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As we have adhered to our engagements with the most scrupulous regard, in collecting a variety of original pieces from the different stores of art and literature ; as we have continued four entirely new works through the successive numbers of the Magazine without interruption, and added à fifth on the subject of the Belles Lettres, which we flatter ourselves will meet with peculiar approbation; as we have taken measures for procuring a greater number of curious materials than have hitherto appeared, and employed perfons properly qualified to select entertaining articles from manuscripts deposited in libraries both public and private; in a word, as we are determined to exert all our faculties in the prosecution of the work, so as to render it equally productive of utility and amusement, we do not despair of enjoying a continuation of success; nor can we resign our pretensions to the favour and protection of the community.
For JANUARY, 1762.
The Life of Lord CHANCELLOR BACON. [Concluded.)
*SYSH E last article of the yond the condition of a man who means
charge against him is ro to preserve his integrity, he allowed in his T
very remarkable, and the house every kind of extravagance: and as matter of it so important, many of his retinue were young, diffithat it is necessary to stop paled, giddy, and headftrong in the pur
a little here, and make a suit of pleasure, they squandered without few reflections. It alledged, “ That he measure, where they were indulged with. had given way to great exa&tions in his out controul. Whether he did not dirservants, both in respect of private seals cover this error till it was too late, or and otherwise, for sealing injunctions." whether a soul like his, lost in the greatHe gave no other answer to it than this: ness and immensity of its own views, could "I confess that it was a great fault of ne- not attend to that detail of little and dir. glc& in me, that I looked no better to agreeable particulars, which yet oeconomy servants.” Now, this indulgence to my requires; certain it is, to support his his domeftics, which was certainly extreme, ordinary train of living, he thus fell into has been generally and truly, reckoned the corruption bimsell, and connived at it in principal cause of those irregularities that his' dependents. Such inconsistencies in drew on his disgrace. One day, during his human nature cannot buc alarm and tertrial, as he was passing through a room rify even those who are most confirmed in where several of his domestics were fitting; a habit of virtue. For the honour of the Epon their getting up to salute him, “Sit lord St. Alban's memory, it is generally down, my masters, he cried, your risc hath believed ibat liis decrees were always con. been my fall.” For himself, or his fami- ronant to justice, and that he scrupled not 15, he treasured up nothing ; but, liberal to decide even against those very perfons in his own temper, or rather profuse be. who had given him bribes. How far he Janoary, 1762.
might be tempted to foften or palliate his though he did not think it amounted, decrees, it is impossible to know. But that strictly speaking, to the taking of bribes they were in general just and equitable, The extreme severity of the sentence, appears from this undeniable testimony, which his humble submission and applicathat not (ne of them was ever reversed. tion, for tenderness and mercy, had been This manifetts the natural uprightness of thus unable to abate, must have been felt his mind. How much is it to be lamented, beyond expresion, by a man of such nice that it was not strong enough to avoid all honour and sensibility as the viscount St. appearar.ces of evil, or the imputation of Alban. Yet his spirits, though dejected it, though in the smallest degree! He and caft down with the preilure of his Tecmis ever to have had a very particular no- misfortunes, were not broke. He was carrion of bribery. He thought it could not ried to the Tower, where he was confined be separated from injustice ; and, therefore, but a very Mort time, when his majesty if his decrees were upright, he persuaded sent him his discharge from thence. In a himself he was not guilty of that offence, little time after, he applied himself to the notwithlanding he had taken money or king and Buckingham, for access to the presents of great value. This distinction former, which he obtained ; and because runs th:ough all his writings on this sub- his sentence restrained him from coming ject. He was willing to own corruption, within the verge of the court, the king
Some persons have taken great pains to infinuate, that my lord St. Alban was more fufpeed than guilty; that he was facrificed to the court, and the safety of Buckingham, and not a victim to public justice. They alledge that he would have delivered himself, by a prudent and circumspect defence, had he not been actually restrained by king James ; who, say they, was afraid to trust him before the house of peers, len, in the course of such defence, he Mould have been forced to lay open and unfoid the many scenes of bad administration he had been privy to, and so divert the odium from himself øn Buckingham : for some of the charges against the chancellor were of a mix d nature, and obliquely glanced at the king and bis minister. Therefore, hy absolutely commanding him to forsake his defence, James abandoned him to the fury of the house of commons. The pretence is plausible. But whoever will take the trou. ble to examine deeply into this matter will find litile foundation, in truth, for such al. legations; or, at least, that to call my lord St. Alban a court sacrifice is highly unjust. The greateit rumber of the charges concerned the chancellor only. With these, neither James nor his favourite had the least connection. No one will deny that he was cri. minal as to these. Can we suppose he would have con essed the charges, and avowed them to be true in the most folemn manner, if they had not been actually so ? Such persons should consider, that by supposing any thing like this, they are not befriending, but loading with infamy, my lord St. Alban's character. “But, say they, we do not suppose him abfolutely innocent, but less guilty than is generally imagined." If he was guilty at all, how was he a court sacriñce ? He did roften and extenuate many of the charges. That was making a defence in writing. Would he have confessed the others to be true, if there had been any room for ex:enuation ? Had he not the like power to soften, mitigate, or even dery all, as well as fome, if that could liave been done confiftently wi:h veracity ? Many more questions, like these, might be asked, very difficult to be answer. ed. These things duly considered, it is manifeft, that the viscount of St. Alban was not made the scape goal of Buckingham, nor sacrificed to the arts of a court, or the weakness of his sovereign; (a prince who, with all his follies, surely doth rot deserve the treatment he has met with from certain persons who have wrote of the lord chan. cellor Bacon) but that the whole was entirely owing to a strict and steady pursuit of justice. An autor who transmits the actions of great men to posterity, ought, un. doubtedly, to have no servile complaisance, no party views, in favour of a court; because that would be inconsistent with a regard for truth, the great and chief thing required in an historian. But then, as a like regard ought always to he paid to truth, there can be no merit in facrificing courts, kings, and nations, to any favourite character of a min, though ever so great, in respect to parts; or hig'', in reference to his Station.