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arbitrarily applied, so as to form a certain likeness of some individual, it is the work of imagination; which, restrained by no law or necessity
Division general of Human Learning into Histo- of nature or of matter, can unite things which in ry, Poesy, Philosophy, according to the three nature are most discordant, and divide those Faculties of the Mind, Memory, Imagination, which never exist in separation, so as however Reason; showing that the same Division holds this is still confined to such original parts of the also in Matters Theological; since the Vessel, individuals. For there is no imagination, not
namely, Human Intellect, is the same, though the even a dream, of objects which have not in some Matter contained, and the Mode of its Entrance, shape presented themselves to the senses. Again, be different.
We adopt that division of human learning which is correlative to the three faculties of the intellect. We therefore set down its parts as three, History, Poesy, Philosophy:-history has reference to memory, poesy to imagination, philosophy to reason. By poesy in this place, we mean nothing else but feigned history. History is, properly, the history of individual facts, the impressions of which are the earliest and most ancient guests of the human mind, and as it were the primitive matter of the sciences. To deal with these individuals and that matter forms the mind's habitual employment, and occasionally, its amusement. For all science is the labour and handicraft of the mind; poetry can only be considered its recreation. In philosophy the mind is enslaved to things, in poesy it is let loose from the bondage of things, and breaks forth illimitably, and creates at will. And any one may easily comprehend that this is so, who shall seek the source of things intellectual even on the simplest principles, and with the most crass apprehension. For the images of things individual are admitted into the sense and fixed in the memory. They pass into the memory, as it were, whole, in the same manner as they present themselves. These the mind recals and retraces; and, which is its proper business, puts together and decomposes their parts. Now, individuals severally have something in common one with another, and again something diverse and complex. Composition and division takes place either at the will of the mind itself, or agreeably to what is found in nature. If it is done at the mere volition of the mind, and such parts of things are
if the same sections of objects be joined or and as they actually present themselves in nature, divided according to the real evidence of things, or at least as they are observed to present themselves according to the general apprehension of mankind, this is the office of reason; and all such adjustment is ascribed to reason.
sources there arise the three several streams of hisWhence it clearly appears that from these three tory, poesy, and philosophy, and that there cannot be other or more branches than these. For under the name of philosophy we comprehend all the arts and sciences, and whatever in short can, from the presentment of the several objects of nature, be by the mind collected and arranged into general notions. Nor do we think that there is occasion, in consideration of the extent of the subject, for any other division of learning than that which we have stated above. For though the responses of a divine oracle and of the senses are different, no doubt, both in the matter and the mode by which it finds access to the mind; yet the spirit of man which receives both is one and the same, just as different liquors passing through differents apertures are received into one and the same vessel. Wherefore we assert that history itself either consists of sacred history, or of divine precepts and doctrines, which are, so to speak, an everyday philosophy. And that part which seems to fall without this division, prophecy, is itself a species of history, with the prerogative of deity stamped upon it of making all times one duration, so that the narrative may antici. pate the fact; thus also the mode of promul gating vaticination by vision, or the heavenly doctrines by parables, partakes of the nature of poetry.
