Page images

any retlargution of errors, or incomplete prosecutions: for it is one thing to set forth what ground lieth unmanured, and another thing to correct ill husbandry in that which is manured.

In the handling and undertaking of which work I am not ignorant what it is that I do now move and attempt, nor insensible of mine own weakness to sustain my purpose; but my hope is, that if my extreme love to learning carry me too far, I may obuin the excuse of affection; for that "it is not granted to man to love and to be wise." But, I know well, I can use no other liberty of judgment than I must leave to others; and I, for my part, shall be indifferently glad either to perform myself, or accept from another, that duty of humanity "Nam qni erranti comiter monstrat viam," etc. I do foresee likewise, that of those things which I shall enter and register, as deficiencies and omissions, many will conceive and censure, that some of them are already done and extant; others to be but curiosities, and things of no great use; and others to be of too great difficulty, and almost impossibility to be compassed and effected: but for the two first, I refer myself to the particulars; for the last, touching impossibility, I take it, those things are to be held possible, which may be done by some person, though not by every one j and which may be done

by many though not by any one; and which may be done in succession of ages, though not within the hour-glass of one man's life; and which may be done by public designation, though not by private endeavour.

But, notwithstanding, if any man will take to himself rather that of Solomon, " Dicit piger, Leo est in via," than that of Virgil, " Possunt quia posse videntur:" I shall be content that my labours be esteemed but as the better sort of wishes; for as it asketh some knowledge to demand a question not impertinent, so it requireth some sense to make a wish not absurd.

The parts of human learning have reference to the three parts of man's Understanding, which is the seat of learning: History to his Memory, Poesy to his Imagination, and Philosophy to his Reason. Divine learning receiveth the same distribution, for the spirit of man is the same, though the revelation of oracle and sense be diverse: so as theology consisteth nlso of history of the church; of parables, which is divine poesy, and of holy doctrine or precept: for as for that part which seemeth supernumerary, which is prophecy, it is but divine history; which hath that prerogative over human, as the narration may be before the fact, as well as after.



f History of Generations. ^


History of the celestial Bodies.
History of Meteors.
History of the Earth and Sea.
History of the Elements, or greater
Assemblages of matter,
f Narrative. J History of the Species of Bodies, or

\ Inductive. ] I smaller Assemblages.

History of Prreter-generations.
L History of Arts.

{The general History of the Church.
The History of Prophecy.
The History of Providence.

( Commentaries.

Civil. -4


Particular Civil History. <


f Speeches. Appendages To History. -? Letters.


Just History.

I Antiquities.

2 lPure-

[ Registers.

f Chronicles. Lives.

[ocr errors][merged small]

[Narrations or Relations.


JNarrative. Dramatic.

( Allegorical.


INSPIRED THEOLOGY, or DIVINITY. Its Division left to Divines.
, Ait f The true Use of Human Reason in Theology.

In" ■ d Th ^f" 1 A Di8conrse "P°n the Degrees of Unit>' in ,he Citv of God
nspire leo ogj. ^rpj]e ^rst p]0WjngS 0f the Scriptures.

(■divine Philosophy, or Natural Theology.

Appendage both to Inspired and Natural Theology.—The Science of Spirits.

_ _, f The common Axioms of all Sciences. Primary Philosophy <m^. T, /-.._ J:.; trn.:.

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

\ The Transcendental Condition of Things.

5The Doctrine of the Principles of Things.
, The Doctrine of the Formation of Things.
/ The Doctrine of the Variety of Things....
fThe Measure of Motions.
< Natural Problems.

(The Opinions of the ancient Philosophers.
J The Investigation of Forms.
(The Doctrine of final Causes.

An Inventory of Human Knowledge. | A Calendar of leading Experiments.

^Concrete Physics; divided as Nat. History.

(The Schemes of Matter. ^Appetites and Motions.

£ Abstract Physics

[blocks in formation]

The Miseries of Mankind.
The Prerogatives of Mankind.

Notices of Indication


Preservation of Health.
Cure of Diseases.
Prolongation of Life.
| Effeminate,
j Arts of Activity.
\ Arts of Endurance.
J Painting.
"(Music, &c.

