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A cursory perusal of these volumes induced the present Editor to believe, that from among them fome Letters and Memorials might be chosen, tending at once to display the genius of that age, and to throw new light upon several characters distinguished in the history of Britain during the reign of James the first : and this purpose his Collection will undoubtedly answer in some respects, tho' perhaps the instances are not very important. James still appears the same tyrannical vulgar Pedant, and his Favourite, Buckingham, the fame contemptible Wretch, that former accounts have long since represented them, on the most unquestionable authorities. Here are a considerable number of Letters from the latter, addressed to the former, in the usual low, familiar, and ridiculous style of Dear Dad and Gollip; and ending with your Majesty's most humble Slave and Dog, STINIE. What an unmanly, what a despicable, may we not add, what an unnatural intercourse! Such language seems to belong only to Pathicks and their Catamites.
We always considered James as the most beally Monarch that ever disgraced the throne of these kingdoms; and this Collection affords a new and most remarkable instance of the shocking depravity of his taste and manners ;--if it be genuine : which, we believe, no one who is acquainted with the Editor's character will doubt. The fact we have in view, is the following Letter, from the Earl of Pembroke to Sir Edward Zouch.
« Honest Ned, " I know you love your Master dcarly, and his pleasures, “ which makes me put you in trust with this business, myself
not being able to stay in the town lo late. “ I pray you, therefore,
as soon as it grows dark, fail not " to send the close cart to Baffingborn, for the speckled Sow “ ye saw the King take such liking unto this day; and let her “ be privately brought to the man of the ward-robe, by the " fame token, that I chid him for letting the other beasts go “ carelessly into the garden while it was day, and he will “ prefently receive her into his charge. . Some may think “ this a jeft; but I assure you, it is a matter of trust and
confidence; and so, assuring myself of your secret and care“ ful performance of it, I reit
" Your affectionate friend,
There is no date either of time or place, to this curious Epistle, and, bad as James's character may be, we heartily wish, for the honour of human nature we wish, that this story of the speckled Sow may be clearly disproved, or brought to bear a more innocent construction than most Readers will be apt to put upon it, if left to draw their own unaslisted conclusions, from such extraordinary premises. If it be really true, that his Majesty had such a liking to the beast, we think it great pity, that he was not married to her, and to no other wife; as that would have prevented the many heavy calamities which his unhappy posterity have brought upon this country.
As to the rest of the original Letters, &c. contained in this small volume, most of them certainly deserve the notice of the public. There are several written by the celebrated Bacon, and other eminent personages of those days : but it will exercise the Reader's patience or sensibility, to bear with the continued repetition of such preposterous, fulsome, and flavish Aattery as he will meet with in almost every Memorial, "Letter, &c. addressed to the British Solomon. In truth, the English do not seem to have been the same kind of people in James's time as both their forefathers and their pofterity were, nor to have been animated with the smallest spark of that glorious spirit of freedom they have since so nobly manifested, on those GREAT OCCASIONS, which it is hoped neither Britilh Subjects nor British Kings will ever forget.
Letters, Speeches, Charges, Advices, &c. of Francis Bacon,
Lord Viscount St. Albans, Lord Chancellor of England; now first published by Thomas Birch, D. D. Chaplain to her Royal Highness the Princess Amelia, and Secretary to the Royal Society. 8vo. 45. boards. Millar.
E cannot sufficiently admire the indefatigable perse
verance manifested by the worthy Editor of this work, who has been, for so many years past, constantly pressing close on the heels of Time; and carefully raking together the scattered twigs of Learning, and broken branches of Science, which the ruthless Tyrant has cut down, in his rude march through the extensive and fertile provinces of Literature. It is true, that through his extreme assiduity, many an useless bramble, many a worthless wced, may have been collected
among the multitude of valuable fragments which he has been the means of preserving; nevertheless, the public is certainly much obliged to him, for annaffing such quantities of valuable materials as will be well worth the sifting: and we inake no doubt, that those who will take the trouble of separating the gold from the dross, the jewels from the common pebbles, will be sufficiently rewarded for their pains. This may be the task of some future Refiner, who will probably reap more advantage from the labours of his learned predcceifor, than he who has undergone the toil of examining, selecting, and digesting such enormous heaps of original papers, as nothing leis than the diligence and patience of Dr. Birch could fur
We have heard the following Epigram on a late learned Antiquarian, applied to our present Editor, viz.
Pox on’t, says Time, to Thomas Hearne,
Whatever I forget, you lcarn! But, tho' we should grant, that the Doctor hath not been over-nice in the choice of the ingredients which he hath put into some of the messes cooked up by him, so that many of his Guests have had little stomach to sit down to the entertainment provided for them ; yet it must be allowed, that he hath always set before them some good folid dishes, on which men of plain, hearty, old English appetites, unviciated by a taste for light, frivolous, and frothy dainties, might, if they pleased, make a good, wholesome, and plentiful meal. Nor hath he ever been known to deceive them by faciitious viands; no fram-turtle, no matton-venilon do we meet with at his table; all is genuine, nothing fophisticated. In plain terms, (to spare a little the poor metaphor) the Doctor is confefiidly an honest and faithful Editor, whose veracity and credit have never been impeached, whose authorities have never been quel tioned: so that those who complain of redundancies with regard to some things in his compilations, will find ample compe ion in the authenticity of the whole.
