An essay on the first book of T. Lucretius Carus De rerum natura. Interpreted and made English verse by J. Evelyn Esq;
Evelyn, John, 1620-1706., Lucretius Carus, Titus., Hollar, Wenceslaus, 1607-1677, engraver.
Page  97


Aeneadum genitrix, hominum Divûm{que} voluptas,
Alma Venus,—&c.
Romes parent Venus, joy of Gods above;
And men,—&c.

THe renowned Prince of Troy, Aeneas, feigned to be the Son of Anchises, and the Goddess Venus, espoused to his first wife Creusa, daughter of King Priamus, after the sack of that City, with twenty ships he wandred into Italy, and carried along with him his Son Ascanius,* named also Julus, where in ad Nuptials, he married Lavinia, relict of the van∣quished Turnus King of the Latines, whom he succeeded. Now after the Apotheosis of Aeneas, Ascanius his successor Page  98 left a son called Julus Sylvius, of whom linealy descend∣ed the great Julius Caesar,* who for this cause, as is re∣ported, dedicated a Temple, Veneri Genetrici. Thus the Goddess, becomes Patroness of the Family of the Emperors, and so by a figure, of the Imperial City, ac∣cording to that of the Poet,

—Genus unde Latinum
Albani{que}* patres, at{que} altae moenia Romae
—Whence Latines come
Great Albans Ancestors, and towring Rome.

But as Vens is here invocated by our Carus (otherwise no great friend to Gods or Goddesses) either it is be∣cause it was the custom of Poets in all Heroical works of this nature to implore the Divine aid: or more pro∣bably, for that Venus was feigned to preside in Gardens; whence, according to Varro, she was frequently stiled hortensis, and wherein our Lucretius his Master Epicurus spent so much of his time, was so delighted, and first delivered his so celebrated Institution. But to approach the design of our Poet, by Venus, we are to understand that inseparable appetite and inclination to propagate and engender; which (saith Cicero) is by Nature dif∣fused into all living reatures; for so the Etymologists Venus à Venire,* because of her universal access. The old Poets have derived her original from the Genitors of Coelus cast into the sea; whence mixing with the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or scum of its waters, the Greeks named her Aprodite. Cicero in his book of the Nature of Gods, makes men∣tion of no fewer then four of this name; but for that the Poets chiefly celebrate onely the se∣cond, to whom they usually attribute all the actions of the rest, we shall purposely omit them. This was she on whom Mercury begat Cupid. It is said, that this Goddess being conceived in a great Concha, or shell of mother of Pearl, floated therein by the propiti∣ous aid of Zephyrus (mentioned also within few lines of the beginning of this Poem by the name of Favonius, a wind which spireth from the occidental point of the Aequinox, especially in the spring, as being most gene∣rative) to the Isle of Cyprus, where she fortun'd to be taken up by certain Nymphs of that Coast. Plato in his Banquet reckons up two more; the one very ancient, daughter of the Heavens, Ʋrania, or Coelestis; inti∣mating the brightness and reulgency of the Divinity, Page  99 together with a most secret affection which she pro∣duceth, endeavoring to attract our souls, and unite them to the Essence of God. But the second and yonger, daughter of Jupiter and Dione, whom he names Pandemia, popular, carnal and voluptuous, comes neerer to the instance of our Poet in this place. For Pausanias in his Misen: and Plutarch in his Problem's, make her with Jupiter, Juno, Suadela and Diana to preside at Marriages. In sine, this is the Lady that became so desperately in∣amour'd with Anchises, by whom she had Aeneas, nor less it seems with Mars himself; for therefore doth our Poet implore her intercession with that urious God.

Nam tu sola potes tranquilla pace juvare
Mortalis: quoniam belli fera moenera Mavors;
Armipotens regit: in gremium qui saepe tuum se
Reficit aeterno devinctus volnere amoris.
To Mortals Thou alone canst rest afford,
Since Mars, who is of direful Wars the Lord,
On thy fair bosom resting oft his head,
With lasting wounds of Love is vanquished.

And even immerged in her luxurious embracements, in which plight he could refuse his Mistris nothing; such charms and puissant attracts had love, even over the Gods themselves. But to resolve the Mythologie to the purpose of out Author; we understand by Venus here, that universal Appetite of procreating its like, which inclination for receiving its birth together with the world it self, caused her to be feigned of so near rela∣tion to Coelum whence those who have affirmed that the humane soul descended from Heaven into our bodies, and that again it passed from one Orb to another, extract out of each Sphere, divers particular affections: as that the Soul hath from Venus (besides many others) all her cncupiscible appetites, &c. She is affirmed to be born of the Sea, not onely to represent the continual estuations of disorderly livers, and lascivious persons; but ra∣ther for that the salacious liquor aideth greatly to the generative vertue, inciting the inclinations, by its acri∣monious mordacity. Lastly, she is supposed inamour'd with Adonis, who is taken for the Sun, because her em∣bracements prove ineffectual, without the assistance of a generative and fermenting heat: for which cause were Page  100 roses, myrre, &c. sacred to her, as allectives, and in∣centives of pleasure,* yet not without their punctures, blushes and fading, for such is the nature and close of all sensual commerce and delights whatsoever. And thus much of Venus, or rather Nature it self, which for giving Title to our Poets present works, we did pur∣posely illustrate: But let us hear how Statius describes the Goddess Tellus in imitation of our Author.

—O hominum divini{que} aeterna creatrix*
Quae fluvios, sylvas{que} animasque, & semina mundi
Cuncta, promethaeas{que} manus, Pyrrhaeaque Saxa
Gignis, & impastis quae prima alimenta dedisti,
Mutasti{que} viros, quae pontum ambisq, vehis{que}
Te penes & pecudum gens mitis, & ira ferarum,
E volucrum re••ies; irmum at{que} immobile mundi
Robur inoccidui: te velox machina Coeli
Aere pendentem vacuo, te currus uterque
Circuit, O rerum media, indivisa{que} magnis
Fratribus; ergo simul tot gentibus alma, tot altis
Ʋrbibus, ac populis, subter{que} ac desuper una
Eternal source, whence Gods and men proceed,
Who Sereams, Woods, Souls, the universal seed,
Promethean clay, and Pyrrhan stones indu'st
With life, ••ed'st Babe, and humane shapes renew'st:
Dost the vast Sea encompass and sustain,
Dost o're wilde Beasts, and Milder Cattel reign
And roosts of Birds, the firm and stable world:
The heavens swift Orbs with rapid motion hurl'd
Thee (Stretching in the empty air thy wings)
With Sun and Moon daunce round: O mdst of things
Amongst the mighty brothers thou dost stand
Unshar'd, and feed'st all Nations with thy hand▪
On thy broad back, and on thy equal chest,
So many Towers, and high-built Cities rest, &c.

Thus having invocated his Goddess, in the next he de∣precates the War; during which, neither could Poets well write, nor Patrons have leisure to read: for much about this time hapned those unfortunate broils, and Page  101 furious commotions, wherein Claudius was slain by Milo, the Gaules divided by Caesar, and the whole Em∣pire it self almost out of frame by the Conspiracies of Cateline, and his bloody Complices, during all which stirs and publique disalers

—Neque nos agere hoc patriai tempore iniqu
Possumus aequo animo: nec Memmi clara propago
Talibus in rebus, communi deesse saluti.
For whilst our Countrey thus afflicted lies
With what con en can we Philosophise?
Nor may brave Meminis then wanting be
To th'publique peace in such perplexiy.

For Memmius he knew, as a Loyal Cavalier, could not but be engaged, and it was this illustrous person to whom our Lucretius nuncupates his present work; concerning whose extraction (since a Name so frequently mention∣ed throughout this Author) divers curious in Antiqui∣ties have taken the pains to deliver his Pedegree, which some of them have out of his almost contemporary M••e, not blushed to derive even from the Trojans themselves,

Mox Italus Mnesiheus, genus à quo nomine Memmi.

Certain it is, he sprung from a very ancient stock. C. Memmius recorded by Livy,* being created Praetor a∣bout the time of the war with Perses King of Macedonia, obtained the Province of Sardinia, and was nvested with many other dignities, as Quaestor, Aedile, &c. after which he was removed to the Praetory of Sicili: And of this Memmius were two sons, C. and L. Memmius, so celebrated for their learning and eloquence by the father of Orators. C. L. Memmii (saith Cicero) fuerunt Oratores mediocres,*accusatores acres, atque acerbi, &c. Cajus (as Orosius writes) when for his integrity and parts, he stood to be Consul,* was by one Saturnus a Tribune of the Commons (who feared his Vertues) barbarously murder∣ed in Campo Martio. There was also another Memmius of the same family, supposed Brother or Cousin-German to the former, by marriage allied to Pompeius, with whom he went into Spain in the Expedition contra Sertorium, where he valiantly lost his life in the Service, as Cicero pro Balbo, Plut. Orosius and others report. But to come Page  102 to that Memmius unto whom our Poet dedicates this Book; he was (as Cicero affirmeth) son to the above∣mentioned Lucius, a person so studious in his youth, that besides the name of Learned which he had acquired, he was held in very great estimation with all the wisemen of his time. It seems He and Lucretius had been Con∣temporaries at Athens, when afterwards returning to Rome, he was then by the favor of Pompeius, advanced to eminent honor; for being first made Praetor, he went Governor of Bythinia, in which voyage the Poet Catullus accompanied him, and as its believed, our Carus also, together with Curtius Nicas, a famous and noble Gram∣marian of those times, whom he exceedingly cherished, as is related by Suetonius. But quitting Bythinia (upn what occasion something uncertain, though there be, who lay his ill administration there to his charge) he was shortly after accused by Cajus Caesar and others; out of all which Memmius emerging, he contends with Do∣mitio Massallas, Scaurus, and others, for the Consulat▪ in which the difference grew so sharp, that in conclusion there could be none elected for that year▪ Sundry Inter∣regnums in the mean time hapning, as Cicero himself testifies; for Memmius and Caesar being now reconciled, Caesar stood much for him in the litigation;* but all in vain, for those four Candidates, and divers others, being accused of Bribery, and other indirect dealings, the year after Cn. Pompeius being Consul, Anno LOCI our unfor∣tunate Memmius condemned (Lege Pompeia de ambitu) with one Hypseus, and the rest, was exiled into Greece, where he spent some time at Athens, in which place he had first o all sucked in the Elements of that Philoso∣phy, which he ever afer so much affected; being so great an admirer of the Epicurean Sect, that he certainly in∣tended to have erected something in honor of that great Institutor; but afterwards (it seems) being diverted from that design, he removed thence to Mytelene, thence to Patre, a Town in Achaia, near Corinth; where being in fine ascribed amongst the number of Citizens, he adopted for his heir, the son of one Lyso, a Citizen of Patre, being a person of much integrity, and one of Ciceroes special friends; and so shortly after ended his days in that place. Thus much I thought it convenient to mention concerning our Memmius, for the reasons before alledged. Those who desire to receive farther satisfaction herein, may consult Cicero de Clar is Oratori∣bus Page  103 ad Brutum, and in Rabiriana: Agellius, Charisius, Pris∣cian, Gellius, &c. where as well of his vices as vertues, and what works he left to posterity; adde to these Tacitus, Suetonius, Fasti Consul, Capitolin, &c. the Medails and ancient Inscriptions amongst the curious, Ang. Politia∣nus, P. Victor, and others. It concerns us no farther, then to shew the Reader how worthy a Patron our Poet made choice of, soofren by all the endearments of friend∣ship conjured to give diligent attention to what he is delivering.

Nam tibi de summa Coeli ratione, deûm{que}
Disserere incipiam; & rerum primordia pandam:
V;nde omnis natura creet res, auctet, alatque:
Quove eadem rursum natura perempta resolvat:
Quae nos materiem, &c.
For I of Gods, and Heaven will discourse,
And shew whence all things else derive their source,
Whence Nature doth create, augment and cherish
To what again resolve them when they perish.

And indeed the nature of the Gods, according to his own Doctrine, did not result from these principles: Epicurus, it is believed, made them to proceed from a certain fourth incorrupt nature; and therefore it was an error which some delivered, that the Gods were like∣wise composed of Atoms, as other Philosophers had be∣fore him thought them to consist of Numbers: for so did Pythagoras, some of Fire, as Heraclitus, &c. Our Poets design here being Vniversa Rerum Natura, as it concerns the fabrick of the world in general,* which yet he erro∣neously believed was not to be attained, whilst the cogi∣tations of men were any way restrained or distracted with this 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and apprehension of the Gods, or ra∣ther (as I interpret it) misled by the superstitions of the times: wherefore he endeavors to perswade Memmius to take it for a truth undeniable,* that those celestial in∣habitants took little account of what Mortals did on earth: for saith he,

Page  104
Omnis enim per s Divûm natura necesse est
Immortali aevo summa cum pace fruatur,
Semota à nostris rebus, sejunctá{que} longè:
Nam privata dolore omni, privato periclis,
Ipsa suis pollens opibus: nihil indiga nostri,
Nec ••ne promeritis capitur, nec tangitur irâ.
Gods in their Nature of themselves subsist
'Tis certain; nor may ought their peace molest,
For ever, unconcern'd with our affairs,
So far remote, void of our grief or cares,
Need not our service, swim in full content,
Nor our good works accept, nor bad resent.

Dissolvitur autem religio,*si credamus Epicuro illa dicenti, Be this our Faith, and farewell all Religion, as the Fa∣ther Lactantius hath it, reciting this passage. But so an∣other of the same Creed, Quod est beatum, morte & aeter∣num carens, nec sibi parit negotium, nec alteri: For it is a sad truth, that the Doctrine of Epicurus had infected our Carus, though not with a positive belief (as some will have it) that there were indeed no Gods at all; et with an opinion, that they did not interess themselves in humane affairs, or were at all concerned with the pro∣ductions of Nature; which they affirmed came to pass from other causes, and sine delectu, as it were, good and bad sharing alike in this world. Quod si Mundus divina providentia, & alicujus numinis actoritate regeretur; nun∣quam mereretur Phalaris & Dionysius regnum, nunquam R∣tilus & Camillus exilium, nunquam Socrates Venenum. Had there been any such thing as Gods providence over the actions of men, Tyrants had never usurped, nor had ho∣nest men suffered, saith Caecilius in M. Felix; but now

Marmoreo Lici••s tumulo jacet,* at Cato parvo
Pompeius nullo; credimus esse Deos!
In vaulted marble Licin is enclos'd
A turf does holy Ca•• hide;
Uncover'd Pompey lies abroad expos'd,
Can providence these actions guide?

Fortuna certa, aut incerta Natura, something which they knew not what to call, had charge of these sublunary Page  105 things; those that suffered innocently, and those who swim in the streams of prosperity were all of like Re∣ligion; which makes Selius in Martial affirm it posi∣tively,

Nullos esse Deos, inane Coelum
—Probat{que} quod se
Factum, dum negat haec, videt beatum.
Gods there are none, heaven is void.
Nay proves it, since whilst this he doth deny
He sees himself swim in prosperity.

And therefore the Oracle to the Boetians demanding how they might become happy, made answer, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, by being wicked.

But that so indeed it sometimes pleases God to over whelm impious men with the elicities and affluence of this world.* Hear the Tra••edian thus resenting it to Fortune,

—Sed cur idem▪
Qui tanta regis, sub quo vasti
Pondera mundi librata suos
Ducunt orbes; hominum nimium
Securus ades? non solicitus
Prodesse bonis, nocuisse malis.
—But thou who hast
A power so ample, under whom the vast
Worlds poised weights, their constant rounds do lead,
Of Man why dost thou take so little h••d?
So unconcern'd; nor carest to relieve
The injur'd good, nor yet the bad to grieve.

But the holy Poet King David to the contrary, Psal. 8. and as Seneca himself proceeds there,* or rather th•• of Chrysostome, St. Aug. Salvianus, Viperanus, Plutarch and Seneca the Philosopher, in a book expresly, Cicero, l. 3. de nat, Deor. de Harpalo, & Dionysius the Tyrant, Lactantius de ira Dei, de justitia, and sundry others, who have ren∣dred ample satisfaction concerning this method of the Divine providence. But as touching the other opinion, that there should be no Gods, History is not capable to Page  106 make a rational man believe that ever any were so bar∣barous, Nulla enim gens tam era,* saith Cicero: There is no body so mad, &c. and yet thus it is recorded, that besides this Selius, Prothagoras, Theodorus Cyrenaeus, and many others, there was one Diagoras of old, sirnamed the Atheist, who with the foolish-hearted in the Psalm, affirmed openly that there was no God, to discard that superstition which he affirmed had possessed the mindes of men, whose fears first created them. But let us ob∣serve the event, himself was shortly after banished, and his damnable books burnt by a solemn decree of the Athenians, it being reported that himself likewise perish∣ed in a storm at Sea, God having once before clensed the whole world by a universal Cataclysm for this impious and irrational blasphemy.

Lucretius indeed seems rather in this place, and the many other instances through the following work, to express their neglect of humane affairs, then totally to disavow their existence. Ego Deûm genus esse semper dixi, & dicum Coelitum (saith Ennius) sed eos non curare opinor, quid agat humanum genus: and so the forecited Minutius introduces Caecilius, deriding the Christians of his time, Deum illum suum quem nec ostendere possunt, nec videre in omnium mores, actus omnium, verba deni{que} & occultas cogitationes diligenter inquirere? discurrentem scilicet & ubi{que} praesentem? This they thought insupportable to the divine nature, and indeed impossible that the Gods could attend the actions of every particular person and place; cum nec singulis inservire possit per universa distractus, nec uni∣versis sufficere in singulis occupatus: No, saith he, there is no appearance to believe it, concluding with that of So∣crates, Quod supera nos,*Nihil ad nos; For he supposed (as the Orator of Dicaearches) id esse alienum à majestate deorum, causas omnium introspicere, videant quid cuique conducat, &c. But I leave the man, and all of his minde, to the con∣futations of the incomparable Octavius,* of whose ability in this kinde, the Father Lactantius hath rendred a very worthy Character, and what pity it was, he made not this business of reducing Atheists,* a greater part of his studies and employment.

The very truth is, Leucippus (not our Philosopher) was the first broacher of this irreligious stuff: for he impudently denied, not onely the providence and power of God, but likewise the immortality of the Soul▪ as for Epicurus his opinion, take it in short thus, He held Page  107God to be 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, perfectly happy in himself; as for other matters, that they were all effected by certain na∣tural weights and motions; nay with much reverence, that men were to adore and worship this God, for his Omnipotency, Excellency, Beauty, Immortality, and other transcendencies; but in no wise to be afraid of him for any thing which men did;* for as Seneca hath interpreted this passage almost in the very words of our Poet, Deus nihil agit, nec magis illum beneficia, quam in∣juriae tangunt, and of the same minde it seems was his Countrey man, where he affirms,

—Nunquam se curadeorum*
Sic premit, ut vestrae vitae vestraeq, Saluti
Fata vacent—
The Gods can never well so low descend,
That Fates should on your death or lie attend.

