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The Process from Experiment to Experiment, or Learned Experience.
J General. Particular.
(Confutation of Sophisms.
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.
Art of Custody...
Doctrine of Tradition.
The Doctrine of the Organ (The Doctrine of the Marks of Things..........
Art of Writing
Method of Speech, or Doctrine of traditive Prudence
The Disposition of a whole Work.
Method has two Parts....
A Collection of Sophisms.
Three Appendages to this Doctrine. A Collection of studied Antithets.
Two Appendages to the Doctrine of Tradition.
The Art of Criticism.
Individual or Self Good...
The Doctrine of Men's Natures and Dispositions.
The Inquiry into the Affections.
The Doctrine of Remedies.
Appendix to the Cultivation of the Mind.—The Relation between the Good of the Mind and the Good of the Body.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE HUMAN SOUL. The Doctrine of the Use and Objects of the Faculties.
HISTORY is Natural, Civil, Ecclesi- | ment to the appetite of curious and vain wits, as the literarum. astical, 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.
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 wander ings, 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, effects attributed to super
But a just story of learning, containing the anti-stition do participate of natural causes and therequities and originals of knowledges and their sects, their inventions, their traditions, their diverse 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 rea>son 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.
fore 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 your 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 made of agriculture, and likewise of manual arts, but commonly with a rejection of experiments familiar and vulgar.
For I find no sufficient or competent For it is esteemed a kind of dishonour unto learnHistoria natu- collection of the works of nature, which ing, to descend to inquiry or meditation upon mathave a digression and deflexion from ters mechanical, except they be such as may be the ordinary course of generations, productions, and thought secrets, rarities, and special subtilties; motions, whether they be singularities of place and which humour of vain and supercilious arrogancy region, or the strange events of time and chance, or is justly derided in Plato; where he brings in Hipthe effects of yet unknown properties, or the in- pias, a vaunting sophist, disputing with Socrates, a stances of exception to general kinds: it is true, I true and unfeigned inquisitor of truth; where the find a number of books of fabulous experiments subject being touching beauty, Socrates, after his and secrets, and frivolous impostures for pleasure wandering manner of inductions, put first an examand strangeness: but a substantial and severe col-ple of a fair virgin, and then of a fair horse, and lection 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.
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 The use of this work, honoured with a precedent that give the securest information; as may be well in Aristotle, is nothing less than to give content-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 Lave 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 Fall; 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 sight in mean concordances and small portions. So we see how that secret of nature, of the turning of fron, touched with the loadstone, towards the north, was found out in needles of iron, not in bars of iron. But 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 tural 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 ander the consideration of one man's mind; but farther, it will give a more true and real illumination conterning 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 fully in the liberty of nature, as in the trials and vexations of art.
FOR Ciril 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 home remnants of history which have casually escaped the shipwreck of time.
Memorials, or preparatory history, are of two sorts, whereof the one may be termed Commentaries, and the other Registers. Commentaries are they which set down a continuance of the naked events and actions, without the motives or designs, the tansels, the speeches, the pretexts, the occasions, and other passages of action: for this is the true nature of a Commentary, though Cæsar, in modesty mised 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 a perfect continuance or contexture of the thread of the narration.
Antiquities, or remnants of history, are, 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 are tanquam imperfectæ 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 è 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 War of 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 states of the world for arms, learning, moral virtue, policy, and laws; the state of Græcia, 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
heathen antiquities of the world, it is in vain to note | And now last, this most happy and glorious event, them for deficient: deficient they are no doubt, con- that this island of Britain, divided from all the world, sisting most of fables and fragments, but the defi- should be united in itself: and that oracle of rest, cience cannot be holpen; for antiquity is like fame, given to Æneas, "Antiquam exquirite matrem," caput inter nubila condit, her head is muffled from should now be performed and fulfilled upon the our sight. nations of England and Scotland, being now 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 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 Græcia from Theseus to Philopomen, what time the affairs of Græcia were drowned and extinguished in the affairs of Rome; and for Rome from Romulus to Justinianus, who may be truly said to be ultimus Romanorum. In which sequences of story the text of Thucydides and Xenophon in the one, and the text of Livius, Polybius, Salustius, Cæsar, 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; and we speak now of parts of learning supplemental, and not of supererogation.
But for Modern 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 alienâ republicâ, 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.
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 magnæ laudis egentes ;"
which opinion cometh from the root, "non prius laudes contempsimus, quam laudanda 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 memoriæ, piæ memoriæ, bonæ memoriæ," 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 that 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 forten, especially with that application which he coupleth it withal, Annals and Journals: appropriating to the former, matters of state; and to the latter, acts and accidents of a meaner nature. For giving but a touch of certain magnificent buildings, he addeth, "Cum ex dignitate populi Romani rejertum sit, res illustres annalibus, talia diurnis urbis as mandare." So as there is a kind of contemgative heraldry, as well as civil. And as nothing deth derogate from the dignity of a state more than safasion of degrees; so it doth not a little embase the authority of a history, to intermingle matters triumph, or matters of ceremony, or matters of Bovelty, with matters of state. But the use of a rnal hath not only been in the history of time, but ukewise in the history of persons, and chiefly of tions for princes in ancient time had, upon point of honour and policy both, journals kept, of what psed day by day for we see the chronicle which was read before Ahasuerus, when he could not take rontained matters of affairs indeed, but such as had passed in his own time, and very lately before: unt the journal of Alexander's house expressed every small particularity even concerning his person and art; and it is yet a use well received in enterprises memorable, as expeditions of war, navigations, and the like, to keep diaries of that which passeth extenually.
I cannot likewise be ignorant of a form of writing, vich some grave and wise men have used, conhining a scattered history of those actions which they have thought worthy of memory, with politic disparse and observation thereupon; not incorporated into the history, but separately, and as the more principal in their intention; which kind of inated history I think more fit to place amongst books of policy, whereof we shall hereafter speak, thas amongst books of history for it is the true office 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 are things irregular, whereof no man can define.
So also is there another kind of history manifoldly Tixed, and that is History of Cosmography, being mpounded of natural history, in respect to the ons themselves; of history civil, in respect of habitations, regiments, and manners of the people: and the mathematics, in respect of the climates configurations towards the heavens: which part of learning of all others, in this latter time, hath obtained most proficience. For it may be truly firmed to the honour of these times, and in a trtuons emulation with antiquity, that this great building of the world had never thorough lights made in it, till the age of us and our fathers: for though they had knowledge of the antipodes,
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 bear in their word, not only plus ultra in precedence of the ancient non ultra, and imitabile fulmen, in precedence of the ancient non imitabile fulmen,
"Demens qui nimbos et non imitabile fulmen," etc. but likewise imitabile cœlum; 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 receiveth 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 Prophetica. 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 to be done with wisdom, sobriety, and reverence, or not at all. The third, which is history of providence, con