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The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakspere Unfolded by Delia Bacon

Part 5 out of 13

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vocations and professions, that we find in the form of '_fable_' and
'_allusion_,'--that form which the author himself lays down in his Art
of Tradition, as _the_ form of inculcation for new truth,--the precise
position, which is the key to this whole method of new sciences, which
makes the method and the interpretation, the vital points, in the
writing and the reading of them.

'But, to return, there belongeth farther to the handling of this part,
touching the _Duties_ of Professions and Vocations, a relative, or
_opposite_, touching the _frauds, impostures and vices of every
profession_, which hath been likewise handled. But how? Rather in _a
satire_ and _cynically_, than _seriously_ and _wisely_; for men have
rather sought by _wit_ to deride and traduce _much of that which is
good in_ PROFESSIONS, than _with judgment to discover and sever that
which is corrupt_. For, as Solomon saith, he that cometh to seek after
knowledge with a mind to scorn and censure, shall be sure to find
matter for his humour, but no matter for his instruction. But _the
managing of this argument_ with _integrity_ and _truth_, _which I note
as deficient_, seemeth to me to be _one of the best fortifications for
honesty and virtue that can be planted_. _For_, as the fable goeth of
the _basilisk_, that if _he see you first_, you die for it, but if YOU
SEE HIM FIRST--HE DIETH; _so_ it is with deceits and _evil arts_,
which if they be first ESPIED _lose their life_, but if they
_prevent_, endanger.' [If they see you first, you die for it; and not
you only, but your science.

Yet were there but this single plot to lose,
This _mould_ of Marcius, they to dust should grind it,
And throw it against the wind.]

'So that we are much beholden' he continues, 'to Machiavel _and
others_ that write _what men do_, and not what they ought to do,
[perhaps he refers here to that writer before quoted, who writes,
"others _form_ men,--_I_ report him"]; for it is not possible,'
continues the proposer of the science of special duties of _place_,
and _vocation_, and _profession_, 'the _critic_ of this department,
too,--it is not possible to join the serpentine wisdom with the
columbine innocency, except men know exactly all the conditions of the
serpent,--that is, _all forms_ and _natures of evil_, for without
this, _virtue_ lieth open and un-fenced. Nay, an honest man can do no
good upon those that are wicked, to reclaim them, without the help of
the knowledge of evil: for men of corrupted minds pre-suppose that
honesty groweth out of simplicity of manners, and believing of
preachers, schoolmasters, and _men's exterior language_; so as, except
you can make them perceive that you know the utmost reaches of their
own corrupt opinions, they despise all morality.' A book composed for
the express purpose of meeting the difficulty here alluded to, has
been already noticed in the preceding pages, on account of its being
one of the most striking samples of that peculiar style of
_tradition_, which the advancement of Learning prescribes, and here is
another, in which the same invention and discovery appears to be
indicated:--'Why I can teach you'--says a somewhat doubtful claimant
to supernatural gifts:

'Why, I can teach you, cousin, to command
The devil.'
'And I can teach _thee_, coz, to shame the devil;
By telling truth;
If thou hast power to raise him, bring him hither,
And I'll be sworn I have power to shame him hence:
Oh, while you live, TELL TRUTH.'

But _this_ is the style, in which the one before referred to, falls in
with the humour of this Advancer of Learning. 'As to the rest, I have
enjoined _myself_ to dare to _say_, all that I dare _to do_, and even
_thoughts_ that are not to be published, displease me. The worst of my
actions and qualities do not appear to me so foul, as I find it foul
and base not to dare to own them. Every one is wary and discreet in
_confession_, but men ought to be so in _action_. I wish that this
excessive license of mine, may draw men to freedom _above these
timorous and mincing pretended virtues, sprung from our
imperfections_, and that at the expense of my immoderation, I may
reduce them to reason. A man must see and study his vice to correct
it, they who conceal it from others, commonly conceal it from
themselves and do not think it covered enough, if they themselves see
it.... the diseases of the soul, the greater they are, keep themselves
the more obscure; the most sick are the least sensible of them: for
these reasons they must often be dragged into light, by an unrelenting
and pitiless hand; they must be opened and torn from the caverns and
secret recesses of the heart.' 'To meet the Huguenots, who condemn our
auricular and private confession, I confess myself in public,
religiously and purely,--others have published the errors of their
_opinions_, I of my _manners_. I am greedy of making myself known, and
I care not to how many, provided it be truly; or rather, I hunger for
nothing, but I mortally hate to be _mistaken_ by those who happen to
come across _my name_. _He that does_ all things for honor and glory
[as some great men in that time were supposed to], what can he think
to gain by showing himself to the world _in a mask, and by concealing
his true being from the people_? Commend a hunchback for his fine
shape, he has a right to take it for an affront: if you are a coward,
and men commend you for your valor, is it of _you_ that they speak?
They take you for another. Archelaus, king of Macedon, walking along
the street, somebody threw water on his head; which they who were with
him said he ought to punish, "Ay, but," said the other, "he did not
throw the water upon _me_, but upon _him_ whom he took me to be."
Socrates being told that people spoke ill of him, "Not at all," said
he, "there is nothing in me of what they say!" _I am content to be
less commended provided I am better known_. I may be reputed a wise
man, in such a sort of wisdom as I take to be folly.' Truly the
Advancement of Learning would seem to be not all in the hands of one
person in this time. It appears, indeed, to have been in the hands of
some persons who were not content with simply propounding it, and
noting deficiencies, but who busied themselves with actively carrying
out, the precise plan propounded. Here is one who does not content
himself with merely criticising '_professions_ and _vocations_' and
suggesting improvements, but one who appears to have an inward call
himself to the cure of diseases. Whoever he may be, and since he seems
to care so very little for his name himself, and looks at it from such
a philosophical point of view, we ought not, perhaps, to be too
particular about it; whoever he may be, he is unquestionably a Doctor
of the New School, the scientific school, and will be able to produce
his diploma when properly challenged; whoever he may be, he belongs to
'the Globe' for the manager of that theatre is incessantly quoting
him, and dramatizing his philosophy, and he says himself, 'I look on
all men as my compatriots, and prefer the _universal and common tie to
the national_.'

But in marking out and indicating the plan and method of the new
operation, which has for its end to substitute a scientific, in the
place of an empirical procedure, in the main pursuits of human life,
the philosopher does not limit himself in this survey of the special
social duties to the special duties of professions and vocations.
'Unto this part,' he says, 'touching _respective_ duty, doth also
appertain the duties between husband and wife, parent and child,
master and servant: so likewise the laws of _friendship_ and
_gratitude_, the civil bond of _companies, colleges_, and _politic
bodies_, of _neighbourhood_, and all other proportionate duties; _not_
as they are parts of a government and society, _but as to the framing
of the mind of particular persons_.'

The reader will observe, that that portion of moral philosophy which
is here indicated, contains, according to this index, some extremely
important points, points which require learned treatment; and in our
further pursuit of this inquiry, we shall find, that the new light
which the science of nature in general throws upon the doctrine of the
special duties and upon these points here emphasized, has been most
ably and elaborately exhibited by a contemporary of this philosopher,
and in the form which he has so specially recommended,--with all that
rhetorical power which he conceives to be the natural and fitting
accompaniment of this part of learning. And the same is true also
throughout of that which follows.

'The knowledge concerning good respecting society, doth handle it also
not simply alone, but _comparatively_, whereunto belongeth the
weighing of duties _between person and person, case and case,
particular and public_: as we see in the proceeding of Lucius Brutus
against his own sons, which was so much extolled, yet what was said?

Infelix utcunque ferent ea fata minores.

'So the case was doubtful, and had opinion on both sides. [So the
philosopher on the mountain tells us, too, for his common-place book
and this author's happen to be the same.] Again we see when M. Brutus
and Cassius _invited to a supper_ certain _whose opinions they meant
to feel_, whether they were fit to be made their associates, and cast
forth the question touching the killing of a tyrant,--being an
usurper,--_they were divided in opinion_;' [this of itself is a very
good specimen of the style in which points are sometimes introduced
casually in passing, and by way of illustration merely] some holding
that _servitude_ was the _extreme_ of evils, and _others_ that tyranny
was _better than a civil war_; and this question also our philosopher
of the mountain has considered very carefully from his retreat,
weighing all the _pros_ and _cons_ of it. And it is a question which
was treated also, as we all happen to know, in that other form of
writing for which this author expresses so decided a preference, in
which the art of the poet is brought in to enforce and impress the
conclusion of the philosopher. Indeed, as we proceed further with the
plan of this so radical part of the subject, we shall find, that the
ground indicated has everywhere been taken up on the spot by somebody,
and to purpose.




'Tis an unweeded garden
That grows to seed--'


But we have finished now with what he has to say here of the EXEMPLAR
or science of GOOD, and its _kinds_, and _degrees_, and the comparison
of them, the good that is proper to the individual, and the good that
includes society. He has found much fine work on that platform of
virtue, and felicity,--excellent exemplars, the purest doctrine, the
loftiest virtue, tried by the scientific standard. And though he has
gone behind those popular names of vice and virtue, pain and pleasure,
and the like, in which these doctrines _begin_, to the more simple and
original forms, which the doctrine of nature in general and its laws
supplies, for a platform of moral science, his doctrine is large
enough to include all these works, in all their excellence, and give
them their true place. A reviewer so discriminating, then, so far from
that disposition to scorn and censure, which he reprehends, so careful
to conserve that which is good in his scientific constructions and
reformations, so pure in judgment in discovering and severing that
which is corrupt, a reporter so clearly scientific, who is able to
maintain through all this astounding report of the deficiences in
human learning, a tone so quiet, so undemonstrative, such a one
deserves the more attention when he comes now to 'the art and practic
part' of this great science, to which all other sciences are
subordinate, and declares to us that he finds it, as a part of
science, 'WANTING!' not defective, but _wanting_.

'Now, therefore, that we have spoken of this FRUIT of LIFE, it
remaineth to speak of the HUSBANDRY that belongeth thereunto, without
which part the former seemeth to be no better than a fair image or
statue, which is beautiful to contemplate, but is without life and

But as this author is very far, as he confesses, from wishing to
clothe himself with the honors of an Innovator,--such honors as
awaited the Innovator in that time,--but prefers always to sustain
himself with authority from the past, though at the expense of that
lustre of novelty and originality, which goes far, as he acknowledges,
in establishing new opinions,--adopting in this precisely the
practices, and, generally, to save trouble, the quotations of that
other philosopher, so largely quoted here, who frankly gives his
reasons for _his_ procedure, confessing that he pinches his authors a
little, now and then, to make them speak to the purpose; and that he
reads them with his pencil in his hand, for the sake of being able to
produce respectable authority, grown gray in trust, with the moss of
centuries on it, for the views which he has to set forth; culling bits
as he wants them, and putting them together in his mosaics as he finds
occasion; so now, when we come to this so important part of the
subject, where the want is so clearly reported--where the scientific
innovation is so unmistakeably propounded--we find ourselves suddenly
involved in a storm of Latin quotations, all tending to prove that the
thing was perfectly understood among the ancients, and that it is as
much as a man's scholarship is worth to call it in question. The
author marches up to the point under cover of a perfect cannonade of
classics, no less than five of the most imposing of the Greek and
Latin authors being brought out, for the benefit of the stunned and
bewildered reader, in the course of one brief paragraph, the whole
concluding with a reference to the Psalms, which nobody, of course,
will undertake to call in question; whereas, in cases of ordinary
difficulty, a proverb or two from Solomon is thought sufficient.

For this last writer, with his practical inspiration--with his
aphorisms, or 'dispersed directions,' which the author prefers to a
methodical discourse, as they best point to action--with his perpetual
application of divinity to matters of common life, and to the special
and respective duties, this, of all the sacred writers, is the one
which he has most frequent occasion to refer to; and when, in his
chapter on Policy, he brings out openly his proposal to invade the
every-day practical life of men, in its apparently most unaxiomatical
department, with his scientific rule of procedure--a proposal which he
might not have been 'so prosperously delivered of,' if it had been
made in any less considerate manner--he stops to produce whole pages
of solid text from this so unquestionably conservative authority, by
way of clearing himself from any suspicion of innovation.

