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us that which may be pertinent to the purpose
which we take into our consideration. So as, to speak truly, it is no invention, but a remembrance or suggestion, with an application; which is the cause why the schools do place it after judgment, as subsequent and not precedent. Nevertheless, because we do account it a chase, as well of deer in an inclosed park, as in a forest at large, and that it hath already obtained the name ; let it be called invention, so as it be perceived and discerned that the scope and end of this invention is readiness and present use of our knowledge, and not addition or amplification thereof.
To procure this ready use of knowledge there are two courses, preparation and suggestion. The former of these seemeth scarcely a part of knowledge, consisting rather of diligence than of any artificial erudition. And herein Aristotle wittily, but hurtfully, doth deride the sophists near his time, saying,
They did as if one that professed the art of shoe
making should not teach how to make up a shoe, “ but only exhibit in a readiness a number of shoes “ of all fashions and sizes." But yet a man might reply, that if a shoemaker should have no shoes in his shop, but only work as he is bespoken, he should be weakly customed. But our Saviour, speaking of divine knowledge, saith, that the kingdom of heaven is like a good householder, that bringeth forth both new and old store: and we see the ancient writers of rhetoric do give it in precept, that pleaders should have the places whereof they have most continual use, ready handled in all the variety that may be; as that, to speak for the literal interpretation of the law against equity, and contrary; and to speak for presumptions and inferences against testimony, and contrary. And Cicero himself, being broken unto it by great ex. perience, delivereth it plainly: that whatsoever a man shall have occasion to speak of, if he will take the pains, may have it in effect premeditate, and handled in thesi: so that when he cometh to a particular, he shall have nothing to do, but to put to names, and times, and places, and such other circumstances of individuals. We see likewise the exact diligence of Demosthenes, who in regard of the great force that the entrance and access into causes hath to make a good impression, had ready framed a number of
prefaces for orations and speeches. All which authorities and precedents may overweigh Aristotle's opinion, that would have us change a rich wardrobe for a pair óf shears.
But the nature of the collection of this provision or preparatory store, though it be common both to logic and rhetoric, yet having made an entry of it here, where it came first to be spoken of, I think fit to refer over the farther handling of it to rhetoric.
The other part of invention, which I term suggestion, doth assign and direct us to certain marks or places, which may excite our mind to return and produce such knowledge, as it hath formerly collected, to the end we may make use thereof. Neither is this use, truly taken, only to furnish argument to dispute probably with others, but likewise to minister unto our judgment to conclude aright within ourselves. Neither may these places serve only to prompt our invention, but also to direct our inquiry. For a faculty of wise interrogating is half a knowledge. For as Plato saith, “Whosoever seeketh, knoweth that which he seeketh for in a general notion, else how shall he know it when he hath found it?" And therefore the larger your anticipation is, the more direct and compendious is your search. But the same places which will help us what to produce of that which we know already, will also help us, if a man of experience were before us, what questions to ask: or, if we have books and authors to instruct us, what points to search and revolve : so as I cannot report, that this part of invention, which is that which the schools call topics, is deficient.
Nevertheless topics are of two sorts, general and special. The general we have spoken to, but the particular hath been touched by some, but rejected generally as inartificial and variable. But leaving the humour which hath reigned too much in the schools, which is, to be vainly subtile in a few things, which are within their command, and to reject the rest, I do receive particular topics, that is, places or directions of invention and inquiry into every particular knowledge, as things of great use, being mixtures of logic with the matter of sciences : for in these it holdeth, Ars inveniendi adolescit cum inventis; for as in going of a way, we do not only gain that part of the way which is passed, but we gain the better sight of that part of the way which remaineth ; so every degree of proceeding in a science giveth a light to that which followeth, which light if we strengthen, by drawing it forth into questions or places of inquiry, we do greatly advance our pursuit.
