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touching that work, such as beyond which I could not expect at the first in so abstruse an argument; yet nevertheless I have just cause to doubt, that it flies too high over men's heads : (a) have a purpose therefore, though I break the order of time, to draw it down to the sense, by some patterns of a Natural Story and Inquisition. And again, for that my book of Advancement of Learning may be some preparative or key for the better opening of the Instauration, because it exhibits a mixture of new conceits and old ; whereas the Instauration gives the new unmixed, otherwise than with some little aspersion of the old for taste's sake : I have thought good to procure a translation of that book into the general language, not without great and ample additions, and enrichment thereof, especially in the second book, which handleth the partition of sciences; in such sort, as I hold it may serve in lieu of the first part of the Instauration, and acquit my promise in that part.”

Such are the different sentiments expressed by Lord Bacon of his favourite work.

The notices of this work by his faithful secretary and biographer, Dr. Rawley, and his admirer Archbishop Tennison, are as follows :-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 Instauratio 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 travail. 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.”

And Archbishop Tennison, speaking of the Novum Organum, says, 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 his Novum Organum Scientiarum, written by himself in the Latin tongue, and printed also most beautifully and correctly in folio, at London. 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 to him, then chancellor, a letter of thanks with his own hand. Part of the dedication is then stated.

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

And by this art be designed a logic more useful than the vulgar, and an Organon 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.


(a) Mr. Chamberlain, in a letter to Sir Dudley Carleton, ambassador at Holland, dated at London, October 28, 1620, mentions, that Mr. Henry Cuffe, who had been secretary to Robert, Earl of Essex, and executed for being concerned in his treasons, having long since perused this work, gave his censure, “ that a fool could not have written such a work, and a wise man would not.” And, in another letter, dated February 3, 1620-1, Mr. Chamberlain takes notice, that the King could not forbear sometimes, in reading that book, to say, that it was like the peace of God, that passeth all understanding."

This book containeth three parts, the Preface; the distribution of the work of the great Instauration ; Aphorisms, guiding to the interpretation of nature.

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, concerning the interpretation of nature; the first book de Augmentis Scientiarum, which treateth generally of their dignity and advancement; and his lordship’s “ Cogitata et Visa” written by him, in Latin, without intention of making them public in that form, and sent to Dr. Andrews, as likewise to Sir Thomas Bodley, with a desire to receive their censures and emendations. The latter returned him a free and friendly judgment of this work, in a large and learned letter, published in the Cabala, in the English tongue, and by Gruter in the Latin. The like, perhaps, was done by the former, though his answer be not extant.

To the distribution belongeth that Latin fragment in Gruter, called the Delineation and Argument, of the second part of the Instauration. So doth that of the philosophy of Parmenides and Telesius, and (especially) Democritus. For, as he sheweth in the beginning of that part, he designed first to consider the learning of which the world was possessed ; and then to perfect that; and that being done, to open new ways to further discoveries.

To the Aphorisms is reducible his letter to Sir Henry Savil, touching helps for the intellectual powers, written by his lordship in the English tongue. A part of knowledge then scarce broken, men believing that nature was here rather to be followed than guided by art; and as necessary (in his lordship’s opinion) as the grinding and whetting of an instrument or the quenching it, and giving it a stronger temper.

Also there belong to this place, the fragment called “ Aphorismi et Consilia, de Auxiliis Mentis," and "Sententiæ Duodecim de Interpretatione Naturæ ;' both published by Gruter in the Latin tongue, in which his lordship wrote them.

Different Editions of Novum Organum. The first edition of the Novum Organum was published in folio in 1620, when Lord Bacon was Chancellor; annexed is the title page : Francisci de Verulamio summi Angliæ Cancellarii, Instauratio Magna. "Londini, apud Joannem Billium Typographum Regium.

Another edition was published in Holland in 1645.

Another edition was published in 1650. Annexed is the title page : Francisci de Verulamio summi Anglia Cancellarii, Instauratio Magna. Lugd. Batav. Ex Officina Andriani Wyngaerden.

Another edition was published in 1660. Annexed is the title page : Francisci de Verulamio, summi Angliæ Cancellarii, Instauratio Magna. Amsteladami, sumptibus Joannis Ravesteing.

Francisci Baconi Baronis de Verulamio Novum Organum Scientiarum. Wirceburgi, apud Jo. Jac. Stahel. 1779.

Another edition was published at Oxford in 1813. Annexed is the title page : Francisci Buconi de Vervlamio, summi Angliæ Cancellarii, Novum Organum,

sive Indicia vera de Interpretatione Naturæ. Oxonii, e Typographeo Clarendoniano.

Translations. Translation, 1640. From Watts' Translation of De Augmentis. The introductory tract prefixed to the Novum Organum was translated in 1640 by Dr. Watts, and is prefixed to his translation of the treatise “ De Augmentis.”

