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cause the object of the mechanic was the lawyer and politician,- there was to mould things, whilst the object of a singular union of audacity and sothe philosopher was only to mould briety. The promises which he made words. Careful induction is not at all to mankind might, to a superficial necessary to the making of a good syl- reader, seem to resemble the rants logism. But it is indispensable to the which a great dramatist has put into making of a good shoe. Mechanics, the mouth of an Oriental conqueror therefore, have always been, as far as half-crazed by good fortune and by the range of their humble but useful violent passions. callings extended, not anticipators but “He shall have chariots easier than air, interpreters of nature. And when a Which I will have invented ; and thyself philosophy arose, the object of which That art the messenger shall ride before
him, was to do on a large scale what the
On a horse cut out of an entire diamond, mechanic does on a small scale, to ex- That shall be made to go with golden tend the power and to supply the wants wheels,
I know not how yet." of man, the truth of the premises, which logically is a matter altogether But Bacon performed what he prounimportant, became a matter of the mised. In truth, Fletcher would not highest importance; and the careless have dared to make Arbaces promise, induction with which men of learning in his wildest fits of excitement, the had previously been satisfied gave tithe of what the Baconian philosophy place, of necessity, to an induction far has performed. more accurate and satisfactory.
The true philosophical temperament What Bacon did for inductive philo- may, we think, be described in four sophy may, we think, be fairly stated words, much hope, little faith ; a dispothus. The objects of preceding specu- sition to believe that any thing, howlators were objects which could be ever extraordinary, may be done ; an attained without careful induction. indisposition to believe that any thing Those speculators, therefore, did not extraordinary has been done. In these perform the inductive process carefully. points the constitution of Bacon's mind Bacon stirred up men to pursue an seems to us to have been absolutely object which could be attained only by perfect. He was at once the Mammon induction, and by induction carefully and the Surly of his friend Ben. Sir performed ; and consequently induc- Epicure did not indulge in visions tion was more carefully performed. We more magnificent and gigantic. Surly do not think that the importance of did not sift evidence with keener and what Bacon did for inductive philoso- more sagacious incredulity. phy has ever been overrated. But we Closely connected with this pecuthink that the nature of his services is liarity of Bacon's temper was a striking often mistaken, and was not fully un- peculiarity of his understanding. With derstood even by himself. It was not great minuteness of observation, he by furnishing philosophers with rules had an amplitude of comprehension for performing the inductive process such as has never yet been vouchsafed well, but by furnishing them with a to any other human being. The small motive for performing it well, that he fine mind of Labruyère had not a more conferred so vast a benefit on society. delicate tact than the large intellect of
To give to the human mind a direc- Bacon. The Essays contain abundant tion which it shall retain for ages is the proofs that no nice feature of character, rare prerogative of a few imperial spi- no peculiarity in the ordering of a rits. It cannot, therefore, be uninte-house, a garden, or a court-masque, resting to inquire what was the moral could escape the notice of one whose and intellectual constitution which ena- mind was capable of taking in the bled Bacon to exercise so vast an in- whole world of knowledge. His unfluence on the world.
derstanding resembled the tent which In the temper of Bacon,—we speak the fairy Paribanou gave to Prince of Bacon the philosopher, not of Bacon Ahmed. Fold it; and it seemed a toy for the hand of a lady. Spread it; which Bacon taught was the art of inand the armies of powerful Sultans venting arts. The knowledge in which might repose beneath its shade. Bacon excelled all men was a knowledge
In keenness of observation he has of the mutual relations of all departbeen equalled, though perhaps never ments of knowledge. surpassed. But the largeness of his The mode in which he communicated mind was all his own. The glance his thoughts was peculiar to him. He with which he surveyed the intellec- had no touch of that disputatious temper tual universe resembled that which the which he often censured in his predecesArchangel, from the golden threshold sors. He effected a vast intellectual reof heaven, darted down into the new volution in opposition to a vast mass creation.
of prejudices; yet he never engaged in "Round he surveyed, - and well might, any controversy: nay, we cannot at where he stood
present recollect, in all his philosophiSo high above the circling canopy cal works, a single passage of a controOf night's extended shade,-from eastern versial character. All those works might
point Of Libra, to the fleecy star which bears with propriety have been put into the Andromeda far off Atlantic seas
form which he adopted in the work Beyond the horizon."
entitled Cogitata et visa : “ Franciscus His knowledge differed from that of Baconus sic cogitavit.”
