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- The Advancement of Learning - 42/42 -


Thus have I made as it were a small globe of the intellectual world, as truly and faithfully as I could discover; with a note and description of those parts which seem to me not constantly occupate, or not well converted by the labour of man. In which, if I have in any point receded from that which is commonly received, it hath been with a purpose of proceeding in melius, and not in aliud; a mind of amendment and proficiency, and not of change and difference. For I could not be true and constant to the argument I handle if I were not willing to go beyond others; but yet not more willing than to have others go beyond me again: which may the better appear by this, that I have propounded my opinions naked and unarmed, not seeking to preoccupate the liberty of men's judgments by confutations. For in anything which is well set down, I am in good hope that if the first reading move an objection, the second reading will make an answer. And in those things wherein I have erred, I am sure I have not prejudiced the right by litigious arguments; which certainly have this contrary effect and operation, that they add authority to error, and destroy the authority of that which is well invented. For question is an honour and preferment to falsehood, as on the other side it is a repulse to truth. But the errors I claim and challenge to myself as mine own. The good, it any be, is due tanquam adeps sacrificii, to be incensed to the honour, first of the Divine Majesty, and next of your Majesty, to whom on earth I am most bounden.

Footnotes:

{1} Stoops in the rice and takes the speeding gold. Ovid. Metam, x. 667.


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