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at all in the other; and so one science greatly aiding to the invention and augmentation of another. And therefore, without this intercourse, the axioms of sciences will fall out to be neither full nor true; but will be such opinions, as Aristotle in some places doth wisely censure, when he saith, "These are the opinions of persons that have respect but to a few things." So then we see, that this note leadeth us to an administration of knowledge in some such order and policy, as the King of Spain, in regard of his great dominions, useth in state: who, though he hath particular councils for several countries and affairs, yet had one council of state, or last resort, that receiveth the advertisements and certificates from all the rest. Hitherto of the diversion, succession. and conference of wits.

That the end and scope of knowledge hath been
generally mistaken, and that men were never well
advised what it was they sought.
Being the IXth chapter, immediately preceding

the Inventory, and inducing the same.

inclination of their nature, or from common example and opinion, never questioning or examining them, nor reducing them to any clear certainty; and use only to call themselves to account and deliberation touching the means and second ends, and thereby set themselves in the right way to the wrong place. So likewise upon the natural curiosity and desire to know, they have put themselves in way without foresight or consideration of their journey's end.

For I find that even those that have sought knowledge for itself, and not for benefit, or ostentation, or any practicable enablement in the course of their life, have nevertheless propounded to themselves a wrong mark, namely, satisfaction, which men call truth, and not operation, For as in the courts and services of princes and states, it is a much easier matter to give satisfaction than to do the business; so in the inquiring of causes and reasons it is much easier to find out such causes as will satisfy the mind of man and quiet obgive him light to new experiences and inventions. jections, than such causes as will direct him and

And this did Celsus note wisely and truly, how that the causes which are in use, and whereof the knowledges now received do consist, were in time minors and subsequents to the knowledge of the particulars, out of which they were induced and collected; and that it was not the light of those causes which discovered particulars, but only the particulars being first found, men did fall on glossing and discoursing of the causes; which is the reason, why the learning that now is hath the curse of barrenness, and is courtesan-like, for pleasure and not for fruit. Nay, to compare it rightly, the strange fiction of the poets of the transformation of Scylla, seemeth to be a lively emblem of this philosophy and knowledge: a fair woman upward in the parts of show, but when you come to the parts of use and generation, barking monsters: for no better are the endless distorted questions, which ever have been, and of necessity must be, the end and womb of such knowledge..

Ir appeareth then how rarely the wits and labours of men have been converted to the severe and original inquisition of knowledge; and in those who have pretended, what hurt hath been | done by the affectation of professors, and the distraction of such as were no professors; and how there was never in effect any conjunction or combination of wits in the first and inducing search, but that every man wrought apart, and would either have his own way, or else would go no further than his guide, having in the one case the honour of a first, and in the other the ease of a second; and lastly, how in the descent and continuance of wits and labours, the succession hath been in the most popular and weak opinions, like unto the weakest natures, which many times have most children; and in them also the condition of succession hath been rather to defend and to adorn, than to add; and if to add, yet that addition to be rather a refining of a part, than an But yet nevertheless, here I may be mistaken, increase of the whole. But the impediments of by reason of some which have much in their pen time and accidents, though they have wrought a the referring sciences to action and the use of general indisposition, yet are they not so peremp-man, which mean quite another matter than I do. tory and binding, as the internal impediments and clouds in the mind and spirit of man, whereof it now followeth to speak.

The Scripture, speaking of the worst sort of error, saith, "Errare fecit eos in invio et non in via." For a man may wander in the way, by rounding up and down; but if men have failed in their very direction and address, that error will never by good fortune correct itself. Now it hath fared with men in their contemplations, as Seneca saith it fareth with them in their actions, "De partibus vitæ quisque deliberat, de summa nemo." A course very ordinary with men who receive for the most part their final ends from the


For they mean a contriving of directions, and precepts for readiness of practice, which I discommend not, so it be not occasion that some quantity of the science be lost; for else it will be such a piece of husbandry, as to put away a manor lying somewhat scattered, to buy in a close that lieth handsomely about a dwelling. But my intention contrariwise is to increase and multiply the revenues and possessions of man, and not to trim up only, or order with conveniency the grounds whereof he is already stated. Wherefore the better to make myself understood, that I mean nothing less than words, and directly to demonstrate the point which we are now upon, that is,

