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first check froin good sense. Yet, though dis- | as it is first to ripen, it is also first to fade. It ciplined to such obedience, it gave noble proofs has generally lost something of its bloom and of its vigour. In truth, much of Bacon's life freshness before the sterner faculties have was passed in a visionary world-amidst things reached maturity: and is commonly withered as strange as any that are described in the and barren while those faculties still retain all “Arabian Tales," or in those romances on their energy. It rarely happens that the fancy which the curate and barber of Don Quixote's and the judgment grow together. It happens village performed so cruel an anto-da-fe- still more rarely that the judgment grows laster amidst buildings more sumptuous than the than the fancy. This seems, however, to have palace of Aladdin, fountains more wonderful been the case with Bacon. His boyhood and than the golden water of Parizade, conveyances youth appear to have been singularly sedate. more rapid than the hippogryph of Ruggiero, His gigantic scheme of philosophical reform is arms more formidable than the lance of As- said by some writers to have been planned tolfo,remedies more efficacious than the balsam before he was fifteen; and was undoubtedly of Fierabras. Yet in his magnificent day- planned while he was still young. He observed dreams there was nothing wild—nothing but as vigilantly, meditated as deeply, and judged what sober reason sanctioned. He knew that as temperately, when he gave his first work ic all the secrets feigned by poets to have been the world as at the close of his long career. written in the books of enchanters, are worth. But in eloquence, in sweetness, and variety of less when compared with the mighty secrets expression, and in richness of illustration, his which are really written in the book of nature, later writings are far superior to those of his and which, with time and patience, will be youth. In this respect the history of his mind read there. He knew that all the wonders bears some resemblance to the history of the wrought by all the talismans in fable, were mind of Burke. The treatise on the “Sublime trifles, when compared to the wonders which and Beautiful,” though written on a subject might reasonably be expected from the phi- which thô coldest metaphysician could hardly losophy of fruit; and, that if his words sank treat without being occasionally betrayed into deep into the minds of men, they would pro- forid writing, is the most unadorned of all duce effects such as superstition had never Burke's works. It appeared when he was ascribed to the incantations of Merlin and Mi- twenty-five or twenty-six. When at forty, chael Scot. It was here that he loved to let his wrote the “Thoughts on the Causes of the er imagination loose. He loved to picture to him- isting Discontents," his reason and his judg selt' the world as it would be when his philoso- ment had reached their full maturity ; but his phy should, in his own poble phrase, “have eloquence was still in its splendid dawn. Al enlarged the bounds of human empire."* We fifty, his rhetoric was quite as rich as good might refer to many instances. But we will taste would permit; and when he died, at content ourselves with the strongest, the de- almost seventy, it had become ungracefully scription of the “House of Solomon” in the gorgeous. In his youth he wrote on the emo“New Atlantis.” By most of Bacon's contem- tions produced by mountains and cascades; by poraries, and by some people of our time, this the masterpieces of painting and sculpture; by remarkable passage would, we doubt not, be the faces and necks of beautiful women, in the considered as an ingenious rodomontade—a style of a parliamentary report. In his old age, counterpart to the adventures of Sinbad or Ba- he discussed treaties and tariffs in the most ron Munchausen. The truth is, that there is fervid and brilliant language of romance. It not to be found in any human composition a is strange that the essay on the “Sublime and passage more eminently distinguished by pro- Beautiful,” and the “ Letter to a Noble Lord,“ found and serene wisdom. The boldness and should be the productions of one man. But it originality of the fiction is far less wonderful is far more strange that the essay should have than the nice discernment which carefully ex- been a production of his youth, and the letter cluded from that long list of prodigies every of his old age. thing that can be pronounced impossible; We will give very short specimens of Ba every thing that can be proved to lie beyond con's two styles. În 1597, he wrote thus the mighty magic of induction and of time. “Crafty men contemn studies; simple mer Already some parts, and not the least startling admire them; and wise men use them; foj parts, of this glorious prophecy have been ac- they teach not their own use: that is a wisdorr complished, even according to the letter; and without them, and won by observation. Reac the whole, construed according to the spirit, is not to contradict, nor to believe, but to weigt daily accomplishing all around us.

