By the Right Honourable,
Printed by Tho: Roycroft, for J. Martin,
and J. Allestrye, at the Bell in St. Pauls
To thee, great Fame, I dedicate this Peece.
Though I am no Philosopher of Greece;
Yet do not thou my workes of Thoughts despise,
Because they came not from the Ancient, Wise.
The strange Opinions, wich we Learning call
For Nature’s unconfin’d, and gives about
Her severall Fancies, without leave, no doubt.
Shee’s infinite, and can no limits take,
But by her Art, as good a Brain may make.
Although shee’s not so bountifull to me,
Yet pray accept of this Epitome.
An Epistle to Time.
Swift, ever-moving Time, I write to thee,
To crave thy pardon, if ill spent thou be.
But I did chuse this way, thinking it best:
For by my writing I do none molest.
I injure none, nor yet disturb their way,
I slander none, nor any one betray.
If I do wast thee in a musing thought,
Yet I take paines, my Braines constantly wrought.
For in three weeks begun, and finisht all
These Philosophicall Fancies, which I call.
If thou thinkst much, that I should spend thee so,
To write of that, I can but guesse, not know;
In wanton waies, which some call Merriment.
Let me tell thee, this better pleaseth me,
Then if I spent thee in fine Pageantry.
A Request to Time.
Time, prethee be content, and let me write;
Ile use thee better then the Carpet Knight,
Or Amorous Ladies, which doe dance, and play,
Casting their Modesty, and Fame away.
I humbly cast mine eyes downe to the ground,
Or shut them close, while I a Fancy found.
And in a Melancholy posture sit,
With musing Thoughts, till I more Fancies get.
Such store of Health, to hope I old shall live.
Then let me give my Youth the most content,
Which is to write, and send it to the Print.
If any like my Fancies when they’r read,
My time’s rewarded, though my Body’s dead.
If they do not, my Soule will lye at rest,
Because my Life did think, what’s harmlesse, best.
An Epistle to my BRAINE.
I Wonder, Braine, thou art so dull, when there
Was not a day, but Wit past, through the yeare.
For seven yeares ‘tis, since I have married bin;
Which time, my Braine might be a Magazine,
To store up wise discourse, naturally sent,
In fluent words, which free, and easie went.
If thou art not with Wit inrich’d thereby,
Then uselesse is the Art of Memory.
But thou, poor Braine, hard ftozen art with Cold,
Words Seales, of Wit, will neither print, nor hold.
To a troubled
Rais’d in the Braine to sport themselves withall.
Sometimes they take delight to fright the Minde,
Taking strange Shapes, not like to Natures kinde.
After the Soule they hunt, and run about,
As from the Body they would thrust it out.
But if they are in humour kind, and good,
In pleasing Shapes before the Minde they stood.
An Epistle to Contemplation.
I Contemplating by a Fires side,
In Winter cold, my Thoughts would hunting ride.
And after Fancies they do run a Race,
If lose them not, they have a pleasant Chase.
If they do catch the Hare, or kill the Deere,
They dresse them strait in Verse, and make good Cheere.
An Epistle to my Musefull Thoughts.
Thoughts, trouble not the Soule with falling out,
Siding in Factions, with Feare, Hope and Doubt.
Taking out all the Fancies as you meet.
Some Fancies are like wilde, and Toyish Girles,
And some are sober, grave; others are Churles.
Let those that sober, sad, a Pavin measure,
Corantoes are the lighter Fancies pleasure.
Let Churlish Fancies dance with crabbed Feet,
In Numbers odd, not even, smooth, nor sweet.
Another to the Thoughts.
MY Thoughts lye close imprison’d in the Minde,
Unlesse through strange Opinions passage finde.
But when they finde a way, they run so fast,
No Reason can perswade to stay their hast.
Then they strait seek a Credit for to win,
Perswading all they meet to follow them:
And with their Rhetoricke hope they to grow strong,
Striving to get beleife, as they go on.
If Contradiction chance to stop their way,
They strait flye out, and oft times run away.
And seldome they do back return again,
To rally, or to muster in the Brain.
But the weak Braine is forc’d more Thoughts to raise,
Striving to get a Victory of Praise.
