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Hooke, Robert, 1635-1703 / Micrographia: or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses : with observations and inquiries thereupon
(MDCLXVII [1667])

The preface



                  Thc PREFACE.
   ThM all the uncertainty, and mi/nflaks of humane afions, proceed
either from the narrownefs and wandring of our Senfes, from the/lipfe-
rinefl or delu/ion of our Memory, from the confinemrent or raf7hnefl of
our Unscrftanding, fo that 'tis no womker, that our power over natu-
ral caufes and efe~is i<f  flowly imnprov d, jring we are iot only to
contend witbtheob/curiy anddiflficulty ofthe things whereon weork
and think.,but even the ftr ces oflour own minds conire to betray  9
7hefe being the dingers in the procej? of hgunmane Rea/on, the remedies
rf them all can only proceedfrom the real, the mechanical, the ex-
perimental Philofop hy,which ham this advantage over thePhilofophy of
difcourfe anddifiPutationxtihat wbereas that cl-iefy amits at thefiubtilby
of its Deduliions and 6Conclufiorls  widoit i{ nucb regard to the frrfi
ground-wor k, which oulght to be well lail on the Serie and Memory;
!f this intends the right orderin  of them all~and the maki  them frr-
viceable to each other.
   Thefirft thing to be undertaken in this weighty work, is a watch.
fiulnefs over the failings and an inlargemnent of the dominion, of
tbe Sznfes.
   70 which end it is requifite, firfi, 7hat there jhouidbe a ficrupu-
lous choice,and a frri'd examination, of the reality, confiancy, and
certainty of the Particulars that we adnzitThis is the firfit rife where-
on truth id to begin, and here the mofi fevere, andmofi impartial dili-
gence, mufi be im/ployed; the florins{ up of all, without any regard to
evidence or ufe, will only tend to darknefs and cofufion.  We mnufi
not therefore efleem the riches of ourPhil(fophical treafure by the num-
ber only, but chiefly by the weighr;the nofi v ulgar Infiances are not to
be negle~iedbut above all, the mofi inftruffive are to be entertain'd;
thefootfieps ofNature are to be trac'danot only in her ordinary courfe,
but when .Jefeems to beput to her fbifsto make many doublings and
turnings, and to ufe fome kind of art in indeavouring to avoid our
dafcovery.
   The next care to be taken, in refrei of the Senfes, is afupplying of
their infirmities with Inftruments, and, a5 it were, the adding of arti-
ficial Organs to the natural ; this in one of them haA been of late years
                                                           accom-


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