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Valerius Terminus: of the Interpretation of Nature by Sir Francis Bacon

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| Melek Hasgün comments: The hyssop is
| mentioned in Shakespeare’s OTHELLO
| I,3: "Sow lettuce, set hyssop and
| weed up thyme". Hyssop and thyme were
| believed to aid the growth of each
| other, one being moist and the other
| dry. The reason why Bacon used moss
| instead of hyssop could be that moss
| is also a moist plant and he chose an
| expression which is more general or
| known.
an herb{28},) and also of all that liveth | 28. The plant mentioned in the Bible is
and moveth. And if the book of Job be | not "moss", but HYSOPPUS OFFICINALIS
turned over; it will be found to have much | [in German: JOSEFSKRAUT, KIRCHENSEPPL,
aspersion of natural | EISOP, YSOP)]. "The Greek plant name
| HÝSSOOPOS is probably derived from
| Hebrew ESOB (mentioned in the
| Bible...), although it is not clear
| whether ESOB referred to the plant
| called hyssop today. Another
| explanation gives Arabic AZZOF "holy
| herb" as the source of the name (cf.
| French HERBE SACRÉ) (Gernot Katzer
| Website on Spices). Gernot Katzer in
| his entry on the pomegranate
| (http://www-
| ang.kfunigraz.ac.at/~katzer/germ/index
| .php) considers the problem of the
| names of plants in the Bible:
|
| "The pomegranate tree is an ancient
| cultigen in Western Asia; it is
| mentioned in the oldest part of the
| Old Testament (the Pentateuch).
| Although the Old Testament is not a
| collection of cooking recipes, it
| names many plants of everyday or
| cultic usage in ancient Israel; the
| New Testament, though, has less
| descriptive character, and plants are,
| consequently, named much less
| frequently.
|
| If one wants to set up a "collection
| of biblical spices", one must not
| forget that there are three millennia
| between the language of the Old
| Testament and ours; therefore, exact
| translations are sometimes impossible.
| The following quote (Isaiah 28,27) may
| illustrate the difficulties of
| translation:
|
| 'QETSACH is not threshed with a
| sledge, nor is a cartwheel rolled over
| KAMMON; QETSACH is beaten out with a
| rod, and KAMMON with a stick.'
|
| Because of the dialectic structure, we
| may infer that the two plants are
| similar, but differ in details of
| their harvest. The term KAMMON
| obviously is related to Greek KÝMINON
| (cumin), but also lies behind English
| CARAWAY; QETSACH is more difficult to
| analyze. Probably it means NIGELLA,
| sometimes also called BLACK CUMIN,
| whose seeds ripen in a closed capsule,
| which must first be opened.
|
| Yet in translating the Bible, botanic
| accuracy is less an aim than general
| matters of style. "Black cumin" is
| less elegant than "cumin", and
| "nigella" is not an English word at
| all. Therefore, English Bible
| translations render QETSACH as DILL,
| CARAWAY or "fitches", a word that is
| missing from every modern dictionary.
| German translators, on the other hand,
| who don't have a traditional, elegant
| word for CUMIN, commonly translate
| KAMMON as CARAWAY (which is almost
| certainly wrong), and have to resort
| to DILL for QETSACH.
|
| Comparing different translations of
| the Old Testament, one find some or
| all of the following (Hebrew terms are
| given in parenthesis): garlic (shuwm),
| onion (b@tsel), nigella (qetsach, also
| rendered as caraway oder dill, quite
| obscure), cumin (kammon, also
| caraway), coriander (gad), caper
| (abiyownah, also translated "desire"),
| cinnamon (qinnamown), cassia (qiddah,
| also interpreted as a synonym of
| cinnamon or cassia buds), hyssop
| (ezowb, frequent but very obscure),
| myrtle (hadac), olive (shemen and
| zayith, very frequent), juniper
| (b@rowsh, also given as "fir" or
| "pine"), almond (shaqed), pomegranate
| (rimmown or rimmon), rose
| (chabatstseleth, very obscure) and
| saffron (karkom).
|
| Similarly, the New Testament has not
| been translated by biologists--the
| latter had not suspected birds to live
| in mustard plants (sínapi). Other
| plant names from the New Testament
| include the following (Greek given in
| parenthesis): mint (heedýosmon, this
| is not the common name of mint in
| Greek), cumin (kýminon, also
| translated caraway), anis (áneethon,
| also rendered dill), rue (peéganon,
| not the common term), cinnamon
| (kinnámoomon), hyssop (hýssoopos,
| referring to the obscure word in the
| Old Testament) and olive (agriélaios
| "olive tree" and elaíon "olive oil").
|
| The DICTIONARY OF THE BIBLE (ed. by
| James Hastings and John A. Selbie,
| Edinburgh, 3rd ed.1914) says about the
| HYSSOP: "It was used for sprinkling
| blood (Ex. 12,22) and in the ritual of
| the cleansing of lepers (Lv 14,4, Nu
| 19,6); it was an insignificant plant
| growing out of the wall (1 K 4,33); it
| could afford a branch strong enough to
| support a wet sponge (Jn 19,29). It is
| possible that all these references are
| not to a single species. Among many
| suggested plants the most probable is
| either a species of majoran, e.g.,
| ORIGANUM MARU, or the common caper-
| plant (CAPPARIS SPINOSA), which may be
| seen growing out of crevices in walls
| all over Palestine" (E.W.G.Masterman).
|
| For the German traditions about the
| hyssop Jacob and Wilhem Grimm in
| DEUTSCHES WÖRTERBUCH (1854 seq.) give
| the following information:
| YSOP, isop, ispe(n), eisop; hysop, m.
| (F.),HYSSOPUS OFFICINALIS L., KLEINER
| BUSCH MIT STARK DUFTENDEN BLÄTTERN und
| VIOLETTEN BLÜTEN. GELEGENTLICH WIRD
| DER NAME AUF VERWANDTE PFLANZEN
| ÜBERTRAGEN, VOR ALLEM AUF SATUREJA
| HORTENSIS L., VGL. MARZELL WB. D. DT.
| PFLANZENN. 2, 966 ff.; PRITZEL-JESSEN
| PFLANZEN (1882) 363 f.; FISCHER
| SCHWÄB. 4, 53.
|
| HERKUNFT UND form.
|
| ASS. zûpu; SYR.-ARAB. züfä; HEBR. .;
| GRIECH. ; ; LAT. hyss_pus F., hyss_pum
| N.; GOT. hwssopon (DAT. SG.); AGS.
| ysope f.; AHD. hysop ST. M. NEBEN
| SPÄTEREM ISOPO, isipo 5W. M.; MHD.
| ysope M. (NOCH BEI LUTHER MEIST
| SCHWACH FLEKTIERT: EXOD. 12, 22;
| LEVIT. 14, 52; PS. 51, 9; HEBR. 9,
| 19); SPÄTAHD.-FRÜHNHD. AUCH ALS FEM.
| (YSOPUS îspa [12. JH.] AH. GL. 3, 264,
| 53 ST.-S.; DE ISOPO von der ispen
| [12.JH.] EBDA 4, 365, 46; von der
| ispen [UM 1350] KONRAD V. MEGENBEEG
| BUCH D. NATUR 405 PF.; VGL. 420;
| yspen, die nit felt LIEDERBUCH D.
| HÄTZLERIN 234 HALTAUS). NHD. (h)ysop,
| isop, WEITERES S.U.
|
| AUF DER BIBELSPRACHLICHEN TRADITION
| (1) UND AUF DER FRÜHEN EINFÜHRUNG DES
| ORIENTALISCH-SÜDEUROPÄISCHEN YSOPS ALS
| HEIL- UND GEWÜRZPFLANZE (2) BERUHT
| SEINE REICHE BEZEUGUNG IN NAHEZU
| ALLEN EUROPÄISCHEN SPRACHEN. NEUER-
| DINGS WIRD DIE IDENTITÄT DES
| BIBLISCHEN ysop MIT HYSSOPUS
| OF/ICINALIS WIEDER BEZWEIFELT MARZELL
| A. A. 0. (ZUR DISKUSSION UM JOAN. 19,
| 29 VGL. BAUER GRIECH.-DT. WB. ZUM
| NEUEN TESTAM. [4 1952] 1541). DER NAME
| ERSCHEINT BIBEL-SPRACHLICH DURCHWEG
| ALS MASK., GELEGENTLICH BIS INS 14.
| JH. IN LAT. FLEXIONSFORM (S. U.
| DAT. SG. isupo NOTKER, ysopo TRIERER
| PS., ysopo PASSIONAL; AKK. SG.. ysopum
| WERNHER MARIENLEBEN) UND AUCH SPÄTER
| NOCH MIT SPIRANTISCHEM ANLAUT: hyssop
| ABR. A S. CLARA etw. f. alle (1699) 1,
| 98; hysop BRENNER ERZ. U. SCHR. (1864)
| 1, 20; hyssop TILLMANN NEUES TEST.
| (LPZ. 6 1958) 625. WEITER
| EINGEDEUTSCHT IST DAS WORT IN SEINER
| VOLKSSPRACHLICHEN VERWENDUNG (2):
| SYNKOPE DES MITTELSILBENVOKALS S.. OB.
| SOWIE isp (12. JH.) AHD. GL. 4, 235,
| 38 ST.-S.; yspe (14. JH.) EBDA 3, 542,
| 25; ispe (U. Ä.) 14./16. JH.
| DIEFENBACH GL. 310b ; isp(e) FISCHER
| SCHWÄB. 4, 53 (STÄRKER ABWEICHENDE
| MISCHFORMEN zispe EBDA, zwispe 6,
| 1472), SCHMELLER-FR. BAYER. 1, 168.
| NICHT SELTEN DIPHTHONGIERT
| garteneisop, zwibeleisop ALBERTUS
| dict. (1540) FF la ; eisop FÄBRICUS
| RER. MISNIAC. (1569) 246; eysopwein
| ZEHNER NOMENCL. (1643) 365; eisop M.
| BÖHME VIEHARTZNEY (1682) 31. DIE
| ZAHLREICHEN MUNDARTLICHEN NEBENFORMEN
| S. IM ÜBRIGEN BEI MARZELL A. A. O.;
| VGL. NOCH eisop TEIL 3, SP. 380,
| eisewig 3, 377, hispe F., 4, 2, 1579
| SOWIE isop 4, 2, 2182.
|
| GEBRAUCH.
| 1)BIBELSPRACHLICH. EXOD. 12, 22;
| LEVIT. 14, 4 U. 6; 14, 49fl.; num. 19,
| 6 u. 18; PS. 50 9 U. HEBR. 9, 19
| ERWÄHNEN DEN YSOP IM ZUSAMMENHANG
| KULTISCHER REINIGUNGSZEREMONIEN. 3.
| REG. 4, 33 DIENT ER EINEM VERGLEICH
| ZUR VERANSCHAUIICHUNG DER WEISHEIT
| SALOMOS (S.U.). JOAN. 19, 29 WIRD DEM
| GEKREUZIGTEN DER ESSIGSCHWAMM UM EINEN
| YSOP GEWICKELT GEREICHT (HIERZU VGL.
| BAUER GRIECH.-DT. WB. ZUM NEUEN
| TESTAM. [4 1952] 1541). AN DIESEN
| STELLEN IST DAS WORT IN ALLEN
| DEUTSCHEN BIBELÜBERSETZUNGEN BIS IN
| DIE GEGENWART IN FESTEM GEBRAUCH:
| afaruh þan ÞO in wato wairpandans
| hrain jah hwssopon jah wullai raudai
| ufartrusnjandans (SKEIREINS 3, 16)
| GOT. BIBEL 21 , 461 STREITBERG;
| FASCICULUM HYSOPI uuadal hysopes
| (EXODUS 12, 22) (8./9. JH.) AHD. GL.
| 1, 335, 38 ST.-S.; so er chumet, so
| besprenget er mih mit isopo (ASPERGES
| ME YSOPO, PS. 50, 9) also die
| miselsuhtigen, unde danne uuirdo ih
| gereinet; uuunda so ist gepoten in
| demo puoche, daz die miselsuhtigen
| siben stunt besprenget uurten mit
| gedunchetemo isopo in demo opferpluote
| (VGL. LEV. 14, 4ff.; 49ff.) NOTKER 3,
| 172 PIPER (VGL. 2, 195f.); du
| besprenges mih, herro, mit dem isipen
| unde ih wirde gereinet (12. JH.,
| WINDBERGER INTERLINEARVERSION), du
| solt besprengen mich mit demo ysopo
| unde ih wirde gereinet (13. JH.,
| TRIERER INTERLINEARVERSION) (PS. 50,
| 9) DT. INTERLINEARVERSIONEN D. PSALMEN
| (1839) 232 GRAFF; wann sy fulten ein
| schwamp mit essig sy vmbgaben in mit
| ysopp: sy brachten in seinen mund
| (JOAN. 19, 29) ERSTE DT. BIBEL 1, 415
| KURR.; vnd er (SALOMO) redet
| dreytausent spruch, vnd seyner liede
| waren tausent vnd funffe. vnd er redet
| von bewmen, vom ceder an zu Libanon
| bis an den isop, der aus der wand
| wechst (3. REG. 4, 33) LUTHER DT.
| BIBEL 1, 150 W., VGL. 9, 1, 408f. AUS
| BIBELSPRACHLICHER TRADITION ERWACHSEN
| FOLGENDE BELEGE, ZU PS. 50, 8:
|
| Maria sunderinne,
| du bist in gutem sinne
| vf einen burnen alda kumen
| ...
| betouche dich zv male
| des du macht Immer wesen vro
| der besprenget dich mit ysopo
| des bistu wiz ob alleme sne
| (UM 1300) PASSIONAL 371, 22 HAHN;
|
| nun spreng mich herr mit ysop gut,
| so wird all sünd verderbet
| SPEE GÜLD. TUGENDBUCH (1649) 35;
|
| und so, meint der meister ferner,
| werde ich auch bald gewaschen werden,
| und mit hysop besprengt, der ich über
| so viele das miserere gesungen BRENNER
| ERZ. U. SCHR. (1864) 1, 20. ZU JOAN.
| 19, 29:
|
| 'mich durstet', sprach er och dar na.
| do stûnd ain vas mit essich da,
| dar in lait ainer ysopum
| und fuitent sin ainen schwum:
| den bot er zû der selben stunt
| mit ainem sper an sinen munt
| (HS. 1182) WERNHER MARIENIEBEN
| 10 607 PÄPKE-HÜBNER.
|
| IN NEGATIVIERENDER UMDEUTUNG DER
| HILFREICHEN TRÄNKUNG AUS JOAN. 19, 29
| (VGL. MATTH. 27, 34): wie . . dem
| volk...der ysop der furcht vor den
| ewigen strafen dargereicht würde
| SCHLEIERMACHER S. W. (1834) 1 5, 98;
|
| nur gift und galle war, o pabst,
| was du vom pol bis zu den tropen
| der welt mit deinem scepter gabst,
| mit deinem scepter von ysopen
| HERWEGH GED. E. LEBENDIGEN (21841) 116.
|
| ZU 3. REG. 4, 31 von der zeder bis zum
| ysop (S 0. LUTHERS ÜBERSETZUNG),
