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Σάββατο, 2 Απριλίου 2016

Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human (1605) by Francis Bacon

(8) Again, for that other conceit that learning should undermine the reverence of laws and government, it is assuredly a mere depravation and calumny, without all shadow of truth. For to say that a blind custom of obedience should be a surer obligation than duty taught and understood, it is to affirm that a blind man may tread surer by a guide than a seeing man can by a light. And it is without all controversy that learning doth make the minds of men gentle, generous, manageable, and pliant to government; whereas ignorance makes them churlish, thwart, and mutinous: and the evidence of time doth clear this assertion, considering that the most barbarous, rude, and unlearned times have been most subject to tumults, seditious, and changes.

III.
(1) Now therefore we come to that third sort of discredit or diminution of credit that groweth unto learning from learned men themselves, which commonly cleaveth fastest: it is either from their fortune, or from their manners, or from the nature of their studies. For the first, it is not in their power; and the second is accidental; the third only is proper to be handled: but because we are not in hand with true measure, but with popular estimation and conceit, it is not amiss to speak somewhat of the two former. The derogations therefore which grow to learning from the fortune or condition of learned men, are either in respect of scarcity of means, or in respect of privateness of life and meanness of employments.
(2) Concerning want, and that it is the case of learned men usually to begin with little, and not to grow rich so fast as other men, by reason they convert not their labours chiefly to lucre and increase, it were good to leave the commonplace in commendation of povery to some friar to handle, to whom much was attributed by Machiavel in this point when he said, “That the kingdom of the clergy had been long before at an end, if the reputation and reverence towards the poverty of friars had not borne out the scandal of the superfluities and excesses of bishops and prelates.” So a man might say that the felicity and delicacy of princes and great persons had long since turned to rudeness and barbarism, if the poverty of learning had not kept up civility and honour of life; but without any such advantages, it is worthy the observation what a reverent and honoured thing poverty of fortune was for some ages in the Roman state, which nevertheless was a state without paradoxes.
(10) Not that I can tax or condemn the morigeration or application of learned men to men in fortune. For the answer was good that Diogenes made to one that asked him in mockery, “How it came to pass that philosophers were the followers of rich men, and not rich men of philosophers?” He answered soberly, and yet sharply, “Because the one sort knew what they had need of, and the other did not.”
IV.
(1) Now I proceed to those errors and vanities which have intervened amongst the studies themselves of the learned, which is that which is principal and proper to the present argument; wherein my purpose is not to make a justification of the errors, but by a censure and separation of the errors to make a justification of that which is good and sound, and to deliver that from the aspersion of the other. For we see that it is the manner of men to scandalise and deprave that which retaineth the state and virtue, by taking advantage upon that which is corrupt and degenerate, as the heathens in the primitive Church used to blemish and taint the Christians with the faults and corruptions of heretics. But nevertheless I have no meaning at this time to make any exact animadversion of the errors and impediments in matters of learning, which are more secret and remote from vulgar opinion, but only to speak unto such as do fall under or near unto a popular observation.(2) There be therefore chiefly three vanities in studies, whereby learning hath been most traduced. For those things we do esteem vain which are either false or frivolous, those which either have no truth or no use; and those persons we esteem vain which are either credulous or curious; and curiosity is either in matter or words: so that in reason as well as in experience there fall out to be these three distempers (as I may term them) of learning - the first, fantastical learning; the second, contentious learning; and the last, delicate learning; vain imaginations, vain altercations, and vain affectations; and with the last I will begin.
(5) The second which followeth is in nature worse than the former: for as substance of matter is better than beauty of words, so contrariwise vain matter is worse than vain words: wherein it seemeth the reprehension of St. Paul was not only proper for those times, but prophetical for the times following; and not only respective to divinity, but extensive to all knowledge: Devita profanas vocum novitates, et oppositiones falsi nominis scientiæ. For he assigneth two marks and badges of suspected and falsified science: the one, the novelty and strangeness of terms; the other, the strictness of positions, which of necessity doth induce oppositions, and so questions and alter-cations. Surely, like as many substances in nature which are solid do putrefy and corrupt into worms; - so it is the property of good and sound knowledge to putrefy and dissolve into a number of subtle, idle, unwholesome, and (as I may term them) ver-miculate questions, which have indeed a kind of quickness and life of spirit, but no soundness of matter or goodness of quality. This kind of degenerate learning did chiefly reign amongst the schoolmen, who having sharp and strong wits, and abun-dance of leisure, and small variety of reading, but their wits being shut up in the cells of a few authors (chiefly Aristotle their dictator) as their persons were shut up in the cells of monasteries and colleges, and knowing little history, either of nature or time, did out of no great quantity of matter and infinite agitation of wit spin out unto us those laborious webs of learning which are extant in their books. For the wit and mind of man, if it work upon matter, which is the contemplation of the creatures of God, worketh according to the stuff and is limited thereby; but if it work upon itself, as the spider worketh his web, then it is endless, and brings forth indeed cobwebs of learning, admirable for the fineness of thread and work, but of no substance or profit.

(7) Notwithstanding, certain it is that if those schoolmen to their great thirst of truth and unwearied travail of wit had joined variety and universality of reading and con-templation, they had proved excellent lights, to the great advancement of all learning and knowledge; but as they are, they are great undertakers indeed, and fierce with dark keeping. But as in the inquiry of the divine truth, their pride inclined to leave the oracle of God’s word, and to vanish in the mixture of their own inventions; so in the inquisition of nature, they ever left the oracle of God’s works, and adored the deceiving and deformed images which the unequal mirror of their own minds, or a few received authors or principles, did represent unto them. And thus much for the second disease of learning.

(8) For the third vice or disease of learning, which concerneth deceit or untruth, it is of all the rest the foulest; as that which doth destroy the essential form of knowledge, which is nothing but a representation of truth: for the truth of being and the truth of knowing are one, differing no more than the direct beam and the beam reflected. This vice therefore brancheth itself into two sorts; delight in deceiving and aptness to be deceived; imposture and credulity; which, although they appear to be of a diverse nature, the one seeming to proceed of cunning and the other of simplicity, yet certainly they do for the most part concur: for, as the verse noteth -
“Percontatorem fugito, nam garrulus idem est,”
an inquisitive man is a prattler; so upon the like reason a credulous man is a deceiver: as we see it in fame, that he that will easily believe rumours will as easily augment rumours and add somewhat to them of his own; which Tacitus wisely noteth, when he saith, Fingunt simul creduntque: so great an affinity hath fiction and belief.
(9) This facility of credit and accepting or admitting things weakly authorised or war-ranted is of two kinds according to the subject: for it is either a belief of history, or, as the lawyers speak, matter of fact; or else of matter of art and opinion. As to the former, we see the experience and inconvenience of this error in ecclesiastical history; which hath too easily received and registered reports and narrations of miracles wrought by martyrs, hermits, or monks of the desert, and other holy men, and their relics, shrines, chapels and images: which though they had a passage for a time by the ignorance of the people, the superstitious simplicity of some and the politic toleration of others holding them but as divine poesies, yet after a period of time, when the mist began to clear up, they grew to be esteemed but as old wives’ fables, impostures of the clergy, illusions of spirits, and badges of Antichrist, to the great scandal and detriment of religion.(10) So in natural history, we see there hath not been that choice and judgment used as ought to have been; as may appear in the writings of Plinius, Cardanus, Albertus, and divers of the Arabians, being fraught with much fabulous matter, a great part not only untried, but notoriously untrue, to the great derogation of the credit of natural philosophy with the grave and sober kind of wits: wherein the wisdom and integrity of Aristotle is worthy to be observed, that, having made so diligent and exquisite a history of living creatures, hath mingled it sparingly with any vain or feigned matter; and yet on the other side hath cast all prodigious narrations, which he thought worthy the recording, into one book, excellently discerning that matter of manifest truth, such whereupon observation and rule was to be built, was not to be mingled or weakened with matter of doubtful credit; and yet again, that rarities and reports that seem uncredible are not to be suppressed or denied to the memory of men.
(11) And as for the facility of credit which is yielded to arts and opinions, it is likewise of two kinds; either when too much belief is attributed to the arts themselves, or to certain authors in any art. The sciences themselves, which have had better intelligence and confederacy with the imagination of man than with his reason, are three in number: astrology, natural magic, and alchemy; of which sciences, nevertheless, the ends or pretences are noble. For astrology pretendeth to discover that correspondence or concatenation which is between the superior globe and the inferior; natural magic pretendeth to call and reduce natural philosophy from variety of speculations to the magnitude of works; and alchemy pretendeth to make separation of all the unlike parts of bodies which in mixtures of natures are incorporate. But the derivations and prosecutions to these ends, both in the theories and in the practices, are full of error and vanity; which the great professors themselves have sought to veil over and conceal by enigmatical writings, and referring themselves to auricular traditions and such other devices, to save the credit of impostures. And yet surely to alchemy this right is due, that it may be compared to the husbandman whereof Æsop makes the fable; that, when he died, told his sons that he had left unto them gold buried underground in his vineyard; and they digged over all the ground, and gold they found none; but by reason of their stirring and digging the mould about the roots of their vines, they had a great vintage the year following: so assuredly the search and stir to make gold hath brought to light a great number of good and fruitful inventions and experiments, as well for the disclosing of nature as for the use of man’s life.

