THE Reader might be here led to suspect something of Disingenuity; and think I first put a Book upon him, and then give him Reasons why I should not have done it.-----But his Suspicions will cease, when he is appriz'd of the Advantages under which I engaged; which, in one Sense, are superior to what had been known in any former Work of the Kind ; all that had been done in them accruing, of course, to the Benefit of this. I come like an Heir to a large Patrimony, gradually rais'd by the Industry, and Endeavours of a long Race of Ancestors. What the French Academists, the Jesuits de Trevoux, Daviler, Chauvel, Savary, Chauvin, Harris, Wolfius, and many more have done, has been subservient to my Purposes. To say nothing of a numerous Class of particular Dictionaries which contributed their Share; Lexicons on almost every Subject, from Medicine and Law, down to Heraldry and the Manage.
Yet this is but a Part. I am far from having contented my self to take what was ready procured; but have augmented it with a large Accession from other Quarters. No part of the Commonwealth of Learning, but has been traffick'd to on this Occasion. Recourse has been had to the Originals themselves on the several Arts; and, not to mention what small Matters could be furnished de proprio penu, the Reader will here have Extracts and Accounts from a great Number of Authors of all Kinds, either overlook'd by former Dictionarists, or not then extant, and a Multitude of Improvements in the several Parts, especially of Natural Knowledge, made in these last Years. I should produce Instances hereof ; but I hope this would be needless, as it is endless ; and that there are sew Pages which will not afford several.
SUCH are the Sources from whence the Materials of the present Work were derived; which, it must be allowed, were rich enough not only to afford Plenty, but even Profusion: So that the chief Difficulty lay in the Form,; in the Order, and Œconomy of the Work: To dispose such a Variety of Materials in such manner, as not to make a confused Heap of incongruous Parts, but one consistent Whole.----And here it must be confess'd there was no Assistance to be had; but I was forced to stand wholly on my own Bottom. Former Lexicographers have not attempted any thing like Structure in their Works; nor seem to have been aware that a Dictionary was in some measure capable of the Advantages of a continued Discourse. Accordingly, we see nothing like a Whole in what they have done: And hence, such Materials as they did afford for the present Work, generally needed further Preparation, ere they became sit for our Purpose; which was as different from theirs, as a System from a Cento.
THIS we endeavoured to attain, by' considering the several Matters not only absolutely and independently, as to what they are in themselves ; but also relatively, or as they respect each other. They are both treated as so many Wholes, and as so many Parts of some greater Whole ; their Connexion with which, is pointed out by a Reference. So that by a Course of References, from Generals to Particulars; from Premises to Conclusions; from Cause to Effect ; and vice versa, i. e. in one word, from more to less complex, and from less to more: A Communication is opened between the several Parts of the Work; and the several Articles are in some measure replaced in their natural Order of Science, out of which the Technical or Alphabetical one had remov'd them.
FOR an Instance-----The Article ANATOMY is not only consider'd as a Whole, i. e. as a particular Combination or System of Ideas; and accordingly divided into its Parts, Humane and Comparative: and Humane again Subdivided into the Analysis of Solids and Fluids, (which are referr'd to in the several Places in the Book, where they themselves being treated os, refer to others still lower, and so on) but also as a Part of MEDICINE ; which accordingly it refers to, and which it self refers to another higher, &c.----By which means a Chain is carried on from one End of an Art to the other, i. e. from the first or simplest Complication of Ideas appropriated to the Art, which we call the Elements or Principles thereof; to the most complex or general one, the Name or Term that denotes the whole Art.
NOR is the Pursuit dropt here: but as the Elements or Data in one Art, are ordinarily quæsita in some other subordinate one, and are furnished thereby ; (as here for Instance, the Elements of Anatomy are furnished by Natural History, Physicks, and Mechanicks; and Anatomy may be considered as a Datum, or Element furnished to Medicine) We carry on the View farther, and refer out of one Art or Province into the adjoining ones, and thus lay the whole Land of Knowledge open: It appears indeed with the Face of a Wilderness; but 'tis a Wilderness thro' which the Reader may pursue his Journey as securely, tho not so expeditiously and easily, as thro' a regular Parterre.
