Obrazy na stronie

hurry forward the Advancement of Learning at that particular time, and of those which afterwards suggested the incorporation of it into his great work on the Interpretation of Nature, I have already explained my own view in my preface to the De Augmentis. Upon all matters requiring explanation or illustration the reader is referred to Mr. Ellis's notes upon the corresponding passages in that more finished work; and that the reference may be more easy I have marked the places where the several chapters begin; adding some account, more or less complete, of the principal differences between the two. In many cases these differences are so extensive that no adequate idea of their nature could be given within the limits of a note; and in such cases I have been content with a simple reference to the place. But where the substance of any addition or alteration which seemed to me material could be stated succinctly, especially if it involved any modification of the opinion expressed in the text, I have generally endeavoured to state it; sometimes translating Bacon's words, sometimes giving the effect in my own, as I found most convenient.

[ocr errors]

For the text, I have treated the edition of 1605 as the only original authority; the corrections introduced by later editors, though often unquestionably right, being (as far as I can see) merely conjectural. And therefore, though I have adopted all such corrections into the text whenever I was satisfied that they give the true reading, I have always quoted in a note the reading of the original. Only in the typographical arrangement with respect to capitals, italics, &c., (which in the original was probably left to the printer's taste, and is inconsistent in itself, and would be perplexing to modern eyes,) and also in the punctuation, which is extremely confused and inaccurate, I have used the full liberty of my own judgment; altering as much as I pleased, and endeavouring only to make the sense clear to an eye accustomed to modern books, without encumbering the page with any notice of such alterations.

There is one innovation however which I have ventured to introduce and which it is necessary to explain. The Advancement of Learning was written for readers who were familiar with Latin, and abounds with Latin quotations. In these days it may be read with profit by many persons of both sexes to whom such quotations are a very perplexing obstruction. Forming as they generally do a part of the context, so that the

sentence is not complete without them, those who cannot read Latin are in many cases unable to follow the sense of the English. To give such readers the means of understanding them seemed therefore no less than necessary; and I thought the true effect of them would be conveyed to the mind most perfectly and satisfactorily by presenting the interpretations in such a form that they might be read in their places, just as they would have been had they formed part of the original text, and just as they are in those passages where Bacon has himself furnished the interpretation. Following his example therefore as nearly as I could, I have endeavoured to give the effect of each of these Latin quotations in such a form as seemed to suit best the English idiom and to fall best into the English context; not tying myself to literal translation, but rather preferring to vary the expression, especially where I could by that means give it such a turn as to throw the emphasis more distinctly upon that part of the quotation which was more particularly in point. Thus it will be found, I think, that those who understand the Latin may still read the English without feeling it to be a mere repetition, while those who do not will in reading the English alone find the sense always complete. It was evident however that translations of this kind could not be read in this way conveniently if inserted in notes at the bottom of the page; and therefore, there being no room in the margin, I have ventured to insert them in the text; from which however, that they may not be mistaken for a part of it, I have always taken care to distinguish them by brackets. In a few cases where a Latin quotation occurs, not followed by a translation within brackets, it is to be understood that it is introduced merely as a voucher for what has just been said in the English, or for the purpose of suggesting a classical allusion which a translation would not suggest except to a classical reader, and that the sense is complete without it. In a few other cases where a quotation is followed by a translation not included within brackets, it is to be understood that it is Bacon's own translation and forms part of the original text.

For all the notes except those signed R. L. E., which are Mr. Ellis's, I am responsible.

J. S.










Printed for Henrie Tomes, and are to be sold at his shop at Graies

Inne Gate in Holborne.









THERE were under the Law (excellent King) both daily sacrifices and freewill offerings; the one proceeding upon ordinary observance, the other upon a devout cheerfulness. In like manner there belongeth to kings from their servants both tribute of duty and presents of affection. In the former of these I hope I shall not live to be wanting, according to my most humble duty, and the good pleasure of your Majesty's employments for the later, I thought it more respective to make choice of some oblation which might rather refer to the propriety and excellency of your individual person, than to the business of your crown and state.

Wherefore representing your Majesty many times unto my mind, and beholding you not with the inquisitive eye of presumption to discover that which the Scripture telleth me is inscrutable, but with the observant eye of duty and admiration; leaving aside the other parts of your virtue and fortune, I have been touched, yea and possessed with an extreme wonder at those your virtues and faculties which the philosophers call intellectual; the largeness of your capacity, the faithfulness of your memory, the swiftness of your apprehension, the penetration of your judgment, and the facility and order of your elocution and I have often thought that of all the persons

« PoprzedniaDalej »