| ZUNÄCHST NUR VON DER GRÖSZE DER
| WEISHEIT SALOMOS: Salomon ... von dem
| ceder baum, so auf dem berg Libano
| ist, bisz auf den hyssop, so aus der
| wand wächst, disputieret ABR. A S.
| CLARA ETWAS F. ALLE (1699) 1, 48;
| (ÜBERSCHRIFT:) Salomons königs van
| Israel und Juda güldne worte von der
| ceder biss zum issop GÖTHE 1 37, 295
| W.; AUF ANDERE PERSONEN ÜBERTRAGEN:
| weil du (RÜBEZAHL) aber der kräuter
| und pflanzen kundig bist, vom ysop an,
| der auf der mauer wächst, bis auf die
| ceder zu Libanon MUSÄUS VOLKSMÄRCHEN
| 1, 34 HEMPEL, VGL. DERS., PHYSIOGN.
| REISEN (1778) 1, 171; ich habe die
| ehre, ihnen einen gelehrten zu
| präsentieren, dar alles weiss und
| kennt, van der ceder bis zum ysop
| KOTZEBUE SÄMMTL. DRAM. W. (1827) 1,
| 314. SCHLIESZLICH DIE WEITE DER
| SCHÖPFUNG ÜBERHAUPT BEZEICHNEND: jedes
| gewäche von der ceder bis zum ysop
| hängt an erde und sonnenschein HERDER
| 20, 73 S.; VGL. 22, 237; der nahme
| meines helden ist kurz und gut: ABC
| bis XYZ, ... ritter vieler orden
| trauriger und fröhlicher gestalt, von
| der ceder auf Libanon bis zum ysop
| HIPPEL KREUZ- U. QUERZUGC (1793) 1, 3;
| die menschengattung ist die erste von
| alless diesen einheiten; die andern,
| vom elephanten bis zur milbe, von der
| ceder bis an den ysop, sind in dar
| zweiten und dritten linie J. G.
| FORSTER S. SCHR. (1843) 4, 319.
|
| 2) ALS GEWÜRZ- UND HEIL PFLANZE. IN
| DEN VERSCHIEDENSTEN REZEPTEN SEIT DEM
| 11./12. JH. SEHR REICH BEZEUGT; DIE
| BLÄTTER WERDEN VEREINZELT BIS IN DIE
| GEGENWART ALS SOSZENWÜRZE UND ZUM
| GURGELN GEGEN HALSBESCHWERDEN BENUTZT;
| DARÜBER HINAUS IST DIE PFLANZE 'VOR
| ALLEM IN DER SCHWEIZ EIN BESTANDTEIL
| DER IN DIE KIRCHE (BESONDERS VON
| ÄLTEREN FRAUEN) MITGENOMMENEN
| RIECHSTRÄUSZLEIN' MARZELL WB. D.
| DT. PFLANZENN. 2, 069: isopo ist g_t
| chrût, obe diu geb_rt stirbet in demo
| wîbe; trinche iz mit warmem wazzer, SÔ
| vert iz vone ire. er ist g_t vur den
| stenken vnte hilfet och den der mage
| swirt (11./12. JH.) GERMANIA 8, 300;
| ÄHNLICH (13. JH.) MENHARDT VERZ. D.
| ALTDT. LIT. HSS. 1 (1960) 46; von der
| ispen. isopus haizt isp...wenn man
| ispen kocht mit honig, daz ist der
| lungel guot . und genuog ander
| tugent hât si an ir (UM 1350) KONRAD
| V. MEGENBERG BUCH der NATUR 405 PF.;
| vgl 420; der ysope . . . ist bitter
| und idoch ges_nt dem herzen und der
| I_ngen und der br_st die da siech ist
| (14 JH.) ALTDT.PRED.
|
| SCHÖNBACH SO WEME dat hoven sweret . .
| de scal nemen eyn bunt ysopen unde
| seden de (Bremen 1352) »MND. ARZNEIB.
| des A. DONELDEY 14 Windler vgl. 3, 10,
| 19, 26, 49; und alz ist gefügett daz
| pinlin z.B. dem honge, der ysop z.B. dem
| balsam, dú nahtegal z.B. der harpfen (so
| wie DIE seele ZU CHRISTUS) (HS. von
| 1357 NACH VORLAGE VON 1303) , ST.
| GEORGENER PRED. 287 RIEDER, VGL. 294;
|
| saluay, rawtten vnd polay,
| der krautt stünd pogen vnd
| gezindelt;
| dryment, yspen, die nit felt,
| grunten da in reicher wunn
| LIEDERBUCH DER HÄTZLERIN
| 234 HALTAUS:
|
| dem rind den husten zu vertreiben,
| pflegt man jnen...ysop.. .einzugeben
| SEBIZ feldbau (1579) 128;
| mit lavendel, isop, majoran, poley und
| anderen geringeres wehrtes, gewächsen
| und blurnenwerke ausgeziehret NEUMARK
| newspross. teut. palmb. (1668) 171;
| unter wild wachsenden pflanzen sah ich
| die dunkelrote scabiose unter gärten
| und ein ganzes feld mit ysop bewachsen
| STOLBERG
| GES.W. (1820) 8, 360.
|
| 3) ZU BEIDEN ANWENDUNGSGRUPPEN
| STELLEN SICH ZUSAMMENSETZUNGEN:
| ysopbitter:
|
| dieweil der königliche zecher
| umsonst nach ihren zügen gafft.
| leert sie den ysopbittren becher
| zurückgewiesener leidenschaft
| FONTANE GED. 7176 (VGL..
| JOAN. 19, 29 u. ysop 1);
|
| --busch:
|
| nimm einen ysoppusch,
| entsündige mein Leben
| FLEMING, dt. ged. 1,8
| lit.ver.;
|
| VGL. ysopbüschel (NURN. 19, 18)
| ZÜRCHER BIBEL (BERLIN 1956) 1, 165; -
| kraut: nimm rosinlin ein
| handvoll...salbeyblätter, hissopkraut,
| jedes 1 hand voll GÄBELKOVER ARTZNCYB.
| (1595) 1, 182; -saft: ysop safft
| getruncken mit oximel, waychet den
| verstopften bauch DAS KREÜTERBUCH OD.
| HERBARIOS (AUGSB. 1534) 144b ; -sirup:
| \STAUB-TOBLER 7, 1270; -stengel: sie
| steckten nun einen mit essig gefüllten
| schwamm auf einen ysopstengel (JOAN
| 19,29). ZÜRCHER BIBEL (BERLIN 1956)
| 2,148; hysopstengel (J. 19,29)
| TILLMANN NEUES TESTAM. (LPZ. 6-1959)
| 325; -strauch,
| s. isopstrauch TEIL 4,2, SP. 2182; -
| wasser: hysopwasser soll man allwegen
| in heysser aeschen disti1liren:
| welches (U. A.) trefflich gut für den
| grausamen schmertzen der zän ist SEBIZ
| feldbau (1580) 413; zerschmeltz den
| zucker in brandlattich oder
| issopwasser GÄBELKOVER artzneybuch
| (1595) 1, 193, GEBUCHT bei RÄDLEIN T.-
| IT.-FRZ.(1711) 1080;b; -wein, . VGL.
| isopwein TEIL 4. 2. sp. 2182 SOWIE:
| von ysopwein. ysopwein ist warm,
| reiniget die brust, machet gute däwung
| vnd weicht den bauch M. HERR FELDBAU
| (1551) 112a; eysop wein ZEHNER
| NOMENCL. (1645) 365; KIRSCH CORNU
| COPIAE 2 (1775), 908.
|
| Why then did Bacon translate "hyssop"
| as "moss"? The hyssop was known and
| used in England (compare OED; e.g.
| Skakespeare OTHELLO I,3 etc.). What
| appears from all the dictionaries
| consulted is, however, that it is not
| so very clear which plant was meant by
| the name. What led Bacon to use the
| word "moss" for "hyssop" is probably
| the sense of 1 K 4,33: Salomon knows
| every plant from the noblest (=cedar
| tree) to the meanest (=hyssop), "moss"
| obviously signifying a mean plant
| "which is but a rudiment between
| putrefaction and an herb". This does
| obviously leave out of consideration
| the holiness of the hyssop tested in
| various other contexts of the Old and
| the New Testament (see above).
philosophy{29}. Nay, the same Salomon the | 29. cf. A.L. Sp. III, 298, I.5 (D.A.
king affirmeth directly that the glory of | Sp.I,467, I.1) ; Cf. also N.O. I, 65
God IS TO CONCEAL A THING, BUT THE GLORY |
OF THE KING IS TO FIND IT OUT{30}, as if | 30. Proverbs 25,2
according to the innocent play of children | Geneva Bible: The glorie of God is to
the divine Majesty took delight to hide | conceile a thing secret: but the Kings
his works, to the end to have them found | honour is to searche out a thing.
out; for in naming the king he intendeth |
man, taking such a condition of man as | Authorized Version: It is the glory of
hath most excellency and greatest | God to conceal a thing: but the honour
commandment of wits and means, alluding | of kings is to search out a matter.
also to his own person, being truly one of |
those clearest burning lamps, whereof | Vulgata: Gloria Dei celare verbum et
himself speaketh in another place, when he | gloria regum investigare sermonem
saith THE SPIRIT OF MAN IS AS THE LAMP OF |
GOD, WHEREWITH HE SEARCHETH ALL |
INWARDNESS{31}; which nature of the soul | 31. Proverbs 20,27
the same Salomon holding precious and | Geneva Bible: The light of the Lord is
inestimable, and therein conspiring with | the breth of man, and sercheth all the
the affection of Socrates who scorned the | bowels of the bellie.
pretended learned men of his time for | Authorized Version: The spirit of man
raising great benefit of their learning | is the candle of the Lord,searching
(whereas Anaxagoras contrariwise and | all the inward parts of the belly.
divers others being born to ample | Vulgata: lucerna Dominis spiraculum
patrimonies decayed them in | homninis quae investigat omnia secreta
| ventris
| Luther: Eine Leuchte des Herrn ist des
| Menschen Geist; die geht durch alle
| Kammern des Leibes.
contemplation){32}, delivereth it in | 32. see Platon, Hippias Major. 282 b -
precept yet remaining, BUY THE TRUTH, AND | 283 b
SELL IT NOT; |
AND SO OF WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE{33}. | 33. Proverbs 23, 23
| Geneva Bible: Bye the trueth, but sel
And lest any man should retain a scruple | it not: likewise wisdome, and
as if this thirst of | instruction, and understanding.
knowledge were rather an humour of the |
mind than an emptiness or want in nature | Authorized Version: Buy the truth and
and an instinct from God, the same author | sell it not; also wisdom, and
defineth of it fully, saying, GOD HATH | instruction, and understanding.
MADE EVERY THING IN BEAUTY ACCORDING TO |
SEASON; ALSO HE HATH SET THE WORLD IN | Vulgata: veritatem eme et noli vendere
MAN'S HEART, YET CAN HE NOT FIND OUT THE | sapientiam et doctrinam et
WORK WHICH GOD WORKETH FROM THE | intelligentiam
|
| Luther: Kaufe Wahrheit und verkaufe
| sie nicht, Weisheit, Zucht und
| Verstand.
|
| on the mercantilist spirit in Bacon
| see: Julie Robin Salomon, Objectivity
| in the Making. The John Hopkins
| University Press, 1998.
BEGINNING TO THE END{34}: declaring not | 34. Ecclesiastes 3,11
obscurely that God hath framed the mind of | Authorized Version: He hath made every
man as a glass capable of the image of the | thing beautiful in his time: also he
universal world, joying to receive the | hath set the world in their heart, so
signature thereof as the eye is of light | that no man can find out the work that
yea not only satisfied in beholding the | God maketh from the beginning to the
variety of things and vicissitude of | end.
times, but raised also to find out and |
discern those ordinances and decrees which | Vulgata: cuncta fecit bona in tempore
throughout all these changes are | suo et mundum tradidit disputioni
infallibly observed. And although the | eorum / ut non inveniat homo opus quod
highest generality of motion or summary | operatus est Deus ab initio usque ad
law of nature God should still reserve | finem.
within his own curtain, yet many and noble |
are the inferior and secondary operations | Luther Bible: Prediger Salomo 3,11:
which are within man's sounding. This is a | Er aber tut alles fein zu seiner Zeit
thing which I cannot tell whether I may so | und läßt ihr Herz sich ängstigen, wie
plainly speak as truly conceive, that as | es gehen solle in der Welt; denn der
all knowledge appeareth to be a plant of | Mensch kann doch nicht treffen das
God's own planting, so it may seem the | Werk, das Gott tut, weder Anfang noch
spreading and flourishing or at least the | Ende.
bearing and fructifying of this plant, by |
a providence of God, nay not only by a |
general providence but by a special |
prophecy, was appointed to this autumn |
of the world{35}: for to my understanding | 35. Melek Hasgün comments: Bacon sees
it is not violent to the letter, and safe | his time as "...autumn of the
now after the event, so to interpret that | world...". As in Shakespeare’s King
place in the prophecy of Daniel where | Lear (IV/6) ‘autumn’ implies the time
speaking of the latter times it is said, | shortly before the end of the world,
MANY SHALL PASS TO AND FRO, AND SCIENCE | this can also be applied to Bacon. The
| Apocalypse is preceded by the increase
| of knowledge (Daniel 12,4) and again
| Bacon uses the Bible to legitimate
| progress in science.
SHALL BE INCREASED{36}; as if the opening | 36. Daniel 12, 4;
of the world by navigation and commerce | Geneva Bible: But thou, o Daniel, shut
and the further discovery of knowledge | up the wordes, and seale the boke til
should meet in one time or age. | the end of the time: many shal runne