Translation, 1671. From the 3rd edition of Resuscitatio. In the third edition of the Resuscitatio, published in 1671, there are three translated tracts from the Novum Organum, viz.

1. “ The Natural and Experimental History of the Form of Hot Things."
2. “Of the several kinds of Motion, or of the active Virtue.”
3. A travslation of the Parasceve, which is the beginning of the third part

of the Instauration, but is annexed to the Novum Organum in the

first edition. The following is the title page : A Preparatory to the History Natural and Experimental, written originally in Latine, by the Right Honourable Francis Lord Verulam, Lord High Chancellor of England, and now faithfully rendred into English. By a well wisher to his Lordship’s writings. London, printed by Sarah Griffing und Ben. Griffing, for William Lee, at the Turks-head in Fleet Street, over against Fetter-Lane. 1670.

Translation, 1676. From 10th edition of Sylva. In the 10th edition of the Sylva Sylvarum, there is an abridged translation of the Novum Organum. The following is a copy of the title page : The Novum Orgunum of Sir Francis Bacon, Buron of Verulam, Viscount St. Albans. Epitomiz'd: for a clearer understanding of his Natural History. Translated and taken out of the Latine, by M. D. B. D. London, Printed for Thomas Lee, at the Turks-head in Fleet Street. As this tenth edition of the Sylva was pubJished 1676, and Dr. Rawley died 1667, it must not, from any documents now known, be ascribed to him. It is not noticed in the Baconiana, published in 1679.

In 1733, Peter Shaw, M.D. published a translation of the Novum Organum. In the year 1830 the translation published in this edition was by my friend, William Wood.

In the year 1788 an Italian edition was published. The following is the title : Nuovo Organo delle Scienze di Francesco Bacone di Verulamio, Gran Cancelliere d'Inghilterra. Traduzione in Italiano con Annotazioni ed una Prefazione del Traduttore. Bassano, 1788, a Spese Remondini di Venezia. Con Licenza de' Superiori.

In the year 1810 there was another Italian edition of the Novum Organum. Annexed is a copy of the title page : Nuovo Organo delle Scienze di Francesco Bacone di Verulamio traduzione in Italiano del can. Antonio Pelizzari. Edizione seconda arricchita di un Indice e di Annotasioni. Bassano, Tipografia Remondiniana.

There is the following edition in French: Euvres de François Bacon, Chancelier d'Angleterre, traduites par Ant. Lasalle ; avec des notes critiques, historiques et littéraires. Tome quatrième. A Dijon, de l’Imprimerie de L. N. Frantin. An 8 de la République Françuise.

Different Editions.



Sise. 1620 Latin

T. Bill

Folio. 1645 Ditto

18mo. 1650 Ditto

Lugd. Bat.

18mo. 1660 Ditto Rovestein Ams.

18mo. 1779 Ditto

I. Stahel Wirceburg...... 8vo. 1803 Ditto

Serymgeour Glasguæ 12mo. 1813. Ditto

Clarendon...... Oxford. 8vo.

Translations. 1671 English

3rd edition of Resuscitatio. 1676 English

10th edition of Sylva. 1733 English, by Shaw, Knapton London





Berlin............ 8vo.
Remondiniana Basano

English, by Shaw, Sherwood

London........... 12mo. · Year 8 Fr. Rep. French

Dijon.......... 8vo. 1830 .... Wood

Whittingham . London



Frantın .........

Tracts relating to Novum Organum.
In the British Museum there are the following tracts relating to the Novum
1. MS. Sloane, No. 432. fo. 131. Consideratio Novi Organi Verulamil

institutu olim a David Mylio.
2. MS. Sloane, No. 432. fol. 38. Consideratio considerationis Mylianæ.

Nature of the Work.

The intention of Lord Bacon with respect to the Novum Organum, he has
himself explained in Aph. 22. part 2, where he says : We therefore propose to

1. Of prerogative instances.
2. Of the helps of induction.
3. Of the rectification of induction.
4. Of the method of varying inquiries according to the nature of the

5. Of prerogative natures for inquiry, or what subjects are to be inquired

into first, what second.
6. Of the limits of inquiry, or an inventory of all the natures in the

7. Of reducing inquiries to practice, or making them subservient to human
8. Of the preliminaries to inquiries.

9. And lastly, of the ascending and descending scale of axioms.
Of these nine parts, the first, or prerogative instances, was alone completed.
-“ But time, in the interim, being on the wing, and the author too much
engaged in civil affairs, especially considering the uncertainties of life, he
would willingly hasten to secure some part of his design from contingencies ;
and after much close thought, and a deliberate consideration, he determined,
that to prevent so useful a thing from disaster, the best course was to propose
and lay down certain tables of invention, or forms of genuine inquiry, that is,
the digested matter of particulars, designed for the work of the understanding,
and this in some determinate subjects, by way of example, or a palpable model
of the whole. And hence, though we should not ourselves complete the under-
taking, yet men of a solid and sublime genius, being thus admonished by what
we have offered, may, without any greater assistance, expect the rest from
themselves and finish it. For, as to the matter in hand, we are almost of his
opinion, who said, this is enough for the wise ; but for the unwise, more would
not be serviceable."

