Nil Posse Creari De Nilo! / Nothing Can Be Created From Nothing!

Gassendi’s Epicurus – Part 2C – The Second Part of Philosophy, Physick, or, of Nature

Promoting the Study of the Philosophy of Epicurus

Gassendi Heading2

Top Level Table of Contents

The Second Part of Philosophy, Physick, or, of Nature

The Second Part of Philosophy -– Physick , or, of Nature

Sect. 1 – Of the Universe, or the Nature of Things

Chap 1 – That the Universe Consists of Body and Vacuum, or Place

Chap 2 – That the Universe is Infinite, Immoveable, and Immutable

Chap 3 – Of the Divine Nature in the Universe.

Chap 4 – Of First Matter, Or, Of the Principles of Compound Things in the Universe

Chap 5 – That there are Atoms in Nature, Which are the Principles of Compound Bodies

Chap 6 – Of the Properties of Atoms; And First, of their Magnitudes

Chap 7 – Of the Figure of Atoms

Chap 8 – Of the Gravity (or Weight) and Manifold Motions of Atoms

Chap 9 – That Atomes (Not the Vulgar Elements or Homoiomera’s) Are the First Principles of Things

Chap 10 – Of the First, And Radicall Cause of Compounds, That Is, Of the Agent, Or Efficient

Chap 11 – Of Motion, Which is the Same With Action, Or Effection; And of Fortune, Fate, End, and Sympathetical and Antipathetical Causes

Chap 12 – Of the Qualities of Compound Things In Generall

Chap 13 – Qualities from Atoms Considered, According to their Substance, and Interception of Vacuum

Chap 14 – Qualities Springing from Atoms, Considered According to the Properties Peculiar to Each

Chap 15 – Qualities from Atoms, Considered According to their Properties, Taken Together

Chap 16 – Of Those Qualities Which Are Esteemed the Accidents of Things; and Particularly, of Time

Chap 17 – Of the Generation and Corruption of Compounds

Chap 18 – Whence it Comes, That A Generated Body Is in a Certain Kind of Things, And Distinguished From Other Things

Sect. 2 – Of the World

Chap 1 – Of the Form and Figure of the World

Chap 2 – Of the Late Beginning of the World

Chap 3 – Of the Cause of the World

Chap 4 – Of the Generation of the World

Chap 5 – Of the Vicissitudes In the World

Chap 6 – A Digression, Concerning Genii or Daemons

Chap 7 – Of the End or Corruption of the World

Chap 8 – Of Infinite Worlds

Sect. 3 – Of Inferiour Terrestriall Things

Chap 1 – Of the Earth Scituate In The Midle of the World

Chap 2 – Of Earth-quakes, and the Flames of Aetna

Chap 3 – Of the Sea, Rivers, Fountains, and the Over-flowing of the Nilus

Chap 4 – Of the Properties of Some Waters, and of Ice

Chap 5 – Of things Terrestriall Inanimate

Chap 6 – Of the Loadstone in Particular

Chap 7 – Of the Generation of Animals

Chap 8 – Of The Use of Parts In Animals

Chap 9 – Of the Soul, The Intrinsecall Form of Animals

Chap 10 – Of Sense in Generall, Which is the Soul (as it were) of the Soul

Chap 11 – Of Sight, And of the Images Which Glide Into It

Chap 12 – That Seeing is Perform’d By Means of Those Images

Chap 13 – Of Hearing

Chap 14 – Of Smelling

Chap 15 – Of Tasting

Chap 16 – Of Touching

Chap 17 – Of the Intellect, Mind, or Reason, and its Seat

Chap 18 – That the Soul Thinketh By Images, Which Glide Into It

Chap 19 – Of the Affections or Passions of the Soul

Chap 20 – Of Voluntary Motion, and Particularly, of speaking, and imposition of names

Chap 21 – Of Sleep and Dreams

Chap 22 – Of Death

Section 4 – Of Superiour Things, As Well Celestiall, As Aeriall

Chap 1 – Of the Substance and Variety of the Stars

Chap 2 – Of the Magnitude and Figure of the Stars

Chap 3 – How the Stars Move, Out-Run one Another, and Are Turned round

Chap 4 – Of the Rising and Setting of the Stars, and of the Alternate length of Dayes and Nights

Chap 5 -Of the Light of the Stars, and of the Changes and Spots in the Moon

Chap 6 – Of the Eclipses of the Stars, and Their Set Periods

Chap 7 – Of the Presignifications of the Stars

Chap 8 – Of Comets, And those which are called Falling Starrs

Chap 9 – Of Clouds

Chap 10 – Of the Wind And of Presters

Chap 11 – Of Thunder

Chap 12 – Of Lightning and Thunder-Claps

Chap 13 – Of Rain and Dew

Chap 14 – Of Hail, Snow, and Frost

Chap 15 – Of the Rain-bow, and Halos

Chap 16 – Of Avernall Places

Chap 17 – Of Pestilence




The Second Part of Philosophy -– Physick , or, of Nature

We now come to Physick: which I usually tearm Physiology, for that it is a discourse and ratiocination about the nature of things, in the contemplation whereof it is wholly employ’d.

We have already said our scope to be, that, though perspection of the nature of things, nothing of disturbance, either from Meteors, or from Death, or from the unknown ends of Desires, or any other way, may arise unto us. Now the things which this contemplation fathoms being so many and so various, it seems very profitable, that (some being engag’d in the more profound study of the liberall Disciplines, or, through some other business, not having leasure to know every thing particularly and exactly we have ready at least [1] some proper compendium of the whole Science of Nature, that whensoever they will apply their minds to the chief arguments of things, they may be assistant to themselves, according to the measure of their knowledge, in contemplation of Nature.

Besides, to those who have made a greater progresse in the speculation of all things, whereof Physiology treateth, it is very usefull, by some compendious Idea, to preserve the memory of the things themselves digested under heads. For it often happens, that we need a generall inspection of things, but not a particular disquisition. This way therefore is to be observed, and this kind of study continually used in exercising the memory, that our attention to things may be constant and ready, and, in the forms of things or notions, generally comprehended and imprinted in the mind and else-where throughly examined, according to the first principles, and the terms whereby they are explained; if any thing be particularly enquired, it may be found. For where such a constancy and readinesse is gotten, and the mind is endu’d with a generall and exquisite information, we are able to understand of a suddain whatsoever we please. I add, according to the words; Forasmuch as it is not possible, that a coherent sum of generall heads can be frequently repeated by heart, unlesse it so contain every thing, as that it may be explicated in few words, even if any thing come to be examined particularly.

Hence it is, this course being most profitable to those, who are inclined and addicted to Physiology, that I would advise them therein, (especially if they enjoy a happy life) that they frame to themselves some such Epitome, and information by generall heads. But if they are not able of themselves, that they get one else-where, of which kind we have freely composed, for the benefit of the studious; hoping, that if what we have laid down be exactly remembred, as much as possible, although a man runs not out into all particular arguments that may be discussed, yet shall he obtain a copious knowledge of Physiology, incomparably beyond other men; for he will of himself understand many things in the more generall work, and, committing those to memory, will help himself, and continually profit.

For these are of a such a kind, that such as have made no little discussion of particulars, and addicted themselves perfectly to these contemplations, may thereby be enabled to raise and compleat more dissertations of all nature; and whosoever of them are throughly vers’d in these, revolving them tacitely within themselves, may be able in a moment, and quietly, to over-run whatsoever is most considerable in Physiology.

But not to stay longer in the entry, there being so many (as I say) and various things contained in Physiology, it will be convenient to divide them into some principall Sections, which may afterwards be pursued particularly; and every thing, which especially belongs to any one of them, may be referred to it.

These Sections may be four. The first of the Universe, or the nature of things, which compriseth this world, and all other things that are beyond it. The second, of the World, this wherein we are, and by which we may conjecture of the innumerable others. The third, of Inferiour things, the earth, to which we adhere, and of the things in it. The fourth of Sublime things, which are seen and produced above the earth, and upwards from it.

Sect. 1 – Of the Universe, or the Nature of Things

To begin then with the Universe, it is manifest, that it is so named, forasmuch as it containeth all things, even others besides this world; whence it is also tearmed, the whole, and, the All; and we usually call it, the Sum of things, and the Nature of things.

We must first speak generally of the things whereof the Universe consists; next, of what the so many things in the Universe are made; thirdly, by what they are made; fourthly, what kind they are of when made; fifthly, how they are made; lastly, how they perish.

      Chap 1 – That the Universe Consists of Body and Vacuum, or Place

First therefore, [2] the Universe consists of Body and Vacuum; [3] neither can there be conceived any third nature besides these.

Now, [4] Body is understood by conceiting a certain vast heap (as it were) of magnitude (or bignesse), likewise of figure, resistance, (that is, solidity and impenetrability) and gravity; withall, to be such, as it onely can touch and be touched.

[5] Emptinesse, or Vacuum; which is opposed to body, and onely, or properly, and in it self, is incorporeall, is understood by negation of these, and chiefly from being of an intactile nature and void of all solidity, and can neither suffer nor act any thing, but onely affords a most free motion to bodies passing through it.

For this is [6] that Nature which being destitude of body, is called Vacuum, taken up by a body, Place; passed through by a body, Region; considered as diffused, Intervall or Space.

[7] That there are bodies in the Universe, sense attests; whence it is necessary to deduce conjecture from other principles, to that which is unmanifest, as I formerly touched. Certainly, all these things which we  behold, which we touch, which we turn up and down, which we our selves are, are nothing but bodies.

But that there is Vacuum also, is hence manifest, that if it were not in nature, bodies would neither have where to be, nor any way to perform their motions; whereas that they are moved, is evident.

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[8] Doublesse if all were full, and the matter of things crouded, as it were, together, it could not be, but that all things must be immovable; for neither would any thing be moved, but it must thrust forward all things, nor would there be place left, whereinto any thing might be thrust. For whereas some answer, that Fishes therefore can move, because they leave a place behind them, into which the waters, being thrust forward, and giving place, are received; they observe not, that the first impulsion forwards could never begin, because there is not yet any place, neither behind, nor beside, whereinto the water may be received. So as it is necessary, there should be little empty intervalls of space within things, especially the fluid, into which the little particles being driven, may be so received, that, by the compression, place may be made, towards which, the impelling body may be moved forward, and, in the interim, leave place behind, into which the compressed fluid may dilate it self, and, as it were, flow back.

[9] I passe by other arguments, as, that Thunder or Sound were not able to passe through Walls, nor Fire to penetrate into Iron, Gold, and the rest of mettalls; unlesse in these there were some vacuous little spaces intermingled. Besides, forasmuch as gravity is proper to bodies, the weight of things could not be made greater or lesser, if it were not according to their having more or lesse vacuity intermixed.

Now Vacuum being incorpereall, is so penetrated by bodies, whether existing in it, or gliding by it, that it remains unchang’d, and preserves the same dimensions to which it is adequate. Whence a streight line taken in Vacuum, is indeed streight, but not so, that it becomes crooked with the body which fills it, because Vacuum is neither movable in whole nor in part.

Whence it comes, that whereas the notion of place is, to receive the things placed to be coextended with it; not to be moved with it, nor to forsake it; lest either the body be moved, yet not change place; or change place, yet not be moved: It therefore is onely competible to Vacuum, to have the nature of place, forasmuch as it onely, both by its corporeall dimensions, length, breadth, and depth, is coextended with the thing placed in length, breadth, and depth, and exactly adjusted to it. Besides, it is so immovable, that whether the body come to it, or go from it, or stay in it, it continueth the same and unvariable.

That I said, [10] No third Nature besides can be conceived, it is for this reason, that, whether we take to be conceived comprehensively, (in which manner the things, which by themselves, and directly, fall into our knowledge are perceived) or comparatively to those things which are conceived, (after which manner those things are understood, which are known onely by proportion, as was said about anticipation) whatsoever it be that is conceived, either it hath some bulk and solidity, and so is a body; or it is void of all bulk and solidity, and so it is vacuum: which is to be understood, in case you conceive it a certain by-it-self existent, subsistent, coherent, nature; and not as some adjunct or accident thereof.

For since [11] an adjunct is a property, which cannot be taken from the thing to which it belongs, without destruction of the thing; as tactility from body, intactility from vacuum; and, in a more familiar example, as weight from a stone, heat from fire, moisture from water: but an accident is that, whose presence or absence violates not the integrity of the nature, as liberty and servitude, poverty and riches, was and peace, &c. Therefore they constiture not some third nature, distinct from corporeall and incorporeall, but onely are as something appertaining to one of these.

      Chap 2 – That the Universe is Infinite, Immoveable, and Immutable

Now [12] the Universe consisting of Vacuum, and body, is infinite; for that which is finite hath a bound, that which hath a bound, is seen from some other thing; or may be seen from out of an intervall beyond, or without it. But the universe is not seen out of any other things beyond it; for there is no intervall, or space, which it containeth not within it selfe, otherwise it could not be an universe, if it did not contain all space; therefore neither hath it not any extremity. Now, that which hath not extremity hath no end, and that which hath no end, doubtlesse is not finite, but infinite.

This is confirmed; [13] for if you imagine an extremity, and suppose some man placed in it, who with great force throwes a dart towards its utmost surface, the dart will either go forward, or not, but be forced to stay. If it go forward, there is place beyond, wherefore the extremity was not there, where we design’d it: if not, therefore there is something beyond, which hinders the motion, and so again, the extremity was not in the fore-designed place.

Moreover, [14] this infinity belonging to the Universe, is such, both in the multitude of bodies, and the magnitude of Vacuum; nay, in infinities thrusting themselves forward mutually, alternately, or in order. For if Vacuum were infinite, and bodies finite, then bodies, which are in perpetuall motion, (as we shall anon declare) would rest no where, but be dispersedly carried through the infinite Vacuum, as having nothing to stop them, and restrain them by various repercussions. But if the Vacuum were finite, the bodies infinite, then there would not be place large enough for the infinite bodies to exist in.

Hence [15] we ought not so to attribute to the Universe, or infinite space, the being above or below, as if there were any thing in the Universe highest, or any thing lowest; the former, by conceiving the space over our head, not to be extended to infinite; the latter, by imagining that which is under our feet, not to be of infinite extent, as if both that which is above, and that which is below, were terminated with some one, and the same point, as it happens with us, or the middle of this world, one of its extreame parts being imagin’d highest, the other lowest; for in infinite, which hath neither extreams nor middle, this cannot be imagin’d.

Wherefore it is better to assume some one motion, which may be undestood, to proceed upwards into infinite, and in like manner another which downwards; although that moveable, which from us is carried up towards the places over our heads, meet a thousand times the feet of those who are above, and (conceiting other worlds) think it comes from below; or which from us is carried towards that quarter, which is under our feet, to the heads of those who are below us, and who are thence apt to imagine, that it comes from above; notwithstanding which imagination of theirs, either of these opposite motions taken intirely, is rightly conceived to be of infinite extent.

To these is consentaneous, that [16] the Universe was ever such, as it now is, and such as it now is, shall ever be, for there is nothing into which, losing the nature of the Universe, it may be changed; and, besides the Universe, which containeth all things, there is nothing, which by a assaulting it, can cause an alteration in it.

Rightly therefore, is the Universe esteemed, as [17] immoveable, there being no place beyond it, into which it may be moved; so also immutable, forasmuch as it admits, neither decrease, nor increase, and is void of generation and corruption, and therefore is eternall, not having beginning, nor end of duration.

And indeed, many things in it are moved and changed, but whatsoever motions and mutations you conceive, they bear no proportion, if compared with the immensity of the Universe it selfe. Nor is therefore the whole Universe either moved into any other place, or changed into any other thing; does it therefore not persevere, to be ever the same, which it ever was? for the motions and mutations in it were alwayes alike, so as it may be said, that [18] there is nothing new done in the Universe, more then what was already done in the infinity of time.

      Chap 3 – Of the Divine Nature in the Universe.

But before we speak of the things in the Universe, which are generated and corrupted, and of the principles whereof they are made, it is fit to premise, and put, as a by-discouse, a Treatise concernin divine Nature; as well for the excellency of that nature, as for that, although it be of the same with corporeall nature, yet is it not so much a body, as a certain thing like a body, as having nothing common to it with other bodies, that is with transitory, or generated, and perishable things. Now it first being usually question’d concerning the divine Nature, whether there be any in the Universe, yet the thing seems, as if it ought not at all to be called in question, for as much as nature her selfe hath imprinted a notion of the Gods in our minds. For what nation is there, or what kind of men, which without learning have not some praenotion of the Gods?

Wherefore, seeing it is an opinion not taken up by any institution, Custom, or Law, but the firme consent of all men, none excepted, we must necessarily understand, that there are Gods; because we have the knowledge of them ingrafted, or rather innate in us. But that concerning which the nature of all men agreeth, must necessarily be true; therefore, it is to be acknowledged, that there are Gods.

[19] Indeed, men may seem, when they beheld the course of the Heavens, and the various seasons of the year, to wheel about, and return in certain order, and were not able to know by what causes it were performed; to have recurr’d to this refuge, to attribute all things to the Gods, and make them obey their beck, placing them withall in Heaven, for that they beheld in Heaven the revolution of Sunne, Moon, and Starrs; but how could they attribute these to the Gods, unlesse they had first known that there were Gods?

[20] Did they not rather derive a knowledge of the Gods, from the apparitions of dreams? certainly, they might be some great images incurring to them, under human forms, by dreams, conceive that there are indeed some Gods endued with such a human form; they might, I say, not so much in sleep, as, when awake, they called to mind, that those excellent images had appeared to them in sleep, so majestick, of so suttle acomposure, and so well proportion’d in shape, conceive that there is no repugnance, nay, that there was a necessity, that somewhere there should be things of like nature with these, capable also offense or understanding, [21] because they fancied them moving their limbs and speaking; and those also immortall, because their shape was alwaies present to their apprehensions, because their form remain’d still the same, and was of such grandeur, that they seem’d not easily convincible, but there were such: moreover Blessed, forasmuch as they neither fear death, nor take any pains in effecting their works.

[22] They might also by discourse use that ισονομια, or equivalence, by which, when we treated of the Criteries, we affirmed it was concluded, that if the multitude of Mortalls were so great, that of Immortalls was was not lesse; and if those things which destroy the innumerable, those which preserve ought also to be innumerable.

[23] Which way soever it came, we have this certainly by prenotion, that we think the gods are blessed and immortall: For the same nature which gave us information of the gods themselves, imprinted also in our mind, that we esteem them blessed and eternall; which if it be so, our opinion is truly laid down, [24] what is eternall and blessed, neither is troubled with any businesse it self, nor troubles any other; therefore not possessed with favour or anger; for all such are weak.

And if we sought no further than to worship the gods piously, and to be free from superstition, what we have said were sufficient; for the excellent nature of the gods is worshipped by the piety of men, as being eternall and most blessed. For to whatsoever is excellent, veneration is due; and all fear, proceeding from the power and anger of the gods, would be expelled, for it is understood, that anger and favour are far separate from a blessed immortall nature; which being removed, no fears hang over us as to the gods. But for confirmation of this opinion, the soul enquires after the form and the life, and the action of mind, and agitation in God.

[25] As to the form, nature partly instructs us, partly reason; for by nature, all of us, of all Nations, have no other form, but human, of the gods. For what other forms ever occur to any man, waking or sleeping? But not to reduce all things to their first notions, Reason it self declares the same. For seeing it is proper to the most excellent nature, either because it is blessed, or because it is sempiternall, that it be most beautifull, what composition of limbs, what conformity of lineaments, what figure, what form can be more beautifull, than the human?

Now if the figure of men excelleth the form of all things animate, and God is animate, certainly he is of that figure which is them most beautifull of all. And forasmuch as it is manifest, that the gods are most blessed, and none can be blessed without vertue, nor vertue consist without reason, nor reason consist in any figure but that of Man; we must acknowledge, that the gods are of human form.

But when I say, that the gods are of the form of a man, and of an animate being, Do I therefore attribute such a body to them, as ordinarily men and animate beings have? By no means; for God is not a thing, as Plato saies, meerly incorporeall; because what kind of thing that is, cannot be understood, for then he must necessarily want sense, he must want prudence, he must want pleasure; all which we comprehend together with the notion of the gods. But neither is he therefore a grosse body, no not the most subtle that can be coagmentated of Atoms; but he is altogether a body of his own kind, which indeed is not seen by sense, but by the mind; nor is he of a certain solidity, nor composed of number, but consists of images, perceived by comparison, and which, compared with those that ordinarily occur, and are called Bodies, may be said to be (not body, but) as before I said, resemblance of a body; and (for example) not to have blood, but a certain resemblance of blood.

In the mean time, I must intimitate by the way, that [26] he is not such a kind of body as is coagmentated of Atoms, for then he could not be sempiternall, and upon his generation would follow corruption; upon his concretion, dissipation, and so he could not be sempiternall. Thus there are four things to be esteemed eternall and incorruptible, the Universe, which hath no place into which it can fall; Vacuum, which cannot be touch’d, nor receive any blow; the Matter of things, which unlesse it did subsist unchanged, those things which are dissolved would go away into nothing; and the divine Nature, which is inconcrete, and by reason of its tenuity, cannot be touched nor struck.

Hence on of the naturall Philosophers was in a great errour, when he said, That the nature of the gods is such, as to diffuse and send forth images out of it self; for in this manner, some-what might be so taken out of it, as that it might be admitted dissolvable. But [27] some have mis-interpreted our meaning, when, upon our admitting many worlds, and saying, that there are Intermundia, that is, intervalls between the worlds, they affirm, we place the gods in the Intermundia, lest they should receive any injury by the world’s ruines. For, as [28] Vacuum, so is the nature of the gods more subtle, than to fear any harm from bodies; which if it did fear, in no place were it more to be feared than in the Intermundia, when the world should come to be dissolved.

Neither can we defign in what places the gods live, seeing that this our world is not a seat worthy of them; but we can onely say in generall, such as the Poets describe Olympus, suc are, wheresoever they be, the blessed and quiet seats of the gods.

Where showers not fall, nor winds unruly blow, [29]
Where neither blasting frost, nor hoary snow
Risle the place; but Heaven is ever bright,
Spreading his glorious smiles with cheerfull light.

[30] Hereupon it being further demanded, what kind of life that of the gods is, and what state of age they enjoy, it may be answered, That, certainly, than which nothing more happy, nothing more abundant in all goods, can be imagined. For God doth nothing, he is not intangled in any employments, he undertakes no works, but joyeth in his own wisdom and vertue. He knowes for certain, that he shall ever be in pleasures, both greatest and eternall. This God we justly style Blessed, who our selves place a blessed life in security of mind, and in disengagement from all businesse; but not, such as others describe him, laborious, involved in great and troublesome employments.

      Chap 4 – Of First Matter, Or, Of the Principles of Compound Things in the Universe

Now to resume and pursue our discourse, forasmuch as in the first place ‘tis manifest by sense, that, in nature, many things are generated, and many corrupted; therefore we must conclude, that hereto is required Matter, of which things may be generated, and into which they may be resolved; for,[31] of nothing, nothing is made, and into nothing, nothing goes away.  For if something were made of nothing, everything might be produced from any thing, as not requiring seeds; and if that which perisheth did go into nothing, all things would perish absolutely, there not remaining those things into which they were dissolved.

Besides, forasmuch as we affect to know the nature of any thing, generated or made, it is first demanded, whether it be something one and simple, or compounded of some things which themselves are simple and precedent.  It is manifest, that nothing generated or made, can be one and simple, seeing that it hath parts of which it was made up, and into which again it may be dissolved, which therefore are precedent and more simple; and if they still be compounded, they may be conceived to consist of those, which at length are the first and most simple.

Thus again it appears, that,[32] of bodies some are concretions, or (if you like it better) concrete or compounded bodies; others, of which concretions, or compounded bodies, are made.  These, if first and simple, are the first matter of things, and are termed Principles, and, by the later Authors, Elements also.

These Principles, or first things of all, must be simple and uncompounded bodies, (or rather atoms) and indivisible, or not resolvable by any force, and consequently immutable, or in themselves void of all mutation.  I mean, if it shall so come to passe, as that in the dissolution of compounds, all things go not into nothing, but that there consist and persevere a certain nature, full, or void of vacancy, and therefore solid; which, being such, it cannot in any part, or by any means, admit a division, and so be dissolved.

Wherefore it is necessary, that those which are called the Principles of compounded bodies, be, as of a nature, full, solid, and immutable, so wholly indivisible; whence we use to call them Atoms.  We term it an Atom, not as being the least, that is, as it were a Point, (for it hath magnitude) but for that it cannot be divided, it being incapable of suffering, and void of vacuity.  So that he who saith, Atom, names that which is free from a blow, and can suffer nothing; and which is invisible indeed by reason of its littleness, but indivisible by reason of its solidity.

      Chap 5 – That there are Atoms in Nature, Which are the Principles of Compound Bodies

[33] That there are Atoms, the reason alledged sufficiently convinceth; for, seeing that nature makes nothing of nothing, and reduceth nothing to nothing, there must remain in the dissolution of compound bodies, something that is capable of further dissolution. Certainly, if you say, that it is still dissolvable, or divisible, it will be necessary, by subdividing, to come at last to something that is solid, and incapable of division; since that neither Nature it self doth dissolve things infinitely, but staies in some last thing; nor can Body admit of an infinite division.

[34] In a finite body, doubtlesse there cannot be parts of infinite either multitude or magnitud; wherefore there cannot be understood to be performed in it, not onely that division into infinite which is made into lesse, or by parts alwaies lesser, and proceeds ever observing the same proportion of division; but also that progression into infinite, which is made by proceeding not alwaies by lesser, but by equall, or those which are called determinate, parts. For since infinite parts must needs be admitted, to serve for an infinite division, how can there be infinite of them in a finite body?

He certainly who once hath said, that in every thing there are parts infinite in number, is not able further to understand and declare, how that magnitude whereof he speaks, comes to be finite. For whether the parts, that a division or progression may be made into infinite, be determinate, (that is, equall among themselves) or indeterminate, (that is, alwaies lesser) it is manifest, that the magnitude, whose parts they are, and which conflicts and is compounded of them, must indeed be infinite.

And since on the other side, a finite magnitude manifestly hath an extream,


or last part, easie to be perceived and shewn, unlesse this part may be seen by it selfe, and as the last, we cannot, although we should subdivide it, understand any other part, which should be thought the last, rather then this; for that with as much reason will be divisible. Whence it will come, that by proceeding further, and consequently towards an extreame part into infinite, we can never arrive, not even by thought, to that part which is the last, nor be able to over-run, by progression, even the least space.

[35] Adde to this, that unlesse in dissolutions there did remain little bodies so solid, as that they cannot be dissolved by any force, the difference between body and vacuum, could not be sufficiently understood, in as much as nothing of body, by infinite attenuation, would be capable to resist; by which means too, all things would become weak, or soft, and nothing could be made hard, seeing that solidity onely is the foundation of hardnesse. Neither need we scruple, as if, because Atoms are solid, soft things cannot be made of them, for they may be made soft by intermission onely of Vacuum, into which the compressed parts retire, and yeild to the touch.

[36] Adde also the diverse sorts of constancy in nature, as in carrying on Animals alwayes to certain bounds of strength, augmentation, and life; in imprinting alwayes the same distinctions and marks of every particular kind; which she could not do, if she did not use principles, certain, and constant, and therefore not obnoxious to dissolution and mutation.

      Chap 6 – Of the Properties of Atoms; And First, of their Magnitudes

Although all Atoms by reason of this solidity, may seem to be of one and the same nature, yet have they some adjuncts or properties and certain [37] qualities, by which they may differ among themselves, such onely are magnitude, figure, and weight, and if there be any beside which are necessarily ally’d to figure, as roughnesse, and smoothnesse, for Colour, Heat, Cold, and the rest of the qualities, are not such as are proper to Atoms, but to Compounds, and arising partly out of the adjuncts, partly the accidents of Atoms, of which we shall speak hereafter.

This in brief, at present; [38] If colour (for example) we in the atoms themselves, it would be as intransmutable as they are; and so the things consisting of Atoms, that are of one colour, could not change that, and appear under another; whereas we observe, the contrary happens, for the Sea foaming looks white, it being otherwise of a green colour, which doubtlesse, if it were in it by reason of green Atoms, could not be changed into a white colour. For wereas some say, that contraries are made of contraries, it is so far from being so, that white will sooner be produced out of no colour at all, then out of black. Better they who conceive, The matter of things, that it may undergoe variety of colours, and other qualities, ought to be void of them; as we choose that oile, which is most free from any scent, to make perfumes of.

But to touch a little, every property of the Atoms: whereas in the first place, I attribute magnitude to them, I mean not any magnitude; for the largest Atome is not so great as to be perceptible by sight, but that magnitude which, although it be below the reach of sense, yet is of some bignesse, (for if Atoms were points void of all magnitude, no body of any magnitude could be made up of them.) Whence I use to say of an Atome, that it is some small thing; thereby, as it were not excluding all magnitude from it, but the larger cize onely.

[39] Neither can it be objected, that the magnitude of Atoms is not perceived by the senses, since we must necessarily confesse, there are innumerable things invisible; for can we see the Wind, Heat, Cold, Odor, Sound, or the little bodies, by whose arrivall to the sense these are perceived? Can we see the little bodies of moisture, by which garments hung by the water side, are moistened, yet being spread abroad, are dried? Can we see those which are rubb’d off from a ring long worm, from a wheel that turns round, from a Plough share in ploughing, from a stone which a drop hollowes, which a tread dimisheth, or those by which a plant or animal growes in its youth, decaies in its old age, and the like?

