86
judicious discovering of a most lovely Statua in a piece of Marble,

hath sublimated the wit of Buonarruotti far above the vulgar wits
of other men? And yet this work is onely the imitation of a
meer aptitude and disposition of exteriour and superficial mem­
bers of an immoveable man; but what is it in comparison of a
man made by nature, composed of as many exteriour and inte­
riour members, of so many muscles, tendons, nerves, bones,
which serve to so many and sundry motions? but what shall we
say of the senses, and of the powers of the soul, and lastly, of
the understanding? May we not say, and that with reason, that
the structure of a Statue fals far short of the formation of a living
man, yea more of a contemptible worm?

Buonarruotti, a
statuary of admi­
rable ingenuity.

SAGR. And what difference think you, was there betwixt the
Dove of Architas, and one made by Nature?

SIMPL. Either I am none of these knowing men, or else
there is a manifest contradiction in this your discourse. You ac­
count understanding amongst the greatest (if you make it not the
chief of the) Encomiums ascribed to man made by Nature, and
a little before you said with Socrates, that he had no knowledg at
all; therefore you must say, that neither did Nature understand
how to make an understanding that understandeth.

SALV. You argue very cunningly, but to reply to your obje­
ction I must have recourse to a Philosophical distinction, and say
that the understanding is to be taken too ways, that is intensivè, or

extensivè; and that extensive, that is, as to the multitude of intel­
ligibles, which are infinite, the understanding of man is as no­
thing, though he should understand a thousand propositions; for
that a thousand, in respect of infinity is but as a cypher: but taking
the understanding intensive, (in as much as that term imports) in­
tensively, that is, perfectly some propositions, I say, that humane wis­
dom understandeth some propositions so perfectly, and is as abso­
lutely certain thereof, as Nature her self; and such are the pure
Mathematical sciences, to wit, Geometry and Arithmetick: in which
Divine Wisdom knows infinite more propositions, because it knows
them all; but I believe that the knowledge of those few compre­
hended by humane understanding, equalleth the divine, as to the
certainty objectivè, for that it arriveth to comprehend the neces­
sity thereof, than which there can be no greater certainty.

Man understand­
eth very well in­
tensivè, but little
extensivè.

SIMPL. This seemeth to me a very bold and rash expression.

SALV. These are common notions, and far from all umbrage
of temerity, or boldness, and detract not in the least from the Ma­
jesty of divine wisdom; as it nothing diminisheth the omnipotence
thereof to say, that God cannot make what is once done, to be un­
done: but I doubt, Simplicius, that your scruple ariseth from an o­
pinion you have, that my words are somewhat equivocal; there­