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much as is requisite, without the destruction of the stomach and bowels.
That intermixing, or entangling, that as well consumption as reparation are the works of heat, is the greatest obstacle to long life.
Almost all great works are destroyed by the natures of things intermixed, when as that which helpeth in one respect, hurteth in another; therefore men must proceed herein by a sound judgment, and a discreet practice. For our part, we have done so far as the matter will bear, and our memory serveth us, by separating benign heats from hurtful, and the remedies which tend to both.
Curing of diseases is effected by temporary medicines; but lengthening of life requireth observation of diets.
The living spirit is instantly extinguished, if it be deprived either of motion, or of refrigeration, or of aliment.
Namely, these are those three which before we called the porches of death, and they are the proper and immediate passions of the spirit. For all the organs of the principal parts serve hereunto, that these three offices be performed; and again, all destruction of the organs which is deadly brings the matter to this point, that one or more of these three fail. Therefore all other things are the divers ways to death, but they end in these three. Now, the whole fabric of the parts is the organ of the spirit, as the spirit is the organ of the reasonable soul, which is incorporeous and divine.
Flame is a momentary substance, air a fixed; the living spirit in creatures is of a middle nature.
This matter stands in need both of a higher indagation, and of a longer explication than is pertinent to the present inquisition. Meanwhile we must know this, that flame is almost every moment generated and extinguished; so that it is continued only by succession; but air is a fixed body, and is not dissolved; for though air begets new air out of watery moisture, yet, notwithstanding, the old air still remains; whence cometh that superoneration of the air whereof we have spoken in the title De Ventis. But spirit is participant of both natures, both of flame and air, even as the nourishments thereof are, as well oil, which is homogeneous to flame, as water, which is home
Those things which come by accident, as soon as the causes are removed, cease again: but the continual course of nature, like a running river, requires a continual rowing and sailing against the stream, therefore we must work regularly by diets. Now, diets are of two kinds; set diets, which are to be observed at certain times, and familiar diet, which is to be admitted into our daily repast. But the set diets are the more potent, that is, a course of medicines for a time; for those things which are of so great virtue that they are able to turn nature back again, are, for the most part, more strong, and more speedily altering, than those which may without danger be received into a continual use. Now, in the reme-geneous to air; for the spirit is not nourished dies set down in our intentions, you shall find only three set diets, the opiate diet, the diet malacissant or supplying, and the diet emaciant and renewing. But amongst those which we prescribed for familiar diet, and to be used daily, the most efficacious are these that follow, which also come not far short of the virtue of set diets. Nitre, and the subordinates to nitre; the regiment of the affections, and course of our life; refrigerators which pass not by the stomach; drinks roscidating, or engendering oily juices; besprinkling of the blood with some firmer matter, as pearls, certain woods, competent unctions to keep out the air and to keep in the spirit. Heaters from without, during the assimilation after sleep; avoiding of those things which inflame the spirit, and put it into an eager heat, as wine and spices. Lastly, a moderate and seasonable use of those things which endue the spirits with a robust heat, as saffron, crosses, garlic, elecampane, and compound opiates.
either of oily alone, or of watery alone, but of both together; and though air doth not agree well with flame, nor oil with water, yet in a mixed body they agree well enough. Also the spirit hath from the air his easy and delicate impressions and yieldings, and from the flame his noble and potent motions and activities. In like manner the duration of spirit is a mixed thing, being neither so momentary as that of flame, nor so fixed as that of air. And so much the rather it followeth not the condition of flame, for that flame itself is extinguished by accident, namely, by contraries, and enemies environing it; but spirit is not subject to the like conditions and necessities. Now, the spirit is repaired from the lively and florid blood of the small arteries which are inserted into the brain; but this reparation is done by a peculiar manner, of which we speak not now.
END OF THIRD PART OF THE INSTAURATIO.
THE FOURTH PART
OF THE GREAT INSTAURATION.
SCALING LADDER OF THE INTELLECT; OR, THREAD OF THE LABYRINTH.
any fellowship between the ancients and ourselves, it is principally as connected with this species of philosophy: as we concur in many things which they have judiciously observed and stated about the varying nature of the senses, the
of withholding or suspending assent; to which we might add innumerable other remarks of a similar tendency. So that the only difference between them and ourselves is, that they affirm "nothing can be perfectly known by any method whatever; we, that " nothing can be perfectly known by the methods which mankind have hitherto pursued." Of this fellowship we are not at all ashamed. For the aggregate, if it consists not of those alone who lay down the abovementioned dogma as their peremptory and unchangeable opinion, but of such also as indirectly maintain it under the forms of objection and interrogatory, or by their indignant complaints about the obscurity of things, confess, and, as it were, proclaim it aloud, or suffer it only to transpire from their secret thoughts in occasional and ambiguous whispers; the aggregate, I say, comprises, you will find, the far most illustrious and profound of the ancient thinkers, with whom no modern need blush to be associated; a few of them may, perhaps, too magisterially have assumed to decide the matter, yet this tone of authority prevailed only during the late dark ages, and now maintains its ground simply through a spirit of party, the inveteracy of habit, or mere carelessness and neglect.