[40] Yet wee must not think that all Atoms are of the same magnitude, it is more consonant to reason, that amongst them there be some greater, others lesser; and, this admitted, a reason may be given of most things that happen about the passions of the mind, and about the senses.

[41] That there may be an incomprehensible variety of magnitudes beyond the reach of sense, may also be understood even from this, for as much, as there are some little animals, whose third part, if we imagine them divided, would be invisible, neverthelesse, to the composition of them, an incomprehensible number of parts is necessary. For how many must there be to make the entrails, the eyes, the joynts, the soul; to constitute all parts, without, which we cannot understand there should be any living, sensitive, moving Animal?

Whether may not (to use a grosse example) this variety be comprehended from those dusty motes, which the beams of the Sun coming in at a window discover? For whereas without such beams, all things are alike dark, yet they coming in there appeareth an innumerable company of little bodies, in such manner, as that there is an evident difference between the greater, and the lesser; neverthelesse, I say not, (as some conceive) that these kinds of little bodies are Atoms, for in the least of them are contained many Myriads of Atoms, I onely use them by way of comparison, that whereas the whole nation (as it were) of Atoms is impervious, and dark even to the sharpest sight, yet we may understand it, to be so illustrated by the beams of reason; that the Atoms may be perfectly seen by the mind, and that we may conceive, there are severall degrees of magnitudes in them.

[42] Hence it happens, that, as in a great and measurable magnitude, we take something, which, that it may be the common measure, must have the proportion of the least, as a foot, a digit, a barly-corn; and in sensible magnitude, we take also something which is accounted the least, as to sense, as the little Creature called Acaris; so in intelligible magnitude, such as in that of the Atome, we may take something which in it is esteemed, (as it were) the least; such as in an Atome may be conceived, the very point in which a sharp angle is terminated.

[43] But this difference there is between the least, under the notion of measure, and the least of those which are sensible and intelligible, that the former, by its repetition, may be understood to be adaequated to the whole magnitude; but these latter are conceiv’d as certain individuall points, which either are bounds of magnitudes, or certain connexures (as it were) so interpos’d between the parts, as that they have onely certain respects to the parts, connected on each side, though they are such, that a beginning of measuration cannot be made from them. For nothing hinders but that we may, by the mind, frame some dimensions in an Atom.

Uuuu 2

Although, when as we say, there are parts or connexures in an Atom, it is not so to be understood, as if at any time they were disjoyned, and afterwards united; but we do it to declare, that, in an Atome, there is a true magnitude, consisting of parts, though withall they have that difference from compound-things, that their parts can onely be distinguished by designation, not by separation; forasmuch as they cohere by a naturall, indivisible, and perpetuall connexion.

      Chap 7 – Of the Figure of Atoms

[44] As concerning Figure, which is the bound of magnitude, it is first necessary, that, in Atoms, it be manifold; or, that Atoms amongst themselves be variously figured. This is proved, forasmuch as all naturall things framed of them, Men, Beasts, Birds, Fishes, Plants, &c. are variously figured, not onely in respect of their genus, but of every particular species or individuum; for there are not any two so like one another, but that if you mind them exactly, you will find some differences, by which they are distinguished.

Again, [45] forasmuch as the kinds of figures in Atoms are incomprehensible for number, for they are round, ovall, lenticular, flat, gibbous, oblong, conicall, hooked, smooth, rough, bristly, quadrilaterall, &c. as well regular as irregular, without any determination possible to the Intellect; yet are they not to be esteemed simply infinite in number: For there would not be so many and so great differences in concrete things, if, in the Atoms, of which they are compounded, there were such a diversity of figure, as could be comprehended by the mind. Yet the diversities of Atoms cannot be absolutely infinite, unlesse a man conceive in Atoms a magnitude, which is not onely so small as to escape sense, but is in reality infinitely little: For in magnitude, or the superficies of magnitude, which is finite, cannot be understood diversities, which are infinite.

But thirdly, although the kinds of figure be not infinite, yet are there in every figuration, or kind of figure, Atoms simply infinite in number; that is, there are infinite round Atoms, infinite ovall, infinite pyramidall; for otherwise the Universe would not be infinite in multitude of Atoms, as was already declared; unlesse the Atoms which are like to one another in figure, were absolutely infinite in number.

[46] But take notice, that though there are Atoms corner’d and hooked, yet can they not be conceived to be worn away or broken, because both the corners and hooks, as also the middle little bodies themselves, are of one nature, and kept together with equall solidity and necessity, insomuch as not force whatsoever can compress an Atom, either as to the whole, or as to its parts, even to its very points.

      Chap 8 – Of the Gravity (or Weight) and Manifold Motions of Atoms

Lastly, I attribute to Atoms Gravity, or Weight; for, whereas they are perpetually in motion, or striving to move, it is necessary that they be moved by that internall impulse, which is called gravity, or weight.

[47] There first presents it self to us in the atoms, a two-fold motion, one of the gravity or weight it self, whereby the atome is carried after its own way; the other, by percussion or reflection, whereby one atome, being driven upon another, is beaten back again. And as for the motion of gravity or weight, that motion is first conceived, whereby the atome is carried on in a streight or perpendicular line. By this motion are all heavy things moved. But because, if all atomes should be moved in a streight line, or downwards, and, as it were, streight on, it should come to passe, that one could never overtake the other; It is therefore necessary, that atoms should go a little aside, the least that may be, that so may be produced the complications, and adhesions, and copulations of atoms to one another, of which may be made the world, and all the parts of the world, and all things in it.

[48] When I say, that otherwise the atoms would not overtake one another, and consequently not meet, the reason is, that the Universe being infinite hath no middle or center, towards which they may tend, and so meet; but onely there may be conceived, according to what hath been said, some region above, out of which without any beginning, all atoms by their gravity would descend like drops of rain, that is, by motions in themselves parallel; the other below, into which all, without any bound, would be carried by the same motions.

[49] Motion from reflection may be understood to be made, as well when the atome rebounds by great leaps, as when being impell’d and repell’d within short spaces, it doth, as it were, quake and tremble. Whence also [50] it comes to passe, that while it happeneth, that the atoms run into certain meetings and complications, of many obviating to, and entangling one another, (which is chiefly done in those compounds where they seem to rest) yet then are they still unquiet, and, as much as they can, and according as they are further from, or nearer to, one another, they get an agitation, or kind of palpitation, being bent down, or repressed, by the rest, which make up that association.

The cause of this, not onely longer rebounding, but also shorter agitation, or, as it were, inward palpitation, continuing still in those compounds, is, partly the nature of Vacuum, which being intercepted even within the most compact bodies, plucks all the atoms asunder from one another, either in whole or in part, not having power to stay or fix them; partly the solidity connaturall to the atoms, which by collision and repercussion, cause a trembling, as much as that complication will suffer that motion to be kept still continued, by the stroke of the descending atoms. Now since weight or gravity is a certain vigour, or energy, as it were, ingenerate in atoms; and, as I said, and impulsion, whereby they are fitted for motion, we must therefore take it for certain, that [51] atoms are moved (even with both kinds of motion, of weight, and reflection) continually, and through all eternity, because there is no first instant, since which they began to be made; not onely atomes, but also vacuum, which serves for both motions, being eternall.

We must also take it for certain, that [52] that motion of atomes, to which nothing occurs, which may divert it by beating against it, is of so great swiftnesse, as it over-runs any imaginable space, in a moment, that is in time unimaginably short; for they ought in velocity to out-run those beams of the Sun, which makes not their course through pure vacuum. I say, to which nothing occurs that beats it back; for otherwise, this frequent reverberation makes a kind of slownesse, as want of reverberation makes a kind of swiftnesse.

[53] Yet doth not hereupon the atome, which suffers several repulsions, arrive at divers places in such times as may be discerned by the mind, for to discern those times is not within the power of the mind. Besides, it may so happen that the same atom, though diverted by several repulses, may be so carried, as that from whencesoever it comes, out of that immensity of space, we shall not be able to assigne any place or term, which in that time it hath not over-passed. For the repercussion may be such, (that is, so little, frequent, and so little diverting) that it may in some measure equall the swiftness of that motion, which is free from repercussion.

[54] We must lastly take it for certain, that atomes are equally swift, forasmuch as they are carried through vacuum, neither is there any thing that resists their progresse: For neither are the heavy carried on more swiftly, that those which are conceived leight, seeing nothing occurs that may hinder either; nor the lesser more then the greater, forasmuch as the passage is equally free to all, according to their severall magnitudes. Neither do the motions which are made, either upwards, or obliquely by collisions, or downwards by their naturall gravity, differ in swiftness; since an atome, as long as it is not thrust on either side, so long keeps on its way, and that by a swiftness equall to thought, untill being driven on, either extrinsecally, or by its own gravity, it meets with the resistance or assault of the atome that strikes it.

[55] Moreover, as concerning compound bodies, forasmuch as atomes are in their own nature equally swift, therefore one cannot be said to be swifter than another; as if the atomes that are in compounds, and hurried away by the common motion of them, were carried away, sometimes into one place, by a sensible motion, and that continuous, and in successive time, as whilst such motion is slow; sometimes whether into one or more places, they should be carried in times so short, as can onely be conceived by reason, as when the motion is most rapid. But we shall onely say, that, which way soever the atomes are carried with the compounds, they are all the while exagitated with intestine, most frequent, or rather innumerable, and therefore, not-sensible, repercussions; untill the perpetuity of succession of the motion of the whole body come to be such, as that it may fall under the reach of sense.

[56] For what we fancy concerning the imperceptible motion of atomes, as if times conceived by reason might reach the most swift succession of their parts, is no way true; but rather, whatsoever our mind, attending to the very nature of the thing, apprehends, that is to be esteemed true.

      Chap 9 – That Atomes (Not the Vulgar Elements or Homoiomera’s) Are the First Principles of Things

This premised concerning Atomes, we now must show, how they are the principles, or first matter of things; but because that cannot be done without treating, at the same time, of generation and corruption; and that cannot be performed, unlesse we first speak of the qualities of things, and even before that, of the first causes which produce these; it is sufficient in this place to take notice, that atomes are the principles and first matter of things, because they are that first and most simple, of which all generated things are compounded; as also the last and most simple, into which all corruptible things are resolved.

I say, the first and the last; for besides other greater bulks, of which that which is generated may more neerly be compacted, and into which that which is corrupted may be resolve, there are little lumps, or certain small thin compounds, which being made by some more perfect and indissoluble coalitions, are, as it were, long durable seeds of things; so that things may also be said to be generated of seeds, not as of first principles, because even theses seeds are generated of things precedent, that is, of Atoms. And likewise things may be said to be resolved into seeds, but not ultimately, because, even these may still further be dissolved into Atoms.

[57] In like manner, the four vulgar elements commonly admitted, Fire, Aire, Water, Earth, may be called Principles, but not the first; they may also be called Matter, but not the first matter, for as much as they have Atoms precedent to them, of which even they themselves are compounded.

[58] And they, who assigne one Element onely for principle, will that, of it, by rarefaction, and condensation, the three other be made, and of these afterwards, the rest of things. But how, if it be one, and nothing mixt with it, can any thing be generated? For, of fire, (for instance) rarify’d nothing else will be produced, but a more languid or a stronger fire.

[59] And besides, that they, who teach this, admit not vacuum, without which neither rarefaction nor condensation can be made, they seem not to observe, that fire cannot be said to be changed by extinction, into some other thing; because that which is simple cannot be changed, unlesse by going away into nothing. Or at least, if they admit, that something common remains, which is first Fire, afterwards Aire; since this something is the first and common matter, the first matter is not of it selfe, either Fire or Aire, but rather those Atoms which, being put together on one fashion, may make Fire, being put together after another fashion, may make Aire.

[60] They who admit many, or all things to be equally first, run moreover into this inconvenience, that, making them contrary to one another, they by consequence make them such, as either can never joyne to make one compound, or, if they do, must destroy one another.

[61] There was a naturall Philosopher, who conceived that all things are generated of tenuious little-bodies, which he called Homoiomera’s, similar, or like parts, (as it were) viz. to the things generated; so as those (for example) of which hot things are made, are hot; those of which fleshy things fleshy; those of which bloody things, bloody; and so of the rest. But if principles were of the same nature with the things generated, they might, as well as they, be altered and lose their qualities, and so be changed, and, being of a simple nature, go into nothing.

[62] Not to presse, that if the things, whereby something is made hot, must be hot; as if thins alike be not generated but of their like, there must also be things laughing, that a laughing Animal may be made of them; and things weeping, that a weeping Animal; and the like.

      Chap 10 – Of the First, And Radicall Cause of Compounds, That Is, Of the Agent, Or Efficient

It followeth, that we speak of Causes, since to the making of any thing is necessary, not onely, matter, of which, but a cause, by which it may be made; wherefore to say a Cause, is no other, then to say, that which in the production of a thing is the Agent, or Efficient.

Now of the things that are made, no other first and radicall Cause is to be required, than the same Atoms themselves as they are endued with that vigour, by which they are moved, or continually tending to motion. Neither is it absurd to make matter active, it is rather absurd to make it unactive, because they who make it such, and yet will have all things to be made out of it, cannot say, from whence the things that are made, have their Efficient power, since they cannot have it elsewhere, than from matter.

Therefore, as the first little-compounds, made up of Atoms, have in themselves a certain energy, or power to move themselves, and to act, consisting of the vugours of each severall Atom, but variously modify’d, as some of them mutually entangling one another, are carried hither, others thither; so the greater compounds, made up of the lesser, have some power also, and that modified according to their variety; and every naturall body, consisting of those greater and lesser compounds, and Atoms, have a particular energy, or power of moving themselves, and acting, modified by a certain reason. Thus, motion or action ascends to, and proceeds from, its very principles.

Yet we must observe, that though all Atoms are moved alike swiftly, yet, within the compounds themselves, those which are more corner’d, and hooked, are entangled, and hindred, and so made as it were more sluggish and dull, then the smoother and rounder. Wherefore the energy, or power of acting, which is in compound bodies, chiefly comes of these. And because those, of which Fire, the Soul, and, those which are more generally termed, Spirits, consist, are of this nature, hence it comes, that the chiefest energy in bodies, is from those very spirits; which as they have liberty of running up and down, so they have also dominion within those bodies.

[63] But forasmuch, as all effection, or action, whereby something is made, is either from an internall, or externall principle, it is manifest, that artificiall things, whose nature is sluggish, and meerly passive, owe all their production to the Efficient, or externall agent. But naturall things, although they borrow some part of themselves, or some principle, of acting from and extrinsecall cause, yet they owe their production to the principles contained within themselves, as from which intrinsecally, according to all their parts, they are ordered, and co-apted.

Moreover, the very action of the externall agent is from its owne internall principles, which alwaies so turn and direct the action, as that it may with greater strength sustain the violence of most things. For even in sensitive Creatures, where there is a kind of voluntary action, it is therefore such, and carried rather this way, then that way, because there occurs to the mihd a species inviting it, rather this way, then that way; and the mind, through the dominion, whereby it ruleth the spirits contained in the body, leads them this way, and not that way; and, together with them, the members in which they are.

      Chap 11 – Of Motion, Which is the Same With Action, Or Effection; And of Fortune, Fate, End, and Sympathetical and Antipathetical Causes

In the mean time, I shall not need to make any excuse, for that I confound the action or effection of a Cause with motion; since it is known, that both of these are one with motion, and onely adde the connotation, and for that it must be terminated to the thing done or effected.

I understand, here, no other motion then that which is migration from place to place, which for the most part is called lation, and transient motion, and locall motion. For thus they name it in distinction from that motion, which some use to call mutation, and alteration; that whereby a thing remaining unmoved according to its internall nature, is, as they conceive, changed or altered through acquisition, or losse, of some quality, as Heat, or Cold.

This mutation or alteration is not a species of motion, distinct from that which is called locall motion or transition. Locall motion or transition is the genus, this mutation or alteration is nothing but a species thereof, to wit, that whereby movables are carried through short and undiscernable intervalls. [64] For, whatsoever compound body is changed according to quality, is changed altogether by the locall and transitive motion of the atoms and little bodies, creating a quality; whether they be transposed in place and scituation in the body it self, or come into it, or passe out of it.

[65] For example: That of sweet, something bitter be made; or of white, black; it is requisite, the little bodies, which constitute it, be transposed, and one come into the ranck of another. But this could not happen, unless those little bodies themselves were moved by transient motion. Again, that of hard something soft be made; and of soft, hard; it is requisite, those particles, whereof it consists, be moved locally, forasmuch as by extension of them it is softned, and by condensation hardned; whence the motion of mutation is not generically different from the motion of transition.

But to return to that motion, which is proper to the cause or efficient, we may observe, that, to some things, the name of cause is attributed, for that they excite motion. For Fortune, which is a cause of some things, can no other way be admitted, then as it is the same with the self-moving and agent cause, and onely denotes ignorance of the effect connected with it, and intended by it. Otherwise, so far is it from being fit to make it a goddesse, as the ordinary sort of men do, (for by God, nothing is done disorderly) that it is not to be esteemed so much as an unstable cause.

Even Fate also is no other than the self-moving causes, that act by themselves, as they are connected among themselves, and the latter depend of the former, albeit this connexion and dependance be not of that dependance and necessity, which some Naturall Philosophers would perswade; for there is no such necessity in nature, since the motion of the declination of atoms, of which already we spoke, breaks it off, so as it intercurs neither in a certain line, nor in a certain region of place.

Likewise an End is said to be a Cause, forasmuch as it produceth something, or not produceth it, no otherwise then because it moveth. It moveth, I say, by sending a species into the soul, which drawes and allures it, by invisible, yet physicall, little hooks and chains, as it were, by which, for the most part, together with the soul, the body also is attracted. Certainly, no such attraction can be understood to be made, unless by some reboundings, and entanglings of atoms.

Insomuch as even all those things, which are said to be done by sympathy or antipathy, are perform’d by physicall causes, that is, by some (unseed indeed, but) very small organs, which intervening, some things, are as truly attracted to, or repelled from one another, as thos things which are wrought upon by sensible and grosser organs, are attracted and repelled.

For to explain this by an example. [66] How, think we comes it to passe, that a Lion is not able to endure the sight of a Cock, but, as soon as he sees him, runs away? unlesse there are some little bodies in the body of the Cock, which being, as in looking-glasses, immitted into the eyes of the Lion, so pierce his eye-balls, and cause so sharp pain, that he is not able


to withstand or endure it, how fierce and furious soever he be. But in our eyes, those bodies produce nothing like this, they being of a different contexture, as shall be shewed when we come to discourse of the Senses.

      Chap 12 – Of the Qualities of Compound Things In Generall

As concerning the qualities belonging to compound things, it is known, that under this tearm are comprehended all, as well adjuncts as accidents of things, but chiefly the adjuncts, whether they be properly adjuncts, that is, constantly abiding in a compound body, as long as it perseveres, and not separable from it without destroying; or more properly and largely taken, that is, as a mean between adjuncts, properly so tearmed, and accidents, forasmuch as, like these, they exist in them; but in those, they come and go, may be with or from a body, without the corruption thereof.

The most obvious question concerning them, is, How it comes to pass, that they are in compound things, when, as we said before, they are not in atomes, of which compound-things consist? That they are not in atoms, is already shown; forasmuch as every quality that exists in atoms, as magnitude, figure, and weight, is so naturall to them, that it can no more be changed, than the very substance of the atomes; and this, because in the dissolution of compound things, there must needs remain something solid and undissolved; whence it comes, that all motions which are made, are neither into nothing, nor out of nothing.

We answer, that qualities arise in compound things, as well from the transposition that is made of the atomes, now fewer, now more; which in one position afford one quality; in another, another; as from the accession that is made of some atomes wholly new, and the discession of some pre-existent. Whence these qualities again are varied, or seem different from what they were at first.

For as Letter give divers representation of themselves, not onely those which are of different figure or form, as A and N, but even the same Letters, if their position or order be changed; position, as in N and Z; order, as in A N, and N A; So, not onely atomes, which are of divers figures, (aa also of different bulk and motion) are naturally apt to affect divers senses, and, in one, to exhibit colour; in another odor; in a third, fapor; in a fourth, another; but also those which are of the same, if they change the position or order among them, affect the senses in such manner, that those (for example) which now exhibit one colour, presently exhibit another, as we before instanc’d in the water of the sea, which, being still, seemeth green; troubled, white; and, as is ordinarily instanc’d, the neck of a Pigeon, which, according as it is variously placed towards the light, receiveth a great variety of colours.

And as there is made a diversity, not onely when the same letter which compose one word are so transposed, as that they exhibite divers forms, but much more, when some are added to them, and some taken away from them; in like manner it is necessary, that colours, odors, and other qualities, be changed, not onely when the same atomes change their position and order, but likewise when some come to them, some depart from them, as is manifest from the softning, hardning, crudefaction, ripening of things, and the like.

Briefly, as it is of great concernment amongst Letters, with what other Letters they are joyned, and in what position and order they are among themselves, since, by so small a number of Letters, we signifie the Heaven, the Earth, the Sun, the Sea, Rivers, Fruits, Shrubs, living creatures, and innumerable such like; so is it of great concernment amongst atoms, with what others they are joyned, and in what other position, and in what intervalls and connexions, what motions amongst one another they give or receive; forasmuch as by this means they are able to exhibit the variety, as of all things, so of all qualities in them.

To speak more particularly, some qualities first seem to arise out of atoms, as consider’d according to substance; and being in such position amongst themselves, as that they have a greater or lesser vacuum intercepted or excluded. Other qualities are made of them, as they are endued with their three properties, some from a single property, others from a conjuncture of more.

      Chap 13 – Qualities from Atoms Considered, According to their Substance, and Interception of Vacuum

And after the first manner arise Rarity and Density; for it is manifest, that no dense thing can be made rare, unless the atoms thereof, or the parts of which it is compounded (they themselves being compounded of atoms) be so put asunder from one another, that, being diffused into a larger place, they intercept within it more and larger vacuities. Neither can any thing rare be made dense, unless its atoms or parts be so thrust up together, as that, being reduced into a narrower place, they comprehend in it fewer, or more contracted vacuities. Moreover, it is manifest, that, according to the more or lesser vacuity which is intercepted, the air (for example) or light is said to be rare; but stone, iron, and the like, said to be dense.

Together with these seem to arise Perspicuity and Opacity; for every thing is so much more perspicuous, (other respects being equall), by how much more it is too rare; so much more opacous, by how much it is more dense: because the more is the more patent to lucid and visible beams; the more dense, the more obstructive of them. But I say, (other respects being equall) a more thick body, as glasse, may have little vacuous passages placed in so streight a line, that the beams may passe more easily through it, than through a rarer body; as a leaf of Cole-wort, whose small pores are pester’d with little bodies variously permixt; even the beams themselves are cut off unless they passe through strait holes, such as are in glasse.

Again, there ariseth also fluidity, liquidity, and firmness; for a body seemeth to be fluid for no other reason, then because the atomes or parts whereof it conflicts, have little vacuities lodg’d within them, and are withall so dissociated from one another, as that they are easily movable one in order to another, through the not-resistance of the little vacuities: neither doth any thing seem to be firm from any other cause, than the contrary hereof; that is, the atoms and parts touch one another so closely, and are so coherent to one another, that for the same reason they cannot be moved out of their scituation: for such atoms there may be, as, being more hooked, and, as it were, more branching, may hold the body more closely compacted. How water, in particular, being liquid, becomes hardned into ice, shall be said hereafter.

Likewise, those qualities which depend on these, Humidity and

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Siccity. Humidity is a kind of fluidnesse, onely it superadds this, that the parts of a humid thing, touching some body, or penetrating into it, are apt to stick to it, thereby, rendring it moist. Siccity is a kind of firmnesse, adding onely this, that a dry body is void of humidity.

Moreover, Softnesse and Hardnesse, which cohere with these, and, upon another account, agree also with Rarity and Density, in as much as (other respects being equall) every body is so much the more soft, by how much the more rare, and so much the more hard, by how much the more compact; I say, (other respects being equall) because dirt is soft, and pumice hard, by reason of the greater cohesion of the parts, which pester the cavities, and resist the touch, and cannot retire into the hindermost cavities, as otherwise they would.

There are others, which depend upon these; as flexility, tractility, ductility, and others, from softnesse; their opposites, from hardnesse; but ’tis enough to have hinted them.

      Chap 14 – Qualities Springing from Atoms, Considered According to the Properties Peculiar to Each

In the second manner, and as far as the properties of Atoms are considered particularly, in the first place, the magnitude, quantity, or bulk of every thing, ariseth no other way then from the coacervate magnitude of the Atoms, of which it is compounded. Whence it is manifest, that augmentation, and diminution of of bodies is therefore made, because Atoms, wheresoever they arrive, give to the things and increase; wheresoever they go away, they diminish them.

Not to mention, that, according as the Atoms are greater or lesser, may be made, that which we call bluntnesse and acutenesse. And thence a reason may be given, why the fire of lightning is more penetrative than that of a taper: or how it comes, that light passeth through horn, which resists rain and the like.

Besides, the very figure of things, though it did not depend upon the figure of Atoms, (whereas it seems to depend upon them, in all things, which are constantly produced in the same figure) yet it is, generally at least, true, that every body is therefore figured, because it consists of parts terminate and figurate; for figure is a terme, or bound.

Thus, though out of smoothnesse, and roughnesse, (which as I said are allied to the figure of Atoms) it doth not necessarily follow, that things smooth, are made of smooth, rough things, of rough: yet in generall, nothing can be conceived to be smooth, but whose parts, to the least of them, are smooth; nor rough, but whose parts are rough.

Here observe, that as well from the figure, as from the magnitude, the reason may be given, Why wine floweth easily through a strainer, but oile more slowly, which is, that the oile may consist, not of greater Atoms onely, but also of more hooke, and much entangled among themselves.

Lastly weight, or the motive faculty, which is in every thing, can arise no other way, then from the weight or mobility of Atoms. But that being declared formerly, we shall here onely observe, that all Atoms are heavy, and none leight; wherefore every compound body is heave, there is none that is leight; or that is not of it selfe ready to tend downwards. Here presently come in Fire for an Objection; but although it fore-goeth not its propensiton downwards, yet it therefore tendeth upwards, forasmuch as it is driven that way by the ambient aire: after the same manner, as we see with great force the water resists loggs and beams, things otherwise heavy; and the deeper we plunge them, the more eagerly it casts them up, and sends them back. Whence it comes that those things, which we call leight, are not absolutely leight; as if, of their own accord, they did tend upwards, but onely comparatively, that is, as they are lesse heavy and extruded by the more heavy, which presse themselves down before them. So as Earth being the most heavy, water lesse heavy, aire yet lesse heavy then that, and fire least of all, the water will come to the middle; if the water, the aire; if the aire, the fire.

      Chap 15 – Qualities from Atoms, Considered According to their Properties, Taken Together

But the properties of Atoms, being taken together, and those things especially of which we have hitherto spoken, rarity, density, and the rest, being commixt and varied, there arise faculties of things, which, being active and motive, have it from the weight and mobility of the Atoms. And whereas some act one way, some another, they must of necessity have it, as well from the peculiar magnitude, and figure of the Atoms, as from their various order and position amongst themselves, as from their loosenesse, compactednesse, connexion, sejunction, &c.

Of this kind, are not onely, in Animals, the faculties of Sense, Sight, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, Touching, wherewith they can perceive sensible thing, but also, in the things themselves, those very qualities which are called sensible. These are, in things, the faculties of striking, and affecting the senses, after a certain manner, to the end they may be perceived by them; as colour, and light, the sight; sound the hearing; odor the smell; sapor the taste; heat and cold (above the rest) the touch. Whence it comes, that being to speak of those hereafter, we ought not here to omit these: To treat of which, will be worth our pains.

To begin from Heat: we cannot treat of it, without joyning light to it, for without light there are no colours, the variety of colours being taken away by night; whence in the infernall region, all things are said to be black. But though in darknesse, all things are alike dis-colour’d, neverthelesse in themselves, or in their superficies, there are dispositions of extream particles, by reason of which the affused light is so variously modify’d, that, together with this modification reflected on the eye, it exhibits various colours in the eye, as white, for example, when the ball receiveth into it selfe, one kind of blow or stroak; black, when another, &c.

For though colours are not coherent to bodies, but generated according to some respective sights, orders, and positions, yet are they not generated, unlesse light also be adjoyned to the disposure of their superficies, to compleat or make up the perfect nature of colour. Neither, setting this aside, do I see how it can be said, that bodies, which are, in the dark, invisible, have colour.

And indeed, since not onely a Pidgeon’s neck, a Pea-cock’s train, and the the like, exhibit severall colours, according to their severall positions to the light, but also even all other things appear, sometimes in some colours, sometimes in others, according as they are place in severall degrees of light, what else should we conceive, but that generally it is light, by whose coming, things put on colours, and by it’s departure lose them.

in the mean time, Light it self, being nothing else but a substantiall effluxion from a lucid body, is not visible of it self, but onely in colour, as that is a part of it; for neither is it seen through a pure or liquid medium, neither when we imagine that we see it, either in a lucid or an illuminate body, is it beheld as a thing distinct from the colour of the thing lucid or illuminate. In fine, neither is shadow (the privation thereof) in any other manner, then as because it is withall the privation of colour in a thing shadowed, which loseth colour alwaies by the same proportion as it loseth the light. How it comes to passe that shadow, though it be a meer privation, yet seems to be moved, was declared in the Canonick [67].

