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one, as I can never deserve the other. And so, in all humbleness kissing your majesty's sacred hands, I remain
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE EARL OF SALISBURY, UPON SENDING HIM ONE OF HIS BOOKS OF AD
VANCEMENT OF LEARNING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORdship,
I present your lordship with a work of my vacant time, which if it had been more, the work
had been better. It appertaineth to your lordship (besides my particular respects) in some propriety, in regard you are a great governor in a province of learning, and (that which is more) you have added to your place affection towards learning, and to your affection judgment, of which the last I could be content were (for the time) less, that you might the less exquisitely censure that which I offer to you. But sure I am, the argument is good, if it had lighted upon a good author; but I shali content myself to awake better spirits, like a bellringer which is first up, to call others to church. So, with my humble desire of your lordship's good acceptation, I remain
THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE LORDS.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIPS,
I shall humbly crave at your lordships' hands a benign interpretation of that which I shall now write; for words that come from wasted spirits, and an oppressed mind, are more safe in being deposited in a noble construction, than in being circled with any reserved caution. Having made this as a protection to all which I shall say, I will go on, but with a very strange entrance, (as may seem to your lordships at the first;) for in the midst of a state of as great affliction as I think a mortal man can endure, (honour being above life,) I shall begin with the professing gladness in some things.
The first is, that hereafter the greatness of a judge or magistrate shall be no sanctuary, or protection to him against guiltiness; which, in few words, is the beginning of a golden world.
The next, that after this example, it is like that judges will fly from any thing in the likeness of corruption, (though it were at a great distance,) as from a serpent; which tendeth to the purging of the courts of justice, and reducing them to their true honour and splendour. And in these two points, God is my witness, (though it be my fortune to be the anvil, upon which these good effects are beaten and wrought,) I take no small comfort. But to pass from the motions of my heart, whereof God is only judge, to the merits of my cause, whereof your lordships are only judges, under God, and VOL. III.-4
his lieutenant, I do understand, there hath been expected from me, heretofore, some justification, and therefore I have chosen one only justification instead of all others, out of the justification of Job; for, after the clear submission and confession which I shall now make unto your lordships, I hope I may say, and justify with Job, in these words, "I have not hid my sin, as did Adam, nor concealed my faults in my bosom." This is the only justification I will use: it resteth, therefore, and acknowledge, that having understood the that, without fig-leaves, I do ingenuously confess particulars of the charge, not formally from the House, but enough to inform my conscience and memory, I find matter both sufficient and full, to move me to desert the defence, and to move your Neither will I trouble your lordships by singling out partilordships to condemn and censure me. culars, which I think may fall off: "Quid te exempta juvat spinis do millibus una?" Neither will I prompt your lordships to observe upon the proofs, where they come not home, or the scruples touching the credit of the witnesses: Neither defence might in divers things extenuate the will I present unto your lordships, how far a offence, in respect of the time, or manner of the gift, 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, as God shall put in your minds; and so submit myself wholly to your piety and grace.
And now that I have spoken to your lordships as judges, I shall say a few words unto you as peers and prelates, humbly commending my cause to your noble minds, and magnanimous affections.
Your lordships are not only judges, but parlia mentary judges; you have a farther extent of arbitrary power than other courts: and if you be not tied to the ordinary course of courts or precedents, in point of strictness and severity, much more in points of mercy and mitigation. And yet, if any thing I should move might be contrary to your honourable and worthy ends to introduce a reformation, I should not seek it, but herein I beseech your lordships to give me leave to tell you a story. Titus Manlius took his son's life for giving battle against the prohibition of his general. Not many years after, the like severity was pursued by Papirius Cursur, the dictator, against Quintus Maximus, who, being upon the point to be sentenced, was, by the intercession of some principal persons of the senate, spared; whereupon Livy maketh this grave and gracious observation: "Necu minus firmata est disciplina militaris periculo Quinti Maximi, quam miserabili supplicio Titi Manlii." The discipline of war, was no less established by the questioning only of Quintus Maximus than by the punishment of Titus Manlius. And the same
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 same terror, though not the same rigour with the punishment. But my case stayeth not there; for my humble desire is, that his majesty would take the seal into his hands, which is a great downfall, and may serve, I hope, in itself, for an expiation of my faults.
of the rest, reduced it as before. I do not dislike that things pass moderately, and, all things considered, it is not amiss, and might easily have been worse. There was much speaking of interceding for the king's mercy, which (in my opinion) was not so proper for a sentence: I said, in conclusion, that mercy was to come "ex mero motu," and so left it. I took some other occasion pertinent to do the king honour, by showing how happy he was in all other parts of his government, save only in the manage of his treasure by these officers.