Reason, and the Thoughts.
Thoughts, run not in such1
strange phantastick waies,
Nor take such paines to get a Vulgar Praise.
The World will scorne, and say, you are all Fooles,
Because you are not taught in common Schooles.
The World will think you mad, because you run
Not the same Track, that former times have done.
Turn foolish Thoughts, walke in a Beaten Path,
Or else the World ridiculously will laugh.
For wee do goe those waies that please us best.
Nature doth give us liberty to run,
Without a Check, more swift far then the Sun.
But if we jar, and sometimes disagree,
By thy Disputes, we run unevenly.
But prethee Reason trouble us no more,
For if you prate, wee’l thrust you out of doore.
To forget to divulge your noble Favours to me, in any of my Works, were to murther GRATITUDE; Which I will
never be guilty of: And though I am your Slave, being manacl’d with Chaines of Obligation, yet my Chaines feele softer then Silke, and my Bondage is pleasanter then Freedome; because I am bound to your selfe, who are a Person so full of Generosity, as you delight in Bounty, and take pleasure to relieve the necessitated Condition of your Friends; and what is freely given, is comfortably receiv’d, and a satisfaction to the minde. For, should a bountifull hand be joyn’d to Repining Thoughts, it would be like a Gilded Statue made of rotten wood. But your minde is the Mint of Virtues, which makes
them currant Coyne; which I will never clip with a silent Tongue, nor change with an unthankfull Heart; but locke it up with the Key of Admiration, in the Chest of Affection. I shall not feare to be turn’d out of your Favour, though my deserts make me not worthy to dwell therein; because you are so constant to Charity, and so compassionate to Misery; so adverse to Covetousnesse, so arm’d against Mis-fortunes, so valiant in Friendship, so victorious in Naturall Affections, as you are the Conquerour of all Merit. And may you ride in Triumph on Fame round the
Universe, untill the expiring thereof.
Thus doth your humble Servant joy in your Love, proud of your Favour, Glorie in your Fame, and will die in your Service.
If this Worke is not so well wrought, but that you may finde some false Stitches; I must let you understand it was huddl’d up in such hast, (out of a desire to have it joyned to my Booke of Poems) as I took not so much time, as to consider throughly; For I writ it in lesse then three weekes; and yet for all my hast, it came a weeke too short of the Presse. Besides my desire (to have those Works Printed in England, which I wrote in England, before I leave
England) perswaded me to send it to the Presse, without a further inlargement. But I imagine my Readers will say, that there is enough, unless it were better. I can only say, I wish it were so good, as to give satisfaction: howsoever I pleased my selfe in the Study of it.
Of Matter, and Motion, page 1.
Of the Forme, and the Minde, 2.
Of Eternall Matter, 3.
Of Infinite Matter, 4.
There is no proportion in Nature, ib.
Of one kinde of Matter, 5.
Of Infinite Knowledge, ib.
There is no Judge in Nature, ib.
Of Perfection, 6.
Of Inequalities, ib.
Of Unities, 8.
Of Thin, and Thick Matter, ib.
Of Vacuum, 9.
The Unity of Nature, ib
Of Division, 10
The order of Nature, ib.
Of War, and no absolute power, 11.
Of Power, ib.
Similizing the Spirits, or Innate Motion, 12.
Of Operation, 13.
Of Natural, or Sensitive War. 14.
Of Annihilation, ib.
Of Life, 15.
Of Change, 20.
Of Youth, and Growth, 21.
Of Increasing, 22.
Of Decay, 23.
Of Dead, and Death, 24.
Of locall Shapes, 25.
This visible Motions in Animals, Vegetables, and Minerals, 26.
Of the working of the severall Motions of Nature, 27.
Of the Minde, 30.
Of their severall Dances, and Figures, 31.
The Sympathy, and Antipathy of Spirits, 33.
The Sympathy of Sensitive, and Rationall Spirits in one Figure, 36.
The Sympathy of the Rationall, and Sensitive Spirits, to the Figure they make, and inhabit, 37.
Of Pleasure, and Paine, 38.
Of the Minde, ib.
Of Thinking, or the Minde, and Thoughts, 41.
