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universal,—all kinds of rational practice must of necessity be regulated by the general and. comprehensive principles of the First Philosophy; that common fountain of arts and sciences, from which, when traced downwards through their effects, they are all found to flow, and in which, when traced upwards to their causes, they all terminate.

It is in these abstract principles alone, that the true nature and essence of any subject can be recognized. For it is only by thus investigating universal ideas, formal ratios and principles elementary, general and fixt, that we are enabled to see with our own eyes, and to know with our own understandings.-Without such investigation, though we may happen to see and to know rightly,—yet it is with the eyes and the understandings of others. Beside this, it is certain that the more we accustom ourselves to search after and contemplate the scientific principles on which any art is founded, the more pleasure


pleasure shall we receive from its finished productions. Nor are such speculations ineffectual in preparing and strengthening the mind for the investigation of subjects more important and severe.

From these considerations, the Author has been induced to hope that an attempt of the nature which he has now described may not be altogether unacceptable to those who employ their liberal leisure in studying, with philosophical accuracy, the original treasures of classical antiquity. Should this hope be vain, he may console himself with the reflection that critical inquiries, conducted in this logical way, give to the intellectual faculty that strong exercise, which being the highest and most natural pleasure of the mind, is therefore a Good worthy of being sought for its own sake, and independently of any end to the attainment of which it may conduce.


Hence, whatever may be the defects, or the fate of the Treatise which he has ventured to offer to the perusal of the Learned, he will not have reason to think his time or labour wholly misapplied.


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