All other things Fortuna non Arte regi&c.* as if it were to subvert the very being of the Divinity, to give it the perpetual anxiety of administring so vast and unwealdy a Commonwealth; that the Gods should have no leisure to enjoy themselves, whilst they took any thught or cognizance of others▪ some imagining them so full of employment, some too intent in their plea∣sures; such as 'tis likely the Prophet derided in the Priests of Baal, Forsitan loquitur, aut in diversorio est, aut in Itinere,*&c. for to all these diversions and necessities, Lu∣cian blushes not to oblige even Jupiter himself. Thus were these miserable men without God in the world, ut∣terly stranged from the speculation of his omnipotent Nature, whose chief delight is in the doing of good, and whose inex haustible bounry and providence, even over things the most inconsiderable, is without any per∣plexity at all, or the least molestation; for in him we live,*and move▪ and have our being; not a sparrow falls to the ground without his appointment, quinetiam capilli capitis omnes numerati sunt, and what is more trivial then a Hair? But thus I say, did these Gentiles grosly mistake the life and essence of the Infinite Deity, imagining him of some Humane form, nature and imbecility, whose power is Omnipoence it self, whose will is the principle of all things, and whose desires are Consummated works, as the Eloquent Monsieur D' Espagnet hath defined in his incomparable Physica restituta. Sad and certain it is, Page  108 that however some 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉,* even in this pretending age of ours, talk so much of the providence of God, yet so live they, as if they denyed it in their Actions; to convince whom, since it is the duty of the Preacher, I should here beg pardon for having said so much, did not the present Argument, and frequent ob∣jection against our Poet, sufficiently justifie me. The great Lipsius in his book de Constantiâ, hath spoken well on this subject; or to come neerer home, the learned Dr. Hackwel in his excellent Apology, as this of our Carus, with all his eight reasons, refuted by the inge∣nious Dr. Charlton, to all whose discourses I suppose no∣thing can easily be added, besides trouble to the Reader. But will you now learn who it was that first removed this Bugbear out of the mindes of Mortals? Hear we Lucretius thus describing him.

Humana ante oculos foedè cum vita jaceret
In terris oppressa gravi sub Religione:
Quae caput à Coeli regionibus ostendebat,
Horribili super adspectu mortalibus instans:
Primùm Grajus homo mortalis tollere contrà
Est oculos ausus, primus{que} obsistere contrà, &c.
Whilst sometimes humane life dejected lay
On earth, under gross supertitions sway,
Whose head aloft from heaven seem'd t'appear,
And Mankinde with its horrid shape did scare,
With mortal eyes to look on her that durst
Or contradict, a Graecian was the first, &c.

And a bold man he was indeed, Ponere os in coelum, thus to out face heaven.*Epicurus it seems was the person. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c▪ Epicurus was the son of Neoclis and Chaerestrata, of the tribe of the Gar∣tins, within the City of Athens, of the family of the Philaides.* About the age of eighteen he went and studied at Athens, near the time of the death of Alex∣ander the great, when Zenocrates and Aristotle, those fa∣mous persons flourished. In that Ʋniversity having pro∣cured many Scholars that favored his opinions, he first founded that Institution, which afterwards preserved his memory and name; but he received (it seems) the first hint of these opinions from the books of DemocratesPage  109 toucing Atomes, and Anistippus concerning pleasure; which yet the world is infinitely mistaken in,* whilst they fondly imagine he placed it in those luxurious and carnal appetites of the sensual and lower man; upon which account so many have made his name to become a Characteristick of reproach, Verum isti, à quibus talia objiciuntur, insaniunt: as the forecited Laertius; for, saith he, he was a person of super-excellent candor and integrity, as testified by his Countrey in general; the costly Statues, and glorious Inscriptions erected to his memory; his many Friends and Disciples; and lastly, that promiscua erga omnis benevolentia; nay, and (what the Reader little expected) even his Religion and Cha∣rity: for uch are the successive expressions of Diogenes.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, namely to the Gods his piety, and affection to his Country, both of them so conspicuous in him. And then for his Dit: he was (saith Diocles) so frugal and Ascetick,* that his drink was nothing save a small sort of wine, or for the most part water of the rock onely; nay, it is reported, that one day sending for a morsel of cheese to his bread, he was heard to prosess, that it was a very great Extraordinary, Hujuscemodi ergo Ille fuit, qui Bonorum finem Voluptatem esse decrevit. Behold the Epicure, which all the World cry up for their Patron, and first founder. But let us hear him celebrated by Athenaeus, and then judge of the man,

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉;
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.
Why Mortals plot you wickedness for gain
Unsatiable, strifes and wars maintain?
All Natures wealth does in strait bounds delight,
Whilst false opinions erre to infinite.
Wise Neoclis son, this from the Muses brought,
Or it by Suadas Tripodes was taught.

And so the Christian Philosopher,* Having food and cloathing, let us therewith be contented. But to hasten, ur Heroe was born in the hundred and ninth Olimpiad,Page  110 the third year after the death of the Divine Plato.* He instituted his School and Sect being about thirty years of age: and finally, ended is life at Athens, in the second year of the 127 Olypiad, after he had lived about 72 years, being tormented with the fatal Stone in the bladder, during which conflict (which continued no less then fourteen days) he expressed such an ad∣mirable patience and tranquility of Spirit, gave so many incomprable precepts to those which were about him, that the empty and impatient Epicures of our age (un∣worthy that Character) who execrate and fret at every trifling accident,* may blush to stile themselves after his illustrious name, to whose vertues they can pretend so little title, piget, imo pudet omnino delacerari ipsum abiis, qui simulantes Curios vivuntinterim Bacchanalta, & ab illius mo∣deratione prolixissimis absunt intervalli. The Epistle which he writ to Idomeneus in that very paroxism that carried him away, sufficiently testifies, that the Felicity which he cherished and taught, was onely to be enjoyed in the command over his Passions, the memery of his ex∣cellent inventions, Philosophy, and incomparable Rea∣son. And if this hasty design do not fully represent him to the Reader,* le him behold him described to the very life, by the skilful Pensil f Laertius, where he shall also see his Testamet, Doctrine, Disciples and Wri∣tings; where likewise his Books de Natura, de Atomis, Inani, de Amore, and a just Liberary more by that Bio∣grapher enumeraed, Less then this I could not well have said concerning our great Epicurus, of whose Doctrine and Plaits our Lucretius was the express Trumpet in Roman Verse, his Philosophy being the ve∣ry subject matter of all that which he hath in six books comprehended. This, I say, was that bold person, who whilst he derided the most superstitious of his Coun∣trey, seemed not affaid to violate the Sanctuaries of Nature, and even Heaven it self; slighting the thun∣derbolts of their fantastial Deities, which till then had preserved men within the limits of fear, and a false Re∣ligion, an oppression he believed to a knowing person altogether vain and insupportable. Thus therefore after he had speculated the uttermost efferts and design of Nature,

Atque omne immensum peragravit mente, animo{que}
Ʋnde refert nobis victor,—&c.
All that was great▪ his generous soul had view'd.

Page  111 Behold him now like another Behemoth,* of whom Job, Omne sublime videt, ipse est rex superbiae super universos filios superbiae, and like a Conqueror boldly triumphing over the whole Empire of Nature, and celebrating himself in this glorious Pean of the Poet,

Felix qui potuit Rerum cognoscere Causas,*
At{que} metus omneis, & inexorabile fatum
Subjecit pedibus, strepitum{que} Acherontis avari.
Happy who can things and their causes reach,
Hath cast all fears and ridgid fate beneath
His feet, and the vain dread of greedy death.

Epicurus thus Deified, and his small Devotion com∣mended by our Poet, he proceeds like a wary Atheist, to sortifie his assertion, pretending as if he meant no∣thing less then the desbauching of his friend Memmius into any rudiments of Impiety, farther then to demon∣strate the great evils and inconveniences which pro∣ceeded from the actions and pretended Devotion of su∣perstitious men; instanced by the cruel Sacrifice of a fair Virgin Princes,

Aulide quo pacto Triviai Virginis arma,
Ihianassai turparun Sanguine foedè
Ductores Danaûm delecti, prima virorum, &c.
Thus when the Graecian Chies of prime repute
The unwed Trivian Altar did pollute
With Iphigenias blood, at Aulis, &c.

As our Carus here relates the passage.* For it seems Agamemnn had formerly made a promise (promissum (saith Cicero) potius non faciendum quàm tam taetrum faci∣nus faciendum fuit) to Sacrifice the fairest birth of that year, which falling out to be his own daughter, and onely childe, Iphigenia, he so long deferred, that the winds proving contrary to his Trojan design (so that the Fleets could by no means get out of the Port of Aulis) it was told him by Calcas,* that Dianas being in∣censed for the procrastination of his vow, was the cause of the soul weather, which hindred his expedition; whereupon the superstitious King immdiaely, and Page  112 most umercifully sacrificeth his Daughter. The reason is clear by our Poet,

Exitus ut Classi feliae, faustús{que} daretur.
Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum.
That a safe expediton might b made
To so much Ill, could foolish zeal perswade!

Though some there are who write that the Goddess taking pity on the Virgin, accepted of an Hind in her tead. But strange was the power of Superstition in those Ages, that so wise, and so great men should sufer that extream delusion; insomuch, as some did not onely de∣sign others, but even themselves for Victims to those blood-thirsty infernal powers.* for so we read of Menae∣ceus the son of Creon, in the wars of Thebes to Mars; Codrus in his generous disguise, and Curtius in his vain∣glorious precipitation. Besides the Decii, and infinite others, of whom see Plutarchs Themistocles, and Pausani∣a, Lyctiorum in Creete, the Lesbians, and Phocoensis, of which Clemens, Alexand. in protreptico. They used year∣ly to sacrifice a Gaul of either Sex to Jupiter, and in some parts of Africa,* the immolated little babes to Sa∣turn; nay, as Lactantius reports, the Carthaginians sa∣crificed no less then two hundred Noblemens children at once, to pacifie that Idol after their overthrow by Agathocles King of Sicily, O dementian insanabilem! quid illis isti dii amplius facere possent, sessent iratissitni? &c. as the Father there exclaims.* In Ponticus and Egypt in the rites of Busiris▪ they sacrificed strangers, as Throseus the Southsayer found upon sad experience: And not long since, what inhumane butcheries they exercised in the West-Indies at Montezumas Temple in Mexico, the Spa∣nish histories relate; nay, the madness it seems was so universal, that even amongst our own Countreymen, the Britains here, Cruore Captivo adolere aras, as Tacitus in Annal. 14. Pliny and others report, Sed de Barbaris non est adeo mirandum; quorum, religio cum moribus congruit: Since, even the Romans themselves, as much civilized as they boasted themselves to be, suffered this brutish custom to prevail very long upon the world, for it conti∣nued even to the time of the elder Pliny, when it was a u∣sual thing upon every finister event,* to cast multitudes of innocent Christins into the River Tybur; which devilish Page  113 fury of theirs remaining to the days of Justinus and Ta∣tian,* was with much difficulty at last redressed; albeir, these bloody Rites had been long before prohibited by a solemn decree of the Sena, Cornelius Lentuus, and Lucinius Crassus, being Coss. But to instance in what comes nearest our Poet, we finde in Marius against the Cym∣bryans, who sacrificed Calphurnia his daughter, whom he had onely promised in a dream, to obtain the victory over that people. Certain it is, that the vow of Jeptha so rhetoricaly related by Josephus out of Judges the 11. doth exceedingly resemble this story, and divers other examples we could introduce of like barbarity, not onely in prophane, but even the sacred story, particularly in the cruelty of the perplext King of Moab, the very sight whereof moved the enemy to raise the siege, and give over the enterprize; and in what an horrible manner they used to fry their little ones in the seventh recepta∣cle of the Idol Moloch, Paulus Fagius doth somewhere describe, not much unlike to the Phalarian Bull. In the present story it is very observable, that when Timantes a famous Painter, would represent the Sacrifice of Iphi∣genia, whilst he expressed Chalcas, Ʋlysses, Menelaus, and the rest of the Spectators with very sad and lugubrous countenaces, to shew that the grief of her afflicted fa∣ther (quoniam summum illum luctum penicillo non posset imi∣tari (as Cicero very legantly in Orat.) could by no Art of the Pencil be counterfeited, most ingeniously drew Agamemnon with a vail over his face. But I will enlarge no farther on this sad argument, illustrable by a volume of like examples, if I would give my self leave to stroy, and weary the Reader; onely as touching the Trivian Altar, whereon this Cruelty is said to be perpe∣trated, because it was dedicated to Diana Casalius in his ancient Egyptian Rites, cap. 20. thinks it to be Isis, taken frequently for the Moon, whom they Hieroglyphiz'd with an head furnished with a triple ornament of Horns, a Crown and Ears, & possent haec tria signa (saith he) de∣notare, quod Isis, sive Luna Trivia & Tergemina seu trifor∣mis sit nuncupata. And this shall suffice,

Tutemet à nobis jam quovis tempore vatum
Terriloquis victus dict••s desciscere quaeres.
Quippe etenim quàm multa tibi me fingere possum
Page  114
Thy self (so long) with Poets frightful lies
O'recome, wilt our opinion soon dispise,
How many dreams yet could I to thee feign? &c.

As if he should have said, these doting Fables of the Poets, such were the stories of Cerberus, Acheron, Tantalus, Titius, Sicyphus, &c. have so strangely possest you; and the truth is, I my self were capable to dash all the pre∣cious enjoyments, that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, repose and tran∣quility of thy life, were it my design to pursue those terriculamenta and old-wives fables. Nor indeed, saith he, do men without reason believe them, and are be∣come thus superstitious, whilst they remain so ignorant of the nature and essence of their Souls, which they suppose to be Immortal, and yet know not what will be∣come of them hereafter; viz. Whether all their miseries shall determine in this world or not; for indeed Epi∣curus totally denied the Immortality of this precious Particle; and it is prodigious to consider onely the wonderful variety of mens opinions concerning it: For (to take but a shre survey) some, as the Stoicks, held, that the Soul did insinuate into the body) with which it was congenial, and that per traducem. Aristotle of old, and Senertus of late, were favorers of this tra∣dition, as if grated from the souls of the Parents, it onely lurked in semine, by which argument it cannot be preserved from perishing and expiring together with them.* The same Author will have some parts of the Soul, which reside in corporeal receptacles, to live and expire with them, and in the mean time, that the Intellect (which enjoys no instrument of the body as perpetual) is separated from that which is corruptible. This notion, I confess, is hugely controverted. Alex∣ander Aphrodiseus peremptorily affirms, that he hath here∣by rendred the soul mortal; and yet it is thought that Gregory Nazianzen favored this opinion: But against these is Plato; and of the Christians, Tho: Aquinas, a stout Aristotelean, who interprets the opinion altogether in favor of Immortality; yet Averroes, another Com∣mentator upon this Prince of Philosophers, supposeth that every man hath a peculiar soul which is mortal, di∣stinguished from the Minde,* which he calleth immortal. The Platonists, Pherecydes, and old Academiques be∣lieved, that the soul did precede the body eternally.

Page  115Crates the Theban admitted of no Soul, ascribing onely a natural motion to bodies: There are none of the Elements but some have fetched the soul from. The great Hyppocrates will have it a tenuous spirit, diffused through the body. Asclepiades says plainly, 'tis Flesh. Zeno makes it to be a quintescence, or certain quality and complexion of the Elements. Chrysippus, Archelaus and Heraclytus Ponticus taught, that it was light. Nor are they at all agreed about the residence thereof; for some place it in the head, others in the heart, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as Diagoras. Epicurus in the stomach: And there be, who will assign it no dwelling at all, but a thing secluded from any determinate fixure; for of this conceit, I finde Xenophanes, Colophonius, Aristoxenes, and many others: and hence it is (I suppose) that Xenocrates terms the Soul an automote-Number, which is conformable to what the Chaldeans taught of old, when they named it a Vertue void of any determinate form, receptive yet of all heterogenious forms. Aristotle happily stamped his Entelechia, to express the perfection of a natural Organick-body, potentia vitam habentis, &c. Nor indeed were the Heathen the onely men who dis∣sented about this Speculation: The most learned Origen and others, conceived that the Soul of the first man as∣sumed its original with the Celestial Creatures, and make it more ancient then the body. Some there were, fancied, that one Soul produced another, as one body procreates another; of which opinion was Apollinaris Bishop of Laodicea, Tertullian, Cyrillus, and Luciferanus. who are all mainly oppugned by S. Hierom. The fore∣cited T. Aquin. affirmeth, that there is a quoidian creation of Souls; for that (saith he) it is the form of the body, and cannot have a separate creation: And to this opi∣nion the Schools, and many later Divines have generally assented, amongst whom, our Countreyman Occam af∣firms, that there be two Souls in every man, the Sen∣sitive of the Parent, and the Intellective of the Creator: But others again confound them both together, and will admit of no distinction: In fine, those who think they have neerest approached the truth (besides such as ingenuously confess they understand it not (for such I finde Seneca in Lactantius to have been) will have the Soul to be a certain Divine Substance, intire, in∣divisible, omnipresent to the parts, and depending one∣ly upon the vertue of the Agent, and not of any mat∣ter. Page  116 Of this opinion (besides sundry others) were Plu∣tarch, Porphyrie,*Timeus, Zoroastes, Hermes Trismegistus, Orpheus, &c. To conclude, the more sollid define it to be a Substance, or certain modus of the Body, an Attri∣bute, &c. not produced by any Seminal Traduction, but by a Divine and Spiritual emanation. Cicero in his 1. Tusc. Qu. tells us of one conceited fellow (we have already named him) who denied that there was any soul at all, or at least, no more then was in a Fiddle, comparing the Chords and Consent of the Instrument, to the mem∣bers and nerves of the body: quo nihil dici delirius po∣test. And then about the continuance of the Soul, be∣sides the Saduces, Democritus, our Poet and his Master, the Brachmani, Pythagorean-metempsycosists, Essens, and other Speculative men, to abate the terror of death, and render their Disciples couragious upon all adven∣tures, though they denied the Immortality of the Soul in the Christian notion, yet taught they a certain im∣morral Transmigration thereof into the bodies of o∣ther creatures; of which Xenophanes, Timon, Hermippus, Lucian, and divers others have discoursed at large; nay, Jamblicus with Trismegistus held, that the Souls de∣part not onely from men to irrational creatures, but from them to one another of the same kinde; yea, that they descend into Plants; of which conceit are many modern Jews,* who talk of an Angel Turn-key to a certain Magazine of Spirits, ready created for all the bodies that shall ever have being, which Guardian Intelligence they call Intellectum agentem: but to quit these differences and Turco-Jewish dreams, it is believed that the Poet Ennius (so exceedingly celebrated here by our Poet) was the first that broached this Transmigration amongst the Latines; who for all this tels us no news of either infernal places or pains,

Sed quaedam simulacra modis pallentia miris, &c.

But some pale frightful Spectrum's.

Faint appa itions, sading shadows, and scarce visible images of Ghosts and Hobgoblins.