#partition of History into Natural and Civil, Ecclesiastical, Literary, and Particular, included in Civil History. A division of Natural History into the History of Generations, Præter-generations, and Arts; according to the three states of Nature, namely, Nature in course, varying,
new face of things, or second universe. Wherefore natural history of either the liberty of nature or its errors into bonds. Now, if it be unpleasing to any one that the arts should be called the bonds of nature, since they are rather to be considered its deliverers and champions, since they make nature, in some instances, mistress of her object, by reducing obstacles into her order. We regard little such delicacies and elegancies of language. We only mean to signify this, that nature, by means of arts, is placed by compulsion under a necessity of doing that which without arts would not have been done, whether that be denominated force and bonds, or assistance, and consummating skill. We shall therefore divide natural history into the history of generations. the history of preter-generations, and the history of arts, which we are accustomed to call mechani
place the history of arts among the species of natural history, because there has obtained a now inveterate mode of speaking and notion, as if art were something different from nature, so that things artificial ought to be discriminated from things natural, as if wholly and generically dif ferent; whence arises this evil, that most writers of natural history think they have accomplished their task if they have achieved a history of animals, plants, or minerals, omitting the experi ments of mechanics, which are of by far the greatest consequence to philosophy; and there has insinuated itself into mens' minds a still subtler error, namely, this, that art is conceived to be a sort of addition to nature, the proper effect of which is to perfect what nature has begun, or to correct her where she has deviated; but by no means to work radical changes in her, and shake her at the roots, which has been a source of great despondency in the attempts of men. Whereas, on the contrary, that ought to be sunk deep that things artificial do not differ from natural in form or essence but in efficients only; that in reality man has no power over nature, except that of motion, namely, to apply or to remove natural bodies; but nature performs all the rest within
HISTORY is either natural or civil. In natural history we recount the events and doings of nature; in civil, of men. Things divine no doubt have a conspicuous share in both, but chiefly in human, so as to constitute a branch of their own in history, which we are accustomed to call sacred or ecclesiastical. We shall therefore assign that branch to the province of civil histo-cal and experimental history. And we willingly ry: and we shall first speak of natural history. There is extant no natural history of things individual. Not that we would lay down the false position that history ought to be engrossed with describing individuals, which are limited in time and place. For in that view it is proper there should be none; since, however, there is a general resemblance of natural objects, so that if you know one you know all, it were superfluous and interminable to speak of individuals. Thus, if in any case that indistinguishable general resemblance be wanting, natural history admits individuals those, that is, of which there is not a number or family. For a history of the sun, the moon, the earth, and the like, which are unique in their species, is most properly written, and no less of those which conspicuously vary from their species and are monstrous; since the description and the knowledge of the species neither sufficiently nor competently supplies the want of it. Wherefore natural history does not exclude these two classes of individuals, but is in by far the largest part of it, as we have already stated, employed about species. But we attempt a partition of natural history, derived from the tendency and condition of nature herself, which is found placed in three several states, and subject | herself. as it were, to three modes of government. For nature is either free, spontaneously diffusing and developing itself in its wonted course, that is, when nature depends upon itself, in no way obstructed and subdued, as in the heavens, animals, plants, and all the natural productions; or, again, it is evidently torn down and precipitated from its proper state by the pravity and erratic tendency of obdurate and resisting matter, or by violence of obstacles, as is the case in the care of monsters and unnatural productions; or, finally, it is coerced by the art and industry of man, fashioned, altered, and as it were made anew, as in things artificial. For in things artificial nature seems, as it were, new made, and there is seen a
Wherefore, when there is granted a proper application or removal of natural bodies, men and art can do all; when not granted, nothing. Again, provided that due admission and removal takes place in order to some effect, it matters not whether it be done by man or by art, or by nature without man. Nor is the one more potent than the other; so, if any one by sprinkling water create the apparition of a rainbow upon a wall, he does not find nature less obedient than when the same takes place in the air on humid clouds. Again, when gold is found pure in veins, where nature has performed exactly the same office to herself, as if pure gold was extracted by means of the smelting pot and ministry of man. Sometimes, too, a ministry of this kind
is, by the laws of the universe, committed to other animals. For honey is not the less an artificial production, which is produced through the medium of the industry of the bee, than sugar which is produced by that of man; and in manna, which is a similar composition, nature is content with her own chymistry. Since, then, nature is one and the same thing, and its power all-pervading and never at war with itself, these three things ought to be understood as equally subordinate only to nature; the course of nature, the eccentricity of nature, and art or man added to the universe, and therefore it is fitting that all these things should be interwoven in one continuous series of narrations, which Caius Pliny in a great manner attempted, who embraced natural history with a comprehensiveness of plan suitable to its dignity, but having embraced it, treated it most meagerly. Let this, then, be the first division of natural history.
A Partition of Natural History according to its Use and End, showing that by far the noblest End of Natural History is its Ministration in the first Instance to found Philosophy; and that such a History-a History modelled in Order to such End, is wanted.