IT may be even said, that is the System be an Improvement upon the Dictionary ; the Dictionary is some Advantage to the System ; and that this is perhaps the only Way wherein the whole Circle or Body of Knowledge can be deliver'd. In any other Form, many thousand Things must necessarily be hid and overlookl'd : All the Pins, the Joints, the binding of the Fabrick must be invisible of course ; all the lesser Parts, one might say all the Parts whatsoever, must be in some measure swallowed up in the Whole. The Imagination, stretch'd and amplified to take in so large a Structure, can have but a very general, indistinguishing Perception of anyof the Parts.-----Whereas the Parts are not less Matter of Knowledge when taken separately, than when puttogether. Nay, and in strictness, as our Ideas are all Singulars or individuals, and as every Thing that exists is one; it seems more natural to consider Knowledge in its proper Parts, i.e. as divided into separate Articles denoted by different Terms; than to consider the whole Assemblage of it is utmost Composition : which is a thing merely artificial and imaginary.
AND yet the latter Way must be allow'd to have many and real Advantages over the former ; which in truth is only of use and significance as it partakes thereof : for this Reason, that all Writing is in its own Nature artificial; and that the Imagination is really the Faculty it immediately applies to. Hence it should follow, that the most advantageous way, is to make use of both Methods: To consider every Point both as a Part ; to help the Imagination to the Whole : and as a Whole, to help it to every Part.----- Which is the View in the present Work - so far as the many and great Difficulties we had to labour under would allow us to pursue it.
IN this View we have endeavoured to give the Substance of what has been hitherto found in the several Branches of Knowledge both natural and artificial; that is, of Nature, first, as she appears to our Senses ; either spontaneously, as in Natural History; or with the Assistance of Art, as in Anatomy, Chymistry, Medicine, Agriculture, &c. Secondly, to our Imagination; as in Grammar, Rhetorick, Poetry, &c.Thirdly, to our Raison ; as in Physicks, Metaphysicks, Logicks, and Mathematicks. With the several subordinate Arts arising from each; as Architecture, Painting, Sculpture, Trade, Manufactures, Policy, Law &c. and numerous remote Particulars, not immediately reducible to any of these Heads ; as Heraldry, Philology, Antiquities, Customs, &c.
THE Plan of the Work, then, I hope, will be allow'd to be good ; whatever Exceptions may be taken to be Execution of it. It wou'd look extravagant to say, That half the Men of Letters of an Age might be employ'd in it to advantage ; and yet it will appear, that a Work accomplish'd as it ought to be, on the Footing of this, would answer all the Purposes of a Library, except Parade and Incumbrance ; and contribute more to the propagating of useful Knowledge thro' the Body of a People, than any, I had almost said all, the Books extant.----After this, let the Reader judge how far I may deserve Censure for engaging in it, even disadvantageously; and whether to have fail'd in so noble a Design, may not be some degree of Praise.
BUT, it will be here necessary to carry on the Division of Knowledge a little further; and make a precise Partition of the Body thereof, in the more; formal Way of Analysis: The rather, as an Analysis, by shewing the Origin and Derivation of the several Parts, and the Relation in which they stand to their common Stock and to each other; will assist: in restoring 'em to their proper Places, and connecting 'em together.
THIS is a View of Knowledge, as it were, in semine ; exhibiting only the grand, constituent Parts thereof. It would be endless to pursue it into all its Members and Ramifications ; which is the proper Business of the Book it self. It might here, therefore, seem sufficient to refer from the several Heads thus deduced, to the same in the Course of the Work ; where their Division is carried on. And yet this would sometimes prove inconvenient for the Reader; who to find some particular Matter must go a long Circuit, and be bandied from one part of the Book to another : To say nothing of the Interruptions which may frequently happen in the Series of References. To obviate this we shall take a middle Course, and carry on the Distribution further, in a Note in the Margin; but this in a looser manner, to prevent the Embarrass of an Analysis so complex and diffusive as this must prove. Some of the principal Heads of each Kind will here come in sight, and such as will naturally suggest, and lead to the rest ; so that this will afford the Reader a sort of Summary of the Whole: And at the same time will dispense a kind of auxiliary or succedaneous Order thro'out the Whole ; the numerous Articles omitted, all naturally enough ranging themselves to their proper Places among these. A Detail of this Kind is of the more Consequence, as it may not only supply the Office of a Table of Contents, by presenting the dispersed Materials of the Book in one View ; but also that of a Directory, by indicating the Order they are most advantageously read in.-----Note, then, That the initial Articles here, tally to the final ones of the Analysis ; and that the several Members hereof, are so many Heads in the Book.
