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II. The two books of Francis Bacon, Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning; Divine and Human ; to the king. We have a large and excellent account of this work given us by the learned Dr. Tenison, who, speaking of the great instauration of the fci. ences, which our author divided into fix parts, proceeds thus, “ The first part proposed was, the partition of the sciences; and this the author perfected in that golden treatise, Of the Advancement of Learning, addressed to king James ; a labour which he termed a comfort to his other labours. This he first wrote in two books in the English tongue; in which his pen excelled : and of this first edition, that is to be meant which, with some truth, and more modefty, he wrote to the earl of Salifbury, telling him, That, in his book, he was contented to awake better spirits, being himfelf like a bell-ringer, who is first up to call others to church.
“ Afterwards he enlarged those two discourses, which contained especially the aforé. said partition, and divided the matter of it into eight books; and, knowing that this work was desired beyond the seas ; and being allo aware, that books written in a modern language, which receiveth much change, in a few years were out of use; he caused that part of it which he had written in English, to be translated into the Latin tongue by Mr.. Herbert, and some others, who were esteemed masters in the Roman eloquence. Notwith
standing which, he fo suited the stile to his conceptions, by a strict castigation of the whole work, that it may deservedly seem his own.
The translation of this work, that is, of much of the two books written by him in English, he first commended to Dr. Playfer, a, professor of divinity in the university of Cambridge ; , using, among others, these words to. him :
• The privateness of the language considered, wherein the book is written, excluding so many readers ; as, on the other side, the obscurity of the argument in many parts of it, excludech many
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 earnefly desire the 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.'
“ The doctor was willing to serve so excel. lent a person, and so worthy a defign; and, within a while, sent him a specimen of a Latin translation. Bụt men generally come short of themselves when they strive to outdo themfelves; they put a force upon their natural genius, and, by a straining of it, crack and disable it : and so it seems it happened to that worthy and elegant man upon this great occafion; 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 expres. fion.
" The whole of this book was rendered into English by Dr. Gilbert Wats of Oxford, and the translation has been well received by many, but some there were who withed, that a trandation had been set forth, in which the genius and spirit of the lord Bacon had more appeared ; and I have seen a letter, written by a certain gentleman to Dr. Rawley, wherein they thus importune him for a more accurate version by his own hand :
• It is our humble fuit to you, and we do earnestly sollicit you, to give yourself the trou. ble to correct the too much defective translation of De Augmentis Scientiariam; which Dr. Wats hath set forth. It is a thousand pi. ties so worthy a piece Thould lose its grace and credit by an ill expoficor ; since those persons who read that translation, taking it for genuine, and upon that presumption not res garding the Latin edition, are thereby robbed of the benefit ; which, if you would please to undertake the business, they would receive.! This tendeth to the difhonour of that noble lord, and the hindrance of the advancement of learning
“ This work hath been also translated into French, upon the motion of the marquis Fiat ;
but but in it there are many things wholly omitted, many things perfectly mistaken, and some things, especially such as relate to religion, wilfully perverted ; infomuch that, in one place, he makes his lordship to magnify the Legend ; a book sure of little credit with him, when he thus begins one of his effays: 'I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than, that this universal frame is without a mind.'
66 The fairest and most correct edition of this book in Latin, is that in folio, printed at London, anno 1623 ; and whosoever would understand the lord Bacon's cypher, let him confult that accurate edition ; for, in some other editions which I have perused, the form of the letters of the alphabet, in which much of the mystery confifteth, is not obferved ; but the Roman and Italic shapes of them are confounded.
“ To this book we may reduce the first four chapters of that imperfect treatise, published in Latin by Isaac Gruter, and called, The Description of the Intellectual Globe: they being but a rude draught of the partition of the fciences, fo accurately and methodically disposed in the book of the Advancement of Learning. To this also we may reduce the treatise called Thema Cæli, published likewise in Latin by Gruter ; and it particularly belongeth to the fourth chapter and the third book of it, us being a discourse tending to an improvement of the system of the heavens ; which is treated of in that place; the houses of which, had God granted him life, he would have understood as well almost as he did his own.
" For the fame reason, we may reduce to the fame place of the Advancement, the fifth, fixth, and seventh chapter of the Descriptio Globi Intellectualis, above mentioned.” · III. Cogitata & Vifa ; containing the ground-work, or plan, of his famous Novum Organum ; so effential a part of his Inftauration that it sometimes bears that title. He wa's sensible of the difficulties that would attend his great design of building up the whole palace of wisdom anew ; and, that he might be the better able to overcome those difficulties, he was defirous of feeing what they were, before he undertook his large work; of which this piece was no more than the out-lines.
We may form a true notion of what he sought, by considering the letter which he wrote to the learned bishop Andrews, when he sent him the discourse of which we are speaking.
“Now your lordship hath been so long in the church and the palace, difputing between kings and popes, methinks you should take pleasure to look into the field, and refresh your mind with some matter of philosophy, though the science be now, through age, waxed a child again, and left to boys and young men; and because you were wont to make me believe you took a liking to my