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ter of philosophy; though that science be now through age waxed a child again, and left to boys XCVIII. SIR THOMAS BODLEY'S LETTER TO and young men. And because you were wont to SIR FRANCIS BACON, ABOUT HIS “ COGI. make me believe you took liking to my writings, I TATA ET VISA,” WHEREIN HE DECLARsend you some of this vacation's fruits; and thus ETH HIS OPINION FREELY TOUCHING THE mnach more of my mind and purpose.
I hasten not SAME. to publish ; perishing I would prevent; and I am
SIR, forced to respect as well my times as the matter. For with me it is thus; and I think, with all men As soon as the term was ended, supposing your in my case : if I bind myself to an argument, it leisure was more than before, I was coming to loadeth my mind; but if I rid my mind of the pre- thank you two or three times, rather choosing to do sent cogitation, it is rather a recreation. This hath it by word than by letter : but I was still disappointed put me into these miscellanies ; which I purpose to of my purpose, as I am at this present upon an suppress, if God give me leave to write a just and urgent occasion, which doth tie me fast to Fulham, perfect volume of philosophy, which I go on with, and hath now made me determine to impart my though slowly. I send not your lordship too much, mind in writing. lest it may glut you. Now let me tell you what my I think you know I have read your “ Cogitata et desire is: if your lordship be so good now, as when Visa," which I protest I have done with great desire, you were the good dean of Westminster, my request reputing it a token of your singular love that you to you is, that not by pricks, but by notes, you wonld joined me with those your chiefest friends, to whom mark unto me whatsoever shall seem unto you either you would commend the first perusal of your not current in the style, or harsh to credit and opinion, draught; for which, I pray you, give me leave to or inconvenient for the person of the writer ; for no say but this unto you: man can be judge and party; and when our minds First, that if the depth of my affection to your jodge by reflection on ourselves, they are more sub person and spirit, to your works, and your words, ject to error. And though, for the matter itself, my and to all your abilities, were as highly to be valued, judgment be in some things fixed, and not accessible as your affection is to me, it might walk with yours by any man's judgment that goeth not my way; yet arm in arm, and claim your love by just desert. But even in those things, the admonition of a friend may there can be no comparison where our states are so make me express myself diversely. I would have uneven, and our means to demonstrate our affections come to your lordship, but that I am hastening to so different: insomuch as for my own, I must leave my house in the country : and so I commend your it to be prized in the nature that it is; and you shall lordship to God's goodness.
evermore find it most addicted to your worth.
As touching the subject of your book, you have set afoot so many rare and noble speculations, as I
cannot choose but wonder, and I shall wonder at it XCVII. TO SIR THOMAS BODLEY, AFTER HE
ever, that, your expense of time considered in your HAD IMPARTED TO HIM A WRITING, EN- public profession, which hath in a manner no acTITLED, “ COGITATA ET VISA." *
quaintance with scholarship or learning, you should
have culled out the quintessence, and sucked up the SIR,
sap of the chiefest kind of learning. In respect of my going down to my house in the For howsoever in some points you do
altocountry, I shall have miss of my papers, which I gether from that which is, and hath been ever, the pras you therefore to return unto me. You are, I received doctrine of our schools, and was always bear you witness, slothful, and you help me nothing ; by the wisest, as still they have been deemed, of all 80 as I am half in conceit, that you affect not the nations and ages, adjudged the truest; yet it is argument: for myself, I know well, you love and apparent, that in those very points, and in all your effect. I can say no more to you, but "non canimus proposals and plots in that book, you show yourself sardis, respondent omnia sylvæ." If you be not of a master workman. the lodgings chalked up, whereof I speak in my For myself, I must confess, and I speak it ingenuè, preface, I am but to pass by your door. But if I that for the matter of learning, I am not worthy to had you a fortnight at Gorhambury, I would make be reckoned in the number of smatterers. you tell me another tale ; or else I would add a And yet because it may seem, that being willing cogitation against libraries, and be revenged on you to communicate your treatise with your friends, you that
way. I pray you send me some good news of are likewise willing to listen to whatsoever I or Sir Thomas Smith; and commend me very kindly others can except against it; I must deliver into to him. So I rest
you for my private opinion, that I am one of that 1607.