Bourdeaux in story. For it is true that Cæsar did greater things than those idle wits had the audacity to feign their supposed worthies to have done; but he did them not in that monstrous and fabulous manner.

what is the true end, scope, or office of knowledge, | nevertheless on the other side again, it will be as which I have set down to consist not in any fit to check and control the vain and void assignaplausible, delectable, reverend, or admired dis- tions, and gifts, whereby certain ignorant, extracourse, or any satisfactory arguments, but in vagant, and abusing wits have pretended to indue effecting and working, and in discovery of par- the state of man with wonders, differing as much ticulars not revealed before, for the better en- from truth in nature, as Cæsar's Commentaries dowment and help of man's life; I have thought | differeth from the acts of King Arthur, or Huon of good to make, as it were, a kalendar or inventory of the wealth, furniture, or means of man, according to his present estate, as far as it is known; which I do not to show any universality of sense or knowledge, and much less to make a satire of reprehension in respect of wants and errors, but partly because cogitations new had need of some The chapter immediately following the Inventory. grossness and inculcation to make them perBeing the XIth in order, a part thereof. ceived, and chiefly to the end, that for the time to come, upon the account and state now made It appeareth then, what is now in proposition, and cast up, it may appear what increase this not by general circumlocution, but by particular new manner of use and administration of the note, no former philosophy varied in terms or mestock, if it be once planted, shall bring with it thod; no new placet or speculation upon particulars hereafter; and for the time present, in case I already known; no referring to action by any mashould be prevented by death to propound and nual of practice, but the revealing and discovering reveal this new light as I purpose, yet I may at of new inventions and operations. This to be done the least give some awaking note, both of the without the errors and conjectures of art, or the wants in man's present condition, and the nature length or difficulties of experience; the nature and of the supplies to be wished; though for mine kinds of which inventions have been described as own part neither do I much build upon my pre- they could be discovered; for your eye cannot pass sent anticipations, neither do I think ourselves one kenning without further sailing: only we have yet learned or wise enough to wish reasonably stood upon the best advantages of the notions refor as it asks some knowledge to demand a ques-ceived, as upon a mount, to show the knowledges tion not impertinent; so it asketh some sense to adjacent and confining. If therefore the true end make a wish not absurd. of knowledge not propounded, hath bred large error, the best and perfectest condition of the same

The Inventory, or an enumeration and view of in-end, not perceived, will cause some declination. ventions already discovered in use, together with a note of the wants, and the nature of the supplies. Being the Xth chapter; and this a small fragment thereof, being the preface to the Inventory.

For when the butt is set up, men need not rove, but except the white be placed, men cannot level. This but in the nature of the direction; for our purpose perfection we mean, not in the worth of the effects, is not to stir up men's hopes, but to guide their travels. The fulness of direction to work, and proTHE plainest method, and most directly perti- duce any effect, consisteth in two conditions, cernent to this intention, will be to make distribution tainty and liberty. Certainty is, when the direction of sciences, arts, inventions, works, and their is not only true for the most part, but infallible. portions, according to the use and tribute which Liberty is, when the direction is not restrained to they yield and render to the conditions of man's some definite means, but comprehendeth all the life, and under those several uses, being as seve- means and ways possible: for the poet saith well, ral offices of provisions, to charge and tax what "Sapientibus undique latæ sunt viæ;" and where may be reasonably exacted or demanded, not there is the greatest plurality of change, there is the guiding ourselves neither by the poverty of expe- greatest singularity of choice. Besides, as a conriences and probations, nor according to the vanity | jectural direction maketh a casual effect, so a partiof credulous imaginations; and then upon those charges and taxations to distinguish and present, as it were, in several columns, what is extant and already found, and what is defective and further to be provided. Of which provisions, because in many of them, after the manner of slothful and faulty officers and accomptants, it will be returned, by way of excuse, that no such are to be had, it will be fit to give some light of the nature of the supplies, whereby it will evidently appear, that they are to be compassed and procured. And yet

cular 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 ac companied with an overvalue of prejudice; and so if for want of certainty in direction you are frustrated in success, for want of variety in direction you are stopped in the 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 yon 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 axioms 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.

