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UPON HIS NEW PHILOSOPHY.
Jo 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 committed, 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 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 thu nature, and more unfit by the preoccupation 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- 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 dedicated 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 holdfast 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 SIR THOMAS BODLEY to sir FRANCIS Bacon, able in that kind to explicate themselves; or by
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 howbeit, 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 few are
und, 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 be 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 arın, 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 it ever, to time defended; for it goeth for current among that 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-j 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 this alteration ? assuredly, as soon as the new effect very near, or as much altogether, as every are brought ad uxury 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 proposål 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 man. and, 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 to 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 inflaning 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 gift 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 Aris. what 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 “ 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 wore of observations ana instructions
in all kind of literature, and of those there is not stand well assured (for the tenor and subject of now so much as one painphlet (only some parcels your main discourse) you are not able to impanel of the Bible excepted) remaining to posterity. a jury in any university that will give up a ver. As then there was not in like manner to be found dict to acquit you of error; yet it cannot be gainany footing of millions of authors that were long said, that all your treatise over doth abound with before Solomon, and yet we must give credit to choice conceit of the present state of learning, that which he atlirmed ; that whatsoever was then and with so worthy contemplations of the means or before, it could never be truly pronounced of to procure it, as may persuade with any student it, “ Behold, this is new." Whereupon I must to look more narrowly to his business, not only for my final conclusion inser, seeing all the en- by aspiring to the greatest perfection, of that deavours, study, and knowledge of mankind, in which is now-a-days divulged in the sciences, whatsoever art or science, have ever been the but by diving yet deeper, as it were, into the same as they are at this present, though full of bowels and secrets of nature, and hy enforcing of mutabilities, according to the changes and acci- the powers of his judgment and wit to learn of dental occasions of ages and countries, and clerks' St. Paul, “Consectari meliora dona :” which dispositions ; which can never but be subject to course, would to God (to whisper so inuch into intention and remission, both in their devices and your ear) you had followed at the first, when practices of their knowledge. If now we should you fell to the study of such a study as was not accord in opinion with you ; first, to condemn worthy such a student. Nevertheless, being so our present knowledge of doubt and incertitude as it is, that you are therein settled, and your (which you confer but by averment) without country soundly served; I cannot but wish with other force of argument, and then to disclaim all all my heart, as I do very often, that you may our axioms and maxims, and general assertions gain a fit reward to the full of your deserts, which that are left by tradition from our elders to us; I hope will come with heaps of happiness and which, (for so it is to be pretended) have passed honour. all probations of the sharpest wits that ever were Yours to be used, and commanded, Abecedarii, by the frequent spelling of particulars,
Tho. BODLEY. to come to the notice of new generals, and so
From Fulham, Feb. 19, 1607. afresh to create new principles of sciences, the end of all would be, that when we should be dis- Sir,-One kind of boldness doth draw on possessed of the learning which we have, all our another; insomuch as methinks I should offend consequent travail will but help us in a circle, to to signify, that before the transcript of your book conduct us to the place from whence we set for- be fitted for the press, it will be requisite for you wards, and bring us to the happiness to be to cast a censor's eye upon the style and the elorestored “ in integrum,” which will require as cution; which, in the framing of some periods, many ages as have marched before us, to be per- and in divers words and phrases, will hardly go sectly achieved. And this I write, with no dis- for current, if the copy brought to me be just the like of increasing our knowledge with new-found same that you would publish. devices, (which is undoubtedly a practice of
Tho. Bodley. high commendation) in regard of the benefit they will yield for the present, that the world hath ever been, and will forever continue, very full of such devisers; whose industry that way hath
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE BISHOP OF ELY, UPON been very obstinate and eminent, and hath pro
SENDING HIS WRITING INTITULED, COGITATA duced strange effects, above the reach and the hope of men's common capacities; and yet our notions and theorems have always kept in grace My Very Good LORD, buth with them, and with the rarest that ever Now, your lordship hath been so long in the were named among the learned.
