CHAP. II. Concerning the Genii that are ascribed to Socrates, Aristotle, Ptolinus, Porphyrius, Jamblicus, Chicus, Scaliger and Cardan.
THO' the Genii of these Men are redu|cible to the Chapters I shall go upon beneath, where I shall examine what percep|tion Men have had of Spirits, or Genii, by their several Senses; yet, in regard the Learned Naudaeus, in his Apology for all the great Men that have been accused of Magick,* has Writ par|ticularly concerning the Genii of these Men, and exploded them; and other Authors have writ against the Genius of Socrates. I shall here particularly consider what may be said con|cerning these Genii.
The most celebrated Instance of a Genius among the Ancients is that of Socrates. Te|stimonies for it are given by Plato, Xenophon and Antisthenes, his Contemporaries, con|firm'd by Laertius, Plutarch, Maximus Tyrius, Dion Chrysostomus, Cicero, Apuleius, Ficinus, and others, many of the Moderns, besides Tertulli|an, Origen, Clemens Alexandrinus, Austin and Page 22 others. Socrates himself in Plato's Theage says, by some Divine Lot, I have a certain Daemon which has followed me from my Childhood, as an Oracle; and this is a Voice, which when it happens, always disswades the thing I am about to do, but never prompts me to do any thing: and if any of my Friends com|municate any thing with me, and the Voice is heard, it disswades, and is against the doing of it: And presently after he relates how a person lost his Life, for having despised the command of his Daemon, warning him not to depart from him. Again, speaking to Alcibi|odes, he says, my Tutor, is Better, and Wi|ser than you: And speaking concerning the power of his Daemon, e'en on other persons that used his Company and Conversation, he says, if it be grateful to my God, you will profit much, and in a little time; if on the contrary, not: And again, in his Apology, he says, going out of doors this Morning, the sign of God did not oppose me.
Many have been of opinion, that Socrates had not only a perception of his Genius by his sense of Hearing, but likewise by his Sight and Feeling. So Apuleius says, he judg'd Socrates perceived the sign of his Daemon, not only by his Ears,* but by his Eyes also; be|cause he affirmed, that often not a Voice, but a divine Sign was presented to him; which he was the more induced to believe, for that it was so common a thing with the Pythagoreans to see Daemons, that they won|dred if any Man said he had seen none. Which Gift I impute to their great silence, and their deep recess of Mind; for as Para|celsus with others say, Silence is the joy of all Page 23 Spirits. The Author of the small Tract, en|titled, De proprii cujusque nati Daemonis Investi|gatione, Printed at the end of the Trinum Ma|gicum, before mentioned, says the same, viz. that Socrates both heard his Daemon, and saw him. And Pictorius, in his Dialogue de Materia Daemonum, says, that Socrates affirms his Daemon often to have spoke to him, who he sometimes saw and touch'd. So again,*Theocritus in Plutarch, will have it, that a Vision attended him from his Childhood, guiding him in all the actions of his Life, which Vision going before him, was a light in Affairs, where hu|mane prudence could not reach; and that the Spirit often spoke to him, divinely go|verning and inspiring his Intentions.
Notwithstanding the opinion of these Men, and others, that Socrates had a perception of his Genius by more senses than one, I shall only here insist on the perception he had of him by his sense of Hearing; which in re|gard it's so well attested by Plato and Xeno|phon, his Disciples (who were envious Com|petitors for Learning, if it may be so said of Philosophers, so that they can no ways be su|spected for having combined together to im|pose on the World) I wholly give credit to, tho' I well know there always have been, and still are some Men in the World, who have caveled at what is said of Socrates's Genius, as a thing feigned; whose reasons I shall now examine.
The learned Naudaeus, in his laudable Work above-mentioned, and the 13th. Chapter of it, treating concerning the Genii ascrib'd to Socra|tes, and others, as above, writes thus, According to the Authority of all Authors, each of these Persons may boast of having been led into the Page 24 Temple of Glory and Immortality, by the assistance of some Genius, or Familar Daemon, which was to them,* as Apuleius says, a singu|lar Guide, a domestick Inspector, an inse|parable Judge and Witness, a disapprover of Evils, and an approver of Good; but since we cannot maintain this Opinion, without aba|ting much of these Mens Merit, and the Ob|ligation we owe to their labours; by the means of which, and not of those Daemons and tutelary Gods, so many precious Relicks and Monu|ments of their Learning are come to our Knowledge, I think it very proper to pre|serve the praise due to them, and to shew by the true Construction that ought to be given to this Conversation, how far those are out of the way in their Imaginations, who perswade themselves it was such as that of Angels with Holy Persons, or of Daemons with Magicians; for to come as near to the Truth as we may, we ought to observe, that the Platonicks, ac|cording to the Testimonies of Jamblicus and Fxius,* suppos'd four sorts of rational Animals, under that they call'd the first Being, or the first Good, who is the Prime Author, and Mover of all things, viz. the Celestial Gods, or Angels, Daemons that were Inferiors to them, Heroes, and the Souls of Men in general, and that the chief Office and Duty of Daemons, being no other (as Proclus says) but to concern themselves in the Affairs and Conduct of the last,* and to serve them as Guides and Mediators towards the Gods. Men have taken an occasion from the resemblance of these Actions, to those that Souls exercise on their Bodies, to give these sometimes the Name of Daemons, and especial|ly when they come so to free themselves from Page 25 the Slavery and Tyranny of the matter, where they are, as it were, interr'd, that they make themselves absolute Mistresses of all their Fa|culties, and no longer produce but Miracles, and Actions altogether like those of Daemons, which is the true Sense according to which Apuleius said, that the Mind of Man,* even while in the Body, is call'd a Daemon; and Heraclitus, that the Spirit of Man serv'd him for a Genius; and the just desire, and good Operation of the Soul may be likewise quali|fied with the name of God, since ev'n Por|phyrius said to this purpose, after Plato, in his Timaedus, that God has given us the Superior faculty of our Spirit, as a Daemon to guide us; and that he may rightly be call'd an Eudaemon, that takes Wisdom, as a watch Tower to guide him in all the Actions of his Life: which might serve us for a General solution to An|swer all that is said of the Familiarity and Conversation of certain Daemons, with Socra|tes, Aristotle, and others; if it were not rather requisite to satisfie particular Objecti|ons, that may be made against each of them, and to examine first what we ought to be|lieve concerning the so famous and renown'd Daemon of Socrates, no less celebrated by the Authority of those that have giv'n us the History of it, than by the great Diversities of Judgments that have been made of him; some saying, that there may be some likelihood of Truth for its being really so; others, that it