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Title: The Works of Sir Thomas Browne, Volume 1
Author: Browne, Thomas, Sir, 1605-1682
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Works of Sir Thomas Browne, Volume 1" ***

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Transcriber's Note

Footnotes and section headers were both printed in the margins as

For this text version, numbered marginal footnotes have been moved to
the end of their paragraphs. The headers have been moved to appear on a
separate line at the beginning of each section. Redundant sidenotes
merely indicating Part and Section numbers have been removed. Those
marginal notes which serve as paragraph descriptions, at or near the
head of a paragraph, precede that paragraph. Those which serve to
annotate specific points are inserted parenthetically as [SN: notes].

The Annotator's note which precedes Religio Medici uses marginal notes
as references to the relevant sections and pages in the printed text.

On occasion, the Latin passages employ a scribal abbreviation 'q;' for
'qus', which has been retained.

Descriptive notes have been inserted at the beginning of the sentence to
which they refer, like this: [Sidenote: Use of Italics] Italics are used
freely, and have been rendered using _underscore_ characters.

Please consult the more detailed notes at the end of this text.

                         THE ENGLISH LIBRARY

                            THE WORKS OF
                         SIR THOMAS BROWNE

                              VOLUME I


                            THE WORKS OF
                         SIR THOMAS BROWNE

                             Edited by
                           CHARLES SAYLE

                             VOLUME I

                          GRANT RICHARDS



This edition is an endeavour to arrive at a more satisfactory text of
the work of Sir Thomas Browne, and to reproduce the principal part of
it, as faithfully as seems advisable, in the form in which it was
presented to the public at the time of his death. For this purpose, in
the first volume, the text of the _Religio Medici_ follows more
particularly the issue of 1682. The _Pseudodoxia Epidemica_ here given
is based upon the sixth edition of ten years earlier, with careful
revision. In every case in which a spelling or punctuation was dubious,
a comparison was made of nearly all the issues printed during the
lifetime of the writer, and their merits weighed. By this means it is
hoped that the true flavour of the period has been preserved.

The Annotations upon the _Religio Medici_, which were always reprinted
with the text during the seventeenth century, are here restored. They
will appeal to a certain class of readers which has a right to be
considered. It is to be regretted that every quotation given in these
pages has not been verified. Several have been corrected; but to have
worked through them all, in these busy days, would have been a labour
of some years, which it is not possible to devote to the purpose. It has
been thought best to leave these passages therefore, in the main, as
they stand.[1]

The portrait of Sir Thomas Browne here prefixed is reproduced from the
engraving published in 1672 with the edition of the _Religio Medici_ and
_Pseudodoxia Epidemica_.


_August, 1903._

  [1] The quotation, now corrected, from Montaigne, on p. xxii, is a
      typical example of the pitfall into which one is liable to stumble.
      The passage there cited is in chapter xl. of the French author's
      later arrangement: a clear indication of the edition of the _Essais_
      used by the author of the Annotations. What is one to make of the
      readings in Lucretius on p. xxv? No light is thrown upon these
      difficulties by the edition of Browne's works published in 1686.
      Wilkin did not reprint the Annotations, except in selection.



PREFATORY NOTE BY THE EDITOR,                                       v

ANNOTATIONS UPON 'RELIGIO MEDICI,'                                 ix


TO THE READER.                                                      3

RELIGIO MEDICI,                                                     7

PSEUDODOXIA EPIDEMICA,                                            113

TO THE READER,                                                    115


    1. Of the Causes of Common Errors,                            121
    2. A further Illustration of the same,                        127
    3. Of the second cause of Popular Errors; the
       erroneous disposition of the People,                       132
    4. Of the nearer and more Immediate Causes
       of Popular Errors,                                         140
    5. Of Credulity and Supinity,                                 147
    6. Of Adherence unto Antiquity,                               152
    7. Of Authority,                                                                                                           161
    8. A brief enumeration of Authors,                            168
    9. Of the Same,                                               178
   10. Of the last and common Promoter of false
       Opinions, the endeavours of Satan,                         182
   11. A further Illustration,                                    193


    1. Of Crystal,                                                202
    2. Concerning the Loadstone,                                  216
    3. Concerning the Loadstone,                                  233
    4. Of Bodies Electrical,                                      254
    5. Compendiously of sundry other common
       Tenents, concerning Mineral and Terreous
       Bodies,                                                    262
    6. Of sundry Tenets concerning Vegetables or
       Plants,                                                    285
    7. Of some Insects, and the Properties of
       several Plants,                                            299


    1. Of the Elephant,                                           308
    2. Of the Horse,                                              314
    3. Of the Dove,                                               317
    4. Of the Bever,                                              321
    5. Of the Badger,                                             326
    6. Of the Bear,                                               328
    7. Of the Basilisk,                                           331
    8. Of the Wolf,                                               338
    9. Of the Deer,                                               340
   10. Of the King-fisher,                                        348

                            ANNOTATIONS UPON
                             RELIGIO MEDICI

                   _Nec satis est vulgasse fidem._--
                   Pet. Arbit. fragment.


A. Gellius (noct. Attic. l. 20. cap. _ult._) _notes some Books that had
strange Titles_; Pliny (Prefat. Nat. Hist.) _speaking of some such,
could not pass them over without a jeer: So strange (saith he) are the
Titles of some Books_, Ut multos ad vadimonium deferendum compellant.
_And_ Seneca _saith, some such there are_, Qui patri obstetricem
parturienti filiæ accersenti moram injicere possint. _Of the same fate
this present Tract_ Religio Medici _hath partaken: Exception by some
hath been taken to it in respect of its Inscription, which say they,
seems to imply that_ Physicians _have a Religion by themselves, which is
more than Theologie doth warrant: but it is their Inference, and not the
Title that is to blame; for no more is meant by that, or endeavoured to
be prov'd in the_ Book _then that (contrary to the opinion of the
unlearned_) Physitians _have Religion as well as other men_.

_For the Work it self, the present Age hath produced none that has had
better Reception amongst the learned; it has been received and fostered
by almost all, there having been but one that I knew of_ (_to verifie_
that Books have their Fate from the Capacity of the Reader) _that has
had the face to appear against it; that is_ Mr. Alexander[2] Rosse; _but
he is dead, and it is uncomely to skirmish with his shadow. It shall be
sufficient to remember to the_ Reader, _that the noble and most learned_
Knight, _Sir_ Kenelm Digby, _has delivered his opinion of it in another
sort, who though in some things he differ from the_ Authors _sense, yet
hath he most candidly and ingeniously allow'd it to be a_ very learned
and excellent Piece; _and I think no Scholar will say there can be an
approbation more authentique. Since the time he Published his
Observations upon it, one_ Mr. Jo. Merryweather, _a_ Master _of_ Arts
_of the_ University _of_ Cambridge, _hath deem'd it worthy to be put
into the universal Language, which about the year_ 1644 _he performed;
and that hath carried the Authors name not only into the_ Low-Countries
_and_ France (_in both which places the Book in_ Latin _hath since been
printed_) _but into_ Italy _and_ Germany; _and in_ Germany _it hath
since fallen into the hands of a Gentleman of that Nation[3] (of his
name he hath given us no more than_ L.N.M.E.N.) _who hath written
learned_ Annotations _upon it in_ Latin, which were _Printed together
with the Book at_ Strasbourg 1652. _And for the general good opinion
the World had entertained both of the_ Work and Author, _this Stranger
tells you_[4]: Inter alios Auctores incidi in libruni cui Titulus
_Religio Medici_, jam ante mihi innotuerat lectionem istius libri multos
præclaros viros delectasse, imo occupasse. Non ignorabam librum in
_Anglia_, _Gallia_, _Italia_, _Belgio_, _Germania_, cupidissime legi;
coustabat mihi eum non solum in _Anglia ac Batavia_, sed et _Purisiis_
cum præfatione, in qua Auctor magnis laudibus fertur, esse typis
mandatum. Compertum mihi erat multos magnos atq; eruditos viros sensere
Auctorem (quantum ex hoc scripto perspici potest) sanctitate vitæ ac
pietare elucere, etc. _But for the worth of the_ Book _it is so well
known to every_ English-man _that is fit to read it, that this
attestation of a_ Forrainer _may seem superfluous_.

  [2] In his _Medicus Medicatus_.

  [3] That he was a _German_ appears by his notes _page_ 35, where he
      useth these words, _Dulcissima nostra Germania_, etc.

  [4] In Præfat. Annotat.

_The_ German, _to do him right, hath in his_ Annotations _given a fair
specimen of his learning, shewing his skill in the Languages, as well
antient as modern; as also his acquaintance with all manner of Authors,
both sacred and profane, out of which he has ammas'd a world of
Quotations: but yet, not to mention that he hath not observed some
Errors of the Press, and one or two main ones of the Latin Translation,
whereby the Author is much injured; it cannot be denyed but he hath
pass'd over many hard places untoucht, that might deserve a Note; that
he hath made_ Annotations _on some, where no need was; in the
explication of others hath gone besides the true sense._

_And were he free from all these, yet one great Fault there is he may be
justly charg'd with, that is, that he cannot_ manum de Tabula _even in
matters the most obvious: which is an affectation ill-becoming a_
Scholar; _witness the most learned Annotator_, Claud. Minos. Divion. in
præfat. commentar. Alciat. Emblemat. præfix. Præstat (_saith he_)
brevius omnia persequi, et leviter attingere quæ nemini esse ignota
suspicari possint, quam quasi ῥαψωδεῖν, perq; locos communes identidem

_I go not about by finding fault with his, obliquely to commend my own;
I am as far from that, as 'tis possible others will be: All I seek, by
this Preface, next to acquainting the_ Reader _with the various
entertainment of the Book, is, that he would be advertized that these
Notes were collected ten[5] years since, long before the_ German's _were
written; so that I am no Plagiary (as who peruseth his Notes and mine,
will easily perceive): And in the second place, that I made this Recueil
meerly for mine own entertainment, and not with any intention to evulge
it; Truth is my witness, the publication proceeds meerly from the
importunity of the Book-seller (my special friend) who being acquainted
with what I had done, and about to set out another Edition of the Book,
would not be denied these notes to attex to it; 'tis he (not I) that
divulgeth it, and whatever the success be, he alone is concern'd in it;
I only say for my self what my Annotations bear in the Frontispiece_--

                 _Nec satis est vulgasse fidem----_

_That is, that it was not enough to all persons (though pretenders to
Learning) that our_ Physitian _had publish'd his Creed, because it
wanted an exposition. I say further, that the_ German's _is not full_;
_and that_ (----Quicquid sum Ego quamvis infra Lucilli censum
ingeniumq;----) _my explications do in many things illustrate the Text
of my Author_.

_24 Martii,

  [5] Excepting two or three particulars in which reference is made to
      some Books that came over since that time.


                 The Epistle to the _READER_

_Certainly that man were greedy of life, who should desire to live when
all the World were at an end_;] This Mr. _Merryweather_ hath rendred
thus; _Cupidum esse vitæ oportet, qui universo jam expirante mundo
vivere cuperet_; and well enough: but it is not amiss to remember, that
we have this saying in _Seneca_ the _Tragœdian_, who gives it us
thus, _Vitæ est avidus quisquis non vult mundo secum pereunte mori_.

_There are many things delivered Rhetorically_.] The Author herein
imitates the ingenuity of St. _Austin_, who in his _Retract._ corrects
himself for having delivered some things more like a young Rhetorician
than a sound Divine; but though St. _Aug._ doth deservedly acknowledge
it a fault in himself, in that he voluntarily published such things, yet
cannot it be so in this Author, in that he intended no publication of
it, as he professeth in this Epistle, and in that other to Sir _Kenelm


_Sect. 1. Pag. 1._

_The general scandal of my Profession_.] Physitians (of the number
whereof it appears by several passages in this Book the Author is one)
do commonly hear ill in this behalf. It is a common speech (but only
amongst the unlearn'd sort) _Ubi tres Medici, duo Athei_. The reasons
why those of that Profession (I declare my self that I am none, but
_Causarum Actor Mediocris_, to use _Horace_ his Phrase) may be thought
to deserve that censure, the Author rendreth _Sect_. 19.

_The natural course of my studies._] The vulgar lay not the imputation
of Atheism only upon Physitians, but upon Philosophers in general, who
for that they give themselves to understand the operations of _Nature_,
they calumniate them, as though they rested in the second causes without
any respect to the first. Hereupon it was, that in the tenth Age Pope
_Silvester_ the second pass'd for a Magician, because he understood
Geometry and natural Philosophy. _Baron. Annal._ 990. And _Apuleius_
long before him laboured of the same suspicion, upon no better ground;
he was accus'd, and made a learned Apology for himself, and in that hath
laid down what the ground is of such accusations, in these words: _Hæc
fermè communi quodam errore imperitorum Philosophis objectantur, ut
partem eorum qui corporum causas meras et simplices rimantur,
irreligiosos putant, eosque aiunt Deos abnuere, ut Anaxagoram, et
Lucippum, et Democritum, et Epicurum, cœterosq; rerum naturæ
Patronos._ Apul. in Apolog. And it is possible that those that look upon
the second Causes scattered, may rest in them and go no further, as my
Lord _Bacon_ in one of his _Essayes_ observeth; but our Author tells us
there is a true Philosophy, from which no man becomes an Atheist,
_Sect._ 46.

_The indifferency of my behaviour and Discourse in matters of
Religion._] Bigots are so oversway'd by a preposterous Zeal, that they
hate all moderation in discourse of Religion; they are the men
forsooth--_qui solos credant habendos esse Deos quos ipsi colunt_.
_Erasmus_ upon this accompt makes a great complaint to Sir _Tho. More_
in an Epistle of his, touching one _Dorpius_ a Divine of _Lovain_, who
because, upon occasion of discourse betwixt them, _Erasmus_ would not
promise him to write against _Luther_, told _Erasmus_ that he was a
_Lutheran_, and afterwards published him for such; and yet as _Erasmus_
was reputed no very good Catholick, so for certain he was no Protestant.

_Not that I meerly owe this Title to the Font_] as most do, taking up
their Religion according to the way of their Ancestors; this is to be
blamed among all persons: It was practised as well amongst Heathens as

_Per caput hoc juro per quod Pater antè solebat_, saith _Ascanius_ in
_Virgil_: and _Apuleius_ notes it for an absurdity. _Utrum Philosopho,
putas turpe scire ista, an neseire? negligere, an curare? nosse quanta
sit etiam in istis providentiæ ratio, an de diis immortalibus Matri et
Patri cedere_? saith he in _Apolog._ and so doth _Minutius_. _Unusquisq;
vestrum non cogitat prius se debere deum nosse quam colere, dum
inconsulte gestiuntur parentibus obedire, dum fieri malunt alieni
erroris accessio, quam sibi credere_. Minut. _in_ Octav.

_But having in my ripers examined_, etc.] according to the Apostolical
Precept, _Omnia probate, quod bonum est tenete_.

_Sect. 2. Pag. 8._

_There being a Geography of Religion_] _i.e._ of Christian Religion,
which you may see described in Mr. _Brerewood's_ Enquiries: he means not
of the Protestant Religion; for though there be a difference in
Discipline, yet the _Anglican_, _Scotic_, _Belgic_, _Gallican_, and
_Helvetic_ Churches differ not in any essential matter of the Doctrine,
as by the _Harmony of Confessions_ appears. 5. Epist. _Theod. Bezæ
Edmundo Grindallo Ep. Londinens_.

_Wherein I dislike nothing but the Name_] that is _Lutheran_,
_Calvinist_, _Zuinglian_, etc.

_Now the accidental occasion wherein_, etc.] This is graphically
described by _Thuanus_ in his History: but because his words are too
large for this purpose, I shall give it you somewhat more briefly,
according to the relation of the Author of the History of the Council of
_Trent_. The occasion was the necessity of Pope _Leo_ the Tenth, who by
his profusion had so exhausted the Treasure of the _Church_, that he was
constrained to have recourse to the publishing of Indulgencies to raise
monies: some of which he had destined to his own Treasury, and other
part to his Allyes, and particularly to his Sister he gave all the money
that should be raised in _Saxony_; and she, that she might make the best
profit of the donation, commits it to one _Aremboldus_, a Bishop to
appoint Treasurers for these Indulgences. Now the custome was, that
whensoever these Indulgences were sent into _Saxony_, they were to be
divulged by the Fryars _Eremites_ (of which Order _Luther_ then was),
but _Aremboldus_ his Agents thinking with themselves, that the Fryars
_Eremites_ were so well acquainted with the trade, that if the business
should be left to them, they should neither be able to give so good an
account of their Negotiation, nor yet get so much themselves by it as
they might do in case the business were committed to another Order; they
thereupon recommend it to (and the business is undertaken by) the
_Dominican_ Fryars, who performed it so ill, that the scandal arising
both from thence, and from the ill lives of those that set them on work,
stirred up _Luther_ to write against the abuses of these Indulgences;
which was all he did at first; but then, not long after, being provoked
by some Sermons and small Discourses that had been published against
what he had written, he rips up the _business_ from the beginning, and
publishes xcv _Theses_ against it at _Wittenberg_. Against these _Tekel_
a _Dominican_ writes; then _Luther_ adds an explication to his. _Eckius_
and _Prierius_ Dominicans, thereupon take the controversie against him:
and now _Luther_ begins to be hot; and because his adversaries could not
found the matter of Indulgences upon other Foundations then the _Popes_
power and infallibility, that begets a disputation betwixt them
concerning the Popes power, which _Luther_ insists upon as inferiour to
that of a _general Council_; and so by degrees he came on to oppose the
Popish Doctrine of _Remission of sins_, _Penances_, and _Purgatory_; and
by reason of Cardinal _Cajetans_ imprudent management of the conference
he had with him, it came to pass that he rejected the whole body of
Popish doctrine. So that by this we may see what was the accidental
occasion wherein, the slender means whereby, and the abject condition of
the person by whom, the work of Reformation of Religion was set on

_Sect. 3. Pag. 8._

_Yet I have not so shaken hands with those, desperate Resolutions,
(Resolvers it should be, without doubt) who had rather venture at large
their decayed Bottom, than bring her in to be new trimm'd in the Dock;
who had rather promiscuously retain all, than abridge any; and
obstinately be what they are, than what they have been; as to stand in a
diameter and at swords point with them: we have reformed from them, not
against them_, etc.] These words by Mr. _Merryweather_ are thus rendred,
_sc_. _Nec tamen in vecordem illum pertinacium hominum gregem memet
adjungo, qui lubefactatum navigium malunt fortunæ committere quam in
navale de integro resarciendum deducere, qui malunt omnia promiscuè
retinere quam quicquam inde diminuere, et pertinaciter esse qui sunt
quam qui olim fuerunt, ita ut iisdem ex diametro repugnent: ab illis,
non contra illos, reformationem instituimus_, etc. And the Latine
Annotator sits down very well satisfied with it, and hath bestowed some
notes upon it; but under the favour both of him and the Translator, this
Translation is so far different from the sense of the Author, that it
hath no sense in it; or if there be any construction of sense in it, it
is quite besides the Author's meaning; which will appear if we consider
the context: by that we shall find that the Author in giving an account
of his Religion, tells us first, that he is a Christian, and farther,
that he is of the reform'd Religion; but yet he saith, in this place, he
is not so rigid a Protestant, nor at defiance with Papists so far, but
that in many things he can comply with them, (the particulars he
afterwards mentions in this Section) for, saith he, we have reform'd
from them, not against them, that is, as the _Archbishop_ of
_Canterbury_ against the _Jesuit_ discourseth well. We have made no new
Religion nor Schism from the old; but in calling for the old, and
desiring that which was novel and crept in might be rejected, and the
Church of _Rome_ refusing it, we have reform'd from those upstart novel
Doctrines, but against none of the old: and other sense the place cannot
bear; therefore how the _Latine Annotator_ can apply it as though in
this place the Author intended to note the _Anabaptists_, I see not,
unless it were in respect of the expression _Vecordem pertinacium
hominum gregem_, which truly is a description well befitting them,
though not intended to them in this place: howsoever, I see not any
ground from hence to conclude the Author to be any whit inclining to the
_Bulk_ of Popery (but have great reason from many passages in this Book
to believe the contrary,) as he that prefix'd a Preface to the Parisian
Edition of this Book hath unwarrantably done.

But for the mistake of the Translator, it is very obvious from whence
that arose. I doubt not but it was from mistake of the sense of the
English Phrase _Shaken hands_, which he hath rendered by these words,
_Memet adjungo_, wherein he hath too much play'd the Scholar, and show'd
himself to be more skilful in forraign and antient customs, then in the
vernacular practise and usage of the language of his own Country; for
although amongst the Latines protension of the Hand were a Symbole and
sign of Peace and Concord (as _Alex. ab Alexandro_; _Manum verò
protendere, pacem peti significabunt_ (saith he) _Gen. Dier. lib. 4.
cap. ult._ which also is confirmed by _Cicero pro Dejotaro_; and _Cæsar.
l. 2. de Bellico Gallico_) and was used in their first meetings, as
appears by the Phrase, _Jungere hospitio Dextras_; and by that of

           _Oremus pacem, et Dextras tendamus inermes_,

And many like passages that occur in the Poets, to which I believe the
Translator had respect; yet in modern practise, especially with us in
_England_, that ceremony is used as much in our _Adieu's_ as in the
_first Congress_; and so the Author meant in this place, by saying he
had not _shaken hands_; that is, that he had not so deserted, or bid
farewel to the _Romanists_, as to stand at swords point with them: and
then he gives his reasons at those words, _For omitting those
improperations_, etc. So that instead of _memet adjungo_, the Translator
should have used some word or Phrase of a clean contrary signification;
and instead of _ex diametro repugnent_, it should be _repugnem_.

_Sect. 5. Pag. 11._

_Henry_ the Eighth, who, though he rejected the Pope, refused not the
faith of _Rome_.] So much _Buchanan_ in his own life written by himself
testifieth, who speaking of his coming into _England_ about the latter
end of that King's time, saith, _Sed ibi tum omnia adeo erant incerta,
ut eodem die, ac eodem igne_ (very strange!) _utriusque factionis
homines cremarentur, Henrico 8, jam seniore suæ magnis securitati quam
Religionis puritati intento_. And for the confirmation of this assertion
of the Author, _vide Stat. 31. H. 8, cap. 14_.

_And was conceived the state of_ Venice _would have attempted in our
dayes._] This expectation was in the time of Pope _Paul_ the Fifth, who
by excommunicating that Republique, gave occasion to the Senate to
banish all such of the Clergy as would not by reason of the Popes
command administer the Sacraments; and upon that account the _Jesuits_
were cast out, and never since receiv'd into that State.

_Sect. 6. Pag. 12._

_Or be angry with his judgement for not agreeing with me in that, from
which perhaps within a few days I should dissent my self._] I cannot
think but in this expression the Author had respect to that of that
excellent French Writer _Monsieur Mountaign_ (in whom I often trace
him). _Combien diversement jugeons nous de choses? Combien de fois
changeons nous nos fantasies? Ce que je tien aujourdhuy, ce que je croy,
je le tien et le croy de toute ma Creance, mais ne m'est il pas advenu
non une fois mais cent, mais mille et tous les jours d'avoir embrasse
quelque autre chose?_ Mountaign lib. 2. _Des Essais._ Chap. 12.

_Every man is not a proper Champion for truth_, etc.] A good cause is
never betray'd more than when it is prosecuted with much eagerness, and
but little sufficiency; and therefore _Zuinglius_, though he were of
_Carolostadius_ his opinion in the point of the Sacrament of the
_Eucharist_ against _Luther_, yet he blamed him for undertaking the
defence of that cause against _Luther_, not judging him able enough for
the encounter: _Non satis habet humerorum_, saith he of _Carolostad_,
alluding to that of _Horace_, _Sumite materiam vestris qui scribitis
æquam Viribus, et versate diu quid ferre recusent Quid valeant
humeri_.----So _Minutius Fælix; Plerumq; pro disserentium viribus, et
eloquentiæ potestate, etiam perspicuæ veritatis conditio mutetur_.
Minut. in Octav. And _Lactantius_ saith, this truth is verified in
_Minutius_ himself: for _Him_, _Tertullian_ and _Cyprian_, he spares not
to blame (all of them) as if they had not with dexterity enough defended
the Christian cause against the _Ethniques_. _Lactant. de justitia_,
cap. 1. I could wish that those that succeeded him had not as much cause
of complaint against him: surely he is noted to have many errors _contra

_Pag. 13._

_In Philosophy----there is no man more Paradoxical then my self, but in
Divinity I love to keep the Road_, etc.] Appositely to the mind of the
Author, saith the Publisher of Mr. _Pembel's_ Book _de origine
formarum_, _Certe_ (saith he) _in locis Theologicis ne quid detrimenti
capiat vel Pax. vel Veritas Christi----à novarum opinionum pruritu
prorsus abstinendum puto, usq; adeo ut ad certam regulam etiam loqui
debeamus, quod pie et prudenter monet Augustinus_ (_de Civ. Dei._ 1. 10,
cap. 23.) [_ne verborum licentia impia vi gignat opinionem_,] _at in
pulvere Scholastico ubi in nullius verba, juramus, et in utramvis partem
sine dispendio vel pacis, vel salutis ire liceat, major conceditur cum
sentiendi tum loquendi libertas_, etc. Capel. _in Ep. Dedicat._
_Pembel_, _de origin form. præfix_.

_Heresies perish not with their Authors, but like the River_ Arethusa,
_though they lose their Currents in one place, they rise again in
another._] Who would not think that this expression were taken from Mr.
_Mountaigne_, _l. 2, des Ess. cap. 12_. Where he hath these words,
_Nature enserre dans les termes de son progress ordinaire comme toutes
autres choses aussi les creances les judgements et opinions des hommes
elles ont leur revolutions_; and that _Mountaigne_ took his from
_Tully_. _Non enim hominum interitu sententiæ quoque occidunt_, _Tull._
_de nat. deorum l. 1_, etc. Of the River _Arethusa_ thus _Seneca_.
_Videbis celebratissimum carminibus fontem Arethusam limpidissimi ac
perludicissimi ad imum stagni gelidissimas aquas profundentem, sive
illas primum nascentes invenit, sive flumen integrum subter tot maria,
et à confusione pejoris undæ servatum reddidit_. Senec. _de consolat. ad

_Sect. 7. Pag. 14._

_Now the first of mine was that of the_ Arabians.] For this Heresie, the
Author here sheweth what it was; they are called _Arabians_ from the
place where it was fostered; and because the _Heresiarch_ was not known,
_Euseb._ St. _Aug._ and _Nicephorus_ do all write of it: the reason of
this Heresie was so specious, that it drew Pope _John 22_. to be of the
same perswasion. Where then was his infallibility? Why, _Bellarmine_
tells you he was nevertheless infallible for that: for, saith he, he
maintained this opinion when he might do it without peril of Heresie,
for that no definition of the Church whereby 'twas made Heresie, had
preceded when he held that opinion. _Bellar. l. 4_, de _Pontif. Roman.
cap. 4._ Now this definition was first made ('tis true) by Pope
_Benedict_ in the 14 Age: but then I would ask another question, that
is, If 'till that time there were nothing defined in the Church touching
the beatitude of Saints, what certainty was there touching the sanctity
of any man? and upon what ground were those canonizations of Saints had,
that were before the 14 Age?

_The second was that of_ Origen.] Besides St. _Augustine_, _Epiphanius_,
and also S. _Hierom_, do relate that _Origen_ held, that not only the
souls of men, but the _Devils_ themselves should be discharged from
torture after a certain time: but _Genebrard_ endeavours to clear him of
this. _Vid. Coquæum, in 21. lib. Aug. de. Civ. Dei. cap. 17._

_These opinions though condemned by lawful Councils, were not Heresie in
me_, etc.] For to make an Heretique, there must be not only _Error in
intellectu_ but _pertinacia in voluntate_. So St. _Aug. Qui sententiam
suam quamvis falsam atque perversam nulla pertinaci animositate
defendunt, quærunt autem cauta solicitudine veritatem, corrigi parati
cum invenerint, nequaquam sunt inter Hæreticos deputundi_. Aug. _cont.
Manich. 24, qu. 3._

_Sect. 9. Pag. 16._

_The deepest mysteries ours contains have not only been illustrated, but
maintained by Syllogism and the Rule of Reason_,] and since this Book
was written, by Mr. _White_ in his _Institutiones Sacræ_.

_And when they have seen the Red Sea, doubt not of the Miracle._] Those
that have seen it, have been better informed then Sir _Henry Blount_
was, for he tells us that he desired to view the passage of _Moses_ into
the Red Sea (not being above three days journey off) but the _Jews_ told
him the precise place was not known within less than the space of a days
journey along the shore; wherefore (saith he) I left that as too
uncertain for any Observation. _In his Voyage into the Levant._

_Sect. 10. Pag. 18._

I had as lieve you tell me that _Anima est Angelus hominis, est corpus
Dei_, as _Entelechia; Lux est umbra Dei_, as _actus perspicui._] Great
variety of opinion there hath been amongst the Ancient Philosophers
touching the definition of the Soul. _Thales_, his was, that it is a
_Nature without Repose_. _Asclepiades_, that it is _an Exercitation of
Sense_. _Hesiod_, that it is _a thing composed of Earth and Water_;
_Parmenides_ holds, _of Earth and Fire_; _Galen_ that it is _Heat_;
_Hippocrates_, that it is _a spirit diffused through the body_. Some
others have held it to be _Light_; _Plato_ saith, 'tis _a Substance
moving itself_; after cometh _Aristotle_ (whom the Author here
reproveth) and goeth a degree farther, and saith it is _Entelechia_,
that is, that which naturally makes the body to move. But this
definition is as rigid as any of the other; for this tells us not what
the _essence_, _origine_ or _nature_ of the _soul_ is, but only marks an
_effect_ of it, and therefore signifieth no more than if he had said (as
the Author's Phrase is) that it is _Angelus hominis_, or an
_Intelligence_ that moveth man, as he supposed those other to do the

Now to come to the definition of Light, in which the Author is also
unsatisfied with the School of _Aristotle_, he saith, It satisfieth him
no more to tell him that _Lux est actus perspicui_, than if you should
tell him that it is _umbra Dei_. The ground of this definition given by
the _Peripateticks_, is taken from a passage in _Aristot. de anima l. 2,
cap. 7_, where _Aristotle_ saith, That the colour of the thing seen,
doth move that which is _perspicuum actu_ (i.e. _illustratam naturam quæ
sit in aere aliove corpore trunsparente_) and that that, in regard of
its continuation to the eye, moveth the eye, and by its help the
internal _sensorium_; and that so vision is perform'd. Now as it is true
that the Sectators of _Aristotle_ are to blame, by fastening upon him by
occasion of this passage, that he meant that those things that made this
impress upon the Organs are meer accidents, and have nothing of
substance; which is more than ever he meant, and cannot be maintained
without violence to Reason, and his own Principles; so for _Aristotle_
himself, no man is beholding to him for any Science acquir'd by this
definition: for what is any man the near for his telling him that Colour
(admitting it to be a body, as indeed it is, and in that place he doth
not deny) doth move _actu perspicuum_, when as the perspicuity is in
relation to the _eye_; and he doth not say how it comes to be
perspicuous, which is the thing enquired after, but gives it that
donation before the eye hath perform'd its office; so that if he had
said it had been _umbra Dei_, it would have been as intelligible, as
what he hath said. He that would be satisfied how Vision is perform'd,
let him see Mr. _Hobbs_ in _Tract. de nat. human_, cap. 2.

_For God hath not caused it to rain upon the Earth._] St. _Aug. de
Genes. ad literam_, cap. 5, 6, salves that expression from any
inconvenience; but the Author in _Pseudodox. Epidemic._ l. 7, cap. 1,
shews that we have no reason to be confident that this Fruit was an

_I believe that the_ Serpent (_if we shall literally understand it_)
_from his proper form and figure made his motion on his belly before the
curse_.] Yet the Author himself sheweth in _Pseudodox. Epidemic._ lib.
7, cap. 1, that the form or kind of the _Serpent_ is not agreed on: yet
_Comestor_ affirm'd it was a _Dragon_, _Eugubinus_ a _Basilisk_,
_Delrio_ a _Viper_, and others a common _Snake_: but of what kind soever
it was, he sheweth in the same Volume, _lib. 5, c. 4_, that there was no
inconvenience, that the temptation should be perform'd in this proper

_I find the tryal of Pucelage and the Virginity of Women which God
ordained the_ Jews, _is very fallible._] _Locus extat, Deut. c. 22_, the
same is affirm'd by _Laurentius_ in his _Anatom._

_Whole Nations have escaped the curse of Child-birth, which God seems to
pronounce upon the whole sex._] This is attested by M. _Mountaigne_.
_Les doleurs de l'enfantiment par les medicins, et par Dieu mesme
estimees grandes, et que nous passons avec tant de Ceremonies, il y a
des nations entieres qui ne'n fuit nul conte. l. 1, des Ess. c. 14_.

_Sect 11. Pag. 19._

_Who can speak of_ Eternity _without a Solœcism, or think thereof
without an Extasie?_ Time _we may comprehend_, etc.] Touching the
difference betwixt _Eternity_ and _Time_, there have been great disputes
amongst Philosophers; some affirming it to be no more than _duration
perpetual consisting of parts_; and others (to which opinion, it appears
by what follows in this Section, the Author adheres) affirmed (to use
the Authors Phrase) that it hath no distinction of Tenses, but is
according to _Boetius_ (_lib. 5, consol. pros. 6_), his definition,
_interminabilis vitæ tota simul et perfecta possessio_. For me, _non
nostrum est tantas componere lites_. I shall only observe what each of
them hath to say against the other. Say those of the first opinion
against those that follow _Boetius_ his definition, That definition was
taken by _Boetius_ out of _Plato's Timæus_, and is otherwise applyed,
though not by _Boetius_, yet by those that follow him, than ever _Plato_
intended it; for he did not take it in the Abstract, but in the
Concrete, for an _eternal thing_, _a Divine substance_, by which he
meant _God_, or his _Anima mundi_: and this he did, to the intent to
establish this truth, That no mutation can befal the Divine Majesty, as
it doth to things subject to generation and corruption; and that _Plato_
there intended not to define or describe any _species_ of duration: and
they say that it is impossible to understand any such _species_ of
duration that is (according to the Authors expression) but one
_permanent point_.

Now that which those that follow _Boetius_ urge against the other
definition is, they say, it doth not at all difference _Eternity_ from
the nature of _Time_; for they say if it be composed of many _Nunc's_,
or many instants, by the addition of one more it is still encreased; and
by that means _Infinity_ or _Eternity_ is not included, nor ought more
than _Time_. For this, see Mr. _White_, _de dial. mundo, Dial. 3. Nod.

_Indeed he only is_, etc.] This the Author infers from the words of God
to _Moses_, _I am that I am_; and this to distinguish him from all
others, who (he saith) have and shall be: but those that are learned in
the _Hebrew_, do affirm that the words in that place (_Exod. 3_) do not
signifie, _Ego sum qui sum, et qui est_, etc. but _Ero qui ero, et qui
erit_, etc. _vid Gassend. in animad. Epicur. Physiolog._

_Sect. 12. Pag. 20._

_I wonder how_ Aristotle _could conceive the World Eternal, or how he
could make two Eternities_:] (that is, that God, and the World both were
eternal.) I wonder more at either the ignorance or incogitancy of the
_Conimbricenses_, who in their Comment upon the eighth book of
_Aristotle's Physicks_, treating of the matter of Creation, when they
had first said that it was possible to know it, and that actually it was
known (for _Aristotle_ knew it) yet for all this they afterwards affirm,
That considering onely the light of Nature, there is nothing can be
brought to demonstrate Creation: and yet farther, when they had defined
Creation to be the production of a thing _ex nihilo_, and had proved
that the World was so created in time, and refused the arguments of the
Philosophers to the contrary, they added this, That the World might be
created _ab æterno_: for having propos'd this question [_Num aliquid à
Deo ex Æternitate procreari potuit?_] they defend the affirmative, and
assert that not onely incorporeal substances, as Angels; or permanent,
as the celestial Bodies; or corruptible as Men, etc. might be produced
and made _ab æterno_, and be conserved by an infinite time, _ex utraq_;
_parte_; and that this is neither repugnant to God the Creator, the
things created, nor to the nature of Creation: for proof whereof, they
bring instances of the _Sun_ which if it had been eternal, had
illuminated eternally, (and the virtue of God is not less than the
virtue of the Sun.) Another instance they bring of the _divine Word_,
which was produced _ab æterno_: in which discourse, and in the instances
brought to maintain it, it is hard to say whether the madness or impiety
be greater; and certainly if Christians thus argue, we have the more
reason to pardon the poor heathen _Aristotle_.

_There is in us not three, but a Trinity of Souls._] The
_Peripatetiques_ held that men had three distinct Souls; whom the
Heretiques, the _Anomæi_, and the _Jacobites_, followed. There arose a
great dispute about this matter in _Oxford_, in the year 1276, and it
was then determined against _Aristotle_, _Daneus Christ. Eth._ l. 1. c.
4. and _Suarez_ in his Treatise _de causa formali, Quest. An dentur
plures formæ in uno composito_, affirmeth there was a Synod that did
_anathematize_ all that held with _Aristotle_ in this point.

_Sect. 14. Pag. 23._

_There is but one first, and four second causes in all things._] In that
he saith there is but one first cause, he speaketh in opposition to the
_Manichees_, who held there were _Duo principia_; one from whom came all
good, and the other from whom came all evil: the reason of _Protagoras_
did it seems impose upon their understandings; he was wont to say, _Si
Deus non est, unde igitur bona? Si autem est, unde mala?_ In that he
saith there are but four second Causes, he opposeth _Plato_, who to the
four causes, _material_, _efficient_, _formal_, and _final_, adds for a
fifth _exemplar_ or _Idæa_, sc. _Id ad quod respiciens artifex, id quod
destinabat efficit_; according to whose mind _Boetius_ speaks, _lib. 3.
met. 9. de cons. Philosoph_.

          _O qui perpetua mundum ratione gubernas,
          Terrarum Cœliq; sator qui tempus ab ævo
          Ire jubes, stabilisq; manens das cuncta moveri:
          Quem non externæ pepulerunt fingere causæ
          Materiæ fluitantis opus, verum insita summi
          Forma boni livore carens: tu cuncta superno
          Ducis ab exemplo, pulchrum pulcherrimus ipse
          Mundum mente gerens, similique in imagine formans,
          Perfectasq; jubens perfectum absolvere partes._

And St. _Augustine l. 83. quest. 46_. where (amongst other) he hath
these words, _Restat ergo ut omnia Ratione sint condita, nec eadem
ratione homo qua equus; hoc enim absurdum est existimare: singula autem
propriis sunt creata rationibus_. But these _ideæ Plato's_ Scholar
_Aristotle_ would not allow to make or constitute a different sort of
cause from the _formal_ or _efficient_, to which purpose he disputes,
_l. 7. Metaphysic._ but he and his Sectators, and the _Ramists_ also,
agree (as the Author) that there are but the four remembred Causes: so
that the Author, in affirming there are but four, hath no Adversary but
the _Platonists_; but yet in asserting there are four (as his words
imply) there are that oppose him, and the _Schools_ of _Aristot._ and
_Ramus_. I shall bring for instance Mr. _Nat Carpenter_, who in his
_Philosophia Libera_ affirmeth, there is no such cause as that which
they call the _Final cause_: he argueth thus; Every cause hath an
influence upon its effect: but so has not the End, therefore it is not a
Cause. The _major_ proposition (he saith) is evident, because the
influence of a cause upon its effect, is either the causality it self,
or something that is necessarily conjoyned to it: and the _minor_ as
plain, for either the End hath an influence upon the effect immediately,
or mediately, by stirring up the Efficient to operate; not immediately,
because so it should enter either the _constitution_ or _production_, or
_conservation_ of the things; but the constitution it cannot enter,
because the constitution is only of _matter_ and _form_; nor the
Production, for so it should concur to the production, either as it is
_simply the end_, or as _an exciter of the Efficient_; but not simply as
the end, because the end _as end_ doth not go before, but followeth the
thing produced, and therefore doth not concur to its production: if they
say it doth so far concur, as it is desired of the agent or efficient
cause, it should not so have an immediate influence upon the effect, but
should onely first move the efficient. Lastly, saith he, it doth not
enter the conservation of a thing, because a thing is often conserved,
when it is frustrate of its due end, as when it's converted to a new use
and end. Divers other Arguments he hath to prove there is no such cause
as the final cause. _Nat. Carpenter Philosoph. liber Decad. 3.
Exercitat. 5_. But for all this, the Author and he differ not in
substance: for 'tis not the Author's intention to assert that the end is
in nature præexistent to the effect, but only that whatsoever God has
made, he hath made to some end or other; which he doth to oppose the
Sectators of _Epicurus_, who maintain the contrary, as is to be seen by
this of _Lucretius_ which follows.

          _Illud in his rebus vitium vehementer et istum,
          Effugere errorem vitareque premeditabor
          Lumina ne facias oculorum clara creata
          Prospicere ut possimus; et, ut proferre viai
          Proceros passus, ideo fastigia posse
          Surarum ac feminum pedibus fundata plicari:
          Brachia tum porro validis ex apta lacertis
          Esse, manusq; datas utraq; ex parte ministras,
          Vt facere ad vitam possimus, quæ foret usus:
          Cætera de genere hoc, inter quæcunq; precantur
          Omnia perversa præpostera sunt ratione:
          Nil ideo quoniam natum'st in corpore, ut uti
          Possemus; sed quod natum'st, id procreat usum,
          Nec fuit ante videre oculorum lumina nata,
          Nec dictis orare prius, quam lingua creata'st,
          Sed potius longe linguæ præcessit origo
          Sermonem; multoq: creatæ sunt prius aures
          Quam sonus est auditus, et omnia deniq; membra
          Ante fuere, ut opinor, eorum quam foret usus:
          Haud igitur potuere utendi crescere causa._

                                    Lucret. lib. 4. [822-841.]

_Sect. 15. Pag. 24._

_There are no Grotesques in nature_, etc.] So _Monsr. Montaign_, _Il
n'ya rien d'inutil en nature, non pas l'inutilité mesmes, Rien ne s'est
ingeré en cet Univers qui n'y tienne place opportun._ Ess. l. 3. c. 1.

_Who admires not_ Regio-montanus _his Fly beyond his Eagle?_] Of these
_Du Bartas_.

                  _Que diray je de l'aigle,
          D'ont un doct Aleman honore nostre siecle
          Aigle qui deslogeant de la maistresse main,
          Aila loin au devant d'un Empereur Germain;
          Et l'ayant recontré suddain d'une aisle accorte,
          Se tournant le suit au seuil de la porte
          Du fort Norembergois, que lis piliers dorez,
          Les tapissez chemins, les arcs elabourez,
          Les fourdroyans Canons, in la jeusnesse isnelle,
          In le chena Senat, n'honnoroit tant come elle.
          Vn jour, que cetominer plus des esbats, que de mets,
          En privé fasteyoit ses seignieurs plus amees,
          Vne mousche de fer, dans sa main recelee,
          Prit sans ayde d'autroy, sa gallard evolee:
          Fit une entiere Ronde, et puis d'un cerveau las
          Come ayant jugement, se purcha sur son bras_.

Thus Englished by _Silvester_.

          _Why should not I that wooden Eagle mention?
          (A learned_ German's _late admir'd invention)
          Which mounting from his Fist that framed her,
          Flew far to meet an_ Almain _Emperour:
          And having met him, with her nimble Train,
          And weary Wings turning about again,
          Followed him close unto the Castle Gate
          Of _Noremberg_; whom all the shews of state,
          Streets hang'd with Arras, arches curious built,
          Loud thundring Canons, Columns richly guilt,
          Grey-headed Senate, and youth's gallantise,
          Grac'd not so much as onely this device.
          Once as this Artist more with mirth than meat,
          Feasted some friends that he esteemed great;
          From under's hand an Iron Fly flew out,
          Which having flown a perfect round about,
          With weary wings, return'd unto her Master,
          And (as judicious) on his arm she plac'd her._

_Or wonder not more at the operation of two souls in those little
bodies, than but one in the Trunk of a Cedar?_] That is, the
_vegetative_, which according to the common opinion, is supposed to be
in _Trees_, though the _Epicures_ and _Stoiques_ would not allow any
Soul in Plants; but _Empedocles_ and _Plato_ allowed them not only a
_vegetative_ Soul, but affirm'd them to be _Animals_. The _Manichees_
went farther, and attributed so much of the rational Soul to them, that
they accounted it _Homicide_ to gather either the flowers or fruit, as
St. _Aug._ reports.

_We carry with us the wonders we seek without us._] So St. _Aug._ l. 10.
de civ. c. 3. _Omni miraculo quod fit per hominem majus miraculum est

_Sect. 16. Pag. 25._

_Another of his servant Nature, that publique and universal Manuscript
that lies expansed_, etc.] So is the description of _Du Bartas 7. jour
de la sepm._

          _Oyes ce Docteur muet estudie en ce livre
          Qui nuict et jour ouvert t'apprendra de bien vivre._

_All things are artificial, for Nature is the Art of God._] So Mr.
_Hobbes_ in his _Leviathan_ (_in initio_) Nature is the Art whereby God
governs the world.

_Sect. 17. Pag. 27._

_Directing the operations of single and individual Essences_, etc.]
Things singular or individuals, are in the opinion of Philosophers not
to be known, but by the way of sense, or by that which knows by its
Essence, and that is onely God. The Devils have no such knowledge,
because whatsoever knows so, is either the cause or effect of the thing
known; whereupon _Averroes_ concluded that God was the cause of all
things, because he understands all things by his Essence; and _Albertus
Magnus_ concluded, That the inferiour intelligence understands the
superiour, because it is an effect of the superiour: but neither of
these can be said of the _Devil_; for it appears he is not the effect of
any of these inferiour things, much less is he the cause, for the power
of Creation onely belongs to God.

_All cannot be happy at once, because the Glory of one State depends
upon the ruine of another._] This Theme is ingeniously handled by Mr.
_Montaigne livr. 1. des Ess._ cap. 22. the title whereof is, _Le
profit de l'un est dommage de l'autre_.

_Sect. 18. Pag. 29._

_'Tis the common fate of men of singular gifts of mind, to be destitute
of those of Fortune._] So _Petron. Arbiter. Amor ingenii neminem
unquum divitem fecit_, in _Satyric_. And _Apuleius_ in Apolog. _Idem
mihi etiam_ (saith he) _paupertatem opprobravit acceptum Philosopho
crimen et ultro profitendum_; and then a little afterwards, he sheweth
that it was the common fate of those that had singular gifts of mind:
_Eadem enim est paupertas apud Græcos in Aristide justa, in Phocyone
benigna, in Epaminonde strenua, in Socrate sapiens, in Homero diserta._

_We need not labour with so many arguments to confute judicial_
Astrology.] There is nothing in judicial _Astrology_ that may render it
impious; but the exception against it is, that it is vain and fallible;
of which any man will be convinced, that has read _Tully de Divinat._
and St. _Aug._ book 5. _de Civ. dei_.

_Sect. 19. Pag. 31._

_There is in our soul a kind of Triumvirate----that distracts the peace
of our Commonwealth, not less than did that other the State of_ Rome.]
There were two _Triumvirates_, by which the peace of _Rome_ was
distracted; that of _Crassus_, _Cæsar_ and _Pompey_, of which _Lucan_,
_l._ 1.

                  _----Tu causam aliorum----
          Facta tribus Dominis communis Roma, nec unquam
          In turbam missi feralia fœdera Regni._

And that other of _Augustus_, _Antonius_ and _Lepidus_, by whom, saith
_Florus_, _Respublica convulsa est lacerataque_, which comes somewhat
near the Author's words, and therefore I take it that he means this last

_Sect. 19. Pag. 32._

_Would disswade my belief from the miracle of the brazen Serpent._] Vid.
_Coqueum in_, _l. 10._ _Aug._ _de Civ. Dei_, c. 8.

_And bid me mistrust a miracle in_ Elias, etc.] The History is 18. 1
_Reg._ It should be _Elijah_. The Author in _15. cap. lib. 7.
Pseudodox._ sheweth it was not perform'd naturally; he was (as he saith)
a perfect miracle.

_To think the combustion of_ Sodom _might be natural_.] Of that opinion
was _Strabo_, whereupon he is reprehended by _Genebrard_ in these words:
_Strabo falsus est----dum eversionem addicit sulphuri et bitumini e
terra erumpentibus, quæ erat assignanda Cœlo_, i.e. _Deo irato_.
_Tacitus_ reports it according to the Bible, _fulminis ictu arsisse_.

_Sect. 20. Pag. 33._

_Those that held Religion was the difference of man from Beasts_, etc.]
_Lactantius_ was one of those: _Religioni ergo serviendum est, quam qui
non suspicit, ipse se prosternit in terram, et vitam pecudum secutus
humanitate se abdicat._ Lactant _de fals. Sapientia_, cap. 10.

_The Doctrine of_ Epicurus _that denied the providence of God, was no
Atheism, but_, etc.] I doubt not but he means that delivered in his
Epistle to _Menæceus_, and recorded by _Diogenes Laertius_, lib. 10.
_Quod beatum æternumque est, id nec habet ipsum negotii quicquam, nec
exhibit alteri, itaque neque ira, neque gratia tenetur, quod quæ talia
sunt imbecillia sunt omnia_; which the _Epicurean_ Poet hath delivered
almost in the same words.

          _Omnis enim per se divum natura necesse 'st
          Immortali ævo summa cum pace fruatur,
          Semota à nostris rebus sejunctaq; longè:
          Nam privata dolore omni, privata periclis
          Ipsa suis pollens opibus nihil indiga nostri
          Nec bene pro meritis capitur, nec tangitur ira._

                                            Lucret. _lib. 2._

_That Villaine and Secretary of Hell, that composed that miscreant piece
of the three Impostors._] It was _Ochinus_ that composed this piece; but
there was no less a man than the Emperour _Frederick_ the Second, that
was as lavish of his tongue as the other of his pen; _Cui sæpe in ore,
Tres fuisse insignes Impostores, qui genus humanum seduxerunt: Moysem,
Christum, Mahumetem. Lips. monit. et exempl. Politic._ cap. 4. And a
greater than he, Pope _Leo_ the Tenth, was as little favourable to our
Saviour, when he us'd that speech which is reported of him, _Quantas
nobis divitias comparavit ista de Christo fabula_.

_Sect. 21. Pag. 34._

_There are in Scripture, stories that do exceed the fables of Poets._]
So the Author of _Relig. Laici. Certè mira admodum in_ S. S. _plus quam
in reliquis omnibus Historiis traduntur_; (and then he concludes with
the Author) _sed quæ non retundunt intellectum, sed exercent_.

_Yet raise no question who shall rise with that_ Rib _at the
Resurrection_.] The Author _cap. 2 l. 7_. _Pseudodox_. sheweth that it
appeares in Anatomy, that the Ribs of Man and Woman are equal.

_Whether the world were created in Autumn, Summer, or the Spring_, etc.]
In this matter there is a consent between two learned Poets, _Lucretius_
and _Virgil_, that it begins in _Spring_.

          _At novitas mundi nec frigora dura ciebat,
          Nec nimios æstus, nec magnis viribus auras._

Which he would have to be understood of _Autumn_, because that resembles
old age rather than Infancy. He speaks expresly of the Fowls.

          _Principio genus alituum variæq; volucres
          Ova relinquebant exclusæ tempore verno._

Then for _Virgil_.

          _Non alios prima nascentis origine mundi
          Illuxisse dies aliumve habuisse tenorem
          Crediderim, ver illud erat, ver magnus agebat
          Orbis, et hibernis parcebant flatibus Euri._

                                             Virgil 2. Georgic.

But there is a great difference about it betwixt Church-Doctors; some
agreeing with these Poets and others affirming the time to be in Autumn:
but truly, in strict speaking, it was not created in any one, but all of
the seasons, as the Author saith here, and hath shewed at large.
_Pseudodox. Epidemic._ lib. 6. cap. 2.

_Sect. 22. Pag. 35._

_'Tis ridiculous to put off or down the general floud of_ Noah _in that
particular inundation of_ Deucalion,] as the Heathens some of them
sometimes did: _Confuderunt igitur sæpe Ethnici particularia illa
diluvia, quæ longe post secuta sunt, cum illo universali quod præcessit,
ut ex fabulis in Diluvio Deucalionæo sparsis colligere licet; non tamen
semper nec ubique. Author. Observat. in Mytholog. Nat. Com._ Then
amongst those that confound them, he reckons _Ovid_ and _Plutarch_.

_How all the kinds of Creatures, not onely in their own bulks, but with
a competency of food and sustenance, might be preserved in one Ark, and
within the extent of 300 Cubits, to a reason that rightly examines it
will appear very feasible._] Yet _Apelles_ the Disciple of _Mercion_,
took upon him to deride the History of _Moses_ in this particular,
alledging that it must needs be a fable, for that it was impossible so
many creatures should be contain'd in so small a space. _Origen_ and St.
_Aug._ to answer this pretended difficulty, alleadge that _Moses_ in
this place speakes of Geometrical (and not vulgar) cubits, of which
every one was as much as six vulgar ones; and so no difficulty. But
_Perer. l. 10. com. in Genes, quest. 5. de arca_, rejects this opinion
of _Origen_, as being both against reason and Scripture.

1. Because that sort of Cubit was never in use amongst any people, and
therefore absurd to think _Moses_ should intend it in this place.

2. If _Moses_ should not speak of the same Cubits here, that he mentions
in others places, there would be great æquivocation in Scripture: now in
another place, _i.e._  _Exod. 27._ he saith, God commanded him to make an
Altar three Cubits high; which if it shall be meant of Geometrical
Cubits it will contain 18 vulgar Cubits; which would not only render it
useless, but would be contrary to the command which he saith God gave
him, _Exod. 20. Thou shall not go up by steps to my Altar._ For
without steps what man could reach it. It must therefore be meant of
ordinary Cubits; but that being so it was very feasible. I can more
easily believe than understand it.

_And put the honest Father to the Refuge of a Miracle._] This honest
father was St. _Aug._ who delivers his opinion, that it might be
miraculously done, _lib. 16. de Civ. Dei, cap. 7._ where having propos'd
the question how it might be done, he answers, _Quod si homines eas
captas secum adduxerunt, et eo modo ubi habitabant earum genera
instituerunt, venandi studio fieri potuisse incredibile non est, quamvis
jussu Dei sire permissu etiam opera Angelorum negandum non sit potuisse
transferri_; but St. _Aug._ saith not that it could not be done without
a miracle.

_And 1500 years to people the World, as full a time_, etc.]

_Pag. 36._

_That_ Methusalem _was the longest liv'd of all the children of_ Adam,
etc.] See both these Points cleared by the Author, in _Pseudodox.
Epidemic._ the first _lib. 6. cap. 6._ the other _lib. 7. cap. 3._

_That_ Judas _perished by hanging himself, there is no certainty in
Scripture, though in one place it seems to affirm it, and by a doubtful
word hath given occasion to translate it; yet in another place, in a
more punctual description it makes it improbable, and seems to overthrow
it_.] These two places that seem to contradict one another are _Math.
27. 5._ and _Acts 1. 8._ The doubtful word he speaks of is in the place
of _Matthew_; it is ἀπήγξατο, which signifieth suffocation as well as
hanging, (ἀπελθὼν ἀπήγξατο, which may signifie literally, after he went
out he was choak'd) but _Erasmus_ translates it, _abiens laqueo se
suspendit_: the words in the _Acts_ are, _When he had thrown down
himself headlong, he burst in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out_;
which seems to differ much from the expression of _Matthew_; yet the
Ancient Writers and Fathers of the Church do unanimously agree that he
was hanged. Some I shall cite. _Anastas. Sinaita, l. 7. Anagog.
Contempl. Unus latro ingratus cum esset typus Diaboli, et Serpentis,
et Judæ, qui se in ligno suffocavit. Gaudentius Brixiens. tract. 13.
de natal. Dom. Mortem debitam laqueo sibimet intulit præparato_, etc.
_Droggotoshen. de sacram. dominic. pass. Jamdiu erat quidem quod
Christo recesserat, et avaritiæ laqueo se suspenderat, sed quod fecerat
in occulto, palam omnibus innotuit. S. Martialis in Ep. ad Tholosanos.
Non sustinuit pœnitentiam, donec laqueo mortis seipsum consumpsit.
Ignat. ad Philippens. Diabolus laqueum ei ostendit, et suspendium
docuit. Leo Serm. 3. de passion.----Ut quia facinus omnem mensuram
ultionis excesserat, te haberet impietas tua judicem te pateretur sua
pæna Carnificem. Theodoret. lib. 1. hæretic. fabul. Ille protinus
strangulatus est, quæ fuit merces ejus proditionis. Chrysostom. Hom. 3.
de proditore. Pependit Cœlum Terramque intermedius vago funere
suffocatus, et cum flagitio suo tumefacta, viscera crepuerunt, etc.
Bernard. Serm. 8. in Psal. 9. Judas in Aere crepuit medius._

1. There are those that are so particular, that they acquaint us with
the manner, as _that it was done with a Cord. Antiochus Laurensis, Spem
omnem a se cum abjecisset, insiliente in eum inimico (sc. Diabolo)
funiculo sibi præfocavit gulam. Oecumen. in Act. Fracto funiculo quo
erat suffocatus decidit in terram præcipitio._ 2. _That it was done on
a_ Fig-Tree, _Beda. Portam David egredientibus fons occurrit in Austrum
per vallem directus, ad cujus medietatem ab occasu Judas se suspendisse
narratur: Nam et ficus magna ibi et vetustissima stat._

             Juvenc. _lib. 4. Hist. Evangelic_.

          _Exorsusq; suas laqueo sibi sumere pænas,
          Informem rapuit ficus de vertice mortem._

3. Some acquaint us with the time when it was done, _viz. the next day
after he had given the kiss_. So _Chrysostom. Homil. 1. de proditor. et
Mysterio Cœn. Dominic. Guttur prophanum quod hodie Christo extendis
ad osculum, crastino es illud extensurus ad laqueum_. But there are two,
that is _Euthymius_ and _Oecumenius_, that tell us, _that the hanging
did not kill him_, but that either the Rope broke, or that he was cut
down, and afterwards cast himself down headlong, as it is related in the
before mentioned place of the _Acts_: _Agnitus à quibusdam depositus est
ne præfocaretur, denique postquam in secreto quodam loco modico vixisset
tempore præceps factus sive præcipitatus, inflatus diruptus, ac diffisus
est medius, et effusa sunt omnia viscera ejus; ut in_ Actis. _Euthym._
cap. 67. _in Math. Judas suspendio è vita non decessit, sed supervixit,
dejectus est enim prius quam præfocaretur, idque Apotolorum Acta
indicant, quod pronus crepuit medius_. Oecumen. in Act. And this may
serve to reconcile these two seemingly disagreeing Scriptures.

_Pag. 37._

_That our Fathers after the Flood erected the Tower of_ Babel.] For this
see what the Author saith in his _Pseudodox. Epidemic_. l. 7, cap. 6.

_And cannot but commend the judgment of_ Ptolemy.] He means of
_Ptolemæus Philadelphus_, who founded the Library of _Alexandria_, which
he speaks of in the next Section. He was King of _Egypt_; and having
built and furnish'd that Library with all the choicest Books he could
get from any part of the world, and having good correspondence with
_Eleazer_ the high Priest of the _Jews_, by reason that he had released
the _Jews_ from Captivity, who were taken by his Predecessor _Ptolemæus
Lagi_; he did by the advice of _Demetrius Phalereus_ the _Athenian_,
whom he had made his Library-Keeper, write to _Eleazer_, desiring him
that he would cause the Books of the _Jews_, which contained their Laws,
to be translated for him into Greek, that he might have them to put into
his Library: to which the Priest consents; and for the King's better
satisfaction, sends to him Copies of the Books, and with the same 72
Interpreters skilled both in the Greek and Hebrew Language, to translate
them for him into Greek; which afterwards they performed. This is for
certain; but whether they translated only the _Pentateuch_, as St.
_Jerome_ would have it, or together with the Books of the Prophets also,
as _Leo de Castro_ and _Baronius_ contend, I undertake not to determine:
but as to that part of the story, that these Interpreters were put into
so many several Cells, whilst they were about the work of translation;
and notwithstanding they were thus severed, that they all translated it
_totidem verbis_; it is but reason to think with St. _Jerome_
(notwithstanding the great current of Authority against him) that it is
no better than a fable.

_The Alcoran of the Turks_ (_I speak without prejudice_) _is an
ill-composed piece, containing in it vain and ridiculous errors in
Philosophy_, etc.] It is now in every mans hand, having been lately
translated into English; I shall therefore observe but these few
particulars in it, in regard the book it self is so common; and indeed
they are not mine own, but _Lipsius_ his observations. He begins, _O
nugas, O deliria! primum_ (saith he) _commentus est, Deum unum solidumq;
(ὀλόσφυρον Græci exprimunt) eundemq; incorporeum esse. Christum non
Deum, sed magnum vatem et prophetam; se tamen majorem, et proxime à Deo
missum, præmia qui ipsum audient Paradisum, qui post aliquot annorum
millia reserabitur, ibi quatuor flumina lacte, vino, melle, aqua fluere,
ibi palatia et ædificia gemmata atque aurata esse, carnes avium
suavissimarum, fructus omne genus quos sparsi jacentesque sub umbra
arborum edent: sed caput fælicitatis, viros fœminasque, majores
solito magnis Genitalibus assidua libidine, et ejus usu sine tædio aut
fatigatione._ These and some others that are in the Alcoran he reckons
up. _Sed et Physica quoq; miranda_ (saith he) _nam facit Solem et Lunam
in equis vehi, illum autem in aquam calidam vespere mergi, et bene lotum
ascendere atque oriri, Stellas in aere è catenis aureis pendere: terram
in bovini cornus cuspide stabilitum, et agitante se bove ac succutiente
fieri terræ motum; hominem autem ex hirundine aut sanguisuga nasci_,
etc. Just. Lips. _Monit. et exempl. Politic._ cap. 3.

_Sect. 23. Pag. 38._

_I believe besides_ Zoroaster _there were divers others that wrote
before Moses_.] _Zoroaster_ was long before _Moses_, and of great name; he
was the father of _Ninus, Justin. lib. 1_. _Si quamlibet modicum
emolumentum probaveritis; ego ille sim Carinondas vel Damigeron, vel is
Moses, vel Joannes, vel Apollonius, vel ipse Dardanus, vel quicunq;
alius_ post Zoroastrem _et Hostanem, inter Magos celebratus est_.
Apuleius _in_ Apol.

_Sect. 24. Pag. 38._

_Others with as many groans deplore the combustion of the Library at_
Alexandria.] This was that Library before spoken of, set up by
_Ptolemæus Philadelphus_; in which 'tis reported by _Ammianus
Marcellinus_ there were 700,000 volumes; it was burnt by _Jul. Cæsar's_
means, whose Navy being environed before _Alexandria_, he had no means
to keep off the Enemy, but by flinging of fire, which at length caught
the Library and consumed it, as _Plutarch_ hath it in _Vita Cæsaris_:
but notwithstanding we have no reason to believe it was quite consumed,
because _Sueton_. in _Claudius_, tells us, that that Emperour added
another to it; and there must be somewhat before, if it were an
addition; but true it is, too many of the Books perished; to repair
which loss, care was taken by _Domitian_ the Emperour, as the same
_Sueton._ and _Aurel. Victor._ do relate.

_I would not omit a Copy of_ Enoch's _Pillars, had they many nearer
Authors than_ Josephus, _etc._] For this the Story is, that _Enoch_, or
his father, _Seth_, having been inform'd by _Adam_, that the world was
to perish once by water, and a second time by fire, did cause two
Pillars to be erected, the one of Stone against the water, and another
of Brick against the fire; and that upon those Pillars was engraven all
such Learning as had been delivered to, or invented by mankind; and that
thence it came that all knowledge and learning was not lost by means of
the Floud, by reason that one of the Pillars (though the other perished)
did remain after the Floud, and _Josephus_ witnesseth, till his time,
_lib. 1. Antiq. Judaic_. cap. 3.

_Of those three great inventions of_ Germany, _there are two which are
not without their incommodities._] Those two he means are _Printing_ and
_Gunpowder_, which are commonly taken to be _German_ Inventions; but
Artillery was in _China_ above 1500 years since, and Printing long
before it was in _Germany_, if we may believe _Juan Concales Mendosa_ in
his _Hist._ of _China, lib. 3. cap. 15, 16_. The incommodities of these
two inventions, are, well described by _Sam. Daniel_, lib. 6. of the
Civil Wars.

          _Fierce_ Nemesis, _mother of fate and change,
          Sword-bearer of th' eternal providence,
          Turns her stern look at last into the West,
          As griev'd to see on Earth such happy rest;_

             _And for_ Pandora _calleth presently_,
          Pandora Jove's _fair gift that first deceived
          Poor_ Epimetheus _in his imbecility.
          That though he had a wondrous boon received,
          By means whereof curious mortality
          Was of all former quiet quite bereaved.
          To whom being come deckt with all qualities,
          The wrathful goddess breaks out in this wise:_

            _Dost thou not see in what secure estate,
          Those flourishing fair Western parts remain?
          As if they had made covenant with fate,
          To be exempted free from others pain,
          At one with their desires, friends with debate,
          In peace with Pride, content with their own gain.
          Their bounds contain their mindes, their mindes applyed
          To have their bonds with plenty beautified._

            _Devotion (Mother of Obedience)
          Bears such a hand on their credulity,
          That it abates the spirit of eminence,
          And busies them with humble piety:
          For see what works, what infinite expence,
          What Monuments of zeal they edifie,
          As if they would, so that no stop were found,
          Fill all with Temples, make all holy ground._

            _But we must cool this all-believing zeal,
          That hath enjoy'd so fair a turn so long_, etc.
          _Dislike of this first by degrees shall steal,
          As upon souls of men perswaded wrong;
          And that the sacred power which thus hath wrought,
          Shall give her self the sword to cut her throat._

            _Go therefore thou with all thy stirring train
          Of swelling Sciences (the gifts of grief)
          Go loose the links of that soul-binding chain,
          Enlarge this uninquisitive Belief:
          Call up mens spirits, that simpleness retain,
          Enter their hearts, and knowledge make the Thief
          To open all the Doors to let in Light,
          That all may all things see but what is right._

            _Opinion arm against opinion (grown)
          Make new-born contradictions still arise,
          As if Thebes Founder_ (Cadmus) _tongues had sown
          Indent of teeth, for greater mutinies:
          Bring new defended faith against faith known,
          Weary the soul with contrarieties,
          Till all Religion become Retrograde,
          And that fair lye the mask of sin be made:_

            _And better to effect a speedy end,
          Let there be found two fatal Instruments,
          The one to publish, th' other to defend [SN: Printing]
          Impious contention, and proud discontents:
          Make that instamped characters may send
          Abroad to thousands, thousand mens intents;
          And in a moment may dispatch much more,
          Than could a world of pens perform before;_

            _Whereby all quarrels, titles, secrecies,
          May unto all be presently made known,
          Factions prepar'd, parties allur'd to rise,
          Seditions under fair pretences sown;
          Whereby the vulgar may become so wise
          That with a self-presumption overgrown,
          They may of deepest mysteries debate,
          Controul their betters, censure acts of State._

            _And then when this dispersed mischief shall
          Have brought confusion in each mystery,
          Call'd up contempts of State in general,
          And ripen'd the humour of impiety,
          Then take the other engine wherewithal [SN: Guns]
          They may torment their self-wrought misery;
          And scourge each other in so strange a wise,
          As time or tyrants never could devise_, etc.

             See _Bellermontan._ in his _Dissertat. politic.
                 dissert._ 29. and 30.

For the other Invention, the Latine Annotator doubts whether the Author
means Church-Organs, or Clocks? I suppose he means Clocks, because I
find that Invention reckon'd by a _German_, with the other two, as a
remarkable one. It is by _Busbequius_, speaking of the Turks, who hath
these words: _Testes majores minoresque bombardæ, multaque alia quæ ex
nostris excogitata ipsi ad se avertunt; at libros tamen typis
excuderent, horologia in publico haberent, nondum adduci potuerunt._
_Epist. Legat. Turcic._ I suppose if he had known any Invention which
next to the other two had been greater than this, he would not have
named this, and this being the next considerable, we have no cause to
doubt but the Author meant it.

_To maintain the Trade and Mystery of Typographers._] Of this _Cunæus_
in his _Satyre Sardi vœnates_. _Qui bis in anno nomen suum ad
Germanorum nundinas non transmittit, eruditionem suam in ordinem coactam
credit, itaq; nunquam tot fungi una pluvia nascuntur, quot nunc libri
uno die_.

_Sect. 25. Pag. 40._

_The Turk in the bulk that he now stands, is beyond all hope of
conversion._] That is, in respect of his great strength, against which
it is not probable the Christians will prevail, as it is observed by
_Monsieur de Silhon_. _La Race des Ottomans_ (saith he) _quæ oste a Dieu
la Religion qu'il a revelee, et aux hommes la liberte que le droit des
Gens leur laisse a fait tant de progres depuis trois Cens et quelques
annees qu'il semble qu'elle n'ait plus rien a craindre de dehorse, et
que son empire ne puisse perir que par la corruption de dedans, et par
la dissolution des parties qui composent un corps si vaste. Mr. de
Silhon en son Minist. D'Estat. l. 1. c._

_None can more justly boast of persecutions, and glory in the number and
valour of martyrs._] Of the fortitude of the Christians in this
particular, _Minutius Felix_, in the person of the Ethnique, hath these
words, _Per mira stultitia et incredibili audacia spernunt tormenta
præsentia, dum incerta metuunt et futura; et dum mori post mortem
timent, interim mori non timent._ And afterwards, when he speaks in the
person of the Christian, he saith, that Christian women and children
have in this surpassed _Scævola_ and _Regulus_: _Viros_ (saith he) _cum
Mutio vel cum Atilio Regulo comparo: pueri et mulierculæ nostræ cruces
et Tormenta, feros et omnes suppliciorum terriculas inspirata patientia
doloris illudunt_. Minut. _in_ Octav. _vide Aug. de Civit. Dei, lib. 1.
c. 23, 24_.

_If we shall strictly examine the circumstances and requisites which_
Aristotle _requires to true and perfect valour, we shall find the name
onely in his Master_ Alexander, (_that is, no more than the name) and as
little in that Roman worthy_ Julius Cæsar.] _Aristot. 3. Ethic. cap. 6._
amongst other requisites, requires to valour, that it keep a mediocrity
betwixt audacity and fear; that we thrust not our selves into danger
when we need not; that we spare not to shew our valour when occasion
requires: he requires for its proper object, Death; and to any death, he
prefers death in War, because thereby a man profits his Country and
Friends; and that he calls _mors honesta_, an honest or honourable
death: and thereupon he defines a valiant man to be, _Is qui morte
honesta proposita, iisq; omnibus quæ cum sint repentina mortem adfuerunt
metu vacat_. So that by the Author's saying, there was onely the Name in
_Alexander_, he means only that which is rendred in the two last words,
_metu vacans_, and not the rest that goes to make up the definition of a
valiant man, which is very truly affirmed of _Alexander_, who exposed
himself to hazzard many times when there was no cause for it: As you may
read in _Curtius_, he did, in the siege of _Tyrus_, and many other ways.
_Cettuy-cy semble rechercher et courir à force les dangiers comme un
impetueux torrent, qui choque et attaque sans discretion, et sans chois
tout ce qu'il rencontre_, saith _Montaign_, speaking of _Alexander, l.
2. des Ess. cap. 34_. And for _Cæsar_, it cannot be denied, but in his
Wars he was many times (though not so generally as _Alexander_) more
adventrous than reason military could warrant to him; and therefore
_Lucan_ gives him no better Character than

          _Acer et indomitus quo spes quoq; ira vocasset
          Ferre manum, etc._
                                          Lucan. lib. 1.

To instance in some Particulars: with what an inconsiderable strength
did he enterprize the conquest of _Egypt_, and afterwards went to
attaque the forces of _Scipio_ and _Juba_, which were ten times more
than his own? after the Battle of _Pharsalia_, having sent his Army
before into _Asia_, and crossing the _Hellespont_ with one single
Vessel, he there meets _Lucius Cassius_ with ten men of War, he makes up
to him, summons him to render, and he does it. In the famous and furious
siege of _Alexia_, where he had 80,000 men to make defence against him,
and an Army of one hundred and nine thousand Horse, and two hundred and
forty thousand foot, all marching towards him, to raise his siege; yet
for all that he would not quit the siege, but first fought with those
without, and obtain'd a great Victory over them, and soon afterwards
brought the besieged to his mercy.

_Sect. 26. Pag. 41._

_The Council of_ Constance _condemns_ John Husse _for an Heretick, the
Stories of his own Party style him a Martyr_.] _John Husse_ did agree
with the Papists against us in the Point of Invocation of Saints,
Prayers and Sacrifice for the Dead, free Will, Good Works, confession of
Sins, seven Sacraments, etc. _Gordon. Hunt. l. contr. 3. de Sacr. Euch.
cap. 17_. Yet was he condemned for maintaining certain Articles said by
that Council to be heretical and seditious, and was burnt for Heresie.
Now as I will not say he was an Heretick, so can I not maintain that he
was a Martyr, if it be but for this one Article, which in the 15. Sess.
of that Council was objected against him, which he did acknowledge, but
would not recal, _i.e._ _Nullus est Dominus civilis, dum est in peccato
mortali_. If that Doctrine should be believed, we shall have little
obedience to Civil Magistrates; and without that, how miserable is
humane condition? That which begat compassion towards _Husse_ in those
of his own Party was, that he had a safe conduct from the Emperour
_Sigismund_; and therefore it was, say they, a violation of publick
faith in the _Council_ and _Emperour_ in putting him to death.

_That wise heathen_ Socrates _that suffered on a fundamental point of
Religion, the Unity of God_.] That _Socrates_ suffered on this Point,
divers Christian Writers do object to the Ethniques, as _Justin Martyr_,
Apol. 2. _Euseb. l. 5. de præparat. Evangelic. c. 14. Tertul._ in
_Apolog._ cap. 14. and _Lactant. de justitia_, cap. 15. whose words
are these: _Plato quidem multa de uno Deo locutus est, à quo ait
constitutum esse mundum, sed nihil de Religione; somniaverat enim Deum,
non cognoverat. Quod si justitiæ defensionem vel ipse vel quilibet alius
implere voluisset, imprimis Deorum Religiones evertere debuit, quia
contrariæ pietati. Quod quidem Socrates quia facere tentavit in carcerem
conjectus est, ut jam tunc appareret quid esset futurum iis hominibus
qui justitiam veram defendere Deoque singulari servire cœpissent_.

_I have often pitied the miserable Bishop that suffered in the cause
of_ Antipodes.] The suffering was, that he lost his Bishoprick for
denying the _Antipodes_. Vid. _Aventin. in Hist. Boio_. Besides him,
there were other Church-men of great note, that denyed _Antipodes_, as
_Lactantias_, _Augustin_, and _Bede_.

_Sect. 27. Pag. 43._

_I hold that God can do all things: How he should work contradictions, I
do not understand, yet dare not therefore deny._] Who would not think
the Author had taken this from Mr. _Montaign_, whose words are, _Il m'a
tousjours semble qu'a un homme Christien, cette sorte de parler est
plein d'indiscretion et d'irreverence [Dieu ne se peut disdire,] [Dieu
ne peut faire cecy ou cela]. Je ne trouve pas bon d'enfermer ainsi la
puissance divine sous les loix de nostre parole. Et l'apparence qui s'
offre à nous en ses propositions, il la faudroit representer plus
reverement, et plus Religieusement._ Liv. 2. des Ess. c. 12.

_I cannot see why the Angel of God should question_ Esdras _to recal the
time past, if it were beyond his own power, or that God should pose
mortality in that which he was not able to perform himself._] Sir _K.
Digby_ in his Notes upon this place saith, There is no contradiction in
this, because he saith it was but putting all things that had motion
into the same state they were in at that moment, unto which time was to
be reduced back, and from thence letting it travel on again by the same
motions, _etc._ which God could do. But under favour, the contradiction
remains, if this were done that he mentions; for Time depends not at all
upon motion, but has a being altogether independent of it, and therefore
the same revolution would not bring back the same time, for that was
efflux'd before; as in the time of _Joshua_, when the Sun stood still,
we cannot but conceive, though there were no motion of the Sun, but that
there was an efflux of Time, otherwise, how could the Text have it,
_That there was not any day, before or after, that was so long as that?_
for the length of it must be understood in respect of the flux of time.
The reasoning of Sir _Kenelme_ is founded upon the opinion of _Aristot_.
who will needs have it, that Time cannot be without mutation; he gives
this for a reason, because when we have slept, and cannot perceive any
mutation to have been, we do therefore use to connect the time of our
sleeping and of our awaking together, and make but one of it: to which
it may be answered, although some mutation be necessary, that we may
mark the mix of time, it doth not therefore follow that the mutation is
necessary to the flux it self.

_Sect. 28. Pag. 43._

_I excuse not_ Constantine _from a fall off his Horse, or a mischief
from his enemies, upon the wearing those nails_, etc.] _Hac de re
videatur P. Diac. hist. miscell._

_Sect. 29. Pag. 44._

_I wonder how the curiosity of wiser heads could pass that great and
indisputable miracle, the cessation of Oracles._] There are three
opinions touching the manner how the predictions of these Oracles were
perform'd: Some say by vapour, some by the intelligences, or
influences, of the Heavens, and others say by the assistance of the
Devils. Now the indisputable miracle the Author speaks of, is, that they
ceas'd upon the coming of Christ; and it is generally so believed; and
the Oracle of _Delphos_ delivered to _Augustus_, mentioned by the Author
in this Section, is brought to prove it, which is this:

          _Me puer Hebrœus divos Deus ipse gubernans
          Cedere sede jubet, tristemq; redire sub orcum.
          Aris ergo dehinc tacitus discedito nostris._

But yet it is so far from being true that their cessation was
miraculous, that the truth is, there never were any predictions given by
those Oracles at all.

That their cessation was not upon the coming of Christ, we have luculent
testimony out of _Tully_, in his _2. lib. de Divinat._ which he writ
many years before Christ was born; who tells us that they were silent
(and indeed he never thought they were otherwise) long before that time,
insomuch that they were come into contempt: _Cur isto modo jam oracula
Delphis non eduntur, non modo nostra œtate, sed jamdiu jam ut nihil
possit esse contemptius_. So that for that of _Delphos_, which was the
most famous of them all, we see we have no reason to impute the
cessation of it to Christ; Why therefore should we do so for any of the

For their predictions, let us consider the three several ways before
mentioned, whereby they are supposed to operate; and from thence see
whether it be probable that any such Oracles ever were.

