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may represent a time (as a chronicle) or a person (as a biography) or an action (as a narration). Ecclesiastical history contains the history of the Church, the history of Prophecy, and the history of Providence; of these the second is deficient, and the first and third are unsatisfactory. Literary history is non-existent; and yet, without it, the history of the world is as "the statua of Polyphemus with his eye out; that part being wanting which doth most show the spirit and life of the person." Of all the appendices to history the letters of wise men are the most important, being more natural than orations and public speeches, and more deliberate and advised than conferences or present speeches.-(Adv. of L. II. i. 2, iii. 5; De Augm. II. iv—xiii.)

A single chapter suffices for Poetry.

Poetry is triply divided into narrative, representative or dramatic, and allusive or parabolical. Though for the most part restrained in words, it is in all other points extremely licensed, and it arises from the imagination. For inasmuch as the material world is in proportion inferior to the soul, the imaginative faculty devises a more ample greatness, a more exact goodness, and a more absolute variety than can be found in the nature of things; whence it appears that poetry tends to magnanimity, morality, and to delectation.-(Adv. II. iv. 1, iv. 5; De Augm. II. xiii., iii. 1.)

At a time when literary history was non-existent, that Bacon should have called attention to this deficiency, pronouncing that, without it, the history of the world is as "the statua of Polyphemus with his eye out," is one among instances of his intuition, originality, and superiority to existing preconceptions, which make the Advancement to this day a stimulating and interesting book. It will be noted that in parabolical poetry Bacon would include the works of the " sage and serious Spenser, as well as the fables of Esop and the myths of Greece and Rome; but no place seems left for lyrical poetry and hardly any for satires and epigrams. From Poetry we pass to Philosophy.

Philosophy is (1) divine, (2) natural, (3) human, coming to the mind by rays (1) refracted, (2) direct, (3) reflected. But again, philosophy is like a tree; and therefore, before describing the branches (of which the above are three) we ought to describe the trunk which is common to all, and to erect one universal science by the name of Philosophia Prima, primitive or

1 This is the expression used in the De Augmentis. In the Advancement it runs thus: "In philosophy the contemplations of man do either penetrate unto God, or are circumferred to nature, or are reflected or reverted upon himself."

summary philosophy, as the main or common way, before we come where the ways part and divide themselves. This is practically deficient; for although men have reasoned syllogistically about quantity, similitude, diversity, and the like, yet there is a complete silence about these common adjuncts of things, as they are found in nature. Wherefore we lay down that this Prima Philosophia is to be a receptacle for all such profitable observations and axioms as fall not within the compass of any of the special parts of philosophy or sciences, but are more common and of a higher stage. (Adv. II. v. 1, v 3; Augm. III. i.--ii.)

In Divine Philosophy, i.e. Natural Theology, there is an excess rather than a deficience; for some, trying to extort from nature not merely evidence of the existence, power, skill, and beneficence of God, but also confirmation of points of faith, have by their commixture made an heretical religion and an imaginary and fabulous philosophy. Leaving therefore divine philosophy or natural theology (to be carefully distinguished from divinity or inspired philosophy which we reserve till the last, as the haven of our contemplations) we proceed to the second branch of Philosophy, i.e. Natural Philosophy.—(Adv. II. vi. 1, vi. 2 ; Augm. III. ii.—iii.)

As an exposition of Bacon's philosophic system, the Advancement of Learning is of less value than many of his shorter treatises; but it will always be important for its literary value, as well as for its suggestiveness and stimulating effect upon every seeker after truth. "It is," says a recent biographer 2 of Bacon, "the first great book in English prose of secular interest; the first book which can claim a place beside the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. As regards its subject-matter, it has been partly thrown into the shade by the greatly enlarged and elaborate form in which it ultimately appeared, in a Latin dress, as the first portion of the scheme of the Instauratio, the De Augmentis Scientiarum. Bacon looked on it as a first effort, a kind of call-bell to awaken and attract the interest of others in the thoughts and hopes which so interested himself. But it contains some of his finest writing. In the Essays he writes as a looker-on at the game of human affairs, who, according to his frequent illustration, sees more of it than the gamesters themselves, and is able to give wiser and faithful counsel, not without a touch of kindly irony at the mistakes which he observes. In the Advancement he is the enthusiast for a great cause and a

