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theatrical worlds. Nor do we speak only of the present sys-, tems, or of the philosophy and sects of the ancients, since numerous other plays of a similar nature can be still composed and made to agree with each other, the causes of the most opposite errors being generally the same. Nor, again, do we allude merely to general systems, but also to many elements and axioms of sciences, which have become inveterate by tradition, implicit credence, and neglect. We must, however, discuss each species of idols more fully and distinctly, in order to guard the human understanding against them."
However much men may differ in their estimate of Bacon's method and position in philosophy, all agree in recognizing his intellectual greatness. It would be easy to fill pages with the glowing tributes that have been paid him, not only by English, but also by French and German writers. Hallam, who is not given to inconsiderate panegyric, says: "If we compare what may be found in the sixth, seventh, and eighth books De Augmentis; in the Essays, the History of Henry VII., and the various short treatises contained in his works on moral and political wisdom, and on human nature, from experience of which all such wisdom is drawn, with the Rhetoric, Ethics, and Politics of Aristotle, or with the historians most celebrated for their deep insight into civil society and human character; with Thucidides, Tacitus, Philip de Comines, Machiavel, Davila, Hume, we shall, I think, find that one man may almost be compared with all of these together.”
An able German scholar assigns Bacon a high rank as a philosopher and educator because he was "the first to say to the learned men who lived and toiled in the languages and writings of antiquity, and who were mostly only echoes of the old Greeks and Romans, yea, who knew nothing better than to be such: 'There is also a present, only open your eyes to recognize its splendor. Turn away from the shallow springs of traditional natural science, and draw from the unfathomable and ever-freshly flowing fountain of creation. Live in nature with active senses; ponder it in your thoughts, and learn to
comprehend it, for thus you will be able to control it. Power increases with knowledge.'" 1
Bacon had unswerving faith in the power of truth, and he confidently looked forward to a time when the value of his teachings would be recognized. The fulfilment of the following prediction establishes the character and mission of the prophet: "I have held up a light in the obscurity of philosophy," he says, "which will be seen centuries after I am dead. It will be seen amid the erection of temples, tombs, palaces, theatres, bridges, making noble roads, cutting canals, granting multitudes of charters and liberties for comfort of decayed companies and corporations; the foundation of colleges and lectures for learning and the education of youth; foundations and institutions of orders and fraternities for nobility, enterprise, and obedience; but, above all, the establishing good laws for the regulation of the kingdom, and as an example to the world."
1 Raumer, Geschichte der Pädagogik.
"WHAT is truth?" said jesting2 Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be that 3 delight in giddiness, and count it a bondage to fix a belief; affecting 5 free-will in thinking, as well as 6 in acting. And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursing' wits, which are of the same veins, though there be not so much blood in them as was in those of the ancients. But it is not only the difficulty and labour which men take in finding out of truth, nor, again, that, when it is found, it imposeth upon men's thoughts, that doth bring lies in favour; but a natural though corrupt love of the lie itself. One of the later schools of the Grecians examineth the matter, and is at a stand9 to think what should be in it, that men should love lies, where neither they make for pleasure, as with poets,' nor for advantage, as with the merchant, but for the lie's sake. But I cannot tell: this same truth is a naked and open daylight, that doth not show the masques and mummeries and triumphs of the world half so stately and daintily as candle-lights. Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that showeth best by day, but it will not rise to the price 12 of a diamond or carbuncle," that showeth best in varied lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. Doth any man doubt that, if there were taken out of men's minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, it would leave the minds of a number of men poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves? One of the fathers,14 in great severity, called poesy vinum dæmonum,15 because it filleth the imagination, and yet it is but with the shadow of a lie. But it is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt, such as we spake of before. But howsoever these things are thus in men's depraved judgments and affections, yet truth, which only doth judge itself, teacheth, that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making or wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature. The first creature 17 of God,
in the works of the days, was the light of the sense; the last was the light of reason; and His sabbath work ever since is the illumination of His Spirit. First, He breathed light upon the face of the matter, or chaos; then He breathed light into the face of man; and still He breatheth and inspireth light into the face of His chosen. The poet that beautified the sect,19 that was otherwise inferior to the rest, saith yet excellently well: It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed upon the sea; a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle, and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth," (a hill not to be commanded,21 and where the air is always clear and serene,) “and to see the errors and wanderings, and mists and tempests, in the vale below: " so always that this prospect 23 be with pity, and not with swelling or pride. Certainly it is Heaven upon Earth to have a man's mind move in charity, rest in Providence, and turn upon the poles of truth.
To pass from theological and philosophical truth to the truth of civil business: It will be acknowledged, even by those that practise it not, that clear and round 24 dealing is the honour of man's nature, and that mixture of falsehood is like alloy 25 in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it. For these winding and crooked courses are the goings of the serpent; which goeth basely upon the belly, and not upon the feet. There is no vice that doth so cover a man with shame as to be found false and perfidious: and therefore Montaigne 27 saith prettily, when he inquired the reason why the word of the lie should be such a disgrace and such an odious charge: saith he, "If it be well weighed, to say that a man lieth, is as much as to say that he is brave towards God, and a coward towards men. For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man." Surely the wickedness of falsehood and breach of faith cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal to call the judgments of God upon the generations of men; it being foretold that, when Christ cometh," He shall not " find faith upon the Earth."
REVENGE is a kind of wild justice, which the more Man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out: for, as for the first wrong, it doth but offend the law, but the revenge of that wrong putteth the law out of office. Certainly, in taking revenge, a man is but even with
his enemy, but in passing it over he is superior; for it is a prince's part to pardon and Solomon, I am sure, saith, "It is the glory of a man to pass by an offence." I That which is past is gone and irrevocable,2 and wise men have enough to do with things present and to come; therefore they do but trifle with themselves that labour in past matters. There is no man doth a wrong for the wrong's sake, but thereby to purchase himself profit, or pleasure, or honour, or the like; therefore why should I be angry with a man for loving himself better than me? And if any man should do wrong merely out of ill-nature, why, yet it is but like the thorn or briar, which prick and scratch because they can do no other. The most tolerable sort of revenge is for those wrongs which there is no law to remedy; but then let a man take heed the revenge be such as there is no law to punish, else a man's enemy is still beforehand, and it is two for one. Some, when they take revenge, are desirous the party should know whence it cometh this is the more generous; for the delight seemeth to be not so much in doing the hurt as in making the party repent: but base and crafty cowards are like the arrow that flieth in the dark. Cosmus, Duke of Florence,3 had a desperate1 saying against perfidious or neglecting 5 friends, as if those wrongs were unpardonable. "You shall read," saith he, "that we are commanded to forgive our enemies; but you never read that we are commanded to forgive our friends." yet the spirit of Job was in a better tune: Shall we," saith he, good at God's hands, and not be content to take evil also? of friends in a proportion. This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well. Public revenges 7 are for the most part fortunate; as that for the death of Cæsar; for the death of Pertinax; 9 for the death of Henry the Third of France; 10 and many more. But in private revenges it is not so; nay, rather vindictive persons live the life of witches; who, as they are mischievous, so end they unfortunate."1
It was a high speech of Seneca, (after the manner of the Stoics,') that "the good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired,”. Bona rerum secundarum optabilia, adversarum mirabilia. Certainly, if miracles be the command over Nature, they appear most in adversity. It is yet a higher speech of his than the other, (much too high for a