Thursday, July 01, 2004

At the bottom of his title-page to his 1620 'Great Instauration'
he included the Latin words from that quote:

Multi pertransibrant & augebitur scientia

'Many shall go forth and knowledge shall be increased'

But this has meanings on several different levels. The
ship is going forth in the paradigm of his intellectual globe
from the old world around the mediterranean to the New
World of the future.

In one sense he is sending his knowledge by the ship of
letters to future ages:

"If, therefore the invention of a ship was thought so noble,
which carries commodities from place to place and consociateth
the remotest regions in participation of their fruits, how much
more are letters to be valued, which, like ships, pass through
the vast ocean of time, and convey knowledge and inventions
to the remotest ages?"

In another sense this is the ship of the travellers go forth to the New Atlantis:

"Whether or not discoveries now made had been known to the ancients and the knowledge had been extinguished and rekindled with the changes of human fortune, is a matter of no great moment, just as it matters not all all whether the New World is the old Atlantis, or is now discovered for the first time."

In another sense the ship going forth tells us that it is the ship of discovery proceeding forth on his intellectual globe, and this ship is guided by his discovery device, The Intellectual Compass.

And it goes on. There are other levels and other meanings there.

- from a correspondent