and consider. Some books are to be tasted One of the most remarkable circumstances others to be swallowed, and some few to be in the history of Bacon's mind, is the order in chewed and digested. Reading maketh a full which its powers expanded themselves. With man, conference a ready man, and writing an him the fruit came first and remained till the exact man. And therefore if a man write ast: the blossoms did not appear till late. In little, he had need have a great memory; if he general the development of the fancy is to the confer little, have a present wit; and if he read development of the judgment, what the growth little, have much cunning to seem to know that of a girl is to the growth of a boy. The fancy he doth not. Histories make men wise, poets attains at an earlier period to the perfection of witty, the mathematics subtle, natural philosoits beauty, its power, and its fruitfulness • and, phy deep, morals grave, logic and rhetoric able

to contend." It will hardly be disputed that • "New Atlantis."

this is a passage to be “chewed and digested."


We do not believe that Thucydides himself has | Proposition after proposition enters into the anywhere compressed so much thought into mind, is received not as an invader, but as a so small a space.

welcome friend, and though previously in. In the additions which Bacon afterwards known, becomes at once domesticated. But made to the “Essays,” there is nothing supe- what we most admire is the vast capacity of rior in truth or weight to what we have quoted. that intellect which, without effort, takes in ai But his style was constantly becoming richer once all the domains of science-all the past, and softer. The following passage, first pub- the present, and the future, all the errors of lished in 1625, will show the extent of the two thousand years, all the encouraging signs change: “Prosperity is the blessing of the old of the passing times, all the bright hopes of the Testament, adversity is the blessing of the coming age. Cowley, who was among the New, which carrieth the greater benediction most ardent, and not among the least discern. and the clearer evidences of God's favour. ing followers of the new philosophy, has, in one Yet, even in the Old Testament, if you listen of his finest poems, cuinpared Bacon to Moses to David's harp you shall hear as many hearse standing on Mount Pisgah. It is to Bacon, we like airs as carols; and the pencil of the Holy think, as he appears in the first book of the Ghost hath laboured more in describing the Novum Organum, that the comparison applies afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon. with peculiar felicity. There we see the great Prosperity is not without many fears and dis- Lawgiver looking round from his lonely elevatastes; and adversity is not without comforts tion on an infinite expanse; behind him a and hopes. We see in needleworks and em- wilderness of dreary sands and bit:er waters broideries it is more pleasing to have a lively in which successive generations have sowork upon a sad and solemu ground, than to journed, always moving, yet never advancing, have a dark and melancholy work upon a reaping no harvest and building no abiding lightsome ground. Judge therefore of the city; before him a goodly land, a land of propleasure of the heart by the pleasure of the mise, a land flowing with milk and honey. eye. Certainly virtue is like precious odours, While the multitude below saw only the tiat inost fragrant when they are incensed or sterile desert in which they had so long wancrushed; for prosperity doth best discover dered, bounded on every side by a near horizon, vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.” or diversified only by some deceitful mirage, he

It is by the “Essays" that Bacon is best was gazing from a far higher stand, on a far known to the multitude. The Novum Organum lovelier country-following with his eye the and the De Augmentis are much talked of, but long course of fertilizing rivers, through ample little read. They have produced indeed a vast pastures, and under the bridges of great capieffect on the opinions of mankind; but they tals--measuring the distances of marts and have produced it through the operations of in- havens, and portioning out all those wealthy termediate agents. They have moved the regions from Dan to Beersheba. intellects which have moved the world. It is in the “ Essays" alone that the mind of Bacon It is painful to turn back from contemplating is brought into immediate contaci with the Bacer's philosophy to contemplate his life. minds of ordinary readers. There, ne opens Yet winout so turning back it is impossible an exoteric school, and he talks to plain men fairly to estimate his powers. He left the Uniin language which everybody understands, versity at an earlier age than that at which about things in which everybody is interested. most people repair thither. While yet a boy He has thus enabled those who must otherwise he was plunged into the midst of diplomatic have taken his merits on trust to judge for business. Thence he passed to the study of themselves; and the great body of readers a vast technical system of law, and worked have, during several generations, acknow- his way up through a succession of laborious ledged that the man who has treated with such offices to the highest post in his profession. consummate ability questions with which they In the mean time he took an active part in are familiar, may well be supposed to deserve every Parliament; he was an adviser of the all the praise bestowed on him by those who crown; he paid court with the greatest assi. have sat in his inner school.

