Sivut kuvina

poet'! Irtst for such a mathematical point, as is represented without magnitude . which his principles enjoy, and figure likewise; and that, too, as infinitely variable, as the Peripatetics is divisible. And these apices, or leasti of things, may, perhaps upon serious and speculative disquisition, prove a notion to be hardly denied, whether physically or mathematically taken, as Gasscndus demonstrates at targe; where he speaks, "de non tlTe Epicuro roagniiudir.em infinite dividuam," to which I refer the reader.

Ver. 644. He said, in the lad place, that seeds are composed of parts so small, that they can scarce be conceived. But that such leasts are, he confirms in these twelve verses, by that most known argument which all the philosophers make use of. Aal here we may observe by the way, that Gassrndos, in his explication of these verses, performs ricpir: cf a master, rather than of an interpreter, anj takes upon him to blame and correct the opinion of Lucretius, rather than to explain it: for if there be any force in this argument, if the words themselves have any meaning, Lucretius' evidently meant that these leasts, of which he com* poses his principles, are mathematical, for that the atoms of Epicurus are endowed with magnitude, and, therefore, have parts, none can oppose, but they who are strangers to his philosophy, and do not know that Epicurus ever writ -riji T'ki ij rS «'w ymias. This, then, is the meaning of Lucretiu. The first seeds arc indissoluble and eternal, not because they are void of part*, but because they are endowed with solidity; and, therefore, cannot be broken to pieces nor torn asunder, or divided by any force whatever. If any one desires to know what these parts are, the answer is, that these parts have no parts, and that they arc mathematical. For unless such leasts be granted, there would be no inequality between the greatest and the smallest thing; because either of them would contain infini'e parts alike, and thus beth of them would be infinite: than which what can he more absurd? For this reason ArceClas laughed at the Stoics in their school", about the leg of a man that was cut off, putrified, and thrown into rb: sea, which, they asserted, might be so resolved, and mixed with the waters of the sea, that not only the fleet of Antigonus might fail through that leg, but that even the twelve hundred (hips •f Xerxes, and the three hundred galleys of the Greeks might maintain an engagement in it. This, too, makes Plutarch deride Chrylippus. for believing that one drop of wine may be mingled with all the water of the sea; and that a wing of the least fly may be coextended throughout the whole space of the sky.

Ver. 656. The poet having explained the meaning of a mathematical least, returns to his physical seatt, which he imagines to be indissoluble and eteroal; not because of its exility, but by reason of iu solidity. For if nature did not attain, saya he, to the extremest resolution; if she did not divide and lessen even to the minutest mites; the matter, *f *bich things are composed, would be improper, ami unfit to undergo all those mutations, and

to receive all those figures, to which it must be subject and exposed: for those minute bodies, if they were connected of several parts, and contained any void within themselves, could not, in the opinion of Epicurus, have an equal weight, nor an uniform motion: they would awkwardly, and, as it were with an ill will, obey any foreign and exterior strokes; and, thercfoie, could in no wise be connected together.

Ver. 66». In these fix verses, he concludes for the solidity of his atoms, from what he has proved already. For he has demonstrated, either thac there must be some feeds from all eternity undis. solved and unbroken, or that no thing whatever could have been produced, or at least must have been produced of nothing. That things are produced, the senses themselves evince; and all men allow, that nothing comes from nothing : theresore, if there be no solids, which cannot be broken nor dissolved, where can we find those bodies, that have from all eternity remained undissolved and unbroken? For frail atoms, which are obnoxious to such an infinity of strokes and blows, in so long a space of time, must of necessity have been dissolved.

