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restored, or at least brought to terms of nearer correspondence.” This, then, we are to keep in remembrance, is the great purpose of the author :- to restore, or rather to establish that a commercium mentis et rerum," --that direct intercourse between the mind and things by which alone he conceives we can ever rightly understand and turn to proper account the natural forces and capabilities by which we are surrounded.

He goes on to observe that he had no hope at all that the prevailing errors would rectify themselves, either by the inherent power of the understanding or by the aid of dialectic, or logic; because the primary notions which the mind was wont almost passively and supinely to drink in, and from which all others spring, were unsound, confused, and rashly abstracted from the realities to which they relate ; while there was the like luxuriant variety and inconstancy in the second and sequent notions; so that it came to pass that the whole system of reasoning which men employed in the inquisition of nature was not well put together and built up, but was merely, a showy pile without any sound foundation. For, whilst men admired and celebrated the imaginary powers of the mind, her true faculties, such as they might be made, if due aids were made use of by her, and she were to carry nerseit complyingly towards things instead of insulting over them, were passed over and allowed to lie unused.

“This one way, therefore,” he concludes,“ remaineth, that the whole business be attempted anew with better preparations, or defences against error; and that there be a universal INSTAURATION, or re-construction, of the arts and sciences, and of all human learning, upon a due basis.” That is the meaning of the word Instauratio: it was used by the Romans for the repetition of anything; and generally with a special view to correctness or completeness of performance; as, for instance, of games or sacrifices of which the first performance had been unsatisfactory. It is properly a building up, and is nearly the same thing with a restoration.

Of what remains of this preliminary intimation of the

design of the Instauratio the following are the most remarkable passages : .“ It does not escape him how untrodden and solitary is the way of this experiment, and how hard it may be for him to win belief in its practicability. Nevertheless, he thought that he ought not to desert either the undertaking or himself, but should at least make trial of entering upon the road which alone is pervious and penetrable to the mind of man. And being uncertain when these things might hereafter come into any other mind, led principally by this consideration that he had heard of no one hitherto who had applied himself to such cogitations, he determined to publish by themselves such portions of his design as he had been enabled first to finish. .. Assuredly he esteemed any other ambition whatsoever as inferior to what he had thus taken in hand; for this which is here treated of either is nothing, or is so great that he may well be contented with the merit of that alone and seek for nought beyond it.”

Then follows a Dedication to the King, James I. This address can in strictness be understood as referring only to the Novum Organum, which alone accompanied it when it first appeared; but it is sufficiently applicable also to the whole of the Instauratio Magna. What Bacon proposed as his new method, although recommended and illustrated in other parts of the Instauratio, is only formally propounded or explained in the Novum Organum. It is there that what he conceives to be the novelty of his general views or principles is chiefly to be found. In any circumstances, therefore, his preparatory observations on his main design would have had a special reference to that part of the work.

What he offers, he tells his majesty, is at least altogether new; new in its very kind; yet copied, he adds, from a very ancient original, namely, from the world itself and the nature of things and of the human mind. He has himself been accustomed to esteem the work as the offspring rather of time than of wit; for the only thing wonderful in it is, that the first conception of the truths it contains, and such strong suspicions respecting

the opinions which have hitherto prevailed, should come into any

one's head; after that, the rest followed naturally. Afterwards he expressly describes his work as a new torch kindled amid the darkness of philosophy to be a light to all coming time, and as a regeneration and instauration of the sciences. What he has put into men's hands, however, he remarks in conclusion, is the organ or instrument; the materials on which it is to be employed must be sought from things themselves.

Next we have a Preface of considerable length, headed " On the State of the Sciences, that it is not prosperous nor greatly advanced ; and that another way altogether than what hath been heretofore known must be opened to the human understanding, and other helps obtained, in order that the mind may be able to exercise its right over the nature of things.

