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E. Life, p. ii. Note from page 412, Biographia Britannica. The Lady Jane Grey was excellently skilled in Greek: and Queen Elizabeth translated several pieces both from Greek and Latin. The most remarkable instance, however, of the spirit of learning which prevailed was in the family of Sir Anthony Cooke : for all his four daughters were perfectly skilled in the learned languages, and his second daughter, Anne, wife to the Lord Keeper Bacon, made both a forid and exact translation of Bishop Jewell's Apology for the church of England, from Latin into English, which was esteemed so useful in its nature, as well as so correct in its manner, that in the year 1567 it was published for common use, by the special order of Archbishop Parker, with some additions of his own at the end. (Strype's Annals, vol. ii. p. 469). There have been many ladies remarkable for their learning and their writings, but very few whose works, like the Lady Bacon's, were published by authority and commended to public read. ing: it was this that stirred the gall of Father Parsons, who has reflected bitterly upon this lady (a relation of a conference between Henry IV. of France, &c. p. 197) for her performance, without reflecting that his ill language redounded more to her reputation than all the praises of her friends. (See Mallet's Life of Bacon, 4to.) It was to the great abilities and tender care of so accomplished a parent, that her two sons, Anthony and Francis, owed the early part of their education.
" Before I went into Germanie,” says Ascham, “ I came to Brodegate, in Leicestershire, to take my leave of that noble Lady Jane Grey, to whom I was exceeding much beholdinge. Her parentes, the duke and the duches, with all the houshould, gentlemen and gentlewomen, were hunting in the parke. I found her in her chamber, readinge Phædon Platonis in Greeke, and that with as much delite, as some jentlemen would read a merrie tale in Bocase. After salutation, and dewtie done, with some other taulke, I asked her, why she would leese such pastime in the parke? Smiling, she answered me : ‘I wisse, all their sport in the parke is but a shadoe to that pleasure that I find in Plato. Alas! good folke, they never felt what trewe pleasure ment.
Ascham, who was said to be the best master of the best scholar, speaking of his pupil Queen Elizabeth, says: “ After dinner I went up to read with the Queen's majesty. We read then together in the Greek tongue, as I well remember, that noble oration of Demosthenes against Eschines for his false dealing in his embassage to King Philip of Macedon.” Lord Bacon, in speaking of Queen Elizabeth, says: “ This lady was indued with learning in her sex singular and rare even amongst masculine princes, whether we speak of learning of of language : or of science, modern or ancient : divinity or bumanity. And, unto the very last year of her life, she accustomed to appoint set hours for reading, scarcely any young student in an university more daily or more duly."
G. Life, p. iii. He baul not the advantage of a good constitution of body, his father having been much alllicted with the gout and stone. Birch's Elizabeth.
In the Novum Organum he says, “ We judge also, that mankind may conceive some hopes from our example, which we offer, not by way of ostentation, but because it may be useful. If any one, therefore, should despair, let him consider a man as much employed in civil affairs as any other of his age, a man of no great share of health, who must therefore have lost much time; and yet, in this undertaking, he is the first that leads the way, unassisted by any mortal, and stedfastly entering the true path that was absolutely untrod before, and submitting his mind to things, may thus have somewhat advanced the design."
Rawley says, The moon was never in her passion or eclipsed, but he was surprized with a sudden fit of fainting, and that though he observed not, nor took any previous knowledge of the eclipse thereof." * None of his servants," says Aubrey, durst appear before him without Spanish leather boots, for he would smell the neat's leather, which offended him.”
“ His lordship,” says Aubrey, “ would often drink a good draught of strong beer (March beer) to bed-wards, to lay his working fancy to sleep, which otherwise would keep him from sleeping great part of the night. I remember Sir John Danvers told me that his lordship much delighted in his curious garden at Chelsea, and as he was walking there one time he fell down in a swoon. My Lady Danvers rubbed his face, temples, &c. and gave him cordial water; as soon as he came to himself, said he, “ Madam, I am no good footman.” Is not this cheerfulness a proof that the sensation was habitual?
H. Life, p. iii. Dr. Rawley says, “ His first and childish years were not without some mark of eminency; at which time he was endued with that pregnancy and towardness of wit; as they were presages of that deep and universal apprehension, which was manifest in him afterward: and caused him to be taken notice of by several persons of worth and place; and, especially, by the Queen ; who (as I have been informed) delighted much then to confer with him, and to prove him with questions : unto whom he delivered himself with that gravity and maturity above his years, that her majesty would often term him, the young lord keeper.” Archbishop Tennison says, " It is observed that in his tender years, 'his pregnancy was such, as gave great indication of his future high accomplishments ; insomuch as Queen Elizabeth took notice of him, and called him the young lord keeper ; also, that asking him how old he was, though but a boy, he answered, that he was two years younger than her majesty's most happy reign.”
