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of their writings. Though he protests against the argumentum ex consensu which Grassi brings against them, yet it is plain that he does so only to confute his opponent, and not because he thought them worthy of a greater fame than they had received. Even among the large class of men who are content to acquiesce in general views and are not careful to inquire whether these views are accurate or ill defined, Telesius's popularity could not last long. For he had left nothing for his followers to do. All that could be said in favour of his fundamental idea he had said himself, and any attempt to develop it further could only show how insecure a foundation it was built on. His works are however not undeserving of attention, even apart from the influence which they had on the opinions of Bacon. They show much of the peculiar character of mind which distinguishes southern from northern Italy, and which is yet more conspicuous in the writings of Campanella and of Vico: grave and melancholy earnestness, a fondness for symbol and metaphor, and for wide-reaching but dreamy theories.
The first two books of his principal work, the De Rerum Naturâ, were published at Rome in 1565. The complete work was not published until 1586, only two years before his death.' In 1590 a number of tracts, some of which had appeared in his lifetime, were published by Antonius Persius, one of his chief disciples, with a dedication to Patricius, which seems to claim him as at least half an adherent to the Telesian philosophy. For some account of Telesius's minor works I may refer to Spiriti's Scrittori Cosentini, or to what Salsi has said of them in Ginguené's Histoire Littéraire de l'Italie.3
Of Lotter's work, De Vita et Scriptis B. Telesi, Leipsic, 1733, I much regret that I only know what is said of it in the Acta Eruditorum for that year. It appears to contain much information not easily to be found elsewhere.
The view which Bacon gives of the doctrines of Telesius seems to have been much used and trusted by the historians
It was reprinted in 1588, along with the Contemplationes of Mocenicus and the Quæstiones Peripatetica of Cæsalpinus. The volume containing these three works is entitled Tractationum Philosophicarum tomus unus," and is apparently not easily met with. It is this edition that I have been in the habit of using.
2 This dedication is prefixed to the tract "De Mari."
The account of Telesius in Ginguené was written by Salsi. See Ginguené, vii. p. 500.
of philosophy,a natural result of the involved and obscure style in which they were originally propounded. Whether it is altogether an accurate representation of these doctrines may at least be doubted: it seems as if Bacon, in some matters of detail, mingles with what he finds in Telesius some further developments of his own. Perhaps he is in some measure influenced by his jural habits of thought, and tries in all fairness and equity to put a favourable construction on that on which he sits in judgment. However this may be, I have certainly found it difficult to support all his statements by quotations from his author, and in some cases have noticed at least apparent discrepancies.
The tract ends abruptly with the discussion of the system of Telesius. A similar discussion of the atomic theory would have been of far greater interest, for Bacon's own opinions are much more closely connected with those of Democritus than with Telesius's, from whom he derived only isolated doctrines. The most important of these doctrines is that of the duality of the soul, of which and of its relation to the orthodox opinion I have elsewhere had occasion to speak.3
See what Brucker says of Morhof and Sosellus, Hist. Crit. Phil. iv. 453.
2 Bacon's own language suggests this impression. "Nos enim," he declares, "in omnium inventis summâ cum fide et tanquam faventes versamur. And that he does not conceive himself bound to minute accuracy in reproducing the opinions of the philosophers of whom he speaks, appears from several expressions: "Hujusmodi quædam de diversitate calorum a Telesio dicuntur; " "Hæc, aut iis meliora, cogitabant illi," &c.
3 See General Preface, Vol. I. p. 49.-J.S.
DE PRINCIPIIS ATQUE ORIGINIBUS,
CUPIDINIS ET CELI:
QUÆ de Cupidine sive Amore ab antiquis memorata sunt, in eandem personam convenire non possunt; quinetiam ab ipsis ponuntur Cupidines duo, et longo sane intervallo discrepantes; cum unus ex iis deorum antiquissimus, alter natu minimus fuisse diceretur. Atque de antiquo illo nobis in præsentia sermo est. Narrant itaque Amorem illum omnium deorum fuisse antiquissimum, atque adeo omnium rerum, excepto Chao, quod ei coævum perhibetur. Atque Amor iste prorsus sine parente introducitur. Ipse autem cum Chao1 mistus, et deos et res universas progenuit. A nonnullis tamen ovo prognatus2 incubante Nocte traditus est. Ejus vero attributa ponuntur diversa, ut sit infans perpetuus, cæcus, nudus, alatus, sagittarius. Vis autem ejus præcipua et propria ad corpora unienda valet: etiam claves ætheris, maris, et terræ ei deferebantur.
