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My design of a translation of the Natural | from one not a native, in his first essay, and growHistory has not succeeded so happily as I could wish, as you will perceive by the specimen which I send to you. Wherefore I desired him who had undertaken the work to desist from it, he having done only that little which you will see in a few leaves; whereas, he undertook the doing of the whole two years ago. I am not yet resolved about the time of my returning into France. I will let you know it ere I go, and tell you by whom our letters may be conveyed to one another. Farewell.
Your most humble servant,
London, April 4, 1633.
TRANSLATION OF THE FIRST LETTER OF MR. ISAAC GRUTER, TO DR. RAWLEY, CONCERNING THE
MSS. OF THE LORD BACON.
To the Reverend and most Learned William Rawley, Isaac Gruter wisheth much health. REVEREND SIR,
By reason of the immature death of my brother, to whom we owe the Latin translation of the Lord Bacon's Natural History, I have been forced to stay a long while in our native country of Zealand, in order to the settling of the domestic affairs of the person deceased. Returning home to Holland, I found your letter, which, I assure you, was most acceptable to me; yet, at this I was concerned, that my necessary absence from the Hague had occasioned so late an answer to it. He deserves pardon who offends against his will: and who will endeavour to make amends for this involuntary delay, by the study of such kindness as shall be vigilant in offices of friendship, as often as occasion shall be offered.
The design of him who translated into French the Natural History of the Lord Bacon, of which I gave account in my former letters, is briefly exhibited in my brother's preface, which I desire you to peruse; as, also, in your next letter, to send me your judgment concerning such errors as may have been committed by him.
That edition of my brother's, of which you write that you read it with a great deal of pleasure, shall shortly be set forth with his amendments, together with some additions of the like argument to be substituted in the place of the New Atlantis, which shall be there omitted. These additions will be the same with those in the version of the forementioned Frenchman, put into Latin; seeing we could not find the English originals from which he translates them, unless you, when you see the book, shall condemn those additions as adulterate.
For your observations on those places, either not rightly understood, or not accurately turned out of the English by you published, (which,
ing in knowledge together with his years, if they be many, no man needs wonder on it, who understands the physiological variety of an argument of such extent, and rendered difficult by such an heap of things of which it consists, and for the expressing of which there is not a supply of words from the ancients, but some of a new stamp, and such as may serve for present use, are required.) I entreat you not to deny me the sight of them, that so I may compare them with the corrections which my brother (now with God) did make with a very great deal of pains. But, whether the truth of them answers his diligence, will be best understood by yourself, and those few others by whom such elegancies can be rightly judged of.
I send you here a catalogue of these writings* which I had in MS. out of the study of Sir William Boswel, and which I now have by me, either written by the Lord Bacon himself, or by some English amanuensis, but by him revised; as the same Sir William Boswel (who was pleased to admit me to a most intimate familiarity with him) did himself tell me. Among my copies (as the catalogue which comes with this letter shows) you will find the History of Rare and Dense Bodies, but imperfect, though carried on to some length.
I had once in my hands an entire and thick volume concerning heavy and light bodies, but consisting only of a naked delineation of the model, which the Lord Bacon had framed in his head, in titles of matters, without any description of the matters themselves. There is here enclosed a copy of that contexture,† containing only the heads of the chapters, and wanting a full handling from that rude draught, which supplement I despair of.
For the book of dense and rare bodies which you have by you, perfected by the author's last hand, as likewise the Fragments, which are an appendix to it, I could wish that they might be here published in Holland, together with those hitherto unpublished philosophical papers copied by me, out of MSS. of Sir William Boswel; seeing, if they come out together, they will set off and commend one another.
I have begun to deal with a printer, who is a man of great diligence and curiosity. I will so order the matter, that you shall have no reason to complain of my fidelity and candour, if you leave that edition to me. Care shall be taken by me, that it be not done without honourable mention of yourself; but be it what it will, you shall resolve upon; it shall abate nothing of the offices of our
These were the papers which I. Gruter afterwards published, under the title of Scripta Philosophica.
