Page images
PDF
EPUB

« turbulent; whereas ifit be well advised, there is a * great difference to be made between matters con* templative and active. For in government change * is suspected, though the better; but it is matural * to arts to be in perpetual agitation and growth. .. Neither is the danger alike of new light, and of * new motion or remove."

In the Novum Organum hesays, (Aph. 90,)“Again in the customs and institutions of schools, universities, colleges, and the like conventions, destined for the seats oflearned men, and the promotion of * knowledge, all things are found opposite to the * advancement of the sciences; for the readings and exercises are here so managed, that it cannot

[ocr errors]

easily come into any one's mind to think of things out of the common road. Or if here and there one should venture to use a liberty of judging, he cam only impose the fask upon himself, without ob* taining assistance from his fellows; and if he * could dispense with this, he will still find his industry and resolution a great hindrance to the * raising of his fortune. For the studies of men in * such places are confined, and pinned down to the * writings of certain authors ; from which, if any “ man happens to differ, he is presently reprehended * as a disturber and innovator. But there is surely * a great difference between arts and civil affairs;

[ocr errors]

* for the danger is not the sane from new light, as “ from new commotions. In civil a£iirs, it is true, “ a change even for the better is suspected, through * fear of disturbance; because these affairs depend

“ upon authority, consent, reputation, and opinion ** and not upon demonstrations: but arts and sciences “ should be like mines, resounding on all sides with “ new works, and farther progress. And thus it “ ought to be, according to right reason ; but the “ case, in fact, is quite otherwise. For the above“ mentioned administration and policy of schools “ and universities, generally opposes and greatly “ prevents the improvement of the sciences.” It is not the correctness of these opinions respecting universities, which is now attempted to be investigated. The only object is to explain the similarity of the sentiments in this tract, entitled “ Valerius Terminus," and the ** Novum Organum;" but it seems mot undeserving observation that this opinion must have been entertained by him very early in life, probably when resident in Cambridge, which he quitted soon after he was sixteen years of age, when the torpor of university pursuits would ill accord with his active mind, anxious only to invent and advance. At this early period, he, without considering whether universities are not formed rather for diffusing the knowledge of our predecessors, than for the discovery of unexplored truths; without considering the evil of youthful attempts mot to believe first what others know, would naturally feel “ that in the universities of Europe “ they learn nothing but to believe: first, to be** lieve that others know that which they know not; “ and after, themselves know that which they know

[ocr errors]

* not."* He would naturally enough say, “ They are * like a becalmed ship ; they never move but by the “ wind of other men's breath, and have no oars of “ their own to steer withal." But this opinion thus early impressed upon his mind seems to have been regulated in the year 1605, when he published the Advancement of Learning, and where, in his tract upon universities,f after having enumerated many of their defects, he says, “ The last defect which I will “ note is, that there hath not been, or very rarely “ been, any public designation of writers or inquirers “ concerning such parts of knowledge as may appear “ not to have been already sufficiently laboured or “ undertaken.";

§ 7.
DE CALORE ET FRIGORE.

This is obviously the rudiment of the Affirmative Table in the Novum Organum.

§ 8.

HELPS FOR INTELLECTUAL POWERS.

The tract entitled * Helps for the Intellectual Powers," was published by Rawley in his Resuscitatio, in 1657.

In a letter from Gruter to Dr. Rawley, dated July 1, 1659, and thanking him for a present of Lord Bacon's Posthumous Works, in Latin, (probably Opuscula cum Vita, published in 1658,) he says, " one paper I wonder I saw not amongst them, ** The Epistle of the Lord Bacon to Sir Henry Savil, abol the Helps of the Intellectual Powers," spoken ( long ago in your letters under that, or some suc title, if my memory does not deceive me. If it wa not forgotten and remains among your privat, papers, I should be glad to see a copy of it, in the use of which, my faithfulness shall mot 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."*

* See page 254. + See page 96, Vol. II. : See also his New Atlantis, ante Vol. II.

§ 9.
THE APOPHTHEGMES.

In the Advancement of Learning,* Bacon divides the Appendices to History into — 1. Memorials. 2. Epistles. 3. Apophthegmes. And, after lamenting the loss of Cæsar's book of Apophthegmes, he says, “ as for thöse which are collected by others, either I “ have mo taste in such matters, or else their choice “ hath not been happy :" but yet it seems that he had stored his mind with a collection of these “ Mucrones Verborum," as, for his recreation in his sickness in the year preceding his death, he famned the old, and dictated what he thought worth preservation. Archbishop Tenison, in his Baconiama, page 47, says,

“ The Apophthegmes (of which the firstj is the

* See the original in Latin, with the translation from which tlis extract is copied in the Baconiana, 239-40, and note he was right in this supposition.

+ See page llS, vol. ii.

: Apoth. printed in Oct. Lon. 1625. The title page of this

* best Edition) were(what he saith also* ofhis Essays) * but as the Recreations of his other Studies. They “ were dictated one morning, out of his memory ; * andif they seem to any, a birth too inconsiderable “ for the braim of so great a man ; they may think “ with themselves how little a time he went with it, * and from thence make some allowance. - Besides, * his Lordship hath receiv'd much injury by late “ editions,* of which some have much enlarged, but * not at all enriched the collection; stuffing it with “tales and sayings, too infacetious for a plough“ man's chimney-corner. And particularly, in the “ collection mot long since published,j and call'd The “Apothegms of King James, King Charles, the “ Marquess of Worcester, the Lord Bacon, and Sir “Thomas Moor; his Lordship is dealt with very “ rudely. For besides the addition of insipid tales, “ there are some put in which are beastly and im“ moral:§ such as were fitter to have been joyned to “Aretine, or Aloysia, than to have polluted the “ Chaste labours of the Baron of Verulam.” And Stephens, in the preface to the Memoirs,

editionis “ Apophthegmes, New and Old, collated by the Right “Honorable Francis Lo. Verulam, Viscount St. Alban.—London "Printed for Hanna Barret and Richard Whittaker, and are to “be sold at the Ring's Head in Paul's Church, 1625.” 'See his Epistle to Bishop Andrews. t Even by that added (but not by Dr. Rawley) to the Resuscitatio.—Baconiana. t In Octavo. Lom. 1669. § Ex. gr. Apotheg. 183-84.

« PreviousContinue »