Copyright
Francis Bacon.

The works of Francis Bacon, baron of Verulam, viscount St. Alban, and lord high chancellor of England (Volume 3) online

. (page 26 of 45)
Online LibraryFrancis BaconThe works of Francis Bacon, baron of Verulam, viscount St. Alban, and lord high chancellor of England (Volume 3) → online text (page 26 of 45)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


\vill say, that that opinion seems to me contrary to
reason of law, contrary to form of pleading in law,
and contrary to authority and experience of Jaw. For
reason of law, when I meditate of it, me thinks the
wisdom of the common laws of England well observed,
is admirable in the distribution of the benefit and pro-
tection of the laws, according to the several conditions
of persons, in an excellent proportion. The degrees
are four, but bipartite, two of aliens and two of sub-
jects.

The first degree is of an alien born under a king or
estate, that is an enemy. If such an one come into
this kingdom without safe-conduct, it is at his peril ;
the law giveth him no protection, neither for body,
lands, nor goods ; so as if he be slain there is no re-
medy by any appeal at the party's suit, although his
wife were an English woman : marry at the king's
suit, the case may be- otherwise in regard of the of-
fence to the peace.

The second degree is of an alien that is born under
the faith and allegiance of a king or state that is a
friend. Unto such a person the law doth impart a
greater benefit and protection, that is, concerning
things personal, transitory, and moveable, as goods
and chattels, contracts, and the like, but not concern-
ing freehold and inheritance. And the reason is, be-
cause he may be an enemy, though he be not ; for the
state under the obeisance of which he is, may enter
into quarrel and hostility ; and therefore as the law-
hath but a transitory assurance of him, so it rewards
him but with transitory benefits.



Of General Naturalization. 301

The third degree is of a subject, who having been art
alien, is by charter made denizen. To such an one
the law doth impart yet a more ample benefit ; for it
gives him power to purchase freehold and inheri-
tance to his own use, and likewise enables the chil-
dren born after his dentzation to inherit. But yet ne-
vertheless he cannot make title or convey pedigree
from any ancestor paramount; for the law thinks not
good to make him in the same degree with a subject
born, because he was once an alien, and so might
once have been an enemy : and nemo sulrito t fingitnr 9
mens affections cannot be so settled by any benefit, as
when from their nativity they are inbred and inherent.

And the fourth degree, which is the perfect degree,
is of such a person as neither is enemy, nor could have
been enemy in time past, nor can be enemy in time to
come ; and therefore the law gives unto him the full
benefit of naturalization.

Now, Mr. Speaker, if these be the true steps and
paces of the law, no man can deny but whosoever is
born under the king's obedience, never could in aliqito
puncto temporis be an enemy, a rebel he might be,
but no enemy, and therefore in reason of law is natu-
ralized. Nay, contrariwise, he is bound J^rc' nativi-
tatis to defend this kingdom of England against all
invaders or rebels; and therefore as he is obliged to
the protection of arms, and that perpetually and uni-
versally, so he is to have the perpetual and universal
benefit and protection of laws which is naturalization.

For form of pleading, it is true that hath been said,
that if a man would plead another to be an alien, he
must not only set forth negatively and privately, that
he was born out of the obedience of our sovereign lord
the king, but affirmatively, under the obedience of a
foreign king or state in particular, which can never be
done in this case.

As for authority I will not press it; you know all
what hath been published by the king's proclamation.
And for experience of law we see it in the subjects of -
Ireland, in the subjects of Guernsey and Jersey, par-
cels of the duchy of Normandy ; in the subjects of Ca-



3O2 Of General Naturalization.

lais, when it was English, which was parcel of the
crown of France. But as I said, I am not willing to
enter into an argument of law, but to hold myself to
point of conveniency, so as for my part I hold all post-
nati naturalized ipso jure; but yet I am far from opi-
nion, that it should be a thing superfluous to have it
done by parliament ; chiefly in respect of that true
principle of estate, Principum acliones praecipue ad
f amain sunt componendae. It will lift up a sign to all
the world of our love towards them, and good agree-
ment with them. And these are, Mr. Speaker, the
material objections which have been made on the
other side, whereunto you have heard my answers ;
weigh them in your wisdoms, and so I conclude that
general part.

