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The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakspere Unfolded by Delia Bacon

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connections with the higher writings of the great Elizabethan school,
which form the _main characteristic_ of this production. The fact,
that this work was composed in the country in which the chief
Elizabethan men attained their maturity, that it dates from the time
in which Bacon was completing his education there, that it covers
ostensibly not the period only, but the scenes and events of Raleigh's
six years campaigning there, as well as the fact alluded to by this
author himself, in a passage already quoted,--the fact that there was
a family then in England, _very well known_, who bore the surname of
his ancestors, a family of the name of _Eyquem_, he tells us with
whom, perhaps, he still kept up some secret correspondence and
relations, the fact, too, which he mentions in his chapter on Names,
that a surname in France is very easily acquired, and is not
necessarily derived from one's ancestors,--that same chapter in which
he adduces so many instances of men who, notwithstanding that
inveterate innate love of the honour of one's own proper name, which
is in men of genius still more inveterate,--have for one reason or
another been willing to put upon anagrams, or synonyms, or borrowed
names, all their honours, so that in the end it is William or Pierre
who takes them into his possession, and bears them, or it's the name
of 'an African slave' perhaps, or the name of a 'groom' (promoted, it
may be, to the rank of a jester, or even to that of a player,) that
gets all the glory. All these facts, taken in connection with the
conclusions already established, though insignificant in themselves,
will be found anything but that for the philosophical student who has
leisure to pursue the inquiry.

And though the latent meanings, in which the interior connections and
identities referred to above are found, are not yet critically
recognised, a latent national affinity and liking strong enough to
pierce this thin, artificial, foreign exterior, appears to have been
at work here from the first. For though the seed of the richer and
bolder meanings from which the author anticipated his later harvest,
could not yet be reached, that new form of popular writing, that
effective, and vivacious mode of communication with the popular mind
on topics of common concern and interest, not heretofore recognised as
fit subjects for literature, which this work offered to the world on
its surface, was not long in becoming fruitful. But it was on the
English mind that it began to operate first. It was in England, that
it began so soon to develop the latent efficacies it held in germ, in
the creation of that new and widening department in letters--that so
new, so vast, and living department of them, which it takes today all
our reviews, and magazines, and journals, to cover. And the work
itself has been from the first adopted, and appropriated here, as
heartily as if it had been an indigenous production, some singularly
distinctive product too, of the so deeply characterised English

But it is time to leave this wondrous Gascon, this new 'Michael of the
Mount,' this man who is 'consubstantial with his book,'--this 'Man of
the Mountain,' as he figuratively describes it. Let us yield him this
new ascent, this new triumphant peak and pyramid in science, which he
claims to have been the first to master,--the unity of the universal
man,--the historical unity,--the universal human form, collected from
particulars, not contemplatively abstracted,--the inducted Man of the
new philosophy. '_Authors_,' he says, 'have _hitherto_ communicated
themselves to the people by some _particular_ and _foreign_ mark; _I,
the first of any by my universal being_, as _Michael_ de Montaigne, I
propose a life mean and without lustre: all moral philosophy is
applied as well to a private life as to one of the greatest
employment. _Every man_ carries _the entire form of the human
condition_...I, the first of any by my universal being, as
_Michael_,'--see the chapter on names,--'as _Michael_ de Montaigne.'
Let us leave him for the present, or attempt to, for it is not very
easy to do so, so long as we have our present subject in hand.

For, as we all know, it is from this idle, tattling, rambling old
Gascon--it is from this outlandish looker-on of human affairs, that
our Spectators and Ramblers and Idlers and Tattlers, trace their
descent; and the Times, and the Examiners, and the Observers, and the
Spectators, and the Tribunes, and Independents, and all the Monthlies,
and all the Quarterlies, that exercise so large a sway in human
affairs to-day, are only following his lead; and the best of them have
not been able as yet to leave him in the rear. But how it came to
pass, that a man of this particular turn of mind, who belonged to the
old party, and the times that were then passing away, should have felt
himself called upon to make this great signal for the human
advancement, and how it happens that these radical connections with
other works of that time, having the same general intention, are found
in the work itself,--these are points which the future _biographers_
of this old gentleman will perhaps find it for their interest to look
to. And a little of that more studious kind of reading which he
himself so significantly solicited, and in so many passages, will
inevitably tend to the elucidation of them.



'The secrets of nature have not more gift in taciturnity.'

_Troilus and Cressida_.

'I did not think that Mr. Silence had been a man of this mettle.'





O'er whom I give thee power, here, to this place.'


But though a foreign philosopher may venture to give us the clue to
it, perhaps, in the first instance, a little more roundly, it is not
necessary that we should go the Mayor of Bordeaux, in order to
ascertain on the highest possible authority, what kind of an art of
communication, what kind of an art of delivery and tradition, men, in
such circumstances, find themselves compelled to invent;--that is, if
they would not be utterly foiled for the want of it, in their noblest
purposes;--we need not go across the channel to find the men
themselves, to whom this art is a necessity,--men so convinced that
they have a mission of instruction to their kind, that they will
permit no temporary disabilities to divert them from their end,--men
who must needs open their school, no matter what oppositions there may
be, to be encountered, no matter what imposing exhibitions of military
weapons may be going on just then, in their vicinity; and though they
should find themselves straitened in time, and not able to fit their
words to their mouths as they have a mind to, though they should be
obliged to accept the hint from the master in the Greek school, and
take their tone _from the ear of those to whom they speak_, though
many speeches which would spend their use among the men then living
would have to be inserted in their most enduring works with a private
hint concerning that necessity, and a private reading of them for
those whom it concerned; though _the audience_ they are prepared to
address _should be deferred_, though the benches of the inner school
should stand empty for ages. We need not go abroad at all to discover
men of this stamp, and their works and pastimes, and their arts of
tradition;--men so filled with that which impels men to speak, that
speak they must, and speak they will, in one form or another, by word
or gesture, by word or deed, though they speak to the void waste,
though they must speak till they reach old ocean in his unsunned
caves, and bring him up with the music of their complainings, though
the marble Themis fling back their last appeal, though they speak to
the tempest in his wrath, to the wind and the rain, and the fire and
the thunder,--men so impregnated with that which makes the human
speech, that speak they will, though they have but a rusty nail,
wherewith to etch their story, on their dungeon wall; though they dig
in the earth and bury their secret, as one buried his of old--that
same secret still; for it is still those EARS--those 'ears' that
'Midas hath' which makes the mystery.

They know that the days are coming when the light will enter their
prison house, and flash in its dimmest recess; when the light they
sought in vain, will be there to search out the secrets they are
forbid. They know that the day is coming, when the disciple himself,
all tutored in the art of their tradition, bringing with him the key
of its delivery, shall be there to unlock those locked-up meanings, to
spell out those anagrams, to read those hieroglyphics, to unwind with
patient loving research to its minutest point, that text, that with
such tools as the most watchful tyranny would give them, they will yet
contrive to leave there. They know that their buried words are seeds,
and though they lie long in the earth, they will yet spring up with
their 'richer and bolder meanings,' and publish on every breeze, their
boldest mystery.

For let not men of narrower natures fancy that such action is not
proper to the larger one, and cannot be historical. For there are
different _kinds_ of men, our _science_ of men tells us, and that is
an unscientific judgment which omits 'the _particular addition_, that
bounteous nature hath closed in each,'--her 'addition to the bill that
writes them all alike.' For there is a kind of men 'whose minds are
proportioned to that which may be dispatched at once, or within a
short return of time, and there is another kind, whose minds are
proportioned to that which begins afar off, and is to be won with
length of pursuit,'--so the Coryphaeus of those choir that the latter
kind compose, informs us, 'so that there may be fitly said to be a
_longanimity_, which is commonly also ascribed to God as a

And our English philosophers had to light what this one calls a new
'Lamp of Tradition,' before they could make sure of transmitting their
new science, through such mediums as those that their time gave them;
and a very gorgeous many-branched lamp it is, that the great English
philosopher brings out from that 'secret school of living Learning and
living Art' to which he secretly belongs, for the admiration of the
professionally learned of his time, and a very lustrous one too, as it
will yet prove to be, when once it enters the scholar's apprehension
that it was ever meant be lighted, when once the little movement that
turns on the dazzling jet is ordered.

For we have all been so taken up with the Baconian _Logic_ hitherto
and its wonderful effects in the relief of the human estate, that the
Baconian RHETORIC has all this time escaped our notice; and nobody
appears to have suspected that there was anything in _that_ worth
looking at; any more than they suspect that there is anything in some
of those other divisions which the philosopher himself lays so much
stress on his proposal for the Advancement of Learning,--in his
proposal for the advancement of it into _all_ the fields of human
activity. But we read this proposition still, as James the First was
expected to read it, and all these departments which are brought into
that general view in such a dry and formal and studiously scholastic
manner, appear to be put there merely to fill up a space; and because
the general plan of this so erudite performance happened to include

For inasmuch as the real scope and main bearing of this proposition,
though it is in fact _there_, is of course _not_ there, in any such
form as to attract the particular attention of the monarch to whose
eye the work is commended; and inasmuch as the new art of a scientific
Rhetoric is already put to its most masterly use in reserving that
main design, for such as may find themselves able to receive it, of
course, the need of any such invention is not apparent on the surface
of the work, and the real significance of this new doctrine of Art and
its radical relation to the new science, is also reserved for that
class of readers who are able to adopt the rules of interpretation
which the work itself lays down. Because the real applications of the
New Logic could not yet be openly discussed, no one sees as yet, that
there was, and had to be, a Rhetoric to match it.

For this author, who was not any less shrewd than the one whose
methods we have just been observing a little, had also early
discovered in the great personages of his time, a disposition to
moderate his voice whenever he went to speak to them on matters of
importance, in his natural key, for his voice too, was naturally loud,
and high as he gives us to understand, though he '_could_ speak small
like a woman'; he too had learned to take the tone _from the ear of
him to whom he spake_, and he too had learned, that it was not enough
merely to speak so as to make himself heard by those whom he wished to
affect. He also had learned to speak according to the affair he had in
hand, according to the purpose which he wished to accomplish. He also
is of the opinion that different kinds of _audiences_ and different
_times_, require different modes of speech, and though he found it
necessary to compose his works in the style and language of his own
time, he was confident that it was a language which would not remain
in use for many ages; and he has therefore provided himself with
another, more to his mind which he has taken pains to fold carefully
within the other, and one which lie thinks will bear the wear and tear
of those revolutions that he perceives to be imminent.

But in consequence of our persistent oversight of this Art of
Tradition, on which he relies so much, (which is as fine an invention
of his, as any other of his inventions which we find ourselves so much
the better for), that appeal to 'the times that are farther off,' has
not yet taken effect, and the audience for whom he chiefly laboured is
still 'deferred.'

This so noble and benign art which he calls, with his own natural
modesty and simplicity, the Art of _Tradition_, this art which grows
so truly noble and worthy, so distinctively human, in his clear,
scientific treatment of it,--in his scientific clearance of it from
the wildnesses and spontaneities of accident, or the superfluities and
trickery of an art without science,--that stops short of the ultimate,
the human principle,--this so noble art of speech or tradition is,
indeed, an art which this great teacher and leader of men will think
it no scorn to labour: it is one on which, even such a teacher can
find time to stop; it is one which even such a teacher can stop to
build from the foundation upwards, he will not care how splendidly; it
is one on which he will spend without stint, and think it gain to
spend, the wealth of his invention.