The first Opinion is, that it was by exhalation or vapour drawn up from
the earth; and gives this for a reason of their being, that they were
for a time nourished by those exhalations; and when those ceased, and
were exhausted, the Oracles famish'd and died for want of their
accustom'd sustenance: this is the far-fetcht reason given by _Plutarch_
for their defect; but 'twas not devised by him, but long before, as
appears, in that _Tully_ scoffs at it, _lib. de divinat_. _De vino aut
salsamento putes loqui_ (saith he) _quæ evanescunt vetustate_. This
seem'd absurd to others, who do therefore say this was not to be
attributed to any power of the Earth, but to the power of the Heavens,
or _Intelligences Cœlestial_; to certain aspects whereof, they say,
the Statua's of those Oracles were so adapted, that they might divine
and foretel future events. But yet to others, this way seemeth as absurd
as the others; for, say they, admitting that there were an efficacy in
the Heavens, more than in the Earth; yet how can it be that men should
come by the skill to fit the Statua's to the Aspects or influences of
the Heavens? or if at any time they had such skill, why should not the
same continue the rather, because men are more skilled in the motions
of the Heavens, of later than in the former time? Again, they do not see
how it should be that the cause should be of less excellency than the
effect; for if a man (say they) can by his industry make such Oracles,
why can he not produce the same effect in another man? for if you affirm
that the Heavens influence is requisite, they will tell you that
Influence may happen as well to a man, as to a Statue of wood or stone.
Therefore the third sort being unsatisfied, which either of the former
ways conclude, that this was perform'd by the Devil; but for that it
will appear as contrary to Reason and Philosophy, as either of the
former; for Philosophy teacheth that things singular, or individual, are
to be known only by sense, or by such an Intellect, as doth know by its
Essence; and Theology teacheth that God only knoweth the heart, and that
the Devil doth not know by sense, nor by essence; and since 'tis
admitted by all, that most of the answers that were pretended to be
given by those Oracles, were _de rebus singularibus_, or _individuis_;
it is evident that these predictions were not perform'd by Devils. How
then? why those predictions which the ignorant Heathen took to come from
Heaven, and some Christians (not less ignorant) from the Devil, was
nothing but the jugling and impostures of the Priests, who from within
the Statua's gave the answers; which Princes connived at, that they
might upon occasion serve their turns upon the ignorance of the people;
and the learned men, for fear of their Princes, durst not speak against
it. _Lucian_ hath noted it, and so a more Authentick Author, _Minut.
Felix._, in _Octav. Authoritatem quasi præsentis numinis consequuntur
dum inspirantur interim vatibus_. But in process of time, the people
grew less credulous of their Priests, and so the Oracles became to be
silent: _Cum jam_ (saith he) _Apollo versus facere desisset, cujus tunc
cautum illud et ambiguum deficit oraculum: Cum et politiores homines et
minus creduli esse cæperunt_. Sir _H. Blount_ in his _Levantine_ voyage,
saith he saw the Statua of _Memnon_ so famous of old; he saith it was
hollow at top, and that he was told by the _Egyptians_ and Jews there
with him, that they had seen some enter there, and come out at the
Pyramid, two Bows shoot off; then (saith he) I soon believ'd the Oracle,
and believe all the rest to have been such; which indeed, is much easier
to imagine than that it was perform'd by any of the three wayes before
mentioned. St. _Aug._ hath composed a Book, where he handleth this point
at large, and concludeth that the Devils can no more foretel things
come, than they are able to discern the thoughts that are within us.
_Aug. lib. de Scientia Dæmon._

_Till I laughed my self out of it with a piece of_ Justin, _where he
delivers that the Children of_ Israel _for being scabbed were banished
out of_ Egypt.] These words of _Justin_ are, _Sed cum scabiem Ægyptii
et pruriginem paterentur, responso moniti, eum (se. Moysen) cum ægris,
ne pestis ad plures serperet, terminis Ægypti pellunt. l. 36._ But he is
not singular in this, for _Tacitus_ tells us, _Hist. lib. 5. Plurimi
authores consentiunt orta per Ægyptum tabe quœ corpora fœduret,
Regem (Ochirum)_ (he means _Pharaoh_) _adito Hammonis oraculo remedium
petentem purgare. Regnum et id genus hominum----alias in terras avertere
jussum._ Et paulo inferius, _Quod ipsos scabies quondam turpaverat_.

_Sect. 30. Pag. 45._

_I have ever believed, and do now know that there are Witches._] What
sort of Witches they were that the Author knew to be such. I cannot
tell; for those which he mentions in the next Section, which proceed
upon the principles of Nature, none have denyed that such there are;
against such it was, that the _Lex Julia de veneficiis_ was made, that
is, those, _Qui noxio poculo aut impuris medicuminibus aliquem fuerint
insectati. At. ab Alex. Gen. Dier._ l. 5. c. 1. But for the opinion that
there are Witches which co-operate with the Devil, there are Divines of
great note, and far from any suspition of being irreligious, that do
oppose it. Certainly there is no ground to maintain their being from the
story of Oracles, as may be seen from what hath been said on the
precedent Section.

_Nor have the power to be so much as Witches._] _Pliny_ saith, so it
fared with _Nero_, who was so hot in pursuit of the Magick Arts, that he
did dedicate himself wholly to it, and yet could never satisfie himself
in that kind, though he got all the cunning men he could from the East,
for that purpose. _Plin._ l. 3. _Nat. Hist._ c. 1.

_Pag. 46._

_By conjunction with the Devil._] Though, as the Author saith, it be
without a possibility of Generation, yet there are great men that hold,
that such carnality is performed; as _August, in Levit. Aquin. l. 2. de
qu. 73. art. ad 2._ and _Justin Martyr, Apol. 1._

_Sect. 33. Pag. 48._

_It is no new opinion of the Church of_ Rome, _but an old one of_
Pythagoras _and_ Plato.] This appears by _Apuleius_ a Platonist, in his
Book _de Deo Socratis_, and elsewhere. See _Mede's Apostasie of the
latter times_, where out of this and other Authors, you shall see
collected all the learning _de Geniis_.

_Pag. 50._

_I cannot with those in that great Father securely interpret the work of
the first day_, Fiat lux, _to the creation of Angels_.] This great
Father is S. _Chrysost. Homil. in Genes_. But yet 'tis his opinion, as
also of _Athanasius_ and _Theodoret_, that there is express mention of
the creation of Angels, so that they need not rest upon this place,
which they admit to be somewhat obscure. The place which they take to be
express, is that of the 130 _Psalm_, where _David_ begins to speak of
the Majesty of God, in this manner: _Confessionem sive majestatem et
decorem induisti, amictus lumine sicut vestimento_: Next he speaks of
the Heavens, saying, _Thou hast stretched them out over us like a
Tent._ Then he speaks of the Angels, _Qui facis Angelos tuos spiritus_.
Now if it shall be objected, that this expression is onely of the time
present, and without relation to the Creation: Answer is given by
Divines, that the _Hebrews_ have but three Tenses in their Verbs, the
Preterperfect, Present, and Future Tense; and have not the use of the
Preterimperfect, and Preterpluperfect, as the _Greeks_ and _Latines_
have; whence it ariseth, that the Present Tense with the _Hebrews_, may,
as the sentence will bear it, be translated by the Preterimperfect, as
also by the Preterperfect and Preterpluperfect Tense; and this (they
say) is practised in this very passage, where the Phrase, as it is in
Hebrew, may be rendered as well _qui faciebas_, as _qui facis Angelos_,
etc. Vid. _Hieronym. in Ep. ad Titum, et Thom. Aqu. 1. p. qu. 61. art.
3_. The Latine Annotator saith, the Father meant by the Author, is St.
_Aug._ and quotes him, _l. II. de Civ. Dei_ cap. 9. which place I have
perused, and find the expression there used by St. _Aug._ is but
hypothetical; for these are his words: _Cum enim dixit Fiat lux, et
facta est lux, si rectè in fine luce creatio intelligitur Angelorum_,
etc. Where you see 'tis but with a _Si_, and therefore I conceive the
Author intends not him, but _Chrysostom_.

_Where it subsists alone, 'tis a Spiritual Substance, and may be an
Angel._] _Epicurus_ was of this opinion, and St. _Aug. in Euchirid. ad

_Sect. 35. Pag. 52._

Moses _decided that Question, and all is salved with the new term of
Creation._] That is it which _Aristotle_ could not understand; he had
learned that _ex nihilo nihil fit_, and therefore when he found those
that disputed that the World had a beginning, did maintain that it was
generated, and he could not understand any generation, but out of matter
præ-existent _in infinitum_, therefore he took their opinion to be
absurd, and upon that ground principally, concluded the World to be
eternal: whereas, if he had understood that there may be such a thing as
Creation, he had not done it, for that solves his _processus in
infinitum_. Take from _Plato_, that the World had a beginning, and from
_Aristot._ that it was not generated, and you have the (true) Christian

_Sect. 36. Pag. 54._

_In our study of Anatomy, there is a mass of mysterious Philosophy, and
such as reduced the very Heathens to Divinity._] So it did _Galen_, who
considering the order, use, and disposition of the parts of the body,
brake forth into these words: _Compono hic profecto Canticam in
creatoris nostri laudem, quod ultra res suas ornare voluit melius quam
ulla arte possent_. Galen, 3. _de usu partium_.

_Sect. 37. Pag. 55._

_I cannot believe the wisdom of_ Pythagoras _did ever positively, and in
a literal sense, affirm his_ Metempsychosis.] In this the opinion of
_Grotius_ is contrary to the Author, who saith this opinion was begotten
by occasion of the opinion of other Philosophers, who in their
discourses of the life that is to be after this, brought such
arguments, _Quæ non magis de homine quam de bestiis procedunt_. And
therefore, saith he, _mirandum non est, si transitum animarum de
hominibus in bestias, de bestiis in homines alii commenti sunt_. _Lib.
2. de ver. Relig. Christ. (vide etiam Annotat. ejusd.)._ But yet there
is a shrewd objection against the opinion of _Pythagoras_, if he did
mean it literally, which is cast in by the Sectators of _Democritus_ and
_Epicurus_, which _Lucretius_ remembers in these Verses:

          _Præterea si immortalis natura animaï
          Constat, et in corpus nascentibus insinuatur,
          Cur super anteactam ætatem meminisse nequimus?
          Nec vestigia gestarum rerum ulla tenemus?
          Namsi tantopere 'st animi mutata potestas,
          Omnis ut actarum excideret retinentia rerum,
          Non ut opinor ea ab læto jam longiter errat._

                                                [Lib. 3.]

This Argument, 'tis true, is _pro falso contra falsum_, but yet holds
_ad hominem_ so far, that it is not likely (as the Author saith) but
_Pythagoras_ would observe an absurdity in the consequence of his
Metempsychosis; and therefore did not mean it literally, but desired
only to express the Soul to be immortal, which he, and the other
Philosophers that were of that opinion, who had not heard of Creation,
could not conceive, unless it must be taken for truth, that the soul
were before the body; so saith _Lactantius_ of them. _Non putaverunt
aliter fieri posse ut supersint animæ post corpora, nisi videntur fuisse
ante corpora. De fals. Sap._ c. 18.

_Sect. 41. Pag. 59._

_I do not envy the temper of Crows or Daws._] As _Theophrastus_ did, who
dying, accused Nature for giving them, to whom it could not be of any
concernment, so large a life; and to man, whom it much concern'd, so
short a one. _Cic. Tusc. quæst. l. 3._ How long Daws live, see in _Not.
ad Sect. 41_.

_Sect. 42. Pag. 61._

_Not upon _Cicero's_ ground, because I have liv'd them well._] I suppose
he alludes to an expression in an Epistle of _Cicero_, written in his
Exile, to his wife and children, where he hath these words to his wife:
_Quod reliquum est, te sustenta mea Terentia ut potes, honestissime
viximus, floruimus. Non vitium nostrum sed virtus nos afflixit, peccatum
est nullum nisi quod non unà animum cum ornamentis amisimus_, l. 24, Ep.

_And stand in need of _Eson's_ bath before threescore._] _Eson_ was the
Father of _Jason_, and, at his request, was by _Medea_, by the means of
this Bath, restored to his youth. Ingredients that went into it, and the
description of _Medea's_ performance, _Ovid_ gives you, _l. 7. Metam._

          _Interea calido positum medicamen aheno_
          _Fervet et exultat, spumisq; tumentibus albet._
          _Illic Æmonia radices valle resectas,
          Seminaq; et flores, et succos incoquit atros
          Adjicet extremo lapides Oriente petitos,
          Et quas Oceani refluum mare lavit arenas:
          Addidit exceptas lunæ de nocte pruinas,
          Et Strigis infames ipsis cum carnibus alas,
          Inq; virum soliti vultus mutare ferinos
          Ambigui prosecta lupi, nec defuit illi
          Squamea Cinyphei tenuis membrana Chelidri,
          Vivacisq; jecur cervi; quibus insuper addit
          Ora caputq; novem cornicis secula passæ.
          His et mille aliis, postquam sine nomine rebus
          Propositum instruxit mortali barbara munus
          Arenti ramo jampridem mitis olivæ
          Omnia confudit, summisq; immiscuit ima.
          Ecce vetus calido versatus stipes aheno
          Fit viridis primo, nec longo tempore frondes
          Induit, et subito gravidis oneratur olivis.
          At quacunq; cavo spumas ejecit aheno
          Ignis, et in terram guttæ cecidere calentes,
          Vernat humus, floresq; et mollia pabula surgunt.
          Quæ simulac vidit, stricto Medea recludit
          Ense senis jugulum, veteremq; extare cruorem
          Passa replet succis, quos postquam combibit Æson,
          Aut ore acceptas, aut vulnere, barba comœq;
          Cunitie posita, nigrum rapuere colorem.
          Pulsa fugit macies: abeunt pallorq; situsque:
          Adjectoq; cavæ supplentur corpore rugæ;
          Membraq; luxuriant. Æson miratur, et olim
          Ante quater denos hunc se reminiscitur annos,
          Dissimilemq; animum subiit, ætate relicta._

_Sect. 44. Pag. 62._

_Extol the Suicide of_ Cato.] As doth _Seneca_ in several places; but
_Lactantius_ saith, he cast away his life, to get the reputation of a
_Platonick_ Philosopher, and not for fear of _Cæsar_; and 'tis very
probable, he was in no great fear of death, when he slept so securely
the night before his death, as the story reports of him.

_Pag. 63._

_Emori nolo, sed me esse mortuum, nihil curo._ _Were I of_ Cæsar's
_Religion_.] I doubt not, but here is a fault of the Press, and that
instead of _Cæsar_ it should be _Cicero_. I meet not with any such
saying imputed to _Cæsar_, nor any thing like it, but that he preferr'd
a sudden death (in which he had his option) to any other; but I meet
with such a saying in _Cicero_ quoted out of _Epicharmus_ [_Emori nolo,
sed me esse mortuum nihili æstimo._] Where _Cicero_ sustaineth the part
of the _Epicure_ that there is no hurt in being dead, since there
remaineth nothing after it. _Cic. 1. Thusc. qu. non procul ab initio_.

_Sect. 45. Pag. 64._

Or whence _Lucan_ learn'd to say, _Communis mundo superest rogus_, etc.]
Why, _Lucan_ was a Stoique, and 'twas an opinion among them almost
generally, that the world should perish by fire; therefore without doubt
from them he learned it. _Cælum quoque cum omnibus quæ in cælo
continentur, ita ut cœpisset desinere, fontium dulci aqua marisve
nutriri, in vim ignis abiturum. Stoicis constans opinio est, quod
consumpto humore mundus hic omnis ignescat._ _Minutius in Octav._ But
_Minutius_ should have excepted _Boetius_, _Possidonius_, _Diogenes
Babylonius_, and _Zeno Sidonius_, who were _Stoiques_, and yet did not
think the world should be destroyed by fire, nor yet by any other means.

_Sect. 46. Pag. 65._

_How shall we interpret _Elias 6000_ years_, etc.?] _Lactant._ is very
positive that the world should last but 6000 years; but his reason for
it is somewhat strange; thus it is, _Quoniam sex diebus cuncta Dei opera
perfecta sunt, per secula sex_, i.e. _annorum sex millia manere in hoc
statu mundum necesse est_. _De Divino præmio_, cap. 14.

_Sect. 47. Pag. 67._

_Ipsa sui pretium virtus sibi, is but a cold principle._] It is a
Stoical principle. _Quæris enim aliquid supra summum, interrogas quid
petam extra virtutem ipsam. Nihil enim habet melius. Pretium sui est._
Senec. _de vit. beat._ c. 19.

_That honest artifice of_ Seneca.] What that article was, is to be seen
in _Senec. l. 1. ep. 11_. _Aliquis vir bonus nobis eligendus est, et
semper ante oculos babendus, ut sic tanquam illo spectante vivamus, et
omnia tanquam illo vidente faciamus._ Et paulo post; _Elige itaq;
Catonem; si hic videtur tibi nimis rigidus, elige remissioris animi
virum Lælium_, etc. which though, as the Author saith, it be an honest
Artifice, yet cannot I but commend the party, and prefer the direction
of him (whoever he were) who in the Margin of my _Seneca_, over against
those words, wrote these: _Quin Deo potius qui semper omnibus omnia
agentibus non tanquam sed reipsa adest, et videt; ac etiam ut Testis,
vindex et punitor est male agentis_.

_I have tried, if I could reach that great Resolution of his (that is of
_Seneca_) to be honest without a thought of Heaven or Hell._]
_Seneca_[6] brags he could do this, in these words: _Si scirem deos
peccata ignoscituros, et homines ignoraturos, adhuc propter vilitatem
peccati peccare erubescerem. Credat Judæus Appela: non ego_.----

  [6] _Tho. Aquin. in com. in Boet. de Consolat. prope finem._

_And Atheists have been the onely Philosopher._] That is, if nothing
remain after this life. St. _Aug._ was of this opinion. _Disputabam----
Epicurum accepturum fuisse palmam in animo meo, nisi ego credidissem
post mortem restare animæ vitam_, etc. Aug. _l. 6. conf. cap. 16_.

_Sect. 48. Pag. 68._

_God by a powerful voice shall command them back into their proper
shapes._] So _Minutius_. _Cæterum quis tam stultus est aut brutus, ut
audeat repugnare hominem à Deo ut primum potuit fingi, ita posse denuo
reformari, nihil esse post obitum, et ante ortum nihil fuisse; sicut de
nihilo nasci licuit, ita de nihilo licere reparari. Porro difficilius
est id quod sit incipere, quod quam id quod fuerit iterare. Tu perire
Deo credis, si quid nostris oculis hebetibus subtrahitur. Corpus omne
sive arescit in pulverem sive in humorem solvitur, vel in cinerem
comprimitur vel in nidorem tenuatur, subducitur nobis, sed Deo
elementorum custodi inseruntur. In Octav._  _Vide_ Grot. _de veritate
Relig. Christian. ubi (lib. 2.) solvit objectionem, quod dissoluta
corpora resititui nequeunt._

_Sect. 50. Pag. 71._

_Or conceive a flame that can either prey upon, or purifie the substance
of a soul._] Upon this ground _Psellus lib 1. de Energia Dæmonum_, c. 7
holds, That Angels have bodies, (though he grants them to be as pure, or
more pure than Air is) otherwise he could not apprehend how they should
be tormented in Hell; and it may be upon this ground it was, that the
Author fell into the error of the _Arabians_, mentioned by him, _Sect.

_Sect. 51. Pag. 73._

_There are as many Hells as _Anaxagoras_ conceited worlds._] I assure my
self that this is false printed, and that instead of _Anaxagoras_ it
should be _Anaxarchus_; for _Anaxagoras_ is reckon'd amongst those
Philosophers that maintain'd a Unity of the world, but _Anaxarchus_
(according to the opinion of _Epicurus_) held there were infinite
Worlds. That is he that caus'd _Alexander_ to weep by telling him that
there were infinite worlds, whereby _Alexander_ it seems was brought out
of opinion of his Geography, who before that time thought there remained
nothing, or not much beyond his Conquests.

_Sect. 54. Pag. 75._

_It is hard to place those souls in Hell._] _Lactantius_ is alike
charitably disposed towards those. _Non sum equidem tam iniquus ut eos
putem divinare debuisse, ut veritatem per seipsos invenirent (quod fieri
ego non posse confiteor) sed hoc ab eis exigo, quod ratione ipse
præstare potuerunt._ Lactant. _de orig. error._ c. 3. which is the very
same with Sir _K. Digbie's_ expression in his Observations on this
place. I make no doubt at all (saith he) but if any follow'd in the
whole tenour of their lives, the dictamens of right reason, but that
their journey was secure to Heaven.

_Sect. 55. Pag. 77._

Aristotle _transgress'd the rule of his own Ethicks._] And so they did
all, as _Lactantius_ hath observed at large. _Aristot._ is said to have
been guilty of great vanity in his Clothes, of Incontinency, of
Unfaithfulness to his Master _Alexander_, etc. But 'tis no wonder in
him, if our great _Seneca_ be also guilty, whom truely notwithstanding
St. _Jerome_ would have him inserted in the Catalogue of Saints, yet I
think he as little deserv'd it, as many of the Heathens who did not say
so well as he did, for I do not think any of them liv'd worse: to trace
him a little. In the time of the Emperour _Claudius_ we find he was
banish'd for suspition of incontinency with _Julia_ the daughter of
_Germanicus_. If it be said that this proceeded meerly from the spight
of _Messalina_, (and that _Lipsius_ did not complement with him in that
kind _Apostrophe, Non expetit in te hæc culpa, O Romani nominis et
Sapientiæ magne. Sol. Not. in Tacit._) why then did she not cause him
to be put to death, as well as she did the other, who was her Husbands
Niece? This for certain, whatever his life were, he had _paginam
lascivam_, as may appear by what he hath written, _de Speculorum usu, l.
1. Nat. Qu. cap. 16_. Which (admitting it may in a Poet, yet) how it
should be excus'd in a Philosopher I know not. To look upon him in his
exile, we find that then he wrote his Epistle _De Consolat._ to
_Polybius_, _Claudius_ his creature (as honest a man as _Pallas_ or
_Narcissus_) and therein he extols him and the Emperour to the Skies; in
which he did grosly prevaricate, and lost much of his reputation, by
seeking a discharge of his exile by so sordid a means. Upon _Claudius_
his marriage with _Agrippina_, he was recall'd from Banishment by her
means, and made _Prætor_, then he forgets the Emperour, having no need
of him, labours all he can to depress him and the hopeful _Brittanicus_,
and procured his Pupil _Nero_ to be adopted and design'd Successor, and
the Emperours own Son to be disinherited; and against the Emperour whom
he so much praised when he had need of him, after his death he writes a
scurrilous Libel. In _Nero's_ Court, how ungratefully doth he behave
himself towards _Agrippina_! who although she were a wicked woman, yet
she deserv'd well of him, and of her Son too, who yet never was at rest
till he had taken away her life, and upon suspition cast in against her
by this man. Afterwards not to mention that he made great haste to grow
rich, which should not be the business of a Philosopher, towards _Nero_
himself, how well did it become his Philosophy to play the Traitor
against him, and to become a complice in the conspiracy of _Piso_? And
then as good a Tragedian as he was, me thinks he doth in _extremo actu
deficere_, when he must needs perswade _Paulina_, that excellent Lady
his wife, to die with him: what should move him to desire it? it could
in his opinion be no advantage to her, for he believ'd nothing of the
immortality of the soul; I am not satisfied with the reason of
_Tacitus_, _Ne sibi unice dilectam ad injurius relinqueret_, because he
discredits it himself, in almost the next words, where he saith, _Nero_
bore her no ill will at all, (and would not suffer her to die) it must
surely be then, because he thought he had not liv'd long enough (being
not above 114 years old, so much he was) and had not the fortitude to
die, unless he might receive some confirmation in it by her example. Now
let any man judge what a precious Legacy it is that he bequeaths by his
nuncupative will to his friends in _Tacitus_. _Conversus ad amicos_
(saith he) _quando meritis eorum referre gratiam prohiberetur, quod unum
jam tamen et pulcherrimum habebat, imaginem vitæ suæ relinquere
testatur_. It cannot be denyed of him, that he hath said very well; but
yet it must as well be affirmed, that his Practice hath run counter to
his Theory, to use the Author's phrase.

_The_ Scepticks _that affirmed they knew nothing_.] The ancient
Philosophers are divided into three sorts, _Dogmatici_, _Academici_,
_Sceptici_; the first were those that delivered their opinions
positively; the second left a liberty of disputing _pro et contra_; the
third declared that there was no knowledge of any thing, no not of this
very proposition, that there is no knowledge, according to that,

          _----Nihil sciri siquis putat, id quoq; nescit
          An sciri possit, quod se nil scire fatetur._

_The Duke of_ Venice _that weds himself to the Sea by a Ring of Gold_,
etc.] The Duke and Senate yearly on _Ascension-day_ use to go in their
best attire to the Haven of _Lido_, and there by throwing a Ring into
the water, do take the Sea as their spouse. _Vid. Hist. Ital._ by _Will
Thomas Cambrobrit_. _Busbequius_ reports that there is a custom amongst
the Turks, which they took from the Greek Priests, not much unlike unto
this. _Cum Græcorum sacerdotibus mos sit certo veris tempore aquas
consecrando mare clausum veluti reserare, ante quod tempus non facile se
committunt fluctibus; ab ea Ceremonia nec Turcæ absunt._ Busb. _Ep. 3.
legat. Tursic._

_But the Philosopher that threw his money into the Sea, to avoid
avarice_, etc.] This was _Apollonius Thyaneus_, who threw a great
quantity of Gold into the Sea with these words, _Pessundo divitias, ne
pessundarem ab illis_. _Polycrates_ the Tyrant of _Samos_ cast the best
Jewel he had into the Sea, that thereby he might learn to compose
himself against the vicissitude of Fortune.

_There go so many circumstances to piece up one good action._] To make
an action to be good, all the causes that concur must be good; but one
bad amongst many good ones, is enough to make it vitious, according to
the rule, _Bonum ex causa integra, malum ex partiali_.

_Sect. 56. Pag. 78._

_The vulgarity of those judgements that wrap the Church of God in_
Strabo's _Cloak, and restrain it unto_ Europe.] 'Tis _Strabonis tunica_
in the translation, but _Chalmydi_ would do better, which is the proper
expression of the word that _Strabo_ useth: it is not _Europe_, but the
known part of the world that _Strabo_ resembleth to a Cloak, and that is
it the Author here alludeth to; but we have no reason to think that the
resemblance of _Strabo_ is very proper, _Vid._ Sir _Hen. Savil. in not.
ad Tac. in vita Agricolæ_.

_Sect. 57. Pag. 79._

_Those who upon a rigid Application of the Law, sentence_ Solomon _unto
damnation_, etc.] St. _Aug._ upon _Psal._ 126. and in many other places,
holds that _Solomon_ is damned. Of the same opinion is _Lyra_, in 2
_Reg._ c. 7. and _Bellarm. 1 Tom. lib. 1. Controv._ c. 5.


_Sect. 1. Pag. 83._

_I wonder not at the_ French _for their Frogs, Snails and Toad-stools_.]
Toad-stools are not peculiar to the _French_; they were a great delicacy
among the _Romans_, as appears every where in _Martial_. It was
conceived the Emperor _Claudius_ received his death by Poyson, which he
took in Mushroom. _Suet._ and _Tac._

_Sect. 2. Pag. 87._

_How among so many millions of faces, there should be none alike._] It
is reported there have been some so much alike, that they could not be
distinguished; as King _Antiochus_, and one _Antemon_, a Plebeian of
_Syria_, were so much alike, that _Laodice_, the Kings widow, by
pretending this man was the King, dissembled the death of the King so
long, till according to her own mind, a Successor was chosen. _Cn.
Pompeius_, and one _Vibius_ the Orator; _C. Plancus_, and _Rubrius_ the
Stage-player; _Cassius Severus_ the Orator, and one _Mirmello_; _M.
Messala Censorius_, and one _Menogenes_, were so much alike, that unless
it were by their habit, they could not be distinguished: but this you
must take upon the Faith of _Pliny_ (_lib. 7. c. 12._) and _Solinus_,
(_cap. 6._) who as this Author tells elsewhere, are Authors not very

_Sect. 3. Pag. 89._

_What a_ βατροχομυομαχία _and hot skirmish is betwixt_ S. _and_ T. _in
Lucian_.] In his _Dialog. judicium vocalium_, where there is a large
Oration made to the Vowels, being Judges, by _Sigma_ against _Tau_,
complaining that _Tau_ has bereaved him of many words, which should
begin with _Sigma_.

_Their Tongues are sharper than_ Actius _his razor_.] _Actius Navius_
was chief Augur, who (as the story saith) admonishing _Tarqu. Priscus_
that he should not undertake any action of moment, without first
consulting the Augur, the King (shewing that he had little faith in his
skill) demanded of him, whether by the rules of his skill, what he had
conceived in his mind might be done: to whom when _Actius_ had answered
it might be done, he bid him take a Whetstone which he had in his hand,
and cut it in two with a Razor; which accordingly the Augur did. _Livy._
And therefore we must conceive it was very sharp. Here the Adage was
cross'd, ξυρὸς εἰς ἀκόνην, i.e. _novacula in cotem. Vid. Erasm.

_Pag. 90._

_It is not meer Zeal to Learning, or devotion to the Muses, that wiser
Princes Patronize the Arts_, etc. _but a desire to have their names
eterniz'd by the memory of their Writings_.] There is a great Scholar,
who took the boldness to tell a Prince so much. _Est enim bonorum
principum cum viris eruditis tacita quædam naturalisque Societas, ut
alteri ab alteris illustrentur, ac dum sibi mutuo suffragantur, et
gloria principibus, et doctis authoritas concilietur_. Politian. _Ep.
Ludovic. Sfort. quæ extat, lib. 11. Ep. ep. 1_. And to this Opinion
astipulates a Country man of our own, whose words are these: _Ignotus
esset Lucilius, nisi eum Epistolæ Senecæ illustrarent. Laudibus Cæsareis
plus Virgilius et Varus Lucanusq; adjecerunt, quam immensum illud
ærarium quo urbem et orbem spoliavit. Nemo prudentiam Ithaci aut Pelidæ
vires agnosceret, nisi eas Homerus divino publicasset ingenio: unde
nihil mihi videtur consultius viro ad gloriam properanti fidelium favore
scriptorum._ Joan. Sarisb. _Polycrat. l 8. c. 14_. And that Princes are
as much beholding to the Poets Pens as their own Swords, _Horace_ tells
_Censorinus_ with great confidence. _Od. 8. l. 4. Non incisa notis_,

_Sect. 4. Pag. 90._

_St._ Paul _that calls the_ Cretians _Lyars, doth it but indirectly, and
upon quotation of one of their own Poets_.] That is, _Epimenides_; the
place is _Tit. 1. v. 12._ where _Paul_ useth this verse, taken out of

          Κρῆτες ἀεὶ ψεῦσται, κακὰ θηρία, γαστέρες ἀργαί.

_It is as bloody a thought in one way, as_ Nero's _was in another_. _For
by a word we wound a thousand._] I suppose he alludes to that passage in
_Sueton._ in the life of _Nero_, where he relates that a certain person
upon a time, spoke in his hearing these words,

          Ἐμοῦ θανόντος γαία μιχθήτω πυρί.

_i.e._ When I am dead let Earth be mingled with Fire. Whereupon the
Emperour uttered these words, Ἐμοῦ ζῶντος, _i.e._ _Yea whilst I live_:
there by one word, he express'd a cruel thought, which I think is the
thing he meant; this is more cruel than the wish of _Caligula_, that the
people of _Rome_ had but one Neck, that he might destroy them all at a

_Sect. 6. Pag. 95._

_I cannot believe the story of the_ Italian, etc.] It is reported that a
certain _Italian_ having met with one that had highly provoked him, put
a Ponyard to his breast, and unless he would blaspheme God, told him he
would kill him, which the other doing to save his life, the _Italian_
presently kill'd him, to the intent he might be damned, having no time
of Repentance.

_Sect. 7. Pag. 97._

_I have no sins that want a Name._] The Author in _cap. ult. lib. ult.
Pseudodox._ speaking of the Act of carnality exercised by the _Egyptian_
Pollinctors with the dead carcasses, saith we want a name for this,
wherein neither _Petronius_ nor _Martial_ can relieve us; therefore I
conceive the Author here means a venereal sin.

_This was the Temper of that Leacher that carnal'd with a Statua._] The
Latine Annotator upon this hath these words: _Romæ refertur de Hispano
quodam_. But certainly the Author means the Statue of _Venus Gnidia_
made by _Praxiteles_, of which a certain young man became so enamoured,
that _Pliny_ relates, _Ferunt amore captum cum delituisset nocta
simulachro cohæsisse, ejusq; cupiditas esse indicem masculum_. _Lucian_
also has the story in his _Dialog_. [_Amores._]

_And the constitution of_ Nero _in his Spintrian recreations._] The
Author doth not mean the last _Nero_, but _Tiberius_ the Emperour, whose
name was _Nero_ too; of whom _Sueton. Secessu vero Capreensi etiam
sellariam excogitavit sedem arcanarum libidinum, in quam undique
conquisti puellarum et exoletorum greges monstrosiq; concubitus
repertores, quos spintrias apellabat, triplici serie connexi invicem
incestarent se coram ipso, ut adspectu deficientes libidines excitaret._
Suet. _in Tib. 43_.

_Sect. 8. Pag. 98._

_I have seen a Grammarian toure and plume himself over a single line in_
Horace, _and shew more pride_, etc.] _Movent mihi stomachum Grammatistæ
quidam, qui cum duas tenuerint vocabularum origenes ita se ostentant,
ita venditant, ita circumferunt jactabundi, ut præ ipsis pro nihilo
habendos Philosophos arbitrentur._ Picus Mirand. _in Ep. ad Hermol.
Barb. quæ extat lib. nono Epist. Politian_.

          _Garsio quisq; duas postquam scit jungere partes,
          Sic stat, sic loquitur, velut omnes noverit artes._

_Pag. 99._

_I cannot think that_ Homer _pin'd away upon the Riddle of the
Fishermen._] The History out of _Plutarch_ is thus: Sailing from
_Thebes_ to the Island _Ion_, being landed and set down upon the shore,
there happen'd certain Fishermen to pass by him, and he asking them what
they had taken, they made him this Enigmatical answer, That what they
had taken, they had left behind them; and what they had not taken, they
had with them: meaning, that because they could take no Fish, they went
to loose themselves; and that all which they had taken, they had killed,
and left behind them, and all which they had not taken, they had with
them in their clothes: and that _Homer_ being struck with a deep sadness
because he could not interpret this, pin'd away, and at last dyed.
_Pliny_ alludes to this Riddle, in his _Ep._ to his Friend _Fuscus_,
where giving an account of spending his time in the Country, he tells
him, _Venor aliquando, sed non sine pugilluribus, ut quamvis nihil
ceperim, non nihil referam._ Plin. _Ep. lib. 9, Ep. 36_.

_Or that_ Aristot.----_did ever drown himself upon the flux or reflux
of_ Euripus.] _Laertius_ reports that _Aristotle_ dyed of a disease at
63 years of age. For this and the last, see the Author in _Pseudodox_.

Aristotle _doth but instruct us as_ Plato _did him, to confute
himself_.] In the matter of _Idea's_, Eternity of the world, _etc._

_Sec. 9. Pag. 100._

_I could be content that we might procreate like trees without
conjunction, or that there were any way to perpetuate the world without
this trivial and vulgar way of Coition: It is the foolishest act a wise
man commits in all his life._] There was a Physitian long before the
Author, that was of the same opinion, _Hippocrates_; for which _vide A.
Gel. l. 19. Noct. Attic. c. 2_. And so of late time was _Paracelsus_,
who did undertake to prescribe a way for the generation of a man without
coition. _Vide Campanel. de sensu rerum, in Append. ad _cap. 19._ l. 4._
_Monsieur Montaignes_ words on this subject, are worth the reading;
these they are: _Je trouve apres tout, que l'amour n'est autre chose que
la fame de cette jouyssance, et considerant maintes fois la ridicule
titillation de ce plaiser par on il nous tient, les absurdes movements
escervelez et estourdis dequoy il agite Zenon et Cratippus, ceste rage
indiscrete, ce visage inflamme de fureur et de cruaute au plus doux
effect de l'amour, et puis cette morgue grare severe et extatique en une
action si folle, et que la supreme volupte aye du trainsy et du
plaintiff commer la douleur, je croye qu'on se joue de nous, et que c'est
par industrie que nature nous a laisse la plus trouble de nos actions
les plus communes pour nous esgaller par la et apparier les fols et les
sayes, et nous et les bestes. Le plus contemplatif et prudent homme
quand je l'imagin en cette assiette je le tien pour un affronteur, de
faire le prudent et le contemplatif: et sont les pieds du paon qui
abbatent son orgueil. Nous mangeons bien et beuvons comme les bestes,
mais ce ne sont pas actions, qui empeschent les operations de nostre
ame, en celles-la nous gardons nostre advantage sur elles: cettecy met
tout autre pensee sous le joug, abrutist et abesiit par son imperieuse
authorite toute la Theology et Philosophy, qui est en Platon et si il ne
s'en plaint pas. Par tout ailleurs vous pouvez garder quelque decence;
toutes autres operations souffrent des Regles d'honestete: cettecy ne se
peut sculement imaginer que vitieuse ou ridicule; trouvez y pour voir un
proceder sage et discret. Alexander disoit qu'il se cognossoit
principalement mortel par cette action et par le dormir: le sommeil
suffoque et supprime les facultez de nostre ame, la besoigne les absorbe
et dissipe de mesme. Certes c'est une marque non seulement de nostre
corruption originelle, mais aussi de nostre vanite et disformite. D'un
coste nature nous y pousse ayant attaché à ce desire la plan noble,
utile et plaisante de toutes ses operations, et la nous laisse d'autre
part accuser et fuyr comme insolent et dishoneste, en rougir et
recommander l'abstinence_, etc. Montaign _liv. 3. chapit. 5_.

_Sect. 10. Pag. 103._

_And may be inverted on the worst._] That is, that there are none so
abandoned to vice, but they have some sprinklings of vertue. There are
scarce any so vitious, but commend virtue in those that are endued with
it, and do some things laudable themselves, as _Plin._ saith in
_Panegyric_. _Machiavel_ upon _Livy, lib. 1. cap. 27_. sets down the
ensuing relation as a notable confirmation of this truth. _Julius
Pontifex ejus nominis secundus, anno salutis 1505. Bononiam exercitus
duxit, ut Bentivolorum familiam, quæ ejus urbis imperium centum jam
annos tenuerat, loco moveret. Eudemque in expeditione etiam Johannem
Pagolum, Bagloneum tyrannum Perusinum sua sede expellere decreverat, ut
cæteros item, qui urbes Ecclesiæ per vim tenerent. Ejus rei causa cum ad
Perusinam urbem accessisset, et notum jam omnibus esset quid in animo
haberet: tamen impatiens moræ, noluit exercitus expectare, sed inermis
quasi urbem ingressus est, in quant Johannes Pagolus defendendi sui
causa, non exiguas copias contraxerat. Is autem eodem furore, quo res
suas administrare solebat, una cum milite, cui custodiam sui corporis
demandarat, sese in pontificis potestatem dedidit; à quo abductus est
relictusque alius, qui Ecclesiæ nomine urbem gubernaret. Hac ipsu in re
magnopere admirati sunt viri sapientes, qui Pontificem comitabantur, cum
Pontificis ipsius temeritatem, cum abjectum vilemq; Johannis Pagoli
animum: nec causam intelligebant, ob quam permotus idem Pagolus, hostem
suum inermem (quod illi cum perpetua nominis sui memoria facere licebat)
non subitò oppresserit, et tam pretiosa spolia diripuerit; cum Pontifex
urbem ingressus fuisset, Cardinalibus tantum suis stipatus, qui
pretiosissimas quasq; suarum rerum secum habebant. Neque enim credebatur
Pagolus a tanto facinore vel sua bonitate, vel animi conscientia
abstinuisse: quod in hominem sceleratum, qui et propria sorore utebatur,
et consobrinos nepotesque dominandi causa e medio sustulerat hujusmodi
pii affectus cadere non viderentur. Cum igitur hac de re variæ essent
sapientum virorum sententiæ; concluserunt tandem id ei accidisse, quod
ita comparatum sit_, ut homines neque plane pravi esse queant, neque
perfecte boni. _Pravi perfecte esse nequeant, propterea quod, ubi tale
quoddam scelus est, in quo aliquid magnifici ac generosi insit, id
patrare non andeant. Nam cum Pagolus neq; incestam prius horraisset,
neque patricidio abstinnisset: tamen cnm oblata esset occasio, pravi
quidem sed memorabilis, atque æternæ memoriæ facinoris patrandi, id
attentare non ausus fuit, cum id sine infamia prestare licuisset, quod
rei magnitudo omnia priora scelera obtegere potuisset, et a periculo
conservare. Quibus accedit, quod illi gratulati fuissent etiam quam
plurimi, si primus ausus esset Pontificibus monstrare rationem
dominandi; totiusque humanæ vitæ usum ab illis nimis parei pendi._

_Poysons contain within themselves their own Antidote._] The Poyson of a
Scorpion is not Poyson to it self, nor the Poyson of a Toad is not
Poyson to it self; so that the sucking out of Poyson from persons
infected by Psylls, (who are continually nourished with venomous
aliment) without any prejudice to themselves, is the less to be wondred

_The man without a Navil yet lives in me._] The Latine Annotator hath
explicated this by _Homo non perfectus_, by which it seems he did not
comprehend the Author's meaning; for the Author means _Adam_, and by a
Metonymie original sin; for the Navil being onely of use to attract the
aliment _in utero materno_, and _Adam_ having no mother, he had no use
of a Navil, and therefore it is not to be conceived he had any; and upon
that ground the Author calls him the man without a Navil.

_Sect. 11. Pag. 106._

_Our grosser memories have then so little hold of our abstracted
understandings, that they forget the story, and can onely relate to our
awaked senses a confused and broken tale of that that hath pass'd._] For
the most part it is so. In regard of the Author's expression of
forgetting the story, though otherwise it be not very pertinent to this
place, I shall set down a relation given by an English Gentleman, of two
dreams that he had, wherein he did not forget the story, but (what is
more strange) found his dreams verified. This it is.

Whilst I lived at _Prague_, and one night had sit up very late drinking
at a feast, early in the morning the Sun beams glancing on my face, as I
lay in my bed, I dreamed that a shadow passing by told me that my Father
was dead; at which awaking all in a sweat, and affected with this dream,
I rose and wrote the day and hour, and all circumstances thereof in a
Paper-book, which book with many other things I put into a Barrel, and
sent it from _Prague_ to _Stode_, thence to be conveyed into _England_.
And now being at _Nurenburgh_, a Merchant of a noble Family well
acquainted with me and my friends, arrived there, who told me my Father
dyed some two months ago. I list not to write any lyes, but that which I
write, is as true as strange. When I returned into _England_ some four
years after, I would not open the Barrel I sent from _Prague_, nor look
into the Paper-book in which I had written this dream, till I had called
my Sisters and some friends to be witnesses, where my self and they were
astonished to see my written dream answer the very day of my Father's

I may lawfully swear that which my Kinsman hath heard witnessed by my
brother _Henry_ whilst he lived, that in my youth at _Cambridge_, I had
the like dream of my Mother's death, where my brother _Henry_ living
with me, early in the morning I dreamed that my Mother passed by with a
sad countenance, and told me that she could not come to my Commencement:
I being within five months to proceed Master of Arts, and she having
promised at that time to come to _Cambridge_. And when I related this
dream to my brother, both of us awaking together in a sweat, he
protested to me that he had dreamed the very same; and when we had not
the least knowledge of our Mother's sickness, neither in our youthful
affections were any whit affected with the strangeness of this dream,
yet the next Carrier brought us word of our Mother's death. Mr. _Fiennes
Morison_ in his Itinerary. I am not over-credulous of such relations,
but methinks the circumstance of publishing it at such a time, when
there were those living that might have disprov'd it, if it had been
false, is a great argument of the truth of it.

_Sect. 12. Pag. 107._

_I wonder the fancy of _Lucan_ and _Seneca_ did not discover it._] For
they had both power from _Nero_ to chuse their deaths.

_Sect. 13. Pag. 108._

_To conceive our selves Urinals is not so ridiculous._] _Reperti sunt
Galeno et Avicenna testibus qui se vasa fictilia crederent, et ideirco
hominum attactum ne confringerentur solicite fugerent._ Pontan. _in
Attic. bellar._ (_Hist. 22._) Which proceeds from extremity of

_Pag. 109._

Aristot. _is too severe, that will not allow us to be truely liberal
without wealth._] _Aristot. l. 1. Ethic. c. 8._

_Sect. 15. Pag. 112._

_Thy will be done though in mine own undoing._] This should be the wish
of every man, and is of the most wise and knowing, _Le Christien plus
humble et plus sage et mieux recognoissant que c'est que de luy se
rapporte a son createur de choisir et ordonner ce qu'il luy faut. Il ne
le supplie dautre chose que sa volunte soit faite._ Montaign.

  _A Letter sent upon the information of_ Animadversions _to come forth,
    upon the imperfect and surreptitious copy of_ Religio Medici,
    _whilst this true one was going to Press_.

Honoured Sir, Give your Servant, who hath ever honour'd you, leave to
take notice of a Book at present in the Press, intituled (as I am
informed) _Animadversions_ upon a Treatise lately printed under the name
of _Religio Medici_; hereof, I am advertised, you have descended to be
the Author. Worthy Sir, permit your Servant to affirm there is contain'd
therein nothing that can deserve the Reason of your Contradictions, much
less the Candor of your _Animadversions_: and to certifie the truth
thereof, That Book (whereof I do acknowledge myself the Author) was
penn'd many years past, and (what cannot escape your apprehension) with
no intention for the Press, or the least desire to oblige the Faith of
any man to its assertions. But what hath more especially emboldened my
Pen unto you at present, is, That the same Piece, contrived in my
private study, and as an Exercise unto my self, rather than Exercitation
for any other, having past from my hand under a broken and imperfect
Copy, by frequent transcription it still run forward into corruption,
and after the addition of some things, omission of others, &
transposition of many, without my assent or privacy, the liberty of
these times committed it unto the Press; whence it issued so disguised,
the Author without distinction could not acknowledge it. Having thus
miscarried, within a few weeks I shall, God willing, deliver unto the
Press the true and intended Original (whereof in the mean time your
worthy Self may command a view); otherwise when ever that Copy shall be
extant, it will most clearly appear how far the Text hath been mistaken,
and all Observations, Glosses, or Exercitations thereon, will in a great
part impugn the Printer or Transcriber, rather than the Author. If after
that, you shall esteem it worth your vacant hours to discourse thereon,
you shall but take that liberty which I assume my self, that is, freely
to abound in your sense, as I have done in my own. However you shall
determine, you shall sufficiently honour me in the Vouchsafe of your
Refute, and I oblige the whole World in the occasion of your Pen.

                              _Your Servant._
                                            T. B.

Norwich, _March 3, 1642_.


_Certainly that man were greedy of Life, who should desire to live when
all the world were at an end; and he must needs be very impatient, who
would repine at death in the society of all things that suffer under it.
Had not almost every man suffered by the Press or were not the tyranny
thereof become universal, I had not wanted reason for complaint: but in
times wherein I have lived to behold the highest perversion of that
excellent invention, the name of his Majesty defamed, the Honour of
Parliament depraved, the Writings of both depravedly, anticipatively,
counterfeitly imprinted; complaints may seem ridiculous in private
persons; and men of my condition may be as incapable of affronts, as
hopeless of their reparations. And truely had not the duty I owe unto
the importunity of friends, and the allegiance I must ever acknowledge
unto truth, prevailed with me; the inactivity of my disposition might
have made these sufferings continual, and time that brings other things
to light, should have satisfied me in the remedy of its oblivion. But
because things evidently false are not onely printed, but many things of
truth most falsely set forth, in this latter I could not but think my
self engaged. For though we have no power to redress the former, yet in
the other, reparation being within our selves, I have at present
represented unto the world a full and intended Copy of that Piece,
which was most imperfectly and surreptitiously published before._

_This, I confess, about seven years past, with some others of affinity
thereto, for my private exercise and satisfaction, I had at leisurable
hours composed; which being communicated unto one, it became common unto
many, and was by Transcription successively corrupted, untill it arrived
in a most depraved Copy at the Press. He that shall peruse that Work,
and shall take notice of sundry particularities and personal expressions
therein, will easily discern the intention was not publick: and being a
private Exercise directed to my self, what is delivered therein, was
rather a memorial unto me, than an Example or Rule unto any other: and
therefore if there be any singularity therein correspondent unto the
private conceptions of any man, it doth not advantage them: or if
dissentaneous thereunto, it no way overthrows them. It was penned in
such a place, and with such disadvantage, that (I protest) from the
first setting of pen unto paper, I had not the assistance of any good
Book, whereby to promote my invention, or relieve my memory; and
therefore there might be many real lapses therein, which others might
take notice of, and more than I suspected my self. It was set down many
years past, and was the sense of my conception at that time, not an
immutable Law unto my advancing judgement at all times; and therefore
there might be many things therein plausible unto my passed
apprehension, which are not agreeable until my present self. There are
many things delivered Rhetorically, many expressions therein meerly
Tropical, and as they best illustrate my intention; and therefore also
there are many things to be taken in a soft and flexible sense, and not
to be called unto the rigid test of Reason. Lastly, all that is
contained therein is in submission unto maturer discernments; and, as I
have declared, shall no further father them than the best and learned
judgments shall authorize them: under favour of which considerations I
have made its secrecy publick, and committed the truth thereof to every
Ingenuous Reader._

                                                       _THO. BROWNE._



For my Religion, though there be several Circumstances that might
perswade the World I have none at all, as the general scandal of my
Profession, the natural course of my Studies, the indifferency of my
Behaviour and Discourse in matters of Religion, neither violently
Defending one, nor with that common ardour and contention Opposing
another; yet, in despight hereof, I dare, without usurpation, assume the
honourable Stile of a Christian. Not that I meerly owe this Title to the
Font, my Education, or Clime wherein I was born, as being bred up either
to confirm those Principles my parents instilled into my Understanding,
or by a general consent proceed in the Religion of my Country: But
having in my riper years and confirmed Judgment, seen and examined all,
I find my self obliged by the Principles of Grace, and the Law of mine
own Reason, to embrace no other name but this: Neither doth herein my
zeal so far make me forget the general Charity I owe unto Humanity, as
rather to hate than pity _Turks_, _Infidels_, and (what is worse)
_Jews_; rather contenting my self to enjoy that happy Stile, than
maligning those who refuse so glorious a Title.


But because the Name of a Christian is become too general to express our
Faith, there being a Geography of Religion as well as Lands, and every
Clime distinguished not only by their Laws and Limits, but circumscribed
by their Doctrines and Rules of Faith; to be particular, I am of that
_Reformed_ new-cast Religion, wherein I dislike nothing but the Name; of
the same belief our Saviour taught, the Apostles disseminated, the
Fathers authorized, and the Martyrs confirmed, but by the sinister ends
of Princes, the ambition and avarice of Prelates, and the fatal
corruption of times, so decayed, impaired, and fallen from its native
Beauty, that it required the careful and charitable hands of these times
to restore it to its primitive Integrity. Now the accidental occasion
whereupon, the slender means whereby the low and abject condition of the
Person by whom so good a work was set on foot, which in our Adversaries
beget contempt and scorn, fills me with wonder, and is the very same
Objection the insolent Pagans first cast at Christ and his Disciples.


Yet have I not so shaken hands with those desperate Resolutions, who had
rather venture at large their decayed bottom, than bring her in to be
new trimm'd in the Dock; who had rather promiscuously retain all, than
abridge any, and obstinately be what they are, than what they have been,
as to stand in Diameter and Swords point with them: We have reformed
from them, not against them; for omitting those Improperations and Terms
of Scurrility betwixt us, which only difference our Affections, and not
our Cause, there is between us one common Name and Appellation, one
Faith and necessary body of Principles common to us both; and therefore
I am not scrupulous to converse and live with them, to enter their
Churches in defect of ours, and either pray with them, or for them. I
could never perceive any rational Consequence from those many Texts
which prohibit the Children of _Israel_ to pollute themselves with the
Temples of the Heathens; we being all Christians, and not divided by
such detested impieties as might prophane our Prayers, or the place
wherein we make them; or that a resolved Conscience may not adore her
Creator any where, especially in places devoted to his Service; where,
if their Devotions offend him, mine may please him; if theirs prophane
it, mine may hallow it. Holy-water and Crucifix (dangerous to the common
people) deceive not my judgment, nor abuse my devotion at all: I am, I
confess, naturally inclined to that which misguided Zeal terms
Superstition: my common conversation I do acknowledge austere, my
behaviour full of rigour, sometimes not without morosity; yet at my
Devotion I love to use the civility of my knee, my hat, and hand, with
all those outward and sensible motions which may express or promote my
invisible Devotion. I should violate my own arm rather than a Church;
nor willingly deface the name of Saint or Martyr. At the sight of a
Cross or Crucifix I can dispense with my hat, but scarce with the
thought or memory of my Saviour: I cannot laugh at, but rather pity, the
fruitless journeys of Pilgrims, or contemn the miserable condition of
Fryars; for though misplaced in Circumstances there is something in it
of Devotion. I could never hear the _Ave-Mary_ Bell[7] without an
elevation, or think it a sufficient warrant, because they erred in one
circumstance, for me to err in all, that is, in silence and dumb
contempt; whilst therefore they directed their Devotions to Her, I
offered mine to God, and rectifie the Errors of their Prayers by rightly
ordering mine own: At a solemn Procession I have wept abundantly, while
my consorts blind with opposition and prejudice, have fallen into an
excess of scorn and laughter: There are questionless both in _Greek_,
_Roman_, and _African_ Churches, Solemnities and Ceremonies, whereof the
wiser Zeals do make a Christian use, and stand condemned by us, not as
evil in themselves, but as allurements and baits of superstition to
those vulgar heads that look asquint on the face of Truth, and those
unstable Judgments that cannot resist in the narrow point and centre of
Virtue without a reel or stagger to the Circumference.

  [7] _A Church Bell that tolls every day at six and twelve of the clock;
      at the hearing whereof, everyone in what place soever, either of
      House or Street, betakes himself to his prayer, which is commonly
      directed to the Virgin._


As there were many Reformers, so likewise many Reformations; every
Country proceeding in a particular way and method, according as their
national Interest, together with their Constitution and Clime, inclined
them; some angrily, and with extremity; others calmly, and with
mediocrity; not rending, but easily dividing the community, and leaving
an honest possibility of a reconciliation; which though peaceable
Spirits do desire, and may conceive that revolution of time and the
mercies of God may effect, yet that judgment that shall continue the
present antipathies between the two extreams, their contrarieties in
condition, affection, and opinion, may with the same hopes expect an
union in the Poles of Heaven.


But to difference my self nearer, and draw into a lesser Circle, There
is no Church, whose every part so squares unto my Conscience; whose
Articles, Constitutions, and Customs, seem so consonant unto reason, and
as it were framed to my particular Devotion, as this whereof I hold my
Belief, the Church of _England_, to whose Faith I am a sworn Subject;
and therefore in a double Obligation subscribe unto her Articles, and
endeavour to observe her Constitutions; whatsoever is beyond, as points
indifferent, I observe according to the rules of my private reason, or
the humour and fashion of my Devotion; neither believing this, because
_Luther_ affirmed it, or disproving that, because _Calvin_ hath
disavouched it. I condemn not all things in the Council of _Trent_, nor
approve all in the Synod of _Dort_. In brief, where the Scripture is
silent, the Church is my Text; where that speaks, 'tis but my Comment:
where there is a joynt silence of both, I borrow not the rules of my
Religion from _Rome_ or _Geneva_, but the dictates of my own reason. It
is an unjust scandal of our adversaries, and a gross errour in our
selves, to compute the Nativity of our Religion from _Henry_ the Eighth,
who, though he rejected the Pope, refus'd not the faith of _Rome_, and
effected no more than what his own Predecessors desired and assayed in
Ages past, and was conceived the State of _Venice_ would have attempted
in our days. It is as uncharitable a point in us to fall upon those
popular scurrilities and opprobrious scoffs of the Bishop of _Rome_, to
whom as a temporal Prince, we owe the duty of good language: I confess
there is cause of passion between us; by his sentence I stand
excommunicated, Heretick is the best language he affords me; yet can no
ear witness I ever returned him the name of Antichrist, Man of Sin, or
Whore of _Babylon_. It is the method of Charity to suffer without
reaction: Those usual Satyrs and invectives of the Pulpit may perchance
produce a good effect on the vulgar, whose ears are opener to Rhetorick
than Logick; yet do they in no wise confirm the faith of wiser
Believers, who know that a good cause needs not to be pardon'd by
passion, but can sustain it self upon a temperate dispute.


I could never divide my self from any man upon the difference of an
opinion, or be angry with his judgment for not agreeing with me in that
from which perhaps within a few days I should dissent my self. I have no
Genius to disputes in Religion, and have often thought it wisdom to
decline them, especially upon a disadvantage, or when the cause of truth
might suffer in the weakness of my patronage: Where we desire to be
informed, 'tis good to contest with men above our selves; but to confirm
and establish our opinions, 'tis best to argue with judgments below our
own, that the frequent spoils and Victories over their reasons may
settle in ourselves an esteem and confirmed Opinion of our own. Every
man is not a proper Champion for Truth, nor fit to take up the Gauntlet
in the cause of Verity: Many, from the ignorance of these Maximes, and
an inconsiderate Zeal unto Truth, have too rashly charged the Troops of
Error, and remain as Trophies unto the enemies of Truth: A man may be in
as just possession of Truth as of a City, and yet be forced to
surrender; 'tis therefore far better to enjoy her with peace, than to
hazzard her on a battle: if therefore there rise any doubts in my way, I
do forget them, or at least defer them till my better setled judgement
and more manly reason be able to resolve them; for I perceive every
man's own reason is his best _Œdipus_, and will upon a reasonable
truce, find a way to loose those bonds wherewith the subtleties of error
have enchained our more flexible and tender judgements. In Philosophy,
where Truth seems double-fac'd, there is no man more Paradoxical than my
self: but in Divinity I love to keep the Road; and, though not in an
implicite, yet an humble faith, follow the great wheel of the Church, by
which I move, not reserving any proper Poles or motion from the Epicycle
of my own brain; by this means I leave no gap for Heresie, Schismes, or
Errors, of which at present I hope I shall not injure Truth to say I
have no taint or tincture: I must confess my greener studies have been
polluted with two or three, not any begotten in the latter Centuries,
but old and obsolete, such as could never have been revived, but by such
extravagant and irregular heads as mine: for indeed Heresies perish not
with their Authors, but, like the river _Arethusa_, though they lose
their currents in one place, they rise up again in another: One General
Council is not able to extirpate one single Heresie; it may be cancell'd
for the present; but revolution of time, and the like aspects from
Heaven, will restore it, when it will flourish till it be condemned
again. For as though there were a _Metempsuchosis_, and the soul of one
man passed into another; Opinions do find, after certain Revolutions,
men and minds like those that first begat them. To see ourselves again,
we need not look for Plato's year:[8] every man is not only himself;
there hath been many _Diogenes_, and as many _Timons_, though but few of
that name; men are liv'd over again, the world is now as it was in Ages
past; there was none then, but there hath been some one since that
Parallels him, and is, as it were, his revived self.

  [8] _A revolution of certain thousand years, when all things should
      return unto their former estate, and he be teaching again in his
      School as when he delivered this Opinion._


Now the first of mine was that of the _Arabians_, That the Souls of men
perished with their Bodies, but should yet be raised again at the last
day: not that I did absolutely conceive a mortality of the Soul; but if
that were, which Faith, not Philosophy hath yet throughly disproved, and
that both entred the grave together, yet I held the same conceit thereof
that we all do of the body, that it should rise again. Surely it is but
the merits of our unworthy Natures, if we sleep in darkness until the
last Alarm. A serious reflex upon my own unworthiness did make me
backward from challenging this prerogative of my Soul; so that I might
enjoy my Saviour at the last, I could with patience be nothing almost
unto Eternity. The second was that of _Origen_, That God would not
persist in his vengeance for ever, but after a definite time of his
wrath, he would release the damned Souls from torture: which error I
fell into upon a serious contemplation of the great Attribute of God,
his Mercy; and did a little cherish it in my self, because I found
therein no malice, and a ready weight to sway me from the other extream
of despair, whereunto Melancholy and Contemplative Natures are too
easily disposed. A third there is which I did never positively maintain
or practise, but have often wished it had been consonant to Truth, and
not offensive to my Religion, and that is the Prayer for the dead;
whereunto I was inclin'd from some charitable inducements, whereby I
could scarce contain my Prayers for a friend at the ringing of a Bell,
or behold his Corps without an Orison for his Soul: 'Twas a good way,
methought, to be remembred by posterity, and far more noble than an
History. These opinions I never maintained with pertinacy, or
endeavoured to inveagle any mans belief unto mine, nor so much as ever
revealed or disputed them with my dearest friends; by which means I
neither propagated them in others, nor confirmed them in my self; but
suffering them to flame upon their own substance, without addition of
new fuel, they went out insensibly of themselves: therefore these
Opinions, though condemned by lawful Councels, were not Heresies in me,
but bare Errors, and single Lapses of my understanding, without a joynt
depravity of my will: Those have not onely depraved understandings, but
diseased affections, which cannot enjoy a singularity without an
Heresie, or be the Author of an Opinion without they be of a Sect also;
this was the villany of the first Schism of _Lucifer_, who was not
content to err alone, but drew into his Faction many Legions; and upon
this experience he tempted only _Eve_, as well understanding the
Communicable nature of Sin, and that to deceive but one, was tacitely
and upon consequence to delude them both.


That Heresies should arise, we have the Prophesie of Christ; but that
old ones should be abolished, we hold no prediction. That there must be
Heresies, is true, not only in our Church, but also in any other: even
in doctrines heretical, there will be super-heresies; and Arians not
only divided from their Church, but also among themselves: for heads
that are disposed unto Schism and complexionally propense to innovation,
are naturally disposed for a community; nor will be ever confined unto
the order or œconomy of one body; and therefore when they separate
from others, they knit but loosely among themselves, nor contented with
a general breach or dichotomy with their Church, do subdivide and mince
themselves almost into Atoms. 'Tis true, that men of singular parts and
humours have not been free from singular opinions and conceits in all
Ages; retaining something, not only beside the opinion of his own Church
or any other, but also any particular Author; which notwithstanding a
sober Judgment may do without offence or heresie; for there is yet,
after all the Decrees of Councils and the niceties of Schools, many
things untouch'd, unimagin'd, wherein the liberty of an honest reason
may play and expatiate with security, and far without the circle of an


As for those wingy Mysteries in Divinity, and airy subtleties in
Religion, which have unhing'd the brains of better heads, they never
stretched the _Pia Mater_ of mine. Methinks there be not impossibilities
enough in Religion for an active faith; the deepest Mysteries ours
contains have not only been illustrated, but maintained, by Syllogism
and the rule of Reason. I love to lose my self in a mystery, to pursue
my Reason to an _O altitudo!_ 'Tis my solitary recreation to pose my
apprehension with those involved Ænigma's and riddles of the Trinity,
with Incarnation, and Resurrection. I can answer all the Objections of
Satan and my rebellious reason with that odd resolution I learned of
_Tertullian, Certum est quia impossibile est_. I desire to exercise my
faith in the difficultest point; for to credit ordinary and visible
objects is not faith, but perswasion. Some believe the better for
seeing Christ's Sepulchre; and when they have seen the Red Sea, doubt
not of the Miracle. Now contrarily, I bless my self and am thankful that
I lived not in the days of Miracles, that I never saw Christ nor His
Disciples; I would not have been one of those _Israelites_ that pass'd
the Red Sea, nor one of Christ's patients on whom he wrought his
wonders; then had my faith been thrust upon me, nor should I enjoy that
greater blessing pronounced to all that believe and saw not. 'Tis an
easie and necessary belief, to credit what our eye and sense hath
examined: I believe he was dead, and buried, and rose again; and desire
to see him in his glory, rather than to contemplate him in his Cenotaphe
or Sepulchre. Nor is this much to believe; as we have reason, we owe
this faith unto History: they only had the advantage of a bold and noble
Faith, who lived before his coming, who upon obscure prophesies and
mystical Types could raise a belief, and expect apparent

SECT. 10

'Tis true, there is an edge in all firm belief, and with an easie
Metaphor we may say, the Sword of Faith; but in these obscurities I
rather use it in the adjunct the Apostle gives it, a Buckler; under
which I conceive a wary combatant may lye invulnerable. Since I was of
understanding to know we knew nothing, my reason hath been more pliable
to the will of Faith; I am now content to understand a mystery without a
rigid definition, in an easie and Platonick description. That[9]
allegorical description of _Hermes_, pleaseth me beyond all the
Metaphysical definitions of Divines; where I cannot satisfie my reason,
I love to humour my fancy: I had as live you tell me that _anima est
angelus hominis, est Corpus Dei_, as _Entelechia; Lux est umbra Dei_, as
_actus perspicui_; where there is an obscurity too deep for our Reason,
'tis good to sit down with a description, periphrasis, or adumbration;
for by acquainting our Reason how unable it is to display the visible
and obvious effects of nature, it becomes more humble and submissive
unto the subtleties of Faith; and thus I teach my haggard and
unreclaimed reason to stoop unto the lure of Faith. I believe there was
already a tree whose fruit our unhappy Parents tasted, though, in the
same Chapter when God forbids it, 'tis positively said, the plants of
the field were not yet grown, for God had not caus'd it to rain upon the
earth. I believe that the Serpent (if we shall literally understand it)
from his proper form and figure, made his motion on his belly before the
curse. I find the tryal of the Pucellage and virginity of Women, which
God ordained the _Jews_, is very fallible. Experience and History
informs me, that not onely many particular Women, but likewise whole
Nations have escaped the curse of Childbirth, which God seems to
pronounce upon the whole Sex; yet do I believe that all this is true,
which indeed my Reason would perswade me to be false; and this I think
is no vulgar part of Faith, to believe a thing not only above, but
contrary to Reason, and against the Arguments of our proper Senses.

  [9] _Sphæra cujus centrum ubique, circumferentia nullibi._

SECT. 11

In my solitary and retired imagination (_Neque enim cum porticus, aut me
lectulus accepit, desum mihi_) I remember I am not alone, and therefore
forget not to contemplate him and his Attributes who is ever with me,
especially those two mighty ones, his Wisdom and Eternity; with the one
I recreate, with the other I confound my understanding: for who can
speak of Eternity without a solœcism, or think thereof without an
Extasie? Time we may comprehend; 'tis but five days elder then our
selves, and hath the same Horoscope with the World; but to retire so far
back as to apprehend a beginning, to give such an infinite start
forwards as to conceive an end in an essence that we affirm hath neither
the one nor the other, it puts my Reason to _St. Paul's_ Sanctuary: my
Philosophy dares not say the Angels can do it; God hath not made a
Creature that can comprehend him; 'tis a privilege of His own nature. _I
am that I am_, was his own definition unto _Moses_; and 'twas a short
one, to confound mortality, that durst question God, or ask him what he
was; indeed he onely is; all others have and shall be; but in Eternity
there is no distinction of Tenses; and therefore that terrible term
_Predestination_, which hath troubled so many weak heads to conceive,
and the wisest to explain, is in respect to God no prescious
determination of our Estates to come, but a definitive blast of his Will
already fulfilled, and at the instant that he first decreed it; for to
his Eternity which is indivisible and all together, the last Trump is
already sounded, the reprobates in the flame, and the blessed in
_Abraham's_ bosome. _St. Peter_ speaks modestly, when he saith, a
thousand years to God are but as one day: for to speak like a
Philosopher, those continued instances of time which flow into a
thousand years, make not to Him one moment; what to us is to come, to
his Eternity is present, his whole duration being but one permanent
point, without Succession, Parts, Flux, or Division.

SECT. 12

There is no Attribute that adds more difficulty to the mystery of the
Trinity, where, though in a relative way of Father and Son, we must deny
a priority. I wonder how _Aristotle_ could conceive the World eternal,
or how he could make good two Eternities: his similitude of a Triangle,
comprehended in a square, doth somewhat illustrate the Trinity of our
Souls, and that the Triple Unity of God; for there is in us not three,
but a Trinity of Souls, because there is in us, if not three distinct
Souls, yet differing faculties, that can and do subsist apart in
different Subjects, and yet in us are thus united as to make but one
Soul and substance: if one Soul were so perfect as to inform three
distinct Bodies, that were a pretty Trinity: conceive, the distinct
number of three, not divided nor separated by the Intellect, but
actually comprehended in its Unity, and that is a perfect Trinity. I
have often admired the mystical way of _Pythagoras_, and the secret
Magick of numbers. Beware of Philosophy, is a precept not to be received
in too large a sense; for in this Mass of Nature there is a set of
things that carry in their Front, though not in Capital Letters, yet in
Stenography and short Characters, something of Divinity, which to wiser
Reasons serve as Luminaries in the Abyss of Knowledge, and to judicious
beliefs as Scales and Roundles to mount the Pinacles and highest pieces
of Divinity. The severe Schools shall never laugh me out of the
Philosophy of _Hermes_, that this visible World is but a Picture of the
invisible, wherein as in a Pourtraict, things are not truely, but in
equivocal shapes, and as they counterfeit some more real substance in
that invisible Fabrick.

SECT. 13

That other Attribute wherewith I recreate my devotion, is his Wisdom, in
which I am happy; and for the contemplation of this only, do not repent
me that I was bred in the way of Study: The advantage I have of the
vulgar, with the content and happiness I conceive therein, is an ample
recompence for all my endeavours, in what part of knowledge soever.
Wisdom is his most beauteous Attribute, no man can attain unto it, yet
_Solomon_ pleased God when he desired it. He is wise, because he knows
all things; and he knoweth all things, because he made them all: but his
greatest knowledge is in comprehending that he made not, that is,
himself. And this is also the greatest knowledge in man. For this do I
honour my own profession, and embrace the Counsel even of the Devil
himself: had he read such a Lecture in Paradise as he did at
_Delphos_,[10] we had better known our selves; nor had we stood in fear
to know him. I know he is wise in all, wonderful in what we conceive,
but far more in what we comprehend not; for we behold him but asquint,
upon reflex or shadow; our understanding is dimmer than _Moses_ Eye; we
are ignorant of the back-parts or lower side of his Divinity; therefore
to prie into the maze of his Counsels is not only folly in man, but
presumption even in Angels; like us, they are his Servants, not his
Senators; he holds no Counsel, but that mystical one of the Trinity,
wherein though there be three Persons, there is but one mind that
decrees without Contradiction: nor needs he any; his actions are not
begot with deliberation, his Wisdom naturally knows what's best; his
intellect stands ready fraught with the superlative and purest _Idea's_
of goodness; consultation and election, which are two motions in us,
make but one in him; his actions springing from his power at the first
touch of his will. These are Contemplations Metaphysical: my humble
speculations have another Method, and are content to trace and discover
those expressions he hath left in his Creatures, and the obvious effects
of Nature; there is no danger to profound these mysteries, no _sanctum
sanctorum_ in Philosophy: the World was made to be inhabited by Beasts,
but studied and contemplated by Man: 'tis the Debt of our Reason we owe
unto God, and the homage we pay for not being Beasts; without this, the
World is still as though it had not been, or as it was before the sixth
day, when as yet there was not a Creature that could conceive, or say
there was a World. The wisdom of God receives small honour from those
vulgar Heads that rudely stare about, and with a gross rusticity admire
his works; those highly magnifie him, whose judicious inquiry into His
Acts, and deliberate research into His Creatures, return the duty of a
devout and learned admiration. Therefore,

          Search while thou wilt, and let thy reason go,
          To ransome truth, even to th' Abyss below;
          Rally the scattered Causes; and that line
          Which Nature twists, be able to untwine
          It is thy Makers will, for unto none,
          But unto reason can he e'er be known.
          The Devils do know Thee, but those damn'd Meteors
          Build not thy Glory, but confound thy Creatures.
          Teach my indeavours so thy works to read,
          That learning them in thee, I may proceed.
          Give thou my reason that instructive flight,
          Whose weary wings may on thy hands still light.
          Teach me to soar aloft, yet ever so,
          When neer the Sun, to stoop again below.
          Thus shall my humble Feathers safely hover,
          And, though near Earth, more than the Heavens discover
          And then at last, when homeward I shall drive,
          Rich with the Spoils of nature to my hive,
          There will I sit like that industrious Flie,
          Buzzing thy praises, which shall never die,
          Till death abrupts them, and succeeding Glory
          Bid me go on in a more lasting story.

And this is almost all wherein an humble Creature may endeavour to
requite and some way to retribute unto his Creator: for if not he that
saith, _Lord, Lord_, but _he that doth the will of his Father, shall be
saved_; certainly our wills must be our performances, and our intents
make out our Actions; otherwise our pious labours shall find anxiety in
our Graves, and our best endeavours not hope, but fear a resurrection.

  [10] Γνῶθι σεαυτὸν, Nosce teipsum.

SECT. 14

There is but one first cause, and four second causes of all things; some
are without efficient, as God; others without matter, as Angels; some
without form, as the first matter: but every Essence created or
uncreated, hath its final cause, and some positive end both of its
Essence and Operation; this is the cause I grope after in the works of
Nature; on this hangs the providence of God: to raise so beauteous a
structure as the World and the Creatures thereof, was but his Art; but
their sundry and divided operations, with their predestinated ends, are
from the Treasure of his wisdom. In the causes, nature, and affections
of the Eclipses of the Sun and Moon, there is most excellent
speculation; but to profound farther, and to contemplate a reason why
his providence hath so disposed and ordered their motions in that vast
circle as to conjoyn and obscure each other, is a sweeter piece of
Reason, and a diviner point of Philosophy; therefore sometimes, and in
some things, there appears to me as much Divinity in _Galen_ his books
_De Usu Partium_, as in _Suarez_ Metaphysicks: Had _Aristotle_ been as
curious in the enquiry of this cause as he was of the other, he had not
left behind him an imperfect piece of Philosophy, but an absolute tract
of Divinity.

SECT. 15

_Natura nihil aget frustra_, is the only indisputed Axiome in
Philosophy; there are no _Grotesques_ in nature; not any thing framed to
fill up empty Cantons, and unnecessary spaces: in the most imperfect
Creatures, and such as were not preserved in the Ark, but having their
Seeds and Principles in the womb of Nature, are every where, where the
power of the Sun is; in these is the Wisdom of his hand discovered. Out
of this rank _Solomon_ chose the object of his admiration; indeed what
reason may not go to School to the wisdom of Bees, Ants, and Spiders?
what wise hand teacheth them to do what reason cannot teach us? ruder
heads stand amazed at those prodigious pieces of Nature, Whales,
Elephants, Dromidaries and Camels; these, I confess, are the Colossus
and Majestick pieces of her hand: but in these narrow Engines there is
more curious Mathematicks; and the civility of these little Citizens,
more neatly sets forth the Wisdom of their Maker. Who admires not
_Regio-Montanus_ his Fly beyond his Eagle, or wonders not more at the
operation of two Souls in those little Bodies, than but one in the Trunk
of a Cedar? I could never content my contemplation with those general
pieces of wonder, the Flux and Reflux of the Sea, the increase of
_Nile_, the conversion of the Needle to the North; and have studied to
match and parallel those in the more obvious and neglected pieces of
Nature, which without further trouble I can do in the Cosmography of my
self; we carry with us the wonders we seek without us: There is all
_Africa_ and her prodigies in us; we are that bold and adventurous piece
of nature, which he that studies wisely learns in a _compendium_ what
others labour at in a divided piece and endless volume.

SECT. 16

Thus there are two Books from which I collect my Divinity; besides that
written one of God, another of his servant Nature, that universal and
publick Manuscript, that lies expans'd unto the Eyes of all, those that
never saw him in the one, have discovered him in the other: this was the
Scripture and Theology of the Heathens: the natural motion of the Sun
made them more admire him, than its supernatural station did the
Children of _Israel_; the ordinary effects of nature wrought more
admiration in them than in the other all his Miracles; surely the
Heathens knew better how to joyn and read these mystical Letters than we
Christians, who cast a more careless Eye on these common Hieroglyphicks,
and disdain to suck Divinity from the flowers of Nature. Nor do I so
forget God as to adore the name of Nature; which I define not with the
Schools, to be the principle of motion and rest, but that streight and
regular line, that settled and constant course the Wisdom of God hath
ordained the actions of His creatures, according to their several kinds.
To make a revolution every day, is the Nature of the Sun, because of
that necessary course which God hath ordained it, from which it cannot
swerve but by a faculty from that voice which first did give it motion.
Now this course of Nature God seldome alters or perverts, but like an
excellent Artist hath so contrived his work, that with the self same
instrument, without a new creation, he may effect his obscurest designs.
Thus he sweetneth the Water with a Word, preserveth the Creatures in the
Ark, which the blast of his mouth might have as easily created; for God
is like a skilful Geometrician, who when more easily and with one stroak
of his Compass he might describe or divide a right line, had yet rather
do this in a circle or longer way; according to the constituted and
fore-laid principles of his Art: yet this rule of his he doth sometimes
pervert, to acquaint the World with his Prerogative, lest the arrogancy
of our reason should question his power, and conclude he could not; and
thus I call the effects of Nature the works of God, whose hand and
instrument she only is; and therefore to ascribe his actions unto her,
is to devolve the honour of the principal agent upon the instrument;
which if with reason we may do, then let our hammers rise up and boast
they have built our houses, and our pens receive the honour of our
writings. I hold there is a general beauty in the works of God, and
therefore no deformity in any kind or species of creature whatsoever: I
cannot tell by what Logick we call a _Toad_, a _Bear_, or an _Elephant_
ugly, they being created in those outward shapes and figures which best
express the actions of their inward forms. And having past that general
Visitation of God, who saw that all that he had made was good, that is,
conformable to his Will, which abhors deformity, and is the rule of
order and beauty; there is no deformity but in Monstrosity; wherein,
notwithstanding, there is a kind of Beauty. Nature so ingeniously
contriving the irregular parts, as they become sometimes more remarkable
than the principal Fabrick. To speak yet more narrowly, there was never
any thing ugly or mis-shapen, but the Chaos; wherein, notwithstanding,
to speak strictly, there was no deformity, because no form; nor was it
yet impregnant by the voice of God; now Nature was not at variance with
Art, nor Art with Nature, they being both servants of his providence:
Art is the perfection of Nature: were the World now as it was the sixth
day, there were yet a Chaos: Nature hath made one World, and Art
another. In brief, all things are artificial; for Nature is the Art of

SECT. 17

This is the ordinary and open way of his providence, which Art and
Industry have in a good part discovered, whose effects we may foretel
without an Oracle: to foreshew these, is not Prophesie, but
Prognostication. There is another way, full of Meanders and Labyrinths,
whereof the Devil and Spirits have no exact Ephemerides, and that is a
more particular and obscure method of his providence, directing the
operations of individuals and single Essences: this we call Fortune,
that serpentine and crooked line, whereby he draws those actions his
wisdom intends, in a more unknown and secret way: This cryptick and
involved method of his providence have I ever admired, nor can I relate
the History of my life, the occurrences of my days, the escapes of
dangers, and hits of chance, with a _Bezo las Manos_ to Fortune, or a
bare Gramercy to my good Stars: _Abraham_ might have thought the _Ram_
in the thicket came thither by accident; humane reason would have said,
that meer chance conveyed _Moses_ in the Ark to the sight of _Pharoh's_
daughter: what a Labyrinth is there in the story of _Joseph_, able to
convert a Stoick? Surely there are in every man's Life certain rubs,
doublings, and wrenches, which pass a while under the effects of chance,
but at the last well examined, prove the meer hand of God. 'Twas not
dumb chance, that to discover the Fougade or Powder-plot, contrived a
miscarriage in the Letter. I like the victory of 88. the better for that
one occurrence, which our enemies imputed to our dishonour and the
partiality of Fortune, to wit, the tempests and contrariety of Winds.
King _Philip_ did not detract from the Nation, when he said, he sent his
Armado to fight with men, and not to combate with the Winds. Where there
is a manifest disproportion between the powers and forces of two several
agents, upon a Maxime of reason we may promise the Victory to the
Superiour; but when unexpected accidents slip in, and unthought of
occurences intervene, these must proceed from a power that owes no
obedience to those Axioms; where, as in the writing upon the wall, we
may behold the hand, but see not the spring that moves it. The success
of that petty province of _Holland_ (of which the Grand _Seignour_
proudly said, if they should trouble him as they did the _Spaniard_, he
would send his men with shovels and pick-axes, and throw it into the
Sea,) I cannot altogether ascribe to the ingenuity and industry of the
people, but the mercy of God, that hath disposed them to such a thriving
Genius; and to the will of his Providence, that disposeth her favour to
each Country in their pre-ordinate season. All cannot be happy at once;
for, because the glory of one State depends upon the ruine of another,
there is a revolution and vicissitude of their greatness, and must obey
the swing of that wheel, not moved by Intelligences, but by the hand of
God, whereby all Estates arise to their _Zenith_ and Vertical points
according to their predestinated periods. For the lives, not only of
men, but of Commonwealths, and the whole World, run not upon an Helix
that still enlargeth; but on a Circle, where arriving to their Meridian,
they decline in obscurity, and fall under the Horizon again.

