"For the wit and mind of man, if it work upon matter, which is the contemplation of the creatures of God, worketh according to the stuff and is limited thereby; but if it work upon itself, as the spider worketh his web, then it is endless, and brings forth indeed cobwebs of learning, admirable for the fineness of thread and work, but of no substance or profit."
— Bacon, Sir Francis, Lord Verulam (1561-1626)
(I.iv.5, pp. 183-4 in Modern Library edition)
See also Francis Bacon, Selected Writings, introd. Hugh G. Dick (New York: Modern Library, 1955); and Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning, ed. Michael Kiernan. The Oxford Francis Bacon, vol. iv (Oxford: OUP, 2000).