I MIGHT hero have ended my Preface; and perhaps the Reader would be willing enough to be thus dismiss'd. But something has been already started which will require a further Disquisition.-----The Distribution we have made of Knowledge is founded on this, That the several Branches thereof commence either Art or Science according to the Agency or Non-agency of the human Mind in respect thereof : It remains to take the Matter up a little higher ; and explain the Reason and Manner of this Operation, To consider Knowledge in its Principles, antecedent to such Intervention of ours; and even pursue it up to its Cause, and shew how it exists there, before it be Knowledge : And to trace the Progress of the Mind thro' the Whole, and the Order of the Modifications induced by it. This is a Desideratum, hitherto scarce attempted ; but which we could not here decline entering upon, on account of its immediate Relation to the present Design. 'Tis the Basis of all Learning in general ; the great, but obscure Hinge, on which the whole Encyclopædia turns.
'Tis confessed that all our Knowledge, in its Origin, is no other than Sense; whence it should follow that one Being has no natural Advantage over another in its Disposition for Knowledge, other than what it has in the superior Number, Extent, or Acuteness of its Senses.
'T IS in respect to Language that we are chiefly indebted for what we call Science. By means hereof our Ideas and Notions, though things in their own nature merely personal and adapted only to private use, are extended to others, to improve their stock: and thus, by a kind of second Sense, we get Perceptions of the Objects that are perceived by all Mankind; and are present, as it were by proxy, to things at all Distances from us. We hear Sounds made a thousand Years ago, and see Things that pass a thousand Miles off. If the Eagle really sees, the Raven smells, and the Hare hears, further and better than Man; their Sense, at best is but narrow, in comparison of ours, which is extended, by the Artifice of Language, over the whole Globe. They see with their own Eyes only; we with those of the whole Species.—In respect, by Language we are upon much the same footing, in respect of Knowledge, as if each individual had the natural Sense of a thousand; an Accession which alone must have set us far above any other Animals. But at the same time, this very accession of a multitude of Ideas more than naturally belonged to us, must have been in great measure useless; without certain other Faculties of ordering and arranging them; of abstracting, or making one a Representative of a Number; of comparing them together, in order to learn their Relations; and of compounding, combining them, &c. to make them act jointly. The Effect hereof is what we call Discoursing and Philosophising: And hence arise Doctrines, Theories, &c.
EVERY Word is supposed to stand for some Part, or Point of Knowledge; such as do not, have no business in the Language, and ought of Consequence to be thrown out of doors. It follows, that the Vocabulary of any Language is representative of the several Notions of the People among whom it obtains: I mean of the primary or absolute Notions; for by the Construction of these Words with one another, a new Set of secondary or relative Notions are expressed.—To enter better into this, it is to be observed, that the several Objects of our Senses, with that other Set of Things analogous hereto, the proper Objects of the Imagination, are represented by fixed Names; denoting, some of them, Individuals; others Kinds, &c. Now these, which make the first or fundamental Part of a Language, are no other than a Representation of the Works of Nature, as they exist in a kind of still Life, or in a State of Independency one upon another. But in regard we do not consider the Creation as thus quiescent, but observe a great number of Mutations arise in the Things we are conversant among; we are hence put under a necessity of framing another Set of Words, to express these Variations, and the Actions to which they are owing, with the several Circumstances and Modifications thereof. By this means, Nature is removed out of her dormant Constitution, and shown in Action; and thus may occasional Descriptions be framed, accommodated to the present State of Things.
HENCE arise two Kinds of Knowledge; the one absolute, including the standing Phenomena; the other relative, or occasional, including what is done, or passes, with regard to them. The former is in some Sense permanent; the latter merely transient, or historical. The first is held forth, as already observed, in the Vocabulary; the second vague, and uncircumscribed by any Bounds; being what fills all the other Books extant. In effect, this last, being in some measure casual, may be said to be infinite: for that every new Case, i.e., every new Application and Combination of the former, furnishes a new Accession.