Sound is nothing but an effluxion of tenuious little bodies, sent out from the thing speaking, sounding, or what way soever making a noise, and apt, by entring into the ear, to affect the hearing.

That it is a corporeall effluxion, is proved, in that it moveth the sense, and that either by touching it smoothly and delightfully, or roughly and unpleasantly, according to the smoothnesse or roughnesse of the little bodies. Also in that it is moved through the aire, and being driven against solid bodies, leaps back, whence Echo is made; viz. by reason of the solidity of the little bodies; also in that it is diminished,and becomes confused, in regard of the long train of little bodies, when it goes forward, or their swerving while they go over-thwart, through some thicker partition, and the like.

If you demand why Sound can passe, where Light and the species of colour cannot, as when we speak, the doors being shut; the reason is, because light, or the images of colour, cannot passe but in a direct line; but Sound can insinuate it self through oblique tracts. For being excited, it leaps forward in little bodies, which turn upwards, downwards, forwards, backwards, on the right side, on the left side, and every way; in like manner as a spark of fire, sometimes scatters it self into little sparkles, which take a direct course towards all sides.

The same may be said of Odor. For this also is an effluxion, which going out of the odorous thing, is diffused every way, and, arriving at the nostrills, moveth the sense of smelling, either by stroaking or pricking it. This is corporeall also, even more then Sound, in that it passeth more slowly through space, and commeth not from so great a distance, and penetrates not through those partitions, through which Sound doth penetrate.

As concerning Sapor, there is this difference, that, though it consist in little bodies, contained in the thing styled Sapid; yet they issue not forth into the tongue and palate at a distance, but then onely, when the thing sapid is applied to the tongue, they so insinuate themselves into it, that they affect the contexture of it, either mildly, and then make a sweet taste; or roughly, and so they make a sour taste.

As for Heat and Cold, that sensation which they cause is to be referred to the Touch. But though many of the foresaid qualities properly appertain to the Touch, as hardnesse, softnesse, humidity, ficcity, and the rest, which require application of the thing touched to the hand, or to some other part of the body; yet these two may be felt, not onely when the hot or cold thing is applyed to the hand, or some other part; but also when it is remote, and at such a distance, as it can transmit some little bodies out of it self into it.

Heat indeed is chiefly an effluxion of little bodies or atoms, in bulk slender, in figure round, in motion swift. For as they are slender, there is no body so compacted, that they find not little pores, through which they insinuate into it; as they are round, they are easily moved, and insinuate themselves every where; as they are swift, they rapidly are impelled, and enter into the body, and, more and more still succeeding one another, they are so pressed, as that they penetrate through the whole; and if they proceed in acting, they sever and dislocate the parts thereof, and at last dissolve the whole. Such are the effects of Heat, and chiefly the fiery, (for fire is nothing but intense heat) towards all bodies; and in a living creature is onely added the sense of the heat, which is from the plucking asunder, and loosening what before was continued.

Cold is an effluxion also, but of atoms, whose bulk is greater, their figure more corner’d, their motion slower; for, the effects being contrary, the principles must also be contrary. So that whereas heat disgregates and disperses, cold compresseth and constipates; and, in a sensitive creature, it doth this with a particular kind of sensation; for, entring into the pores of the skin, it keeps back and drives in again the little bodies of heat, by opposing the bodies of cold, and with its little sharp corners, it tears and twingeth all things wheresoever it passes.

      Chap 16 – Of Those Qualities Which Are Esteemed the Accidents of Things; and Particularly, of Time

It remains, that we a little touch those qualities, which are not so much adjuncts as accidents, and therefore affect not the thing internally, but externally onely, and qualifie them with a certain kind of respect to some extrinsecall thing. Not but that within the things themselves also there are some accidents, (such are position, orders, intervalls or parts or particles, and the like) but that being such, they are accidents of the parts themselves, not of the whole which consists of them.

Accidents of this kind are all those generally, out of which ariseth some relation, for which every thing is said to be such or such, in order to another; as like, unlike; greater, lesser; many, few; superiour, inferiour; tight, left; cause, effect; giving, receiving; and innumerable of the same kind.

But it is known, that Relation is a work of the mind, referring and comparing one to another; so that, setting aside the mind, every thing is that onely which it is in it self, but not that which it is in respect of another. Whence, to accidents, we formerly referred liberty and health, riches and poverty, &c. because, setting the mind aside, a man is nothing but a man; not free, or subject; rich, or poor, &c.

Now of all accidents, there is one which may be termed the accident of accidents, that is, Time, from which all things are denominated, either present, or past, or future; lasting, or little durable, or momentary; sometimes also swift or slow.

For first, that Time is an accident, is manifest, in that it is not any thing by it self, but onely attributed to things by cogitation, or the mind, as they are conceived to persevere in the stare in which they are, or to cease to be, and to have a longer or shorter existence, and to have it, or to have had it, or be to have it. Whence it comes, that Time is not to be enquired after the same manner as we enquire after other things, which are in some subject, setting aside the minde; and therefore neither to understand what it is must it be referred to the praenotions of things, which occur to our sight; but we ought to aiscXXrse of it according to evidence, using familiar speech. And not entangling our selves in circumlocutions, we say, Time is long or short.

Moreover, we call it the accident of accidents, because, whereas some things cohere by themselves, as a body, and as a vacuum or space; others happen, or are accident to the coherent, as daies, nights, hours; as also passions and exemptions from them, as motion, rest, &c. Time, by the assistance of the mind, presupposeth all these accidents, and supervenes to them.

For day and night are accidents of the ambient aire; day happens by the Sun’s illumination; night, by privation of the solar illumination. Hour being a part of night or day, is an accident of the aire also, as likewise are night and day; but Time is coextended with every day, and night, and hour; and for this reason, a day or night is said to be long or short, whilst we are carried by thought to time that supervenes to them, according to the former notions.

In the same manner happen passions, and indolencies, and griefs, and pleasures to us; and therefore they are not substances, but accidents of those things which are affected by them; to wit, by sense, of delectation or of trouble. But these accidents happen not without time.

Moreover, motion and rest, as we have already declared, are accidents of bodies, neither are they without time; therefore we measure the swiftness and slownesse of motion by time, as also much or little rest. And forasmuch as none understand time by it self, or separate from the motion and rest of things; therefore by understanding things done, as the Trojan War, and the like, which are done with motion, and are accidents partly of the men acting, partly of the places in which they are acted; together with them is understood their time, as they are compared to our affairs, and the existence of the things intervening betwixt those and us.

      Chap 17 – Of the Generation and Corruption of Compounds

It remains that we add, how things are generated and corrupted, either of which is some kind of mutation or alteration, but whereas by other mutations, a body is not made and exists new, but only that which now is acquires a new quality, and a new denomination from it. Generation is a mutation, whereby every body is first produced, and begins in nature to be, and to be denominated such. Corruption is a mutation, whereby it is at last dissolved, and ceases to be in nature, and to be denominated such; for thus fire, a plant, an animal, and whatsoever is in a determinate genus of bodies, when it first ariseth into the light, and beginneth to be denominated such, is said to be generated; when it goeth out of the light, and can no longer be denominates such, to be corrupted.

When I say, that a body is first produced, or beginneth to be, I mean not but that whatsoever is in it of substance, body, or corporeal, was before; for all the atoms, and little bulks or seeds, of which it is compounded, were before. As when a house is said to be made, the stones; wood, and the rest, whereof it is said to be built, are understood to be pre-existent. But I onely mean, that the atoms and seeds therefore are so commixt, and so united, as that they are in a new manner, or in a new form, wherein they were not before; and therefore a body resulting thence, then first begins to be, and be denominated such.

Hence because there ariseth not so much a new substance, as a new quality, in compounds, it cometh to passe, that generation is a species of mutation or alteration; and so is corruption likewise, but in a contrary manner. Wherefore also it comes to pass, that Generation and Corruption are performed onely, by conjoyning and disjoyning those principles, and not by changing them, because the Atoms, as we said, are incapable of change.

[68] And indeed, seeing all change, (as we have already said, and shall shortly say again) is performed, either by transposition, adding, or taking away of parts; it followeth that Atoms, being so compact and solid, as that none of their particles can be transposed, added, or taken away, are immutable, and incorruptible, and such also are their properties, of which sort are those little magnitudes, and little figures peculiar to them, for it is necessary, that these also remain with the substance of the Atom, when the compounds are dissolved: and with good reason; seeing that also in things which we transforme at our pleasure, as when a man, of standing, or upright, becomes sitting, or bowed, (or, if you will, black or hot) it is ever understood, that the same magnitude, figure, and order or parts are in them. But the qualities, that are not in them, nor proper to them, as standing, straightnesse, white, cold, &c. remain not in the subject, after its transmutation, as the others do, but perish , or are lost to the whole body, or to the part wherein they were.

Since therefore, Principles are intransmutable, and, in generation, are no other then mingles, and put together, it followes that no such mixture can be made, as is a perfect confusion by coalition; but onely that, which is a compounding by apposition; and this, whether those little bulks made of Atoms, are onely mingles, or whether also the Atoms themselves be mingles with those little bulks, resolved into their Atoms, or first principles, whence it followes, that the destruction of those little bulks, and of the bodies, consisting of them, as wine, and water, honey, and the like, goeth accompanied with the generation of the mixt body, and of the other little bulks, which are proper to it; not as if water and wine (for example) but as if aquifying, and vinifying Atoms, (as I may say) were mingled together.

And to the generation, which is made in an infinite Vacuum, we must conceive, that the Atoms severed from one another, and differing amongst themselves in figure, magnitude, position, and order, are carried through the Vacuum, and, where they concurre, being mutually entangled, are condensed; whence it happens, that a different temperature of the thing results, for they are conjoyned according to proportion of magnitude, figures, positions, order, and by this means, the generation of compound things, come to be perfected.

But where the generation of one, is made out of the corruption of another, that usually happens after a threefold manner, which we touched, speaking of alteration; either onely by transposition of the parts or Atoms, as when a frog is generated of dirt, a mite of cheese; or by addition of things accessory, as when, by accession of the seed, to the greater masse, (as of rennet into milk, or of leaven into dough) there is begotten a plant, or Animal; after which manner, also augmentation is made, by which the generated thing becomes bigger; or lastly, by taking away something præexistent, as when fire is generated, by the severing of watery, ashy, or other parts which were in wood; waxe, by the severing, of honey, which was in the combe; and so of the rest.

Here the former comparison of Letters, will serve to make us understand two things. One, that the particular manners of generation, and their opposite corruptions, which may be comprehended under any of


these three manners, are (if not infinite, at least) innumerable, inexpressible, and incomprehensible, since, of four and twenty Letters onely, which are in the Alphabet, there may be produced a multitude of words almost incomprehensible.

The other is, that as words, accommodated to pronunciation and reason, are not made of every combination of Letters; so in natural things, all things are not made of all things, nor are all Atoms fit, by being joyned together, to constitute any species of compound things. For every thing requires such a disposition, as that the Atoms constituting it, match and as it were associate themselves with those which are agreeable to them, but pass by, and as it were reject others. Whence again it comes to passe, that when a thing is dissolved, all the agreeing Atoms draw one another mutually, and disengage themselves from those which are disagreeing. This is manifestly seen in nutrition, which is aggeneration, and is evident even from this, that otherwise Monsters would be ordinarily generated, as half-men, half-beasts; Chimeras; and Zoophyts.

In a word, Certainly he never had the least tast of Physiology, who conceiveth, that any thing which is generated, can be eternall; for what composition is there, which is not dissolvable? Or what is there, that hath a beginning, and no end? Though there were no externall causes to destroy its frame, yet wants there not an intestine motion, and, even within the most compact and durable bodies, and unvanquishable inclination of Atoms downwards, whence their dissolution must necessarily follow.

Yet, this dissolution is not alwayes immediately made into Atoms, but for the most part into little bulks, or parts compounded of them; which are certain kinds of compound bodies, as when there is a dissolution of wood, partly into fire, partly into smoak, partly into some waterish moisture, partly into ashes. But what way soever it be done, we must alwayes hold, that, in generation, there is no new substance made, but præexistent substances are made up into one; so in corruption, no substance absolutely ceaseth to be, but is dissipated into more substances, which remain after the destruction of the former.

      Chap 18 – Whence it Comes, That A Generated Body Is in a Certain Kind of Things, And Distinguished From Other Things

Moreover, seeing that every body is generated onely of the aggregation of matter, or of materiall, and substantiall principles, knitting-together in a certain order and position; therefore, that which is concrete or generated, is understood to be nothing else, but the principles themselves, as they are knit tighter in such an order or position, and thereupon are exhibited in such a form or quality.

This form or quality, whereby a thing generate, is established in such a certain kind of things, as of metall, or of stone, or of plant, or of Animal, and is distinguished from all the species, and individuums of the Genus, wherein it is; this form, I say, is not one and simple, but rather as it were an aggregation and collection of many, which collection cannot be found in any thing, but in this.

[69] Wherefore we must here observe, that the figures of things, their colours, magnitude, gravity, and (in a word) all other qualities, which are usually predicated of a compound body, as its accidents, (whether perceived by sight, or by other senses) are so to be understood; not as if they were certain natures or substances, existent by themselves, (for our understanding cannot reach this) nor, on the other side, as if truly they did not exist, or were absolutely nothing; neither again, as if they were such, as are those other incorporeal things, which are accident to it; nor, lastly, as if they were parts of the body. But they are thus to be esteemed, that whereas a body may be disposed after severall manners, the whole complex gains, by the aggregation of them, a certain nature, proper and peculiar to its kind.

Not that a body comes to be such, as is a greater bulk made up out of a lesser, whether these be the first, least, greatest, or in generall made up of others more minute; but onely, as I said, that of all these joyned together, and by this conjunction differencing it from others, it possesses a nature proper to itself, and distinct from any other.

All these are comprehended by speciall notions and conceptions, but so, that still the body which results out of them, as a certain whole, and is not divided in itself, but conceived as one undivided thing, obtains the denomination of a body, which is reckoned up in such a certain kind of things.

The same may in a manner, be conceived to happen by the concurrence of certain accidents, which are found the same in no other body; that is, the things indeed, to which those accidents agree, may be distinguished and denominated from the notion of them, but yet onely then, when each of those accidents is conceived to be there. For these are not of that kind of accidents, which, existing in the thing, become therefore necessary and perpetually conjoyned to it, and consequently bestow on it a perpetuall denomination.

Here it may be demanded, whether, if we were dissolved by death, it might happen in process of time, that the very same principles, of which we consist, might by some odd chance, be ranged and ordered again in the same manner as they are now, and so we come to be denominated the same which we are at this present? To which we answer, that it is doubtlessly true; but still so, that, to have been formerly would nothing appertain to us, because, in our very dissolution, every disposition which we had, and all memory of those things which compound us, and which we were, would utterly be lost; by which means, all our remembrance too would so have been totally decayed, that it were impossible it should come into our minds that we had ever had a beeing. Thus much concerning Universe.

Sect. 2 – Of the World

It followeth that we speak of the World, which is a portion of the Universe, or infinity of things, and may not unfitly be described, The whole circumference of heaven, containing the Stars, the Earth, and all things visible.

When I say, the Circumference of Heaven, I imply, that heaven is the outmost part of the world, which may also be called Æther, and the Region of fire from the stars which it containeth, and are, as it were, fires lighted there.

When I say, the Earth, I mean the lowest, or, as it were, the middle part of the world, in which also there is the Water, and next over it the Aire, immediate to the Region of Fire. And, because the things which we see created of these, and in these, are various; therefore we

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comprehend them under the name of things visible.

But seeing it may, and useth to be demanded concerning the World, What from it hath within, what figure without? whether it be eternall, or had a beginning? whether it require any other author, than Nature or fortune? in what manner was the production of the whole, and of its parts? whether it require any Ruler, or perform its vicissitudes by itself? whether, how, and when it shall perish? whether it be One, or, besides it, there be innumerable? We must therefore speak a little of each.

      Chap 1 – Of the Form and Figure of the World

And as to the first head, the world by its internall form or constitution is not animate, much less a god, as some think; but whereas what is conceived to be one in its form or constitution, is such, either for that its parts are contained under one disposition, as a plant or animal; or that they are artificially joyned one to another, without mingling their tempers, as a house, or ship; or that they are discreetly distinguished from one another, yet have some mutuall relation to each other, as an Army, and a Common-wealth; the World is onely to be conceived One, partly the second way, partly the third.

The second way it may be esteemed one, in regard between the Sun, the Moon, and the rest of the more solid and compacted parts of the World, there is intercepted either aire or æther diffusive, whereby a kind of coherence is made. It may also be esteemed one the third way, in regard the Sun, Moon, Earth, and other compacted bodies, are so separated from one another, that, after a determinate order, they possesse the scituations or seats of superiours and inferiours, antecedents and consequents, things illustrating and things illustrated.

But to say that the World is one the first way also, How can it be made good? since that if it were so, that the world, as some will, were animate, nothing could be thought inanimate; not a stone, not a carcase, not anything whatsoever; that same disposition called Soul being dispersed through all things.

Neither do they who assert the world to be animate and wise, sufficiently mind and understand what kind of nature that must be, to which such expressions are proper, since as a tree is not produced in the aire, nor a fish on dry ground, nor blood in wood, nor moysture in a pumice; so neither can the mind or the soul be produced, or be, indifferently in any kind of body. But seeing it must be determinately ordered, where every thing shall grow and inexist, the nature of the soul must be looked for about the nerves and blood, not in putrid globes of earth, in water, in the Sun, in the sky, &c.

Now whereas some hold, that the world is not onely endued with mind and senses but also it is a round burning god, and ever-moving with restlesse circumvolutions; these are prodigies and monsters, not of Philosophers discoursing, but dreaming. For who can understand what this ever-moving and round god is, and what life is ascribed to him, to be turned about with so great swiftnesse, as is unimaginable to be equalled; with which I see not how a constant mind and a happy life can consist?

But granting the world to be a god, not onely the Sun, Moon, and the rest, are parts of god, but even the earth itself, as being a part of the world, must be also a part of god. Now we see there are very great regions of the earth unhabitable, and uncultivated, part of them being burnt up by the approach of the Sun, part being oppressed with snow and ice through his distance from it. If then the World be god, these being the parts of the world, are to be termed, some, the burning; some, the frozen members of god.

As to its externall form or figure, it seems in the first place certain, that there is some extremity of the world, because the world is a kind of segment of the infinite Universe; but what that is, who is able to tell, unless he came thence?

For whereas it seems to be Heaven, there is nothing in all apparent things hinders, but that it may be rare, nor nothing hinders but that it may be dense; rare, forasmuch as the stars which are in it, and appear to be moved, perform their motions through it; dense, forasmuch as it self is able to move the stars fixed in it.

Again, nothing hinders, but that it may be either quiescent, if the stars are moved through it; or circularly moved, if the stars are carried round about with it.

Besides, nothing hinders, but that I may be round, ovall, or lenticular, especially if it be moved. Again, nothing hinders, but that it may be triangular, pyramidall, square, hexaedricall, or of any other plain figure, especially if it be unmoved.

As for them, who, being persuaded by some arguments, assert the world so to have one determinate figure, as that it can have no other, we cannot but wonder at their stupidity. For most maintain the world to be, as immortall and blessed so also round, because Plato denyeth any figure to be more beautifull than that. But, to me, that of the cylinder, or the square, or the cone, or the pyramid, seem, by reason the variety, more beautifull.

      Chap 2 – Of the Late Beginning of the World

As for the second head; The world is not eternall, but began to be at some time.

For first, seeing that the nature of the whole and of the parts is the same; and we observe, that the parts of the world are obnoxious, both to generation and corruption, it followes, that the whole world must be subject to generation and corruption. That the parts of the world are generated and corrupted, is demonstrated even by the sense, and shall be proved hereafter.

Neither let any say, that the mutations which are made in the parts of the world are not of the more principall parts, as of the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, and the rest; but of the lesser onely, which are but particles, whereof the principall consist; for he ought to conceive, that if the principall parts consist of parts subject to mutation, those whole parts themselves are subject to mutation; and though ordinarily there occur not causes so powerfull as to change them, neverthelesse nothing hinders, but that such may sometimes occur, as even among the lesser parts, some continue safe a great while, which at last, in progresse of time, find causes of mutation.

Besides, seeing that the most ancient Histories of all things exceed not the Theban and Trojan Wars, what is the reason of this, but because the world is not old, so far it is from being eternall? For if eternall, why did not other Poets celebrate other things? How came the memorable acts of so many eminent persons to perish? why are the records of eternall fame nowhere extant?

In like manner, seeing that we have all arts newly invented, and their inventors are not unknown, (for, that daily many arts are advanced and received increase, is very manifest) how comes this to passe, but because the world had not its beginning long ago; for the world could not be so long without arts, which are of so great importance to life.

If you believe that in time past, there were such Records and Arts as now, which perished by some great conflagrations, deluges, earth-quakes, being subverted together with the Cities and Nations themselves, do you not acknowledge it necessary, that there must be at some time to come a destruction of earth and heaved, as it had happened, if in those cases some greater causes had lighted; for we ourselves think ourselves mortal for no other reason, but for that we perceive ourselves to fall into the same diseases, as they whom we see dye.

The world therefore had a beginning; nor was, as may appear by what we said, of very great antiquity. But whensoever it begun, it is most probable it begun in the Spring, because then all things sprout, flourish, and bring forth; and the newness of the world required a temperate heat and cold, for the cherishing of its young brood, before it should passe to either of the extremes.

      Chap 3 – Of the Cause of the World

As to the next head: We must first acquit the divine power from the sollicitude and labour of framing the world, for it could not be a cause blessed and immortall that made it.

With what eyes could Plato look upon the fabrick of so great a work, as to conceive the world made and built by God? What designs, what tools, what beams, what engines, what ministers, in so great a task? How could aire, fire, water, earth, obey and serve the will of the Architect? Whence sprung those five forms, of which the rest also are framed, lighting aptly to make up mind and senses? It were too long to repeat all, which are rather in our wish, than in our power to find out.

Again, this God of whom he speaks, either was not in the former age, wherein bodies were either immovable, or moved without any order; or he then slept, or wak’d; or did neither. The first cannot be admitted, for God is eternall; nor the second, for if he slept from eternity he was dead, death being an eternall sleep. But neither is God capable of sleep, for the immortality of God, and a thing near death, are far asunder. Now if he were awake, either something was wanting to his felicity, or he was perfectly happy. But the first would not allow him to be happy; for he is not happy who wants anything to make up his felicity; the latter is absurd, for ’twere a vain action for him who wants nothing, to trouble himself with making anything.

To what end then, should God desire to adorn the world with fair figures and luminaries, as one that dresseth and sets out a Temple? If to the end that he might better his habitation, it seem then, that for an infinite time before, he lived in darknesse as in a dungeon. Again, can we think, that afterwards he was delighted with the variety, wherewith we see the heaved and the earth adorned? What delight can that be to God, which, were it such, he could not so long have wanted it?

But some will say, That these were ordained by God for the sake of men. Do they mean, of the wise? Then this great Fabrick of things was made for a very few persons. Or, of the foolish? There was no reason he should do such a favour to the wicked. Again, what hath he got by doing so, since all fools are even in that regard most miserable, for what is more miserable then folly? Besides, there being many inconveniences in life, which the wise sweeten by compensation of the conveniences; fools can neither prevent the future, nor sustain the present.

Or, Did he make the world, and, in the world, men, that he might be worshiped by men? But what doth the worship of men advantage God, who is happy, and needeth nothing? Or if he respect man so much, as that he made the world for his sake, that he would instruct him in wisdome, that he would make him Lord over all living Creatures, that he would love him as his Sonne, why did He make him mortall and frail? Why did He subject him whom He loveth, to all evills; seeing rather man ought to be happy, as conjoyned with, and next unto God, and immortall as He himselfe is, whom he is made to worship, and contemplate?

For these reasons, ought we to say, that the world rather was made by Nature; or, as one of the Naturall Philosophers said, by chance.

By nature; for such is the nature of the Atoms, running through the immensity of the Universe, that in great abundance running against one another, they can lay hold of, entangle, and engage one another, and, variously commixing themselves, first roll up a great kind of Chaos, in manner of a great Vortex, (clue or bottom) and then after many convulsions, evolutions, and making severall efforts, and as it were attempts, trying all kinds of motions and conjunctions, they came at last into that form, which this world beares.

By chance; for the Atoms concurre, cohere, and are co-apted, not by any designes, but as chance led them. Wherefore, as I said, Chance is not such a Cause, as directly, and of it selfe, tends to mingle the Atoms and dispose them to such an effect; but the very Atoms themselves are called chance, in as much as meeting one another, without any premeditation, they fasten on one another, and make up such a compound, as chanceth thence to result.

      Chap 4 – Of the Generation of the World

But to discusse this matter more narrowly, and to come to another head; the world seemeth to have been elaborated, and molded into this round figure, by a certain kind of reason, without bellowes, anvile, or other instruments.

First, whereas the Atoms, by an inconsiderate and casual motion, were continually, and swiftly carried on, when they began to run in multitudes, into this immense place, in the World now is; and to fasten upon one another, they presently became heaped into one rude, and indigested masse, in which great things were mingles with small, round with corner’d, smooth with hooked, others with others.

Then in this confused crowd, those which were the greatest and most heavy, began by degrees to settle down, and such as were thin, round, small, slippery, these in the concurrence of the others, began to be extruded, and carried upwards; as in troubled water, until it rests, and groweth clear, the earthy parts settle downwards, the watery are as it were thrust upwards; but after the impulsive force, which drove them upward, grew languid, nor was there any other stroke, which might tosse them that way, the Atoms themselves, endeavouring to go down again, met with obstacles from others, whereupon they flew about with greater activity, to the utmost bounds, as also did others, which were reverberated by them, and repressed by others, that closely followed them, whence was made a mutuall implication, which did generate Heaven.

But those Atoms, which were of the same nature, (there being as we said many kinds of them) and carried round about in heaps, whilst they were thrust upwards, made the Sun, and Moon, and other Stars. These were chiefly called signifying Atoms; those which they left, as not able to rise to high, produced the Aire.

At length, of those which setled down, the Earth was generated; and seeing there yet remained much matter in earth, and that condensed by the beatings of the winds and gales from the Stars, that figuration of it which consisted of least particles, was squeezed forth and produced Moisture. This being fluid, either run down into hollow places, fit to receive and contain it, or standing still, made hollow receptacles for it selfe. And after this manner, where the principall parts of the world generated.

To say something of the lesse principall, the particles as it were of the former parts; there seems in that first commission, to have been made the diverse seeds of generable and corruptible things, of which, compounds of diverse natures were first framed, and afterwards in a great degree propagated.

Stones, Metalls, and all other Mineralls were therefore generated within the body of the earth, at the same time it was formed, because that masse was heterogeneous, or consisting of Atoms, and seeds of different natures; and in that the bulks of stones did diversely swell out to the very superficies. Whereupon mountains came to be made, and consequently valleys, and plains must needs have been between them.

Soon after, about the mountains and the hills, and in the valleys, and in the fields grew up Herbs, shrubs, Trees, almost in the same manner, as feathers, haire, bristles, about the bodies, and members of birds, and beasts.

But as concerning Animals themselves, it is likely that the earth, retaining this new genitall seed, brought out of it selfe some little bubbles, in the likenesse of little wombs, and these when they grew mature, (nature so compelling) broke, and put forth young little Creatures. Then the earth it selfe did abound in a kind of humour, like to milk, with which Aliment living Creatures were nourished.

Which Creatures, were so framed that they had all parts necessary for nutrition, and all other uses. For as when Nilus forsakes the fields, and the earth beginneth to grow dry, through heat of the Sun, the Husbandman turning up the blebe finds severall living Creatures, part begun, part imperfect, and maimed, so that in the same Creature one part liveth, the other is mere earth; in like manner, amongst those first efforts of the earth, besides the living Creatures perfectly formed, there were some produces, wanting hands, feet, mouth, and other parts, without which there is no way to take nourishment, or to live long, or to propagate their kind.

What I say of other living Creatures, I hold also in Man, that some little bubbles and wombs, sticking to the roots of the earth, and warmed by the Sun, first grew bigger, and, by the assistance of nature afforded to infants, sprung from it a connaturall moisture called milk, and that those thus brought up, and ripened to perfection, propagated Mankind.

Two things I adde; One, that it is by no means to be allowed, what some affirme, that at the time were produced Centaures, Seyllæs, Chimeræs, and other Monsters consisting of parts, of different kinds. For how in a Centaur (for example) could the limbs of a man and of a horse be joyned together, when at the third year of his age, at what time a child is hardly weaned, a horse is in full vigour; and at what time a horse languisheth with age, a man flourisheth in the prime of his youth.

The other, That in the earth there were created new living creatures, and more and greater than now, by more and more vigorous seeds, and amongst those, Men too; so as that race of men was more hard, as consisting of greater, and more solid bones and nerves: and so at length the Earth, her seeds being exhausted, like a woman too old to bear children, left off to produce voluntarily such living creatures. Whence it comes, that now, men are nowhere generated on this fashion; but both they, and other more perfect and greater animals, spring up onely by way of propagation.

