صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


Trinity College, Cambridge. It has often been said LORD BACON.*,

that Bacon, while still at college, planned that great intellectual revolution with which his name is inseparably

connected. The evidence on this subject, however, is HIS LIFE, AND CHARACTER. hardly sufficient to prove what is in itself so improbable,

as that any definite scheme of that kind should have Birth--education--father's death-his uncle, Lord Burleigh, been so early formed, even by so powerful and active a and cousin, Robert Cecil--their jealousy-his law-studies--dis. mind. But it is certain, that after a residence of three appointments--figure in Parliament--his patriotism rebuked-abjec submission--friendship and generosity of Essex-- Bacon's years at Cambridge, Bacon departed, carrying with Essays-fall of Essex, and Bacon's ingratitude--death of Queen him a profound contempt for the course of study purElizabeth-accession of James |--his character--Bacon's knight- sued there; a fixed conviction that the system of acadehood and marriage--Bacon and Waller compared-successive mic education in England was radically vicious; a just promotions--his treatise on the “ Advancement of Learning”-scorn for the trifles on which the followers of Aristotle other works-his oppression of Peacham--Coke's manly resist. ance...Bacon's patron, Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.-- Bacon had wasted their powers, and no great reverence for made Councillor,..- Lord Keeper,.--and Lord Chancellor-chis Aristotle himself. corruptions as judge---impeachment.--conviction and disgrace... In his sixteenth year, he visited Paris, and resided sentence.-- pardon--- literary pursuits---death.

there for some time, under the care of Sir Amias Paulet, Francis Bacon, the youngest son of Sir Nicholas Elizabeth's minister at the French court, and one of the Bacon, was born at York House, his father's residence ablest and most upright of the many valuable servants in the Strand, on the 22d of January, 1561. His health whom she employed. France was at that time in a was very delicate, and to this circumstance may be deplorable state of agitation. The Huguenots and the partly attributed that gravity of carriage, and that love Catholics were mustering all their forces for the fiercest of sedaptary pursuits, which distinguished him from and most protracted of their many struggles : while the other boys. Every body knows how much his prema- Prince, whose duty it was to protect and to restrain ture readiness of wit, and sobriety of deportment, both, had by his vices and follies degraded himself so amused the Queen; and how she used to call him her deeply that he had no authority over either. Bacon, young Lord Keeper. We are told that while still a

however, made a tour through several provinces, and mere child, he stole away from his playfellows to a vault appears to have passed some time at Poitiers. We in St. James's fields, for the purpose of investigating have abundant proof that during his stay on the Contithe cause of a singular echo 'which he had observed nent he did not neglect literary and scientific pursuits. there. It is certain that, at only twelve, he busied But his attention seeins to have been chiefly directed to himself with very ingenious speculations on the art of statistics and diplomacy. It was at this time that he legerdemain,-a subject which, as Professor Dugald

wrote those Notes on the State of Europe which are Stewart has most justly observed, merits much more

printed in his works. He studied the principles of the attention from philosophers than it has ever received. art of deciphering with great interest ; and invented These are trifles. Bui the eminence which Bacon af- one cipher so ingenious that, many years later, he terwards attained renders them interesting.

thought it deserving of a place in the De Augmenlis. In the thirteenth year of his age, he was entered at In February, 1580, while engaged in these pursuits, he

received intelligence of the almost sudden death of his The Edinburg Review for July contains an article of great father, and instantly returned to England. leogih, but far greater ability, upon Basil Montagu's voluminous edition of Bacon's works, and history of his life. The article He was most desirous to obtain a provision which

