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heathen antiquities of the world, it is in vain to note them for deficient: deficient they are no doubt, consisting most of fables and fragments, but the defi-" cience cannot be holpen; for antiquity is like fame, caput inter nubila condit, her head is muffled from our sight. For the history of the exemplar states, it is extant in good perfection. Not but I could wish there were a perfect course of history for Greecia from Theseus to Philopcemen, what time the affairs of Grrecia were drowned and extinguished in the affairs of Rome; and for Rome from Romulus to Justinianus, who may be truly said to be ultimus Romnnorum. In which sequences of story the text of Thucydides and Xenophon in the one, and the text of Livius, Polybius, Salustius, Caesar, Appianus, Tacitus, Herodianus, in the other, to be kept entire, without any diminution at all, and only to be supplied and continued. But this is matter of magnificence, rather to be commended than required j and we speak now of parts of learning supplemental, and not of supererogation.
But for Modem Histories, whereof there are some few very worthy, but the greater part beneath mediocrity, leaving the care of foreign stories to foreign states, because I will not be curiosus in aliena republicd, I cannot fail to represent to your majesty the unworthiness of the history of England in the main continuance thereof, and the partiality and obliquity of that of Scotland, in the latest and largest author that I have seen; supposing that it would be honour for your majesty, and a work very memorable, if this island of Great Britain, as it is now joined in monarchy for the ages to come, so were joined in one history for the times passed, after the manner of the sacred history, which draweth down the story of the ten tribes, and of the two tribes, as twins, together. And if it shall seem that the greatness of this work may make it less exactly performed, there is an excellent period of a much smaller compass of time, as to the story of England; that is to say, from the uniting of the roses to the uniting of the kingdoms: a portion of time, wherein, to my understanding, there hath been the rarest varieties, that in like number of successions of any hereditary monarchy hath been known: for it beginneth with the mixed adeption of a crown by arms and title; an entry by battle, an establishment by marriage; and therefore times answerable, like waters after a tempest, full of working and swelling, though without extremity of storm: but well passed through by the wisdom of the pilot, being one of the most sufficient kings of all the number. Then followeth the reign of a king, whose actions, howsoever conducted, had much intermixture with the affairs of Europe, balancing and inclining them variably; in whose time also began that great alteration in the state ecclesiastical, an action which seldom cometh upon the stage. Then the reign of a minor: then an offer of an usurpation, though it was but as febris ephemera: then the reign of a queen matched with a foreigner: then of a queen that lived solitary and unmarried, and yet her government so masculine, as it had greater impression and operation upon the states abroad than it any ways received from thence.
And now last, this most happy and glorious event, that this island of Britain, divided from all the world, should be united in itself: and that oracle of rest, given to .'Eneas, "Antiquam exquirite matrem," should now be performed and fulfilled upon the nations of England and Scotland, beingnow reunited in the ancient mother name of Britain, as a full period of all instability and peregrinations: so that as it cometh to pass in massive bodies, that they have certain trepidations and waverings before they fix and settle; so it seemeth that by the providence of God, this monarchy, before it was to settle in your majesty and your generations, in which I hope it is now established for ever, it had these prelusive changes and varieties.
For Lives; I do find strange that these times have so little esteemed the virtues of the times, as that the writing of lives should be no more frequent. For although there be not many sovereign princes or absolute commanders, and that states are most collected into monarchies, yet there are many worthy personages that deserve better than dispersed report or barren elogies. For herein the invention of one of the late poets is proper, and doth well enrich the ancient fiction: for he feigneth, 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 medals, 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.
And though many men, more mortal in their affections than in their bodies, do esteem desire of name and memory but as a vanity and ventosity,
"Animi nil magna: laudis egentes;"
which opinion cometh from the root, "non prius laudes contempsimtis, quam laiulanda facere desivimus:" yet that will not alter Solomon's judgment, "Memoria justi cum laudibus, at impiorum nomen putrescet:" the one flourisheth, the other either consumeth to present oblivion, or turneth to an ill odour.
And therefore in that style or addition, which is and hath been long well received and brought in use, " felicis memoria?, pise memoria?, bona? memoria?," we do acknowledge that which Cicero saith, borrowing it from Demosthenes, that "bona fama propria possessio defunctorum;" which possession I cannot but note, that in our times it lieth much waste, and that therein there is a deficience.
For Narrations and Relations of particular actions, there were also to be wished a greater diligence therein; for there is no great action but hath some good pen which attends it.