Ʋnde sibi exortam semper-florentis Hmeri
Commemrat speciem,—
Which he of Homer doth Commemort,

Page  117 Those who have written the life of S. Bruno founder of the Carchusians,* report, that being returned from Hell, aud being demanded what he had remaining of his knowledge: He should answer, that he remembred no∣thing but pain. There are many other instances of Ghostly apparitions, by which we might farther illustrate the certainty of the Souls Immortality. The Oracle of Apollo Milesius is well known; nor were the Epicureans so obstinate, but that they understood there was then an art of raising spirits. Sed quia non pervidebant animae rationem, quae tam subtilis est, ut oculos humanae mentis eff∣giat, interire dixerunt: for it seems in this they went no farther then the eye: But here we might introduce that of the Druids delivered by Caesar and Strab, of the Brachmani, whereof Porphyrie in his Book Prohibiting the eating of Flesh. The same was affirmed likewise by the Egyptians, who for that very respect did not burn their dead, eodém{que} cura & de infernis persuasio saith Tacitus, speaking there of the Jews; nor were the very Indians less religious, saith Strabo, where he discourseth 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, of the Judgements in the other world; which likewise 'tis reported those in America be∣lieved, pointing to certain places beyond the moun∣tains as to Elysian Fields, where those who had be∣haved themselves well, kept eternal Revels, and en∣joy'd their repose. In all which I finde them to have been much better assured, and more confident then even many great Philosophers; for having spoken something in favor thereof, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which yet they are very cautious of overmuch pressing;* and it is evident, that Cicero exceedingly wavered there∣in, Praeclarm autem nescio quid adepti sunt quod dedicrunt se, cùm tempus mortis venisset, totos esse perituros: quod ut ita sit (nihil enim pugno) quid habet ista res aut Laetabile, aut gloriosum? and as little assured was the Divine Seneca, Et fortasse (saith he) si modò sapientum verae fama est, re∣cipit{que} nos locus aliquis) quem putamus perisse, praemissus est. But to deliver this vast controversie over to the Divines, as touching the Immortality thereof, Christians are suffici∣ently instructed;* and meer Rationalists as sollidly con∣vinced in that learned aud renowned Piece of the ho∣norable Sir K. Digby. It remains onely, that we now close with, and qualifie the opinion of our Poet, who where he treats on this subject, intends onely (a is conjectured) the material soul, not the Intellectual, which Page  118 he imagined to be corporeal, as consisting of certain con∣current terse and smoth Atomes, not much different from those whereof he makes fire to proceed; Corporibus parvis & levibus atque rotundis; which being reduced into a tenuous and delicate Substance,* easily diffuseh it self throughout the whole mass, actuating and fur∣nishing it with all its passions, motions, and faculties, as might be demonstrated more clearly from certain passages in the third Book of our Abstruse Author, who, if (whilst he thought to plant repose and recollection in the mindes of men) he believed there was in earnest no Hell, or other entertainment of the separated spirits; nor therefore respects to be had to the Gods, it undoubtedly proceeded from that infinite plurality of Deities, Idols, and abused fancies of the times, which really to a na∣tural man might exceedingly qualifie the scandal which he took at the Religion of his times: for let us but sup∣pose one of our wisest men to have received his educati∣on with our Poet, would he (can we imagine) have more believed the existence of so many Gods and God∣desses, born of the Heavens, Earth, and Seas, then Epi∣curus, who derided Pan, and the rest of those santastick Romances? Or is it reasonable to entertain harder thoughts of Lucretius, then of those who so brutishly sacrificed unto them? Cicer impleads C. Verres, of adul∣tery, and yet does his devotions to Jupiter, who filled both heaven and earth with his desbaucheries.* The truth is, the Salians and Priests of Cybele, were not a jot more veritable in their strange Religion, and prodigious super∣stitions, notwithstanding Leucippus, Empedocles, Epicurus, and our Poet have so handsomely derided them,

Qua propter bene cùm superis de rebus habenda
Nobis est ratio; Solis, Lunae{que} meatus
Quâ siant ratione; & qua vi quaeque geruntur
In terris, &c.
This so, we'll first inquire of things above,
The Reasons how the Sun and Moon do move.
By what force all things on the earth are sway'd.

Since therefore so it is, that by reason of an Epidemical ignorance in natural causes, men are become so stupid, and remain thus misetably peplxt, we are resolved (proceeds Lucretus) to take a general survey both of Page  119 heaven and earth, to treat of the essence of the soul, and what it is which makes us so much afraid awake or sleeping; as when we dream of people long since de∣parted. In sum,* his design is to interpret the universal nature of things, and justifie the Title of his work, which yet he confesseth is a task very difficult to under∣take in his native language, nothing so copious and arti∣ficial as the scientifick and extensive Greek.

Multa novis verbis praesertim cùm fit agendum,
Propter egestatem linguae, & rerum novitatém, &c.
And principally since there is so much
New terms requires, the novelty being such
Of th' matter, of our tongue the poverty.

And therefore might sometimes be well allowed to coyn a word for his need:*cum uteretur in linguâ copiosâ factis tamen nominibus, ac novis, quod nobis in hoc inopi lin∣gua non conceditr, &c. as Cato in Cicero explains it.

And yet so great was his affection and friendship to his Patron Memmius, that there should no difficulty discourage a resolution to present him with a Scheme and Cycle of Philosophy, as clear and manifest as the beams of the very Sun it self.

Res quibus occultas penitus, convisere possis:
Hunc igitur terrorem animi tenebras{que} necesse est, &.
By whose bright rays thou maist both speculae
Nature, and her deep secrets penetrate;
Dark fears of minde then banish quite away,
Not with the Sun-beams, or the light of day,
But by such species as from nature flow,
And what from right informed reason grow.

And indeed 'tis a great truth, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. The Superstitious man is religious and fainthearted. Away therefore (cryes he) with those vain apprehensions, primus in orbe deos timor fecit, the considerations of death, and hypochondriack fits of discomposed persons; this we will effect, not by the ayd of the Sun beams, the Lamp of day, or a superficial view of things; but the study Physilogie and Natural Reason, in which the Epicureans believed to consist the perfection and very top of all humane felicity; for Inest in eadem explicatione naturaePage  120 (saith the Orator) insatiabilis quaedam è cognoscendis rebus voluptas, in quâ una (without either dread of death, or the troubles of Devotion, quod Epicuro videtur, as a little before) confectis rebus necessariis, vacui negotiis, ho∣nestè, ac liberaliter possmus vivere.

Hunc igitur terrorem animi—&c. which verse he frequent∣ly repeateth in the second, third, and sixth Books; for indeed it was his great Masters doctrine, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Si nihil conturbaret nos, quod suspicamur, veremurque ex rebus subli∣mibus;*neque item, quod ex ipsa morte, ne quando nimirum ad nos pertineat aliquid: ac nosse praeterea possemus qui germani fines, dolorum atque cupiditatum sint. What then? 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, we should all be perfect Physio∣logers, and emerge knowing men indeed. The Theory and Contemplation whereof,* makes the rational (it may be) more then religious Bruno, break out into these expressions, Dalla qual contemplatione (viz. that of Na∣ture) auverrà, che nullo strano accidente, ne dismetta per∣dogla ô timore, &c ne estogla, &c.—onde haremo la via vera alla vera immortalitá saremo magnanimi, spreggiatori di quel che fanciulleschi pensieri quì Dei che il cieco volgo adora, perche dovenerremo veri contemplatori dell historia de la Natura—&c. And a little after, not being able to contain his Ecstasies, Eccone dunque, &c. Behold us then indeed, beyond the power of Envy, free from the anxiety of breathing after a good (as at a great distance from us) which we even already possess so neer our own doors. Is not this the very voyce and hands of our Carus? For hence it comes to pass (pursues our Poet) that when men behold things, the reasons whereof exceed their slender capacity,*

—Fieri divino Numine rentur, &c.
To a Celestial Author they're assgn'd, &c.

Whereas indeed, the Gods (saith he) are little concern∣ed with it. But this hath been sufficiently illustrated and confuted.

And hitherto hath our Carus prepared onely the minde of his Memmius, and in him the Reader to assent to his Principles, which in the following Periods he now propounds; and first,

Page  121
—Nihil posse creari
De nihilo—
That Nought of Nought can be, &c.

This Aristotle hath cleared in his first Book of Physicks, to which there hath been since an universal consent; for that it should be otherwise, quis hoc Physicus dixit unquam? saith Cicero;* and how Aristotle, and all that have since reverenced his dictates deend this Argument, every So∣phister can tell. The subsequent verses of Lucretius were almost the very expressions of Epicurus; for if every thing had uncertain principles, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c.

Fierent ex omnibus rebus
Omne genus nasci posset: nihil semine egeret.
For if of nothing form'd, no use of seed,
Since every sort would from all things proceed.

Nor needed there any stated seasons for the production of things,* but we should pluck the blushing rose, and gather the delicious fruits, as well in the midst of the cold winter, as in the flowry spring, and pregnant Au∣tumn. Our children and young suckers should imme∣diately become tall men, and overgrown trees, since there would arise no cause of any delay or retardation, if things thus sprung from Nothing. But now (saith he) Natura non facit saltum, she is not so hasty, all things operate gradually, and augment by little and little from their peculiar and specifying seeds or Atomes, which do first require a convenient space, and a very happy chance, before they can propagate and encounter,

Huc accedit, uti sine certis imbribus anni
Laetificos nequéat fetus summittere tellus:
N•• porrò, &c.—
So that unless some Annual showers descend,
The Earth no fruits to humane use can lend,
Nor Animals, &c.

For all seeds would putrifie in the bowels of the earth, Page  122 nothing could sprout; or in case it did ever appear above ground, would immediately wither and dwindle away to nothing. If things proceeded from nothing, they would likewise need as little to assist them; Sine Cerere & Libero friget Venus; if they receive no nourishment, neither can they propagate; and if things result from Nothing, they clearly need it not; or admit it could be so,* Why then hath not Nature produced us more races of the Gyants, such as the Poet hath seigned the Cyclopean breed, that could stalk over the sea, and of lives like Methusala, Artephius, or the wandring Jew? since in Nature there could be no defect why these pro∣dctions should happen so rarely: nor indeed any de∣finite magnitude or duration of Natural things, if men sprung thus of Nothing; wherefore upon evidence of the contrary, he concludes, That things have as well their principles, as words their Elements whereof they be composed. Lastly,

—Quoniam incultis praestare videmns
Culta loca, & manibus meliores reddier fetus;
Quae nos, &c.
Since then rich fields surpass the Barren ground,
Which culture makes in choicer fruits abound.

For if it were not so, as good fruits might grow in Greenland, and under the Polar Star, as in Perù nor would there be any further need of manuring the earth; all which we finde to be most experimentally false.

These, with some other, were the Arguments which the School of Epicurus had furnished, to prove that Nothing could result out of Nothing. And indeed to a meer natural (though never so discerning) man, 'twere a truth undeniable, according to the course of Nature, I say, and the ordinary constitution of things which are generated by motion or transmutation; but to us that are taught to confess the Omnipotency of the great Lord of Nature, it is nothing difficult to believe how something was first made by simple Emanation; that is, by Creation. Voluntas Dei (saith S. Aug.) est causa Coeli & terrae:* God educed light out of the obscurity which involved the Chaos; which was certainly created im∣mediately out of Nothing; for it had no means pro∣portional to it; and of what materials the Glorified SpiritsPage  123 were made (setting aside the Rabbinical conceits) it is no where apparently delivered us. Clearly therefore, God created the world out of the praeexistent Chaos, and that Chaos or matter of Tohu, nothing; as it is excel∣lently and elegantly expressed by Lactantius, a∣gainst that of Cicero and Seneca,* which I would here recite at large, were it not already done to my hand, though long since the writing of these Animadversions, by an ingenious person, treating upon this subject out of Gassendus.

And thus Lucretius having finished his Argument, as∣sumes the following, That as Nothing proceeds of No∣thing, so is Nothing annihilated.

Huc accedit, uti quaeque in sua Corpora rursum
Dissolvat natura, neque ad nihilum interimat res.
Adde unto this, Nature to their first state
Doth all dissolve, Nothing annihilate.

Which Persius thus expresses,*

De Nihil, Nihil, in Nihilum, Nil posse reverti:

For he held them to be solid, simple and permanent; therefore since they never reverted into their first prin∣ciples, it is evident, saith he, that of them they con∣sisted. Besides, if we admit them reducible to nothing, what should hinder their instantaneous destruction, wch might undoubtedly annihilate them without the least force or cause given them; for in Nothing, as there is no action, so neither is there resistance, nor any delay of time at all, which might impede their instantaneous discomposure; all which the leisurely failing, and mi∣nute decay of things doth experimentally oppugn.

Praeterea, quaecun{que} vetustate amovet aetas,
Si penitus perimit, consumens materiem omnem:
Ʋnde animale genus generatim in Lumina vitae
Redlucit Venus?—
Beside, what things are with their ages past,
If time did kill, and all their matter wast,
Whence doth sweet Venus give to souls new birth
Through all their kindes?—

As if he should say, how is it possible that Generation, Alteration, Augmentation and supply of things, should Page  124 succeed in the world, if things thus annihilate; for both the Seas, Rivers and fountains had been long ere this dryed up, and utterly exhausted. Beside,

—Ʋnde aether sidera pascit?
Stars, how are they nourish'd in the skies?

Whence that of Virgil—Polus dum sidera pascet.* For we must understand that some Philosophers, as Cleanthes Anaximander, Dionysius, Epicurus and divers others, supposed these Celestial bodies to receive nourishment from the thinner and more subtil part of the ayr named aether; as in this place our Poet from terrene evaporations and exhalations of the Sea: And therefore it is very pretty what some conceited, that the oblique motion wch the Sun observed from one Tropique to another, was onely to finde out drink and humor wherewithal to re∣fresh his extreme thirst; as if he were some African Tyger, hunting out the springs of the parched desarts; which opinion albeit Aristotle seems to deride; yet saith Cicero, Cum sol & ingens sit,*Oceani{que} alatur humoribus, quia nullus ig∣nis sine pastu aliquo possit permanere: necesse est aut ei similis sit igni, quem adhibemus ad usum atque victum: aut ei, qui cor∣poribus animantium continetur (it follows) probabile, igitur est praestantem intelligentiam in sideribus esse, quae & aetheream mundi partem incolant, & marinis, terrenis{que} hu∣moribus longo intervallo extenuatis alantur. For to omit the drunken Catch in Anacren,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. 'tis very evident, that (besides the sore-rehearsed) Se∣neca was of this faith, as may be collected out of his sixth Book of Nat. quaest. c. 16. and Plutarch in Libello de Iside; as also Plinie in hist. Nat. l. 2. c. 9. Sydera verò haud dubie humore terreno pasci &c. which albeit our Schools de∣ny, as in relation to the Earth, yet some excellent mo∣dern Inquirers are very magisterial, that the warers a∣bove the Convexity of the heavens perform it; of which opinion I finde our Countrey-man Lydiat, in his praelect. Astronom. and Book de origine fontium, c. 10. and of later date our Cabbalistical and ingenious Moor; as if by this means (viz a Percolation through those glorious bodies) a continual supply of Ayr for the furniture of Nature were derived.* To which doctrine (I conceive) may appositely be cited those conceits of the Rabbies, and some ancient Philosophers who attribute Animum & Page  125 Intellectum, nay the very members and discourse of men to them; as Albubechar fancies in lib Chai Beu Ikthan, part. 5. and R. Moses Maimon de fundamentis legis, c. 3. But to let these pass as to the nourishment from hence, that the Sun (not Stars) is really a material fire, and hath a sufficient and never-failing pabulum from its own substance and body,* I nothing at all doubt; and of which there might be more said, if we had arrived to the fifth Book of our present Author, whilst the following Argument serves onely to press the solidity and immortality of his un∣impeachable Principles; and that even those Bodies and Concretes which are composed of them, remain like∣wise safe, till some force competent and proportionable to this their composition and texture arrive. Lastly,

—Pereunt imbres, ubi eos pater aether
In gremium matris terrai praecipitavit, &c.
Those showers which Heaven father-like doth send
Down on our Mother Earth, there seem to end.

The late Nardius Syllogizes thus, If there be any thing in the world which seems totally to perish and annihilate, it is a shower of rain, which descending in∣to the bowels of the Earth, is never after seen any more; because it is drunk up by her many thirsty jaws: but yet after a while, we behold it springing up again into a thousand varieties, and natural productions in a most wonderful maner. Ergo,

Cuncta suos ortus repetunt, matrem{que} requirunt.
There is nothing undoubtedly perishes, but one thing supplies the other, and by this circulation; as Virgil speaks of the Serpentine year,
—In se sua per Vestigia volvitur annus.*
It treads in the same steps again; the Ocean is replenish∣ed by the Rivers, the Earth by the dissolution and re∣version of those bodies which derive their original and nutrition from her; nay Death it self doth not so destroy bodies,
—Ʋt materiai
Corpora conficiat, sed coeum dissipat ollis.
Page  126 To use our Poets expression in the following Book; or as the Tragoedian hath best expounded it,*

—Genitum nihil emoritur
Sed transpositum ultro citro{que}*
Formam priorem alterat,
—Nothing that's born doth dye,
But being transposed here, and there
Another form and shape does bear.

So that the Species are still preserved by a continual suc∣cession of new Individuals, and every portion of every Element immediately transmutable into their contigu∣ous and next-neighboring. Infinite more might be added to this Argument, but I conceive what we have said suffi∣cient to prove, that there is nothing which doth penitus perire.

Quando aliud ex alio reficit natura; nec ullam
Rem gigni patitur, nisi morte adjuta aliena.
Since Nature one thing from another makes,
Nor is there ought indeed which she supplie
Without the aid of something else that dies.

All things in this world, aut corvi sun••t Cadavera, as Pe∣tronius with a little alteration: for so concludes the Poet, & so the Divine, ut Deus ex nihilo contra rationis & naturae le∣ges cuncta creavit: ita in nihilum abire rerum creatarum aliqua nunquam potest, nisi contra rationis naturae{que} leges per superna∣turalem Dei potentiam fiat. Wch opinion I remember the re∣verend D. Hackwel (who hath said al that can be produc'd on this very Argument) thus confirms,* That as Almighty God proceeded in the works of the Creation, by bring∣ing the world from nothing to something without means; so no doubt but he may, and in all likelihood will, without means reduce it from something to no∣thing, that so the end may in all points hold correspon∣dency with the beginning, and both be known to be his immediate work.

Ne qua forte tamen coeptis diffidere dictis:
Qod nequeunt oculis rerum primordia cerni, &c.
Page  127 Least yet thou shouldst my Arguments diffide
Because that Elements cannot be spy'd
By humane eyes—&c.

For our Poet, notwithstanding all this, jealous lest his Reader might be scandaliz'd at his assertion, because the Principles he so much contends for, consist of things al∣together invisible, readily produces an instance from the winds, and the effects thereof; which though they consist indeed of Atomes altogether inconspicuous to our weak organs, yet do their monstrous effects (which he there compares to that of precipitating Rivers and Cataracts, which have violated their banks, and spoil'd the adjacent places) prove them to be bodies. All which he doth most elegantly express, imitated by that of the inimitable Virgil,

—Aut rapidus montano flumine torrens
Sternit agros,* Sternit sata laeta, boúm{que} labores, &c.
As when a raging torrent rushes down
Lodges the Corn and Plowmens toil doth drown.

For indeed incredible it is what such Euroclydons, Turbo's and Whirlwinds can perform, when (as the same Poet expresses it)

Ʋna Eurus{que}* Notus{que} ruunt creber{que} procellis
Africus & vastos volvunt ad littora fluctus.
East, South; South-west-winds, rushing at once roare
In fearful gusts-huge billows rowl to th'shore.

And that the Cardinals meet together. I shall not need to assemble many accidents of the power of winds, those that have been on the Deep have there beheld it; and whosoever has read of the Prester or Hurocan that hapned at Naples,* Anno 1343. or the tranfrentation of our re∣nowned Drake through the Streights of Magellan into the South Sea, may imagine such a description of a storm, as I think was never before recorded in any History. But to shew what the winds can do at Land as well as at Sea, and that neerer home, Jo. Stow in the life of W. Rufus, reports for a certain, that in the year 1095. it overthrew Page  128 at London no less then 600 houses, and blew off the roof of Bow-Church, which, together with its vast beams and timber-work, flew like so many feathers in the ayr, to so incredible an height, that six of them, being 27 foot in length, with their fall pitched themselves 23 foot deep in the Streets (which lay then unpaved) a thing al∣most exceeding belief; and yet certainly this wind was no otherwise seen then by its terrible effects. Those who are curious of more instances of this nature,* may consult Olaus Magnus his Northern Hist. lib. 1. de Vehemen∣tia Venti Circii, and De Septentrionalium Ventorum vio∣lentia, &c. Plato in his Timaeo (who composeth all things of tetrahedrical and hexahedrical Corpuscles) will have us to conceive these puissant principles so small, thin, and minute, that they remain altogether 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, indis∣cernable, except when they are aggregated of many, as we may imagine them to be in a mountain, where their angles are of another cut. And in like sort our Poet here in the following instances of Odors, Heat, Cold, the penetration of the voyce, &c.

Quae tamen omnia corporea constare necesse est
Natura; quoniam sensus impellere possunt.
Which of corporeal nature yet consist,
For they the Sense affect 'tis manifest.
But to proceed,
Tangere enim & tangi, nisi corpus, nulla potestres.
Touch and be Toucht, nought save a body may.