First, then, in setting forth this so novel opinion of his, that the
doctrine of the FRUIT of LIFE should include not the scientific
platform of good, and its degrees and kinds only,--not the doctrine of
the ideal excellence and felicity only, but the doctrine--the
scientific doctrine--the scientific art of the Husbandry
thereunto;--in setting forth the opinion, that that first _part_ of
moral science is _but a part of it_, and that as human nature is
constituted, it is not enough to have a doctrine of good in its
perfection, and the divinest exemplars of it; first of all he produces
the subscription of no less a person than Aristotle, whose
conservative faculties had proved so effectual in the dark ages, that
the opinion of Solomon himself could hardly have been considered more
to the purpose. 'In such full words,' he says; and seeing that the
advancement of Learning has already taken us on to a place where the
opinions of Aristotle, at least, are not so binding, we need not
trouble ourselves with that long quotation now--'in such full _words_,
and with such _iteration_, doth he inculcate this part, so saith
_Cicero_ in great commendation of _Cato_ the second, that he had
applied himself to philosophy--"_Non ita disputandi causa, sed ita
vivendi_." And although the neglect of our times, wherein few men do
hold any consultations touching _the reformation of their_ LIFE, as
_Seneca_ excellently saith, "De partibus vitae, quisque deliberat, de
summa nemo," may make this part seem superfluous, yet I must conclude
with that aphorism of _Hippocrates_, "Qui gravi morbo correpti dolores
non sentiunt, iis mens aegrotat"; they need medicines not only to
assuage the disease, but _to awake the sense_.

'And if it be said _that the cure of men's minds belongeth to sacred
divinity_, it is most true; but _yet_ Moral Philosophy'--that is, in
_his_ meaning of the term, Moral _Science_, the new science of
nature--'may be _preferred unto her, as a wise servant_ and humble
handmaid. For, as _the Psalm saith_, that "the eye of the handmaid
looketh perpetually towards the mistress," and yet, _no doubt, many
things are left to the discretion of the handmaid_, to discern of the
_mistress's will_; so ought moral philosophy to give _a constant
attention to the doctrines of divinity_, and yet so as it may yield of
herself, within due limits, many sound and profitable directions.'
_That_ is the doctrine. _That_ is the position of the New Science in
relation to divinity, as defined by the one who was best qualified to
place it--that is the mission of the New Science, as announced by the
new Interpreter of Nature,--the priest of her ignored and violated
laws,--on whose work the seal of that testimony which he challenged to
it has already been set--on whose work it has already been written, in
the large handwriting of that Providence Divine, whose benediction he
invoked, 'accepted'--accepted in the councils from which the effects
of life proceed.

'This part, therefore,' having thus defined his position, he
continues, 'because of the _excellency thereof_, I cannot but find it
EXCEEDING STRANGE that it is not reduced _to written inquiry_; the
rather because it consisteth of much matter, wherein _both speech and
action is often conversant_, and such wherein the common talk of men,
_which is rare_, but yet cometh sometimes to pass, is _wiser than
their books_. It is reasonable, therefore, that we propound it with
the more particularity, both for the worthiness, and _because we may
acquit ourselves for reporting it deficient_' [with such 'iteration
and fulness,' with all his _discrimination_, does he contrive to make
_this_ point]; 'which seemeth _almost incredible_, and is otherwise
conceived--[note it]--and is otherwise conceived and _presupposed_ by
those themselves that have written.' [They do not see that they have
missed it.] 'We will, therefore, enumerate some HEADS or POINTS
_thereof, that it may appear the better what it is_, and __whether it
be extant_.'

A momentous question, truly, for the human race. That was a point,
indeed, for this reporter to dare to make, and insist on and
demonstrate. Doctrines of THE FRUIT of LIFE--doctrines of its
perfection, exemplars of it; but no science--no science of the Culture
or the Husbandry thereunto--though it is otherwise conceived and
presupposed by those who have written! Yes, that is the position; and
not taken in the general only, for he will proceed to propound it with
more particularity--he will give us the HEADS of it--he will proceed
to the articulation of that which is wanting--he will put down, before
our eyes, the points and outlines of the new human science, the
science of the husbandry thereto, both for the worthiness thereof, and
that it may appear the better WHAT IT IS, and whether--WHETHER IT BE
EXTANT. For who knows but it may be? Who knows, after all, but the
points and outlines here, may prove but the track of that argument
which the new Georgics will be able to hide in the play of their
illustration, as Periander hid his? Who knows but the Naturalist in
this field was then already on the ground, making his collections? Who
knows but this new Virgil, who thought little of that resplendent and
lustrous mass of matter, that old poets had taken for their glory, who
seized the common life of men, and not the ideal life only, for his
theme--who made the relief of the human estate, and not glory, his
end, but knew that he might promise himself a fame which would make
the old heroic poets' crowns grow dim,--who knows but that _he_--he
himself--is extant, contemplating his theme, and composing its
Index--claiming as yet its INDEX only? Truly, if the propounder of
this argument can in any measure supply the _defects_ which he
outlines, and opens here,--if he can point out to us any new and
worthy collections in that science for which he claims to break the
ground--if he can, in any measure, constitute it, he will deserve that
name which he aspired to, and for which he was willing to renounce his
own, 'Benefactor of men,' and not of an age or nation.

But let us see where this new science, and scientific art of human
culture begins,--this science and art which is to differ from those
which have preceded it, as the other Baconian arts and sciences which
began in the new doctrine of nature, differed from those which
preceded them.

'FIRST, therefore, in this, _as in all things which are practical_, we
ought to cast up our account, WHAT is IN OUR POWER, AND WHAT NOT? FOR
the one may be dealt with by way of ALTERATION, but the other by way
of APPLICATION _only_. The husbandman cannot command either the
_nature of the earth or the seasons_ of the weather, no more can the
physician _the constitution of the patient_, and the _variety of
accidents._ So in the CULTURE and CURE of THE MIND of MAN _two things_
are without our command, POINTS OF NATURE, and POINTS of FORTUNE: for
to the basis of the one, and the conditions of the other, our work is
limited and tied.' That is the first step: that is where the NEW
begins. There is no science or art till that step is taken.

'_In these things_, therefore, it is left unto us to proceed by
APPLICATION. Vincenda est omnis fortuna ferendo: and so
likewise--Vincenda est omnis natura ferendo. But when we speak of
suffering, we do not speak of a _dull neglected suffering_, but of _a
wise and industrious suffering_, which draweth and contriveth _use and
advantage out of that which seemeth adverse and contrary_, which is
that properly which we call _accommodating_ or _applying_. ["Sweet are
the uses of it," and "blest" indeed are they who can translate the
_stubbornness_ of fortune into so quiet and so sweet a style.]

'Now the wisdom of APPLICATION resteth _principally_ in the _exact and
distinct knowledge of the precedent state or disposition, unto which
we do apply_.'--[This is the process which the Novum Organum sets
forth with so much care], 'for we cannot fit a garment, except we
first take the measure of the body.'

So then THE FIRST ARTICLE OF THIS KNOWLEDGE is--what?--'to set down
_sound_ and _true distributions_ and _descriptions_ of THE SEVERAL
having regard to _those differences_ which are most _radical_, in
being the fountains and causes of the rest, _or_ most frequent in
_concurrence_ or commixture (not _simple_ differences merely, but the
most frequent conjunctions), wherein it is not the handling of a few
of them, in passage, the better to describe the _mediocrities_ of
_virtues_, that can satisfy this intention'; and he proceeds to
introduce a few points, casually, as it were, and by way of
illustration, but the rule of interpretation for this digest of
learning, in this press of method is, that such points are _never_
casual, and usually of primal, and not secondary import; 'for if it
deserve to be considered that there _are_ minds which are proportioned
to great matters, and _others_ to small, which Aristotle handleth, or
ought to have handled, by the name of _magnanimity_, doth it not
deserve as well to be considered, that there are minds proportioned to
intend many matters, and _others to few_?' So that some can _divide
themselves_, others can perchance do exactly well, but it must be in
few things at once; and so there cometh to be a narrowness of mind,
_as well as a_ PUSILLANIMITY. And again, 'that some minds are
proportioned to that which may be despatched at once, or within a
_short return of time_; others to that _which begins afar off_, and is
to be won with length of pursuit.

Jam tum tenditque fovetque.

'So that there may be fitly said to be a _longanimity_, which is
commonly also ascribed to God as a _magnanimity_.' Undoubtedly, he
considers this one of those differences in the natures and
dispositions of men, that it is most important to note, otherwise it
would not be inserted here. 'So farther deserved it to be considered
by Aristotle that there is a disposition in conversation, supposing it
in things which do in no sort touch or concern a man's self, _to
soothe and please_; and a disposition contrary to contradict and
cross; and deserveth it not much better to be considered that there is
a disposition, not in conversation, or talk, but _in matter of more
serious nature_, and supposing it still in things _merely
indifferent_, to take pleasure in the good of another, and a
disposition contrariwise to take distaste at the good of another,
which is that _properly_ which we call _good-nature_, or _ill-nature_,
benignity or malignity.' Is not this a field for science, then, with
such differences as these lying on the surface of it,--does not it
begin to open up with a somewhat inviting aspect? This so remarkable
product of nature, with such extraordinary 'differences' in him as
these, is he the only thing that is to go without a scientific
history, all wild and unbooked, while our philosophers are weeping
because 'there are no more worlds to conquer,' because every stone and
shell and flower and bird and insect and animal has been dragged into
the day and had its portrait taken, and all its history to its
secretest points scientifically detected?

'And therefore,' says this organizer of the science of nature, who
keeps an eye on practice, in _his_ speculations, and recommends to his
followers to observe his lead in that respect, at least, until the
affairs of the world get a little straighter than they were in his
time, and there is leisure for _mere_ speculation,--'And, therefore,'
he resumes, having noted these remarkable differences in the natural
and original dispositions of men,--and certainly there is no more
curious thing in science than the points noted, though the careful
reader will observe that they are not curious merely, but that they
slant in one direction very much, and towards a certain kind of
practice. 'And, therefore,' he resumes, noticing that fact, 'I _cannot
sufficiently marvel_, that this part of knowledge, touching the
_several characters_ of _natures_ and _dispositions_ should be omitted
_both_ in MORALITY and POLICY, considering that it is of _so great_
ministry and suppeditation to them BOTH.' ['The _several characters_.'
The range of difference is limited. They are comprehensible within a
science, as the differences in other species are. No wonder, then,
'that he cannot sufficiently marvel that this part of knowledge should
be omitted.'] But in neither of these two departments, which he here
marks out, as the ultimate field of the naturalist, and his arts, in
neither of them unfortunately, lies the practice of mankind, as yet so
wholly recovered from that 'lameness,' which this critical observer
remarked in it in his own time, that these observations have ceased to
have a practical interest.

And having thus ventured to express his surprise at this deficiency,
he proceeds to note what only indications he observes of any work at
all in this field, and the very quarters he goes to for these little
accidental hints and beginnings of such a science, show how utterly it
was wanting in those grandiloquent schools of philosophic theory, and
those magisterial chairs of direction, which the author found in
possession of this department in his time.

'A man shall find in the traditions of ASTROLOGY, some pretty and apt
_divisions of men's natures_,'--so in the discussions which occur on
this same point in Lear, where this part of philosophy comes under a
more particular consideration, and the great ministry which it would
yield to morality and policy is suggested in a different form, this
same reference to the astrological observations repeatedly occurs. The
Poet, indeed, discards the astrological _theory _of these natural
differences in the dispositions of men, but is evidently in favour of
an observation, and inquiry of some sort, into the second causes of
these 'sequent effects,' and an anatomy of the living subject is in
one case suggested, by a person who is suffering much from the
deficiencies of science in this field, as a means of throwing light on
it. 'Then let Regan be anatomised.' For in the _Play_,--in the poetic
impersonation, which has a scientific purpose for its object, the
historical extremes of these natural differences are touched, and
brought into the most vivid dramatic oppositions; so as to force from
the lips of the by-standers the very inquiries and suggestions which
are put down here; so as to wring from the broken hearts of
men--tortured and broken on the wheel, which 'blind men' call
fortune,--tortured and broken on the rack of an unlearned and barbaric
human society,--or, from hearts that do not break with anything that
such a world can do, the imperious direction of the new science.

