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"My lord, this is a business wherein I spake to my lord chancellor, whereupon he dismissed the suit."

he hath always despised riches, and set honour and justice before his eyes. My lords, I was of counsel with Fisher, and I knew the merits of the cause, for my lord chancellor seeing what recompense Fisher ought in justice to have received, and finding a disability in Wraynham to perform it, was enforced to take the land from Wraynham to give it to Fisher, which is hardly of value to satisfy Fisher's true debt and damages.' Wraynham was convicted by the unanimous

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Scarcely a week passed without a repetition of opinion of the court; and the Archbishop of Canthese solicitations.

terbury, in delivering his judgment, said, "The fountain of wisdom hath set this glorious work of the world in the order and beauty wherein it stands, and hath appointed princes, magistrates,

When Sir Francis was first intrusted with the great seal, he found a cause entitled Fisher v. Wraynham, which had been in the court from the year 1606. He immediately examined the pro-and judges, to hear the causes of the people. It ceedings, and, having ordered the attendance of the parties, and heard the arguments of counsel, he terminated this tedious suit, by decreeing against the defendant Wraynham, who was a man described as holding a smooth pen and a fine speech, but a fiery spirit. He immediately published a libel against the chancellor and the late master of the rolls: for which he was prosecuted in the Star Chamber.

is fitting, therefore, to protect them from the slanders of wicked men, that shall speak evil of magistrates and men in authority, blaspheming them. And therefore, since Wraynham hath blasphemed and spoken evil, and slandered a chief magistrate, it remaineth, that in honour to God, and in duty to the king and kingdom, he should receive severe punishment.'


According to the custom f the times, a suit of hangings for furniture, worth about £160, was presented to the lord chancellor, on behalf of Fisher, by Mr. Shute, who, with Sir Henry Yelverton, was one of his counsel in the cause.

This present was not peculiar to the cause Wraynham and Fisher, but presents on behalf of the respective suitors were publicly made by the counsel in the cause, and were offered by the most virtuous members of the community, without their having, or being supposed to have any influence upon the judgment of the court.

Sir Henry Yelverton, in stating the case, said, I was of counsel with Mr. Wraynham, and pressed his cause as far as equity would suffer. But this gentleman being of an unquiet spirit, after a secret murmuring, breaks out in a complaint to his majesty, and not staying his return out of Scotland, but fancying to himself, as if he saw some cloud arising over my lord, compiled his undigested thoughts into a libel, and fastens it on the king. And his most princely majesty finding it stuffed with most bitter reviling speeches against so great and worthy a judge, In the cause of Rowland Egerton and Edward hath of himself commanded me this day to set Egerton, £400 was presented before the award forth and manifest his fault unto your lordships, was made, on behalf of Edward, by the counsel that so he might receive deserved punishment. in the cause, Sir Richard Young and Sir George In this pamphlet Mr. Wraynham saith, he had | Hastings, who was also a member of the house two decrees in the first lord chancellor's time, of commons, but the lord keeper decided against and yet are both cancelled by this lord chancel- him: and £300 was presented on behalf of Rowlor in a preposterous manner: without cause; | land, after the award was made in his favour by without matter; without any legal proceedings; the chancellor and Lord Hobart; and in the cause without precedent, upon the party's bare suggestions, and without calling Mr. Wraynham to answer: to reward Fisher's fraud and perjuries; to palliate his unjust proceedings; and to confound Wraynham's estate: and that my lord was therein led by the rule of his own fancy. But he stayeth not here. Not content to scandalize the living, he vilifies the dead, the master of the rolls, a man of great understanding, great pains, great experience, great dexterity, and of great integrity; yet, because he followed not this man's humour in the report thereof, he brands him with aspersions."

And Mr. Sergeant Crowe, who was also counsel for the prosecution, said, "Mr. Wraynham, thus to traduce my lord, is a foul offence; you cannot traduce him of corruption, for, thanks be to God, VOL. I.-(10)

of Awbrey and Bronker, £100 was presented on behalf of Awbrey, before the decree, by his counsel, Sir George Hastings, and a severe decree was made against Awbrey.

In a reference between the company of groce.s and apothecaries, the grocers presented £200, and the apothecaries a taster of gold, and a present of ambergris.

In the cause of Hody and Hody, which was for a great inheritance, a present of gold buttons, worth about £50, was given by Sir Thomas Perrot, one of the counsel in the cause, after the suit was ended.

This slander of Wraynham's was not the only evil to which he was exposed.

