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5. The abandoning universality....

173 2.2. After the creation.

No perfect discovery can be made upon a flat or a level: neither is it possible to discover the more remote and deeper parts of any science, if you stand but upon the level of the same science, and ascend not to a higher

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Upon these intellectualists, which are, notwithstanding, commonly taken for the most sublime and divine philosophers, Heraclitus gave a just censure, saying, Men sought

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truth in their own little worlds, and not in the great and common world."

7. The tainting doctrines with favourite opinions. 8. Impatience of doubt, and haste to assertion.2 9. The delivering knowledge too peremptorily.3 10. Being content to work on the labours of others instead of inventing...... 174 11. The mistaking the furthest end of knowledge.1 173 Men have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge, sometimes upon a natural curiosity, and inquisitive appetite; sometimes to entertain their minds with variety and delight; sometimes for ornament and reputation; and sometimes to enable them to victory of wit and contradiction; and most times for lucre and profession; and seldom sincerely to give a true account of their gift of reason, to the benefit and use of man: as if there were sought in knowledge a couch, whereupon to rest a searching and restless spirit; or a terrasse for a wandering and variable mind to walk up and down with a fair prospect; or a tower of state, for a proud mind to raise itself upon; or a fort or commanding ground, for strife and contention; or a shop, for profit or sale; and not a rich storehouse, for the glory of the Creator, and the relief of man's estate.


I have no purpose to enter into a laudative of learning, or to make a hymn to the muses; (though I am of opinion that it is long since their rites were duly celebrated :) but my intent is, without varnish or amplification, justly to weigh the dignity of knowledge in the balance with other things, to take the true value thereof by testimonies and arguments divine and human.

Different proofs of the advantages of knowledge. 1. Divine proofs.....

1. Before the creation."

1 See note (E) at the end of this Treatise. See note (F) at the end of this Treatise.

See note (G) at the end of this Treatise.

• See note (H) at the end of this Treatise.


The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, be

fore his works of old.

I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.



1. Before the flood. 2. After the flood.

1. Before Christianity...... 175 In the law of the leprosy, it is said, "If the whiteness have overspread the flesh, the patient may pass abroad for clean; but if there be any whole flesh remaining, he is to be shut up for unclean," one of them noteth a principle of nature, that putrefaction is more contagious before maturity than after: and another noteth a position of moral philosophy, that men abandoned to vice do not so much corrupt manners, as those that are half good and half evil. 2. After Christianity.


Human proofs Learning relieves man's afflictions which arise from nature....... 177

Founders and uniters of states and cities, lawgivers, extirpers of tyrants, fathers of the people, and other eminent persons in civil merit, were honoured but with the titles of worthies or demi-gods; such as were Hercules, Theseus, Minos, Romulus, and the like: on the other side, such as were inventors and au thors of new arts, endowments, and commodities towards man's life, were ever consecrated amongst the gods themselves: as were Ceres, Bacchus, Mercurius, Apollo, and others: and justly; for the merit of the former is confined within the circle of an age or a nation, and is like fruitful showers, which though they be profitable and good, yet serve but for that season, and for a latitude of ground where they fall; but the other is indeed like the benefits of heaven, which are permanent and universal. The former, again, is mixed with strife and perturbation; but the latter hath the true cha racter of divine presence, coming "in aura leni," without noise or agitation. Learning represses the inconveniences which grow from man to man.... 177

In Orpheus's theatre, all beasts and birds assembled; and forgetting their several appetites, some of prey, some of game, some of quarrel, stood all sociably together listening to the airs and accords of the harp; the sound whereof no sooner ceased, or was drowned by some louder noise, but every beast returned to his own nature: wherein is aptly described the nature and condition of men, who are full of savage and unreclaimed desires of profit, of lust, of revenge; which as long as they give ear to precepts, to laws, to religion, sweetly touched with eloquence and persuasion of books, of sermons, of harangues, so long is society and peace maintained; but if these instruments be silent, or sedition and tumult make them not audible, all things dissolve into anarchy and confusion.

When there were no depths I was brought forth; when 3. Proof of this position, by showing the conjunction

there were no fountains abounding with water.

Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth.

