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they are such as lose none of their value by the fluctuations of time. In speaking, in his Advancement of Learning, of the uses of knowledge, and disproving the notion that the learned are slothful, he says :—
"For let a man look into the errors of Clement the Seventh, so lively described by Guicceardine, who served under him, or into the errors of Cicero, painted out by his own pencil in his epistles to Atticus, and he will fly apace from being irresolutę. Let him look into the errors of Phocion, and he will beware how he be obstinate or inflexible. Let him but read the fable of Ixion, and it will hold him from being vaporous or imaginative. Let him look into the errors of Cato the second, and he will never be one of the Antipodes, to tread opposite to the present world.
"And for the conceit, that learning should dispose men to leisure and privateness, and make men slothful; it were a strange thing if that, which accustometh the mind to perpetual motion and agitation, should induce slothfulness; whereas contrariwise it may be truly affirmed, that no kind of men love business for itself, but those that are learned; for other persons love it for profit, as an hireling that loves the work for the wages; or for honor, as because it beareth them up in the eyes of men, and refreshes their reputation which otherwise would wear; or because it putteth them in mind of their fortune, and giveth them occasion to pleasure and displeasure, or because it exerciseth some faculty wherein they take pride, and so entertaineth them in good humour and pleasing conceits toward themselves; or because it advanceth any other ends. So that, as it is said of untrue valours, that some men's valours are in the eyes of them that look on; so such men's industries are in the eyes of others, or at least in regard of their own designments: only learned men love business, as an action according to nature, as agreeable to health of mind, as exercise is to health of body, taking pleasure in the action itself, and not in the purchase: so that of all men they are the most indefatigable, if it be towards any business which can hold or detain their mind."
In defending learned men from shabbiness of conduct, and want of self-respect, he seems as if he had his own vices in view. At all events, his remarks on the subject are forcible.
"But this consequence doth often deceive men, for which I do refer them over to that which was said by Themistocles, arrogantly and uncivilly being applied to himself out of his own mouth; but, being applied to the general state of this question, pertinently and justly; when, being invited to touch a lute, he said, 'he could not fiddle,' but he could make a small town a great 'state.' So, no doubt, many may be well seen in the passages of government and policy, which are to seek in little and punctual occasions. I refer them also to that which Plato said of his master Socrates, whom he compared to the gallypots of apothecaries, which, on the outside, had apes, and owls, and antiques, but contained, within, sovereign and precious liquors and confections; acknowledging that to an external report he was not without superficial levi
ties and deformities, but was inwardly replenished with excellent virtues and powers."
It is still more likely that he had his own servility in mind in trying to show that there is nothing reprehensible in one's going even on his knees to honor those possessed of power or fortune :
"Not that I can tax or condemn the morigeration or application of learned men to men in fortune. For the answer was good that Diogenes made to one that asked him in mockery,' How it came to pass that philosophers were the followers of rich men, and not rich men of philosophers.' He answered soberly and yet sharply, 'Because the one sort knew what they had need of, and the other did not.' And of the like nature was the answer which Aristippus made when having a petition to Dionysius, and no ear given to him, he fell down at his feet; whereupon Dionysius staid and gave him the hearing, and granted it; and afterward some person, tender on the behalf of philosophy, reproved Aristippus that he could offer the profession of philosophy such an indignity, as for a private suit to fall at a tyrant's feet; but he answered. 'It was not his fault, but it was the fault of Dionysius that had his ears in his feet.' * * These and the like applications and stooping to points of necessity and convenience cannot be disallowed; for though they may have some outward baseness, yet in a judgment truly made, they are to be accounted submissions to the occasion, and not to the person."
But were everything quoted that is remarkable, interesting and instructive in Bacon's works, the amount that would be left would be slight indeed. Turn to what volume we may, we find passages at almost every page which, like the following, deserve to be printed in letters of gold:
"So certainly, if a man meditate much upon the universal frame of nature, the earth with men upon it, (the divineness of souls except,) will not seem much other than an ant-hill, where, as some ants carry corn, and some carry their young, and some go empty, and all to-and-fro a little heap of dust. It taketh away or mitigateth the fear of death, or adverse fortune; which is one of the greatest impediments of virtue and imperfections of manners. For if a man's mind be deeply seasoned with the consideration of immortality and the corruptible nature of things, he will easily conceive, with Epictetus, who went forth one day and saw a woman weeping for her pitcher of earth that was broken; and went forth the next day, and saw a woman weeping for her son that was dead; and thereupon said, 'Heri vidi fragilem frangi, hodie vidi mortalem mori."
