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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
neTertheless, 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
s^e'de'ivJr?1' laboured and performed, whereat I
mi» rt flni- marvel not: because I hold it not postu» rerum. , _ _ , . 1 „
sible to be invented by that course of
invention 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 I)eus i 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.
"Tcr sunt conati imponere Pelio Ossam
Scilicet, atque Ossa frouclosum involvere Olympum."
Bat to those which refer all things to the glory of (iod, 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 ihe 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 rarrieth men in narrow and restrained ways, subject to many accidents of impediments, imitating the ordinary flexuous courses of nature; but " lata' un
dique sunt sapientibus via?:" to sapience, which was anciently defined to be "rerum divinarnm et humanarum scientia," there is ever choice of means: for physical causes give light to new invention in simili materia. But whosoever knoweth any forrrt, knoweth the utmost possibility of superinducing 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 suitstance 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 hnirs 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 frames 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 Democritns, 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; scemeth 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 has 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 pilosily 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 appcareth to bo 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 form, 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 enclosures of particularity; the mathematics of all other knowledge were the goodliest fields to satisfy that appetite.
But for the placing of this science, 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 arc 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 it; if too wandering, they fix it; if too inherent in the sense, they abstract it. So that as tennis is a game of no use in itself, but of great use in respect it makcth a quick eye, and a body ready to put itself into all postures; so in the mathematics, that use which is collateral and intervcnient, is no less worthy than that which is principal and intended.
And as for the mixed mathematics, I may only make this prediction, that there cannot fail to be more kinds of them, as nature grows further disclosed.
Thus much of natural science, or the part of nature speculative.
For Natural Prudence, or the part operative of natural philosophy, we will divide it into three parts, experimental, philosophical, and magical; which three parts active have a correspondence and analog)' with the three parts speculative, natural history, physic, and metaphysic: for many operations have been invented, sometimes by a casual incidence and occurrence, sometimes by a purposed experiment; and of those which have been found by an intentional experiment, some have been found out by varying or extending the same experiment, some by transferring and compounding divers experiments, the one into the other, which kind of invention an empiric may manage.
Again, by the knowledge of physical causes, there cannot fail to follow many indications and designations of new particulars, if men in their speculation will keep one eye upon use and practice. But these are but coastings along the shore, premendo littus iniquum: for, it seemeth to me, there can hardly be discovered any radical or fundamental alterations and innovations in nature, either by the fortune and essays of experiments, or by the light and direction of physical causes.
If therefore we have reported meta- Naturalis ma, , , . . , , Ria sivt phy
physic deficient, it must follow, that we sica operatna
do the like of natural magic, which m^orhath relation thereunto. For as for the natural magic whereof now there is mention in books, containing certain credulous and superstitious conceits and observations of sympathies, and antipathies, and hidden proprieties, and some frivolous experiments, strange rather by disguisement, than in themselves: it is as far differing in truth of nature from such a knowledge as we require, as the story of king Arthur of Britain, or Hugh of Bourdeaux, differs from Cafsar's Commentaries in truth of story. For it is manifest that Cesar did greater things de vero, than those imaginary heroes were feigned to do; but he did them not in that fabulous manner. Of this kind of learning the fable of Ixion was a figure, who designed to enjoy Juno, the goddess of power; and instead of her had copulation with a cloud, of which mixture were begotten centaurs and chimeras.
So whosoever shall entertain high and vaporous imaginations, instead of a laborious and sober inquiry of truth, shall beget hopes and beliefs of strange and impossible shapes. And therefore we may note in these sciences, which hold so much of imagination and belief, as this degenerate natural magic, alchemy, astrology, and the like, that, in their propositions, the description of the means is ever more monstrous than the pretence or end.
