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included. Whence Democritus excellently affirmed that atoms or seeds, and the virtue thereof, were unlike anything that could fall under the senses; but distinguished them as being of a perfectly dark and hidden nature; saying of themselves, "that they resembled neither fire nor anything else that could be felt or touched;" and of their virtue, "that in the generation of things the first beginnings must needs have a dark and hidden nature, lest something should rise up to resist and oppose them." Atoms therefore are neither like sparks of fire, nor drops of water, nor bubbles of air, nor grains of dust, nor particles of spirit or ether. Neither is their power and form heavy or light, hot or cold, dense or rare, hard or soft, such as those qualities appear in greater bodies; since these and others of the kind are results of composition and combination. And in like manner the natural motion of the atom is not that motion of descent which is called natural, nor the one contrary to it (that of percussion), nor the motion of expansion and contraction, nor the motion of impulse and connection, nor the motion of rotation of the celestial bodies, nor any of the other motions of large bodies simply. Notwithstanding in the body of the atom are the elements of all bodies, and in the motion and virtue of the atom are the beginnings of all motions and virtues. But yet on this point, namely, the motion of the atom compared with the motion of larger bodies, the philosophy of the parable seems to differ from that of Democritus. For Democritus is found to be not only at variance with the parable, but inconsistent and almost in contradiction with himself in that which he says further on this point. For he should have attributed to the atom a heterogeneous motion, as well as a heterogeneous body and a heterogeneous virtue; whereas, out of the motions of the larger bodies, he has selected two motions; namely, the descent of heavy things and the ascent of light (which latter he explained as the effect of force or percussion of the heavier driving the less heavy upwards), and ascribed them as primitive

1 Lucret. i. 688.:

2 Id. i. 779.:

Neque sunt igni simulata, neque ulli
Præterea rei quæ corpora mittere possit
Sensibus, et nostros adjectu tangere tactus.

At primordia gignundis in rebus oportet
Naturam clandestinam cæcamque adhibere,
Emineat ne quid, quod contra pugnet et obstet.

motions to the atom. The parable on the contrary preserves the heterogeneity and exclusion throughout, both in substance and motion. But it further intimates, that there is some end and limit to these exclusions; for Nox does not sit for ever. And certainly it is the prerogative of God alone, that when his nature is inquired of by the sense, exclusions shall not end in affirmations. But here the case is different; and the result is, that after due exclusions and negations something is affirmed and determined, and an egg laid, as it were, after a proper course of incubation; and not only that Nox lays her egg, but that from this egg is hatched the person of Cupid: that is to say, not only is some notion of the thing educed and extracted out of ignorance, but a distinct and definite notion. With regard then to the kind of demonstrations which are possible concerning primary matter, this is what I conceive to be most in accordance with the meaning of the parable. Let us now proceed to Cupid himself, that is, primary matter, together with its properties, which are surrounded by so dark a night; and see what light the parable throws upon this. Now I am well aware that opinions of this kind sound harsh and almost incredible to the senses and thoughts of men. As we see it has been tried and proved in this very philosophy of Democritus respecting atoms, which, because it penetrated somewhat more sharply and deeply into nature and was further removed from common ideas, was treated as childish by the vulgar; and was moreover by the disputes of other philosophies more adapted to their capacity blown about and almost extinguished. And yet this man was much admired in his day', and was called Pentathlus from the variety of his knowledge, and by consent of all was esteemed the greatest physical philosopher, so that he obtained also the surname of Magus. Nor could either the battles and contests of Aristotle (who after the Ottoman fashion felt insecure about his own kingdom of philosophy till he had slain his brethren; and who was likewise anxious, as appears from his own words, that posterity should doubt about nothing), or the majesty and solemnity of Plato, so far prevail-the one by violence, the other by reverence-as to obliterate entirely this philosophy of Democritus. But while that of Plato and Aristotle was noised and celebrated in the schools amid the din and

