Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1 - "Austria, Lower" to "Bacon"
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[v.03 p.0144] Bacon's Works and Philosophy.

A complete survey of Bacon's works and an estimate of his place in literature and philosophy are matters for a volume. It is here proposed merely to classify the works, to indicate their general character and to enter somewhat more in detail upon what he himself regarded as his great achievement,—the reorganization of the sciences and the exposition of a new method by which the human mind might proceed with security and certainty towards the true end of all human thought and action.

Putting aside the letters and occasional writings, we may conveniently distribute the other works into three classes, Professional, Literary, Philosophical. The Professional works include the Reading on the Statute of Uses, the Maxims of Law and the treatise (possibly spurious) on the Use of the Law. "I am in good hope," said Bacon himself, "that when Sir Edward Coke's reports and my rules and decisions shall come to posterity, there will be (whatsoever is now thought) question who was the greater lawyer." If Coke's reports show completer mastery of technical details, greater knowledge of precedent, and more of the dogged grasp of the letter than do Bacon's legal writings, there can be no dispute that the latter exhibit an infinitely more comprehensive intelligence of the abstract principles of jurisprudence, with a richness and ethical fulness that more than compensate for their lack of dry legal detail. Bacon seems indeed to have been a lawyer of the first order, with a keen scientific insight into the bearings of isolated facts and a power of generalization which admirably fitted him for the self-imposed task, unfortunately never completed, of digesting or codifying the chaotic mass of the English law.

Among the literary works are included all that he himself designated moral and historical pieces, and to these may be added some theological and minor writings, such as the Apophthegms. Of the moral works the most valuable are the Essays, which have been so widely read and universally admired. The matter is of the familiar, practical kind, that "comes home to men's bosoms." The thoughts are weighty, and even when not original have acquired a peculiar and unique tone or cast by passing through the crucible of Bacon's mind. A sentence from the Essays can rarely be mistaken for the production of any other writer. The short, pithy sayings have become popular mottoes and household words. The style is quaint, original, abounding in allusions and witticisms, and rich, even to gorgeousness, with piled-up analogies and metaphors.[46] The first edition contained only ten essays, but the number was increased in 1612 to thirty-eight, and in 1625 to fifty-eight. The short tract, Colours of Good and Evil, which with the Meditationes Sacrae originally accompanied the Essays, was afterwards incorporated with the De Augmentis. Along with these works may be classed the curiously learned piece, De Sapientia Veterum, in which he works out a favourite idea, that the mythological fables of the Greeks were allegorical and concealed the deepest truths of their philosophy. As a scientific explanation of the myths the theory is of no value, but it affords fine scope for the exercise of Bacon's unrivalled power of detecting analogies in things apparently most dissimilar. The Apophthegms, though hardly deserving Macaulay's praise of being the best collection of jests in the world, contain a number of those significant anecdotes which Bacon used with such effect in his other writings. Of the historical works, besides a few fragments of the projected history of Britain there remains the History of Henry VII., a valuable work, giving a clear and animated narrative of the reign, and characterizing Henry with great skill. The style is in harmony with the matter, vigorous and flowing, but naturally with less of the quaintness and richness suitable to more thoughtful and original writings. The series of the literary works is completed by the minor treatises on theological or ecclesiastical questions. Some of the latter, included among the occasional works, are sagacious and prudent and deserve careful study. Of the former, the principal specimens are the Meditationes Sacrae and the Confession of Faith. The Paradoxes (Characters of a believing Christian in paradoxes, and seeming contradictions), which was often and justly suspected, has been conclusively proved by Grosart to be the work of another author.

Philosophical Works.—The great mass of Bacon's writings consists of treatises or fragments, which either formed integral parts of his grand comprehensive scheme, or were closely connected with it. More exactly they may be classified under three heads: (A) Writings originally intended to form parts of the Instauratio, but which were afterwards superseded or thrown aside; (B) Works connected with the Instauratio, but not directly included in its plan; (C) Writings which actually formed part of the Instauratio Magna.

(A) This class contains some important tracts, which certainly contain little, if anything, that is not afterwards taken up and expanded in the more elaborate works, but are not undeserving of attention, from the difference in the point of view and method of treatment. The most valuable of them are: (1) The Advancement of Learning, of which no detailed account need be given, as it is completely worked up into the De Augmentis, and takes its place as the first part of the Instauratio. (2) Valerius Terminus, a very remarkable piece, composed probably about 1603, though perhaps retouched at a later period. It contains a brief and somewhat obscure outline of the first two parts in the Instauratio, and is of importance as affording us some insight into the gradual development of the system in Bacon's own mind. (3) Temporis Partus Masculus, another curious fragment, remarkable not only from its contents, but from its style, which is arrogant and offensive, in this respect unlike any other writing of Bacon's. The adjective masculus points to the power of bringing forth fruit possessed by the new philosophy, and perhaps indicates that all previous births of time were to be looked upon as feminine or imperfect; it is used in a somewhat similar sense in Letters and Life, vi. 183, "In verbis masculis, no flourishing or painted words, but such words as are fit to go before deeds." (4) Redargutio Philosophiarum, a highly finished piece in the form of an oration, composed probably about 1608 or 1609, and containing in pretty full detail much of what afterwards appears in connexion with the Idola Theatri in book i. of the Novum Organum. (5) Cogitata et Visa, perhaps the most important of the minor philosophical writings, dating from 1607 (though possibly the tract in its present form may have been to some extent altered), and containing in weighty and sonorous Latin the substance of the first book of the Organum. (6) The Descriptio Globi Intellectualis, which is to some extent intermediate between the Advancement and the De Augmentis, goes over in detail the general classification of the sciences, and enters particularly on some points of minor interest. (7) The brief tract De Interpretatione Naturae Sententiae Duodecim is evidently a first sketch of part of the Novum Organum, and in phraseology is almost identical with it. (8) A few smaller pieces, such as the Inquisitio de Motu, the Calor et Frigus, the Historia Soni et Auditus and the Phaenomena Universi, are early specimens of his Natural History, and exhibit the first tentative applications of the new method.

(B) The second group consists of treatises on subjects connected with the Instauratio, but not forming part of it. The most interesting, and in many respects the most remarkable, is the philosophic romance, the New Atlantis, a description of an ideal state in which the principles of the new philosophy are carried out by political machinery and under state guidance, and where many of the results contemplated by Bacon are in imagination attained. The work was to have been completed by the addition of a second part, treating of the laws of a model commonwealth, which was never written. Another important tract is the De Principiis atque Originibus secundum Fabulas Cupidinis et Caeli, where, under the disguise of two old mythological stories, he (in the manner of the Sapientia Veterum) finds the deepest truths [v.03 p.0145] concealed. The tract is unusually interesting, for in it he discusses at some length the limits of science, the origin of things and the nature of primitive matter, giving at the same time full notices of Democritus among the ancient philosophers and of Telesio among the modern. Deserving of attention are also the Cogitationes de Natura Rerum, probably written early, perhaps in 1605, and the treatise on the theory of the tides, De Fluxu et Refluxu Maris, written probably about 1616.

(C) The philosophical works which form part of the Instauratio must of course be classed according to the positions which they respectively hold in that scheme of the sciences.

The great work, the reorganization of the sciences, and the restoration of man to that command over nature which he had lost by the fall, consisted in its final form of six divisions.

I. Partitiones Scientiarum, a survey of the sciences, either such as then existed or such as required to be constructed afresh—in fact, an inventory of all the possessions of the human mind. The famous classification[47] on which this survey proceeds is based upon an analysis of the faculties and objects of human knowledge. This division is represented by the De Augmentis Scientiarum.

II. Interpretatio Naturae.—After the survey of all that has yet been done in the way of discovery or invention, comes the new method, by which the mind of man is to be trained and directed in its progress towards the renovation of science. This division is represented, though only imperfectly, by the Novum Organum, particularly book ii.

III. Historia Naturalis et Experimentalis.—The new method is valueless, because inapplicable, unless it be supplied with materials duly collected and presented—in fact, unless there be formed a competent natural history of the Phaenomena Universi. A short introductory sketch of the requisites of such a natural history, which, according to Bacon, is essential, necessary, the basis totius negotii, is given in the tract Parasceve, appended to the Novum Organum. The principal works intended to form portions of the history, and either published by himself or left in manuscript, are Historia Ventorum, Historia Vitae et Mortis, Historia Densi et Rari, and the extensive collection of facts and observations entitled Sylva Sylvarum.

IV. Scala Intellectus.—It might have been supposed that the new philosophy could now be inaugurated. Materials had been supplied, along with a new method by which they were to be treated, and naturally the next step would be the finished result. But for practical purposes Bacon interposed two divisions between the preliminaries and the philosophy itself. The first was intended to consist of types or examples of investigations conducted by the new method, serviceable for keeping the whole process vividly before the mind, or, as the title indicates, such that the mind could run rapidly up and down the several steps or grades in the process. Of this division there seems to be only one small fragment, the Filum Labyrinthi, consisting of but two or three pages.

V. Prodromi, forerunners of the new philosophy. This part, strictly speaking, is quite extraneous to the general design. According to the Distributio Operis,[48] it was to contain certain speculations of Bacon's own, not formed by the new method, but by the unassisted use of his understanding. These, therefore, form temporary or uncertain anticipations of the new philosophy. There is extant a short preface to this division of the work, and according to Spedding some of the miscellaneous treatises, such as De Principiis, De Fluxu et Refluxu, Cogitationes de Natura Rerum, may probably have been intended to be included under this head. This supposition receives some support from the manner in which the fifth part is spoken of in the Novum Organum, i. 116.

