페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

FRIENDSHIP OF INTELLIGENCE.

ccccxxiii

These blessings he now enjoyed. Eminent foreigners crossed the seas on purpose to see and discourse with

him. (a)

Gondomar, who was in Spain, wrote to express his regard Gondomar and respect, with lamentations that his public duties prevented his immediate attendance upon him in England.(b)

When the Marquis d'Effiat accompanied the Princess D’Effiat. Henrietta-Maria, wife to Charles the First, to England, he visited Lord Bacon; who, being then sick in bed, received him with the curtains drawn. “ You resemble

ܙܙܙ

que les passions douces et savoit résister aux violentes. "Quand on me fait offense,' disoit-il, je tâche d'élever mon ame si haut, que l'offense ne parvienne pas jusqu'à elle.' L'ambition ne l'agita pas plus que la

vengeance. Il disoit, comme Ovide, “Vivre caché, c'est vivre heureux.'—Newton étoit doux, tranquille, modeste, simple, affable, toujours de niveau avec tout le monde, il ne se démentit point pendant le cours de sa longue et brillante carrière. Il auroit mieux aimé être inconnu, que de voir le calme de sa vie troublé par ces orages littéraires, que l'esprit et la science attirent à ceux qui cherchent trop la gloire. “Je me reprocherois,' disoit-il, 'mon imprudence, de perdre une chose aussi réelle que le repos, pour courir après un ombre.

(a) Rawley.

(b) See his correspondence with Gondomar, vol. xii. pp. 407-8, 441, 443. The following is a translation from a Spanish letter of Gondomar:

“ Most illustrious Sir,-Having received so many kindnesses and good wishes from your illustrious lordship in your prosperity, I deem it one of my greatest misfortunes my not being able to serve you as duty and gratitude require of me now you are in adversity. Still greater is my misfortune, since my presence here is now useless; for much as I have desired to express all I feel, and to salute you personally, I am constrained to refrain therefrom, lest I should give you offence, and this I assure you has occasioned me much grief, not being able to do all I would wish. Nevertheless I will do all that I can, and if your lordship judges the intercession of the King my master with his majesty the King of Great Britain can be of any service to your affairs, I will represent the same to him, fully assured that his Catholic majesty will interpose with much pleasure. I shall always be devotedly at the service of your lordship, and praying God to preserve you many happy years. The Count de GONDOMAR."

“ June 14, 1621."

the angels,” said that minister to him: “we hear those beings continually talked of, we believe them superior to mankind, and we never have the consolation to see them.”

Your kindness," he answered, “ may compare me to an angel, but my infirmities tell me that I am a man.” In this interview a friendship originated which continued during their lives, and is recorded in his will, where amongst his legacies to his friends, he says, “I give unto the right honourable my worthy friend, the Marquis Fiatt, late lord ambassador of France, my books of orisons or psalms curiously rhymed.” As a parent he wrote to the marquis, who esteemed it to be the greatest honour conferred upon him to be called his son. He caused his Essays and treatise De Augmentis to be translated into French; and, with the affectionate enthusiasm of youth, upon his return to France, requested and obtained his portrait. (a)

His friendship with Sir Julius Cæsar, Master of the Rolls, continued to his death. (6)

Julius
Cæsar.

(a) Rawley.

(6) " Sir Julius Cæsar (Master of the Rolls) sent to his lordship in his necessity an hundred pounds for a present.”--Aubrey.

Life of Cæsar, p. 31.—“To recur to the private life of Sir Julius Cæsar; his love of domestic society, his affection for his younger progeny, and the necessity of female superintendence to the economy of an enlarged household establishment, combined to induce him, though now somewhat advanced in years, to take a third wife. On the 19th of April, 1615, he was married at the Rolls Chapel to Mrs. Anne Hungate, a widow, of an age not unsuitable to his own. She was a daughter of Henry Wodehouse, of Waxham in Norfolk, Esq. by Anne, one of the daughters of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and had been first married to William Hungate, of East Bradenham in Norfolk, Esq. Her hand was given to Sir Julius Cæsar at the nuptial ceremony by her uncle, the great Sir Francis Bacon, then Attorney General, and the friendship which had long subsisted between these two eminent persons was strengthened and confirmed by this marriage. He found an asylum in the bosoms of his nephew and niece; composed many of his immortal works in an utter retirement in the house of Sir Julius Cæsar, and expired in his arms."

Selden, the chief of learned men reputed in this land, (a) Selden. expressed his respect, with the assurance that “never was any man more willing or ready to do your lordship’s service than myself.(6)

Ben Jonson, not in general too profuse of praise, says, Ben My conceit of his person was never increased toward him Jonson. by his place or honours; but I have and do reverence him for the greatness that was only proper to himself, in that he seemed to me ever by his works one of the greatest men, and most worthy of admiration that had been in many ages: in his adversity, I ever prayed that God would give him strength, for greatness he could not want; neither could I condole in a word or syllable for him, as knowing no accident could do harm to virtue, but rather help to make it manifest.” (c)

Sir Thomas Meautys stood by him to his death with a Meautys. firmness and love which does honour to him and to human nature.