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 proLet the effect to be produced be whiteness; let duceth blackness; which diversity if so gross a the first direction be, that if air and water be inter- demonstration be needful, may be signified by four mingled, or broken in small portions together, tables; a blank, a chequer, a fret, and a medley; whiteness will ensue, as in snow, in the breaking whereof the fret is evident to admit great variety. of the ways of the sea and rivers, and the like. Out of this assertion are satisfied a multitude of This direction is certain, but very particular, and effects and observations, as that whiteness and restrained, being tied but to air and water. Let blackness are most incompatible with transpathe second direction be, that if air be mingled as rence; that whiteness keepeth light, and blackbefore with any transparent body, such neverthe-ness stoppeth light, but neither passeth it; less as is uncoloured and more grossly transparent that whiteness or blackness are never produced than air itself, 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 incorporateth 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 -emaineth 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 you are tied to transparent bodies. To ascend further 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; for to pass through the whole history and observation of colours and objects visible, were too long a digression; and our purpose is now to give an example of a free direction, thereby to distinguish and describe it; and VOL. I.-12

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 are 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. This 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 aquafortis, 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 further dimension and quantity 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 proprieties of things, those things resembling in colour, which otherwise differ most, as salt and sugar; and conH 2

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,

trariwise 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 further 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 | and a counterfeit angel is made more like a true 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 unproperly and untruly, by some, an effluxion of spiritual species, and by others, an investing of the intermedium, 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.

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 Neither do I contend, but that this notion, general note I have given be perspicuous in which I call the freeing of a direction in the re- itself, for a man shall soon cast with himself, ceived philosophies, as far as a swimming antici- whether he be ever the near to effect and operate pation could take hold, might be perceived and or no, or whether he have won but an abstract or discerned; being not much other matter than that varied notion, yet for better instruction I will dewhich they did not only aim at in the two rules liver three particular notes of caution. The first of axioms before remembered, but more nearly is, that the nature discovered be more original also than that which they term the form or formal than the nature supposed, and not more secondary cause, or that which they call the true difference; or of the like degree; as to make a stone bright, both which, nevertheless, it seemeth they pro- or to make it smooth, it is a good direction to say pound rather as impossibilities and wishes, than make it even; but to make a stone even, it is no as things within the compass of human compre- good direction to say, make it bright, or make it hension for Plato casteth his burden, and saith, smooth; for the rule is, that the disposition of "that he will revere him as a God, that can truly any thing referring to the state of it in itself, or divide and define:" which cannot be but by true the parts, is more original than that which is relaforms and differences, wherein I join hands with tive or transitive towards another thing. So him, confessing as much, as yet assuming to my-evenness is the disposition of the stone in itself, self little; for if any man can, by the strength of but smooth is to the hand, and bright to the eye, his anticipations, find out forms, I will magnify and yet nevertheless they all cluster and concur; him with the foremost. But as any of them 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; but 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 furthest 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.

sions: the first sort, I call idols of the nation or tribe; the second, idols of the palace; 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 OF NATURE.


THAT in deciding and determining of the truth trials not competent. That antiquity and authorof knowledge, men have put themselves upon and yielding consent of the mind, the harmony and ity, common and confessed notions, the natural coherence of a knowledge in itself, the establishing of principles with the touch and reduction of other propositions unto them, inductions without instances contradictory and the report of the senses, are none of them absolute and infallible for effects and operations. That the discovery of evidence of truth; and bring no security sufficient

is the only trial to be accepted of; and yet not light to another; but where particulars induce that neither, in case where one particular giveth

new works or active directions not known before,

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 points whether the knowledge be true or no. Not because you may always con

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 frag-clude, that the axiom which discovereth new inment 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 every kind of sensible creature did not think their own figure fairest, as the horse, the bull, and the like, which found no beauty but in their own forms, as in appetite of lust appeared. And the heresy of the Anthropomorphites was ever censured for a gross conceit, bred in the obscure cells of solitary monks that never looked abroad. Again, the fable so well known of "Quis pinxit leonem," doth set forth well, 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 subdivi

stances is true; but contrariwise you may safely conclude, that if it discover not any new instance, it is in vain and untrue. That by new instances are not always to be understood new recipes, but these two. That the subtilty of words, argunew assignations; and of the diversity between ments, notions, yea of the senses themselves, is but rude and gross in comparison of the subtilty 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 con

ceived and received.


Or 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 consisteth; 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

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