This was a Proposition established by Epicurus; and the tenent is so Catholique,* that no Philosopher ever made doubt of it; viz. as it is a contact of two bodies, secundum superficiem, by which the sensation is made. Our Poet goes on to illustrate his former assertion, by the insensible evaporation of moysture in wet cloath, or sails displayed in the Sun: as also by the curious decre∣ment of such things as we continually touch and handle: such are rings long worn upon our fingers, and stones wasted by the frequent and uncessant distillation of wa∣ter, according to that old one,

Gutta cavat Lapidem,* non vi, sed saepe cadendo.
Page  129 Iron it self, and paved ways diminish by the perpetual use; nay, our very delicate and softer kisses make im∣pressions on the hardest Figures of Brass and Mettal; For they used to place Statues in the Porches before their houses. Hence Seneca, Non facit nobilem atrium plenum fumoss imaginibus: animus est qui facit nobilem. And Martial,
Atria{que} immodicis artat imaginibus.
Over which they had also their Titles or Pedigrees en∣graven, Ʋt eorum virtutes posteri non solùm legerent, verùm imitarentur. Valerius. l. 5. c. 8. And then for the touching of them, it was by kissing them, as Cicero in Verrem. l. 5, speaking of that rare Statue of Hercules in brass. And Lipsius Electorum, l, 2. citing this of our Author—

—Tum portaes propter, aena

Saith, Saepe etiam eminus osculabantur: porrecta manu. What reverence they bore them, may also be ga∣thered from that passage in Minutius his Octavius. And it seems it was a custom, that those who went out of the Cities, and return'd into them, were used to sa∣lute the Images of their Gods (which were frequently placed at the Gates of great Towns) with a ki••▪ and indeed, wheresoever they saw them. The like did they to the Effigies of their Patrons, placed over their Pa∣laces, which their Sycophants used to kiss and complement as often as they went in and out: of which maner of saluting, Martial in Epist. l. 4. somewhere taketh notice of; and Alciat in his 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉juris, l. 8. c. 10. in imi∣tation whereof, peradventure the Arms or Statues of the Cardinal Patron is to this day in Rome so frequently placed over every Favorites Gate. And as for the im∣pression which kisses make, I my self have seen at Rome, and other places, superstitious Devota's even wear the very marbles of reputed Holy Places and Shrines with the often kissing and touching them, particularly the Scala Santa near St. Jo▪ de Laterano, &c. And this I rather take to be the meaning of this place, then that they should be Rings, Knockers, or other Ornaments of Doors and Gates, as Nardius seems to interpret.

But as things wear thus insensibly away by decrement, Page  130 so do they also as strangely delude our curiosity by In∣crement and Augmentation. Touching which Addi∣tionals, as we perceive not how we our selves decay, become lean, and consume; so neither do we discover how we grow tall and burnish; nor how trees shoot up to that monstrous height and bulk; and particularly, that as the corrosive salness of the Ocean frets away the very rocks in some places; so in other again, the stones and quaries themselves do manifestly increase: as may be seen in a certain Well in Somersetshire called Ochy-holle, the petriying Well at Knaresborow near York,* in many parts of Derby-shire, and as I my self have beheld in the Cave Goutiere near Tours in France, from which rock I brought away many morsels which the water had aug∣mented, superinducing a viscid calculous humor, or mat∣ter like scales, or new coas upon them, through the uncessant trickling of a cold spring, very ar in the bowels of the earth, to which we were lighted by torches. Not to omit those stately pillars of the high Altar in St. Chrysogono's Church at Trastevere in Rome, which seeming to have been formed of the purest orien∣tal alabaster, the Friers assured us were made of con∣jealed water, accidentally found in an old Aquaeduct, amongst whose ruines they were digging. I could rea∣dily produce other instances of this nature. But that Rocks and Stones themselves grow, and daily increase, I think no Philosopher can doubt. Those extravagant shells, and pretty curiosities which we finde in the very ••trails of some of them broken, do (methinks) evi∣dently discover that they were sometimes inclosed in a softer and less copious matter.

Now the cause of this Petrifying property, is a stony∣juice; for the water which contains the Seeds of so many things, that of stones doth especially coagulate therein, producing those wonderful varieties which we daily en∣counter: some diaphanous and transparent, other dull and opake, according to the purity or impurity of that lapidescent humor (and the vapors) which happns to sub∣side in their Matrixes and Cavities wherein they are hard∣ned by the Sun and the Ayr: And hence it is, that they have observed the reason why divers Insects, Leaves, Straws, and the like, are so frequently found even in the very bodies of stones: an admirable collection where∣of is shewed (amongst other Rarities) by Signor Rugini an Illustris. of Venice. Thus it chances that many Plants,Page  131 and pieces of Wood, nay Fishes, Beasts, and even Men themselves (Niobe-like) have been sometimes found Metamorphosed, and plainly Lapidescere (subeunte puriore humore) insinuating its lapidious particles into the pores of such substances, by which they become in time so united to them, that they do even induere Lapideam na∣turam. For indeed the principia soluta of all things are in a liquid form, however in stones they become so exceedingly concrete; as was curiously observed by Jo: Brunus the French Chyrurgeon mentioned in vita Peireskii,* who having taken three stones from a childe, the first that came was altogether hard, the second soft, but the last almost fluid, and little more consistent then a jelly; which yet, after a few days, became as hard as the rest: Not to repeat what is there spoken also of the flexible Whet∣stone, mentioned by the same Author, &c. And thus it is (without question) that those innumerable quantities of stones are engendered upon many Plains and places (especially such as are obnoxious to slimy Inundations) which gathered off never so industriously, are yet with∣in a short time covered as plentifully with them again, receiving their variety of form by their receptacles, vo∣lutation, detrition, and often breakings, whilst their mat∣ter (as we affirmed) was not yet arrived to that perfect concretion it afterward attained,

Corporibus caecis igitur natura gerit res.
Nature with bodies then unseen to th'eye,
All things doth manage—

With which our Carus concludes this present Argu∣ment.

We are now arrived to that great Vacuum, which hath for so many ages exercised the pens aud enquiries of the most refined spirits; but in order to the end proposed by our Poet, it will not be irrequisite, that something were first spoken concerning Atomes: And indeed there was long since this, and much more prepared to have been de∣livered upon this occasion, and some others which of ne∣cessity will follow it; yet since there are lately extant so many ample volumes upon the subjects, some of them not strangers to our tongue, I should totally have for∣born to repeat (as I will onely touch them)▪ could the frame of this discourse (which hath so long slept by me) Page  132 have supported so considerable an imperfection as the total omission of saying something would have amount∣ed to.

The first that brought this Doctrine into credit was Leucippus,* I say, before Democritus, as Plutarch, Laertius, Tully, and others affirm; so that even Aristotle tells us, the opinion was exceeding rife in his time: Now as Epi∣curus from those, so our Poet from Epicurus hath consti∣tuted them for the very 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Principles, and incompositas of all Natural things whatsoever. I am clear∣ly of opinion, that the Pythagorean〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or unites, were neer of kin to these Atomes:〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, something insecable it was, indissoluble, and perfectly sollid.* And yet by the way, we must not conceive (as many have dream) that they consisted of points so nice∣ly indivisible, as it they retained no magnitude at all; but such rather as in respect of their strict compacted∣ness, no force whatsoever is able to separate, non quod, minima, sed quod non possit dividi;〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; and therefore that which is taught of the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or Materia prima by the Schools, as to the incorruptibility thereof, we may safely suppose concerning these, with this onely difference, That Epicurus determines into what nature their resolutions fix; viz. ad insectilia Cor∣puscula, or Atomes, which none of the Peripatetikes have any where described touching their Principles. But then again, That these Elements should be thus 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the very original of all things whatsoever, as is the seed of Animals, seems in truth, something diffi∣cult to admit.* For Epicurus held, that even Man him∣self sprung at first out of the womb of our common Mo∣ther the Earth, and ater, olerum more, and out of the Parsley-bed, as we say, like the productions of the Cad∣mean teeth, or rather after the manner that the monsters of the mud of Nilus, Mushrums, and other fungous ex∣crescences arise, as Censorinus and others recite.

Crescebant uteri terrae radicibus apti. So our Poe, l▪ 5.

That of Diogenes Laertius in Democrito,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. that Void and Atomes were the Principles of all things (which makes Leucippus, Plutarch, Cicero, and the rest seem, as it were, to deliver that these two were the very Elementa rerum generalium) is upon no hand to be so understood, since Page  133 we are onely to receive Atomes upon this account, to which Vacuum affords nothing besides place and discri∣mination. For albeit indeed we finde it mixed with all bodies, yet we are in no wise to admit it as any consti∣tuent part of them, and therefore Plutarch wittily ex∣presses Corpus by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉▪ and Inane by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as if he would have said,*abody is something, void nothing: which sense, we must be sure to carry about us throughout the Poet. In the mean time there is a middle and more pro∣bable opinion, as some conceive, who allowing of no such Atomes, pitch upon Insensible parts infinitely divisible, which being uited with many, become sensible. Now to proceed how these Atomes were fancied to be hurried about in that immense inanity, wherein was neither ex∣treme, top, middle, nor any bound; how some of them being light, some sharp, others round, angular, crooked, &c. fell into that goodly form of the heavens and earth, by a certain fortuitous coition, encounter, and happy con∣course we shall demonstrate more at large in its proper place; having here onely cleared the meaning of the notion, whilst we proceed with our Poet; who that we may the better comprehend it, tells us first, that there is

—In rebus inane
Quod tibi cógnosse in multis erit utile rebus, &c.
—A Void in things
Which rightly to conceive much profit brings.

Seeing there would else want room▪ for his established Principles to move in. This therefore our Poet signifies frequently by the name of Locus, Place; not as Logici∣ans understand that term, where we never encounter it without a body, but conceive it as absolutely devoid of body, as the Principles or Atomes themselves are sollid, compact, and without the least imaginable vacuty▪ Ari∣stotle names it 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the space of body, we may happily English it Room.

Qua propter locus est intactus, inane, vacans{que}
Quod si non esset, nulla ratione moveri
Res possint, &c.—
Page  134
—Therefore there is a place
Intangible and void, else in no case
Could ought be mov'd, &c.—

If there be motion, there must of necessity be a void; for so Epicurus Syllogizes, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. nor were it otherwise possible that a body could subsist in place al∣ready assumed, without the dislocation or thrusting some other body out of the place pre-occupied and taken up, to salve the absurdity of penetration; and therefore un∣les the first body recede to the succeeding, there could be no such thing as any principle of motion or lation; neither indeed could any thing proceed and stir any more, then those flints and extravagant shells, which now and then are found in the very heart of huge stones, and the entrails of the hardest rocks. Nor is it possible to relieve this by any device of Rare or Fluxil nature (which some have contrived) unless there be first admit∣ted an intermixtion of inanity. Lucretius therefore most industriously labors to fix this speculation in parti∣cular, to demonstrate that unless we admit of Void, all things would be pressed, constipated, and so wedged in on all parts, that they could not onely not move at all, but there would be no production of things, Local motion being a requisite so absolutely indispensible to all genera∣tions whatsoever. Yea, so frequent is this inanity, that even the most solid Concretes have no contexture with∣out it; as he very dextrously proves by the insinuation of moisture through the very rocks of the most obdu∣rat marbles: The diffusion of Nouriture, the congelati∣on of obstinate things; and lastly, by the strange pene∣tration of voyces: All which pass through by those in∣tercepta spatiola's and pores, which before we menti∣oned,

Nam si tantundem est in Lanae glomere, quantum
Corporum in plumbo est tantumdem pendere par est:
If in a ball of yarn the substance were
Equal with Lead, like weight it ought to beare.

Each body consisting of more or fewer Atomes and a∣bounding more plentifully in Void. The size proceeds from the various participation which it hth of naturally Page  135 Ponderous Bodies, Salts, and Vacuum. For all this, some it seems there were who maintained a Lation or bodily motion without Vacuum, and that by a certain cession, as they termed it, which they endeavored to exemptifie in the progress of Fishes: but our Carus more positive and constant to his principle, therefore concludes, that,

Aut igitur motu privandum'st corpora quaeque▪
Aut esse admistum dicendum'st rebus inane, &c.
—Either we to bodies must allow
No motion, or mixt vacuum avow.

Touching which disseminated Vacum, and Inane spaces, the most learned Petrus Gassendus maketh a fa∣mous illustration, by the depressing of wheat in a Bushel, whilst being crowded forwards with its particles, easily propels the more aerial interstices; but above all, by that ingenious invention of the Wind-Gun, which indeed doth wonderfully elucidate this condensa∣tion and rarefaction in bodies. I will not repeat the experiment, because the curious have read it in his books, and every man may see it exactly translated by Dr. Charleton. And for the water, which is the instance of our Poet, of what very forms those Loculamenta and interspersed vacuities are therein, the same admirable Gas∣sendus doth happily discover, by the proportion of Salts to such a quantity of water as was onely necessary to their dissolution, injecting those of different figures, as the menstrue became sated with the former; whence it might rationally be concluded,* that there are in water receptacles of sundry forms, into which angular salts adapted for those matrices, might possibly wedge in and insinuate themselves. See this learned persons ani∣mad versions on the Doctrine of Epicurus, p. 173, 174, &c. where likewise the experiment of Tinctures is establish∣ed on the former. But our Poet proceeds by other instances,

Postremò duo de concursu corpora lata
Si cita dissiliant; nempe aer omne necesse est▪
Inter corpora quod fiat, possidat inane.
Page  136
Lastly, let two large bodies in cariere
Strike and recoil, Ayr needs must take up here
All that wide space of room that lies between.

Imagine two sollid or large Bodies butting and recoil∣ing, necessary it is (saith he) that when they separate (be the space never so momentary) there follow as sud∣den a succession of circumfluent aire into the vacuum which was made by this their hasty recoil; which aire must enter leasurely, by degrees, and not at the same instant that the bodies divide. Now if any shall object, that this is not performed in relation to the vacuum, but by contraction and condensation of the air, this absurdity will ensue, that what was before granted to be full, must now be empty, and (vice versâ) what was empty, full: and yet admit it yielded, that such a compression of the disjoyned and laxed parts of aire might be effected; yet even that would be hugely di∣stressed, without admitting an interspersion of vacuum; for otherwise all things would be full, solid, and meer bodies, whose property no ways admitting of penetra∣tion, could not possibly suffer the least condensation. These one would think were instances sufficiently preg∣nant to convince the obstinacy of a Peripatetick Sophister, but so hath custom hither to prevailed, that men will ra∣ther (with Melissus in Aristotle) grant the whole Universe to be immoveable, then once admit the Postulatum of Va∣cuum. Some Philosophers have contrived how the pul∣sion of one part impels the next, and that the next, &c. till the extreams exceed its limits, as one circle in the water solicites another; or (by a nearer resemblance) as when one thrusts from him a pole at the end next him, the pole doth at the same moment advance at the other; by all which illustrations, one may clearly dis∣cern, that albeit they seem totally to abhor a Vàcuum in terms, yet they are compelled to admit of one in effect: After this maner they will grant a concavity in the body of the ayr, which yet they affirm to be repleate both of Spirits and Aire. It were endless to pursue this argu∣ment through all their evasions; but I would onely de∣liver you (amongst infinite others) that solitary Expe∣riment described by the forecited Gassendus, as he re∣ceived it from a most ingenious Person, were it not also interpreted to my hand, and set forth in a very perspi∣cuous Page  137Diagramme. It shall suffice therefore to reason, that the Mercury having encountred an equilibration and subingression of aery parts in those inanities and repulses of the air, when it hath met with an equal ballance, the matter is of necessity hindered from sinking any lower: For as Giovanni Bap. Hodierna in his learned Treatise of the Pedant Cloud, Dove la fora del motore strinseco contrapeza in equilibrio, &c. where the strength of the ex∣trinsick motor conterpoises in aequilibrio to the inclina∣tion of that which is ponderous, the matter which is heavy will continue immoveable, both in relation to its de∣scent and ascent. Now whether what remains quit of the Mercury, infallibly prove this Thohu or Vacuum con∣tended for, I believe may seem difficult to refue; both the matter and the glass being bodies so extraordinarily compact and close▪ I say, so little porous, that even the most rectified spirits inclosed within either, preserve themselves in extreme vigor, till the very vessel be it self consumed,* or else some other accident unstop it, as the late Radulphus Glauberus would teach by sundry ex∣periments. But the learned Regius enquiring upon the same, will have a more subtil part of aire to pass through, and insinuate by the vehement condensation of that which is external,* through the poise of the Mercury in the im∣mersion of the Tube; and this he labors to confirm by the different Subsidencies, thereof; the experiment being made in Climates and Countreys where the aire is gross, and less pure: For (saith he) in Holland and Sweden the de∣scent is apparently less then in Florens or Paris; more upon the top of a Mountain, then in the bottom of a Valley, &c. To these tryals might be added, a descripti∣on of the late fountain Glasses, which are filled with wa∣ter, after the manner that the Wind Gun, and other Pneumaticks are charged with air: but that I suppose to have aboundantly demonstrated (be that which we call inane in these instances what it will) that there is no evading the interspersedness of Vacuum in some of the spatiold's either of the Mercury or the Glass. For even Fishes, which will live and grow in a Phiol of wa∣ter so long as the orifice thereof abides open, do cer∣tainly expie in a moment, so soon as the same is exact∣ly stopped; by which it is most evident, that as it is an error which some have affirmed, that they require water onely for respiration; so is it as apparent, that without ire mingled and dispersed through their element (though Page  138 in reguard of its fluxibility we cannot perceive the very spaces wherein that aire resides) they would immediate∣ly perish and expire. And therefore when we say, Na turam abhorrere vacuum, it is after a Metaphorical sense; That is, in relation to a Coacervat inanity, and no way im∣peading, but that an infinity of invisible pores reside amongst our most sollid concreates, principles onely ex∣cepted. And with this I close this curious digression, proceeding with our Poet, who next presents us with a pair of natural Principles,

Omnis ut est igitur per se naturâ, duabus
Consistit rebus, nam Corpora sunt, & inane.
Haec in quo sita sunt, & quà diversa moventur.
Nature, as of her self two thing implies
A void, and solid Corporieties:
The things in Place and places when they move.

Whose opinion this was, we have already shewed, and what they meant by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. full, Empty, Solid, Individual needs no farther enquiry. But Plato, Empedocles, and some others, totally denied this doctrine, except it were a certain extramundan inanity, I know not where. The Vacuum introduced by our Philo∣sopher, and wherein he scituates his body, we may safely take for that Region or Space, which the Greeks so fa∣miliarly expressed by 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, being in truth the same which we commonly call Place, albeit some of them have defined Natura intactilis by a more nice 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, of which several distinctions consult Gassendus, or the sensible demonstration of a vessel full, and empty. In a Physical sense that Place, Region, or Space, which being susceptible of a body,* yet destitute of a body, is denominated empty. And thus Locus imports the space which is occupied by a body, Vacuum the space not actually employed, but receptive of a body. Now as con∣cerning these Bodies or Atomes. Epicurus held, that even our common senses were competent Judges of them, which he believed infallible;* but of this way of pro∣bation the learned Animadversion of the often cited Gassendus de sensu Criterio primo will afford the Reader best satisfaction, to which I recommend him.

Having therefore (as we see) established these twin-principles, he proceeds in the following verses to prove, Page  139 that besides these, we are to expect no Third whatsoever, Let us here him best express himself,

Praeterea nihil est, quod possis dicere ab omni
Corpore sejunctum, secretúm{que} esse ab inani
Quod quasi tertia sit numero natura reperta.
Things from all bodies utterly disjoyn'd
And separate from Void, none thou will find,
As if in Nature a third entitie
There should be:—

Which Natura tertia, or per se may haply allude to the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; the meaning whereof is, that whatever we finde in Rerum Natura, is either Corpus or Inane, there being no third numerical Principle, imagine it never so small or immense; for if it be in the least degree tangible, it must of necessity acknowledge it self of the family of Bodies; if on the contrary, intangible, it will as inevitably appertain to the praedicament of Vacuum.

