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testable; or of Ulysses, " qui vetulam prætulit im- things continue as they have been: but so will that mortalitati,” being a figure of those which prefer also continue whereupon learning hath ever relied, custom and habit before all excellency; or of a and which faileth not: “ Justificata.est sapientia number of the like popular judgments. For these a filiis suis.”
It might seem to have more convenience, though | undertaken and performed by kings and others it come often otherwise to pass, excellent king, for the increase and advancement of learning: that those which are fruitful in their generations, wherein I purpose to speak actively without diand have in themselves the foresight of immor-gressing or dilating. tality in their descendants, should likewise be Let this ground therefore be laid, that all works more careful of the good estate of future times, are overcome by amplitude of reward, by soundunto which they know they must transmit and ness of direction, and by the conjunction of commend over their dearest pledges. Queen labours. The first multiplieth endeavour, the Elizabeth was a sojourner in the world, in respect second preventeth error, and the third supplieth of her unmarried life, and was a blessing to her the frailty of man: but the principal of these is own times: and yet so as the impression of her direction: for “claudus in via antevertit cursorem good government, besides her happy memory, is extra viam ;” and Solomon excellently setteth it not without some effect which doth survive her. down, “If the iron be not sharp, it requireth But to your majesty, whom God hath already more strength; but wisdom is that which prevailblessed with so much royal issue, worthy to con- eth ;" signifying that the invention or election of tinue and represent you forever; and whose the mean is more effectual than any enforcement youthful and fruitful bed doth yet promise many or accumulation of endeavours. This I am inof the like renovations; it is proper and agree- duced to speak, for that (not derogating from the able to be conversant, not only in the transitory noble intention of any that have been deservers parts of good government, but in those acts also towards the state of learning) I do observe, neverwhich are in their nature permanent and perpetual: theless, that their works and acts are rather matamongst the which, if affection do not transport ters of magnificence and memory, than of prome, there is not any more worthy.than the further gression and proficience; and tend rather to augendowment of the world with sound and fruitful ment the mass of learning in the multitude of knowledge. For why should a few received learned men, than to rectify or raise the sciences authors stand up like Hercules's columns, beyond themselves. which there should be no sailing or discovering, The works or acts of merit towards learning since we have so bright and benign a star as your are conversant about three objects: the places of majesty to conduct and prosper us? To return learning, the books of learning, and the persons therefore where we left, it remaineth to consider of the learned. For as water, whether it be the of what kind those acts are, which have been dew of heaven, or the springs of the earth, doth
scatter and lose itself in the ground, except it be the head doth; but yet, notwithstanding, it is the collected into some receptacle, where it may by stomach that digesteth and distributeth to all the
union comfort and sustain itself, (and for that rest: so if any man think philosophy and univerdp 15 cause the industry of man hath made and framed sality to be idle studies, he doth not consider that
spring-heads, conduits, cisterns, and pools, which all professions are from thence served and supmen have accustomed likewise to beautify and plied. And this I take to be a great cause that adorn with accomplishments of magnificence and hath hindered the progression of learning, because state, as well as of use and necessity,) so this these fundamental knowledges have been studied excellent liquor of knowledge, whether it descend but in passage. For if you will have a tree bear from divine inspiration, or spring from human more fruit than it hath used to do, it is not any thing sense, would soon perish and vanish to oblivion, you can do to the boughs, but it is the stirring of if it were not preserved in books, traditions, con- the earth, and putting new mould about the roots, ferences, and places appointed, as universities, that must work it. Neither is it to be forgotten, colleges, and schools, for the receipt and comfort- that this dedicating of foundations and donations ing of the same.
to professory learning hath not only had a malign The works which concern the seats and places aspect and influence upon the growth of sciences, of learning are four; foundations and buildings, but hath also been prejudicial to states and goendowments with revenues, endowments with vernments. For hence it proceedeth that princes franchises and privileges, institutions and ordi- find a solitude in regard of able men to serve them nances for government; all tending to quietness in causes of state, because there is no education and privateness of life, and discharge of cares collegiate which is free; where such as were so and troubles; much like the stations which Virgil disposed might give themselves to histories, prescribeth for the hiving of bees:
modern languages, books of policy and civil dis
course, and other the like enablements unto ser“Principio sedes apibus statioque petenda,
vice of estate. Quo neque sit ventis aditus,”' &c.
