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formerly received of Smithwick, which, after that I had understood the nature of it, I ordered him to repay it, and to defaulk it of his accompt.
22. To the two-and-twentieth article of the charge, viz., in the cause of Sir Henry Russwell, he received money from Russwell; but it is not certain how much: I confess and declare, that I received money from my servant Hunt, as from Mr. Russwell, in a purse; and, whereas the sum in the article is indefinite, I confess it to be three or four hundred pounds; and it was about some months after the cause was decreed, in which decree I was assisted by two of the judges.
"23. To the three-and-twentieth article of the charge, viz., in the cause of Mr. Barker, the lord chancellor received from Barker seven hundred pounds: I confess and declare, that the money mentioned in the article was received from Mr. Barker, some time after the decree passed.
"24. To the four-and-twentieth article, fiveand-twentieth, and six-and-twentieth articles of the charge, viz., the four-and-twentieth, there being a reference from his majesty to his lordship of a business between the Grocers and the Apothecaries, the lord chancellor received of the Grocers two hundred pounds. The five-and-twentieth article; in the same cause, he received of the Apothecaries that stood with the Grocers, a taster of gold, worth between forty and fifty pounds, and a present of ambergrease. And the six-and-twentieth article: he received of the New Company of the Apothecaries that stood against the Grocers, a hundred pounds: To these I confess and declare, that the several sums from the three parties were received; and for that it was no judicial business, but a concord, or composition between the parties, and that as I thought all had received good, and they were all three common purses, I thought it the less matter to receive that which they voluntarily presented; for if I had taken it in the nature of a corrupt bribe, I knew it could not be concealed, because it must needs be put to accompt to the three several companies.
"27. To the seven-and-twentieth article of the charge, viz., he took of the French merchants a thousand pounds, to constrain the vintners of London to take from them fifteen hundred tuns of wine; to accomplish which, he used very indirect means, by colour of his office and authority, without bill or suit depending; terrifying the vintners, by threats and imprisonments of their persons, to buy wines, whereof they had no need or use, at higher rates than they were vendible: I do confess and declare, that Sir Thomas Smith did deal with me in the behalf of the French company; informing me that the vintners, by combination, would not take off their wines at any reasonable prices. That it would destroy their trade, and stay their voyage for that year; and that it was a fair business, and concerned the state; and he doubted not but I should receive
thanks from the king, and honour by it; and that
"28. To the eight-and-twentieth article of the charge, viz., the lord chancellor hath given way to great exactions by his servants, both in respect of private seals, and otherwise for sealing of injunctions: I confess, it was a great fault of neglect in me, that I looked no better to my servants.
"This declaration I have made to your lordships with a sincere mind; humbly craving, that if there should be any mistaking, your lordships would impute it to want of memory, and not to any desire of mine to obscure truth, or palliate any thing: for I do again confess, that in the points charged upon me, although they should be taken as myself have declared them, there is a great deal of corruption and neglect, for which I am heartily and penitently sorry, and submit myself to the judgment, grace, and mercy of the court.
"For extenuation, I will use none concerning the matters themselves; only it may please your lordships, out of your nobleness, to cast your eyes of compassion upon my person and estate. I was And the never noted for an avaricious man. apostle saith, that covetousness is the root of all evil. I hope also, that your lordships do the rather find me in the state of grace; for that, in all these particulars, there are few or none that are not almost two years old, whereas those tha have a habit of corruption do commonly wax worse and worse; so that it hath pleased God to prepare me, by precedent degrees of amendment, to my present penitency. And for my estate, it is so mean and poor, as my care is now chiefly to satisfy my debts.
“And so, fearing I have troubled your lordships too long, I shall conclude with an humble suit unto you, that, if your lordships proceed to sentence, your sentence may not be heavy to my ruin, but gracious, and mixed with mercy; and not only so, but that you would be noble intercessors for me
to his majesty likewise, for his grace and favour. Your lordships' humble servant and suppliant, FR. ST. ALBAN, Canc."
This confession and submission being read, it was agreed that certain lords do go unto the lord chancellor, and show him the said confession; and tell him that the lords do conceive it to be an ingenuous and full confession, and demand whether it be his own hand that is subscribed to the same; and their lordships being returned, reported, that the lord chancellor said, "It is my act, my hand, my heart. I beseech your lordships, be merciful unto a broken reed.”
