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RICHARD THE SECOND,
The Morning before his Murder in Pomfret Cattle.
Whether the soul receives intelligence,
However, so it is, the now sad king,
The morning of that day which was his last,
After a weary rest, rising to pain,
Out at a little grate his eyes he cast
Upon those bordering hills and open plain,
Where others' liberty makes him complain
The more his own, and grieves his soul the more,
Conferring captive crowns with freedom poor.
O happy man, saith he, that lo I see,
Grazing his cattle in those pleasant fields,
If he but knew his good. How blessed he
That feels not what affliction greatness yields 1
Other than what he is he would not be,
Nor change his state with him that sceptre wields.
Thine, thine is that true life: that is to live
To rest secure, and not rise up to grieve.
Thou sitt'st at home safe by thy quiet fire,
Thrice happy you that look ns from the shore,
Third Book rtj tht Civit Wan GILES FLETCHER. 1588—1623
This truly pleasing Christian poet, the brother of Phineas Fletcher, who, m the words of old Antony Wood, "was equally beloved of the Muses and Graces," was born 1588. But very little is known of his life. He has, however, immortalized his name by that beautiful poem entitled, "Christ's Victory and Triumph in Heaven and Earth over and after Death:" a poem which displays great sweetness, united to harmony of numbers. Headley styles il "rich and picturesque," and Campbell' says, that "inferior as he is to Spen ser and Milton, he might be figured, in his happiest moments, as a link of connection in our poetry between those congenial spirits, for he reminds us of both, and evidently gave hints to the latter, in a poem on the same subjecA with Paradise Regained."
When I remembcj Christ our burden bears,
I look for glory, but find misery;
I look that we should live, and find Him die;
These banks so narrow are, those streams so highly swell
Christ suffers, and in this his tears begin;
Suffers for us—and our joy springs in this;
A tree was first the instrument of strife,
Where Eve to sin her soul did prostitute;
Though ill that trunk and this fair body suit;
Sweet Eden was the arbor of delight,
Yet in his honey-flowers our poison blew;
A man was first the author of our fall,
1 Specimens, vol. It p. tot.
A garden was the place we perisliM all,
Hath found a way himself for to beguile:
So he, that all men tangled in his wile,
Is now by one Man caught, beguiled with his own guile.
The dewy night had with her frosty shade
Immantled all the world, and the stir!ground
FRANCIS BACON. 1561—1626.
Him for the studlomi a hade
Faaxcis Bacoit, Viscount of St Albans,1 and lord high chancellor of Eng land, was born in London, January 22,1561. He was the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, lord keeper of the great seal. He entered Cambridge at the early age of thirteen, and after spending four years there, where he was distinguished for his zealous application to study, and for the extraordinary maturity of his understanding, he went abroad and travelled in France. But his lather dying suddenly in 1579, and leaving but very little property, he hastily returned to England, and prosecuted the study of the law. He did not, however, neglect philosophy, for not far from this period he planned his great work, «The Instauration of the Sciences." In 1500 he obtained the post of counsel extraordinary to the queen, and three years after he had a seat in parliament from Middlesex. On the accession of James I. new honors awaited him. He was knighted in 1603. In 1007 he married Alice, daughter of Benedict Barnham, Esq., alderman of London, by whom he had a considerable fortune, but no children. In subsequent years ho obtained successively the offices of king's counsel, solicitor general, and attorney general. In 1617 the king presented the great seal to him; in 1618 he obtained the title of lord high chancellor of England, and about six months after the title of Baron of Verulam, which title gave place in the following year to that of Viscount of St, Albans. But a "killing frost" was soon to nip these buds of honor: his fall and disgrace
I This Is atown In Hertfordshire, famous for the two batUes fought In lifts and lift', between the two rival bouses of York and Lancaster. It was anclenUy called Verulam, whence Bacon's subsewere at hand. In 1C21 a parliamentary inquiry was instituted into his conduct as judge, which ended in his condemnation and disgrace, for having received numerous presents or bribes from parties whose cases were brought before him for decision. He fully confessed to the twenty-three articles of fraud, deceit, mal-practice, and corruption which were laid to his charge; and when waited on by a committee of the House of Lords, appointed to inquire whedier the confession was subscribed by himself, he answered, u It is my hand, my act, my heart: I beseech your lordships to be merciful to a broken reed." He was fined JE40,000; sent prisoner to the Tower; and declared incapable of any ofTice or employment in the state. After a short confinement he was released, and in 1625 obtained a full pardon. He died on die 9th of April, 1G2G.