crew that say there is, and we profess, a far greater minem; sanctæ huic lætitiæ totus immergar, æternæ contiguus and Rome Babylon, conceives that neither the Scriptures, the immoriar raptus."
doctrine nor example of the primitive church, would suffiBut this was an enterprise suited to the warlike genius of ciently justify an offensive war, undertaken purely for reliDu Plessis, great master of Henry the fourth, and not to the gion; could he in prudence expect any success in such an peaceable spirit of king James. Besides, the king, in his an- attempt. Stephens. sner of the 20th of October, 1611, after he had excused his * Rawley's Resuscitatio. long silence, and very much commended this author in the † Appendix to a Collection of Letters of Archbishop Usher, design of his book, and as freely called the pope antichrist, Letter xiv. p. 19.
holdfast of certainty in our sciences, than you by As for that which you inculcate, of a knowledge your discourse will seem to acknowledge.
more excellent than now is among us, which expeFor whereas, first, you do object the ill success rience might produce, if we would but essay to exand errors of practitioners in physic, you know as well tract it out of nature by particular probations, it is they do proceed of the patient's unruliness, for not no more upon the matter, but to incite us unto that, one of a hundred doth obey his physician in observ- which without instigation by a natural instinct men ing his cautels; or by misinformation of their own will practise of themselves: for it cannot in reason indispositions, for few are able in this kind to expli- be otherwise thought, but that there are infinite cate themselves; or by reason their diseases are by numbers in all parts of the world, for we may not nature incurable, which is incident, you know, to in this case confine our cogitations within the many sorts of maladies ; or for some other hidden bounds of Europe, which embrace the course that cause which cannot be discovered by course of con- you purpose, with all the diligence and care that jecture. Howbeit, I am full of this belief, that as ability can perform; for every man is born with an physic is ministered now-a-days by physicians, it is appetite of knowledge, wherewith he cannot be so much to be ascribed to their negligence or ignorance, glutted, but still, as in a dropsy, thirst after more. or other touch of imperfection, that they speed no But yet why they should hearken to any such better in their practice: for few are found of that persuasion, as wholly to abolish those settled opinions profession so well instructed in their art, as they and general theorems, to which they attained by might by the precepts which their art doth afford; their own and their ancestors' experience, I see no which though it be defective in regard of such per- thing yet alleged to induce me to think it. fection, yet for certain it doth fourish with admir- Moreover, I may speak, as I should suppose with able remedies, such as tract of time hath taught by good probability, that if we should make a mental experimental events, and are the open highway to survey what is like to be effected all the world over, that principal knowledge that you recommend. those five or six inventions which you have selected,
As for alchemy, and magic, some conclusions they and imagine to be but of modern standing, would have that are worthy the preserving; but all their make but a slender show amongst so many hundreds skill is so accompanied with subtleties and guiles, of all kinds of natures, which are daily brought to as both the crafts and craft-masters are not only light by the enforcement of wit, or casual events, despised, but named with derision. Whereupon to and may be compared, or partly preferred above make good your principal assertion, methinks you those that you have named. should have drawn your examples from that which But were it so here that all were admitted, that is taught in the liberal sciences, not by picking out you can require, for the augmentation of our knowcases that happen very seldom, and may by all con ledge ; and that all our theorems and general posifession be subject to reproof; but by controlling the tions were utterly extinguished with a new substigenerals, and grounds, and eminent positions, and tution of others in their places, what hope may we aphorisms, which the greatest artists and philoso- have of any benefit of learning by this alteration ? phers have from time to time defended.