duity and address to all whose favour was Without any disparagement to the admirable likely to be of use to him; he lived much in treatise De Augmentis, we must say that, in our society ; he noted the slightest peculiarities of judgment, Bacon's greatest performance is the character and the slightest changes of fashiou. first book of the Norum Organum. All the pe. Scarcely any man has led a more stirring life culiarities of his extraordinary mind are found than that which Bacon led from sixteen 10 there in the highest perfection. Many of the sixty. Scarcely any man has been better en. aphorisms, but particularly those in which he titled to be called a thorough man of the world. gives examples of the influence of the idola, The founding of a new philosophy, the imparte show a nicety of observation that has never ing of a new direction to the minds of specubeen surpassed. Every part of the book blazes lators—this was the amusement of his leisure, with wit, but with wit which is employed only the work of hours occasionally stolen from the to illustrate and decorate truth. No book ever Woolsack and the Council Board. This conmade so great a revolution in the mode of sideration, while it increases the admiratiou thinking, overthrew so many prejudices, in- with which we regard his intellect, increases iroduced so many new opinions. Yet, no book also our regret that such an intelleci should so was ever written in a less contentious spirit. often have been unworthily employed. He li truly conquers with chalk and not with steel. I well knew the better course, and had, al uno time, resolved to pursue it. “I confess," said not then have to blush for the disingenuous. he in a letter writien when he was still young, ness of the most devoted worshipper of specu. " that I have as vast contemplative ends as I lative truth, for the servility of the boldest have moderate civil ends.” Had his civil ends champion of intellectual freedom. We should continued to be moderate, he would have been, not then have seen the same man at one timo not only the Moses, but the Joshua of philo- far in the van, and at another time far in the sophy. He would have fulfilled a large part rear of his generation. We should not then be of his own magnificent predictions. He would forced to own, that he who first treated legis. have led his followers, not only to the verge, lation as a science was among the last Eng. but into the heart of the promised land. He lishmen who used the rack; that he who first would not merely have pointed out, but would summoned philosophers to the great work of have divided the spoil. Above all, he would interpreting nature was among the last Eng. have left not only a great, but a spotless name. lishmen who sold justice. And we should Mankind would then have been able to esteem conclude our survey of a life placidly, honour. their illustrious benefactor. (We should not ably, beneficently passed, “in industrious obthen be compelled to regard his character with servations, grounded conclusions, and profita. mingled contempt and admiration, with min- ble inventions and discoveries," with feelings gled aversion and gratitude. We should not very different from those with which we now then regret that there should be so many proofs turn away from the checkered spectacle of so of the narrowness and selfishness of a heart, much glory and so much shame. the benevolence of which was yet large enough to take in all races and all ages. We should • From a Letter of Bacon to Lord Burleigh.



ENGLAND, IN 1688.*


It is with unfeigned diffidence that we ven- / at mess in Hampshire, or on the Treasury. ture to give our opinion of the last work of Sir bench and at Brookes's during the storms which James Mackintosh. We vain tried to overthrew Lord North and Lord Shelburne bad perform what ought to be to a critic an easy been passed in the Bodleian Library, he might and habitual act. We have in vain tried to have avoided some inaccuracies; he might separate the book from the writer, and to judge have enriched his notes with a greater number of it as if it bore some unknown name. But of references; but he never would have proit is to no purpose. All the lines of that vene- duced so lively a picture of the court, the rable countenance are before us. All the little camp, and the senaie-house. In this respect peculiar cadences of that voice, from which Mr. Fox and Sir James Mackintosh had great scholars and statesmen loved to receive the advantages over almost every English his. lessons of a serene and benevolent wisdom, torian who has written since the time of Burare in our ears. We will attempt to preserve net. Lord Lyttleton had indeed the same adstrict impartiality. But we are not ashamed vantages; but he was incapable of using them. to own, that we approach this relic of a virtu- Pedantry was so deeply fixed in his nature, ous and most accomplished man with feelings that the hustings, the treasury, the exchequer, of respect and gratitude which may possibly the House of Commons, the House of Lords, perverı jur judgment.

