« PreviousContinue »
Non est meum abdicare in totum syllogismum. Res est syllogismus magis inhabilis ad præcipua, quam inutilis ad plurima.
Ad mathematica quidni adhibeatur ? Cum fluxus materiæ & inconstantia corporis physici illud sit, quod inductionem desideret; ut per eam veluti figatur, atque inde eruantur notiones bene terminatæ.
De metaphysica ne sis sollicitus. Nulla enim erit post veram physicam inventam; ultra quam nihil præter divina.
In physica prudenter notas, & idem tecum sentio, post notiones primæ classis, et axiomata super ipsas, per inductionem bene eruta et terminata, tuto adhiberi syllogismum, modo inhibeatur saltus ad generalissima, et fiat progressus per scalam convenientem.
De multitudine instantiarum, quæ homines deterrere possit, hæc respondeo:
Primo, quid opus est dissimulatione? Aut copia instantiarum comparanda, aut negotium deserendum. Aliæ omnes viæ, utcunque blandiantur, imperviæ.
Secundo (quod et ipse notas) prærogativæ instantiarum, et modus experimentandi circa experimenta lucifera (quem aliquando trademus) de multitudine ipsarum plurimum detrahent.
Tertio, quid magni foret, rogo, si in describendis instantiis impleantur volumina, quæ historiam C. Plinii sextuplicent? In qua tamen ipsa plurima philologica, fabulosa, antiquitatis, non naturæ. Etenim veram historiam naturalem nihil aliud ingreditur præter instantias, connexiones, observationes, canones. Cogita altera ex parte immensa volumina philosophica; facile perspicies maxime solida esse maxime finita.
Postremo, ex nostra philosophandi methodo excipietur in via plurimorum operum utilium messis, quæ ex speculationibus aut disputationibus sterilis aut nulla est.
Historiam naturalem ad condendam philosophiam (ut et tu mones) ante omnia præopto; neque huic rei deero, quantum in me est. Utinam habeam et adjutores idoneos. Neque in hac parte mihi quidpiam accidere poterit felicius, quam si tu, talis vir, primitias huic operi præbeas conscribendo historiam cœlestium, in
qua ipsa tantum phænomena, atque una instrumenta astronomica, eorumque genera et usum; dein hypotheses præcipuas et maxime illustres, tam antiquas quam. modernas, atque simul exactas restitutionum calculationes, et alia hujusmodi sincere proponas, absque omni dogmate et themate. Quod si huic coœlestium historia historiam cometarum adjeceris (de qua confi cienda ecce tibi articulos quosdam et quasi topica particularia) magnificum prorsus frontispicium historiæ naturali extruxeris, et optime de scientiarum instauratione merueris, mihique gratissimum feceris.
Librum meum de progressu scientiarum traducendum commisi. Illa translatio, volente Deo, sub finem æstatis perficietur: eam ad te mittam.
Opera tua, quæ publici juris sunt, inspexi; magnæ certe subtilitatis & diligentiæ in via vestra. Novatores, quos nominas, Patricium, Telesium, etiam alios, quos prætermittis, legi. Possint esse tales innumeri velut etiam antiquis temporibus fuerunt Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, Democritus, Parmenides, et alii (nam Pythagoram ut superstitiosum omitto.) Inter istos tam antiquos quam modernos differentiam facultatis agnosco maximam, veritatis perparvam. Summa rei est, si homines se rebus submittere velint, aliquid confiet; sin minus, ingenia ista redibunt in orbem.
Stabilita jam sit inter nos notitia; meque, ut cœpisti, maxime autem veritatem ama. Vale. Tui amantissimus,
Apud Ædes meas,
Londini Junii ultimo, 1622.
