|Note on the "Annotations"||Sir Thomas Browne Page||Religio Medici||Digby's Observations|
nec satis est vulgasse fidem.——
Pet. Arbit. fragment.
|To the Reader||Notes on the Epistle||Notes on Part I||Notes on Part II|
THE ANNOTATOR TO THE READER
A. Gellius (noct. Attic. l. 20. cap. ult.) notes some books that had strange Titles;1 Pliny (Prefat. Nat. Hist.) speaking of some such, could not pass them over without a jeer; So strange (saith he) are the Titles of some Books, Ut multos ad vadimonium deferendum compellant. And Seneca saith, some such there are,2 Qui patri obstetricem parturient filiæ accersenti moram injicere possint. Of the same fate this present Tract Religio Medici hath partaken: Exception by some hath been taken to it in respect of its Inscription, which say they, seems to imply that Physicians have a Religion by themselves, which is more than Theologie doth warrant: but it is their Inference, and not the Title that is to blame; for no more is meant by that, or endeavoured to be prov'd in the Book then that (contrary to the opinion of the unlearned) Physitians have Religion as well as other men.
For the Work it self, the present Age hath produced none that has had better Reception amongst the learned; it has been received and fostered by almost all, there having been but one that I knew of (to verifie that Books have their Fate from the Capacity of the Reader) that has had the face to appear against it; that is Mr. Alexander3 Rosse; but he is dead, and it is uncomely to skirmish with his shadow. It shall be sufficient to remember to the Reader, that the noble and most learned Knight, Sir Kenelm Digby, has delivered his opinion of it in another sort, who though in some things he differ from the Authors sense, yet hath he most candidly and ingeniously allow'd it to be a very learned and excellent Piece; and I think no Scholar will say there can be an approbation more authentique. Since the time he Published his Observations on it, one Mr. Jo. Merryweather, a Master of Arts of the University of Cambridge, hath deem'd it worthy to be put into the universal Language, which about the year 1644 he performed; and that hath carried the Authors name not only into the Low-Countries and France (in both which places the Book in Latin hath since been printed) but into Italy and Germany; and in Germany it hath since fallen into the hands of a Gentleman of that Nation4 (of his name he hath given us no more than L.N.M.E.N.) who hath written learned Annotations upon it in Latin, which were Printed together with the Book at Strasbourg 1652. And for the general good opinion the World had entertained both of the Works and Author, this Stranger tells you:5 Inter alios Auctores incidi in librum cui Titulus Religio Medici, jam ante mihi innotuerat lectionem istius libri multo præclaros viros delectasse, imo occupasse. Non ignorabam librum in Anglia, Gallia, Italia, Belgio, Germania, cupidissime legi; constabat mihi eum non solum in Anglia ac Batavia, sed et Parisiis cum præfatione, in qua Auctor magnis laudibus fertur, esse typis mandatum. Compertum mihi erat multos magnos atq; eruditos viros sensere Auctorem (quantum ex hoc scripto percipi potest) sanctitate vitæ ac pietare elucere, &c. But for the worth of the Book it is so well known to every English-man that is fit to read it, that this attestation of a Forrainer may seem superfluous.
The German, to do him right, hath in his Annotations given a fair specimen of his learning, shewing his skill in the Languages, as well antient as modern; as also his acquaintance with all manner of Authors, both sacred and profane, out of which he has amass'd a world of Quotations: but yet, not to mention that he hath not observed some Errors of the Press, and one or two main ones of the Latin Translation, whereby the Author is much injured; it cannot be denyed but he hath pass'd over many hard places untoucht, that might deserve a Note; that he hath made Annotations on some, where no need was; in the explication of others hath gone besides the true sense.
And were he free from all these, yet one great Fault there is he may be justly charg'd with, that is, that he cannot manum de Tabula even in matters the most obvious; which is an affectation ill-becoming a Scholar; witness the most learned Annotator, Claud. Minos. Divion. in præfat. commentar. Alciat. Emblemat. præfix. Præstat (saith he) brevius omnia persequi, et leviter attingere quæ nemini esse ignota suspicere possint, quam quasi ραψωδειν, perq; locos communes identidem expatiari.
I go not about by finding fault with his, obliquely to commend my own; I am as far from that, as 'tis possible others will be: All I seek, by this Preface, next to acquainting the Reader with the various entertainment of the Books, is, that he would be advertized that these Notes were collected ten6 years since, long before the German's were written; so that I am no Plagiary (as who peruseth his Notes and mine, will easily perceive): And in the second place, that I made this Recueil meerly for mine own entertainment, and not with any intention to evulge it; Truth is my witness, the publication proceeds meerly from the importunity of the Book-seller (my special friend) who being acquainted with what I had done, and about to set another Edition of the Book, would not be denied these notes to attex to it; 'tis he (not I) that divulgeth it, for my self what my Annotations bear in the Frontispiece—7
Nec satis est vulgasse fidem——
That is, that it was not enough to all persons, (though pretenders to Learning) that our Physitian had publish'd his Creed, because it wanted an exposition. I say further, that the German's is not full; and that8 (—Quicquid sum Ego quamvis Infra Lucilii censum ingeniumq;—) my explications do in many things illustrate the Text of my Author.
24 Martii, 1654.
ANNOTATIONS UPON RELIGIO MEDICI
The Epistle to the READER
Certainly that man were greedy of life, who should desire to live when all the World were at an end;] This Mr. Merryweather hath rendred thus; Cupidem esse vitæ opportet, qui universe jam expirante mundo vivere cuperet; and well enough: but it is not amiss to remember, that we have the saying in Seneca the Tragœdian, who gives it thus, Vitæ est avidus quisquis non vult mundo secum pereunte mori.9
There are many things delivered Rhetorically.] The Author herein imitates the ingenuity of St. Austin, who in his Retract. corrects himself for having delivered some things more like a young Rhetorician than a sound Divine; but though St. Aug. doth deservedly acknowledge a fault in himself, in that he voluntarily published such things, yet cannot it be so in the Author, in that he intended no publication of it, as he professeth in this Epistle, and in that other to Sir Kenelm Digby.
THE FIRST PART
he general scandal of my Profession.] Physitians (of the number whereof it appears by several passages in this Book the Author is one) do commonly hear ill in this behalf. It is a common speech (but only amongst the unlearn'd sort)10 Ubi tres Medici, duo Athei. The reasons why those of that Profession (I declare my self that I am none, but Causarum Actor Mediocris, to use Horace his Phrase11 may be thought to deserve that censure, the Author rendreth Sect. 19.
The natural course of my studies.] The vulgar lay not the imputation of Atheism only upon Physitians, but upon Philosophers in general, who for that they give themselves to understand the operations of Nature, they calumniate them, as though they rested in the second causes without any respect to the first. Hereupon it was, that in the tenth Age Pope Silvester the second pass'd for a Magician, because he understood Geometry and natural Philosophy. Baron. Annal. 990.12 And Apuleius long before him laboured of the same suspicion, upon no better grond; he was accus'd and made a learned Apology for himself, and in that hath laid down what the ground is of such accusations, in these words: Hæc fermè communi quodam errore imperitorum Philosophis objectantur, ut partem eorum qui corporum causas meras et simplices rimantur, irreligiosos putant, eosque aiunt Deos abnuere, ut Anaxagoram, et Lucippum, et Democritum, et Epicurum, cæterosq; rerum naturæ Patronos. Apul. in Apolog.13 And it is possible that those that look upon the second Causes scattered, may rest in them and go no further, as my Lord Bacon in one of his Essays observeth;14 but our Author tells us there is a true Philosophy, from which no man becomes an Atheist, Sect. 46.
The indifferency of my behaviour and Discourse in matters of Religion.] Bigots are so oversway'd by a preposterous Zeal, that they hate all moderation in discourse of Religion; they are the men forsooth — qui solos creant habendos esse Deos quos ipsi colunt. Erasmus upon this accompt makes a great complaint to Sir Tho. More in an epistle of his, touching one Dorpius, a Divine of Louvain, who because, upon occasion of discourse betwixt them, Erasmus would not promise him to write against Luther, told Erasmus he was a Lutheran, and afterwards published him for such; and yet as Erasmus was reputed no very good Catholick, so for certain he was no Protestant.
Not that I meerly owe this Title to the Font] as most do, taking up their Religion according to the way of their Ancestors; this is to be blamed among all persons: It was practised as well amongst Heathens as Christians.
Per caput hoc juro per quod Pater antè solebat, saith Ascanius in Virgil: and Apuleius notes it for an absurdity.15 Utrum Philosopho, putas turpe scire ista, an nescire? negligere, an curare? nosse quanta sit etiam in istis providentiæ ratio, an de diis immortalibus Matri et Patri cedere?16 saith he in Apolog. and so doth Minutius. Unusquisq; vestrum non cogitat prius se debere deum nosse quàm colere, dum inconsulte gestiuntur parentibus obedire, dum fieri malunt alieni erroris accessio, quam sibi credere. Minut. in Octav.17
But having in my riper [year]s examined, &c. ] according to the Apostolical Precept, Omnia probate, quod bonum est tenete.18
There being a Geography of Religions] i.e. of Christian Religion, which you may see described in Mr. Brerewoods Enquiries:19 he means not of the Protestant Religion; for though there be a difference in Discipline, yet the Anglican, Scotic, Belgic, Gallican, and Helvetic Churches differ not in any essential matter of the Doctrine, as by the Harmony of Confessions appears. 5. Epist. Theod. Bezæ Edmundo Grindallo Ep. Londinens.
Wherein I dislike nothing but the Name] that is Lutheran, Calvinist, Zwinglian, &c.20
Now the accidental occasion whereon, &c. ] This is graphically described by Thuanus in his History: but because his words are too large for this purpose, I shall give it you somewhat more briefly, according to the relation of the Author of the History of the Council of Trent. The occasion21 was the necessity of Pope Leo the Tenth, who by his profusion had so exhausted the Treasure of the Church, that he was constrained to have recourse to the publishing of Indulgencies to raise monies: some of which he had destined to his own Treasury, and other part to his Allyes, and particularly to his Sister he gave all the money that should be raised in Saxony; and she, that she might make the best profit of the donation, commits it to one Aremboldus, a Bishop to appoint Treasurers for these Indulgences. Now the custome was, that whensoever these Indulgences were sent into Saxony, they were to be divulged by the Fryars Eremites (of which Order Luther then was), but Aremboldus his Agents thinking with themselves, that the Fryars Eremites were so well acquainted with the trade, that if the business should be left to them, they should neither be able to give so good an account of their Negociations, nor yet get so much themselves by it as they might do in case the business were committed to another Order; they thereupon recommend it to (and the business is undertaken by) the Dominican Fryars, who performed it so ill, that the scandal arising both from thence, and from the ill lives of those that set them on work, stirred up Luther to write against the abuses of these Indulgences; which was all he did at first; but then, not long after, being provoked by some Sermons and small Discourses that had been published against what he had written, he rips up the business from the beginning and publishes xcv Theses against it at Wittenberg. Against these Tekel a Dominican writes; then Luther adds an explication to his. Eckius and Prierius Dominicans, thereupon take the controversie against him: and now Luther begins to be hot; and because his adversaries could not found the matter of Indulgences upon other Foundations then the Popes power and infallibility, that begets a disputation betwixt them concerning the Popes power, which Luther insists upon as inferiour to that of a general Council; and so by degrees he came on to oppose the Popish Doctrine of Remission of sins, Penances, and Purgatory; and by reason of Cardinal Cajetans imprudent management of the conference he had with him, it came to pass that he rejected the whole body of Popish doctrine. So that by that we may see what was the accidental occasion wherein, the slender means whereby, and the abject condition of the person by whom, the work of Reformation of Religion was set on foot.
Yet I have not so shaken hands with those desperate Resolutions, (Resolvers it should be, without doubt) who had rather venture at large their decayed bottom, than bring her in to be new trimm'd in the Dock; who had rather promiscuously retain all, than abridge any; and obstinately be what they are, than what they have been; as to stand in a diameter and at swords point with them; we have reformed from them, not against them, &c. ] These words by Mr. Merryweather are thus rendred, sc. Nec tamen in vecordem illum pertinacium hominum gregem memet adjungo, qui labefactatum navigium malunt fortunæ committere quàm in navale de integro resarciendum deducere, qui malunt omnia promiscuè retinere quam quicquam inde diminuere, et pertinaciter esse qui sunt quam qui olim fuerunt, ita ut iisdem ex diametro repugnent: ab illis, non contra illos, reformationem instituimus, &c. And the Latine Annotator sits down very well satisfied with it, and hath bestowed some notes upon it; but under the favour both of him and the Translator, this Translation is so far different from the sense of the Author, that it hath no sense in it; or if there be any construction of sense in it, it is quite besides the Authors meaning; which will appear if we consider the context: by that we shall find that the Author in giving an account of his Religion, tells us first, that he is a Christian, and farther, that he is of the reform'd Religion; but yet he saith, in this place, he is not so rigid a Protestant, nor at defiance with Papists so far, but that in many things he can comply with them, (the particulars he afterwards mentions in this Section) for, saith he, we have reform'd from them, not against them, that is, as the Archbishop of Canterbury against the Jesuit discourseth well, We have made no new Religion nor Schism from the old; but in calling for the old, and desiring that which was novel and crept in might be rejected, and the Church of Rome refusing it, we have reform'd from those upstart novel Doctrines, but against none of the old: and other sense the place cannot bear; therefore how the Latine Annotator can apply it as though in this place the Author intended to note the Anabaptists, I see not, unless it were in respect of the expression Vecordem pertinacium hominum gregem, which is truly a description well befitting them, though not intended to them in this place: howsoever, I see not any ground from hence to conclude the Author to be any whit inclining to the Bulk of Popery (but have great reason from many passages in thiss Book to believe the contrary,) as he that prefix'd a Preface to the Parisian Edition of this Book hath unwarrantably done.
But for the mistake of the Translator, it is very obvious from whence that arose. I doubt not but it was from mistake of the sense of the English Phrase Shaken hands, which he hath rendered by these words, Memet adjungo, wherein he hath too much play'd the Scholar, and show'd himself to be more skilful in forraign and antient customs, then in the vernacular practice and usage of the language of his own Country; for although amongst the Latines protension of the Hand were a Symbole and sign of Peace and Concord (as Alex. ab Alexandro; Manum vero protendere, pacem peti significbant (saith he) Gen. Dier. lib. 4 cap. ult. which also is confirmed by Cicero pro Dejotaro; And Cæsar l. 2 de Bellico Gallico) and was used in their first meetings, as appears by the Phrase, Jungere hospitio Dextrus; and by that of Virgil,
Oremus pacem, & Dextras tendamus inermes,
And many like passages that occur in the Poets, to which I believe the Translator had respect; yet in modern practise, especially with us in England, that ceremony is used as much in our Adieu's as in the first Congress; and so the Author meant in this place, by saying he had not shaken hands; that is, that he had not so deserted, or bid farewel to the Romanists, as to stand at Swords point with them: and then he gives his Reasons at those words, For omitting those improperations, &c. So that instead of memet adjungo, the Translator should have used some Word or Phrase of a clean contrary signification; and instead of ex diametro repugnent, it should be repugnem.
Henry the Eighth, though he rejected the Pope. refused not the faith of Rome. ] So much Buchanan in his own life written by himself testifieth, who speaking of his coming into England about the latter end of that King's time, saith, Sed ibi tum omnia adeo erant incerta, ut eodem die, ac eodem igne (very strange!) utriusque factinis homines cremarentur Henrico 8. jam seniore suæ magnis securitati quam Religionis puritati intento. And for the confirmation of this assertion of the Author, vide Stat. 31. H. 8, cap. 14.