Assuredly, as soon as the new are brought with For it goeth for current amongst all men of learn their additions ad ákurv, by the inventors and their ing, that those kind of arts which clerks times followers, by an interchangeable course of natural past did term quadrivials, confirm their propositions things they will fall by degrees to be buried in obby infallible demonstrations.
livion, and so on continuance to perish outright; and And likewise in the trivials such lessons and di- that perchance upon the like to your present prerections are delivered unto us, as will effect very near, tences, by proposal of some means to advance all or as much altogether, as every faculty doth promise. our knowledge to a higher pitch of perfectness : for Now in case we should concur to do as you advise, still the same defects that antiquity found will reside which is, to renounce our common notions, and can- in mankind. cel all our theorems, axioms, rules, and tenets, and And therefore, other issues of their actions, deso to come babes “ ad regnum naturæ,” as we are vices, and studies are not to be expected, than is apwilled by Scriptures to come “ ad regnum cælorum;" parent by records were in former times observed. there is nothing more certain in my understanding, I remember here a note which Paterculus made than that it would instantly bring us to barbarism, of the incomparable wits of the Grecians and Romans and, after many thousand years, leave us more un- in their flourishing state, that there might be this provided of theorical furniture than we are at this reason of their notable downfal in their issue that present: for that were indeed to become very babes, came after; because by nature “Quod summo studio or tabula rasa, when we shall leave no impression petitum est ascendit in summum, difficilisque in perof any former principles, but be driven to begin the fecto mora est ;" insomuch that men perceiving that world again, and to travel by trials of axioms and they could go no farther, being come to the top, they sense, which are your proofs by particulars, what to turned back again of their own accord, forsaking place in intellectu, for our general conceptions; it those studies that are most in request, and betaking being a maxim of all men's approving, “ In intel. themselves to new endeavours, as if the thing that lectu nihil esse, quod non prius fuit in sensu ;” and they sought had been by prevention surprised by so in appearance it would befall us, that till Plato's others. year be come about, our insight in learning would Soit fared in particular with the eloquence of that be of less reckoning than now it is accounted. age, that when their successors found that hardly they could equal, by no means excel their prede- restored in integrum: which will require as many ages cessors, they began to neglect the study thereof, and as have marched before us, to be perfectly achieved. both to write and speak for many hundred years in And this I write with no dislike of increasing our a rustical manner; till this latter revolution brought knowledge with new-found devices, which is unthe wheel about again, by inflaming gallant spirits doubtedly a practice of high commendation, in regard to give the onset afresh, with straining and striving of the benefit they will yield for the present; that to elimb unto the top and height of perfection, not the world hath ever been, and will assuredly for in that gift only, but in every other skill in any ever continue very full of such devisors, whose inpart of learning
dustry hath been very obstinate and eminent that For I do not hold it an erroneous conceit to think way, and hath produced strange effects, above the of every science, that as now they are professed, so reach and the hope of men's common capacities; they have been before in all precedent ages, though and yet our notions and theorems have always kept not alike in all places, nor at all times alike in one in grace both with them, and with the rarest that and the same place, but according to the changings ever were named among the learned. and twinings of times, with a more exact and plain, By this you see to what boldness I am brought or with a more rude and obscure kind of teaching. by your kindness, that if I seem to be too saucy in
And if the question should be asked, what proof this contradiction, it is the opinion that I hold of I have of it, I have the doctrine of Aristotle, and of your noble disposition, and of the freedom in these the deepest learned clerks, of whom we have any cases that you will afford your special friend, that means to take any notice, that as there is of other hath induced me to do it. And although I myself, things, so there is of sciences, ortus et interitus, like a carrier's horse, cannot balk the beaten way in which is also the meaning, if I should expound it, which I have been trained, yet such is my censure of “ nihil novum sub sole,” and is as well to be ap- of your “Cogitata,” that I must tell you, to be plain, plied ad facta, as ad dicta, "ut nihil neque dictum you have very much wronged yourself and the world, neque factum, quod non est dictum et factum prius." to smother such a treasure so long in your coffer; I have farther for my warrant that famous complaint for though I stand well assured, for the tenor and of Solomon to his son against the infinite making subject of your main discourse, you are not able to of books in his time, of which in all congruity it impannel a substantial jury in any university that must needs be understood, that a great part were will give up a verdict to acquit you of error, yet it observations and instructions in all kind of literature: cannot be gainsaid, but all your treatise over doth and those there is not now so much as one petty abound with choice conceits of the present state of pamphlet, only some parts of the Bible excepted, learning, and with so worthy contemplations of the remaining to posterity.
