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The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakspere Unfolded by Delia Bacon

Part 12 out of 13

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the chink be _smaller, it yields_. If a musket be charged with ball
and powdered sulphur only, and the fire be applied, the ball is not
discharged, in which case the motion of greater congregation overcomes
that of matter; but when gunpowder is used, the motion of matter in
the sulphur _predominates_, being _assisted_ by that motion, and the
motion of avoidance in the nitre; and _so of the rest_.'

Our more recent chemists would, of course, be inclined to criticise
that explanation; but, in some respects, it is better than theirs; and
it answers well enough the purpose for which it was introduced there,
and for which it is introduced here also. For this is the initiative
of the great inquiry into 'the WRESTLING INSTANCES,' and the
'instances of PREDOMINANCE' in general, 'such as point out the
predominance of _powers, compared with each other_, and which of them
is _the more energetic and_ SUPERIOR, or more _weak_ and INFERIOR';
and though this class of instances is valued chiefly for its
illustration of another in this system of learning, where things are
valued in proportion to their usefulness, they are not sought for as
similitudes merely; they are produced by one who regards them as 'the
same footsteps of nature, treading in different substances,' and
leaving the foot-print of universal axioms; and this is a _class_ of
instances which he particularly recommends to inquiry. 'For wrestling
instances, which show _the predominance of powers_, and in _what
manner_ and _proportion_ they predominate and yield, must be searched
for with active and industrious diligence.'

'The _method and nature_ of this yielding' [of _this
yielding_--SUBJECTION is the question] 'must also be diligently
examined; as, _for instance_, whether the motions' ['of liberty']
'completely cease, or exert themselves, but are constrained; for in
all bodies with which we are acquainted, _there is no real, but an
apparent rest, either in the whole, or in the parts_. This apparent
rest is occasioned either by equilibrium' [as in the case of Hamlet,
as well as in that of some others whose acts were suspended, and whose
wills were arrested then, by considerations not less comprehensive
than his]--'either by equilibrium, _or by the absolute predominance_
of motions. By equilibrium, as in the scales of the balance, which
_rest if the weight be equal_. By predominance, as in perforated jars,
in which the water rests, and is prevented from falling by the
predominance of the motion of CONNECTION.'

'It is, however, to be observed (as we have said before), _how far the
yielding motions exert themselves_. _For_, if _a man_ be held
stretched out on the ground _against his_ WILL, with arms and legs
bound down, _or_ otherwise confined'--[as the Duke of Kent's were, for
instance]--'and yet strive with all his power to get up, the struggle
is not the less, though ineffectual. The _real state of the case_'
[namely, whether the yielding motion be, as it were, annihilated _by
the predominance_, or there be rather a continued, though an invisible
effort] '_will perhaps appear_ in the CONCURRENCE of MOTIONS, although
it escape our notice in _their conflict_.' So delicately must
philosophy needs be conveyed in a certain stage of a certain class of
wrestling instances, where _a combination_ of powers hostile to
science produces an '_absolute predominance_' of powers, and it is
necessary that the yielding motion should at least appear to be 'as it
were, annihilated'; though, of course, that need not hinder the
invisible effort at all. 'For on account of the rawness and
unskilfulness of the hands through which they pass,' there is no
difficulty in inserting such intimations as to the latitude of the
axioms which these particular instances adduced here, and 'others
which might perhaps be added,' are expected to yield. This is an
instance of the freedom with which philosophical views on certain
subjects are continually addressed in these times, to that immediate
audience of the few 'who will perhaps see farther into them than the
common reader,' and to those who shall hereafter apply to the
philosophy issued under such conditions--the conditions above
described, that key of 'Times,' which the author of it has taken pains
to leave for that purpose. But the question of 'predominance, which
makes our present subject,' is not yet sufficiently indicated. There
are more and less powerful motives concerned in _this_ wrestling
instance, as he goes on to demonstrate.

'THE RULES of _such instances_ of _predominance as occur_ should be
_collected, such as_ the following'--and the rule which he gives, by
way of a specimen of these _rules_, is a very important one for a
statesman to have, and it is one which the philosopher has himself
'_collected_' from _such_ instances as occurred--'The more _general_
the desired advantage is, the _stronger_ will be _the motive_. The
motion of _connection_, for instance, which relates to _the
intercourse of the parts of the universe_, is more powerful than that
of _gravity_, which relates to the intercourse of _dense_ bodies.
Again; the desire of a private good does not, _in general_, prevail
against that of a public one, except where the _quantities are small_'
[it is the general _law_ he is propounding here; and the exception,
the anomaly, is that which he has to note]; 'would that such were the
case in civil matters.'

But that application to 'civil matters,' which the statesman,
propounding in his own person this newly-collected knowledge of the
actual historic forces, as a new and immeasurable source of relief to
the human estate,--that application, which he could only make here in
these side-long glances, is made in the Play without any difficulty at
all. These instances, which he produces here in his professed work of
science, are produced as illustrations of the kind of inquiry which he
is going to bring to bear, with all the force and subtlety of his
genius, on the powers of nature, as manifested in the individual human
nature, and in those unions and aggregations to which it tends--those
larger wholes and greater congregations, which parliaments, and
pulpits, and play-houses, and books, were forbidden then, on pain of
death and torture and ignominy, to meddle with. _Here_, he tells us,
he finds it to the purpose to select '_suggestive_ instances, such as
_point out_ that which is advantageous to mankind'; 'and it is a part
of science to make _judicious_ inquiries and wishes.'

These instances, which he produces here, are searching; but they are
none too searching for his purpose. They do not come any nearer to
nature than those others which he is prepared to add to them. The
treatment is not any more radical and subtle here than it is in those
instances in which 'he comes to particulars,' under the pretence of
play and pastime, in other departments,--those in which the judicious
inquiry into the laws of the actual forces promises to yield rules
'the most generally useful to mankind.'

This is the philosophy precisely which underlies all this Play,--this
Play, in which the great question, not yet ready for the handling of
the unlearned, but ripe already for scientific treatment,--the
question of the wrestling forces,--the question of the subjection and
predominance of powers,--the question of the combination and
opposition of forces in those _arrested motions_ which make _states_,
is so boldly handled. Those arrested motions, where the rest is only
apparent, not real--where the 'yielding' forces are only, _as it
were_, annihilated, whether by equilibrium of forces, or an absolute
predominance, but biding their time, ready to burst their bonds and
renew their wrestling, ready to show themselves, not as 'subjects,'
but predominators--not as states, but revolutions. The science 'that
ends in matter and new constructions'--new construction, 'according to
true definitions,' is what these citizens, whom this Poet has called
up from their horizontal position by way of anticipation, are already,
under his instructions, boldly clamouring for. Constructions in which
these very rules and axioms, these scientific certainties, are taken
into the account, are what these men, whom this Magician has set upon
their feet here, whose lips he has opened and whose arms he has
unbound with the magic of his art, are going to have before they lie
down again, or, at least, before they make a comfortable state for any
one to trample on, though they _may_, perhaps, for a time seem, 'as it
were, annihilated.'

These true _forms_, these _real_ definitions, this new kind of
_ideas_, these new motions, new in philosophy, new in _human_ speech,
old in natures,--written in her book ere man was,--these universal,
elementary, original motions, which he is exhibiting here in the
philosophic treatise, under cover of a certain class of instances, are
the very ones which he is tracking _here_ in the Play, into all the
business of the state. This is that same new thread which we saw there
in the grave philosophic warp, with here and there a little space
filled in, not with the most brilliant filling; enough, however, to
show that it was meant to be filled, and, to the careful eye,--how.
But here it is the more chosen substance; and every point of this
illustrious web is made of its involutions,--is a point of

Yes, here he is again. Here he is at last, in that promised field of
his labours,--that field of 'noblest subjects,' for the culture of
which he will have all nature put under contribution; here he is at
large, 'making what work he pleases.' He who is content to talk from
his chair of professional learning of 'pieces of leather,' and _their_
unions, and bid his pupil note and 'consider well' that mysterious,
unknown, unexplored power in nature, which holds their particles
together, in its wrestling with its opposite; and where it _ceases_,
or _seems to cease_; where that obstinate freedom and predominance is
vanquished, and by what rules and means; he who finds in 'water,'
arrested 'in perforated jars,' or 'flowing through a chink,' or
resisting gravity, _if_ the chink be smaller, or in the balanced
'scales,' with their apparent rest, the wrestling forces of all
nature,--the weaker enslaved, but _there_,--_not_ annihilated; he who
saw in the little magnet, beckoning and holding those dense palpable
masses, or in the lever, assisted by human hands, vanquishing its
mighty opposite, things that old philosophies had not dreamt
of,--reports of mysteries,--revelations for those who have the
key,--words from that book of creative power, words from that living
Word, which _he_ must study who would have his vision of God
fulfilled, who would make of his 'good news' something more than a
Poet's prophecy. He who found in the peaceful nitre, in the harmless
sulphur, in the saltpetre, 'villanous' not yet, in the impotence of
fire and sulphur, combining in vain against the motion of the
resisting ball,--not less real to his eye, because not apparent,--or
in the _villanous_ compound itself, while yet the spark is
wanting,--'rules' for other 'wrestling instances,' for _other_
combinations, where the motion of inertia was also to be overcome;
requiring organized movements, analyses, and combinations of forces,
not less but _more_ scientifically artistic,--rules for the
enlargement of forces, waiting but _their_ spark, then, to
demonstrate, with more fearful explosions, _their_ expansibility,
threatening 'to lay all flat.'

For here, too, the mystic, unknown, occult powers, the unreported
actualities, are working still, in obedience to their orders, which
they had not from man, and taking no note of his. 'For man, as the
_interpreter_ of nature, _does_, and _understands_ as much as his
observations ON THE ORDER OF THINGS, _or_ THE MIND, _permits_ him, and
neither _knows_ nor _is capable_ of more.' 'Man, while _operating_,
can only apply or withdraw natural bodies. NATURE INTERNALLY PERFORMS
THE REST'; and 'the syllogism forces _assent_, but _not_ things.'

Great things this Interpreter promises to man from these observations
and interpretations, which he and his company are ordering; great
things he promises from the application of this new method of learning
to _this_ department of man's want; because those vague popular
notions--those spontaneous but deep-rooted beliefs in man--those
confused, perplexed terms, with which he seeks to articulate them, and
not those acts which make up his life only--are out of nature, and all
resolvable into higher terms, and require to be returned into _these_
before man can work with them to purpose.

Great _news_ for man he brings; the powers which are working in the
human life, and _not_ those which are working without it only, are
working in obedience _to laws_. Great things he promises, because the
facts of human life are determined by forces which admit of scientific
definition, and are capable of being reduced to axioms. Great things
he promises, for these distinctive phenomena of human life, to their
most artificial complication, are all out of the universal nature, and
struggling already of themselves instinctively towards the scientific
solution, already 'anticipating' science, and invoking her, and
waiting and watching for her coming.

Good news the scientific reporter, in his turn, brings in also; good
news for the state, good news for man; confirmations of reports
indited beforehand; confirmations, from the universal scriptures, of
the revelation of the divine in the human. Good news, because that law
of the greater whole, which is the worthier--that law of the
common-weal, which is the human law--that law which in man is reason
and conscience, is in the nature of things, and not in man only--nay,
_not_ in man as yet, but prefigured only--his ideal; his true
form--not in man, who 'IS' not, but '_becoming_.'

But in tracking these universal laws of being, this constitution of
things in general into the human constitution--in tracing these
universal definitions into the specific terms of human life--the
clearing up of the spontaneous notions and beliefs which the mind of
man shut up to itself yields--the criticism on the terms which
pre-occupy this ground is of course inevitable, whether expressed or
not, and is indeed no unimportant part of the result. For this is a
philosophy in which even 'the most vulgar and casual opinions are
something more than nothing in nature.'