'Then let Regan be anatomised, and _see_ what it is that breeds about
her heart.' He has asked already, 'What is the cause of thunder?' But
'_his_ philosopher' must not stop there. 'Is there any _cause_--is
there any cause _in nature_ that makes these hard hearts?'--

It is _the stars_!
The stars above us govern our conditions,
Else one self mate and mate could not beget
Such different issues.

'A man shall find in the traditions of astrology some pretty and apt
_divisions of men's natures_,' ('let them be _anatomised_,' he, too,
says,) 'according to the _predominance_ of the _planets_;' (this is
the '_spherical predominance_,' which _Edmund_ does not believe
in)--'_lovers_ of quiet, _lovers_ of action, _lovers_ of victory,
_lovers_ of honour, _lovers_ of pleasure, _lovers_ of arts, _lovers_
of _change_, and so forth.' And here, also, is another very singular
quarter to go to for a science which is so radical in morality; here
is a place, where men have empirically hit upon the fact that it has
some relation to policy. 'A man shall find in the wisest sorts of
these relations which the _Italians_ make touching conclaves, the
natures of the several _Cardinals_, handsomely and livelily painted
forth';--and what he has already said in the general, of this
department, he repeats here under this division of it, that the
conversation of men in respect to it, is in advance of their
books;--'a man shall meet with, in every day's conference, the
denominations of sensitive, dry, formal, real, humorous, "huomo di
prima impressione, huomo di ultima impressione, and the like": but
this is no substitute for science in a matter so radical,'--'and yet,
nevertheless, _this observation, wandereth in words_, but is not
_fixed in inquiry_. For the _distinctions_ are found, many of them,
but we conclude _no precepts_ upon them'; it is induction then that we
want here, after all--_here_ also--here as elsewhere: 'the
distinctions are found, many of them, but we _conclude no precepts_
upon them: wherein our fault is the greater, because both HISTORY,
POESY, and DAILY EXPERIENCE, _are as goodly fields where these
observations grow_; whereof we make a few poesies to hold in our
hands, but no man bringeth them to the confectionery that _receipts_
might be made of them for the use of life.'

How could he say _that_, when there was a man then alive, who was
doing in all respects, the very thing which he puts down here, as the
thing which is to be done, the thing which is of such radical
consequence, which is the beginning of the new philosophy, which is
the beginning of the new _reformation_; who is making this very point
in that science to which the others are subordinate?--how could he say
it, when there was a man then alive, who was ransacking the daily
lives of men, and putting all history and poesy under contribution for
these very observations, one, too, who was concluding precepts upon
them, bringing them to the confectionery, and composing receipts of
them for the use of life; a scholar who did not content himself with
merely _reporting_ a deficiency so radical as this, in the human life;
a man who did not think, apparently, that he had fulfilled _his_ duty
to his kind, by composing a paragraph on this subject.

And how comes it--how comes it that he who is the first to discover
this so fatal and radical defect in the human science, has himself
failed to put upon record any of these so vital observations? How
comes it that the one who is at last able to put his finger on the
spot where the mischief, where all the boundless mischief, is at work
here,--where the cure must begin, should content himself with
observations and collections in physical history _only_? How comes it
that the man who finds that all the old philosophy has failed to
become operative for the lack of this historical basis, who finds it
so '_exceeding strange_, so _incredible_,' who 'cannot sufficiently
marvel,' that these observations should have been omitted in this
science, heretofore,--the man who is so sharp upon Aristotle and
others, on account of this incomprehensible oversight in their
ethics,--_is himself guilty of this very thing_? And how will this
defect in _his_ work, compare with that same defect which he is at so
much pains to note and describe in the works of others--others who did
not know the value of this history? And how can he answer it to his
kind, that with the views he has dared to put on record here, of the
relation, the _essential_ relation, of this knowledge to human
advancement and relief, _he himself has done nothing at all to
constitute it, except to write this paragraph_.

And yet, by his own showing, the discoverer of this field was himself
the man to make collections in it; for he tells us that accidental
observations are not the kind that are wanted here, and that the truth
of direction must precede the severity of observation. Is this so?
Whose note book is it then, that has come into our hands, with the
rules and plummet of the new science running through it, where all the
observation takes, spontaneously, the direction of this new doctrine
of nature, and brings home all its collections, in all the lustre of
their originality, in all their multiplicity, and variety, and
comprehension, in all the novelty and scientific rigour of their
exactness, into the channels of these _defects_ of learning? And who
was he, who thought there were more things in heaven and earth, than
were dreamt of in old philosophies, who kept his tables always by him
for open questions? and whose tablets--whose many-leaved tablets, are
they then, that are tumbled out upon us here, glowing with 'all saws,
all forms, all pressures past, that youth and observation copied
there.' And if aphorisms are made out of the pith and heart of
sciences, if 'no man can write good aphorisms who is not sound and
grounded,' what Wittenberg, what University was he bred in?

Till now there has been no man to claim this new and magnificent
collection in natural science: it is a legacy that came to us without
a donor;--this new and vast collection in natural history, which is
put down here, all along, as _that which is wanting_--as that which is
wanting to the science of man, to the science of his advancement to
his place in nature, and to the perfection of his form,--as that which
is wanting to the science of the larger wholes, and the art of their
conservation. There was no _man_ to claim it, for the _boast_, the
very boast made on behalf of the thing for whom it was claimed--was--
he _did not know it was worth preserving_!--he _did not know_ that
this mass of new and profoundly scientific observation--this so new
and subtle observation, so artistically digested, with all the
precepts concluded on it, strewn, crowded everywhere with those
aphorisms, those axioms of practice, that are made out of the pith and
heart of sciences--he did not know it was of any value! That is his
history. That is the sum of it, and surely it is enough. Who, that is
himself at all above the condition of an oyster, will undertake to
say, deliberately and upon reflection, that it is not? So long as we
have that one fact in our possession, it is absurd, it is simply
disgraceful, to complain of any deficiency in this person's biography.
There is enough of it and to spare. With that fact in our possession,
we ought to have been able to dispense long ago with some, at least,
of those details that we have of it. The only fault to be found with
the biography of this individual as it stands at present is, that
there is too much of it, and the public mind is labouring under a
plethora of information.

If that fact be not enough, it is our own fault and not the author's.
He was perfectly willing to lie by, till it was. He would not take the
trouble to come out for a time that had not studied his philosophy
enough to find it, and to put the books of it together.

Many years afterwards, the author of this work on the Advancement of
Learning, saw occasion to recast it, and put it in another language.
But though he has had so long a time to think about it, and though he
does not appear to have taken a single step in the interval, towards
the supplying of this radical deficiency in human science; we do not
find that his views of its importance are at all altered. It is still
the first point with him in the scientific culture of human
nature,--the first point in that Art of Human Life, which is the end
and term of _Natural Philosophy_, as _he_ understands the limits of
it. We still find the first Article of the Culture of the Mind put
propensities_ to VIRTUES and VICES--note it--'or perturbations and
passions, but of such as are _more internal and radical_, which are
generally neglected.' 'This is a study,' he says, which 'might afford
GREAT LIGHT TO THE SCIENCES.' And again he refers us to the existing
supply, such as it is, and repeats with some amplification, his
previous suggestions. 'In astrological traditions, the natures and
dispositions of men, are tolerably _distinguished_ according to the
influence of the planets, where _some_ are said to be by nature formed
for _contemplation, others_ for _war_, others for _politics_.'
Apparently it _would_ be 'great ministry to policy,' if one could get
the occult sources of such differences as these, so as to be able to
command them at all, in the culture of men, _or_ in the fitting of men
to their places. 'But' he proceeds, 'so likewise among the _poets_ of
all kinds, we _everywhere find_ characters of nature, though
_commonly_ drawn with excess and _exceeding the limits of nature_.'

Here, too, the philosopher refers us again to the common discourse of
men, as containing wiser observations on this subject, than their
books. 'But much the best matter of all,' he says, 'for such a
treatise, may be _derived from_ the more _prudent_ historians, and not
so well from eulogies or panegyrics, which are usually written soon
after the death of _an illustrious person_, but much rather from a
whole body of history, as often as such a person appears, for such an
_inwoven_ account gives a better description than _panegyrics_.... But
we do not mean that such characters should be received in ethics, as
perfect civil images.' They are to be subjected to an artistic
process, which will bring out the radical principles in the
dispositions and tempers of men in general, as the material of
inexhaustible varieties of combination. He will have these historic
portraits merely 'for outlines and first draughts of the images
themselves, which, being variously compounded and mixed, afford all
kinds of portraits, so that an _artificial and accurate dissection_
may be made of MEN'S MINDS AND NATURES, and the _secret disposition of
each particular man laid open_, that from the knowledge of the
_whole_, the PRECEPTS _concerning the_ ERRORS of THE MIND may be MORE
RIGHTLY FORMED.' Who did that very thing? Who was it that stood on the
spot and put that design into execution?

But this is not all; this is only the beginning of the observation and
study of _differences_. For he would have also included in it, 'those
impressions of nature which are otherwise _imposed_ upon by the mind,
and deformity, and THE LIKE, which are inherent and not external:' and
more, he will have included in it--in these _practical Ethics_ he will
have included--'POINTS OF FORTUNE,' and the differences that they
make; he will have _all the differences_ that this creature exhibits,
under any conditions, put down; he will have his whole nature, so far
as his history is able to show it, on his table; and not as it is
exhibited accidentally, or spontaneously merely, but under the test of
a studious inquiry, and essay; he will apply to it the trials and
vexations of Art, and wring out its last confession. This is the
practical doctrine of this species; this is what the author we have
here in hand, calls the _science_ of it, or the beginning of its
science. This is one of the _parts of science_ which he says is
wanting. Let us follow his running glimpse of the points here, then,
and see whether it is extant here, too, and whether there is anything
to justify all this preparation in bringing it in, and all this
exceeding marvelling at the want of it.

'And again _those differences_ which proceed from FORTUNE, as
PRIVATENESS, PROSPERITY, ADVERSITY, constant fortune, variable
fortune, rising _per saltum, per gradus_, and the like.' These are
articles that he puts down for points in his _table of natural
history_, points for the collection of instances; this is the tabular
preparation for induction here; for he does not conclude his precepts
on the popular, miscellaneous, accidental history. That will do well
enough for books. It won't do to get out axioms of practice from such
loose material. They have to ring with the proof of another kind of
condensation. All _his_ history is artificial, prepared history more
_select_ and _subtle_ and _fit_ than the other kind, he
says,--prepared on purpose; perhaps we shall come across his tables,
some day, with these very points on them, filled in with the
observations of one, so qualified by the truth of direction to make
them 'severe'. It would not be strange, for he gives us to understand
that he is not altogether idle in this part of his Instauration, and
that he does not think it enough to lay out work for others, without
giving an occasional specimen of his own, of the thing which he notes
as deficient, and proposes to have done, so that there may be no
mistake about it as to what it really is; for he appears to think
there is some danger of that. Even here, he produces a few
illustrations of his meaning, that it may appear the better what is,
and whether it be extant.

'And therefore we see, that _Plautus_ maketh it a wonder to see an OLD
man beneficent. _St. Paul_ concludeth that severity of _discipline_
was to be used to the _Cretans_, ("increpa eos dure"), upon _the
disposition_ of THEIR COUNTRY. "Cretenses semper mendaces, malae
bestize, ventres pigri." _Sallust_ noteth that it is usual with KINGS
to desire _contradictories_; "Sed plerumque, regiae voluntates, ut
vehementes sunt sic mobiles saepeque ipsae sibi adversae." _Tacitus_
observeth how rarely THE RAISING OF THE FORTUNE mendeth the
disposition. "Solus Vespasianus mutatus in melius." _Pindar_ maketh an
observation that great and sudden fortune for the most part defeateth
men. So _the Psalm_ showeth it more easy to keep a measure in the
enjoying of fortune, than in the increase of fortune; "Divitiae si
affluant nolite cor apponere."' '_These observations, and the
like_,'--what book is it that has so many of '_the like_'?--'I deny
not but are touched a little by Aristotle _as in passage_ in his
_Rhetorics_, and are handled in some scattered discourses.' One would
think it was another philosopher, with pretensions not at all
inferior, but professedly very much, and altogether superior to those
of Aristotle, whose short-comings were under criticism here; 'but they
(_these observations_) were never INCORPORATED _into moral
philosophy_, to which they do ESSENTIALLY appertain, as THE KNOWLEDGE
of THE DIVERSITY of GROUND and MOULDS doth to _agriculture_, and the
knowledge of the DIVERSITY of COMPLEXIONS and CONSTITUTIONS doth to
the _physician_; except'--note it--'except we mean to follow the
indiscretion of empirics, which minister _the same medicines to all

Truly this does appear to give us some vistas of a _science_, and a
'pretty one,' for these particulars and illustrations are here, that
we may see the better what it is, and whether it be extant. That is
the question. And it happens singularly enough, to be a question just
as pertinent now, as it was when the philosopher put it on his paper,
two hundred and fifty years ago.