But, at the same time, it is with him a _subordinate_ art. It has no
worth or substance in itself; it borrows all its worth from that which
masters and rigorously subdues it to its end. Here, too, we find
ourselves coming down on all its old ceremonial and observance, from
that new height which we found our foreign philosopher in such quiet
possession of,--taking his way at a puff through poor Cicero's
periods,--those periods which the old orator had taken so much pains
with, and laughing at his pains:--but this English philosopher is more
daring still, for it is he who disposes, at a word, without any
comment, just in passing merely,--from his practical stand-point,--of
'the flutes and trumpets of the Greeks,' like the other making nothing
at all in his theory of criticism of _mere_ elegance, though it is the
Gascon, it is true, who undertakes the more lively and extreme
practical demonstrations of this theoretical contempt of it,--setting
it at nought, and flying in the face of it,--writing in as loquacious
and homely a style as he possibly can, just for the purpose for
setting it at nought, though not without giving us a glimpse
occasionally, of a faculty that would enable him to mince the matter
as fine as another if he should see occasion--as, perhaps, he may. For
he talks very emphatically about his _poetry_ here and there, and
seems to intimate that he has a gift that way; and that he has,
moreover, some works of value in that department of letters, which he
is anxious to 'save up' for posterity, if he can. But here, it is the
scholar, and not the loquacious old gentleman at all, who is giving us
in his choicest, selectest, courtliest phrase, in his most stately and
condensed style, _his_ views of this subject; but that which is
noticeable is, that _the art_ in its fresh, new upspringing from the
secret of life and nature, from the soul of _things_, the art and that
which it springs from, is in these two so different forms _identical_.
Here, too, the point of its criticism and review is the same. 'Away
with that eloquence that so enchants us with _its harmony_ that we
should more study it than _things_'; but here the old Roman masters
the philosopher, for a moment, and he puts in a scholarly parenthesis,
'unless you will affirm that of Cicero to be of so supreme perfection
as to form _a body of itself_.'

But Hamlet, in his discourse with that wise reasoner, and unfortunate
practitioner, who thought that brevity was the soul of wit, and
tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, puts it more briefly

_Polonius_. What do you read, my lord?
_Hamlet_. Words, words, words!

'More matter, and less art,' another says in that same treatise on art
and speculation. Now inasmuch as this art and science derives all its
distinction and lustre from that new light on the human estate of
which it was to be the vehicle, somebody must find the trick of it, so
as to be able to bring out _that doctrine_ by its help, before we can
be prepared to understand the real worth of this invention. It would
be premature to undertake to set it forth fully, till that is
accomplished. There must be a more elaborate exhibition of that
science, before the art of its transmission can be fully treated; we
cannot estimate it, till we see how it strikes to the root of the new
doctrine, how it begins with its beginning, and reaches to its end: we
cannot estimate it till we see its relation, its essential relation,
to that new doctrine of the human nature, and that new doctrine of
state, which spring from the doctrine of nature in general, which is
_the_ doctrine, which is the beginning and the end of the new science.

We find here on the surface, as we find everywhere in this
comprehensive treatise, much apparent parade of division and
subdivision, and the author appears to lay much stress upon this, and
seems disposed to pride himself upon his dexterity in chopping up the
subject as finely as possible, and keeping the parts quite clear of
one another; and sometimes, in his distributions, putting those points
the farthest apart which are the most nearly related, though not so
far, that they cannot 'look towards each other,' though it may be, as
the other says, '_obliquely_.' He evidently depends very much on his
arrangement, and seems, indeed, to be chiefly concerned about that,
when he comes to the more critical parts of his subject. But it is to
_the continuities_ which underlie these separations, to which he
directs the attention of those to whom he speaks in earnest, and not
in particular cases only. '_Generally_,' he says, '_let this be a
rule_, that all partitions of knowledge be accepted rather for LINES
and VEINS, than for _sections_ and _separations_, and that _the
continuance and entireness of knowledge_ be preserved. For the
_contrary hereof_,' he says, 'is that which has made PARTICULAR
SCIENCES BARREN, SHALLOW, and ERRONEOUS, while they have not been
nourished and maintained from the _common_ fountain.' For this is the
ONE SCIENCE, the deep, the true, the fruitful one, the fruitful
because the ONE.

These lines, then, which he cautions us against regarding as
divisions, which are brought in with such parade of scholasticism,
with such a profound appearance of artifice, will always be found by
those who have leisure to go below the surface, to be but the
indications of those natural articulations and branches into which the
subject divides and breaks itself, and the conducting lines to that
trunk and heart of sciences, that common fountain from which all this
new vitality, this sudden up-springing and new blossoming of learning
proceeds, that fountain in which its flowers, as well as its fruits,
and its thick leaves are nourished.

Here in this Art of Tradition, which comprehends the whole subject of
the human speech from the new ground of the common nature in man--that
_double_ nature which tends to isolation on the one hand, and which
makes him a part and a member of society on the other; we find it
treated, first, as a means by which men come simply to a common
understanding with each other, by which that _common ground_, that
ground of _community_, and _communication_, and _identity_, which a
common _understanding_ in this kind makes, can be best reached; and
next we find it treated as a means by which _more than the
understanding_ shall be reached, by which _the sentiment_, the _common
sentiment_, which also belongs to the larger nature, shall be
strengthened and developed,--by which the counteracting and partial
sentiments shall be put in their place, and the _will_ compelled;
whereby that common human form, which in its perfection is the object
of the human love and reverence shall be scientifically developed; by
which the particular form with its diseases shall be artistically
disciplined and treated. This Art of Tradition concerns, first, the
understanding; and secondly, the affections and the will. As man is
constituted, it is not enough to convince his understanding.

First, then, it is 'the organ' and 'method' of tradition; and next, it
is what he calls the _illustration_ of it. First, the object is, to
bring truth to the understanding in as clear and unobstructed a manner
as the previous condition--as the diseases and pre-occupations of the
mind addressed will admit of, and next to bring all the other helps
and arts by which the sentiments are touched and the will mastered.
First, he will speak true, or as true as they will let him; but it is
not enough to speak true. He must be able to speak sharply too,
perhaps--or humorously, or touchingly, or melodiously, or
overwhelmingly, with words that burn. It is not enough, perhaps, to
reach the ear of his auditor: 'peradventure' he too 'will also pierce
it.' It is not enough to draw diagrams in chalk on a black board in
this kind of mathematics, where the will and the affections are the
pupils, and standing ready to defy axioms, prepared at any moment to
demonstrate practically, that the part is greater than the whole, and
face down the universe with it, 'murdering impossibility to make what
cannot be, slight work.' It is not enough to have a tradition that is
_clear_, or as clear a one as will pass muster with the government and
with the preconceptions of the people themselves. He must have a
pictured one--a pictorial, an illuminated one--a beautiful one,--he
must have what he calls an ILLUSTRATED TRADITION.

'Why not,' he says. He runs his eye over the human instrumentalities,
and this art which we call _art--par excellence_, which he sees
setting up for itself, or ministering to ignorance and error, and
feeding the diseased affections with 'the sweet that is their poison,'
he seizes on at once, in behalf of his science, and declares that it
is her lawful property, 'her slave, born in her house,' and fit for
nothing in the world but to minister to her; and what is more, he
suits the action to the word--he brings the truant home, and reforms
her, and sets her about her proper business. That is what he proposes
to have done in his theory of art, and it is what he tells us he has
done himself; and he has: there is no mistake about it. That is what
he means when he talks about his illustrated tradition of science--his
illustrated tradition of the science of HUMAN NATURE and its
_differences_, _original_ and _acquired_, and the _diseases_ to which
it is liable, and the artificial growths which appertain to it. It is
very curious, that no one has seen this tradition--this illustrated
tradition, or anything else, indeed, that was at all worthy of this
new interpreter of mysteries, who goes about to this day as the
inventor of a method which he was not able himself to put to any
practical use; an inventor who was obliged to leave his machine for
men of a more quick and subtle genius, or to men of a more practical
turn of mind to manage, men who had a closer acquaintance with nature.

That which is first to be noted in looking carefully at this draught
of a new Art of Tradition which the plan of the Advancement of
Learning includes,--that which the careful reader cannot fail to note,
is the fact, that throughout all this most complete and radical
exhibition of the subject (for brief and casual as that exhibition
seems on the surface, the science and art from its root to its
outermost branches, is there)--throughout all this exhibition, under
all the superficial divisions and subdivisions of the subject, it is
still the method of PROGRESSION which is set forth here: under all
these divisions, there is still one point made; it is still the Art of
a Tradition which is designed to reserve the _secrets_ of science, and
the nobler arts of it, for the minds and ages that are able to receive
them. This new art of tradition, with its new organs and methods, and
its living and beautiful illustration, when once we look through the
network of it to the unity within, this new rhetoric of science, is in
fact the instrument which the philosopher would substitute, if he
could, for those more cruel weapons which the men of his time were
ready to take in hand; and it is the instrument with which he would
forestall those yet more fearful political convulsions that already
seemed to his eye to threaten from afar the social structures of
Christendom; it is the beautiful and bloodless instrumentality whereby
the mind of the world is to be wrenched insensibly from its old place
without 'breaking all.'

For neither does this author, any more than that other, who has been
quoted here on this point, think it wise for the philosopher to rush
madly out of his study with his EUREKA, and bawl to the first passer
by in scientific terms the last result of his science, 'lording it
over his ignorance' with what can be to him only a _magisterial_
announcement. For what else but that can it be, for instance, to tell
the poor peasant, on his way to market, with his butter and eggs in
his basket, planting his feet on the firm earth without any qualms or
misgivings, and measuring his day by the sun's great toil and
rejoicing race in heaven, what but this same magisterial teaching is
it, to stop him, and tell him to his bewildered face that the sun
never rises or sets, and that the earth is but a revolving ball?
Instead of giving him a truth you have given him a falsehood. You have
brought him a truth out of a sphere with which he is not conversant,
which he cannot ascend to--whose truths he cannot translate into his
own, without jarring all. Either you have told him what must be to him
a lie, or you have upset all his little world of beliefs with your
magisterial doctrine, and confounded and troubled him to no purpose.

But the Method of Progression, as set forth by Lord Bacon, requires
that the new scientific truth shall be, not nakedly and flatly, but
artistically exhibited; because, as he tells us, 'the great labour is
with the people, and this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.'
He will not have it exhibited in bare propositions, but translated
into the people's dialect. He would not begin if he could--if there
were no political or social restriction to forbid it--by overthrowing
on all points the popular belief, or wherever it differs from the
scientific conclusion. It is a very different kind of philosophy that
proceeds in that manner. This is one which comprehends and respects
all actualities. The popular belief, even to its least absurdity 'is
something more than nothing in nature'; and the popular belief with
all its admixture of error, is better than the half-truths of a
misunderstood, untranslated science; better than these would be in its
place. That truth of nature which it contains for those who are able
to receive it, and live by it, you would destroy for them, if you
should attempt to make them read it _prematurely_, in your language.
Any kind of organism which by means of those adjustments and
compensations, with which nature is always ready to help out anything
really hers,--any organism that is capable of serving as the means of
an historical social continuance, is already some gain on chaos and
social dissolution; and is, perhaps, better than a series of
philosophical experiments. The difficulty is not to overthrow the
popular errors, but to get something better in their place, he tells
us; and that there are men who have succeeded in the first attempt,
and very signally failed in the second. Beautiful and vigorous unions
grew up under the classic mythologies, that dissolved and went down
for ever, in the sunshine of the classic philosophies. For there were
more things in heaven and earth than were included in those last, or
dreamt of in them.

In your expurgation, of the popular errors, you must be sure that the
truth they contain, is in some form as strongly, as _effectively_
composed in your text, or the popular error is truer and better than
the truth with which you would replace it. This is a master who will
have no other kind of teaching in his school. His scholars must go so
far in their learning as to be able to come back to this popular
belief, and account for it and understand it; they must be as wise as
the peasant again, and be able to start with him, from his starting
point, before they can get any diploma in this School of
_Advancement_, or leave to practise in it. But when the old is already
ruinous and decaying, and oppressing and keeping back the new,--when
the vitality is gone out of it, and it has become deadly instead, when
the new is struggling for new forms, the man of science though never
so conservative from inclination and principle, will not be wanting to
himself and to the state in this emergency. He 'loves the _fundamental
part of state_ more' than in _such_ a crisis he will 'doubt the change
of it,' and will not 'fear to jump a body with a dangerous physic,
that's sure of death without it.'

