Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

1

All books of this subject, already extant in print, must be collected and bought, not to transcribe them, but to examine them per autopsiam, and re-experiment the experiments contained in them, and withal to give hints of new enquiries.

The compiler must be content to devote his whole life to this employe ment; one who, as we said before, hath the fire of industry and the alembick of a curious and rational head, to extract the quintessence of whatsoever he seeth.

He shall be as young as sufficient abilities will admit, to the end that he may, with the concurrence of God's ordinary providence, either finish, or very far advance the work, while he liveth; and also that living long in that employment, he may heap up the larger stock of experiments, which, how much the greater it is in one man, affordeth so much the more hopes of new inventions.

The nature, manner, and means of writing the history of trades being so far expounded, before we proceed further therein, for the better encouragement of undertakers, we shall now represent such profils and commodities thereof, to the commonwealth, as we at present more nearly reflect upon. For to enumerate, or evaluate them all, will be much above our capacity.

1. All men whatsoever may hereby so look into all professions, as not to be too grossly cozened and abused in them.

2. The mysteries of trades being so laid open, as that the professors of them cannot make so unlawful and exorbitant advantages as heretofore, such as are cunning and ambitious will never rest until they have found new ones in their stead; so that the respublica artinm will be so much the more advanced.

3. Scholars, and such as love to ratiocinate, will have more and better matter to exercise their wits upon, whereas they now puzzle and tire themselves, about mere words and chimcrical notions.

4. They will reason with more alacrity, when they shall not only get honour by shewing their abilities, but profit likewise by the invention of fructiferous arts.

5. Sophistry shall not be in such esteem as heretofore, when even sense shall be able to unmask its vanity, and distinguish it from truth.

6. Men, seeing what arts are already invented, shall not need to puzzle themselves to re-invent the same again.

7. All men in general that have wherewithal will be venturing at our vellus aureum, by making of experiments: and whether thereby they thrive or no, the directions in the preface being followed, they shall nevertheless more and more discover nature.

8. Nay all nations, sensible of this auri sacra fames, will engage in this hopeful business; and then certainly many hands will make light work in the said business of discovering nature.

9. All ingenious men, and lovers of real knowledge, have a long time begged this work, wherefore it can be no small honour to him that shall satisfy them.

10. A vast increase of honourable, profitable, and pleasant inventi ns must needs spring from the work, when one man (as the compiler thereof) may, uno intuitu, see and comprehend all the labour and wit

of ourancestors, and be thereby able to supply the defects of one trade with the perfections of another.

11. We see, that all countries, where manufactures and trades ftourish, as Holland. &c. become potent and rich : For how can it otherwise be : When the revenues of the state shall be increased hy new and more customs, all beggars, feeding upon the labours of other men, and even thieves and robbers (inade for want of better employment) shall be set on work; barren grounds made fruitful, wet dry, and dry wet; when even hogs and more indocile beasts shall be taught to labour; when all vile materials shall be turned to noble uses ; when one man, or horse, shall do as much as three, and every thing be improved to strange advantages.

12. There would not then be so many fustian and unworthy preachers in divinity, so many petty-foggers in the law, so many quack-salvers in physick, so many grammaticasters in country schools, and so many lazy serving-men in gentlemen's houses, when every man might learn to live otherwise in more plenty and honour; for all men, desirous to take pains, might, by this book, survey all the ways of subsistence, and chuse out of them all one that best suits with his own genius and abilities.

13. Scholars, now disesteemed for their poverty (whatever other thing commends them), and unable, even for want of livelihood, to perfect any thing, even in their own way, would quickly help themselves by opening treasures with ihe key of luciferous inventions.

14. Boys, instead of reading hard Hebrew words in the bible (where they either trample on, or play with mysteries) or parrot-like repeating heteroclitous nouns and verbs, might read and hear the history of faculties expounded; so that, before they be bound apprentices to any trade, they may foreknow the good and bad of it, what will and strength they have to it, and not spend seven years in repenting, and in swimming against the stream of their inclinations.