Now, Mr. Speaker, according as I promised, I must
fill the other balance in expressing unto you the in-
conveniences which we shall incur, if we shall not
proceed to this naturalization : wherein that inconve-
nience, which of all others, and alone by itself, if
there were none other, doth exceedingly move me,
and may move you, is a position of estate, collected
out of the records of time, which is this: that where-
soever several kingdoms or estates have been united
in sovereignty, if that union hath not been fortified
and bound in with a farther union, and namely, that
which is now in question, of naturalization, this hath
followed, that at one time or other they have broken
again, being upon all occasions apt to revolt and re-
lapse to the former separation.

Of this assertion the first example which I will set
before you, is of that memorable union which was
between the Romans and the Latins, which conti-
nued from the battle at the lake of Regilla, for many-
years, unto the consulships. At what time there
began, about this very point of naturalization, that
war which was called Bellum sociale, being the most
bloody and pernicious war that ever the Roman state
endured : wherein, after a number of battles and in-
finite sieges and surprises of towns, the Romans in
the end prevailed and mastered the Latins : but as



Of General Naturalization. 303

Soon as ever they had the honour of the war, looking
back into what perdition and confusion they were
near to have been brought, they presently naturalized
them alJ. You speak of a naturalization in blood;
there was a naturalization indeed in blood.

Let me set before you again the example of Sparta
and the rest of Peloponnesus their associates. The
state of Sparta was a nice and jealous state in this
point of imparting naturalization to their confederates.
But what was the issue of it ? After they had held
them in a kind of society and amity for divers years,
upon the first occasion given, which was no more than
the surprise of the castle of Thebes, by certain despe-
rate conspirators in the habit of maskers, there ensued
immediately a general revolt and defection of their as-
sociates ; which was the ruin of their state never after-
wards to be recovered.

Of latter times let me lead your consideration to
behold the like events in the kingdom of Arragon ;
which kingdom was united with Castile and the rest
of Spain in the persons of Ferdinando and Isabella,
and so continued many years ; but yet so as it stood a
kingdom severed and divided from the rest of the body
of Spain in privileges, and directly in this point of
naturalization, or capacity of inheritance. What
came of this? Thus much, that now of fresh me-
mory, not past twelve years since, only upon the voice
of a condemned man out of the grate of a prison to-
wards the street, that cried Fueros, which is as much
as, liberties or privileges, there was raised a dangerous
rebellion, which was suppressed with great difficulty
with an army royal. After which victory nevertheless,
to shun farther inconvenience, their privileges were
disannulled, and they were incorporated with the rest
of Spain. Upon so small a spark, notwithstanding so
long a continuance, were they ready to break and
sever again.

The like may be said of the states of Florence and
Pisa, which city of Pisa being united unto Florence,
but not endowed with the benefit of naturalization,
upon the first light of foreign assistance, by the expe-



304- Of General Naturalization.

dition of Charles VIII. of France into Italy, did re-
volt; though it be since again re-united and incor-
porated.

The same effect we see in the most barbarous
government, which shews it the rather to be an effect
of nature ; for it was thought a fit policy by the
council of Constantinople, to retain the three pro-
vinces of Transylvania, Wallachia, and Moldavia,
which were as the very nurses of Constantinople, in
respect of their provisions, to the end they might be
the less wasted, only under Way woods as vassals and
homagers, and not under Bashaws, as provinces of the
Turkish empire: which policy we see by late expe-
rience proved unfortunate, as appeared by the revolt
of the same three provinces, under the arms and con-
duct of Sigismond prince of Transylvania ; a leader
very famous for a time ; which revolt is not yet fully
recovered. Whereas we seldom or never hear of re-
volts of provinces incorporated with the Turkish
empire.

On the other part, Mr. Speaker, because it is true
what the logicians say, Opposita juxta se posita
magis elitcescunt: let us take a view, and we shall
find that wheresoever kingdoms and states have been
united, and that union corroborated by the bond of
mutual naturalization, you shall never observe them
afterwards, upon any occasion of trouble or otherwise,
to break and sever again: as we see most evidently
before our eyes, in divers provinces of France, that is
to say, Guienne, Provence, Normandy, Britain, which
notwithstanding the infinite infesting troubles of that
kingdom, never offered to break again.