First of all then, the condition of this lamp of tradition, that is to
burn on for ages, is, that it shall be able to adapt itself to the
successive stages of the advancement it lights. It is the inevitable
condition of this school which begins with the present, which begins
with the people, which descends to the lowest stage of the
contemporary popular belief, and takes in the many-headed monster
himself, without any trimming at all, for its audience,--it is the
first condition of such a school, conducted by a man of science, that
it shall have its proper grades of courts and platforms, its selecter
and selectest audiences. There must be landing places in the ascent,
points of rendezvous agreed on, where 'the delicate collateral sounds'
are heard, which only those who ascend can hear. There is no
jar,--there is no forced advancement in this school; there is no
upward step for any, who have not first been taught to see it, who
have not, indeed, already taken it. For it is an artist's school, and
not a pedant's, or a vague speculator's, who knows not how to converge
his speculation, even upon his mode of tradition.

The founders of this school trust much in their general plan of
instruction and relief, to the gradual advancement of a common
intelligence, by means of a scientific, but _concealed_ historical
teaching. They will teach their lower classes, their 'beginners,' as
great nature teaches--insensibly;--as great nature teaches--in the
concrete, 'in easy instances.' For the secret of her method is that
which they have studied; that is the learning which they have
mastered; the spirit of it, which is the poet's gift, the quickest,
subtlest, most searching, most analytic, most synthetic spirit of it,
is that with which great nature has endowed them. They will speak, as
they tell us, as the masters always have spoken from of old to them
who are without; they will 'open their mouths in parables,' they will
'utter their dark sayings on the harp.' They know that men are already
prepared by nature's own instruction, to feel in a fact,--to receive
in historical representations--truths which would startle them in the
abstract, truths which they are not yet prepared to disengage from the
historical combinations in which they receive them; though with every
repetition, and especially with the pointed, selected, prolonged
repetition of the teacher, where the 'ILLUSTRIOUS INSTANCE' is
selected and cleared of its extraneous incident, and made to enter the
mind alone, and pierce it with its principle,--with every such
repetition, the step to that generalization and axiom becomes
insensibly shorter and more easy. They know that men are already wiser
than their teachers, in some--in many things; that they have all of
them a great stock of incommunicative wisdom which all their teachers
have not been able to make them give up, which they never will give
up, till the strong man, who is stronger, enters with his larger
learning out of the same book, with his mightier weapons out of the
same armory, and spoils their goods, or makes them old and worthless,
by the side of the new, resplendent, magic wealth he brings with him.

The new philosophy of nature has truths to teach which nature herself
has already been teaching all men, with more or less effect,
miscellaneously, and at odd hours, ever since they were born; and this
philosopher gives a large place in his history, to that vulgar,
practical human wisdom, which all the books till his time had been of
too high a strain to glance at. But 'art is a second nature, and
imitateth that dextrously and compendiously, which nature performs by
ambages and length of time.' The scientific interpreter of nature will
select, and unite, and teach continuously, and pointedly, in grand,
ideal, representative fact, in 'prerogative instances,' that which
nature has but faintly and unconsciously impressed with her method;
for he has a scientific organum, and what is more,--a great deal more,
a thousand times more,--he has the scientific genius that invented it.
His soul is a Novum Organum--his mind is a table of rejections that
sifts the historic masses, and brings out the instances that are to
his purpose, the bright, bold instances that flame forth the doubtful
truth, that tell their own story and need no interpreter, the high
ideal instances that talk in verse because it is their native tongue
and they can no other. He has found,--or rather nature lent it to him,
the universal historic solvent, and the dull, formless, miscellaneous
facts of the common human experience, spring up in magic orders, in
beautiful, transparent, scientific continuities, as they arrange
themselves by the laws of his thinking.

For the truth is, and it must be said here, and not here only, but
everywhere, wherever there is a chance to say it,--that Novum Organum
was not made to examine the legs of spiders with, or the toes of 'the
grandfather-long-legs,' or any of their kindred; though of course it
is susceptible of such an application, when it falls into the hands of
persons whose genius inclines them in those directions; and it is a
use, that the inventor would not have disdained to put it to himself,
if he had had time, and if his attention had not been so much
distracted by the habits and history of that 'nobler kind of vermin,'
which he found feeding on the human weal in his time, and eating out
the heart of it. This man was not a fool, but a man. He was a
naturalist indeed, of the newest and highest style, but that did not
hinder his being a man at the same time. He and his company were the
first that set the example of going, deliberately, and on principle,
out of the human nature for knowledge; but it was that they might
re-return with better axioms for the culture, and nobility, and sway
of _that form_, which, 'though it be but a part in the continent of
nature,' is as this one openly declares, '_the end_ and _term_ of
NATURAL PHILOSOPHY, _in the intention_ of MAN.' His science included
the humblest and least agreeable of nature's performances; his Novum
Organum was able to take up the smallest conceivable atom of
existence, whether animate or not, and make a study of it. He has no
disrespect for caterpillars or any kind of worm or insect; but he is
not a caterpillar himself, or an insect of any kind, or a Saurian, or
an Icthyosaurian, but a man; and it was for the sake of building up
from a new basis a practical doctrine of human life, that he invented
that instrument, and put so much fine work upon it.

With his 'PREROGATIVE INSTANCES,' he will build height after height,
the solid, but imperceptible stair-way to his summit of knowledges, so
that men shall tread its utmost floors without knowing what heights
they are--even as they tread great nature's own solidities, without
inquiring her secret.

The shrewd unlearned man of practice shall take that great book of
nature, that illustrated digest of it, on his knees, to while away his
idle hours with, in rich pastime, and smile to see there, all written
out, that which he faintly knew, and never knew that he knew before;
he will find there in sharp points, in accumulations, and percussions,
that which his own experience has at length wearily, dimly, worked and
worn into him. It is his own experience, exalted indeed, and
glorified, but it is that which beckons him on to that which is yet
beyond it; he shall read on, and smile, and laugh, and weep, and
wonder at the power; but never dream that it is science, the new
science--the science of nature--the product of the new organum of it
applied to _human_ nature, and _human_ life. The abstract statement of
that which the concrete exhibition veils, is indeed always there,
though it lie never so close, in never so snug a corner; but it is
there so artistically environed, that the reader who is not ready for
it, who has not learned to disengage the principle from the instance,
who has had no hint of an _illustrated tradition_ in it, will never
see it; or if he sees it, he will think it is there by accident, or
inspiration, and pass on.

Here, in this open treatise upon the art of delivering and teaching of
knowledge, the author lays down, in the most impressive terms, the
necessity of a style which shall serve as a _veil_ of tradition,
imperceptible or impenetrable to the uninitiated, and admitting 'only
such as have by the help of a master, attained to the interpretation
of dark sayings, or are able by their own genius to enter within the
veil'; and after having distributed under many heads, the secret of
this method of scientific communication, he asserts distinctly that
there is no other mode of dealing with the popular belief and
preconception, but the one just described--that same method which the
teachers of the people have always instinctively adopted, whenever
that which was new and contrary to the received doctrines, was to be
communicated. 'For a man of judgment,' he says, 'must, of course,
perceive, that there should be a difference in the teaching and
delivery of knowledge, according to the _presuppositions, which he
finds infused and impressed upon the mind of the learner_. For _that
which is new and foreign from opinions received_, is to be delivered
in ANOTHER FORM, from that which is _agreeable and familiar_. And,
therefore, Aristotle, when he says to Democritus, "if we shall indeed
_dispute_ and _not_ follow after _similitudes_," as if he would tax
Democritus with being too full of _comparisons_, where he thought to
reprove, really commended him.' There is no use in disputing in such a
case, he thinks. 'For those whose doctrines are already _seated_ in
popular opinion, have only to dispute or prove; but those whose
doctrines are beyond the popular opinions, have a _double labour_; the
one to make themselves conceived, and the other to prove and
demonstrate; so that it is of _necessity with them to have recourse to
similitudes_ AND TRANSLATIONS _to express themselves_. And, therefore,
in the _infancy of learning_, and in rude times, when those
conceptions which are now trivial, were then new, _the world was full
of parables and similitudes_, for else would men either have passed
over _without mark, or else_ REJECTED FOR PARADOXES, that which was
offered _before they had understood or judged_. So in divine learning,
we see how frequent parables and tropes are, for it _is a rule in the
doctrine of delivery, that every science_ which is _not consonant with
presuppositions and prejudices_, must pray in aid of _similes_ and

The true master of the art of teaching will vary his method too, he
tells us according to the _subject_ which he handles,--and the reader
should note particularly the illustration of this position, the
instance of this general necessity, which the author selects for the
sake of pointing his meaning here, for it is here--precisely
here--that we begin to touch the heart of that new method which the
new science itself prescribed,--'the true teacher will vary his method
according to the subject which he handles,' for there is a great
difference in the delivery of _mathematics_, which are the most
abstracted of sciences, and POLICY, which is the _most immersed_, and
the opinion that 'uniformity of method, in multiformity of matter, is
necessary,' has proved very hurtful to learning, for it tends to
reduce learning to certain _empty_ and _barren_--note it,--_barren_--
'generalities;'--(so important is the method as _that_; that it makes
the difference between the fruitful and the barren, between the old
and the new) 'being but the very _husks_ and _shells_ of sciences,
all the _kernel_ being forced out and expressed with the torture and
press of the method; and, _therefore_, as I did allow well of
_particular topics_ for invention'--_therefore_--his science requires
him to go into particulars, and as the necessary consequence of that,
it requires freedom--_'therefore'_--as I did allow well of particular
_topics of invention, 'so_ do I allow likewise of _particular methods
of tradition_.' Elsewhere,--in his Novum Organum--he quotes the
scientific outlines and divisions of this very book, he quotes the
very draught and outline of the new human science, which is the
principal thing in it, and tells us plainly that he is perfectly aware
that those new divisions, those essential differences, those true and
radical forms in nature, which he has introduced here, in his doctrine
of _human_ nature, will have no practical effect at all, as they are
exhibited _here_; because they _are_ exhibited in this method which he
is here criticising, that is, in empty and barren abstractions,--
because it was impossible for him to produce here anything but the
_husks_ and _shells_ of that principal science, all the kernel being
forced out and expulsed with the torture and press of the method.
But, at the same time, he gives us to understand, that these same
shells and husks may be found in another place, with the kernels and
_nuts_ in them, and that he has not taken so much pains to let us see
in so many places, what new forms of delivery the new philosophy will
require, merely for the sake of letting us see, at the same time, that
when it came to _practice_, he himself stood by the old ones, and
contented himself with barren abstractions, and generalities, the
husks and shells of sciences, instead of aiming at particulars, and
availing himself of these '_particular methods of tradition_.'

He takes also this occasion to recommend a method which was found
extremely serviceable at that time; namely, the method of teaching by
aphorism, 'without any _show_ of an art or method; not merely because
it tries the author, since aphorisms being made out of the _pith_ and
_heart_ of sciences, _no man can write them who is not sound and
grounded_,' who has not a system with its trunk and root, though he
makes no show of it, but buries it and shows you here and there the
points on the surface that are apt to look as if they had some
underlying connection--not only because it tries the author, _but
because they point to action_; for particulars being dispersed, do
best agree with dispersed directions; and, moreover, aphorisms
representing a BROKEN KNOWLEDGE, invite men _to inquire farther_,
whereas methods, _carrying the show of a total_, do secure men as _if
they were at farthest_, and it is the _advancement_ of learning that
he is proposing.

He suggests again, distinctly here, the rule he so often claims he has
himself put in practice, elsewhere, that the use of CONFUTATION in the
delivery of science, ought to be very sparing; and to serve to remove
strong _preoccupations_ and _prejudgments_, and not to minister and
excite disputations and doubts. For he says in another place, 'As
Alexander Borgia was wont to say of the expedition of the French for
Naples, that they came with _chalk_ in their hands, _to mark up their
lodgings_, and not with _weapons to fight_, so _I_ like better that
entry of truth which cometh peaceably, with chalk to mark up those
minds, which are capable to lodge and harbour it, than that which
cometh with pugnacity and contention.'