And because it is an ability not common to write a good history, as may well appear by the small number of them; yet if particularity of actions memorable were but tolerably reported as they pass, the compiling of a complete history of times might be the better expected, when a writer should arise lhat were fit for it; for the collection of such relations might be as a nursery garden, whereby to plant a fair and stately garden, when time should
There is yet another partition of history which Cornelius Tacitus maketh, which is not to be forjotten, especially with that application which he accoupleth it withal, Annals and Journals: appropriating to the former, matters of state; and to the latter, acts and accidents of a meaner nature. For jiving but a touch of certain magnificent buildings, headdeth, "Cum ex dignitate populi Komani vepertum sit, res illustres annalibus, talia diurnis urbis actis mandare." So as there is a kind of contemplative heraldry, as well as civiL And as nothing doth derogate from the dignity of a state more than confusion of degrees; so it doth not a little embase >he authority of a history, to intermingle matters of triumph, or matters of ceremony, or matters of novelty, with matters of state. But the use of a journal hath not only been in the history of time, but likewise in the history of persons, and chiefly of actions: for princes in ancient time had, upon point of honour and policy both, journals kept, of what passed day by day: for we see the chronicle which «as read before Ahasuerus, when he could not take rest, contained matters of affairs indeed, but such as had passed jn his own time, and very lately before: Wt the journal of Alexander's house expressed every small particularity even concerning his person and court; and it is yet a use well received in enterprises memorable, as expeditions of war, navigations, snd the like, to keep diaries of that which passeth continually.
I cannot likewise be ignorant of a form of writing, which some grave and wise men have used, containing a scattered history of those actions which they have thought worthy of memory, with politic discourse and observation thereupon; not incorporated into the history, but separately, and as the nore principal in their intention; which kind of raminated history I think more fit to place amongst ■woks of policy, whereof we shall hereafter speak, than amongst books of history: for it is the true 'ffice of history to represent the events themselves together with the counsels, and to leave the observations and conclusions thereupon to the liberty and faculty of every man's judgment; but mixtures 5te things irregular, whereof no man can define.
So also is there another kind of history manifoldly mixed, and that is History of Cosmography, being compounded of natural history, in respect to the ffgions themselves; of history civil, in respect of •he habitations, regiments, and manners of the people; and the mathematics, in respect of the climates "id configurations towards the heavens: which part rjf learning of all others, in this latter time, hath obtained most proficience. For it may be truly "ffirmed to the honour of these times, and in a "rtuoM emulation with antiquity, that this great Gilding of the world had never thorough lights ms<ie in it, till the age of us and our fathers: for though they had knowledge of the antipodes,
"Nosque ubi primus equis oriens afHavit anhelis,
yet that might be by demonstration, and not in fact; and if by travel, it requireth the voyage but of half the globe. But to circle the earth, as the heavenly bodies do, was not done or enterprised till these later times: and therefore these times may justly boar in their word, not only plus ultra in precedence of the ancient nun ultra, and imitabile fulmen, in precedence of the ancient non imitabile fulmen,
"Demens qui nimbos et non imitabile fulmen," etc.
but likewise imitabile coelum; in respect of the many memorable voyages, after the manner of heaven, about the globe of the earth.
And this proficiency in navigation and discoveries may plant also an expectation of the farther proficiency and augmentation of all sciences; because, it may seem, they are ordained by God to be coevals, that is, to meet in one age. For so the prophet Daniel, speaking of the latter times, foretelleth; "Plurimi pertransibunt, et multiplex erit scientia;" as if the openness and thorough passage of the world, and the increase of knowledge, were appointed to be in the same ages, as we see it is already performed in great part: the learning of these latter times not much giving place to the former two periods or returns of learning, the one of the Grecians, the other of the Romans.
History ecclesiastical rcceiveth the same divisions with history civil; but farther, in the propriety thereof, may be divided into the History of the church, by a general name; History of Prophecy; and History of Providence.
The first describeth the times of the militant church, whether it be fluctuant, as the ark of Noah; or movable, as the ark in the wilderness; or at rest, as the ark in the temple; that is, the state of the church in persecution, in remove, and in peace. This part I ought in no sort to note as deficient, only I would the virtue and sincerity of it were according to the mass and quantity. But I am not now in hand with censures, but with omissions.
The second, which is history of prophecy, consisteth of two relatives, the propheUca. prophecy, and the accomplishment; and therefore the nature of such a work ought to be, that every prophecy of the Scripture be sorted with the event fulfilling the same, throughout the ages of the world; both for the better confirmation of faith, and for the better illumination of the church touching those parts of prophecies which are yet unfulfilled: allowing nevertheless that latitude which is agreeable and familiar unto divine prophecies, being of the nature of their Author, with whom a thousand years are but as one day, and therefore are not fulfilled punctually at once, but have springing and germinant accomplishment throughout many ages; though the height or fulness of them may refer to some one age.