This Play of the Common-weal and its scientific cure, in which the
question of the true NOBILITY is so deeply inwrought throughout, is
indeed but the filling up of that sketch of the constitution of man
which we find on another page--that constitution whereby man, as man,
is part and member of a common-weal--that constitution whereby his
relation to the common-weal is essential to the perfection of his
individual nature, and that highest good of it which is conservation
with advancement--that constitution whereby the highest good of the
particular and private nature, that which bids defiance to the blows
of fortune, comprehends necessarily the good of the whole in its
intention. ('For neither can a man understand VIRTUE without relation
to society, nor DUTY without an inward disposition.') And that is the
reason that the question of 'the government of every man over
himself,' and the predominance of powers, and the wrestling of them in
'the little state of man'--the question as to which is 'nobler'--comes
to be connected with the question of civil government so closely. That
is the reason that this doctrine of virtue and state comes to us
conjoined; that is the reason that we find this question of the
consulship, and the question of heroism and personal greatness, the
question of the true nobility, forming so prominent a feature in the
Play of the Common-weal, inwoven throughout with the question of its

'Constructions according to true definitions' make the end here. The
definition is, of course, the necessary preliminary to such
constructions: it does not in itself suffice. Mere science does not
avail here. Scientific ARTS, scientific INSTITUTIONS of regimen and
culture and cure, make the essential conditions of success in this
enterprise. But we want the light of 'the true definitions' to begin
with. There is no use in revolutions till we have it; and as for
empirical institutions, mankind has seen the best of them;--we are
perishing in their decay, dying piecemeal, going off into a race of
ostriches, or something of that nature--or threatened with becoming
mere petrifactions, mineral specimens of what we have been, preserved,
perhaps, to adorn the museums of some future species, gifted with
better faculties for maintaining itself. It is time for a change of
some sort, for the worse or the better, when we get habitually, and by
a social rule, water for milk, brickdust for chocolate, silex for
butter, and minerals of one kind and another for bread; when our drugs
give the lie to science; when mustard refuses to 'counter-irritate,'
and sugar has ceased to be sweet, and pepper, to say nothing of
'ginger' is no longer 'hot in the mouth.' The question in speculative
philosophy at present is--

'Why all these things change from their ordinance,
Their natures, and _pre_-formed faculties,
To monstrous quality.'

--'There's something in this _more_ than _natural_,
--if _philosophy could find it out_!

And what we want in practical philosophy when it comes to this, is a
new kind of enchantments, with capacities large enough to swallow up
these, as the rod of Moses swallowed up the rods of the Egyptians.
That was a good test of authority; and nothing short of that will
answer our present purpose; when not that which makes life desirable
only, but life itself is assailed, and in so comprehensive a manner,
the revolutionary point of sufferance and stolidity is reached. We
cannot stay to reason it thus and thus with 'the garotte' about our
throats: the scientific enchantments will have to be tried now, tried
here also. Now that we have 'found out' oxygen and hydrogen, and do
not expect to alter their ways of proceeding by any epithets that we
may apply to them, or any kind of hocus-pocus that we may practise on
them, it is time to see what _gen_, or _genus_ it is, that proceeds in
these departments in so successful a manner, and with so little regard
to our exorcisms; and the mere calling of names, which indicate in a
general way the unquestionable fact of a degeneracy, is of no use, for
that has been thoroughly tried already.

The experiment in the 'common logic,' as Lord Bacon calls it, has been
a very long and patient one; the historical result is, that it forces
assent, and _not_ things.

The question here is _not_ of divinity, as some might suppose. There
is no question about that. Nobody need be troubled about that. It does
not depend on this, or that man's arguments, happily. The true
divinity, the true inspiration, is of that which was and shall be. Its
foundations are laid,--its perennial source is found, not in the soul
of man, not in the constitution of the mind of man only, but in the
nature of things, and in the universal laws of being. The true
divinity strikes its foundations to the universal granite; it is built
on 'that rock where philosophy and divinity join close;' and heaven
and earth may pass, but not that.

The question here is of logic. The question is between Lord Bacon and
Aristotle, and which of these two thrones and dominions in speculation
and practice the moderns are disposed on the whole to give their
suffrages to, in this most vital department of human practice, in this
most vital common human concern and interest. The question is of these
demoniacal agencies that are at large now upon this planet--on both
sides of it--going about with 'tickets of _leave_,' of one kind and
another; for the logic that we employ in this department still, though
it has been driven, with hooting, out of every other, and the rude
systems of metaphysics which it sustains, do not take hold of these
things. They pay no attention to our present method of reasoning about
them. There is no objection to syllogisms, as Lord Bacon
concedes;--they are very useful in their proper place. The difficulty
is, that the subtlety of nature in general, as exhibited in that
result which we call fact, far surpasses the subtlety of nature, when
developed within that limited sphere, which the mind of man makes; and
nature is much more than a match for him, when he throws himself upon
his own internal gifts of ratiocination, and undertakes to dictate to
the universe. The difficulty is just this;--here we have it in a
nut-shell, as we are apt to get it in Lord Bacon's aphorisms.

'The syllogism consists of propositions; these of words. Words are the
signs of notions: notions represent things:' [If these last then]--'if
_our notions_ are _fantastical_, the whole structure falls to the
ground. But [they _are_] they are, for the most part, _improperly
abstracted_, and deduced from things,' and that is the difficulty
which this new method of learning, propounded in connection with this
so radical criticism of the old one, undertakes to remedy. For there
are just _two_ methods of learning, as he goes on to tell us, with
increasing, but cautious, amplifications. The false method lays down
from the very outset some abstract and _useless_ generalities,--_the
other_, gradually rises to those principles which are really the most
common in nature. 'Axioms determined on in argument, can never assist
in the discovery of _new effects_, for the subtlety of nature is
vastly superior to that of argument. But axioms properly and regularly
abstracted from particulars, easily _point out and define_ NEW
PARTICULARS, and _impart activity to the sciences_.'

'We are wont to call _that human reasoning_ which we apply to nature,
THE ANTICIPATION OF NATURE (as being rash and premature), and that
which is properly _deduced from_ THINGS, THE INTERPRETATION OF
NATURE.'--(A radical distinction, which it is the first business of
the new machine of the mind to establish). '_Anticipations_ are
sufficiently powerful in producing _unanimity_; for if men were all to
become even _uniformly mad_, they might agree tolerably well _with
each other_,' (but not with nature; there's the trouble; that is _the
assent_ that is wanting).

'In sciences founded upon opinions and dogmas, it is right to make use
of anticipations and logic, if you wish to force assent, and _not_

The difference, then, between the first hasty conceptions and rude
theories of the nature of things,--the difference between the
preconceptions which make the first steps of the human mind towards
the attainment of truth, and those conceptions and axioms which are
properly abstracted from things, and which correspond to their
natures, is the difference in which science begins.

And we shall find that the truths of science in this department of it,
which makes our present subject are quite as new, quite as far out of
the road of common opinion, and quite as unattainable by the old
method of learning, as those truths with which science has already
overpowered the popular notions and theories in those departments in
which its powers have been already tested.

These rude natural products of the human understanding, while it is
yet undisciplined by the knowledge of nature in general, which in
their broadest range proceed from the human speciality, and are
therefore liable to an exterior criticism; these first words and
natural beliefs of men, through all their range, from the _a priori_
conceptions of the schools, down to the most narrow and vulgar
_preconceptions_ and _prejudices_ of the unlearned, the author of the
'Novum Organum,' and of the 'Advancement of Learning,' by a bold and
dexterous sweep, puts quietly into one category, under the seemingly
fanciful,--but, considering the time, none too fanciful,--designation
of 'the Idols';--(he knew, indeed, that the original of the term would
suggest to the scholar a more literal reading),--'the Idols of the
Tribe, of the Den, of the Market, and of the Theatre,' as he sees
reason--scientific, as well as rhetorical reason,--for dividing and
distinguishing them. But under that common designation of _images_,
and false ones too, he subjects them to a common criticism, in behalf
of that mighty hitherto unknown, unsought, universality, which is all
particulars--which is more universal than the notions of men, and
transcends the grasp of their beliefs and pre-judgments;--that
universal fact which men are brought in contact with, in all their
doing, and in all their suffering, whether pleasurable or painful.
That _universal_, actual fact, whose science philosophy has hitherto
set aside, in favour of its own pre-notions, as a thing not worth
taking into the account,--that mystic, occult, unfathomed fact, that
is able to assert itself in the face of our most authoritative
pre-notions, whose science, under the vulgar name of experience, all
the learning of the world had till then made over with a scorn
ineffable to the cultivation of the unlearned. Under that despised
name which the old philosophy had omitted in its chart, the new
perceived that the ground lay, and made all sail thither.

We cannot expect to find then any of those old terms and definitions
included in the trunk of the new system, which is science. None of
those airy fruits that grow on the branches which those old roots of a
false metaphysics must needs nurture,--none of those apples of Sodom
which these have mocked us with so long, shall the true seeker find on
these boughs. The man of science does not, indeed, care to displace
those terms in the popular dialect _here_, any more than the chemist
or the botanist will insist on reforming the ordinary speech of men
with _their_ truer language in the fields they occupy. The new
Logician and Metaphysician will himself, indeed, make use of these
same terms, with a hint to 'men of understanding,' perhaps, as to the
sense in which he uses them.

Incorporated into a system of learning on which much human labour has
been bestowed, they may even serve some good practical purposes under
certain conditions of social advancement. And besides, they are useful
for adorning discourse, and furnish abundance of rhetorical material.
Above all, they are invaluable to the scholastic controversialists,
and the new philosopher will not undertake to displace them in these
fields. He steadfastly refuses to come into any collision with them.
He leaves them to take their way without. He makes them over to the
vulgar, and to those old-fashioned schools of logic and metaphysics,
whose endless web is spun out of them. But when the question is of
practice, that is another thing. It is the scientific word that is
wanting here. That is the word which in his school he will undertake
to teach.

When it comes to practice, professional practice, like the botanist
and the chemist, he will make his own terms. He has a machine
expressly for that purpose, by which new terms are framed and turned
out in exact accordance with the nature of things. He does not wish to
quarrel with any one, but in the way of his profession, he will have
none of those old confused terms thrust upon him. He will examine
them, and analyze them; and all,--_all_ that is in them,--all, and
more, will be in his; _but_ scientifically cleared, 'divided with the
mind, that divine fire,' and clothed with power.

And it is just as impossible that those changes for the human relief
which the propounder of the New Logic propounded as its chief end,
should ever be effected by means of the popular terms which our
metaphysicians are still allowed to retain in the highest fields of
professional practice, as it would have been to effect those lesser
reforms which this logic has already achieved, if those old elementary
terms, earth, fire, air, water,--terms which antiquity thought fine
enough; which passed the muster of the ancient schools without
suspicion, had never to this hour been analyzed.

It is just as easy to suppose that we could have had our magnetic
telegraphs, and daguerreotypes, and our new Materia Medica, and all
the new inventions of modern science for man's relief, if the terms
which were simple terms in the vocabulary of Aristotle and Pliny, had
never been tested with the edge of the New Machine, and divided with
its divine fire, if they had not ceased to be in the schools at least
elementary; it is just as easy to suppose this, as it is to suppose
that the true and nobler ends of science can ever be attained, so long
as the powers that are _actual_ in our human life, which are still at
large in all their blind instinctive demoniacal strength _there_,
which still go abroad free-footed, unfettered of science _there_,
while we chain the lightning, and send it on our errands,--so long as
these still slip through the ring of our airy 'words,' still riot in
the freedom of our large generalizations, our sublime abstractions,--
so long as a mere _human_ word-ology is suffered to remain here,
clogging all with its deadly impotence,--keeping out the true
generalizations with their grappling-hooks on the particulars,
--the creative word of art which man learns from the creating wisdom,
--the word to which rude nature bows anew,--the word which is Power.