was a meer Fiction of this Philosopher, or of his two Disciples, Xenophon and Plato, who as falsly publish'd the report of this Divine Assist|ance, as that of the Oracles declaring him the wisest of Men. And here Naudaeus lays be|fore Page 26 us all the Dirt that envy or prejudice has thrown on Socrates, and then goes on thus: But since I should but expose my self to the laugh|ter of all Men, to follow the licentiousness of these dangerous Spirits, who so freely sham the Authority of these two great Philosophers, as also that of Apuleius, Maximus Tyrius, Cicero, Plutarch, and almost all the good Authors, to shew themselves more subtle and clear sighted than others, by crushing to pieces this old I|mage: I rather chuse to range my self of their side that respect it; since I cannot perswade my self, that so great a number of Writers would have loaded Socrates with so many Prai|ses, or call'd him, as Martial did, the great Old-man;*Persius, the reverend Master; Vale|rius Maximus, the Mind vested with virile Strength; or finally, as Apuleius, the Old-man of Divine Wisdom, if he had not signalized himself by his Wisdom; so that we ought rather to ex|cuse, than reprehend those, who do not judge without reason, that he had acquir'd it thro' the favour, and Assistance of some Daemon. Tho' nevertheless there be no less uncertainty con|cerning the Explication of his Nature, than of malice and calumny in the precedent Opi|nion; for Apuleius would have it to be a God, Lactantius and Tertullian a Devil; Plato thought he was invisible; Apuleius, that he might also be visible; Plutarch, that it was a sneezing on the right or left side, according to which So|crates foretold a good or evil Event of the thing undertaken; Maximus Tyrius, that it was a remorse of Conscience against the prompt|ness and violence of his Natural Temper, which was neither heard, nor seen, by which Socrates was with-held, and hindred from do|ing Page 27 some evil thing: Pomponatius, that it was the Stars that rul'd at his Nativity; and finally, Montaigne was of Opinion, it was a certain impulse of his Will that presented it self to him without Council of his Discourse. As for my self, I believe it may be said, conformably enough to truth, that this familiar Daemon of Socrates, which was to him a foreseer in un|certain things, a pre-admonisher in doubtful, a guide in dangerous, was nought but the good rule of his Life, the wise Conduct of his Actions, and the result of all his Virtues, that form'd in him this Prudence; which may with Justice be call'd the lustre and seasoning of all his Acti|ons, the Eye that sees all, guides and orders all, and in a Word, the Art of Life, as Physick is the Art of Health. So that there is much more seeming ground to believe, that the Soul of this Philosopher, purifyed from its violent Passions, and enrich'd with all kinds of Vertues, was the true Daemon of his Conduct; than to imagine, that he entangled himself with Illu|sions, and Phantomes, gave credit to them, or follow'd their Counsels; being a thing whol|ly absurd, which Plutarch seems to have a mind to root out of our Fancies, when he says in the Book he has compos'd concerning this Daemon, that Socrates did not despise Celestial things, as the Athenians would perswade him at his Condemnation, though it be very true, that many Apparitions, Fables and Superstiti|ous things being crept into the Philosophy of Pythagoras, and his Disciples, which rendered it wholly ridiculous and contemptible, he did what he could to manage it with prudence, and to clear it of all these Tales, and to be|lieve of it but what he judged reasonable; Page 28 and beneath, having solv'd some difficulties to be met with concerning the Daemon of So|cratus, he adds, but beside that this would be a too manifest interfering with the Precept of Horace.
*Maraviglia writes, that Socrates being who|ly taken up in giving Moral Precepts, ascri|bed all to a Genius, thinking thereby to give weight to his profitable Arguments, which he every where used for Instruction; well know|ing what authority a Man carries, who is be|lieved to give his Instructions, by the dire|ction of a Divine Afflatus: Hence though Plutarch and Apuleius believed Socrates's Genius was a true Daemon, which by reason of his most pure and calm mind, convers'd with him from his Infancy, yet nothing evinces it to be ought but the natural Subtilty, Sagacity, Reason and Prudence of his Mind, cultiva|ted by Meditation and Practice, which as a right dictamen admonisht and proposed to him things to be rightly done, and judged well of Futurities: for its reason, which continually whispers unto us what is to be hop'd for, or Page 29 feared, and that is wont to be called our Ge|nius, and Inward Voice always speaking to us, without having need of a separate Genius. And Timarcus, in Plutacch, who went into Trophonius's Cave to enquire after the truth of Socrates's Genius, could receive nothing more probable, but those Genii were portions of the Mind, seated about the head of Man, as be|ing naturally endow'd with a greater Wisdom.
The Learned Anton. Van Dale,*M. D. in his last Edition of his Book of Oracles, rejects the Daemon of Socrates thus: What have not the Ancient Pagans said concerning the Daemon of Socrates? what not even the Christians? but from what Men of Authority does it appear that Socrates ever had such a Familiar Daemon? since all of them ought to have had it from the mouth of Socrates, or of the Socraticks, Cherephon, and others, to whom Socrates had told it. And after having exploded what the Oracle is said to have deliver'd of Socrates, viz. that he was the Wisest of Men, he con|cludes the Chapter thus: But truly those things which were so rashly believed, and delivered by so many, both Christians and Pagans, con|cerning his Daemon, which is testified only by himself (for so he boasts of himself in Plato's Dialogue Entitled, Theage, and others of his Dis|ciples forsooth) carry the same, or rather the like shew of Truth; for, who may not as well believe Pythagoras? who, as Laertius te|stifies from others, said he was first Aethali|des, then Euphorbus, then Hermotimus, then Pyrrhus, a Fisherman of Delos, before he was, in the last place, Pythagoras; for the Reasons and Arguments of Socrates concerning his Dae|mon, in Plato, carry the same weight.
Page 30*Monsieur Le Loyer delivers himself in a diffe|rent way concerning the Daemon of Socrates, writing thus: Do we not find that the Idola|trous Egyptians believed there were Genii, who admonished Men committed to their Care and Government, by a well form'd and ar|ticulate Voice: and from whom had they this, but from the Hebrews? Those that examine the Doctrine of the Egyptians, and their Priests, know that they are but the Hebrews Apes, tho' concealing as much as possible their Au|thors, and those whose Doctrine they follow; which they do with such an affected dissimu|lation, that he that does not look near to them, shall never be able to discover the tra|ces and footsteps of these Thieves. They had learnt that the Hebrews, by a secret Traditi|on, held their Patriarchs had Angels which guarded them, and that the Patriarch Jacob had not concealed his having an Angel, which had preserved him in all places where he had been; they held also that these Angels Invisi|bly admonisht the said Patriarchs, and that their Voice was heard.