(3) Another error, that hath also some affinity with the former, is a conceit that of former opinions or sects after variety and examination the best hath still prevailed and suppressed the rest; so as if a man should begin the labour of a new search, he were but like to light upon somewhat formerly rejected, and by rejection brought into oblivion; as if the multitude, or the wisest for the multitude’s sake, were not ready to give passage rather to that which is popular and superficial than to that which is substantial and profound for the truth is, that time seemeth to be of the nature of a river or stream, which carrieth down to us that which is light and blown up, and sin-keth and drowneth that which is weighty and solid.
(4) Another error, of a diverse nature from all the former, is the over-early and pe-remptory reduction of knowledge into arts and methods; from which time commonly sciences receive small or no augmentation. But as young men, when they knit and shape perfectly, do seldom grow to a further stature, so knowledge, while it is in aphorisms and observations, it is in growth; but when it once is comprehended in exact methods, it may, perchance, be further polished, and illustrate and accommodated for use and practice, but it increaseth no more in bulk and substance.
(5) Another error which doth succeed that which we last mentioned is, that after the distribution of particular arts and sciences, men have abandoned universality, or phi-losophia prima, which cannot but cease and stop all progression. For no perfect dis-covery can be made upon a flat or a level; neither is it possible to discover the more remote and deeper parts of any science if you stand but upon the level of the same science, and ascend not to a higher science.
(6) Another error hath proceeded from too great a reverence, and a kind of adoration of the mind and understanding of man; by means whereof, men have withdrawn themselves too much from the contemplation of nature, and the observations of experience, and have tumbled up and down in their own reason and conceits. Upon these intellectualists, which are notwithstanding commonly taken for the most sublime and divine philosophers, Heraclitus gave a just censure, saying: - “Men sought truth in their own little worlds, and not in the great and common world;” for they disdain to spell, and so by degrees to read in the volume of God’s works; and contrariwise by continual meditation and agitation of wit do urge and, as it were, invocate their own spirits to divine and give oracles unto them, whereby they are deservedly deluded.
(7) Another error that hath some connection with this latter is, that men have used to infect their meditations, opinions, and doctrines with some conceits which they have most admired, or some sciences which they have most applied, and given all things else a tincture according to them, utterly untrue and improper. So hath Plato intermingled his philosophy with theology, and Aristotle with logic; and the second school of Plato, Proclus and the rest, with the mathematics; for these were the arts which had a kind of primogeniture with them severally. So have the alchemists made a philosophy out of a few experiments of the furnace; and Gilbertus our countryman hath made a philosophy out of the observations of a loadstone. So Cicero, when reciting the several opinions of the nature of the soul, he found a musician that held the soul was but a harmony, saith pleasantly, Hic ab arte sua non recessit, &c. But of these conceits Aristotle speaketh seriously and wisely when he saith, Qui respiciunt ad pauca de facili pronunciant.
(11) But the greatest error of all the rest is the mistaking or misplacing of the last or furthest end of knowledge. For men have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge, sometimes upon a natural curiosity and inquisitive appetite; sometimes to entertain their minds with variety and delight; sometimes for ornament and reputation; and sometimes to enable them to victory of wit and contradiction; and most times for lucre and profession; and seldom sincerely to give a true account of their gift of reason to the benefit and use of men: as if there were sought in knowledge a couch whereupon to rest a searching and restless spirit; or a terrace for a wandering and variable mind to walk up and down with a fair prospect; or a tower of state, for a proud mind to raise itself upon; or a fort or commanding ground, for strife and con-tention; or a shop, for profit or sale; and not a rich storehouse for the glory of the Creator and the relief of man’s estate. But this is that which will indeed dignify and exalt knowledge, if contemplation and action may be more nearly and straitly conjoined and united together than they have been: a conjunction like unto that of the two highest planets, Saturn, the planet of rest and contemplation; and Jupiter, the planet of civil society and action, howbeit, I do not mean, when I speak of use and action, that
Neither is my meaning, as was spoken of Socrates, to call philosophy down from heaven to converse upon the earth - that is, to leave natural philosophy aside, and to apply knowledge only to manners and policy. But as both heaven and earth do conspire and contribute to the use and benefit of man, so the end ought to be, from both philosophies to separate and reject vain speculations, and whatsoever is empty and void, and to preserve and augment whatsoever is solid and fruitful; that knowledge may not be as a courtesan, for pleasure and vanity only, or as a bond-woman, to acquire and gain to her master’s use; but as a spouse, for generation, fruit, and comfort.
VI.
(1) First, therefore, let us seek the dignity of knowledge in the archetype or first plat-form, which is in the attributes and acts of God, as far as they are revealed to man and may be observed with sobriety; wherein we may not seek it by the name of learning, for all learning is knowledge acquired, and all knowledge in God is original, and therefore we must look for it by another name, that of wisdom or sapience, as the Scriptures call it.
(2) It is so, then, that in the work of the creation we see a double emanation of virtue from God; the one referring more properly to power, the other to wisdom; the one expressed in making the subsistence of the matter, and the other in disposing the beauty of the form. This being supposed, it is to be observed that for anything which appeareth in the history of the creation, the confused mass and matter of heaven and earth was made in a moment, and the order and disposition of that chaos or mass was the work of six days; such a note of difference it pleased God to put upon the works of power, and the works of wisdom; wherewith concurreth, that in the former it is not set down that God said, “Let there be heaven and earth,” as it is set down of the works following; but actually, that God made heaven and earth: the one carrying the style of a manufacture, and the other of a law, decree, or counsel.
(3) To proceed, to that which is next in order from God, to spirits: we find, as far as credit is to be given to the celestial hierarchy of that supposed Dionysius, the senator of Athens, the first place or degree is given to the angels of love, which are termed seraphim; the second to the angels of light, which are termed cherubim; and the third, and so following places, to thrones, principalities, and the rest, which are all angels of power and ministry; so as this angels of knowledge and illumination are placed before the angels of office and domination.
(4) To descend from spirits and intellectual forms to sensible and material forms, we read the first form that was created was light, which hath a relation and correspondence in nature and corporal things to knowledge in spirits and incorporal things.
(5) So in the distribution of days we see the day wherein God did rest and contemplate His own works was blessed above all the days wherein He did effect and accomplish them.
(6) After the creation was finished, it is set down unto us that man was placed in the garden to work therein; which work, so appointed to him, could be no other than work of contemplation; that is, when the end of work is but for exercise and expe-riment, not for necessity; for there being then no reluctation of the creature, nor sweat of the brow, man’s employment must of consequence have been matter of delight in the experiment, and not matter of labour for the use. Again, the first acts which man performed in Paradise consisted of the two summary parts of knowledge; the view of creatures, and the imposition of names. As for the knowledge which induced the fall, it was, as was touched before, not the natural knowledge of creatures, but the moral knowledge of good and evil; wherein the supposition was, that God’s commandments or prohibitions were not the originals of good and evil, but that they had other beginnings, which man aspired to know, to the end to make a total defection from God and to depend wholly upon himself.
(7) To pass on: in the first event or occurrence after the fall of man, we see (as the Scriptures have infinite mysteries, not violating at all the truth of this story or letter) an image of the two estates, the contemplative state and the active state, figured in the two persons of Abel and Cain, and in the two simplest and most primitive trades of life; that of the shepherd (who, by reason of his leisure, rest in a place, and lying in view of heaven, is a lively image of a contemplative life), and that of the husbandman, where we see again the favour and election of God went to the shepherd, and not to the tiller of the ground.
(8) So in the age before the flood, the holy records within those few memorials which are there entered and registered have vouchsafed to mention and honour the name of the inventors and authors of music and works in metal. In the age after the flood, the first great judgment of God upon the ambition of man was the confusion of tongues; whereby the open trade and intercourse of learning and knowledge was chiefly imbarred.
(9) To descend to Moses the lawgiver, and God’s first pen: he is adorned by the Scriptures with this addition and commendation, “That he was seen in all the learning of the Egyptians,” which nation we know was one of the most ancient schools of the world: for so Plato brings in the Egyptian priest saying unto Solon, “You Grecians are ever children; you have no knowledge of antiquity, nor antiquity of knowledge.” Take a view of the ceremonial law of Moses; you shall find, 
..
(21) To conclude, therefore, as certain critics are used to say hyperbolically, “That if all sciences were lost they might be found in Virgil,” so certainly this may be said truly, there are the prints and footsteps of learning in those few speeches which are reported of this prince, the admiration of whom, when I consider him not as Alexander the Great, but as Aristotle’s scholar, hath carried me too far.
VIII.
(1) To proceed now from imperial and military virtue to moral and private virtue; first, it is an assured truth, which is contained in the verses:-
“Scilicet ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes
Emollit mores nec sinit esse feros.”
I
For if a man’s mind be deeply seasoned with the consideration of the mortality and corruptible nature of things, he will easily concur with Epictetus, who went forth one day and saw a woman weeping for her pitcher of earth that was broken, and went forth the next day and saw a woman weeping for her son that was dead, and thereupon said, “Heri vidi fragilem frangi, hodie vidi mortalem mori.” And, therefore, Virgil did excellently and profoundly couple the knowledge of causes and the conquest of all fears together, as concomitantia.
“Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas,
Quique metus omnes, et inexorabile fatum
Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari.”