Of the motions of the Spirits, 42.
Of the Creation of the Animall Figure. 45.
Of the gathering of the Spirits, 47.
The moving of Innate Matter, 49.
Of Matter, Motion, and Knowledge, or Understanding, 52.
Of the Animall Figure, 54.
What an Animall is, 55.
Of Sense, and Reason, exercis’d in their different Shapes, 56.
Of the dispersing of the Rationall Spirits, 63.
Of the Senses, 64.
Of motion that makes Light, 65.
Of Opticks, ib.
Of the flowing of the Spirits, 66.
Of Motion, and Matter, 67.
Of the Braine, 68.
Of Darknesse, ib.
Of the Sun, 69.
Of the Clouds, ib.
Of the motion of the Planets, 70.
Of the motion of the Sea, ib.
I speak not here of Deiaticall Infinites, but of grosse Infinites, such, as Philosophers call Chaos.
THERE is no first Matter, nor first Motion; for matter and motion are infinite, and being infinite, must consequently be Eternall; and though but one matter, yet there is no such thing, as the whole matter, that is, as one should say, All. And though there is but one kinde of matter, yet there are infinite degrees of matter, as thinner and thicker, softer and harder, weightier and lighter; and as there is but one matter, so there is but one motion, yet there are infinite degrees of
motion, as swifter and slower; and infinite changes of motion: And although there is but one matter, yet there are infinite of parts in that matter, and so infinites of Figures: if infinite figures, infinite sizes; if infinite sizes, infinite degrees of higness, and infinite degrees of smalnesse, infinite thicknesse, infinite thinnesse, infinite lightnesse, infinite weightinesse; if infinite degrees of motion, infinite degrees of strengths; if infinite degrees of strengths, infinite degrees of power, and infinite degrees of knowledge, and infinite degrees of sense.
Of the Form, and the Minde.
[I mean of Forme, dull Matter.]As I sayd, there is but one Matter, thinner and thicker, which is the Forme, and the Minde, that is, Matter moving, or Matter moved; likewise there is but one motion, though slower or swifter moving severall wayes; but the slower or weaker motions are no lesse motion, then the stronger or swifter. So Matter that is thinnest or thickest, softest or hardest, yet it is but one Matter; for if it were divided by degrees, untill it came to an Atome, that Atome would still be the
same Matter, as well as the greatest bulk. But we cannot say smallest, or biggest, thickest or thinnest, softest or hardest in Infinite.
That Matter which was solid, and weighty from all Eternity, may be so eternally; and what was spungie, and light from all Eternity, may be so eternally; and what had innate motion from Eternity, may be so eternally; and what was dull without innate motion from Eternity, may be so eternally: for if the degrees could change, then there might be all thin, and no thicke, or all thicke, and no thin, all hard, no soft, and fluid, or all fluid, and no solidity. For though contracting and dilating may bring and joyne parts together, or separate parts asunder, yet those parts shall not be any other wayes, then by Nature they were.
Of Infinite matter.
Infinite Matter cannot have exact Forme, or Figure, because it hath no Limits: but being divided by motion into severall parts, those Parts may have perfect Figures, so long as those Figures last; yet these parts cannot be taken from the Infinite Body. And though parts may be divided in the Body Infinite, and joyned severall wayes, yet Infinite can neither be added, nor diminished; yet division is as infinite, as the Matter divided.
No proportion in Nature.
In Nature there is no such thing, as Number, or Quantity; for Number, & Quantity have only reference to division: neither is there any such thing as Time in Eternity; for Time hath no reference but to the Present, if there be any such thing as Present.
Of one Kinde of Matter.
Although there may be infinite degrees of matter, yet the Nature, and kind of Matter is finite: for Infinite of severall kindes of Matter would make a Confusion.
Of Infinite knowledge.
There can be no absolute Knowledge, if infinite degrees of Knowledge; nor no absolute power, if there be infinite degrees of strength: nor present, if infinite degrees of Motion.
No Judge in Nature.