He alludes here too, in passing, to some other distinctions of method,
which are already received, that of ANALYSIS and _synthesis_, or
CONSTITUTION, that of _concealment_, or CRYPTIC, which he says 'he
allows well of, though he has himself stood upon those which are least
handled and observed.' He brings out his doctrine of the necessity of
a method which shall include _particulars_ for _practical_ purposes
also, under another head: here it is the limit of _rules_,--the
propositions or precepts of _arts_ that he speaks of, and the _degree_
of particularity which these precepts ought to descend to. 'For every
knowledge,' he says, 'may be fitly said to have a latitude and
longitude, accounting the latitude towards _other sciences_' (for
there are rules and propositions of such latitude as to include all
arts, all sciences)--'and the longitude towards action, that is, from
the greatest generality, to the most particular precept: and as to the
degree of particularity to which a knowledge should descend,' though
something must, of course, be left in all departments to the
discretion of the practitioner, he thinks it is a question which will
bear looking into in a general way; and that it might be possible to
have rules in all departments, which would limit very much the
necessity of individual experiment, and not leave us so much at the
mercy of individual discretion in the most serious matters.
Philosophy, as he finds it, does not appear to be very helpful to
practice, on account of its keeping to those general propositions, so
much, as well as on some other accounts, and has fallen into bad
repute, it seems, among men who find it necessary to make, without
science, as they best can, rules of some sort;--rules that are capable
of dealing with that quality in particulars which is apt to be called
_obstinacy_ in this aspect of it. 'For we see remote and superficial
generalities do but offer knowledge to scorn of practical men, and are
no more aiding to practice, than an Ortelius's _universal map_ is to
direct the way between London and York.' And what is this itself but a
universal map, this map of the advancement of learning?

All this doctrine of the tradition of sciences, he produces under the
head of the _method_ of their tradition, but in speaking of the
_organ_ of it, he treats it _exclusively_ as the medium of tradition
for _those sciences which require_ CONCEALMENT, or admit only of a
suggestive exhibition. And as he makes, too, the claim that he has
himself given practical proof, in passing, of his proficiency in this
art, and appeals to the skilful for the truth of this statement, the
passage, at least, in which this assertion is made, will be likely to
repay the inquiry which it invites.

He begins by drawing our attention to the fact, that words are not the
only representatives of things, and he says 'this is not an
inconsiderable thing, _for while we are treating of the coin of
intellectual_ matters, _it is_ pertinent to observe, that as money may
be made of other materials besides gold and silver, so other marks of
things may be invented besides words and letters.' And by way of
illustrating the advantages of such a means of tradition, under
certain disadvantages of position, he adduces as much in point, the
case of Periander, who being consulted how to preserve a tyranny
_newly usurped_, bid the messenger _attend_ and _report what he saw
him do_, and went into his garden and _topped all the highest
flowers_; signifying that it consisted in the cutting off and keeping
low of the nobility and grandees. And thus other apparently trivial,
purely purposeless and sportive actions, might have a traditionary
character of no small consequence, if the messenger were only given to
understand beforehand, that the acts thus performed were axiomatical,
pointing to rules of practice, that the forms were representative
forms, whose '_real_' exhibition of the particular natures in
question, was much more vivid and effective, much more memorable as
well as _safe_, than any abstract statement of that philosophic truth,
which is the truth of direction, could be.

As to the '_accidents_ of words, which are measure, sound, and
elevation of accent, and the sweetness and harshness of them,' even
here the new science suggests a new rule, which is not without a
remarkable relation to _that 'particular method of tradition_,' which
the author tells us in another place, some parts of his new science
required. 'This subject,' he says, 'involves some curious observations
in rhetoric, but chiefly POESY, as we consider it in respect of the
verse, and _not of the argument_; wherein, though men in learned
tongues do tie themselves to _the ancient measures_, yet in modern
languages it seemeth to me as free to make _new measures of verses as
of dances_.' The spirit of the new philosophy had a chance to speak
out there for once, without intending, of course, to transcend that
particular limit just laid down, namely, the measure of _verses_, and
with that literal limitation, to the form of the verse, the remark is
sufficiently suggestive; for he brings out from it at the next step,
in the way of formula, the new principle, the new Shaksperian
principle of rhetoric: _In these things_ the sense is better judge
than the art. And of the servile expressing antiquity in an unlike and
an unfit subject, it is well said:--'_Quod tempore antiquum videtur,
id incongruitate est maxime novum_.''

But when he comes to speak specifically of _writing_ as a means of
tradition, he confines his remarks to that particular kind of writing,
which is agreed on betwixt particular persons, and called by the name
of _cipher_, giving excellent reasons for this proceeding, impertinent
as it may seem, to those who think that his only object is to make out
a list and 'muster-roll of the arts and sciences';--stopping to tell
us plainly that he knows what he is about, and that he has not brought
in '_these private and retired arts_,' with so much stress, and under
so many heads, in connection with 'the principal and supreme
sciences,' and _the mode of their tradition_, without having some
occasion for it.

'Ciphers are commonly in letters, or alphabets, but _may be_ in
words,' he says, proceeding to enumerate the different kinds, and
furnishing on the spot, some pretty specimens of what may be done in
the way of that kind which he calls 'doubles,' a kind which he is
particularly fond of; one hears again the echo of those delicate,
collateral sounds, which our friend, over the mountains, warned us of,
declining to say any more about them in that place. In the later
edition, he takes occasion to say, in this connection, 'that as
writing in the received manner no way obstructs the _manner of
pronunciation_, but leaves that _free_, an innovation in it is of no
purpose.' And if a cipher be the proper name for a private method of
writing, agreed on betwixt particular persons, it is certainly the
name for the method which he proposes to adopt in _his_ tradition of
the principal sciences; as he takes occasion to inform those whom it
may concern, in an early portion of the work, and when he is occupied
in the critical task of putting down some of the primary terms. 'I
doubt not,' he says, by way of explanation, 'but it will easily appear
to men of judgment, that in _this_ and _other particulars_,
wheresoever _my conception and notion may differ from the ancient, I
am studious to keep the ancient terms_.' Surely there is no want of
frankness here, so far as the men of judgment are concerned at least.
And after condemning those innovators who have taken a different
course, he says again, 'But to me on the other side that do desire as
much as lieth in _my pen_, to ground a sociable intercourse between
antiquity and _proficience_, it seemeth best to keep way with
antiquity _usque ad aras_; and therefore to _retain the ancient_
TERMS, though I sometimes alter the _uses and definitions_, according
to the moderate proceeding in civil government, where, although there
be some alteration, yet that holdeth which Tacitus _wisely_ noteth
'eadem magistratuum vocabula.' Surely that is plain enough, especially
if one has time to take into account the force and historic reach of
that last illustration, 'eadem magistratuum vocabula.'

In the later and enlarged edition of his work, he lays much stress
upon the point that the cipher 'should be free from suspicion,' for he
says, 'if a letter should come into the hands of such as have a power
over the writer or receiver, though the cipher itself be trusty and
impossible to decipher, it is still subject to _examination_ and
_question_, and (as he says himself), 'to _avoid all suspicion_,' he
introduces there a cipher in _letters_, which he invented in his youth
in Paris, 'having the highest perfection of a cipher, that of
signifying _omnia per omnia_;' and for the same reason perhaps, that
of 'avoiding all suspicion,' he quite omits there that very remarkable
passage in the earlier work, in which he treats it as a medium of
_tradition_, and takes pains to intimate his reasons for producing it
in that connection, _with the principal and supreme sciences_. If it
was, indeed, any object with him to avoid suspicion, and recent
disclosures had then, perhaps, tended to sharpen somewhat the
contemporary criticism; he _did well_, unquestionably, to omit that
passage. But at the time when _that_ was written, he appears to be
chiefly inclined to notice the remarkable facilities, which this style
offers to an inventive genius. For he says, 'in regard of the rawness
and unskilfulness of _the hands through which they pass_, the greatest
matters, are sometimes carried in the _weakest ciphers_.' And that
there may be no difficulty or mistake as to the reading of that
passage, he immediately adds, 'In the enumeration of these private and
retired arts, it may be thought I _seek to make a great muster-roll of
sciences_, naming them for _show_ and _ostentation_, and _to little
other purpose_. But'--note it--'But, let those which are _skilful in
them judge, whether I bring them in only for appearance_, or whether,
in that which I speak of them, though in few words, there be not _some
seed of proficience_. And this must be remembered, that as there be
many of great account in their countries and provinces, which, when
they come up to the _seat of the estate_, are but of mean rank, and
scarcely regarded; so these arts, ("these private and retired arts,")
being here placed _with the principal and supreme sciences, seem_
skilful in them, judge (after that) whether I bring them in only for
appearance" or to _little_ other purpose).'

That apology would seem sufficient, but we must know what these
labours and studies are, before we can perceive the _depth_ of it. And
if we have the patience to follow him but a step or two further, we
shall find ourselves in the way of some very direct and accurate
information, as to that. For we are coming now, in the order of the
work we quote from, to that very part, which contains the point of all
these labours and studies, the _end_ of them,--that part to which the
science of nature in general, and the secret of this art of tradition,
was a necessary _introduction_. [For this Art of Tradition makes the
link between the new Logic and the application of it to _Human_ Nature
and Human Life.]

Thus far, this art has been treated as a means of simply
_transferring_ knowledge, in such forms as the conditions of the
Advancement of Learning prescribe,--forms adapted to the different
stages of mental advancement, commencing with the lowest range of the
common opinion in his time,--starting with the contemporary opinions
of the majority, and reserving 'the secrets of knowledge,' for such as
are able to receive them. Thus far, it is the Method, and the Organ of
the tradition of which he has spoken. But it is when he comes to speak
of what he calls the _Illustration_ of it, that the convergency of his
design begins to be laid open to us, for this work is not what it may
seem on the surface, as he takes pains to intimate to us--a 'mere
muster-roll of sciences.'

It is when he comes to tell us that he will have his 'truth in beauty
dyed,' that he does not propose to have the new learning left in the
form of argument and logic, or in the form of bare scientific fact,
that he does not mean to appeal with it to the _reason_ only; that he
will have it in a form in which it will be able to attract and allure
men, and make them in love with it, a form in which it will be able to
force its way into the will and the affections, and make a lodgement
in the hearts of men, long ere it is able to reach the judgment;--it
is not till he begins to bring out here, his new doctrine of the true
end of rhetoric, and the use to which it ought to be put in
subordination to science, that we begin to perceive the significance
of the arrangement which brings this theory of an Illustrated Art of
Tradition into immediate connection with the new science of human
nature and human life which the Author is about to constitute,--so as
to serve as an introduction to it--the arrangement which interposes
this art of Tradition, between the New Logic and its application to
Human Nature and Human Life--to POLICY and MORALITY.

He will not consent to have this so _powerful_ engine of popular
influence, which the aesthetic art seems, to his eye, to offer, left
out, in his scheme of scientific instrumentalities: he will not pass
it by scornfully, as some other philosophers have done, treating it
merely as a voluptuary art. He will have of it, something which shall
differ, not in degree only, but in kind, from the art of the

He begins by stating frankly his reasons for making so much of it in
this grave treatise, which is what it professes to be, a treatise on
Learning and its Advancement. 'For although,' he says, 'in true value,
it is inferior to _wisdom_, as it is said by God to Moses, when he
disabled himself for want of this faculty, "Aaron shall be thy
_speaker_, and thou shalt be to him as God;" _yet with people_ it is
the more _mighty_, and it is just that which is mighty with the
people--which he tells us in another place--is wanting. "For this
people who knoweth not _the law_ are cursed."' But here he continues,
'for so Solomon saith, "Sapiens corde appellabitur prudens, sed dulcis
eloquio majora reperiet;" signifying that profoundness of wisdom will
help a man to a name or admiration,'--(it is something more than that
which he is proposing as _his_ end)--'but that it is eloquence--which
prevails in _active life_;' so that the very movement which brought
philosophy down to earth, and put her upon reforming the practical
life of men, was the movement which led her to assume, not
instinctively, only, but by theory, and on principle, this new and
beautiful apparel, this deep disguise of pleasure. She comes into the
court with her case, and claims that this Art, which has been treated
hitherto as if it had some independent rights and laws of its own, is
properly a subordinate of hers; a chattel gone astray, and setting up
for itself as an art voluptuary.

