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from even the knowledge of a priori theory which might lead to prepossessions inimical to the impartial conduct of experiment, save, one must suppose, in so far as hypothesis is absolutely necessary to the first stages. He liked to interrogate nature, following very closely of his own impulse the design of Bacon. But the excellent work in science that resulted was rather due to an untiring persistence than to great gifts of intellect. He had hardly a disinterested love of knowledge ; he valued it as it “ had a tendency to use.” And the advance he made on his time in clearness of thought concerning things in general is not that of one whose mental endowment was extraordinary. He was immersed in his pursuit of experiment, only leaving it in obedience to the calls which his birth and reputation as a savant made on his society, calls which he regretted and endeavoured to avoid. It is a reasonable supposition that if he had lived in our time he would have given his results to the world in the roughest of rough notes, for others to make books of. But having had the training of a student of the humanities, and living when to be learned meant a more diverse, a less specialised culture than the wider data of learning make possible now, and when printing was a graver undertaking than it seems with us, he gave of necessity some form and literary completeness to his publications. We find in them still the note of impatience of form : he had not time to be brief. There is scarcely a trace in him of the first quality of an artist in prose, rejection. Now and again a well-turned phrase strikes the reader, but, given a certain condition of language, the phrase is found to be that which would have occurred at once to a certain order of intellect. Happily for Boyle the English of his time was comparatively free from the more vulgar sort of stereotyped phrase ; had still a full and sonorous tone. But from the greater masters of sonorous English, Boyle was as far removed as from the clear-cut simplicity and directness of Swift. His style is not involved, and is not affected; it is merely rarified and verbose. In his religious writings the same thing is noticeable as in his scientific. Here again he was deeply interested in his subject, a sincerely pious man applying his best powers, or trying so to do, to the subject he deemed of first importance. And here again he is essentially impatient of form ; his sincerity gave him an infrequent warmth of phrase, the general and vague nature of his reflections an occasional rotundity, but again the average is jejune. One may often collect very clearly the points of a writer by a comparisol witi a parodist Swift was us. likely to be a great maurer warudis.. But if a reader ture from an inov oIwo bovies Drasiona.' Reflexions to the immortai siedziazior. Ujor a broomstick, the will see that Swift, Deatly buriesquing tire nature of ins Onuna's thoughts, is unable to compass mis lack of diere: anc. punigaix, When Boyle turned to a ligner theme. It was stil vous though there is a certain chart anc demureness wilci rural tire accounts we have of the kindly and Disasant nature of the mar.. It is said that he tried to correct his difíusenes. Dut we may surmise that he tried to muigate its motvenience ratnes that to correct its deficiency of form. In fine his attainments as a scholar, while they impied him to arterip a inerary form for his thoughts and discoveries, were not strong enough I the balance of his mind to compel the sacriáles TELESEry 10 20 artistic result.

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G. S. STIELI

VOL. III

F

from even the knowledge of a priori theory which might lead to prepossessions inimical to the impartial conduct of experiment, save, one must suppose, in so far as hypothesis is absolutely necessary to the first stages. He liked to interrogate nature, following very closely of his own impulse the design of Bacon. But the excellent work in science that resulted was rather due to an untiring persistence than to great gifts of intellect. He had hardly a disinterested love of knowledge; he valued it as it “had a tendency to use.” And the advance he made on his time in clearness of thought concerning things in general is not that of one whose mental endowment was extraordinary.

He was immersed in his pursuit of experiment, only leaving it in obedience to the calls which his birth and reputation as a savant made on his society, calls which he regretted and endeavoured to avoid. It is a reasonable supposition that if he had lived in our time he would have given his results to the world in the roughest of rough notes, for others to make books of. But having had the training of a student of the humanities, and living when to be learned meant a more diverse, a less specialised culture than the wider data of learning make possible now, and when printing was a graver undertaking than it seems with us, he gave of necessity some form and literary completeness to his publications. We find in them still the note of impatience of form : he had not time to be brief. There is scarcely a trace in him of the first quality of an artist in prose, rejection. Now and again a well-turned phrase strikes the reader, but, given a certain condition of language, the phrase is found to be that which would have occurred at once to a certain order of intellect. Happily for Boyle the English of his time was comparatively free from the more vulgar sort of stereotyped phrase; had still a full and sonorous tone. But from the greater masters of sonorous English, Boyle was as far removed as from the clear-cut simplicity and directness of Swift. His style is not involved, and is not affected; it is merely rarified and verbose. In his religious writings the same thing is noticeable as in his scientific. Here again he was deeply interested in his subject, a sincerely pious man applying his best powers, or trying so to do, to the subject he deemed of first importance. And here again he is essentially impatient of form ; his sincerity gave him an infrequent warmth of phrase, the general and vague nature of his reflections an occasional rotundity, but again the average is jejune. One may often collect very clearly the points of a writer by a comparison with a parodist. Swift was not likely to be a greatly indulgent parodist. But if a reader turn from an hour or two of Boyle's Occasional Reflexions to the immortal Meditation upon a Broomstick, he will see that Swift, neatly burlesquing the nature of his originals thoughts, is unable to compass his lack of directness and pungency. When Boyle turned to a lighter theme, he was still verbose, though there is a certain charm and demureness which recall the accounts we have of the kindly and pleasant nature of the man. It is said that he tried to correct his diffuseness, but we may surmise that he tried to mitigate its inconvenience rather than to correct its deficiency of form. In fine, his attainments as a scholar, while they impelled him to attempt a literary form for his thoughts and discoveries, were not strong enough in the balance of his mind to compel the sacrifices necessary to an artistic result.

G. S. STREET

VOL. III

F

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The natural philosophy wont to be taught in schools, being little other than a system of the opinions of Aristotle and some few other writers, is not, I confess, Pyrophilus, very difficult to be learned; as being attainable by the perusal of a few of the more current authors. But, Pyrophilus, that experimental philosophy which you will find treated of in the following essays is a study, if duly prosecuted, so difficult, so changeable, and so toilsome that I think it requisite, before I propose any particular subjects to your inquiries, to possess you with a just value of true and solid physiology; and to convince you that, by endeavouring to addict you to it, I invite you not to misspend your time or trouble on a science unable to merit and requite it. In order, Pyrophilus, to the giving you this satisfaction, give me leave to mind you that it was a saying of Pythagoras, worthy so celebrated a philosopher, that there are two things which most ennoble man, and make him resemble the gods ; to know the truth, and to do good. For, Pyrophilus, that diviner part of man, the soul, which alone is capable of wearing the glorious image of its author, being endowed with two chief faculties, the understanding and the will, the former is blest and perfectionated by knowledge, and the latter's loveliest and most improving property is goodness. A due reflection upon this excellent sentence of him to whom philosophers owe that modest name, should, methinks, Pyrophilus, very much endear to us the study of natural philosophy. For there is no human science that does more gratify and enrich the understanding with variety of choice

acceptable truths ; nor scarce any, that does more enable a willing mind to exercise a goodness beneficial to others.

To manifest these truths more distinctly, Pyrophilus, and yet without exceeding that brevity my avocations and the bounds of an essay exact of me, I shall, among the numerous advantages accruing to men from the study of the book of nature, content

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