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“tinued and judicious conversing among the pure authors digested, “ which they scarce taste.” “Ideem it to be an old errour of uni“ versities, not well recovered from scholastic grossness of barbarous

ages, that instead of beginning with arts most easy, (and those be “such as are most obvious to the sense, they present their young “ unmatriculated noviees at first coming with the most intellective abstractions of logic and methaphysics.” Cicero, says Middleton,

made it his constant care that the progress of his knowledge should keep pace with the improvement of his eloquence. He considered the one as the foundation of the other, and thought it in vain to acquire ornaments before he had provided necessary furniture.

I subjoin the following observations from a MS. in my possession ; by whom it was written I know not:

“ The defects here noted in the universities seem to have cured “ themselves. Logic, by the supineness of teachers, and indolence “ of pupils, having become a mere dead letter : nothing however has

been properly substituted in its place, and the crude, hasty, and “ injudicious method in which mathematics are taught in one uni“ versity, seems little preferable to the absolute neglect of them in " the other. In both the genuine sources of information, the antient “writers have been too much neglected, and from the same neglect “has proceeded the downfall of logic, as well as mathematics. Since “ neither in the first is Aristotle, or his parest Greek commentators, “ Simplicius and Philopinus regarded ; nor in the latter have the “ elegant inventions recorded in Pappus and Archimedes, the Analytical “ restitutions which Vieta and Halley have given from Apollonius, the “ genuine conic geometry of the same author, the spheries of “ Theodosius and Menceaus, the remains of Theon and Eutocius, “of Eratosthenes and Hero, been sufficiently attended, to which, “and to the successful use of the new methods of calculus, it has

happened that mathematics as they are now cultivated have much “ departed from that perspicuity and evidence which ought always to “ be their character.

“I make it therefore a desideratum that the use and effect of the “antient Analysis be well considered both in plane and solid pro“blems, since it is certain that its use did extend very far among the “antients, and the restitution of it would very much improve the “ construction of problems, which are always less perspicuously, many times less easily treated by common Algebra.

“ Something of this kind, though not generally known, is to be “ found in an unpublished MS. of Sir Isaac Newton, de Geometria “ libri tres, great part of which is perfect.

“ The true theory of the Porisms, imperfectly found in Pappus, given up as unintelligible by Halley, inadequately attempted by the “ acute Fermat, and laboured with much unavailing industry by “Rob. Simson, may be said to be at last completely ascertained " by Professor Playfair of Edinburgh."


Referring to page xx of Analysis. Bacon arranges the History of Arts as a species of Natural History. This subject is much improved in the treatise “ De Augmentis,” where he states his reasons for this arrangement, (See

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chap. 2. book 2. De Aug.) saying, We are the rather induced to “assign the History of Arts, as a branch of Natural History, because “an opinion hath long time gone current, as if art were some different “thing from nuture, and artificial from natural.The same sentiment is expressed both by Sir Thomas Brown and by Shakspeare. Brown says, “ Nature is not at variance with art; nor art with nature : they

being both the servants of the Providence of God. Art is the per“ fection of nature: were the world now as it was the sixth day, “ there were yet a chaos. Nature hath made one world, and art “ another. In brief, all things are artificial : for, nature is the art “ of God.” So Shakspeare says,

Perdita. For I have heard it said,
“ There is an art, which in their piedness shares

With great creating nature.

Pol. Say there be,
“ Yet nature is made better by no mean,
“ But nature makes that mean;
“ So over that art, which you say adds to nature,
“ Is an art that nature makes ; you see, sweet maid,
“We marry a gentle scyon to the wildest stock,
“ And make conceive a bark of baser kind
“ By bud of nobler race. This is an art,
“ Which does mend nature, change it rather; but
“ The art itself is nature.”

Referring to page xxxi of Analysis.
This note is referred to the treatise De Augmentis.

Referring to page xliii of Analysis.
See as to the nature of credulity under Phantastical Learning,
ante page viii of Analysis, and page 42 of this work. See also Nov.
Org. Ap. 9.

“ The mind has the peculiar and constant error of being more “ moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives, whereas it ' should duly and equally yield to both. But, on the contrary, in “ the raising of true axionis, negative instances have the greatest “ force.