On the 2d of May, the seals having been sequestered, the House resolved to proceed to judgment on the next day.
In this interval, on the evening of the 2d of | May, the chancellor wrote to the king, "to save him from the sentence, to let the cup pass from him; for if it is reformation that is sought, taking the seals will, with the general submission, be sufficient atonement."
These his last hopes were vain: the king did not, he could not interpose.
On the 3d of May the Lords adjudged, "that, upon his own confession, they had found him guilty: and therefore that he shall undergo fine and ransom of forty thousand pounds; be imprisoned in the Tower during the king's pleasure; be forever incapable of any office, place, or employment in the state or commonwealth; and shall never sit in parliament, nor come within the verge of the court."
Thus fell, from the height of worldly prosperity, Francis, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain.
The cause of his having deserted his defence he never revealed. He patiently endured the agony of uncommunicated grief. He confidently relied upon the justice of future ages. however, passages in his writings where his deep feeling of the injury appear.
In the Advancement of Learning we are admonished that, “Words best disclose our minds when we are agitated,
Vino tortus et ira
for, as Proteus never changed shapes till he was straitened and held fast with cords, so our nature appears most fully in trials and vexations."
By observing his words in moments of agitation, the state of his mind is manifest.
When imprisoned in the Tower, he instantly wrote to Buckingham, saying, "However I have acknowledged that the sentence is just, and for reformation sake fit, I have been a trusty, and honest, and Christ-loving friend to your lordship, and the justest chancellor that hath been in the five changes since my father's time."
In another letter, "God is my witness, that, when I examine myself, I find all well, and that I have approved myself to your lordship a true friend, both in the watery trial of prosperity, and in the fiery trial of adversity :" "I hope his majesty may reap honour out of my adversity, as he hath done strength out of my prosperity."
"For the briberies and gifts wherewith I am charged, when the book of hearts shall be opened, I hope I shall not be found to have the troubled fountain of a corrupt heart, in a depraved habit of taking rewards to pervert justice; howsoever I may be frail, and partake of the abuses of the time," was his expression in the midst of his agony. In a collection of his letters in the Lambeth Library there is the following passage in Greek characters; Οφ μγ οφενσ, φαρ βε ιτ φρομ με το σαγ, δατ νενιαμ κορνις; νεξατ κενσυρα κολυμβασ: βυτ ι ωιλλ σαγ θατ ι αυε γυοδ ωαρραντ φορ: θεγ ωερε νοτ θε γρεατεστ οφφενδερς το Ισραελ υπον ωῃομ θε ωαλλ φελλ.
In his will, he says, "For my name and memory, I leave it to men's charitable speeches, to foreign nations, and the next ages."
These words, not to be read till he was at rest from his labours, were cautiously selected, with the knowledge which he, above all men, possessed of the power of expression, and of their certain influence, sooner or later, upon society.
The obligation to silence, imposed upon Bacon, extended to his friends after he was in the grave. Dr. Rawley, his first and last chaplain, says, "Some papers touching matters of estate, tread too near to the heels of truth, and to the times of the persons concerned.”
Archbishop Tennison says, "The great cause of his suffering is to some a secret. I leave them to find it out by his words to King James: · I wish that as I am the first, so I may be the last of sacrifices in your times:' and when, from private appetite, it is resolved that a creature shall be sacrificed, it is easy to pick up sticks enough from any thicket whither it hath strayed, to make a fire to offer it with."
From these observations it may be seen, that there was a conflict in the minds of these excel|lent men between their inclination to speak and their duty to be silent. They did not violate this duty; but one of his most sincere and grateful admirers, who, although he had painfully, but sacredly, preserved the secret from his youth to his old age, at last thus spoke:
"Before this could be accomplished to his own content, there arose such complaints against his lordship, and the then favourite at court, that for some days put the king to this quere, whether he should permit the favourite of his affection, or the oracle of his council, to sink in his service; whereupon his lordship was sent for by the king, who, after some discourse, gave him this positive advice, to submit himself to his House of Peers, and that, upon his princely word, he would then
This temperate region was not unforeseen by the chancellor.
restore him again, if they, in their honours, should | of a new, temperate, fruitful region, where none not be sensible of his merits. Now, though my had before inhabited; and which mariners, who lord saw his approaching ruin, and told his majesty had only seen as rocks, had esteemed an inacthere was little hopes of mercy in a multitude, cessible and enchanted place." when his enemies were to give fire, if he did not plead for himself: yet such was his obedience to him from whom he had his being, that he resolved his majesty's will should be his only law; and so took leave of him with these words: Those that will strike at your chancellor, it is much to be feared, will strike at your crown; and wished, that as he was then the first, so he might be the last of sacrifices.