In regard to the publication now before us, the truth is, it contains many bits and scraps, and shreds of Lord Bacon's private papers, and loose memorandums, that are by no means worthy the attention of the public: a circumftance which induced a certain Punfter at George's to declare, “ that Dr. “ B-h had been guilty of great indecency, in exposing Lord Bacon's posteriors to pofíerity." There are, nevertheless, tome çurious remains of that great man, which will ever be acAPPEN. Rev.
ceptable to the Admirers of a Genius the most prodigious, the most extensive, that ever adorned this, or perhaps, any
In the preface, the Editor gives an account of the means by which the originals from whence the present Collection was drawn, fell into his hands. They were first left in the possession of Dr. Rawley, Chaplain to the Lord Chancellor Bacon; from whom they devolved to Dr. Tennison, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury; who was the Editor of the Baconiana, published in the year 1679. On this great promotion, the Doctor not having leisure to select more of the papers of his admired Author, the remainder of Lord Bacon's manuscripts were deposited in the Manuscript Library at Lambeth; where our industrious Editor, “ with an application little less than that of decyphering,” transcribed from the first draughts, and digested into order, the Collection now offered to the public; into which, he tells us, no paper has been admitted that had been published before, except two of Lord Bacon's Letters, which having been disguised, and mutilated, in all former impreslions, were thought proper to be reprinted here: together with two other Letters of his Lordfhip's, from Sir David Dalrymple's Collection, printed at Glasgow in 1762. See the preceding article.
Conscious, perhaps, of the unimportance of some of the papers printed in this volume, the Editor thus apologises for, or rather defends, his publication of them.
" The example, says he, of the greatest men, in preserving, in their editions of the Claslics, the smallest remains of their writings, will be a full justification of my industry in collecting and inserting even the fragments of a Writer equal to the most valuable of the antients.” A plea of this kind, however, will have more weight a thousand years hence, than at present: for, we apprehend, the value of such remains is chiefly derived from their antiquity. Any anecdotes, or memorials of a great Genius, who lived twenty or thirty centuries ago, are curiofities of course; but who will enter with equal attention, into minutiæ concerning the man who died yesterday?
Bacon, however, tho' his works have not yet received the seal of antiquity, is already become one of the greatelt names in the republic of letters. Dr. Birch, with propriety enough, compares him to Cicero; whom, he observes, our' immortal countryman most remarkably resembled as an Orator, a Philosopher, a Writer, a Lawyer, and a Statclinan.
The world is already so well acquainted with the history, connections, and correspondencies of the English Tully, that it may be deemed superfluous for us to make any large extracts from the papers now before us. The following specimen, however, of the manner in which two great mon can manage a scolding-bout, may amuse some of our Readers.
Few are ignorant of the enmity which always subsisted between Lord Bacon, and that celebrated Lawyer, Sir Edward Coke. Whether the latter was jealous of the rising merit of the former, who trod close at his heels, and followed him step by step, in all his preferments, till he even outstripped Sir Edward in the race; or to whatever cause it was owing, certain it was, Coke could not bear such an aspiring brother near the throne, and therefore he did every thing in his power to elbow and thrust him to a greater distance. His aversion to Bacon was such, that he could not for some time, refrain even from attacking him personally in the courts of justice ; an instance of which is thus recited, in a Letter from Mr. Bacon to Secretary Cecil.
“ I moved, says he, to have a reseizure of the lands of Geo. Moore, a relapsed Recusant, a Fugitive, and a practising Traytor; and thewed better matter for the Queen against the discharge by plea, which is ever with a salvo jure. And this I did in as gentle and reasonable terms as might be.
" Mr. Attorney kindled at it, and said, “Mr. Bacon, if you have any tooth against me, pluck it out; for it will do you more hurt, than all the teeth in
your head will do
you “I answered coldly in these very words: Mr. Attorney, I respect you : I fear you not: and the less
you • speak of your own greatness, the more I will think of it.'
" He replied, " I think scorn to stand upon terms of great"ness towards you, who are less than little; less than the « leaft;' " and other such strange light terms he gave me, with that insulting, which cannot be expressed.
« Herewith stirred, yet I said no more but this : Mr. • Attorney, do not depress me so far; for I have been
your better, and may be again, when it please the Queen.'
“ With this he spake, neither I nor himself could tell what, as if he had been born Attorney General; and in the end bade me not meddle with the Queen's business, but with mine own; and that I was unsworn, &c. I told him, sworn