8. First, therefore, amongst so many great foundations of colleges in Europe, I find strange that they are all dedicated to professions, and none left free to arts and sciences at large. For if men judge that learning should be referred to action, they judge well; but in this they fall into the error described in the ancient fable, in which the other parts of the body did suppose the stomach had been idle, because it neither performed the office of motion, as the limbs do, nor of sense, as the head doth; but yet notwithstanding it is the stomach that digesteth and distributeth to all the rest. So if any man think philosophy and universality to be idle studies, he doth not consider that all professions are from thence served and supplied. And this I take to be a great cause that hath hindered the progression of learning, because these fundamental knowledges have been studied but in passage.
9. And because founders of colleges do plant, and founders of lectures do water, it followeth well in order to speak of the defect which is in public lectures; namely, in the smallness, and meanness of the salary or reward which in most places is assigned unto them, whether they be lectures of arts, or of professions. For it is necessary to the progression of sciences that readers be of the most able and sufficient men; as those which are ordained for generating and propagating of sciences, and not for transitory use. 
I.
(1) The parts of human learning have reference to the three parts of man’s under-standing, which is the seat of learning: history to his memory, poesy to his imagina-tion, and philosophy to his reason. Divine learning receiveth the same distribution; for, the spirit of man is the same, though the revelation of oracle and sense be diverse. So as theology consisteth also of history of the Church; of parables, which is divine poesy; and of holy doctrine or precept. For as for that part which seemeth su-pernumerary, which is prophecy, it is but divine history, which hath that prerogative over human, as the narration may be before the fact as well as after.
(2) History is natural, civil, ecclesiastical, and literary; whereof the first three I allow as extant, the fourth I note as deficient. For no man hath propounded to himself the general state of learning to be described and represented from age to age, as many have done the works of Nature, and the state, civil and ecclesiastical; without which the history of the world seemeth to me to be as the statue of Polyphemus with his eye out, that part being wanting which doth most show the spirit and life of the person. And yet I am not ignorant that in divers particular sciences, as of the jurisconsults, the mathematicians, the rhetoricians, the philosophers, there are set down some small memorials of the schools, authors, and books; and so likewise some barren relations touching the invention of arts or usages. But a just story of learning, containing the antiquities and originals of knowledges and their sects, their inventions, their traditions, their diverse administrations and managings, their flourishings, their oppo-sitions, decays, depressions, oblivions, removes, with the causes and occasions of them, and all other events concerning learning, throughout the ages of the world, I may truly affirm to be wanting; the use and end of which work I do not so much de-sign for curiosity or satisfaction of those that are the lovers of learning, but chiefly for a more serious and grave purpose, which is this in few words, that it will make learned men wise in the use and administration of learning. For it is not Saint Augustine’s nor Saint Ambrose’s works that will make so wise a divine as ecclesiastical history thoroughly read and observed, and the same reason is of learning.
(3) History of Nature is of three sorts; of Nature in course, of Nature erring or va-rying, and of Nature altered or wrought; that is, history of creatures, history of mar-vels, and history of arts. The first of these no doubt is extant, and that in good per-fection; the two latter are bandied so weakly and unprofitably as I am moved to note them as deficient. For I find no sufficient or competent collection of the 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 and chance, or the effects of yet unknown properties, or the instances of exception to general kinds. It is true I find a number of books of fabulous experiments and secrets, and frivolous impostures for pleasure and strange-ness; but a substantial and severe collection of the heteroclites or irregulars of Nature, well examined and described, I find not, specially not with due rejection of fables and popular errors. For as things now are, if an untruth in Nature be once on foot, what by reason of the neglect of examination, and countenance of antiquity, and what by reason of the use of the opinion in similitudes and ornaments of speech, it is never called down.