No Intreaty, nor Petition can perswade Nature, nor any Bribes an corrupt, or alter the course of Nature. Justly there can be no complaints made against Nature, nor to Nature. Nature can give no redresse. There are no Appeales can be made, nor Causes determined, because Nature is Infinite, and eternall: for Infinite cannot be confined,
or prescribed, setled, or altered, rul’d, or dispos’d, because the Effects are as infinite as the Causes: and what is infinite, hath no absolute power: for what is absolute, is finite.
Finite cannot tel how Infinite doth flow,
Nor how Infinite Matter moveth to and fro.
For Infinite of Knowledge cannot guess
Of Infinite of Matter, more, or lesse:
Nor Infinite of Causes cannot finde
The Infinite Effects of every Kinde.
In Infinite can no Perfection be,
For why? Perfection is in Unity?
In Infinite no Union can combine,
For that has neither Number, Point, nor Line; [Some think there was a Chaos, a confused Heap.]
Though Infinite can have no Figure,
Yet not lye all confu’sd in Heaps together.
If Infinites have Infinite degrees,
And none a like to make Equalities.
As if a Haire be cut with curious Arts,
Innumerable, but Unequall parts,
And that not any part alike shall be,
How shall we joyn, to make them well agree?
If every one is like it selfe alone,
There cannot be, unlesse three equal Ones.
If one, and one make two; and two, and two make foure, yet there must be two equall ones to make two, and two equall two s to make foure. And as two and one make three, yet there must be two equall ones joyned to a single one, to make three, or three equall single ones to joyn in three. The like is in Weight, and Measure, in Motion and Strength.
In Infinite if Infinite degrees,
Then those Degrees may meet in Unities.
And if one man should have the strength of foure,
Then foure to equal him will be no more.
As if one Line should be in four parts cut,
Shall equall the Same Lino together put;
So two and one, though odd, is three;
Yet three and three shall equall be.
Like those that equall spaces backwards go,
To those that’s forward, equalls them we know.
Like Buckets in a Well, if empty be,
As one descends, the other ascends, we see
So Motions, though they’r crosse, may well agree,
As oft in Musick make a Harmony.
There is no Vacuity.
In Nature if Degrees may equall be,
All may be full, and no Vacuity.
As Boxes small, & smaller may containe,
So bigger, and bigger must there be again.
Infinite may run contracting, & dilating,
Still, still, by degrees without a separating.
Of Thin, and Thick Matter.
THus may thin Matter into Solid run,
And by its motion, make thick Matter turne.
In severall wayes, and fashions, as it will,
Although dull Matter of it selfe lye still:
Tis not, that Solid Matter moves in Thin,
For that is dull, but thin which moves therein.
Like Marrow in the Bones, or Bloud in Veines.
Or thinner Matter which the Bloud containes.
Like Heat in Fire, the effect is strait to burne,
So Matter thin makes solid Matter run.
If Infinite Inequallity doth run,
Then must there be in Infinite Vacuum. [The Readers may take either Opinion.]
For what’s unequall, cannot joyned be
So close, but there will be Vacuity.
The Unity of Nature.
Nature tends to Unity, being but of a kinde of Matter: but the degrees of this Matter being thinner, and thicker, softer, and harder, weightier, and lighter, makes it, as it were, of different kinde, when tis but different degrees: Like severall extractions, as it were out of one and
the same thing; and when it comes to such an Extract, it turnes to Spirits, that is, to have an Innate motion.
The severall Degrees of Matter cause Division by different Motion, making severall Figures, erecting, and dissolving them, according as their Matter moves, This makes Motion, and Figure alwayes to be in War, but not the Matter; for it is the severall effects that disagree, but not the Causes: for the Eternall Matter is allwayes in Peace, as being not subject to Change; but Motion, and Figure, being subject to Change, strive for Superiority: which can never be, because subject to Change. [Severall Motions, and severall Figures.]
The Order of Nature.
The Reason, that there is not a Confusion in Nature, but an orderly Course therein, is, the Eternall Matter is allwayes One, and the same: for though there are Infinite degrees, yet the Nature of that Matter never alters. But all
Variety is made according to the severall Degrees, & the severall Degrees do palliate, and in some sense make an Equality in Infinite; so as it is not the severall degrees of Matter, that strive against each other, but severall Motions drive them against one another.