And was conceived the state of Venice would have attempted in our dayes.] This expectation was in the time of Pope Paul the Fifth, who by excommunicating that Republique, gave occasion to the Senate to banish all such of the Clergy as would not by reason of the Popes command administer the Sacraments; and upon that account the Jesuits were cast out, and never since receiv'd into that State.22
Or be angry with his judgement for not agreeing with me in that, from which perhaps within a few days I should dissent my self.] I cannot think but in this expression that the Author had respect to that of that excellent French Writer Monsieur Montaign (in whom I often trace him). Combien diversement fugeons nous de choses? Combien de fois changeons nous nos fantaisies? Ce que je tien aujourdhuy, ce que je croy, je le tien & le croy de toute ma Creance, mais ne m'est il pas advenu non une fois mais cent, mais mille & tous les jours d'avoir embrasse quelque autre chose? Mountaign. lib. 2. Des Essais Chap. 12.23
Every man is not a proper Champion for truth, &c.] A good cause is never betray'd more than when it is prosecuted with much eagerness, and but little sufficiency; and therefore Zuinglius, though he were of Carolostadius his opinion in the point of the Sacrament of the Eucharist against Luther, yet he blamed him for undertaking the defence of that cause against Luther, not judging him able enough for the encounter: Non satis habet humerorum, saith he of Carolostad, alluding to that of Horace, Sumite materiam vestris qui scribitis æquam Viribus, & versate diu quid ferre recusent Quid valeant humeri. 24 ——— So Minutius Fælix; Plerumq; pro disserentium viribus, et eloquentiæ potestate, etiam perspicuæ veritatis conditio mutetur. Minut. in Octav.25 And Lactantius saith, this truth is verified in Minutius himself: for Him, Tertullian, and Cyprian, he spares not to blame (all of them) as if they had not with dexterity enough defended the Christian cause against the Ethniques. Lactant. de justitia, cap. 1.26 I could wish that those that succeeded him had not as much cause of complaint against him: surely he is noted to have many errors contra fidem.
In Philosophy ——— there is no man more Paradoxical then my self, but in Divinity I love to keep the Road, &c.] Appositely to the mind of the Author, saith the Publisher of Mr. Pembel's Book de origine formarum, Certe (saith he) in locis Theologicis ne quid detrimenti capiat vel Pax, vel Veritas Christi ——— a novarum opinionum pruritu prorsus abstinendum puto, usq; adeo ut ad certam regulam etiam loqui debeamus, quod pie & prudenter monet Augustinus (de Civ. Dei. l. 10, cap 23.) [ne verborum licentia impia vi gignat opinionem,] at in pulvere Scholastico ubi in nullius verba juramus, et in utramvis partem sine dispendio vel pacis, vel salutis ire liceat, major conceditur cum sentiendi tum loquendi libertas, &c. Capet. in Ep. Dedicat. Pembel. de origine form. præfix.
Heresies perish not with their Authors, but like the River Arethusa, though they lose their Currents in one place, they rise again in another.] Who would not think that this expression were taken from Mr. Mountaigne, pl. 2, des Ess. cav. 12.27 Wherein he hath these words, Nature enserre dans les termes de son progress ordinaire comme toutes autres choses aussi les creances les jugements & opinions des hommes elles ont leur revolutions; and that Mountaigne took his from Tully. Non enim hominum interitu sententiæ quoque occidunt, Tull. de nat. deorum l. 1, &c. 28 Of the River Arethusa thus Seneca. Videbis celebratissimum carminibus fontem Arethusam limpidissimi ac perludicissimi ad imum stagni gelidissimas aquas profundentem, sive illas primum nascentes invenit, sive flumen integrum subter tot maria, & a confusione pejoris undæ servatum reddidit. Senec. de consolat. ad Martiam.29
Now the first of mine was that of the Arabians.] For this Heresie, the Author here sheweth what it was; they are called Arabians from the place where it was fostered; and because the Heresiarch was not known, Euseb. St. Aug. and Nicephorus do all write of it: the reason of this Heresie was so specious, that it drew Pope John 22. to be of the same perswasion. Where then was his infallibility?30 Why, Bellarmine tells you he was nevertheless infallible for that: for, saith he, he maintained this opinion when he might do it without peril of Heresie, for that no definition of the Church whereby 'twas made Heresie, had preceded when he held that opinion. Bellar. l. 4, de Pontif. roman. cap. 4. Now this definition was first made ('tis true) by Pope Benedict in the 14 Age: but then I would ask another question, that is, If 'till that time there were nothing defined in the Church touching the beatitude of Saints, what certainty was there touching the sanctity of any man? and upon what ground were those canonizations of Saints had, that were before the 14 Age?31
The second was that of Origen.] Besides St. Augustine, Epiphantes, and also S. Hierom, doth relate that Origen held, that not only the Souls of men, but the Devils themselves should be discharged from torture after a certain time: but Genebrand endeavours to clear him of this. Vid. Coquæum, in 21 lib. Aug. de Civ. Dei. c. 17.32
These opinions though condemned by lawful Councils, were not Heresie in me, &c. ] For to make an Heretique there must be not only Error in intellectu, but pertinacia in voluntate. So St. Aug. Qui sententiam suam quamvis falsam atque perversam nulla pertinaci animositate defendunt, quærunt autem cauta colicitudine veritatem, corrigi parati cum invenerint, nequaquam sunt inter Hæreticos deputandi. Aug. cont. Manich. 24, qu. 3.
The deepest mysteries our contains have not only been illustrated, but maintained by Syllogism, and the Rule of Reason. ] and since this Book was written, by Mr. White in his Institutiones Sacræ.
And when they have seen the red Sea, doubt not of the miracle.] Those that have seen it, have been better informed then Sir Henry Blount was, for he tells us that he desired to view the passage of Moses into the Red Sea (not being above three days journey off) but the Jews told him the precise place was not known within less than the space of a days journey along the shore; wherefore (saith he) I left that as too uncertain for any Observation. In his Voyage into the Levant.
I had as lieve you tell me that anima est angelus hominus, est corpus Dei, as Entelechia; Lux est umbra Dei, as actus perspicui.] Great variety of opinion there hath been amongst the Ancient Philosophers touching the definition of the Soul. Thales, his was, that it is a Nature without Repose. Asclepiades, that it is an Exercitation of sence: Hesiod, that it is a thing composed of Earth and Water; Parmenides holds, of Earth and Fire; Galen that it is Heat; Hippocrates, that it is a spirit diffused through the body: some others have held it to be Light; Plato saith, 'tis a Substance moving it self; after cometh Aristotle (whom the Author here reproveth) and goeth a degree farther, and saith it is Entelechia, that is, that which naturally makes the body to move. But, this definition is as rigid as any other; for this tells us not what the essence, origine or nature of the Soul is, but only marks an effect of it, and therefore signifieth no more than if he had said (as the Author's Phrase is) that it is Angelus hominis, or an Intelligence that moveth man, as he supposed those other to do the Heavens.
Now to come to the definition of Light, in which the Author is also unsatisfied with the School of Aristotle, he saith, it satisfieth him no more to tell him that Lux est actus perspicui, than if you should tell him that it is umbra Dei. The ground of this definition given by the Peripateticks, is taken from a passage in Aristot. de anima l. 2 cap. 7, where Aristotle saith, that the colour of the thing seen, doth move that which is perspicuum actu (i.e. illustratam naturam quæ sit in aere aliove corpore transparente) and that that, in regard of its continuation to the Eye, moveth the Eye, and by its help the internal sensorium; and that so vision is perform'd. Now as it is true that the Sectators of Aristotle are too blame, by fastening upon him by occasion of this passage, that he meant that those things that made this impression upon the Organs are meer accidents, and have nothing of substance; which is more than ever he meant, and cannot be maintained without violence to Reason, and his own Principles; so for Aristotle himself, no man is beholding to him for any Science acquired by this definition: for what is any man the near for his telling him that Colour (admitting it to be a body, as indeed it is, and in that place he doth not deny) doth move actu perspicuum, when as the perspicuity is in relation to the Eye; and he doth not say how it comes to be perspicuous, which is the thing enquired after, but gives it that donation before the Eye hath perform'd its office; so that if he had said it had been umbra Dei, it would have been as intelligible, as what he hath said. He that would be satified how Vision is perform'd, let him see Mr. Hobbs in Tract. de nat. human., cap. 2.
For God hath not caused it to rain upon the Earth.] St. Aug. de Genes. ad literam, cap. 5, 6, salves that expression from any inconvenience; but the Author in Pseudodox. Epidemic. l. 7, cap. 1, shews that we have no reason to be confident that this Fruit was an Apple.
I believe that the Serpent (if we shall literally understand it) from his proper form and figure made his motion on his Belly before the Curse.] Yet the Author himself sheweth in Pseudodox. Epidemic. l. 7, cap. 1, that the form or kind of the Serpent is not agreed on: yet Comestor affirm'd it was a Dragon, Eugubinus a Basilisk, Delrio a Viper, and others a common Snake: but of what kind soever it was, he sheweth in the same Volume, lib. 5, c. 4, that there was no inconvenience, that the temptation should be perform'd in this proper shape.
I find the tryal of Pucelage and the Virginity of Women which God ordained the Jews, is very fallible. ] Locus extat, Deut. c. 22. the same is affirm'd by Laurentius in his Anatom.33
Whole Nations have escaped the curse of Child-birth, which God seems to pronounce upon the whole sex.] This is attested by M. Mountaigne. Les doleurs de l'enfantiment par les medecins, et pardieu mesme estimes grandes, & que nous passons avec tant de Ceremonies, il y a des nations entieres qui n'en fuit nul conte. l. 1. des Ess. c. 14. 34
Who can speak of Eternity without a Solœcism, or think thereof without an Exstasie?Time we may comprehend, &c. ] Touching the difference betwixt Eternity and Time, there have been great disputes amongst Philosophers; some affirming it to be no more than duration perpetual consisting of parts; and others (to which opinion, it appears by what follows in this Section, the Author adheres) affirmed (to use the Authors Phrase) that it hath no distinction of Tenses, but is according to Boetius (lib. 5, consol. pros. 6), his definition, interminabilis vitæ tota simul & perfecta possessio.35 For me, non nostrum est tantas componere lites.36 I shall only observe what each of them hath to say against the other. Say those of the first opinion against those that follow Boetius his definition, That definition was taken by Boetius out of Plato's Timeus, and is otherwise applyed, though not by Boetius, yet by those that follow him, than ever Plato intended it; for he did not take it in the Abstract, but in the Concrete, for an eternal thing, a Divine substance, by which he meant God, or his Anima mundi: and this he did, to the intent to establish this truth, That no mutation can befal the Divine Majesty, as it doth to things subject to generation and corruption; and that Plato there intended not to define or describe any species of duration: and they say that it is impossible to understand any such species of duration that is (according to the Authors expression) but one permanent point.
Now that which those that follow Boetius urge against the other definition is, they say, it doth not at all difference Eternity from the nature of Time; for they say if it be composed of many Nunc's, or many instants, by the addition of one more it is still encreased; and by that means Infinity or Eternity is not included, nor ought more than Time. For this, see Mr. White, de dial. mundo, Dial. 3. Nod. 4.
Indeed he only is, &c. ] This the Author infers from the words of God to Moses, I am that I am; and this to distinguish him from all others, who (he saith) have [been] and shall be: but those that are learned in the Hebrew, do affirm that the words in that place (Exod. 3) do not signifie, Ego sum qui sum, & qui est, &c. but Ero qui ero, & qui erit, &c. vid. Gassend. in animad. Epicur. Physiolog.
I wonder how Aristotle could conceive the World Eternal, or how he could make two Eternities:] (that is, that God; and the World both were eternal.) I wonder more at either the ignorance or incogitancy of the Conimbricences,37 who in their Comment upon the eighth book of Aristotles Physicks, treating of the matter of Creation, when they had first said that it was possible to know it, and that actually it was known (for Aristotle knew it) yet for all this they afterwards affirm, that considering only the light of Nature, there is nothing can be brought to demonstrate Creation; and yet farther, when they had defined Creation to be the production of a thing ex nihilo and had proved that the World was so created in time, and refused the Arguments of the Philosophers to the contrary; they added this, that the World might be created ab æterno: for having propos'd this question [Num aliquid a Deo ex Æternitate procreari potuit?] they defend the affirmative, and assert that not only incorporeal substances, as Angels; or permanent, as the celestial Bodies; or corruptible as Men, &c. might be reduced and made ab æterno, and be conserved by an infinite time, ex utraq; parte; and that this is neither repugnant to God the Creator, the things created, nor to the nature of Creation: for proof whereof, they bring instances of the Sun which if it had been eternal, had illuminated eternally, (& the vertue of God is not less than the vertue of the Sun.) Another instance they bring of the divine Word, which was produc'd ab æterno: in which discourse, and in the instances brought to maintain it, it is hard to say whether the madness or impiety be greater; and certainly if Christians thus argue, we have the more reason to pardon the poor heathen Aristotle.
There is in us not three, but a Trinity of Souls.] The Peripatetiques held that men had three distinct Souls; whom the Heretiques, the Anomæi, and the Jacobites, followed. There arose a great dispute about this matter in Oxford, in the year 1276. and it was then determined against Aristotle. Daneus Christ. Eth. l. 1. c. 4., and Suarez in his Treatise de causa formali, Quest. An denter plures formæ in uno composito, affirmeth there was a Synod that did anathematize all that held with Aristotle on this point.
There is but one first, and four second causes in all things.] In that he saith there is but one first cause, he speaketh in opposition to the Manichees, who held there were Duo principia; one from whom came all good, and the other from whom came all evil: the reason of Protagoras did it seems impose upon their understandings; he was wont to say, Si Deus non est, unde igitur bona? Si autem est, unde malia? In that he saith there are but four second Causes, he opposeth Plato, who to the four causes, material, efficient, formal, and final, adds for a fifth exemplar or ideaa, sc. Id ad quod respiciens artifex, id quod destinabat, efficit;38 according to whose mind Boetius speaks, lib. 3. met. 9 de cons. Philosoph.39
O qui perpetua mundum ratione gubernas,
Terrarum Cœliq; sator, qui tempus ab ævo
Ire jubes, stabilisq; manens das cuncta moveri:
Quem non externæ pepulerunt fingere causæ
Materiæ fluitantis opus, verum insita summi
Forma boni livore carens: tu cuncta superno
Ductis ab exemplo, pulchrum pulcherrimus ipse
Mundum mente gerens, similique in imagine formans,
Perfectasq; jubens perfectum absolvere partes.
And St. Augustine l. 83, quest. 46, where (amongst other) he hath these words, Restat ergo ut omnia Ratione sint condita, nec eadem ratione homo qua equus; hoc enim absurdum est existimare: singula autem propriis sunt creata rationibus. But these ideæ Plato's Scholar Aristotle would not allow to make or constitute a different sort of cause from the formal or efficient; to which purpose he disputes, l. 7. Metaphysic. but he and his Sectators, and the Ramists also, agree (as the Author) that there are but the four remembred Causes: so that the Author, in affirming there are but four, hath no Adversary but the Platonists; but yet in asserting there are four (as his words imply) there are that oppose him, and the Schools of Aristot. and Ramus. I shall bring for instance Mr. Nat. Carpenter, who in his Philosophia Libera affirmeth, there is no such cause as that which they call the Final cause: he argueth thus; Every cause hath an influence upon its effect: but so has not the End, therefore it is not a Cause. The major proposition (he saith) is evident, because the influence of a cause upon its effect, is either the causality it self, or something that is necessarily conjoyned to it: and the minor as plain, for either the End hath an influence upon the effect immediately, or mediately, by stirring up the Efficient to operate; not immediately, because so it should enter either the constitution or production, or conservation of the things; but the constitution it cannot enter, because the constitution is only of matter and form; nor the Production, for so it should concur to the production, either as it is simply the end, or as an exciter of the Efficient; but not simply as the end, because the end as end doth not go before, but followeth the thing produced, and therefore doth not concur to its production: if they say it doth so far concur, as it is desired of the agent or efficient cause, it should not so have an immediate influence upon the effect, but should onely first move the efficient. Lastly, saith he, it doth not enter the conservation of a thing, because a thing is often conserved, when it is frustrate of its due end, as when it's converted to a new use and end. Divers other Arguments he hath to prove there is no such cause as the final cause. Nat. Carpenter Philosoph. liber Decad. 3 Exercitat. 5. But for all this, the Author and he differ not in substance: for 'tis not the Author's intention to assert that the end is in nature præexistent to the effect, but only that whatsoever God has made, he hath made to some end or other; which he doth to oppose the Sectators of Epicurus, who maintain the contrary, as is to be seen by this of Lucretius which follows.
