Sivut kuvina

have once fallen upon the sure trial of truth, they easily find her out in her most secret recesses.

These are the arguments Lucretius has brought to prove the two principles of Epicurus, body and void : that the former is sense sufficiently declares; and the latter is here evidently proved by two arguments (for the other are easily eluded): the first is drawn from motion; the second, from the parting of two flat smooth bodies.

Plutarch, in his second book. He Placitis Philosophorum,roundly tells us, tiireeaa.iv funxairiitTtt fttXr* nXar&ifdf To Xivav Wlyr**ai. All the natural philosophers from Thales to Plato denied a vacuum. But Laertius, in the life of Diogenes Apolloniates, who lived in the time of Xerxes, declares that he pronounced r» »»«> mmun. Void space is infinite. For the antiquity of that opinion I shall not he solicitous, though the reasons are strong, and abvious enough to make it ancient; for what is more obvious than motion? And how necessarily this infers a vacuum, is very easily discovered. Motion is change of place', which change is impossible in a plenum ; for whatever endeavours to change its place must thrust out other bodies; and so if the full be infinite, the proturfion must be so; if finite, the endeavour is in vain, and therefore all must be fixed in eternal rest, and Archimedes himself with his engine would not be able to move the least particle of matter. Cartes, in the second part of hit Principles, proposes a solution, much applauded by hit admirers; but a little attention will find it vain, and weak, and contradictory to his own settled principles. For when a body moves in a straight line, it must give the body that lies before it the fame determination with itself; and how this determination should alter, and the motion prove circular, neither Cartes nor his followers have condescended to explain. But grant (though the former reason has proved it impossible), that there may be such an attending circle of ambient air, yet unless it be perfectly mathematical (a thing very hardly supposed), each particle will acquire another attending circle, and so not the least fly stir her wing, unless the whole universe is troubled. To this may be added, that it is inconceivable how the most solid matter (for such is his first clement) can so soon altar its figure, or be se easily dissolved and fitted to the different spaces that lie between the little globules. We sec gold and adamant resist the roughest stroke ; it is pains and constant labour that must dissolve them ; how then can we imagine this element will yield? But indeed Cartes proposes his ambient attending circle, as the only way to solve the phenomenon of motion in a full, which he thought he had sufficiently before evinced: hut his arguments are weak and sophistical. For, in the first of his Me ditations, he never takes notice us impenetrability, in which the very essence of matter consists ai;d in the second part of his Principle, he mistakes the notion of a void, and confounds substance and body. Take his own words: " Vacuum acem philosephico more fumptum, h. e. in quo nulla plane sit fubstantia. dari non posse manifestum est cx co quod txtensio spatii non dissert ab exteosione

corpnris: nam cum ex eo solo qiidd corpus flt er. j tenfuni in longum, latum, et profunrlurn, reek j concludamus illud esse fubstamiam, quia omoino repugnat ut nihil fit aliqua extenfio: Idem etlam de spatio, quod vacuum supponitur, concludenduni est; quod ne-vpe cum in co sit extensio, necessario etiam in ipso sit sabstantio:" It is manifest, that a void, taken after the manner of philosophers, that is to fay, in which there ii evi. dently no substance, cannot be granted: because an extension of space, does not differ from an extension of body: for since we rightly conclude body to be a substance, for this reason only, because it is extended into length, breadth, and depth, it being absolutely contradictory to sense and reason that there should be an extension of nothing. We must likewise conclude the same of space, which is supposed a void; that ii to say, that since there is an extension in it, there must be a substance in it likewise. For void doth not exclude all substance, but only body; and substance and body, are not convertible in the full latitude of an universal proposition.

Secondly, It is evident, that when two smooth flat bodies are separated by a perpendicular force, the ambient air cannot fill all the space at once; and therefore there must necessarily be a void, and this Mr. Hobbes, a great plenist, in the second of his Ten Dialogues, freely confesses would follow, if the bodies were infinitely hard; hut since nature knows no such, any bodies, though perfectly smooth, may be separated by aforce that overcomes their solidity, and yet no vacuum ensue. A pretty invention, but extremely disagreeable to the phenomenon : for in the exhausted receiver, where there is no prop of under air left to sustain i:, the lower marble falls by hs own weight. Mr. Hobbes adds another argument, which is of co force against the vacuist, but overthrow-, his im notion of a material deity: these are the wurJ< He that created natural bodies, is not a fancy, bat the most real substance that is; who being hints.; there can be no empty place were he is, nor full where he is not.

