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little understood by the generality of mankind, on which account he was suspected to be a magician. He was persecuted particularly by his own fraternity, who, envious of his talents, would not receive his works into their library, and at length prevailed with the general of their order to get him imprisoned. Well might he exclaim, on that occasion, that he had reason to repent of his having laboured so assi duously in acquiring a knowledge of the Acts and Sciences! His fame, however, could not be concealed, and pope Clement IV. requested of him a copy of his performances, which he transmitted to him in 1267. This is the same that is now extant, under the title of "Opus Majus," or his Great Work. After ten years imprisonment, Jerome d'Ascoli, general of Bacon's Order, who had condemned his doctrine, was chosen pope, and assumed the name of Nicholas IV. As he had the reputation of being a man of great abilities, and one who had turned his thoughts to philosophical studies; Bacon resolved to apply to him for his discharge, and, in order to shew both the innocence and usefulness of his labours, addressed to him, "A Treatise on the Means of avoiding the Infirmities of Old Age." Whether this had any effect upon the pope is not certainly known, but towards the latter end of his reign, Bacon, by the interposition of some noblemen, obtained his liberty, and returned to Oxford, where he spent the remainder of his days in peace, and died in the college of his order, 11th June, 1294. This wonderful
man had a profound knowledge of the mathematics and natural philosophy. His writings are composed with such elegance, strength, and conciseness, and enriched with such exquisite observations on nature, that, among all the chemists, we have not found his equal. He discovered the error in the calendar, and his plan for correcting it was adopted by Gregory XIII. He gave so minute a description of the composition of gunpowder, that it is evident he was the original inventor of it; it was, in his time, before the application of it to military uses, denominated thunder and lightning. His acquaintance with chemistry was extensive and profound. Doctor Friend ascribes to Bacon the honour of introducing it. He also described the camera obscura, and those glasses which are constructed to magnify or lessen objects. In short, he is fully entitled to the character given of him, by Dr. Friend, "That he was a miracle of the age he lived in, and the greatest genius, perhaps, for mathematical knowledge, which ever appeared in the world since Archimedes." His Opus Majus was printed in folio, 1733.
BACON (FRANCIS), an illustrious philosopher and eminent statesman of great and universal genius, was born at York-house, in the Strand, on the 22d of January, 1561. He was the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, by his second wife. When a child, he displayed such indications of his future eminence, that queen Elizabeth gave him the appellation of her "Young Lord Keeper." Her Majesty was particularly pleased
with his answer to the following familiar ques tion,-"How old are you?" Without hesitation, he instantly replied, "Two years younger than your majesty's happy reign." He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. At the age of sixteen he went to France, in the suit of Sir Amias Paulet, ambassador to that court; On the death of his father he returned to England, and entered of Gray's-inn; where he applied with such assiduity to the study of the law, that at the age of twenty-eight he was appointed one of the queen's counsellors. By this time he had made great progress in the study of philosophy. By his attachment to the Earl of Essex, who was at enmity with Cecil, Bacon unfortunately lost those advantages at court which he had a right to expect. In 1593, Bacon was chosen member of parliament for Middlesex, and had the courage to oppose several measures of an arbitrary nature, for which he incurred the queen's displeasure. On the accession of James I. a better prospect presented itself, and he obtained the honour of knighthood, as a prelude to more considerable marks of distinction. In 1604, he was appointed one of the king's counsel, and the next year he published the introduction to his great work, under the title of, "The Advancement and Proficiency of Learning," which procured him the post of solicitor-general. About this time he married a daughter of Mr. Barnham, a rich alderman of London. In 1611, he was appointed judge of the Marshalsea-court; in 1613, he became attorney-ge
neral, and in 1616, was sworn of the privycouncil. In 1617, he was raised to the dignity of lord keeper of the great seal, and two years after constituted lord high chancellor of Great-Britain, receiving also the patent of nobility, by the title of baron of Verulam, which he afterwards exchanged for that of viscount Saint Albans. In 1620, he published the most elaborate of all his works, "Novum organum Scientiarum." The year following, this eccentric and infatuated great man, was accused in parliament of bribery and corruption in his high office; and sorry are we to say, that these charges were proved, and admitted by the chancellor's confession; and the House of Peers on the 3d of May, 1621, gave judgment against him, "That he should be fined 40,0001. and remain prisoner in the Tower during the king's pleasure: that he should for ever be incapable of any place, or employment in the state or commonwealth; and that he should never sit in parliament, or come within the verge of the court." Pope, in his Essay on Man, seems almost justified for inserting the following line as descriptive of this inconsistent character, "The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind." He was, however, soon restored to liberty, had his fine remitted, and was summoned to the first parliament of king Charles. It seems the prevailng opinion, that much of the blame attaches to his servants, and of this he was sensible; for during his trial, as he passed through the room where his domestics were sitting, they rose up at his entrance,—“ Sit down
down my masters," said he, " your rise hath been my fall." After this disgrace he went into retirement, and devoted himself to his beloved studies. Though he had a pension of 18001. and a paternal estate worth 700l. per annum, his liberality was so great that at his death, which happened April 9, 1626, his debts amounted to 22,000l. He was buried in St. Michael's church, at St. Alban's, where his secretary, Sir Thomas Meautys, erected a monument to his memory. His works, which are an inestimable treasure of sound wisdom, were published in an elegant form in 5 vols. 4to. in 1765. BADDELEY, an excellent comedian, was many years a performer at Drury-lane theatre, where he acquired considerable property, and died November 20, 1794. By the singularity of his will he becomes an object of our attention, and deserves a place in our Eccentric Dictionary. He bequeathed to the theatrical fund his cottage at Hampton-court, in trust that they should elect to reside in it such four of the fund pensioners as might not object to living sociably together under the same roof. The house consists of two parlours for their joint indulgence, and four separate bed-chambers. those decayed actors, who are to be chosen by the fund committee as tenants for this house, may not appear like paupers in the eyes of the neighbourhood, he also left a certain sum to be distributed by those tenants to the poor of the vicinity. As a further singularity we shall just mention, that he left three pounds annually for a twelfth