Latest quotes | Random quotes | Vote! | Latest comments | Add quote

Stage is about imperfections and working with them, whether it be from you or the audience.

quote by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Related quotes

I Feed The Birds and Play With Them

I was tired and exhausted
I felt as if
There is nothing in the world
Except work
I went to the nearby garden
Saw an old man
Feeding the birds with seeds
He smiled when a bird
Came near him
Picked one seed
He Laughed
When another came
Picked another seed
I did not understand
His smiling and laughing
I asked him
Why he was so happy?
He replied in measured words
Everybody works
To feed himself
When you feed others
It makes you happy
You have satisfaction
Of living for others
I feel fresh
And without stress
I understood
What he mean't
Feeding the birds
And playing with them
Has now become
My usual routine

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

When You Are With Them

the guy beside you
is cross-eyed, and he is
lonely, and he lives alone in his house
with his puppy and he asks you where he can buy
the best dogfood in this little town,

sitting beside this guy is a short, fat man, and he
is a philosopher, and he is ugly and his belly is as big
as a baby whale, and he is asking if there is a way to find
happiness along this famous beach resort

both of them are projecting the idea that they are not happy
and that they are looking for a way to get happiness
to know where it can be found,

he did not find it with his puppy and neither did the other
one find in the complicated phisophical precepts

we are seated inside a bar and it is six o'clock in the evening
we are looking over the sea separated by this glass wall

i remove my shorts and shirt, i keep my white swimming trunk on
and i told them: let us have a plunge in the cool waters of the blue sea.

i do not have a puppy and i am tired of any philosophical discussion.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Conversation between Me and my Heart

Its hard to live sometimes,
hard to die sometimes,
hard to survive sometimes,
hard to keep it in sometimes,

dumbshit watchu waitin for,
dont live like a hollow basket,
fill in some fruits,
there is brightness on the other side,
give life second chances,

it doesnt happen every time that who you loved pulled the trigger to shoot
i know you scatter in a million pieces of glass,
and you wounded yourself in collecting them and putting it back together,
i understand that the pain was absolute!

but its mistakenly said it happens once,
next time might happen with greater intensity,
remember when the glass when wasnt broken,
was filled with the intoxication of wine from the top till its root,

its hard to fall on your own sometimes,
hard to standup sometimes,
hard to walk again sometimes,
hard to move on sometimes,

but hell yeah, i stood up with much greater determination,
tried searching everywhere since long,
all went in vain,

the feeling of failing over and over brought me pain,
hope flying away,
disappointing the dreams once again i mended,
i felt like driving in the wrong lane,
but you could have pretended,
i tried many people,
they just flushed me down the drain,
and i fall for it again and again,
this is what happens when the heart conquers,
you forget to use your brain,

its hard to rewind sometimes,
hard to staybehind sometimes,
hard to stop cryin sometimes,

I found someone really like me,
i thought this would be great,
i trust myself better than the rest i hate,
i soon fell in love with that me,
felt like together to be,
she showed me new things like i showed to people,
took me outta my mind, over the seas

My heart of glass,
felt good as new,
thought of you....
...with together to be with,
told you what i felt like...
how stupid of me,
i just forgot what i used to be....

its hard to understand what im about to say sometimes,
it would be hard for you to think about it and not cry over it sometimes,

I Love You is the only sentence
and not a question which demands an answer,

you have no idea how it feels like how the heart gets slaughtered,
how much it hurts when you say the 3 stupid words and dont hear it back,
im no more a lancer,

oops, i missed!
that was a bouncer,
its nobodies fault and no ones to blame!
Love it self is a silly stupid game......

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Disappearing Generation

We’ve got used to the disappearance of some people,
we just worry a while and then forget, sometimes regret,
it’s merely a question of time.
But…it’s a pity when we don’t care a dime
when the whole generation disappears,
when nothing good to follow appears.
I would like to speak about the generation of women over fifty.
They are certainly not guilty, I mean, of their age,
which anyone shouldn’t accept with rage.
But today those women seldom appear on the screens, in the scenes,
they seldom visit theaters and cinema halls,
their places are occupied by young dolls.
They do not go abroad,
This trip some of them can’t afford.
But where are they?
Where do they stay?
They are in a hospital, in a market, in a flat,
little by little getting fat.
They are defenceless, often dreamless,
they do not go out, they do not shout,
they only whisper: which bread is crisper?
They are not needed by the rest
as they don’t do everything so fast.
This whole generation of women disappears
and nothing good to follow appears.
No one asks: Why? May be it’s a lie?
We shout today: Children are our future!
And what about our culture?
The generation of women over 50 disappears,
the career created on young bodies appears.
We’ve lost millions of grey haired heads
just because they are no more a lass.
China legs, drugs, habitual use of the word “f....”,
glass made eyes, no need to realize the situations,
interest in new glamour sensations.
Young bodies shout today:
Leave us alone, we do not betray.
Don’t we deserve all that?
Certainly you deserve all that
But… those women deserve more.
What do we live for?
The dreamland is full of one time women,
they can be changed like a one time syringe.
Is it normal? Isn’t it strange?
All that trivial-virtual sex
which helps, as they say, to relax.
Do you imagine a poem about such relations?
It gives me only a frustration.
We forgot about those women who gave style,
Who hated love which was just for a while.
We forgot those women who had taste
and their life was not a waste.
We forgot about those who wrote an elegant literature
forgetting to write their signature.
We forgot about those who created politicians
and they were not at all capricious.
We forgot about those who gave their lives to their husbands
because they lived on real life lands.
We are losing the sight of that generation of women
and together with them their men.
We lose those of the concrete results,
they were the first whose men went to consult.
And now I would like to ask you again: Who will remain?
Can a young body, certainly for big money, be your real honey?
Can a young body be a loving wife?
Will she fight for your life?
Of course, while watching those young bodies,
in the period of excitement,
you forget and forgive all:
their foolish heads, their foolish songs, their foolish speeches,
and at the moment it doesn’t really matter if they are bitches.
May be those young bodies are right?
Without any fight they would like to get all and at once,
They would not like to lose their chance.
They are in a hurry, they do not worry about tomorrow.
They would like to live without any sorrow.
But they forget that tomorrow will come
and together with it their age
they won’t remain on the stage
but with frustration will be added to the disappearing generation.

Larisa R (Odessa, Ukraine)

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Come and sit with me for a whil and you'll see

come sit with me for a while.
And then you can see the real me.
But then you'll see my horrible world.
Come be a shadow on the wall.
Be invisible and sit with me.

Will You see how I cry for my gran.
Will you see how I torture myself for that last agument.
Will you see how abusers have messed my head.

You will see my cry.
Come sit with me for a while.
I'll welcome you in to my quiet world.
A world of lonnliness and dispair.

But if you did come sit with me for a while'
Would you like the ral me?
The one that mkaes herself bleed.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

They Finally Got The Message

Why are they sobbing?

'They are saying,
Something has come to affect their lives.
And they were not prepared and didn't know.'

That's a bunch of BS.
I came to address that with them months ago.

'Oh?
So...
You were the one that got them upset.
With a telling them they should awaken,
From a foolishness that they protect.
And when you arrived you were not dressed,
To impress.
And that's why they ignored your message? '

Who knows.
But they can not say they weren't told.
So why are they sobbing in their Sunday clothes?

'They just discovered,
The message you left...
Had the steps they should take,
If they expected entry through the 'Pearlie Gates'.

What Pearlie Gates?

'Well...
A blistering sermon was just delivered to them,
About disrespecting their fellowman.
Since one never knows who has what in their hands.
Wasn't that the message you left? '

NAW, man!
I came to tell them their son had been,
A cellmate of mine in prison.
And he escaped.
But they had moved away.

'Oooohhh!
Maybe they didn't move that far.
And their sins caught up with them.
Now I see.
They have not been that honest with me.'

Either way...
They got some kind of message.
And that fool they've been trying to protect,
Has probably been breathing down their necks.
You can run but no one can hide,
From mistakes denied.
I have learned that the hard way.
So what do you think for them is next?

'That's obvious.
A reaping of what they have allowed to sow! '

Nicely put.
Who are you?

'I am their minister.
I see you've learned a thing or two? '

That's what being locked up will do.

'I'm seeking an assistant.
All of my associate pastors,
Have had confinement in their past.
Think about it.'

NAW.
God has me on a different mission.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Thunderhead

I need a new way to express myself,
So you don't need to guess
What otherwise I'd say aloud
and watch it float just like a cloud.
High up above you like a thunderhead
But you would just look down instead
and you wait til' foggy skies ABATE,
and vapor clouds ALL DISIPATE.
And when with them all my words for you
Have softly sublimated too.
And you'll just hope that I've moved on
So you'll look up and find me gone.

song performed by PhishReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

When eight policemen flocked around me

When eight policemen flocked around me
stood firm against me and tried to take me
power came from You
when the lot of them grimly

stared at me, as if this isn’t also my fatherland
and in my own country I do not anymore feel at home,
but I was aware of Your saving hand
with their intimidation and rumbling voices

even their mockery and hands on me
was already ruined
as they are only insignificant humans
and because I was without guilt

the lot of them had to let me go
and when thousands rise against me, they will also perish through You.

[References: Police intimidation by Gert Strydom. Deut 28: 7 and Psalm 91: 5-8.]

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

You've Done That Already To Yourself

You told others I attacked you,
With abusive language.
You also suggested...
My tone of voice was not what you liked.

And I've taken everything I've heard,
Into consideration.
And I have come to apologize.
With the understanding I am so wrong.

'So
You're not angry with me for not paying you back,
The two hundred dollars I said I would pay you...
More than three months ago? '

No!
Not at all.
In fact
I want you to forget about that.
And every favor I have ever done for you.
At the expense of my own sacrificing done.

