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HIS WRITINGS, AND HIS PHILOSOPHY.
BACON'S PHILOSOPHICAL WORKS.
ALL Bacon's philosophical writings may be reduced to the scheme of his Instauratio Magna-may be arranged as either parts or appendages of that work. The spacious plan of the Instauratio, as sketched by Bacon himself, comprehends alike those of them that were published before it was conceived or announced, and whatever he afterwards wrote.
In our examination or analysis, therefore, of these writings, we shall take them in the order in which they stand, or may most naturally be placed, in the Instauratio; but it will be convenient, for clearness of reference, that we also enumerate here the successive dates at which they were severally published.
The Fragment of the Colours of Good and Evil,' otherwise entitled 'Places of Persuasion and Dissuasion,' was published, with the first edition of the Essays, in 1597. This tract, as we shall find, has been incorporated by Bacon himself in the De Augmentis Scientiarum, or First Part of the Instauratio.
The Two Books of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning,' were published in English in 1605. They were afterwards expanded by the author into the Nine Books of the Latin Treatise De Augmentis Scientiarum.
The Latin treatise 'De Sapientia Veterum' (Of the Wisdom of the Ancients), of which an account has already been given among the Moral Works, may also be noticed here, as being in part incorporated with the De Augmentis Scientiarum. It was published by itself in
The Novum Organum Scientiarum,' forming the Second Part of the Instauratio, was published in Latin in 1620. It was accompanied not only by its own proper Preface, but also by a Preface and other Prolegomena to the entire Instauratio, including, in particular, what is entitled the Distributio Operis, or exposition of the Six Parts of which that great work was to consist. This was the first announcement of the Instauratio Magna.
In 1622 was published a portion of the Third Part of the Instauratio, under the title of Francisci Baconis de Verulamio, Vice-Comitis Sancti Albani, Historia Naturalis et Experimentalis ad Condendam Philosophiam; sive Phænomena Universi: Quæ est Instaurationis Magnæ Pars Tertia.' It consisted of the 'His toria Ventorum' (History of the Winds), with the Aditus, or Prefaces, of five other similar histories.
This volume was followed in 1623 by the Historia Vitæ et Mortis' (History of Life and Death), another of the Six Histories intended to compose the Third Part of the Instauratio.
In the same year, 1623, was published the entire treatise ' De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum' (On the Dignity and Advancement of the Sciences), in Nine Books; being a translation into Latin and expansion of the Two Books of the Advancement of Learning, and forming the First Part of the Instauratio. This was the last portion of the Instauratio published by Bacon himself.
In 1627, after Bacon's death, his chaplain, Dr. Rawley, published the Ten Centuries of his "Sylva Sylvarum, or Natural History,' in English, designed to form another portion of the Third Part of the Instauratio. It had been prepared for the press, and Rawley's Preface to it had been written, before the death of the author.
In 1653 Isaac Gruter published at Amsterdam, in a
duodecimo volume of about 500 pages, a collection of what he called the Writings of Bacon in Natural and Universal Philosophy- Francisci Baconi de Verulamio Scripta in Naturali et Universali Philosophia'-all, as he states, new to the world, and copied from manuscripts carefully corrected by the author, and bequeathed by him to the care of the most noble William Boswell, that is, Sir William Boswell, minister or agent of James I. and Charles II. in Holland. And it is true that in his will Bacon, after directing his executors, and especially Sir John Constable, and his "very good friend, Mr. Bosvile," to take care that of all his writings, meaning his printed works, both English and Latin, there may be books fair bound and placed in the king's library, and in the libraries of the University of Cambridge, and of Trinity College, and of Bennett College, and of the University of Oxford, and of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and of Eton College, adds; "Also I desire my executors, especially my brother Constable, and also Mr. Bosvile, presently after my decease, to take into their hands all my papers whatsoever, which are either in cabinets, boxes, or presses, and them to seal up until they may at their leisure peruse them." Nevertheless, most of the pieces printed by Gruter are, from whatever cause, extremely inaccurate; and some of them are evidently only the first drafts of what we have elsewhere in a more perfect form. Of several, however, we have no other original copies.*
In the First Part of the collection entitled 'Resus
* Three Letters from Gruter to Rawley are published by Tenison, with translations, in the Baconiana, pp. 221-241. In the first, dated from the Hague, 29th May, 1652, he says:-"1 send you here a catalogue of those writings which I had in MS. out of the study of Sir William Boswel, and which I now have by me, either written by the Lord Bacon himself, or by some English amanuensis, but by him revised; as the same Sir William Boswel (who was pleased to admit me to a most intimate familiarity with him) did himself tell me." "These," Tennison notes, were the papers which J. Gruter afterwards published under the title of Scripta Philosophica."
citatio,' published by Rawley in 1657, one piece occurs which may be reckoned among Bacon's Philosophical Writings, his Letter and Discourse to Sir Henry Savill touching Helps for the Intellectual Powers.'
In 1658 Rawley published a collection of Bacon's Posthumous Works, under the title of Opuscula Varia Posthuma, Philosophica, Civilia, et Theologica, Francisci Baconis, &c., nunc primum edita;' which contained several philosophical treatises not previously printed, and also more perfect copies of some of those edited by Gruter.
A tract in English entitled Articles of Enquiry touching Metals,' &c., appeared along with an edition of the 'Sylva Sylvarum' in 1662; the publisher, William Lee, who is the same by whom all the editions both of the Sylva and of the Resuscitatio had been brought out, stating at the end that he had received it some months before from Rawley corrected for the press. And perhaps a few other short discourses may have first got abroad at various times in similar pamphlets, which are now unknown or difficult to be procured. "If it be objected," says Rawley, in his Preface to the First Part of the Resuscitatio, "that some few of the pieces whereof this whole consisteth had visited the public light before, it is true that they had been obtruded to the world by unknown hands, but with such scars and blemishes upon their faces that they could pass but for a spurious and adulterine brood, and not for his lordship's legitimate issue; and the publishers and printers of them deserve to have an action of defamation brought against them by the State of Learning for disgracing and personating his Lordship's works."
Of Archbishop Tenison's collection, entitled 'Baconiana, or Certain Genuine Remains of Sir Francis Bacon, &c., now the first time faithfully published,' which appeared in 1679, one division consists of Physiological Remains,' or 'Arguments appertaining to Natural Philosophy,' and another of Medical Remains.'
Finally, a few additions were made to this portion of Bacon's works by the publication, in 1734, of Letters