Ver. 668. Having hitherto laid down and established the principles of Epicurus, he now attacks the opinions of other philosophers j and, distributing all his arguments into two heads, he first falls upon those, who believe and teach that but one of the elements only is the principle of all things: aud, in the next place, argues against: those who assert more. Among the first he has singled out Hcraclitus, who held fire to be the principle of all things, and bestows fixty-two verses to confute his opinion : for he takes it for granted, that whatever arguments he brings against him, will hold good against the others likewise; since nothing can be opposed against his doctrine of fire, but with what equal reason will be conclusive, as to the air, or any other of the elements. And, indeed, sayi Gaffcndus, whoever weighs this matter fully, will believe this variety of opinions to be a mere game; for though the authors of them assert different positions, yet they only beat about the bush, use a great circumstance of words, and, at length, fall all of them into the fame thing: for let any man make choice of which of the elements he thinks fit; he will get neither more nor less, nor be able to make good his opinion any otherwise than any other who has pitched upun any other of the elements; because, whoever has but one of them, has nothing to do, but to condense and ra. refy that; and he will presently have all the rest; so that it signifies nothing, whether this or that be first made use of.

Ver. 66 j. Htractitn.'] He was son of Bly thon or Heracion, and born at Ephesos in Ionia, 504 years before the birth of Jesus Christ He flourished about the 69th Olympiad, in the reign os the last Darius. "£&>£lv av]or TeLiila ix «7V{»f cwtfiitat Kki ca T*Ja iveLXwitSxr Latrt. He taught that all things are made of fire, and resolved again into sire. This was that philosopher, who is reported to have wept so often at the vanities of other men; which, never.A a iiij

theless, some say he did but dissemble, oat of an excess of pride and disdain, being self-conceited, and believing himself the only person in the world for profoundness of learning and wisdom.

Ver. 669. Vain Gwh.} For Heraclitus had many interpreters, and a world of follower?, who were called 'H{«»-.A.«««wi/c Heratlitians. Lacrt. in fit. Htrac.

Ver. 6;6. He writ many things in Greek verse, and is often cited by Aristotle : but in all his writings he affected obscurity. "De industria et consulto occulte dixit Heraclitue." say* Cicero, De Fin. lib. a Heraclitus studied and affc cted to speak obscurely. And, in the third book of the Nature of ti e Gods, he fays, that he would not be understood: " intelli^i noluit." Hence he was furnamed Izirmis, oblcure AnJ in this fays iv'cnagius, and Lacrt. Vir Tirracliti, he imitated nature: <t>in; ya^ itav 'H*tfxX«r0r xowtitrBici ^* For nature, according tr. ficraclitus, takes uelight in beint; hid. Tbtmist. Orat 11.

Ver. 675. D'Aveiiam, speaking of the schnolmen, say-, that

With terms they charm the wtak, and pose the wise.

Ver. 6;6. In these seven verses,he proposes his first argument against Heraclitus: it cannot, says he, be conceived, how se , reat a variety of things, nay, how one thing only, that is endowed with diff' rent part-, should ac made aud consist of one sin:p;e and uniform principle: iVppofe it fire; yet, unless you mix some other things with it, you can make nothing of it but fre . lor in what manner soever its pr.rts ar' trumpeted and blended together, i! wiU be ai».ays the very fame thing, by reason of the sa'nenels of the nature of all its parts. And that none may eseare by the subterfuge of condensation and rarefaction, he confesses thar it may be understood, how a thin^ may become rroie warm by the condensation o! the hot i parts of fire, am: less warm by their rarefaction; and that the rcas n of this i- obvious: but that any thing fhculi become cold nay, and most ccld too. as we find many things in nature to be, from fire only, how can that be understood?

Ver. 679. HcracMtus, as we find in Laertius, to make good his hypothesis, pretended that fire, ly being condensed, ^rows moist, and thus becomes i air; that the air, by compression, becomes water; I that the water, by condensation, is turned into j earth, &c. But all this, fays Lucretius, signifies j nothing; for the more the fire i9 condensed, the more it is sire. And the rat faction will avail nothing; for rarefy firs as much as you will, it will still be fire.

Ver 683. In these twelve verses he inCsts, that they who favour the (.pinion of H"raelitus, cannet fly to condensation and rarefaction, to jui.ify their belief, because they admit r.ot a void, without which nothing ca' be made rare or dense; as he has proved above, in ver. 4.50.

