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word would disorder a fyllogism; and a man needs only make a trial in any part of natural history, as left us by my lord Bacon, to see how conclufive his induction was like to have been. To say nothing, that, notwithftanding his blaming the common logics, as being too much spent in words, himself runs into the faulo he condemns ; for what else can we make of his Idola Tribus, Idola Specus, Fori, Theatri ; or of his Inftantiæ Solitariæ, Mi. grantes, Oitensivæ, Clandestinæ, Constitutivæ, &c. but fine words put to express very common and ordinary things ?
". After the way of free-thinking had been laid open by my lord Bacon, it was soon after greedily followed; for the understanding affects freedom as well as the will, and men wilt
purfue liberty though it ends in confufior."
There is certainly a great deal of truth in what Mr. Baker says, with regard to the confequences of lord Verulam's philofophy, and the manner in which it has been prosecuted ; but surely this ought not to be imputed to kim, who, if I underftand him at all, was, of all philosophical writers, the least addicted to free-thinking: Of this opinion is the famous Morhof, who bestows the highest praises on the work of which we are now speaking ; making no scruple to declare, that he had found but very little in the books fiuce writter by Englishmen, the grounds of which he had not long before met with in Bacon; the extent of whole genius ftruck him with admiration,
66 I mean,'
as it must do every man who takes the pains to understand him; because, though this new logic of his be very difficult, and requires much study and application to master it, yet it leads to the knowledge of things, and not of words.
Mr. Voltaire, in his letters concerning the English nation, remarks, That the best, and moft fingular, of all his pieces, is that which is most useless and leaft read. says our author, « his Novum Scientiarium Organum. This is the scaffold with which the new philofophy was raised; and, when the edifice was built, part of it at least, the scaffold was no longer of service. The lord Bacon was not yet acquainted with nature, but then he knew, and pointed out the several paths that led to it. He had despised, in his younger years, the thing called philosophy in the universities ; and did all that lay in his power to prevent those focieties of men, insti. tuted to improve human reason, from de. praving it by their quiddities, their horrors of vacuum, their fubftantial forms, and all those impertinent terms, which not only ignorance had rendered venerable, but which had been made facred by there being ridiculoufly blended with religion."
There cannot be any thing more honourable for the memory of this great person, than the teftimony of the writer before-mentioned, who, it is certain, has not shewn too great a readiness to praise or commend any body, and much less the English authors, whom, except Newton, he seems to applaud with reluctance. There is, however, one thing in his judgment of this work, which deserves to be particularly confidered : and that is, his comparison of it to a scaffold; which, it cannot be denied, is, at once, very juft and very fignificant; but then it is not very easy to know, what this great critic means by representing it as useless, and assigning that as a reason why this treatise is now fo little read or understood. The very contrary of this seems to be the fact : the new philosophy ftands like a vast magnificent palace, in some places half finished, in others the walls carried up to a moderate height; in fome, jaft raised above the ground; in others, hardly marked out. What reason, therefore, for taking away the scaffold ? Or, rather, What.
reason to expect the work should ever be finished, at least thoroughly and regularly, if the scaffold be taken away? · The truth of the matter is, that several who have wrought upon this noble structure fince, have erected scaffolds for their own use, of their own contriyance; and, when they have, in some measure, finished the part they were about, taken them away, and concealed from the eye of the public their manner of working. Others again have attempted to raise scaffolds from the lights received from our author ; and, so far as they have copied them, have done this with great success.
But lord Verulam's was a more noble defign: he knew that the life of one man could not suffice for the finishing, even a small part of this stately edifice; and therefore he spent so many years in constructing this scaffold, which might have served for perfe&ting and complearing the whole work, if others had been as diligent in pursuing his plan, as he was studious and careful, in rendering it every way fit for the use which he designed.
This is the true account, and the only true one, of the Novum Organum; and one may safely venture to aflert, That, if his design had been pursued with that steadiness which it deserved, the new philosophy had been by this time, not only more perfect than it is, but more perfect than it is ever like to be, unless the learned at last discern their error in this re. spect, and are content to make use of the helps he has left them ; which, the more they are considered, the more they are tried, will be found more adequate to the great design of their author, than well can be imagined.
Lord Bacon's Chara ter.
SIR WALTER RALEIGH, that true judge of men and things, of ages past and present, discoursing of the great men of his time, faid,
The earl of Salisbury was an excellent speaker, but no good penman; that lord Henry Howard was an excellent penman, but no good speaker ; Sir Francis Bacon alike eminent in both.
The judicious and penetrating Ben. Johnfon thought, that 'English eloquence ascended till the time of the viscount St. Albans, and from thence went backward and declined. He who was not too apt to praise, was profuse in praises of Bacon, closing them with these admirable reflections :
" My conceit of his person was never en. creased toward him by his place or honours ; but I have and do reverence him for the greatness that was only proper to himself, in that be seemed to me ever, by his works, one of the greatest men, and most worthy of admiration, that had been in many ages. In his adversity, I ever prayed that God would give him Atrength, for greatnefs he could not want, neither could I condole in a word or syllable for him, as knowing no accident could do harm to virtue, but rather help to make it manifest."