Works on rhetorics are not wanting, the author reports. Antiquity has
laboured much in this field. Notwithstanding, he says, there is
something to be done here too, and the Elizabethan aesthetics must be
begun also in the _prima philosophia_. 'Notwithstanding,' he
continues, 'to stir the earth a little about the _roots_ of this
science, as we have done of the rest; the duty and office of Rhetoric
is to apply _reason to imagination for the better moving of_ THE WILL;
for we see reason is disturbed in the administration of the will by
three means; by sophism, which pertains to logic; by imagination or
impression, which pertains to rhetoric; and by passion or affection,
which pertains to morality.' So in this negotiation within ourselves,
men are _undermined_ by inconsequences, _solicited and importuned_ by
impressions and observations, and _transported_ by _passions_. Neither
is the nature of man so unfortunately built, as that these _powers and
arts_ should have force to _disturb_ reason and not to _establish_ and
_advance_ it. For the end of logic is to teach a form of logic to
secure reason, not to entrap it. The end of morality is to procure the
affections to obey reason, and not to invade it. The _end_ of rhetoric
is to _fill the imagination_ to second reason, and not to _oppress_
it. For these abuses of arts come in but _ex obliquo_ for caution.

That is the real original English doctrine of Art:--that is the
doctrine of the age of Elizabeth, at least, as it stands in that
queen's English, and though it may be very far from being orthodox at
present, it is the doctrine which must determine the rule of any
successful interpretation of works of art composed on that theory.
'And, therefore,' he proceeds to say, 'it was great injustice in
Plato, though springing out of a just hatred of the rhetoricians of
his time, to esteem of rhetoric but as a voluptuary art, resembling it
to cookery that did mar wholesome meats, and help unwholesome, by
variety of sauces _to the pleasure of the taste_.' 'And therefore, as
Plato said eloquently, "That virtue, if she could be seen, would move
great love and affection, so, seeing that she cannot be showed to the
sense by corporal shape, the next degree is to show her to the
imagination _in lively representation_": _for_ to show her to _reason
only_, in _subtilty of argument_ was a thing ever derided
in--_Chrysippus and many of the Stoics--who thought to thrust virtue
upon men_ by _sharp disputations and conclusions, which have no
sympathy with the will of man_.'

'Again, if the affections in themselves were pliant and obedient to
reason, it were true there should be no great use of persuasions and
injunctions to the will, more than of _naked propositions and proofs;_
but in regard of the continual mutinies and seditions of the

Video meliora proboque
Deteriora sequor;

'Reason would become captive and servile, if eloquence of persuasions
did not practise and win the imagination from the affections part, and
contract a confederacy between the reason and the imagination, against
the affections; for _the affections themselves_ carry ever an appetite
to _good_, as reason doth. _The difference is_'--mark it--'the
difference is, that the affection beholdeth merely _the present;
reason_ beholdeth the future and _sum_ of time. And therefore the
present _filling the imagination most_, reason is commonly vanquished;
but after that force of eloquence and persuasion hath made things
future and remote, _appear as present_, then, _upon the revolt of the
imagination reason prevaileth_.' Not less important than that is this
art in his scheme of learning. No wonder that the department of
learning which he refers to the imagination should take that prime
place in his grand division of it, and be preferred deliberately and
on principle to the two others.

'Logic differeth from Rhetoric chiefly in this, that logic handleth
reason exact and in truth, and rhetoric handleth it as it is planted
in popular opinions and manners. And therefore _Aristotle_ doth
_wisely_ place rhetoric as between logic on the one side, and moral or
civil knowledge on the other, (and when we come to put together the
works of this author, we shall find that _that_ and none other is the
place it takes in _his_ system, that that is just the bridge it makes
in his plan of operations.)' The proofs and demonstrations of logic
_are towards all men indifferent and the same_: but the proofs and
persuasions of rhetoric _ought to differ according to the auditors_.

Orpheus in sylvis inter delphinas Arion.

Which application, in perfection of idea, ought to extend so far, that
if a man should speak of _the same thing to several persons_, he
should speak to them _all respectively, and several ways_; and there
was a great folio written on this plan which came out in those days
dedicated 'to the Great Variety of Readers. From the most able to him
that can but spell'; (this is just the doctrine, too, which the
Continental philosopher sets forth we see);--though this '_politic_
part of eloquence in private speech,' he goes on to say here, 'it is
easy for the greatest orators _to want; whilst by observing their well
graced forms of speech, they lose the volubility_ of APPLICATION; and
_therefore_ it shall not be _amiss_ to recommend this _to better
inquiry_, not being curious whether we place it here, or in that part
which concerneth _policy._'

Certainly one would not be apt to infer from that decided preference
which the author himself manifests here for those stately and
well-graced forms of speech, judging _merely_ from the style of this
performance at least, one would not be inclined to suspect that he
himself had ever been concerned in any literary enterprises, or was
like to be, in which that _volubility_ of application which he appears
to think desirable, was successfully put in practice. But we must
remember, that he was just the man who was capable of conceiving of a
_variety_ of _styles adapted to different exigencies_, if we would
have the key to this style in particular.

But we must look a little at these labours and studies themselves,
which required such elaborate and splendid arts of delivery, if we
would fully satisfy ourselves, as to whether this author really had
any purpose after all in bringing them in here beyond that of mere
ostentation, and for the sake of completing his muster-roll of the
sciences. Above, we see an intimation, that the divisions of the
subject are, after all, not so 'curious' but that the inquiry might
possibly be resumed again in other connections, and in the particular
connection specified, namely, in that part which concerneth _Policy_.

In that which follows, the new science of human nature and human
life--which is the end and term of this treatise, we are told--is
brought out under the two heads of Morality and Policy; and it is
necessary to look into _both_ these departments in order to find what
application he was proposing to make of this art and science of
Tradition and Delivery, and in order to see what place--what vital
place it occupied in his system.



'Policy is the most immersed.'--_Advancement of Learning_.

Reversing the philosophic order, we glance first into that new
department of science which the author is here boldly undertaking to
constitute under the above name, because in this his own practical
designs, and rules of proceeding, are more clearly laid open, and the
place which is assigned in his system to that radical science, for
which these arts of Delivery and Tradition are chiefly wanting, is
distinctly pointed out.

And, moreover, in this department of Policy itself, in marking out one
of the grand divisions of it, we find him particularly noticing, and
openly insisting on, the form of delivery and inculcation which the
new science must take here, that is, if it is going to be at all
available as a science of practice.

In this so-called plan for the advancement of learning, the author
proceeds, as we all know, by noticing _the deficiencies_ in human
learning as he finds it; and everywhere it is that radical deficiency,
which leaves human life and human conduct in the dark, while the
philosophers are busied with their controversies and wordy
speculations. And in that part of his inventory where he puts down as
wanting a science of practice in those every-day affairs and
incidents, in which the life of man is most conversant, embodying
axioms of practice that shall save men the wretched mistakes and
blunders of which the individual life is so largely made up; blunders
which are inevitable, so long as men are left here, to natural human
ignorance, to uncollected individual experience, or to the shrewdest
empiricism;--in this so original and interesting part of the work, he
takes pains to tell us at length, that that which he has before put
down under the head of '_delivery_' as a point of form and method,
becomes here essential as a point of substance also. It is not merely
that he will have his axioms and precepts of direction digested from
the facts, instead of being made out of the teacher's own brains, but
he will have THE FACTS themselves, in all their stubbornness and
opposition to the teacher's preconceptions, for the body of the
discourse, and the precepts accommodated thereto, instead of having
the precepts for the body of the discourse, and the facts brought in
to wait upon them. That is the form of the practical doctrine.

He regrets that this part of a true learning has not been collected
hitherto into writing, to the great derogation of learning, and the
professors of learning; for from this proceeds the popular opinion
which has passed into an adage, that there is no great concurrence
between wisdom and learning. The deficiency here is well nigh total he
says: 'but for the wisdom of business, wherein man's life is most
conversant, there be no books of it, except some few scattered
advertisements, that have no proportion to the _magnitude of the
subject_. For if books were written of this, as of the other, I doubt
not but _learned men_ with _mean experience_ would far excel men of
_long experience without learning_, and _outshoot them with their own
bow_. Neither need it be thought that this knowledge is too variable
to fall under precept,' he says; and he mentions the fact, that in old
Rome, so renowned for practical ability, in its wisest and saddest
times, there were professors of this learning, that were known for
GENERAL WISE MEN, who used to walk at certain hours in the place, and
give _advice_ to private citizens, who came to consult with them of
the _marriage_ of _a daughter_, for instance, or the _employing_ of _a
son_, or of _an accusation_, or of a _purchase or bargain_, and _every
other occasion incident to man's life_. There is a pretty scheme laid
out truly. Have _we_ any general wise man, or ghost of one, who walks
up and down at certain hours and gives advice on such topics? However
that may be, this philosopher does not despair of such a science.
'So,' he says, commenting on that Roman custom, 'there is a wisdom of
council and advice, even in private cases, arising out of a universal
_insight into the affairs_ of _the world_, which is _used_ indeed upon
_particular cases propounded_, but is gathered by general
_observation_ of _cases_ of _like nature_.' And fortifying himself
with the example of Solomon, after collecting a string of texts from
the Sacred Proverbs, he adds, 'though they are capable, of course, of
a more divine interpretation, taking them as instructions for life,
they might have received large discourse, if he would have _broken
them_ and _illustrated them_, by deducements and examples. Nor was
this in use with the Hebrews only, but it is generally to be found in
the wisdom of the more ancient times, that as men found out any
observation that they thought was _good for life_, they would gather
it, and express it in _parable_, or _aphorism_, or _fable_.'

But for _fables_, they were vicegerents and supplies, _where examples
failed_. Now that the times abound with history, THE AIM IS BETTER
WHEN THE MARK IS ALIVE. And, therefore, he recommends as the form of
writing, 'which is of all others fittest for this variable argument,
discourses upon histories and examples: for knowledge drawn freshly,
_and in our view_, out of particulars, _knoweth the way best to
particulars again_; and it hath much greater life _for practice_, when
_the discourse attendeth upon the example_, than when the example
attendeth upon the discourse. For this is no point of order as it
seemeth at first' (indeed it is not, it is a point as substantial as
the difference between the old learning of the world and the
new)--'this is no point of order, but of substance. For when the
example is the _ground_ being set down in a history at large, it is
set down with all circumstances, which may _sometimes control_ the
discourse thereupon made, and sometimes supply it as _a very pattern
for action_; whereas the examples which are alleged _for the
discourse's sake_, are cited succinctly and without _particularity_,
and carry a _servile aspect_ towards the discourse which they are
brought in to make good.'

The question of method is here, as we see, incidentally introduced;
but it is to be noted, and it makes one of the rules for the
interpretation of that particular kind of style which is under
consideration, that in this casual and secondary introduction of a
subject, we often get shrewder hints of the author's real intention
than we do in those parts of the work where it is openly and
distinctly treated; at least, these scattered and apparently
accidental hints,--these dispersed directions, often contain the key
for the 'second' reading, which he openly bespeaks for the more open
and elaborate discussion.

And thus we are able to collect, from every part of this proposal for
a practical and progressive human learning, based on the defects of
the unpractical and stationary learning which the world has hitherto
been contented with, the author's opinion as to the form of delivery
and inculcation best adapted to effect the proposed object under the
given conditions. This question of form runs naturally through the
whole work, and comes out in specifications of a very particular and
significant kind under some of its divisions, as we shall see. But
everywhere we find the point insisted on, which we have just seen so
clearly brought out, in the department which was to contain the axioms
of success in private life. Whatever the particular form may be,
everywhere we come upon this general rule. Whatever the particular
form may be, everywhere it is to be one in which the facts shall have
the precedence, and the conclusions shall follow; and not one in which
the conclusions stand first, and the facts are brought in to make them
good. And this very circumstance is enough of itself to show that the
form of this new doctrine will be thus far new, as new as the doctrine
itself; that the new learning will be found in some form very
different, at least, from that which the philosophers and professed
teachers were then making use of in their didactic discourses, in some
form so much more lively than that, and so much less oracular, that it
would, perhaps, appear at first, to those accustomed only to the
other, not to be any kind of learning at all, but something very
different from that.

