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Bacon to the attainment of clear and true notions—and (2) with a tentative "Direction," showing us how to produce Heat:

"From this, our First Vintage, it follows that the Form, or true Definition, of Heat (Heat, that is, in relation to the universe, not simply in relation to man) is in few words as follows: 'Heat is a motion, expansive, restrained, and acting in its strife upon the smaller particles of bodies.' But the expansion is thus modified: 'While it expands all ways, it has at the same time an inclination upwards.' And the struggle in the particles is modified also: 'It is not sluggish, but hurried and with violence.'

"Viewed with reference to operation it is the same thing. For the Direction is this: If in any natural body you can excite a dilating or expanding motion, and can so repress this motion and turn it back upon itself, that the dilation shall not proceed equably, but have its way in one part and be counteracted in another, you will undoubtedly generate heat.'

It will be remembered that in Aphorism 19 after admitting the inadequacy of his Method of Exclusions, Bacon promised to supply more powerful aids (fortiora auxilia in usum intellectus) for the use of the Understanding." The 20th Aphorism ends with a statement that he now proceeds to supply these: "Now, however, we must proceed to 'further aids' (ulteriora auxilia).” Accordingly the 21st Aphorism begins thus :


"(21) The Tables of Presentation, and the Rejection (or process of Exclusion) being completed, and also the First Vintage being made thereupon, we are to proceed to the other helps of the Understanding (ad reliqua auxilia intellectus) concerning the Interpretation of Nature and true and perfect Induction."

The "help" now wanted is a help to the formation of true conceptions of Simple Natures, without which the Method of Exclusions cannot be performed. But for this help the reader will wait in vain. Mr. Ellis expresses his opinion that Bacon himself had "never, even in idea, completed the method which he proposed:" "In order to the completion of his method . . . a subsidiary method is required, of which the object is the formation of scientific conceptions. To this method Bacon gives the name of Induction; and it is remarkable that Induction is mentioned for the first time in the Novum Organum in a passage


which relates, not to axioms, but to conceptions. Induction therefore is not a mere èraywyn, it is also a method of definition; 2 but of the manner in which systematic Induction is to be employed in the formation of his conceptions we learn nothing from any part of his writings. And by this circumstance our knowledge of his method is rendered imperfect and unsatisfactory. We may, perhaps, be permitted to believe that, so far as relates to the subject of which we are now speaking, Bacon never, even in idea, completed the method which he proposed. For, of all parts of the process of scientific discovery, the formation of conceptions is the one with respect to which it is most difficult to lay down regular rules. The process of establishing axioms Bacon had succeeded, at least apparently, in reducing to the semblance of a mechanical operation; that of the formation of conceptions does not admit of any similar reduction. Yet these two processes are, in Bacon's system, of co-ordinate importance. All commonly received general scientific conceptions Bacon condemns as utterly worthless.3 A complete change therefore is required; yet of the way in which Induction is to be employed in order to produce this change he has said nothing."

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Few, however, would infer from the language of the rest of the book that Bacon is here brought to a standstill, and that he had not completed, even in idea," the method which he is attempting to set before his readers. Probably he was not himself fully aware of the insuperable nature of the obstacle before him; but a certain semi-consciousness of failure induces. him to evade the difficulty; to creep round it and under it; to separate, so to speak, the main stream of his argument into a multitude of petty rills or runlets to which be gives grand and

1 Nov. Org. i. 14: see the passage quoted above, p. 392: "The syllogism consists of propositions.. Our only hope therefore lies in a true Induction": and compare i. 18: "In order to penetrate into the inner and further recesses of nature, it is necessary that both notions and axioms be derived from things by a more sure and guarded way.'

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2 Comp. Aph. 20, quoted above, p. 394: "the Form, or true definition, of Heat;" and Aph. 16 (p. 388), "a Form affirmative, solid, and true, and welldefined."

3 Comp. Nov. Org. i. 15: "There is no soundness in our notions, whether logical or physical. Substance, Quality, Action, Passion, Essence itself, are not sound notions: much less are Heavy, Light, Dense, Rare, Moist, Dry, Generation, Corruption, Attraction, Repulsion, Element, Matter, Form, and the like; but all are fantastical and ill-defined." Spedding, Works, i. 37.

promising names, and which he disperses so that they may cover a great amplitude of space, and flow on somehow although to little purpose, becoming shallower as they increase in width and number, and leaving behind them unremoved and unremovable the great rock of the Simple Natures. Nowhere certainly in all his writings does Bacon more conspicuously justify the praise bestowed by Yelverton on his pre-eminent power of expressing himself "bravely and confidently" than in the following Aphorism with its influx of grandiloquent promises of "helps for the use of the Understanding."

"I propose to consider, in the first place, Prerogative Instances; 2nd, the Supports of Induction; 3rd, the Rectification of Induction; 4th, Varying the Investigation according to the nature of the subject; 5th, Prerogative Natures with respect to Investigation, or what should be inquired first and what last; 6th, the limits of Investigation, or a Synopsis of all Natures in the Universe; 7th, the Application to Practice, or things in their relation to Man; 8th, Preparations for Investigation; 9th, the Ascending and Descending Scale of Axioms."