Therefore, if mercy and mitigation be in your lordships' power, and do no ways cross your ends, why should I not hope of your favours and commiserations? Your lordships may be pleased to behold your chief pattern, the king our sovereign, a king of incomparable clemency, and whose heart is inscrutable for wisdom and goodness. You well remember, that there sat not these hundred years before, in your house, a prince (and never such a prince) whose presence deserveth to be made memorable by records and acts, mixed 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 reed, nor quench smoking flax.
You all sit upon a high stage, and therefore cannot but be more sensible of the changes of human condition, and of the fall of any from high places. Neither will your lordships forget that there are "vitia temporis," as well as vitia hominis," and that the beginning of reformation hath a contrary power to the pool of Bethseda, for that had strength only to cure him that first cast in, and this hath strength to hurt him only that is first cast in; and for my part, I wish it may stay there, and go no farther.
Lastly, I assure myself, your lordships have a noble feeling of me, as a member of your own body; and one that, in this very session, had some taste of your loving affections, which I hope was not a lightning before the death of them, but rather a spark of that grace which now, in the conclusion, 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 will spare any farther sentence, but recommend me to his majesty's grace and pardon for all that is past. And so, etc.
Your lordships', etc
FRANCIS ST. ALBAN, Can.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR BACON TO THE DUKE.
My Lord of Suffolk's cause is this day sentenced. My lord, and his lady, fined at £30,000, with imprisonment in the Tower at their own charges. Bingley at £2,000, and committed to the Fleet; Sir Edward Coke did his part, I have not heard him do better; and began with a fine of
I have sent the king a new bill for Sussex, for my Lord of Nottingham's certificate was true, and I told the judges of it before, but they neglected it. I conceive the first man (which is newly set down) is the fittest. God ever preserve and keep you, etc.
BUCKHURST, UPON THE SAME OCCASION OF
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORdship,
I have finished a work touching the advancement or setting forward of learning, which I have dedicated to his majesty, the most learned of a sovereign, or temporal prince, that time hath known. And upon reason not unlike, I humbly present one of the books to your lordship, not only as a chancellor of a university, but as one that was excellently bred in all learning, which I have ever noted to shine in all your speeches and behaviours. And therefore your lordship will yield a gracious aspect to your first love, and take pleasure in the adorning of that wherewith yourself are so much adorned. And so, humbly desiring your favourable acceptation thereof, with signification of my humble duty, I remain
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,
I humbly present your lordship with a work, wherein, as you have much commandment over 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 lordship. And, again, your lordship hath been a great planter of learning, not only in those places in the church which have been in your own gift, but also in your commendatory vote, no man hath more constantly held, "detur digniori ;" and, therefore, both your lordship is beholden to learning, and learning beholden to you. Which 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 private speech hath often begun to me, in expressing your admiration of his majesty's learning, to whom I have dedicated this work; and, whose virtue and perfection in that kind, did chiefly move me to a work of this nature. And, so with signification of my most humble duty and affection towards your lordship, I remain, etc.
SIR FRANCIS BACON, OF THE LIKE ARGUMENT,
QUEST TO PRESENT THE BOOK TO HIS MA-
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR GOOD LORDSHIP,
Having finished a work touching the advancement of learning, and dedicated the same to his sacred majesty, whom I dare avouch (if the records of time err not) to be the learnedest king that hath reigned; I was desirous in a kind of congruity, to present it by the learnedest counsellor in this kingdom, to the end, that so good an argument, lightening upon so bad an author, might receive some reparation by the hands into which, and by which, it should be delivered. And, therefore, I make it my humble suit to your lordship to present this mean, but well meant writing to his majesty, and with it my humble and zealous duty; and also my like humble request of pardon, if I have too often taken his name in vain, not only in the dedication, but in the voucher of the authority of his speeches and writings. And so I remain, &c.
