Imágenes de páginas

'heated in the Lungs, moistened in the Heart, and dif« fused throughout the whole Body. u Zeno, the Quin

* tessence of the four Elements: Heraclitus Ponticus, that

* it was the Light: Xenocrates and the Egyptians, a Move« able Number: The Chaldeans, & Vertue without any 'determinate Form.

Habitum quendam vitalem corporis ejse,
Harmoniam Grœci quam dicunC i

i. e.

A vital Habit in Man's Frame to be,
Which, by the Greeks, is call'd a Harmony.

Let us not forget Aristotle, who held the Soul to be that which naturally causes the Body to move, which he called Entelechia, with a colder Invention than any of the rest: For he neither speaks of the Essence, nor of the Origin, nor of the Nature of the Soul, and only takes Notice of the Effect. Latlantius, Seneca, and most of the Dogmatists, have confessed, that it was a Thing they did not understand. After all this Enumeration of Opinions: x Harum sententiarum quœ vera Jit, Dens aliquis viderit, fays Cicero: 'Of these Opinions, which is the true, let some

* God determine. I know by myself, says St. Bernard,

* how incomprehensible God is, seeing I cannot compre

* hend the Parts of my own Being.' Heraclitus'', who was of Opinion, that every Place was full of Souls and .


■* I know not where Montaigne had this; for Cicero expressly feys, that this Quintessence, or Fifth Nature, is a Thought of Aristotle, who makes the Soul to be composed of it; and that Zeno thought the Soul to be Fire, Cic. Tufe. S>u*st. lib. i. c. 9 and 10. After this, Cicero adds, that Aristotle calls the Mind, which he derives from that Fifth Nature, Entelechia, a newcoined Word, signifying a perpetual Motion. Tho' Montaigne has copied these last Words, in what he proceeds to tell us of Aristotle, he censures him for not having spoken of the Origin and Nature of the Soul. But had he only cast his Eye upon what Cicero had said, a little before, he would have been convinced, that Aristotle had taken Care to explain himself concerning the Origin of the Soul, before he remarked the Effect of it. If he has not thereby fully demonstrated what the Nature of it is, Zeno has not given us much better Light into it, when he fays, The Soul or Mindseems to be Fire: And it would not be difficult to shew, that, in this Article, the other Philosophers have not succeeded better than Zeno and Aristotle.

w Lucres, lib. iii. v. too. x Cic. in Tusc. Quæst. lib. i. c. lit

J Diog, Latrt. in the Life of Heraclitus, lib, ix. lect. 7.

Demons, did nevertheless maintain, 'that no one could 'advance so far towards the Knowledge of his Soul, as 4 ever to arrive at it-, so profound was the Essence of it.' Neither is there less Controversy and Debate about the Seat of it. Hippocrates and Hiero- In nuhat Part pbilus place it in the Ventricle of the z Brain: Democritus and Aristotle, throughout the * whole Body.

Ut bona stepe valetudo cum dicitur ejse

Ccrporis, et non est tamen hœc pars ulla valentis \

/. e.

So Health and Strength are both said to belong
To Man, but are no Parts of him that's strong.

Epicurus in the Stomach, or middle Region of the Breast.

Hie exultat enim pavor, ac metus, bac loca circiim
Lœtitiœ mulcentz.

i. e.

For this the Seat of Horror is and Fear,
And Joys in turn do likewise triumph here.

The Stoics, about, and within, the Heart: Erafistratus, close to the Membrane of the Epicranion : Empedocles, in the Blood, as also Moses, which was the Reason why he interdicted eating the Blood of Beasts, in which their Soul is seated. Galen thought, that every Part of the Body had its Sould: Strato has placed it betwixt the Eyebrows: c §>u:i facie quidem Jit animus, aut ubi habitet, ne quærendum quidem est: 'What Figure the Sou] is of, or ■ what Part it inhabits, is not to be enquired into', fays Cicero. I very willingly deliver this Author to you in his own Words: For mould I go about to alter the Speech of Eloquence itself? Besides it were no great Prize to steal the Matter of his Inventions. They are neither very frequent, nor very difficult, and they are pretty well known. But the Reason why Chrysippus argues it to be

U 3 about

1 PJutarch. de PlacitL Philosophomm, fib. iv. c. 5. » Sextus Empiricm adv. Mathcm. p. 201. 6 Lucres, lib. iii. v. 103. c Id. ib. v. 141, * Plutarch, de Placitis Philosoph. lib. iv. c. 5. • Cit. Tusv. lib- i. C, 2?,

about the Heart, as the rest of that Sect do, is not to be admitted. 'It is, fays he, because, f when we would af

* firm any Thing, we lay our Hand upon our Breasts:

* And when we are to pronounce lya, which signifies I,

* we let the lower Mandible sink towards the Stomach.' This Place ought not to be overfiipped, without a Remark upon the Vanity of so great a Man: For, besides that these Considerations are infinitely trivial in themselves, the last is only a Proof to the Greeks, that they have their Souls lodged in that Part. No human Judgment is ib vigilant, that it does not sometimes sleep. Why mould we be afraid to speak? We fee the Stoics, who are the Fathers of human Prudence, have found out, that the Soul of a Man, crushed under a Ruin, S does long labour and strive to get out, before it can disengage itself from the Burden, like a Mouse caught in a Trap. Some hold, that the World was made to give Bodies, by way of Punishment, to the Angels that fell, by their own Fault, from the Purity wherein they had been created: The first Creation having been no other than incorporeal: And, that according, as they are more or less depraved from their Spirituality, so are they more or less jocundly or dully incorporated. From thence proceeds all the Variety of so much created Matter. But the Spirit that, for his Punishment, was invested with the Body of the Sun, must certainly have a very rare and particular Measure of Thirst. The Extremities of our

