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ready known; no referring to action, by any manual of practice; but the revealing and discovering of new inventions and operations. This to be done without the errors and conjectures of art, or the length or difficulties of experience s the nature and kinds of which inventions have been described as they could be discovered; for your eye cannot pass one kenning without farther sailing: only we have stood upon the best advantages of the notions received, as upon a mount, to show the knowledges adjacent and confining. If therefore the true end of knowledge, not propounded, hath bred large error, the best and perfectest condition of the same end, not perceived, will cause some declination. For when the butt is set up, men need not rove, but except the white be placed, men cannot level. This perfection we mean, not in the worth of the effects, but in the nature of the direction; for our purpose is not to stir up men's hopes, but to guide their travels. The fulness" of direction to work, and produce any effect, consisteth in two conditions, certainty and liberty. Certainty is, when the direction is not only true for the most part, but infallible. Liberty is, when the direction is not restrained to some definite means, but comprehendeth all the means and ways possible; for the poet saith well, " Sapientibus undique latre sunt ria?;" and where there is the greatest plurality of change, there is the greatest singularity of choice. Besides as a conjectural direction maketh a casual effect, so a particular and restrained direction is no less casual than uncertain. For those particular means whereunto it is tied, may be out of your power, or may be accompanied with an overvalue of prejudice; and so if for want of certainty in direction, you .ire frustrated in success, for want of variety in direction you are stopped in attempt If therefore your direction be certain, it must refer you, and point you to somewhat, which if it be present, the effect you seek will of necessity follow, else may you perform and not obtain. If it be free, then must it refer you to somewhat, which if it be absent the effect you seek will of necessity withdraw, else may you have power and not attempt. This notion Aristotle had in light, though not in use. For the two commended rules by him set down, whereby the aiioms of sciences are precepted to be made convertible, and which the latter men have not without elegancy surnamed, the one the rule of truth, because it preventeth deceit; the other the rule of prudence, because it freeth election; are the same thing in speculation and affirmation, which we now observe. An example will make my meaning attained, and yet percase make it thought that they attained it not.
Let the effect to be produced be whiteness; let the first direction be, that if air and water be intermingled, or broken in small portion together, whiteness will ensue; as in snow, in the breaking of the *ays of the sea and rivers, and the like. This direction is certain, but very particular; and restrained, being tied but to air and water. Let the second direction be, that if air be mingled as before with any transparent body, such nevertheless as is uncoloured and more grossly transparent than air itself, Vol. I. Q
that then, &c. as glass or crystal, being beaten to fine powder, by the interposition of the air becometh white; the white of an egg, being clear of itself, receiving air by agitation becometh white, receiving air by concoction becometh white; here you are freed from water, and advanced to a clear body, and still tied to air. Let the third direction exclude or remove the restraint of an uncoloured body, as in amber, sapphires, &c. which beaten to fine powder, become white in wine and beer; which brought to froth, become white. Let the fourth direction exclude the restraint of a body more grossly transparent than air, as in flame, being a body compounded between air and a finer substance than air: which flame, if it were not for the smoke, which is the third substance that incorporated itself and dieth, the flame would be more perfect white. In all these four directions air still beareth a part. Let the fifth direction then be, that if any bodies, both transparent, but in an unequal degree, be mingled as before, whiteness will follow: as oil and water beaten to an ointment, though by settling, the air which gathereth in the agitation be evaporate, yet rcmaineth white: and the powder of glass, or crystal put into water, whereby the air giveth place, yet remaineth white, though not so perfect. Now are you freed from air, but still are you tied to transparent bodies. To ascend farther by scale I do forbear, partly because it would draw on the example to an over-great length, but chiefly because it would open that which in this work I determine to reserve j for to pass through the whole history and observations of colours and objects visible, were too long a digression j and our purpose is now to give an example of a free direction, thereby to distinguish and describe it: and not to set down a form