SIR FRANCIS BACON, HIS LETTER OF REQUEST
MR. DOCTOR PLAYFER,
taking their seeds 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, forasmuch, as my end was merit of the state of learning, to my power, and not glory; and, because my purpose was rather to excite other men's wits, than to magnify my own, I was 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 Sowing with the basket, than with the hand. Wherefore, since I have only taken upon me to ring a bell, to call other wits together, (which is the meanest office,) it cannot but be consonant to my desire, to have that bell heard as far as can be. And, since that 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 considered 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 hands I do more earnestly desire 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 matter. Nevertheless, I am not ignorant of the worth of your labours, whether such as your place and profession imposeth on you, or such as your own virtue may, upon your voluntary election, take in hand. But I can lay before you no other persuasions, 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 myself; who, as I never took so much comfort in any labours of my own, so I shall never acknowledge myself more obliged in any thing to the labour of another, than in that which shall assist this. Which your labour if I can, by my place, profession, means, friends, travail, word, deed, requite unto you, I shall esteem myself so straitly bound thereunto, as I shall be ever most ready, both to take and seek occasions of thankfulness. And so leaving it, nevertheless, "Salva amicitia," (as reason is,) to your own good liking, I remain, etc.
A great desire will take a small occasion to hope, and put in trial that which is desired. It pleased you a good while since, to express unto me, the good liking which you conceive of my book, of the Advancement of Learning, and that more significantly (as it seemed to me) than out of courtesy, or civil respect. Myself, as I then took contentment in your approbation thereof, so I should esteem and acknowledge, not only my contentment increased, 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 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 have this opinion, that if I had sought my own commendation, it had been a much fitter course
UPON SENDING HIM HIS BOOK OF THE AD.
I think no man may more truly say with the psalm, "multum incola fuit anima mea." For
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 done, and in absence errors are committed, which I do willingly acknowledge; and amongst the rest, this great one that led the rest; that knowing myself by inward calling to be fitter to hold a book, than to play a part, I have led my life in civil causes, for which I was not very fit by nature, and more unfit by the preoccupation of my mind. Therefore, calling myself home, I have now for a time enjoyed myself, where likewise I desire to make the world partaker; my labours (if so I may term that which was the comfort of my other labours) I have dedicated to the king, desirous, if there be any good in them, it may be as fat of a sacrifice incensed to his honour; and the second copy I have sent unto you, not only in good affection, but in a kind of congruity, in regard of your great and rare desert of learning: for books are the shrines where the saint is, or is believed to be. And, you having built an ark, to save learning from deluge, deserve, in propriety, any new instrument or engine, whereby learning should be improved or advanced. So, etc.
should have culled forth the quintessence, and sucked up the sap of the chiefest kind of learning. For, howsowever, in some points, you do vary altogether from that which is and hath been ever the received doctrine of our schools, and was always by the wisest (as still they have been deemed) of all nations and ages, adjudged the truest; yet it is apparent, in those very points, in all your proposals and plots in that book, you show yourself a master workman. For myself, I must confess, and I speak it ingenuè, that for the matter of learning, I am not worthy to be reckoned in the number of smatterers; and yet, because it may seem that being willing to communicate your treatise with your friends, you are likewise willing to listen to whatsoever I or others can except against it; I must deliver unto you, for my private opinion, that I am one of the crew, that say there is, and we profess a greater holdfast of certainty in your sciences, than you by your discourse will seem to acknowledge: for where, at first, you do object the ill success and errors of practitioners of physic, you know 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
SIR THOMAS BODLEY TO SIR FRANCIS BACON, able in that kind to explicate themselves; or by
UPON HIS NEW PHILOSOPHY.