church and the palace, disputing between kings By this you see to what boldness I am brought and popes, methinks you should take pleasure to hy your kindness; that (if I seem to be too saucy look into the field, and refresh your mind with in this contradiction) it is the opinion that I hold some matter of philosophy; though that science of your noble disposition, and of the freedom in be now, through age, waxed a child again, and these cases, that you will afford your special left to boys and young men. And because you friend, that hath induced me to it. And although are wont to make me believe you took liking to I myself, like a carrier's horse, cannot baulk the my writings, I send you some of this vacation beaten way, in which I have been trained, yet fruits, and thus much more for my mind and pursince it is my censure of your Cogitata that I pose. “I hasten not to publish, perishing I must tell you, to be p.ain, you have very much would prevent." And I am forced to respect as wror.ged yourself and the world, to smother such well my times, as the matter; for with me it is a treasure so long in your coffer: for though I thus, and I think with all men, in my case: if I
bind myself to an argument, it loadeth my mind;' (as for any impediment it might be to the applause but if I rid my mind of the present Cogitation, it and celebrity of my work, it moveth me not) but is rather a recreation : this hath put me into these as it may hinder the fruit and good which may miscellanies, which I purpose to suppress, if God come of a quiet and calm passage to the good give me leave to write a just and perfect volume port to which it is bound, I hold it a just respect, of philosophy, which I go on with, though slowly. so as to fetch a fair wind I go not too far about. I send not your lordship too much, lest it may But troth is, I shall have no occasion to meet glut you. Now, let me tell you what my desire them in the way, except it be, as they will needs is. If your lordship be so good now as when confederate themselves with Aristotle, who, you you were the good Dean of Westminster, my know, is intemperately magnified with the schoolrequest to you is, that not by pricks, but by notes, men, and is also allied (as I take it) to the Jesuits you would mark unto me whatsoever shall seem by Faber, who was a companion of Loyola, and unto you either not current in the style, or harsh a great Aristotelian. I send you at this time, the to credit and opinion, or inconvenient for the per- only part which hath any harshness, and yet I son of the writer, for no man can be judge and framed to myself an opinion, that whosoever party; and when our minds judge by reflection allowed well of that preface, which you so much on ourselves, they are more subject to error. And commend, will not dislike, or at least ought not though, for the matter itself, my judgment be in to dislike, this other speech of preparation ; for it is some things fixed, and not accessible by any written out of the same spirit, and out of the same man's judgment that goeth not my way, yet even necessity. Nay, it doth more fully lay open, that in those things the admonition of a friend may the question between me and the ancients is not make me express myself diversely. I would have of the virtue of the race, but of the rightness of come to your lordship, but that I am hastening to the way. And, to speak truth, it is to the other my house in the country, and so I commend your but as Palma to Pugnus, part of the same thing, lordship to God's goodness.
more large. You conceive aright, that in this, and the other, you have commission to impart and communicate them to others, according to your
discretion; other matters I write not of. Myself SIR FRANCIS BACON TO SIR THOMAS BODLEY, am like the miller of Huntingdon, that was wont
AFTER HE HAD IMPARTED TO HIM A WRITING to pray for peace among the willows; for, while INTITULED, “COGITATA ET VISA."
the winds blew the wind-mills wrought, and the Sir,
water-mill was less customed. So I see that In respect of my going down to my house in controversies of religion must hinder the advancethe country, I shall have miss of my papers,
ment of sciences. Let me conclude with my which, I pray you, therefore, return unto me. perpetual wish towards yourself, that the approI bear you witness, slothful, and you
bation of yourself by your own discreet and tem help me nothing ; so as I am half in conceit that perate carriage, may restore you to your country, you affect not the argument; for myself, I know and your friends to your society. And so I com well you love and affect. I can say no more to
mend you to God's goodness. you, but, “non canimus surdis, respondent omnia Gray's Inn, this 10th of October, 1609. silvæ.” If you be not of the lodgings chalked up, (whereof I speak in my preface,) I am but to pass by your door.
But if I had you but a fort- SIR FRANCIS BACON TO MR. MATTHEW, TOUCHInight at Gorhambury, I would make you tell me
ING INSTAURATIO MAGNA. another tale, or else I would add a cogitation against libraries, and be revenged on you that letter of the 10th of February, and I am glad to
Mr. Matthew, I heartily thank you for your way: I pray you send me some good news of Sir Thomas Smith, and commend me very kindly to and advertisement, touching my writings.
receive from you matter both of encouragement
For him. So I rest.