Ver. 695. But lest ihere should still remain some means to ese?pe ai d elude thi> argument, by pretending that the fire is extinguished, and changed into another body, he ur^cs, in these j

eight verses, that that cannot be, unless it lie granted that the fire retreats into nothing; because a simple and uncompounded thing, at that element ought to be, if it is indeed tbe first and only matter of which all things are made, cannot be changed, except it totally perish. For a compound body may be changed in such a manner, that, ceasing to be what it was, it may leave its remaining part; which having lost its former state, may take up and put on a new one; but 1 simple, or uncompounded body, cannot utterly lose its nature; but it cn'irely dies: nor is it capable of any alteration, without a total perdition.

Ver 703. He concludes in triese fifteen verfri, that if any thing were to be generated out of the extinguished fire, ihcie must of necessity retrain something of it. which, having lost and laid aside the form os fire, may take up, and put on the form of that generated thing. But it is most evident, that it is the common matter, which Lucretius supposes to be uncorruptible corpuscles, that by the various addition, detraction, and transposition of themselves, can take up, and appear now in the form of fire, and now of any thing else. But to prove, that these corpuscles are not fiery m their own nature, he f ive- this convincing teasor: because if they were, neither the addition, detractions or transposition would produce any effect: for if that natuxe of fire remain sale and untotcSed, nothing but fire can be n.ade of it. Then be explains the opinion of Epicurus, that certain corpuscles, which haVe no form perceptible to the sense, arc the principles of things; and that, from them meeting and conjoining in various manners, sire and ail other things proceed.

Ver. 718. In these eight verses, he appeal" t) the certainty of fense, to confirm that ail things do not consist of fire. Heraditus confesses, that he knows fire by 'he help of hia senses; and Lucretius urges that the fenses do as plainly perceiv: many other things of a quite different nature from fiie, as they do sire itself, and that we ought to give always the fame, or never any credit at all to the senses. Then he briefly explains the opinion of Fpfcurus concerning a criterion. Of Heraclitus, ice ver. 669.

Ver. 7x1, Heraclitus never denied, but that some things besides sire appear, but he never granted them to be. This opinion Lucretius opposes, and therefore urges, that other things besides ire truly are, and that even the senses dikovir, and certainly know them to be.

Ver. yxo. For Herachtus allowed the certainty of the fenses, and yet destroyed that certainty in teaihlnr that all things art sue: For is that were true, our sense* would perceive fire in ail thing*; and yet they perctiw no such thing in an apple, in v ood, in marble &c.

Ver. 716. HeUdos in these four verses, that if we look tpnn water, and n.any other thiotrs, and handle them, we shall evidently discover in ti.i-m another, and that lco a quite different nature fioni five; from whence he insets, that there is ron.cre reason to assert all things to be file, than theie is to reject sire, and fay they are cuy thing tic.

Ver, 730. Id these three verses, he concludes concerning fire, or any other (ingle element, agaiust any of which the fame objections will proportionality hold good; that they are horribly mistaken, who hold that fire, at Heraclitut, that air,as Anaximcncs Milcfiu", that water, as Thales Milcsius, or that earth, as Pherecydes, is the principle of all things.