The rest of the book is devoted to the first of these nine sections, viz., the Prerogative Instances, of which twenty-seven are enumerated and illustrated by examples. Prerogative Instances are those which are distinguished from ordinary instances by having, as it were, a kind of royal "Prerogative," a superior claim on our attention, because they afford more light than ordinary instances, so that a few of the former are more valuable than a multitude of the latter. For example, first among the twenty

1 Spedding. vi. 2-8: "That you seem not dismayed, but open yourself bravely and confidently, wherein you can excel all subjects.' See above, p. 264.

2 44

Prerogativa" was the name given to the Tribe or Century that gave the first vote in the Roman Comitia; their vote was usually followed by the rest, so that it was almost always paramount. Hence the word came to be applied to royal rights; and hence (with one, or both, of these allusive meanings) it is used by Bacon to denote instances of paramount importance. See the summary of the Delineatio above, p. 360, for a previous mention of them.

The titles of the twenty-seven Instances may perhaps be stimulative to the memory of those who have read the Norum Organum, and suggestive to the imagination of those who have not. They are as follows: (1) Solitary; (2) Migratory; (3) Striking or Shining (ostensive); (4) Clandestine, or of the Twilight; (5) Constitutive; (6) Conformable, or, of Analogy; (7) Singular, or Heteroclites; (8) Deviating; (9) Bordering, or Participles (limitaneæ); (10) of Power, or, of the Fasces; (11) of Companionship and Enmity; (12) Ultimity or Limit; (13) of Alliance; (14) of the Finger-post (crucis), hence the well-known crucial instance; (15) of Divorce; (16) of the Door; (17) Summoning Instances; (18) of the Road, or Travelling Instances; (19) Supplementary or Substitutive; (20) Dissecting or Awakening Instances; (21) of the Rod or Rule; (22) of the

seven come what are called Solitary Instances. These "exhibit the nature under investigation in subjects which have nothing in common with other subjects except that nature;" e.g. suppose we are investigating colour; then prisms, crystals, dews, &c. which show colours, not only in themselves, but externally on a wall-are Solitary Instances; for these have nothing in common with the colours fixed in flowers, coloured stones, metals, &c., except the colour: "from which we easily gather that colour is nothing more than a modification of the image of light received upon the object, resulting in the former case from the different degrees of incidence, in the latter from the various textures and configurations of the body." In this and many others of the Prerogative Instances Bacon exhibits something of the intuition of a discoverer; and in the selection of the two examples just mentioned he was peculiarly happy; for it was by means of them that Newton afterwards found out the composition of light. But no amount of admiration for the ingenuity of occasional observations and for the keenness of occasional insight can blind us to the fact that they bring us little if at all nearer to the formation of a true conception of Simple Natures, without which the Method of Exclusions will not work, and consequently the Key of Interpretation will unlock nothing. Yet hopeful to the last, the author concludes this small fragment of an immense work with a promise couched in the language of undaunted faith:

"But now I must proceed to the supports and rectifications of Induction; and then to Concretes and Latent Processes and Latent Configurations, and the rest, as set forth in order in the twenty-first Aphorism; that at length (like an honest and faithful guardian) I may hand over to men their fortunes, now that their Understanding is emancipated, and as it were come of age; whence there cannot but follow an improvement in man's estate and an enlargement of his power over nature. For man, by the Fall, fell at the same time from his estate of innocency and from his dominion over creation. Both of these losses however can, even in this life, be in some part repaired; the former by religion and faith, the latter by arts and sciences."

Course or Water (i.e.. the water-clock); (23) of Quantity, or Doses of Nature; (24) of Strife or Predominance; (25) Intimating Instances; (26) Polychrest, or of General Use; (27) Magical Instances.


The Third Part of the Instauratio Magna was to be (see the Distributio Operis, p. 378 above) the Phenomena of the Universe, or History Natural and Experimental, adapted for the foundation of Philosophy. Accordingly in the same. year in which Bacon published the unfinished Novum Organum, he also published a short treatise entitled Preparation for a Natural and Experimental History (Parasceue ad Historiam Naturalem et Experimentalem).1 A Preface informs us that his object is to incite others to co-operate with him in the vast work of preparing the materials for the Natural History; this he cannot hope to perform unaided, whereas that which relates to the work of the Understanding itself he may accomplish by his own efforts. Another reason that he gives for busying himself with a task somewhat beneath him is the desire to prescribe the plan of the proposed History, lest his followers should imitate the pattern of the cumbrous useless histories of his predecessors. Without such a History nothing can be effected, no, not even though all the world should convert itself into a University for the study of Philosophy. But with it--if there be added to it such auxiliary and light-giving experiments as, in the very course of Interpretation, will either present themselves or will have to be found out the investigation of nature and of all sciences will be the work of a few years.

Repeating the division used in the Advancement of Learning, he would divide Nature triply into (1) Nature free, in her generations; (2) Nature free, in her errors; (3) Nature in bondage, under art or experiment. The Universe is not to be contracted to suit the prejudices of the Understanding; but the Understanding is so to expand itself as to embrace the spirit of the Universe; that philosophers may no longer skip like fairies in their own little enchanted rings, but move in a circuit wide as the world itself.

In collecting instances from arts, we are to choose those that 1 Spedding, Works, i. 369-414.

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