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sweat of the brows, more than of the body; that is, such travel as is joined with the working and discursion of the spirits in the brain : for as Solomon saith excellently, The fool putteth to more strength, but the wise man considereth which way; signifying the election of the mean to be more material than the multiplication of endeavour. It is true also that there is a limitation rather potential than actual, which is when the effect is possible, but the time or place yieldeth not the matter or basis whereupon man should work. But notwithstanding these precincts and bounds, let it be believed, 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 demi-gods, 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, without noise or observation.

The access also to this work hath been by that port or passage, which the Divine Majesty, who is unchangeable in his ways, doth infallibly continue and observe; that is, the felicity wherewith he hath blessed an humility of mind, such as rather laboureth to spell, and so by degrees to read in the volumes of his creatures, than 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 mirrours of their own minds have represented unto them. Nay, it is a point fit and necessary in the 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.

Of the impediments of knowledge.
Being the IVth chapter, the preface only of it.

In some things it is more hard to attempt than to atchieve; 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 Vth chapter, a small fragment in the be

ginning of that chapter. THE incounters 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 hath 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 desarts 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 thorough lights then, as it hath had since by commerce and navigation, whereby there could nei, ther be that contribution of wits one to help another, nor that yariety of particulars for the correcting the 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 effected; 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; thèn 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 mens lands, as in divers customs of towns and manors, being the devises 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 gnan's life hath been the greatest measure of knowledge.

Being the VIth chapter, the whole chapter. IN arts mechanical the first devise cometh 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.

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In the latter many mens 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 easiliest be 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.

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That the pretended succession of wits hath been evil

placed, for as much as after variety of sects and opinions, the most popular and not the truest prevaileth and weareth out the rest.

Being the VIIth chapter, a fragment. IT is sensible to think, that when men enter first into search and inquiry, according to the several

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