Praeterea per se quodcúm{que} erit aut faciet quid,
Aut aliis fungi debebit agentibus ipsum, &c.
Besides whatever of it self depends
Is always doing; or else to other lends
Subject to action, &c.—

If any such principle there be, it must be subject either to Action or Passion, and so still either a Body or Vacuum, for other third there is none; and as touching the event, or any consequents of them, it is but a faint shift. See∣ing they may be present or absent without the least im∣peachment; for what is really united, is so by propriety: And according to the definition of our Poet,

Conjunctum'st id, quod nunquam sine perniciali.
Discidio potis est sejungi se{que} gregari.
Now that's conjoyn'd which one can truly never
Without the ruine of the subject sever.

As he readily instances in the weight of Stones, and hea of fire, which are altogether inseparable to their com∣position Page  140 and denomination, the thing it self being de∣stroyed by the utter defect of either; and as requisite are,

Tactus Corporibus cunctis, intactus inani.
So Bodies may be toucht, and Vacuum not.

That is Space, and the intactile nature of Void, or in∣corporeity, which can neither act nor suffer, but onely afford space and room for bodies to range, change and move in. The Philosophers have named these conjuncta and eventa,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in relation to that which in Logick we term Proper and Accident: And thereupon as for other matters, which do not at all dis∣compose our established principles, they were to be e∣steemed as out of the Series and order of entities, seeing they are indeed neither inane nor yet bodies; such as in the following Verses, he reckons to be things extrinsecal to any action.

Servitium contrà, Libertas; divitiae{que}
Paupertas, bellum, Concordia; Caetera quorum, &c.
On th'other side, subjection, freedom, War
Peace, Riches, Poverty, be they what e're.
And further,
Tempus item per se non est,—
—Nor is time of it self, &c.—

That is Natura per se, but (as was said) events and conjuncta, as where Aristotle calls Substantia ens perse,* and Acci∣dens ens in alio; the meaning is they are not separated by our senses from rest and motion, according to the vul∣gar definition; for it being by his description mensura motus there cannot be imagined any instantaneous partition thereof, without those considerations first admitted, seeing whilst it is in flux, it is not, and being yet fu∣ture, it is no other then if it were not;* and therefore cannot be properly said to have any Essence: but some∣thing, which (with S. Aug. Confess.) may indeed better be conceived then expressed. And as Gallen, quippiam divinum, of a nature incomprehensible. For the Time pre∣sentPage  141 hath no indivisible motion, though it be so mistaken▪ but it hath indefinite parts, so that it may be truely af∣firmed Ʋnum esse rerum tempus, albeit each hath its pe∣culiar duration. The whole affair in short is, Epicurus would not have it taken for any such thing as a Body, the conceit of Aenesidemus, and therefore difficult it were to define what it signifies, after the odd maner of Schools, per genus & differentiam. Our Poet makes it (as it were) the Event of Events, or Accident of Accidents; and yet a huge reality, even as day and night be the accidents of the ambient aire illuminated by, or deprived of the Sun, of which space and time the hours consist; or as motion and rest be the accidents of bodies, the ve∣locity or retardation whereof, we measure out by time; after the same manner that men discourse of Im∣patibilities, passions, joy, or grief, not as substances, but accidents of such as suffer them for the space they possess, affect and concern them. All which notions differ much from the opinions of other Philosophers; especially the Peripateticks, who will needs have it to consist in pure motion of the celestial orbes, to be a body; to be Animam Coeli, a motion of number secundum prius & posterius, &c. And those who seem neerest the truth, and will have the three principal Tences to be measured by the motion of the Heavens, or earth circum Aoem; which is therefore (mensura taken pro re mensurata) tropically Time. For the better comprehending whereof, since our most judi∣cious and eloquent Hooker, speaking of the natural causes and convenient institution of Festivals in the Church, hath so perspicuously rendered it, it were worth the reading a Paragraph: but I cannot stand to recite him at large.* The conclusion is, That Time doth but measure other things, and neither worketh in them any real effects, nor is it self ever capable of any; and there∣fore when commonly we use to say, that Time is the wisest thing in the world, because it bringeth forth all knowledge, and that nothing is more foolish then Time, which never holdeth any thing long, but whatsoever one day learneth, the same another day forgetteth; again that some see prosprous and happy days, and that some mens days are miserable: In all these and the like speeches, that which is uttered of Time, is not verified of Time it self, but agrees unto those things which are in Time, and do by means of so near conjunction, either lay their burthen upon the back, or set their crown upon Page  142 the head of Time; yea, the very opportunities which we ascribe to Time,* do in truth cleave to the things them∣selves wherewith Time is joyned: as for Time, it neither causeth things, nor opportunities of things, although it comprize and contain both. Thus far the pious and sober Hooker. I may not stand to examine some excepti∣ons which lie against what he hath said, being onely to shew what our Poet (who extracts all out of Epicurus) endeavors to render it; viz. a space something analogi∣cal to locus, as being real, eternal, and so perfectly im∣mutable, absolute, independent, and nothing material, as he would exemplifie in the Rape of the beautiful Helen, daughter of Tyndarus K. of Lacedemoni, whom Paris the son of Priamus desbauched from her husband Menelaus, and the artificial Horse, by which stratagem the City Troy was sacked,* and the fair Lady recovered, Seeing (saith he) these exploits were onely the events of that age wherein they were done; so long since past and gone, as that the bare remembrance onely of them scarcely remains unto us. Therefore concludes, that every thing must not pretend to the same Prerogative which Bodies and Vacuum are born too, but must be sa∣tisfied with the notion of Event and Accidents, &c. which kinde of Argument, if it satisfie the Reader, it is more (I confess) then it doth the Writer of these observations. But now to our Principles again,

Esse ea, quae solido, atque aeterno corpore-constent,
Semina quae rerum, primordiá{que} esse docemus,
Ʋnde omnis rerum unc constet summa creâta.
That of a solid, and eternal frame
Bodies there be, which principles we name.
And seeds of things, from whence the total sum
And mass of all created Beings come:

Shortly thus, the principles of things (saith he) consist of a most simple, meer, and altogether abstracted consti∣tution: Now Corpus and Inane are the principles we speak of; ergo, they are infallibly thus sincere, simple, im∣mixed, and exactly qualified. Now by Bodies, as we ae to understand something most solid, and which admits not of the least imaginable ingredient of Vacuum: so likewise by Vacuum is meant, something as simple and Page  143 meerly void; for otherwise they could in no wise be principles, it follows therefore,

Esse utrám{que} sibi per se, purâm{que} necesse est.
Each do subsist and unconfounded are:

Again, Bodies and Vacuum are incompatible, the Illati∣on he thus proves by their respective definitions,

Nam quacùmque vacat spatium, quod inane vocamus;
Corpus eâ non est: quà porrò cúm{que} tenet se
Corpus, eâ vacuum nequaquam constat inne.
Sunt igitur solida, ac sine inani corpora prima, &c.
For whereso'ere of Room empty is said
Nobody is, again where ever's laid
A body, is no void; firm therefore bee
Prime Bodies, and from empty spaces free.

The second Argument invited to prove his Atomes thus solid: You object (saith our Carus) that they imprison and include a Vacuum within them: if so, then by con∣sequent you grant whatsoever is comprehensive of that Vacuum to be most solid.

Nec res ulla potest vera ratione probari
Corpore inane suo Celare, at{que} intus habere,
Si non, quod prohibet, solidum constare relinquas.
Nor can it by right reason be oppos'd
That Void is hid in Bodies, or inclos'd
Unless you grant (what must in justice follow)
Those Bodies solid are, which hold the hollow.

And with this he rests satisfied to have sufficiently assert∣ed the solidity and immixture of his principles. But now besides all these properties of compactedness and extraordinary simplicity, our Philosopher wil have them to be likewise Eternal; and he proves it,

—Quoniam nec plenum naviter exstat;
Nec porrò vacuum, sunt ergo corpora certa,
Quae spatium pleno possint distinguere inne.
Haec neque dissolui plagis extrinsecus icta
Possunt, &c.—
Page  144
Since then nor all is full, nor empty space
Some bodies are that garnish every place,
These nor by blows extern, can wronged be
Nor riveted between asunder flee, &c.

It concerns the Reader to remember, how exactly full, and exqulsitely void our principles are understood to be. In these lines be shews onely how the whole Ʋniverse cannot be said to be only & meerly full, let men should imagine this All to be but as one intire body; nor on the contrary, simply void, for then could there be nei∣ther body nor thing in the world. Rather thus, Corpus and Inane are things perfectly distinct; so as there is space and convenience for the one to move and reside in the other, which he so frequently repeats to confirm the necessity of his Atomes, whose bodies are of that permanency and composition, as nothing can destroy or impeach, however they be treated, and his reason is their non admission of the least vacuum, which he con∣stitutes for the sole principle of destruction where ever it is ingredient; for so these following lines import,

Et quo quaeque magi cohibet res intus inane,
Tam magis his rebus penitus tentata labascit.
And how much more things do include a void
By these assail'd they sooner are destroy'd.

By reason of heat, cold, moisture, &c. which brings every concreate body to its period and destruction soon∣er or later, according as Void domineers in their com∣position, which admits access and entrance to those things that ruine and confound them: therefore con∣cludes,

Ergo si solida, ac sine inani corpora prima
Sunt, ita uti docui; sint haec aeterna, necesse est.
If (as I taught) then principles are free
From void, they likewise must eternal be.

As ingenita, aeterna, and incorrupta from this their non∣inanity.

Page  145
Praeterea, nisi materies aeterna fuisset,
Ante hac ad nihilum penitus res quae{que} redissent, &c.
Besides had matter not for ever been,
We had long since all things reduced seen, &c.

If in extream resolutions things should absolutely an∣nihilate, then certainly all things had long ere this perish∣ed, and every individual extant, resulted from nothing, which were a most absur'd conceit: therefore (saith he) they undoubtedly return to some solid matter again, without which property,

Nec ratione queunt alia servata peraevum,
Ex infinit, jam tempore res reparare.
Nor may we also conceive ought lastinglie
Can for eternal reparation be.

And that he may demonstrate how Nature proceeds to some final and determinate resolutions, without any pretence to Infinite, he shews; for

—Si nullam finem natura parasset
Frangendis rebus; jam corpora materiai
Ʋsque redacta forent, aevo frangente priore,
Ʋt nihil ex illis, &c.
Did Nature when she does in pieces take
Things, to her self no Bounds nor limits make,
Matter e're this had been so neer reduc'd
To their first cause, as nought could be produc'd, &c.

There are therefore some solid Principles that can never be destroy'd. And unless there were a certain period stated for the decay of things, when it is proceeded as far as those bodies or Atomes, they had long ago failed and been utterly annihilated; nor were we for the fu∣ture to have ever expected any successive mature pro∣ductions; since those Moleculae had e're this, been ob∣noxious to so many strokes, continual and uncessant encounters as must of necessity have reduced them.

Page  146
At nunc nimirum rangendi reddita finis
Certa manet, quoniam refici rem quámque videmus
Et finila simul generatim tempora rebus
Stare, quibus pssent, aevi contingere florem.
But now to such destruction 'tis most plain
Limits are fixt; since they're restor'd again,
And to all sort of things times set, in which
They may attain their ages perfect pitch.

For as much as those perpetual agitations terminate, be∣ing once vared to those solid and irrefragable principles▪ which nothing can eternally alter.

And thus having partly asserted the Perennity of his Elements, he endeavors in the next to demonstrate by another instance, that notwithstanding his bodies are thus hard and wonderfully compact; yet (by being joyn∣ed and coupled to Void) they may in composition of things be said to be of a Soft Nature.

—Quae fiant aer, aqua, terra, vapores,
Quo pacto fiant, & qua vi cun{que} gerantur, &c.
So Air, Earth, Water, so are vapors bred
By what e're power, or how engendered.

Continually pursuing the immutability of his Principles; viz. by the indivisibility, inconspicuity, and simplici∣ty of his Atomes, which do not constitute bodies by the least mixture, but a certain fortunate adhesion in which our Poet discovers the difference 'twixt Aristotle and Epicurus; the one affirming that a body was divisible in∣to parts infinite, how small soever, obnoxious yet to eternal divisions. This our Carus refells by a plain deduction ad absurdum. Empedocles was it seems of this judgement. But the Other taught that his principles were so small, that they were neither actually nor potentially sub∣ject to any farther division; which Argument our Poet seems here to refer to the Treatise which his Praeceptor expresly writ, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, such a mini∣mum as one may speculate to reside in the very point of an angle of some most acute Atome; for of such the uni∣versal body of his principles consist, or at least, some∣thing Analogical to them, as most meet for the generati∣on Page  147 and supply of things; which if actually and infi∣nitely divisible, could determine to nothing certain▪ neither (if so) could there be any difference 'twixt the greatest and the least, which were most repugant to rea∣son. This admitted, you are (saith our Author) neces∣sitated to concede a minimum. Let the Reader be again admonished, that he mistake not our Poets minim for such a Mathematical point as is represented Sans magnitude; our principles enjoy it, and likewise figure as infinitely variable as their is divisible amongst the Peripateicks: which Apices, or least of things, upon serious and specu∣lative disquisition, may happly prove a notion to be hardly denied, whether Physically or Mathematically taken, as the much admired Gassendus largely demon∣strates, where he speaks de non esse magnitudinem Epicuro in∣finitè dividuam; whether I refer the curious, and to something which we shall speak hereafter. Lastly,

—Si minim•• in Partis cuncta resolvi
Cogere consuêsset rerum natura Creatrix:
Jain nihil ex illis eadem reparare valeret, &c.
—Now suppose
Nature from whence all things created rose,
Did not each thing into least pieces take
She never could a new the same things make.

The various readings of which Verses, I suppose to have here reconciled: The drift of the Poet being still to oppose the infinite divisibility of principles from their then incapacity of new productions. Having thus esta∣blished his own, he falls next to examine and refel the opinions of some other renowned Philosophers: And first he encounters Heraclitus, who taught, that Fire was the very first matter,

—Atque ex igni summam consistere solo, &c.
And that of Fire consisted the whole mass.

This is that Sceptick who also affirmed, that the world was repleat with Daemons or Spirits:* that the Sun was onely an actual flame, which yet he sensually believed to be no bigger then its Phaenomena. But to return to our subject, Thus Laertius,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Page  148 &c. That all things consisted of fire, and reverted again into it by a certain rarefaction and condensation, flowing much after the manner that ri∣vers do: That Fire when it became condensed grew moist, and so was made Aire; Aire congregated, resolved into Liquor; and Water congealed and waxing more con∣crete, turned into Earth; all which was performed downwards, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. &c. and then it ascended gradually again, beginning with the lowest and most ponderous. The Earth attenuated dissolved into Water, of the Water rarified was made Aire,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: the re•• after the same process, which makes our Poet worthily reproach this Ephesian Philosopher as one

Clarus ob obscuram linguam magis inter inanes
Quam de gravis inter Graios, qui vera requirunt.
Omnia enim stolidi magis admirantur, amant{que}
Inversis quae sub verbis Laitantia cernunt,
Verá{que} constituunt, quae bellè tangere possunt
Aures, & lepido quae sunt fucata sonore.
Cry'd up for's dark expressions by the light
Not sober Greeks, such as in truth delight:
For fools t'admire and love are most inclin'd
What lurking midst obscurest terms they find;
And onely hold for truth what accens quaint
Strike the pleas'd ear, and with trim phrase doth paint.

This was that Maudline Philosopher whom they report to have wept so often at the vanities of other men, which yet say some he did but dissemble out of excess of fast and disdain,* as conceiting himself the onely person in the world for profoundness of Learning and Wisdom. By the Character our Poet gives him, it seems he much delighted to be little understood; and Lucretius was no admirer of Hierogliphical learning; yet not out of dis∣affection to pure and natural Eloquence, but when it was empty and jejune of matter; or that any science was delivered in obscure language, which have made some write on this place, as if by Inversis quae sub verbis, &c. signified how Heraclitus was addicted to the childish spelling or pronouncing his words backwards, because Vitruvius and some others have named him 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, for his affected obscurity; and Laertius, where he repeats Page  149 divers reproachful Nicknames given to sundry of the Phi∣losophers, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 (saith he) 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, quasi nimirum turbaorem, confusorémve, &c. ob affectatam in scribendo obscu∣ritatem; a great lover of enigmatical and tropical expressi∣ons, which makes Nardius on this place very much in choler against our poor Chymists, at whose canting he is exceedingly bitter and impatient. But to our Poet, whose first quarrel against Heraclitus is,

—Cur tam variae res possent esse, requiro
Ex vero si sunt igni, puró{que} creatae, &c.
But how things can thus differ I enquire,
If they proceed from pure and real fire.

To prove that no solitary thing, or Element alone can possibly be this catholick Principle; especially, since (as it follows) they neither admit of Rarefaction, Conden∣sation or Vacuum, without which it must of necessity still remain Fire, such, yet, as (in defect of Vacuum to move in) it could not be; the principle being thus de∣stroyed by reason of its density incompatible with its nature; as is evident by the light, heat and effects there∣of, which evidently discovers its Rarefaction and Ad∣mixtion with Vacuum. But

Quòd si forte ulla credunt ratione potesse
Ignis in Coctu stingui, mutaré{que} corpus, &c.
If haply some perswade themselves that fire
May shif it's body, and ith' mass expire, &c.

And by this shift become Earth, being endued with more crasse and thick particles (for so Plutarch seems to deliver it for him) viz. that by contraction it becomes Earth, and again by laxation, Water, this evaporated and extenuated, Aire, &c. It should by this process utterly lose the being and prerogative of fire, as exceeding its terms; and so not being what it is established for, must of necessity annihilate: of which Nothing, we have already proved it impossible that any thing should consist. Fire there∣fore by being extinct, cannot properly be said to be changed into any other substance; seeing a simple body is incapable of alteration without a total perdition. And then if ought remain, it is Atomes, the common matter Page  150 and principles which we all this while contend for; and which by their Addition, Detraction, Transposition, &c. sometimes indeed appear in the form of Fire, and sometimes of other things, as the hath here expressed it. Heraclitus (saith he) believes his senses, by which he un∣derstands what Fire is, 'tis perspicuous. Why doth he not as well credit them when it perceives or feels other things which be altogether as obvious and visible; such as Aire, Earth or Water, which may all by this argument, be as well Principles as his pretended Fire?

As much (saith our Poet) have erred those other Philosophers,

—Qui principium gignundis aera rebus
Constituêre, &c.
Who Air the universal source have deem'd.

I suppose he means Cleanthes and Anaximenes Milesius. Anaximents Infinitum aera dixit esse ex quo omnia gigneren∣tur: as Cicero. The like is affirmed by Plutarch, who also ascribes the same opinion to Archelaus the Athenian; and thence it is reported that Apolloniates Diogenes be∣lieved it to be the common God, or rather, Principle, in respect of its immense extension, and the vast space which indeed it employeth.

—aut Humorem quiúm{que} putârunt
Fingere res ipsum perse, terramve creare
Omnia, &c.—
Or that pure Water, or the earth have esteem'd
Forms all, &c.

Of which opinion was Thales Milesius one of the seven Sages, the same who named God, the Mind: though he reported water to be the first Principle out of which the Minde educed all other materials; moisture the Princi∣ple, and God the Cause. Of which see the elegant Lactantius, Cicero de Nat. deor l. 1. Vitruvius, l. 2. c. 2. and in proaem, l. 8. Indeed though some hardy men father this Philosophy on Moses, yet that Water is really a very 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or universal Principle, besides the fore-cited Thaes; Hippon, Empedocles and Theophrastus were of the same saith; Hippocrates himself attributes much to it: Page  151 and of later times, the great Sendivogius, and generally the best learned Spagirists. But above all, is famous that experiment delivered us by Helmont of the growth of his tree, supplyed onely by this humor: Let the curious consult his works; for I hasten.