VI. The new philosophy, which is the work of future ages, and the result of the new method.

Bacon's grand motive in his attempt to found the sciences anew was the intense conviction that the knowledge man possessed was of little service to him. "The knowledge whereof the world is now possessed, especially that of nature, extendeth not to magnitude and certainty of works."[49] Man's sovereignty over nature, which is founded on knowledge alone, had been lost, and instead of the free relation between things and the human mind, there was nothing but vain notions and blind experiments. To restore the original commerce between man and nature, and to recover the imperium hominis, is the grand object of all science. The want of success which had hitherto attended efforts in the same direction had been due to many causes, but chiefly to the want of appreciation of the nature of philosophy and its real aim. Philosophy is not the science of things divine and human; it is not the search after truth. "I find that even those that have sought knowledge for itself, and not for benefit or ostentation, or any practical enablement in the course of their life, have nevertheless propounded to themselves a wrong mark, namely, satisfaction (which men call Truth) and not operation."[50] "Is there any such happiness as for a man's mind to be raised above the confusion of things, where he may have the prospect of the order of nature and error of man? But is this a view of delight only and not of discovery? of contentment and not of benefit? Shall he not as well discern the riches of nature's warehouse as the beauty of her shop? Is truth ever barren? Shall he not be able thereby to produce worthy effects, and to endow the life of man with infinite commodities?"[51] Philosophy is altogether practical; it is of little matter to the fortunes of humanity what abstract notions one may entertain concerning the nature and the principles of things.[52] This truth, however, has never yet been recognized;[53] it has not yet been seen that the true aim of all science is "to endow the condition and life of man with new powers or works,"[54] or "to extend more widely the limits of the power and greatness of man."[55] Nevertheless, it is not to be imagined that by this being proposed as the great object of search there is thereby excluded all that has hitherto been looked upon as the higher aims of human life, such as the contemplation of truth. Not so, but by following the new aim we shall also arrive at a true knowledge of the universe in which we are, for without knowledge there is no power; truth and utility are in ultimate aspect the same; "works themselves are of greater value as pledges of truth than as contributing to the comforts of life."[56] Such was the conception of philosophy with which Bacon started, and in which he felt himself to be thoroughly original. As his object was new and hitherto unproposed, so the method he intended to employ was different from all modes of investigation hitherto attempted. "It would be," as he says, "an unsound fancy and self-contradictory, to expect that things which have never yet been done can be done except by means which have never yet been tried."[57] There were many obstacles in his way, and he seems always to have felt that the first part of the new scheme must be a pars destruens, a destructive criticism of all other methods. Opposition was to be expected, not only from previous philosophies, but especially from the human mind itself. In the first place, natural antagonism might be looked for from the two opposed sects, the one of whom, in despair of knowledge, maintained that all science was impossible; while the other, resting on authority and on the learning that had been handed down from the Greeks, declared that science was already completely known, and consequently devoted their energies to methodizing and elaborating it. Secondly, within the domain of science itself, properly so called, there were two "kind of rovers" who must be dismissed. The first were the speculative or logical philosophers, who construe the universe ex analogia hominis, and not ex analogia mundi, who fashion nature according to preconceived ideas, and who employ in their investigations syllogism and abstract reasoning. The second class, who were equally offensive, consisted of those who practised blind experience, which is mere [v.03 p.0146] groping in the dark (vaga experientia mera palpatio est), who occasionally hit upon good works or inventions, which, like Atalanta's apples, distracted them from further steady and gradual progress towards universal truth. In place of these straggling efforts of the unassisted human mind, a graduated system of helps was to be supplied, by the use of which the mind, when placed on the right road, would proceed with unerring and mechanical certainty to the invention of new arts and sciences.

Such were to be the peculiar functions of the new method, though it has not definitely appeared what that method was, or to what objects it could be applied. But, before proceeding to unfold his method, Bacon found it necessary to enter in considerable detail upon the general subject of the obstacles to progress, and devoted nearly the whole of the first book of the Organum to the examination of them. This discussion, though strictly speaking extraneous to the scheme, has always been looked upon as a most important part of his philosophy, and his name is perhaps as much associated with the doctrine of Idols (Idola) as with the theory of induction or the classification of the sciences.

The doctrine of the kinds of fallacies or general classes of errors into which the human mind is prone to fall, appears in many of the works written before the Novum Organum, and the treatment of them varies in some respects. The classification in the Organum, however, not only has the author's sanction, but has received the stamp of historical acceptation; and comparison of the earlier notices, though a point of literary interest, has no important philosophic bearing. The Idola (Nov. Org. i. 39)[58] false notions of things, or erroneous ways of looking at nature, are of four kinds: the first two innate, pertaining to the very nature of the mind and not to be eradicated; the third creeping insensibly into men's minds, and hence in a sense innate and inseparable; the fourth imposed from without. The first kind are the Idola Tribus, idols of the tribe, fallacies incident to humanity or the race in general. Of these, the most prominent are—the proneness to suppose in nature greater order and regularity than there actually is; the tendency to support a preconceived opinion by affirmative instances, neglecting all negative or opposed cases; and the tendency to generalize from few observations, or to give reality to mere abstractions, figments of the mind. Manifold errors also result from the weakness of the senses, which affords scope for mere conjecture; from the influence exercised over the understanding by the will and passions; from the restless desire of the mind to penetrate to the ultimate principles of things; and from the belief that "man is the measure of the universe," whereas, in truth, the world is received by us in a distorted and erroneous manner. The second kind are the Idola Specus, idols of the cave, or errors incident to the peculiar mental or bodily constitution of each individual, for according to the state of the individual's mind is his view of things. Errors of this class are innumerable, because there are numberless varieties of disposition; but some very prominent specimens can be indicated. Such are the tendency to make all things subservient to, or take the colour of some favourite subject, the extreme fondness and reverence either for what is ancient or for what is modern, and excess in noting either differences or resemblances amongst things. A practical rule for avoiding these is also given: "In general let every student of nature take this as a rule, that whatever his mind seizes and dwells upon with particular satisfaction is to be held in suspicion."[59] The third class are the Idola Fori, idols of the market-place, errors arising from the influence exercised over the mind by mere words. This, according to Bacon, is the most troublesome kind of error, and has been especially fatal in philosophy. For words introduce a fallacious mode of looking at things in two ways: first, there are some words that are really merely names for non-existent things, which are yet supposed to exist simply because they have received a name; secondly, there are names hastily and unskilfully abstracted from a few objects and applied recklessly to all that has the faintest analogy with these objects, thus causing the grossest confusion. The fourth and last class are the Idola Theatri, idols of the theatre, i.e. fallacious modes of thinking resulting from received systems of philosophy and from erroneous methods of demonstration. The criticism of the demonstrations is introduced later in close connexion with Bacon's new method; they are the rival modes of procedure, to which his own is definitely opposed. The philosophies which are "redargued" are divided into three classes, the sophistical, of which the best example is Aristotle, who, according to Bacon, forces nature into his abstract schemata and thinks to explain by definitions; the empirical, which from few and limited experiments leaps at once to general conclusions; and the superstitious, which corrupts philosophy by the introduction of poetical and theological notions.

Such are the general causes of the errors that infest the human mind; by their exposure the way is cleared for the introduction of the new method. The nature of this method cannot be understood until it is exactly seen to what it is to be applied. What idea had Bacon of science, and how is his method connected with it? Now, the science[60] which was specially and invariably contemplated by him was natural philosophy, the great mother of all the sciences; it was to him the type of scientific knowledge, and its method was the method of all true science. To discover exactly the characteristics and the object of natural philosophy it is necessary to examine the place it holds in the general scheme furnished in the Advancement or De Augmentis. All human knowledge, it is there laid down, may be referred to man's memory or imagination or reason. In the first, the bare facts presented to sense are collected and stored up; the exposition of them is history, which is either natural or civil. In the second, the materials of sense are separated or divided in ways not corresponding to nature but after the mind's own pleasure, and the result is poesy or feigned history. In the third, the materials are worked up after the model or pattern of nature, though we are prone to err in the progress from sense to reason; the result is philosophy, which is concerned either with God, with nature or with man, the second being the most important. Natural philosophy is again divided into speculative or theoretical and operative or practical, according as the end is contemplation or works. Speculative or theoretical natural philosophy has to deal with natural substances and qualities and is subdivided into physics and metaphysics. Physics inquires into the efficient and material causes of things; metaphysics, into the formal and final causes. The principal objects of physics are concrete substances, or abstract though physical qualities. The research into abstract qualities, the fundamental problem of physics, comes near to the metaphysical study of forms, which indeed differs from the first only in being more general, and in having as its results a form strictly so called, i.e. a nature or quality which is a limitation or specific manifestation of some higher and better-known genus.[61] Natural philosophy is, therefore, in ultimate resort the study of forms, and, consequently, the fundamental problem of philosophy in general is the discovery of these forms.

"On a given body to generate or superinduce a new nature or natures, is the work and aim of human power.... Of a given nature to discover the form or true specific difference, or nature-engendering nature (natura naturans) or source of emanation (for these are the terms which are nearest to a description of the thing), is the work and aim of human knowledge."[62]

The questions, then, whose answers give the key to the whole Baconian philosophy, may be put briefly thus—What are [v.03 p.0147] forms? and how is it that knowledge of them solves both the theoretical and the practical problem of science? Bacon himself, as may be seen from the passage quoted above, finds great difficulty in giving an adequate and exact definition of what he means by a form. As a general description, the following passage from the Novum Organum, ii. 4, may be cited:—

"The form of a nature is such that given the form the nature infallibly follows.... Again, the form is such that if it be taken away the nature infallibly vanishes.... Lastly, the true form is such that it deduces the given nature from some source of being which is inherent in more natures, and which is better known in the natural order of things than the form itself."[63]

From this it would appear that, since by a nature is meant some sensible quality, superinduced upon, or possessed by, a body, so by a form we are to understand the cause of that nature, which cause is itself a determinate case or manifestation of some general or abstract quality inherent in a greater number of objects. But all these are mostly marks by which a form may be recognized, and do not explain what the form really is. A further definition is accordingly attempted in Aph. 13:—

"The form of a thing is the very thing itself, and the thing differs from the form no otherwise than as the apparent differs from the real, or the external from the internal, or the thing in reference to the man from the thing in reference to the universe."