And because founders of colleges do plant, and The works touching books are two; first libra- founders of lectures do water, it followeth well ries, which are as the shrines where all the relics in order to speak of the defect which is in public of the ancient saints, full of true virtue, and that lectures; namely, in the smallness and meanness without delusion or imposture, are preserved and of the salary or reward which in most places is reposed: secondly, new editions of authors, with assigned unto them; whether they be lectures of more correct impressions, more faithful transla- arts, or of professions. For it is necessary to the tions, more profitable glosses, more diligent progression of sciences that readers be of the most annotations, and the like.
able and sufficient men; as those which are orThe works pertaining to the persons of learned dained for generating and propagating of sciences, men, besides the advancement and countenancing and not for transitory use. This cannot be, except of them in general, are two: the reward and de- their condition and endowment be such as may signation of readers in sciences already extant content the ablest man to appropriate his whole and invented; and the reward and designation of labour, and continue his whole age in that function writers and inquirers concerning any parts of and attendance; and therefore must have a prolearning not sufficiently laboured and prosecuted. portion answerable to that mediocrity or compe
These are summarily the works and acts, tency of advancement, which may be expected wherein the merits of many excellent princes and from a profession or the practice of a profession. other worthy personages have been conversant. So as, if you will have sciences flourish, you As for any particular commemorations, I call to must observe David's military law, which was, mind what Cicero said, when he gave general - That those which stayed with the carriage should thanks; “ Difficile non aliquem, ingratum, quen- have equal part with those which were in the acquam præterire." Let us rather, according to the tion;" else will the carriages be ill attended. So Scriptures, look unto that part of the race which readers in sciences are indeed the guardians of is before us, than look back to that which is the stores and provisions of sciences, whence already attained.
men in active courses are furnished, and therefore First, therefore, amongst so many great founda- ought to have equal entertainment with them ; tions of colleges in Europe, I find it strange that otherwise if the fathers in sciences be of the they are all dedicated to professions, and none weakest sort, or be ill-maintained, left free to arts and sciences at large. For if men
“Et patrum invalidi referent jejunia nati.” judge that learning should be referred to action, they judge well ; but in this they fall into the Another defect I note, wherein I shall need error described in the ancient fable, in which the some alchymist to help me, who call upon men other parts of the body did suppose the stomach to sell their books, and to build furnaces; quitting had been idle, because it neither performed the and forsaking Minerva and the Muses as barren office of motion, as the limbs do, nor of sense, as virgins, and relying upon Vulcan. But certain VOL. 1.-24
is, that unto the deep, fruitful, and operative study one should learn 10 weigh, or to measure, or to of many sciences, especially natural philosophy paint the wind,) doth work but this effect, that and physic, books be not the only instrumentals; the wisdom of those arts, which is great and uniwherein also the beneficence of men hath not versal, is almost made contemptible, and is degebeen altogether wanting: for we see spheres, nerate into childish sophistry and ridiculous affecglobes, astrolabes, maps, and the like, have been tation. And further, the untimely learning of provided as appurtenances to astronomy and cos- them hath drawn on, by consequence, the supermography, as well as books; we see likewise, ficial and unprofitable teaching and writing of that some places instituted for physic have an- them, as fittest indeed to the capacity of children. nexed the commodity of gardens for simples of Another is a lack I find in the exercises used in all sorts, and do likewise command the use of the universities, which do make too great a didead bodies for anatomies. But these do respect vorce between invention and memory; for their but a few things. In general, there will hardly speeches are either premeditate, “in verbis conbe any main proficience in the disclosing of na- ceptis,” where nothing is left to invention; or ture, except there be some allowance for expenses merely extemporal, where little is left to memory: about experiments; whether they may be expe- whereas in life and action there is least use of riments appertaining to Vulcanus or Dædalus, either of these, but rather of intermixtures of furnace or engine, or any other kind; and there- premeditation and invention, notes and memory; fore as secretaries and spials of princes and states so as the exercise fitteth not the practice, nor the bring in bills for intelligence, so you must allow image the life: and it is ever a true rule in exerthe spials and intelligencers of nature to bring in cises, that they be framed as near as may be to their bills; or else you shall be ill advertised. the life of practice; for otherwise they do per
