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How to be a scholar and a gentleman

Francis Bacon's recommendations for being a "gentleman scholar" (1594), and my new ambition of what I want to be/do/have when I grow up. I love the idea of "in small compass a model of universal nature made private" so that you can study whatever it is you want to, right there in your own little realm :)

First, the collecting of a most perfect and general library, wherein whatsoever the wit of man hath hitherto committed to books of worth, be they ancient or modern, printed or manuscript, European or of other parts, of one or another language, may be made contributory to your wisdom. Next, a spacious wonderful garden, wherein whatsoever plant the sun of diverse climates, out of the earth of diverse molds, either wild or by the culture of man, brought forth, may be, with that care that appertaineth to the good prospering thereof, set and cherished; this garden to be built about with room to stable in all rare beasts and to cage in all rare birds, with two lakes adjoining, the one of fresh water, the other of salt, for like variety of fishes. And so you may have in small compass a model of universal nature made private. The third, a goodly huge cabinet, wherein whatsoever the hand of man by exquisite art or engine hath made rare in stuff, form or motion; whatsoever singularity, chance and the shuffle of things hath produced; whatsoever nature hath wrought in things that want life and may be kept, shall be sorted and included. The fourth, such a still-house, so furnished with mills, instruments, furnaces and vessels as may be a palace fit for a philosopher's stone. Thus, when your excellency shall have added depth of knowledge to the fineness of your spirits and greatness of your power, then indeed shall you be a Trismegistus, and then when all other miracles and wonder shall cease, by reason that you shall have discovered their natural causes, yourself shall be left the only miracle and wonder of the world.


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Aug. 4th, 2012 11:32 am (UTC)
As long as someone else does the gardening tbh. I like the idea, oh yes, but not the work!

I think I've got that library already
Aug. 6th, 2012 01:30 pm (UTC)
I'm working on the library and Mr Psmith is working on acquiring the menagerie. But yeah, based on the current state of our yard we definitely need a gardener LOL!
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