His prospects were greatly overcast by this event. 80 leems with interesting facts, and contains what we take to be so just a view of Bacon's character, and so clear as well as just might enable him to devote himself io literature and an exposition of his philosophy, that we cannot forbear enabling politics. He applied to the Government, and it seems all our readers to share the pleasure and benefit derivable from strange that he should have applied in vain. His the per usal. To this end, we cull those paragraphs and pages wishes were moderate. His hereditary claims on the wbich are necessary to present an unbroken thread of narrative administration were great. He had himself been faor of disquisition, and print them continuously ; omitting little, besides the reviewer's discussions with Mr. Montagu, of some vorably noticed by the Queen. His uncle was Prime points on which that gentleman, with the amiable though 100 Minister. His own talents were such as any minister common weakness of biographers, is a mere apologist for his might have been eager to enlist in the public service. hero. The portions thus culled, we arrange in three divisions, But his solicitations were unsuccessful. The truth is, with a table of contents to each ; the first containing the Red that the Cecils disliked him, and did all that they could viewer's sketch of Lord Bacon's life and character, and the other two a view of his philosophy--and a triumphant contrast decently do to keep him down. It has never been alof its useful aims, with the sounding emptiness of that taught by leged that Bacon had done anything to merit this disthe ancient philosophers. We give translations of the passages like; nor is it at all probable that a man whose temper in foreiga longues; hoping that unlearned as well as learned Teaders, will be auracted by this masterly performance. And

was naturally mild, whose manners were courteous, we have tried so to mould the several parts together, and give it who, through life, nursed his fortunes with the utmosi so much the appearance of a consistent whole, that no one might care, and who was fearful even to a fault of offending suppose it to be other than an original and independent Life of the powerful-would have given any just cause of disBacon, and account of his works, but for this declaration to the pleasure to a kinsman who had the means of rendering contrary.

No reader will finish this article, exhibiting the amazing in him essential service, and of doing him irreparable intellect and weak (not bad) heart of the wonderful man it com jury. The real explanation, we have no doubt, is this: memorales, without regarding as literally true, that line which Robert Cecil, the Treasurer's second son, was younger calls him

by a few months than Bacon. He had been educaled "The greatest, wisest, meanest,.--of mankind.” with the utmost care ; had been initiated, while still a

Vol. IV.-2

boy, in the mysteries of diplomacy and court-intrigue ; | sharp lecture on his vanity, and want of respect for his and was just at this time about to be produced on the betters. Francis returned a most submissive reply, stage of public life. The wish nearest to Burleigh's thanked the Treasurer for the admonition, and proheart was that his own greatness might descend to this mised to profit by it. Strangers meanwhile were less favorite child. But even Burleigh's fatherly partiality unjust to the young barrister than his nearest kinsmen could hardly prevent him from perceiving that Robert, had been. In his twenty-sixth year he became a benchwith all his abilities and acquirements, was no match er of his Inn; and two years later he was appointed for his cousin Francis. That Bacon himself attributed Lent reader. At length, in 1590, he obtained for the the conduct of his relatives to jealousy of his superior first time some show of favor from the Court. He was talents, we have not the smallest doubt. In a letter, sworn in Queen's Counsel extraordinary. But this written many years after to Villiers, he expresses him- mark of honor was not accompanied by any pecuniary self thus :-“Countenance, encourage, and advance emolument. He continued, therefore, to solicit his able men in all kinds, degrees, and professions. For in powerful relatives for some provision which might the time of the Cecils, the father and the son, able men enable him to live without drudging at his profession. were by design and of purpose suppressed.”

He bore with a patience and serenity which, we fear, Whatever Burleigh's motives might be, his purpose bordered on meanness, the morose humors of his uncle, was unalterable. The supplications which Francis and the sneering reflections which his cousin cast on addressed to his uncle and aunt were earnest, humble, speculative men, lost in philosophical dreams, and too and almost servile. He was the most promising and wise to be capable of transacting public business. At accomplished young man of his time. His father had length the Cecils were generous enough to procure for been the brother-in-law, the most useful colleague, the him the reversion of the Registrarship of the Star nearest friend of the minister. But all this availed poor Chamber. This was a lucrative place, but as many Francis nothing. He was forced, much against his will, years elapsed before it fell in, he was still under the to betake himself to the study of the law. He was ad- necessity of laboring for his daily bread. mitled at Gray's Inn, and, during some years, he In the Parliament which was called in 1593 he sat as labored there in obscurity.