[blocks in formation]

I Arts of Elegance...

("The Doctrine of the Inspired Substance,

T, . . -..- D •.• c i f The Doctrine of voluntary Motion.

The Doctrine of the Sensitive Soul \ „,, , . .„

{The Doctrine of Sense and Sensibility.

The Doctrine of the Substance and Faculties of the Soul.

| Divination.

\ Fascination.

Two Appendages to this Doctrine.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Art of Invention.

The Invention of Arln

fThe Proceai from Kxpcrimcnt to KxpPrlment, or I^enmed Experience. } The Process from KxperiuientB to Axioms or the Art of Induction.

[ocr errors]

Art of Judging.

^ Judgment by Induction. I Judgment by Syllogism.

\ Particular.

Reduction direct.
Reduction inverse.

Analytics. f Confutation of Sophisms.

Doctrine of Confutations -/Confutation of Interpretation.

^Confutation of Idols or false Notions.

Appendix to the Art of Judging.—The Assignation of Demonstrations according to the Nature of the Subject.

, r, . j (The Doctrine of Helps for the Memory. rArt of Custody....-! _ , . , , \. . 1 fPrenotion.

I The Doctrine of the Memory itself -J jjmyem

The Doctrine of the Organ TThe Doctrine of the Marks of Things { ^dSSS^f

of Speech, or LiteraryArt of Speaking.—Sound. Measure. Accent. f^l h [,et

Grammar. ( Art of Writing j p h

Philosophical Grammar. y*

Doctrine of Tradition, ^

Method of Speech, or Doctrine of traditive Prudence

Method has two Parts. /The Di8P°*ition «f ■ whole Work.

( The Limitation of Propositions
The Doctrine of the Illustration of Speech, or Rhetoric.

f A Collection of Sophisms.
Three Appendages to this Doctrine. -? A Collection of studied Antithetic

(A Collection of lesser Forms of Speech.

Two Appendages to the Doctrine of Tradition. ijhue \rtr of C,ilicism

( School Learning.


Doctrinal and initiative.
Open and concealed.
Aphoristical and regular.
Question and Answer.
Method of conquering Prejudice.

fThe Exemplar of Good.

The Cultivation of the Mind

^Individual or Self Good. (Good of Communion

LCivil Knowledge.

5Simple .... (Compound

fThe Doctrine of Men's Natures and Dispositions.

< The Inquiry into the Affections.

(The Doctrine of Remedies.

L Appendix to the Cultivation of the Mind.

f Prudence in Conversation.

_ , . ,, . (The Doctrine of various Occasions.

Prudence in Business ■! T-> . • t T :e.

I The Doctrine of rising in Life.

J The Doctrine of enlarging the Bounds of Empire.

(The Doctrine of universal Justice.

J Active. ,

i Passive /Conservative.

j Duties of Man in common. I P"fectire. (Respective Duties.

-The Relation between the Good of the Mind and the Good of the Body.

Prudence in Government

liVerarum History is Natural, Civil, Ecclesiastical, and Literary: whereof the three first I allow as extant, the fourth I note as deficient. For no man hath propounded to himself the general state of learning to be described and represented from age to age, as many have done the works of nature, and the state civil and ecclesiastical; without which the history of the world seemeth to me to be as the statue of Polyphemus with his eye out, that part being wanting which doth most show the spirit and life of the person: and yet I am not ignorant, that in divers particular sciences, as of the jurisconsults, the mathematicians, the rhetoricians, the philosophers, there are set down some small memorials of the schools, authors, and books; and so likewise some barren relations touching the inventions of arts or usages.

But a just story of learning, containing the antiquities and originals of knowledges and their sects, their inventions, their traditions, their tiiverse administrations and managings, their flourishings, their oppositions, decays, depressions, oblivions, removes, with the causes and occasions of them, and all other events concerning learning, throughout the ages of the world, I may truly affirm to be wanting.

