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his valuable Letters contain many most interesting personal notices, strongly illustrative of his character:-these I have assiduously collected; and weaving them into the narrative of his life, have thus endeavoured to give it something of the nature and interest of autobiography. Such letters as are written from wise men,' (lord Bacon himself observes,) are of all the words of man, in my judgment, the best; for they are more natural than orations and public speeches, and more advised than conferences or present speeches. They are the best instructions for history, and, to a diligent reader, the best histories in themselves.'
Another object steadily kept in view, has been to give a popular, yet brief, ac
count of lord Bacon's principal works,not a mere naked abstract, for that would present little or no attraction to the general reader; but an account illustrated, when necessary, with examples drawn from those splendid discoveries in science which have been made since the introduction of the Baconian System. Some remarks are likewise offered on the influence of lord Bacon's Philosophy upon the progress of knowledge, chiefly with the view of showing how destitute of foundation is the opinion, that it did not accelerate the advancement of science-an opinion, indeed, so glaringly erroneous, that it could scarcely have justified any consideration, had it not been broadly and unhesitatingly avowed by sir Da