On the 12th of November, 1616, John Bertram, (G)

a suitor in chancery, being displeased with a report made by Sir John Tindal, one of the masters of the court, shot him dead as he was alighting from his carriage, and, upon his committal to prison, he destroyed himself. An account of this murder was published under the superintendence of Sir Francis, to counteract the erroneous opinions which had been circulated through the country, and the false commiseration which the misery of this wretched offender had excited, in times when the community was alive to hear any slander against the administration of justice.

the care of great: and, upon the promotion of any judge, he availed himself of the opportunity to explain the nature of judicial virtues, of which an extensive outline may be seen in his works.

"The judge is a man of ability, drawing his learning out of his books, and not out of his brain; rather learned than ingenious; more plausible than witty; more reverend than plausible. He is a man of gravity; of a retired nature, and unconnected with politics: his virtues are inlaid, not embossed.-He is more advised than confident. -He has a right understanding of justice, dependWhen the morbid feeling of insane minds is ing not so much on reading other men's writings, as awakened, there is always some chance of a re- upon the goodness of his own natural reason and petition of its outrages. Towards the end of the meditation. He is of sound judgment; nct diyear the lord keeper was in danger of sharing the verted from the truth by the strength of immedifate of Sir John Tindal, from the vindictive ate impression.-He is a man of integrity :-of temper of Lord Clifton, against whom a decree well regulated passions; beyond the influence. had been made, who declared publicly that "he either of anger, by which he may be incapable of was sorry he had not stabbed the lord keeper in judging, or of hope, either of money or of worldly his chair the moment he pronounced judgment." advancement, by which he may decide unjustly; As soon as this misguided suitor, who afterwards or of fear, either of the censure of others, which destroyed himself, was comitted to the tower, is cowardice, or of giving pain when it ought to be Bacon wrote to Buckingnam, saying, "I pray given, which is improper compassion.-He is your lordship in humbleness to let his majesty just both in private and in public.-He without know that I little fear the Lord Clifton, but I solicitation accepts the office, with a sense of much fear the example, that it will animate ruf-public duty.-He is patient in hearing, in inquiry, fians and rodomonti extremely against the seats of justice, which are his majesty's own seats, yea, and against all authority and greatness, if this pass without public censure and example, it having gone already so far as that the person of a baron hath been committed to the Tower. The punishment it may please his majesty to remit, and I shall, not formally but heartily, intercede for him, but an example, setting myself aside, I wish for terror of persons that may be more dangerous than he, towards the first judge of the kingdom." Not content with discharging the common duties of a judge, he laboured, whenever an opportunity offered, to improve the administration of justice.

and in insult; quick in apprehension, slow in anger.-His determination to censure is always painful to him, like Cæsar, when he threatened Metellus with instant death, Adolescens, durius est mihi hoc dicere quam facere.'-He does not affect the reputation of despatch, nor forget that an over-speaking judge is no well-tuned cymbal.

He is diligent in discovering the merits of the cause: by his own exertions; from the witness, and the advocates. He is cautious in his judgment; not forming a hasty opinion: not tenacious in retaining an opinion when formed: never ashamed of being wiser to-day than he was yesterday:' never wandering from the substance of the matter in judgment into useless subtilty and refinement. He does not delay justice. He is impartial; never suffering any passion to interfere with the love of truth.-He hears what is spoken, not who speaks: whether it be the sovereign, or a pauper; a friend, or a foe; a favourite advocate, or an intelligent judge.-He decides according to law; jus dicere: non jus dare,' is his maxim.—He delivers his judg. ment in public, palam atque astante corona.'

He carried into effect the proposal, which, when attorney-general, he had submitted to the king, that two legal reporters, with an annual stipend to each of £100, should be appointed. He realized the intention, which he expressed upon taking his seat, by issuing ordinances for the better administration of justice in the chancery, upon which the practice of the court at this day is founded. Before the circuits he assembled the judges, and explained his views of their "He discharges his duty to all persons.--To duties, when they, as the planets of the kingdom, the suitors, by doing justice, and by endeavouring were representing their sovereign, in the adminis- to satisfy them that justice is done :-to the wittration of law and justice;—to advance kind feel-nesses, by patience, kindness, and by encourageing and familiar intercourse, he introduced a mode, ment;-to the jurors, by being a light to lead at that time not usual, of inviting the judges to them to justice:-to the advocates, by hearing dinner; thus manifesting, as he says in a letter to them patiently; correcting their defects, not sufLord Burleigh, that it is ever a part of wisdom fering justice to be perverted by their ingenuity, not to exclude inferior matters of access amongst and encouraging their merits :-to the inferior