_There_ is the first point, then, in the table of this scientific
history, with its subdivisions and articulations; and here is the
second, not less essential. 'Another article of this knowledge is the
inquiry touching THE AFFECTIONS; for, as in medicining the body,'--and
it is a practical science we are on here; it is the cure of the mind,
and not a word for show,--'as in medicining the body, it is in order,
_first_, to know the divers complexions and constitutions; secondly,
the _diseases_; and, lastly, the _cures_; so in medicining of the
mind,--after knowledge of the _divers characters_ of _men's natures_,
it followeth, in order, to know the diseases and infirmities of the
mind, which are no other than the perturbations and distempers of the
affections.' And we shall find, under the head of the medicining of
the body, some things on the subject of medicine in general, which
could be better said _there_ than _here_, because the wrath of
professional dignitaries,--the eye of the 'basilisk,' was not perhaps
quite so terrible in that quarter then, as it was in some others. For
though 'the Doctors' in that department, did manage, in the dark ages,
to possess themselves of certain weapons of their own, which are said
to have proved, on the whole, sufficiently formidable, they were not,
as it happened, armed by the State as the others then were; and it was
usually discretionary with the patient to avail himself, or not, of
their drugs, and receipts, and surgeries; whereas, in the diseased and
suffering soul, no such discretion was tolerated. The drugs were
indeed compounded by the State in person, and the executive stood by,
axe in hand, to see that they were taken, accompanying them with such
other remedies as the case might seem to require; the most serious
operations being constantly performed without ever taking 'the sense'
of the patient.

So we must not be surprised to find that this author who writes under
such liabilities ventures to bring out the pith of his trunk of
sciences,--that which sciences have in common,--the doctrine of the
nature of things,--what he calls '_prima philosophia_,' when his
learned sock is on--a little more strongly and fully in that branch of
it, with a glance this way, with a distinct intimation that it is
common to the two, and applies here as well. There, too, he complains
of the ignorance of anatomy, which is just the complaint he has been
making here, and that, for want of it, 'they quarrel many times with
the humours which are not in fault, the fault being in the very frame
and mechanic of the part, which cannot be removed by medicine
_alterative_, but must be _accommodated_ and palliated by diet and
medicines _familiar_.' There, too, he reports the lack of medicinal
history, and gives directions for supplying it, just such directions
as he gives here, but that which makes the astounding difference in
the reading of these reports to-day, is, that the one has been
accepted, and the other has not; nay, that the one has been _read_,
and the other has not: for how else can we account for the fact, that
men of learning, in our time, come out and tell us deliberately, not
merely that this man's place in history, is the place of one who
devoted his genius to the promotion of the personal convenience and
bodily welfare of men, but, that it is the place of one who gave up
the nobler nature, deliberately, on principle, and after examination
and reflection, as a thing past help from science, as a thing lying
out of the range of philosophy? How else comes it, that the critic
to-day tells us, dares to tell us, that this leader's word to the new
ages of advancement is, that there is no scientific advancement to be
looked for _here_?--how else could he tell us, with such vivid detail
of illustration, that this innovator and proposer of advancement,
never intended his Novum Organum to be applied to the _cure_ of the
moral diseases, to the subduing of the WILL and the AFFECTIONS,--but
thought, because the old philosophy had failed, there was no use in
trying the new;--because the philosophy of words, and preconceptions,
had failed, the philosophy of observation and application, the
philosophy of ideas as they are in nature, and not as they are in the
mind of man merely, the philosophy of _laws_, must fail also;--because
ARGUMENT had failed, ART was hopeless;--because syllogisms, based on
popular, unscientific notions were of no effect, _practical axioms_
based on the scientific knowledge of natural causes, and on their
specific developments, were going to be of none effect also? If the
passages which are now under consideration, had been so much as
_read_, how could a learned man, in our time, tell us that the author
of the 'Advancement of Learning' had come with any such despairful
word as that to us,--to tell us that the new science he was
introducing upon this Globe theatre, the science of _laws_ in nature,
offered to _Divinity_ and Morality no aid,--no ministry, no service in
the _cure of the mind_? And the reason why they have not been read,
the reason why this part of the 'Advancement of Learning,' which is
the principal part of it in the intention of its author, _has_ been
overlooked hitherto is, that the Art of Tradition, which is described,
here--the art of the Tradition, and delivery of knowledges which are
foreign from opinions received, was in the hand of its inventor, and
able to fulfil his pleasure.

After the knowledge of the divers characters of men's natures then,
the next article of this inquiry is the DISEASES and INFIRMITIES of
the MIND, which are no other than the perturbations and distempers of
THE AFFECTIONS. For as the ancient politicians in popular estates were
wont to compare the people to the sea, and the _orators_ to the winds,
because the sea would of itself be calm and quiet, if the winds did
not move and trouble it; _so_ the _people would be peaceable_ and
_tractable_, if the _seditious orators did not set them in working and
agitation_; so it may be fitly said, that the mind, in the nature
thereof, would be _temperate_ and _stayed_, if _the affections_, as
winds, did not put it into tumult and perturbation. And _here, again_,
I find, _strange as before_, that _Aristotle_ should have written
divers volumes of _Ethics_, and never handled THE AFFECTIONS, which is
the _principal subject thereof_; and yet, in his _Rhetorics_, where
they are considered but _collaterally_, and in a second degree, as
they may be moved by speech, he findeth place for them, and handleth
them well _for the quantity_, but where their _true place_ is, he
_permitteth_ them. (Very much the method of procedure adopted by the
philosopher who composes that criticism; who also finds a place for
the affections in passing, where they are considered collaterally, and
in a second degree, and for the quantity, he handleth them well, and
who knows how to bring his Rhetorics to bear on them, as well as the
politicians in popular estates did of old, though for a different end;
but where their true place is, he, too, _permitteth_ them; and, in his
Novum Organum, he keeps so clear of them, and _permits_ them so fully,
that the critics tell us he never meant it should touch them.) 'For it
is not his disputations about pleasure and pain that can satisfy this
inquiry, no more than he that should _generally_ handle the nature of
light can be said to handle the nature of _colours_; for pleasure and
pain are to the particular affections as light is to the particular
colours.' Is not this a man for particulars, then? And when he comes
to the practical doctrine,--to _the art_--to the knowledge, which is
_power_,--will he not have particulars here, as well as in those other
arts which are based on them? Will he not have particulars here, as
well as in chemistry and natural philosophy, and botany and
mineralogy; or, when it comes to practice here, will he be content,
after all, with the old line of argument, and elegant disquisition,
with the old generalities and subtleties of definition, which required
no collection of particulars, which were independent of observation,
or for which the popular accidental observation sufficed? 'Better
travels, I suppose, had the Stoics taken in this argument, as far as I
can gather by that which we have at secondhand. _But yet_ it is like
it was after their manner, rather in subtlety of definitions, which,
in a subject of this nature, are _but curiosities_, than _in_ ACTIVE
_and_ AMPLE DESCRIPTIONS AND OBSERVATIONS. So, likewise, I find some
particular writings of _an elegant nature_, touching some of the
affections; as of anger, of comfort upon adverse accidents, of
tenderness of countenance, and others.' And such writings were not
confined to the ancients. Some of us have seen elegant writings of
this nature, published under the name of the philosopher who composes
this criticism, and suggests the possibility of essays of a more
lively and _experimental_ kind, and who seems to think that the
treatment should be _ample_, as well as _active_.

'_But_ the POETS and WRITERS of HISTORY are the best _Doctors_ of
_this knowledge_, where we may find, painted forth with great _life_,
_how affections are kindled and incited_, and _how pacified_ and
_refrained_;'--certainly, that is the kind of learning we want
here:--'and how, again, contained from _act_ and _further
degree_'--very useful knowledge, one would say, and it is a pity it
should not be 'diffused,' but it is not every poet who can be said to
have it;--'_how_ they disclose themselves--_how_ they work--how they
vary;'--this is the science of them clearly, _whoever_ has it;--'how
they gather and fortify--how they are _enwrapped one within
another_;'--yes, there is one Poet, one Doctor of this science, in
whom we can find _that_ also;--'and how they do fight and encounter
one with another, and other like _particularities_.' We all know what
Poet it is, to whose lively and ample descriptions of the affections
and passions--to whose _particularities_--that description best
applies, and in what age of the world he lived; but no one, who has
not first studied them as scientific exhibitions, can begin to
perceive the force--the exclusive force--of the reference. 'Amongst
the which, this last is of special _use_ in MORAL and CIVIL matters:
_how_, I say, to _set affection against affection_, and to master one
by another, even as we used to hunt beast with beast, and fly bird
with bird, which otherwise, percase, we could not so easily recover.'
The Poet has not only exhibited this with very voluminous and lively
details, but he, too, has concluded his precept;--

'One fire burns out another's burning'--
'One desperate grief cures with another's languish'--
'Take thou some new infection to thine eye,
And the rank poison of the old will die.'
_Romeo and Juliet_.

'As fire drives out fire, so pity, pity;
And pity to the _general wrong of Rome_
Hath, done this deed _on Caesar.'
_Julius Caesar_.

for it is the _larger_ form, which is the worthier, in that new
department of mixed mathematics which this philosopher was

'One fire drives out one fire, one nail one nail:
Rights by rights fouler, strength by strengths do fail.'

And for history of _cases_, see the same author in Hamlet and other
plays. [This philosopher's prose not unfrequently contains the key of
the poetic paraphrase; and the true reading of the line, which has
occasioned so much perplexity to the critics, may, perhaps, be
suggested by this connection--'to set affection against affection, and
to master one by another, even as we hunt beast with beast, and fly
bird with bird.']



Hast thou not learn'd me how
To make perfumes? distil? preserve? yea, so,
That our great king himself doth woo me oft
For my confections? Having thus far proceeded,
(Unless thou think'st me devilish,) is't not meet
That I did amplify my judgment in
Other conclusions? _Cymbeline_.

Thus far, it is the science of Man, _as he is_, that is propounded. It
is a scientific history of the Mind and its diseases, built up from
particulars, as other scientific histories are; and having disposed,
in this general manner, of that which must be dealt with by way of
_application_, those points of nature and fortune, which he puts down
as the basis and conditions to _which all our_ WORK _is limited and
tied_, we come now to that which IS within our power--to those points
which we can deal with by way of ALTERATION, and not of _application_
merely; and yet points which are operating perpetually on the human
character, changing the will and appetite, and altering the conduct,
by laws not less sure than those which operate in the occult processes
of nature, and determine differences behind the scene, or out of the
range of our volition.

And if after having duly weighed the hints we have already received of
the importance of the subject, we do not any longer suffer ourselves
to be put off the track, or bewildered by the first rhetorical effect
of the sentence in which these agencies are introduced to our
attention,--if we look at that rapid series of words, as something
else than the points of a period, if we stop long enough to recover
from the confusion which a mere string of names, a catalogue or table
of contents, crowded into single sentence, will, of necessity,
create,--if we stop long enough to see that each one of these words is
a point in the table of a new science, we shall perceive at once, that
after having made all this large allowance, this _new_ allowance for
that which is _without_ our power, there is still a very, very large
margin of operation, and discovery, and experiment left; that there is
still a large scope of _alteration_ left--alteration in man as he is.
For we shall find that these forces which _are_ within our power, are
the very ones which are making, and always have been making, man what
he is. Running our eye along this table of forces and supplies, with
that understanding of its uses, we shall perceive at once, that we
have the most ample material here, if it were but scientifically
handled; untried, inexhaustible means and appliances for raising man
to the height of his pattern and original, to the stature of a perfect

It is not the material of this regimen of growth and advancement, it
is not the Materia Medica that is wanting,--it is the science of it.
It is the natural history of these forces, with the precepts
scientifically concluded on them, that is wanting. The appliances are
here; the scientific application of them remains to be made, and until
these have been tried, it is too early to pronounce on the case; until
these have been tried, just as other precepts of the new science have
been, it is too soon to say that that science of nature,--that
knowledge of laws--that foreknowledge of effects, which operates so
remedially in all other departments of the human life, is without
application, is of no efficiency here; until these have been tried it
is too soon to say that the science of nature is _not_ what the man
who brought it in on this Globe theatre _declared it_ to _be_, the
handmaid of Divinity, the intelligent handmaid and minister of
religion, to whose discretion in the economy of Providence, much, much
has evidently been left.