my part, I do wish that, since there is almost no “ lumen siccum” in the world, but all “madidum,
maceratum," infused in the affections, and bloods, SIR FRANCIS BACON TO MR. MATTIIEW, UPON or humours, that these things of mine had those
SENDING HIM PART OF INSTAURATIO MAGNA. separations that might make them more acceptaMR. MATTHEW,
ble; so that they claim not so much acquaintance I plainly perceive by your affectionate writing of the present times, as they be thereby the less touching my work, that one and the same thing like to last. And to show you that I have some affecteth us both, which is the good end to which purpose to new mould them, 1 send you a leaf or it is dedicated: for as to any ability of mine, it two of the preface, carrying some figure of tho cannot merit that degree of approbation. For whole work; wherein I purpose to take that which your caution for church men, and church matters, is real and effectual of both writings, and chiefly
to add .pledge, if not payment to my promise. I lords, and towards the end of the last term, this send you, also, a memorial of Queen Elizabeth, manner, also, in particular, was spoken of ; that is, to requite your Eulogy of the late Duke of Flo- that Mr. Solicitor should be made your majesty's rence's felicity. of this, when you were here, I sergeant, and I solicitor, for so it was thought showed you some model, though, at that time, best, to sort with both our gifts and faculties, for methought you were as willing to hear Julius the good of your service. And of this resolution Cæsar as Queen Elizabeth commended. But this both court and country took knowledge. Neither which I send is more full, and hath more of the was this any invention or project of mine own, narrative; and farther hath one part that I think but moved from my lords; and I think, first, from will not be disagreeable, either to you, or that my lord chancellor., Whereupon resting, your place, being the true tracts of her proceeding majesty well knoweth, I never opened my mouth towards the Catholics, which are infinitely mis- for the greater place, though I am sure I had two taken. And though I do not imagine they will circumstances, that Mr. Attorney now is, could pass allowance there, yet they will gain upon ex- not allege. The one, nine years' service of the
I find Mr. Lezure to use you well, (I mean crown; the other, being cousin-german to the Lord his tongue, of you,) which shows you either of Salisbury, whom your majesty seemeth and honest or wise. But this I speak merely; for, in trusteth so much. But for less place, I conceived, good faith, I conceive hope, that you will so it was meant me. But after that Mr. Attorney govern yourself, as we may take you as assuredly Hubbert was placed, I heard no more of my prefor a good subject, and patriot, as you take your- ferment, but it seemed to be at a stop, to my great self for a good Christian; and so we may enjoy disgrace and discouragement. For, (gracious your company, and you your conscience, if it may sovereign,) if still when the waters are stirred, no otherwise be. For my part, assure yourself another shall be put before me, your majesty had that, as we say in the law, “ mutatis mutandis,” need work a miracle, or else I shall be still a lame my love and good wishes to you are diminished. man to do your majesty service. And, therefore, And so I remain.
my most humble suit to your majesty is, that this which seemed to me was intended, may speedily
be performed. And I hope my former service SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, TOUCHING
shall be but beginnings to better, when I am better THE SOLICITOR'S PLACE.
strengthened. For sure I am, no man's heart is
fuller (1 say not but many have greater hearts, How honestly ready I have been, most gracious but I say, not fuller) of love and duty towards sovereign, to do your majesty humble service to the best of my power, and in a manner beyond will manifest against envy and detraction, if any
your majesty, and your children, as I hope time my power, (as I now stand,) I am not so unfor- be. To conclude, I most humbly crave pardon tunate but your majesty knoweth. For, both in
for my boldness, and restthe commission of union, (the labour whereof, for men of my profession, rested most upon my hand,) and this last parliament in the bill of the subsidy, (both body and preamble,) in the bill of attain
SIR FRANCIS BACON TO THE KING, HIS SUIT TO ders of Tresham, and the rest, in the matter of
SUCCEED IN THE ATTORNEY'S PLACE. purveyance, in the ecclesiastical petitions, in the grievances, and the like; as I was ever careful It may PLEASE your Majesty, (and not without good success) sometimes to put Your great and princely favours towards me in forward that which was good, sometimes to keep advancing me to place, and that which is to me back that which was not so good; so your majesty of no less comfort, your majesty's benign and was pleased to accept kindly of my services, and gracious acceptation from time to time of my poor to say to me, such conflicts were the wars of peace, services, much above the merit and value of them, and such victories, the victories of peace; and, hath almost brought me to an opinion, that I may therefore, such servants that obtained them were, sooner perchance be wanting to myself in not by kings that reign in peace, no less to be esteemed asking, than find your majesty's goodness wantthan services of commanders in the wars. In all ing to me, in any my reasonable and modest which, nevertheless, I can challenge to myself no desires. And, therefore, perceiving how at this sufficiency, but that I was diligent and reasonably time preferments of law fly about my ears, to some happy to execute those directions which I received above me, and to some below me, I did conceive either immediately from your royal mouth, or from your majesty may think it rather a kind of dulness, my Lord of Salisjnry; at which time it pleased or want of faith, than modesty, if I should not your majesty to promise and assure me, that upon come with my pitcher to Jacob's Well, as others the reluove of the then attorney, I should not be do. Wherein I shall propound to your majesty, forgotten, but brought into ordinary place. And that which tendeth not so much to the raising my this was after confirmed to me by many of my fortune, as to the settling of my mind, being