Now we pass unto the arts of judgment, which handle the natures of proofs and demonstrations, which as to induction hath a coincidence with invention : for in all inductions, whether in good or vicious form, the same action of the mind which inventeth, judgeth; all one as in the sense : but otherwise it is in proof by syllogism; for the proof being not immediate, but by mean, the invention of the mean is one thing, and the judgment of the consequence is another; the one exciting only, the other examining; Therefore, for the real and exact form of judgment, we refer ourselves to that which we have spoken of interpretation of nature.
For the other judgment by syllogism, as it is a thing most agreeable
to the mind of
man, so it hath been vehemently and excellently laboured; for the nature of man doth extremely covet to have somewhat in his understanding fixed and unmoveable, and as a rest and support of the mind. And therefore as Aristotle endeavoureth to prove, that in all motion there is some point quiescent; and as he elegantly expoundeth the ancient fable of Atlas, that stood fixed, and bare up the heaven from falling, to be meant of the poles or axle-tree of heaven, whereupon the conversion is accomplished; so assuredly men have a desire to have an Atlas or axle-tree within, to keep them from fluctuation, which is like to a perpetual peril of falling; therefore men did hasten to set down some principles about which the variety of their disputations might turn.
So then this art of judgment is but the reduction of propositions to principles in a middle term. The principles to be agreed by all, and exempted from argument: the middle term to be elected at the liberty of every man's invention: the reduction to be of two kinds, direct and inverted; the one when the proposition is reduced to the principle, which they term a probation ostensive; the other, when the contradictory of the proposition is reduced to the contradictory of the principle, which is that which they call per incommodum, or pressing an absurdity; the number of middle terms to be as the proposition standeth degrees more or less removed from the principle.
But this art hath two several methods of doctrine, the one by way of direction, the other by way of caution; the former frameth and setteth down a true form of consequence, by the variations and deflections from which, errors and inconsequences may be exactly judged. Toward the composition and structure of which form it is incident to handle the parts thereof, which are propositions, and the parts of propositions, which are simple words; and this is that part of logic which is comprehended in the analytics.
The second method of doctrine was introduced for expedite use and assurance-sake, discovering the more subtile forms of sophisms and illaqueations, with their redargutions, which is that which is termed elenches. For although in the more gross sorts of fallacies it happeneth, as Seneca maketh the comparison well, as in juggling feats, which though we know not how they are done, yet we know well it is not as it seemeth to be; yet the more subtile sort of them doth not only put a man besides his answer, but doth many times abuse his judgment.
This part concerning Elenches, is excellently handled by Aristotle in precept, but more excellently by Plato in example ; not only in the persons of the
sophists, but even in Socrates himself, who professing to affirm nothing, but to infirm that which was affirmed by another, hath exactly expressed all the forms of objection, fallacy, and redargution. And although we have said that the use of this doctrine is for redargution ; yet it is manifest, the degenerate and corrupt use is for caption and contradiction, which passeth for a great faculty, and no doubt is of very great advantage, though the difference be good which was made between orators and sophisters, that the one is as the greyhound, which hath his advantage in the race, and the other as the hare, which hath her advantage in the turn, so as it is the advantage of the weaker creature.
But yet farther, this doctrine of Elenches hath a more ample latitude and extent, than is perceived ; namely, unto divers parts of knowledge; whereof some are laboured and others omitted. For first, I conceive, though it may seem at first somewhat strange, that that part which is variably referred, sometimes to logic, sometimes to metaphysic, touching the common adjuncts of essences, is but an Elenche; for the great sophism of all sophisms being equivocation or ambiguity of words and phrase, especially of such words as are most general and intervene in every inquiry; it seemeth to me that the true and fruitful uses, leaving vain subtilties and speculations, of the inquiry of majority, minority, priority, posteriority, identity, diversity, possibility, act, totality, parts, existence, privation, and the like, are but wise cautions against ambiguities of speech. So again, the distribution of things into certain tribes, which we call categories or predicaments, are but cautions against the confusion of definitions and divisions.
Secondly, there is a seducement that worketh by the strength of the impression, and not by the subtilty of the illaqueation, not so much perplexing the reason, as overruling it by power of the imagination. But this part I think more proper to handle, when I shall speak of rhetoric.