Illud in his rebus vitium vehementer & istum,
Effugere errorem, vitareque præmeditator
Lumina ne facias oculorum clara creata
Prospicere ut possimus; & ut proferre viri
Proceros passus, ideo fastigia posse
Surarum ac feminum pedibus fundata plicari:
Brachia tum porro validis ex apta lacertis
Esse, manusq; dataas utraq; ex parte ministras,
Ut facere ad vitam possimus, quæ foret usus:
Cætera de genere hoc, inter quæcunq; precantur
Omnia perversa præpostera sunt ratione:
Nil ideo quoniam natum 'st, in corpore ut uti
Possemus ; sed quod natum 'st, id procreat usum,
Nec fuit ante videre oculorum lumina nata,
Nec dictis orare prius, quam lingua creata 'st,
Sed potius longe linguæ præcessit origo
Sermonem ; multoq; creatæ sunt prius aures
Quam sonus est auditus, & omnia deniq; membra
Ante fuere, ut opinor, eorum, quam foret usus:
Haud igitur potuere utendi crescere causa.
Lucret. lib. 4. [822-841.]40
There are no Grotesques in nature, &c. ] So Monsr. Montaign. Il n'y a rien d'inutil en nature, non pas l'inutilite mesmes, Rien ne s'est jugere en cet Univers qu[i] n'y tienne place opportun. Ess. l. 3. c. 1.41
Who admires not Regio-montanus his Fly beyond his Eagle?] Of these Du Bartas.42
Que diray je de l'aigle.
D'ont un doct Aleman honore nostre siecle
Aigle qui deslogeant de la maistresse main,
Aila loin au devant d'un Empereur Germain;
Et l'ayant recontre, suddain d'une aisle accorte,
Se tournant le suit au seuil de la porte
Du fort Norembergois, que lis piliers dorez,
Les tapissez chemins, les arcs elabourez,
Les fourdroyans Canons, in la jeusnesse isnelle,
In le chena Senat, n'honnoroit tant comme elle.
Un jour, que cetominer plus des esbats, que de mets,
En prive fasteyoit ses seignieurs plus amees,
Une mousche de fer, dans sa main recelee,
Prit sans ayde d'autroy, sa gallard evolee:
Fit une entiere Ronde, & puis d'un cerveau las
Come ayant jugement, se purcha sur son bras.
Thus Englished by Silvester.
Why should not I that wooden Eagle mention?
(A learned German's late admir'd invention)
Which mounting from his Fist that framed her,
Flew far to meet an Almain Emperour;
And having met him, with her nimble train,
And weary Wings turning about again,
Followed him close unto the Castle Gate
Of Noremberg; whom all the showes of state,
Streets hang'd with Arras, Arches curious built,
Loud thundring Canons, Colums richly guilt,
Gray-headed Senat, and youth's gallantise,
Grac'd not so much as onely this device.
Once as this Artist more with mirth than meat,
Feasted some friends that he esteemed great;
From under 's hand an Iron Fly flew out,
Which having flown a perfect round about,
With weary wings, return'd unto her Master,
And (as judicious) on his arm she plac'd her.
Or wonder not more at the operation of two souls in those little bodies, than but one in the Trunk of a Cedar?] That is, the vegetative, which according to the common opinion, is supposed to be in Trees, though the Epicures and Stoicks would not allow any Soul in Plants; but Empedocles and Plato allowed them not only a vegetative Soul, butt affirm'd them to be Animals. The Manichees went farther, and attributed so much of the rational Soul to them, that they accounted it Homicide to gather either the Flowers or Fruit, as St. Aug. reports.43
We carry with us the wonders we seek without us.] So St. Aug. l. 10. de civ. c. 3. Omni miraculo quod fit per hominem majus miraculum est homo.44
Another of his servant Nature, that publick and universal Manuscript that lies expansed, &c. ] So is the description of Du Bartas 7. jour de la sepm.45
Oyes ce Docteur muet estudiee en ce livre
Qui nuict & jour ouvert t'apprendra de bien vivre.
All things are artificial, for Nature is the Art of God.] So Mr Hobbes in his Leviathan (in initio) Nature is the Art whereby God governs the world.46
Directing the operations of single and individual Essences, &c. ] Things singular or individuals, are in the opinion of Philosophers not to be known, but by the way of sense, or by that which knows by its Essence, and that is only God. The Devils have no such knowledge, because whatsoever knows so, is either the cause or effect of the thing known; whereupon Averroes concluded that God was the cause of all things, because he understands all things by his essence; and Albertus Magnus concluded that the inferiour intelligence understands the superiour, because it is an effect of the superiour:47 but neither of these can be said of the Devil; for it appears he is not the effect of any of these inferiour things, much less is he the cause, for the power of creation only belongs to God.
All cannot be happy at once, because the Glory of one State depends upon the ruine of another.] This Theme is ingeniously handled by Mr. Montaigne livre. 1. des Ess. cap. 22.48 The title whereof is, Le profit de l'un est dommage de l'autre.
'Tis the common fate of men of singular gifts of mind, to be destitute of those of Fortune.] So Petron. Arbiter. Amor ingenii neminem unquam divitem fecit, in Satyric. And Apuleius in Apo[lo]g. Idem mihi etiam (saith he) paupertatem opprobravit acceptum Philosopho crimen & ultro profitendum; and then a little afterwards, he sheweth that it was the common fate of those that had singular gifts of mind: Eadem enim est paupertas apud Græcos in Aristide justa, in Phocione benigna, in Epaminonde strenua, in Socrate sapiens, in Homero diserta.49
We need not labour with so many arguments to confute judicial Astrology. ] There is nothing in judicial Astrology that may render it impious; but the exception against it is, that it is vain and fallible; of which any man will be convinced, that has read Tully de Divinat. and St. Aug. book 5. de Civ. dei.50
There is in our soul a kind of Triumvirate — that distracts the peace of our Commonwealth, not less than did that other the State of Rome. ] There were two Triumvirates, by which the peace of Rome was distracted; that of Crassus, Cæsar and Pompey, of which Lucan, l. 1.
———Tu causam aliorum ———
Facta tribus Dominis communis Roma, nec unquam
In turbam missi feralia fœdera Regni.
And that other of Augustus, Antonius and Lepidus, by whom, saith Florus, Respub. convulsa est lacerataq; which comes somewhat near the Author's words, and therefore I take it that he means this last Triumvirate.51
Would disswade my belief from the miracle of the brazen Serpent.] Vid. Coqueum in l. 10 Aug. de Civ. Dei, c. 8.
And bid me mistrust a miracle in Elias, &c. ] The History is 18. 1 Reg. It should be Elijah. The Author in 15. cap. lib. 7. Pseudodox. sheweth it was not perform'd naturally; he was (as he saith) a perfect miracle.52
To think the combustion of Sodom might be natural.] Of that opinion was Strabo, whereupon he is reprehended by Genebrard in these words: Strabo falsus est — dum eversionem addicit sulphuri & bitumini e terra erumpentibus, quæ erat assignanda Cœlo, i.e. Deo irato. Tacitus reports it according to the Bible, fulminis ictu arsisse.53
Those that held Religion was the difference of man from Beasts, &c. ]Lactantius was one of those: Religioni ergo serviendum est, quam qui non suspicit, ipse se proternit in terram, et vitam pecudum secutus humanitate se abdicat. Lactant. de fals. Sapienta, cap. 10.
The Doctrine of Epicurus that denied the providence of God, was no Atheism, but &c. ] I doubt not but he means that delivered in his Epistle to Menæceus, and recorded by Diogenes Laertius, lib. 10. Quod beatum æternumque est, id nec habet ipsum negotii quicquam, nec exhibet alteri, itaque neque ira, neque gratia tenetur, quod quæ talia sunt imbecillia sunt omnia; which the Epicurean Poet hath delivered in almost the same words.
Omnis enim per se divum natura necesse'st
Immortali ævo summa cum pace fruatur,
Semota à nostris rebus sejunctaq; longè :
nam privata dolore omni, privata periclis
Ipsa suis pollens opibus nihil indiga nostri
Nec bene pro meritis capitur, nec tangitur ira.
Lucret. lib. 254
That villaine and secretary of Hell, that composed that miscreant piece of the three Impostors.] It was Ochinus that composed this piece;55 but there was no less a man than the Emperour Frederick the Second, that was as lavish of his tongue as the other of his pen; Cui sæpe in ore, Tres fuisse insignes Impostores, qui genus humanum seduxerunt: Moysem, Christum, Mahumetem. Lips. monit. et exempl. Politic. cap. 4. And a greater than he, Pope Leo the Tenth, was as little favourable to our Saviour, when he us'd that speech which is reported of him, Quantas nobis divitias comparavit ista de Christo fabula.56
There are in Scripture stories that do exceed the fables of Poets.] So the Author of Relig. Laici. Certè mira admodum in S.S. plus quam in reliquis omnibus Historiis traduntur; (and then he concludes with the Author) Sed quæ non retundunt intellectum, sed exercent.
Yet raise no question who shall rise with that Rib at the Resurrection.] The Author cap. 2 l. 7 Pseudodox. sheweth that it appears in Anatomy, that the Ribs of Man and Woman are equal.57
Whether the world were created in Autumn, summer, or the Spring, &c. ] In this matter there is a consent between two learned Poets, Lucretius and Virgil, that it begins in Spring.
At novitas mundi nec frigora dura ciebat,
Nec nimios æstus, nec magnis viribus auras. Lucret.
Which he would have to be understood of Autumn, because that resembles old age rather than infancy. He speaks expresly of the fowles.
Principio genus alituum viræq; volucres
Ova relinquebant exclusæ tempore verno. Lucret.58
Then for Virgil.
Non alios prima nascenttis origine mundi
Illuxisse dies aliumve habuisse tenorem
Crediderim, ver illud erat, ver magnus agebat
Orbis, & hibernis parcebant flatibus Euri.
Virgil 2. Georgic59
But there is a great difference about it betwixt Church-Doctors; some agreeing with these Poets, and others affirming the time to be in Autumn; but truly, in strict speaking, it was not created in any one, but all of the seasons, as the Author saith here, and hath shewed at large, Pseudodox. Epidemic. lib. 6 cap. 2..
'Tis ridiculous to put off or drown the general Flood of Noah in that particular inundation of Deucalion ] as the Heathens some of them sometimes did: Confuderunt igitur sæpe Ethnici particularia illa diluvia, quæ longe post secuta sunt, cum illo universali quod præcessit, ut ex fabulis in Diluvio Deucalionæo sparsis colligere licet; non tamen semper nec ubique. Author. Observat. in Mytholog. Nat. Com. Then amongst those that confound them, he reckons Ovid and Plutarch.
How all the kinds of Creatures, not onely in their own bulks, but with a competency of food and sustenance, might be preserved in one Ark, and within the extent of 300 Cubits, to a reason that rightly examines it will appear very feasible. ] Yet Apelles the Disciple of Mercion, took upon him to deride the History of Moses in this particular, alledging that it must needs be a fable, for that it was impossible so many creatures could be contain'd in so small a space. Origen and St. Aug. to answer this pretended difficulty, alledg that Moses in this place speakes of Geometrical (and not vulgar) cubits, of which every one was as much as six vulgar ones; and so no difficulty. But Perer. l. 10. com. in Genes. quest. 5 de area, rejects this opinion of Origen, as being both against Reason and Scripture.
1. Because that sort of Cubit was never in use amongst any people, and therefore absurd to think Moses should intend it in this place.
2. If Moses should not speak of the same Cubits here, that he mentions in other places, there would be great equivocation in Scripture: now in another place, i.e. Exod. 27. he saith, God commanded him to make an Altar three Cubits high; which if it shall be meant of Geometrical Cubits it will contain 18 vulgar Cubits; which would not only render it useless, but would be contrary to the command which he saith God gave him, Exod. 20. Thou shalt not go up by steps to my Altar. For without steps what man could reach it? It must therefore be meant of ordinary Cubits; but that being so, it was very feasible. I can more easily believe than understand it.
And 1500 years to people the World, as full a time, &c. ]
That Methusalem was the longest liv'd of all the children of Adam, &c. ] See both these points cleared by the Author, in Pseudodox. Epidemic. the first lib. 6. cap. 6. the other lib. 7. cap. 3.
That Judas perished by hanging himself, there is no certainty in Scripture, though in one place it seems to affirm it, and by a doubtful word hath given ocasion to translate it; yet in another place, in a more punctual Description it makes it improbable, and seems to overthrow it.] These two places that seem to contradict one another are Math. 27. 5. and Acts 1. 8. The doubtful word he speaks of is in the place of Matthew; it is ἀπήξατο, which signifieth suffocation as well as hanging, (ἀπελϑὼν ἀπὴξατο, which may signifie literally, after he went out he was choak'd) but Erasmus translates it, abiens laqueo se suspendit:64 The words in the Acts are, When he had thrown down himself headlong, he burst in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out; which seems to differ much from the expression of Matthew; yet the Ancient Writers and Fathers of the Church do unanimously agree that he was hanged. Some I shall cite. Anastas. Sinaita, l. 7. Anagog. Contempl. Unus latro ingratus cum esset typus Diaboli, & Serpentis, & Judæ, qui se in ligno suffocavit. Gaudentius Brixiens. tract. 13 de natal. Dom. Mortem debitam laqueo sibimet intulit præparato, &c. Droggotoshen. de sacram. dominic. pass. Jamdiu erat quidem quod Christo recesserat, & avaritiæ lacqueo se suspenderat, sed quod fecerat in occulto, palam omnibus innotuit. S. Martialis in Ep. ad Tholosanos. Non sustinuit poenitentiam, donec laqueo mortis seipsum consumpsit. Ignat. ad Phillipens. Diabolus laqueum ei ostendit, & suspendium docuit. Leo Serm. 3. de passion.——— Ut quia facinus omnem mensuram ultionis excesserat, te haberet impietas tua judicem, te pateretur sua poena Carnificem. Theodoret. lib. 1. hæretic. fabul. Ille protinus strangulatus est, quæ fuit merces ejus proditionis. Chrysostom. Hom. 3. de proditore. Pependit coelum terramq; inter medius vago funere suffocatus, & cum flagitio suo tumefacta, viscera crepuerunt, &c. Bernard. Serm. 8. in Psal. 9. Judas in Aere crepuit medius.
There are those that are so particular, that they acquaint us with the manner, as that it was done with a Cord. Antiochus Laurensis, Spem omnem a se cum abjecisset, insiliente in eum inimico (sc. Diabolo) funiculo sibi præfocavit gulam. Oecumen. in Act. fracto funicolo quo erat suffocatus decidit in terram præcipitio. 2. That it was done on a Fig-Tree, Beda. Portam David egredientibus fons occurrit in Austrum per vallem directus, ad cujus medietatem ab occasu Judas se suspendisse narratur: Nam & ficus magna ibi & vetustissima stat.
Juven. lib. 4. Hist. Evangelic.
Exorsusq; suas laqueo sibi sumere poenas,
Informem rapuit ficus de vertice mortem.
3. Some acquaint us with the time when it was done, viz. the next day after he had given the kiss. So Chrysostom. Homil. 1 de proditor. et Mysterio Coen. Dominic. Guttur prophanum quod hodie christo extendis ad osculum, crastino ex illud extensurus ad laqueum. But there were two, that is, Euthymius and Oecumenius, that tell us, that the hanging did not kill him, but that either the Rope broke, or that he was cut down, and afterwards cast himself down headlong, as it is related in the before mentioned placed of the Acts: Agnitus à quibusdam depositus est ne præfocaretur, deniq; postquam in secreto quodam loco modico vixisset tempore præceps factus sive præcipitatus, inflatus diruptus, ac diffisus est medius, et effusa sunt omnia viscera ejus; ut in Actis. Euthym. cap. 67. in Math. Judas suspendio è vita non decessit, sed supervixit, dejectus est enim prius quam præfocaretur, idq; Apostolorum Acta indicant, quod pronus crepuit medius. Oecumen. in Act. And this may serve to reconcile these two seemingly disagreeing Scriptures.
That our Fathers after the Flood erected the Tower of Babel. ] For this see what the Author saith in his Pseudodox. Epidemic. l. 7. cap. 6.
