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those which are governors in universities of consultation, and in princes or superior persons of visitation; to enter into account and consideration, whether the readings, exercises, and other customs appertaining unto learning, anciently begun and since continued, be well instituted or no; and thereupon to ground an amendment or reformation in that which shall be found inconvenient. For it is one of your Majesty's own most wise and princely maxims, that in all usages and precedents, the times be considered wherein they first began ; which if they were weak or ignorant, it derogateth from the authority of the usage, and leaveth it for suspect. And therefore in as much as most of the usages and orders of the universities were derived from more obscure times, it is the more requisite they be re-examined. In this kind I will give an instance or two for example sake, of things that are the most obvious and familiar. The one is a matter which though it be ancient and general, yet I hold to be an error; which is, that scholars in universities come too soon and too unripe to logic and rhetoric; arts fitter for graduates than children and novices : for these two, rightly taken, are the gravest of sciences; being the arts of arts, the one for judgment, the other for ornament; and they be the rules and directions how to set forth and dispose matter; and therefore for minds empty and unfraught with matter, and which have not gathered that which Cicero calleth sylva and supellex, stuff and variety, to begin with those arts, (as if one should learn to weigh or to measure or to paint the wind,) doth work but this effect, that the wisdom of those arts, which is great and uni. versal, is almost made contemptible, and is degenerate into childish sophistry and ridiculous affectation. And further, the untimely learning of them hath drawn on by consequence the superficial and unprofitable teaching and writing of them, as fitteth indeed to the capacity of children. Another is a lack I find in the exercises used in the universities, which do make too great a divorce between invention and memory; for their speeches are either premeditate in verbis conceptis, where nothing is left to invention, or merely extemporal, where little is left to memory: whereas in life and action there is least use of either of these, but rather of intermixtures of premeditation and invention, notes and memory; so as the exercise fitteth not the practice, nor the image the life ; and it is ever a true rule in exercises, that they be framed as near as may be to the life of practice ; for otherwise they do pervert the motions and faculties of the mind, and not prepare them. The truth whereof is not obscure, when scholars come to the practices of professions, or other actions of civil life; which when they set into, this want is soon found by themselves, and sooner by others. But this part, touching the amendment of the institutions and orders of universities, I will conclude with the clause of Cæsar's letter to Oppius and Balbus, Hoc quemadmodum fieri possit, nonnulla mihi in mentem veniunt, et multa reperiri possunt; de iis rebus rogo vos ut cogitationem suscipiatis : [how this may be done, some things occur to me and more may be thought of. I would have you take these matters into consideration.]
Another defect which I note, ascendeth a little higher than the precedent. For as the proficience of learning consisteth much in the orders and institutions of universities in the same states and kingdoms, so it would be yet more advanced, if there were more intelligence mutual between the universities of Europe than now there is. We see there be many orders and foundations, which though they be divided under several sovereignties and territories, yet they take themselves to have a kind of contract, fraternity, and correspondence one with the other, insomuch as they have Provincials and Generals. And surely as nature createth brotherhood in families, and arts mechanical contract brotherhoods in communalties, and the anointment of God superinduceth a brotherhood in kings and bishops; so in like manner there cannot but be a fraternity in learning and illumination, relating to that paternity which is attributed to God, who is called the Father of illuminations or
The last defect which I will note is, that there hath not been, or very rarely been, any public designation of writers or inquirers concerning such parts of knowledge as may appear not to have been already sufficiently laboured or undertaken; unto which point it is an inducement, to enter into a view and examination what parts of learning have been prosecuted, and what omitted; for the opinion of plenty is amongst the causes of want, and the great quantity of books maketh a shew rather of superfluity than lack; which surcharge nevertheless is not to be remedied by making no more books, but by making more
· Præfectos (alios provinciales, alios generales) quibus omnes purent. — De Aug.
good books, which, as the serpent of Moses', might devour the serpents of the enchanters.
The removing of all the defects formerly enumerate, except the last, and of the active part also of the last, (which is the designation of writers,) are opera basilica, (works for a king ;] towards which the endeavours of a private man may be but as an image in a crossway, that may point at the way but cannot go it. But the inducing part of the latter (which is the survey of learning) may be set forward by private travel. Wherefore I will now attempt to make a general and faithful perambulation of learning, with an inquiry what parts thereof lie fresh and waste, and not improved and converted by the industry of man; to the end that such a plot made and recorded to memory may both minister light to any public designation, and also serve to excite voluntary endeavours; wherein nevertheless my purpose is at this time to note only omissions and deficiencies, and not to make any redargution of errors or incomplete prosecutions ?; for it is one thing to set forth what ground lieth unmanured, and another thing to correct ill husbandry in that which is manured.:
In the handling and undertaking of which work I am not ignorant what it is that I do now move and attempt, nor insensible of mine own weakness to sustain my purpose; but my hope is that if my extreme love to learning carry me too far, I may obtain the excuse of affection ; for that it is not granted to man to love and to be wise. But I know well I can use no other liberty of judgment than I must leave to others; and I for my part shall be indifferently glad either to perform myself or accept from another that duty of humanity, Nam qui erranti comiter monstrat viam, &c. [to put the wanderer in the right way). I do foresee likewise that of those things which I shall enter and register as deficiencies and omissions, many will conceive and censure that some of them are already done and extant; others to be but curiosities, and things of no great use; and others to be of too great difficulty and almost impossibility to be compassed and effected. But for the two first, I refer myself to the particulars. For the last, touching impossibility, I take it those things are to be held possible which may be done by some person, though not by every one; and which
| Not Moses, but Aaron. Ex. i. 17.-R. L. E. infelicitates. — De Aug.