'WHY?
What are you going to do to me? '

Why would I want to do anything to you?
You've done that already to yourself.
I've just come to extend and express,
My condolences.
That's all.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Religious Family

Sisters and brothers are one of those precious members
In the family. Their role is infinite.
They shock themselves with delight.
They read signs and play with them.
Their signs are obvious,
Useful to the parents,
Forcing action of the family.
Heaven can arrive around the bend,
When the families die and their hell is dismissed by God.
Mothers shall look forward to heaven, and their husbands
Are found too in heaven, or shall I say Paradise.

“My son is big at religion, ” says the father to his child.
For this prayer to be answered, the boy must be big, an adult.
His life at the moment has laws broken, the lawful one is not him.
For he is criminal in his action, in his life and love.
He spent a time with another person, and did not get married.
He did not like this now, and not seven times a week.
He must pray and be forgiven, would say God.
God loves the boy’s father, however, and thus the boy is forgiven
For he is big at religion.
The father has his prayer answered.
Afterwards, the father cries for his child as he has lost him to the elements.

The story is such that it makes us cry, and cry and cry.
To find the mother, we must find the father and his prayer.
We find she is forced to marry someone else
But the daughter is forced to object, due to her religion.
The daughter is confused and wants to know why this happens.
The mother blames the divorce on her son who adventured and died.
The father’s prayer was answered but his wife went astray,
and his daughter was too big at religion.
The daughter shall grow and grow to be a happy woman.
Both parents died due to cancer.
It means the average family would die in the ways of religion,
And not religion die in the ways of family.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Athenaid: Volume II: Book the Twelfth

Now in the zodiac had the sun o'erpass'd
The tenth fair sign. The new succeeding month,
Though not by Flora, nor Vertumnus deck'd,
Nor green in hue, though first of winter's train,
Oft with unsully'd skies irradiate cheers
The prone creation, and delights mankind.
The birds yet warble on the leafless sprays,
The placid surface, glaz'd by clearest light,
In crystal rivers, and transparent lakes,
Or ocean's smooth cerulean bosom, shews
The finny tribes in play. The active son
Of Neocles uprises, and descries
A dawn which promis'd purity of air,
Of light and calmness, tempting sloth herself
To action. Thus he rous'd his native fire:


Of this kind season not a moment lose,
Themistocles. Sicinus ever nigh
He call'd: Provide two receptacles sure,
Each to contain twelve talents; bring my arms,
Produce a second suit, resembling mine;
Send Hyacinthus; let my chosen band
Of Attic friends, and Sparta's fifty youths,
My followers, be ready for a march.


Soon Hyacinthus enters; still he shews
The perturbation of a mind oppress'd
By some conceal'd misfortune, while, beneath
The shade of sorrow, on his front appear'd
Excelling graces. Him the chief bespake,
Gay in his look, and sprightly in his tone:


Her eastern hill, behold, the morning mounts
In radiance, scatter'd from the liquid gems
On her loose mantle; but the heart of youth
In ev'ry season should rejoice, in clouds
Not less than sunshine, whether nature's voice
Be hoarse in storms, or tune to whisp'ring gales
Her vernal music. Sharp some inward grief,
When youth is sad; yet fortune oft deceives
The inexperienc'd by imagin'd ills,
Or light, which counsel of the more mature
Can lightly heal. Unlock thy lib'ral mind;
To me, a guardian pregnant of relief
Beyond thy father, countrymen, or friends,
Impart thy cares. The sighing guest replied:


To thy controul my service I devote,
O scourge of tyrants, but retain my grief!
Which thou, O first of mortals, or the king
Of high Olympus, never can redress.


Sicinus interrupts; his lord's commands
Are all accomplish'd. Now, Carystian friend,
Resembling me in stature, size and limbs,
The son of Neocles proceeds, accept
That suit of armour; I have tried it well;
Receive a shield familiar to my arm.


He next instructs Sicinus: Thou receive
Twelve talents; hasten to the neighb'ring walls
Of stately Chalcis, populous and rich,
Queen of Euboean cities, in whose port
The twenty ships of Athens yet remain,
Which Chalcis borrow'd, and equipp'd for war.
Of her bold race four thousand we beheld
Distinguish'd late in Artemisium's fight,
At Salamis yet later. First approach
The new-made archon in a rev'rent style,
Timoxenus most potent in that state,
A dubious, timid magistrate, unlike
Nearchus. Cordial salutation bear
To him, my brave associate; do not turn
Thy back on Chalcis, till thy prudence brings
Intelligence of weight; th' Athenian keels
With grain abundant and materials lade,
That friendly roofs th' Eretrians may obtain,
Before grim winter harrow up these streights
Unnavigable soon. This said, he arms;
Begirt by warriors, to the temple speeds,
And greets the priest: In gladsome thought I see
The goddess Health, white-handed, crimson-cheek'd,
As from a silver car in roseate clouds
Look on thy people; dropping on their lips
Restoring dew, she bids them taste and live.
The convalescent piously employ
In labours, where my naval band shall join,
To free th' encumber'd temple, to repair,
To cover dwellings, lest the winter bring
New hardships. Martial exercise I leave
To Cleon's care, while ten revolving suns
Of absence I must count. Now, father, take
This hand, a hand which fortune and thy god
Have ever favour'd, which shall soon convert
The annual day of mourning in thy fane
To festival solemnity of joy.


Bless'd by Tisander, rapid he departs.
Young Hyacinthus follows, who in arms,
Once by his patron worn, to ev'ry eye
Presents a new Themistocles, but such,
As when th' allurement of his early bloom
He, not unconscious of the charm, display'd
To Attic damsels. Cloudless on their march
Apollo shoots a clear and tepid ray;
A scatter'd village in Carystian bounds
To rural hospitality admits
The wearied warriors. Hyacinthus guides
His great protector to a shelt'ring fane
Of Juno, styl'd connubial; stately round
Old beech extend a venerable shade;
Through ages time had witness'd to their growth,
Whose ruddy texture, disarray'd of green,
Glows in the purple of declining day.


They pass the marble threshold, when the youth
With visage pale, in accents broken spake:


Unequall'd man, behold the only place
For thy reception fit; for mine. . . He paus'd;
A gushing torrent of impetuous grief
O'erwhelm'd his cheeks; now starting, on he rush'd,
Before the sacred image wrung his hands;
Then sinking down, along the pavement roll'd
His body; in distraction would have dash'd
His forehead there. Themistocles prevents,
Uplifts, and binds him in a strong embrace;
When thus in eager agony the youth:


Is not thy purpose, godlike man, to crush
The tyrant Demonax, in torture cut
The murd'rer short, that he may feel the pangs
Of death unnatural? Young man, replies
Th' Athenian grave, to know my hidden thoughts,
Dost thou aspire, retaining still thy own?
Still in my presence thy distemper drinks
The cup of misery conceal'd, and seems,
Rejecting friendship's salutary hand,
To court the draught which poisons. Canst thou hope,
Mysterious youth, my confidence, yet none
Wilt in Themistocles repose? His look,
His tone, in feign'd austerity he wrapp'd,
So Æsculapius bitter juice apply'd
From helpful plants, his wisdom had explor'd,
The vehicles of health. In humble tears,
Which melted more than flow'd, the mourner thus:


Forgive me, too regardless of thy grace;
Of all forgetful, save itself, my grief
Deserves thy frown, yet less than giddy joy,
Which, grown familiar, wantons in the smile
Of condescension. Ah! that grief will change
Reproof to more than pity; will excite
A thirst for vengeance, when thy justice hears
A tale-Unfold it, interpos'd the chief,
To one who knows the various ways of men,
Hath study'd long their passions and their woes,
Nor less the med'cines for a wounded mind.


Then Hyacinthus: Mighty chief, recal
Thy first successes, when Euboea's maids
Saw from her shores Barbarian pendants low'r'd
To thine, and grateful pluck'd the flow'rs of May
To dress in chaplets thy victorious deck.
Then, at thy gen'rous instigation fir'd,
The men of Oreus from their walls expell'd
Curst Demonax, their tyrant. On a day,
Ah! source of short delight, of lasting pain!
I from the labour of a tedious chace,
O'erspent by thirst and heat, a forest gain'd.
A rill, meandring to a green recess,
I track'd; my wonder saw a damsel there
In sumptuous vesture, couch'd on fragrant tufts
Of camomile, amid surrounding flow'rs
Reposing. Tall, erect a figure stern
Was nigh; all sable on his head and brow,
Above his lip, and shadowing his cheeks
The hair was brisled; fierce, but frank his eye
A grim fidelity reveal'd; his belt
Sustain'd a sabre; from a quiver full
On sight of me an arrow keen he drew,
A well-strung bow presented, my approach
Forbidding loudly. She, upstarting, wak'd.
My aspect, surely gentle when I first
Beheld Cleora, more of hope than fear
Inspir'd; she crav'd protection-What, ye fates!
Was my protection-O superior man,
Can thy sublimity of soul endure
My tedious anguish! Interposing mild
Th' Athenian here: Take time, give sorrow vent,
My Hyacinthus, I forbid not tears.


He now pursues: her suppliant hands she rais'd,
To me astonish'd, hearing from her lips,
That Demonax was author of her days.
Amid the tumult his expulsion caus'd,
She, from a rural palace, where he stor'd
Well known to her a treasure, with a slave
In faith approv'd, with gold and gems of price
Escap'd. All night on fleetest steeds they rode,
Nor knew what hospitable roof to seek.


