Observations upon experimental philosophy to which is added The description of a new blazing world
Newcastle, Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of, 1624?-1674.

16. Of the Providence of Nature, and of some Opi∣nions concerning Motion.

COncerning those that speak of the Providence of Nature, & the preserving of Vegetables, to wit, that Nature is very curious and careful in preserving their se∣minal principles, and lays them in most convenient, strong and delicate cabinets for their safer protection from outward danger: I confess, Nature may make such pro∣tections, that one Creature may have some defence from the injuries and assaults of its fellow-Creatures; but these assaults are nothing but dissolving motions, as friendly and amiable associations are nothing else but composing motions; neither can any thing be lost in Page  47 Nature, for even the least particle of Nature remains as long as Nature her self. And if there be any Pro∣vidence in Nature, then certainly Nature has know∣ledg and wisdom; and if she hath knowledg and wis∣dom, then she has sense and reason; and if sense and reason, then she has self-motion; and if Nature has self-motion, then none of her parts can be called inani∣mate or soul-less: for Motion is the life and soul of Na∣ture, and of all her parts; and if the body be animate, the parts must be so too, there being no part of the animate body of Nature that can be dead, or without motion; whereof an instance might be given of animal bodies, whose parts have all animal life, as well as the body it self: Wherefore those that allow a soul, or an inform∣ing, actuating and animating form or faculty in Nature and her parts, and yet call some parts inanimate or soul-less, do absolutely contradict themselves. And those that say, all the varieties of Nature are produced, not by self-motion, but that one part moves another, must at last come to something that moves it self: be∣sides, it is not probable, that one part moving another, should produce all things so orderly and wisely as they are in Nature. But those that say Motion is no sub∣stance, and consequently not material, and yet allow a generation and annihilation of Motion, speak, in my opinion, non-sence: for first, how can self-motion, the Author and Producer of all things, work all the va∣rieties that are in Nature, and be nothing it self? Next, Page  48 how can that which is nothing (for all that is not Ma∣terial is nothing in Nature, or no part of Nature) be generated and annihilated? Nay, if Motion be Ma∣terial, as surely it is, yet there can neither be a new generation, nor an annihilation of any particular Mo∣tion in Nature; for all that is material in Nature has its being in and from Infinite Matter, which is from Eternity, it being impossible that any other new Mat∣ter should be created besides this Infinite Matter out of which all natural things consist, or that any part of this matter should be lost or annihilated. But perhaps those that believe new generations and annihilations of particular motions, may say, that their opinion is not as if those particular Motions were generated out of some new matter, but that the matter of such motions is the same with the matter of all other natural Creatures, and that their perishing or annihilation is not an utter destruction or loss of their being out of Nature, but onely of being such or such a motion, like as some Ve∣getables and Elements are generated and perish in one night: Truly, if their meaning be thus, then it were better to name it an alteration or change of Motion, rather then a new Generation, and a Perishing or Annihilation. But my intention is not to plead for other mens opinions, but rather to clear my own, which is, that Motion is material; for Figure, Mo∣tion and Matter are but one thing; and that no particular Motion is or can be lost in Nature, nor Page  49 created anew; as I have declared more at large else∣where.