This is a work which I find deficient, but is tobe done with wisdom, sobriety, and reverence, or not at all.
The third, which is history of providence, containeth that excellent correspondence which is between God's revealed will and his secret will: which though it be so obscure, as for the most part it is not legible to the natural man j no, nor many times to those that behold it from the tabernacle j yet at some times it pleaseth God, for our better establishment, and the confuting of those which are as without God in the world, to write it in such text and capital letters, that, as the prophet saith, "he that runneth by may read it;" that is, mere sensual persons, which hasten by God's judgments, and never bend or fix their cogitations upon them, are nevertheless in their passage and race urged to discern it. Such are the notable events and examples of God's judgments, chastisements, deliverances, and blessings: and this is a work which hath passed through the labours of many, and therefore I cannot present as omitted.
There are also other parts of learning which are Appendices to history; for all the exterior proceedings of man consist of words and deeds; whereof history doth properly receive and retain in memory the deeds; and if words, yet but as inducements and passages to deeds: so are there other books and writings, which are appropriate to the custody and receipt of words only, which likewise are of three sorts; Orations, Letters, and Brief Speeches or Sayings.
Orations are pleadings, speeches of counsel, Iaudatives, invectives, apologies, reprehensions; orations of formality or ceremony, and the like.
Letters are according to all the variety of occasions, advertisements, advices, directions, propositions, petitions commendatory, expostulatory, satisfactory; of compliment, of pleasure, of discourse, and all other passages of action. And such as are written from wise men, are, of all the words of man, in my judgment the best; for they are more natural than orations and public speeches, and more advised than conferences or present speeches. So again letters of affairs from such as manage Ihem or are privy to them, are of all others the best instructions for history, and to a diligent reader the best histories in themselves.
For Apophthegms, it is a great loss of that book of Ca?sar's; for as his history, and those few letters of his which we have, and those apophthegms which were of his own, excel all men's else, so I suppose would his collection of apophthegms have done; for as for those which are collected by others, either I have no taste in such matters, or else their choice hath not been happy. But upon these three kinds of writings I do not insist, because I have no deficiencies to propound concerning them.
Thus much therefore concerning History, which is that part of learning which answereth to one of the cells, domiciles, or offices of the mind of man, which is that of the Memory.
Poesy is a part of learning in measure of words for the most part restrained, but in all other points extremely licensed, and doth truly refer to the imagination; which being not 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, etc. It is taken in two senses, in respect of words, or matter; in the first sense, it is but a character of style, and belongeth to arts of speech, and is not pertinent for the present: in the latter, it is, as hath been said, one of the principal portions of learning, and is nothing else but feigned history, which may be styled as well in prose as in verse.
The use of this feigned history hath been to give some shadow of satisfaction to the mind of man in those points wherein the nature of things doth deny it, the world being in proportion inferior to the soul; by reason whereof there is, agreeable to the spirit of man, a more ample greatness, a more exact goodness, and a more absolute variety, than can be found in the nature of things. Therefore, because the acts or events of true history have not that magnitude which satisfieth the mind of man, poesy feigneth acts and events greater and more heroical; because true history propoundeth the successes and issues of actions not so agreeable to the merits of virtue and vice, therefore poesy feigns them more just in retribution, and more according to revealed providence: because true history representeth actions and events more ordinary, and less interchanged; therefore poesy endueth them with more rareness, and more unexpected and alternative variations: sp as it appeareth that poesy serveth and conferreth to magnanimity, morality, and to delectation. And therefore 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 unto the nature of things.
And we see, that by these insinuations and congruities with man's nature and pleasure, joined also with the agreement and consort it hath with music, it hath had access and estimation in rude times and barbarous regions, where other learning stood excluded.
The division of poesy, which is aptest in the propriety thereof, besides those divisions which are common unto it with history, as feigned chronicles, feigned lives, and the appendices of history, as feigned epistles, feigned orations, and the rest, is into Poesy Narrative, Representative, and Allusive.
The Narrative is a mere imitation of history, with the excesses before remembered, choosing for subject commonly wars and love; rarely state; and sometimes pleasure or mirth.
Representative is as a visible history, and is an image of actions as if they were present, as history is of actions in nature as they are, that is, past.
