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to give some light of the nature of the supplies; whereby it will evidently appear that they are to be compassed and procured.” And that the calendar was to deal, not with knowledge in general, but only with arts and sciences of invention in its more restricted sense — the pars operativa de natura (De Aug. iii. 5.) — appears no less clearly from the opening of the 11th chapter, which was designed immediately to follow the “Inventory.” “It appeareth then what is now in proposition, not by general circumlocution but by particular note. No former philosophy,” &c. &c. “but the revealing and discovering of new inventions and operations,
the nature and kinds of which inventions have been described as they could be discovered," &c. If further evidence were required of the exact resemblance between the Inventory of Valerius Terminus and the Inventarium of the Advancement and the De Augmentis, I might quote the end of the 9th chapter, where the particular expressions correspond, if possible, more closely still. But I presume that the passages which I have given are enough ; and that the opinion which I have elsewhere expressed as to the origin of the Advancement of Learning, - namely, that the writing of it was a by-thought and no part of the work on the Interpretation of Nature as originally designed, - will not be considered inconsistent with the evidence afforded by these fragments.
That the Valerius Terminus was composed before the Advancement, though a conclusion not deducible from the Inventory, is nevertheless probable: but to suppose that it was so composed exactly in its present form, involves, as I said, a difficulty ; which I will now state. The point is interesting, as bearing directly upon the developement in Bacon's mind of the doctrine of Idols; concerning which see preface to Novum Organum, note C. But I have to deal with it here merely as bearing upon the probable date of this fragment.
In treating of the department of Logic in the Advancement, Bacon notices as altogether wanting “the particular elenches or cautions against three false appearances” or fallacies by which the mind of man is beset : the “caution” of which, he says, tremely import the true conduct of human judgment." These false appearances he describes, though he does not give their names ; and they correspond respectively to what he afterwards called the Idols of the Tribe, the Cave, and the Forum. But he makes no mention of the fourth ; namely, the Idols of the Theatre. Now in Valerius Terminus we find two separate passages in which the Idols are mentioned ; and in both all four are enumerated, and all by name; though what he afterwards called Idols of the Forum, he there calls Idols of the Palace; and it seems to me very unlikely that, if when
“ doth ex
he wrote the Advancement he had already formed that classification he should have omitted all mention of the Idols of the Theatre ; for though it is true that that was not the place to discuss them, and therefore in the corresponding passage of the De Augmentis they are noticed as to be passed by “for the present,” yet they are noticed by name, and in all Bacon's later writings the confutation of them holds a very prominent place.
To me the most probable explanation of the fact is this. I have already shown that between the composition and the transcription of these fragments the design of the work appears to have undergone a considerable change; the order of the chapters being entirely altered. We have only to suppose therefore that they were composed before the Advancement and transcribed after, and that preparing them for the transcriber Bacon made the same kind of alterations in the originals which he afterwards made upon the transcript, and the difficulty disappears. Nothing would be easier than to correct “three” into “ four,” and insert “the Idols of the Theatre” at the end of the sentence.
And this reminds me (since I shall have so much to do with these questions of date) to suggest a general caution with regard to them all; namely, that in the case of fragments like these, the comparison of isolated passages can hardly ever be relied upon for evidence of the date or order of composition, or of the progressive developement of the writer's views; and for this simple reason,— we can never be sure that the passages as they now stand formed part of the original writing. The copy of the fragment which we have may be (as there is reason to believe this was) a transcript from several loose papers, written at different periods and containing alterations or additions made from time to time. We may know perhaps that when Bacon published the Advancement of Learning he was ignorant of some fact with which he afterwards became acquainted; we may find in one of these fragments, — say the Temporis Partus Masculus,— a passage implying acquaintance with that fact. Does it follow that the Temporis Partus Masculus was written after the Advancement of Learning ? No; for in looking over the manuscript long after it was written, he may have observed and corrected the error. And we cannot conclude that he at the same time altered the whole composition so as to bring it into accordance with the views he then held ; for that might be too long a work. He
may have inserted a particular correction, but meant to rewrite the whole ; and if so, in spite of the later date indicated by that particular passage, the body of the work would still represent a stage in his opinions anterior to the Advancement of Learning.
I have felt some doubt whether in printing this fragment, I should follow the example of Stephens, who gave it exactly as he found
it; or that of later editors, who have altered the order of the chapters so as to make it agree with the numbers. The latter plan will perhaps, upon the whole, be the more convenient. There can be little doubt that the numbers of the chapters indicate the order in which Bacon meant them to be read ; and if any one wishes to compare it with the order in which they seem to have been written, he has only to look at Bacon's table of contents, which was made with reference to the transcript, and which I give unaltered, except as to the spelling.
The notes to this piece are mine. -J. S.
1. The first chapter entire. [Of the ends and limits of know
ledge.] 2. A portion of the 11th chapter. [Of the scale.] 3. A small portion of the 9th chapter [being an Inducement
to the Inventory.] 4. A small portion of the 10th chapter [being the preface
to the Inventory.] 5. A small portion of the 16th chapter [being a preface to the
inward elenches of the mind.] 6. A small portion of the 4th chapter. [Of the impediments
of knowledge in general.] 7. A small portion of the 5th chapter.] Of the diversion of
1 This is written in the transcriber's hand: all that follows in Bacon's. The words between brackets have a line drawn through them. For an exact facsimile of the whole, made by Mr. Netherclift, see the beginning of the volume.