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the stroke of death and such are my hopes, that if Heaven be pleased, and nature renew but my lease for twenty-one years more, without asking longer days, I shall be strong enough to acknowledge without mourning that I was begotten mortal. Virtue walks not in the highway, though she go per alta; this is strength and the blood to virtue, to contemn things that be desired, and to neglect that which is feared.

4. Why should man be in love with his fetters, though of gold? Art thou drowned in security? Then I say thou art perfectly dead. For though thou movest, yet thy soul is buried within thee, and thy good angel either forsakes his guard or sleeps. There is nothing under heaven, saving a true friend, who cannot be counted within the number of moveables, unto which my heart doth lean. And this dear freedom hath begotten me this peace, that I mourn not for that end which must be, nor spend one wish to have one minute added to the incertain date of my years. It was no mean apprehension of Lucian, who says of Menippus, that in his travels through hell he knew not the kings of the earth from other men, but only by their louder cryings and tears: which was fostered in them through the remorseful memory of the good days they had seen, and the fruitful havings which they so unwillingly left behind them: he that was well seated, looked back at his portion, and was loath to forsake his farm; and others either minding marriages, pleasures, profit, or preferment, desired to be excused from death's banquet: they had made an appointment with earth, looking at the blessings, not the hand that enlarged them, forgetting how unclothedly they came hither, or with what naked ornaments they were arrayed.

most part out of this world with their heels forward; in token that he is contrary to life; which being obtained, sends men headlong into this wretched theatre, where being arrived, their first language is that of mourning. Nor in my own thoughts, can I compare men more fitly to any thing, than to the Indian fig-tree, which being ripened to his full height, is said to decline his branches down to the earth; whereof she conceives again, and they become roots in their own stock.

So man having derived his being from the earth, first lives the life of a tree, drawing his nourishment as a plant, and made ripe for death he tends downwards, and is sowed again in his mother the earth, where he perisheth not, but expects a quickening.

7. So we see death exempts not a man from being, but only presents an alteration; yet there are some men, I think, that stand otherwise persuaded. Death finds not a worse friend than an alderman, to whose door I never knew him welcome; but he is an importunate guest, and will not be said nay.

And though they themselves shall affirm, that they are not within, yet the answer will not be taken; and that which heightens their fear is, that they know they are in danger to forfeit their flesh, but are not wise of the payment day: which sickly uncertainty is the occasion that, for the most part they step out of this world unfurnished for their general account, and being all unprovided, desire yet to hold their gravity, preparing their souls to answer in scarlet.

Thus I gather, that death is unagreeable to most citizens, because they commonly die intestate: this being a rule, that when their will is made, they think themselves nearer a grave than before; now they out of the wisdom of thousands think to scare destiny from which there is no appeal, by not making a will, or to live longer by protestation of their unwillingness to die. They are for the most part well made in this world, accounting their treasure by legions, as men do devils, their fortune looks toward them, and they are willing to anchor at it, and desire, if it be pos

5. But were we servants of the precept given, and observers of the heathen's rule "memento mori," and not become benighted with this seeming felicity, we should enjoy it as men prepared to lose and not wind up our thoughts upon so perishing a fortune: he that is not slackly strong, as the servants of pleasure, how can he be found unready to quit the veil and false visage of his perfection? The soul having shaken off her flesh, doth then set up for herself, and contemn-sible, to put the evil day far off from them, and to ing things that are under, shows what finger hath enforced her; for the souls of idiots are of the same piece with those of statesmen, but now and then nature is at a fault, and this good guest of ours takes soil in an imperfect body, and so is slackened from showing her wonders; like an excellent musician, which cannot utter himself upon a defective instrument.

6. But see how I am swerved, and lose my course, touching at the soul, that doth least hold action with death, who hath the surest property in this frail act; his style is the end of all flesh, and the beginning of incorruption.

adjourn their ungrateful and killing period.

No, these are not the men which have bespoken death, or whose looks are assured to entertain a thought of him.

8. Death arrives gracious only to such as sit in darkness, or lie heavy burdened with grief and irons; to the poor Christian, that sits bound in the galley; to despairful widows, pensive prisoners, and deposed kings: to them whose fortune runs back, and whose spirits mutiny; unto such death is a redeemer, and the grave a place for retiredness and rest.

These wait upon the shore of death, and waft This ruler of monuments leads men for the unto him to draw near, wishing above all others

to see his star, that they might be led to his place, | hold grief no evil, but opinion, and a thing inwooing the remorseless sisters to wind down the different. watch of their life, and to break them off before the hour.

9. But death is a doleful messenger to a usurer, and fate untimely cuts their thread: for it is never mentioned by him, but when rumours of war and civil tumults put him in mind thereof.

