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Where has thou laid my children?
They are mine!
Where hast thou laid them?
They are in a place
Where it is better with them, than with us.
Dead are they, dead!
Thou think'st the worst thing death. I know one that is worse far, to be wretched. Hadst thou not valued life at greater price, Than it deserves, it were not thus with us.
Ours is the suffering, which our boys are saved from.
Were not my bosom still shut up to thee,
As it has always been, thou would'st see anguish,
O wo! wo!
Nay, bear what is laid upon thee,
That I shall ever speak to thee, my husband.
I bid thee now farewell, my husband.
And be in suffering greater than in action.
Bearing forth with me through the lone, wide world.
My early years of life have made me worthy
I go to Delphos. At the fatal altar,
Whence Phryxus bore the golden fleece away,
Spared sacred even by the bloody flame,
That folded round the form of Corinth's princess.
Or they will drive me to the furthest deserts,
In longer life to find but longer torture.
Know'st thou the sign, for which thou hast so struggled, Which was thy glory, and which seemed thy good? What is the good of earth? A shadow!
What is the fame of earth? A dream!
Thou poor man! who hast fondly dreamt of shadows!
The dream is broken, but the night endures.
Now I depart-Farewell, my husband!
We who for misery found each other
In misery separate. Farewell!
I go-and ne'er again your eye beholds me!
[As she turns to depart, the curtain falls.]
ART. XX.-The Life of Francis Bacon, Lord Chancellor of England. By Mr Mallet. A new edition. London, 1822. THE name of lord Bacon, with the single exception of that of sir Isaac Newton, is the first in the modern philosophical world. Mr Hume, indeed, whose habitual moderation seems in this instance to have gone to the extreme of coldness, has suggested the idea, that the English, out of national feeling, have exaggerated the merits of their illustrious philosopher. compares him with Galileo, and seems inclined to place him below both that philosopher and Kepler. Italy,' says he, 'not united in any single government, and perhaps satiated with that literary glory, which it has possessed, both in ancient and modern times, has too much neglected the renown, which it has acquired by giving birth to so great a man as Galileo. That national spirit, which prevails among the English, and which forms their great happiness, is the cause why they bestow on all their eminent writers, and on Bacon among the rest, such praises and acclamations, as may often appear partial and excessive.' The general truth of this observation is indubitable. We feel unwilling to acquiesce in its application to Bacon. And as that great man, in his will, has appealed to posterity in these pathetic terms: 'for my name and memory, I leave it to men's charitable speeches, and to foreign nations, and the next ages:' we take the greater interest, after this interval of time-and in a quarter of our country, which was firs settled by civilized men, a few months before the fall of Bacon -in examining into the justice of the stigma left on his name.
In the first place, we cannot but remark, that the intimation, which Hume has given, that lord Bacon's reputation has been produced by the extravagant commendations lavished on him by his countrymen, is manifestly unjust. The learned of foreign nations certainly took the lead in his praise, and it would require but a superficial search of the philosophical literature of the continent of Europe, since the age of Bacon, to produce as numerous and as animated testimonies to his merits, as are to be found in the British writers. At the present day, as is well known, the Baconian philosophy has become synonymous with the true philosophy, and there is certainly no perceptible difference in the manner, in which it is commended by foreign and British writers. That the remark we just made is correct, beginning from the age in
which lord Bacon himself lived, down to the present time, will appear from one or two citations, which we give as we find them, in the Biographia Britannica, under the article of Bacon. Puffendorf says of him: The late most wise chancellor of England was the chief writer of our age, and who carried, as it were, the standard, that we might press forward and make greater discoveries in philosophic matters, than any with which the schools had rung; so that if in our time, any great improvements have been made in philosophy, there has been not a little owing to that great man.'-Voltaire, in his letters to the English nation, calls him the father of experimental philosophy, and expresses his surprise at finding the doctrine of attraction, usually regarded as the foundation of the Newtonian philosophy, expressly taught in the writings of Bacon. Considering that Mr Hume has ascribed a portion of his high reputation to the partial and excessive praises of his countrymen, it is curious to observe the author of the learned life of Bacon, in the Biographia Britannica, reproaching the English with neglect of their great philosopher's merits, and with leaving to foreigners to study and applaud his philosophy.
But it is not into a controversy with regard to the philosophical character of Bacon, that we propose to enter. The coolest of his admirers are ready enough to commend him in that respect; and the general confession of his countrymen and of foreigners, of his own age and of posterity, assigns him a rank high enough to satisfy any ambition. It is because he stands by all acknowledgment so high as a philosopher; because he was and is the scientific boast of his country and age, and of all who speak the English tongue; because to his literary studies and attainments-of themselves enough to fill a common life-he added an eminence in the most difficult profession attained by few, a rank in the legal world, a reputation as a statesman, an orator, a lawyer, a judge, that compares honorably with that of any of those who aspire to this reputation alone; because with these splendid intellectual endowments and public qualities, he united the most happy and polished manners, and all the graces of private life; and because, finally, he had the rare skill of being able by his pen to set forth all his wonderful talents and mighty acquisitions : it is because he is allowed, almost without a dissenting voice, to have been and to have done all this, that we would fain go New Series, No. 14.
further, and ask whether too ready a belief has not sanctioned the blot on his moral fame? Have not men, willing to credit so much to the glory of lord Bacon, been too willing to attribute to him weaknesses and crimes, which one would gladly think incompatible with all the noble qualities he possessed? In short, having saluted him as the wisest, brightest,'-have not men been too ready to take the epigram of the poet on trust, and call him the meanest of mankind'? The ordinary principles of human nature would suggest an answer in the affirmative. We are often shocked with astonishing mixtures of the good and bad, the great and mean in character; but the best and the worst, the greatest and the meanest, if they met in Bacon, never perhaps met in any other individual.
We do not wish, at the same time, to play the panegyrist of his character. At this distance of time and of place, to wish to do this would be an amiable, but a puerile weakness. We do not wish, because lord Bacon's moral character has been under a cloud, to go to the other extreme, and maintain that he was as conspicuous for stern, unbending Roman integrity, as for eloquence and science. The heroism of virtue, like the heroism of the cabinet and the heroism of the field, is partly a matter of temperament. No quality excites so high admiration, as none perhaps is on the whole so rare. But we do not hold it necessary to the character of a good man, that he be able to approve himself a Regulus or a Cato; and especially under arbitrary governments and in semi-barbarous ages, when the axe and scaffold are the ordinary paraphernalia of state, it is quite too much to say, that no one is entitled to be called a good man, if he do not stand ready to seal his integrity by laying his head upon the block. Many great men are obliged to seal their integrity by this sacrifice; having been cast into so narrow, so arduous, so desperately defined a path of duty, that their whole moral being is pledged upon it, and they must forfeit their name or die. This was the case with Sydney. His bright name could not have shone a moment, had he faltered in the trial. But had Socrates, at the advice of his disciples, broken his prison and escaped, who would have condemned him? The philosophical but homely poet of the present day says,
'That all men would be cowards, if they dare,