left him the same dreaming schoolboy that It is hardly possible to avoid instituting a they found him. comparison between this work and another When we compare the two interesting works celebrated Fragment. Our readers will easily of which we have been speaking, we have litguess that we allude to Mr. Fox's History of tle difficulty in awarding the superiority to that James II. The two books are written on the of Sir James Mackintosh. Indeed, the supesame subject. Both were posthumously pub- riority of Mr. Fox to Sir James as an orator is lished. Neither bad received the last correc- hardly more clear than the superiority of Sir tions. The authors belonged to the same poli- James to Mr. Fox as an historian. Mr. Fox tical party, and held the same opinions con- with a pen in his hand, and Sir James on his cerning the merits and defects of the English legs in the House of Commons, were, we think, constitution, and concerning most of the pro- each out of his proper element. They were minent characters and events in English his- men, it is true, of far too much judgment and tory. They had thought much on the princi- ability to fail scandalously in any undertaking ples of government; but they were not mere to which they brought the whole power of their speculators. They had ransacked the archives winds. The History of James II. will always of rival kingdoms, and pored on folios which keep its place in our libraries as a valuable had mouidered for ages in deserted libraries; book; and Sir James Mackintosh succeeded in but they were not mere antiquaries. They winning and maintaining a high place among had one emu'nt qualification for writing his- the parliamentary speakers of his time. Yet tory :—they had spoken history, acted history, we could never read a page of Mr. Fox's writlived history. The turns of political forture, ing, we could never listen for a quarter of an che ebb and flow of popular feeling, the hidden hour to the speaking of Sir James, without mechanism by which partirs are moved, all feeling that there was a constant effort, a tug these things were the subjects of their con- up hill. Nature, or habit which had become stant thought and of their most familiar con- nature, asserted its rights. Mr. Fox wrote deversation. Gibbon has remarked, that his bates. Sir James Mackintosh spoke essays. history is much the better for his having been As far as mere diction was concerned, inan officer in the militia and a member of the deed, Mr. Fox did his best to avoid those faults House of Commons. The remark is most just. which the habit of public speaking is likely to We have not the smallest doubt that his cam-generate. He was so nervously apprehensive paign, though he never saw an enemy, and his of sliding into some colloquial incorrectness, parliamentary attendance, though he never of debasing his style by a mixture of parlia. made a speech, were of far more use to him mentary slang, that he ran into the opposite than years of retirement and study would have error, and purified his vocabulary with a scru. been. If the time that he spent on parade and pulosity unknown to any purist. “Ciceronem

Allobroga dixit.” He would not allow Addison, History of the Revolution in England, in 1988. Com- Bolingbroke, or Middleton, to be a sufficien prising a view of the Reign of James the second, from authority for an expression. He declared chat his Accession, to the Enterprise of the Prince of Orange: he would use no word which was not to be found by the late Right Honourable Bir JAMES MACKINTOSH; and completed to the settlement of the Crown, by the in Dryden. In any other person we should Editor. To which is prefixed a Notice of the Life, Writ- have called this solicitude mere hoppery; and, Ings, and Speeches of Bir James Mackintosh. , 110. Lon-l in spite of all our admiration for Mr. Fox, wo VOL. III.-37

2 B

don. 1834.

cannot but think that his extreme attention to parts of the History of James II. fine speci. the petty niceties of language was hardly mens of that which we conceive to have been worthy of so manly and so capacious an un- the great characteristic of Demosthenes among derstanding. There were purists of this kind the Greeks, and of Fox among the orators of at Rome; and their fastidiousness was cen- England, -reason penetrated, and if we may sured by Horace with that perfect good sense venture on the expression, made red-hot by and good taste which characterize all his writ- passion. But this is not the kind of excellence ings. There were purists of this kind at the proper to history; and it is hardly too much time of the revival of letters: and the two to say, that whatever is strikingly good in Mr. greatest scholars of that time raised their Fox's Fragment is out of place. voices, the one from within, the other from With Sir James Mackintosh the case was without the Alps, against a scrupulosity so un- reversed. His proper place was his library, a reasonable. “Carent,” said Politian, “quæ circle of men of letters, or a chair of moral scribunt isti viribus et vita, carent actu, carent and political philosophy. He distinguished affecto, carent indole.

