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heat, of cold, and all other natures and qualities, which, like an alphabet, are not many, and of which the essences, upheld by matter, of all creatures do consist: to inquire, I say, the true forms of these, is that part of metaphysic which we now define of.

Not but that physic doth make inquiry, and take consideration of the same natures: but how? Only as to the material and efficient causes of them, and not as to the forms. For example; if the cause of whiteness in snow or froth be inquired, and it be rendered thus; that the subtile intermixture of air and water is the cause, it is well rendered; but nevertheless, is this the form of whiteness? No; but it is the efficient, which is ever but vehiculum forma. This part of metaphysic I do not find laboured and formis et fi- performed, whereat I marvel not: because I hold it nibus rerum. not possible to be invented by that course of invention

Metaphysica, sive de

which hath been used, in regard that men, which is the root of all error, have made too untimely a departure, and too remote a recess from particulars.

But the use of this part of metaphysic which I report as deficient, is of the rest the most excellent in two respects the one, because it is the duty and virtue of all knowledge to abridge the infinity of individual experience, as much as the conception of truth will permit, and to remedy the complaint of vita brevis, ars longa; which is performed by uniting the notions and conceptions of sciences: for knowledges are as pyramids, whereof history is the basis. So of natural philosophy, the basis is natural history; the stage next the basis is physic; the stage next the vertical point is metaphysic. As for the vertical point, "Opus quod operatur Deus a principio usque ad finem," the summary law of nature, we know not whether man's inquiry can attain unto it. But these three be the true stages of knowledge, and are to them that are depraved no better than the giants hills.

Ter sunt conati imponere Pelio Ossam

Scilicet, atque Ossæ frondosum involvere Olympum. But to those which refer all things to the glory of God, they are as the three acclamations, Sancte, sancte,

sancte; holy in the description, or dilatation of his works; holy in the connexion or concatenation of them; and holy in the union of them in a perpetual and uniform law.

And therefore the speculation was excellent in Parmenides and Plato, although but a speculation in them, that all things by scale did ascend to unity. So then always that knowledge is worthiest, which is charged with the 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.

The second respect which valueth and commendeth this part of metaphysic is, that it doth enfranchise the power of man unto the greatest liberty and possibility of works and effects. For physic carrieth men in narrow and restrained ways, subject to many accidents of impediments, imitating the ordinary flexuous courses of nature; but "latæ undique sunt sapientibus viæ:" to sapience, which was anciently defined to be "rerum divinarum et humanarum scientia," there is ever choice of means: for physical causes give light to new invention in simili materia. But whosoever knoweth any form, knoweth the utmost possibility of super-inducing that nature upon any variety of matter, and so is less restrained in operation, either to the basis of the matter, or the condition of the efficient which kind of knowledge Solomon likewise, though in a more divine sense, elegantly describeth: "Non arctabuntur gressus tui, et currens non habebis offendiculum." The ways of sapience are not much liable either to particularity or chance.

The second part of metaphysic is the inquiry of final causes, which I am moved to report, not as omitted, but as misplaced; and yet if it were but a fault in order, I would not speak of it: for order is matter of illustration, but pertaineth not to the substance of sciences. But this misplacing hath caused a deficience, or at least a great improficience in the sciences themselves. For the handling of final causes,

mixed with the rest in physical inquiries, hath intercepted the severe and diligent inquiry of all real and physical causes, and given men the occasion to stay upon these satisfactory and specious causes, to the great arrest and prejudice of farther discovery.

For this I find done not only by Plato, who ever anchoreth upon that shore, but by Aristotle, Galen, and others, which do usually likewise fall upon these flats of discoursing causes. For 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 extremities of heat or cold; or, that the bones are for the columns or beams, whereupon the frame of the bodies of living creatures are built; or, that the leaves of trees are for the protecting of the fruit; or, that the clouds are for watering 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 farther sailing, and have brought this to pass, that the search of the physical causes hath been neglected, and passed in silence.

And therefore the natural philosophy of Democritus, and some others, who did not suppose a mind or reason in the frame of things, but attributed the form thereof, able to maintain itself, to infinite essays or proofs of nature, which they term fortune; seemeth to me, as far as I can judge by the recital and fragments which remain unto us, in particularities of physical causes, more real and better inquired than that of Aristotle and Plato; whereof both intermingled final causes, the one as a part of theology, and the other as a part of logic, which were the favourite studies respectively of both those persons. 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. For, otherwise, keeping their precincts and borders, men are extremely deceived if they think there is an enmity or repugnancy at all between them. For the cause rendered, that the hairs about the eye-lids are for the safeguard of the sight, doth not impugn the cause rendered, that pilosity is incident to orifices of moisture; Muscosi fontes, etc. Nor the cause rendered, that the firmness of hides is for the armour of the body against extremities of heat or cold, doth not impugn the cause rendered, that contraction of pores is incident to the outwardest parts, in regard of their adjacence to foreign or unlike bodies; and so of the rest: both causes being true and compatible, the one declaring an intention, the other a consequence only.

Neither doth this call in question, or derogate from divine providence, but highly confirm and exalt it. For as in civil actions he is the greater and deeper politician, that can make other men the instruments of his will and ends, and yet never acquaint them with his purpose, so as they shall do it, and yet not know what they do; than he that imparteth his meaning to those he employeth: so is the wisdom of God more admirable, when nature intendeth one thing, and providence draweth forth another; than if he had communicated to particular creatures, and motions, the characters and impressions of his providence. And thus much for metaphysic; the latter part whereof I allow as extant, but wish it confined to its proper place.

Nevertheless there remaineth yet another part of natural philosophy, which is commonly made a principal part, and holdeth rank with physic special, and metaphysic, which is mathematic; but I think it more agreeable to the nature of things, and to the light of order, to place it as a branch of metaphysic: for the subject of it being quantity, not quantity indefinite, which is but a relative, and belongeth to philosophia prima, as hath been said, but quantity determined, or proportionable; it appeareth to be one of the essential forms of things; as that that is causative in nature of a number of effects; insomuch as we see, in the

schools both of Democritus and Pythagoras, that the one did ascribe Figure to the first seeds of things, and the other did suppose Numbers to be the principles and originals of things; and it is true also, that of all other forms, as we understand forms, it is the most abstracted and separable from matter, and therefore most proper to metaphysic; which hath likewise been the cause why it hath been better laboured and inquired, than any of the other forms, which are more immersed into matter.

For it being the nature of the mind of man, to the extreme prejudice of knowledge, to delight in the spacious liberty of generalities, as in a champain region, and not in the inclosures of particularity: the mathematics of all other knowledge were the goodliest fields to satisfy the appetite.

But for the placing of these sciences, it is not much material; only we have endeavoured, in these our partitions, to observe a kind of perspective, that one part may cast light upon another.

The Mathematics are either pure or mixed. To the pure mathematics are those sciences belonging which handle quantity determinate, merely severed from any axioms of natural philosophy; and these are two, Geometry, and Arithmetic, the one handling quantity continued, and the other dissevered.

Mixed hath for subject some axioms or parts of natural philosophy, and considereth quantity determined, as it is auxiliary and incident unto them.

For many parts of nature can neither be invented with sufficient subtilty, nor demonstrated with sufficient perspicuity, nor accommodated unto use with sufficient dexterity, without the aid and intervening of the mathematics: of which sort are perspective, music, astronomy, cosmography, architecture, enginery, and divers others.

In the mathematics I can report no deficience, except it be that men do not sufficiently understand the excellent use of the pure mathematics, in that they do remedy and cure many defects in the wit and faculties intellectual. For, if the wit be dull, they sharpen

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