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"and uniformity in nature than in truth there is. Hence that fiction "of the mathematicians that in the heavenly bodies all is moved by "perfect circles, rejecting spiral lines. So it comes to pass that "whereas there are many things in nature, as it were, monodica and "full of imparity: yet the conceits of men still feign and frame unto "themselves relatives; parallels and conjugates: for upon this ground "the element of fire and its orb is brought in to keep square with "the other three, earth, water, air. The chemists have set out a "fanatical squadron of words, feigning by a most vain conceit in "these their four elements (heaven, air, water and earth) there are to "be found to every one parallel and uniform species."

"As the northern part of the earth was supposed to be a hemis"phere, the southern part was assumed to be of the same form.

"Bacon says, In the structure of the universe the motion of "living creatures is generally performed by quadruple limits or "flexures: as the fins of fish; the feet of quadrupeds; and the "feet and wings of fowl."-To which Aristotle adds, "the four "wreaths of serpents.'

"That produce increases in an arithmetic and population in a "geometric ratio, is a position which seems to partake of the love "of uniformity."

See Novum Organum, Aph. 45.


Referring to page xliii of Analysis.

Bacon's doctrine of idols of the understanding is more fully explained in the beginning of the Novum Organum, where these idols or tendencies of the mind to be warped from the truth are investigated and deprecated. He then explains, that if these idols once take root in the mind, truth will hardly find entrance, or if it do, that it will be choaked and destroyed, and he warns us that " Idols are to be "solemnly and for ever renounced, that the understanding may be "thereby purged and cleansed; for the kingdom of man, which is "founded in the sciences, can scarce be entered otherwise than the "kingdom of God, that is, in the condition of little children."

And in his introduction to the just method of compiling history, he says, "If we have any humility towards the Creator; if we have any "reverence and esteem of his works; if we have any charity towards "men, or any desire of relieving their miseries and necessities; if "we have any love for natural truths; any aversion to darkness; and any desire of purifying the understanding; mankind are to be most "affectionately intreated, and beseeched, to lay aside, at least for a "while, their preposterous, fantastick and hypothetical philosophies, "which have led experience captive, and childishly triumphed over "the works of God; and now at length condescend, with due sub"mission and veneration, to approach and peruse the volume of "the Creation; dwell some time upon it; and, bringing to the "work a mind well purged of opinions, idols and false notions, "converse familiarly therein. This volume is the language which "has gone out to all the ends of the earth, unaffected by the con"fusion of Babel; this is the language that men should thoroughly "learn, and not disdain to have its alphabet perpetually in their "hands: and in the interpretation of this language they should spare no pains; but strenuously proceed persevere and dwell upon "it to the last."


Bacon having explained the general nature of idols, and demonstrated the importance of destroying them, divides them into four sorts but they seem to be reducible to two, which may be thus exhibited.

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2. Particular. {. Of the theatre.

"Speaking of Idols of the Tribe, he says, 'There are certain predispositions which beset the mind of man: certain idols which are constantly operating upon the mind and warping it from the "truth; the mind of man, drawn over and clouded with the sable "pavilion of the body, is so far from being like a smooth, equal "and clear glass, which might sincerely take and reflect the beams "of things according to their true incidence, that it is rather like "an enchanted glass full of superstitions and impostures.""

Having explained the nature of some of the "Idols of the Tribe," he explains the " Idols of the Den," or those prejudices which result from the false appearances imposed by every man's own peculiar nature and custom. "We every one of us have our particular den or “cavern which refracts and corrupts the light of nature, either be"cause every man has his respective temper, education, acquaintance, course of reading and authorities, or from the difference of impressions, as they happen in a mind prejudiced or prepossessed, or in one that is calm and equal. The faculties of some men are "confined to poetry: of some to mathematics: of some to morals: of "some to metaphysics. The schoolmaster, the lawyer, the physician, "have their several and peculiar ways of observing nature."


Referring to page xliii of Analysis.-See the last Note.

