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 [63] Indeed mankind, in wretched bondage held, lay groveling on the ground, galled with the yoke of what is called Religion; from the sky this tyrant shewed her head, and with grim looks hung over us poor mortals here below; until a man of Greece with steady eyes dared look her in the face, and first opposed her power. Him not the fame of Gods nor thunder’s roar kept back, nor threatening tumults of the sky; but still the more they roused the active virtue of his aspiring soul, as he pressed forward first to break thro’ Nature'​s scanty bounds. His mind’s quick force prevailed; and so he passed by far the flaming limits of this world, and wander’d with his comprehensive soul o’er all the mighty space; from thence returned triumphant; told us what things may have a being, and what cannot; and how a finite power is fixed to each; a bound it cannot break; and so Religion, which we feared before, by him subdued, we tread upon in turn; his conquest makes us equal to the Gods. [63] Indeed mankind, in wretched bondage held, lay groveling on the ground, galled with the yoke of what is called Religion; from the sky this tyrant shewed her head, and with grim looks hung over us poor mortals here below; until a man of Greece with steady eyes dared look her in the face, and first opposed her power. Him not the fame of Gods nor thunder’s roar kept back, nor threatening tumults of the sky; but still the more they roused the active virtue of his aspiring soul, as he pressed forward first to break thro’ Nature'​s scanty bounds. His mind’s quick force prevailed; and so he passed by far the flaming limits of this world, and wander’d with his comprehensive soul o’er all the mighty space; from thence returned triumphant; told us what things may have a being, and what cannot; and how a finite power is fixed to each; a bound it cannot break; and so Religion, which we feared before, by him subdued, we tread upon in turn; his conquest makes us equal to the Gods.
  
-But in these things I fear you will suspect you are learning impious rudiments of reason, and entering in a road of wickedness. So far from this, reflect what sad flagitious deeds Religion has produced; by her inspired the Grecian chiefs, the first of men, at Aulis, Diana’s altar shamefully defiled with with Iphigenia’s blood; her virgin hair a fillet bound, which hung in equal length on either side of her face; she saw her father, cover’d with sorrow, stand before the altar; for pity to his grief the butchering priests concealed the knife; the city at the sight o’erflowed with tears; the virgin, dumb with fear; fell low upon her knees on the hard Earth; in vain the wretched princess in distress pleaded that she first gave the honored name of Father to the King; but hurried off, and dragged by wicked hands, she trembling stood before the altar: Alas! not as a virgin, the solemn forms being duly done, is drawn with pleasing force to Hymen’s noble rites, but a chaste maid, just ripe for nuptial joy, falls a sad victim by a father’s hand, only to beg a kind propitious gale for Grecian ships; such Scenes of villainy Religion could inspire!+[80] But in these things I fear you will suspect you are learning impious rudiments of reason, and entering in a road of wickedness. So far from this, reflect what sad flagitious deeds Religion has produced; by her inspired the Grecian chiefs, the first of men, at Aulis, Diana’s altar shamefully defiled with with Iphigenia’s blood; her virgin hair a fillet bound, which hung in equal length on either side of her face; she saw her father, cover’d with sorrow, stand before the altar; for pity to his grief the butchering priests concealed the knife; the city at the sight o’erflowed with tears; the virgin, dumb with fear; fell low upon her knees on the hard Earth; in vain the wretched princess in distress pleaded that she first gave the honored name of Father to the King; but hurried off, and dragged by wicked hands, she trembling stood before the altar: Alas! not as a virgin, the solemn forms being duly done, is drawn with pleasing force to Hymen’s noble rites, but a chaste maid, just ripe for nuptial joy, falls a sad victim by a father’s hand, only to beg a kind propitious gale for Grecian ships; such Scenes of villainy Religion could inspire!
  
