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VANCEMENT OF LEARNING.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE LORDS.
one, as I can never deserve the other. And so, his lieutenant, I do understand, there hath been in all humbleness kissing your majesty's sacred expected from me, heretofore, some justification, hands, I remain
and therefore I have chosen one only justification instead of all others, out of the justification of Job; for, after the clear submission and confes
sion which I shall now make unto your lordships, SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF SALISBURY, I hope I may say, and justify with Job, in these
I UPON SENDING HIM ONE OF HIS BOOKS OF AD. words, “I have not hid my sin, as did Adam, nor
concealed my faults in my bosom." This is the IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,
only justification I will use: it resteth, therefore, I present your lordship with a work of my and acknowledge, that having understood the
that, without fig-leaves, I do ingenuously confess vacant time, which if it had been more, the work had been better. It appertaineth to your lordship particulars of the charge, not formally from the (besides my particular respects) in some propriety,
House, but enough to inform my conscience and
I in regard you are a great governor in a province memory, I find matter both sufficient and full, to of learning, and (that which is more) you have move me to desert the defence, and to move your added to your place affection towards learning, lordships to condemn and censure me. Neither and to your affection judgment, of which the last will I trouble your lordships by singling out partiI could be content were (for the time) less, that culars, which I think may fall off: " Quid te exyou might the less exquisitely censure that which empta juvat spinis do millibus una ?" Neither I offer to you. But sure I am, the argument is
will I prompt your lordships to observe upon the good, if it had lighted upon a good author ; but I proofs, where they come not home, or the scruples shali content myself to awake better spirits, like touching the credit of the witnesses : Neither a bellringer which is first up, to call others to
will I present unto your lordships, how far a church. So, with my humble desire of your offence, in respect of the time, or manner of the
defence might in divers things extenuate the lordship’s good acceptation, I remain
gist, or the like circumstances; but only leave these things to spring out of your own noble thoughts, and observations of the evidence, and examinations themselves, and charitably to wind
about the particulars of the charge here and there, IT MAY PLEASE your Lordships,
as God shall put in your minds; and so submit I shall humbly crave at your lordships' hands myself wholly to your piety and grace. a benign interpretation of that which I shall now And now that I have spoken to your lordships write; for words that come from wasted spirits, as judges, I shall say a few words unto you as and an oppressed mind, are more safe in being peers and prelates, humbly commending my cause deposited in a noble construction, than in being to your noble minds, and magnanimous affections. circled with any reserved caution. Having made Your lordships are not only judgto, but parliathis as a protection to all which I shall say, I will mentary judges; you have a farther extent of gu on, but with a very strange entrance, (as may arbitrary power than other courts: and if you be seem to your lordships at the first;) for in the not tied to the ordinary course of courts or precemidst of a state of as great affliction as I think dents, in point of strictness and severity, much a mortal man can endure, (honour being above more in points of mercy and mitigation. And life,) I shall begin with the professing gladness yet, if any thing I should move might be contrary in some things.
to your houourable and worthy ends to introduce The first is, that hereafter the greatness of a a reformation, I should not seek it, but herein I judge or magistrate shall be no sanctuary, or beseech your lordships to give me leave to tell protection to him against guiltiness; which, in you a story. Titus Manlius took his son's life few words, is the beginning of a golden world. for giving bitte against the prohibition of his
The next, that after this example, it is like that general. Not many years after, the like severity judges will fly from any thing in the likeness of was pursued by Papirius Cursur, the dictator, corruption, (though it were at a great distance,) as against Quintus Marimus, who, being upon from a serpent; which tendeth to the purging of the the point to be sentenc-d, was, by the intercescourts of justice, and reducing them to their true sion of some principal persons of the senate, honour and splendour. And in these two points, spared; whereupon Livy maheth this grave and God is my witness, (though it be my fortune to be gracious observation : “ Nerua minus firmata the anvil, upon which these good effects are beaten est disciplina militaris periculo Vuinti Maximi, and wrought,) I take no small comfort. But to quam miserabili supplicio Titi Manlii.” The pass from the motions of my heart, whereof God discipline of war, was no less established by the is only judge, to the merits of my cause, whereof questioning only of Quintus Maximus than by your lordships are only judges, under God, and the punishment of Titus Manlius. Anx he same VOL. III.-4
reason is of the reformation of justice, for the a £100,000. But the judges first, and most questioning of men of eminent place hath the of the rest, reduced it as before. I do not dislike same terror, though not the same rigour with the that things pass moderately, and, all things conpunishment. But my case stayeth not there; for sidered, it is not amiss, and might easily have my humble desire is, that his majesty would take been worse. There was much speaking of interthe seal into his hands, which is a great downfall, ceding for the king's mercy, which (in my opinion) and may serve, I hope, in itself, for an expiation was not so proper for a sentence : I said, in cor of my faults.
