Page images
[blocks in formation]

As water, whether it be the dew of heaven,
or the springs of the earth, doth scatter and
lose itself in the ground, except it be collected
into some receptacle, where it may by union
comfort and sustain itself, (and for that cause
the industry of man hath made and framed
springheads, conduits, cisterns, and pools, 1.

which men have accustomed likewise to beau-
tify and adorn with accomplishments of
magnificence and state, as well as of use and
necessity,) so this excellent liquor of know-
ledge, whether it descend from divine inspira-
tion, or spring from human sense, would soon
perish and vanish to oblivion, if it were not
preserved in books, traditions, conferences, and
places appointed, as universities, colleges, and
schools, for the receipt and comforting of the

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

If men judge that learning should be referred to action, they judge well; but in this they fall into the error described in the ancient fable, in which the other parts of the body did suppose the stomach had been idle, because it neither performed the office of motion, as the limbs do; nor of sense, as the head doth; but yet, notwithstanding, it is the stomach that digesteth and distributeth to all the rest: so if any man think philosophy and universality to be idle studies, he doth not consider that all professions are from thence served and supplied. And this I take to be a great cause tnat hath hindered the progression of learning, because these fundamental knowledges have been studied but in passage. For if you will have a tree bear more fruit than it hath used to do, it is not any thing you can do to the boughs, but it is the stirring of the earth and putting new mould about the roots, that must work it.

It is injurious to government that there is not any collegiate education for statesmen 185 Second defect. The salaries of lecturers are too small......


If you will have sciences flourish, you must observe David's military law, which was, "That those which stayed with the carriage should have equal part with those which were in the action.”

Third defect. There are not sufficient funds for providing models, instruments, experiments, .... 186


Fourth defect. There is a neglect in the governors of consultation, and, in superiors of visitation as to the propriety of continuing or amending the established courses of study 186 Scholars study logic and rhetoric?


For minds empty and unfraught with
matter, and which have not gathered that
which Cicero calleth "sylva” and “ supellex,"
stuff and variety, to begin with those arts,
(as if one should learn to weigh, or to mea-
sure, or to paint the wind,) doth work but
this effect, that the wisdom of those arts,
which is great and universal, is almost made
contemptible, and is degenerate into childish
sophistry and ridiculous affectation.
2. There is too great a divorce between invention and
..... 186

Fifth defect. There is a want of mutual intelli-
gence between different universities..... 186
Sixth defect. There is a want of proper rewards
for inquiries in new and unlaboured parts of
..... 186

[ocr errors]

The opinion of plenty is amongst the causes of want, and the great quantity of books maketh a show rather of superfluity than lack which surcharge, nevertheless, is not to be remedied by making no more books, but by making more good books, which, as the serpent of Moses, might devour the serpents of the enchanters

See note (M) at the end of this Treatise. "See note (N) at the end of this Treatise

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]


[blocks in formation]

Natural History'...... ... 1871. They are the remnant of history.

1. Of creatures.

2. Of marvels.

3. Of arts.

History of Creatures.

1. It is the history of nature in course. 2. It is extant and in perfection.

History of Marvels.

1. It is the history of nature wandering. 2. It is deficient.

3. Its uses.

1. To correct the partiality of axioms. 2. To discover the wonders of art.

They are as planks saved from the deluge of time.

2. Epitomes should be abolished.

They are as the moths of history that have fretted and corroded the sound bodies of many

excellent histories.

Perfect History.

Division and their relative merits.

It is, as it were, hounding Nature in her 1. It wanderings to be able to lead her afterwards 2. It to the same place again.

4 Different marvels.

History of Arts 2..... ..... 188 1 It is in general deficient. 2 It is considered not elevating to inquire into matters mechanical...


The truth is, they be not the highest instances that give the securest information; as may be well expressed in the tale so common of the philosopher, that while he gazed upwards to the stars fell into the water; for if he had looked down he might have seen the stars in the water, but looking aloft he could not see the water in the stars. So it cometh 3. often to pass, that mean and small things discover great, better than great can discover the small.

Aristotle noteth well, "that the nature of every thing is best seen in its smallest portions." And for that cause he inquireth the nature of a commonwealth, first in a family, and the simple conjugations of man and wife, parent and child, master and servant, which are in every cottage.

[blocks in formation]

. 189

to be lamented that biography is not more fre




One of the poets feigned that at the end of the thread or web of every man's life there was a little medal containing the person's name, and that Time waited upon the shears; and as soon as the thread was cut, caught the medals, and carried them to the river of Lethe; and about the bank there were many birds flying up and down, that would get the meduls and carry them in their beak a little while, and then let them fall into the river; only there were a few swans, which if they got a name, would carry it to a temple where it was consecrated.

