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Now, in the redargution of the received philo

axioms inferred and trained down to particular in upon our mind, that what is now done, from and practical uses, by process of reasoning, the supreme importance of the good it contains to should yield only a sort of guesses, exceedingly man, is manifestly of God. And in His workobscure and imperfect. Whereas an axiom drawn ings, every the most insignificant germ of the from particulars to new and corresponding ones, future is pregnant with results. leads on investigation in a broad and indestructible path. The other premonition is this, that we re-sophies which we intend, we scarcely know member that, in the active branch of the inquiry, the business is to be accomplished by means of the ladder of descent, the use of which we waived in the contemplative. For every operation is occupied about individual experiments whose place is at the bottom of all. We must, therefore, descend the steps that lie between general truths and these. Nor, again, is it practicable to get at these by means of axioms taken unconnectedly; for every practical operation, and the mode of performing it, is at once suggested and effected by applying a combination of isolated axioms. With these preliminaries, then, we come to our three- | fold exposition of the doctrine of active interpretation. The first part propounds a defined and appropriate method of inquiry, in which not the cause or governing axiom, but the effecting of any operation is the object in view, and is submitted to examination. The second shows the way of making general tables with a special view to practice, in which may be much more easily and readily found all sorts of suggestions and indications of works. The third subjoins a mode of ascertaining and striking out new practical uses, an incomplete mode, no doubt, and yet not without utility, which travels from one experiment to another, without deducing of axioms. For, as from axiom to axiom, so from experiment to experiment, there is presented and opened up a passage to discovery, narrow indeed and slippery, yet not to be wholly passed over in silence. And here we conclude the ministration to practice, being the last in the order of distribution. This, then, is a plain and succinct abstract of the second book.

These things being unfolded, we trust to have well constructed and furnished withal, the marriage chamber of mind and the universe, the divine goodness not disdaining to be bridemaid. Let it then be the votive part of the nuptial hymn, that from their union may rise and descend a progeny of helps to man's life, a line, so to speak, of heroes to conquer and command the wants and the miseries of humanity.

At the conclusion, we shall add some remarks on the combination and the succession of scientific efforts. For then, and not till then, shall men know their own strength, not when multitudes devote themselves as now to the same tasks, but when some shall appropriate what is neglected by the rest. Nor, truly, have we abandoned hope of aftertimes, that there shall rise up men to advance to a nobler state a work commencing from such slender beginnings. For it is borne

whither at first to turn ourselves, since the avenue to confutation of the same, which was to others open, is to us inhibited. And, besides, so many and so vast are the troops of error which present themselves, that we must overthrow and dislodge them, not in close detail but in mass: and if we would draw near unto them, and try conclusions, hand to hand, with each of them individually, it were in vain the rule of all reasoning being set aside, differing as we do from them in our principles, and repudiating as we do the very forms and authority of their proofs and demonstrations. And if (which seems to be the only thing left for us to do) we attempted to infer and derive from experience the truths we maintain, we are only turning back to the starting point. And, forgetting what we have discoursed of the preparing of men's minds, we are found going directly the opposite way: and falling all at once and prematurely on nature; to which we have pronounced it absolutely necessary that we open up and pave a way, because of the obdurate prejudices and impediments of the minds of men. Nevertheless, we shall not be wanting to ourselves, but shall try to confront them, and prove our strength, in manner accommodated to our design, both by producing certain tokens from which an estimate may be formed of these philosophies, and meanwhile noting among the philosophies themselves, so as to shake their authority, certain prodigies of perversion, and laughingstocks to intelligence, which they furnish.

Yet it escapes us not that the mass of such errors is too much consolidated to be at once overthrown; especially as among learned men, it is no unusual or unheard-of arrogance, wilfully to reject opinions which they cannot shake. Nor shall we offer aught too light or low for the grandeur of the interest which is at stake, nor in this sort of redargution attempt to make converts to our creed, hoping only meantime to conciliate patience and candour, and that only in minds of a more commanding and decisive order. For no one can betake himself to us, fresh from the habitual and unceasing companionship of such errors, with such openness and greatness of mind, as not to retain some bias to his impressions and opinions in favour of inveterate and established systems. You cannot inscribe fresh characters on the writing-tablet without expunging the former ones; but, in the mind, you will scarcely obliterate the first drawn characters, save by inscribing others.