My father's sister, Glaucé, close behind
This fane of Juno dwelt, her priestess pure,
My kindest parent. To her roof I brought-
O Glaucé what-O dearest, most rever'd!
To thee I brought Cleora! Horror pale
Now blanch'd his visage, shook his loos'ning joints,
Congeal'd his tongue, and rais'd his rigid hair.
Th' Athenian calm and silent waits to hear
The reassum'd narration. O ye flow'rs,
How were ye fragrant! forth in transport wild
Bursts Hyacinthus: O embow'ring woods,
How soft your shade's refreshment! Founts and rills
How sweet your cadence, while I won the hand
Of my Cleora to the nuptial tie,
By spotless vows before thy image bound,
O Goddess hymeneal! O what hours
Of happiness untainted, dear espous'd,
Did we possess! kind Glaucé smil'd on both.
The earliest birds of morning to her voice
Of benediction sung; the gracious sound
Our evening heard; content our pillow smooth'd.
Ev'n Oxus, so Cleora's slave was nam'd,
Of Sacian birth, with grim delight and zeal
Anticipates our will. My nuptials known
Brings down my father, whose resentment warm
Th' affinity with Demonax reproves,
A helpless vagabond, a hopeless wretch;
For now thy sword at Salamis prevail'd.
This storm Cleora calm'd; the gen'rous fair
Before my father laid her dazzling gems;
She gave, he took them all; return'd content;
Left us too happy in exhaustless stores
Of love for envious fate to leave unspoil'd.


Meantime no rumour pierc'd our tranquil bow'r,
That Demonax in Oreus was replac'd;
That he two golden talents to the hand,
Which should restore Cleora, had proclaim'd,
To me was all unknown. Two moons complete
Have spent their periods since one evening late
Nicomachus my presence swift requir'd,
A dying mother to embrace. By morn
I gain'd Carystus; by the close of day
A tender parent on my breast expir'd.
An agitation unexpected shook
My father's bosom as I took farewell.
On my return-I can no more-Yes, yes,
Dwell on each hideous circumstance, my tongue;
With horror tear my heartstrings till they burst:
Poor Hyacinthus hath no cure but death.


The sun was broad at noon; my recent loss
Lamenting, yet asswaging by the joy
To see Cleora soon, ne'er left before,
(A tedious interval to me) I reach'd
My home, th' abode of Glaucé. Clos'd, the door
Forbids my passage; to repeated calls
No voice replies; two villagers pass by,
Who at my clamours help to force my way.
I pass one chamber; strangled on the floor,
Two damsel-ministers of Juno lie.
I hurry on; a second, where my wife
Was in my absence to partake the couch
Of Glaucé, shews that righteous woman dead.
The dear impression where Cleora's limbs
Sleep had embrac'd, I saw, the only trace
Of her, the last, these eyes shall e'er behold.
Her name my accents strong in frenzy sound:
Cleora makes no answer. Next I fly
From place to place; on Sacian Oxus call:
He is not there. A lethargy benumbs
My languid members. In a neighb'ring hut,
Lodg'd by the careful peasants, I awake,
Insensible to knowledge of my state.
The direful tidings from Carystus rouse
My friends; Nicanor to my father's home
Transports me. Ling'ring, torpid I consum'd
Sev'n moons successive; when too vig'rous youth
Recall'd my strength and memory to curse
Health, sense, and thought. My rashness would have sought
Cleora ev'n in Oreus, there have fac'd
The homicide her sire; forbid, with-held,
Nicanor I deputed. When I march'd
To bid thee welcome, on the way I met
That friend return'd-Persist, my falt'ring tongue,
Rehearse his tidings; pitying Heav'n may close
Thy narrative in death-The Sacian slave
Produc'd Cleora to her savage sire;
So fame reports, all Oreus so believes.
But this is trivial to the tragic scene
Which all beheld. Her hand the tyrant doom'd
To Mindarus, a Persian lord, the chief
Of his auxiliar guard; but she refus'd,
And own'd our union, which her pregnant fruit
Of love too well confirm'd. The monster, blind
With mad'ning fury, instantly decreed
That deadliest poison through those beauteous lips
Should choak the springs of life. My weeping friend
Saw her pale reliques on the fun'ral pyre.
I am not mad-ev'n that relief the gods
Deny me. All my story I have told,
Been accurate on horror to provoke
The stroke of death, yet live. . . Thou must, exclaims
The chief, humanely artful, thou must live;
Without thy help I never can avenge
On Demonax thy wrongs. Ha! cries the youth,
Art thou resolv'd to lift thy potent arm
Against the murd'rer? Yes, th' Athenian said,
I will do more, thy virtue will uphold,
Whose perseverance through such floods of woe
Could wade to bid me welcome. Gen'rous youth,
Trust to the man whom myriads ne'er withstood,
Who towns from ruin can to greatness raise,
Can humble fortune, force her fickle hand
To render up the victim she hath mark'd
For shame and forrow, force her to entwine
With her own finger a triumphant wreath
To deck his brow. Themistocles, who drives
Despair and desolation from the streets
Of fall'n Eretria, and from eastern bonds
Afflicted Greece at Salamis preserv'd;
He will thy genius to his native pow'rs
Restore; will make thee master of revenge
For thy own wrongs; to glorious action guide
Thy manly steps, redressing, as they tread,
The wrongs of others. Not the gracious voice
Of Juno, speaking comfort from her shrine,
Not from his tripod Jove's prophetic seed,
Imparting counsel through his Pythian maid,
Not Jove himself, from Dodonæan groves,
By oracles of promise could have sooth'd
This young, but most distinguish'd of mankind
Among the wretched, as the well-wrought strain
Of thy heart-searching policy, expert
Themistocles, like some well-practis'd son
Of learn'd Machaon, o'er a patient's wound
Compassionate, but cool, who ne'er permits
His own sensation to control his art.


But, said th' Athenian, soldiers must refresh,
As well as fast, nor keep incessant watch.


They quit the temple. In the dwelling nigh
Deep-musing Hyacinthus lightly tastes
The light repast. On matted tufts they stretch
Their weary'd limbs. Themistocles had arm'd
With elevated thoughts his pupil's mind,
Which foils at intervals despair. His eyes
The transient palm of sleep would often seal,
But oft in dreams his dear espous'd he sees,
A livid spectre; an empoison'd cup
She holds, and weeps-then vanishes. Revenge,
In bloody sandals and a dusky pall,
Succeeds. Her stature growing, as he gaz'd,
Reveals a glory, beaming round her head;
A sword she brandishes, the awful sword
Which Nemesis unsheathes on crimes. He sees
Connubial Juno's image from the base
Descend, and, pointing with its marble hand,
Before him glide. A sudden shout of war,
The yell of death, Carystian banners wav'd,
An apparition of himself in arms,
Stir ev'ry sense. The dreadful tumult ends;
The headless trunk of Demonax in gore
He views in transport. Instantly his couch
Shoots forth in laurels, vaulting o'er his head;
The walls are hung with trophies. Juno comes,
No longer marble, but the queen of heav'n,
Clad in resplendency divine. She leads
Cleora, now to perfect bloom restor'd,
Who, beck'ning, opens to th' enraptur'd eye
Of Hyacinthus, doating on the charm,
Her breast of snow; whence pure ambrosial milk
Allures an infant from an amber cloud,
Who stoops, and round her neck maternal clings.
He to embrace them striving, wak'd and lost
Th' endearing picture of illusive air,
But wak'd compos'd. His mantle he assum'd,
To Juno's statue trod, and thus unlock'd
His pious breast: O goddess! though thy smile,
Which I acknowledge for the hours of bliss
I once possess'd, a brief, exhausted term,
Could not protect me from malignant fate,
Lo! prostrate fall'n before thee, I complain
No more. My soul shall struggle with despair;
Nor shall the furies drag me to the grave.
Thou punishment dost threaten to the crime,
Which hath defac'd my happiness on earth;
Themistocles, my patron, is thy boon,
Who will fulfil thy menace. I believe,
There is a place hereafter to admit
Such purity as hers, whose blissful hand
Thou didst bestow-I lost-I know my days
With all their evils of duration short;
I am not conscious of a black misdeed,
Which should exclude me from the seat of rest,
And therefore wait in pious hope, that soon
Shall Hyacinthus find his wife and child
With them to dwell forever. He concludes,
Regains the chamber, and Aurora shines.

End of the Twelfth Book

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Iron It

I don't know of this but,
I have to iron it;
Because it is all about your nakedness and your love,
And i know what i will fain from you in the long run.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Amy My Lover

My father is as cool as 'L.L.Cool J' and,
My mother is hot as 'Tina Turner'!
But, i will love you like the sentimentals of 'Celine Dion'.

You are as sweet as 'Mariah Carey' and,
I will ride you to the stars like 'Boys and Men';
For, it will be like the first day at school,
With my mind on you like the muse of 'Alica Keys'.

Unplugged is my love so come and plug it for me,
And i've got lessons to learn from you like the songs of 'Bob Marley';
Oh, Amy my lover!
I will always love you with the colours of true love and like the snow falls.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Never Been

I have never been to Ireland but one day I will. This is how I picture it in my minds eye.

I love the green fields, the wondering hillsides, and the great grass meadows to the vast shorelines of Ireland.
It is one of nature’s greatest wonders.

It is so full, rich, and ripe with history that calls out to you in the night with sweet songs of melancholy.
These are the plains that the wind cries wallowing in the darkest of somber sleeps.

Soft yet sweet these melodies haunting songs that chills run down the back of your spine.
Nothing more beautiful can be seen from such bony shores.

Tongue spoken lyrically as dances trolley to a jig in synchronous rhythmic syncopation.
So happy and jolly the music skips as if children playing on the sidewalk of your mind.
This my friend is Ireland and you.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Craven

Over the turret, shut in his iron-clad tower,
Craven was conning his ship through smoke and flame;
Gun to gun he had battered the fort for an hour,
Now was the time for a charge to end the game.

There lay the narrowing channel, smooth and grim,
A hundred deaths beneath it, and never a sign;
There lay the enemy's ships, and sink or swim
The flag was flying, and he was head of the line.

The fleet behind was jamming; the monitor hung
Beating the stream; the roar for a moment hushed,
Craven spoke to the pilot; slow she swung;
Again he spoke, and right for the foe she rushed.

