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came to speak upon the day of the obsequies, O what a tunable music he made between his rhetoric and his tears ! for both flowed together. How curious were his apostrophes ! how moving were bis passions ! how winning his pronunciation! Many pauses he was compelled to make by the applause and humming of the swarms about him in the close of his periods. When he had done, and the assembly brake up, it was in every mouth, that Playfer's eloquence was not dead with him while this orator was alive. Let me trouble this narrative with a small interjection. I was myself in the throng among those that heard this oration, newly admitted into Trinity College, that being the second day wherein I wore my purple gown. This being the first exercise that I heard in Cambridge in the Latin tongue, I thought it was a city paved all with emeralds, and that such learning and such silver elocution was common to them all."
I find the following notice of this work by Lord Bacon. On the 12th of October, 1620, in a letter to the King, presenting the Novum Organum to his majesty, Lord Bacon says, “I hear my former book of the Advancement of Learning, is well tasted in the universities here, and the English colleges abroad; and this is the same argument sunk deeper.” And it is mentioned in the following letter :
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 10 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.
Different Editions. This edition of 1605 was the only edition published during the life of Lord Bacon, who died in 1626.
An edition in octavo was published in 1629. The following is a copy of the title page : The Two Bookes of Fancis Bacon. Of the Proficience and aduancement of Learning, Divine and Human. To the King. London : printed for William Washington, and are to be sold at his shop in S. Dunstanes Churchyard. 1629.
In the year 1633, there was another edition of the same size. The following is a copy of the title page : The Two Bookes of Sir Francis Bacon, of the Proficience and Advancement of Leurning Divine and Humane. To the King. Oxford, printed by I. L. Printer to the Vniversity, for Thomas Huggins. 1633. With permission of B. Fisher.
I once thought that the edition of 1633 was either a fac-simile, or part of the remaining copies of 1629, as it consists of the same pages (335), and very nearly resembling each other. But, upon examining pages 334 and 335, it
will be seen that, although they consist of the same words, the spelling of the word “be” is in various places different. It probably is the same in other pages.
În 1808 another edition in octavo was published. It was edited by Mr. Mallet, a great admirer of Lord Bacon. I know him well,
and think of him with affection and respect. He was cut off in his prime. The following is a copy of the title page : The Two Books of Francis Bacon. Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human. To the King. London: printed by J. M'Creery, for T. Payne, Pall Mall. Mallet says, that his edition is corrected from the original edition of 1605: numerous errors having crept into many of the later editions, especially in the Latin quotations.
In the year 1825, another edition in octavo was published. The following is the title page: The Two Books of Francis Lord Verulam. Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human. To the King. London. William Pickering. M.Dccc.xxv. I wrote the preface to this edition. Some person was procured by the publisher to translate, and very badly has he translated, the various Latin quotations in different parts of the volume.
There is another 12mo. edition, a very neat pocket volume.
Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human. By Francis Lord Bacon. London : printed and published by J. F. Dove, St. John's Square. 1828.
Observations by different authors.
Rawley's Observations upon Novum Organum. Ben Jonson says, “ I have ever observed it to have been the office of a wise patriot, among the greatest affairs of the state, to take care of the commonwealth of learning. For schools, they are the seminaries of state, and nothing is worthier the study of a statesman, than that part of the republic which we call the Advancement of Letters. Witness the care of Julius Cæsar, who in the heat of the civil war writ his book of Analogy, and dedicated them to Tully. This made the late Lord St. Albans entitle his work Novum Organum, which, though by the most of superficial men, who cannot get beyond the title of nominals, it is a work not penetrated or understood; it really openeth all defects of learning whatsoever, and is a book
Qui longum noto scriptori proroget ævum. Dr. Rawley, in his life of Lord Bacon, says, “ I have been induced to think, that if there were a beam of knowledge derived from God upon any man in these modern times, it was upon him for though he was a great reader of books, yet he had not his knowledge from books, but from some grounds and notions from within himself; which notwithstanding he vented with great caution and circumspection. His book of Instauratione Magna (which in his own account was the chiefest of his works,) was no slight imagination, or fancy of his brain, but a settled and concocted notion, the production of many years labour and travel. I myself have seen at the least twelve copies of the Instauration, revised year by year one after another, and every year altered and
amended in the frame thereof, till at last it came to that model in which it was committed to the press, as many living creatures do lick their young ones, till they bring them to their strength of limbs.