But this is not the only point in the general doctrine of delivery
which we find produced again in its specific applications. Through all
the divisions of this discourse on Learning, and not in that part of
it only in which the Art of its Tradition is openly treated, we find
that the prescribed form of it is one which will adapt it to the
popular preconceptions; and that it must be a form which will make it
not only universally acceptable, but universally attractive; that it
is not only a form which will throw open the gates of the new school
to all comers, but one that will bring in mankind to its benches. Not
under the head of Method only, or under the head of Delivery and
Tradition, but in those parts of the work in which the substance of
the new learning is treated, we find dispersed intimations and
positive assertions, that the form of it is, at the same time, popular
and enigmatical,--not openly philosophical, and not 'magisterial,'--
but insensibly didactic; and that it is, in its principal and
higher departments--in those departments on which this plan for
the human relief concentrates its forces--essentially POETICAL. That
is what we find in the body of the work; and the author repeats
in detail what he has before made a point of telling us, in general,
under this head of Delivery and Tradition of knowledge, that he
sees no reason why that same instrument, which is so powerful for
delusion and error, should not be restored to its true uses as an
instrument of the human advancement, and a vehicle, though a veiled
_one_--a beautiful and universally-welcome vehicle--for bringing in on
this Globe Theatre the knowledges that men are most in need of.

The doctrine which is to be conveyed in this so subtle and artistic
manner is none other than the Doctrine of Human Nature and Human Life,
or, as this author describes it here, the Scientific Doctrine of
MORALITY and POLICY. It is that new doctrine of human nature and human
life which the science of nature in general creates. It is the light
which universal science, collected from the continent of nature, gives
to that insular portion of it 'which is the end and term of natural
philosophy in the intention of man.' Under these heads of _Morality_
and _Policy_, the whole subject is treated here. But to return to the

The question of Civil Government is, in the light of this science, a
very difficult one; and this philosopher, like the one we have already
quoted on this subject, is disposed to look with much suspicion on
propositions for violent and sudden renovations in the state, and
immediate abolitions and cures of social evil. He too takes a
naturalist's estimate of those larger wholes, and their virtues, and
faculties of resistance.

'Civil knowledge is conversant about a subject,' he says, 'which is,
of all others, _most immersed in matter_, and hardliest reduced to
axiom. _Nevertheless_, as Cato, the censor, said, "that the Romans
were like sheep, for that a man might better drive a flock of them
than one of them, for, in a flock, if you could get SOME FEW to go
right, the rest would follow;" _so_ in that respect, MORAL PHILOSOPHY
_is more difficult than policy_. Again, moral philosophy propoundeth
to itself the framing of _internal_ goodness, but civil knowledge
requireth only an _external_ goodness, for that, as to society,
sufficeth. Again, States, as great engines, move slowly, _and are not
so soon put out of frame_;' (that is what our foreign statist thought
also) 'for, as in Egypt the seven good years sustained the seven bad,
so governments for a time, well grounded, do bear out errors
following. But _the resolution of particular persons_ is _more
suddenly subverted. These respects do somewhat qualify the extreme
difficulty of civil knowledge_.'

This is the point of attack, then,--this is the point of scientific
attack,--the resolution of particular persons. He has showed us where
the extreme difficulty of this subject appears to lie in his mind, and
he has quietly pointed, at the same time, to that place of resistance
in the structure of the state, which is the key to the whole position.
He has marked the spot exactly where he intends to commence his
political operations. For he has discovered a point there, which
admits of being operated on, by such engines as a feeble man like him,
or a few such together, perhaps, may command. It is the new science
that they are going to converge on that point precisely, namely the
resolution of particular persons. It is the _novum organum_ that this
one is bringing up, in all its finish, for the assault of that
particular quarter. Hard as that old wall is, great as the faculty of
conservation is in these old structures that hold by time, there is
one element running all through it, these chemists find, which _is_
within their power, namely, the resolution of particular persons. It
is the science of the conformation of the parts, it is the
constitutional structure of the human nature, which, in its scientific
development, makes men, naturally, members of communities, beautiful
and felicitous parts of states,--it is that which the man of science
will _begin_ with. If you will let him have that part of the field to
work in undisturbed, he will agree not to meddle with the state. And
beside those general reasons, already quoted, which tend to prevent
him from urging the immediate application of his science to this
'larger whole,' for its wholesale relief and cure, he ventures upon
some specifications and particulars, when he comes to treat distinctly
of government itself, and assign to it its place in his new science of
affairs. If one were to judge by the space he has openly given it on
his paper in this plan for the human advancement and relief, one would
infer that it must be a very small matter in his estimate of agencies;
but looking a little more closely, we find that it is not that at all
in his esteem, that it is anything but a matter of little consequence.
It was enough for him, at such a time, to be allowed to put down the
fact that the art of it was properly scientific, and included in his
plan, and to indicate the kind of science that is wanting to it; for
the rest, he gives us to understand that he has himself fallen on such
felicitous times, and finds that affair in the hands of a person so
extremely learned in it, that there is really nothing to be said. And
being thrown into this state of speechless reverence and admiration,
he considers that the most meritorious thing he can do, is to pass to
the other parts of his discourse with as little delay as possible.

It is a very short paragraph indeed for so long a subject; but, short
as it is, it is not less pithy, and it contains reasons why it should
not be longer, and why that new torch of science which he is bringing
in upon the human affairs generally, cannot be permitted to enter that
department of them in his time. 'The first is, that it is a part of
knowledge secret and retired in _both_ those respects in which things
are deemed secret; for some things are secret because they are hard to
know, and _some_ because they are not fit to utter. Again, the wisdom
of _antiquity_, the _shadows whereof are in the Poets_, in the
description of torments and pains, _next unto the crime of rebellion_,
which was the _giants_ offence, doth detest _the crime of futility_,
as in Sisyphus and Tantalus. But this was meant of _particulars_.
Nevertheless, _even unto the general rules and discourses_ of policy
and government, [it extends; for even here] there is due a _reverent_
handling.' And after having briefly indicated the comprehension 'of
this science,' and shown that it is the thing he is treating under
other heads, he concludes, 'but considering that _I write to a king_
who is a _master_ of it, and is _so well assisted_, I think it decent
to pass over _this part_ in silence, as willing to obtain the
certificate which one of the ancient philosophers aspired unto; who
being silent when others contended to make demonstration of their
abilities by speech, desired it might be certified for _his part_ that
there was one that knew how to hold his peace.'

And having thus distinctly cleared himself of any suspicion of a
disposition to introduce scientific inquiry and innovation into
departments not then open to a procedure of that sort, his proposal
for an advancement of learning in other quarters was, of course, less
liable to criticism. But even that part of the subject to which he
limits himself involves, as we shall see, an incidental reference to
this, from which he here so modestly retires, and affords no
inconsiderable scope for that genius which was by nature so
irresistibly impelled, in one way or another, to the criticism and
reformation of the larger wholes. He retires from the open assault,
but it is only to go deeper into his subject. He is constituting the
science of that from which the state proceeds. He is analyzing the
state, and searching out in the integral parts of it, that which makes
true _states_ impossible. He has found the revolutionary forces in
their simple forms, and is content to treat them in these. He is
bestowing all his pains upon an art that will develop--on scientific
principles, by simply attending to the natural laws, as they obtain in
the human kind, royalties, and nobilities, and liege-men of all
degrees--an art that will make all kinds of pieces that the structure
of the state requires.




'Nature craves
All dues to be rendered to their owners.'

But this great innovator is busying himself here with drawing up a
report of THE DEFICIENCIES IN LEARNING; and though he is the first to
propose a plan and method by which men shall build up, systematically
and scientifically, a knowledge of _Nature in general_, instead of
throwing themselves altogether upon their own preconceptions and
abstract controversial theories, after all, the principal deficiency
which he has to mark--that to which, even in this dry report, he finds
himself constrained to affix some notes of admiration--this principal
deficiency is THE SCIENCE OF MAN--THE SCIENCE of _human nature_
itself. And the reason of this deficiency is, that very deficiency
before named; it is that very act of shutting himself up to his own
theories which leaves the thinker without a _science_ of himself. 'For
it is the greatest proof of want of skill, to investigate _the nature_
of any object in itself alone; and, in general, those very things
which are considered as secret, are manifested and common in other
objects, but will never be clearly seen if the contemplations and
experiments of men be directed _to themselves alone_.' It is this
science of NATURE IN GENERAL which makes the SCIENCE of _Human Nature_
for the first time possible; and that is the end and term of the new
philosophy,--so the inventor of it tells us. And the moment that he
comes in with that new torch, which he has been out into 'the
continent of nature' to light,--the moment that he comes back with it,
into this old debateable ground of the schools, and begins to apply it
to that element in the human life in which the scientific innovation
appears to be chiefly demanded, 'most of the controversies,' as he
tells us very simply--'most of the controversies, wherein moral
philosophy is conversant, are judged and determined by it.'

But here is the bold and startling criticism with which he commences
his approach to this subject; here is the ground which he makes at the
first step; this is the ground of his scientific innovation; not less
important than this, is the field which he finds unoccupied. In the
handling of this science he says, (the science of 'the Appetite and
Will of Man'), 'those which have written seem to me to have done as if
a man that _professed to teach to write_ did only exhibit _fair
copies_ of alphabets _and_ letters joined, without giving any precepts
or directions for the carriage of the hand, or the framing of the
letters; so have they made good and fair _exemplars_ and _copies_,
carrying the _draughts_ and _portraitures_ of _good, virtue, duty,
felicity_; propounding them, well described, as the true _objects_ and
_scopes_ of man's will and designs; _but how to attain these excellent
marks_, and _how_ to _frame_ and _subdue_ the _will_ of _man_ to
become _true_ and _conformable_ to _these pursuits_, they _pass it
over altogether_, or slightly and _unprofitably_; for it is not,' he
says, 'certain scattered glances and touches that can excuse the
_absence_ of this _part_ of--SCIENCE.

'The reason of this omission,' he supposes, 'to be that hidden rock,
whereupon both this and many other barks of knowledge have been cast
away, which is, that men have despised to be conversant in _ordinary
and common matters_, the _judicious direction whereof, nevertheless_,
is the wisest doctrine; for life consisteth not in novelties nor
_subtleties_, but, _contrariwise_, they have compounded sciences
_chiefly_ of _a certain_ resplendent or lustrous mass of matter,
_chosen to give glory_ either to the _subtlety_ of _disputations_, or
to the _eloquence_ of _discourses_.' But his theory of teaching is,
that 'Doctrine should be such as should make men in love with the
_lesson_, and not with the teacher; being directed to the auditor's
benefit, and not to the author's commendation.' _Neither_ needed men
of so excellent parts to have despaired of a fortune which the poet
Virgil promised himself, and, indeed, obtained, who got as much glory
of eloquence, wit, and learning, in the expressing of the observations
of husbandry _as of the heroical acts of AEneas_.

'Nec sum animi dubius, verbis ea vincere magnum
Quam sit, et angustis hunc addere rebus honorum.'
_Georg_. iii. 289.

So, then, there is room for a new Virgil, but his theme is
_here_;--one who need not despair, if he be able to bring to his
subject those excellent parts this author speaks of, of getting as
much glory of eloquence, wit, and learning, in the expressing of the
_observations of this husbandry_, as those have had who have sketched
the ideal forms of the human life, the dream of what should be. The
copies and exemplars of good,--that vision of heaven,--that idea of
felicity, and beauty, and goodness that the human soul brings with it,
like a memory,--those celestial shapes that the thought and heart of
man, by a law in nature, project,--that garden of delights that all
men remember, and yearn for, and aspire to, and will have, in one form
or another, in delicate air patterns, or gross deceiving images,--that
large, intense, ideal good which men desire--that perfection and
felicity, so far above the rude mocking realities which experience
brings them,--that, _that_ has had its poets. No lack of these
exemplars the historian finds, when he comes to make out his report of
the condition of his kind--where he comes to bring in his inventory of
the human estate: when so much is wanting, that good he reports '_not_
deficient.' Edens in plenty,--gods, and demi-gods, and heroes, _not_
wanting; the purest abstract notions of virtue and felicity, the most
poetic embodiments of them, are put down among the goods which the
human estate, as it is, comprehends. This part of the subject appears,
to the critical reviewer, to have been exhausted by the poets and
artists that mankind has always employed to supply its wants in this
field. No room for a poet here! The draught of the ideal Eden is
finished;--the divine exemplar is finished; that which is wanting
is,--_the husbandry thereunto_.