SECT. 18

These must not therefore he named the effects of Fortune, but in a
relative way, and as we term the works of Nature: it was the ignorance
of mans reason that begat this very name, and by a careless term
miscalled the Providence of God: for there is no liberty for causes to
operate in a loose and stragling way; nor any effect whatsoever, but
hath its warrant from some universal or superiour Cause. 'Tis not a
ridiculous devotion to say a prayer before a game at Tables; for even in
_sortilegies_ and matters of greatest uncertainty, there is a setled and
preordered course of effects. It is we that are blind, not Fortune:
because our Eye is too dim to discover the mystery of her effects, we
foolishly paint her blind, and hoodwink the Providence of the Almighty.
I cannot justifie that contemptible Proverb, _That fools only are
Fortunate_; or that insolent Paradox, _That a wise man is out of the
reach of Fortune_; much less those opprobrious epithets of Poets,
_Whore_, _Bawd_, and _Strumpet_. 'Tis, I confess, the common fate of men
of singular gifts of mind to be destitute of those of Fortune, which
doth not any way deject the Spirit of wiser judgements, who throughly
understand the justice of this proceeding; and being inrich'd with
higher donatives, cast a more careless eye on these vulgar parts of
felicity. It is a most unjust ambition to desire to engross the mercies
of the Almighty, not to be content with the goods of mind, without a
possession of those of body or Fortune: and it is an error worse than
heresie, to adore these complemental and circumstantial pieces of
felicity, and undervalue those perfections and essential points of
happiness wherein we resemble our Maker. To wiser desires it is
satisfaction enough to deserve, though not to enjoy the favours of
Fortune; let Providence provide for Fools: 'tis not partiality, but
equity in God, who deals with us but as our natural Parents; those that
are able of Body and Mind, he leaves to their deserts; to those of
weaker merits he imparts a larger portion, and pieces out the defect of
one, by the access of the other. Thus have we no just quarrel with
Nature, for leaving us naked; or to envy the Horns, Hoofs, Skins, and
Furs of other Creatures, being provided with Reason, that can supply
them all. We need not labour with so many Arguments to confute Judicial
Astrology; for if there be a truth therein, it doth not injure Divinity:
if to be born under _Mercury_ disposeth us to be witty, under _Jupiter_
to be wealthy; I do not owe a Knee unto those, but unto that merciful
Hand that hath ordered my indifferent and uncertain nativity unto such
benevolous Aspects. Those that hold that all things are governed by
Fortune, had not erred, had they not persisted there: The _Romans_ that
erected a temple to Fortune, acknowledged therein, though in a blinder
way, somewhat of Divinity; for in a wise supputation all things begin
and end in the Almighty. There is a nearer way to Heaven than _Homer's_
Chain; an easy Logick may conjoin heaven and Earth, in one Argument, and
with less than a _Sorites_ resolve all things into God. For though we
christen effects by their most sensible and nearest Causes, yet is God
the true and infallible Cause of all, whose concourse though it be
general, yet doth it subdivide it self into the particular Actions of
every thing, and is that Spirit, by which each singular Essence not only
subsists, but performs its operation.

SECT. 19

The bad construction, and perverse comment on these pair of second
Causes, or visible hands of God, have perverted the Devotion of many
unto Atheism; who, forgetting the honest Advisoes of Faith, have
listened unto the conspiracy of Passion and Reason. I have therefore
always endeavoured to compose those Feuds and angry Dissensions between
Affection, Faith and Reason: For there is in our Soul a kind of
Triumvirate, or triple Government of three Competitors, which distracts
the Peace of this our Common-wealth, not less than did that other the
State of _Rome_.

As Reason is a Rebel unto Faith, so Passion unto Reason: As the
Propositions of Faith seem absurd unto Reason, so the Theorems of Reason
unto Passion, and both unto Reason; yet a moderate and peaceable
discretion may so state and order the matter, that they may be all
Kings, and yet make but one Monarchy, every one exercising his
Soveraignty and Prerogative in a due time and place, according to the
restraint and limit of circumstance. There is, as in Philosophy, so in
Divinity, sturdy doubts and boisterous Objections, wherewith the
unhappiness of our knowledge too nearly acquainteth us. More of these no
man hath known than my self, which I confess I conquered, not in a
martial posture, but on my Knees. For our endeavours are not only to
combat with doubts, but always to dispute with the Devil: the villany of
that Spirit takes a hint of Infidelity from our Studies, and by
demonstrating a naturality in one way, makes us mistrust a miracle in
another. Thus having perused the _Archidoxes_ and read the secret
Sympathies of things, he would disswade my belief from the miracle of
the Brazen Serpent, make me conceit that Image worked by Sympathy, and
was but an _Ægyptian_ trick to cure their Diseases without a miracle.
Again, having seen some experiments of _Bitumen_, and having read far
more of _Naphtha_, he whispered to my curiosity the fire of the Altar
might be natural; and bid me mistrust a miracle in _Elias_, when he
entrenched the Altar round with Water: for that inflamable substance
yields not easily unto Water, but flames in the Arms of its Antagonist.
And thus would he inveagle my belief to think the combustion of _Sodom_
might be natural, and that there was an Asphaltick and Bituminous nature
in that Lake before the Fire of _Gomorrah_. I know that _Manna_ is now
plentifully gathered in _Calabria_; and _Josephus_ tells me, in his days
it was as plentiful in _Arabia_; the Devil therefore made the _quære_,
Where was then the miracle in the days of _Moses_: the _Israelite_ saw
but that in his time, the Natives of those Countries behold in ours.
Thus the Devil played at Chess with me, and yielding a Pawn, thought to
gain a Queen of me, taking advantage of my honest endeavours; and whilst
I laboured to raise the structure of my Reason, he strived to undermine
the edifice of my Faith.

SECT. 20

Neither had these or any other ever such advantage of me, as to incline
me to any point of Infidelity or desperate positions of Atheism; for I
have been these many years of opinion there was never any. Those that
held was the difference of Man from Beasts, have spoken probably, and
proceed upon a principle as inductive as the other. That doctrine of
_Epicurus_, that denied the Providence of God, was no Atheism, but a
magnificent and high strained conceit of his Majesty, which he deemed
too sublime to mind the trivial Actions of those inferiour Creatures.
That fatal Necessity of the Stoicks, is nothing but the immutable Law of
his will. Those that heretofore denied the Divinity of the Holy Ghost,
have been condemned, but as Hereticks; and those that now deny our
Saviour (though more than Hereticks) are not so much as Atheists: for
though they deny two persons in the Trinity, they hold as we do, there
is but one God.

That Villain and Secretary of Hell, that composed that miscreant piece
of the Three Impostors, though divided from all Religions, and was
neither Jew, Turk, nor Christian, was not a positive Atheist. I confess
every country hath its _Machiavel_, every Age its _Lucian_, whereof
common Heads must not hear, nor more advanced Judgments too rashly
venture on: It is the Rhetorick of Satan, and may pervert a loose or
prejudicate belief.

SECT. 21

I confess I have perused them all, and can discover nothing that may
startle a discreet belief; yet are there heads carried off with the Wind
and breath of such motives. I remember a Doctor in Physick of _Italy_,
who could not perfectly believe the immortality of the Soul, because
_Galen_ seemed to make a doubt thereof. With another I was familiarly
acquainted in _France_, a Divine, and a man of singular parts, that on
the same point was so plunged and gravelled with [11]three lines of
_Seneca_, that all our Antidotes, drawn from both Scripture and
Philosophy, could not expel the poyson of his errour. There are a set of
Heads, that can credit the relations of Mariners, yet question the
Testimonies of St. _Paul_; and peremptorily maintain the traditions of
_Ælian_ or _Pliny_, yet in Histories of Scripture raise Queries and
Objections, believing no more than they can parallel in humane Authors.
I confess there are in Scripture Stories that do exceed the Fables of
Poets, and to a captious Reader sound like _Garagantua_ or _Bevis_:
Search all the Legends of times past, and the fabulous conceits of these
present, and 'twill be hard to find one that deserves to carry the
Buckler unto _Sampson_; yet is all this of an easie possibility, if we
conceive a divine concourse, or an influence but from the little Finger
of the Almighty. It is impossible that either in the discourse of man,
or in the infallible Voice of God, to the weakness of our apprehensions,
there should not appear irregularities, contradictions, and antinomies:
my self could shew a Catalogue of doubts, never yet imagined nor
questioned, as I know, which are not resolved at the first hearing; not
fantastick Queries or Objections of Air; for I cannot hear of Atoms in
Divinity. I can read the History of the Pigeon that was sent out of the
Ark, and returned no more, yet not question how she found out her Mate
that was left behind: That _Lazarus_ was raised from the dead, yet not
demand where in the interim his Soul awaited; or raise a Law-case,
whether his Heir might lawfully detain his inheritance bequeathed unto
him by his death, and he, though restored to life, have no Plea or Title
unto his former possessions. Whether _Eve_ was framed out of the left
side of _Adam_, I dispute not; because I stand not yet assured which is
the right side of a man, or whether there be any such distinction in
Nature: that she was edified out of the Rib of _Adam_, I believe, yet
raise no question who shall arise with that Rib at the Resurrection.
Whether _Adam_ was an Hermaphrodite, as the Rabbins contend upon the
Letter of the Text, because it is contrary to reason, there should be an
Hermaphrodite before there was a Woman; or a composition of two Natures
before there was a second composed. Likewise, whether the World was
created in Autumn, Summer, or the Spring, because it was created in them
all; for whatsoever Sign the Sun possesseth, those four Seasons are
actually existent: It is the Nature of this Luminary to distinguish the
several Seasons of the year, all which it makes at one time in the whole
Earth, and successive in any part thereof. There are a bundle of
curiosities, not only in Philosophy, but in Divinity, proposed and
discussed by men of most supposed abilities, which indeed are not worthy
our vacant hours, much less our serious Studies. Pieces only fit to be
placed in _Pantagruel's_ Library, or bound up with Tartaretus, _De modo
Cacandi_. [SN: _In Rabbelais._]

  [11] _Post Mortem nihil est, ipsaque Mors nihil. Mors individua est,
       noxia corpori, nec patiens animæ ... Toti morimur, nullaque pars
       manet nostri._

SECT. 22

These are niceties that become not those that peruse so serious a
Mystery: There are others more generally questioned and called to the
Bar, yet methinks of an easie and possible truth.

'Tis ridiculous to put off, or down the general Flood of _Noah_ in that
particular inundation of _Deucalion_: that there was a Deluge once,
seems not to me so great a Miracle, as that there is not one always. How
all the kinds of Creatures, not only in their own bulks, but with a
competency of food and sustenance, might be preserved in one Ark, and
within the extent of three hundred Cubits, to a reason that rightly
examines it, will appear very feasible. There is another secret not
contained in the Scripture, which is more hard to comprehend, and put
the honest Father to the refuge of a Miracle: and that is, not only how
the distinct pieces of the World, and divided Islands should be first
planted by men, but inhabited by Tigers, Panthers, and Bears. How
_America_ abounded with Beasts of prey, and noxious Animals, yet
contained not in it that necessary Creature, a Horse, is very strange.
By what passage those, not only Birds, but dangerous and unwelcome
Beasts, came over: How there be Creatures there (which are not found in
this Triple Continent); all which must needs be strange unto us, that
hold but one Ark, and that the Creatures began their progress from the
Mountains of _Ararat_: They who to salve this would make the Deluge
particular, proceed upon a principle that I can no way grant; not only
upon the negative of holy Scriptures, but of mine own Reason, whereby I
can make it probable, that the World was as well peopled in the time of
_Noah_, as in ours; and fifteen hundred years to people the World, as
full a time for them, as four thousand years since have been to us.
There are other assertions and common Tenents drawn from Scripture, and
generally believed as Scripture, whereunto notwithstanding, I would
never betray the liberty of my Reason. 'Tis a Paradox to me, that
_Methusalem_ was the longest liv'd of all the Children of _Adam_: and no
man will be able to prove it; when from the process of the Text, I can
manifest it may be otherwise. That _Judas_ perished by hanging himself,
there is no certainty in Scripture: though in one place it seems to
affirm it, and by a doubtful word hath given occasion to translate it;
yet in another place, in a more punctual description, it makes it
improbable, and seems to overthrow it. That our Fathers, after the
Flood, erected the Tower of _Babel_ to preserve themselves against a
second Deluge, is generally opinioned and believed, yet is there another
intention of theirs expressed in Scripture: Besides, it is improbable
from the circumstance of the place, that is, a plain in the Land of
_Shinar_: These are no points of Faith, and therefore may admit a free
dispute. There are yet others, and those familiarly concluded from the
Text, wherein (under favour) I see no consequence: the Church of _Rome_,
confidently proves the opinion of Tutelary Angels, from that Answer when
_Peter_ knockt at the Door; _'Tis not he, but his Angel_; that is, might
some say, his Messenger, or some body from him; for so the Original
signifies, and is as likely to be the doubtful Families meaning. This
exposition I once suggested to a young Divine, that answered upon this
point; to which I remember the _Franciscan_ Opponent replyed no more,
but That it was a new, and no authentick interpretation.

SECT. 23

These are but the conclusions and fallible discourses of man upon the
Word of God, for such I do believe the holy Scriptures: yet were it of
man, I could not chuse but say, it was the singularest and superlative
piece that hath been extant since the Creation: were I a Pagan, I should
not refrain the Lecture of it; and cannot but commend the judgment of
_Ptolomy_, that thought not his Library compleat without it. The Alcoran
of the _Turks_ (I speak without prejudice) is an ill composed Piece,
containing in it vain and ridiculous Errors in Philosophy,
impossibilities, fictions, and vanities beyond laughter, maintained by
evident and open Sophisms, the Policy of Ignorance, deposition of
Universities, and banishment of Learning, that hath gotten Foot by Arms
and violence: This without a blow, hath disseminated it self through the
whole Earth. It is not unremarkable what _Philo_ first observed, That
the Law of _Moses_ continued two thousand years without the least
alteration; whereas, we see, the Laws of other Common-weals do alter
with occasions; and even those, that pretended their Original from some
Divinity, to have vanished without trace or memory. I believe besides
_Zoroaster_, there were divers that writ before _Moses_, who,
notwithstanding, have suffered the common fate of time. Mens Works have
an age like themselves; and though they out-live their Authors, yet have
they a stint and period to their duration: This only is a work too hard
for the teeth of time, and cannot perish but in the general Flames, when
all things shall confess their Ashes.

SECT. 24

I have heard some with deep sighs lament the lost lines of _Cicero_;
others with as many groans deplore the combustion of the Library of
_Alexandria_: for my own part, I think there be too many in the World,
and could with patience behold the urn and ashes of the _Vatican_, could
I, with a few others, recover the perished leaves of _Solomon_. I would
not omit a Copy of _Enoch's_ Pillars, had they many nearer Authors than
_Josephus_, or did not relish somewhat of the Fable. Some men have
written more than others have spoken; [12]_Pineda_ quotes more Authors in
one work, than are necessary in a whole World. Of those three great
inventions in _Germany_, there are two which are not without their
incommodities, and 'tis disputable whether they exceed not their use
and commodities. 'Tis not a melancholy _Utinam_ of my own, but the
desires of better heads, that there were a general Synod; not to unite
the incompatible difference of Religion, but for the benefit of
learning, to reduce it as it lay at first, in a few, and solid Authors;
and to condemn to the fire those swarms & millions of _Rhapsodies_
begotten only to distract and abuse the weaker judgements of Scholars,
and _to maintain the trade and mystery of Typographers_.

  [12] Pineda _in his_ Monarchica Ecclesiastica _quotes one thousand
       and forty Authors_.

SECT. 25

I cannot but wonder with what exception the _Samaritans_ could confine
their belief to the _Pentateuch_, or five Books of _Moses_. I am ashamed
at the Rabbinical Interpretation of the Jews, upon the Old Testament, as
much as their defection from the New. And truly it is beyond wonder, how
that contemptible and degenerate issue of _Jacob_, once so devoted to
Ethnick Superstition, and so easily seduced to the Idolatry of their
Neighbours, should now in such an obstinate and peremptory belief adhere
unto their own Doctrine, expect impossibilities, and, in the face and
eye of the Church, persist without the least hope of Conversion. This is
a vice in them, that were a vertue in us; for obstinacy in a bad Cause
is but constancy in a good. And herein I must accuse those of my own
Religion; for there is not any of such a fugitive Faith, such an
unstable belief, as a Christian; none that do so oft transform
themselves, not unto several shapes of Christianity and of the same
Species, but unto more unnatural and contrary Forms, of Jew and
Mahometan; that, from the name of Saviour, can condescend to the bare
term of Prophet; and from an old belief that he is come, fall to a new
expectation of his coming. It is the promise of Christ to make us all
one Flock; but how and when this Union shall be, is as obscure to me as
the last day. Of those four Members of Religion we hold a slender
proportion; there are, I confess, some new additions, yet small to those
which accrew to our Adversaries, and those only drawn from the revolt of
Pagans, men but of negative Impieties, and such as deny Christ, but
because they never heard of him: but the Religion of the Jew is
expressly against the Christian, and the Mahometan against both. For the
Turk, in the bulk he now stands, he is beyond all hope of conversion; if
he fall asunder, there may be conceived hopes, but not without strong
improbabilities. The Jew is obstinate in all fortunes; the persecution
of fifteen hundred years hath but confirmed them in their Errour: they
have already endured whatsoever may be inflicted, and have suffered, in
a bad cause, even to the condemnation of their enemies. Persecution is a
bad and indirect way to plant Religion: It hath been the unhappy method
of angry Devotions, not only to confirm honest Religion, but wicked
Heresies, and extravagant Opinions. It was the first stone and Basis of
our Faith; none can more justly boast of Persecutions, and glory in the
number and valour of Martyrs; for, to speak properly, those are true and
almost only examples of fortitude: Those that are fetch'd from the
field, or drawn from the actions of the Camp, are not oft-times so
truely precedents of valour as audacity, and at the best attain but to
some bastard piece of fortitude: If we shall strictly examine the
circumstances and requisites which _Aristotle_ requires to true and
perfect valour, we shall find the name only in his Master _Alexander_,
and as little in that Roman Worthy, _Julius Cæsar_; and if any, in that
easie and active way have done so nobly as to deserve that name, yet in
the passive and more terrible piece these have surpassed, and in a more
heroical way may claim the honour of that Title. 'Tis not in the power
of every honest Faith to proceed thus far, or pass to Heaven through the
flames; every one hath it not in that full measure, nor in so audacious
and resolute a temper, as to endure those terrible tests and trials; who
notwithstanding, in a peaceable way do truely adore their Saviour, and
have (no doubt) a Faith acceptable in the eyes of God.

SECT. 26

Now as all that dye in the War are not termed Souldiers; so neither can
I properly term all those that suffer in matters of Religion, Martyrs.
The Council of _Constance_ condemns _John Huss_ for an Heretick; the
Stories of his own Party stile him a Martyr: He must needs offend the
Divinity of both, that says he was neither the one nor the other: There
are many (questionless) canonised on earth, that shall never be Saints
in Heaven; and have their names in Histories and Martyrologies, who in
the eyes of God are not so perfect Martyrs, as was that wise Heathen
_Socrates_, that suffered on a fundamental point of Religion, the Unity
of God. I have often pitied the miserable Bishop that suffered in the
cause of _Antipodes_, yet cannot chuse but accuse him of as much
madness, for exposing his living on such a trifle; as those of ignorance
and folly, that condemned him. I think my conscience will not give me
the lye, if I say there are not many extant that in a noble way fear the
face of death less than myself; yet, from the moral duty I owe to the
Commandment of God, and the natural respects that I tender unto the
conservation of my essence and being, I would not perish upon a
Ceremony, Politick points, or indifferency: nor is my belief of that
untractible temper, as not to bow at their obstacles, or connive at
matters wherein there are not manifest impieties: The leaven therefore
and ferment of all, not only Civil, but Religious actions, is Wisdom;
without which, to commit our selves to the flames is Homicide, and (I
fear) but to pass through one fire into another.

SECT. 27

That Miracles are ceased, I can neither prove, nor absolutely deny, much
less define the time and period of their cessation: that they survived
Christ, is manifest upon the Record of Scripture: that they out-lived
the Apostles also, and were revived at the Conversion of Nations, many
years after, we cannot deny, if we shall not question those Writers
whose testimonies we do not controvert in points that make for our own
opinions; therefore that may have some truth in it that is reported by
the Jesuites of their Miracles in the _Indies_; I could wish it were
true, or had any other testimony than their own Pens. They may easily
believe those Miracles abroad, who daily conceive a greater at home, the
transmutation of those visible elements into the Body and Blood of our
Saviour: for the conversion of Water into Wine, which he wrought in
_Cana_, or what the Devil would have had him done in the Wilderness, of
Stones into Bread, compared to this, will scarce deserve the name of a
Miracle. Though indeed to speak properly, there is not one Miracle
greater than another, they being the extraordinary effects of the Hand
of God, to which all things are of an equal facility; and to create the
World as easie as one single Creature. For this is also a Miracle, not
onely to produce effects against, or above Nature, but before Nature;
and to create Nature as great a Miracle as to contradict or transcend
her. We do too narrowly define the Power of God, restraining it to our
capacities. I hold that God can do all things; how he should work
contradictions, I do not understand, yet dare not therefore deny. I
cannot see why the Angel of God should question _Esdras_ to recal the
time past, if it were beyond his own power; or that God should pose
mortality in that, which he was not able to perform himself. I will not
say God cannot, but he will not perform many things, which we plainly
affirm he cannot: this I am sure is the mannerliest proposition,
wherein, notwithstanding, I hold no Paradox. For strictly his power is
the same with his will, and they both with all the rest do make but one

SECT. 28

Therefore that Miracles have been, I do believe; that they may yet be
wrought by the living, I do not deny: but have no confidence in those
which are fathered on the dead; and this hath ever made me suspect the
efficacy of reliques, to examine the bones, question the habits and
appurtenances of Saints, and even of Christ himself. I cannot conceive
why the Cross that _Helena_ found, and whereon Christ himself dyed,
should have power to restore others unto life: I excuse not
_Constantine_ from a fall off his Horse, or a mischief from his enemies,
upon the wearing those nails on his bridle, which our Saviour bore upon
the Cross in his hands. I compute among _Piæ fraudes_, nor many degrees
before consecrated Swords and Roses, that which _Baldwyn_, King of
_Jerusalem_, return'd the _Genovese_ for their cost and pains in his
War, to wit, the ashes of _John_ the Baptist. Those that hold the
sanctity of their Souls doth leave behind a tincture and sacred faculty
on their bodies, speak naturally of Miracles, and do not salve the
doubt. Now one reason I tender so little Devotion unto Reliques, is, I
think, the slender and doubtful respect I have always held unto
Antiquities: for that indeed which I admire, is far before Antiquity,
that is, Eternity; and that is, God himself; who, though he be styled
the ancient of days, cannot receive the adjunct of Antiquity, who was
before the World, and shall be after it, yet is not older than it; for
in his years there is no Climacter; his duration is Eternity, and far
more venerable than Antiquity.

SECT. 29

But above all things I wonder how the curiosity of wiser heads could
pass that great and indisputable Miracle, the cessation of Oracles; and
in what swoun their Reasons lay, to content themselves, and sit down
with such a far-fetch'd and ridiculous reason as _Plutarch_ alleadgeth
for it. The Jews, that can believe the supernatural Solstice of the Sun
in the days of _Joshua_, have yet the impudence to deny the Eclipse,
which every Pagan confessed, at his death: but for this, it is evident
beyond all contradiction,[13] the Devil himself confessed it. Certainly
it is not a warrantable curiosity, to examine the verity of Scripture by
the concordance of humane history, or seek to confirm the Chronicle of
_Hester_ or _Daniel_ by the authority of _Megasthenes_ or _Herodotus_. I
confess, I have had an unhappy curiosity this way, till I laughed my
self out of it with a piece of _Justine_, where he delivers that the
Children of _Israel_ for being scabbed were banished out of _Egypt_. And
truely since I have understood the occurrences of the World, and know in
what counterfeit shapes, and deceitful vizards times present represent
on the stage things past; I do believe them little more then things to
come. Some have been of my opinion, and endeavoured to write the History
of their own lives; wherein _Moses_ hath outgone them all, and left not
onely the story of his life, but as some will have it, of his death

  [13] _In his Oracle to_ Augustus.

SECT. 30

It is a riddle to me, how this story of Oracles hath not worm'd out of
the World that doubtful conceit of Spirits and Witches; how so many
learned heads should so far forget their Metaphysicks, and destroy the
ladder and scale of creatures, as to question the existence of Spirits:
for my part, I have ever believed, and do now know, that there are
Witches: they that doubt of these, do not onely deny them, but spirits;
and are obliquely and upon consequence a sort not of Infidels, but
Atheists. Those that to confute their incredulity desire to see
apparitions, shall questionless never behold any, nor have the power to
be so much as Witches; the Devil hath them already in a heresie as
capital as Witchcraft; and to appear to them, were but to convert them.
Of all the delusions wherewith he deceives mortality, there is not any
that puzleth me more than the Legerdemain of _Changelings_; I do not
credit those transformations of reasonable creatures into beasts, or
that the Devil hath a power to transpeciate a man into a Horse, who
tempted Christ (as a trial of his Divinity) to convert but stones into
bread. I could believe that Spirits use with man the act of carnality,
and that in both sexes; I conceive they may assume, steal, or contrive a
body, wherein there may be action enough to content decrepit lust, or
passion to satisfie more active veneries; yet in both, without a
possibility of generation: and therefore that opinion that Antichrist
should be born of the Tribe of _Dan_, by conjunction with the Devil, is
ridiculous, and a conceit fitter for a Rabbin than a Christian. I hold
that the Devil doth really possess some men, the spirit of Melancholly
others, the spirit of Delusion others; that as the Devil is concealed
and denyed by some, so God and good Angels are pretended by others
whereof the late defection of the Maid of _Germany_ hath left a pregnant

Sect. 31

Again, I believe that all that use sorceries, incantations, and spells,
are not Witches, or, as we term them, Magicians; I conceive there is a
traditional Magick, not learned immediately from the Devil, but at
second hand from his Scholars, who having once the secret betrayed, are
able, and do emperically practise without his advice, they both
proceeding upon the principles of Nature; where actives, aptly conjoyned
to disposed passives, will under any Master produce their effects. Thus
I think at first a great part of Philosophy was Witchcraft, which being
afterward derived to one another, proved but Philosophy, and was indeed
no more but the honest effects of Nature: What invented by us is
Philosophy, learned from him is Magick. We do surely owe the discovery
of many secrets to the discovery of good and bad Angels. I could never
pass that sentence of _Paracelsus_, without an asterisk, or annotation;
[14]_Ascendens constellatum multa revelat, quærentibus magnalia naturæ_,
i.e. _opera Dei_. I do think that many mysteries ascribed to our own
inventions, have been the courteous revelations of Spirits; for those
noble essences in Heaven bear a friendly regard unto their fellow
Natures on Earth; and therefore believe that those many prodigies and
ominous prognosticks, which fore-run the ruines of States, Princes, and
private persons, are the charitable premonitions of good Angels, which
more careless enquiries term but the effects of chance and nature.

  [14] _Thereby is meant out good Angel appointed us from our Nativity._

SECT. 32

Now, besides these particular and divided Spirits, there may be (for
ought I know) an universal and common Spirit to the whole World. It was
the opinion of _Plato_, and it is yet of the _Hermetical_ Philosophers:
if there be a common nature that unites and tyes the scattered and
divided individuals into one species, why may there not be one that
unites them all? However, I am sure there is a common Spirit that plays
within us, yet makes no part of us; and that is the Spirit of God, the
fire and scintillation of that noble and mighty Essence, which is the
life and radical heat of Spirits, and those essences that know not the
vertue of the Sun, a fire quite contrary to the fire of Hell: This is
that gentle heat that broodeth on the waters, and in six days hatched
the World; this is that irradiation that dispels the mists of Hell, the
clouds of horrour, fear, sorrow, despair; and preserves the region of
the mind in serenity: Whatsoever feels not the warm gale and gentle
ventilation of this Spirit, (though I feel his pulse) I dare not say he
lives; for truely without this, to me there is no heat under the
Tropick; nor any light, though I dwelt in the body of the Sun.

          _As when the labouring Sun hath wrought his track
          Up to the top of lofty_ Cancers _back,
          The ycie Ocean cracks, the frozen pole
          Thaws with the heat of the Celestial coale;
          So when thy absent beams begin t' impart
          Again a Solstice on my frozen heart,
          My winter 's ov'r; my drooping spirits sing,
          And every part revives into a Spring.
          But if thy quickening beams a while decline,
          And with their light bless not this Orb of mine,
          A chilly frost surpriseth every member,
          And in the midst of_ June _I feel_ December.
          _O how this earthly temper doth debase
          The noble Soul in this her humble place.
          Whose wingy nature ever doth aspire
          To reach that place whence first it took its fire.
          These flames I feel, which in my heart do dwell,
          Are not thy beams, but take their fire from Hell.
          O quench them all, and let thy light divine
          Be as the Sun to this poor Orb of mine;
          And to thy sacred Spirit convert those fires,
          Whose earthly fumes choak my devout aspires._

SECT. 33

Therefore for Spirits, I am so far from denying their existence, that I
could easily believe, that not onely whole Countries, but particular
persons, have their Tutelary and Guardian Angels: It is not a new
opinion of the Church of _Rome_, but an old one of _Pythagoras_ and
_Plato_; there is no heresie in it; and if not manifestly defin'd in
Scripture, yet is it an opinion of a good and wholesome use in the
course and actions of a mans life, and would serve as an _Hypothesis_ to
salve many doubts, whereof common Philosophy affordeth no solution. Now
if you demand my opinion and Metaphysicks of their natures, I confess
them very shallow, most of them in a negative way, like that of God; or
in a comparative, between our selves and fellow-creatures; for there is
in this Universe a Stair, or manifest Scale of creatures, rising not
disorderly, or in confusion, but with a comely method and proportion.
Between creatures of meer existence and things of life, there is a large
disproportion of nature; between plants and animals or creatures of
sense, a wider difference; between them and man, a far greater: and if
the proportion hold one, between Man and Angels there should be yet a
greater. We do not comprehend their natures, who retain the first
definition of _Porphyry_, and distinguish them from our selves by
immortality; for before his Fall, 'tis thought, Man also was Immortal;
yet must we needs affirm that he had a different essence from the
Angels; having therefore no certain knowledge of their Natures, 'tis no
bad method of the Schools, whatsoever perfection we find obscurely in
our selves, in a more compleat and absolute way to ascribe unto them. I
believe they have an extemporary knowledge, and upon the first motion of
their reason do what we cannot without study or deliberation; that they
know things by their forms, and define by specifical difference what we
describe by accidents and properties; and therefore probabilities to us
may be demonstrations unto them: that they have knowledge not onely of
the specifical, but numerical forms of individuals, and understand by
what reserved difference each single _Hypostasis_ (besides the relation
to its species) becomes its numerical self. That as the Soul hath a
power to move the body it informs, so there's a faculty to move any,
though inform none; ours upon restraint of time, place, and distance;
but that invisible hand that conveyed _Habakkuk_ to the Lyons Den, or
_Philip_ to _Azotus_, infringeth this rule, and hath a secret
conveyance, wherewith mortality is not acquainted: if they have that
intuitive knowledge, whereby as in reflexion they behold the thoughts of
one another, I cannot peremptorily deny but they know a great part of
ours. They that to refute the Invocation of Saints, have denied that
they have any knowledge of our affairs below, have proceeded too far,
and must pardon my opinion, till I can thoroughly answer that piece of
Scripture, _At the conversion of a sinner the Angels in Heaven rejoyce._
I cannot with those in that great Father securely interpret the work of
the first day, _Fiat lux_, to the creation of Angels, though I confess
there is not any creature that hath so neer a glympse of their nature,
as light in the Sun and Elements. We stile it a bare accident, but where
it subsists alone, 'tis a spiritual Substance, and may be an Angel: in
brief, conceive light invisible, and that is a Spirit.

SECT. 34

These are certainly the Magisterial and master-pieces of the Creator,
the Flower, or (as we may say) the best part of nothing, actually
existing, what we are but in hopes and probability; we are onely that
amphibious piece between a corporal and spiritual Essence, that middle
form that links those two together, and makes good the Method of God and
Nature, that jumps not from extreams, but unites the incompatible
distances by some middle and participating natures: that we are the
breath and similitude of God, it is indisputable, and upon record of
holy Scripture; but to call ourselves a Microcosm, or little World, I
thought it only a pleasant trope of Rhetorick, till my neer judgement
and second thoughts told me there was a real truth therein: for first we
are a rude mass, and in the rank of creatures, which onely are, and
have a dull kind of being, not yet privileged with life, or preferred to
sense or reason; next we live the life of Plants, the life of Animals,
the life of Men, and at last the life of Spirits, running on in one
mysterious nature those five kinds of existences, which comprehend the
creatures not onely of the World, but of the Universe; thus is man that
great and true _Amphibium_, whose nature is disposed to live not onely
like other creatures in divers elements, but in divided and
distinguished worlds: for though there be but one to sense, there are
two to reason, the one visible, the other invisible, whereof _Moses_
seems to have left description, and of the other so obscurely, that some
parts thereof are yet in controversie. And truely for the first chapters
of _Genesis_, I must confess a great deal of obscurity; though Divines
have to the power of humane reason endeavoured to make all go in a
literal meaning, yet those allegorical interpretations are also
probable, and perhaps the mystical method of _Moses_ bred up in the
Hieroglyphical Schools of the Egyptians.

SECT. 35

Now for that immaterial world, methinks we need not wander so far as
beyond the first moveable; for even in this material Fabrick the spirits
walk as freely exempt from the affection of time, place, and motion, as
beyond the extreamest circumference: do but extract from the corpulency
of bodies, or resolve things beyond their first matter, and you discover
the habitation of Angels, which if I call the ubiquitary and omnipresent
essence of God, I hope I shall not offend Divinity: for before the
Creation of the World God was really all things. For the Angels he
created no new World, or determinate mansion, and therefore they are
everywhere where is his Essence, and do live at a distance even in
himself. That God made all things for man, is in some sense true, yet
not so far as to subordinate the Creation of those purer Creatures unto
ours, though as ministring Spirits they do, and are willing to fulfil
the will of God in these lower and sublunary affairs of man: God made
all things for himself, and it is impossible he should make them for any
other end than his own Glory; it is all he can receive, and all that is
without himself: for honour being an external adjunct, and in the
honourer rather than in the person honoured, it was necessary to make a
Creature, from whom he might receive this homage; and that is in the
other world Angels, in this, Man; which when we neglect, we forget the
very end of our Creation, and may justly provoke God, not onely to
repent that he hath made the World, but that he hath sworn he would not
destroy it. That there is but one World, is a conclusion of Faith.
_Aristotle_ with all his Philosophy hath not been able to prove it, and
as weakly that the world was eternal; that dispute much troubled the Pen
of the Philosophers, but _Moses_ decided that question, and all is
salved with the new term of a Creation, that is, a production of
something out of nothing; and what is that? Whatsoever is opposite to
something; or more exactly, that which is truely contrary unto God; for
he onely is, all others have an existence with dependency, and are
something but by a distinction; and herein is Divinity conformant unto
Philosophy, and generation not onely founded on contrarieties, but also
creation; God being all things, is contrary unto nothing, out of which
were made all things, and so nothing became something, and _Omneity_
informed _Nullity_ into an Essence.

SECT. 36

The whole Creation is a Mystery, and particularly that of Man; at the
blast of his mouth were the rest of the Creatures made, and at his bare
word they started out of nothing: but in the frame of Man (as the Text
describes it) he played the sensible operator, and seemed not so much to
create, as make him; when he had separated the materials of other
creatures, there consequently resulted a form and soul; but having
raised the walls of man, he has driven to a second and harder creation
of a substance like himself, an incorruptible and immortal Soul. For
these two affections we have the Philosophy and opinion of the Heathens,
the flat affirmative of _Plato_, and not a negative from _Aristotle_:
there is another scruple cast in by Divinity (concerning its production)
much disputed in the _Germane_ auditories, and with that indifferency
and equality of arguments, as leave the controversie undetermined. I am
not of _Paracelsus_ mind, that boldly delivers a receipt to make a man
without conjunction; yet cannot but wonder at the multitude of heads
that do deny traduction, having no other argument to confirm their
belief, then that Rhetorical sentence, and _Antimetathesis_ of
_Augustine_, _Creando infunditur, infundendo creatur_: either opinion
will consist well enough with Religion; yet I should rather incline to
this, did not one objection haunt me, not wrung from speculations and
subtilties, but from common sense and observation; not pickt from the
leaves of any Author, but bred amongst the weeds and tares of mine own
brain: And this is a conclusion from the equivocal and monstrous
productions in the copulation of Man with Beast: for if the Soul of man
be not transmitted, and transfused in the seed of the Parents, why are
not those productions meerly beasts, but have also an impression and
tincture of reason in as high a measure, as it can evidence it self in
those improper Organs? Nor truely can I peremptorily deny, that the Soul
in this her sublunary estate, is wholly, and in all acceptions
inorganical, but that for the performance of her ordinary actions, there
is required not onely a symmetry and proper disposition of Organs, but a
Crasis and temper correspondent to its operations. Yet is not this mass
of flesh and visible structure the instrument and proper corps of the
Soul, but rather of Sense, and that the hand of Reason. In our study of
Anatomy there is a mass of mysterious Philosophy, and such as reduced
the very Heathens to Divinity: yet amongst all those rare discourses,
and curious pieces I find in the Fabrick of man, I do not so much
content my self, as in that I find not, there is no Organ or Instrument
for the rational soul: for in the brain, which we term the seat of
reason, there is not any thing of moment more than I can discover in the
crany of a beast: and this is a sensible and no inconsiderable argument
of the inorganity of the Soul, at least in that sense we usually so
conceive it. Thus we are men, and we know not how; there is something in
us that can be without us, and will be after us, though it is strange
that it hath no history, what it was before us, nor cannot tell how it
entred in us.

SECT. 37

Now for these walls of flesh, wherein the Soul doth seem to be immured,
before the Resurrection, it is nothing but an elemental composition, and
a Fabrick that must fall to ashes. _All flesh is grass_, is not onely
metaphorically, but litterally, true; for all those creatures we
behold, are but the herbs of the field, digested into flesh in them, or
more remotely carnified in our selves. Nay further, we are what we all
abhor, _Anthropophagi_ and Cannibals, devourers not onely of men, but of
our selves; and that not in an allegory, but a positive truth: for all
this mass of flesh which we behold, came in at our mouths; this frame we
look upon, hath been upon our trenchers; in brief, we have devour'd our
selves. I cannot believe the wisdom of _Pythagoras_ did ever positively,
and in a literal sense, affirm his _Metempsychosis_, or impossible
transmigration of the Souls of men into beasts: of all Metamorphoses, or
transmigrations, I believe only one, that is of _Lots_ wife; for that of
_Nebuchodonosor_ proceeded not so far; in all others I conceive there is
no further verity than is contained in their implicite sense and
morality. I believe that the whole frame of a beast doth perish, and is
left in the same state after death as before it was materialled unto
life; that the souls of men know neither contrary nor corruption; that
they subsist beyond the body, and outlive death by the priviledge of
their proper natures, and without a Miracle; that the Souls of the
faithful, as they leave Earth, take possession of Heaven: that those
apparitions and ghosts of departed persons are not the wandring souls of
men, but the unquiet walks of Devils, prompting and suggesting us unto
mischief, blood, and villany; instilling and stealing into our hearts
that the blessed spirits are not at rest in their graves, but wander
sollicitous of the affairs of the World; but that those phantasms appear
often, and do frequent Cœmeteries, Charnel-houses, and Churches, it
is because those are the dormitories of the dead, where the Devil like
an insolent Champion beholds with pride the spoils and Trophies of his
Victory over _Adam_.

SECT. 38

This is that dismal conquest we all deplore, that makes us so often cry
_(O) Adam, quid fecisti_? I thank God I have not those strait ligaments,
or narrow obligations to the World, as to dote on life, or be convulst
and tremble at the name of death: Not that I am insensible of the dread
and horrour thereof, or by raking into the bowels of the deceased,
continual sight of Anatomies, Skeletons, or Cadaverous reliques, like
Vespilloes, or Gravemakers, I am become stupid, or have forgot the
apprehension of Mortality; but that marshalling all the horrours, and
contemplating the extremities thereof, I find not any thing therein able
to daunt the courage of a man, much less a well-resolved Christian: And
therefore am not angry at the errour of our first Parents, or unwilling
to bear a part of this common fate, and like the best of them to dye,
that is, to cease to breathe, to take a farewel of the elements, to be a
kind of nothing for a moment, to be within one instant of a spirit. When
I take a full view and circle of my self, without this reasonable
moderator, and equal piece of Justice, Death, I do conceive my self the
miserablest person extant; were there not another life that I hope for,
all the vanities of this World should not intreat a moment's breath from
me: could the Devil work my belief to imagine I could never dye, I would
not outlive that very thought; I have so abject a conceit of this common
way of existence, this retaining to the Sun and Elements, I cannot think
this is to be a man, or to live according to the dignity of humanity: in
exspectation of a better, I can with patience embrace this life, yet in
my best meditations do often defie death: I honour any man that contemns
it, nor can I highly love any that is afraid of it: this makes me
naturally love a Souldier, and honour those tattered and contemptible
Regiments, that will dye at the command of a Sergeant. For a Pagan there
may be some motives to be in love with life; but for a Christian to be
amazed at death, I see not how he can escape this Dilemma, that he is
too sensible of this life, or hopeless of the life to come.

SECT. 39

Some Divines count Adam 30 years old at his creation, because they
suppose him created in the perfect age and stature of man. And surely we
are all out of the computation of our age, and every man is some months
elder than he bethinks him; for we live, move, have a being, and are
subject to the actions of the elements, and the malice of diseases, in
that other world, the truest Microcosm, the Womb of our Mother. For
besides that general and common existence we are conceived to hold in
our Chaos, and whilst we sleep within the bosome of our causes, we enjoy
a being and life in three distinct worlds, wherein we receive most
manifest graduations: In that obscure World and womb of our mother, our
time is short, computed by the Moon; yet longer then the days of many
creatures that behold the Sun, our selves being not yet without life,
sense, and reason; though for the manifestation of its actions, it
awaits the opportunity of objects, and seems to live there but in its
root and soul of vegetation; entring afterwards upon the scene of the
World, we arise up and become another creature, performing the
reasonable actions of man, and obscurely manifesting that part of
Divinity in us, but not in complement and perfection, till we have once
more cast our secondine, that is, this slough of flesh, and are
delivered into the last world, that is, that ineffable place of _Paul_,
that proper _ubi_ of spirits. The smattering I have of the Philosophers
Stone (which is something more then the perfect exaltation of Gold) hath
taught me a great deal of Divinity, and instructed my belief, how that
immortal spirit and incorruptible substance of my Soul may lye obscure,
and sleep a while within this house of flesh. Those strange and mystical
transmigrations that I have observed in Silk-worms, turned my Philosophy
into Divinity. There is in these works of nature, which seem to puzzle
reason, something Divine, and hath more in it then the eye of a common
spectator doth discover.

SECT. 40

I am naturally bashful, nor hath conversation, age or travel, been able
to effront, or enharden me; yet I have one part of modesty which I have
seldom discovered in another, that is, (to speak truely) I am not so
much afraid of death, as ashamed thereof; 'tis the very disgrace and
ignominy of our natures, that in a moment can so disfigure us, that our
nearest friends, Wife, and Children stand afraid and start at us. The
Birds and Beasts of the field, that before in a natural fear obeyed us,
forgetting all allegiance, begin to prey upon us. This very conceit hath
in a tempest disposed and left me willing to be swallowed up in the
abyss of waters; wherein I had perished unseen, unpityed, without
wondering eyes, tears of pity, Lectures of mortality, and none had said,
_Quantum mutatus ab illo!_ Not that I am ashamed of the Anatomy of my
parts, or can accuse Nature for playing the bungler in any part of me,
or my own vitious life for contracting any shameful disease upon me,
whereby I might not call my self as wholesome a morsel for the worms as

SECT. 41

Some upon the courage of a fruitful issue, wherein, as in the truest
Chronicle, they seem to outlive themselves, can with greater patience
away with death. This conceit and counterfeit subsisting in our
progenies, seems to me a meer fallacy, unworthy the desires of a man,
that can but conceive a thought of the next World; who, in a nobler
ambition, should desire to live in his substance in Heaven, rather than
his name and shadow in the earth. And therefore at my death I mean to
take a total adieu of the world, not caring for a Monument, History, or
Epitaph, not so much as the memory of my name to be found any where, but
in the universal Register of God. I am not yet so Cynical, as to approve
the [15]Testament of _Diogenes_, nor do I altogether allow that
_Rodomontodo_ of _Lucan_;

          _----Cœlo tegitur, qui non habet urnam._

          _He that unburied lies wants not his Herse,
          For unto him a Tomb's the Universe._

But commend in my calmer judgement, those ingenuous intentions that
desire to sleep by the urns of their Fathers, and strive to go the
neatest way unto corruption. I do not envy the temper of Crows and Daws,
nor the numerous and weary days of our Fathers before the Flood. If
there be any truth in Astrology, I may outlive a Jubilee; as yet I have
not seen one revolution of Saturn, nor hath my pulse beat thirty years;
and yet excepting one, have seen the Ashes, & left under ground all the
Kings of _Europe_; have been contemporary to three Emperours, four Grand
Signiours, and as many Popes: methinks I have outlived my self, and
begin to be weary of the Sun; I have shaken hands with delight: in my
warm blood and Canicular days, I perceive I do anticipate the vices of
age; the World to me is but a dream or mock-show, and we all therein but
Pantalones and Anticks, to my severer contemplations.

  [15] _Who willed his friend not to bury him, but hang him up with a
       staff in his hand to fright away the crows._

SECT. 42

It is not, I confess, an unlawful prayer to desire to surpass the days
of our Saviour, or wish to outlive that age wherein he thought fittest
to dye; yet if (as Divinity affirms) there shall be no gray hairs in
Heaven, but all shall rise in the perfect state of men, we do but
outlive those perfections in this World, to be recalled unto them by a
greater Miracle in the next, and run on here but to be retrograde
hereafter. Were there any hopes to outlive vice, or a point to be
super-annuated from sin, it were worthy our knees to implore the days of
_Methuselah_. But age doth not rectifie, but incurvate our natures,
turning bad dispositions into worser habits, and (like diseases) brings
on incurable vices; for every day as we grow weaker in age, we grow
stronger in sin; and the number of our days doth make but our sins
innumerable. The same vice committed at sixteen, is not the same, though
it agree in all other circumstances, at forty, but swells and doubles
from the circumstance of our ages, wherein, besides the constant and
inexcusable habit of transgressing, the maturity of our judgement cuts
off pretence unto excuse or pardon: every sin the oftner it is
committed, the more it acquireth in the quality of evil; as it succeeds
in time, so it proceeds in degrees of badness; for as they proceed they
ever multiply, and like figures in Arithmetick, the last stands for more
than all that went before it. And though I think no man can live well
once, but he that could live twice, yet for my own part I would not live
over my hours past, or begin again the thred of my days: not upon
_Cicero's_ ground, because I have lived them well, but for fear I should
live them worse: I find my growing Judgment daily instruct me how to be
better, but my untamed affections and confirmed vitiosity makes me daily
do worse; I find in my confirmed age the same sins I discovered in my
youth; I committed many then because I was a Child, and because I commit
them still, I am yet an infant. Therefore I perceive a man may be twice
a Child before the days of dotage; and stands in need of _Æsons_ Bath
before threescore.

SECT. 43

And truely there goes a great deal of providence to produce a mans life
unto three-score: there is more required than an able temper for those
years; though the radical humour contain in it sufficient oyl for
seventy, yet I perceive in some it gives no light past thirty: men
assign not all the causes of long life, that write whole Books thereof.
They that found themselves on the radical balsome, or vital sulphur of
the parts, determine not why _Abel_ lived not so long as _Adam_. There
is therefore a secret glome or bottome of our days: 'twas his wisdom to
determine them, but his perpetual and waking providence that fulfils and
accomplisheth them; wherein the spirits, our selves, and all the
creatures of God in a secret and disputed way do execute his will. Let
them not therefore complain of immaturity that die about thirty; they
fall but like the whole World, whose solid and well-composed substance
must not expect the duration and period of its constitution: when all
things are compleated in it, its age is accomplished; and the last and
general fever may as naturally destroy it before six thousand, as me
before forty; there is therefore some other hand that twines the thread
of life than that of Nature: we are not onely ignorant in Antipathies
and occult qualities; our ends are as obscure as our beginnings; the
line of our days is drawn by night, and the various effects therein by a
pensil that is invisible; wherein though we confess our ignorance, I am
sure we do not err if we say it is the hand of God.

SECT. 44

I am much taken with two verses of _Lucan_, since I have been able not
onely as we do at School, to construe, but understand.

          _Victurosque Dei celant ut vivere durent.
          Felix esse mori._

          _We're all deluded, vainly searching ways
          To make us happy by the length of days;
          For cunningly to make's protract this breath,
          The Gods conceal the happiness of Death._

There be many excellent strains in that Poet, wherewith his Stoical
Genius hath liberally supplied him; and truely there are singular pieces
in the Philosophy of _Zeno_, and doctrine of the Stoicks, which I
perceive, delivered in a Pulpit, pass for current Divinity: yet herein
are they in extreams, that can allow a man to be his own _Assassine_,
and so highly extol the end and suicide of _Cato_; this is indeed not to
fear death, but yet to be afraid of life. It is a brave act of valour to
contemn death; but where life is more terrible than death, it is then
the truest valour to dare to live; and herein Religion hath taught us a
noble example: For all the valiant acts of _Curtius_, _Scevola_, or
_Codrus_, do not parallel or match that one of _Job_; and sure there is
no torture to the rack of a disease, nor any Ponyards in death it self
like those in the way or prologue to it. _Emori nolo, sed me esse
mortuum nihil curo_; I would not die, but care not to be dead. Were I of
_Cæsar's_ Religion, I should be of his desires, and wish rather to go
off at one blow, then to be sawed in pieces by the grating torture of a
disease. Men that look no farther than their outsides, think health an
appurtenance unto life, and quarrel with their constitutions for being
sick; but I, that have examined the parts of man, and know upon what
tender filaments that Fabrick hangs, do wonder that we are not always
so; and considering the thousand doors that lead to death, do thank my
God that we can die but once. 'Tis not onely the mischief of diseases,
and villany of poysons, that make an end of us; we vainly accuse the
fury of Guns, and the new inventions of death; it is in the power of
every hand to destroy us, and we are beholding unto every one we meet,
he doth not kill us. There is therefore but one comfort left, that,
though it be in the power of the weakest arm to take away life, it is
not in the strongest to deprive us of death: God would not exempt
himself from that, the misery of immortality in the flesh; he undertook
not that was immortal. Certainly there is no happiness within this
circle of flesh, nor is it in the Opticks of these eyes to behold
felicity; the first day of our Jubilee is Death; the Devil hath
therefore failed of his desires; we are happier with death than we
should have been without it: there is no misery but in himself, where
there is no end of misery; and so indeed in his own sense the Stoick is
in the right. He forgets that he can dye who complains of misery; we are
in the power of no calamity while death is in our own.

SECT. 45.

Now besides the literal and positive kind of death, there are others
whereof Divines make mention, and those I think, not meerly
Metaphorical, as mortification, dying unto sin and the World; therefore,
I say, every man hath a double Horoscope, one of his humanity, his
birth; another of his Christianity, his baptism, and from this do I
compute or calculate my Nativity; not reckoning those _Horæ combustæ_
and odd days, or esteeming my self any thing, before I was my Saviours,
and inrolled in the Register of Christ: Whosoever enjoys not this life,
I count him but an apparition, though he wear about him the sensible
affections of flesh. In these moral acceptions, the way to be immortal
is to dye daily; nor can I think I have the true Theory of death, when I
contemplate a skull, or behold a Skeleton with those vulgar imaginations
it casts upon us; I have therefore enlarged that common _Memento mori_,
into a more Christian memorandum, _Memento quatuor Novissima_, those
four inevitable points of us all, Death, Judgement, Heaven, and Hell.
Neither did the contemplations of the Heathens rest in their graves,
without further thought of Rhadamanth or some judicial proceeding after
death, though in another way, and upon suggestion of their natural
reasons. I cannot but marvail from what _Sibyl_ or Oracle they stole the
Prophesie of the worlds destruction by fire, or whence _Lucan_ learned
to say,

          _Communis mundo superest rogus, assibus astra Misturus.

          There yet remains to th' World one common Fire,
          Wherein our bones with stars shall make one Pyre._

I believe the World grows near its end, yet is neither old nor decayed,
nor shall ever perish upon the ruines of its own Principles. As the work
of Creation was above nature, so its adversary annihilation; without
which the World hath not its end, but its mutation. Now what force
should be able to consume it thus far, without the breath of God, which
is the truest consuming flame, my Philosophy cannot inform me. Some
believe there went not a minute to the Worlds creation, nor shall there
go to its destruction; those six days, so punctually described, make not
to them one moment, but rather seem to manifest the method and Idea of
the great work of the intellect of God, than the manner how he proceeded
in its operation. I cannot dream that there should be at the last day
any such Judicial proceeding, or calling to the Bar, as indeed the
Scripture seems to imply, and the literal Commentators do conceive: for
unspeakable mysteries in the Scriptures are often delivered in a vulgar
and illustrative way; and being written unto man, are delivered, not as
they truely are, but as they may be understood; wherein notwithstanding
the different interpretations according to different capacities may
stand firm with our devotion, nor be any way prejudicial to each single

SECT. 46

[Sidenote: _In those days there shall come lyars and false prophets._]

Now to determine the day and year of this inevitable time, is not onely
convincible and statute-madness, but also manifest impiety: How shall we
interpret _Elias_ 6000 years, or imagine the secret communicated to a
Rabbi, which God hath denyed unto his Angels? It had been an excellent
Quære to have posed the Devil of _Delphos_, and must needs have forced
him to some strange amphibology; it hath not onely mocked the
predictions of sundry Astrologers in Ages past, but the prophesies of
many melancholy heads in these present, who neither understanding
reasonably things past or present, pretend a knowledge of things to
come; heads ordained onely to manifest the incredible effects of
melancholy, and to fulfil old prophecies rather than be the authors of
new. In those days there shall come Wars and rumours of Wars, to me
seems no prophecy, but a constant truth, in all times verified since it
was pronounced: There shall be signs in the Moon and Stars; how comes he
then like a Thief in the night, when he gives an item of his coming?
That common sign drawn from the revelation of Antichrist, is as obscure
as any: in our common compute he hath been come these many years; but
for my own part to speak freely, I am half of opinion that Antichrist is
the Philosophers stone in Divinity; for the discovery and invention
thereof, though there be prescribed rules and probable inductions, yet
hath hardly any man attained the perfect discovery thereof. That general
opinion that the World grows neer its end, hath possessed all ages past
as neerly as ours; I am afraid that the Souls that now depart, cannot
escape that lingring expostulation of the Saints under the Altar,
_Quousque, Domine? How long, O Lord?_ and groan in the expectation of
that great Jubilee.

SECT. 47

This is the day that must make good that great attribute of God, his
Justice; that must reconcile those unanswerable doubts that torment the
wisest understandings, and reduce those seeming inequalities, and
respective distributions in this world, to an equality and recompensive
Justice in the next. This is that one day, that shall include and
comprehend all that went before it; wherein, as in the last scene, all
the Actors must enter, to compleat and make up the Catastrophe of this
great piece. This is the day whose memory hath onely power to make us
honest in the dark, and to be vertuous without a witness. _Ipsa sui
pretium virtus sibi_, that Vertue is her own reward, is but a cold
principle, and not able to maintain our variable resolutions in a
constant and setled way of goodness. I have practised that honest
artifice of _Seneca_, and in my retired and solitary imaginations, to
detain me from the foulness of vice, have fancied to my self the
presence of my dear and worthiest friends, before whom I should lose my
head, rather than be vitious: yet herein I found that there was nought
but moral honesty, and this was not to be vertuous for his sake who must
reward us at the last. I have tryed if I could reach that great
resolution of his, to be honest without a thought of Heaven or Hell; and
indeed I found, upon a natural inclination, and inbred loyalty unto
virtue, that I could serve her without a livery; yet not in that
resolved and venerable way, but that the frailty of my nature, upon[A]
easie temptation, might be induced to forget her. The life therefore and
spirit of all our actions, is the resurrection, and a stable
apprehension that our ashes shall enjoy the fruit of our pious
endeavours: without this, all Religion is a fallacy, and those impieties
of _Lucian_, _Euripides_, and _Julian_, are no blasphemies, but subtle
verities, and Atheists have been the onely Philosophers.

  [A] _Insert_ any, 1672.

SECT. 48

How shall the dead arise, is no question of my Faith; to believe only
possibilities, is not Faith, but meer Philosophy. Many things are true
in Divinity, which are neither inducible by reason, nor confirmable by
sense; and many things in Philosophy confirmable by sense, yet not
inducible by reason. Thus it is impossible by any solid or demonstrative
reasons to perswade a man to believe the conversion of the Needle to the
North; though this be possible and true, and easily credible, upon a
single experiment unto the sense. I believe that our estranged and
divided ashes shall unite again; that our separated dust after so many
Pilgrimages and transformations into the parts of Minerals, Plants,
Animals, Elements, shall at the Voice of God return into their primitive
shapes, and joyn again to make up their primary and predestinate forms.
As at the Creation there was a separation of that confused mass into its
pieces; so at the destruction thereof there shall be a separation into
its distinct individuals. As at the Creation of the World, all the
distinct species that we behold lay involved in one mass, till the
fruitful Voice of God separated this united multitude into its several
species: so at the last day, when those corrupted reliques shall be
scattered in the Wilderness of forms, and seem to have forgot their
proper habits, God by a powerful Voice shall command them back into
their proper shapes, and call them out by their single individuals: Then
shall appear the fertility of _Adam_, and the magick of that sperm that
hath dilated into so many millions. I have often beheld as a miracle,
that artificial resurrection and revivification of _Mercury_, how being
mortified into a thousand shapes, it assumes again its own, and returns
into its numerical self. Let us speak naturally, and like Philosophers,
the forms of alterable bodies in these sensible corruptions perish not;
nor as we imagine, wholly quit their mansions, but retire and contract
themselves into their secret and inaccessible parts, where they may best
protect themselves from the action of their Antagonist. A plant or
vegetable consumed to ashes, by a contemplative and school-Philosopher
seems utterly destroyed, and the form to have taken his leave for ever:
But to a sensible Artist the forms are not perished, but withdrawn into
their incombustible part, where they lie secure from the action of that
devouring element. This is made good by experience, which can from the
Ashes of a Plant revive the plant, and from its cinders recal it into
its stalk and leaves again. What the Art of man can do in these
inferiour pieces, what blasphemy is it to affirm the finger of God
cannot do in these more perfect and sensible structures? This is that
mystical Philosophy, from whence no true Scholar becomes an Atheist, but
from the visible effects of nature grows up a real Divine, and beholds
not in a dream, as _Ezekiel_, but in an ocular and visible object the
types of his resurrection.

SECT. 49

Now, the necessary Mansions of our restored selves, are those two
contrary and incompatible places we call Heaven and Hell; to define
them, or strictly to determine what and where these are, surpasseth my
Divinity. That elegant Apostle which seemed to have a glimpse of Heaven,
hath left but a negative description thereof; _which neither eye hath
seen, nor ear hath heard, nor can enter into the heart of man_: he was
translated out of himself to behold it; but being returned into himself,
could not express it. St. _John's_ description by Emerals, Chrysolites,
and precious Stones, is too weak to express the material Heaven we
behold. Briefly therefore, where the Soul hath the full measure and
complement of happiness; where the boundless appetite of that spirit
remains compleatly satisfied, that it can neither desire addition nor
alteration; that I think is truly Heaven: and this can onely be in the
injoynient of that essence, whose infinite goodness is able to terminate
the desires of it self, and the unsatiable wishes of ours; wherever God
will thus manifest himself, there is Heaven though within the circle of
this sensible world. Thus the Soul of man may be in Heaven any where,
even within the limits of his own proper body; and when it ceaseth to
live in the body, it may remain in its own soul, that is, its Creator:
and thus we may say that St. _Paul_, whether in the body, or out of the
body, was yet in Heaven. To place it in the Empyreal, or beyond the
tenth sphear, is to forget the world's destruction; for when this
sensible world shall be destroyed, all shall then be here as it is now
there, an Empyreal Heaven, a _quasi_ vacuity; when to ask where Heaven
is, is to demand where the Presence of God is, or where we have the
glory of that happy vision. _Moses_ that was bred up in all the learning
of the _Egyptians_, committed a gross absurdity in Philosophy, when with
these eyes of flesh he desired to see God, and petitioned his Maker,
that is, truth it self, to a contradiction. Those that imagine Heaven
and Hell neighbours, and conceive a vicinity between those two extreams,
upon consequence of the Parable, where _Dives_ discoursed with _Lazarus_
in _Abraham's_ bosome, do too grosly conceive of those glorified
creatures, whose eyes shall easily out-see the Sun, and behold without a
perspective the extreamest distances: for if there shall be in our
glorified eyes, the faculty of sight and reception of objects, I could
think the visible species there to be in as unlimitable a way as now the
intellectual. I grant that two bodies placed beyond the tenth sphear,
or in a vacuity, according to _Aristotle_'s Philosophy, could not behold
each other, because there wants a body or Medium to hand and transport
the visible rays of the object unto the sense; but when there shall be a
general defect of either Medium to convey, or light to prepare and
dispose that Medium, and yet a perfect vision, we must suspend the rules
of our Philosophy, and make all good by a more absolute piece of

SECT. 50

I cannot tell how to say that fire is the essence of Hell: I know not
what to make of Purgatory, or conceive a flame that can either prey
upon, or purifie the substance of a Soul: those flames of sulphur
mention'd in the Scriptures, I take not to be understood of this present
Hell, but of that to come, where fire shall make up the complement of
our tortures, and have a body or subject wherein to manifest its
tyranny. Some who have had the honour to be textuary in Divinity, are of
opinion it shall be the same specifical fire with ours. This is hard to
conceive, yet can I make good how even that may prey upon our bodies,
and yet not consume us: for in this material World there are bodies that
persist invincible in the powerfullest flames; and though by the action
of fire they fall into ignition and liquation, yet will they never
suffer a destruction. I would gladly know how _Moses_ with an actual
fire calcin'd, or burnt the Golden Calf into powder: for that mystical
metal of Gold, whose solary and celestial nature I admire, exposed unto
the violence of fire, grows onely hot, and liquifies, but consumeth not;
so when the consumable and volatile pieces of our bodies shall be
refined into a more impregnable and fixed temper, like Gold, though they
suffer from the action of flames, they shall never perish, but lye
immortal in the arms of fire. And surely if this frame must suffer onely
by the action of this element, there will many bodies escape, and not
onely Heaven, but Earth will not be at an end, but rather a beginning.
For at present it is not earth, but a composition of fire, water, earth,
and air; but at that time, spoiled of these ingredients, it shall appear
in a substance more like it self, its ashes. Philosophers that opinioned
the worlds destruction by fire, did never dream of annihilation, which
is beyond the power of sublunary causes; for the last[B] action of that
element is but vitrification, or a reduction of a body into glass; and
therefore some of our Chymicks facetiously affirm, that at the last fire
all shall be christallized and reverberated into glass, which is the
utmost action of that element. Nor need we fear this term annihilation,
or wonder that God will destroy the works of his Creation: for man
subsisting, who is, and will then truely appear, a Microcosm, the world
cannot be said to be destroyed. For the eyes of God, and perhaps also of
our glorified selves, shall as really behold and contemplate the World
in its Epitome or contracted essence, as now it doth at large and in its
dilated substance. In the seed of a Plant to the eyes of God, and to the
understanding of man, there exists, though in an invisible way, the
perfect leaves, flowers, and fruit thereof: (for things that are in
_posse_ to the sense, are actually existent to the understanding). Thus
God beholds all things, who contemplates as fully his works in their
Epitome, as in their full volume; and beheld as amply the whole world in
that little compendium of the sixth day, as in the scattered and dilated
pieces of those five before.

  [B] Last and proper, 1672.

SECT. 51

Men commonly set forth the torments of Hell by fire, and the extremity
of corporal afflictions, and describe Hell in the same method that
_Mahomet_ doth Heaven. This indeed makes a noise, and drums in popular
ears; but if this be the terrible piece thereof, it is not worthy to
stand in diameter with Heaven, whose happiness consists in that part
that is best able to comprehend it, that immortal essence, that
translated divinity and colony of God, the Soul. Surely though we place
Hell under Earth, the Devil's walk and purlue is about it: men speak too
popularly who place it in those flaming mountains, which to grosser
apprehensions represent Hell. The heart of man is the place the Devils
dwell in; I feel sometimes a Hell within my self; _Lucifer_ keeps his
Court in my breast; _Legion_ is revived in me. There are as many Hells,
as _Anaxagoras_ conceited worlds; there was more than one Hell in
_Magdalene_, when there were seven Devils; for every Devil is an Hell
unto himself; he holds enough of torture in his own _ubi_, and needs not
the misery of circumference to afflict him. And thus a distracted
Conscience here, is a shadow or introduction unto Hell hereafter. Who
can but pity the merciful intention of those hands that do destroy
themselves? the Devil, were it in his power, would do the like; which
being impossible, his miseries are endless, and he suffers most in that
attribute wherein he is impassible, his immortality.

SECT. 52

I thank God that with joy I mention it, I was never afraid of Hell, nor
never grew pale at the description of that place; I have so fixed my
contemplations on Heaven, that I have almost forgot the Idea of Hell,
and am afraid rather to lose the Joys of the one, than endure the
misery of the other: to be deprived of them is a perfect Hell, and needs
methinks no addition to compleat our afflictions; that terrible term
hath never detained me from sin, nor do I owe any good action to the
name thereof; I fear God, yet am not afraid of him; his mercies make me
ashamed of my sins, before his Judgements afraid thereof: these are the
forced and secondary method of his wisdom, which he useth but as the
last remedy, and upon provocation; a course rather to deter the wicked,
than incite the virtuous to his worship. I can hardly think there was
ever any scared into Heaven; they go the fairest way to Heaven that
would serve God without a Hell; other Mercenaries, that crouch into him
in fear of Hell, though they term themselves the servants, are indeed
but the slaves of the Almighty.

SECT. 53

And to be true, and speak my soul, when I survey the occurrences of my
life, and call into account the Finger of God, I can perceive nothing
but an abyss and mass of mercies, either in general to mankind, or in
particular to my self: and whether out of the prejudice of my affection,
or an inverting and partial conceit of his mercies, I know not; but
those which others term crosses, afflictions, judgements, misfortunes,
to me who inquire farther into them then their visible effects, they
both appear, and in event have ever proved, the secret and dissembled
favours of his affection. It is a singular piece of Wisdom to apprehend
truly, and without passion, the Works of God, and so well to distinguish
his Justice from his Mercy, as not miscall those noble Attributes: yet
it is likewise an honest piece of Logick, so to dispute and argue the
proceedings of God, as to distinguish even his judgments into mercies.
For God is merciful unto all, because better to the worst, than the best
deserve; and to say he punisheth none in this world, though it be a
Paradox, is no absurdity. To one that hath committed Murther, if the
Judge should only ordain a Fine, it were a madness to call this a
punishment, and to repine at the sentence, rather than admire the
clemency of the Judge. Thus our offences being mortal, and deserving not
onely Death, but Damnation; if the goodness of God be content to
traverse and pass them over with a loss, misfortune, or disease; what
frensie were it to term this a punishment, rather than an extremity of
mercy; and to groan under the rod of his Judgements, rather than admire
the Scepter of his Mercies? Therefore to adore, honour, and admire him,
is a debt of gratitude due from the obligation of our nature, states,
and conditions; and with these thoughts, he that knows them best, will
not deny that I adore him. That I obtain Heaven, and the bliss thereof,
is accidental, and not the intended work of my devotion; it being a
felicity I can neither think to deserve, nor scarce in modesty to
expect. For these two ends of us all, either as rewards or punishments,
are mercifully ordained and disproportionably disposed unto our actions;
the one being so far beyond our deserts, the other so infinitely below
our demerits.

SECT. 54

There is no Salvation to those that believe not in _Christ_, that is,
say some, since his Nativity, and as Divinity affirmeth, before also;
which makes me much apprehend the ends of those honest Worthies and
Philosophers which dyed before his Incarnation. It is hard to place
those Souls in Hell, whose worthy lives do teach us Virtue on Earth:
methinks amongst those many subdivisions of Hell, there might have been
one Limbo left for these. What a strange vision will it be to see their
Poetical fictions converted into Verities, and their imagined and
fancied Furies into real Devils? how strange to them will sound the
History of _Adam_, when they shall suffer for him they never heard of?
when they who derive their genealogy from the Gods, shall know they are
the unhappy issue of sinful man? It is an insolent part of reason, to
controvert the Works of God, or question the Justice of his proceedings.
Could Humility teach others, as it hath instructed me, to contemplate
the infinite and incomprehensible distance betwixt the Creator and the
Creature; or did we seriously perpend that one simile of St. _Paul_,
_Shall the Vessel say to the Potter, Why hast thou made me thus?_ it
would prevent these arrogant disputes of reason, nor would we argue the
definitive sentence of God, either to Heaven or Hell. Men that live
according to the right rule and law of reason, live but in their own
kind, as beasts do in theirs; who justly obey the prescript of their
natures, and therefore cannot reasonably demand a reward of their
actions, as onely obeying the natural dictates of their reason. It will
therefore, and must at last appear, that all salvation is through
_Christ_; which verity I fear these great examples of virtue must
confirm, and make it good, how the perfectest actions of earth have no
title or claim unto Heaven.

SECT. 55

Nor truely do I think the lives of these or of any other, were ever
correspondent, or in all points conformable unto their doctrines. It is
evident that _Aristotle_ transgressed the rule of his own Ethicks; the
Stoicks that condemn passion, and command a man to laugh in _Phalaris_
his Bull, could not endure without a groan a fit of the Stone or Colick.
The _Scepticks_ that affirmed they knew nothing, even in that opinion
confute themselves, and thought they knew more than all the World
beside. _Diogenes_ I hold to be the most vain-glorious man of his time,
and more ambitious in refusing all Honours, than _Alexander_ in
rejecting none. Vice and the Devil put a Fallacy upon our Reasons, and
provoking us too hastily to run from it, entangle and profound us deeper
in it. The Duke of _Venice_, that weds himself unto the Sea by a Ring of
Gold, I will not argue of prodigality, because it is a solemnity of good
use and consequence in the State: but the Philosopher that threw his
money into the Sea to avoid Avarice, was a notorious prodigal. There is
no road or ready way to virtue; it is not an easie point of art to
disentangle our selves from this riddle, or web of Sin: To perfect
virtue, as to Religion, there is required a _Panoplia_, or compleat
armour; that whilst we lye at close ward against one Vice, we lye not
open to the venny of another. And indeed wiser discretions that have the
thred of reason to conduct them, offend without pardon; whereas,
under-heads may stumble without dishonour. There go so many
circumstances to piece up one good action, that it is a lesson to be
good, and we are forced to be virtuous by the book. Again, the Practice
of men holds not an equal pace, yea, and often runs counter to their
Theory; we naturally know what is good, but naturally pursue what is
evil: the Rhetorick wherewith I perswade another, cannot perswade my
self: there is a depraved appetite in us, that will with patience hear
the learned instructions of Reason, but yet perform no farther than
agrees to its own irregular humour. In brief, we all are monsters, that
is, a composition of Man and Beast; wherein we must endeavour to be as
the Poets fancy that wise man _Chiron_, that is, to have the region of
Man above that of Beast, and Sense to sit but at the feet of Reason.
Lastly, I do desire with God that all, but yet affirm with men, that few
shall know Salvation; that the bridge is narrow, the passage strait unto
life: yet those who do confine the Church of God, either to particular
Nations, Churches or Families, have made it far narrower then our
Saviour ever meant it.

SECT. 56

The vulgarity of those judgements that wrap the Church of God in
_Strabo's_ cloak, and restrain it unto _Europe_, seem to me as bad
Geographers as _Alexander_, who thought he had Conquer'd all the World,
when he had not subdued the half of any part thereof. For we cannot deny
the Church of God both in _Asia_ and _Africa_, if we do not forget the
Peregrinations of the Apostles, the deaths of the Martyrs, the Sessions
of many, and, even in our reformed judgement, lawful Councils, held in
those parts in the minority and nonage of ours. Nor must a few
differences, more remarkable in the eyes of man than perhaps in the
judgement of God, excommunicate from Heaven one another, much less those
Christians who are in a manner all Martyrs, maintaining their Faith, in
the noble way of persecution, and serving God in the Fire, whereas we
honour him in the Sunshine. 'Tis true, we all hold there is a number of
Elect, and many to be saved; yet take our Opinions together, and from
the confusion thereof there will be no such thing as salvation, nor
shall any one be saved. For first, the Church of _Rome_ condemneth us,
we likewise them; the Sub-reformists and Sectaries sentence the Doctrine
of our Church as damnable; the Atomist, or Familist, reprobates all
these; and all these, them again. Thus whilst the Mercies of God do
promise us Heaven, our conceits and opinions exclude us from that place.
There must be, therefore, more than one St. _Peter_: particular Churches
and Sects usurp the gates of Heaven, and turn the key against each
other: and thus we go to Heaven against each others wills, conceits and
opinions; and with as much uncharity as ignorance, do err I fear in
points not only of our own, but one an others salvation.

SECT. 57

I believe many are saved, who to man seem reprobated; and many are
reprobated, who in the opinion and sentence of man, stand elected: there
will appear at the Last day, strange and unexpected examples both of his
Justice and his Mercy; and therefore to define either, is folly in man,
and insolency even in the Devils: those acute and subtil spirits in all
their sagacity, can hardly divine who shall be saved; which if they
could Prognostick, their labour were at an end; nor need they compass
the earth seeking whom they may devour. Those who upon a rigid
application of the Law, sentence _Solomon_ unto damnation, condemn not
onely him, but themselves, and the whole World: for by the Letter and
written Word of God, we are without exception in the state of Death;
but there is a prerogative of God, and an arbitrary pleasure above the
Letter of his own Law, by which alone we can pretend unto Salvation, and
through which _Solomon_ might be as easily saved as those who condemn

SECT. 58

The number of those who pretend unto Salvation, and those infinite
swarms who think to pass through the eye of this Needle, have much
amazed me. That name and compellation of _little Flock_, doth not
comfort, but deject my Devotion; especially when I reflect upon mine own
unworthiness, wherein, according to my humble apprehensions, I am below
them all. I believe there shall never be an Anarchy in Heaven, but as
there are Hierarchies amongst the Angels, so shall there be degrees of
priority amongst the Saints. Yet is it (I protest) beyond my ambition to
aspire unto the first ranks; my desires onely are, and I shall be happy
therein, to be but the last man, and bring up the Rere in Heaven.

SECT. 59

Again, I am confident and fully perswaded, yet dare not take my oath, of
my Salvation: I am as it were sure, and do believe without all doubt,
that there is such a City as _Constantinople_; yet for me to take my
Oath thereon were a kind of Perjury, because I hold no infallible
warrant from my own sense to confirm me in the certainty thereof: And
truly, though many pretend an absolute certainty of their Salvation, yet
when an humble Soul shall contemplate our own unworthiness, she shall
meet with many doubts, and suddenly find how little we stand in need of
the Precept of St. _Paul_, _Work out your salvation with fear and
trembling._ That which is the cause of my Election, I hold to be the
cause of my Salvation, which was the mercy and beneplacit of God, before
I was, or the foundation of the World. _Before Abraham was, I am_, is
the saying of Christ; yet is it true in some sense, if I say it of
myself; for I was not onely before myself, but _Adam_, that is, in the
Idea of God, and the decree of that Synod held from all Eternity. And in
this sense, I say, the World was before the Creation, and at an end
before it had a beginning; and thus was I dead before I was alive:
though my grave be _England_, my dying place was Paradise: and _Eve_
miscarried of me, before she conceived of Cain.

SECT. 60

Insolent zeals that do decry good Works, and rely onely upon Faith, take
not away merit: for depending upon the efficacy of their Faith, they
enforce the condition of God, and in a more sophistical way do seem to
challenge Heaven. It was decreed by God, that only those that lapt in
the water like Dogs, should have the honour to destroy the _Midianites_;
yet could none of those justly challenge, or imagine he deserved that
honour thereupon. I do not deny, but that true Faith, and such as God
requires, is not onely a mark or token, but also a means of our
Salvation; but where to find this, is as obscure to me, as my last end.
And if our Saviour could object unto his own Disciples and Favourites, a
Faith, that, to the quantity of a grain of Mustard-seed, is able to
remove Mountains; surely that which we boast of, is not any thing, or at
the most, but a remove from nothing. This is the Tenor of my belief;
wherein, though there be many things singular, and to the humour of my
irregular self; yet if they square not with maturer Judgements I
disclaim them, and do no further favour them, than the learned and best
judgements shall authorize them.



Now for that other Virtue of Charity, without which Faith is a meer
notion, and of no existence, I have ever endeavoured to nourish the
merciful disposition and humane inclination I borrowed from my Parents,
and regulate it to the written and prescribed Laws of Charity; and if I
hold the true Anatomy of my self, I am delineated and naturally framed
to such a piece of virtue. For I am of a constitution so general, that
it comforts and sympathizeth with all things; I have no antipathy, or
rather Idio-syncrasie, in dyet, humour, air, any thing: I wonder not at
the _French_ for their dishes of Frogs, Snails, and Toadstools, nor at
the Jews for Locusts and Grasshoppers; but being amongst them, make them
my common Viands, and I find they agree with my Stomach as well as
theirs. I could digest a Sallad gathered in a Churchyard, as well as in
a Garden. I cannot start at the presence of a Serpent, Scorpion, Lizard,
or Salamander: at the sight of a Toad or Viper, I find in me no desire
to take up a stone to destroy them. I feel not in my self those common
Antipathies that I can discover in others: Those National repugnances do
not touch me, nor do I behold with prejudice the _French_, _Italian_,
_Spaniard_, or _Dutch_; but where I find their actions in balance with
my Country-men's, I honour, love, and embrace them in the same degree.
I was born in the eighth Climate, but seem for to be framed and
constellated unto all: I am no Plant that will not prosper out of a
Garden: All places, all airs make unto me one Countrey; I am in
_England_, every where, and under any Meridian. I have been shipwrackt,
yet am not enemy with the Sea or Winds; I can study, play, or sleep in a
Tempest. In brief, I am averse from nothing; my Conscience would give me
the lye if I should absolutely detest or hate any essence but the Devil;
or so at least abhor any thing, but that we might come to composition.
If there be any among those common objects of hatred I do contemn and
laugh at, it is that great enemy of Reason, Virtue and Religion, the
Multitude; that numerous piece of monstrosity, which taken asunder seem
men, and the reasonable creatures of God; but confused together, make
but one great beast, and a monstrosity more prodigious than Hydra: it is
no breach of Charity to call these Fools; it is the style all holy
Writers have afforded them, set down by _Solomon_ in Canonical
Scripture, and a point of our Faith to believe so. Neither in the name
of Multitude do I onely include the base and minor sort of people; there
is a rabble even amongst the Gentry, a sort of Plebeian heads, whose
fancy moves with the same wheel as these; men in the same Level with
Mechanicks, though their fortunes do somewhat guild their infirmities,
and their purses compound for their follies. But as in casting account,
three or four men together come short in account of one man placed by
himself below them: So neither are a troop of these ignorant Doradoes,
of that true esteem and value, as many a forlorn person, whose condition
doth place him below their feet. Let us speak like Politicians, there
is a Nobility without Heraldry, a natural dignity, whereby one man is
ranked with another; another filed before him, according to the quality
of his Desert, and preheminence of his good parts: Though the corruption
of these times, and the byas of present practice wheel another way. Thus
it was in the first and primitive Commonwealths, and is yet in the
integrity and Cradle of well-order'd Polities, till corruption getteth
ground, ruder desires labouring after that which wiser considerations
contemn; every one having a liberty to amass and heap up riches, and
they a licence or faculty to do or purchase any thing.