member for the county of Middlesex, and soon altained What the extent of his legal attainments may have eminence as a debater. It is easy to perceive from the been, it is difficult to say. It was not hard for a man of scanty remains of his oratory, that the same compact. his powers to acquire that very moderate portion of ness of expression and richness of fancy which appear technical knowledge which, when joined to quickness, in his writings characterized his speeches; and that his tact, wit, ingenuity, eloquence, and knowledge of the extensive acquaintance with literature and history enaworld, is sufficient to raise an advocate to the highest bled him to entertain his audience with a vast variety professional eminence. The general opinion appears of illustrations and allusions which were generally to have been that which was on one occasion expressed happy and apposite, but which were probably not least by Elizabeth. “Bacon,” said she, “ hath a great wit pleasing to the taste of that age when they were such and much learning ; but in law sheweth to the utter as would now be thought childish or pedantic. It is most of his knowledge, and is not deep.” The Cecils, evident also that he was, as indeed might have been exwe suspect, did their best to spread this opinion by pected, perfectly free from those faults which are genewhispers and insinuations. Coke openly proclaimed it rally found in an advocate who, after having risen to with that rancorous insolence which was habitual to eminence at the bar, enters the House of Commons; him. No reports are more readily believed than those that it was his habit to deal with every great question, which disparage genius and soothe the envy of con- not in small detached portions, but as a whole; that he scious mediocrity. It must have been inexpressibly refined little, and that his reasonings were those of a consoling to a stupid sergeant,-the forerunner of him capacious rather than a subtle mind. Ben Jonson, a who, a hundred and fifty years later, "shook his head most unexceptionable judge, has described his eloquence at Murray as a wit,"—to know that the most profound in words, which, though often quoted, will bear to be thinker, and the most accomplished orator of the age, quoted again. “There happened in my time one noble was very imperfectly acquainted with the law touching speaker who was full of gravity in his speaking. His bastard eigné and mulier puisné, and confounded the language, where he could spare or pass by a jest, was right of free fishery with that of common piscary. nobly censorious. No man ever spoke more neatly,

It is certain that no man in that age, or indeed during more pressly, more weightily, or suffered less emptithe century and a half which followed, was better ac- ness, less idleness, in what he uttered. No member of quainted with the philosophy of law. His technical his speeeh but consisted of his own graces. His hearers knowledge was quite sufficient, with the help of his ad- could not cough or look aside from him without loss. mirable talents, and his insinuating address, to procure He commanded where he spoke, and had his judges clients. He rose very rapidly into business, and soon angry and pleased at his devotion. No man had their entertained hopes of being called within the bar. He affections more in liis power. The fear of every man applied to Lord Burleigh for that purpose, but received that heard him was lest he should make an end." a testy refusal. Of the grounds of that refusal we can From the mention which is made of judges, it would in some measure judge by Bacon's answer, which is seem that Jonson had heard Bacon only at the bar. still extant. seems that the old Lord, whose temper, Indeed we imagine that the House of Commons was age and gout had by no means altered for the better, then almost inaccessible to strangers. It is not proand who omitted no opportunity of marking his dislike bable that a man of Bacon's nice observation would of the showy, quick-witted young men of the rising speak in Parliament exactly as he spoke in the Court generation, took this opportunity to read Francis a very 1 of King's Bench. But the graces of manner and lan

guage must to a great extent, have been common be whole country into confusion for objects purely per. tween the Queen's Counsel and the Knight of the sonal. Still, it is impossible not to be deeply interested Shire.