We see the like effect in all the kingdoms of Spain,
which are mutually naturalized, as Leon, Castile,
Valentia, Andalusia, Granada, and the rest, except
Arragon, which held the contrary course, and there-
fore had the contrary success, as was said, and Por-
tugal, of which there is not yet sufficient trial. And
lastly, we see the like effect in our own nation, which
never rent asunder after it was once united; so as we
now scarce know whether the heptarchy were a true



\



Of General Naturalization. 303

story or a fable. And therefore, Mr. Speaker, when I
revolve with myself these examples and others, so
lively expressing the necessity of a naturalization to
avoid a relapse into a separation ; and do hear so many
arguments and scruples made on the other side; it
makes me think on the old bishop, which, upon a
public disputation of certain Christian divints with
some learned men of the heathen, did extremely press
to be heard ; and they were loth to suffer him, because
they knew he was unlearned, though otherwise an
holy and well-meaning man : but at last, with much
ado, he got to be heard ; and when he came to speak,
instead of using argument, he did only say over his
belief: but did it with such assurance and constancy,
as it did strike the minds of those that heard him more
than any argument had done. And so, Mr. Speaker,
against all these witty and subtle arguments, I say,
that I do believe, and I would be sorry to be found a
prophet in it, that except we proceed with this natu-
ralization, though perhaps not in his majesty's time,
who hath such interest in both nations, yet in the time
of his descendents these realms will be in continual
danger to divide and break again. Now if any man
be of that careless mind, Maneat nosfros ea cur a ne-
potes; or of that hard mind, to leave things to be tried
by the sharpest sword : sure I am, he is not of St.
Paul's opinion, who affirmeth, that whosoever useth
not a fore-sight and provision for his family, is worse
than an unbeliever; much more if we shall not use
fore-sight for these two kingdoms, that comprehend in
them so many families, but leave things open to the
peril of future divisions. And thus have I expressed
unto you that inconvenience, which, of all others,
sinketh deepest with me as the most weighty : neither
do there want other inconveniences, Mr. Speaker, the
effects and influence whereof I fear will not be ad-
journed to so long a day as this that I have spoken of:
for I leave it to your wisdoms to consider whether you
do not think, in case, by the denial of this naturali-
zation, any pique, or alienation, or unkindness, I do
not say should be, but should be thought to be, or

VOL. III. X



306 Of General Naturalization.

noised to be between these two nations, whether it
will not quicken and excite all the envious and mali-
cious humours, wheresoever, which are now covered,
against us, either foreign or at home ; and so open the
way to practices and other engines and machinations,
to the disturbance of this state ? As for that other
inconvenience of his majesty's engagement into this
action, it is too binding and pressing to be spoken of,
and may do better a great deal in your minds than in
my mouth, or in the mouth of any man else ; because,
as I say, it doth press our liberty too far. And there-
fore, Mr. Speaker, I come now to the third general
part of my division, concerning the benefits which we
shall purchase by this knitting of the knot surer and
straiter between these two kingdoms, by the commu-
nicating of naturalization : the benefits may appear to
be two, the one surety, the other greatness.

Touching surety, Mr. Speaker, it was well said by
Titus Quintius the Roman, touching the state of Pe-
loponnesus, that the tortoise is safe within her shell,
Testudo intra tegumen tufa est; but if there be any
parts that lie open, they endanger all the rest. We
know well, that although the state at this time be in a
happy peace, ye,t for the time past, the more ancient
enemy to this kingdom hath been the French, and the
more late the Spaniard ; and both these had as it were
their several postern gates, whereby they might have
approach and entrance to annoy us. France had
Scotland, and Spain had Ireland; for these were the
two accesses which did comfort and encourage both
these enemies to assail and trouble us. We see that
of Scotland is cut off by the union of these two king-
doms, if that it shall be now made constant and per-
manent; that of Ireland is cut off likewise by the
convenient situation of the north of Scotland towards
the north of Ireland, where the sore was : which we
see, being suddenly closed, hath continued closed by
means of this salve; so that as now there arc no parts
of this state exposed to danger to be a temptation to
the ambition of foreigners, but their approaches and
Avenues are taken away : for I do little doubt but



Of General Naturalization. 3O7

those foreigners which had so little success when they
had those advantages, will have much less comfort
now that they be taken from them : and so much for
surety.