of interpretation how to recover and attain it. But as we intend not now to reveal, so we are circumspect not to mislead; and therefore, this warning being given, returning to our purpose in hand, we admit the sixth direction to be, that all bodies, or parts of bodies, which are unequal equally, that is, in a simple proportion, do represent whiteness; we will explain this, though we induce it not. It is then to be understood, that absolute equality produceth transparence, inequality in simple order or proportion produceth whiteness, inequality in compound or respective order or proportion produceth other colours, and absolute or orderless inequality produceth blackness; which diversity, if so gross a demonstration be needful, may be signified by four tables; a blank, a chequer, a fret, and a medley ; whereof the fret is evident to admit great variety. Out of this assertion are satisfied a multitude of effects and observations, as that whiteness and blackness are most incompatible with transparence; that whiteness keepeth light, and blackness stoppeth light, but neither passeth it; that whiteness or blackness are never produced in rainbows, diamonds, crystals, and the like; that white giveth no dye, and black hardly taketh dye; that whiteness seemeth to have an affinity with dryness, and blackness with moisture; that adustion causeth blackness, and calcination whiteness} that flowers arc generally of fresh colours, and rarely black, &c. all which I do now mention confusedly by way of derivation, and not by way of induction. The sixth direction, which I have thus explained, is of good and competent liberty, for whiteness fixed and inherent; but not for whiteness fantastical, or appearing, as shall be afterwards touched. But first do you need a reduction back to certainty or verity; for it is not all position or contexture of unequal bodies that will produce colours; for aqua fortis, oil of vitriol, &c. more manifestly, and many other substances more obscurely, do consist of very unequal parts, which yet are transparent and clear. Therefore the reduction must be, that the bodies or parts of bodies so intermingled as before, be of a certain grossness, or magnitude; for the unequalities which move the sight must have a farther dimension and quality, than those which operate many other effects. Some few grains of saffron will give a tincture to a tun of water, but so many grains of civet will give a perfume to a whole chamber of air. And therefore when Democritus, from whom Epicurus did borrow it, held that the position of the solid portions was the cause of colours; yet in the very truth of this assertion he should have added, that the portions are required to be of some magnitude. And this is one cause why colours have little inwardness and necessitude with the nature and properties of things, those things resembling in colour, which otherwise differ most, as salt and sugar : and contrariwise differing in colour, which otherwise resemble most, as the white and blue violets, and the several veins of one agate or marble, by reason that other virtues consist in more subtile proportions than colours do; and yet are there virtues and natures which require a grosser magnitude than colours, as well as scents and divers other require a more subtile; for as the portion of a body will give forth scent, which is too small to be seen, so the portion of a body will show colours, which is too small to be endued with weight; and therefore one of the prophets with great elegancy describing how all creatures carry no proportion towards God the Creator, saith, " that all the nations in respect of him are like the dust upon the balance;" which is a thing appeareth, but weigheth not. But to return, there resteth a farther freeing of this sixth direction: for the clearness of a river or stream showeth white at a distance, and crystalline glasses deliver the face or any other object falsified in whiteness, and long beholding the snow, to a weak eye, giveth an impression of azure, rather than of whiteness. So as for whiteness in apparition only, and representation, by the qualifying of the light, altering the intermedium, or affecting the eye itself, it reacheth not. But you must free your direction to the producing of such an incidence, impression, or operation, as may cause a precise and determinate passion of the eye, a matter which is much more easy to induce than that which we have passed through; but yet because it hath a full coherence both with that act of radiation, which hath hitherto been conceived and termed so improperly and untruly, by some, an effluxion of spiritual species, and by others, an investing of the inter
medium, with a motion which successively is conveyed to the eye, and with the act of sense, wherein I should likewise open that which I think good to withdraw, I will omit