These are other men, as a terrestrial globe differs thoughts which have occurred to me: from an Atlas which contains a dif- weigh them well: and take them or ferent country on every leaf. The leave them, towns and roads of England, France, Borgia said of the famous expedition and Germany are better laid down of Charles the Eighth, that the French in the Atlas than on the globe. But had conquered Italy, not with steel, while we are looking at England we but with chalk; for that the only exsee nothing of France; and while we ploit which they had found necessary are looking at France we see nothing for the purpose of taking military ocof Germany. We may go to the Atlas cupation of any place had been to mark to learn the bearings and distances of the doors of the houses where they York and Bristol, or of Dresden and meant to quarter. Bacon often quoted Prague. But it is useless if we want this saying, and loved to apply it to to know the bearings and distances of the victories of his own intellect.* His France and Martinique, or of Eng- philosophy, he said, came as a guest, land and Canada. On the globe we not as an enemy. She found no difshall not find all the market towns in ficulty in gaining admittance, without our own neighbourhood; but we shall a contest, into every understanding learn from it the comparative extent fitted, by its structure and by its caand the relative position of all the king- pacity, to receive her. In all this we doms of the earth. “I have taken," said think that he acted most judiciously; Bacon, in a letter written when he was first, because, as he has himself reonly thirty-one, to his uncle Lord Bur- marked, the difference between his leigh, “I have taken all knowledge to school and other schools was a difbe my province.” In any other young ference so fundamental that there was. man, indeed in any other man, this hardly any common ground on which would have been a ridiculous flight of a controversial battle could be fought; presumption. There have been thou- and, secondly, because his mind, emisands of better mathematicians, astrono- nently observant, preeminently discurmers, chemists, physicians, botanists, sive and capacious, was, we conceive, mineralogists, than Bacon. No man neither formed by nature nor disciplined would go to Bacon's works to learn any by habit for dialectical combat. particular science or art, any more than Through Bacon did not arm his he would go to a twelve-inch globe in order to find his way from Kennington
* Novum Organum, Lib. 1. Aph. 35, and turnpiketo Clapham Common. The art | elsewhere.
philosophy with the weapons of logic, | vice has not yet extinguished all gooc he adorned her profusely with all the qualities. Again, he tells us that decorations of rhetoric. His eloquence, in music a discord ending in a conthough not untainted with the vicious cord is agreeable, and that the same taste of his age, would alone have en- thing may be noted in the affections. titled him to a high rank in literature. Once more, he tells us, that in physics He had a wonderful talent for packing the energy with which a principle acts thought close, and rendering it portable. is often increased by the antiperistasis In wit, if by wit be meant the power of of its opposite; and that it is the same perceiving analogies between things in the contests of factions. If the which appear to have nothing in com- making of ingenious and sparkling mon, he never had an equal, not even similitudes like these be indeed the Cowley, not even the author of Hudi- philosophia prima, we are quite sure bras. Indeed, he possessed this faculty, that the greatest philosophical work or rather this faculty possessed him, to of the nineteenth century is Mr. Moore's a morbid degree. When he abandoned Lalla Rookh. The similitudes which himself to it without reserve, as he did we have cited are very happy similiin the Sapientia Veterum, and at the tudes. But that a man like Bacon end of the second book of the De Aug- should have taken them for more, that mentis, the feats which he performed he should have thought the discovery were not merely admirable, but por- of such resemblances as these an imtentous, and almost shocking. On portant part of philosophy, has always those occasions we marvel at him as appeared to us one of the most singular clowns on a fair-day marvel at a jug- facts in the history of letters. gler, and can hardly help thinking that The truth is that his mind was wonthe devil must be in him.