| to and fro, and knowledge shalbe
But howsoever that be, there are besides | increased [explanation f ("til the end
the authorities or Scriptures before | of the time"): Til the time that God
recited, two reasons of exceeding great | hathe appointed for the ful revelation
weight and force why religion should | of these things: and then many shal
dearly protect all increase of natural | runne to and fro to search the
knowledge: the one, because it leadeth to | knowledge of these mysteries, which
the greater exaltation of the glory of | things they obteine now by the light
God; for as the | of the Gospel]
|
| Authorized Version: But thou, O
| Daniel, shut up the words, and seal
| the book, EVEN to the time of the end:
| many shall run to and fro, and
| knowledge shall be increased.
|
| Vulgata: Tu autem Danihel clude
| sermones et signa librum usque ad
| tempus statutum / pertransibunt
| plurimi et multiplex erit scientia
|
| This quotation is repeated on the
| title page of NOVUM ORGANUM. Together
| with the allegorical content of the
| pillars of Hercules, this passage
| clearly is to be interpreted in an
| apocalyptical sense: The time has come
| and is ripe for a re-construction of
| Adams's paradisical dominion over the
| world.--The pillars of Hercules can
| also be understood as a typological
| allusion to the two pillars of
| Salomo's temple (cf. Charles Whitney):
| In 1 Kings 7, 21 the names of the
| pillars are given as "Jachin" and
| "Boas". The Jew's name in NOVA
| ATLANTIS, Joabin, can be explained as
| the result of playing around with
| these names and contracting them into
| one. In NOVA ATLANTIS Salomo's Temple
| is resurrected and is the centre of
| knowledge and power.
Psalms{37} and other Scriptures do often | 37. for example Psalms 19,1
invite us to consider and to magnify the |
great and wonderful works of God, so if we |
should rest only in the contemplation of |
those shews which first offer themselves |
to our senses, we should do a like injury |
to the majesty of God, as if we should |
judge of the store of some excellent |
jeweller by that only which is set out to |
the street in his shop. The other reason |
is, because it is a singular help and a |
preservative against unbelief and error; |
for, saith our Saviour, YOU ERR, NOT |
KNOWING THE SCRIPTURES NOR THE |
POWER OF GOD;{38} laying before us two | 38. St. Matthew 22, 29:
books or volumes to study if we will be | Authorized Version: Jesus answered and
secured from error; first the Scriptures | said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing
revealing the will of God, and then the | the Scriptures, not the power of God.
creatures expressing his power; for that | see also St Mark 12, 24
latter book will certify us that nothing |
which the first teacheth shall be thought |
impossible. And most sure it is, and a |
true conclusion of experience, that a |
little natural philosophy inclineth the |
mind to atheism, but a further proceeding |
bringeth the mind back to religion. |
|
To conclude then, let no man presume to |
check the liberality of God's gifts, who, |
as was said, |
HATH SET THE WORLD IN MAN'S HEART. So |
as whatsoever is not God but parcel of the |
world, he hath fitted it to the |
comprehension of man's mind, if man will |
open and dilate the powers of |
his understanding as he may.{39} | 39. Compare to "mind of glass" above
|
But yet evermore it must be remembered |
that the least part of knowledge passed to |
man by this so large a charter from God |
must be subject to that use for which God |
hath granted it; which is the benefit and |
relief of the state and society or man; |
for otherwise all manner of knowledge |
becometh malign and serpentine, and |
therefore as carrying the quality of the |
serpent's sting and malice it maketh the |
mind of man to swell; as the Scripture |
saith excellently, KNOWLEDGE BLOWETH UP, |
BUT CHARITY BUILDETH UP{40}. And again the | 40. 1 Corinthians 8, 1
same author doth notably disavow both | Authorized Version: Now as touching
power and knowledge such as is not | things offered unto idols, we know
dedicated to goodness or love, for saith | that we all have knowledge. Knowledge
he, IF I HAVE ALL FAITH SO AS I COULD | puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
REMOVE MOUNTAINS, (there is power active,) |
IF I RENDER MY BODY TO THE FIRE, (there is |
power passive,) IF I SPEAK WITH THE |
TONGUES OF MEN AND ANGELS, (there is |
knowledge, for language is but the |
conveyance of knowledge,) |
ALL WERE NOTHING{41}. | 41. 1 Corinthians 13, 1-3:
| Authorized Version: Though I speak
And therefore it is not the pleasure of | with the tongues of men and of angels,
| and have not charity, I am become as
| sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
| And though I have the gift of
| prophecy, and understand all
| mysteries, and all knowledge; and
| though I have all faith, so that I
| could remove mountains, and have not
| charity, I am nothing. And though I
| bestow all my goods to feed the poor,
| and though I give my body to be
| burned, and have not charity, it
| profiteth me nothing.
curiosity{42}, nor the quiet of | 42. Bacon here contrasts "curiosity"
resolution, nor the raising of the spirit, | with "thirst of knowledge" (p. 220).
nor victory of wit, nor faculty of speech, | "Curiosity" is used in a traditional
nor lucre of profession, nor ambition of | sense (see St. Augustine on curiositas
honour or fame, nor inablement for | in Confessiones X,35). He speaks of
business, that are the true ends of | curiositas also in "Actaeon et
knowledge; some of these being more worthy | Pentheus, sive Curiositas" in: De
than other, though all inferior and | sapentia veterum", VI: The Theban king
degenerate: but it is a restitution and | Pentheus is punished with madness
reinvesting (in great part) of man to the | because out of curiosity he has dared
sovereignty and power (for whensoever he | to observe certain mysteries which are
shall be able to call the creatures by | dedicated to Dionysos, that is: he
their true names be shall again command | applied (scientific) observation to
them) which he had | divine things, he did not respect the
| division between LUMEN NATURALE and
| LUMEN DIVINUM.--Bacon draws the same
| conclusions from the myth of
| Prometheus ("Prometheus, sive Status
| hominis").
| on curiosity see Hans Blumenberg, "Der
| Prozeß der theoretischen Neugierde",
| in: DIE LEGITIMITÄT DER NEUZEIT
| (Frankfurt, 1966).
in his first state of creation{43}. And | 43. compare with Milton's Paradise Lost
to speak plainly and clearly, it is a | Book XII
discovery of all operations and pos- |
sibilities of operations from immortality |
(if it were possible) to the meanest |
mechanical practice. And therefore |
knowledge that tendeth but to satisfaction |
is but as a courtesan, which is for |
pleasure and not for fruit or generation. |
And knowledge that tendeth to profit or |
profession or glory is but as the golden |
ball thrown before Atalanta{44}, which | 44. The Atalanta myth is treated by
while she goeth aside and stoopeth to take | Bacon in DE SAPIENTIA VETERUM (Works,
up she hindereth the | vol. VI)
| This is the German translation by
| Marina Münkler in: Weisheit der Alten,
| hrsg. von Philipp Rippel (Frankfurt
| a.M: Fischer, 1991):
| XXV. Atalanta oder die Gewinnsucht
| Atalanta, die für ihre Schnelligkeit
| berühmt war, forderte Hippomenes mit
| dem Versprechen zum Wettlauf heraus,
| daß er sie im Falle seines Sieges zur
| Frau nehmen dürfe, im Falle seiner
| Niederlage aber sein Leben verwirke.
| An Atalantas Sieg schien es keinen
| Zweifel geben zu können, da ihre
| unübertreffliche Schnelligkeit bereits
| durch den Tod zahlreicher Freier unter
| Beweis gestellt worden war. Hippomenes
| griff deshalb zu einer List. Er
| beschaffte sich drei goldene Äpfel,
| die er mit sich führte. Das Rennen
| begann, Atalanta ging in Führung. Als
| Hippomenes sah, daß er zurückfiel,
| griff er auf seine List zurück und
| warf einen seiner Äpfel so vor sie
| hin, daß sie ihn sehen mußte. Er warf
| ihn aber nicht direkt vor sie, sondern
| ein wenig abseits, damit sie sich
| nicht nur bücken, sondern auch ihre
| Bahn verlassen mußte. Erfüllt von
| weiblicher Gier und angezogen von der
| Schönheit der Frucht, verließ sie ihre
| Bahn, lief dem Apfel nach und hielt
| an, um ihn aufzuheben. In der
| Zwischenzeit lief Hippomenes weiter
| und ging in Führung. Aufgrund ihrer
| natürlichen Schnelligkeit machte
| Atalanta den Rückstand jedoch bald
| wieder wett und überholte ihn erneut.
| Nachdem Hippomenes sie jedoch in
| derselben Weise noch ein zweites und
| ein drittes Mal vom Weg abbrachte,
| gewann er schließlich den Wett!auf,
| freilich nicht durch seine Fähigkeit,
| sondern durch seine List.
|
| Diese Sage scheint eine hervorragende
| Allegorie über den Wettstreit von
| Kunst und Natur zu sein. Denn die
| Kunst, die von Atalanta repräsentiert
| wird, ist an sich, wenn ihr nichts im
| Wege steht, sehr viel schneller als
| die Natur, sie ist, wie man sagen
| könnte, der bessere Läufer und
| erreicht ihr Ziel schneller. Das zeigt
| sich an nahezu allen Dingen: Man
| sieht, daß sich Obstbäume nur langsam
| aus dem Kern, aber sehr viel schneller
| durch das Aufpfropfen von Zweigen
| entwickeln, daß Lehm sehr langsam zu
| Stein wird, während er sehr schnell zu
| Stein gebrannt werden kann. Auch die
| Sitten betreffend kann man beobachten,
| daß es sehr lange dauert, bis durch
| die Wohltaten der Natur ein Schmerz
| vergessen und Trost gefunden werden
| kann, während die Philosophie (die
| gleichsam die Kunst zu leben ist), den
| Tag nicht abwartet, sondern ihn
| vorhersieht und vor Augen führt. Dann
| aber wird dieser Vorsprung und die
| Fähigkeit der Kunst zum unendlichen
| Nachteil der Menschheit, durch jene
| goldenen Äpfel behindert. Denn es gibt
| keine Wissenschaft oder Kunst, die
| ihren wahren und richtigen Weg bis zum
| Ziel unbeirrt beibehält. Vielmehr
| geschieht es fortwährend, daß die
| Künste ihre Unternehmungen auf halbem
| Wege unterbrechen, vom Pfad abweichen
| und sich wie Atalanta Gewinn und
| Nutzen zuwenden:
|
| "Declinat cursus, aurumque volubile
| tollit" (Ovid, Metamorphosen X, 667).
|
| Und deshalb ist es nicht
| verwunderlich, daß es der Kunst nicht
| gegeben ist, den Sieg über die Natur
| zu erringen und sie nach den
| Bedingungen und Regeln des Wettkampfs
| zu töten und zu zerstören, sondern sie
| im Gegenteil der Natur unterworfen
| bleibt, wie das Weib dem Ehemann.
|
| Charles W. Lemmi (THE CLASSICAL
| DEITIES IN BACON. A STUDY IN
| MYTHOLOGICAL SYMBOLISM, Baltimore
| 1933, repr. New York 1971) says that
| Bacon draws on Natalis Comes (Conti)
| MYTHOLOGIAE SIVE EXPLICATIONUM
| FABULARUM LIBRI X (1551) and on
| Boccaccios DE GENEALOGIA DEORUM
| (1472).
|
| Simone Wirthmann comments:
| Treatises on classical mythology had a
| wide circulation during the
| Renaissance because it has been
| thought that one might discover in the
| stories of the gods and goddesses the
| wisdom of the ancients.
| It was in Italy, in the sixteenth
| century that the Renaissance produced
| the most widely known works on the
| classic deities.