This throws a new light on the question, and from it the inference at once follows, that the forms are the permanent causes or substances underlying all visible phenomena, which are merely manifestations of their activity. Are the forms, then, forces? At times it seems as if Bacon had approximated to this view of the nature of things, for in several passages he identifies forms with laws of activity. Thus, he says—

"When I speak of forms I mean nothing more than those laws and determinations of absolute actuality which govern and constitute any simple nature, as heat, light, weight, in every kind of matter and subject that is susceptible of them. Thus the form of heat or the form of light is the same thing as the law of heat or the law of light."[64] "Matter rather than forms should be the object of our attention, its configurations and changes of configuration, and simple action, and law of action or motion; for forms are figments of the human mind, unless you will call those laws of action forms."[65] "Forms or true differences of things, which are in fact laws of pure act."[66] "For though in nature nothing really exists besides individual bodies, performing pure individual acts according to a fixed law, yet in philosophy this very law, and the investigation, discovery and explanation of it, is the foundation as well of knowledge as of operation. And it is this law, with its clauses, that I mean when I speak of forms."[67]

Several important conclusions may be drawn from these passages. In the first place, it is evident that Bacon, like the Atomical school, of whom he highly approved, had a clear perception and a firm grasp of the physical character of natural principles; his forms are no ideas or abstractions, but highly general physical properties. Further, it is hinted that these general qualities may be looked upon as the modes of action of simple bodies. This fruitful conception, however, Bacon does not work out; and though he uses the word cause, and identifies form with formal cause, yet it is perfectly apparent that the modern notions of cause as dynamical, and of nature as in a process of flow or development, are foreign to him, and that in his view of the ultimate problem of science, cause meant causa immanens, or underlying substance, effects were not consequents but manifestations, and nature was regarded in a purely statical aspect. That this is so appears even more clearly when we examine his general conception of the unity, gradation and function of the sciences. That the sciences are organically connected is a thought common to him and to his distinguished predecessor Roger Bacon. "I that hold it for a great impediment towards the advancement and further invention of knowledge, that particular arts and sciences have been disincorporated from general knowledge, do not understand one and the same thing which Cicero's discourse and the note and conceit of the Grecians in their word circle learning do intend. For I mean not that use which one science hath of another for ornament or help in practice; but I mean it directly of that use by way of supply of light and information, which the particulars and instances of one science do yield and present for the framing or correcting of the axioms of another science in their very truth and notion."[68] In accordance with this, Bacon placed at the basis of the particular sciences which treat of God, nature and man, one fundamental doctrine, the Prima Philosophia, or first philosophy, the function of which was to display the unity of nature by connecting into one body of truth such of the highest axioms of the subordinate sciences as were not special to one science, but common to several.[69] This first philosophy had also to investigate what are called the adventitious or transcendental conditions of essences, such as Much, Little, Like, Unlike, Possible, Impossible, Being, Nothing, the logical discussion of which certainly belonged rather to the laws of reasoning than to the existence of things, but the physical or real treatment of which might be expected to yield answers to such questions as, why certain substances are numerous, others scarce; or why, if like attracts like, iron does not attract iron. Following this summary philosophy come the sciences proper, rising like a pyramid in successive stages, the lowest floor being occupied by natural history or experience, the second by physics, the third, which is next the peak of unity, by metaphysics.[70] The knowledge of the peak, or of the one law which binds nature together, is perhaps denied to man. Of the sciences, physics, as has been already seen, deals with the efficient and material, i.e. with the variable and transient, causes of things. But its inquiries may be directed either towards concrete bodies or towards abstract qualities. The first kind of investigation rises little above mere natural history; but the other is more important and paves the way for metaphysics. It handles the configurations and the appetites or motions of matter. The configurations, or inner structure of bodies, include dense, rare, heavy, light, hot, cold, &c.,—in fact, what are elsewhere called simple natures. Motions[71] are either simple or compound, the latter being the sum of a number of the former. In physics, however, these matters are treated only as regards their material or efficient causes, and the result of inquiry into any one case gives no general rule, but only facilitates invention in some similar instance. Metaphysics, on the other hand, treats of the formal or final cause of[72] these same substances and qualities, and results in a general rule. With regard to forms, the investigation may be directed either towards concrete bodies or towards qualities. But the forms of substances "are so perplexed and complicated, that it is either vain to inquire into them at all, or such inquiry as is possible should be put off for a time, and not entered upon till forms of a more simple nature have been rightly investigated and discussed."[73] "To inquire into the form of a lion, of an oak, or gold, nay, even of water or air, is a vain pursuit; but to inquire the form of dense, rare, hot, cold, &c., as well configurations as motions, which in treating of physic I have in [v.03 p.0148] great part enumerated (I call them forms of the first class), and which (like the letters of the alphabet) are not many, and yet make up and sustain the essences and forms of all substances—this, I say, it is which I am attempting, and which constitutes and defines that part of metaphysic of which we are now inquiring." Physics inquires into the same qualities, but does not push its investigations into ultimate reality or reach the more general causes. We thus at last attain a definite conclusion with regard to forms, and it appears clear that in Bacon's belief the true function of science was the search for a few fundamental physical qualities, highly abstract and general, the combinations of which give rise to the simple natures and complex phenomena around us. His general conception of the universe may therefore be called mechanical or statical; the cause of each phenomenon is supposed to be actually contained in the phenomenon itself, and by a sufficiently accurate process could be sifted out and brought to light. As soon as the causes are known man regains his power over nature, for "whosoever knows any form, knows also the utmost possibility of superinducing that nature upon every variety of matter, and so is less restrained and tied in operation either to the basis of the matter or to the condition of the efficients."[74]

Nature thus presented itself to Bacon's mind as a huge congeries of phenomena, the manifestations of some simple and primitive qualities, which were hid from us by the complexity of the things themselves. The world was a vast labyrinth, amid the windings of which we require some clue or thread whereby we may track our way to knowledge and thence to power. This thread, the filum labyrinthi, is the new method of induction. But, as has been frequently pointed out, the new method could not be applied until facts had been observed and collected. This is an indispensable preliminary. "Man, the servant and interpreter of nature, can do and understand so much, and so much only, as he has observed in fact or in thought of the course of nature; beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything." The proposition that our knowledge of nature necessarily begins with observation and experience, is common to Bacon and many contemporary reformers of science, but he laid peculiar stress upon it, and gave it a new meaning. What he really meant by observation was a competent natural history or collection of facts. "The firm foundations of a purer natural philosophy are laid in natural history."[75] "First of all we must prepare a natural and experimental history, sufficient and good; and this is the foundation of all."[76] The senses and the memory, which collect and store up facts, must be assisted; there must be a ministration of the senses and another of the memory. For not only are instances required, but these must be arranged in such a manner as not to distract or confuse the mind, i.e. tables and arrangements of instances must be constructed. In the preliminary collection the greatest care must be taken that the mind be absolutely free from preconceived ideas; nature is only to be conquered by obedience; man must be merely receptive. "All depends on keeping the eye steadily fixed upon the facts of nature, and so receiving their images simply as they are; for God forbid that we should give out a dream of our own imagination for a pattern of the world; rather may He graciously grant to us to write an apocalypse or true vision of the footsteps of the Creator imprinted on his creatures."[77] Concealed among the facts presented to sense are the causes or forms, and the problem therefore is so to analyse experience[78], so to break it up into pieces, that we shall with certainty and mechanical ease arrive at a true conclusion. This process, which forms the essence of the new method, may in its entirety, as a ministration to the reason, be called a logic; but it differs widely from the ordinary or school logic in end, method and form. Its aim is to acquire command over nature by knowledge, and to invent new arts, whereas the old logic strove only after dialectic victories and the discovery of new arguments. In method the difference is even more fundamental. Hitherto the mode of demonstration had been by the syllogism; but the syllogism is, in many respects, an incompetent weapon. It is compelled to accept its first principles on trust from the science in which it is employed; it cannot cope with the subtlety of nature; and it is radically vitiated by being founded on hastily and inaccurately abstracted notions of things. For a syllogism consists of propositions, propositions of words, and words are the symbols of notions. Now the first step in accurate progress from sense to reason, or true philosophy, is to frame a bona notio or accurate conception of the thing; but the received logic never does this. It flies off at once from experience and particulars to the highest and most general propositions, and from these descends, by the use of middle terms, to axioms of lower generality. Such a mode of procedure may be called anticipatio naturae (for in it reason is allowed to prescribe to things), and is opposed to the true method, the interpretatio naturae, in which reason follows and obeys nature, discovering her secrets by obedience and submission to rule. Lastly, the very form of induction that has been used by logicians in the collection of their instances is a weak and useless thing. It is a mere enumeration of a few known facts, makes no use of exclusions or rejections, concludes precariously, and is always liable to be overthrown by a negative instance.[79] In radical opposition to this method the Baconian induction begins by supplying helps and guides to the senses, whose unassisted information could not be relied on. Notions were formed carefully, and not till after a certain process of induction was completed.[80] The formation of axioms was to be carried on by a gradually ascending scale. "Then and only then may we hope well of the sciences, when in a just scale of ascent and by successive steps, not interrupted or broken, we rise from particulars to lesser axioms; and then to middle axioms, one above the other; and last of all to the most general."[81] Finally the very form of induction itself must be new. "The induction which is to be available for the discovery and demonstration of sciences and arts must analyse nature by proper rejections and exclusions; and then, after a sufficient number of negatives, come to a conclusion on the affirmative instances, which has not yet been done, or even attempted, save only by Plato.[82] ... And this induction must be used not only to discover axioms, but also in the formation of notions."[83] This view of the function of exclusion is closely connected with Bacon's doctrine of forms, [v.03 p.0149] and is in fact dependent upon that theory. But induction is neither the whole of the new method, nor is it applicable to forms only. There are two other grand objects of inquiry: the one, the transformation of concrete bodies; the other, the investigation of the latent powers and the latent schematism or configuration. With regard to the first, in ultimate result it depends upon the theory of forms; for whenever the compound body can be regarded as the sum of certain simple natures, then our knowledge of the forms of these natures gives us the power of superinducing a new nature on the concrete body. As regards the latent process (latens processus) which goes on in all cases of generation and continuous development or motion, we examine carefully, and by quantitative measurements, the gradual growth and change from the first elements to the completed thing. The same kind of investigation may be extended to many cases of natural motion, such as voluntary action or nutrition; and though inquiry is here directed towards concrete bodies, and does not therefore penetrate so deeply into reality as in research for forms, yet great results may be looked for with more confidence. It is to be regretted that Bacon did not complete this portion of his work, in which for the first time he approaches modern conceptions of change. The latent configuration (latens schematismus) or inward structure of the parts of a body must be known before we can hope to superinduce a new nature upon it. This can only be discovered by analysis, which will disclose the ultimate constituents (natural particles, not atoms) of bodies, and lead back the discussion to forms or simple natures, whereby alone can true light be thrown on these obscure questions. Thus, in all cases, scientific explanation depends upon knowledge of forms; all phenomena or secondary qualities are accounted for by being referred to the primary qualities of matter.

