« AnteriorContinuar »
consent between sulphur, oil and greasy exhalation, flame, and perhaps the body of a star. So is there between mercury, water and watery vapours, air, and perhaps the pure and intersidereal ether. Yet these two quaternions or great tribes of things (each within its own limits) differ immensely in quantity of matter and density, but agree very well in configuration ; as appears in numerous cases. On the other hand metals agree well together in quantity and density, especially as compared with vegetables, &c., but differ very widely in configuration ; while in like manner vegetables and animals vary almost infinitely in their configurations, but in quantity of matter or density their variation is confined to narrow limits.
The next most general consent is that between primary bodies and their supports; that is, their menstrua and foods. We must therefore inquire, under what climates, in what earth, and at what depth, the several metals are generated; and so of gems, whether produced on rocks or in mines; also in what soil the several trees and shrubs and herbs thrive best, and take, so to speak, most delight; moreover what manurings, whether by dung of any sort, or by chalk, sea-sand, ashes, &c., do the most good; and which of them are most suitable and effective according to the varieties of soil. Again the grafting and inoculating of trees and plants, and the principle of it, that is to say, what plants prosper best on what stocks, depends much on sympathy. Under this head it would be an agreeable experiment, which I have heard has been lately tried, of engrafting forest-trees (a practice hitherto confined to fruit-trees); whereby the leaves and fruit are greatly enlarged, and the trees made more shady. In like manner the different foods of animals should be noted under general heads, and with their negatives. For carnivorous animals cannot live on herbs ; whence the order of Feuillans (though the will in man has more power over the body than in other animals) has after trial (they say) well nigh disappeared ; the thing not being endurable by human nature. Also the different materials of putrefaction, whence animalculæ are generated, should be observed.
The consents of primary bodies with their subordinates (for such those may be considered which I have noted) are sufficiently obvious. To these may be added the consents of the senses with their objects. For these consents, since they are most manifest, and have been well observed and keenly sisted, may possibly shed great light on other consents also which are latent.
But the inner consents and aversions, or friendships and enmities, of bodies (for I am almost weary of the words sympathy and antipathy on account of the superstitions and vanities associated with them) are either falsely ascribed, or mixed with fables, or from want of observation very rarely met with. For if it be said that there is enmity between the vine and colewort, because when planted near each other they do not thrive; the reason is obvious—that both of these plants are succulent and exhaust the ground, and thus one robs the other. If it be said that there is consent and friendship between corn and the corncockle or the wild poppy, because these herbs hardly come up except in ploughed fields; it should rather be said that there is enmity between them, because the poppy and corncockle are emitted and generated from a juice of the earth which the corn has left and rejected; so that sowing the ground with corn prepares it for their growth. And of such false ascriptions there is a great number. As for fables, they should be utterly exterminated. There remains indeed a scanty store of consents which have been approved by sure experiment; such as those of the magnet and iron, of gold and quicksilver, and the like. And in chemical experiments on metals there are found also some others worthy of observation. But they are found in greatest abundance (if one may speak of abundance in such a scarcity) in certain medicines, which by their occult (as they are called) and specific properties have relation either to limbs, or humours, or diseases, or sometimes to individual natures. Nor should we omit the consents between the motions and changes of the moon and the affections of bodies below; such as may be gathered and admitted, after strict and honest scrutiny, from experiments in agriculture, navigation, medicine, and other sciences. But the rarer all the instances of more secret consents are, the greater the diligence with which they should be sought after, by means of faithful and honest traditions and narrations; provided this be done without any levity or credulity, but with an anxious and (so to speak) a doubting faith. There remains a consent of bodies, inartificial perhaps in mode of operation, but in use a Polychrest, which should in no wise be omitted, but examined into with careful attention. I mean the proneness or reluctance of bodies to draw together or unite by composition or simple apposition. For some bodies are mixed together and incorporated easily, but others with difficulty and reluctance. Thus powders mix best with water; ashes and lime with oils, and so on. Nor should we merely collect instances of the propensity or aversion of bodies for mixture, but also of the collocation of their parts, of their distribution and digestion when they are mixed, and finally of their predominancy after the mixture is completed.
There remains the seventh and last of the seven modes of operation, namely, the means of operating by the alternation of the former six; but it would not be seasonable to bring forward examples of this, till our search has been carried somewhat more deeply into the others singly. Now a series or chain of such alternations, adapted to particular effects, is a thing at once most difficult to discover, and most effective to work with. But men are utterly impatient both of the inquiry and the practice; though it is the very thread of the labyrinth, as regards works of any magnitude. Let this suffice to exemplify the Polychrest Instances.
