Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> An Oration Delivered Before the Two Societies of the South Carolina College, on the 4th of Dec., 1849 >> Page 201

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Page 201

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 201
ever limits his views to the consideration of these
causes only, cannot possibly comprehend the civiliza-
tion he enjoys, and is, of course, not capable of per-
forming thoroughly his own part in the important
affairs of life much less of promoting the welfare of
those who are to come after us.
It is well known that the Novum Organum of
Bacon was a sealed book to his contemporaries. Even
Hobbes, his amanuensis, was not his disciple. The
greatest admirers of this truly great man to whom
was vouchsafed the utmost intellectual capacity with
which man can, so far as we know, be endowed
admit that this work has been more read within the
present century than during the two previous more
since than before the time when Newton discovered
the true theory of motion, when Lavoisier erected
chemistry into a science, and Watt applied steam to,
useful purposes ; while there is no reason to suppose
that any of these illustrious men had been students of
the new philosophy of Bacon. We owe a very large
proportion of the discoveries and inventions of modern
times to Italy, where this philosophy has not yet
penetrated.
But Bacon himself lived in an age when progress
had already made vast and rapid strides ; when the
grandest discoveries had been already effected in phy-
sics and verified by experiment ; and when the founda-
tions had been laid for nearly all the improvements
which have been developed to the present day.
Paper, Gunpowder, the Mariner's Compass, and the
art of Printing had long been in use. The Copernican
system, though probably unknown to Bacon, had been
announced, and Galileo had made a Telescope and