officers, by rewarding the virtuous; skilful in precedents, wary in proceeding, and understanding in the business of the court; and discountenancing the vicious, sowers of suits, disturbers of jurisdiction, impeders, by tricks and shifts, of the plain and direct course of justice, and bringing it into oblique lines and labyrinths: and the poller and exacter of fees, who justifies the common resemblance of the courts to the bush, whereunto, while the sheep flies for defence in weather, he is sure to lose part of his fleece:—to himself, by counteracting the tendency of his situation to warp his character, and by proper use of times of recreation:-to his profession, by preserving the privileges of his office, and by improvement of the law-and to society, by advancing justice and good feeling, in the suppression of force and detection of fraud; in readiness to hear the complaints of the distressed; in looking with pity upon those who have erred and strayed; in courtesy; in discountenancing contenticus suits; in attending to appearances, esse et videri; in encouraging respect for the office; and by resigning in due time."

In his youth he had exerted himself to improve the gardens of Gray's Inn: in gardens he always delighted, thinking them conducive to the purest of human pleasures, and he now, as chancellor, had the satisfaction to sign the patent for converting Lincoln's Inn Fields into walks, extending almost to the wall where his faithful friend Ben Jonson had, when a boy, worked as a bricklayer.

For relaxation from his arduous occupations he was accustomed to retire to his magnificent and beautiful residence at Gorhambury, the dwellingplace of his ancestors, where, "when his lordship arrived, St. Albans seemed as if the court had been there, so nobly did he live. His servants had liveries with his crest: his watermen were more employed than even the king's."

Such was the gorgeous splendour, such the union of action and contemplation in which he lived.

About this period the king conferred upon him the valuable farm of the Alienation Office, and he succeeded in obtaining for his residence, York House, the place of his birth, and where his father had lived, when lord keeper in the reign of Elizabeth.

This may be considered the summit of this great man's worldly prosperity. He had been successively solicitor and attorney-general, privy councillor, lord keeper, and lord chancellor, having had conferred upon him the dignities, first of knight, then of Baron of Verulam, and, early in the next year, of Viscount St. Albans; but, above all, he was distinguished through Europe by a much prouder title, as the greatest of English philosophers.

At York House, on the 22d of January, 1620, he celebrated his sixtieth birthday, surrounded by his admirers and friends, amongst whom was Ben Jonson, who composed, in honour of the day, a poem founded on the fiction of the poet's surprise upon his reaching York House, at the sight of the genius of the place performing some mystery. Fortune is justly represented insecurely placed upon a wheel, whose slightest revolution may cause her downfall. It has been said that wailing sounds were heard, before the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, and at last the rushing of mighty wings when the angel of the sanctuary departed. Had the poet been a prophet, he would have described the good genius of the mansion, not exulting, but dejected, humbled, and about to depart forever.



October, 1620, to June, 1621.

About half a mile from this noble mansion, of which the ruins yet remain, and within the bounds of Old Verulam, the lord chancellor built, at the expense of about £10,000, a most ingeniously contrived house, where, in the society of his philosophical friends, he escaped from the splendour of chancellor, to study and meditation. "Here," says Aubrey, “his lordship much meditated, his servant, Mr. Bushell, attending him with his pen and inkhorn, to set down his present notions. Mr. Thomas Hobbes told me that his lordship would employ him often in this service, whilst he was there, and was better pleased with his minutes, or notes, set down by him, than by others who did not well understand his lordship. He told me that he was employed in translating" Because I number my days, and would have it part of the Essays, viz. three of them, one whereof was that of Greatness of Cities, the other two I have now forgot."

GLITTERING in the blaze of worldly splendour, and absorbed in worldly occupations, the chancellor, now sixty years of age, could no longer delude himself with the hope of completing his favourite work, the great object of his life, upon which he had been engaged for thirty years, and had twelve times transcribed with his own hand. He resolved at once to abandon it, and publish the small fragment which he had composed. For this act of despair he assigned two reasons:

saved;" and "to try whether I can get help in one intended part of this work, namely, the compiling of a Natural and Experimental History,

which must be the foundation of a true and active | more apparent than in his more abstruse works philosophy." Such are the consequences of vain | An outline of it is subjoined.1 attempts to unite deep contemplation and unremitting action! Such the consequences of forgetting our limited powers; that we can reach only to our arm's length, and our voice be heard only till the next air is still!