Allusive or parabolical, is a narration applied only to express some special purpose or conceit; which latter kind of parabolical wisdom was much more in use in the ancient times, as by the fables of /Esop, and the brief sentences of the Seven, and the use of hieroglyphics, may appear. And the cause was, for that it was then of necessity to express any point of reason, which was more sharp or subtile than the vulgar, in that manner, because men in those times wanted both variety of examples and subtilty of conceit: and as hieroglyphics were before letters, so parables were before arguments. And nevertheless now, and at all times, they do retiiin much life and vigour, because reason cannot be so sensible nor examples so fit.
But there remaineth yet another use of poesy parabolical, opposite to that which we last mentioned: for that tendeth to demonstrate and illustrate that which is taught or delivered, and this other to retire and obscure it: that is, when the secrets and mysteries of religion, policy, or philosophy, are involved in fables and parables.
Of this in divine poesy, we see the use is authorized. In heathen poesy, we see, the exposition of fables doth fall out sometimes with great felicity, as in the fable that the giants being overthrown in their war against the gods, the Earth their mother, in revenge thereof, brought forth Fame:
"Mam Terra parens ira irritata deorutn,
Expounded, that when princes and monarchs have suppressed actual and open rebels, then the malignity of the people, which is the mother of rebellion, doth bring forth libels and slanders, and taxations of the state, which is of the same kind with rebellion, but more feminine. So in the fable, that the rest of the gods having conspired to bind Jupiter, Pallas called Briareus with his hundred hands to his aid: expounded, that monarchies need not fear any curbing of their absoluteness by mighty subjects, as long as by wisdom they keep the hearts of the people, who will be sure to come in on their side. So in the fable, that Achilles was brought up under Chiron the centaur, who was part a man and part a beast: expounded ingeniously, but corruptly, hy Machiavel, that it belongeth to the education and discipline of princes, to know as well how to play the part of the lion in violence, and the fox in guile, as of the man in virtue and justice.
Nevertheless in many the like encounters, I do rather think that the fable was first, and the exposition then devised, than that the moral was first, and thereupon the fable framed. For I find it was an ancient vanity in Chrysippus, that troubled himself with great contention to fasten the assertions of the Stuics upon the fictions of the ancient poets; but yet that all the fables and fictions of the poets were but pleasure and not figure, I interpose no opinion.
Surely of those poets which are now extant, even Homer himself, notwithstanding he was made a kind of Scripture by the latter schools of the Grecians, yet I should without any difficulty pronounce, that his fables had no such inwardness in his own meaning; but what they might have, upon a more original tradition, is not easy to affirm, for he was not the inventor of many of them.
In this third part of learning, which is poesy, I can report 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
VOL. I. D
which is due, for tlie expression of affections, passions, corruptions, and customs, we are beholden to poets more than to the philosophers' 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 reverence and attention.
The knowledge of man is as the waters, some descending from above, and some springing from beneath; the one informed by the light of nature, the other inspired by divine revelation.
The light of nature consisteth in the notions of the mind, and the reports of the senses; for as for knowledge which man receiveth by teaching, it is cumulative, and not original, as in a water, that, besides his own spring-head, is fed with other springs and streams. So then, according to these two differing illuminations or originals, knowledge is first of all divided into Divinity and Philosophy.
In philosophy, the contemplations of man do either penetrate unto God, or are circumferred'to nature, or are reflected or reverted upon himself. Out of which several inquiries there do arise three knowledges, Divine philosophy, Natural philosophy, and Human philosophy or humanity. For all things are marked and stamped with this triple character, of the power of God, the difference of nature, and the use of man. But 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 cntireness 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; which science, whether I should report as deficient or not, I stand doubtful.
For I find a certain rhapsody of natural theology, and of divers parts of logic; and of that part of natural philosophy, which concerneth the principles; and of that other part of natural philosophy, which concerneth the soul or spirit; all these strangely commixed and confused: but being examined, it seemeth to me rather a depredation of other sciences, advanced and exalted unto some height of terms, than any thing solid or substantive of itself.
Nevertheless, I cannot be ignorant of the distinction which is current, that the same things are handled but in several respects. As for example, that logic considereth of many things as they are in notion; and this philosophy, as they are in nature; the one in appearance, the other in existence: but I find this difference better made than pursued. For if they had considered quantity, similitude, diversity, and the rest of those external characters of things, as philosophers, and in nature; their inquiries must* of force have been of a far other kind than they are.