Now the other reason of Lucretius are insufficient; for that drawn from the different weijsh: of bodies, would infer immense vacuities in the air, which is two thousand times light" than gold, (see Glisson. de Substantia, c 16.] and that from rarefaction and condensation i not cogenr, though it is the most rational opi nion, and more agreeable to the mind of Ari stotle, than that which is commonly propose; as his, In Categoria Q^alitatum, nuxter pit xxl « Tbl fi'ofix fuilyyv; ctvai i'.Xrj.n;, piM>ov Si Tm J«f*»« ir' iXXnXm. That is dense, between whose pin there is a closer; that rare between whose pat tides there is a looser connection. . Ver. 47 j. In these seven verses he briefly reca pitulates what he has been proving in the forms arguments: and, to confirm them, adds, that fens 1 itself evinces the truth of them; and that nothini j exists of itself besides body and void. Thus, toe : Epicurus in the epistle to Herodotus, r» trJ» 'in 1 wS ftii vista; w52i Ww* the All is partly boo*! I partly void. And Cicero, in 2. de Nat. Dew "Omniiqu* secundum Naturam Corpus & Inane doat Epicurus." Epicurus teaches that all things in nature are body and void. And this doctrine of hii, though particularly designed against those uta take accidents into the number of real beings, ret has a farther reach, and endeavours to overthrow the belicl of immaterial substances; for an Epicurean perception being nothing else but imagination, as arising from the stroke of a piece of matter, he had no way lest to get a notice of any such being, but by some deduction from those appearances, of which his fenses had assured him: this from motion he insets that there is space; and that being once settled, he proceeds to the kliJit? of atoms. Now, though the very fame method, with less attention, had forced him to acknowledge substances immaterial, and to have made the universe more complete by another kind of beings; yet it was hard to thwart the pnrai of his master, to start new sears that might disturb his soft hours, and amaze himself with mebncholy thoughts of a suture state. And therefore, to silence the clamours of his reason (for he could not but see luch plain consequences), he secure! motion as a property of matter necessarily refuting from weight; and this I take to be the basii of the Epicurean atheism, which once retooled that tower of Babel, which now rises so proudly as to brave Heaven, must be ruined and overthrown. For, if matter as such, is destitute •f thai power, the inference is easy, that there must be some other being to bestow it. This cannot be space: and, therefore, another kind of suhfrance u required; and hence follows all that train of consequences, of which the Epicureans are so -'.Hi. For he that first moves the matter, has no reason to cease from his operation; and so must till govern and direct it. And Providence is nothing else but an orderly preservation of that frame which it first raised: and, if there is such a director, how easily it follows, that he would disarm- his pleasure to man, and prescribe rules how he may he happy .' And this makes a fair way for scaled religion; and chat necessarily infers a future slate. This, methink*, is a considerable advantage of natural philosophy, that it can proceed from such sensible things, and plainly shown us the si >»*V <-« &ti, the invisible things of God, in these bis visible operations. Now, that weight is not a property of atoms, will be afterwards demonstrated; and so another sort of beings proved against the Epicureans.

Ver. 480 In these six verses, he proves, that nothing exists of itself besides body and void : because, whatever is, is endowed with fume quanti <T, great or small. Now, if it can be touched, and binders m. lion, it must be body; if it cannot be touched and does not obstruct motion, it must be void- Therefore, there is no third nature; and whatever is, is body or void.

"Ver. 486. In these seven verses, he again proves, that nothing exists of itself but body and void: for, whatever is, either has a power of acting on Mother; or may suffer from another, that is to iij, 't must be subject cither to action 01 to pas

sion. And that must be a body (for whatever acts or is acted on, touches, or is touched), or else! it must be that in which things are contained, and in which they are made and moved; and that ia the void, t herefore, there is no third kind of things that can be perceived by the fense, which teaches that body is, or comprehended by reason, which demonstrates that void is.

Ver. 493. But, forasmuch as many things are, said to be, besides body and void; as war is, peace is, heat is, &c. Lest errors should spring and get sooting from this common way of speaking, he observes, in these ten verses, that all such thingi are either conjunct*, or events of body and void. Conjunct (ri/iTsluitx, or proper accident), is what cannot be absent without the destruction of the subject: such is heat in fire, moistare in water, &c. But event {ri//tttin*», or common accident} is what may he absent or present, without the ruin or destruction of the subject; as war, poverty, concord, &c.