for a man so brave, high spirited, and generous ;--for a Bacon tried to play a very difficult game in politics. man who, while he conducted himself towards his He wished to be at once a favorite at Court and popu- sovereign with a boldness such as was then found in no lar with the multitude. If any man could have suco other subject, conducted himself towards his dependants ceeded in this attempt, a man of talents so rare, of judg. with a delicacy such as has rarely been found in any ment so prematurely ripe, of temper so calm, and of other patron. Unlike the vulgar herd of benefactors, he manners so plausible, might have been expected to suc- desired to inspire, not gratitude, but affection. He ceed. Nor indeed did he wholly fail. Once, however, tried to make those whom he befriended feel towards he indulged in a burst of patriotism which cost him a him as towards an equal. His mind, ardent, susceplong and bitter remorse, and which he never ventured tible, naturally disposed to admiration of all that is to repeat. The Court asked for large subsidies, and great and beautiful, was fascinated by the genius and for speedy payment. The remains of Bacon's speech the accomplishments of Bacon. A close friendship was breathe all the spirit of the Long Parliament. “The soon formed between them,-a friendship destined to gentlemen,” said he, “must sell their plate, and the have a dark, a mournful, a shameful end. farmers their brass pots, ere this will be paid ; and for In 1594 the office of Attorney-General became vacant, us, we are here to search the wounds of the realm, and and Bacon hoped to obtain it. Essex made his friend's not to skin them over. The dangers are these. First, cause his own,-sued, expostulated, promised, threatwe shall breed discontent and endanger her Majesty's ened, --but all in vain. It probable that the dislike safety, which must consist more in the love of the peo- felt by the Cecils for Bacon had been increased by the ple than their wealth. Secondly, this being granted in connexion which he had lately formed with the Earl. this sort, other princes hereafter will look for the like; Robert was then on the point of being made Secretary of so that we shall put an evil precedent on ourselves and State. He happened one day to be in the same coach on our posterity; and in histories, it is to be observed, with Essex, and a remarkable conversation took place of all nations the English are not to be subject, base, or between them. “My Lord,” said Sir Robert, “the Laxable.” The Queen and her ministers resented this Queen has determined to appoint an Attorney-General outbreak of public spirit in the highest manner. In- without more delay. I pray your Lordship to let me deed, many an honest member of the House of Com- know whom you will favor.” “I wonder at your mons had, for a much smaller matter, been sent to the question,” replied the Earl. “You cannot but know Tower by the proud and hot-blooded Tudors. The that resolutely, against all the world, I stand for your young patriot condescended to make the most abject cousin, Francis Bacon," “Good Lord!” cried Cecil, apologies. He adjured the Lord Treasurer to show unable to bridle his temper, “I wonder your Lordship some favor to his poor servant and ally. He bemoaned should spend your strength on so unlikely a matter. Can himself to the Lord Keeper, in a letter which may keep you name one precedent of so raw a youth promoted to in countenance the most unmanly of the epistles which so great a place ?” This objection came with a singularly Cicero wrote during his banishment. The lesson was bad grace from a man who, though younger than Bacon, not thrown away. Bacon never offended in the same was in daily expectation of being made Secretary of manner again.

The blot was too obvious to be missed by Essex, He was now satisfied that he had little to hope from who seldom forebore to speak his mind. “I have made no the patronage of those powerful kinsmen whom he had search,” said he, "for precedents of young men who solicited during twelve years with such meek perti- have filled the ofice of Attorney-General; but I could nacity; and he began to look towards a different quar- name to you, Sir Robert, a man younger than Francis, ler. Among the courtiers of Elizabeth, had lately less learned, and equally inexperiened, who is suing appeared a new favorite,-young, noble, wealthy, ac- and striving with all his might for an office of far complished, eloquent, brave, generous, aspiring,-a greater weight.” Sir Robert had nothing to say but favorite who had obtained from the grey-headed queen that he thought his own abilities equal to the place such marks of regard as she had scarce vouchsafed to which he hoped to obtain ; and that his father's long Leicester in the season of the passions; who was at services deserved such a mark of gratitude from the once the ornament of the palace and the idol of the city; Queen,-as if his abilities were comparable to his couwho was the common patron of men of letters and of sin's, or as if Sir Nicholas Bacon had done no service to men of the sword; who was the common refuge of the the State. Cecil then hinted that if Bacon would be sapersecuted Catholic and of the persecuted Puritan. tisfied with the Solicitorship, that might be of easier The calm prudence which had enabled Burleigh to digestion to the Queen, “Digest me no digestions," shape his course through so many dangers, and the vast said the generous and ardent Earl. “The Attorneyesperience which he had acquired in dealing with two ship for Francis is that I must have; and in that I will generations of colleagues and rivals, seemed scarcely spend all my power, might, authority, and amity; and suficient to support him in this new competition ; and with tooth and nail procure the same for him against Robert Cecil sickened with fear and envy as he con- whomsoever; and whosoever getteth this office out of templated the rising fame and influence of Essex.

