Good Mr. Secretary, when you did me the honour and favour to visit me, you did not only in general terms express your love unto me, but, as a real friend, asked me whether I had any particular occasion wherein I might make use of you. At that time I had none; now there is one fallen. It is, that Mr. Thomas Murray, Provost of Eton, whom I love very well, is like to die. It were a pretty cell for my fortune. The college and school I do not doubt but I shall make to fourish. His majesty, when I waited on him, took notice of my wants, and said to me, that, as he was a king, he would have care of me. This is a thing somebody would have; and costs his majesty nothing.

Inclosed was a shorter note to the king, in which we find him repeating the pathetic expression_“Your beadsman addresseth himself to your majesty for a cell to retire into." Conway's reply, dated Royston, March 27th, informs Bacon

that he had delivered his letter to the king; adding, “I will give you his majesty's answer, which was; That he could not value you so little, or conceive you would have humbled your desires and your worth so low; that it had been a great deal of ease to him to have had such a scantling of your mind, to which he could never have laid so unequal a measure.”

His majesty, Conway goes on to state, further said that, since Bacon's intentions moved that way, he would study his accommodation; and, although a sort of engagement had been already made with a Sir William Becher, he expressed a hope that some other way might perhaps be found of satisfying that person. Becher, it appears, had obtained a promise of the place from the Marquis (soon after this created Duke) of Buckingham, who was now in Spain, and upon whose friendship Bacon would otherwise have chiefly relied. My most noble friend, the marquis,” he had said in writing to Conway, “is now absent. Next to him I could not think of a better address than to yourself, as one likest to put on his affection.” He continued, however, to press ihe matter. Acknowledging Conway's answer on the 31st, he wrote:-“I am very much bound to his majesty, and I pray you, Sir, thank his majesty most humbly for it, that, notwithstanding the former designment of Sir William Becher, his majesty, as you write, is not out of hope, in due time, to accommodate me of this cell, and to satisfy him otherwise. Many conditions, no doubt, may be as contenting to that gentleman, and his years may expect them.

But there will hardly fall, especially in the spent hour-glass of my life, anything so fit for me, being a retreat to a place of study so near London, and where, if I sell my house at Gorhambury, as I purpose to do, to put myself in some convenient plenty, I may be accommodated of a dwelling for summer-time. And, therefore, good Mr. Secretary, further this his majesty's good intention by all means, if the place fall.” He had also written in urgent though general terms both to Buckingham on the 30th, and to Count Gondomar on the 28th, intrusting the letters, and, as it would seem, the specific explanation of what he wanted, to Sir John

Epsley, who was then setting out for Spain. And perhaps another letter, entreating his friendly services, which he sent to Gondomar soon after by Mr. Tobie Matthew, may relate to the same affair. In the end, however, the Provostship was given neither to Bacon nor to Sir Wil. liam Becher, but to Sir Henry Wotton, who was inducted on the 26th of July, 1624.

Bacon received no other place or office. His only cell of rest continued to be his old lodging in Gray's Inn Square, from which, however, he occasionally retired to his country-seat at Gorhambury. “He died,” says Dr. Rawley, on the 9th day of April in the year 1626, in the early morning of the day then celebrated for our Saviour's resurrection, in the sixty-sixth year of his age, at the Earl of Arundel's house in Highgate, near London, to which place he casually repaired about a week before ; God so ordaining, that he should die there of a gentle fever, accidentally accompanied with a great cold, whereby the defluxion of rheum fell so plentifully upon his breast that he died by suffocation." A short time before his death he dictated the following letter to Lord Arundel, from which we learn the circumstances under which he had repaired to his Lordship's house :-“ My very good Lord, I was likely to have had the fortune of Caius Plinius the Elder, who lost his life by trying an ex. periment about the burning of the mount Vesuvius; for I was also desirous to try an experiment or two, touching the conservation and induration of bodies. As for the experiment itself, it succeeded excellently well; but in the journey, between London and Highgate, I was taken with such a fit of casting [vomiting], as I knew not whether it were the stone, or some surfeit, or cold, or indeed a touch of them all three. But when I came to your lordship’s house, I was not able to go back, and therefore was forced to take up my lodging here, where your housekeeper is very careful and diligent about me ; which I assure myself your lordship will not only pardon towards him, but think the better of him for it. For indeed your lordship's house was happy to me; and I kiss your noble hands for the welcome which I am sure you give me to

it. I know how unfit it is for me to write to your lordship with any other hand than mine own; but, by my troth, my fingers are so disjointed with this fit of sickness, that I cannot steadily hold a pen.” It is evident, however, that Bacon did not think he was dying when this was written. John Aubrey relates, that when Bacon was attacked by his illness he was accompanied by Dr. Witherborne, the King's Physician, and that, seeing snow on the ground as they approached Highgate, coming from London, they alighted out of the coach and went into a poor woman's house at the foot of Highgate Hill, where they bought a hen, and stuffed the body with snow, Bacon assisting in the operation with his own hands. Aubrey further states that the bed into which he was put at Lord Arundel's house was damp, and had not been slept in for a year before. He breathed his last in the arms of his friend, and relation by marriage, Sir Julius Caesar, the Master of the Rolls, who had been sent for at the commencement of his illness.




Bacon's enduring fame is that of a moralist, an historian, and a philosopher ; but in his own day he was chiefly known as a lawyer and a politician. Ethics, theology, history, and philosophy were but the studies and pursuits of his leisure ; his professional occupations were law and politics. Nor have his legal and political writ. ings by any means yet lost all their interest and value. Here too we have his fertile, ingenious, abundant mind everywhere at work, and the same rich eloquence gilding whatever it touches with sunshine.

A very summary account, however, of the pieces composing this division of our author's works will suffice for our present purpose.

The tract entitled The Elements of the Common Law of England' has been already mentioned.* It is introduced by a Dedication to Elizabeth dated 1596, and also by a Preface; but both these addresses, as bas been already remarked, refer only to the First Part of the work, which is entitled A Collection of some of the principal Rules and Maxims of the Common Law, with their Latitude and Extent.' The Second Part, entitled " The Use of the Common Law for Preservation of our Persons, Goods, and Good Names, according to the Pracuice of the Law and Customs of this Land,'

* See ante, Vol. I. p. 17.

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