This general and indifferent temper of mine doth more neerly dispose me
to this noble virtue. It is a happiness to be born and framed unto
virtue, and to grow up from the seeds of nature, rather than the
inoculation and forced grafts of education: yet if we are directed only
by our particular Natures, and regulate our inclinations by no higher
rule than that of our reasons, we are but Moralists; Divinity will still
call us Heathens. Therefore this great work of charity must have other
motives, ends, and impulsions: I give no alms only to satisfie the
hunger of my Brother, but to fulfil and accomplish the Will and Command
of my God: I draw not _my_ purse for his sake that demands it, but his
that enjoyned it; I relieve no man upon the Rhetorick of his miseries,
nor to content mine own commiserating disposition: for this is still but
moral charity, and an act that oweth more to passion than reason. He
that relieves another upon the bare suggestion and bowels of pity, doth
not this so much for his sake, as for his own: for by compassion we
make others misery our own, and so by relieving them, we relieve our
selves also. It is as erroneous a conceit to redress other Mens
misfortunes upon the common considerations of merciful natures, that it
may be one day our own case; for this is a sinister and politick kind of
charity, whereby we seem to bespeak the pities of men in the like
occasions: and truly I have observed that those professed
Eleemosynaries, though in a croud or multitude, do yet direct and place
their petitions on a few and selected persons: there is surely a
Physiognomy, which those experienced and Master Mendicants observe;
whereby they instantly discover a merciful aspect, and will single out a
face, wherein they spy the signatures and marks of Mercy: for there are
mystically in our faces certain Characters which carry in them the motto
of our Souls, wherein he that can read _A. B. C._ may read our natures.
I hold moreover that there is a Phytognomy, or Physiognomy, not only of
Men but of Plants and Vegetables; and in every one of them, some outward
figures which hang as signs or bushes of their inward forms. The Finger
of God hath left an Inscription upon all his works, not graphical, or
composed of Letters, but of their several forms, constitutions, parts,
and operations; which aptly joyned together do make one word that doth
express their natures. By these Letters God calls the Stars by their
names; and by this Alphabet _Adam_ assigned to every creature a name
peculiar to its nature. Now there are, besides these Characters in our
Faces, certain mystical figures in our Hands, which I dare not call meer
dashes, strokes _a la volee_, or at random, because delineated by a
Pencil that never works in vain; and hereof I take more particular
notice, because I carry that in mine own hand, which I could never read
of, nor discover in another. _Aristotle_ I confess, in his acute and
singular Book of Physiognomy, hath made no mention of Chiromancy; yet I
believe the _Egyptians_, who were neerer addicted to those abstruse and
mystical sciences, had a knowledge therein; to which those vagabond and
counterfeit _Egyptians_ did after pretend, and perhaps retained a few
corrupted principles, which sometimes might verifie their prognosticks.

It is the common wonder of all men, how among so many millions of faces,
there should be none alike: Now contrary, I wonder as much how there
should be any. He that shall consider how many thousand several words
have been carelesly and without study composed out of 24 Letters;
withal, how many hundred lines there are to be drawn in the Fabrick of
one Man; shall easily find that this variety is necessary: And it will
be very hard that they shall so concur, as to make one portract like
another. Let a Painter carelesly limb out a million of Faces, and you
shall find them all different; yea let him have his Copy before him, yet
after all his art there will remain a sensible distinction; for the
pattern or example of every thing is the perfectest in that kind,
whereof we still come short, though we transcend or go beyond it,
because herein it is wide, and agrees not in all points unto the Copy.
Nor doth the similitude of Creatures disparage the variety of Nature,
nor any way confound the Works of God. For even in things alike there is
diversity; and those that do seem to accord, do manifestly disagree. And
thus is man like God; for in the same things that we resemble him, we
are utterly different from him. There was never any thing so like
another, as in all points to concur; there will ever some reserved
difference slip in, to prevent the identity, without which, two several
things would not be alike, but the same, which is impossible.


But to return from Philosophy to Charity: I hold not so narrow a conceit
of this virtue, as to conceive that to give Alms is onely to be
Charitable, or think a piece of Liberality can comprehend the Total of
Charity. Divinity hath wisely divided the act thereof into many
branches, and hath taught us in this narrow way, many paths unto
goodness: as many ways as we may do good, so many ways we may be
charitable: there are infirmities, not onely of Body, but of Soul, and
Fortunes, which do require the merciful hand of our abilities. I cannot
contemn a man for ignorance, but behold him with as much pity as I do
_Lazarus_. It is no greater Charity to cloath his body, than apparel the
nakedness of his Soul. It is an honourable object to see the reasons of
other men wear our Liveries, and their borrowed understandings do homage
to the bounty of ours: It is the cheapest way of beneficence, and like
the natural charity of the Sun, illuminates another without obscuring it
self. To be reserved and caitiff in this part of goodness, is the
sordidest piece of covetousness, and more contemptible than pecuniary
Avarice. To this (as calling my self a Scholar) I am obliged by the duty
of my condition: I make not therefore my head a grave, but a treasure of
knowledge; I intend no Monopoly, but a community in learning; I study
not for my own sake only, but for theirs that study not for themselves.
I envy no man that knows more than my self, but pity them that know
less. I instruct no man as an exercise of my knowledge, or with an
intent rather to nourish and keep it alive in mine own head, then beget
and propagate it in his; and in the midst of all my endeavours, there is
but one thought that dejects me, that my acquired parts must perish with
my self, nor can be Legacied among my honoured Friends. I cannot fall
out, or contemn a man for an errour, or conceive why a difference in
Opinion should divide an affection: For Controversies, Disputes, and
Argumentations, both in Philosophy and in Divinity, if they meet with
discreet and peaceable natures, do not infringe the Laws of Charity: in
all disputes, so much as there is of passion, so much there is of
nothing to the purpose; for then Reason, like a bad Hound, spends upon a
false Scent, and forsakes the question first started. And this is one
reason why Controversies are never determined; for though they be amply
proposed, they are scarce at all handled, they do so swell with
unnecessary Digressions; and the Parenthesis on the party, is often as
large as the main discourse upon the subject. The Foundations of
Religion are already established, and the Principles of Salvation
subscribed unto by all: there remains not many controversies worth a
Passion, and yet never any disputed without, not only in Divinity, but
inferiour Arts: What a βατραχομυομαχία and hot skirmish is betwixt S.
and T. in _Lucian_: How do Grammarians hack and slash for the Genitive
case in _Jupiter_? How do they break their own pates to salve that of
_Priscian! Si foret in terris, rideret Democritus_. Yea, even amongst
wiser militants, how many wounds have been given, and credits slain, for
the poor victory of an opinion, or beggerly conquest of a distinction?
Scholars are men of Peace, they bear no Arms, but their tongues are
sharper than Actus his razor; their Pens carry farther, and give a
lowder report than Thunder: I had rather stand the shock of a
Basilisco, than the fury of a merciless Pen. It is not meer Zeal to
Learning, or Devotion to the Muses, that wiser Princes Patron the Arts,
and carry an indulgent aspect unto Scholars; but a desire to have their
names eternized by the memory of their writings, and a fear of the
revengeful Pen of succeeding ages: for these are the men, that when they
have played their parts, and had their _exits_, must step out and give
the moral of their Scenes, and deliver unto Posterity an Inventory of
their Virtues and Vices. And surely there goes a great deal of
Conscience to the compiling of an History: there is no reproach to the
scandal of a Story; it is such an authentick kind of falshood, that with
authority belies our good names to all Nations and Posterity.


There is another offence unto Charity, which no Author hath ever written
of, and few take notice of; and that's the reproach, not of whole
professions, mysteries and conditions, but of whole Nations; wherein by
opprobrious Epithets we miscal each other, and by an uncharitable
Logick, from a disposition in a few, conclude a habit in all.

          _Le mutin Anglois, & le bravache Escossois;
          Le bougre Italian, & le fol François;
          Le poultron Romain, le larron de Gascongne,
          L'Espagnol superbe, & l'Aleman yurongne_.

St. _Paul_, that calls the _Cretians_ lyars, doth it but indirectly, and
upon quotation of their own Poet. It is as bloody a thought in one way,
as _Nero's_ was in another. For by a word we wound a thousand, and at
one blow assassine the honour of a Nation. It is as compleat a piece of
madness to miscal and rave against the times, or think to recal men to
reason, by a fit of passion: _Democritus_, that thought to laugh the
times into goodness, seems to me as deeply Hypochondriack, as
_Heraclitus_ that bewailed them. It moves not my spleen to behold the
multitude in their proper humours, that is, in their fits of folly and
madness, as well understanding that wisdom is not prophan'd unto the
World, and 'tis the priviledge of a few to be Vertuous. They that
endeavour to abolish Vice, destroy also Virtue; for contraries, though
they destroy one another, are yet in life of one another. Thus Virtue
(abolish vice) is an Idea; again, the community of sin doth not
disparage goodness; for when Vice gains upon the major part, Virtue, in
whom it remains, becomes more excellent; and being lost in some,
multiplies its goodness in others, which remain untouched, and persist
intire in the general inundation. I can therefore behold Vice without a
Satyr, content only with an admonition, or instructive reprehension, for
Noble Natures, and such as are capable of goodness, are railed into
vice, that might as easily be admonished into virtue; and we should be
all so far the Orators of goodness, as to protract her from the power of
Vice, and maintain the cause of injured truth. No man can justly censure
or condemn another, because indeed no man truly knows another. This I
perceive in my self; for I am in the dark to all the world, and my
nearest friends behold me but in a cloud: those that know me but
superficially, think less of me than I do of my self; those of my neer
acquaintance think more; God, who truly knows me, knows that I am
nothing; for he only beholds me and all the world; who looks not on us
through a derived ray, or a trajection of a sensible species, but
beholds the substance without the helps of accidents, and the forms of
things, as we their operations. Further, no man can judge another,
because no man knows himself; for we censure others but as they disagree
from that humour which we fancy laudible in our selves, and commend
others but for that wherein they seem to quadrate and consent with us.
So that in conclusion, all is but that we all condemn, Self-love. 'Tis
the general complaint of these times, and perhaps of those past, that
charity grows cold; which I perceive most verified in those which most
do manifest the fires and flames of zeal; for it is a virtue that best
agrees with coldest natures, and such as are complexioned for humility.
But how shall we expect Charity towards others, when we are uncharitable
to our selves? Charity begins at home, is the voice of the World; yet is
every man his greatest enemy, and as it were, his own Executioner. _Non
occides_, is the Commandment of God, yet scarce observed by any man; for
I perceive every man is his own _Atropos_, and lends a hand to cut the
thred of his own days. _Cain_ was not therefore the first Murtherer, but
_Adam_, who brought in death; whereof he beheld the practice and example
in his own son _Abel_, and saw that verified in the experience of
another, which faith could not perswade him in the Theory of himself.


There is, I think, no man that apprehends his own miseries less than my
self, and no man that so neerly apprehends anothers. I could lose an arm
without a tear, and with few groans, methinks, be quartered into pieces;
yet can I weep most seriously at a Play, and receive with true passion,
the counterfeit grief of those known and professed Impostures. It is a
barbarous part of inhumanity to add unto any afflicted parties misery,
or indeavour to multiply in any man, a passion, whose single nature is
already above his patience: this was the greatest affliction of _Job_;
and those oblique expostulations of his Friends, a deeper injury than
the down-right blows of the Devil. It is not the tears of our own eyes
only, but of our friends also, that do exhaust the current of our
sorrows; which falling into many streams, runs more peaceably, and is
contented with a narrower channel. It is an act within the power of
charity, to translate a passion out of one brest into another, and to
divide a sorrow almost out of it self; for an affliction, like a
dimension, may be so divided, as if not indivisible, at least to become
insensible. Now with my friend I desire not to share or participate, but
to engross, his sorrows; that by making them mine own, I may more easily
discuss them; for in mine own reason, and within my self, I can command
that, which I cannot intreat without my self, and within the circle of
another. I have often thought those noble pairs and examples of
friendship not so truly Histories of what had been, as fictions of what
should be; but I now perceive nothing in them but possibilities, nor any
thing in the Heroick examples of _Damon_ and _Pythias_, _Achilles_ and
_Patroclus_, which methinks upon some grounds I could not perform within
the narrow compass of my self. That a man should lay down his life for
his Friend, seems strange to vulgar affections, and such as confine
themselves within that Worldly principle, Charity begins at home. For
mine own part I could never remember the relations that I held unto my
self, nor the respect that I owe unto my own nature, in the cause of
God, my Country, and my Friends. Next to these three I do embrace my
self: I confess I do not observe that order that the Schools ordain our
affections, to love our Parents, Wives, Children, and then our Friends;
for excepting the injunctions of Religion, I do not find in my self such
a necessary and indissoluble Sympathy to all those of my blood. I hope I
do not break the fifth Commandment, if I conceive I may love my friend
before the nearest of my blood, even those to whom I owe the principles
of life: I never yet cast a true affection on a woman, but I have loved
my friend as I do virtue, my soul, my God. From hence me thinks I do
conceive how God loves man, what happiness there is in the love of God.
Omitting all other, there are three most mystical unions, two natures in
one person; three persons in one nature; one soul in two bodies. For
though indeed they be really divided, yet are they so united, as they
seem but one, and make rather a duality than two distinct souls.


There are wonders in true affection; it is a body of _Enigma's_,
mysteries, and riddles; wherein two so become one, as they both become
two: I love my friend before my self, and yet methinks I do not love him
enough: some few months hence, my multiplied affection will make me
believe I have not loved him at all: when I am from him, I am dead till
I be with him; when I am with him, I am not satisfied, but would still
be nearer him. United souls are not satisfied with imbraces, but desire
to be truly each other; which being impossible, their desires are
infinite, and must proceed without a possibility of satisfaction.
Another misery there is in affection, that whom we truly love like our
own, we forget their looks, nor can our memory retain the Idea of their
faces; and it is no wonder, for they are ourselves, and our affection
makes their looks our own. This noble affection falls not on vulgar and
common constitutions, but on such as are mark'd for virtue: he that can
love his friend with this noble ardour, will in a competent degree
affect all. Now if we can bring our affections to look beyond the body,
and cast an eye upon the soul, we have found out the true object, not
only of friendship, but Charity; and the greatest happiness that we can
bequeath the soul, is that wherein we all do place our last felicity,
Salvation; which though it be not in our power to bestow, it is in our
charity and pious invocations to desire, if not procure and further. I
cannot contentedly frame a prayer for my self in particular, without a
catalogue for my friends; nor request a happiness wherein my sociable
disposition doth not desire the fellowship of my neighbour. I never hear
the Toll of a passing Bell, though in my mirth, without my prayers and
best wishes for the departing spirit: I cannot go to cure the body of my
patient, but I forget my profession, and call unto God for his soul: I
cannot see one say his prayers, but in stead of imitating him, I fall
into a supplication for him, who perhaps is no more to me than a common
nature: and if God hath vouchsafed an ear to my supplications, there are
surely many happy that never saw me, and enjoy the blessing of mine
unknown devotions. To pray for Enemies, that is, for their salvation, is
no harsh precept, but the practice of our daily and ordinary devotions.
I cannot believe the story of the Italian: our bad wishes and
uncharitable desires proceed no further than this life; it is the Devil,
and the uncharitable votes of Hell, that desire our misery in the World
to come.


To do no injury, nor take none, was a principle, which to my former
years, and impatient affections, seemed to contain enough of Morality;
but my more setled years, and Christian constitution, have fallen upon
severer resolutions. I can hold there is no such thing as injury; that
if there be, there is no such injury as revenge, and no such revenge as
the contempt of an injury: that to hate another, is to malign himself;
that the truest way to love another, is to despise our selves. I were
unjust unto mine own Conscience, if I should say I am at variance with
any thing like my self. I find there are many pieces in this one fabrick
of man; this frame is raised upon a mass of Antipathies: I am one
methinks, but as the World; wherein notwithstanding there are a swarm of
distinct essences, and in them another World of contrarieties; we carry
private and domestick enemies within, publick and more hostile
adversaries without. The Devil, that did but buffet St. _Paul_, plays
methinks at sharp with me. Let me be nothing, if within the compass of
my self I do not find the battail of _Lepanto_, Passion against Reason,
Reason against Faith, Faith against the Devil, and my Conscience against
all. There is another man within me, that's angry with me, rebukes,
commands, and dastards me. I have no Conscience of Marble, to resist the
hammer of more heavy offences; nor yet too soft and waxen, as to take
the impression of each single peccadillo or scape of infirmity: I am of
a strange belief, that it is as easie to be forgiven some sins, as to
commit some others. For my Original sin, I hold it to be washed away in
my Baptism, for my actual transgressions, I compute and reckon with God,
but from my last repentance, Sacrament, or general absolution; and
therefore am not terrified with the sins or madness of my youth. I thank
the goodness of God, I have no sins that want a name; I am not singular
in offences; my transgressions are Epidemical, and from the common
breath of our corruption. For there are certain tempers of body, which
matcht with an humorous depravity of mind, do hatch and produce
vitiosities, whose newness and monstrosity of nature admits no name;
this was the temper of that Lecher that fell in love with a Statua, and
constitution of _Nero_ in his Spintrian recreations. For the Heavens are
not only fruitful in new and unheard-of stars, the Earth in plants and
animals; but mens minds also in villany and vices: now the dulness of my
reason, and the vulgarity of my disposition, never prompted my
invention, nor sollicited my affection unto any of those; yet even those
common and quotidian infirmities that so necessarily attend me, and do
seem to be my very nature, have so dejected me, so broken the estimation
that I should have otherwise of my self, that I repute my self the most
abjectest piece of mortality. Divines prescribe a fit of sorrow to
repentance; there goes indignation, anger, sorrow, hatred, into mine;
passions of a contrary nature, which neither seem to sute with this
action, nor my proper constitution. It is no breach of charity to our
selves, to be at variance with our Vices; nor to abhor that part of us,
which is an enemy to the ground of charity, our God; wherein we do but
imitate our great selves the world, whose divided Antipathies and
contrary faces do yet carry a charitable regard unto the whole by their
particular discords, preserving the common harmony, and keeping in
fetters those powers, whose rebellions once Masters, might be the ruine
of all.


I thank God, amongst those millions of Vices I do inherit and hold from
_Adam_, I have escaped one, and that a mortal enemy to Charity, the
first and father-sin[C], not onely of man, but of the devil, Pride; a
vice whose name is comprehended in a Monosyllable, but in its nature not
circumscribed with a World. I have escaped it in a condition that can
hardly avoid it. Those petty acquisitions and reputed perfections that
advance and elevate the conceits of other men, add no feathers unto
mine. I have seen a Grammarian towr and plume himself over a single line
in _Horace_, and shew more pride in the construction of one Ode, than
the Author in the composure of the whole book. For my own part, besides
the _Jargon_ and _Patois_ of several Provinces, I understand no less
than six Languages; yet I protest I have no higher conceit of my self,
than had our Fathers before the confusion of _Babel_, when there was but
one Language in the World, and none to boast himself either Linguist or
Critick. I have not onely seen several Countries, beheld the nature of
their Climes, the Chorography of their Provinces, Topography of their
Cities, but understood their several Laws, Customs, and Policies; yet
cannot all this perswade the dulness of my spirit unto such an opinion
of my self, as I behold in nimbler and conceited heads, that never
looked a degree beyond their Nests. I know the names, and somewhat more,
of all the constellations in my Horizon; yet I have seen a prating
Mariner, that could onely name the pointers and the North Star, out-talk
me, and conceit himself a whole Sphere above me. I know most of the
Plants of my Countrey, and of those about me; yet methinks I do not know
so many as when I did but know a hundred, and had scarcely ever Simpled
further than _Cheap-side_. For indeed, heads of capacity, and such as
are not full with a handful, or easie measure of knowledge, think they
know nothing, till they know all; which being impossible, they fall upon
the opinion of _Socrates_, and only know they know not any thing. I
cannot think that _Homer_ pin'd away upon the riddle of the fishermen;
or that _Aristotle_, who understood the uncertainty of knowledge, and
confessed so often the reason of man too weak for the works of nature,
did ever drown himself upon the flux and reflux of _Euripus_. We do but
learn to-day, what our better advanced judgements will unteach
to-morrow; and _Aristotle_ doth but instruct us, as _Plato_ did him;
that is, to confute himself. I have run through all sorts, yet find no
rest in any: though our first studies and _junior_ endeavours may style
us Peripateticks, Stoicks, or Academicks, yet I perceive the wisest
heads prove, at last, almost all Scepticks, and stand like _Janus_ in
the field of knowledge. I have therefore one common and authentick
Philosophy I learned in the Schools, whereby I discourse and satisfie
the reason of other men; another more reserved, and drawn from
experience, whereby I content mine own. _Solomon_, that complained of
ignorance in the height of knowledge, hath not only humbled my conceits,
but discouraged my endeavours. There is yet another conceit that hath
sometimes made me shut my books, which tells me it is a vanity to waste
our days in the blind pursuit of knowledge; it is but attending a little
longer, and we shall enjoy that by instinct and infusion, which we
endeavour at here by labour and inquisition. It is better to sit down in
a modest ignorance, and rest contented with the natural blessing of our
own reasons, than buy the uncertain knowledge of this life, with sweat
and vexation, which Death gives every fool _gratis_, and is an accessary
of our glorification.

  [C] Farther-sin, 1682.


I was never yet once, and commend their resolutions who never marry
twice: not that I disallow of second marriage; as neither in all cases,
of Polygamy, which considering some times, and the unequal number of
both sexes, may be also necessary. The whole World was made for man, but
the twelfth part of man for woman: Man is the whole World, and the
Breath of God; Woman the Rib and crooked piece of man. I could be
content that we might procreate like trees, without conjunction, or that
there were any way to perpetuate the World without this trivial and
vulgar way of coition; it is the foolishest act a wise man commits in
all his life; nor is there any thing that will more deject his cool'd
imagination, when he shall consider what an odd and unworthy piece of
folly he hath committed. I speak not in prejudice, nor am averse from
that sweet Sex, but naturally amorous of all that is beautiful; I can
look a whole day with delight upon a handsome Picture, though it be but
of an Horse. It is my temper, and I like it the better, to affect all
harmony; and sure there is musick even in the beauty, and the silent
note which _Cupid_ strikes, far sweeter than the sound of an instrument.
For there is a musick where ever there is a harmony, order or
proportion; and thus far we may maintain the musick of the Sphears: for
those well-ordered motions, and regular paces, though they give no sound
unto the ear, yet to the understanding they strike a note most full of
harmony. Whosoever is harmonically composed, delights in harmony; which
makes me much distrust the symmetry of those heads which declaim against
all Church-Musick. For my self, not only from my obedience, but my
particular Genius, I do embrace it: for even that vulgar and
Tavern-Musick, which makes one man merry, another mad, strikes in me a
deep fit of devotion, and a profound contemplation of the first
Composer. There is something in it of Divinity more than the ear
discovers: it is an Hieroglyphical and shadowed lesson of the whole
World, and creatures of God; such a melody to the ear, as the whole
World well understood, would afford the understanding. In brief, it is a
sensible fit of that harmony, which intellectually sounds in the ears of
God. I will not say with _Plato_, the soul is an harmony, but
harmonical, and hath its nearest sympathy unto Musick: thus some whose
temper of body agrees, and humours the constitution of their souls, are
born Poets, though indeed all are naturally inclined unto Rhythme.
[16]This made _Tacitus_ in the very first line of his Story, fall upon a
verse, and _Cicero_ the worst of Poets, but [17]declaiming for a Poet,
falls in the very first sentence upon a perfect [18]Hexameter. I feel not
in me those sordid and unchristian desires of my profession; I do not
secretly implore and wish for Plagues, rejoyce at Famines, revolve
Ephemerides and Almanacks, in expectation of malignant Aspects, fatal
Conjunctions, and Eclipses: I rejoyce not at unwholesome Springs, nor
unseasonable Winters; my Prayer goes with the Husbandman's; I desire
every thing in its proper season, that neither men nor the times be put
out of temper. Let me be sick my self, if sometimes the malady of my
patient be not a disease unto me; I desire rather to cure his
infirmities than my own necessities: where I do him no good, methinks it
is scarce honest gain; though I confess 'tis but the worthy salary of
our well-intended endeavours. I am not only ashamed, but heartily sorry,
that besides death, there are diseases incurable; yet not for my own
sake, or that they be beyond my Art, but for the general cause and sake
of humanity, whose common cause I apprehend as mine own. And to speak
more generally, those three Noble Professions which all civil
Commonwealths do honour, are raised upon the fall of _Adam_, and are not
exempt from their infirmities; there are not only diseases incurable in
Physick, but cases indissolvable in Laws, Vices incorrigible in
Divinity: if general Councils may err, I do not see why particular
Courts should be infallible; their perfectest rules are raised upon the
erroneous reasons of Man; and the Laws of one, do but condemn the rules
of another; as _Aristotle_ oft-times the opinions of his Predecessours,
because, though agreeable to reason, yet were not consonant to his own
rules, and Logick of his proper Principles. Again, to speak nothing of
the Sin against the Holy Ghost, whose cure not onely, but whose nature
is unknown; I can cure the Gout or Stone in some, sooner than Divinity
Pride or Avarice in others. I can cure Vices by Physick, when they
remain incurable by Divinity; and shall obey my Pills, when they contemn
their precepts. I boast nothing, but plainly say, we all labour against
our own cure; for death is the cure of all diseases. There is no
Catholicon or universal remedy I know but this, which, though nauseous
to queasie stomachs, yet to prepared appetites is Nectar, and a pleasant
potion of immortality.

  [16] _Urbem Roman in principio Reges habuere._

  [17] _Pro Archiâ Poëtâ._

  [18] _In qua me non inficior mediocriter esse._

SECT. 10

For my Conversation, it is like the Sun's with all men, and with a
friendly aspect to good and bad. Methinks there is no man bad, and the
worst, best; that is, while they are kept within the circle of those
qualities, wherein they are good; there is no man's mind of such
discordant and jarring a temper, to which a tunable disposition may not
strike a harmony. _Magnæ virtutes, nee minora vitia_; it is the posie of
the best natures, and may be inverted on the worst; there are in the
most depraved and venemous dispositions, certain pieces that remain
untoucht, which by an _Antiperistasis_ become more excellent, or by the
excellency of their antipathies are able to preserve themselves from the
contagion of their enemy vices, and persist intire beyond the general
corruption. For it is also thus in nature. The greatest Balsomes do lie
enveloped in the bodies of most powerful Corrosives; I say moreover, and
I ground upon experience, that poisons contain within themselves their
own Antidote, and that which preserves them from the venome of
themselves, without which they were not deleterious to others onely, but
to themselves also. But it is the corruption that I fear within me, not
the contagion of commerce without me. 'Tis that unruly regiment within
me, that will destroy me; 'tis I that do infect my self; the man without
a Navel yet lives in me; I feel that original canker corrode and devour
me; and therefore _Defenda me_ Dios _de me_, Lord deliver me from my
self, is a part of my Letany, and the first voice of my retired
imaginations. There is no man alone, because every man is a _Microcosm_,
and carries the whole World about him; _Nunquam minus solus quàm cum
solus_, though it be the Apothegme of a wise man, is yet true in the
mouth of a fool; indeed, though in a Wilderness, a man is never alone,
not only because he is with himself and his own thoughts, but because he
is with the Devil, who ever consorts with our solitude, and is that
unruly rebel that musters up those disordered motions which accompany
our sequestred imaginations. And to speak more narrowly, there is no
such thing as solitude, nor any thing that can be said to be alone and
by itself, but God, who is his own circle, and can subsist by himself;
all others, besides their dissimilary and Heterogeneous parts, which in
a manner multiply their natures, cannot subsist without the concourse of
God, and the society of that hand which doth uphold their natures. In
brief, there can be nothing truly alone and by it self, which is not
truly one; and such is only God: All others do transcend an unity, and
so by consequence are many.

SECT. 11

Now for my life, it is a miracle of thirty years, which to relate, were
not a History, but a piece of Poetry, and would sound to common ears
like a Fable; for the World, I count it not an Inn, but an Hospital; and
a place not to live, but to dye in. The world that I regard is my self;
it is the Microcosm of my own frame that I cast mine eye on; for the
other, I use it but like my Globe, and turn it round sometimes for my
recreation. Men that look upon my outside, perusing only my condition
and Fortunes, do err in my Altitude, for I am above _Atlas_ his
shoulders. The earth is a point not only in respect of the Heavens above
us, but of that heavenly and celestial part within us: that mass of
Flesh that circumscribes me, limits not my mind: that surface that tells
the Heavens it hath an end, cannot persuade me I have any: I take my
circle to be above three hundred and sixty; though the number of the
Ark do measure my body, it comprehendeth not my mind: whilst I study to
find how I am a Microcosm, or little World, I find my self something
more than the great. There is surely a piece of Divinity in us,
something that was before the Elements, and owes no homage unto the Sun.
Nature tells me I am the Image of God, as well as Scripture: he that
understands not thus much, hath not his introduction or first lesson,
and is yet to begin the Alphabet of man. Let me not injure the felicity
of others, if I say I am as happy as any: _Ruat cœlum, Fiat voluntas
tua_, salveth all; so that whatsoever happens, it is but what our daily
prayers desire. In brief, I am content, and what should providence add
more? Surely this is it we call Happiness, and this do I enjoy; with
this I am happy in a dream, and as content to enjoy a happiness in a
fancy, as others in a more apparent truth and realty. There is surely a
neerer apprehension of any thing that delights us in our dreams, than in
our waked senses; without this I were unhappy: for my awaked judgment
discontents me, ever whispering unto me, that I am from my friend; but
my friendly dreams in night requite me, and make me think I am within
his arms. I thank God for my happy dreams, as I do for my good rest, for
there is a satisfaction in them unto reasonable desires, and such as can
be content with a fit of happiness. And surely it is not a melancholy
conceit to think we are all asleep in this World, and that the conceits
of this life are as meer dreams to those of the next, as the Phantasms
of the night, to the conceits of the day. There is an equal delusion in
both, and the one doth but seem to be the embleme or picture of the
other; we are somewhat more than our selves in our sleeps, and the
slumber of the body seems to be but the waking of the soul. It is the
ligation of sense, but the liberty of reason, and our waking conceptions
do not match the Fancies of our sleeps. At my Nativity, my Ascendant was
the watery sign of _Scorpius_; I was born in the Planetary hour of
_Saturn_, and I think I have a piece of that Leaden Planet in me. I am
no way facetious, nor disposed for the mirth and galliardize of company;
yet in one dream I can compose a whole Comedy, behold the action,
apprehend the jests, and laugh my self awake at the conceits thereof:
were my memory as faithful as my reason is then fruitful, I would never
study but in my dreams; and this time also would I chuse for my
devotions: but our grosser memories have then so little hold of our
abstracted understandings, that they forget the story, and can only
relate to our awaked souls, a confused and broken tale of that that hath
passed. _Aristotle_, who hath written a singular Tract of Sleep, hath
not methinks throughly defined it; nor yet _Galen_, though he seem to
have corrected it; for those _Noctambuloes_ and night-walkers, though in
their sleep, do yet injoy the action of their senses: we must therefore
say that there is something in us that is not in the jurisdiction of
_Morpheus_; and that those abstracted and ecstatick souls do walk about
in their own corps, as spirits with the bodies they assume; wherein they
seem to hear, and feel, though indeed the Organs are destitute of sense,
and their natures of those faculties that should inform them. Thus it is
observed, that men sometimes upon the hour of their departure, do speak
and reason above themselves; for then the soul beginning to be freed
from the ligaments of the body, begins to reason like her self, and to
discourse in a strain above mortality.

SECT. 12

We term sleep a death, and yet it is waking that kills us, and destroys
those spirits that are the house of life. 'Tis indeed a part of life
that best expresseth death; for every man truely lives, so long as he
acts his nature, or some way makes good the faculties of himself:
_Themistocles_ therefore that slew his Soldier in his sleep, was a
merciful Executioner: 'tis a kind of punishment the mildness of no laws
hath invented; I wonder the fancy of _Lucan_ and _Seneca_ did not
discover it. It is that death by which we may be literally said to dye
daily; a death which _Adam_ dyed before his mortality; a death whereby
we live a middle and moderating point between life and death; in fine,
so like death, I dare not trust it without my prayers, and an half adieu
unto the World, and take my farewell in a Colloquy with God.

          _The night is come, like to the day;
          Depart not thou great God away.
          Let not my sins, black as the night,
          Eclipse the lustre of thy light.
          Keep still in my Horizon; for to me
          The Sun makes not the day, but thee.
          Thou whose nature cannot sleep,
          On my temples centry keep;
          Guard me 'gainst those watchful foes,
          Whose eyes are open while mine close.
          Let no dreams my head infest,
          But such as_ Jacob's _temples blest.
          While I do rest, my Soul advance;
          Make my sleep a holy trance.
          That I may, my rest being wrought,
          Awake into some holy thought;
          And with as active vigour run
          My course, as doth the nimble Sun.
          Sleep is a death; O make me try,
          By sleeping, what it is to die;
          And as gently lay my head
          On my grave, as now my bed.
          Howere I rest, great God, let me
          Awake again at last with thee.
          And this assur'd, behold I lie
          Securely, or to awake or die.
          These are my drowsie days; in vain
          I do now wake to sleep again:
          O come that hour, when I shall never
          Sleep again, but wake for ever._

This is the Dormative I take to bedward; I need no other _Laudanum_ than
this to make me sleep; after which, I close mine eyes in security,
content to take my leave of the Sun, and sleep unto the resurrection.

SECT. 13

The method I should use in distributive Justice, I often observe in
commutative; and keep a Geometrical proportion in both; whereby becoming
equable to others, I become unjust to my self, and supererogate in that
common principle, _Do unto others as thou wouldst be done unto thy
self_. I was not born unto riches, neither is it I think my Star to be
wealthy; or if it were, the freedom of my mind, and frankness of my
disposition, were able to contradict and cross my fates. For to me
avarice seems not so much a vice, as a deplorable piece of madness; to
conceive ourselves Urinals, or be perswaded that we are dead, is not so
ridiculous, nor so many degrees beyond the power of Hellebore, as this.
The opinion of Theory, and positions of men, are not so void of reason
as their practised conclusions: some have held that Snow is black, that
the earth moves, that the Soul is air, fire, water; but all this is
Philosophy, and there is no _delirium_, if we do but speculate the folly
and indisputable dotage of avarice, to that subterraneous Idol, and God
of the Earth. I do confess I am an Atheist; I cannot perswade myself to
honour that the World adores; whatsoever virtue its prepared substance
may have within my body, it hath no influence nor operation without: I
would not entertain a base design, or an action that should call me
villain, for the Indies; and for this only do I love and honour my own
soul, and have methinks two arms too few to embrace myself. _Aristotle_
is too severe, that will not allow us to be truely liberal without
wealth, and the bountiful hand of Fortune; if this be true, I must
confess I am charitable only in my liberal intentions, and bountiful
well-wishes. But if the example of the Mite be not only an act of
wonder, but an example of the noblest Charity, surely poor men may also
build Hospitals, and the rich alone have not erected Cathedrals. I have
a private method which others observe not; I take the opportunity of my
self to do good; I borrow occasion of Charity from mine own necessities,
and supply the wants of others, when I am in most need my self; for it
is an honest stratagem to make advantage of our selves, and so to
husband the acts of vertue, that where they were defective in one
circumstance, they may repay their want, and multiply their goodness in
another. I have not _Peru_ in my desires, but a competence, and ability
to perform those good works to which he hath inclined my nature. He is
rich, who hath enough to be charitable; and it is hard to be so poor,
that a noble mind may not find a way to this piece of goodness. _He that
giveth to the poor, lendeth to the Lord_; there is more Rhetorick in
that one sentence, than in a Library of Sermons; and indeed if those
Sentences were understood by the Reader, with the same Emphasis as they
are delivered by the Author, we needed not those Volumes of
instructions, but might be honest by an Epitome. Upon this motive only
I cannot behold a Beggar without relieving his Necessities with my
Purse, or his Soul with my Prayers; these scenical and accidental
differences between us, cannot make me forget that common and untoucht
part of us both; there is under these _Cantoes_ and miserable outsides,
these mutilate and semi-bodies, a soul of the same alloy with our own,
whose Genealogy is God as well as ours, and in as fair a way to
Salvation as our selves. Statists that labour to contrive a
Common-wealth without our poverty, take away the object of charity, not
understanding only the Common-wealth of a Christian, but forgetting the
prophecie of Christ.

SECT. 14

Now there is another part of charity, which is the Basis and Pillar of
this, and that is the love of God, for whom we love our neighbour; for
this I think charity, to love God for himself, and our neighbour for
God. All that is truly amiable is God, or as it were a divided piece of
him, that retains a reflex or shadow of himself. Nor is it strange that
we should place affection on that which is invisible; all that we truly
love is thus; what we adore under affection of our senses, deserves not
the honour of so pure a title. Thus we adore virtue, though to the eyes
of sense she be invisible: thus that part of our noble friends that we
love, is not that part that we imbrace, but that insensible part that
our arms cannot embrace. God being all goodness, can love nothing but
himself, and the traduction of his holy Spirit. Let us call to assize
the loves of our parents, the affection of our wives and children, and
they are all dumb shows and dreams, without reality, truth or constancy:
for first, there is a strong bond of affection between us and our
Parents; yet how easily dissolved? We betake our selves to a woman,
forget our mother in a wife, and the womb that bare us, in that that
shall bear our Image: this woman blessing us with children, our
affection leaves the level it held before, and sinks from our bed unto
our issue and picture of Posterity, where affection holds no steady
mansion. They, growing up in years, desire our ends; or applying
themselves to a woman, take a lawful way to love another better than our
selves. Thus I perceive a man may be buried alive, and behold his grave
in his own issue.

SECT. 15

I conclude therefore and say, there is no happiness under (or as
_Copernicus_ will have it, above) the Sun, nor any Crambe in that
repeated verity and burthen of all the wisdom of _Solomon, All is vanity
and vexation of Spirit_. There is no felicity in that the World adores:
_Aristotle_ whilst he labours to refute the Idea's of _Plato_, falls
upon one himself: for his _summum bonum_ is a _Chimæra_, and there is no
such thing as his Felicity. That wherein God himself is happy, the holy
Angels are happy, in whose defect the Devils are unhappy; that dare I
call happiness: whatsoever conduceth unto this, may with an easy
Metaphor deserve that name: whatsoever else the World terms Happiness,
is to me a story out of _Pliny_, a tale of _Boccace_ or _Malizspini_; an
apparition or neat delusion, wherein there is no more of Happiness, than
the name. Bless me in this life with but peace of my Conscience, command
of my affections, the love of thy self and my dearest friends, and I
shall be happy enough to pity _Cæsar_. These are, O Lord, the humble
desires of my most reasonable ambition, and all I dare call happiness
on earth; wherein I set no rule or limit to thy Hand or Providence;
dispose of me according to the wisdom of thy pleasure. Thy will be done,
though in my own undoing.


                         PSEUDODOXIA EPIDEMICA

                              OR ENQUIRIES

                         INTO VERY MANY RECEIVED

                          TENENTS AND COMMONLY

                            PRESUMED TRUTHS


_Would Truth dispense, we could be content, with_ Plato, _that knowledge
were but remembrance; that intellectual acquisition were but
reminiscential evocation, and new Impressions but the colouring of old
stamps which stood pale in the soul before. For what is worse, knowledge
is made by oblivion, and to purchase a clear and warrantable body of
Truth, we must forget and part with much we know. Our tender Enquiries
taking up Learning at large, and together with true and assured notions,
receiving many, wherein our reviewing judgments do find no satisfaction.
And therefore in this_ Encyclopædie _and round of Knowledge, like the
great and exemplary Wheels of Heaven, we must observe two Circles: that
while we are daily carried about, and whirled on by the swing and rapt
of the one, we may maintain a natural and proper course, in the slow and
sober wheel of the other. And this we shall more readily perform, if we
timely survey our knowledge; impartially singling out those
encroachments, which junior compliance and popular credulity hath
admitted. Whereof at present we have endeavoured a long and serious_
Adviso; _proposing not only a large and copious List, but from
experience and reason attempting their decisions._

_And first we crave exceeding pardon in the audacity of the Attempt,
humbly acknowledging a work of such concernment unto truth, and
difficulty in it self, did well deserve the conjunction of many heads.
And surely more advantageous had it been unto Truth, to have fallen into
the endeavors of some co-operating advancers, that might have performed
it to the life, and added authority thereto; which the privacy of our
condition, and unequal abilities cannot expect. Whereby notwithstanding
we have not been diverted; nor have our solitary attempts been so
discouraged, as to dispair the favourable look of Learning upon our
single and unsupported endeavours_.

_Nor have we let fall our Pen, upon discouragement of Contradiction,
Unbelief and Difficulty of disswasion from radicated beliefs, and points
of high prescription, although we are very sensible, how hardly teaching
years do learn, what roots old age contracteth unto errors, and how such
as are but acorns in our younger brows, grow Oaks in our elder heads,
and become inflexible unto the powerfullest arm of reason. Although we
have also beheld, what cold requitals others have found in their several
redemptions of Truth; and how their ingenuous Enquiries have been
dismissed with censure, and obloquie of singularities_.

[Sidenote: _Inspection of Urines._]

_Some consideration we hope from the course of our Profession, which
though it leadeth us into many truths that pass undiscerned by others,
yet doth it disturb their Communications, and much interrupt the office
of our Pens in their well intended Transmissions. And therefore surely
in this work attempts will exceed performances; it being composed by
snatches of time, as medical vacations, and the fruitless importunity
of_ Uroscopy _would permit us. And therefore also, perhaps it hath not
found that regular and constant stile, those infallible experiments and
those assured determinations, which the subject sometime requireth, and
might be expected from others, whose quiet doors and unmolested hours
afford no such distractions. Although whoever shall indifferently
perpend the exceeding difficulty, which either the obscurity of the
subject, or unavoidable paradoxology must often put upon the Attemptor,
he will easily discern, a work of this nature is not to be performed
upon one legg; and should smel of oyl, if duly and deservedly handled_.

_Our first intentions considering the common interest of Truth, resolved
to propose it unto the Latine republique and equal Judges of_ Europe,
_but owing in the first place this service unto our Country, and therein
especially unto its ingenuous Gentry, we have declared our self in a
language best conceived. Although I confess the quality of the Subject
will sometimes carry us into expressions beyond meer English
apprehensions. And indeed, if elegancy still proceedeth, and English
Pens maintain that stream, we have of late observed to flow from many;
we shall within few years be fain to learn Latine to understand English,
and a work will prove of equal facility in either. Nor have we addressed
our Pen or Stile unto the people (whom Books do not redress, and are
this way incapable of reduction), but unto the knowing and leading part
of Learning. As well understanding (at least probably hoping) except
they be watered from higher regions, and fructifying meteors of
Knowledge, these weeds must lose their alimental sap, and wither of
themselves. Whose conserving influence, could our endeavours prevent; we
should trust the rest unto the sythe of_ Time, _and hopefull dominion of

[Sidenote: περὶ τῶν ψευδῶς πεπιστευμένων, _Athenæi_, lib. 7.]

_We hope it will not be unconsidered, that we find no open tract, or
constant manuduction in this Labyrinth; but are oft-times fain to
wander in the_ America _and untravelled parts of Truth. For though not
many years past, Dr._ Primrose _hath made a learned Discourse of vulgar
Errors in Physick, yet have we discussed but two or three thereof._
Scipio Mercurii _hath also left an excellent tract in_ Italian,
_concerning popular Errors; but confining himself only unto those in
Physick, he hath little conduced unto the generality of our doctrine._
Laurentius Ioubertus, _by the same Title led our expectation into
thoughts of great relief; whereby notwithstanding we reaped no
advantage; it answering scarce at all the promise of the inscription.
Nor perhaps (if it were yet extant) should we find any farther
Assistance from that ancient piece of_ Andreas, _pretending the same
Title. And therefore we are often constrained to stand alone against the
strength of opinion, and to meet the_ Goliah _and Giant of Authority,
with contemptible pibbles, and feeble arguments, drawn from the scrip
and slender stock of our selves. Nor have we indeed scarce named any
Author whose name we do not honour; and if detraction could invite us,
discretion surely would contain us from any derogatory intention, where
highest Pens and friendliest eloquence must fail in commendation_.

_And therefore also we cannot but hope the equitable considerations, and
candour of reasonable minds. We cannot expect the frown of_ Theology
_herein; nor can they which behold the present state of things, and
controversie of points so long received in Divinity, condemn our sober
Enquiries in the doubtfull appertinancies of Arts, and Receptaries of
Philosophy. Surely Philologers and Critical Discoursers, who look beyond
the shell and obvious exteriours of things, will not be angry with our
narrower explorations. And we cannot doubt, our Brothers in Physick
(whose knowledge in Naturals will lead them into a nearer apprehension
of many things delivered) will friendly accept, if not countenance our
endeavours. Nor can we conceive it may be unwelcome unto those honoured
Worthies, who endeavour the advancement of Learning: as being likely to
find a clearer progression, when so many rubs are levelled, and many
untruths taken off, which passing as principles with common beliefs,
disturb the tranquility of Axioms, which otherwise might be raised. And
wise men cannot but know, that arts and learning want this expurgation:
and if the course of truth be permitted unto its self, like that of time
and uncorrected computations, it cannot escape many errors, which
duration still enlargeth_.

_Lastly, we are not Magisterial in opinions, nor have we Dictator-like
obtruded our conceptions; but in the humility of Enquiries or
disquisitions, have only proposed them unto more ocular discerners. And
therefore opinions are free, and open it is for any to think or declare
the contrary. And we shall so far encourage contradiction, as to promise
no disturbance, or re-oppose any Pen, that shall fallaciously or
captiously refute us_; _that shall only lay hold of our lapses, single
out Digressions, Corollaries, or Ornamental conceptions, to evidence his
own in as indifferent truths. And shall only take notice of such, whose
experimental and judicious knowledge shall solemnly look upon it; not
only to destroy of ours, but to establish of his own; not to traduce or
extenuate, but to explain and dilucidate, to add and ampliate, according
to the laudable custom of the Ancients in their sober promotions of
Learning. Unto whom notwithstanding, we shall not contentiously rejoin,
or only to justifie our own, but to applaud or confirm his maturer
assertions; and shall confer what is in us unto his name and honour;
Ready to be swallowed in any worthy enlarger: as having acquired our
end, if any way, or under any name we may obtain a work, so much
desired, and yet desiderated of Truth._

                                                      _THOMAS BROWN._



_To enform you of the Advantages of the present Impression, and disabuse
your expectations of any future Enlargements; these are to advertise
thee, that this Edition comes forth with very many Explanations,
Additions, and Alterations throughout, besides that of one entire
Chapter: But that now this Work is compleat and perfect, expect no
further Additions._




Of the Causes of Common Errors.

[Sidenote: _The Introduction._]

The First and Father-cause of common Error, is, The common infirmity of
Human Nature; of whose deceptible condition, although perhaps there
should not need any other eviction, than the frequent Errors we shall
our selves commit, even in the express declarement hereof: yet shall we
illustrate the same from more infallible constitutions, and persons
presumed as far from us in condition, as time, that is, our first and
ingenerated forefathers. From whom as we derive our Being, and the
several wounds of constitution; so, may we in some manner excuse our
infirmities in the depravity of those parts, whose Traductions were pure
in them, and their Originals but once removed from God. Who
notwithstanding (if posterity may take leave to judge of the fact, as
they are assured to suffer in the punishment) were grossly deceived, in
their perfection; and so weakly deluded in the clarity of their
understanding, that it hath left no small obscurity in ours, How error
should gain upon them.

[Sidenote: _Matter of great dispute, how our first parents could be so

For first, They were deceived by Satan; and that not in an invisible
insinuation; but an open and discoverable apparition, that is, in the
form of a Serpent; whereby although there were many occasions of
suspition, and such as could not easily escape a weaker circumspection,
yet did the unwary apprehension of _Eve_ take no advantage thereof. It
hath therefore seemed strange unto some, she should be deluded by a
Serpent, or subject her reason to a beast, which God had subjected unto
hers. It hath empuzzled the enquiries of others to apprehend, and
enforced them unto strange conceptions, to make out, how without fear or
doubt she could discourse with such a creature, or hear a Serpent speak,
without suspition of Imposture. The wits of others have been so bold, as
to accuse her simplicity, in receiving his Temptation so coldly; and
when such specious effects of the Fruit were Promised, as to make them
like God; not to desire, at least not to wonder he pursued not that
benefit himself. And had it been their own case, would perhaps have
replied, If the tast of this Fruit maketh the eaters like _Gods_, why
remainest thou a Beast? If it maketh us but _like Gods_, we are so
already. If thereby our eyes shall be opened hereafter, they are at
present quick enough, to discover thy deceit; and we desire them no
opener, to behold our own shame. If to know good and evil be our
advantage, although we have Free-will unto both, we desire to perform
but one; We know 'tis good to obey the commandement of God, but evil if
we transgress it.

[Sidenote: Adam _supposed by some to have been the wisest man that ever

They were deceived by one another, and in the greatest disadvantage of
Delusion, that is, the stronger by the weaker: For _Eve_ presented the
Fruit, and _Adam_ received it from her. Thus the _Serpent_ was cunning
enough, to begin the deceit in the weaker, and the weaker of strength,
sufficient to consummate the fraud in the stronger. Art and fallacy was
used unto her; a naked offer proved sufficient unto him: So his
superstruction was his Ruine, and the fertility of his Sleep an issue of
Death unto him. And although the condition of Sex, and posteriority of
Creation, might somewhat extenuate the Error of the Woman: Yet was it
very strange and inexcusable in the Man; especially, if as some affirm,
he was the wisest of all men since; or if, as others have conceived, he
was not ignorant of the Fall of the Angels, and had thereby Example and
punishment to deterr him.

[Sidenote: Adam _and_ Eve _how they fell._]

They were deceived from themselves, and their own apprehensions; for
_Eve_ either mistook, or traduced the commandment of God. _Of every Tree
of the Garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the Tree of knowledge of
good and evil thou shalt not eat: for in the day thou eatest thereof,
thou shall surely die._ Now _Eve_ upon the question of the _Serpent_,
returned the Precept in different terms: _You shall not eat of it,
neither shall you touch it, less perhaps you die._ In which delivery,
there were no less than two mistakes, or rather additional mendacities;
for the Commandment forbad not the touch of the Fruit; and positively
said, _Ye shall surely die_: but she extenuating, replied, _ne fortè
moriamini, lest perhaps ye die_. For so in the vulgar translation it
runneth, and so it is expressed in the _Thargum_ or Paraphrase of
_Jonathan_. And therefore although it be said, and that very truely,
_that the Devil was a lyer from the beginning_, yet was the Woman herein
the first express beginner: and falsified twice, before the reply of
_Satan_. And therefore also, to speak strictly, the sin of the Fruit was
not the first Offence: They first transgressed the Rule of their own
Reason; and after the Commandment of God.

They were deceived through the Conduct of their Senses, and by
Temptations from the Object it self; whereby although their
intellectuals had not failed in the Theory of truth, yet did the
inservient and brutal Faculties controll the suggestion of Reason:
Pleasure and Profit already overswaying the instructions of Honesty, and
Sensuality perturbing the reasonable commands of Vertue. For so it is
delivered in the Text: That when the Woman saw, _that the Tree was good
for food_, and _that it was pleasant unto the eye_, and _a Tree to be
desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat_.
Now hereby it appeareth, that _Eve_, before the Fall, was by the same
and beaten away of allurements inveigled, whereby her posterity hath
been deluded ever since; that is, those three delivered by St. _John,
The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life_:
Where indeed they seemed as weakly to fail, as their debilitated
posterity, ever after. Whereof notwithstanding, some in their
imperfection, have resisted more powerful temptations; and in many
moralities condemned the facility of their seductions.

[Sidenote: Adam _whence (probably) induced to eat._]

[Sidenote: _Whether_ Cain _intended to kill_ Abel.]

Again, they might, for ought we know, be still deceived in the unbelief
of their Mortality, even after they had eat of the Fruit: For, _Eve_
observing no immediate execution of the Curse, she delivered the Fruit
unto _Adam_: who, after the tast thereof, perceiving himself still to
live, might yet remain in doubt, whether he had incurred Death; which
perhaps he did not indubitably believe, until he was after convicted in
the visible example of _Abel_. For he that would not believe the Menace
of God at first, it may be doubted whether, before an ocular example, he
believed the Curse at last. And therefore they are not without all
reason, who have disputed the Fact of _Cain_: that is, although he
purposed to do mischief, whether he intended to kill his Brother; or
designed that, whereof he had not beheld an example in his own kind.
There might be somewhat in it, that he would not have done, or desired
undone, when he brake forth as desperately, as before he had done
uncivilly, _My iniquity is greater than can be forgiven me_.

[Sidenote: _The_ Thalmudist's _Allegories upon the History of_ Adam
_and_ Eve's _Fall._]

Some nicities I confess there are which extenuate, but many more that
aggravate this Delusion; which exceeding the bounds of this Discourse,
and perhaps our Satisfaction, we shall at present pass over. And
therefore whether the Sin of our First Parents were the greatest of any
since; whether the transgression of _Eve_ seducing, did not exceed that
of _Adam_ seduced; or whether the resistibility of his Reason, did not
equivalence the facility of her Seduction; we shall refer it to the
_Schoolman_; Whether there was not in _Eve_ as great injustice in
deceiving her husband, as imprudence in being deceived her self;
especially, if foretasting the Fruit, her eyes were opened before his,
and she knew the effect of it, before he tasted of it; we leave it unto
the _Moralist_. Whether the whole relation be not Allegorical, that is,
whether the temptation of the Man by the Woman, be not the seduction of
the rational and higher parts by the inferiour and feminine faculties;
or whether the Tree in the midst of the Garden, were not that part in
the Center of the body, in which was afterward the appointment of
Circumcision in Males, we leave it unto the _Thalmudist_. Whether there
were any Policy in the Devil to tempt them before the Conjunction, or
whether the Issue before tentation, might in justice have suffered with
those after, we leave it unto the _Lawyer_. Whether _Adam_ foreknew the
advent of Christ, or the reparation of his Error by his Saviour; how the
execution of the Curse should have been ordered, if, after _Eve_ had
eaten, _Adam_ had yet refused. Whether if they had tasted the Tree of
life, before that of Good and Evil, they had yet suffered the curse of
Mortality: or whether the efficacy of the one had not over-powred the
penalty of the other, we leave it unto GOD. For he alone can truly
determine these, and all things else; Who as he hath proposed the World
unto our disputation, so hath he reserved many things unto his own
resolution; whose determination we cannot hope from flesh, but must with
reverence suspend unto that great Day, whose justice shall either
condemn our curiosities, or resolve our disquisitions.

Lastly, Man was not only deceivable in his Integrity, but the Angels of
light in all their Clarity. He that said, He would be like the highest
did erre, if in some way he conceived himself so already: but in
attempting so high an effect from himself, he mis-understood the nature
of God, and held a false apprehension of his own; whereby vainly
attempting not only insolencies, but impossibilities, he deceived
himself as low as Hell. In brief, there is nothing infallible but GOD,
who cannot possibly erre. For things are really true as they correspond
unto his conception; and have so much verity as they hold of conformity
unto that Intellect, in whose _Idea_ they had their first
determinations. And therefore being the Rule, he cannot be Irregular;
nor, being Truth it self, conceaveably admit the impossible society of


A further Illustration of the same.

Being thus deluded before the Fall, it is no wonder if their conceptions
were deceitful, and could scarce speak without an Error after. For, what
is very remarkable (and no man that I know hath yet observed) in the
relations of Scripture before the Flood, there is but one speech
delivered by Man, wherein there is not an erroneous conception; and,
strictly examined, most hainously injurious unto truth. The pen of
_Moses_ is brief in the account before the Flood, and the speeches
recorded are but six. The first is that of _Adam_, when upon the
expostulation of God, he replied; _I heard thy voice in the Garden, and
because I was naked I hid my self_. In which reply, there was included a
very gross Mistake, and, if with pertinacity maintained, a high and
capital Error. For thinking by this retirement to obscure himself from
God, he infringed the omnisciency and essential Ubiquity of his Maker,
Who as he created all things, so is he beyond and in them all, not only
in power, as under his subjection, or in his presence, as being in his
cognition; but in his very Essence, as being the soul of their
causalities, and the essential cause of their existencies. Certainly,
his posterity at this distance and after so perpetuated an impairment,
cannot but condemn the poverty of his conception, that thought to
obscure himself from his Creator in the shade of the Garden, who had
beheld him before in the darkness of his Chaos, and the great obscurity
of Nothing; that thought to fly from God, which could not fly himself;
or imagined that one tree should conceal his nakedness from Gods eye, as
another had revealed it unto his own. Those tormented Spirits that wish
the mountains to cover them, have fallen upon desires of minor
absurdity, and chosen ways of less improbable concealment. Though this
be also as ridiculous unto reason, as fruitless unto their desires; for
he that laid the foundations of the Earth, cannot be excluded the
secrecy of the Mountains; nor can there any thing escape the
perspicacity of those eyes which were before light, and in whose opticks
there is no opacity. This is the consolation of all good men, unto whom
his Ubiquity affordeth continual comfort and security: And this is the
affliction of Hell, unto whom it affordeth despair, and remediless
calamity. For those restless Spirits that fly the face of the Almighty,
being deprived the fruition of his eye, would also avoid the extent of
his hand; which being impossible, their sufferings are desperate, and
their afflictions without evasion; until they can get out of
_Trismegistus_ his Circle, that is, to extend their wings above the
Universe, and pitch beyond Ubiquity.

The Second is that Speech of _Adam_ unto God; _The woman whom thou
gavest me to be with me, she gave me of the Tree, and I did eat_. This
indeed was an unsatisfactory reply, and therein was involved a very
impious Error, as implying God the Author of sin, and accusing his Maker
of his transgression. As if he had said, If thou hadst not given me a
woman, I had not been deceived: Thou promisedst to make her a help, but
she hath proved destruction unto me: Had I remained alone, I had not
sinned; but thou gavest me a Consort, and so I became seduced. This was
a bold and open accusation of God, making the fountain of good, the
contriver of evil, and the forbidder of the crime an abettor of the
fact prohibited. Surely, his mercy was great that did not revenge the
impeachment of his justice; And his goodness to be admired, that it
refuted not his argument in the punishment of his excusation, and only
pursued the first transgression without a penalty of this the second.

The third was that of _Eve; The Serpent beguiled me, and I did eat_. In
which reply, there was not only a very feeble excuse, but an erroneous
translating her own offence upon another; Extenuating her sin from that
which was an aggravation, that is, to excuse the Fact at all, much more
upon the suggestion of a beast, which was before in the strictest terms
prohibited by her God. For although we now do hope the mercies of God
will consider our degenerated integrities unto some minoration of our
offences; yet had not the sincerity of our first parents so colourable
expectations, unto whom the commandment was but single, and their
integrities best able to resist the motions of its transgression. And
therefore so heinous conceptions have risen hereof, that some have
seemed more angry therewith, than God himself: Being so exasperated with
the offence, as to call in question their salvation, and to dispute the
eternal punishment of their Maker. Assuredly with better reason may
posterity accuse them than they the Serpent or one another; and the
displeasure of the _Pelagians_ must needs be irreconcilable, who
peremptorily maintaining they can fulfil the whole Law, will
insatisfactorily condemn the non-observation of one.

[Sidenote: _The Devill knew not our Saviour to be God when he tempted

The fourth, was that speech of _Cain_ upon the demand of God, _Where is
thy brother?_ and he said, _I know not_. In which Negation, beside the
open impudence, there was implied a notable Error; for returning a lie
unto his Maker, and presuming in this manner to put off the Searcher of
hearts, he denied the omnisciency of God, whereunto there is nothing
concealable. The answer of Satan in the case of _Job_, had more of
truth, wisdom, and Reverence, this; _Whence comest thou Satan?_ and he
said, _From compassing of the Earth_. For though an enemy of God, and
hater of all Truth, his wisdom will hardly permit him to falsifie with
the All-mighty. For well understanding the Omniscience of his nature, he
is not so ready to deceive himself, as to falsifie unto him whose
cognition is no way deludable. And therefore when in the tentation of
Christ he played upon the fallacy, and thought to deceive the Author of
Truth, the Method of this proceeding arose from the uncertainty of his
Divinity; whereof had he remained assured, he had continued silent; nor
would his discretion attempt so unsucceedable a temptation. And so again
at the last day, when our offences shall be drawn into accompt, the
subtilty of that Inquisitor shall not present unto God a bundle of
calumnies or confutable accusations, but will discreetly offer up unto
his Omnisciency, a true and undeniable list of our transgressions.

The fifth is another reply of _Cain_ upon the denouncement of his curse,
_My iniquity is greater then can be forgiven_: For so it is expressed in
some Translations. The assertion was not only desperate, but the conceit
erroneous, overthrowing that glorious Attribute of God, his Mercy, and
conceiving the sin of murder unpardonable. Which how great soever, is
not above the repentance of man; but far below the mercies of God, and
was (as some conceive) expiated in that punishment he suffered
temporally for it. There are but two examples of this error in holy
Scripture, and they both for Murder, and both as it were of the same
person; for Christ was mystically slain in _Abel_, and therefore _Cain_
had some influence on his death as well as _Judas_; but the sin had a
different effect on _Cain_, from that it had on _Judas_; and most that
since have fallen into it. For they like _Judas_ desire death, and not
unfrequently pursue it: _Cain_ on the contrary grew afraid thereof, and
obtained a securement from it. Assuredly, if his despair continued,
there was punishment enough in life, and Justice sufficient in the mercy
of his protection. For the life of the desperate equalls the anxieties
of death; who in uncessant inquietudes but act the life of the damned,
and anticipate the desolations of Hell. 'Tis indeed a sin in man, but a
punishment only in Devils, who offend not God but afflict themselves, in
the appointed despair of his mercies. And as to be without hope is the
affliction of the damned, so is it the happiness of the blessed; who
having all their expectations present, are not distracted with
futurities: So is it also their felicity to have no Faith; for enjoying
the beatifical vision, there is nothing unto them inevident; and in the
fruition of the object of Faith, they have received the full evacuation
of it.

[Sidenote: Cain, _as the Rabbins think, was the man slain by_ Lamech,
_Gen. 4, 23._]

The last speech was that of _Lamech, I have slain a man to my wound, and
a young man in my hurt_: If _Cain_ be avenged seven fold, truly _Lamech_
seventy and seven fold. Now herein there seems to be a very erroneous
Illation: from the Indulgence of God unto _Cain_, concluding an immunity
unto himself; that is, a regular protection from a single example, and
an exemption from punishment in a fact that naturally deserved it. The
Error of this offender was contrary to that of _Cain_, whom the
_Rabbins_ conceive that _Lamech_ at this time killed. He despaired in
Gods mercy in the same Fact, where this presumed of it; he by a
decollation of all hope annihilated his mercy, this by an immoderancy
thereof destroyed his Justice. Though the sin were less, the Error was
as great; For as it is untrue, that his mercy will not forgive
offenders, or his benignity co-operate to their conversions; So is it
also of no less falsity to affirm His justice will not exact account of
sinners, or punish such as continue in their transgressions.

Thus may we perceive, how weakly our fathers did Erre before the Floud,
how continually and upon common discourse they fell upon Errors after;
it is therefore no wonder we have been erroneous ever since. And being
now at greatest distance from the beginning of Error, are almost lost in
its dissemination, whose waies are boundless, and confess no


Of the second cause of Popular Errors; the erroneous disposition of the

Having thus declared the infallible nature of Man even from his first
production, we have beheld the general cause of Error. But as for
popular Errors, they are more neerly founded upon an erroneous
inclination of the people; as being the most deceptable part of Mankind
and ready with open armes to receive the encroachments of Error. Which
condition of theirs although deducible from many Grounds, yet shall we
evidence it but from a few, and such as most neerly and undeniably
declare their natures.

How unequal discerners of truth they are, and openly exposed unto
Error, will first appear from their unqualified intellectuals, unable to
umpire the difficulty of its dissensions. For Error, to speak largely,
is a false judgment of things, or, an assent unto falsity. Now whether
the object whereunto they deliver up their assent be true or false, they
are incompetent judges.

For the assured truth of things is derived from the principles of
knowledge, and causes which determine their verities. Whereof their
uncultivated understandings, scarce holding any theory, they are but bad
discerners of verity; and in the numerous track of Error, but casually
do hit the point and unity of truth.

[Sidenote: _Arguments of sensitive quality most prevailing upon vulgar

Their understanding is so feeble in the discernment of falsities, and
averting the Errors of reason, that it submitteth unto the fallacies of
sense, and is unable to rectifie the Error of its sensations. Thus the
greater part of Mankind having but one eye of Sense and Reason, conceive
the Earth far bigger than the Sun, the fixed Stars lesser than the Moon,
their figures plain, and their spaces from Earth equidistant. For thus
their Sense informeth them, and herein their reason cannot Rectifie
them; and therefore hopelesly continuing in mistakes, they live and die
in their absurdities; passing their days in perverted apprehensions, and
conceptions of the World, derogatory unto God, and the wisdom of the

Again, being so illiterate in the point of intellect, and their sense so
incorrected, they are farther indisposed ever to attain unto truth; as
commonly proceeding in those wayes, which have most reference unto
sense, and wherein there lyeth most notable and popular delusion.

For being unable to wield the intellectuall arms of reason, they are
fain to betake themselves unto wasters, and the blunter weapons of
truth: affecting the gross and sensible ways of Doctrine, and such as
will not consist with strict and subtile Reason. [SN: _Fable._] Thus
unto them a piece of Rhetorick is a sufficient argument of Logick; an
Apologue of _Esop_, beyond a Syllogysm in _Barbara_; parables than
propositions, and proverbs more powerful than demonstrations. And
therefore are they led rather by Example, than Precept; receiving
perswasions from visible inducements, before electual instructions. And
therefore also they judge of human actions by the event; for being
uncapable of operable circumstances, or rightly to judge the
prudentiality of affairs, they only gaze upon the visible success, and
therefore condemn or cry up the whole progression. And so from this
ground in the Lecture of holy Scripture, their apprehensions are
commonly confined unto the literal sense of the Text, from whence have
ensued the gross and duller sort of Heresies. For not attaining the
deuteroscopy, and second intention of the words, they are fain to omit
the Superconsequencies, Coherencies, Figures, or Tropologies; and are
not sometime perswaded by fire beyond their literalities. And therefore
also things invisible, but into intellectual discernments, to humour the
grossness of their comprehensions, have been degraded from their proper
forms, and God Himself dishonoured into manual expressions. And so
likewise being unprovided, or unsufficient for higher speculations, they
will alwayes betake themselves unto sensible representations, and can
hardly be restrained the dulness of Idolatry: A sin or folly not only
derogatory unto God but men; overthrowing their Reason, as well as his
Divinity. In brief, a reciprocation, or rather, an inversion of the
Creation, making God one way, as he made us another; that is, after our
Image, as he made us after His own.

Moreover, their understanding thus weak in it self, and perverted by
sensible delusions, is yet farther impaired by the dominion of their
appetite; that is, the irrational and brutal part of the soul, which
lording it over the soveraign faculty, interrupts the actions of that
noble part, and choaks those tender sparks, which _Adam_ hath left them
of reason. And therefore they do not only swarm with Errors, but vices
depending thereon. Thus they commonly affect no man any further than he
deserts his reason, or complies with their aberrancies. Hence they
imbrace not vertue for it self, but its reward; and the argument from
pleasure or Utility is far more powerful, than that from vertuous
Honesty: which _Mahomet_ and his contrivers well understood, when he set
out the felicity of his Heaven, by the contentments of flesh, and the
delights of sense, slightly passing over the accomplishment of the Soul,
and the beatitude of that part which Earth and visibilities too weakly
affect. But the wisdom of our Saviour, and the simplicity of his truth
proceeded another way; defying the popular provisions of happiness from
sensible expectations; placing his felicity in things removed from
sense, and the intellectual enjoyment of God. And therefore the doctrine
of the one was never afraid of Universities, or endeavoured the
banishment of learning, like the other. And though _Galen_ doth
sometimes nibble at _Moses_, and, beside the Apostate Christian, [SN:
_Julian._] some _Heathens_ have questioned his Philosophical part, or
treaty of the Creation: Yet is there surely no reasonable _Pagan_, that
will not admire the rational and well grounded precepts of Christ; whose
life, as it was conformable unto his Doctrine, so was that unto the
highest rules of Reason; and must therefore flourish in the advancement
of learning, and the perfection of parts best able to comprehend it.

[Sidenote: Non sani esse hominis, non sanus juret Orestes.]

Again, Their individual imperfections being great, they are moreover
enlarged by their aggregation; and being erroneous in their single
numbers, once hudled together, they will be Error it self. For being a
confusion of knaves and fools, and a farraginous concurrence of all
conditions, tempers, sexes, and ages; it is but natural if their
determinations be monstrous, and many wayes inconsistent with Truth. And
therefore wise men have alwaies applauded their own judgment, in the
contradiction of that of the people; and their soberest adversaries,
have ever afforded them the stile of fools and mad men; and, to speak
impartially, their actions have made good these _Epithets_. Had
_Orestes_ been Judge, he would not have acquitted that _Lystrian_ rabble
of madness, who, upon a visible miracle, falling into so high a conceit
of _Paul_ and _Barnabas_, that they termed the one _Jupiter_, the other
_Mercurius_; that they brought Oxen and Garlands, and were hardly
restrained from sacrificing unto them; did notwithstanding suddenly
after fall upon _Paul_, and having stoned him drew him for dead out of
the City. It might have hazarded the sides of _Democritus_, had he been
present at that tumult of _Demetrius_; when the people flocking together
in great numbers, some crying one thing, and some another, and the
assembly was confused, and the most part knew not wherefore they were
come together; notwithstanding, all with one voice for the space of two
hours cried out, Great is _Diana_ of the _Ephesians_. It had overcome
the patience of _Job_, as it did the meekness of _Moses_, and would
surely have mastered any, but the longanimity, and lasting sufferance of
God; had they beheld the Mutiny in the wilderness, when, after ten
great Miracles in _Egypt_, and some in the same place, they melted down
their stoln ear-rings into a Calf, and monstrously cryed out; _These are
thy Gods_, O Israel, _that brought thee out of the land_ of Egypt. It
much accuseth the impatience of _Peter_, who could not endure the staves
of the multitude, and is the greatest example of lenity in our Saviour,
when he desired of God forgiveness unto those, who having one day
brought him into the City in triumph, did presently after, act all
dishonour upon him, and nothing could be heard but, _Crucifige_, in
their Courts. Certainly he that considereth these things in God's
peculiar people will easily discern how little of truth there is in the
wayes of the Multitude; and though sometimes they are flattered with
that _Aphorism_, will hardly believe, The voice of the people to be the
voice of God.

Lastly, being thus divided from truth in themselves, they are yet
farther removed by advenient deception. For true it is (and I hope I
shall not offend their vulgarities,) if I say, they are daily mocked
into Error by subtler devisors, and have been expressly deluded by all
professions and ages. Thus the _Priests_ of Elder time, have put upon
them many incredible conceits, not only deluding their apprehensions
with Ariolation, South-saying, and such oblique Idolatries, but winning
their credulities unto the literal and down right adorement of Cats,
Lizzards, and Beetles. And thus also in some Christian Churches, wherein
is presumed an irreprovable truth, if all be true that is suspected, or
half what is related; there have not wanted many strange deceptions, and
some thereof are still confessed by the name of Pious Frauds. Thus
_Theudas_ an Impostor was able to lead away Four thousand into the
Wilderness. and the delusions of _Mahomet_ almost the fourth part of
Mankind. Thus all Heresies, how gross soever, have found a welcome with
the people. For thus, many of the Jews were wrought into belief that
_Herod_ was the _Messias_; and _David George_ of _Leyden and Arden_,
were not without a party amongst the people, who maintained the same
opinion of themselves almost in our days.

[Sidenote: _The Author's Censure upon Judgment by Urine._]

Physitians (many at least that make profession thereof) beside divers
less discoverable wayes of fraud, have made them believe, there is the
book of fate, or the power of _Aarons_ breast-plate, in Urins. And
therefore hereunto they have recourse, as unto the Oracle of life, the
great determinator of Virginity, Conception, Fertility, and the
Inscrutable infirmities of the whole Body. For as though there were a
seminality in Urine, or that, like the Seed, it carried with it the
_Idea_ of every part, they foolishly conceive, we visibly behold therein
the Anatomy of every particle, and can thereby indigitate their
Diseases: And running into any demands, expect from us a sudden
resolution in things, whereon the Devil of _Delphos_ would demurr; and
we know hath taken respite of some dayes to answer easier questions.

[Sidenote: _Places in_ Venice _and_ Paris, _where Mountebanks play their

_Saltimbancoes_, _Quacksalvers_, and _Charlatans_, deceive them in lower
degrees. Were _Esop_ alive, the _Piazza_ and _Pont-Neuf_ could not but
speak their fallacies; mean while there are too many, whose cries cannot
conceal their mischief. For their Impostures are full of cruelty, and
worse than any other; deluding not only unto pecuniary defraudations,
but the irreparable deceit of death.

_Astrologers_, which pretend to be of _Cabala_ with the Starrs (such I
mean as abuse that worthy Enquiry) have not been wanting in their
deceptions; who having won their belief unto principles whereof they
make great doubt themselves, have made them believe that arbitrary
events below, have necessary causes, above; whereupon their credulities
assent unto any Prognosticks; and daily swallow the Predictions of men,
which, considering the independency of their causes, and contigency in
their Events, are only in the prescience of God.

Fortune-tellers, Juglers, Geomancers, and the like incantory Impostors,
though commonly men of Inferiour rank, and from whom without
Illumination they can expect no more than from themselves, do daily and
professedly delude them. Unto whom (what is deplorable in Men and
Christians) too many applying themselves, betwixt jest and earnest,
betray the cause of Truth, and sensibly make up the legionary body of

[Sidenote: _The people of_ Rome, _why never suffered to know the right
name of their City._]

_Statists_ and _Politicians_, unto whom _Ragione di Stato_, is the first
Considerable, as though it were their business to deceive the people, as
a Maxim, do hold, that truth is to be concealed from them; unto whom
although they reveal the visible design, yet do they commonly conceal
the capital intention. And therefore have they ever been the instruments
of great designes, yet seldom understood the true intention of any,
accomplishing the drifts of wiser heads, as inanimate and ignorant
Agents, the general design of the World; who though in some Latitude of
sense, and in a natural cognition perform their proper actions, yet do
they unknowingly concurr unto higher ends, and blindly advance the great
intention of Nature. Now how far they may be kept in ignorance a greater
example there is in the people of _Rome_; who never knew the true and
proper name of their own City. For, beside that common appellation
received by the Citizens, it had a proper and secret name concealed from
them: _Cujus alterum nomen discere secretis Ceremoniarum nefas habetur_,
saith _Plinie_; lest the name thereof being discovered unto their
enemies, their _Penates_ and Patronal God might be called forth by
charms and incantations. For according unto the tradition of
_Magitians_, the tutelary Spirits will not remove at common
appellations, but at the proper names of things whereunto they are

Thus having been deceived by themselves, and continually deluded by
others, they must needs be stuffed with Errors, and even over-run with
these inferiour falsities; whereunto whosoever shall resign their
reasons, either from the Root of deceit in themselves, or inability to
resist such trivial deceptions from others, although their condition and
fortunes may place them many Spheres above the multitude; yet are they
still within the line of Vulgarity, and Democratical enemies of truth.


     Of the nearer and more Immediate Causes of popular Errors, both in
     the wiser and common sort, Misapprehension, Fallacy, or false
     Deduction, Credulity, Supinity, Adherence unto Antiquity, Tradition
     and Authority.

[Sidenote: _The belief of_ Centaures _whence occasioned._]

The first is a mistake, or a misconception of things, either in their
first apprehensions, or secondary relations. So _Eve_ mistook the
Commandment, either from the immediate injunction of God, or from the
secondary narration of her Husband. So might the Disciples mistake our
Saviour, in his answer unto _Peter_ concerning the death of _John_, as
is delivered, _John_ 21. Peter _seeing_ John, _said unto_ Jesus, _Lord,
and what shall this man do?_ Jesus _saith, If I will, that he tarry till
I come, what is that unto thee? Then went this saying abroad among the
brethren, that that Disciple should not die._ Thus began the conceit and
opinion of the _Centaures_: that is, in the mistake of the first
beholders, as is declared by _Servius_; when some young _Thessalians_ on
horseback were beheld afar off, while their horses watered, that is,
while their heads were depressed, they were conceived by the first
Spectators, to be but one animal; and answerable hereunto have their
pictures been drawn ever since.

[Sidenote: _Equivocation and Amphibologie, how they differ._]

[Sidenote: Pythagoras, _his Allegorical precepts moralized._]

And, as simple mistakes commonly beget fallacies, so men rest not in
false apprehensions, without absurd and inconsequent deductions; from
fallacious foundations, and misapprehended _mediums_, erecting
conclusions no way inferrible from their premises. Now the fallacies
whereby men deceive others, and are deceived themselves, the Ancients
have divided into Verbal and Real. Of the Verbal, and such as conclude
from mistakes of the Word, although there be no less than six, yet are
there but two thereof worthy our notation, and unto which the rest may
be referred; that is the fallacy of Equivocation and Amphibology which
conclude from the ambiguity of some one word, or the ambiguous Syntaxis
of many put together. From this fallacy arose that calamitous Error of
the Jews, misapprehending the Prophesies of their _Messias_, and
expounding them alwayes unto literal and temporal expectations. By this
way many Errors crept in and perverted the Doctrine of _Pythagoras_,
whilst men received his Precepts in a different sense from his
intention; converting Metaphors into proprieties, and receiving as
literal expressions, obscure and involved truths. Thus when he enjoyned
his Disciples, an abstinence from Beans, many conceived they were with
severity debarred the use of that pulse; which notwithstanding could not
be his meaning; for as _Aristoxenus_, who wrote his life averreth, he
delighted much in that kind of food himself. But herein, as _Plutarch_
observeth, he had no other intention than to dissuade men from
Magistracy, or undertaking the publick offices of state; for by beans
was the Magistrate elected in some parts of _Greece_; and, after his
daies, we read in _Thucydides_, of the Councel of the bean in _Athens_.
[SN: πᾶν δεῖλοι κυαμῶν ἄπο χεῖρας ἔχεσθε.] The same word
also in Greek doth signifie a Testicle, and hath been thought by some an
injunction only of Continency, as _Aul. Gellius_ hath expounded, and as
_Empedocles_ may also be interpreted: that is, _Testiculis miseri
dextras subducite_; and might be the original intention of _Pythagoras_;
as having a notable hint hereof in Beans, from the natural signature of
the venereal organs of both Sexes. Again, his injunction is, not to
harbour Swallows in our Houses: Whose advice notwithstanding we do not
contemn, who daily admit and cherish them: For herein a caution is only
implied, not to entertain ungrateful and thankless persons, which like
the Swallow are no way commodious unto us; but having made use of our
habitations, and served their own turns, forsake us. So he commands to
deface the Print of a Cauldron in the ashes, after it hath boiled. Which
strictly to observe were condemnable superstition: But hereby he
covertly adviseth us not to persevere in anger; but after our choler
hath boiled, to retain no impression thereof. In the like sense are to
be received, when he adviseth his Disciples to give the right hand but
to few, to put no viands in a Chamber-pot, not to pass over a Balance,
not to rake up fire with a Sword, or piss against the Sun. Which
ænigmatical deliveries comprehend useful verities, but being mistaken by
literal Expositors at the first, they have been mis-understood by most
since, and may be occasion of Error to Verbal capacities for ever.