As concerning the Earth, Hesiod and some others, first broached. In fine, he concludes, that whoever they are that constitue Fire, Heat, Aire, the Water, or indeed any other solitary Element, to be the Universal and Common Principle,

Magnopere à vero longé{que} errasse videntur.
Have all alike at large from truth estray'd.
Adde etiam, qui conduplicant primordia rerum.
Add those who principles of things combine.

The 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 or General of these Philosophers (such were Archelaus, and Parmenides, the one making Fire and Water, the other Earth and Water, to be rerum prin∣cipia) was the learned Empedocles, by Sect a Pythago∣rean, by birth a Citizen of Agrigentum,* a town in Sictly now called Naro and Gergento, whose coast our Poet here most elegantly describes, together with the rivage and vorago of Charybdis: the horrible and ignivomous mouth of Aetna, not improperly mentioned in this place, as into whose jaws some report he precipitated himself: his hopes were to have made men think he had passed some extraordinary way to Immortality, if the unlucky ejecti∣on of his iron Sandals (which he forgot to dispose of) had not detected his ambition and folly. Some say, he fell into that Barathrum by accident, as the elder Pliny perished at Vesuvius, whilst he was Philosophizing upon the cause of those terrible Vulcano's. The particulars mentioned here by our Carus, are onely in honor of this Illustrious Heroe, whom he even Canonizes, and makes a Demi-god of. But certainly a very extraordinary person he was, in imitation of whose former work upon the like subject, some affirm that our Poet composed these six Books de Rerum Natura; and how great a man he was, may be seen at large in Diog.*Laertius, where he informs us how neerly he approached to the description of God, whom whilst some, with the Anthropomorphite, ima∣gined Page  152 to be composed of humane form and shape; that is to say, with the very members of a man (as is easily collected out of those Verses in Ammonius comment 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) he affirmed to consist onely of a divine and holy mind moving and governing the Universe by cogi∣tations most swift and incomprehensible. To this add his conjecture, that all things were created by a certain amity, consent or harmony amongst the Elements, and that they perished onely by some unhappy discord; as for the Soul, that it onely resided in the blood essenti∣ally (which was also the opinion of Critias) whence the Poet, Purpuream vomit ille animam. And that those who were best furnished with that crimson humor, were more generous spirited then other men, and consequently of better judgement: but I quit this. It should seem he was a very rare person indeed, that the great Aristotle should ascribe the invention of Rhetorick to him, and whose discourses our Lucretius (who else believed little of those fabulous divinations and Spirits) should prefer to the very Oracles of Apollo; the descant of whose Responses if our Carus have not sufficiently described, let the curious Reader consult Porphyrius, recited by Aug. de Civit. dei l. 20. Herod. l. 1. &c. And yet this person, as learned and universal as he was; for his thus blending and marring of Principles with the rest, as the Stagyrist somewhere pronounces of other Philosophers, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: which our Poet inter∣prets,

Principiis tamen in rerum fecere ruinas;
Et graviter magni magno cecidere ibi casu.
Yet these great persons all receive great falls,
And split themselves on false originals.

And such it seems (besides Empedocles, &c.) were those who

—Motus exempto rebus inani
Constiuunt; & res mollis rarás{que} relinqunt, &c.
—Motion without void avow;
And yet of things do soft and rare allow.

Page  153 For Lucretius is far from denying the four vulgar 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as they are compositive parts of the Ʋniverse; but one∣ly when usurping on that prerogative of Atomes, men affirm them to be the principles of the Concretes. And again, for that they utterly reject all Vacuum; and yet admit of other things, which cannot possibly subsist without it. In the second place, that they affirm all things to be infinitely dividuous, rejecting Atomes, to which when once a division is arrived, there is a certain period to all farther Anatomization of Bodies. Thirdly, that they constitute soft, and per consequens mutable principles (such as Fire, Earth, Aire, Water, &c.) which must of necessity annihilate. Fourthly, for that they produce contrary and repugnant Elements, such as Fire and Water, &c. expressed in our Poet by Inimica & Venena inter se, reciprocally destructive. Fifthly, that they make the Elements to be the principles of Bodies, rather then Bodies to be the principles of the Ele∣ments. And lastly, because they acknowledge the four common elements to be changed into things (being once dispoil'd of their natures) which are immediately to re∣vert into the Elements again; or in case they still pre∣serve their natures, remain onely capable of making some confused and rude heap, without producing any thing perfectly distinct.

Non animans; non exanimo cum corpore, ut arbos,
Quippe, &c.—
No living thing, nor things inanimate,
As Trees, for that, &c.—

For Epicurus did not admit of any Soul to reside in Plants, but held, that they were governed and grew by vertue of a certain nature not vegitable, proper to them alone, and yet affirmed, that they live, that is, enjoy a peculiar motion, as the water of Chrystal springs, the fire which we excite to a flame, is called living water, and living fire; something analogical to that which I think is more difficult to express then comprehend: for such is fire without light, &c. But concerning this, see the express Treatise written by the learned T. Campanella, in his Book De sensu Rerum & Magia, &c. The sum is, that those four vulgarly reputed Elements are not the Principles of natural things to the prejudice of Atomes. Lastly, for that, This too

Page  154
—Repetunt à coelo, atque ignibus ejus
Et primùm faciunt ignem se vertere in auras
Aeris, hinc imbrem gigni; terrám{que} creari
Ex imbri; retro{que} à terrá cuncta reverti;
Humorem primùm, post aera, deinde calorem
Nec cessare haec inter se mutare, meare
De Coelo ad terram, de terra ad sydera mundi
Quod facere haud ullo debent primordia pacto.
From heaven, and from his fires they bring
And first the fire to aire transform'd they sing,
Hence rain sublim'd, and Earth condens'd of rain
And so from Earth, they all retire again:
First Water, then the Aire, and Fire in trains
Nor once this course to cease, but to and fro
From heaven to earth, from earth to heaven they go:
Which Principles refuse, &c.

Making a Transmutation to preserve them from destructi∣on, as repaired by a compensation of parts; even as the Species are still conserved by a continual succession of new Individuals. Thus like Antimonie, they operate 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: which doctrine is wholly repugnant to the nature of Principles, which ought to be stable and fi∣xed, as hath abundantly been shewed: All which con∣sidered, saith Carus,

—Potius tali natura praedita quaedam
Corpora constituas, ignem si forte crearint,
Posse eadem demptis paucis, paucis{que} tributis
Ordine mutato, & motu, facere aeris auras:
Sic alias, aliis rebus mutarier omnis.
Rather such bodies state that fire shall make
Add some few things, away some other take;
Order and motion chang'd turn to thin aire,
Thus every thing doth every thing repaire.

For so it is, spontaneous things are produced, as by the mutual conversion of Water and Aire; viz. by the va∣rious disposition and conjugation of the very identical parts; and so in like sort by access and addition: as those things which spring up of seed by Fermentation, Coagulation, &c. till they specifie accordingly: so also by Page  155Detraction of parts: as Wax by separating it from the honey, Spirits from the Phlegm, and other Chymical principles by fire, as might be infinitely exemplified.

At manifesta palàm res indicat, inquis, in auras:
Aeris è terra res omnis crescere, alique, &c.
But you'll object all things from Earth do spring
Up into th' Air, and thence have nourishing▪

To which objection that the Plants and Animals derive their nutrition from the four Elements, it is answered, That those Elements are nor really the first Principles of them; for they are indiscernable, these are evident: But thus it is, that in these compounded Elements those so abstracted and inconcrete are disguised and latent: through which it happens, that whilst these Vegetables seem to receive their nouriture from the moisture of the showers, and propitious warmth of the Sun, each of our Poets Corpuscles contribute to those of the same nature, and which are homogeneous to them.

Namque eadem coelum, mare, terras, flumina, solem
Constituunt: eadem frges, arbusta, animantis.
Ʋerùm aliis, alioque modo commista moventur.
Quinetiam passim nostris in versibus ipsis
Multa elementa vides multis communia verbis:
Cùm tamen inter se versus, ac verba necesse est
Confiteare & re, & sonitu distare soanti
Tantum elementa queunt permutato ordine solo.
For they'r the same which heaven constitutes
Sun, Seas, Earth, Streams, Shrubs, Animals and Fruits:
Although with different motions mixt they be,
Just as each where in these our lives you see
To divers words are many letters found
Common, which differ much in sense and sound:
Such change variety of Letters brings, &c.

They all consist of the very same Atomes and Corpuscles, however different and remote they seem to be, as being generally composed of the same common matter; and therefore since all sublunary things have their principles common with the Celestial, it is not hard to conceive how things are thus daily repaired and nourished▪ by Page  156 participating of their aid and influence: nor how by this wonderful permutation of posture and order, such Essential differences of things should be produced: but so it fares with them, as with the disposition and va∣rious location of those Miranda Naturae (as Vossius calls them) a few Letters:* the position of six or seven notes in Musick, the admirable and stupendious variety of Sums by Figures, the distinction of words, change of tunes, and diversity of numbers; if it be really so in these familiar Instances, what admirable variety cannot then the chances and sundry postures of Atomes (our 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and Principles produce? And indeed the comparisons are exceedingly apposite; since in all confused and tumul∣tary commission of either, neither articulate words, nor proportionable numbers: nor lastly, harmonious Con∣sorts, could possibly result from them. So neither in these Natural things, Atomes are not in general to be thought fit, and apt to produce and constitute all sorts of Concretes; but such onely as are indued with a par∣ticular and prone disposition. The same is likewise to be conceived of their final dissolutions and destruction: Conclude we therefore in our Poets Epiphonema,

Tantum Elementa queunt permutato ordine solo.
At rerum quae sunt primordia, plura adhibere
Possunt, unde queant variae res quaeque creari.
Such change variety of Letters brings;
But Elements, which are indeed of things
The Principles, are able to induce
Greater, and more variety produce.

But now room for another Philosopher, whom our Ca∣rus thus assults,

Nunc & Anaxagorae scrutemur homoeomeriam, &c.
And now let us a little cast our eye
On th' Anaxagoran Homoeomerie.

This Anaxagoras was disciple of Anaximenes and Phere∣cydes the Syrian,* and the opinion there recited by Lucre∣tius, is thought to have been taken out of a Book which he composed of Physiologie, so recommended by Socrates in Plato. He confessed God to be a Spirit diffused through Page  157 all the creatures, which he represented under the noti∣on of Intellectus. In this encounter our Poet shews▪ how Epicurus's Principles differed from his 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 similar parts, or rather 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which we may better in∣terpret similarity,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, from the similitude and resemblance of the parts to the things resulting of them; as if the things we eat and drink, bread, wine, flesh, &c. did actually contain with∣in them some latent particles of blood, flesh, bones, nerves, &c. because of such our bodies are both com∣posed and nourished; whereas Particles rightly sepa∣rated by the natural faculty, are indeed applicable to the bloody, carnous, bony, &c. pre-existent parts; for albeit such parts as he comprehends under 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, be dissi∣milar one to the other, as ones, stones, blood, entrails, &c. yet consisted they of similar parts; which here our Carus thinks best to express by a Greek word (as in some edi∣tions the characters likewise themselves declare) being by his own confession unable to finde a term sufficiently sig∣nificant and comprehensive throughout the whole La∣tine tongue.* In short, this Philosopher taught, that bones were made, and did encrease of small and minute bones, blood of united drops of blood, Gold of golden grains. Fire of Sparks, &c. and (as the notion imports) that all things else in the world consisted of similar particulars: but with all this he yet utterly denies a vacuum, and main∣tains the infinite divisions of bodies, contrary to the doctrine of Epicurus: by both which, as well Principles themselves, as what resulted from them, were obnoxi∣ous to ruine and destruction, which our Carus condemns as most egregious errors in Philosophy,

Adde quod imbecilla nimis primordia ingit;
Si primordia sunt, &c.—
Besides, if these his Principles he names
They are too eeble, &c.—

Whereas Principles remain most solid and unimpeach∣able: Now these for consisting but of the same nature with their corruptible compounds, cannot in reason be imagined capable to survive them, but must in conclusi∣on fail and annihilate.

Page  158
Praeterea quoniam cibus auget corpus, alitque;
Scire licet nobis venas, & sanguen, & ossa,
Et nervos alienigenis ex partibus esse, &c.
Besides since meats augment the body, and
Do nourish it, then may we understand
That veins, blood, bones, and likewise sinews may
Consist of divers parts, &c.

The body augments, and is nourished with meats; but that very food which we use for this purpose, consists not of one kinde alone: some of it is bread, some flesh, fruit, wine, &c. which are rarely all of them alienigenous and dis-like inter se; ergo, neither do our entrails, veins nor blood, nor indeed any other parts of composition consist of similar parts. And if this be not instance suffici∣ent,

Transfer item; totidem verbis, utare licebit:
In lignis si flamma latet, fumúsque, cinísque:
Ex alienigenis consistant ligna, necesse est, &c.
Change now the subject, keep the Terms still good;
If flame, smoak, ashes, all do lurk in Wood,
The wood of divers parts it will imply, &c.

Thus, if Anaxagoras object, that all things are blended and confusedly mixed together in all things, but do so internally lie hid, that nothing appear to view, save what is most gross, extrinsecal, predominant and a∣bounding therein; as, admit them particles of milk, or blood, which did domineer in any composition; then he called that, which so appeared, by the name of blood, milk, &c. à praedominio.

Quod tamen à vera longè ratione repulsum 'st.
Which is as far from truth—
And why?
Conveniebat enim fruges quoque saepe minutas,
Robore cum saxi franguntur, mittere signum
Sanguinis: aut aliquid, nostra quo corpora aluntur, &c.
Page  159
—For then should corn
Beneath the weighty milstone ground and worn
Into small parts, some stains of blood there shed,
Or something whereof we are nourished.

And other things which we feed on, and which gene∣rate our blood, and produce our humors, bowels, bones, &c. would appear; and by the same reason we may as well expect milk from herbs, small cions; trees and seeds of every species, when men delve the earth, without the industry of planting; for if all things be thus uni∣versally mixed, we might then certainly finde as well all things in every particular thing; yea, Grapes of Thorns, and figs of Thistles.

For all this, sain would Anaxagoras confirm his opi∣nion; because (saith he) I see fire to be produced by the collision of stones, and other obstinate things forced one against another; which in the mean time, our Poet conceives to be onely the seeds of fire, since if it were really fire, we must of necessity perceive also the smoak, ashes, and other inseparable accidents there∣of, when at any time men cleave or excorticate wood for their use:

At saepe in magnis fit montibus (inquis) ut altis
Arboribus vicina cacumina summa terantur
Inter se, validis facere id cogentibus austris,
Donec flammai fulserunt flore coorta.
Scilicet, &c.
But thou affirm'st on Mountains which aspire,
That tops of trees are oft times set on fire
Till they do flame again with glowing heat,
When Southern winds them on each other beat:

That this sometimes succeeds, an accident in Thucydi∣des, and frequent experience confirms, and our Carus denies it not; yet it does not proceed from any actual fire in them; but there are certain seminal Atomes which include indeed a potential fire, which being ex∣tremely agitated, moved, and by that means the body opened are freed from their prisons, can produce such an effect, or conflagration: but far from what Anaxa∣geros dreamed of, and therefore he is fixed to the purity Page  160 and immixture of his Principles, which being common to many things, according to their position, compose and terminate in such and such Individuals,

Jamne vides igitur, paullo quod diximus antè,
Permagni referre eadem primordia saepe,
Cum quibus, & quali positura contineantur?
Et quos inter se dent motus, accipiantque?
Atque eadem paullo inter se mutata creare
Ignes è lignis? quo pacto verba quoque ipsa
Inter se paullo mutatis sunt elementis,
Cum ligna, atque Ignis distincta voce notemus.
See you not then (as we observ'd even now)
It much imports of the same seeds to know
With what, and in what posture being joyn'd,
What motions are receiv'd, and what assign'd,
And how together changed they create
Fire out of wood, just as the words relate,
The Letters but a little chang'd when we
Lignum and Ignem plainly signifie.

For wood is compounded of a very vast variety of Cor∣puscles, which being so and so disposed, constitute the forms as well thereof, as of divers other things less con∣crete; as some purer and moveable bodies therein may specifie and produce fire, flame, smoak, &c. according to its composition, density, coherence, laxity and resolution, &c. so that there is in truth onely this simple connexi∣on, disposition and fabrick of the parts at any time de∣stroyed, when the matter is fired and (to all appearance) consumed; viz. its external form, species, and accidents which denominate it wood; the rest being resolved into flame, fire, smoak, ashes, phlegm, spirits, salts, &c. all which are those minute particles that do seminarily lurk therein, though never so imperceptible to our senses: And as touching their connexion of what forms, and how apt our principles are to effect that work, we shall shortly demonstrate.

Denique jam quaecumque in rebus cernis apertis,
Si fieri non posse putas, quin materiai
Corpora consimili natura praedita fingas:
Hac ratione tibi pereunt primordia rerum;
Fiet, uti risu tremulo concussa cachinnent,
Et Lacrumis falsi humectent ora genasque.
Page  161
Lastly, if in things obvious to our eyes,
You think they cannot be made otherwise,
Except you shall a similar matter finde
For every body in its several kinde,
Then by this means the principles of all
Are quite destroy'd, so that it must befall
They can into excessive laughter break,
Or wet with briny tear the face and cheek.

If there remain nothing save Corpuscles in the world, and that they result from similar principles, then must they in like manner be concrete, rational and animate things, such as principles cannot be imagined; for if things sen∣sible necessarily consist of parts of the like nature, this absurdity will of consequence ensue, that functions, af∣fections and actions should distinctly be ascribed to cer∣tain Elements proper onely to them; and so those mem∣branes and nerves, the pores, &c. The pores of the brain o∣pened by the received motion of several objects, which do not onely concern and stir up such and such particu∣lar muscles, apt to the moving of those members, but which do even touch the very fibers of the Heart it self, and other Organs; upon which, as on a Harp, expressi∣ons and accents of sorrow, joy, fear, anger and other perturbations and affections of spontaneous motion are in∣cited, must forthwith have every one of them its parti∣cular ridiculous or lachrymant principles; now that principles should be joyful or Lugubrous, were very ridi∣culous Philosophy indeed. However, some later Philoso∣phers seem to favour the Anaxagoran opinion, and that these affections do really praeesse in Elementis; though nor altogether after the same manner quo in homine. S. Au∣gustine may be a little suspected too, where he asserts Omnium rerum Sem ina occulta extare ab initio.

And so our Poet concludes his dispute with the Greek Philosophers, who were in truth the chief op∣pugners of his doctrine. But because what remains will be somewhat difficult to comprehend, in most ele∣gant Verses (which really declare him to have been an incomparable Master in the faculty) ingeni∣ously confesses what it is which makes him so indefati∣gably pursue it; namely, the fame and future glory of his person, especially, when (like him) men attempt such difficulties as were never before adventured on; and Page  162 the rather in Verse, that being matter hugely abstruse, the deliciousness of his charming numbers may render it more agreeable to the Reader, carmen autem compositum, & oratio cum suavitate decipiens, capit mentes, & quo volue∣rit impellit, saith the eloquent Lactantius, emulating herein the Physician, who being about to administer any unpleasant dose,* either gilds the Pill, or conveys it in some sweet and tempting potion; which passage, not onely Themistius in an oration ad Nicomedienses did make bold with, but the incomparable Tasso hath thus translated in his first Canto, Str. 3.

Sed veluti pueris absinthia, &c.—
For as who children bitter wormwood give.
Così à l'egro fanciul porgiamo aspersi
Di so avi licor gli orli del vaso:
Succhi amari ingannato intanto ei beve,
E dal' Inganno suo vita receve, &c.
And I thus Interpret,
So we to the sick childe a cup appoint
Whose brim with some sweet liquor we annoint;
That so he drink the bitter juice we give,
Deceiv'd, and being thus decived, Live.