“Soon after, according to his majesty's commands, he wrote a submissive letter to the House, and sent me to my Lord Windsor to know the result, which I was loath, at my return, to acquaint him with; for, alas! his sovereign's favour was not in so high a measure, but he, like the phoenix, must be sacrificed in flames of his own raising, and so perished, like Icarus, in that his lofty design: the great revenue of his office being lost, and his titles of honour saved but by the bishops' votes, whereto he replied, that he was only bound to thank his clergy.
"The thunder of which fatal sentence did much perplex my troubled thoughts as well as others, to see that famous lord, who procured his majesty to call this parliament, must be the first subject of their revengeful wrath, and that so unparalleled a master should be thus brought upon the public stage, for the foolish miscarriage of his own servants, whereof, with grief of heart, I confess myself to be one. Yet, shortly after, the king dissolved the parliament, but never restored that matchless lord to his place, which made him then to wish the many years he had spent in state policy and law study had been solely devoted to true philosophy: for, said he, the one, at the best, doth but comprehend man's frailty in its greatest splendour; but the other, the mysterious knowledge of all things created in the six days' work." On the 11th of July the great seals were delivered to Williams, who was now Lord Keeper of England and Bishop of Lincoln, with permission to retain the deanery of Westminster, and to hold the rectory of Waldegrave in commendam.
FROM HIS FALL TO HIS DEATH. 1621 to 1626.
In a letter to the king, on the 20th March, 1622, he says, “In the beginning of my trouble, when in the midst of the tempest, I had a kenning of the harbour, which I hope now by your majesty's favour I am entering into: now my study is my exchange, and my pen my practice for the use of my talent."
It is scarcely possible to read a page of his works without seeing that the love of knowledge was his ruling passion; that his real happiness consisted in intellectual delight. How beautifully does he state this when enumerating the blessings attendant upon the pursuit and possession of knowledge:
"The pleasure and delight of knowledge and learning far surpasseth all other nature: for, shall the pleasures of the affections so exceed the senses, as much as the obtaining of desire or victory exceedeth a song or a dinner; and must not, of consequence, the pleasures of the intellect or understanding exceed the pleasures of the affections? we see in all other pleasures there is satiety, and after they be used their verdure departeth, which showeth well they be but deceits of pleasure, and not pleasures; and that it was the novelty which pleased, and not the quality; and therefore we see that voluptuous men turn friars, and ambitious princes turn melancholy; but of knowledge there is no satiety, but satisfaction and appetite are perpetually interchangeable; and therefore appeareth to be good in itself simply, without fallacy or accident. Neither is that pleasure of small efficacy and contentment to the mind of man, which the poet Lucretius describeth elegantly,
Suave mari magno, turbantibus æquora ventis, &c. 'It is a view of delight, to stand or walk upon the shore-side, and to see a ship tossed with tempest upon the sea; or to be in a fortified tower, and to see two battles join upon a plain; but it is a pleasure incomparable for the mind of man to be settled, landed, and fortified in the certainty of truth; and from thence to decry and behold the errors, perturbations, labours, and wanderings up and down of other men.'
Happy would it have been for himself and society, if, following his own nature, he had passed his life in the calm but obscure regions of philosophy.
SUCH was the storm in which he was wrecked. He now, however, had escaped from worldly •Methinks,” says Archbishop Tennison, "they turmoils, and was enabled, as he wrote to the are resembled by those of Sir George Summers, king, to gratify his desire "to do, for the little who being bound by his employment to another time God shall send me life, like the merchants coast, was by tempest cast upon the Bermudas: of London, which, when they give over trade, and there a shipwrecked man made full discovery | lay out their money upon land: so, being freed
from civil business, I lay forth my poor talent | work of Instauration had in contemplation the upon those things, which may be perpetual, still having relation to do you honour with those powers I have left."