(4) The use of this work, honoured with a precedent in Aristotle, is nothing less than to give contentment to the appetite of curious and vain wits, as the manner of Mira-bilaries is to do; but for two reasons, both of great weight: the one to correct the partiality of axioms and opinions, which are commonly framed only upon common and familiar examples; the other because from the wonders of Nature is the nearest intelligence and passage towards the wonders of art, for it is no more but by following and, as it were, hounding Nature in her wanderings, to be able to lead her afterwards to the same place again. Neither am I of opinion, in this history of marvels, that superstitious narrations of sorceries, witchcrafts, dreams, divinations, and the like, where there is an assurance and clear evidence of the fact, be altogether excluded. For it is not yet known in what cases and how far effects attributed to superstition do participate of natural causes; and, therefore, howsoever the practice of such things is to be condemned, yet from the speculation and consideration of them light may be taken, not only for the discerning of the offences, but for the further disclosing of Nature. Neither ought a man to make scruple of entering into these things for inquisition of truth, as your Majesty hath showed in your own example, who, with the two clear eyes of religion and natural philosophy, have looked deeply and wisely into these shadows, and yet proved yourself to be of the nature of the sun, which passeth through pollutions and itself remains as pure as before. But this I hold fit, that these narrations, which have mixture with superstition, be sorted by themselves, and not to be mingled with the narrations which are merely and sincerely natural. But as for the narrations touching the prodigies and miracles of religions, they are either not true or not natural; and, therefore, impertinent for the story of Nature.
(2) Natural science or theory is divided into physic and metaphysic; wherein I desire it may be conceived that I use the word metaphysic in a differing sense from that that is received. And in like manner, I doubt not but it will easily appear to men of judgment, that in this and other particulars, wheresoever my conception and notion may differ from the ancient, yet I am studious to keep the ancient terms. For hoping well to deliver myself from mistaking, by the order and perspicuous expressing of that I do propound, I am otherwise zealous and affectionate to recede as little from antiquity, either in terms or opinions, as may stand with truth and the proficience of knowledge. And herein I cannot a little marvel at the philosopher Aristotle, that did proceed in such a spirit of difference and contradiction towards all antiquity; undertaking not only to frame new words of science at pleasure, but to confound and extinguish all ancient wisdom; insomuch as he never nameth or mentioneth an ancient author or opinion, but to confute and reprove; wherein for glory, and drawing followers and disciples, he took the right course.
(3) To return, therefore, to the use and acception of the term metaphysic as I do now understand the word; it appeareth, by that which hath been already said, that I intend philosophia prima, summary philosophy and metaphysic, which heretofore have been confounded as one, to be two distinct things. For the one I have made as a parent or common ancestor to all knowledge; and the other I have now brought in as a branch or descendant of natural science. It appeareth likewise that I have assigned to summary philosophy the common principles and axioms which are promiscuous and indifferent to several sciences; I have assigned unto it likewise the inquiry touching the operation or the relative and adventive characters of essences, as quantity, similitude, diversity, possibility, and the rest, with this distinction and provision; that they be handled as they have efficacy in nature, and not logically. It appeareth likewise that natural theology, which heretofore hath been handled confusedly with metaphysic, I have enclosed and bounded by itself. It is therefore now a question what is left remaining for metaphysic; wherein I may without prejudice preserve thus much of the conceit of antiquity, that physic should contemplate that which is inherent in matter, and therefore transitory; and metaphysic that which is abstracted and fixed. And again, that physic should handle that which supposeth in nature only a being and moving; and metaphysic should handle that which supposeth further in nature a reason, understanding, and platform. But the difference, perspicuously expressed, is most familiar and sensible. For as we divided natural philosophy in general into the inquiry of causes and productions of effects, so that part which concerneth the inquiry of causes we do subdivide according to the received and sound division of causes. The one part, which is physic, inquireth and handleth the material and efficient causes; and the other, which is metaphysic, handleth the formal and final causes.

((4) Physic (taking it according to the derivation, and not according to our idiom for medicine) is situate in a middle term or distance between natural history and meta-physic. For natural history describeth the variety of things; physic the causes, but va-riable or respective causes; and metaphysic the fixed and constant causes.
“Limus ut hic durescit, et hæc ut cera liquescit,
Uno eodemque igni.”
Fire is the cause of induration, but respective to clay; fire is the cause of colliquation, but respective to wax. But fire is no constant cause either of induration or colliquation; so then the physical causes are but the efficient and the matter. Physic hath three parts, whereof two respect nature united or collected, the third contemplateth nature diffused or distributed. Nature is collected either into one entire total, or else into the same principles or seeds. So as the first doctrine is touching the contexture or configuration of things, as de mundo, de universitate rerum. The second is the doctrine concerning the principles or originals of things. The third is the doctrine concerning all variety and particularity of things; whether it be of the differing substances, or their differing qualities and natures; whereof there needeth no enumeration, this part being but as a gloss or paraphrase that attendeth upon the text of natural history. Of these three I cannot report any as deficient. In what truth or perfection they are handled, I make not now any judgment; but they are parts of knowledge not deserted by the labour of man.
(5) For metaphysic, we have assigned unto it the inquiry of formal and final causes; which assignation, as to the former of them, may seem to be nugatory and void, be-cause of the received and inveterate opinion, that the inquisition of man is not com-petent to find out essential forms or true differences; of which opinion we will take this hold, that the invention of forms is of all other parts of knowledge the worthiest to be sought, if it be possible to be found. As for the possibility, they are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea. But it is manifest that Plato, in his opinion of ideas, as one that had a wit of elevation situate as upon a cliff, did descry that forms were the true object of knowledge; but lost the real fruit of his opinion, by considering of forms as absolutely abstracted from matter, and not confined and determined by matter; and so turning his opinion upon theology, wherewith all his natural philosophy is infected. 
But if any man shall keep a continual watchful and severe eye upon action, operation, and the use of knowledge, he may advise and take notice what are the forms, the disclosures whereof are fruitful and important to the state of man. For as to the forms of substances (man only except, of whom it is said, Formavit hominem de limo terræ, et spiravit in faciem ejus spiraculum vitæ, and not as of all other creatures, Producant aquæ, producat terra), the forms of substances I say (as they are now by compounding and transplanting multiplied) are so perplexed, as they are not to be inquired; no more than it were either possible or to purpose to seek in gross the forms of those sounds which make words, which by composition and transposition of letters are infinite. But, on the other side, to inquire the form of those sounds or voices which make simple letters is easily comprehensible; and being known induceth and manifesteth the forms of all words, which consist and are compounded of them. In the same manner to inquire the form of a lion, of an oak, of gold; nay, of water, of air, is a vain pursuit; but to inquire the forms of sense, of voluntary motion, of vegetation, of colours, of gravity and levity, of density, of tenuity, of heat, of cold, and all other natures and qualities, which, like an alphabet, are not many, and of which the essences (upheld by matter) of all creatures do consist; to inquire, I say, the true forms of these, is that part of metaphysic which we now define of. Not but that physic doth make inquiry and take consideration of the same natures; but how? Only as to the material and efficient causes of them, and not as to the forms. For example, if the cause of whiteness in snow or froth be inquired, and it be rendered thus, that the subtle intermixture of air and water is the cause, it is well rendered; but, nevertheless, is this the form of whiteness? No; but it is the efficient, which is ever but vehiculum formæ. This part of metaphysic I do not find laboured and performed; whereat I marvel not; because I hold it not possible to be invented by that course of invention which hath been used; in regard that men (which is the root of all error) have made too untimely a departure, and too remote a recess from particulars.
(6) But the use of this part of metaphysic, which I report as deficient, is of the rest the most excellent in two respects: the one, because it is the duty and virtue of all knowledge to abridge the infinity of individual experience, as much as the conception of truth will permit, and to remedy the complaint of vita brevis, ars longa; which is performed by uniting the notions and conceptions of sciences. For knowledges are as pyramids, whereof history is the basis. So of natural philosophy, the basis is natural history; the stage next the basis is physic; the stage next the vertical point is metaphysic. As for the vertical point, opus quod operatur Deus à principio usque ad finem, the summary law of nature, we know not whether man’s inquiry can attain unto it. But these three be the true stages of knowledge, and are to them that are depraved no better than the giants’ hills:-
“Ter sunt conati imponere Pelio Ossam,
Scilicet atque Ossæ frondsum involvere Olympum.”
But to those which refer all things to the glory of God, they are as the three acclama-tions, Sante, sancte, sancte! holy in the description or dilatation of His works; holy in the connection or concatenation of them; and holy in the union of them in a perpetual and uniform law. And, therefore, the speculation was excellent in Parmenides and Plato, although but a speculation in them, that all things by scale did ascend to unity. So then always that knowledge is worthiest which is charged with least multiplicity, which appeareth to be metaphysic; as that which considereth the simple forms or differences of things, which are few in number, and the degrees and co-ordinations whereof make all this variety. The second respect, which valueth and commendeth this part of metaphysic, is that it doth enfranchise the power of man unto the greatest liberty and possibility of works and effects. For physic carrieth men in narrow and restrained ways, subject to many accidents and impediments, imitating the ordinary flexuous courses of nature.
(7) The second part of metaphysic is the inquiry of final causes, which I am moved to report not as omitted, but as misplaced. And yet if it were but a fault in order, I would not speak of it; for order is matter of illustration, but pertaineth not to the substance of sciences. But this misplacing hath caused a deficience, or at least a great improficience in the sciences themselves. For the handling of final causes, mixed with the rest in physical inquiries, hath intercepted the severe and diligent inquiry of all real and physical causes, and given men the occasion to stay upon these satisfactory and specious causes, to the great arrest and prejudice of further discovery. For this I find done not only by Plato, who ever anchoreth upon that shore, but by Aristotle, Galen, and others which do usually likewise fall upon these flats of discoursing causes. For to say that “the hairs of the eyelids are for a quickset and fence about the sight;” or that “the firmness of the skins and hides of living creatures is to defend them from the extremities of heat or cold;” or that “the bones are for the columns or beams, whereupon the frames of the bodies of living creatures are built;” or that “the leaves of trees are for protecting of the fruit;” or that “the clouds are for watering of the earth;” or that “the solidness of the earth is for the station and mansion of living creatures;” and the like, is well inquired and collected in metaphysic, but in physic they are impertinent. Nay, they are, indeed, but remoras and hindrances to stay and slug the ship from further sailing; and have brought this to pass, that the search of the physical causes hath been neglected and passed in silence. And, therefore, the natural philosophy of Democritus and some others, who did not suppose a mind or reason in the frame of things, but attributed the form thereof able to maintain itself to infinite essays or proofs of Nature, which they term fortune, seemeth to me (as far as I can judge by the recital and fragments which remain unto us) in particularities of physical causes more real and better inquired than that of Aristotle and Plato; whereof both intermingled final causes, the one as a part of theology, and the other as a part of logic, which were the favourite studies respectively of both those persons; not because those final causes are not true and worthy to be inquired, being kept within their own province, but because their excursions into the limits of physical causes hath bred a vastness and solitude in that tract. For otherwise, keeping their precincts and borders, men are extremely deceived if they think there is an enmity or repugnancy at all between them