The following aro the most important works of this wonderful man: 1. His "Essays or Counsels, Civil and Moral." They were published in 1506, so that Shakspearc, who lived twenty years after, and during which time wrote his best plays, had the benefit of their perusal: and what delight and what profit must such a genius as his have derived from them; for no book contains a greater fund of useful knowledge, or displays a more intimate acquaintance with human life and manners. "It may be read," says the great Scotch philosopher, Dugald Stewart, "from beginning to end in a few hours, and yet, after the twentieth perusal, one seldom fails to remark in it something overlooked before."
2. "The Proficience and Advancement of Learning." This forms the first part of his great work afterwards published under the title of Imtawatlo Scuntiarum, "The Reform in the Study of the Sciences." It is divided into two books: tho first chiefly considers the objections to learning, and points out the many impediments to its progress: the second, the distribution of knowledge, which he divides into three parts. "The parts of human learning," says he, "have reference to the three parts of man's understanding, which is the seat of learning: History to his Memory, Poesy to his Imagination, and Philosophy to his Reason." He gives also a full genealogical table of knowledge, agreeably to Uiis distribution. This is a work of vast learning.
3. His celebrated treatiso "Of the Wisdom and Learning of the Ancients." The object of this is to show that all the allegories and fables of antiquity have some concealed meaning, which had never been sufficiently explained. In die interpretation of these ancient mysteries, he has displayed his remarkable sagacity and penetration, besides interspersing throughout various important observations on collateral subjects.
4. The Novum Organum, or « New Instrument," or «Method of Studying the Sciences." This is the great work which has immortalized his name, and placed him at the head of die philosophic world. The great Greek philosopher Aristotle called his philosophical work the "Organum." The "Method" which he adopted in scientific inquiries was radier to frame systems and lay down principles, and then to seek or make things conform thereto. But Lord Bacon, in his " New Method," insists upon die duty of carefully ascertainiirg facts in the first place, and then reasoning upon them towards conclusions. "Alan," he says, "who is the servant and interpreter of nature, can act and understand no further Uian he has, either in operation or in contemplation, observed of the method and order of nature." And again, « Men have sought to make a world from dieir own conceptions, and to draw from dieir own minds all die materials which thoy employed: but if, instead of doing so, hey had conoulted experience and observation, thoy would have l'»d facts and not opinions to reason about, and might ultimately have arrived at the knowledge of the laws which govern the material world." Thus Bacon established the method of Induction' as the only true key to the temple of knowledge, and has therefore been called the Father of the Inductivo Philosophy. "The power and compass," says Professor Playfair, "of a mind which could form such a plan beforehand, and trace not merely the outline, bat many of the most minute ramifications of sciences which did not yet exist, must be an object of admiration to all succeeding ages." *
Such is a brief and meagre view of the wonderful intellectual labors of mis extraordinary man. He was not insensible of their value, for his last will contains this remarkable passage: "My name and memory I leave to foreign nations and to my own country after some time is passed over."3
DIVERSE OBJECTS OF HEN TO GAIN KNOWLEDGE.
Men have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge sometimes upon a natural curiosity and inquisitive appetite; sometimes to entertain their minds with variety and delight; sometimes for ornament and reputation; and sometimes to enable them to victory of wit and contradiction; and most times for lucre and profession; and seldom sincerely to give a true account of their gift of reason to the benefit and use of man. As if there were sought in knowledge a couch whereupon to rest a searching and restless spirit; or a terrace for a wandering and variable mind to walk up and down with a fair prospect; or a tower of state for a proud mind to raise itself upon j or a fort or commanding ground for strife and contention; or a shop for profit or sale; and not a rich store-house for the glory of the Creator, and the relief of man's estate.
PRESERVATION OF KNOWLEDGE.
As water, whether it be the dew of heaven" or the springs of the earth, doth scatter and lose itself in the ground, except it be collected into some receptacle, where it may, by union, comfort and sustain itself; and, for that cause, the industry of man hath framed and made spring-heads, conduits, cisterns, and piX)ls; which men have accustomed likewise to beautify and adorn with accomplishments of magnificence and state, as well as of use and
l This is esllad the TniaHh* system, from the LatJn btdnetio, "a leading up," from particular (acta to general conclusions.
x The beat edition of Bacon la that by Baall Montagu, 17 vola. svo, London. It has been reprinted here In three volumes. Bead, particularly, a very able article In the "Edinburgh Review," by Macatusy, July, 1137. Bead, also, two In the "Retrospective," 111. 141, and lv. 280; alto, an article In the third vol. of IV Israeli's "Amenities of Literature;" another, In HazUU'a "Age of Elisabeth f and the work recenUy published In DnbUn, entlUed "SclecUoni from Bacon," by Thos. W. Mofffctt.
s "Who la there, that, upon hearing the name of Lord Bacon, does not lnstanUy recognise every thing of genius the most profound, every thing of literature the most extensive, every thing of discovery the moat penetrating, every thing of observation on human lire the most distinguishing and refined."—Mark*.