Into the narrowing channel, between the shore
And the sunk torpedoes lying in treacherous rank;
She turned but a yard too short; a muffled roar,
A mountainous wave, and she rolled, righted, and sank.

Over the manhole, up in the iron-clad tower,
Pilot and Captain met as they turned to fly:
The hundredth part of a moment seemed an hour,
For one could pass to be saved, and one must die.

They stood like men in a dream: Craven spoke,
Spoke as he lived and fought, with a Captain's pride,
'After you, Pilot.' The pilot woke,
Down the ladder he went, and Craven died.

All men praise the deed and the manner, but we—
We set it apart from the pride that stoops to the proud,
The strength that is supple to serve the strong and free,
The grace of the empty hands and promises loud:

Sidney thirsting, a humbler need to slake,
Nelson waiting his turn for the surgeon's hand,
Lucas crushed with chains for a comrade's sake,
Outram coveting right before command:

These were paladins, these were Craven's peers,
These with him shall be crowned in story and song,
Crowned with the glitter of steel and the glimmer of tears,
Princes of courtesy, merciful, proud, and strong.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

That Mindset Remains With Them

As soon as they realized pay was involved,
For something they deemed easy...
Everybody and their mamas wanted in on the act.
And that mindset remains with them to this very day.

People wish to get paid for expressing interest.
However...
Working towards a goal to pursue experience,
With discipline and devotion is not seen on TV.

Therefore...
Expectations are high,
That someone should handover to them...
Fame, fortune and notoriety.
Or...
A job doing 'nothing' that can be bragged about!

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Book Twelfth [Imagination And Taste, How Impaired And Restored ]

LONG time have human ignorance and guilt
Detained us, on what spectacles of woe
Compelled to look, and inwardly oppressed
With sorrow, disappointment, vexing thoughts,
Confusion of the judgment, zeal decayed,
And, lastly, utter loss of hope itself
And things to hope for! Not with these began
Our song, and not with these our song must end.
Ye motions of delight, that haunt the sides
Of the green hills; ye breezes and soft airs,
Whose subtle intercourse with breathing flowers,
Feelingly watched, might teach Man's haughty race
How without Injury to take, to give
Without offence; ye who, as if to show
The wondrous influence of power gently used,
Bend the complying heads of lordly pines,
And, with a touch, shift the stupendous clouds
Through the whole compass of the sky; ye brooks,
Muttering along the stones, a busy noise
By day, a quiet sound in silent night;
Ye waves, that out of the great deep steal forth
In a calm hour to kiss the pebbly shore,
Not mute, and then retire, fearing no storm;
And you, ye groves, whose ministry it is
To interpose the covert of your shades,
Even as a sleep, between the heart of man
And outward troubles, between man himself,
Not seldom, and his own uneasy heart:
Oh! that I had a music and a voice
Harmonious as your own, that I might tell
What ye have done for me. The morning shines,
Nor heedeth Man's perverseness; Spring returns,--
I saw the Spring return, and could rejoice,
In common with the children of her love,
Piping on boughs, or sporting on fresh fields,
Or boldly seeking pleasure nearer heaven
On wings that navigate cerulean skies.
So neither were complacency, nor peace,
Nor tender yearnings, wanting for my good
Through these distracted times; in Nature still
Glorying, I found a counterpoise in her,
Which, when the spirit of evil reached its height,
Maintained for me a secret happiness.

This narrative, my Friend! hath chiefly told
Of intellectual power, fostering love,
Dispensing truth, and, over men and things,
Where reason yet might hesitate, diffusing
Prophetic sympathies of genial faith:
So was I favoured--such my happy lot--
Until that natural graciousness of mind
Gave way to overpressure from the times
And their disastrous issues. What availed,
When spells forbade the voyager to land,
That fragrant notice of a pleasant shore
Wafted, at intervals, from many a bower
Of blissful gratitude and fearless love?
Dare I avow that wish was mine to see,
And hope that future times 'would' surely see,
The man to come, parted, as by a gulph,
From him who had been; that I could no more
Trust the elevation which had made me one
With the great family that still survives
To illuminate the abyss of ages past,
Sage, warrior, patriot, hero; for it seemed
That their best virtues were not free from taint
Of something false and weak, that could not stand
The open eye of Reason. Then I said,
'Go to the Poets, they will speak to thee
More perfectly of purer creatures;--yet
If reason be nobility in man,
Can aught be more ignoble than the man
Whom they delight in, blinded as he is
By prejudice, the miserable slave
Of low ambition or distempered love?'

In such strange passion, if I may once more
Review the past, I warred against myself--
A bigot to a new idolatry--
Like a cowled monk who hath forsworn the world,
Zealously laboured to cut off my heart
From all the sources of her former strength;
And as, by simple waving of a wand,
The wizard instantaneously dissolves
Palace or grove, even so could I unsoul
As readily by syllogistic words
Those mysteries of being which have made,
And shall continue evermore to make,
Of the whole human race one brotherhood.

What wonder, then, if, to a mind so far
Perverted, even the visible Universe
Fell under the dominion of a taste
Less spiritual, with microscopic view
Was scanned, as I had scanned the moral world?

O Soul of Nature! excellent and fair!
That didst rejoice with me, with whom I, too,
Rejoiced through early youth, before the winds
And roaring waters, and in lights and shades
That marched and countermarched about the hills
In glorious apparition, Powers on whom
I daily waited, now all eye and now
All ear; but never long without the heart
Employed, and man's unfolding intellect:
O Soul of Nature! that, by laws divine
Sustained and governed, still dost overflow
With an impassioned life, what feeble ones
Walk on this earth! how feeble have I been
When thou wert in thy strength! Nor this through stroke
Of human suffering, such as justifies
Remissness and inaptitude of mind,
But through presumption; even in pleasure pleased
Unworthily, disliking here, and there
Liking; by rules of mimic art transferred
To things above all art; but more,--for this,
Although a strong infection of the age,
Was never much my habit--giving way
To a comparison of scene with scene,
Bent overmuch on superficial things,
Pampering myself with meagre novelties
Of colour and proportion; to the moods
Of time and season, to the moral power,
The affections and the spirit of the place,
Insensible. Nor only did the love
Of sitting thus in judgment interrupt
My deeper feelings, but another cause,
More subtle and less easily explained,
That almost seems inherent in the creature,
A twofold frame of body and of mind.
I speak in recollection of a time
When the bodily eye, in every stage of life
The most despotic of our senses, gained
Such strength in 'me' as often held my mind
In absolute dominion. Gladly here,
Entering upon abstruser argument,
Could I endeavour to unfold the means
Which Nature studiously employs to thwart
This tyranny, summons all the senses each
To counteract the other, and themselves,
And makes them all, and the objects with which all
Are conversant, subservient in their turn
To the great ends of Liberty and Power.
But leave we this: enough that my delights
(Such as they were) were sought insatiably.
Vivid the transport, vivid though not profound;
I roamed from hill to hill, from rock to rock,
Still craving combinations of new forms,
New pleasure, wider empire for the sight,
Proud of her own endowments, and rejoiced
To lay the inner faculties asleep.
Amid the turns and counterturns, the strife
And various trials of our complex being,
As we grow up, such thraldom of that sense
Seems hard to shun. And yet I knew a maid,
A young enthusiast, who escaped these bonds;
Her eye was not the mistress of her heart;
Far less did rules prescribed by passive taste,
Or barren intermeddling subtleties,
Perplex her mind; but, wise as women are
When genial circumstance hath favoured them,
She welcomed what was given, and craved no more;
Whate'er the scene presented to her view
That was the best, to that she was attuned
By her benign simplicity of life,
And through a perfect happiness of soul,
Whose variegated feelings were in this
Sisters, that they were each some new delight.
Birds in the bower, and lambs in the green field,
Could they have known her, would have loved; methought
Her very presence such a sweetness breathed,
That flowers, and trees, and even the silent hills,
And everything she looked on, should have had
An intimation how she bore herself
Towards them and to all creatures. God delights
In such a being; for, her common thoughts
Are piety, her life is gratitude.

Even like this maid, before I was called forth
From the retirement of my native hills,
I loved whate'er I saw: nor lightly loved,
But most intensely; never dreamt of aught
More grand, more fair, more exquisitely framed
Than those few nooks to which my happy feet
Were limited. I had not at that time
Lived long enough, nor in the least survived
The first diviner influence of this world,
As it appears to unaccustomed eyes.
Worshipping them among the depth of things,
As piety ordained, could I submit
To measured admiration, or to aught
That should preclude humility and love?
I felt, observed, and pondered; did not judge,
Yea, never thought of judging; with the gift
Of all this glory filled and satisfied.
And afterwards, when through the gorgeous Alps
Roaming, I carried with me the same heart:
In truth, the degradation--howsoe'er
Induced, effect, in whatsoe'er degree,
Of custom that prepares a partial scale
In which the little oft outweighs the great;
Or any other cause that hath been named;
Or lastly, aggravated by the times
And their impassioned sounds, which well might make
The milder minstrelsies of rural scenes
Inaudible--was transient; I had known
Too forcibly, too early in my life,
Visitings of imaginative power
For this to last: I shook the habit off
Entirely and for ever, and again
In Nature's presence stood, as now I stand,
A sensitive being, a 'creative' soul.