I. Life, p. ix. It appears probable that on this subject, which constantly occupied him, he was interested very early in life. There are various tracts extant which are rudiments of his Novum Organum, and appear to have been the subject of his meditations when a boy. In vol. xi. of this edition, page 478, there is a tract entitled Temporis Partus Masculus sive de Interpretatione Naturæ : this was first published by Stephens. It is translated, and is published in vol. xv. This tract was written when he was a boy, for in a letter to Father Fulgentio, (see vol. xii. 203), written after 1622, as he mentions the History of Henry VII. which was published in that year, he says, “I remember that about forty years ago, I composed a juvenile work about these things, which with great confidence and a pompous title I called Temporis Partum Maximum." Archbishop Tennyson, speaking of this, says, “ This was a kind of embryo of the instauration, and, if it had been preserved, it might have delighted and profited philosophical readers, who could then have seen the generation of that great work, as it were from the first egg of it, and by reference to the tract it will be seen that it was sound judgment.' There is another tract entitled Temporis Partus Masculus, sive Instauratio Magna imperii Humani in Universum. This is also translated, and is in vol. xv. It was first published by Gruter. By reference to this it will appear, that it is a prayer to the Creator : and, by referring to the conclusion of the Distributio Operis prefixed to the Novum Organum, page 178, vol. ix. it will be seen that it also concludes with a prayer. There are various other tracts, which are rudiments of the Novum Organum. See vol. i. of this edition in the preface, sect. 5, p. 27. sect. 6, p. 28. sect. 7, and sect. 8, p. 31.
These different tracts will, possibly, elucidate what is said by Dr. Rawley, who, speaking of the Novum Organum, says, “ His book on 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 travel. I myself have seen 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.”
The attention of the reader is particularly requested to the extracts (in pages xxviii and xxix of preface to vol. i.) and the observations upon universities in the Filum Labyrinthi, and in the Novum Organum.
“ Lost, likewise,” says Tennison, “is a book which he wrote in his youth, he called it (Temporis Partus Maximus) the Greatest Birth of Time: or rather, Temporis Partus Masculus, the Masculine Birth of Time. For so Gruter found it called in some of the papers of Sir William Boswel. This was a kind of embrio of the Instauration : and the fragment, lately retrieved, and now first published. But this loss is the less to be lamented, because it is made up with advantage, in the second and better thoughts of the author, in the two first parts of his Instauration."
Mr. Mallet, speaking of this treatise, is pleased to deliver himself thus : " Though the piece itself is lost, it appears to have been the first outlines of that amazing design, which he afterwards filled up and finished, in his grand Instauration of the Sciences. As there is not a more amusing, perhaps a more useful speculation, than that of tracing the history of the human mind, if I may so express myself, in its progression from truth to truth, and from discovery to discovery; the intelligent reader would, doubtless, have been pleased, to see in the tract I have been speaking of, by what steps and gradations, a spirit like Bacon's advanced in new and universal theory.”
But here seems to lie the difficulty: some writers who have reviewed the scattered works and fragments of Lord Bacon have, with great labour and industry, endeavoured to bring in this treatise, otherwise styled of the Interpretation of Nature, as a part of that great body of philosophy which he had framed ; whereas our author himself, speaking of this treatise, tells us, as the reader may see above, that it was not a part or portion of his great structure of philosophy, but the first sketch or rough draught of the whole. Now I conceive, that whoever looks into these fragments of the book on the Interpretation of Nature, as they stand in the works of our author, and shall afterwards compare them with the beginning of his Instauration, will not need many argu. ments to persuade him, that this conjecture is founded in truth, and that there is as much reason to conceive that the great work, just mentioned, rose out of the Temporis Partus Masculus, as that the Novum Organum sprung from another of the fragments which accompanies this, and is commonly called his Cogitata et Visa. "If the reader would be told what is the issue, what the advantage of this laboured inquiry, he will surely be satisfied with this answer ; that by drawing these fragments of the Interpretation of Nature into a good light, it appears, that what the honest and candid Tennison thought so fine a sight, the generation of Lord Bacon's philosophy from the egg, is still in our power; and what the ingenious and instructive Mr. Mallet most truly observes, the ability of reviewing and tracing the author's steps from one discovery in science to another, is yet in a great measure with us; which, to such as rightly apprehend Lord Bacon's worth, and have a just conception of the value of his writings, will appear somewhat of considerable consequence. I am satisfied, that in matters of this nature there is no absolute certainty, and that in the depths of Lord Bacon's knowledge, a man of ordinary talents may be very easily lost ; but I own at the same time, the thing struck me so strongly, that I could not help putting it down, yet with all imaginable submission to the reader, to whose service, as I dedicate my labours, I hope (should it be found so) he will the more easily pardon my mistake. There are, however, a few circumstances more, to which I must desire the reader's attention, and then he will bave a just notion of Mr. Bacon's frame of mind. While at Gray's Ion, he was eagerly engaged in the study and pursuit of his new philosophy, the whole scheme of which he had already formed. It was to this he applied his thoughts, and this was the great object of his ambition. If he desired or laboured for preferment in civil life, it was but with a view to gain thereby the means of
improving and accomplishing his system ; for he made even the most shining transactions of his life, but subservient thereto. In a word, the introducing this new method of attaining wisdom was his ruling passion, and his great spring of action through life. It quickened him in the pursuit of employments; it consoled him when he met disappointments in that pursuit; it filled up (most agreeably) his few leisure moments when in the zenith of his grandeur; it softened his fall, by proposing a new road to fame and esteem, in which he was in no danger of being either imposed on by one set of men, or sacrificed to the interests of another. Thus, this was always, and in all conjunctures, his leading object, of which he never lost sight; and as we have already had a train of evidence sufficient to convince us, that he conceived something of this kind when he was but sixteen, and brought it into some form by that time he was twenty-six; so the remainder of this article will show how warmly he prosecuted this point till death overtook him on the road, when his mind was wholly occupied with these speculations. Biog. Brit.