means to procure it, as may persuade any student As then there was not, in like manner, any foot to look more narrowly to his business, not only by ing to be found of millions of authors that were aspiring to the greatest perfection of that which is long before Solomon, and yet we must give credit to now-a-days divulged in the sciences, but by diving that which he affirmed, that whatsoever was then, yet deeper into, as it were, the bowels and secrets or had been before, it could never be truly pro- of nature, and by enforcing of the powers of his nounced of it, Behold this new.
judgment and wit, to learn of St. Paul, “consectari Whereupon I must for my final conclusion infer, meliora dona:” which course, would to God, to seeing all the endeavours, study, and knowledge whisper so much in your ear, you had followed at the of mankind, in whatsoever art or science, have ever first, when you fell into the study of such a study been the same, as they are at this present, though as was not worthy such a student. Nevertheless full of mutabilities, according to the changes and being so as it is, that you are therein settled, and accidental occasions of ages and countries, and clerks' your country soundly served, I cannot but wish with dispositions, which can never be but subject to in- all my heart, as I do very often, that you may gain tention and remission, both in their devices and a fit reward to the full of your deserts, which I hope practices of their knowledge : if now we should ac- will come with heaps of happiness and honour. cord in opinion with you, First, to condemn our
Yours to be used and commanded, present knowledge of doubts and incertitudes, which
THO. BODLEY. Fou confirm but by averment, without other force of argument: And then to disclaim all our axioms and
From Fulham, Feb. 19, 1607. Daxims, and general assertions that are left by tradition from our elders to us, which, for so it is to be pretended, have passed all probations of the sharpest
POSTSCRIPT. wits that ever were : And lastly, to devise, being
SIR, now become again as it were abecedarii, by the One kind of boldness doth draw on another, insofrequent spelling of particulars to come to the notice much as, methinks, I should offend not to signify, of the true generals, and so afresh to create new that before the transcript of your book be fitted for principles of sciences : the end of all would be that, the press, it will be requisite for you to cast a cenwhen we shall be dispossessed of the learning which sor's eye upon the style and the elocution ; which in we have, all our consequent travels will but help us the framing of some periods, and in divers words and in a circle to conduct us to the place from whence phrases, will hardly go for current, if the copy brought we set forward, and bring us to the happiness to be to me be just the same that you would publish.
expected, and which I take in exceeding good part; XCIX. TO MR. MATTHEW, UPON SENDING so good as that it makes me recontinue, or rather
TO HIM A PART OF “ INSTAURATIO MAG- continue my hearty wishes of your company here, NA."