There are in our existence spots of time,
That with distinct pre-eminence retain
A renovating virtue, whence--depressed
By false opinion and contentious thought,
Or aught of heavier or more deadly weight,
In trivial occupations, and the round
Of ordinary intercourse--our minds
Are nourished and invisibly repaired;
A virtue, by which pleasure is enhanced,
That penetrates, enables us to mount,
When high, more high, and lifts us up when fallen.
This efficacious spirit chiefly lurks
Among those passages of life that give
Profoundest knowledge to what point, and how,
The mind is lord and master--outward sense
The obedient servant of her will. Such moments
Are scattered everywhere, taking their date
From our first childhood. I remember well,
That once, while yet my inexperienced hand
Could scarcely hold a bridle, with proud hopes
I mounted, and we journeyed towards the hills:
An ancient servant of my father's house
Was with me, my encourager and guide:
We had not travelled long, ere some mischance
Disjoined me from my comrade; and, through fear
Dismounting, down the rough and stony moor
I led my horse, and, stumbling on, at length
Came to a bottom, where in former times
A murderer had been hung in iron chains.
The gibbet-mast had mouldered down, the bones
And iron case were gone; but on the turf,
Hard by, soon after that fell deed was wrought,
Some unknown hand had carved the murderer's name.
The monumental letters were inscribed
In times long past; but still, from year to year
By superstition of the neighbourhood,
The grass is cleared away, and to this hour
The characters are fresh and visible:
A casual glance had shown them, and I fled,
Faltering and faint, and ignorant of the road:
Then, reascending the bare common, saw
A naked pool that lay beneath the hills,
The beacon on the summit, and, more near,
A girl, who bore a pitcher on her head,
And seemed with difficult steps to force her way
Against the blowing wind. It was, in truth,
An ordinary sight; but I should need
Colours and words that are unknown to man,
To paint the visionary dreariness
Which, while I looked all round for my lost guide,
Invested moorland waste and naked pool,
The beacon crowning the lone eminence,
The female and her garments vexed and tossed
By the strong wind. When, in the blessed hours
Of early love, the loved one at my side,
I roamed, in daily presence of this scene,
Upon the naked pool and dreary crags,
And on the melancholy beacon, fell
A spirit of pleasure and youth's golden gleam;
And think ye not with radiance more sublime
For these remembrances, and for the power
They had left behind? So feeling comes in aid
Of feeling, and diversity of strength
Attends us, if but once we have been strong.
Oh! mystery of man, from what a depth
Proceed thy honours. I am lost, but see
In simple childhood something of the base
On which thy greatness stands; but this I feel,
That from thyself it comes, that thou must give,
Else never canst receive. The days gone by
Return upon me almost from the dawn
Of life: the hiding-places of man's power
Open; I would approach them, but they close.
I see by glimpses now; when age comes on,
May scarcely see at all; and I would give,
While yet we may, as far as words can give,
Substance and life to what I feel, enshrining,
Such is my hope, the spirit of the Past
For future restoration.--Yet another
Of these memorials:--
One Christmas-time,
On the glad eve of its dear holidays,
Feverish, and tired, and restless, I went forth
Into the fields, impatient for the sight
Of those led palfreys that should bear us home;
My brothers and myself. There rose a crag,
That, from the meeting-point of two highways
Ascending, overlooked them both, far stretched;
Thither, uncertain on which road to fix
My expectation, thither I repaired,
Scout-like, and gained the summit; 'twas a day
Tempestuous, dark, and wild, and on the grass
I sate half-sheltered by a naked wall;
Upon my right hand couched a single sheep,
Upon my left a blasted hawthorn stood;
With those companions at my side, I watched
Straining my eyes intensely, as the mist
Gave intermitting prospect of the copse
And plain beneath. Ere we to school returned,--
That dreary time,--ere we had been ten days
Sojourners in my father's house, he died;
And I and my three brothers, orphans then,
Followed his body to the grave. The event,
With all the sorrow that it brought, appeared
A chastisement; and when I called to mind
That day so lately past, when from the crag
I looked in such anxiety of hope;
With trite reflections of morality,
Yet in the deepest passion, I bowed low
To God, Who thus corrected my desires;
And, afterwards, the wind and sleety rain,
And all the business of the elements,
The single sheep, and the one blasted tree,
And the bleak music from that old stone wall,
The noise of wood and water, and the mist
That on the line of each of those two roads
Advanced in such indisputable shapes;
All these were kindred spectacles and sounds
To which I oft repaired, and thence would drink,
As at a fountain; and on winter nights,
Down to this very time, when storm and rain
Beat on my roof, or, haply, at noon-day,
While in a grove I walk, whose lofty trees,
Laden with summer's thickest foliage, rock
In a strong wind, some working of the spirit,
Some inward agitations thence are brought,
Whate'er their office, whether to beguile
Thoughts over busy in the course they took,
Or animate an hour of vacant ease.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

The Interpretation of Nature and

I.

MAN, being the servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or in thought of the course of nature: beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything.


II.

Neither the naked hand nor the understanding left to itself can effect much. It is by instruments and helps that the work is done, which are as much wanted for the understanding as for the hand. And as the instruments of the hand either give motion or guide it, so the instruments of the mind supply either suggestions for the understanding or cautions.

III.

Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule.

IV.

Towards the effecting of works, all that man can do is to put together or put asunder natural bodies. The rest is done by nature working within.

V.

The study of nature with a view to works is engaged in by the mechanic, the mathematician, the physician, the alchemist, and the magician; but by all (as things now are) with slight endeavour and scanty success.

VI.

It would be an unsound fancy and self-contradictory to expect that things which have never yet been done can be done except by means which have never yet been tried.

VII.

The productions of the mind and hand seem very numerous in books and manufactures. But all this variety lies in an exquisite subtlety and derivations from a few things already known; not in the number of axioms.

VIII.

Moreover the works already known are due to chance and experiment rather than to sciences; for the sciences we now possess are merely systems for the nice ordering and setting forth of things already invented; not methods of invention or directions for new works.

IX.

The cause and root of nearly all evils in the sciences is this -- that while we falsely admire and extol the powers of the human mind we neglect to seek for its true helps.

X.

The subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of the senses and understanding; so that all those specious meditations, speculations, and glosses in which men indulge are quite from the purpose, only there is no one by to observe it.

XI.

As the sciences which we now have do not help us in finding out new works, so neither does the logic which we now have help us in finding out new sciences.

XII.

The logic now in use serves rather to fix and give stability to the errors which have their foundation in commonly received notions than to help the search after truth. So it does more harm than good.

XIII.

The syllogism is not applied to the first principles of sciences, and is applied in vain to intermediate axioms; being no match for the subtlety of nature. It commands assent therefore to the proposition, but does not take hold of the thing.

XIV.

The syllogism consists of propositions, propositions consist of words, words are symbols of notions. Therefore if the notions themselves (which is the root of the matter) are confused and over-hastily abstracted from the facts, there can be no firmness in the superstructure. Our only hope therefore lies in a true induction.

XV.

There is no soundness in our notions whether logical or physical. Substance, Quality, Action, Passion, Essence itself, are not sound notions: much less are Heavy, Light, Dense, Rare, Moist, Dry, Generation, Corruption, Attraction, Repulsion, Element, Matter, Form, and the like; but all are fantastical and ill defined.

XVI.

Our notions of less general species, as Man, Dog, Dove, and of the immediate perceptions of the sense, as Hot, Cold, Black, White, do not materially mislead us; yet even these are sometimes confused by the flux and alteration of matter and the mixing of one thing with another. All the others which men have hitherto adopted are but wanderings, not being abstracted and formed from things by proper methods.

XVII.

Nor is there less of wilfulness and wandering in the construction of axioms than in the formations of notions; not excepting even those very principles which are obtained by common induction; but much more in the axioms and lower propositions educed by the syllogism.

XVIII.

The discoveries which have hitherto been made in the sciences are such as lie close to vulgar notions, scarcely beneath the surface. In order to penetrate into the inner and further recesses of nature, it is necessary that both notions and axioms be derived from things by a more sure and guarded way; and that a method of intellectual operation be introduced altogether better and more certain.

XIX.

There are and can be only two ways of searching into and discovering truth. The one flies from the senses and particulars to the most general axioms, and from these principles, the truth of which it takes for settled and immovable, proceeds to judgment and to the discovery of middle axioms. And this way is now in fashion. The other derives axioms from the senses and particulars, rising by a gradual and unbroken ascent, so that it arrives at the most general axioms last of all. This is the true way, but as yet untried.

XX.

The understanding left to itself takes the same course (namely, the former) which it takes in accordance with logical order. For the mind longs to spring up to positions of higher generality, that it may find rest there; and so after a little while wearies of experiment. But this evil is increased by logic, because of the order and solemnity of its disputations.

XXI.

The understanding left to itself, in a sober, patient, and grave mind, especially if it be not hindered by received doctrines, tries a little that other way, which is the right one, but with little progress; since the understanding, unless directed and assisted, is a thing unequal, and quite unfit to contend with the obscurity of things.

XXII.

Both ways set out from the senses and particulars, and rest in the highest generalities; but the difference between them is infinite. For the one just glances at experiment and particulars in passing, the other dwells duly and orderly among them. The one, again, begins at once by establishing certain abstract and useless generalities, the other rises by gradual steps to that which is prior and better known in the order of nature.

XXIII.

There is a great difference between the Idols of the human mind and the Ideas of the divine. That is to say, between certain empty dogmas, and the true signatures and marks set upon the works of creation as they are found in nature.

XXIV.

It cannot be that axioms established by argumentation should avail for the discovery of new works; since the subtlety of nature is greater many times over than the subtlety of argument. But axioms duly and orderly formed from particulars easily discover the way to new particulars, and thus render sciences active.

XXV.

The axioms now in use, having been suggested by a scanty and manipular experience and a few particulars of most general occurrence, are made for the most part just large enough to fit and take these in: and therefore it is no wonder if they do not lead to new particulars. And if some opposite instance, not observed or not known before, chance to come in the way, the axiom is rescued and preserved by some frivolous distinction; whereas the truer course would be to correct the axiom itself.

XXVI.

The conclusions of human reason as ordinarily applied in matter of nature, I call for the sake of distinction Anticipations of Nature (as a thing rash or premature). That reason which is elicited from facts by a just and methodical process, I call Interpretation of Nature.

XXVII.

Anticipations are a ground sufficiently firm for consent; for even if men went mad all after the same fashion, they might agree one with another well enough.