BUT Natural History, threefold in its subject, (as we have stated,) is twofold in its use. For it is employed either for the purpose of furnishing knowledge of those facts which are recorded by the history, or as the primitive matter of philosophy. But, if the noblest end of natural history is this, that it is, so to speak, the stuff and Hyle of a just and legitimate induction, and draws enough from the sense to instruct the intellect. For that other sort of history, which either delights by the charm of the narration, or pleases by its subserviency to immediate experiments, and which is in request either in respect of such pleasure or such profit, is of a cast inferior, and in its nature meaner, in comparison with that of which it is the nature and the quality to serve as an appropriate preparation to found philosophy. For that is the true natural history which is established as an immovable and eternal foundation for true and practical philosophy; which affords the first genial kindling to the pure light of nature, wherein all phantasms vanish; and of which the genius, neglected and unappeased by fit offerings, has, in au evil hour, sent among us those legions of spectres and worlds of shadows, which we see hovering over all the expanse of the philosophies, along with great and lamentable dearth of useful works. Now, we assert and explicitly testify, that a natural history, such as it ought to be in order to this end, is not possessed, but ought to be placed among histories wanting. And let not
either the great names of the ancients, or the great tomes of the moderns, startle the mental vision of any one; and let him not think that our complaint is the less just. We are well aware that there is extant a natural history, voluminous in its bulk, entertaining from its variety, often interesting, elaborate even to scrupulosity. But if one shall extract from it accounts derived from fable and antiquity, the quotations and testimonies of authors, the empty questions and controversies, and, finally, that part of it which is mere words and rhetorical ornament, (which is better adapted to disquisition and the talk of literary nights than to establish philosophy,) this great appearance of substance subsides to nothing. Thus there seems to have been desiderated and collected by some men, in this instance, rather a Thesaurus for the allusions of eloquence, than a solid and authentic narrative of facts. Besides, it seems to no great purpose to recount or know the wonderful varieties of flowers of the iris or the tulip, of shells, or dogs, or hawks. For these are nothing but the sport or wantonness of nature, and approach nearly the nature of individuals. By which means men acquire exquisite minuteness of knowledge in the objects, but meager and even useless information as respects the purposes, of science. Yet, these are the things of which the common natural history makes such an ostentatious display. Now, though natural history has, on the one hand, degenerated into foreign, and, on the other, indulged in superfluous inquiries, yet assuredly great and valuable parts of it have either been entirely passed over, or carelessly and lightly handled. And in the whole scope of its investigations and its accumulations, it is not by any means found adapted and qualified to attain the end of which we speak, namely, to found philosophy. This will appear best in its particular branches, and by a comparison of that history, whose descriptions we shall presently submit to the eyes of man, with that which now obtains.
The Treatise begins by stating what the History wanted ought to be; namely, a Natural History, as a Foundation for Philosophy. To unfold this more clearly, there is first exhibited a Scheme of the History of Generations. Of this the Parts are set down as five: The first, the History of the Heavenly Bodies; the second, of Meteors; the third, of Earth and Sea; the fourth, of the greater Colleges of Things, that is, of Elements or Masses; the fifth, of the smaller Colleges or Species. The History of primitive Virtues is reserved, till the exposition of the first Division, namely, of Generations, Preter-generations, and Arts, is completed. As we think it concerns our honour not to leave to others the execution of the history which we
desire, but to impose it as a task upon ourselves, since in proportion as the subject may seem open to the labour of all, in the same proportion, there is greater risk of their deviating from the design, and we have therefore distinguished it as forming the third part of our history; yet faithfully observe our purpose of explaining and exhibiting what hath been neglected, and place some part of science in security, should we be cut off by any of the accidents of humanity; we have thought it good to add now and in this place, our sentiments and counsels respecting this subject. We set down of the history of generations, or nature at large, five divisions. These are the history of the ether, the history of the meteors and of the regions of the air, as they are called; for the lower track circumambient to the earth's surface, and to the bodies which are placed in it, we refer to the history of meteors. Thirdly, there follows the history of the earth and