1 Calo in the original. For the grounds of the correction, see Preface, p. 67.— J. S.
2 Kellgren, De Ovo mundano (Helsingfors, 1849), has collected the passages on the egg cosmogony in the Institutes of Menu, the Putanas, and certain Commentaries. He remarks that, so far as he is aware, no trace of the mythus occurs in the Vedas. It follows that he did not perceive any reference to it in the 129th hymn of the 10th book of the Rig Veda, with which he was certainly acquainted, as he has quoted a portion of Colebrook's translation of it. In this translation it is difficult to recognise even the germ of the mythus, but in that which has since been given by Max Müller it seems more easy to do so. It would be interesting to ascertain how far the mythus was developed at the time at which the older portions of the Rig Veda were composed. The subject may be said to have a natural interest at Helsingfors, as the egg cosmogony exists among the Finns. For the hymn referred to see Colebrook's Miscellaneous Essays, i. p. 34., and Müller's Addenda to Bunsen's Hippolytus, p. 140.
Fingitur quoque et celebratur alter Cupido minor, Veneris filius, in quem attributa antiquioris transferuntur, et propria multa adjiciuntur.
Fabula ista, cum sequenti de Colo, brevi parabolæ complexu proponere videtur doctrinam de principiis rerum et mundi originibus, non multum dissidentem ab ea philosophia quam Democritus exhibuit; nisi quod videatur aliquanto magis severa, et sobria et perpurgata. Ejus enim viri, licet acutissimi et diligentissimi, contemplationes gliscebant tamen, et modum tenere nesciæ erant, nec se satis stringebant aut sustinebant. Atque etiam hæc ipsa placita quæ in parabola delitescunt, quamvis paulo emendatiora, talia sunt qualia esse possunt illa quæ ab intellectu sibi permisso, nec ab experientia continenter et gradatim' sublevato, profecta videntur; nam illud vitium existimamus etiam prisca secula occupasse. In primis autem intelligendum est, quæ hic afferuntur conclusa et prolata esse ex authoritate rationis humanæ solummodo, et sensus fidem secuta cujus jampridem cessantia et deficientia oracula merito rejiciuntur, postquam meliora et certiora mortalibus ex parte verbi divini affulserint. Itaque Chaos illud, quod Cupidini coævum erat, massam sive congregationem materiæ inconditam significabat. Materia autem ipsa, atque vis et natura ejus, denique principia rerum, in Cupidine ipso adumbrata erant. Ille introducitur sine parente, id est sine causa: causa enim effectus veluti parens est; idque in tropis familiare et fere perpetuum est, ut parens et proles causam et effectum denotent. Materiæ autem primæ, et virtutis atque actionis propriæ ejus, causa nulla esse potest in natura (Deum enim semper excipimus); nihil enim hac ipsa prius. Itaque efficiens nulla, nec aliquid naturæ notius; ergo nec genus, nec forma. Quamobrem quæcunque tandem sit illa materia atque ejus vis et operatio, res positiva est et surda, atque prorsus ut invenitur accipienda, nec ex prænotione aliqua judicanda. Etenim modus si sciri detur, tamen per causam sciri non potest, cum sit post Deum causa causarum, ipsa incausabilis. Est enim terminus quidam verus et certus causarum in natura: atque æque imperiti est et leviter philosophantis, cum ad ultimam naturæ vim et legem positivam ventum sit causam ejus requirere aut fingere, ac in iis quæ subordinata sunt causam non desiderare.
1 gradatum in original. — J. S
Compare Nov, Org. i. 48.