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many accounts his most proniising resource, and he sat down at once to make himself a working lawyer. He left Paris for England on the 20th of March, 1579.” (L. & L. 1. 8.)
Having engaged in this profession, he applied himself with diligence to its study, and in due time to its practice and improvement. “I hold every man” he says, (and the remarks are as applicable to the practitioner of medicine as of law) debtor to his profession; from the which as men of course do seek to receive countenance and profit, so ought they of duty to endeavour themselves, by way of amends, to be a help and ornament thereunto. This is performed in some degree by the honest and liberal practice of a profession, when men shall carry a respect not to descend into any course that is corrupt and unworthy thereof, and preserve themselves free from the abuses wherewith the same profession is noted to be infected ; but much more is this performed if a man be able to visit and strengthen the roots and foundation of the science itself; thereby not only gracing it in reputation and dignity, but also amplifying it in perfection and substance". (W. VII. 319).
It is no part of the purpose of this sketch to trace the legal and political life of Lord Bacon. 1t
be found in his "Life" by Montagu; in the “Story" and the “ Personal Uistory" of his Life by Dixon; and at much greater length whenever the work may be completed, in his “ Letters and Life” by Spedding; but it may be mentioned, for every important and long continued engagement would have some influence upon his health, that he sat in parliament from 1584 successively for Melcombe, Taunton, and Liverpool, and that in 1592 he was chosen member for Middlesex. At the beginning of this year he wrote to his uncle, the Lord Treasurer Burghley, a letter from which the following passages are extracted.
“I wax now somewhat ancient; one and thirty years is a great deal of sand in the hour-glass. My health, I thank God, I find confirmed ; and I do not fear that action shall impair it, because I account my ordinary course of study and meditation to be more painful than most kinds of action are Again, the meanness of my estate doth somewhat move me : for though I cannot accuse myself that I am either prodigal or slothful, yet my health is not to spend, nor my course to get. Lastly, I confess that I have as vast contemplative ends, as I have moderate civil ends; for I have taken all knowledge to be my province." Upon this Mr. Spedding observes, "He had just completed his thirty-first year. He had been a Bencher of his Inn for nearly five years, a Reader for nearly three; but I do not find that he was getting into practice. His main object was still to find ways and means for prosecuting his great philosophical enterprise ; his hope and wish still was to obtain these by some office under the Government, from which he might derive both position in the world which would carry influence, employment in the state which would enable him to servo his country in her need, and income sufficient for his purposes, without spending all his time in professional drudgery. Nearly six years had passed since his last application to Burghley (the last which we know of,) and his hopes were no nearer their accomplishment. The clerkship of the Star Chamber," which had been given him two or three years before, " did not help; for it was not in possession nor likely to be for many years." He said, as we learn from his chaplain Dr. Rawley, “that it was like another man's ground buttalling upon his house, which might mend his prospect, but it did not fill his barn.” (L. & L. 1. 107. and W. 1. 7).
Accordingly his health, so far from being “confirmed,” appears to have been only somewhat improved. Disappointment, added to close study of law, politics, and philosophy, and probably more than all, pecuniary embarrassment, began now if not before to tell upon it;
as appears by a letter from their mother, a woman of remarkable activity, energy, learning, and piety. On the 24th of May 1592, she writes to Anthony,
“Gratia et salus. That you increase in amending I am glad. God continue it every way.
When you coase
of your prescribed diet, you had need, I think, to be very wary both of your sudden (change) of quantity and of season of your feeding; specially suppers late or full. Procure rest in convenient time. It helpeth much to digestion. I verily think your brother's weak stomach to digest hath been much caused and confirmed by untimely going to bed, and then musing nescio quid when he should sleep, and then in consequent by late rising and long lying in bed: whereby his men are made slothful and himself continueth sickly. But my sons haste not to hearken to their mother's good counsel in time to prevent. The Lord our heavenly Father heal and bless you both as his sons in Christ Jesu
Let not your men see my letter. I write to you and not to them."