The prejudices from words are what Bacon calls, "idols of the "market," which are fully explained in the Novum Organum, where there is an expansion of the following doctrine.

"There are also idols that have their rise, as it were, from com"pact, and the association of mankind; which, on account of the "commerce and dealings that men have with one another, we call "idols of the market. For men associate by discourse, but words "are imposed according to the capacity of the vulgar; whence a "false and improper imposition of words strangely possesses the "understanding. Nor do the definitions and explanations wherewith "men of learning in some cases defend and vindicate themselves, any "way repair the injury; for words absolutely force the understand"ing, put all things in confusion, and lead men away to idle controIversies and subtleties without number."

This important subject is investigated in the Novum Organum, where the different defects of words are explained.


Referring to page xliv of Analysis.

This important subject of memory is investigated in the Novu Organum, under the head of " Constituent Instances," and may be thus exhibited.

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memory. 3. Technical memory.

2. Reducing intellectual to sensible things." That impressions are strongly made when the mind is free and disengaged, may appear from the permanent impressions made in early life, which often remain in old age, when all intermediate impressions are forgotten.

That impressions may be strongly made when the mind is influenced by passion, may be illustrated by the following anecdote, from the Life of Benvenuto Cellini, who says, "My father happened to be in a little "room in which they had been washing, and where there was a good "fire of oak burning, with a fiddle in his hand he sang and played "near the fire; the weather being exceeding cold, he looked at this "time into the flames and saw a little animal resembling a lizard, "which could live in the hottest part of that element: instantly per"ceiving what it was, he called for my sister, and, after he had shown "us the creature, he gave me a box of the ear: I fell a crying, while "he soothing me with his caresses, spoke these words, My dear "child, I don't give you that box for any fault you have com"mitted, but that you may recollect that this little creature which "you see in the fire, is a salamander.'" Instances of the same nature occur daily, of which one of the most common and practical is the custom, when boys walk the boundaries of parishes, for the officer to strike the boy, that he may remember in old age the boundery which he walked; so that Bacon's doctrine seems to be well founded, that these things which make an impression by means of strong affection or passion assist the memory. The mind when disturbed, being, for this purpose, free from the same cause, the exclusion of all thought but the predominant passion.

That strong impressions are produced by a variety of circumstances, appears by "proving the same geometrical proposition by different forms of "proofs, as algebraic and geometric, &c. Reading the same several "truths in prose and in verse, and in different styles in each, &c."

That impressions ought not to be too hastily made, may be inferred from the old adage, that " great wits have short memories.""

With respect to cutting of infinity, or what Bacon terms, “the limita❝tion of an indefinite seeking to an inquiry within a narrow compass."

The first mode is, he says, by order or distribution; the second by places for artificial memory; which he says, "May either be places in a proper sense, as a door, a window, a corner, &c, or familiar and "known persons, or any known persons, or any other things at pleasure provided they be placed in a certain order, as animals, plants, words, letters, characters, historical personages, "&c., though some of these are more, and some less fit for the

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purpose. But such kind of places greatly help the memory, "and raise it far above its natural powers." And we are told by Aubrey, that Lord Bacon's practice corresponded with his theory; for "In his description of Lord Bacon's house at Gorhambury, "he says, 'Over this portico is a stately gallery, where glass windows 66 are all painted: and every pane with several figures of beast, bird, "or flower: perhaps his lordship might use them as topics for local "memory.

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The third mode is, he says, by technical memory, of which there are an infinite number of modes, not very highly prized by Bacon, (see page 195 of this work), of which old Fuller says, "It "is rather a trick than an art, and more for the gain of the teacher than profit of the learners. Like the tossing of a pike, "which is no part of the postures and motions thereof, and is rather "ostentation than use, to show the strength and nimbleness of the arm, and is often used by wandering soldiers as an introduction to beg. Understand it of the artificial rules which at this day are de"livered by the memory mountebanks: for sure an art therefore "may be made (wherein as yet the world may be defective), and that no more destructive to natural memory than spectacles are to the eyes, which girls in Holland wear from twelve years of age."

