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solicitor; Puckering, from queen's sergeant; Egerton, from master of the rolls, having newly left the attorney’s place; he proceeds: “Now I beseech your majesty let me put you the present case truly. If you take my lord Coke, this will follow; first your majesty shall put an over-ruling man into an over-ruling place, which may breed an extreme; next you shall blunt his industry in matter of finances, which seemeth to aim at another place; and, lastly, popular men are no sure mounters for your majesty's saddle. If you take my lord Hobart, you shall have a judge at the upper end of your council board, and another at the lower end, whereby your majesty will find your prerogative pent; for, though there should be emulation between them, yet, as legists, they will agree in magnifying that wherein they are best. He is no statesman, but an economist wholly for himself, so as your majesty, more than an outward form, will find little help in him for the business. If you take my lord of Canterbury, I will say no more but the chancellor's place requires a whole man, and to have both jurisdictions spiritual and temporal in that height is fit only for a king. For myself, I can only present your majesty with gloria in obsequio,” &c. On the 11th of July, 1618, Bacon was created baron of Werulam, in the county of Herts, and on the 27th of January, 1620, viscount St. Alban. He had now become the chief director of the affairs of state. James, with all his vanity, was still conscious of the superior wisdom of his great adviser, and submitted most matters to his judgment and decision; while a mixture of friendship, veneration and deference to age and long experience, had brought the warmth and the caprice of Buckingham, by whom so much was governed, in a great measure under his control. It was natural that elevation so distinguished as that which Bacon had attained should produce more than ordinary envy, and aggravate the feelings of his enemies who were numerous and powerful. Among the most implacable may be ranked sir Edward Coke, with whom he had maintained for many years constant rivalry and warfare, and whose influence swayed the opinions of a multitude. The attachment to Buckingham, which Bacon had invariably displayed, involved him also in the unpopularity and jealousy with which that favorite was now surrounded, and the various judicial decrees which he had to pronounce tended greatly to increase the number of his enemies. For the private interests of many individuals in the court and state were affected by them. His downfall had been hopelessly desired by thousands, when the house of commons in the parliament which met on the 30th of January, 1620, only three days after his reception of the new dignity of viscount, appointed a committee to inquire into the conduct of the courts of justice, which, on the 15th of March, 1620, O. S., reported against him two charges of the grossest corruption. It was fully proved that he had accepted large bribes from two suitors in chancery, and the turpitude of the offence seemed to acquire a deeper dye from the exceeding necessity of the parties, one of whom had been forced to mortgage an estate to furnish the requisite sum, and the other to borrow miserably from an usurer. On the motion of sir Edward Coke, the business was transferred to the house of lords, to whom Bacon, who was or feigned to be very ill, sent an expostulatory letter. They answered him with respect and tenderness, and even manifested an inclination to believe him innocent; but on the very next day new complaints were made to them by the house of commons, in which more than twenty instances were cited of his having taken bribes, amounting to many thousand pounds, and the lords appointed a select committee to take the whole into most serious consideration. James, who is said to have lamented his wretched degradation, even with tears, admitted him to a long audience, and even procured a short recess of parliament, to delay if not to avert his danger, but this temporary expedient only served to aggravate the evil, and increase the public clamor. With the hope of evading a minute inquiry, the humbled culprit addressed a submissive letter to the house of lords, in which he exerted all his great eloquence, to induce them to content themselves with merely depriving him of his high office. They insisted however very properly upon a distinct confession respecting each article of bribery and corruption with which he was charged, and the chancellor confessed his guilt with regard to most of the twenty-three articles of corruption exhibited against him, whilst he extenuated some, and again appealed to the mercy of the house. Upon being asked whether the confession which had been read was written by his own hand, he replied, “It is my act, my hand, my heart; I beseech your lordships to be merciful to a broken reed.” He was deprived the next day of the great seal: and on the 3d of May, having in the meantime been summoned to attend the house, which he declined on the score of illness, the peers, in the simple form of an answer to the house of commons, then standing at their bar to demand judgment against him, sentenced him to a fine of forty thousand pounds; to be imprisoned in the tower during the king's pleasure; and to be for ever incapable of holding any public office, or of sitting in parliament. His confinement was short. The king, still anxious to receive his counsels, renewed a personal intercourse with him, and the 12th of the following October, signed a warrant remitting the whole of his sentence, except the parliamentary prohibition, from which also he was relieved towards the close of his life. He retired, loaded with debt, and unable to practise frugality, and such indeed were his necessities that he condescended to sue for the office of provost of Eton college, and suffered the chagrin of a refusal. These necessities, however, would appear to have had their origin, not in lord Bacon's actual destitution, for his income, even after his disgrace, was for that period considerable, amounting, from various sources, to about £2,500; but he lived with a magnificence and splendor which had no bounds. In the midst of bodily infirmities, occasioned by intense study, multiplicity of business, and above all by mental anxiety and distress, lord Bacon pursued his philosophical researches to the last, and even perished in the cause to which during his whole life he had been so fondly devoted. In the winter of 1625, his health and strength were much impaired; but in the following spring he took an excursion into the country for the purpose of making experiments on the preservation of bodies. Having exposed himself imprudently to noxious effluvia, he was suddenly seized with indisposition so severe as to compel him to stop at the earl of Arundel's house at Highgate. Here, after a week's illness, he expired on the 9th of April, 1626, in the sixtysixth year of his age. In a letter addressed to the nobleman in whose house he died, he compares himself to the elder Pliny, who lost his life by approaching too near to Mount Vesuvius during an eruption. He was buried in the chapel of St. Michael's church within the precincts of Old Verulam. Lord Bacon was married about the year 1607, to Alice, the daughter of Benedict Barnham, an alderman
of London, by whom however he left no issue. G. A. M.
ART. IV.-CODIFICATION AND REFORM OF THE LAW.—NO. 7.
Although we have insisted upon the importance of various reforms in the law, and dwelt upon the necessity (becoming every year more urgent) of bringing its rules and principles, from appalling tomes which defy the labor of man,
within a reasonable compass, we are not insensible of the difficulty of the attempt. It should be a work of time, and accomplished with due consideration, and the sages of the law, men of age, ability and experience, should be engaged in the task, together with those who might reasonably look forward with the hope of witnessing its termination. A crude and hasty fulfilment of the duty would be worse than useless, injurious to the public, and disgraceful to the individuals concerned. Great consideration would be demanded, with a far extended view of consequences, resulting from individual cases, or bearing upon kindred subjects. And every principle adopted should be fully and gravely discussed. The danger of hasty legislation is well illustrated in one of the provisions of the Revised Statutes of the state of New York. We allude to that which abolishes uses.' It is well understood, that a remainder limited after a conditional estate is void, because the effect of a condition is not, when broken, proprio vigore, to determine the particular estate, which may continue at the election of the grantor. Such a remainder after a conditional estate in a use, however, as also in a devise, would be good. The object of the revisers of the New York statutes was to provide for the validity of the remainder thus limited in all circumstances: they therefore introduced a clause providing as follows: “A remainder may be limited on a contingency, which in case it should happen will operate to abridge, or determine the precedent estate, and every such remainder shall be construed a conditional limitation, and shall have the same effect as such a limitation will have by law.” They also provided for the abolition of uses. Chancellor Kent, in the second edition of his Commentaries,” noticed the above clause as designed to make remainders valid as
* 1 Revised Statutes, page 727. * Vol. iv. p. 128, in note. WOL. XXI.-No. XLII. 23