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bridge of ships which he had made athwart the Hellespont. There be a thousand such like examples, and the more they are the less they need to be repeated, because a man meeteth with them everywhere: therefore let all wise governors have as great a watch and care over fames, as they have of the actions and designs themselves.
Rawley notes that "the rest was not finished." In a copy of the second edition of the Resuscitatio (1661) in the British Museum we find a MS. notè in an old hand stating that the Essay is continued in another piece contained in that collection, entitled "The Image (or Civil Character) of Julius Cæsar;" but this appears to be a mere fancy, and a mistaken one. The piece on Julius Cæsar was written by Bacon in Latin, from which what is given in the second and third editions of the Resuscitatio is a translation by Rawley; and there is no probability that it was designed to have any connexion with this English Essay on Fame.
The Essay "Of a King' was first published along with another tract entitled "An Explanation what manner of persons those should be that are to execute the power or ordinance of the King's prerogative," in 1642, in a 4to. pamphlet, in which both are attributed to Bacon; and the Essay and Explanation were reprinted in the volume called The Remains, 1648, and in the re-impression of that volume in 1656 with the new title of The Mirror of State and Eloquence. But they are not included in any of the three editions of the Resuscitatio (1657, 1661, 1671); nor are they noticed by Tenison in the Baconiana (1679). The external evidence therefore is unfavourable to the authenticity of the Essay; for the collection called The Remains is of no authority. The style and manner of thinking, however, are, at least in some places, not unlike Bacon, although the formal division into numbered paragraphs (which may have been the work of a transcriber) is peculiar. The following paragraphs, for instance, might very well have been written by Bacon :
1. A king is a mortal god on earth, into whom the living God hath lent his own name as a great honour; but withal told him, he should die like a man, lest he should be proud and
flatter himself, that God hath with his name imparted unto him his nature also.
2. Of all kind of men, God is the least beholden unto them; for he doth most for them, and they do ordinarily least for Him.
3. A king that would not feel his crown too heavy for him, must wear it every day; but if he think it too light, he knoweth not of what metal it is made.
12. That king which is not feared is not loved; and he that is well seen in his craft, must as well study to be feared as loved; yet not loved for fear, but feared for love.
We may here also mention a somewhat longer piece, entitled "An Essay on Death," commonly printed, in the complete editions of Bacon, among what are called his Theological Works. The only authority for attributing it to Bacon is that of the Remains (1648), in which volume it first appeared. It is a composition of considerable beauty, but not in his manner. In the common collection of the Essays, it may be remembered, there is one on Death (the second), first printed in
It will be admitted by all that these Essays of Bacon's do at least, as he himself says of them, "come home to men's business and bosoms." They are full of that sort of wisdom which is profitable for the guidance of life, and to which every reader's experience of himself and of others responds. This they are, it is needless to say, without having anything of vulgarity or triviality; on the contrary, nearly every thought is as striking for its peculiarity and refinement as for its truth. But, with all their combined solidity and brilliancy, they are not much marked by any faculty of vision extending beyond actual humanity. Their pervading spirit, without being either low or narrow, is still worldly. It is penetrating and sagacious, rather than either far-seeing or subtle. The genius displayed in them is that of oratory and wit, rather than that of either metaphysics or the higher order of poetry. The author has a greater gift of looking into the heart of man than into the heart of things. He is observant, reflective, ingenious, fanciful, and, to the measure that all that allows, both eloquent and wise;
but, it may be from the form or nature of such compositions not admitting of it, he can hardly be said to be in these Essays very eminently either capacious or profound.
