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the highest office of justice for four years, and, in the discharge of his great functions, displayed all the wisdom and eloquence which characterised his mind, and all the servility and meanness which disgraced his conduct. There His per are, of course, two sides to the case, and many of justice. of the charges brought against þim have been proved to be unfounded by his various biographers. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that Bacon was a political disciple, like so many statesmen of his age, of Machiavelli, and read the ingenious conclusions of the Italian philosopher as susceptible of application to all departments of public affairs. And so, on the assembling of Parliament in 1621, the House of Commons, filled with a just indignation against the insupportable abuses, corruptions, and monopolies countenanced by the Government, ordered a deliberate investigation into various acts of bribery of which the Chancellor Bacon's ima

peachment. was accused. The King and his favourite, although ready to do all in their power to screen a criminal who had always been their devoted servant, were not bold enough to face the indignation of the whole country, and allowed the investigation to proceed. It was carried on before the House of Lords, and its result was his conviction of many acts of gross corruption as a judge. Bacon himself, whether altogether guilty or not, was at all events conscience-stricken enough to confess his own guilt ; and, in language which under other circumstances would have been profoundly pathetic, threw himself upon the indulgence of his judges. His sentence, although it could not be otherwise than severe, was evidently just : he was condemned to be deprived of his place as Chancellor, to pay a fine of £40,000, to be imprisoned in the Tower during the King's pleasure, to be ever after incapable of holding any office of State, and to be incapacitated from sitting in Parliament and from coming within twelve miles of the Court. In imposing so severe a punishment, Bacon's judges, it must be remembered, well knew that much of it must be mitigated or altogether remitted ; and the result showed the justice of their anticipations. The culprit was almost immediately released from confinement ; the fine, which, by the way, did not amount to half the gains he was supposed to have made by corrupt practices, was not only remitted by royal favour, but, by the manner of its remission, was converted into a sort of protection of the fallen Chancellor against the claims of his importunate creditors ; and he was speedily restored to the privilege of presenting himself at Court. There can be no doubt that James and Buckingham had felt the greatest reluctance in abandoning Bacon to the indignation of Parliament, and that they only did so in the conviction that any attempt to save their servant must not only have been inevitably unsuccessful, but must have involved the Government itself in odium, without in the least alleviating the lot of the guilty Chancellor.

years and death.

'The life of the fallen minister was prolonged for five years after his severe but merited disgrace; and these years were

passed in intriguing, flattering, and imploring His closing pecuniary relief in his distresses. During his

whole life he had lived' splendidly and extrava

gantly, His taste for magnificence in houses, gardens, and trains of domestics, had been such as may generally be found in men of lively imagination ; and it was to escape from the perpetual embarrassments which are he natural consequences of such tastes that he, in all probability, resorted to means involving that gradual deadening of the moral sense, and that blunting of the sense of honour and selfrespect which was the origin of his crimes. Bacon's death took place, after a few days' illness, on the 9th of April, 1626, and was caused by a cold and fever caught in travelling near London. The real origin of this was his delight in scientific experiments, and his notion of preserving meat by freezing. He got out of his carriage, bought a fowl, and filled the inside of the bird with snow, which was then lying thick upon the ground. In doing this he caught a chill, which was aggravated by his being put into a damp bed in Lord Arundels house at Highgate. He was buried, by his own desire, next to his mother, in St. Michael's Church, St. Albans. The magnificent seat of Gorhambury, which he had constructed for himself, was in St. Michael's parish, near the site of the Roman city of Verulamium, which gave him his second title. He had no children, and left his affairs involved in debt and confusion.

$ 7. In order to appreciate the services rendered by Bacon to the cause of truth and knowledge, which have placed his name

foremost among the benefactors of humanity, two Philosophy. precautions are indispensable. First, we must form

a distinct idea of the nature of those philosophical methods which his system of investigation supplanted in physical research; and, secondly, we must dismiss from our minds the common and very erroneous idea that Bacon was an inventor or discoverer in any specific branch of knowledge. His mission was not to teach mankind a philosophy, but to teach men how to philosophise. To imagine otherwise would be a vulgar error like that of the clown who imagined that Newton was the discoverer of gravitation. The task which Bacon proposed to himself was loftier and more useful than that of the mere inventor in any branch of science; and the excellence of his method can nowhere be more clearly seen than in those instances in which he himself has applied it to facts in his own day imperfectly known or erroneously explained. The

most brilliant name among the ancient philosophers ARISTOTLE.

is incontestably that of Aristotle. His immense acquirements, extending to almost every branch of physical, political, intellectual, and moral research, and the powers of a mind unrivalled at once sor breadth of view and subtlety of


discrimination, have justly secured him the highest place among the greatest intellects of the earth. In the fullest sense, he was, as Dante called him, “il maestro di color che sanno ”--the master of those who know. But the instrumental or mechanical part of his system, the mode by which he taught his followers that they could arrive at true deductions in scientific investigation, was, in inferior hands, singularly susceptible of abuse. His careful examination of nature, his wise and cautious prudence in the application of general formulas of reasoning to particular phenomena, were very soon neglected by his disciples. They found themselves in possession of a mode of research which seemed to promise an infallible correctness in the results obtained, and, by their very admiration of their master's genius, were led to leave out of sight his prudent reserve in the employment of his method. The synthetic mode of reasoning flatters the pride of human intellect, because those who use it are tempted, in discovering truths, to believe that the discovery is due to their unassisted powers; and the important part played by those powers in the investigation renders the method peculiarly obnoxious to that kind of corruption which arises from over-subtlety and the vain employment of words. Nor must we leave out of account the deteriorating influence of the various nations and epochs through which the ancient deductive philosophy had been handed down from the time of Aristotle himself till the days of Bacon. The misapplication of it had by that time become so apparent that a great reform was inevitable. The acute, disputatious spirit of the Greek character had from the first provoked a tendency towards vain wordcatching which was further accentuated in the schools of the Lower Empire. The Orientals received from these schools a philosophical system which was already a sad corruption of Aristotle ; and the mystical and over-subtle genius of the Jewish and Arabian speculators added new elements of decay. It was in this state that the doctrines of Aristotle were received among the Christian philosophers of the Middle Ages. In their hands the methods of the Greek philosopher philosophy in

