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much egotism, and a detail of particulars neither necessary nor interesting.

No body, he presumes, will be offended, if in these papers there be found, as there certainly will, numberless thoughts and arguments which may be found elsewhere. It will be considered, that, as a professor's province is generally assigned him by public authority, his business is rather to collect and arrange his materials, than to invent or make them. In his illustrations, in order to render what he teaches as perspicuous and entertaining as possible, he may give ample scope to his inventive

powers: but, in preparing a summary of his principles, he will be more solicitous to make a collection of useful truths, however old, than to amuse his readers with paradox, and theories of his own contrivance. And let it be considered further, that, as all the practical, and most of the speculative, parts of Moral Science, have been frequently and fully explained by the ablest writers, he would, if he should af


fect novelty in these matters, neither do justice to his subject, nor easily clear himself from the charge of ostentation.

Of such of the Author's Lectures as have already, under the name of Essays, been published in the same form in which they were at first composed, particularly those on Language, Memory, and Imagination, he has made this abridgement as brief as was consistent with any degree of perspicuity. Some may think, that he ought to have left out those parts ; and he once thought so himself. But it occurred to him, that many persons, into whose hands this book would perhaps come, may have never seen those printed lectures, and possibly never would see them;—that he could not with a good grace recommend it to any body to purchase the volumes in which they are to be found ;-and that, if those parts should be wholly omitted, his System, as exhibited in this Epitome, would have a mutilated appearance, and be still more imperfect than it is.



Human knowledge has been divided into history, philosophy, mathematics, and poetry or fable.* History records the actions of men, and the other appearances of the visible universe. Poetry or fable is an imitation of history, according to probability, and exhibits things, not as they are, but as we might suppose them to be. Philosophy investigates the laws of nature, with a view to the regulation of human conduct, and the enlargement of human power. The mathematical sciences ascertain relations and proportions in quantity and number.-History and philosophy are founded in the knowledge of real things. Mathematical truths result from the nature of the quantities or numbers compared together. Poetical representations are approved of, if they resemble real things, and are themselves agreeable.

* Bacon considers poetry as a part of human knowledge, and mathematics as an appendage to natural philosophy.

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