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She encouraged the troops by her cheerfulness and heroism, ministered to the sick, and dressed with her own hands the wounds of the captives as well as of their victors. When her husband was imprisoned on groundless suspicions, she laboured without ceasing for his deliverance, confounded his oppressors by her eloquence and arguments, tended him with unshaken fortitude in sickness and solitude, and, after his decease, dedicated herself to form his children to the example of his virtues; and drew up the memorial, which is now before us, of his worth and her own genius and affection. All this, too, she did without stepping beyond the province of a private woman, without hunting after compliments to her own genius or beautywithout sneering at the dulness, or murmuring at the coldness of her husband, without hazarding the fall of her country on the dictates of her own enthusiasm, or fancying that she was born with talents to enchant and regenerate the world. With equal power of discriminating character, with equal candour and eloquence and zeal for the public good, she is elevated beyond her French competitor by superior prudence and modesty, and by à certain simplicity and purity of character, of which, it appears to us, that the other was unable to form a conception.
Remarks on the writings of Lord Bacon, translated from the lectures of M. Garat, professor of metaphysics in the Normal schools of
THE first of the inventors of the analysis of the human understanding, and undoubtedly the first in genius, as well as in date, is Lord Bacon. Scarce had he formed his first ideas on the faculties of the mind, and on the means of directing the exercise of them, when it seemed that nature introduced him to the revelations of a genius superior to mankind, and placed him in the midst of the sciences and of the learned as their universal legislator, and the sovereign of their empire. All his expressions and his ideas breathe that air of grandeur which announces the man who comes into the world in order to change all opinions, and to regenerate and revise the whole circle of the sciences. In his first work, De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum, he embraces every subject of human knowledge, as if every branch of learning were equally under his dominion. He introduces new divisions of the sciences which serve to illustrate their progress, and points out new methods of improvement which will enlarge their sphere. He
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erects, in the midst of the ages of literature, of science and philosophy, a tribunal of censure, before which he summons and brings forward every thing that has been imagined and written in every age of the world. He separates truth from error; and while he justly estimates what has been done, he traces the outlines of the vaster plan which remains to be accomplished. He notices the deceitful paths in which mankind has been led astray, and he shuts them up for ever; he describes and opens new paths on every side; and, as he expresses the idea himself, in a style glittering with imagery, which adds to the lustre of reason without diminishing its accuracy, he bears no resemblance to those statues which are erected on the roads, and which point out with their fingers the route which passengers ought to follow, and are themselves mute and immovable. When he discovers a new way, he is the first to enter on it himself; he takes the first steps, which are by far the most difficult; he speaks to the travellers whose progress he directs; and when he separates from them, he instructs them how they are to proceed when he is no longer by their side or at their head. In his second work, which might be expected to be superior to the foregoing, because it is the character of true genius to be continually improving,-in his Novum Organum, his views became so extensive, that they may be considered as universal; in this work, he does not follow the sciences one after another in order to lay down particular rules for each separately, but he embraces those general principles which must become the laws and lights for all the sciences combined together.
"I shall not act, (says Bacon himself) like those travellers, who, being desirous of visiting and examining a temple, which had been designedly darkened, in order to appear more venerable, employ themselves in walking with a lamp in their hands from sanctuary to sanctuary, and from altar to altar, and while they enlighten one part of the temple, leave the greater part of it in darkness: I shall suspend, in the middle of the dome, a chandelier, which, by lighting the whole building at once, will exhibit under one point of view the altar and the images of all the gods."
Notwithstanding the boldness of this flight, which seems extravagant even for the genius of Bacon, an extreme circumspection, I might even say, an extreme timidity, appears to predominate in all his positions, and all his means of execution. In every age that preceded the time of Bacon, and which claimed the title of an age of learning, in the schools of the philosophers of Greece, and in those of the doctors of Europe, after the most superficial observation of the phenomena of nature which the universe presents, and oftentimes without any previous observation, men of learning elevated themselves, or rather took
flight in a manner, to the most vague and general principles respecting the theory of the world and its inhabitants. An opinion seemed to prevail, that, in order to explain the theory of the universe, it was not necessary to study it, but to account for its laws by the reveries of imagination, and not by the qualities which we perceive by our senses, or discover by our experiments. How different is the method which Bacon proposes, or rather reveals; and how well. authorized is he to give to his method the original title of the New Organ, Novum Organum! To examine and collect from every quarter all the acknowledged facts and phenomena, both those that escape from our attention' because they are always before our eyes, and those which are withdrawn from our senses by their distance, or by the mysterious veils in which they are shrouded, to submit continually to new experiments, Nature, which, like Proteus, conceals herself under a thousand different shapes, and becomes visible only to those who torment and fetter her by a thousand artifices; to trace, for the relief of the memory, and for the precision of knowledge, an extensive arrangement of facts, phenomena, and observations, which are connected together by the general analogy that subsists between them; to exhibit at the same time similar arrangements, in which the facts which seem to belong to the same classes and the same analogy, lead to contradictory conclusions; to observe and