IN the wide Field of Knowledge, appear some Parts which have been more cultivated than the rest; either on account of the Goodness of the Soil, and its easy Tillage, or by reason they have fallen under the Hands of industrious and able Husbandmen. These Spots, being regularly laid out and planted, and conveniently circumscribed or fenced round, make what we call the Arts, and Sciences: And to these have the Labours, and Endeavours of the Men of Curiosity and Learning in all Ages, been chiefly confined. Their Bounds have been enlarged from time to time, and new Acquisitions made from the adjoining Waste; but still the Space of Ground they possess is but narrow; and there is room either to extend them vastly, or to lay out new ones. They show like the Cyclades at a distance: Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto.
ART and Science are indeed two Words of similar Use, and great importance; but, I doubt little understood. The Philosophers have long labour'd to explain and ascertain their Notion and Difference; but alltheir Explanation amounts to little more than the substituting one obscure Notion for another. Their Attempts usually terminate in some barren Definition, which rather casts Obscurity than Light on the SubjectNor is the Reason far to seek, however it may have escap'd Notice; but evidently lies in an Abuse of Language, whereby those different Words come to be applied to Things of the same Nature; and each of themin their turn to Things wholly different. Whence, any Definition that can hold of them universally, must needsbe very abstracted, and general; and may hold of almost any thing else; and of consequence can expressvery little of the Essence, and obvious Phenomena thereof: To come at which, we must be at the Pains of anew Investigation...
TO SCIENCE, then, belong such Things as Men may discover by the use of Reasoning, and Sense:Whatever the Mind descries in virtue of that Faculty whereby we perceive Things, and their Relations, is matterof Science: Such are the Laws of Nature, the Associations of Bodies, the Rules and Canons of Right andWrong, Truth and Error, the Properties of Lines and Numbers, &c. Science, in effect, is the Result of mereReason and Sense in their general or natural State, as imparted to all Men; and not modified, or circumstantiated by any thing peculiar in the Make of a Man's Mind, the Objects he has been conversant among, orthe Ideas he has present to him. Consequently, Science is no other than a Series of Deductions, or Conclusions which every Person, endued with those Faculties, must, with a proper degree of Attention, analyzeand draw: And A Science, i. e. a formed Science, is no more than a System of such Conclusions, relating to some one Subject, orderly and artfully laid down in Words, to save Others the Labour and Expenseof making them at first hand. Thus a Person who has all the Ideas express'd in Euclid's Definitions, andsees the immediate Connection of those in his Axioms; which no Man acquainted with the Language can besupposed without; has it in his Power, with Attention and Industry, to form all the Theorems and Problemsthat follow: He has nothing to do but to range those Ideas orderly in his Mind, compare them together, oneby one in all their Changes, and put down the immediate Relations observ'd in the Comparison, i. e. theirparity,He has nothing to do but to range those Ideas orderly in his Mind, compare them together, oneby one in all their Changes, and put down the immediate Relations observed in the Comparison, i. e. theirparity, disparity, &c. And after the Relations of each to each are thus got; which make a kind of primaryPropositions; to proceed to combine them, and take down the Relations resulting from a Comparison ofseveral Combinations. By such means, without any other Helps than Penetration and Perseverance, mighthe make out an infinite Number of Propositions: more by half than Euclid has done; there being a newRelation, i. e. a new Proportion, resulting from every new Combination.
TO ART, on the other hand, belong such Things as mere general Reason would not have attained to:Things which lie out of the direct Path of Deduction, and which required a peculiar Cast, or Bias of Mindto see or arrive at. A Man might call these the Results of particular, or personal Reason, in opposition tothe former; but that such a Denomination would be thought unphilosophical. It may, perhaps, be morejust to consider the Reason, here, as modified, or tinctured with something in the Complexion, Humour, orManner of thinking of the Person (*René Le Bossu: "Traité du Poème Épique" (Treatise on the Epic Poem), Book 1, Chapter 1.); or as restrained or diverted, out of its proper course, by some Views, orNotices peculiar to him. — The Difference between Art and Science, amounts to much the same as betweenWit and Humour; the former whereof is a general Faculty of exciting agreeable and surprising Pictures in theImagination, by the associating of Ideas, which at the same time have both a notable Diversity and a Congruity; and the latter, a particular one: The former is pure and absolute in its kind; the latter tinged withsomething foreign and complexional.