Annexed to the Novum Organum in the first edition is, Parasceve ad Historiam Naturalem et Experimentalem, which is in fact the beginning of the third part of the instauration. It is translated in the third edition of Resuscitatio.



The Wisdom of the Ancients. The first edition was published in 1609. In February 27, 1610, Lord Bacon wrote to Mr. Matthew, upon sending his book De Sapientia Veterum.

“ Mr. Matthew, I do very heartily thank you for your letter of the 24th of August from Salamanca; and in recompence therefore 1 send you a little work of mine that hath begun to pass the world. They tell me my Latin is turned into silver, and become current: had you been here, you should have been my inquisitor before it came forth; but, I think, the greatest inquisitor in Spain will allow it. But one thing you must pardon me if I make no haste to believe, that the world should be grown to such an ecstasy as to reject truth in phi

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losophy, because the author dissenteth in religion ; no more than they do by Aristotle or Averroes. My great work goeth forward; and after my manner, I alter ever when I add. So that nothing is finished till all be finished. This I have written in the midst of a term and parliament; thinking no time so possessed, but that I should talk of these matters with so good and dear a friend. And so with my wonted wishes I leave you to God's goodness.

“ From Gray's Inn, Feb. 27, 1610." And in his letter to Father Fulgentio, giving some account of his writings, he says, “ My Essays will not only be enlarged in number, but still more in substance. Along with them goes the little piece ' De Sapientia Veterum.'

Bacon's sentiments with respect to these fables may be found in the “ Advancement of Learning,” and in the “ De Augmentis,” under the head of Poetry:

In the “ Advancement of Learning” he says, “ There remaineth yet another use of poeșy parabolical, opposite to that which we last mentioned : for that tendeth to demonstrate and illustrate that which is taught or delivered, and this other to retire and obscure it: that is, when the secrets and mysteries of religion, policy, or philosophy, are involved in fables or parables. Of this in divine poesy we see the use is authorized. In heathen poesy we see the exposition of fables doth fall out sometimes with great feliciiy; as in the fable that the giants being overthrown in their war against the gods, the Earth, their mother, in revenge thereof brought forth fame :

Illam Terra parens, irà irritata deorum,
Extremam, ut perhibent, Coeo Enceladoque sororem

Progenuit,” expounded, that when princes and monarchs have suppressed actual and open rebels, then the malignity of the people, which is the mother of rebellion, doth bring forth libels and slanders, and taxations of the state, which is of the same kind with rebellion, but more feminine. So in the fable, that the rest of the gods having conspired to bind Jupiter, Pallas called Briareus with his hundred hands to his aid, expounded, that monarchies need not fear any curbing of their absoluteness by mighty subjects, as long as by. wisdom they keep the hearts of the people, who will be sure to come in on their side. So in the fable, that Achilles was brought up under Chiron the centaur, who was part a man and part a beast, expounded ingeniously, but corruptly by Machiavel, that it belongeth to the education and discipline of princes to know as well how to play the part of the lion in violence, and the fox in guile, as of the man in virtue and justice. Nevertheless, in many the like encounters, I do rather think that the fable was first, and the exposition then devised, than that the moral was first, and thereupon the fable framed. For I find it was an ancient vanity in Chrysippus, that troubled himself with great contention to fasten the assertions of the Stoics upon the fictions of the ancient poets ; but yet that all the fables and fictions of the poets were but pleasure and not figure, I interpose no opinion. Surely of those poets which are now extant, even Homer himself, (notwithstanding he was made a kind of Scripture by the latter schools of the Grecians,) yet I should without any difficulty pronounce that his fables had no such inwardness in his own meaning ; but what they might have upon a more original tradition, is not easy to affirm ; for he was not the inventor of many of them.”

In the treatise “ De Augmentis,” the same sentiments will be found with a slight alteration in the expressions. He says, “ there is another use of parabolical poesy, opposite to the former, which tendeth to the folding up of those things, the dignity whereof deserves to be retired and distinguished, as with a drawn curtain : that is, when the secrets and mysteries of religion, policy, and philosophy are veiled and invested with fables and parables. But whether there be any mystical sense couched under the ancient fables of the poets, may admit some doubt: and indeed for our part we incline to this opinion, as to thiņk that there was an infused mystery in many of the ancient fables of the

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