For it is a thing more probable, that he that knoweth well the natures of weight, of colour, of pliant and fragile in respect of the hammer, of volatile and fixed in respect of the fire, and the rest, may superinduce upon some metal the nature and form of gold by such mechanic as belongeth to the production of the natures afore rehearsed, than that some grains of the medicine projected should in a few moments of time turn a sea of quicksilver, or other material, into gold: so it is more probable, that he, that knoweth the nature of arefaction, the nature of assimilation, of nourishment to the thing nourished, the manner of increase and clearing of spirits, the manner of the depredations which spirits make upon the humours and solid parts; shall, by ambages of diets, bathings, anointings, medicines, motions, and the like, prolong life, or restore some degree of youth or vivacity, than that it can be done with the use of a few drops or scruples of a liquor or receipt. To conclude therefore, the true natural magic, which is that great liberty and latitude of operation which dependeth upon the knowledge of forms, I may report deficient, as the relative thereof is; to which part, if we be serious, and incline not to vanities and plausible discourse, besides the deriving and deducing the operations themselves from metaphysic, there are pertinent two points of much purpose, the one by way of preparation, the other by way of caution; the
Inrentarium nrst is' tnat ,nere ue made a caIen" '■pum huma- dar resembling an inventory of the
"estate of man, containing all the inven
tions, being the works or fruits of nature or art, which are now extant, and whereof man is already possessed, out of which doth naturally result a note, what things are yet held impossible or not invented: which calendar will be the more artificial, and serviceable, if to every reputed impossibility you add what thing is extant, which cometh the nearest in degree to that impossibility; to the end, that by these optatives and potentials man's inquiry
may be the more awake in deducing direction of works from the speculation of causes: and secondly, that those experiments be not only esteemed which have an immediate and present use, but those principally which are of most universal consequence for invention of other experiments, and those which give most light to the invention of causes: for the invention of the mariner's needle, which giveth the direction, is of no less benefit for navigation, than the invention of the sails, which give the motion.
Thus have I passed through natural philosophy, and the deficiencies thereof, wherein if I have differed from the ancient and received doctrines, anil thereby shall move contradiction: for my part, as I affect not to dissent, so I purpose not to contend. If it be truth,
Non canimus surdis, respondent omnia sylva;:
the voice of nature will consent, whether the voice of man do or no. 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 contention.
But there remaincth 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 errors and falsehoods, when that which is not fully appearing is not collected into assertion, whereby error might draw error, 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, by the suggestion and solicitation of doubts is made to be attended and applied. But both these commodities 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 authorized 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. pontinuatio Therefore these calendars of doubts I problcmatiim
, . . ... in uutuni.
commend ns excellent things, so that
there be this caution used, that when they be throughly sified and brought to resolution, they he from thenceforth omitted, discarded, and not continued to cherish and encourage men in doubting. To which calendar of doubts or problems, I advise to be annexed another calendar, as much or more material, which is a calendar of popular errors, I mean chiefly in natural his(rrassantium tory, such as pass in speech and conturafl0r'a "a ce'(' nre nevertheless apparently
detected and convicted of untruth, that man's knowledge be not weakened nor embased 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 phenomena in astronomy are satisfied by the received astronomy of the diurnal motion, and the proper motions of the planets, with their eccentrics, and epicycles ; 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 phil^'i'lii'is. possible light which remaineth to us of them: which kind of work I find deficient. Hut here I must give warning, that it be done distinctly and severally, the philosophies of every one throughout by themselves, and not by titles piicked and fagotted 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 a 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 phenomena, yet natural philosophy may correct. So we see also that the science of medicine, if it be destitute 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 considered! man segregate or distributively; the other congregate or in society. So as human philosophy is either simple and particular, or conjugate and civil. Humanity particular consisteth of the same parts whereof man consisteth. that is, of knowledges which respect the body, and of knowledges that respect the mind; but'before we distribute so far, it is good to constitute. For I do take the consideration in general, and at large, of human nature to be fit to be emancipated and made a knowledge by itself; not so much in regard of those delightful and elegant discourses which have been made of the dignity of man, of his miseries, of his state and life, and the like adjuncts of his common and undivided nature; but chiefly in regard of the knowledge concerning the sympathies and concordances between the mind and body, which being mixed, cannot be properly assigned to the sciences of either.
This knowledge hath two branches: for as all leagues and amities consist of mutual intelligence and mutual offices, so this league of mind and body hath these two parts, how the one discloseth the other, and how the one worketh upon the other j DiscoTery, and Impression.