sea, which conjointly compose one globe. And so far nature is divided according to place, and the things occupying those places. The other two parts discriminate substances, or rather masses of substances. For homogeneous substances are usually collected in larger or smaller masses, which we have been wont to name larger and smaller colleges of things, and they have the same relation as in human polity a tribe and family. Therefore, we place the fourth in order, the history of the elements or larger colleges; fifthly and lastly, the history of species or smaller colleges. We mean elements to be taken in this sense, not that they should be understood as the principles of things, but as larger masses of connatural substances. That larger size happens by reason of the manageable, simple, obvious, and perfected texture of the matter; whereas, species are furnished by nature sparingly, because of the dissimilarity, and, in most instances, the organic structure of the texture. Now of the history of those properties which may be regarded as the cardinal and catholic virtues of nature, density, rarity, levity, gravity, heat, cold, consistency, fluidity, similarity, dissimilarity, specific, organic, and the like, along with the motions contributing to them, as of antitype, connexion, coition, expansion, and the rest of such properties and motions, (the history of which we would have collected and complete before we come to the point, where the intellect is to work upon them,) and of the mode of preparing that history; we shall discourse after finishing the explanation of the three divisions, generation, præter-generation, and arts. For we have not comprehended that among the three divisions, since it is not properly a history, but something between history and philosophy, a sort of middle term. At present we shall speak and give our counsels respecting the history of the heavenly oodies, and then of the others.
Resumes the consideration of the History of the Heavenly Bodies, showing what it ought to be in kind, and that the legitimate ordering of the History ought to turn upon three kinds of Precepts, namely, concerning the End of such History, the Matter, and Mode of conducting it.
WE would have the history of the celestial bodies simple, not vitiated by arbitrary dogmas, but, as it were, suspended out of the reach of the forcible grappling and presumption of theories, only embracing phenomena raw and detached, which had grown up, so to speak, blended with such dogmas; finally, such a history as may set forth narratives of facts exactly in the same manner as if nothing had been fixed by the arts of astronomy and astrology, but only as if experiments and observations had been diligently collected and perspicuously described. In which kind of history we find nothing hitherto done to accord with our wish. Caius Pliny attempted only something of the kind in a cursory and inexact style; but a valuable history might be extracted and dug from the mine of Ptolemy and Copernicus, and the more informed teachers of astronomy, by exhausting all the experiments, and adding the observations of the moderns. And if it should appear to any one surprising, that we should throw back again what had been secured, enlarged, and rectified, to its primitive barbarism, and the simplicity of its crude observations, we answer thus; with none of the ostentation of the earlier inventors, we attempt a far nobler work, for we think not of calculations and predictions, but of philosophy-such, we mean, as shall instruct the human mind, not only with respect to the motion of the higher bodies and its periods, but concerning their substance, their various qualities, their power and influence, according to methods natural and admitting of no uncertainty, free from the superstition and childishness of tradition; and, again, as respects their motion itself, to discover and unfold not what is reconcilable to known phenomena, but what is found on penetrating deep into nature, and is true in act and in reality. And any one may easily observe both that those who have supposed that the earth revolves on its axis, and those, on the other hand, who have held it to be the centre of motion, the ancient formation, depend on a nearly balanced and doubtful advocacy of phenomena. Moreover, the advocate in our day of the new formation, who makes the sun the centre of the second motion, as the earth of the first, while the planets, in their respective orbits, seem to join in a dance round the sun, which some of the ancients suspected in the case of Mercury and Venus,had he pursued his thoughts to their result, seems to have had it in his power certainly to bring the