      Chap 5 – Of the Vicissitudes In the World

There followeth a question, Whether the world be governed by itself, or by the providence of any Deity?

First therefore, we ought not to think, that the Motion of Heaven or the Summer and Winter, course of the Sun, or the eclipse of the Sun and Moon, or the rising and setting of the Stars, or the like, happen, because there is some ruler over them, who so disposeth, and hath disposed of them, and with all possesseth beatitude and immortality; for with felicity agree not businesse, sollicitude, anger, and favour; these happen through imbecillity, fear, and want of externall help.

Neither ought we (it being a troublesome employment, and wholly averse from a happy state) to think, that the nature which possesseth felicity is such, as that (knowing and willing) it undergoes these commotions or perturbations of mind, but rather to observe, out of respect unto it, all veneration, and to use some kind of addresse to it, suggesting such thoughts, as out of which arise no opinions contrary to veneration.

We should rather think, that, when the world was produced, there were made those complexions of Atoms, involving themselves about one another, that from thence the celestiall bodies being framed, there was produced in them this necessity, whereby they are moved in such a manner, and perform such periods; and after the same manner all the rest perform their task, in order to the course of things once begun.

And why should we not rather think thus? For whether the world itself is a god, as some conceive, What can be less quiet, than uncessantly to roll about the axis, with admirable swiftnesse? But unlesse it be quiet, nothing is happy. Or whether there be some god in the world, who rules, governs, converses the courses of the stars, the mutations of season, the visissitude and order of things, who is present in all places, at all times; and how great soever is the variety, or rather innumerability of all particular things, is distracted by so many cares, by taking order that they be done this way, and no other; indeed he is, as I before objected, involved in businesses troublesome and laborious.

Besides, though it were but onely supposed, that God doth not take care of things, Shall we not find, that all things happen no otherwise, than as if there were no providence? for some fall out well, but the most ill, and otherwise than they ought. To omit the rest, if Jupiter himself did thunder, or guide thunder, he ought to at least to spare Temples, though it were onely not to give occasion of doubting, whether it pro-


ceed from fortune or divine counsell; that is, all things, in a manner, holding on their course, as it was at first begun.

This also is of no little weight, that they assert a speciall providence in respect of Men. For (not to repeat what I even now said, that a happy and immortall nature cannot be possessed with any anger or favour) put case, that God takes no care of the affairs of men, how can they come to be otherwise than they are? In them there is an equall, or rather greatest imbecillity, than in other creatures, equall inconveniences, equall ills; Some of them making vowes are preserved from shipwreck; how many have made vowes, and yet perished? Many pray for children, and obtain them; how many pray for children in vain?

But, to be brief, Why, if God takes care of the affairs of men, is it ill with the good, well with the bad? Truly it is an argument with me, when I see crosses alwaies happen to the good, poverty, labours, exile, losse of friends; on the other side, wicked persons to be happy, to increase in power, to be honoured with titles; That innocence is unsafe, wicked actions go unpunished; That Death exercises his cruelty without observing manners, without order and distinctions of years; some arrive at old age, others are snatched away in their infancy, others in their full stretch, others in the flower of their youth are immaturely cut off. In war, rather the best are vanquished and perish. But that which prevails most with me, is, that the most religious persons are afflicted with the greatest ills; but to them, who either wholly neglect the gods, or worship them not religiously, happen either the least misfortunes, or none at all.

Moreover, I think it may not be ill argued thus: Either God would take away ills and cannot, or he can and will not, or he neither will nor can, or he both will and can. If he would and cannot, he is impotent, and consequently not God; if he can and will not, envious, which is equally contrary to God’s nature; if he neither will nor can, he is both envious and impotent, and consequently not God; if he both will and can, which onely agrees with God, whence then are the ills? or why does he not take them away?

      Chap 6 – A Digression, Concerning Genii or Daemons

It is all one, whether God takes care of things by Himself, as some will have it, or (as others hold) by Ministers, whom they generally call Genii and Daemons; for things happen no otherwise, than as if we should suppose no such Ministers; and though it were granted that there are some, yet can they not be such as they feign them, that is, of a human form, and having a voice that can reach to us. To omit, since for the most part they are said to be ill and vicious, they cannot be happy and long liv’d, since both much blindnesse, and a pronenesse to destruction, perpetually attends wickednesse.

How much were it to be wished, that there were some who might take care of us, and supply what is wanting to our prudence, and to our strength; especially, how much were it to be wished, by such as are Leaders in War, of most pious and honest attempts, that they might confide not onely in arms, horses, ships, but also in the assistance of the gods themselves?

And indeed, some are said to appear sometimes to some persons; and why may it not be, that they who affirm Daemons to have appeared to them, either lie and feign, or are melancholy, and such, that their distemper’d body either strangely raiseth, or diverts their imagination to extraordinary conceits. It is well known, that nothing is more apt to be moved and transformed into any species, (although there be no reall ground) than Imagination. For the impression made upon the mind is like that in wax, and the mind of man having within it self that which represents, and that which is represented, there is such a power in it, that, taking even the very least of things seen or heard upon some occasion, it can of it self easily vary and transfigure the species, as is manifested by the commutations of dreams which are made in sleep, from which we perceive, that the imaginative faculty puts on all variety of affections and phantasies; so that it is no wonder, it, where the faculty is unsound, they seem to see Daemons or other things, of which they have had any foretaken conceit.

Moreover, they use to alledge divination as an argument, to prove both Providence and the existence of Daemons; but I am ashamed at human imbecillity, when it fetcheth divinations even out of dreams, as if God, walking from bed to bed, did admonish supine persons, by indirect visions, what shall come to passe, and out of all kinds of portents and prodigies; as if chance were not a sufficient agent for these effects, but we must mix God, not onely with the Sun, and with the Moon, and severall other living creatures, but also with all brass and stone.

But to instance in Oracles onely: Many waies may it be evinced, that they are meer impostures of Priests, as may particularly be discover’d, for that the Verses which proceed from them are bad, being for the most part, maimed in the beginning, imperfect in the middle, lame in the close, which could not be, if they came from divine inspiration, since from God nothing can proceed, but what is well and decent.

And I remember, that, when in my younger daies I lived at Samus, that Oracle was much cryed up, by which (as they reported) Polycrates King of that Island, celebrating the Pythian and Delian Games, sent at the same time to Delus, demanding of Apollo, Whether he should offer sacrifice at the appointed time? Pythius answered, These to thee are the Pythian and the Delian; whereby (said they) it was signifi’d, that those should be his last, for soon after he happen’d to be slain. But how could it be signifi’d by that answer, that these sacrifices should be the last rather than the middle? but that the vulgar sort of men are most commonly led by hear-say, and are greedy of strange stories.

      Chap 7 – Of the End or Corruption of the World

That the world shall perish and have an end, is consequent, forasmuch as it was generated and had a beginning; for it is necessary, that all compounded things be also dissipated, and resolved into those things of which they were compounded, some by some causes, others by others; but still all from some cause, and at some time or other. Whence it is the more to be admired, that there should be some, who, not onely broaching the opinion, that the world was generated, but even in a manner made by hands, thence define, that it shall be ever. For, as I argued before, what coagmentation can there be dissoluble? or what is there that hath a beginning, but no end?

Certainly, the world seems like an animal, or plant, as generated, so subject to corruption, as well because, not otherwise than they, it consists

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of Atoms, which by reason of their intestine motion, wherewith they are incessantly moved, at length must cause a dissolution; as also because there may happen both to them, and the world, some extrinsecall cause, which may bring them to destruction; especially, it being known that every thing is produced but one way, but may be destroyed many; as also, because, as there are three Ages in them, youth, middle state, and old age; so the World first began to grow up, (as also after the time of its generation, there came extrinsecally from the Universe, Atoms which insinuated into the pores as it were of the World, and by which Heaven, the Stars, the Aire, the Sea, the Earth, and other things were augmented, the congruous Atoms accommodating themselves to those that were congruous to them) then, because there ought to have been some end, of growing, it rested in a kind of perfect state; and at last began so to decay, as plainly showes, that it declines towards its last Age.

This is first proved, because, as we see, in progresse of time, Towers fall, Stones moulder, Temples and Images decay, whereby at last they come to be dissolved; so we may perceive the parts of the World, sensibly to moulder, and wear away; a great part of the Earth goes away into Aire, (not to say any thing of those greater concussions, which make us fear sometimes, lest the whole should fall, and sinking from under our feet, sink, as it were, into an abysse) the water also is partly exhaled into aire, partly so distributed through the earth, that it will not all flow back again; the Aire is continually changed, many things going forth into it, and many produced again out of it. Lastly the fire, (not onely ours, but the Starry fire also, as that which is in the Sunne) sensibly decayes by the emanation, and casting forth of light. Wherefore, neither is there any reason, to think, that these bodies of the world will continue ever.

Again, because we see there is a continuall fight amongst the bodies of the world themselves, through which sometimes happen conflagrations, sometimes deluges, as it were with equall strength. But, as in wrastling, so is it necessary, that in the world one of the contraries prevaile at last, and destroy all things. If any shall demand, which of the two is the more likely to prevaile, it may be answer’d, The Fire, as being the more active, and receiving particular recruits from the Sun, and Heaven; so as at last, it will come to get the upper hand, and the world thereupon perish by conflagration.

Lastly, because there is nothing indissolvable, but either as it is solid, as an Atom; or intactile, as vacuum; or hath nothing beyond it, whence either a dissolving cause may come, or whither it selfe may go forth, as the Universe. But the world neither is solid, by reason of the vacuum intermix’d; nor intactile, by reason of corporeall nature; nor hath nothing without it, by reason of its extremity; whence it followes, that a destruction may happen extrinsecally, by bodies incurring to it, and breaking it; but, both extrinsecally, and inrinsecally, it is capable of being dissolved.

This I adde, because the world may perish, not onely by conflagration, or if you will by inundation also, but by many other waies; amongst which the chief is, that, as a living Creature, (to which I already compar’d it) the frame of the soul being unty’d, is dissolved into severall parts, and these at length are quite dissolved also, either by being dissipated, and turning into aire, and the most minute dust, or serving again for the production of some other living Creatures; So the walls, as it were, of the world decaying, and falling, the severall pieces of it are dissolved, and goe at length into Atoms, which having gotten into the free space of vacuum, rush downwards in a Tumult, and recommence their first motions; or run forward, far and long; or soon fall upon other worlds; or meeting with other Atoms, joyne with them to the production of new Worlds.

And though indeed, as a living Creature may be sooner or later dissolved by departure of the soul, so may either of these happen to the world; yet it is more probable, that it will so come to passe, as that in a moment of time, nothing thereof shall remain except Atoms, and a desolate space; for which way soever the gate of death, as it were, shall be first opened, thither will all the crowd of matter throng to get out.

That the world, as I said, is declining towards its last age, is probable, for that the teeming earth, as I lately touched, scarse bringeth forth even little Animals, when as formerly she produced large; and that she not without extream labour, brings forth corn and fruits, whereas at first she brought them forth of her owne accord, in great plenty. Whence it comes, that there are frequent complaints, praising the former ages, and accusing the present, for that they perceive not that it is the course of things, that all things should decay by little and little, and, wearied with long space of age, tend as it were to destruction. I wish reason, rather then the thing it self did perswade, that within a short time, we shall see all things shatter’d in pieces.

      Chap 8 – Of Infinite Worlds

Moreover, as to the demand, Whether these are, besides this, not onely other worlds, but many, even infinite: this seems to be the answer, That there are infinite Worlds. For [70] the Atoms being infinite, as we formerly showed, are carried through infinite spaces, and that severall wayes, in far distances from this world, and there meeting one another in multitudes, may joyne to the production of infinite Worlds. Since the Atoms, being of this nature, that a world may be made up, and consist of them, cannot, by reason of their infinity, be consumed, or exhausted by one, nor any determinate number of Worlds, whether these worlds be supposed, framed after one fashion, or after divers. It is not impossible therefore, but that there may be infinite Worlds.

[71] And indeed it is, as absurd for a single world, to be made in an infinite Universe, as for one eare of corn, to sprout up in a vast field, sowed with many grains; for as in the field, there are many causes, to wit, many seeds apt to grow up, and places to produce them; so in the Universe, besides places, there are causes, not many, but, infinite, namely Atoms, as capable of joyning, as those, of which this World was made up.

[72] Besides, we see not any generable thing, so one, as that it hath not many like it selfe, in the same kind, (for so men, so beasts, so birds, so fishes are multiplied each under their particular species.) Wherefore, seeing that not onely the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, the Sea, and the rest of the parts of the World were generated; but even the whole World it selfe, which consists of them, we must acknowledge, that not onely the parts, but the World it selfe, are not single, but many, as to number, and (for the reasons alledged) infinite.

Now there being nothing to hinder, but that some Worlds may be like this of ours, others unlike it, for there may be equall, there may be greater, there may be lesser; there may be, that have the same parts, disposed in the same order; there may be, that have the same figure; there may be, that have a different, (for though Atoms cannot have infinite variety of figures, having a determinate space in their superficies, yet may they be of more figures then we can number, as Round, Ovall, Pyramidal, &c.) although I say, there be no repugnance in this, yet all these diversities are onely certain kinds of conditions, which vary the common quality, and nature of the World.

But it seems, that each of the other Worlds, as this of ours, and every compound which is made in that vast vacuity, and hath any resemblance with those things which fall under our observation, is generate apart, and after a fashion peculiar to it selfe, [73] by certain convolutions, and intertextures of Atoms proper to it; and this, whether it be generated in the intermundia, (so we term the intervall, included betwixt two or more Worlds, not far distant from one, another) or in a multivacuous place, (that is, in which though there be great and little bodies, yet vacuities take up the greater share of it) or lastly, in a great unmixt, and pure vacuum, though not as some (who assert such a vacuum) describe it.

For we are to understand, contrary to them, that [74] there floweth together, if not from infinite, at least from one, or more Worlds, or intermundia, some apt seeds, that is a congruous heap of Atoms, or little bodies, which are by degrees mutually adjoyned here and there, and variously formed, and change place diversly, according as it happens, and withall receive from without some irriguous as it were accretions; untill a bulk, consisting of the whole assembly of all these, be made up, and gain a consistency, as much as the principles, of which it was made, can well bear.

[75] For it is not sufficient, for the generation of a World, that a great heap of Atoms be thrown together in a Vacuum, and, by the accession of others, grow bigger, till it route into another vacuum; in the same manner, as a heap of Snow, being tumbled upon snow, gathers still more, and growes bigger, as was the opinion of a certain Philosopher, holding a necessity of such a method; since this is repugnant to our daily experience. For a heap, whose innermost kernell, as it were, is solid, and its outermost shell solid also, can neither be rolled up and down, nor increased, if the part intercepted betwixt the kernell and the shell, be fluid, as in the world it is.

Finally, that the other worlds also are, because generated, subject to corruption, is too manifest, to be mentioned; that some may be dissolved sooner, others later, some by some causes, others by others, is a thing necessarily consequent to the peculiar diversity of every one.

Sect. 3 – Of Inferiour Terrestriall Things

But that (omitting the rest) we may speak more particularly of this our world, since all things in it, are either contained within the compasse of the Earth, or exceed not the height of the ground, or are placed on high, that is eaised above the earth’s superficies, and therefore, may generically be divided into the low, or terrestriall sort of things, and those which are sublime, celestiall, or aeriall; let us then so order our discourse, as to speak first of the former, in regard, that as they are neerer, and more familiar to us; so we may thence ascend, by orderly degrees to discourse, and define, what we should most ratinally conjecture of the latter, which are more remote from us, and lesse visible to us.

In the first place, we are to take a generall view of the body of the earth, next of the water, a considerable part of this Masse, and mingled diversly with the earth, partly in its superficies, partly in its very bowells; afterwards of these lesser bodies, with which we see that whole masse replenished, whether inanimate, as minerals, stones, and plants; or animate, usually called animals.

      Chap 1 – Of the Earth Scituate In The Midle of the World

First then, as to the Earth, we have already said, how it was framed together with the other parts of the world; for it had been to no purpose to form it fist, beyond the utmost surface of the world, and then convey it into the world already framed, since it was sufficient for that effect, that there were such seeds found in the universall masse, of which it, with the other parts of the world, might be generated; in the same manner as it would be unnecessary, that living creatures should first be separated from, and carried beyond this infinity of things, and be formed there, that, being now perfected, they might be brought thence into this our region. Nor was it needfull that they should first be exactly wrought in heaven, seeing no man can show, why there must needs be found such seeds there, of which animals, plants, and other visible compounds are made up, and could as well be found here; or whence heaven hath this priviledge, of having sufficient conveniences for their generation and nutrition, more then our earth.

It is already said, That the Earth, when the Heaven, and other higher bodies, did fly, as it were, upwards, setled into the middle of the world, and there rested as in the lowest place; we add now, that as it is the middle part of the world, towards which all heavy things fall, it followes not, that there is also a middle part of it, called the Center, towards which, all things that ponderated are directed in a streight line; for all heavy things fall in parallel motions, without any endeavour to meet in any angle, from which all heavy things come, and onely one below towards which they tend.

Whenc, as they are not to be approved of, who say, there are Antipodes, or men so scituated in a strange region of the earth, that they walk with their feet diametrically opposite to ours, in like manner as we see the images of men or other things, either stand or go with their heads downwards under the water; for these Philosophers endeavour to maintain, contrary to the lawes of nature, and of heavy things, that men and other terrestriall bodies placed there tend upwards or towards the earth; and that it is equally impossible they should fall down from the earth to the inferiour places of the sky, as that bodies amongst us here should un-impell’d mount up to heaven: However, upon another account they speak consequently to their hypothesis, that ’tis day with the antipodes when ’tis night with us, and night with them when ’tis our day.

The earth then is framed indeed after a circular figure, but yet as a dish or a drum is, not like a sphear or bowl; for this surface of it which we inhabit, and which indeed is onely habitable, is flat or plain, and not globous, and such as all heavy things are carried to it in a streight line, or perpendicularly, as was formerly declared.

This bein so, here ariseth a great difficulty, how it can then be that it should stand steady, and not fall downwards into that region, into which the Antipodes would slide; but the reason why the earth falls not, is, because it rests upon the aire, as ally’d to it in nature; nor doth it any more burthen the aire than animals, which are of like nature with the earth, burthen the earth.

Nor is it hard to conceive, that in the aire beneath there is a power to sustain the earth, because the aire and the earth, by the generall contexture of the world, are things not of different extraction, but ally’s to one another by a certain affinity; whence, as being parts of the same whole, one cannot be burthensome to the other, but are held by a mutuall embrace, as if they had no gravity at all, especially since this earth, however in this upper part of it more compacted and heavy, may, descending lower, be, by degrees, lesse solid, and so lesse weighty; till at length, in its lowest part of all, it approach very near the nature of the aire which supports it.

And for this reason I said, that the earth was not made in some place out of the world, and thence brought into it, because then it would have pressed the aire with its weight, as our bodies are sensible of the least weight, if imposed from without; whereas neither the head nor other parts are heavy to one another, by reason that they are agreeable to one another in nature, and knit to one another by the common law of the same whole.

And that is seem not incredible, a thing so tenuious as is aire should be able to uphold so grosse a bulk, do but consider how subtle a thing the soul or animal spirit is, and yet how grosse and weighty a bulk of the body it upholds and governs, and that onely by this means, because it is a thing joyned to it, and aptly united to it, as the aire is to the earth.

But we must not therefore conceive the Earth to be animate, much lesse a goddesse, for we have formerly proved the contrary; the earth indeed many times brings fort severall living creatures, yet not as being her self animate, but because, containing various atoms, and divers seeds of things, she produceth many things many wayes; of which, animate beeings are formed. Some there are who call the earth, the great mother of the gods, and Berecynthia. That to the earth these names be attributed, if it be lawfull to make use of divine things thereby to signifie naturall things, may perhaps seem tolerable; but to believe that there is a divinity in the earth, is no way allowable.

      Chap 2 – Of Earth-quakes, and the Flames of Aetna

It seems wonderfull, how it comes to passe, That the Earth is sometimes shaken and trembles; but this is an effect which may happen from divers causes, supposing that the Earth, as I see no reason to doubt, is in all parts alike, and that below as well as above; it hath caverns, breaches, and rivers, rolling great billowes, vast stones, &c.

For the water may move the earth, if it hath wash’d or worn away some parts, which being made hollow, it can no longer be held up, as it was whilst they were entire; or, if some wind drive upon channels, and lakes, or standing-waters within the earth, and the [blow] impulsion either shake the earth from thence, or the agitation of the wind increasing with its own motion, and stirring up it self be carried from the bottom to the top, as a vessell cannot stand stedfast, untill the water which hath been troubled in it give over moving.

Likewise the earth may receive a shock, by some part thereof suddenly falling down, and thereby be moved, seeing that some of its parts are upheld, as it were, with columns and pillars, which decaying and sinking, the weight that is laid on them quakes: For we see whole houses shake, by reason of the jumbling and succussion of Carts and Chariots.

Also the very wind it selfe may move the earth, either if the earth (its interiour and lower parts, being full of crannies and chinks) be shaken by some wind variously dispers’d, and falling into those hollow caverns, and so tremble, in such manner, as our limbs by insinuation of cold, tremble, and are moved, whether we will or no; Or, if the wind getting in at the top, and driving downwards, the earth is driven upwards, by the aire under it; which is somewhat grosse and watery, (for it sustains the earth) and shaken as it were from beneath, leaps up, which happens to all things; not onely to those which are forc’d against any thing, hard or firme; or so stretched or bent, that being prest upon, it recoiles; but also against a fluid thing, if it be able to strike it back, as when Wood is plung’d into water.

The force of this wind, if we conceive it turned into fire, and resembling thunder, may be carried on with a great destruction of all things, that oppose its passage. For as lightning, engender’d in a cloud, breaks thorough it, and shakes the Aire with wonderfull violence; in like manner, may the fire generated within the Caverns of the earth, of a coacervate and exagitated wind, break thorough it, and make it tremble.

Now as there appears not any cause, more likely then that which is taken from the wind, and chiefly in this last manner, either by distributing it self into many severall cavities of the earth; it causeth a trembling only, and (as if there were a transpiration through the looser earth) the earth is not so broken thorough, as that there is a breach made, or something overthrown, or turn’d awry; or else by its being heaped up together in greater Caverns, there may follow such a succussion and impulsion, as may heave up, and cleave asunder the Earth, and make gaps big enough to entombe whole Citties, as in divers places it hath often happen’d.

What I say concerning the force of the wind, which being turned into fire, breaks thorough and shakes the earth, may serve to make us understand, that the eruptions of fire which often happen in the same places, as at Aetna, proceed from the same cause.

For this Mountain is all hollow within, and so underpropped with vaults of flint, that the wind shut up in them, groweth hot, and being enkindled, forceth its way thorough the breaches which it finds above, and eats into the sides of those Caverns, whence (together with flame and smoak) it casts up sparkles and pumices.

And the better to bring this to passe, the Sea lies at the foot of the Mountain, which rolling its waves to and from the shore, unto which the Caverns of the Hill extend, thrusts in, and drives forward the aire, whereby, the fire is augmented, and cherish’d, as with the blowing of bellowes.

      Chap 3 – Of the Sea, Rivers, Fountains, and the Over-flowing of the Nilus

As for those waters which are on the Earth, (for of those which are generated on high, and thence fall down in rain, we shall speak more opportunely hereafter) first there is a vast body of them, which we call the Sea: for besides those in-land Seas which wash our shores, there is also an extern Sea, or Ocean, which, flowing about all the habitable earth, is believed by some, to be so immediately placed under the Arch of Heaven, that the Sun and other Stars rise from it, and set in it, as we shall have occasion to shew else-where.


And indeed, the vastnesse of the Sea being such, it may be esteemed not the most inconsiderable reason, why the Sea seems not to be increased by the flowing of so many Rivers into it; for all the Rivers are hardly like a drop, compared to so immense a body. And withall the Sun, who with his beams, so soon dries wet garments; although he suck not up much moisture from every place, yet from so large a compasse, cannot but take away a great deal. Not to mention, how much the winds, which in one night many times dry up the waies, and harden the dirt, may in sweeping along the Sea, consume of it.

But, the chiefest reason seems to be this. The earth being a rare body, and easily penetrated, and withall, washed on all sides by the Sea, the waters, as well as they are poured from the earth into the Sea, so must they also soke down from the Sea into the earth, that they may rise up in springs, and flow again.

Neither need it trouble us, that the water of the Sea is salt, and the waters of springs, and rivers fresh; because the water passing out of the Sea into the earth, is strained in such manner, that it puts off the little bodies of salt, and returned quite strip’d of them. For, the body of the Sea, being commixed of salt, and of water; for as much, as the seed of salt are more hooked, and those of water more smooth, therefore, these glide easily away, whilst the others cannot but be entangled, and are all along left behind.

Hence appeareth the cause, (which seemeth the principall) of the perpetuall flowing of springs: where the rise up, there may indeed be some great quantity of water gather’d together, which may serve for supply; but upon another account, they may be suppli’d, for as much, as there is something continually flowing, from beneath into them. And though these subterraneous rivolets, (as it were) might be made up of the severall seeds, which are dispersed through the earth, yet must these seed be supplied by the Sea, which soaks into the earth.

Whence it comes to passe, as was said, that those rivolets dispersing themselves into lesser streams, and running down into lower hollow receptacles, and meeting there, at last, joyn together in great Channells, and make large Rivers, which continually supply the immense Sea.

But since, there is not any River more wonderfull then Nilus, for that ever summer, it over-floweth and watereth Aegypt, we must not therefore, omit to say, that this may happen by reason of the Etesian winds, which at that season, blowing towards Aegypt, raise up the Sea to the mouth of Nilus, and drive up sands thither, so as Nilus cannot but stop and swell, and rising above its Channel, over-flow the plaine which lies beneath.

Perhaps also, it happens, for that the Etesian winds blowing from the North, carry the Clouds into the South beyond Aegypt, which meeting at  some very high Mountains, are there crowded together, and squeeze forth rain, by which Nilus is increased.

It may happen also, that the exceeding high Mountains of Aethopia, may be cover’d with Snow, which being dissolved by the Sun’s excessive heat, fills the Channel of Nilus.

      Chap 4 – Of the Properties of Some Waters, and of Ice

But that we may select besides some properties of water, which seem wonderfull to the vulgar, I omit at present that property, which is of kin to those we last mentioned, that although the water so easily dissolves salt, and admits to be imbued by it, yet there are some sweet fountains which spring out of the midst of the sea. For this plainly happens hence, that the water bursting forth from the bottom of the sea, riseth up with so great vehemency, that it drives away on all sides the seawater, and neither suffers it nor its salt to be mingled with it.

Wonderfull is that fountain in Epirus, over which flax or a taper is no sooner put, but it is presently set on fire and flames. It seems, that from the earth which is beneath it, so many seed of heat are breathed forth, as that though they are not able to heat the water in their passage through it, yet as soon as ever they get out of it into the open aire, running into the flax and tapers, they associate themselves with the fiery seeds, wherewith such things abound, and break forth into flame; in the same manner as when putting flame to a candle newly extinguish’d, you may see it light before the flame touches it.

But what shall we say of that fountain, which is reported to be at the temple of Jupiter Hammon, conld in the day time, and hot in the night? Certainly, the earth about this fountain, though it be looser than other earth, yet being compress’d by the cold of night, it strikes out, or squeezeth forth, and transmits into the water many seeds of fire which it contains, whereby the water groweth hot; but being loosened by the heat of day, it sucks back again, as it were, the same seeds, whereby the water becommeth cold.

It may likewise come to passe, that the water which is made hot through the same seeds, which are repressed in the night-time by reason of the cold aire, may become cold in the day time, the beams of the Sun passing so through the water, that they afford to those seeds a free vent into the aire: just as ice is dissolved by the same piercing and rarifying beams; and though the effects of wax, and hardning of clay.

‘Tis from the same cause, that water in wells is hot in the winter, cold in the summer. For in summer, the earth is rarify’d by heat, and exhaleth the seeds of heat which are in her, by which means the water which is kept close within her, becomes colder. But in winter, the earth is compress’d and condens’d with cold; whence, if she hath any heat, she squeeseth it forth into the wells.

These put me in mind to speak of Ice, by which the water, forgetting, as it were, its naturall fluidity, growes solid and hard. Here we must conceive, that those bodies onely are capable of being made solid, which are made up of parts or little bodies, that have plain surfaces; because, by exclusion of vacuity, the parts cohere best with one another; whereas if those little bodies be round, or joyned to round, or intermingled with plain, there is a vacuum contained round about them, into which the round may roll, and the plain bend; whence followeth softnesse and (unlesse there be some hooks that stay it) fluxibility.

Ice therefore is made, either when the round little bodies which cause heat are thrust out of the water, and the plain which are in the same water (part whereof are acute-angled, part obtuse-angled) are thrust up

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close together; or when those little bodies are brought thither from without, (and that for the most part from the aire, when it is made cold by them) which being closely pressed, and thrusting out all the round that they meet, bring solidity into the water.

      Chap 5 – Of things Terrestriall Inanimate

Our method leading us to speak of those things which are generated of earth and water, it is in the first place manifest, that those things are either animate or inanimate. Animate things are those which have sense, and are vulgarly called Animals; inanimate things are those which want sense, whence under this name are comprehended all those, to which the name of Animal is not applyed.