And if Alexander made such a liberal assigna- vert the motions and faculties of the mind, and tion to Aristotle of treasure for the allowance of not prepare them. The truth whereof is not obhunters, fowlers, fishers, and the like, that he scure, when scholars come to the practices of might compile an history of nature, much better professions, or other actions of civil life; which do they deserve it that travail in arts of nature. when they set into, this want is soon found by
Another defect which I note, is an intermission themselves, and sooner by others. But this part, or neglect in those which are governors in uni- touching the amendment of the institutions and versities, of consultation; and in princes or su orders of universities, I will conclude with the perior persons, of visitation: to enter into account clause of Cæsar's letter to Oppius and Balbus, and consideration, whether the readings, exer- “ Hoc quemadmodum fieri possit, nonnulla mihi cises, and other customs appertaining unto learn- in mentem veniunt, et multa reperiri possunt; de ing, anciently begun, and since continued, be well iis rebus rogo vos, ut cogitationem suscipiatis." instituted or not; and thereupon to ground an Another defect, which I note, ascendeth a little amendment or reformation in that which shall be higher than the preceding : for as the proficience found inconvenient. For it is one of your ma- of learning consisteth much in the orders and injesty's own most wise and princely maxims, stitutions of universities in the same states and “ That in all usages and precedents, the times be kingdoms, so it would be yet more advanced, if considered wherein they first began; which, if there were more intelligence mutual between the they were weak or ignorant, it derogateth from universities of Europe than now there is. We the authority of the usage, and leaveth it for see there be many orders and foundations, which suspect.” And therefore in as much as most of though they be divided under several sovereignthe usages and orders of the universities were ties and territories, yet they take themselves to derived from more obscure times, it is the more have a kind of contract, fraternity, and corresrequisite they be re-examined. In this kind I pondence one with the other; insomuch as they will give an instance or two, for example sake, have provincials and generals. And surely, as of things that are the most obvious and familiar: nature createth brotherhood in families, and arts the one is a matter, which though it be ancient mechanical contract brotherhoods in commonaland general, yet I hold to be an error; which is, ties, and the anointment of God superinduceth a that scholars in universities come too soon and brotherhood in kings and bishops; so in like too unripe to logic and rhetoric, arts fitter for manner there cannot but be a fraternity in learngraduates than children and novices : for these ing and illumination, relating to that fraternity two, rightly taken, are the gravest of sciences, which is attributed to God, who is called the Fabeing the art of arts; the one for judgment, the ther of illuminations or lights. other for ornament: and they be the rules and The last defect which I will note is, that there directions how to set forth and dispose matter; hath not been, or very rarely been, any public and therefore for minds empty and unfraught designation of writers or inquirers concerning with matter, and which have not gathered that such parts of knowledge as may appear not to which Cicero calleth “sylva” and “supellex," have been already sufficiently laboured or understuff and variety, to begin with those arts, (as if | taken; unto which point it is an inducement to
enter into a view and examination what parts of lomon, “ Dicit piger, Leo est in via,” than that learning have been prosecuted, and what omitted: of Virgil, “ Possunt quia posse videntur," I shall for the opinion of plenty is amongst the causes be content that my labours be esteemed but as the of want, and the great quantity of books maketh better sort of wishes; for as it asketh some a show rather of superfluity than lack; which knowledge to demand a question not impertinent, surcharge, nevertheless, is not to be remedied by so it requireth some sense to make a wish not making no more books, but by making more good absurd. books, which, as the serpent of Moses, might The parts of human learning have reference to devour the serpents of the enchanters.
