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WORKS ON SUBJECTS CONNECTED WITH THE INSTAURATIO MAGNA,
BUT NOT MEANT TO BE INCLUDED IN IT;
ACCORDING TO THE ORDER IN WHICH THEY WERE WRITTEN.
Ista enim nos tanquam in limine Historiæ Naturalis stantes prospiciinus, quæ quanto magis quis se immerserit in Historiam Naturalem tanto fortasse probabit magis. Attamen testamur iterum nos hic teneri nolle. In his enim, ut in aliis, certi vie nostræ sumus, certi sedis nostræ non sumus. -Thema Cæli, 1612.
ALL the works except one which belong to this part, and several of the most interesting among those which follow in the next, were published by Isaac Gruter in 1653; and since in explaining the arrangement which I have adopted I shall often have to refer to the volume in which they first appeared, it will be well to give a particular account of it at once.
Bacon, in his last will,- after bequeathing his collection of speeches and letters to Bishop Williams and Sir Humphrey May, as being privy councillors, — commended the rest of his papers to the care of Sir John Constable and Mr. Bosvile. “ 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 wbatsoever, which are either in cabinets, boxes, or presses, and them to seal up till they may at their leisure peruse them.”
What care, or whether any, was presently taken of these papers, I cannot learn. But it is probable that for fourteen months after Bacon's death, they remained locked up;—for so long it was before any one had authority to act; the executors named in the will refusing or delaying to assume their office, and letters of administration being granted on the 13th of July, 1627, to Sir Robert Rich and Mr. Thomas Meautys, two of the creditors;—and that then, or not long after, they were placed in the hands of Mr. Bosvile. This Mr. Bosvile, better known as Sir William Boswell, was sent, soon after Bacon's death, to the Hague; where he resided for several years as agent with the States of the United Provinces. He was knighted on the 18th of May, 1633, and died I believe in 1647. Whether all Bacon's remaining manuscripts were sent to him, or only a portion of them, is not known. What we know is that, among those