Ir would be difficult to find fault with tnose who affirm that “nothing is known," if they had tempered the rigour of their decision by a softening explanation. For, should any one contend, that science rightly interpreted is a knowledge of things through their causes, and that the know-weakness of human judgment, and the propriety ledge of causes constantly expands, and by gradual and successive concatenation rises, as it were, to the very loftiest parts of nature, so that the knowledge of particular existences cannot be properly possessed without an accurate comprehension of the whole of things; it is not easy to discover, what can reasonably be observed in reply. For it is not reasonable to allege, that the true knowledge of any thing is to be attained before the mind has a correct conception of its causes and to claim for human nature such a correct conception universally, might justly be pronounced perhaps not a little rash, or rather the proof of an ill-balanced mind. They, however, of whom we are writing, shrink not from thus desecrating the oracles of the senses, which must lead to a total recklessness. Nay, to speak the truth, had they even spared their false accusations, the very controversy itself appears to originate in an unreasonable and contentious spirit; since, independently of that rigid truth to which they refer, there still remains such a wide field for human exertion, that it would be preposterous, if not symptomatic of an unsettled and disturbed intellect, in the anxious grasping at distant extremes, to overlook such utilities as are obvious and near at hand. For, however they may seek, by introducing their distinction of true and probable, to subvert the certainty of science, without at the same time superseding the use or practically affecting the pursuit of it, yet, in destroying the hope of effectually investigating truth, they have cut the very sinews of human industry, and by a promiscuous license of disquisition converted what should have been the labour of discovery, into a mere exercise of talent and disputation.
We cannot, however, deny, that if there be
Yet, in the fellowship here spoken of, it is easy to discover that, agreeing as we do with the great men alluded to, as to the premises of our opinions, in our conclusions we differ from them most widely. Our discrepancies may, indeed, at first sight, appear to be but inconsiderable; they asserting the absolute, and we the modified incompetency of the human intellect; but the prac tical result is this, that as they neither point out. nor, in fact, profess to expect any remedy for the
defect in question, they wholly give up the busi- ries, lays firm hold of certain fixed principles in ness; and thus, by denying the certainty of the the science, and, with immovable reliance upon senses, pluck up science from its very foundation; them, disentangles (as he will with little effort) whereas, we, by the introduction of a new me- what he handles, if he advances steadily onward, thod, endeavour to regulate and correct the aber- not flinching out of excess either of self-confirations both of the senses and of the intellect. dence or of self-distrust from the object of his The consequence is, that they, thinking the die pursuit, will find he is journeying in the first of finally cast, turn aside to the uncontrolled and these two tracks; and if he can endure to suspend fascinating ramblings of genius; while we, by his judgment, and to mount gradually, and to our different view of the subject, are constrained climb by regular succession the height of things, to enter upon an arduous and distant province, like so many tops of mountains, with persevering which we unceasingly pray we may administer and indefatigable patience, he will in due time to the advantage and happiness of mankind. attain the very uppermost elevations of nature, The introductory part of our progress we de- where his station will be serene, his prospects scribed in our second book, which, having delightful, and his descent to all the practical entered, in the third we treated on the pheno- arts by a gentle slope perfectly easy. mena of the universe, and on history, plunging into and traversing the woodlands, as it were, of nature, here overshadowed (as by foliage) with the infinite variety of experiments; there perplexed and entangled (as by thorns and briers) with the subtilty of acute commentations.
And now, perhaps, by our advance from the woods to the foot of the mountains, we have reached a more disengaged, but yet a more arduous station. For, from history we shall proceed by a firm and sure track, new indeed, and hitherto unexplored, to universals. To these paths of contemplation, in truth, might appositely be applied the celebrated and often quoted illustration of the 66 double road of active life," of which one branch, at first even and level, conducted the traveller to places precipitous and impassable; the other, though steep and rough at the entrance, terminated in perfect smoothness. In a similar inanner, he who, in the very outset of his inqui
It is therefore, our purpose, as in the second book we laid down the precepts of genuine and legitimate disquisition, so in this to propound and establish, with reference to the variety of subjects, illustrative examples; and that in the form which we think most agreeable to truth, and regard as approved and authorized. Yet, we do not alter the customary fashion, as well to all the constituent parts of this formula on absolute necessity, as if they were universally indispensable and inviolable: for we do not hold, that the industry and the happiness of man are to be indissolubly bound, as it were, to a single pillar. Nothing, indeed, need prevent those who possess great leisure, or have surmounted the difficulties infallibly encountered in the beginning of the experiment, from carrying onward the process here pointed out. On the contrary, it is our firm conviction that true art is always capable of advancing.