Aristotelian were not likely to be employed largely for promoting the Middle the knowledge of physical nature. Their first concern Ages. in adopting the Aristotelian philosophy was to bring it into harmony with the dogmas of the Faith, and they studied it mainly with a view to the service which it could render in the exposition and defence of theological doctrines. Thus the great text-book of medieval theology, the Summa Theologiæ of St. Thomas Aquinas, was a studied application of the theories of Aristotle to Catholic dogma. This alliance of theology with physical science did not tend to promote scientific enquiry. The theologian had no interest in pursuing science for its own sake. It is true that some remarkable medieval scholars, like Roger Bacon, did so; but to the greater number of students theological dilemmas and the allied problems of metaphysics


were the subjects of chief importance, and to these, accordingly, their attention was wholly turned.

But, apart from theological interests and influence, the aim of philosophy before Bacon's time had been different from that

which he assigned to it. The ultimate aim of

philosophical speculation had been to discover philosophy.

Truth in its more abstract form, to exercise, purify,

and educate the human faculties, and to carry the mind higher in the direction of the Supreme Good and Supreme Beauty; and the investigation of Nature was merely a means to this end. Practical utility-the increase of the comforts of lifewas regarded as a result which might be achieved in this process of raising the mind to a certain ideal height of wisdom, but it was of secondary importance to the true philosopher. Now the aim proposed by the philosophy of Bacon was wholly different ; and, as a consequence, the methods by which philosophy was to be studied were different also. Bacon conceived that all the powers of human reason and all the energies of invention and research should be concentrated upon promoting the comfort of human life, diminishing the suffering and increasing the enjoyment of our imperfect existence here below, and extending the empire of man over the realms of nature. This is an aim less ambitious than that ideal Virtue and Wisdom which were the aspiration of the older philosophy, but it has the advantage of being more easily attained. The experience of twenty centuries had proved that it was not to be reached on the lines followed by the older systems; the subtle investigations and prolonged controversies of the most acute and powerful intellects, during so many generations, had left these questions of practical and material well-being pretty much as they found them at first. This was no doubt a serious shortcoming in the speculations of the older philosophy; and even the most ardent metaphysician will admit that the time was come for devoting greater attention to questions bearing upon the material welfare of humanity, and to the development of the utilitarian side of human knowledge.

$ 8. As has been said, attempts had been made before Bacon's time to attract speculation into this practical direction. But

the union of philosophy with medieval theology was sance and too strong for these Reformers, and they frequently the scholastic incurred unpopularity and suspicion by their efforts philosophy.

to interfere with the prevalent fashions in philosophy. The growth and expansion of the Renaissance movement, however, rendered attempts of this kind more and more feasible. In its early stages, the chief activity of the movement had been devoted to the revival of works of classical literature and to the pursuit of ideals in style. But it was inevitable that the results of such study should in time foster an indepen. dent investigation of the remains of ancient philosophy, and encourage a school of secular scholars who would carry on their

The Renais

investigations outside the schools of theology. This inevitable tendency of things was hastened and developed by the revolt against ecclesiastical authority which is known as the Reformation. In throwing off obedience to the centralised power of Rome, the Reformers were eager to repudiate many of the institutions which had been identified with the Papal supremacy. The old relations of theology and philosophy, although recognised for a time by the earlier Reformers, whose theological and conservative instincts were especially strong, could not long exist in the atmosphere of independent and uncontrolled speculation which the new movement created. The revival of the idealistic philosophy of Plato had an almost incalculable influence upon the Reformation, and its opposition to the materialistic tendencies of Aristotelianism led to that quagmire of abstractions and unrealities in which so many of the continental Reformers lost themselves. Obviously, philosophy, undergoing so radical a change, could hardly fail in time to assert its entire independence of theology, and to claim the right of carrying on its enquiries on its own lines, without regard for, or deference to, the teaching of dogmatic religion. This was what actually occurred; and it is to England that we are to look for the first distinct manifestation of this independent attitude on the part of philosophy. England, in the reigns of Elizabeth and James Ī, was precisely the country in which such a revolution was possible. Religion was become entangled with practical politics : the theologians were controversialists who had little time for abstract speculation ; and a particular combination of circumstances and qualities combined to make Francis Bacon, and him alone, the apostle of the new philosophy.

§ 9. The great object, we have said, which Bacon proposed to himself in proclaiming the advantages of the Inductive Method, was the improvement of the condition of mankind. From an early age he had been struck The Inwith the defects and the stationary and unproductive Magna." character of the Deductive Method ; and during the whole of his brilliant, agitated, and too often ignominious career, he had constantly and patiently laboured, adding stone after stone to that splendid edifice which will enshrine his name long after his crimes, his weaknesses, his ambition and servility, have been forgotten. His philosophical system is contained in the great work, or, rather, series of works, to which he intended to give the general title of Instauratio Magna, or the Great Institution of True Philosophy. The whole of this neither was nor could have been executed by him ; for every new addition to the stock of human knowledge would, as he saw, modify the conclusions of his philosophical method, although it would only confirm its soundness. The Instauratio was to consist of six separate parts or books, of which the following is a short synoptical arrangement :

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