contemplate with patience the vast assemblage of facts, thus connected and arranged, before any conclusion is drawn from them, or any general principle: to watch with scrupulous attention that the principle which may be adopted, should be commensurate with actual observation and experiment; by the dawning light of a confined principle, to pass to new experiments which this principle may give birth to, to the observations of new facts and new phenomena; to class and arrange them in the same manner in a double series, sometimes by the similarity of their appearances, and by the contradictory nature of their effects, sometimes by the identity of effects, when appearances are contradictory; to draw from these, principles more extensive than the former, but always limited by the circumference of the facts and phenomena which they have embraced; from these new principles to descend to new facts, to new experiments and new observations,. in order to raise our views to more comprehensive principles, and to descend again to the study of facts in order to arrive by regular succession at axioms still more general; to turn without being fatigued in that circle, which is not, like most logical propositions, an imperfect all ins circle, but a circle in which nature herself revolves her transformations and her operations; to endeavour incessantly to discover how STER things are made, a discovery which may be useful to us, and which iteral is so difficult to find a satisfactory explanation of, and never to make nuova
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inquiries why they are made, which may be imagined in a hundred different manners, without adding any thing to the power or the happiness of man; to abandon to contemplation, to the cloisters and the altars, the philosophy of final causes, which, like the rod consecrated to heaven, produces nothing; and to cultivate without relaxation experimental philosophy, which, pursuing Nature into her mines and furnaces, becomes laborious and fruitful like Nature herself, and produces every day some new blessing in conjunction with her new labours:such is the method of Bacon; that method which has changed the face of the sciences, as the sciences, since the time of Bacon, have changed the face of the world. The inexhaustible fertility of Bacon's genius has invented and proposed experiments which can hardly be accomplished by the united labours of the learned of every age. He wanted himself the leisure, the means, and the instruments, and undoubtedly the talents to enable him to prosecute them with success. Several of the most ingenious have been since projected and executed, and many which he proposed have been found to be impracticable and useless. In the age in which nature placed him, and in the elevation which he reached by his own genius in the midst of the sciences, his thoughts were oftentimes more properly conjectures.than well-grounded observations. But there is a fact which I must mention, not only because it forms the firmest foundation for Bacon's glory, but likewise because it will naturally furnish you with a more just and extensive idea of the great though not undisputed utility of the analysis of the human understanding.
The three noblest discoveries of Newton, and perhaps the noblest that have been made in any age, are the system of attraction, the explanation of the tide, and the discovery of the theory of colours by the analysis of light. But Newton in demonstrating these three great laws of nature only reduced to experiment and calculation three general observations of Bacon. I call them observations and not conjectures; for he alludes to these several times in his different works, they bear the marks of his method of considering the phenomena of nature, and he has himself pointed out experiments which bear a strong resemblance to those which have been since made. The glory of these important discoveries ought therefore to be shared between Newton and Bacon, and between the analysis of the understanding, and the science of geometry; for the analysis of the understanding was the instrument of Bacon, in the same manner as geometry was the instrument of Newton. Natural philosophy and metaphysics, the extent of which is immense, were not sufficient to engross the comprehensive genius of Bacon. We may observe in general, that in Europe the cultivation of aucicnt literature has retarded the progress of philosophy; and philo
NEW ENGLISH DICTIONARY.
sophy, which has not been always in the right, has affected a great disdain for that department of knowledge. But Bacon, being placed at an equal distance between the cultivators of classical knowledge and the philosophers, has this distinguishing mark among all writers, that he is at the same time, the person who has opened the avenues of science, and the most boundless views of improvement for future ages, and who likewise possessed in the highest degree whatever was great and beautiful in the writings and inventions of former times. The most striking events in antiquity, its most brilliant thoughts, its richest and happiest expressions, and most ingenious sentiments were constantly present to the memory of Bacon; and his genius improved and embellished these still more by introducing them in his works. The ancient mythology had among its divinities, a god who was represented with two faces, one turned towards past ages, which he surveyed at one glance, and the other turned towards future times, which, though not yet in existence, were comprehended within his view; we may say with propriety, that such a representation is the image and emblem of the genius of Bacon.
NEW ENGLISH DICTIONARY.
THE following scheme is not the hair-brained device of a vision ary projector. It is sensible, practicable, and praise-worthy. We believe if Mr. Crabb's plan could be fully realized, we should have a perfect standard of the English tongue. Editor.
Proposal for editing an English Dictionary, under the direction of a Society, addressed to the Editor of the Monthly Mirror.
HAVING observed of late proposals from different quarters, for publishing an improved dictionary of the English language, I feel myself induced to offer my sentiments on this subject, which I request the favour of making public through the medium of your highly esteemed Miscellany. It must be acknowledged by all that a work of this nature is in a peculiar manner a national concern, that it ought to be at once the repository and standard for the literature of a people, and that it derives its whole value from the degree of confidence which it enjoys from the public. Instead, therefore, of multiplying the rash attempts of individuals to effect what surpasses the powers of any one man, and thus crowding on the world several ponderous works of the same kind, no one of which is complete, I cannot help thinking that if