Of its kind, however, though that kind may not be the highest, the writing is wonderful. What a spirit of life there is in every sentence! How admirably is the philosophy everywhere animated and irradiated by the wit; and how fine a balance and harmony is preserved between the wit and the sense, the former never becoming fantastic any more than the latter dull! The moral
spirit, too, though worldly, is never offensively so; it is throughout considerate, tolerant, liberal, generous; and, if we have little lofty indignation, we have as little violence, or bitterness, or one-sidedness. It is not a morality with which any tendency to enthusiasm or fanaticism in such matters will sympathize; but yet it is not wanting either in distinctness or in elevation, any more than in a reasonable charity. Prudence is no doubt a large ingredient; but principle is by no means absent. Nor does much appear to be introduced in these Essays for mere effect. At any rate, the quantity of idea, of one sort or another, in proportion to the space, is almost without example, at least with so little apparent forcing or straining, so easy and smooth a flow. Brilliant as the light is, it is so managed as to fall softly upon the eye, to satisfy rather than to dazzle. One new or uncommon thought is presented after another in more rapid succession than in almost any other book; and yet the mind of the reader is neither startled nor fatigued, so consummate is the rhetorical art. Our review has necessarily been confined to a series of selections or samples; for, with such compactness everywhere, analysis or abridgment was impossible. But, although many things are left unnoticed in our abstract, we have endeavoured to make it comprehend the portion of each Essay which, admitting of being detached from the rest (always of course an indispensable condition), seemed the most remarkable.
THE WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS.
IN the year 1601 occurred the trial, conviction, and execution of Bacon's friend Essex, and the publication soon after by the government of what was called "A Declaration of the Practices and Treasons" of the earl and his accomplices, which was drawn up by Bacon, who had also appeared on the part of the crown at the trial. It is accordingly included among his works, as well as an 66 Apology," or defence of his conduct, which he deemed it expedient to print, probably in the same year, in the form of a letter to the Earl of Devonshire. James I. became king of England by the death of Elizabeth, on the 24th of March, 1603; and Bacon was knighted on the 23rd of July, the day before the coronation, on which occasion above three hundred other gentlemen received the same honour. In a letter written a few days previous to his relation Robert Lord Cecil (afterwards Earl of Salisbury), the chief minister of the new king, he intimates that he would be glad to have "this divulged and almost prostituted honour,' among other reasons, "because," he says, "I have found out an alderman's daughter, a handsome maiden, to my liking." This was Alice, one of the daughters and coheirs of Benedict Barnham, Esq., alderman of London, whom he afterwards married. He had also been continued in his rank (or rather office, as it was then considered) of king's counsel by a warrant signed by James at Worksop, on his way to London, on the 21st of April.
*Published by Mr. Collier in the Egerton Papers, p. 367. Mr. Montagu's account, given under the year 1604 (Life, p. 108), is, that Bacon was made by patent king's counsel learned
According to Mr. Montagu, it was in the fall of the year 1604 that he prepared and addressed to the king his work (which is, however, only a fragment) upon The Greatness of the Kingdom of Britain." In 1605 he published his "Two Books of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human," also addressed to James. On new year's day, 1606, he presented to the king his short paper entitled "Certain Considerations touching the Plantation in Ireland;" and in the course of the same year, according to Mr. Montagu (Life, pp. 140, 141), his "two publications" on "Church Controversies," and the "Pacification of the Church." But in the first place neither of these tracts appears to have been ever published till many years after both James and Bacon himself had left the world: and secondly, it is clear from the second, certainly written in the beginning of the reign of James, that the first must have been written long before the end of the preceding reign. On the 25th of June, 1607, Bacon was at last appointed solicitor-general, on Sir Edward Coke being made Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. This year he is supposed to have communicated to his friends Andrews, then Bishop of Ely, and Sir Thomas Bodley, his exposition in Latin of some of the principles of his philosophy, entitled Cogitata et Visa; the letters sent with it, which as there given, however, are both without date, are in the Resuscitatio. In 1609, or more probably in in the law, with a fee of forty pounds a-year, "which," it is added, "is said to have been a grace scarce known before."" For this last expression reference is made in a foot-note to the life by Rawley; but Rawley uses it in speaking of his having been made queen's counsel extraordinary in the reign of Elizabeth, as Mr. Montagu has himself noticed in a preceding page (p. 24). Mr. Montagu adds, but without giving his authority, that the same day on which he was made king's counsel, James granted Bacon "by another patent under the great seal a pension of sixty pounds a-year, for special services received from his brother Anthony Bacon and himself." The same facts are stated in the Biographia Britannica on the authority of documents in Rymer's Foedera, and with the additional information that the two patents are dated the 25th of August, 1601.