The mind of man, if a thing have once been existent, and held good, receives a deeper impresssion thereof, than if the samne thing “ far more often failed and fell out otherwise : which is the root, as it were, of all superstition and vain credulity.”

Bacon, in his experiments respecting antipathy in his Sylva Sylvarum, speaking of “ the supposed sympathies between persons at distant places, says, “ it is true that they may hold in these " things which is the general root of superstition, namely that men “ observe when things hit, and not when they miss : and commit to memory the one, and forget and pass over the other.”

NOTE Q. Referring to page xliii of Analysis. “ The spirit of man pre-supposes and feigns a greater equality

" and uniformity in nature than in truth there is. Hence that fiction of the mathematicians that in the heavenly bodies all is moved by “ perfect circles, rejecting spiral lines. So it comes to pass that “ whereas there are inany things in nature, as it were, monodica and “ full of imparity; yet the conceits of men still feign and frame unto “themselves relatives; parallels and conjugates : for upon this ground " the element of fire and its orb is brought in to keep square with " the other three, earth, water, air. The chemists have set out a " fanatical squadron of words, feigning by a most vain conceit in " these their four elements (heaven, air, water and eartb) there are to “ be found to every one parallel and uniform species."

As the northern part of the earth was supposed to be a hemis“phere, the southern part was assumed to be of the same forin.

“ Bacon says, ' In the structure of the universe the motion of living creatures is generally performed by quadruple limits or “ flexures: as the fins of fish; the feet of quadrupeds; and the “ feet and wings of fowl.”—To which Aristotle adds, “ the four “ wreaths of serpents.'

“ That produce increases in an arithmetic and population in a “ geometric ratio, is a position which seems to partake of the love “ of uniformity." See Novum Organum, Aph. 45.


Referring to page xliii of Analysis. Bacon's doctrine of idols of the understanding is more fully explained in the beginning of the Novum Organum, where these idols or tendencies of the mind to be warped from the truth are investigated and deprecated. He then explains, that if these idols once take root in the mind, truth will hardly find entrance, or if it do, that it will be choaked and destroyed, and he warns us that “ Idols are to be

solemnly and for ever renounced, that the understanding may be “ thereby purged and cleansed; for the kingdom of man, which is

founded in the sciences, can scarce be entered otherwise than the “ kingdom of God, that is, in the condition of little children."

And in his introduction to the just method of compiling history, he says; “ If we have any humility towards the Creator; if we have any

reverence and esteem of his works ; if we have any charity towards

mer, or any desire of relieving their miseries and necessities; if “we have any love for natural truths; any aversion to darkness; and

any desire of purifying the understanding ; mankind are to be most “ affectionately intreated, and beseeched, to lay aside, at least for a “while, their preposterous, fantastick and hypothetical philosophies, “ which have led experience captive, and childishly triumphed over “ the works of God; and now at length condescend, with due sub

mission and veneration, to approach and peruse the volume of " the Creation; dwell some time upon it; and, bringing to the “ work a mind well purged of opinions, idols and false notions, “ converse familiarly therein. This volume is the language which “has gone out to all the ends of the earth, unaffected by the con“fusion of Babel; this is the language that men should thoroughly “ learn, and not disdain to have its alphabet perpetually in their “hands : and in the interpretation of this language they should “ spare no pains; but strenuously proceed persevere and dweh upon “ it to the last."

Bacon having explained the general nature of idols, and demonstrated the importance of destroying them, divides them into four sorts : but they seem to be reducible to two, which may be thus exhibited.

1. Of the tribe. 1. General.

2. Of the market. 2. Particular. {!. Of the den.

12. Of the theatre. “ Speaking of Idols of the Tribe, he says, “There are certain predispositions which beset the mind of man: certain idols which " are constantly operating upon the mind and warping it from the “ truth; the mind of man, drawn over and clouded with the sable “pavilion of the body, is so far from being like a smooth, equal

and clear glass, which might sincerely take and reflect the beams “ of things according to their true incidence, that it is rather like “ an enchanted glass full of superstitions and impostures.”

