Obrazy na stronie

Upon the subject of this application Archbishop Tennison says in his Baconiana—“ The doctor was

[ocr errors]

“ I should esteem and acknowledge, not onely my " contentment encreased, but my

labours advanced, “ if I might obtain your help in that nature which I “ desire. Wherein before I set down in plain terms,

my request unto you, I will open myself, what “ it was which I chiefly sought and propounded to

myself in that work; that you may perceive that “ which I now desire, to be persuant thereupon. If I “ do not much err, (for any judgment that a man “ maketh of his own doings, had need be spoken “ with a Si nunquam fallit Imago, I have this

opinion, that if I had sought mine own commenda“ tion, it had been a much fitter course for me to “ have done as gardeners used to do, by taking “ their seed and slips, and rearing them first into

plants, and so uttering them in pots, when they " are in flower, and in their best state.

But for as “ much as my end was Merit of the State of Learn

ing (to my power) and not Glory; and because my

purpose was rather to excite other mens wits than “ to magnifie mine own; I was desirous to prevent " the uncertainness of mine own life and times, by

uttering rather seeds than plants: Nay and

further, (as the proverb is) by sowing with the “ basket, rather than with the hand : Wherefore, “ since I have onely taken upon me to ring a bell, to “ call other wits together, (which is the meanest

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

willing to serve so excellent a person, and so worthy a design; and, within a while, sent him a



" office) it cannot but be consonant to my desire, to “ have that bell heard as far as can be. And “ since they are but sparks which can work but

upon matter prepared, I have the more reason to “ wish, that those sparks may fly abroad, that they

may the better find and light upon those minds “ and spirits which are apt to be kindled. And “ therefore the privateness of the language con“ sidered, wherein it is written, excluding so many “ readers; as on the other side, the obscurity of the “ argument in many parts of it, excludeth many “ others; I must account it a second birth of that “work, if it might be translated into Latin, without “ manifest loss of the sense and matter. For this

purpose I could not represent to myself any “ man into whose bands I do more earnestly de“ sire that work should fall than yourself; for by " that I have heard and read, I know no man, a

greater master in commanding words to serve 66 matter. Nevertheless, I am not ignorant of the “ worth of your labours, whether such as your

place and profession imposeth, or such as your “ own virtue may upon your voluntary election take “ in hand. But I can lay before

perswasions than either the work itself may affect

you with; or the honour of his majesty, to whom “it is dedicated, or your particular inclination to

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

you no other


[ocr errors]

specimen of a latine translation. But men, ge

nerally, come short of themselves when they “ strive to out-doe themselves. They put a force

upon their natural genius, and, by straining of it, crack and disable it. And so, it seems, it hap

pened to that worthy and elegant man. Upon as this great occasion, he would be over-accurate; “ and he sent a specimen of such superfine latinity, “ that the Lord Bacon did not encourage him to “ labour further in that work, in the penning of “ which, he desired not so much neat and polite, as “ clear masculine, and apt expression.”

On the 12th of October, 1620, in a letter to the king, presenting the Novum Organum to his majesty, Lord Bacon says, I hear my former book of the “ Advancement of Learning, is well tasted in the “ universities here, and the English colleges abroad : " and this is the same argument sunk deeper.”

[ocr errors]

** myself; who, as I never took so much comfort in any

labours of mine own, so I shall never ac“ knowledge myself more obliged in any thing “ to the labours of another, than in that which shall “ assist it. Which your labour, if I can by my

place, profession, means, friends, travel, work, deed, requite unto you, I shall esteem myself so

streightly bound thereunto, as I shall be ever “ most ready both to take and seek occasion of " thankfulness. So leaving it nevertheless, Salvd

Amicitid, as reason is to your good liking. I " remain.”

An edition in 8vo. was published in 1629*; and a third edition, corrected from the original edition of 1605, was published at Oxford in 1633t. These are the only editions of the Advancement of Learning, which were published before the year 1736, a period of ten years after the death of Lord Bacon.

In the year 1023, the treatise “De Augmentis Scientiarum” was published in Latin by Lord Bacon. This work has very generally but erroneously been supposed to be a mere translation of the Advancement of Learning, but they differ in extent, and there are many passages in each of these works which are not contained in the other. The beautiful passage, for instance, upon Queen Elizabeth, which is contained in page 80, of this volume, is omitted in the treatise De Augmentis I.

The treatise “ De Augmentis," being in nine books and more extensive, abounds with passages that are not contained in “ The Advancement." This will appear by taking one specimen from each subject into which the work is divided :- viz. from

History, relating to the Memory.
POETRY, relating to the Imagination. And
Philosophy, relating to the Understanding.

* For William Washington, and are to be sold at his shop in St. Dunstan's Church Yard. 1629.

+ Oxford. Printed by J. L., printer to the University, for Thomas Huggins, 1633, with permission of B. Fisher.

# What was the cause of this omission ?- Were not the praises of Elizabeth acceptable to James ?

In the treatise De Augmentis, Natural History is divided

1. Of Nature in Course. 1. As to the subject :) 2. Of Nature Erring.

3. Of Arts.

[ocr errors]

2 As to the use :

1. Narrative.

2. Inductive. But the division, as to the use, &c. is not contained in the Advancement.

Under Poetry-The fable of Pan, of Perseus, &c. which are not in the Advancement, will be found in the treatise De Augmentis.

Under Philosophy.—Speaking on the advancement of universal justice or the laws of laws, he says, I propose, if God give me leave, having begun a Ι

, “ work of this nature in aphorisms, to propound it hereafter, noting it in the meantime for deficient.”

In the treatise De Augmentis, considerable progress is made in this projected work, in forty-seven distinct axioms, of which one is subjoined as a specimen :

“Antequam vero ad corpus ipsum legum parti“ cularium deveniamus; perstringemus paucis vir" tutes et dignitates legum in genere. Lex bona “ censeri possit quæ sit intimatione certa, præcepto “justa, executione commoda; cum forma politiæ, congrua, et generans virtutem in subditis.”

The difference between the Advancement of Learning and the treatise De Augmentis, is stated by Lord Bacon himself, in a letter to the Bishop of Winchester, in which he says, “ And for that my


« PoprzedniaDalej »