In a letter to Buckingham, on the 20th of March, 1621, he says, "I find that, building upon your lordship's noble nature and friendship, I have built upon the rock, where neither winds nor waves can cause overthrow :" and, in the conclusion of the same year, "I am much fallen in love with a private life, but yet I shall so spend my time, as shall not decay my abilities for use."
lustre and reputation to my name than those other which I have in hand. But I count the use that a man should seek of the publishing his own writings before his death to be but an untimely anticipation of that which is proper to follow a man, and not to go along with him.”
general good of men in their very being, and the dowries of nature; and in my work of laws, the general good of men likewise in society, and the dowries of government: I thought in duty I owed somewhat to my country, which I ever loved; insomuch, as, although my place hath been far above my desert, yet my thoughts and cares concerning the good thereof were beyond and over and above my place: so now, being as I am, no more able to do my country service, it remained unto me to do it honour; which I have endeaAnd in a letter to the Bishop of Winchester, voured to do in my work of the reign of King in which, after having considered the conduct in Henry VII. As for my Essays, and some other their banishments, of Demosthenes, Cicero, and particulars of that nature; I count them but as the Seneca, he proceeds thus: "These examples con- | recreation of my other studies, and in that sort I firmed me much in a resolution, whereunto I was purpose to continue them; though I am not ignootherwise inclined, to spend my time wholly in rant that those kind of writings would, with less writing, and to put forth that poor talent, or half-pains and embracement, perhaps, yield more talent, or what it is that God hath given me, not as heretofore to particular exchanges, but to banks or mounts of perpetuity, which will not break. Therefore having not long since set forth a part of my Instauration,which is the work that, in mine own judgment, si nunquam fallit imago, I may most esteem, I think to proceed in some new parts thereof; and although I have received from many parts beyond the seas testimonies touching that work, such as beyond which I could not expect at the first in so abstruse an argument, yet, nevertheless, I have just cause to doubt that it flies too high over men's heads. I have a purpose, therefore, though I break the order of time, to draw it down to the sense by some patterns of a natural story and inquisition. And, again, for that my book of Advancement of Learning may be some preparative or key for the better opening of the Instauration, because it exhibits a mixture of new conceits and old; whereas the Instauration gives the new unmixed, otherwise than with some little aspersion of the old, for taste's sake, I have thought good to procure a translation of that book into the general language, not without great and ample additions and enrichment thereof, especially in the second book, which handlethone tenor, a true and perfect servant to his master, the partition of sciences, in such sort, as I hold it may serve in lieu of the first part of the Instauration, and acquit my promise in that part.
The sentence now remained to be executed. On the last day of May, Lord St. Albans was committed to the Tower; and, though he had placed himself altogether in the king's hands, confident in his kindness, it is not to be supposed that he could be led to prison without deeply feeling his disgrace. In the anguish of his mind he instantly wrote to Buckingham and to the king, submitting, but maintaining his integrity as chancellor.
"Good my lord,-Procure the warrant for my discharge this day. Death, I thank God, is so far from being unwelcome to me, as I have called for it (as Christian resolution would permit) any time these two months. But to die before the time of his majesty's grace, and in this disgraceful place, is even the worst that could be; and when I am dead, he is gone that was always in
and one that was never author of any immoderate, no, nor unsafe, no, (I will say it,) not unfortunate counsel; and one that no temptation could Again, because I cannot altogether desert the ever make other than a trusty, and honest, and civil person that I have borne, which if I should Christ-loving friend to your lordship: and, howsoforget, enough would remember, I have also en-ever I acknowledge the sentence just, and for retered into a work touching laws, propounding a formation sake fit, the justest chancellor that Character of justice in a middle term, between the speculative and reverend discourses of philosophers and the writings of lawyers, which are tied, and obnoxious to their particular laws; and although it be true that I had a purpose to make a particular digest, or recompilement of the laws of mine own nation, yet because it is a work of assistance, and that I cannot master by my own forces and pen, I have laid it aside. Now, having in the
hath been in the five changes since Sir Nicholas
After two days' imprisonment he was liberated; and, the sentence not permitting him to come within the verge of the court, he retired, with the
king's permission, to Sir John Vaughan's house | smile, "Well, do what we can, this man scorns at Parson's Green, from whence, although anx- to go out like a snuff.” ious to continue in or near London, he went, in compliance with his majesty's suggestion, for a temporary retirement to Gorhambury, where he was obliged to remain till the end of the year, but with such reluctance, that, with the hope of quieting the king's fears, he at one time intended to present a petition to the House of Lords to remit this part of his sentence.