" It seems to us,” he begins, “ that men neither properly understand what acquisitions they have made, nor what powers they are endowed with ; the former they overrate, the latter they underrate. And so it comes to pass, that, either holding such arts as are generally known and practised in an immoderate estimation, they seek nothing more ; or, undervaluing themselves beyond what in equity they ought, they waste their powers upon things of lighter significance, and refrain from making trial of them in such a way as might be really to the purpose.”. It is, as usual, impossible to abridge what follows; the compactness of the statement sets any such attempt at defiance; all that can be done is to extract a few of the leading remarks, omitting the connexion, or leaving the reader to make it out for himself. Here then are the passages, not which are the most ingenious or brilliant, but which are most material for the understanding of the author's design, and of his own conception of what he had accomplished in the work the principal portion of which he now laid before the world :-“ As for the utility or profitableness of existing knowledge, we must speak out plainly, and declare that our philosophy, which we have derived principally from the Greeks, seems to be but a childhood of knowledge, and

to have the qualities of childhood, as being apt for idle talk, but impotent and immature for generating any thing; for it is of controversies rank and fertile, but of works barren and fruitless. ... If this sort of wisdom were not altogether a lifeless thing, it is evident that that could never have happened which now for many ages hath continued ; that the sciences thence resulting should thus stand still, in a manner immoveable in their first footsteps, without any augmentation worthy of the human race; to such a degree, that not only assertion remains assertion, but even question remains question, and is not determined by disputation about it, but fixed and nourished; and that all tradition and succession of discipline represents and exhibits the persons only of teacher and hearer, not of inventor and of another adding something of note to what his predecessor has invented or discovered. In the mechanic arts we see the contrary thing to happen: they, as if they drank in some life-inspiring breeze, daily increase, and are perfected; and, appearing for the most part rude, and even burthensome and shapeless, in the hands of their first authors, in course of time acquire new virtues and a certain adaptation or serviceableness, so that the wishes and desires of men sooner fail and change than those arts arrive at their height and perfection. Philosophy, on the contrary, and the intellectual sciences are, like statues, adored and celebrated, but are not carried forward ; nay, commonly, they are of most vigour when first produced, and ever after go on degenerating.

.. Let no one affirm that the sciences, increasing by degrees, have at length come to a certain full stature, and have at last, as having finished the course allotted to them, fixed themselves in the works of some few authors; so that now nothing better can be found out, and it only remains that what has been invented should be cultivated and adorned. It were to be wished, indeed, that such were the case. But the more correct and the truer account is, that this enslaved condition of the sciences is nought else than a thing bred from the audacity of a few, and the sloth and pusillanimity of the rest of mankind. For As soon as any particular science has in parts been some

what diligently tilled and laboured, some one has usually arisen, confident in his talent, and accepted and celebrated on account of the compendiousness of his method, who in so far as regards appearances has established the art, but in reality has corrupted the labours of his predecessors. Yet what he has done is wont to be well-pleasing to succeeding generations on account of the easy utility of his work, and their wearisomeness and impatience of renewed inquiry. And if any one be moved by the inveterate agreement of opinions, as if it were the verdict of time, let him know that he leans upon a very weak and fallacious consideration. For we are in great part ignorant even of what has been made known and published abroad in the several arts and sciences at various times and places ; much more of what individuals have attempted and thought of in private. So that neither the births nor the abortions of time stand recorded in any patent and authentic register. Nor is general consent, and its long continuance, to be held of so much importance. For, however various may be the kinds of civil polity, there is but one political state of the sciences, and that always has been, and always will be, democratic. And with the people the doctrines that most flourish are ever either contentious and pugnacious, or specious and vain ; such, that is to say, as either ensnare assent or win it by blandishment. And so, without question, the greatest wits in every age have been overborne, and in a sort tyrannized over; whilst men of capacity and comprehension above the vulgar, yet consulting their own reputation, have submitted themselves to the overswaying judgment of time and the multitude. Therefore, if in any time or place more profound contemplations have perchance emerged and revealed themselves, they have been forthwith tossed and extinguished by the winds and tempests of popular opinions ; insomuch that time, like a river, has carried down to us that which is light and blown up, but sunk and drowned whatever was weighty and solid. .... The philosophy that has been delivered down to us and generally received may for the most part be thus described :-barren as to effects, fruitful in questions ;

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