Neither do I contend, but that this notion, which I call the freeing of a direction in the received philosophies, as far as a swimming anticipation could take hold, might be perceived and discerned; being not much other matter than that which they did not only aim at in the two rules of axioms before remembered, but more nearly also than that which they term the form or formal cause, or that which they call the true difference; both which nevertheless, it seemeth, they propound rather as impossibilities and wishes, than as things within the compass of human comprehension: for Plato casteth his burthen, and saith, " that he will revere him as a God, that can truly divide and define;" which cannot be but by true forms and differences, wherein I join hands with him, confessing as much, as yet assuming to myself little; for if any man can, by the strength of his anticipations, find out forms, I will magnify him with the foremost. But as any of them would say, that if divers things, which many men know by instruction and observation, another knew by revelation, and without those means, they would take him for somewhat supernatural and divine; so I do acknowledge, that if any man can by anticipations reach to that which a weak and inferior wit may attain to by interpretation, he cannot receive too high a title. Nay, I for my part do indeed admire to see how far some of them have proceeded by their anticipations; but how? it is as I wonder at some blind men, to see what shift they make without their eye-sight; thinking with myself that if I were blind, I could hardly do it. Again, Aristotle's school confesseth, that there is no true knowledge but by causes, no true cause but the form, no true form known except one, which they are pleased to allow; and therefore thus far their evidence standeth with us, that both hitherto there hath been nothing but a shadow of knowledge, and that we propound now that which is agreed to be worthiest to be sought, and hardest to be found. There wanteth now a part very necessary, not by way of supply, but by way of caution: for as it is seen for the most part, that the outward tokens and badge of excellency and perfection are more incident to things merely counterfeit, than to that which is true, but for a meaner and baser sort; as a dubline is more like a perfect ruby than a spinel, and a counterfeit angel is made more like a true angel, than if it were an angel coined of China gold; in like manner, the direction carrieth a resemblance of a true direction in verity and liberty, which indeed is no direction at all. For though your direction seem to be certain and free, by pointing you to nature that is unseparable from the nature you inquire upon; yet if it do not carry you on a degree or remove nearer to action, operation, or light, to make or produce, it is but superficial and counterfeit. Wherefore to secure and warrant what is a true direction, though that general note 1 have given be perspicuous in itself, for a man shall soon cast with himself, whether he be ever the near to effect and operate or no, or whether he have won but an abstract or varied notion, yet for better instruction I will deliver three particular notes of caution. The first is, that the nature discovered be more original than the nature supposed, and not more secondary, or of the like degree: as to make a stone bright, or to make it smooth, it is a good direction to say, make it even; but to make a stone even, it is no good direction to say, make it bright, or make it smooth: for the rule is, that the disposition of any thing referring to the state of it in itself, or the parts, is more original than that which is relative or transitive towards another thing. So evenness is the disposition of the stone in itself, but smooth is to the hand, and bright to the eye, and yet nevertheless they all cluster and concur; and yet the direction is more unperfect, if it do appoint you to such a relative, as is in the same kind, and not in a diverse. For in the direction, to produce brightness by smoothness, although properly it win no degree, and will never teach you any new particulars before unknown, yet by way of suggestion or bringing to mind, it may draw your consideration to some particulars known but not remembered; as you shall sooner remember some practical means of making smoothness, than if you had fixed your consideration only upon brightness; hut if the direction had been to make brightness, by making reflection, as thus, make it such as you may see your face in it; this is merely secondary, and helpeth neither by way of informing, nor by way of suggesting. So if in the inquiry of whiteness you were directed to make such a colour as should be seen farthest in a dark light; here you are advanced nothing at all. For these kinds of natures are but proprieties, effects, circumstances, concurrences, or what else you shall like to call them, and not radical and formative natures towards the nature supposed. The second caution is, that the nature inquired be collected by division before composition, or to speak more properly, by composition subaltern, before you ascend to composition absolute, &c.
Of the internal and profound errors and superstitions in the nature of the mind, and of the four sorts of idols or fictions which offer themselves to the understanding in the inquisition of knowledge.
