while his companions were diverting themselves in the park he was occupied in meditating upon the causes of the echoes (a) and the nature of imagination. (b) In after life he was a master of the science of harmony, (c) and the laws of imagination he studied with peculiar care, (d) and well understood. The same penetration he extended to colours, (ƒ) and to the heavenly bodies, (g) and predicted

(a) See ante, page 3.

(b) See note (t), page 4.

(c) Sir John Hawkins, in his History of Music, says, “Lord Bacon, in his Natural History has given a great variety of experiments touching music, that shew him to have been, not barely a philosopher, an inquirer into phenomena of sound, but a master of the science of harmony, and very intimately acquainted with the precepts of musical composition.”

(d) See 10th Century of Sylva, vol. iv. See Stewart's Dissertation. (f) See his solitary Instances in the Novum Organum. See p. 290. A rainbow and a piece of glass in a stable window both shew the prismatic colours; but there is nothing common between the rainbow and the stable window, save this power of shewing the colour. Does not colour depend upon the refractive power of these bodies?

(g) "Quicunque enim superlunarium et sublunarium conficta divortia contempserit, et materiæ appetitus et passiones maxime catholicas (quæ in utroque globo validæ sunt, et universitatem rerum transverberant) bene perspexerit, is ex illis quæ apud nos cernuntur luculentam capiet de rebus cœlestibus informationem."

Whoever shall reject the feigned divorces of superlunary and sublunary bodies, and shall intentively observe the appetences of matter and the most universal passions, which in either globe are exceeding potent, and transverberate the universal nature of things, he shall receive clear information concerning celestial matters from the things seen here with us; and contrariwise, from those motions which are practised in heaven, he shall learn many observations which now are latent, touching the motion of bodies here below, not only so far as their inferior motions are moderated by superior, but in regard they have a mutual intercourse by passions common to them both.

"We must openly profess that our hope of discovering the truth, with regard to the celestial bodies, depends upon the observation of the common properties, or the passions and appetites of the matter of both states; for, as to the separation that is supposed betwixt the ethereal and sublunary bodies, it seems to me no more than a fiction, and a degree of superstition

the modes by which their laws would be discovered, and which, after the lapse of a century, were so beautifully

elucidated by Newton.

The extent of his views was immense. He stood on a Extent of views. cliff, and surveyed the whole of nature. His vigilant observation of what we, in common parlance, call trifles, was, perhaps, more extraordinary: scarcely a pebble on the shore escaped his notice. It is thus that genius is, from its life of mind, attentive to all things, and, from seeing real union in the apparent discrepancies of nature, deduces general truths from particular instances.

His powers were varied and in great perfection. (a) His senses were exquisitely acute, (b) and he used them Senses.

mixed with rashness, &c. Our chiefest hope and dependance in the consideration of the celestial bodies is, therefore, placed in physical reasons, though not such as are commonly so called; but those laws, which no diversity of place or region can abolish, break through, disturb or alter."

(a) "Those abilities," says Dr. Rawley, "which commonly go single in other men, though of prime and observable parts, were all conjoined and met in him; sharpness of wit, memory, judgment, and elocution. I have been in

duced to think, that if ever there were a beam of knowledge derived from God upon any man in these modern times, it was upon him; for, though he was a great reader of books, yet he had not his knowledge from books, but from some grounds and notions from within himself."

"For the former three, his books do abundantly speak them, which with what sufficiency he wrote let the world judge, but with what celerity he wrote them I can best testify; but for the fourth, his elocution, I will only set down what I heard Sir Walter Rawleigh once speak of him by way of comparison (whose judgment may well be trusted), That the Earl of Salisbury was an excellent speaker, but no good penman; that the Earl of Northampton (the Lord Henry Howard) was an excellent penman, but no good speaker; but that Sir Francis Bacon was eminent in both.'" -See Ben Jonson's observations, ante, p. 28.

(b) Aubrey. See note G at the end.




to dissipate illusions, by holding firm to the works of God and to the sense, which is God's lamp, Lucerna Dei, spiraculum hominis." (a)

His imagination was fruitful and vivid; but he understood its laws, and governed it with absolute sway. He used it as a philosopher. It never had precedence in his mind but followed in the train of his reason. With her hues, her forms, and the spirit of her forms, he clothed the nakedness of austere truth. (b)

He was careful in improving the excellencies, and in standing. diminishing the defects of his understanding, whether from inability at particular times to acquire knowledge or inability to acquire particular sorts of knowledge. (c)


As to temporary inability, his golden rules were, “ 1st, inability. Fix good, obliterate bad times. (d) 2ndly, In studies what

(a) Sylva, Cent. x. vol. iv.

(b) See text, p. 134, and note R R R, and the Excursion.

(c) That understanding is in a sound state for the acquisition of knowledge which is capable at any time to acquire any sort of knowledge. The defects of the understanding are, therefore, disabilities,

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(d) There is a kind of culture of the mind which is built upon this ground, that the minds of all mortals are at some times in a more perfect state at other times in a more depraved state. The objects, therefore, of this culture are, the fixation of good times and the obliteration of bad times, that the good seasons may be cherished, and the evil crossed and expunged out of the calendar.-Bacon.