Impropriety of disregarding posthumous fame 190 Chronicles.

[blocks in formation]

The turning of iron touched with the load-1. They excel in verity and sincerity .......... 189 stone towards the north, was found out in 2. It is to be lamented that there is not more diligence needles of iron, not in bars of iron.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

3. History of providence.

History of the Church.


[blocks in formation]

1. Common-the same as in history. 2. Proper division.

1. Narrative or heroical.

2. Representative or dramatical. 3. Allusive or parabolical.

Narrative Poesy.

Parabolical Poesy.

1. It was never common in ancient times. 2. Its uses.

1. To elucidate truths.

2. To concert truths,2

3. Of the interpretation of mysteries, parabolical poesy.

In poesy there is no deficience; for, being as a plant that cometh of the lust of the earth, without a formal seed, it hath sprung up and spread abroad more than any other kind: but to ascribe unto it that which is due, for the expressing of affections, passions, corruptions, and customs, we are beholding to poets more than to the philosopher's works; and for wit and eloquence, not much less than to orators harangues. But it is not good to stay too long in the theatre. Let us now pass on to the judicial place or palace of the mind, which we are to approach and view with more reveence and attention.

[blocks in formation]

1. Divine, or natural religion.
2. Natural, the knowledge of nature.
3. Human, the knowledge of man.

2. From divine inspiration or revealed religion.


It is a receptacle for all such profitable observa192 tions and axioms as fall not within the compass of any of the special parts of philosophy or sciences, but are more common and of a higher stage.

2. Poetry as it refers to words is but a character of style, and is not pertinent to this place.

3. Poetry as it refers to the matter.

1. It is fiction, and relates to the imagination. 2. It is in words restrained: in matter unlicensed.

The imagination not being tied to the laws of matter, may at pleasure join that which nature hath severed, and sever that which nature hath joined; and so make unlawful matches and divorces of things.

Pictoribus atque poetis,

Quidlibet audendi, semper fuit æqua potestas.

4. Its use is to satisfy the mind in these points where nature does not satisfy it.

It was ever thought to have some participation of divineness, because it doth raise and erect the mind, by submitting the shows of things to the desires of the mind; whereas reason doth buckle and bow the mind into the nature of things.'

Poesy joined with music hath had access and estimation in rude times and barbarous regions, where other learning stood excluded.

Sir Philip Sidney says, poesy, the sweet food of sweetly uttered knowledge, lifts the mind from the dungeon of the hody to the enjoying its own divine essence.

Is not the precept of a musician, to fall from a discord or harsh accord upon a concord, or sweet accord, alike true in affection? Is not the trope of music, to avoid or slide from the close or cadence, common with the trope of rhetoric of deceiving expectation? Is not the delight of the quavering upon a stop in music the same with the playing of light upon the water?

[ocr errors]

Splendet tremulo sub lumine pontus."

Because the distributions and partitions of knowledge are not like several lines that meet in one angle, and so touch but in a point; but are like branches of a tree, that meet in a stem, which hath a dimension and quantity of entireness and continuance, before it come to discontinue and break itself into arms and boughs; therefore it is good, before we enter into the former distribution, to erect and constitute one universal science, by the name of " Philosophia Prima," primitive or summary philosophy, as the main and common way, before we come where the ways part and divide themselves.

This science is as a common parent, like unto Berecynthia, which had so much heavenly


"Omnes cœliclas, omnes super alta tenentes." This is much expanded in the Treatise De Augmentis.

[blocks in formation]

1. Speculative or inquisition of causes.

2. Plato discovered that forms were the true objects of knowledge.

Plato beheld all things as from a cliff. 2. By keeping a watchful and severe eye upon action and use, forms may be discovered .... 197 3. The forms of nature in her more simple existence are first to be determined.......... 197 4. Physic makes inquiry of the same natures as metaphysic, but only as to efficient causes. 197 5. This part of metaphysic is defective. 6. The use of this part of metaphysic.

1. To abridge the infinity of individual experience.

That knowledge is worthiest, which is charged with least multiplicity; which appeareth to be Metaphysic; as that which considereth the simple forms or differences of things, which are few in number, and the degrees and co-ordinations whereof make all this variety.