-But still I fear your caution will dispute the maxims I lay down, who all your life have trembled at the poets' frightful tales. Alas! I could even-now invent such dreams as would pervert the steadiest rules of reason, and make your fortunes tremble to the bottom. No wonder! But if Men were once convinced that death was the sure end of all their pains, they might with reason then resist the force of all Religion, and contemn the threats of poets. Now we have no sense, no power, to strive against prejudice, because we fear a scene of endless torments after death.+[103] But still I fear your caution will dispute the maxims I lay down, who all your life have trembled at the poets' frightful tales. Alas! I could even-now invent such dreams as would pervert the steadiest rules of reason, and make your fortunes tremble to the bottom. No wonder! But if Men were once convinced that death was the sure end of all their pains, they might with reason then resist the force of all Religion, and contemn the threats of poets. Now we have no sense, no power, to strive against prejudice, because we fear a scene of endless torments after death.
  
-And yet the nature of the soul we know not, whether formed with the body, or at the birth infused; and then, by death cut off, she perishes as bodies do; or whether she descends to the dark caves and dreadful lakes of Hell; or, after death, inspired with heavenly Instinct, she retires into the Brutes, as our great Ennius sung, who first a crown of laurels ever green brought down from Helicon; which gained him fame through all the Italian Coasts. And yet this man, in never-dying numbers, describes the stately Palaces of Acheron, where nor our souls or bodies ever come, but certain spectres strange and wond’rous ​pale; from whence he tells how Homer’s ever celebrated shade appeared, and how his eyes began to flow with briny tears, as in immortal verse he sung of Nature and her secret laws.+[113] And yet the nature of the soul we know not, whether formed with the body, or at the birth infused; and then, by death cut off, she perishes as bodies do; or whether she descends to the dark caves and dreadful lakes of Hell; or, after death, inspired with heavenly Instinct, she retires into the Brutes, as our great Ennius sung, who first a crown of laurels ever green brought down from Helicon; which gained him fame through all the Italian Coasts. And yet this man, in never-dying numbers, describes the stately Palaces of Acheron, where nor our souls or bodies ever come, but certain spectres strange and wonderous ​pale; from whence he tells how Homer’s ever celebrated shade appeared, and how his eyes began to flow with briny tears, as in immortal verse he sung of Nature and her secret laws.
  
-Wherefore, I shall not only accurately write of things above, as how the Sun and Moon their courses run, and by what power beings in Earth and Heaven are formed, but chiefly search with nicest care into the soul and what her Nature is. What ‘tis that meets our wakeful eyes, and frights the mind; and how, by sickness or by sleep oppressed, we think we see, or hear the voice of those who died long since, whose mould’ring bones rot in the cold embraces of the grave.+[126] Wherefore, I shall not only accurately write of things above, as how the Sun and Moon their courses run, and by what power beings in Earth and Heaven are formed, but chiefly search with nicest care into the soul and what her Nature is. What ‘tis that meets our wakeful eyes, and frights the mind; and how, by sickness or by sleep oppressed, we think we see, or hear the voice of those who died long since, whose mould’ring bones rot in the cold embraces of the grave.
  
-I know ‘tis hard to explain in Latin verse the dark and mystic notions of the Greeks, (for I have things to say require new words) because the tongue is poor, the subject new. But your virtue, and the pleasures I expect from tender friendship, makes me bear the toil, and spend the silent night with wakeful eyes, studious of words and numbers I shall use, to open your minds such scenes of light, which shew the hidden ​qualties ​of things unknown.+[137] I know ‘tis hard to explain in Latin verse the dark and mystic notions of the Greeks, (for I have things to say require new words) because the tongue is poor, the subject new. But your virtue, and the pleasures I expect from tender friendship, makes me bear the toil, and spend the silent night with wakeful eyes, studious of words and numbers I shall use, to open your minds such scenes of light, which shew the hidden ​qualities ​of things unknown.
  
-These terrors of the mind, this darkness then, not the Sun’s beams, nor the bright rays of day, can e’er dispel, but Nature’s light and reason; Whose first of principles shall be my guide: Nothing was by the Gods of nothing made. For hence it is that fear disturbs the mind, that strange events in Earth and Heaven are seen, whose causes cannot appear by reason’s eye, and then we say they were from Powers Divine. But when we rest convinced that nothing can arise from nothing, then the way is clear to our pursuit; we distinctly see whence every thing comes into being, and how things are formed without the help and trouble of the Gods.+[145] These terrors of the mind, this darkness then, not the Sun’s beams, nor the bright rays of day, can e’er dispel, but Nature’s light and reason; Whose first of principles shall be my guide: Nothing was by the Gods of nothing made. For hence it is that fear disturbs the mind, that strange events in Earth and Heaven are seen, whose causes cannot appear by reason’s eye, and then we say they were from Powers Divine. But when we rest convinced that nothing can arise from nothing, then the way is clear to our pursuit; we distinctly see whence every thing comes into being, and how things are formed without the help and trouble of the Gods.
  
