Scepsis Scientifica - Three Poetical Testimonials

Three Poetical Testimonials


To the Learned Author, of the Eloquent and Ingenious Vanity of DOGMATIZING.


Poets are but libellers, I implore no Muse;
Parnassian praise is an abuse.
Call up the Spirit of Philosophy:
Your worth's disgraced by Poetry.
Summon Descartes, Plato, Socrates:
Let this great Triad speak your praise.
Other Encomiasts that attempt, set forth
Their own defects, and not your worth.
As if a Chamber-light should dare essay,
To gloss the beauty of the day.
He that thinks fully to describe it, dreams:
You're only seen by your own beams.
And only Eagle eyes can bear that light;
Your strength and lustre blinds weak sight.
Let pedants quarrel with th' light that detects
Their beloved vanities and defects.
And let the Bat, as soon as day's begun,
Commence a suit against the Sun.
Let reprehended Dogmatizers stamp;
And the scorched Moore curse Heaven's lamp:
While nobler souls, that understand what's writ,
Are debtors to your strength and wit.
You have removed the old antipathy
'Tween Rhetorick, and Philosophy:
And in your book have clothed Socratic sense,
In Demosthenian eloquence.
You've smoothed the Satyr, and the wanton have
Reformed and made Rhetorick grave.
And since your Pen hath thus obliged them both
'Tis fit they club t'express your worth.

            H. Darsy, Esq;



To his Worthy Friend Mr. JOSEPH GLANVILL;
Upon the Vanity of Dogmatizing in Philosophy, displayed in his ingenious book.


NO controversies do me please,
Unless they do contend for peace:
Nor scarce a demonstration,
But such as yours; which proves, there's none.
Doubtful I lived, and doubtful die:
Thus Α'ΥΤΟ'Σ[Greek: A'YTO'S] gave Ε"ΦΗ [Greek: EPHE] the lie;
And with his own more aged critics,
Expunged his youthful analytics.
To make my shrift, that certain I
Am only of Uncertainty;
Is no less glorious, than due,
After the Stagirite and You:
I am absolved, if the hand
Of great Apollo's priest may stand.
You have made Ignorance a Boast:
Pride hath its Ancient channel lost;
Like Arethusa, only found
By those, that follow'd underground:
Title your Book, The Works of Man;
The Index of the Vatican:
Call it Art's Encyclopedia
The Universal Pansophy
The State of all the Questions
Since Peter Lombard, solved at once;
Ignorance in a learned dress,
Which volumes teach, but not profess;
The learning which all ages knew
Being epitomised by you.
You teach us doubting; and no more
Do libraries turn o'er and o'er:
Take up the Folio, that comes next,
'Twill prove a comment on your text;
And the quotation would be good,
If Bodley in your margin stood

            A. Borset, M.A.



To His Ingenious Friend the Author, on his Vanity of Dogmatizing.


Let vaunting knowledge now strike sail,
And unto modest ign'rance veil.
Our firmest Science (when all's done)
Is nought but bold opinion
He that hath conquered every Art
Th' Encyclopedia all by heart;
Is but so,e few conjectures better
Than he that cannot read a letter.
If any certainty there be,
'Tis this, that there's no certainty.
Reason's a draft, that does display,
And cast its aspects ev'ry way.
It does acknowledge so back parts
'Tis faced like Janus, and regard's
Opposite sides; what one frowns on,
T'other face sweetly smiles upon.
Then may the Sciolist hereby
Correct his Metoposcopy.
Let him, e're censure reason, found
And view her lineaments all round
Let him with you his nescience own.
Weakness acknowledged is best;
And imperfection when confessed.
Meek and unboasting ignorance,
Is but a single impotence:
But when 'tis clad in high profesion,
'Tis then a double imperfection.
A silly ape struttingly dressed
Would but appear the greater jest.
But your example teacheth us
To become less ridiculous.
He that would learn, but what you show
The narrow bounds of what men know:
And would but take a serious view,
Of the foundations with you:
He'd scarce his confidence adventure
On bottoms which are so unsure.
In disquisition's first gust
It would be shipwrecked, sunk, and lost.


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