This fallacy in the first delusion Satan put upon _Eve_, and his whole
tentation might be the same continued; so when he said, _Ye shall not
die_, that was, in his equivocation, ye shall not incurr a present
death, or a destruction immediately ensuing your transgression. _Your
eyes shall be opened_; that is, not to the enlargement of your
knowledge, but discovery of your shame and proper confusion; _You shall
know good and evil_; that is, you shall have knowledge of good by its
privation, but cognisance of evil by sense and visible experience. And
the same fallacy or way of deceit, so well succeeding in Paradise, he
continued in his Oracles through all the World. Which had not men more
warily understood, they might have performed many acts inconsistent with
his intention. _Brutus_ might have made haste with _Tarquine_ to have
kissed his own Mother. The _Athenians_ might have built them wooden
Walls, or doubled the Altar at _Delphos_.

The circle of this fallacy is very large; and herein may be comprised
all Ironical mistakes, for intended expressions receiving inverted
significations; all deductions from Metaphors, Parables, Allegories,
unto real and rigid interpretations. [SN: _De hæresibus._] Whereby have
risen not only popular Errors in Philosophy, but vulgar and senseless
Heresies in Divinity; as will be evident unto any that shall examine
their foundations, as they stand related by _Epiphanius_, _Austin_, or

Other wayes there are of deceit; which consist not in false apprehension
of Words, that is, Verbal expressions or sentential significations, but
fraudulent deductions, or inconsequent illations, from a false
conception of things. Of these extradictionary and real fallacies,
_Aristotle_ and _Logicians_ make in number six, but we observe that men
are most commonly deceived by four thereof: those are, _Petitio
principii, A dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter, A non causa pro
causa_; And, _fallacia consequentis_.

The first is, _Petitio principii_. Which fallacy is committed, when a
question is made a _medium_, or we assume a _medium_ as granted, whereof
we remain as unsatisfied as of the question. Briefly, where that is
assumed as a Principle to prove another thing, which is not conceded as
true it self. By this fallacy was _Eve_ deceived, when she took for
granted, a false assertion of the Devil; _Ye shall not surely die; for
God doth know that in the day ye shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be
opened, and you shall be as Gods_. Which was but a bare affirmation of
Satan, without proof or probable inducement, contrary unto the command
of God, and former belief of her self. And this was the Logick of the
_Jews_ when they accused our _Saviour_ unto _Pilate_; who demanding a
reasonable impeachment, or the allegation of some crime worthy of
Condemnation; they only replied, _If he had not been worthy of Death, we
would not have brought Him before thee_. Wherein there was neither
accusation of the person, nor satisfaction of the Judge; who well
understood, a bare accusation was not presumption of guilt, and the
clamours of the people no accusation at all. The same Fallacy is
sometime used in the dispute, between _Job_ and his friends; they often
taking that for granted which afterward he disproveth.

The second is, _A dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter_, when from
that which is but true in a qualified sense, an inconditional and
absolute verity is inferred; transferring the special consideration of
things unto their general acceptions, or concluding from their strict
acception, unto that without all limitation. This fallacy men commit
when they argue from a particular to a general; as when we conclude the
vices or qualities of a few, upon a whole Nation. Or from a part unto
the whole. Thus the Devil argues with our Saviour: and by this, he would
perswade Him he might be secure, if he cast himself from the Pinnacle:
For, said he, it is written, _He shall give his Angels charge concerning
thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou
dash thy foot against a stone._ [SN: Psal. 91.] But this illation was
fallacious, leaving one part of the Text, _He shall keep thee in all thy
wayes_; that is, in the wayes of righteousness, and not of rash
attempts: so he urged a part for the whole, and inferred more in the
conclusion, than was contained in the premises. By the same fallacy we
proceed, when we conclude from the sign unto the thing signified. By
this incroachment, Idolatry first crept in, men converting the
symbolical use of Idols into their proper Worship, and receiving the
representation of things as the substance and thing it self. So the
Statue of _Belus_ at first erected in his memory, was in after-times
adored as a Divinity. [SN: _The Original of Idolatry._] And so also in
the Sacrament of the _Eucharist_, the Bread and Wine which were but the
signals or visible signs, were made the things signified, and worshipped
as the Body of Christ. And hereby generally men are deceived that take
things spoken in some Latitude without any at all. Hereby the _Jews_
were deceived concerning the commandment of the Sabbath, accusing our
Saviour _for healing the sick_, and his Disciples _for plucking the ears
of Corn upon that day_. And by this deplorable mistake they were
deceived unto destruction, upon the assault of _Pompey_ the great, made
upon that day; by whose superstitious observation they could not defend
themselves, or perform any labour whatever.

[Sidenote: _The_ Alcoran _endures neither Wine nor Universities._]

The third is, _A non causa pro causa_, when that is pretended for a
cause which is not, or not in that sense which is inferred. Upon this
consequence the law of _Mahomet_ forbids the use of Wine; and his
Successors abolished Universities. By this also many Christians have
condemned literature, misunderstanding the counsel of Saint _Paul_, who
adviseth no further than to beware of Philosophy. On this Foundation
were built the conclusions of Southsayers in their Augurial, and
Tripudiary divinations; collecting presages from voice or food of Birds,
and conjoyning Events unto causes of no connection. Hereupon also are
grounded the gross mistakes, in the cure of many diseases: not only from
the last medicine, and sympathetical Receipts, but Amulets, Charms, and
all incantatory applications; deriving effects not only from
inconcurring causes, but things devoid of all efficiency whatever.

The fourth is, the Fallacy of the Consequent; which if strictly taken,
may be a fallacious illation in reference unto antecedency, or
consequency; as to conclude from the position of the antecedent to the
position of the consequent, or from the remotion of the consequent to
the remotion of the antecedent. This is usually committed, when in
connexed Propositions the Terms adhere contingently. This is frequent in
Oratory illations; and thus the _Pharisees_, because He conversed with
Publicans and Sinners, accused the holiness of Christ. But if this
Fallacy be largely taken, it is committed in any vicious illation,
offending the rules of good consequence; and so it may be very large,
and comprehend all false illations against the settled Laws of Logick:
But the most usual inconsequencies are from particulars, from negatives,
and from affirmative conclusions in the second figure, wherein indeed
offences are most frequent, and their discoveries not difficult.


Of Credulity and Supinity.

A third cause of common Errors is the Credulity of men, that is, an
easie assent to what is obtruded, or a believing at first ear, what is
delivered by others. This is a weakness in the understanding, without
examination assenting unto things, which from their Natures and Causes
do carry no perswasion; whereby men often swallow falsities for truths,
dubiosities for certainties, feasibilities for possibilities, and things
impossible as possibilities themselves. Which, though the weakness of
the Intellect, and most discoverable in vulgar heads; yet hath it
sometime fallen upon wiser brains, and greater advancers of Truth. Thus
many wise _Athenians_ so far forgot their Philosophy, and the nature of
humane production, that they descended unto belief, that the original of
their Nation was from the Earth, and had no other beginning than the
seminality and womb of their great Mother. Thus is it not without
wonder, how those learned _Arabicks_ so tamely delivered up their belief
unto the absurdities of the _Alcoran_. How the noble _Geber_,
_Avicenna_, and _Almanzor_, should rest satisfied in the nature and
causes of Earthquakes, delivered from the doctrine of their _Prophet_;
that is, from the motion of a great Bull, upon whose horns all the earth
is poised. How their faiths could decline so low, as to concede their
generations in Heaven, to be made by the smell of a Citron, or that the
felicity of their Paradise should consist in a Jubile of copulation,
that is, a coition of one act prolonged unto fifty years. Thus is it
almost beyond wonder, how the belief of reasonable creatures, should
ever submit unto Idolatry: and the credulity of those men scarce
credible (without presumption of a second Fall) who could believe a
Deity in the work of their own hands. For although in that ancient and
diffused adoration of Idols, unto the _Priests_ and subtiler heads, the
worship perhaps might be symbolical, and as those Images some way
related unto their Deities; yet was the Idolatry direct and down-right
in the People; whose credulity is illimitable, who may be made believe
that any thing is God; and may be made believe there is no God at all.

[Sidenote: _Obstinate and irrational Scepticism, justly censured._]

And as Credulity is the cause of Error, so Incredulity oftentimes of not
enjoying truth; and that not only an obstinate incredulity, whereby we
will not acknowledge assent unto what is reasonably inferred, but any
Academical reservation in matters of easie truth, or rather sceptical
infidelity against the evidence of reason and sense. For these are
conceptions befalling wise men, as absurd as the apprehensions of fools,
and the credulity of the people which promiscuously swallow any thing.
For this is not only derogatory unto the wisdom of God, who hath
proposed the World unto our knowledge, and thereby the notion of
Himself; but also detractory unto the intellect, and sense of man
expressly disposed for that inquisition. And therefore, _hoc tantum
scio, quod nihil scio_, is not to be received in an absolute sense, but
is comparatively expressed unto the number of things whereof our
knowledge is ignorant. Nor will it acquit the insatisfaction of those
which quarrel with all things, or dispute of matters, concerning whose
verities we have conviction from reason, or decision from the inerrable
and requisite conditions of sense. And therefore if any affirm, the
earth doth move, and will not believe with us, it standeth still;
because he hath probable reasons for it, and I no infallible sense, nor
reason against it, I will not quarrel with his assertion. But if, like
_Zeno_, he shall walk about, and yet deny there is any motion in Nature,
surely that man was constituted for _Anticera_, and were a fit companion
for those, who having a conceit they are dead, cannot be convicted into
the society of the living.

The fourth is a Supinity, or neglect of Enquiry, even of matters whereof
we doubt; rather believing, than going to see; or doubting with ease and
_gratis_, than believing with difficulty or purchase. Whereby, either
from a temperamental inactivity, we are unready to put in execution the
suggestions or dictates of reason; or by a content and acquiescence in
every species of truth, we embrace the shadow thereof, or so much as may
palliate its just and substantial acquirements. Had our fore-Fathers sat
down in these resolutions, or had their curiosities been sedentary, who
pursued the knowledge of things through all the corners of nature, the
face of truth had been obscure unto us, whose lustre in some part their
industries have revealed.

Certainly the sweat of their labours was not salt unto them, and they
took delight in the dust of their endeavours. For questionless, in
Knowledge there is no slender difficulty; and Truth, which wise men say
doth lye in a Well, is not recoverable by exantlation. It were some
extenuation of the Curse, if _in sudore vultus tui_ were confinable unto
corporal exercitations, and there still remained a Paradise, or unthorny
place of knowledge. But now our understandings being eclipsed, as well
as our tempers infirmed, we must betake our selves to wayes of
reparation, and depend upon the illumination of our endeavours. For,
thus we may in some measure repair our primary ruines, and build our
selves Men again. And though the attempts of some have been precipitous,
and their Enquiries so audacious, as to come within command of the
flaming swords, and lost themselves in attempts above humanity; yet have
the Enquiries of most defected by the way, and tired within the sober
circumference of Knowledge.

And this is the reason, why some have transcribed any thing; and
although they cannot but doubt thereof, yet neither make Experiment by
sense, or Enquiry by reason; but live in doubts of things, whose
satisfaction is in their own power; which is indeed the inexcusable part
of our ignorance, and may perhaps fill up the charge of the last day.
For, not obeying the dictates of Reason, and neglecting the cries of
Truth, we fail not only in the trust of our undertakings, but in the
intention of man it self. Which although more venial in ordinary
constitutions, and such as are not framed beyond the capacity of beaten
notions, yet will inexcusably condemn some men, who having received
excellent endowments, have yet sate down by the way, and frustrated the
intention of their liabilities. For certainly, as some men have sinned
in the principles of humanity, and must answer, for not being men, so
others offend, if they be not more. _Magis extra vitia, quam cum
virtutibus_, would commend those: These are not excusable without an
Excellency. For, great constitutions, and such as are constellated unto
knowledge, do nothing till they out-do all; they come short of
themselves, if they go not beyond others; and must not sit down under
the degree of Worthies. God expects no lustre from the minor Stars; but
if the Sun should not illuminate all, it were a sin in Nature. _Ultimus
bonoram_, will not excuse every man, nor is it sufficient for all to
hold the common level: Mens names should not only distinguish them: A
man should be something, that men are not, and individual in somewhat
beside his proper Name. Thus while it exceeds not the bounds of reason
and modesty, we cannot condemn singularity, _Nos numerus sumus_, is the
Motto of the multitude, and for that reason are they Fools. For things
as they recede from unity, the more they approach to imperfection, and
Deformity; for they hold their perfection in their Simplicities, and as
they nearest approach unto God.

[Sidenote: _Universities why many times full of Scholars, and empty of

[Sidenote: _The natural genius or inclination, have much to be regarded
in the choice of a Profession._]

Now as there are many great Wits to be condemned, who have neglected the
increment of Arts, and the sedulous pursuit of knowledge; so are there
not a few very much to be pitied, whose industry being not attended with
natural parts, they have sweat to little purpose, and rolled the stone
in vain. Which chiefly proceedeth from natural incapacity, and genial
indisposition, at least, to those particulars whereunto they apply their
endeavours. And this is one reason why, though Universities be full of
men, they are oftentimes empty of learning: Why, as there are some men
do much without learning, so others but little with it, and few that
attain to any measure of it. For many heads that undertake it, were
never squared, nor timber'd for it. There are not only particular men,
but whole Nations indisposed for learning; whereunto is required, not
only education, but a pregnant _Minerva_, and teeming Constitution. For
the Wisdom of God hath divided the _Genius_ of men according to the
different affairs of the World: and varied their inclination according
to the variety of Actions to be performed therein. Which they who
consider not, rudely rushing upon professions and ways of life, unequal
to their natures; dishonour, not only themselves and their Functions,
but pervert the harmony of the whole World. For, if the World went on as
God hath ordained it, and were every one imployed in points concordant
to their Natures, Professions; Arts and Commonwealths would rise up of
themselves; nor needed we a Lanthorn to find a man in _Athens_.


Of adherence unto Antiquity.

[Sidenote: _Immoderate respect unto Antiquity, a general cause of

But the mortallest enemy unto Knowledge, and that which hath done the
greatest execution upon truth, hath been a peremptory adhesion unto
Authority, and more especially, the establishing of our belief upon the
dictates of Antiquity. For (as every capacity may observe) most men of
Ages present, so superstitiously do look on Ages past, that the
Authorities of the one, exceed the reasons of the other: Whose persons
indeed being far removed from our times, their works, which seldom with
us pass uncontrouled, either by contemporaries, or immediate successors,
are now become out of the distance of Envies: and the farther removed
from present times, are conceived to approach the nearer unto truth it
self. Now hereby methinks we manifestly delude our selves, and widely
walk out of the track of Truth.

For first, Men hereby impose a Thraldom on their Times, which the
ingenuity of no Age should endure, or indeed, the presumption of any did
ever yet enjoyn. Thus _Hippocrates_ about 2000 years ago, conceived it
no injustice, either to examine or refute the Doctrines of his
Predecessors: _Galen_ the like, and _Aristotle_ the most of any. Yet did
not any of these conceive themselves infallible, or set down their
dictates as verities irrefragable, but when they deliver their own
Inventions, or reject other mens Opinions, they proceed with Judgment
and Ingenuity; establishing their assertion, not only with great
solidity, but submitting them also unto the correction of future

Secondly, Men that adore times past, consider not that those times were
once present; that is, as our own are at this instant, and we our selves
unto those to come, as they unto us at present, as we relye on them,
even so will those on us, and magnifie us hereafter, who at present
condemn our selves. Which very absurdity is daily committed amongst us,
even in the esteem and censure of our own times. And to speak
impartially, old Men, from whom we should expect the greatest example of
Wisdom, do most exceed in this point of folly; commending the days of
their youth, which they scarce remember, at least well understood not;
extolling those times their younger years have heard their Fathers
condemn, and condemning those times the gray heads of their posterity
shall commend. And thus is it the humour of many heads, to extol the
days of their Fore-fathers, and declaim against the wickedness of times
present. Which notwithstanding they cannot handsomly do, without the
borrowed help and Satyrs of times past; condemning the vices of their
own times, by the expressions of vices in times which they commend;
which cannot but argue the community of vice in both. _Horace_
therefore, _Juvenal_, and _Persius_ were no Prophets, although their
lines did seem to indigitate and point at our times. There is a certain
list of vices committed in all Ages, and declaimed against by all
Authors, which will last as long as humane nature; which digested into
common places, may serve for any Theme, and never be out of date until

Thirdly, The Testimonies of Antiquity and such as pass oraculously
amongst us, were not, if we consider them, always so exact, as to
examine the doctrine they delivered. For some, and those the acutest of
them, have left unto us many things of falsity; controlable, not only by
critical and collective reason, but common and Country observation.

Hereof there want not many examples in _Aristotle_, through all his Book
of Animals; we shall instance onely in three of his Problems, and all
contained under one Section. The first enquireth, why a Man doth cough,
but not an Oxe or Cow; whereas, notwithstanding the contrary is often
observed by Husbandmen, and stands confirmed by those who have expressly
treated _De Re Rustica_, and have also delivered divers remedies for it.
Why Juments, as Horses, Oxen, and Asses, have no eructation or belching,
whereas indeed the contrary is often observed, and also delivered by
_Columella_. And thirdly, Why Man alone hath gray hairs? whereas it
cannot escape the eyes, and ordinary observation of all men, as Horses,
Dogs, and Foxes, wax gray with age in our Countries; and in the colder
Regions, many other Animals without it. And though favourable
constructions may somewhat extenuate the rigour of these concessions,
yet will scarce any palliate that in the fourth of his Meteors, that
Salt is easiest dissolvable in cold water: Nor that of _Diascorides_,
that Quicksilver is best preserved in Vessels of Tin and Lead.

Other Authors write often dubiously even in matters wherein is expected
a strict and definite truth; extenuating their affirmations, with
_aiunt_, _ferunt_, _fortasse_: as _Diascorides_, _Galen_, _Aristotle_,
and many more. Others by hear-say; taking upon trust most they have
delivered, whose Volumes are nicer Collections, drawn from the mouths or
leaves of other Authors; as may be observed in _Plinie_, _Elian_,
_Athenæus_, and many more. Not a few transcriptively, subscribing their
Names unto other mens endeavours, and meerly transcribing almost all
they have written. The _Latines_ transcribing the _Greeks_, the _Greeks_
and _Latines_, each other.

[Sidenote: _The Antiquity, and some notable instances of Plagiarism,
that is, of transcribing or filching Authors._]

Thus hath _Justine_ borrowed all from _Trogus Pompeius_, and _Julius
Solinus_, in a manner transcribed _Plinie_. Thus have _Lucian_ and
_Apuleius_ served _Lucius Pratensis_: men both living in the same time,
and both transcribing the same Author, in those famous Books, entituled
_Lucius_ by the one, and _Aureus Asinus_ by the other. In the same
measure hath _Simocrates_ in his Tract De Nilo, dealt with _Diodorus
Siculus_, as may be observed in that work annexed unto _Herodotus_, and
translated by _Jungermannus_. Thus _Eratosthenes_ wholly translated
_Timotheus de Insulis_, not reserving the very Preface. The same doth
_Strabo_ report of _Eudorus_, and _Ariston_, in a Treatise entituled _De
Nilo_. _Clemens Alexandrinus_ hath observed many examples hereof among
the _Greeks_; and _Pliny_ speaketh very plainly in his Preface, that
conferring his Authors, and comparing their works together, he generally
found those that went before _verbatim_ transcribed, by those that
followed after, and their Originals never so much as mentioned. To omit
how much the wittiest piece of _Ovid_ [SN: _His_ Metamorphosis.] is
beholden unto _Parthenius Chius_; even the magnified _Virgil_ hath
borrowed, almost in all his Works; his _Eclogues_ from _Theocritus_, his
_Georgicks_ from _Hesiod_ and _Aratus_, his _Æneads_ from _Homer_, the
second Book whereof containing the exploit of _Sinon_ and the _Trojan_
Horse (as _Macrobius_ observeth) he hath _verbatim_ derived from
_Pisander_. Our own Profession is not excusable herein. Thus
_Oribasius_, Ætius, and _Ægineta_, have in a manner transcribed _Galen_.
But _Marcellus Empericus_, who hath left a famous Work _De
Medicamentis_, hath word for word transcribed all _Scribonius Largus_,
_De Compositione Medicamentorum_, and not left out his very Peroration.
Thus may we perceive the Ancients were but men, even like our selves.
The practice of transcription in our days, was no Monster in theirs:
_Plagiarie_ had not its Nativity with Printing, but began in times when
thefts were difficult, and the paucity of Books scarce wanted that

Nor did they only make large use of other Authors, but often without
mention of their names. _Aristotle_, who seems to have borrowed many
things from _Hippocrates_, in the most favourable construction, makes
mention but once of him, and that by the by, and without reference unto
his present Doctrine. [SN: _In his_ Politicks.] _Virgil_, so much
beholding unto _Homer_, hath not his name in all his Works: and
_Plinie_, who seems to borrow many Authors out of _Dioscorides_, hath
taken no notice of him. I wish men were not still content to plume
themselves with others Feathers. Fear of discovery, not single ingenuity
affords Quotations rather than Transcriptions; wherein notwithstanding
the Plagiarisme of many makes little consideration, whereof though great
Authors may complain, small ones cannot but take notice.

[Sidenote: _An ancient Author who writ_ Περὶ ἀπίστων, sive de
incredibilibus, _whereof some part is yet extant_.]

[Sidenote: _The Fable of_ Orpheus _his Harp, etc. whence occasioned._]

Fourthly, While we so eagerly adhere unto Antiquity, and the accounts of
elder times, we are to consider the fabulous condition thereof. And that
we shall not deny, if we call to mind the Mendacity of _Greece_, from
whom we have received most relations, and that a considerable part of
ancient Times, was by the _Greeks_ themselves termed μυθικόν, that is,
made up or stuffed out with Fables. And surely the fabulous inclination
of those days, was greater then any since; which swarmed so with Fables,
and from such slender grounds, took hints for fictions, poysoning the
World ever after; wherein how far they exceeded, may be exemplified from
_Palephatus_, in his Book of _Fabulous Narrations_. That Fable of
_Orpheus_ who by the melody of his Musick, made Woods and Trees to
follow him, was raised upon a slender foundation; for there were a crew
of mad women, retired unto a Mountain from whence being pacified by his
Musick, they descended with boughs in their hands, which unto the
fabulosity of those times proved a sufficient ground to celebrate unto
all posterity the Magick of _Orpheus_ Harp, and its power to attract the
senseless Trees about it. That _Medea_ the famous Sorceress could renew
youth, and make old men young again, was nothing else, but that from the
knowledge of Simples she had a Receit to make white hair black, and
reduce old heads, into the tincture of youth again. The Fable of
_Gerion_ and _Cerberus_ with three heads, was this: _Gerion_ was of the
City _Tricarinia_, that is, of three heads, and _Cerberus_ of the same
place was one of his Dogs, which running into a Cave upon pursuit of his
Masters Oxen, _Hercules_ perforce drew him out of that place, from
whence the conceits of those days affirmed no less, then that _Hercules_
descended into Hell, and brought up _Cerberus_ into the habitation of
the living. Upon the like grounds was raised the figment of _Briareus_,
who dwelling in a City called _Hecatonchiria_, the fansies of those
times assigned him an hundred hands. 'Twas ground enough to fansie wings
unto _Dædalus_, in that he stole out of a Window from _Minos_, and
sailed away with his son _Icarus_: who steering his course wisely,
escaped; but his son carrying too high a sail was drowned. That _Niobe_
weeping over her children, was turned into a Stone, was nothing else,
but that during her life she erected over their Sepultures a Marble Tomb
of her own. When _Acteon_ had undone himself with Dogs, and the prodigal
attendants of hunting, they made a solemn story how he was devoured by
his Hounds. And upon the like grounds was raised the Anthropophagie of
_Diomedes_ his horses. [SN: Eating of Mans flesh.] Upon as slender
foundation was built the Fable of the _Minotaure_; for one _Taurus_ a
servant of _Minos_ gat his Mistris _Pasiphae_ with child, from whence
the Infant was named _Minotaurus_. Now this unto the fabulosity of those
times was thought sufficient to accuse _Pasiphae_ of Beastiality, or
admitting conjunction with a Bull; and in succeeding ages gave a hint of
depravity unto _Domitian_ to act the Fable into reality. In like manner,
as _Diodorus_ plainly delivereth, the famous Fable of _Charon_ had its
Nativity; who being no other but the common Ferry-man of _Egypt_, that
wafted over the dead bodies from _Memphis_, was made by the _Greeks_ to
be the Ferry-man of Hell, and solemn stories raised after of him.
Lastly, we shall not need to enlarge, if that be true which grounded the
generation of _Castor_ and _Helen_ out of an Egg, because they were born
and brought up in an upper room, according unto the Word ὦον, which with
the _Lacœdemonians_ had also that signification.

Fifthly, We applaud many things delivered by the Ancients, which are in
themselves but ordinary, and come short of our own Conceptions. Thus we
usually extol, and our Orations cannot escape the sayings of the wise
men of _Greece_. _Nosce teipsum_, of _Thales_: _Nosce tempus_, of
_Pittacus_: _Nihil nimis_, of _Cleobulus_; which notwithstanding to
speak indifferently, are but vulgar precepts in Morality, carrying with
them nothing above the line, or beyond the extemporary sententiosity of
common conceits with us. Thus we magnifie the Apothegms or reputed
replies of Wisdom, whereof many are to be seen in _Laertius_, more in
_Lycosthenes_, not a few in the second Book of _Macrobius_, in the salts
of _Cicero_, _Augustus_, and the Comical wits of those times: in most
whereof there is not much to admire, and are methinks exceeded, not only
in the replies of wise men, but the passages of society, and urbanities
of our times. And thus we extol their Adages, or Proverbs; and _Erasmus_
hath taken great pains to make collections of them, whereof
notwithstanding, the greater part will, I believe, unto indifferent
Judges be esteemd no extraordinaries: and may be parallel'd, if not
exceeded, by those of more unlearned Nations, and many of our own.

[Sidenote: _A pedantical vanity to quote Authors in matters of common
sense or of familiar acknowledgement._]

Sixthly, We urge Authorities in points that need not, and introduce the
testimony of ancient Writers, to confirm things evidently believed, and
whereto no reasonable hearer but would assent without them; such as are,
_Nemo mortalium omnibus horis sapit. Virtute nil præastantius, nil
pulchrius. Omnia vincit amor. Prœclarum quiddam veritas_. All which,
although things known and vulgar, are frequently urged by many men, and
though trivial verities in our mouths, yet, noted from _Plato_, _Ovid_,
or _Cicero_, they become reputed elegancies. For many hundred to
instance but in one we meet with while we are writing. _Antonius
Guevara_ that elegant _Spaniard_, in his Book entituled, _The Dial of
Princes_, beginneth his Epistle thus. _Apolonius Thyancus_, disputing
with the Scholars of _Hiarchas_, said, that among all the affections of
nature, nothing was more natural, then the desire all have to preserve
life. Which being a confessed Truth, and a verity acknowledged by all,
it was a superfluous affectation to derive its Authority from
_Apolonius_, or seek a confirmation thereof as far as _India_, and the
learned Scholars of _Hiarchas_. Which whether it be not all one to
strengthen common Dignities and Principles known by themselves, with the
Authority of Mathematicians; or think a man should believe, the whole is
greater then its parts, rather upon the Authority of _Euclide_, then if
it were propounded alone; I leave unto the second and wiser cogitations
of all men. 'Tis sure a Practice that savours much of Pedantry; a
reserve of Puerility we have not shaken off from School; where being
seasoned with Minor sentences, by a neglect of higher Enquiries, they
prescribe upon our riper ears, and are never worn out but with our

[Sidenote: _Some remarkable mistakes among the Ancients._]

Lastly, While we so devoutly adhere unto Antiquity in some things, we do
not consider we have deserted them in several others. For they indeed
have not onely been imperfect, in the conceit of some things, but either
ignorant or erroneous in many more. They understood not the motion of
the eighth sphear from West to East, and so conceived the longitude of
the Stars invariable. They conceived the torrid Zone unhabitable, and so
made frustrate the goodliest part of the Earth. But we now know 'tis
very well empeopled, and the habitation thereof esteemed so happy, that
some have made it the proper seat of Paradise; and been so far from
judging it unhabitable, that they have made it the first habitation of
all. Many of the Ancients denied the _Antipodes_, and some unto the
penalty of contrary affirmations; but the experience of our enlarged
navigations, can now assert them beyond all dubitation. Having thus
totally relinquisht them in some things, it may not be presumptuous, to
examine them in others; but surely most unreasonable to adhere to them
in all, as though they were infallible, or could not err in any way.


Of Authority.

Nor is onely a resolved prostration unto Antiquity a powerful enemy unto
knowledge, but any confident adherence unto Authority, or resignation of
our judgements upon the testimony of Age or Author whatsoever.

[Sidenote: _Authority (simply) but a mean argument especially._]

For first, to speak generally an argument from Authority to wiser
examinations, is but a weaker kind of proof; it being but a topical
probation, and as we term it, an inartificial argument, depending upon a
naked asseveration: wherein neither declaring the causes, affections or
adjuncts of what we believe, it carrieth not with it the reasonable
inducements of knowledge. And therefore, _Contra negantem principia,
Ipse dixit_, or _Oportet discentem credere_, although Postulates very
accommodable unto _Junior_ indoctrinations; yet are their Authorities
but temporary, and not to be imbraced beyond the minority of our
intellectuals. For our advanced beliefs are not to be built upon
dictates, but having received the probable inducements of truth, we
become emancipated from testimonial engagements, and are to erect upon
the surer base of reason.

Secondly, Unto reasonable perpensions it hath no place in some Sciences,
small in others, and suffereth many restrictions, even where it is most
admitted. [SN: _In the Mathematicks._] It is of no validity in the
Mathematicks, especially the mother part thereof, Arithmetick and
Geometry. For these Sciences concluding from dignities and principles
known by themselves: receive not satisfaction from probable reasons,
much less from bare and peremptory asseverations. And therefore if all
_Athens_ should decree, that in every Triangle, two sides, which soever
be taken, are greater then the side remaining, or that in rectangle
triangles the square which is made of the side that subtendeth the right
angle, is equal to the squares which are made of the sides containing
the right angle: although there be a certain truth therein,
Geometricians notwithstanding would not receive satisfaction without
demonstration thereof. 'Tis true, by the vulgarity of Philosophers,
there are many points believed without probation; nor if a man affirm
from _Ptolomy_, that the Sun is bigger then the Earth, shall he probably
meet with any contradiction: whereunto notwithstanding Astronomers will
not assent without some convincing argument or demonstrative proof
thereof. And therefore certainly of all men a Philosopher should be no
swearer; for an oath which is the end of controversies in Law, cannot
determine any here; nor are the deepest Sacraments or desperate
imprecations of any force to perswade, where reason only, and necessary
_mediums_ must induce.

[Sidenote: _And Physick._]

In Natural Philosophy more generally pursued amongst us, it carrieth but
slender consideration; for that also proceeding from setled Principles,
therein is expected a satisfaction from scientifical progressions, and
such as beget a sure rational belief. For if Authority might have made
out the assertions of Philosophy, we might have held that Snow was
black, that the Sea was but the sweat of the Earth, and many of the like
absurdities. Then was _Aristotle_ injurious to fall upon _Melissus_, to
reject the assertions of _Anaxagoras_, _Anaximander_, and _Empedocles_;
then were we also ungrateful unto himself; from whom our _Junior_
endeavours embracing many things on his authority, our mature and
secondary enquiries, are forced to quit those receptions, and to adhere
unto the nearer account of Reason. And although it be not unusual, even
in Philosophical Tractates to make enumeration of Authors, yet are there
reasons usually introduced, and to ingenious Readers do carry the stroke
in the perswasion. And surely if we account it reasonable among our
selves, and not injurious unto rational Authors, no farther to abet
their Opinions then as they are supported by solid Reasons: certainly
with more excusable reservation may we shrink at their bare testimonies;
whose argument is but precarious, and subsists upon the charity of our

In Morality, Rhetorick, Law and History, there is I confess a frequent
and allowable use of testimony; and yet herein I perceive, it is not
unlimitable, but admitteth many restrictions. Thus in Law both Civil and
Divine: that is onely esteemed a legal testimony, which receives
comprobation from the mouths of at least two witnesses; and that not
only for prevention of calumny, but assurance against mistake; whereas
notwithstanding the solid reason of one man, is as sufficient as the
clamor of a whole Nation; and with imprejudicate apprehensions begets as
firm a belief as the authority or aggregated testimony of many hundreds.
For reason being the very root of our natures, and the principles
thereof common unto all, what is against the Laws of true reason, or the
unerring understanding of any one, if rightly apprehended; must be
disclaimed by all Nations, and rejected even by mankind.

Again, A testimony is of small validity if deduced from men out of their
own profession; so if _Lactantius_ affirm the Figure of the Earth is
plain, or _Austin_ deny there are _Antipodes_; though venerable Fathers
of the Church, and ever to be honoured, yet will not their Authorities
prove sufficient to ground a belief thereon. Whereas notwithstanding the
solid reason or confirmed experience of any man, is very approvable in
what profession soever. So _Raymund Sebund_ a Physitian of _Tholouze_,
besides his learned Dialogues _De Natura Humana_, hath written a natural
Theologie; demonstrating therein the Attributes of God, and attempting
the like in most points of Religion. So _Hugo Grotius_ a Civilian, did
write an excellent Tract of the verity of Christian Religion. Wherein
most rationally delivering themselves, their works will be embraced by
most that understand them, and their reasons enforce belief even from
prejudicate Readers. Neither indeed have the Authorities of men been
ever so awful; but that by some they have been rejected, even in their
own professions. Thus _Aristotle_ affirming the birth of the Infant or
time of its gestation, extendeth sometimes unto the eleventh Month, but
_Hippocrates_, averring that it exceedeth not the tenth: _Adrian_ the
Emperour in a solemn process, determined for _Aristotle_; but
_Justinian_ many years after, took in with _Hippocrates_ and reversed
the Decree of the other. Thus have Councils, not only condemned private
men, but the Decrees and Acts of one another. So _Galen_ after all his
veneration of _Hippocrates_, in some things hath fallen from him.
_Avicen_ in many from _Galen_; and others succeeding from him. And
although the singularity of _Paracelsus_ be intolerable, who sparing
onely _Hippocrates_, hath reviled not onely the Authors, but almost all
the learning that went before him; yet is it not much less injurious
unto knowledge obstinately and inconvincibly to side with any one. Which
humour unhappily possessing many, they have by prejudice withdrawn
themselves into parties, and contemning the soveraignty of truth,
seditiously abetted the private divisions of error.

Moreover a testimony in points Historical, and where it is of
unavoidable use, is of no illation in the negative, nor is it of
consequence that _Herodotus_ writing nothing of _Rome_, there was
therefore no such City in his time; or because _Dioscorides_ hath made
no mention of Unicorns horn, there is therefore no such thing in Nature.
Indeed, intending an accurate enumeration of Medical materials, the
omission hereof affords some probability, it was not used by the
Ancients, but will not conclude the non-existence thereof. For so may we
annihilate many Simples unknown to his enquiries, as _Senna_, _Rhubarb_,
_Bezoar_, _Ambregris_, and divers others. Whereas indeed the reason of
man hath not such restraint; concluding not onely affirmatively but
negatively; not onely affirming there is no magnitude beyond the last
heavens, but also denying there is any vacuity within them. Although it
be confessed, the affirmative hath the prerogative illation, and
_Barbara_ engrosseth the powerful demonstration.

Lastly, The strange relations made by Authors, may sufficiently
discourage our adherence unto Authority; and which if we believe we must
be apt to swallow any thing. Thus _Basil_ will tell us, the Serpent went
erect like Man, and that that Beast could speak before the Fall.
_Tostatus_ would make us believe that _Nilus_ encreaseth every new Moon.
_Leonardo Fioravanti_ an Italian Physitian, beside many other secrets,
assumeth unto himself the discovery of one concerning Pellitory of the
Wall; that is, that it never groweth in the sight of the _North_ star.
_Doue si possa vedere la stella Tramontana_, wherein how wide he is from
truth, is easily discoverable unto every one, who hath but Astronomy
enough to know that Star. _Franciscus Sanctius_ in a laudable Comment
upon _Alciats_ Emblems, affirmeth, and that from experience, a
Nightingale hath no tongue. _Avem Philomelam lingua carere pro certo
affirmare possum, nisi me oculi fallunt._ Which if any man for a while
shall believe upon his experience, he may at his leisure refute it by
his own. What fool almost would believe, at least, what wise man would
relie upon that Antidote delivered by _Pierius_ in his Hieroglyphicks
against the sting of a Scorpion? that is, to sit upon an Ass with ones
face toward his tail; for so the pain leaveth the Man, and passeth into
the Beast. It were methinks but an uncomfortable receit for a Quartane
Ague (and yet as good perhaps as many others used) to have recourse
unto the _Recipe_ of _Sammonicus_; that is, to lay the fourth Book of
_Homers_ Iliads under ones head, according to the precept of that
Physitian and Poet, _Mæoniæ Iliados quartum suppone trementi_. [SN: _An
eye medicine._] There are surely few that have belief to swallow, or
hope enough to experiment the Collyrium of _Albertus_; which promiseth a
strange effect, and such as Thieves would count inestimable, that is, to
make one see in the dark: yet thus much, according unto his receit, will
the right eye of an Hedge-hog boiled in oyl, and preserved in a brazen
vessel effect. As strange it is, and unto vicious inclinations were
worth a nights lodging with _Lais_, what is delivered in _Kiranides_;
that the left stone of a Weesel, wrapt up in the skin of a she Mule, is
able to secure incontinency from conception. [SN: _Ten thousand

These with swarms of others have men delivered in their Writings, whose
verities are onely supported by their authorities: But being neither
consonant unto reason, nor correspondent unto experiment, their
affirmations are unto us no axioms: We esteem thereof as things unsaid,
and account them but in the list of nothing. I wish herein the
_Chymists_ had been more sparing: who over-magnifying their
preparations, inveigle the curiosity of many, and delude the security of
most. For if experiments would answer their encomiums, the Stone and
Quartane Agues were not opprobrious unto Physitians: we might contemn
that first and most uncomfortable Aphorism of _Hippocrates_, [SN: _Ars
longa vita brevis._] for surely that Art were soon attained, that hath
so general remedies; and life could not be short, were there such to
prolong it.


A brief enumeration of Authors.

Now for as much as we have discoursed of Authority, and there is scarce
any tradition or popular error but stands also delivered by some good
Author; we shall endeavour a short discovery of such, as for the major
part have given authority hereto: who though excellent and useful
Authors, yet being either transcriptive, or following common relations,
their accounts are not to be swallowed at large, or entertained without
all circumspection. In whom the _ipse dixit_, although it be no powerful
argument in any, is yet less authentick then in many other, because they
deliver not their own experiences, but others affirmations, and write
from others, as later pens from them.

[Sidenote: _The Authors judgement, or a character given of some eminent

1. The first in order, as also in time shall be _Herodotus_ of
_Halicarnassus_, an excellent and very elegant Historian; whose Books of
History were so well received in his own days, and at their rehearsal in
the Olympick games, they obtained the names of the nine Muses; and
continued in such esteem unto descending Ages, that _Cicero_ termed him,
_Historiarum parens_. And _Dionysius_ his Countryman, in an Epistle to
_Pompey_, after an express comparison, affords him the better of
_Thucydides_; all which notwithstanding, he hath received from some, the
stile of _Mendaciorum pater_. His Authority was much infringed by
_Plutarch_, who being offended with him, as _Polybius_ had been with
_Philarcus_ for speaking too coldly of his Countrymen, hath left a
particular Tract, _De malignitate Herodoti_. But in this latter
Century, _Camerarius_ and _Stephanus_ have stepped in, and by their
witty Apologies, effectually endeavoured to frustrate the Arguments of
_Plutarch_, or any other. Now in this Author, as may be observed in our
ensuing discourse, and is better discernable in the perusal of himself,
there are many things fabulously delivered, and not to be accepted as
truths: whereby nevertheless if any man be deceived, the Author is not
so culpable as the Believer. For he indeed imitating the Father Poet,
whose life he hath also written, and as _Thucydides_ observeth, as well
intending the delight as benefit of his Reader, hath besprinkled his
work with many fabulosities; whereby if any man be led into error, he
mistaketh the intention of the Author, who plainly confesseth he writeth
many things by hear-say, and forgetteth a very considerable caution of
his; that is, _Ego quæ fando cognovi, exponere narratione mea debeo
omnia: credere autem esse vera omnia, non debeo_.

2. In the second place is _Ctesias_: the Cnidian, Physitian unto
_Artaxerxes_ King of _Persia_, his Books are often recited by ancient
Writers, and by the industry of _Stephanus_ and _Rhodomanus_, there are
extant some fragments thereof in our days; he wrote the History of
_Persia_, and many narrations of _India_. In the first, as having a fair
opportunity to know the truth, and as _Diodorus_ affirmeth the perusal
of _Persian_ Records, his testimony is acceptable. In his _Indian_
Relations, wherein are contained strange and incredible accounts, he is
surely to be read with suspension. These were they which weakned his
authority with former ages; for as we may observe, he is seldom
mentioned, without a derogatory Parenthesis in any Author. _Aristotle_
besides the frequent undervaluing of his authority, in his Books of
Animals gives him the lie no less then twice, concerning the seed of
Elephants. _Strabo_ in his eleventh Book hath left a harder censure of
him. _Equidem facilius Hesiodo & Homero, aliquis fidem adhibuerit,
itémque Tragicis Poetis, quam Ctesiæ, Herodoto, Hellanico & eorum
similibus._ But _Lucian_ hath spoken more plainer then any. _Scripsit
Ctesias de Indorum regione, deque iis quæ apud illos sunt, ea quæ nec
ipse vidit, neque ex ullius sermone audivit._ Yet were his relations
taken up by some succeeding Writers, and many thereof revived by our
Countryman, Sir _John Mandevil_, Knight, and Doctor in Physick; who
after thirty years peregrination died at _Liege_, and was there
honourably interred. He left a Book of his Travels, which hath been
honoured with the translation of many Languages, and now continued above
three hundred years; herein he often attesteth the fabulous relations of
_Ctesias_, and seems to confirm the refuted accounts of Antiquity. All
which may still be received in some acceptions of morality, and to a
pregnant invention, may afford commendable mythologie; but in a natural
and proper exposition, it containeth impossibilities, and things
inconsistent with truth.

3. There is a Book _De mirandis auditionibus_, ascribed unto
_Aristotle_; another _De mirabilibus narrationibus_, written long after
by _Antigonus_, another also of the same title by _Plegon Trallianus_,
translated by _Xilander_, and with the Annotations of _Meursius_, all
whereof make good the promise of their titles, and may be read with
caution. Which if any man shall likewise observe in the Lecture of
_Philostratus_, concerning the life of _Apollonius_, and even in some
passages of the sober and learned _Plutarchus_; or not only in ancient
Writers, but shall carry a wary eye on _Paulus Venetus_, _Jovius_,
_Olaus Magnus_, _Nierembergius_, and many other: I think his
circumspection is laudable, and he may thereby decline occasion of

[Sidenote: _A like opinion there is now of Elder._]

4. _Dioscorides Anazarbeus_, he wrote many Books in Physick, but six
thereof _De Materia Medica_, have found the greatest esteem: he is an
Author of good antiquity and use, preferred by _Galen_ before
_Cratevas_, _Pamphilus_, and all that attempted the like description
before him; yet all he delivereth therein is not to be conceived
Oraculous. For beside that, following the wars under _Anthony_, the
course of his life would not permit a punctual _Examen_ in all; there
are many things concerning the nature of Simples, traditionally
delivered, and to which I believe he gave no assent himself. It had been
an excellent Receit, and in his time when Saddles were scarce in fashion
of very great use, if that were true which he delivers, that _Vitex_, or
_Agnus Castus_ held only in the hand, preserveth the rider from galling.
It were a strange effect, and Whores would forsake the experiment of
_Savine_, if that were a truth which he delivereth of Brake or female
Fearn, that onely treading over it, it causeth a sudden abortion. It
were to be wished true, and women would idolize him, could that be made
out which he recordeth of _Phyllon_, _Mercury_, and other vegetables,
that the juice of the male Plant drunk, or the leaves but applied unto
the genitals, determines their conceptions unto males. In these
relations although he be more sparing, his predecessors were very
numerous; and _Galen_ hereof most sharply accuseth _Pamphilus_. Many of
the like nature we meet sometimes in _Oribasius_, _Ætius_, _Trallianus_,
_Serapion_, _Evax_, and _Marcellus_, whereof some containing no colour
of verity, we may at first sight reject them; others which seem to
carry some face of truth, we may reduce unto experiment. And herein we
shall rather perform good offices unto truth, then any disservice unto
their relators, who have well deserved of succeeding Ages; from whom
having received the conceptions of former Times, we have the readier
hint of their conformity with ours, and may accordingly explore and sift
their verities.

[Sidenote: _Plinius Natural History collected out of 2000 several

5. _Plinius Secundus of Verona_; a man of great Eloquence, and industry
indefatigable, as may appear by his writings, especially those now
extant, and which are never like to perish, but even with learning it
self; that is, his Natural History. He was the greatest Collector or
Rhapsodist of the Latines, and as _Suetonius_ observeth, he collected
this piece out of two thousand Latine and Greek Authors. Now what is
very strange, there is scarce a popular error passant in our days, which
is not either directly expressed, or diductively contained in this Work;
which being in the hands of most men, hath proved a powerful occasion of
their propagation. Wherein notwithstanding the credulity of the Reader,
is more condemnable than the curiosity of the Author: for commonly he
nameth the Authors from whom he received those accounts, and writes but
as he reads, as in his Preface to _Vespasian_ he acknowledgeth.

6. _Claudius Ælianus_, who flourished not long after in the reign of
_Trajan_, unto whom he dedicated his Tacticks; an elegant and
miscellaneous Author, he hath left two Books which are in the hands of
every one, his History of Animals, and his _Varia Historia_. Wherein are
contained many things suspicious, not a few false, some impossible; he
is much beholding unto _Ctesias_, and in many uncertainties writes more
confidently then _Pliny_.

7. _Julius Solinus_, who lived also about his time: He left a Work
entituled _Polyhistor_, containing great variety of matter, and is with
most in good request at this day. But to speak freely what cannot be
concealed, it is but _Pliny_ varied, or a transcription of his Natural
History: nor is it without all wonder it hath continued so long, but is
now likely, and deserves indeed to live for ever; not onely for the
elegancy of the Text, but the excellency of the Comment, lately
performed by _Salmasius_, under the name of _Plinian_ Exercitations.

8. _Athenæs_, a delectable Author, very various, and justly stiled by
_Casaubon, Græcorum Plinius_. There is extant of his, a famous Piece,
under the name of _Deipnosophista_, or _Cœna Sapientum_, containing
the Discourse of many learned men, at a Feast provided by _Laurentius_.
It is a laborious Collection out of many Authors, and some whereof are
mentioned no where else. It containeth strange and singular relations,
not without some spice or sprinkling of all Learning. The Author was
probably a better Grammarian then Philosopher, dealing but hardly with
_Aristotle_ and _Plato_, and betrayeth himself much in his Chapter _De
Curiositate Aristotelis_. In brief, he is an Author of excellent use,
and may with discretion be read unto great advantage: and hath therefore
well deserved the Comments of _Casaubon_ and _Dalecampius_. But being
miscellaneous in many things, he is to be received with suspition; for
such as amass all relations, must erre in some, and may without offence
be unbelieved in many.

[Sidenote: _That write Hexameters, or long verses._]

9. We will not omit the works of _Nicander_, a Poet of good antiquity:
that is, his _Theriaca_, and _Alexipharmaca_, Translated and Commented
by _Gorræus_: for therein are contained several Traditions, and popular
Conceits of venemous Beasts; which only deducted, the Work is to be
embraced, as containing the first description of poysons and their
antidotes, whereof _Dioscorides_, _Pliny_, and _Galen_, have made
especial use in elder times; and _Ardoynus_, _Grevinus_, and others, in
times more near our own. We might perhaps let pass _Oppianus_, that
famous Cilician Poet. There are extant of his in Greek, four Books of
Cynegeticks or Venation, five of Halieuticks or Piscation, commented and
published by _Ritterhusius_; wherein describing Beasts of venery and
Fishes, he hath indeed but sparingly inserted the vulgar conceptions
thereof. So that abating the annual mutation of Sexes in the _Hyæna_,
the single Sex of the _Rhinoceros_, the Antipathy between two Drums, of
a Lamb and a Wolfes skin, the informity of Cubs, the venation of
_Centaures_, the copulation of the _Murena_ and the Viper, with some few
others, he may be read with great delight and profit. It is not without
some wonder his Elegant Lines are so neglected. Surely hereby we reject
one of the best Epick Poets, and much condemn the Judgement of
_Antoninus_, whose apprehensions so honoured his Poems, that as some
report, for every verse, he assigned him a Stater of Gold.

10. More warily are we to receive the relations of _Philes_, who in
_Greek Iambicks_ delivered the proprieties of Animals, for herein he
hath amassed the vulgar accounts recorded by the Ancients, and hath
therein especially followed _Ælian_. And likewise _Johannes Tzetzes_, a
Grammarian, who besides a Comment upon _Hesiod_ and _Homer_, hath left
us _Chiliads de Varia Historia_; wherein delivering the accounts of
_Ctesias_, _Herodotus_, and most of the Ancients, he is to be embraced
with caution, and as a transcriptive Relator.

11. We cannot without partiality omit all caution even of holy Writers,
and such whose names are venerable unto all posterity: not to meddle at
all with miraculous Authors, or any Legendary relators, we are not
without circumspection to receive some Books even of authentick and
renowned Fathers. So are we to read the leaves of _Basil_ and _Ambrose_,
in their Books entituled _Hexameron_, or _The Description of the
Creation_; Wherein delivering particular accounts of all the Creatures,
they have left us relations sutable to those of _Ælian_, _Plinie_, and
other Natural Writers; whose authorities herein they followed, and from
whom most probably they desumed their Narrations. And the like hath been
committed by _Epiphanius_, in his Physiologie: that is, a Book he hath
left concerning the Nature of Animals. With no less caution must we look
on _Isidor_ Bishop of _Sevil_; who having left in twenty Books, an
accurate work _De Originibus_, hath to the Etymologie of Words,
super-added their received Natures; wherein most generally he consents
with common Opinions and Authors which have delivered them.

12. _Albertus_ Bishop of _Ratisbone_, for his great Learning and
latitude of Knowledge, sirnamed _Magnus_. Besides Divinity, he hath
written many Tracts in Philosophy; what we are chiefly to receive with
caution, are his Natural Tractates, more especially those of Minerals,
Vegetables, and Animals, which are indeed chiefly Collections out of
_Aristotle_, _Ælian_, and _Pliny_, and respectively contain many of our
popular Errors. A man who hath much advanced these Opinions by the
authority of his Name, and delivered most Conceits, with strict Enquiry
into few. In the same _Classis_ may well be placed _Vincentius
Belluacensis_, or rather he from whom he collected his _Speculum
naturale_, that is, _Guilielmus de Conchis_; and also _Hortus
Sanitatis_, and _Bartholomeus Glanvil_, sirnamed _Anglicus_, who writ
_De proprietatibus Rerum_. Hither also may be referred _Kiranides_,
which is a Collection out of _Harpocration_ the Greek, and sundry
Arabick Writers; delivering not onely the Natural but Magical propriety
of things; a Work as full of Vanity as Variety; containing many
relations, whose Invention is as difficult as their Beliefs, and their
Experiments sometime as hard as either.

13. We had almost forgot _Jeronimus Cardanus_ that famous Physician of
_Milan_, a great Enquirer of Truth, but too greedy a Receiver of it. He
hath left many excellent Discourses, Medical, Natural, and Astrological;
the most suspicious are those two he wrote by admonition in a dream,
that is _De Subtilitate & Varietate Rerum_. Assuredly this learned man
hath taken many things upon trust, and although examined some, hath let
slip many others. He is of singular use unto a prudent Reader; but unto
him that onely desireth Hoties, or to replenish his head with varieties;
like many others before related, either in the Original or confirmation,
he may become no small occasion of Error.

14. Lastly, Authors are also suspicious, not greedily to be swallowed,
who pretend to write of Secrets, to deliver Antipathies, Sympathies, and
the occult abstrusities of things; in the list whereof may be accounted,
_Alexis Pedimontanus_, _Antonius Mizaldus_, _Trinum Magicum_, and many
others. Not omitting that famous Philosopher of _Naples_, _Baptista
Porta_; in whose Works, although there be contained many excellent
things, and verified upon his own Experience; yet are there many also
receptary, and such as will not endure the test. Who although he hath
delivered many strange Relations in his Phytognomia, and his Villa; yet
hath he more remarkably expressed himself in his Natural Magick, and the
miraculous effects of Nature. Which containing various and delectable
subjects, withall promising wondrous and easie effects, they are
entertained by Readers at all hands; whereof the major part sit down in
his authority, and thereby omit not onely the certainty of Truth, but
the pleasure of its Experiment.

Thus have we made a brief enumeration of these Learned Men; not willing
any to decline their Works (without which it is not easie to attain any
measure of general Knowledge,) but to apply themselves with caution
thereunto. And seeing the lapses of these worthy Pens, to cast a wary
eye on those diminutive, and pamphlet Treaties daily published amongst
us. Pieces maintaining rather Typography than Verity, Authors presumably
writing by Common Places, wherein for many years promiscuously amassing
all that makes for their subject, they break forth at last in trite and
fruitless Rhapsodies; doing thereby not only open injury unto Learning,
but committing a secret treachery upon truth. For their relations
falling upon credulous Readers, they meet with prepared beliefs; whose
supinities had rather assent unto all, then adventure the trial of any.

Thus, I say, must these Authors be read, and thus must we be read our
selves; for discoursing of matters dubious, and many convertible truths;
we cannot without arrogancy entreat a credulity, or implore any farther
assent, then the probability of our Reasons, and verity of experiments


Of the Same.

There are beside these Authors and such as have positively promoted
errors, divers other which are in some way accessory; whose verities
although they do not directly assert, yet do they obliquely concur unto
their beliefs. In which account are many holy Writers, Preachers,
Moralists, Rhetoricians, Orators and Poets; for they depending upon
Invention, deduce their mediums from all things whatsoever; and playing
much upon the simile, or illustrative argumentation: to induce their
Enthymemes unto the people, they took up popular conceits, and from
traditions unjustifiable or really false, illustrate matters of
undeniable truth. Wherein although their intention be sincere, and that
course not much condemnable; yet doth it notoriously strengthen common
Errors, and authorise Opinions injurious unto truth.

[Sidenote: _Expressions of holy Scripture fitted many times rather to
popular and common apprehension, then to the exact Nature of things._]

Thus have some Divines drawn into argument the Fable of the _Phœnix_,
made use of that of the _Salamander_, _Pelican_, _Basilisk_, and divers
relations of _Plinie_; deducing from thence most worthy morals, and even
upon our Saviour. Now although this be not prejudicial unto wiser
Judgments, who are but weakly moved with such arguments, yet it is oft
times occasion of Error unto vulgar heads, who expect in the Fable as
equal a truth as in the Moral, and conceive that infallible Philosophy,
which is in any sense delivered by Divinity. But wiser discerners do
well understand, that every Art hath its own circle; that the effects
of things are best examined, by sciences wherein are delivered their
causes; that strict and definitive expressions, are alway required in
Philosophy, but a loose and popular delivery will serve oftentimes in
Divinity. As may be observed even in holy Scripture, which often
omitteth the exact account of things; describing them rather to our
apprehensions, then leaving doubts in vulgar minds, upon their unknown
and Philosophical descriptions. Thus it termeth the Sun and the Moon the
two great lights of Heaven. Now if any shall from hence conclude, the
Moon is second in magnitude unto the Sun, he must excuse my belief; and
it cannot be strange, if herein I rather adhere unto the demonstration
of _Ptolomy_, then the popular description of _Moses_. Thus is it said,
_Chron._ 2. 4. That _Solomon_ made a molten Sea of ten Cubits from brim
to brim round in compass, and five Cubits the height thereof, and a line
of thirty Cubits did compass it round about. Now in this description,
the circumference is made just treble unto the Diameter: that is, as 10.
to 30. or 7. to 21. But _Archimedes_ [SN: _In his Cyclometria._]
demonstrates, that the proportion of the Diameter unto the
circumference, is as 7. unto almost 22. which will occasion a sensible
difference, that is almost a Cubit. Now if herein I adhere unto
_Archimedes_ who speaketh exactly, rather then the sacred Text which
speaketh largely; I hope I shall not offend Divinity: I am sure I shall
have reason and experience of every circle to support me.

Thus Moral Writers, Rhetoricians and Orators make use of several
relations which will not consist with verity. _Aristotle_ in his Ethicks
takes up the conceit of the _Bever_, and the divulsion of his Testicles.
The tradition of the Bear, the Viper, and divers others are frequent
amongst Orators. All which although unto the illiterate and undiscerning
hearers may seem a confirmation of their realities; yet is this no
reasonable establishment unto others, who will not depend hereon
otherwise then common Apologues: which being of impossible falsities, do
notwithstanding include wholsome moralities, and such as expiate the
trespass of their absurdities.

The Hieroglyphical doctrine of the Ægyptians (which in their four
hundred years cohabitation some conjecture they learned from the
Hebrews) hath much advanced many popular conceits. For using an Alphabet
of things, and not of words, through the image and pictures thereof,
they endeavoured to speak their hidden conceits in the letters and
language of Nature. In pursuit whereof, although in many things, they
exceeded not their true and real apprehensions; yet in some other they
either framing the story, or taking up the tradition, conducible unto
their intentions, obliquely confirmed many falsities; which as
authentick and conceded truths did after pass unto the Greeks, from them
unto other Nations, and are still retained by symbolical Writers,
Emblematists, Heralds, and others. Whereof some are strictly maintained
for truths, as naturally making good their artificial representations;
others symbolically intended, are literally received, and swallowed in
the first sense, without all gust of the second. Whereby we pervert the
profound and mysterious knowledge of Ægypt; containing the Arcana's of
Greek Antiquities, the Key of many obscurities and ancient learning
extant. Famous herein in former Ages were _Heraiscus_, _Cheremon_,
_Epius_, especially _Orus Apollo Niliacus_: who lived in the reign of
_Theodosius_, and in Ægyptian language left two Books of
Hieroglyphicks, translated into Greek by _Philippus_, and a large
collection of all made after by _Pierius_. But no man is likely to
profound the Ocean of that Doctrine, beyond that eminent example of
industrious Learning, _Kircherus_.

Painters who are the visible representers of things, and such as by the
learned sense of the eye endeavour to inform the understanding, are not
inculpable herein, who either describing Naturals as they are, or
actions as they have been, have oftentimes erred in their delineations.
Which being the Books that all can read, are fruitful advancers of these
conceptions, especially in common and popular apprehensions: who being
unable for farther enquiry, must rest in the draught and letter of their

Lastly, Poets and Poetical Writers have in this point exceeded others,
trimly advancing the Ægyptian notions of _Harpies_, _Phœnix_,
_Gryphins_ and many more. Now however to make use of Fictions,
Apologues, and Fables, be not unwarrantable, and the intent of these
inventions might point at laudable ends; yet do they afford our junior
capacities a frequent occasion of error, setling impressions in our
tender memories, which our advanced judgments generally neglect to
expunge. This way the vain and idle fictions of the Gentiles did first
insinuate into the heads of Christians; and thus are they continued even
unto our days. Our first and literary apprehensions being commonly
instructed in Authors which handle nothing else; wherewith our memories
being stuffed, our inventions become pedantick, and cannot avoid their
allusions; driving at these as at the highest elegancies, which are but
the frigidities of wit, and become not the genius of manly ingenuities.
It were therefore no loss like that of _Galens_ Library, if these had
found the same fate; and would in some way requite the neglect of solid
Authors, if they were less pursued. For were a pregnant wit educated in
ignorance hereof, receiving only impressions from realities; upon such
solid foundations, it must surely raise more substantial
superstructions, and fall upon very many excellent strains, which have
been jusled off by their intrusions.


Of the last and common Promoter of false Opinions, the endeavours of

[Sidenote: _The Devils method of propagating Error in the World._]

But beside the infirmities of humane Nature, the seed of Error within
our selves, and the several ways of delusion from each other, there is
an invisible Agent, and secret promoter without us, whose activity is
undiscerned, and plays in the dark upon us; and that is the first
contriver of Error, and professed opposer of Truth, the Devil. For
though permitted unto his proper principles, _Adam_ perhaps would have
sinned without the suggestion of Satan: and from the transgressive
infirmities of himself might have erred alone, as well as the Angels
before him: And although also there were no Devil at all, yet there is
now in our Natures a confessed sufficiency unto corruption, and the
frailty of our own Oeconomie, were able to betray us out of Truth, yet
wants there not another Agent, who taking advantage hereof proceedeth to
obscure the diviner part, and efface all tract of its traduction. To
attempt a particular of all his wiles, is too bold an Arithmetick for
man: what most considerably concerneth his popular and practised ways of
delusion, he first deceiveth mankind in five main points concerning God
and himself.

And first his endeavours have ever been, and they cease not yet to
instill a belief in the mind of Man, there is no God at all. And this he
principally endeavours to establish in a direct and literal
apprehension; that is, that there is no such reality existent, that the
necessity of his entity dependeth upon ours, and is but a Political
Chymera; that the natural truth of God is an artificial erection of Man,
and the Creator himself but a subtile invention of the Creature. Where
he succeeds not thus high, he labours to introduce a secondary and
deductive Atheism; that although men concede there is a God, yet should
they deny his providence. And therefore assertions have flown about,
that he intendeth only the care of the species or common natures, but
letteth loose the guard of individuals, and single existencies therein:
that he looks not below the Moon, but hath designed the regiment of
sublunary affairs unto inferiour deputations. To promote which
apprehensions, or empuzzel their due conceptions, he casteth in the
notions of fate, destiny, fortune, chance, and necessity; terms commonly
misconceived by vulgar heads, and their propriety sometime perverted by
the wisest. Whereby extinguishing in minds the compensation of vertue
and vice, the hope and fear of Heaven or Hell; they comply in their
actions unto the drift of his delusions, and live like creatures without
the capacity of either.

Now hereby he not onely undermineth the Base of Religion, and destroyeth
the principle preambulous unto all belief; but puts upon us the remotest
Error from Truth. For Atheism is the greatest falsity, and to affirm
there is no God, the highest lie in Nature. And therefore strictly
taken, some men will say his labour is in vain; For many there are, who
cannot conceive there was ever any absolute _Atheist_; or such as could
determine there was no God, without all check from himself, or
contradiction from his other opinions. And therefore those few so called
by elder times, might be the best of _Pagans_; suffering that name
rather in relation to the gods of the Gentiles, then the true Creator of
all. A conceit that cannot befal his greatest enemy, or him that would
induce the same in us; who hath a sensible apprehension hereof, for he
believeth with trembling. To speak yet more strictly and conformably
unto some Opinions, no creature can wish thus much; nor can the Will
which hath a power to run into velleities, and wishes of
impossibilities, have any _utinam_ of this. For to desire there were no
God, were plainly to unwish their own being; which must needs be
annihilated in the substraction of that essence which substantially
supporteth them, and restrains them from regression into nothing. And if
as some contend, no creature can desire his own annihilation, that
Nothing is not appetible, and not to be at all, is worse then to be in
the miserablest condition of something; the Devil himself could not
embrace that motion, nor would the enemy of God be freed by such a

But coldly thriving in this design, as being repulsed by the principles
of humanity, and the dictates of that production, which cannot deny its
original, he fetcheth a wider circle; and when he cannot make men
conceive there is no God at all, he endeavours to make them believe
there is not one, but many: wherein he hath been so successful with
common heads, that he hath led their belief thorow the Works of Nature.

[Sidenote: _Areopagus the severe Court of Athens._]

Now in this latter attempt, the subtilty of his circumvention, hath
indirectly obtained the former. For although to opinion there be many
gods, may seem an excess in Religion, and such as cannot at all consist
with Atheism, yet doth it deductively and upon inference include the
same, for Unity is the inseparable and essential attribute of Deity; and
if there be more then one God, it is no Atheism to say there is no God
at all. And herein though _Socrates_ only suffered, yet were _Plato_ and
_Aristotle_ guilty of the same Truth; who demonstratively understanding
the simplicity of perfection, and the indivisible condition of the first
causator, it was not in the power of Earth, or Areopagy of Hell [SN:
_Areopagus the severe Court of Athens._] to work them from it. For
holding an [19]Apodictical knowledge, and assured science of its verity,
to perswade their apprehensions unto a plurality of gods in the world,
were to make _Euclide_ believe there were more than one Center in a
Circle, or one right Angle in a Triangle; which were indeed a fruitless
attempt, and inferreth absurdities beyond the evasion of Hell. For
though Mechanick and vulgar heads ascend not unto such comprehensions,
who live not commonly unto half the advantage of their principles; yet
did they not escape the eye of wiser _Minerva's_, and such as made good
the genealogie of _Jupiters_ brains; who although they had divers stiles
for God, yet under many appellations acknowledged one divinity: rather
conceiving thereby the evidence or acts of his power in several ways and
places, then a multiplication of Essence, or real distraction of unity
in any one.

  [19] _Demonstrative._

Again, To render our errors more monstrous (and what unto miracle sets
forth the patience of God,) he hath endeavoured to make the world
believe, that he was God himself; and failing of his first attempt to be
but like the highest in Heaven, he hath obtained with men to be the same
on Earth. And hath accordingly assumed the annexes of Divinity, and the
prerogatives of the Creator, drawing into practice the operation of
miracles, and the prescience of things to come. Thus hath he in a
specious way wrought cures upon the sick: played over the wondrous acts
of Prophets, and counterfeited many miracles of Christ and his Apostles.
Thus hath he openly contended with God, and to this effect his insolency
was not ashamed to play a solemn prize with _Moses_; wherein although
his performance were very specious, and beyond the common apprehension
of any power below a Deity; yet was it not such as could make good his
Omnipotency. For he was wholly confounded in the conversion of dust into
lice. An act Philosophy can scarce deny to be above the power of Nature,
nor upon a requisite predisposition beyond the efficacy of the Sun.
Wherein notwithstanding the head of the old Serpent was confessedly too
weak for _Moses_ hand, and the arm of his Magicians too short for the
finger of God.

[Sidenote: _The Authors opinion, touching Necromancy and apparitions of
the spirits of men departed._]

Thus hath he also made men believe that he can raise the dead, that he
hath the key of life and death, and a prerogative above that principle
which makes no regression from privations. The Stoicks that opinioned
the souls of wise men dwelt about the Moon, and those of fools wandered
about the Earth, advantaged the conceit of this effect; wherein the
Epicureans, who held that death was nothing, nor nothing after death,
must contradict their principles to be deceived. Nor could the
Pythagoreans or such as maintained the transmigration of souls give
easie admittance hereto: for holding that separated souls successively
supplied other bodies, they could hardly allow the raising of souls from
other worlds, which at the same time, they conceived conjoyned unto
bodies in this. More inconsistent with these Opinions, is the Error of
Christians, who holding the dead do rest in the Lord, do yet believe
they are at the lure of the Devil; that he who is in bonds himself
commandeth the fetters of the dead, and dwelling in the bottomless lake,
the blessed from _Abrahams_ bosome, that can believe the real
resurrection of _Samuel_: or that there is any thing but delusion in the
practice of [20]Necromancy and popular raising of Ghosts.

  [20] _Divination by the dead._

[Sidenote: _How the Devil works his pretended revelations or

He hath moreover endeavoured the opinion of Deity, by the delusion of
Dreams, and the discovery of things to come in sleep, above the
prescience of our waked senses. In this expectation he perswaded the
credulity of elder times to take up their lodging before his temple, in
skins of their own sacrifices: till his reservedness had contrived
answers, whose accomplishments were in his power, or not beyond his
presagement. Which way, although it had pleased Almighty God, sometimes
to reveal himself, yet was the proceeding very different. For the
revelations of Heaven are conveyed by new impressions, and the immediate
illumination of the soul, whereas the deceiving spirit, by concitation
of humours, produceth his conceited phantasms, or by compounding the
species already residing, doth make up words which mentally speak his

But above all he most advanced his Deity in the solemn practice of
Oracles, wherein in several parts of the World, he publikely professed
his Divinity; but how short they flew of that spirit, whose omniscience,
they would resemble, their weakness sufficiently declared. What jugling
there was therein, the Orator [SN: _Demosthenes._] plainly confessed,
who being good at the same game himself, could say that _Pythia_
Philippised. Who can but laugh at the carriage of _Ammon_ unto
_Alexander_, who addressing unto him as a god, was made to believe, he
was a god himself? How openly did he betray his Indivinity unto
_Crœsus_, who being ruined by his Amphibology, and expostulating with
him for so ungrateful a deceit, received no higher answer then the
excuse of his impotency upon the contradiction of fate, and the setled
law of powers beyond his power to controle! What more then sublunary
directions, or such as might proceed from the Oracle of humane Reason,
was in his advice unto the Spartans in the time of a great Plague; when
for the cessation thereof, he wisht them to have recourse unto a Fawn,
that is in open terms, unto one Nebrus, a good Physitian of those days?
[SN: Nebros, _in Greek, a Fawn_.] From no diviner a spirit came his
reply unto _Caracalla_, who requiring a remedy for his Gout, received no
other counsel then to refrain cold drink; which was but a dietetical
caution, and such as without a journey unto _Æsculapius_, culinary
prescription and kitchin Aphorisms might have afforded at home. Nor
surely if any truth there were therein, of more then natural activity
was his counsel unto _Democritus_; when for the Falling sickness he
commended the Maggot in a Goats head. For many things secret are true;
sympathies and antipathies are safely authentick unto us, who ignorant
of their causes may yet acknowledge their effects. Beside, being a
natural Magician he may perform many acts in ways above our knowledge,
though not transcending our natural power, when our knowledge shall
direct it. Part hereof hath been discovered by himself, and some by
humane indagation: which though magnified as fresh inventions unto us,
are stale unto his cognition. I hardly believe he hath from elder times
unknown the verticity of the Loadstone; surely his perspicacity
discerned it to respect the North, when ours beheld it indeterminately.
Many secrets there are in Nature of difficult discovery unto man, of
easie knowledge unto Satan; whereof some his vain glory cannot conceal,
others his envy will not discover.

Again, Such is the mysterie of his delusion, that although he labour to
make us believe that he is God, and supremest nature whatsoever, yet
would he also perswade our beliefs, that he is less then Angels or men;
and his condition not onely subjected unto rational powers, but the
actions of things which have no efficacy on our selves. Thus hath he
inveigled no small part of the world into a credulity of artificial
Magick: That there is an Art, which without compact commandeth the
powers of Hell; whence some have delivered the polity of spirits, and
left an account even to their Provincial Dominions: that they stand in
awe of Charms, Spels, and Conjurations; that he is afraid of letters and
characters, of notes and dashes, which set together do signifie nothing,
not only in the dictionary of man, but the subtiler vocabulary of Satan.
That there is any power in _Bitumen_, Pitch, or Brimstone, to purifie
the air from his uncleanness; that any vertue there is in _Hipericon_
[SN: St. Johns _Wort, so called by Magicians_.] to make good the name of
_fuga Dæmonis_, any such Magick as is ascribed unto the Root _Baaras_ by
_Josephus_, or _Cynospastus_ by _Ælianus_, it is not easie to believe;
nor is it naturally made out what is delivered of _Tobias_, that by the
fume of a Fishes liver, he put to flight _Asmodeus_. That they are
afraid of the pentangle of _Solomon_, though so set forth with the body
of man, as to touch and point out the five places wherein our Saviour
was wounded, I know not how to assent. [SN: _3 triangles intersected and
made of five lines._] If perhaps he hath fled from holy Water, if he
cares not to hear the sound of _Tetragrammaton_ [SN: _Implying Jehovah,
which in Hebrew consisteth of four letters._], if his eye delight not in
the sign of the Cross; and that sometimes he will seem to be charmed
with words of holy Scripture, and to flie from the letter and dead
verbality, who must onely start at the life and animated interiors
thereof: It may be feared they are but _Parthian_ flights, _Ambuscado_
retreats, and elusory tergiversations: Whereby to confirm our
credulities, he will comply with the opinion of such powers, which in
themselves have no activities. Whereof having once begot in our minds an
assured dependence, he makes us relie on powers which he but
precariously obeys; and to desert those true and only charms which Hell
cannot withstand.

Lastly, To lead us farther into darkness, and quite to lose us in this
maze of Error, he would make men believe there is no such creature as
himself: and that he is not onely subject unto inferiour creatures, but
in the rank of nothing. Insinuating into mens minds there is no Devil at
all, and contriveth accordingly, many ways to conceal or indubitate his
existency. Wherein beside that he annihilates the blessed Angels and
Spirits in the rank of his Creation; he begets a security of himself,
and a careless eye unto the last remunerations. And therefore hereto he
inveigleth, not only _Sadduces_ and such as retain unto the Church of
God: but is also content that _Epicurus_, _Democritus_, or any Heathen
should hold the same. And to this effect he maketh men believe that
apparitions, and such as confirm his existence are either deceptions of
sight, or melancholly depravements of phansie. Thus when he had not
onely appeared but spake unto _Brutus_; _Cassius_ the Epicurian was
ready at hand to perswade him, it was but a mistake in his weary
imagination, and that indeed there were no such realities in nature.
Thus he endeavours to propagate the unbelief of Witches, whose
concession infers his co-existency; by this means also he advanceth the
opinion of total death, and staggereth the immortality of the soul; for,
such as deny there are spirits subsistent without bodies, will with more
difficulty affirm the separated existence of their own.

Now to induce and bring about these falsities, he hath laboured to
destroy the evidence of Truth, that is the revealed verity and written
Word of God. To which intent he hath obtained with some to repudiate the
Books of _Moses_, others those of the Prophets, and some both: to deny
the Gospel and authentick Histories of Christ; to reject that of _John_,
and to receive that of _Judas_; to disallow all, and erect another of
_Thomas_. And when neither their corruption by _Valentinus_ and
_Arrius_, their mutilation by _Marcion_, _Manes_, and _Ebion_ could
satisfie his design, he attempted the ruine and total destruction
thereof; as he sedulously endeavoured, by the power and subtilty of
_Julian_, _Maximinus_, and _Dioclesian_.

But the longevity of that piece, which hath so long escaped the common
fate, and the providence of that Spirit which ever waketh over it, may
at last discourage such attempts; and if not make doubtful its
Mortality, at least indubitably declare; this is a stone too big for
_Saturns_ mouth, and a bit indeed Oblivion cannot swallow.

And thus how strangely he possesseth us with Errors may clearly be
observed, deluding us into contradictory and inconsistent falsities;
whilest he would make us believe, That there is no God. That there are
many. That he himself is God. That he is less then Angels or Men. That
he is nothing at all.

Nor hath he onely by these wiles depraved the conception of the Creator,
but with such Riddles hath also entangled the Nature of our Redeemer.
Some denying his Humanity, and that he was one of the Angels, as
_Ebion_; that the Father and Son were but one person, as _Sabellius_.
That his body was phantastical, as _Manes_, _Basilides_, _Priscillian_,
_Jovinianus_; that he only passed through _Mary_, as _Utyches_ and
_Valentinus_. Some denying his Divinity; that he was begotten of humane
principles, and the seminal Son of _Joseph_; as _Carpocras_,
_Symmachus_, _Photinus_: that he was _Seth_ the Son of _Adam_, as the
_Sethians_: that he was less then Angels, as _Cherinthus_: that he was
inferiour unto _Melchisedec_, as _Theodotus_: that he was not God, but
God dwelt in him, as _Nicholaus_: and some embroyled them both. So did
they which converted the Trinity into a Quaternity, and affirmed two
persons in Christ, as _Paulus Samosatenus_: that held he was Man without
a Soul, and that the Word performed that office in him, as
_Apollinaris_: that he was both Son and Father, as _Montanus_: that
_Jesus_ suffered, but Christ remained impatible, as _Cherinthus_. Thus
he endeavours to entangle Truths: And when he cannot possibly destroy
its substance, he cunningly confounds its apprehensions; that from the
inconsistent and contrary determinations thereof, consectary impieties,
and hopeful conclusions may arise, there's no such thing at all.


A further Illustration.

Now although these ways of delusions most Christians have escaped, yet
are there many other whereunto we are daily betrayed, and these we meet
with in obvious occurrents of the world, wherein he induceth us, to
ascribe effects unto causes of no cognation; and distorting the order
and theory of causes perpendicular to their effects, he draws them aside
unto things whereto they run parallel, and in their proper motions would
never meet together.

Thus doth he sometime delude us in the conceits of Stars and Meteors,
beside their allowable actions ascribing effects thereunto of
independent causations. Thus hath he also made the ignorant sort believe
that natural effects immediately and commonly proceed from supernatural
powers: and these he usually drives from Heaven, his own principality
the Air, and Meteors therein; which being of themselves the effects of
natural and created causes, and such as upon a due conjunction of
actives and passives, without a miracle must arise unto what they
appear; are always looked on by ignorant spectators as supernatural
spectacles, and made the causes or signs of most succeeding
contingencies. To behold a Rainbow in the night, is no prodigy unto a
Philosopher. Then Eclipses of Sun or Moon, nothing is more natural. Yet
with what superstition they have been beheld since the Tragedy of
_Nicias_ and his Army, many examples declare.

True it is, and we will not deny, that although these being natural
productions from second and setled causes, we need not alway look upon
them as the immediate hand of God, or of his ministring Spirits; yet do
they sometimes admit a respect therein; and even in their naturals, the
indifferency of their existencies contemporised unto our actions, admits
a further consideration.

That two or three Suns or Moons appear in any mans life or reign, it is
not worth the wonder. But that the same should fall out at a remarkable
time, or point of some decisive action; that the contingency of the
appearance should be confirmed unto that time; that those two should
make but one line in the Book of Fate, and stand together in the great
Ephemerides of God; beside the Philosophical assignment of the cause, it
may admit a Christian apprehension in the signality.

But above all he deceiveth us, when we ascribe the effects of things
unto evident and seeming causalities, which arise from the secret and
undiscerned action of himself. Thus hath he deluded many Nations in his
Augurial and Extispicious inventions, from casual and uncontrived
contingencies divining events succeeding. Which _Tuscan_ superstition
seizing upon _Rome_, hath since possessed all _Europe_. When _Augustus_
found two galls in his sacrifice, the credulity of the City concluded a
hope of peace with _Anthony_; and the conjunction of persons in choler
with each other. Because _Brutus_ and _Cassius_ met a Blackmore, and
_Pompey_ had on a dark or sad coloured garment at _Pharsalia_; these
were presages of their overthrow. Which notwithstanding are scarce
Rhetorical sequels; concluding Metaphors from realities, and from
conceptions metaphorical inferring realities again.