clusion, that mercy was to come “ ex mero motu," Therefore, if mercy and mitigation be in your and so left it. I took some other occasion pertilordships' power, and do no ways cross your ends, nent to do the king honour, by showing how why should I not hope of your favours and com- happy he was in all other parts of his governmiserations? Your lordships may be pleased to ment, save only in the manage of his treasure by behold your chief pattern, the king our sovereign, these officers. a king of incomparable clemency, and whose I have sent the king a new bill for Sussex, for heart is inscrutable for wisdom and goodness. my Lord of Nottingham's certificate was true, and You well remember, that there sat not these hun. I told the judges of it before, but they neglected dred years before, in your house, a prince (and it. I conceive the first man (which is newly set never such a prince) whose presence deserveth to down) is the fittest. God ever preserve and keep be made memorable by records and acts, mixed you, etc. of mercy and justice. Yourselves are either nobles, (and compassion ever beateth in the veins of noble blood,) or reverend prelates, who are the sir FRANCIS BACON TO THE LORD TREASURER servants of him that would not break the bruised BUCKHURST, UPON TIIE SAME OCCASION OF reed, nor quench smoking flax.
You all sit upon a high stage, and therefore cannot but be more sensible of the changes of May IT PLEASE YOU'r good LORDSHIP, human condition, and of the fall of any from high I have finished a work touching the advanceplaces. Neither will your lordships forget that ment or setting forward of learning, which I have there are “vitia temporis," as well as vitia dedicated to his majesty, the most learned of a hominis," and that the beginning of reformation sovereign, or temporal prince, that time hath hath a contrary power to the pool of Bethseda, for known. And upon reason not unlike, I humbly that had strength only to cure him that first cast present one of the books to your lordship, not only in, and this hath strength to hurt him only that is as a chancellor of a university, but as one that first cast in; and for my part, I wish it may stay was excellently bred in all learning, which I have there, and go no farther.
ever noted to shine in all your speeches and beLastly, I assure myself, your lordships have a haviours. And therefore your lordship will yield noble feeling of me, as a member of your own a gracious aspect to your first love, and take pleabody; and one that, in this very session, had some sure in the adorning of that wherewith yourself taste of your loving affections, which I hope was
are so much adorned. And so, humbly desiring not a lightning before the death of them, but rather your favourable acceptation thereof, with signifia spark of that grace which now, in the conclu- cation of my humble duty, I remainsion, will more appear. And, therefore, my humble suit to your lordships is, that my voluntary confession may be my sentence, and the loss of the seal my punishment, and that your lordships A LETTER OF THE LIKE ARGUMENT TO THE LORD will spare any farther sentence, but recommend me to his majesty's grace and pardon for all that MAY IT PLEASE YOUR good Lordshir, is past. And so, etc.
I humbly present your lordship with a work, Your lordships', etc
wherein, as you have much commandment over Francis St. Alban, Can. the author, so your lordship hath also great
interest in the argument. For, to speak without flattery, few have like use of learning, or like
judgment in learning, as I have observed in your THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE DUKE. lordship. And, again, your lordship hath been a MY VERY GOOD LORD,
great planter of learning, not only in those places My Lord of Suffolk's cause is this day sen- in the church which have been in your own gift, tenced. My lord, and his lady, fined at £30,000, but also in your commendatory vote, no man hath with imprisonment in the Tower at their own more constantly held, « detur digniori ;” and, charges. Bingley at £2,000, and committed to therefore, both your lordship is beholden to learnthe Fleet; Sir Edward Coke did his part, I have ing, and learning beholden to you. Which not heard him do better; and began with a fine of maketh me presume, with good assurance, that
your lordship will accept well of these my for me, to have done as gardeners use to do, by labours, the rather because your lordship in pri- taking their seeds and slips, and rearing them vate speech hath often begun to me, in expressing first into plants, and so uttering them in pots, your admiration of his majesty's learning, to when they are in flower, and in their best state. whom I have dedicated this work; and, whose But, forasmuch, as my end was merit of the state virtue and perfection in that kind, did chiefly of learning, to my power, and not glory ; and, move me to a work of this nature. And, so with because my purpose was rather to excite other signification of my most humble duty and affec-men's wits, than to magnify my own, I was tion towards your lordship, I remain, etc. desirous to prevent the uncertainness of my own
life and times, by uttering rather seeds than
plants; nay, and farther, as the proverb is, by SIR FRANCIS BACON, OF THE LIKE ARGUMENT, sowing with the basket, than with the hand.