From this Hebrew Tradition and Doctrine, the Egyptians forged their Genii, confounding them with the Angels, tho' the Genii are but Daemons, and gave them a Voice by which they advertized Men: and I certainly be|lieve, that from the Egyptians, Plato drew and took the Genius or Daemon of Sacrates, which he makes Invisible, and to be heard Speaking, and forming some Voice. And tho Plato, imi|tating in this the Egyptians, seems to say, that the Genius which governed and guided Socra|tes was a good Daemon and Genius, yet I take him but for a Devil, which led SocratesPage 31 to an unhappy Death. The same Le Loyer, in his said Book,* says he concludes with se|veral Doctors of the Church, that Socrates was a Magician, because he used Divination.
Now, to consider what these Authors have said, concerning the Genius of Socrates, we find that even those that deal the most mildly with him, as Naudaeus and Maraviglia, deny any Voice coming to him from without, which the words in Plato plainly and naturally import he had. And I believe it must be granted me, that the main ground these Men, and others of the same Opinion go upon, is, that not having had any experience of any such thing in themselves, and not being fully convinc'd, that any other Person has, not|withstanding the Testimonies of Men in all Ages, and the Instances I shall give, they are uneasie to yield the Point, even in the Case of Socrates. And I must here say, I have hun|dreds of times, seen, heard, and convers'd with those they call Genii, Angels, Spirits, or Daemons, appearing to me in humane Shapes; of which I shall give some Relation beneath, beside the Experiences of many other Persons, known to me, and now living, in the same kind; whom opposers, (notwithstanding any reluctancy) must give me leave to believe to be Men of as sound Sense as themselves.
When such Persons of an over cautious be|lief, meet with any thing in History, or hear something related in this kind, we find they proceed two ways; either being somewhat tender of the Authority such things are de|liver'd by, they excogitate various Explicati|ons of the Fact, as each Man's Fancy sug|gests to him; so that they will allow some|what Page 32 of Truth in it, after the way they ex|plain it; as we find in the Case of Socrates, Naudaeus, and Maraviglia have done; which is like the Complement young Philosophers have been taught to pay to Aristotle, in di|stinguishing his Text, when it has seem'd to make against them; or they flatly deny it, and explode it as a Fable, with Dr. Van Dale, Gallaeus, and many others; as any Man may easily do of any Historical Fact, however at|tested (since it will not bear a demonstrative proof) and boldly cry out, Affirmanti Incumbit probatio.
It was a laudable Undertaking of Naudaeus, to write an Apology for all the Great Men accused of Magick by some narrow Under|standings; and which, I think, he has gene|rally well perform'd: But as to his way of Apologizing for the Men above-mentioned, I cannot see how it should abate of their Merit, or of the Obligation we have to them, for the Works they have left us (as he seems to think it would) tho' they had receiv'd a good part of their Knowledge from the Sug|gestion of Intellectual Beings; for the World has been long under a Mistake, if prophetick Learning (which beside what has been imme|diately inspir'd from the prime Cause, Men may have sometimes had by a suggestion from Intelligences) be not of as great a Merit, and has not laid as great Obligations on Mankind, as any excogitated by Humane Wit; and we are as well owing to the prime Cause for what we deliver by our ordinary Faculties, as for what in this extraordinary way.
Again, Tho' the primary end of good An|gels, in directing Mankind, be in things re|lating Page 33 to their eternal Salvation; yet I know not why they may not sometimes, inspire or openly direct them in humane Studies, and in things relating to humane Life, so they are of a good tendncy; as I find not but the knowledge of Socrates, and that of others, whom I shall men|tion beneath were; tho' that some have had Knowledge inspir'd them by Evil Spirits: its what Divines generally teach: Neither shall I here take upon me to maintain, that the Genii which attended some of the Persons a|bove mentioned by Naudaeus (if they had any) were of the better sort.
There is one thing I shall note in Naudaeus's account of the Daemon of Socrates, viz. Where he tells us, Plutarch said it was a Sneezing on the right or left side, according to which, Socrates foretold a good or evil event to the thing undertaken. Now, tho' Plutarch, in his Academical way of Writing, in his Tract of Socrates's Daemon, introduces one Polymnis, who set forth this Opinion, viz. that Socrates was guided in his judgment by a Sneezing, happening to himself, or some stander by, yet I see no colour of reason, why this opi|nion should be fathered upon Plutarch himself, more than others there set forth. Mr. Bogan, tho' otherwise a learned Man, in his additi|ons to Mr. Rouss's Archeologiae Atticae, seems to me a little over-comical in sporting with So|crates, and his Genius, saying,*Socrates (as E|muncte naris as he was) had so little Sense him|self, as to fetch advice himself from another mans Nose, and to make a Sneeze serve in|stead of a Genius, or Daemonium, to tell him the Good and the Bad, &c. but all men are not admirers of Pedantick Railery.
Page 34To come to Maraviglia, we find he will have it, according to his prejudice, that So|crates's Genius was only his pretence to gain authority to the Doctrine he delivered; tho' still he allows somewhat extraordinary in him, that may be call'd his Genius, viz. the won|derful Sagacity of his Mind, cultivated by a long Meditation, which might in a particular manner have directed his Judgment, as to present and future things. But I think this suspition of Socrates's design in his Gaenius is poorly grounded, since it no way appears that ever Socrates imputed the Doctrine he de|livered to the Suggestion of his Genius, as Nu|ma and others did, but only his being with|held by him, from doing some Actions which would have prov'd prejudicial to him.
As for Dr. Van Dale, he allows Socrates no more than other Men, and wholly rejects his Genius, as not being well attested, and char|ges Christians and Pagans for having over rashly believ'd, and deliver'd as a truth the Story concerning him.
