Puslapio vaizdai



THE eyen, the eres, and also the nose,
The mouth, and handes, inwarde wyttes are none;
But outwarde offyces, as ye may suppose,
To the inwarde wyttes, whiche do judge alone;
For unto them all thinges have gone,

But these outwarde gates to have the knowledginge,
By the inwarde wyttes to have decernynge.

These are the v. wyttes remeuing inwardly:
Fyrst, commyn wytte, and than ymaginacyon,
Fantasy, and estymacyon truely,

And memory, as I make narracyon;
Eche upon other hath occupacyon.

Fyrst, the comyn wytte unto the front aplyde,
Doth thynke, decerne, it may not be denyde.

Of the eyen the offyce only is the syght,
To se the fayre, the lowe, or altytude,
The whyte, or blacke, the hevy, or the lyght,
The lytle or great, the weyke or fortytude,
The ugly favour, or yet the pulcrytude;
This is the use of the eyene intere,

To se all thynges whiche may well appere.

But of themselfe they can decerne nothynge
One frome an other; but the comyn wytte
Decerneth colours by spyrytuall connynge,
To the fyve inwarde wittes it is so well knytte,
Nothynge is sene but it doth judge it:

It doth decerne the good from badnes,
The hye, the lowe, the foule, the fayrenes.

The nose, also, every ayre doth smel,
But yet it hath nothynge auctoryte
Yf it be swete for to judge and tell;
But the comyn wyt doth it in certaynte,
Decernynge favours in every degre,

Knowynge the swete ayre from the stynkinge,
Whan that the nose therof hath smellinge.

The eres, also, right well gyve audyence
Unto a tale, herynge it perfytely;
But they can not decerne the sentence
To knowe whereupon it doth so ratyfy,
Upon great wysedome or elles upon foly:
Thus, whether the tale be ryght good or bad
By the comyn wytte the knowledge is had.

Foly hath eres as well as sapience,
But he can not determyne by his herynge
What tale it is, for lacke of intelligence;
For the comyn wytte is all understandynge,
And that he lacketh to gyve hym knowynge.
Wherfore the eres are but an intres

To commyn wytte that sheweth the perfytnes.

The mouth tasteth both swete and bytternes,
But the comyn wyt decerneth proprely
Yf it be soure or replete wyth swetenes;
Nor yet the handes fele nothy ng certaynly,
But the comyn wytte decerneth subtylly
Whether it be harde, moyst, or drynes,
Hote, hevy, softe, or yet colde, doutles.

Thus comyn wytte worketh wonderly,
Upon the v. gates whyche are receptatyve
Of every thynge for to take inwardly,
By the comyn wytte to be affyrmatyve
Or by decernynge to be negatyve;

The comyn wytte, the fyrst of wyttes all,
Is to decerne all thinges in generall.

And than, secondly, ymagynacyon;

Whan the comyn wytte hath the thinge electe, It werketh by all due inclynacyon

For to brynge the mater to the hole effecte;
And fantasy than hath the hole aspecte,
The ymagyned matter to bring to finysshement,
Wyth good desyre and inwarde judgement.

And estymacion doth well comprehende
The space, the place, and all the purveyaunce
At what time the power might entende
To brynge the cause unto perfyte utteraunce.
Often it weyeth the cause in balaunce,
By estymacyon ony thinge is nombred,
By length or shortnes how it is accombred.

Fyftly, the mynde, whan the fourth have wrought,
Retayned all tyll the minde have made
An outwarde knowlege to the mater thought,
Bycause nothynge shall declyne and fade,
It kepeth the mater nothynge rethrogarde,
But dyrectly, tyll the minde have proved
All suche maters whyche the iiij. have moved.

Plauto, the connynge and famous clerke,
That well expert was in phylosophy,
Doth right reherse upon natures werke,
How that she werketh upon all wonderly,
Bothe for to minysshe and to multeply,
In sondry wyse by great dyreccyon
After the maner with all the hole affeccyon.

In my natyf language I wyl not opres,
More of her werke, for it is obscure;
Who wyl therof knowe all the perfeytnes
In phylosophy he shall fynde it ryght sure,
Whyche all the trouth can to hym discure.
No man can attayne perfecte connynge
But by longe stody and diligent lernynge.



THE ryght hygh power natures naturyng,
Nature made the bodyes above,

In sundry wyse to take theyr workynge,
That aboute the worlde naturallye do move,
As by good reason the phylosophres prove,
That the planettes and sterres instrumentes be
To natures werkynge in every degre.

God gave great vertue to the planettes all,
And specially unto depured Phebus,
To enlumyne the worlde ever in specyall;

And than the mone, of her selfe tenebrus,
Made lyght wyth the beames gaye and gorgyous
Of the sunne, is fayre replendysshaunte,

In the longe nyght wyth rayes radyaunte.

By these twayne every thyng hath growynge;
Bothe vegitatyfe and censatyve also,
And also intellectyve wythout lesynge:
No erthly thyng may have lyfe and go,
But by the planettes that move to and fro;
Whan that God set them in operacyon,
He gave them vertue in dyvers facyon.

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