* When playful Proserpine. l. 178. The fable of Proserpine's being seized by Pluto as she was gathering flowers, is explained by Lord Bacon to signify the combination or marriage of etherial spirit with earthly materials. Bacon's Works, Vol. V. p. 470. edit. 4to. Lond. 1778. This allusion is still more curiously exact, from the late discovery of pure air being given up from vegetables, and that then in its unmixed state it more readily combines with metallic or inflammable bodies. From these fables which were probably taken from antient hieroglyphics there is frequently reason to believe that the Egyptians possessed much chemical knowledge, which for want of alphabetical writing perished with their philosophers.
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