The mind is brought to any thing with more sweetness and happiness, if that whereunto we pretend be not first in the intention, but "tanquam aliud agendo." If a favourable gale spring up, hoist the sail.

Be surrounded by different instruments of knowledge, that you may gratify your immediate desire.-" Dr. Johnson advised me to-day," says Boswell," to have as many books about me as I could, that I might read upon any subject upon which I had a desire for instruction at the time. 'What you read then,' said he, 'you will remember; but if you have not

soever a man commandeth upon himself, let him set hours for it; but whatever is agreeable to his nature, let him take no care for any set hours, for his thoughts will fly to it of themselves." (a)-He so mastered and subdued his mind as to counteract disinclination to study; (b) and he

a book immediately ready, and the subject moulds in your mind, it is a chance if you again have a desire to study it.'"

Dr. Johnson said, “If a man begins to read in the middle of a book, and feels an inclination to go on, let him not quit it to go to the beginning; he may perhaps not feel again the inclination."-Boswell's Life, p. 405.

(a) Bacon, speaking of Queen Elizabeth, says, "This lady was endowed with learning in her sex singular, and rare even amongst masculine princes; whether we speak of learning, of language, or of science modern or ancient, divinity or humanity; and unto the very last of her life she accustomed to appoint set hours for reading, scarcely any young student in an university more daily or more duly."

But the most effectual expedient employed by Alfred for the encouragement of learning was his own example, and the constant assiduity with which, notwithstanding the multiplicity and urgency of his affairs, he employed himself in the pursuits of knowledge. He usually divided his time into three equal portions: one was employed in sleep and the refection of his body by diet and exercise; another in the dispatch of business; a third in study and devotion: and that he might more exactly measure the hours, he made use of burning tapers of equal length, which he fixed in lanthorns: an expedient suited to that rude age, when the geometry of dialling and the mechanism of clocks and watches was entirely unknown. And by such a regular distribution of his time, though he often laboured under great bodily infirmities, this martial hero, who fought in person fiftysix battles by sea and land, was able during a life of no extraordinary length to acquire more knowledge, and even to compose more books, than most studious men, though blest with the greatest leisure and application, have in more fortunate ages made the object of their uninterrupted industry.-Hume.

Dr. Johnson said, "If a man never has an eager desire for instruction he should prescribe a task for himself; if he has a science to learn he must regularly and resolutely advance."

(b) As in the improvement of the understanding, the mind ought always to be employed on some subject from which it is averse, that it may obtain the mastery over itself: so two seasons are chiefly to be observed; the one when the mind is best disposed to a business, the other when it is worst, that by the one we may be well forwards on our way, by the latter we may

prevented fatigue by stopping in due time: (c) by a judicious intermission (d) of studies, and by never plodding

by a strenuous contention work out the knots and stonds of the mind, and make it pliant for other occasions.

Somebody talked of happy moments for composition, and how a man can write at one time and not at another. "Nay," said Dr. Johnson, "a man may write at any time if he will set himself doggedly to it."

Johnson told us, almost all his Ramblers were written just as they were wanted for the press; that he sent a certain portion of the copy of an essay, and wrote the remainder while the former part of it was printing. When it was wanted, and he had fairly sat down to it he was sure it would be done.

Dr. Johnson would allow no settled indulgence of idleness upon principle, and always repelled every attempt to urge excuses for it. A friend one day suggested, that it was not wholesome to study soon after dinner. Johnson said, “Ah, sir, don't give way to such a fancy: at one time of my life I had taken it into my head that it was not wholesome to study between breakfast and dinner."

Thou shalt find, that deferring breeds, besides the loss, an indisposition to good; so that what was before pleasant to thee, being omitted, to-morrow grows harsh, the next day unnecessary, afterwards odious. To-day thou canst, but wilt not; to-morrow thou couldst, but listest not; the next day thou neither wilt, nor canst bend thy mind on these thoughts. So I have seen friends, that, upon neglect of duty, grow overly, upon overliness ; strange, upon strangeness, to utter defiance.

Perhaps the two following rules may assist this defect.

1. Ascertain the cause of the disinclination, and counteract it.

2. Form the habit of conquering your indisposition to study at particular times.

(c) We do not call for a perpetuity of this labour of meditation: human frailty could never bear so great a toil. Nothing under heaven is capable of a continual motion, without complaint: it is enough for the glorified spirits above, to be ever thinking and never weary. The mind of man is of a strange metal; if it be not used, it rusteth; if used hardly, it breaketh.

For he would ever interlace a moderate relaxation of his mind with his studies, as walking, or taking the air abroad in his coach, or some other befitting recreation; and yet he would lose no time, inasmuch as upon his first and immediate return, he would fall to reading again, and so suffer no moment of time to slip from him without some present improvement.


(d) Rawley.-What a heaven lives a scholar in, that at once in one close room can daily converse with all the glorious martyrs and fathers: that can single out at pleasure either sententious Tertullian, or grave

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