It will be remembered, that in the Advancement of Learning, he separates the subject of the human mind into

1. The Understanding

2. The Will.

1. Invention.

1 The art of experimenting is,

1. Systematic.

1. Production.
2. Inversion.
3. Variation.

1. Simple.

4. Translation.

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Under the head of Invention he says, "The invention of sciences, I purpose, if God give nie leave hereafter to propound, having digested it into two parts; whereof the one I term experientia literata, and the other interpretatio naturæ: the former being but a degree and rudiment of the latter. But I will not dwell too long, nor speak too great upon a promise." This promise, he, however, lived partly to realize.

1. By repctition
2. By extension.
3. By compulsion.

1. Of the matter.
2. Of the efficient.
3. Of the quantity.

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A few moments consideration of each of these subjects will not be lost. PRODUCTION is experimenting upon the result of the expe


riment, and is either, 1st, by Repetition, continuing the expeafter having separated light into seven rays, proceeded to upon the result of the experiment; as Newton, who, separate each distinct pencil of rays; or, 2dly, by Extension, mory being helped by images and pictures of persons: may or urging the experiment to a greater subtlety, as in the meit not also be helped by imaging their gestures and habits? or, 3dly, by Compulsion, or trying an experiment till its virtue is annihilated: not merely hunting the game, but killing it; as burning or macerating a loadstone, or dissolving iron till the attraction between the iron and the loadstone is gone.

INVERSION is trying the contrary to that which is manifested by the experiment: as in heating the end of a small

bar of iron, and placing the heated end downwards, and your

iron, and place the hand on the ground, to ascertain whether heat is produced as rapidly by descent as by ascent. VARIATION is either of the matter, as the trying to make paper of woollen, as well as of linen; or of the efficient, as by trying if amber and jet, which when rubbed, will attract straw, will have the same effect if warmed at the fire, or of the quantity, like Esop's housewife, who thought that by doubling her measure of barley, her hen would daily lay her two eggs.

TRANSLATION is either from nature to nature, as Newton

bodies; or from nature to art, as the manner of distilling might be taken from showers or dew, or from that homely boiling water; or from art to a different art, as by transferring experiment of drops adhering to covers put upon pots of the invention of spectacles, to help a weak sight, to an instrument fastened to the ear, to help the deaf; or to a different part of the same art: as, if opiates repress the spirits in diseases, may they not retard the consumption of the spirits

In the year 1623, he completed his tract upon Literate Experience, in which, after having ex-hand on the top, it will presently burn the hand. Invert the plained that our inventions, instead of resulting from reason and foresight, have ever originated in accident; that "we are more beholden to a wild goat for surgery: to a nightingale for modulations of music to the ibis for some part of physic to a pot-lid that flew open for artillery: in a word, to chance rather than to logic: so that it is no marvel that the Egyptians had their tem-translating the force of gravity upon the earth to the celestial ples full of the idols of brutes; but almost empty of the idols of men:" he divides this art of Discovery into two parts: "For either the indication is made from experiments to experiments, or from experiments to axioms, which may likewise design new experiments; whereof the former we will term Experientia Literata; the latter, Interpretatio Naturæ, or Novum Organum: as a man may go on his way after a threefold manner, either when himself feels out his way in the dark; or, being weak-sighted, is led by the hand of another; or else when he directs his footing by a light. So when a man essays all kind of experiments without sequence or method, that is a mere palpation; but when he proceeds by direction and order in experiments, it is as if he were led by the hand; and this is it which we understand by Literate Experience; for the light itself, which is the third way, is to be derived from the interpretation of nature, or the New Organ."

He then proceeds to explain his doctrine of "Literate Experience," or the science of making experiments. The hunting of Pan.

In this interesting inquiry the miraculous vigilance of this extraordinary man may possibly be

as to prolong life; or from experiment to experiment: others, by considering whether this may not assist in findas upon flesh putrefying sooner in some cellars than in ing good or bad air for habitations.

Such are the modes of experimenting by translation,* open to all men who will awake and perpetually fix their eyes, one while on the nature of things, another on the application of them, to the use and service of mankind.

COPULATION of experiments is trying the efficacy of united experiments, which, when separate, produce the same effect: knotted, or by laying the roots bare until the spring, late roses as, by pulling off the more early buds when they are newly will be produced. Will not the germination be more delayed by a union of these experiments?

for that any reason, or other experiment, induceth you to it,

CHANCES of an experiment, or the trying a conclusion, not

* They may be thus exhibited:
1. From nature S To nature.