1 See below, § 64-8, for a summary of the rest of the Advancement of Learning, which treats of Natural Philosophy.

2 Dean Church, Bacon, pp. 217-220.

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great hope, and all that he has of passion and power is enlisted in the effort to advance it. The Advancement is far from being a perfect book. As a survey of the actual state of knowledge in his day, of its deficiencies and what was wanted to supply them, it is not even up to the materials of the time. Even the improved De Augmentis is inadequate; and there is reason to think the Advancement was a hurried book, at least in the later part, and it is defective in arrangement and proportion of parts. Two of the great divisions of knowledge-history and poetryare despatched in comparatively short chapters; while in the division on Civil Knowledge,' human knowledge as it respects society, he inserts a long essay, obviously complete in itself and clumsily thrust in here, on the ways of getting on in the world, the means by which a man may be Faber fortunae suae'—the architect of his own success; too lively a picture to be pleasant of the arts with which he had become acquainted in the process of rising. The book, too, has the blemishes of its own time; its want of simplicity, its inevitable though very often amusing and curious pedantries. But the Advancement was the first of a long line of books which have attempted to teach English readers how to think of knowledge; to make it really and intelligently the interest, not of the school or the study or the laboratory only, but of society at large. It was a book with a purpose, new then, but of which we have seen the fulfilment. He wanted to impress on his generation, as a very practical matter, all that knowledge might do in wise hands, all that knowledge had lost by the faults and errors of men and the misfortunes of time, all that knowledge might be pushed to in all directions by faithful and patient industry and well-planned mtehods for the elevation and benefit of man in his highest capacities as well as in his humblest. And he further sought to teach them how to know; to make them understand that difficult achievement of self-knowledge, to know what it is to know; to give the first attempted chart to guide them among the shallows and rocks and whirlpools which beset the course and action of thought and inquiry; to reveal to them the 'idols' which unconsciously haunt the minds of the strongest as well as the weakest, and interpose their delusions when we are least aware,' the fallacies and false appearances inseparable

from our nature and our condition of life'-to induce men to believe not only that there was much to know that was not yet dreamed of, but that the way of knowing needed real and thorough improvement, that the knowing mind bore along with it all kinds of snares and disqualifications of which it is unconscious, and that it needed training quite as much as materials to work on, was the object of the Advancement. It was but a sketch; but it was a sketch so truly and forcibly drawn, that it made an impression which has never been weakened.1 . . . It is a book which we can never open without coming on some noble interpretation of the realities of nature or the mind; some unexpected discovery of that quick and keen eye which arrests us by its truth; some felicitous and unthought-of illustration, yet so natural as almost to be doomed to become a commonplace; some bright touch of his incorrigible imaginativeness, ever ready to force itself in amid the driest details of his argument."


It will be remembered that the object of the Second Part of the Magna Instauratio was to teach men "how to use their understanding aright in the investigation of Nature. Soon after the publication of the Advancement of Learning, Bacon took this work in hand and composed (1606-7) the Outline and Argument of the Second Part of the Instauratio (Partis Instaurationis Secundae Delineatio et Argumentum). Of this workimportant for its wide range, brevity, and clearness-the following is a summary.3

For the special purpose of the Interpretation of Nature (Interpretationi Naturae ipsi) there shall be three books, the third, the fourth, and the sixth (for the fifth, which will consist of Anticipations based on the ordinary use of Reason, is merely temporary; and, as soon as we can use the verification

1 I omit here some words with which I am unable to agree: "To us its use and almost its interest has passed away."

2 See Mr. Ellis's summary of the scheme of the Instauratio as a whole, quoted on p. 347. This should constantly be referred to, if the reader wishes to understand the exact object of each of the many treatises which were written as contributions to the Instauratio.

3 Spedding, Works, iii. 547-557.

afforded by the legitimate use of Reason, this fifth book will pass into the sixth).1

As for this present book, the second, it has for its special subject the Understanding (Intellectus ipse) and the care and government thereof, and the equipment of reason. This may be called Logic; but, if so, it must be understood to be a new Logic, subjecting to tests that which the old Logic takes upon trust, viz., principles, first notions, and even the information given by the senses, Moreover, it inverts the order of the old Logic; for instead of flying at once up to principles and generalities, and deducing therefrom middle propositions, the new Logic begins with histories of facts and particulars, thence mounts to middle propositions, and thence to general principles.

We are seeking light. Now every object that is to receive light must first be polished, secondly, turned to the light, thirdly, receive the influx of the light. In precisely the same way must we deal with the human mind:

I. The mental "area," so to speak, must be levelled and cleared.

II. The mind must be "converted" or turned towards the new truths.

III. The new truths must be imparted.

I. The process of "levelling" is threefold, corresponding to the threefold nature of the Idols that beset the mind; for they are either external or inherent. The external Idols may have arisen from the dogmas of philosophers, or from perverse laws of demonstration. Wherefore the task of "levelling" must include first the destruction of the dogmas of philosophers, secondly, the release of the mind from the fetters of false notions about demonstration, thirdly, the eradication (or at least the branding) of the inherent Idols or perversenesses of the mind.

II. For the purpose of "conversion" the student must be delivered from prejudice and from despair, believing that the divine Will encourages the search after truth, and that the new truth (which is as different from the old as the "idols" of the human mind are from the "ideas" of the divine mind) is not a vague, wandering, or recurring eddy, but a goal ("errorum et vastit atis terminum," and compare Valerius Terminus).2 It will also be well to show the causes that have produced past errors, in order that the mind may be roused to hope for the avoidance of future error. And let none suppose that this preliminary labour is superfluous or that the "idols" of the mind can easily be put away by force of will. For without help none can do this; inasmuch as the "spirits" of the philosophers (unlike those of the prophets) are not "subject to" the philosophers; and the author (who is leading them on a path that he has himself explored) knows by experience that it is more difficult to obtain access to the minds of men than to the secrets of Nature.

1 For the six divisions of the Instauratio, see above, p. 347.
For the "idols," see below, p. 381.

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