But while the world is resounding with those new relations to the
powers of nature which the science of nature has established in other
fields, in that department of it, which its Founder tells us is 'the
end and term of Natural Science in the intention of man,' in that
department of it to which his labor was directed; we are still given
over to the inventions of Aristotle, applied to those rude conceptions
and theories of the nature of things which the unscientific ages have
left to us. Here we have still the loose generalization, the untested
affirmation, the arrogant pre-conception, the dogmatic assumption.
Here we have the mere phenomena of the human speciality put forward as
science, without any attempt to find their genera,--to trace them to
that which is more known to nature, so as to connect them practically
with the diversity and opposition, which the actual conditions of
practice present.

We have not, in short, the scientific language here yet. The vices and
the virtues do not understand the names by which we call them, and
undertake to command them. Those are not the names in that 'infinite
book of secrecy' which they were taught in. They find a more potent
order there.

And thus it is, that the demons of human life go abroad here still,
impervious alike to our banning and our blessing. The powers of nature
which are included in the human nature,--the powers which in this
_specific_ form of them we are undertaking to manage with these vulgar
generalizations, tacked together with the Aristotelian logic--these
powers are no more amenable to any such treatment in this form, than
they are in those other forms, in which we are learning to approach
them with another vocabulary.

The forces which are developed in the human life will not answer to
the names by which we call them _here_, any more than the lightning
would answer to the old Magician's incantation,--any more than it
would have come if the old Logician had called it by _his_
name,--which was just as good as the name--and no better, than the
name, which the priest of Baal gave it,--any more than it would have
come, if the old Logician had undertaken to fetch it, with the harness
of his syllogism.

But when the new Logician, who was the new Magician, came, with 'the
part operative' of his speculation; with his 'New Machine,' with the
rod of his new definition, with the staff of _his_ genera and
species,--when the right name was found for it, it heard, it heard
afar, it heard in its heaven and _came_. It came fast enough then. It
was 'asleep,' but it awaked. It was 'taking a journey' but it came.
There was no affectation of the graces of the gods when the new
interpreter and prophet of nature, who belonged to the new order of
Interpreters, sent up his little messenger, without any pomp or
ceremony, or 'windy suspiration of forced breath,' and fetched it.

But that was an Occidental philosopher, one of the race who like to
see effects of some kind, when there is nothing in the field to forbid
it. That was one of the Doctors who are called in this system
'Interpreters of nature,' to distinguish them from those who 'rashly
anticipate' it. He did not make faces, and cut himself with knives and
lances, after a prescribed manner, and prophesy until evening, though
there was no voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. He knew
that that god at least would not stop on his journey; or if,
peradventure, he slept, would not be wakened by any such process.

And the farther the world proceeds on that 'new road' it is travelling
at present, the more the demand will be heard in this quarter, for an
adaptation of instrumentalities to the advanced, and advancing ages of
modern learning and civilization, and to that more severe and exacting
genius of the occidental races, that keener and more subtle, and
practical genius, from whose larger requisitions and powers this
advancement proceeds.



'Unless these end in matter, and constructions according to true
definitions, they are speculative, and of little use.'--_Novum

Difficult, then, as the problem of Civil Government appeared to the
eye of the scientific philosopher, and threatening and appalling as
were those immediate aspects of it which it presented at that moment,
he does not despair of the State. Even on the verge of that momentous
political and social crisis, 'though he does not need to go to heaven
to predict great revolutions and imminent changes,' 'he thinks he sees
ways to save us,' and he finds in his new science of Man the ultimate
solution of that problem.

That particular and private nature which is in all men, let them
re-name themselves by what names they will, that particular and
private nature which intends always the individual and private good,
has in itself 'an incident towards the good of society,' which it may
use as means,--which it must use, if highly successful,--as means to
its end. Even in this, when science has enlightened it, and it is
impelled by blind and unsuccessful instinct no longer, the man of
science finds a place where a pillar of the true state can be planted;
even here the scientific light lays bare, in the actualities of the
human constitution, a foundation-stone,--a stone that does not
crumble--a stone that does not roll, which the state that shall stand
must rest on.

Even that 'active good,' which impels 'the troublers of the world,
such as was Lucius Sylla, and infinite others in smaller model,'--that
principle which impels the particular nature to leave its signature on
other things,--on the state, on the world, if it can,--though it is
its own end, and though it is apt, when armed with those singular
powers for 'effecting its _good_ will,' which are represented in the
hero of this action, to lead to results of the kind which this piece
represents,--this is the principle in man which seeks an individual
immortality, and works of immortal worth for man are its natural and
selectest means.

But that is not all. The bettering of _itself_, the perfection of its
own form, is, by the constitution of things, a force, a _motive_, an
_actual_ 'power in everything that moves.' This is one of the primal,
universal, natural motions. It is in the universal creative stamp of
things; and strong as that is, the rock on which here, too, the hope
of science rests--strong as that is, the pillar of the state, which
here, too, it will rear. For to man the highest '_passive_ good,' and
this, too, is of the good which is 'private and particular,' is,
constitutionally, that whereby 'the conscience of good intentions,
however succeeding, is a more continual joy to his nature than all the
provision--the most luxurious provision--which can be made for
security and repose,--whereby the mere empirical experimenter in good
will count it a higher felicity to fail in good and virtuous ends
towards the public, than to attain the most envied success limited to
his particular.

Thus, even in these decried '_private_' motives, which actuate all
men--these universal natural instincts, which impel men yet more
intensely, by the concentration of the larger sensibility, and the
faculty of the nobler nature of their species, to seek their own
private good,--even in these forces, which, unenlightened and
uncounterbalanced, tend in man to war and social dissolution, or
'monstrous' social combination,--even in these, the scientific eye
perceives the basis of new structures, 'constructions according to
true definitions,' in which _all_ the ends that nature in man grasps
and aspires to, shall be artistically comprehended and attained.

But this is only the beginning of the scientific politician's 'hope.'
This is but a collateral aid, an incidental assistance. This is the
place on his ground-plan for the buttresses of the pile he will rear.
There is an unborrowed foundation, there is an internal support for
the state in man. For along with that particular and private nature of
good, there is another in all men;--there is another motive, which
respects and beholds the good of society, not mediately, but directly
as _its_ end,--which embraces in its intention 'the form of human
nature, whereof we are members and portions, and _not_--not--our own
proper, individual form'; and this is the good 'which is in degree the
greater and the worthier, because it tends to the conservation and
advancement of a more general form.' And this, also, is an _actual_
force in man, proceeding from the universal nature of things and
original in that, not in him. This, also, is in the primeval creative
stamp of things; and here, also, the science of the interpretation of
nature finds in the constitution of man, and in the nature of things,
the foundations of the true state ready to its hand; and hewn, all
hewn and cut, and joined with nature's own true and cunning hand ere
man was, the everlasting pillars of the common-weal.

But in man _this_ law, also,--this law chiefly,--has its _special_,
essentially special, development. 'It is much _more_ impressed on man,
if he de-_generate_ not.' Great buildings have been reared on this
foundation already; great buildings, old and time-honoured, stand on
it. The history of human nature is glorious, even in its degeneracy,
with the exhibition of this larger, nobler form of humanity asserting
itself, triumphing over the intensities of the narrower motivity. It
is a species in which the organic law transcends the individual, and
embraces the kind; it is a constitution of nature, in which those who
seek the good of the kind, and subordinate the private nature to that,
are noble, and chief. It is a species in which the law of the
common-weal is for ever present to the private nature, as the law of
its own being, requiring, under the pains and penalties of the
universal laws of being, subjection.

Science cannot originate new forces in nature. 'Man, while operating,
can only apply or withdraw natural forces. Nature, internally,
performs the rest.' But here are the very forces that we want. If man
were, indeed, naturally and constitutionally, that mere species of
'vermin' which, under certain modes of culture, with great facility he
becomes, there would be no use in spending words upon this subject.
Science could not undertake the common-weal in that case. If nature's
word had been here dissolution, isolation, single intention in the
parts and members of that body that science sought to frame, what word
of creative art could she pronounce, what bonds of life could she
find, what breath of God could she boast, that she should think to
frame of such material the body politic, the organic whole, the
living, free, harmonious, triumphant common-weal.

But here are the very forces that we want, blindly moving, moving in
the dark, left to intuition and instinct, where nature had provided
reason, and required science and scientific art. That has not been
tried. And that is why this question of the state, dark as it is,
portentous, hopeless as its aspects are, if we limit the survey to our
present aids and instrumentalities, is already, to the eye of science,
kindling with the aurora of unimagined change, advancements to the
heights of man's felicity, that shall dim the airy portraiture of
poets' visions, that shall outgo here, too, the world's young dreams
with its scientific reality.

There has been no help from science in this field hitherto. The
proceeding of the world has been instinctive and empirical thus far,
in the attainment of the ends which the complex nature of man requires
him to seek. Men have been driven, and swayed hither and thither, by
these different and apparently contradictory aims, without any
_science_ of the forces that actuated them. Those ends these forces
will seek,--'it is their nature to,'--whether in man, or in any other
form in which they are incorporated. There's no amount of declamation
that is ever going to stop them. The power that is in everything that
moves, the forces of universal nature are concerned in the acts that
we deprecate and cry out upon. It is the original constitution of
things, as it was settled in that House of Commons, to whose acts the
memory of Man runneth not, that is concerned in these demonstrations;
and philosophy requires that whatever else we do, we should avoid, by
all means, coming into any collision with those statutes. 'We must so
order it,' says Michael of the Mountain, quoting in this case from
antiquity--'we must so order it, as by no means to contend with
universal nature.' 'To attempt to kick against natural necessity,' he
says in his own name, and in his own peculiar and more impressive
method of philosophic instruction--'to attempt to kick against natural
necessity, is to represent the folly of Ctesiphon, who undertook to
outkick his mule.' We must begin by distinguishing 'what is in our
power, and what not,' says the author of the Advancement of Learning,
applying that universal rule of practice to our present subject.

Here, then, carefully reduced to their most comprehensive form, traced
to the height of universal nature, and brought down to the specific
nature in man--here, as they lie on the ground of the common nature in
man, for the first time scientifically abstracted--are the powers
which science has to begin with in this field. The varieties in the
species, and the individual differences so remarkable in this kind,
are not in this place under consideration. But here is the _common_
nature in this kind, which must make the basis of any permanent
universal social constitution for it. Different races will require
that their own constitutional differences shall be respected in their
social constitutions; and if they be not, for the worse or for the
better, look for change. But this is the universal platform that
science is clearing here. This is the WORLD that she is concerning
herself with here, in the person of that High Priest of hers, who,
also, took that to be his business.

Here are these powers in man, then, to begin with. Here is this
universal natural predisposition in him, not to subsist, merely, and
maintain his form--which is nature's first law, they tell us--but to
'better himself' in some way. As Hamlet expresses it, 'he lacks
advancement'; and advancement he will have, or strive to have, if not
'_formal_ and _essential_,' then 'local.' He is instinctively impelled
to it; and in his ignorant attempt to compass that end which nature
has prescribed to him, the 'tempest of human life' arises.

The scientific plan will be, not to quarrel with these universal
forces, and undertake to found society on their annihilation. Science
will count that structure unsafe which is founded on the supposed
annihilation of these forces in anything that moves. The man of
science knows, that though by the predominance of powers, or by the
equilibrium of them, they may be for a time, '_as it were_,
annihilated,' they are in every creature; and nature in the instincts,
though blind, is cunning, and finds ways and means of overcoming
barriers, and evading restrictions, and inclines to indemnify herself
when once she finds her way again. Instead of quarrelling with these
forces, the scientific plan, having respect to the Creating Wisdom in
the constitution of man, overlooking them from that height, will
thankfully accept them, and make much of them. These are just the
motive powers that science has need of; she could not compose her
structure without them, which is only the perfecting of the structure
which the great Creating Wisdom had already outlined and
pre-ordered--not a machine, but a living organic whole.