And it was no assumption in this man to claim, as he did claim, a
divine and providential authority for this procedure. And those who
intelligently fulfil their parts in this great enterprise for man's
relief, and the Creator's glory, have just as clear a right to say, as
those of old who fulfilled with such means and lights, and
inspirations as their time gave them, their part in the plan of the
human advancement, 'it is God who worketh in us.'

'Now come we to those points which _are_ within our command, and have
_force_ and _operation_ upon the mind, to _affect the will and
appetite_, and to alter manners: wherein they ought to have handled
STUDIES: these, as they have determinate use in moralities, from these
_the mind_ SUFFERETH; and of these are such receipts and regiments
compounded and described, as may serve to recover or preserve the
health and good estate of the mind, as far as pertaineth to human
medicine; of which number we will insist upon some one or two, _as an
example of the rest_, because it _were too long_ to prosecute _all_.'
But the careful reader perceives in that which follows, that the
treatment of this so vital subject, though all that the author has to
say upon it _here_, is condensed into these brief paragraphs, is not
by any means so miscellaneous, as this introduction and 'the _first_
cogitation' on it, might, perhaps, have prepared him to find it.

To be permitted to handle these forces openly, in the form of literary
report, and recommendation, would, no doubt, have seemed to this
inventor of sciences, in his day no small privilege. But there was
another kind of experiment in them which he aspired to. He wished to
take these forces in hand more directly, and compound recipes, with
them, and other 'regiments' and cures. For by nature and carefullest
study he was a Doctor in this degree and kind--and a man thus fitted,
inevitably seeks his sphere. Very unlearned in this science of human
nature which he has left us,--much wanting in analysis must he be, who
can find in the persistent determination of such a man to possess
himself of places of trust and authority, only the vulgar desire for
courtly distinction, and eagerness for the paraphernalia of office.
This man was not wanting in any of the common natural sentiments; the
private and particular nature was large in him, and that good to which
he gives the preference in his comparison of those exclusive aims and
enjoyments, is 'the good which is _active_, and not that which is
_passive_'; both as it tends to secure that individual perpetuity
which is the especial craving of men thus specially endowed, and on
account of 'that affection for variety and _proceeding_' which is also
common to men, and specially developed in such men,--an affection
which the goods of the passive nature are not able to satisfy. 'But in
_enterprises_, pursuits and purposes of life, there is much variety
whereof men are sensible with pleasure in their inceptions,
progressions, recoils, re-integration, approaches and attainings to
their ends.' And he gives us a long insight into his own particular
nature and history in that sentence. He is careful to distinguish this
kind of good from the good of society, 'though in some cases it hath
an incident to it. For that gigantine state of mind which possesseth
the _troublers_ of the world, such as was Lucius Sylla, and _infinite
other in smaller model_, who would have all men happy or unhappy, as
they were their friends or enemies, _and would give form to the world
according to their own humours_, which is the true _theomachy_,
pretendeth and aspireth to _active good_ though it _recedeth farthest_
from that _good of society_, which we have determined to be _the

In no troubler or benefactor of the world, on the largest scale, in no
theomachist of any age, whether intelligent and benevolent, or
demoniacal and evil, had this nature which he here defines so clearly,
ever been more largely incorporated, or more effectively armed. But in
him this tendency to personal aggrandisement was overlooked, and
subordinated by the larger nature,--by the intelligence which includes
the whole, and is able to weigh the part with it, and by the
sentiments which enforce or anticipate intelligent decision.

Both these facts must be taken into the account, if we would read his
history fairly. For he composed for himself a plan of living, in which
this naturally intense desire for an individual perpetuity and renown,
and this love of action and enterprise for its own sake, was sternly
subordinated to the noblest ends of living, to the largest good of his
kind, to the divine and eternal law of duty, to the relief of man's
estate and the Creator's glory. And without making any claim on his
behalf, which it would be unworthy to make for one to whom the truth
was dearer than the opinions of men; it may be asserted, that whatever
errors of judgment or passion, we may find, or think we find in him,
these ends were with him predominant, and shaped his course.

He was not naturally a man of _letters_, but a man of action,
intensely impelled to action, and it was because he was forbidden to
fulfil his enterprise in person, because he had to write letters of
direction to those to whom he was compelled to entrust it, because he
had to write letters to the future, and leave himself and his will in
letters, that letters became, in his hands, _practical_. He, too, knew
what it was to be compelled 'to unpack his heart in words' when deeds
should have expressed it.

But even words are forbidden him here. After all the pains he has
taken to show us what the deficiency is which he is reporting here,
and what the art and science which he is proposing, he can only put
down a few paragraphs on the subject, casually, as it were, in
passing. Of all these forces which have operation on the mind, and
with which scientific appliances for the human mind should be
compounded, he can only 'insist upon some one or two as an example of
the rest.'

That was all that a writer, who was at the same time a public man,
could venture on,--a writer who had once been under violent political
suspicion, and was still eagerly watched, and especially by one class
of public functionaries, who seemed to feel, that with all his
deference to their claims, there was something there not quite
friendly to them, this was all that he could undertake to insist upon
'in that place.' But a writer who had the advantage of being already
defunct--a writer whose estate on the earth was then already done, and
who was in no kind of danger of losing either his head or his place,
could of course manage this part of the subject differently. _He_
would not find it too long to prosecute all, perhaps. And if he had at
the same time the advantage of a foreign name and seignorie, he could
come out in England at this very crisis with the freest exhibitions of
the points which are _here_ only _indicated_. He could even put them
down openly in his table of contents, every one of them, and make them
the titles of his chapters.

There was a work published in England, in that age, in which these
forces, of which only the _catalogue_ is inserted here, these forces
which _are_ in our power, which we _can_ alter, forces from which the
mind _suffereth_, which have operation upon the mind to affect the
will and appetite, are directly dealt with in the most subtle and
artistic manner, in the form of literary _essay_; and in the bolder
chapters, the author's observations and criticisms are clearly put
down; his scientific suggestions of alterations and new compounds, his
scientific doctrine of _careful alterations_, his scientific doctrine
of surgery, and adaptation of regimen, and cure to different ages, and
differing social conditions, are all promiscuously filed in, and the
English public swallows it without any difficulty at all, and
perceives nothing disagreeable or dangerous in it.

_This_ work contains, also, some of those other parts of the new
science which have just been reported as wanting, parts which are said
by the inventor of this science, to have a great ministry to policy,
as well as morality, and the natural history of the creature, which it
is here proposed to reform, is brought out without any regard whatever
to considerations which would inevitably affect a moralist, looking at
the subject from any less earnest and practical--from any less
_elevated_ point of view.

Of course, it was perfectly competent for a Gascon whose gasconading
was understood to be without any motive beyond that of vanity and
egotism, and without any incidence to effects, to say, in the way of
mere foolery, many things which an English statesman could not then so
well endorse. And in case his personality were called in question,
there was the mountain to retreat to, and the saint of the mount, in
whose behalf the goose is annually sacrificed by the English people,
the saint under whose shield and name the great English philosopher
sleeps. In fact, this personage is not so limited in his quarters as
the proper name might seem to imply. One does not have to go to the
south of France to find him. But it is certainly remarkable, that a
work in Natural History, composed by the inventors of the science of
observation, and the first in the field, containing their observations
in that part of the field too, in which the deficiency appeared to
them most important, should have been able to pass so long under so
thin a disguise, under this merest gauze of _egotism_, unchallenged.

These _essaies_, however, have not been without result. They have been
operating incessantly, ever since, directly upon the leading minds,
and indirectly upon the minds of men in general, (for many who had
never read the book, have all their lives felt its influence), and
tending gradually to the clearing up of the human intelligence in 'the
practice part of life' in general, and to the development of a common
sense on the topics here handled, much more creditable to the species
than anything that the author could find stirring in his age. When the
works which the propounders of the Great Instauration took pains to
get composed by way of filling up their plan of it, a little, corn to
be collected and bound, this one will have to find its place among

But here, at home, in his own historical name and figure, in his own
person, instead of conducting his magnificent scientific experiments
on that scale which the genius of his activity, and the largeness of
his good will, would have prescribed to him, instead of founding his
House of Solomon as he would have founded it, (as that proximity to
the throne, when it was the throne of an absolute monarch might have
enabled him to found it, if the monarch he found there had been,
indeed, what he claimed to be, a lover of learning), instead of such
large help and countenance as that of the king, to whom this great
proposition was addressed, the philosopher of that time could not even
venture on a literary essay in this field under that protection; it
was as much as he could do, it was as much as his favor with the king
was worth, to slip in here, in this conspicuous place, where it would
be sure to be found, sooner or later, the index of his _essaies_.

'It would be too _long_,' he says, 'to inquire here into the operation
of all these social forces that are making men, that are doing more to
make them what they are, than nature herself is doing,' for, 'know
thou,' the Poet of this Philosophy says, 'know thou MEN ARE as the
TIME IS.' He has included here, in these points which he would have
scientifically handled, that which makes _times_, that which _can be
altered_, that which Advancements of Learning, however, set on foot at
first, are sure in the end to _alter_. 'We will insist upon some one
or two as an example of the rest.' And we find that the points he
resumes to speak of here, are, indeed, points of primary consequence;
social forces that do indeed need a scientific control, effects
reported, and precepts concluded. Custom and Habit, Books and Studies,
and then a kind of culture, which he says, 'seemeth to be more
accurate and elaborate than the rest,' which we find, upon
examination, to be a strictly religious culture, and lastly the method
to which he gives the preference, as the most compendious and summary
in its formative or reforming influence, 'the _electing_ and
propounding unto a man's self _good and virtuous ends of his life_,
such as may be in a _reasonable sort within his compass to attain_.'
He says enough under these heads to show the difficulty of writing on
a subject where the science has been reported wanting, while the 'Art
and Practice' is prescribed.

He lays much stress on CUSTOM and HABIT, and gives some few precepts
for its management, 'made out of the pith and heart of sciences,' but
he speaks briefly, and chiefly for the purpose of indicating the value
he attaches to this point, for he concludes his precepts and
observations on it, thus: 'Many other axioms there are, touching the
managing of exercise and custom, which being _so conducted_,--
scientifically conducted--do prove, _indeed_ ANOTHER NATURE' ['almost,
can _change_ the stamp of nature,'--is Hamlet's word on _this_
point]; 'but being governed by _chance_, doth commonly prove but AN
APE of nature, and bringeth forth that which is _lame and
counterfeit_.' For not less than that is the difference between the
scientific administration of these things, from which the mind
_suffereth_, and the blind, hap-hazard one.

But in proceeding to the next point on which he ventures to offer some
suggestions, that of BOOKS and STUDIES, we shall do well to take with
us that general doctrine of _cure_, founded upon the nature of things,
which he produces under the head of the cure of the body, with a
distinct allusion to its proper application here. And it is well to
observe how exactly the tone of the criticism in _this department_,
chimes in with that of the criticism already reported here. 'In the
consideration of the _cures of diseases_, I find a deficiency in the
receipts of _propriety_ respecting the _particular_ cures of diseases;
for the physicians _have frustrated the fruit of tradition, and
experience_, by their _magistralities_ in _adding and taking out_, and
changing _quid pro quo_ in their receipts _at their pleasure_,
COMMANDING SO OVER THE MEDICINE, as the medicine _cannot command over
the disease_:' that is a piece of criticism which appears to belong to
the general subject of cure; and here is one which he himself stops to
apply to a different branch of it.