derfully quick in perceiving analogies These, however, were freaks in which of all sorts. But, like several eminent his ingenuity now and then wantoned, men whom we could name, both living with scarcely any other object than to and dead, he sometimes appeared astonish and amuse. But it occasion- strangely d •ficient in the power of disally happened that, when he was en- tinguishing rational from fanciful gaged in grave and profound investiga- analogies, analogies which are argutions, his wit obtained the mastery over ments from analogies which are mere all his other faculties, and led him into illustrations, analogies like that which absurdities into which no dull man Bishop Butler so ably pointed out, becould possibly have fallen. We will tween natural and revealed religion, give the most striking instance which from analogies like that which Addison at present occurs to us. In the third discovered between the series of book of the De Augmentis he tells us Grecian gods carved by Phidias and that there are some principles which the series of English kings painted by are not peculiar to one science, but are Kneller. This want of discrimination common to several. That part of has led to many strange political specuphilosophy which concerns itself with lations. Sir William Temple deduced these principles is, in his nomenclature, a theory of government from the prodesignated as philosophia prima. He perties of the pyramid. Mr. Southey's then proceeds to mention some of the whole system of finance is grounded principles with which this philosophia on the phænomena of evaporation and prima is conversant. One of them is rain. In theology, this perverted inthis. An infectious disease is more genuity has made still wilder work. likely to be communicated while it is From the time of Irenæus and Origen in progress than when it has reached down to the present day, there has not its height. This, says he, is true in been a single generation in which great medicine. It is also true in morals; divines have not been led into the most for we see that the example of very absurd expositions of Scripture, by abandoned men injures public morality mere incapacity to distinguish analogies less than the example of men in whom I proper, to use the scholastic phrasa, from analogies metaphorical.* It is reason sanctioned. He knew that all curious that Bacon has himself men- the secrets feigned by poets to have tioned this very kind of delusion among been written in the books of enchanters the idola specus ; and has mentioned it are worthless when compared with the in language which, we are inclined to mighty secrets which are really written think, shows that he knew himself to in the book of nature, and which, with be subject to it. It is the vice, he tells time and patience, will be read there. us, of subtle minds to attach too much He knew that all the wonders wrought importance to slight distinctions; it by all the talismans in fable were trifles is the vice, on the other hand, of high when compared to the wonders which and discursive intellects to attach too might reasonably be expected from the much importance to slight resem- philosophy of fruit, and that, if his blances; and he adds that, when this words sank deep into the minds of last propensity is indulged to excess, it men, they would produce effects such leads men to catch at shadows instead as superstition had never ascribed of substances.t
to the incantations of Merlin and Yet we cannot wish that Bacon's wit Michael Scott. It was here that he had been less luxuriant. For, to say loved to let his imagination loose. He nothing of the pleasure which it affords, loved to picture to himself the world it was in the vast majority of cases em- as it would be when his philosophy ployed for the purpose of making ob- should, in his own noble phrase, “have scure truth plain, of making repulsive enlarged the bounds of human emtruth attractive, of fixing in the mind pire.” | We might refer to many infor ever truth which might otherwise stances. But we will content ourselves have left but a transient impression. with the strongest, the description of
The poetical faculty was powerful in the House of Solomon in the New AtBacon's mind, but not, like his wit, so lantis. By most of Bacon's contempowerful as occasionally to usurp the poraries, and by some people of our place of his reason, and to tyrannize time, this remarkable passage would, over the whole man. No imagination we doubt not, be considered as an inwas ever at once so strong and so genious rodomontade, a counterpart to thoroughly subjugated. It never stirred the adventures of Sinbad or Baron but at a signal from good sense. It Munchausen. The truth is, that there stopped at the first check from good is not to be found in any human comsense. Yet, though disciplined to such position a passage more eminently disobedience, it gave noble proofs of its tinguished by profound and serene vigour. In truth, much of Bacon's life wisdom. The boldness and originality was passed in a visionary world, amidst of the fiction is far less wonderful than things as strange as any that are de- the nice discernment which carefully scribed in the Arabian Tales, or in excluded from that long list of prodigies those romances on which the curate every thing that can be pronounced imand barber of Don Quixote's village possible, every thing that can be proved performed SO cruel an auto-de-fé, to lie beyond the mighty magic of inamidst buildings more sumptuous than duction and time. Already some parts, the palace of Aladdin, fountains more and not the least startling parts, of this wonderful than the golden water of glorious prophecy have been accomParizade, conveyances more rapid than plished, even according to the letter ; the hippogryph of Ruggiero, arms and the whole, construed according to more formidable than the lance of As- the spirit, is daily accomplishing all tolfo, remedies more efficacious than around us. the balsam of Fierabras. Yet in his One of the most remarkable circummagnificent day-dreams there was stances in the history of Bacon's mind nothing wild, nothing but what sober is the order in which its powers ex
With him the *. See some interesting remarks on this panded themselves. subject in Bishop Berkeley's Minute Phi- fruit came first and remained till the losopher, Dialogue IV. + Novum Organum, Lib. 1. Aph. 55.