The several steps in the inductive investigation of the form of any nature flow readily from the definition of the form itself. For that is always and necessarily present when the nature is present, absent when it is absent, decreases and increases according as the nature decreases and increases. It is therefore requisite for the inquiry to have before us instances in which the nature is present. The list of these is called the table of Essence and Presence. Secondly, we must have instances in which the nature is absent; only as such cases might be infinite, attention should be limited to such of them as are most akin to the instances of presence.[84] The list in this case is called table of Absence in Proximity. Thirdly, we must have a number of instances in which the nature is present in different degrees, either increasing or decreasing in the same subject, or variously present in different subjects. This is the table of Degrees, or Comparison. After the formation of these tables, we proceed to apply what is perhaps the most valuable part of the Baconian method, and that in which the author took most pride, the process of exclusion or rejection. This elimination of the non-essential, grounded on the fundamental propositions with regard to forms, is the most important of Bacon's contributions to the logic of induction, and that in which, as he repeatedly says, his method differs from all previous philosophies. It is evident that if the tables were complete, and our notions of the respective phenomena clear, the process of exclusion would be a merely mechanical counting out, and would infallibly lead to the detection of the cause or form. But it is just as evident that these conditions can never be adequately fulfilled. Bacon saw that his method was impracticable (though he seems to have thought the difficulties not insuperable), and therefore set to work to devise new helps, adminicula. These he enumerates in ii., Aph. 21:—Prerogative Instances, Supports of Induction, Rectification of Induction, Varying the Investigation according to the Nature of the Subject, Prerogative Natures, Limits of Investigation, Application to Practice, Preparations for Investigation, the Ascending and Descending Scale of Axioms. The remainder of the Organum is devoted to a consideration of the twenty-seven classes of Prerogative Instances, and though it contains much that is both luminous and helpful, it adds little to our knowledge of what constitutes the Baconian method. On the other heads we have but a few scattered hints. But although the rigorous requirements of science could only be fulfilled by the employment of all these means, yet in their absence it was permissible to draw from the tables and the exclusion a hypothetical conclusion, the truth of which might be verified by the use of the other processes; such an hypothesis is called fantastically the First Vintage (Vindemiatio). The inductive method, so far as exhibited in the Organum, is exemplified by an investigation into the nature of heat.

Such was the method devised by Bacon, and to which he ascribed the qualities of absolute certainty and mechanical simplicity. But even supposing that this method were accurate and completely unfolded, it is evident that it could only be made applicable and produce fruit when the phenomena of the universe have been very completely tabulated and arranged. In this demand for a complete natural history, Bacon also felt that he was original, and he was deeply impressed with the necessity for it;[85] in fact, he seems occasionally to place an even higher value upon it than upon his Organum. Thus, in the preface to his series of works forming the third part of the Instauratio, he says: "It comes, therefore, to this, that my Organum, even if it were completed, would not without the Natural History much advance the Instauration of the Sciences, whereas the Natural History without the Organum would advance it not a little."[86] But a complete natural history is evidently a thing impossible, and in fact a history can only be collected by attending to the requirements of the Organum. This was seen by Bacon, and what may be regarded as his final opinion on the question is given in the important letter to Jean Antoine Baranzano[87] ("Redemptus": 1590-1622):—"With regard to the multitude of instances by which men may be deterred from the attempt, here is my answer. First, what need to dissemble? Either store of instances must be procured, or the business must be given up. All other ways, however enticing, are impassable. Secondly, the prerogatives of instances, and the mode of experimenting upon experiments of light (which I shall hereafter explain), will diminish the multitude of them very much. Thirdly, what matter, I ask, if the description of the instances should fill six times as many volumes as Pliny's History? ... For the true natural history is to take nothing except instances, connections, observations and canons."[88] The Organum and the History are thus correlative, and form the two equally necessary sides of a true philosophy; by their union the new philosophy is produced.

Summary.—Two questions may be put to any doctrine which professes to effect a radical change in philosophy or science. Is it original? Is it valuable? With regard to the first, it has been already pointed out that Bacon's induction or inductive method is distinctly his own, though it cannot and need not be maintained that the general spirit of his philosophy was entirely new.[89]

The value of the method is the separate and more difficult question. It has been assailed on the most opposite grounds. Macaulay, while admitting the accuracy of the process, denied its efficiency, on the ground that an operation performed naturally was not rendered more easy or efficacious by being subjected to analysis.[90] This objection is curious when confronted with Bacon's reiterated assertion that the natural method pursued by the unassisted human reason is distinctly opposed to his; and it is besides an argument that tells so strongly against many sciences, as to be comparatively worthless when applied to any one. There are, however, more formidable objections against the method. It has been pointed out,[91] and with perfect justice, [v.03 p.0150] that science in its progress has not followed the Baconian method, that no one discovery can be pointed to which can be definitely ascribed to the use of his rules, and that men the most celebrated for their scientific acquirements, while paying homage to the name of Bacon, practically set at naught his most cherished precepts. The reason of this is not far to seek, and has been pointed out by logicians of the most diametrically opposed schools. The mechanical character both of the natural history and of the logical method applied to it resulted necessarily from Bacon's radically false conception of the nature of cause and of the causal relation. The whole logical or scientific problem is treated as if it were one of co-existence, to which in truth the method of exclusion is scarcely applicable, and the assumption is constantly made that each phenomenon has one and only one cause.[92] The inductive formation of axioms by a gradually ascending scale is a route which no science has ever followed, and by which no science could ever make progress. The true scientific procedure is by hypothesis followed up and tested by verification; the most powerful instrument is the deductive method, which Bacon can hardly be said to have recognized. The power of framing hypothesis points to another want in the Baconian doctrine. If that power form part of the true method, then the mind is not wholly passive or recipient; it anticipates nature, and moulds the experience received by it in accordance with its own constructive ideas or conceptions; and yet further, the minds of various investigators can never be reduced to the same dead mechanical level.[93] There will still be room for the scientific use of the imagination and for the creative flashes of genius.[94]

If, then, Bacon himself made no contributions to science, if no discovery can be shown to be due to the use of his rules, if his method be logically defective, and the problem to which it was applied one from its nature incapable of adequate solution, it may not unreasonably be asked, How has he come to be looked upon as the great leader in the reformation of modern science? How is it that he shares with Descartes the honour of inaugurating modern philosophy? To this the true answer seems to be that Bacon owes his position not only to the general spirit of his philosophy, but to the manner in which he worked into a connected system the new mode of thinking, and to the incomparable power and eloquence with which he expounded and enforced it. Like all epoch-making works, the Novum Organum gave expression to ideas which were already beginning to be in the air. The time was ripe for a great change; scholasticism, long decaying, had begun to fall; the authority not only of school doctrines but of the church had been discarded; while here and there a few devoted experimenters were turning with fresh zeal to the unwithered face of nature. The fruitful thoughts which lay under and gave rise to these scattered efforts of the human mind, were gathered up into unity, and reduced to system in the new philosophy of Bacon.[95] It is assuredly little matter for wonder that this philosophy should contain much that is now inapplicable, and that in many respects it should be vitiated by radical errors. The details of the logical method on which its author laid the greatest stress have not been found of practical service;[96] yet the fundamental ideas on which the theory rested, the need for rejecting rash generalization, and the necessity for a critical analysis of experience, are as true and valuable now as they were then. Progress in scientific discovery is made mainly, if not solely, by the employment of hypothesis, and for that no code of rules can be laid down such as Bacon had devised. Yet the framing of hypothesis is no mere random guesswork; it is left not to the imagination alone, but to the scientific imagination. There is required in the process not merely a preliminary critical induction, but a subsequent experimental comparison, verification or proof, the canons of which can be laid down with precision. To formulate and show grounds for these laws is to construct a philosophy of induction, and it must not be forgotten that the first step towards the accomplishment of the task was made by Bacon when he introduced and gave prominence to the powerful logical instrument of exclusion or elimination.

It is curious and significant that in the domain of the moral and metaphysical sciences his influence has been perhaps more powerful, and his authority has been more frequently appealed to, than in that of the physical. This is due, not so much to his expressed opinion that the inductive method was applicable to all the sciences,[97] as to the generally practical, or, one may say, [v.03 p.0151] positive spirit of his system. Theological questions, which had tortured the minds of generations, are by him relegated from the province of reason to that of faith. Even reason must be restrained from striving after ultimate truth; it is one of the errors of the human intellect that it will not rest in general principles, but must push its investigations deeper. Experience and observation are the only remedies against prejudice and error. Into questions of metaphysics, as commonly understood, Bacon can hardly be said to have entered, but a long line of thinkers have drawn inspiration from him, and it is not without justice that he has been looked upon as the originator and guiding spirit of what is known as the empirical school.

