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COGITATIONES DE SCIENTIA HUMANA.
THE THIRD FRAGMENT.
hominum actiones æquæ et indifferentes, et propterea vel optime [mo]rato liberæ sunt. Rebus autem agendis et usui singula, et interdum quæ minima videntur, aut prosunt aut officiunt. Adeo ut verba, vultus, oculi, gestus, joci, sermo quotidianus, ad rem faciant, et nil fere imperio et decreto vacet. Etiam virtutis formæ magis simplices et inter se consentientes sunt. Prudentia autem Civilis innumeras formas, easque maxime inter se contrarias, quæ rebus, personis, temporibus, conveniant, desiderat. Adeo ut mirum minime sit si fabula Protei ad viros prudentes transferatur; qui ab occasionibus constricti in omnes formas se vertunt, donec liberi ad naturas suas redeant. Atque sane admirabilis est species viri vere politici, in quo nil absonum, nil neglectum, nil stupidum, nil impotens, reperire liceat; sed qui sibi, cæteris, rebus, temporibus, debita tribuens, et negotiorum principia, media, clausulas, periodos, distinguens, singula cum delectu faciat. Perfectissimus autem animi status, si sanitas affectuum accedat et boni fines. Qui autem ex philosophiæ disciplina civilibus rebus abstinent, aut in iisdem [se] versantes tam multa devitant ut actionum magnitudinem destruant; ii omnino similes sunt iis qui ut valetudinem conservent corporibus suis vix utuntur, et maximam temporis partem eorum curæ impendunt. Itaque ista, non frui ut non cupias, non cupere ut non metuas, quædam animi angustia sunt; et major est virtus quæ se sustinet quam quæ se cohibet.
1 Additional MSS. 4258. fo. 223. This fragment begins at the top of a page, without anything to show how much is missing. It is evidently the conclusion of a Cogitatio de Prudentiâ civili; and appears to commence in the middle of a discussion concerning the difficulty of civil as compared with moral wisdom,
De Quanto Materiæ certo et quod1 mutatio fiat absque in
[See Cogitationes de Rerum Naturâ, §v. This is not numbered; and the word Cogitatio has been written in the margin by the transcriber, as if it had not been in the original.]
De Consensu Corporum quæ sensu prædita sunt, et quæ sensu
[See Cogitationes de Rerum Naturâ, § vii.]
De Quiete apparente et consistentia et fluore.
[See Cogitationes de Rerum Naturâ, § vi.
The concluding sentence of this Cogitatio is not found in Gruter's copy. In this transcript it closes a paragraph and comes to the bottom of the leaf; making it doubtful whether the original ended here or not. It is to be observed that the numbers of the last two Cogitationes are out of order, and coincide with those in Gruter. It may be therefore that they were not in the original, but inserted by way of reference.]
BY ROBERT LESLIE ELLIS.
THE following fragments of a great work on the Interpretation of Nature were first published in Stephens's Letters and Remains . They consist partly of detached passages, and partly of an epitome of twelve chapters of the first book of the proposed work. The detached passages contain the first, sixth, and eighth chapters, and portions of the fourth, fifth, seventh, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and sixteenth. The epitome contains an account of the contents of all the chapters from the twelfth to the twenty-sixth inclusive, omitting the twentieth, twenty-third, and twenty-fourth. Thus the sixteenth chapter is mentioned both in the epitome and among the detached passages, and we are thus enabled to see that the two portions of the following tract belong to the same work, as it appears from both that the sixteenth chapter was to treat of the doctrine of idola.
It is impossible to ascertain the motive which determined Bacon to give to the supposed author the name of Valerius Terminus, or to his commentator, of whose annotations we have no remains, that of Hermes Stella. It may be conjectured that by the name Terminus he intended to intimate that the new philosophy would put an end to the wandering of mankind in search of truth, that it would be the terminus ad quem in which when it was once attained the mind would finally acquiesce.
Again, the obscurity of the text was to be in some measure removed by the annotations of Stella; not however wholly, for Bacon in the epitome of the eighteenth chapter commends