BACON, Francis Sir. [Novum organum] instauratio magna, London: John Bill, 1620. Small 2 (287 x 187mm.), engraved title by Simon van de Pass, woodcut headpieces and historiated initials (title spotted, occasional light spotting or soiling throughout, underlining in ink to a few leaves), contemporary calf (front cover detached, somewhat rubbed). Provenance: John Walker, 1815, signature on title, long note in Latin about Francis Bacon to front blank and several short annotations.
FIRST EDITION, SECOND ISSUE, with errata and the blanks c4 and e4. In the Instauratio Magna Bacon expressed his belief that the wealth and power of the state should be used in advancing man's knowledge of the natural world, both as an end in itself and, more importantly, as the key to improving the material conditions of human life. This is followed by the Novum organum, his treatise on scientific method. The celebrated engraved title shows a ship sailing through the pillars of Hercules with the motto "Multi pertransibunt et augebitur scientia" ("Many will pass through and knowledge will be multiplied"). Gibson 103b; PMM 119; STC1162.