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amples to particular precepts, respectively; but a very different one, to construct and exhibit a perfect, and, as it were, solid figure and model of the whole work. Thus, for instance, several problems in mathematics and astronomy may, by the assistance of globes and proper machines, be clearly and easily solved ; and would, without such contrivances and assistances, appear much more difficult and perplexed than they really are. And here it usually happens, that the larger the instrument is, the clearer and more satisfactory the demonstration proves. · We also hope to find a considerable advantage from this simple and gentle procedure; which neither offers violence, nor lays snares for the judgment; but barely, ånd nakedly, exhibits the thing. No writer has before us led mankind to the fountains of nature, and things themselves, for a common good; but all of them have applied examples and experience to confirm or illustrate their own dictates and doctrine, without leaving others the liberty of judging for themselves: insomuch that we hope to have deserved well of mankind, in two things which they hold dear; for we leave them at once in possession both of power and liberty:-power, with regard to works; and liberty, in point of judgment.
And as, in courts of justice, that procedure is ever the best, where least room is given to the licentiousness of the pleader, though ever so< eloquent; but all the time and pains are bestow.. ed in examining the witnesses: so, in the courts of nature, the judgments of men are then best employed, when the least liberty is allowed to contention, dispute, and plausible discourse; but the mind wholly employed upon examining the evidence, and collective testimonies of experience: for, in the testimonies of authors there is heat, and licentiousness; but the answers and testimonies of things themselves, though they may indeed be sometimes obscure and perplexed, yet they are always sincere and uncorrupt. tions, in writing; only adding here and there an example or two, for the sake of instruction; but judged it unnecessary and tedious, to publishi their first notes, rude draughts, hints, journals, and commion-place-books : thus imitating builders, who, after they have raised their pile, take away the scaffolding. But themselves will not suffer us to think thus of them; for they openly declare the form and manner they used in their enquiries: and their writings give us a ciear and express image of it. Their method was, from certain examples, most familiar to the senses, to rise at once to the most general conclusions, or principles of the sciences; and according to the fixed truth hereof, to derive inferior conclusions by intermediates. And having once established this art; if any controversy afterwards arose, about an example that seemed to contradict their principles, they rendered it conformable to them by distinctions, or the application of their own rules. Or if any mention was made of the causes of particular things: they ingeniously accommodated them to their own speculations. And hence we have a distinct view both of the thing itself, and the error of their whole procedure : for they plainly dismissed experience too soon, and either neglected the intermediate conclusions, which are the animating souls of works; or rested them upon a weak foundation; and, what is not represented, substituted an illegitimate and unprosperous subtilty of wit, for sense itself. And if at any time there is mention made in their writings, of examples and particulars, these come too late ; and after they had past sentence, and fixed their positions. But our method is directly opposite to this ; as will be abundantly manifest from the tables themselves.
Again, we seem by this means to keep clear of a great inconvenience, that might arise from the pride and prejudice of mankind : for prudent, grave, and wary men, suspect every new thing of levity and vanity, and contemn new sects and new opinions, as niasks and mummeries; judging it of little significance, whether men agree in their theories or not; only that the old ones, and such as are more current and received, are best. fitted for business, and conducting the affairs of the world, on account of general consent, and moral considerations. Now there is no remedy for this inconvenience, but by the copiousness of the example to strike so far into the senses of mankind, that any one of a tolerable judgment, shall, at first sight, perceive the thing to be sober
and solid, and pregnant with usefulness, and works; and immediately acknowledge it of a quite different nature and tendency from that of raising of a new school, or a new sect.
By this means likewise, we are not without hopes to abolish, in some degree, that authority and confidence which men have placed in the ancients, and others; who introduce their own opinions and notions into pbilosophy; at the same time that we preserve the respect and reverence due to them : and this not by any artifice, but from the simple force of the thing its self.
We farther conceive, our method may lead men to reflect, whether the ancients have, themselves, made use of this kind of diligence; and built their doctrines and opinions on sure foundations. And indeed this might, to some, appear a point of debate : if only the opinions of the ancients had been handed down to us, without the least intimation of their method of enquiry and demonstration : for then we might be apt to suspect, that from the very first of their contemplations, they had procured a large stock of examples; and disposed them in a similar, or perhaps a better order, than ourselves; and that they pronounced after a thorough examination of the matter; and at length set down their determinations, with their explanations and correc
This therefore being the case, we shall still leave the ancients unrivaled, and in full possession of all that praise and admiration which any one shall think their due. And some of them were, doubtless, men of an excellent genius; which our method has little occasion for: since it puts the capacities and powers of mankind nearly upon a level. Thus, if a long set speech were to be delivered by memory; a man of a good memory would have a great advantage over another of a bad one; but if they were both to read their speeches, the difference in that case would be none at all. And thus it is in the contemplation of things, which depends entirely upon the powers of the mind; where one man infinitely excels another. But where the enquiry is carried on by tables, and a due use and application thereof; there is not much more difference than we usually find in the senses of men. And indeed, we are afraid of a too great subtilty