The versatility of Bacon's genius is astonishing. He is not alone the father of experimental philosophy. As a moralist he is more profound and impressive, as well as more cheerful and attractive, than Seneca ; as an historian, he had no equal in his own
time; and, as a wit, he was surpassed only by the great Shake. speare. One who was so often elected to Parliament, who was specially employed as a lawyer in the most important cases, public and private, who was in turn Queen's Counsel Extraordinary, Solicitor-General, and Attorney-General, and finally Lord High Chancellor, must necessarily have possessed oratorical abilities of a high order. His literary style has been compared to that of Burke, which it fully equals in purity and splendor of diction; while in wit and humor it will lose nothing by a comparison with that of Swift. No other prose writings of modern times contain more of the true sublime than those of Bacon. There is often sublimity in his expressions, altogether independently of his philosophical views. We could cite instances even where his opinions are most erroneous; for, according to Longinus, who is scarcely inferior to Aristotle himself as a critic, scrupulous accuracy is rather adverse than favorable to the sublime.* In the Novum Organum we have specimens of all the varieties of the author's style; it is there all the peculiarities of his extraordinary mind are found in the highest perfection, though of all his works, save those on law, it is perhaps the least read, save among the favored few. Most of the aphorisms are as remarkable for beauty of expression and subtlety of observation as they are for wisdom and depth of thought. Those relating to the idola have been domesticated, so to speak, in the literature of every civilized country. If only for what it has done, this work, above all others, should be a universal favorite; but independently of its intrinsic worth, every page of it sparkles with wit. No one who has read it carefully and intelligently can wonder that Cowley, in one of his finest poems, has compared Bacon to Moses standing on Mount Pisgah. Alas! that the great mind that produced it should have descended so low; though with the exception of a little flattery to the great, to be found in the dedications already alluded to, there is certainly nothing low or mean in his writings; and be it remembered, that after all, it is with the latter, not with their author, the world has to do. Supposing we knew nothing of the authorship of the Novum Organum, would the work be anything the less valuable on this account? No one can tell
Εγω δ' οἶδα μὲν, ὡς αἱ ὑπερμενεις φύσεις ἥκισα καθαραὶ τὸ γαρ ἐν παντὶ ἀκριβὲς κίνδυντος σμικρότητο), ἐν δὲ τοῖς μεγέθεσιν, ὥσπερ ἐν τοῖς ἄγαν ὤλετοις, εἶναί τι χρηκαὶ παρολιγωρεμενον. -Περί ύψους. Sect. 33.
who discovered the art of printing. But that detracts nothing from its value for all it has done for the human mind, and it would be the same had the discoverer been a malefactor of the worst kind. It is much more our duty, therefore, to thank the Messrs. Brown & Taggart, of Boston, for thus reprinting, in the finest style, the best edition of Bacon's works ever published—an edition that contains a considerable amount of valuable matter to be found in no other series-than to say a harsh word of the imperfections of one who has created so great a revolution in the mode of thinking of all nations-who has overthrown such a multitude of prejudices, and conjured up in their stead thoughts and. opinions that are almost daily producing fruits which border on the miraculous. We should rather say, as Bolingbroke did of the great Duke of Marlborough: "He was so great a man, I have: forgotten his vices."
ART. II.-1. El Fureidis. By the Author of the "Lamplighter," and “Mabel Vaughan." Boston: Ticknor & Fields. 1860.
2. Beulah. By AUGUSTA J. EVANS. New York. Derby & Jackson. 1860.
MISS MULOCH, in her work entitled "A Woman's Thoughts about Women," after speaking of the relative merits of the sexes as artists, writes as follows: "In literature we own no such boundaries; there, we meet men on level ground—and, shall I say it ?— we do often beat them in their own fields. We are acute and accurate historians, clear explanators of science, especially successful in imaginative works, and within the last year Aurora Leigh has proved that we can write as great a poem as any man among them all.”
While we very readily admit a portion of this assertion, we cannot accept it in toto. In literature, women have rarely excelled men in the higher branches. As historians, they are (in spite of Miss Muloch's assertion to the contrary) vastly inferior to men. Creatures of impulse and feeling, their views are always marked by prejudice on either the one side or the other. They are not calm and dispassionate chroniclers of bygone ages. Neither do their works bear the impress of that patient and toilsome study
and research that are indispensible to historians. A woman follows her impulses to whatever conclusions they may lead her, and few, very few, can justly be considered "acute and accurate historians" There have been few histories from the pens of men that have not been distorted and rendered unreliable by prejudice and passion. Even Macaulay was not free from this infirmity. Men are calmer, more cautious, and harder to convince, except by a clear and conclusive course of reasoning, than women. The latter hastily jump at conclusions; and these conclusions are oftener the result of mere feeling than of study and a careful investigation of facts. For instance, what woman has ever done justice to the character and motives of Henry VIII?
In science, women are as much out of their element as in history. As a general thing, their scientific knowledge is cramped and imperfect, and their views so far from being "clear," generally mislead and perplex. What woman can compare with the giant Humboldt, or the quaint Hugh Miller? What female mind has ever given birth to theories such as those of Newton and Franklin? Or what female has ever trod the intricate maze of mathematics with the facility of Laplace, or our own Courtenay? Even in medicine, in which branch of the sciences it is admitted that women have shown the most talent, what woman has been able to cope with Jenner, or queer old Nathan Chapman? If we turn to astronomy, what woman has swept the midnight skies with space-penetrating glasses, and given to science new worlds or startling theories? In philosophy and in metaphysics, women must be content to bow before the superiority of such minds as Kant, Ritcher, Cousin, and Hamilton. The claim to superiority, both in history and in science, is then merely an opinion of Miss Muloch, and as such entitled to little or no consideration, when unaccompanied by proof.
In imaginative literature, however, we are willing to award to woman the praise that she has so well won; begging leave, however, to state, that we do not believe that "Aurora Leigh” is in any respect worthy of being compared with either of Homer's immortal lays, or yet with Virgil's glowing story of the Trojan Hero,. or (coming down to more modern times) with either the Divina Comedia, or the heaven-inspired Paradise Lost. That it is a grand and noble poem-by far the most remarkable of the nineteenth century, we cheerfully admit. But may we be permitted