The name of Bacon marks an era of light in the history of science. He did not introduce, it is true, the great revolution which has taken place in the state of human knowledge; but he alone fully comprehended it. If he did not begin that revolution, he imparted the true aim and direction to its resistless energies. He, above all other men, felt its mighty impulse; and, by still mightier impulses of his own, he extended and deepened its influence. This impulse became, in his mind, something more than a dark feeling and sense of want; it became a rational and enduring conviction, giving rise to a hope too great and too firm to be shaken. He saw that the most magnificent anticipations of the human mind might be realized; nay, he comprehended and pointed out the precise method in which they would be realized. All the honors justly due to the immortal labors of his predecessors can, therefore, detract nothing from the glory of Bacon. Some of his predecessors are worthy of our veneration and gratitude; but yet he has been generally, and we believe very justly, regarded as the great restorer of true learning and science.
Methodist Review, 1847
The chariot was all of cedar, gilt, and adorned with crystal; save that the fore-end had panels of sapphires, set in borders of gold; and the hinder-end the like of emeralds of the Peru color. There was also a sun of gold, radiant, upon the top, in the midst; and on the top before, a small cherub of gold, with wings displayed. The chariot was covered with cloth of gold tissued upon blue. He had before him fifty attendants, young men all, in white satin loose coats to the mid leg; and stockings of white silk; and shoes of blue velvet; and hats of blue velvet; with fine plumes of diverse colors, set round like hatbands. Next before the chariot, when two men, bareheaded, in linen garments down to the foot, girt, and shoes of blue velvet; who carried, the one a crosier, the other a pastoral staff like a sheep hook: neither of them of metal, but the crosier of balmwood, the pastoral staff of cedar.
We have also certain chambers, which we call chambers of health, where we qualify the air as we think good and proper for the cure of diverse diseases and preservation of health.
We have burials in several earths, where we put diverse cements, as the Chinese do their porcelain. But we have them in greater variety, and some of them more fine. We have also great variety of composts, and soils, for the making of the earth fruitful.
We have also houses of deceits of the senses; where we represent all manner of feats of juggling, false apparitions, impostures, and illusions; and their fallacies. And surely you will easily believe, that we, that have so many things truly natural, which induce admiration, could in a world of particulars decieve the senses, if we woule disguise those things, and labor to make them seem more miraculous. But we do hate all impostures, and lies; insomuch as we have severely forbidden it to all our fellows, under pain of ignominy and fines, that they do not show any natural work or thing, adorned or swelling; but only pure as it is, and without all affectation of strangeness.
We find also diverse means yet unknown to you, of producing light, originally, from various bodies. We procure means of seeing objects afar off; as in the heaven, and remote places: and represent things near as afar off; and things afar off as near; making feigned distances. We have also helps for the sight, far above spectacles and glasses in use. We have also glasses and means, to see small and minute bodies, perfectly and distinctly; as the shapes and colors of small flies and worms, grains and flaws in gems which cannot otherwise be seen, observations in urine and blood not otherwise to be seen. We make artificial rainbows, halos, and circles about light. We represent also all manner of reflections, refractions, and multiplications of visual beams of objects.
We have also furnaces of great diversity, and that keep great diversity of heats: Fierce and quick; strong and constant; soft and mild; blown, quiet, dry, moist; and the like. But above all we have heats, in imitation of the suns and heavenly bodies’ heats that pass diverse inequalities, and (as it were) orbs, progresses, and returns whereby we produced admirable effects. Besides we have heats of dungs; and of bellies and maws of living creatures, and of their bloods, and bodies; and of hays and herbs laid up moist; of lime unquenched; and such like. Instruments also which generate heat only by motion. And further, places for strong insulations; and again places under the earth, which by nature, or art, yield heat. These diverse heats we use, as the nature of the operation, which we intend, requires.
We have drinks also brewed with several herbs, and roots, and spices; yea with several fleshes, and white meats; whereof some of the drinks are such, as they are in effect meat and drink both; so that many, especially in age, do desire to live with them, with little or no meat, or bread. And above all we strive to have drinks of extreme thin parts, to insinuate into the body, and yet without all biting, sharpness, or fretting; insomuch as some of them, put upon the back of your hand, will, with a little stay, pass through to the palm, and yet taste mild to the mouth. We have also waters, which we ripen in that fashion, as they become nourishing; so that they are indeed excellent drink; and many will use no other.
Breads we have of several grains, roots, and kernels; yea and some of flesh, and fish, dried; with diverse kinds of leavenings, and seasonings; so that some do extremely move appetites; some do nourish so, as diverse do live of them, without any other meat; who live very long. So for meats, we have some of them so beaten, and made tender, and mortified, yet without all corrupting, as a weak heat of the stomach will turn them into good chylus; as well as a strong heat would meat otherwise prepared. We have some meats also, and breads, and drinks, which taken by men, enable them to fast long after; and some other, that used make the very flesh of men’s bodies, sensibly, more hard and tough; and their strength far greater, than otherwise it would be.
We came at our day, and hour, and I was chosen by my fellows for the private access. We found him in a fair chamber, richly hanged, and carpeted under foot, without any degrees to the State. He was set upon a low throne richly adorned, and a rich cloth of State over his head, of blue satin embroidered. He was alone, save that he had two pages of honor, on either hand one, finely attired in white. His undergarments were the like that we saw him wear in the chariot; but instead of
his gown, he had on him a mantle with a cape, of the same fine black, fastened about him. When we came in, as we were taught, we bowed low at our our first entrance; and when we were come near his chair, he stood up, holding forth his hand ungloved, and in posture of blessing; and we every one of us stooped down, and kissed the hem of his Tippett. That done, the rest departed, and
remained. Then he warned the pages forth of the room, and caused me to sit down beside him, and spake to me thus in the Spanish tongue.
Sir Francis Bacon, New Atlantis, 1626