Science takes this 'piece of work' as she finds him, ready, waiting
for the hand of art--imperfect, unfinished, but with the proceeding of
nature incorporated in him--with the creative, advancing, perfecting
motion, incorporated in him as his essence and law;--imperfect, but
with nature working within him for the rest, urging him to
self-perfection. She takes him as she finds him, a creature of
instinct, but with his large, rich, undeveloped, yet already active
nature of reason, and conscience, and religion, already struggling for
the mastery, counterbalancing his narrower motivity, holding in check,
with nobler intuitions, the error of an instinct which errs in man,
because eyes were included in nature's definition of him, as it was
written beforehand in her book, her universal book of types and
orders--eyes, and not instinct only--'that what he cannot smell out,
he may spy into.' 'O'er that art, which you say adds to nature, is an
art that nature makes.' The want of this pre-ordered art is the want
here still. The war of the unenlightened instincts is raging here
still. That is where the difficulty lies. That same patience of
investigation with which science has pursued and found out nature
elsewhere--that same intense, indefatigable concentration of
endeavour, which has been rewarded with such 'magnitude of effects' in
other fields--that same, in a higher degree, in more powerful
combinations, proportioned to the magnitude and common desirableness
of the object, is what is wanting here. It is the instincts that are
at fault here,--'the blind instincts, that seeing reason' should

That is where all the jar and confusion of this great storm begins,
that 'continues still,' and blasts our lives, in spite of all the
spells that we mumble over it, and in spite of all the magic that all
our magicians can bring to bear on it. 'Meagre success,' at least, is
still the word here. No wonder that the storm continues, under such
conditions. No wonder that the world is full of the uproar of this
arrested work, this violated intent of nature. She will storm on till
we hear her. Woe to those who put themselves in opposition to her, who
think to violate her intent and prosper! 'The storm continues,' and it
will continue, pronounce on it what incantations we may, so long as
the elemental forces of all nature are meeting in our lives, and
dashing in blind elemental strength against each other, and the
brooding spirit of the social life, the composing spirit of the larger
whole, cannot reconcile them, because the voices that are filling the
air with the discord of their controversy, and out-toning the noise of
this battle with theirs, are crying in one key, 'Let there be darkness
here'; because the darkness of the ages of instinct and intuition is
held back here, cowering, ashamed, but forbidden to flee away; because
the night of human ignorance still covers all this battle-ground, and
hides the combatants.

Science is the word here. The Man of the Modern Ages has spoken it,
'and now the times give it proof'; the times in which the methods of
earlier ages, in the rapid advancement of learning in other fields,
are losing their vitalities, and leaving us without those means of
social combination, without those social bonds which the rudest ages
of instinct and intuition, which the most barbaric peoples have been
able to command. The times give it proof, fearful proof, terrific
proof, when the noblest institutions of earlier ages are losing their
power to conserve the larger whole; when the conserving faith of
earlier ages, with its infinities of forces, is fainting in its
struggles, and is not supported; and men set at nought its divine
realities, because they have not been translated into their speech and
language, and think there _is_ no such thing; and under all the
exterior splendours of a material civilization advanced by science,
society tends to internal decay, and the primal war of atoms.

To meet the exigencies of a crisis like this, it is _not_ enough to
call these powers that are actual in the human nature, but which are
not yet reconciled and reduced to their true and natural order--it is
not enough at this age of the world, at this stage of human
advancement in other fields--to call these forces by some general
names which include their oppositions, and to require for want of
skill that a part of them shall be annihilated; it is not enough to
express a strong disapprobation of the result as it is, and to
require, in never-so-authoritative manner, that it shall be otherwise.
No matter what names we may use to make that requisition in, no matter
under _what_ pains and penalties we require it, the result--whatever
we may say to the contrary--the result does not follow. That is not
the way. Those who try it, and who continue to try it in the face of
no matter what failures, may think it is; but there is a voice
mightier than theirs, drowning all their speech, telling us in
thunder-tones, that it is not; with arguments that brutes might
understand, telling us that it is not!

It is, indeed, no small gain in the rude ages of warring instincts and
intuitions, when there is as yet no science to define them, and
compare them, and pronounce from its calm height its eternal axioms
here--when the world is a camp, and hostilities are deified, and
mankind is in arms when all the moral terms are still wrapped in the
confusion of the first outgoing of the perplexed, unanalysed human
motivity--it _is_ no small gain to get the word of the nobler
intuitions outspoken, to get the word of the divine law of man's
nature, his _essential_ law pronounced--even in rudest ages overawing,
commanding with its awful divinity the intenser motivity of the lesser
nature--able to summon, in rudest ages, to its ideal heights, those
colossal heroic forms, that cast their long shadows over the tracts of
time, to tell us what type it is that humanity aspires to. It is no
small gain to get these nobler intuitions outspoken in some voice that
commands with its authority the world's ear, or illustrated in some
exemplar that arrests the world's eye, and draws the human heart unto

It is no small advance in human history, to get the divine authority
of those nobler intuitions, which, in man, anticipate speculation, and
their right to command the particular motives, recognised in the
common speech of men, incorporated in their speculative belief,
incorporated in their books of learning, and embalmed in institutions
that keep the divine exemplar of the human form for ever in our eyes.
It _is_ something. The warring nations war on. The world is in arms
still. The rude instincts are not stayed in their intent. They pause,
it may be; 'but a roused passion sets them _new_ a-work.' The speckled
demons, that the degenerate _angelic _nature breeds, put on the new
livery, and go abroad in it rejoicing. New rivers of blood, new seas
of carnage, are opened in the new name of peace; new engines of
torture, of fiendish wrong, are invented in the new name of love. But
it _is_ some gain. There is a new rallying-place on the earth for
those who seek truly the higher good; at the foot of the new symbol
they recognise each other, they join hand in hand, and the bands of
those who wait and watch amid the earth's darkness for the promise,
cheer us with their songs. Truths out of the Eternal Book, truths that
all hearts lean on in their need, are spoken. Words that shall never
pass away, sweet with the immortal hope and perennial joy of life, are
always in our ears.

The nations that have contributed to this result in any degree,
whether primarily or secondarily, whether they be Syrians or
Assyrians, Arabs or Egyptians, wandering or settled, wild or tame;
whether they belong to the inferior unanalysing Semitic races, or
whether they come of the more richly endowed, but yet youthful,
Indo-European stock; whether they be Hebrews or Persians, Greeks or
Romans, will always have the world's gratitude. Those to whose
intenser conceptions and bolder affirmations, in the rude ages of
instinct and spontaneous allegation, it was given to pronounce and put
on everlasting record, these primal truths of inspiration,--truths
whose divinity all true hearts respond to, may be indeed by their
natural intellectual characteristics,--if _Semitic_ must be--totally
disqualified by ethnological laws,--hopelessly disqualified--so
hopelessly that it is to lose all to put it on them--for the task of
commanding, in detail, our modern civilization;--a civilization which
has made, already, the rude ethics of these youthful races, when it
comes to details, so palpably and grossly inapplicable, that it is an
offence to modern sensibility to name--to so much as name--decisions
which stand unreversed, without comment, in our books of learning. But
that is no reason why we should not take, and thankfully appropriate
as the gift of God, all that it was their part to contribute to the
great plot of human advancement. We cannot afford to dispense with any
such gain. The movement which respects the larger whole, the divine
intent incorporates it all.

'Japhet shall dwell in the tents of Shem,' for they are world wide;
but woe to him if, in his day, he refuse to build the temple which, in
his day, his God will also require of him. Woe to him, if he think to
put upon another age and race the tasks which his Task-Master will
require of him,--which, with his many gifts, with his chief gifts,
with his ten talents, will surely be required of him. More than his
fathers' woe upon him--more than that old-world woe, which he, too,
remembers, if he think to lean on Asia, the youthful Asia, when his
own great world noon-day has come.

'There was violence on the earth in those days, and it repented the
Lord that he had made man on the earth.' 'Twill come,' says our own
poet, prefacing his proposal for a scientific art in the attainment of
the chief human ends, and giving his illustrated reasons for it,--

'Twill come [at this rate]
Humanity must, perforce, prey on itself,
Like _monsters_ of the _deep_.

But what are _these_?--these new orders,--these new species of nature,
defying nature, that we are generating with our arts here now? What
are these new varieties to which our kind is tending now? Look at this
kind for instance. What are these? Define them. Destroyers, not of
their own image in their fellow-man only, not of the image of their
kind only,--sacred by natural universal laws,--but of the chosen image
of it, the ideal of it, the one in whom the natural love of their kind
was by the law of nature concentred,--the wife and the mother,--
destroyed not as the wolf destroys its prey, but with ferocity, or
with prolonged and studious harm, that it required the human brain to
plan and perpetrate. Look at this pale lengthening widening train of
their victims. We must look at it. It will never go by till we do. We
shall have to look at it, and consider it well; it will lengthen, it
will _widen_ till we do:--ghastly, bruised, bleeding, trampled,--
trampled it may be, with nailed, booted heel, mother and child
together into one grave. But _these_ are common drunkard's wives;--we
are inured to this catastrophe, and do not think much of it. But who
are _these_, whom the grave cannot hold; that by God's edict break its
bonds and come back, making day hideous, to tell us what the earth
could not, would not keep,--to tell us of that other band who died and
made no sign? But this is nothing. Here are more. Here are others.
What are these? These are not spectres. _Their_ cheeks are red enough.
What loathsome thing is this, that we are bringing forth here now with
the human face upon it, in whom the heart of the universal nature has
expired. These are murderers,--count them--they are all murderers,
wholesale murderers, perhaps,--but of what? Of their own helpless,
tender, loving, trusting little ones. The wretched children of _our
time_,--alone in wretchedness,--alone in the universe of nature,--who
found, where nature promised them a mother's love, the knife, or the
more cruel agonizing drug of death. Was there any cause in nature for
it? Yes. They did it for the 'burial fee,' perhaps, or for some other
cause as good. They had a reason for it. Let our naturalists throw
their learning 'to the dogs,' and come this way, and tell us what this
means. Nay, let them bring their books with them, and example us with
its meaning if they can. Let them tell us what 'depth' in which nature
hides her failures, or yet unperfected hideous germinations,--what
formation in which she buries the kinds she repents that she has made
upon the earth, or what 'deep'--what ocean cave of 'monsters' we shall
drag to find our kindred in _these_ species. Let our wise men tell us
whether there be, or whether there ever was, any such thing as this in
nature before. If 'such things are,' or have been in any other kind,
let them produce the instances, and keep us in countenance and console
us for our own.

Let them look at that murderer too, and interpret _him_ for us. For he
too is waiting to be interpreted, and he will wait till we understand
his signs. He is speaking mute nature's language to us; we must get
her key. Look at him as he stands there in the dark, subordinating
that faculty which comprehends the whole, which recognises the
divinity of his neighbour's right, to his fiendish end: preparing with
the judgment of a man his little piece of machinery, with which he
will take, as he would take a salmon, or a rat, his fellow-man. Look
at him as he stands there now, listening patiently for your steps,
waiting to strangle you as you go by him unarmed to-night, confiding
in your fellow-man; waiting to drag you down from all the hopes and
joys of life, for the sake of the loose coin, gold or silver, which he
thinks he may find about you,--_perhaps_. 'How to KILL _vermin_ and
how to PREVENT the _fiend_,' was Tom's study. How to dispatch in the
most agreeable and successful manner, creatures whose notions of
_good_ are constitutionally and diametrically opposed to the good of
the larger whole, who have no sensibility to that, and no faculty
whereby they perceive it to be the worthier; that is no doubt one part
of the problem. The scientific question is, whether this creature be
really what it seems, a new and more horrid kind of beast--a
demoralization and deterioration of the human species into that. If it
be, let our naturalists come to our aid here also, and teach us how to
hunt him down and despatch him, with as much respect to the natural
decencies which the fact of the external human form would seem still
to exact from us, as the circumstances will admit of. Is it the beast,
or is it 'the fiend?'--that is the question. The fiend which tells us
that the angelic or divine nature is there--there still--overborne,
trampled on, '_as it were_, annihilated,' but lighting that gleam of
'wickedness,'--making of it, not instinct, but crime. Ah! we need not
ask which it is. This one has told his own story, if we could but read
it. He has left--he is leaving all the time, contributions, richest
contributions to our natural history of man,--that history which must
make the basis of our arts of cure. He was a wolf when you took him;
but in his cell you found something else in him--did you
not?--something that troubled and appalled you, with its kindred and
likeness, and its exaction on your sympathy. When you hung him as you
would _not_ hang a dog;--when you put him to a death which you would
think it indecent and inhuman to award to a creature of another
species, you did not find him _that_. The law of the nobler nature lay
in him as it were annihilated; _he_ thought there was no such thing;
but when nature's great voice was heard without also, and those
'bloody instructions he had taught returned to him'; when that voice
of the people, which was the voice of God to him, echoed with its doom
the voice within, and 'sweet religion,' with its divine appeals--'a
rhapsody of words' no longer, came, to second that great
argument,--the blind instincts were overpowered in him, the lesser
usurping nature was dethroned,--the angelic nature arose, and had
_her_ hour, and shed parting gleams of glory on those fleeting days
and nights; and he came forth, to die at last, not dragged like a
beast--with a manly step--with heroic grandeur, vindicating the heroic
type in nature, of that form he wore,--vindicating the violated law,
accepting his doom, bowing to its ignominy, a man, a member of
society,--a reconciled and accepted member of the commonweal.