This bias, as we think, ought to be counteracted,

and these our statements have this scope, (we the body politic. And when he entered at first, speak it without reserve,) to lead men willing, he found them occupied with easy converse one not to drag them reluctant. All forcing, (as we with another, yet they were ranged on seats placed from the first professed,) we would banish and with some formality of order, and sate as if exas Borgia jestingly noted of the invasion of Italy pecting some one's coming. by Charles the Eighth, that the French had come with chalk in their hands to mark the public houses, not arms to force their way through the land; so we too anticipate a like pacific tone and result of our discoveries, namely, that they shall segregate minds of large capacity from the crowd, and into these shall make their way, rather than be obnoxious to men of opposite opinions.

But in this part of our subject, in which we now treat of the redargution of the vulgar philosophies, our task hath been happily lightened by a timely and extraordinary circumstance. For while meditating these points, there came to me a certain friend, then returning from France, of whom, after due courtesy done, I inquired much, as he (in the wont of intimate friends) of me, in regard of our various affairs. "But how do you employ," said he, at length, “those intervals which are unoccupied with public business, or at least wherein its bustle abates." "A question in good time," I answered; "lest you should suppose I do nothing at all in such hours, I must tell you, I now meditate a renovation of philosophy, which shall embrace nothing airy or abstract, and which shall advance the interests of mankind." "A noble undertaking, doubtless," said he; "but whom have you for associates in this work?" "None at all," was my reply; "I have not even a person with whom I can converse without reserve on such subjects, none at least in whose converse I can explain myself, and whet my purpose." "A hard fate," he said, "yet know," he immediately added, "that others have also at heart such subjects." Whereupon I exclaimed with joy," Precious raindrop of hope, that hast at last sprinkled my thirsty spirit, and recalled me to life. Why, I met not long ago a certain evileyed old fortune-telling woman, who, muttering I know not what, prophesied that my offspring should die in the desert." "Would you," said he, "that I mention a circumstance relating to such matters, which I met with myself in France?" "Most willingly," I replied, "and shall be grateful besides."

He then related that he had, while at Paris, been invited and introduced by a friend of his to an assembly of personages, "such," said he, "as you too would have loved to see. No occurrence of my life was ever more delightful than that introduction. There were about fifty present, none young, but all mature of years, and of whom each in his aspect wore a stamp of dignity and of honour." He related, that among them he recognised men who had held offices of state, others senators of the realm, divers eminent ecclesiastics, and some generally of all the notable classes of

Not long after there came to them a personage of an aspect, as he thought, mild and exceedingly placid, yet the comportment of his features was as of one that pitied men. And, when they all stood up to receive him, he looked around, and said with a smile, "I could never have conceived, now that I recognise your features, one after another, that the idle hour of all of you should have fallen upon the same nook of time, and I cannot enough admire how it hath so occurred." Whereupon one of the assembly made answer, that it was he himself that had occasioned that leisure, seeing that what they expected to reap from him, they regarded as preferable to all business. “I perceive,” he answered, "that the whole waste of the time here consumed, in which each of you, if apart, might have benefited many, is to be charged to my account. If this be so, I must see, in good sooth, that I detain you not over long." With these words he sate down, not on an elevated seat or academic chair, but on a level with the rest, and discoursed to the assembly, somewhat to the following effect. For my informant said, that he tried as he might to catch up the address, but while going over his remembrances of it with the friend who had introduced him, they seemed far short of what had then been spoken. He then produced a specimen of the speech which he had taken down, and which he had then about him.