81, e. cultivated.
may be done by many, though not by any one; and which may be done in succession of ages, though not within the hourglass of one man's life ; and which may be done by public designation, though not by private endeavour. But notwithstanding, if any man will take to himself rather that of Salomon, Dicit piger, Leo est in via, [the slothful man saith there is a lion in the path,] than that of Virgil, Possunt quia posse videntur, [they find it possible because they think it possible,] I shall be content that my labours be esteemed but as the better sort of wishes; for as it asketh some knowledge to demand a question not impertinent, so it requireth some sense to make a wish not absurd.
T'The parts of human learning have reference to the three parts of Man's Understanding, which is the seat of learning: History to his Memory, Poesy to his Imagination, and Philosophy to his Reason. Divine learning receiveth the same distribution; for the spirit of man is the same, though the revelation of oracle and sense be diverse: so as theology consisteth also of History of the Church; of Parables, which is divine poesy; and of holy Doctrine or precept. For as for that part which seemeth supernumerary, which is Prophecy, it is but divine history; which hath that prerogative over human, as the narration may be before the fact as well as after.
I ? History is Natural, Civil, Ecclesiastical, and Literary ; plistoria whereof the three first I allow as extant, the fourth Literarum. I note as deficient. For no man bath propounded to himself the general state of learning to be described and represented from age to age, as many have done the works of nature and the state civil and ecclesiastical ; without which
'De Aug. ii. 1. The substance of the following paragraph will be found considerably expanded in the first chapter of the Descriptio Globi Intellectualis, and set forth much more clearly and orderly in the first chapter of the second book of the De Augmentis ; which begins here; the previous observations being introductory. As it may be convenient to the reader to have the means of referring at once to the corresponding passages of the more finished work, I shall mark with a the places where the several chapters begin ; adding (where the case admits of it) some notice, more or less complete, of the differences between the two. See Preface, p. 255.
* De Aug. ii. 4. In the translation the divisions are altered: History being divided into Natural and Civil,- History of Nature and History of Man ; and Literary and Ecclesiastical History being considered as separate departments of the latter. See chap. 2. paragraph 1. This alteration induces an alteration in the order of treatment; the precedence being given to the History of Nature, which is the subject of the second chapter.
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. And yet I am not ignorant that in divers particular sciences, as of the jurisconsults, the mathematicians, the rhetoricians, the philosophers, there are set down some small memorials of the schools, authors, and books; and so likewise some barren relations touching the invention of arts or usages. But a just story of learning, containing the antiquities and originals of knowledges, and their sects; their inventions, their traditions ; their diverse administrations and managings; their flourishings, their oppositions, decays, depressions, oblivions, removes; with the causes and occasions of them, and all other events concerning learning, throughout the ages of the world'; I may truly affirm to be wanting. The use and end of which work I do not so much design for curiosity, or satisfaction of those that are the lovers of learning; but chiefly for a more serious and grave purpose, which is this in few words, that it will make learned men wise in the use and administration of learning. For it is not St. Augustine's nor St. Ambrose works that will make so wise a divine, as ecclesiastical history throughly read and observed ; and the same reason is of learning.
f’History of Nature is of three sorts; of nature in course, of nature erring or varying, and of nature altered or wrought; that is, history of Creatures, history of Marvels, and history of Arts. The first of these no doubt is extant, and that in good perfection; the two later are handled so weakly and unprofitably, as I am moved to note them as deficient. For I find Jistoria no sufficient or competent collection of the works of Errantis. of nature which have a digression and deflexion from the ordinary course of generations, productions, and motions; whether they be singularities of place and region, or the strange events of time and chance, or the effects of yet unknown proprieties, or the instances of exception to general kinds. It is true, I find a number of books of fabulous experiments and secrets, and frivolous impostures for pleasure and
| The description of the required history is set forth much more particularly in the translation ; and the whole paragraph rewritten and enlarged.
? De Aug ii. 2.
• This division is retained in the translation, but the exposition of it is extended into a long paragraph,