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With respect to the reduction of intellectual to sensible things, Bacon is more copious in his treatise "De Augmentis, where he says, "What is presented to the senses strikes more forcibly than what is presented to the intellect. The image of a huntsman "pursuing a hare; or an apothecary putting his boxes in order; or "a man making a speech; or a boy reciting verses by heart; or an "actor upon the stage, are more easily remembered than the notions " of invention-disposition-elocution-memory--and action."


Referring to page lxvii of Analysis.

This seed has, for the last two centuries, been apparently not really dormant. It has, during this interval, been softening and expanding, and has lately appeared above the surface. By the labours of foreign authors, from Montesquieu to the benevolent Beccarria, and of various philosophers and political economists in this island, and, above all, of Jeremy Bentham, it is beginning to be admitted that "law is a science," and that "pour diriger les mouvemens de la pouppée humaine, il faudroit connoitre les fils qui la meuvent." Commerce has already felt the influence of these opinions, the injurious restraints, by which its freedom was shackled, are mouldering away and the lesson taught 2000 years ago, of forgiveness of debtors, has, after the unremitted exertions of philosophy during this long period, been lately sanctioned by the legislature. It is now no longer contended that the counting-house has any alliance with the jail, or that a man should be judge in his own cause, and assign the punishment of his own pain. These errors have passed away. In the first year of the reign of his present Majesty, arbitrary imprisonment for debt, was abolished by the establishment of the Insolvent Court. The same influence has extended to our criminal law. The restraints upon conscience are gradually declining and the punishment of death is receding within its proper limits, which it has for years exceeded, by the erroneous notion, that the power of a law varied not inversely but directly as the opinion of its severity.

Twenty years have scarcely passed away since Sir Samuel Romilly first proposed the mitigation of the punishment of death. His pro. posal was met in the English parliament as disrespectful to the judges, and an innovation by which crime would be increased, and the constitution endangered. During the excesses of the French revolution, the prudence of this country stood upon the old ways, dreading the very name of change; but these fears no longer exist: timidity is finding its level, and, instead of being perplexed by fear of change, our intellectual government encourages improvement, which, thus fostered, is now moving upon the whole island. In the same first year of the reign of his present Majesty, the following laws were enacted: An Act, to repeal so much of the several Acts passed in the thirty-ninth year of the reign of Elizabeth, the fourth of George I., the fifth and eighth of George II. as inflicts capital punishments on certain offences therein specified, and to provide more suitable and effectual punishment for such offences.

An Act to repeal so much of the several Acts passed in the first and second years of the reign of Phillip and Mary, the eighteenth of Charles II., the ninth of George I., and the twelfth of George II. as inflicts capital punishment on certain offences therein specified. An Act to repeal so much of an Act passed in the tenth and eleventh years of King William III., intituled, An Act for the better apprehending, prosecuting, and punishing of felons, that commit burglary, house-breaking, or robbery, in shops, ware-houses, coachhouses, or stables, or that steal horses, as takes away the benefit of clergy from persons privately stealing in any shop, ware-house, coach-house, or stable, any goods, wares, or merchandises, of the value of 5s., and for more effectually preventing the crime of stealing privately in shops, ware-houses, coach-houses, or stables.

May we not hope that during the next fifty years more progress will be made in sound legislation, than for some preceding centuries? and may we not ascribe these improvements partly to the exertions of this great philosopher, who, in his dedication of the Novum Organum to King James, says, I shall, perhaps, when I am dead, hold "out a light to posterity, by this new torch set up in the obscurity of "philosophy."



Referring to page 319 of the body of the work.

There have been various editions of the New Atlantis. In 1631, it was translated into French, of which there is a copy in the British Museum; where there is also the New Atlantis continued A. D. 1660, by R. H. Esq. wherein is set forth a platform of monarchical government and also in French, A. D. 1702, avec des reflexions sur l'institution et les occupations des academies, &c. par M. R.

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