"My sons, ye are doubtless but men and mortal, yet will ye not so much repine at the terms of your being, if ye sufficiently remember your nature. God, the creator of the world and of you, has endowed you with souls to contain that world, and yet remain unfilled and unsatisfied. Wherefore he has claimed your faith for himself, but the world he hath submitted to your sense; and hath decreed that the oracles of both should not be clear, but ambiguous, so as profitably to exercise you, and to balance the excellency of the things discovered. Now, as regards truths divine, my hope of you is good: but as concerns things human, I am in fear for you, lest you be involved in a train of endless errors. For I consider, that you are intimately persuaded of one thing, namely, that you now enjoy a flourishing and auspicious state of science. I on the other hand admonish you, not to regard the copiousness or utility of the knowledge you possess, as if you had been exalted to some pinnacle of superiority, or had satisfied your aspirations, or completed your labours. Revolve the matter thus:

"If you take to task the whole of that huge congeries of writings wherewith the sciences are so puffed out and overgrown, and mark them with a strict and sifting scrutiny, you shall everywhere

note infinite repetitions of the same thing, diversified in words, arrangement, examples, and illustrations, yet in the sum and weight and real effect of things all anticipated, and manifestly only repetitions, so as there is at once poverty and parade, arrogance and miserable jejuneness. And if I may be allowed a colloquial ease and pleasantry on this subject, this learning of yours very much resembles the well known supper of the host of Chalcis, who being asked whence he had such store of different hunter's fare: answered that all his dishes were of the flesh of a tame boar. For you will not deny that the whole of that seeming copiousness is nothing but fragments of the philosophy of the Greeks, and that not reared, to continue the metaphor, in the woods and wilds of nature, but styed up in the schools and scholastic cells like the domesticated animal. For, if you give up the Greeks, and a few Greeks too,

what (I pray you) have the Romans or Arabs,
which doth not emanate from, and fall back into,
the systems of Aristotle, Plato, Hippocrates,
Galen, Euclid, and Ptolemy? Thus you see
your entire hopes and fortunes wrapt up in the
weak brains and limited souls of about half-a-dozen
mortals. Yet it was not for this that God im-
planted in you reasonable souls, that you should
obsequiously give up to human beings that part
of you which he vindicates for himself,-implicit
faith due only to the things of God. Nor hath he
allotted to you the firm and vivid informations of
the senses, to contemplate the works of a few men,
but his own works, his heaven and earth, cele-
brating the while his glory in your hearts, and
while you lift up a hymn to your Great Author,
admitting, if you will, these mortals (and where-
fore should you refuse) to a place besides you in
the worshipping choir."
W. G. G.






and empirics, if they conducted their observations and philosophy with more boldness, being accustomed to an accurate nicety in some things, bend all others by the most singular methods to them; and give out opinions the most monstrous and unnatural. For the one class, out of many things take but little, the other out of but little take much into the body of their philosophy; and, to speak the truth, the method of either class is unsound, and will not hold. But the knowledge of nature which has been hitherto collected, however copious it may at first sight appear, is really meagre and unprofitable. Neither is it of that kind for which we are inquiring. Nor is it yet cleared of fable and absurdity, but runs out into antiquity and philology, and relations of things unconnected with it, neglecting and rejecting what is solid, but laboriously curious upon trifles. But the worst of this kind of copiousness is this, that it embraces the investigation of natural objects, and yet for the most part declines the study of things mechanical. And these are the very things

UPON my taking into consideration the errors that prevail with respect to the true grounds of forming theories and conducting experiments, I felt it my duty myself to remedy these evils, to the best of my ability. There cannot indeed be any thing more meritorious than to lead men to throw off the masks of authorities and their blind admiration of experiments, and to enter into a nearer communion with things themselves, and a thorough investigation of them. For so our knowledge of them will be at once deep and secure, and will be moreover at hand, and the sources of utility will be multiplied. But the first principles of this design must be derived from the knowledge of nature. For all the philosophy of the Greeks, with all their different sects, and, indeed, whatever other philosophy may be mentioned, appears to have been built upon too narrow a basis, and on an insufficient acquaintance with nature. For, taking up some few things from experience, and from tradition, and that sometimes which by far excel the others in the searching out without accurate examination, they placed the rest in meditation and in the exercise of their ingenuity; relying too much upon dialectics: but the chymists and the whole class of mechanics

the secrets of nature, for, nature being of itself vast and diffuse, dissipates the mind and confounds it by its variety. But in mechanical operations the judgment is collected, and the designs

two admonitions which I would give on this head, as at other times, so especially now, in proceeding to this very thing: first, that we should dismiss that motion, which, though so thoroughly false and destructive, easily takes possession of the mind, that the investigation of particular objects is an infinite and endless task: when the truth rather is, that there is no bound to mere opinions and disputes, but that those fantasies are condemned to perpetual error and endless uncer