TO THE EARL OF NORTHAMPTON, WITH RE- Wherefore, since I have only taken upon me to QUEST TO PRESENT THE BOOK TO HIS MA
ring a bell, to call other wits together, (which is
the meanest office,) it cannot but be consonant to IT MAY PLEASE YOUR Good LORDSHIP, Having finished a work touching the advance my desire, to have that bell heard as far as can
be. And, since that they are but sparks, which ment of learning, and dedicated the same to his sacred majesty, whom I dare avouch (if the can work but upon matter prepared, I have the records of time err not) to be the learnedest king abroad, that they may the better find, and light
more reason to wish, that those sparks may fly that hath reigned; I was desirous in a kind of congruity, to present it by the learnedest coun kindled. And, therefore, the privateness of the
upon those minds and spirits which are apt to be sellor in this kingdom, to the end, that so good language considered wherein it is written, excludan argument, lightening upon so bad an author, might receive some reparation by the hands into ing so many readers, (as, on the other side, the which, and by which, it should be delivered. excludeth many others;) I must account it a
obscurity of the argument, in many parts of it, And, therefore, I make it my humble suit to your second birth of that work, if it might be translated lordship to present this mean, but well meant into Latin, without manifest loss of the sense and writing to his majesty, and with it my humble
matter. For this purpose, I could not represent and zealous duty; and also my like humble
to myself any man, into whose hands I do more request of pardon, if I have too often taken his
earnestly desire that work should fall, than
yourname in vain, not only in the dedication, but in self; for, by that I have heard and read, I know the voucher of the authority of his speeches and
no man a greater master in commanding words writings. And so I remain, &c.
to serve matter. Nevertheless, I am not ignorant
of the worth of your labours, whether such as SIR FRANCIS BACON, HIS LETTER OF REQUEST your place and profession imposeth on you, or TO DOCTOR PLAYFER, TO TRANSLATE THE such as your own virtue may, upon your volunBOOK OF ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING INTO tary election, take in hand. But I can lay before
you no other persuasions, than either the work Mr. Doctor Playfer,
may asect you with, or the honour of his A great desire will take a small occasion to majesty, to whom it is dedicated, or your partihope, and put in trial that which is desired. It cular inclination to myself; who, as I never took pleased you a good while since, to express unto so much comfort in any lahours of my own, so I
the good liking which you conceive of my shall never acknowledge myself more obliged in book, of the Advancement of Learning, and that any thing to the labour of another, than in that more significantly (as it seemed to me) than out which shall assist this. Which your labour if I of courtesy, or civil respect. Myself, as I then can, hy my place, profession, means, friends, took contentment in your approbation thereof, so travail, word, deed, requite unto you, I shall I should esteem and acknowledge, not only my esteem myself so straitly bound thereunto, as I contentment increased, but my labours advanced, shall be ever most ready, both to take and seek if I might obtain your help in that nature which occasions of thankfulness. And so leaving it, I desire. Wherein, before I set down in plain nevertheless, “ Salva amicitia," (as reason is,) to terms my request unto you, I will open myself, your own good liking, I remain, etc. 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 pursuant sir FRANCIS BACON. TO sir THOMAS BODLEY, thereupon, if I do not err. (For any judgment that a man maketh of his own doings, had need be spoken with a “Si nunquam fallit imago.") I SIR, have this opinion, that if I had sought my own I think no man may more truly say with the commendation, it had been a much fitter course psalm, á multum incola fuit anima mea.” For )
UPON SENDING HIM HIS BOOK OF THE AD.