And cannot but commend the judgment of Ptolomy. ] He means of Ptolemæus Philadelphus, who founded the Library of Alexandria, which he speaks of in the next Section, he was King of Egypt; and having built and furnish'd that Library with all the choycest Books he could get from any part of the world, and having good correspondence with Eleazer the high Priest of the Jews, by reason that he had released the Jewes from Captivity, who were taken by his Predecessor Ptolemæus Lagi; he did by the advice of Demetrius Phalereus the Athenian, whom he had made his Library-Keeper, write to Elea[z]er, desiring him that he would cause the Books of the Jewes which contained their Laws, to be translated for him into Greek, that he might have them to put into his Library: To which the Priest consents; and for the Kings better satisfaction, sends to him Copies of the Books, and with the same, 72 Interpreters skilled both in the Greek and Hebrew Language, to translate them for him into Greek; which afterwards they performed. This is for certain; but whether they translated only the Pentateuch, as St. Jerome would have it, or together with the Books of the Prophets also, as Leo de Castro and Baronius contend, I undertake not to determine: but as to that part of the story, that these Interpreters were put into so many several Cells, whilst they were about the work of translation; and notwithstanding they were thus severed, that they all translated it totidem verbis; it is but reason to think with St. Jerome (notwithstanding the great current of Authority against him) that it is no better than a fable.60
The Alchoran of the Turks (I speak without prejudice) is an ill composed piece, containing in it vain and ridiculous errors in Philosophy, &c. ] It is now in every mans hand, having been lately translated into English;61 I shall therefore observe but these few particulars in it, in regard the book it self is so common; and indeed they are not mine own, but Lipsius his observations. He begins, O nugas, O deliria! primum (saith he) commentus est, Deum unum solidumq; (ὀλόσφυρον Græci exprimunt) eundemq; incorporeum esse. Christum non Deum, sed magnum vatem & prophetam; se tamen majorem, & proxime a Deo missum, præmia qui ipsum audient Paradisum, qui post aliquot annorum milia reserabitur, ibi quatuor flumina lacte, vino, melle, aqua fluere, ibi palatia & ædificia gemmata atq; aurata esse, carnes avium suavissimarum, fructus omne genus quos sparsi jacentesq; sub umbra arborum edent: sed caput fælicitatis, viros fœminasq; majores solito magnis Genitalibus assidua libidine, & ejus usu sine tædio aut fatigatione. These and some others that are in the Alcoran he reckons up. Sed & Physica quoq; miranda (saith he) nam facit Solem & Lunam in equis vehi, illum autem in aquam calidam vespere mergi, & bene lotum ascendere atq; oriri, Stellas in aere è catenis aureis pondere, terram in bovini cornu cuspide stabilitum, & agitente se bove ac succutiente fieri terræ motum, hominem autem ex hirundine aut sanguisuga nasci, &c. Just. Lips. Monit. et exempl. Politic. cap. 3.
I believe besides Zoroaster there were divers others that wrote before Moses. ] Zoroaster was long before Moses, and of great name; he was the father of Ninus, Justin. lib. 1. Si quamlibet modicum emolumentum probaveritis, ego ille sim Carinondas vel Damigeron, vel is Moses, vel Joannes, vel Apollonius, vel ipse Dardanus, vel quincunq; alius post Zoroastrem et Hostanem, inter Magos celebratus est. Apuleius in Apol.62
Others with as many groans deplore the combustion of the Library at Alexandria. ] This was that Library before spoken of, set up by Ptolemæus Philadelphus; in which 'tis reported by Ammianus Marcellinus, there were 700,000 volumes; it was burnt by Jul. Cæsars means, whose Navy being enthroned before Alexandria, he had no means to keep off the Enemy, but by flinging of fire, which at length caught the Library and consumed it, as Plutarch hath it in Vita Cæsaris: but notwithstanding we have no reason to believe it was quite consumed, because Sueton. in Claudius. tells us, that the Emperour added another to it; and there must be somwhat before, if it were an addition; but true it is, too many of the Books perished; to repair which loss, care was taken by Domitian the Emperour, as the same Sueton. and Aurel. Victor. do relate.63
I would not omit a Copy of Enochs Pillars, had they many nearer Authors than Josephus, &c. ] For this the Story is, that Enoch, or his Father Seth, having been inform'd by Adam, that the world was to perish once by water, and a second time by fire, did cause two Pillars to be erected, the one of Stone against the water, and another of Brick against the fire; and that upon those Pillars was engraven all such Learning as had been delivered to, or invented by Mankind; and that thence it came that all knowledge and learning was not lost by means of the Flood, by reason that one of the Pillars (though the other perished) did remain after the Flood, and Josephus witnesseth, till his time, lib. 1. Antiq. Judaic. cap. 3.
Of those three great Inventions of Germany, there are two which are not without their Incommodities.] Those two he means are Printing and Gunpowder, which are commonly taken to be German Inventions; but Artillery was in China above 1500. years since, and Printing long before it was in Germany, if we may believe Juan Concales Mendosa in his Hist. of China, lib. 3. cap. 15, 16. The incommodities of these two Inventions, are well described by Sam. Daniel, lib. 6 of the Civil Wars.
Fierce Nemesis, mother of Fate and Change,
Sword-bearer of th' Eternal Providence,
Turns her stern look at last into the West,
As griev'd to see on earth such happy rest ;
And for Pandora calleth presently,
Pandora Joves fair gift, that first deceived
Poor Epimetheus in his imbecility.
That though[t] he had a wondrous boon received,
By means whereof curious mortality
Was of all former quiet quite bereaved.
To whom being come deckt with all qualities,
The wrathful goddess breaks out in this wise:
Dost thou not see in what secure estate,
Those flourishing fair Western Parts remain?
As if they had made Covenant with Fate,
To be exempted, free from others pain,
At one with their desires, friends with debate,
In peace with pride, content with their own gain.
Their bounds contain their minds, their minds applyed
To have their bonds with plenty beautified.
Devotion (Mother of Obedience)
Bears such a hand on their credulity,
That it abates the spirit of eminence,
And busies them with humble piety:
For see what works, what infinite expence,
What Monuments of zeal they edifie,
As if they would, so that no stop were found,
Fill all with Temples, make all holy ground.
But we must cool this all-believing zeal,
That hath enjoy'd so fair a turn so long, &c.
Dislike of this first by degrees shall steal,
As upon souls of men perswaded wrong;
And that the sacred power which this hath wrought,
Shall give her self the Sword to cut her throat.
Go therefore thou with all thy stirring Train
Of swelling Sciences (the gifts of grief)
Go loose the links of that soul binding Chain,
Enlarge this uninquisitive belief:
Call up mens spirits, that simpleness retain,
Enter their hearts, and knowledg make the Thief
To open all the Doors to let in Light,
That all may all things see but what is right.
Opinion arm against opinion (grown)
Make new-born contradictions still arise,
As if Thebes founder (Cadmus) tongues had sown
Instead of teeth, for greater mutinies:
Bring new defended faith against faith known,
Weary the soul with contrarieties,
Till all Religion become Retrograde,
And that fair tye the mask of sin be made:
And better to effect a speedy end,
Let there be found two fatal Instruments,
The one to publish, the other to defend
Impious contention, and proud discontents:
Make that instamped Characters may send
Abroad to thousands, thousand mens intents;
And in a moment may dispatch much more,
Than could a world of pens perform before;
Whereby all quarrels, Titles, secresies,
May unto all be presently made known,
Factions prepar'd, Parties allur'd to rise,
Seditions under fair pretences sown;
Whereby the vulgar may become so wise
That with a self presumption overgrown,
They may of deepest Mysteries debate,
Controul their betters, censure acts of State.
And then when this dispersed mischief shall
Have brought confusion in each mystery,
Call'd up contempts of State in general,
And ripen'd the humour of impiety,
Then take the other Engine wherewithall
They may torment their self-wrought misery;
And scourge each other in so strange a wise,
As time or tyrants never could devise, &c.
See Bellermontan. in his Dissertat. Politic. dissert. 29. and 30.
For the other Invention, the Latine Annotator doubts whether the Author means Church-Organs, or Clocks? I suppose he means Clocks, because I find that Invention reckon'd by a German, with the other two, as a remarkable one. It is by Busbequius, speaking of the Turks, who hath these words: Testes majores minoresq; bombardæ, multaq; alia quæ ex nostris excogitata ipsi ad se avertunt; ut libros tamen typis excuderent, horologia in publicco haberent, nondum adduci potuerunt. Epist. Legat. Turcic. I suppose if he had known any Invention which next to the other two had been greater than this, he would not have named this, and this being the next considerable, we have no cause to doubt but the Author meant it.
To maintain the Trade and Mystery of Typographers. ] Of this Cunæus in his Satyre Sardi vœnales. Qui bis in anno nomen suum ad Germanorum nundinas non tansmissit, eruditionem suam in ordinem eo actam credit, itaq; nunquam tot fungi una pluvia nescuntur, quot nunc libri uno die.
The Turk in the bulk that he now stands, is beyond all hope of conversion.] That is, in respect of his great strength, against which it is not probable the Christians will prevail, as it is observed by Monsieur de Silhon. La Race des Ottomans (saith he) quæ oste a Dieu la Religion qu'il a revelee, & aux hommes la liberte que le droit des Gens leur laisse a fait tant de progres depuis trois Cens & quelques annees qu'il semble qu'elle n'ait plus rien a craindre de dehors, & que son empire ne puisse perir que par la corruption de dedans, & par la dissolution des parties qui composent un corps si vaste. Mr. de Silhon en son Minist. D'Estat. l. 1 c.65
None can more justly boast of persecutions, and glory in the number and valour of martyrs.] Of the fortitude of the Christians in this particular, Minutius Fælix, in the person of the Ethnick, hath these words, Per mira stultitia & incredibili audacia spernunt tormenta præsentia, dum incerta metuunt & futura; & dum mori potest mortem timent, interim mori non timent. And afterwards, when he speaks in the person of the Christian; he saith, that Christian-women and children have in this surpassed Scævola and Regulus: Viros (saith he) cum Mutio vel cum Atilio Regulo comparo: pueri & mulierculæ nostræ Cruces & Tormenta, feros & omnes suppliciorum terriculas inspirata patientia doloris illudunt. Minut. in Octav. vide Aug. de Civit. Dei, lib. 1 c. 23, 24.66
If we shall strictly examine the circumstances and requisites which Aristotle requires to true and perfect valour, we shall find the name onely in his Master Alexander, (that is, no more than the Name) and as little in that Roman worthy Julius Cæsar. ] Aristot. 3. Ethic. cap. 7 amongst other requisites, requires to valour, that it keep a mediocrity betwixt audacity and fear; that we thrust not our selves into danger when we need not; that we spare not to shew our valour when occasion requires; he requires for its proper object, Death; and to any death, he prefers death in War, because thereby a man profits his Country and Friends; and that he calls mors honesta, an honest or honourable death: and thereupon he defines a valiant man to be, Is qui morte honesta proposita, iisq; omnibus quæ cum sint repentina mortem adfuerunt metu vacat. So that by the Authors saying, there was onely the Name in Alexander, he means only that which is rendred in the two last words, metu vacans, and not the rest that goes to make up the definition of a valiant man, which is very truly affirmed of Alexander, who exposed himself to hazzard many times when there was no cause for it: As you may read in Curtius, he did, in the siege of Tyrus, and many other wayes. Cettuy-cy semble rechercher & courir a force les dangiers comme un impetueux torrent, qui choque & attaque sans discretion, & sans chois tout ce qu'il rencontre, saith Montaign, speaking of Alexander, l. 2. des Ess. cap. 34. And for Cæsar, it cannot be denyed, but in his Wars he was many times (though not so generally as Alexander) more adventrous than reason military could warrant to him; and therefore Lucan gives him no better Character than
Acer et indomitus quo spec quoq; ira vocasset
Ferre manum, &c.
Lucan. lib. 1.67
To instance in some Particulars: With what an inconsiderable strength did he enterprize the conquest of Egypt, and afterwards went to attaque the forces of Scipio and Juba, which were ten times more than his own? after the Battle of Pharsalia, having sent his Army before into Asia, and crossing the Helelspont with one single Vessel, he there meets Lucius Cassius with ten men of War, he makes up to him, summons him to render, and he doth it. In the famous and furious siege of Alexia, where he had 80 000 men to make defence against him, and an Army of one hundred and nine thousand Horse, and two hundred and forty thousand foot, all marching towards him, to raise his siege; yet for all that he would not quit the Siege, but first fought with those without, and obtain'd a great Victory over them, and soon afterwards brought the besieged to his mercy.
The Council of Constance condemns John Husse for an Heretick, the Stories of his own Party style him a Martyr.] John Husse did agree with the Papists against us in the Point of Invocation of Saints, Prayers and Sacrifice for the Dead, free Will, Good Works, confession of Sins, seven Sacraments, &c. Gordon. Hunt. l. contr. 3 de Sacr. Euch. cap. 17. Yet was he condemned for maintaining certain Articles said by that Council to be heretical and seditious, and was burnt for Heresie. Now as I will not say he was an Heretick, so can I not maintain that he was a Martyr, if it be but for this one Article, which in the 15. Sess. of that Council was objected against him, which he did acknowledge, but would not recal, i.e. Nullus est Dominus Civilis, dum est in peccato mortali. If that Doctrine should be believed, we shall have little obediencce to civil Magistrates; and without that, how miserable is humane condition? That which begat compassion towards Husse in those of his own Party was, that he had a safe conduct from the Emperour Sigismund; and therefore it was, say they, a violation of publick faith in the Council and Emperour in putting him to death.
That wise heathen Socrates that suffered on a fundamental point of Religion, the Unity of God. ] That Socrates suffered on this Point, divers Christian Writers do object to the Ethniques, as Justin Martyr, Apol 2. Euseb. l. 5. de præparat. Evangelic. c. 14. Tertul. in Apolog. cap. 14. and Lactant. de justitia, cap. 15. whose words are these: Plato quidem multa de uno deo locutus est, à quo ait constitutum esse mundum, sed nihil de Religione; somniaverat enim Deum, non cognoverat. Quod si justitiæ defensionem vel ipse vel quilibet alius implere voluisset, imprimis Deorum Religiones evertere debuit, qui a contrariæ pietati. Quod quidem Socrates quia facere tentavit in carcerem conjectus est, ut jam tunc appareret quid esset futurum iis hominibus qui justitiam veram defendere Deoque singulari servire coepissent.68
I have often pitied the miserable Bishop that suffered in the cause of Antipodes. ] The suffering was, that he lost his Bishhoprick for denying the Antipodes. Vid. Aventin. in Hist. Boio. Besides him, there were other Church-men of great note, that denyed Antipodes, as Lactantius, Augustin, and Bede.69
I hold that God can do all things: How he should work contradictions, I do not understand, yet dare not therefore deny.] Who would not think the Author had taken this from Mr. Montaign, whose words are, Il m'a tousjours semble qu'a un homme Christien, cette sorte de parler est plein d'indiscretion & d'irreverence [Dieu ne se peuit disdire,] [Dieu ne peuit faire cecy ou cela] je ne trouve pas bon d'enfermer ainsi la puissance divine sous les loix de nostre parole. Et l'apparence qui s'offre à nous en ses propositions, il la faudroit representer plus reverement, & plus Religieusement. Liv. 2 des Ess. c. 12.
I cannot see why the Angel of God should question Esdras to recal the time past, if it were beyond his own power, or that God should pose mortality in that which he was not able to perform himself.] Sir K. Digby in his Notes upon this place70 saith, There is no contradiction in this, because he saith it was but putting all things that had motion into the same state they were in at that moment, unto which time was to be reduced back, and from thence letting it travail on again by the same motions, &c. which God could do. But under favour, the contradiction remains, if this were done that he mentions; for Time depends not at all upon motion, but has a being altogether independent of it, and therefore the same revolution would not bring back the same time, for that was efflux'd before; as in the time of Joshua, when the Sun stood still, we cannot but conceive, though there were no motion of the Sun, but that there was an efflux of Time, otherwise, how could the text have it, That there was not any day, before or after, that was so long as that? for the length of it must be understood in respect of the flux of time. The reasoning of Sir Kenelme is founded upon the opinion of Aristot. who will needs have it, that Time cannot be without mutation; he gives this for a reason, because when we have slept, and cannot perceive any mutation to have been, we do therefore use to connect the time of our sleeping and of our awaking together, and make but one of it: to which it may be answered, although some mutation be necessary, that we may mark the flux of time, it doth not therefore follow that the mutation is necessary to the flux it self.