-If things proceed from nothing, every thing might spring from any thing, and want no seed; Men from the sea might first arise, and fish and birds break from the Earth, and herds and tender flocks drop from the sky, and every kind of beast fix’d to no certain place, might find a being in deserts or in cultivated fields: Nor the same fruit on the same trees would grow, but would be chang’d, and all things all things bear. For had not every thing its genial seed, how is it that every thing derives its birth from causes still the same? But now, since things are formed from certain seeds, and first rise into light, where every being has its principles and matter fitly framed, from hence we see that all things cannot spring from every thing, since each has certain secret properties peculiar to itself.+[160] If things proceed from nothing, every thing might spring from any thing, and want no seed; Men from the sea might first arise, and fish and birds break from the Earth, and herds and tender flocks drop from the sky, and every kind of beast fix’d to no certain place, might find a being in deserts or in cultivated fields: Nor the same fruit on the same trees would grow, but would be chang’d, and all things all things bear. For had not every thing its genial seed, how is it that every thing derives its birth from causes still the same? But now, since things are formed from certain seeds, and first rise into light, where every being has its principles and matter fitly framed, from hence we see that all things cannot spring from every thing, since each has certain secret properties peculiar to itself.
  
-Besides, why do we see the rose adorn the Spring, the fruits in Summer, and the sweaty Autumn pressing the vine, unless the fixed seeds of things, uniting in their proper times, give life to beings, each in its stated season, while Mother Earth can trust her tender offspring with safety to the air. But if things proceed from nothing, in a moment they might spring at times uncertain, at quarters of the year unfit, and there would be no proper seeds, whose kindly influence might check their growth at seasons that would kill them in the bud.+[175] Why do we see the rose adorn the Spring, the fruits in Summer, and the sweaty Autumn pressing the vine, unless the fixed seeds of things, uniting in their proper times, give life to beings, each in its stated season, while Mother Earth can trust her tender offspring with safety to the air. But if things proceed from nothing, in a moment they might spring at times uncertain, at quarters of the year unfit, and there would be no proper seeds, whose kindly influence might check their growth at seasons that would kill them in the bud.
  
-Again, if things could spring from nought, what need of time for bodies to fulfill their growth by accession of new matter? An infant then might instantly become a youth, and trees start up in full perfection from the Earth. But ‘tis not so, ‘tis plain; for things, we know, grow by degrees from certain seeds, and still as they grow keep their kind; and thus you find each being rise into bulk, and thrives from seed and matter proper to itself.+[185] Again, if things could spring from nought, what need of time for bodies to fulfill their growth by accession of new matter? An infant then might instantly become a youth, and trees start up in full perfection from the Earth. But ‘tis not so, ‘tis plain; for things, we know, grow by degrees from certain seeds, and still as they grow keep their kind; and thus you find each being rise into bulk, and thrives from seed and matter proper to itself.
  
-Nor likewise can the Earth produce her fruits to cheer the heart, unless with timely showers impregnated;​ nor can creatures, blessed with life, deprived of food, e’er propagate their kind, or save their own lifes; and so you safer say that certain fixed principles belong to certain things, as letters form our words, than that from nothing any thing can rise.+[193] Nor likewise can the Earth produce her fruits to cheer the heart, unless with timely showers impregnated;​ nor can creatures, blessed with life, deprived of food, e’er propagate their kind, or save their own lifes; and so you safer say that certain fixed principles belong to certain things, as letters form our words, than that from nothing any thing can rise.
  
