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which is the door of the intellect, is affected by individuals only. The images of those individuals — that is, the impressions which they make on the sense — fix themselves in the memory, and pass into it in the first instance entire as it were, just as they come. These the human mind proceeds to review and ruminate; and thereupon either simply rehearses them, or makes fanciful imitations of them, or analyses and classifies them. Wherefore from these three fountains, Memory, Imagination, and Reason, flow these three emanations, History, Poesy, and Philosophy; and there can be no others. For I consider history and experience to be the same thing, as also philosophy and the sciences.

Nor do I think that any other division is wanted for Theology. The information derived from revelation and the information derived from the sense differ no doubt both in the matter and in the manner of conveyance; but the human mind is the same, and its repositories and cells the same. It is only like different liquids poured through different funnels into one and the same vessel. Theology therefore in like manner consists either of Sacred History, or of Parables, which are a divine poesy, or of Doctrines and Precepts, which are a perennial philosophy. For as for that part which seems supernumerary, which is Prophecy, it is but a kind of history: for divine history has this prerogative over human, that the narration may be before the event, as well as after.


The Division of History into Natural and Civil ; Ecclesiastical

and Literary History being included in Civil. Division of Natural History into History of Generations, Pretergenerations, and Arts.

HISTORY is either Natural or Civil. Natural History treats of the deeds and works of nature; Civil History of those of

Matter of Divinity shows itself no doubt in both, but principally in the latter; so much so as to form a species of history proper to itself, which I call Sacred or Ecclesiastical. And a similar distinction is in my opinion also due to Learning and the Arts — their importance being such as to entitle them to a separate history of their own. And this (as well as the Ecclesiastical) I mean to be included in Civil History.


The division which I will make of Natural History is founded upon the state and condition of nature herself. For I find nature in three different states, and subject to three different conditions of existence. She is either free, and follows her ordinary course of development; as in the heayens, in the animal and vegetable creation, and in the general array of the universe; or she is driven out of her ordinary course by the perverseness, insolence, and frowardness of matter, and violence of impediments; as in the case of monsters; or lastly, she is put in constraint, moulded, and made as it were new by art and the hand of man; as in things artificial. Let Natural History therefore be divided into the History of Generations, of Pretergenerations, and of Arts; which last I also call Mechanical and Experimental History. Of these the first treats of the Freedom of Nature, the second of her Errors, the third of her Bonds. And I am the more induced to set down the History of the Arts as a species of Natural History, because an opinion has long been prevalent, that art is something different from nature, and things artificial different from things natural; whence this evil has arisen, - that most writers of Natural History think they have done enough when they have given an account of animals or plants or minerals, omitting all mention of the experiments of mechanical arts. But there is likewise another and more subtle error which has crept into the human mind; namely, that of considering art as merely an assistant to nature, having the power indeed to finish what nature has begun, to correct her when lapsing into error, or to set her free when in bondage, but by no means to change, transmute, or fundamentally alter nature. And this has bred a premature despair in human enterprises. Whereas men ought on the contrary to be surely persuaded of this; that the artificial does not differ from the natural in form or essence, but only in the efficient; in that man has no power over nature except that of motion; he can put natural bodies together, and he can separate them; and therefore that wherever the case admits of the uniting or disuniting of natural bodies, by joining (as they say) actives with passives, man can do everything; where the case does not admit this, he



can do nothing. Nor matters it, provided things are put in the way to produce an effect, whether it be done by human means or otherwise. Gold is sometimes refined in the fire and sometimes found pure in the sands, nature having done the work for herself. So also the rainbow is made in the sky out of a dripping cloud; it is also made here below with a jet of water. Still therefore it is nature which governs everything; but under nature are included these three; the course of nature, the wanderings of nature, and art, or nature with man to help; which three must therefore all be included in Natural History; as indeed they are in great measure by Pliny, the only person who ever undertook a Natural History according to the dignity of it; though he was far from carrying out his undertaking in a manner worthy of the conception.