CCLXXVI. To the KING.
It may please your most excellent Majesty, IN the midst of my misery, which is rather assuaged by remembrance, than by hope; my chiefest worldly comfortis, to think that since the time I had the first vote of the commons house of parliament for commissioner of the union, until the time that I was this last parliament chosen by both houses for their messenger to your majesty in the petition of religion (which two were my
first and last services) I was evermore so happy as to have my poor services graciously accepted by your majesty, and likewise not to have had any of them miscarry in my hands. Neither of which points I can any ways take to myself, but ascribe the former to your majesty's goodness, and the latter to your prudent directions; which I was ever careful to have and keep. For as I have often said to your majesty, I was towards you but as a bucket and a cistern, to draw forth and conserve; whereas yourself was the fountain. Unto this comfort of nineteen years prosperity, there succeeded a comfort even in my greatest adversity, somewhat of the same nature; which is, that in those offences wherewith I was charged, there was not any one that had special relation to your majesty, or any your particular commandments. For as towards Almighty God, there are offences against the first and second table, and yet all against God; so with the servants of kings there are offences more immediate against the sovereign; although all offences against law are also against the king. Unto which comfort there is added this circumstance, that as my faults were not against your majesty, otherwise than as all faults are; so my fall was not your majesty's act, otherwise than as all acts of justice are yours. This I write not to insinuate with your majesty, but as a most humble appeal to your majesty's gracious remembrance, how honest and direct you have ever found me in your service; whereby I have an assured belief, that there is in your majesty's own princely thoughts a great deal of serenity and clearness towards me your majesty's now prostrate and cast down servant.
Neither (my most gracious sovereign) do I, by this mention of my services, lay claim to your princely grace and bounty, though the privilege of calamity doth bear that form of petition. I know well, had they been much more, they had been but my bounden duty. Nay, I must also confess, that they were from time to time, far above my merit, over and super-rewarded by your majesty's benefits which you heaped upon me. Your majesty was and is that master to me, that raised
middle of 1622.
and advanced me nine times; thrice in dignity, and six times in office. The places indeed were the painfullest of all your services; but then they had both honour and profits. And the then profits might have maintained my now honour, if I had been wise. Neither was your majesty's immediate liberality wanting towards. me in some gifts, if I may hold them. All this I do most thankfully acknowledge, and do herewith conclude, that for any thing arising from myself to move your eye of pity towards me, there is much more in my present misery, than in my past services; save that the same, your majesty's goodness, that may give relief to the one, may give value to the other.
And indeed, if it may please your majesty, this theme of my misery is so plentiful, as it need not be coupled with any thing else. I have been somebody by your majesty's singular and undeserved favour,even the prime officer of your kingdom; your majesty's arm hath been often laid over mine in council, when you presided at the table; so near. I was. I have borne your majesty's image in metal, much more in heart; I was never in nineteen years service chidden by your majesty, but contrariwise often over-joyed, when your majesty would sometimes say, I was a good husband for you, though none for myself: sometimes, that I had a way to deal in business suavibus modis, which was the way which was most according to your own heart; and other most gracious speeches of affec», tion and trust, which I feed on to this day. But why should I speak of these things which are now vanished, but only the better to express the downfal ?deo1.
For now it is thus with me: I am a * year and a was wrote half old in misery though I must ever acknowledge, near the not without some mixture of your majesty's grace and mercy; for I do not think it possible, that any one whom you once loved should be totally miserable. Mine own means, through my own improvidence, are poor, and weak, little better than my father left me The poor things that I have had from your majesty, are either in question, or at courtesy. My dignities remain marks of your past favour, but burdens of my present
fortune. The poor remnants which I had of my former fortunes, in plate or jewels, I have spread upon poor men unto whom I owed, scarce leaving myself a convenient subsistence. So as, to conclude, I must pour out my misery before your majesty, so far as to say, Si deseris tu, perimus.
But as I can offer to your majesty's compassion little arising from myself to move you, except it be my extreme misery, which I have truly laid open; so looking up to your majesty's own self, I should think I committed Cain's fault, if I should despair. Your majesty is a king whose heart is as unscrutable for secret motions of goodness, as for depth of wisdom. You are creator-like, factive and not destructive. You are the prince in whom hath been ever noted an aversation against any thing that savoured of an hard heart; as, on the other side, your princely eye was wont to meet with any motion that was made on the relieving part. Therefore as one that hath had the happiness to know your majesty's near hand, I have (most gracious sovereign) faith enough for a miracle, and much more for a grace, that your majesty will not suffer your poor creature to be utterly defaced, nor blot that name quite out of your book, upon which your sacred hand hath been so oft for the giving him new ornaments and additions.
Unto this degree of compassion, I hope God above (of whose mercy towards me, both in my prosperity and adversity, I have had great testimonies and pledges, though my own manifold and wretched unthankfulness might have averted them) will dispose your princely heart, already prepared to all piety. And why should I not think, but that that thrice noble prince, who would have pulled me out of the fire of a sentence, will help to pull me (if I may use that homely phrase) out of the mire of an abject and sordid condition in my last days: and that excellent favourite of yours (the goodness of whose nature contendeth with the greatness of his fortune; and who counteth it a prize, a second prize, to be a good friend, after that prize which he carrieth to be a good servant) will kiss