and workings of nature are discerned, and not the effects only. And, besides, all the subtlety of mechanics stops short of the object which we seek. For the person thus employed being intent upon his work and object, neither raises his mind nor stretches forth his hand to other things, and which perchance avail more to the investigation of nature. There is need, therefore, of greater care and choice kinds of examination and even of expense, and moreover of the greatest patience. For this hath rendered every thing in the depart-tainty: but that those particular objects and the ment of experiment useless, that men have from the beginning sought out experiments for the sake of gain and not of knowledge, and have been intent upon bringing out something magnificent, not upon revealing the oracles of nature, which is the work of works, and comprehends all power in itself. And this evil hath been occasioned by the fastidious curiosity of men, in generally turning their attention to the secrets and rarities of nature, and in expending all their research upon these, passing over experiments and ordinary observations with contempt. And they seem to have been determined to this choice either from the pursuit of applause, or from having fallen into this error, that the office of philosophy is as much to trace the cause of ordinary occurrences and the remoter causes of those causes, as it is to harmonize extraordinary with ordinary events. But the cause of this universal complaint respecting natural history is chiefly this, that men have not merely erred in their mode of proceeding, but in their design. For that natural history which now exists seems to have been composed either on account of the profitableness of experiments or the pleasure of details, and to have been made for its own sake, and not to serve as the elements, and as it were to be the nurse of philosophy and the sciences. It is therefore my design, as far as lies in my power, to supply this deficiency. For I have long since made up my opinion as to the province of abstract philosophies: it is my intention also to adhere to the methods of true and good induction, in which are contained all things; and, as it were, by the help of instruments, or, by a clue to a labyrinth, to assist as much as possible the power of the human understanding, of itself inadequate and very unequal to the attainment of the sciences. And I am at the same time aware that if I would include in that restoration of the sciences, which I have in contemplation, any greater scope, I might indeed reap the greater honour.

But since it has pleased God to give me a mind that can learn to yield to circumstances, and out of a sense of real desert and confidence of success to reject with readiness what is only plausible, I have taken upon myself that part of the work which would probably have been passed over by others altogether, or would not have been treated in accordance with my design. And there are

informations of sense (taking out individuals and degrees of things, which suffices for the investigation of truth) certainly admit of comprehension, and that neither too wide and extensive, nor too difficult and adventurous. And, secondly, that men frequently bear the object in mind, and that when they fall upon the consideration of very many of the most ordinary, small, and apparently trivial and even low subjects, and which, as Aristotle says, seem to require a previous apology, they will not think that I am trifling, or taking down the dignity of the human mind. For these things are not sought out or described for their own sakes, but no other way is open to the human understanding, nor any other method left of pursuing this work; since we are attempting an object of unrivalled importance, and most worthy of the human mind, to kindle in this our age, through means offered and applied by the Deity himself, the pure light of nature, the name indeed the boast of men, the thing itself entirely unknown. Nor do I dissemble my opinion that that preposterous subtlety of arguments and imaginations in the time of which the subtlety and truth of the first information or true induction was either passed over or ill set on foot, can never effect a restoration, though all the genius of past ages should unite in the design; but that nature like fortune has her hair only upon her forehead. It remains, therefore, that the work be entirely recommenced, and that, with greater helps, and laying aside the heats of opinion, an entrance be opened into the kingdom of philosophy and of the sciences, (in which all the wealth of man is stored, for nature is overcome only by yielding,) in the same manner as into the kingdom of heaven, into which we cannot enter but as little children. But the profit of this work, that plebeian and promiscuous advantage derived from experiments themselves, we do not altogether condemn, since it can doubtless marry desirable suggestions to the observation and invention of men according to their various arts and talents. But we deem it extremely small in comparison of that entrance into human knowledge and power, which, through the divine mercy, we look for. And of that mercy we again desire, that it may see fit to enrich anew the human family through our hands.