Of this sort are, first, certain moist things which are grown consistent, as we see salt, sulphur, and ill-scented bitumen generated in the earth. Now these are the chief cause, not onely of subterraneous heat, and ignivomous eruptions, as that of Aetna, already spoken of, but also of pestiferous exhalations, which being carried on high, cause Avernous lakes and diseases. Wherefore we will speak more amply of these, when we treat of Meteors. Concerning Amber, which attracteth strawes, we shall say something hereafter.

Of this sort also are Metalls, which were first found out upon occasion of some woods, being burnt by lightning, or some other fire, which being quite burnt up, the metalls were melted and stuck to the roots, and thereupon dazled the eye with their splendour, and were observ’d to retain the same figure with the chincxs in which they flowed. Whence men conjectured, that the same metalls being melted by the force of fire, might be formed into any figure, eeven, acute or pointed; and by reason of the solidity they had acquired, might be made fit to malleate, or to strike, or for other uses.

Moreover, not onely Lead, but also Gold and Silver lay neglected, as being found lesse commodious for those uses, and Brasse onely was in esteem, of which were made darts, swords, axes, plough-shares, and the like; untill Iron came to be found out; of which, then, they chose rather to make these things, by reason it was of greater hardnesse.

Of this sort also are stones, whereof many are daily generated, many broke off from rocks, but the main bodies of rocks and stones were made from the beginning; for by this means, as we said formerly, mountains were first occasion’d, and sometimes we find, that the earth encloseth in her bowells, caverns, rocks, and broken stones, as well as rivers, channels, and winds.

Now as Stones are ordinarily discerned by their hardnesse and solidity, so in the first rank, as it were, may be reckoned Adamants, not damnify’d by blowes, (for a tryall of them being made upon anviles, they split the iron) and huge Flints, out of which, by the stroke or iron, fire flyeth, for they contain seeds of fire close hidden in their veins; neither doth the cold force of the iron hinder, but that being stirred up by its stroke, they meet together in one body or spark.

Lastly, of the inanimate kind are Plants, that is, herbs and trees; for the soul is not without sense. And we see, that of animate beeings, which from thence are called animals and living creatures, some have a moving and desiderative soul, others a discursive; but plants neither have sense, nor either of those souls, and therefore cannot be called animate things.

Something indeed they have common with living creatures, that is, nutrition, augmentation, generation; but they perform these things by the impulse of nature, not by the direction of a soul, and therefore are onely analogically, or for resemblance-sake, said to live and die as animals. Whence also whatsoever may be said of them, may be understood by parity, and, in some proportion, by those things which shall be said of living creatures.

I would add, that the originall of sowing and grafting was, upon the observation men took, that berries and acorns shedding and falling to the ground, sprung up again, and begot new plants, like those of which sort they themselves were. But it is enough to have hinted this.

      Chap 6 – Of the Loadstone in Particular

But we must insist a little longer upon a thing, inanimate indeed, yet very admirable; I mean, the Herculean Stone, which we call also Magnet, for that it was first found in Magnesia. It is much wondered at by reason of its singular power (or vertue) in attracting Iron.

To explicate this power, we must suppose three or four Principles; one is, That there is a continuall effluxion of little bodies out of all things; as, out of coloured and lucid bodies, flow such as belong to colour and light; from hot and cold bodies, such as belong to heat and cold; from odorous bodies, such as belong to smell; and so of the rest.

A second is, that there is no bodie so solid, but hath little vacuities contained within it, as is manifest by all bodies, through which passeth moisture, (or sweat) light, sound, heat, or cold.

The third, That these effluent little bodies are not alike adaptable to all things. The Sun, by emission of his beams, hardens clay, melts snow; Fire resolves metall, contracts leather; Water makes hot iron harder, leather softer; the Olive tree is bitter to the taste of man, pleasing to goats; Marjoram is sweet to the smell of man, hatefull to swine, &c.

The fourth, That the little vacuities are not of the same compasse in all things, wherefore neither can the same be accommodated to all little bodies. This is manifest from the contextures of the senses, for the little bodies which affect these move not those, or those which affect some one way, affect others another; as also from the contextures of all things else, for what will penetrate one, will not penetrate another.

From these it is understood, that the Load-stone may attract Iron (and Amber Straw) upon a double account. For first, we may imagine the atoms that flow out of the Stone so to suit with those which flow out of the Iron, that they easily knit together; wherefore being dashed on both sides on the bodies of the Iron and the Stone, and bounding back into the middle, they entangle with one another, and draw the Iron along with them.

But forasmuch as we see, that the Iron which is attracted by the Stone, is it self able to attract other Iron; whether shall we say, that some of the particles flowing out of the Stone, hitting against the Iron, bound back, and these are they which catch hold of the Iron. Others insinuating into it, passe with all swiftnesse through the empty pores, and being dashed against the Iron that is next, into which they could not all enter, although they had penetrated it; from thence leaping back to the first Iron, they made other complications like the former; and if any happened to penetrate farther, they likewise might attract another Iron, and that another, upon the same ground.

Moreover, it may be conceived in this manner, that there flow certain little bodies, as well out of the Magnet, as out of the Iron, but more and stronger out of the Magnet; whereby it comes to passe, that the aire is driven away much farther from about the Magnet, than from about the Iron, whereupon there are many more little vacuities made about it than about the Iron. And because the Iron is placed within the compasse of the dispelled aire, there is much vacuum taken up betwixt it and the magnet. Whence it happens, that the little bodies leap forward more freely, to be carried into that place, and there upon run towards the Magnet; but they cannot go thither in a great and extraordinary company, without enticing along the things that cohere with them; and so the whole masse, consisting of such coherent things, goes along with them.

It may also be said, that the motion of the Iron is assisted by the aire, through its continuall motion and agitation. And that first from the outward aire, which continually pressing, and pressing more vehemently where it most abounds, cannot but drive the Iron into that part where there is lesse, or which is more vacuous, as towards the Magnet. Next from the inward, which in the same manner continually agitating, moving, and driving, cannot but give it a motion into that part, where there is greatest vacuity.

      Chap 7 – Of the Generation of Animals

We now come to speak of Animals, which are of so different natures, some walking, some flying, others swimming, others creeping; some being greater, some lesser; some more perfect, some less perfect (even we ourselves also being Animals) and yet withall still of one nature, that nature discovers an admirable power in the composure of them.

For since nature is, as it were, instructed by the things themselves, and from their orderly procedure, and compelled by a kind of necessity, or by the concentration of motions, to perform these so many and so different effects, which we call the works of Nature; this especially appears in Animals, because the concatenation of motions shows itself to be artificiall, chiefly in them, although proceeding from a substance utterly void of reason.

And although the atoms themselves be not endewed with reason, nor their motion governed by rational conduct, yet the nature of every living creature in the beginning of the world grew to be such, that, according to the temperature of those motions, which the atoms then had, other motions still and others followed, which being caused after the same manner, still produced their like.  By which means those motions, which in the beginning were meerly casuall, in processe of time became artificial, and succeeded after a constant and determinate order.

But to discourse more fully hereupon, Divers kinds of Animals being produced in the beginning of the world, it came to passe first, by their receiving congruous aliment, that those atoms which are adaptable to one another were attracted and intangled by their fellow-atoms, which were already in the Animal, (those which were not adaptable being cut off) so that a peculiar nature to every one of them, viz. such a compound of such atoms growes up first, and at length becomes confirmed.

Next, that by the perpetuall motion of atoms, and their intrinsicall ebullition, some of them being still thrust out of their places, and running into the genitall parts, meet there from all places, and, there being a disctinction of Sexes, after mutual appetition and coition, are received in the womb.

After this, that the Atoms, or seminall bodies compounded of them, and flowing from all parts, (whence therefore, [76] the seed may be conceived as something incorporeall, not in rigour indeed, because only vacuum is truly such, but in the most familiar sense of the word, by which we term any thing incorporeall, which easily penetrates through the most solid bodies) that the Atoms I say, or those seminall little bodies, which thus flowed from all parts, did therefore, (this motion continuing) with-draw them from the tumult of others, and, like Atoms drawing their like, therefore those that come from the head, would betake themselves to one place; those from the breast, into the next place; and those which came from every other part, each rank themselves in their distinct scituations; and so at length, a little Animal is formed like that, whence the seed was taken.

Moreover, that this little Animal is nourished, and increaseth by the attraction of like Atoms, or little bodies meeting together in the womb; untill the womb being wearied, and no longer fit to nourish them, slackens its motions, or rather opens the door, and gives them leave to goe out.

Further, that this Animal being after the same manner, fully grown up, and the continuall agitation of the Atoms, pursuing one another, not ceasing, it begetteth another, like thing, and that other consequently another.

At length, that nature being by little and little accustomed hereunto, learneth, as it were, so to propagate Animals like in their kinds, as that from the motion, and the perpetuall series of Atoms, it derives a necessity of operating continually in this manner.

Thus much for the generation of those Animals which are made by propagation; as for those, which we sometimes see produced otherwise, they may be generated after the same manner, as all things at first were; whether some seeds of them were remaining, formed from the very beginning; or whether daily formed, either within, or without, the Animals themselves; and if within, then thrust out, (as in the generation of worms and flies,) leaving behind them some remainders, either in the earth, or else-where; of which, other Animals, of the same kinds, are begotten.

What I said of the defluxion of seed, I meane not onely, on the parts of the Male, but of the Female also, seeing that she likewise emitteth, having parastatae or testicles, although placed in a contrary way, and therefore, is she desirous of coition.

And this indeed, seems necessary to be granted, towards, giving the reason, why a Male or Female is formed; for nothing can be alledged more proper then this, that whereas, the young one consists of the seeds, both of its sire and its dam, if that of the sire predominate, it proves Male, if that of the dam, Female.

Hence also, may be given a cause of the resemblance which it hath, to either, or both its parents:  for if the Female with a sudden force attracts, and snatcheth away the seed of the Male, then the young one becometh like the dam; if both alike, it becometh like both, but mixtly.

If you demand, why children are sometimes like their Grand-fathers, or great-Grandfathers, the reason seems to be this,  the seed is made up of many little bulks, which are not alwayes, all of them dissolved into Atoms, or neerest to Atoms, in the first, or next generations, but at length in some one of the following generations, they unfold themselves in such manner, as that, what they might have done in the immediate, they exhibit onely in the remote.

But whence comes barrennesse?  From the Seed’s being either thinner then it ought; so as it cannot fasten on the place; or thicker, so as it cannot easily be commixed:  for there is requisite a due proportion betwixt the seeds of the Male, and of the Female; whence it happens, that many times, the same Man or Woman, who are incapable of having Children by one, may yet have them by another.  I omit other reasons, as from the Aliment, since it is manifest, that Aliment by which seed is encreased differs from that, whereby it is attenuated, and wasted.

      Chap 8 – Of The Use of Parts In Animals

Hence followes, that the parts of Animals were not from the very beginning, of things framed, after the fashion they have now, for those ends and uses, ewhereto we see them now serve, (for there was no cause to fore-see this end, nor any thing precedent to which that cause attending, and thence taking a conjecturall aime, might designe any such fashion) but because it happened, that the parts were made, and did exist as we now see them; therefore they came to be applied to these uses, rather then to others, and being first made, themselves became afterwards the occasion of their owne usefullnesse, and insinuated the knowledge of it, into the minds of the users.

The eyes therefore, were not made to see, nor the ears to hear, nor the tongue to speak, nor the hands to work, nor the feet to goe, for all these members were made before there was Seeing, Hearing, Speaking, Working, Going; but these became their functions, after they had been made.

For the soul being formed together with, and within the body, and moreover being capable of sense, the eye happened to be made of such a contexture, that the soul being applied unto it, could not but produce the sensitive act of seeing; and the ear of such, as that being joyned to it, it could not but produce hearing; and there being within the body, made together with it, an Animal spirit capable to impell and move, the tongue happened to be framed after such a contexture, as that this spirit coming to it, could not but move it, and break the aire, (which at the same time is breathed forth) into words. In like manner, the hands, the feet, and the rest of the Limbs, were so fashioned, as that this spirit rushing into them, could not but give this motion to one, and that to the other.

As for the tendons, which are plainly the organs, by which the parts are stirred, it is evident, that the actions are not strong, because these are big; nor remisse, because they are small; but the actions are such or such, according to the occasions of frequent, or seldome using them: But the bignesse of the tendons, followes the quantity of the motion, so that, those which are exercised are in good plight, and grow conveniently bigger, those which lie idle, thrive not, but wast away.

Wherefore, the tendons were not so formed by nature, as if it were better, than they should be strong and big, for the discharge of vehement functions; weak and slender, for the weaker, (for we see even Apes have fingers fashioned like ours) but, as was said before, those which are exercised, must of necessity be big, because they are well nourished, and those which are not exercised, small, because they are lesse nourished.

For confirmation hereof, may be alledged, that most parts are sometimes directed to those uses, for which no man will say they were design’d; and this, when either necessity or occasion, or some conjecture taken elsewhere laies them open to us, as men would not so much as dream of fighting with weapons, if they had not first fought with their hands; nor of holding shields before them, if they had not first felt wounds that were to be avoided; nor of making soft beds, if they had not first slept on the ground; nor of making houses, if they had not been acquainted with the use of caves; and so of the rest.

      Chap 9 – Of the Soul, The Intrinsecall Form of Animals

Let us now come to the Soul, by which Animals are, and from it have their denomination. In the first place, we must conceive it to be corporeall, [77] some most tenuious or subtle body, made up of most subtle particles. Doubtlesse, they who affirm it is incorporeal, besides that they abuse the word, play the fools exceedingly; for, except it were such, it could neither act nor suffer. It could not act, for it could not touch any thing; it could not suffer, for it could not be touch’d by any thing, but would be as meer vacuity, which, as I said before, is such, that it can neither act nor suffer any thing, but onely affords a free motion to bodies passing through it.

[78] Now that the soul acts and suffers something, is manifestly declared by those things, which happen about its senses and affections; as also by the motions wherewith it impells the members, and, from within, governeth the whole Animal, turneth it about, transports it with dreams, and, in generall, by its union and consent, to mix in one compound with this grosser matter, which usually, upon this occasion, is more particularly termed the body.

I say, it is a most tenuious and subtle body, for that [79] it is made up of most tenuious or most subtle bodies; which, as they are for the most part, exceeding smooth, so are they very round; otherwise they could not permeate, and cohere intrinsecally with the whole body, and with all its parts, as with veines, nerves, entralls, and the rest. Which is manifest even from hence, for that when the soul goeth out of the body, we finde not that any thing is taken off from the whole, neither as to its figure nor weight; but like Wine, when its flower or spirit is gone; or Unguent, that hath lost its scent: for the wine and unguent retain the same quantity, as if nothing of them were perished. So that the Soul, if you should imagine her to be rolled up together, might be contained almost in a point, or the very least of places.

Nevertheless, though it be of such a subtle contexture, yet is it mixed and compounded of four severall natures; for we are to conceive it a thing, made up and contemperated of something fiery, something aeriall, something flowous, and a fourth which hath no name; by means whereof, it is endued with a sensitive faculty.

The reason is this, because when a thin breath departs out of the body of a dying person, this breath is mixed with heat, and heat attracts aire, there being no heat without aire. Thus we have three of those things which make up the Soul; and because there is none of these three from which the sensitive motion can be derived, we must therefore admit a fourth, though without a name, whereunto the sensitive faculty may be attributed.

This may be confirmed from hence, for that there is a certain breath of gale, as it were, and wind, which is cause of the bodie’s motion; aire, of its rest; something hot, cause of the heat that is in it; there must


likewise be some fourth thing, the cause of its sense.

Now the necessity of this fourth being manifest, upon another account, Anger, by which the heart boils, and fervour sparkles in the eyes, convinceth, that there is heat in it; fear, exciting horour throughout the limbs, argues a cold or copious breath or wind; and the calm state of the breast, and serenity of the countenance, demonstrates there is air.

Whence it comes to passe, that those animals in which heat is predominant, are angry, as Lions; those in which a cold breath, are timorous, as Harts; those in which an aeriall portion, are more quiet, asn, as it were, of a middle condition between Lions and Harts, as Oxen. The same difference is also to be observ’d amongst Men.

Lastly, although the Soul be a mixt and compounded thing, and this fourth namelesse thing, or sensitive faculty, be the chief of its parts, (it being, in a manner, the soul of the soul, for from it the soul hath that it is a soul, and it distinguishes animals from other things, as their intrinsecall form, and essentiall difference) neverthelesse these parts are so perfectly contemperated, as that of them is made one substance, and that most subtle and most coherent; neither, as long as the soul is in the body, can these four be separated from one another, any more then odor, heat, or sapor, which are naturall to any inward part of the body, can be separated from it.

Now this substance, being contained in the body, and coherent, as it were, with it, is, in a manner, upheld by it, and is likewise the cause of all the faculties, passions, and motions in the body, and mutually containeth the body, and governeth it, and is moreover the cause of its health and preservation, and can no more be severed from the body, without the dissolution thereof, then scent can be divided from frankincense, without destruction of its nature.

I shall not need to take notice, that one of the Naturall Philosophers seems, without any reason, to conceive, that there are as many parts of the soul, as of the body, which are mutually applyed to one another. For the substance of the soul being so subtle, and the bulk of the body so grosse, doubtlesse its principles must be more subtle, and fewer then those of the body; so that every one of these coheres not with another, but each of them to little bulks and heaps, as it were, that consists of a greater number. Whence it comes to passe, that sometimes we feel not when dust, or a gnat light upon the body, nor a mist in the night, nor the spiders thred, nor feathers, nor thistle-down, or the like, when we meet with them; it being requisite, that more of the little bodies, which are mingled with the parts of the soul, be stirred up, before they can feel any thing that toucheth or striketh them.

We must further observe, that there is some internall part of the body of such temperature, as that where the soul adheres to it, it receives and extraordinary perfection. This perfection is the Mind, the Intellect, or that which we call the rationall part of the soul; because (the other part diffused through the whole body being irrationall) this onely discourseth.

Now forasmuch as the irrationall part is two-fold, Sense, and Affection or Appetite, and the Intellect is between both, for it hath the Sense going before it to judge things, and the Appetite comming after it, that by its own judgment it may direct it. We shall therefore, being to speak of each, begin with the Sense.

      Chap 10 – Of Sense in Generall, Which is the Soul (as it were) of the Soul

To speak therefore first of Sense in generall: we must observe, that the soul possesseth it after such a manner, as that both to have it, and to use it, it requireth the body, as being the thing wherein it is contained, and with which it operates. [80] Now the body affording this to the soul, viz. that it hath a principle of sensation, and is able to use it, becommeth it self also participant of this effect, which dependeth upon that principle, (that is to say, it feeleth or perceiveth) but not of all things that belong thereto, as of tenuity, and the like.

Wherefore it is not to be wondered at, that [81] the body, when the soul is departed, remaineth void of sense; for it did not of it self possesse this faculty, but onely made it ready for the soul, which was congenious with it: which soul, by means of the faculty coeffected in the body, exercising, by a peculiar motion of hers, the act of sensation, giveth sense, not onely to it self, but to the body also, by reason of their neighbourhood, cohesion, or union with one another.

Thus it comes to passe, that not the soul alone nor the body alone, perceive or feel, but rather both together; and though the principle of sensation be in the soul, yet who ever holds, that the body doth not perceive or feel together with the soul, and believeth, that the soul intermingled with the whole body, is able of her self to perform this motion of sensation, he oppugns a thing most manifest.

[82] And they who say, (as some do) that the eyes see not any thing, but it is the soul onely that seeth through them, as through open doors, observe not, that if the eyes were like doors, we might see things much better if our eyes were out, as if the doors were taken away.

Now that which here seems the greatest difficulty being this, How it comes to passe, that a thing sensitive, or capable of sense, may be generated of principles that are wholly insensitive, or void of sense; we are to take notice, that this is to be ascribed to some necessary and peculiar magnitude, figure, motion, position, and order of those principles, as was before declared when we treated of Qualities, for the faculty of Sense is one of the qualities; which that it appear where it was not, requireth, that there be some addition, detraction, transposition, and, in a word, a new contexture, able to do that which the former could not.

Yet we must not therefore believe, that stone, wood, clods of earth, and such like compounds, perceive or feel; for, as other qualities, so this also, is not begotten of every mixtion, or of the mixtion of any kind of things, but it is wholly requisite, that the principles be endued with such a bignesse, such figures, motions, orders, and the like accidents; whence it comes to passe, that even clods of earth, wood, and the like, when putrifi’d by rain, and heated by the Sun, the position and order of their parts being changed, turn into worms and other sensitive things. This may be understood from the severall aliments, which being applyed to the bodies of living creatures, and variously altered, do, in like manner, of insensitive become sensitive; as wood applyed to fire, of not-burning becommeth burning.

And that it may appear how much some are mistaken, who assert, that the principles whereof sense and sensitive things consist, must be sensitive; consider, that if they were such, they must be soft, forasmuch as no

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hard, or solid thing is capable of sense, and consequently, as we argued before, they must be corruptible; because, unlesse they are solid, they may be diminished, and so lose their nature, whereas the principles of things, as we have often heretofore alledged, must be incorruptible, and permanent.

it may otherwise be proved thus; If we allow the principles to be incorruptible, we cannot conceive them to be sensitive; neither as parts, for parts severed from the whole, feel not; neither as wholes, for then they would be Animals, and consequently mortall, or corruptible, which is contrary to the Hypothesis. Moreover, if we should admit that they are both Animals, and Immortall, it would follow, that no such animals as we now behold, (that is, of a peculiar kind, and agreeing in one species) could be generated; but onely a heap of severall little Animals.

Furthermore, if sensitive things must be generated of sensitive, that is, like of like, it will be necessary, as we said before, that a man, (for example) consist of principles that laugh, weep, ratiocinate, discourse of the mixture of things, and of themselves, enquiring of what things they consist, and these being like to corruptible things, must consist of others, and those likewise of others, into infinite.

Now it being well known, that in the bodies of Animals there are five distinct Organs of sense, by which the soul, (or the sensitive faculty in her) apprehends, and perceives sensible objects, severall wayes, that is by Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, Touching, nothing hinders, but that we allow five senses, the Sight, the Hearing, the Smell, the Taste, and the Touch.

All this diversity ariseth from hence, that on one side the species of colours, and visible things, as also sounds, odors, sapors, and other qualities, are made up of little bodies, endewed with particular Magnitudes, figures, positions, order; and motions. On the other side, the Organs of sight, hearing, and the rest of the senses, are of such contextures, as contain little vacuities, or pores, which have likewise peculiar magnitudes, figures, positions, and orders, and these organs being various, have severall aptnesses and proportions, to which the severall little bodies of the qualities are commensurated, so as some can receive into themselves these, others those, whence it happens, that onely these little bodies of which the species of colour consist, are capable of penetrating into the Organ of sight, and to move, and affect it after that manner: but so are not the little bodies, which are onely capable of piercing, moving, and affecting the organ of Hearing, or those, which can onely affect that of the Touch, and so of the rest.

Hence also, when we observe, that not only Animals of different kinds, but even amongst Men themselves, some are not affected with the same sensible objects, we may understand, that there is not in them the same kind of contexture. And since in all little bodies blended, and mingled together; some will naturally agree with others, some not, therefore, neither can the impression, and apprehensions, or sensation of the same quality, be made in all animals, neither can sensible object affect all animals alike with all its parts, but each one with those qualities onely which are suitable to their senses, and convenient to affect them.

I shall adde nothing concerning the common objects of sense, as magnitude, figure, motion, and the like, which are perceptible by more senses then one; for what we said of them in the Canonick, is sufficient.

      Chap 11 – Of Sight, And of the Images Which Glide Into It

Being to speak something of every sense, we must begin with Sight, whose organ manifestly is the eye; nor is it lesse evident, that [83] the externall appearances, and form of things, are therefore seen by us; because something glides from without, or from the objects, into us, that is, into our eye. But before we undertake to show, that this is far more probable, then what others assert; we must declare, whether there be any thing, which comes from the things themselves, into our eye, and of what nature it is.

First then we affirm, that nothing hinders but that certain [84] effluxions of Atoms, perpetually flying in an uninterrupted course, are sent from the surfaces of bodies, in which also the same position, and same order may be preserved, which was found in the superficies, and solids of the very bodies themselves, whence such effluxions are, as it were forms, figures, or Images of these bodies, from which they are derived, and resembling them in all their Lineaments, and moreover, are far more subtle then any of the things themselves, which by them are made visible to us. This then is the nature of those forms or figures, which we use to call Idola, or Images.

[85] Nor is it difficult, that such kind of contextures should be found in the middle aire, or ambiently diffused space; nor that there should be in the things themselves, and especially in the Atoms, certain dispositions rendring them, apt to make representations, which are onely meer empty cavities, and superficiall tenuities of no determinable depth. [86] But in this place, we speak of those effluviums, which are as it were thin films, or skins stript from the remaining bodies.

[87] Nor yet is it difficult, that images of this nature should flow from the out-sides of bodies, as is hence proved, that there slowing ever something from the inner parts of bodies, as smell, heat, cold, (as we hinted formerly) it is far more easie, that something should flow, or be carried away from their out most parts; since the atoms, as well in one as the other, are in a perpetuall endeavour of disentangling themselves to get away, but in the former case, being cover’d with other atoms, they find resistance, whereas in the latter, being placed in the fore-front of the body, they find none. Adde, that hence also they gain the advantage of flying out from the superficies in the same order, and rank which they held there; whereas those which come from within, cannot but change their postures, being often disturbed in the way, by their anfractuous passages.

[88] Now that there are indeed such effluviums, may hence be proved, that if the Sun beams passe thorough curtains, red (for example) or of any other colour, drawn before the Theaters, such subtle emissions are sent from them, as make all things behind them appear so coloured. But the experiment from Looking-glasses, is more then sufficient; for these clearly show, that there are indeed such effluviums emitted from bodies, in regard, the bodies being present, they light upon the glasse; if any thing intervene, they are hindred from coming thither; if the bodies be moved, they move also; if inverted, they also are inverted; if the bodies retire, they also goe back; if they are taken away, they wholly disappear.

But [89] forasmuch as there is no point of time, in which these Images flow not into the Medium, doubtlesse, their production must be made in a point of time, and be perpetually flowing out at the superficies, in a continued stream. For the reason, why they cannot be discerned apart, is because, when one image goes away, another coherently succeeds, and supplies its room; and instantly preserves the same order and position of atoms, which is in the superficies of the solid body, and that for a long time, and at a great distance, (although at last they are confounded.) Whence it comes to passe, that the body alwaies appeareth with the same accidents, and in the same form.

[90] I mean here, that form which is proper to the body, and is conceived to be a collection (as it were) of parts, disposed in a certain order, or (as it were) the superficies left behind by the image, which flies away from it.

It may here seem strange, that the body seemeth no more to be diminished, then as if nothing at all were taken off from it; but this is by reason of their extraordinary tenuity, which cannot be understood, without first conceiving the tenuity of the atoms. Concerning this, we instanc’d formerly, an animal so small, as if we suppose it divided into three parts, each of them will be indiscernable; and yet for performance of those animal functions which it dischargeth, it must necessarily be made up of such parts and particles as can hardly be formed, without innumerable myriads of atoms.

Not to mention, in confirmation of the probability hereof, that there are many odorous things, out of which, though something incessantly flow, yet for a long time nothing appeareth to be diminished, either as to their figure or weight, notwithstanding that the effluviums out of them are far grosser, and more numerous then these images, which flow out along with them; yet are so inconsiderable a part of the things that flow out, as no man can expresse.

Wonderfull also may seem their celerity in flying out; but this must be understood by the celerity of the atoms, formerly declared; for these images, by reason of the tenuity we spoke of, being nothing else but certain contextures of simple atoms, [91] have a celerity beyond all imagination, and their passage through the transparent place which is round about them, is like that which is through the infinite spaces, there being not much difference, because they meet few or no obstacles in the space which surrounds them. Certainly, if the light of the Sun and other Stars can come so swiftly (as we observe) from heaven, the celerity of these images ought to be, if not greater, yet not lesse, by reason of the atoms which stand in the surface of the body, ready for motion, and have nothing to retard them.

      Chap 12 – That Seeing is Perform’d By Means of Those Images

These things presupposed, some conceive, that [92] externall and distinct things are therefore seen by us, because they imprint in our eye the image of their colour of figure, the aire intervening between them and us, performing the office of a Seal, by means of which, this impression is made. Others think, that this is effected by the raies or effluviums, sent from us or our eyes to the object; but it is far more probable, that it is performed by those images we spoke of, which comming from the things, or their colour and figure, flow into us, and preserving a congruous magnitude, enter into our eyes, and strike our sight with a very swift motion.

This sigillation (or imression) indeed is a thing extream hard, and perhaps impossible to be explicated; and as for the emission of raies out of our eyes, it is unimaginable what the Looking-glasses send out of them, that they also should have images painted in them; or what that is, which in a moment is sent from the eye, into the whole vast circumference of the heavens.

To omit, that since in hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, we send nothing out of our selves, but receive something from without, which causeth a sensation of it self, (for of it self voice comes into the ears, odors into the nostrills, sapors into the palate, and things which may be touched are applied to the body) it is obvious to be conceived, that neither is any thing sent out from our eyes, but that something (viz. those images) come into our eyes from the things themselves.