do confess, since I was of any understanding, my, acquaintance with scholarship or learning, you mind hath, in effect, been absent from that I have should have culled forth the quintessence, and done, and in absence errors are committel, which sucked up the sap of the chiefest kind of learnI do willingly acknowledge; and amongst the ing. For, howsowever, in some points, you do rest, this great one that led the rest; that know- vary altogether from that which is and hath been ing myself by inward calling to be fitter to hold a ever the received doctrine of our schools, and book, than to play a part, I have led my life in i was always by the wisest (as still they have been civil causes, for which I was not very fit by deemed) of all nations and ages, adjudged the nature, and more unfit by the preoceupation of truest; yet it is apparent, in those very points, in my mind. Therefore, calling myself home, I all your proposals and plots in that book, you have now for a time enjoyed myself, where like-l show yourself a master workman. For myself, wise I desire to make the world partaker; my I must confess, and I speak it ingenuè, that for labours (if so I may term that which was the the matter of learning, I am not worthy to be comfort of my other labours) I have delicated to reckoned in the number of smatterers; and yet, the king, desirous, if there be any good in them, because it may seem that being willing to comit may
be as fat of a sacrifice incensed to his municate your treatise with your friends, you are honour; and the second copy I have sent unto likewise willing to listen to whatsoever I or you, not only in good affection, but in a kind of others can except against it; I must deliver unto congruity, in regard of your great and rare desert you, for my private opinion, that I am one of the of learning: for books are the shrines where the crew, that say there is, and we profess a greater saint is, or is believed to be. And, you having holdfist of certainty in your sciences, than you built an ark, to save learning from deluge, deserve, by your discourse will seem to acknowledge : in propriety, any new instrument or engine, for where, at first, you do object the ill success whereby learning should be improved or advanced. and errors of practitioners of physic, you know So, etc.
as well, they do proceed of the patient's unruliness, for not one of a hundred doth obey his physician in their own indisposition; for few are
able in that kind to explicate themselves; or by SIR TIIOMAS BODLEY TO SIR FRANCIS BACON, UPON HIS NEW PHILOSOPHY.
reason their diseases are by nature incurable,
which is incident, you know, to many sort of Sir,
inaladies; or for some other hidden cause, which As soon as the term was ended, supposing your cannot be discovered by course of conjecture; leisure was more than before, I was coming to how beit, I am full of this belief, that as physic thank you two or three times, rather choosing to is ministered now-a-days by physicians, it is do it by word than letter; but I was still disap- much ascribed to their negligence or ignorance, pointed of my purpose, as I am at this present or other touch of imperfection, that they speed no upon an urgent occasion, which doth tie me fast better in their practice: for are found, of to Fulham, and hath now made me determine to that profession, so well instructed in their art, as impart my mind in writing. I think you know I they might by the precepts which their art doth have read your “Cogitata et visa;” which, I afford; which, though it he defective in regard of protest, I have done with great desire, reputing it such perfection, yet for certain it doth flourish a token of your singular love, that you joined me with admirable remedies, such as tract of time with those your friends, to whom you would hath taught by experimental effects, and are the commend the first perusal of your draught; for open highway to that knowledge that you rewhich I pray give me leave to say but this unto commend. As for alchemy, and magic, some you. First, that if the depth of my affection to conclusions they have that are worthy the preyour person and spirit, to your works and your serving: but all their skill is so accompanied words, and to all your ability, were as highly to with subtilties and guiles, as both the crafts and be valued as your affection is to me, it might the crafts-masters are not only despised, but named walk with your's arm in arm, and claim your with derision. Whereupon to make good your love by just desert; but there can be no compa- principal assertion, methinks you should have rison, where our states are so uneven, and our drawn the most of your examples from that means to demonstrate our affections, so indiffer- which is taught in the liberal sciences, not by ent; insomuch as, for mine own, I must leave it picking out cases that happen very seldom, and to be prized in the nature that it is; and you may, by all confession, be subject to reproof, but shall evermore find it most addicted to your worth. by controlling the generals, and grounds, and As touching the subject of your book, you have eminent positions and aphorisms, which the set afoot so many noble speculations, as I cannot greatest artists and philosophers have from time choose but wonder and I shall wonder at ever, to time defended; for it goeth for current among hat your expense of time considered in your all men of learning, that those kinds of arts public profession, which hath in a manner no which clerks in times past did term Quadrivials, confirm their propositions by infallible demon-la new substitution of others in their places, what strations. And