How to _prevent_ the fiend? _is_ the question. Ah! what unlettered
forces are these, unlearned still, with all our learning, that the
dark, unaided wrestling hour 'in the little state of man,' leaves at
the head of affairs there, seated in its chair of state, crowned,
'predominant,' to speak the word of doom for us all. 'He poisons him
in the garden for his estate.' 'Lights, lights, lights!' is the word
here. There _is_ a cause in nature for these hard hearts, but it is
not in the constitution of man. There _is_ a cause; it is nature
herself, crying out upon our learning, asking to be--interpreted.

Woe for the age whose universal learning is in forms that move and
command no longer; that move and bind no longer with _fear_, or
_hope_, or _love_, 'the common people.' Woe for the people who think
that the everlasting truths of being--the eternal laws of science--are
things for saints, and schoolmasters, and preachers only,--the people
who carry about with them in secret, for week-day purposes, Edmund's
creed, to whom nature is already 'their goddess, and their law,' ere
they know her or her law--ere the appointed teacher has instructed
them in it,--ere they know what divinity she, too, holds to,--ere the
interpreter has translated into her speech, and evolved from her
books, the old truths which shall not--though their old '_garments_'
should '_be changed_'--which _shall not_ pass away. Woe for the
nations in whom that greater part that carries it, are godless, or
whose vows are paid in secret to Edmund's goddess,--whose true faith
is in appetite,--who have no secret laws imposed on that. 'Woe to the
people who are in such a case,' no matter on which side of the ocean
they may dwell, in the old world, or a new one; no matter under what
political constitutions. No matter under what favourable external
conditions, the national development that has that hollow in it, may
proceed; no matter under what glorious and before unimagined
conditions of a healthful, noble human development that development
may proceed. Alas! for such a people. The rulers may cry 'Peace!' but
there is none. And, alas! for the world in which such a power is
growing up under new conditions, and waxing strong, and preparing for
its leaps.

As a principle of social or political organisation, there is no
religion,--there never has been any,--so fatal as none. That is a
truth of which all history is an illustration. It is one which has
been illustrated in the history of modern states, not less vividly
than in the history of antiquity. And it will continue to be
illustrated, on the same grand scale, in those terrific evils which
the dissolution, or the dissoluteness of the larger whole creates,
whenever the appointed teachers of a nation, the inductors of it into
its highest learning, lag behind the common mind in their
interpretations, and leave it to the people to construct their own
rude 'tables of rejections'; whenever the practical axioms, which are
the inevitable vintage of these undiscriminating and fatally false
rejections, are suffered to become history.

'Woe to the land when its _king_ is a child'; but thrice woe to it,
when its teacher is a child. Alas! for the world, when the pabulum of
her youthful visions and anticipations of learning have become meat
for men, the prescribed provision for that nature in which man must
live, or 'cease to be,' amid the sober realities of western science.

'Thou shouldst not have been OLD _before thy time_.'

'The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
And 'gins to pale his _ineffectual_ fire.'



_Pyramus_.--'Write me a prologue, and let the prologue _seem to say,
we will do no harm_ with our _swords_ [spears]... and for the more
better assurance, tell them that I, Pyramus, am not Pyramus, but
Bottom the weaver. This will put them out of fear.'--_Shake-spear_.

'Truth and reason are common to every one, and are no more his who
spoke them first, than his who spoke them after. Who follows another
follows nothing, finds nothing, seeks nothing.'

'Authors have hitherto communicated themselves to the people by some
_particular_ and _foreign_ mark. _I_, the first of any, by my
_universal being. Every man_ carries with him _the entire form_ of
human condition.'

'And besides, though I had a _particular_ distinction _by myself_,
what can it distinguish when I am no more? Can it point out and favor

'_But_ will thy manes such a gift bestow
_As to make violets from thy ashes grow_?'
_Michael de Montaigne_.

_Hamlet_.--'To thine own self be true,
And it doth follow as the night the day
Thou canst not then be false to any man.'
'To know a man well, were to know him-self.'

The complaint of the practical men against the philosophers who make
such an outcry upon the uses and customs of the world as they find it,
that they do not undertake to give us anything better in the place of
them; or if they do, with their terrible experiments they leave us
worse than they find us, does not apply in this case. Because this is
science, and not philosophy in the sense which that word still
conveys, when applied to subjects of this nature. We all know that the
scientific man is a safe and brilliant practitioner. The most
unspeculative men of practice have learned to prefer him and his arts
to the best empiricism. It is the philosophers we have had in this
field, with their rash anticipations,--with their unscientific
pre-conceptions,--with a _pre-conception_, instead of a fore-knowledge
of the power they deal with, commanding results which do not,--there
is the point,--which do not follow.

Let no one say that this reformer is one of those who expose our
miserable condition, without offering to improve it; or that he is one
of those who take away our gold and jewels with their tests, and leave
us no equivalent. This is no destroyer. He will help us to save all
that we have. He is guarding us from the error of those who would let
it alone till the masses have taken the work in hand for themselves,
without science. '_That_ is the way to lay all flat.'

He is not one of those, 'who to _make clean, efface_, and who cure
diseases by death.' To found so great a thing as the state anew; to
dissolve that so old and solid structure, and undertake to recompose
it as a whole on the spot, is a piece of work which this chemist,
after a survey of his apparatus, declines to take in; though he fairly
admits, that if the question were of 'a new world,' and not 'a world
already formed to certain customs,' science might have, perhaps, some
important suggestions to make as to the original structure. And yet
for all that, it is a scientific practice that is propounded here. It
is a scientific innovation and renovation, that is propounded; the
greatest that was ever propounded,--total, absolute, but not sudden.
It is a remedy for the world as it is, that this reformer is

New constructions according to true definitions, scientific
institutions,--institutions of culture and regimen and cure, based on
the recognition of the actual human constitution and laws,--based on
an observation as diligent and subtle, and precepts as severe as those
which we apply to the culture of any other form in nature,--that is
the proposition. 'It were a strange _speech_ which, spoken or spoken
oft, should reclaim a man from a vice to which he is by nature
subject.' 'Folly is not to be cured by bare admonition.' This plan of
culture and cure involves not the knowledge of that nature which is in
all men only, but a science, enriched with most careful collections of
all the specific varieties of that nature. The fullest natural history
of those forces that are operant in the hourly life of man, the most
profound and subtle observation of the facts of this history, the most
thoroughly scientific collection of them, make the beginning of this
enterprise. The propounder of this cure will have to begin with the
secret disposition of every man laid open, and the possibilities of
human character exhausted, by means of a dissection of the entire form
of that human nature, which every man carries with him, and a
solar-microscopic exhibition of the several dispositions and tempers
of men, in grand ideal portraits, conspicuous instances of them, where
the particular disposition and temper is 'predominant,' as in the
characterisation of Hamlet, where it takes all the persons of the
drama to exhibit characteristics which are more or less developed in
all men. Those natural peculiarities of disposition that work so
incessantly and potently in this human business, those 'points of
nature,' those predetermining forces of the human life, must come
under observation here, and the whole nature of the passions also, and
a science of 'the will,' very different from that philosophy of it
which our metaphysicians have entertained us with so long. He will
have all the light of science, all the power of the new method brought
to bear on this study. And he will have a similar collection, not less
scientific, of the history of the human fortunes and their necessary
effects on character; for these are the points that we must deal with
'by way of application, and to these all our labour is limited and
tied; for we cannot fit a garment except we take a measure of the form
we would fit it to.' Nothing short of this can serve as the basis of a
scientific system of human education.

But this is not all. It is the human nobility and greatness that is
the end, and that 'craves,' as the noble who is found wanting in it
tells us, 'a noble cunning.' It is no single instrumentality that
makes the apparatus of this culture and cure. Skilful combinations of
appliances based on the history of those forces which _are_ within our
power, which 'we _can_ deal with by way of alteration,' forces 'from
which the _mind suffereth_,' which have operation on it, so potent
that 'they can almost change the stamp of nature,'--that they can make
indeed, 'another nature,'--these are the engines,--this is the
machinery which the scientific state will employ for its ends. These
are the engines, this is the machinery that is going to take the place
of that apparatus which the state, as it is, finds such need of. This
is the machinery to 'prevent the fiend,' which the scientific
statesman is propounding.

'I would we were all of ONE MIND, and one mind _good_' says our Poet.
'O _there_ were desolation of gallowses and gaolers. I speak against
my present profit,' [he adds,--he was speaking not as a judge or a
lawyer, but as a _gaoler_,] 'I speak against my present profit, but my
wish hath a _preferment_ in it.'

(A _preferment_?)--That is the solution propounded by science, of the
problem that is pressing on us, and urging on us with such violent
appeals, its solution. 'I would we were all of one _mind_, and one
mind _good_. My wish hath a _preferment_ in it.'

'Folly is not to be cured by bare admonition.' 'It were a strange
speech which, spoken, or spoken oft, should cure a man of _a vice_ to
which he is _by nature subject_,'--_subject_--by _nature_.--That is
the _Philosopher_. 'What _he cannot help in his nature_ you account _a
vice_ in him,' says the poor citizen, putting in a word on the
_Poet's_ behalf for Coriolanus whose education, whatever Volumnia may
think about it, was not scientific, or calculated to reduce that
'partliness,' that disorganizing social principle, whose subsequent
demonstrations gave her so much offence. Not admonition, not preaching
and scolding, and not books only, but institutions, laws, customs,
habit, education in its more limited sense, 'association, emulation,
praise, blame,' all the agencies 'from which the mind suffereth,'--
which have power to change it, in skilfully compounded recipes and
regimen scientifically adapted to cases, and not prescribed only, but
enforced,--_these_ make the state machinery--these are the engines
that are going to 'prevent the fiend,' and educate the 'one mind,'--
_the one mind good_, which is the sovereign of the common-WEAL,--'my
wish hath a preferment in it,'--the one only man who will make when he
is crowned, not Rome, but _room_ enough for us all,--who will make
when he is crowned such desolation of gallowses and gaolers. These are
the remedies for the diseases of the state, when the scientific
practitioner is called in at last, and permitted to undertake his
cure. But he will not wait for that. He will not wait to be asked. He
has no delicacy about pushing himself forward in this business. The
concentration of genius and science on it, henceforth,--the _gradual_
adaptation of all these grand remedial agencies to this common end,--
this end which all truly enlightened minds will conspire for,--find to
be _their own_,--this is the plan;--this is the sober day-dream of
the Elizabethan Reformer; this is the plot of the Elizabethan
Revolutionist. This is the radicalism that he is setting on foot.
This is the cure of the state which he is undertaking.

