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PREFACE

TO THE

SCALA INTELLECTUS AND PRODROMI.

The two following pieces (which complete the first part of the Philosophical Works) were first published by Gruter in 1653. They are not included in Dr. Rawley's Opuscula (1658), nor mentioned in his list of Bacon's later writings. As to the date of their composition, I can find no grounds even for a guess. Either of them might apparently have been written at any time after the plan of the Instauratio in its six parts had been once conceived. Gruter places them among what he calls Impetus Philosophici ; which merely means that they came to him as loose sheets without any direction under what title to arrange them. There can be no doubt however that they v were intended as prefaces to the fourth and fifth parts of the Instauratio respectively; nor is there any reason to suppose that they had been either abandoned or superseded. Being unable therefore to follow the order of composition, I follow the order of matter, and put them here where they were meant ultimately to stand.

With these prefaces the collection of works published or designed for publication as parts of the In

stauratio Magna must close. Of the fourth part not even any fragment has come down to us, unless the Inquisitio legitima de Motu, sive Filum Labyrinthi, be taken for one. But though this was undoubtedly intended to be “ veræ et legitimæ de rebus inquisitionis exemplar,”— and such it was the business of the fourth part to exhibit, -I rather think that it was designed originally for the second part (as the example in which the new method was to be set forth), and that the Inquisitio de Forma Calidi was substituted for it. I have preferred therefore to place it among the works abandoned or superseded.

With regard to the fifth part however, I am not so confident that Mr. Ellis is right in refusing a place in it to the De Fluxu et Refluxu, the Thema Cæli, the De Principiis atque Originibus, and the Cogitationes de Naturâ Rerum ; all which he classes as “ occasional writings, not belonging to the circuit of the Instauratio." It is true that they were written long before the publication of the Novum Organum, and that they do not come within the circuit of Bacon's work on the Interpretation of Nature as originally projected. That work (to judge by the title, which has fortunately been preserved) was to be distributed into three books, the first to prepare the mind, the second to explain the method, the third to exhibit the results of the method applied. It must therefore have been designed to cover the ground occupied by the second and sixth parts of the Instauratio, and perhaps also that occupied by the third and fourth ; but could not have been meant to contain anything answering to the first and fifth. My own impression however is, that one of Bacon's objects in enlarging the design was to make a place

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in the great structure for occasional writings of this kind, which could not have properly come into any of those three books originally planned. The addition of the third and fourth parts indeed, — that is, the assigning of a separate part to the Phenomena Universi, and a separate part to the Scala Intellectus, may be regarded as a development merely of the original idea ; for the exposition of the new method could not be complete without at least one perfect example of an inquiry legitimately conducted through all the processes and ending in the discovery of the form ; nor could such an example be exhibited without a specimen of the “ historia naturalis et experimentalis quæ sit in ordine ad condendam philosophiam,” in reference at least to that one subject. But the matter to be contained in the first and fifth was avowedly extraneous to the main design; and the addition of these is most easily accounted for by supposing that in prefixing the first, Bacon meant to make a place for the Advancement of Learning and for a variety of miscellaneous works not bearing on natural philosophy ; and in interpolating the fifth, for sundry philosophical speculations which his studies had suggested to him, and which he regarded as guesses worth preserving ; though, being no better than “ anticipationes mentis,' - conclusions derived through an imperfect logical machinery from imperfect knowledge, — they were to be looked upon as provisional only, and by no means as specimens of the Philosophia Secunda.

If there be any truth in this conjecture, the pieces which I have mentioned have a fair claim to a place among the Prodromi, and might follow the preface. In deference however to Mr. Ellis's judgment I have

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