Being the XVIth chapter, and this a small fragment thereof, being a preface to the inward elenches of the mind.
The opinion of Epicurus, that the gods were of human shape, was rather justly derided than seriously confuted by the other sects, demanding whether "cry kind of sensible creatures did not think their °*n figure fairest, as the horse, the bull, and the 1'ke, which found no beauty but in their own forms, *• in appetite of lust appeared. And the heresy of 'he Anthropomorphites was ever censured for a gross conceit, bred in the obscure cells of solitary monks that never looked abroad. Again, the fable so *ell known of "Quis pinxit leonem," doth set forth *cll, that there is an error of pride and partiality,
as well as of custom and familiarity. The reflection also from glasses so usually resembled to the imagery of the mind, every man knoweth to receive error and variety both in colour, magnitude, and shape, according to the quality of the glass. But yet no use hath been made of these and many the like observations to move men to search out, and upon search to give true cautions of the native and inherent errors in the mind of man, which have coloured and corrupted all his notions and impressions.
I do find therefore in this enchanted glass four idols, or false appearances of several and distinct sorts, every sort comprehending many subdivisions: the first sort, I call idols of the nation or tribe; the second, idols of the place; the third, idols of the cave; and the fourth, idols of the theatre, &c.
Here followeth an abridgement of divers chapters of the first book of the Interpretation Op Nature.
That in deciding and determining of the truth of knowledge, men have put themselves upon trials not competent. That antiquity and authority, common and confessed notions, the natural and yielding consent of the mind, the harmony and coherence of a knowledge in itself, the establishing of principles with the touch and reduction of other propositions unto them, inductions without instance contradictory, and the report of the senses, are none of them absolute and infallible evidence of truth; and bring no security sufficient for effects and operations. That the discovery of new works or active directions not known before, is the only trial to be accepted of; and yet not that neither, in case where one particular giveth light to another; but where particulars induce an axiom or observation, which axiom found out, discovereth and designeth new particulars. That the nature of this trial is not only upon the point, whether the knowledge be profitable or no, but even upon the point, whether the knowledge be true or no. Not because you may always conclude, that the axiom which discovereth new instances is true; but contrariwise you may safely conclude, that if it discover not any new instance, it is vain and untrue. That by new instances are not always to be understood new recipes, but new assignations; and of the diversity between these two. That the subtilty of words, arguments, notions, yea of the senses themselves, is but rude and gross in comparison of the 6ubtilty of things. And of the slothful and flattering opinions of those which pretend to honour the mind of man in withdrawing and abstracting it from particulars; and of the inducements and motives whereupon such opinions have been conceived and received.
Of the error in propounding chiefly the search of causes and productions of things concrete, which are infinite and transitory; and not of abstract natures, which are few and permanent. That these natures are as the alphabet or simple letters, whereof the variety of things eonsisteth; or as the colours mingled in the painter's shell, wherewith he is able to make infinite variety of faces or shapes. An enumeration of them according to popular note. That at the first one would conceive that in the schools by natural philosophy were meant the knowledge of the efficients of things concrete; and by metaphysic the knowledge of the forms of natures simple; which is a good and fit division of knowledge: but upon examination there is no such matter by them intended. That the little inquiry into the production of simple natures, showeth well that works were not sought; because by the former knowledge some small and superficial deflexions from the ordinary generations and productions may be found out, but the discovery of all profound and radical alteration must arise out of the latter knowledge.