This letter came to my hands without that copy. See, in lieu of it, Topica de Gravi et Levi, in lib. v. cap. 3 De Augm. Scien.
which Dr. Rawley hath place: so that the souls of us three so throughly agreeing, may be aptly said to have united in a triga.
Though I thought that I had already sufficiently showed what veneration I had for the illustrious Lord Verulam, yet I shall take such care for the future, that it may not possibly be denied, that I endeavoured most zealously to make this thing known to the learned world.
friendship, which, from this beginning of it, shall friend, and to whose care, in my matters, I owe still further be promoted upon all occasions. all regard and affection, yet without diminution Lewis Elzevir wrote me word lately, from of that part (and that no small one neither) in Amsterdam, that he was designed to begin shortly an edition in quarto of all the works of the Lord Bacon, in Latin or English; but not of the English without the translation of them into Latin: and he desired my advice, and any assistance I could give him by manuscripts or translations, to the end that, as far as possible, those works might come abroad with advantage, which have been long received with the kindest eulogies, and with the most attested applause of the learned world. If you have any thing in your mind, or your hands, whence we may hope for assistance in so famous à design, and conducing so much to the honour of those who are instrumental in it, pray let me know it, and reckon me henceforth amongst the devout honourers of the name of the Lord Bacon, and of your own virtues.
But neither shall this design, of setting forth in one volume all the Lord Bacon's works, proceed without consulting you, and without inviting you to cast in your symbol, worthy such an excellent edition: that so the appetite of the reader, provoked already by his published works, may be further gratified by the pure novelty of so considerable an appendage.
For the French interpreter, who patched together his things I know not whence,* and tacked that motley piece to him; they shall not have place in this great collection. But yet I hope to obtain your leave to publish apart, as an appendix to the Natural History, that exotic work, gathered together from this and the other place [of his Latin. For seeing the genuine pieces of the Lord lordship's writings] and by me translated into Bacon are already extant, and in many hands, it understand of what threads the texture of that is necessary that the foreign reader be given to
I expect from you what you know about the ancestors of the Lord Bacon, especially concerning his father, Nicholas Bacon, concerning his youth, his studies in Cambridge, his travels, his honours, his office of chancellor, and his deposal from it by sentence of parliament. The former I will undertake in a more florid and free style, expatiating in his just praises; the latter, with a wary pen, lest out of my commentary of the life of this most learned man, matter be offered of pernicious prating, to slanderers and men of dis-book consists, and how much of truth there is in
From the Hague, May 29, 1652.
TRANSLATION OF THE SECOND LETTER OF MR.
that which that shameless person does, in his preface to the reader, so stupidly write of you.
My brother, of blessed memory, turned his words into Latin, in the first edition of the Natural History, having some suspicion of the fidelity of an unknown author. I will, in the second edition, repeat them, and with just severity animadvert upon them: that they, into whose hands
To the Reverend William Rawley, D. D., Isaac that work comes, may know it to be supposititious,
Gruter wisheth much health.
REVEREND SIR,-It is not just to complain of the slowness of your answer, seeing that the difficulty of the passage, in the season in which you wrote, which was towards winter, might easily cause it to come no faster: seeing likewise there is so much to be found in it which may gratify desire, and perhaps so much the more the longer it was ere it came to my hands. And although I had little to send back, besides my thanks for the little index,* yet that seemed to me of such moment that I would no longer suppress them: especially because I accounted it a crime to have suffered Mr. Smith to have been without an answer: Mr. Smith, my most kind
A note of some papers of the Lord Bacon's in D. R.'s hands.
+ Of Christ's College, in Cambridge, and keeper of the public library there.
or rather patched up of many distinct pieces; how much soever the author bears himself upon the specious title of Verulam.
