THE Fortune of Francis Bacon determined that he should be born on the twenty-second of January 1560/1, at York House in the Strand. It laid him in a cradle among the rulers of kingdoms; the names of empires were to be his daily business, but it interfused with them another and invisible empire which was to belong to his holidays and his nights, the empire of man over nature. His Fortune prepared in him an energy which has protracted itself through three centuries, saluted and studied by such men as Descartes and Leibniz, and (in another kind) Voltaire; an energy which, by the scope of its vision and the vital lucidity of its speech, was to make even his enemies his debtors. There was in his lifetime but one other power of equal and superior greatness; in the year of Francis's birth John Shakespeare was chosen to serve Stratford as a chamberlain, while Nicholas Bacon held the Great Seal of England. Men have been so astonished at the separate glories of the two children that they have refused to believe that the richness of God could put them in the world together.