question to a fair settlement. Nor, indeed, have | intercourse with the heavenly bodies. And this we any doubt that other hypotheses of such for- undertaking we regard as both in its end and mations, may be invented by ingenious and acute endeavour something noble and worthy of manthinkers. Nor are those who promulgate such kind. And such men are so much the more theories much delighted, because what they pro- deserving of praise, both in their attempt and their pose is true, but only because it is a convenient basis of belief, because they have honestly and hypothesis for forming calculations and astrono- distinctly planted before them the facts for examical tables. But our method has a widely dif- mination as they severally present themselves. It ferent object. For we seek not accommodations, remains only that they have perseverance united which may be various, but truth, which is one. with great severity of judgment, that they change To attain this, a genuine history of phenomena their instruments, that they increase the amount would open a way; one tainted with theory would of evidence, that they subject to experiments each obstruct it. Nor shall we here omit, that we, as phenomenon, and frequently, and in a variety of the result of such a history of the heavenly bodies, ways; finally, that they both place before themmade and accumulated according to our rules, selves and lay open to others, whatever may be indulge not only the hope of a discovery of the objected in favour of the contrary conclusion, and truth with reference to the heavenly bodies, but that they do not disdain to notice even the most still more of such discovery in the observation of minute incongruity, lest that should happen to the affections and appetencies of matter in either them which happened to Democritus and his old world. For that supposed discrepancy between woman about the figs of exquisite flavour, namely, the celestial and sublunary bodies appear to us a to find the old wife wiser than the philosopher; figment at once drivelling and presumptuous, and lest some silly and ridiculous mistake should since it is most indubitable that a variety of lie at the bottom of a high and soaring theory. effects, such as expansion, contraction, impres- Having premised these remarks on the general sion, retrocession, assimilation, union, and the subject, let us proceed to a more detailed statelike, have their seat not merely among us, but in ment of our astronomical history, in order that we the highest part of heaven, and in the entrails of may show both what, and what kind of facts, the earth. Other and more faithful interpreters ought to be inquired into in regard to the heavenly than these there are none whom we can call in bodies. First, then, we shall propose the quesand consult, to assist human intellect in penetrat- tions of natural philosophy, or, at least, some of ing the depths of the earth, which are invisible, them, and those of greatest moment to the use of and the height of heaven, which is generally seen man. Next after these we shall mention those under optical illusion. Wherefore the ancients uses to mankind which may probably be derived excellently devised of Proteus that he was of from the contemplation of the heavenly bodies: many shapes, and also noted as the prince of all both of these as showing the design of the hisdiviners, knowing the past, the future, and the tory: that those whose task it shall be to compile mysteries of the present. For he who knows the a history of the heavenly bodies may know what catholic appetencies of matter, and knows by them they do, and may have these questions, along what is possible, cannot be ignorant what is, and with the works and practical effects to arise from what will be, found true of things taken within them, in their minds' eye and contemplation. them. Wherefore we repose great hope and con- Whence they may build up and prepare a history fidence in the methods of physics for advancing such as shall be adapted for the decision of questhe science of astronomy, meaning by physical tions of this sort, and for furnishing such fruits inquiries, not those which are commonly thought and advantages to mankind. We mean questions so, but only the doctrine regarding those tenden- of that kind which are applicable to the doings of cies of matter which no diversity of regions or nature, not their causes. For that is the proper position can detach or dissever from it. Nor province of history. We shall then perspicuously would we, therefore, (to return to our theme,) state in what the history of the heavenly bodies wish any labour to be spared, which could be consists; what are its parts; what things are to employed in statements and observations of the be learned or examined; what experiments are to heavenly bodies. For, in proportion as there is a be set on foot and performed; what observations richer fund of appearances of this sort, in the are to be used and weighed; thus proposing, so same proportion will the whole subject be more to speak, certain inductive topics or articles of easily mastered, and have more solidity. Of examination respecting the heavenly bodies. which, before we say any thing further, we have Lastly, we shall state something not only conreason assuredly to congratulate the world, both cerning what ought properly to be inquired into, on the labour of mechanicians, and the diligence but concerning this,-how, when the inquiries and accuracy of certain learned men, that they are completed, they ought to be meditated, and have of late attempted so to speak, to establish by exhibited, and reduced to writing; lest the dilimeans of optical instruments, as by means of gence employed in the first part of the inquiry trading vessels and passage-boats, to open up an should be lost in what succeeds; or, which is