The nature of Infinite being the next discourse, he thinks a proposition so confounding and intricate, cannot be huisher'd in with too soft and elegant language; for now he endeavors to shew what bounds are prescribed to the unstable and eternal motions of his foregoing principles, what space or vacuum they really employ, as whe∣ther,

—finitum funditus omne
Constet; an Immensum pateat vasteque profundum.
—It admit of any bound,
Or stretch immensly to a vast profound▪

That is, whether there be any term and limits to this vast sum of principles. For Epicurus raught,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. That an infinite concourse of atomes re∣quired Page  163 an inanity and space as infinite to comprehend them: Which opinion our Poet here asserts, and the Orator thus, In hac igitur immensitate Latitudinum, Longi∣tudinum, Altitudinum,* infinita res innumerabilium volitat Atomorum, quae interjecto inani, &c. For so our Philoso∣pher. That this Ʋniverse or〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, was Infinite, not an unlimited Vacuum, extramundum or Coelum, as it seems, some others; his reason is subjoyned,

Omne quod est igitur, nulla regione viarum
Finitum 'st: namque extremum debebat habere, &c.
Then sure this All can no way finite be,
For then it must have some extremitie.

The Nature of Finite is to have an extremity, the pro∣perty of extream, that something contain it; ergo, that which is finite is circumscribed by something; but that which is extra universum is nothing; therefore hath it al∣so no extremity, and is consequently unlimitted: Which, saith Cicero, the eyes in our head, as well as those of our imagination convince us of; for the one ex alio extrinsecus cernitur; at quod omne est, id non cernitur ex alio extrinsecus: as he hath acutely argued it, lib. 2. de divinitate,

Nunc, extra summam quoniam nihil esse fatendum est,
Non habet extremum: caret ergo fine, modoque,
Nec refert quibus adsist as regionibus ejus,
Ʋsque adeò, &c.
Since then beyond the whole we needs must grant
Nothing remains, it term and bound must want,
Nor ought imports it on what clime one stands,
Since infinite, &c.

Nature indeed, according to the Schools, abhors Infinite, nay even the plurality of Infinites is contradictory and impious; but our Philosopher not herewith satisfied, endeavors to shew us something which may involve all, and that there is nothing more absurd, then to enquire for any thing extra Infinitum.

For, saith he, let it be imagined that one can run ne∣ver so far with hopes to arrive at the last to this wall or fantastick limit; yet he shall soon finde himself at an infinite loss; for where ever he goes, or conceits it to be, he shall perpetually encounter infinite parts▪ or Page  164 admit yet that there were indeed such an imaginary extream,

—Si quis procurrat ad oras
Ʋltimus extremas, jaciatque volatile telum;
Invalidis utrum contortum viribus ire,
Quo fuerit missum mavis, longe{que} volare;
An prohibere aliquid censes, obstaréque posse?
Alterutrum fatearis enim, sumasque necesse est,
Quorum utrumque tibi effugium praecludit, &c.
—Suppose one running to the place
Where that extreme were, should throw forth a dart
Think you 'twould fly directly to that part
The strong arm aim'd it at, and pass out right,
Or would something oppose it in the flight?
For one of them you must at least confess
Whilst either doth your Argument distress:

Which convincing instance, I finde also used by the rational Bruno, who hath written an express and curi∣ous treatise,* not onely to prove the Infinity of Space; but that even of worlds, what concerns our Poet, hear him thus describe, Mi pare cosa ridicola, &c. In earnest (saith he) methinks 'tis extremely ridiculous to affirm, that without the heavens there should be nothing, and that the heaven is a thing in it self, placed as it were per accidens (i.)* by its own parts (or be their meaning by these notices what they please themselves) it is impossi∣ble, and they cannot decline it, but they must make two of one; since there will eternally remain one and another; viz. the containing, and the contained, and in such sort another and another, that the continent must be incorporeal, the contained corporeal; the one immoveable, the other moveable; the one Mathematical, the other Physical; but be this Superficies whatever, I demand eternally what there is beyond it? if it be replyed, that there is nothing, then 'tis Void; and such an Inanity as hath no extreme; bounded indeed on this part towards us, which is yet more difficult to imagine, then that the Ʋniverse should be immense and Infinite, because we can then no way avoid Vacuum, if we will admit the Whole to be finite, &c. But I pursue him no farther▪ Our Metaphysical eyes discern (as thy conceive) the bounds of two worlds, whereof some imagine the Page  165 upreamest heaven to be the term of this; and the con∣vexity of that, the boundary of the other; but how that should then be habitable (as likewise they assert) where is neither Locus, Plenum, nor Vacuum, Time, nor Motion, nor any thing else (for so they affirm also) is in∣finitely strange, and will require second Cogitations. Well, but our Author concludes, as there is a space in which this material world of ours actually is; so it may not be denied, but that another, and another, even to infinite, perpetually equivalent to what this Machine employs, may likewise subsist in that vast and unlimited Space.

As for the Weapon by which our Poet introduces the Explorator of this boundary, if any thing resist the flight thereof, needs it must be something that is a body; but we learn that Corpus is in universo; if now nothing im∣pead it, then there is no end: for if there were, then should the dart either stick in the pale, or recoil towards the Jaculator: farther then this it could not possibly proceed. Now this Argument is alledged to answer this objection, that the Universe might se ipso finiri, and its extremity be taken comparatively to the internal parts, and not by any relation ad aliquid exterius, and he sub∣joyns the absurdity, because, as it follows soon after; for,

—Spatium summai totius omne
Ʋndique si inclusum certis consisteret oris,
Finitúm{que} foret; jam copia materiai
Ʋndi{que} pnderibus solidis confluxet ad imum, &c.
—If this all every where
With bounds impaled be, and finite were,
Then would the store of matter on each side
Beneath through poise of solids downwards slide.

That is, if it were finite, and had either centre or medium to which matter might tend, it would have long since come to pass, that al Matter being depressed in that place, could never have afterwards produced any thing; which term I make bold to use, that I may express both Geri and Geni, for which there is no little stir 'twixt the Critical Interpreters of this place. The sense of our Author is, Principles could never have altered their pre∣sent position and conjunctu••s; and so by consequent, Page  166 men must have expected no more creations. New com∣positions or repairing of things decayed in the world, which we have hitherto described to be their constant and natural office whilst they were thus pressed, and surcharged under a burthen so vast and weighty; for that being naturally heavy as devoid of inanition (the sole principle or cause of Levity) they must of necessity have been thus miserably percipitated,

At nunc nimirum requies data principiorum
Corporibus nulla est; quia nihil est funditus imum,
Quo quasi confluere, & sedes ubi ponere possint:
Semper & assiduo motu res quaeque geruntur
Partibus in cunctis, aeterná{que} suppeditantur
Ex infinito cita corpora materiai.
But now have principles no rest at all,
Since there's no bottom into which they fall
Or flowing tend, and make a fixt repose;
But each thing by assiduous motion goes
Through all parts, and th'eternal bodies be
(Thus mov'd) supplyed from Infinitie.
Postrem ante oculos rem res finire videtur:
Aer dissaepit collis, atque aera montes:
Terra mare, &c.
—That one thing th'other bounds is plain,
For Aire invests the Hills, Hills aire again,
And Earth the Seas, &c.—

Our incomparable Poets last argument, taken from the evidence of our own senses, which the learned Bruno thus illustrates: Our very eyes (saith he) acknowledge as much; because still we see that one thing ever com∣prehends the other; & mai sentiamo ne con esterno, ne con interno senso cosa non compresa da altra O simile, &c. And there is nothing which terminates it self: In fine, after no less then eight arguments he concludes, Che non si puo negare il spacio infinito se non con la voce, come fanno gli perti∣naci, &c. nor can it be denyed (he addes) but by the lewdness and clamor of some impertinents, whom he there convinces in no fewer then twenty skilful and very close arguments, which it would be here over prolix to Page  167 repeat. In short thus, There is nothing which contains or can indeed be said to embrace and bound the Uni∣verse, but is immensly profound, and in a manner infi∣nite, so as the most rapid rivers, and exuberant streams in the world can never arrive to the limits thereof; and therefore do they uncessantly glide. Out of this vast space new and never failing supplies are brought to every thing by a perpetual succession of a like number of Atomes to a like number, Et medesime parti di materia cn le medesime, sempre si convertano, as the same Bruno ex∣presseth it, which is clearly the minde of Epicurus; who proves that not onely the Universe is infinite from its number of Atomes or indefiniteness of Vacuum, but by both together (for so the verses immediately declare) yet, not as if this Ʋniverse were continuous, but that there are some empty interstices or intermundiums distant from the body; for

Ipsa modum porrò sibi rerum summa parare
Ne possit, natura tenet: quia corpus inani,
Et quod inans atem'st, finiri corpore cogit:
Ʋt sic alternis infinita omnia reddat.
Nature her self seems this to have design'd,
That the whole mass of things be not confin'd.
Because she bodies both in void includes,
And into bodies void again intrudes
Alternately; so that with one and other
She renders all things Infinite together.

Excluding all maner of doubt touching their immensity, without at all contradicting their natures & operations. In the mean time the obscurity of the three ensuing lines, hath made some learned Commentators desert them as inexplicable, whilst yet, they seem to present us with this sense. If either there were onely an Infinite or im∣moderate-immixed▪ Vacuum, without as infinite a number of Atomes or bodies to give it term and limits; or were there an infinity of bodies, and not as infinite a spice for them to act in (for Corpus terminatur inani, & inane cor∣pore) then

Nec mare, nec tellus, nec Coeli lucida templa,
Nec mortale genus, nec divûm corpora sancta
Exiguum possent horai sistere tempus.
Page  168
—Seas nor Earth
Nor bright celestial mansions mortal birth,
Nor sacred bodies of the Gods so pure
Could the least portion of time endure.

Nor could any thing enjoy the least permanency, but all would incontinently be dissolved; for it doth not appear that he any where affirmed, the Corruption of one thing was the product of another, according to the vulgar sense of Schools; and peradventure he had con∣sidered those creatures which are so long nourished by sleep and other solitary ways: as Bears, Tortoises, Dormice, some sorts of Summer Birds,*Flies, and other Insects; wch makes Nardius thus wittily exclaim, Edaciores proinde at{que} infirmiores sunt Lucretiani Divi, gliribus abstinentibus, &c. That Lucretius's Gods were more hungry, voratious and weak then even Dormice, and such abstemious and inconsiderable Animals. He thought that portion of matter which is necessary for the quotidian supply of de∣caying compounds, would have else been lost, and utter∣ly dispersed in so vast, bottomless, and indeterminate Abyss: nor that any thing could ever likely meet again, produce, or create, if supplies were not equally as in∣finite. The truth is, there is no such extream difficulty to comprehend a space in a manner indeterminate (to say Infinite were impious) so many learned persons having contended; the Infinite God being able to effect things infinitely exceeding our slender speculations. He∣raclitus saith, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. That the greatest of Gods wonderful works were not known to some men, because of their incredulity. And as Chrysippus addes,*Si quid est quod efficiat ea, quae homo licet ratione sit praeditus, facere non possit; id profecto est majus, & fortius & sapientius homine, &c. if there be any thing created which exceeds the skill and utmost comprehen∣sion of the wisest man upon earth,* it is certainly made by one who is infinitely greater, more powerful and wiser then man, &c. And so an actual multiplicity, though not infinity of worlds there may be, whilst we content our selves with the belief of a possibility that there may be more then we are aware of: For Indefinite is not Infi∣nite, man may not finde the Term, and yet a Term there may be. Let men only modestly remember to reserve the Page  169Infinite which the Divines term Essentiae, that the specu∣lation may be the safer. The rational aud acute Bruno (so frequently cited) hath travelled far on this Argu∣ment: Sed Concedamus, ut impune de mundis deliravit. We are not to look on him as the first that broached it, Anaximenes, Xenophon, Zeno being all of the same Creed; Thales indeed affirmed that there was but one World, and that created by God. Empedocles taught the same, but yet he held it to consist of a very small particle of the Universe. Democritus and Epicurus spoke aloud that there were infinite worlds, these are followed by their disciple Metrodorus, who believed them innumerable, because their Causes were so: and that it was not less absurd to affirm but one World in the Universe, then that a fruit∣ful and luxurious field should produce but one single spike of Corn. As for the plurality of Continents (of which Monsieur Borel hath promised an express Treatise) truly such as are conversant in those admirable Specula∣tions which the late most perfect Telescops present us, may (in my judgement) without the aid of any extraordinary fantasie, imagine the many apparences both of the Moon and other celestial Bodies to be something more analogi∣cal to what many late writers have reported and de∣livered of them, then those who onely gaze on them with a less discerning and discoursive eye, the want of Instruments, or a prejudicate and obstinate opinion; and for my part, so long as the consideration of these things doth rather add to and heighten the adoration of that infinite power of the great God, who is said to have created the worlds, I shall forbear to censure such as have favored and promoted these Doctrines and Opinions;* amongst whom I esteem many of our late and best Astr∣nomers, not onely thinking, but rational and exploring per∣sons; for such were Kepler, Tyco, Galilaevs, Descartes, Gas∣sendus, Hevelius, and divers others of extraordinary note; and yet I shall not be obstinate or too dogmati∣cal, adeo nefas existimandum est,*ea scrutari quae Deus voluit esse caelata. Whether there be or no, God onely knows, who is both intus and foris, not as in Loco; but as being Ens Infinitum principiúm{que} cui omne innititur Ens. Con∣clude we therefore this infinitely confounding discourse, so difficult and incomprehensible, with those apposite words of Pliny writing of the Globe of this vast Ʋni∣verse,*Furor est (saith he) profecto furor est egredi ex eo, & tanquam ejus cunct a planè jam sint nota ita scrutare extra; Page  170 qua vero mensuram ullius rei possit agere qui sui nesciat, aut mens hominis videre quae mundus ipse non capiat. 'Tis a madness in earnest, a meer madness to go out of it, and so to be perpetually seeking without, as if already we had attained to a perfect cognizance of the things which are within; as if he who knows not his own, could take the exact dimensions of another thing; or that the wit of any man should pretend to perceive those things which the very world it self cannot comprehend.

Well, but possibly to salve this prescribed number of Atomes, some 'tis conceived might yet object, that albeit the Space were never so infiite, and that indeed the Principles being finite, might therein seem to be at so desperate a loss, as in all likelihood never to make an hapy encounter again; yet by a Providence, or some Almighty power all this might be composed, and they brought about to meet and unite as at the first: when as Mercator and some others with a little alteration fancied, that the great Architect should fasten a Centre into the Vacuum or Thohu, qualified so, as that it could summon into it self all the congenial parts of the Chaos, which in a moment properate to it, and so become co∣agmentated into one Globe by an equilibration of parts to the Centre of gravity.

This hypothesis that Epicurus might absolutely resute (who as hath been shewed, had but a very slender opi∣nion of any divine hand in the oeconomic and mode∣ration of sublunary things, besides his dismission of any Centre) the greatly mistaken man tells us, that we are in no wise to conceive as if these Principles did range themselves into so goodly an order by any such disposi∣on, providence, or regular proceedure,

Nam certè neque consilio primordia rerum
Ordine se quaeque atque sagaci mente locarunt:
Nec qos quae{que} darent motus pepigere profectò:
Sed quia multa modis multis mutata per omne
Ex infinito vexantur percita plagis,
Omne genus motus, & coetus experiundo;
Tandem deveniunt in talis disposituras,
Qualibus haec rebus consistit summa creata, &c.
Page  171
For lets not think these principles did range
Themselves in order, and by counsel change,
That each particular motion was decreed
Before by compact; But 'twas this indeed,
That passing frequent changes, and in those
Induring as it were eternal blows,
After all Trials did in fine quiess
In the same posture which they now possess,
Whence the whole sum of all things else are made.

The Stoicks were of opinion, that the Worlds had been frequently destroyed, or rather decayed and dissolved by time; but that still, Phoenix like, they were con∣tinually restored from the ashes as it were of the expiring Fabrick. Now Epicurus makes this restauration to pro∣ceed from the changes and fortunate encounter of his Atomes; or indeed it was rather the invention of Leu∣cippus first; touching the fortuitous motion whereof, we do not take our Philosopher as intending Fortune, or any divine and disposing Cause, but meerly the happy and chancely coition of those bodies and principles which begat the Universe. This magazine or Caos of Atomes being of so different figures, shapes, dimensions, inde∣fatigably and restlesly moving too and fro, up and down, in Space unlimitted and infinite inanity,*in quo (saith Cicero) nec summum, nec infimum, nec medium, nec ultimum, nec extremum sit; these Individua Corpora (I say) continu∣ally justling, urging and crowding one another by so in∣cessant an inquietude and estuation, upon all encoun∣ters imaginable, and for so many myriads happly of ages, and long time, having thus essayed, as it were, all pos∣sible configurations, changes, postures, successions, mutual aud reciprocal agitations, chanced (O wondrous chance!)* at last, once, every one of them, to encoun∣ter, consent (those of like forms meeting and uniting to∣gether) and fall into that goodly Fabrick and admira∣ble Architecture of the Ʋniverse or World, which with so much Extasie and wonder we daily contemplate; and in this instant it was that the gross precipitated downwards, compelling the more easie and light upwards, which convening in the circumference of the immense Poles wedged each other into the form of that Canopy which we call the Heaven or expansum. Hence from the more compacted resulted the mass of Earth, whilst the Page  172 remanent of a more middle nature, upon the concourse of its condensed particles ran into the humid substance; part whereof being afterward fitly prepard, was exalted into those glorious luminaries which adorn the celestial concave; whilst the residue was reserved for the compo∣sition of other bodies. What shall I adde more? Im∣plevit numerum perfectae insaniae,*ut nihil ulterius adjici posset, whilst he denies God to have any hand in all this, and makes the Creation of the world not unlike some fears performable by the supreme Elixir or Philosophers stone. For indeed what greater madness can there be, then to imagine that a Sword or a Book were made propter finem, for some end, and that the whole Ʋniverse, the great Code of Nature, our Eyes and other members, Plants, and a thousand natural and wonderful Curiosities (so far sur∣passing all things of Art) should result from chance onely? But yet however new and very ridiculous this Systeme may seem, as oppugned by the eloquent Lactantius, and the captiv'd-learned of other Ages since, who have part∣ed with their liberty to the Stagirit, by an absolute bar∣gain and sale without power of redemption (Automation onely, and so fortuitous, casual and impiuos conjuncture exploaded) this Methodical Hypothesis is not of so vast difficulty for a rational, pious, and practical Philosopher to believe and relie on, as happily appears at the first discovery.* I remember it is the opinion of the great Cartesius, that though God had given no other form to the World then that of the Chaos, so that, establishing Laws to Nature, he had afforded his concurrence that it should so act, as usually she doth, one might safely be∣lieve (without violating the Miracle of the Creation) that by it alone all things which are purely material, might in time have rendered themselves such as we now behold them to be: But if there be any who shall please to dissent, or desire a more evident demonstration of our former seeming Paradox, let the Reader consult the in∣comparable and often cited Petrus Gassendus his Animad∣versions on Diog. Laert. l 10. p. 193. and particularly de exortu mundi; or if he will be satisfied by tradition, as it is rarely well explained to his hand in that learned digression of our ingenious Dr. Charleton, where this our Poets Theory of Atomes is most artificially and per∣spicuously demonstrated; the sum whereof being much to our present purpose, is, that the dissiculty of resolving how this Mass on which we dwell, and of which indeed Page  173 we partly are, should be composed of Principles so de∣scribed, will appear to be no such vast incongruity, if we give our selves leave but gradually to consider, and imagine the earth as but one solitary part of the Ʋniverse, composed of many such congestions; and then by consequence we must grant that the Ball may be coagmentated of many smaller portions or masses heaped one upon another; as sometimes mountains from an ag∣gregation of rocks; these rocks from an accumulation of Stones; these stones again, from a multitude of grains of sand; that sand, from an assembly of dust; and lastly, the dust, from a less (but innumerable) col∣lection of imperceptible Atomes or Principles. I shall not proceed to his exact Arithmetical suppositions upon 25 cyphers successively posited to exhibite a number of granules or terrella's competent to the bulk of the world it self; because I will not weary my Reader. But touching the fortuitous production of the Ʋniverse, frustis quibusdam temerè concurrentibus,••w indeed of the Ancients favored the opinion,* and therefore with the Father, quanto melius fuerat tacere, quam in usus tam mise∣rabiles, tam inanes habere linguam! yet what they have said, written and confessed of the First Mover, is very admirable, considering that they had onely natural rea∣son for their guide. Thales Milesius, Pythagoras, Plato, &c. the learned Grotius in his assertion of the verity of Christian Religion, sums them all together, and makes it evident that they ascribed it onely to God; nay, that the Almighty was even himself in all things; as the Apo∣stle doth truly and divinely philosophize to the superstiti∣ous Athenians;* yea, and Aristotle (as much an Atheist as many take him to have been) held it in his more ma∣ture and serious thoughts, as may be deduced from di∣vers expressions in his book de mundo (if his with Justin Martyrs esteem thereof; or the late Fort. Licetas, who hath somewhere given us a learned vindication of that great man. As for any other chancely production (such as our Epicurus,*Heraclitus, Empedocles, Parmenides, De∣mocritus, Leucippus and Aristotle seemed at first to endulge) by which all things were constrained to act by certain fa∣tal necessities; that objection how those curious animals, perfect and admirable plants, &c. could by a commence∣ment so ex••aordinary be so exquisitely built, composed and excogitated, as that the meer consideration even of a Gnat, or the eye of a silly Fly, the least particle of Page  174 the Microcosm (mans body) hath been able to open the eyes of one of the worlds most learned Atheists, with∣out the Divine Providence and some Omnipotent Cause,* is undoubtedly not to be imagined, much less demon∣strated, well therefore might he thus break out, Com∣pono hic profecto canticum in creatoris nostri laudem; and who that shall seriously contemplate this, can hold from joyning in the Canticle with him? for so may we with as much reason believe that a great volume of ex∣quisite Sentences, the historical relation of some intricate and veritable affair, or Epique Poem in just and exact measures should result from the fortuitous and acciden∣tal mischance of a Printers Alphabet, the letters falling out of their nests confusedly,* without the disposition of either Author or Artist. It is very true, that a preg∣nant and mechanick imagination may in such a multifa∣rious variety of some variegated Achates, and extrava∣gantly veined marbles, fansie many pretty, and even wonderful things; but besides that this is very rare, save in Chymaera's, and that for most part to melancholy persons; I presume never any yet affirmed to have seen them move, Relieve or discourse, unless such as were abused Oracles, and those who yet discern not the im∣posture of the blood, sweat and motion of Images, like that which commended St. Tho. of Aquine, and bad St. Bernard good-morrow: of which number it were at pre∣sent somewhat difficult to make me.