For greatness, Mr. Speaker, I think a man may
speak it soberly and without bravery that this kingdom
of England, having Scotland united, Ireland reduced,
the sea provinces of the Low Countries contracted,
and shipping maintained, is one of the greatest mo-
narchies, in forces truly esteemed, that hath been in
the world. For certainly the kingdoms here on earth
have a resemblance with the kingdom of heaven,
which our Saviour compareth, not to any great kernel
or nut, but to a very small grain, yet such an one as is
apt to grow and spread ; and such do I take to be the
constitution of this kingdom ; if indeed we shall refer
our counsels to greatness and power, and not quench
them too much with the consideration of utility and
wealth. For Mr. Speaker, was it not, think you, a
true answer that Solon of Greece made to the rich
king Croesus of Lydia, when he shewed unto him a
great quantity of gold that he had gathered together,
in ostentation of his greatness and might? But Solon
said to him, contrary to his expectation, " Why, Sir,
" if another come that hath better iron than you, he
" will be lord of all your gold." Neither is the au-
thority of Machiavel to be despised, who scorneth
that proverb of state, taken first from a speech of
Mucianus, That moneys are the sinews of wars; and
saith, " there are no true sinews of wars, but the very
" sinews of the arms of valiant men."

Nay more, Mr. Speaker, whosoever shall look into
the seminaries and beginnings of the monarchies of
the world, he shall find them founded in poverty.

Persia, a country barren and poor, in respect of the
Medes, whom they subdued.

Macedon, a kingdom ignoble and mercenary until
the time of Philip the son of Amyntas.

Rome had poor and pastoral beginnings.

The Turks, a band of Sarmatian Scythes, that in a
vagabond manner made incursion upon that part of

x 2



Of General Naturalization.

Asia, which is yet called Turcomania ; out of which,
after much variety of fortune, sprung the Ottoman
family, now the terror of the world.

So, we know, the Goths, Vandals, Alans, Huns,
Lombards, Normans, and the rest of the northern
people, in one age of the world made their descent or
expedition upon the Roman empire, and came not, as
rovers, to carry away prey, and be gone again ; but
planted themselves in a number of rich and fruitful
provinces, where not only their generations, but their
names remain to this day ; witness Lombardy, Cata-
lonia, a name compounded of Goth and Alan, Anda-
lusia, a name corrupted from Vandalitia, Hungaria,
Normandy, and others.

Nay, the fortune of the Swisses of late years, which
are bred in a barren and mountainous country, is not
to be forgotten ; who first ruined the duke of Bur-
gundy, the same who had almost ruined the kingdom
of France, what time, after the battle near Granson,
the rich jewel of Burgundy, prized at many thousands,
was sold for a few pence by a common Swiss, that
knew no more what a jewel meant than did ^Esop's
cock. And again, the same nation in revenge of a
scorn, was the ruin of the French king's affairs in
Italy, Lewis XII. For that king, when he was pressed
somewhat rudely by an agent of the Switzers to raise
their pensions, brake into words ^of choler : " What,"
said he, " will these villains of the mountains put a
* e tax upon me?'* Which words lost him his dutchy
of Milan, and chased him out of Italy.

All which examples, Mr. Speaker, do well prove
Solon's opinion of the authority and mastery that iron
hath over gold. And therefore, if I shall speak unto
you mine own heart, methinks, we should a little dis-
dain that the nation of Spain, which howsoever of
late it hath grown to rule, yet of ancient time served
many ages ; first under Carthage, then under Rome,
after under Saracens, Goths, and others, should of late
years take unto themselves that spirit as to dream of
a monarchy in the west, according to that device,
Video solem orientem in occidente y only because they



Of General Naturalization. 309

have ravished from some wild and unarmed people
mines and store of gold ; and on the other side that
this island of Britain, seated and manned as it is, and
that hath, I make no question, the best iron in the
world, that is, the best soldiers in the world, shall
think of nothing but reckonings and audits, and meum
et tuum, and I cannot tell what.

Mr. Speaker, I have, I take it, gone through the
parts which I propounded to myself wherein if any
man shall think that I have sung a placebo, for mine
own particular, I would have him know that I am not
so unseen in the world, but that I discern it were much
alike for my private fortune to rest a tacebo, as to sing
a placebo in this business : but I have spoken out of
the fountain of my heart. Credidi propter quod locutus
sum : I believed, therefore I spake. So as my duty
is performed: the judgment is yours ; God direct it
for the best.



[ 310 ]

A

SPEECH

USED BY

SIR FRANCIS BACON, KNIGHT,

IN THE LOWER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT.