Unless, perhaps, I should particularly suggest in your name, that these words were there inserted, by way of caution; and lest malignity and rashness should any way blemish the fame of so eminent a person.
Si me, fata, meis, paterentur ducere vitam aus. piciis-(to use the words of Virgil.) If my fate would permit me to live according to my wishes, I would fly over into England, that I might behold whatsoever remaineth in your cabinet of the Verulamian workmanship, and at least make my eyes witnesses of it, if the possession of the mer chandise be yet denied to the public.
Certain spurious papers added to his translation of the Advancement of Learning.
At present I will support the wishes of my impatient desire, with hope of seeing, one day, those [issues] which being committed to faithful privacy, wait the time till they may safely see the light, and not be stifled in their birth.
I wish, in the mean time, I could have a sight of the copy of the epistle to Sir Henry Savil, concerning the helps of the intellectual powers: for I am persuaded, as to the other Latin remains, that I shall not obtain, for present use, the removal of them from the place in which they now are. Farewell.
Maestricht, March 20,
TRANSLATION Of the third lETTER WRITTEN
Reverend Sir, and my most dear Friend,
How much I hold myself honoured by your present of the Lord Bacon's Posthumous Works, published lately by you in Latin, my thanks immediately returned had let you understand, if ill fortune in the passage (which is, for divers causes, uncertain) had not deluded the care of a friend, who did here with much readiness undertake the conveyance of them.
Now, the gift is by so much the greater, by how much the more benefit I reaped by diligent reading of those papers, and by comparing them with some of the Lord Bacon's works, which I myself had formerly published. For, to you we owe the more enlarged history de denso et raro, as also many other things contained in that volume, which saw not the light before. One paper I wonder I saw not amongst them, the epistle of the Lord Bacon to Sir Henry Savil, about the helps of the intellectual powers, spoken of long ago in your letters, under that or some such title, if my memory does not deceive me. If it was not forgotten, and remains among your private papers, I should be glad to see a copy of it, in the use of which my faithfulness shall not be wanting. But perhaps it is written in the English tongue, and is a part of that greater volume, which contains only his English works. If you will please to let me understand so much, and likewise give me assurance of obtaining that book, in which the speeches, and it may be the letters of the Lord Bacon, written by him in English, are digested, you will render your memory sacred in my mind, in the veneration of which, the cheerfulness of a most devoted affection shall never be weary. Farewell.
From Maestricht, from whence, after two or three months, I remove to Nimmeghen, nigher to Holland. But you may convey to me any thing you desire, by Mr. Smith. July 1st, New Style, 1659.
NOT PRINTED IN THE PREVIOUS PART OF THIS VOLUME.
TO MR. MATHEWE.
have had no serious speech with him, nor do I
SIR, I was heartily glad to hear that you had passed so great a part of your journey in so good health. My aim was right in my address of let- Things are here in good quiet. The king acts ters to those persons in the court of Scotland, excellently well; for he puts in clauses of reserwho were likeliest to be used for the affairs of vation to every proviso. He saith, he would be England; but the pace they held was too swift, sorry to have just cause to remove any. for the men were come away before my letters saith, he will displace none who hath served the could reach them. With the first, I have renewed queen and state sincerely, &c. The truth is, acquaintance, and it was like a bill of revivor, by here be two extremes, some few would have no way of cross-suits; for he was as ready to have change, no, not reformation. Some many would begun with me. The second did this day arrive, have much change, even with perturbation. God, and took acquaintance with me instantly in the I hope, will direct this wise king to hold a mean Council Chamber, and was willing to entertain between reputation enough, and no terrors. In me with further demonstrations of confidence, my particular I have many comforts and assu than I was wiling at that time to admit. But, I rances; but, in my own opinion the chief is, that
the canvassing world is gone, and the deserving world is come. And, withal, I find myself as one awaked out of sleep; which I have not been this long time, nor could, I think, have been now without such a great noise as this, which yet is in aurâ leni. I have written this to you in haste, my end being no more than to write, and thereby to make you know that I will ever continue the same, and still be sure to wish you as heartily well as to myself.
