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LETTER AND DISCOURSE

TO

SIR HENRY SAVILI,

TOUCHING

HELPS FOR THE INTELLECTUAL POWERS.

PREFACE.

Tuis fragment might perhaps have been placed more properly in the third volume, among the philosophical works. The subject of it is touched, though very briefly, in the fourth chapter of the sixth book of the De Augmentis, under the head of Ars Pædagogica ; which, had it been completed, would apparently have been its proper place. And considering that Bacon had taken the subject so far into consideration, found that there was much to be said about it, and proceeded so short a way with it himself, it is rather strange to me that he did not set down these Georgica Intellectus in his catalogue of Desiderata. It forms no part however of his Philo. sophy properly so called; and may take its place here among the Civilia et Moralia without any impropriety; what there is of it being very welcome, and only making one wish that there were more.

It was first printed by Dr. Rawley in the Resuscitatio (1657); and appears to have been written some time between 1596 and 1604: not before 1596, because it was in that year that Savill became Provost of Eton; not later than 1604, because in the two most authentic manuscripts which I have met with the letter begins “Mr. Savill ; ” and it was in 1604 that he became Sir Henry. One of these manuscripts is in a collection of Bacon's letters transcribed in the hand of one of his servants, and bearing in one page traces of his own. I take it to be a copy of the “ Register of letters” which he speaks of in his will, and from which Rawley prosesses to have taken the collection in the Resuscitatio. At any rate it is a good manuscript, and of good authority: as I can myself testify, having had occasion to compare a great number of the letters with the original draughts and corrected copies (now in the Lambeth Library) from which the transcript was no doubt made. This volume is now in the British Museum (Additional MSS. 5503.); and contains a copy of the “ Letter to Mr. Savill ” which accompanied the “ Discourse," though not the Discourse itself.

The other manuscript (Additional MSS. 629. fo. 274.) is in a hand of the time, and probably belonged to Dr. Rawley; and though not a perfectly accurate transcript originally, it has been corrected from a better copy, - I think by Tenison. It contains both the Letter and the Discourse ; for which last I take it to be the best authority now extant.

LETTER AND DISCOURSE

TO SIR HENRY SAVILL,

TOUCHING HELPS FOR THE INTELLECTUAL

POWERS.

MR. SAVILL. Coming back from your invitation at Eton, where I had refreshed myself with company which I loved, I fell into a consideration of that part of policy, whereof philosophy speaketh too much and laws too little; and that is of Education of youth. Whereupon fixing my mind a while, I found straightways and noted, even in the discourses of philosophers, which are so large in this argument, a strange silence concerning one principal part of that subject. For as touching the framing and seasoning of youth to moral virtues, tolerance of labours, continency from pleasures, obedience, honour, and the like, they handle it ; but touching the improvement and helping of the intellectual powers, as of conceit, memory, and judgment, they say nothing. Whether it were that they thought it to be a matter wherein nature only prevailed; or that they intended it as referred to the several and proper arts which teach the use of reason and speech. But for the former of these two reasons, howsoever it pleaseth them to distinguish of habits and powers, the experience is manifest enough that the motions and faculties of the wit and memory may be not only governed and guided, but also confirmed and enlarged, by custom and exercise duly applied : As if a man exercise shooting, he shall not only shoot nearer the mark but also draw a stronger bow. And as for the latter,

VOL. VII.

II

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