Ver. 732. Among the philosophers, who held more than one cf the elements to be the principle* of all thing-, he has singled out Empcdocles, and employs 108 verses to confute his opinion. Now whatever he objects against his doctrine, in asserting the four elements to be the principles of things, will be conclusive likewise against those orher philosophers, who taught that all things are produced from two or three of them only. For if soar cannot be thought sufficient, much left will 3 sewer number suffice. But that four, nay nor a much greater number of bodies, are not sufficient to produce so vast a variety of things, as are contained in the universe, will more evidently app'ir by what shall be said hereafter. In the mean while, it may be considered, that as from one letter you can have but one figure, as A; from two but two, as Am, Ma; from three, but six, as A> tno, Asm, Mao, Moa, Oam, Oma; from four, but 14, as Amor, Amro, Mora, &c. from five 120, from six 730, from seven 5040, from eight 40330, from nine361,880, from ten, 3,628,800, and so on, till you have completed the number of the twenty-sons letters, at shall be said more at large in the note on book ii. ver. 643. So of one simple body, turn it ever so much, you can make but one body; of two bended together, but two; that is, tn fay, one compound; which, tbe more rare or cense it is, or the more it has of the one, or of the other, the nearer it will approach the nature of one, than of the other: And for the like reason, as three, but fix; of four, but twenty-four, &c.; and change their positions, turn them and turn them again, and shift their placet as often as you please, they will still be the same figures: and lastly, he concludes, that to produce such an innumerable variety of things, as are contained in the %nivrrfe, an innumerable variety of elements or principles it likewise necessary.

Ver.'734 Warn-.] shales, the Milesian, held water to ly. the first principle of all natural bodies; of wiich they consist, and into which they rrsolve. He rodeavoured to establish this opinion by arguments drawn from the origin and continuation of m«t mrngs. First, Bcciufe the semiral and genera faff prir.c.j.Ies of all animals is humid. SeCcd.' \, !5-i- .ui. all kinds of plants are nourished 1 by iner. 'vat.-r; and when they want moisture, wit! e „i decay. Thirdly, Because fire itself can- ] aoc li»e wi-'.on. air, which Is only water rarefied; aatl t. !\,u anc star' draw u;> vapours for their own uoartibmcnt anc support. These were the ntuiv'ration* upon i-ah; h he grounded hi* opi°fan h r.c-.' it !■ «v'T .0 guess, that he kept op thr me. of hi- u hooi, rather bv the riches Inffimea It ins lucky conjecture oi the scarcity of olivci, than by the strength of realon and argu

ment. Some, however, have not been wanting to father this philosophy on Moses; and Hippo and Theophrastus were of the fame faith. Nay, Hippoctates himself lays great fires, upon it : and of later days the great Scndivogius, and generally the most learned of the Spagirills; who own that water is rcaily a very :-■ > -..<, or universal principle.

Ver. 734. Air and Fire ] As Oenopides of Chiot. Eaith and water, as Xenuphanes; hut Armcnidet joined sire and earth; and Hippo of Rhegium, fire and water; and Oi.omacritus held that fire, water, and earth, all three together, are the principles of all things.

Ver. 736. £mptJocljt."\ He was son of Meton, or, as others will, ol Archinomus, and some lay, of JCxU netus; but all agree, that he wasborn, lived at Agrigentum in Sicily. He was contemporary with Kuripedes ani Armetiidcs. He flourished in the 84th Olympiad, about 404 year> before J. C. He taught, that all things are made ot the lour elements, fire, water, air, and earth, and are resolved into the fame again. To which he added two powers, amity and discord; the one unilive, the other discretive. 'E-pTiloilnt Mijow 'A* I> «»j7i; rifflfa atl» Xiyu fM^n«, Tv», *if*, 2%**? yh*t 2tv« H

IvviiiU:, Qtkjxi Tl x«< vti :-,- af« r. ftii if,t
Jut, ri ':■ ':.t,_,■«•». t'luttrch de Placit. Pml !■ 1.
c. 3. See likewise Laeriius, in VitaEmped. Achilles
Tatius, in Arat. Phxnomcn. et Lactautius, lib. a.
Which last fays, he derived this opinion from Her-
mes Trismegiilus. These elements he called af-
ter this manner, fire he termed Jupiter, the air
Juno, or as Laertius lays, but not with so good
reason, Pluto. The water Nestis, from nni, to
sow. The earth Pluto, or according to Laertius,
Juno, i. e. Velta. Consonant to this opiuion of
Empcdocles, Ovid sings:

Quatuor xternus genitalia corpora mundut
Continet. Melam. xv. ver. 259.