TO MR. MATHEW.
SIR, Two letters of mine are now already walking towards you; but so that we might meet, it were no matter though our letters should lose their way. I make a shift in the mean time to be glad of your approaches, and would be more glad to be an agent for your presence, who have been a patient for your absence. If your body by indisposition make you acknowledge the healthful air of your native country, much more do I assure myself that you continue to have your mind no way estranged. And, as my trust with the state is above suspicion, so my knowledge, both of your loyalty and honest nature, will ever make me show myself your faithful friend, without scruple: you have reason to commend that gentleman to me by whom you sent your last, although his having travelled so long amongst the sadder nations of the world make him much the less easy upon small acquaintance to be understood. I have sent you some copies of my book of the Advancement, which you desired, and a little work of my recreation, which you desired not. My Instauration I reserve for our conference; it sleeps not. These works of the alphabet are in my opinion of less use to you where you are now, than at Paris; and therefore I conceived that you had sent me a kind of tacit countermand of your former request. But, in regard that some friends of yours have still insisted here, I send them to you; and, for my part, I value your own reading more than your publishing them to others. Thus, in extreme haste, I have scribbled to you I know not what, which, therefore, is the less affected, and for that very reason will not be esteemed the less by you.
TO MR. MATHEW.
SIR,-I thank you for your last, and pray you to believe, that your liberty in giving opinion of those writings which I sent you, is that which I sought, which I expected, and which I take in exceeding good part; so good, as that it makes me recontinue, or rather continue my hearty
wishes of your company here, that so you might use the same liberty concerning my actions, which now you exercise concerning my writings. For that of Queen Elizabeth, your judgment of the temper, and truth of that part, which concerns some of her foreign proceedings, concurs fully with the judgment of others, to whom I have communicated part of it; and as things go, I suppose they are more likely to be more and more justified, and allowed. And, whereas you say, for some other part, that it moves and opens a fair occasion and broad way into some field of contradiction; on the other side, it is written to me from the Leiger at Paris, and some others also, that it carries a manifest impression of truth with it, and it even convinces as it goes. These are their very words; which I write not for mine own glory, but to show what variety of opinion rises from the disposition of several readers. And, I must confess my desire to be, that my writings should not court the present time, or some few places in such sorts as might make them either less general to persons, or less permanent in future ages. As to the Instauration, your so full approbation thereof, I read with much comfort, by how much more my heart is upon it; and by how much less I expected consent and concurrence in matter so obscure. Of this I can assure you, that though many things of great hope decay with youth, (and multitude of civil businesses is wont to diminish the price, though not the delight, of contemplations,) yet the proceeding in that work doth gain with me upon my affection and desire, both by years and businesses. And, therefore, I hope, even by this, that it is well pleasing to God, from whom and to whom all good moves. To him I most heartily commend you.
TO SIR HENRY SAVILLE.