XXVIII.

For the winning of assent, indeed, anticipations are far more powerful than interpretations; because being collected from a few instances, and those for the most part of familiar occurrence, they straightway touch the understanding and fill the imagination; whereas interpretations on the other hand, being gathered here and there from very various and widely dispersed facts, cannot suddenly strike the understanding; and therefore they must needs, in respect of the opinions of the time, seem harsh and out of tune; much as the mysteries of faith do.

XXIX.

In sciences founded on opinions and dogmas, the use of anticipations and logic is good; for in them the object is to command assent to the proposition, not to master the thing.

XXX.

Though all the wits of all the ages should meet together and combine and transmit their labours, yet will no great progress ever be made in science by means of anticipations; because radical errors in the first concoction of the mind are not to be cured by the excellence of functions and remedies subsequent.

XXXI.

It is idle to expect any great advancement in science from the superinducing and engrafting of new things upon old. We must begin anew from the very foundations, unless we would revolve for ever in a circle with mean and contemptible progress.

XXXII.

The honour of the ancient authors, and indeed of all, remains untouched; since the comparison I challenge is not of wits or faculties, but of ways and methods, and the part I take upon myself is not that of a judge, but of a guide.

XXXIII.

This must be plainly avowed: no judgment can be rightly formed either of my method or of the discoveries to which it leads, by means of anticipations (that is to say, of the reasoning which is now in use); since I cannot be called on to abide by the sentence of a tribunal which is itself on its trial.

XXXIV.

Even to deliver and explain what I bring forward is no easy matter; for things in themselves new will yet be apprehended with reference to what is old.

XXXV.

It was said by Borgia of the expedition of the French into Italy, that they came with chalk in their hands to mark out their lodgings, not with arms to force their way in. I in like manner would have my doctrine enter quietly into the minds that are fit and capable of receiving it; for confutations cannot be employed, when the difference is upon first principles and very notions and even upon forms of demonstration.

XXXVI.

One method of delivery alone remains to us; which is simply this: we must lead men to the particulars themselves, and their series and order; while men on their side must force themselves for awhile to lay their notions by and begin to familiarise themselves with facts.

XXXVII.

The doctrine of those who have denied that certainty could be attained at all, has some agreement with my way of proceeding at the first setting out; but they end in being infinitely separated and opposed. For the holders of that doctrine assert simply that nothing can be known; I also assert that not much can be known in nature by the way which is now in use. But then they go on to destroy the authority of the senses and understanding; whereas I proceed to devise and supply helps for the same.

XXXVIII.

The idols and false notions which are now in possession of the human understanding, and have taken deep root therein, not only so beset men's minds that truth can hardly find entrance, but even after entrance obtained, they will again in the very instauration of the sciences meet and trouble us, unless men being forewarned of the danger fortify themselves as far as may be against their assaults.

XXXIX.

There are four classes of Idols which beset men's minds. To these for distinction's sake I have assigned names, -- calling the first class Idols of the Tribe; the second, Idols of the Cave; the third, Idols of the Market-place; the fourth, Idols of the Theatre.

XL.

The formation of ideas and axioms by true induction is no doubt the proper remedy to be applied for the keeping off and clearing away of idols. To point them out, however, is of great use; for the doctrine of Idols is to the Interpretation of Nature what the doctrine of the refutation of Sophisms is to common Logic.

XLI.

The Idols of the Tribe have their foundation in human nature itself, and in the tribe or race of men. For it is a false assertion that the sense of man is the measure of things. On the contrary, all perceptions as well of the sense as of the mind are according to the measure of the individual and not according to the measure of the universe. And the human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolours the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it.

XLII.

The Idols of the Cave are the idols of the individual man. For every one (besides the errors common to human nature in general) has a cave or den of his own, which refracts and discolours the light of nature; owing either to his own proper and peculiar nature; or to his education and conversation with others; or to the reading of books, and the authority of those whom he esteems and admires; or to the differences of impressions, accordingly as they take place in a mind preoccupied and predisposed or in a mind indifferent and settled; or the like. So that the spirit of man (according as it is meted out to different individuals) is in fact a thing variable and full of perturbation, and governed as it were by chance. Whence it was well observed by Heraclitus that men look for sciences in their own lesser worlds, and not in the greater or common world.

XLIII.

There are also Idols formed by the intercourse and association of men with each other, which I call Idols of the Market-place, on account of the commerce and consort of men there. For it is by discourse that men associate; and words are imposed according to the apprehension of the vulgar. And therefore the ill and unfit choice of words wonderfully obstructs the understanding. Nor do the definitions or explanations wherewith in some things learned men are wont to guard and defend themselves, by any means set the matter right. But words plainly force and overrule the understanding, and throw all into confusion, and lead men away into numberless empty controversies and idle fancies.

XLIV.

Lastly, there are Idols which have immigrated into men's minds from the various dogmas of philosophies, and also from wrong laws of demonstration. These I call Idols of the Theatre; because in my judgment all the received systems are but so many stage-plays, representing worlds of their own creation after an unreal and scenic fashion. Nor is it only of the systems now in vogue, or only of the ancient sects and philosophies, that I speak; for many more plays of the same kind may yet be composed and in like artificial manner set forth; seeing that errors the most widely different have nevertheless causes for the most part alike. Neither again do I mean this only of entire systems, but also of many principles and axioms in science, which by tradition, credulity, and negligence have come to be received.
But of these several kinds of Idols I must speak more largely and exactly, that the understanding may be duly cautioned.

XLV.

The human understanding is of its own nature prone to suppose the existence of more order and regularity in the world than it finds. And though there be many things in nature which are singular and unmatched, yet it devises for them parallels and conjugates and relatives which do not exist. Hence the fiction that all celestial bodies move in perfect circles; spirals and dragons being (except in name) utterly rejected. Hence too the element of Fire with its orb is brought in, to make up the square with the other three which the sense perceives. Hence also the ratio of density of the so-called elements is arbitrarily fixed at ten to one. And so on of other dreams. And these fancies affect not dogmas only, but simple notions also.

XLVI.

The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects and despises, or else by some distinction sets aside and rejects; in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate. And therefore it was a good answer that was made by one who when they showed him hanging in a temple a picture of those who had paid their vows as having escaped shipwreck, and would have him say whether he did not now acknowledge the power of the gods, -- "Aye," asked he again, "but where are they painted that were drowned after their vows?" And such is the way of all superstition, whether in astrology, dreams, omens, divine judgments, or the like; wherein men, having a delight in such vanities, mark the events where they are fulfilled, but where they fail, though this happen much oftener, neglect and pass them by. But with far more subtlety does this mischief insinuate itself into philosophy and the sciences; in which the first conclusion colours and brings into conformity with itself all that come after, though far sounder and better. Besides, independently of that delight and vanity which I have described, it is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human intellect to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives; whereas it ought properly to hold itself indifferently disposed towards both alike. Indeed in the establishment of any true axiom, the negative instance is the more forcible of the two.

XLVII.

The human understanding is moved by those things most which strike and enter the mind simultaneously and suddenly, and so fill the imagination; and then it feigns and supposes all other things to be somehow, though it cannot see how, similar to those few things by which it is surrounded. But for that going to and fro to remote and heterogeneous instances, by which axioms are tried as in the fire, the intellect is altogether slow and unfit, unless it be forced thereto by severe laws and overruling authority.

XLVIII.

The human understanding is unquiet; it cannot stop or rest, and still presses onward, but in vain. Therefore it is that we cannot conceive of any end or limit to the world; but always as of necessity it occurs to us that there is something beyond. Neither again can it be conceived how eternity has flowed down to the present day; for that distinction which is commonly received of infinity in time past and in time to come can by no means hold; for it would thence follow that one infinity is greater than another, and that infinity is wasting away and tending to become finite. The like subtlety arises touching the infinite divisibility of lines, from the same inability of thought to stop. But this inability interferes more mischievously in the discovery of causes: for although the most general principles in nature ought to be held merely positive, as they are discovered, and cannot with truth be referred to a cause; nevertheless the human understanding being unable to rest still seeks something prior in the order of nature. And then it is that in struggling towards that which is further off it falls back upon that which is more nigh at hand; namely, on final causes: which have relation clearly to the nature of man rather than to the nature of the universe; and from this source have strangely defiled philosophy. But he is no less an unskilled and shallow philosopher who seeks causes of that which is most general, than he who in things subordinate and subaltern omits to do so.

XLIX.

The human understanding is no dry light, but receives an infusion from the will and affections; whence proceed sciences which may be called "sciences as one would." For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature, from superstition; the light of experience, from arrogance and pride, lest his mind should seem to be occupied with things mean and transitory; things not commonly believed, out of deference to the opinion of the vulgar. Numberless in short are the ways, and sometimes imperceptible, in which the affections colour and infect the understanding.

L.

But by far the greatest hindrance and aberration of the human understanding proceeds from the dullness, incompetency, and deceptions of the senses; in that things which strike the sense outweigh things which do not immediately strike it, though they be more important. Hence it is that speculation commonly ceases where sight ceases; insomuch that of things invisible there is little or no observation. Hence all the working of the spirits inclosed in tangible bodies lies hid and unobserved of men. So also all the more subtle changes of form in the parts of coarser substances (which they commonly call alteration, though it is in truth local motion through exceedingly small spaces) is in like manner unobserved. And yet unless these two things just mentioned be searched out and brought to light, nothing great can be achieved in nature, as far as the production of works is concerned. So again the essential nature of our common air, and of all bodies less dense than air (which are very many), is almost unknown. For the sense by itself is a thing infirm and erring; neither can instruments for enlarging or sharpening the senses do much; but all the truer kind of interpretation of nature is effected by instances and experiments fit and apposite; wherein the sense decides touching the experiment only, and the experiment touching the point in nature and the thing itself.