VIII.
(1) Nevertheless, there remaineth yet another part of natural philosophy, which is commonly made a principal part, and holdeth rank with physic special and metaphysic, which is mathematic; but I think it more agreeable to the nature of things, and to the light of order, to place it as a branch of metaphysic.For the subject of it being quantity, not quantity indefinite, which is but a relative, and belongeth to philosophia prima (as hath been said), but quantity determined or proportionable, it appeareth to be one of the essential forms of things, as that that is causative in Nature of a number of effects; insomuch as we see in the schools both of Democritus and of Pythagoras that the one did ascribe figure to the first seeds of things, and the other did suppose numbers to be the principles and originals of things. And it is true also that of all other forms (as we understand forms) it is the most abstracted and separable from matter, and therefore most proper to metaphysic; which hath likewise been the cause why it hath been better laboured and inquired than any of the other forms, which are more immersed in matter. For it being the nature of the mind of man (to the extreme prejudice of knowledge) to delight in the spacious liberty of generalities, as in a champaign region, and not in the inclosures of particularity, the mathematics of all other knowledge were the goodliest fields to satisfy that appetite. But for the placing of this science, it is not much material: only we have endeavoured in these our partitions to observe a kind of perspective, that one part may cast light upon another.
(2) The mathematics are either pure or mixed. To the pure mathematics are those sciences belonging which handle quantity determinate, merely severed from any axioms of natural philosophy; and these are two, geometry and arithmetic, the one handling quantity continued, and the other dissevered. Mixed hath for subject some axioms or parts of natural philosophy, and considereth quantity determined, as it is auxiliary and incident unto them. For many parts of Nature can neither be invented with sufficient subtlety, nor demonstrated with sufficient perspicuity, nor accommodated unto use with sufficient dexterity, without the aid and intervening of the mathematics, of which sort are perspective, music, astronomy, cosmography, architecture, engineery, and divers others. In the mathematics I can report no deficience, except it be that men do not sufficiently understand this excellent use of the pure mathematics, in that they do remedy and cure many defects in the wit and faculties intellectual. For if the wit be too dull, they sharpen it; if too wandering, they fix it; if too inherent in the sense, they abstract it.
(3) For natural prudence, or the part operative of natural philosophy, we will divide it into three parts - experimental, philosophical, and magical; which three parts active have a correspondence and analogy with the three parts speculative, natural history, physic, and metaphysic. For many operations have been invented, sometimes by a casual incidence and occurrence, sometimes by a purposed experiment; and of those which have been found by an intentional experiment, some have been found out by varying or extending the same experiment, some by transferring and compounding divers experiments the one into the other, which kind of invention an empiric may manage.
(5) But there remaineth a division of natural philosophy according to the report of the inquiry, and nothing concerning the matter or subject: and that is positive and considerative, when the inquiry reporteth either an assertion or a doubt. These doubts or non liquets are of two sorts, particular and total. For the first, we see a good example thereof in Aristotle’s Problems which deserved to have had a better continuance; but so nevertheless as there is one point whereof warning is to be given and taken. The registering of doubts hath two excellent uses: the one, that it saveth philosophy from errors and falsehoods; when that which is not fully appearing is not collected into assertion, whereby error might draw error, but reserved in doubt; the other, that the entry of doubts are as so many suckers or sponges to draw use of knowledge; insomuch as that which if doubts had not preceded, a man should never have advised, but passed it over without note, by the suggestion and solicitation of doubts is made to be attended and applied. But both these commodities do scarcely countervail and inconvenience, which will intrude itself if it be not debarred; which is, that when a doubt is once received, men labour rather how to keep it a doubt still, than how to solve it, and accordingly bend their wits. Of this we see the familiar example in lawyers and scholars, both which, if they have once admitted a doubt, it goeth ever after authorised for a doubt. But that use of wit and knowledge is to be allowed, which laboureth to make doubtful things certain, and not those which labour to make certain things doubtful. Therefore these calendars of doubts I commend as excellent things; so that there he this caution used, that when they be thoroughly sifted and brought to resolution, they be from thenceforth omitted, discarded, and not continued to cherish and encourage men in doubting. To which calendar of doubts or problems I advise be annexed another calendar, as much or more material which is a calendar of popular errors: I mean chiefly in natural history, such as pass in speech and conceit, and are nevertheless apparently detected and convicted of untruth, that man’s knowledge be not weakened nor embased by such dross and vanity. As for the doubts or non liquets general or in total, I understand those differences of opinions touching the principles of nature, and the fundamental points of the same, which have caused the diversity of sects, schools, and philosophies, as that of Empedocles, Pythagoras, Democritus, Parmenides, and the rest. For although Aristotle, as though he had been of the race of the Ottomans, thought he could not reign except the first thing he did he killed all his brethren; yet to those that seek truth and not magistrality, it cannot but seem a matter of great profit, to see before them the several opinions touching the foundations of nature. Not for any exact truth that can be expected in those theories; for as the same phenomena in astronomy are satisfied by this received astronomy of the diurnal motion, and the proper motions of the planets, with their eccentrics and epicycles, and likewise by the theory of Copernicus, who supposed the earth to move, and the calculations are indifferently agreeable to both, so the ordinary face and view of experience is many times satisfied by several theories and philosophies; whereas to find the real truth requireth another manner of severity and attention. For as Aristotle saith, that children at the first will call every woman mother, but afterward they come to distinguish according to truth, so experience, if it be in childhood, will call every philosophy mother, but when it cometh to ripeness it will discern the true mother. So as in the meantime it is good to see the several glosses and opinions upon Nature, whereof it may be everyone in some one point hath seen clearer than his fellows, therefore I wish some collection to be made painfully and understandingly de antiquis philosophiis, out of all the possible light which remaineth to us of them: which kind of work I find deficient. But here I must give warning, that it be done distinctly and se-veredly; the philosophies of everyone throughout by themselves, and not by titles packed and faggoted up together, as hath been done by Plutarch. For it is the harmony of a philosophy in itself, which giveth it light and credence; whereas if it be singled and broken, it will seem more foreign and dissonant.

