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servants, and connived at their takings, and their ways betrayed him to that error; they were profuse and expensive, and had at their command whatever he was master of. The gifts were taken for the most part for interlocutory orders ; his decrees were generally made with so much equity, that though gifts rendered him suspected for injustice, yet never any decree made by him was reversed as unjust.” It was peculiar to this great man, (say the authors of the Biogr. Brit.) to have nothing narrow and selfish in his composition : he gave away without concern whatever he possessed; and believing other men of the same mould, be received with as little consideration. He retired, after a short imprisonment, from the engagements of an active life, to which he had been called much against his genius, to the shade of a contemplative one, which he had always loved. The King remitted his fine, and he was summoned to parliament in the first year of King Charles I. It appears from the works composed during his retirement, that his thoughts were still free, vigorous, and noble. The last five years of his life he devoted wholly to his studies. In his recess he composed the greatest part of his English and Latin works. He expired on the 9th of April, 1626; and was buried in St. Michael's church at St. Alban's, according to the direction of his last will, where a monument was erected to him by Sir Thomas Meautys, formerly his secretary, and afterward clerk of the privy council under two kings. A complete edition of this great man's works was published, at London; in the year 1740. Addison has said of him, That he had the sound, distinct, comprehensive know

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ledge of Aristotle, with all the beautiful light graces and embellishments of Cicero.” The honourable Mr. Walpole calls him the Prophet of Arts, which Newton was afterwards to reveal; and adds, that his genius and his works will be universally admired as long as science exists. “ As long as ingratitude and adulation are despicable, so long shall we lament the depravity of this great man's heart. Alas! that he who could command immortal fame, should have stooped to the little ambition of power.” And another great character further says, « The faculties of his mind were great and happily united; for his imagination, memory, and reason, were all extraordinary. He was indefatigable in study, and found himself better turned for that than for any thing else ; as having a mind quick and ready to perceive the correspondence of things; fixed and intent to discover their nicer differences; and this joined with a love of equity; a patience of doubting; a pleasure in contemplation; a backwardness in assenting ; a readiness in acknowledging an error; and a scrupulous exactness in disposing and methodizing; at the same time neither affecting novelty, nor adoring antiquity; but hating all kinds of imposture and delusion.

• To consider him in his philosophical capacity, history scarce affords us a proper philosopher wherewith to com.

pare him.

• Plato and Aristotle were men of a different cast; they did not pay so great a regard to truth and utility; nor instructed mankind so justly, nor opened the hidden veins of science so successfully; nor taught the art of philosophical invention so happily as Lord Bacon."




Loving and beloved brother, I do now like some that have an orchard ill neighboured, that gather their fruit before it is ripe, to prevent stealing. These fragments of my conceits were going to print: to labour the stay of them had been troublesome, and subject to interpretation; to let them pass had been to adventure the wrong they might receive by untrue copies, or by some garnishment which it might please any that should set them forth to bestow upon them; therefore I held it best discretion to publish them myself, as they passed long ago from my pen, without any further disgrace than the weakness of the author; and as I did ever hold, there might be as great a vanity in retiring and withdrawing men's conceits, (except they be of some

nature,) from the world, as in obtruding them: so in these particulars I have played myself the inquisitor, and find nothing to my understanding in them contrary or infectious to the stateof religion or manners, but rather, as I suppose, medicinable : : only I disliked now to put them out, because they will be like the late new halfpence, which though the silver were good, yet the pieces were small; but since they would not stay with their master, but would needs travel abroad, I have preferred them to you that are next myself; dedicating them, such as they are, to our love, in the depth whereof, I assure you, I sometimes wish your infirmities translated upon myself, that her majesty might have the service of so active and able a mind; and I might be with excuse confined to these contemplations and studies, for which I am fittest: so commend I you to the preservation of the Divine Majesty.

Your entire loving brother,


From my chamber, at Gray's Inn,

this 30th of January, 1597.



My last Essays I dedicated to my dear brother, Mr. Anthony Bacon, who is with God. Looking among my papers this vacation, I found others of the same nature : which if I myself shall not suffer to be lost, it seemeth the world will not, by the often printing of the former. Missing my brother, I found you next; in respect of bond, both of near alliance, and of straight friendship and society, and particularly of communication in studies; wherein I must acknowledge myself beholden to you: for as my business found rest in my contemplations, so my contemplations ever found rest in your loving conference and judgment: so wishing you all good, I remain

Your loving brother and friend,



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