I excuse not Constantine from a fall off his Horse, or a mischief from his enemies, upon the wearing those nails, &c. ] Hac de re videatur P. Diac. hist. miscell.71
I wonder how the curiosity of wiser heads could pass that great and indisputable miracle, the cessation of Oracles.] There are three opinions touching the manner how the predictions of these Oracles were perform'd: Some say by vapour, some by the intelligences, or influences of the Heavens, and others say by the assistance of the Devils.72 Now the indisputable miracle the Author speaks of, is, that they ceas'd upon the coming of Christ; and it is generally so believed; and the Oracle of Delphos delivered to Augustus, mentioned by the Author in this Section, is brought to prove it, which is this:
Me puer Hebræus divos Deus ipse gubernans
Cedere sede jubet, tristemq; redire sub orcum.
Aris ergo dehinc tacitus discedito nostris.
But yet it is so far from being true that their cessation was miraculous, that the truth is, there never were any predictions given by those Oracles at all.
That their cessation was not upon the coming of Christ, we have luculent testimony out of Tully, in his 2. lib. de Divinat. which he writ many years before Christ was born; who tells us that they were silent (and indeed he never thought they were otherwise) long before that time, insomuch that they were come into contempt: Cur isto modo jam oracula Delphis non eduntur, non modo nostra ætate, sed jamdiu jam ut nihil possit esse contemptius.73 So that for that of Delphos, which was the most famous of them all, we see we havve no reason to impute the cessation of it to Christ; Why therefore should we do so for any of the rest?
2. For their predictions, let us consider the three several ways before mentioned, whereby they are supposed to operate; and from thence see whether it be probable that any such Oracles ever were.
The first Opinion is, that it was by exhalation or vapour drawn up from the earth; and gives this for a reason of their being, that they were for a time nourished by those exhalations; and when those ceased, and were exhausted, the Oracles famish'd and dyed for want of their accustom'd sustenance; this is the far-fetcht reason given by Plutarch for their defect; but 'twas not devised by him, but long before, as appears, in that Tully scoffs at it, lib. de divinat. De vino aut salsamento putes loqui (saith he) quæ evanescunt vetustate.74 This seem'd absurd to others, who do therefore say this was not to be attributed to any power of the Earth, but to the power of the Heavens, or Intelligences Cœlestial; to certain aspects whereof, they say, the Statua's of those Oracles were so adapted, that they might divine and foretel future events. But yet to others, this way seemeth as absurd as the others; for, say they, admitting that there were an efficacy in the Heavens, more than in the Earth; yet how can it be that men should come by the skill to fit the Statua's to the Aspects or influences of the Heavens? or if at any time they had such skill, why should not the same continue the rather, because men are more skilled in the motions of the Heavens, of later than in the former time? Again, they do not see how it should be that the cause should be of less excellency than the effect; for if a man (say they) can by his industry make such Oracles, why can he not produce the same effect in another man? for if you affirm that the Heavens influence is requisite, they will tell you that Influence may happen as well to a man, as to a Statua of wood or stone. Therefore the third sort being unsatisfied, which either of the former ways conclude, that this was perform'd by the Devil; but for that it will appear as contrary to Reason and Philosophy, as either of the former; for Philosophy teacheth that things singular, or individual, are to be known only by the sense, or by such an Intellect, as doth know by its Essence; and Theology teacheth that God only knoweth the heart, and that the Devil doth not know by sense, nor by essence; and since 'tis admitted by all, that most of the answers that were pretended to be given by those Oracles, were de rebus singularibus, or individuis; it is evident that these predictions were not perform'd by Devils. How then? why those predictions which the ignorant Heathens took to come from Heaven, and some Christians (not less ignorant) from the Devil, was nothing but the jugling and impostures of the Priests, who from within the Statua's gave the answers; which Princes connived at, that they might upon occasion serve their turns upon the ignorance of the people; and the learned men, for fear of their Princes, durst not speak against it. Lucian hath noted it, and so a more Authentick Author, Minut. Felix, in Octav. Authoritatem quasi præsentis numinis consequuntur dum inspirantur interim vatibus. But in process of time, the people grew less credulous of their Princes, and so the Oracles beame silent:75 Cum jam (saith he) Apollo versus facere desisset, cujus tunc cautum illud et ambiguum defecit oraculum: Cum et politiores homines et minus creduli esse cœperunt. Sir H. Blount in his Levantin voyage, saith he saw the Statua of Memnon so famous of old; he saith it was hollow at top, and that he was told by the Egyptians and Jews there with him, that they had seen some enter there, and come out at the Pyramid, two Bows-shoot off; then (saith he) I soon believ'd the Oracle, and believe all the rest to have been such; which indeed, is much easier to imagine than that it was perform'd by any of the three wayes before mentioned. St. Aug. hath composed a Book, where he handleth this point at large, and concludeth that the Devvils can no more foretel things to come, than they are able to discern the thoughts that are within us. Aug. lib. de Scientia Dæmon.76
Till I laughed my self out of it with a piece of Justin, where he delivers that the Children of Israel for being scabbed were banished out of Egypt. ] These words of Justin are, Sed cum scabiem Ægyptii & peruginem paterentur, responso moniti, eum (sc. Moysen) cum ægris, ne pestis ad plures serperet, terminis Ægypti pellunt. l. 36. But he is not singular in this, for Tacitus tells us, Hist. lib. 5. Plurimi authores consentiunt orta per Ægyptum tabe quæ corpora fœderet, Regem (Ochorim) (he means Pharaoh) adito Hammonis oraculo remedium petentem purgare Regnum & id genus hominum — alias in terras avertere jussum. Et paulo inferius, Quod ipsos scabies quondam turpaverat. 77
I have ever believed, and do now know that there are Witches. ] What sort of Witches they were that the Author knew to be such, I cannot tell; for those which he mentions in the next Section, which proceed upon the principles of Nature, none have denyed that such there are; against such it was, that the Lex Julia de veneficiis was made, that is, those, Qui noxio poculo aut impuris medicaminibus aliquem fuerint insectati. Al. ab. Alex. Gen. Dier. l. 5. c. 1. But for the opinion that there are Witches which co-operate with the Devil, there are Divines of great note, and far from any suspition of being irreligious, that do oppose it. Certainly there is no ground to maintain their being from the story of Oracles, as may be seen from what hath been said in the precedent Section.78
Nor have the power to be so much as Witches. ] Pliny saith, so it fared with Nero, who was so hot in pursuit of the Magick Arts, that he did dedicate himself wholly to it, and yet could never satisfie himself in that kind, though he got all the cunning men he could from the East, for that purpose. Plin. l. 3. Nat. Hist. c. 1.79
By conjunction with the Devil. ] Though, as the Author saith, it be without a possibility of Generation, yet there are great men that hold, that such carnality is performed; as August. in Levit. Aquin. l. 2. de qu. 73. art. ad 2. and Justin Martyr, Apol. 1.80
It is no new opinion of the Church of Rome, but an old one of Pythagoras and Plato. ] This appears by Apuleius a Platonist, in his book de Deo Socratis, and elsewhere. See Mede's Apostasie of the latter times, where out of this and other Authors, you shall see collected all the learning de Geniis.
I cannot with those in that great Father securely interpret the work of the first day, Fiat lux, to the creation of Angels. ] This great Father is S. Chrysost. Homil. in Genes. But yet 'tis his opinion, as also of Athanasius and Theodoret, that there is express mention of the creation of Angels, so that they need not rest upon this place, which they admit to be somewhat obscure. The place which they take to be express, is that of the 130 Psalm, where David begins to speak of the Majesty of God, in this manner: Confessionem sive majestatem et decorem induisti, amictus lumine sicut vestimento: Next he speaks of the Heavens, saying, Thou hast stretched them out over us like a Tent. Then he speaks of the Angels, Qui facis Angelos tuos spiritus. Now if it shall be objected, that this expression is onely of the time present, and without relation to the Creation: Answer is given by Divines, that the Hebrews have but three Tenses in their Verbs, the Preterperfect, Present, and Future Tense; and have not the use of the Preterimperfect, and Preterpluperfect, as the Greeks and Latines have; whence it ariseth, that the Present Tense with the Hebrew, may, as the sentence will bear it, be translated by the Preterimperfect, as also by the Preterperfect and Preterpluperfect Tense; and this (they say) is practised in this very pasage, where the Phrase, as it is in Hebrews, may be rendered as well qui faciebas, as qui facis Angelos, &c. Vid. Hieronym. in Ep. ad Titum, et Thom. Aqu. 1 p. qu. 61 art. 3. The Latine Annotator saith, the Father meant by the Author, is St. Aug. and quotes him, l. 11. de Civ. Dei, cap. 9. which place I have perused and find the expression there used by St. Aug. is but hypothetical; for these are his words: Cum enim dixit Fiat lux, et facia est lux, & rectè in hac luce creatio intelligitur Angelorum, &c. Where you see 'tis but with a Si, and therefore I conceive the Author intends not him, but Chrysostom.81
Where it subsists alone, 'tis a Spiritual Substance, and may be an Angel. ] Epicurus was of this opinion, and St. Aug. in Enchirid. ad Laurentium.82
Moses decided that Question, and all is salved with the new term of Creation. ] That is it which Aristotle could not understand; he had learned that ex nihilo nihil fit, and therefore when he found those that disputed that the World had a beginning, did maintain that it was generated, and he could not understand any generation, but out of matter præ-existent in infinitum, therefore he took their opinion to be absurd, and upon that ground principally, concluded the World to be eternal: whereas, if he had understood that there may be such a thing as Creation, he had not done it, for that solves his processus in infinitum. Take from Plato, that the World had a beginning, and from Aristot. that it was not generated, and you have the (true) Christian opinion.
In our study of Anatomy, there is a mass of mysterious Philosophy, and such as reduced the very Heathens to Divinity. ] So it did Galen, who considering the order, use, and disposition of the parts of the body, brake forth into these words: Compono hic profecto Canticum in creatoris nostri laudem, quod ultra res suas ornare voluit melius quam ulla arte possent. Galen, 3. de usu partium.
I cannot believe the wisdom of Pythagoras did ever positively, and in a literal sense, affirm his Metempsychosis. ] In this the opinion of Grotius is contrary to the Author, who saith this opinion was begotten by occasion of the opinion of other Philosophers, who in their discourses of the life that is to be after this, brought such arguments, Quæ non magis de homine quam de bestiis procedunt. And therefore, saith he, mirandum non est, si transitum animarum de hominibus in bestias, de bestis in homines alii commenti sunt. Lib. 2. de ver. Relig. Christ. (vide etiam Annotat. ejusd.). But yet there is a shrewd objection against the opinion of Pythagoras, if he did mean it literally, which is cast in by the Sectators of Democritus and Epicurus, which Lucretius remembers in these Verses:
Præterea si immortalis natura animaæ
Constat, & in corpus nascentibus insinuatur,
Cur super anteactam ættatem meminisse nequimus?
Nec vestigia gestarum rerum ulla tenemus?
Namsi tantopere 'si animi mutata potestas,
Omnis ut actarum excideret retinentia rerum,
Non ut opinor ea ab læto jam longiter errat.
This Argument, 'tis true, is pro falso contra falsum, but yet holds ad hominem so far, that it is not likely (as the Author saith) but Pythagoras would observe an absurdity in the consequence of his Metempsychosis; and therefore did not mean it literally, but desired only to express the Soul to be immortal, which he, and the other Philosophers that were of that opinion, who had not heard of Creation, could not conceive, unless it must be taken for truth, that the soul were before the body; so saith Lactantius of them. Non putaverunt aliter fieri posse ut supersint animæ post corpora, nisi videntur fuisse ante corpora. De fals. Sap. c. 18.
I do not envy the temper of Crows or Daws. ] As Theophrastus did, who dying, accused Nature for giving them, to whom it could not be of any concernment, so large a life; and to man, whom it much concern'd, so short a one. Cic. Tusc. quæst. l. 3. How long Daws live, see in Not. ad Sect. 41.83
Not upon Cicero's ground, because I have liv'd them well. ] I suppose he alludes to an expression in an Epistle of Cicero, written in his Exile, to his wife and children, where he hath these words to his wife: Quod reliquum est, te sustenta mea Terentia ut potes, honestissime viximus, floruimus. Non vitium nostrum sed virtus nos afflixit, peccatum est nullum nisi quod non unà animum cum ornamentis amisimus, l. 24, Ep. 4.84
And stand in need of Eson's bath before threescore. ] Eson was the Father of Jason, and, at his request, was by Medea, by the means of this Bath, restored to his youth. Ingredients that went into it, and the description of Medea's performance, Ovid gives you, l.7. Metam. [262 ff.]
Interea calido positum medicamen aheno
Fervet & exultat, spumisq; tumentibus albet.
Illic Æmonia radices valle resectas,
Seminaq; & flores, & succos incoquit atros
Adjicit extremo lapides Oriente petitos,
Et quas Oceani refluum mare lavit arenas:
Addidit exceptas lunæ de nocte pruinas,
Et Strigis infames ipsis cum carnibus alas,
Inq; virum soliti vultus mutare ferinos
Ambigui prosecta lupi, nec defuit illi
Squamea Cinyphei tenuis membrana Chelindri,
Vivacisq; jecur cervi ; quibus insuper addit.
Ora, caputq; novem cornicis secula passæ.
His & mille aliis, postquam sine nomine rebus.
Propositum instruxit mortali barbara munus
Arenti ramo jampridem mitis olivæ
Omnia confudit, summisq; immiscuit ima.
Ecce vetus calido versatus stipes aheno
Fit viridis primo, nec longo tempore frondes
Induit, & subito gravidis oneratur olivis.
At quæcunq; cavo spumas ejecit aheno
Ignis, & in terram guttæ cecidere calentes,
Vernat humus, floresq; & mollia pabula surgunt.
Quæ simulac vidit, stricto Medea recludit.
Ense senis jugulum, veteremq; exire cruorem
Passa replet succis, quos postquam combibit Æson,
Aut ore acceptas, aut vulnere, barba comæq;
[C]anitie posita, nigrum rapuere colorem.
Pulsa fugit macies: abeunt pallorq; situsque :
Adjectoq; cavæ supplentur corpore rugæ ;
Membraq; luxuriant. Æson miratur, & olim.
Ante quater denos hunc se reminiscitur annos.
Dissimilemq; animum subiit, ætate relicta.
Extol the Suicide of Cato. ] As doth Seneca in several places; but Lactantius saith, he cast away his life, to get the reputation of a Platonick Philosopher, and not for fear of Cæsar; and 'tis very probable, he was in no great fear of death, when he slept so securely the night before his death, as the story reports of him.85
Emori nolo sed me esse mortuum, nihil curo. Were I of Cæsars Religion. ] I doubt not, but here is a fault of the Press, and that instead of Cæsar it should be Cicero. I meet not with any such saying imputed to Cæsar, nor any thing like it, but that he preferr'd a sudden death (in which he had his option) to any other; but I meet with such a saying in Cicero quoted out of Epicharmus [Emori nolo, sed me esse mortuum nihili æstimo]86 Where Cicero sustaineth the part of the Epicure, that there is no hurt in being dead, since there remaineth nothing after it. Cic. 1. Thusc. qu. non procul ab initio.
Or whence Lucan learn'd to say, Communis mundo superest rogus, &c. ] Why Lucan was a Stoique, and 'twas an opinion among them almost generally, that the world should perish by fire; therefore without doubt from them he learned it. Cælum quoque cum omnibus quæ in cælo continentur, ita ut cœpisset desinere, fontinum dulci aqua marisve nutriri, in vim ignis abiturum. Stoicis constans opinio est, quod consumpto humore mundus hic omnis ignescat. Minutius in Octav. But Minutius should have excepted Boetius, Possidonius, Diogenes Babylonius, and Zeno Sidonius, who were Stoiques, and yet did not think the world should be destroyed by fire, nor yet by any other means.
How shall we interpret Elias 6000 years, &c.] Lactant. is very positive that the world should last but 6000 years; but his reason for it is somewhat strange; thus it is, Quoniam sex diebus cuncta Dei opera perfecta sunt, per secula sex, i.e. annorum sex millia manere in hoc statu mundum necesse est. De divino præmio, cap. 14.
Ipsa sui pretium virtus sibi, is but a cold principle. ] It is a Stoical principle. Quæris enim aliquid supra summum, interrogas quid petam extra virtutem ipsam. Nihil enim habet melius. Pretium sui est. Senec. de vit. beat. c. 9.