'But, lest I grow more particular than _is agreeable_, either to my
intention or _proportion_, I will conclude this part with the note of
one deficiency more, which seemeth to me of GREATEST consequence,
which is, that the _prescripts_ in use are too COMPENDIOUS TO ATTAIN
THEIR END; for, to my understanding, it is a vain and flattering
opinion to think any _medicine_ can be so sovereign, or so happy, as
that the receipt or use of it can work any great effect upon the body
of man: it were a strange _speech_, which spoken, or spoken oft,
should reclaim a man from a vice to which he were _by nature subject_;
it is _order, pursuit, sequence, and interchange of application_ WHICH
IS MIGHTY IN NATURE,' (and it is _power_ we are inquiring for here)
'which, although it requires more exact _knowledge_ in prescribing,
and more precise _obedience_ in observing, yet it is recompensed with
the magnitude of effects.'

Possessed now of his general theory of cure, we shall better
understand his particular suggestions in regard to these medicines and
alteratives of the mind and manners, which are here under

'So if we should handle BOOKS and STUDIES,' he continues, having
handled custom and habit a little and their powers, in that profoundly
suggestive manner, 'so if we should handle books and studies, and what
influence and operation _they_ have upon manners, are there not divers
precepts of _great caution_ and _direction_?' A question to be asked.
And he goes on to make some further enquiries and suggestions which
have considerably more in them than meets the ear. They appear to
involve the intimation that many of our books on moral philosophy,
come to us from the youthful and poetic ages of the world, ages in
which sentiment and spontaneous conviction supplied the place of
learning; for the accumulations of ages of experiment and conclusion,
tend to maturity and sobriety of judgment in the race, as do the
corresponding accumulations in the individual experience and memory.
'And the reason why books' (which are adapted to the popular belief in
these early and unlearned ages) 'are of so little effect towards
_honesty of life_, is that they are not read and
_revolved_--revolved--as they should be, by _men in mature years_.'
But unlearned people are always beginners. And it is dangerous to put
them upon the task, or to leave them to the task of remodelling their
beliefs and adapting them to the advancing stages of human
development. He, too, thinks it is easier to overthrow the old
opinions, than it is to discriminate that which is to be conserved in
them. The hints here are of the most profoundly cautious kind--as they
have need to be--but they point to the danger which attends the
advancement of learning when rashly and unwisely conducted, and the
danger of introducing opinions which are in advance of the popular
culture; dangers of which the history of former times furnished
eminent examples and warnings then; warnings which have since been
repeated in modern instances. He proposes that books shall be tried by
their effects on manners. If they fail to produce HONESTY OF LIFE, and
if certain particular forms of truth which were once effective to that
end, in the course of a popular advancement, or change of any kind,
have lost that virtue, let them be examined; let the translation of
them be scientifically accomplished, so that the main truth be not
lost in the process, so that men be not compelled by fearful
experience to retrace their steps in search of it, even, perhaps, to
the resuming of the old, dead form again, with all its cumbrous
inefficacies; for the lack of a leadership which should have been able
to discriminate for them, and forestall this empirical procedure.

Speaking of books of Moral science in general, and their adaptation to
different ages, he says--'Did not one of the _fathers_, in great
indignation, call POESY "_vinum demonum_," because it increaseth
_temptations_, _perturbations_, and _vain opinions_? Is not the
opinion of Aristotle worthy to be regarded, wherein he saith, "That
_young men_ are no fit _auditors_ of moral philosophy," because they
are not settled from the boiling heat of their _affections_, nor
attempered with _time_ and _experience_?' [And our Poet, we may remark
in passing, seems to have been struck with that same observation; for
by a happy coincidence, he appears to have it in his commonplace book
too, and he has not only made a note of it, as this one has, but has
taken the trouble to translate it into verse. He does, indeed, go a
little out of his way _in time_, to introduce it; but he is a poet who
is fond of an anachronism, when it happens to serve his purpose--

'Paris and Troilus, you have both said well;
And on the cause and question now in hand
Have _glozed_; but, superficially, not much
Unlike _young men_ whom _Aristotle_ thought
Unfit to hear _moral philosophy_.']

The question is, then, as to the adaptations of forms, of moral
instruction to different _ages_ of the human development. For when a
decided want of 'honesty of life' shows itself, in any very general
manner, under the fullest operation of _any_ given doctrine which is
the received one, it is time for men of learning to begin to look
about them a little; and it is a time when directions so cautious as
these should not by any means be despised by those on whom the
responsibility of direction, here, is in any way devolved.

'And doth it not hereof come, that those excellent books and
discourses of the ancient writers, _whereby_ they have _persuaded unto
virtue most effectually_, by representing her in _state_ and
_majesty_, and popular opinions against virtue in their _parasites'
coats_, fit to be scorned and derided, are of so little effect towards
honesty of life--

[_Polonius.--Honest_, my lord?
_Hamlet_.--Ay, honest.]

'--because they are not read and _revolved_ by men, in their mature
and settled years, but confined almost _to boys and beginners_? But is
it not true, also, that _much less_ young men are fit auditors of
_matters of policy_ till they have been _thoroughly seasoned_ in
_religion and morality_, lest their judgments be corrupted, and made
apt to think that there are no true differences of things, but
according to utility and fortune.'

By putting in here two or three of those 'elegant sentences' which the
author has taken out from their connections in his discourses, and
strung together, by way of making more perceptible points and stronger
impressions with them, according to that theory of his in regard to
aphorisms already quoted, we shall better understand this passage, for
the connection in which it is introduced here tends somewhat to
involve and obscure the meaning. 'In removing superstitions,' he tells
us, then, in this so pointed manner, 'care should be had _the good_ be
not taken away with the bad, which commonly is done _when the people
is the physician_.' '_Things will have_ their _first_ or _second_
agitation.' [Prima Philosophia--pith and heart of sciences: the author
of this aphorism is sound and grounded.] 'If they be not tossed on the
waves of _counsel_, they will be _tossed on the waves of fortune_.'
That last 'tossing' requires a second cogitation. There might have
been a more direct way of expressing it; but this author prefers
similes in such cases, he tells us. But here is more on the same
subject. 'It were good that men in their RENOVATIONS follow the
example of time itself, which, indeed, innovateth greatly, but
quietly, and by degrees scarce to be perceived;' and 'Discretion in
speech is more than eloquence.' These are the sentiments and opinions
of that man of science, whose works we are now opening, not caring
under what particular name or form we may find them. One or two of
these observations do not sound at all like prescience _now_; but at
the time when they were given out as precepts of direction, it
required that acquaintance with the nature of things in general which
is derived from a large and studious observation of particulars, to
put them into a form so oracular.

But this general suggestion with regard to our books of moral
philosophy, and their adaptation to the largest effect on the will and
appetite under the given conditions of time--conditions which involve
the instruction of masses of men, in whom _affection_ predominates--
men in whom judgment is not yet matured--men not attempered with the
time and experience of ages, by means of those preservations of it
which the traditions of learning make; beside this general suggestion
in regard to these so potent instrumentalities in manners, he has
another to make, one in which this general proposition to substitute
learning for preconception in _practical matters_,--at least, as far
as may be, comes out again in the form of criticism, and of a most
specially significant kind. It is a point which he touches lightly
here; but one which he touches again and again in other parts of
this work, and one which he resumes at large in his practical ethics.

'Again, is there not a caution likewise to be given of the doctrines
of moralities themselves, some kinds of them, lest they make men too
_precise, arrogant, incompatible_, as Cicero saith of Cato, in _Marco
Catone_: "Haec bona quae videmus divina et egregia ipsius scitote esse
propria: quae nonnunquam requirimus, ea sunt omnia non a natura, sed a

And after glancing at the specific subject of remedial agencies which
_are_ within the scope of our revision and renovation, under some
other heads, concluding with that which is of all others the most
compendious and summary, and again the most noble and effectual to the
reducing of the mind unto virtue and good estate, he concludes this
whole part, this part in which the points and outlines of the new
science--that radical human science which he has dared to report
deficient, come out with such masterly grasp and precision,--he
concludes this _whole part_ in the words which follow,--words which it
will take the author's own doctrine of interpretation to open. For
this is one of those passages which he commends to the second
cogitation of the reader, and he knew if 'the times that were nearer'
were not able to read it, 'the times that were farther off' would find
it clear enough.

'Therefore I do conclude this part of Moral _Knowledge_ concerning the
culture and regiment of the Mind; wherein if any man, _considering the
facts thereof which I have enumerated_, do judge that _my labour is_
to COLLECT INTO AN ART OR SCIENCE, that which hath been _pretermitted
by others_, as matters of common sense and experience, he judgeth
well.' The practised eye will detect on the surface here, some marks
of that style which this author recommends in such cases: especially
where such strong pre-occupations exist; already we perceive that this
is one of those sentences which is addressed to the skill of the
interpreter; in which, by means of a careful selection and collocation
of words, two or more meanings are conveyed under one form of
expression. And it may not be amiss to remember here, that this is a
style, according to the author's own description of it elsewhere, in
which the more involved and enigmatical passages sometimes admit of
_several_ readings, each having its own pertinence and value,
according to the mental condition of the reader; and that it is a
style in which even the _delicate, collateral sounds_, that are
distinctly included in this art of tradition, must come in sometimes
in the more critical places, in aid of the interpretation. 'But what
if it be an harangue whereon his life depends?'

l.--If any man considering the parts thereof, which I have enumerated,
do judge that MY LABOUR IS to _collect into an_ ART or SCIENCE that
which hath been PRETER-MITTED by others, _he_ judgeth well.

2.--If any man do judge that my labour is to collect into an ART or
SCIENCE that which hath been pretermitted by others AS MATTERS OF
COMMON SENSE and EXPERIENCE, _he_ judgeth well.

3.--If any man _considering_ the PARTS THEREOF WHICH I HAVE
ENUMERATED, do judge that my labor is to collect into an ART or
SCIENCE, that which hath been pretermitted _by_ OTHERS, as matters of
common sense and experience, _he_ judgeth well.

But if there be any doubt, about the more critical of these meanings,
let us read on, and we shall find the criticism of this great and
greatest proposition, the proposition to substitute learning for
preconception, in the main department of human practice, brought out
with all the emphasis and significance which becomes the close of so
great a period in sciences, and not without a little flowering of that
rhetoric, in which beauty is the incident, and discretion is more than

'But as Philocrates sported with Demosthenes you may not marvel,
Athenians, that _Demosthenes_ and I do differ, for _he_ drinketh
water, and _I_ drink wine. And like as we read of an ancient parable
of the two gates of sleep--

Sunt geminae somni portae, quarum altera fertur
Cornea, qua veris facilis datur exitus umbris:
Altera candenti perfecta nitens elephanto,
Sed falsa ad coelum mittunt insomnia manes.

'So if we put on _sobriety and attention_ we shall find it a sure
maxim in knowledge, _that the more pleasant liquor of wine is the more
vaporous_, and the braver gate of ivory sendeth forth the falser



It is a basilisk unto mine eyes,--
_Kills me to look_ on't,

This fierce abridgment
Hath to it circumstantial branches, which
Distinction should be rich in.


This whole subject is introduced here in its natural and inevitable
connection with that special form of Delivery and Tradition which it
required. For we find that connection indicated here, where the matter
of the tradition, and that part of it which specially requires this
form is treated, and we find the form itself specified here
incidentally, but not less unmistakeably, that it is in that part of
the work where the Art of Tradition is the primary subject. In
bestowing on 'the parts' of this science, which the propounder of it
is here enumerating--that consideration which the concluding paragraph
invites to them, we find, not only the fields clearly marked out, in
which he is labouring to collect into an art and science, that which
has hitherto been conducted without art or science, and left to common
sense and experience, the fields in which these goodly observations
grow, of which men have hitherto been content to gather a poesy to
carry in their hands,--(observations which he will bring home to his
confectionery, in such new and amazing prodigality and selection), but
we find also _the very form_ which these new collections, with the new
precepts concluded on them, would naturally take, and that it is one
in which these new parts of the new science and its art, which he is
labouring to constitute, might very well come out, at such a time,
without being recognised as philosophy at all,--might even be brought
out by _other_ men without science, as matters of common sense and
experience; though the world would have to concede, and the longer the
study went on, the more it would be inclined to concede, that the
common sense and experience was upon the whole somewhat uncommon, and
some who perceived its reaches, without finding that it was _art or
science_, would even be inclined to call it preternatural.