But I consent with Cæsar, that the suddenest passage is easiest, and there is nothing more awakens our resolve and readiness to die, than the quieted conscience, strengthened with opinion that we shall be well spoken of upon earth by those that are just and of the family of virtue; the opposite whereof is a fury to man, and makes even life unsweet.

And when many hands are armed, and the peace of a city in disorder, and the foot of the common soldiers sounds an alarm on his stairs, then per- Therefore, what is more heavy than evil fame haps such a one, broken in thoughts of his moneys deserved? Or, likewise, who can see worse days, abroad, and cursing the monuments of coin which | than he that yet living doth follow at the funerals are in his house, can be content to think of death; of his own reputation? and, being hasty of perdition, will perhaps hang himself, lest his throat should be cut; provided that he may do it in his study, surrounded with wealth, to which his eye sends a faint and 12. I might say much of the commodities that languishing salute, even upon the turning off; death can sell a man; but briefly, death is a friend remembering always, that he have time and of ours, and he that is not ready to entertain him liberty by writing, to depute himself as his own heir.

I have laid up many hopes, that I am privileged from that kind of mourning, and could wish the like peace to all those with whom I wage love.

is not at home. Whilst I am, my ambition is not to foreflow the tide; I have but so to make my

For that is a great peace to his end, and recon- interest of it, as I may account for it; I would ciles him wonderfully upon the point.

10. Herein we all dally with ourselves, and are without proof of necessity. I am not of those that dare promise to pine away myself in vain glory, and I hold such to be but feat boldness, and them that dare commit it to be vain. Yet for my part, I think nature should do me great wrong, if I should be so long in dying as I was in being born.

To speak truth, no man knows the lists of his own patience; nor can divine how able he shall be in his sufferings, till the storm come; the perfectest virtue being tried in action: but I would, out of a care to do the best business well, ever keep a guard, and stand upon keeping faith and a good conscience.

11. And if wishes might find place, I would die together, and not my mind often, and my body once; that is, I would prepare for the messengers of death, sickness and affliction, and not wait long, or be attempted by the violence of pain.

Herein I do not profess myself a Stoic, to

wish nothing but what might better my days, nor desire any greater place than in the front of good opinion. I make not love to the continuance of days, but to the goodness of them; nor wish to die, but refer myself to my hour, which the great Dispenser of all things hath appointed me; yet as I am frail, and suffered for the first fault, were it given me to choose, I should not be earnest to see the evening of my age; that extremity of itself being a disease, and a mere return into infancy; so that if perpetuity of life might be given me, I should think what the Greek poet said, "Such an age is a mortal evil." And since I must needs be dead, I require it may not be done before mine enemies, that I be not stript before I be cold: but before my friends. The night was even now; but that name is lost; it is not now late, but early. Mine eyes begin to discharge their watch, and compound with this fleshly weakness for a time of perpetual rest; and I shall presently be as happy for a few hours, as I had died the first hour I was born.








THE Advancement of Learning was published in the year 1605. It is entitled



Of the proficience and aduancement of Learning, diuine and humane.



¶ Printed for Henri Tomes, and are to be sould at his shop in Graies Inne Gate in Holborne. 1605 It is a small thin quarto of 119 pages, somewhat incorrectly printed, the subjects being distinguished by capitals and italics introduced into the text, with a few marginal notes in Latin. The following is an exact specimen :

"HISTORY IS NATVRALL, CIVILE, ECCLESIASTICALL & LITERARY, whereof the three first I allow as extant, the fourth I note as deficient. For no man hath propounded to himselfe the generall state of learning to bee described and represented from age to age, as many haue done the works of nature, & the State ciuile and Ecclesiastical; without which the History of the world seemeth to me, to be as the Statua of Polyphemus with his eye out, that part being wanting, which doth most shew the spirit, and life of the person.'

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Of this work he sent a copy, with a letter, to the king; to the university of Cambridge; to Trinity College, Cambridge; to the university of Oxford; to Sir Thomas Bodley; to Lord Chancellor Egerton; to the Earl of Salisbury; to the Lord Treasurer Buckhurst: and to Mr. Matthews. From these letters, which are all in existence, the letter to the lord chancellor, as a favourable specimen, is annexed:


"I humbly present your lordship with a work, wherein, as you have much commandment over the author, so your lordship hath great interest in the argument: For to speak without flattery, few have like use of learning or like judgment in learning, as I have observed in your lordship. And again, your lordship hath been a great planter of learning, not only in those places in the church which have been in your own gift, but also in your commendatory vote, no man hath more constantly held; let it be given to the most deserving, detur digniori: And therefore, both your lordship is beholding to learning and learning beholding to you; which maketh me presume with good assurance that your lordship will accept well of these my labours; the rather because your lordship in private speech hath often begun to me in expressing your admiration of his majesty's learning, to whom I have dedicated this work; and whose virtue and perfection in that kind did chiefly move me to a work of this nature. And so with signification of my most humble duty and affection to your lordship, I remain."