That honest artifice of Seneca. ] What that artifice was, is to be seen in Senec. l. 1. ep. 11. Aliquis vir bonus nobis eligendus est, & semper ante oculos habendus, ut sic tanquam illo spectante vivamus, & omnis tanquam illo vidente faciamus. Et paulo post; Elige itaq; Catonem ; si hic videtur tibi nimis rigidus, elige remissioris animi virum Lelium, & c. which though, as the Author saith, it be an honest Artifice, yet cannot I but commend the party, and prefer the direction of him (whoever he were) who in the Margin of my Seneca, over against those words, wrote these: Quin Deo potius qui semper omnibus omnia agentibus non tanquam sed reipsa adest, & videt ; ac etiam ut Testis, vindex & punitor est male agentis.
I have tryed, if I could reach that great Resolution of his (that is of Seneca) to be honest without a thought of Heaven or Hell. ] Seneca87 brags he could do this, in these words: Si scirem deos peccata ignoscituros, & homines ignoraturos, adhuc propter vilitatem peccati peccare erubescerem. Credat judæus appela: non ego.——
And Atheists have been the onely Philosophers. ] That is, if nothing remain after this life. St. Aug. was of this opinion. Disputabam —— Epicurum accepturum fuisse palmam in animo meo, nisi ego credidissem post mortem restare animæ vitam, &c. Aug. l. 6 conf. cap. 16.
God by a powerful voice shall command them back into their proper shapes. ] So Minutius. Cæterum quis tam stultus est aut brutus, & audeat repugnare hominem à Deo ut primum potuit fingi, ita posse denuo reformari, nihil esse post obitum, & ante ortum nihil fuisse ; sicut de nihilo nasci licuit, ita de nihilo licere reparari. Porro difficilius est id quod sit incipere, quod quam id quod fuerit iterare. Tu perire Deo credis, si quid nostris oculis hebetibus subtrahitur. Corpus omne sive arescit in pulverem sive in humorem solvitur, vel in cinerem comprimitur, vel in nidorem tenuatur, subducitur nobis, sed Deo elementorum in custodi inferuntur. In Octav. [xxxiv] Vide Grot. de veritate Relig. Christian. ubi (lib. 2.) solvit objectionem, quod dissoluta corpora resititui nequeunt.
Or conceive a flame that can either prey upon, or purifie the substance of a soul. ] Upon this ground Psellus lib. 1. de Energia Dæmonum, c. 7. holds that Angels have bodies, (though he grants them to be as pure, or more pure than Air is) otherwise he could not apprehend how they should be tormented in Hell; and it may be upon this ground it was, that the Author fell into the error of the Arabians, mentioned by him, Sect. 7.
There are as many Hells as Anaxagoras conceived worlds. ] I assure my self that this is false printed, and that instead of Anaxagoras it should be Anaxarchus; for Anaxagoras is reckon'd amongst those Philosophers that maintain'd the Unity of the world, but Anaxarchus (according to the opinion of Epicurus) held there were infinite Worlds. This is he that caus'd Alexander to weep by telling him there were infinite worlds, whereby Alexander it seems was brought out of opinion of his Geography, who before that time thought there remained nothing, or not much beyond his Conquests.
It is hard to place those souls in Hell. ] Lactantius is alike charitably disposed towards those. Non sum equidem tam iniquus ut eos putem divinare debuisse, ut veritatem per seipsos invenirent (quod fieri ego non posse confiteor) sed hoc ab eis exigo, quod ratione ipsa præstare potuerunt. Lactant. de orig. error. c. 3. which is the very same with Sir K. Digby's expression in his Observations on this place. I make no doubt at all (saith he) but if any follow'd the whole tenour of their lives, the dictamens of right reason, but that their journey was secure to Heaven.88
Aristotle transgress'd the rule of his own Ethicks. ] And so they did all, as Lactantius hath observed at large. Aristot. is said to have been guilty of great vanity in his Clothes, of incontinency, of unfaithfulness to his Master Alexander, &c. But 'tis no wonder in him, if our great Seneca be also guilty, whom truely notwithstanding St. Jerome would have him inserted into the Catalogue of Saints,89 yet I think he as little deserv'd it, as many of the Heathens who did not say so well as he did, for I do not think any of them lived worse: to trace him a little. In the time of the Emperour Claudius we find he was banish'd for suspition of incontinency with Julia the daughter of Germanicus. If it be said that this proceeded meerly from the spight of Messalina, (and that Lipsius did not complement with him in that kind of Apostrophe, Non expetit in te hæc culpa, O Romani nominis & Sapientiæ magnæ. Sol. Not. in Tacit.) why then did she not cause him to be put to death, as well as she did the other, who was her Husbands Niece? This for certain, what ever his life were, he had paginam lascivam, as may appear by what he hath written, de Speculorum usu, l. 1. Nat. Qu. cap. 16.90 Which (admitting it may in a Poet, yet) how it should be excus'd in a Philosopher I know not. To look upon him in his exile, we find that then he wrote his Epistle De Consolat. to Polybius, Claudius his creature (as honest a man as Pallas or Narcissus) and therein he extols him and the Emperour to the Skies; in which he did grossly prevaricate, and lost much of his reputation, by seeking a discharge of his exile by so sordid a means. Upon Claudius his marriage with Agrippina, he was recall'd from Banishment by her means, and made Prætor, then he forgets the Emperour, having no need of him, labours all he can to depress him, and the hopeful Britannicus, and procured his Pupil Nero to be adopted and design'd successor, and the Emperours own Son to be disinherited; and against the Emperour whom he so much praised when he had need of him, after his death he writes a scurrilous Libel. In Nero's court, how ungratefully doth he behave himself towards Agrippina! who although she were a wicked woman, yet she deserv'd well of him, and of her son too, who yet never was at rest till he had taken away her life, and upon suspition cast in against her by this man. Afterwards, not to mention that he made great hast to grow rich, which should not be the business of a Philosopher, towards Nero himself; how well did it become his Philosophy to play the Traytor against him, and to become a complice in the conspiracy of Piso? and then as good a Tragedian as he was, methinks he doth in extremo actu deficere, when he must needs perswade Paulina, that excellent Lady his wife, to die with him: what should move him to desire it? it could in his opinion be no advantage to her, for he believ'd nothing of the immortality of the soul; (I am not satisfied with the reason of Tacitus, Ne sibi unice dilectam ad injurias relinqueret, 91 because he discredits it himself, in almost the next words, where he saith, Nero bore her no ill will at all, (and would not suffer her to die) it must surely be then, because he thought he had not liv'd long enough (being not above 114 years old, so much he was) and had not the fortitude to die, unless he might receive some confirmation in it by her example. Now let any man judge what a precious Legacy it is that he bequeaths by his nuncupative will to his friends in Tacitus. Conversus ad amicos (saith he) quando meritis eorum referre gratiam prohiberetur, quod unum jam tamen et pulcherrimum habebat, imaginem vitæ suæ relinquere testatur.92 It cannot be denyed of him, that he hath said very well; but yet it must as well be affirmed, that his Practise hath run counter to his Theory, to use the Authors phrase.
The Scepticks that affirmed they knew nothing. ] The ancient Philosophers are divided into three sorts, Dogmatici, Academici, Sceptici; the first were those that delivered their opinions positively; the second left a liberty in disputing pro & contra; the third declared that there was no knowledge of any thing, no not of this very proposition, that there is no knowledge, according to that,93
—— Nihil sciri siquis putat, id quoq; nescit
An sciri possit, quod se nil scire fatetur.
The Duke of Venice that weds himself to the Sea by a Ring of Gold, &c. ] The Duke and Senate yearly on Ascension-day use to go in their best attire to the Haven at Lido,94 and there by throwing a Ring into the water, do take the Sea as their spouse. Vid. Hist. Ital. by W. Thomas Cambro. brit. Busbequius reports that there is a custome among the Turks, which they took from the Greek Priests, not much unlike unto this. Cum Græcorum sacerdotibus mos sit certo veris tempore aquas consecrando mare clausum veluti reserare, ante quod tempus non facile se committunt fluctibus ; ab ea Ceremonia nec Turca absunt. Busb. Ep. 3. legat. Tursic.
There go so many circumstances to piece up one good action. ] To make an action to be good, all the causes that concur must be good; but one bad amongst many good ones, is enough to make it vitious, according to the rule, Bonum ex causa integra, malum ex partiali.
The vulgarity of those judgements that wrap the Church of God in Strabo's Cloak, and restrain it unto Europe. ] 'Tis Strabonis tunica in the translation, but Chalmydi would do better, which is the proper expression of the word that Strabo useth: it is not Europe, but the known part of the world that Strabo resembleth to a Cloak, and that is it the Author here alludeth to: but we have no reason to think that the resemblance of Strabo is very proper.95 Vid. Sir Hen. Savil. in not. ad Tac. in vita Agricolæ.
Those who upon a rigid Application of the Law, sentence Solomon unto damnation, &c. ] St. Aug. upon Psal. 126  and in many other places, holds that Solomon is damned; of the same opinion is Lyra, in 2 Reg. c. 7. and Bellarm. 1. Tom. lib. 1. Controv. c. 5.
THE SECOND PART
Wonder not at the French for their Frogs, Snails and Toad stools. ] Toad-stools are not peculiar to the French; they were a great delicacy among the Romans, as appears every where in Martial. It was conceived the Emperor Claudius received his death by Poyson, which he took in a Mushroom. Suet. and Tacit.95a
How among so many millions of faces, there should be none alike. ] It is reported there have been some so much alike, that they could not be distinguished; as King Antiochus, and one Antemon, a Plebeian of Syria, were so much alike, that Laodice, the Kings widow, by pretending this man was the King, dissembled the death of the King so long, till according to her own mind, a Successor was chosen. Cn. Pompeius, and one Vibius the Orator; C. Plancus, and Rubrius the Stage-playerr; Cassius Severus the Orator, and one Mirmello; M. Messala Censorius, and one Menogenes, were so much alike, that unless it were by their habit, they could not be distinguished: but this you must take upon the Faith of Pliny, (lib. 7. c. 12.) and Solinus, (cap. 6.) who as this Author tells elsewhere, are Authors not very infallible.
What a βατροχομυομαχια and hot skirmish is betwixt S. and T. in Lucian, ] In his Dialog. judicium vocalium, where there is a large Oration made to the Vowels, being Judges, by Sigma against Tau, complaining that Tau has bereaved him of many words, which should begin with Sigma.
Their Tongues are sharper than Actius His razor. ] Actius Navius was chief Augur, who (as the story saith) admonishing Tarq. Priscus that he should not undertake any action of moment, without first consulting the Augur, the King (shewing that he had little faith in his skill) demanded of him, whether by the rules of his skill, what he had conceived in his mind might be done: to whom when Actius had answered it might be done, he bid him take a Whetstone which he had in his hand, and cut it in two with a Razor; which accordingly the Augur did. Livy. And therefore we must conceive it was very sharp. Here the Adage was cross'd, ξυρὸς εἰς ἀκόνην, i.e. novacula in cotem. Vid. Erasm. Chiliad.
It is not meer Zeal to Learning, or devotion to the Muses, that wiser Princes Patronize the Arts, &c. but a desire to have their names eterniz'd by the memory of their writings. ] There is a great Scholar, who took the boldness to tell a Prince so much. Est enim bonorum principum cum viris eruditis tacita quædam naturalisq; societas, ut altri ab alteris illustrentur, ac dum sibi mutò suffragantur, & gloria principibus, & doctis authoritas concilietur. Politian. Ep. Ludovic. Sfort. quæ extat, lib. 11. Ep. ep. 1. And to this Opinion astipulates a Country-man of our own, whose words are these: Ignotius esset Lucilius, nisi eum Epistolæ Senecæ illustrarent. Laudibus Cæsareis plus Virgilius & Varus Lucanusq; adjecerunt, quam immensum illud ærarium quo urben & orbem spoliavit. Nemo prudentiam Ithaci aut Pelidæ vires agnosceret, nisi eas Homerus divino publicasset ingenio: unde nihil mihi videtur consultius viro ad gloriam properanti fidelium favore scriptorum. Joan. Sarisb. Polycrat. l. 8. c. 14. And that Princes are as much beholding to the Poets Pens as their own Swords, Horace tells Censorinus with great confidence. Od. 8. l. 4. [line 13] Non incisa notis, &c.
St. Paul that calls the Cretians lyars, doth it but indirectly, and upon quotation of one of their own Poets. ] That is, Epimenides; the place is, Tit. 1. v. 12. where Paul useth this verse, taken out of Epimenides.
Κρῆτες ἀεὶ ψεῦσται, κακὰ ϑηρία γαστέρες ἀργαί.
It is as bloody a thought in one way, as Nero's was in another. For by a word we wound a thousand. ] I suppose he alludes to that passage in Sueton, in the life of Nero, where he relates that a certain person upon a time, spoke in his hearing these words,
Ἐμοῦ ϑανότος γαία μιχθήτω πυρί.
i.e. When I am dead let Earth be mingled with Fire. Whereupon the Emperour uttered these words, Ἐμοῦ ζῶντος, i.e. Yea whilst I live: there by one word, he express'd a cruel thought, which I think is the thing he meant; this is more cruel than the wish of Caligula, that the people of Rome had but one Neck, that he might destroy them all at a blow.
I cannot believe the story of the Italian, &c. ] It is reported that a certain Italian having met with one that had highly provoked him, put a Ponyard to his breast, and unless he would blaspheme God, told him he would kill him, which the other doing to save his life, the Italian presently kill'd him, to the intent he might be damned, having no time of Repentance.
I have no sins that want a Name. ] The Author in cap. ult. lib. ult., Pseudodox. speaking of the Act of carnality exercised by the Egyptian Pollinctors with the dead carcasses, saith we want a name for this, wherein neither Petronius nor Martial can relieve us; therefore I conceive the Author here means a venereal sin.
This was the Temper of that Leacher that carnal'd with a Statua. ] That Latine Annotator upon this hath these words: Romæ refertur de Hispano quodam. But certainly the Author means the Statue of Venus Gnidia made by Praxiteles, of which a certain young man became so enamoured, that Pliny relates, Ferunt amore captum cura delituisset nocta simulachro cohæsisse, ejusq; cupiditatis esse indicem masculum.96 Lucian also has the story in his Dialog. [Amores. ]
And the constitution of Nero in his Spintrian recreations. ] The Author doth not mean the last Nero, but Tiberius the Emperour, whose name was Nero too; of whom Sueton. Secessu vero Capreensi etiam sellariam excogitavit sedem arcanarum libidinum, in quam undique conquisiti puellarum & exoletorum greges monstrosiq; concubitus repertores, quos spintrias appellabat, triplici serie connexi invicem incestarent se coram ipso, ut adspectu deficientes libidines excitaret. Suet. in Tib. 43.
I have seen a Grammarian toure and plume himself over a single line in Horace, and shew more pride, &c. ] Movent mihi stomachum Grammastistæ quidam, qui cum duas tenuerint vocabulorum origines ita se ostentant, ita venditant, ita circumferunt jactabundi, ut præ ipsis pro nihilo habendos Philosophos arbitrentur. Picus Mirand. in Ep. ad Hermol. Barb. quæ extat lib. nono Epist. Politian.
Garsio quisq; duas postquam scit jungere partes,
Sic stat, sic loquitur, velut omnes noverit artes.
I cannot think that Homer pin'd away upon the Riddle of the Fishermen. ] The History out of Plutarch is thus: Sailing from Thebes to the Island Ion, being landed and set down by the shore, there happen'd certain Fishermen to pass by him, and he asking them what they had taken, they made him this Enigmatical answer, That what they had taken, they had left behind them; and what they had not taken, they had with them: meaning, that because they could take no Fish, they went to loose themselves; and that all which they had taken, they had killed, and left behind them, and all which they had not taken, they had with them in their clothes: and that Homer being struck with a deep sadness because he could not interpet this, pin'd away, and at last dyed. Pliny alludes to this Riddle, in his Ep. to his Friend Fuscus, where giving an account of spending his time in the Country, he tells him, Venor aliquando, sed non sine pugillaribus, ut quamvis nihil ceperim, non nihil referam. Plin. Ep. lib. 9. Ep. 36.
Or that Aristot. ——did ever drown himself upon the flux or reflux of Euripus. ] Laertius reports that Aristotle dyed of a disease at 63 years of age. For this and the last, see the Author in Pseudodox.
Aristotle doth but instruct us as Plato did him, to confute himself. ] In the matter of Idea's, Eternity of the world, &c.