While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

When he prepared the heavens I was there: when he set

a compass upon the face of the depth:

When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should

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volume, (not presuming to speak of your majesty that liveth,) in my judgment the most excellent is that of Queen Elizabeth, your immediate predecessor in this part of Britain; a princess that, if Plutarch were now alive to write lives by parallels, would trouble him, I think, to find for her a parallel amongst



This lady was endued with learning in her sex singular, and rare even amongst masculine princes; whether we speak of learn. ing, language, or of science, modern or ancient, divinity or humanity: and unto the very last year of her life she was accustomed to appoint set hours for reading, scarcely any young student in a university more daily, or duly. As for her government, I assure myself, I shall not exceed, if I do affirm that this part of the island never had forty-five years of better times; and yet not through the calmness of the season, but through the wisdom of her regimen. For if there be considered of 5. the one side, the truth of religion established 6. the constant peace and security, the good ad-7. ministration of justice, the temperate use of the prerogative, not slackened, nor much strained, the flourishing state of learning, sortable to so excellent a patroness, the convenient estate of wealth and means, both of crown and subject, the habit of obedience, and the moderation of discontents; and there be considered, on the other side, the differences of religion, the trou bles of neighbour countries, the ambition of Spain, and opposition of Rome, and then, that she was solitary and of herself: these things, I say, considered, as I could not have chosen an instance so recent and so proper, so, I suppose, I could not have chosen one more remarkable or eminent to the purpose now in hand, which is concerning the conjunction of learning in the prince with felicity in the people... 178 3. There is a concurrence between learning and military virtue.


When Cæsar, after war declared, did possess himself of the city of Rome; at which time entering into the inner treasury to take the 8. money there accumulated, Metellus, being tribune, forbade him: whereto Cæsar said, "That if he did not desist, he would lay him dead in the place." And presently taking himself up, he added, "Adolescens, durius est mihi hoc dicere quum facere." Young man, it is harder for me to speak than to do it. A speech compounded of the greatest terror and greatest clemency that could proceed out of the mouth of man.

4.4. Learning improves private virtues.....

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It takes away the barbarism of men's minds. “Scilicet ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes,

Emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros."

2. It takes away levity, temerity, and insolency. 3. It takes away vain admiration..


If a man meditate much upon the universal frame of nature, the earth with men upon it, the divineness of souls excepted, will not seem much other than an ant hill, where as some ants carry corn, and some carry their young, and some go empty, and all to and fro a little heap of dust.

1 This beautiful passage is omitted in the Treatise De Augmentis.

It mitigates the fear of death or adverse for


Virgil did excellently and profoundly couple the knowledge of causes and the conquest of all fears together, as "concomitantia. "Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas, Quique metus omnes, et inexorabile fatum Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari." It disposes the mind not to be fixed in its de



The unlearned man knows not what it is to descend into himself, or to call himself to account; nor the pleasure of that "suavissima vita, indies sentire se fieri meliorem."

Certain it is that "veritas" and "bonitas" differ but as the seal and the print: for truth prints goodness; and they be the clouds of error which descend in the storms of passions and perturbations. Learning is power.2

Learning advances fortune..


The pleasure of knowledge is the greatest of plea




We see in all other pleasures there is satiety, and after they be used, their verdure departeth; which showeth well they be but deceits of pleaand not pleasures; and that it was the novelty which pleased, and not the quality: and therefore we see that voluptuous men turn friars, and ambitious princes turn melancholy. But of knowledge there is no satiety, but satisfaction and appetite are perpetually interchangeable.

It is a view of delight, to stand or walk upon the shore side, and to see a ship tossed with tempest upon the sea; or to be in a fortified tower, and to see two battles join upon a plain; but it is a pleasure incomparable, for the mind of man to be settled, landed, and fortified in the certainty of truth; and from thence to descry and behold the errors, pertur bations, labours, and wanderings up and down of other men.

Learning insures immortality...


If the invention of the ship was thought so noble, which carrieth riches and commodities from place to place, and consociateth the most remote regions in participation of their fruits, how much more are letters to be magnified, which, as ships, pass through the vast seas of time, and make ages so distant to participate of the wisdom, illuminations, and inventions, the one of the other?

Nevertheless, I do not pretend, and I know it will be impossible for me, by any pleading of mine, to reverse the judgment, either of Esop's cock, that preferred the barleycorn before the gem; or of Midas, that being chosen judge between Apollo president of the Muses, and Pan god of the flocks, judged for plenty; or of Paris, that judged for beauty and love against wisdom and power; nor of Agrippina, "occidat matrem, modo imperet," that preferred empire with conditions never so detestable; or of Ulyssus, "qui vetulam prætulit immortalitati," being a figure of those which prefer custom and habit before all excellency; or of a number of the like popular judgments.