Now as to this (with reverence to the Learning of so great a Man) I must take freedom to say, it seems to me he has over|done the matter in this case, by pressing things too far; as I conceive he has in several other parts of his Works: for as to his rejecting the testimonies of Xenophon and Plato, as not worth minding, I believe, by unprejudiced Readers they may be look'd upon as unexcepti|onable Testimonies in that matter, as any two Men now living on the face of the Earth; for what they shall deliver by hear-say, if we shall be led by suspicions, and remote possibi|lities of Fraud, and contrivance of such Men, Page 35 all historical truth shall be eluded, when it consists not with a Mans private humour, or prejudice to admit it. As for what he fur|ther urges, that if we believe Socrates's boast (as he calls it) of his Daemon, we may as well believe Pythagoras, who said he was first Aethalides, then Euphorbus, &c. before he came to be Pythagoras; I think there is a great disparity in the case; for, as to Divine Voices being heard, its no more than what all the Ancient Prophets testified, besides what we find recorded of them in all Christian and Pagan Histories, nor are living Testimonies wanting: whereas, for the other, its well known how all the learned have expounded the Pythagorean Transmygration: concerning which the very learned Joan. Reuchlin writes thus.* The Pythagorean Metempsycosis signify'd nothing among the truly learned, but a simi|litude of notions and studies, which were formerly in some Men, and afterwards sprung up again in others: and so it was formerly said, that Euphorbus was reborn in Pythagoras, because that warlike Valour which was cele|brated in the Trojan Euphorbus, some way ap|pear'd again in Pythagoras, by reason of the love he bore to the Athletae, or those that gave themselves to manlike exercises. Fcinus also testifies the same, affirming,* that the Transmigration also, as it respects Brutes and Men, according to the sense of all the learn|ed Platonicks (except Pltinus) imported only that as affects of Brutes became habituated in Men, Man seem'd to have past into their Natures. But if Dr. Van Dale will have it that Pythagoras declared this as a truth, in a litteral sense: when he shall produce some Page 36 others, who have declared the like experience of a Transmigration in themselves, as I have given instances backing what is said of Socrates, we may allow it a like motive of credibility. And if the opinion of Origen (whom the Dr. praises as more discreet in his opinion concer|ning the Pagan Oracles,* than the other primi|tive Fathers) weighs any thing with him, he will find him pretty smart against those that reject the Genius of Socrates, where he says; Nor will there ever be wanting calumny to the uncandid,* who have a malicious sense even of the best of Men, since they make a sport even of the Genius of Socrates, as a thing feign'd.
Since I have intimated it above, I shall here give a farther instance, or two, of this learned Persons over-arguing himself, as I con|ceive, in the Third Chapter of his First Dissertation, treating of the Origen of Oracles, where he writes against the Imposture of the Gentiles in that kind, he charges them for ha|ving contrived generally the seats of their Oracles on Mountains, where were Caves and Subterraneous Vaults, partly made by Nature, partly by Art, for carrying on their Cheats; and that none but Kings, Princes, and Great Men, conscious of the Cheat, were admitted to consult them. Now, if any of the Gentiles, who had a belief in their Oracles, as I think it beyond dispute, that many, even of the most learned of them, had; nay, if they knew them to be Cheats, as some thought them to be, would they not presently reply, that a Mountain was made choice of for Moses to receive the Law of God, and that no Man under pain of Death, was to approach the Mountain but himself and Aaron? and like|wise Page 37 that the Jews kept their Sanctum Sancto|rum altogether as private, and as liable to a sus|picion of a Cheat, and admitted none but the Prince, the Senate, or some great Person to con|sult the Oracle of Urim and Thummim; and the High-Priest only saw the sign of God in the Brestplate, directing an Answer, as the learn|ed Joan. Leusden has set forth in his Philologus He|bro mixtus.* So that we find the force of this Ar|gument wholly evacuated, it pressing equally on both sides. And I am sorry I must say it, I find too many Arguments made use of by some Writers, against the Religion of the Gentiles, which fall indirectly, I will not say designedly, on all Religion.
Again, the said Author,* in his Tract De Divinatione Idololatricâ, after having told us of the Superstitious Practice of the Gentiles, in dri|ving away the Lemures with a noise of Brass, adds; Those that will believe these things, may as well believe what Pliny writes, viz. Above all things that have ever been heard of,* is the prodigy happening in our Time, by a ruine in the Marrucine Territories, where the Olive-field of Vectius Marcellus, a chief Person of the Equestral Order, past over the whole common Road, and on the contrary, Plow'd Lands came thence into the Olive-field. Now, this seem'd very strange to Pliny (who, tho' an admirer of great things, and a Man excel|lently qualified for recording historical Facts, was never lookt upon by the learned as a di|ligent enquirer into causes) and wholly in|credible to the Author; tho' I think it no such extraordinary Phaenomenon of Nature, there being several Instances to be given of the like kind, as well within our Nation as elsewhere.
Page 38Stow tell us, in his Summary, that An. 1582. Jan. the 13th at Hermitage in Dorcetshire, a piece of Ground of three Acres, remov'd from its place, and was carryed over another Close, where Alders and Willows grew, the space of forty Rods, or Perches, and stopt up the High|way that leads to Cirne, a Market-Town, and yet the Hedges it was inclos'd with, inclose it still, and the Trees stand bolt upright, and the place where the Ground was before is left a Pit. So An. 1571. Marcley-hill, in the East part of Herefordshire, with a roaring noise re|moved it self from the place where it stood, and for three days together travell'd from its old Seat. It began first to remove Febr. the 17th being Saturday, at Six of the clock in the Evening, and by Seven of the clock the next Morning, it had gone forty Paces, carrying with it Sheep in their Folds, Hedge-rows and Trees, whereof some were overturn'd, and some that stood upon the Plain, are firmly growing upon the Hill, those that were East were turn'd West, and those in the West, were set in the East: In this remove it overthrew Kinnaston-Chappel, and turn'd two High-ways near an hundred Yards from their old Course. The Ground that thus removed was about 26 Acres; which opening it self with Rocks and all, bore the Earth before it 400 Yards space, without any stay, leaving Pasturage in the place of the Tillage, and the Tillage over|spread with Pasturage; at last over-whelming its lower parts it mounted to an Hill of twelve Fathoms high, and so rested after three Days travel. More instances may be giv'n of the same Nature, this being wrought by that kind of Earthquakes, we call Brastae, or Brasmatis, Page 39 from [ gap: 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 ] ferveo, bullio, vi aestus eficio, which raise, and protrude the Earth, many Islands having been so cast up from the bottom of the Sea on a sudden. As for the Plough'd Lands coming in the place of the Olive-field, we may easily conceive this to have happen'd by a Gyrative motion of that piece of Land following upon the protrusion from the deep.
I intimate these things only to caution Men not to be over hasty in rejecting things that may seem Strange, and do not presently fall within their Comprehension; and that in opposing Adversaries they use due Circum|spection in attending to the vast extent of the Power of Nature, and the various Manifesta|tions of God in Men, many things being evi|dent to some Persons, which to others seem wholly incredible.
In the last place; as for the Suggestions of Monsieur le Loyer, viz. that Plato had his Noti|on of Socrates's Genius from the Egyptians, &c. I think them altogether groundless, since Py|thagoras, who liv'd before Socrates, is averr'd to have made his great Proficiency in Lear|ning from his Converse with Spirits, and since it was so usual a thing for the Pythagoreans to see Spirits, as Apuleius acquaints us. And why must it be an evil Genius, bringing Socra|tes to an unhappy end? If we believe Plato, we find Socrates did not think it so, but on the contrary was desirous to die; and I think no considering Man, who has liv'd an upright Life, would think it an unhappy thing to be freed from the grievances of decrepit Age; Socrates, according to the lowest Computati|on, being 70 Yeas of Age when he died; Sui|das says 80, others 90. And as for his being Page 40 a Magician, this need not to have been feign'd to procure him a Genius, since his Daemon is said to have attended him from his Infancy. And so much concerning the Genius of Socrates.