(6) Thus have we now dealt with two of the three beams of man’s knowledge; that is radius directus, which is referred to nature, radius refractus, which is referred to God, and cannot report truly because of the inequality of the medium. There resteth radius reflexus, whereby man beholdeth and contemplateth himself.
IX.
(1) We come therefore now to that knowledge whereunto the ancient oracle directeth us, which is the knowledge of ourselves; which deserveth the more accurate handling, by how much it toucheth us more nearly. This knowledge, as it is the end and term of natural philosophy in the intention of man, so notwithstanding it is but a portion of natural philosophy in the continent of Nature. And generally let this be a rule, that all partitions of knowledges be accepted rather for lines and veins than for sections and separations; and that the continuance and entireness of knowledge be preserved.
XI.
(1) For human knowledge which concerns the mind, it hath two parts; the one that inquireth of the substance or nature of the soul or mind, the other that inquireth of the faculties or functions thereof. Unto the first of these, the considerations of the original of the soul, whether it be native or adventive, and how far it is exempted from laws of matter, and of the immortality thereof, and many other points, do appertain: which have been not more laboriously inquired than variously reported; so as the travail therein taken seemeth to have been rather in a maze than in a way. But although I am of opinion that this knowledge may be more really and soundly inquired, even in nature, than it hath been, yet I hold that in the end it must be hounded by religion, or else it will be subject to deceit and delusion. For as the substance of the soul in the creation was not extracted out of the mass of heaven and earth by the benediction of a producat, but was immediately inspired from God, so it is not possible that it should be (otherwise than by accident) subject to the laws of heaven and earth, which are the subject of philosophy; and therefore the true knowledge of the nature and state of the soul must come by the same inspiration that gave the substance. Unto this part of knowledge touching the soul there be two appendices; which, as they have been handled, have rather vapoured forth fables than kindled truth: divination and fascination.

XII.
(1) The knowledge which respecteth the faculties of the mind of man is of two kinds - the one respecting his understanding and reason, and the other his will, appetite, and affection; whereof the former produceth position or decree, the latter action or execution. It is true that the imagination is an agent or nuncius in both provinces, both the judicial and the ministerial. For sense sendeth over to imagination before reason have judged, and reason sendeth over to imagination before the decree can be acted. For imagination ever precedeth voluntary motion. Saving that this Janus of imagination hath differing faces: for the face towards reason hath the print of truth, but the face towards action hath the print of good; which nevertheless are faces,
“Quales decet esse sororum.”

(2) The part of human philosophy which is rational is of all knowledges, to the most wits, the least delightful, and seemeth but a net of subtlety and spinosity. For as it was truly said, that knowledge is pabulum animi; so in the nature of men’s appetite to this food most men are of the taste and stomach of the Israelites in the desert, that would fain have returned ad ollas carnium, and were weary of manna; which, though it were celestial, yet seemed less nutritive and comfortable. So generally men taste well knowledges that are drenched in flesh and blood, civil history, morality, policy, about the which men’s affections, praises, fortunes do turn and are conversant. But this same lumen siccum doth parch and offend most men’s watery and soft natures. But to speak truly of things as they are in worth, rational knowledges are the keys of all other arts, for as Aristotle saith aptly and elegantly, “That the hand is the instrument of instruments, and the mind is the form of forms;” so these be truly said to be the art of arts. Neither do they only direct, but likewise confirm and strengthen; even as the habit of shooting doth not only enable to shoot a nearer shoot, but also to draw a stronger bow.
(3) The arts intellectual are four in number, divided according to the ends whereunto they are referred - for man’s labour is to invent that which is sought or propounded; or to judge that which is invented; or to retain that which is judged; or to deliver over that which is retained. So as the arts must be four - art of inquiry or invention; art of examination or judgment; art of custody or memory; and art of elocution or tradition.
XIII.
(1) Invention is of two kinds much differing - the one of arts and sciences, and the other of speech and arguments. The former of these I do report deficient; which seemeth to me to be such a deficience as if, in the making of an inventory touching the state of a defunct, it should be set down that there is no ready money. For as money will fetch all other commodities, so this knowledge is that which should purchase all the rest. And like as the West Indies had never been discovered if the use of the mariner’s needle had not been first discovered, though the one be vast regions, and the other a small motion; so it cannot be found strange if sciences be no further discovered, if the art itself of invention and discovery hath been passed over.

XIV.
(1) Now we pass unto the arts of judgment, which handle the natures of proofs and demonstrations, which as to induction hath a coincidence with invention; for all in-ductions, whether in good or vicious form, the same action of the mind which in-venteth, judgeth - all one as in the sense. But otherwise it is in proof by syllogism, for the proof being not immediate, but by mean, the invention of the mean is one thing, and the judgment of the consequence is another; the one exciting only, the other ex-amining. Therefore, for the real and exact form of judgment, we refer ourselves to that which we have spoken of interpretation of Nature.

XV.
(1) The custody or retaining of knowledge is either in writing or memory; whereof writing hath two parts, the nature of the character and the order of the entry. For the art of characters, or other visible notes of words or things, it hath nearest conjugation with grammar, and, therefore, I refer it to the due place; for the disposition and collocation of that knowledge which we preserve in writing, it consisteth in a good digest of common-places, wherein I am not ignorant of the prejudice imputed to the use of common-place books, as causing a retardation of reading, and some sloth or relaxation of memory. But because it is but a counterfeit thing in knowledges to be forward and pregnant, except a man be deep and full, I hold the entry of common-places to be a matter of great use and essence in studying, as that which assureth copy of invention, and contracteth judgment to a strength. But this is true, that of the methods of common-places that I have seen, there is none of any sufficient worth, all of them carrying merely the face of a school and not of a world; and referring to vulgar matters and pedantical divisions, without all life or respect to action.