But the soul, in as much as it is in the eyes, cannot but see, that is,  appprehend the colour and outward form of that thing which is presented to it; for by reason of the polite and perspicuous contexture of the organ, it receiveth the image of the thing, and is struck by it according to all the presented parts.

[93] And forasmuch as those things are beautifull which delight the sight, those deformed which offend it; how should we imagine this to be, but that the images which come from the one consist of bodies, which, by their smoothnesse, are gently accommodated to the contexture of the eye; but those which come from the other consist of such, as by their ugly figure rend the contexture.

[94] And when the eye is troubled with the Jaundies, how comes it, that all things seem yellow? but that the images, in their application to the eye, receive a tincture; or they may be stain’d also without the eye, coming amongst the yellow little bodies or images, which proceed in like manner from the eye.

[95] But how happens it, that we see not onely the colour and form of a body, but we discern its distance also? This proceeds from the air, which the image drives on before it. for though it comes to the eye exceeding swiftly, and in imperceptible time; yet it comes thither, and touches upon it orderly; and by how much the longer it is in doing so, so much more distant the thing appears to be; by how much the sooner, so much the nearer.

[96] Hence also may be given a reason, why an image seems to be beyond the Looking-glasse; for as when a man from any place within a house, looks upon a thing that is without doors, as that within from the door: So, to him who looketh in a glasse, commeth successivly, as well that air which is from the glasse to the eye, as that which is from the object to the glasse.

[97] Hence also may be given a reason, why, being in the dark, we can see the things that are in the light; but being in the light, cannot see those things that are in the dark. For the enlightned aire succeeding the dark, the eye informed by it is enabled to see; but not when the dark succeedeth the enlightned.

[98] How comes it, that the images in a glasse seem to walk as we do? This happens, by reason of the varied parts of the glasse, from which severall parts there must necessarily be made a reflection upon the eye, and thereupon the images seem to walk as we.

[99] I you ask, Why the image which goeth from us to the glasse represents not the back side, but the fore-side, and that so, as that the right part is on the left side, and the left on the right; take notice, that this happens on the very same fashion, as if the image of a man made of chalk or clay, not quite dried, should be clapt to a ball or pillar.

[100] But if the image be reflected from one glasse to another, and thence to the eye, the scituation of the parts is restored, so as the right parts appear on the right side, and the left on the left, (and by this means it may be brought to passe, especially if there be many glasses, that such things as are hidden behind something, and out of sight, may be brought to view) which may also happen even in one glasse, if it hath little sides, whereof on reflects the image to the other.

Thus much concerning the Sight; to which also some things, formerly hinted in our discourse of the Criteries and of Qualities, have reference.

      Chap 13 – Of Hearing

Concerning Hearing, we must repeat what we touched formerly,  that, it being confess’d, the ear is the organ of the hearing, As seeing is perform’d by the coming of something into the eye; so [101] hearing also is perform’d in the ear by an emission of something, convey’d thither from the thing that speaks, sounds, makes a noise, or is some other way disposed to stir up the sense of hearing. This kind of effluvium, as it affects this sense, is called Sound.

Moreover, this effluvium, either in the mouth of the speaker, generally in the thing struck upon and making a noise, [102] is shatter’d there by motion into innumerable little pieces of the same figure, ([103] round, if the whole effluvium were round; inequilaterall and triangular, if the first effluvium were such) in like manner as we observe, that little drops are made when we pour any thing out of bottles, or when Cloath-workers spurt water upon their cloaths.

[104] These little pieces, or small bulks, are thereupon dispersed in such manner, as that they preserve a certain mutuall conformity to one another, (and strike the hearing of severall persons alike, so as they all seem to hear one and the same sound, though it be not the same, but like onely) and keep fast also within themselves, each by a particular coherence, whereby it comes to passe, that they are known to have reference to that thing, from which they were font forth, and for the most part make such a sensation, as was first made by that which sent forth the sound, (as when the sound comes not from far into the ear, and passeth through a free space.) But otherwise, (as by reason of a great distance, or some partition) something from without bringeth in the sound confusedly onely. For without a kind of conformity and coherence, deduced and preserv’d from the very thing sounding, there could never be any distinct hearing.

[105] Yet must we not imagine, that when the voice (for example) is once sent forth into the aire, the aire is presently imprinted or formed, either by that voice, or by some others made by it, into like voices, which (as [106] one expresseth it, flye away together, as one Jay with another, as saith the proverb) It were too great a task, that the aire should be design’d for any such employment; but as soon as ever the blow is made within us when we speak, the voice being articulated out of certain little pieces, of a most spirituall and nimble effluxion, fit for this office, and arriving at the ear, causeth hearing in us.

[107] That these little pieces which insinuate into the ear have a figure, may be argued, by reason that Sound could not affect the hearing pleasantly and unpleasantly, if it had not such a smoothnesse as suits with the contexture of the organ, nor such a roughnesse as rends the organ. This may better be understood, by comparing the grating of a Saw with the sweetnesse of a Lute, or the hoarse cawing of a Crow with the sweet melody of a dying Swan.

[108] Not to repeat some things spoken heretofore, which seem to conduce hereunto, I shall onely touch this difficulty, How it onely comes to passe, that sounds in the night-time are both louder and clearer than in the day. To solve this, we must assume what is manifest from our discourse formerly, That Motion is made through Vacuum, and that there is much of vacuum scattered up and down through the little bodies, or bulks of aire, which are made up of atoms; and that in the day-time it being hot, and these little bodies rarify’d, and the atoms diffused, the little vacuities contained in them must necessarily become narrower and straiter; but in the night, it being cold, and these little bodies prest up close, and the atoms crowded together, the vacuities become larger. This is evident from all things, which in a vessel are boiled, softned, and melted; but if they take up a larger place, they cool, return to their temper, and become contracted.

[109] Hence therefore it happens, that the sound in the day-time passing through the dilated aire, and lightnin upon many bodies in its way, is either quite stop’d, or torn, and much knock’d and worn away. But when in the night it passeth thorough a space free from bodies, it arrives at the hearing by a full, ready, and uninterrupted cariere, and with that swiftnesse preserves its clearnesse and distinction.

[110] From the same ground it springs, that empty vessells being struck, sound, the full sound not; and that the more solid bodies, as Gold, make a low dull nose; the lesse compact, as Brasse, a greater and clearer.

      Chap 14 – Of Smelling

As concerning smelling, we must understand that Odor [111] (as was in proportion declared concerning sound or voice, when we treated of Hearing) would not make any impression or stamp of itself, unlesse from the odorous thing there were deduced some little bodies or bulks, so commensurated to the organs of smelling (the nostrills) as to be able to move and affect it.

[112]That odors flow and come out of things, is manifest, forasmuch as all things esteemed odorous have a stronger scent, being broken, pounded, or dissolved by fire, than whilst they are whole. For the stock of these little bodies, which are fit to move the smell, is pent up, as it were, within the odorous body, and bound; but, the body being broken, pounded, or burnt, it leaps forth, and spreads it self like a vapour or cloud, and affects the smelling, if it can light upon it.

[113] it useth to affect the smell two waies; either unquietly and unsuitably, whence proceed unpleasant odors; or smoothly and aptly, whence pleasant odors. For some of the little bodies of odor having a smooth and even surface, others, more or greater angles than is fit; thence it happens, that some odors affect the organ with delight, as touching it smoothly; others with a kind of pain, as if they tore it.

[114]There must needs be a difference betwixt the penetrations of these little bodies into the nostrills, when carcases are burnt, and when the Theater is newly strew’d with Saffron. And it may be conceived after this manner. As the hand, if we put Down to it, presseth upon it; but if a Nettle, snatcheth it self back, (for the smoothness of the one, and the roughnesse of the other by its prickles, affect two different waies) in like manner the little bodies which proceed out of the Saffron, are smooth; those which out of the carkase, prickly; so as the first gently stroke and delight the nostrills, the other prick them, and make them draw back.

[115] Moreover, there being so great variety of tempers amongst animals, (even amongst men one in respect of another) and the contexture of the organ of smelling being different in severall persons, it ought not to seem strange, that some scents please some; others, others; by reason of the dissimilitudes of the figures of the little bodies, of which they consist;


nor that Bees delight in flowers, Vultures in carrion; or that Dogs find out by the scent, which way beasts have gone, which we cannot perceive, as if in passing, they left a stream which cannot strike our smell.

      Chap 15 – Of Tasting

We come next, to speak of Tasting. Whereas it is manifest, that the organ thereof is the Tongue and Palate; and that [116] we then taste and perceive the sapor in our mouth, when chewing the Meat, we squeeze out the juice. As when we presse with the hand, a spunge full of water, and thereupon, the juice which is squeezed forth, is distributed thorough the pores, or complicated holes of the Tongue and palate, we may in generall assert, that sapor to be sweet, the little bodies, whereof are accommodated to the organ, gently and smoothly; on the contrary, that to be bitter, salt, sharp, acid, sowr, hot, &c. which roughly and unsuitably. For neither could Honey or Milk affect the tongue pleasantly, nor Wormwood or Centory unpleasantly, if it were not, that those consist of smoother and rounder little bodies, these of more harsh, and hooked; so as those touch it gently, these prick and rend it.

[117] He therefore not defines the thing amisse, who saith, that the Atoms which make a sweet sapor, are round, and of a convenient cize; Those which a sowr, large; Those which a harsh, mult-angular, and nothing round; Those which sharp; acute, conicall, crooked, not slender, nor round; Those which an acid; round, slender, corner’d, crooked; those which a salt; corner’d, distorted, acquicturall; Those which a bitter; round, smooth, distorted, little; Those which a fat; slender, round, little.

But more particularly, seeing that the tempers, not onely of Animals, but even of Men among themselves, are so various, and that as they differ in the outward lineaments of their bodies, so they cannot but differ also in their inward contextures, hence we may say, that the sapors, that are pleasing to some Animals or men, are displeasing to others, by reason that the little bodies, of which they consist, are suitable and accommodate to the contexture of the organs of those, but unsuitable and unaccommodate to the contexture of the organs of these; since the round pores that are in the organ, can receive the round Atoms smoothly, but the triangular difficulty; and the triangular pores, can receive the triangular smoothly, but the round difficultly.

[118] Hereby also is understood, how it comes to passe, that the things which were formerly pleasant to us, are in a feaver distastefull, for the contexture is so disorder’d, and the figures of the pores so altered, that the figures of the little bodies which insinuate into them, though formerly they were adaptable, now become unsuitable, and incongruous.

[119] From the same reason it is, that the meat which agreeth with one Animal, is poison to another; as hemlock, or hellebore is destructive to a man, yet it fattens goats, and quails. This happens by reason of the interiour contextures, which differing from one another, that which is accommodate, and adaptable to one, is inadaptable to another.

      Chap 16 – Of Touching

[120] Lastly concerning the Touch, I mean not that which is common to all bodies, as they are said to touch one another by their superficies, (contrary to the Nature of vacuum, which can neither touch, nor be touched) but that which is proper to Animals, not performed without perception of the soul; and hath not one, but all parts of the body for its organ. Concerning this Touch, I shall onely declare, that what is perceived by it, is perceived three wayes.

[121] For first, a thing is perceived by the Touch, when it is extrinsecally applied, or, from without insinuates it selfe; applyed, as when the hand feels a stone clap’d to it; insinuated, as when a hot thing emitting heat, or a cold thing, cold, certain little bodies get into the pores, which according to the state wherein the body is, either refresh or disturb it.

[122] Secondly, when a thing which is within, is driven out: which someitmes happens with pleasure, especially, when the thing it selfe was burthensome and incommodius, ut dum semen excernitur; sometimes with pain, as when by reason of the angles of the little bodies, it excoriates the passage, as by the strangury or difficulty of urine.

[123] Lastly, when some things within the body, take some of these motions, as by impulsion, diduction, distraction, convulsion, compunction, rasure, excoriation, inflation, tension, breaking, and innumerable other wayes, it disturbes the naturall constitution, and confounds, and troubles the sense. Thus all aches and pains of the head, and other parts within, are caused; and the Animal doth in such manner affect it selfe, as if a man should with his owne hand strike a part of his body.

      Chap 17 – Of the Intellect, Mind, or Reason, and its Seat

Hitherto of the sense. We must now speak of the Intellect, which is also usually called, Mind, Reason, The rationall and Hegemonick part; sometimes, Cogitation, Imagination, Opinion, Counsell: Its property is when the sense strikes it, to think, apprehend, understand, resolve, meditate, discourse, or deliberate something.

The contexture of the Intellect consists of little bodies, the most subtle smooth and round of all, forasmuch as nothing can be more subtle, nor of quicker motion. Neither is there any thing that can stir up it selfe sooner, or perform any thing quicker then the intellect, which if it designe or begin any thing, brings it to passe in a moment; whence all acknowledge, that nothing can be swifter then (her action) Thought.

And certainly, as Water is much apter to move, and more fluent then Honey, by reason that is made up of little bodies, which are smoother, lesser, and rounder; nothing consequently can consist of rounder, lesser and smoother then the Mind, for nothing can be readier for motion, quicker or more pliant.

And in whatsoever part of the body, the intellect inheres, it so cohereth to the soul, or to that portion of the soul, which coexists with it in that part, as that it is indivisibly conjoyned to it, and constitutes one nature with it, yet it alwayes so preserves and retains its owne nature, as that it is the property of the Intellect to think; of the Soul, to undergo affecti-


ons; though, by reason of their cohaesion, it be conceived, that the soul thinks, and the intellect is affected.

Indeed, the intellect is void of affection or passion; but (because, As the passions depending on sense, are stirred up in the soul about those parts wherein the sense is seated; so those which depend on cogitation, are stirred up in the soul about that part where cogitation is; and in which part, the soul is one thing with the intellect thinking): Hence it commeth to passe, that, as if the aggregate or compound of the intellect and the soul, residing in that part, made up onely intellect, the passions come to be attributed to the intellect it self.

Thus, whether the intellect be taken distinctly or joyntly, it hath this property beyond the other part of the soul, that, As when the head or eye aketh, we are not thereupon pained all over the body; so sometimes the intellect is affected with grief or joy, when the other part of the soul, which is diffused through the body, is free from this affection. I say, sometimes, because it may happen, that the intellect be seiz’d with a fear so vehement, as that the rest of the soul may be struck together with it, and thereby may be caused sweating, palenesse, stopping of the speech, the eyes grow dim, the ears possessed with a humming, the joynts grow faint, and, in a word, the man may fall into a swound.

Moreover, the intellect may be conceived to partake of life more perfectly than the soul, or the other part of the soul, forasmuch as the soul cannot subsist never so little in the limbs, without the intellect; but the intellect, though the limbs round about it were cut off, and thereby a great part of the soul taken away, would neverthelesse subsist and preserve life; like the ball, which conduceth more to sight than all the rest of the eye, because the ball being hurt, though the rest of the parts be sound, the sight is destroy’d; but as long as the ball is sound, though the other parts be destroy’d, the sight continueth.

[124] It seemeth not, that there can be any other seat assign’d for the intellect, or rationall part of the soul, than the middle part of the breast, and consequently the entrails, or the heart, which is in the midst of the breast. This is manifest from the affections of fear and joy, proceeding from cogitation, (or the intellect thinking) which we perceive to be in the breast.

      Chap 18 – That the Soul Thinketh By Images, Which Glide Into It

[125] There is onely this difficulty, How the intellect can be stirred up to think something? But it being manifest, that things are thought by the intellect in the same manner, as they are seen by the eye; it is also evident, that as sight, so thinking or cogitation, is made by images which glide into it.

[126] For besides those images which glide into the eye, and being of something a grosser bulk, are accommodated to the contexture of the eye, and produce in it the act of seeing, there must necessarily wander through the air an innumerable company of others, far more subtle, and those either peel’d off from bodies, or form’d in the aire it self, as was formerly said; which penetrating through the body, and being adaptable to the contexture of the intellect, as soon as they arrive at it, move it to think.

[127] Whence it comes to passe, that as we see (for example) a Lion, because the image thereof glides into our eyes; so we think a Lion, because the image of a lion glides into our mind. That we think or imagine Centaurs, Syllaes, and the like, which neither are, nor ever were; thins may happen, not so much by images framed on purpose, as for that when the images (for example) of a man and of a horse are presented to us, they, by reason of their tenuity or subtlety, like a cob-web, or a leaf of gold, are joyned together, and made one, such as it attributed to a Centaur.

[128]But take notice, that when sometimes we persevere in the same thought, whether waking or sleeping, this happens not, for that we use some one image of the same thing, but that we use many images succeeding in a continued fluxion, which if the come to us in the same posture, the thing thought or imagined seemeth unmoved; if in a varied, it seems moved. Which is the reason why, in dreams especially, images seem to us to be moved, and to stir their arms and other limbs one after another.

[129] But how comes it to passe, that whatsoever any man would, his mind or intellect immediately thinks that very thing? Because, though there are every where images of all sorts, yet the greatest part passeth by unthought of, and those onely move the mind which she her self takes notice of or would observe, or frames her self to think of. And, Observe we not, that the eyes, when they begin to have a sight of something very little, bend and fix themselves upon it, and, till they see something plainly, all other things are as if they were not, although they receive their images also.

Now as there is some intentivenesse require to the mind, that it may apprehend things distinctly, so much more that it may simply think or give some judgment, by affirming or denying; but most of all, that it may discourse of them, as if its greatest care were, not to be deceived.

But this we declared formerly, in treating of the Criteries. It will be sufficient, as to the speculation of naturall things, here to observe, that [130] human discourse first admireth the things that are produced by nature, and next enquires into them, and finds out their causes; but in some sooner, in others later; and sometimes evinceth this, or arrives as the full knowledge, in a longer time, sometimes in a shorter.

      Chap 19 – Of the Affections or Passions of the Soul

There is besides sense another part of the irrationall soul, which may be called Affectuous, or Passionate, from the affections or passions raised in it. It is also tearmed the Appetite or desire, from the chief affection which it hath, called appetite or desire; some distinguish it into Concupiscible and Irascible.

Now where as it was already said, that the affections which follow sense are produced in the organs of sense, those which follow opinion in the breast; hereupon there being two principall affections, Pleasure and Pain; the first, familiar, and suitable to the soul; the other, incommodious, and unsuitable to nature: It is manifest, that both these are excited, not in the breast onely, where Pleasure, for the most part, comes under the name of joy, gladnesse, exultation, mirth; and Pain under that of grief, sorrow, anguish, &c., but also in the other parts, in which, when they are removed from their naturall state, there is raised pain or grief; when they are restored to that state, pleasure.

If all the parts could continue in their naturall state, either there would be no affection, or if there were any, it must be called Pleasure, from the quiet and calmnesse of that state. But because either by reason of  the continuall motion of principles in the body of an animal, some things depart from it, others come to it; some are taken asunder, others put together, &c. Or by reason of the motion which is in the things round about, some things are brought which insinuate into them, change, invert, disjoyne, &c. pain is caused (from the first occasion, as by hunger, thirst, sicknesse; from the second, as by burning, bruising, wresting, wounding) therefore the affection of pain seems to be first produced; and withall, because it is of an opposite nature, that of aversation or avoidance of it, and of the thing that bringeth it, to which, for that reason, is attributed the name of ill.

Hereupon followeth a desire of exemption from pain, or of that state which is void of pain, and consequently of the thing by which it may be expelled, and to which, for that reason, is given the name of Good; and then the pain being taken away, and the thing reduced into a better, that is, into its naturall state, pleasure is excited, and goeth along with it; so as there would not be pleasure, if some kind of pain did not go before, as is easily observable even from hunger and thirst, and the pleasure that is taken in eating and drinking.

For this pleasure is onely made, because (most of the parts being dissipated by the action of the intrinsecall heat, by which means the body it self becomes rarify’d, all nature destroy’d, and the stomack especially grip’d, or otherwise some little bodies of heat rolling about it, make it glow, whereby is caused pain) because, I say, meat commeth, and supplieth the defect, supports the limbs, stopped the desire of eating, which gapeth throughout the members and the veins; drink comes and extinguishes the heat, moistneth the parts which before were dry, and reduceth them to their first state. And besides, both are made with a smooth and pleasing sense of nature, which, it is manifest is then absent, when a man eats, not being hungry, or drinks, not being a thirst.

Thus the generalll affections of the Soul seem to be these four, Pain and Pleasure, the extream; Aversion and Desire, the intermediate. I say, generall, because the rest are kinds of these, and mady by opinion intervening, and may be reduced principally to Desire and Avoidance.

For Desire is particularly called Will, when the Mind wills that which it thinks, and conceiveth it to be good; and Avoidance is called Aversion, when it turneth away from that which it thinketh, or conceiveth to be ill. Hereupon, Love (for example) is a will, whereby we are carried to the enjoyment of something. Hate is an aversion, whereby we withdraw our selves from conversing with something. Again, Anger is nothing but Desire, whereby we are carried on to vengeance. Fear is an Avoidance, by which we shrink at some future ill, and retire, as it were, within our selves; and so of the rest.

But forasmuch as Desire (as also in proportion Avoidance too) is partly excited by nature, and by reason of some indigence, which must necessarily be supplied, that nature may be preserved; partly is begotten by opinion, which is sometimes conformable to the designe of nature, and so tends to remove her indigence, as that yet it is not necessary it should be quite taken away. Lastly, it sometimes conduces nothing either to nature, or to the taking away of its indigence. Hence it comes to passe, that of desires, some are naturall and necessary; others naturall, but not necessary; others neither naturall nor necessary, but vain.

Naturall and necessary are those, which take away both the indigence, and the pain proceeding from the indigence; such is that of meat, of drink, or clothing to expell the cold. Naturall, but not necessary, are those, which onely vary the pleasure, but are not absolutely necessary to the taking away of the paine, as those which are of delicate meats, even that which is of venereall delight, to which Nature gives a beginning; but from which a mand may abstain without inconvenience. Lastly, neither naturall, nor necessary are those, which contribute nothing to the taking away of any pain, caused by some indigence of Nature, but are begot onely by opinion; such are for instance, those of Crowns, Statues, Ornaments, rich Cloathing, Gold, Silver, Ivory, and the like.

Moreover, it is tobe observed, that whereas pleasure consist in the fruition of good, pain in suffering ill; for this reason, the first is produced with a kind of dilatation and exaltation of the soul, the other with a contraction and depression thereof; and therefore it is not to be wondred at, if the soul dilates her selfe, as much as she can to make way for the good to come into her, and contracts her selfe to prevent the ill.

There is a diffusion, or dilatation; for assoon, as ever the form of a good and pleasing thing, strikes the sense, or mveth the mind, the little bodies of which it consists, so insinuate into the organs of sense, or into the heart it selfe, as that being accommodated as well to the soul,as to the body; they in a more particular manner, gently stroke and delight the soul; and like little chains, allure and draw it towards that thing, out of which they were sent; whereupon the soul being turned towards, and intent upon that thing, gives a great leap, as it were towards it, with all the strength it hath, that it may enjoy it.

One the other sider there is contraction; because as soon, as ever the form of a painfull thing strikes the sense, or the mind, the little bodies of which it consists, as so many little darts or needles, prick the very soul together with the organ, in such manner, that they loosen its contexture, while she, to prevent them as much as she can, shuts her selfe up, and retires to her very Centre, or root, where the heart or intellect is placed.

It will not be necessary to repeat what we formerly said, that it depends upon the contexture of the soul, why one Animal is more inclined to anger, another to fear, a third to calm smooth motions; not to adde, that this difference is found in men also, according as their souls participate, more of a fiery, or of a flatuous, or of an aeriall principle. Or we may observeeven in men that are polished by Learning, these feeds cannot be so rooted out, but that one is more propense to anger, another more subject to fear, a third more prone to clemency than he ought. Moreover the difference of manners, which is observed to be so great, not amongst Animals onely, but in men from one another, is plainly enough derived from the various commistion of these seeds.

      Chap 20 – Of Voluntary Motion, and Particularly, of speaking, and imposition of names

Now the soul being naturally stirring, and ready for motion, and able to move the body wherein it exists, and the Members thereof; it is well known, that whensoever she moveth the body, or its members with any motion whatsoever, she therefore doeth it, because she hath a will to move them, and that this will is stirred up by the Intellect, imagining; and that this imagination is caused by the image that strikes it; for the Intellect, or Mind never doeth any thing, but first she fore-seeth it, nor fore-seeth it, unlesse she first have the image of that thing.

[131] Thus, when we move (for example) the thighs and walk, this is therefore done because first the images of walking coming to the mind, strike it; thence proceeds a will to walk; then when the Mind hath so mov’d it selfe, as that it wills to walk, it instantly strikes the soul in that part whereto it is joyned; that part strikes the rest of the soul, which is diffused through the whole body, and especially through the thighs and feet. Thus the whole frame is by degrees thrust forward, and moved; Not to mention that the aire conduceth something thereto, by reason that, as the whole body becomes rarify’d, the aire insinuates into its parts. The body therefore is moved from two causes, like a ship, which is driven on by Oars and Wind.

[132] That the beginning of motion proceeds from the heart, where the Mind is seated, is manifest, for that we see sometimes horses (for example) cannot, as soon as ever the barrier is let down, break forth, nor start away so suddainly, as their will prompts them; because the whole substance of the soul diffused thorough all the Limbs, must first be summoned, that, being stirred up, it may follow the designe of the mind. Thus it proceeds first from the will of the mind, and then thorough the body and limbs.

[133] I may perhaps seem strange, that so little bodies as those, whereof the Mind consists, should be able to move, wrest, and turn about so great a weight, as is that of the body. But what wonder, when the wind, a thing so subtle, can with so great a force drive forward a vast ship; and one hand, one rudder, turn it about and guide it, though under full sail? And are there not Engines, which by pullies and scrues, move and draw up huge weights, and that with no great force?

But forasmuch, as of the motions, with which we move the parts of the body, as we will our selves, that of the tongue is most considerable, which is called speaking, it seems requisite to say something of this in particular.

[134] The Tongue being framed in breathing-Animals after such a manner, as that it can break, and as it were mould the aire which is vehemently breathed forth, and thereupon causeth a sound; hence it happeneth, that, as because every Animal perceiveth its own power, by which it can do somthing, and hereupon the Bull buts with his horns, the Horse strikes with his heels, the Lion teareth with his teeth and clawes, the Bird trusts to her wings; hence it happeneth I say, that Animals, and chiefly Men, perceiving the ability of their tongue to expresse the affections of the mind, (even when they would signifie something, that is without them) they send out a sound which is called Voice, and by the interposition of the tongue, and other parts serving for that variation, bend and mould it in severall fashions.

[135] I instance Animals also, because we see, that they likewise send forth severall voice, according as they are joy’d or griev’d, or fear, or pursue any thing; dogs, for example, make severall noises, when they assault furiously, when the bark, when they play with their whelps, when they fawn, when they are hurt, and cry or howl; a horse neigheth after a different manner, when he rouseth himselfe, when he followeth a mare, and when he is spur’d by his Rider. And birds make different cries, when they strive about their prey, and when they perceive change of Weather, and when they sit idly, still.

[136] Now Man, above the rest, perceiving the great power of his Tongue, and how he can bend it various wayes, so as to make divers articulate sounds, which may be accommodated to signifie severall things, hence proceeds speech, by which, men ordinarily discourse with one another, expressing the passions of the mind, and other things, no otherwise then as by nodding the head, or pointing with the finger.

Here, because it is usually demanded, How men came at first to impose names on things; we must know, that [137] names were not imposed meerly by invention of man, nor by some Law; but the very natures, or naturall dispositions of men, which were in severall nations, being, upon the presentment of things to them, affected with particular motions of the mind, and compelled by images proper to the things, sent forth the air out of their mouths after a peculiar fashion, and broke and articulated it, according to the impulsion of the severall affections or phantasies, and sometimes according to the difference of places, as the Heaven and Earth is various in different Countries. The words which were thus pronounced, and particularly with a will of denoting things to others, became the names of things.

[138] Some also desiring to mention some things to others, which were out of their sight, pronounced certain sounds or words, and then were constrained to repeat the same words; whereupon the hearers finding out the thing by some discourse and conjecture, at last, with much use, understood what the others meant.

And because severall men used severall names, to signifie the same things to others; and thereupon there was a variety of names; for this reason, [139] Names proper to signifie things were in every nation by degrees, and, as it were, with common consent chosen and appointed, so as their mutuall significations might be lesse ambiguous, and things might be explicated by a more compendious way of speaking.

[140] For this reason I conclude, that the first man imposed names on things, not out of certain science, or by the command or dictate of any one man; for how should he come by that science, or have power to compell many men to use the words which he dictated? But rather, that they imposed them, being moved by a certain naturall impulsion, like those who cough, sneeze, bellow, bark, sigh. And therefore we may say, that names are not by institution, but by nature, seeing they are the effects and works, as it were, or nature; for, to see and hear things (which are certain effects and works of nature) are of the same kind, as the giving of names to things.

      Chap 21 – Of Sleep and Dreams

It rests, that we add something concerning Sleep, and the Death of Animals, two things near of kin; for one is an intermission, the other the extinction of sense; and death is ordinarily tearmed an everlasting sleep.

[141] Sleep caused, when the parts of the soul, which are diffused thorough the whole composition of the body, are either repressed or segregated; or else some little bodies, either from the air, or from food, light upon the dispersed parts, which partly drive them away from the body, partly crowd them into the body, and discompose them. For hereupon the body, [142] as destitute of its ordinary support and government, becometh weak, and all the limbs grow feeble, the arms and eye-lids hang down, the knees sink, and, in a word, there is no more sense.