LI.

The human understanding is of its own nature prone to abstractions and gives a substance and reality to things which are fleeting. But to resolve nature into abstractions is less to our purpose than to dissect her into parts; as did the school of Democritus, which went further into nature than the rest. Matter rather than forms should be the object of our attention, its configurations and changes of configuration, and simple action, and law of action or motion; for forms are figments of the human mind, unless you will call those laws of action forms.

LII.

Such then are the idols which I call Idols of the Tribe; and which take their rise either from the homogeneity of the substance of the human spirit, or from its preoccupation, or from its narrowness, or from its restless motion, or from an infusion of the affections, or from the incompetency of the senses, or from the mode of impression.

LIII.

The Idols of the Cave take their rise in the peculiar constitution, mental or bodily, of each individual; and also in education, habit, and accident. Of this kind there is a great number and variety; but I will instance those the pointing out of which contains the most important caution, and which have most effect in disturbing the clearness of the understanding.

LIV.

Men become attached to certain particular sciences and speculations, either because they fancy themselves the authors and inventors thereof, or because they have bestowed the greatest pains upon them and become most habituated to them. But men of this kind, if they betake themselves to philosophy and contemplations of a general character, distort and colour them in obedience to their former fancies; a thing especially to be noticed in Aristotle, who made his natural philosophy a mere bond-servant to his logic, thereby rendering it contentious and well nigh useless. The race of chemists again out of a few experiments of the furnace have built up a fantastic philosophy, framed with reference to a few things; and Gilbert also, after he had employed himself most laboriously in the study and observation of the loadstone, proceeded at once to construct an entire system in accordance with his favourite subject.

LV.

There is one principal and as it were radical distinction between different minds, in respect of philosophy and the sciences; which is this: that some minds are stronger and apter to mark the differences of things, others to mark their resemblances. The steady and acute mind can fix its contemplations and dwell and fasten on the subtlest distinctions: the lofty and discursive mind recognises and puts together the finest and most general resemblances. Both kinds however easily err in excess, by catching the one at gradations the other at shadows.

LVI.

There are found some minds given to an extreme admiration of antiquity, others to an extreme love and appetite for novelty: but few so duly tempered that they can hold the mean, neither carping at what has been well laid down by the ancients, nor despising what is well introduced by the moderns. This however turns to the great injury of the sciences and philosophy; since these affectations of antiquity and novelty are the humours of partisans rather than judgments; and truth is to be sought for not in the felicity of any age, which is an unstable thing, but in the light of nature and experience, which is eternal. These factions therefore must be abjured, and care must be taken that the intellect be not hurried by them into assent.

LVII.

Contemplations of nature and of bodies in their simple form break up and distract the understanding, while contemplations of nature and bodies in their composition and configuration overpower and dissolve the understanding: a distinction well seen in the school of Leucippus and Democritus as compared with the other philosophies. For that school is so busied with the particles that it hardly attends to the structure; while the others are so lost in admiration of the structure that they do not penetrate to the simplicity of nature. These kinds of contemplation should therefore be alternated and taken by turns; that so the understanding may be rendered at once penetrating and comprehensive, and the inconveniences above mentioned, with the idols which proceed from them, may be avoided.

LVIII.

Let such then be our provision and contemplative prudence for keeping off and dislodging the Idols of the Cave, which grow for the most part either out of the predominance of a favourite subject, or out of an excessive tendency to compare or to distinguish, or out of partiality for particular ages, or out of the largeness or minuteness of the objects contemplated. And generally let every student of nature take this as a rule, -- that whatever his mind seizes and dwells upon with peculiar satisfaction is to be held in suspicion, and that so much the more care is to be taken in dealing with such questions to keep the understanding even and clear.

LIX.

But the Idols of the Market-place are the most troublesome of all: idols which have crept into the understanding through the alliances of words and names. For men believe that their reason governs words; but it is also true that words react on the understanding; and this it is that has rendered philosophy and the sciences sophistical and inactive. Now words, being commonly framed and applied according to the capacity of the vulgar, follow those lines of division which are most obvious to the vulgar understanding. And whenever an understanding of greater acuteness or a more diligent observation would alter those lines to suit the true divisions of nature, words stand in the way and resist the change. Whence it comes to pass that the high and formal discussions of learned men end oftentimes in disputes about words and names; with which (according to the use and wisdom of the mathematicians) it would be more prudent to begin, and so by means of definitions reduce them to order. Yet even definitions cannot cure this evil in dealing with natural and material things; since the definitions themselves consist of words, and those words beget others: so that it is necessary to recur to individual instances, and those in due series and order; as I shall say presently when I come to the method and scheme for the formation of notions and axioms.

LX.

The idols imposed by words on the understanding are of two kinds. They are either names of things which do not exist (for as there are things left unnamed through lack of observation, so likewise are there names which result from fantastic suppositions and to which nothing in reality corresponds), or they are names of things which exist, but yet confused and ill-defined, and hastily and irregularly derived from realities. Of the former kind are Fortune, the Prime Mover, Planetary Orbits, Element of Fire, and like fictions which owe their origin to false and idle theories. And this class of idols is more easily expelled, because to get rid of them it is only necessary that all theories should be steadily rejected and dismissed as obsolete.
But the other class, which springs out of a faulty and unskilful abstraction, is intricate and deeply rooted. Let us take for example such a word as humid; and see how far the several things which the word is used to signify agree with each other; and we shall find the word humid to be nothing else than a mark loosely and confusedly applied to denote a variety of actions which will not bear to be reduced to any constant meaning. For it both signifies that which easily spreads itself round any other body; and that which in itself is indeterminate and cannot solidise; and that which readily yields in every direction; and that which easily divides and scatters itself; and that which easily unites and collects itself; and that which readily flows and is put in motion; and that which readily clings to another body and wets it; and that which is easily reduced to a liquid, or being solid easily melts. Accordingly when you come to apply the word, -- if you take it in one sense, flame is humid; if in another, air is not humid; if in another, fine dust is humid; if in another, glass is humid. So that it is easy to see that the notion is taken by abstraction only from water and common and ordinary liquids, without any due verification.
There are however in words certain degrees of distortion and error. One of the least faulty kinds is that of names of substances, especially of lowest species and well-deduced (for the notion of chalk and of mud is good, of earth bad); a more faulty kind is that of actions, as to generate, to corrupt, to alter; the most faulty is of qualities (except such as are the immediate objects of the sense) as heavy, light, rare, dense, and the like. Yet in all these cases some notions are of necessity a little better than others, in proportion to the greater variety of subjects that fall within the range of the human sense.

LXI.

But the Idols of the Theatre are not innate, nor do they steal into the understanding secretly, but are plainly impressed and received into the mind from the play-books of philosophical systems and the perverted rules of demonstration. To attempt refutations in this case would be merely inconsistent with what I have already said: for since we agree neither upon principles nor upon demonstrations there is no place for argument. And this is so far well, inasmuch as it leaves the honour of the ancients untouched. For they are no wise disparaged the question between them and me being only as to the way. For as the saying is, the lame man who keeps the right road outstrips the runner who takes a wrong one. Nay it is obvious that when a man runs the wrong way, the more active and swift he is the further he will go astray.
But the course I propose for the discovery of sciences is such as leaves but little to the acuteness and strength of wits, but places all wits and understandings nearly on a level. For as in the drawing of a straight line or a perfect circle, much depends on the steadiness and practice of the hand, if it be done by aim of hand only, but if with the aid of rule or compass, little or nothing; so is it exactly with my plan. But though particular confutations would be of no avail, yet touching the sects and general divisions of such systems I must say something; something also touching the external signs which show that they are unsound; and finally something touching the causes of such great infelicity and of such lasting and general agreement in error; that so the access to truth may be made less difficult, and the human understanding may the more willingly submit to its purgation and dismiss its idols.

LXII.

Idols of the Theatre, or of Systems, are many, and there can be and perhaps will be yet many more. For were it not that new for many ages men's minds have been busied with religion and theology; and were it not that civil governments, especially monarchies, have been averse to such novelties, even in matters speculative; so that men labour therein to the peril and harming of their fortunes, -- not only unrewarded, but exposed also to contempt and envy; doubtless there would have arisen many other philosophical sects like to those which in great variety flourished once among the Greeks. For as on the phenomena of the heavens many hypotheses may be constructed, so likewise (and more also) many various dogmas may be set up and established on the phenomena of philosophy. And in the plays of this philosophical theatre you may observe the same thing which is found in the theatre of the poets, that stories invented for the stage are more compact and elegant, and more as one would wish them to be, than true stories out of history.
In general however there is taken for the material of philosophy either a great deal out of a few things, or a very little out of many things; so that on both sides philosophy is based on too narrow a foundation of experiment and natural history, and decides on the authority of too few cases. For the Rational School of philosophers snatches from experience a variety of common instances, neither duly ascertained nor diligently examined and weighed, and leaves all the rest to meditation and agitation of wit.
There is also another class of philosophers, who having bestowed much diligent and careful labour on a few experiments, have thence made bold to educe and construct systems; wresting all other facts in a strange fashion to conformity therewith.
And there is yet a third class, consisting of those who out of faith and veneration mix their philosophy with theology and traditions; among whom the vanity of some has gone so far aside as to seek the origin of sciences among spirits and genii. So that this parent stock of errors -- this false philosophy -- is of three kinds; the Sophistical, the Empirical, and the Superstitious.

LXIII.

