The Advancement of Learning eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 298 pages of information about The Advancement of Learning.

In November, 1584, Bacon took his seat in the House of Commons as member for Melcombe Regis, in Dorsetshire.  In October, 1586, he sat for Taunton.  He was member afterwards for Liverpool; and he was one of those who petitioned for the speedy execution of Mary Queen of Scots.  In October, 1589, he obtained the reversion of the office of Clerk of the Council in the Star Chamber, which was worth 1,600 pounds or 2,000 pounds a year; but for the succession to this office he had to wait until 1608.  It had not yet fallen to him when he wrote his “Two Books of the Advancement of Learning.”  In the Parliament that met in February, 1593, Bacon sat as member for Middlesex.  He raised difficulties of procedure in the way of the grant of a treble subsidy, by just objection to the joining of the Lords with the Commons in a money grant, and a desire to extend the time allowed for payment from three years to six; it was, in fact, extended to four years.  The Queen was offended.  Francis Bacon and his brother Antony had attached themselves to the young Earl of Essex, who was their friend and patron.  The office of Attorney-General became vacant.  Essex asked the Queen to appoint Francis Bacon.  The Queen gave the office to Sir Edward Coke, who was already Solicitor-General, and by nine years Bacon’s senior.  The office of Solicitor-General thus became vacant, and that was sought for Francis Bacon.  The Queen, after delay and hesitation, gave it, in November, 1595, to Serjeant Fleming.  The Earl of Essex consoled his friend by giving him “a piece of land”—­Twickenham Park—­which Bacon afterwards sold for 1,800 pounds—­equal, say, to 12,000 pounds in present buying power.  In 1597 Bacon was returned to Parliament as member for Ipswich, and in that year he was hoping to marry the rich widow of Sir William Hatton, Essex helping; but the lady married, in the next year, Sir Edward Coke.  It was in 1597 that Bacon published the First Edition of his Essays.  That was a little book containing only ten essays in English, with twelve “Meditationes Sacrae,” which were essays in Latin on religious subjects.  From 1597 onward to the end of his life, Bacon’s Essays were subject to continuous addition and revision.  The author’s Second Edition, in which the number of the Essays was increased from ten to thirty-eight, did not appear until November or December, 1612, seven years later than these two books on the “Advancement of Learning;” and the final edition of the Essays, in which their number was increased from thirty-eight to fifty-eight, appeared only in 1625; and Bacon died on the 9th of April, 1626.  The edition of the Essays published in 1597, under Elizabeth, marked only the beginning of a course of thought that afterwards flowed in one stream with his teachings in philosophy.

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The Advancement of Learning from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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