As soon as the term was ended, supposing your leisure was more than before, I was coming to thank you two or three times, rather choosing to do it by word than letter; but I was still disappointed of my purpose, as I am at this present upon an urgent occasion, which doth tie me fast to Fulham, and hath now made me determine to impart my mind in writing. I think you know I have read your "Cogitata et visa;" which, I protest, I have done with great desire, reputing it a token of your singular love, that you joined me with those your friends, to whom you would commend the first perusal of your draught; for which I pray give me leave to say but this unto you. First, that if the depth of my affection to your person and spirit, to your works and your words, and to all your ability, were as highly to be valued as your affection is to me, it might walk with your's arm in arın, and claim your love by just desert; but there can be no comparison, where our states are so uneven, and our means to demonstrate our affections, so indifferent: insomuch as, for mine own, I must leave it to be prized in the nature that it is; and you shall evermore find it most addicted to your worth. As touching the subject of your book, you have set afoot so many noble speculations, as I cannot choose but wonder and I shall wonder at it ever, hat your expense of time considered in your public profession, which hath in a manner no
reason their diseases are by nature incurable, which is incident, you know, to many sort of maladies; or for some other hidden cause, which cannot be discovered by course of conjecture; howbeit, I am full of this belief, that as physic is ministered now-a-days by physicians, it is much ascribed to their negligence or ignorance, or other touch of imperfection, that they speed no better in their practice: for few are found, of that profession, so well instructed in their art, as they might by the precepts which their art doth afford; which, though it be defective in regard of such perfection, yet for certain it doth flourish with admirable remedies, such as tract of time hath taught by experimental effects, and are the open highway to that knowledge that you recommend. As for alchemy, and magic, some conclusions they have that are worthy the preserving: but all their skill is so accompanied with subtilties and guiles, as both the crafts and the crafts-masters are not only despised, but named with derision. Whereupon to make good your principal assertion, methinks you should have drawn the most of your examples from that which is taught in the liberal sciences, not by picking out cases that happen very seldom, and may, by all confession, be subject to reproof, but by controlling the generals, and grounds, and eminent positions and aphorisms, which the greatest artists and philosophers have from time to time defended; for it goeth for current among all men of learning, that those kinds of arts which clerks in times past did term Quadrivials,
confirm their propositions by infallible demon- | a 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 effect very near, or as much altogether, as every faculty doth promise. Now, in case we should concur to do as you advise, which is, to renounce our common notions, and cancel all our theorems, axioms, rules, and tenets, and so to come babes "ad regnum naturæ," as we are willed by scriptures to come "ad regnum cœlorum." There is nothing more certain, in my understanding, than that it would instantly bring us to barbarism, and, after many thousand years, leave us more unprovided of theorical furniture, than we are at this present: For that were indeed to become "Tabula rasa," when we shall leave no impression of any former principles, but be driven to begin the world again, to travel by trials of actions and sense, (which are your proofs by particulars,) what to place in "intellectu" for our general conceptions, it being a maxim of all men's approving; "in intellectu nihil esse quod non prius fuit in sensu." And so in appearance it would befall us, that till Plato's year be come about, our insight in learning would be of less reckoning than now it is accounted. As for that which you inculcate, of a knowledge more excellent than now is among us, which experience might produce, if we would but essay to extract it out of nature by particular probations, it is no more upon the matter, but to incite us unto that which, without instigation, by a natural instinct men will practise themselves; for it cannot in reason be otherwise thought, but that there are infinite, in all parts of the world, (for we may not in this case confine our cogitations within the bounds of Europe,) which embrace the course which you purpose, with all diligence and care, that any ability can perform. every man is born with an appetite of knowledge, wherewith he cannot be glutted, but still, as in a dropsy, thirst after more. But yet, why men should so hearken to and such persuasions, as wholly to abolish those settled opinions, and general theorems, to which they have attained by their own and their ancestors' experience, I see nothing alleged to induce me to think it. Moreover, 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 are daily brought to light by the enforcement of wit or casual events, and may be compared, or partly preferred, above those that you have named. But were it so here, that all were admitted that you can require, for the augmentation of our knowledge, and that all our theorems and general positions were utterly extinguished with
this alteration? assuredly, as soon as the new are brought ad axμy by the inventors and their followers, by an interchangeable course of natural things, they will fall by degrees in oblivion to be, buried, and so in continuance to perish outright; and that perchance upon the like to your present pretences, by proposal of some means to advance all our knowledge to a higher pitch of perfectness; for still the same defects that antiquity found, will reside in mankind, and therefore other issues of their actions, devices, and studies, are not to be expected than is apparent, by records, were in former times observed. I remember here a note which Paterculus made of the incomparable wits of the Grecians and Romans, in their flourishing state; that there might be this reason of their notable downfall, in their issue that came after, because by nature, "Quod summo studio petitum est, ascendit in summum, difficilisque in perfecto mora est;" insomuch that men perceiving that they could not go farther, being come to the stop, they turned back again of their own accord, forsaking those studies that are most in request, and betaking themselves to new endeavours, as it the thing they sought had been by prevention foreprized by others. So it fared in particular with the eloquence of that age, that when their successors found that hardly they could equal, by no means excel their predecessors, they began to neglect the study thereof, and speak for many hundred years in a rustical manner, till this later resolution brought the wheel about again, by inflaming gallant spirits to give the onset a fresh, with straining and striving to climb unto the top and height of perfection, not in that gift alone, For but in every other skill in any part of learning. For I do not hold it any erroneous conceit to think of every science, that as now they are professed, so they have been before in all precedent ages, though not alike in all places, nor at all times alike in one and the same; but according to the changes and turning of times with a more exact and plain, or with a more rude and obscure kind of teaching.
(if I should expound it) of "nihil novum sub