Till now, the philosophers and poetic teachers had always taken their
stand at once, on the topmost peak of Olympus, pouring down volleys of
scorn, and amazement, and reprehension, upon the vulgar nature they
saw beneath, made out of the dust of the ground, and qualified with
the essential attributes of that material,--kindled, indeed, with a
breath of heaven, but made out of clay,--different kinds of
clay,--with more or less of the Promethean spark in it; but always
clay, of one kind or another, and always compelled to listen to the
laws that are common to the kinds of that substance. And it was to
this creature, thus bound by nature, thus _doubly_ bound,--'crawling
between earth and heaven,' as the poet has it,--that these winged
philosophers on the ideal cliffs, thought it enough to issue their
mandates, commanding it to renounce its conditions, to ignore its
laws, and come up thither at a word,--at a leap,--making no ado about

'I can call spirits from the vasty deep.'
'And so can I, and so can any man;'

Says the new philosopher--

'But will they _come?_
_Will they come_--when you do call for them?'

It was simply a command, that this dirty earth should convert itself
straight into Elysian lilies, and bloom out, at a word, with roses of
Paradise. Excellent patterns, celestial exemplars, of the things
required were held up to it; and endless declamation and argument why
it should be that, and not the other, were not wanting:--but as to any
scientific inquiry into the nature of the thing on which this form was
to be superinduced, as to any _scientific_ exhibition of the form
itself which was to be superinduced, these so essential conditions of
the proposed result, were in this case alike wanting. The position
which these reformers occupy, is one so high, that the question of
different kinds of soils, and chemical analyses and experiments, would
not come within their range at all; and 'the resplendent or lustrous
mass of matter,' of which their sciences are compounded, chosen to
give glory either to the subtilty of disputations or to the eloquence
of discourses, would not bear any such vulgar admixture. It would make
a terrible jar in the rhythm, which those large generalizations
naturally flow in, to undertake to introduce into them any such points
of detail.

And the new teacher will have a mountain too; but it will be one that
'overlooks the vale,' and he will have a rock-cut-stair to its utmost
summit. He is one who will undertake this despised unlustrous matter
of which our ordinary human life consists, and make a science of it,
building up its generalizations from its particulars, and observing
the actual reality,--the thing as it is, freshly, for that purpose;
and not omitting any detail,--the poorest. The poets who had
undertaken this theme before had been so absorbed with the idea of
what man should be, that they could only glance at him as he is: the
idea of a science of him, was not of course, to be thought of. There
was but one name for the creature, indeed, in their vocabulary and
doctrine, and that was one which simply seized and embodied the
general fact, the unquestionable historic fact, that he has not been
able hitherto to attain to his ideal type in nature, or indeed to make
any satisfactory approximation to it.

But when the Committee of Inquiry sits at last, and the business
begins to assume a systematic form, even the science of that ideal
good, that exemplar and pattern of good, which men have been busy on
so long,--the _science_ of it,--is put down as 'wanting,' and the
_science_ of the _husbandry thereunto_, '_wholly deficient_.'

And the report is, that this new argument, notwithstanding its
every-day theme, is one that admits of being sung also; and that the
Virgil who is able to compose 'these Georgies of the Mind,' may
promise himself fame, though his end is one that will enable him to
forego it. Let us see if we can find any further track of him and his
great argument, whether in prose or verse;--this poet who cares not
whether he has his 'singing robes' about him or not, so he can express
and put upon record his new 'observations of this husbandry.'

THE EXEMPLAR OF GOOD.--'And surely,' he continues, 'if the purpose be
in good earnest, _not to write at leisure that which men may read at
leisure_'--note it--that which men may read at leisure--'but really to
_instruct_ and _suborn action and active life_, these GEORGICS of the
MIND, concerning the husbandry and tillage thereof, are no less worthy
than _the heroical descriptions of virtue, duty_, and _felicity_;
therefore the _main and primitive division_ of MORAL KNOWLEDGE,
seemeth to be into the EXEMPLAR or PLATFORM of GOOD, and THE REGIMEN
or CULTURE OF THE MIND, the one describing the NATURE of GOOD, the
other prescribing RULES _how_ to SUBDUE, APPLY, and ACCOMMODATE THE

As to '_the nature of good_, positive or simple,' the writers on this
subject have, he says, 'set it down excellently, in describing the
forms of virtue and duty, with their situations, and postures, in
distributing them into their kinds, parts, provinces, actions, and
administrations, and the like: nay, farther, they have commended them
to man's nature and spirit, with great quickness of argument, and
beauty of persuasions; yea, and fortified and entrenched them, _as
much as discourse can do_, against corrupt and popular opinions. And
for the degrees and comparative nature of good, they have excellently
handled it also.'--That part deserveth to be reported for 'excellently

What is it that is wanting then? What radical, fatal defect is it that
he finds even in the doctrine of the NATURE OF GOOD? What is the
difficulty with this platform and exemplar of good as he finds it,
notwithstanding the praise he has bestowed on it? The difficulty is,
that it is not scientific. It is not broad enough. It is _special_, it
is limited to the species, but it is not properly, it is not
effectively, specific, because it is not connected with the doctrine
of nature in general. It does not strike to those universal original
principles, those simple powers which determine the actual historic
laws and make the nature of things itself. This is the criticism,
therefore, with which this critic of the learning of the world as he
finds it, is constrained to qualify that commendation.

_Notwithstanding_, if before they had come to _the popular and
received notions of 'vice'_ and _'virtue,' 'pleasure'_ and _'pain,'_
and the rest, they had stayed a little longer upon the inquiry
concerning THE ROOTS of GOOD and EVIL, and the strings to those roots,
they had given, in my opinion, _a great light to that which followed_,
and especially _if they had consulted with nature_, they had made
their doctrines less prolix and more profound, which being by them in
part omitted, and in part handled with much confusion, we will
endeavour to resume and open in a more clear manner. Here then, is the
preparation of the Platform or Exemplar of Good, the scientific
platform of virtue and felicity; going behind the popular notion of
vice and virtue, pain and pleasure, and the like, he strikes at once
to the nature of good, as it is 'formed in everything,' for the
foundation of this specific science. He lays the beams of it, in the
axioms and definitions of his '_prima philosophia_' 'which do not fall
within the compass of the special parts of science, but are more
common and of a higher stage, for the distributions and partitions of
knowledge are _not_ like several lines that meet in one angle, and so
touch but in a point, but are like _branches of a tree that meet in a
stem_ which hath a dimension and quantity of entireness and
continuance before it comes to discontinue and break itself into arms
and boughs,' and it is not the narrow and specific observation on
which the popular notions are framed, but the scientific, which is
needed for the New Ethics,--the new knowledge, which here too, is
POWER. He must detect and recognise here also, he must track even into
the nature of man, those universal 'footsteps' which are but 'the same
footsteps of nature treading or printing in different substances.'
'There is formed in _everything_ a double nature of good, the one as
everything is a total or substantive in itself, and the other, as it
is a part or member of a greater body whereof the latter is in
_degree_ the greater and the worthier, because it tendeth to the
conservation of a more general form.... This double nature of good,
and the comparison thereof, is much more engraven upon MAN, _if he
degenerate not_, unto whom the conservation of duty to the public
ought _to be much more precious_ than the conservation of _life and
being_;' and, by way of illustration, he mentions first the case of
Pompey the Great, 'who being in commission of purveyance for a famine
at Rome, and being dissuaded with great vehemency by his friends, that
he should not hazard himself to sea in an extremity of weather, he
said only to them, "_Necesse est ut eam, non ut vivam_."' But, he
adds, 'it may be _truly_ affirmed, that there was never any
philosophy, religion, or other discipline, which did so plainly and
highly _exalt_ the good which is _communicative_, and _depress_ the
good which is private and particular, as the _holy faith_, well
declaring that it was the _same God_ that gave the _Christian law to
men_, who gave those laws of nature to inanimate creatures that we
spake of before; for we read that the elected saints of God have
wished themselves anathematised, and razed out of the book of life, in
an ecstasy of charity, and infinite feeling of communion.'

And having first made good his assertion, that this being set down,
and _strongly planted_, determines most of the _controversies_ wherein
moral philosophy is conversant, he proceeds to develop still further
these scientific notions of good and evil, which he has gone below the
popular notions and into the nature of things to find, these
scientific notions, which, because they are scientific, he has still
to go out of the specific nature to define; and when he comes to nail
down his scientific platform of the _human_ good with them, when he
comes to strike their clear and simple lines, deep as the universal
constitution of things, through the popular terms, and clear up the
old confused theories with them, we find that what he said of them
beforehand was true; they do indeed throw great light upon that which

To that exclusive, incommunicative good which inheres in the private
and particular nature,--and he does not call it any hard names at all
from his scientific platform; indeed in the vocabulary of the
Naturalist we are told, that these names are omitted, 'for we call a
nettle but a nettle, and the faults of fools their folly,'--that
exclusive good he finds both passive and active, and this also is one
of those primary distinctions which 'is formed in all things,' and so
too is the _subdivision_ of passive good which follows. 'For there is
impressed upon _all things_ a triple desire, or appetite, proceeding
from _love to themselves_; one, of preserving and continuing their
form; another, of _advancing_ and perfecting their form; and a third,
of multiplying and extending their form upon other things; whereof the
multiplying or signature of it upon other things, is that which we
handled by the name of active good.' But passive good includes both
conservation and perfection, or _advancement_, which latter is the
highest degree of passive good. For to preserve in state is the less;
to preserve with advancement is the greater. As to _man_, his approach
or assumption to DIVINE or ANGELICAL NATURE is the perfection of _his_
form, the error or false imitation of which good is that which is the
tempest of human life. So we have heard before; but in the doctrine
which we had before, it was the dogma,--the dogma whose inspiration
and divinity each soul recognized; to whose utterance each soul
responded, as deep calleth unto deep,--it was the Law, the Divine Law,
and not the _science of it_, that was given.

And having deduced 'that good of man which is private and particular,
as far as seemeth fit,' he returns 'to that good of man which respects
and beholds society,' which he terms DUTY, because the term of duty is
more proper to a mind well framed and disposed towards others, as the
term of VIRTUE is applied to a mind well formed and composed in
itself; though neither can a man understand _virtue, without some
relation to society_, nor _duty, without an inward disposition_.

But he wishes us to understand and remember, now that he comes out of
the particular nature, and begins to look towards society with this
term of Duty, that he is still dealing with 'the will of particular
persons,' that it is still the science of _morals_, and not
_politics_, that he is meddling with. 'This part may seem at first,'
he says, 'to pertain to science civil and politic, but not if it be
well observed; for it concerneth the regiment and _government of every
man over himself_, and not over others.' And this is the plan which he
has marked out in his doctrine of government as the most hopeful point
in which to _commence_ political reformations; and one cannot but
observe, that if this art and science should be successfully
cultivated, the one which he dismisses so briefly would be cleared at
once of some of those difficulties, which rendered any more direct
treatment of it at that time unadvisable. This part of learning
concerneth then 'the regiment and government of every man over
himself, and not over others.' '_As_ in architecture _the direction_
of _the framing_ the _posts, beams_, and _other parts_ of _building_,
is not the same with the manner of joining them and erecting the
building; and in mechanicals, the direction _how_ to _frame_ AN
INSTRUMENT OR ENGINE is not the same with the manner of _setting it on
work_, and employing it; _and yet, nevertheless_, in expressing of the
one, you _incidentally_ express the _aptness_ towards the other [hear]
_so_ the doctrine of the conjugation of men in society differeth from
_that_ of _their conformity thereunto_.' The received doctrine of that
conjugation certainly appeared to; and the more this scientific
doctrine of the parts, and the conformity thereunto, is incidentally
expressed,--the more the scientific direction _how to frame_ the
instrument or engine, is opened, the more this difference becomes

But even in limiting himself to the individual human nature as it is
developed in particular persons, regarding society only as it is
incidental to that, even in putting down his new scientific platform
of the good that the appetite and will of man naturally seeks, and in
marking out scientifically its _degrees_ and _kinds_, he gives us an
opportunity to perceive in passing, that he is not altogether without
occasion for the use of that particular art, with its peculiar
'organs' and 'methods' and 'illustration,' which he recommends under
so many heads in his treatise on that subject, for the delivery or
tradition of knowledges, which tend to _innovation_ and
_advancement_--knowledge which is 'progressive' and 'foreign from
opinions received.'

