« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Intermix'd with many CASES
Never before Publish’d.
By John Dunton
Society, and an Ejay upon LEARNING.
The Third Edition.
F. FAYRAM, J. OSBORN and T. LONGMAN, W. INN Ys, and
A M sensible that the more ticks. (who, I have reason to
Judicious and Learned think, will not be so favouramay, with a great deal of ble, as to forgive the Faults Reason, condemn me, as of the Performance for the guilty of an unpardona- Greatness of the Design) than
ble Rathness, in attempf- lose the Glory of having first ing a Province so extreme- offer'd at it. I will agree with ly above my Abilities, as them, that it is to be wilh'd, the Writing the History of a that the Great SPRAT would Society, whose Learning and oblige the Age with a SecondWit have justly made so confi- Ben History of the Second Best derable a Figure in the World; Institution, for the promotion of yet I muft, with Vanity enough, Learning, and removing that own, that the Nobleness of the Epidemick Ignorance, which Undertaking has born me up exercises so incredible a Tyso far above any Apprehen- radny over the more numerous fions, that (like a Soldier who part of Mankind : From such resolves on some brave Action) à Pen the World might expect I caft off all thoughts of those Satisfaction, and the Athenian Obitacles, which might frigh- Society Justice; the Charms of ten a cooler Considerer. And his Stile would engage all to since 'tis confess'd, that to aim, read, and his Wit and Variety at noble Ends is enough to me- of Learning give them proporrit Applause, I had rather un- tionable Ideas of those Exceldergo the Severity of the Cri- lencies he would commend to
them. And indeed gone but number 1 my self was at first) he (whose Thoughts are so who were startled with the true and fine, and whose Lan- seeming Impossibility of the guage so clearly and fully ex. Project, that notwithstanding presses his Conceptions) or a it was so difficult, yet they have whole SOCIETY learned fully come up to what they first as themselves, can be thought pretended to. capable of acquitting so illuf The Design, as well as Pertrious a Task with that Strength formance, seems so extraordiand Perfeéiion it deserves. nary, that when I reflect on it,
This consideration would I often admire that the genenot a little discourage me, if I ral, nay universal Advantage had not this to obviate the Dif- it brings; should never have inficulties it brings; That great spir'd any one to have thought part of this Book shall be drawn of it before now; till I confifrom the incomparable Works der, that the Good of Manof this Society, who are indeed kind was not the Aim of the their own Historians, and most Grecian Philosophers, so much worthy to be so : for their as their own personal Glory whole' Design is not only to and Pride, which they built on improve Knowledg in Divinity their own knowing more than and Philosophy, in all their the rest of the World, who had parts, as well as Philology in not the Leisure and Abilities to all its latitude ; but also to spend their whole Life in Discommend this Improvement to quisitions or disputable Nothe Publick, in the best method tions: and to maintain this, that can be found out for In- 'twas necessary for them not Itruction : which is, or ought to communicate Learning to 2=* to be the end of Every Writer, ny but their immediate Heaunless he aim rather at Amuse- rers, who by word of mouth ment than Information.
were to deliver it to their SucIf the World would be so fa cessors in the Schools. This vourable, as to admit of what made all their Doctrines conI have said for an Excuse, I fin'd to their Gymnasia, their. hope the Gentlemen that com- Porches, and Gardens. pole this Society will pardon my Some of them were so fearBoldness in presuming to give ful of having their Sentiments an account of their Underta known, that they wrapp'd all king, who am not at all con their Notions up in Mysteries, cern'd in it, and have not the as hard to be understood by aHappiness of being acquainted ny but their own Scholars, as with one Member of it'; since those Chymical Tracts we have what I shall here advance pro now, which treat of the great ceeds from an Elieem of their Hermettick Work. This was the Delign, and the great Value I cause of the different Represet upon their Performances, fentations of the Philosophy of which are sufficient to con- Pythagoras in particular; and I pince those (among which think "tis not doubted by the
Learned, but that most (if not Value these Philosophers, who all of those Absurdities, which were sent for to inftruct the are attributed to him, proceed Romans, set upon themselves, only from the uncertain Gues- fatisfies me, that I have no ses of his Opposers and Ene- great cause to wonder, that in mies, who were never admitted Rome this Project was never into his School, or had a true thought of; fince the Learned, knowledg of bis Opinions : tho' whole Province this must have perhaps the Pythagoreans them- been, would have lost that Eselves did much contribute iteem they then possess’d, by (notwithftanding their great making what they knew comVeneration for his Memory) mon to as many as were capa. by their Ignorance, to the lg- ble and willing to understand nominy of their Master ; for them: whereas their Singulathey learnt chiefly by Tradi- rity in Knowledge gave thein tion, to which we may reaso- priviledge to the highest Infonably suppose that every Suc- lence. For when the abovecessor, in their School,' (who mention d Apollonius was sent was an arbitrary Dispenser of for by the Emperor Antoninus these Mysteries) added, at least Pius, from Chalcedon to Rome, by way of Comment; which, to read Philosophy to his adopin a Generation or two, incor- ted Son Marcus Aurelius Antoniporated with it, and all paft nus (firnam'd The Philosopher) for his.
after his arrival at that City, he If we pass from Greece to never went to wait on the EmRome, tho' Politeness and Lear- peror; and being sent for by ning diffus'd themselves into a him, return'd this Answer, larger compass there, yet their that it was not fit the Master principal Studies were Oratory, mould attend the Scholar, but the and the Art of War, on which Scholar the Master. This Pride all the Preferments of that of his was so temperately born Commonwealth turn'd ; for, by that generous Prince (in as for Philosophy, it was built that more a Philosopher than upon the Greek Bottom, and Ci- Apollonius) that he only smild, cero was the first that brought and said to his Servants, Does the Roman Language acquain- he then think it farther from his ted with it. Both before and Lodging to my Palace, than from after him, they that were that Chalcedon to Rome? way inclin'd went to Athens, From hence is evident what then the only University (if I Honour was paid them (by the may callit so) of Europe, or had highest Powers on Earth) for Masters from Greece ; as Plu- the Opinion of their knowiarch, and his Nephew Sextus, leds, and also what Satisfaction and Apollonius,may witness, who and Pride they took in it: so were all three Tutors to Em- that it is not ftrange, that they perors, and all three Grecians, should persuade it as necessary besides many others whom I to their Followers, and by conomit. The Vanity and great sequence deprive them of all
B 2 Thoughts