In the course of the following winter there was probably some improvement in the health of Francis, for, being now member of parliament for Middlesex, " he spoke often, and always with such force and eloquence as to ensure the attention of the house." (L. M. 1. 28.) But on the 16th of April 1593 his mother says in a letter to Anthony, “ for the state of want of health and of money and some other things touching you both oủx šā pe cŰ delv.” This was crossed on the road by a letter from him in which he says, “I assure myself that your Ladyship, as a wise and kind mother to us both, will neither find it strange nor amiss, which, tendering first my brother's health, which I know by mine own experience to depend not a little upon a free mind, and then his credit, I presume to put
your Ladyship in remembrance of your motherly offer to him the same day you departed: which was that to help him out of debt you
would be content to bestow the whole interest in Marks upon him," &c. Marks was an estate left to him, which could not be sold without the consent of his mother. To this letter she replied the next day. “For your brotherly care of your brother Francis's state you are to be well liked, and so I do as a Christian mother that loveth you both as the children of God: but as I wrote but in few words yesterday by my neighbour, the state of you both doth much disquiet me, as in Greek words I signified shortly." And on the 29th of August, in the same year, Lord Burghley writes to Lady Bacon, “I thank
kind letter; and for your sons, I think your care of them is no less than they both deserve, being so qualified in learning and virtue as if they had a supply of health they wanted nothing. But none are, or very few, ab omni parte beati" ... and Francis, in a letter to Lady Paulet, Sep. 23, speaks of his “long languishing infirmity." (P. H. 48.)
In the same month he was at Gorhambury with his mother, who was suffering from a quartan ague, but there is no further notice of his own health, till in a letter to his brother, probably written from Twickenham in January 1594, he says “I desired Dr, Hammond to visit you from me, whom I was glad to have here, being a physician, and my complaint being want of digestion ;” and to his mother on the 14th of February, “I humbly thank your Ladyship for your good counsel every. way, and I hope by God's assistance to follow the same. For my health, I shall have now some leisure to use the benefit of the spring season for the confirming thereof.” In this he appears to have succeeded, for in March, Anthony reports to their mother that “ he has not seen him looking better.”
About this time he wrote a true report of the detestable treason, intended by Dr. Roderigo Lopez, a physician attending upon the person of the Queen's Majesty, whom he for a sum of money, promised to be paid to him by the King of Spain, did undertake to have destroyed by poison. This Lopez” he says, “ of nation a Portuguese, and suspected to be in sect secretly a Jew (though here he conformed himself to the rites of Christian religion,) for a long time professed physic in this land; by occasion whereof,-being withal a man very observant and officions, and of a pleasing and appliable behaviour,in that regard, rather than for any great learning in his faculty, he grew known and favoured in Court, and was some years since sworn physician of her Majesty's household ; and by her Majesty's bounty, of whom he had received divers gifts of good commodity, was grown to good estate of wealth." He confessed his crime, and was condemned and executed, with two of his confederates. “ But there were more conspiracies behind, the bottom of which had not been fathomed.” L. I. 301.) One of them, in which some persons in the North of England were concerned, was “a plot to procure the assassination of the Queen, and at the same instant to raise a rebellion;" and Bacon who, “it pleased her Majesty to confess began to frame very well,” was sent in July of this year to investigate the matter on the spot; but he was stopped at Huntingdon by a painful though not dangerous disorder, which is mentioned in a Latin letter from a friend of his to Lady Bacon.
“Morbum istum seu potius molestiam (nam morborum, et præcipue istius cui is maxime obnoxius est, propria et efficacissima medicina sunt aiuo ppoides) nihil est quod inutiliter pharmacis exasperet, et corpusculum tenue intempestive vexet; quod etsi is pro sua prudentia optime videat, a me tamen si opus est admonebitur." His illness did not confine him