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pomp of professors, this of Democritus was held in great honour with the wiser sort, and those who embraced more closely the more silent and arduous kinds of speculation. Certainly in the times of Roman learning that of Democritus was not only extant but well accepted; for Cicero mentions him everywhere in terms of the highest praise; and the well-known lines of the poet, who appears to have spoken (as poets commonly do) according to the judgment of his own time, were written not long after; wherein he is quoted as an instance to prove that great men may be born in heavy climates. Therefore it was not Aristotle or Plato, but Genseric and Attila and the barbarians, who destroyed this philosophy. For at that time, when all human learning had suffered shipwreck, these planks of Aristotelian and Platonic philosophy, as being of a lighter and more inflated substance, were preserved and came down to us, while the more solid parts sank and almost passed into oblivion. But to me the philosophy of Democritus seems worthy to be rescued from neglect; especially as in most things it agrees with the authority of the earliest ages. First therefore Cupid is described as a person; and to him are attributed infancy, wings, arrows, and other things of which I will afterwards speak separately. But in the mean time I make this assumption; that the ancients set down the first matter (such as may be the beginning of things) as having form and qualities, not as abstract, potential, and unshapen. And certainly that despoiled and passive matter seems altogether a fiction of the human mind, arising from this, that to the human mind those things most seem to exist, which itself imbibes most readily, and by which it is most affected. It follows therefore that forms (as they call them) seem to exist more than either matter or action; because the former is hidden, the latter variable; the former does not strike so strongly, the latter does not rest so constantly. These images on the other hand are thought to be both manifest and constant; so that the first and common matter seems to be as an accessory and support; and action, of whatever kind, to be merely an emanation from the form; and altogether the first place is assigned to forms. And hence appears to

1 Juv. x. 48.:

Cujus prudentia monstrat,

Magnos posse viros, et magna exempla daturos,
Vervecum in patria crassoque sub aere nasci.

have come the reign of forms and ideas in essences; with the addition (that is to say) of a kind of fantastical matter. All which was increased, moreover, by superstition (intemperance following error); and abstract ideas and their dignities were also introduced, with so much confidence and majesty, that the dreamers almost overpowered the wakers. These things however have now for the most part vanished; though an individual in our age has tried, with more boldness (as it appears to me) than success, to prop them up in their decline and resuscitate them. But how contrary to reason it is to lay down abstract matter as a principle is easily seen, if prejudices be not in the way. For the actual existence of separate forms has been asserted by some, of separate matter by no one; not even by those who have taken it for a principle; and to constitute entities from things imaginary seems hard and perverse, and not consonant with the inquiry concerning principles. For the inquiry is not how we may most conveniently embrace and distinguish the nature of entities in our thoughts, but what are really the first and most simple entities from which the rest are derived. Now, the first entity must exist no less really than the things derived from it; and in a certain way more. For it is self-subsisting, and other things subsist by it. But the things which are said about this abstract matter are not much better than if a man were to assert that the world and all things are made of categories and such like logical notions, as principles. principles. For it makes little difference whether you say that the world is made of matter, form, and privation, or of substance and contrary qualities. But almost all the ancients, as Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Anaximenes, Heraclitus, and Democritus, though in other respects they differed about the first matter, agreed in this, that they set down matter as active, as having some form, as dispensing that form, and as having the principle of motion in itself, Nor can any one think otherwise, unless he plainly deserts experience. Therefore all these submitted their minds to the nature of things. Whereas Plato made over the world to thoughts; and Aristotle made over thoughts to words; men's studies even then tending to dispute and discourse, and forsaking the stricter inquiry of truth. Hence such opinions are rather to be condemned in the whole, than confuted separately in the parts; for they are the opinions of those who wish to talk

much, and know little. And this abstract matter is the matter of disputation, not of the universe. But one who philosophises rightly and in order, should dissect nature and not abstract her (but they who will not dissect are obliged to abstract); and must by all means consider the first matter as united to the first form, and likewise to the first principle of motion, as it is found. For the abstraction of motion also has begotten an infinite number of fancies about souls, lives, and the like; as if these were not satisfied by matter and form, but depended on principles of their own. But these three are by no means to be separated, only distinguished; and matter (whatever it is) must be held to be so adorned, furnished, and formed, that all virtue, essence, action, and natural motion, may be the consequence and emanation thereof. Nor need we fear that the result will be general torpor, or that the variety of things which we see cannot be explained; as I will show hereafter. Now that the first matter has some form is demonstrated in the fable by making Cupid a person: yet so that matter as a whole, or the mass of matter, was once without form; for Chaos is without form; Cupid is a person. And this agrees well with Holy Writ; for it is not written that God in the beginning created matter, but that he created the heaven and the earth.

There is subjoined likewise some description of the state of things as it was before the work of the six days, wherein distinct mention is made of earth and water, which are the names of forms; but yet in the whole the mass was still unformed. But though Cupid is represented in the allegory as a person, he is yet naked. Therefore, next to those who make matter abstract, they are most in error (though on the contrary side) who make it clothed. I have slightly touched on this in what has been already said of the demonstrations applicable to the first matter, and of the heterogeneous nature of matter itself. But this part on which I am now entering is the proper place for treating of them. We must see therefore among those who have grounded the principles of things in formed matter, who they are who have attributed a native and naked form to matter, and who one apparelled and clothed. Now, in all there are four different opinions on this. The first is that of those who assert that there is some one principle of things, but make the diversity of beings to consist in the inconstant

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