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transferred from a former note-book, I suppose that he had looked through all the memoranda of this kind that he had by him, and gathered whatever he judged worth keeping into this volume. He would probably alter and add while he transcribed, as well as omit; and therefore, though many of the notes may have been of older date, we cannot distinguish the old from the new, and must treat them generally as belonging to this period. He calls the collection Commentarius solutus, which may be translated a book of loose notes : and describes it as “like a merchant's waste-book; where to enter all manner of remembrance of matter, form, business, study, touching myself, service, others; either sparsim or in schedules, without any manner of restraint; only this to be divided into 2 books: Tbe one transportata ex commentario vetere, containing all manner notes already taken in several paper books fit to be retained (except it be such as are reduced to some more perfect form); The other Commentarius novus.” What we have here belongs to the first book only. Of the other I have not found any traces anywhere.
He appears to have devoted the first day to the setting down of everything he could think of for the husbanding of his income, the improvement of his fortunes, and the arrangement of his business; how to have command of ready money in case he wanted it; how to maintain and increase his credit with the King and the Earl of Salisbury (now Lord Treasurer) by acceptable service; what subjects to attend to, what advices to offer, what cases to be prepared in; how to increase his practice, and draw business to his own office; what suits to move for himself, and how to give evidence of his superiority to competitors in diligence, zeal, and capacity; how to improve his personal acquaintance with the King and the great councillors, and especially how to make himself useful and agreeable to Salisbury ; what arrangements to make for the better administration of his new office, and how to meet anticipated objections; what preparations to make for the next Parliament; what measures to take for the improvenient of his lands and leases, and for the regulation of his household; what houses to think of for his dwelling, (being now in want of a dwelling-place in the neighbourhood of London, fitter for his new condition than his chambers in Gray's Inn), and other matters of the same kind. After which he proceeds to review the contents of his cabinet, and reconsider the distribution and order of his various books and papers ; namely, 5 books of compositions, 4 of notes relating to the same, 9 on matters connected with his profession, 4 on matters connected with his office, 5 relating to his personal affairs. And this appears to have been his first day's work, Monday,-25 July.
On Tuesday, after suggesting to himself a more convenient ar
rangement of some of his note-books, he turns his attention to the fortunes of the Great Instauration ; but this also in the
of business and management. The great object being to get help of able and influential persons in the furtherance of the work, he begins by considering who are likely to take an interest in it, and how they may be attracted. The King he had already appealed to in the * Advancement of Learning, and as there is no allusion to him here in connexion with it, I suppose he had satisfied himself that there was no hope of effectual help from that quarter. The Prince was still a boy, but something might perhaps be made of him in due time. Now Sir David Murray was keeper of his privy purse, and Sir Thomas Chaloner had the charge of his person and household. Sir Thomas was an old acquaintance of Bacon's own, and though he does not appear to have known Sir David, he knew a man of the name of Russell who “depended upon him,”—a man skilled in distillations, separations, and 'mineral trials,' who, if he could be interested in the cause, might be a means of interesting the others. Then there was Sir Walter Ralegh, whose activity, confined within the walls of the Tower, found exercise in experiments of chemistry; and along with him the Earl of Northumberland, a professed patron of learning ; both of them intimately connected with Thomas Harriot, the great mathematician: valuable allies all, if they could be procured. Who else? The men whose profession brought them most into contact with natural science were the physicians ; though for the most part they kept the beaten way, and stood by the received rules of their art. William Harvey, a young man of thirty, had been elected the year before a fellow of the College of Physicians, and was rising into distinction. But the great discovery which has made his name so famous was of much later date, and if Bacon was acquainted with him at this time, of which I find no evidence, he could not hope for much help or sympathy from so orthodox an Aristotelian. The likeliest he could think of that day were Paddy and Hammond, the Court physicians, whose names will perhaps be remembered hereafter in connexion with that note; though I do not find that anything came of it. Meantime Russell (the man of distillations and separations already mentioned) and Poe (who was Salisbury's physician) might help him with collections of experiments in their art, and (being judiciously cultivated) with information as to the tastes of such great persons as they attended. Then for men of general learning, there was the Archbishop of Canterbury,---"single,” therefore a man whose means were available for public objects; "glorious," therefore one who might be attracted by the greatness of the enterprise, and “believing the sense,” that is (I suppose)
willing to learn from nature and experience as well as from the schools. Could any impression be made upon bim? Bishop Andrews bad already shown himself interested in Bacon's general speculations, and was to some extent, it seems, a believer in experiment. He bud wealth to bestow, and being single might bestow it on mankind; was obviously, therefore, a man to be engaged if possible in the great work. “ Learned men beyond seas” were also to be thought of, but no name is suggested. Nor does he appear to have been able to think of any one else in particular, upon whom he could count as yet for effectual assistance by wit or purse or power or sympathy, unless it were his own nephew Edmund Bacon, eldest son of his half-brother Sir Nicholas, who seems to have shown a taste for science, and whose acquaintance he begins by reminding himself to cultivate.
So far, the prospect did not seem very encouraging. The bell he had
rung “ to call other wits together” had attracted but a small company. Yet the work, though it might be designed by one man, could not be accomplished, nor even materially advanced, without the co-operation of many; and means must be thought of to find them, and draw them in. This was to be done in two ways: one, by appealing to men’s reason and imagination through a general exposition of the grounds of hope, and a general indication of the results that might be hoped for ; the other, by exhibiting (if possible) a sample of the work itself, in some one positive and substantial discovery, made out by patiently following the true method of inquiry through all its processes to its legitimate conclusion.