And when he tells us, that the first step in the New Science is _the
dissection_ of _character_, and the production and exhibition of
certain scientifically constructed portraits, by means of which this
may be effected, portraits which shall represent in their type-form by
means of 'illustrious instances,' the several characters and tempers
of men's _natures_ and _dispositions_ 'that the _secret disposition of
each particular man_ may be laid open, and from a knowledge of the
whole, the precepts concerning the cures of the mind may be more
rightly concluded,'--surely _here_, to a man of learning, _the
form_,--the form in which these artistically composed diagrams will be
found, is not doubtfully indicated.

And when, at the next step, we come to the history of 'the
affections,' and are told distinctly that _here_ philosophy, the
philosophy of practice, must needs descend from the abstraction, and
generalities of the ancient morality, for those observations and
experiments which it is the legitimate business of the poet to
conduct, though the poet, in conducting these observations and
experiments, has hitherto been wanting in the rigor which science
requires, when we are told that philosophy must _inevitably_ enter
here, that department of learning, of which the true poet is 'the
doctor,'--surely here at least, we know where we are. Certainly it is
not the fault of the author of the Great Instauration if we do _not_
know what department of learning the collections of the new learning
which he claims to have made will be found in--if found at all, _must_
be found in. It is not his fault if we do not know in what department
to look for the applications of the Novum Organum to those 'noblest
subjects' on which he preferred to try its powers, he tells us. Here
at least--the Index to these missing books--is clear enough.

But in his treatment of Poetry, as one of the three grand departments
of Human Learning, for not less noble than that is the place he openly
assigns to it, though that open and primary treatment of it, is
superficially brief, he contrives to insert in it, his deliberate,
scientific preference of it, as a means of effective scientific
exhibition, to either of the two graver parts, which he has associated
with it--to history on the one hand, as corresponding to the faculty
of memory, and to philosophy or mere abstract statement on the other,
as corresponding to the faculty of Reason; for it is that great
radical department of learning, which is referred to the Imagination,
that constitutes in this distribution of learning the third grand
division of it. He shows us here, in a few words, under different
points and heads, what masterly facilities, what indispensable,
incomparable powers it has for that purpose. There is a form of it,
'which is as A VISIBLE HISTORY, and is an image of actions as if _they
were present_, as history is, of actions that _are past_.' There is a
form of it which is applied only to express some _special purpose_ or
_conceit_, which was used of old by _philosophers_ to express any
point of _reason_ more sharp and subtle than the vulgar, and,
nevertheless, _now and at all times_ these _allusive parabolical_
poems do retain much life and vigour because--note it,--note that
because,--that _two-fold because_, because REASON CANNOT be so
SENSIBLE, nor EXAMPLES SO FIT. And he adds, also, 'there remains
another use of this poesy, opposite to the one just mentioned, for
that use tendeth to _demonstrate_ and _illustrate_ that which is
taught or delivered; and this other to _retire_ and _obscure_ it: that
is, when the secrets and mysteries of _religion, policy or philosophy_
are involved in fables and parables.'

But under the cover of introducing the 'Wisdom of the Ancients,' and
the form in which that was conveyed, he explains more at large the
conditions which this kind of exhibition best meets; he claims it as a
proper form of _learning_, and tells us outright, that the New Science
_must be_ conveyed in it. He has left us here, all prepared to our
hands, precisely the argument which the subject now under
consideration requires.

'Upon deliberate consideration, my judgment is, that a _concealed
instruction_ and _allegory_, was originally intended in many of the
ancient fables; observing that some fables discover a great and
evident similitude, relation, and connection with the things they
signify, as well in the _structure of the fable_, as in the _propriety
of the names_ whereby _the persons or actors are characterised_,
insomuch that no one could positively deny a sense and meaning to be
from the first intended and purposely shadowed out in them'; and he
mentions some instances of this kind; and the first is a very
explanatory one, tending to throw light upon the proceedings of men
whose rebellions, so far as political action is concerned, have been
successfully repressed. And he takes occasion to introduce this
particular fable repeatedly in similar connections. 'For who can hear
that _Fame_, after the giants were destroyed, sprung up as their
_posthumous sister_, and not apply it to the clamour of _parties_, and
the seditious rumours which commonly fly about upon the _quelling of
insurrections_. _Or_ who, upon hearing that memorable expedition of
the gods against the giants, when the braying of _Silenus' ass_
greatly contributed in putting the giants to flight, does not clearly
conceive that this directly _points_ to the _monstrous_ enterprises of
_rebellious subjects_, which are frequently disappointed and
frustrated by _vain fears and empty rumours_. Nor is it wonder if
sometimes a _piece of history_ or other things are introduced by way
of ornament, or if _the times_ of the action are confounded,' [the
very likeliest thing in the world to happen; things are often 'forced
in _time_' as he has given us to understand in complimenting a king's
book where the person was absent but not the occasion], 'or if part of
one fable be tacked to another, for all this must necessarily happen,
as the fables were the invention of men who lived in _different ages_,
and had _different views_, some of them being _ancient_, others more
_modern_, some having an eye to _natural philosophy_, _others_ to
_morality_ and _civil policy_.'

This appears to be just the kind of criticism we happen to be in need
of in conducting our present inquiry, and the passage which follows is
not less to the purpose.

For, having given some other reasons for this opinion he has expressed
in regard to the concealed doctrine of the ancients, he concludes in
this manner: 'But if any one shall, notwithstanding this, contend that
allegories are always adventitious, and no way native or _genuinely_
contained in them, we _might here leave him undisturbed in the gravity
of that judgment_, though we cannot but think it somewhat dull and
phlegmatic, and, _if it were worth the trouble_, proceed to another
_kind_ of argument.' And, apparently, the argument he proceeds to, is
worth some trouble, since he takes pains to bring it out so
cautiously, under so many different heads, with such iteration and
fulness, taking care to insert it so many times in his work on the
Advancement of Learning, and here producing it again in his
Introduction to the Wisdom of the Ancients, accompanied with a
distinct assurance that it is _not_ the wisdom of the _ancients_ he is
concerning himself about, and _their_ necessities and helps and
instruments; though if any one persists in thinking that it _is_, he
is not disposed to disturb him in the gravity of that judgment. He
honestly thinks that they had indeed such intentions as those that he
describes; but that is a question for the curious, and he has other
work on hand; he happens to be one, whose views of learning and its
uses, do not keep him long on questions of mere curiosity. It is with
the Moderns, and not with the Ancients that he has to deal; it is the
present and the future, and not the past that he 'breaks his sleeps'
for. Whether the Ancients used those fables for purposes of
innovation, and gradual encroachment on error or not, here is a
Modern, he tells us, who for one, cannot dispense with them in _his_

For having disposed of his _graver_ readers--those of the dull and
phlegmatic kind--in the preceding paragraph, and not thinking it worth
exactly that kind of trouble it would have cost then to make himself
more explicit for the sake of reaching _their_ apprehension, he
proceeds to the following argument, which is not wanting in clearness
for 'those who happen to be of his ear.'

'Men have proposed to answer two different and contrary ends by the
use of Parables, for parables serve as well to instruct and
illustrate, as to wrap up and envelope:' [and what is more, they serve
at once that double purpose] 'so that for _the present we drop the
concealed use_, and suppose the _ancient fables_ to be vague
undeterminate things _formed for amusement, still the other use must
remain_, and can never be given up. And every man of any learning must
readily allow that THIS METHOD of INSTRUCTION is grave, sober,
exceedingly useful, and _sometimes necessary in the sciences_, as it
opens an easy and familiar passage to the human understanding, IN ALL
NEW DISCOVERIES that are abstruse and _out of the road of vulgar
opinion_. Hence, in the first ages, when such inventions and
conclusions of the human reason as are _now_ trite and common, were
rare and little known, all things abounded with fables, parables,
similes, comparisons, allusions, which were not intended to _conceal_,
but to _inform and teach_, whilst the minds of men continued rude and
unpractised in matters of subtlety and speculation, and even
impatient, and in a manner _incapable of receiving such things as did
not directly fall under and strike the senses_.' [And those ages were
not gone by, it seems, for these are the very men of whom Hamlet
speaks, 'who for the most part are capable of nothing but
_inexplicable dumb-shows_ and _noise_.'] 'For as hieroglyphics were in
use before writings, so were parables in use _before argument_. _And
even to this day_, if any man would let NEW LIGHT IN upon the human
understanding, [who was it that proposed to do that?] and _conquer
prejudices without raising animosities_, OPPOSITION, or
DISTURBANCE--[who was it that proposed to do that precisely]--he _must
still_--[note it]--he _must still go in the same path_, and have
recourse _to the like method_.' Where are they then? Search and see.
Where are they?--The lost Fables of the New Philosophy? 'To conclude,
the knowledge of the earlier ages was either great or happy; _great_,
if _by design_ they made use of tropes and figures; happy, if whilst
_they had other views_ they afforded _matter_ and _occasion_ to such
_noble contemplations_. Let either be the case, _our_ pains perhaps
will not be misemployed, _whether we illustrate_ ANTIQUITY _or_ [hear]

But he complains of those who have attempted such interpretations
hitherto, that 'being _unskilled in nature_, and _their learning_ no
more than that of common-place, they have applied the sense of the
parables to certain _general_ and _vulgar_ matters, without reaching
to their real purport, genuine interpretation and full depth;'
certainly it would not be _that kind_ of criticism, then, which would
be able to bring out _the_ subtleties of the _new learning_ from those
popular embodiments, which he tells us it will have to take, in order
to make some impression, at least, on the common understanding.
'Settle that question, then, in regard to the old Fables as you will,
_our_ pains will not perhaps be misemployed, whether we illustrate
antiquity or things themselves,' and to that he adds, 'for _myself,
therefore, I expect to appear_ NEW in THESE COMMON THINGS, because,
leaving untouched such as are sufficiently plain and open, I _shall
drive only those_ that are either deep or rich.' 'For myself?'--I?--'I
expect to appear new in these common things.' But elsewhere, where he
lays out the argument of them, by the side of that 'resplendent and
lustrous mass of matter,' those _heroical_ descriptions of virtue,
duty, and felicity, that _others_ have got glory from, it is some
_Poet_ we are given to understand that is going to be found _new_ in
them. _There_, the argument is all--_all_--_poetic_, and it is a theme
for one who, if he know how to handle it, need not be afraid to put in
his modest claim, with those who sung of old, the wrath of heroes, and
their arms.

Any one who does not perceive that the passages here quoted were
designed to introduce more than 'the wisdom of the ancients', the
reader who is disposed to conclude after a careful perusal of these
reiterated statements, in regard to the form in which doctrines
differing from received opinions must be delivered, taken in
connexion, too, with that draught of the new science of the _human
culture_ and its parts and points, which has just been produced
here,--the reader who concludes that _this_ is, after all, a science
that _was_ able to dispense with this method of appeal to the senses
and the imagination; that it was _not_ obliged to have recourse to
that path;--that the NEW LEARNING, 'the NEW DISCOVERY,' had here no
fables, no particular topics, and methods of tradition; that it
contented itself with abstractions and generalities, with 'the husks
and shells of sciences,'--such an one ought, undoubtedly, to be left
undisturbed in that opinion. He belongs precisely to that class of
persons which this author himself deliberately proposed to leave to
such conclusions. He is one whom this philosopher himself would not
take any trouble at all to enlighten on such points. The other
reading, with all its _gravity_, was designed for him. The time for
such an one to adopt the reading here produced, will be, when 'those
who are incapable of receiving such things as do not directly fall
under and strike the senses,' have, at last, got hold of it; when 'the
groundlings, who, for the most part are capable of nothing but dumb
show and noise,' have had their ears split with it, it will be time
enough for him.