last; the blossoms did not appear till sculpture, by the faces and necks of late. In general, the development of beautiful women, in the style of a the fancy is to the development of the Parliamentary report. In his old age judgment what the growth of a girl he discussed treaties and tariffs in the is to the growth of a boy. The fancy most fervid and brilliant language of attains at an earlier period to the per- romance. It is strange that the Essay fection of its beauty, its power, and on the Sublime and Beautiful, and the its fruitfulness; and, as it is first to Letter to a Noble Lord, should be the ripen, it is also first to fade. It has productions of one man. But it is far generally lost something of its bloom more strange that the Essay should and freshness before the sterner facul- have been a production of his youth, ties have reached maturity; and is and the Letter of his old age. commonly withered and barren while We will give very short specimens those faculties still retain all their of Bacon's two styles. In 1597, he energy. It rarely happens that the wrote thus : “ “ Crafty men contemn fancy and the judgment grow together. studies; simple men admire them; and It happens still more rarely that the wise men use them; for they teach not judgment grows faster than the fancy. their own use: that is a wisdom withThis seems, however, to have been the out them, and won by observation. case with Bacon. His boyhood and Read not to contradict, nor to believe, youth appear to have been singularly but to weigh and consider. Some sedate. His gigantic scheme of philo- books are to be tasted, others to be sophical reform is said by some writers swallowed, and some few to be chewed to have been planned before he was and digested. Reading maketh a full fifteen, and was undoubtedly planned man, conference a ready man, and while he was still young. He observed writing an exact man. And therefore as vigilantly, meditated as deeply, and if a man write little, he had need have judged as temperately when he gave a great memory; if he confer little, his first work to the world as at the have a present wit; and if he read close of his long career. But in elo- little, have much cunning to seem to quence, in sweetness and variety of know that he doth not. Histories expression, and in richness of illus- make men wise, poets witty, the mathetration, his later writings are far matics subtle, natural philosophy deep, superior to those of his youth. In this morals grave, logic and rhetoric able respect the history of his mind bears to contend.” It will hardly be dissome resemblance to the history of the puted that this is a passage to be mind of Burke. The treatise on the chewed and digested.” We do not Sublime and Beautiful, though written believe that Thucydides himself has on a subject which the coldest meta- any where compressed so much thought physician could hardly treat without into so small a space. being occasionally betrayed into florid In the additions which Bacon afterwriting, is the most unadorned of all wards made to the Essays, there is Burke's works. It appeared when he nothing superior in truth or weight to was twenty-five or twenty-six. When, what we have quoted. But his style at forty, he wrote the Thoughts on was constantly becoming richer and the Causes of the existing Discontents, softer. The following passage, first his reason and his judgment had published in 1625, will show the exreached their full maturity ; but his tent of the change: “ Prosperity is the cloquence was still in its splendid blessing of the Old Testament; addawn. At fifty, his rhetoric was quite versity is the blessing of the New, as rich as good taste would permit; which carrieth the greater benediction and when he died, at almost seventy, and the clearer evidence of God's it had become ungracefully gorgeous. favour. Yet, even in the Old TestaIn his youth he wrote on the emotions ment, if you listen to David's harp produced by mountains and cascades, you shall hear as many hearse-like by the master-pieces of painting and airs as carols ; and the pencil of the