that so you might use the same liberty concerning MR. MATTHEW,
my actions, which now you exercise concerning my
writings. For that of queen Elizabeth, your judgI PLAINLY perceive by your affectionate writing ment of the temper and truth of that part, which touching my work, that one and the same thing concerns some of her foreign proceedings, concurs affecteth us both ; which is, the good end to which fully with the judgment of others, to whom I have it is dedicated; for as to any ability of mine, it can communicated part of it; and as things go, I supnot merit that degree of approbation. For your pose they are likely to be more and more justified caution for church-men and church-matters, as for and allowed. And whereas you say, for some other any impediment it might be to the applause and part, that it moves and opens a fair occasion, and celebrity of my work, it moveth me not; but as it broad way, into some field of contradiction : on the may hinder the fruit and good which may come of other side it is written to me from the lieger at a quiet and calm passage to the good port to which Paris, and some others also, that it carries a mani. it is bound, I hold it a just respect; so as to fetch fest impression of truth with it, and that it even cona fair wind I go not too far about. But the truth is, vinces as it grows. These are their very words; that I at all have no occasion to meet them in my which I write not for mine own glory, but to show way; except it be as they will needs confederate what variety of opinion rises from the disposition of themselves with Aristotle, who, you know, is intem- several readers. And I must confess my desire to perately magnified by the schoolmen; and is also be, that my writings should not court the present allied, as I take it, to the Jesuits, by Faber, who was time, or some few places, in such sort as might make a companion of Loyola, and a great Aristotelian. I them either less general to persons, or less permasend you at this time the only part which hath any nent in future ages. As to the “Instauration," your harshness; and yet I framed to myself an opinion, so full approbation thereof I read with much comthat whosoever allowed well of that preface, which fort, by how much more my heart is upon it; and you so much commend, will not dislike, or at least by how much less I expected consent and concurought not to dislike, this other speech of preparation ; rence in a matter so obscure. Of this I can assure for it is written out of the same spirit, and out of you, that though many things of great hope decay the same necessity : nay, it doth more fully lay open, with youth, and multitude of civil businesses is wont that the question between me and the ancients, is to diminish the price, though not the delight of connot of the virtue of the race, but of the rightness of templations, yet the proceeding in that work doth
And to speak truth, it is to the other but gain with me upon my affection and desire, both by as palma to pugnus, part of the same thing more years and businesses. And therefore I hope, even large. You conceive aright, that in this and the by this, that it is well pleasing to God, from whom other, you have commission to impart and commu- and to whom all good moves.
To him I most nicate them to others according to your discretion. heartily commend you. Other matters I write not of. Myself am like the miller of Granchester, that was wont to pray for peace amongst the willow8; for while the winds blew, the windmills wrought, and the water-mill was
CI. TO MR. MATTHEW.Ş less customed. So I see that controversies of reli
MR. MATTHEW, gion must hinder the advancement of sciences. Let me conclude with my perpetual wish towards your
I HEARTILY thank you for your letter of the 10th self, that the approbation of yourself, by your own
of February, and am glad to receive from you matter discreet and temperate carriage, may restore you to both of encouragement and of advertisement touching your country, and your friends to your society. my writings. For my part I do wish, that since And so I commend you to God's goodness.
there is no lumen siccum | in the world, but all
madidum, and maceratum, infused in affections, and Gray's-Inn, Oct. 10, 1609.
bloods, or humours, that these things of mine had those separations that might make them more acceptable: so that they claim not so much acquaint
ance of the present times, as they be thereby the C. TO MR. MATTHEW.t
less apt to last. And to show you that I have some
purpose to new-mould them, I send you a leaf or two of SIR,
the preface, carrying some figure of the whole work. I thank you for the last, and pray you to believe, Wherein I purpose to take that which I count real that your liberty in giving opinion of those writings and effectual of both writings; and chiefly to add a which I sent you, is that which I sought, which I pledge, if not payment, to my promises, I send you * Rawley's Resuscitatio.
clitus, that dry light is ever the best; which in another place Sir Toby Matthew's Collection of Letters, p. 12. he thus expounds: “ Certainly the light that a man receiveth Sir George Carew.
by counsel from another, is drier and purer than that which Rawley's Resuscitatio.
cometh from his own understanding and judgment, this being Our author alludes to one of the dark sayings Hera- ever infused and drenched in his affections." Stephens.
