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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.” (b) Ben Jonson, not in general too profuse of praise, says, Ben
Jonson. My conceit of his person was never increased toward him 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,
(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. Jus is done; an example is made 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 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
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
the production, as a recreation in sickness, of a morning's dictation, and a translation of a few of the Psalms of
judgment and choice, whereas that of Plutarch and Stobæus, and much more the modern ones, draw much of the dregs. Certainly they are of excellent use: they are Muçrones Verborum, pointed speeches. Cicero prettily calls them sálinas, salt pits, that you may extract salt out of, and sprinkle-it where you will. They serve to be interlaced in continued speech : they serve to be recited upon occasion of themselves : they serve, take
out the kernel of them, and make them your own. I have for my recreation in my sickness fanned the old; not omitting any because they are vulgar (for many vulgar ones are excellent good), nor for the meanness of the person, but because they are dull and flat, and added many new that otherwise would have died.”
In his tract on history in the Advancement of Learning, Bacon says, “ There are appendices of -history conversant about the words of men, as history itself about the deeds: the partitions thereof into Orations, Letters, and Apophthegms."
Archbishop Tennison, in his Baconiana, page 47, says, “The Apophthegms (of which the first is the best edition) were (what he saith also of his Essays) but as the recreations of his other studies. They were dictated one morning out of his memory; and if they seem to any a birth too inconsiderable for the brain of so great a man, they may think with themselves how little a time he went with it, and from thence make some allowance.” He occasionally made great use of these Apothegms, as may be seen by comparing Apophthegms 251, page 403, with the same anecdote as incorporated in the Advancement of Learning, vol. ii. page 224.
The different editions are:-1st edition. The title page“ Apophthegmes, New and Old, collated by the Right Honorable Francis Lo. Verulam, Viscount St. Alban. London, printed for Hanna Barret and Richard Whittaker, and are to be sold at the King's Head in Paul's Church, 1625.” 12mo. 307 pages, and 280 Apothegms. This Tennison, in the Baconiana, p. 47, says is the best edition.
2nd. In 1658 an edition was published. Here are 184 Apothegms of Bacon: it is a 12mo. This seems to have been reprinted in 1669. I have never seen a copy; but the following is from the Baconiana, where Tennison says, “ His lordship hath received much injury by late editions, of which some have much enlarged, but not at all enriched the collection; stuffing it with tales and sayings, too infacetious for a ploughman's chimney corner. And particularly, in the collection not long since published, and called the Apothegms of King James, King Charles, the Marquess of Worcester, the Lord Bacon, and Sir Thomas Moor; his lordship is dealt with very rudely. For besides the addition of insipid
David into English verse, (a) which he dedicated to a Psalms. divine and poet, his friend, the learned and religious George Herbert. (b) This was the last exercise, in the
tales, there are some put in which are beastly and immoral: such as were fitter to have been joined to Aretine, or Aloysia, than to havé polluted the chaste labours of the Baron of Verulam."
3rd. In 1661 an edition of the Apothegms was published in the 2nd edition of the Resuscitatio. It consists only of_249-Apothegms, the edition published by Lord Bacon in 1625 consisting of 280. As this edition of the Rescuscitation was published during the life of Dr. Rawley, and as Lord Bacon says in his preface, “I have collated some few of them, therein fanning the old,” it seems that Dr. Rawley may have seen the MSS. and that these additions are genuine. It will be observed that they are fewer in number; and, although some are the same, there are many which are not contained in the fifst edition.<See Stephens's préface to the Memoirs, published in 1734.
4th. In the 3rd edition of the Resuscitatio, published in 1671, there is another edition of the Apothegms, being 308 in number. Dr. Rawley died in 1667.
The 5th edition is a 12mo. It contains, as in the 4th edition, 308 Apothegms.
In this edition of the works of Bacon I separated the Apothegms which were in the edition of 1625, being 280 in number, from the additional Apothegms in the Resuscitatio, such - additional Apothegms being 28 in number.
(a) Published in 8vo. 1628, and in the Resuscitation, and in vol. vii. of this edition, p. 98.
(b) TO HIS VERY GOOD FRIEND,
MR. GEORGE HERBERT. The pains that it pleased you to take about some of my writings I cannot forget, which did put me in mind to dedicate to you this poor exercise of my sickness. Besides, it being my manner for dedications, to choose those that I hold most fit for the argument, I thought, that in respect of divinity and poesy met, whereof the one is the matter, the other the style of this little writing, I could not make better choice: so, with signification of my love and acknowledgment, I ever rest your affectionate friend,
FR. ST. ALBAN.