This doctrine of _duty_ is sub-divided into two parts; the _common_
duty of every man as a MAN, or A MEMBER of A STATE, which is that part
of the platform and exemplar of good, he has before reported as
'extant, and well laboured.' The other is the _respective_ or
_special_ duty of every man in his PROFESSION, VOCATION and PLACE; and
it is under this head of the _special_ and _respective_ duties of
places, vocations and professions, where the subject begins to grow
narrow and pointed, where it assumes immediately, the most critical
aspects,--it is here that his new arts of delivery and tradition come
in to such good purpose, and stand him instead of other weapons. For
this is one of those cases precisely, which the philosopher on the
Mountain alluded to, where an argument is set on foot at the table of
a man of prodigious fortune, when the man himself is present. Nowhere,
perhaps,--in his freest forms of writing, does he give a better
reason, for that so deliberate and settled determination, which he so
openly declares, and everywhere so stedfastly manifests, not to put
himself in an antagonistic attitude towards opinions, and vocations,
and professions, as they stood authorized in his time. Nowhere does he
venture on a more striking comparison or simile, for the purpose of
setting forth that point vividly, and impressing it on the imagination
of the reader.

'The first of these [sub-divisions of duty] is extant, and well
laboured, as hath been said. The second, likewise, I may report rather
dispersed than deficient; which _manner of dispersed argument I
acknowledge to be best_; [it is one he is much given to;] for who can
take upon him to write of the proper duty, virtue, _challenge_ and
_right_ of EVERY several vocation, profession and place? [--truly?--]
For although sometimes a looker on, may see more than a gamester, and
there be a proverb more arrogant than sound, 'that the _vale_ best
discovereth _the hill_,' yet there is small doubt, that men can write
best, and most really and materially of their own professions,' and it
is to be wished, he says, 'as that which would make learning, indeed,
solid and fruitful, that active men would, or could, become writers.'
And he proceeds to mention opportunely in that connection, a case very
much in point, as far as he is concerned, but not on the face of it,
so immediately to the purpose, as that which follows. It will,
however, perhaps, repay that very careful reading of it, which will be
necessary, in order to bring out its pertinence in this connection.
And we shall, perhaps, not lose time ourselves, by taking, as we pass,
the glimpse which this author sees fit to give us, of the facilities
and encouragements which existed then, for the scientific treatment of
this so important question of the duties and vices of vocations and

'In which I _cannot but_ mention, _honoris causa, your majesty's_
excellent book, touching the _duty_ of A KING' [and he goes on to give
a description which applies, without much 'forcing,' to the work of
another king, which he takes occasion to introduce, with a direct
commendation, a few pages further on]--'a work richly compounded of
divinity, morality, and policy, with great _aspersion_ of all other
arts; and being, in mine opinion, one of the most sound and healthful
writings that I have read. Not sick of business, as those are who lose
themselves in their order, nor of convulsions, as those which cramp in
matters impertinent; not savoring of perfumes and paintings as those
do, who seek to please the reader more than nature beareth, and
chiefly _well disposed_ in the _spirits_ thereof, being _agreeable to
truth_, and _apt for action_;'--[this passage contains some hints as
to this author's notion of what a book should be, in form, as well as
substance, and, therefore, it would not be strange, if it should apply
to some other books, as well]--'and far removed from _that natural
infirmity_, whereunto _I noted those that write in their own
professions_, to be _subject_, which is that they _exalt it above
measure_; for your majesty hath truly described, _not_ a king of
Assyria or Persia, in their _external_ glory, [and not that kind of
king, or kingly author is he talking of] but a _Moses_, or a _David,
pastors of their people_.

'Neither can I _ever lose out of my remembrance_, what I heard your
majesty, in the same sacred spirit of government, deliver in a great
cause of judicature, which was, that kings ruled by _their laws_, as
God did by the laws of nature, and ought rarely to put in use their
supreme prerogative, as God doth his power of working miracles. _And
yet, notwithstanding_, in your book of _a free monarchy_, you do well
give men to understand, that you know the plenitude of the _power_ and
_right_ of a king, as well as _the circle of his office and duty. Thus
have I presumed to _allege_ this excellent writing of your majesty,
_as a prime_ or _eminent example_ of Tractates, concerning _special_
and _respective_ duties.' [It is, indeed, an _exemplar_ that he talks
of here.] 'Wherein _I should have said as much, if it had been written
a thousand years since_: neither am I moved with certain courtly
decencies, which I esteem it flattery to praise in presence; no, it is
flattery to _praise in absence: that is_, when _either_ the virtue is
absent, _or--the occasion_ is absent, and so the praise is _not
natural_, but _forced_, either in truth, _or--in time_. But let Cicero
be read in his oration _pro Marcello_, which is nothing but an
excellent TABLE of _Caesar's_ VIRTUE, and _made to his face_; besides
the _example_ of many other excellent persons, _wiser a great deal
than such observers_, and we will never doubt upon a _full occasion_,
to give _just_ praises to _present_ or _absent_.'

The reader who does not think that is, on the whole, a successful
paragraph, considering the general slipperiness of the subject, and
the state of the ice in those parts of it, in particular where the
movements appear to be the most free and graceful; such a one has,
probably, failed in applying to it, that key of 'times,' which a _full
occasion_ is expected to produce for this kind of delivery. But if any
doubt exists in any mind, in regard to this author's opinion of the
rights of his own profession and vocation, and _the circle_ of _its_
office and duties,--if any one really doubts what only allegiance this
author professionally acknowledges, and what kingship it is to which
this great argument is internally dedicated, it may be well to recall
the statement on that subject, which he has taken occasion to insert
in another part of the work, so that that point, at least, may be
satisfactorily determined.

He is speaking of 'certain base conditions and courses,' in his
criticism on the manners of learned men, which he says 'he has no
purpose to give allowance to, wherein divers professors of learning
have wronged themselves and gone too far,'--glancing in particular at
the trencher philosophers of the later age of the Roman state, 'who
were little better than parasites in the houses of the great. But
above all the rest,' he continues, 'the _gross_ and _palpable
flattery_, whereunto, many, not unlearned, have abased and abused
their wits and pens, turning, as Du Bartas saith, Hecuba into Helena,
and Faustina into Lucretia, hath most diminished the price and
estimation of learning. Neither is the _modern dedication_, of books
and writings _as to patrons_, to be commended: for that books--such as
are _worthy the name of books_, ought to have _no patrons,
but_--(hear) but--Truth and Reason. And the ancient custom was to
dedicate them only to _private and equal friends_, or to _entitle_ the
books with their names, or if to _kings_ and _great persons_, it was
_some such_ as the argument of the book was fit and proper for: but
these and the like courses may deserve rather _reprehension_ than

'Not that I can tax,' he continues, however, 'or condemn the
application of learned men to men in fortune.' And he proceeds to
quote here, approvingly, a series of speeches on this very point,
which appear to be full of pertinence; the first of the philosopher
who, when he was asked in mockery, 'How it came to pass that
philosophers were followers of rich men, and not rich men of
philosophers,' answered soberly, and yet sharply, 'Because the one
sort knew what they had need of, and the other did not'. And then the
speech of Aristippus, who, when some one, tender on behalf of
philosophy, reproved him that he would offer the profession of
philosophy such an indignity, as for a private suit to fall at a
tyrant's feet, replied, 'It was not his fault, but it was the fault of
Dionysius, that he had his ears in his feet'; and, lastly, the reply
of another, who, yielding his point in disputing with Caesar, claimed,
'That it was reason to yield to him who commanded thirty legions,' and
'these,' he says, 'these, and _the like_ applications, and stooping to
points of necessity and convenience, cannot be disallowed; for, though
they may have _some outward baseness_, yet, in a _judgment truly
made_, they are to be accounted submissions _to the occasion_, and
_not to the person_.'

And that is just _Volumnia's_ view of the subject, as will be seen in
another place.

Now, this no more dishonors you at all,
Than to take in a town with gentle words,
Which else would put you to your fortune, and
The hazard of much blood.--
And you will rather show our general louts
How you can frown, than spend a _fawn_ upon them,
For the inheritance of their loves, and _safeguard_
Of _what that want might ruin_.

But then, in the dramatic exhibition, the other side comes in too:--

I will not do't;
Lest I surcease to honor mine own truth,
And by my body's action, teach my mind
_A most inherent baseness._

It is the same poet who says in another place:--

Almost my nature is subdued to that it works in.

'But to return,' as our author himself says, after his complimentary
notice of the king's book, accompanied with that emphatic promise to
give an account of himself upon a full occasion, and we have here,
apparently, a longer digression to apologize for, and return from;
but, in the book we are considering, it is, in fact, rather apparent
than real, as are most of the author's digressions, and casual
introductions of impertinent matter; for, in fact, the exterior order
of the discourse is often a submission to the _occasion_, and is not
so essential as the author's apparent concern about it would lead us
to infer; indeed he has left dispersed directions to have this
treatise broken up, and recomposed in a more lively manner, upon a
full occasion, and when time shall serve; for, at present, this too is
chiefly well disposed in the spirits thereof.

And in marking out the grounds in human life, then lying waste, or
covered with superstitious and empirical arts and inventions, in
merely showing the fields into which the inventor of this new
instrument of observation and inference by rule, was then proposing to
introduce it, and in presenting this new report, and this so startling
proposition, in those differing aspects and shifting lights, and under
those various divisions which the art of delivery and tradition under
such circumstances appeared to prescribe; having come, in the order of
his report, to that main ground of the good which the will and
appetite of man aspires to, and the direction thereto,--this so
labored ground of philosophy,--when it was found that the new
scientific platform of good, included--not the exclusive good of the
individual form only, but that of those 'larger wholes,' of which men
are _constitutionally_ parts and members, and the special DUTY,--for
that is the specific name of this principle of integrity in the
_human_ kind, that is the name of that larger law, that spiritual
principle, which informs and claims the parts, and conserves the
larger form which is the worthier,--when it was found that this part
included the particular duty of every man in his _place, vocation_,
and _profession_, as well as the common duty of men as men, surely it
was natural enough to glance here, at that _particular profession and
vocation_ of authorship, and the claims of the respective _places_ of
_king_ and _subject_ in that regard, as well as at the _duty_ of the
_king_, and the superior advantages of a government of laws in
general, as being more in accordance with the order of nature, than
that other mode of government referred to. It was natural enough,
since this subject lies always in abeyance, and is essentially
involved in the work throughout, that it should be touched here, in
its proper place, though never so casually, with a glance at those
nice questions of conflicting claims, which are more fully debated
elsewhere, distinguishing that which is forced in _time_, from that
which is forced in _truth_, and the absence of the person, from the
absence of the occasion.

But the approval of that man of prodigious fortune, to whom this work
is openly dedicated, is always, with this author, who understands his
ground here so well, that he hardly ever fails to indulge himself in
passing, with a good humoured, side-long, glance at 'the situation,'
this approval is the least part of the achievement. That which he,
too, adores in kings, is 'the throng of their adorers'. It is the
sovereignty which makes kings, and puts them in its liveries, that he
bends to; it is that that he reserves his art for. And this proposal
to run the track of the science of nature through this new field of
human nature and its higher and highest aims, and into the very field
of _every man's_ special place, and vocation, and profession, could
not well be made without a glance at those difficulties, which the
clashing claims of authorship, and _other professions_, would in this
case create; without a glance at the imperious necessities which
threaten the life of the new science, which here also imperiously
prescribe the form of its TRADITION; he could not go by this place,
without putting into the reader's hands, with one bold stroke, the key
of its DELIVERY.

For it is in the paragraph which follows the compliment to the king in
his character as an author, in pursuing still further this subject of

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