For this eternal world is said of old,
But sour prolific principles to hold. , Dryd.

And again, ver. 244.

Omnia fiunt

E» ipsis, et in ipsa cadunt———

All things are mix'd of these, which all contain,
And into these are all resolved again.

Ver. 737. In these seventeen verses, he describes
Sicily, the country of Empcdocles, and praises that
philosopher. Sicily i* the largest of all the islands
1 of the Mediterranean sea; it has been called by
1 several names, and ha: had several different inha-
I bitants. First, The Cyclops, who, as Cluvciius
fays, de Sicil. lib. i. cap. 2. were the first who in-
habited this island, which was then called Trina-
cria; and they dwelt chiefly about Mount Ætna,
and in the Leontinian territory. Secondly, The
Sicanians, a people of Spain, who dwelt on the
hanks of the river Sicanus, which, according to
some, is the Segro, according to other?, the Cinca;
from them it was called Sicanis. I hirdly, The
Italians, who, under the command of Siculus,

drove the Sicanians into the west part of the island, and gave it the name of Sicilia; though some are of another opinion. Fourthly, Greeks and barbarians of several countrie, who brought colonies into the island, and fettled themselves in it. Lastly, It wan subject to the Carthaginians, Romans, &c.

For the island of Sicily has three promontories or forelands. Pelorus towards the north, now called Cipodi Faro, frum Pharus, a watch-tower, or light-house, that is built upon it, to direct (hips in their course: Pachynus, Capo di Pass>.ro towards the east, and Liiybccurn, Capo di Marsalia, towards the south and west, which made it triangular, almost in the form of a A Delta.

Ver. 738. That part of the Mediterranean, which lies above the Streights ol the Adriatic, and extends itself between Crete aud Sicily. Whence the Greeks divide the Ionian Sea into the Cretan and Sicilian, Plin. c. II. 1. 4. It surrounds a great part of Sicily, and received its name from lonius, the son of Dyrribachius, whom Hercules killed unawares, and threw him into that sea to perpetuate his memory : But Solinus will have it named from Ionia, a little country on the farthest side of Calabria: Lycophron, from lo the daughter of Ir.achus; and others from the lonians, who often suffered shipwreck in that sea.

Ver. 739. The sea that dividei Sicily from Italy is not above half a league over. Thole two countries were formerly contiguous, till about the days of Joshua, as Faber has shown in his epistles, the force of the sta divided Sicily from the rest of Italy.

Ver. 740. Lucretius mentions only Charybdis, not Scylla; which is a rock in the sea, between Italy and Sicily, on the Italian coast, off the promontory of Cœnys. It continually makes a roaring noise, by reason of the rough and tempestuous waves os that sea, which are always beating into its hollows and dashing against it. It is now called Sciglia, and took its name from «i/X?.«, I vex or disturb. Charybdis, now called Caicfaro. is a gulf or whirlpool, almost opposite to Scylla, on the coast of Sicily : from I gape, and

ctiiiw, I swallow: it sucks in the waters, and belches them out again with violence. Scylla is said to be the daughter of Phorcus, and changed by Circe into a monster, whose upper parts retained the form of a woman, and whose lower parts were transformed into dogs, hy whose barking the poets expressed the roaring of the waves, and fabled that the monster lay hid in the rock, and allured ships thither, which by that means were cast away. Charybdis, they fay, was a notorious harlot and thief together, who having stolen some oxen from Hercules, Jupiter struck her with a bolt ef his thunder, and threw her into th« sea, where flie was changed into a whirlpool Virgil, Æn. iii. v. 420. describes them thus:

Dextrum Scylla latus lxvum implicata Charybdis Obsidet; atque inio barathri ter gurgitc vastoa Sordet in abruptum sluctus, rurfusq. sub auras frigit alternos, ec lydcra verberat raids.

At Scyllam cæeis cohibet spelunca latebrij,
Ora exsertantem, et naves in saxa trahentem:
Prima hominis facies, et pulchro pectore virgo
Pube tenus: postrema immani errpore prism,
Dclphinum caudas utero commifsa luporum.