For doth any of them, in handling quantity, speak of the force of union, how, and how far it multiplied virtue? Doth any give the reason, why some things in nature are so common and in so great mass, and others so rare, and in so small quantity? Dolh any, in handling similitude and diversity, assign the cause why iron should not move to iron, which is more like, but move to the loadstone, which is less like? Why, in all diversities of things, there should be certain participles in nature, which are almost ambiguous, to which kind they should be referred? But there is a mere and deep silence touching the nature and operation of those common adjuncts of things, as in nature; and only a resuming and repeating of the force and use of them, in speech or argument.
Therefore because in a writing of this nature I avoid all subtilty, my meaning touching this original or universal philosophy is thus, in a plain and gross description by negative; "That it be a receptacle for all such profitable observations 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."
Now that there are many of that kind, need not to be doubted. For example: is not the rule, " Si inuequalibus eequalia addas, omnia erunt inaequalia," an axiom as well of justice as of the mathematics? And is there not a true coincidence between commutative and distributive justice, and arithmetical and geometrical proportion? Is not that other rule, "Qua? in eodem tertio conveniunt, et inter se conveniunt," a rule taken from the mathematics, but so potent in logic, as all syllogisms are built upon it? Is not the observation, "Omnia mutantur, nil interit," a contemplation in philosophy thus, that the quantum of nature is eternal? in natural theology thus; that it requireth the same omnipotence to make somewhat nothing, which, at the first made nothing somewhat? according to the scripture, " I)idici quod omnia opera, quae fecit Deus, perseverent in perpetuum; non possimus eis quicquam addere, nec auferre."
Is not the ground, which Machiavel wisely and largely discourseth concerning governments, that the way to establish and preserve them, is to reduce them ad principia, a rule in religion and nature, as well as in civil administration? Was not the Persian magic a reduction or correspondence of the principles and architectures of nature, to the rules and policy of governments? 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?
"Splendet tremulo sub lumine pontus."
Are not the organs of the senses of one kind with the organs of rellection, the eye with a glass, the • ear with a cave or strait determined and bounded? Neither are these only similitudes, as men of nar
row observation may conceive them to be, but the
same footsteps of nature, treading or printing upon
several subjects or matters.
This science, therefore, as I under- J'hiiosophia .' ' . prima, siverie
stand it, I may justly report as deficient; lontibus sci
for I see sometimes the profounder sort e arum
of wits, in handling some particular argument, will
now and then draw a bucket of water out of this
well for their present use; but the spring-head
thereof seemeth to me not to have been visited;
being of so excellent use, both for the disclosing of
nature, and the abridgment of art.
This science being therefore first placed as a common parent, like unto Berecynthia, which had so much heavenly issue, " Omnes coelicolas, omnes supera alta tenentes," we may return to the former distribution of the three philosophies, divine, natural, and human.
And as concerning Divine Philosophy, or Natural Theology, it is that knowledge or rudiment of knowledge concerning God, which may be obtained by the contemplation of his creatures; which knowledge may be truly termed divine, in respect of the object, and natural in respect of the light.
The bounds of this knowledge are, that it sufficeth to convince atheism, but not to inform religion: and therefore there was never miracle wrought by God to convert an atheist, because the light of nature might have led him to confess a God: but miracles have been wrought to convert idolaters and the superstitious, because no light of nature extendeth to declare the will and true worship of God.
For as all works do show forth the power and skiU of the workman, and not his image, so it is of the works of God, which do show the omnipotency and wisdom of the Maker, but not his image: and therefore therein the heathen opinion differeth from the sacred truth; for they supposed the world to be the image of God, and man to be an extract or compendious image of the world; but the Scriptures never vouchsafe to attribute to the world that honour, as to be the image of God, but only the work of his hands: neither do they speak of any other image of God, but man: wherefore by the contemplation of nature, to induce and enforce the acknowledgment of God, and to demonstrate liis power, providence, and goodness, is an excellent argument, and hath been excellently handled by divers.
But on the other side, out of the contemplation of nature or ground of human knowledge, to induce any verity or persuasion concerning the points of faith, is in my judgment not safe: "Da fidei, quae fidei sunt." For the heathen themselves conclude as much in that excellent and divine fable of the golden chain; "That men and gods were not able to draw Jupiter down to the earth; but contrariwise, Jupiter was able to draw them up to heaven."
So as we ought not to attempt to draw down or submit the mysteries of God to our reason j but contrariwise, to raise and advance our reason to the divine truth. So as in this part of knowledge, touching divine philosophy, I am so far from noting any deficience, as I rather note an excess; whereunto I have digressed, because of the extreme pre