The use and end of which work, I do not so much design for curiosity, or satisfaction of those that are the lovers of learning, but chiefly for a more serious and grave purpose, which is this in few words, that it will make learned men wise in the use and administration of learning, For it is not St. Augustine's nor St Ambrose's works that will make so wise a divine, as ecclesiastical history throughly read and observed; and the same reason is of learning.

History of Nature is of three sorts; of nature in course, of nature erring or varying, and of nature altered or wrought; that is, history of creatures, history of marvels, and history of arts.

The first of these, no doubt, is extant, and that in good perfection; the two latter are handled so weakly and unprofitably, as I am moved to note them as deficient.

For I find no sufficient or competent

errMtfc"" collection of the works of nature> which have a digression and deflexion from the ordinary course of generations, productions, and motions, whether they be singularities of place and region, or the strange events of time and chance, or the effects of yet unknown properties, or the instances of exception to general kinds: it is true, I find a number of books of fabulous experiments and secrets, and frivolous impostures for pleasure and strangeness: but a substantial and severe collection of the heteroclites, or irregulars of nature, well examined and described, I find not, especially not with due rejection of fables, and popular errors: for as things now are, if an untruth in nature be once on foot, what by reason of the neglect of examination and countenance of antiquity, and what by reason of the use of the opinion in similitudes and ornaments of speech, it is never called down.

The use of this work, honoured with a precedent in Aristotle, is nothing less than to give content

ment to the appetite of curious and vain wits, as the manner of mirabilaries is to do; but for two reasons, both of great weight: the one to correct the partiality of axioms and opinions, which are commonly framed only upon common and familiar examples; the other, because from the wonders of nature is the nearest intelligence and passage towards the wonders of art: for it is no more, but by following, and as it were hounding nature in her wanderings, to be able to lead her afterwards to the same place again.

Neither am I of opinion, in this history of marvels, that superstitious narrations of sorceries, witchcrafts, dreams, divinations, and the like, where there is an assurance and clear evidence of the fact, be altogether excluded. For it is not yet known in what cases, and how far, eflects attributed to superstition do participate of natural causes: and therefore howsoever the practice of such things is to be condemned, yet from the speculation and consideration of them light may be taken, not only for the discerning of the offences, but for the farther disclosing of nature. Neither ought a man to make scruple of entering into these things for inquisition of truth, as your majesty hath shown in yonr own example; who with the two clear eyes of religion and natural philosophy have looked deeply and wisely into these shadows, and yet proved yourself to be of the nature of the sun, which passeth through pollutions, and itself remains as pure as before.

But this I hold fit, that these narrations, which have mixture with superstition, be sorted by themselves, and not be mingled with the narrations, which are merely and sincerely natural.

But as for the narrations touching the prodigies and miracles of religions, they are either not true, or not natural; and therefore impertinent for the story of nature.

For history of nature wrought, or mechanical, I find some collections m"ha°"ca. made of agriculture, and likewise of manual arts, but commonly with a rejection of experiments familiar and vulgar.

For it is esteemed a kind of dishonour unto learning, to descend to inquiry or meditation upon matters mechanical, except they be such as may be thought secrets, rarities, and special subtilties; which humour of vain and supercilious arrogancy is justly derided in Plato; where he brings in Hippias, a vaunting sophist, disputing with Socrates, a true and unfeigned inquisitor of truth; where the subject being touching beauty, Socrates, after his wandering manner of inductions, put first an example of a fair virgin, and then of a fair horse, and then of a fair pot well glazed, whereat Hippias was offended; and said, "More than for courtesy's sake, he did not think much to dispute with any that did allege such base and sordid instances:" whereunto Socrates answered, " You have reason, and it becomes you well, being a man so trim in your vestments," &c. And so goeth on in an irony.

But 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 often to pass, that mean and small things discover great, better than great can discover the small; and therefore Aristotle noteth well, " that the nature of every thing is best seen in his 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. Even so likewise the nature of this great city of the world, and the policy thereof, must be first sought in mean concordances and small portions. Sowesee how that secret of nature, of the turning of iron, touched with the loadstone, towards the north, was found out in needles of iron, not in bars of iron.