In the streights

Where proud Pelorus opes a wider way,
Far on the right her dugs foul Scylla hides; "j
Charybdis, roaring on the left presides; >
And in her greedy wirlpool fucks the tides: J
Then spouts them from below; with fury driv'u
The waves mount up, and wash the face of heave-
But Scylla from her den, with open jaws
The sinking vessels in her eddy draws,
Then dashes on the rocks: a human lace,
And virgin's besom hide her tail's disgrace:
Her parts obscene below the waves descend,
With dogs endos'd, and in a dolphin end.

Dr} Ik.

Thus the fables; but Cluverius, who went on parpose t« Messina to be satisfied, and ltarn the future of this whirlpool, fays and proves, lib. I. c. 5. 11 de Sicilia antiqua," that though it be shows near Messina, and called Calisaro and la Rema, yet the whole sea is tempestuous and full cf whirl, pools: and he commends Thucydides so: giviiijf the name of Charybdis to all that sea, lib. 4. wheie he say?, that the streieht between Rhegium, now called Rezzo, and Mtssina, where Sicily Ib least diltar.t from the continent, in the sea that U called Charybdis, through which Ulysses is said to have failed, xai i$-'r n %euv*iii xAr.Pciex, rSr#, &c. And this is the realon why some place Charybdis near the Cape of Pelorus, and others near Meffina. Homer describes it under a rock (haded with wild fig-trees, and as a gaping gulf of whirling waten; but, in truth, it is only the impetuous current of the sea, that flows in with greater violence from the north than from the south; and whose billows, when adverse winds struggle with one another, especially when the south sea rages, arc driven into rhe streights; and being there compressed in a narrow space, and dashing with violence againil one another, and against the roclcs and shores,are by that conflict twisted into whirls, aud cause thit noise and roaring.

Ver. 741. £«tWuj.] He is said to be the lingeii of the giants that fought against the gods. He was the son of Titan and Terra; Jupiter killed him with thunder, and threw Mount Ætna upo» him : Thus Virg. Æn. iii. ver. 578.

Fama est, Enceladi femustum fulmine corpus
Urgeri mole hac, ingentemq. infuper Ætnam
Impositam, ruptis slammam exfpirare caminis:
Et fessum quoties mutat latus, intremerc oninem
Murmure trinacriam, et ccelum subtexerc foruo.

Euceladus, they fay, transfix'd by Jove,
With blasted wings came tumbling from above:
And where he fell, th' avenging father drew
This flaming hill, and on his body threw:
As often as he turns his weary sides,
He shakes the solid isle, and smoke the heivcc*

Which may serve to explain this passage of our; for Lucretius makes no mentiorj of £nccladu>.

Ver 744. Ætna.} A mountain in Sicily, of which Lucretius disputes at large in book vi. ver. 675. See that place and the notes upon it.

Vtr. 750. The ancient* were in doubt whether they ought to rank Enipcdocles among the philosopher*, or among the poets; so elegant was the poem which he writ of the Nature of Things. 'Ops#i«H Fjx<t£*ii*.h; , Hi hirtf Tig! Qenrir ytfin,

lU'fifitaCt 71 «>, XM* TCli uS.'.C.i Tbtf tflgi WtiKilKMr

irijaffbtfi . u:. Aristot. f» rtZ trioi T .\..* .Y Laut. Ariltotle likewise ascribes to him the infection os rhetoriB.

Ver. ;54 In these six verses, he owns Empedcc'.rt t> have been an excellent philosopher, even greater than Hcraclinu, and the others, whom he hat already refuted, and whom we may more safely believe than the oracles of the gods; yet he is going to Ihow, by several arguments, that even Etnpedocles himself i« mistaken in the principles of things; and thus Lucretius includes him in the number of those philosophers of whom the Stagyrite somewhere pronounces, {ulsvsTsi yka ti xai ft

i&«WTw«», which our poet interpret*,

Principii* tamed in rerum fecerc ruinam, itgtaviter magni magno cccidcre ibi cam.