I could be content that we might procreate like trees without conjunction, or that there were any way to perpetuate the world without this trivial and vulgar way of Coition: It is the foolishest act a wise man commits in all his life. ] There was a Physitian long before the Author, that was of the same opinion, Hippocrates; for which vide Agel. l. 19. Noct. Attic. c. 2.97 And so of late time was Paracelsus, who did undertake to prescribe a way for the generation of a man without coition. Vide Campanel. de sensu rerum, in Append. ad. cap. 19. l.4. Monsieur Montaignes words on this subject, are worth the reading; these they are: Je trouve apres tout, que l'amour n'[e]st autre chose que la faim de cette jouyssance, & considerant maintefois [la] ridicule titillation de se plaiser par ou il nous tient, les absurdes movements, escervelez & estourdis dequoy il agit Zenon & Cratippus, ceste rage indiscrete, ce visage inflamme de fureur & de cruaute au plus doux effet de l'amour, & puis cette morgue grave severe & extatique en une action si folle, & que la supreme volupte aye du trainsy & du plaintiff commer la douleur, je croye qu'au se joue de nous, & que c'est par industrie que nature nous a laisse la plus trouble de nos actions les plus communes pour nous esgaller par la & apparier les fols & les sages: & nous & les bestes, le plus contemplatif & prudent homme quand je l'imagin en cette assiette je le tien pour un affronteur, de fair le prudent & le contemplatif, ce sont les pieds du paon qui abbatent son orgueil, nous mangeons bien & beuvons comme les bestes, mais ce ne sont pas actions, qui empeschent les operations de nostre ame, en celles-la nous gradons nostre advantage sur elles: cettecy met tout autre pensee sous le joug abrutist & abesiit par son imperieuse authorite tante la Theology & Philosophy, qui est en Platon & si il ne sen plaint pas, par tout ailleurs vous pouvez garder quelque decence toutes autres operations souffrens des Regles d'honestete cettecy ne se peut seulement imaginer que vitieuse ou ridicule trouvezy pourvoir un proceder sage & discret. Alexander lisoit qu'il se cognossoit principalement mortel par cette action & par le dormir: le sommeil suffoque & supprime les facultez de nostre ame, la besoigne les absorbe & dissipe de mesme. Certes c'est une marque non seulement de nostre corruption originelle, mais aussi de nostre vanite & disformite. D'un coste nature nous y pousse ayant attache a ce desire la plus noble, utile & plaisante de toutes ses operations, & la nous laisse d'autre part accuser & fuyr comme insolent & dishoneste, en rougir & recommander l'abstinence, &c. Montaign. liv. 3. chapit. 5.
And may be inverted on the worst. ] That is, that there are none so abandoned to vice, but they have some sprinklings of vertue. There are scarce any so vitious, but commend virtue in those that are endued with it, and do some things laudable themselves, as Plin. saith in Panegyric. Machiavel upon Livy, lib. 1. cap. 27. sets down the ensuing relation as a notable confirmation of this truth. Julius Pontifex, ejus nominis secundus, anno salutis 1505. Bononiam exercitus duxit, ut Bentivolorum familiam, quæ ejus urbis imperium centum jam annos tenuerat, loco moveret. Eademque in expeditione etiam Johannem Pagolum, Bagloneum tyrannum Perusinum sua sede expellere decreverat, ut cæteros item, qui urbes Ecclesiæ per vim tenerent. Ejus rei causa cum ad Perusinam urbem accessisset, & notum jam omnibus esset quid in animo haberet: tamen impatiente moræ, noluit exercitus expectare, sed inermis quasi urbem ingressus est, iin quam Johannes Pagolus defendendi sui causa, non exiguas copias contraxerat. Is autem eodem furore, quo res suas administrare solebat, una cum milite, cui custodiam sui corporis demandarat, sese in pontificis potestatem dedidit; a quo abductus est relictusque alius, qui Ecclesiæ nomine urbem gubernaret. Has ipsa in re magnopere admirati sunt viri sapientes, qui Pontificem comitabantur, cum Pontificis ipsius temeritatem, cum abjectum vilemq; Johannes Pagoli animum: nec causam intelligebant, ob quam permotus idem Pagolus, hotem suum inermem (quod illi cum perpetua nominus sui memoria facere licebat) non suubito oppresserit, & tam pretiosa spolia diripuerit; cum Pontifex urbem ingressius fuisset, Cardinalibus tantum suis stipatus, cui pretiosissimas quasq; suarum rerum secum habebant. Neque enim credebatur Pagolus a tanto facinore vel sua bonitate, vel animi conscientia abstinuisse: quod in hominem sceleratum, qui & propria sorore utebatur, & consobrinos nepotesque dominandi causa e medio sustulerat huiusmodi pii affectus cadere non viderentur. Cum igitur hac de re variæ essent sapientum virorum sententiæ; concluserunt tandem id ei accidisse, quod ita comparatum sit, ut homines neque plane pravi esse queant, neque perfecte boni. Pravi perfecte esse nequeant, propterea quod, ubi tale quoddam scelus est, in quo aliquid magnifici ac generosi insit, id patrare non audeant. Nam cum Pagolus neq; incestum prius horruisset, neque patricidio abstinuisset: tamen cum oblata esset occasio, pravi quidem sed memorabilis, atque æternæ memoriæ facinoris patrandi, id attentare non ausus fuit, cum id sine infamia prestare licuisset, quod rei magnitudo omnia priora scelera obtegere potuisset, & a periculo conservare. Quibus accedit, quod illi gratulati fuissent etiam quam plurimi, si primus ausus esset Pontificibus monstrare rationem dominandi; totiusque humana vita usum ab illis nimis parvi pendi.
Poysons contain within themselves their own Antidote. ] The Poyson of a Scorpion is not Poyson to it self, nor the Poyson of a Toad is not Poyson to it self; so that the sucking out of Poyson from persons infected by Psylls, (who are continually nourished with venomous aliment) without any prejudice to themselves, is the less to be wondred at.97a
The man without a Navil yet lives in me. ] The Latine Annotator hath explicated this by Homo non perfectus, by which it seems he did not comprehend the Authors meaning; for the Author means Adam, and by a Metonymie original sin; for the Navil being onely of use to attract the aliment in utero materno, and Adam having no mother, he had no use of a Navil, and therefore it is not to be conceived he had any; and upon that ground the Author calls him the man without a Navil.98
Our grosser memories have then so little hold of our abstracted understandings, that they forget the story, and can only relate to our awaked senses a confused and broken tale of that that hath passed. ] For the most part it is so. In regard of the Authors expression of forgetting the story, though otherwise it be not very pertinent to this place, I shall set down a relation given by an English Gentleman, of two dreams that he had, wherein he did not forget the story, but (what is more strange) found his dreams verified. This it is.
Whilst I lived at Prague, and one night had sit up very late drinking at a feast, early in the morning the Sun beams glancing on my face, as I lay in my bed, I dreamed that a shadow passing by told me that my Father was dead; at which awaking all in a sweat, and affected with this dream, I rose and wrote the day and hour, and all circumstances thereof in a Paper-book, which book with many other things I put into a Barrel, and sent it from Prague to Stode, thence to be conveyed into England. And now being at Nurenburgh, a Merchant of a noble Family well acquainted with me and my friends, arrived there, who told me my Father dyed some two months ago. I list not to write any lyes, but that which I write, is as true as strange. When I returned into England some four years after, I would not open the Barrel I sent from Prague, nor look into the Paper-book in which I had written this dream, till I had called my Sisters and some friends to be witnesses, where my self and they were astonished to see my written dream answer the very day of my Fathers death.
I may lawfully swear that which my Kinsman hath heard witnessed by my brother Henry whilst he lived, that in my youth at Cambridge, I had the like dream of my Mothers death, where my brother Henry living with me, early in the morning I dreamed that my Mother passed by with a sad countenance, and told me that she could not come to my Commencement: I being within five months to proceed Master of Arts, and she having promised at that time to come to Cambridge. And when I related this dream to my brother, both of us awaking together in a sweat, he protested to me that he had dreamed the very same; and when we had not the least knowledge of our Mothers sickness, neither in our youthful affections were any whit affected with the strangeness of this dream, yet the next Carrier brought us word of our Mothers death. Mr. Fiennes Morison in his Itinerary. I am not over-credulous of such relations, but methinks the circumstance of publishing it at such a time, when there were those living that might have disprov'd it, if it had been false, is a great argument of the truth of it.99
I wonder the fancy of Lucan and Seneca did not discover it. ] For they had both power from Nero to chuse their deaths.
To conceive our selves Urinals is not so ridiculous. ] Reperti sunt Galeno & Avicenna testibus qui se vasa fictitia crederent, & idcirco hominum attactum ne confringerentur solicite fugerent. Pontan. in Attic. bellar. (Hist. 22.) Which proceeds from extremity of Melancholy.
Aristot. is too severe, that will not allow us to be truely liberal without wealth, ] Aristot. l. 1. Ethic. c. 8. [1099a.17]
Thy will be done though in mine own undoing ] This should be the wish of every man, and is of the most wise and knowing, Le Christien plus humble & plus sage & meux recognoissant que c'est que de luy se rapporte a son createur de choisir & ordonner ce qu' el luy faut. Il ne le supplie dautre chose que sa volunte soite faite. Montaign.100
1. [Here, as in most cases, the "quotations" or paraphrases are approximate in a lesser or (more often) greater degree.]
2. [Not identified; but cf. Terence: Adelphoe, 3,2,56 and 5,7,6.]
3. In his Medicus Medicatus.
4. That he was a German appears by his notes page 35, where he useth these words, Dulcissima nostra Germania, &c.
5. In Præfat. Annotat.
6. Excepting two or three particulars in which reference is made to some Books that came since that time.
7. In Fragmenta Petroniana, No. XXVIII.
8. In Horace: Sermonum Liber II.1, 74-75.
10. Cited by the Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs (in English, presumably the currency among "the unlearn'd sort") from about 1585.
11. From Horace: Ars Poetica 369-70: "Actor/Causarum mediocris".
12. The Venerable Baronius's Annals, divided by centuries (hence "tenth age"). Sylvester II (d. 1003) is said, among other things, to have introduced Arabic numerals into the West and to have invented the pendulum clock.
13. In Apuleius Apologia: Three, 27.
14. In his essay Of Atheism.
15. Virgil Aen. IX :300. Apul. de deo Socratis: V.
16. Apul. Apologia III: 39.
17. Minucius Felix, Octavius XXII. (In English at CCEL, it's put in Chap. XXIV.)
18. 1 Thess. 5:21.
19. Edward Brerewood's Enquiries touching the diversity of languages, and religions through the cheife parts of the world, 1614 etc.
20. This is reaching. The most likely interpretation is that Browne dislikes the name "Protestant", which is not only essentially repugnant in itself, but also historically and culturally inaccurate as a term to describe the post-Reformation church in England. Browne never uses the word.
21. I.e. the occasion not of the Council of Trent but of the Protestant reformation.
22. In April of 1600, after a dispute over the powers of the temporal courts over the clergy, Paul V first excommunicated the Doge, the Senate and Government of Venice, then interdicted the city. The majority of the clergy sided with the civil authority; three orders, Theatine, Capuchins, and Jesuits sided in a body with the Pope and were promptly expelled. The quarrel was patched up in about a year, in Venice's favor, although the papal censures were not fully removed for some five more years. The Capuchins and Theatines were allowed to return, but not the Jesuits. The two cases could hardly be more different, in fact: the Venetians sought legal temporal control over some of the temporal concerns of the clergy; Henry sought dictatorial control over the ecclesiastical concerns of the church, at least insofar as they concerned him, his marriages, and his children. (The secondary concerns of both sides, the Venetians wishing to prevent property from being transferred to the Church, Henry wishing to wrest as much wealth as he could from just about anybody, are closer parallels; but if Browne had this in mind, he was certainly a sly old dog.)
23. In the "Apologie de Raimonde Sebonde" [Livre 2 chap.12 (partie 3)].
24. Horace Ars Poetica :38-40.
25. In Minucius Felix, Octavius XIV. (Englished at CCEL, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV.)
26. Lactant. de div. inst. V.i.21; on line (in English only), Lactantius: Divine Institutes, Book V. It's the last paragraph in Chapter I. The passage is more a pro-forma "Here's why I'm writing this book" than an exercise in accusing his predecessors. It certainly bears little resemblance to the caustic, if deserved, epithets hurled by Zwingli (and Luther) against Carolostadius (of whom Luther said that, while Luther had the meat of the matter but not the words, and others had the eloquence but not the truth, Carolostadius had neither words nor thing).
27. Again from the 3rd part of the "Apologie de Raimonde Sebonde":
Si nature enserre dans les termes de son progrez ordinaire, comme toutes autres choses, aussi les creances, les jugemens, et opinions des hommes : si elles ont leur revolution, leur saison, leur naissance, leur mort, comme les choux : si le ciel les agite, et les roule à sa poste, qu'elle magistrale authorité et permanante, leur allons nous attribuant ?
28. Cicero De Natura Deorum I:11.
29. Seneca: On Consolation (ad Marciam) XVII.3.
30. On the philosophy of the "Arabians", see the Catholic Encyclopedia, Arabian School of Philosophy. On Pope John XXII and the controversy of the Beatific Vision, see the Catholic Encyclopedia Pope John XXII. The two philosophies are only very tangentially related. The comment on papal infallibility does not apply, as John never preached his philosophy as doctrine or dogma of the Church, nor did he continue to preach it after the determination of orthodox position. Keck knows this perfectly well, but a Protestant of his day, like a Democrat of ours, never lets a fact stand in the way of an argument.
31. This is silly and illogical. A promulgation of dogma does not mean that the position was not true up until then, nor does it mean that all other ideas were true up until then. (Nor, we might add, does it necessarily mean that all the competing ideas are heretical or untrue.) Frankly I'm a bit surprised at this paragraph from Keck: it's petty, mean, and inaccurate, and has nothing to do with Browne. Probably had a bad day.
32. Two arguments of Origen's can be interpreted in this way: (1) that all beings created with free will may not only choose sin, but may choose to reverse that decision — and this includes angels, and presumably devils as well; (2) that the goodness of God will result in the salvation of all beings, "that the end is like the beginning" (this follows in part from Origen's cosmophysical postulates, into which we shall not go). Several of Origen's defenders — e.g., Jerome — point out that the advancement of questions, or debating points as it were, is quite different from the enunciation of doctrine. It should be remembered that these questions are still debated, in increasingly subtle forms. Origen himself was apparently infuriated by the accusation that he believed that the Devil himself would be saved, but that point can most assuredly be made from Origen's own arguments, or from what survives of them.
33. Deut. 22:15+. The "tokens of virginity" kept by the bride's parent, the cloth upon which she bled, presumably: "And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city." Browne objects to this on medical grounds: it proves nothing if she did not bleed (and, as readers of Fanny Hill will recall, it proves nothing if she did). Modern rabbinical interpretations usually translate this "evidence of virginity" and put it into the same class as other "civil", if that word has any meaning in this context, cases: evidence is the testimony of two eye-witnesses. Shades of the future bride of a Prince of Wales.
34. Montaigne Essais [Livre 1 chap.40] (in the modern numbering); he goes on to number among these nations the Lacedaemonians, the Egyptians — and the Swiss.
35. Boethius, Consolatio Philosophiae pr. 5, p. 6, 4. (Hence, when Browne later says that God promised us the resurrection of the body, but not its duration, he is not doubting immortality, as some would have it; rather, he is pointing out that, during time, the body may disintegrate into atoms; at the end of time, when it is resurrected, it will not "endure", because "duration" necessarily implies time.)
36. Virg. Eclogue III:108.
37. The Jesuits of the University of Coimbra, Portugal. Lecture notes on Aristotle, by various professors, were published, first surreptitiously, then officially, in the 1590s and early 1600s. Keck seems to have used the Frankfurt edition of 1604, which was specifically disavowed by the Conimbricences. Some of the commentary therein is false, some real but revised for the official published edition (either to correct mistakes or to reconcile the ideas of different teachers), and some real but incorrect and never officially published. Keck's confused and confusing digression has, in any case, nothing to do with Browne.
38. Plato's ideas on causality are not at all clear. The clear separation of the four causes is Aristotle's. Plato's "Ideal" is a special but not well-elucidated case of formal cause.