All apprentices, by this book, might learn the theory of their trades, before they are bound to a master, and consequently may be exempted from the tædium of a seven years bondage; and, having spent but about three years with a master, inay spend the other four in travelling, to learn breeding and the perfection of their trades.

As it would be more profitable to boys to spend ten or twelve years in the study of things, and of this book of faculties, than in a rabble of words; so it would be more easy and pleasant to them, as more suitable to the natural propensions we observe in them. For we see children to delight in drums, pipes, fiddles, guns made of clder-sticks and bellows noses, piped keys, &c. for painting flags and ensigns with elder. berries and corn-poppy; making ships with paper, and setting even nut-shells a swimming; handling the tools of workmen, as soon as they turn their backs, and trying to work themselves; fishing, fowling, hunting, setting springs and traps for birds and other animals; making pictures in their writing-books; making tops, gigs, and whirligigs; quilting balls; practising divers juggling tricks upon the cards, &c. with a million more besides. And, for the females, they will be making pyes with clay, making their babies clothes, and dressing them therewith; they will spit leaves on sticks, as if they were rosting meat; they will imi

tate all the talk and actions, which they observe in their mother and her gossips, and punctually act the comedy, or tragedy (I know not whether tv call it) of a woman's lying-in: By all which it is most evident, that children do most naturally delight in things, and are most capable of learning them, having quick senses to receive them, and unpreoccupied memories to retain them. As for other things, whereunto, they are now-a-days set, they are altogether unfit, for want of judgment, which is but weak in thein, and also for want of will; which is sufficiently seen both by what we have said before, by the difficulty in keeping them at schools

, and the punishment they will endure, rather than be altogether debarred from this pleasure, which they take in things.

This work will be an help to eloquence, when men, by their great acquaintance with things, might find out similitudes, metaphors, allusions, and other graces of discourse in abundance.

To arithmeticians and geometricians, supplying them with matter, whereon to exercise those most excellent sciences, which some having with much pains once learned, do, for want hereof, forget again, or unprofitably apply about resolving needless questions, and making of new difficulties: The number of mixt mathematical arts would hereby be increased.

For we see that opticks are made up of pure mathematicks, the anatomy of the eye, and some physical principles, concerning the nature of light and vision, with some experiments of convex and concave glasses ; astronomy is constituted again of them, and some celestial phænomena. Enginry again of them, and some propositions de cochlea et vecte. so certainly, as the number of axioms concerning several subjects doth. increase by this work, so the number of (their applications to pure mathematicks, id est) new mathematical arts will increase also.

Divines, having so large a book of God's works, added to that of his word, may, the more clearly from them both, deduce the wisdom, power, and goodness of the Almighty.

Physicians, observing the use of all drugs, and operations in the production of artificials, may, with success, transfer them to better uses in their art.

And lawyers, when they plead concerning trades and manufactures, would better know what to say on such occasions.

A young beginner may know by this book, how much stock is needful to set him up in his trade.

Gentlemen, falling sometimes accidentally into tradesmen and handicrafts company, would know how to make use of such occurrences to advantage.

Lastly, This bištory, with the comments thereupon, and the indexes, preface, and supplements thereunto belonging, would make us able, if it be at all possible, to demonstrate axioms in philosophy, the value and dignity whereof cannot be valued or computed.

The next book, which we recommend, is the history of nature free; for indeed the history of trades is also an history of nature, but of nature vexed and disturbed. What we mean by this history, may be known by the Lord Verulam's most excellent specimen thereof; and, as for the particulars that it should treat on, we refer to his exact and judicious catalogue of them, at the end of his advancement of learning.

An Advertisement to the favourable reader. IN the foregoing discourse we have discovered the things, which concern the addresses for outward accommodation, which is but a momentary part of human felicity. The main and principal thing whereat in this office we do aiin at, and which we intend, if God inable us to prosecute, is, the work of communication for all spiritual and intellectual advantages, towards the advancement of piety, virtue, and learning in all things divine and human, as they are subordinate unto the glory of God); for whose sake alone we cast ourselves upoa these endeavours, and from whom we shall expect our encouragements.