the three parts of Man's Understanding, which is The removing of all the defects formerly enu- the seat of learning : History to his Memory, merated, except the last, and of the active part Poesy to his Imagination, and Philosophy to his also of the last, (which is the designation of wri- Reason. Divine learning receiveth the same disters,) are “ opera basilica;" towards which the tribution; for the spirit of man is the same, endeavours of a private man may be but as an though the revelation of oracle and sense be diimage in a crossway, that may point at the way, verse: so as theology consisteth also of the hisbut cannot go it: but the inducing part of the lat- tory of the church; of parables, which is divine ter, which is the survey of learning, may be set poesy; and of holy doctrine or precept: for as for forward by private travel. Wherefore I will now that part which seemeth supernumerary, which is attempt to make a general and faithful perambu- prophecy, it is but divine history; which hath that lation of learning, with an inquiry what parts prerogative over human, as the narration may be thereof lie fresh and waste, and not improved and before the fact as well as after. converted by the industry of man; to the end that History is Natural, Civil, Ecclesiastical, and such a plot, made and recorded to memory, may Literary; whereof the first three I allow as extant, both minister light to any public designation, and the fourth I note as deficiente For no man hath also serve to excite voluntary endeavours : where- propounded to himself the general state of learnin, nevertheless, my purpose is, at this time, to ing to be described and represented from age to note only omissions and deficiencies, and not to age, as many have done the works of nature, and make any redargution of errors, or incomplete the state civil and ecclesiastical; without which prosecutions; for it is one thing to set forth what the history of the world seemeth to me to be as ground lieth unmanured, and another thing to cor- the statue of Polyphemus with his eye out: that rect ill husbandry in that which is manured. part being wanting which doth most show the
In the handling and undertaking of which work spirit and life of the person: and yet I am not igI am not ignorant what it is that I do now move norant that in divers particular sciences, as of the and attempt, nor insensible of mine own weak- jurisconsults, the mathematicians, the rhetoriness to sustain my purpose; but my hope is that cians, the philosophers, there are set down some if my extreme love to learning carry me too far, small memorials of the schools, authors, and I may obtain the excuse of affection; for that "it books; and so likewise some barren relations is not granted to man to love and to be wise.” touching the invention of arts or usages. But a But, I know well, I can use no other liberty of just story of learning, containing the antiquities judgment than I must leave to others; and I, for and originals of knowledges and their sects. their my part, shall be indifferently glad either to per- inventions, their traditions, their diverse adminisform myself, or accept from another, that duty of trations and managings, their flourishings, their humanity: “Nam qui erranti comiter monstrat oppositions, decays, depressions, oblivions, reviam,” &c. I do foresee, likewise, that of those moves, with the causes and occasions of them, things which I shall enter and register as defi- and all other events concerning learning, throughciencies and omissions, many will conceive and out the ages of the world, I may truly affirm to be censure that some of them are already done and wanting. The use and end of which work I do extant; others to be but curiosities, and things not so much design for curiosity, or satisfaction of no great use; and others to be of too great of those that are the lovers of learning, but chiefly difficulty, and almost impossibility to be com- for a more serious and grave purpose; which is passed and effected: but for the two first, I refer this, in few words, that it will make learned men myself to the particulars; for the last, touching wise in the use and administration of learning. impossibility, I take it those things are to be held For it is not St. Augustine's nor St. Ambrose's possible which may be done by some person, works that will make so wise a divine as ecclethough not by every one; and which may be done siastical history, thoroughly read and observed ; by many, though not by any one; and which may and the same reason is of learning. be done in the succession of ages, though not History of Nature is of three sorts; of nature within the hourglass of one man's life; and in course, of nature erring or varying, and of nawhich may be done by public designation, though ture altered or wrought: that is, history of creanot by private endeavour. But, notwithstanding, tures, history of marvels, and history of arts, if any man will take to himself rather that of So- The first of these, no doubt, is extant, and that
in good perfection; the two latter are handled so ral; and therefore impertinent for the story of weakly and unprofitably, as I am moved to note nature. them as deficient. For I find no sufficient or For history of Nature wrought or mechanical, competent collection of the works of nature which I find some collections made of agriculture, and have a digression and deflexion from the ordinary likewise of manual arts; but commonly with a course of generations, productions, and motions; rejection of experiments familiar and vulgar. For whether they be singularities of place and region, it is esteemed a kind of dishonour unto learning or the strange events of time and chance, or the to descend to inquiry or meditation upon matters effects of yet unknown properties, or the instances mechanical, except they be such as may be thought of exception to general kinds. It is true, I find secrets, rarities, and special subtilties; which hua number of books of fabulous experiments and mour of vain and supercilious arrogancy is justly secrets, and frivolous impostures for pleasure derided in Plato; where he brings in Hippias, a and strangeness; but a substantial and severe vaunting sophist, disputing with Socrates, a true collection of the heteroclites or irregulars of na- and unfeigned inquisitor of truth; where the subture, well examined and described, I find not;ject being touching beauty, Socrates, after his especially not with due rejection of fables and po- wandering manner of inductions, put first an expular errors; for as things now are, if an untruth ample of a fair virgin, and then of a fair horse, in nature be once on foot, what by reason of the and then of a fair pot well glazed, whereat Hipneglect of examination, and countenance of anti- pias was offended, and said, “ More than for quity, and what by reason of the use of the opinion courtesy's sake, he did think much to dispute in similitudes and ornaments of speech, it is never with any that did allege such base and sordid incalled down.