SIR,-Coming back from your invitation at Eton, where I had refreshed myself with company, which I loved; I fell into a consideration of that part of policy whereof philosophy speaketh too much, and laws too little; and that is, of education of youth. Whereupon fixing my mind awhile, I found straightways, and noted, even in the discourses of philosophers, which are so large in this argument, a strange silence concerning one principal part of that subject. For, as touching the framing and seasoning of youth to moral virtues, (as tolerance of labours, continency from pleasures, obedience, honour, and the like,) they handle it; but touching the impro ement and helping of the intellectual powers, as of conceit, memory, and judgment, they say no thing; whether it were, that they thought it to be a matter wherein nature only prevailed, or that
they intended it, as referred, to the several and proper arts, which teach the use of reason and speech. But, for the former of these two reasons, howsoever it pleaseth them to distinguish of habits and powers; the experience is manifest enough, that the motions and faculties of the wit and memory may be not only governed and guided, but also confirmed and enlarged, by customs and exercise daily applied: as, if a man exercise shooting, he shall not only shoot nearer the mark, but also draw a stronger bow. And, as for the latter, of comprehending these precepts, within the arts, of logic and rhetoric; if it be rightly considered, their office is distinct altogether from this point; for it is no part of the dcctrine, of the use or handling of an instrument, to teach how to whet or grind the instrument, to give it a sharp edge; or, how to quench it, or otherwise, whereby to give it a stronger temper. Wherefore, finding this part of knowledge not broken, I have, but "tanquam aliud agens," entered into it, and salute you with it; dedicating it, after the ancient manner, first as to a dear friend, and then as to an apt person; forasmuch as you have both place to practise it, and judgment and leisure to look deeper into it than I have done. Herein you must call to mind, "Apsvr i. Though the argument be not of great height and dignity, nevertheless, it is of great and universal use. And yet I do not see why, to consider it rightly, that should not be a learning of height which teacheth to raise the highest and worthiest part of the mind. But, howsoever that be, if the world take any light and use by this writing, I will, the gratulation be to the good friendship and acquaintance between us two. And so recommend you to God's divine protection.
TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS.
SIR,-There is a particular wherein I think you may do yourself honour, which, as I am informed, hath been laboured by my Lady of Bedford, and put in good way by the Bishop of Bath and Wells, concerning the restoring to preach of a famous preacher, one Doctor Burgesse, who, though he hath been silenced a great time, yet he hath now nrade such a submission touching his conformity, as giveth satisfaction. It is much desired also by Gray's Inn, (if he shall be free from the state,) to choose him for their preacher: and certainly it is safer to place him there, than in another auditory, because he will be well watched, if he should any ways fly forth in his sermons beyond duty. This may seem a trifle; but I do assure you, in opening this man's mouth to preach, you shall open very many mouths to speak honour of you; and I confess I would have a full cry of Puritans, of
Papists, of all the world to speak well of you; and besides, I am persuaded (which is above all earthly glory) you shall do God good service in it. I pray deal with his majesty in it. I rest Your devoted and bounden servant, FRA. BACON.
June 13, 1616.
TO THE KING.
IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, First, from the bottom of my heart I thank the God of all mercy and salvation, that he hath preserved you from receiving any hurt by your fall; and I pray his Divine Majesty ever to preserve you, on horseback and on foot, from hurt and fear of hurt.
Now, touching the clothing business; for that I perceive the cloth goeth not off as it should, and that Wiltshire is now come in with complaint, as well as Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, so that this gangrene creepeth on; I humbly pray your majesty to take into your majesty's princely consideration a remedy for the present stand, which certainly will do the deed; and for any thing that I know, will be honourable and convenient, though joined with some loss in your majesty's customs, which I know, in a business of this quality, and being but for an interim, till you may negotiate, your majesty doth not esteem. And it is this:
That your majesty by your proclamation do forbid (after fourteen days, giving that time for suiting men's selves) the wearing of any stuff made wholly of silk, without mixture of wool, for the space of six months. So your majesty shall supply outward vent with inward use, specially for the finer cloths, which are those wherein the stand principally is, and which silk wearers are likest to buy; and you shall show a most princely care over thousands of the poor people; and, besides, your majesty shall blow a horn, to let the Flemings know your majesty will not give over the chase. Again, the winter season coming on. is fittest for wearing of cloth, and there is scope enough left for bravery and vanity by lacing and embroidery, so it be upon cloth or stuffs of wool. I thought it my duty to offer and submit this remedy, amongst others, to your majesty's great wisdom, because it pleased you to lay the care of this business upon me; and indeed my care did fly to it before, as it shall always do to any knots and difficulties in your business, wherein hitherto I have been not unfortunate. God ever have you in his most precious custody.
Your majesty's most faithful
Sept. 13, 1616.