I shall now proceed to give an Account from Naudaeus, of the Genii ascrib'd to the o|ther Men before-mentioned by him. As for the Genius of Aristotle, he thinks it a Jest in those Men that have ascrib'd one to him; it being manifest, according to all his Interpre|ters, that he never admitted other Intelligences, but those he assign'd as movers to each Sphere of the Heavens, rejecting all other kinds of Daemons, so standing firm to his Principles, and not admitting any thing, that was not known to him, either by Motion or Operation: He likewise referring all that is wont to be ascrib'd to Daemons, to Nature, that is, to the Pro|perties of Natural things; to Humours, and Temperaments of Animals, to the Nature of Places, and to their Vapours and Exhalations, leaving nothing to do for these Substances. And after Naudaeus has giv'n several Reasons against Aristotle's admitting of Daemons, he adds, I think, one probable Argument may be drawn from his Book concerning Divination by Dreams, where, to shew that there is no|thing Supernatural in them; he says, but be|cause some Animals likewise Dream, certain|ly Dreams are not sent from God, nor caus'd by him, but must be Daemonical, since Nature is Daemonical, not Divine. And though it be greatly controverted among Interpreters and Commentators,* in what Sense we must ex|plain this Epithet giv'n by Aristotle to Nature; it seems Leonicus has better hit on it than the others; and that the Learned Charpentarius, Page 41 has found the whole Energy of this Phrase, when he says, Aristotle would shew by it, that that force may be found in Nature well order'd, depending on the Conversion of the Celesti|al Orbs, which may serve to explain all those things, for which others have recourse to Dae|mons; by the means of which Explication he says, he may answer the sole Reason, giv'n by Caesalpinus,* for establishing Daemons according to the Doctrine of Aristotle.
In reference therefore to the Genius of Ari|stotle, ascrib'd to him by some Persons; I shall set down what Piccolomini and Caesalpinus have writ concerning his Opinion, as to the Exi|stence of Daemons, the former contending against his Admission of them, the latter for it, and shall subjoyn my own Sense in the Matter.
Piccolomini states the case,* whether Aristotle thought there were Daemons, and concludes in the Negative, writing as follows: The word Daemon may be taken, either metaphorically, or properly, if metaphorically, Aristotle may be allow'd to have granted Daemons, he saying,* that Xenocrates affirms him to be an Eudaemon, who has a studious Mind; for this is to each Man an Eudaemon; so we may also say with Aristotle, that the Mind coming from without, and governing a Man, is his Eudaemon; so in his Book of Divination by Dreams, he says, That Dreams are not sent by God, but are Daemonical, because Nature is Daemonical, not Divine; intimating that Nature, by a Meta|phor, may be call'd a Daemon; which name a|grees to it, because it is God's Messenger, is powerful, and Works secretly and wonderfully; all which things are ascrib'd to Daemons; so when the name of Daemon is given to a part of Page 42 the Mind leading us, we may say with Aristo|tle, that two Daemons are born and live with us, viz. Reason, and the sensual Appetite: and he that is led by right Reason, is led by a good Daemon, and he that is led by Anger, or Con|cupiscence is carryed away by an evil Daemon; but the doubt is concerning a Daemon properly taken, whether it be a Daemon by its Nature, or a foregin Daemon: the former of which may be aptly enough defin'd to be, An Animal having a reason, and understanding superior to Man, using a subtle body, and mediating betwixt God and Man; the latter is the Soul of a Man, depar|ted this Life, being freed from the gross Body, and using a subtle vehicle. And in this Sense Aristotle did not think there were Daemons; not Daemons by Nature, First, because as he profest to explain all particular degrees of things, to set forth a compleat Philosophy, he no where speaks of Daemons. Secondly, in his third Book of the Soul, he plainly rejects them,* setting forth, that no Animal can consist either of Air, or Fire, or any other simple Bo|dy; though he makes particular mention of Air and Fire, because the Academicks thought the Bodies of Daemons to be aiery, and in some sort fiery. But to pass by many other Passages of Aristotle against Daemons, he thinks this a most firm Reason, That there is nothing in the Universe in vain, speaking of the Degrees and Species of things; whereas if there were Daemons, they would be of no use, according to Aristotle, which hence appears, because all those things which are commonly judg'd Works of Daemons, are ascrib'd by him to o|ther Causes, never any to Daemons: For those things which excited the ancient Philosophers Page 43 to excogitate Daemons, were chiefly Divinati|ons by Dreams, which Aristotle ascrib'd to Na|ture; the various kinds of Furies or Raptures, which he attributes to a various temperament of Melancholy; the Answers of Oracles, which he refers to the property of certain Steams pro|ceeding from the Cavities of the Earth; the saying of a Verse by an ignorant Person, which Aristotle likewise refers to Melancholy: Since therefore Philosophers are rais'd by Works to the search of Causes, and Aristotle ascrib'd all those Works to other Causes, and not to Daemons, we gather, he thought there were none. And so as to Foreign Daemons, or the Souls of Men separated from the Body, Aristotle held there were none: For in his Se|cond Book of the Soul, he says,* there is no Soul without the Body: And in the Seventh of his Metaphysicks, he says, there is no Man without Flesh and Bones: And in his Second Book of the Generation of Animals, he says,* there is no Instrument without a Faculty, nor an organical Faculty without an Instrument: Now, the Soul of Man is organical, &c.
Caesalpinus, after having quoted Plato,* in|troducing Socrates, concluding against his Ca|lumniators, who charg'd him of admitting no Gods, that he that grants there are Daemonical Works, of necessity admits Daemons, which are either Gods, or Sons of Gods, in his Se|venth Chapter he writes thus: We may ga|ther in Aristotle, that there are Daemons, by that Argument by which Socrates gather'd there were. He that asserts there are Daemo|nical Works, is compel'd of necessity to con|fess, there are Daemons. Aristotle asserts, there are Daemonical Works, viz. Dreams and Nature; Page 44 therefore of Necessity he must confess there are Daemons, whence they are so denominated. And the Philosopher seems to have under|stood that middle Nature betwixt God and Mortal things, mention'd before by us, to be a Daemon; for when he had deny'd Dreams to be sent by God, (as some thought they were) because they happen not only to the wisest of Men, but indifferently to Idiots, and some other Animals; yet he says Dreams are Dae|monical, because Nature is Daemonical, not Di|vine; tho' therefore somewhat Divine be con|tain'd in Nature, yet it does not merit the Name of Divine, but Daemonical, because it follows the Wisdom of an Intelligence, whence it's rendred admirable, even in the least things, and Dreams are Daemonical, by reason of the wonderful force of the Imagination.