We want to command effects, and the way to do that is to find causes;
and we must find them according to the new method, and not by
reasoning it thus and thus, for the result is just the same, this
philosopher observes, as if we had not reasoned it thus and thus, but
some other way. That is the difficulty with that method, which is in
use here at present, which this philosopher calls 'common logic.' Life
goes on, life as it is and was, in the face of our reasonings; but it
goes on in the dark; the phenomena are on the surface in the form of
EFFECTS, and all our weal and woe is in them; but the CAUSES are
beneath unexplored. They are able to give us certain impressions of
their _natures_; they strike us, and blast us, it may be, by way of
teaching us _something_ of their powers; but _we do not know them_;
they are within our own souls and lives, and we do not _know_ them;
not because they lie without the range of a scientific enquiry, but
_because_ we will not apply to them _the scientific method_; because
the old method of 'preconception' here is still considered the true

The plan of this great scientific enterprise was one which embraced,
from the first, the whole body of the common-weal. It concerned itself
immediately and directly with all the parts and members of the social
state, from the king on his throne to the beggar in his straw. Its aim
was to disclose ultimately, and educate in every member of society
that entire and noble form of human nature which 'each man carries
with him,' and whereby the individual man is naturally and
constitutionally a member of the common-weal. Its proposition was to
develop ultimately and educate--successfully educate--in each integer
of the state, the integral principle--the principle whereby in man the
true conservation and integrity of the part--the virtue, and felicity,
and perfection, of the part, tend to the weal of the whole--tend to
perfect and advance the whole.

'To thine own self be true,
And it doth follow as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any MAN.'
'Know thy-SELF. Know thy-self.'

This enterprise was not the product of a single individual mind, and
it is important that this fact should be fully and unmistakeably
enunciated here; because the illustrious statesman, and man of
letters, who assumed, in his own name and person, that part of it
which could then be openly exhibited, the one on whom the great task
of perfecting and openly propounding the new method of learning was
devolved, is the one whose relation to this enterprise has been
principally insisted on in this volume.

The history of this great philanthropic association--an association of
genius, a combination of chief minds, from which the leadership and
direction of the modern ages proceeds, the history of this
'_society_,' as it was called, when the term was still fresh in that
special application; at least, when it was not yet qualified by its
application to those very different kinds of voluntary individual
combinations--'bodies of neighbourhood' within the larger whole, to
which that movement has given rise; the history of _this_
society,--this first 'Shake-spear Society'--much as it is to our
purpose, and much as it is to the particular purpose of this volume,
can only be incidentally treated here. But as this work was originally
prepared for publication in the HISTORICAL KEY to the Elizabethan
Tradition which formed the FIRST BOOK of it, it was the part of that
great Political and Military Chief, and not less illustrious Man of
Letters, who was recognised, in his own time, as the beginner of this
movement and the founder of English philosophy, which was chiefly

And it is the history of that 'great unknown'--that great Elizabethan
unknown, for whose designs there was needed then a veil of a closer
texture--of a more cunning pattern than any which the exigencies of
modern authorship tend to fabricate, which must make the key to this
tradition;--it is the history of that great unknown, whose incognito
was a closed vizor,--that it was death to open,--a vizor that _did_
open once, and--the sequel is in our history, and will leave 'a brand'
upon the page which that age makes in it,--'the age that _did_ it, and
_suffered_ it, _to the end of the world_.' So says _the Poet_ of that
age, ('Age, thou are shamed.' 'And peep about to find ourselves
_dishonourable graves_'). It is the history of the Tacitus who could
not wait for a better Caesar. It is the history of the man who was
sent to the block, _they_ tell us, who are able to give us those
little secret historic motives that do not get woven always into the
larger story; it is the history of the man who (if his family
understood it) was sent to the block for the repetition, in his own
name, of the words--the very words which he had written with his
'goose-pen,' as he calls it, years before--which he had written under
cover of the 'spear' that was 'shaken' in sport, or that shook with
fear,--under cover of 'the well turned and true filled lines in each
of which he seems to _shake a lance as brandished_ in the eyes of
_Ignorance_,' without suspicion--without challenge, from the crowned
Ignorance, or the Monster that crowned it. It is the history of this
unknown, obscure, unhonoured Father of the Modern Age that _unlocks_
this tradition.

It is the secret friend and 'brother' of the author of the Novum
Organum, whose history unlocks this tradition. And when shall the
friendship of such 'a twain' gladden our earth again, and build its
'eternal summer' in our common things? When shall a 'marriage of true
minds' so even be celebrated on the lips and in the lives of men
again? It is the friend and literary partner of our great recognised
philosopher--his partner in his 'private and retired arts,' and in his
cultivation of 'the principal and supreme sciences,' in whose history
the key to this locked up learning is hidden.

It was an enterprise which originated in the Court of Queen Elizabeth,
in that little company of wits, and poets, and philosophers, which was
the first-fruit of the new development of the national genius, that
followed the revival of the learning of antiquity in this island--the
fruit which that old stock began manifestly to bud and blossom with,
about the beginning of the latter half of that Queen's reign. For it
was the old northern genius, under the influence, not of the revival
of the learning of antiquity only, but of that accumulated influence
which its previous revival on the Continent brought with it here;
under the influence, too, of that insular nurture, which began so soon
to colour and insulate English history;--'Britain is a world by
itself,' says Prince Cloten, 'and we will nothing pay,' etc.--it was
the old northern genius nurtured in the cradle of that 'bravery' which
had written its page of fire in the Roman Caesar's story--which had
arrested the old classic historian's pen, and fired it with a poet's
prophecy, and taught _him_ too how to pronounce from the old _British_
hero's lip the burning speech of _English_ freedom;--it was that which
began to show itself here, then, in that new tongue, which we call the
'_Elizabethan_.' It was that which could not fit its words to its
mouth as it had a mind to do under those conditions, and was glad to
know that 'the audience was deferred.' That was the thing which found
itself so much embarrassed by the presence of 'a man of prodigious
fortune at the table,' who had leave 'to change its arguments with a
magisterial authority.' It was that which was expected to produce its
speech to 'serve as the base matter to illuminate'--not the
_Caesar_--but the Tudor--the Tudor and the Stuart: the last of the
Tudors and the first of the Stuarts. 'AGE, _thou_ art shamed.' It was
the true indigenous product of the English nationality under that
great stimulus, which made that age; and the practical determination
of the English mind, and the spirit of the ancient English liberties,
the recognition of the common dignity of that form of human nature
which each man carries entire with him--the sentiment of a common
human family and brotherhood, which this race had brought with it from
the forests of the North, and which it had conserved through ages of
oppression, went at once into the new speculation, and determined its
practical bent, and shaped this enterprise.

It was an enterprise which included in its plan of operations an
immediate influence upon the popular mind--the most direct, immediate,
and radically reforming influences which could be brought to bear,
under those conditions, upon the habits and sentiments of the
ignorant, custom-bound masses of men;--those masses which are, in all
their ignorance and unfitness for rule, as the philosopher of this age
perceived, 'that greater part which carries it'--those wretched
statesmen, under whose rule we are all groaning. 'Questions about
clothes, and cookery, and law chicanery,' are the questions with which
the new movement begins to attract attention--a universally favourable
attention--towards its beneficent purposes, and to that new command of
'effects' which arms them. But this is only 'to show an abused people
that they are not wholly forgotten.' To improve the external condition
of men, to 'accommodate' man to those exterior natural forces, of
which he had been, till then, the 'slave,'--to minister to the need
and add to the comforts of the king in his palace, and 'Tom' in his
hovel,--this was the first scientific move. This was a movement which
required no concealment. Its far-reaching consequences, its elevating
power on the masses, its educational power, its revolutionary power,
did not lie within the range of any observation which the impersonated
state was able to bring to bear at that time upon the New Organum and
its reaches.

But this was not the only scientifically educational agency which this
great Educational Association was able to include, even then, in its
scheme for the culture and instruction of the masses--for the culture
and instruction of that common social unit, which makes the masses and
determines political predominance. Quite the most powerful
instrumentality which it is possible to conceive of, for purposes of
direct effect in the way of intellectual and moral stimulus, in that
stage of a popular development, was then already in process of
preparation here; the 'plant' of a wondrous and inestimable machinery
of popular influence stood offering itself, at that very moment, to
the politicians with whom this movement originated, urging itself on
their notice, begging to be purchased, soliciting their monopoly,
proposing itself to their designs.

A medium of direct communication between the philosophic mind, in its
more chosen and noblest field of research, and the minds of those to
whom the conventional signs of learning are not yet intelligible,--one
in which the language of action and dumb show was, by the condition of
the representation, predominant,--that language which is, as this
philosophy observed, so much more powerful in its impression than
words,--not on brutes only, but on those 'whose eyes are more learned
than their ears,'--a medium of communication which was one tissue of
that 'mute' language, whereby the direction, 'how to _sustain_ a
tyranny _newly usurped_,' was conveyed once, stood prepared to their
hands, waiting the dictation of the message of these new Chiefs and
Teachers, who had taken their cue from Machiavel in exhibiting the
arts of government, and who thought it well enough that the people
_should_ know how to _preserve_ tyrannies _newly usurped_.

Those 'amusements,' with which governments that are founded and
sustained, 'by cutting off and _keeping low_ the grandees and
nobility' of a nation, naturally seek to propitiate and divert the
popular mind,--those amusements which the peoples who sustain
tyrannies are apt to be fond of--'he loves no plays as _thou_ dost,
_Antony_,'--that 'pulpit,' from which the orator of Caesar stole and
swayed the hearts of the people with his sugared words; and his dumb
show of the stabs in Caesar's mantle became, in the hands of these new
conspirators, an engine which those old experimenters lacked,--an
engine which the lean and wrinkled Cassius, with his much reading and
'observation strange' and dangerous, looking through of the thoughts
of men; and the grave, high-toned Brutus, with his logic and his
stilted oratory, could not, on second thoughts, afford to lack. It was
this which supplied the means of that 'volubility of application'
which those 'Sir Oracles,' those 'grave sirs of note,' 'in observing
their well-graced forms of speech,' it is intimated, 'might easily

By means of that 'first use of the parable,' whereby (while for the
present we drop 'the argument') it serves to illustrate, and bring
first under the notice of the senses, the abstruser truths of a new
learning,--truths which are as yet too far out of the road of common
opinion to be conveyed in other forms,--these amusements became, in
the hands of the new Teachers and Wise Men, with whom the Wisdom of
the Moderns had its beginning, the means of an insidious, but most
'grave and exceedingly useful,' popular instruction.

But the immediate influence on the common mind was not the influence
to which this association trusted for the fulfilment of its great plan
of social renovation and advancement. That so aspiring _social_
position, and that not less commanding position in the world of
letters, built up with so much labour, with such persistent purpose,
with a pertinacity which accepted of no defeat,--built up _expressly_
to this end,--that position from which a new method of learning could
be openly propounded, in the face of the schools, in the face of the
Universities, in the face and eyes of all the Doctors of Learning
then, was, in itself, no unimportant part of the machinery which this
political association was compelled to include in the plot of its
far-reaching enterprise.