Tennyson's Observations upon Novum Organum. The second part of his Great Instauration (and so considerable a part of it, that the name of the whole is given to it) is Novum Organum Scientiarum, written by himself in the Latin tongue, and printed also most beautifully and correctly in folio, at London. (a) This work he dedicated to King James, with the following excuse; that if he had stolen any time for the composure of it from his majesty's other affairs, he had made some sort of restitution by doing honour to his name and his reign. The King wrote 10 him, then Chancellor, a letter of thanks with his own hand ; (b) and this was the first part of it: “ My Lord, I have received your letter and your book, than the which you could not have sent a more acceptable present to me.
How thankful I am for it, cannot better be expressed by me, than by a firm resolution I have taken ; first, to read it through with care and attention, though I should steal some hours from my sleep, having, otherwise, as little spare time to read it as you had to write it'; and then to use the liberty of a true friend, in not sparing to ask you the question in any point, whereof I stand in doubt (nam ejus esi paplicure, cujus est condere); as, on the other part, I will willingly give a due commendation to such places, as in my opinion, shall deserve it. In the mean time, I can with comfort assure you, that you could not have made choice of a subject, more befitting your place, and your universal and methodical knowledge.”
Three copies of this Organum were sent by the Lord Bacon to Sir Henry Wotton, one who took a pride (as himself saith) in a certain congeniality with bis lordship's studies. And how very much he valued the present, we may learn from his own words : “ Your lordship (said he) (c) hath done a great and ever-living benefit to all the cbildren of nature, and to nature herself in her uttermost extent of latitude ; who, never before, had so noble, nor so true an interpreter, or (as I am readier to style your lordship) never so inward a secretary of her cabinet. But of your work (which came but this week to my hands) I shall find occasion to speak more hereafter ; having yet read only the first book thereof, and a few aphorisms of the second. For it is not a banquet that men may superficially taste, and put up the rest in their pockets; but, in truth, a solid feast, which requireth due mastication. Therefore, when I have once myself perused the whole, I determine to have it read, piece by piece, at certain hours, in my domestic college, as an ancient author; for I have learned thus much by it already, that we are extremely mistaken in the computation of antiquity, by searching it backwards ; because, indeed, the first times were the youngest ; especialiy in points of natural discovery and experience.
This Novum Organum containeth in it, instructions concerning a better and more perfect use of reason in our inquisitions after things. And therefore the second title which he gave it was, Directions concerning Interpretations of Nature. And by this art he designed a logic more useful than the vulgar, and an Organum apter to help the intellectual powers than that of Aristotle. For he proposed here, not so much the invention of arguments as of arts; and in demonstration, he used induction, more than contentious syllogism; and in his induction, he did not straightway proceed from a few particular sensible notions to the most general of all; but raised axioms by degrees, designing the most general notions for the last place, and insisting on such of them as are not merely notional, but coming from nature, do also lead to her.
This book containeth three parts : the Preface; the Distribution of the Work of the Great Instauration ; Aphorisms, guiding to the interpretation
(a) 1620, and in second part of Resuscitatio part of this Org. is published in an English version. (6) Dated October 16, 1620.
(c) Wotton's Remains, 298.
The Preface considereth the present unhappy state of learning, together with counsels and advices to advance and improve it. To this preface, therefore, are to be reduced the Indicia, and the Proem in Gruter, (a) concerning the interpretation of nature; the first book de Augmentis Scientiarum, which treateth generally of their dignity and advancement. (b)
To the Distribution belongeth that Latin fragment in Gruter, (c) called the Delineation and Argument of the second part of the Instauration. (d)
In the bringing this labour to maturity, be used great and deliberate care ; insomuch that Dr. Rawley saith, he had seen twelve copies of it revised year by year, one after another, and every year altered and amended in the frame thereof, till at last it came to the model in which it was committed to the press, It was like a mighty pyramid, long in its erection, and it will probably be like to it in its continuance. Now he received from many parts beyond the seas testimonies touching this work, such as beyond which he could not (he saith) expect at the first, in so abstruse an argument; yet, nevertheless (he saith again ) he had just cause to doubt that it few too high over men's heads. He purposed, therefore (though he broke the order of time) to draw it down to the sense by some patterns of natural story and inquisition.
Tradition. • Man's labour is to invent that which is sought or propounded; or to judge that which is invented; or to retain that which is judged; or to deliver over that which is retained. So as the arts must be four; art of inquiry or invention ; art of examination or judgment; art of custody or memory; and art of elocution or tradition."