|
| One of the most popular books was
| Natalis Conti's "MYTHOLOGY", which was
| fully as learned as any of its
| competitors, pleasanter to read and
| incomparably easier to use as a
| referencebook. Furthermore, it
| systematically interprets every myth
| it relates according to a multitude of
| authorities. It provides a list of
| authorities, an excellent index and
| synopses of the interpretations
| divided into ethical and physical.
| Despite all these new books, which
| largely superseded Boccaccio's famous
| "DE GENEALOGIIS DEORUM", they were far
| from causing it to be forgotten.
|
| For that reason it is to presume that
| Bacon draws on Natalis Comes (Conti)
| "MYTHOLOGIAE SIVE EXPLICATIONEM
| FABULARUM LIBRI X" (1551) and on
| "Boccaccio's De Genealogia
| Deorum"(1472) (see Charles W. Lemmi
| THE CLASSICAL DEITIES IN BACON. A
| STUDY IN MYTHOLOGICAL SYMBOLISM
| (Baltimore 1933, repr. New York 1971).
race{45}. And knowledge referred to some | 45. Ovid, Metamorphosen, Buch X, 665-
particular point of use is but | 680
as Harmodius{46} which putteth down one | 46. see Herodot, Histories, V, 55 and
tyrant, and not like | VI, 109 and 123
| The Oxford Classical Dictionary says:
| Aristogiton (6th c. B.C.), Athenian
| tyrannicide. He and Harmodius, both of
| noble family, planned to kill the
| tyrant Hippias and his younger brother
| Hipparchus, in consequence of a
| private quarrel (514 B.C.). The plot
| miscarried: only Hipparchus was
| killed. Harmodius was at one cut down
| by Hippias' guards, Aristogiton
| arrested and executed (after torture,
| it is said). As the tyranny was
| overthrown three years later, the two
| were popularly supposed to have made
| this possible, and were ever after
| called the Liberators. Simonides wrote
| a poem in their honour, statues of
| them were set up in the agora (and new
| ones erected when these were carried
| off by Xerxes in 480), and their
| descendants for all time honoured with
| the right to meals in the Prytaneum.
Hercules{47} who did perambulate the world | 47. Hercules is not a Baconian hero.
to suppress tyrants and giants and | The real hero is Orpheus as he is
monsters in every | interpreted in "Orpheus, sive
| Philosophia" in DE SAPIENTIA VETERUM.
| Orpheus is the Baconian philosopher,
| and the myth of Orpheus is about the
| opera scientiae. The works of Orpheus
| are superior to the works of Hercules
| as the "works of wisdom" (opera
| sapientiae) are superior to the "works
| of strength" (opera fortitudinis) (VI,
| 720).
|
| Simone Wirthmann comments:
| Hercules (gr. Heracles), (lit. "having
| or showing the glory of Hera"; Hera,
| wife of Zeus) Hercules, the son of
| Zeus and of the mortal Alkmene was a
| celebrated hero of Greek and Roman
| mythology, who after death was ranked
| among the gods and received divine
| honours. He is represented as
| possessed of prodigious strength,
| whereby he was enabled to perform
| twelve extraordinary tasks or
| "labours" imposed upon him by Hera.
| One of these tasks was to capture the
| cattles of the three-headed giant
| Geryoneus. It is said, that on this
| journey Hercules set up the rocks
| Calpé (now Gibraltar) and Abyla
| (Ceuta) / THE PILLARS OF HERCULES on
| either side of the Strait of
| Gibraltar, as a sign for his longest
| journey. THE PILLARS where seen by the
| ancients to be the supports of the
| western boundary of the world.
|
| Bacon uses the myth of Hercules and
| Harmodius in a methaphorical way, to
| elucidate the real contents of
| knowledge by comparing the two
| "heroes". Hercules impersonates
| strength and justice, throughout his
| life he tried to free people from
| tyranny, fought against giants and
| monsters without thinking of his own
| benefit. Harmodius in comparison tried
| to kill the tyrants Hippias and
| Hipparchus in consequence of a private
| quarrel and not primarily to free
| people.
|
| This shows, that for Bacon knowledge
| must be of general existence and not
| only refer to some particular point.
|
| Nevertheless, in one of his later
| works, DE SAPIENTIA VETERUM (1609),
| Hercules is not the Baconian hero
| anymore. The real hero is Orpheus, the
| philosopher. His works are superior to
| the works of Hercules as the "works of
| wisdom" (opera sapientiae) are
| superior to the "works of strength"
| (opera fortitudinis) (VI, 729).
|
| Orpheus was a legendary poet, a famous
| musician and singer of ancient Greece,
| who had the power of charming all
| animate and inanimate objects (he
| could move rocks and trees) by the
| sweet strains of his lyre. He
| descended living into Hades, to bring
| back to life his wife Eurydice, and
| perished, torn to pieces by infuriated
| Thracian maenads (see THE OXFORD
| CLASSICAL DICTIONARY; THE CENTURY
| DICTIONARY, VOL. 4)
part.{48} It is true, that in two points | 48. Spedding's note: The words "that
the curse is peremptory and not to be | is, man's miseries and necessities,"
removed; the one that vanity must be the | which followed in the transcript, have
end in all human effects, eternity being | a line drawn through them.
resumed, though the revolutions and |
periods may he delayed{49}. The other that | 49. Melek Hasgün comments:
the consent of the creature being now | "...eternity being resumed...".: In
turned into reluctation, this power cannot | Henry VIII (..) and King Lear (I/4)
otherwise be exercised and administered | ‘resume’ means: to take back
but with labour, as well in inventing as | something previously given or
in executing; yet nevertheless chiefly | granted. The fact that it is written
that labour and travel which is described | in the passive form without an object
by the sweat of the brows more than of the | implies that eternity has been taken
body; that is such travel as is joined | back by God, referring to the Fall of
with the working and discursion of the | Man and Paradise Lost.
spirits in the brain: for as Salomon saith |
excellently, THE FOOL PUTTETH TO MORE | ‘Revolution’ is the action or fact,
STRENGTH, BUT THE WISE MAN CONSIDERETH | on the part of celestial bodies, of
WHICH | moving round in an orbit or circular
| course. The time in which a planet or
| other heavenly body completes a full
| circuit or course. (OED) A look at the
| complete works and consequences of his
| work, namely the foundation of
| scientific or academic institutions
| after his death that were the
| precursors of the Royal Society
| (1660), ‘revolution’ can also be
| understood in the modern sense. In
| fact, NEW ATLANTIS and NOVUM ORGANUM
| set the foundation for the
| "intellectual revolution" (Harvey
| Wheeler's essay on Nova Atlantis; to
| be obtained from the author:
|
| verulan@mindspring.com), which implies
| the complete overthrow of established
| state of affairs. (OED)
WAY{50}, signifying the election of the | 50. Ecclesiastes 10, 12:
mean to be more material than the | Authorized Version: The words of a
multiplication of endeavour. It is true | wise man's mouth are gracious; but the
also that there is a limitation rather | lips of a fool will swallow up
potential than actual, which is when the | himself.
effect is possible, but the time or place |
yieldeth not the matter or basis whereupon | for a commentary see A.L. Sp.III,322,
man should work. But notwithstanding these | I.14 seq. (D.A. Sp. I, 486, I, 11
precincts and bounds, let it be believed, | seq.)
and appeal thereof made to TIME, (with |
renunciation nevertheless to all the vain |
and abusing promises of Alchemists and |
Magicians, and such like light, idle, |
ignorant, credulous, and fantastical wits |
and sects,) that the new-found world of |
land was not greater addition to the |
ancient continent than there remaineth at |
this day a world of inventions and |
sciences unknown, having respect to those |
that are known, with this difference, that |
the ancient regions of knowledge will seem |
as barbarous compared with the new, as the |
new regions of people seem barbarous |
compared to many of the old. |
|
The dignity of this end (of endowment of |
man's life with new commodities) |
appeareth by the estimation that |
antiquity made of such as guided |
thereunto. For whereas founders of states, |
lawgivers, extirpers of tyrants, fathers |
of the people, were honoured but with the |
titles of Worthies or Demigods, inventors |
were ever consecrated amongst the Gods |
themselves. And if the ordinary ambitions |
of men lead them to seek the amplification |
of their own power in their countries, and |
a better ambition than that hath moved men |
to seek the amplification of the power of |
their own countries amongst other nations, |
better again and more worthy must that |
aspiring be which seeketh the |
amplification of the power and kingdom of |
mankind over the world; the rather because |
the other two prosecutions are ever |
culpable of much perturbation and |
injustice; but this is a work, truly |
divine which cometh IN AURA LENI {51} | 51. 1 Kings 19,12 (Vulgata)
without noise or observation{52}. | 52. St Luke 17,20:
| Authorized Version: And when he was
The access also to this work hath been by | demanded of the Pharisees, when the
that port or passage, which the divine | kingdom of God should come, he
Majesty (who is unchangeable in his ways) | answered them and said, The kingdom
doth infallibly continue and observe; that | of God cometh not with observation.
is the felicity wherewith he hath blessed |
an humility of mind, such as rather | see Novum Organum. I, 93; A.L. Sp.
laboureth to spell and so by degrees to | III, 301,I, 29-302; also N.O. I, 129
read in the volumes of his creatures, than | (Sp. I,222,I.16 seq.)
to solicit and urge and as it were to |
invocate a man's own spirit to divine and |
give oracles unto him. For as in the |
inquiry of divine truth, the pride of man |
hath ever inclined to leave the oracles of |
God's word and to vanish in the mixture of |
their own inventions; so in the self-same |
manner, in inquisition of nature they have |
ever left the oracles of God's works, and |
adored the deceiving and deformed imagery |
which the unequal mirrors of their own |
minds have represented unto them{53}. Nay | 53. compare this with the later idea of
it is a point fit and necessary in the | Idols
front and beginning of this work without |
hesitation or reservation to be professed, |
that it is no less true in this human |
kingdom of knowledge than in God's kingdom |
of heaven, that no man shall enter into it |
EXCEPT HE BECOME FIRST AS A LITTLE CHILD. |
| 54. Spedding's note: This chapter ends
| at the top of a new page. The rest is
| left blank.
|
| 55. In NO Bacon says that entrance into
| the new sciences depends upon their
| followers' imitating the little
| children favoured by Christ, children
| whose lack of vanity gives them
| privileged access to the kingdom of
| heaven (IV, 69). cf. John Channing
| Briggs, "Bacon's science and
| religion", in: THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION
| TO BACON, ed. by Markku Peltonen
| (Cambridge, 1966), 172-199.
| St Mark, 10,15:
|
| Authorized Version: Verily I say unto
| you, Whosoever shall not receive the
| kingdom of God as a little child, he
| shall not enter therein.