FURTHER DISCOVERY

OF THE

OFFICE OF PUBLICK ADDRESS

FOR ACCOMMODATIONS.

London, printed in the year 1648. Quarto, containing thirty-four pages.

L. Montague's Essays, the IVth book, the XXIV th chapter.

of a defect in our Policies. MY late father, who had no help but from experience and his own na

ture, yet of an unspotted judgment, hath heretofore told me, that he much desired to bring in this custom, which is, that in all cities there should be a certain appointed place, to which whosoever should have need of any thing might come, and cause his business to be registered hy some officer appointed for that purpose. As for example: If one have pearls to sell, he should say, I seek to sell some pearls; another, I seek to buy some pearls : Such a man would fain have company to travel to Paris : Such an one secketh for an master, another a workman, some this, some that, every one as he needeth. And it seemeth that this means of interwarning one another, would bring no small commodity unto common commerce and society; for there are ever conditions that interseek one another, and, because they understand not one another, they leave men in great necessity. I understand, to the infainous reproach of our age, ihat, even in our sight, two most excellent men in knowledge have miserably perished for want of food and other necessaries, Lilius Gregorius Giraldus in Italy, and Sebastianus Castalio in Germany. And I verily believe there are many thousands, who, had they known or understood their wants, would either have sent for them, and with large stipends have enter

tained them, or would have conveyed them succour where ever they had been. The world is not so generally corrupted, but I know some that would earnestly wish, and, with hearty affections, desire the goods, which their fore-fathers have left them, might, so long as it shall please God they may enjoy them, be employed for the relief of rare, and supply of excelleut men's necessities, and such as for any kind of worth and virtue are remarkable, many of which are daily seen to be pursued by poverty, even to the utmost extremity, and that would take such order for them as, had they not their ease and content, it might only be imputed to their want of reason, or lack of discretion.

BEF
EFORE we fell into these last troubles, a brief discourse was pre-

sented unto the high and honourable houses of parliament concerning the means to accomplish the work of our reformation; tending to shew that, by an office of publick address in spiritual and temporal concernments, the glory of God and happiness of this nation may be highly advanced.

This discourse hath fully approved itself unto the judgment of all those that have seen it hitherto, and hopefully it would have wrought some effect upon those that manage the affairs of this State, if the dan. ger

of this last commotion had not employed all their strength and attention, to save us from sudden shipwreck. Nor is the sea yet quieted after so great a storm; but the fears and expectations of what will follow do keep the minds of most men in suspense, till they see a safe har bour, that is, what the way of our future settlement will be.

And truly this consideration, might also suspend our thoughts and sollicitations in this matter; if we would look only to the outward appearance of affairs, and make ourselves, as many do by their conjectures, fearful. For he that observeth the wind, shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds, shall not reap'* : But we have learned to cast our bread upon the waters, in hope that we may find it after many days; and we are willing to give a portion unto seven, and also to eight, because we know not what evil shall be npon the earth. So then, even that, which maketh others less careful of the publick, doth increase our care for it. For most men will not intend any publick aim till they can secure their own interests, and see a way to get advantage by that which they call the publick. But we shall never aim at this; our delight shall be, that all may be advantaged, and the publick interest of the commonwealth settled, although it should be to our cost and disadvantage: For we know the promise, that if we faint not, and become not weary in'well-doing, we shall reap in due time the fruit of righteousness.

Therefore, on the grounds laid in the former discourse, we shall endeavour to proceed to offer some particulars; which, perhaps, will take more with most men, than that which we aim at principally. For our aim is mainly to lay the grounds of that reformation in this change of our affairs, which may reach the spirits of men to affect them with a

• Eccles. xi. 4.

« AnteriorContinuar »