Bacon's Influence.—It is impossible within our limits to do more than indicate the influence which Bacon's views have had on subsequent thinkers. The most valuable and complete discussion of the subject is contained in T. Fowler's edition of the Novum Organum (introd. s. 14). It is there argued that, both in philosophy and in natural science, Bacon's influence was immediate and lasting. Under the former head it is pointed out (i.) that the fundamental principle of Locke's Essay, that all our ideas are product of sensation and reflection, is briefly stated in the first aphorism of the Novum Organum, and (ii.) that the whole atmosphere of that treatise is characteristic of the Essay. Bacon is, therefore, regarded by many as the father of what is most characteristic in English psychological speculation. As he himself said, he "rang the bell which called the wits together." In the sphere of ethics he is similarly regarded as a forerunner of the empirical method. The spirit of the De Augmentis (bk. vii.) and the inductive method which is discussed in the Novum Organum are at the root of all theories which have constructed a moral code by an inductive examination of human consciousness and the results of actions. Among such theories utilitarianism especially is the natural result of the application to the phenomenon of conduct of the Baconian experimental method. In this connexion, however, it is important to notice that Hobbes, who had been Bacon's secretary, makes no mention of Baconian induction, nor does he in any of his works make any critical reference to Bacon himself. It would, therefore, appear that Bacon's influence was not immediate.

In the sphere of natural science, Bacon's importance is attested by references to his work in the writings of the principal scientists, not only English, but French, German and Italian. Fowler (op. cit.) has collected from Descartes, Gassendi, S. Sorbiere, Jean Baptiste du Hamel, quotations which show how highly Bacon was regarded by the leaders of the new scientific movement. Sorbiere, who was by no means partial to things English, definitely speaks of him as "celuy qui a le plus puissamment solicite les interests de la physique, et excite le monde a faire des experiences" (Relation d'un voyage en Angleterre, Cologne, 1666, pp. 63-64). It was, however, Voltaire and the encyclopaedists who raised Bacon to the pinnacle of his fame in France, and hailed him as "le pere de la philosophie experimentale" (Lettres sur les Anglois). Condillac, in the same spirit, says of him, "personne n'a mieux connu que lui la cause de nos erreurs." So the Encyclopedie, besides giving a eulogistic article "Baconisme," speaks of him (in d'Alembert's preliminary discourse) as "le plus grand, le plus universel, et le plus eloquent des philosophes." Among other writers, Leibnitz and Huygens give testimony which is the more valuable as being critical. Leibnitz speaks of Bacon as "divini ingenii vir," and, like several other German authors, classes him with Campanella; Huygens refers to his "bonnes methodes." If, however, we are to attach weight to English writers of the latter half of the 17th century, we shall find that one of Bacon's greatest achievements was the impetus given by his New Atlantis to the foundation of the Royal Society (q.v.). Dr Thomas Sprat (1635-1713), bishop of Rochester and first historian of the society, says that Bacon of all others "had the true imagination of the whole extent" of the enterprise, and that in his works are to be found the best arguments for the experimental method of natural philosophy (Hist. of the Royal Society, pp. 35-36, and Thomas Tenison's Baconiana, pp. 264-266). In this connexion reference should be made also to Cowley's Ode to the Royal Society, and to Dr John Wallis's remarks in Hearne's Preface to P. Langtoft's Chronicle (appendix, num. xi.). Joseph Glanvill, in his Scepsis Scientifica (dedication) says, "Solomon's house in the New Atlantis was a prophetic scheme of the Royal Society"; and Henry Oldenburg (c. 1615-1677), one of the first secretaries of the society, speaks of the new eagerness to obtain scientific data as "a work begun by the single care and conduct of the excellent Lord Verulam." Boyle, in whose works there are frequent eulogistic references to Bacon, regarded himself as a disciple and was indeed known as a second Bacon. The predominating influence of Bacon's philosophy is thus clearly established in the generation which succeeded his own. There is abundant evidence to show that in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge (especially the latter) the new spirit had already modified the old curricula. Bacon has frequently been disparaged on the ground that his name is not mentioned by Sir Isaac Newton. It can be shown, however, that Newton was not ignorant of Bacon's works, and Dr Fowler explains his silence with regard to them on three grounds: (1) that Bacon's reputation was so well established that any definite mention was unnecessary, (2) that it was not customary at the time to acknowledge indebtedness to contemporary and recent writers, and (3) that Newton's genius was so strongly mathematical (whereas Bacon's great weakness was in mathematics) that he had no special reason to refer to Bacon's experimental principles.

If the foregoing examples are held sufficient to establish the influence of Bacon on the intellectual development of his immediate successors, it follows that the whole trend of typically English thought, not only in natural science, but also in mental, moral and political philosophy, is the logical fulfilment of Baconian principles. He argued against the tyranny of authority, the vagaries of unfettered imagination and the academic aims of unpractical dialectic; the vital energy and the reasoned optimism of his language entirely outweigh the fact that his contributions to the stock of actual scientific knowledge were practically inconsiderable. It may be freely admitted that in the domain of logic there is nothing in the Organum that has not been more instructively analysed either by Aristotle himself or in modern works; at the same time, there is probably no work which is a better and more stimulating introduction to logical study. Its terse, epigrammatic phrases sink into the fibre of the mind, and are a healthy warning against crude, immature generalization.

While, therefore, it is a profound mistake to regard Bacon as a great constructive philosopher, or even as a lonely pioneer of modern thought, it is quite unfair to speak of him as a trifler. His great work consists in the fact that he summed up the faults which the widening of knowledge had disclosed in medieval thought, and in this sense he stands high among those who were in many parts of 16th-century Europe striving towards a new intellectual activity.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. Editions.—The classical edition is that of R. L. Ellis, J. Spedding and D. D. Heath, 1st ed., 1857; 2nd ed., 1870 (vols. i.-iii., philosophical writings; iv.-v., translations; vi.-vii., literary and professional works). B. Montagu's edition (17 vols., 1825-1834) is full but unscholarly. An extremely useful reprint (in one volume) of the philosophical works (with a few not strictly philosophical), based on the first Ellis-Spedding edition, was published by J. M. Robertson (London, 1905); besides the original introductions, it contains a useful summary by the editor of the various problems of Bacon's life and thought. Numerous cheap editions have lately been published, e.g. in the "World's Classics" (1901), and "New Universal Library" series (1905); Sidney Lee, English Works of Francis Bacon (London, 1905).

Of particular works there are numerous editions in all the chief languages. The following are the most important:—T. Fowler, Novum Organum (Oxford, 1878; ed. 1889), with notes, full introduction on Bacon's philosophy in all its relations, and a most valuable bibliography. This superseded the edition of G. W. Kitchin (Oxford, 1855). The Essays have been edited more than twenty times since 1870; the following editions may be mentioned:—Archbishop Whately (6th ed., 1864); W. Aldis Wright (Lond., 1862); F. Storr and Gibson (Lond., 1886); E. A. Abbott (Lond., 1879); John Buchan (Lond., 1879); A. S. West (Cambridge, 1897); W. Evans (Edinburgh, 1897). A facsimile reprint of the 1st edition was published in New York (1904). Advancement of Learning:—W. Aldis [v.03 p.0152] Wright (Camb., 1866; 5th ed., 1900); F. G. Selby (1892-1895); H. Morley (1905); and, with the New Atlantis, in the "World's Classics" series (introduction by Prof. T. Case, Lond., 1906). Wisdom of the Ancients and New Atlantis, in "Cassell's National Library" (1886 and 1903). G. C. M. Smith, New Atlantis (1900). J. Fuerstenhagen, Kleinere Schriften (Leipzig, 1884).

Biography.—J. Spedding, The Life and Letters of Lord Bacon (1861), Life and Times of Francis Bacon (1878); also Dr Rawley's Life in the Ellis-Spedding editions, and J. M. Robertson's reprint (above); W. Hepworth Dixon, Personal History of Lord Bacon (Lond., 1861), and Story of Lord Bacon's Life (ib. 1862); John Campbell, Lives of the Chancellors (Lond., 1845), ii. 51; P. Woodward, Early Life of Lord Bacon (1902); T. Fowler, Francis Bacon in "English Philos." series (Lond., 1881); R. W. Church's Bacon, in "Men of Letters" series (1884).

Philosophy.—Beside the introductions in the Ellis-Spedding and T. Fowler editions, and general histories of philosophy, see:—Kuno Fischer, Fr. Bacon (1856, 2nd ed., 1875, Eng. trans. by John Oxenford, Lond., 1857); Ch. de Remusat, Bacon, sa vie ... et son influence (1857, ed. 1858 and 1877); G. L. Craik, Lord Bacon, his Writings and his Philosophy (3 vols., 1846-1847, ed. 1860); A. Dorner, De Baconis Philosophia (Berlin, 1867; London, 1886); J. v. Liebig, Ueber F. B. v. Verulam (Mannheim, 1863); Ad. Lasson, Ueber B. v. Verulam's wissenschaftliche Principien (Berl., 1860); E. H. Boehmer, Ueber F. B. v. Verulam (Erlangen, 1864); Ch. Adam, Philos. de Francis Bacon (Paris, 1890); Barthelemy St Hilaire, Etude sur Francis Bacon (Paris, 1890); R. W. Church, op. cit.; H. Heussler, F. Bacon und seine geschichtliche Stellung (Breslau, 1889); H. Hoeffding, History of Modern Philosophy (Eng. trans., 1900); J. M. Robertson, Short History of Freethought (Lond., 1906); Sidney Lee, Great Englishmen of the 16th century (Lond., 1904). For the relations between Bacon and Ben Jonson see The Tale of the Shakespeare Epitaphs by Francis Bacon (New York, 1888); for Bacon's poetical gifts see an article in the Fortnightly Review (March 1905).

For the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy see SHAKESPEARE.

(R. AD.; J. M. M.)

[1] See Nic. Eth. iv. 3. 3. 1123b.

[2] "I wax now somewhat ancient; one-and-thirty years is a great deal of sand in the hour-glass.... I ever bare a mind (in some middle place that I could discharge) to serve her majesty; not as a man born under Sol, that loveth honour; nor under Jupiter, that loveth business (for the contemplative planet carrieth me away wholly); but as a man born under an excellent sovereign, that deserveth the dedication of all men's abilities.... Again the meanness of my estate doth somewhat move me; for though I cannot accuse myself that I am either prodigal or slothful, yet my health is not to spend, nor my course to get. Lastly, I confess that I have as vast contemplative ends as I have moderate civil ends; for I have taken all knowledge to be my province; and if I could purge it of two sorts of rovers, whereof the one with frivolous disputations, confutations and verbosities, the other with blind experiments and auricular traditions and impostures, hath committed so many spoils, I hope I should bring in industrious observations, grounded conclusions and profitable inventions and discoveries—the best state of that province. This, whether it be curiosity, or vain-glory, or nature, or (if one take it favourably) philanthropia, is so fixed in my mind as it cannot be removed. And I do easily see, that place of any reasonable commandment doth bring commandment of more wits than of a man's own.