CAP. 4.

OF THE IMPEDIMENTS OF KNOWLEDGE, BEING THE 4TH CHAPTER, THE PREFACE
ONLY OF IT.

In some things it is more hard to attempt than to achieve, which
falleth out when the difficulty is not so much in the matter or
subject, as it is in the crossness and indisposition of the mind of
man to think of any such thing, to will or to resolve it. And
therefore Titus Livius in his declamatory digression wherein he doth
depress and extenuate the honour of Alexander's conquests saith,
NIHIL ALIUD QUAM BENE AUSUS VANA CONTEMNERE: in which sort of things
it is the manner of men first to wonder that any such thing should be
possible, and after it is found out to wonder again how the world
should miss it so long. Of this nature I take to be the invention
and discovery of knowledge, etc.

THE IMPEDIMENTS WHICH HAVE BEEN IN THE TIMES, AND IN DIVERSION OF
WITS, BEING THE 5TH CHAPTER, A SMALL FRAGMENT IN THE BEGINNING OF
THAT CHAPTER.

The encounters of the times have been nothing favourable and
prosperous for the invention of knowledge; so as it is not only the
daintiness of the seed to take, and the ill mixture and unliking of
the ground to nourish or raise this plant, but the ill season also of
the weather by which it hath been checked and blasted. Especially in
that the seasons have been proper to bring up and set forward other
more hasty and indifferent plants, whereby this of knowledge bath
been starved and overgrown; for in the descent of times always there
hath been somewhat else in reign and reputation, which hath generally
aliened and diverted wits and labours from that employment.

For as for the uttermost antiquity which is like fame that muffles
her head and tells tales, I cannot presume much of it; for I would
not willingly imitate the manner of those that describe maps, which
when they come to some far countries whereof they have no knowledge,
set down how there be great wastes and deserts there: so I am not apt
to affirm that they knew little, because what they knew is little
known to us. But if you will judge of them by the last traces that
remain to us, you will conclude, though not so scornfully as
Aristotle doth, that saith our ancestors were extreme gross, as those
that came newly from being moulded out of the clay or some earthly
substance; yet reasonably and probably thus, that it was with them in
matter of knowledge but as the dawning or break of day. For at that
time the world was altogether home-bred, every nation looked little
beyond their own confines or territories, and the world had no
through lights then, as it hath had since by commerce and navigation,
whereby there could neither be that contribution of wits one to help
another, nor that variety of particulars for the correcting of
customary conceits.

And as there could be no great collection of wits of several parts or
nations, so neither could there be any succession of wits of several
times, whereby one might refine the other, in regard they had not
history to any purpose. And the manner of their traditions was
utterly unfit and unproper for amplification of knowledge. And again
the studies of those times, you shall find, besides wars, incursions,
and rapines, which were then almost every where betwixt states
adjoining (the use of leagues and confederacies being not then known),
were to populate by multitude of wives and generation, a thing at
this day in the waster part of the West-Indies principally affected;
and to build sometimes for habitation towns and cities, sometimes for
fame and memory monuments, pyramids, colosses, and the like. And if
there happened to rise up any more civil wits; then would he found
and erect some new laws, customs, and usages, such as now of late
years, when the world was revolute almost to the like rudeness and
obscurity, we see both in our own nation and abroad many examples of,
as well in a number of tenures reserved upon men's lands, as in
divers customs of towns and manors, being the devices that such wits
wrought upon in such times of deep ignorance, etc.

THE IMPEDIMENTS OF KNOWLEDGE FOR WANT OF A TRUE SUCCESSION OF WITS,
AND THAT HITHERTO THE LENGTH OF ONE MAN'S LIFE HATH BEEN THE GREATEST
MEASURE OF KNOWLEDGE, BEING THE 6TH CHAPTER, THE WHOLE CHAPTER.

In arts mechanical the first device comes shortest and time addeth
and perfecteth. But in sciences of conceit the first author goeth
furthest and time leeseth and corrupteth. Painting, artillery,
sailing, and the like, grossly managed at first, by time accommodate
and refined. The philosophies and sciences of Aristotle, Plato,
Democritus, Hippocrates, of most vigour at first, by time degenerated
and imbased. In the former many wits and industries contributed in
one: In the latter many men's wits spent to deprave the wit of one.

The error is both in the deliverer and in the receiver. He that
delivereth knowledge desireth to deliver it in such form as may be
soonest believed, and not as may be easiliest examined. He that
receiveth knowledge desireth rather present satisfaction than
expectant search, and so rather not to doubt than not to err. Glory
maketh the author not to lay open his weakness, and sloth maketh the
disciple not to know his strength.

Then begin men to aspire to the second prizes; to be a profound
interpreter and commenter, to be a sharp champion and defender, to be
a methodical compounder and abridger. And this is the unfortunate
succession of wits which the world hath yet had, whereby the
patrimony of all knowledge goeth not on husbanded or improved, but
wasted and decayed. For knowledge is like a water that will never
arise again higher than the level from which it fell; and therefore
to go beyond Aristotle by the light of Aristotle is to think that a
borrowed light can increase the original light from whom it is taken.
So then no true succession of wits having been in the world, either
we must conclude that knowledge is but a task for one man's life, and
then vain was the complaint that LIFE IS SHORT, AND ART IS LONG: or
else, that the knowledge that now is, is but a shrub, and not that
tree which is never dangerous, but where it is to the purpose of
knowing Good and Evil; which desire ever riseth upon an appetite to
elect and not to obey, and so containeth in it a manifest defection.

CAP. 7.

THAT THE PRETENDED SUCCESSION OF WITS HATH BEEN EVIL PLACED, FOR
ASMUCH AS AFTER VARIETY OF SECTS AND OPINIONS, THE MOST POPULAR AND
NOT THE TRUEST PREVAILETH AND WEARETH OUT THE REST; BEING THE 7TH
CHAPTER; A FRAGMENT.

It is sensible to think that when men enter first into search and
inquiry, according to the several frames and compositions of their
understanding they light upon different conceits, and so all opinions
and doubts are beaten over, and then men having made a taste of all
wax weary of variety, and so reject the worst and hold themselves to
the best, either some one if it be eminent, or some two or three if
they be in some equality, which afterwards are received and carried
on, and the rest extinct.