The most conspicuous example of the first class was Aristotle, who corrupted natural philosophy by his logic: fashioning the world out of categories; assigning to the human soul, the noblest of substances, a genus from words of the second intention; doing the business of density and rarity (which is to make bodies of greater or less dimensions, that is, occupy greater or less spaces), by the frigid distinction of act and power; asserting that single bodies have each a single and proper motion, and that if they participate in any other, then this results from an external cause; and imposing countless other arbitrary restrictions on the nature of things; being always more solicitous to provide an answer to the question and affirm something positive in words, than about the inner truth of things; a failing best shown when his philosophy is compared with other systems of note among the Greeks. For the Homoeomera of Anaxagoras; the Atoms of Leucippus and Democritus; the Heaven and Earth of Parmenides; the Strife and Friendship of Empedocles; Heraclitus's doctrine how bodies are resolved into the indifferent nature of fire, and remoulded into solids; have all of them some taste of the natural philosopher, -- some savour of the nature of things, and experience, and bodies; whereas in the physics of Aristotle you hear hardly anything but the words of logic; which in his metaphysics also, under a more imposing name, and more forsooth as a realist than a nominalist, he has handled over again. Nor let any weight be given to the fact, that in his books on animals and his problems, and other of his treatises, there is frequent dealing with experiments. For he had come to his conclusion before; he did not consult experience, as he should have done, in order to the framing of his decisions and axioms; but having first determined the question according to his will, he then resorts to experience, and bending her into conformity with his placets leads her about like a captive in a procession; so that even on this count he is more guilty than his modern followers, the schoolmen, who have abandoned experience altogether.

LXIV.

But the Empirical school of philosophy gives birth to dogmas more deformed and monstrous than the Sophistical or Rational school. For it has its foundations not in the light of common notions, (which though it be a faint and superficial light, is yet in a manner universal, and has reference to many things,) but in the narrowness and darkness of a few experiments. To those therefore who are daily busied with these experiments, and have infected their imagination with them, such a philosophy seems probable and all but certain; to all men else incredible and vain. Of this there is a notable instance in the alchemists and their dogmas; though it is hardly to be found elsewhere in these times, except perhaps in the philosophy of Gilbert. Nevertheless with regard to philosophies of this kind there is one caution not to be omitted; for I foresee that if ever men are roused by my admonitions to betake themselves seriously to experiment and bid farewell to sophistical doctrines, then indeed through the premature hurry of the understanding to leap or fly to universals and principles of things, great danger may be apprehended from philosophies of this kind; against which evil we ought even now to prepare.

LXV.

But the corruption of philosophy by superstition and an admixture of theology is far more widely spread, and does the greatest harm, whether to entire systems or to their parts. For the human understanding is obnoxious to the influence of the imagination no less than to the influence of common notions. For the contentious and sophistical kind of philosophy ensnares the understanding; but this kind, being fanciful and timid and half poetical, misleads it more by flattery. For there is in man an ambition of the understanding, no less than of the will, especially in high and lofty spirits.
Of this kind we have among the Greeks a striking example in Pythagoras, though he united with it a coarser and more cumbrous superstition; another in Plato and his school, more dangerous and subtle. It shows itself likewise in parts of other philosophies, in the introduction of abstract forms and final causes and first causes, with the omission in most cases of causes intermediate, and the like. Upon this point the greatest caution should be used. For nothing is so mischievous as the apotheosis of error; and it is a very plague of the understanding for vanity to become the object of veneration. Yet in this vanity some of the moderns have with extreme levity indulged so far as to attempt to found a system of natural philosophy on the first chapter of Genesis, on the book of Job, and other parts of the sacred writings; seeking for the dead among the living: which also makes the inhibition and repression of it the more important, because from this unwholesome mixture of things human and divine there arises not only a fantastic philosophy but also an heretical religion. Very meet it is therefore that we be sober-minded, and give to faith that only which is faith's.

LXVI.

So much then for the mischievous authorities of systems, which are founded either on common notions, or on a few experiments, or on superstition. It remains to speak of the faulty subject-matter of contemplations, especially in natural philosophy. Now the human understanding is infected by the sight of what takes place in the mechanical arts, in which the alteration of bodies proceeds chiefly by composition or separation, and so imagines that something similar goes on in the universal nature of things. From this source has flowed the fiction of elements, and of their concourse for the formation of natural bodies. Again, when man contemplates nature working freely, he meets with different species of things, of animals, of plants, of minerals; whence he readily passes into the opinion that there are in nature certain primary forms which nature intends to educe, and that the remaining variety proceeds from hindrances and aberrations of nature in the fulfilment of her work, or from the collision of different species and the transplanting of one into another. To the first of these speculations we owe our primary qualities of the elements; to the other our occult properties and specific virtues; and both of them belong to those empty compendia of thought wherein the mind rests, and whereby it is diverted from more solid pursuits. It is to better purpose that the physicians bestow their labour on the secondary qualities of matter, and the operations of attraction, repulsion, attenuation, conspissation, dilatation, astriction, dissipation, maturation, and the like; and were it not that by those two compendia which I have mentioned (elementary qualities, to wit, and specific virtues) they corrupted their correct observations in these other matters, -- either reducing them to first qualities and their subtle and incommensurable mixtures, or not following them out with greater and more diligent observation to third and fourth qualities, but breaking off the scrutiny prematurely, -- they had made much greater progress. Nor are powers of this kind (I do not say the same, but similar) to be sought for only in the medicines of the human body, but also in the changes of all other bodies.
But it is a far greater evil that they make the quiescent principles, wherefrom, and not the moving principles, whereby, things are produced, the object of their contemplation and inquiry. For the former tend to discourse, the latter to works. Nor is there any value in those vulgar distinctions of motion which are observed in the received system of natural philosophy, as generation, corruption, augmentation, diminution, alteration, and local motion. What they mean no doubt is this: -- if a body, in other respects not changed, be moved from its place, this is local motion; if without change of place or essence, it be changed in quality, this is alteration; if by reason of the change the mass and quantity of the body do not remain the same, this is augmentation or diminution; if they be changed to such a degree that they change their very essence and substance and turn to something else, this is generation and corruption. But all this is merely popular, and does not at all go deep into nature; for these are only measures and limits, not kinds of motion. What they intimate is how far, not by what means, or from what source. For they do not suggest anything with regard either to the desires of bodies or to the development of their parts: it is only when that motion presents the thing grossly and palpably to the sense as different from what it was, that they begin to mark the division. Even when they wish to suggest something with regard to the causes of motion, and to establish a division with reference to them, they introduce with the greatest negligence a distinction between motion natural and violent; a distinction which is itself drawn entirely from a vulgar notion, since all violent motion is also in fact natural; the external efficient simply setting nature working otherwise than it was before. But if, leaving all this, any one shall observe (for instance) that there is in bodies a desire of mutual contact, so as not to suffer the unity of nature to be quite separated or broken and a vacuum thus made; or if any one say that there is in bodies a desire of resuming their natural dimensions or tension, so that if compressed within or extended beyond them, they immediately strive to recover themselves, and fall back to their old volume and extent; or if any one say that there is in bodies a desire of congregating towards masses of kindred nature, -- of dense bodies, for instance, towards the globe of the earth, of thin and rare bodies towards the compass of the sky; all these and the like are truly physical kinds of motion; -- but those others are entirely logical and scholastic, as is abundantly manifest from this comparison.
Nor again is it a less evil, that in their philosophies and contemplations their labour is spent in investigating and handling the first principles of things and the highest generalities of nature; whereas utility and the means of working result entirely from things intermediate. Hence it is that men cease not from abstracting nature till they come to potential and uninformed matter, nor on the other hand from dissecting nature till they reach the atom; things which, even if true, can do but little for the welfare of mankind.

LXVII.

A caution must also be given to the understanding against the intemperance which systems of philosophy manifest in giving or withholding assent; because intemperance of this kind seems to establish Idols and in some sort to perpetuate them, leaving no way open to reach and dislodge them.
This excess is of two kinds: the first being manifest in those who are ready in deciding, and render sciences dogmatic and magisterial; the other in those who deny that we can know anything, and so introduce a wandering kind of inquiry that leads to nothing; of which kinds the former subdues, the latter weakens the understanding. For the philosophy of Aristotle, after having by hostile confutations destroyed all the rest (as the Ottomans serve their brothers), has laid down the law on all points; which done, he proceeds himself to raise new questions of his own suggestion, and dispose of them likewise; so that nothing may remain that is not certain and decided: a practice which holds and is in use among his successors.
The school of Plato, on the other hand, introduced Acatalepsia, at first in jest and irony, and in disdain of the older sophists, Protagoras, Hippias, and the rest, who were of nothing else so much ashamed as of seeming to doubt about anything. But the New Academy made a dogma of it, and held it as a tenet. And though their's is a fairer seeming way than arbitrary decisions; since they say that they by no means destroy all investigation, like Pyrrho and his Refrainers, but allow of some things to be followed as probable, though of none to be maintained as true; yet still when the human mind has once despaired of finding truth, its interest in all things grows fainter; and the result is that men turn aside to pleasant disputations and discourses and roam as it were from object to object, rather than keep on a course of severe inquisition. But, as I said at the beginning and am ever urging, the human senses and understanding, weak as they are, are not to be deprived of their authority, but to be supplied with helps.

LXVIII.

So much concerning the several classes of Idols, and their equipage: all of which must be renounced and put away with a fixed and solemn determination, and the understanding thoroughly freed and cleansed; the entrance into the kingdom of man, founded on the sciences, being not much other than the entrance into the kingdom of heaven, whereinto none may enter except as a little child.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

Poem about Poetry-Words and Colours

it is not how many words we know
it is about how we portray our thoughts
and feelings with them giving others
and our own brain a new space to breathe

it is not about how many colours we have
it is about how we spread them over the canvas
to give the heart and mind a new corner
to luxuriate in

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share

All These Words and What Have I Done with Them?

All these words
And what have I done with them?

No one cares
And no one has been helped
And no one has found in them
What I wanted there to be in them.

All these words
And what is worse perhaps
The years ahead
To still try and write
The real thing
And go on failing more despairingly.

poem by Report problemRelated quotes
Added by Poetry Lover
Comment! | Vote! | Copy!

Share
 

Search


Recent searches | Top searches