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PREFACE - Sir Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning 
The Advancement of Learning, by Lord Bacon, edited by Joseph Devey, M.A. (New York: P.F. Collier and Son, 1901).
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BOARD OF EDITORS
ANGELO HEILPRIN, author of “The Earth and Its Story,” etc.; Curator Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.
JOSEPH TORREY, JR., Ph.D., Instructor in Chemistry in Harvard University.
RAY STANNARD BAKER, A.B., author of “The New Prosperity,” etc.; Associate Editor of McClure’s Magazine.
MAYO W. HAZELTINE, A.M., author of “Chats About Books,” etc.; Literary Editor of the New York Sun.
JULIAN HAWTHORNE, author of “Nathaniel Hawthorne and His Wife,” “History of the United States,” etc.
CHARLES G. D. ROBERTS, A.B., A.M., author of “A History of Canada”; late Professor of English and French Literature, King’s College.
RICHARD HENRY STODDARD, author of “The King’s Bell,” etc.; Literary Editor of the New York Mail and Express.
HENRY VAN DYKE, D.D., LL.D., author of “Little Rivers,” etc.; Professor of English Literature at Princeton University.
THOMAS NELSON PAGE, LL.D., Litt.D., author of “Red Rock,” etc.
HON. HENRY CABOT LODGE, A.B., LL.B., author of “Life of Daniel Webster,” etc.; U. S. Senator from Massachusetts.
HON. JOHN R. PROCTOR, President U. S. Civil Service Commission.
MORRIS HICKEY MORGAN, Ph.D., LL.D., Professor in Latin, Harvard University.
Francis Bacon, one of the greatest names in English history, was born in London, January 22, 1561. He was the youngest son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, who for twenty years had held the seals as Lord Keeper. His mother was a daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke, and one of her sisters was married to the famous Lord Treasurer, Burghley, ancestor of the present Marquis of Salisbury. In 1573 he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, and resided there three years, after which he travelled for the same length of time upon the Continent. On the death of his father in 1579 he returned to England and began his life in comparative poverty. In 1582 he was admitted to the bar, and two years later secured a seat in Parliament. His advancement was slow, but he ultimately became King’s Counsel, and in 1607 was made Solicitor-General. Six years later he became Attorney-General and in 1617 obtained the Great Seal with the title of Lord Keeper. In the following year he received the higher title of Lord Chancellor, and was made Baron Verulam; in 1621 he was created Viscount St. Albans. It is well known that in the last-named year, he was tried for bribery and corruption, and was sentenced to fine and imprisonment. We are not here directly concerned with Bacon’s career as a lawyer, politician, courtier and man of letters, and consequently pass at once to his place in science and philosophy. Of his many scientific and philosophical treatises it is generally conceded that “The Advancement of Learning” and the “Novum Organum” are the most valuable, and we have, accordingly, selected them for reproduction. There is no doubt that Bacon, the first great teacher of the inductive method in modern times, shares with Descartes the honor of inaugurating modern philosophy. This position Bacon owes not only to the general spirit of his philosophy but to the manner in which he worked into a connected system the new mode of thinking, and to the incomparable power and eloquence with which he expounded and enforced it. Like all epoch-making works, the “Novum Organum” gave expression to ideas which were already beginning to be in the air. The time was ripe for a great change. Scholasticism, long decaying, had begun to fall; while here and there a few devoted experimenters were turning with fresh zeal to the unwithered face of nature. The fruitful thoughts which lay under and gave rise to these scattered efforts of the human mind, were gathered up into unity and reduced to system in the new philosophy of Bacon. A long line of thinkers have drawn inspiration from him, and it is not without justice that he has been looked upon as the originator and guiding spirit of that empirical school which numbers among its adherents such names as Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Hartley, Mill, Condillac and the Encyclopedists.
Lord Bacon can only be said to have carried the first three parts of his “Instauratio Magna” to any degree of perfection. Of these the “Sylva Sylvarum” is but a dry catalogue of natural phenomena, the collection of which, however necessary it might be, Bacon viewed as a sort of mechanical labor, and would never have stooped to the task, had not the field been abandoned by the generality of philosophers, as unworthy of them. The two other portions of the “Instauratio Magna,” which these volumes contain, unfold the design of his philosophy, and exhibit all the peculiarities of his extraordinary mind, enshrined in the finest passages of his writings.
Of the “De Augmentis,” though one of the greatest books of modern times, only three translations have appeared, and each of these strikingly imperfect. That of Wats, issued while Bacon was living, is singularly disfigured with solecisms, and called forth the just censures of Bacon and his friends. The version of Eustace Cary is no less unfortunate, owing to its poverty of diction, and antiquated phraseology. Under the public sense of these failures, another translation was produced about sixty years ago by Dr. Shaw, which might have merited approbation, had not the learned physician been impressed with the idea that he could improve Bacon by relieving his work of some of its choicest passages, and entirely altering the arrangement. In the present version, our task has been principally to rectify Shaw’s mistakes, by restoring the author’s own arrangement, and supplying the omitted portions. Such of Shaw’s notes as were deemed of value have been retained, and others added where the text seemed to require illustration. Due care also has been taken to point out the sources whence Bacon drew his extraordinary stores of learning, by furnishing authorities for the quotations and allusions in the text, so that the reader may view at a glance the principal authors whom Bacon loved to consult, and whose agency contributed to the formation of his colossal powers.
The version of the “Novum Organum” contained in this set is that by Wood, which is the best extant. The present edition of this immortal work has been enriched with an ample commentary, in which the remarks of the two Playfairs, Sir John Herschel, and the German and French editors, have been diligently consulted, that nothing may be wanting to render it as perfect as possible.