But truth is contrary, and that time is like a river which carrieth
down things which are light and blown up, and sinketh and drowneth
that which is sad and weighty. For howsoever governments have
several forms, sometimes one governing, sometimes few, sometimes the
multitude; yet the state of knowledge is ever a DEMOCRATIE, and that
prevaileth which is most agreeable to the senses and conceits of
people. As for example there is no great doubt but he that did put
the beginnings of things to be SOLID, VOID, AND MOTION TO THE CENTRE,
was in better earnest than he that put MATTER, FORM, AND SHIFT; or he
that put the MIND, MOTION, AND MATTER. For no man shall enter into
inquisition of nature, but shall pass by that opinion of Democritus,
whereas he shall never come near the other two opinions, but leave
them aloof for the schools and table-talk. Yet those of Aristotle
and Plato, because they be both agreeable to popular sense, and the
one was uttered with subtilty and the spirit of contradiction, and
the other with a stile of ornament and majesty, did hold out, and the
other gave place, etc.

CAP. 8.

OF THE IMPEDIMENTS OF KNOWLEDGE IN HANDLING IT BY PARTS, AND IN
SLIPPING OFF PARTICULAR SCIENCES FROM THE ROOT AND STOCK OF UNIVERSAL
KNOWLEDGE, BEING THE 8TH CHAPTER, THE WHOLE CHAPTER.

Cicero, the orator, willing to magnify his own profession, and
thereupon spending many words to maintain that eloquence was not a
shop of good words and elegancies but a treasury and receipt of all
knowledges, so far forth as may appertain to the handling and moving
of the minds and affections of men by speech, maketh great complaint
of the school of Socrates; that whereas before his time the same
professors of wisdom in Greece did pretend to teach an universal
SAPIENCE and knowledge both of matter and words, Socrates divorced
them and withdrew philosophy and left rhetoric to itself, which by
that destitution became but a barren and unnoble science. And in
particular sciences we see that if men fall to subdivide their
labours, as to be an oculist in physic, or to be perfect in some one
title of the law, or the like, they may prove ready and subtile, but
not deep or sufficient, no not in that subject which they do
particularly attend, because of that consent which it hath with the
rest. And it is a matter of common discourse of the chain of
sciences how they are linked together, insomuch as the Grecians, who
had terms at will, have fitted it of a name of CIRCLE LEARNING.
Nevertheless I that hold it for a great impediment towards the
advancement and further invention of knowledge, that particular arts
and sciences have been disincorporated from general knowledge, do not
understand one and the same thing which Cicero's discourse and the
note and conceit of the Grecians in their word CIRCLE LEARNING do
intend. For I mean not that use which one science hath of another
for ornament or help in practice, as the orator hath of knowledge of
affections for moving, or as military science may have use of
geometry for fortifications; but I mean it directly of that use by
way of supply of light and information which the particulars and
instances of one science do yield and present for the framing or
correcting of the axioms of another science in their very truth and
notion. And therefore that example of OCULISTS and TITLE LAWYERS
doth come nearer my conceit than the other two; for sciences
distinguished have a dependence upon universal knowledge to be
augmented and rectified by the superior light thereof, as well as the
parts and members of a science have upon the MAXIMS of the same
science, and the mutual light and consent which one part receiveth of
another. And therefore the opinion of Copernicus in astronomy, which
astronomy itself cannot correct because it is not repugnant to any of
the appearances, yet natural philosophy doth correct. On the other
side if some of the ancient philosophers had been perfect in the
observations of astronomy, and had called them to counsel when they
made their principles and first axioms, they would never have divided
their philosophy as the Cosmographers do their descriptions by globes,
making one philosophy for heaven and another for under heaven, as in
effect they do.

So if the moral philosophers that have spent such an infinite
quantity of debate touching Good and the highest good, had cast their
eye abroad upon nature and beheld the appetite that is in all things
to receive and to give; the one motion affecting preservation and the
other multiplication; which appetites are most evidently seen in
living creatures in the pleasure of nourishment and generation; and
in man do make the aptest and most natural division of all his
desires, being either of sense of pleasure or sense of power; and in
the universal frame of the world are figured, the one in the beams of
heaven which issue forth, and the other in the lap of the earth which
takes in: and again if they had observed the motion of congruity or
situation of the parts in respect of the whole, evident in so many
particulars; and lastly if they had considered the motion (familiar
in attraction of things) to approach to that which is higher in the
same kind; when by these observations so easy and concurring in
natural philosophy, they should have found out this quaternion of
good, in enjoying or fruition, effecting or operation, consenting or
proportion, and approach or assumption; they would have saved and
abridged much of their long and wandering discourses of pleasure,
virtue, duty, and religion. So likewise in this same logic and
rhetoric, or arts of argument and grace of speech, if the great
masters of them would but have gone a form lower, and looked but into
the observations of Grammar concerning the kinds of words, their
derivations, deflexions, and syntax; specially enriching the same
with the helps of several languages, with their differing proprieties
of words, phrases, and tropes; they might have found out more and
better footsteps of common reason, help of disputation, and
advantages of cavillation, than many of these which they have
propounded. So again a man should be thought to dally, if he did
note how the figures of rhetoric and music are many of them the same.
The repetitions and traductions in speech and the reports and
hauntings of sounds in music are the very same things. Plutarch hath
almost made a book of the Lacedaemonian kind of jesting, which joined
ever pleasure with distaste. SIR, (saith a man of art to Philip king
of Macedon when he controlled him in his faculty,) GOD FORBID YOUR
FORTUNE SHOULD BE SUCH AS TO KNOW THESE THINGS BETTER THAN I. In
taxing his ignorance in his art he represented to him the perpetual
greatness of his fortune, leaving him no vacant time for so mean a
skill. Now in music it is one of the ordinariest flowers to fall
from a discord or hard tune upon a sweet accord. The figure that
Cicero and the rest commend as one of the best points of elegancy,
which is the fine checking of expectation, is no less well known to
the musicians when they have a special grace in flying the close or
cadence. And these are no allusions but direct communities, the same
delights of the mind being to be found not only in music, rhetoric,
but in moral philosophy, policy, and other knowledges, and that
obscure in the one, which is more apparent in the other, yea and that
discovered in the one which is not found at all in the other, and so
one science greatly aiding to the invention and augmentation of
another. And therefore without this intercourse the axioms of
sciences will fall out to be neither full nor true; but will be such
opinions as Aristotle in some places doth wisely censure, when he
saith THESE ARE THE OPINIONS OF PERSONS THAT HAVE RESPECT BUT TO A
FEW THINGS. So then we see that this note leadeth us to an
administration of knowledge in some such order and policy as the king
of Spain in regard of his great dominions useth in state; who though
he hath particular councils for several countries and affairs, yet
hath one council of State or last resort, that receiveth the
advertisements and certificates from all the rest. Hitherto of the
diversion, succession, and conference of wits.

CAP. 9.

THAT THE END AND SCOPE OF KNOWLEDGE HATH BEEN GENERALLY MISTAKEN, AND
THAT MEN WERE NEVER WELL ADVISED WHAT IT WAS THEY SOUGHT; BEING THE
9TH CHAPTER, WHEREOF A FRAGMENT (WHICH IS THE END OF THE SAME
CHAPTER) IS BEFORE.

It appeareth then how rarely the wits and labours of men have been
converted to the severe and original inquisition of knowledge; and in
those who have pretended, what hurt hath been done by the affectation
of professors and the distraction of such as were no professors; and
how there was never in effect any conjunction or combination of wits
in the first and inducing search, but that every man wrought apart,
and would either have his own way or else would go no further than
his guide, having in the one case the honour of a first, and in the
other the ease of a second; and lastly how in the descent and
continuance of wits and labours the succession hath been in the most
popular and weak opinions, like unto the weakest natures which many
times have most children, and in them also the condition of
succession hath been rather to defend and to adorn than to add; and
if to add, yet that addition to be rather a refining of a part than
an increase of the whole. But the impediments of time and accidents,
though they have wrought a general indisposition, yet are they not so
peremptory and binding as the internal impediments and clouds in the
mind and spirit of man, whereof it now followeth to speak.

The Scripture speaking of the worst sort of error saith, ERRARE FECIT
COS IN INVIO ET NON IN VIA. For a man may wander in the way, by
rounding up and down. But if men have failed in their very direction
and address that error will never by good fortune correct itself.
Now it hath fared with men in their contemplations as Seneca saith it
fareth with them in their actions, DE PARTIBUS VITAE QUISQUE
DELIBERAT, DE SUMMA NEMO. A course very ordinary with men who receive
for the most part their final ends from the inclination of their
nature, or from common example and opinion, never questioning or
examining them, nor reducing them to any clear certainty; and use
only to call themselves to account and deliberation touching the
means and second ends, and thereby set themselves in the right way to
the wrong place. So likewise upon the natural curiosity and desire
to know, they have put themselves in way without foresight or
consideration of their journey's end.

For I find that even those that have sought knowledge for itself, and
not for benefit or ostentation or any practical enablement in the
course of their life, have nevertheless propounded to themselves a
wrong mark, namely satisfaction (which men call truth) and not
operation. For as in the courts and services of princes and states
it is a much easier matter to give satisfaction than to do the
business; so in the inquiring of causes and reasons it is much easier
to find out such causes as will satisfy the mind of man and quiet
objections, than such causes as will direct him and give him light to
new experiences and inventions. And this did Celsus note wisely and
truly, how that the causes which are in use and whereof the
knowledges now received do consist, were in time minors and
subsequents to the knowledge of the particulars out of which they
were induced and collected; and that it was not the light of those
causes which discovered particulars, but only the particulars being
first found, men did fall on glossing and discoursing of the causes;
which is the reason why the learning that now is hath the curse of
barrenness, and is courtesanlike, for pleasure, and not for fruit.
Nay to compare it rightly, the strange fiction of the poets of the
transformation of Scylla seemeth to be a lively emblem of this
philosophy and knowledge; a fair woman upwards in the parts of show,
but when you come to the parts of use and generation, Barking
Monsters; for no better are the endless distorted questions, which
ever have been, and of necessity must be, the end and womb of such
knowledge.

But yet nevertheless here I may be mistaken, by reason of some which
have much in their pen the referring sciences to action and the use
of man, which mean quite another matter than I do. For they mean a
contriving of directions and precepts for readiness of practice,
which I discommend not, so it be not occasion that some quantity of
the science be lost; for else it will be such a piece of husbandry as
to put away a manor lying somewhat scattered, to buy in a close that
lieth handsomely about a dwelling. But my intention contrariwise is
to increase and multiply the revenues and possessions of man, and not
to trim up only or order with conveniency the grounds whereof he is
already stated. Wherefore the better to make myself understood that
I mean nothing less than words, and directly to demonstrate the point
which we are now upon, that is, what is the true end, scope, or
office of knowledge, which I have set down to consist not in any
plausible, delectable, reverend, or admired discourse, or any
satisfactory arguments, but in effecting and working, and in
discovery of particulars not revealed before for the better endowment
and help of man's life; I have thought good to make as it were a
Kalendar or Inventory of the wealth, furniture, or means of man
according to his present estate, as far as it is known; which I do
not to shew any universality of sense or knowledge, and much less to
make a satire of reprehension in respect of wants and errors, but
partly because cogitations new had need of some grossness and
inculcation to make them perceived; and chiefly to the end that for
the time to come (upon the account and state now made and cast up) it
may appear what increase this new manner of use and administration of
the stock (if it be once planted) shall bring with it hereafter; and
for the time present (in case I should be prevented by death to
propound and reveal this new light as I purpose) yet I may at the
least give some awaking note both of the wants in man's present
condition and the nature of the supplies to be wished; though for
mine own part neither do I much build upon my present anticipations,
neither do I think ourselves yet learned or wise enough to wish
reasonably: for as it asks some knowledge to demand a question not
impertinent, so it asketh some sense to make a wish not absurd.