The former of these hath begotten two arts, both of prediction or prenotion, whereof the one is honoured with the inquiry of Aristotle, and the other of Hippocrates. And although they have of later lime been used to be coupled with superstitious and fantastical arts, yet being purged and restored to their true state, they have both of them a solid ground in nature, and a profitable use in life. The I'm physio" ^rst's phy8'°gnomy> which discovereth i»m»,depes- the disposition of the mind by the lineamotu ments 0f the body. The second is the exposition of natural dreams, which discovereth the state of the body by the imaginations of the mind. In the former of these I note a deficience, f>r Aristotle hath very ingeniously and diligently handled the factures of the body, but not the gestures of the body, which are no less comprehensible by art, and of greater use and advantage. For the lineaments of the body do disclose the disposition and inclination of the mind in general; but the motions of the countenance and parts do not only so, but do farther disclose the present humour and state of the mind and will. For, as your majesty saith most aptly and elegantly, " As the tongue speaketh to the ear, » the gesture speaketh to the eye." And therefore a number of subtle persons, whose eyes do dwell upon the faces and fashions of men, do well know the advantage of this observation, as being most part of their ability; neither can it be denied but that it ig a great discovery of dissimulations, and a great direction in business.
The latter branch, touching impression, hath not heen collected into art, but hath been handled dispersedly; and it hath the same relation or anti*trophe that the former hath. For the consideration is double; "Either how, and how far the humours ■id effects of the body do alter or work upon the raind; or again, How, and how far the passions or -['prehensions of the mind do alter or work upon the body." The former of these hath been inquired and considered, as a part and appendix of medicine, '■ntmiich more as a part of religion or superstition: w the physician prescribeth cures of the mind in troizies and melancholy passions, and pretendeth also to exhibit medicines to exhilarate the mind, to confirm the courage, to clarify the wits, to corroborate the memory, and the like: but the scruples and superstitions of diet, and other regiment of the Wy, in the sect of the Pythagoreans, in the heresy of the Manicheans, and in the law of Mahomet, do "■Meed: so likewise the ordinances in the ceremonial law, interdicting the eating of the blood and •he fat, distinguishing between beasts clean and un
clean for meat, are many and strict. Nay the faith itself, being clear and serene from all clouds of ceremony, yet retaineth the use of fastings, abstinences, and other macerations and humiliations of the body, as things real and not figurative. The root and life of all which prescripts is, besides the ceremony, the consideration of that dependency which the affections of the mind are submitted unto upon the state and disposition of the body. And if any man of weak judgment do conceive, that this suffering of the mind from the body, doth either question the immortality, or derogate from the sovereignty of the soul, he may be taught in easy instances, that the infant in the mother's womb is compatible with the mother, and yet separable; and the most absolute monarch is sometimes led by his servants, and yet without subjection. As for the reciprocal knowledge, which is the operation of the conceits and passions of the mind upon the body; we see all wise physicians, in the prescriptions of their regiments to their patients, do ever consider accidentia animi, as of great force to further or hinder remedies, or recoveries; and more especially it is an inquiry of great depth and worth concerning imagination, how, and how far it altereth the body proper of the imaginant. For although it hath a manifest power to hurt, it followeth not it hath the same degree of power to help; no more than a man can conclude, that because there be pestilent airs, able suddenly to kill a man in health, therefore there should be sovereign airs, able suddenly to cure a man in sickness. But the inquisition of this part is of great use, though it needeth, as Socrates said, " a Delian diver," being difficult and profound. But unto all this knowledge do communi vinculo, of the concordances between the mind and the body, that part of inquiry is most necessary, which considereth of the seats and domiciles which the several faculties of the mind do take and occupate in the organs of the body i which knowledge hath been attempted, and is controverted, and deserveth to be much better inquired. For the opinion of Plato, who placed the understanding in the brain, animosity (which he did unfitly call anger, having a greater mixture with pride) in the heart, and concupiscence or sensuality in the liver, deserveth not to be despised, but much less to be allowed. So then we have constituted, as in our own wish and advice, the inquiry touching human nature entire, as a just portion of knowledge to be handled apart.
The knowledge that concerneth man's Body, is divided as the good of man's body is divided, unto which it referreth. The good of man's body is of four kinds, health, beauty, strength, and pleasure: so the knowledges are medicine, or art of cure; art of decoration, which is called cosmetic; art of activity, which is called athletic; and art voluptuary, which Tacitus truly calleth "eruditus luxus." This subject of man's body is of all other things in nature most susceptible of remedy; but then that remedy is most susceptible of error. For the same subtilty of the subject doth cause large possibility, and easyfailing; and therefore the inquiry ought to be the more exact.