Of War, and no absolute Power.
The Reason, that all things make War upon one another, is, the severall (†) Degrees of Matter, the contradiction of Motion, and the Degrees, and the Advantage of the shapes of (†) Figures alwayes striving.
There is no absolute Power, because Power is Infinite, and the Infinitenesse hinders the absolutenesse: for if there were an absolute power, there would be no dispute; but because there is no abso-
[(†)Not the Matter, but the Degrees]
[(†)Not the Bigness of Figures, but the manner of shapes: which makes some shapes to have the Advantage over others much bigger, as a Mouse will kill an Elephant.]
lute power, there would be no dispute; but because there is no absolute power, therefore there are Disputes, and will be eternally: for the severall Degrees of Matter, Motion, and Figure strive for Superiority, making Faction by(†) Sympathy, and Fraction, by(†) Antipathy.
[(†)Which is in Likenesse.]
Similizing the Spirits, or Innate Matter.
The Spirits, or Essences in Nature are like Quick-silver: for say it be fluid, it will part into little Sphaericall Bodyes, running about, though it be nere so small a Quantity: and though they are Sphaericall, yet those Figures they make by severall, and subtle motion, may differ variously, and Infinitely.
This Innate Matter is a kind of God, or Gods to the dull part of Matter, having power to forme it, as it please: and why may not every degree of Innate Matter be, as severall Gods, and so a stronger Motion be a God to the weaker, and so have an Infinite, and Eternall Government? As we will compare Motions to Officers, or Magistrates. The Con-
table rules the Parish, the Mayor the Constable, the King the Mayor, and some Higher power the King: thus Infinite powers rule Eternity. Or againe thus, the Constable rules the Hundred, the Mayor rules the City, the King the Kingdome, and Caesar the World.
Thus may dull Matter over others rule,
According as ‘tis† shap’d by Motions Tool. So Innate Matter Governs by degree,
According as the stronger Motions be.
† [One Shape hath power over another; one Minde knowes more then another.]
All things in the World have an Operat ive power; which Operation is made by Sympatheticall Motions, and Antipatheticall Motions, in severall Figures. For the assisting Operation is caused by One, the destructive Operation by another; like Poyson, and Cordialls, the one Kills, the other cures: but Operations are as Infinite, as Motions.
Naturall, or Sensitive War.
All Naturall War is caused either by a Sympatheticall Motion, or an Antipatheticall Motion. For Naturall Warre, and Peace proceed from Selfe-preservation, which belongs only to the Figure; for nothing is annihilated in Nature, but the particular Prints, or severall shapes that Motion makes of Matter; which Motion in every Figure strives to maintaine what they have created: for when some Figures destroy others, it is for the maintenance or security of themselves: and when the Destruction is, for Food, it is Sympatheticall Motion, which makes a particular Appetite, or nourishment from some Creatures to others; but an Antipatheticall Motion, that makes the Destruction.
There can be no Annihilation in Nature: not particular Motions, and Figures, because the Matter, remaines
that was the Cause of those Motions and Figures. As for particular Figures, although every part is separated that made such a Figure, yet it is not Annihilated; because Those parts remaine that made it. So as it is not impossible but the same particular Figures may be erected by the same Motions, that joynd those parts, and in the Matter may repeat the same Motion eternally so by succession: and the same Matter in a Figure may be Erected, and dispersed eternally. Thus the Dispersing of the Matter into particular Figures1 by an Alteration of Motion, we call Death; and the joyning of Parts to create a Figure, we call Life. Death is a Separation, Life is a Contraction.
1 [Either by Growth, or Sense, or Reason.]
Life is the Extract, or Spirit of Common Matter:(†) This Extract is Agile, being alwayes in motion; for the Thinnesse of this Matter causes the subtelty of the Quality, or property which Quality, or property is to work upon all dull Matter.
† For when Matter comes to such a degree it quickens.
This Essence, or Life, which are Spirits of Sense, move of themselves: for the dull part of Matter moves not, but as it is moved thereby.
Their Common Motions are foure.
[That it begins to move, & Motion is Life.]Atractive is that which we call Growth, or Youth. Retentive, is that we call Strength. Digestive is that we call Health, that is an equall distribution of Parts to Parts, and agreeing of those Sprits. Expulsive is that which we call Death, or Decay.