Ver. 503. Some, who were not offended that poverty, war, peace, &c. should be ranked among the number of events, had a nobler idea of time. Pythagoras, Heraclitus, and others, taught that it is a body; but the Stoics believed it to be incorporeal, so all these Lucretius opposes the opinion of Epicurus, in these six verses, which Gassendus thus explains: Time is an event attributed to things by the mind or thought only, according as they are conceived to persevere in the state ia which they are, or to cease from it, and to preserve a longer or shorter existence, and to have it, to have had it, or to be to have it. Now, Epicurus, because he saw that time is something besides body and void, asserted, that it does not exist of itself; nor as a conjunct or event, but as the chief event of events; as Laertius positively fays, lib. 10. He taught, therefore, that time exists not in reality, hut only in the mind; and, therefore is, as I may call it, a being of the understanding. Hence Aristotle, 7. Metaphys. I. defines time, " Numerus, qui absque ratione numerante, nullus est," which is as much as to fay, that it has no existence but in the understanding. Now, the reason why Epicurus held time to be an event of events, or an accident of accidents, was, because it depends upon days, nights, hours, passions, exemption from pasiion*, motions and rest: for, as Empiricus lays, adv. Phys. lib. al. a day, a night, an hour, passinns, exemption from passions, motion^ and rest, are accidents to which time is adventitious only: for, day and night are accidents of the ambient air; and day happens from the illumination of the fun; but night from the privation or absence of the solar light. An hour, since it is a part either of the day or of the night, is likewise an accident of the air, as day and.nighjL are. But time is coexteuded with each day, each night, and each hour. Passions too, and impirlbility or exemption from passions, that is to 'ay, pains or pleasures happen to us, and, therefore, are not substances, but accidents of those persona who are affected with a tense of them, that Is to say, either with, pleasure or pain. Now, «v«n A » ij

these accident! happen not without time. Moreover, motion and rest are accidents of bodies, and not without time neither: for we measure by time the swiftness an i slowness of motion, and the length and shortness of rest. Therefore, since in common acceptati"n, time is divided into three parts, the pad, the present, and the future; the sense, that i« to say, the reason or understanding of the mind, cimprchends all those parts of time from the things themselves: that is, we know the past time by things that are past, the present by the present, aud the suture by things to come. And without the motion or rest of things, we can have no notice of time, since it i- something that is perpetually stowing For the past time has already flowed away, the present is flowing, and the future is not yet flowed to us. Therefore, time exists not «-f itself Thu« Empiricus. whose text, for brevity's fake. I have omitted And hence •we fee why, as Cicero I. de Invent, fays, " Difficile est I'empus dclinire," it is sliScult to give a definition of time : and St. Austin, a. Confel. 14. "Si nemo ex me quærat, quid sit Tempus, frio; "siqu.-erentiexplicarcve)iin,ncscio." 1 know what time is if no man ask me; but when 1 would explain it to any man that astes me, I know not what it if. In a word, time does hut measure other things, and neither works in them any real effects, nor i> itself ever capable of any. And, therefore, what is commonly said, that time is the wisest thing in the world, because it produces all knowledge: and that nothing is more foolish than time, which never retains any thing long, whatever it learnt to-day is often forgot to morrow. And again, that some men sec prosperous and happy day, while the day* of others arc miserable. In all these and the like expressions, what is said of time is not verified of time itself, but agrees properly to the things that happen in time; and which, by reason of so near a conjunction, either lay their burden on the back, or place their crown on the head of time: nay, the very opportunities which we ascribe to time, do in reality adhere to the thing* themsclvs with which time is joined. And, as for time itself, it neither causes things, nor opportunities of things, though it comprise tnd contain them both.

Ver. 504. By fartcy he means memory; for by memory we comprehend things past, aud reason of things to come. Take away memory, the time past is nothing, and the future is not yet. And the present too, unless we remember and think of it, neither is, nor has any more a being, than either of the other two.