Ver. 757. Tripod.} A table, or stool that was supported by three feet,and upjnwhich the priestesses if Apollo were wont to stand or sit, when they pronounced the oracles. Plan. 1. 34. c. 3. This Bipod, ar. . the priestesses themselves weredecked and crowned with laurel, a tree sacred to Apollo, and therefore they were said to speak from the tripod and laurel, " ex tripode ct lauro."

Ver. 758. Pyttia.] Was the pricsies. of Apollo - Dclphoi, who answered from the tripod those that tame to consult the oracle. She was called Pfiia, from the Greek word ismfa*curhi, to consult or ask.

Ver. 760 His first objection against them is contained in these three verles: That as well Impcdocles, as the other assetters of several elements, deny a void, no less than the philosophers mentioned above, and yet they adtnit motion, rareness, and softness, none of which can be without a void.

^er. 761. His second objection, contained in •i'fc six vcises, is to this purpole : That they held *il bodies to be infinitely divisible, contrary to *ttt Lucretius has down before, ver. 630. and *hat he now proves by the fame argument he thfn made use of.

Ver. 678. Thirdly, He objects against them in "■ete three verses, that their elements are soft, ,Biconsequently subject to change, and therefore "■ft fall into nothing; for, if the first bodies *«M change, they would be annihilated. But "ha proved already, that nothing proceeds from «returns into nothing.

«* 771. Fourthly, He objects in these four ■ °> to" the dements which they set up arc

contrary to one another, and therefore will mutually destroy each other; at least they, can never combine, and grow into one body; for the sticklers for these elements, like masters of families, give to each its proper qualities: heat and dryness to one, humidity and cold to another, humidity and heat to the third, and dryness and cold t» the fourth: thus they arm these elements to destroy one another, and yet expect nothing from them but peace, concord, and alliances.

Ver. 775. In these eighteen verses, he objects, in the fifth place, that they ought to fay, either that the elements, having first lost their nature, are changed into things, which things are again changed into them: in which case the dements are not more properly the principles of things, than things are the principles of the elements; or that, retaining their nature, certain heaps only are made of them; and in this rale, nothing of one species and of one name conld be produced, but only a certain rude and undigested mass of fire, air, water, and earth: in like manner, as of the filings and dust of gold, silver, tin, and brass, you can never make any thing but a heap of gold, silver, tin, and brass. Lastly, He concludes, that principles endowed with any sensible quality are altogether unfit and improper for the generation of things.

Ver. 784. The meaning of this is, that in case the elements preserve their nature entire, they arc capable of making only seme confused dr rude heaps us matter, without producing any thing perfectly distinct;

Non animans; non exanimo cum cerporc, ut arbos,

fays Lucretius; and though our translator takes no notice of " exanimo cum corporc," yet thole wordsallude to a particular doctrine of Epicurus, who did not admit of any foul to reside in plants, but held that they are produced and grow by virtue of a certain nature not vegetable, but proper to them alone; yet he affirmed that they live, that is, enjoy a peculiar motion; as the water of springs, the sire which we excite to a flame, is called living water, and living fire; something analogical to that which I think is more difficult to express than comprehend; for such is fire without light, &c. But concerning this, see the treetife written on this subject by the learned T. Campanula, in his book, De Sense Rerum et Magia.

Ver. 793. Sixthly, He objects farther in these nineteen verses, that they who admit a mutual transmutation of the elements, ought to admit likewise a common or general and prior matter, that may successively put on their various forms: for Empedocles and his followers taught, that the elements are continually preying upon one another; that now fire takes away some parts of the air, and now the air robs the fire of some of ita particles; and that the other elements arc continually doing the like. But Lucretius insists : Let the principles be changed, and they will fail into nothing; and, therefore, since they all allow that the elements arc changed, they arc not the prin

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