The Inventory or enumeration of inventions already used
This is the preface to the Inventory.
The plainest and most pertinent method is to distribute sciences, arts, inventions, works, and their portions, according to the usefulness to life. This is similar to the several types of provisions.
From this usefulness, they will be classified according to the tax reasonably exacted from them.
- This is not based on the poverty of experiences and probations, nor according to the vanity of credulous imaginations
From the tax classification in several columns, they will be classified according to:
- what already exists
- what is defective
- what is to exist
Of which provisions, because in many of them, after the manner of slothful and faulty officers and accomptants, it will be returned by way of excuse, that no such are to be had, it will be fit to give some light of the nature of the supplies, whereby it will evidently appear, that they are to be compassed and procured.
And yet nevertheless on the other side again, it will be as fit to check and control the vain and void assignations, and gifts, when by certain ignorant, extravagant, and abusing wits have pretended to indue the state of man with wonders, differing as much from truth in nature, as Cæsar’s Commentaries differeth from the acts of King Arthur, or Huon of Bourdeaux in story. For it is true that Cæsar did greater things than those idle wits had the audacity to feign their supposed worthies to have done; but he did them not in that monstrous and fabulous manner.