Of the error in propounding the search of the materials, or dead beginnings or principles of things, and not the nature of motions, inclinations, and applications. That the whole scope of the former search is impertinent and vain; both because there are no such beginnings, and if there were they could not be known. That the latter manner of search, which is all, they pass over compendiously and slightly as a bye matter. That the several conceits in that kind; as that the lively and moving beginnings of things should be shift or appetite of matter to privation; the spirit of the world, working in matter according to platform j the proceeding or fructifying of distinct kinds according to their proprieties: the intercourse of the elements by mediation of their common qualities; the appetite of like portions to unite themselves; amity and discord, or sympathy and antipathy; motion to the centre, with motion of stripe or press; the casual agitation, aggregation, and essays of the solid portions in the void space; motion of shuttings and openings; are all mere nugations. And that the calculating and ordination of the true degrees, moments, limits, and laws of motions and alterations, by means whereof all works and effects are produced, is a matter of a far other nature than to consist in such easy and wild generalities.
Of the great error of inquiring knowledge in anticipations. That I call anticipations, the voluntary collections that the mind maketh of knowledge, which is every man's reason. That though this be a solemn thing, and serves the turn to negotiate between man and man, because of the conformity and participation of men's minds in the like errors, yet towards inquiry of the truth of things and works it is of no value. That civil respects are a let that this pretended reason should not be so contemptibly spoken of, as were fit and medicinable, in regard that hath been too much exalted and glorified, to the infinite detriment of man's estate. Of the na
ture of words, and their facility and aptness to cover and grace the defects of anticipations. That it is no marvel if these anticipations have brought forth such diversity and repugnance in opinions, theories, or philosophies, as so many fable, of several arguments. That had not the nature of civil customs and government been in most times somewhat adverse to such innovations, though contemplative, there might have been, and would have been many more. That the second school of the Academics and the sect of Pyrrho, or the considerers, that denied comprehension as to the disabling of man's knowledge, entertained in anticipations, is well to be allowed: but that they ought, when they had overthrown and purged the floor of the ruins, to have sought to build better in place. And more especially that they did unjustly and prejudicially, to charge the deceit upon the report of the senses, which admitteth very sparing remedy; being indeed to have been charged upon the anticipations of the mind, which admitteth a perfect remedy. That the information of the senses is sufficient, not because they err not, but because the use of the sense in discovering of knowledge is for the most part not immediate. So that it is the work, effect, or instance, that trieth the axiom, and the sense doth but try the work done or not done, being or not being. That the mind of man in collecting knowledge needeth great variety of helps, as well as the hand of man in manual and mechanical practices needeth great variety of instruments. And that it were a poor work, that if instruments were removed, men would overcome with their naked hands. And of the distinct points of want and insufficiency in the mind of man.
That the mind of a man, as it is not a vessel of that content or receipt to comprehend knowledge without helps and supplies; so again it is not sincere, but of an ill and corrupt tincture. Of the inherent and profound errors and superstitions in the nature of the mind, and of the four sorts of idols or false appearances that offer themselves to the understanding in the inquisition of knowledge; that is to say, the idols of the tribe, the idols of the palace, the idols of the cave, and the idols of the theatre: that these four, added to the incapacity of the mind, and the vanity and malignity of the affections, leave nothing but impotency and confusion. A recital of the particular kinds of these four idols, with some chosen examples of the opinions they have begot, such of them as have supplanted the state of knowledge most.