my hands for any other, before he have it, it shall cost Nothing in the political conduct of Essex entitles him him the coming by. And this be you assured of, Sir to esteem; and ihe pity with which we regard his Robert, for now I fully declare myself; and for my early and terrible end, is diminished by the considera- own part, Sir Robert, I think strange both of my Lord Lion, that he put to hazard the lives and fortunes of his Treasurer and you, that can have the mind to seek the most attached friends, and endeavored to throw the preference of a stranger before so near a kinsman; for

if you weigh in a balance the parts every way of his indeed was kind to him in more ways than one. She competitor and him, only excepting five poor years of rejected him, and she accepted his enemy. She maradmitting to a house of court before Francis, you shall ried that narrow-minded, bad-hearted pedant, Sir Edfind in all other respects whatsoever no comparison be- ward Coke, and did her best to make him as miserable tween them.”

as he deserved to be. When the office of Attorney-General was filled up, The fortunes of Essex had now reached their height, the Earl pressed the Queen to make Bacon Solicitor and began to decline. The person on whom, during the General, and, on this occasion, the old Lord Treasurer decline of his influence, he chiefly depended, -to whom professed himself not unfavorable to his nephew's pre- he confided his perplexities, whose advice he solicited, tensions. But after a contest which lasted more than whose intercession he employed, --was his friend Bacon. a year and a half, and in which Essex, to use his own The lamentable truth must be told. This friend, so words, “spent all his power, might, authority, and loved, so trusted, bore a principal part in ruining the amity,” the place was given to another. Essex felt this Earl's fortunes, in shedding his blood, and in blackening disappointment keenly, but found consolation in the his memory. most munificent and delicate liberality. He presented But let us be just to Bacon. We believe that, to Bacon with an estate, worth near two thousand pounds, the last, he had no wish to injure Essex. Nay, we besituated at Twickenham; and this, as Bacon owned lieve that he sincerely exerted himself to serve Essex, many years after, “with so kind and noble circumstan- as long as he thought he could serve Essex without ces, as the manner was worth more than the matter." injuring himself. The advice which he gave to his

It was soon after these events that Bacon first ap- noble benefactor was generally most judicious. He peared before the public as a writer. Early in 1597 he did all in his power to dissuade the Earl from accepting published a small volume of Essays, which was after the Government of Ireland. “For," says he, “I did as wards enlarged, by successive editions, to many times plainly see his overthrow, chained as it were by destiny its original bulk. This little work was, as it well de- to that journey, as it is possible for a man to ground a served to be, exceedingly popular. It was reprinted in judgment upon future contingents.” The prediction a few months; it was translated into Latin, French was accomplished. Essex returned in disgrace. Bacon and Italian, and it seems to have at once established attempted to mediate between his friend and the Queen; the literary reputation of its author. But though Ba- and, we believe, honestly employed all his address for con's reputation rose, his fortunes were still depressed. that purpose. But the task which he bad undertaken He was in great pecuniary difficulties; and on one oc was too difficult, delicate, and perilous, even for so wary casion was arrested in the street at the suit of a gold- and dexterous an agent. He had to manage two spirits smith, for a debt of 3001., and was carried to a spung- equally proud, resentful, and ungovernable. At Essex ing-house in Coleman street.