The Attractive Spirits gather, and draw the Materialls together.
The Digestive Spirits do cut and carve out every thing.
The Retentive do fit, and lay them in their proper places.
The Expulsive do pull down, and scatter them about.
Those Spirits most commonly move according to the matter they worke on. For in spungy and in Porous light matter, their motion is quick; in solid, and weighty, their motion is slower. For the solid parts are not onely dull, and immoveable in themselves, but they hinder and* obstruct those Spirits of sense, and though they cut and peirce through all, yet it is with more labour, and slower motion; for their motions change according to the quantity and quality of that Matter they meet with; for that which is Porous and Spungy, the Figures that they forme that matter in, are sooner made, and suddenlier destroyed, then that which is more combustible. This is the reason Mineralls last longer then Vegetables and Animals, because that Matter is both tougher and harder to worke on, then Vegetables and Animals are.
* I meane when I say Obstruct, that it either turnes their motion another way, or makes them move slower.
These Sensitive spirits we may similize to severall Workmen, being alwayes busily imployed, removing, lifting, carrying, driving, drawing, digging, and the like. And although these Spirits are of substance thinner then dull matter, yet they are stronger by reason of their sub-
tlety, and motion, which motion gives them power: for they are of an acute quality, being the Vitrioll, as it were, of Nature, cut and divide all that opposeth their way.
Now these Spirits although they be infinite, yet we cannot thinke them so grosse an infinite, as combustible matter, yet those thinner infinites may cut, and carve the thicker infinites all into severall Figures: like as Aqua-fort is will eate into the hardest Iron, and divide it into small parts.
As I have sayd before, the Spirits of life worke according as the Matter is, for every thing is shap’d according to the solidity of the matter; like as a man which builds a House, makes the beames of the House of such wood, which is tough, and strong, because he knows otherwise it will breake, by reason of the great weight they are to bear; but to make Laths he takes his Wood and cuts it thin, that the Nayls may easier passe through, so joyning and fitting severall forts to proper uses to build his house. Or like a Cooke when he’s to raise a Pye, must take stiffe Dough; for otherwise it will not
onely fall before it be finished, but it cannot be raised, and to make the Lids to cover his Pye, hee must use a softer Paste, otherwise it will not rowle thinn; thus a stiffe Paste is not fit for a Lid, nor a thinner Paste for to raise a Pye; it may make a Cake, or so. So the Spirits of life must make Figures, as the matter is fit, and proper thereto, for the figure of man or the like; the Spirits of life take the solid and hard matter for the* Bones: The Glutinous Matter for the Sinews, Nerves, Muscles. and the like; and the Oyly matter for Flesh, Fat, Marrow. So the fluid for Blood, and such like matter. And the Spirits themselves do give this dull matter, motion, not onely in the building of the Figure, but to make the Figure move when it is built.
* I do not say that Bones are the solid’st matter in Nature.
Now the spirits of life, or lively spirits do not onely move dull and in moving matter, but makes that matter to move, and worke upon others; for some kinde of Figures shall make† another to resemble it selfe, though not just be as it selfe is made, but as the shadow like the substance; for it workes as a Hand that is guided by another, and not of its
† As the Figure of Man.
owne strength: that is the reason, Arts have not so much persection as Nature. The Copy is not so lively as the Originall; for the spirits of life move, and work of their own strength, and the dull matter by the strength of the Spirits.
The Change of motion in severall Figures makes all change and difference in the World, and their severall properties and effects thereto. And that which we call Death, or corruption, is not* an absence of life, but an expulsive motion which doth annihilate those figures, that erecting motion hath made. So death is an annihilation of the Print, not of the Mould of figures; for the Moulds of those figures of Mankinde, Beast, or Plant, of all kinds whatsoever, shall never be annihilated so long as motion and matter last, which may alwayes be; for the mould of all Figures is in the power of motion, and the substance of matter.
* All Motion is Life.
Of Youth, or Growth.