Now these divinations concerning events, being in his power to force,
contrive, prevent, or further, they must generally fall out conformably
unto his predictions. When _Graccus_ was slain, the same day the
Chickens refused to come out of the Coop: and _Claudius Pulcher_
underwent the like success, when he contemned the Tripudiary
Augurations: They died not because the Pullets would not feed: but
because the Devil foresaw their death, he contrived that abstinence in
them. So was there no natural dependence of the event. An unexpected way
of delusion, and whereby he more easily led away the incircumspection of
their belief. Which fallacy he might excellently have acted before the
death of _Saul_; for that being within his power to foretell, was not
beyond his ability to foreshew: and might have contrived signs thereof
through all the creatures, which visibly confirmed by the event, had
proved authentick unto those times, and advanced the Art ever after.

[Sidenote: _The danger and delusion that is in cures by Charms, Amulets,
Ligatures, Characters, etc._]

He deludeth us also by Philters, Ligatures, Charms, ungrounded Amulets,
Characters, and many superstitious ways in the cure of common diseases:
seconding herein the expectation of men with events of his own
contriving. Which while some unwilling to fall directly upon Magick,
impute unto the power of imagination, or the efficacy of hidden causes,
he obtains a bloody advantage: for thereby he begets not only a false
opinion, but such as leadeth the open way of destruction. In maladies
admitting natural reliefs, making men rely on remedies, neither of real
operation in themselves, nor more then seeming efficacy in his
concurrence. Which whensoever he pleaseth to withdraw, they stand naked
unto the mischief of their diseases: and revenge the contempt of the
medicines of the Earth which God hath created for them. And therefore
when neither miracle is expected, nor connection of cause unto effect
from natural grounds concluded; however it be sometime successful, it
cannot be safe to rely on such practises, and desert the known and
authentick provisions of God. In which rank of remedies, if nothing in
our knowledge or their proper power be able to relieve us, we must with
patience submit unto that restraint, and expect the will of the

Now in these effects although he seems oft-times to imitate, yet doth he
concur unto their productions in a different way from that spirit which
sometime in natural means produceth effects above Nature. For whether he
worketh by causes which have relation or none unto the effect, he maketh
it out by secret and undiscerned ways of Nature. So when _Caius_ the
blind, in the reign of _Antoninus_, was commanded to pass from the right
side of the Altar unto the left, to lay five fingers of one hand
thereon, and five of the other upon his eys; although the cure succeeded
and all the people wondered, there was not any thing in the action which
did produce it, nor any thing in his power that could enable it
thereunto. So for the same infirmity, when _Aper_ was counselled by him
to make a Collyrium or ocular medicine with the blood of a white Cock
and Honey, and apply it to his eyes for three days: When _Julian_ for
his spitting of blood, was cured by Honey and Pine nuts taken from his
Altar: When _Lucius_ for the pain in his side, applied thereto the ashes
from his Altar with wine; although the remedies were somewhat rational,
and not without a natural vertue unto such intentions, yet need we not
believe that by their proper faculties they produced these effects.

But the effects of powers Divine flow from another operation; who either
proceeding by visible means or not, unto visible effects, is able to
conjoin them by his co-operation. And therefore those sensible ways
which seem of indifferent natures, are not idle ceremonies, but may be
causes by his command, and arise unto productions beyond their regular
activities. If _Nahaman_ the Syrian had washed in _Jordan_ without the
command of the Prophet, I believe he had been cleansed by them no more
then by the waters of _Damascus_. I doubt if any beside _Elisha_ had
cast in Salt, the waters of _Jericho_ had not been made wholsome. I know
that a decoction of wild gourd or Colocynthis (though somewhat
qualified) will not from every hand be dulcified unto aliment by an
addition of flower or meal. There was some natural vertue in the
Plaister of figs applied unto _Ezechias_; we find that gall is very
mundificative, and was a proper medicine to clear the eyes of _Tobit_:
which carrying in themselves some action of their own, they were
additionally promoted by that power, which can extend their natures unto
the production of effects beyond their created efficiencies. And thus
may he operate also from causes of no power unto their visible effects;
for he that hath determined their actions unto certain effects, hath not
so emptied his own, but that he can make them effectual unto any other.

Again, Although his delusions run highest in points of practice, whose
errors draw on offensive or penal enormities, yet doth he also deal in
points of speculation, and things whose knowledge terminates in
themselves. Whose cognition although it seems indifferent, and therefore
its aberration directly to condemn no man; yet doth he hereby
preparatively dispose us unto errors, and deductively deject us into
destructive conclusions.

That the Sun, Moon, and Stars are living creatures, endued with soul and
life, seems an innocent Error, and an harmless digression from truth;
yet hereby he confirmed their Idolatry, and made it more plausibly
embraced. For wisely mistrusting that reasonable spirits would never
firmly be lost in the adorement of things inanimate, and in the lowest
form of Nature; he begat an opinion that they were living creatures, and
could not decay for ever.

That spirits are corporeal, seems at first view a conceit derogative
unto himself, and such as he should rather labour to overthrow; yet
hereby he establisheth the Doctrine of Lustrations, Amulets and Charms,
as we have declared before.

That there are two principles of all things, one good, and another evil;
from the one proceeding vertue, love, light, and unity; from the other,
division, discord, darkness, and deformity, was the speculation of
_Pythagoras_, _Empedocles_, and many ancient Philosophers, and was no
more then _Oromasdes_ and _Arimanius_ of _Zoroaster_. Yet hereby he
obtained the advantage of Adoration, and as the terrible principle
became more dreadful then his Maker; and therefore not willing to let it
fall, he furthered the conceit in succeeding Ages, and raised the
faction of _Manes_ to maintain it.

That the feminine sex have no generative emission, affording no seminal
Principles of conception; was _Aristotles_ Opinion of old, maintained
still by some, and will be countenanced by him forever. For hereby he
disparageth the fruit of the Virgin, frustrateth the fundamental
Prophesie, nor can the seed of the Woman then break the head of the

Nor doth he only sport in speculative Errors, which are of consequent
impieties; but the unquietness of his malice hunts after simple lapses,
and such whose falsities do only condemn our understandings. Thus if
_Xenophanes_ will say there is another world in the Moon; If
_Heraclitus_ with his adherents will hold the Sun is no bigger then it
appeareth; If _Anaxagoras_ affirm that Snow is black; If any other
opinion there are no _Antipodes_, or that Stars do fall, he shall not
want herein the applause or advocacy of Satan. For maligning the
tranquility of truth, he delighteth to trouble its streams; and being a
professed enemy unto God (who is truth it self) he promoteth any Error
as derogatory to his nature; and revengeth himself in every deformity
from truth. If therefore at any time he speak or practise truth, it is
upon design, and a subtile inversion of the precept of God, to do good
that evil may come of it. And therefore sometime we meet with wholsome
doctrines from Hell; _Nosce teipsum_, the Motto of _Delphos_, was a good
precept in morality: That a just man is beloved of the gods, an
uncontrolable verity. 'Twas a good deed, though not well done, which he
wrought by _Vespasian_, when by the touch of his foot he restored a lame
man, and by the stroak of his hand another that was blind, but the
intention hereof drived at his own advantage; for hereby he not only
confirmed the opinion of his power with the people, but his integrity
with Princes; in whose power he knew it lay to overthrow his Oracles,
and silence the practice of his delusions.

[Sidenote: _How spirits understand one another._]

But of such a diffused nature, and so large is the Empire of Truth, that
it hath place within the walls of Hell, and the Devils themselves are
daily forced to practise it; not onely as being true themselves in a
Metaphysical verity, that is, as having their essence conformable unto
the Intellect of their Maker, but making use of Moral and Logical
verities; that is, whether in the conformity of words unto things, or
things unto their own conceptions, they practise truth in common among
themselves. For although without speech they intuitively conceive each
other, yet do their apprehensions proceed through realities; and they
conceive each other by species, which carry the true and proper notions
of things conceived. And so also in Moral verities, although they
deceive us, they lie unto each other; as well understanding that all
community is continued by Truth, and that of Hell cannot consist without

To come yet nearer the point, and draw into a sharper angle; They do not
only speak and practise truth, but may be said well-wishers hereunto,
and in some sense do really desire its enlargement. For many things
which in themselves are false, they do desire were true; He cannot but
wish he were as he professeth, that he had the knowledge of future
events; were it in his power, the Jews should be in the right, and the
_Messias_ yet to come. Could his desires effect it, the opinion of
_Aristotle_ should be true, the world should have no end, but be as
immortal as himself. For thereby he might evade the accomplishment of
those afflictions, he now but gradually endureth; for comparatively unto
those flames, he is but yet in _Balneo_, then begins his _Ignis Rotæ_,
and terrible fire, which will determine his disputed subtilty, and even
hazard his immortality.

[Sidenote: _How the Devils fell._]

But to speak strictly, he is in these wishes no promoter of verity, but
if considered some ways injurious unto truth; for (besides that if
things were true, which now are false, it were but an exchange of their
natures, and things must then be false, which now are true) the setled
and determined order of the world would be perverted, and that course of
things disturbed, which seemed best unto the immutable contriver. For
whilest they murmur against the present disposure of things, regulating
determined realities unto their private optations, they rest not in
their established natures; but unwishing their unalterable verities, do
tacitely desire in them a deformity from the primitive Rule, and the
Idea of that mind that formed all things best. And thus he offended
truth even in his first attempt; For not content with his created
nature, and thinking it too low, to be the highest creature of God, he
offended the Ordainer, not only in the attempt, but in the wish and
simple volition thereof.

                            THE SECOND BOOK

                 Of sundry popular Tenets concerning
               Mineral, and vegetable bodies, generally
                 held for truth; which examined, prove
                      either false, or dubious.


Of Crystal.

Hereof the common Opinion hath been, and still remaineth amongst us,
that Crystal is nothing else but Ice or Snow concreted, and by duration
of time, congealed beyond liquation. Of which assertion, if prescription
of time, and numerosity of Assertors, were a sufficient demonstration,
we might sit down herein, as an unquestionable truth; nor should there
need _ulterior_ disquisition. For few Opinions there are which have
found so many friends, or been so popularly received, through all
Professions and Ages. _Pliny_ is positive in this Opinion: _Crystallus
sit gelu vehementius concreto_: the same is followed by _Seneca_,
elegantly described by _Claudian_, not denied by _Scaliger_, some way
affirmed by _Albertus_, _Brasavolus_, and directly by many others. The
venerable Fathers of the Church have also assented hereto; As _Basil_ in
his _Hexameron_, _Isidore_ in his Etymologies, and not only _Austin_ a
Latine Father, but _Gregory_ the Great, and _Jerome_ upon occasion of
that term expressed in the first of _Ezekiel_.

[Sidenote: _That Crystal is not Ice or Snow congealed._]

All which notwithstanding, upon a strict enquiry, we find the matter
controvertible, and with much more reason denied then is as yet
affirmed. For though many have passed it over with easie affirmatives,
yet are there also many Authors that deny it, and the exactest
Mineralogists have rejected it. _Diodorus_ in his eleventh Book denieth
it, (if Crystal be there taken in its proper acception, as _Rhodiginus_
hath used it, and not for a Diamond, as _Salmatius_ hath expounded it)
for in that place he affirmeth; _Crystallum esse lapidem ex aqua pura
concretum, non tamen frigore sed divini caloris vi_. _Solinus_ who
transcribed _Pliny_, and therefore in almost all subscribed unto him,
hath in this point dissented from him. _Putant quidam glaciem coire, et
in Crystallum corporari, sed frustra._ _Mathiolus_ in his Comment upon
_Dioscorides_, hath with confidence rejected it. The same hath been
performed by _Agricola de natura fossilium_; by _Cardan_, _Bœtius de
Boot_, _Cæsius Bernardus_, _Sennertus_, and many more.

Now besides Authority against it, there may be many reasons deduced from
their several differences which seem to overthrow it. And first, a
difference is probable in their concretion. For if Crystal be a stone
(as in the number thereof it is confessedly received,) it is not
immediately concreted by the efficacy of cold, but rather by a Mineral
spirit, and lapidifical principles of its own, and therefore while it
lay _in solutis principiis_, and remained in a fluid Body, it was a
subject very unapt for proper conglaciation; for Mineral spirits do
generally resist and scarce submit thereto. So we observe that many
waters and springs will never freeze, and many parts in Rivers and
Lakes, where there are Mineral eruptions, will still persist without
congelations, as we also observe in _Aqua fortis_, or any Mineral
solution, either of Vitriol, Alum, Salt-petre, Ammoniac, or Tartar,
which although to some degree exhaled, and placed in cold
Conservatories, will Crystallize and shoot into white and glacious
bodies; yet is not this a congelation primarily effected by cold, but an
intrinsecal induration from themselves; and a retreat into their proper
solidities, which were absorbed by the liquor, and lost in a full
imbibition thereof before. And so also when wood and many other bodies
do putrifie, either by the Sea, other waters, or earths abounding in
such spirits; we do not usually ascribe their induration to cold, but
rather unto salinous spirits, concretive juices, and causes
circumjacent, which do assimilate all bodies not indisposed for their

But Ice is water congealed by the frigidity of the air, whereby it
acquireth no new form, but rather a consistence or determination of its
diffluency, and amitteth not its essence, but condition of fluidity.
Neither doth there any thing properly conglaciate but water, or watery
humidity; for the determination of quick-silver is properly fixation,
that of milk coagulation, and that of oyl and unctious bodies, only
incrassation; And therefore _Aristotle_ makes a trial of the fertility
of humane seed, from the experiment of congelation; for that (saith he)
which is not watery and improlifical will not conglaciate; which perhaps
must not be taken strictly, but in the germ and spirited particles: For
Eggs I observe will freeze, in the albuginous part thereof. And upon
this ground _Paracelsus_ in his Archidoxis, extracteth the magistery of
wine; after four moneths digestion in horse-dung, exposing it unto the
extremity of cold; whereby the aqueous parts will freeze, but the
Spirit retire and be found congealed in the Center.

[Sidenote: _How to make Ice at any time of the year._]

But whether this congelation be simply made by cold, or also by
co-operation of any nitrous coagulum, or spirit of Salt the principle of
concretion; whereby we observe that ice may be made with Salt and Snow
by the fire side; as is also observable from Ice made by Saltpetre and
water, duly mixed and strongly agitated at any time of the year, were a
very considerable enquiry. For thereby we might clear the generation of
Snow, Hail, and hoary Frosts, the piercing qualities of some winds, the
coldness of Caverns, and some Cells. We might more sensibly conceive how
Salt-petre fixeth the flying spirits of Minerals in Chymical
Preparations, and how by this congealing quality it becomes an useful
medicine in Fevers.

Again, The difference of their concretion is collectible from their
dissolution; which being many ways performable in Ice, is few ways
effected in Crystal. Now the causes of liquation are contrary to those
of concretion; and as the Atoms and indivisible parcels are united, so
are they in an opposite way disjoyned. That which is concreted by
exsiccation or expression of humidity, will be resolved by humectation,
as Earth, Dirt, and Clay; that which is coagulated by a fiery siccity,
will suffer colliquation from an aqueous humidity, as Salt and Sugar,
which are easily dissoluble in water, but not without difficulty in oyl,
and well rectified spirits of Wine. That which is concreted by cold,
will dissolve by a moist heat, if it consist of watery parts, as Gums,
Arabick, Tragacanth, Ammoniac and others; in an airy heat or oyl, as all
resinous bodies, Turpentine, Pitch, and Frankincense; in both, as gummy
resinous bodies, Mastick, Camphire and Storax; in neither, as neutrals
and bodies anomalous hereto, as Bdellium, Myrrhe, and others. Some by a
violent dry heat, as Metals; which although corrodible by waters, yet
will they not suffer a liquation from the powerfullest heat,
communicable unto that element. Some will dissolve by this heat although
their ingredients be earthy, as Glass, whose materials are fine Sand,
and the ashes of Chali or Fearn; [SN: _The original ingredients of
Glass._] and so will Salt run with fire, although it be concreted by
heat. And this way may be effected a liquation in Crystal, but not
without some difficulty; that is, calcination or reducing it by Art into
a subtle powder; by which way and a vitreous commixture, Glasses are
sometime made hereof, and it becomes the chiefest ground for artificial
and factitious gemms. But the same way of solution is common also unto
many Stones; and not onely Beryls and Cornelians, but Flints and
Pebbles, are subject unto fusion, and will run like Glass in fire.

But Ice will dissolve in any way of heat, for it will dissolve with
fire, it will colliquate in water, or warm oyl; nor doth it only submit
unto an actual heat, but not endure the potential calidity of many
waters. For it will presently dissolve in cold _Aqua fortis_, sp. of
Vitriol, Salt, or Tartar, nor will it long continue its fixation in
spirits of Wine, as may be observed in Ice injected therein.

Again, The concretion of Ice will not endure a dry attrition without
liquation; for if it be rubbed long with a cloth, it melteth. But
Crystal will calefie unto electricity, that is, a power to attract
straws or light bodies, and convert the needle freely placed. Which is a
declarement of very different parts, wherein we shall not inlarge, as
having discoursed concerning such bodies in the Chap. of Electricks.

They are differenced by supernatation or floating upon water; for
Crystal will sink in water, as carrying in its own bulk a greater
ponderosity then the space in any water it doth occupy; and will
therefore only swim in molten Metal and Quicksilver. But Ice will swim
in water of what thinness soever; and though it sink in oyl, will float
in spirits of Wine or _Aqua vitæ_. And therefore it may swim in water,
not only as being water it self, and in its proper place, but perhaps as
weighing somewhat less then the water it possesseth. And therefore as it
will not sink unto the bottom, so will it neither float above like
lighter bodies, but being near in weight, lie superficially or almost
horizontally unto it. And therefore also an Ice or congelation of Salt
or Sugar, although it descend not unto the bottom, yet will it abate,
and decline below the surface in thin water, but very sensibly in
spirits of Wine. For Ice although it seemeth as transparent and compact
as Crystal, yet is it short in either; for its atoms are not concreted
into continuity, which doth diminish its translucency; it is also full
of spumes and bubbles, which may abate its gravity. And therefore waters
frozen in Pans, and open Glasses, after their dissolution do commonly
leave a froth and spume upon them, which are caused by the airy parts
diffused in the congealable mixture which uniting themselves and finding
no passage at the surface, do elevate the mass, and make the liquor take
up a greater place then before: as may be observed in Glasses filled
with water, which being frozen, will seem to swell above the brim. So
that if in this condensation any one affirmeth there is also some
rarefaction, experience may assert it.

They are distinguished in substance of parts and the accidents thereof,
that is, in colour and figure; for Ice is a similary body, and
homogeneous concretion, whose material is properly water, and but
accidentally exceeding the simplicity of that element. But the body of
Crystal is mixed; its ingredients many, and sensibly containeth those
principles into which mixt bodies are reduced. For beside the spirit and
mercurial principle it containeth a sulphur or inflamable part, and that
in no small quantity; for besides its Electrick attraction, which is
made by a sulphureous effluvium, it will strike fire upon percussion
like many other stones, and upon collision with Steel actively send
forth its sparks, not much inferiourly unto a flint. Now such bodies as
strike fire have sulphureous or ignitible parts within them, and those
strike best, which abound most in them. For these scintillations are not
the accension of the air, upon the collision of two hard bodies, but
rather the inflamable effluencies or vitrified sparks discharged from
the bodies collided. For Diamonds, Marbles, Heliotropes and Agaths,
though hard bodies, will not readily strike fire with a steel, much less
with one another: Nor a Flint so readily with a Steel, if they both be
very wet, for then the sparks are sometimes quenched in their eruption.

[Sidenote: _The Physical causes of liquation or melting of Mettals,

It containeth also a salt, and that in some plenty, which may occasion
its fragility, as is also observable in Coral. This by the Art of
Chymistry is separable, unto the operations whereof it is liable, with
other concretions, as calcination, reverberation, sublimation,
distillation: And in the preparation of Crystal, _Paracelsus_ [SN: _de
Præparationibus._] hath made a rule for that of Gemms. Briefly, it
consisteth of parts so far from an Icie dissolution, that powerful
menstruums are made for its emollition; whereby it may receive the
tincture of Minerals, and so resemble Gemms, as _Boetius_ hath declared
in the distillation of Urine; spirits of Wine and Turpentine; and is
not only triturable, and reducible into powder, by contrition, but will
subsist in a violent fire, and endure a vitrification. Whereby are
testified its earthly and fixed parts. For vitrification is the last
work of fire, and a fusion of the Salt and Earth, which are the fixed
elements of the composition, wherein the fusible Salt draws the Earth
and infusible part into one continuum, and therefore ashes will not run
from whence the Salt is drawn, as bone ashes prepared for the Test of
Metals. Common fusion in Metals is also made by a violent heat, acting
upon the volatile and fixed, the dry and humid parts of those bodies;
which notwithstanding are so united, that upon attenuation from heat,
the humid parts will not fly away, but draw the fixed ones into fluor
with them. Ordinary liquation in wax and oily bodies is made by a
gentler heat, where the oyl and salt, the fixed and fluid principles
will not easily separate. All which, whether by vitrification, fusion or
liquation, being forced into fluent consistencies, do naturally regress
into their former solidities. Whereas the melting of Ice is a simple
resolution, or return from solid to fluid parts, wherein it naturally

As for colour, although Crystal in his pellucid body seems to have none
at all, yet in its reduction into powder, it hath a vail and shadow of
blew; and in its courser pieces, is of a sadder hue then the powder of
Venice glass; and this complexion it will maintain although it long
endure the fire. Which notwithstanding needs not move us unto wonder;
for vitrified and pellucid bodies, are of a clearer complexion in their
continuities, then in their powders and Atomical divisions. So _Stibium_
or glass of _Antimony_, appears somewhat red in glass, but in its
powder yellow; so painted glass of a sanguine red will not ascend in
powder above a murrey.

[Sidenote: _In Stone-pits and chalk-mines. Which seemeth to be Echinites
decima Aldrovandi._ Musæi Metallici, lib. 4. _Rather Echinometrites, as
best resembling the Echinometra found commonly on our Sea-shore._]

As for the figure of Crystal (which is very strange, and forced _Pliny_
to despair of resolution) it is for the most part hexagonal or six
cornered; being built upon a confused matter, from whence as it were
from a root angular figures arise, even as in the Amethyst and Basaltes.
Which regular figuration hath made some opinion, it hath not its
determination from circumscription, or as conforming unto contiguities,
but rather from a seminal root, and formative principle of its own, even
as we observe in several other concretions. So the stones which are
sometime found in the gall of a man, are most triangular and pyramidal,
although the figure of that part seems not to co-operate thereto. So the
_Asteria_ or _lapis stellaris_; hath on it the figure of a Star, so
_Lapis Judaicus_ hath circular lines in length all down its body, and
equidistant, as though they had been turned by Art. So that we call a
Fayrie stone, and is often found in _gravel pits_ amongst us, being of
an hemispherical figure, hath five double lines rising from the center
of its basis, which if no accretion distract them, do commonly concur,
and meet in the pole thereof. The figures are regular in many other
stones, as in the Belemnites, _Lapis Anguinus_, _Cornu Ammonis_, and
many more; as by those which have not the experience hereof may be
observed in their figures expressed by Mineralogists. But Ice receiveth
its figure according unto the surface wherein it concreteth, or the
circumambiency which conformeth it. So it is plain upon the surface of
water, but round in Hayl (which is also a glaciation,) and figured in
its guttulous descent from the air, and so growing greater or lesser
according unto the accretion or pluvious aggelation about the mother and
fundamental Atomes thereof; which seems to be some feathery particle of
Snow; although Snow it self be sexangular, or at least of a starry and
many-pointed figure.

They are also differenced in the places of their generation; for though
Crystal be found in cold countries, and where Ice remaineth long, and
the air exceedeth in cold, yet is it also found in regions, where Ice is
seldom seen or soon dissolved; as _Pliny_ and _Agricola_ relate of
_Cyprus_, _Caramania_ and an Island in the Red sea; It hath been also
found in the veins of Minerals, sometimes agglutinated unto lead,
sometimes in Rocks, opacous stones, and the marble face of _Octavius_
Duke of _Parma_. [SN: _Wherein the Sculptor found a piece of pure
Crystal._] It hath also constant veins; as beside others, that of mount
_Salvino_ about the Territory of _Bergamo_; from whence if part be
taken, in no long tract of time out of the same place, as from its
mineral matrix, others are observed to arise. Which made the learned
_Cerautus_ to conclude, _Videant hi an sit glacies, an vero corpus
fossile_. [SN: _Mus. Calceolar._] It is also found in the veins of
Minerals, in rocks, and sometime in common earth. But as for Ice, it
will not readily concrete but in the approachment of the air, as we have
made trial in glasses of water, covered an inch with oyl, which will not
easily freeze in hard frosts of our climate. For water commonly
concreteth first in its surface, and so conglaciates downward; and so
will it do although it be exposed in the coldest metal of lead, which
well accordeth with that expression of _Job_, _The waters are hid as
with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen_. [SN: _Chap. 38._] But
whether water which hath been boiled or heated, doth sooner receive this
congelation, as commonly is delivered, we rest in the experiment of
_Cabeus_, who hath rejected the same in his excellent discourse of

They have contrary qualities elemental, and uses medicinal; for Ice is
cold and moist, of the quality of water; but Crystal is cold and dry,
according to the condition of earth. The use of Ice is condemned by most
Physicians, that of Crystal commended by many. For although
_Dioscorides_ and _Galen_ have left no mention thereof, yet hath
_Mathiolus_, _Agricola_, and many commended it in dysenteries and
fluxes; all for the increase of milk, most Chymists for the Stone, and
some, as _Brassavolus_ and _Bœtius_, as an antidote against poyson.
Which occult and specifical operations are not expectable from Ice; for
being but water congealed, it can never make good such qualities; nor
will it reasonably admit of secret proprieties, which are the affections
of forms, and compositions at distance from their elements.

[Sidenote: _What Crystal is._]

Having thus declared what Crystal is not, it may afford some
satisfaction to manifest what it is. To deliver therefore what with the
judgement of approved Authors, and best reason consisteth, It is a
Mineral body in the difference of stones, and reduced by some unto that
subdivision, which comprehendeth gemms, transparent and resembling Glass
or Ice, made of a lentous percolation of earth, drawn from the most pure
and limpid juice thereof, owing unto the coldness of the earth some
concurrence or coadjuvancy, but not immediate determination and
efficiency, which are wrought by the hand of its concretive spirit, the
seeds of petrification and Gorgon of it self. As sensible Philosophers
conceive of the generation of Diamonds, Iris, Berils. Not making them of
frozen icecles, or from meer aqueous and glaciable substances,
condensing them by frosts into solidities, vainly to be expected even
from Polary congelations: but from thin and finest earths, so well
contempered and resolved, that transparency is not hindred; and
containing lapidifical spirits, able to make good their solidities
against the opposition and activity of outward contraries, and so leave
a sensible difference between the bonds of glaciation, which in the
mountains of Ice about the Northern Seas, are easily dissolved by
ordinary heat of the Sun, and between the finer ligatures of
petrification, whereby not only the harder concretions of Diamonds and
Saphirs, but the softer veins of Crystal remain indissolvable in
scorching Territories, and the _Negro_ land of Congor.

And therefore I fear we commonly consider subterranities, not in
contemplations sufficiently respective unto the Creation. For though
_Moses_ have left no mention of Minerals, nor made any other description
then sutes unto the apparent and visible Creation, yet is there
unquestionably, a very large Classis of Creatures in the Earth, far
above the condition of elementarity. And although not in a distinct and
indisputable way of vivency, or answering in all points the properties
or affections of Plants, yet in inferiour and descending constitutions,
they do like these contain specifical distinctions, and are determined
by seminalities, that is, created and defined seeds committed unto the
Earth from the beginning. Wherein although they attain not the
indubitable requisites of Animation, yet have they a near affinity
thereto. And though we want a proper name and expressive appellation,
yet are they not to be closed up in the general name of concretions; or
lightly passed over as only Elementary and Subterraneous mixtions.

[Sidenote: _Exact continuity of parts a cause of transparency in things,
and why._]

The principle and most gemmary affection is its Tralucency: as for
irradiancy or sparkling which is found in many gemms, it is not
discoverable in this, for it cometh short of their compactness and
durity: and therefore requireth not the Emery, as the Saphir, Granate,
and Topaz, but will receive impression from Steel, in a manner like the
Turchois. As for its diaphanity or perspicuity, it enjoyeth that most
eminently; and the reason thereof is its continuity; as having its
earthy and salinous parts so exactly resolved, that its body is left
imporous and not discreted by atomical terminations. For, that
continuity of parts is the cause of perspicuity, it is made perspicuous
by two ways of experiment. That is, either in effecting transparency in
those bodies which were not so before, or at least far short of the
additional degree: So Snow becomes transparent upon liquation, so Horns
and Bodies resolvable into continued parts or gelly. The like is
observable in oyled paper, wherein the interstitial divisions being
continuated by the accession of oyl, it becometh more transparent, and
admits the visible rayes with less umbrosity. Or else the same is
effected by rendring those bodies opacous, which were before pellucid
and perspicuous.

So Glass which was before diaphanous, being by powder reduced into
multiplicity of superficies, becomes an opacous body, and will not
transmit the light. So it is in Crystal powdered, and so it is also
before; for if it be made hot in a crucible, and presently projected
upon water, it will grow dim, and abate its diaphanity; for the water
entering the body, begets a division of parts, and a termination of
Atoms united before unto continuity.

The ground of this Opinion might be, first the conclusions of some men
from experience; for as much as Crystal is found sometimes in rocks, and
in some places not much unlike the stirious or stillicidious
dependencies of Ice. Which notwithstanding may happen either in places
which have been forsaken or left bare by the earth, or may be
petrifications, or Mineral indurations, like other gemms, proceeding
from percolations of the earth disposed unto such concretions.

The second and most common ground is from the name _Crystallus_, whereby
in Greek both Ice and Crystal are expressed; which many not duly
considering, have from their community of name, conceived a community of
nature; and what was ascribed unto the one, not unfitly appliable unto
the other. But this is a fallacy of Æquivocation, from a society in name
inferring an Identity in nature. By this fallacy was he deceived that
drank _Aqua fortis_ for strong water. By this are they deluded, who
conceive _sperma Cœti_ which is found about the head, to be the spawn
of the Whale: Or take _sanguis draconis_ (which is the gumme of a tree,)
to be the blood of a Dragon. By the same Logick we may infer, the
Crystalline humour of the eye, or rather the Crystalline heaven above,
to be of the substance of Crystal here below; Or that God sendeth down
Crystal, because it is delivered in the vulgar translation, Psal. 47.
_Mittit Crystallum suum sicut Buccellas_. [SN: _Agreement in name._]
Which translation although it literally express the Septuagint; yet is
there no more meant thereby, than what our translation in plain English
expresseth; that is, he casteth forth his Ice like morsels, or what
_Tremellius_ and _Junius_ as clearly deliver, _Deficit gelu suum sicut
frusta, coram frigore ejus quis consistet?_ which proper and latine
expressions, had they been observed in ancient translations, elder
Expositors had not been misguided by the Synonomy; nor had they
afforded occasion unto _Austin_, the Gloss, _Lyranus_, and many others,
to have taken up the common conceit, and spoke of this Text conformably
unto the opinion rejected.


Concerning the Loadstone.

     Of things particularly spoken thereof, evidently or probably true.
     Of things generally believed, or particularly delivered, manifestly
     or probably false. In the first of the Magnetical vertue of the
     Earth, of the four motions of the stone, that is, its Verticity or
     Direction, its Attraction or Coition, its Declination, its
     Variation, and also of its Antiquity. In the second a rejection of
     sundry opinions and relations thereof, Natural, Medical,
     Historical, Magical.

[Sidenote: _How the earth is a Magnetical body._]

And first we conceive the earth to be a Magnetical body. A Magnetical
body, we term not onely that which hath a power attractive, but that
which seated in a convenient medium, naturally disposeth it self to one
invariable and fixed situation. And such a Magnetical vertue we conceive
to be in the Globe of the Earth, whereby as unto its natural points and
proper terms, it disposeth it self unto the poles; being so framed,
constituted, and ordered unto these points, that those parts which are
now at the poles, would not naturally abide under the Æquator, nor
_Greenland_ remain in the place of _Magellanica_. And if the whole earth
were violently removed, yet would it not foregoe its primitive points,
nor pitch in the East or West, but return unto its polary position
again. For though by compactness or gravity it may acquire the lowest
place, and become the center of the universe, yet that it makes good
that point, not varying at all by the accession of bodies upon, or
secession thereof from its surface, perturbing the equilibration of
either Hemisphere (whereby the altitude of the stars might vary) or that
it strictly maintains the North and Southern points; that neither upon
the motions of the heavens, air, and winds without, large eruptions and
division of parts within, its polary parts should never incline or veer
unto the Equator (whereby the latitude of places should also vary) it
cannot so well be salved from gravity as a Magnetical verticity. [SN:
_The foundation of the Earths stability._] This is probably, that
foundation the wisdom of the Creator hath laid unto the earth; in this
sense we may more nearly apprehend, and sensibly make out the
expressions of holy Scripture [SN: _Psal. 93._], as _Firmavit orbem
terræ qui non commovebitur_, he hath made the round world so sure that
it cannot be moved: as when it is said by _Job, Extendit Aquilonem super
vacuo, &c._ [SN: _Job 38._] He stretcheth forth the North upon the empty
place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. And this is the most probable
answer unto that great question. Whereupon are the foundations of the
Earth fastened, or who laid the corner stone thereof? Had they been
acquainted with this principle, _Anaxagoras_, _Socrates_, and
_Democritus_, had better made out the ground of this stability;
_Xenophanes_ had not been fain to say the Earth had no bottom; and
_Thales Milesius_ to make it swim in water.

[Sidenote: _The magnetical vertue of the Earth diffused_ extra se _and
communicated to bodies adjacent._]

Nor is the vigour of this great body included only in its self, or
circumferenced by its surface, but diffused at indeterminate distances
through the air, water, and all bodies circumjacent. Exciting and
impregnating Magnetical bodies within its surface or without it, and
performing in a secret and invisible way what we evidently behold
effected by the Loadstone. For these effluxions penetrate all bodies,
and like the species of visible objects are ever ready in the medium,
and lay hold on all bodies proportionate or capable of their action,
those bodies likewise being of a congenerous nature, do readily receive
the impressions of their motor; and if not fettered by their gravity,
conform themselves to situations, wherein they best unite unto their
Animator. And this will sufficiently appear from the observations that
are to follow, which can no better way be made out then by this we speak
of, the Magnetical vigour of the Earth. Now whether these effluviums do
flye by striated Atoms and winding particles as _Renatus des Cartes_
conceiveth; or glide by streams attracted from either Pole and
Hemisphere of the Earth unto the Equator, as Sir _Kenelm Digby_
excellently declareth, it takes not away this vertue of the Earth, but
more distinctly sets down the gests and progress thereof, and are
conceits of eminent use to salve Magnetical Phenomena's. [SN:
_Apparencies observations._] And as in Astronomy those hypotheses though
never so strange are best esteemed which best do salve apparencies; so
surely in Philosophy those principles (though seeming monstrous) may
with advantage be embraced, which best confirm experiment, and afford
the readiest reason of observation.[SN: _The doctrine of effluxions
acknowledged by the Author._] And truly the doctrine of effluxions,
their penetrating natures, their invisible paths, and insuspected
effects, are very considerable; for besides this Magnetical one of the
Earth, several effusions there may be from divers other bodies, which
invisibly act their parts at any time, and perhaps through any medium; a
part of Philosophy but yet in discovery, and will, I fear, prove the
last leaf to be turned over in the Book of Nature.

[Sidenote: _Point to the North._]

[Sidenote: _Point to the South._]

First, Therefore it is true, and confirmable by every experiment, that
Steel and good Iron never excited by the Loadstone, discover in
themselves a verticity; that is, a directive or polary faculty, whereby,
conveniently placed, they do Septentrionate at one extream, and
Australize at another. This is manifestable in long and thin plates of
Steel perforated in the middle and equilibrated; or by an easier way in
long wires equiponderate with untwisted Silk and soft Wax; for in this
manner pendulous, they will conform themselves Meridionally, directing
one extream unto the North, another to the South. The same is also
manifest in Steel wires thrust through little sphears or globes of Cork
and floated on the water, or in naked Needles gently let fall thereon;
for so disposed they will not rest, until they have found out the
Meridian, and as near as they can lye parallel unto the Axis of the
Earth: Sometimes the eye, sometimes the point Northward in divers
Needles, but the same point always in most: Conforming themselves unto
the whole Earth, in the same manner as they do unto every Loadstone. For
if a Needle untoucht he hanged above a Loadstone, it will convert into a
parallel position thereto; for in this situation it can best receive its
verticity and be excited proportionably at both extreams. Now this
direction proceeds not primitively from themselves, but is derivative
and contracted from the Magnetical effluxions of the Earth; which they
have winded in their hammering and formation; or else by long
continuance in one position, as we shall declare hereafter.

It is likewise true what is delivered of Irons heated in the fire, that
they contract a verticity in their refrigeration; for heated red hot and
cooled in the Meridian from North to South, they presently contract a
polary power, and being poised in air or water, convert that part unto
the North which respected that point in its refrigeration, so that if
they had no sensible verticity before, it may be acquired by this way;
or if they had any, it might be exchanged by contrary position in the
cooling. For by the fire they omit not onely many drossie and scorious
parts, but whatsoever they had received either from the Earth or
Loadstone; and so being naked and despoiled of all verticity, the
Magnetical Atomes invade their bodies with more effect and agility.

Neither is it only true what _Gilbertus_ first observed, that Irons
refrigerated North and South acquire a Directive faculty; but if they be
cooled upright and perpendicularly, they will also obtain the same. That
part which is cooled toward the North on this side the Equator,
converting it self unto the North, and attracting the South point of the
Needle: the other and highest extream respecting the South, and
attracting the Northern, according unto Laws Magnetical: For (what must
be observed) contrary Poles or faces attract each other, as the North
the South; and the like decline each other, as the North the North. Now
on this side of the Equator, that extream which is next the Earth is
animated unto the North, and the contrary unto the South; so that in
coition it applies it self quite oppositely, the coition or attraction
being contrary to the Verticity or Direction. Contrary, If we speak
according unto common use, yet alike, if we conceive the vertue of the
North Pole to diffuse it self and open at the South, and the South at
the North again.

[Sidenote: _Some conceive that the figure of the Tree or Spread-eagle in
the root of Brake or Fern stands North and South, but not truly._]

This polarity from refrigeration upon extremity and in defect of a
Loadstone might serve to invigorate and touch a Needle any where; and
this, allowing variation, is also the readiest way at any season to
discover the North or South; and surely far more certain then what is
affirmed of the grains and circles in trees, or the figure in the root
of Fern. For if we erect a red hot wire until it cool, then hang it up
with wax and untwisted Silk, where the lower end and that which cooled
next the earth doth rest, that is the Northern point; and this we affirm
will still be true whether it be cooled in the air or extinguished in
water, oyl of Vitriol, _Aqua fortis_, or Quicksilver. And this is also
evidenced in culinary utensils and Irons that often feel the force of
fire, as Tongs, Fire-shovels, Prongs, and Andirons; all which acquire a
Magnetical and polary condition, and being suspended, convert their
lower extreams unto the North; with the same attracting the Southern
point of the Needle. For easier experiment, if we place a Needle touched
at the foot of Tongs or Andirons, it will obvert or turn aside its
lillie or North point, and conform its cuspis or South extream unto the
Andiron. The like verticity though more obscurely is also contracted by
Bricks and Tiles, as we have made trial in some taken out of the backs
of chimneys. Now to contract this Direction, there needs not a total
ignition, nor is it necessary the Irons should be red hot all over. For
if a wire be heated only at one end, according as that end is cooled
upward or downward, it respectively acquires a verticity, as we have
declared in wires totally candent. Nor is it absolutely requisite they
should be cooled perpendicularly, or strictly lie in the Meridian; for
whether they be refrigerated inclinatorily or somewhat Æquinoxially,
that is toward the Eastern or Western points; though in a lesser degree,
they discover some verticity.

Nor is this onely true in Irons, but in the Loadstone it self. For if a
Loadstone be made red hot, it loseth the magnetical vigour it had before
in it self, and acquires another from the Earth in its refrigeration;
for that part which cooleth toward the Earth will acquire the respect of
the North, and attract the Southern point or cuspis of the Needle. The
experiment hereof we made in a Loadstone of a parallelogram or long
square figure; wherein onely inverting the extreams, as it came out of
the fire, we altered the poles or faces thereof at pleasure.

It is also true what is delivered of the Direction and coition of Irons,
that they contract a verticity by long and continued position: that is,
not onely being placed from North to South, and lying in the Meridian,
but respecting the Zenith and perpendicular unto the Center of the
Earth; as is manifest in bars of windows, casements, hinges and the
like. For if we present the Needle unto their lower extreams, it wheels
about and turns its Southern point unto them. The same condition in long
time do Bricks contract which are placed in walls, and therefore it may
be a fallible way to find out the Meridian by placing the Needle on a
wall; for some Bricks therein by a long and continued position, are
often magnetically enabled to distract the polarity of the Needle. And
therefore those Irons which are said to have been converted into
Loadstones; whether they were real conversions, or onely attractive
augmentations, might be much promoted by this position: as the Iron
cross of an hundred weight upon the Church of St. _John_ in _Ariminum_,
or that Loadston'd Iron of _Cæsar Moderatus_, set down by _Aldrovandus_.
[SN: _De miner. l. 1._]

Lastly, Irons do manifest a verticity not only upon refrigeration and
constant situation, but (what is wonderful and advanceth the magnetical
Hypothesis) they evidence the same by meer position according as they
are inverted, and their extreams disposed respectively unto the Earth.
For if an Iron or Steel not firmly excited, be held perpendicularly or
inclinatorily unto the Needle, the lower end thereof will attract the
_cuspis_ or Southern point; but if the same extream be inverted and held
under the Needle, it will then attract the lilly or Northern point; for
by inversion it changeth its direction acquired before, and receiveth a
new and Southern polarity from the Earth, as being the upper extream.
Now if an Iron be touched before, it varieth not in this manner; for
then it admits not this magnetical impression, as being already informed
by the Loadstone, and polarily determined by its preaction.

And from these grounds may we best determine why the Northern Pole of
the Loadstone attracteth a greater weight than the Southern on this side
the Æquator; why the stone is best preserved in a natural and polary
situation; and why as _Gilbertus_ observeth, it respecteth that Pole out
of the Earth, which it regarded in its Mineral bed and subterraneous

It is likewise true and wonderful what is delivered of the Inclination
or Declination of the Loadstone; that is, the descent of the Needle
below the plain of the Horizon. For long Needles which stood before upon
their _axis_, _parallel_ unto the Horizon, being vigorously excited,
incline and bend downward, depressing the North extream below the
Horizon. That is the North on this, the South on the other side of the
Equator; and at the very Line or middle circle stand without deflexion.
And this is evidenced not onely from observations of the Needle in
several parts of the earth, but sundry experiments in any part thereof,
as in a long Steel wire, equilibrated or evenly ballanced in the air;
for excited by a vigorous Loadstone it will somewhat depress its
animated extream, and intersect the horizontal circumference. It is also
manifest in a Needle pierced through a Globe of Cork so cut away and
pared by degrees, that it will swim under water, yet sink not unto the
bottom, which may be well effected; for if the Cork be a thought too
light to sink under the surface, the body of the water may be attenuated
with spirits of wine; if too heavy, it may be incrassated with salt; and
if by chance too much be added, it may again be thinned by a
proportionable addition of fresh water. If then the Needle be taken out,
actively touched and put in again, it will depress and bow down its
Northern head toward the bottom, and advance its Southern extremity
toward the brim. This way invented by _Gilbertus_ may seem of
difficulty; the same with less labour may be observed in a needled
sphere of Cork equally contiguous unto the surface of the water; for if
the Needle be not exactly equiponderant, that end which is a thought too
light, if touched becometh even; that Needle also which will but just
swim under the water, if forcibly touched will sink deeper, and sometime
unto the bottom. If likewise that inclinatory vertue be destroyed by a
touch from the contrary Pole, that end which before was elevated will
then decline, and this perhaps might be observed in some scales exactly
ballanced, and in such Needles which for their bulk can hardly be
supported by the water. For if they be powerfully excited and equally
let fall, they commonly sink down and break the water at that extream
whereat they were septentrionally excited: and by this way it is
conceived there may be some fraud in the weighing of precious
commodities, and such as carry a value in quarter-grains; by placing a
powerful Loadstone above or below, according as we intend to depress or
elevate one extream.

Now if these Magnetical emissions be onely qualities, and the gravity of
bodies incline them onely unto the earth; surely that which alone moveth
other bodies to descent, carrieth not the stroak in this, but rather the
Magnetical alliciency of the Earth; unto which with alacrity it applieth
it self, and in the very same way unto the whole Earth, as it doth unto
a single Loadstone. For if an untouched Needle be at a distance
suspended over a Loadstone, it will not hang parallel, but decline at
the North extream, and at that part will first salute its Director.
Again, what is also wonderful, this inclination is not invariable; for
just under the line the Needle lieth parallel with the Horizon, but
sailing North or South it beginneth to incline, and encreaseth according
as it approacheth unto either Pole; and would at last endeavour to erect
it self. And this is no more then what it doth upon the Loadstone, and
that more plainly upon the Terrella or spherical magnet Cosmographically
set out with circles of the Globe. For at the Equator thereof, the
Needle will stand rectangularly; but approaching Northward toward the
Tropick it will regard the stone obliquely, and when it attaineth the
Pole, directly; and if its bulk be no impediment, erect it self and
stand perpendicularly thereon. And therefore upon strict observation of
this inclination in several latitudes and due records preserved,
instruments are made whereby without the help of Sun or Star, the
latitude of the place may be discovered; and yet it appears the
observations of men have not as yet been so just and equal as is
desirable; for of those Tables of declination which I have perused,
there are not any two that punctually agree; though some have been
thought exactly calculated, especially that which _Ridley_ received from
Mr. _Brigs_, in our time Geometry Professor in _Oxford_.

[Sidenote: _What the variation of the Compass is._]

It is also probable what is delivered concerning the variation of the
Compass that is the cause and ground thereof, for the manner as being
confirmed by observation we shall not at all dispute. The variation of
the Compass is an Arch of the Horizon intercepted between the true and
Magnetical Meridian; or more plainly, a deflexion and siding East and
West from the true Meridian. The true Meridian is a major Circle passing
through the Poles of the World, and the Zenith or Vertex of any place,
exactly dividing the East from the West. Now on this line the Needle
exactly lieth not, but diverts and varieth its point, that is, the North
point on this side the Equator, the South on the other; sometimes on the
East, sometime toward the West, and in some few places varieth not at
all. First, therefore it is observed that betwixt the Shore of
_Ireland_, _France_, _Spain_, _Guiny_, and the _Azores_, the North point
varieth toward the East, and that in some variety; at _London_ it
varieth eleven degrees, at _Antwerp_ nine, at _Rome_ but five: at some
parts of the _Azores_ it deflecteth not, but lieth in the true Meridian;
on the other side of the _Azores_, and this side of the Equator, the
North point of the Needle wheeleth to the West; so that in the latitude
of 36 near the shore, the variation is about eleven degrees; but on the
other side the Equator, it is quite otherwise: for about _Capio Frio_ in
_Brasilia_, the South point varieth twelve degrees unto the West, and
about the mouth of the Straits of _Magellan_ five or six; but elongating
from the coast of _Brasilia_ toward the shore of _Africa_ it varieth
Eastward, and arriving at _Capo de las Agullas_, it resteth in the
Meridian, and looketh neither way.

[Sidenote: _The cause of the variation of the Compass._]

Now the cause of this variation was thought by _Gilbertus_ to be the
inequality of the Earth, variously disposed, and indifferently
intermixed with the Sea: withal the different disposure of its
Magnetical vigor in the eminencies and stronger parts thereof. For the
Needle naturally endeavours to conform unto the Meridian, but being
distracted, driveth that way where the greater and powerfuller part of
the Earth is placed. Which may be illustrated from what hath been
delivered and may be conceived by any that understands the generalities
of Geography. For whereas on this side the Meridian, or the Isles of
_Azores_, where the first Meridian is placed, the Needle varieth
Eastward; it may be occasioned by that vast Tract of Earth, that is, of
_Europe_, _Asia_, and _Africa_, seated toward the East, and disposing
the Needle that way. For arriving at some part of the _Azores_, or
Islands of Saint _Michael_, which have a middle situation between these
Continents, and that vast and almost answerable Tract of _America_, it
seemeth equally distracted by both; and diverting unto neither, doth
parallel and place it self upon the true Meridian. But sailing farther,
it veers its Lilly to the West, and regardeth that quarter wherein the
Land is nearer or greater; and in the same latitude as it approacheth
the shore augmenteth its variation. And therefore as some observe, if
_Columbus_ or whosoever first discovered _America_, had apprehended the
cause of this variation, having passed more then half the way, he might
have been confirmed in the discovery, and assuredly foretold there lay a
vast and mighty continent toward the West. The reason I confess and
inference is good, but the instance perhaps not so. For _Columbus_ knew
not the variation of the compass, whereof _Sebastian Cabot_ first took
notice, who after made discovery in the Northern part of that continent.
And it happened indeed that part of _America_ was first discovered,
which was on this side farthest distant, that is, _Jamaica_, _Cuba_, and
the Isles in the Bay of _Mexico_. And from this variation do some new
discoverers deduce a probability in the attempts of the Northern passage
toward the _Indies_.

Now because where the greater continents are joyned, the action and
effluence is also greater; therefore those Needles do suffer the
greatest variation which are in Countries which most do feel that
action. And therefore hath _Rome_ far less variation then _London_; for
on the West side of _Rome_ are seated the great continents of _France_,
_Spain_, _Germany_, which take off the exuperance, and in some way
ballance the vigor of the Eastern parts. But unto _England_ there is
almost no Earth West, but the whole extent of _Europe_ and _Asia_ lieth
Eastward; and therefore at _London_ it varieth eleven degrees, that is
almost one _Rhomb_. Thus also by reason of the great continent of
_Brasilia_, _Peru_, and _Chili_, the Needle deflecteth toward the Land
twelve degrees; but at the straits of _Magellan_ where the Land is
narrowed, and the Sea on the other side, it varieth but five or six.
And so likewise, because the Cape _de las Agullas_ hath Sea on both
sides near it, and other Land remote, and as it were æquidistant from
it, therefore at that point the Needle conforms unto the true Meridian,
and is not distracted by the vicinity of Adjacencies. This is the
general and great cause of variation. But if in certain Creeks and
Vallies the Needle prove irregular, and vary beyond expectation, it may
be imputed unto some vigorous part of the Earth, or Magnetical eminence
not far distant. And this was the invention of _D. Gilbert_, not many
years past, a Physician in _London_. And therefore although some assume
the invention of its direction, and other have had the glory of the
Card; yet in the experiments, grounds, and causes thereof, _England_
produced the Father Philosopher, and discovered more in it then
_Columbus_ or _Americus_ did ever by it.

Unto this in great part true the reason of _Kircherus_ may be added:
That this variation proceedeth not only from terrestrious eminencies,
and magnetical veins of the Earth, laterally respecting the Needle, but
the different coagmentation of the Earth disposed unto the Poles, lying
under the Sea and Waters, which affect the Needle with great or lesser
variation, according to the vigour or imbecility of these subterraneous
lines, or the entire or broken compagination of the magnetical fabrick
under it. As is observable from several Loadstones placed at the bottom
of any water, for a Loadstone or Needle upon the surface, will variously
conform it self, according to the vigour or faintness of the Loadstones
under it.

Thus also a reason may be alledged for the variation of the variation,
and why, according to observation, the variation of the Needle hath
after some years been found to vary in some places. For this may
proceed from mutations of the earth, by subterraneous fires, fumes,
mineral spirits, or otherwise; which altering the constitution of the
magnetical parts, in process of time, doth vary the variation over the

It is also probable what is conceived of its Antiquity, that the
knowledge of its polary power and direction unto the North was unknown
unto the Ancients; and though _Levinus Lemnius_, and _Cælius
Colcagninus_, are of another belief, is justly placed with new
inventions by _Pancirollus_. For their _Achilles_ and strongest argument
is an expression in _Plautus_, a very Ancient author, and contemporary
unto _Ennius_. _Hic ventus jam secundus est, cape modo versoriam._ Now
this _versoriam_ they construe to be the compass, which notwithstanding
according unto _Pineda_, who hath discussed the point, _Turnebus_,
_Cabeus_, and divers others, is better interpreted the rope that helps
to turn the Ship, or as we say, doth make it tack about; the Compass
declaring rather the Ship is turned, then conferring unto its
conversion. As for the long expeditions and sundry voyages of elder
times, which might confirm the Antiquity of this invention, it is not
improbable they were performed by the help of Stars; and so might the
Phœnicean navigators, and also _Ulisses_ sail about the
Mediterranean, by the flight of Birds, or keeping near the shore; and so
might _Hanno_ coast about _Africa_; or by the help of Oars, as is
expressed in the voyage of _Jonah_. And whereas it is contended that
this verticity was not unknown unto _Solomon_, in whom is presumed an
universality of knowledge; it will as forcibly follow, he knew the Art
of Typography, Powder and Guns, or had the Philosophers Stone, yet sent
unto _Ophir_ for Gold. It is not to be denied, that beside his
Political wisdom, his knowledge in Philosophy was very large; and
perhaps from his works therein, the ancient Philosophers, especially
_Aristotle_, who had the assistance of _Alexanders_ acquirements,
collected great observables. Yet if he knew the use of the Compass, his
Ships were surely very slow, that made a three years voyage from
_Eziongeber_ in the red Sea unto _Ophir_; which is supposed to be
_Taprobana_ or _Malaca_ in the _Indies_, not many moneths sail; and
since in the same or lesser time, _Drake_ and _Candish_ performed their
voyage about the Earth.

And as the knowledge of its verticity is not so old as some conceive, so
it is more ancient then most believe; nor had its discovery with Guns,
Printing, or as many think, some years before the discovery of
_America_. For it was not unknown unto _Petrus Peregrinus_ a Frenchman,
who two hundred years since left a Tract of the Magnet, and a perpetual
motion to be made thereby, preserved by _Gasserus_. _Paulus Venetus_,
and about five hundred years past _Albertus Magnus_ make mention hereof,
and quote for it a Book of _Aristotle_, _De Lapide_; which Book although
we find in the Catalogue of _Laertius_, yet with _Cabeus_ we may rather
judge it to be the work of some Arabick Writer, not many years before
the days of _Albertus_.

Lastly, It is likewise true what some have delivered of _Crocus Martis_,
that is, Steel corroded with Vinegar, Sulphur, or otherwise, and after
reverberated by fire. For the Loadstone will not at all attract it, nor
will it adhere, but lye therein like Sand. This to be understood of
_Crocus Martis_ well reverberated, and into a violet colour: for common
_chalybs præparatus_, or corroded and powdered Steel, the Loadstone
attracts like ordinary filings of Iron; and many times most of that
which passeth for _Crocus Martis_. So that this way may serve as a test
of its preparation; after which it becometh a very good medicine in
fluxes. The like may be affirmed of flakes of Iron that are rusty and
begin to tend unto Earth; for their cognation then expireth, and the
Loadstone will not regard them.

And therefore this may serve as a trial of good Steel. The Loadstone
taking up a greater mass of that which is most pure, it may also decide
the conversion of Wood into Iron, as is pretended from some Waters: and
the common conversion of Iron into Copper by the mediation of blew
Coperose, for the Loadstone will not attract it. Although it may be
questioned, whether in this operation, the Iron or Coperose be
transmuted, as may be doubted from the cognation of Coperose with
Copper; and the quantity of Iron remaining after the conversion. And the
same may be useful to some discovery concerning Vitriol or Coperose of
Mars, by some called Salt of Steel, made by the spirits of Vitriol or
Sulphur. For the corroded powder of Steel will after ablution be
actively attracted by the Loadstone, and also remaineth in little
diminished quantity. And therefore whether those shooting Salts partake
but little of Steel, and be not rather the vitriolous spirits fixed into
Salt by the effluvium or odor of Steel, is not without good question.


     Concerning the Loadstone, therein of sundry common Opinions, and
     received several relations: Natural, Historical, Medical, Magical.

And first not only a simple Heterodox, but a very hard Paradox, it will
seem, and of great absurdity unto obstinate ears, if we say, attraction
is unjustly appropriated unto the Loadstone, and that perhaps we speak
not properly, when we say vulgarly and appropriately the Loadstone
draweth Iron; and yet herein we should not want experiment and great
authority. The words of _Renatus des Cartes_ in his Principles of
Philosophy are very plain. _Præterea magnes trahet ferrum, sive potius
magnes & ferrum ad invicem accedunt, neque enim ulla ibi tractio est._
The same is solemnly determined by _Cabeus_. _Nec magnes trahit proprie
ferrum, nec ferrum ad se magnetem provocat, sed ambo pari conatu ad
invicem confluunt._ Concordant hereto is the assertion of Doctor
_Ridley_, Physitian unto the Emperour of _Russia_, in his Tract of
Magnetical Bodies, defining Magnetical attraction to be a natural
incitation and disposition conforming unto contiguity, an union of one
Magnetical Body with another, and no violent haling of the weak unto the
stronger. And this is also the doctrine of _Gilbertus_, by whom this
motion is termed Coition, and that not made by any faculty attractive of
one, but a Syndrome and concourse of each; a Coition alway of their
vigours, and also of their bodies, if bulk or impediment prevent not.
And therefore those contrary actions which flow from opposite Poles or
Faces, are not so properly expulsion and attraction, as _Sequela_ and
_Fuga_, a mutual flight and following. Consonant whereto are also the
determination of _Helmontius_, _Kircherus_, and _Licetus_.

[Sidenote: _Attraction reciprocal betwixt the Loadstone and Iron._]

The same is also confirmed by experiment; for if a piece of Iron be
fastened in the side of a bowl or bason water, a Loadstone swimming
freely in a Boot of Cork, will presently make unto it. So if a Steel or
Knife untouched, be offered toward the Needle that is touched, the
Needle nimbly moveth toward it, and conformeth unto union with the Steel
that moveth not. Again, If a Loadstone be finely filed, the Atoms or
dust thereof will adhere unto Iron that was never touched, even as the
powder of Iron doth also unto the Loadstone. And lastly, if in two
Skiffs of Cork, a Loadstone and Steel be placed within the Orb of their
activities, the one doth not move the other standing still, but both
hoise sail and steer unto each other. So that if the Loadstone attract,
the Steel hath also its attraction; for in this action the Alliciency is
reciprocal, which joyntly felt, they mutually approach and run into each
others arms.

And therefore surely more moderate expressions become this action, then
what the Ancients have used, which some have delivered in the most
violent terms of their language; so _Austin_ calls it, _Mirabilem ferri
raptorem_: _Hippocrates_ λίθος τὸν σίδηρον ἁρπάζει, _Lapis qui ferrum
rapit_. _Galen_ disputing against _Epicurus_ useth the term ἕλκειν, but
this also is too violent: among the Ancients _Aristotle_ spake most
warily, ὅστις τὸν σίδηρον κινεῖ, _Lapis qui ferrum movet_: and in some
tolerable acception do run the expressions of _Aquinas_, _Scaliger_ and

Many relations are made, and great expectations are raised from the
_Magnes Carneus_, or a Loadstone, that hath a faculty to attract not
only iron but flesh; but this upon enquiry, and as _Cabeus_ also
observed, is nothing else but a weak and inanimate kind of Loadstone,
veined here and there with a few magnetical and ferreous lines; but
consisting of a bolary and clammy substance, whereby it adheres like
_Hæmatites_, or _Terra Lemnia_, unto the Lips. And this is that stone
which is to be understood, when Physitians joyn it with _Ætites_, or the
Eagle stone, and promise therein a vertue against abortion.

There is sometime a mistake concerning the variation of the Compass, and
therein one point is taken for another. For beyond that Equator some men
account its variation by the diversion of the Northern point, whereas
beyond that Circle the Southern point is Soveraign, and the North
submits his preheminency. For in the Southern coast either of _America_
or _Africa_, the Southern point deflects and varieth toward the Land, as
being disposed and spirited that way by the Meridional and proper
Hemisphere. And therefore on that side of the Earth the varying point is
best accounted by the South. And therefore also the writings of some,
and Maps of others, are to be enquired, that make the Needle decline
unto the East twelve degrees at _Capo Frio_, and six at the straits of
_Magellan_; accounting hereby one point for another, and preferring the
North in the Liberties and Province of the South.

[Sidenote: _That Garlick hinders not the attraction of the Loadstone._]

But certainly false it is what is commonly affirmed and believed, that
Garlick doth hinder the attraction of the Loadstone, which is
notwithstanding delivered by grave and worthy Writers, by _Pliny_,
_Solinus_, _Ptolemy_, _Plutarch_, _Albertus_, _Mathiolus_, _Rueus_,
_Langius_, and many more. An effect as strange as that of _Homers
Moly_, and the Garlick that _Mercury_ bestowed upon _Ulysses_. But that
it is evidently false, many experiments declare. For an Iron wire heated
red hot and quenched in the juice of Garlick, doth notwithstanding
contract a verticity from the Earth, and attracteth the Southern point
of the Needle. If also the tooth of a Loadstone be covered or stuck in
Garlick, it will notwithstanding attract; and Needles excited and fixed
in Garlick until they begin to rust, do yet retain their attractive and
polary respects.

[Sidenote: _Nor yet the Adamant or Diamond._]

Of the same stamp is that which is obtruded upon us by Authors ancient
and modern, that an Adamant or Diamond prevents or suspends the
attraction of the Loadstone: as is in open terms delivered by _Pliny_.
_Adamas dissidet cum Magnete lapide, ut juxta positus ferrum non
patiatur abstrahi, aut si admotus magnes, apprehenderit, rapiat atque
auferat_. For if a Diamond be placed between a Needle and a Loadstone,
there will nevertheless ensue a Coition even over the body of the
Diamond. And an easie matter it is to touch or excite a Needle through a
Diamond, by placing it at the tooth of a Loadstone; and therefore the
relation is false, or our estimation of these gemms untrue; nor are they
Diamonds which carry that name amongst us.

[Sidenote: De generatione rerum.]

It is not suddenly to be received what _Paracelsus_ affirmeth, that if a
Loadstone be anointed with Mercurial oyl, or onely put into Quicksilver,
it omitteth its attraction for ever. For we have found that Loadstones
and touched Needles which have laid long time in Quicksilver have not
amitted their attraction. And we also find that red hot Needles or wires
extinguished in Quicksilver, do yet acquire a verticity according to the
Laws of position in extinction. Of greater repugnancy unto reason is
that which he delivers concerning its graduation, that heated in fire
and often extinguished in oyl of Mars or Iron, it acquires an ability to
extract or draw forth a nail fastened in a wall; for, as we have
declared before, the vigor of the Loadstone is destroyed by fire, nor
will it be re-impregnated by any other Magnete then the Earth.

Nor is it to be made out what seemeth very plausible, and formerly hath
deceived us, that a Loadstone will not attract an Iron or Steel red hot.
The falsity hereof discovered first by _Kircherus_, we can confirm by
iterated experiment; very sensibly in armed Loadstones, and obscurely in
any other.

True it is, that besides fire some other wayes there are of its
destruction, as Age, Rust; and what is least dreamt on, an unnatural or
contrary situation. For being impolarily adjoyned unto a more vigorous
Loadstone, it will in a short time enchange its Poles; or being kept in
undue position, that is, not lying on the Meridian, or else with its
poles inverted, it receives in longer time impair in activity, exchange
of Faces; and is more powerfully preserved by position then by the dust
of Steel. But the sudden and surest way is fire; that is, fire not onely
actual but potential; the one surely and suddenly, the other slowly and
imperfectly; the one changing, the other destroying the figure. For if
distilled Vinegar or _Aqua fortis_ be poured upon the powder of
Loadstone, the subsiding powder dryed, retains some Magnetical vertue,
and will be attracted by the Loadstone: but if the menstruum or
dissolvent be evaporated to a consistence, and afterward doth shoot into
Icycles or Crystals, the Loadstone hath no power upon them; and if in a
full dissolution of Steel a separation of parts be made by precipitation
or exhalation, the exsiccated powder hath lost its wings and ascends
not unto the Loadstone. And though a Loadstone fired doth presently omit
its proper vertue, and according to the position in cooling contracts a
new verticity from the Earth; yet if the same be laid awhile in _aqua
fortis_ or other corrosive water, and taken out before a considerable
corrosion, it still reserves its attraction, and will convert the Needle
according to former polarity. And that duly preserved from violent
corrosion, or the natural disease of rust, it may long conserve its
vertue, beside the Magnetical vertue of the Earth, which hath lasted
since the Creation, a great example we have from the observation of our
learned friend Mr. _Graves_, [SN: _In his learned Pyramidographia._] in
an Ægyptian Idol cut out of Loadstone, and found among the _Mummies_;
which still retains its attraction, though probably taken out of the
Mine about two thousand years ago.

It is improbable what _Pliny_ affirmeth concerning the object of its
attraction, that it attracts not only ferreous bodies, but also
_liquorem vitri_; for in the body of Glass there is no ferreous or
magnetical nature which might occasion attraction. For of the Glass we
use, the purest is made of the finest sand and the ashes of Chali or
Glaswort, and the courser or green sort of the ashes of Brake or other
plants. True it is that in the making of Glass, it hath been an ancient
practice to cast in pieces of magnet, or perhaps manganes: conceiving it
carried away all ferreous and earthy parts, from the pure and running
portion of Glass, which the Loadstone would not respect; and therefore
if that attraction were not rather Electrical then Magnetical, it was a
wondrous effect what _Helmont_ delivereth concerning a Glass wherein the
Magistery of Loadstone was prepared, which after retained an attractive

But whether the Magnet attracteth more then common Iron, may be tried in
other bodies. It seems to attract the Smyris or Emery in powder; It
draweth the shining or glassie powder brought from the _Indies_, and
usually implied in writing-dust. There is also in Smiths Cinders by some
adhesion of Iron whereby they appear as it were glazed, sometime to be
found a magnetical operation; for some thereof applied have power to
move the Needle. But whether the ashes of vegetables which grow over
Iron Mines contract a magnetical quality, as containing some mineral
particles, which by sublimation ascend unto their Roots, and are
attracted together with their nourishment; according as some affirm from
the like observations upon the Mines of Silver, Quick silver, and Gold,
we must refer unto further experiment.

It is also improbable and something singular what some conceive, and
_Eusebius Nierembergius_, a learned Jesuit of _Spain_ delivers, that the
body of man is magnetical, and being placed in a Boat, the Vessel will
never rest untill the head respecteth the North. If this be true, the
bodies of Christians do lye unnaturally in their Graves. King _Cheops_
in his Tomb, and the _Jews_ in their beds have fallen upon the natural
position: who reverentially declining the situation of their Temple, nor
willing to lye as that stood, do place their Beds from North to South,
and delight to sleep Meridionally. This Opinion confirmed would much
advance the Microcosmical conceit, and commend the Geography of
_Paracelsus_, who according to the Cardinal points of the World divideth
the body of man: and therefore working upon humane ordure, and by long
preparation rendring it odoriferous, he terms it _Zibeta Occidentalis_,
Western _Civet_; making the face the East, but the posteriours the
_America_ or Western part of his Microcosm. The verity hereof might
easily be tried in _Wales_, where there are portable Boats, and made of
Leather, which would convert upon the impulsion of any verticity; and
seem to be the same whereof in his description of _Britain Cæsar_ hath
left some mention.

[Sidenote: _Anagrammatically._]

Another kind of verticity, is that which _Angelus doce mihi jus_,
_alias_, _Michael Sundevogis_, in a Tract _De Sulphure_, discovereth in
Vegetables, from sticks let fall or depressed under water; which equally
framed and permitted unto themselves, will ascend at the upper end, or
that which was vertical in their vegetation; wherein notwithstanding, as
yet, we have not found satisfaction. Although perhaps too greedy of
Magnalities, we are apt to make but favourable experiments concerning
welcome Truths, and such desired verities.

It is also wondrous strange what _Lælius Bisciola_ reporteth, that if
unto ten ounces of Loadstone one of Iron be added, it encreaseth not
unto eleven, but weighs ten ounces still. [SN: Horæ subsecivæ.] A
relation inexcusable in a work of leisurable hours: the examination
being as ready as the relation, and the falsity tried as easily as
delivered. Nor is it to be omitted what is taken up by the _Cœsius
Bernardus_ a late Mineralogist, and originally confirmed by _Porta_,
that Needles touched with a _Diamond_ contract a verticity, even as they
do with a Loadstone, which will not consist with experiment. And
therefore, as _Gilbertus_ observeth, he might be deceived, in touching
such Needles with _Diamonds_, which had a verticity before, as we have
declared most Needles to have; and so had he touched them with Gold or
Silver, he might have concluded a magnetical vertue therein.

In the same form may we place _Fracastorius_ his attraction of silver.
_Philostratus_ his _Pantarbes_, _Apollodorus_ and _Beda_ his relation of
the Loadstone that attracted onely in the night. But most inexcusable is
_Franciscus Rueus_, a man of our own profession; who in his discourse of
_Gemms_ mentioned in the _Apocalyps_, undertakes a Chapter of the
Loadstone. Wherein substantially and upon experiment he scarce
delivereth any thing: making long enumeration of its traditional
qualities, whereof he seemeth to believe many, and some above convicted
by experience, he is fain to salve as impostures of the Devil. But
_Bœtius de Boot_ Physitian unto _Rodulphus_ the second, hath
recompenced this defect; and in his Tract _De Lapidibus & Gemmis_,
speaks very materially hereof; and his Discourse is consonant unto
Experience and Reason.

As for Relations Historical, though many there be of less account, yet
two alone deserve consideration: The first concerneth magnetical Rocks,
and attractive Mountains in several parts of the Earth. The other the
Tomb of _Mahomet_ and bodies suspended in the air. Of Rocks magnetical
there are likewise two relations; for some are delivered to be in the
_Indies_, and some in the extremity of the North, and about the very
Pole. The Northern account is commonly ascribed unto _Olaus Magnus_
Archbishop of _Upsale_, who out of his Predecessor _Joannes_, _Saxo_,
and others, compiled a History of some Northern Nations; but this
assertion we have not discovered in that Work of his which commonly
passeth amongst us, and should believe his Geography herein no more then
that in the first line of his Book; when he affirmeth that _Biarmia_
(which is not seventy degrees in latitude) hath the Pole for its Zenith,
and Equinoctial for the Horizon.

Now upon this foundation, how uncertain soever men have erected mighty
illations, ascribing thereto the cause of the Needles direction, and
conceiving the effluctions from these Mountains and Rocks invite the
Lilly toward the North. Which conceit though countenanced by learned
men, is not made out either by experience or reason, for no man hath yet
attained or given a sensible account of the Pole by some degrees. It is
also observed the Needle doth very much vary as it approacheth the Pole;
whereas were there such direction from the Rocks, upon a nearer
approachment it would more directly respect them. Beside, were there
such magnetical Rocks under the Pole, yet being so far removed they
would produce no such effect. For they that sail by the Isle of _Ilua_
now called _Elba_ in the Thuscan Sea which abounds in veins of
Loadstone, observe no variation or inclination of the Needle; much less
may they expect a direction from Rocks at the end of the Earth. And
lastly, men that ascribe thus much unto Rocks of the North, must presume
or discover the like magneticals at the South: For in the Southern Seas
and far beyond the Equator, variations are large, and declinations as
constant as in the Northern Ocean.

[Sidenote: _(Probably) there be no magnetical Rocks._]

The other relation of Loadstone Mines and Rocks, in the shore of _India_
is delivered of old by _Pliny_; wherein, saith he, they are so placed
both in abundance and vigour, that it proves an adventure of hazard to
pass those Coasts in a Ship with Iron nails. _Serapion_ the Moor, an
Author of good esteem and reasonable Antiquity, confirmeth the same,
whose expression in the word _magnes_ is this. The Mine of this Stone is
in the Sea-coast of _India_, whereto when Ships approach, there is no
Iron in them which flies not like a Bird unto those Mountains; and
therefore their ships are fastened not with Iron but Wood, for otherwise
they would be torn to pieces. But this assertion, how positive soever,
is contradicted by all Navigators that pass that way; which are now
many, and of our own Nation, and might surely have been controled by
_Nearchus_ the Admiral of _Alexander_; who not knowing the Compass, was
fain to coast that shore.

[Sidenote: Mahomet's _tomb of stone, and built upon the ground._]

For the relation concerning _Mahomet_, it is generally believed his Tomb
at _Medina Talnabi_, in _Arabia_, without any visible supporters hangeth
in the air between two Loadstones artificially contrived both above and
below; which conceit is fabulous and evidently false from the testimony
of Ocular Testators, who affirm his Tomb is made of Stone, and lyeth
upon the ground; as beside others the learned _Vossius_ observeth from
_Gabriel Sionita_, and _Joannes Hesronita_, two _Maronites_ in their
relations hereof. Of such intentions and attempt by _Mahometans_ we read
in some Relators, and that might be the occasion of the Fable, which by
tradition of time and distance of place enlarged into the Story of being
accomplished. And this hath been promoted by attempts of the like
nature; for we read in _Pliny_ that one _Dinocrates_ began to Arch the
Temple of _Arsinoe_ in _Alexandria_ with Loadstone, that so her Statue
might be suspended in the air to the amazement of the beholders. And to
lead on our crudelity herein, confirmation may be drawn from History and
Writers of good authority. So it is reported by _Ruffinus_, that in the
Temple of _Serapis_ there was an Iron Chariot suspended by Loadstones in
the air; which stones removed, the Chariot fell and dashed into pieces.
The like doth _Beda_ report of _Bellerophons_ Horse, which framed of
Iron, was placed between two Loadstones, with wings expansed, pendulous
in the air.

The verity of these Stories we shall not further dispute, their
possibility we may in some way determine; if we conceive what no man
will deny, that bodies suspended in the air have this suspension from
one or many Loadstones placed both above and below it; or else by one or
many placed only above it. Likewise the body to be suspended in respect
of the Loadstone above, is either placed first at a pendulous distance
in the medium, or else attracted unto that site by the vigor of the
Loadstone. And so we first affirm, that possible it is, a body may be
suspended between two Loadstones; that is, it being so equally attracted
unto both, that it determineth it self unto neither. But surely this
position will be of no duration; for if the air be agitated or the body
waved either way, it omits the equilibration, and disposeth it self unto
the nearest attractor. Again, It is not impossible (though hardly
feasible) by a single Loadstone to suspend an Iron in the air, the Iron
being artificially placed and at a distance guided toward the stone,
until it find the neutral point, wherein its gravity just equals the
magnetical quality, the one exactly extolling as much as the other
depresseth. And lastly, Impossible it is that if an Iron rest upon the
ground, and a Loadstone be placed over it, it should ever so arise as to
hang in the way or medium; for that vigor which at a distance is able to
overcome the resistance of its gravity and to lift it up from the Earth,
will as it approacheth nearer be still more able to attract it; never
remaining in the middle that could not abide in the extreams. Now the
way of _Baptista Porta_ that by a thred fastneth a Needle to a Table,
and then so guides and orders the same, that by the attraction of the
Loadstone it abideth in the air, infringeth not this reason; for this is
a violent retention, and if the thred be loosened, the Needle ascends
and adheres unto the Attractor.

[Sidenote: _Powder of Loadstones, of what operation._]

The third consideration concerneth Medical relations; wherein what ever
effects are delivered, they are either derived from its mineral and
ferreous condition, or else magnetical operation. Unto the ferreous and
mineral quality pertaineth what _Dioscorides_ an ancient Writer and
Souldier under _Anthony_ and _Cleopatra_ affirmeth, that half a dram of
Loadstone given with Honey and Water, proves a purgative medicine, and
evacuateth gross humours. But this is a quality of great incertainty;
for omitting the vehicle of Water and Honey, which is of a laxative
power it self, the powder of some Loadstones in this dose doth rather
constipate and binde, then purge and loosen the belly. And if sometimes
it cause any laxity, it is probably in the same way with Iron and Steel
unprepared, which will disturb some bodies, and work by Purge and Vomit.
And therefore, whereas it is delivered in a Book ascribed unto _Galen_,
that it is a good medicine in dropsies, and evacuates the waters of
persons so affected: It may I confess by siccity and astriction afford a
confirmation unto parts relaxed, and such as be hydropically disposed;
and by these qualities it may be useful in _Hernias_ or _Ruptures_, and
for these it is commended by _Ætius_, _Ægineta_, and _Oribatius_; who
only affirm that it contains the vertue of _Hæmatites_, and being burnt
was sometimes vended for it. Wherein notwithstanding there is an higher
vertue; and in the same prepared, or in rich veins thereof, though
crude, we have observed the effects of Chalybeat Medicines; and the
benefits of Iron and Steel in strong obstructions. And therefore that
was probably a different vein of Loadstone, or infected with other
mineral mixture, which the Ancients commended for a purgative medicine,
and ranked the same with the violentest kinds thereof: with _Hippophae_,
_Cneoron_, and _Thymelæa_, as we find it in _Hippocrates_ [SN: _De
morbis internis._]; and might be somewhat doubtful, whether by the
magnesian stone, he understood the Loadstone; did not _Achilles Statius_
define the same, the Stone that loveth Iron.

To this mineral condition belongeth what is delivered by some, that
wounds which are made with weapons excited by the Loadstone, contract a
malignity, and become of more difficult cure; which nevertheless is not
to be found in the incision of Chyrurgions with knives and lances
touched; which leave no such effect behind them. Hither we also refer
that affirmative, which sayes the Loadstone is poison; and therefore in
the lists of poisons we find it in many Authors. But this our experience
cannot confirm, and the practice of the King of _Zeilan_ clearly
contradicteth; who as _Garcias ab Horto_, Physitian unto the _Spanish_
Viceroy delivereth, hath all his meat served up in dishes of Loadstone,
and conceives thereby he preserveth the vigour of youth.

But surely from a magnetical activity must be made out what is let fall
by _Ætius_, that a Loadstone held in the hand of one that is podagrical,
doth either cure or give great ease in the Gout. Or what _Marcellus
Empericus_ affirmeth, that as an amulet, it also cureth the headach;
which are but additions unto its proper nature, and hopeful enlargements
of its allowed attraction. For perceiving its secret power to draw
magnetical bodies, men have invented a new attraction, to draw out the
dolour and pain of any part. And from such grounds it surely became a
philter, and was conceived a medicine of some venereal attraction; and
therefore upon this stone they graved the Image of _Venus_, according
unto that of _Claudian_, _Venerem magnetica gemma figurat_. Hither must
we also ruler what is delivered concerning its power to draw out of the
body bullets and heads of arrows, and for the like intention is mixed up
in plaisters. Which course, although as vain and ineffectual it be
rejected by many good Authors, yet is it not methinks so readily to be
denied, nor the Practice of many Physicians which have thus compounded
plaisters, thus suddenly to be condemned, as may be observed in the
_Emplastrum divinum Nicolai_, the _Emplastrum nigrum_ of _Augspurg_, the
_Opodeldoch_ and _Attractivum_ of _Paracelsus_, with several more in the
Dispensatory of _Wecker_, and practice of _Sennertus_. The cure also of
_Hernias_, or _Ruptures_ in _Pareus_: and the method also of curation
lately delivered by _Daniel Beckherus_,[D] and approved by the
Professors of _Leyden_, that is, of a young man of _Spruceland_ that
casually swallowed a knife about ten inches long, which was cut out of
his stomach, and the wound healed up. In which cure to attract the knife
to a convenient situation, there was applied a plaister made up with the
powder of Loadstone. Now this kind of practice _Libavius_, _Gilbertus_,
and lately _Swickardus_ [SN: _In his Ars Magnetica._] condemn, as vain,
and altogether unuseful; because a Loadstone in powder hath no
attractive power; for in that form it omits his polarly respects, and
loseth those parts which are the rule of attraction.