39. Boeth. Consol. Phil. Book 3, met. 9 ("verse 3M9" in the on-line edition). (Keck prints "ad ævo" for "ab ævo".)
40. Lucretius: De Rerum Natura IV, more or less.
41. Montaigne - Essais [Livre 3 chap.01]
42. Du Bartas englished by Sylvester: Bartas his deuine weekes & workes, translated & dedicated to the Kings most excellent maiestie by Iosvah Sylvester. 1605.
43. E.g., de morib. Manich., Chapters 16 and especially 17, with two caveats: (1) the usual warning that Augustine is writing against the Manicheans, whose doctrines he may well be distorting; (2) Keck's "rational soul" is a great simplification of the doctrine as reported by Augustine.
44. Augustine, de civitate Dei liber X, Chapter XII. Browne's statement goes considerably further than Augustine's.
45. La sepmaine, ou, Creation du monde by Guillaume de Saluste Sieur Du Barta, 1581.
46. The first sentence of the Introduction to Leviathan, neatly bringing us back to wooden flies:
Nature (the art whereby God hath made and governs the world) is by the art of man, as in many other things, so in this also imitated, that it can make an artificial animal.
47. Averroes In Princ. VI??; Albertus Magnus
48. (Chap. 21 in later editions of Montaigne): [Livre 1 chap.21].
49. Petronius Arbiter, Satiricon 1.LXXXIII; Apuleius, Apologia II.18.
50. Cicero is not yet on line; Augustine,Civitate Dei Liber V, who refutes astrology with a number of arguments both natural and theological. Browne deals only with the case of assuming there is something true in astrology; if there is not, he seems to say, it does not matter in the least.
51. Lucan, Pharsalia I:84-86 [tu causa malorum]. The passage cited from "Florus" is in fact from the Argumentum to "Cap. V. Lib. VI." (= Book IV, Chap. 6, or II.xvi), in the commentary of Johannes Stadius.
Cum Antonius Lepidus, Cæsar, se Reip. constituenda causa Triumveros in quinquennium renunciasse, proscriptione ac cæde inimicorum civium, Respublica convulsa est lacerataque. Ciceronis caput jussu Antonii præcisu inter duas manus pro rostris positum est.
Florus himself equates the two "triumvirates": "Nullo bono more triuviratus invaditur, oppressaque armis re publica redit Sullana proscriptio, cuius atrocitas nihil insignius habet quam numerum centum et quadraginta senatorum" etc. Technically, only the second triumvirate was a legal entity and thus entitled to the name; the first was an extralegal agreement among warring princelets (or gang leaders). It is difficult to fit either exactly to the metaphor, so it would perhaps be better to leave it as is and not think about exactly which, if either, triumvirate Browne had in mind.
52. 1 Kings 18:32 ff. The miracle referred to in Pseudodoxia is rather 2 Kings 6:5-7, the recovery of an iron axe-head lost in the Dead Sea, and is there correctly said to be of Elisha.
53. Strabo, XVI.2. Tacitus, Historiae V.7; the text of chap. 6 leaves it open to interpretation whether this was a natural or supernatural disaster (as does the Bible). On Sodom, see also the Miscellany Tract On Troas.
54. Epicurus - Letter to Menoeceus (in English). Lucretius, De Rerum Natura II: 646-651.
55. On the "Three Impostors" and its supposed authorship by Ochinus, see the note in Digby's Observations. Keck's text has here a mark for a marginal note, but the note has not been printed.
56. Reported variously, "quantum profuit nobis fabula Christo", etc.
57. True enough, but Browne is questioning specifically whether Adam or Eve shall arise with that rib. With modern surgical transplantation, the field of such speculations has expanded greatly.
58. The first passage Lucret. V: 818-819. The idea is not that the world was created in any particular season; rather, that, when the world was new, all was warm and temperate, because things had not reached their perfection or maturity — those things including heat, cold, and the seasons. The second passage, lines 801-802.
59. Virgil: Georgics II: 336-339. Because, says Virgil, it seems to him that the newly-formed creatures could not have borne the test of heat or cold without a long period of Spring's gentle warmth.
60. On the story of the Septuagint's translation, see e.g. Justin Martyr (probably) cohort. ad Graecos chap. XIII; Irenaeus, Against Heresies, III.21; Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, I.22. Jerome denies the story of the "seventy cells" in ad Ruf. II.25, quoting his own Prologue to his translation of Genesis. The entire story is put forth in Flav. Josephus, Ant. Jud. XII.2. "Ptolomaeus Lagi" = Ptolemy Soter, "filius Lagi" (see Ant. Jud. XII.1). The story is essentially repeated in Philo Life of Moses II.6, no longer, unfortunately, with us on the web.
61. From the French, in 1649, with an admonitory end-note by our old friend Alexander Ross. "The Alcoran of Mahomet, translated from the Arabique into French; by the Sieur Du Ryer, lord of Malezair, and resident for the King of France, at Alexandria. And newly Englished, for the satisfaction of all that desire to look into the Turkish vanities." Most of the latter part of Lipsius's commentary, however, is not based on this translation (or any other); it may derive from the exegesis of Turkish scholars.
62. Apul. Apologia VII.90.
63. The library at Alexandria was probably not on the waterfront, although this conjecture is based on the negative evidence that none of the several descriptions of the harbor (most notably Strabo) mentions the library. The (for now) generally accepted explanation of the Julian fire is that, in 47 B.C., Julius was forced to set fire to ships — either his own, to prevent their capture by the Egyptians, or the Egyptians', to prevent their capturing the palace — in the harbor at Alexandria; the fire spread to the docks and warehouses, which contained a large number of "books", probably intended for shipment to Rome; some argue that these were not properly library books, but rather copies meant for trade. Alternatively, Julius Caesar set fire to the docks and warehouses in order to prevent the soldiers of Cleopatra's brother from reaching him, while he occupied a fortified position on the peninsula of Pharos, from which he swam to his fleet for relief. Ammianus Marcellinus, XXII.xvi.13, says that 700,000 books were destroyed (but does not specifically say that the library was destroyed); he does not say how many books the library contained. Seneca, de tranquil. an. IX.5 says 40,000 books were destroyed, but again does not say the library was burnt. Lucan Phars. X:492-505 describes the burning of the Egyptians' ships (the fires, he says, started by hurling lighted oil lamps) that spread to the surrounding structures, but he does not mention the library. For the Caesar-burnt-it-down story, see Plutarch's Life of Caesar. On the addition to the Museum, see Suetonius: Divus Claudius 42; on Domitian, Suetonius: Domitian 20; he did not send books to Alexandria to replace those lost there; he sent books there to be copied and emended for Roman libraries that had been destroyed. If the library was in the northwest section of the city, where it seems to have been, it was probably completely destroyed under Aurelian in 272 when that sector of the city burned.
64. This is the translation of Jerome's Vulgate. Browne deals with this question in Pseudodoxia Epidemica, VII. chap. 11.
65. Sic. Le Sieur de Silhon, "Ministre d'Estat, avec le véritable âge de la politique moderne", (1st ed. of 1st part, 1631) Book 1, chapter 1, pp. 4-5:
Attila & Tamerlanes ont passé comme des foudres en leurs conquestes, & la race des Ottomans qui oste à Dieu la Religion qu'il a revelée, & aux hommes la liberté que le droit des Gens leur laisse, a fait tant de progrez depuis 300. & quelques années, qu'il semble qu'elle n'ait plus rien à craindre de dehors, & que son Empire ne puisse perir que par la corruption du dedans, & par la dissolution des parties qui composent un corps si vaste.
66. Minucius Felix, Octavius, cap. VIII (first passage), XXXVII (second passage); Augustine, De Civitate Dei Liber I, "quanto magis Christiani".
67. Arist. Nic. Ethics III.vii. Curtius, Hist. Alexandri Magni Macedonis — Liber Quartus. Montaigne, Livre 2 chap.34. Lucan, Phars. Liber I: 146-147.
68. Justin Martyr, Apolog. 2, particularly chapters X and VII. Eusebius, de præparatione evangelica, book 5, not yet on line. Tertullian, Apology cap. XIV (in English, at New Advent). Lactant. Div. Inst. V chapter 18.
69. Johannes Aventinus' Annalium Boiorum : sive veteris Germaniæ libri VII (1627). Augustine, whose disavowal is highly qualified, civ. Dei XVI cap. IX. Lactantius outright denies it, and says it is ridiculous: Div. Inst. III chap. 24. Bede.
70. In Digby's Observations upon Religio Medici. 2 Esdras 4:5; the remainder of the book being largely development of this passage. It is the impossibility (for creatures, not for God) that is the point.
4:3 ... [Uriel] said, I am sent to shew thee three ways, and to set forth three similitudes before thee: 4:4 Whereof if thou canst declare me one, I will shew thee also the way that thou desirest to see, and I shall shew thee from whence the wicked heart cometh. 4:5 And I said, Tell on, my lord. Then said he unto me, Go thy way, weigh me the weight of the fire, or measure me the blast of the wind, or call me again the day that is past. 4:6 Then answered I and said, What man is able to do that, that thou shouldest ask such things of me?
71. Paul Deacon.
72. On oracles, see also Vulgar Errors VII.xii and I.x and the Miscellany Tract On Oracles.The usual position is not that the coming of the Messiah caused the cessation of oracles, but rather that their cessation heralded and accompanied the changed world. Oracles did not in fact cease, although they were less and less frequented. There are acccounts of oracles surviving in Egypt well into the sixth century. Incubation oracles, in particular, would seem to have had a tenacious hold on the peasantry; they could, in addition, have been argued to have some scriptural support. This leaves aside such current phenomena as Psychic Friends Network and their various contemporary and historical equivalents (opening a Bible, or Vergil or Homer, for instance, to answer a question). Keck's assertion that the oracles never gave any answers at all is simply untrue, even in a symbolical sense. The almost certainly ahistorical oracle to Augustus is reported in somewhat varying forms in Georgios Kedrenos (Hist. I.320b) and in the Suda A4413. Augustus had asked the Pythia about the succession; she did not answer; asked why she was silent, she gave the quoted response. (Alternately, she simply gave the response quoted on the first attempt.)
73. Cic. de Divinatione II: LVII.117.
74. Cic. ibid. Some modern commentators are equally dismissive of this phenomenon (notably Fontenroy), but the descriptions of the Delphic oracle point to some such mechanism. Plutarch was a priest at Delphi, and presumably in a better position to speak of its working (or non-working) than Keck, or than Cicero for that matter. Recent excavations at Delphi have found what seems to be a volcanic crevice, possibly closed by an earthquake, from which vapours or gases may once have arisen. As a proleptic note, the oracle at Delphi did not involve a "statua"; as for the possible mechanical efficiency of statues, and why man "can not produce the same effect in another man", we may simply bring to mind any number of mechanical devices that can do things a man cannot: guns, for instance, or watches, or telescopes.
75. M. Minucius Felix: Octavius XXVII (first pasage), XXVI (second passage); cf. Cicero de Divinatione II:116. The historical sequence, as mentioned above, is nearly exactly opposite; the large, princely oracles died before the small, local oracles. It would appear, then, that whatever imposition was going on came from below, not from above. We should note, in this context, that Keck's main sources, Plutarch and Cicero, were both of them pagan priests; priestly fraud, it would seem, must have been highly limited.
76. Blount is less convinced than Keck, and with good reason; for one, he was not looking at the right statue:
Within two Bowes shoot [of the pyramid], is a Rocke of some fortie yards circumference, and tweve or fourteene high, and cut into the forme of a mans head; perhaps Memnons, famous for its sounding at the Sun-rise; the Egyptians, and Iewes with us, told us it gave Oracles of old, and also that it was hollow at the top; wherein they had seene some enter, and come out at the Pyramide: then I soone beleeved the Oracle; and esteeme all the rest to have been succh, rather then either by vapour, though not impossible; or Demoniacke, which require too much credulitie, for me.
Blount, p. 47. For one current theory on the colossus(i) of Memnon and its "oracle", and a cute QuickTime picture, see NOVA Online: Colossus of Memnon.
Keck's assumption that statues were always involved in oracles is incorrect. Many oracles were incubatory — that is, the questioner went to a particular place and asked the question, slept, and his dreams were then analyzed by a priest. Others involved the writing of a question and its submission to a shrine of one sort or another, with the answer coming back in written form; the rolodex system, we might call it. Egypt was particularly rich in false, or abetted, oracles, often involving statues or cubby-holes in which a priest or a child could hide. The Delphic and other sibylline oracles were of course delivered through individual (female) humans. The argument about the abilities of devils is thoroughly unconvincing, and contrary to normal Christian theology; in any case, the devils had to know only the questions, not the answers, as they are dedicated not to truth but to lies.
77. Justin: Liber XXXVI:II:12. Tacitus: Histories V:3 and (paulo inferius) 4.
78. Note (lex "Julia"?). See Leges Corneliae (Smith's Dictionary, 1875) on the lex Cornelia de sicarii et veneficis.
79. Pliny HN 30.14 (not 3).
80. Augustine, Civ. dei ii.4ii.4 and ii.4, as recorded in Aquiinas. Aquinas, Summa II(i). qu. 73. art. 5. ob. 2. Justin Martyr, Apology I, Chapter XXI.
81. Following (more or less) the Gallican Psalter version, Psalm 103 (not 130); the English is a translation of the Latin, rather than following the AV. Chrysostom. Jerome. Acquinas 1.61.3 (there is a fair amount of discussion of the nature of time and the nature of angels, and what words mean in these contexts, through the next few questions; for instance, in 1.63.6). Augustine, Civ. dei XI.9 (in English, St. Augustin, City of God).
82. Augustine, Enchiridion Chapters 58-60 (a very difficult, but not a very useful, problem, says Augustine). The opinions of Epicurus on this subject are rather different.
83. This reference is a mystery.
84. Sc. Lib. 14, ep. 4.
85. In the Divine Institutes, III (False wisdom of the Philosophers), chapter 18.
86. Cicero: Tusculan Disputations I: 15.
87. Tho. Aquin. in com. in Boet. de Consolat. prope finem. [Keck's marginal note.]
88. Lactantius, on the Origin of Errors (Divine Institutes, Book II), chapter 3; Digby, Observations upon Religio Medici.
89. St. Jerome: De viris illustribus, chap. 12. Jerome cites the spurious letters of Seneca and Paul as the reason; otherwise, he would not place him among the saints.
90. Natural questions of Seneca, book I (On Mirrors), chap. 16.
91. Tacitus: Annales XV:63. (Keck takes much of his information on Seneca's life from Tacitus's Annals. In Seneca's defense, it could be pointed out that, having formed the nasty beast, he probably knew Nero's character better than Keck or Tacitus.)
92. Tacitus: Annales XV:62. "Nuncupative will": oral testament, a will delivered orally. Seneca was refused the materials to write a will. As it seems he had so little to leave, perhaps this was no real hardship.
93. Lucretius: De Rerum Natura IV 472-473.
94. Most editions read Lio.
95. Strabo II.5.6.
95a. Suetonius, Claudius 44.2. Tacitus, Ann. XII.67. Tacitus says the mushroom did not kill him and Agrippina was forced to poison him again and Suetonius reports similar versions.
96. HN XXXVI.21.
97. Sc. Aul. Gel. lib. 19. Noct. Attic. chap. 2.
97a. Psylls: the "gens Psyllorum", (Holland's "Physilians"); see Pliny HN VII.14 (in English, Plinies Seventh Booke of Natural Historie.)
98. As Browne argues in Pseudoxia V.v. Ross, ever the contrarian, writes that the navel was created in Adam as an ornament, "without which the belly had been deformed"; Arcana Microcosmi II.11.
99. In 1617. An itinerary vvritten by Fynes Moryson Gent. First in the Latine tongue, and then translated by him into English: containing his ten yeeres trauell through the twelue dominions of Germany, Bohmerland etc.
100. From an early version of the "Apologie de Raimond Sebond" (liv. II, essai 12). This version of the text is from an edition that dates between 1580 and 1588. See fol. 251v of the Exemplaire de Bordeaux for the original text and Montaigne’s changes: f. 251v. Many thanks to John O’Brien, University College London, for this information. Professor O’Brien also comments “Interestingly, what this means is that Keck was quoting from a copy of the Essais published between 1580 and 1588. That’s unusual at the time, as the editions published after 1595 by the efforts of Montaigne's adopted daughter, Gournay, incorporated the expanded/changed text and by the date of Keck’s Annotations would have been much more readily available than the 1580-1588 versions.”
This page is by James Eason, to whom should be addressed corrections, comments, or questions.