Now, these two Authors consider'd, I think it may be agreed, that Aristotle did not admit a Daemon properly taken, as Piccolomini has set forth; but he admitted the Facts commonly ascrib'd to Daemons, which he accounted for from other Causes; as we find by what is quoted from Charpentarius, by Naudaeus, accor|ding to which (as Naudaeus says) Caesalpinus's sole reason for establishing of Daemons, accor|ding to Aristotle's Doctrine, may be solv'd. Yet however, since Aristotle admits the Facts commonly ascrib'd to Daemons, I see not why he may not properly enough be said to have had a Genius, tho' it may be explain'd by an Intellectus Agens, coming from without, or by an orderly influx from the Intelligences that move the Heav'ns, he having a mind to set up for himself, by an hypothesis of his own, con|trary to that of Plato receiv'd before, and Page 45 which is more consonant to Christianity. Nor can I think Aristotle's so plausible for solving Phaenomena, tho' it may more gratify the Humour of some Persons. In reference to Aristotle's Genius, I may add what Rhodigi|nus writes, viz. That, among the Ancients,*Plato had the Symbol of Divine given him, and Aristotle of Daemonical; the reason why Aristotle was so stil'd, seems to be, that he chiefly treated of natural things, the conside|ration of which lies, in a manner, in the sub|lunary World, where they thought Daemons had their abode: But Plato raising himself higher, being addicted to the Contemplation of Intelligible Beings, got him a more emi|nent guide of Life, and despising those things which others admir'd, even to a Madness, he strove with all his force to bring that which is Divine in us, to that Divine Being which only is truly so, whence he got his name of Divine.
Naudaeus, after he has rejected the Genius of Aristotle, proceeds to the others; but first tells us, That what all the Platonicks have set forth concerning Daemons and Magick, can neither be prov'd by Reason nor Experience; and as for the Reason they draw from many Effects, which they say must necessarily be referr'd to these Causes, before he obliges himself to receive it, he first wishes they would well sa|tisfy Pomponatius, Cardan, and Bernardus Miran|dulanus, who shew, pertinently enough, that its better to have recourse to the Proofs of our Religion, to believe Angels and Daemons, than to that heap of Experiences, of which a rea|son may be rendred by the Principles of Na|tural Philosophy. After which he says, We Page 46 ought no longer to make doubt, but all that is said of the Genii of Plotinus, Porphyrius, and Jamblicus, ought to be referr'd to what he has said before concerning the Daemon of Socrates.
To this I reply, that even setting by the Proofs of our Religion for Angels and Daemons, I see not but as for solving the Experiences he speaks of, by natural Principles, Aristotle's Hypothesis of Intelligences moving the Heavens, is altogether as precarious, and less satisfactory than the other, us'd by others of the Gentiles: And as for his referring what is said of the Genii of the three Philosophers before-menti|on'd, to what he has said of the Genius of So|crates, I think I have shewn above, that he has not validly refuted his Daemon.
As to the Genius of Plotinus; Porphyrius his Scholar, who has writ his Life, which is prefix'd to Plotinus's Works, set forth with Commentaries, by Ficinus, says thus in it:
Naudaeus proceeds next to the Genii of Chicus, Scaliger, and Cardan. As for Chicus, he looks upon him, by what he has writ, as a Super|stitious Person, who affirm'd, he often made use of Revelations from a Spirit call'd Floon, which he said was of the Order of the Cheru|bims. But Naudaeus rejects this, with other fabulous Relations of other Persons, saying with Lucretius:
Concerning the Genii of Scaliger and Cardan, Naudaeus writes as follows. If it were per|mitted me, and it became me to follow rather my will, than my duty, I should freely ex|cuse Page 48 my self from saying any thing against the Genii, which the two sole great Persons, whom we may oppose to the two most learn|ed, and famous among the Ancients, have at|tributed to themselves, and who have been, as it were, the last effort, and miracle of Na|ture, Scaliger and Cardan: for I certainly be|lieve, either they deceived themselves, in ad|mitting these Genii, because, after having well examined themselves, they could not find in them the cause of such, and so extra|ordinary Perfection; or that they did it thro' modesty, not to discover by their Learning, how much all the rest of Mankind were infe|rior to them; or, finally, that they would co|ver from envy, under this particular assist|ance, and free from the jealousy of Men, that great renown they had acquir'd to them|selves, by their studious diligence and labours. However, as truth is sooner found out when many Persons employ themselves in the search of it, the opinion of those is not to be re|jected, who, say Scaliger, practised this strata|gem, in imitation of all great Persons, and not to yield in Ambition to his Antagonist, attributing to himself for a Genius,* in his Art of Poetry, a meer sally or emotion of Mind; by which the Soul is heated, as it were, in it self, to raise it to the knowledge of somewhat, during which, a Man may at any time say and write many things, which he understands not after the heat of this enthusiasm is over. And as for Cardan, he speaks so variously of his Genius, that after having said absolutely in his Dialogue entitl'd Telion, that he had one, which was Venereal, mixt with Saturn and Mercury; and in his Book, De libris propriis, Page 49 that he communicated himself to him by his Dreams, he doubts at the same place whe|ther he had really one, or whether it were the excellency of his Nature, I perceived (said he) whether it were from the Genius set over me, or that my Nature is placed in the extremity of an human state, and in the confines of the Immortals, &c. And finally concludes in his Book, De Rerum Varietate, that he had none, frankly saying, I truly know not that any Daemon, or Genius attends me. Whence we may surely judge, that he and Scaliger had no other Genius, but the great Learning they had acquired, by their diligence and labours, and the experience they had of things; on which coming to raise their judgments as on two Pyramids, they judg'd pertinently of all mat|ters, and let nothing escape from being known, and manifest to them.
We here see what conjectures Naudaeus has made concerning the Genii of these Men, which are as easily rejected as they are ground|lesly suggested by him. And tho' Cardan says, in his Book De Rerum Varietate,* he knew no Genius attended him; we know that Book was writ many Years before he writ his Life, which was but a little before his Death, and on which I think we have most reason to rely; where he plainly says, he had a Genius tho' not well discovered by him till his latter Years. And this Book writ by Cardan, of his own Life, was set forth by Naudaeus himself, which makes it seem somewhat strange that he should deny he had any Genius. But, for the Rea|ders satisfaction, I shall here set down what these two great Men say themselves of their Page 50Genii, and shall leave it to him to judge of it, as he shall think fit.
To pass by the Genius of Facius Cardanus, which his Son Hierom Cardan says,* his Father own'd to have attended him for Thirty Years, and where he gives an account of Seven Dae|mons more, whom he saw and converst with; I here give you several particulars, tho' not all, which Hierom Cardan has left recorded concerning a Genius that attended himself.