See note (L) at the end of this Treatise

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As water, whether it be the dew of heaven, or the springs of the earth, doth scatter and lose itself in the ground, except it be collected into some receptacle, where it may by union comfort and sustain itself, (and for that cause the industry of man hath made and framed springheads, conduits, cisterns, and pools, 1. which men have accustomed likewise to beautify and adorn with accomplishments of magnificence and state, as well as of use and necessity,) so this excellent liquor of knowledge, whether it descend from divine inspiration, or spring from human sense, would soon perish and vanish to oblivion, if it were not preserved in books, traditions, conferences, and places appointed, as universities, colleges, and schools, for the receipt and comforting of the


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1. For readers in sciences extant.

2. For inventors.

Defects of universities.

First defect. Colleges are all dedicated to profes .......185


If men judge that learning should be referred to action, they judge well but in this they fall into the error described in the ancient fable, in which the other parts of the body did suppose the stomach had been idle, because it neither performed the office of motion, as the limbs do; nor of sense, as the head doth; but yet, notwithstanding, it is the stomach that digesteth and distributeth to all the rest: so if any man think philosophy and universality to be idle studies, he doth not consider that all professions are from thence served and supplied. And this I take to be a great cause tnat hath hindered the progression of learning, because these fundamental knowledges have been studied but in passage. For if you will have a tree bear more fruit than it hath used to do, it is not any thing you can do to the boughs, but it is the stirring of the earth and putting new mould about the roots, that must work it.

It is injurious to government that there is not any collegiate education for statesmen 185 Second defect. The salaries of lecturers are too small....


If you will have sciences flourish, you must observe David's military law, which was, "That those which stayed with the carriage should have equal part with those which were in the action."

Third defect. There are not sufficient funds for providing models, instruments, experiments,


... 186

Fourth defect. There is a neglect in the governors of consultation, and, in superiors of visitation as to the propriety of continuing or Scholars study logic and rhetoric 2 amending the established courses of study 186


For minds empty and unfraught with matter, and which have not gathered that which Cicero calleth "sylva" and "supellex," stuff and variety, to begin with those arts, (as if one should learn to weigh, or to measure, or to paint the wind,) doth work but this effect, that the wisdom of those arts, which is great and universal, is almost made contemptible, and is degenerate into childish sophistry and ridiculous affectation.2 2. There is too great a divorce between invention and memory

..... 186

Fifth defect. There is a want of mutual intelligence between different universities.... 186 Sixth defect. There is a want of proper rewards for inquiries in new and unlaboured parts of learning ....... 186

The opinion of plenty is amongst the causes of want, and the great quantity of books maketh a show rather of superfluity than lack: which surcharge, nevertheless, is not to be remedied by making no more books, but by making more good books, which, as the ser pent of Moses, might devour the serpents of the enchanters

See note (M) at the end of this Treatise. See note (N) at the end of this Treatise.

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It is, as it were, hounding Nature in her 1. It wanderings to be able to lead her afterwards 2. It to the same place again.

4 Different marvels.

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The truth is, they be not the highest instances that give the securest information; as may be well expressed in the tale so common of the philosopher, that while he gazed upwards to the stars fell into the water; for if he had looked down he might have seen the stars in the water, but looking aloft he could not see the water in the stars. So it cometh 3. often to pass, that mean and small things discover great, better than great can discover the small.

Aristotle noteth well, "that the nature of every thing is best seen in its smallest portions." And for that cause he inquireth the nature of a commonwealth, first in a family, and the simple conjugations of man and wife, parent and child, master and servant, which are in every collage.

1. Chronicles.

2. Biography.

3. Relations.



is the most useful of all history. is to be lamented that biography is not more fre



One of the poets feigned that at the end of the thread or web of every man's life there was a little medal containing the person's name, and that Time waited upon the shears; and as soon as the thread was cut, caught the medals, and carried them to the river of Lethe; and about the bank there were many birds flying up and down, that would get the medals and carry them in their beak a little while, and then let them full into the river only there were a few swans, which if they got a name, would carry it to a temple where it was consecrated.