His exclusion from the verge of the court had long been remitted ; and, in the beginning of the year 1624, the Æt. 64.

Pardon. whole of the parliamentary sentence (d) was pardoned,

1624.

(a) So described by Milton in his speech for the liberty of unlicensed printing. (b) See vol. xii. p. 421.

(c) Under woods.

(d) To the Earl of Oxford. My very good Lord,-Let me be an humble suitor to your lordship, for your noble favour. I would be glad to receive my writ this parliament, that I may not die in dishonour; but by no means, except it should be with the love and consent of my lords to re-admit me, if their lordships vouchsafe to think me worthy of their company; or, if they think that which I have suffered now these three years, in loss of place, in loss of means, and in loss of liberty for a great time, to be a sufficient expiation for my faults, whereby I may now seem in their eyes to be a fit subject of their grace, as I have been before of their justice. My good lord, the good which the commonwealth might reap of my suffering is already inned. Justice is done; an example made for reformation; the authority of the

by a warrant which stated that, “ calling to mind the former good services of the Lord St. Albans, and how well and profitably he hath spent his time since his trouble, we are pleased to remove from him that blot of ignominy which yet remaineth upon him, of incapacity and disablement; and to remit to him all penalties whatsoever inflicted by that sentence. Having therefore formerly pardoned his fine, and released his confinement, these are to will and require you to prepare, for our signature, a bill containing a pardon of the whole sentence.” (a)

house for judicature is established. There can be no farther use of my misery; perhaps some little may be of my service; for, I hope, I shall be found a man humbled as a Christian, though not dejected as a worldling. I have great opinion of your lordship's power, and great hope, for many reasons, of your favour, which if I may obtain, I can say no more, but nobleness is ever requited in itself; and God, whose special favour in my afflictions I have manifestly found to my comfort, will, I trust, be my paymaster of that, which cannot be requited by

Your Lordship’s affectionate humble servant, &c. Sir Francis Bacon to the King, about the Pardon of the Parliament's

Sentence. Most gracious and dread Sovereign,-I desire not from your majesty means, nor place, nor employment, but only, after so long a time of expiation, a complete and total remission of the sentence of the upper house, to the end that blot of ignominy may be removed from me, and from my memory with posterity, that I die not a condemned man, but may be to your majesty, as I am to God,“ nova creatura.” (a) To our trusty and well beloved Thomas Coventry, our Attorney

General. Trusty and well beloved, we greet you well: Whereas our right trusty and right well beloved cousin, the Viscount of St. Alban, upon a sentence given in the upper house of parliament full three years since, and more, hath endured loss of his place, imprisonment, and confinement also for a great time, which may suffice for the satisfaction of justice and example to others : we being always graciously inclined to temper mercy with justice, and calling to mind his former good services, and how well and profitably he hath spent his time since his trouble, are pleased to remove from him that blot of ignominy which yet remaineth upon him, of incapacity and

1625. Æt. 65.

This was one of the last of the King's acts, who thus A.D. faithfully performed, to the extent of his ability, all his promises. He died at Theobalds, on the 27th of March,

Death of 1625. (a)

James. His lordship was summoned to parliament in the succeeding reign, but was prevented, by his infirmities, from again taking his seat as a peer. Though Lord Bacon's constitution had never been strong, Decline of

his health. his temperance and management of his health seemed to promise old age, which his unbounded knowledge and leisure for speculation could not fail to render useful to the world and glorious to himself. The retirement, which in all the distractions of politics refreshed and consoled him, was once more his own, and nature, whom he worshipped, spread her vast untrodden fields before him, where with science as his handmaid he might wander at his will; but the expectations of the learned world and the hopes of his devoted friends were all blighted by a perceptible decay of his health and strength in the beginning of the sickly year of 1625. During this

year his publications were limited to a new Apoedition of his Essays,(b) a small volume of Apothegms,(c) thegms.

disablement; and to remit to him all penalties whatsoever inflicted by that sentence. Having therefore formerly pardoned his fine, and released his confinement, these are to will and require you to prepare, for our signature, a bill containing a pardon, in due form of law, of the whole sentence; for which this shall be your sufficient warrant.

(a) See an interesting account of his death in Hacket's Life of Williams.

(b) The particulars of this edition have been already explained.See note 3 I.

(c) Bacon's Apothegms are either, 1st. In this his own publication. 2ndly. A few in the Baconiana. 3rdly. A few in Aubrey. Of the Apophthegms published in 1625 the following is the preface by Lord Bacon :“ Julius Cæsar did write a collection of apophthems, as appears in an epistle of Cicero. I need say no more for the worth of a writing of that nature. It is pity his book is lost ; for I imagine they were collected with

« 이전계속 »