The first of these, the history of nature in course, is extant, and that in moderate perfection; but the two latter are so weakly and unprofitably handled that they may be set down as deficient. For you will find no sufficient and competent collection of those works of nature which have a digression and deflexion from the ordinary course of generations, productions, and motions ; whether they be singularities of place and region, or the strange events of time, or casuum ingenia (as they have been called) — devices of chance, or the effects of hidden properties, or productions of nature singular in their kind. It is true, I find books more than enough filled with fabulous experiments, idle secrets, and frivolous impostures, for pleasure and novelty; but a substantial and methodical collection of the Heteroclites or Irregulars of nature well examined and described I find not; especially not with due rejection and as it were public proscription of fables and popular errors. things now are, if an untruth in nature once get a footing and be made common, what by reason of men's reverence for antiquity, what by reason of the troublesomeness of putting it to the test anew, and what by reason of the use of the opinion in similitudes and ornaments of speech, it is never overthrown or retracted.

The end of this work, honoured with a precedent in Aristotle, is nothing less than to gratify the appetite of curious and vain wits, as the 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 framed for the most part

For as

upon common and familiar examples; the other, because from the wonders of nature is the most clear and open passage to the wonders of art. For


have but to follow and as it were hound nature in her wanderings, and you will be able, when you like, to lead and drive her afterwards to the same place again. Neither am I of opinion in this history of marvels, that superstitious narratives of sorceries, witchcrafts, charms, dreams, divinations, and the like, where there is an assurance and clear evidence of the fact, should be altogether excluded. For it is not yet known in what cases, and how far, effects attributed to superstition participate of natural causes; and therefore howsoever the use and practice of such arts is to be condemned, yet from the speculation and consideration of them (if they be diligently unravelled) a useful light may be gained, not only for the true judgment of the offences of persons charged with such practices, but likewise for the further disclosing of the secrets of nature. Neither ought a man to make scruple of entering and penetrating into these holes and corners, when the inquisition of truth is his sole object, - as your Majesty has shown in your own example; who, with the two clear and acute eyes of religion and natural philosophy, have looked deeply and wisely into those shadows, and yet proved yourself | to be truly of the nature of the sun, which passes through pollutions and is not defiled. I would recommend however that those narrations which are tinctured with superstition be sorted by themselves, and not mingled with those which are purely and sincerely natural. But as for 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, as I also call it, I find some collections made of agriculture and likewise of many manual arts; but always (which is a great detriment in this kind of learning) with a neglect and rejection of experiments familiar and vulgar; which yet in the interpretation of nature are of equal, if not of more value than those which are less common. For it is esteemed a kind of dishonour upon learning for learned men to descend to inquiry or meditation upon matters mechanical ; except they be such as may be thought | secrets of art, or rarities and special subtleties. Which humour of vain and supercilious arrogancy is justly derided in Plato, where he brings in Hippias, a vaunting Sophist, dis



puting with Socrates, a true and unfeigned inquisitor of truth; where, the discourse being touching beauty, Socrates, after his loose and wandering manner of inductions, put first an example of a fair virgin, then of a fair borse, then of a fair pot well-glazed. Whereat Hippias was offended, and said, “Were it not for courtesy's sake, I should be loth to dispute with one 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, and so fairly shod;" and so goes on in irony. But the truth is, that they are not the highest instances, which give the best or securest information; as is expressed not inelegantly in the common story of the philosopher, who, while he gazed upwards to the stars, fell into the water; for if he had looked down he might have seen the stars in the water, but looking aloft he could not see the water in the stars. So it often comes to pass that mean and small things discover great better than great can discover small, and therefore it was well observed by Aristotle “ that the nature of everything is best seen in its smallest portions.” For which cause he inquires the nature of a commonwealth first in a family and the simplest conjugations of society-(man and wife, parent and child, master and servant) – which are present in every cottage.' Even so likewise the nature of this great city of the world, and the policy thereof, must be first sought in its primary concordances, and smallest portions; as we see that that secret of nature (esteemed one of the great mysteries) of the turning of iron touched with the loadstone towards the north, was found out not in bars of iron but in needles.

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 natural philosophy I mean as shall not vanish in the fumes of subtle or sublime speculations, but such as shall be operative to relieve the inconveniences of man's estate. For it will not only be of immediate benefit, by connecting and transferring the observations of one art to the use of others, and thereby discovering new commodities; a result which must needs follow when the experience of different arts shall fall under the observation and consideration of one man's mind; but further, it will give a more true and real illumination concerning the investigation of causes of things

· Arist. Politica, i. 1.


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