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petit, et detur ei copia: usum vero recta ratio et sana religio gubernabit.

CXXX.

Jam vero tempus est ut artem ipsam Interpretandi Naturam proponamus

licet nos utilissima et verissima præcepisse arbitremur, tamen necessitatem ei absolutam (ac si absque ea nil agi possit) aut etiam perfectionem non attribuimus. Etenim in ea opinione sumus; si justam Naturæ et Experientiæ Historiam præsto haberent homines, atque in ea sedulo versarentur, sibique duas res imperare possent; unam, ut receptas opiniones et notiones deponerent; alteram, ut mentem a generalissimis et proximis ab illis ad tempus cohiberent; fore ut etiam vi propria et genuina mentis, absque alia arte, in formam nostram Interpretandi incidere possent. Est enim Interpretatio verum et naturale opus mentis, demptis iis quæ obstant:1 sed tamen omnia certe per nostra præcepta erunt magis in procinctu, et multo firmiora. Neque tamen illis nihil addi posse affirmamus : sed contra, nos, qui mentem respicimus non tantum in facultate propria, sed quatenus copulatur cum rebus, Artem inveniendi cum Inventis adolescere posse, stat

in
qua

uere debemus.

i Compare Valerius Terminus, ch. 22.:-“That it is true that interpretation is the very natural and direct intention, action, and progression of the understanding, delivered from impediments; and that all anticipation is but a deflexion or declination by accident." Also Adv. of Learn. (20 book): –“For he that shall attentively observe how the mind doth gather this excellent dew of knowledge, like unto that which the poet speaketh of, Aërii mellis cælestia dona, distilling and contriving it out of particulars natural and artificial, as the flowers of the field and garden, shall find that the mind of herself by nature doth manage and act an induction much better than they describe it.” – J. S.

LIBER SECUNDUS

APHORISMO RUM.

LIBER SECUNDUS

APHORISMORUM

DE

INTERPRETATIONE NATURÆ

SIVE DE

REGNO HOMINIS.

APHORISMUS

I.

SUPER datum corpus novam naturam sive novas naturas generare et superinducere, opus et intentio est humanæ Potentiæ. Datæ autem naturæ Formam, sive differentiam veram, sive naturam naturantem, sive fontem emanationis (ista enim vocabula

1

1 This is the only passage in which I have met with the phrase natura naturans used as it is here. With the later schoolmen, as with Spinoza, it denotes God considered as the causa immanens of the universe, and therefore, according to the latter at least, not hypostatically distinct from it. (On the Pantheistic tendency occasionally perceptible among the schoolmen, see Neander's Essay on Scotus Erigena in the Berlin Memoirs.) Bacon applies it to the Form, considered as the causa immanens of the properties of the body. I regret nat having been able to trace the history of this remarkable phrase. It does not occur, I think, in St. Thomas Aquinas, though I have met with it in an index to his Summa; the passage referred to containing a quotation from St. Augustine, in which the latter speaks of " ea natura quæ creavit omnes cæteras instituitque naturas.” (V. St. Aug., De Trin. xiv. 9.) Neither does it occur, so far as I am aware, where we might have expected it, in the De Divisione Naturæ of Scotus Erigena. Vossius, De Vitiis Latini Sermonis, notices its use among the schoolmen, but gives no particular reference.

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habemus quæ ad indicationem rei proxime accedunt) invenire, opus et intentio est humanæ Scientiæ.1 Atque his operibus primariis subordinantur alia opera duo secundaria et inferioris notæ ; priori, transformatio corporum concretorum de alio in aliud, intra terminos Possibilis ;? posteriori, inventio in omni generatione et motu latentis processus, continuati ab Efficiente manifesto et materia manifesta usque ad Formam inditam ; et inventio similiter latentis schematismi corporum quiescentium et non in motu.3

II.

Quam infæliciter se habeat scientia humana quæ in usu est, etiam ex illis liquet quæ vulgo asseruntur. Recte ponitur; Vere scire, esse per Causas scire. Etiam non male constituuntur causæ quatuor; Materia, Forma, Efficiens, et Finis. At ex his, Causa Finalis tantum abest ut prosit, ut etiam scientias corrumpat, nisi in hominis actionibus; Formæ inventio habetur pro desperata; Efficiens vero et Materia (quales quæruntur et recipiuntur, remotæ scilicet, absque latenti processu ad Formam) res perfunctoriæ

1 See General Preface, § 7. p. 67. 2 The possibility of transmutation, long and strenuously denied, though certainly on no sufficient grounds, is now generally admitted. “There was a time when this fundamental doctrine of the alchemists was opposed to known analogies. It is now no longer so opposed to them, only some stages beyond their present development.” — Faraday, Lectures on NonMetallic Elements, p. 106.

3 In this aphorism Bacon combines the antithesis of corpus and natura, the concrete and the abstract, with the antithesis of power and science, and thus arrives at a quadripartite classification. To translate, as Mr. Craik has done, “natura" by “natural substance" involves the whole subject in confusion.

In the last sentence continuati may be translated "continuously carried on.” The word is often thus used: as in the dictum “mutatio nil aliud est quam successiva et continuata formæ adquisitio."

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