Unmindful that the want of prudence can never be supplied, he was exposed, in the decline of life, not only to frequent vexation, and his thoughts to continual interruption, but was frequently compelled to stoop to degrading solicitations, and was obliged to encumber Gorhambury and sell York House, dear to him from so many associations, the seat of his ancestors, the scene of his former splendour. These worldly troubles seem, however, not to have affected his cheerful
In the month of July he wrote, both to Buckingham and to the king, letters in which may be seen his reliance upon them for pecuniary assist-ness, and never to have diverted him from the ance, his consciousness of innocence, a gleam of hope that he should be restored to his honours, and occasionally allusions to the favours he had conferred. To these applications he received the following answer from Buckingham:
To the Lord St. Alban.
great object of his life, the acquisition and ad-
In September the king signed a warrant for the release of the parliamentary fine, and, to prevent the immediate importunities of his creditors, Chamberlain, Sir Francis Barnham, and Sir Thoassigned it to Mr. Justice Hutton, Mr. Justice mas Crew, whom Bacon, in his will, directed to of his debts and legacies, having a charitable care apply the funds for the payment and satisfaction that the poorest creditors or legatees should be first satisfied.
This intended kindness of the king the Lord
My noble lord :-The hearty affection I have borne to your person and service hath made me ambitious to be a messenger of good news to you, and an eschewer of ill; this hath been the true reason why I have been thus long in answering you, not any negligence in your discreet, modest servant you sent with your letter, nor his who now returns you this answer, ofttimes given me by your master and mine; who, though by this may seem not to satisfy your desert and expectation, Keeper Williams misunderstood, and endeavouryet, take the word of a friend who will never failed to impede by staying the pardon at the seal, until he was commanded by Buckingham to obey you, hath a tender care of you, full of a fresh the king's order. In October the pardon was memory of your by-past service. His majesty is but for the present, he says, able to yield unto the three years' advance, which if you please to accept, you are not hereafter the farther off from obtaining some better testimony of his favour, worthier both of him and you, though it can never be answerable to what my heart wishes you, as your lordship's humble servant,
He had scarcely retired to Gorhambury, in the summer of 1621, when he commenced his History of Henry the Seventh.
During the progress of the work considerable expectation of his history was excited: in the composition of which he seems to have laboured with much anxiety, and to have submitted his manuscript to the correction of various classes of That he was promised some compensation for society; to the king, to scholars, and to the the loss of his professional emoluments seems uninformed. Upon his desiring Sir John Danprobable, not only from his letters to the king, and vers to give his opinion of the work, Sir John from the aid received, but from his having lived said, "Your lordship knows that I am no schoin splendour after his fall, although his certain lar.' 'Tis no matter,' said my lord, I know annual income seems not to have exceeded £2500. what a scholar can say: I would know what you With this income he, with prudence, might, can say.' Sir John read it, and gave his opinion although greatly in debt, have enjoyed worldly what he misliked, which my lord acknowledged comfort: but in prudence he was culpably negli- to be true, and mended it. 'Why,' said he, ‘a gent. Thinking that money was only the bag- scholar would never have told me this;'" but, gage of virtue, that this interposition of earth | notwithstanding this labour and anxiety, the pubeclipsed the clear sight of the mind, he lived not lic expectation was not realized. as a philosopher ought to have lived, but as a nobleman had been accustomed to live. It is related that the prince, coming to London, saw at a distance a coach followed by a considerable number of people, on horseback; and, upon inquiry, was told it was the Lord St. Albans, attended by his friends; on which his highness said, with a
If, however, in the History of Henry the Seventh, it is vain to look for the vigour or beauty with which the Advancement of Learning abounds: if the intricacies of a court are neither discovered nor illustrated with the same happiness as the intricacies of philosophy: if, in a work written when the author was more than