Of the errors of such as have descended and applied themselves to experience, and attempted to induce knowledge upon particulars. That they have not had the resolution and strength of mind to free themselves wholly from anticipations, but have made a confusion and intermixture of anticipations and observations, and so vanished. That if any have had the strength of mind generally to purge away and discharge all anticipations; they have not had that greater and double strength and patience of mind, as well to repel new anticipations after the view and search of particulars, as to reject old which were in their mind before; but have from particulars and history flown up to principles without the mean degrees, and so framed all the middle generalities or axioms, not by way of scale or ascension from particulars, but by way of derivation from principles, whence hath issued the infinite chaos of shadows and moths, wherewith both books and minds have been hitherto, and may be yet hereafter much more pestered. That in the course of those derivations to make them yet the more unprofitable, they have used, when any light of new instance opposite to any assertion appeared, rather to reconcile the instance than to amend the rule. That if any have had, or shall have the power and resolution to fortify and enclose his mind'against all anticipations, yet if he have not been or shall not be cautioned by the full understanding of the nature of the mind and spirit of man, and therein of the states, pores, and passages both of knowledge and error, he hath not been nor shall not be possibly able to guide or keep on his course aright. That those that have been conversant in experience and observation, have used, when they have intended to discover the cause of any effect, to fix their consideration narrowly and exactly upon that effect itself, with all the circumstances thereof, and to vary the trial thereof as many ways as can be devised; which course amounteth but to a tedious curiosity, and ever hreaketh off in wondering, and not in knowing. And that they have not used to enlarge their observation to match and sort that effect with instances of a diverse subject, which must of necessity be before any cause be found out. That they have passed over the observation of instances vulgar and ignoble, and stayed their attention chiefly upon instances of mark; whereas the other sort are for the most part more significant, and of better light and information. That every particular that worketh any effect, is a thing compounded, more or less, of diverse single natures, more manifest and more obscure, and that it appeareth not to whether of the natures the effect is to be ascribed; and yet notwithstanding they have taken a course without breaking particulars, and reducing them by exclusions and inclusions to a definite point, to conclude upon inductions in gross; which empirical course is no less vain than the scholastical. That all such as have sought action and work out of their inquiry, have been hasty and pressing to discover some practices for present use, and not to discover axioms, joining with them the new assignations as their sureties. That the forerunning of the mind to frame recipes upon axioms at the entrance, is like Atalanta's golden ball that hindereth and interrupteth the course; and is to be inhibited till you have ascended to a certain stage and degree of generalities; which forbearance will be liberally recompensed in the end; and that chance discovereth new inventions by one and one, but
science by knots and clusters. That they have not collected sufficient quantity of particulars, nor them in sufficient certainty and subtilty, nor of all several kinds, nor with those advantages and discretions in the entry and sorting which are requisite; and of the weak manner of collecting natural history, which hath been used. Lastly, that they had no knowledge of the formulary of interpretation, the work whereof is to abridge experience, and to make things as certainly found out by axiom in short time, as by infinite experience in ages.
That the cautels and devices put in practice in the delivery of knowledge for the covering and palliating of ignorance, and the gracing and overvaluing of that they utter, are without number; but none more bold and more hurtful than two: the one, that men have used of a few observations upon any subject to make a solemn and formal art; by filling it up with discourse, accommodating it with some circumstances and directions to practice, and digesting it into method, whereby men grow satisfied and secure, as if no more inquiry were to be made of that matter; the other, that men have used to discharge ignorance with credit, in defining all those effects which they cannot attain unto, to be out of the compass of art and human endeavour. That the very styles and forms of utterance are so many characters of imposture, some choosing a style of pugnacity and contention, some of satire and reprehension, some of plausible and tempting similitudes and examples, some of great words and high discourse, some of short and dark sentences, some of exactness of method, all of positive affirmation; without disclosing the true motives and proofs of their opinions, or free confessing their ignorance or doubts, except it be now and then for a grace, and in cunning to win the more credit in the rest, and not in good faith. That although men be free from these errors and encumbrances in the will and affection, yet it is not a thing so easy as is conceived, to convey the conceit of one man's mind into the mind of another, without loss or mistaking, especially in notions new and differing from those that are received. That never any knowledge was delivered in the same order it was invented, no not in the mathematics, though it should seem otherwise, in regard that the propositions placed last do use the propositions or grants placed first for their proof and demonstration. That there are forms and methods of tradition wholly distinct and differing, according to their ends whereto they are directed. That there are two ends of tradition of knowledge, the one to teach and instruct for use and practice, the other to impart or intimate for re-examination and progression. That the former of these ends requireth a method not the same, whereby it was invented and induced, but such as is most compendious and ready, whereby it may be used and applied. That the latter of the ends, which is where a knowledge is delivered to be continued and spun on by a succession of labours, requireth a method