likewise in Trivials, such les- hope may we have of any benefit of learning by sons and directions are delivered unto us, as will this alteration ? assuredly, as soon as the new effect very near, or as much altogether, as every are brought ad úxury by the inventors and their faculty doth promise. Now, in case we should followers, by an interchangeable course of concur to do as you advise, which is, to renounce natural things, they will fall by degrees in our common notions, and cancel all our theorems, oblivion to be, buried, and so in continuance to axioms, rules, and tenets, and so to come babes perish outright; and that perchance upon the “ad regnum naturæ,” as we are willed by scrip- like to your present pretences, by proposal of tures to come “ ad regnum cælorum.” There is some means to advance all our knowledge to a nothing more certain, in my understanding, than higher pitch of perfectness; for still the same that it would instantly bring us to barbarism, defects that antiquity found, will reside in manand, after many thousand years, leave us more kind, and therefore other issues of their actions, unprovided of theorical furniture, than we are at devices, and studies, are not to be expected than this present: For that were indeed become is apparent, by records, were in former times “ Tabula rasa," when we shall leave no impres- observed. I remember here a note which Patersion of any former principles, but be driven to culus made of the incomparable wits of the begin the world again, to travel by trials of Grecians and Romans, in their flourishing state; actions and sense, (which are your proofs by that there might be this reason of their notable particulars,) what to place in “intellectu” for our downfall, in their issue that came after, because general conceptions, it being a maxim of all by nature, “Quod summo studio petitum est, men's approving; “ in intellectu nihil esse quod ascendit in summum, difficilisque in perfecto mora non prius fuit in sensu." And so in appearance est;" insomuch that men perceiving that they it would befall us, that till Plato's year be come could not go farther, being come to the stop, they about, our insight in learning would be of less turned back again of their own accord, forsaking reckoning than now it is accounted. As for that those studies that are most in request, and bewhich you inculcate, of a knowledge more taking themselves to new endeavours, as it the excellent than now is among us, which expe- thing they sought had been by prevention forerience might produce, if we would but essay to prized by others. So it fared in particular with extract it out of nature by particular probations, the eloquence of that age, that when their sucit is no more upon the matter, but to incite us cessors found that hardly they could equal, by unto that which, without instigation, by a natu- no means excel their predecessors, they began to ral instinct men will practise themselves; for it neglect the study thereof, and speak for many cannot in reason be otherwise thought, but that hundred years in a rustical manner, till this later there are infinite, in all parts of the world, (for resolution brought the wheel about again, by we may not in this case confine our cogitations inflaming gallant spirits to give the onset a fresh, within the bounds of Europe,) which embrace the with straining and striving to climb unto the top course which you purpose, with all diligence and height of perfection, not in that gist alone, and care, that any ability can perform. For but in every other skill in any part of learning. every man is born with an appetite of knowledge, For I do not hold it any erroneous conceit to wherewith he cannot be glutted, but still, as in a think of every science, that as now they are prodropsy, thirst after more. But yet, why men fessed, so they have been before in all precedent should so hearken to and such persuasions, as ages, though not alike in all places, nor at all wholly to abolish those settled opinions, and times alike in one and the same; but according general theorems, to which they have attained by to the changes and turning of times with a more their own and their ancestors' experience, I see exact and plain, or with a more rude and obscure nothing alleged to induce me to think it. More- kind of teaching. over, I may speak, as I suppose, with good pro- And if the question should be asked, what bability, that if we should make a mental survey, proof I have of it; I have the doctrine of Ariswhat is like to be effected all the world over; totle, and of the deepest learned clerks, of whom those five or six inventions which you have we have any means to take any notice; that as selected, and imagined to be but of modern there is of other things, so there is of sciences, standing, would make but a slender show among ortus et interitus:" which is also the meaning so many hundreds of all kinds of natures, which (if I should expound it) of “nihil novum sub are daily brought to light by the enforcement of sole," and is as well to be applied “ ad facta,” as wit or casual events, and may be compared, or 66 ad dicta ; ut nihil neque
dictum neque factum, partly preferred, above those that you have quod non est dictum aut factum prius.” I have . named. But were it so here, that all were ad- farther for my warrant, that famous complaint of mitted that you can require, for the augmentation Solomon to his son, against the infinite making of our knowledge, and that all our theorems and of books in his time, of which, in all congruity general positions were utterly extinguished with great part were of observations and instructions