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recitals of examples are cut off; discourse of connection and order is cut off; descriptions of practice are cut off; so there remaineth nothing to fill the aphorisms, but some good quantity of observation: and therefore no man can suffice, nor in reason will attempt to write aphorisms, but he that is sound and grounded. But in methods,
Tantum series juncturaque pollet,
Tantum de medio sumptis accedit honoris; as a man shall make a great shew of an art, which if it were disjointed, would come to little. Secondly, methods are more fit to win consent or belief, but less fit to point to action; for they carry a kind of demonstration in orb or circle, one part illuminating another, and therefore satisfy. But particulars being dispersed, do best agree with dispersed directions. And lastly, aphorisms, representing a knowledge broken, do invite men to inquire farther; whereas methods carrying the show of a total, do secure men as if they were at farthest.
Another diversity of method, which is likewise of great weight, is, the handling of knowledge by assertions, and their proofs; or by questions, and their determinations; the latter kind whereof, if it be immoderately followed, is as prejudicial to the proceeding of learning, as it is to the proceeding of an army to go about to besiege every little fort or hold. For if the field be kept, and the sum of the enterprise pursued, those smaller things will come in of themselves; indeed a man would not leave some important piece enemy at his back. In like manner, the use of confutation in the delivery of sciences ought to be very sparing; and to serve to remove strong preoccupations and prejudgments, and not to minister and excite disputations and doubts.
Another diversity of method is according to the subject or matter which is handled; for there is a great difference in delivery of the mathematics, which are the most abstracted of knowledges, and policy, which is the most immersed; and howsoever contention hath been moved, touching an uniformity
of method in multiformity of matter; yet we see how that opinion, besides the weakness of it, hath been of ill desert towards learning, as that which taketh the way to reduce learning to certain empty and barren generalities; being but the very husks and shells of sciences, all the kernel being forced out and expulsed with the torture and press of the method: And therefore as I did allow well of particular topics for invention, so do I allow likewise of particular methods of tradition.
Another diversity of judgment in the delivery and teaching of knowledge, is according unto the light and presuppositions of that which is delivered; for that knowledge which is new and foreign from opinions received, is to be delivered in another form than that that is agreeable and familiar; and therefore Aristotle, when he thinks to tax Democritus, doth in truth commend him, where he saith, "If we "shall indeed dispute, and not follow after simili"tudes," etc. For those, whose conceits are seated in popular opinions, need only but to prove or dispute; but those whose conceits are beyond popular opinions, have a double labour; the one to make themselves conceived, and the other to prove and demonstrate so that it is of necessity with them to have recourse to similitudes and translations to express themselves. And therefore in the infancy of learning, and in rude times, when those conceits which are now trivial were then new, the world was full of parables and similitudes; for else would men either have passed over without inark, or else rejected for paradoxes, that which was offered, before they had understood or judged. So in divine learning, we see how frequent parables and tropes are: for it is a rule, "That "whatsoever science is not consonant to presuppo"sitions, must pray in aid of similitudes."
There be also other diversities of methods vulgar and received: as that of resolution or analysis, of constitution or systasis, of concealment or cry; tic, etc. which I do allow well of, though I have stood upon those which are least handled and observed. All
which I have remembered to this purpose, because I dentia tra would erect and constitute one general inquiry, which seems to me deficient touching the wisdom of tradition.
But unto this part of knowledge concerning method, doth farther belong, not only the architecture of the whole frame of a work, but also the several beams and columns thereof, not as to their stuff, but as to their quantity and figure: and therefore method considereth not only the disposition of the argument or subject, but likewise the propositions; not as to their truth or matter, but as to their limitation and manner. For herein Ramus merited better a great deal in reviving the good rules of propositions, Kałóλɣ πρῶτον κατὰ παντὸς, etc. than he did in introducing the canker of epitomes; and yet, as it is the condition of human things, that, according to the ancient fables, "The most precious things have the most per"nicious keepers :" it was so, that the attempt of the one made him fall upon the other. For he had need be well conducted, that should design to make axioms convertible; if he make them not withal circular, and non promovent, orincurring into themselves: but yet the intention was excellent.