[143] For it being certain, that sense proceeds from the soul, it is no lesse evident, that when sleep hindereth the sense, the soul is a disturbed and thrown out of doors; not the whole soul, for then it were not sleep, but death; but a part onely, and yet so, as that which is left behind is oppressed within, and buried like fire rak’d up in ashes. And as, if we stir up the fire, it wakes, as it were, and a flame rises from it, in appearance extinguished; so the senses are restored throughout the members, and


raised again out of a thing in appearance dead.

[144] When I say, that little bodies comming from the aire cause this disturbance, I mean, partly the exterior aire, which never ceaceth to beat and drive against the body, (whereby it comes to passe, that the outward part of every animal becomes solid and hard) partly the interiour, or that which is drawn in at the mouth, and blown out again. For the stroke of each of these passing through the little vacuities, to the principles and first elements of the body, their positions are so disordered, that part are cast out, part thrust in, and the rest, which is diffused through the limbs, are not able to discharge their office, by reason that they are intercepted, and not joyned one to another.

[145] I add, that this happens from the food also, because the food, being convey’d inwardly by the veines, performs the same thing as the air, and that with more abundant and greater force. Whence it comes to passe, that the sleep which is caused by meat, by reason of the greater disturbance of those particles, is more sound then ordinary, as is that also which proceeds from excessive wearinesse, by reason of their greater dissipation.

[146] Now forasmuch as it may seem strange, that dreams should come to us in sleep, we must observe what was said not long since, that every where there are images of innumerable things, continually roving up and down, which, by reason of their subtlety, are able to penetrate into the body, and able to strike and affect the mind, which is seated in the midst of the breast, so as it is stirred up to think of those things, whereof they are the images. Hereupon, forasmuch as these penetrate and strike the mind, no lesse in sleep then in waking, it comes to passe, that we seem to behold things as well in sleep as awake.

[147] But it happens, that we receive the things which appear to us in this manner as true, because our senses being stupifyed, nothing can occur to us, that may give us notice of the errour, and convince the falsity by true things; and besides, out memory being laid asleep, we esteem (for example) those men to be alive who are dead, because their images are present to us, and we remember not their death.

[148] If you demand, Why we dream most of those things in which we chiefly delight, or to which we are most particularly addicted when awake, (for Orators plead, Soldiers fight, Mariners contest with the winds, Gamesters play, and so of others; Neither is it thus with men onely, but amongst other animals also; Horses sweat and blow, as if they were running a race; Hounds stretch their legs, cry, and snuff up the aire; and so of the rest.) We must say, that this happens, forasmuch as by reason of the impression lately made in the mind, the passages are left open, into which the same images insinuate, and, above the rest, move the soul again.

[149] From the same ground it seems to proceed, that he who is thirsty dreams of a fountain, and that he is drinking; he that hath need to urine dreams of a chamber-pot, and that he is using it. For the intrinsecall motions open, as it were, the wayes, into which the images of things of the same nature insinuating, strike the mind. Hence also it comes to passe, that many images of the same thing meeting together, there are produced certain great motions in the mind, and then he who dreameth, imagines that he possesseth great knowledge, performeth great actions, speaketh excellent things; and sometimes cryeth out as if his throat were about to be cut, or himself to be devoured by a Lion or Panther, and is no lesse affrighted, than if he had cast himself down from a high Mountain, so as when he awakes, he has scarce the use of his reason.

      Chap 22 – Of Death

As for death, it is nothing but a privation of sense, by reason of the departure of the soul. By sense heer, I understand not onely the action, of which sleep also is the privation; but the faculty likewise of feeling or perceiving, which perisheth with the soul, and together with these, the mind also; so that the soul going forth, the mind which is joyned with it goeth forth also.

For, [150] as long as the soul exists in the body, although some other part fail, yet there is not a privation of sense; but sense perishes together with the soul, as soon as ever that wherein it is contained, whether it be the whole body, or some part in which it is seated, happens to be dissolved. Neither can it be objected, that the body remaineth a while undissolved, either in whole or in part; For it is neverthelesse void of sense, as soon as such a company of atoms, as is necessary to constitute the nature of the soul, goeth out of it.

[151] Moreover, the body being dissolved, the soul it self is dissipated, and hath no longer the same faculties, nor any longer is moved, nor any longer hath sense; for we cannot imagine, that the same thing doth any longer feel or perceive, when it no longer useth the same motions, when it no longer is in the same compound, when those things no longer are by which it was cherished and preserved, and in which existing it performed such kind of motions. It is the same with the soul as with the eye; which, being taken out, and divided from the body in which it was, cannot see any thing.

When I say, The soul is dissipated, I imply the mind also; since the mind is indivisibly joyned with it, neither can it subsist if the soul perish. So that here it is all one to say, the mind and the soul, for the same dissipation happens to both. Now this dissolution is made, not into nothing, (as they must necessarily affirm, who hold the soul to be harmony, or such a contemperation as health( but in to the principles and little bodies, of which its contexture is made; and this not so much like water, which runneth about when the vessell is broken, as like smoke, or a mist, which goes away into aire, but much more easily; its contexture being more subtle, since it is capable of receiving impression from the images of smoke and mist.

That the soul is dissipated and perisheth, is manifest; for that it is compounded and hath a beginning. Some indeed there are, who conceive it to be eternall, denying it to have a beginning, to avoid its dissolution; and assuming for granted, that it was before the body, and came without into it, that they may maintain, that it survives after the body, out of which it goes entire. I shall omit, that they seem not to observe, that nothing can be durable for ever, unless it be such, either by reason of its solidity, as an Atom; or for that it is uncapable of being struck, as Vacuum; or for that it wants place whereinto it might remove, as the Universe. Neither do they reflect how great a madness it is to conceive, that thing so different as immortall and mortall, may be joyned together.

I omit this, I say, and demand onely, How it is possible the soul can, from without, be insinuated into the body, and diffused through its parts, and yet not be divided and dissolved, as meat distributed through the limbs? And must it not dwell in the body, as a bird in a cage, rather that be thought to grow, and be coextended with the body? And how then arrives it together with the body, at the flower of age? And why is it, that in old age it fears, not rejoyceth to go out of the body as out of her

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prison, and like the serpent to cast her decay’d skin? And if forsaking the body, it leaves some relicks of it selfe behind, is it not dissolvable? But if it leaves none, how comes it, that so many worms are generated in a carkasse?

For to say, that so many souls flow thither from without, and fly up and down like shadowes, and chuse their own matter, and frame their own bodies, and the like, How absur’d is it? Neither is it lesse ridiculous, that there should be a swarm, as it were of souls, hovering round about a the coition, and birth of Animals, contesting with one another, which shall enter into the body.

And if souls did so often shift bodies, would not their natures, by degrees, become changed, and so the Lion in time not be fierce, the Hart not timerous, the Fox not creafty, the dog afraid of the Hart, the Hawke of the Dove? And if any shall say, that human souls onely passe into human bodies, he cannot give a reason, Why the soul, of wife, becomes foolish; why no children are wise; why we, as the first Author of these Opinions feigned of themselves, never remember our past life, and the actions performed in it.

The soul therefore hath a beginning, from which, as it groweth up, and flourisheth with the body, so must it necessarily tend to an end, growing old, and decaying by degrees, together with it.

This I say likewise of the Mind, which by degrees is perfected, and decayeth; seeing that it not onely bears a share in the diseases, and pains of the body, but suffers diseases, and pains of her owne, and is cured by Medicine; which could not be, if something were not added to, or taken from, or transposed in her contexture. We need not instance, what happens to her by drunkennesse, the falling sicknesse, or dotage.

We must observe, that she is affixed to some certain part of the body, no otherwise then the ear or the eye, so that, accordingly she begins and ends with the whole; and this is manifest, forasmuch as every thing, (trees, fishes, &c.) hath a certain determinate place in which it is produced, liveth, and at last ceaseth to be, and cannot exist out of it.

And forasmuch, as a man dieth limb by limb, and expireth by degrees, the soul being, as it were divisible; who can say, that the Mind (or Intellect) doth not evaporate out of the midst of the breast, but goeth entire out at the throat and mouth? For that the soul her selfe goeth out, sifted as it were, and sever’d thorough the whole body, is argued, even for that the stench which after her departure is in the dead carcase, proceedeth from no other cause, than that its severall parts are got into that place, which was taken up by the severall parts of the soul. Not to mention, that, otherwise, when the body is suddenly cut asunder, into two or more pieces, the soul could not be cut into two or more pieces as the body.

As therefore, the soul was not before the generation, so neither will it be after the dissolution, or death; and as, before that, we did not feel any pain; so neither shall we feel any, after this; as well, for that there will be no longer Touch, or any other Sense, which cannot exist in a separate soul; as for that, it is now without those organs, in which onely the senses reside, and with which onely, they can act and suffer.

Hence it is manifest, that all fears of the Inferi is vain; Ixion is not roll’d upon a wheel; Sisiphus does not thrust a stone up hill continually; Prometheus’s liver cannot be devoured and renew’s every day. These are but Fables, as are also those which are reported of Tantalus, or Cerberus, of the Danaides, of the Furies, and the like; which if they are made good any where, it is in this life, through the depraved manners of men.

Section 4 – Of Superiour Things, As Well Celestiall, As Aeriall

Hitherto, of Inferiour things; we come now to the Superiour, which appear in the Region above the Earth; such are the Sun, the Moon, and other Stars, and all that belongs to them, as Risings, Settings, Tropicks, Eclipses, and the like. Moreover Clouds, Rain, Wind, Lightning, Thunder, Thunder-bolts, and the like. For though some make a distinction, and call these latter onely Μετεωεα, Superiour things, yet is it convenient, to call the former also Meteors, and to include both within Meteorology, that is , a Treatise of superiour things.

Here we must repeat, what was said at first, that [152] we must not propose any other end of the knowledge of Superiour things, whether they be treated of jointly with others, as here; or separately, and by themselves, as elsewhere we do; than an undisturbed state of mind, and unwavering Judgement; as also in the rest of the things, of which we use to discourse.

[153] For Superiour things being such, as that they either have, or may have a manifold cause of generation, and declaration of their being, conformable to that which we perceive by the sense; we ought not to adhere to one particular way, as we do in Mora’l Maxims, or some in Physick, such as are, The Universe is Body and vacuum; the Principles of things are indivisible, and the like, which agree onely one way with the Phenomena’s: but firmly hold, that these things are indeed explicable, not one, but many wayes, neither ought we to attempt any thing above the reach of human power, by defining one certain way, after which onely the thing may be performed.

This, I say, we must repeat; for as much as [154] it is requisite to conceive, that it is the office of Physiology, accurately, to examine the causes of the chief things which are in nature, and that from hence proceedeth all the felicity which consisteth in knowledge of superiour things, and in that especially, that we examine, what kind of things those are, which are discovered in those superiour ones, and whatever has affinity with them. And withall, inviolably to observe this rule, that it is competent to those things, to be done many wayes, and not necessarily to one way onely; but, that they may be brought about some other way also.

This, I so expresly inculcate; lest, if we adhere onely to one way, and that happen to displease us, we presently recurre, not to some other naturall cause, but to the divine; for this were to acknowledge a manifold manner, where there is but one. Thus, to the divine nature, we should attribute trouble and businesse, whereas it is simply and absolutely necessary, that in an Immortall and Blessed Nature, there be none of those things which cause dissolution and trouble; for the mind immediately apprehends, and concludes from the consideration of an immortall and blessed condition, that it it absolutely impossible, any such thing should happen to it.

And doubtlesse, for want of this consideration, it comes to passe, that the contemplation and observation of rising, setting, solstices, eclipses and the like, make our knowledge nothing the happier, but they who have considered these things, (yet know not what are the natures of those bodies, and what are their chief Causes) fear as much, and perhaps more, than as if they had not contemplated them at all; by reason, that the admiration which ariseth from their consideration, cannot be satisfied, as to the disposition and manner, whereby they are performed. For this reason we endeavour to find out, and alledge many severall causes of solstices, settings, risings, eclipses and the like, conformable to things of the like kind, which happen amongst us on the earth.

[155] Besides we must not think, that an accurate enquiry after these things, conduceth to acquisition of tranquillity and felicity. In superiour things, and others that are obscure, we ought to seek out causes, according to the severall wayes by which the like things happen amongst us, despising those who neither know one certain way by which a thing is effected, nor a manifold way, but content themselves onely with the appearance of things as presented at that distance, and yet are ignorant in what consists or not consists imperturbation. Truly, if we conceive it may fall out, that a thing may be done one certain way, and thereupon we are not troubled; truely I say, knowing on the other side, that the same thing may be effected many severall waies, we shall be no lesse undisturbed, then if we knew it could be done by a certain way.

[156] But whensoever one has a mind to adhere to, or defend any thing that is likely in it self, that explication is sufficient in this present subject which runs congruously, according to the manifold waies the Phenomena’s afford us. Yet is it necessary to derive our conjectures concerning superiour things, from those which are done amongst us; from those, I say, which are obferv’d to resemble those in those which are seen above; for those things are effected severall waies; wherefore also that which appeareth in every superiour thing, is to be considered by those things which agree with it, and which may be effected severall waies amongst us, as severall things may happen.

But I insist too much hereupon. To come therefore to the businesse. Although the whole Region above Earth is sometimes called Heaven, for even the nearer part of it, the Air, is sometimes called so too; yet by the word Heaven and AEther we will understand the superiour part of the Region, which containeth the Stars; and, by Aire, the inferiour, in which Clouds, Lightning, and the like are generated. We shall begin with the celestiall superiour things, and speak afterwards of the Aeriall.

      Chap 1 – Of the Substance and Variety of the Stars

WE must first lay down what was formerly touched, that [157] the Sun, Moon, and other Stars, were not made apart, and afterwards brought into the world, but received their figure, augmentation, and magnitude, immediately, and together with the world, (as the Earth, the Sea, and whatsoever is in the world) by the coagmentations and convolutions made within it, of some more tenuious natures, and those either aeriall, or fiery, or both; for this our sense suggests to us.

Hence some Stars seem to be of a more fiery substance, especially the Sun, whose heat is so manifest to sense; but withall, they seem not so much to be pure fires, as some mixed concretions, to which fire is annext.

Or, it may be, they are, as it were, certain glassy smooth dishes, capable to receive the bright, fiery little bodies, which, comming from the aetheriall region thorough which they run, light upon them, and to reflect them, and to show them to us in that form wherein they appear; For the like is done amongst us. Or that they may be clouds, enlightened, and, as it were, enkindled; for those Meteors called the Parelii, are caused no other way.

Or, it may be, they are, as it were, deep vessells, containing fire in their hollow part, like a Lant-horn, or a Chafing-dish, which holdeth coals, or melting mettalls. Or, they may be, as it were, glowing plates, or, as it were, stones burning in a furnace; for there is nothing in all these that implies a contradiction.

In like manner, the Sun in particular may be nothing else, but a thick

kind of clod, which being like a pumice, ora spunge full of pores, and little holes, may, containing fire, dart light out of them.

Onely the most impossible thing seems to be what some assert, that the Stars are animate, or so many Animals, and moreover, so many gods. For though we should grant, that each of them is a kind of World, or rather, as it were, an Earth, which hath not onely an aire, but an aether peculiar to it self. Nevertheless, as this our Earth, though it produceth Animals, is not therefore it self an Animal; so neither would the Stars be, although we should grant, that some Animals may be generated in them.

But if we should admit this, yet what they further presse, that there are such a kind of round and rolling gods, needs to be repeated onely; for we formerly proved that these are prodigious fancies, not of discoursing, but dreaming Philosophers, when expressing immortall beeings by the language proper to mortalls, they pronounce things so contrary to the felicity of the gods, and which seem so far beneath their excellent nature.

The Stars have been already distinguished into two kinds; some are fixed, which observe the fame position from one another, and keep the same course from East to West, never altering it. Others are wandring, whence called Planets or erratick Stars, because they never observe the fame position, neither towards one another, nor to the rest; and sometimes perform their courses nigher the North, sometimes nigher the South.

If you demand from whence this diversity proceeds, I shall say, [158] that it may be the Stars were from the beginning moved round, with such a necessity, that some took a circular motion uniform and eeven; others, an irregular and unequall one.

It may also be, that, in the places thorough which they move, there my be some even diffusion of places, which may carry them on the same way one after another, whereby they may move evenly, but that eIse-where they may be uneven for the same reason; the varieties which we observe in their motions proceeding from thence.

To alledge one onely cause for these, seeing that the Phenomena’s argue that the cause may be· many is madnesse, and not rightly considered by those, who dote on vain Astrology, and trivially explain the causes of some things, and in the mean time will not allow the divine nature (to which they ascribe most of these) to be free from the task of severall troublesome offices.

      Chap 2 – Of the Magnitude and Figure of the Stars

AS concerning the magnitude of the Sun, and of the rest of the Stars, it may be considered, either as to us, or in it self. [159] As to us, it is so much as is appeareth to be, for the sense is not deceived; and whatsoever magnitude the eye seeth in them, is such in them, for they have not any other thing immediately encompassing them without, which is visible; nor any thing of their own, which falls not within view of the eye.

But this magnitude considered in it self, or as to the thing it self, may be either somewhat greater, or somewhat lesser, or exactly so much as it appears to be. For with such variety are fires presented to our senses, seen at a distance, in the day-time, or by night. For either they are just so big as they seem, as the light of a candle if we look neer it; or lesser, as when we see the same light in the day-time at distance; or greater then indeed they are, as when the same light is seen in the night-time afar off.

I say, somewhat greater or lesser, in regard this diversity betwixt the appearance and the true compasse cannot be very great, as may be evinced from our ordinary fires; for, from what distance soever we perceive the heat of any fire, from the same its just form appeareth to us. In like manner, since we perceive the heat of the Sun here from the place where he seemeth to us to be, his just magnitude cannot be sensibly different.

That nothing perceivable is taken oft from the Stars by this distance, is confirmed; because thole things which we behold at a great distance, and much aire mediating between, are presented to us with a confused circumference; but the Sun, to those who can look upon him, appears to be of an exact compass; nor can any thing be seen more distinctly than the circumference of the Moon. There are indeed some Stars which twinckle, and seem to shoot forth trembling beams; but upon another account this argues they are so near, as to be seen exactly. For fires amongst us seem, in like manner, to wave and tremble, when we behold them at a distance, which, near at hand, seem fixed and constant.

Again, this is confirmed; because, if the Stars did lose their due magnitude by reason of distance, they would much more lose their colour; for we know, that a thing at distance ceaseth to be sesn in its native colour sooner then by reason of its littleness it totally disappears, or comes not to be seen at all. But though there be no distance more capable to effect this, (for there is not any length greater) yet the Stars do not therefore lose their true colour.

[160] Many things may be objected against this, but they are easily solv’d, if a man stick close to those things which are manifest to us, as we have showed in our Books concerning Nature, where we bring in this distinction of magnitude, considered in it self, and, according to us, we declared, that neither he did absurdly, who said, The Sun is a foot broad; nor he that said, it was many times bigger than Peloponnesus; nor he who said, It is of equall bignesse with the earth; forasmuch as of things which in themselves are greater and lesser, there may be as to us one magnitude, according as they are nearer or farther off.

As for the figure, I shall onely say, that since it appeareth round to us, it is globous and plain like a plate, and therefore the Stars are either as dishes or as cylinders, or as cones and tops, or as certain nails fixed in the sky. For none of these hath any thing that implyeth a contradiction, nor dissonancy from the Phaenomena.

      Chap 3 – How the Stars Move, Out-Run one Another, and Are Turned round

Having said, not long since, that, of the Stars, some are fixed, others erratick, and that this difference proceeds from their having different motions; we must now say, in generall, that the motions of both may be made, [161] either by the turning about of the whole heaven, in which one or more of them are, supposing it to be solid, and carrying them about with it, like nails fastned into it; or else, the Heaven standing still, as a fluid or pervious thing, by their being whirled about, and moved thorough  it.

Now for as much, as whether it be the motion of the Heaven, or of the Stars, it may have begun from a necessity made at the very time, that the world was generated, and impress’d east-wardly; it might in the first case, (that is, if it be in the whole Heaven) both have begun, and be continued by the hurry of some aire. For there may be a two-fold extrinfecall aire; one, pressing from above, and driving the Heaven towards the West; the other lifting it up as it were, and carrying it on, and that otherwise then the former, which on all sides presses and fixes the Poles. In the second case, (that is, if the motion be in the stars themselves) it may have been, either by hurry of aire, or by the course of the fire.

For it may have been from the very beginning, that a great company of little bodies, evaporating, and diffusing themselves, might break the aire, and force their passage thorough it; and the aire, receiving this motion of the Wind, and hurrying the stars along with it, might carry them about, and cause that continuall circular-Motion, which is still seen above in them. It might also be, that the proper fire of every starre, either being shut up close. and seeking a vent, might begin to turn about, and continue still as it began; or, being at greater liberty, might move in this fashion that way, unto which the food or aliment of each invites them, and so go on, thorough its heat and desire of aliment to the next bodies which were fuell, convenient to nourish it.

None of all these is repugnant to the Phenomena’s; but otherwise, we cannot easily determine from what cause the motion of the Stars should proceed.

But, How comes it to passe, that some stars anticipate, or get before others, so as that we see the others left behind them? This may happen either because, the others performing the fame diurnall-revolution with them are moved more slowly, as the Moon, which moving more slowly then the rest, towards the Weft, is left as it were behind them east-ward. Or because, being carried about by the diurnall motion towards the West, they are in the mean time slowly carried on, by a contrary motion towards the East, whereby the Moon may not have been left by the rest, East-ward, but rather have left them West-ward. Or because, all things being carried about onely with a diurnall revolution, and equall motion, yet some perform a longer, others a shorter course; and so the Moon, if she be above the fixed starres, as some conceive, will perform its revolution more slowly, and be observed to be left behind.

Certainly, to assert anything absolutely in these matters, becomes those, who affect to make ostentation of something magnificent, and prodigious before the multitude.

Again, How comes it to passe, that the Sun, Moon, and planets, when they come to the Tropicks, or Solstices, run about and go back again? This may happen, either because, such a kind of circular motion was at the beginning impressed upon these stars, as that they should be carried round about after a spirall-manner, limited on each side at the Solstices. Or that they go according to the obliquity of Heaven, which in processe of time, acquir’d a necessity of that indirect position. Or because, they are repell’d by the aire, which driveth them back on, now to this side, now to that, by reason of its coldnesse, density, or some other quality. Or because, their aliment is conveniently disposed all along that way, kindling backward, and failing forwards.

All these, and those which are like these, have in them nothing repugnant to the evidence of things; if a man adhering onely to the possibility that is in these things, can reduce each of them to that, which agreeth with the Phenomenas, not fearing the groundlesse contrivements of Astrologers, who forbear not to build, upon and in them, a vast company of concentrick orbs.


      Chap 4 – Of the Rising and Setting of the Stars, and of the Alternate length of Dayes and Nights

THe Rising, and setting of the Sun, Moon, and the reft of the Stars may happen three wayes.

First, [162] by appearance above, and occultation beneath: For that the Stars being alwayes bright and never extinguish’d,are so carried about, above, and below the earth; that sometimes they rise, sometimes they go down, or set: and the Sun, in particular, when he goeth down causeth darknesse with us; but returning, he enkindleth as it were the Heaven with his morning-beams. There is not any thing amongst the Phenomena’s which contradicts this.

Again, [163] by being enkindled in the East quarter, and extinguished in the West: For, there may be such a disposition of the Medium in both these places, as that, whilst the Stars passe through it, what I affirm may be effected, there being nothing in the Phenomena’s that contradicts it; seeing, there are not onely fountains, that extinguish, but such also, as enkindle Tapers, as that at Epire, formerly mentioned. So that the Ocean compassing the earth, the Sun may be extinguished by it in the West quarter, and return all along it, passing along the north into the East quarter, and from thence arise re-enkindled.

Thirdly, by a new production every day; for nothing hindreth, but that there may every day arise new Suns; for example, there flowing together to the East, severall fires, or seeds of fire, which joyn in one round body, and shine, and are carried on impetuously towards the West. For it is reported, that the like happens in the mountains of Ida, and chiefly about the rising of the Dog-star; and that fires may meet in great bodies together at certain seasons, may be understood from what is observed to be done at some determinate time in all other bodies. For, from the confluxion and defluxion of seeds, Trees at a certain time bring forth leaves and fruits, at a certain time shed them; at a certain time teeth are bred, at a certain time cast; and so in other things, which it were too long to instance.

Now the Sun’s continuance above the earth making day, and his absence night; How comes it to passe, that all daies are not equall, and all nights equall, but that in Summer the daies are longer, the nights shorter; in Winter alternately, the nights longer and the daies shorter? This also may happen three waies.

First, [164] For that the revolutions of the Sun above and beneath the earth, are sometimes performed faster, sometimes slower, according to the alternate lengths of the places, or waies in which the Sun passeth: [165] And this by reason of the position of the Orb called the Zodiack, through which the Sun passeth obliquely, and in two Signes of it makes the nights and the daies equall. But when from thence he declineth to the North or South, as much of his journey as he taketh off from one part, either above or below the earth, so much he adds to the other.

Secondly, Because there may be certain places in the AEther, which, by reason of their grossness, and the resistance which happens thereupon, cannot be passed thorough so swiftly as others. Such are those which make the Sun stay long beneath the earth in the Winter, whereby they make the night longer and the day shorter than in Summer. Some things of the same kind may be observed amongst us, according to which it is convenient to explicate superiour bodies.

Thirdly, that in the alternate parts of the year, the fires, or seeds of fire aforesaid, flow together in such manner, as that they make a Sun sooner or later; and the Sun rises out of that part from which he begins, a longer or shorter course above the earth.

They who insist and fix upon but some one particular way, to explicate these effects, both contradict things apparent, and deviate from that which fals under human contemplation.

      Chap 5 -Of the Light of the Stars, and of the Changes and Spots in the Moon

Let us now say something of the light, not onely of the Sun, but of the rest of the Stars, and particularly of the Moon. First, men admire, that the Sun, being so little, should pour forth so much light out of himself, as sufficeth to enlighten and warm the Heaven, the Earth, the Sea, and yet not be it self exhausted. But the Sun is a kind of fountain, into whicn there flow together from beneath on every side perpetuall rivolets; for the seeds of heat throughout the whole world flow so into the Sun, as that immediately from him, as from one fountain or head, both heat and light overfloweth everyway.

Moreover, the substance of the Sun may be of such thicknesse, and the light and heat which floweth from him of such thinnesse, that as a little current or a rivolet, streaming from a spring, watereth the meadows and fields round about it, without any losse to it self; so, that of the Sun may be sufficient to irrigate, as it were, the whole world, without any sensible diminution of the Sun.

Moreover, the aire may be of such a nature, as that it may be kindled, as it were, by a little light, diffused from the Sun; as a whole field of corn may be set on fire by one spark.

Likewise, the Sun may have his aliment round about him, which may supply what he loseth, as the flame of a lamp is fed by the oyle which is put to it. It may happen also many other waies.

As to the rest of the Stars, especially the Moon, it may be, that they have their light from themselves, [166] it may be they borrow it from the Sun; for amongst us we see, that there are many things which shine of themselves, many things which borrow light from others; and there is nothing appearing in the superiour things themselves, which hinders, but that either of these opinions may be true.

If a man preserve stedfast in his mind the manifold waies, and the suppositions conformable to it, and consider the caufes together with it, lest minding things that are incoherent, he grow vainly proud, and sometimes fall into one particular way, sometimes into another.

As for the Moon, it is in the first place wonderfull, How she comes to have so many changes, or increase or decrease of light. It may be, that being round, and receiving light from the Sun, she is successively so figured, (after the same manner as the aire, when the Sun riseth, is enlightened, and when he setteth is darkened successively) as that going away from the Sun, she seemeth every day to encrease, because she showeth more and more of her enlightned-face to us, untill she presents it at full; and then going towards the Sun, decreaseth every day, because she showeth lesse

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and lesse of it, until at last she turneth no part of it towards us, but is quite unseen.

Moreover, it may be, that the Moon being round, one part of her may be bright, another dark, and as she turneth her body about may discover to us, alternately, more or lesse of each part.

It may also be, that being bright of it self, she may be obscured by an interposition of some opacous body comming under her, which is hemispherical and hollow, and, moved along with her, is continually rolled about her.

Neither doth any thing hinder, but that there may every day (according to what we formerly said) be made a new Moon of a severall form and figure; as in like manner the seasons of the Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, and many things in them, come and go, are produced and perish, at set times.

In fine, it may be any way, wherein those things which appear to us may be applyed to explication of that manner, unlesse some man, being much in love with one singular way, shall vainly reject the rest, not considering what things it is possible for a man to know, and thereupon aims at the knowledge of those things which man cannot attain.

Moreover, they admire in the Moon, that there appear spots in her face; but [167] her face may appear so, either from the various and different nature of the parts of the Moon, or from the interposition of some body, not so much opacous as dusky; not rolling about her, but perpetually adhereing to her; and not solid all over, but full of holes like a Racket.

[168] Or it may be any other way of all those which are observed to be conformable to things apparent. This is the courfe to which we must adhere, concerning superiour things; for no man, if he contest against apparent things, can ever partake of true tranquillity.