Some short time after the publication of this work, probably about the year 1608, Sir Francis Bacon was desirous that the Advancement of Learning should be translated into Latin; and, for this purpose, he applied to Dr. Playfer, the Margaret Professor of Divinity in the university of Cambridge."1

Upon the subject of this application Archbishop Tennison says in his Baconiana :-"The doctor was willing to serve so excellent a person, and so worthy a design; and, within a while sent him a specimen of a latine translation. But men, generally, come short of themselves when they strive to out-doe themselves. They put a force upon their natural genius, and, by straining of it, crack and disable it. And so, it seems, it happened to that worthy and elegant man. Upon this great occasion, he would be over-accurate; and he sent a specimen of such superfine latinity, that the Lord Bacon did not encourage him to labour further in that work, in the penning of which, he desired not so much neat and polite, as clear, masculine, and apt expression."

On the 12th of October, 1620, in a letter to the king, presenting the Novum Organum to his majesty, Lord Bacon says, "I hear my former book of the Advancement of Learning, is well tasted in the universities here, and the English colleges abroad: and this is the same argument sunk deeper." An edition, in 8vo, was published in 1629; and a third edition, corrected from the original edition of 1605, was published at Oxford in 1633. These are the only editions of the Advancement of Learning, which were published before the year 1636, a period of ten years after the death of Lord Bacon.

The present edition is corrected from the first edition of 1605, and with the hope of making it more acceptable to the public, an Analysis of the whole work, with a table of contents, is prefixed.

This appears by the following letter, without any date:


"A great desire will take a small occasion to hope and put in trial that which is desired. It pleased you a good while since, to express unto me the good liking which you conceived of my book of the Advancement of Learning; and that more significantly, (as it seemed to me) than out of courtesie, or civil respect. Myself, as I then took contentment in your approbation thereof; so I esteem and acknowledge, not onely my contentment encreased, but my labours advanced, if I might obtain your help in that nature which I desire. Wherein before I set down in plain terms my request unto you, I will open myself, what it was which I chiefly sought and propounded to myself in that work; that you may perceive that which I now desire, to be perusant thereupon. If I do not much err, for any judgment that a man maketh of his own doings had need be spoken with a Si nunquam fallit Imago, I have this opinion, that if I had sought mine own commendation, it had en a much fitter course for me to have done as gardeners used to do, by taking their seed and slips, and rearing them first into plants, and so uttering them in pots, when they are in flower, and in their best state. But for as much as my end was Merit of the State of Learning (to my power) and not Glory; and because my purpose was rather to excite other men's wits than to magnifie mine own; I was desirous to prevent the uncertainness of mine own life and times, by uttering rather seeds than plants: Nay and further, (as the proverb is,) by sowing with the basket, rather than with the hand: Wherefore, since I have onely taken upon me to ring a bell, to call other wits together, (which is the meanest office,) it cannot but be consonant to my desire, to have that bell heard as far as can be. And since they are but sparks which can work but upon matter prepared, I have the more reason to wish that those sparks may fly abroad, that they may the better find and light upon those minds and spirits which are apt to be kindled. And therefore the privateness of the language considered, wherein it is written, excluding so many readers; as on the other side, the obscurity of the argument, in many parts of it, excludeth many others; I must account it a second birth of that work, if it might be translated into Latin, without manifest loss of the sense and matter. For this purpose I could not represent to myself any man into whose hands I do more earnestly desire that work should fall than yourself; for by that I have heard and read, I know no man, a greater master in commanding words to serve matter. Nevertheless, I am not ignorant of the worth of your labours, whether such as your place and profession imposeth, or such as your own virtue may upon your voluntary election take in hand. But I can lay before you no other perswasions than either the work itself may affect you with; or the honour of his majesty, to whom it is dedicated, or your particular inclination to myself; who, as I never took so much comfort in any labours of my own, so I shall never acknowledge myself more obliged in any thing to the labours of another, than in that which shall assist it. Which your labour, if I can by my place, profession, means, friends, travel, work, deed, requite unto you, I shall esteem myself so streightly bound thereunto, as I shall be ever most ready both to take and seek occasion of thankfulness. So leaving it nevertheless, Salva Amicitia, as reason is to your good liking. I remain."

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