That trumpet-call which rang through Europe, which summoned the
scholasticism and genius of the modern ages, from the endless battles
of the human dogmas and conceits, into the field of true
knowledge,--that summons which recalled, and disciplined, and gave the
word of command to the genius of the modern ages, that was already
tumultuously rushing thither,--that call which was _able_ to command
the modern learning, and impose on it, for immediate use, the New
Machine of Learning,--that Machine which, even in its employment in
the humblest departments of observation, has already formed, ere we
know it, the new mind, which has disciplined and trained the modern
intelligence, and created insidiously new habits of judgment and
_belief_,--created, too, a new stock of truths, which are accepted as
a part of the world's creed, and from which the whole must needs be
evolved in time,--this, in itself, was no small step towards securing
the great ends of this enterprise. It was a step which we are hardly
in a position, as yet, to estimate. We cannot see what it was till the
nobler applications of this Method begin to be made. It has cost us
something while we have waited for these. The letter to Sir Henry
Savile, on 'the Helps to the Intellectual Powers,' which is referred
to with so much more iteration and emphasis than anything which the
surface of the letter exhibits would seem to bear, in its brief hints,
points also this way, though the effect of mental exercises, by means
of other instrumentalities, on the habits of a larger class, is also
comprehended in it. But the formation of new intellectual habits in
men liberally educated, appeared to promise, ultimately, those larger
fruits in the advancement and culture of learning which, in 'the
hour-glass' of that first movement, could be, as yet, only prophecy
and anticipation. The perfection of the Human Science, then first
propounded, the filling up of 'the Anticipations' of Learning, which
the Philosophy of _Science_ also included in its system,--not rash and
premature, however, and not claiming _the place_ of _knowledge_, but
kept apart in a place by themselves,--put down as anticipations, _not
interpretations_,--the filling up of this outline was what was
expected as the ultimate result of this proceeding, in the department
of speculative philosophy.

But in that great practical enterprise of a social and political
renovation--that enterprise of 'constructions' according to true
definitions, which this science fastens its eye on, and never ceases
to contemplate--it was not the immediate effect on the popular mind,
neither was it the gradual effect on the speculative habits of men of
learning and men of intelligence in general, that was chiefly relied
on. It was the secret tradition, the living tradition of that
intention; it was the tradition whereby that association undertook to
continue itself across whatever gulfs and chasms in social history
'the fortunes of our state' might make. It was that _second_ use of
the fable, which is 'to wrap up and conceal'; it was that 'enigmatic'
method, which reserves the secrets of learning for those 'who by the
aid of an instructor, or by their own research, are able to pierce the
veil,' which was relied on for this result. It was the _power_ of that
tradition, its generative power, its power to reproduce 'in a better
hour' the mind and will of that 'company'--it was its power to develop
and frame that _identity_ which was the secret of this association,
and its new principle of UNION--that identity of the 'one mind, and
one mind good,' which is the human principle of union--that identity
which made a common name, a common personality, for those who worked
together for that end, and whose WILL in it was '_one_.' A name, a
personality, a philosophic unity, in whose great radiance we have
basked so long--a name, a personality whose secret lies heavy on all
our learning--whose secret of power, whose secret of inclusiveness and
inexhaustible wealth of knowledge, has paralysed all our criticism,
'made marble'--as Milton himself confesses--'made marble with _too
much conceiving_.' 'Write me a prologue, and let the prologue _seem_
to say [in dumb action], we will do no harm with our swords.' 'They
all flourish their swords.' 'There is but _one mind_ in all these men,
and that is bent against Caesar'--Julius Caesar.

'Even so the race
Of SHAKE-SPEAR's mind and _manners brightly shines_,
In his _well turned_ and _true filed_--lines;
In each of which he seems to SHAKE a LANCE,
As _brandished_ at the eyes of--Ignorance,'

[We will do _no harm_, with our--WORDS [it _seems_ to

It was the power of the Elizabethan Art of Tradition that was relied
on here, that 'living Art'; it was its power to reproduce this
Institution, through whatever fatal eventualities the movement which
these men were seeking then to anticipate, and organize, and control,
might involve; and though the Parent Union _should be_ overborne in
those disastrous, not unforeseen, results--overborne and
forgotten--and though other means employed for securing that end
should fail.

It is to that posthumous effect that all the hope points here. It is
the _Leonatus Posthumus_ who must fulfil this oracle.

'Now with the drops of this most balmy time
My love looks fresh, and death to me subscribes;
Since, spite of him, I'LL live in this poor rhyme,
While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes;
And _thou_ in this shall find thy monument,
When _tyrants' crests and tombs of brass_ are spent.'

'Not marble, nor the gilded monuments [_Elizabethan_ AGE.]
Of _Princes_ shall outlive this _power_-ful rhyme.'

[This is our unconscious Poet, who does not know that his poems are
worth printing, or that they are going to get printed--who does not
know or care whether they are or not.]

'But you shall shine more bright in these contents,
Than unswept stone besmear'd with sluttish time.
When wasteful war _shall statues_ overturn [iconoclasm],
And _broils_ [civil war] root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword, nor war's quick fire shall burn
The _living record_ of _your memory_.'

[What is it, then, that this prophet is relying on? Is it a
manuscript? Is it the recent invention of goose-quills which he is
celebrating here with so much lyrical pomp, in so many, many lyrics?
Here, for instance:--]

'His _beauty_ shall in _these black lines_ be seen,
And _they_ shall live, and he in them still green.'

And here--

'O where, alack!
Shall _time's best jewel_ from _time's chest_ lie hid?
Or what _strong hand_ can hold his swift foot back?
Or _who_ his spoil of beauty can forbid?
O none, unless _this_ miracle [this _miracle_] have might,
that in _black ink_--'

Is this printer's ink? Or is it the ink of the prompter's book? or the
fading ink of those loose papers, so soon to be 'yellowed with age,'
scattered about no one knew where, that some busy-body, who had
nothing else to do, might perhaps take it into his head to save?

'_O none_, unless this miracle'--THIS MIRACLE, the rejoicing scholar
and man of letters, who was not for an age, but for all time,
cries--defying tyranny, laughing at princes' edicts, reaching into his
own great assured futurity across the gulfs of civil war, planting his
feet upon that sure ground, and singing songs of triumph over the
spent tombs of brass and tyrants' crests; like that orator who was to
make an oration _in public_, and found himself a little straitened in
_time_ to fit his words to his mouth _as he had a mind to do_, when
_Eros_, one of his _slaves_, brought him word that the audience was
deferred till the next day; at which he was so _ravished with joy_,
that he _enfranchised him_. '_This miracle_.' He knows what miracles
are, for he has told us; but none other knew _what_ miracle this was
that he is celebrating here with all this wealth of symphonies.

'O _none_, unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink _my_ love may still _shine bright_.'

['My love,'--wait till you know what it is, and do not think to know
with the first or second reading of poems, that are on the surface of
them scholastic, academic, mystical, obtrusively enigmatical. Perhaps,
after all, it is _that_ Eros who was _enfranchised_, emancipated.]

'But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that _fair_ thou _owest_ [thou _owes_!],
Nor shall death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in _eternal lines_ to time thou growest.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So _long_ lives _this_, and this _gives life_ to--thee!

But here is our prophecy, which we have undertaken to read with the
aid of this collation:--

'When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry;
Nor Mars his sword, nor war's quick fire shall burn
The _living_ record of your memory.
'Gainst death, _and_ all _oblivious enmity_,
_Shall_ YOU _pace forth_. _Your_ praise shall still find room,
Even _in the eyes_ [collateral sounds] _of all posterity_,
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
_So_, till _the_ JUDGMENT that YOURSELF _arise_ [_till_ then],
You live in _this_, and dwell in _lovers_' eyes.'

See the passages at the commencement of this chapter, if there be any
doubt as to this reading.

'In lover's _eyes_.'

_Leonatus Posthumus_. Shall's have a Play of _this_? Thou scornful Page,
There lie _thy part_. [To _Imogen_ disguised as _Fidele_.]

The consideration which qualified, in the mind of the Author of the
Advancement of Learning, the great difficulty which the question of
civil government presented at that time, is the key to this 'plot.'
For men, and not 'Romans' only, 'are like sheep;' and if you can but
get some _few_ to go right, the _rest will follow_. That was the plan.
To create a better leadership of men,--to form a new order and union
of men,--a new nobility of men, acquainted with the doctrine of their
own nature, and in league for its advancement, to seize _the
'thoughts_' of those whose law is the law of the larger activity, and
'_inform_ them with nobleness,'--was the plan.

For these the inner school was opened; for these its ascending
platforms were erected. For these that 'closet' and 'cabinet,' where
the 'simples' of the Shake-spear philosophy are all locked and
labelled, was built. For these that secret 'cabinet of the Muses,'
where the Delphic motto is cut anew, throws out its secret lures,--its
gay, many-coloured, deceiving lures,--its secret labyrinthine
clues,--for all lines in this building meet in that centre. All clues
here unwind to that. For these--for the minds on whom the continuation
of this enterprise was by will devolved, the key to that cabinet--the
historical key to its inmost compartment of philosophic mysteries, was
carefully laboured and left,--pointed to--pointed to with immortal
gesticulations, and left ('What I cannot speak, I point out with my
finger'); the key to that '_Verulamian_ cabinet,' which we shall hear
of when the _fictitious_ correspondence in which the more secret
history of this time was written, comes to be opened. That cabinet
where the subtle argument that was inserted in the Poem or the Play,
but buried there in its gorgeous drapery, is laid bare in prose as
subtle ('I here scatter it up and down indifferently for verse');
where the new truth that was spoken in jest, as well as in parables,
to those who were without, is unfolded,--that truth which moved unseen
amid the gambols of the masque,--preferring to raise questions rather
than _objections_,--which stalked in, without suspicion, in 'the
hobby-horse' of the clown,--which the laugh of the groundlings was so
often in requisition to cover,--that 'to _beguile_ the time looked
_like the time_,'--that 'looked like _the flower_, and _was_ the
serpent under it.'

For these that secret place of confidential communication was
provided, where 'the argument' of all these Plays is opened without
respect to the 'offence in it,'--to its utmost reach of abstruseness
and subtlety--in its utmost reach of departure from 'the road of
common opinion,'--where the Elizabethan secrets of Morality, and
Policy and Religion, which made the Parables of the New Doctrine, are
unrolled, at last, in all the new, artistic glories of that 'wrapped
up' intention. This is the second use of the Fable in which we resume
that dropped argument,--dropped for that time, while Caesar still
commanded his thirty legions; and when the question, 'How long to
philosophise?' being started in the schools again, the answer returned
still was, 'Until our armies cease to be commanded by fools.' This is
that second use of the Fable where we find the moral of it at
last,--that moral which our moralists have missed in it,--that moral
which is not 'vulgar and common-place,' but abstruse, and out of the
road of common opinion,--that moral in which the Moral Science, which
is _the Wisdom of the Moderns_, lurks.

It is to these that the Wise Man of our ages speaks (for we have
him,--we do not wait for him), in the act of displaying a little, and
folding up for the future, his plan of a Scientific Human Culture; it
is to these that he speaks when he says, with a little of that
obscurity which 'he mortally hates, and would avoid if he could': 'As
Philocrates sported with Demosthenes,' you may not marvel, Athenians,
that Demosthenes and I do differ, for _he_ drinketh water, and _I_
drink wine; and like as we read of an ancient parable of the two gates
of sleep '... so if we put on _sobriety_ and _attention_, we shall
find it _a sure maxim in knowledge_, that the pleasant liquor of wine
is the more vaporous, and the braver gate of ivory sendeth forth the
falser dreams.' ['_I_,' says 'Michael,' who is also in favour of
'sobriety,' and critical upon excesses of all kinds, '_I_ have ever
observed, that _super_-celestial theories and _sub_-terranean
_manners_ are in singular accordance.']

And in his general proposal to lay open 'those parts of learning which
lie fresh and waste, and not improved and converted by the industry of
man, to the end that such _a plot_, made and committed to memory, may
both minister light to any public designation, and also serve to
excite _voluntary_ endeavours,' he says, 'I do foresee that of those
things which I shall enter and register as deficiencies and omissions,
many will conceive and censure that some of them are already done, and
extant, _others to be but curiosities_ and things of no _great use_'
[such as the question of style, for instance, and those 'particular'
arts of tradition to which this remark is afterwards applied]--and
others to be of too great difficulty--and almost impossibility--to be
compassed and effected; but for _the two first, I refer myself to
particulars_; for the last,--touching impossibility,--I take it those
things are to be held possible, which may be done by _some person_,
though not _by every one_; and which may be done by _many_, though not
by _any_ one; and which may be done in succession of ages, though
_not_ within the hour-glass of one man's life; and which may be done
by _public designation_, though not by private endeavour.