Impropriety of disregarding posthumous fame 190 Chronicles.



1. Chronicles excel for celebrity.....
2. The heathen antiquities are deficient
3. Bacon recommends a history of England from the
union of the roses to the union of the king-


The turning of iron touched with the load-1. They excel in verity and sincerity



stone towards the north, was found out in 2. It is to be lamented that there is not more diligence needles of iron, not in bars of iron.

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in relations..


The collection of such relations might be as a nursery garden, whereby to plant a fair and stately garden, when time should serve.

3. Annals and journals,

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1915. Division of poesy.

Ecclesiastical History............191

1. It has a common division analogous to the division

of common civil history.

1. Ecclesiastical chronicles. 2. Lives of the fathers.

3. Relations of synods.

2. Proper division ....


1. History of the church.

2. History of prophecy.

3. History of providence.

History of the Church.

1. It describes the state of the church in persecution, in remove, and in peace.

The ark in the deluge: the ark in the wilderness and the ark in the temple.

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2. It is more wanting in sincerity than in quantity. History of Prophecy.

1.It is the history of the prophecy and of the accomplishment.

(2. Every prophecy should be sorted with the event. 3. It is deficient.

3 History of Providence.

1.It is the history of the correspondence between God's revealed will and his secret will.

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1. Common-the same as in history.
2. Proper division.

A. Narrative or heroical.
B2. Representative or dramatical.
C3 Allusive or parabolical.
Narrative Poesy.

Parabolical Poesy.

1. It was never common in ancient times. 2. Its uses.

1. To elucidate truths.

2. To concert truths,2

3. Of the interpretation of mysteries, parabolical poesy.

In poesy there is no deficience; for, being as a plant that cometh of the lust of the earth, without a formal seed, it hath sprung up and spread abroad more than any other kind: but to ascribe unto it that which is due, for the expressing of affections, passions, corruptions, and customs, we are beholding to poets more than to the philosopher's works; and for wit and eloquence, not much less than to orators' harangues. But it is not good to stay too long in the theatre. Let us now pass on to the judicial place or palace of the mind, which we are to approach and view with more reveence and attention.

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1. Divine, or natural religion.
2. Natural, the knowledge of nature.
3. Human, the knowledge of man.

2. From divine inspiration or revealed religion.


It is a receptacle for all such profitable observa192 tions and axioms as fall not within the compass of any of the special parts of philosophy or sciences, but are more common and of a higher stage.

2. Poetry as it refers to words is but a character of style, and is not pertinent to this place.

3. Poetry as it refers to the matter.

1. It is fiction, and relates to the imagination. 2. It is in words restrained: in matter unlicensed.

The imagination not being tied to the laws of matter, may at pleasure join that which nuture hath severed, and sever that which nature hath joined; and so make unlawful matches and divorces of things.

Pictoribus atque poetis,

Quidlibet audendi, semper fuit æqua potestas. 4. Its use is to satisfy the mind in these points where nature does not satisfy it.

It was ever thought to have some participation of divineness, because it doth raise and erect the mind, by submitting the shows of things to the desires of the mind; whereas reason doth buckle and bow the mind into the nature of things.'

Poesy joined with music hath had access and estimation in rude times and barbarous regions, where other learning stood excluded.

1 Sir Philip Sidney says, poesy, the sweet food of sweetly uttered knowledge, lifts the mind from the dungeon of the body to the enjoying its own divine essence.

Is not the precept of a musician, to fall from a discord or harsh accord upon a concord, or sweet accord, alike true in affection? Is not the trope of music, to avoid or slide from the close or cadence, common with the trope of rhetoric of deceiving expectation? Is not the delight of the quavering upon a stop in music the same with the playing of light upon the water?

"Splendet tremulo sub lumine pontus."

Because the distributions and partitions of knowledge are not like several lines that meet in one angle, and so touch but in a point; but are like branches of a tree, that meet in a stem, which hath a dimension and quantity of entireness and continuance, before it come to discontinue and break itself into arms and boughs; there fore it is good, before we enter into the former distribution, to erect and constitute one universal science, by the name of "Philosophia Prima," primitive or summary philosophy, as the main and common way, before we come where the ways part and divide themselves.

This science is as a common parent, like unto Berecynthia, which had so much heavenly


"Omnes caliclas, omnes super alta tenentes.” This is much expanded in the Treatise De Augmentis.

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