XVI.
(1) There remaineth the fourth kind of rational knowledge, which is transitive, con-cerning the expressing or transferring our knowledge to others, which I will term by the general name of tradition or delivery. Tradition hath three parts: the first concerning the organ of tradition; the second concerning the method of tradition; and the third concerning the illustration of tradition.
XVIII.
(1) Now we descend to that part which concerneth the illustration of tradition, com-prehended in that science which we call rhetoric, or art of eloquence, a science excellent, and excellently well laboured. For although in true value it is inferior to wisdom (as it is said by God to Moses, when he disabled himself for want of this faculty, “Aaron shall be thy speaker, and thou shalt be to him as God”), yet with people it is the more mighty; for so Solomon saith, Sapiens corde appellabitur prudens, sed dulcis eloquio majora reperiet, signifying that profoundness of wisdom will help a man to a name or admiration, but that it is eloquence that prevaileth in an active life. And as to the labouring of it, the emulation of Aristotle with the rhetoricians of his time, and the experience of Cicero, hath made them in their works of rhetoric exceed themselves. Again, the excellency of examples of eloquence in the orations of Demosthenes and Cicero, added to the perfection of the precepts of eloquence, hath doubled the progression in this art; and therefore the deficiences which I shall note will rather be in some collections, which may as handmaids attend the art, than in the rules or use of the art itself.
XXI.
(1) To resume private or particular good, it falleth into the division of good active and passive; for this difference of good (not unlike to that which amongst the Romans was expressed in the familiar or household terms of promus and condus) is formed also in all things, and is best disclosed in the two several appetites in creatures; the one to preserve or continue themselves, and the other to dilate or multiply themselves, whereof the latter seemeth to be the worthier; for in nature the heavens, which are the more worthy, are the agent, and the earth, which is the less worthy, is the patient. In the pleasures of living creatures, that of generation is greater than that of food. In divine doctrine, beatius est dare quam accipere. And in life, there is no man’s spirit so soft, but esteemeth the effecting of somewhat that he hath fixed in his desire, more than sensuality, which priority of the active good is much upheld by the consideration of our estate to be mortal and exposed to fortune. For if we might have a perpetuity and certainty in our pleasures, the state of them would advance their price
(2) To resume passive good, it receiveth a subdivision of conservative and effective. For let us take a brief review of that which we have said: we have spoken first of the good of society, the intention whereof embraceth the form of human nature, whereof we are members and portions, and not our own proper and individual form; we have spoken of active good, and supposed it as a part of private and particular good. And rightly, for there is impressed upon all things a triple desire or appetite proceeding from love to themselves: one of preserving and continuing their form; another of advancing and perfecting their form; and a third of multiplying and extending their form upon other things: whereof the multiplying, or signature of it upon other things, is that which we handled by the name of active good. So as there remaineth the conserving of it, and perfecting or raising of it, which latter is the highest degree of passive good. For to preserve in state is the less, to preserve with advancement is the greater. So in man,
“Igneus est ollis vigor, et cælestis origo.”
(6) Having therefore deduced the good of man which is private and particular, as far as seemeth fit, we will now return to that good of man which respecteth and beholdeth society, which we may term duty; because the term of duty is more proper to a mind well framed and disposed towards others, as the term of virtue is applied to a mind well formed and composed in itself; though neither can a man understand virtue without some relation to society, nor duty without an inward disposition. This part may seem at first to pertain to science civil and politic; but not if it be well observed. For it concerneth the regiment and government of every man over himself, and not over others. And as in architecture the direction of framing the posts, beams, and other parts of building, is not the same with the manner of joining them and erecting the building; and in mechanicals, the direction how to frame an instrument or engine is not the same with the manner of setting it on work and employing it; and yet, nevertheless, in expressing of the one you incidently express the aptness towards the other; so the doctrine of conjugation of men in society differeth from that of their conformity thereunto.
(7) This part of duty is subdivided into two parts: the common duty of every man, as a man or member of a state; the other, the respective or special duty of every man in his profession, vocation, and place. The first of these is extant and well laboured, as hath been said. The second likewise I may report rather dispersed than deficient; which manner of dispersed writing in this kind of argument I acknowledge to be best. For who can take upon him to write of the proper duty, virtue, challenge, and right of every several vocation, profession, and place? For although sometimes a looker on may see more than a gamester, and there be a proverb more arrogant than sound, “That the vale best discovereth the hill;” yet there is small doubt but that men can write best and most really and materially in their own professions; and that the writing of speculative men of active matter for the most part doth seem to men of experience, as Phormio’s argument of the wars seemed to Hannibal, to be but dreams and dotage. Only there is one vice which accompanieth them that write in their own professions, that they magnify them in excess. But generally it were to be wished (as that which would make learning indeed solid and fruitful) that active men would or could become writers.
XXIII.
(1) Civil knowledge is conversant about a subject which of all others is most immersed in matter, and hardliest reduced to axiom. Nevertheless, as Cato the Censor said, “That the Romans were like sheep, for that a man were better drive a flock of them, than one of them; for in a flock, if you could get but some few go right, the rest would follow:” so in that respect moral philosophy is more difficile than policy. Again, moral philosophy propoundeth to itself the framing of internal goodness; but civil knowledge requireth only an external goodness; for that as to society sufficeth. And therefore it cometh oft to pass that there be evil times in good governments: for so we find in the Holy story, when the kings were good, yet it is added, Sed adhuc poulus non direxerat cor suum ad Dominum Deum patrum suorum. Again, states, as great engines, move slowly, and are not so soon put out of frame: for as in Egypt the seven good years sustained the seven bad, so governments for a time well grounded do bear out errors following; but the resolution of particular persons is more suddenly subverted. These respects do somewhat qualify the extreme difficulty of civil knowledge.
(2) This knowledge hath three parts, according to the three summary actions of society; which are conversation, negotiation, and government. For man seeketh in society comfort, use, and protection; and they be three wisdoms of divers natures which do often sever - wisdom of the behaviour, wisdom of business, and wisdom of state.

(4) The wisdom touching negotiation or business hath not been hitherto collected into writing, to the great derogation of learning and the professors of learning. For from this root springeth chiefly that note or opinion, which by us is expressed in adage to this effect, that there is no great concurrence between learning and wisdom. For of the three wisdoms which we have set down to pertain to civil life, for wisdom of behaviour, it is by learned men for the most part despised, as an inferior to virtue and an enemy to meditation; for wisdom of government, they acquit themselves well when they are called to it, but that happeneth to few; but for the wisdom of business, wherein man’s life is most conversant, there be no books of it, except some few scattered advertisements, that have no proportion to the magnitude of this subject. For if books were written of this as the other, I doubt not but learned men with mean experience would far excel men of long experience without learning, and outshoot them in their own bow.
(5) Neither needeth it at all to be doubted, that this knowledge should be so variable as it falleth not under precept; for it is much less infinite than science of government, which we see is laboured and in some part reduced. Of this wisdom it seemeth some of the ancient Romans in the saddest and wisest times were professors; for Cicero reporteth, that it was then in use for senators that had name and opinion for general wise men, as Coruncanius, Curius, Lælius, and many others, to walk at certain hours in the Place, and to give audience to those that would use their advice; and that the particular citizens would resort unto them, and consult with them of the marriage of a daughter, or of the employing of a son, or of a purchase or bargain, or of an accusation, and every other occasion incident to man’s life. So as there is a wisdom of counsel and advice even in private causes, arising out of a universal insight into the affairs of the world; which is used indeed upon particular causes propounded, but is gathered by general observation of causes of like nature. For so we see in the book which Q. Cicero writeth to his brother, De petitione consulatus (being the only book of business that I know written by the ancients), although it concerned a particular action then on foot, yet the substance thereof consisteth of many wise and politic axioms, which contain not a temporary, but a perpetual direction in the case of popular elections. But chiefly we may see in those aphorisms which have place amongst divine writings, composed by Solomon the king, of whom the Scriptures testify that his heart was as the sands of the sea, encompassing the world and all worldly matters, we see, I say, not a few profound and excellent cautions, precepts, positions, extending to much variety of occasions; whereupon we will stay a while, offering to consideration some number of examples.