'TIS essential to Art, therefore, as to Humour, to partake of the Person from whom it proceeded; andconsequently there are as many Arts, as Inventors of Methods of performing, or doing things. Hence, thereis no coming at an Art, otherwise than by learning it. A Person left to his own Thought, will scarceever hit on the same thing, unless either we suppose a marvellous Agreement between the Characters and Circumstances of the Persons; or that the Art is in great measure scientifical, and partakes but little of the Geniusand Humour of the Inventor. There is no such thing, properly speaking, as studying an Art or learning a
Science: The first, every Man beside the Inventor must be taught; the latter, every Man must find. In effect,to attain to an Art, there is some previous Knowledge required, which a Man's own Reason would never havesuggested; whereas a Science requires no more than clear Ideas, and close Attention. With these Helps a Manmay of himself go the whole length of a Science, so far as it is properly a Science. Indeed, if the Improvers, or rather Writers thereof, have gone a jot out of the common way, in compliance with their own personalViews; they have so far adulterated the Science, and put it on the footing of an Art. And to this veryCause are owing a great part of the Difficulties we meet with in attaining the Sciences: The rest are fromwant of Sense, i. e. of Clearness and Precision in our Perceptions, and want of Perseverance and Attention tothem. These render Geometry itself, little other than an Art: We want Preliminaries to it as to other Arts,And thus every Science is an Art to some People, and only to be attained, as we do mechanic Arts, byHabit and Remembrance, instead of Contemplation and Deduction. Reason, clogged and embarrassed byGenius and Complexion, can no more rise to the heights of Science, than when pure and refined, it can descendto the depths of Art.
References :René Le Bossu: "Traité du Poème Épique" (Treatise on the Epic Poem), Book 1, Chapter 1.John Locke: "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding", Book 2, Chapter 11.
AN Art, in this light, appears to be a Portion of Science, or general Knowledge, considered, not in itself,as Science but with relation to its Circumstances, or Appendages. In a Science, the Mind looks directly backward and forward, to the Premises and Conclusions: in an Art we also look laterally, to the concomitant Circumstances. A Science, in effect, is that to an Art, which a Stream running in a direct Channel, without regardto anything but itself and its own progress; is to the same Stream turned out of its proper Course, and runningin a different one disposed into Cascades, Jets, Cisterns, Ponds, &c. and serving to water Gardens,turn Mills, and other particular Purposes. In which case, the Progress of the Stream is not considered withregard to itself, but only as it concerns the Circumstances of the Works: every one of these Works, nay eachpart thereof, are so many Data, which modify the Course of the Stream, and vary it from its original Habitude.'Tis easy to trace the Progress of the former, from its Rise to its End; in regard it flows consequently: Buta Man ever so well acquainted with this, will never be able, of himself, to discover that of the Second, for wantof Acquaintance with the Circumstances, which his Reason can never find out, in regard they depend on theGenius, Humour and Caprice of the Engineer who laid the Design.
THESE are so many different Characters, or Conditions of Art and Science: But there is a Differencebetween them prior to any of these, and of which these are only Consequences. The Origin of them all lieshigher, in the Principle of Action or Operation above specified; namely, as the Mind is either active orpassive therein. With regard to this; those Things may be said to belong to Science which we only see, orperceive; which flow from the Nature and Constitution of Things, by the sole Agency of the Author thereof;subservient only to His general Purposes, exclusive of any immediate Agency or Intervention of Ours: And, onthe contrary, those Things belong to Art, wherein such Science or Perception is further modified and circumstantiated in our Mind, and directed and applied by us, to particular Purposes and Occasions of our own. From hence arise the several Differences above mentioned: For the Matters of Art are only Personal, as they areaccording to the Measure of the Artist's natural Faculties, in respect of Quantity and Degree; and to the Complexion and Cast of his moral Faculties, in respect of their Quality. The Perception, even of Matters of Art, is of the Nature of Science: so that thus far the two agree: And their Difference only commences from the superinducing a further Modification, in the Matter of such Perception; and the giving it a new Direction to some particular End. By means hereof, it becomes invested with a new Set of Conditions and Circumstances, wholly personal; as being all framed and adapted to the particular View and Aim of the Artist, (which is the mere Result of his particular Disposition, Humour, Manner of thinking, Situation, Occasion, etc.) and conducted according to his particular degree of Knowledge, and Address; which is the Essence of a particular Set of Objects, and a particular Organism of Body. In a word, in Art there is a moral View or Motive superadded to the natural Science, or Perception; which Motive is the proper Principle, or primum Mobile of Art: Perception is its Matter; and some Member of the Body its Organ or Instrument. And from such new Principle, etc. arise a new Set of secondary Perceptions, analogous to the natural and primary ones. The whole, therefore, ends in this, That Science arises from a natural Principle, Art from a moral one; or even, as moral Matters are also in one Sense natural, Science may be said to be of divine Original; Art, of human.
