Skip to main content

EmblemeEmblem 42. Of the Secrets of Nature.

Nature, Reason, Experience, and reading must be the guide, staffestaff,
Spectacles, and Lamp to him that is employdemployed in ChymicallChymical affairs.

Engraved by Verovio 2.1.0-dev-[undefined] Hippomenes sequens. Atalanta fugiens. Pomum morans. Dux Na tu Dux Na tu ra Dux Na tu ra ra ti bi, ti bi, que ti bi, que 3 que ar te ar te tu que ar te pe dis ar te pe dis ar te pe dis se quus pe dis se quus il li se quus il li se quus il li E sto lu E sto lu bens, E sto lu bens, 7 bens, er ras, er er ras, er ras, er ras, er ras, ras, er ras, er ras, er ras, er ras, er ras, ni co mes ip ni co mes ip ni co mes ip 10 sa vi ae est. sa vi ae est. sa vi ae est. Det ra ti Det ra ti o Det ra ti o o sci pi o sci pi o nis sci pi o nis 13 nis o pem, o pem, o pem, o pem, o pem, Ex pe ri en Ex pe ri en Ex pe ri en ti a fir met ti a fir met ti a fir met Lu mi na, Lu mi na, quò Lu mi na, quò 17 quò pos sit, pos pos sit, pos sit, pos sit, pos sit, sit, pos sit pos sit, pos sit pos sit, pos sit cer ne re cer ne re cer ne re 20 po sta pro cul. po sta pro cul. po sta pro cul. Le cti o Le cti o sit Le cti o sit sit lam pas te lam pas te ne lam pas te ne 23 ne bris di lu bris di lu ci bris di lu ci ci da, di lu da, di lu da, di lu ci da, re rum ci da, re rum ci da, re rum Ver bo rúm Ver bo rúm que Ver bo rúm que 27 que stru es, stru stru es, stru es, stru es, stru es, es, stru es stru es, stru es stru es, stru es pro vi dus ut pro vi dus ut pro vi dus ut 30 ca ve as. ca ve as. ca ve as.

EpigrammeEpigram 42.

Pursuing art, let Nature be your guide,
Tracing her steps your feet will not back=-slidebackslide:
Let reason be your staffestaff, experience add
Strength to your sight, discerning good from bad:
In darkenessedarkness reading will as light direct,
That ambiguityesambiguities you may detect.

Discourse 42.

The chances, which may happen to travellerstravelers, are innumerable, es=
pecially if they take a journey on foot by night through slippery -
and dangerous places; to which four things are requisite as cheife=
chiefly necessary, not to speakespeak of the victuals provided, and a strong -
body: In the first place, a companion or guide not ignorant of the
wayesways, through which heehe must passepass: For if one ignorant man -
guide another, the same thing happens to them as to blind men, if
they doedo not both fall headlong into a dittchditch, yet into errourserrors and -
mistakes: Secondly, a StaffeStaff, by which the slipperinesseslipperiness and perillperil
of the way, lest it be detrimentalldetrimental to a man, may be avoydedavoided: Third=
ly, sound eyes, for such journeys are most dangerous to the blind or
dimmedim sighted: Fourthly, a lamp or lighted torch, that the diversitysdiversities
and differences of the wayesways may be discerned. After the same -
manner if a man expose himselfehimself to a most difficult journey in
pursuit of the PhilosophickePhilosophic medicine, heehe will, besides charge -
and strength of body, desire four things exactly parallellparallel and cor=
respondent to those aforesaydaforesaid, to wittwit, Nature, Reason, experience,
and reading: whereof if any one be wanting, the rest will doedo -
little or noeno good at all: For by these, as by four wheeleswheels, the Philo=
Philosophic chariot moves, to which one of the wheeleswheels cannot be -
wanting, if it be left, it avaylsavails nothing. Nature præsupposethpresupposes natu=
natural bodyesbodies and Spirits, as subjects first ministredministered by nature, upon
which art must afterwards act, præparingpreparing, purifying, and fitting it,
that thereof may be made that, which art promisethpromises for the end:
SoeSo a Potter takes water and earth, a Glasse=-makerGlassmaker ashes and -
Sand, a Smith iron, copper, tinnetin, lead, Silver or gold, a Tanner
raw hides, and soeso other men other things: Such respect allsoalso -
hathhas the operator of Chymistry to his materiallsmaterials: Their materi=
materials are to them very well knowneknown even the first day, heehe, when
heehe begins, continues for the most part ignorant of his for many
years, I will not say, during his whole life. Nature dothdoes indeed -
point at the matters, but there are many things, which obscure the -
impression of nature, that it cannot be knowneknown. The first intention -
therefore is, seriously to contemplate how nature proceeds in her ope=
rations to the end that the naturallnatural subjects of Chymistry may -
without defect or superfluity be had: Wherefore Nature must be -
the guide and companion of soeso great a journey, whose footsteps -
must be traced. Secondly, reason must be as a staffestaff to keep the -
steps and feet steady and firmefirm, that they may not slip or waver,
For without the exercise of reason


Discourse 42.

a man will be apt to fall -
into errourserrors, and therefore say the Philosophers; Whatsoever you hear,
consult with reason, whether it can be soeso, or noeno: For noeno man is
forced to beleivebelieve or performeperform things impossible, except heehe be of -
weakeweak memory, dull genius, and foolish imagination to impose upon
himselfehimself accepting things false for true, and rejecting true for false:
They say allsoalso that they care not for words, whatsoever may be -
spoken, but onelyonly for things, what may be understood; And that
words are for things, and not things for words: As for example, Suppose
a man say that glasseglass is made malleable by the PhilosophicallPhilosophical -
tincture; Why Shall not I beleivebelieve it, if provided reason dictates it? -
Thirdly, Experience will be as Spectacles, by which things may be -
seen at a distance; These are optickeoptic instruments, invented and made
by art, to helpehelp and amend the weaknesseweakness of mens eyes. Much like to
these are experiments about the minerallmineral matter of every kind tryedtried,
seen or truelytruly heard, which the more they are in memory, the more
will a man of reason draw from thence, and compare them among -
and with other things, that heehe may perceive, what is true, what not. -
Fourthly, Reading dosdoes as it were kindle a clear lamp in the understan=
ding, without which there will be every where darkenessedarkness and thickethick
clouds. But the reading of good authors ought to be often repeated, -
otherwise it will not be at all effectualleffectual. Hereupon Bacasser in Turba
saythsays: HeeHe therefore, that is of an even temper, and exercisethexercises pati=
ence without regrettregret, will attaineattain to this art as by a direct line, but
heehe, that thinks himselfehimself able sooner to reap benefit from our books,
is deceived, and it had been better not to have lookdlooked therein, than -
ever to have touchdtouched them: And soeso on . . . . . .
Emblem Collections