Ver. 509. 1 know not whether I (hall be able to express my meaning, so as to make myself, or this passage of Lucretius be plainly understood; but 1 will do the best I can. The poorness of the Latin tongue, obliges to use the verb, " Sum, es, est," &c. 1 am, thou art, he is, &c. in relating of things that happened in time past; when we would tell any thing that was done. Thus if any one should fay," Victum est Ilium," Troy is conquered: some quibbler ought presently answer, Ii conquered? therefore it i>. In my opinion,

this passage of our author, must, of necessity, be understood in this manner. Lucretius, therefore, in these eight verses, solves this captions sophism, occasioned by the common way of speaking, when we say that things past are done. For example, fays he, The rape of Helen, and the destruction of Troy, are not at this time, nor do exist in themselves as body and void do, but are, at it were, the events of things, of persons, or of places, for the time past has swept away those men, of whom these actions are events; whence it follow!, that the time past is not any thing in itself, absolutely and independent from things or countries, nor properly an event, but an event of event!, as Epicurus himself expressly fays, in the tenth book of Laertius. But whoever is of opinion, that these arc dialectic trifles is certainly much in the right: nor would Lucretius have condescended to amuse himself with them, had not the Stoics, a most impertinent race of men, between whom and the Epicureans there was a mortal enmity, compelled him to it.

Ver. 510- Helena was daughter of Tyndarn', the husoand of Leda, who brought forth twoeyp at a time : out of one of them, which she had conceived by Jupiter, in the shape of a swan, wre takin Poilux and Helena ; out of the other, which she had conceived by Tyndarus, Castor and CI7temnestra But Horace, thoiign contrary to the common opinion, fays, that Castor and rV-hx came out of the fame egg.

Castor gaudet Equis: ovo prognatus codem Pugnis Sal. 1.1, i- «• 10'

Helena was very beautiful, and married hi Mcnelau's king of Sparta. See the note on v. jto.

Ver. j 17. He once more falls foul upon the frphism , and in these ten verses makes it app-ir. that things done in times past do not eiift «f themselves, but are only event* of bedy and w<i. For, if there had formerly been neither body mr void, those things had never been done.

Ver. 519. Pern.] He was the son of Priamos sins of the 1 rojan«, and Hecuha; who, while (he wt with child of him, dreamed that she was delivered of a flaming torch : and the interpreters of dresms being consulted upon this occasion, answered,th>'. the burden (he carried in her womb, would hr the cause of the destruction of Troy: upon whish Priam gave orders, that the child as soon as born, should be exposed in the woods: but his mother took care to have him brought up privately id Mount Ida At length, it being discovered «ho he was, by his brother Hector and his relations, he was sent into Greece, where he was received »t the court of Menelaus king of the Spartans, whose wife Helena he took away by the favrur of Venus, and brought her to Troy. This was the cause of the Trojan war, and consequently of the fall of that city. He was likewise called Alexander, by which name Lucretius here mentions him He killed Achilles in the temple of Apcll' the Thymbriean ; and was himself slain not long aftci by Philoctetes.

Ver.jM. He/en.] Of whom scethenoteon v.51*

Ver. 511. This story i» too well known to need my explication: but it wai iu the night-time thit the Greeks went out of the belly of that wooden horse, and set fire to Troy, when the city was buried in sleep and wine, as Virgil expresses it, Æn. i, v. 165.

iriradunt Urban Somno Venoq. sepultam.

Ver. 517. Having demonstrated the two principle! of nature, body and void; and having explained likewise the nature of the void, he comes cow to dispute more at large concerning bodies, which he divide) into simple and compound : and in these twenty-three verses, farther teachei, that the simple bodies, or the principles of the compounds are most solid, perfectly full, and contain no void whatever: for which reason they can never he broken, nor divided by any force or violence how great soever it be. At the same time he owns there i> need of very strong and convincing argumeats to persuade men to believe that any bodies whatever are perfectly solid and full; since we know for certain, that gold, brass, stones, and all the other things that are thought to be most of all solid, are porous, and pervious to other bodies.

Ver. cio. Sextus Empiricus declares, that Epicurus hated the mathematics, and we may believe Lucretius follows his master, since, in his disputes concerning the indivisibility of atoms, he proposes the popular argument against the known and deirailrited property of quantity, infinite divisibility: for as long as mathematics can boast any cerainty, that must be acknowledged to be such.

