« VorigeDoorgaan »
to the greatness of the acts of Alexander, because the like or more strange have been feigned of an Amadis or an Arthur, or other fabulous worthies. But though this in true reason should be, and that men ought not to make a confusion of unbelief; yet he saw well it could not otherwise be in event, but that experience of untruth had made access to truth more difficult, and that the ignominy of vanity had abated all greatness of mind.
10. He thought also, there was found in the mind of man an affection naturally bred and fortified, and furthered by discourse and doctrine, which did pervert the true proceeding towards active and operative knowledge. This was a false estimation, that it should be as a diminution to the mind of man to be much conversant in experiences and particulars, subject to sense, and bound in matter, and which are laborious to search, ignoble to meditate, harsh to deliver, illiberal to practise, infinite as is supposed in number, and no ways accommodate to the glory of arts. This opinion or state of mind received much credit and strength by the school of Plato, who thinking that particulars rather revived the notions, or excited the faculties of the mind, than merely, informed; and having mingled his philosophy with superstition, which never favoureth the sense, extolleth too much the understanding of man in the inward light thereof. And again, Aristotle's school, which giveth the due to the sense in assertion, denieth it in practice much more than that of Plato. For we see the schoolmen, Aristotle's successours, which
were utterly ignorant of history, rested only upon agitation of wit ; whereas Plato giveth good example of inquiry by induction and view of particulars ; though in such a wandering manner as is of no force or fruit. So that he saw well, that the supposition of the sufficiency of man's mind hath lost the means thereof.
SIVE INQUISITIO LEGITIMA
DE CALORE ET FRIGORE.
Charta suggestionis, sive memoria fira.
The sun-beams hot to sense.
to have a quality of cold, for that the greatest colds are noted to be about the full, and the greatest heats about the change. Query.
The beams of the stars have no sensible heat by themselves; but are conceived to have an augmentative heat of the sun-beams by the instance following The same climate arctic and antarctic are observed to differ in cold, viz. that the antarctic is the more cold, and it is manifest the antarctic hemisphere is thinner planted with stars.
The heats observed to be greater in July than in June; at which time the sun is nearest the greatest fixed stars, viz. Cor Leonis, Cauda Leonis, Spica, Virginis, Sirius, Canicula.
The conjunction of any two of the three highest planets noted to cause great heats.
Comets conceived by some to be as well causes as effects of heat, much more the stars.
The sun-beams have greater heat when they are more perpendicular than when they are more oblique: as appeareth in difference of regions, and the difference of the times of summer and winter in the same region; and chiefly in the difference of the hours of mid-day, mornings, evenings in the same day.
The heats more extreme in July and August than in May or June, commonly imputed to the stay and continuance of heat.
The heats more extreme under the tropics than under the line : commonly imputed to the stay and continuance of heat, because the sun there doth as it were double a cape.
The heats more about three or four of clock than at noon; commonly imputed to the stay and conti_ nuance of heat.
The sun noted to be hotter when it shineth forth between clouds, than when the sky is open and serene.
The middle region of the air hath manifest effects of cold, notwithstanding locally it be nearer the sun, commonly imputed to antiperistasis, assuming that the beams of the sun are hot either by approach or by reflexion, and that falleth in the middle term between both; or if, as some conceive, it be only by reflexion, then the cold of that region resteth chiefly
distance. The instances shewing the cold of that region, are the snows which descend, the hails
which descend, and the snows and extreme colds which are upon high mountains.
But Qu. of such mountains as adjoin to sandy vales, and not to fruitful vales, which minister no vapours; or of mountains above the region of vapours, as is reported of Olympus, where any inscription upon
the ashes of the altar remained untouched of wind or dew. And note, it is also reported, that men carry up sponges with vinegar to thicken their breath, the air growing too fine for respiration, which seemeth not to stand with coldness. The clouds make a mitigation of the heat of the
So doth the interposition of any body, which we term shades ; but yet the nights in summer are many times as hot to the feeling of men's bodies as the days are within doors, where the beams of the sun actually beat not.
There is no other nature of heat known from the celestial bodies or from the air, but that which cometh by the sun-beams. For in the countries near the pole, we see the extreme colds end in the summer months, as in the voyage of Nova Zembla, where they could not disengage their barks from the ice, no not in July, and met with great mountains of ice some floating, some fixed, at that time of the year, being the heart of summer.
The caves under the earth noted to be warmer in winter than in summer, and so the waters that spring from within the earth.,
Great quantity of sulphur, and sometimes natu