stances :" whereunto Socrates answered, “ You The use of this work, honoured with a prece- have reason, and it becomes you well, being a dent in Aristotle, is nothing less than to give con- man so trim in your vestments,” &c. and so goeth tentment to the appetite of curious and vain wits, on in an irony. But the truth is, they be not the as the manner of mirabilaries is to do; but for highest instances that give the securest informatwo reasons, both of great weight; the one to cor- tion; as may be well expressed in the tale so comrect the partiality of axioms and opinions, which mon of the philosopher, that while he gazed upare commonly framed only upon common and fa- wards to the stars fell into the water; for if he miliar examples; the other because from the had looked down he might have seen the stars in wonders of nature is the nearest intelligence and the water, but looking aloft he could not see the passage towards the wonders of art: for it is no water in the stars. So it cometh often to pass, more but by following, and as it were hounding that mean and small things discover great, better Nature in her wanderings to be able to lead her than great can discover the small: and therefore afterwards to the same place again. Neither am Aristotle noteth well, “ that the nature of every I of opinion, in this history of marvels, that su- thing is best seen in its smallest portions.” And perstitious narrations of sorceries, witchcrafts, for that cause he inquireth the nature of a comdreams, divinations, and the like, where there is monwealth, first in a family, and the simple conan assurance and clear evidence of the fact, be al jugations of man and wife, parent and child, together excluded. For it is not yet known in master and servant, which are in every cottage. what cases and how far effects attributed to su- Even so likewise the nature of this great city of perstition do participate of natural causes : and the world, and the policy thereof, must be first therefore howsoever the practice of such things is sought in mean concordances and small portions. to be condemned, yet from the speculation and So we see how that secret of nature, of the turning consideration of them light may be taken, not of iron touched with the loadstone towards the only for the discerning of the offences, but for the north, was found out in needles of iron, not in bars further disclosing of nature.' Neither ought a of iron. man to make scruple of entering into these things But if my judgment be of any weight, the for inquisition of truth, as your majesty hath use of History Mechanical is of all others the showed in your own example; who with the two most radical and fundamental towards natural clear eyes of religion and natural philosophy philosophy; such natural philosophy as shall have looked deeply and wisely into these sha- not vanish in the fume of subtile, sublime, dows, and yet proved yourself to be of the nature or delectable speculation, but such as shall of the sun, which passeth through pollutions, and be operative to the endowment and benefit of itself remains as pure as before. But this I hold man's life: for it will not only minister and fit, that these narrations, which have mixture with suggest for the present many ingenious pracsuperstition, be sorted by themselves, and not be tices in all trades, by a connexion and transfermingled with the narrations which are merely ring of the observations of one art to the use of and sincerely natural. But as for the narra- another, when the experiences of several mystetions touching the prodigies and miracles of ries shall fall under the consideration of one man's religions, they are either not true, or not natu- / mind: but further, it will give a more true and