Nisi liber ille himself highly in Parliament. But neverthepresto sit ex quo quid excerpant, colligere less Parliament was not exactly the sphere iria verba non possunt. •

Horum sem- for him. The effect of his most successful per igitur oratio tremula, vacillans, infirma. speeches was small, when compared with the

Quæso ne ista superstitione te alliges. quantity of ability and learning which was

. . Ut bene currere non potest qui pe expended on them. We could easily name dum ponere studet in alienis tantum vestigiis, men who, not possessing a tenth part of his ita nec bene scribere qui tanquam de præ- intellectual powers, hardly ever address the scripto non audet egredi.”—“ Posthac," ex. House of Commons without producing a claims Erasmus,“ non licebit episcopos appel- greater impression than was produced by his lare patres reverendos, nec in calce literarum most splendid and elaborate orations. His luscribere annum a Christo nato, quod id nus- minous and philosophical disquisition on the quam faciat Cicero. Quid autem ineptius Reform Bill was spoken to empty benches. quam, toto seculo novato, religione, imperiis, Those, indeed, who had the wit to keep their magistratibus, locorum vocabulis, ædificiis, seats, picked up hints which, skilfully used, cultu, moribus, non aliter audere 'nqui quam made ihe fortune of more than one speech. Jocutus est Cicero ? Si reviviscy's. ipse Ci. But “it was caviare to the general.” And even cero, rideret hoc Ciceronianorum gtaus." those who listened to Sir James with pleasure

While Mr. Fox winnowed and sifted his and admiration, could not but acknowledge that phraseology with a care, which seems hardly he rather lectured than debated. An artist consistent with the simplicity and elevation of who should waste on a panorama, on a scene, his mind, and of which the effect really was to or on a transparency, the exquisite finishing debase and enfeeble his style, he was little on which we admire in some of the small Dutch his guard against those more serious improprie- interiors, would not squander his powers more ties of inanner into which a great orator, who than this eminent man too often did. His auundertakes to write history, is in danger of dience resembled the boy in the “ Heart of Midfalling. There is about the whole book a ve Lothian," who pushes a way the lady's guineas hement, contentions, replying manner. Almost with contempt, and insists on having the white every argument is put in the form of an inter- money. They preferred the silver with which rogation, an ejaculation, or a sarcasm. The they were familiar, and which they were conwriter seems to be addressing himself to some stantly passing about from hand to hand, to imaginary audience; to be tearing in piecas a the gold which they had never before seen, and defence of the Stuarts which has just been with the value of which they were unacquainted. pronounced by an imaginary Tory. Take, for It is much to be regrelled, we think, thai Sir example, his answer to Hume's remarks on James Mackintosh did not wholly devote his the execution of Sydney; and substitute " the later years to philosophy and literature. His honourable gentleman,” or “the noble lord,” for talents were not those which enable a speaker the name of Hume. The whole passage sounds to produce with rapidity a series of striking like a powerful reply, thundering ai three in but iransitory impressions, to excite the minds the morning from the Opposition Bench. of five hundred gentlemen at midnight, without While we read it, we can almost fancy that we saying any thing that any one of them will be see and hear the great English debater, such able to remember in the morning. His argua: he has been described to us by the few who ments were of a very different texture from can still remember the Westminster Scrutiny, those which are produced in Parliament at a and the Oczakow Negotiations, in the full moment's notice,—which puzzle a plain man paroxysm of inspiration, foaming, screaming, who, if he had them before him in writing, chored by the rushing multitude of his words. would soon detect their fallacy, and which the

It is true that the passage to which we have great debater who employed them forgets withreferred, and several other passages which we in half an hour, and never thinks of again. could point out, are admirable, when considered Whatever was valuable in the compositions inerely as exhibitions of mental power. We of Sir James Mackintosh, was the ripe fruit at once recognise that consummate master of of study and of meditation. It was the same the whole art of intellectual gladiatorship with his conversation. In his most familiar

whose Speeches, imperfectly as they have been talk there was no wildness, no inconsistency, { transmitted to us, should be studied day and no amusing nonsense, no exaggeration for thie

pight by every man who wishes to learn the sake of momentary effect. His mind was a science of logical defence. We find in severall vast magazine, admirably arranged; every

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