The other considerations of method concerning propositions, are chiefly touching the utmost propositions, which limit the dimensions of sciences; for every knowledge may be fitly said, besides the profundity, which is the truth and substance of it that makes it solid, to have a longitude and a latitude, accounting the latitude towards other sciences, and the longitude towards action; that is, from the greatest generality, to the most particular precept: The one giveth rule how far one knowledge ought to intermeddle within the province of another, which is the rule they call xabaró: the other giveth rule, unto what degree of particularity a knowledge should descend: which latter I find passed over in silence, being in my judgment the more material; for certainly there must be somewhat left to practice; but how much is worthy the inquiry. We see remote and superficial genera
lities do but offer knowledge to scorn of practical men, and are no more aiding to practice, than an Ortelius's universal map is to direct the way between London and York. The better sort of rules have been De pronot unfitly compared to glasses of steel unpolished; axiomawhere you may see the images of things, but first they tum. must be filed; so the rules will help, if they be laboured and polished by practice. But how chrystalline they may be made at the first, and how far forth they may be polished aforehand, is the question; the inquiry whereof seemeth to me deficient.
There hath been also laboured, and put in practice, a method, which is not a lawful method, but a method of imposture, which is, to deliver knowledges in such manner as men may speedily come to make a shew of learning, who have it not; such was the travel of Raymundus Lullius in making that art, which bears his name, not unlike to some books of typocosmy which have been made since, being nothing but a mass of words of all arts, to give men countenance, that those which use the terms might be thought to understand the art; which collections are much like a fripper's or broker's shop, that hath ends of every thing, but nothing of worth,
Now we descend to that part which concerneth the illustration of tradition, comprehended in that science which we call Rhetoric, or art of eloquence; a science excellent, and excellently well laboured. For although in true value it is inferior to wisdom, as it is said by God to Moses, when he disabled himself for want of this faculty, Aaron shall be thy speaker, and thou shalt be to him as God: Yet with people it is the more mighty: for so Solomon saith, Sapiens corde appellabitur prudens, sed dulcis eloquio majora reperiet; signifying, that profoundness of wisdom will help a man to a name or admiration, but that it is eloquence that prevaileth in an active life; and as to the labouring of it, the emulation of Aristotle with the rhetoricians of his time, and the experience of Cicero, hath made them in their works of rhetorics exceed themselves. Again, the excellency of examples
of eloquence in the orations of Demosthenes and Cicero, added to the perfection of the precepts of eloquence, hath doubled the progression in this art: and therefore the deficiencies which I shall note, will rather be in some collections, which may as handmaids attend the art, than in the rules or use of the art itself.
Notwithstanding, to stir the earth a little about the roots of this science, as we have done of the rest; the duty and office of rhetoric is to apply reason to imagination for the better moving of the will: for we see reason is disturbed in the administration thereof by three means; by illaqueation or sophism, which pertains to logic; by imagination or impression, which pertains to rhetoric; and by passion or affection, which pertains to morality. And as in negotiation with others, men are wrought by cunning, by importunity, and by vehemency; so in this negotiation within ourselves, men are undermined by inconsequences, solicited and importuned by impressions or observations, and transported by passions. Neither is the nature of man so unfortunately built, as that those powers and arts should have force to disturb reason, and not to establish and advance it; for the end of logic is to teach a form of argument to secure reason, and not to entrap it. The end of morality, is to procure the affections to obey reason, and not to invade it. The end of rhetoric, is to fill the imagination to second reason, and not to oppress it; for these abuses of arts come in but er obliquo for
And therefore it was great injustice in Plato, though springing out of a just hatred of the rhetoricians of his time, to esteem of rhetoric but as a voluptuary art, resembling it to cookery, that did mar wholesome meats, and help unwholesome by variety of sauces, to the pleasure of the taste. For we see that speech is much more conversant in adorning that which is good, than in colouring that which is evil; for there is no man but speaketh more honestly than he can do or think; and it was excellently noted