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The voice of nature will consent, whether the voice of man do or not. And as Alexander 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 better that entry of truth which cometh peaceably, with chalk to mark up those minds which are capable to lodge and harbour it, than that which cometh with pugnacity and con

tention.

But there remaineth a division of natural philosophy according to the report of the inquiry, and nothing concerning the matter or subject: and that is positive and considerative; when the inquiry reporteth either an assertion or a doubt. These doubts or "non liquets" are of two sorts, particular and total. For the first, we see a good example thereof in Aristotle's Problems, which deserved to have had a better continuance; but so nevertheless, as there is one point whereof warning is to be given and taken. The registering of doubts hath two excellent uses: the one, that it saveth philosophy from errours and falsehoods; when that which is not fully appearing is not collected into assertion, whereby errour might draw errour, but is reserved in doubt: the other, that the entry of doubts is as so many suckers or spunges to draw use of knowledge; insomuch as that which, if doubts had not preceded, a man should never have advised, but passed it over without note, is, by the suggestion and solicitation of doubts, made to be attended and applied. But both these com

modities do scarcely countervail an inconvenience which will intrude itself, if it be not debarred; which is, that when a doubt is once received, men labour rather how to keep it a doubt still, than how to solve it; and accordingly bend their wits. Of this we see the familiar example in lawyers and scholars, both which, if they have once admitted a doubt, it goeth ever after authorised for a doubt. But that use of wit and knowledge is to be allowed, which laboureth to make doubtful things certain, and not those which labour to make certain things doubtful. Therefore these calendars of doubts I commend as excellent things; so that there be this caution used, that when they be thoroughly sifted and brought to resolution, they be from thenceforth omitted, discarded, and not continued to cherish and encourage men in doubting. To which calendar of doubts or problems, I advise be annexed another calendar, as much or more material, which is a calendar of popular errours: I mean chiefly in natural history, such as pass in speech and conceit, and are nevertheless apparently detected and convicted of untruth; that man's knowledge be not weakened nor imbased by such dross and vanity. As for the doubts or "non liquets" general, or in total, I understand those differences of opinions touching the principles of nature, and the fundamental points of the same, which have caused the diversity of sects, schools, and philosophies, as that of Empedocles, Pythagoras, Democritus, Parmenides, and the rest. For although Aristotle, as though he

had been of the race of the Ottomans, thought he could not reign except the first thing he did he killed all his brethren; yet to those that seek truth and not magistrality, it cannot but seem a matter of great profit, to see before them the several opinions touching the foundations of nature: not for any exact truth that can be expected in those theories ; for as the same phænomena in astronomy are satisfied by the received astronomy of the diurnal motion, and the proper motions of the planets, with their eccentrics and epicyles, and likewise by the theory of Copernicus who supposed the earth to move, (and the calculations are indifferently agreeable to both,) so the ordinary face and view of experience is many times satisfied by several theories and philosophies; whereas to find the real truth requireth another manner of severity and attention. For as Aristotle saith, that children at the first will call every woman mother, but afterward they come to distinguish according to truth, so experience, if it be in childhood, will call every philosophy mother, but when it cometh to ripeness, it will discern the true mother. So, as in the mean time it is good to see the several glosses and opinions upon nature, whereof, it may be, every one in some one point hath seen clearer than his fellows, therefore, I wish some collection to be made, painfully and understandingly, "de antiquis philosophiis," out of all the possible light which remaineth to us of them: which kind of work I find deficient. But here I must give warning, that it be done distinctly and severally; the philosophies of

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every one throughout by themselves, and not by titles packed and faggotted up together, as hath been done by Plutarch. For it is the harmony of a philosophy in itself which giveth it light and credence; whereas if it be singled and broken, it will seem more foreign and dissonant. For as when I read in Tacitus the actions of Nero, or Claudius, with circumstances of times, inducements, and occasions, I find them not so strange; but when I read them in Suetonius Tranquillus, gathered into titles and bundles, and not in order of time, they seem more monstrous and incredible: so is it of any philosophy reported entire, and dismembered by articles. Neither do I exclude opinions of latter times to be likewise represented in this calendar of sects of philosophy, as that of Theophrastus Paracelsus, eloquently reduced into an harmony by the pen of Severinus the Dane; and that of Tilesius, and his scholar Donius, being as a pastoral philosophy, full of sense, but of no great depth; and that of Fracastorius, who, though he pretended not to make any new philosophy, yet did use the absoluteness of his own sense upon the old; and that of Gilbertus our countryman, who revived, with some alterations and demonstrations, the opinions of Xenophanes; and any other worthy to be admitted.

Thus have we now dealt with two of the three beams of man's knowledge; that is "Radius directus," which is referred to nature, "Radius refractus," which is referred to God; and cannot report truly because of the inequality of the medium: there

resteth "Radius reflexus," whereby man beholdeth and contemplateth himself.

We come therefore now to that knowledge whereunto the ancient oracle directeth us, which is the knowledge of ourselves; which deserveth the more accurate handling, by how much it toucheth us more nearly. This knowledge, as it is the end and term of natural philosophy in the intention of man, so notwithstanding, it is but a portion of natural philosophy in the continent of nature: and generally let this be a rule, that all partitions of knowledges be accepted rather for lines and veins, than for sections and separations; and that the continuance and entireness of knowledge be preserved. For the contrary hereof hath made particular sciences to become barren, shallow, and erroneous, while they have not been nourished and maintained from the common fountain. So we see Cicero the orator complained of Socrates and his school, that he was the first that separated philosophy and rhetoric; whereupon rhetoric became an empty and verbal art. So we may see that the opinion of Copernicus touching the rotation of the earth, which astronomy itself cannot correct, because it is not repugnant to any of the phænomena, yet natural philosophy may correct. So we see also that the science of medicine, if it be destituted and forsaken by natural philosophy, it is not much better than an empirical practice. With this reservation therefore we proceed to Human Philosophy, or Humanity, which hath two parts: the one considereth

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