By Occasion of a Motion concerning the

UNION OF LAWS.



,/A.ND it please you, Mr. Speaker, were it now a time
to wisbj as it is to advise, no man should be more for-
ward or more earnest than myself in this wish, that
his majesty's subjects of England and Scotland were
governed by one law : and that for many reasons*

First, Because it will be an infallible assurance that
there will never be any relapse in succeeding ages to
a separation.

Secondly, Dulcis tractus parijugo. If the draught
lie most upon us, and the yoke lie lightest on them,
it is not equal.

Thirdly, the qualities, and as I may term it, the
elements of their laws and ours are such, as do pro-
mise an excellent temperature in the compounded
body : for if the prerogative here be too indefinite, it
may be the liberty there is too unbounded ; if our
laws and proceedings be too prolix and formal, it may
be theirs are too informal and summary.

Fourthly, I do discern to my understanding, there
will be no great difficulty in this work ; for their laws,
by that I can learn, compared with ours, are like their
language compared with ours : for as their language
hath the same roots that ours hath, but hath a little
more mixture of Latin and French ; so their laws and
customs have the like grounds that ours have, with



Of the Union of Laws. 3 1 1

a little more mixture of the civil law and French
customs.

Lastly, The mean to this work seemeth to me no
less excellent than the work itself: for if both laws
shall be united, it is of necessity for preparation
and inducement thereunto, that our own laws be
reviewed and re-compiled ; than the which I think
there cannot be a work, that his majesty can under-
take in these his times of peace, more politic, more
honourable, and more beneficial to his subjects for all
ages:

Pace data terris, animum ad civilia vertit
Jura suum, legesque tulii justissimus auctor.

For this continual heaping up of laws without di-
gesting them, maketh but a chaos and confusion, and
turneth the laws many times to become but snares for
the people, as it is said in the Scripture, Pluet super
eos Laqueos. Now Non sunt pejores laquei, quam la-
quei legum. And therefore this work 1 esteem to be
indeed a work, rightly to term it, heroical. So that
for this good wish of union of laws I do consent to
the full: And I think you may perceive by that which
I have said, that I come not in this to the opinion of
others, but that I was long ago settled in it myself:
nevertheless, as this is moved out of zeal, so 1 take it
to be moved out of time, as commonly zealous mo-
tions are, while men are so fast carried on to the end,
as they give no attention to the mean : for if it be
time to talk of this now, it is either because the bust-
ness now in hand carjnot proceed without it, or be-
cause in time and order this matter should be prece-
dent, or because we shall lose some advantage towards
this effect so much desired, if we should go on in the
course we are about. But none of these three in my
judgment are true; and therefore the motion, as I said,
unseasonable.

For first, that there may not be a naturalization
without an union in laws, cannot be maintained. Look
into the example of the church and the union thereof,
You shall see several churches, that join in one faith.



312 Of the Union of Laws.

one baptism, which are the points of spiritual natural-
ization, do many times in policy, constitutions, and
customs differ: and therefore one of the fathers made
an excellent observation upon the two mysteries ; the
one, that in the gospel the garment of Christ is said to
have been without seam ; the other, that in the psalm,
where the garment of the queen is said to have been
of divers colours ; and concludeth, In veste varietas
sit, scissura non sit. So in this case, Mr. Speaker, we
are now in hand to make this monarchy of one piece,
and not of one colour. Look again into the example
of foreign countries, and take that next us of France,
and there you shall find that they have this distribution,
pais du droit escrit, and pais du droit coustumier. For
Gascoigne, Languedoc, Provence, Dauphiny, are
countries governed by the letter or text of the civil
law : but the isle of France, Tourain, Berry, Anjou,
and the rest, and most of all Britainy, and Normandy,
are governed by customs, which amount to a muni-
cipal law, and use the civil law but only for grounds,
and to decide new and rare cases ; and yet neverthe-
less naturalization passeth through all.

Secondly, that this union of laws should precede the
naturalization, or that it should go on pari passu, hand
in hand, I suppose likewise, can hardly be main-
tained : but the contrary, that naturalization ought to
precede : of which my opinion, as I could yield many
reasons, so because all this is but a digression, and
therefore ought to be short, I will hold myself now



Online LibraryFrancis BaconThe works of Francis Bacon, baron of Verulam, viscount St. Alban, and lord high chancellor of England (Volume 3) → online text (page 26 of 45)