      Chap 6 – Of the Eclipses of the Stars, and Their Set Periods

But there is nothing which useth to strike a greater terrour into men, then that sometimes they observe Eclipses, and defects of light in the Sun and Moon, to happen on a suddain. Yet why may not this also happen many severall waies?

For first, the Sun may be eclipsed, for that the Moon being interposed, puts her dark orb or opacous body before him, and keeping away his light frim the earth, causeth darknesse in her, untill by her removall the light is restored. The Moon may be eclipsed, for that the earth, being interposed betwixt her and the Sun, takes the Sun off from her, and darkens her, while she comes within the cone of the shadow, untill passing from out of it, she recovereth light.

Again, the Sun may be eclipsed, for that some part of heaven, or some other opacous body, such as is the earth, may move along with the Sun, and at certain times come underneath him, and intercept his light. And the Moon in like manner, for that some other opacous body passing betwixt her and the Sun, keeps off the beams of the Sun from her, or moving together with her, doth not onely perform its phases slowly, bur sometimes overcasts her with a suddain darknesse. Not to mention, that if she be dark on one side and bright on the other, it may happen, that she may sometimes on a suddain turn her dark fide towards us.

Moreover, both the Sun and Moon may suffer Eclipse, for that they may passe thorough places pernicious to fire, and thereby their light become extinguished, untill going beyond them they renew and recover it.

Thus ought the severall ordinary wayes to be heeded, and some of them also put together it being possible, that many causes may concurre.

[169] The periodicall order, by which eclipses happen at certain times, is conceived to be kept in like manner as amongst us in some things, as in the vicissitude of seasons. There is no need of recurring to the divine nature for the bringing of these to passe; let us allow that to be free from all businesse, and exquisitely happy.

Unlesse this be done, all discourse of causes in superiour things will be vaine; as hath already happened to some, who taking an impossible course became frivolous for that they approved only one, and rejected all the rest, though they were possible, and were transported to dream of that which exceeds the capacity of the Intellect, and were neither able to admit, as they ought, apparent signes, nor understand, as they say, how to rejoyce with God.

      Chap 7 – Of the Presignifications of the Stars

IT remains, we speak of the presignifications of the changes of the ayre attributed to the starrs, as rain, wind, drought, heat, and the like; which happen according to the time of the rising or setting of certain starrs, as of the Dog, Orion, the Pleiades.

[170] These presignifications may be made either according to the condition of the Seasons, if it happens in those living creatures, which being seen at one time with its, at another with others, passing hither and thither, are signes, not causes of the seasons, for the rising and setting-starrs may be not causes but signes of those mutations; or as it happens not certainly, but casually, at what time the stars rise or set, there are causes of some mutation in the ayre.

For neither of these is repugnant with things apparent; and what cause there may be, besides these agreeable with things apparent, we cannot perceive.

It is not without some reason what I hinted of presignifications; which are observed in some animals, to be made according to the condition of the season which at that time comes in, so as the motions observed in Animals only declare tempests, but make them not. As those, for example, which depart from us in Autumne induce not any necessity of the winters being at that time: neither is there any divine nature which fits and marks the departure of living creatures, that it may make good what is foretold by them.

This is a kind of folly that cannot fall upon any animal in which there were the left grain of wit; so far is it from being in that nature which possesseth all felicity.

      Chap 8 – Of Comets, And those which are called Falling Starrs

WHat hath been hitherto spoken of the starrs, belongs to the Sun and Moon, and Starrs which having been made from the beginning of the World constantly inhere and appear in heaven. But besides these, there are other stars, which sometimes are generated or newly appear, and after some few dayes or months either perish or lye hid. They are called Comets, quafi Comatae Stellae hairy-starres, for that they have a long train like haire.

Some also there are that last but for a moment, vanishing almost assoon as they appear; and, seeming in some kind of excursion to fall down, they are ordinarily termed falling-stars.

As for the Comets, [171] they may be generated; Either for that some fire is sometimes kindled in some of those superiour places, and being kindled is for a time nourish’d and moved, according to the abundance and disposition of the matter. Or else they appear, for that heaven as to that part which is over our heads, hath some peculiar motion according to severall vicissitudes, so as these starrs are driven to be made manifest. Or else, they come forth by reason of a certain disposition at sometimes; and, assoon as they come lower towards us, they become manifest.

Comets disappear to our sight through the causes contrary to these: either the matter convenient for them is not placed all along as it is in that place where they are observed to inhere, so as by degrees through want of aliment, they consume as it were and go out, or that some thing opposeth their motion. And that may happen, not only for that this part of the World, round about which the reft is turned, remaineth unmoved as some affirme; but also, for that there may be in the ayre some impetuous gyration which may hinder their moving round, and drive it another way, as may also happen to the other stars which are called Planets at the Tropicks.

Moreover this may happen many other wayes, if we discourse upon that which is conformable to things apparent.

As for those which are called falling-starrs, they may be made either by pieces broken off from the true stars, or from the falling down of that matter whereof there is a kind of disslation, as may happen also in lightning; or from a company of ignifying atoms, meeting and joyning together to effect it; the motion being made, according as the force of meeting together was from the beginning. Or from the driving of wind up together within certain cloudy bottoms or winings, and setting it a-fire whilst it is rolled up and down, and breaking thorough the bottomes which restrain them, and moving to that part towards which that impulsion carryes them.

There are other wayes not fictitious, by which this may be done. But of celestiall Meteors, enough.

      Chap 9 – Of Clouds

Next these are the aeriall Meteors, which are made neerer us in the aire. We shall begin with the Clouds; than which nothing is generated above in the ayre or seen, more frequently.

[172] A Cloud therefore may be generated and have its being, by some accumulation as it were of the ayre, the winds driving it, so as that a cloud is nothing but a thickning of the air. Againe, by implication of some atoms cohering mutually to one another, and fit to produce such a compound; and this when they first come together into little bodyes of clouds, and those are gathered together into greater bulks, so as at last they become greatest of all.

They most commonly seem to rise at the tops of Hills, for that the first little compounds are so subtle as that they escape the sight, and are carryed on by the wind, untill being by little condensed, they appear on the tops of the hills which by reason thereof seem to smoak.

If any shall doubt, From whence there can come so great a conflux of atoms as is sufficient to make such great bulks of Clouds, let him consider, that if no other way, yet they may at least come from without, out of the immensity of the Universe where there is an infinite multitude of them. And this because there is allowed to the principles a free passage in and out, thorough the vents of the World, as was formerly declared.

Moreover, a cloud may be generated by the gathering together of effluxions and exhalations, out of the earth and water, and carried upwards. For, that there are many little bodyes drawn out of the whole Sea, appeareth by Garments which being hung upon the shore grow moyst. Besides we see, that every where out of rivers, arise mists and exhalations and vapours in such abundance, as that being carried upwards they darken the skye, and by little and little meeting together turn into clouds.

Neither doth any thing hinder but that these coagmentations may be made many other wayes.

      Chap 10 – Of the Wind And of Presters

Wind may be generated, first, [173] when the atoms or little bodyes leap out of some convenient places and fly thorough the air, there being a more vehement effusion made from some heaps which are proper for such kind of emissions; [174] When in a narrow vacuum there are many little bodyes, there followeth Wind; and contrary, the air is quiet and calm, when in a great vacuum there are but a few little bodyes.

[175] For, as in a market place or street, as long as the people are but few they walk without any trouble; but when they run into some narrow place, they justle and quarrell with one another; so in this space which encompasseth us, when many bodyes crowd into one little place, they must necessarily justle one another, and be thrust forward, and driven back and entangled and squeezed; of which is made the wind, when they which contested yeeld and having been long toss’d up and down uncertainly shrink: but when a few bodyes stirre up and down in a large space, they can neither drive nor be driven imperuously.

[176] Again, Wind may be caused when the ayr is driven on and agitated either by exhalations comming from the earth and water, or by the Sun’s pressing upon it from above, for it is manifest, that where the air is agitated and stirred, there is caused wind, so as wind seems to be nothing else, but the waves of the aire. Whence we may conceive that the wind so newhat refembles water troubled, and that the more violent winds come from being stirred by some more vehement cause, after the some manner as torrents rage and make waste when there happens a vast defluxion of waters by great showrs falling upon the mountains.

Presters are windy whilings (for the fiery, and those which burne, from which the name is taken, are a kind of thunder). They [177] maybe generated either from the depression of a cloud after various fashions towards inferior places, whilst it is carried down and driven on by abundance of wind, which rouls it self about, and tears away the sides of the cloud, the wind also driveth on the cloud immediately from without, or from the wind standing round about, when as the ayr pressing upon it from above, and withall the air which is driven on and diffused round about hindring by reason of its density, the great abundance of wind knoweth not which way if may spread it self, and being driven back, as well by the sides as from above, it necessarily thrusts the cloud downwards.

When this Prester is thrust down upon the land, it causeth whirl-winds; when upon the sea, whirl-pools. Whirl-winds are Iesse frequently seen, because the mountains snatch them away before they come within our sight; whirl-pools more frequently, by reason of the wide smoothnesse of the sea, into which we may behold a cloud like a pillar descend from heaven, and push it down, as it were with the force of an arm or fist, untill the violence of the wind breaking thorough it, the sea works and boils, and the ships incur a danger almost inevitable.

      Chap 11 – Of Thunder

IT was not without reafon that I faid, there are also fiery Presters, which are not different from Thunder. For, Thunder seems to be caused by the manifold conglomeration of blasts, swelling with fiery little bodies, within the bulks of the clowds; and by the evolution and strong enkindling of them, and breaking of the clowd by the fire, which is so forcibly darted to interiour places, according as that breaking forth is, sometimes directed towards a high mountain, (which kind of places are oftenest struck with thunder) sometimes towards other things.

[178] For that the nature of thunder is fiery is manifest, even because it often burneth the houses upon which it is darted, and for that it leaveth behind it a stench like brimstone. That it is generated within the clowds, is evident, for that it never thunders when the sky is clear; but the clowds first gather together all along the air, and darken the sky, and there ariseth a foul night, as it were, of showers. Lastly, that many little bodies or seeds,as it were, of fire, are contained within a clowd, may be argued, as well from the effect, as for that amongst the little bodies of a cloud rising up from beneath, are intermingled, not onely watery, but fiery also, and of other sorts. Withall, it cannot be, but that the clowd must receive many things from the beams of the Sun.

When therefore the blast or wind which drove the clowds together, hath intermingled it self with the seeds of fire, that are in the bosom, as it were, and cavity of the cloud, there is caused a whirling or vortex within it, which being carried about very rapidly, groweth hot by motion; and either by intension of this heat, or the contagion of some other fire, breakethout into perfect thunder, and tearing the clowd is darted forth. Now the clowd is cleft and broken, by reason that the places round about the whirling or vortex, are taken up, and stuffed thicker with the part of the clowd; neither, by reason of their being squeezed up so close together, is there any chinck open, whereby whilst it is spread with the wind may insinuate it self, and retire, by penetrating into it by degrees. Whereupon it is necessary, that the fire lately made, being dilated by the wind, breaks thorough the clowd with violence, which makes the noise of thunder; and comming forth, shineth and filleth all parts with a glittering light.

It may also be, that the force of the wind may light from without upon the clowd, at such time as the thunder is mature and perfect, and rending the clowd, make way for the fiery vortex to break thorough.

lt may also be, that the fiery vortex, though not set on fire when it breaks forth, may be kindled afterwards in its passage through the aire; after the same manner as a leaden flugge passing thorough the aire, growes hot, and takes fire. It may also be, that the fire is made in the very dashing against the thing which it hits, the seeds of fire being struck out of both, in the same manner as they are struck by a flint out of steel.

[179] There are many other waies by which this fire may be kindled, or thunder made, onely let us cast away all fiction; and cast away it will be, if we take our conjecture of things unseen, from that which is conformable to things apparent.

Hence may be given the reason, Why it comes to passe, that it thuders oftner in the Spring and Autumn, than in other seasons. In Winter, there wants the seeds of fire; in Summer, the blasts and heaps of clowds; in the Spring and in Autumn, all things convenient are ready.

But how comes it to passe, that the motion of Thunder is so swift, and its stroak so violent? This proceeds from the great violence of the eruption, and the tenuity; by reason of which, nothing in the way refills them, and force, which is, as it were, doubled by gravity, and encreaseth by motion.

How comes it to penetrate thorough the walls of houses, to melt metalls in a moment, to draw out all the Wine out of fuIl vessells? This proceeds from the tenuity and quick motion, and violent force of the little bodies, whereby it can in a moment dissipate and disperse those things which the ordinary fire of the Sun cannot under a long time.

      Chap 12 – Of Lightning and Thunder-Claps

ALthough I hinted by the way, how Lightning and how Thunder are generated; yet nothing hinders, but that they may be generated many waies besides.

For [180] Lightning may be made either by the rubbing or striking of the clouds against one another, such a kind of figure issuing from them; or by such a disposure and conformation of atom’s heaped up together, as causeth fire, and generates lightning; after the same manner as we observe it to be done, when iron and a stone are hit against one another.

Or by the winds stirring up one of the clowds those bodies, or little bodies, that is, atoms, which cause this glittering brightnesse; for that the wind (and especially if it grow hot like a leaden flugge) strikes off the same little bodies, which are struck by the mutuall attrition of the clowds.

Or by squeezin forth; there being made a compression either by the clowds one with another, or by the winds driving them, which is caused over and above the force of collision.

Or by interception of the light which is diffused by the Stars, which thereupon is driven by the motion of the clowds and winds, and falleth out of the clouds.

Or by the falling down of some most tenious light out of the clowds, whilst the clowds are intrinsecally gather’d together by the fire; and withall, thunder is caused like a kind of bounce by their motion.

Or by the enkindling of a wind, which is caused, as well by a vehement intensuisse, as convolution of motion.

Or by a breaking of the clowds by the winds, and falling down of fiery atoms, which cause lightning to shine.

That lightning may be generated many other waies, he will easily perceive, who adheres to things apparent, and is able to understand what suits with them.

Thunder-claps may be made thus, Either by the rolling of a wind within the cavities of the clowds, as in ordinary vessells, when something is rolled in them.

Or making a crack, by the very difflation and ebullition, as it were, of the fire, within the same clowds.

Or by the breaking and tearing of the same clowds, as when a swollen bladder cracks, paper is torn, or a shrowd rent.

Or by the same clowds, rubbing and driving against one another, having acquired an icy kind of concretion, [181] and this by reason of the winds driving them;


as tall woods crackle at the blowing of the East-Wind, waves unbroken murmur, garments hung up, and papers carried away and beaten, as it were, by the winds, make a clattering noise.

Or by extinction of the fire of thunder, breaking out of one cloud, and lighting upon another which is waterish, whereupon it hisses like red hot iron, taken out of the fire, and cast into the water.

Or by the burning of some dry clowd, which crackles like a branch in the fire.

In a word, that this also may be explained severall waies, the things which appear evince and teach us, that we think not, with ignorant and superstitious persons, that the noise of thunder denotes the appearance of some god, since other bodies, being struck against one another, make·a sound also, as Mill-stones in grinding, or the hands clapped together.

Lest any wonder how how it comes to passe, that lightning is seen before the thunder is heard, this may happen, either for that in some certain disposition of the clowds, as soon as the wind lights upon them, there leaps forth such a configuration of little bodies, as causeth lightning; and thereupon the wind, by rolling up and down, maketh this sound.

Or for that they being both generated together, the lightning is brought to us with a quicker nimbleness; the thunder commeth later, as happeneth in some things which are seen at distance, and make a sound by blowes; for it is manifest, that the stroak is seen before the found is heard.

      Chap 13 – Of Rain and Dew

WE must now speak of watery concretions, whereof some continue fluid, others acquire some solidity by the impression of cold; those which continue fluid are Rain and Dew, whereof one is made, the heaven being clowdy; the other, when it is clear.

[182] Rain may be made of the clowds, either when being thinner then ordinary, the wind driving them, or they pressing upon one another, are squeezed together, and knit into drops; or when being thicker then ordinary, they are rarifi’d and changed by heat or by the wind; or, like wax, melt so, that they fall down in drops.

That there are seeds of water contained in the clowds, is so well known, that we need not speak of it. They ascend together with the clowds, they encrease together with them, and are dispersed thorough them, as blood through the parts of our body. Neither doth there ascend moisture into the clowds from all rivers onely, but the clowds also which hang over the sea receive moisture, like a fleece of wool.

[183] Wherefore rain may flow from the clowds, either when the force of the wind thrusteth the clowds up together, and great store of showers. being raised above them, presseth and thrusts them; or when the clowds by the power of the winds are rarifi’d, and suffer their moisture to flow abroad; or by the heat of the Sun are so dissolved, that they fall down in drops, and, as I said, like melting wax.

It may happen, that rains sometimes last a long while, because it then happeneth, that many seeds of waters, rising up to severall clowds, and dispersed every way, may supply the rain. Sometimes also the earth recking, exhales back again all the moisture which she receiveth.

Dew is made, either by the meeting together of the little bodies in the air, which are of such a nature, as to be fit to generate this kind of moisture; or by the bringing forth of little bodies, which chiefly generate dew above, when they so meet together as to make that moisture, and flow down into the places beneath. Many things of this kind are done amongst us, especially in stoves.

      Chap 14 – Of Hail, Snow, and Frost

OF watery Concretions, which by impression of cold are congealed into some solidity, there are two which are made when the heaven is clowdy, Hail and Snow; one, when it is clear, Frost.

Hail is generated, either when the congelation is stronger, by reason of the setling of a cold wind which is on every side, and presseth the drippings or drops of the clowds, which otherwise would go away into rain, or when the congealed bulk cleaveth asunder in many places, and by a moderate liquefaction, watery·drops insinuating into the chincks by compression of the parts, and breaking the whole frame into pieces, they cause that the parts exist compacted severally by themselves, and make a heap of fragments, which are thereupon dispersed.

That these fragments be in a manner round, nothing hindreth, either, for that the outmost corners are cut off on every side, by reason of their long falling; or, for that in their very forming, something either watery or windy, surrounds all the parts evenly, as we said, so that their surface is round, and not un-even.

Snow happeneth to be made either by thin water poured out of the Clouds, so as that it froaths, (some Clouds fit for the purpose pressing, and the winds blowing them abroad) and is afterwards congealed in the very Motion, by reason, of some more vehement cold in the lower places of the Clouds.

Or by some smooth congealing, caused in the Clouds; unto which, whilst the little watery bodies, compressed by, and neighbouring to, one another, arrive, there is caused an aggeneration of such loosnesse, as the flocks of snow have, whereas, the same driving one another harder, cause hail, which two things chiefly are made in the aire.

It may also be, that a kind of ejaculation of the snow, which falleth down in heaps, maybe made, the Clouds which were first congealed, breaking it asunder.

Lastly, frost is made of the same little bodies as dew, when, as the little drops of dew made either way, are by the cold temperament of the Aire congealed, and in congealing, receive a light compactednesse.

      Chap 15 – Of the Rain-bow, and Halos

WE must not here passe by two remarkable things, which appear in the Clouds or above; The Rain-bow, an Arch of various colours, ever against the Sun; and Halos, which sometimes like a white crown compasseth the Moon.

The Rain-bow is made either, for that the moist aire shineth by the opposite splendor of the Sun, or for that it is the particular nature of light, and of the aire, to present such kind of colours either all of them, or one onely, from which (shining forward) the neighbouring parts of the aire are so coloured; in like manner, as we observe to be done, when the parts of any thing which is enlightned, make the parts of other things next to it shine also.

As to the roundnesse of its figure; this is caused by reason, that it is onely,

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convey’d to the beholders eye, from a distance every way equall; or, for that the atoms, which are carried out of the aire into the Cloud, are so compelled, that every concretion made of them, is formed into this roundnesse.

A Halos is made about the Moon, either by the carrying up of a somewhat grosse or lightly-cloudy aire towards the Moon, whilst in the mean time, some effluxions derived from her, do as it were fift it, (for they do not absolutely disperse it)in such manner, that they are formed into a circle about her in this cloudy figure.

Or by the aire, compelled about the Moon, after such a manner, as to make this round and grosser figure about her; which some conceive to happen according to some of her parts, or by some effluxion driving together from without, or, by insinuation of heat from beneath, fit to effect this.

      Chap 16 – Of Avernall Places

IT rests, that we speake some things of Avernall places, so termed, for that they are pernicious to birds; for when birds attempt to flye over them, they instantly fall down and dye: As also concerning the causes of Pestilence, as far as they depend on the aire.

I must here only repeat, that the earth containeth all kinds of little bodies so diversly figured that some are suitable to the natures of Animals, others hurtfull; and by reason that the contextures of Animals are so unlike to one another, some of these are convenient and wholsome to some Animals, which to others are inconvenient and pernicious. And why not? when the contexture and temper of the same person being changed by a Feaver, the same wine, which before did him much good, is now as deadly to him as to be stabb’d to the heart.

It is manifest that many things unpleasant, troublesome, and pernicious ordinarily come into the taste, the smell, the touch, and all the senses, not to mention some trees which either cause a heavinesse to those who sleep in their shade, or by an ill sent kill them; nor strong wine, or the fume of coals and the like: How many places are there, which exhale strong and hurtfull scents of brimstone and sulphur? They who dig in Mines, who look so wan, and dye so soon, how many noisome vapours do they find to breathe out of the inmost parts of the earth?

Thus there are some places out of which these vapours breathe, which being carried up into the aire, diffused round over it, in some manner poyson it, and infest it with a deadly quality; so as that, when birds come to passe over it, Veluti si Mulier mensium tempore Castoreum olfaciat, they become stupefy’d, and immediately fall down dead.

It may also be, that the aire which lies between the birds and the earth, being cleft asunder by the force of a vapour breaking forth, and the place becoming almost vacuous; the birds may not have a support, upon which to reft their spreading wings, and continue their flight, so that they sink and fall, over-burthen’d by the weight of their own body. Thus much for Avernall places.

      Chap 17 – Of Pestilence

THough Pestilence, or a mortall affection of the aire may come from above, like a Cloud or dew, yet it is most commonly caused, when

the earth is putrify’d by unseasonable rains and heats, and such a vapour ariseth out of it, as infects the aire, and killeth far and neer, not only men but other living Creatures.

That the aire easily entertains the affection (or quality) of the vapour breathed immediately out of the earth into it, is manifest, from the diseases that are particular to Countries, as here with us, the gowt is frequent; among the Achaeans, sorenesse of eyes; among the AEgyptians, the Leprosie; As also for that, Travellers find it by experience, acknowledging that the aire in severall places is very different.

That this affection is sometimes propagated by the aire, the nature of the Pestilence declareth, as that especially, which, in the memory of our Ancestors beginning in AEthiopia, ran on into Lybia and AEgypt, and almost over all the dominions of the King of Persia, so as it came into our Citty and Country also, and quite laid it waste.

This propagation it made, when the poisonous vapour intermingling its little bodies with the aire, doth so disorder, and pervert the scituation of the little bodies thereof, that whatsoever of them are like its owne, is formeth into the same contexture: as when fire insinuating with its little bodies into wood, so altereth its composition, that it strikes forth all the fiery little bodies that are in it; and, out of it, maketh a new fire like to it selfe. Moreover, as fire running along in its swift motion, is able to spread it selfe thorough a whole Wood; so this Pestilent affection, by reason of the little bodies, of which it consists, creepeth forward by Degrees, and changeth the aire a great way, untill it be repress’d by an affection quite different, in like manner, as when a Cloud or mist creeps thorough the aire, and by little and little, changeth, and disturbeth it all along as it goeth.

Not to mention, that when men by breathing, draw the aire into, their bodies, they suck in at the same time, the little bodies of this affection; wherewith, those which are like them in the body are transposed, and perverted in the fame manner, as we said of the aire; and by contagious afflation, they are transmitted on to others, which cause the same perversion, whereby the disease spreads every where.

* * *

Thus much concerning not Meteorology onely, but all Physiology: of which the few things that we have said are such, as that by contemplating them, we may throughly understand the things that are done, whereby the things that are of affinity with them, may be comprehended; and the causes of particular effects in Nature, known. For they, who pursue not these with all possible diligence, are far from understanding them, as they ought, and from obtaining the end, for which those are to be understood?

And never must we cast out of Mind the Criteries, (nor the evidence that belongs to every one of them) because, if we forsake not these, we shall with right reason find out from whence perturbation ariseth, and what it is that causeth fear, and shall quit our selves from it, understanding the cause of superiour things, and of all others which ordinarily happen, and strike great fear into others.

But, presupposing the Criteries, it avails most to apply ourselves to speculation of the principles, of which all things consist, and of the infinity of Nature, and other things coherent with these, and with constant remembrance to preserve the chiefest and most generall Maxims concerning them. For by this means, we shall be farthest off from Fables, and obtain that undisturbed state of mind, which is the true and onely mark, at which, in all this discourse, we have aimed.


 Top Level Table of Contents

[1] Laert.


[2] Laert.


[3] Laert.


[4] Sext. Emp. adv. Phys.


[5] Laert.


[6] Plnt. plac. 1. 20.


[7] Laert.


[8] Lucret. Lib. 1.


[9] Lucret. loc. cit.


[10] Laert.


[11] Lucret. lib. 1. v. 450.


[12] Laert.


[13] Lucret. 1.


[14] Laert. 968.


[15] Laert.


[16] Laert.


[17] Euseb.


[18] Euseb. praep.


[19] Lucret.


[20] Sext. Emp. adv. Math.


[21] Lucret.


[22] Cic. de nat. deor. 1.


[23] Cic. de nat. deor. 1.


[24] Laert.


[25] Cic. de nat. deor. 1.


[26] Lactant.


[27] Seneca. de benef. 4. 19.


[28] Lucret. 5.


[29] Lucret. 3.


[30] Cic. loc. cit.


[31] Laert.


[32] Laert.


[33] Laert.


[34] Laert.


[35] Lucret.


[36] Lucret. loc. cit.


[37] Laert.


[38] Lucret. 2.


[39] Lucret.


[40] Laert.


[41] Lucret. 4.


[42] Laert.


[43] Laert. ibid.


[44] Lucret. lib. 2.


[45] Laert.


[46] Plut. plac. 1. 4.; Lactant. instit. 3. 17.


[47] Lucret.


[48] Lucret. ibid.


[49] Plut. plac. 1. 12.


[50] Laert.


[51] Laert.


[52] Laert.


[53] ibid.


[54] Laert.


[55] ibid.


[56] ibid.


[57] Lucret. lib. 1.


[58] Ibid.


[59] Ibid.


[60] Ibid.


[61] Ibid.


[62] Ibid.


[63] Lucret. 2. 131.


[64] Sext. Emp. adv. phys. 2.


[65] ibid.


[66] Lucret.


[67] chap. 2.


[68] Laert.


[69] Laert.


[70] Laert.


[71] Lucret. 2.


[72] Lucret. loc. cit.


[73] Laert.


[74] Laert.


[75] Ibid.


[76] Laert.


[77] Laert.


[78] ibid.


[79] Laert.


[80] Laert.


[81] ibid.


[82] Lucret.


[83] Laert.


[84] Laert.


[85] ibid.


[86] Lucret.


[87] Lucret. loc. cit.


[88] ibid.


[89] Laert.


[90] Sext. Emp.


[91] Laert.


[92] Laert.


[93] Lucret.


[94] ibid.


[95] ibid.


[96] ibid.


[97] ibid.


[98] ibid.


[99] ibid.


[100] ibid.


[101] Laert.


[102] Laert, loc. cit.


[103] Plut. plac. phil.


[104] Laert. ibid.


[105] ibib.


[106] Democr.


[107] Lucret.


[108] Plut. Symp. quaest. 8. 37.


[109] ibid.


[110] ibid.


[111] Laert.


[112] Lucret.


[113] Laert.


[114] Lucret. lib.2.


[115] Lucret. lib. 4.


[116] Lucret.


[117] Theophrast. lib. 4. de fens. & fens.


[118] ibid.


[119] ibid.


[120] Lucret.


[121] ibid.


[122] ibid.


[123] ibid.


[124] Laert.


[125] Lucret.


[126] ibid.


[127] ibid.


[128] ibid.


[129] ibid.


[130] Laert.


[131] Lucret. 4.819. [the 1 slightly smudged]


[132] Lucret.


[133] Lucret. 4.896.


[134] Lucret. 5.102.


[135] Lucret. ibid.


[136] Lucret. ibid.


[137] Laert.


[138] Laert.


[139] Laert.


[140] Lucret. 5.1040.


[141] Laert.


[142] Lucret. 4.948.


[143] Lucret. 4.918


[144] Lucret.


[145] Lucret.


[146] Lucret.


[147] Lucret.


[148] Lucret.


[149] Lucret.


[150] Laert.


[151] Ibid.


[152] Laert.


[153] ibid.


[154] Laert.


[155] ibid.


[156] Laert.


[157] Laert.


[158] Laert.


[159] Laert.


[160] Laert.


[161] Laert.


[162] Laert.


[163] Laert.


[164] Laert.


[165] Lucret. 5.


[166] Laert.


[167] Laert.


[168] Laert.


[169] Laert.


[170] Laert.


[171] Lucret.


[172] Lucret.


[173] Laert.


[174] Senec. nat. quaest. 55.


[175] Senec. ibid.


[176] Plin. 2. 33.


[177] Laert.


[178] Laert.


[179] Laert.


[180] Laert.


[181] Lucret.


[182] Laert.


[183] Lucret.