That was 'the plot'--that was the plan of the Elizabethan Innovation.


'When as a lion's whelp shall, to himself unknown, without
seeking find, and be embraced by a piece of tender air; and
when from a stately cedar shall be lopped branches, which,
being dead many years, shall after revive, be jointed to the
old stock, and freshly grow; then shall Posthumus end his
miseries, Britain be _fortunate_, and flourish in peace and


Here, for instance, is a specimen of the manner in which scholars who
write about these times, allude to the reserved parts of this
philosophy, and to those 'richer and bolder meanings,' which could not
then be inserted in the acknowledged writings of so great a person.
This is a specimen of the manner in which a posthumous collection and
reintegration of this philosophy, and a posthumous emancipation of it,
is referred to, by scholars who write from the Continent somewhere
about these days. Whether the date of the writing be a little earlier
or a little later,--some fifty years or so,--it does not seem to make
much difference as to the general intent and purport of it.

Here is a scholar, for instance, whose main idea of life on this
planet it appears to be, to collect the philosophy, and protect the
posthumous fame of the Lord Bacon. For this purpose, he has
established a literary intimacy, quite the most remarkable one on
record--at least, between scholars of different and remote
nationalities--between himself and two English gentlemen, a Mr. Smith,
and the Rev. Dr. Rawley. He writes from _the Hague_ but he appears to
have acquired in some way a most extraordinary insight into this

'Though I thought that I had already _sufficiently showed_ what
veneration I had for the illustrious Lord Verulam, yet I shall take
such care for _the future_, that it may not possibly be denied, that I
endeavoured most zealously to make this thing known to _the learned
world_. But neither shall this design of setting forth _in one volume
all the Lord Bacon's works, proceed without consulting you_'--[This
letter is addressed to the Rev. Dr. _Rawley_, and is dated a number of
years after Lord Bacon's death]--'without consulting you, and without
inviting _you_ to cast in _your symbol_, worthy such an excellent
edition: that so the _appetite_ of the reader'--[It was a time when
symbols of various kinds--large and small--were much in use in the
learned world]--'that so the _appetite_ of the reader, provoked
already by his _published_ works, may be further gratified _by the
pure novelty of so considerable an appendage_.

'For the _French interpreter_, who patched together his things I know
not whence, and tacked that motley piece to him; they shall not have
place in this great collection. But _yet_ I hope to obtain your leave
to publish a-part, as _an appendix_ to _the Natural History_,--_that
exotic work_,--_gathered together_ from _this and the other place_
(_of his lordship's writings_), [that is the true account of it] and
by me translated into--_Latin_.

'For seeing the genuine pieces of the Lord Bacon are already extant,
and in many hands, it is necessary that _the foreign reader_ be given
to understand _of what threads the texture of that book consists_, and
how much of truth there is in that which that shameless person does,
in his preface to the reader, so stupidly write of you.

'My brother, of blessed memory, turned his words _into Latin_, in the
First Edition of the Natural History, having some suspicion of the
fidelity of an unknown author. I will, in the Second Edition, repeat
them, and with just severity animadvert upon them: that they, into
whose hands that work comes, may know it to be rather patched up of
many distinct pieces; how much soever the author _bears himself upon
the specious title of Verulam. Unless, perhaps_, I should particularly
suggest _in your name_, that these words were _there inserted_, by way
of _caution_; and lest malignity and rashness should any way blemish
the fame of so eminent a person.

'If my fate would permit me to live according to my wishes, I would
fly over into England, that I might behold whatsoever remaineth in
your Cabinet of the Verulamian workmanship, and at least make my eyes
witnesses of it, if the possession of the merchandise be yet denied to
the public. At present I will support the wishes of my impatient
desire, _with hope of seeing, one day, those_ (_issues_) which _being
committed to faithful privacy, wait the time till they may safely see
the light_, and not be _stifled_ in their birth.

'I wish, _in the mean time_, I could have a sight of the copy of the
Epistle to Sir Henry Savil, concerning the Helps of the Intellectual
Powers: for I am persuaded, as to the _other Latin_ remains, that I
shall not obtain,_for present use_, the removal of _them_ from the
place in which they now are.'

Extract of a letter from Mr. Isaac Gruter. Here is the beginning of


'Isaac Gruter wisheth much health.

'Reverend Sir,--It is not just to complain of the slowness of your
answer, seeing that _the difficulty of the passage_, in the season in
which you wrote, _which was towards winter_, might _easily_ cause it
to come _no faster_; seeing _likewise_ there is so much to be found in
it which may gratify desire, and _perhaps so much the more, the longer
it was ere it came to my hands_. And although I had little to send
back, besides my thanks for _the little Index_, yet _that seemed to me
of such moment_ that I would no longer _suppress_ them: especially
because I accounted it a crime to have suffered _Mr. Smith_ to have
been without an answer: Mr. Smith, my most kind friend, and to whose
care, in my matters, I owe _all regard_ and affection, yet without
diminution of that (part and that no small one neither) in which Dr.
Rawley hath place. So that the souls of us three, so throughly
agreeing, may be aptly said to have united in a _triga_.'

It is not necessary, of course, to deny the historical claims of the
Rev. Dr. Rawley, who is sufficiently authenticated; or even of Mr.
Smith himself, who would no doubt be able to substantiate himself, in
case a particular inquiry were made for him; and it would involve a
serious departure from the method of invention usually employed in
this association, which did not deal with shadows when contemporary
instrumentalities were in requisition, if the solidarity of Mr. Isaac
Gruter himself should admit of a moment's question. The precautions of
this secret, but so powerful league,--the skill with which its
instrumentalities were selected and adapted to its ends, is
characterised by that same matchless dramatic power, which betrays
'the source from which it springs' even when it 'only plays at

But if any one is anxious to know who the _third person_ of this triga
really was, or is, a glance at the Directory would enable such a one
to arrive at a truer conclusion than the first reading of this letter
would naturally suggest. For this is none other than the person whom
the principle of this triga, and its enlightened sentiment and bond of
union, already _symbolically_ comprehended, whom it was intended to
comprehend ultimately in all the multiplicity and variety of his
historical manifestations, though it involved a deliberate plan for
reducing and suppressing his many-headedness, and restoring him to the
use of his one only mind. For though the name of this person is often
spelt in three letters, and oftener in one, it takes all the names in
the Directory to spell it in full. For this is none other than the
person that '_Michael_' refers to so often and with so much emphasis,
glancing always at his own private name, and the singular largeness
and comprehensiveness of his particular and private constitution. 'All
the world knows me in my book, and my book in me.' '_I_, the first of
any, by my universal being. Every man carries with him the entire form
of human condition.'

But the name of Mr. _Isaac Gruter_ was not less comprehensive, and
could be made to represent the whole _triga_ in an emergency, as well
as another; ['I take so great pleasure in being judged and known that
it is almost indifferent to me in _which of the two forms_ I am so']
though that does not hinder him from inviting Dr. Eawley to cast in
_his symbol_, which was 'so _considerable an appendage_.' For though
the very smallest circle sometimes represents it, it was none other
than the symbol that gave name to the theatre in which the illustrated
works of this school were first exhibited; the theatre which hung out
for its sign on the outer wall, 'Hercules and his load too.' At a time
when 'conceits' and 'devices in letters,' when anagrams and monograms,
and charades, and all kinds of 'racking of orthography' were so much
in use, not as curiosities merely, but to avoid another kind of
'racking,' a cipher referred to in this philosophy as the 'wheel
cipher,' which required the letters of the alphabet to be written in a
circle to serve as a key to the reading, supplies a clue to some of
these symbols. _The first three letters_ of the alphabet representing
the whole _in_ the circle, formed a character or symbol which was
often made to stand as a 'token' for a proper name, easily spelt in
that way, when phonography and anagrams were in such lively and
constant use,--while it made, at the same time, a symbolical
representation of the radical doctrine of the new school in
philosophy,--a school then _so_ new, that its 'Doctors' were compelled
to 'pray in the aid of simile,' even in affixing their names to their
own works, in some cases. And that same letter which was capable of
representing in this secret language either the _microcosm_, or 'the
larger whole,' as the case required (either with, or without the _eye_
or _I_ in it, sending rays to the circumference) sufficed also to
spell the name of the Grand Master of this lodge,--'who also was a
_man_, take him for _all in all_,'--the man who took two hemispheres
for '_his symbol_.' That was the so considerable appendage which his
friend alludes to,--though 'the natural gaiety of disposition,' of
which we have so much experience in other places, and which the
gravity of these pursuits happily does not cloud, suggests a glance in
passing at another signification, which we find alluded to also in
another place in Mrs. Quickly's '_Latin_.' Mere frivolities as these
conceits and private and retired arts seem now, the Author of the
Advancement of Learning tells us, that to those who have spent their
labours and studies in them, they seem great matters, referring
particularly to that cipher in which it is possible to write _omnia
per omnia_, and stopping to fasten the key of it to his 'index' of
'the principal and supreme sciences,'--those sciences 'which being
committed to _faithful_ privacy, wait the time when they may safely
see the light, and not be stifled in their birth.'

New constructions, according to true definitions, was _the
plan_,--this _triga_ was the initiative.



'For as they were men of the best composition in the state of Rome,
which, either being consuls, _inclined to the people_' ['If he
would but _incline to the people_, there never was a worthier man'],
'or being tribunes, inclined to the senate, so, in the matter which
we handle now [doctrine of _Cure_], they be the best physicians
which, being learned, incline to the traditions of experience; or,
being empirics, incline to the methods of learning.'
_Advancement of Learning._

But while the Man of Science was yet planning these vast scientific
changes--vast, but noiseless and beautiful as the movements of God in
nature--there was another kind of revolution brewing. All that time
there was a cloud on his political horizon--'a huge one, a black
one'--slowly and steadfastly accumulating, and rolling up from it,
which he had always an eye on. He knew there was that in it which no
scientific apparatus that could be put in operation then, on so short
a notice, and when science was so feebly aided, would be able to
divert or conduct entirely. He knew that so fearful a war-cloud would
have to burst, and get overblown, before any chance for those peace
operations, those operations of a solid and lasting peace, which he
was bent on, could be had--before any space on the earth could be
found broad enough for his Novum Organum to get to work on, before the
central levers of it could begin to stir.

That revolution which 'was singing in the wind' then to his ear, was
one which would have to come first in the chronological order; but it
was easy enough to see that it was not going to be such a one, in all
respects, as a man of his turn of genius would care to be out in with
his works.

He knew well enough what there was in it. He had not been so long in
such sharp daily collision with the elements of it--he had not been so
long trying conclusions with them under such delicate conditions,
conditions requiring so nice an observation--without arriving at some
degree of assurance in regard to their main properties, without
attaining, indeed, to what he calls _knowledge_ on that
subject--knowledge as distinguished from opinion--so as to be able to
predict 'with a near aim' the results of the possible combinations.
The conclusion of this observation was, that the revolutionary
movements then at hand were _not_, on the whole, likely to be
conducted throughout on rigidly scientific principles.

The spectacle of a people violently '_revoking_ their _ignorant
election_,' and empirically seeking to better their state under such
leaders as such a movement was likely to throw up, and that, too, when
the _old_ military government was still so strong in moral forces, so
sure of a faction in the state--of a faction of the best, which would
cleave the state to the centre, which would resist with the zealot's
fire unto blood and desperation the _unholy_ innovation--that would
stand on the last plank of the wrecked order, and wade through seas of
slaughter to restore it; the prospect of untried political innovation,
under such circumstances, did _not_ present itself to this Poet's
imagination in a form so absolutely alluring, as it might have done to
a philosopher of a less rigidly _inductive_, turn of mind.

His canvas, with its magic draught of the coming event, includes
already some contingencies which the programme of the theoretical

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