(7) Thus have I stayed somewhat longer upon these sentences politic of Solomon than is agreeable to the proportion of an example; led with a desire to give authority to this part of knowledge, which I noted as deficient, by so excellent a precedent; and have also attended them with brief observations, such as to my understanding offer no violence to the sense, though I know they may be applied to a more divine use: but it is allowed, even in divinity, that some interpretations, yea, and some writings, have more of the eagle than others; but taking them as instructions for life, they might have received large discourse, if I would have broken them and illustrated them by deducements and examples.
(8) Neither was this in use only with the Hebrews, but it is generally to be found in the wisdom of the more ancient times; that as men found out any observation that they thought was good for life, they would gather it and express it in parable or aphorism or fable. But for fables, they were vicegerents and supplies where examples failed: now that the times abound with history, the aim is better when the mark is alive. And therefore the form of writing which of all others is fittest for this variable argument of negotiation and occasions is that which Machiavel chose wisely and aptly for government; namely, discourse upon histories or examples. For knowledge drawn freshly and in our view out of particulars, knoweth the way best to particulars again. And it hath much greater life for practice when the discourse attendeth upon the example, than when the example attendeth upon the discourse. For this is no point of order, as it seemeth at first, but of substance. For when the example is the ground, being set down in a history at large, it is set down with all circumstances, which may sometimes control the discourse thereupon made, and sometimes supply it, as a very pattern for action; whereas the examples alleged for the discourse’s sake are cited succinctly, and without particularity, and carry a servile aspect towards the discourse which they are brought in to make good.
(10) But yet there is another part of this part, which differeth as much from that whereof we have spoken as sapere and sibi sapere, the one moving as it were to the circumference, the other to the centre. For there is a wisdom of counsel, and again there is a wisdom of pressing a man’s own fortune; and they do sometimes meet, and often sever. For many are wise in their own ways that are weak for government or counsel; like ants, which is a wise creature for itself, but very hurtful for the garden. This wisdom the Romans did take much knowledge of: Nam pol sapiens (saith the comical poet) fingit fortunam sibi; and it grew to an adage, Faber quisque fortunæ propriæ; and Livy attributed it to Cato the first, In hoc viro tanta vis animi et ingenii inerat, ut quocunque loco natus esset sibi ipse fortunam facturus videretur.
(11) This conceit or position, if it be too much declared and professed, hath been thought a thing impolitic and unlucky, as was observed in Timotheus the Athenian, who, having done many great services to the state in his government, and giving an account thereof to the people as the manner was, did conclude every particular with this clause, “And in this fortune had no part.” And it came so to pass, that he never prospered in anything he took in hand afterwards. For this is too high and too arro-gant, savouring of that which Ezekiel saith of Pharaoh, Dicis, Fluvius est neus et ego feci memet ipsum; or of that which another prophet speaketh, that men offer sacrifices to their nets and snares; and that which the poet expresseth,
“Dextra mihi Deus, et telum quod missile libro,
Nunc adsint!”
(15) That this knowledge is possible, Solomon is our surety, who saith, Consilium in corde viri tanquam aqua profunda; sed vir prudens exhauriet illud. And although the knowledge itself falleth not under precept because it is of individuals, yet the instruc-tions for the obtaining of it may.
(16) We will begin, therefore, with this precept, according to the ancient opinion, that the sinews of wisdom are slowness of belief and distrust; that more trust be given to countenances and deeds than to words; and in words rather to sudden passages and surprised words than to set and purposed words. Neither let that be feared which is said, Fronti nulla fides, which is meant of a general outward behaviour, and not of the private and subtle motions and labours of the countenance and gesture; which, as Q. Cicero elegantly saith, is Animi janua, “the gate of the mind.” None more close than Tiberius, and yet Tacitus saith of Gallus, Etenim vultu offensionem conjectaverat. 
36) Another part of this knowledge is the observing a good mediocrity in the dec-laring or not declaring a man’s self: for although depth of secrecy, and making way (qualis est via navis in mari, which the French calleth sourdes menées, when men set things in work without opening themselves at all), be sometimes both prosperous and admirable; yet many times dissimulatio errores parit, qui dissimulatorem ipsum illaqueant. And therefore we see the greatest politiques have in a natural and free manner professed their desires, rather than been reserved and disguised in them. For so we see that Lucius Sylla made a kind of profession, “that he wished all men happy or unhappy, as they stood his friends or enemies.” So Cæsar, when he went first into Gaul, made no scruple to profess “that he had rather be first in a village than second at Rome.” So again, as soon as he had begun the war, we see what Cicero saith of him, Alter (meaning of Cæsar) non recusat, sed quodammodo postulat, ut (ut est) sic appelletur tyrannus. So we may see in a letter of Cicero to Atticus, that Augustus Cæsar, in his very entrance into affairs, when he was a darling of the senate, yet in his harangues to the people would swear, Ita parentis honores consequi liceat (which was no less than the tyranny), save that, to help it, he would stretch forth his hand towards a statue of Cæsar’s that was erected in the place: and men laughed and wondered, and said, “Is it possible?” or, “Did you ever hear the like?” and yet thought he meant no hurt; he did it so handsomely and ingenuously.
(39) Another precept of this knowledge is not to embrace any matters which do occupy too great a quantity of time, but to have that sounding in a man’s ears, Sed fugit interea fugit irreparabile tempus: and that is the cause why those which take their course of rising by professions of burden, as lawyers, orators, painful divines, and the like, are not commonly so politic for their own fortune, otherwise than in their ordinary way, because they want time to learn particulars, to wait occasions, and to devise plots.
(40) Another precept of this knowledge is to imitate nature, which doth nothing in vain; which surely a man may do if he do well interlace his business, and bend not his mind too much upon that which he principally intendeth. For a man ought in every particular action so to carry the motions of his mind, and so to have one thing under another, as if he cannot have that he seeketh in the best degree, yet to have it in a second, or so in a third; and if he can have no part of that which he purposed, yet to turn the use of it to somewhat else; and if he cannot make anything of it for the present, yet to make it as a seed of somewhat in time to come; and if he can contrive no effect or substance from it, yet to win some good opinion by it, or the like.
(49) Notwithstanding, for the more public part of government, which is laws, I think good to note only one deficiency; which is, that all those which have written of laws have written either as philosophers or as lawyers, and none as statesmen. As for the philosophers, they make imaginary laws for imaginary commonwealths, and their dis-courses are as the stars, which give little light because they are so high. For the lawyers, they write according to the states where they live what is received law, and not what ought to be law; for the wisdom of a law-maker is one, and of a lawyer is another. For there are in nature certain fountains of justice whence all civil laws are derived but as streams; and like as waters do take tinctures and tastes from the soils through which they run, so do civil laws vary according to the regions and governments where they are planted, though they proceed from the same fountains. Again, the wisdom of a law-maker consisteth not only in a platform of justice, but in the application thereof; taking into consideration by what means laws may be made certain, and what are the causes and remedies of the doubtfulness and uncertainty of law; by what means laws may be made apt and easy to be executed, and what are the impediments and remedies in the execution of laws; what influence laws touching private right of meum and tuum have into the public state, and how they may be made apt and agreeable; how laws are to be penned and delivered, whether in texts or in Acts, brief or large, with preambles or without; how they are to be pruned and reformed from time to time, and what is the best means to keep them from being too vast in volume, or too full of multiplicity and crossness; how they are to be expounded, when upon causes emergent and judicially discussed, and when upon responses and conferences touching general points or questions; how they are to be pressed, rigorously or tenderly; how they are to be mitigated by equity and good conscience, and whether discretion and strict law are to be mingled in the same courts, or kept apart in several courts; again, how the practice, profession, and erudition of law is to be censured and governed; and many other points touching the administration and (as I may term it) animation of laws. Upon which I insist the less, because I purpose (if God give me leave), having begun a work of this nature in aphorisms, to propound it hereafter, noting it in the meantime for deficient.
XXIV.
Thus have I concluded this portion of learning touching civil knowledge; and with civil knowledge have concluded human philosophy; and with human philosophy, phi-losophy in general. And being now at some pause, looking back into that I have passed through, this writing seemeth to me (si nunquam fallit imago), as far as a man can judge of his own work, not much better than that noise or sound which musicians make while they are in tuning their instruments, which is nothing pleasant to hear, but yet is a cause why the music is sweeter afterwards. So have I been content to tune the instruments of the Muses, that they may play that have better hands. 

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