FROM this View may appear the deficiency of that established Definition of Art; "An est habitus mentis cum recta ratione operativus"; A habit of the Mind operative according to right Reason: which is evidently taken from a partial Consideration of the Subject. If it be the Character or Condition of Art to proceed according to right Reason; then, the more and purer this Reason, the more perfect the Art. But, in a great part of the Arts, Reason appears to have very little to do; and the less, as those Arts are in greater Purity and Perfection. Thus it is in Poetry; a Man that would undertake an Ode, or an Epic Poem on the strength of his Reason, would be miserably out: All his Efforts would never carry him above the humble Sphere of Versification, where he must be contented to wait for an Impulse of another kind. So far is Reason from leading the way, that it can scarce follow at a distance, so as to keep in sight. The Principle of Motion is evidently something other than Reason; otherwise, the greatest Philosophers would be the best Poets, and vice versa. On the contrary, most of us know of People very weak in Reason, who yet are powerful in Poetry: The Poetical Talent we have seen follow some People to Bedlam, others it has conveyed thither; and, which is still more, some People have first found it there. Poetry is found an Appendage of one kind of Lunacy,and accordingly passes among Physicians for a Symptom thereof; nor is it to be question'd, but, upon a Computation, Moorfields might number double the Poets with any other Spot of the like Dimensions in the Kingdom. — Let not this pass as any Reflection upon the Poets: A Spice of Madness is not so unreputable a thing as some imagine; and a Man that is seated on that Bench, finds himself in the best Company in the World. Some of the greatest Philosophers, Poets, Prophets, and Legislators; I might have said Divines, Fathers, and Ascetics too, of all Ages, are confessedly his Assessors. 'Tis remarkable with what Respect and Awe the Ancients treated People suspected to be touch'd: The very Names they call'd 'em by import the utmost Veneration, and place 'em, as it were, at the Threshold of Jupiter (* "Ecstatici, Phrenetici, Pythii, Siderii, &c."). One of their most common Appellations, Numine afflali, is at the same time the most just and philosophical that can be thought of. In effect, a Share of Fury and Enthusiasm is held by them a sine qua non, a Circumstance absolutely necessary to become anything extraordinary; and hence so many Proverbial Expressions to that Purpose: "No great Genius sine aliqua mixtura, dementia; No great Man sine aliquo afflatu Divino, &c." — We may add, that the Poets themselves have a hundred times expressly attributed all their greater, and happier Thoughts, to Enthusiasm, Ecstasy, and Fury; and they do it implicitly almost in every Piece they write: it being their standing Practice, to take a formal leave of Reason, at first setting out, and call a Muse for their future Guide: which, to talk out of the Poetical Style, is as much as to say, They resign themselves over to the Conduct of Genius and Imagination, which they now find strong and prevalent in 'em. Thus inspired, a new Scene of Objects arises; Castles upon Castles: They see things invisible to other Eyes, that is, the Phenomena of their own Fancy, which exist nowhere else. For tho what one Man's Reason perceives, all others, equally good and perfect, will perceive; even tho it have no Existence but what that Perception gives it: yet it is not so with Imagination, which is a personal Thing, arising from the particular Disposition or Organism, which is different in every two Persons; whereas Reason springs from the general one, which is the same in the whole Species. — From such prevalence of the Imagination, arises what we call Poetry,
French translation of THE PREFACE