Having explained the nature of some of the “ Idols of the Tribe," he explains the “ Idols of the Den,” or those prejudices which result from the false appearances imposed by every man's own peculiar nature and custom. “ We every one of us have our particular den or “ cavern which refracts and corrupts the light of nature, either be

cause every man has his respective temper, education, acquaintance, course of reading and authorities, or from the difference of im

pressions, as they happen in a mind prejudiced or prepossessed, or “ in one that is calm and equal. The faculties of some men are “confined to poetry: of some to mathematics : of some to morals: of " some to metaphysics. The schoolmaster, the lawyer, the physician, “ have their several and peculiar ways of observing nature.”

NOTE S. Referring to page xliii of Analysis.-See the last Note. The prejudices from words are what Bacon calls, “ idols of the “market,” which are fully explained in the Novum Organum, where there is an expansion of the following doctrine.

“ There are also idols that have their rise, as it were, from compact, and the association of mankind; which, on account of the

commerce and dealings that men have with one another, we call “ idols of the market. For men associate by discourse, but words

are imposed according to the capacity of the vulgar; whence a “ false and improper imposition of words strangely possesses the “ understanding. Nor do the definitions and explanations wherewith “ men of learning in some cases defend and vindicate themselves, any “ way repair the injury; for words absolutely force the understand“ing, put all things in confusion, and lead men away to idle contro“ versies and subtleties without number.”

This important subject is investigated in the Novum Organum, where the different defects of words are explained.

NOTE T. Referring to page xliv of Analysis. This important subject of memory is investigated in the Novum Organum, under the head of “ Constituent Instances," and may be thus exhibited.

1. When the mind is 1. The state of the

free. mind of the

2. When the mind is 1. The art of making patient.

agitated. strong impres

f1. Variety of impres. sions.

2. By the conduct sion.
of the agent.

2. Slowness of Im


(1. Order. II. The art of recall.

1. Cutting off infi- 2. Places for artificial ing a given im

13. Technical memory

nity. pression.

2. Reducing intellectual to sensible things. That impressions are strongly made when the mind is free and disengaged, may appear from the permanent impressions made in early life, which often remain in old age, when all intermediate impressions are forgotten.

That impressions may be strongly made when the mind is influenced by passion, may be illustrated by the following anecdote, from the Life of Benvenuto Cellini, who says, “My father happened to be in a little “ room in which they had been washing, and where there was a good “ fire of oak burning, with a fiddle in his hand he sang and played “ near the fire; the weather being exceeding cold, he looked at this “ time into the fames and saw a little animal resembling a lizard, “ which could live in the hottest part of that element: instantly per“ ceiving what it was, he called for my sister, and, after he had showa. “us the creature, he gave me a box of the ear: I fell a crying, while “ he soothing me with his caresses, spoke these words, “My dear “child, I don't give you that box for any fault you have com“mitted, but that you may recollect that this little creature which “ you see in the fire, is a salamander.'” Instances of the same nature occur daily, of which one of the most common and practical is the custom, when boys walk the boundaries of parishes, for the officer to strike the boy, that he may remember in eld age the boundery which he walked; so that Bacon's doctrine seems to be well founded, that these things which make an impression by means of strong affection or passion assist the memory. The mind when disturbed, being, for this purpose, free from the same cause, the exclusion of all thought but the predominant passion.

That strong impressions are produced by a variety of circumstances, appears by “proving the same geometrical proposition by different forms of

proofs, as algebraic and geometric, &c. Reading the same several “ truths in prose and in verse, and in different styles in each, &c.”

That impressions ought not to be too hastily made, may be inferred from the old adage, that “ great wits have short memories.

With respect to cutting oj infinity, or what Bacon terms, “the limita“ tion of an indefinite seeking to an inquiry within a narrow compass."

The first mode is, he says, by order or distribution ; the second by places for artificial memory; which he says, “ May either be places in a proper sense, as a door, a window, a corner, &c., or familiar and * known persons, or any known persons, or any other things " at pleasure: provided they be placed in a certain order, as “ animals, plants, words, letters, characters, historical personages, "&c., though some of these are more, and some less fit for the

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