And if your lordship shall find now, or at any time, that I do seek or affect any place whereunto any that is nearer to your lordship shall be convenient, say then that I am a most dishonest man. And if your lordship will not carry me on,... this I will do, I will sell the inheritance that I have, and purchase some lease of quick revenue, or some office of gain that shall be executed by deputy, and so give over all care of service, and become some sorry bookmaker, or a true pioneer in that mine of truth."—Spedding, Letters and Life, i. 108-109.

[3] Spedding, Letters and Life, i. 234-235, cf. i. 362. This letter, with those to Puckering or Essex and the queen, i. 240-241, should be compared with what is said of them by Macaulay in his Essay on Bacon, and by Campbell, Lives, ii. 287.

[4] See Letters and Life, i. 289, ii. 34.

[5] See Macaulay's Essay on Bacon.

[6] The whole story of Essex is given in Spedding's Letters and Life. It is vigorously told by J. Bruce in the introduction to his Correspondence of James VI. with Sir Robert Cecil (Camden Society, 1861).

[7] See Letters and Life, iv. 177, vi. 38, vii. 116, 117.

[8] In October 1608 he became treasurer of Gray's Inn. The tercentenary was celebrated in 1908.

[9] Letters and Life, iv. 380.

[10] Ibid. iv. 365-373.

[11] Ibid. iv. 375-378.

[12] Ibid. v. 81-83.

[13] Not to be confounded with any of those of the same name who held the title of Baron St John of Bletsho (see Dict. of Nat. Biog. vol. 1. p. 150 ad fin.).

[14] Circa 1554-1616; educated at Cambridge; ordained priest 1581; vicar of Ridge, Herts, 1581; rector of Hinton St George, Somerset, 1587; eventually condemned to death at the Taunton Assizes (7th August 1615). The sentence was not carried out, and Peacham is said to have died in gaol (March 1616). See Gardiner's Hist. of England, ii. 272-283; State Trials, ii. 869; Calendar of State Papers (1603-1606); Hallam's Constitutional Hist. i. 343; T. P. Taswell-Langmead, English Constitutional History (5th ed., 1896), p. 425. Nearly all works on constitutional law and history discuss the case.

[15] Letters and Life, v. 101

[16] Ibid. v. 121, n.

[17] Ibid. v. 124.

[18] Macaulay's Essay.

[19] Campbell, Lives, ii. 344.

[20] The mysterious crimes supposed to be concealed under the obscure details of this case have cast a shadow of vague suspicion on all who were concerned in it. The minute examination of the facts by Spedding (Letters and Life, v. 208-347) seems to show that these secret crimes exist nowhere but in the heated imaginations of romantic biographers and historians.

[21] A somewhat similar case is that of the writ De Rege inconsulto brought forward by Bacon. See Letters and Life, v. 233-236.

[22] Ibid. vi. 6, 7, 13-26, 27-56.

[23] Ibid. vi. 33.

[24] A position which Bacon in some respects approved. See Essays, "Of Ambition." "It is counted by some a weakness in princes to have favourites; but it is of all others the best remedy against ambitious great ones; for when the way of pleasuring and displeasuring lieth by the favourite, it is impossible any other should be over great."

[25] Letters and Life, vi. 278, 294-296, 313.

[26] Ibid. vii. 579-588, analysis of the case by D. D. Heath, who expresses a strong opinion against Bacon's action in the matter.

[27] Ibid. vi. 444.

[28] For a full discussion of Bacon's connexion with the monopolies, see Gardiner, Prince Charles, &c. ii. 355-373. For his opinion of monopolies in general, see Letters and Life, vi. 49.

[29] Letters and Life, vii. 213: "I know I have clean hands and a clean heart, and I hope a clean house for friends or servants. But Job himself, or whosoever was the justest judge, by such hunting for matters against him as hath been used against me, may for a time seem foul, specially in a time when greatness is the mark and accusation is the game."

[30] Ibid. vii. 215-216.

[31] Ibid. vii. 225-226. From the letter to the king (March 25, 1621)—"When I enter into myself, I find not the materials of such a tempest as is comen upon me. I have been (as your majesty knoweth best) never author of any immoderate counsel, but always desired to have things carried suavibus modis. I have been no avaricious oppressor of the people. I have been no haughty or intolerable or hateful man in my conversation or carriage. I have inherited no hatred from my father, but am a good patriot born. Whence should this be? For these are the things that use to raise dislikes abroad.... And for the briberies and gifts wherewith I am charged, when the book of hearts shall be opened, I hope I shall not be found to have the troubled fountain of a corrupt heart in a depraved habit of taking rewards to pervert justice, howsoever I may be frail, and partake of the abuse of the times."

[32] Ibid. vii. 227, and Gardiner, Prince Charles, &c. i. 450.

[33] Letters and Life, vii. 236, 238.

[34] Ibid. vii. 241.

[35] Ibid. vii. 242-244; "It resteth therefore that, without fig-leaves, I do ingenuously confess and acknowledge, that having understood the particulars of the charge, not formally from the House but enough to inform my conscience and memory, I find matter sufficient and full, both to move me to desert the defence, and to move your lordships to condemn and censure me."

[36] Ibid. vii. 252-262.

[37] Ibid. vii. 261.

[38] Ibid. vii. 270.

[39] Letters and Life, vii. 235-236: "The first, of bargain and contract for reward to pervert justice, pendente lite. The second, where the judge conceives the cause to be at an end, by the information of the party or otherwise, and useth not such diligence as he ought to inquire of it. And the third, where the cause is really ended, and it is sine fraude without relation to any precedent promise.... For the first of them I take myself to be as innocent as any born upon St Innocent's Day, in my heart. For the second, I doubt on some particulars I may be faulty. And for the last, I conceived it to be no fault, but therein I desire to be better informed, that I may be twice penitent, once for the fact and again for the error."

[40] Ibid. vii. 242.

[41] Ibid. vii. 244: "Neither will your lordships forget that there are vitia temporis as well as vitia hominis, and that the beginning of reformations hath the contrary power to the pool of Bethesda, for that had strength to cure only him that was first cast in, and this hath commonly strength to hurt him only that is first cast in."

[42] See, among many other passages, Essays, "Of Great Place ": "For corruptions do not only bind thine own hands or thy servant's hands from taking, but bind the hands of suitors also from offering; for integrity used doth the one; but integrity professed, and with a manifest detestation of bribery, doth the other; and avoid not only the fault but the suspicion."

[43] Cf. Letters and Life, vii. 560: "I was the justest judge that was in England these fifty years; but it was the justest censure in Parliament that was these two hundred years."

[44] Or on the ground that there was a distinct rule forbidding chancellors and the like officials to take presents. This does not seem to have been the case, if we may judge from what Bacon says Letters and Life, vii. 233.

[45] Not only do the cases, so far as they are known, support Bacon's plea of innocence, but it is remarkable that no attempt at a reversal of any of his numerous decrees appears to have been successful. Had his decrees been wilful perversions of justice, it is scarcely conceivable that some of them should not have been overturned. See Letters and Life, vii. 555-562.

[46] The peculiarities of Bacon's style were noticed very early by his contemporaries. (See Letters and Life, i. 268.) Raleigh and Jonson have both recorded their opinions of it, but no one has characterized it more happily than his friend, Sir Tobie Matthews, "A man so rare in knowledge, of so many several kinds, endued with the facility and felicity of expressing it all in so elegant, significant, so abundant, and yet so choice and ravishing a way of words, of metaphors, of allusions, as perhaps the world hath not seen since it was a world."—"Address to the Reader" prefixed to Collection of English Letters (1660).

[47] The division of the sciences adopted in the great French Encyclopedie was founded upon this classification of Bacon's. See Diderot's Prospectus (Oeuvres, iii.) and d'Alembert's Discours (Oeuvres, i.) The scheme should be compared with later attempts of the same nature by Ampere, Cournot, Comte and Herbert Spencer.

[48] See also "Letter to Fulgentio," Letters and Life, vii. 533.

[49] Fil. Lab.; Cog. et Visa. i.; cf. Pref. to Ins. Mag.

[50] Val. Ter. 232; cf. N. O. i. 124.

[51] Letters, i. 123.

[52] N. O. i. 116.

[53] Fil. Lab. 5; cf. N. O. i. 81; Val. Ter. (Works, iii. 235); Advancement, bk. i. (Works, iii. 294).

[54] Fil. Lab. 5; cf. N. O. i. 81; Val. Ter. (Works, iii. 222-233); New Atlantis (Works, iii. 156).

[55] N. O. i. 116.

[56] Ibid. i. 124.

[57] Ibid. i. 6.

[58] The word Idola is manifestly borrowed from Plato. It is used twice in connexion with the Platonic Ideas (N. O. i. 23, 124) and is contrasted with them as the false appearance. The [Greek: eidolon] with Plato is the fleeting, transient image of the real thing, and the passage evidently referred to by Bacon is that in the Rep. vii. 516 A, [Greek: kai proton men tas skias an rhaista kathoroie, kai meta touto en tois hudasi ta te ton anthropon kai ta ton allon eidola, husteron de auta]. It is explained well in the Advancement, bk. i. (Works, iii. 287). (For valuable notes on the Idola, see T. Fowler's Nov. Org. i. 38 notes; especially for a comparison of the Idola with Roger Bacon's Offendicula.)

[59] N. O. i. 58.

[60] N. O. i. 79, 80, 98, 108.

[61] On the meaning of the word form in Bacon's theory see also Fowler's N. O. introd. s. 8.