Bat if my judgment be of any weight, the use of History Mechanical is, of all others, the most radical and fundamental towards natural philosophy; such natural philosophy as shall not vanish in the fume of subtile, sublime, or delectable speculation, but such as shall be operative to the endowment and benefit of man's life: for it will not only minister and suggest for the present many ingenious practices in all trades, by a connexion and transferring of the observations of one art to the use of another, when the experiences of several mysteries shall fall under the consideration of one man's mind; but farther, it will give a more true and real illumination concerning causes and axioms than is hitherto attained.

For like as a man's disposition is never well known till he be crossed, nor Proteus ever changed shapes till he was straitened and held fast; so the passages and variations of nature cannot appear so folly in the liberty of nature, as in the trials and i?xations of art.

Fob Civil History, it is of three kinds, not unfitly to be compared with the three kinds of pictures or images: for of pictures or images, we see, some are unfinished, some are perfect, and some are defaced. So of histories we may find three kinds, Memorials, Perfect Histories, and Antiquities; for memorials are history unfinished, or the first or rough draughts of history; and antiquities are history defaced, or tone remnants of history which have casually scaped the shipwreck of time.

Memorials, or preparatory history, are of two sorts, whereof the one may be termed Commentaries, sod the other Registers. Commentaries are they *bich set down a continuance of the naked events and actions, without the motives or designs, the counsels, the speeches, the pretexts, the occasions, 5*1 other passages of action: for this is the true nature of a Commentary, though Cassar, in modesty miied with greatness, did for his pleasure apply the name of a Commentary to the best history of the world. Registers are collections of public acts, as decrees of council, judicial proceedings, declarations and letters of state, orations, and the like, without 1 perfect continuance or contexture of the thread of the narration.

Antiquities, or remnants of history, arc, as was said, tanquam tabula naufragii, when industrious persons, by an exact and scrupulous diligence and observation, out of monuments, names, words, proverbs, traditions, private records and evidences, fragments of stories, passages of books that concern not story, and the like, do save and recover somewhat from the deluge of time.

In these kinds of imperfect histories I do assign no deficience, for they arc tanquam imperfecta} mista, and therefore any deficience in them is but their nature.

As for the corruptions and moths of history, which are Epitomes, the use of them deserveth to be banished, as all men of sound judgment have confessed, as those that have fretted and corroded the sound bodies of many excellent histories, and wrought them into base and unprofitable dregs.

History, which may be called Just and Perfect History, is of three kinds, according to the object which it propoundeth, or pretendeth to represent: for it either representeth a time, or a person, or an action. The first we call Chronicles, the second Lives, and the third Narrations, or Relations.

Of these, although the first be the most complete and absolute kind of history, and hath most estimation and glory, yet the second excelleth it in profit and use, and the third in verity and sincerity. For history of times representeth the magnitude of actions, and the public faces and deportments of persons, and passeth over in silence the smaller passages and motions of men and matters.

But such being the workmanship of God, as he doth hang the greatest weight upon the smallest wires, maxima e minimis suspendens, it comes therefore to pass, that such histories do rather set forth the pomp of business than the true and inward resorts thereof. But lives, if they be well written, propounding to themselves a person to represent, in whom actions, both greater and smaller, public and private, have a commixture, must of necessity contain a more true, native, and lively representation. So again narrations and relations of actions, as the Warof Peloponnesus, the Expedition of Cyrus Minor, the Conspiracy of Catiline, cannot but be more purely and exactly true, than histories of times, because they may choose an argument comprehensible within the notice and instructions of the writer: whereas he that undertaketh the story of a time, especially of any length, cannot but meet with many blanks and spaces, which he must be forced to fill up out of his own wit and conjecture.

For the History of Times, I mean of civil history, the providence of God hath made the distribution: for it hath pleased God to ordain and illustrate two exemplar slates of the world for arms, learning, moral virtue, policy, and laws; the state of Greecia, and the state of Rome: the histories whereof occupying the middle part of time, have more ancient to them, histories which may by one common name be termed the Antiquities of the world; and after them, histories which may be likewise called by the name of Modern History.

Now to speak of the deficiencies. As to the

« PreviousContinue »