The nature of things is either free, as in species, or confused, as in monsters, or straightened, as in

the experiments of the arts; but it acts in what- remarked or asserted, (whatever men may pretend ever class are worthy of commemoration. But respecting the power of matter being equally prothe history of species which at present exists, as portioned to its forms,) that out of that quantum of animals, metals, and fossils, is tumid and im- of matter more or less is contained under the same pertinent; the history of prodigies vain and dimensions of space, according to the difference grounded upon slight reports; the history of ex- of the bodies by which they are occupied, of periments imperfect, tried by parts, treated neg- which some are very evidently found to be more ligently, and made entirely with a view to action compact, others more extended or diffused. For and not philosophy. It is, therefore, my design a vessel or a cavity filled with water and air canto contract the history of species, to examine and not receive the same portion of matter, but the one revise the history of prodigies, and to put forth more and the other less. If, therefore, any one my principal labours upon experiments mechanical were to assert that from an equal quantity of air and artificial, and upon the subjection of nature to an equal quantity of water could be produced, it the hand of man. For what are the sports and would be the same with asserting that something wantonings, as it were, of nature to us? that is, could be produced out of nothing. For that must, those trifling differences of species according to of course, be supplied out of nothing which is their forms, which are of no service to our pur- supposed to be wanting in matter. Again, if it suits, and with which natural history, neverthe- were asserted that an equal quantity of water less, teems. The knowledge of things wonder- could be turned into the same quantity of air, it ful is, indeed, pleasant to us, if freed from the would be the same with asserting that something fabulous, but on what account does it afford us could be reduced to nothing. For the superfluous pleasure? not from any delight that is in admira- matter must, of course, have vanished into notion itself, but because it frequently intimates to thing. And I do not doubt that this will admit art its office, that from the knowledge of nature it of calculation imperceptible in some respects, but may lead it whither it sometimes preceded it by definite and certain, and known to nature. As, if its own unassisted power. To artificial experi- one were to say, that a body of gold compared ments we entirely attribute the first place in with a body of spirit of wine were a collection of kindling the light of nature, not so much because matter exceeding in a ratio of twenty to one, or they are highly useful of themselves, but because thereabout, he would speak the truth. In setting they are the most faithful interpreters of natural forth, therefore, that history which I have spoken occurrences. Would any one, for instance, have of respecting the quantity and paucity of matter, so clearly explained the nature of lightning or of and the union and expansion of matter, from which the rainbow, before the reason of both was de- those notions of density and rarity (if rightly conmonstrated, of the one through the instruments sidered) have their rise, I shall preserve this orof war, of the other through the artificial resem- der; in the first place, to give an account of the blances of the rainbow on the wall. But if they relative proportions of different bodies, (as of gold, are faithful interpreters of causes, they will also water, oil, fire,) and having examined the ratios be certain and successful signs of their effects and of different bodies, I will afterwards treat of the operations. And I shall not depart from this retirings and excursions of the same body, with threefold division of my history to treat each calculations or proportions. For the same body, subject separately, but shall mix the kinds them- without accession or subtraction, or with the selves, natural with artificial, ordinary with extra-smallest possible degree of either, from various ordinary, and keeping close to every subject in impulses both external and internal is able to gaproportion to its utility.

ther itself into a greater and lesser sphere. For sometimes the body endeavours to return to its former sphere, and sometimes evidently exceeds it. In the first place, then, I will enumerate the courses, differences, and proportions of any natural body, (in relation to its extent,) comparing them with its interstices or pores, that is, its pulverizations, calcinations, vitrifications, dissolutions, distillations, vapours, exhalations, and inflammations. In the next place, I shall lay down the actions and motions themselves, the extent and bounds of the contraction and dilatation, and

It is usual to begin with the phenomena of the air. But in strict adherence to my object, I should prefer those phenomena which constitute and produce a more common nature of which both globes partake. We will begin, therefore with the history of bodies according to that distinction which appears the simplest, that is, the quantity or paucity of matter contained and extended within the same space or the same boundaries. For as no axiom in nature is more certain than that twofold one, that out of nothing, nothing comes, and that there is not any thing which can be reduced to no-when the bodies return to themselves, and when thing, but that the quantum itself of nature, or the universal sum of matter, is ever the same, admitting neither of increase nor of diminution; so it is not less certain, although it has not been so clearly

they exceed according to the measure of their extent; but I shall note particularly the efficients and means through which this kind of contractions and dilatations of bodies follow, and, in the mean

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