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ceived at this early time the plan of his great work, and began to put some contributions towards it into form, to the first of which he gave the ambitious title of “Temporis Partus Maxiinus.” Two years later he became a member of Parliament, his first constituency being Melcombe Regis in Dorsetshire, and his parliamentary duties for various boroughs (Taunton, Liverpool, Middlesex, Ipswich, St Albans, &c.) continued without a break for more than thirty years. In 1589 the gift of the reversion of the sinecure office of Clerk of the Council in the Star Chamber seemed to promise an income which would relieve him from the necessity of following the law as his career, but the office did not become vacant for nearly twenty years, and thus the world was deprived in great part of those services to philosophic research which unbroken leisure would have enabled Bacon to render. Endeavours were made, between 1594 and 1596, to obtain for him one of the offices of Attorney-General, Solicitor-General, or Master of the Rolls, which were all vacant during those two years, but the reign of Élizabeth came to an end before such fortune fell to Bacon's lot.
It was in January, 1597, that he published the first edition of his Essays, the first of those works by which his name became famous in the list of English men of letters. This edition comprised only ten essays, nor were the essays increased to their present number or brought into their present form till the third edition in 1625. These short compositions are masterpieces both of thought and expression ; every sentençe is replete with ideas enough for a sermon, and each expression is as polished as if the author had designed it to become a maxim. In 1605 appeared, in English, his two books,
• Of the Proficience and Advauncement of Learning.” They were dedicated to King James, and form the basis of what was afterwards expanded into the nine books (in Latin), “De Augmentis Scientiarum.” This was meant to form one section of the great work which Bacon planned, but never was able to complete, the “Instauratio Magna," or a great reconstruction of Science,
In 1606 Bacon married Alice Barnham, the daughter of a London merchant, and in the next year he was made SolicitorGeneral. Soon after (in 1608), when it was not so much needed, the long expected Clerkship of the Star-chamber fell vacant, and thus an addition of from £1500 to £2000 a year was made to Bacon's income. We cannot here do more than enumerate his further legal promotions and the names of his chief works. In 1613 he was advanced to be Attorney-General, in 1617 to be Lord Keeper, and in the January of the following year he was made Lord Chancellor. In this year too, on July 9, he became a Peer, taking the title of Baron Verulam, from the ancient name of the borough near which he had lived in youth and with which a long period of his parliamentary life had also been connected. In 1620 he presented to the king his “Novum Organum," a work (a fragment only of his great design) on which he had been engaged, in such leisure as he could find, for thirty years, and which forms the second, and most complete, section of the “Instauratio." In January, 1620—1, he was created Viscount St Albans; but his career, which for more than a dozen years had been growing more and more illustrious, was soon to be terribly changed. On the 15th March in this year he was charged, in the Report of a Parliamentary Committee, with certain acts of corruption in the administration of justice, and the enquiry terminated on May 3rd in a sentence which removed him for ever from official life. In a brief notice like the present no examination of Bacon's conduct can be given, either in the prosecution of the Earl of Essex, for his part in which he has been severely censured, or in those matters which brought about his fall. But it is due to the memory of so great a man to record that the latest and most complete examinations into his whole conduct prove that neither in one case nor in the other does Bacon deserve the blame which has been cast upon him. He was desirous to serve Essex so long as he could be true to the calls of friendship without being false to his higher duty as a citizen. And in his office of judge the faults which he admitted were faults of his age and not of the man.