Thus Spirits of sense work according to the substance of the matter: for if the matter be porous and light, they form those Figures quicker, and dissolve them suddenly: But if their matter be solid and hard, they worke slower, which makes some figures longer ere they come to perfection, and not so easily undone. And if their strength be too weake for the matter they worke upon, as wanting helpe, then the Figure is imperfect, and mishapen, as we say. This is the reason Animals & Vegetables, which are young, have not so great strength as when they are full growne; because there are fewer spirits, and the materialls are loose and unsetled, not knockt close: But by degrees more spirits gather together, which helpe to forward their worke, bring in materialls by Food, setling them by nourishment, carrying out by Evacuations that matter that is unusefull, and that Rubbish and Chips, as I may say, which would hinder their motion. If they bring in unusefull matter, their figure increases
not, as we say, thrives not. And if they carry out the principall materials, the figure decayes, and falls downe. But those parts of matter which are not spirits, do not carry that part of matter which is spirit, but the spirits carry the dull matter. Thus the spirits, the innated matter, move in dull matter, and dull matter moveth by the spirits; and if the matter be fine, and not grosse, which they build withall, and their motion be regular, then the Figure is beautifull and well proportioned.
The reason that the corruption of one Figure is the cause of making of another of the same kinde, is, not onely, that it is of such a tempered matter that can onely make such a kinde of figure; but that the spirits make figures according to their strength:1 So that the spirits that are in the Seed, when they have undone the figure they are in, by a generall expulsion, which we call corruption, they begin to create againe another figure of the same kinde, if no greater power hin-
1 I mean the Figure of dul matter
der it. For the Matter that is proper, to make such like Figures, is fitted, or temper’d to their strengths. So as the Temper of the Matter, and the strength of the Spirits, are the Erectors of those Figures eternally. And the reason, that from one Seed, lesse, or more Numbers are increased and raisd, is, that though few begin the work, more will come to their help; And as their Numbers are increased, their Figures are more, or lesse, weaker, or stronger.
[As a plentifull Crop, or a great Brood.] When Spirits of Life have created a Figure, and brought it to perfection; if they did not pull it down again they would be idle having no work to do; and Idlenesse is against the Nature of Life, being a perpetuall Mption. For as soon as a Figure is perfected, the Spirits generally move to an Expulsive Motion. This is the reason, that Age hath not that strength as Full-growth: But like an old house falling down by degrees, shed their Haires or Leaves, instead of Tiles, the Windowes broke
downe, and stopped with Rubbish.
So Eyes in Animals grow hollow and dimme. And when the Foundation of a house is loose, every little wind shakes it. So when the Nerves being slack, and the Muscles untyed, and the Joynts unhing’d, the whole Body is weak, and tottering, which we call Palsies: which Palsies, as the wind, shakes.
The Blood, as the Springe dries up, Rheumes as Raine fals down, and Vapours, as Dust, flye up.
Of Dead, and Death.
Dead is, where there is a Generall Alteration of such Motion, as is proper to such Figures. But Death is an Annihilation of that Print, or Figure, by an Expulsive Motion: And as that Figure dissolves, the Spirits disperse about, carrying their severall burthens to the making of other Figures. Like as a house that is ruin’d by Time, or spoyled by accident; the severall Materials are imployed to other uses; sometimes to the building of an house again. But a house is longer a building then a pulling down,
by reason of the cutting, carving, laying, carrying, placing, and fitting every part to make them joyn together; so all the works of Nature are sooner dissolv’d then created.
Of Locall Shapes.
Some Shapes have power over others, but tis not alwaies in the size, or bulck of the Figure, but in the manner of their Formes that gives advantage, or disadvantage. A little Mouse will run through the Snowt of a great Elephant: A little Flye will sting a great Figure to death; A Worm will wind through a thick Body; The Lions force lies in his Clawes, The Horses in his Hoofe, The Dogs in his Teeth, The Bulls in his Hornes, and Mans in his Armes, and Hands; Birdes in their Bills, and Talons: And the manner of their Shapes gives them severall properties, or faculties. As the Shape of a Bird causes them to flye, a Worm to creep, the Shape of a Beast to run, the Shape of Fish to swim; yet some flye swifter, and higher then others, as their Wings are made: So some run nimbler