CAP. 10.

THE INVENTORY, OR AN ENUMERATION AND VIEW OF INVENTIONS ALREADY
DISCOVERED AND IN USE, TOGETHER WITH A NOTE OF THE WANTS AND THE
NATURE OF THE SUPPLIES, BEING THE 10TH CHAPTER; AND THIS A SMALL
FRAGMENT THEREOF, BEING THE PREFACE TO THE INVENTORY.

The plainest method and most directly pertinent to this intention,
will be to make distribution of sciences, arts, inventions, works,
and their portions, according to the use and tribute which they yield
and render to the conditions of man's life, and under those several
uses, being as several offices of provisions, to charge and tax what
may be reasonably exacted or demanded; not guiding ourselves neither
by the poverty of experiences and probations, nor according to the
vanity of credulous imaginations; and then upon those charges and
taxations to distinguish and present, as it were in several columns,
what is extant and already found, and what is defective and further
to be provided. Of which provisions, because in many of them after
the manner of slothful and faulty officers and accomptants it will be
returned (by way of excuse) that no such are to be had, it will be
fit to give some light of the nature of the supplies, whereby it will
evidently appear that they are to be compassed and procured. And yet
nevertheless on the other side again it will be as fit to check and
control the vain and void assignations and gifts whereby certain
ignorant, extravagant, and abusing wits have pretended to indue the
state of man with wonders, differing as much from truth in nature as
Caesar's Commentaries differeth from the acts of King Arthur or Huon
of Bourdeaux in story. For it is true that Caesar did greater things
than those idle wits had the audacity to feign their supposed
worthies to have done; but he did them not in that monstrous and
fabulous manner.

CAP. 11.

THE CHAPTER IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE INVENTORY; BEING THE 11TH IN
ORDER; A PART THEREOF.

It appeareth then what is now in proposition not by general
circumlocution but by particular note. No former philosophy varied
in terms or method; no new PLACET or speculation upon particulars
already known; no referring to action by any manual of practice; but
the revealing and discovering of new inventions and operations. This
to be done without the errors and conjectures of art, or the length
or difficulties of experience; the nature and kinds of which
inventions have been described as they could be discovered; for your
eye cannot pass one kenning without further sailing; only we have
stood upon the best advantages of the notions received, as upon a
mount, to shew the knowledges adjacent and confining. If therefore
the true end of knowledge not propounded hath bred large error, the
best and perfectest condition of the same end not perceived will
cause some declination. For when the butt is set up men need not
rove, but except the white be placed men cannot level. This
perfection we mean not in the worth of the effect, but in the nature
of the direction; for our purpose is not to stir up men's hopes, but
to guide their travels. The fullness of direction to work and
produce any effect consisteth in two conditions, certainty and
liberty. Certainty is when the direction is not only true for the
most part, but infallible. Liberty is when the direction is not
restrained to some definite means, but comprehendeth all the means
and ways possible; for the poet saith well SAPIENTIBUS UNDIQUE LATAE
SUNT VIAE, and where there is the greatest plurality of change, there
is the greatest singularity of choice. Besides as a conjectural
direction maketh a casual effect, so a particular and restrained
direction is no less casual than an uncertain. For those particular
means whereunto it is tied may be out of your power or may be
accompanied with an overvalue of prejudice; and so if for want of
certainty in direction you are frustrated in success, for want of
variety in direction you are stopped in attempt. If therefore your
direction be certain, it must refer you and point you to somewhat
which, if it be present, the effect you seek will of necessity follow,
else may you perform and not obtain. If it be free, then must it
refer you to somewhat which if it be absent the effect you seek will
of necessity withdraw, else may you have power and not attempt. This
notion Aristotle had in light, though not in use. For the two
commended rules by him set down, whereby the axioms of sciences are
precepted to be made convertible, and which the latter men have not
without elegancy surnamed the one the rule of truth because it
preventeth deceit, the other the rule of prudence because it freeth
election, are the same thing in speculation and affirmation which we
now observe. An example will make my meaning attained, and yet
percase make it thought that they attained it not. Let the effect to
be produced be Whiteness; let the first direction be that if air and
water be intermingled or broken in small portions together, whiteness
will ensue, as in snow, in the breaking of the waves of the sea and
rivers, and the like. This direction is certain, but very particular
and restrained, being tied but to air and water. Let the second
direction be, that if air be mingled as before with any transparent
body, such nevertheless as is uncoloured and more grossly transparent
than air itself, that then etc. as glass or crystal, being beaten to
fine powder, by the interposition of the air becometh white; the
white of an egg being clear of itself, receiving air by agitation
becometh white, receiving air by concoction becometh white; here you
are freed from water, and advanced to a clear body, and still tied to
air. Let the third direction exclude or remove the restraint of an
uncoloured body, as in amber, sapphires, etc. which beaten to fine
powder become white; in wine and beer, which brought to froth become
white. Let the fourth direction exclude the restraint of a body more
grossly transparent than air, as in flame, being a body compounded
between air and a finer substance than air; which flame if it were
not for the smoke, which is the third substance that incorporateth
itself and dyeth the flame, would be more perfect white. In all
these four directions air still beareth a part. Let the fifth
direction then be, that if any bodies, both transparent but in an
unequal degree, be mingled as before, whiteness will follow; as oil
and water beaten to an ointment, though by settling the air which
gathereth in the agitation be evaporate, yet remaineth white; and the
powder of glass or crystal put into water, whereby the air giveth
place, yet remaineth white, though not so perfect. Now are you freed
from air, but still you are tied to transparent bodies. To ascend
further by scale I do forbear, partly because it would draw on the
example to an over-great length, but chiefly because it would open
that which in this work I determine to reserve; for to pass through
the whole history and observation of colours and objects visible were
too long a digression; and our purpose is now to give an example of a
free direction, thereby to distinguish and describe it; and not to
set down a form of interpretation how to recover and attain it. But
as we intend not now to reveal, so we are circumspect not to mislead;
and therefore (this warning being given) returning to our purpose in
hand, we admit the sixth direction to be, that all bodies or parts of
bodies which are unequal equally, that is in a simple proportion, do
represent whiteness; we will explain this, though we induce it not.
It is then to be understood, that absolute equality produceth
transparence, inequality in simple order or proportion produceth
whiteness, inequality in compound or respective order or proportion
produceth all other colours, and absolute or orderless inequality
produceth blackness; which diversity, if so gross a demonstration be
needful, may be signified by four tables; a blank, a chequer, a fret,
and a medley; whereof the fret is evident to admit great variety.
Out of this assertion are satisfied a multitude of effects and
observations, as that whiteness and blackness are most incompatible
with transparence; that whiteness keepeth light, and blackness
stoppeth light, but neither passeth it; that whiteness or blackness
are never produced in rainbows, diamonds, crystals, and the like;
that white giveth no dye, and black hardly taketh dye; that whiteness
seemeth to have an affinity with dryness, and blackness with moisture;
that adustion causeth blackness, and calcination whiteness; that
flowers are generally of fresh colours, and rarely black, etc. All
which I do now mention confusedly by way of derivation and not by way
of induction. This sixth direction, which I have thus explained, is
of good and competent liberty for whiteness fixed and inherent, but
not for whiteness fantastical or appearing, as shall be afterwards
touched. But first do you need a reduction back to certainty or
verity; for it is not all position or contexture of unequal bodies
that will produce colour; for AQUA FORTIS, oil of VITRIOL, etc. more
manifestly, and many other substances more obscurely, do consist of
very unequal parts, which yet are transparent and clear. Therefore
the reduction must be, that the bodies or parts of bodies so
intermingled as before be of a certain grossness or magnitude; for
the unequalities which move the sight must have a further dimension
and quantity than those which operate many other effects. Some few
grains of saffron will give a tincture to a tun of water; but so many
grains of civet will give a perfume to a whole chamber of air. And
therefore when Democritus (from whom Epicurus did borrow it) held
that the position of the solid portions was the cause of colours, yet
in the very truth of his assertion he should have added, that the
portions are required to be of some magnitude. And this is one cause
why colours have little inwardness and necessitude with the nature
and proprieties of things, those things resembling in colour which
otherwise differ most, as salt and sugar, and contrariwise differing
in colour which otherwise resemble most, as the white and blue
violets, and the several veins of one agate or marble, by reason that
other virtues consist in more subtile proportions than colours do;
and yet are there virtues and natures which require a grosser
magnitude than colours, as well as scents and divers other require a
more subtile; for as the portion of a body will give forth scent
which is too small to be seen, so the portion of a body will shew
colours which is too small to be endued with weight; and therefore
one of the prophets with great elegancy describing how all creatures
carry no proportion towards God the creator, saith, THAT ALL THE
NATIONS IN RESPECT OF HIM ARE LIKE THE DUST UPON THE BALANCE, which
is a thing appeareth but weigheth not. But to return, there resteth
a further freeing of this sixth direction; for the clearness of a
river or stream sheweth white at a distance, and crystalline glasses
deliver the face or any other object falsified in whiteness, and long
beholding the snow to a weak eye giveth an impression of azure rather
than of whiteness. So as for whiteness in apparition only and
representation by the qualifying of the light, altering the
INTERMEDIUM, or affecting the eye itself, it reacheth not. But you
must free your direction to the producing of such an incidence,
impression, or operation, as may cause a precise and determinate
passion of the eye; a matter which is much more easy to induce than
that which we have passed through; but yet because it hath a full
coherence both with that act of radiation (which hath hitherto been
conceived and termed so unproperly and untruly by some an effluxion
of spiritual species and by others an investing of the INTERMEDIUM
with a motion which successively is conveyed to the eye) and with the
act of sense, wherein I should likewise open that which I think good
to withdraw, I will omit. Neither do I contend but that this motion
which I call the freeing of a direction, in the received philosophies
(as far as a swimming anticipation could take hold) might be
perceived and discerned; being not much other matter than that which
they did not only aim at in the two rules of AXIOMS before remembered,
but more nearly also in that which they term the form or formal
cause, or that which they call the true difference; both which
nevertheless it seemeth they propound rather as impossibilities and
wishes than as things within the compass of human comprehension. For
Plato casteth his burden and saith THAT HE WILL REVERE HIM AS A GOD,
THAT CAN TRULY DIVIDE AND DEFINE; which cannot be but by true forms
and differences. Wherein I join hands with him, confessing as much
as yet assuming to myself little; for if any man call by the strength
of his ANTICIPATIONS find out forms, I will magnify him with the
foremost. But as any of them would say that if divers things which
many men know by instruction and observation another knew by
revelation and without those means, they would take him for somewhat
supernatural and divine; so I do acknowledge that if any man can by
anticipations reach to that which a weak and inferior wit may attain
to by interpretation, he cannot receive too high a title. Nay I for
my part do indeed admire to see how far some of them have proceeded
by their ANTICIPATIONS; but how? It is as I wonder at some blind men,
to see what shift they make without their eye-sight; thinking with
myself that if I were blind I could hardly do it. Again Aristotle's
school confesseth that there is no true knowledge but by causes, no
true cause but the form, no true form known except one, which they
are pleased to allow; and therefore thus far their evidence standeth
with us, that both hitherto there hath been nothing but a shadow of
knowledge, and that we propound now that which is agreed to be
worthiest to be sought, and hardest to be found. There wanteth now a
part very necessary, not by way of supply but by way of caution; for
as it is seen for the most part that the outward tokens and badges of
excellency and perfection are more incident to things merely
counterfeit than to that which is true, but for a meaner and baser
sort; as a dubline is more like a perfect ruby than a spinel, and a
counterfeit angel is made more like a true angel than if it were an
angel coined of China gold; in like manner the direction carrieth a
resemblance of a true direction in verity and liberty which indeed is
no direction at all. For though your direction seem to be certain
and free by pointing you to a nature that is unseparable from the
nature you inquire upon, yet if it do not carry you on a degree or
remove nearer to action, operation, or light to make or produce, it
is but superficial and counterfeit. Wherefore to secure and warrant
what is a true direction, though that general note I have given be
perspicuous in itself (for a man shall soon cast with himself whether
he be ever the nearer to effect and operate or no, or whether he have
won but an abstract or varied notion) yet for better instruction I
will deliver three particular notes of caution. The first is that
the nature discovered be more original than the nature supposed, and
not more secondary or of the like degree; as to make a stone bright
or to make it smooth it is a good direction to say, make it even; but
to make a stone even it is no good direction to say, make it bright
or make it smooth; for the rule is that the disposition of any thing
referring to the state of it in itself or the parts, is more original
than that which is relative or transitive towards another thing. So
evenness is the disposition of the stone in itself, but smooth is to
the hand and bright to the eye, and yet nevertheless they all cluster
and concur; and yet the direction is more unperfect, if it do appoint
you to such a relative as is in the same kind and not in a diverse.
For in the direction to produce brightness by smoothness, although
properly it win no degree, and will never teach you any new
particulars before unknown; yet by way of suggestion or bringing to
mind it may draw your consideration to some particulars known but not
remembered; as you shall sooner remember some practical means of
making smoothness, than if you had fixed your consideration only upon
brightness by making reflexion, as thus, make it such as you may see
your face in it, this is merely secondary, and helpeth neither by way
of informing nor by way of suggestion. So if in the inquiry of
whiteness you were directed to make such a colour as should be seen
furthest in a dark light; here you are advanced nothing at all. For
these kinds of natures are but proprieties, effects, circumstances,
concurrences, or what else you shall like to call them, and not
radical and formative natures towards the nature supposed. The
second caution is that the nature inquired be collected by division
before composition, or to speak more properly, by composition
subaltern before you ascend to composition absolute, etc.