Well, the fortunate marriage and cotion of these Principles hapning during the progress of so many at∣tempts into so goodly a fabrick, hath ever since con∣tinued so; affording matter, and all competent supples, both for the repartion and composition of each indivi∣dual; having ever since directly steered that course and orderly posture, from whence the sum of all things are derived: or as our Poet better,

Qualibus haec rebus consistit summa creata:
Et multos etiam magnos servata per annos.
Ʋt semel in motus conjecta est convenientis,
Efficit, ut largis avidum mare fluminis undis
Integrent amnes, & solis terra vapore, &c.
Page  175
Whence the whole sum of all things else are made,
And keeing in due motion do not fade,
Nor are at all impeach't: for many yeers
This mass preserv'd in its fit posture, steers
The Course of rivers, and doth cause they keep
With pregnant waves intire the greedy deep:
That the Sun quickned earth renews her fruits:
That Animals bring forth, and new recruits
Cherish aethereal fires, which in no wise
Could be, unless aboundant matter rise
From infinite; whence all that lost have been
Are wont in time to be repaid again.

That is, they have never since that moment deviated from their original designed, stated and equal motions; nor sunk any lower, to hinder or discompose the rest; for without this infinite supply of matter, Rivers them∣selves would have become channels of dust; the Sun and Planets waxed cold, dim, and without influence: the Vegetables wither, and our very bodies emerge to an utter destruction both of the Species and Individual.

Nam veluti privata ibo natura animantum
Diffluit amittens corpus; sic omnia debent
Dissolvi, simul ac defecit suppeditare
Materies recta regione aversa viai.
For, as in Animals of nourishment
Depriv'd, bodies are lost, and nature's spent;
So all things must dissolve, when matter flies,
Or deviating fails of due supplies.

To shew us after what sort, without constant and mate∣rial supplies, the decay of compounds and concretes would infallibly happen: for he supposed that even the world it self was obnoxious to this decay and final dissolution by a perpetual percussion; yet that so ordered, as that the force was every where partial, and no where affect∣ing the whole; so that in this respiration or escape of Principles, there remains a convenient space and oppor∣tunity for new recruits, where there is need of them. And this I take to be the minde of our Author in this ob∣scure passage,

Page  176
Cudere enim crebrò possunt, partém{que} morari.
Dum veniant aliae, ac suppleri summa quatur:
Interdum resilire tamen coguntur, & unà
Principiis rerum spatium, tempús{que} fgai
Largiri, ut possint à Coetu libera ferri, &c.
Strike they indeed might often, and thereby
Retard a part till they the whole supply:
Others again rebound, and are compell'd
A space for principles of things to yeeld
And time to slip away: that they might be
(Thus dis-united) set at libertie, &c.

For Principles do not eternally cohear and remain thus in compounded bodies; but those which are loose and disengaged wander up and down at liberty, till they be coupled with some others by the same just encounter and fortunate chances; since it is perpetually that prin∣ciples do wear off from things, and have no lease of eter∣nity to continue them for ever. He concludes,

—Suboriri multa necesse est.
Et tamen ut plagae quoque possint suppetere ipsae
Infinita opus est vis undique materiai, &c.
Therefore there is extream necessity
That still of things spring up variety;
And that there should be infinite supplies
Of matter, which may for those strokes suffice.
But we hasten to another,
Illud in his rebus longè fuge credere, Memmi,
In medium summae quod dicunt omnia niti, &c.
To these things Memmius then no credit lend
When they say all things to the Centre tend;

Pursuing his opinion of Infinite, our Poet admonishes his friend of the infection of the Peripateticks, Stoicks, and ancient Academicks: And in short, whoever assert∣ed but one solitary and finite universe, and by consequent that there was no definite centre towards which every ponderous thing did spontaneously incline and verge; Page  177 as on the contrary, that every light thing did mount upward; v. g. that the earth was susteined by the en∣deavor and shouldring up of something beneath it; see∣ing Epicurus (who both affirmed a plurality of worlds, Infinite extension, &c.) granted neither middle nor ex∣treams to any thing: so that upon our Poets account, there was none of those natural tendencies of heavy and light things, since in a space undeterminate and unlimit∣ted, every place might with as much reason be said to be center as any particular; and indeed Plato himself seems to question any Sursum or Deorsum in nature at all▪* for (saith he) the whole heaven is round, 'twere ab∣surd therefore to call any part higher or lower as in re∣lation to the middle. Nor think, saith our Carus, That,

—Quae pondera sunt sub terris, omnia sursum
Nitier, in terrámque retrò requiescere posta, &c.
All those weights beneath be upwards prest
That they may on this Hemisphere repose.

At the very Central Subterranean point, which ascend to the Superficies, and there remain like a piece of coyn in the bottom of a basin of water, which to one that ob∣liquely observes, seems by the continual refraction to ascend and librate upon the surface thereof,

Ʋt per aquas quae nunc rerum simulacra videmus.
Et simile ratione animalia subtus vagari
Contendunt, neque posse è terris in loca Coeli
Recidere inferiora magis quàm corpora nostra
Sponte sua possint in Coeli templa volare:
Illi cùm videant solem, nos sidera noctis
Cernere. &c.
Whence they maintain that as calm water show
Shaddows, and Images of things, that so
Beneath our Feet some Animals do go,
Which on th'inferior regions of the skie
Can no more fall, then may our bodies flie
Up to Celestial thrones; that they see light
Of Sun, when we enjoy the stars of night.

Page  178 For he laughed at the conceit of Antipodes, where weights also tended to the Center, as with us; or that men should really walk as our shadows appear to do▪ when we are by the margent of some calm water: That there were places where the inhabitants enjoy'd suc∣cession of seasons; and where Creatures could no more fall downwards, then our bodies here mount upwards, and knock their heads against the opposite hemisphere; of which it seems a few (even in our Poets time) had some faint conjectures, as may be collected by the scoff which Demonactes put upon one that discoursed with him of those who inhabited the regions 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, where leading one of them to the mouth of a wel, Num∣quid (saith he) tales esse Antipodas asseris? The same con∣ceit I suppose it was, which made Lucius (as Plutarch re∣ports) deride those opiners in his time,* who fancied men to crawl there with their backs downwards, like Cats, Mice, and Spids upon the walls and ceelings of our houses,

Sed Vanus stolidis haec omnia finxerit error:
Amplexi quod habent perversae prima viai, &c.
But some fond error first these things devis'd
'Mongst silly men, for that they nere compris'd
The pure originals of things aright.

And indeed I easily believe that our Poet (who tis likely with Justin Martyr and others, took the heavens for a Tent or the flat cover of a box) little dreamt of our Antipodes;* when even many wie men, and greatly il∣luminated persons, particularly Lactantius, and St. Au∣gustine, were for sundry ages so difficult of belief, as may be well perceived in the story of Virgilius a German Bi∣shop, recited by Aventinus in hist. Bojorum▪ who had like to have shrewdly suffered for a little savouring of this mistaken Heresie; onely we finde in Plutarch de Placitis Philos. that Oecetos affirmed there were two earths, 'twixt which Philolaus a disciple of his interserted ano∣ther continent of Fire; which opinion Sandivogius and other Hermetick Philosophers have also illustrated:* but that which the Tragedian hath left us upon record, if it were not by inspiration and prophecy, was certainly (next that of our Poets rare encounter of Atomes) most happi∣ly gussed,

Page  179
Venient anni secula seris
Quibus Oceanus vincula rerum
Laxet, & ingens pateat tellus,
Typhique novos detegat Orbes
Nec sit Terris ultima Thule,
Hereafter there an Age shall spring,
Wherein the bands of every thing
Seas shall enlarge, Typhis moreover
Large Tracts, and New worlds shall discover,
Then Thule the Earth shall bound no more.

In the mean time Lucretius imagined the Earth to be as it were riveted, or rooted in the Aire, as Anaxagoras did according to Aristotle, and that the radices thereof were fungous, light, and of no considerable weight to∣wards its foundation: where as it approached igher and deeper, so it became more thin, delicate, and of neer affinity to the aire, so as we may conceive some sponge or plant to grow in the sea; and that onely the uperior face or inhabitable part, was the compacted, solid and heavy. Thus Lucretius and some others, thought good to give the world a Cushion, whilst com∣miserating the mistakes of the rest of mankinde, he tells them that their ignorance onely proceeded from this ill comprehending and mis-information of his Princi∣ples;

Nam medium nihil esse potest, ubi inane locsque
Infinita: n'que omnino, si jam medium sit,
Possit ibi quidquam hac potius consistere caussâ,
Quàm quavis alia longè regione manere.
For since that void and place are infinite,
Nothing can center be; or if there were
A medium, yet no reason doth appeare
To prove, that it should but in one place dwell,
And in another not be found as well.

For, as hath been said, Epicurus admitted not of any Center or Medium, the space being infinitely Vacuum. But as touching the motion of his Principles, he affirm∣ed that there was a Superior or an Inferio Region from whence they freely came in a perpendicular and parall Page  180 motion perpetually descending; yet so, as that from whatsoever part they issued (as suppose it in respect to our common accepation, from beneath our feet, or over our heads, Zenith or Nadir) ye, that, he established for above, whence they came; ad, that, for, beneath, whi∣ther they tended: albeit, I say, they seemed in our ap∣prehension, to mount upwards, fly obliquely, or colla∣terally, from what point of the Compass soever. As for Plato's opinion of medium & extremum we are to under∣stand it comparatively, as that to be inferum towards which a body did spontaneously and naturally end: that supremum whither that body was compelled by force; of which sort of motions, whether they be performed naturally, or by some clandestine and magnetick attracti∣on impressed, or by any other existent qualities of the Peripateticks, let the more learned define, it would appear a digression uncapable of an Apology, to dilate thereon in this place. We conclude therefore with our Poet.

Haud igitur possunt tali ratione teneri
Res in consilio medii cuppedine victae:
Things therefore cannot in such sort be joyn'd,
As to the middle by desire inclind.
Praeterea, quoniam non omnia corpora fingunt
In medium niti, sed terrarum, atque liquoris,
Humorem ponti, &c.—
Besides 'tis clear, because they do not faign
As if all bodies would the center gain;
But such alone as most terrestrial be
And liquid, like the waters of the sea, &c.

Which two last verses together with a full dozen fol∣lowing, Dionysius Lambinus hath placed next the four extream lines of the first book: but finding no other edition to follow him in the transposition; nor indeed that it doth much import the sense (which all agree to be one of the most obscure passages in our Author) I have chosen rather to follow the more frequent and ge∣neral impressions, the thing being no more then this▪ Lucretius findes fault with his Antagonists, that whilst they first affirmed all things tended to the Center; now, Page  181 as unmindeful of what they had formerly established, seem onely to destine some bodies particularly to the medium, such as the Earth and Water: which (••ith our Poet) is utterly false, since it is notorious, that even the most ponderous bodies ascend also. This he infers from the production of Animals and Plants which both arise out of, and are nourished by the Earth; that is, by the ascention thereof in juice and other materials whereby they are fed and propagated; nay, the trees seem to be even thrust out from beneath it; piercing as it were the surface thereof with their circular or boaring motion, whereas they (whom here he contends withal) affirm onely the more light (such as Ayr and Fire) to mount upwards and minister nourishment to the Planets: and so per consequens, move from the me∣dium, contrary to what they before asserted. And if this be not the interpretation of this difficult place, I shall leave it to the more penetrant judgements, and sa∣tisfie my self with what a learned Author hath said thereon (who yet hath not adventured upon this expo∣sition) Omnino hic locus est aliquantum difficilis, atque ob∣scurus (together with the rest which follows, for even the Critical Lambinus is forced to confess it) Totus hic locus qui deinceps sequitur, miserabilem in modum perturba∣tus & confusus erat, ex qua ordinis perturbatione, ita ob∣scurus erat, ut nulla ex ea probabilis sententia elici posset, &c. which makes him (though to small purpose) re∣peat,

Quin, sua quod natura petit, concedere pergat.
But, as its nature is, must till give place:

Which verse he used once before, speaking of the Center; and Johanns Nardius to insert,

Terra det at supra circumtegere omnia Coelum:
Ne Volucrum ritu, &c.—

But Pareuswill have it joyned to the antecedent Verses,

Illud i his rebus longè fuge credere, Memmi, &c.

Page  182 As we have already explained it, which makes him to exclaim also on this passage as an ingens〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. But I conclude,

Ne volucrum ritu flammarum, moenia mundi
Diffugiant subit magnum per Inane soluta,
Et ne cetera conimili ratione sequantur:
Néve ruant Coeli tonitralia templa supurnè,
Terráque se pedibus raptim subducat, & omnes
Inter permixtas rerum, coelique ruinas
Corpora solventes, abeant per inane profundum &c.
For else like hasty flames already fled
The worlds bright walls would vanish suddenly
Through the vast void dissolv'd, the rest would be
After the same sort hurried; that from high
Would drop the thundring turrets of the skie,
And under-foot the sinking arth to bend,
Whilst the same ruine earth with heaven would blend,
Crushing all bodies with disordered force
Through the profound abyss to steer their course,
So that one moment would no relique leave,
Save Elements which no eye could perceive,
And desert space; for from what part so e're
You would that bodies first receding were,
That part an open sluce of death must prove
Where matter issuing forth would downwards move.

Deriding the opinions and Panick fears of the Stoicks, who whilst they obstinately maintained their medium and extream, without infinite space, were compelled to acknowledge an absolute ruine, and total dissipation of this goodly fabrick, unless the limits thereof had been exceedingly fortified, and strongly hooped about: for they taught that it hung ponderibus librata suis, by a magnetical vigour impressed upon the intire machine at the first by the Almighty; but principally communi∣cated from the Center to both the Extreams, and that by meridional projection, through which combination and conjunction of parts, as by hoops the whole Ʋniverse was stedfastly compacted, so as it could not be moved, least otherwise, like a broken hour-glass, or leaking Page  183 Vessel, all should issue out, sink, and be dissipated through its many craic chinks and overtures, and so all things resolve into their first Principles,

—Sic cum compage soluta
Secula tot mundi suprema coegerit hora,
Antiquum repetens iterum Chaos, omnia mistis
Sidera ideribus concurrent; ignea pontum
Astra petent: tellus extendere littora nolet,
Excutiet{que} fretum: fratri contraria Phoebe
Ibit, & obliquum bigas agitare per orbem
Indignata, diem poscet sibi: totáque discors
Machina divulsi turbabit faedera mundi, &c.

As Lucan expresses it,* and his Interpreter thus,

So when this knot of Nature is dissolv'd,
And the worlds ages in one hour involv'd
In their old Chaos, seas with skies shall joyn,
And stars with stars confounded lose their shine;
The Earth no longer shall extend its shore
To keep the Ocean out: The Moon no more
Follow the Sun; but scorning her old way
Cross him, and claim the guidance of the day:
The falling Worlds now jarring frame no peace
No league shall hold, &c.—

And nothing remain but the vast and desert Vacuum, some reliques, Atomes and broken pieces which by some happy chance might one day be cast again into another mould, perhaps different in shape from what we now behold it, according as the materials of the fragments fortuned to light. Aristotle indeed and Averroes, Cicero, and Xenophanes affirmed the world to be eternal, and no way obnoxious to this catastrophe: for seeing (as Censorinus hath it) they could not comprehend whether were first, the Bird, or the Egg; so neither could they in∣vestigate that the World had any commencement, or should have conclusion. But Pythagoras and the Sto∣icks held it corruptible: with these accord Thales, Hi∣erocles, Anaximenes, Avicen and Philo the Jew; but Plato will not have it finite, but of the nature of the GodPage  184 that made it; and Democritus said it should be once de∣stroyed, and never more repaired. Empedocles and Heraclitus taught that the world was continually re∣pairing and decaying together. But our Epicurus that it should and might be eternally recreated, that it was to have a period and be infallibly dissolved; onely, he ailed about the Agent, as conceiving it to proceed meerly from some natural force, which therefore ren∣dered it corruptible and subject to dilapidation; name∣ly, in as much as it had no other production then that of a Plant or Animal. Also from internal and intestine causes, the intermistion of Vacuum, the perpetual re∣percussions and discessions of Atomes, &c. That there∣fore the World did also man-like Senescere, as it had to∣gether with him its Adolescency and Virile vigour, as appears in the following, and our Poet once be∣fore,

Nam veluti privata cibo, &c.—

Which opinion however peremptorily affirmed as well by Christians as Heathens,* how false and erronious it will appear to a just and sober disquisition, I refer the Reader to the learned Apologist against the Natural decay.

Haec si perosces parva perductus opella;
(Nam{que} alid ex alio clarescit) non tibi caeca
Nox iter eripiet, quin ultima materiai
Pervideas; Ita res accendunt Lumina rebus.
If then by this sight work thou knowledge gain
(For one thing will the other much explain)
Thou can'st not erre, but shalt perceive aright
Natures extreams: so Things to Things give light:

These few particulars thus briefly delivered, well understo, and exctly compared; our Poet assures his 〈◊〉 friend Memmius will soon render him a Page  185 perfect Master in the knowledge of all Natural ca•••• whatsoever, in which Lucretius, as a sworn Epicur••m, beleved to consist the Summum Bonum of mankinde, and most transcendent felicity.

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉,
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉.