If any man out of his own wit, industry or endeavour, find out anything beneficial to the Commonwealth, or bring any new invention which every subject of this kingdom may use; yet in regard of his pains and travel therein, her Majesty perhaps is pleased to grant him a privilege to use the same only by himself or his deputies for certain time. . .If a man could succeed not in striking out some particular invention, however useful, but in kindling a light in nature. . .and bring into sight all that is most hidden and secret in the world,--that man (I thought) would be the benefactor indeed of the human race,--the propagator of man's empire over the universe, the champion of liberty, the conqueror and subduer of necessities.
    -- Sir Francis Bacon, 1628 edition of Sylva Sylvarum