OF THE INTERNAL AND PROFOUND ERRORS AND SUPERSTITIONS IN THE NATURE
OF THE MIND, AND OF THE FOUR SORTS OF IDOLS OR FICTIONS WHICH OFFER
THEMSELVES TO THE UNDERSTANDING IN THE INQUISITION OF KNOWLEDGE;
BEING THE 16TH CHAPTER, AND THIS A SMALL FRAGMENT THEREOF, BEING A
PREFACE TO THE INWARD ELENCHES OF THE MIND.

The opinion of Epicurus that the gods were of human shape, was rather
justly derided than seriously confuted by the other sects, demanding
whether every kind of sensible creatures did not think their own
figure fairest, as the horse, the bull, and the like, which found no
beauty but in their own forms, as in appetite of lust appeared. And
the heresy of the Anthropomorphites was ever censured for a gross
conceit bred in the obscure cells of solitary monks that never looked
abroad. Again the fable so well known of QUIS PINXIT LEONEM, doth
set forth well that there is an error of pride and partiality, as
well as of custom and familiarity. The reflexion also from glasses
so usually resembled to the imagery of the mind, every man knoweth to
receive error and variety both in colour, magnitude, and shape,
according to the quality of the glass. But yet no use hath been made
of these and many the like observations, to move men to search out
and upon search to give true cautions of the native and inherent
errors in the mind of man which have coloured and corrupted all his
notions and impressions.

I do find therefore in this enchanted glass four Idols or false
appearances of several and distinct sorts, every sort comprehending
many subdivisions: the first sort, I call idols of the NATION or
TRIBE; the second, idols of the PALACE; the third, idols of the CAVE;
and the fourth, idols of the THEATRE, etc.

HERE FOLLOWETH AN ABRIDGMENT OF DIVERS CHAPTERS OF THE FIRST BOOK OF
INTERPRETATION OF NATURE.

CAP. 12.

That in deciding and determining of the truth of knowledge, men have
put themselves upon trials not competent. That antiquity and
authority; common and confessed notions; the natural and yielding
consent of the mind; the harmony and coherence of a knowledge in
itself; the establishing of principles with the touch and reduction
of other propositions unto them; inductions without instances
contradictory; and the report of the senses; are none of them
absolute and infallible evidence of truth, and bring no security
sufficient for effects and operations. That the discovery of new
works and active directions not known before, is the only trial to be
accepted of; and yet not that neither, in ease where one particular
giveth light to another; but where particulars induce an axiom or
observation, which axiom found out discovereth and designeth new
particulars. That the nature of this trial is not only upon the
point, whether the knowledge be profitable or no, but even upon the
point whether the knowledge be true or no; not because you may always
conclude that the Axiom which discovereth new instances is true, but
contrariwise you may safely conclude that if it discover not any new
instance it is in vain and untrue. That by new instances are not
always to be understood new recipes but new assignations, and of the
diversity between these two. That the subtilty of words, arguments,
notions, yea of the senses themselves, is but rude and gross in
comparison of the subtilty of things; and of the slothful and
flattering opinions of those which pretend to honour the mind of man
in withdrawing and abstracting it from particulars, and of the
inducements and motives whereupon such opinions have been conceived
and received.

CAP. 13.

Of the error in propounding chiefly the search of causes and
productions of things concrete, which are infinite and transitory,
and not of abstract natures, which are few and permanent. That these
natures are as the alphabet or simple letters, whereof the variety of
things consisteth; or as the colours mingled in the painter's shell,
wherewith he is able to make infinite variety of faces or shapes. An
enumeration of them according to popular note. That at the first one
would conceive that in the schools by natural philosophy were meant
the knowledge of the efficients of things concrete; and by metaphysic
the knowledge of the forms of natures simple; which is a good and fit
division of knowledge: but upon examination there is no such matter
by them intended. That the little inquiry into the production of
simple natures sheweth well that works were not sought; because by
the former knowledge some small and superficial deflexions from the
ordinary generations and productions may be found out, but the
discovery of all profound and radical alteration must arise out of
the latter knowledge.

CAP. 14.

Of the error in propounding the search of the materials or dead
beginnings or principles of things, and not the nature of motions,
inclinations, and applications. That the whole scope of the former
search is impertinent and vain; both because there are no such
beginnings, and if there were they could not be known. That the
latter manner of search (which is all) they pass over compendiously
and slightly as a by-matter. That the several conceits in that kind,
as that the lively and moving beginnings of things should be shift or
appetite of matter to privation; the spirit of the world working in
matter according to platform; the proceeding or fructifying of
distinct kinds according to their proprieties; the intercourse of the
elements by mediation of their common qualities; the appetite of like
portions to unite themselves; amity and discord, or sympathy and
antipathy; motion to the centre, with motion of stripe or press; the
casual agitation, aggregation, and essays of the solid portions in
the void space; motion of shuttings and openings; are all mere
nugations; and that the calculating and ordination of the true
degrees, moments, limits, and laws of motions and alterations (by
means whereof all works and effects are produced), is a matter of a
far other nature than to consist in such easy and wild generalities.

CAP. 15.

Of the great error of inquiring knowledge in Anticipations. That I
call Anticipations the voluntary collections that the mind maketh of
knowledge; which is every man's reason. That though this be a solemn
thing, and serves the turn to negotiate between man and man (because
of the conformity and participation of men's minds in the like
errors), yet towards inquiry of the truth of things and works it is
of no value. That civil respects are a lett that this pretended
reason should not be so contemptibly spoken of as were fit and
medicinable, in regard that hath been too much exalted and glorified,
to the infinite detriment of man's estate. Of the nature of words
and their facility and aptness to cover and grace the defects of
Anticipations. That it is no marvel if these Anticipations have
brought forth such diversity and repugnance in opinions, theories, or
philosophies, as so many fables of several arguments. That had not
the nature of civil customs and government been in most times
somewhat adverse to such innovations, though contemplative, there
might have been and would have been many more. That the second
school of the Academics and the sect of Pyrrho, or the considerers
that denied comprehension, as to the disabling of man's knowledge
(entertained in Anticipations) is well to be allowed, but that they
ought when they had overthrown and purged the floor of the ruins to
have sought to build better in place. And more especially that they
did unjustly and prejudicially to charge the deceit upon the report
of the senses, which admitteth very sparing remedy; being indeed to
have been charged upon the Anticipations of the mind, which admitteth
a perfect remedy. That the information of the senses is sufficient,
not because they err not, but because the use of the sense in
discovering of knowledge is for the most part not immediate. So that
it is the work, effect, or instance, that trieth the Axiom, and the
sense doth but try the work done or not done, being or not being.
That the mind of man in collecting knowledge needeth great variety of
helps, as well as the hand of man in manual and mechanical practices
needeth great variety of instruments. And that it were a poor work
that if instruments were removed men would overcome with their naked
hands. And of the distinct points of want and insufficiency in the
mind of man.

CAP. 16.

That the mind of a man, as it is not a vessel of that content or
receipt to comprehend knowledge without helps and supplies, so again
it is not sincere, but of an ill and corrupt tincture. Of the
inherent and profound errors and superstitions in the nature of the
mind, and of the four sorts of Idols or false appearances that offer
themselves to the understanding in the inquisition of knowledge; that
is to say, the Idols of the Tribe, the Idols of the Palace, the Idols
of the Cave, and the Idols of the Theatre. That these four, added to
the incapacity of the mind and the vanity and malignity of the
affections, leave nothing but impotency and confusion. A recital of
the particular kinds of these four Idols, with some chosen examples
of the opinions they have begot, such of them as have supplanted the
state of knowledge most.

CAP. 17.

Of the errors of such as have descended and applied themselves to
experience, and attempted to induce knowledge upon particulars. That
they have not had the resolution and strength of mind to free
themselves wholly from Anticipations, but have made a confusion and
intermixture of Anticipations and observations, and so vanished.
That if any have had the strength of mind generally to purge away and
discharge all Anticipations, they have not had that greater and
double strength and patience of mind, as well to repel new
Anticipations after the view and search of particulars, as to reject
old which were in their mind before; but have from particulars and
history flown up to principles without the mean degrees, and so
framed all the middle generalities or axioms, not by way of scale or
ascension from particulars, but by way of derivation from principles;
whence hath issued the infinite chaos of shadows and notions,
wherewith both books and minds have been hitherto, and may be yet
hereafter much more pestered. That in the course of those
derivations, to make them yet the more unprofitable, they have used
when any light of new instance opposite to any assertion appeared,
rather to reconcile the instance than to amend the rule. That if any
have had or shall have the power and resolution to fortify and
inclose his mind against all Anticipations, yet if he have not been
or shall not be cautioned by the full understanding of the nature of
the mind and spirit of man, and therein of the seats, pores and
passages both of knowledge and error, he hath not been nor shall not
be possibly able to guide or keep on his course aright. That those
that have been conversant in experience and observation have used,
when they have intended to discover the cause of any effect, to fix
their consideration narrowly and exactly upon that effect itself with
all the circumstances thereof, and to vary the trial thereof as many
ways as can be devised; which course amounteth but to a tedious
curiosity, and ever breaketh off in wondering and not in knowing; and
that they have not used to enlarge their observation to match and
sort that effect with instances of a diverse subject, which must of
necessity be before any cause be found out. That they have passed
over the observation of instances vulgar and ignoble, and stayed
their attention chiefly upon instances of mark; whereas the other

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