This Wisdom of the Moderns, then, to resume with those to whom the
appeal is made, this new learning which the Wise Man and Innovator of
the Modern Ages tells us must be clothed in fable, and adorned with
verse, this learning that must be made to fall under and strike the
senses; this dumb show of science, that is but show to him who cannot
yet take the player's own version of what it means; this illustrated
tradition, this beautiful tradition of the New Science of Human
Nature,--where is it? This historical collection, this gallery that
was to contain scientific draughts and portraitures of the human
character, that should exhaust its varieties,--where is it? These new
Georgics of the mind whose _argument is here_,--where are they? This
new Virgil who might promise himself such glory,--such new glory in
the singing of them,--where is he? Did he make so deep a summer in his
verse, that the track of the precept was lost in it? Were the flowers,
and the fruit, so thick, there; was the reed so sweet that the
argument of that great husbandry could no point,--could leave no
furrow in it?

'Where souls do couch, on flowers, we'll hand in hand,
And with our sprightly port make the ghosts gaze:
Dido and her Aeneas shall want troops,
And all the haunt be ours.'

'The neglect of our times,' says this author, in proposing this great
argument, this new argument, of the application of SCIENCE to the
Culture and Cure of the Mind, 'the neglect of _our times_, wherein
_few men do hold any consultations_ touching the _reformation of their
lives, may_ make _this part_ seem superfluous. As Seneca excellently
saith, "De partibus vitae quisquae deliberat, de summa nemo."' And is
that, after all,--is that the trouble still? Is it, that that
characteristic of Elizabeth's time--that same thing which Seneca
complained of in Nero's,--is it that _that_ is not yet obsolete? Is
that the reason, this so magnificent part, this radical part of the
new discovery of the Modern Ages, is still held 'superfluous?' 'De
partibus vitae quisquae deliberat, de summa nemo.' 'Now that we have
spoken, and spoken for so many ages, of this fruit of life, it
remaineth to speak of the husbandry thereunto.' That is the scientific
proposition which has waited now two hundred and fifty years, for a
scientific audience. The health of the soul, the scientific promotion
of it, the FRUIT OF LIFE, and the observations of its husbandry. 'And
if it be said,' he continues, anticipating the first inconsiderate
objection, 'if it be said that the cure of mens' minds belongeth to
sacred divinity, it is most true; but yet, moral philosophy may be
preferred unto her, as a wise servant and humble handmaid. For as the
Psalm saith, that the eyes of the handmaid look perpetually towards
the _mistress_, and yet, no doubt, many things are left to the
_discretion_ of the handmaid, to _discern of the mistress' will_; so
ought moral philosophy to give a constant attention to the doctrines
of divinity, and yet so as it may yield of herself, within due limits,
many sound and profitable directions.'

For the times that were 'far off' when that proposition was made, it
is brought out anew and reopened. Oh, people of the ages of arts and
sciences that are called by this man's name, shall we have the fruits
of his new doctrine of KNOWLEDGE, brought to our relief in all other
fields, and reject it in this, which he himself laid out, and claimed
as its only worthy field? Instructed now in the validity of its
claims, by its 'magnitude of effects' in every department of the human
practice to which it has yet been applied, shall we permit the
department of it, on which _his_ labour was expended, to escape that
application? Shall we suffer that wild barbaric tract of the human
life which the will and affections of man create,--that tract which he
seized,--which it was his labour to collect into an art or science, to
lie unreclaimed still?

Oh, Man of the new ages of science, will you have the new
fore-knowledge, the magical command of effects, which the scientific
inquiry into causes as they are actual in nature, puts into our hands,
in every other practice, in every other culture and cure,--will you
have the rule of this knowledge imposed upon your fields, and
orchards, and gardens, to assist weak nature in her 'conservations'
and 'advancements' in these,--to teach her to bring forth here the
latent ideals, towards which she struggles and vainly yearns, and can
only point to, and wait for, till science accepts her hints;--will you
have the Georgics of this new Virgil to load your table with its magic
clusters;--will you take the Novum Organum to pile your plate with its
ideal advancements on spontaneous nature and her perfections;--will
you have the rule of that Organum applied in its exactest rigors, to
all the physical oppositions of your life, to minister to your
physical safety, and comfort, and luxury, and never relax your
exactions from it, till the last conceivable degree of these has been
secured; and in this department of art and science,--this, in which
the sum of our good and evil is contained,--in a mere oversight of it,
in a disgraceful indifference and carelessness about it, be content to
accept, without criticism, the machinery of the
past--instrumentalities that the unlearned ages of the world have left
to us,--arts whose precepts were concluded ages ere we knew that
_knowledge_ is power.

Shall we be content to accept as a science any longer, a science that
leaves human life and its actualities and particulars, unsearched,
uncollected, unreduced to scientific nomenclature and axiom? Shall we
be content any longer with a knowledge that is _power_,--shall we
boast ourselves any longer of a scientific _art_ that leaves _human_
nature,--that makes over human nature to the tampering of an
unwatched, unchecked empiricism, that leaves our own souls it may be,
and the souls in which ours are garnered up, all wild and hidden, and
gnarled within with nature's crudities and spontaneities, or choked
and bitter with artificial, but unscientific, unartistic repression?

Will you have of that divinely appointed and beautiful 'handmaid,'
that was brought in on to this Globe Theatre, with that upward
look,--with eyes turned to that celestial sovereignty for her
direction, with the sum of good in her intention, with the universal
doctrine of practice in her programme, with the relief 'of man's
estate and the Creator's glory' put down in her role,--with her _new
song_--with her song of man's nature and life _as it is,_ on her
lips--will you have of her, only the minister to your physical
luxuries and baser wants? Be it so: but in the name of that truth
which is able to survive ages of misunderstanding and detraction, in
the name of that honor which is armed with arts of self-delivery and
tradition, that will enable it to live again, 'though all the earth
o'erwhelm it to men's eyes,' while this Book of the Advancemement of
Learning stands, do not charge on this man henceforth, that election.

The times of that ignorance in which it could be thus accredited, are
past; for the leader of this Advancement is already unfolding his
tradition, and opening his books; and he bids us debase his name no
longer, into a name for these sordid fatuities. The Leader of ages
that are yet to be,--ages whose nobler advancements, whose rational
and scientific advancements to the dignity and perfection of the human
form, it was given to him and to his company to plan and initiate,--he
declines to be held any longer responsible for the blind, demoniacal,
irrational spirit, that would seize on his great instrument of
science, and wrest it from its nobler object and intent, and debase it
into the _mere_ tool of the senses; the tool of a materialism more
base and sordid than any that the world has ever known; more sordid, a
thousand-fold, than the materialism of ages, when there was yet a god
in the wood and the stone, when there was yet a god in the brick and
the mortar. This '_broken science_' that has no end of ends, this
godless science, this railway learning that travels with restless,
ever quickening speed, no whither,--these dead, rattling 'branches'
and slivers of arts and sciences, these _modern_ arts and sciences,
hacked and cut away from that tree of sciences, from which they
sprang, whereon they grew, are _his_ no longer. He declines to be held
any longer responsible for a materialism that shelters itself under
the name of philosophy, and identifies his own name with it. Call it
science, if you will, though science be the name for unity and
comprehension, and the spirit of life, the spirit of the largest
whole; call it philosophy if you will, if you think philosophy is
capable of being severed from that common trunk, in which this
philosopher found its pith and heart,--call it science,--call it
philosophy,--but call it not, he says,--call it not henceforth

For _his_ labor is to collect into an art or science the doctrine of
_human_ life. He, too, has propounded that problem,--he has translated
into the modern speech, that problem, which the inspired Leader of
men, of old propounded. 'What is a man profited if he should gain the
whole world and lose his own soul; or what can a man give in exchange
for his soul?' He, too, has recognized that ideal type of human
excellence, which the Great Teacher of old revealed and exemplified;
he has found scientifically,--he has found in the universal law,--that
divine dogma, which was taught of old by One who spake as having
authority--One who also had looked on nature with a loving and
observant eye, and found in its source, the Inspirer of his doctrine.
In his study of that old book of divinity which he calls the book of
God's Power this Modern Innovator has found the scientific version of
that inspired command 'Be ye therefore perfect.' This new science of
morality, which is '_moral knowledge_,' is able to recognise the
inspiration and divinity of that received platform and exemplar of
good, and pours in on it the light of a universal illustration. And in
his new scientific policy, in his scientific doctrine of success, in
his doctrine of the particular and private good, when he brings out at
last the rule which shall secure it from all the blows of fortune,
what is it but that same old '_Primum quaerite_' which he
produces,--clothing it with the authority and severe exaction of a
scientific rule in art,--that same '_Primum quaerite_' which was
published of old as a doctrine of faith only. 'But let men rather
build,' he says, 'upon that foundation, which is as a corner-stone of
divinity and _philosophy, wherein they join close; namely_, that _same
'Primum quaerite_.' For divinity saith, 'Seek first the kingdom of God,
and all other things shall be added to you'; and philosophy saith,
'Primum quaerite bona animi caetera aut aderunt, aut non oberunt.'

And who will now undertake to say that it is, indeed, written in the
Book of God,--in the Book of the Providential Design, and Creative
Law, or that it is written in the Revelation of a divine good will to
men; that those who cultivate and cure the soul--who have a divine
appointment to the office of its cure--shall thereby be qualified to
ignore its actual laws, or that they shall find in the scientific
investigation of its actual history, or in this new--so new, this so
wondrous and beautiful science, which is here laid out in all its
parts and points on the basis of a universal science of practice,--no
'ministry' to their end? Who shall say that the Regimen of the mind,
that its Education and healthful culture, as well as its cure, shall
be able to accept of no instrumentalities from the _advancement_ of
learning? Who shall say that this department of the human life--_this_
alone, is going to be held back to the past, with bonds and cramps of
iron, while all else is advancing; that this is going to be held
forever as a place where the old Aristotelian logic, which we have
driven out of every other field, can keep its hold unchallenged
still,--as a place for the metaphysics of the school-men, the empty
conceits, the old exploded inanities of the Dark Ages, to breed and
nestle in undisturbed?

Who shall claim that this department is the only one, which that gift,
that is the last gift of Creation and Providence to man is forbidden
to enter?

Surely it is the authorised doctrine of a supernatural aid, that it is
never brought in to sanction indolence and the neglect of means and
instruments already in our power; and in that book of these new ages
in which the doctrine of a successful human practice was promulgated,
is it not written that in no department of the human want, 'can those
noble effects, which God hath set forth to be bought as the price of
labour, be obtained as the price of a few easy and slothful

And who that looks on the world as it is at this hour, with all our
boasted aids and instrumentalities,--who that hears that cry of sorrow
which goes up from it day and night,--who that looks at these masses
of men as they are,--who that dares to look at all this vice and
ignorance and suffering which no instrumentality, mighty to relieve,
has yet reached, shall think to put back,--as if we had no need of
it,--this great gift of light and healing,--this gift of _power_,
which the scientific ages are bringing in; this gift which the ages of
'anticipation,' the ages of inspiration and spontaneous affirmation,
could only divinely--diviningly--foresee and promise;--this gift which
the knowledge of the creative laws, the historic laws, the laws of
kind, as they are actual in the human nature and the human life, puts
into our hands? Who shall think himself competent to oppose this
benefaction? Alas for such an one! let us take up a lamentation for
him. He has stayed too long. The constitution of things, the universal
laws of being, and the Providence of this world are against him. The
track of the advancing ages goes over him. He is at variance with that
which was and shall be. The world's wheel goes over him. And whosoever
falls on that stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it falls it
shall grind him to powder.

It is by means of the scientific Art of Delivery and Tradition, that
this doctrine of the scientific Culture and Cure of the Mind, which is
the doctrine of the scientific ages, has been made over to us in the
abstract; and it is by means of the rule of interpretation, which this
Art of Delivery prescribes, it is by means of the secret of an
Illustrated Tradition, or Poetic Tradition of this science, that we
are now enabled to unlock at last those magnificent collections in
it--those inexhaustible treasures and mines of it--which the
Discoverer, in spite of the time, has contrived to leave us, in that
form of Fable and Parable in which the advancing truth has always been
left,--in that form of Poesy in which the highest truth has, from of
old, been uttered. For over all this ground lay extended, then, in
watchful strength all safe and unespied, the basilisk of whom the
Fable goes, if he sees you first, you die for it,--_but_ if YOU SEE
HIM FIRST, HE DIES. And this is the Bishop who fought with a _mace_,
because he would _kill_ his enemy and not _wound_ him.

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