Under the head of Invention, after having explained the deficience of the art of Invention, “ which,” he says, “ seemeth 10 me to be such a deficience as if, in the making of an inventory touching the estate of a defunct, it should be set down, 'of ready money nothing :' for as money will fetch all other commodities, so this knowledge is that which should purchase all the rest. And like as the West Indies had never been discovered, if the use of the mariner's needle had not been first discovered, though the one be vast regions and the other a small motion; so it cannot be found strange if sciences be no farther discovered, if the art itself of invention and discovery hath been passed over.”
He then adds, 1 his part of invention, concerning the invention of sciences, I purpose, if God give me leave, hereafter to propound, having digested it into two parts; whereof the one I term • Experientia Literata, and the other ' Interpretatio Naturæ :' the former being but a degree and rudiment of the latter." But I will not dwell too long, nor speak too great upon a promise."
The Novum Organum was published, imperfect and incomplete, in the year 1620, when Lord Bacon was Chancellor. The reasons for the publication at that period are stated in his letter to the King : “ And the reason why I have published it now, specially, being unperfect, is, to speak plainly, because I number my days, and would have it saved. There is another reason of my so doing, which is to try wbether I can get help in one intended part of this work,
(a) Script. 285, 479.
namely, the compiling of a natural and experimental history, which must be the main foundation of a true and active philosophy.". Such are the causes assigned by Lord Bacon, each deserving a separate consideration.
The first of these two reasons is, " because I number my days, and would have it saved.” The meaning of this cannot be mistaken. Bacon was born in the year 1560. His health was always delicate. Etiam, he says, nonnihil hominibus spei fieri putamus ab exemplo nostro proprio ; neque jactantiæ causâ hoc dicimus, sed quòd utile dictu sit. Si qui diffidant, me videant, hominem inter homines ætatis meæ civilibus negotiis occupatissimum, nec firmà admodum valetudine (quod magnum habet temporis dispendium), atque in hâc re planè protopirum, et vestigia nullius secutum, neque hæc ipsa cum ullo mortalium communicantem ; et tamen veram viam constanter ingressum, et ingenium rebus submittentem, hæc ipsa aliquatenùs (ut existimamus) provexisse.
In the year 1617, when he was fifty-seven years of age, the great seals were offered to him. Unmindful of the feebleness of his constitution; unmindful of his love of contemplation, and that genius is rarely prompt in action, or consistent in general conduct: unmindful of his own words, “ I ever bore a mind to serve his majesty in some middle place that I could discharge, not as a man born under Sol, that loves honour ; nor under Jupiter, that loves business; for the contemplative planet carries me away wholly." Unmindful of his own
“ Men in great place are thrice servants : servants of the sovereign in state ; servants of fame; and servants of business : so as they have no freedom neither in their persons, nor in their actions, nor in their times. Power they seek, and lose liberty : they seek power over others, and lose power over themselves.” Unmindful of his admonition, “ Accustom your mind to judge of the proportion or value of things, and do that substantially and not superficially; for if you observe well, you shall find the logical part of some men's minds good, but the mathematical part nothing worth : that is, they can judge well of the mode of attaining the end, but ill of the value of the end itself; and hence some men fall in love with access to princes; others, with popular fame and applause, supposing they are things of great purchase, when in many cases, they are but matters of envy, peril, and impediment. Unmindful of his own doctrine, how much "worldly pursuits divert and interrupt the prosecution and advancement of knowledge, like unto the golden ball thrown before Atalanta, which, while she goeth aside and stoopeth to take up, the race is hindered
Declinat cursus, aurumque volubile tollit.” One of the consequences was the publication of the Novum Organum in its present state; the sacrifice of his favourite work, upon which he had been engaged for thirty years, and had twelve times transcribed with his own hand.
The second reason assigned by Lord Bacon for the publication of the Novum Organum in 1620 is, “ to try whether I can get help in one intended part of this work, namely, the compiling of a natural and experimental history, which must be the foundation of a true and active philosophy.” The meaning of this seems also to be obvious. Lord Bacon's conviction of the importance of Natural History, as the primitive matter of philosophy, appears in every part of his works; in the Advancement of Learning ; the Sylva Sylvarum; the New Atlantis; the Wisdom of the Antients; and the Novum Organum. It seems probable, therefore, that he availed himself of the moment when power was entrusted to him, to induce the king to assist in the formation of “ such a collection of natural history as he had measured out in his mind, and such as really ought to be procured, which is,” he says, a great and royal work, requiring the purse of a prince, and the assistance of a people.” He, therefore, in his presentation letter to the king, expresses his anxiety for the compiling a Natural History, and he renews his solicitation in his next letter to the king.
Copies of the work were presented to the King, to the University of Cambridge, to Sir Henry Wotton, and to Sir Edward Coke. The following are the letters of presentation and the answers,