In his Book of his own Life, set forth by Naudaeus,* where he writes of his good Spirit, he says, its received as a manifest truth, that familiar Spirits (which the Greeks call Angels,) have forewarned some Men, Socrates, Ploti|nus, Synesius, Dion, Flavius Josephus, and even my self: All lived happily besides Socrates and my self, who neverthelses am in a very good condition: but C. Caesar the Dictator, Cicero, Antony, Brutus and Cassius had evil, tho' illustri|ous Spirits. Those of Antony and Cicero, were Glorious, but both Pernicious; that of Jose|phus was particularly famous, and of a rare excellency for Warlike Valour, favour with Vespesian and his Sons, Riches, Monu|ments of Histories, a threefold Offspring, and in his contest with the calamities of his Na|tion; also in a foresight of future things, wherewith he was illustrated in Captivity, being freed from the outrage of his Friends, and preserved from the Waves of the Sea. But these were manifestly Daemons, tho' mine, as I believe, a good and merciful Spirit. I was long perswaded that I had one, but could not find how he should certify me of immi|nent events, till after the Seventy Fourth Year of my Age, when I set upon writing Page 51 my Life; but that so many imminent things should be foreknown to me, and truly fore|seen, and that just before they happened, and precisely, seems to me a greater Miracle to be done without a Divine Aid, than with a Spirit; for Instance, When my Spirit saw what was ready to befall me, viz. that my Son was to Marry the next day, an Unfor|tunate Match, in the Night-time he raised such a beating of my Heart, by a way pe|culiarly known to him, that the Chamber seem'd to tremble; my Son perceiving the same, at the same time, so that both of us thought there was an Earthquake, which no body else perceived.
He adds beneath; There may be some doubts, why this care for me, and not for others; for I do not excel in Learning, as some think, but haply on the contrary? Is it an immence love of Truth, and Wisdom, with contempt of Riches, even in this state of Po|verty? or by reason of my desire of Justice? or that I ascribe all to God, nothing to my self? or haply for some end known to God alone?
Again, why does he not openly admonish me (as I could wish) of those things, of which he does admonish me? but teaches one thing for another, as by those disorderly Noises (of which he gives several instances, hap|ning before Deaths, in his 43d. Chapter of the same Book) for me to assure my self that God beholds all things, tho' I see him not with my Eyes; for he could have admonish'd me open|ly by a Dream, or some clearer way of mani|festation: but haply this shew'd more the Di|vine Care, and those greater things that hap|ned Page 52 to me, Fears, Impediments, Anxieties, &c. there is need also of Obscurity, for us to understand that they are the Works of God, and ought not to be opposed; its folly there|fore to be overhastily sollicitous for knowing these things.
At the end of the same Chapter, he writes, that having stuck to a splendor that attended him above Forty Years, he had all his art of Writing and publick Teaching, from his Spirit and Splendour, tho' this kind of Science had got him among Men, more Envy than Renown, and more Glory than Profit: but it gave him no small, nor vulgar Pleasure, and contributed to the prolonging of his Life, being a comfort to him in many Ca|lamities, an aid in Adversities, an help in Difficulties and Labours; upon the whole, he says, the fact was plainly so, he might err in the Causes, and refers himself to such as are Wiser, viz. Divines.
In the same Book he writes thus, Hitherto I have spoken of my self;* as of a Man, and that is somewhat beneath other Men, in my Nature and Learning, but now I shall speak of some admirable Disposition of my self; and so much the more wonderful, that I find some|what in my self, which I know not what to make off: And that that thing is my self, tho' I do not perceive such things to proceed from me: That it's present, when its meet, and not when I will have it. That which rises thence is greater than my Abilities; which was first discover'd to me, in the Year 1526. So that it's above Forty four Years since I perceive a thing from without enter into my Ear with a noise from that part directly, Page 53 where People are talking of me: If it tends to Good in the right side, or if it comes from the left, it penetrates to the right, and an or|derly noise is made: And if the Discourse be contentious, I hear a wonderful Contention; if it inclines to Evil in the left side, it comes exactly from the part where those tumultuous Voices are. Therefore it enters on both sides of my Head; and very often when the thing falls out ill, the Voice on the left side, when it should end, grows louder, and Voices are multiply'd, and very commonly, if the thing be in the same Town, it happens that the Voice being scarce over, a Messenger comes in to call me to them; and if it be from ano|ther City, and a Messenger comes, upon computing the time betwixt the Deliberation, and the beginning of the Journey, they come to the same, and I find Sentence past after the form it is concluded, and this continued with me to the Year 1568, and I wondred it ceas'd.
In the Year 1534. I began to see in Dreams what things would happen in a short time, and if the same Day, I saw them clearly, and after Sun rising; so that I saw a Sentence past in a Cause of the College, and that I should be Professor at Bononia; this ceas'd An. 1567.
The third thing was a Splendor, this I en|creas'd by Degrees; it began about the Year 1573 or 74, but particularly this Year 1575. it seems to me I have it perfect, and it's a thing which does not leave me; but instead of the two foregoing which are ceas'd, it fortifies me against Emulators, and as necessity re|quires. Its compos'd of an Artifical Practice, and a Circumfluent Light, being very Plea|sant, Page 54 and alone performs much more, as to Efficacy, Exercitation, Advantage, and Soli|dity of Studies, than those two joyn'd toge|ther; and does not take a Man from his com|mon Studies, and humane Conversation, but makes him ready at all things, and is most excellent for composing Books, and seems, as it were, the utmost reach of our Nature, for it represents all things together, that make for the matter under Consideration; and if it be not a Divine thing, certainly it's the most perfect of Mortal Works.
*In the same Book he writes as follows: While I liv'd at Pavia, and profest Physick there, looking casually on my Hand, I saw at the root of my ring Finger, of my right Hand, the form of a bloody Sword, I was pre|sently struck with a great fear. In the Evening a Messenger came with a Letter from my Son in Law, acquainting me that my Son was ta|ken into Custody, and that I should come to Milan the next Day, and for fifty three Days the Mark increas'd, and went upwards, and behold, the last Day reacht to the top of my Finger, and look'd red like a flaming Sword. I, suspecting no such thing, and be|ing frighted, and not my self, knew not what to do, say, or think; at midnight my Son was beheaded; in the Morning the Sign was almost gone, in a Day or two it wholly va|nish'd.