also a memorial of queen Elizabeth ; to requite of no less comfort, your Majesty's benign and grayour eulogy of the late duke of Florence's* felicity. cious acceptation, from time to time, of my poor of this, when you were here, I showed you some services, much above the merit and value of them; model; at what time, methought, you were more hath almost brought me to an opinion that I may willing to hear Julius Cæsar, than queen Elizabeth, sooner, perchance, be wanting to myself in not commended. But this which I send is more full, asking, than find your Majesty's goodness wanting and hath more of the narrative: and farther, hath to me in any my reasonable and modest desires. one part that, I think, will not be disagreeable either And therefore perceiving how at this time preferto you or that place; being the true tract of her ments of law fly about mine ears, to some above me, proceedings towards the catholics, which are in and to some below me; I did conceive your Majesty finitely mistaken. And though I do not imagine may think it rather a kind of dulness, or want of they will pass allowance there, yet they will gain faith, than modesty, if I should not come with my upon excuse. I find Mr. Le Zure to use you well, pitcher to Jacob's well, as others do. Wherein I I mean his tongue of you, which shows you either shall propound to your Majesty that which tendeth honest, or wise: but this I speak merrily. For in not so much to the raising of my fortune, as to the good faith I do conceive hope, that you will so go settling of my mind: being sometimes assailed with vern yourself, as we may take you as assuredly for this cogitation, that by reason of my slowness to see a good subject and patriot, as you take yourself for and apprehend sudden occasions, keeping in one a good christian; and so we may again enjoy your plain course of painful service, I may, in fine diecompany, and you your conscience, if it may no rum, be in danger to be neglected and forgotten : otherwise be. For my part, assure yourself, as we and if that should be, then were it much better for say in the law, "mutatis mutandis," my love and me, now while I stand in your Majesty's good good wishes to you are not diminished. And so I opinion, though unworthy, and have some little reremain
putation in the world, to give over the course I am in, and to make proof to do you some honour by
my pen, either by writing some faithful narrative of CII. TO MR. MATTHEW UPON SENDING your happy, though not untraduced, times; or by HIS BOOK “ DE SAPIENTIA VETERUM."+ recompiling your laws, which, I perceive, your Ma
jesty laboureth with; and hath in your head, as MR. MATTHEW,
Jupiter had Pallas, or some other the like work; I do very heartily thank you for your letter of for without some endeavour to do you honour, I the 24th of August from Salamanca; and in recom- would not live ; than to spend my wits and time in pence thereof I send you a little work of mine, that this laborious place wherein I now serve; if it shall hath begun to pass the world. They tell me my be deprived of those outward ornaments, which it Latin is turned into silver, and become current: had was wont to have, in respect of an assured succesyou been here, you should have been my inquisitor sion to some place of more dignity and rest; which before it came forth : but, I think, the greatest in- seemeth now to be a hope altogether casual, if not quisitor in Spain will allow it. But one thing you wholly intercepted. Wherefore, not to hold your mast pardon me if I make no haste to believe, that Majesty long, my humble suit to your Majesty is the world should be grown to such an ecstasy, as to that, than the which I cannot well go lower; which reject truth in philosophy, because the author dis- is, that I may obtain your royal promise to succeed, senteth in religion; no more than they do by Aris- if I live, into the attorney's place, whensoever it totle or Averroes. My great work goeth forward ; shall be void; it being but the natural and immeand after my manner, I alter ever when I add. So diate step and rise which the place I now hold hath that nothing is finished till all be finished. This I ever, in sort, made claim to, and almost never failed have written in the midst of a term and parliament; of. In this suit I make no friends but to your Mathinking no time so possessed, but that I should jesty, rely upon no other motive but your grace, talk of these matters with so good and dear a friend. nor any other assurance but your word; whereof I And so with my wonted wishes I leave you to God's had good experience, when I came to the solicitor's goodness.
place, that it was like to the two great lights, which From Gray's-Inn, Feb. 27, 1610.
in their motions are never retrograde. So with my best prayers for your Majesty's happiness, I rest
CIII. TO THE KING, DESIRING TO SUCCEED
CIV. TO THE KING, UPON THE ATTORNEY'S
SICKNESS. IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY, Your great and princely favours towards me in IT MAY PLEASE YOUR MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY, advancing me to place; and, that which is to me I do understand by some of my good friends, to my
This duke of Florence was named Ferdinand, of the death; and sums up his character in these words : “ Prinbouse of Medici ; whose memory Sir Henry Wotton cele. ceps animo excelso, et omnibus politicis artibus in tantum brated in a letter printed in his Remains, and presented to king instructus, ut in multis seculis vix æqualem habuerit.” SteCharles I. Pisaecius, the bishop of Premista in Poland, be phens. pins bis chronicle of the year 1609, with an account of his † Rawley's Resuscitatio. * Ibid.