House, he had to calm the rage of a young hero, inThe kindness of Essex was in the meantime inde- censed by multiplied wrongs and humiliations; and fatigable. In 1596 he sailed on his memorable expedi- then to pass to Whitehall for the purpose of soothing tion to the coast of Spain. At the very moment of his the peevishness of a sovereign, whose temper, never embarkation, he wrote to several of his friends, com- very gentle, had been rendered morbidly irritable by mending to them, during his own absence, the interests age, by declining health, and by the long habit of lisof Bacon. He returned, after performing the most bril-tening to flattery and exacting implicit obedience. It liant military exploit that was achieved on the Conti- is hard to serve two masters. Situated as Bacon was, nent by English arms, during the long interval which it was scarcely possible for him to shape his course, so elapsed between the battle of Agincourt and that of as not to give one or both of his employers reason to Blenheim. His valor, his talents, his humane and gene- complain. For a time he acted as fairly as, in circumrous disposition, had made him the idol of his country- stances so embarrassing, could reasonably be expected. men, and had extorted praise from the enemies whom At length, he found that while he was trying to prop he had conquered. He had always been proud and the fortunes of another, he was in danger of shaking headstrong; and his splendid success seems to have his own. He had disobliged both the parties whom he rendered his faults more offensive than ever. But to wished to reconcile. Essex thought him wanting in his friend Francis he was still the same. Bacon had zeal as a friend-Elizabeth thought him wanting in duty some thoughts of making his fortune by marriage ; and as a subject. The Earl looked on him as a spy of the had begun to pay court to a widow of the name of Queen, the Queen as a creature of the Earl. The Hation. The eccentric manners and violent temper of reconciliation which he had labored to effect appeared this woman, made her a disgrace and a torment to her utterly hopeless. A thousand signs, legible to eyes far connections. But Bacon was not aware of her faults, less keen than his, announced that the fall of his patron or was dispcsed to overlook them for the sake of her was at hand. He shaped his course accordingly. When ample fortune. Essex pleaded his friend's cause with Essex was brought before the council to answer for his his usual ardor. The letters which the Earl addressed conduct in Ireland, Bacon, after a faint attempt to exto Lady Hatton and to her mother are still extant, and cuse himself from taking part against his friend, subare highly honorable to him. “If,” he wrote, “she were mitted himself to the Queen's pleasure, and appeared my sister or my daughter, I protest I would as confi- at the bar in support of the charges. But a darker scene dently resolve to further it as I now persuade you." was behind. The unhappy young nobleman, made And again—"If my faith be anything, I protest, if I reckless by despair, ventured on a rash and criminal had one as near me as she is to you, I had rather match enterprise, which rendered him liable to the highest her with him, than with men of far greater titles.” The penalties of the law. What course was Bacon to lake? suit, happily for Bacon, was unsuccessful. The lady. This was one of those conjunctures which show what