With a view to the first of these, he had already composed his Cogitata et Visa, which traverses all the ground, and he must think of the fittest persons to whom he should “impart” them. Upon which thought follows a page of notes for points to be remembered in treating that argument, and queries as to the best way of setting it forth ; in which it is easy to trace the germ of several subsequent writings, which, passing through various intermediate forms, developed at last into the first book of the Novum Organum. But the Cogitata et Visa was designed to be an introduction to a specimen of the true method applied, and resulting in some axiom ;" and for this purpose he had selected three special subjects of investigation : Motion, Heat and Cold, and Sound. The appearance of vibration perceptible in the common actions of heat and sound bad probably suggested to him that they were modes of motion; and that if we could thoroughly understand the nature of motion itself we should have the master-key to all such mysteries. Of these three subjects he had begun to make what he called “tables ;” that is, collections of phenomena classified according to his idea of the
true method-the filum Labyrinthi. And it would be well to postpone his attempt to draw in the Bishops till one or other of these
in some forwardness.” But this was only for an example of the way in which the work must be done—the way in which the materials when gathered must be used. How to procure help towards the collection of the materials was to be thought of. Two portions, as of most value for his purposes, appear to have been uppermost in his mind that day : 1st, a history of marvels, that is of nature erring or varying from her usual course—for “from the wonders of nature is the nearest passage and intelligence towards the wonders of art,” and “it is no more but by following, and as it were hounding, nature in her wanderings, to be able to lead her back to the same place again ;”? and 2nd, a history of the observations and experiments of all mechanical arts : for “like as a man's disposition is never well known till it be crossed, nor Proteus ever changed shapes till he was straitened and held fast, so the passages and variations of nature cannot appear so fully in the liberty of nature as in the trials and vexations of art.”" But how were such histories to be obtained? Not without “command of wits and peus.” Could he himself get transferred to some office which would give it? Some office of authority, for instance, in some place devoted to learning. And then he thought of Westminster, Eton, Winchester, Trinity or St. John's in Cambridge, Magdalen in Oxford; and of bespeaking some appointment of the kind betimes, with the King and the chancellors of the two universities-namely Archbishop Bancroft and Salisbury. Could he in the meantime, by his personal authority, awaken a hope and zeal in that direction, inspiring confidence in others by assuming it himself,- like a prophet who comes in his own name ? Could he do anything with the young scholars in the universities? for “it must be the post nati,” and not the grown-up generation, from whom his help should come. How if pensions eould be assigned to a certain number of persons, that they might devote themselves to the work ? or how if a college could be erected for the special study of the art of invention ?-a college furnished with all the requisite appliances, books, engines, vaults, furnaces, terraces, workshops, allowances for travelling and experiments, arrangements for intelligence and correspondence with the universities abroad, orders and regulations (“mixed with some points popular, to invite many to contribute and join "), honours and rewards to excite ambition,-as, for instance, galleries "with statues of inventors past, and spaces or bases for inventors to come,”—waiting for the deserver ;- ;-a rudiment, in short, of Solomon's House ? 'Adv. of Learn., Philos. Works, vol. iii. p. 331.
2 ld. ib.
But all these things depended on co-operation, and the immediate business was to get on with that part of the work which one man could do. And then be proceeded to set down the scheme of a complete investigation,—Inquisitio legitima. “ Inquisitio legitima de Motu," he had written first; but thinking it better to begin with the plan of a true enquiry in general, -the general form to be used in all enquiries alike,—he struck out de Motu, and finished his day's work with a list set out in order, of the titles of the several sections and articles into which such an enquiry distributed itself.
On Wednesday he addresses himself to the particular subject of Motion, and sets down all the heads of enquiry he can think of; which fill eleven pages of the manuscript ; a curious piece of labour, and interesting as a specimen of his manner of proceeding at that time in such investigations, and as an evidence of the hopefulness of bis nature, which could look without despair upon the problem which presented itself; but otherwise, I suppose, not now of any value.
Having thus devoted Monday to his own fortunes, Tuesday and Wednesday to the fortunes of the human race, he turns on Thursday to the consideration of the fortunes of his country. Among the subjects which he had noted on the first day as to be borne in mind in corresponding with Salisbury, one was (if I have interpreted the abbreviated words rightly) the twofold policy to be pursued in regard to
empty coffers and alienation of the people”-how to find means to replenish the exchequer without entering on courses which would excite popular odium. And this appears to have been the subject of his meditation on Thursday morning. It was, no doubt, the Sphinx's riddle of the day, upon the solution of which followed sovereignty, upon the failure to solve it civil war. His meditations took the form of notes for some memorial of advice, but of so private and confidential a nature that he seems to have been unwilling to confide it even to his private note-book. For whereas the notes of the last day and the day before, though short, are written so as to be intelligible to anybody, the notes for this political memorial or meditation or whatever it was to be, are set down so obscurely that their import can only be guessed at here and there, and I suppose nobody but himself could have supplied a full interpretation. Thus much, however, may be collected from them, that the problem he was considering was how best to avoid the danger which threatened the Crown from the poverty of the exchequer; and that the particular danger which he apprehended was a revolt in Scotland. He then proceeds to note " the greatness of some particular subjects" or bodies, including the Privy Council, the Lower House in Parliament, and the nobility of Scotland; but whether as elements of the danger,