have been completely understood before the beginning of our own century. The note is that of Count Rumford or, at earliest, of Newton and Huyghens,
That learning might be reformed, he proposed the study of the comparative grammar of Greek, Arabic, Latin and Hebrew, the assiduous collection of ancient manuscripts and the ardent study of the classics. Here is the distinctive note of the Renaissance. But if the study of ancient books be so important how much more imperative is the study of the book of Nature!
Experimental science does not receive truth from the hands of the higher sciences; it is she who is the mistress; the others are but her handmaids.
She has the right to command; for she alone certifies and consecrates their results.
Experimental science is then the Queen of the sciences and the limit of all speculation.Physicists should know that their science is impotent if they do not utilize the power of mathematics, without which observation grows weak and incapable of any certitude.
These sentences selected at random out of whole chapters epitomize the teachings of Francis Bacon three centuries later and bring us near to the viewpoint of Helmholtz or Lord Kelvin.
Bacon had already begun the application of his absolutely new method and he has a clear vision of what may be accomplished in the future. After the mere facts of nature are discovered, he says, the laws back of the facts will be brought to light. When they are once known, the work of speculation will be completed. Man is to be the master of the world and his will is to govern. "Machines will be invented to navigate the seas without rowers; to traverse the land with unimaginable velocity; to fly with artificial wings; to walk on the bottom of the seas without danger; to bridge rivers without piers or columns.' We are yet very far from a complete conquest of nature, but the nineteenth century has seen the accomplishment of each of these visions of the astonishing monk of the thirteenth.
The entire work of Bacon is summed up in two insights of widely different character and of the first importance. Either of them is a title to enduring fame. He was the first of men to expose the essential infertility of scholastic philosophy; and he was the originator of the inductive methods that characterize modern science. If we set down in detail the matured judgments of our own time upon the scholasticism of the thirteenth century we shall find that each and every one of them was fully anticipated by Bacon; that he clearly