men are. To a highminded man, wealth, power, courto | mations. She thought it expedient to publish a vindifavor, even personal safely, would have appeared of no cation of her late proceedings. The faithless friend account, when opposed to friendship, gratitude, and who had assisted in taking the Earl's life was now honor. Such a man would have stood by the side of employed to murder the Earl's fame. The Queen had Esses at the trial, --would have spent all his power, seen some of Bacon's writings, and had been pleased might, authority, and amity,” in soliciting a mitigation with them. He was accordingly selected to write “ A of the sentence,—would have been a daily visiter at Declaration of the practices and treasons attempted the cell,—would have received the last injunctions and and committed by Robert, Earl of Essex,” which was the last embrace on the scaffold, --would have employed printed by authority. In the succeeding reign, Bacon all the powers of his intellect to guard from insult the had not a word to say in defence of this performancefame of his generous, though erring friend. An ordi- a performance, abounding in expressions which no nary man would neither have incurred the danger of generous enemy would have employed respecting a succoring Essex, nor the disgrace of assailing him. man who had so dearly expiated his offences. His Bacon did not even preserve neutrality. He appeared only excuse was, that he wrote it by command, -that as counsel for the prosecution. In that situation, he he considered himself as a mere secretary,—that he did not confine himself to what would have been amply had particular instructions as to the way in which he suffcient to procure a verdict. He employed all his was to treat every part of the subject, --and that, in wil, his rhetoric, and his learning, -not to ensure a fact, he had furnished only the arrangement and the conviction, for the circumstances were such that a con- style. viction was inevitable,—but to deprive the unhappy The real explanation of all this is perfectly obvious; prisoner of all those excuses which, though legally of and nothing but a partiality amounting to a ruling pasno value, yet tended to diminish the moral guilt of the sion, could cause any body to miss it. The moral qualicrime; and which, therefore, though they could not ties of Bacon were not of a high order. We do not justify the peers in pronouncing an acquittal, might say that he was a bad man. He was not inhuman or incline the Queen to grant a pardon. The Earl urged tyrannical. He bore with meekness his high civil hoas a palliation of his frantic acts, that he was sur nors, and the far higher honors gained by his intellect. rounded by powerful and inveterate enemies, that they He was very seldom, if ever, provoked into treating had ruined his fortunes, that they sought his life, and any person with malignity and insolence. No man that their persecutions had driven him to despair. This more readily held up the left cheek to those who had was true, and Bacon well knew it to be true. But he smitten the right. No man was more expert at the affected to treat it as an idle pretence. He compared soft answer which turneth away wrath. He was never Essex to Pisistratus, who, by pretending to be in im- accused of intemperance in his pleasures. His even minent danger of assassination, and by exhibiting self- temper, bis flowing courtesy, the general respectability inflicted wounds, sacceeded in establishing tyranny at of his demeanor, made a favorable impression on those Athens. This was too much for the prisoner to bear. who saw him in situations which do not severely try He interrupted his ungrateful friend, by calling on him the principles. His faults were—we write it with pain-to quit the part of an advocate,—to come forward as a coldness of heart and meanness of spirit. He seems to witness, and tell the Lords whether, in old times, he, have been incapable of feeling strong affection, of facing Francis Bacon, had not under his own hand, repeatedly great dangers, of making great sacrifices. His desires asserted the truth of what he now represented as idle were set on things below, Wealth, precedence, titles, pretexts. It is painful to go on with this lamentable patronage, -the mace, the seals, the coronet,-large story. Bacon returned a shuffling answer to the Earl's houses, fair gardens, rich manors, massy services of question : and, as if the allusion to Pisistratus were not plate, gay hangings, curious cabinets,-had as great sufficiently offensive, made another allusion still more un- attractions for him as for any of the courtiers who justifiable. He compared Essex to Henry Duke of Guise, dropped on their knees in the dirt when Elizabeth and the rash attempt in the city, to the day of the barri- passed by, and then hastened home to write to the cades at Paris. Why Bacon had recourse to such a topic, King of Scots that her Grace seemed to be breaking it is difficult to say. It was quite unnecessary for the fast. For these objects he had stooped to everything purpose of obtaining a verdict. It was certain to pro- and endured everything. For these he had sued in the duce a strong impression on the mind of the haughty humblest manner, and when unjustly and ungraciously and jealous princess on whose pleasure the Earl's fate repulsed, had thanked those who had repulsed him, depended. The faintest allusion to the degrading tute- and had begun to sue again. For these objects, as soon lage in which the last Valois had been held by the as he found that the smallest show of independence in house of Lorraine, was sufficient to harden her heart Parliament was offensive to the Queen, he had abased against a man who in rank, in military reputation, in himself to the dust before her, and implored forgivepopularity among the citizens of the capital, bore some ness, in terms better suited to a convicted thief than to resemblance to the Captain of the League. Essex was a knight of the shire. For these he joined, and for convicted. Bacon made no effort to save him, though these he forsook Lord Essex. He continued to plead the Queen's feelings were such, that he might have his patron's cause with the Queen, as long as he thought pleaded his benefactor's cause, possibly with success, that by pleading that cause he might serve himself. certainly without any serious danger to himself. The Nay, he went further--for his feelings, though not unhappy nobleman was executed. His fate excited warm, were kind-he pleaded that cause as long as he strong, perhaps unreasonable feelings of compassion thought he could plead it without injury to himself. and indignation. The Queen was received by the But when it became evident that Essex was going headcitizens of London with gloomy looks and faint accla- I long to his rain, Bacon began to tremble for his own

« السابقةمتابعة »