Among Prerogative Instances I will put in the twentyseventh and last place Instances of Magic; by which I mean those wherein the material or efficient cause is scanty or small, as compared with the work and effect produced; so that, even where they are common, they seem like miracles; some at first sight, others even after attentive consideration.
These indeed nature of herself supplies sparingly; but what she may do when her folds have been shaken out, and after the discovery of Forms and Processes and Configurations, time will show. But these magical effects (according to my present conjecture) are brought about in three ways; either by self-multiplication, as in fire, and in poisons called specific, and also in motions which are increased in power by passing from wheel to wheel ; or by excitation or invitation in another body, as in the magnet, which excites numberless needles without losing any of its virtue, or in yeast and the like; or by anticipation of motion, as in the case already mentioned of gunpowder and cannons and mines. Of which ways the two former require a knowledge of consents; the third, a knowledge of the measurement
of motions. Whether there be any mode of changing bodies per minima (as they call it) and of transposing the subtler configurations of matter (a thing required in every sort of transformation of bodies) so that art may be enabled to do in a short time that which nature accomplishes by many windings, is a point on which I have at present no sure indications. And as in matters solid and true I aspire to the ultimate and supreme, so do I for ever hate all things vain and tumid, and do my best to discard them.
So much then for the Dignities or Prerogatives of Instances. It must be remembered however that in this Organum of mine I am handling logic, not philosophy. But since my logic aims to teach and instruct the understanding, not that it may with the slender tendrils of the mind snatch at and lay hold of abstract notions (as the common logic does), but that it may in very truth dissect nature, and discover the virtues and actions of bodies, with their laws as determined in matter; so that this science flows not merely from the nature of the mind, but also from the nature of things; no wonder that it is everywhere sprinkled and illustrated with speculations and experiments in nature, as examples of the art I teach. It appears then from what has been said that there are twentyseven Prerogative Instances; namely, Solitary Instances ; Migratory Instances ; Striking Instances; Clandestine Instances; Constitutive Instances; Conformable Instances; Singular Instances; Deviating Instances; Bordering Instances ; Instances of Power; Instances of Companionship and of Enmity; Subjunctive Instances; Instances of Alliance; Instances of the Fingerpost; Instances of Divorce; Instances of the Door; Summoning Instances; Instances of the Road; Instances Supplementary; Dissecting Instances; Instances of
r the Rod; Instances of the Course; Doses of Nature; Instances of Strife; Intimating Instances; Polychrest Instances; Magical Instances. Now the use of these instances, wherein they excel common instances, is found either in the Informative part or in the Operative, or in both. As regards the Informative, they assist either the senses or the understanding: the senses, as the five Instances of the Lamp: the understanding, either by hastening the Esclusion of the Form, as Solitary
Instances ;—or by narrowing and indicating more nearly the
; Affirmative of the Form, as Instances Migratory, Striking, of Companionship, and Subjunctive ; — or by exalting the understanding and leading it to genera and common natures; either immediately, as Instances Clandestine, Singular, and of Alliance; or in the next degree, as Constitutive; or in the lowest, as Conformable ; - or by setting the understanding right when led astray by habit, as Deviating Instances ; — or by leading it to the Great Form or Fabric of the Universe, as Bordering Instances; — or by guarding it against false forms and causes, as Instances of the Fingerpost and of Divorce. In the Operative Part, they either point out, or measure, or facilitate practice. They point it out, by showing with what we should begin, that we may not go again over old ground, as Instances of Power; or to what we should aspire if means be given, as Intimating Instances. The four Mathematical Instances measure practice: Polychrest and Magical Instances facilitate it.
Again out of these twenty-seven instances there are some of which we must make a collection at once, as I said above, without waiting for the particular investigation of natures. Of this sort are Instances Conformable, Singular, Deviating, Bordering, of Power, of the Dose, Intimating, Polychrest, and Magical. For these either help and set right the understanding and senses, or furnish practice with her tools in a general way. The rest need not be inquired into till we come to make Tables of Presentation for the work of the Interpreter concerning some particular nature. For the instances marked and endowed with these Prerogatives are as a soul amid the common instances of Presentation, and as I said at first, a few of them do instead of many; and therefore in the formation of the Tables they must be investigated with all zeal, and set down therein. It was necessary to handle them beforehand because I shall have to speak of them in what follows. But now I must proceed to the supports and rectifications of Induction, and then to concretes, and Latent Processes, and Latent Configurations, and the rest, as set forth in order in the twenty-first Aphorism; that at length (like an honest and faithful guardian) I may hand over to men their fortunes, now their understanding is emancipated and come as it were of age; whence there cannot but follow an improvement in man's estate, and an enlargement of his power over nature. For man by the fall fell at the same