THE FIFTH PART
OF THE GREAT INSTAURATION.
PRECURSORS; OR, ANTICIPATIONS OF THE SECOND PHILOSOPHY.
THAT person, in our judgment, showed at once both his patriotism and his discretion, who, when he was asked, "whether he had given to his fellow-citizens the best code of laws," replied, "the best which they could bear." And, certainly, those who are not satisfied with merely thinking rightly, (which is little better, indeed, than dreaming rightly, if they do not labour to realize and efectuate the object of their meditations,) will pursue not what may be abstractedly the best, but the best of such things as appear most likely to be approved. We, however, do not feel ourselves privileged, notwithstanding our great affection for the human commonwealth, our common country, to adopt this legislatorial principle of selection; for we have no authority arbitrarily to prescribe laws to man's intellect, or the general nature of things. It is our office, as faithful secretaries, to receive and note down as such have been enacted by the voice of nature herself; and our trustiness must stand acquitted, whether they are accepted, or by the suffrage of general opinions rejected. Still we do not abandon the hope, that, in times yet to come, individuals may arise who will both be able to comprehend and digest the choicest of those things, and solicitous also to carry them to perfection; and, with this confidence, we will never, by God's help, desist (so long as we live) from directing our attention thitherward, and opening their fountains and uses, and investigating the lines of the roads leading to
our ambition to withdraw men, either all, or altogether, or all at once, from what is established and current. But as an arrow, or other missile, while carried directly onward, still, nevertheless, during its progress incessantly whirls about in rapid rotation; so we, while hurrying forward to more distant objects, are carried round and round by these popular and prevalent opinions. And, therefore, we do not hesitate to avail ourselves of the fair services of this common reason and these popular proofs; and shall place whatever conclusions have been discovered or decided through their medium (which may, indeed, have much of truth and utility in them) on an equal footing with the rest; at the same time protesting against any inferences thence to be drawn in derogation of what we have above stated about the incompetency of both this reason and of these proofs. We have rather, in fact, thrown out the preceding hints, as it were, occasionally, for the sake of such as, feeling their progress impeded by an actual want either of talent or of leisure, wish to confine themselves within the ancient tracts and precincts of science, or, at least, not to venture beyond their immediately contiguous domains; since we conceive that the same speculations may (like tents or resting-places on the way) minister ease and rest to such as, in pursuance of our plan, seek the true interpretation of nature, and find it; and may, at the same time, in some slight degree, promote the welfare of man, and infuse into his mind ideas somewhat more closely
Yet, anxious as we are with respect to the sub-connected with the true nature of things, This jects of general interest and common concern, in aspiring to the greater, we do not condemn the inferior, for those are frequently at a distance, while these are at hand and around us, nor though we offer (as we think) more valuable things, do we therefore put our veto upon things received and ancient, or seek to cover their estimation with the multitude. On the contrary, we earnestly wish them to be amplified and improved, and held in increased regard; as it is no part of VOL. III.-66
result, however, we are far from anticipating in confidence of any faculty which we ourselves possess, but we entertain no doubt that any one even of moderate abilities, yet ripened mind, who is both willing and able to lay aside his idols, and to institute his inquiries anew, and to investigate with attention, perseverance, and freedom from prejudice, the truths and computations of natural history, will, of himself, by his genuine and native powers, and by his own simple anti521
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cipations penetrate more profoundly into nature than he would be capable of doing by the most extensive course of reading, by indefinite abstract speculations, or by continual and repeated disputations; though he may not have brought the ordinary engines into action, or have adopted the prescribed formula of interpretation.
ourselves peremptorily bound by what we are about to bring forward, of whatever character it may be, to the maintenance of the whole of our secondary and inductive philosophy. This result of our meditations we have determined to offer loosely, and unconfined by the circumscription of method; deeming this a form both better adapted to sciences newly springing up as from an old stock, and more suitable to a writer whose present object it is not to constitute an art from com bined, but to institute a free investigation of indi
In this, however, we do not wish to be considered as demanding for our own dogma the authority which we have withheld from those of the ancients. We would rather, indeed, testify and proclaim, that we are far from wishing to be|vidual existences.