« AnteriorContinuar »
THE RULE OF THIS PRESENT HISTORY.
THOUGH We have set down towards the end of that part of our Organon which is come forth precepts concerning the Natural and Experimental History, yet we have thought good to set down more exactly and briefly the form and rule of this history which we now take in hand. To the titles comprehended in the catalogue, which belong to the concretes, we have added the titles of the abstract natures; of which, as of a reserved history, we made mention in the same place. These are the various figurations of the matter, or forms of the first class; simple motions, sums of motions, measures of motions, and some other things: of these we have made a new alphabet, and placed it at the end of this volume. We have taken titles (being no way able to take them all) not according to order, but by choice; those, namely, the inquisition of which either for use was most of weight, or for abundance of experiments most convenient, or for the obscurity of the thing most difficult and noble, or by reason of the discrepancy of titles among themselves, most open to examples. In each title, after a kind of an entrance or preface, we presently propound certain particular topics or articles of inquisition, as well to give light to the present inquisition, as to encourage a future. For we are master of questions, but not of things; yet we do not in the history precisely observe the order of questions, lest that which is for an aid and assistance should prove a hinderance.
The histories and experiments always hold the first place; and if they set forth any enumeration and series of particular things, they are made up in tables, or if otherwise, they are taken up severally.
Seeing that histories and experiments do oftentimes fail us, especially those which give light, and instances of the cross, by which the understanding may be informed of the true causes of things, we give precepts of new experiments, as far as we can see them fitting in our mind, for that as is to be inquired; and these precepts are designed like histories.
For what other means is left to us, who are the first that come into this way? We unfold and make plain the manner of some experiments that are more quaint and subtile, that there may be no error, and that we may stir up others to find out better and more exact ways. We interweave monitions and cautions of the fallacies of things, and of such errors and scruples as may be found in the inquiry, that all fancies, and as it were apparitions, may be frighted away, as by an exorcism or spell.
We join thereunto our observations upon history and experiments, that the interpretation of the nature may be the readier.
We interpose some comments, or as it were rudiments of the interpretations of causes, sparingly, and rather supposing what may be, than positively defining what is.
We prescribe and set down rules, but movable ones, and as it were inchoated axioms which offer themselves unto us as we inquire, not as we decisorily pronounce, for they are profitable though not altogether true.
Never forgetting the profit of mankind (though the light be more worthy than those things which be shown by it), we offer to man's attention and practice certain essays of practice, knowing that men's stupidity is such, and so unhappy, that sometimes they see not and pass over things which lie just in their way.
We set down works and things impossible, or at least which are not yet found out, as they fall under each title; and withal those which are already found out, and are in men's power; and we add to those impossible, and not yet found out things, such as are next to them, and have most affinity with them, that we may stir up and withal encourage human industry.
appears by the aforesaid things that this present history doth not only supply the place of the third part of the instauration, but also is a not despicable preparation to the fourth, by reason of the titles out of the alphabet and topics, and to the sixth, by reason of the larger observations, commentations, and rules.
ENTRY INTO THE HISTORY OF WINDS.
THE winds gave wings to men; for by their assistance men are carried up through the air and fly; not through the air indeed, but upon the sea; and a wide door is laid open to commerce, and the world is made pervious. They are the besoms which sweep and make clean the earth, which is the seat and habitation of mankind, and they cleanse both it and the air; but they make the sea hurtful, which otherwise is harmless, neither are they some other ways also free from doing hurt. They are, without help of man, able to stir up great and vehement motions, and like hirelings, serve both to sail and grind, and would be useful for many other things, if human care were not wanting. Their natures are reckoned amongst secret and hidden things. Neither is that to be wondered at, seeing the nature and power of the air is unknown, whom the winds do serve and flatter, as Eolus doth Juno in the Poets. They are not primary creatures, nor any of the six days' works, no more than the rest of the meteors actually, but afterborn, by the order of the Creation.
ARTICLES OF INQUISITION CONCERNING THE WINDS.
The names of winds.
DESCRIBE or set down the winds according to the seaman's industry; and give them names either new or old, so that you keep yourself constant to them.
Winds are either general or precise, either peculiar or free. I call them general which always blow; precise, those which blow at certain times; attendants or peculiar, those which blow most commonly; free winds, those which blow indifferently or at any time.
2. Whether there be any general winds, which are the very self motion of the air; and if there be any such, in order to what motion, and in what places they blow?
Precise or fixed winds.
3. What winds are anniversary or yearly winds, returning by turns; and in what countries? Whether there be any wind so precisely fixed, that it returns regularly at certain days and hours, like unto the flowing of the sea?
Attending or peculiar winds.
4. What winds are peculiar and ordinary in countries, which observe a certain time in the same countries; which are spring winds, and which are summer winds; which autumnal, which brumal, which equinoctial, which solstitial; which are belonging to the morning, which to noon, which to the evening, and which to the night.
5. What winds are sea winds, and what winds blow from the continent? and mark and set down the differences of the sea and land winds carefully, as well of those which blow at land and sea, as of those which blow from land and
6. Whether winds do not blow from all parts of heaven? Winds do not vary much more in the parts of heaven from which they blow, than in their own qualities. Some
are vehement, some mild, some constant, some mutable; some hot, some cold, some moistening and dissolving; some drying and astringent; some gather clouds and are rainy, and peradventure stormy; some disperse the clouds, and are clear.
Divers qualities of winds.
7. Inquire and give account, which are the winds of all the forenamed sorts or kinds, and how they vary according to the regions and places.
There are three local beginnings of winds, either they are thrown and cast down from above, or they spring out of the earth, or they are made up of the very body of the air.
Local beginnings of winds.
8. According to these three beginnings inquire concerning winds; namely, which are thrown down, out of that which they call the middle region of the air; which breathe out of the concavities of the earth, whether they break out together; or whether they breathe out of the earth imperceivably, and scattering, and afterwards gather together, like rivulets into a river. Finally, which are scatteringly engendered from the swellings and dilatations of the neighbouring air?
Neither are the generations of the winds original only, for some there are also accidental, namely, by the compressions or restraints of the air, and by the percussions and repercussions of it.
Accidental generations and production of winds.
9. Inquire concerning these accidental generations of winds: they are not properly generations of winds; for they rather increase and strengthen winds, than produce and excite them.
Hitherto of the community of winds. There are also certain rare and prodigious winds, such as are called tempests, whirlwinds, and storms. These are above ground. There are likewise some that are subterraneal and under ground, whereof some vaporous and mercurial, they are perceivable in mines; some are sulphurous, they are sent out, getting an issue by earthquakes, or do flame out of fiery mountains.
Extraordinary winds and sudden blasts.
10. Inquire concerning such rare and prodigious winds, and of all miraculous and wonderful things done by winds.