1 lull not engage in this unnecessary controls/; though I believe those common arguments »gain4 infinite divisibility are empty sophisms, and a little attention (as whoever considers the method in which they are proposed, must observe) wiO fiV.d them full of contradictions, and founded on absurdities; for the indivisibility of an atom prtceeds not from the littleness, but the solidity: for since the atoms are of different figures, some triangular, some square, &c. it is absurd to imagine, that the mind, hy which only atoms are perceived, cannot fancy a diagonal in the square, or • perpendicular erected to the basis of the triangle : yet from this mental to the physical divisibility of an atum ',as Cartes proceeds) is extremeIs wesk and deficient. That there are some solid particles Lucretius has evidently proved: Theic Democritu- called rrtairtt ftiytiit. first magnitudes, Epicurus, 'Aro^vr, hot rr,v Xxuiti fitfe**]*, Atnrus from their in•iissoluiile solidity: but as Dienyfius. in Eusbiu« Præp, lib. r,). cap. 7 observe", rirvrf* iitforr.rar »Vf>» i All*, lA«£i'?sce •aotrut, *s< )>k tiro utiTAHSzTM o'5i ArpoK^iji;, xut fiiyiras ""iTini irifM i<riA.«£i>,they so wiJJy disagreed, tpicurus made all hi> atoms to be lealis, and tlerefore insensible, but Denvcritua supposed some tfhistobe very great: Heraclide-,"Oy*iti, tumid or !rjffy ftut none os all his reasons prove them "changeable. For, if fi.lidiry, i • e. immediate co'tict wen a necess-ry cause of indivisibility, it w«ld follow, that no piece of matter could be: Prided, because the parts that are to be sepa

rated enjoy an immediate contact, and that contact must be between surfaces as large as atoms, or, at least, some of their fancied parts. Besides, let two hard bodies perfectly smooth be joined together in a common superficies, parallel to the horizontal plain, and certain experience will assure us, that any force thit is able to overcome the resistance of the supporting air, will easily divide them. His other arguments are all unconduding - for suppose the seeds not eternal, i. e. divisible, it is a strange inference, therefore beings rife from nothing, since any body, and therefore one of these solid particles is not reduced into nothing by division, but only into smaller parts t and the weakness of the rest is so obvious, that I shall not spend time in declaring it.

Ver. 5.50. He has proved before that there are two principles of things, body and void, and that they are of very different natures. Now. who can deny, fays he, but that these entirely different things subsist of themselves, wholly distinct and apart from one another. For it is absurd to say, that where void is, there body is likewise, anil so on the contrary : from whence he infers, in these eight verses, that the first bodies are perfectly solid and full j because they subsist where there is no void.

Ver. 558. In these six verses he asserts, that in all compound bodies, which he here call* gtnit*, begot or engendered, there are little void Ipaces intermixed: and then he adds, that the first, or simple bodies, must be perfect solids, because the mass of those simple bodies contains those voids; and what can contain a vend but a solid, unless any one will imagine that a void can contain a void?

Ver. j 64. In these two verses he teaches, that these solids cannot be broken by any force or violence, and therefore are indissoluble and eternal.

Ver. ,<66. Here he confirms the solidity of his atoms by another argument, contained in thtse eight verses. For as the whole universe would be a full, if there was no void, which he has already proved to be absurd so, on the other hand, if nothing were full, and consequently perfectly solid, the same universe, immense as it is, would be all an empty space; which would be no less incongruous and ahsurdN Epicurus speaks to the fame effect in Plutarch de Plac Philosouh. lib. I. cap. 3. e]t Yi i-rn ufifiot vuftff Ti y££ iri rc-i^na alii li]* xai are <ri xni itc^o/itva.

Ver. 574 Having demonstrated the solidity of atoms, he, in these ten verses, asserts their eternity: for solids arc perfectly full, contain no void, and, therefore are not subject to dissolution; because every divisible and dissoluble body is such, by reason of the -void that is intermixed in the mass of it, and that intercepts and breaks off the communication between its parts, and thus Rives an entrance to some external power and force to separate and disjoin them t but whatever is indissoluble and indivisible is such, because it is perfectly full and solid, and because it has no void, which might subject it to a separation and divisibility of A a iij

its parts. Epicurus to Herodotus,defines an atom,

Ver. 564. To prove the eternity of his feeds yet more tuily, he brings another argument from that common principle ot the Epicurean", that nothing 13 made of nothing, and that nothing is reduced into nothing. This argument, contained in ten verses is to this efiec-t: If the first feeds of tilings were dissolved and perished, they would fall into nothing; for there arc no principles prior to the first, into which they can be relolved: and thus the things that are daily born would arise from nothing. I t must, therefore, of necessity be grant-, ed, cither that the feeds are eternal, or that things proceed from nothing: aud this the phili sophers held to be the greatest absurdity that any nun could advance.