  [D] De cultrivoro Prussiaco, 1636. _The cure of the Prussian Knife._

Wherein to speak compendiously, if experiment hath not deceived us, we
first affirm that a Loadstone in powder omits not all attraction. For
if the powder of a rich vein be in a reasonable quantity presented
toward the Needle freely placed, it will not appear to be void of all
activity, but will be able to stir it. Nor hath it only a power to move
the Needle in powder and by it self, but this will it also do, if
incorporated and mixed with plaisters; as we have made trial in the
_Emplastrum de Minia_, with half an ounce of the mass, mixing a dram of
Loadstone. For applying the magdaleon or roal unto the Needle, it would
both stir and attract it; not equally in all parts, but more vigorously
in some, according unto the Mine of the Stone, more plentifully
dispersed in the mass. And lastly, In the Loadstone powdered, the polary
respects are not wholly destroyed. For those diminutive particles are
not atomical or meerly indivisible, but consist of dimensions sufficient
for their operations, though in obscurer effects. Thus if unto the
powder of Loadstone or Iron we admove the North Pole of the Loadstone,
the Powders or small divisions will erect and conform themselves
thereto: but if the South Pole approach, they will subside, and
inverting their bodies, respect the Loadstone with the other extream.
And this will happen not only in a body of powder together, but in any
particle or dust divided from it.

Now though we disavow not these plaisters, yet shall we not omit two
cautions in their use, that therein the Stone be not too subtilly
powdered, for it will better manifest its attraction in a more sensible
dimension. That where is desired a speedy effect, it may be considered
whether it were not better to relinquish the powdered plaisters, and to
apply an entire Loadstone unto the part: And though the other be not
wholly ineffectual, whether this way be not more powerful, and so might
have been in the cure of the young man delivered by _Beckerus_.

The last consideration concerneth Magical relations; in which account we
comprehend effects derived and fathered upon hidden qualities,
specifical forms, Antipathies and Sympathies, whereof from received
grounds of Art, no reasons are derived. Herein relations are strange and
numerous; men being apt in all Ages to multiply wonders, and
Philosophers dealing with admirable bodies, as Historians have done with
excellent men, upon the strength of their great atcheivements, ascribing
acts unto them not only false but impossible; and exceeding truth as
much in their relations, as they have others in their actions. Hereof we
shall briefly mention some delivered by Authors of good esteem: whereby
we may discover the fabulous inventions of some, the credulous supinity
of others, and the great disservice unto truth by both: multiplying
obscurities in Nature, and authorising hidden qualities that are false;
whereas wise men are ashamed there are so many true.

And first, _Dioscorides_ puts a shrewd quality upon it, and such as men
are apt enough to experiment, who therewith discovers the incontinency
of a wife, by placing the Loadstone under her pillow, whereupon she will
not be able to remain in bed with her husband. The same he also makes a
help unto thievery. For Thieves saith he, having a design upon a house,
do make a fire at the four corners thereof, and cast therein the
fragments of Loadstone: whence ariseth a fume that so disturbeth the
inhabitants, that they forsake the house and leave it to the spoil of
the Robbers. This relation, how ridiculous soever, hath _Albertus_ taken
up above a thousand years after, and _Marbodeus_ the Frenchman hath
continued the same in Latine Verse, which with the Notes of _Pictorius_
is currant unto our dayes. As strange must be the Lithomancy or
divination from this Stone, whereby as _Tzetzes_ delivers, _Helenus_ the
Prophet foretold the destruction of _Troy_: and the Magick thereof not
safely to be believed, which was delivered by _Orpheus_, that sprinkled
with water it will upon a question emit a voice not much unlike an
Infant. But surely the Loadstone of _Laurentius Guascus_ the Physitian,
is never to be matched; wherewith, as _Cardan_ delivereth, whatsoever
Needles or Bodies were touched, the wounds and punctures made thereby,
were never felt at all. And yet as strange is that which is delivered by
some, that a Loadstone preserved in the salt of a _Remora_, acquires a
power to attract gold out of the deepest Wells. Certainly a studied
absurdity, not casually cast out, but plotted for perpetuity: for the
strangeness of the effect ever to be admired, and the difficulty of the
trial never to be convicted.

These conceits are of that monstrosity that they refute themselves in
their recitements. There is another of better notice, and whispered
thorow the World with some attention; credulous and vulgar auditors
readily believing it, and more judicious and distinctive heads, not
altogether rejecting it. The conceit is excellent, and if the effect
would follow, somewhat divine; whereby we might communicate like
spirits, and confer on earth with _Menippus_ in the Moon. And this is
pretended from the sympathy of two Needles touched with the same
Loadstone, and placed in the center of two Abecedary circles or rings,
with letters described round about them, one friend keeping one, and
another the other, and agreeing upon an hour wherein they will
communicate. For then, saith Tradition, at what distance of place
soever, when one Needle shall be removed unto any letter, the other by a
wonderful sympathy will move unto the same. But herein I confess my
experience can find no truth; for having expressly framed two circles of
Wood, and according to the number of the Latine letters divided each
into twenty three parts, placing therein two stiles or Needles composed
of the same steel, touched with the same Loadstone, and at the same
point: of these two, whensoever I removed the one, although but at the
distance of half a span, the other would stand like _Hercules_ pillars,
and if the Earth stand still, have surely no motion at all. Now as it is
not possible that any body should have no boundaries, or Sphear of its
activity, so it is improbable it should effect that at distance, which
nearer hand it cannot at all perform.

Again, The conceit is ill contrived, and one effect inferred, whereas
the contrary will ensue. For if the removing of one of the Needles from
_A_ to _B_, should have any action or influence on the other, it would
not intice it from _A_ to _B_, but repell it from _A_ to _Z_: for
Needles excited by the same point of the stone, do not attract, but
avoid each other, even as these also do, when their invigorated extreams
approach unto one other.

Lastly, Were this conceit assuredly true, yet were it not a conclusion
at every distance to be tried by every head: it being no ordinary or
Almanack business, but a Problem Mathematical, to finde out the
difference of hours in different places; nor do the wisest exactly
satisfie themselves in all. For the hours of several places anticipate
each other, according unto their Longitudes, which are not exactly
discovered of every place; and therefore the trial hereof at a
considerable interval, is best performed at the distance of the
_Antœci_; that is, such habitations as have the same Meridian and
equal parallel, on different sides of the Æquator; or more plainly the
same Longitude and the same Latitude unto the South, which we have in
the North. For unto such situations it is noon and midnight at the very
same time.

And therefore the Sympathy of these Needles is much of the same mould
with that intelligence which is pretended from the flesh of one body
transmuted by incision into another. [SN: De curtorum Chyrurgia.] For if
by the Art of _Taliacotius_, a permutation of flesh, or transmutation be
made from one mans body into another, as if a piece of flesh be
exchanged from the bicipital muscle of either parties arm, and about
them both an Alphabet circumscribed; upon a time appointed as some
conceptions affirm, they may communicate at what distance soever. For if
the one shall prick himself in _A_, the other at the same time will have
a sense thereof in the same part: and upon inspection of his arm
perceive what letters the other points out in his. Which is a way of
intelligence very strange: and would requite the lost Art of
_Pythagoras_, who could read a reverse in the Moon.

Now this magnetical conceit how strange soever, might have some original
in Reason; for men observing no solid body, whatsoever did interrupt its
action, might be induced to believe no distance would terminate the
same; and most conceiving it pointed unto the Pole of Heaven, might also
opinion that nothing between could restrain it. Whosoever was the
Author, the _Æolus_ that blew it about was _Famianus Strada_, that
Elegant Jesuit, in his Rhetorical prolusions, who chose out this subject
to express the stile of _Lucretius_. But neither _Baptista Porta_, _de
Furtivis Literarum notis_; _Trithemius_ in his Steganography, _Selenus_
in his Cryptography, [SN: Nunc. inanim. _by D._ Godwin _Bishop of
Hereford_.] or _Nuncius inanimatus_ make any consideration hereof,
although they deliver many ways to communicate thoughts at distance. And
this we will not deny may in some manner be effected by the Loadstone;
that is, from one room into another; by placing a table in the wall
common unto both, and writing thereon the same letters one against
another: for upon the approach of a vigorous Loadstone unto a letter on
this side, the Needle will move unto the same on the other. But this is
a very different way from ours at present; and hereof there are many
ways delivered, and more may be discovered which contradict not the rule
of its operations.

As for _Unguentum Armarium_, called also _Magneticum_, it belongs not to
this discourse, it neither having the Loadstone for its ingredient, nor
any one of its actions: but supposeth other principles, as common and
universal spirits, which convey the action of the remedy unto the part,
and conjoins the vertue of bodies far disjoyned. But perhaps the cures
it doth, are not worth so mighty principles; it commonly healing but
simple wounds, and such as mundified and kept clean, do need no other
hand then that of Nature, and the Balsam of the proper part. Unto which
effect there being fields of Medicines, it may be a hazardous curiosity
to rely on this; and because men say the effect doth generally follow,
it might be worth the experiment to try, whether the same will not
ensue, upon the same Method of cure, by ordinary Balsams, or common
vulnerary plaisters.

Many other Magnetisms may be pretended, and the like attractions through
all the creatures of Nature. Whether the same be verified in the action
of the Sun upon inferiour bodies, whether there be _Æolian_ Magnets,
whether the flux and reflux of the Sea be caused by any Magnetism from
the Moon; whether the like be really made out, or rather Metaphorically
verified in the sympathies of Plants and Animals, might afford a large
dispute; and _Kircherus_ in his _Catena Magnetica_ hath excellently
discussed the same; which work came late unto our hand, but might have
much advantaged this Discourse.

Other Discourses there might be made of the Loadstone: as Moral,
Mystical, Theological; and some have handsomely done them; as _Ambrose_,
_Austine_, _Gulielmus Parisiensis_, and many more, but these fall under
no Rule, and are as boundless as mens inventions. And though honest
minds do glorifie God hereby; yet do they most powerfully magnifie him,
and are to be looked on with another eye, who demonstratively set forth
its Magnalities; who not from postulated or precarious inferences,
entreat a courteous assent; but from experiments and undeniable effects,
enforce the wonder of its Maker.


Of Bodies Electrical.

[Sidenote: Bodies Electrical, what?]

Having thus spoken of the Loadstone and Bodies Magnetical, I shall in
the next place deliver somewhat of Electrical, and such as may seem to
have attraction like the other. Hereof we shall also deliver what
particularly spoken or not generally known is manifestly or probably
true, what generally believed is also false or dubious. Now by
Electrical bodies, I understand not such as are Metallical, mentioned by
_Pliny_, and the Ancients; for their Electrum was a mixture made of
Gold, with the Addition of a fifth part of Silver; a substance now as
unknown as true _Aurichalcum_, or _Corinthian_ Brass, and set down among
things lost by _Pancirollus_. Nor by Electrick Bodies do I conceive such
only as take up shavings, straws, and light bodies, in which number the
Ancients only placed _Jet_ and _Amber_; but such as conveniently placed
unto their objects attract all bodies palpable whatsoever. I say
conveniently placed, that is, in regard of the object, that it be not
too ponderous, or any way affixed; in regard of the Agent, that it be
not foul or sullied, but wiped, rubbed, and excitated; in regard of
both, that they be conveniently distant, and no impediment interposed. I
say, all bodies palpable, thereby excluding fire, which indeed it will
not attract, nor yet draw through it; for fire consumes its effluxions
by which it should attract.

Now although in this rank but two were commonly mentioned by the
Ancients, _Gilbertus_ discovereth many more; as _Diamonds_, _Saphyrs_,
_Carbuncles_, _Iris_, _Opalls_, _Amethysts_, _Beril_, _Crystal_,
_Bristol-stones_, _Sulphur_, _Mastick_, hard _Wax_, hard _Rosin_,
_Arsenic_, _Sal-gemm_, _Roch-Allum_, common Glass, _Stibium_, or Glass
of _Antimony_. Unto these Cabeus addeth white Wax, _Gum Elemi_, _Gum
Guaici_, _Pix Hispanica_, and _Gipsum_. And unto these we add _Gum
Anime_, _Benjamin_, _Talcum_, _China-dishes_, _Sandaraca_, _Turpentine_,
_Styrax Liquida_, and _Caranna_ dried into a hard consistence. And the
same attraction we find, not onely in simple bodies, but such as are
much compounded; as in the _Oxycroceum_ plaister, and obscurely that _ad
Herniam_, and _Gratia Dei_; all which smooth and rightly prepared, will
discover a sufficient power to stir the Needle, setled freely upon a
well-pointed pin; and so as the Electrick may be applied unto it without
all disadvantage.

But the attraction of these Electricks we observe to be very different.
Resinous or unctuous bodies, and such as will flame, attract most
vigorously, and most thereof without frication; as _Anime_, _Benjamin_,
and most powerfully good hard Wax, which will convert the Needle almost
as actively as the Loadstone. And we believe that all or most of this
substance if reduced to hardness, tralucency or clearness, would have
some attractive quality. But juices concrete, or Gums easily dissolving
in water, draw not at all: as _Aloe_, _Opium_, _Sanguis Draconis_,
_Lacca_, _Calbanum_, _Sagapenum_. Many stones also both precious and
vulgar, although terse and smooth, have not this power attractive: as
_Emeralds_, _Pearl_, _Jaspis_, _Corneleans_, _Agathe_, _Heliotropes_,
_Marble_, _Alablaster_, _Touchstone_, _Flint_, and _Bezoar_. Glass
attracts but weakly, though clear; some slick stones and thick Glasses
indifferently: _Arsenic_ but weakly, so likewise Glass of _Antimony_,
but _Crocus Metallorum_ not at all. Salts generally but weakly, as _Sal
Gemma_, _Allum_, and also _Talke_; nor very discoverably by any
frication, but if gently warmed at the fire, and wiped with a dry cloth,
they will better discover their Electricities.

No Metal attracts, nor Animal concretion we know, although polite and
smooth; as we have made trial in _Elks_ Hoofs, Hawks-Talons, the Sword
of a _Sword-fish_, _Tortois-shells_, _Sea-horse_, and _Elephants_ Teeth,
in Bones, in _Harts-horn_, and what is usually conceived
_Unicorns-horn_. No Wood though never so hard and polished, although out
of some thereof Electrick bodies proceed; as _Ebony_, _Box_, _Lignum
vitæ_, _Cedar_, _etc._ And although _Jet_ and _Amber_ be reckoned among
_Bitumens_, yet neither do we find _Asphaltus_, that is, _Bitumens_ of
_Judea_, nor _Sea-cole_, nor _Camphire_, nor _Mummia_ to attract,
although we have tried in large and polished pieces. Now this attraction
have we tried in straws and paleous bodies, in Needles of Iron,
equilibrated, Powders of Wood and Iron, in Gold and Silver foliate. And
not only in solid but fluent and liquid bodies, as oyls made both by
expression and distillation; in Water, in spirits of Wine, _Vitriol_ and

But how this attraction is made, is not so easily determined; that 'tis
performed by effluviums is plain, and granted by most; for Electricks
will not commonly attract, except they grow hot or become perspirable.
For if they be foul and obnubilated, it hinders their effluxion; nor if
they be covered, though but with Linen or Sarsenet, or if a body be
interposed, for that intercepts the effluvium. If also a powerful and
broad Electrick of Wax or _Anime_ be held over fine powder, the Atoms or
small particles will ascend most numerously unto it; and if the
Electrick be held unto the light, it may be observed that many thereof
will fly, and be as it were discharged from the Electrick to the
distance sometime of two or three inches. Which motion is performed by
the breath of the effluvium issuing with agility; for as the Electrick
cooleth, the projection of the Atoms ceaseth.

[Sidenote: Cabeus _his way for attraction in bodies Electrick_.]

The manner hereof _Cabeus_ wittily attempteth, affirming that this
effluvium attenuateth and impelleth the neighbor air, which returning
home in a gyration, carrieth with it the obvious bodies unto the
Electrick. And this he labours to confirm by experiments; for if the
straws be raised by a vigorous Electrick, they do appear to wave and
turn in their ascents. If likewise the Electrick be broad, and the
straws light and chaffy, and held at a reasonable distance, they will
not arise unto the middle, but rather adhere toward the Verge or Borders
thereof. And lastly, if many straws be laid together, and a nimble
Electrick approach, they will not all arise unto it, but some will
commonly start aside, and be whirled a reasonable distance from it. Now
that the air impelled returns unto its place in a gyration or whirling,
is evident from the Atoms or Motes in the Sun. For when the Sun so
enters a hole or window, that by its illumination the Atoms or Motes
become perceptible, if then by our breath the air be gently impelled, it
may be perceived, that they will circularly return and in a gyration
unto their places again.

[Sidenote: _The way of Sir_ Kenelm Digby.]

Another way of their attraction is also delivered; that is, by a tenuous
emanation or continued effluvium, which after some distance retracteth
into it self; as is observable in drops of Syrups, Oyl, and seminal
Viscosities, which spun at length, retire into their former dimensions.
Now these effluviums advancing from the body of the Electrick, in their
return do carry back the bodies whereon they have laid hold within the
Sphere or Circle of their continuities; and these they do not onely
attract, but with their viscous arms hold fast a good while after. And
if any shall wonder why these effluviums issuing forth impel and
protrude not the straw before they can bring it back, it is because the
effluvium passing out in a smaller thred and more enlengthened filament,
it stirreth not the bodies interposed, but returning unto its original,
falls into a closer substance, and carrieth them back unto it self. And
this way of attraction is best received, embraced by Sir _Kenelm Digby_
in his excellent Treaty of bodies, allowed by _Des Cartes_ in his
principles of Philosophy, as far and concerneth fat and resinous bodies,
and with exception of Glass, whose attraction he also deriveth from the
recess of its effluction. And this in some manner the words of
_Gilbertus_ will bear: _Effluvia illa tenuiora concipiunt & amplectuntur
corpora, quibus uniuntur, & electris tanquam extensis brachiis, & ad
fontem propinquitate invalescentibus effluviis, deducuntur_. And if the
ground were true, that the Earth were an Electrick body, and the air but
the effluvium thereof, we might have more reason to believe that from
this attraction, and by this effluction, bodies tended to the Earth, and
could not remain above it.

Our other discourse of Electricks concerneth a general opinion touching
_Jet_ and _Amber_, that they attract all light bodies, except _Ocymum_
or _Basil_, and such as be dipped in oyl or oyled; and this is urged as
high as _Theophrastus_: but _Scaliger_ acquitteth him; And had this been
his assertion, _Pliny_ would probably have taken it up, who herein
stands out, and delivereth no more but what is vulgarly known. But
_Plutarch_ speaks positively in his _Symposiacks_, that _Amber_
attracteth all bodies, excepting Basil and oyled substances. With
_Plutarch_ consent many Authors both Ancient and Modern; but the most
inexcusable are _Lemnius_ and _Rueus_, whereof the one delivering the
nature of Minerals mentioned in Scripture, the infallible fountain of
Truth, confirmeth their vertues with erroneous traditions; the other
undertaking the occult and hidden Miracles of Nature, accepteth this for
one; and endeavoureth to alledge a reason of that which is more then
occult, that is, not existent.

Now herein, omitting the authority of others, as the Doctrine of
experiment hath informed us, we first affirm, That _Amber_ attracts not
Basil, is wholly repugnant unto truth. For if the leaves thereof or
dried stalks be stripped into small straws, they arise unto _Amber_,
_Wax_, and other Electries, no otherwise then those of Wheat and Rye:
nor is there any peculiar fatness or singular viscosity in that plant
that might cause adhesion, and so prevent its ascension. But that _Jet_
and _Amber_ attract not straws oyled, is in part true and false. For if
the straws be much wet or drenched in oyl, true it is that _Amber_
draweth them not; for then the oyl makes the straws to adhere unto the
part whereon they are placed, so that they cannot rise unto the
Attractor; and this is true, not onely if they be soaked in Oyl, but
spirits of Wine or Water. But if we speak of Straws or festucous
divisions lightly drawn over with oyl, and so that it causeth no
adhesion; or if we conceive an Antipathy between Oyl and _Amber_, the
Doctrine is not true. For _Amber_ will attract straws thus oyled, it
will convert the Needles of Dials made either of Brass or Iron, although
they be much oyled; for in these Needles consisting free upon their
Center, there can be no adhesion. It will likewise attract Oyl it self,
and if it approacheth unto a drop thereof, it becometh conical, and
ariseth up unto it, for Oyl taketh not away his attraction, although it
be rubbed over it. For if you touch a piece of Wax already excitated
with common Oyl, it will notwithstanding attract, though not so
vigorously as before. But if you moisten the same with any Chymical Oyl,
Water, or spirits of Wine, or only breath upon it, it quite omits its
attraction, for either its influencies cannot get through, or will not
mingle with those substances.

It is likewise probable the Ancients were mistaken concerning its
substance and generation; they conceiving it a vegetable concretion made
of the gums of Trees, especially _Pine_ and _Poplar_ falling into the
water, and after indurated or hardened, whereunto accordeth the Fable of
_Phaetons_ sisters: but surely the concretion is Mineral, according as
is delivered by _Boetius_. For either it is found in Mountains and
mediterraneous parts; and so it is a fat and unctuous sublimation in the
Earth, concreted and fixed by salt and nitrous spirits wherewith it
meeteth. Or else, which is most usual, it is collected upon the
Sea-shore; and so it is a fat and bituminous juice coagulated by the
saltness of the Sea. Now that salt spirits have a power to congeal and
coagulate unctuous bodies, is evident in Chymical operations; in the
distillations of _Arsenick_, sublimate and _Antimony_; in the mixture of
oyl of _Juniper_, with the salt and acide spirit of _Sulphur_, for
thereupon ensueth a concretion unto the consistence of _Birdlime_; as
also in spirits of salt, or _Aqua fortis_ poured upon oyl of Olive, or
more plainly in the Manufacture of Soap. And many bodies will coagulate
upon commixture, whose separated natures promise no concretion. Thus
upon a solution of _Tin_ by _Aqua fortis_, there will ensue a
coagulation, like that of whites of Eggs. [SN: _How the stone is bred in
the Kidney or Bladder._] Thus the volatile salt of Urine will coagulate
_Aqua vitæ_, or spirits of Wine; and thus perhaps (as _Helmont_
excellently declareth) the stones or calculous concretions in Kidney or
Bladder may be produced: the spirits or volatile salt of Urine
conjoyning with the _Aqua vitæ_ potentially lying therein; as he
illustrateth from the distillation of fermented Urine. From whence
ariseth an _Aqua vitæ_ or spirit, which the volatile salt of the same
Urine will congeal; and finding an earthy concurrence, strike into a
lapideous substance.

[Sidenote: _Of a Bee and a Viper involved in Amber._ Mart. _l._ 4.]

Lastly, We will not omit what _Bellabonus_ upon his own experiment writ
from _Dantzich_ unto _Mellichius_, as he hath left recorded in his
Chapter, _De succino_, that the bodies of _Flies_, _Pismires_, and the
like, which are said oft-times to be included in _Amber_, are not real
but representative, as he discovered in several pieces broke for that
purpose. If so, the two famous Epigrams hereof in _Martial_ are but
Poetical, the _Pismire_ of _Brassavolus_ imaginary, and _Cardans
Mousoleum_ for a Flie, a meer phansie. But hereunto we know not how to
assent, as having met with some whose reals made good their


Compendiously of sundry other common Tenents, concerning Mineral and
Terreous Bodies, which examined, prove either false or dubious.

1. And first we hear it in every mouth, and in many good Authors read
it, That a _Diamond_, which is the hardest of stones, not yielding unto
_Steel_, _Emery_, or any thing but its own powder, is yet made soft, or
broke by the blood of a Goat. Thus much is affirmed by _Pliny_,
_Solinus_, _Albertus_, _Cyprian_, _Austin_, _Isidore_, and many
Christian Writers, alluding herein unto the heart of man and the
precious bloud of our Saviour, who was typified by the Goat that was
slain, and the scape-Goat in the Wilderness; and at the effusion of
whose bloud, not only the hard hearts of his enemies relented, but the
stony rocks and vail of the Temple were shattered. But this I perceive
is easier affirmed then proved. For _Lapidaries_, and such as profess
the art of cutting this stone, do generally deny it; and they that seem
to countenance it, have in their deliveries so qualified it, that little
from thence of moment can be inferred for it. For first, the holy
Fathers, without a further enquiry did take it for granted, and rested
upon the authority of the first deliverers. As for _Albertus_, he
promiseth this effect, but conditionally, not except the Goat drink
wine, and be fed with _Siler montanum, petroselinum_, and such herbs as
are conceived of power to break the stone in the bladder. But the words
of _Pliny_, from whom most likely the rest at first derived it, if
strictly considered, do rather overthrow, then any way advantage this
effect. His words are these: _Hircino rumpitur sanguine, nec aliter quam
recenti, calidoque macerata, & sic quoque multis ictibus, tunc etiam
præterquam eximias incudes malleosque ferreos frangens_. That is, it is
broken with Goats blood, but not except it be fresh and warm, and that
not without many blows, and then also it will break the best Anvils and
Hammers of Iron. And answerable hereto, is the assertion of _Isidore_
and _Solinus_. By which account, a Diamond steeped in Goats bloud,
rather increaseth in hardness, then acquireth any softness by the
infusion; for the best we have are comminuible without it; and are so
far from breaking hammers, that they submit unto pistillation, and
resist not an ordinary pestle.

[Sidenote: Pulvis Lithontripticus.]

Upon this conceit arose perhaps the discovery of another; that the bloud
of a Goat was soveraign for the Stone, as it stands commended by many
good Writers, and brings up the composition in the powder of
_Nicolaus_, and the Electuary of the Queen of _Colein_. Or rather
because it was found an excellent medicine for the Stone, and its
ability commended by some to dissolve the hardest thereof; it might be
conceived by amplifying apprehensions, to be able to break a _Diamond_;
and so it came to be ordered that the Goat should be fed with
saxifragous herbs, and such as are conceived of power to break the
stone. However it were, as the effect is false in the one, so is it
surely very doubtful in the other. For although inwardly received it may
be very diuretick, and expulse the stone in the Kidneys, yet how it
should dissolve or break that in the bladder, will require a further
dispute; and perhaps would be more reasonably tried by a warm injection
thereof, then as it is commonly used. Wherein notwithstanding, we should
rather rely upon the urine in a castlings bladder, a resolution of Crabs
eyes, or the second distillation of Urine, as _Helmont_ hath commended;
or rather (if any such might be found) a Chylifactory menstruum or
digestive preparation drawn from species or individuals, whose stomacks
peculiarly dissolve lapideous bodies.

2. _That Glass is poison_, according unto common conceit, I know not how
to grant. Not onely from the innocency of its ingredients, that is, fine
Sand, and the ashes of Glass-wort of Fearn, which in themselves are
harmless and useful: or because I find it by many commended for the
Stone, but also from experience, as having given unto Dogs above a dram
thereof, subtilly powdered in Butter and Paste, without any visible

[Sidenote: _Why Glass is commonly held to be poysonous._]

The conceit is surely grounded upon the visible mischief of Glass grosly
or coursly powdered, for that indeed is mortally noxious, and
effectually used by some to destroy Mice and Rats; for by reason of its
acuteness and angularity, it commonly excoriates the parts through which
it passeth, and solicits them unto a continual expulsion. Whereupon
there ensues fearful symptomes, not much unlike those which attend the
action of poison. From whence notwithstanding, we cannot with propriety
impose upon it that name, either by occult or elementary quality, which
he that concedeth will much enlarge the Catalogue or Lists of Poisons.
For many things, neither deleterious by substance or quality, are yet
destructive by figure, or some occasional activity. So are Leeches
destructive, and by some accounted poison; not properly, that is by
temperamental contrariety, occult form, or so much as elemental
repugnancy; but because being inwardly taken they fasten upon the veins,
and occasion an effusion of bloud, which cannot be easily stanched. So a
Sponge is mischievous, not in it self, for in its powder it is harmless:
but because being received into the stomach it swelleth, and occasioning
a continual distension, induceth a strangulation. So Pins, Needles, ears
of Rye or Barley may be poison. So _Daniel_ destroyed the Dragon by a
composition of three things, whereof neither was poison alone, nor
properly all together, that is, Pitch, Fat, and Hair, according as is
expressed in the History. Then _Daniel_ took Pitch, and Fat, and Hair,
and did seeth them together, and made lumps thereof, these he put in the
Dragons mouth, and so he burst asunder. That is, the Fat and Pitch being
cleaving bodies, and the Hair continually extimulating the parts: by the
action of the one, Nature was provoked to expell, but by the tenacity of
the other forced to retain: so that there being left no passage in or
out, the Dragon brake in pieces. It must therefore be taken of
grosly-powdered Glass, what is delivered by _Grevinus_: and from the
same must that mortal dysentery proceed which is related by
_Sanctorius_. And in the same sense shall we only allow a _Diamond_ to
be poison; and whereby as some relate _Paracelsus_ himself was poisoned.
So even the precious fragments and cordial gems which are of frequent
use in Physick, and in themselves confessed of useful faculties,
received in gross and angular Powders, may so offend the bowels, as to
procure desperate languors, or cause most dangerous fluxes.

That Glass may be rendred malleable and pliable unto the hammer, many
conceive, and some make little doubt, when they read in _Dio_, _Pliny_,
and _Petronius_, that one unhappily effected it for _Tiberius_. Which
notwithstanding must needs seem strange unto such as consider, that
bodies are ductile from a tenacious humidity, which so holdeth the parts
together; that though they dilate or extend, they part not from each
others. That bodies run into Glass, when the volatile parts are exhaled,
and the continuating humour separated: the Salt and Earth, that is, the
fixed parts remaining. And therefore vitrification maketh bodies
brittle, as destroying the viscous humours which hinder the disruption
of parts. Which may be verified even in the bodies of Metals. For Glass
of Lead or Tin is fragile, when that glutinous Sulphur hath been fired
out, which made their bodies ductile.

He that would most probably attempt it, must experiment upon Gold. Whose
fixed and flying parts are so conjoined, whose Sulphur and continuating
principle is so united unto the Salt, that some may be hoped to remain
to hinder fragility after vitrification. But how to proceed, though
after frequent corrosion, as that upon the agency of fire, it should
not revive into its proper body before it comes to vitrifie, will prove
no easie discovery.

3. That Gold inwardly taken, either in substance, infusion, decoction or
extinction, is a cordial of great efficacy, in sundry Medical uses,
although a practice much used, is also much questioned, and by no man
determined beyond dispute. There are hereof I perceive two extream
opinions; some excessively magnifying it, and probably beyond its
deserts; others extreamly vilifying it, and perhaps below its demerits.
Some affirming it a powerful Medicine in many diseases, others averring
that so used, it is effectual in none: and in this number are very
eminent Physicians, _Erastus_, _Duretus_, _Rondeletius_, _Brassavolus_
and many other, who beside the strigments and sudorous adhesions from
mens hands, acknowledge that nothing proceedeth from Gold in the usual
decoction thereof. Now the capital reason that led men unto this
opinion, was their observation of the inseparable nature of Gold; it
being excluded in the same quantity as it was received, without
alteration of parts, or diminution of its gravity.

Now herein to deliver somewhat which in a middle way may be entertained;
we first affirm, that the substance of Gold is invincible by the
powerfullest action of natural heat; and that not only alimentally in a
substantial mutation, but also medicamentally in any corporeal
conversion. As is very evident, not only in the swallowing of golden
bullets, but in the lesser and foliate divisions thereof: passing the
stomach and guts even as it doth the throat, that is, without abatement
of weight or consistence. So that it entereth not the veins with those
electuaries, wherein it is mixed: but taketh leave of the permeant
parts, at the mouths of the _Meseraicks_, or Lacteal Vessels, and
accompanieth the inconvertible portion unto the siege. Nor is its
substantial conversion expectible in any composition or aliment wherein
it is taken. And therefore that was truly a starving absurdity, which
befel the wishes of _Midas_. And little credit there is to be given to
the golden Hen, related by _Wendlerus_. So in the extinction of Gold, we
must not conceive it parteth with any of its salt or dissoluble
principle thereby, as we may affirm of Iron; for the parts thereof are
fixed beyond division, nor will they separate upon the strongest test of
fire. This we affirm of pure Gold: for that which is currant and passeth
in stamp amongst us, by reason of its allay, which is a proportion of
Silver or Copper mixed therewith, is actually dequantitated by fire, and
possibly by frequent extinction.

Secondly, Although the substance of Gold be not immuted or its gravity
sensibly decreased, yet that from thence some vertue may proceed either
in substantial reception or infusion we cannot safely deny. For possible
it is that bodies may emit vertue and operation without abatement of
weight; as is evident in the Loadstone, whose effluencies are continual,
and communicable without a minoration of gravity. And the like is
observable in Bodies electrical, whose emissions are less subtile. So
will a Diamond or Saphire emit an effluvium sufficient to move the
Needle or a Straw, without diminution of weight. Nor will polished Amber
although it send forth a gross and corporal exhalement, be found a long
time defective upon the exactest scales. Which is more easily
conceivable in a continued and tenacious effluvium, whereof a great part
retreats into its body.

Thirdly, If amulets do work by emanations from their bodies, upon those
parts whereunto they are appended, and are not yet observed to abate
their weight; if they produce visible and real effects by imponderous
and invisible emissions, it may be unjust to deny the possible efficacy
of Gold, in the non-omission of weight, or deperdition of any ponderous

Lastly, Since _Stibium_ or Glass of Antimony, since also its _Regulus_
will manifestly communicate unto Water or Wine, a purging and vomitory
operation; and yet the body it self, though after iterated infusions,
cannot be found to abate either vertue or weight: we shall not deny but
Gold may do the like, that is, impart some effluences unto the infusion,
which carry with them the separable subtilties thereof.

That therefore this Metal thus received, hath any undeniable effect, we
shall not imperiously determine, although beside the former experiments,
many more may induce us to believe it. But since the point is dubious
and not yet authentically decided, it will be no discretion to depend on
disputable remedies; but rather in cases of known danger, to have
recourse unto medicines of known and approved activity. For, beside the
benefit accruing unto the sick, hereby may be avoided a gross and
frequent errour, commonly committed in the use of doubtful remedies,
conjointly with those which are of approved vertues; that is to impute
the cure unto the conceited remedy, or place it on that whereon they
place their opinion. Whose operation although it be nothing, or its
concurrence not considerable, yet doth it obtain the name of the whole
cure: and carrieth often the honour of the capital energie, which had no
finger in it.

Herein exact and critical trial should be made by publick enjoinment,
whereby determination might be setled beyond debate: for since thereby
not only the bodies of men, but great Treasures might be preserved, it
is not only an errour of Physick, but folly of State, to doubt thereof
any longer.

4. That a pot full of ashes, will still contain as much water as it
would without them, although by _Aristotle_ in his Problems taken for
granted, and so received by most, is not effectable upon the strictest
experiment I could ever make. For when the airy intersticies are filled,
and as much of the salt of the ashes as the water will imbibe is
dissolved, there remains a gross and terreous portion at the bottom,
which will possess a space by it self, according whereto there will
remain a quantity of Water not receivable; so will it come to pass in a
pot of salt, although decrepitated; and so also in a pot of Snow. For so
much it will want in reception, as its solution taketh up, according
unto the bulk whereof, there will remain a portion of Water not to be
admitted. So a Glass stuffed with pieces of Sponge will want about a
sixth part of what it would receive without it. So Sugar will not
dissolve beyond the capacity of the Water, nor a Metal in _aqua fortis_
be corroded beyond its reception. And so a pint of salt of Tartar
exposed unto a moist air until it dissolve, will make far more liquor,
or as some term it oyl, then the former measure will contain.

Nor is it only the exclusion of air by water, or repletion of cavities
possessed thereby, which causeth a pot of ashes to admit so great a
quantity of Water, but also the solution of the salt of the ashes into
the body of the dissolvent. So a pot of ashes will receive somewhat more
of hot Water then of cold, for the warm water imbibeth more of the
Salt; and a vessel of ashes more then one of pin-dust or filings of
Iron; and a Glass full of Water will yet drink in a proportion of Salt
or Sugar without overflowing.

Nevertheless to make the experiment with most advantage, and in which
sense it approacheth nearest the truth, it must be made in ashes
throughly burnt and well reverberated by fire, after the salt thereof
hath been drawn out by iterated decoctions. For then the body being
reduced nearer unto Earth, and emptied of all other principles, which
had former ingression unto it, becometh more porous, and greedily
drinketh in water. He that hath beheld what quantity of Lead the test of
saltless ashes will imbibe, upon the refining of Silver, hath
encouragement to think it will do very much more in water.

[Sidenote: _The Ingredients of Gunpowder._]

5. Of white powder and such as is discharged without report, there is no
small noise in the World: but how far agreeable unto truth, few I
perceive are able to determine. Herein therefore to satisfie the doubts
of some, and amuse the credulity of others, We first declare, that
Gunpowder consisteth of three ingredients, Salt-petre, Small-coal, and
Brimstone. Salt-petre although it be also natural and found in several
places, yet is that of common use an artificial Salt, drawn from the
infusion of salt Earth, as that of Stales, Stables, Dove-houses,
Cellers, and other covered places, where the rain can neither dissolve,
nor the Sun approach to resolve it. Brimstone is a Mineral body of fat
and inflamable parts, and this is either used crude, and called Sulphur
Vive, and is of a sadder colour; or after depuration, such as we have in
magdeleons or rolls, of a lighter yellow. Small-coal is known unto all,
and for this use is made of _Sallow_, _Willow_, _Alder_, _Hazel_, and
the like; which three proportionably mixed, tempered, and formed into
granulary bodies, do make up that Powder which is in use for Guns.

Now all these, although they bear a share in the discharge, yet have
they distinct intentions, and different offices in the composition. From
Brimstone proceedeth the piercing and powerful firing; for Small-coal
and Petre together will onely spit, nor vigorously continue the
ignition. From Small-coal ensueth the black colour and quick accension;
for neither Brimstone nor Petre, although in Powder, will take fire like
Small-coal, nor will they easily kindle upon the sparks of a Flint; as
neither will _Camphire_, a body very inflamable: but Small-coal is
equivalent to Tinder, and serveth to light the Sulphur. It may also
serve to diffuse the ignition through every part of the mixture; and
being of more gross and fixed parts, may seem to moderate the activity
of Salt-petre, and prevent too hasty rarefaction. From Salt-petre
proceedeth the force and the report; for Sulphur and Small-coal mixed
will not take fire with noise, or exilition, and Powder which is made of
impure and greasie Petre hath but a weak emission, and giveth a faint
report. And therefore in the three sorts of Powder the strongest
containeth most Salt-petre, and the proportion thereof is about ten
parts of Petre unto one of Coal and Sulphur.

But the immediate cause of the Report is the vehement commotion of the
air upon the sudden and violent eruption of the Powder; for that being
suddenly fired, and almost altogether, upon this high rarefaction,
requireth by many degrees a greater space then before its body occupied;
but finding resistance, it actively forceth his way, and by concusion of
the air occasioneth the Report. Now with what violence it forceth upon
the air, may easily be conceived, if we admit what _Cardan_ affirmeth,
that the Powder fired doth occupy an hundred times a greater space then
its own bulk; or rather what _Snellius_ more exactly accounteth; that it
exceedeth its former space no less then 12000 and 500 times. [SN: _The
cause of Thunder._] And this is the reason not only of this fulminating
report of Guns, but may resolve the cause of those terrible cracks, and
affrighting noises of Heaven; that is, the nitrous and sulphureous
exhalations, set on fire in the Clouds; whereupon requiring a larger
place, they force out their way, not only with the breaking of the
cloud, but the laceration of the air about it. [SN: _The greatest
distance of the Clouds._] When if the matter be spirituous, and the
cloud compact, the noise is great and terrible: If the cloud be thin,
and the Materials weak, the eruption is languid, ending in coruscations
and flashes without noise, although but at the distance of two miles;
which is esteemed the remotest distance of clouds. And therefore such
lightnings do seldom any harm. And therefore also it is prodigious to
have thunder in a clear sky, as is observably recorded in some

[Sidenote: _The cause of Earthquakes._]

From the like cause may also proceed subterraneous Thunders and
Earthquakes, when sulphureous and nitreous veins being fired, upon
rarefaction do force their way through bodies that resist them. Where if
the kindled matter be plentiful, and the Mine close and firm about it,
subversion of Hills and Towns doth sometimes follow: If scanty, weak,
and the Earth hollow or porous, there only ensueth some faint concussion
or tremulous and quaking Motion. Surely, a main reason why the Ancients
were so imperfect in the doctrine of Meteors, was their ignorance of
Gunpowder and Fire-works, which best discover the causes of many

Now therefore he that would destroy the report of Powder, must work upon
the Petre; he that would exchange the colour, must think how to alter
the Small-coal. For the one, that is, to make white Powder, it is surely
many ways feasible: The best I know is by the powder of rotten Willows,
Spunk, or Touch-wood prepared, might perhaps make it Russet: and some,
as _Beringuccio_ [SN: _In his_ Pyrotechnia.] affirmeth, have promised to
make it Red. All which notwithstanding doth little concern the Report,
for that, as we have shewed, depends on another Ingredient. And
therefore also under the colour of black, this principle is very
variable; for it is made not onely by _Willow_, _Alder_, _Hazel_, etc.
But some above all commend the coals of _Flax_ and _Rushes_, and some
also contend the same may be effected with Tinder.

As for the other, that is, to destroy the Report, it is reasonably
attempted but two ways; either by quite leaving out, or else by
silencing the Salt-petre. How to abate the vigour thereof, or silence
its bombulation, a way is promised by _Porta_, not only in general terms
by some fat bodies, but in particular by _Borax_ and butter mixed in a
due proportion; which saith he, will so go off as scarce to be heard by
the discharger; and indeed plentifully mixed, it will almost take off
the Report, and also the force of the charge. That it may be thus made
without Salt-petre, I have met with but one example, that is, of
_Alphonsus_ Duke of _Ferrara_ [SN: De examine Salium.], who in the
relation of _Brassavolus_ and _Cardan_, invented such a Powder as would
discharge a bullet without Report.

That therefore white Powder there may be, there is no absurdity; that
also such a one as may give no report, we will not deny a possibility.
But this however, contrived either with or without Salt-petre, will
surely be of little force, and the effects thereof no way to be feared:
For as it omits of Report so will it of effectual exclusion, and so the
charge be of little force which is excluded. For thus much is reported
of that famous Powder of _Alphonsus_, which was not of force enough to
kill a Chicken, according to the delivery of _Brassavolus. Jamque pulvis
inventus est qui glandem sine bombo projicit, nec tamen vehementer ut
vel pullum interficere possit._

It is not to be denied, there are ways to discharge a bullet, not only
with Powder that makes no noise, but without any Powder at all; as is
done by Water and Wind-guns, but these afford no fulminating Report, and
depend on single principles. And even in ordinary Powder there are
pretended other ways to alter the noise and strength of the discharge;
and the best, if not only way, consists in the quality of the Nitre: for
as for other ways which make either additions or alterations in the
Powder, or charge, I find therein no effect: That unto every pound of
Sulphur, an adjection of one ounce of Quick-silver, or unto every pound
of Petre, one ounce of _Sal Armoniac_ will much intend the force, and
consequently the Report, as _Beringuccio_ hath delivered, I find no
success therein. That a piece of _Opium_ will dead the force and blow,
as some have promised, I find herein no such peculiarity, no more then
in any Gum or viscose body: and as much effect there is to be found from
_Scammony_. That a bullet dipped in oyl by preventing the transpiration
of air, will carry farther, and pierce deeper, as _Porta_ affirmeth, my
experience cannot discern. That Quick-silver is more destructive then
shot, is surely not to be made out; for it will scarce make any
penetration, and discharged from a Pistol, will hardly pierce through a
Parchment. That Vinegar, spirits of Wine, or the distilled water of
Orange-pills, wherewith the Powder is tempered, are more effectual unto
the Report than common Water, as some do promise, I shall not affirm;
but may assuredly more conduce unto the preservation and durance of the
Powder, as _Cataneo_ hath well observed. [SN: Cat. avertimenti intorne a
un Bombardiero.]

That the heads of arrows and bullets have been discharged with that
force, as to melt or grow red hot in their flight, though commonly
received, and taken up by _Aristotle_ in his Meteors, is not so easily
allowable by any, who shall consider, that a Bullet of Wax will mischief
without melting; that an Arrow or Bullet discharged against Linen or
Paper do not set them on fire; and hardly apprehend how an Iron should
grow red hot, since the swiftest motion at hand will not keep one red
that hath been made red by fire; as may be observed in swinging a red
hot Iron about, or fastning it into a Wheel; which under that motion
will sooner grow cold then without it. That a Bullet also mounts upward
upon the horizontall or point-blank discharge, many Artists do not
allow: who contend that it describeth a parabolical and bowing line, by
reason of its natural gravity inclining it always downward.

But, Beside the prevalence from Salt-petre, as Master-ingredient in the
mixture; Sulphur may hold a greater use in the composition and further
activity in the exclusion, then is by most conceived. For Sulphur vive
makes better Powder then common Sulphur, which nevertheless is of a
quick accension. For Small-coal, Salt-petre, and _Camphire_ made into
Powder will be of little force, wherein notwithstanding there wants not
the accending ingredient. And _Camphire_ though it flame well, yet will
not flush so lively, or defecate Salt-petre, if you inject it thereon,
like Sulphur; as in the preparation of _Sal prunellæ_. And lastly,
though many ways may be found to light this Powder, yet is there none I
know to make a strong and vigorous Powder of Salt-petre, without the
admixtion of Sulphur. _Arsenic_ red and yellow, that is _Orpement_ and
_Sandarach_ may perhaps do something, as being inflamable and containing
Sulphur in them; but containing also a salt, and mercurial mixtion, they
will be of little effect; and white or crystalline _Arsenic_ of less,
for that being artificial, and sublimed with salt, will not endure

This Antipathy or contention between Salt-petre and Sulphur upon an
actual fire, in their compleat and distinct bodies, is also manifested
in their preparations, and bodies which invisibly contain them. Thus in
the preparation of _Crocus Metallorum_, the matter kindleth and flusheth
like Gunpowder, wherein notwithstanding, there is nothing but _Antimony_
and Salt-petre. But this may proceed from the Sulphur of _Antimony_, not
enduring the society of Salt-petre; for after three or four accensions,
through a fresh addition of Petre, the Powder will flush no more, for
the sulphur of the _Antimony_ is quite exhaled. Thus Iron in _Aqua
fortis_ will fall into ebullition, with noise and emication, as also a
crass and fumid exhalation, which are caused from this combat of the
sulphur of Iron with the acid and nitrous spirits of _Aqua fortis_. So
is it also in _Aurum fulminans_, or Powder of Gold dissolved in _Aqua
Regis_, and precipitated with oyl of _Tartar_, which will kindle without
an actual fire, and afford a report like Gun-powder; that is not as
_Crollius_ affirmeth from any Antipathy between _Sal Armoniac_ [SN: De
consensu Chymicorum, etc.]and _Tartar_, but rather between the nitrous
spirits of _Aqua Regis_, commixed _per minima_ with the sulphur of Gold,
as _Sennertus_ hath observed.

[Sidenote: _How Coral of a Plant becomes a Stone._]

6. That _Coral_ (which is a _Lithophyton_ or stone-plant, and groweth at
the bottom of the Sea) is soft under Water, but waxeth hard in the air,
although the assertion of _Dioscorides_, _Pliny_, and consequently
_Solinus_, _Isidore_, _Rueus_, and many others, and stands believed by
most, we have some reason to doubt, especially if we conceive with
common Believers, a total softness at the bottom, and this induration to
be singly made by the air, not only from so sudden a petrifaction and
strange induration, not easily made out from the qualities of air, but
because we find it rejected by experimental enquiries. _Johannes
Beguinus_ [SN: _In the French Copy._] in his Chapter of the tincture of
_Coral_ undertakes to clear the World of this Error, from the express
experiment of _John Baptista de Nicole_, who was Overseer of the
gathering of _Coral_ upon the Kingdom of _Thunis_. This Gentleman, saith
he, desirous to find the nature of _Coral_, and to be resolved how it
groweth at the bottom of the Sea, caused a man to go down no less then a
hundred fathom, with express to take notice whether it were hard or soft
in the place where it groweth. Who returning, brought in each hand a
branch of _Coral_, affirming it was as hard at the bottom, as in the air
where he delivered it. The same was also confirmed by a trial of his
own, handling it a fathom under water before it felt the air. _Boetius_
in his Tract _De Gemmis_, is of the same opinion, not ascribing its
concretion unto the air, but the coagulating spirits of Salt, and
lapidifical juice of the Sea, which entring the parts of that Plant,
overcomes its vegetability, and converts it into a lapideous substance.
And this, saith he, doth happen when the Plant is ready to decay; for
all _Coral_ is not hard, and in many concreted Plants some parts remain
unpetrified, that is the quick and livelier parts remain as Wood, and
were never yet converted. Now that Plants and ligneous bodies may
indurate under Water without approachment of air, we have experiment in
_Coralline_, with many Coralloidal concretions; and that little stony
Plant which Mr. _Johnson_ nameth, _Hippuris coralloides_, and _Gesner_,
_foliis mansu Arenosis_, we have found in fresh water, which is the less
concretive portion of that Element. We have also with us the visible
petrification of Wood in many waters, whereof so much as is covered with
water converteth into stone; as much as is above it and in the air,
retaineth the form of Wood, and continueth as before.

[Sidenote: Gans _Histor. Coral._]

Now though in a middle way we may concede, that some are soft and others
hard; yet whether all _Coral_ were first a woody substance, and
afterward converted; or rather some thereof were never such, but from
the sprouting spirit of Salt, were able even in their stony natures to
ramifie and send forth branches; as is observable in some stones, in
silver and metallick bodies, is not without some question. And such at
least might some of those be, which _Fiaroumti_ observed to grow upon
Bricks at the bottom of the Sea, upon the coast of _Barbaric_.

[Sidenote: _Of what matter the_ China _dishes be made_.]

7. We are not throughly resolved concerning _Porcellane_ or _China_
dishes, that according to common belief they are made of Earth, which
lieth in preparation about an hundred years under ground; for the
relations thereof are not onely divers, but contrary, and Authors agree
not herein. _Guido Pancirollus_ will have them made of Egg-shells,
Lobster-shells, and _Gypsum_ laid up in the Earth the space of 80
years: of the same affirmation is _Scaliger_, and the common opinion of
most. _Ramuzius_ in his Navigations is of a contrary assertion, that
they are made out of Earth, not laid under ground, but hardned in the
Sun and Wind, the space of forty years. But _Gonzales de Mendoza_, a man
imployed into _China_ from _Philip_ the second King of _Spain_, upon
enquiry and ocular experience, delivered a way different from all these.
For inquiring into the artifice thereof, he found they were made of a
Chalky Earth; which beaten and steeped in water, affordeth a cream or
fatness on the top, and a gross subsidence at the bottom; out of the
cream or superfluitance, the finest dishes, saith he, are made, out of
the residence thereof the courser; which being formed, they gild or
paint, and not after an hundred years, but presently commit unto the
furnace. This, saith he, is known by experience, and more probable then
what _Odoardus Barbosa_ hath delivered, that they are made of shells,
and buried under earth an hundred years. And answerable in all points
hereto, is the relation of _Linschotten_, a diligent enquirer, in his
Oriental Navigations. Later confirmation may be had from _Alvarez_ the
Jesuit, who lived long in those parts, in his relations of _China_. That
_Porcellane_ Vessels were made but in one Town of the Province of
_Chiamsi_: That the earth was brought out of other Provinces, but for
the advantage of water, which makes them more polite and perspicuous,
they were only made in this. That they were wrought and fashioned like
those of other Countries, whereof some were tincted blew, some red,
others yellow, of which colour only they presented unto the King.

The latest account hereof may be found in the voyage of the Dutch
Embassadors sent from _Batavia_ unto the Emperour of _China_, printed
in _French_ 1665, which plainly informeth, that the Earth whereof
_Porcellane_ dishes are made, is brought from the Mountains of _Hoang_,
and being formed into square loaves, is brought by water, and marked
with the Emperours Seal: that the Earth it self is very lean, fine, and
shining like Sand: and that it is prepared and fashioned after the same
manner which the _Italians_ observe in the fine Earthen Vessels of
_Faventia_ or _Fuenca_: that they are so reserved concerning that
Artifice, that 'tis only revealed from Father unto Son: that they are
painted with _Indico_ baked in a fire for fifteen days together, and
with very dry and not smoaking Wood: which when the Author had seen he
could hardly contain from laughter at the common opinion above rejected
by us.

Now if any enquire, why being so commonly made, and in so short a time,
they are become so scarce, or not at all to be had? The Answer is given
by these last Relators, that under great penalties it is forbidden to
carry the first sort out of the Country. And of those surely the
properties must be verified, which by _Scaliger_ and others are ascribed
unto China-dishes: That they admit no poison, that they strike fire,
that they will grow hot no higher then the liquor in them ariseth. For
such as pass amongst us, and under the name of the finest, will only
strike fire, but not discover _Aconite_, _Mercury_, or _Arsenic_; but
may be useful in dysenteries and fluxes beyond the other.

8. Whether a Carbuncle (which is esteemed the best and biggest of
Rubies) doth flame in the dark, or shine like a coal in the night,
though generally agreed on by common Believers, is very much questioned
by many. By _Milius_, who accounts it a Vulgar Error: By the learned
_Boetius_, who could not find it verified in that famous one of
_Rodulphus_, which was as big as an Egg, and esteemed the best in
_Europe_. Wherefore although we dispute not the possibility, and the
like is said to have been observed in some Diamonds, yet whether herein
there be not too high an apprehension, and above its natural radiancy,
is not without just doubt: however it be granted a very splendid _Gem_,
and whose sparks may somewhat resemble the glances of fire, and
Metaphorically deserve that name. And therefore when it is conceived by
some, that this Stone in the Brest-plate of _Aaron_ respected the Tribe
of _Dan_, who burnt the City of _Laish_; and _Sampson_ of the same
Tribe, who fired the Corn of the _Philistims_; in some sense it may be
admitted, and is no intollerable conception.

As for that _Indian_ Stone that shined so brightly in the Night, and
pretended to have been shewn to many in the Court of _France_, as
_Andreus Chioccus_ hath declared out of _Thuanus_, it proved but an
imposture, as that eminent Philosopher _Licetus_ [SN: Licet de quæsit.
per Epistolas.] hath discovered, and therefore in the revised Editions
of _Thuanus_, it is not to be found. [SN: Licet de lapide Bononiensi.]
As for the _Phosphorus_ or _Bononian_ Stone, which exposed unto the Sun,
and then closely shut up, will afterward afford a light in the dark; it
is of unlike consideration, for that requireth calcination or reduction
into a dry powder by fire, whereby it imbibeth the light in the vaporous
humidity of the air about it, and therefore maintaineth its light not
long, but goes out when the vaporous vehicle is consumed.

9. Whether the _Ætites_ or _Eagle_-stone hath that eminent property to
promote delivery or restrain abortion, respectively applied to lower or
upward parts of the body, we shall not discourage common practice by our
question: but whether they answer the account thereof, as to be taken
out of _Eagles_ nests, co-operating in Women unto such effects, as they
are conceived toward the young _Eagles_: or whether the single signature
of one stone included in the matrix and belly of another, were not
sufficient at first, to derive this vertue of the pregnant Stone, upon
others in impregnation, may yet be farther considered. Many sorts there
are of this ratling Stone, beside the _Geodes_, containing a softer
substance in it. Divers are found in _England_, and one we met with on
the Sea-shore, but because many of eminent use are pretended to be
brought from _Iseland_, wherein are divers airies of _Eagles_, we cannot
omit to deliver what we received from a learned person in that Country,
[SN: Theodorus Ionas Hitterdalæ Pastor.] _Ætites an in nidis Aquilarum
aliquando fuerit repertus, nescio. Nostra certè memoria, etiam
inquirentibus non contigit invenisse, quare in fabulis habendum_.

10. Terrible apprehensions and answerable unto their names, are raised
of _Fayrie_ stones, and _Elves_ spurs, found commonly with us in Stone,
Chalk, and Marl-pits, which notwithstanding are no more than
_Echinometrites_ and _Belemnites_, the Sea-Hedge-Hog, and the
_Dart_-stone, arising from some siliceous Roots, and softer then that of
Flint, the Master-stone, lying more regularly in courses, and arising
from the primary and strongest spirit of the Mine. Of the _Echinites_,
such as are found in Chalk-pits are white, glassie, and built upon a
Chalky inside; some of an hard and flinty substance, are found in
Stone-pits and elsewhere. Common opinion commendeth them for the Stone,
but are most practically used against Films in Horses eyes.

11. Lastly, He must have more heads than _Rome_ had Hills, that makes
out half of those vertues ascribed unto stones, and their not only
Medical, but Magical proprieties, which are to be found in Authors of
great Name. In _Psellus_, _Serapion_, _Evax_, _Albertus_, _Aleazar_,
_Marbodeus_; in _Maiolus_, _Rueus_, _Mylius_, and many more.

That _Lapis Lasuli_ hath in it a purgative faculty we know; [SN:
_Against poison.] that _Bezoar_ is Antidotal, [SN: Provoking Urine._]
_Lapis Judaicus_ diuretical, [SN: _Against the Falling sickness._]
_Coral_ Antepileptical, we will not deny. That _Cornelians_, _Jaspis_,
_Heliotropes_, and Blood-stones, may be of vertue to those intentions
they are implied, experience and visible effects will make us grant. But
that an _Amethyst_ prevents inebriation, that an _Emerald_ will break if
worn in copulation. That a _Diamond_ laid under the pillow, will betray
the incontinency of a wife. That a _Saphire_ is preservative against
inchantments; that the fume of an _Agath_ will avert a tempest, or the
wearing of a _Crysoprase_ make one out love with Gold; as some have
delivered, we are yet, I confess, to believe, and in that infidelity are
likely to end our days. And therefore, they which in the explication of
the two Beryls upon the _Ephod_, or the twelve stones in the Rational or
Brest-plate of _Aaron_, or those twelve which garnished the wall of the
holy City in the Apocalyps, have drawn their significations from such as
these; or declared their symbolical verities from such traditional
falsities, have surely corrupted the sincerity of their Analogies, or
misunderstood the mystery of their intentions.

Most men conceive that the twelve stones in _Aarons_ brestplate made a
Jewel surpassing any, and not to be parallel'd; which notwithstanding
will hardly be made out from the description of the Text, for the names
of the Tribes were engraven thereon, which must notably abate their
lustre. Beside, it is not clear made out that the best of Gemms, a
Diamond was amongst them; nor is to be found in the list thereof, set
down by the _Jerusalem Thargum_, wherein we find the darker stones of
_Sardius_, _Sardonix_, and _Jasper_; and if we receive them under those
names wherein they are usually described, it is not hard to contrive a
more illustrious and splendent Jewel. But being not ordained for meer
lustre by diaphanous and pure tralucencies, their mysterious
significations became more considerable then their Gemmary substances;
and those no doubt did nobly answer the intention of the Institutor.
Beside some may doubt whether there be twelve distinct species of noble
tralucent Gemms in nature, at least yet known unto us, and such as may
not be referred unto some of those in high esteem among us, which come
short of the number of twelve; which to make up we must find out some
others to match and join with the Diamond, _Beryl_, _Saphyr_, _Emerald_,
_Amethyst_, _Topaz_, _Crysolit_, _Jacynth_, _Ruby_, and if we may admit
it in this number, the Oriental Gianat.


  Of sundry Tenets concerning Vegetables or Plants, which examined,
    prove either false or dubious.

1. Many Mola's and false conceptions there are of _Mandrakes_, the first
from great Antiquity, conceiveth the Root thereof resembleth the shape
of Man; which is a conceit not to be made out by ordinary inspection, or
any other eyes, then such as regarding the Clouds, behold them in
shapes conformable to pre-apprehensions.

Now whatever encouraged the first invention, there have not been wanting
many ways of its promotion. The first a Catachrestical and far derived
similitude it holds with Man; that is, in a bifurcation or division of
the Root into two parts, which some are content to call Thighs; whereas
notwithstanding they are oft-times three, and when but two, commonly so
complicated and crossed, that men for this deceit are fain to effect
their design in other plants; And as fair a resemblance is often found
in _Carrots_, _Parsnips_, _Briony_, and many others. There are, I
confess, divers Plants which carry about them not only the shape of
parts, but also of whole Animals, but surely not all thereof, unto whom
this conformity is imputed. Whoever shall peruse the signatures of
_Crollius_, or rather the Phytognomy of _Porta_, and strictly observe
how vegetable Realities are commonly forced into Animal Representations,
may easily perceive in very many, the semblance is but postulatory, and
must have a more assimilating phansie then mine to make good many

Illiterate heads have been led on by the name [SN: Μάνδρα, Spelunca.],
which in the first syllable expresseth its Representation; but others
have better observed the Laws of _Etymology_, and deduced it from a word
of the same language, because it delighteth to grow in obscure and shady
places; which derivation, although we shall not stand to maintain, yet
the other seemeth answerable unto the Etymologies of many Authors, who
often confound such nominal Notations. Not to enquire beyond our own
profession, the Latine Physitians which most adhered unto the _Arabick_
way, have often failed herein; particularly _Valescus de Tarranta_, [SN:
_In the old Edition._] a received Physitian, in whose _Philonium_ or
Medical practice these may be observed: _Diarhea_, saith he, _Quia
pluries venit in die. Herisepela, quasi hærens pilis, Emorrohis, ab
emach sanguis & morrohis quod est cadere. Lithargia à Litos quod est
oblivio & Targus morbus, Scotomia à Scotus quod est videre, & mias
musca. Opthalmia ab opus Græce quod est succus, & Talmon quod est
occulus. Paralisis, quasi læsio partis. Fistula à fos sonus & stolon
quod est emissio, quasi emissio soni vel vocis._ Which are derivations
as strange indeed as the other, and hardly to be parallel'd elsewhere;
confirming not only the words of one language with another, but creating
such as were never yet in any.

The received distinction and common Notation by Sexes, hath also
promoted the conceit; for true it is, that _Herbalists_ from ancient
times have thus distinguished them, naming that the Male, whose leaves
are lighter, and Fruit and Apples rounder; but this is properly no
generative division, but rather some note of distinction in colour,
figure or operation. For though _Empedocles_ affirm, there is a mixt,
and undivided Sex in Vegetables; and _Scaliger_ upon _Aristotle_ [SN: De
Plantis.], doth favourably explain that opinion; yet will it not consist
with the common and ordinary acception, nor yet with _Aristotles_
definition. For if that be Male which generates in another, that Female
which procreates in it self; if it be understood of Sexes conjoined, all
Plants are Female; and if of disjoined and congressive generation, there
is no Male or Female in them at all.

[Sidenote: _The impostures touching the Root of Mandrake._]

But the Atlas or main Axis which supported this opinion, was dayly
experience, and the visible testimony of sense. For many there are in
several parts of _Europe_, who carry about Roots and sell them unto
ignorant people, which handsomely make out the shape of Man or Woman.
But these are not productions of Nature, but contrivances of Art, as
divers have noted, and _Mathiolus_ plainly detected, who learned this
way of Trumpery from a vagabond cheater lying under his cure for the
French disease. His words were these, and may determine the point, _Sed
profecto vanum & fabulosum, etc._ But this is vain and fabulous, which
ignorant people, and simple women believe; for the roots which are
carried about by impostors to deceive unfruitful women, are made of the
roots of Canes, Briony and other plants: for in these yet fresh and
virent, they carve out the figures of men and women, first sticking
therein the grains of Barley or Millet, where they intend the hair
should grow; then bury them in sand until the grains shoot forth their
roots, which at the longest will happen in twenty days; they afterward
clip and trim those tender strings in the fashion of beards and other
hairy tegument. All which like other impostures once discovered is
easily effected, and in the root of white _Briony_ may be practised
every spring.

What is therefore delivered in favour thereof, by Authors ancient or
modern, must have its root in tradition, imposture, far derived
similitude, or casual and rare contingency. So may we admit of the
Epithet of _Pythagoras_, who calls it _Anthropomorphus_[SN: Orchis
Anthropomorphus cujus Icon in Kircheri Magia parastatica.]; and that of
_Columella_, who terms it _Semihomo_; more appliable unto the
Man-_Orchis_, whose flower represents a Man. Thus is _Albertus_ to be
received when he affirmeth, that _Mandrakes_ represent man-kind with the
distinction of either Sex. [SN: De mandragora.] Under these restrictions
may those Authors be admitted, which for this opinion are introduced by
_Drusius_; nor shall we need to question the monstrous root of
_Briony_ described in _Aldrovandus_ [SN: De monstris.].

[Sidenote: _Generations equivocal, are yet commonly regular and of a
determinate form or species._]

The second assertion concerneth its production. That it naturally
groweth under Gallowses and places of execution, arising from fat or
urine that drops from the body of the dead; a story somewhat agreeable
unto the fable of the Serpents teeth sowed in the earth by _Cadmus_; or
rather the birth of _Orion_ from the urine of _Jupiter_, _Mercury_, and
_Neptune_. Now this opinion seems grounded on the former, that is, a
conceived similitude it hath with man; and therefore from him in some
way they would make out its production: Which conceit is not only
erroneous in the foundation, but injurious unto Philosophy in the
superstruction. Making putrifactive generations, correspondent unto
seminal productions, and conceiving in equivocal effects and univocal
conformity unto the efficient. Which is so far from being verified of
animals in their corruptive mutations into Plants, that they maintain
not this similitude in their nearer translation into animals. So when
the Oxe corrupteth into Bees, or the Horse into Hornets, they come not
forth in the image of their originals. So the corrupt and excrementous
humours in man are animated into Lice; and we may observe, that Hogs,
Sheep, Goats, Hawks, Hens, and others, have one peculiar and proper kind
of vermine; not resembling themselves according to seminal conditions,
yet carrying a setled and confined habitude unto their corruptive
originals. And therefore come not forth in generations erratical, or
different from each other; but seem specifically and in regular shapes
to attend the corruption of their bodies, as do more perfect
conceptions, the rule of seminal productions.

The third affirmeth the roots of _Mandrakes_ do make a noise, or give a
shriek upon eradication; which is indeed ridiculous, and false below
confute: arising perhaps from a small and stridulous noise, which being
firmly rooted, it maketh upon divulsion of parts. A slender foundation
for such a vast conception: for such a noise we sometime observe in
other Plants, in Parsenips, Liquorish, Eringium, Flags, and others.

The last concerneth the danger ensuing, That there follows an hazard of
life to them that pull it up, that some evil fate pursues them, and they
live not very long after. Therefore the attempt hereof among the
Ancients, was not in ordinary way; but as _Pliny_ informeth, when they
intended to take up the root of this Plant, they took the wind thereof,
and with a sword describing three circles about it, they digged it up,
looking toward the _West_. A conceit not only injurious unto truth, and
confutable by daily experience, but somewhat derogatory unto the
providence of God; that is, not only to impose so destructive a quality
on any Plant, but to conceive a Vegetable, whose parts are useful unto
many, should in the only taking up prove mortal unto any. To think he
suffereth the poison of _Nubia_ [SN: Granum Nubiæ.] to be gathered,
_Napellus_, _Aconite_, and _Thora_, to be eradicated, yet this not to be
moved. That he permitteth Arsenick and mineral poisons to be forced from
the bowels of the Earth, yet not this from the surface thereof. This
were to introduce a second forbidden fruit, and inhance the first
malediction, making it not only mortal for _Adam_ to taste the one, but
capital unto his posterity to eradicate or dig up the other.

Now what begot, at least promoted so strange conceptions, might be the
magical opinion hereof; this being conceived the Plant so much in use
with _Circe_, and therefore named _Circea_, as _Dioscorides_ and
_Theophrastus_ have delivered, which being the eminent Sorcerers of
elder story, and by the magick of simples believed to have wrought many
wonders: some men were apt to invent, others to believe any tradition or
magical promise thereof.

_Analogous_ relations concerning other plants, and such as are of near
affinity unto this, have made its currant smooth, and pass more easily
among us. For the same effect is also delivered by _Josephus_,
concerning the root _Baaras_; by _Ælian_ of _Cynospastus_; and we read
in _Homer_ the very same opinion concerning Moly,

          Μῶλυ δέ μιν καλέουσι θεοί· χαλεπὸν δέ τ' ὀρύσσειν
          Ἀνδράσι γε θνητοῖσι· θεοὶ δέ τε πάντα δύνανται.

          The Gods it Moly call, whose Root to dig away,
          Is dangerous unto Man; but Gods, they all things may.

Now parallels or like relations alternately relieve each other, when
neither will pass asunder, yet are they plausible together; their mutual
concurrences supporting their solitary instabilities.

Signaturists have somewhat advanced it; who seldom omitting what
Ancients delivered; drawing into inference received distinction of sex,
not willing to examine its humane resemblance; and placing it in the
form of strange and magical simples, have made men suspect there was
more therein, then ordinary practice allowed; and so became apt to
embrace whatever they heard or read conformable unto such conceptions.

Lastly, The conceit promoteth it self: for concerning an effect whose
trial must cost so dear, it fortifies it self in that invention; and few
there are whose experiment it need to fear. For (what is most
contemptible) although not only the reason of any head, but experience
of every hand may well convict it, yet will it not by divers be
rejected; for prepossessed heads will ever doubt it, and timorous
beliefs will never dare to trie it. So these Traditions how low and
ridiculous soever, will find suspition in some, doubt in others, and
serve as tests or trials of Melancholy and superstitious tempers for

[Sidenote: _That Cinamon, Ginger, Clove, etc., are not of the same

2. That Cinamon, Ginger, Clove, Mace, and Nutmeg, are but the several
parts and fruits of the same tree, is the common belief of those which
daily use them. Whereof to speak distinctly, Ginger is the root of
neither Tree nor Shrub, but of an herbaceous Plant, resembling the Water
Flower-De-luce, as _Garcias_ first described; or rather the common Reed,
as _Lobelius_ since affirmed. Very common in many parts of _India_,
growing either from Root or Seed, which in _December_ and _January_ they
take up, and gently dried, roll it up in earth, whereby occluding the
pores, they conserve the natural humidity, and so prevent corruption.

Cinamon is the inward bark of a Cinamon Tree, whereof the best is
brought from _Zeilan_; this freed from the outward bark, and exposed
unto the Sun, contracts into those folds wherein we commonly receive it.
If it have not a sufficient isolation it looketh pale, and attains not
its laudable colour; if it be sunned too long, it suffereth a
torrefaction, and descendeth somewhat below it.

Clove seems to be either the rudiment of a fruit, or the fruit it self
growing upon the Clove tree, to be found but in few Countries. The most
commendable is that of the Isles of _Molucca_; it is first white,
afterward green, which beaten down, and dried in the Sun, becometh
black, and in the complexion we receive it.

Nutmeg is the fruit of a Tree differing from all these, and as
_Garcias_ describeth it, somewhat like a Peach; growing in divers
places, but fructifying in the Isle of _Banda_, The fruit hereof
consisteth of four parts; the first or outward part is a thick and
carnous covering like that of a Wal-nut. The second a dry and flosculous
coat, commonly called Mace. The third a harder tegument or shell, which
lieth under the Mace. The fourth a Kernel included in the shell, which
is the same we call Nutmeg. All which both in their parts and order of
disposure, are easily discerned in those fruits, which are brought in
preserves unto us.

Now if because Mace and Nutmegs proceed from one Tree, the rest must
bear them company; or because they are all from the _East Indies_, they
are all from one Plant: the Inference is precipitous, nor will there
such a Plant be found in the Herbal of Nature.

[Sidenote: _What the Misseltoe in some Trees is._]

3. That Viscus Arboreus or Misseltoe is bred upon Trees, from seeds
which Birds, especially Thrushes and Ring-doves let fall thereon, was
the Creed of the Ancients, and is still believed among us, is the
account of its production, set down by _Pliny_, delivered by _Virgil_,
and subscribed by many more. If so, some reason must be assigned, why it
groweth onely upon certain Trees, and not upon many whereon these Birds
do light. For as Exotick observers deliver, it groweth upon
Almond-trees, Chesnut, Apples, Oaks, and Pine-trees. As we observe in
_England_ very commonly upon Apple, Crabs, and White-thorn; sometimes
upon Sallow, Hazel, and Oak: rarely upon Ash, Lime-tree, and Maple;
never, that I could observe, upon Holly, Elm, and many more. Why it
groweth not in all Countries and places where these Birds are found; for
so _Brassavolus_ affirmeth, it is not to be found in the Territory of
_Ferrara_, and was fain to supply himself from other parts of _Italy_.
Why if it ariseth from a seed, if sown it will not grow again, as
_Pliny_ affirmeth, and as by setting the Berries thereof, we have in
vain attempted its production; why if it cometh from seed that falleth
upon the tree, it groweth often downwards, and puts forth under the
bough, where seed can neither fall nor yet remain. Hereof beside some
others, the Lord _Verulam_ hath taken notice. And they surely speak
probably who make it an arboreous excrescence, or rather superplant,
bred of a viscous and superfluous sap which the tree it self cannot
assimilate. And therefore sprouteth not forth in boughs and surcles of
the same shape, and similary unto the Tree that beareth it; but in a
different form, and secondary unto its specified intention, wherein once
failing, another form succeedeth: and in the first place that of
Misseltoe, in Plants and Trees disposed to its production. And therefore
also where ever it groweth, it is of constant shape, and maintains a
regular figure; like other supercrescences, and such as living upon the
stock of others, are termed parasitical Plants, as Polypody, Moss, the
smaller Capillaries, and many more: So that several regions produce
several Misseltoes; _India_ one, _America_ another, according to the law
and rule of their degenerations.

Now what begot this conceit, might be the enlargement of some part of
truth contained in its story. For certain it is, that some Birds do feed
upon the berries of this Vegetable, and we meet in _Aristotle_ with one
kind of Trush called the Missel Trush [SN: Ἰξόβορος.], or feeder upon
Misseltoe. But that which hath most promoted it, is a received proverb,
_Turdus sibi malum cacat_; appliable unto such men as are authors of
their own misfortunes. For according unto ancient tradition and
_Plinies_ relation, the Bird not able to digest the fruit whereon she
feedeth; from her inconverted muting ariseth this Plant, of the Berries
whereof Birdlime is made, wherewith she is after entangled. But although
Proverbs be popular principles, yet is not all true that is proverbial;
and in many thereof, there being one thing delivered, and another
intended; though the verbal expression be false, the Proverb is true
enough in the verity of its intention.

[Sidenote: _Paganish superstition about the Misseltoe of the Oak._]

As for the Magical vertues in this Plant, and conceived efficacy unto
veneficial intentions, it seemeth a _Pagan_ relique derived from the
ancient _Druides_, the great admirers of the Oak, especially the
Misseltoe that grew thereon; which according unto the particular of
_Pliny_, they gathered with great solemnity. For after sacrifice the
Priest in a white garment ascended the tree, cut down the Misseltoe with
a golden hook, and received it in a white coat; the vertue whereof was
to resist all poisons, and make fruitful any that used it. Vertues not
expected from Classical practice; and did they fully answer their
promise which are so commended, in Epileptical intentions, we would
abate these qualities. Country practice hath added another, to provoke
the after-birth, and in that case the decoction is given unto Cows. That
the Berries are poison as some conceive, we are so far from averring,
that we have safely given them inwardly; and can confirm the experiment
of _Brassavolus_, that they have some purgative quality.

4. The Rose of _Jericho_, that flourishes every year just about
Christmas Eve, is famous in Christian reports; which notwithstanding we
have some reason to doubt, and are plainly informed by _Bellonius_, it
is but a Monastical imposture, as he hath delivered in his
observations, concerning the Plants in _Jericho_. That which promoted
the conceit, or perhaps begot its continuance, was a propriety in this
Plant. For though it be dry, yet will it upon imbibition of moisture
dilate its leaves, and explicate its flowers contracted, and seemingly
dried up. And this is to be effected not only in the Plant yet growing,
but in some manner also in that which is brought exuccous and dry unto
us. Which quality being observed, the subtilty of contrivers did
commonly play this shew upon the Eve of our Saviours Nativity, when by
drying the Plant again, it closed the next day, and so pretended a
double mystery: referring unto the opening and closing of the womb of

There wanted not a specious confirmation from a text in _Ecclesiasticus
[SN: _Cap. 24._], Quasi palma exultata sum in Cades, & quasi plantatio
Rosæ in Jericho_: I was exalted like a Palm-tree in _Engaddi_, and as a
Rose in _Jericho_. The sound whereof in common ears, begat an
extraordinary opinion of the Rose of that denomination. But herein there
seemeth a mistake: for by the Rose in the Text, is implied the true and
proper Rose, as first the Greek [SN: φύτα τοῦ ῥόδου.], and
ours accordingly rendreth it. But that which passeth under this name,
and by us is commonly called the Rose of _Jericho_, is properly no Rose,
but a small thorny shrub or kind of Heath, bearing little white flowers,
far differing from the Rose; whereof _Bellonius_ a very inquisitive
_Herbalist_, could not find any in his travels thorow _Jericho_. A Plant
so unlike a Rose, it hath been mistaken by some good _Simplist_ for
_Amomum_; which truly understood is so unlike a Rose, that as
_Dioscorides_ delivers, the flowers thereof are like the white Violet,
and its leaves resemble _Briony_.

Suitable unto this relation almost in all points is that of the Thorn at
_Glassenbury_, and perhaps the daughter hereof; herein our endeavours
as yet have not attained satisfaction, and cannot therefore enlarge.
Thus much in general we may observe, that strange effects are naturally
taken for miracles by weaker heads, and artificially improved to that
apprehension by wiser. Certainly many precocious Trees, and such as
spring in the Winter, may be found in most parts of _Europe_, and divers
also in _England_. [SN: _Such a Thorn there is in_ Parham Park _in
Suffolk, and elsewhere._] For most Trees do begin to sprout in the Fall
of the leaf or Autumn, and if not kept back by cold and outward causes,
would leaf about the Solstice. Now if it happen that any be so strongly
constituted, as to make this good against the power of Winter, they may
produce their leaves or blossoms in that season. And perform that in
some singles, which is observable in whole kinds; as in _Ivy_, which
blossoms and bears at least twice a year, and once in the Winter; as
also in _Furz_, which flowereth in that season.

5. That _ferrum Equinum_, or _Sferra Cavallo_ hath a vertue attractive
of Iron, a power to break locks, and draw off the shoes of a Horse that
passeth over it; whether you take it for one kind of _Securidaca_, or
will also take in _Lunaria_, we know it to be false: and cannot but
wonder at _Mathiolus_, who upon a parallel in _Pliny_ was staggered into
suspension. Who notwithstanding in the imputed vertue to open things,
close and shut up, could laugh himself at that promise from the herb
_Æthiopis_ or _Æthiopian_ mullen; and condemn the judgment of _Scipio_,
who having such a picklock, would spend so many years in battering the
Gates of _Carthage_. Which strange and Magical conceit, seems to have no
deeper root in reason, then the figure of its seed; for therein indeed
it somewhat resembles a Horse-shoe; which notwithstanding _Baptista
Porta_ hath thought too low a signification, and raised the same unto a
Lunary representation.