[62] N. O. ii. 1.

[63] This better known in the order of nature is nowhere satisfactorily explained by Bacon. Like his classification of causes, and in some degree his notion of form itself, it comes from Aristotle. See An. Post. 71 b 33; Topic, 141 b 5; Eth. Nic. 1095 a 30. It should be observed that many writers maintain that the phrase should be notiora natura; others, notiora naturae. See Fowler's N. O. p. 199 note.

[64] N. O. ii. 17.

[65] Ibid. i. 51.

[66] Ibid. i. 75.

[67] Ibid. ii. 2.

[68] Valerius Terminus, iii. 228-229.

[69] Cf. N. O. ii. 27. Bacon nowhere enters upon the questions of how such a science is to be constructed, and how it can be expected to possess an independent method while it remains the mere receptacle for the generalizations of the several sciences, and consequently has a content which varies with their progress. His whole conception of Prima Philosophia should be compared with such a modern work as the First Principles of Herbert Spencer.

[70] It is to be noticed that this scale of nature corresponds with the scale of ascending axioms.

[71] Cf. also for motions, N. O. ii. 48.

[72] The knowledge of final causes does not lead to works, and the consideration of them must be rigidly excluded from physics. Yet there is no opposition between the physical and final causes; in ultimate resort the mind is compelled to think the universe as the work of reason, to refer facts to God and Providence. The idea of final cause is also fruitful in sciences which have to do with human action. (Cf. De Aug. iii. cc. 4, 5; Nov. Org. i. 48, ii. 2.)

[73] De Aug. iii. 4. In the Advancement (Works, iii. 355) it is distinctly said that they are not to be inquired into. One can hardly see how the Baconian method could have applied to concrete substances.

[74] Thus the last step in the theoretical analysis gives the first means for the practical operation. Cf. Aristotle, Eth. Nic. iii. 3. 12, [Greek: to eschaton en tei analusei proton einai en tei genesei]. Cf. also Nov. Org. i. 103.

[75] Cogitationes (Works, iii. 187).

[76] N. O. ii. 10.

[77] Pref. to Instaur. Cf. Valerius Term. (Works, iii. 224), and N. O. i. 68, 124.

[78] Pref. to Inst.

[79] Bacon's summary is valuable. "In the whole of the process which leads from the senses and objects to axioms and conclusions, the demonstrations which we use are deceptive and incompetent. The process consists of four parts, and has as many faults. In the first place, the impressions of the sense itself are faulty, for the sense both fails us and deceives us. But its shortcomings are to be supplied and its deceptions to be corrected. Secondly, notions are all drawn from the impressions of the sense, and are indefinite and confused, whereas they should be definite and distinctly bounded. Thirdly, the induction is amiss which infers the principles of sciences by simple enumeration, and does not, as it ought, employ exclusions and solutions (or separations) of nature. Lastly, that method of discovery and proof according to which the most general principles are first established, and then intermediate axioms are tried and proved by them, is the parent of error and the curse of all science."—N. O. i. 69.

[80] N. O. i. 105.

[81] Ibid., i. 104; cf. i. 19-26.

[82] This extract gives an answer to the objection sometimes raised that Bacon is not original in his theory of induction. He certainly admits that Plato has used a method somewhat akin to his own; but it has frequently been contended that his induction is nothing more than the [Greek: epagoge] of Aristotle (see Remusat's Bacon, &c., pp. 310-315, and for a criticism, Waddington, Essais de Logique, p. 261. sqq.) This seems a mistake. Bacon did not understand by induction the argument from particulars to a general proposition; he looked upon the exclusion and rejection, or upon elimination, as the essence of induction. To this process he was led by his doctrine of forms, of which it is the necessary consequence; it is the infallible result of his view of science and its problem, and is as original as that is. Whoever accepts Bacon's doctrine of cause must accept at the same time his theory of the way in which the cause may be sifted out from among the phenomena. It is evident that the Socratic search for the essence by an analysis of instances—an induction ending in a definition—has a strong resemblance to the Baconian inductive method.

[83] N. O. i. 105.

[84] That is to say, differing in nothing save the absence of the nature under investigation.

[85] Distrib. Op. (Works, iv. 28); Parasceve (ibid. 251, 252, 255-256); Descrip. Glob. Intel. ch. 3.

[86] Works, ii. 16; cf. N. O. i. 130.

[87] A Barnabite monk, professor of mathematics and philosophy at Annecy.

[88] Letters and Life, vii. 377.

[89] For a full discussion of Bacon's relation to his predecessors and contemporaries, see Fowler's N. O. introd. s. 13.

[90] Cf. what Bacon says, N. O. i. 130.

[91] Brewster, Life of Newton (1855) (see particularly vol. ii. 403, 405); Lasson, Ueber Bacon von Verulam's wissenschaftliche Principien (1860); Liebig, Ueber Francis Bacon von Verulam, &c. (1863). Although Liebig points out how little science proceeds according to Bacon's rules, yet his other criticisms seem of extremely little value. In a very offensive and quite unjustifiable tone, which is severely commented on by Sigwart and Fischer, he attacks the Baconian methods and its results. These results he claims to find in the Sylva Sylvarum, entirely ignoring what Bacon himself has said of the nature of that work (N. O. i. 117; cf. Rawley's Pref. to the S. S.), and thus putting a false interpretation on the experiments there noted. It is not surprising that he should detect many flaws, but he never fails to exaggerate an error, and seems sometimes completely to miss the point of what Bacon says. (See particularly his remarks on S. S. 33, 336.) The method he explains in such a way as to show he has not a glimpse of its true nature. He brings against Bacon, of all men, the accusations of making induction start from the undetermined perceptions of the senses, of using imagination, and of putting a quite arbitrary interpretation on phenomena. He crowns his criticism by expounding what he considers to be the true scientific method, which, as has been pointed put by Fischer, is simply that Baconian doctrine against which his attack ought to have been directed. (See his account of the method, Ueber Bacon, 47-49; K. Fischer, Bacon, pp. 499-502.)

[92] Mill, Logic, ii. pp. 115, 116, 329, 330.

[93] Whewell, Phil. of Ind. Sc. ii. 399, 402-403; Ellis, Int. to Bacon's Works, i. 39, 61; Brewster, Newton, ii. 404; Jevons, Princ. of Science ii. 220. A severe judgment on Bacon's method is given in Duehring's able but one-sided Kritische Gesch. d. Phil., in which the merits of Roger Bacon are brought prominently forward.

[94] Although it must be admitted that the Baconian method is fairly open to the above-mentioned objections, it is curious and significant that Bacon was not thoroughly ignorant of them, but with deliberate consciousness preferred his own method. We do not think, indeed, that the notiones of which he speaks in any way correspond to what Whewell and Ellis would call "conceptions or ideas furnished by the mind of the thinker"; nor do we imagine that Bacon would have admitted these as necessary elements in the inductive process. But he was certainly not ignorant of what may be called a deductive method, and of a kind of hypothesis. This is clear from the use he makes of the Vindemiatio, from certain hints as to the testing of axioms, from his admission of the syllogism into physical reasoning, and from what he calls Experientia Literata. The function of the Vindemiatio has been already pointed out; with regard to axioms, he says (N. O. i. 106), "In establishing axioms by this kind of induction, we must also examine and try whether the axiom so established be framed to the measure of these particulars, from which it is derived, or whether it be larger or wider. And if it be larger and wider, we must observe whether, by indicating to us new particulars, it confirm that wideness and largeness as by a collateral security, that we may not either stick fast in things already known, or loosely grasp at shadows and abstract forms, not at things solid and realized in matter." (Cf. also the passage from Valerius Terminus, quoted in Ellis's note on the above aphorism.) Of the syllogism he says, "I do not propose to give up the syllogism altogether. S. is incompetent for the principal things rather than useless for the generality. In the mathematics there is no reason why it should not be employed. It is the flux of matter and the inconstancy of the physical body which requires induction, that thereby it may be fixed as it were, and allow the formation of notions well defined. In physics you wisely note, and therein I agree with you, that after the notions of the first class and the axioms concerning them have been by induction well made out and defined, syllogism may be applied safely; only it must be restrained from leaping at once to the most general notions, and progress must be made through a fit succession of steps."—("Letter to Baranzano," Letters and Life, vii. 377). And with this may be compared what he says of mathematics (Nov. Org. ii. 8; Parasceve, vii.). In his account of Experientia Literata (De Aug. v. 2) he comes very near to the modern mode of experimental research. It is, he says, the procedure from one experiment to another, and it is not a science but an art or learned sagacity (resembling in this Aristotle's [Greek: anchinoia]), which may, however, be enlightened by the precepts of the Interpretatio. Eight varieties of such experiments are enumerated, and a comparison is drawn between this and the inductive method; "though the rational method of inquiry by the Organon promises far greater things in the end, yet this sagacity, proceeding by learned experience, will in the meantime present mankind with a number of inventions which lie near at hand." (Cf. N. O. i. 103.)

[95] See the vigorous passage in Herschel, Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy, s. 105; cf. s. 96 of the same work.

[96] Bacon himself seems to anticipate that the progress of science would of itself render his method antiquated (Nov. Org. i. 130).

[97] Nov. Org. i. 127.

