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readiness to hear the complaints of the distressed;"(/) in looking with pity upon those who have erred and strayed; in courtesy; in discountenancing contentious suits; (n) in attending to appearances,(o) esse et videri; in encouraging respect for the office ;(q) and by resigning in due time."(r)
when there appeareth on either side an high hand, violent prosecution, cunning advantages taken, combination, power, great counsel, then is the virtue of a judge seen to make inequality equal, that he may plant his judgment as upon an even ground. "Qui fortitur emungit, elicit sanguinem;" and where the wine-press is hard wrought, it yields a harsh wine that tastes of the grape-stone.
(J) He should have ears always open compassionately to hear the complaints of widows, orphans, afflicted and forlorn people, who endure all the torments of the world to break through the press to manifest their injuries. A widow, whose son had been slain, and who was unable to attain justice, had the courage to accost the Emperor Trajan in the midst of the street, amidst an infinite number of people and the legions attending him to the war in Walachia, to which he was departing. He alighted from his horse, heard her, and ordered justice to be done. This is represented on Trajan's pillar.
(n) He should discountenance contentious suits. Contentious suits should be quickly ejected as the surfeit of courts.
De minimis rum curat lex is a maxim of the law of England.
Contentious suits ought to be spued out as the surfeit of courts.
He causeth that contentious suits should be spued out as the surfeits of courts.—Fuller.
(a) Not ostentatiously, but from a knowledge that observers are influenced by appearance to look at the reality.
(g) Sir Matthew Hale says, amongst the things to be continually had ia remembrance, "That in the administration of justice I am entrusted for God, the King, and Country."
He should encourage a sentiment of respect for the judicial office; not for ostentation, but as a mode to advance a love of justice.
The judge exalts not himself but his office.
(r) He said he could not with a good conscience continue in it since he was no longer able to discharge the duty belonging to it.—Hale's Life, p. 99.
Mr. Justice Heath used to say he would never resign, but would die "with harness on his back."
He does not set in a cloud, but shines clear to the last.
In his youth he had exerted himself to improve the gardens of Gray's Inn :(b) in gardens he always delighted, (c) thinking them conducive to the purest of human pleasures, and he now, as Chancellor, had the satisfaction to sign the patent for converting Lincoln's Inn Fields into walks, (d) extending almost to the wall where his faithful friend Ben Jonson had, when a boy, worked as a bricklayer, (e)
For relaxation from his arduous occupations he was accustomed to retire to his magnificent and beautiful residence at Gorhambury, the dwelling place of his ancestors, where, (f) "when his lordship arrived, St. Albans seemed as if the court had been there, so nobly did he live. His servants had liveries with his crest: his watermen were more employed than even the King's."
About half a mile from this noble mansion, of which the ruins yet remain, and within the bounds of Old Verulam, the Lord Chancellor built, at the expense of about £10,000, a most ingeniously contrived house, where, in the society of his philosophical friends, he escaped from the splendour of Chancellor, to study and meditation. "Here," says Aubrey, his lordship much meditated, his servant, Mr. Bushell, attending him with his pen and inkhorn to set down his present notions. Mr. Thomas Hobbes told me
(b) Ante, p. xxiii. (c) See his Essays on Gardens, vol. i. p. 152.
(d) To the Marquis of Buckingham. My very good Lord,—I send the commission for making Lincoln's Inn Fields into walks for his majesty's signature. It is without charge to his majesty. God preserve and prosper you. Your Lordship's most obliged friend and faithful servant, Fr. Verulam, Cane.
Nov. 12, 1618.
(o) His mother, after his father's death, married a bricklayer, and it is generally said, that he wrought some time with his father-in-law, and particularly on the garden wall of Lincoln's Inn, next to Chancery Lane.
Aubrey's account of Ben Jonson, vol. iii. p. 412.
(f) Aubrey. VOL. XV. *
that his lordship would employ him often in this service, whilst he was there, and was better pleased with his minutes, or notes, set down by him, than by others who did not well understand his lordship. He told me that he was employed in translating part of the Essays, viz. three of them, one whereof was that of Greatness of Cities, the other two I have now forgot." (a)
Such was the gorgeous splendour, such the union of action and contemplation in which he lived. Alienation About this period the King conferred upon him the York valuable farm of the Alienation Office, and he succeeded House. in obtaining for his residence, York House, the place of his birth, and where his father had lived, when Lord Keeper in the reign of Elizabeth, (b)
This may be considered the summit of this great man's worldly prosperity. He had been successively Solicitor and Attorney General, Privy Councillor, Lord Keeper, and Lord Chancellor, having had conferred upon him the dignities first of Knight, then of Baron of Verulam, and early in the next year, of Viscount St. Albans; but, above all, he was distinguished through Europe by a much prouder title, as the greatest of English Philosophers. His birth At York House, on the 22nd of January, 1620, he celeday^ D brated his sixtieth birthday, surrounded by his admirers 1620. and friends, amongst whom was Ben Jonson, who comjEt- 60" posed in honour of the day a poem founded on the fiction of the poet's surprize upon his reaching York House,
(a) See Aubrey, p. 228. I have an engraving of this house.
(4) Besides other good gifts and bounties of the hand, which his majesty gave him, both out <tf the broad seal, and out of the Alienation Office, to the value in both of £1900 per annum, which, with his manor of Gorhambury, and other lands and possesstons near thereunto adjoining, amounting to a third part more, he retained to his' dying day.—Bawley. See note A of this work.
at the sight of the genius of the place performing some mystery, (a) Fortune is justly represented insecurely placed upon a wheel, whose slightest revolution may cause her downfall. It has been said that wailing sounds were heard before the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, and at last the rushing of mighty wings when the angel of the sanctuary departed.—Had the poet been a prophet, he would have described the good genius of the mansion, not exulting, but dejected, humbled, and about to depart for ever.
(a) " Hail, happy genius of this ancient pile I
FROM THE PUBLICATION OF THE NOVUM ORGANUM TO HIS RETIREMENT FROM ACTIVE LIFE, October, 1620, to June, 1621.
Glittering in the blaze of worldly splendour, and absorbed in worldly occupations, the Chancellor, now sixty years of age, could no longer delude himself with the hope of completing his favourite work, the great object of his life, upon which he had been engaged for thirty years, and had twelve times transcribed with his own hand. He resolved at once to abandon it, and publish the small fragment which he had composed, (a) For this act
(a) " His book of Instauratio Magna (which, in his account was the chiefest of his works) was no slight imagination or fancy of his brain, but a settled and concocted notion; the production of many years labour and travail. I myself have seen at the least twelve copies of the Instauration, revised year by year, one after another, and every year altered and amended in the frame thereof; till at last it came to that model in which it was committed to the press: as many living creatures do lick their young ones till they bring them to their strength of limbs." Rawley's Life.
"There be two of your council, and one other bishop of this land (Dr. Andrews), that know I have been about some such work near thirty years, so as I made no haste. And the reason why I have published it now, specially being unperfect, is, to speak plainly, because I number ray days, and would have it saved. There is another reason of my so doing, which is to try whether I can get help in one intended part of this work, namely, the compiling of a natural and experimental history, which must be the main foundation of a true and active philosophy." Letter to the King, see vol. ix. p. xiii, in preface.