2. To enfranchise the power of man by facili tating the production of effects.

Of Final Causes............ 198

2. Operative or production of effects.... 1951. The inquiry of final causes is not deficient, but has

If then, it be true that Democritus said, "That the truth of nature lieth hid in certain deep mines and caves:" and if it be true likewise that the alchymists do so much inculcate, that Vulcan is a second nature, and imitateth that dexterously and compendiously, which nature worketh by ambages and length of time, it were good to divide natural philosophy into the mine and the furnace; and to make two professions or occupations of natural philosophers, some to be pioneers and some smiths; some to dig, and some to refine and hammer. 2. Connection between cause and effect ...... 195


[blocks in formation]

been misplaced.

1. The investigating final causes in physics has intercepted the true inquiry of real physical causes.

To say that the hairs of the eyelids are for a quickset and fence about the sight; or that the firmness of the skins and hides of living creatures is to defend them from the extremi ties of heat or cold; or that the bones are for the columns or beams, whereupon the frames of the bodies of living creatures are built; or that the leaves of trees are for protecting of the fruit; or that the clouds are for the wa tering of the earth; or that the solidness of the earth is for the station and mansion of living creatures, and the like, is well inquired and collected in Metaphysic; but in Physic they are impertinent. Nay, they are indeed but remoras and hinderances to stay and slug the ship from further sailing; and have brought this to pass, that the search of the physical causes hath been neglected, and passed in silence.

2. Of the errors in ancient philosophy from mixing formal and final causes.. 198 Not because those final causes are not true, and worthy to be inquired, being kept within their own province; but because their excursions into the limits of physical causes hath bred a vastness and solitude in that track. There is no repugnance between formal and final


3. These opinions confirm divine providence


Mathematic..... ....... 198 1961. Reason for classing it as a part of metaphysic. 2. From the nature of the mind to wander in generalities, mathematics have more laboured than any other form.


1. Their discovery is of the utmost importance.
They are ill discoverers that think there is
no land, when they can see nothing but sea.

In the Treatise De Augmentis there is in this place, a considerable addition.

VOL. I.-19

3. There is no difference in mathematics. ..... 198 4. Division of mathematics: 1st, pure; 2d, mixed.

[blocks in formation]

2. Pure mathematics cure many intellectual defects.

If the wit be too dull, they sharpen it; if too wandering, they fix it; if too inherent in the sense, they abstract it. So that as tennis is a game of no use in itself, but of great use in respect it maketh a quick eye and a body ready to put itself into all postures; so in the mathematics, that use which is collateral and intervenient is no less worthy than that which is principal and intended.

Mixed Mathematics.......


[blocks in formation]

2d. A calendar of discoveries which may
lead to other inventions..... 199

The invention of the mariner's needle, which
giveth the direction, is of no less benefit for
navigation than the invention of the sails,
which give the motion.

3 Conclusion of natural philosophy, speculative and


[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

1. The discovery of the mind from the appearance of
the body.


Aristotle has laboured physiognomy as far as relates to the countenance at rest; but not when in motion.

The voice of nature will consent, whether 3. The lineaments of the body disclose the general in

the voice of man do or not. And as Alexan-
der Borgia was wont to say of the expedition
of the French for Naples, that they came with
chalk in their hands to mark up their lodgings,
and not with weapons to fight: so I like bet-
ter that entry of truth which cometh peace-
ably, with chalk to mark up those minds
which are capable to lodge and harbour it,
than that which cometh with pugnacity and


1. Division of doubts.

1. Particular.

2. Total.

2. Particular doubts.

Of Doubts

1. Uses of registering doubts.

2. Of the evil of continuing doubts.


That use of wit and knowledge is to be al

clinations of the mind: the motions its present dispositions.

A number of subtle persons, whose eyes do dwell upon the faces and fashims of men, do well know the advantage of this observation, as being most part of their ability. Impression.

1. It is the science of the relative action of the body and mind upon each other.

2. Of the action of the body on the mind.

1. This has been inquired as a part of medicine. 2. The doctrine that the body acts upon the mind does not derogate from the soul's dignity.

The infant in the mother's womb is com patible with the mother and yet separable; and the most absolute monarch is sometimes led by his servants and yet without subjection.

lowed, which laboureth to make doubtful 3. The action of the mind on the body.

things certain, and not those which labour to
make certain things doubtful.

Of a Calendar of Popular Errors.

General doubts, or those differences of opinions, touch-
ing the principles of nature which have caused
the diversities of sects..
.... 200
Thus have we now dealt with two of the
three beams of man's knowledge; that is

1. Physicians have ever considered "accidentia animi," as of great importance.

2. The power of imagination as well to help as to hurt is a subject neglected, but deserving inquiry.

It cannot be concluded that because there be pestilent airs, able suddenly to kill a man in

See note (P) at the end of this Treatise

« PreviousContinue »