K. Life, p. xi. His observations on universities will be found in the beginning of the second part of the Advancement of Learning. The following analysis will exhibit an outline of this tract. After having observed upon libraries, and upon the teachers, he proceeds to the defects, which he thus enumerates : FIRST DEFECT. Colleges are all dedicated to professions.
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 that 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 uny collegiate education for
SECOND DEFECT. The salaries of lecturers are too small.
“ That those which stay with the carriage should have equal part with those which were in the action.” THIRD DEFECT. There are not sufficient funds for providing models, instru
ments, experiments, &c. FOURTH DEFECT. There is a neglect in the governors of consultation, and in
superiors of visitation, as to the propriety of continuing or amending the establíshed courses of study.
1. Scholars study too soon logic and rhetoric.
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. (See Milton's Treatise on Education.) 2. There is too great a divorce between invention and memory.
FIFTH DEFECT. There is a want of mutual intelligence between different uni
versities. SIXTH DEFECT. There is a want of proper rewards for enquiries in new and unlaboured parts of learning.
The opinion of plenty is amongst the causes of want, and the great quantity of books maketh a shew 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 serpent of Moses, might devour the serpents of the enchanters.
L. Life, p. xi. Of the importance of general knowledge and general education, Bacon is constant in his admonitions. In the entrance of philosophy he says, " Because the partition of sciences are not like several lines that meet in one angle; but rather like branches of trees that meet in one stem, which stem for some dimension and space is entire and continued, before it break, and part itself into arms and boughs; therefore the nature of the subject requires, before we pursue the parts of the former distribution, to erect and constitute one universal science, which may be the mother of the rest ; and that in the progress of sciences, a portion, as it were, of the common highway may be kept, before we come where the ways part and divide themselves."
The evil which results from want of fixed principles in legislation may be seen in any discussion upon improvement of the law, when it cannot escape notice how few fixed principles pervade society upon important questions in legislation. There is, I may venture to say, scarcely any subject of law, upon the principles of which any two eminent lawyers entertain the same sentiments. Mention, for instance, in a company of lawyers, imprisonment for debt, or usury, or capital punishment, and you will instantly discover the want of fixed principles. One will talk of the injured creditor, another of the oppressed debtor; one of the necessity of this power in creditors for the sake of commerce; another that the counting-house has no alliance with the jail, So too there has been, for centuries, great conflict of opinion upon the efficacy of severe punishment, as there was, for centuries, upon imprisonment for debt. So too upon commercial laws; all proving the truth of Bacon's account of one of the signs of false philosophy, “ We must not omit that other sign, namely, the great disagreement among the ancient philosophers and the differences of their schools, which sufficiently shows that their way, from the sense to the understanding, was not well guarded ; whilst one and the same subject of philosophy, the nature of things, was rent and split into so many and such wild errors: and although at present the dissensions and disagreements of opinions, as to first prin. ciples and entire philosophies, are in a manner extinct, yet such innumerable ques. tions and controversies still remain among us, as make it plainly appear that there is nothing fired and stable, either in our present philosophy or the manner of our demonstrations.”
M. Life, p. xiii. Extract from Lord Bacon's will. And because I conceive there will be upon the moneys raised by sale of my lands, leases, goods and chattels, a good round surplusage, over and above that which may serve to satisfy my debts and legacies, and perform my will; I do devise and declare, that my executors shall employ the said surplusage in manner and form following ; that is to say, that they purchase therewith so much land of inheritance, as may erect and endow two lectures in either the universities, one of which lectures shall be of natural philosophy; and the science in general thereunto belonging ; hoping that the stipends or salaries of the lecturers may amount to two hundred pounds a year for either of them ; and for the ordering of the said lectures, and the election of the lecturers from time to time, I leave it to the care of my executors, to be established by the advice of the lords bishops of Lincoln and