BACON, JOHN (1740-1799), British sculptor, was born in Southwark on the 24th of November 1740, the son of Thomas Bacon, a cloth-worker, whose forefathers possessed a considerable estate in Somersetshire. At the age of fourteen he was bound apprentice in Mr Crispe's manufactory of porcelain at Lambeth, where he was at first employed in painting the small ornamental pieces of china, but by his great skill in moulding he soon attained the distinction of being modeller to the work. While engaged in the porcelain works his observation of the models executed by different sculptors of eminence, which were sent to be burned at an adjoining pottery, determined the direction of his genius; he devoted himself to the imitation of them with so much success that in 1758 a small figure of Peace sent by him to the Society for the Encouragement of Arts received a prize, and the highest premiums given by that society were adjudged to him nine times between the years 1763 and 1776. During his apprenticeship he also improved the method of working statues in artificial stone, an art which he afterwards carried to perfection. Bacon first attempted working in marble about the year 1763, and during the course of his early efforts in this art was led to improve the method of transferring the form of the model to the marble (technically "getting out the points") by the invention of a more perfect instrument for the purpose. This instrument possessed many advantages above those formerly employed; it was more exact, took a correct measurement in every direction, was contained in a small compass, and could be used upon either the model or the marble. In the year 1769 he was adjudged the first gold medal for sculpture given by the Royal Academy, his work being a bas-relief representing the escape of Aeneas from Troy. In 1770 he exhibited a figure of Mars, which gained him the gold medal of the Society of Arts and his election as A.R.A. As a consequence of this success he was engaged to execute a bust of George III., intended for Christ Church, Oxford. He secured the king's favour and retained it throughout life. Considerable jealousy was entertained against him by other sculptors, and he was commonly charged with ignorance of classic style. This charge he repelled by the execution of a noble head of Jupiter Tonans, and many of his emblematical figures are in perfect classical taste. He died on the 4th of August 1799 and was buried in Whitfield's Tabernacle. His various productions which may be studied in St Paul's cathedral, London, Christ Church and Pembroke College, Oxford, the Abbey church, Bath, and Bristol cathedral, give ample testimony to his powers. Perhaps his best works are to be found among the monuments in Westminster Abbey.

See Richard Cecil, Memoirs of John Bacon, R.A. (London. 1801); and also vol. i. of R. Cecil's works, ed. J. Pratt (1811).

BACON, LEONARD (1802-1881), American Congregational preacher and writer, was born in Detroit, Michigan, on the 19th of February 1802, the son of David Bacon (1771-1817), missionary among the Indians in Michigan and founder of the town of Tallmadge, Ohio. The son prepared for college at the Hartford (Conn.) grammar school, graduated at Yale in 1820 and at the Andover Theological Seminary in 1823, and from 1825 until his death on the 24th of December 1881 was pastor of the First Church (Congregational) in New Haven, Connecticut, occupying a pulpit which was one of the most conspicuous in New England, and which had been rendered famous by his predecessors, Moses Stuart and Nathaniel W. Taylor. In 1866, however, though he was never dismissed by a council from his connexion with that church, he gave up the active pastorate. He was, from 1826 to 1838, an editor of the Christian Spectator (New Haven); was one of the founders (1843) of the New Englander (later the Yale Review); founded in 1848 with Dr R. S. Storrs, Joshua Leavitt, Dr Joseph P. Thompson and Henry C. Bowen, primarily to combat slavery extension, the Independent, of which he was an editor until 1863; and was acting professor of didactic theology in the theological department of Yale University from 1866 to 1871, and lecturer on church polity and American church history from 1871 until his death. Gradually, after taking up his pastorate, he gained greater and greater influence in his denomination, until he came to be regarded as perhaps the most prominent Congregationalist of his time, and was sometimes popularly referred to as "The Congregational Pope of New England." In all the heated theological controversies of the day, particularly the long and bitter one concerning the views put forward by Dr Horace Bushnell, he was conspicuous, using his influence to bring about harmony, and in the councils of the Congregational churches, over two of which, the Brooklyn councils of 1874 and 1876, he presided as moderator, he manifested great ability both as a debater and as a parliamentarian. In his own theological views he was broad-minded and an advocate of liberal orthodoxy. In all matters concerning the welfare of his community or the nation, moreover, he took a deep and constant interest, and was particularly identified with the temperance and anti-slavery movements, his services to the latter constituting probably the most important work of his life. In this, as in most other controversies, he took a moderate course, condemning the apologists and defenders of slavery on the one hand and the Garrisonian extremists on the other. His Slavery Discussed in Occasional Essays from 1833 to 1846 (1846) exercised considerable influence upon Abraham Lincoln, and in this book appears the sentence, which, as rephrased by Lincoln, was widely quoted: "If that form of government, that system of social order is not wrong—if those laws of the Southern States, by virtue of which slavery exists there, and is what it is, are not wrong—nothing is wrong." He was early attracted to the study of the ecclesiastical history of New England and was frequently called upon to deliver commemorative addresses, some of which were published in book and pamphlet form. Of these, his Thirteen Historical Discourses (1839), dealing with the history of New Haven, and his Four Commemorative Discourses (1866) may be especially mentioned. The most important of his historical works, however, is his Genesis of the New England Churches (1874). He published A Manual for Young Church Members (1833); edited, with a biography, the Select Practical Writings of Richard Baxter (1831); and was the author of a number of hymns, the best-known of which is the one beginning,

"O God, beneath Thy guiding hand Our exiled fathers crossed the sea."

There is no good biography, but there is much biographical material in the commemorative volume issued by his congregation, Leonard Bacon, Pastor of the First Church in New Haven (New Haven, 1882), and there is a good sketch in Williston Walker's Ten New England Leaders (New York, 1901).

[v.03 p.0153] Leonard Bacon's sister DELIA BACON (1811-1859), born in Tallmadge, Ohio, on the 2nd of February 1811, was a teacher in schools in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, and then, until about 1852, conducted in various eastern cities, by methods devised by herself, classes for women in history and literature. She wrote Tales of the Puritans (1831), The Bride of Fort Edward (1839), based on the story of Jane McCrea, partly in blank verse, and The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakespeare Unfolded (1857), for which alone she is remembered. This book, in the preparation of which she spent several years in study in England, where she was befriended by Thomas Carlyle and especially by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was intended to prove that the plays attributed to Shakespeare were written by a coterie of men, including Francis Bacon, Sir Walter Raleigh and Edmund Spenser, for the purpose of inculcating a philosophic system, for which they felt that they themselves could not afford to assume the responsibility. This system she professed to discover beneath the superficial text of the plays. Her devotion to this one idea, as Hawthorne says, "had thrown her off her balance," and while she was in England she lost her mind entirely. She died in Hartford, Connecticut, on the 2nd of September 1859.

There is a biography by her nephew, Theodore Bacon, Delia Bacon: A Sketch (Boston, 1888), and an appreciative chapter, "Recollections of a Gifted Woman," in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Our Old Home (Boston, 1863).

Leonard Bacon's son LEONARD WOOLSEY BACON (1830-1907), graduated at Yale in 1850, was pastor of various Congregational and Presbyterian churches, and published Church Papers (1876); A Life Worth Living: Life of Emily Bliss Gould (1878); Irenics and Polemics and Sundry Essays in Church History (1895); History of American Christianity (1898); and The Congregationalists (1904).

(W. WR.)

BACON, SIR NICHOLAS (1509-1579), lord keeper of the great seal of England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, was the second son of Robert Bacon of Drinkstone, Suffolk, and was born at Chislehurst. He was educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1527, and afterwards spent some time in Paris. Having returned to England and entered Gray's Inn, he was called to the bar in 1533, and four years later began his public life as solicitor of the court of augmentations. Quickly becoming a person of importance he obtained a number of estates, principally in the eastern counties, after the dissolution of the monasteries, and in 1545 became member of parliament for Dartmouth. In 1546 he was made attorney of the court of wards and liveries, an office of both honour and profit; in 1550 became a bencher and in 1552 treasurer of Gray's Inn. Although his sympathies were with the Protestants, he retained his office in the court of wards during Mary's reign, but an order was issued to prevent him from leaving England. The important period in Bacon's life began with the accession of Elizabeth in 1558. Owing largely to his long and close friendship with Sir William Cecil, afterwards Lord Burghley, his brother-in-law, he was appointed lord keeper of the great seal in December of this year, and was soon afterwards made a privy councillor and a knight. He was instrumental in securing the archbishopric of Canterbury for his friend Matthew Parker, and in his official capacity presided over the House of Lords when Elizabeth opened her first parliament. In opposition to Cecil, he objected to the policy of making war on France in the interests of the enemies of Mary queen of Scots, on the ground of the poverty of England; but afterwards favoured a closer union with foreign Protestants, and seemed quite alive to the danger to his country from the allied and aggressive religious policy of France and Scotland. In 1559 he was authorized to exercise the full jurisdiction of lord chancellor. In 1564 he fell temporarily into the royal disfavour and was dismissed from court, because Elizabeth suspected he was concerned in the publication of a pamphlet, "A Declaration of the Succession of the Crowne Imperiall of Ingland," written by John Hales (q.v.), and favouring the claim of Lady Catherine Grey to the English throne. Bacon's innocence having been admitted he was restored to favour, and replied to a writing by Sir Anthony Browne, who had again asserted the rights of the house of Suffolk to which Lady Catherine belonged. He thoroughly distrusted Mary queen of Scots; objected to the proposal to marry her to the duke of Norfolk; and warned Elizabeth that serious consequences for England would follow her restoration. He seems to have disliked the proposed marriage between the English queen and Francis, duke of Anjou, and his distrust of the Roman Catholics and the French was increased by the massacre of St Bartholomew. As a loyal English churchman he was ceaselessly interested in ecclesiastical matters, and made suggestions for the better observation of doctrine and discipline in the church. He died in London on the 20th of February 1579 and was buried in St Paul's cathedral, his death calling forth many tributes to his memory. He was an eloquent speaker, a learned lawyer, a generous friend; and his interest in education led him to make several gifts and bequests for educational purposes, including the foundation of a free grammar school at Redgrave. His figure was very corpulent and ungainly. Elizabeth visited him several times at Gorhambury, and had previously visited him at Redgrave. He was twice married and by his first wife, Jane, had three sons and three daughters. His second wife was Anne (d. 1610), daughter of Sir Anthony Cooke, by whom he had two sons. Bacon's eldest son, Nicholas (c. 1540-1624), was member of parliament for the county of Suffolk and in 1611 was created premier baronet of England. This baronetcy is still held by his descendants. His second and third sons, Nathaniel (c. 1550-1622) and Edward (c. 1550-1618), also took some part in public life, and through his daughter, Anne, Nathaniel was an ancestor of the marquesses Townshend. His sons by his second wife were Anthony (1558-1601), a diplomatist of some repute, and the illustrious Francis Bacon (q.v.).

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