Perquisition all terminate in a Mist, as Plu

VtilSkf tarch" sa>'s on the Head of Histories> where» Inquiries. as lt iS m Charts, all that is beyond the Coasts of known Countries is represented to. « be taken up with Marshes, impenetrable Forests, De* farts, and Places uninhabitable'. And this is the Reason why the most stupid and childish Reveries were mostly found in those Authors, who treat of the fublimest Subjects, and proceed the furthest in them: Losing themselves in their own Curiosity and Presumption. The Beginning

f Apud Galenum, lib. ii. de Placitis Hippocratis et Platonis. s Senec. Ep. 57. > This Reflection of Plutarch is in the Preamblo to his Life of 1befw," 5

ginning and End of Knowledge are equally reputed foolish. Observe to what a Height Plato soars in his poetic Clouds: Do but take Notice of his Gibberish of the Gods. But what did he dream of when he defined Man to be! a two-legged Animal, ^JaifcSw without Feathers: Giving those who had a 0f Man"''"'" Mind to deride him, a pleasant Occasion •, for, having plucked a Capon alive, they called it the Man of Plato. And, as for the Epicureans, how simple were they to imagine, that their Atoms, which they said were Bodies, having some Tke Atoms °f Weight, and a natural Motion downwards, reans^JL/? had formed the World, 'till they were put in mind by their Adversaries, that, according to this Description, it was impossible they should unite and join to one another, their Fall being so direct and perpendicular, and producing so many parallel Lines throughout? Wherefore, there was a Necessity, that they should afterwards add a fortuitous and side-ways Motion, and that they should, moreover, accoutre their Atoms with Hooks and Crooks, to adapt them for a Union and Attachment to one another. And, even then, do not those that attack them upon this second Consideration, put them hardly to it ? If the Atoms have, by Chance, formed so many Sorts of Figures, why did it never fall out that they made a House or a Shoe? Why, at the same Rate, /hould we not as well believe, that an infinite Number of Creek Letters, strewed all over a certain Place, might possibly fall into the Contexture of the Iliad? 'Whatever is 'capable of Reason, says Zeno, is better than Zeno'z <weak 1 that which is not capable of itk: There is Argument.

* nothing better than the World j the World is therefore

* capable of Reason.' Cotta, by this Way of Argument, 'makes the World a Mathematician; and 'tis also made a Musician, and an Organist, by this other Argument of Zeno: 'The Whole is more than a Part; we are capable 'of Wisdom, and are Parts of the World; therefore the .' World is wife '.' It would be endless to instance, not

U 4 only

Diog, Lacrt. in the Life of Diogenes the Cynic, Jib. v. sect. 40.
k Ck, 4e Nat. Deor. lib. iii. c. 9. 'Idem, ib. lib. ii. c, 12.

only in the Arguments, which are false in themselves, but filly ones, that do not hold together in themselves, and that accuse their Authors, not lb much of Ignorance, as Imprudence, in the Reproaches the Philosophers hit one another in the Teeth withal, upon their Dissensions in their Sects and Opinions. Whoever should bundle up a lusty Faggot of the Fooleries of human Wisdom, would produce Wonders: I willingly muster up these few for a Pattern, by a certain Biass, not less profitable than the most moderate Instructions. Let us judge, by these, what Opinion we are to have of Man, of his Sense and Reason, when, in these great Persons, and such as have raised human Knowledge so high, there are so many gross and palpable Errors. For my Part, I am rather apt to believe, Whether the tnat tney nave treated of Knowledge casualancient Philo- ly> played with it, dallied with Reason, as a fophers treated vain and frivolous Instrument, like a Shittle0ferKTMndedge cock, and set on foot all sorts of Fancies and Inventions, sometimes more nervous, and sometimes weaker. This fame Plato, who defines Man, as if he were a Fowl, fays elsewhere, after Socrates, * That

* he does not, in Truth, know what Man is, and that he

* is one of the Members of the World the hardest to un

* derstand.' By this Variety and Instability of Opinions, they tacitly lead us, as it were, by the Hand, to this Certainty of their Uncertainty: They profess not always to deliver their Opinions bare-faced and apparent to us; they have, one while, disguised them in the fabulous Shadows of Poesy, and, another while, in some other Vizor: For our Imperfection carries this also along with it, that crude Meats are not always proper for our Stomachs; they must be dried, altered, and mixed: The Philosophers do the fame: They, now and then, conceal their real Opinions and Judgments, and falsify them to accommodate themselves to the Public: They will not make an open Profession of Ignorance, and of the Imbecillity of human Reason, that they may not frighten Children; but they sufficiently discover it to us by the Appearance of Knowledge that is confused and uncertain. I advised a Person

3 ■■'•**

« AnteriorContinuar »