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

If you wonder, that I join a work of Fancy to my serious Philosophical Contemplations; think not that it is out of a disparagement to Philosophy; or out of an opinion, as if this noble study were but a Fiction of the Mind; for though Philosophers may err in searching and enqui∣ring after the Causes of Natural effects, and many times embrace falshoods for Truths; yet this doth not prove, that the Ground of Philosophy is meerly Fiction, but the error proceeds from the different motions of Reason, which cause different Opinions in different parts, and in some are more irregular then in others; for Reason being dividable, be∣cause material, cannot move in all parts alike; and since there is but one Truth in Nature, all those that hit not this Truth, do err, some more, some less; for though some may come nearer the mark then others, which makes their Opinions seem more probable and rational then others; yet as long as they swerve from this onely Truth, they are in Page  [unnumbered] the wrong: Nevertheless, all do ground their Opinions upon Reason; that is, upon rational probabilities, at least, they think they do: But Fictions are an issue of mans Fancy, framed in his own Mind, according as he pleases, without regard, whether the thing, he fancies, be really exi∣stent without his mind or not; so that Reason searches the depth of Nature, and enquires after the true Causes of Natural Effects; but Fancy creates of its own accord whatsoever it pleases, and delights in its own work. The end of Reason, is Truth; the end of Fancy, is Fiction: But mistake me not, when I distinguish Fancy from Rea∣son; I mean not as if Fancy were not made by the Ratio∣nal parts of Matter ; but by Reason I understand a ra∣tional search and enquiry into the causes of natural effects; and by Fancy a voluntary creation or production of the Mind, both being effects, or rather actions of the rational part of Matter; of which, as that is a more profitable and useful study then this, so it is also more laborious and diffi∣cult, and requires sometimes the help of Fancy, to recre∣ate the Mind, and withdraw it from its more serious Con∣templations.

And this is the reason, why I added this Piece of Fancy to my Philosophical Observations, and joined them as two Worlds at the ends of their Poles; both for my own sake, to divert my studious thoughts, which I employed in the Contemplation thereof, and to delight the Reader with variety, which is always pleasing. But left my Fancy should stray too much, I chose such a Fiction as would be Page  [unnumbered] agreeable to the subject I treated of in the former parts; it is a'Description of a New World, not such as Lucian's, or the French man's World in the Moon; but a World of my own Creating, which I call the Blazing-World: The first part whereof is Romancical, the second Philoso∣phical, and the third is meerly Fancy, or (as I may call it) Fantastical; which if it add any satisfaction to you, I shall account my self a Happy Creatoress; if not, I must be content to live a melancholly Life in my own World; I cannot call it a poor World, if poverty be one∣ly want of Gold, Silver, and Jewels; for there is more Gold in it then all the Chymists ever did, and (as I verily believe) will ever be able to make. As for the Rocks of Diamonds, I wish with all my soul they might be shared amongst my noble female friends, and upon that con∣dition, I would willingly quit my part; and of the Gold I should onely desire so much as might suffice to repair my Noble Lord and Husband's Losses: For I am not Cove∣tous, but as Ambitious as ever any of my Sex was, is, or can be; which makes, that though I cannot be Henry the Fifth, or Charles the Second, yet I endeavour to be Margaret the First; and although I have neither power, time nor occasion to conquer the world as Alexander and Caesar did; yet rather then not to be Mistress of one, since Fortune and the Fates would give me none, I have made a World of my own: for which no body, I hope, will blame me, since it is in every ones power to do the like.