[Sidenote: _How Beer and Wine come to be spoiled by Lightning._]

6. That _Bayes_ will protect from the mischief of Lightning and Thunder,
is a quality ascribed thereto, common with the Fig-tree, Eagle, and skin
of a Seal. Against so famous a quality, _Vicomercatus_ produceth
experiment of a Bay-tree blasted in _Italy_. And therefore although
_Tiberius_ for this intent, did wear a Lawrel upon his Temples, yet did
_Augustus_ take a more probable course, who fled under arches and hollow
vaults for protection. And though _Porta_ conceive, because in a
streperous eruption, it riseth against fire, it doth therefore resist
lightning, yet is that no emboldning Illation. And if we consider the
threefold effect of _Jupiters_ Trisulk, to burn, discuss, and terebrate;
and if that be true which is commonly delivered, that it will melt the
blade, yet pass the scabbard; kill the child, yet spare the mother; dry
up the wine, yet leave the hogshead entire: though it favour the amulet,
it may not spare us; it will be unsure to rely on any preservative, 'tis
no security to be dipped in Styx, or clad in the armour of _Ceneus_. Now
that Beer, Wine, and other liquors, are spoiled with lightning and
thunder, we conceive it proceeds not onely from noise and concussion of
the air, but also noxious spirits, which mingle therewith, and draw them
to corruption; whereby they become not only dead themselves, but
sometime deadly unto others, as that which _Seneca_ mentioneth; whereof
whosoever drank, either lost his life, or else his wits upon it.

[Sidenote: _How drinks intoxicate or overcome men._]

7. It hath much deceived the hope of good fellows, what is commonly
expected of bitter Almonds, and though in _Plutarch_ confirmed from the
practice of _Claudius_ his Physitian, that Antidote against ebriety
hath commonly failed. Surely men much versed in the practice do err in
the theory of inebriation; conceiving in that disturbance the brain doth
only suffer from exhalations and vaporous ascensions from the stomack,
which fat and oyly substances may suppress. Whereas the prevalent
intoxication is from the spirits of drink dispersed into the veins and
arteries, from whence by common conveyances they creep into the brain,
insinuate into its ventricles, and beget those vertigoes accompanying
that perversion. And therefore the same effect may be produced by a
Glister, the Head may be intoxicated by a medicine at the Heel. So the
poisonous bites of Serpents, although on parts at distance from the
head, yet having entered the veins, disturb the animal faculties, and
produce the effects of drink, or poison swallowed. And so as the Head
may be disturbed by the skin, it may the same way be relieved; as is
observable in balneations, washings, and fomentations, either of the
whole body, or of that part alone.


Of some Insects, and the properties of several Plants.

1. Few ears have escaped the noise of the Dead-watch, that is, the
little clickling sound heard often in many rooms, somewhat resembling
that of a Watch; and this is conceived to be of an evil omen or
prediction of some persons death: wherein notwithstanding there is
nothing of rational presage or just cause of terrour unto melancholy and
meticulous heads. For this noise is made by a little sheath-winged gray
Insect found often in Wainscot, Benches, and Wood-work, in the Summer.
We have taken many thereof, and kept them in thin boxes, wherein I have
heard and seen them work and knack with a little _proboscis_ or trunk
against the side of the box, like _Apicus Martius_, or Woodpecker
against a tree. It worketh best in warm weather, and for the most part
giveth not over under nine or eleven stroaks at a time. He that could
extinguish the terrifying apprehensions hereof, might prevent the
passions of the heart, and many cold sweats in Grandmothers and Nurses,
who in the sickness of children, are so startled with these noises.

2. The presage of the year succeeding, which is commonly made from
Insects or little Animals in Oak apples, according to the kinds thereof,
either Maggot, Fly, or Spider; that is, of Famine, War, or Pestilence;
whether we mean that woody excrescence, which shooteth from the branch
about _May_, or that round and Apple-like accretion which groweth under
the leaf about the latter end of Summer, is I doubt too distinct, nor
verifiable from event.

For Flies and Maggots are found every year, very seldom Spiders: And
_Helmont_ affirmeth he could never find the Spider and the Fly upon the
same Trees, that is the signs of War and Pestilence, which often go
together: Beside, that the Flies found were at first Maggots, experience
hath informed us; for keeping these excrescencies, we have observed
their conversions, beholding in Magnifying Glasses the daily progression
thereof. As may be also observed in other Vegetable excretions, whose
Maggots do terminate in Flies of constant shapes; as in the Nutgalls of
the Out-landish Oak, and the Mossie tuft of the wild Briar; which having
gathered in _November_ we have found the little Maggots which lodged in
wooden Cells all _Winter_, to turn into Flies in _June_.

[Sidenote: _Abundance of Flies, Maggots, etc., what may they naturally

We confess the opinion may hold some verity in the Analogy, or
Emblematical phansie. For Pestilence is properly signified by the
Spider, whereof some kinds are of a very venemous Nature. Famine by
Maggots, which destroy the fruits of the Earth. And War not improperly
by the Fly; if we rest in the phansie of _Homer_, who compares the
valiant _Grecian_ unto a Fly.

Some verity it may also have in it self, as truly declaring the
corruptive constitution in the present sap and nutrimental juice of the
Tree; and may consequently discover the disposition of that year,
according to the plenty or kinds of these productions. For if the
putrifying juices of bodies bring forth plenty of Flies and Maggots,
they give forth testimony of common corruption, and declare that the
Elements are full of the seeds of putrifaction, as the great number of
Caterpillars, Gnats, and ordinary Insects do also declare. If they run
into Spiders, they give signs of higher putrifaction, as plenty of
Vipers and Scorpions are confessed to do; the putrifying Materials
producing Animals of higher mischiefs, according to the advance and
higher strain of corruption.

3. Whether all Plants have seed, were more easily determinable, if we
could conclude concerning Harts-tongue, Fern, the Caterpillaries,
Lunaria, and some others. But whether those little dusty particles, upon
the lower side of the leaves, be seeds and seminal parts; or rather, as
it is commonly conceived, excremental separations, we have not as yet
been able to determine by any germination or univocal production from
them when they have been sowed on purpose: but having set the roots of
Harts tongue in a garden, a year or two after there came up three or
four of the same Plants, about two yards distance from the first. Thus
much we observe, that they seem to renew yearly, and come not fully out
till the Plant be in his vigour: and by the help of Magnifying Glasses
we find these dusty Atoms to be round at first, and fully representing
seeds, out of which at last proceed little Mites almost invisible; so
that such as are old stand open, as being emptied of some bodies
formerly included; which though discernable in Harts-tongue, is more
notoriously discoverable in some differencies of Brake or Fern.

But exquisite Microscopes and Magnifying Glasses have at last cleared
this doubt, whereby also long ago the noble _Fredericus Cæsius_ beheld
the dusts of Polypody as bigg as Pepper corns; and as _Johannes Faber_
testifieth, made draughts on Paper of such kind of seeds, as bigg as his
Glasses represented them: and set down such Plants under the Classis of
_Herbæ Tergifætæ_, as may be observed in his notable Botanical Tables.

4. Whether the sap of Trees runs down to the roots in Winter, whereby
they become naked and grow not; or whether they do not cease to draw any
more, and reserve so much as sufficeth for conservation, is not a point
indubitable. For we observe, that most Trees, as though they would be
perpetually green, do bud at the Fall of the leaf, although they sprout
not much forward untill the Spring, and warmer weather approacheth; and
many Trees maintain their leaves all Winter, although they seem to
receive very small advantage in their growth. But that the sap doth
powerfully rise in the Spring, to repair that moisture whereby they
barely subsisted in the Winter, and also to put the Plant in a capacity
of fructification: he that hath beheld how many gallons of water may in
a small time be drawn from a Birch-tree in the Spring, hath slender
reason to doubt.

5. That _Camphire_ Eunuchates, or begets in Men an impotency unto
Venery, observation will hardly confirm; and we have found it to fail in
Cocks and Hens, though given for many days; which was a more favourable
trial then that of _Scaliger_, when he gave it unto a Bitch that was
proud. For the instant turgescence is not to be taken off, but by
Medicines of higher Natures; and with any certainty but one way that we
know, which notwithstanding, by suppressing that natural evacuation, may
encline unto Madness, if taken in the Summer.

6. In the History of Prodigies we meet with many showrs of Wheat; how
true or probable, we have not room to debate. Only thus much we shall
not omit to inform, That what was this year found in many places, and
almost preached for Wheat rained from the clouds, was but the seed of
Ivy-berries, which somewhat represent it; and though it were found in
Steeples and high places, might be conveyed thither, or muted out by
Birds: for many feed thereon, and in the crops of some we have found no
less then three ounces.

7. That every plant might receive a Name according unto the disease it
cureth, was the wish of _Paracelsus_. A way more likely to multiply
Empiricks then Herbalists; yet what is practised by many is advantagious
unto neither; that is, relinquishing their proper appellations to
re-baptize them by the name of Saints, Apostles, Patriarchs, and
Martyrs, to call this the herb of _John_, that of _Peter_, this of
_James_, or _Joseph_, that of _Mary_ or _Barbara_. For hereby
apprehensions are made additional unto their proper Natures; whereon
superstitious practices ensue, and stories are framed accordingly to
make good their foundations.

8. We cannot omit to declare the gross mistake of many in the Nominal
apprehension of Plants; to instance but in few. An herb there is
commonly called _Betonica Pauli_, or _Pauls Betony_; hereof the People
have some conceit in reference to St. _Paul_; whereas indeed that name
is derived from _Paulus Ægineta_, an ancient Physitian of _Ægina_, and
is no more then Speed-well, or _Fluellen_. The like expectations are
raised from _Herba Trinitatis_; which notwithstanding obtaineth that
name from the figure of its leaves, and is one kind of Liverwort, or
_Hepatica_. In _Milium Solis_, the Epithete of the Sun hath enlarged its
opinion; which hath indeed no reference thereunto, it being no more then
_Lithospermon_, or _Grummel_, or rather _Milium Soler_; which as
_Serapion_ from _Aben Juliel_ hath taught us, because it grew
plentifully in the Mountains of _Soler_, received that appellation. [SN:
_Why the Jews ear is used for sore Throats._] In Jews-ears something is
conceived extraordinary from the Name, which is in propriety but _Fungus
sambucinus_, or an excrescence about the Roots of Elder, and concerneth
not the Nation of the _Jews_, but _Judas Iscariot_, upon a conceit, he
hanged on this Tree; and is become a famous Medicine in Quinsies, sore
Throats, and strangulations ever since. And so are they deceived in the
name of Horse-Raddish, Horse-Mint, Bull-rush, and many more: conceiving
therein some prenominal consideration, whereas indeed that expression is
but a Grecism, by the prefix of _Hippos_ and _Bous_, that is, Horse and
Bull, intending no more then Great. According whereto the great Dock is
called _Hippolapathum_; and he that calls the Horse of _Alexander_,
_Great-head_, expresseth the same which the _Greeks_ do in _Bucephalus_.

9. Lastly, Many things are delivered and believed of other Plants,
wherein at least we cannot but suspend. That there is a property in
_Basil_ to propagate Scorpions, and that by the smell thereof they are
bred in the brains of men, is much advanced by _Hollerius_, who found
this Insect in the brains of a man that delighted much in this smell.
Wherein beside that we find no way to conjoin the effect unto the cause
assigned; herein the Moderns speak but timorously, and some of the
Ancients quite contrarily. For, according unto _Oribasius_, Physitian
unto _Julian_, The _Affricans_, Men best experienced in poisons, affirm,
whosoever hath eaten _Basil_, although he be stung with a Scorpion,
shall feel no pain thereby: which is a very different effect, and rather
antidotally destroying, then seminally promoting its production.

That the leaves of _Catapucia_ or Spurge, being plucked upward or
downward, respectively perform their operations by Purge or Vomit, as
some have written, and old wives still do preach, is a strange conceit,
ascribing unto Plants positional operations, and after the manner of the
Loadstone; upon the Pole whereof if a Knife be drawn from the handle
unto the point, it will take up a Needle; but if drawn again from the
point to the handle, it will attract it no more.

That Cucumbers are no commendable fruits, that being very waterish, they
fill the veins with crude and windy serosities; that containing little
Salt or spirit, they may also debilitate the vital acidity, and
fermental faculty of the Stomach, we readily concede. But that they
should be so cold, as be almost poison by that quality, it will be hard
to allow, without the contradiction of _Galen_ [SN: _In his Anatomia
Sambuci._]: who accounteth them cold but in the second degree, and in
that Classis have most Physitians placed them.

That Elder Berries are poison, as we are taught by tradition, experience
will unteach us. And beside the promises of _Blochwitius_, the healthful
effects thereof daily observed will convict us.

That an Ivy Cup will separate Wine from Water, if filled with both, the
Wine soaking through, but the Water still remaining, as after _Pliny_
many have averred, we know not how to affirm; who making trial thereof,
found both the liquors to soak indistinctly through the bowl.

That Sheep do often get the Rot, by feeding in boggy grounds where
_Ros-solis_ groweth, seems beyond dispute. That this herb is the cause
thereof, Shepherds affirm and deny; whether it hath a cordial vertue by
sudden refection, sensible experiment doth hardly confirm, but that it
may have a Balsamical and resumptive Vertue, whereby it becomes a good
Medicine in Catarrhes and Consumptive dispositions, Practice and Reason
conclude. That the lentous drops upon it are not extraneous, and rather
an exudation from it self, then a rorid concretion from without, beside
other grounds, we have reason to conceive; for having kept the Roots
moist and earthed in close chambers, they have, though in lesser plenty,
sent out these drops as before.

That _Flos Affricanus_ is poison, and destroyeth Dogs, in two
experiments we have not found.

That Yew and the Berries thereof are harmless, we know.

That a Snake will not endure the shade of an Ash, we can deny. Nor is it
inconsiderable what is affirmed by _Bellonius_ [SN: Lib. 1 observat.];
for if his Assertion be true, our apprehension is oftentimes wide in
ordinary simples, and in common use we mistake one for another. We know
not the true Thyme; the Savourie in our Gardens is not that commended of
old; and that kind of Hysop the Ancients used, is unknown unto us, who
make great use of another.

We omit to recite the many Vertues, and endless faculties ascribed unto
Plants, which sometime occur in grave and serious Authors; and we shall
make a bad transaction for truth to concede a verity in half. To reckon
up all, it were employment for _Archimedes_, who undertook to write the
number of the Sands. Swarms of others there are, some whereof our future
endeavours may discover; common reason I hope will save us a labour in
many: Whose absurdities stand naked unto every eye; Errours not able to
deceive the Embleme of Justice, and need no _Argus_ to descry them.
Herein there surely wants expurgatory animadversions, whereby we might
strike out great numbers of hidden qualities; and having once a serious
and conceded list, we might with more encouragement and safety attempt
their Reasons.


Of divers popular and received Tenets concerning Animals, which
examined, prove either false or dubious.


Of the Elephant.

The first shall be of the Elephant, whereof there generally passeth an
opinion it hath no joints; and this absurdity is seconded with another,
that being unable to lie down, it sleepeth against a Tree; which the
Hunters observing, do saw it almost asunder; whereon the Beast relying,
by the fall of the Tree, falls also down it self, and is able to rise no
more. Which conceit is not the daughter of later times, but an old and
gray-headed error, even in the days of _Aristotle_, as he delivereth in
his Book, _De incessu Animalium_, and stands successively related by
several other authors: by _Diodorus Siculus_, _Strabo_, _Ambrose_,
_Cassiodore_, _Solinus_, and many more. Now herein methinks men much
forget themselves, not well considering the absurdity of such

[Sidenote: _How progression is made in animals._]

For first, they affirm it hath no joints, and yet concede it walks and
moves about; whereby they conceive there may be a progression or
advancement made in Motion without inflexion of parts. Now all
progression or Animals locomotion being (as _Aristotle_ teacheth)
performed _tractu et pulsu_; that is, by drawing on, or impelling
forward some part which was before in station, or at quiet; where there
are no joints or flexures, neither can there be these actions. And this
is true, not onely in Quadrupedes, Volatils, and Fishes, which have
distinct and prominent Organs of Motion, Legs, Wings, and Fins; but in
such also as perform their progression by the Trunk, as Serpents, Worms,
and Leeches. [SN: _Joint-like parts._] Whereof though some want bones,
and all extended articulations, yet have they arthritical Analogies, and
by the motion of fibrous and musculous parts, are able to make
progression. Which to conceive in bodies inflexible, and without all
protrusion of parts, were to expect a Race from _Hercules_ his pillars;
or hope to behold the effects of _Orpheus_ his Harp, when trees found
joints, and danced after his Musick.

Again, While men conceive they never lie down, and enjoy not the
position of rest, ordained unto all pedestrious Animals, hereby they
imagine (what reason cannot conceive) that an Animal of the vastest
dimension and longest duration, should live in a continual motion,
without that alternity and vicissitude of rest whereby all others
continue; and yet must thus much come to pass, if we opinion they lye
not down and enjoy no decumbence at all. [SN: _Extensive or Tonical
Motion, what?_] For station is properly no rest, but one kind of motion,
relating unto that which Physitians (from _Galen_) do name extensive or
tonical; that is, an extension of the muscles and organs of motion
maintaining the body at length or in its proper figure.

Wherein although it seem to be unmoved, it is not without all Motion;
for in this position the muscles are sensibly extended, and labour to
support the body; which permitted unto its proper gravity, would
suddenly subside and fall unto the earth; as it happeneth in sleep,
diseases, and death. From which occult action and invisible motion of
the muscles in station (as _Galen_ declareth) proceed more offensive
lassitudes then from ambulation. And therefore the Tyranny of some have
tormented men with long and enforced station, and though _Ixion_ and
_Sisiphus_ which always moved, do seem to have the hardest measure; yet
was not _Titius_ favoured, that lay extended upon _Caucasus_; and
_Tantalus_ suffered somewhat more then thirst, that stood perpetually in
Hell. Thus _Mercurialis_ in his Gymnasticks justly makes standing one
kind of exercise; and _Galen_ when we lie down, commends unto us middle
figures, that is, not to lye directly, or at length, but somewhat
inflected, that the muscles may be at rest; for such as he termeth
_Hypobolemaioi_ or figures, of excess, either shrinking up or stretching
out, are wearisome positions, and such as perturb the quiet of those
parts. Now various parts do variously discover these indolent and quiet
positions, some in right lines, as the wrists: some at right angles, as
the cubit: others at oblique angles, as the fingers and the knees: all
resting satisfied in postures of moderation, and none enduring the
extremity of flexure or extension.

Moreover men herein do strangely forget the obvious relations of
history, affirming they have no joints, whereas they dayly read of
several actions which are not performable without them. They forget what
is delivered by _Xiphilinus_, and also by _Suetonius_ in the lives of
_Nero_ and _Galba_, that Elephants have been instructed to walk on
ropes, in publick shews before the people. Which is not easily
performed by man, and requireth not only a broad foot, but a pliable
flexure of joints, and commandible disposure of all parts of
progression. They pass by that memorable place in _Curtius_, concerning
the Elephant of King _Porus, Indus qui Elephantem regebat, descendere
eum ratus, more solito procumbere jussit in genua cæteri quoque (ita
enim instituti erant) demisere corpora in terram_. [SN: De rebus gestis
Emanuelis.] They remember not the expression of _Osorius_, when he
speaks of the Elephant presented to _Leo_ the tenth, _Pontificem ter
genibus flexis, et demisso corporis habitu venerabundus salutavit_. But
above all, they call not to mind that memorable shew of _Germanicus_,
wherein twelve Elephants danced unto the sound of Musick, and after laid
them down in the _Tricliniums_, or places of festival Recumbency.

They forget the Etymologie of the Knee, approved by some Grammarians.
[SN: Γόνυ _from_ γωνία.] They disturb the position of
the young ones in the womb: which upon extension of legs is not easily
conceivable; and contrary unto the general contrivance of Nature. Nor do
they consider the impossible exclusion thereof, upon extension and
rigour of the legs.

Lastly, they forget or consult not experience, whereof not many years
past, we have had the advantage in _England_, by an Elephant shewn in
many parts thereof, not only in the posture of standing, but kneeling
and lying down. Whereby although the opinion at present be well
suppressed, yet from some strings of tradition, and fruitful recurrence
of errour, it is not improbable it may revive in the next generation
again. This being not the first that hath been seen in _England_; for
(besides some others) as _Polydore Virgil_ relateth, _Lewis_ the French
King sent one to Henry the third, and _Emanuel_ of _Portugal_ another to
_Leo_ the tenth into _Italy_, where notwithstanding the errour is still
alive and epidemical, as with us.

[Sidenote: _Round, Pillar-like._]

The hint and ground of this opinion might be the gross and somewhat
Cylindrical composure of the legs, the equality and less perceptible
disposure of the joints, especially in the former legs of this Animal;
they appearing when he standeth, like Pillars of flesh, without any
evidence of articulation. The different flexure and order of the joints
might also countenance the same, being not disposed in the Elephant, as
they are in other quadrupedes, but carry a nearer conformity unto those
of Man; that is, the bought of the fore-legs, not directly backward, but
laterally and somewhat inward; but the hough or suffraginous flexure
behind rather outward. Somewhat different unto many other quadrupedes,
as Horses, Camels, Deer, Sheep, and Dogs; for their fore-legs bend like
our legs, and their hinder legs like our arms, when we move them to our
shoulders. But quadrupedes oviparous, as Frogs, Lizards, Crocodiles,
have their joints and motive flexures more analogously framed unto ours;
and some among viviparous, that is, such thereof as can bring their
fore-feet and meat therein unto their mouths, as most can do that have
the clavicles or coller-bones: whereby their brests are broader, and
their shoulders more asunder, as the Ape, the Monkey, the Squirrel and
some others. If therefore any shall affirm the joints of Elephants are
differently framed from most of other quadrupedes, and more obscurely
and grosly almost then any, he doth herein no injury unto truth. But if
_à dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter_, he affirmeth also they
have no articulations at all, he incurs the controulment of reason, and
cannot avoide the contradiction also of sense.

As for the manner of their venation, if we consult historical
experience, we shall find it to be otherwise then as is commonly
presumed, by sawing away of Trees. The accounts whereof are to be seen
at large in _Johannes_, _Hugo_, _Edwardus Lopez_, _Garcias ab horto_,
_Cadamustus_, and many more.

Other concernments there are of the Elephant, which might admit of
discourse; and if we should question the teeth of Elephants, that is,
whether they be properly so termed, or might not rather be called horns:
it were no new enquiry of mine, but a Paradox as old as _Oppianus_ [SN:
Cyneget. lib. 2.]. Whether as _Pliny_ and divers since affirm it, that
Elephants are terrified, and make away upon the grunting of Swine,
_Garcias ab horto_ may decide, who affirmeth upon experience, they enter
their stalls, and live promiscuously in the Woods of _Malavar_. That the
situation of the genitals is averse, and their copulation like that
which some believe of Camels, as _Pliny_ hath also delivered, is not to
be received; for we have beheld that part in a different position; and
their coition is made by supersaliency, like that of horses, as we are
informed by some who have beheld them in that act. That some Elephants
have not only written whole sentences, as _Ælian_ ocularly testifieth,
but have also spoken, as _Oppianus_ delivereth, and _Christophorus à
Costa_ particularly relateth; although it sound like that of _Achilles_
Horse in _Homer_, we do not conceive impossible. [SN: _Some_ Brutes
_tolerably well organized for speech and approaching to reason_.] Nor
beside the affinity of reason in this Animal any such intollerable
incapacity in the organs of divers quadrupedes, whereby they might not
be taught to speak, or become imitators of speech like Birds. Strange it
is how the curiosity of men that have been active in the instruction of
Beasts, have never fallen upon this artifice; and among those, many
paradoxical and unheard of imitations, should not attempt to make one
speak. The Serpent that spake unto _Eve_, the Dogs and Cats that usually
speak unto Witches, might afford some encouragement. And since broad and
thick chops are required in Birds that speak, since lips and teeth are
also organs of speech; from these there is also an advantage in
quadrupedes, and a proximity of reason in Elephants and Apes above them
all. Since also an Echo will speak without any mouth at all,
articulately returning the voice of man, by only ordering the vocal
spirit in concave and hollow places; whether the musculous and motive
parts about the hollow mouths of Beasts, may not dispose the passing
spirit into some articulate notes, seems a query of no great doubt.


Of the Horse.

The second Assertion, that an Horse hath no gall, is very general, nor
only swallowed by the people, and common Farriers, but also received by
good _Veterinarians_, [SN: Veterinarians _or Farriers_.] and some who
have laudably discoursed upon Horses. It seemeth also very ancient;
for it is plainly set down by _Aristotle_, an Horse and all solid
ungulous or whole hoofed animals have no gall; and the same is also
delivered by _Pliny_, which notwithstanding we find repugnant unto
experience and reason. For first, it calls in question the providence
or wise provision of Nature; who not abounding in superfluities, is
neither deficient in necessities. Wherein nevertheless there would be a
main defect, and her improvision justly accusable, if such a feeding
Animal, and so subject unto diseases from bilious causes, should want a
proper conveyance for choler; or have no other receptacle for that
humour then the Veins, and general mass of bloud.

It is again controllable by experience, for we have made some search and
enquiry herein; encouraged by _Absyrtus_ a Greek Author, in the time of
_Constantine_, who in his Hippiatricks [SN: Medicina equaria.],
obscurely assigneth the gall a place in the liver; but more especially
by _Carlo Ruini_ the _Bononian_, who in his _Anatomia del Cavallo_, hath
more plainly described it, and in a manner as I found it. For in the
particular enquiry into that part, in the concave or simous part of the
Liver, whereabout the Gall is usually seated in quadrupedes, I discover
an hollow, long and membranous substance, of a pale colour without, and
lined with Choler and Gall within; which part is by branches diffused
into the lobes and several parcels of the Liver; from whence receiving
the fiery superfluity, or cholerick remainder, by a manifest and open
passage, it conveyeth it into the _duodenum_ or upper gut, thence into
the lower bowels; which is the manner of its derivation in Man and other
Animals. And therefore although there be no eminent and circular
follicle, no round bag or vesicle which long containeth this humour: yet
is there a manifest receptacle and passage of choler from the Liver into
the Guts: which being not so shut up, or at least not so long detained,
as it is in other Animals: procures that frequent excretion, and
occasions the Horse to dung more often then many other, which
considering the plentiful feeding, the largeness of the guts, and their
various circumvolution, was prudently contrived by providence in this
Animal. [SN: _Choler the natural glister._] For choler is the natural
Glister, or one excretion whereby Nature excludeth another; which
descending daily into the bowels, extimulates those parts, and excites
them unto expulsion. And therefore when this humour aboundeth or
corrupteth, there succeeds oft-times a _cholerica passio_, that is, a
sudden and vehement Purgation upward and downward: and when the passage
of gall becomes obstructed, the body grows costive, and the excrements
of the belly white; as it happeneth in the Jaundice.

If any therefore affirm an Horse hath no gall, that is, no receptacle,
or part ordained for the separation of Choler, or not that humour at
all; he hath both sense and reason to oppose him. But if he saith it
hath no bladder of Gall, and such as is observed in many other Animals,
we shall oppose our sense, if we gain-say him. Thus must _Aristotle_ be
made out when he denieth this part, by this distinction we may relieve
_Pliny_ of a contradiction, who in one place affirming an Horse hath no
gall, delivereth yet in another, that the gall of an Horse was accounted
poison; and therefore at the sacrifices of Horses in _Rome_, it was
unlawful for the _Flamen_ [SN: _Priest._] to touch it. But with more
difficulty, or hardly at all is that reconcileable which is delivered by
our Countryman, and received _Veterinarian_; whose words in his
Master-piece, and Chapter of diseases from the Gall, are somewhat too
strict, and scarce admit a Reconciliation. The fallacie therefore of
this conceit is not unlike the former; _A dicto secundum quid ad dictum
simpliciter_. Because they have not a bladder of gall, like those we
usually observe in others, they have no gall at all. Which is a
Paralogism not admittible; a fallacy that dwels not in a cloud, and
needs not the Sun to scatter it.


Of the Dove.

The third assertion is somewhat like the second, that a Dove or Pigeon
hath no gall; which is affirmed from very great antiquity; for as
_Pierius_ observeth, from this consideration the Egyptians did make it
the Hieroglyphick of Meekness. It hath been averred by many holy
Writers, commonly delivered by _Postillers_ and _Commentators_, who from
the frequent mention of the Dove in the _Canticles_, the precept of our
Saviour, to be wise as Serpents, and innocent as Doves: and especially
the appearance of the Holy Ghost in the similitude of this Animal, have
taken occasion to set down many affections of the Dove, and what doth
most commend it, is, that it hath no gall. And hereof have made use not
only Minor Divines, but _Cyprian_, _Austin_, _Isidore_, _Beda_,
_Rupertus_, _Jansenius_, and many more.

Whereto notwithstanding we know not how to assent, it being repugnant
unto the Authority and positive determination of ancient Philosophy. The
affirmative of _Aristotle_ in his History of Animals is very plain, _Fel
aliis ventri, aliis intestino jungitur_: Some have the gall adjoined to
the guts, as the Crow, the Swallow, Sparrow, and the Dove; the same is
also attested by _Pliny_, and not without some passion by _Galen_, who
in his Book _De Atra bile_, accounts him ridiculous that denies it.

It is not agreeable to the constitution of this Animal, nor can we so
reasonably conceive there wants a Gall: that is, the hot and fiery
humour in a body so hot of temper, which Phlegm or Melancholy could not
effect. [SN: Salubrium, 31°] Now of what complexion it is,
_Julius Alexandrinus_ declareth, when he affirmeth that some upon the
use thereof, have fallen into Feavers and Quinsies. The temper of their
Dung and intestinal Excretions do also confirm the same; which Topically
applied become a _Phænigmus_ or Rubifying Medicine, and are of such
fiery parts, that as we read in _Galen_, they have of themselves
conceived fire, and burnt a house about them. And therefore when in the
famine of _Samaria_ (wherein the fourth part of a Cab of Pigeons dung
was sold for five pieces of silver,) it is delivered by _Josephus_, that
men made use hereof in stead of common Salt: although the exposition
seem strange, it is more probable then many other. For that it
containeth very much Salt, as beside the effects before expressed, is
discernable by taste, and the earth of Columbaries or Dove-houses, so
much desired in the artifice of Salt-petre. And to speak generally, the
Excrement of Birds hath more of Salt and acrimony, then that of other
pissing animals. Now if because the Dove is of a mild and gentle nature,
we cannot conceive it should be of an hot temper; our apprehensions are
not distinct in the measure of constitutions, and the several parts
which evidence such conditions. [SN: _Whence the irascible, whence
the concupiscible Passions do most arise._] For the Irascible passions
do follow the temper of the heart, but the concupiscible distractions
the crasis of the liver. Now many have hot livers, which have but cool
and temperate hearts; and this was probably the temper of _Paris_, a
contrary constitution to that of _Ajax_, and both but short of _Medea_,
who seemed to exceed in either.

Lastly, it is repugnant to experience, for Anatomical enquiry
discovereth in them a gall: and that according to the determination of
_Aristotle_, not annexed unto the liver, but adhering unto the guts: nor
is the humour contained in smaller veins, or obscurer capillations, but
in a vescicle, or little bladder, though some affirm it hath no bag at
all. And therefore the Hieroglyphick of the Ægyptians, though allowable
in the sense, is weak in the foundation: who expressing meekness and
lenity by the portract of a Dove with a tail erected, affirmed it had no
gall in the inward parts, but only in the rump, and as it were out of
the body. And therefore also if they conceived their gods were pleased
with the sacrifice of this Animal, as being without gall, the ancient
Heathens were surely mistaken in the reason, and in the very oblation.
Whereas in the holocaust or burnt offering of _Moses_, the gall was cast
away: for as _Ben Maimon_ instructeth [SN: Levit. 1.], the inwards
whereto the gall adhereth were taken out with the crop, according unto
the Law: which the Priest did not burn, but cast unto the East, that is,
behind his back, and readiest place to be carried out of the Sanctuary.
[SN: _Doves, the Birds of_ Venus, _why?_] And if they also conceived
that for this reason they were the Birds of _Venus_, and wanting the
furious and discording part, were more acceptable unto the Deity of
Love, they surely added unto the conceit, which was at first venereal:
and in this Animal may be sufficiently made out from that conception.

The ground of this conceit is partly like the former, the obscure
situation of the gall, and out of the liver, wherein it is commonly
enquired. But this is a very injust illation, not well considering with
what variety this part is seated in Birds. In some both at the stomach
and the liver, as in the Capriceps; in some at the liver only, as in
Cocks, Turkeys, and Pheasants; in others at the guts and liver, as in
Hawks and Kites, in some at the guts alone, as Crows, Doves, and many
more. And these perhaps may take up all the ways of situation, not only
in Birds, but also other Animals; for what is said of the Anchovie, that
answerable unto its name, [SN: Ἐγκρασίχολος] it carrieth the
gall in the head, is farther to be enquired. And though the discoloured
particles in the skin of an Heron be commonly termed Galls, yet is not
this Animal deficient in that part, but containeth it in the Liver. And
thus when it is conceived that the eyes of _Tobias_ were cured by the
gall of the fish _Callyonimus_, or _Scorpius marinus_, commended to that
effect by _Dioscorides_, although that part were not in the liver, yet
there were no reason to doubt that probability. And whatsoever Animal it
was, it may be received without exception, when it's delivered, the
married couple as a testimony of future concord, did cast the gall of
the sacrifice behind the Altar.

A strict and literal acception of a loose and tropical expression was a
second ground hereof. For while some affirmed it had no gall, intending
only thereby no evidence of anger or fury; others have construed it
anatomically, and denied that part at all. By which illation we may
infer, and that from sacred Text, a Pigeon hath no heart; according to
that expression, [SN: _Hosea 7._] _Factus est Ephraim sicut Columba
seducta non habens Cor_. And so from the letter of the Scripture we may
conclude it is no mild, but a fiery and furious animal, according to
that of _Jeremy_, [SN: _Cap. 25._] _Facta est terra in desolationem à
facie iræ Columbæ_: and again, _Revertamur ad terram nativitatis nostræ
à facie gladii Columbæ_. [SN: _Cap. 46._] Where notwithstanding the Dove
is not literally intended; but thereby may be implied the
_Babylonians_, whose Queen _Semiramis_ was called by that name, and
whose successors did bear the Dove in their Standard. So is it
proverbially said, _Formicæ sua bilis inest, habet et musca splenem_;
whereas we know Philosophy doubteth these parts, nor hath _Anatomy_ so
clearly discovered them in those insects.

If therefore any affirm a Pigeon hath no gall, implying no more thereby
then the lenity of this Animal, we shall not controvert his affirmation.
Thus may we make out the assertions of Ancient Writers, and safely
receive the expressions of Divines and worthy Fathers. But if by a
transition from Rhetorick to Logick, he shall contend, it hath no such
part or humour, he committeth an open fallacy, and such as was probably
first committed concerning _Spanish_ Mares, whose swiftness tropically
expressed from their generation by the wind; might after be grosly
taken, and a real truth conceived in that conception.


Of the Bever.

That a Bever to escape the Hunter, bites off his testicles or stones, is
a Tenet very ancient; and hath had thereby advantage of propagation.
[SN: _Æsops Apologues, of what antiquity._] For the same we find in the
Hieroglyphicks of the Egyptians in the Apologue of _Æsop_, an Author of
great Antiquity, who lived in the beginning of the _Persian_ Monarchy,
and in the time of _Cyrus_: the same is touched by _Aristotle_ in his
Ethicks, but seriously delivered by _Ælian_, _Pliny_, and _Solinus_: the
same we meet with in _Juvenal_, who by an handsome and Metrical
expression more welcomly engrafts it in our junior Memories:

          _----imitatus Castora, qui se
          Eunuchum ipse facit, cupiens evadere damno
          Testiculorum, adeo medicatum intelligit inguen._

It hath been propagated by Emblems: and some have been so bad
Grammarians as to be deceived by the Name, deriving _Castor à
castrando_, whereas the proper Latine word is _Fiber_, and _Castor_ but
borrowed from the Greek, so called _quasi_ γάστωρ, that is, _Animal
ventricosum_, from his swaggy and prominent belly.

Herein therefore to speak compendiously, we first presume to affirm that
from strict enquiry, we cannot maintain the evulsion or biting off any
parts, and this is declarable from the best and most professed Writers:
for though some have made use hereof in a Moral or Tropical way, yet
have the professed Discoursers by silence deserted, or by experience
rejected this assertion. Thus was it in ancient times discovered, and
experimentally refuted by one _Sestius_ a Physitian, as it stands
related by _Pliny_; by _Dioscorides_, who plainly affirms that this
tradition is false; by the discoveries of Modern Authors, who have
expressly discoursed hereon, as _Aldrovandus_, _Mathiolus_, _Gesnerus_,
_Bellonius_; by _Olaus Magnus_, _Peter Martyr_, and others, who have
described the manner of their Venations in _America_; they generally
omitting this way of their escape, and have delivered several other, by
which they are daily taken.

The original of the conceit was probably Hieroglyphical, which after
became Mythological unto the Greeks, and so set down by _Æsop_; and by
process of tradition, stole into a total verity, which was but partially
true, that is in its covert sense and Morality. Now why they placed
this invention upon the Bever (beside the Medicable and Merchantable
commodity of _Castoreum_, or parts conceived to be bitten away) might be
the sagacity and wisdom of that Animal, which from the works it
performs, and especially its Artifice in building, is very strange, and
surely not to be matched by any other. Omitted by _Plutarch_, _De
solertia Animalium_, but might have much advantaged the drift of that

If therefore any affirm a wise man should demean himself like the Bever,
who to escape with his life, contemneth the loss of his genitals, that
is in case of extremity, not strictly to endeavour the preservation of
all, but to sit down in the enjoyment of the greater good, though with
the detriment and hazard of the lesser; we may hereby apprehend a real
and useful Truth. In this latitude of belief, we are content to receive
the Fable of _Hippomanes_, who redeemed his life with the loss of a
Golden Ball; and whether true or false, we reject not the Tragœdy of
_Absyrtus_, and the dispersion of his Members by _Medea_, to perplex the
pursuit of her Father. But if any shall positively affirm this act, and
cannot believe the Moral, unless he also credit the Fable; he is surely
greedy of delusion, and will hardly avoid deception in theories of this
Nature. The Error therefore and Alogy in this opinion, is worse then in
the last; that is, not to receive Figures for Realities, but expect a
verity in Apologues; and believe, as serious affirmations, confessed and
studied Fables.

Again, If this were true, and that the Bever in chase makes some
divulsion of parts, as that which we call _Castoreum_; yet are not the
same to be termed Testicles or Stones; for these Cods or Follicles are
found in both Sexes, though somewhat more protuberant in the Male.
There is hereto no derivation of the seminal parts, nor any passage from
hence, unto the Vessels of Ejaculation: some perforations onely in the
part it self, through which the humour included doth exudate: as may be
observed in such as are fresh, and not much dried with age. And lastly,
The Testicles properly so called, are of a lesser magnitude, and seated
inwardly upon the loins: and therefore it were not only a fruitless
attempt, but impossible act, to Eunuchate or castrate themselves: and
might be an hazardous practice of Art, if at all attempted by others.

Now all this is confirmed from the experimental Testimony of five very
memorable Authors: _Bellonius_, _Gesnerus_, _Amatus_, _Rondeletius_, and
_Mathiolus_: who receiving the hint hereof from _Rondeletius_ in the
Anatomy of two Bevers, did find all true that had been delivered by him,
whose words are these in his learned Book _De Piscibus_: _Fibri in
inguinibus geminos tumores habent, utrinque vnicum, ovi Auscrini
magnitudine, inter hos est mentula in maribus, in fæminis pudendum, hi
tumores testes non sunt, sed folliculi membrana contecti, in quorum
medio sunguli sunt meatus è quibus exudat liquor pinguis et cerosus,
quem ipse Castor sæpe admoto ore lambit et exugit, postea veluti oleo,
corporis partes oblinit: Hos tumores testes non esse hinc maxime
colligitur, quod ab illus nulla est ad mentulam via neque ductus quo
humor in mentulæ meatum derivitur, et foras emittatur; præterea quod
testes intus reperiuntur, eosdem tumores Moscho animali inesse puto, è
quibus odoratum illud plus emanat._ Then which words there can be no
plainer, nor more evidently discovering the impropriety of this
appellation. That which is included in the cod or visible bag about the
groin, being not the Testicle, or any spermatical part; but rather a
collection of some superfluous matter deflowing from the body,
especially the parts of nutrition as unto their proper emunctories; and
as it doth in Musk and Civet Cats, though in a different and offensive
odour; proceeding partly from its food, that being especially Fish;
whereof this humour may be a garous excretion and olidous separation.

Most therefore of the Moderns before _Rondeletius_, and all the Ancients
excepting _Sestius_, have misunderstood this part, conceiving
_Castoreum_ the Testicles of the _Bever_; as _Dioscorides_, _Galen_,
_Ægineta_, _Ætius_, and others have pleased to name it. The Egyptians
also failed in the ground of their Hieroglyphick, when they expressed
the punishment of Adultery by the Bever depriving himself of his
testicles, which was amongst them the penalty of such incontinency. Nor
is _Ætius_ perhaps, too strictly to be observed, when he prescribeth the
stones of the Otter, or River-dog, as succedaneous unto _Castoreum_. But
most inexcusable of all is _Pliny_, who having before him in one place
the experiment of _Sestius_ against it, sets down in another, that the
_Bevers_ of _Pontus_ bite off their testicles: and in the same place
affirmeth the like of the _Hyena_. Which was indeed well joined with the
Bever, as having also a bag in those parts; if thereby we understand the
_Hyena odorata_, or Civet Cat, as is delivered and graphically described
by _Castellus_. [SN: Castellus de Hyena odorifera.]

Now the ground of this mistake might be the resemblance and situation of
these tumours about those parts, wherein we observe the testicles in
other animals. Which notwithstanding is no well founded illation, for
the testicles are defined by their office, and not determined by place
or situation; they having one office in all, but different seats in
many. For beside that, no Serpent, or Fishes oviparous, that neither
biped nor quadruped oviparous have testicles exteriourly, or prominent
in the groin; some also that are viviparous contain these parts within,
as beside this Animal, the Elephant and the Hedg-hog.

If any therefore shall term these testicles, intending metaphorically,
and in no strict acception; his language is tolerable, and offends our
ears no more then the Tropical names of Plants: when we read in Herbals,
of Dogs, Fox, and Goat-stones. But if he insisteth thereon, and
maintaineth a propriety in this language: our discourse hath overthrown
his assertion, nor will Logic permit his illation; that is, from things
alike, to conclude a thing the same; and from an accidental convenience,
that is a similitude in place or figure, to infer a specifical congruity
or substantial concurrence in Nature.


Of the Badger.

That a Brock or Badger hath the legs on one side shorter then of the
other, though an opinion perhaps not very ancient, is yet very general;
received not only by Theorists and unexperienced believers, but assented
unto by most who have the opportunity to behold and hunt them daily.
Which notwithstanding upon enquiry I find repugnant unto the three
Determinators of Truth, Authority, Sense, and Reason. For first,
_Albertus Magnus_ speaks dubiously, confessing he could not confirm the
verity hereof; but _Aldrovandus_ plainly affirmeth, there can be no
such inequality observed. And for my own part, upon indifferent enquiry,
I cannot discover this difference, although the regardable side be
defined, and the brevity by most imputed unto the left.

Again, It seems no easie affront unto Reason, and generally repugnant
unto the course of Nature; for if we survey the total set of Animals, we
may in their legs, or Organs of progression, observe an equality of
length, and parity of Numeration; that is, not any to have an odd legg,
or the supporters and movers of one side not exactly answered by the
other. Although the hinder may be unequal unto the fore and middle legs,
as in Frogs, Locusts, and Grasshoppers; or both unto the middle, as in
some Beetles and Spiders, as is determined by _Aristotle_, _De incessu
Animalium_. [SN: De incessu Animalium.] Perfect and viviparous
quadrupeds, so standing in their position of proneness, that the
opposite joints of Neighbour-legs consist in the same plane; and a line
descending from their Navel intersects at right angles the axis of the
Earth. It happeneth often I confess that a Lobster hath the Chely or
great claw of one side longer then the other; but this is not properly
their leg, but a part of apprehension, and whereby they hold or seiz
upon their prey; for the legs and proper parts of progression are
inverted backward, and stand in a position opposite unto these.

Lastly, The Monstrosity is ill contrived, and with some disadvantage;
the shortness being affixed unto the legs of one side, which might have
been more tolerably placed upon the thwart or Diagonial Movers. [SN:
_Diagonion, a line drawn from the cross angles._] For the progression of
quadrupeds being performed _per Diametrum_, that is the cross legs
moving or resting together, so that two are always in motion, and two
in station at the same time; the brevity had been more tolerable in the
cross legs. For then the Motion and station had been performed by equal
legs; whereas herein they are both performed by unequal Organs, and the
imperfection becomes discoverable at every hand.


Of the Bear.

That a Bear brings forth her young informous and unshapen, which she
fashioneth after by licking them over, is an opinion not only vulgar,
and common with us at present: but hath been of old delivered by ancient
Writers. Upon this foundation it was an Hieroglyphick with the
Egyptians: _Aristotle_ seems to countenance it; _Solinus_, _Pliny_, and
_Ælian_ directly affirm it, and _Ovid_ smoothly delivereth it:

          _Nec catulus partu quem reddidit ursa recenti_
          _Sed male viva caro est, lambendo mater in artus_
          _Ducit, et in formam qualem cupit ipsa reducit._

Which notwithstanding is not only repugnant unto the sense of every one
that shall enquire into it, but the exact and deliberate experiment of
three Authentick Philosophers. The first of _Mathiolus_ in his Comment
on _Dioscorides_, whose words are to this effect. In the Valley of
_Anania_ about _Trent_, in a Bear which the Hunters eventerated or
opened, I beheld the young ones with all their parts distinct: and not
without shape, as many conceive; giving more credit unto _Aristotle_ and
_Pliny_, then experience and their proper senses. Of the same assurance
was _Julius Scaliger_ in his Exercitations, _Ursam fœtus informes
potius ejicere, quam parere, si vera dicunt, quos postea linctu
effingat: Quid hujusce fabulæ authoribus fidei habendum ex hac historia
cognosces; In nostris Alpibus venatores fætum Ursam cepere, dissecta ea
fætus plane formatus intus inventus est_. And lastly, Aldrovandus who
from the testimony of his own eyes affirmeth, that in the Cabinet of the
Senate of _Bononia_, there was preserved in a Glass a Cub taken out of a
Bear perfectly formed, and compleat in every part.

It is moreover injurious unto Reason, and much impugneth the course and
providence of Nature, to conceive a birth should be ordained before
there is a formation. For the conformation of parts is necessarily
required, not onely unto the pre-requisites and previous conditions of
birth, as Motion and Animation: but also unto the parturition or very
birth it self: Wherein not only the Dam, but the younglings play their
parts; and the cause and act of exclusion proceedeth from them both. For
the exclusion of Animals is not meerly passive like that of Eggs, nor
the total action of delivery to be imputed unto the Mother: but the
first attempt beginneth from the Infant: which at the accomplished
period attempteth to change his Mansion: and strugling to come forth,
dilacerates and breaks those parts which restrained him before.

Beside (what few take notice of) Men hereby do in an high measure
vilifie the works of God, imputing that unto the tongue of a Beast,
which is the strangest Artifice in all the acts of Nature; that is the
formation of the infant in the Womb, not only in Mankind, but all
viviparous Animals. [SN: _Formation in the Matrix, the admirable work of
Nature._] Wherein the plastick or formative faculty, from matter
appearing Homogeneous, and of a similary substance, erecteth Bones,
Membranes, Veins, and Arteries: and out of these contriveth every part
in number, place, and figure, according to the law of its species. Which
is so far from being fashioned by any outward agent, that once omitted
or perverted by a slip of the inward _Phidias_, it is not reducible by
any other whatsoever. And therefore _Mirè me plasmaverunt manus tuæ_,
though it originally respected the generation of Man, yet is it
appliable unto that of other Animals; who entring the Womb in bare and
simple Materials, return with distinction of parts, and the perfect
breath of life. He that shall consider these alterations without, must
needs conceive there have been strange operations within; which to
behold, it were a spectacle almost worth ones beeing, a sight beyond
all; except that Man had been created first, and might have seen the
shew of five dayes after.

Now as the opinion is repugnant both unto sense and Reason, so hath it
probably been occasioned from some slight ground in either. Thus in
regard the Cub comes forth involved in the Chorion, a thick and tough
Membrane obscuring the formation, and which the Dam doth after bite and
tear asunder; the beholder at first sight conceives it a rude and
informous lump of flesh, and imputes the ensuing shape unto the Mouthing
of the Dam; which addeth nothing thereunto, but only draws the curtain,
and takes away the vail which concealed the Piece before. And thus have
some endeavoured to enforce the same from Reason; that is, the small and
slender time of the Bears gestation, or going with her young; which
lasting but few days (a Month some say) the exclusion becomes
precipitous, and the young ones consequently informous; according to
that of _Solinus_, _Trigesimus dies uterum liberat ursæ; unde evenit ut
præcipitata fæcunditas informes creet partus_. But this will overthrow
the general Method of Nature in the works of generation. For therein the
conformation is not only antecedent, but proportional unto the
exclusion; and if the period of the birth be short, the term of
conformation will be as sudden also. There may I confess from this
narrow time of gestation ensue a Minority or smalness in the exclusion;
but this however inferreth no informity, and it still receiveth the Name
of a natural and legitimate birth; whereas if we affirm a total
informity, it cannot admit so forward a term as an Abortment, for that
supposeth conformation. So we must call this constant and intended act
of Nature, a slip or effluxion [SN: Ἔκρυσις.], that is an exclusion
before conformation: before the birth can bear the name of the Parent,
or be so much as properly called an _Embryon_.


Of the Basilisk

Many Opinions are passant concerning the Basilisk or little King of
Serpents, commonly called the Cockatrice: some affirming, others
denying, most doubting the relations made hereof. What therefore in
these incertainties we may more safely determine: that such an Animal
there is, if we evade not the testimony of Scripture and humane Writers,
we cannot safely deny. So it is said _Psalm_ 91. _Super Aspidem et
Basiliscum ambulabis_, wherein the Vulgar Translation retaineth the Word
of the Septuagint, using in other places the Latine expression
_Regulus_, as _Proverbs_ 23. _Mordebit ut coluber, et sicut Regulus
venena diffundet_: and _Jeremy_ 8. _Ecce ego mittam vobis serpentes
Regulos, etc._ That is, as ours translate it, _Behold I will send
Serpents, Cockatrices among you which will not be charmed, and they
shall bite you_. And as for humane Authors, or such as have discoursed
of Animals, or Poisons, it is to be found almost in all: in
_Dioscorides_, _Galen_, _Pliny_, _Solinus_, _Ælian_, _Ætius_, _Avicen_,
_Ardoynus_, _Grevinus_, and many more. In _Aristotle_ I confess we find
no mention thereof, but _Scaliger_ in his Comment and enumeration of
Serpents, hath made supply; and in his Exercitations delivereth that a
Basilisk was found in _Rome_, in the days of _Leo_ the fourth. The like
is reported by _Sigonius_; and some are so far from denying one, that
they have made several kinds thereof: for such is the _Catoblepas_ of
_Pliny_ conceived to be by some, and the _Dryinus_ of _Ætius_ by others.

But although we deny not the existence of the Basilisk, yet whether we
do not commonly mistake in the conception hereof, and call that a
Basilisk which is none at all, is surely to be questioned. For certainly
that which from the conceit of its generation we vulgarly call a
Cockatrice, and wherein (but under a different name) we intend a formal
Identity and adequate conception with the Basilisk; is not the Basilisk
of the Ancients, whereof such wonders are delivered. For this of ours is
generally described with legs, wings, a Serpentine and winding tail, and
a crist or comb somewhat like a Cock. But the Basilisk of elder times
was a proper kind of Serpent, not above three palms long, as some
account; and differenced from other Serpents by advancing his head, and
some white marks or coronary spots upon the crown, as all authentick
Writers have delivered.

Nor is this Cockatrice only unlike the Basilisk, but of no real shape in
Nature; and rather an Hieroglyphical fansie, to express different
intentions, set forth in different fashions. Sometimes with the head of
a Man, sometime with the head of an Hawk, as _Pierius_ hath delivered;
and as with addition of legs the Heralds and Painters still describe it.
Nor was it only of old a symbolical and allowable invention, but is now
become a manual contrivance of Art, and artificial imposure; whereof
besides others, _Scaliger_ hath taken notice: _Basilici formam mentiti
sunt vulgo Gallinacco similem, et pedibus binis; neque enim absimiles
sunt cæteris serpentibus, nisi macula quasi in vertice candida, unde
illi nomen Regium_; that is, men commonly counterfeit the form of a
Basilisk with another like a Cock, and with two feet; whereas they
differ not from other serpents, but in a white speck upon their Crown.
Now although in some manner it might be counterfeited in _Indian_ Cocks,
and flying Serpents, yet is it commonly contrived out of the skins of
Thornbacks, Scaits, or Maids, as _Aldrovand_ hath observed, [SN: _By way
of figure._] and also graphically described in his excellent Book of
Fishes; and for satisfaction of my own curiosity I have caused some to
be thus contrived out of the same Fishes.

Nor is onely the existency of this animal considerable, but many things
delivered thereof, particularly its poison and its generation.
Concerning the first, according to the doctrine of the Ancients, men
still affirm, that it killeth at a distance, that it poisoneth by the
eye, and by priority of vision. [SN: _Destructive._] Now that
deleterious it may be at some distance, and destructive without corporal
contaction, what uncertainty soever there be in the effect, there is no
high improbability in the relation. For if Plagues or pestilential Atoms
have been conveyed in the Air from different Regions, if men at a
distance have infected each other, if the shadows of some trees be
noxious, if _Torpedoes_ deliver their opium at a distance, and stupifie
beyond themselves; we cannot reasonably deny, that (beside our gross and
restrained poisons requiring contiguity unto their actions) there may
proceed from subtiller seeds, more agile emanations, which contemn those
Laws, and invade at distance unexpected.

That this venenation shooteth from the eye, and that this way a Basilisk
may empoison, although thus much be not agreed upon by Authors, some
imputing it unto the breath, others unto the bite, it is not a thing
impossible. For eyes receive offensive impressions from their objects,
and may have influences destructive to each other. [SN: _Effluxion of
corporeal species._] For the visible species of things strike not our
senses immaterially, but streaming in corporal raies, do carry with them
the qualities of the object from whence they flow, and the medium
through which they pass. [SN: _How the Basilisk kills at distance._]
Thus through a green or red Glass all things we behold appear of the
same colours; thus sore eyes affect those which are sound, and
themselves also by reflection, as will happen to an inflamed eye that
beholds it self long in a Glass; thus is fascination made out, and thus
also it is not impossible, what is affirmed of this animal, the visible
rayes of their eyes carrying forth the subtilest portion of their
poison, which received by the eye of man or beast, infecteth first the
brain, and is from thence communicated unto the heart.

But lastly, That this destruction should be the effect of the first
beholder, or depend upon priority of aspection, is a point not easily to
be granted, and very hardly to be made out upon the principles of
_Aristotle_, _Alhazen_, _Vitello_, and others, who hold that sight is
made by Reception, and not by extramission; by receiving the raies of
the object into the eye, and not by sending any out. For hereby although
he behold a man first, the Basilisk should rather be destroyed, in
regard he first receiveth the rayes of his Antipathy, and venomous
emissions which objectively move his sense; but how powerful soever his
own poison be, it invadeth not the sense of man, in regard he beholdeth
him not. And therefore this conceit was probably begot by such as held
the opinion of sight by extramission; as did _Pythagoras_, _Plato_,
_Empedocles_, _Hipparrchus_, _Galen_, _Macrobius_, _Proclus_,
_Simplicius_, with most of the Ancients, and is the postulate of
_Euclide_ in his Opticks, but now sufficiently convicted from
observations of the Dark Chamber.

[Sidenote: _The generation of the Cocks egg._]

As for the generation of the Basilisk, that it proceedeth from a Cocks
egg hatched under a Toad or Serpent, it is a conceit as monstrous as the
brood it self. For if we should grant that Cocks growing old, and unable
for emission, amass within themselves some seminal matter, which may
after conglobate into the form of an egg, yet will this substance be
unfruitful. As wanting one principle of generation, and a commixture of
both sexes, which is required unto production, as may be observed in the
eggs of Hens not trodden; and as we have made trial in some which are
termed Cocks eggs. [SN: Ovum Centeninum, _or the last egg which is a
very little one._] It is not indeed impossible that from the sperm of a
Cock, Hen, or other Animal, being once in putrescence, either from
incubation or otherwise, some generation may ensue, not univocal and of
the same species, but some imperfect or monstrous production, even as in
the body of man from putrid humours, and peculiar ways of corruption,
there have succeeded strange and unseconded shapes of worms; whereof we
have beheld some our selves, and read of others in medical observations.
And so may strange and venomous Serpents be several ways engendered; but
that this generation should be regular, and alway produce a Basilisk, is
beyond our affirmation, and we have good reason to doubt.

Again, It is unreasonable to ascribe the equivocacy of this form unto
the hatching of a Toad, or imagine that diversifies the production. For
Incubation alters not the species, nor if we observe it, so much as
concurs either to the sex or colour: as appears in the eggs of Ducks or
Partridges hatched under a Hen, there being required unto their
exclusion only a gentle and continued heat: and that not particular or
confined unto the species or parent. So have I known the seed of
Silk-worms hatched on the bodies of women: and _Pliny_ reports that
_Livia_ the wife of _Augustus_ hatched an egg in her bosome. Nor is only
an animal heat required hereto, but an elemental and artificial warmth
will suffice: for as _Diodorus_ delivereth, the Ægyptians were wont to
hatch their eggs in Ovens, and many eye-witnesses confirm that practice
unto this day. And therefore this generation of the Basilisk, seems like
that of _Castor_ and _Helena_; he that can credit the one, may easily
believe the other: that is, that these two were hatched out of the egg
which _Jupiter_ in the form of a Swan, begat on his Mistress _Leda_.

The occasion of this conceit might be an Ægyptian tradition concerning
the Bird _Ibis_: which after became transferred unto Cocks. For an
opinion it was of that Nation, that the _Ibis_ feeding upon Serpents,
that venomous food so inquinated their oval conceptions, or eggs within
their bodies, that they sometimes came forth in Serpentine shapes, and
therefore they always brake their eggs, nor would they endure the Bird
to sit upon them. But how causeless their fear was herein, the daily
incubation of Ducks, Pea-hens, and many other testifie, and the Stork
might have informed them; which Bird they honoured and cherished, to
destroy their Serpents.

That which much promoted it, was a misapprehension of holy Scripture
upon the Latine translation in _Esa._ 51, _Ova aspidum ruperunt et telas
Arenearum texuerunt, qui comedent de ovis corum morietur, et quod
confotum est, erumpet in Regulum_. From whence notwithstanding, beside
the generation of Serpents from eggs, there can be nothing concluded;
and what kind of Serpents are meant, not easie to be determined, for
Translations are here very different: _Tremellius_ rendering the Asp
Hæmorrhous, and the Regulus or Basilisk a Viper, and our translation for
the Asp sets down a Cockatrice in the Text, and an Adder in the margin.

Another place of _Esay_ doth also seem to countenance it, Chap. 14. _Ne
læteris Philistæa quoniam diminuta est virga percussoris tui, de radice
enim colubri egredietur Regulus, et semen ejus absorbens volucrem_,
which ours somewhat favourably rendereth: _Out of the Serpents Root
shall come forth a Cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying
Serpent_. But _Tremellius_, _è radice Serpentis prodit Hæmorrhous, et
fructus illius præster volans_; wherein the words are different, but the
sense is still the same; for therein are figuratively intended _Uzziah_
and _Ezechias_; for though the Philistines had escaped the minor Serpent
_Uzziah_, yet from his stock a fiercer Snake should arise, that would
more terribly sting them, and that was _Ezeckias_.

But the greatest promotion it hath received from a misunderstanding of
the Hieroglyphical intention. For being conceived to be the Lord and
King of Serpents, to aw all others, nor to be destroyed _by any_; the
Ægyptians hereby implied Eternity, and the awful power of the supreme
Deitie: and therefore described a crowned Asp or Basilisk upon the heads
of their gods. As may be observed in the Bembine Table, and other
Ægyptian Monuments.


Of the Wolf.

Such a Story as the Basilisk is that of the Wolf concerning priority of
vision, that a man becomes hoarse or dumb, if a Wolf have the advantage
first to eye him. And this is a plain language affirmed by _Plyny_: _In
Italia ut creditur, Luporum visus est noxius, vocemque homini, quem
prius contemplatur adimere_; so is it made out what is delivered by
_Theocritus_, and after him by _Virgil_:

          _----Vox quoque Mœrim
          Jam fugit ipsa, Lupi Mœrim videre priores._

Thus is the Proverb to be understood, when during the discourse, if the
party or subject interveneth, and there ensueth a sudden silence, it is
usually said, _Lupus est in fabula_. Which conceit being already
convicted, not only by _Scaliger_, _Riolanus_, and others; but daily
confutable almost every where out of _England_, we shall not further

The ground or occasional original hereof, was probably the amazement and
sudden silence the unexpected appearance of Wolves do often put upon
Travellers; not by a supposed vapour, or venomous emanation, but a
vehement fear which naturally produceth obmutescence; and sometimes
irrecoverable silence. Thus Birds are silent in presence of an Hawk, and
_Pliny_ saith that Dogs are mute in the shadow of an Hiæna. But thus
could not the mouths of worthy Martyrs be silenced, who being exposed
not onely unto the eyes, but the merciless teeth of Wolves, gave loud
expressions of their faith, and their holy clamours were heard as high
as Heaven.

That which much promoted it beside the common Proverb, was an expression
in _Theocritus_, a very ancient Poet, ού φθέγξη λύκον εἴδες
_Edere non poteris vocem, Lycus est tibi visus_; which _Lycus_ was Rival
unto another, and suddenly appearing stopped the mouth of his Corrival:
now _Lycus_ signifying also a Wolf, occasioned this apprehension; men
taking that appellatively, which was to be understood properly, and
translating the genuine acception. Which is a fallacy of Æquivocation,
and in some opinions begat the like conceit concerning _Romulus_ and
_Remus_, that they were fostered by a Wolf, the name of the Nurse being
_Lupa_; and founded the fable of _Europa_, and her carriage over Sea by
a Bull, because the Ship or Pilots name was _Taurus_. And thus have some
been startled at the Proverb, _Bos in lingua_, confusedly apprehending
how a man should be said to have an Oxe in his tongue, that would not
speak his mind; which was no more then that a piece of money had
silenced him: for by the Oxe was onely implied a piece of coin stamped
with that figure, first currant with the _Athenians_, and after among
the _Romans_.


Of the Deer.

The common Opinion concerning the long life of Animals, is very ancient,
especially of Crows, Choughs and Deer; in moderate accounts exceeding
the age of man, in some the days of _Nestor_, and in others surmounting
the years of _Artephius_ or _Methuselah_. From whence Antiquity hath
raised proverbial expressions, and the real conception of their
duration, hath been the Hyperbolical expression of many others. From all
the rest we shall single out the Deer, upon concession a long-lived
Animal, and in longævity by many conceived to attain unto hundreds;
wherein permitting every man his own belief, we shall our selves crave
liberty to doubt, and our reasons are these ensuing.

The first is that of _Aristotle_, drawn from the increment and gestation
of this Animal, that is, its sudden arrivance unto growth and maturity,
and the small time of its remainder in the Womb. His words in the
translation of _Scaliger_ are these, _De ejus vitæ longitudine
fabulantur; neque enim aut gestatio aut incrementum hinnulorum ejusmodi
sunt ut præstent argumentum longævi animalis_; that is, Fables are
raised concerning the vivacity of Deer; for neither are their gestation
or increment, such as may afford an argument of long life. And these,
saith _Scaliger_, are good Mediums conjunctively taken, that is, not one
without the other. For of Animals viviparous such as live long, go long
with young, and attain but slowly to their maturity and stature. So the
Horse that liveth above thirty, arriveth unto his stature about six
years, and remaineth above ten moneths in the womb: so the Camel that
liveth unto fifty, goeth with young no less then ten moneths, and
ceaseth not to grow before seven; and so the Elephant that liveth an
hundred, beareth its young above a year, and arriveth unto perfection at
twenty. On the contrary, the Sheep and Goat, which live but eight or ten
years, go but five moneths, and attain to their perfection at two years;
and the like proportion is observable in Cats, Hares, and Conies. And so
the Deer that endureth the womb but eight moneths, and is compleat at
six years, from the course of Nature, we cannot expect to live an
hundred; nor in any proportional allowance much more then thirty. As
having already passed two general motions observable in all animations,
that is, its beginning and encrease; and having but two more to run
thorow, that is, its state and declination; which are proportionally set
out by Nature in every kind: and naturally proceeding admit of inference
from each other.

The other ground that brings its long life into question, is the
immoderate salacity, and almost unparallel'd excess of venery, which
every _September_ may be observed in this Animal: and is supposed to
shorten the lives of Cocks, Partridges, and Sparrows. Certainly a
confessed and undeniable enemy unto longævity, and that not only as a
sign in the complexional desire and impetuosity, but also as a cause in
the frequent act, or iterated performance thereof. For though we consent
not with that Philosopher, who thinks a spermatical emission unto the
weight of one drachm, is æquivalent unto the effusion of sixty ounces of
bloud; yet considering the exolution and languor ensuing that act in
some, the extenuation and marcour in others, and the visible
acceleration it maketh of age in most: we cannot but think it much
abridgeth our days. Although we also concede that this exclusion is
natural, that Nature it self will find a way hereto without either act
or object: And although it be placed among the six Non-naturals, that
is, such as neither naturally constitutive, nor meerly destructive, do
preserve or destroy according unto circumstance: yet do we sensibly
observe an impotency or total privation thereof, prolongeth life: and
they live longest in every kind that exercise it not at all. [SN:
_Eunuchs and gelded creatures generally longer lived._] And this is true
not only in Eunuchs by Nature, but Spadoes by Art: for castrated Animals
in every species are longer lived then they which retain their
virilities. For the generation of bodies is not meerly effected as some
conceive, of souls, that is, by Irradiation, or answerably unto the
propagation of light, without its proper diminution: but therein a
transmission is made materially from some parts, with the Idea of every
one: and the propagation of one, is in a strict acception, some
minoration of another. [SN: _From the parts of generation._] And
therefore also that axiom in Philosophy, that the generation of one
thing, is the corruption of another: although it be substantially true
concerning the form and matter, is also dispositively verified in the
efficient or producer.

As for more sensible arguments, and such as relate unto experiment: from
these we have also reason to doubt its age, and presumed vivacity: for
where long life is natural, the marks of age are late: and when they
appear, the journey unto death cannot be long. Now the age of Deer (as
_Aristotle_ not long ago observed) is best conjectured, by view of the
horns and teeth. From the horns there is a particular and annual account
unto six years: they arising first plain, and so successively branching:
after which the judgment of their years by particular marks becomes
uncertain. But when they grow old, they grow less branched, and first
do lose their ἀμυντῆρες or _propugnacula_; that is, their brow-antlers,
or lowest furcations next the head, which _Aristotle_ saith the young
ones use in fight: and the old as needless, have them not at all. The
same may be also collected from the loss of their Teeth, whereof in old
age they have few or none before in either jaw. Now these are infallible
marks of age, and when they appear, we must confess a declination: which
notwithstanding (as men inform us in _England_, where observations may
well be made), will happen between twenty and thirty. As for the bone,
or rather induration of the Roots of the arterial vein and great artery,
which is thought to be found only in the heart of an old Deer, and
therefore becomes more precious in its Rarity; it is often found in Deer
much under thirty, and we have known some affirm they have found it in
one of half that age. And therefore in that account of _Pliny_, of a
Deer with a Collar about his neck, put on by _Alexander_ the Great, and
taken alive an hundred years after, with other relations of this nature,
we much suspect imposture or mistake. And if we grant their verity, they
are but single relations, and very rare contingencies in individuals,
not affording a regular deduction upon the species. For though _Ulysses_
his Dog lived unto twenty, and the _Athenian_ Mule unto fourscore, yet
do we not measure their days by those years, or usually say, they live
thus long. Nor can the three hundred years of _John_ of times [SN:
_Psalm_ 90.], or _Nestor_, overthrow the assertion of _Moses_, or afford
a reasonable encouragement beyond his septuagenary determination.

The ground and authority of this conceit was first Hierogliphical, the
_Ægyptians_ expressing longævity by this Animal; but upon what
uncertainties, and also convincible falsities they often erected such
Emblems, we have elsewhere delivered. And if that were true which
_Aristotle_ delivers of his time [SN: Histor. animal. lib. 8.], and
_Pliny_ was not afraid to take up long after, the _Ægyptians_ could make
but weak observations herein; for though it be said that _Æneas_ feasted
his followers with Venison, yet _Aristotle_ affirms that neither Deer
nor Boar were to be found in _Africa_. And how far they miscounted the
lives and duration of Animals, is evident from their conceit of the
Crow, which they presume to live five hundred years; and from the lives
of Hawks, which (as _Ælian_ delivereth) the _Ægyptians_ do reckon no
less then at seven hundred.

The second which led the conceit unto the _Grecians_, and probably
descended from the Egyptians was Poetical; and that was a passage of
_Hesiod_, thus rendered by _Ausonius_.

          _Ter binos deciesque novem super exit in annos,
          Justa senescentum quos implet vita virorum.
          Hos novies superat vivendo gorrula cornix,
          Et quater egreditur cornicis sæcula cervus,
          Alipidem cervum ter vincit corvus.----_

          To ninety six the life of man ascendeth,
          Nine times as long that of the Chough extendeth,
          Four times beyond the life of Deer doth go,
          And thrice is that surpassed by the Crow.

So that according to this account, allowing ninety six for the age of
Man, the life of a Deer amounts unto three thousand four hundred fifty
six. A conceit so hard to be made out, that many have deserted the
common and literal construction. So _Theon_ in _Aratus_ would have the
number of nine not taken strictly, but for many years. In other
opinions the compute so far exceedeth the truth, that they have thought
it more probable to take the word _Genea_, that is, a generation
consisting of many years, but for one year, or a single revolution of
the Sun; which is the remarkable measure of time, and within the compass
whereof we receive our perfection in the womb. So that by this
construction, the years of a Deer should be but thirty six, as is
discoursed at large in that Tract of _Plutarch_, concerning the
cessation of Oracles; and whereto in his discourse of the Crow,
_Aldrovandus_ also inclineth. Others not able to make it out, have
rejected the whole account, as may be observed from the words of
_Pliny_, _Hesiodus qui primus aliquid de longævitate vitæ prodidit,
fabulose (reor) multa de hominum ævo referens, cornici novem nostras
attribuit ætates, quadruplum ejus cervis, id triplicatum corvis, et
reliqua fabulosius de Phœnice et nymphis_. And this how slender
soever, was probably the strongest ground Antiquity had for this
longævity of Animals; that made _Theophrastus_ expostulate with Nature
concerning the long life of Crows; that begat that Epithete of Deer [SN:
τετρακόρωνος.] in _Oppianus_, and that expression of _Juvenal_,

          _----Longa et cervina senectus._

The third ground was Philosophical, and founded upon a probable Reason
in Nature, that is, the defect of a Gall, which part (in the opinion of
_Aristotle_ and _Pliny_) this Animal wanted, and was conceived a cause
and reason of their long life: according (say they) as it happeneth unto
some few men, who have not this part at all. But this assertion is first
defective in the verity concerning the Animal alledged: for though it be
true, a Deer hath no Gall in the Liver like many other Animals, yet
hath it that part in the Guts, as is discoverable by taste and colour:
and therefore _Pliny_ doth well correct himself, when having affirmed
before it had no Gall, he after saith, some hold it to be in the guts;
and that for their bitterness, dogs will refuse to eat them. The
assertion is also deficient in the verity of the Induction or
connumeration of other Animals conjoined herewith, as having also no
Gall; that is, as _Pliny_ accounteth, _Equi_, _Muli_, etc. Horses,
Mules, Asses, Deer, Goats, Boars, Camels, Dolphins, have no Gall. In
Dolphins and Porpoces I confess I could find no Gall. But concerning
Horses, what truth there is herein we have declared before; as for Goats
we find not them without it; what Gall the Camel hath, _Aristotle_
declareth: that Hogs also have it, we can affirm; and that not in any
obscure place, but in the Liver, even as it is seated in man.

That therefore the Deer is no short-lived Animal, we will acknowledge:
that comparatively, and in some sense long-lived we will concede; and
thus much we shall grant if we commonly account its days by thirty six
or forty: for thereby it will exceed all other cornigerous Animals. But
that it attaineth unto hundreds, or the years delivered by Authors,
since we have no authentick experience for it, since we have reason and
common experience against it, since the grounds are false and fabulous
which do establish it: we know no ground to assent.

Concerning Deer there also passeth another opinion, that the Males
thereof do yearly lose their pizzel. For men observing the decidence of
their horns, do fall upon the like conceit of this part, that it
annually rotteth away, and successively reneweth again. Now the ground
hereof was surely the observation of this ἉἈ
part in Deer after immoderate
venery, and about the end of their Rut, which sometimes becomes so
relaxed and pendulous, it cannot be quite retracted: and being often
beset with flies, it is conceived to rot, and at last to fall from the
body. But herein experience will contradict us: for Deer which either
die or are killed at that time, or any other, are always found to have
that part entire. And reason will also correct us: for spermatical
parts, or such as are framed from the seminal principles of parents,
although homogeneous or similary, will not admit a Regeneration, much
less will they receive an integral restauration, which being organical
and instrumental members, consist of many of those. Now this part, or
Animal of _Plato_, containeth not only sanguineous and reparable
particles: but is made up of veins, nerves, arteries, and in some
Animals, of bones: whose reparation is beyond its own fertility, and a
fruit not to be expected from the fructifying part it self. Which
faculty were it communicated unto Animals, whose originals are double,
as well as unto Plants, whose seed is within themselves: we might abate
the Art of _Taliacotius_, and the new in-arching of Noses. And therefore
the fancies of Poets have been so modest, as not to set down such
renovations, even from the powers of their deities: for the mutilated
shoulder of _Pelops_ was pieced out with Ivory, and that the limbs of
_Hippolitus_ were set together, not regenerated by _Æsculapius_, is the
utmost assertion of Poetry.


Of the King-fisher.

That a King-fisher hanged by the bill, sheweth in what quarter the wind
is by an occult and secret propriety, converting the breast to that
point of the Horizon from whence the wind doth blow, is a received
opinion, and very strange; introducing natural Weather-cocks, and
extending Magnetical positions as far as Animal Natures. A conceit
supported chiefly by present practice, yet not made out by Reason or

[Sidenote: _Whence it is, that some creatures presage the weather._]

Unto Reason it seemeth very repugnant, that a carcass or body
disanimated, should be so affected with every wind, as to carry a
conformable respect and constant habitude thereto. For although in
sundry Animals we deny not a kind of natural Meteorology or innate
presention both of wind and weather, yet that proceeding from sense
receiving impressions from the first mutation of the air, they cannot in
reason retain that apprehension after death, as being affections which
depend on life, and depart upon disanimation. And therefore with more
favourable Reason may we draw the same effect or sympathie upon the
Hedg-hog, whose presention of winds is so exact, that it stoppeth the
North or Southern hole of its nest, according to the prenotion of these
winds ensuing: which some men observing, have been able to make
predictions which way the wind would turn, and been esteemed hereby wise
men in point of weather. Now this proceeding from sense in the creature
alive, it were not reasonable to hang up an Hedg-hogs head, and to
expect a conformable motion unto its living conversion. And though in
sundry Plants their vertues do live after death, and we know that
Scammony, Rhubarb and Senna will purge without any vital assistance; yet
in Animals and sensible creatures, many actions are mixt, and depend
upon their living form, as well as that of mistion; and though they
wholly seem to retain unto the body, depart upon disunion. Thus
Glow-worms alive, project a lustre in the dark, which fulgour
notwithstanding ceaseth after death; and thus the Torpedo which being
alive stupifies at a distance, applied after death, produceth no such
effect; which had they retained in places where they abound, they might
have supplied Opium, and served as frontals in Phrensies.

As for experiment, we cannot make it out by any we have attempted; for
if a single King-fisher be hanged up with untwisted silk in an open
room, and where the air is free, it observes not a constant respect unto
the mouth of the wind, but variously converting, doth seldom breast it
right. If two be suspended in the same room, they will not regularly
conform their breasts, but oft-times respect the opposite points of
Heaven. And if we conceive that for exact exploration, they should be
suspended where the air is quiet and unmoved, that clear of impediments,
they may more freely convert upon their natural verticity; we have also
made this way of inquisition, suspending them in large and capacious
glasses closely stopped; wherein nevertheless we observed a casual
station, and that they rested irregularly upon conversion. Wheresoever
they rested, remaining inconverted, and possessing one point of the
Compass, whilst the wind perhaps had passed the two and thirty.

[Sidenote: _Commonly mistaken for the true Halcion, ours being rather
the Ispida._]

The ground of this popular practice might be the common opinion
concerning the vertue prognostick of these Birds; as also the natural
regard they have unto the winds, and they unto them again; more
especially remarkable in the time of their nidulation, and bringing
forth their young. For at that time, which happeneth about the brumal
Solstice, it hath been observed even unto a proverb, that the Sea is
calm, and the winds do cease, till the young ones are excluded; and
forsake their nest which floateth upon the Sea, and by the roughness of
winds might otherwise be overwhelmed. But how far hereby to magnifie
their prediction we have no certain rule; for whether out of any
particular prenotion they chuse to sit at this time, or whether it be
thus contrived by concurrence of causes and providence of Nature,
securing every species in their production, is not yet determined.
Surely many things fall out by the design of the general motor, and
undreamt of contrivance of Nature, which are not imputable unto the
intention or knowledge of the particular Actor. So though the seminality
of Ivy be almost in every earth, yet that it ariseth and groweth not,
but where it may be supported; we cannot ascribe the same unto the
distinction of the seed, or conceive any science therein which suspends
and conditionates its eruption. So if, as _Pliny_ and _Plutarch_ report,
the Crocodiles of _Ægypt_ so aptly lay their Eggs, that the Natives
thereby are able to know how high the floud will attain; it will be hard
to make out, how they should divine the extent of the inundation
depending on causes so many miles remote; that is, the measure of
showers in _Æthiopia_; and whereof, as _Athanasius_ in the life of
_Anthony_ delivers, the Devil himself upon demand could make no clear
prediction. So are there likewise many things in Nature, which are the
fore runners or signs of future effects, whereto they neither concur in
causality or prenotion, but are secretly ordered by the providence of
causes, and concurrence of actions collateral to their signations.

It was also a custome of old to keep these Birds in chests, upon opinion
that they prevented Moths; whether it were not first hanged up in Rooms
to such effects, is not beyond all doubt. Or whether we mistake not the
posture of suspension, hanging it by the bill, whereas we should do it
by the back; that by the bill it might point out the quarters of the
wind; for so hath _Kircherus_ described the Orbis and the Sea Swallow.
But the eldest custome of hanging up these birds was founded upon a
tradition that they would renew their feathers every year as though they
were alive: In expectation whereof four hundred years ago _Albertus
Magnus_ was deceived.

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His Majesty
          at the Edinburgh University Press

Transcriber's End Notes

Spelling has been left as it stands in the printed original from which
this text was prepared. Archaicisms are therefore retained, including
any variant spellings. The word 'then', for instance, is frequently
used in lieu of the modern 'than'.

In the Latin citations in the Annotator's notes, the semicolon is used
as an abbreviation for 'que', as "ingeniumq;". Though the semicolon
is printed closer to the preceding letter than in normal usage, no
attempt is made here to render it differently.

On occasion, the modern 'itself' and 'myself' are broken across a line
end without hyphenation (e.g., "it / self" on p. 335).

Obvious printing errors, including missing characters, that have been
corrected, are noted here:

Errors corrected:

p. xxii             | _...l. 1, des Ess._ c. 14.    | 'c' is italicized
                                                    | elsewhere.
p.  76     [ti]tle  | missing letters supplied      |
                         from context.              |

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