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The memory of the great and the good of past times is a precious trust committed to mankind for safe keeping. It seems to be the least that we can do, to watch tenderly over their posthumous fame, and by repelling the oblivious influences of time, dissipating the misapprehensions of ignorance, or combatting the severity of prejudices, to pay something of that immense and uncancellable debt of gratitude which the world owes to the illustrious spirits of elder time. Although dead, they yet speak to mankind in accents of matchless eloquence and persuasive virtue : they are constantly acting toward us the part of friends; they are accomplishing for our minds, by their noble thoughts and resplendent examples, what cannot be accomplished by any other conceivable means. Should not we be eager to exert ourselves for them, in the only way in which we are now permitted to manifest respect, by cherishing and honoring their names? In executing this sacred office, we are not called upon to indulge in fulsome panegyric, or indiscriminate praise; we need not become the extenuants of crime nor the apologists of error. It is unjust to any human being, however high his characteristics, to make him out a demi-god, or deny his participation of those moral infirmities which seem to be the necessary adjuncts of humanity, because they form the conditions of its progressive development in wisdom and virtue. Impartiality of judgment, accuracy of conception, exactness of remark, are all that justice requires of him who makes his estimate of the character of men, whether living or dead. So far is a suspension of these qualities pardonable in the mind that casts its inquiring glances over the character of the departed, that their exercise here is even more sternly demanded, by the consideration so strong to the generous mind, that if our sentence be unjust, the unfortunate subject of its severity is beyond the possibility of explanation or selfdefence.

The will of Lord Bacon contained the following remarkable words: *For my name and memory, I leave it to other men's charitable speeches and to foreign nations, and to the next ages.' This declaration could not have



any other than a lofty soul. It indicated the existence in the mind of its author of a sentiment which is perhaps peculiar to large and generous intellects -- an intelligent consciousness of merit, not at once appreciable by their fellow men, and a noble confidence in the ultimate justice of mankind. Indeed, Bacon had much stronger reasons than the divine dictum of our Saviour, (* a prophet, etc.,) and the voice of philosophy, for commending his memory * to foreign nations and to the next ages;' since even in that age his fame was greater, and sounded louder abroad, than at home in his own nation. He was evidently much underrated, and his philosophy both misunderstood and despised, by his own times; of which the saying of one of his royal contemporaries - we think it was Charles the First — in regard to his most illustrious work, (the Novum Organum,) that it was like the peace of God, that passeth all understanding' — is a bona fide illustration. This most preposterous and beetle-blind decision of kingly authority was not much unlike that which the poet Waller delivered himself of, when he spoke as follow


eth: The old blind schoolmaster, John Milton, hath published a tedious poem on the fall of man ; if its length be not considered as a merit, it hath no other. If such was the début of the proudest of all the proud products of poesy, at a later era, what other than it did actually experience could have been the initiative of a new and bold philosophy which was at variance, at so many points, with the prevailing prejudices and notions of the day?

But Bacon was prëeminently the servant of posterity,' as well as its confiding creditor. His mind was too far reaching, to rest its hopes on the verdict of his own unpropitious age

and country.

His prophetic glance shot ahead, beyond the darkened and prejudiced atmosphere that enclosed his immortal labors, and rested even then with proud satisfaction, on the glorious hemisphere of light that was soon to be the revealing theatre of their unsurpassed merits and unending triumphs. Of his great work he thus expresses himself: 'I am persuaded that it will gain upon men's minds in age - after some time to be passed over.' This strong confidence in the final adjudication of posterity was something very different from the presumptuous and ridiculous anticipation of success which springs from ignorance and vanity. It was the modest estimate of a truly learned and exalted man, who loved the truth for its own sakewho coveted nothing so eagerly as the enlightenment of humanity, and was modestly but deeply conscious of being in advance of his

age. As additional evidences that neither Lord Bacon nor his philosophy was appreciated in the age which gave them birth, we may mention that Queen Elizabeth is said to have believed him to be a man rather of show than of depth,' and that Sir Edward Coke, who, according to D'Israeli, was 'a mere great lawyer, whose mind had little of the breadth of intellectual attainments, and no depth of philosophical taste or discernment,' treated the pursuits and works of his illustrious compeer with marked contempt. But in spite of the short-sighted views and narrow philosophy which baricadoed his way, and met his propositions with the flippant opposition of ignorance or the freezing apathy of pride and self-sufficiency, the great pioneer of science did not lose his courage — did not falter in his bright career, or give way to the palsy of despondency. His confidence in the inherent dignity of knowledge, and the real capacities of the human intellect, was too strong to break down under the puny blows and insignificant weapons of a superannuated philosophy. It is evident from many observations scattered through his works, and repeated in various forms, that he did not build on present anticipations,' but looked forward to the time to come, both for the fruits of his labors and the security and amplitude of his fame. There is no doubt that Bacon's mind was immeasurably ahead of his own generation ; but still, actuated by the true impulse of benevolence, it felt little joy in rushing forward, in its solitary greatness, while every step created a wider chasm between itself and the vast multitude that were plodding on or halting behind. Hence his assiduous labors to diffuse the knowledge which irradiated his own mind, and overthrow those baseless fabrics whose tottering foundations and worthless materials his sagacity early penetrated, and now longed to expose. It was one of the leading objects of his new philosophy to unfold the proper motives for pursuing, and the proper mode of investigating,

and arriving at the truth, or knowledge, with which, in Bacon's verbology, it was always syonymous. He detected various errors in the mode of pursuing science, prevalent in his day, which impeded the progress of knowledge. The principal of these originated in ‘mistaking its end and scope,' and 'from handling it by parts.' He accordingly finds fault, not only with those who have sought knowledge for itself

, and not for benefit, or ostentation, or any practical enablement in the course of their life,' but with those too who have propounded to themselves a wrong mark, namely, satisfaction, or causes of things that tallied with their own anticipative notions, with little or no regard to their conducement to practical purposes, or farther discoveries' According to Bacon – which indeed every one must acknowledge to be a just representation — 'the true end, scope, or office of knowledge, does not consist in any plausible, delectable, reverend, or admired discourse, or any satisfactory arguments, but in effecting and working, and in discovery of particulars not rerealed before, for the better conduct and help of man's life.' Here is presented, in one luminous statement, the grand object of Lord Bacon's labors; the converging point of all his achievements ; the final realization of which was spread out before his mental vision in one brilliant perspective, cheering his mind under the pressure of its cares, and inspiriting it onward to more vigorous efforts in the field of its arduous exertion.

The peculiar grandeur, prophetic depth, as well as confiding sanguineness of his views of the future progress of knowledge, cannot be better illustrated, than by the following striking passage found in his tract styled Valerius Terminus, or the Interpretation of Nature.'

It is true that there is a limitation rather potential than actual, which is when the effect is possible, but the time or place yieldeth not the matter or basis whereupon man would work. But notwithstanding these precincts and bounds, let it be believed, and appeal thereof made to time, with renunciation, nevertheless, to all the vain and abusing promises of the alchymists and magicians, and such like light, idle, ignorant, credulous and fantastical wits and sects, that the new-found world of land was not greater addition to the ancient continent than there remaineth at this day a world of inventions and sciences unknown, having respect to those that are known, with this difference, that the ancient regions of knowledge will seem as barbarous, compared with the new, as the new regions of people seem barbarous compared to many of the old.' How splendidly have these anticipations been realized by mankind since Bacon's time! We certainly have reason to believe that large encroachments have been made on the terra incognita of possible inventions and improvements, within the lapse of the last thirty years. The steam-boat, the cotton-gin, and the rail-road - the profound discoveries of modern chemistry, of natural history, and of the arts in general — attest the rich capabilities of the human mind, and the almost inexhaustible resources of nature. They show us not only what man has done, but what he may do, and make it perfectly credible, that the future is richer than the present, as the present is richer than the past, in all that contributes to the multiplication of human power over the elements of nature, and their reduction to the purposes of human civilization and happiness. It would be interesting to inquire to what extent the world is indebted to the great master of the inductive philosophy for the present flourishing state of the arts and sciences, and the glorious advances that have been made in them during the present century, in their applications to the wants of humanity. But the inquiry would be as difficult as it would be interesting. No mortal mind could come to a satisfactory conclusion, by attempting to reason it out. But Conjecture might innocently employ herself in the task, and come to no very wild conclusion, should she declare, that no tongue could tell or imagination conceive the priceless benefits that have already resulted, and are still to result, from the labors of that illustrious friend of mankind.

We have already adverted to the blessings which Lord Bacon has conferred on our race. They are diversified, numerous, and invaluable. If we should attempt to calculate their numerical extent, we should find them defying a'l arithmetical analysis ; for Imagination herself might well retreat from a task that would send her abroad to interrogate the wide dominion of art, and the almost limitless world of intellectual life. But she would come back with answer of eloquent and most satisfactory fulness. What a glorious procession of mighty thoughts, of brilliant inventions, and of beautiful illustrations, would pass in review before the eager gaze of a truthloving and curious eye! Nor would such a review be superfluous or unnecessary. Men have, it is true, cherished the name of the great inductive chief with some respect. They have styled him the father of experimental science,' the Columbus of the philosophical world - and so far it is well. But who will assert that reverence enough has been paid, or probably ever will be paid, to so great a benefactor ?

Ingratitude is, after all, too often the infirmity of man, whether considered as an individual or as a member of society. Notwithstanding our natural susceptibility of grateful emotions, it is still true, that without a constant care and recollection on our part, this susceptibility will lose its vigor, and fail to discharge its legitimate office. It is a necessary result of our physical and mental organization, that we should cease to have a vivid sense of things when they have passed beyond our cognitive perceptions, and when other objects have begun to occupy the immediate notice of the senses. It is owing to this imperfection and constituted treachery of memory, that benefits and benefactors are so soon forgotten. They give way before a jostling multitude of present objects, rushing in at the various avenues of the soul, destined in their turn to be driven forth, and to sink like lead into the ocean of forgetfulness.

All profess to admire the genius and labors of Bacon ; but how much of our homage is more than mere lip-service! It is easy to learn the language of laudation, but not so easy to use it intelligently and feelingly. We may do so, without knowing or caring to know a single characteristic that makes it just. But to feel a genuine admiration, we must have a sight of the object - we must view it long and steadily; otherwise, our conceptions of its real nature will remain partial and unsatisfactory, and our pretensions to criticism, and our notes of praise, be equally contemptible.

The name and character of this illustrious man surely ought to



be dear to every lover of science, and every friend of his race. So large, various, and rich were his offerings at the shrine of knowledge; so immense his contributions to the cause of truth; so vigorous the touch by him communicated to the human mind; that his worship should be found cóextensive with the limits of humanity. If then we would pay acceptable service to his memory, let us recollect that it can be done in no other way than by studying his immortal works, and gazing on the image of his character there mirrored forth. By so doing, we shall gain a correct and an exalted impression of his moral and intellectual qualities. In the solemn magnificence of his style, and manner both of expression and illustration in the majesty of his thoughts, and the elevation of his sentiments — we have a sort of loquens pictura of the man from whose capacious intellect they burst into existence. His views of things, of knowledge, and of nature, are grand and impressive. They were evidently the views of a feeling, thoughtful, and somewhat enthusiastic mind, and as far removed from the sordidness of a selfish and venial spirit, as earth from Heaven. No reader can faithfully peruse his essays, or the • Advancement of Learning,' or even almost a single fragment bearing the impress of his hand, without inhaling a particle of that divinity, goodness, solid wisdom, and deep veneration for the great interests of humanity, with which they are every where richly impregnated. But yet Lord Bacon was not faultless. He was sometimes wrong in his philosophy, and many of his opinions were evidently tinged with superstition, while others were superficial and unjust. He had, it is true, broken the chains of scholastic babble and time-honored dogmatism ; but the rust that he could not remove, and the stiffness they had necessarily imparted to his intellectual motions, even when freedom from their galling embrace was fully attained, were the impediments that retarded, though they did not prevent, his onward march — they precluded the universality, but did not check the certainty, or eclipse the glory, of his triumph. The virtues and faults of such a man cannot but be an intensely interesting subject of inquiry. He who occupies so proud a niche in the temple of fame, must of necessity acquire, even for the minuter features of his character, a closer inspection than they probably deserve. The fact, however, that they were the characteristics of one of the intellectual sovereigns of the human race, invests them with an accredited title, if commendable, to a warmer, a louder praise — if censurable, to a severer, and of course a more public, reprobation. At least, such is the practice of the world — whether just or not, is another question. It is familiar to every one, that the character of Lord Bacon, considered in this important aspect, has suffered under severe, and it cannot be said entirely unjust, imputations. Charges of extensive corruption, in the discharge of his high duties as Lord Chancellor of England, were made against him, and partially established, in consequence of which he was degraded from his high dignities, and for a while plunged in deep disgrace. Yet we cannot but think that he has been condemned in a spirit too stern, and in terms too harsh and unsympathizing. That his reputation has suffered far more than the established facts of the case warrant, is an opinion which has long been held by a few, and which, as it is said, is so well supported

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