Skip to main content

EmblemeEmblem 21. Of the Secrets of Nature.

Make ofor the man and the woman a circle, of that a quadrangle, of this
a triangle, of the same a circle, and you will have the Philosoph.Philosphers' Stone.

Engraved by Verovio 2.1.0-dev-[undefined] Hippom sequens. Atalanta fugiens. Pomum morans Foe Foe mi na Foe mi na mi na sque sque u sque u 3 u nus nus fi ant nus fi fi ant ti ti bi cir ant ti bi bi cir cu lus, ex cu lus, ex quo Sur cir cu lus, 6 quo Sur ex quo Sur gat, gat, ha gat, ha bens ha bens ae bens ae quum ae quum 9 quum for ma qua dra for ma qua for ma qua ta la dra ta la dra ta la tus. tus. tus. Hinc Hinc Tri go num Hinc Tri go 13 Tri go num du du cas, num du cas, o o mni cas, o mni qui qui par mni qui 16 par te ro tun te ro tun dam In par te ro dam In tun dam In sphae ram sphae ram re sphae ram 19 re de de at: re de at: at: Tum LA Tum LA PIS Tum LA PIS PIS or tus e or tus e or tus e 22 rit. rit. rit. Si Si res tan ta Si res res tan ta tu ae tu ae non tan ta tu non mox mox ve nit ae non 26 ve nit ob ob vi mox ve nit vi a men a men ti, Do ob vi a ti, Do men ti, Do 29 gma gma Ge gma Ge o Ge o me o me trae me trae trae si ca pis, si ca pis, si ca pis, 32 o mne sci o mne sci o mne sci es. es. es.

EpigrammeEpigram 21.

A circle for the man and wife provide,
Which make quadrangular with æquallequal side,
That trigonalltrigonal, resulting in a Sphere:
And then the blessed Stone to you'leyou will appear.
If this too high and too abstruse you find,
Geometry will soon informeinform your mind.

Discourse 21.

It is the doctrine of that most famous Philosopher Plato that knowledge is as
it were actually engraven and imprinted in the mind of man, which is as the
foundation of all arts and Sciences, by the remembrance and repetition of -
which all learning may be knowneknown and apprehended by any man; which -
to prove, heehe introducethintroduces a youth yet very young, ignorant, and illiterate, -
whomewhom heehe instructed first in geometricallgeometrical interrogations soeso, that the
youth was observed to answer directly to all quæstionsquestions, and nolens volens, or
without consideration to have attaindattained to the very marrow of soeso intricate
a Science: From whence heehe concludes that noeno doctrine and discipline is -
learned or understood at the first, but onelyonly by remembrance and repeti=
tion recalled and revolved into the mind by children, alluding to his An=
nus magnus, wherein before the solary of 48 thousand yeares the same
persons, things and actions were saydsaid by him to have been before the re=
volution of the heaven, after the same manner, as now: But these things -
every man understands are like dreams without any foundation of truth:
That there are some certainecertain sparks of knowledge naturally radicated in
us, and mere powers, to be reduced into action by use and instruction, weewe
doedo not deny, but weewe deny that they are soeso great and of such quality,
as to be the seminaryesseminaries of arts and sciences without any præcedentprecedent -
præparationpreparation: From whence therefore came Sciences and arts, if men in=
vented them not, others may askeask the quæstionquestion, whether they were first
taught by heaven, or by the Gods of the heathen? I answer, it is one -
thing to say, that burning coalescoals are covered under ashes in soeso great plenty,
that if they may onelyonly appear by removing the ashes, they are sufficient
to boyleboil meat, or warmewarm our cold limbs; it is another thing to affirmeaffirm, that
small sparks onelyonly doedo there lyelie hid, which, before they can be usefulluseful -
for boylingboiling or warming, must by the industry, art, and care of man be
stirrdstirred up, quickened, and nourishdnourished with fuellfuel, otherwise they may easily
be extinguished, and wholywholly reduced into cold ashes: The last is the asser=
tion of the Aristotelians, the first of the Platonists: With the last agrees
reason and experience, with the first onelyonly phantasyfantasy or imagination: Where=
upon it might be demanded, why Plato wrote upon the dooredoor of his SchooleSchool,
that heehe that was ignorant of Geometry Should not be admitted into it, heehe
allsoalso having affirmed that children actually knew it? are men more unlear=
ned than boyesboys? or have those of full age forgotten those things which -
boyesboys know?


Discourse 21.

that cannot be supposed: because weewe see that a brute dothdoes
by the instinct of nature abhorreabhor and avoydavoid the dangers of fire, water,
sudden chance, and the like, though newly come into the world, yet that
an infant knowesknows not or shunnsshuns such things, except hurt, or his finger being
a little burnt at the flame of a candle like a Fire=-flyeFirefly, which burnesburns its
wings and falls downedown: why doedo not the young bee, the flyefly and gnattgnat -
fly directly into fire, they not knowing by experience the danger from -
thence arising? because nature hathhas taught them, but not a child new
borneborn. If Geometry be soeso naturallnatural and easy to children, how comes it to passepass
that the Square of a circle was not knowneknown to Plato himselfehimself, SoeSo that Aris=
totle the SchollarScholar of Plato affirmed it possible to be knowneknown, but not as yet -
knowneknown; but it is evident that it was not unknowneunknown to the naturallnatural Philoso=
phers, because they coḿandcommand a circle to be converted into a quadrangle, and
this, by a triangle, againeagain into a circle: by which they meanemean a most simple
body without angles, as by a quadrangle, the fourefour Elements, as if they -
Should say, the most simple corporallcorporal figure, that can be found, must be
taken, and that divided into four elementallelemental colourscolors, and to be a quadrangle
æquilaterallequilateral. Now that this quadration is PhysicallPhysical and agreableagreeable to nature, -
every man understands; by which farrefar more utility accrewsaccrues to a CoḿonwealthCommonwealth
as allsoalso more illustration to the mind of man, than by that MathematicallMathematical
and merely theoricalltheoretical or from an abstracted matter: To learnelearn that perfect=
ly, a Geometrician acting about solid bodyesbodies must inquire what depth of -
Solid figures, for example, of Sphere and Cube can be knowneknown, and transferrdtransferred
to manuallmanual use or practice: If the capacity or circumference of a Sphere be
of 32 foot, how much one of the sides of the Cube will be to æqualizeequalize the -
capacity of this Sphere, on the contrary, if a Sphere containecontain 32 measures
in soeso great a circumference, how much will one side of the Cube be, to -
containecontain soeso much, or by looking backeback from the measures, which the Sphere
or Cube containescontains, to the feet of every circumference: In like manner the
Philosophers would have the quadrangle reduced into a triangle, that is, into
body, Spirit, and SouleSoul, which three doedo appear in three præviousprevious colourscolors -
before rednesseredness, for example, the body or earth in the blacknesseblackness of Saturn,
the Spirit in a lunar whitenessewhiteness, as water, the SouleSoul or aireair in a solar
citrinity: then will the triangle be perfect, but this likewise must be -
changed into a circle, that is, into an invariable rednesseredness: By which ope=
ration the woman is converted into the man, and made one with him,
and the senary the first number of the perfect completed by one, two,
having returned againeagain to an unittunit, in which is æternalleternal rest and peace.
Emblem Collections