Ver. 50,2 In those two verses, he concludes to this purpose: The first seeds of things are eternal, because the/ are (olid, and arc si lid, because they arc simple; It, unless they were simple, they would not be foiid, because all comiound bodies have a mixture of void: unlels they were solid, they would not be eternal, because they might be dissolved; and unless they were eternal, all tilings must have been produced from nothing, and would return into n< thing. The inipussibili ty whereof he has already demonstrated.

Ver. 594. He proceeds, in these thirteen verses, to show that there is a certain and definite time appointed for the growth of all things; and, therefore, that the feeds, by which things are increased, are of a certain fixed magnitude, and indissoluble, nor can be bi oken to pieces: for, otherwise, having been broken and w ailed for so vast a tract of time as is already past, they would have been reduced into parts so extremely minute, that they could never in any lengih of years, and therefore not in a few, be reunited and made again into one mass. ' And this any man will acknowledge, who refiects, that it is a much easier task to divide and dissolve things, than to renew and rejoin them together.

Vtr. 667 He confirms the solidity of his atoms in these Vine verses. Now, because it is manifest, that there are in nature hard and soft bodies, he declares, that if the principles are allowed to be solid, net only hard things may be made of them, as it is most evident they may, but soft things likewise; because whatever is compounded of such feeds, may become soft by the intermixion of Void: but if the principles themselves are allowed to be soft, then, indeed, soft things may be made of them; hut no reason can be given, how any thing should be hard, because there would be no solidity in their composition : and solidity alone :» the foundation of all hardness.

Ver 616. In these fourteen verses, Lucretius confirms the solidity of his atoms by another reason, taken from the manifold and never failing constancy cf nature; as well in always carrying on of animals to certain bounds of strength, as in imprinting likewise always upon them the fame inslinj-uifhing characters and marks of their reflective kinds: which, indeed, fae could not do;

but that she makes use cf principles, that are firm and constant, and therefore not obnoxious to dissolution or change; for whence can proceed this so obstinate constancy in seeds that are daily changed 1 And were they so indeed, neither men, nor any other animals, w ould retain the lame ttfual lhapes; and some would enjoy avail strength and length of days, while others cf the* fame kind, would be puny aud short-lived; we should frequently fee white crows, and sometimes black swans.

Ver. 6j;>. In these si urtcen verses, he employ* another argument; which is, indeed, something refined, and not understood by many. Seeds or atoms, according to Epicuru*, are endowed with quantity; but all quantity has an extreme: now that extreme is the least thing that can be con. ceived ; nor does it ever subsist separated, and disjoined siom the either parts; and of these leaf.! the whole mass of each atom is composed: but since the constituent parts cannot subsist when they are separated fr< m one another, they cannot be divided from me another; for whatever body can he disjoined from another, must be able to preserve its being with, ut the help and assistance of the body, from which it is parted: every Iced, therefore, is of necessity simple and indissoluble; because itLconsills of parts, even the least that can be conceived: and which no art ot strength can disjoin, because no art or strength can reduce into nothing. For nothing goes into nothing.

To make this yet more easy to be undetstnod, we mull know, that the Peripatetics and Epicureans differed in many things, but chiefly in their opinions concerning these leasts. For the Peiipatciics held, that every compound body may be divided into infinite parti, and that no part can be made so small, I ut thac it may still be made smaller. But the Epicureans believed, that no compound body can be divided into such minute parts as may always be made lei's; but may,in* deed, be divided into parts so small, as cannot be divided any more; ana consequently no less pam can be made of them; so that they fix an end, and prescribe bounds to the divisibility. Thus we fee, that the Epicureans held that every body may be lessened to a point that can neither be seen, nor divided any more; but that is invisible and void of parts : and this is what they call a least, which il the first and the last part in all things. that is to fay, is the first principle that nature reserves for the creating and renewing of things, and likewise a something last, into which they are resolved: Now, because the first principles are these leaslj, Lucretius argues, that the first principles are eternal, solid, and most simple.

Ver. 640. This must not be understood, that the atoms are composed of least', as cf parts, » if they were bodies compounded of an aggregation and connection of things, in like manner as all the other things of nature consist ol a coalition of atoms; but only in such a wise, that they cannot by any means whatever be broken or dissolved. We must, therefore, take care not to mistake otJJ

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