2. From art

To art.

To a different art.

To a different part of the same art.

3. From experiment to experiment.

The NOVUM ORGANUM is the next subject of consideration. It thus opens:




His despair of the possibility of completing his important work, of which his Novum Organum was only a portion, appears at the very entrance of the volume, which, instead of being confined to the Novum Organum, exhibits an outline, and only an outline, of the whole of his intended labours.

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3. Phenomena of the Universe; or, Natural and Experimental History on which to found Philosophy.

4. Scale of the Understanding.

5. Precursors or Anticipations of the Second Philosophy.

6. Sound Philosophy, or Active Science. And with respect to each of these parts he explains his intentions.

As to the first, or THE DIVISION OF THE After his dedication to the king, he, according to his wonted mode, clears the way by a re- SCIENCES, he, in 1605, had exhibited an outline in view of the state of learning, which, he says, is the Advancement of Learning, and lived nearly to neither prosperous nor advanced, but, being barren complete it in the year 1623. In this treatise he in effects, fruitful in questions, slow and languid | describes the cultivated parts of the intellectual in its improvement, exhibiting in its generality world and the deserts; not to measure out regions, the counterfeit of perfection, ill filled up in its de-as augurs for divination, but as generals to invade tails, popular in its choice, suspected by its very | for conquest. promoters, and therefore countenanced with artifices, it is necessary that an entirely different way from any known by our predecessors must be opened to the human understanding, and different helps be obtained, in order that the mind may exercise its jurisdiction over the nature of things.

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1 Vol. ix. p. 145, 147. Cum autem incertus esset, quando hæc alicui posthac in mentem ventura sint; eo potissimum usus argumento, quod neminem hactenus invenit, qui ad similes cogitationes animum applicuerit; decrevit prima quæque, quæ perficere licuit, in publicum edere. Neque hæc festinatio ambitiosa fuit, sed sollicita; ut si qnid illi humanitus accideret, exstaret tamen designatio quædam, ac destinatio rei quam animo complexus est ; utque exstaret simul signum aliquod honestæ suæ et propensa in generis humani commoda voluntatis. Certe aliam quamcunque ambitionem inferiorem duxit re, quam præ manibus habuit. Aut enim hoc quod agitur nihil est; aut tantum, ut merito ipso contentum esse debeat, nec fructum extra quærere.



Uncertain, however, whether these reflections would ever hereafter suggest themselves to another, and particularly having observed that he has never yet met with any person disposed to apply his mind to similar meditations, he determined

to publish whatsoever he had first time to conclude. Nor is this the haste of ambition, but of his anxiety, that if the common lot of mankind should befall him, some sketch and determination of the matter his mind had embraced might be extant, as well as an earnest of his will being honourably bent upon promoting the advantage of mankind. He assuredly looked upon any other ambition as beneath the matter he had undertaken; for that which is here treated of is either nothing, or it is so great that he ought to be satisfied with its own worth and seek no other return.

THE NOVUM ORGANUM is a treatise upon the conduct of the understanding in the systematic discovery of truth, or the art of invention by a New Organ: as, in inquiring into any nature, the hydrophobia, for instance, or the attraction of the magnet, the Novum Organum explains a mode of proceeding by which its nature and laws may with certainty be found.

It having been Bacon's favourite doctrine, thit important truths are often best discovered in small and familiar instances, as the nature of a commonwealth, in a family and the simple conjugations of society, man and wife, parents and children, master and servant, which are in every cot. tage; and as he had early taught that all truths, however divisible as lines and veins, are not separable as sections and separations, but partake of one common essence, which, like the drops of rain, fall separately into the river, mix themselves at once with the stream, and strengthen the general current, it may seem extraordinary that it should not have occurred to him that the mode to discover any truth might, possibly, be seen by the proceedings in a court of justice, where the immediate and dearest interests of men being concerned, and great intellect exerted, it is natural to suppose that the best mode of invention would be adopted.

In a well constituted court of justice the judge is without partiality. He hears the evidence on both sides, and the reasoning of the opposite advocates. He then forms his judgment. This is the mode adopted by Bacon in the Novum Organum for the discovery of all truths. He endeavours to make the philosopher in his study proceed as a judge in his court.

For this purpose his work is divisible into three parts: 1st. The removal of prejudice, or the de(G 2)

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