In the same Book, having giv'n an account of some strange Noises,* and Voices he had heard, and of a strange Smell he perceiv'd before Deaths, he concludes thus. But con|cning thse wonderful things, it's thus with Men, tha when they are present, or a lit+tle Page 55 before they have happ'ned, they draw the whole Man; after they are a while over, they are so little heeded, that unless they are brought fresh to the Mind by some force, they doubt, as it were, whether they have seen or heard them; which, I suppose, chiefly happens both by Reason of much more profound Causes, and for the distance of our Nature from the Causes that produce them. I know what Scoffs and Laughter, some, that would seem wise, raise at such things; the chief ring Leader of whom is Polybius, a Philosopher, without Philosophy, who understood not even the Duty of an Hi|storian, but by extending it too far, became ridiculous, sometimes admirable, as where he speaks of the Achaeans. In short,*Tartalia rightly said, that no-Man knows all things, and those nothing, that do not know their Ignorance of many things. You see Pliny, who has deliver'd so clear an History, shews himself a Blockhead, where he treats of the Sun and Stars; what wonder therefore that Polybius, (while he meddles of the more sub|lime and Divine things) has so clearly expos'd his Ignorance. I religiously Swear, that a Sense and Consciousness of only one of these things, is more dear to me, than a long last|ing Reign over the whole Earth would be. And beneath, but let this suffice, for I have only here set down in short, when these things happen'd, and how, and such in which these could be no Suspiscion of Error or Imposture; and I only beg you, Reader, when you read such things, do not propose humane Pride for your Scope, but the greatness and ampli|tude of the World, and of the Heavens, and the vile Darkness in which we live, and you Page 56 will easily Understand, I have related no in|credible things. The same Author, in his Dialogue, intitl'd Tetim, or of Humane Coun|sels, where he makes Tetim and Ram, Inter|locutors, makes Ram say, I believe Cardan has a Genius for his Companion, which disco|ver'd himself late to him, being wont before to admonish him by Dreams and Noises; and beneath, so many and so wonderful things have happen'd to him, in his Life, that I am forc'd to believe, being intimate with him, he has a great, powerful, and rare Genius, so that he is not Master of his Actions; but those things he desires, he has not, the things he has he did not covet or hope for.
At the end of his fourth Book of Wisdom, he writes as follows, concerning the Genii of o|ther Men. All great Men seem to be led by some Divine Spirit, or Daemon; Socrates, be|fore his Death, had warning of the Day in a Dream, Dion saw a Spectre in his House, what was it open'd Caius Caesar's door the Night be|fore he was slain? What was it said to Brutus, as he was alone, I am thy Evil Genius, thou shalt see me again at Philippi? What was that august Figure seen by Cassius in his Tent, that was like to Caesar? What foretold Sylla in his Dream, of his imminent Death? Or what was it he heard so Pleasant in a clear Sky? What from a Mausolaeum call'd Nero before his Death? What admonish'd Caligula of his Death in a Dream? Why did Antony hear the departure of Bacchus from Alexandria, the Night before his Death? What mixt a sleeping Potion for Adrian in a Dream before his Death? Certainly, the Daemon that was in them; for Humane Nature, when highly exal|ted, Page 57 rises to the force of a Daemon. These fore|saw their Deaths, but could not prevent the violence of it. Neither are these the only Per|sons, who having this Wisdom have had vio|lent ends: For Paul, who, aided by the Divine Spirit, could see the Secrets of God, and Ste|phen the Heavens open, and Philip, who was carry'd invisible through the Desart, died all by the Hands of others. But there is this great difference betwixt these Spirits, that the Di|vine is joyn'd with Justice and Piety, and the other Vertues, and has tranquility and rest always attending it; the Daemonical is rais'd by Murthers, Robberies, and False-dealings; and is always accompanyed with suspiscious and manifold Disquiets. Who but a Person of troubled Senses, and a discompos'd Mind would chuse to embrace the Daemonical? But as in sick Persons, the vitiated taste abhors Sweet and Fat things, and is more delighted with such as are sharp and insipid; so the Nature of Mortals being corrupted with Vice, abhors the best, and adheres to the worst; and this is done chiefly by the likeness of these two kinds, which, how great it is may easily be understood by this, that Simon and Elimas, the Magicians, were accounted Divine Men, and Christ, who was God, was thought by many to have a Devil. And so much for Cardan.
Scaliger,* speaking of the Genius ascrib'd by Virgil to Anea, viz. Achates, so called from [ gap: 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 ] writes thus of the Genii that attend Men. We read in the Books of the Pythagoreans, enricht by the Platonicks, that we have two Genii at|tending us a Good and a Bad; by the guidance and counsels of the Good, Good and Elect Persons joyn themselves to God, from whom Page 58 they have received him as a Mediator. To some Heroes, he shews himself, by others he is never seen but is heard, which Socrates pro|fesses of his, in more than one place in Plato, by some Divine Spirits he is neither seen, nor heard, but so introduces and presents him|self, that by his light he discovers an intelli|gence of secret things, for Men to write: wherefore it often happens, that when that Celestial Heat is over in us, we our selves either admire those our Writings, or do not own them for ours, and do not understand some things after the way they were directed and dictated by him; nor do I think it hapned otherwise to Plato, to whose Writings a light is added by Interpreters, much greater than may proceed from vulgar judgments. As for my self, who think I am not to be compared even with the least, if any thing falls from me at any time unawares, I may not hope so much may be performed by me afterwards, which is the reason I never set upon medita|ting, or writing, unless invited by my Genius, who speaks inwardly with me, tho' not heard, shewing the spacious fields of the Divinity in our Minds, which being abstracted and sus|pended from the offices of the Body, it de|putes to other Functions; so that he did not speak wholly at random, who thought, that Ari|stotle's Intellectus Agens, were the same with Plato's Genius; we have instances of both in History, for an Evil one appear'd to Brutus, and fore|told him an unhappy end; A Good one to Caesar, when he past Rubicon, shewing him the way to that, in which he plac'd his chief bliss, &c.
Page 59Heinsius says, in a manner,* the same thing of himself with Scaliger, writing thus; Here are some things to which, being my self, I am not able to aspire, which after the heat has left my Mind, I consider as a Reader of another Man's Works.*Scaliger also elsewhere calls his Genius, most Learned, whose desire is vast and immence: And Heinsius says,* uninitiated Persons do not understand these things.
Scaliger also, on Aristotle De Plantis,* writes thus; Jamblicus, in his Mysteries, says, he that being inspir'd, receives the Deity, has a sort of appearance of Fire before its ingress, and it's seen the God either coming, or departing; therefore those Spirits that apply themselves to our Mind with Darkness, bring us frivo|lous, wavering and doubtful things: And I know a Person to whose Eyes a Fire pre|sents it self often, either meditating, or ex|pecting Messengers.
This is what Scaliger and Cardan have said concerning their own Genii, and those of others; from which the judicious Reader may easily discern their sense concerning them.