-Further, whence is it that Nature cannot shew men so gigantic as on foot to wade through seas, or with their hands to tear up mighty hills, or to surpass the common bounds of life, by many ages, but that certain seeds are fixed to all things, whence they must arise? And so we must confess that nothing springs from nothing, since each kind must proceed from seed, the principle whence every creature derives its life, and feels the gentle air.+[200] Further, whence is it that Nature cannot shew men so gigantic as on foot to wade through seas, or with their hands to tear up mighty hills, or to surpass the common bounds of life, by many ages, but that certain seeds are fixed to all things, whence they must arise? And so we must confess that nothing springs from nothing, since each kind must proceed from seed, the principle whence every creature derives its life, and feels the gentle air.
  
-Besides, because we find the Earth, improved by care, exceeds the uncultivated soil, and by turning up the fruitful clods, by ploughing, and, by breaking up the ground, we force to spring, but then, if no such seeds lay there, the fruits, without our labor would of their own accord improve, and of themselves prevent our care.+[208] Besides, because we find the Earth, improved by care, exceeds the uncultivated soil, and by turning up the fruitful clods, by ploughing, and, by breaking up the ground, we force to spring, but then, if no such seeds lay there, the fruits, without our labor would of their own accord improve, and of themselves prevent our care.
  
-Add here, that Nature does dissolve all bodies into their principles again, nor can reduce things into nothing.+[216] Add here, that Nature does dissolve all bodies into their principles again, nor can reduce things into nothing.
  
-For if every being was liable to death through all its substance, snatched from our eyes, it would directly perish; no need of violence to make a breach in all its parts, and loose the vital bands. But now since things are formed from eternal seeds, Nature wills that nothing be destroyed unless some force prevails, which beats with blows its outward form, or pierces through the pores with subtle art and so dissolves the frame.+[218] For if every being was liable to death through all its substance, snatched from our eyes, it would directly perish; no need of violence to make a breach in all its parts, and loose the vital bands. But now since things are formed from eternal seeds, Nature wills that nothing be destroyed unless some force prevails, which beats with blows its outward form, or pierces through the pores with subtle art and so dissolves the frame.
  
-Besides, such things as are removed by age, if time destroys them quite in all its parts, whence does the Power of Love restore to light the several race of beings? Whence the Earth, with nicest art, does nourish them when born, and makes them grow, and feeds with proper food each its kind? Whence do the bounteous springs and rivers, with their wandering streams from far, supply the sea? The air whence feed the stars? For that vast tract of time already past had long ago consumed things that were formed from mortal seed; but if those bodies which compose this universe of things were still supplied through all that space and periods of time that passed long since, they must surely consist of an immortal nature, and from death secure, can never into nothing fall.+[226] Besides, such things as are removed by age, if time destroys them quite in all its parts, whence does the Power of Love restore to light the several race of beings? Whence the Earth, with nicest art, does nourish them when born, and makes them grow, and feeds with proper food each its kind? Whence do the bounteous springs and rivers, with their wandering streams from far, supply the sea? The air whence feed the stars? For that vast tract of time already past had long ago consumed things that were formed from mortal seed; but if those bodies which compose this universe of things were still supplied through all that space and periods of time that passed long since, they must surely consist of an immortal nature, and from death secure, can never into nothing fall.
  
-Again, the same violence would everywhere destroy all beings, if the eternal power of matter did not hold fast their close compacted frame in bonds more strong or weak; a single touch would surely be the cause of death, for things formed out of mortal seed by any force must perish, and their frame be quite dissolved; but now, because the union of seeds of bodies differs, which consist of matter eternal in its nature, every being is safe from danger til some proper force, proportioned to its texture, makes the assault. So nothing can return to nothing; every thing resolves by separation of its parts into its principles from whence it spring.+[239] Again, the same violence would everywhere destroy all beings, if the eternal power of matter did not hold fast their close compacted frame in bonds more strong or weak; a single touch would surely be the cause of death, for things formed out of mortal seed by any force must perish, and their frame be quite dissolved; but now, because the union of seeds of bodies differs, which consist of matter eternal in its nature, every being is safe from danger til some proper force, proportioned to its texture, makes the assault. So nothing can return to nothing; every thing resolves by separation of its parts into its principles from whence it spring.
  
-Lastly, the rains that Father Aether pours into the womb of mother earth do seem to perish there, but strait fair fruits spring up; the boughs grow green upon the trees, their limbs increase, and bend beneath a load of fruit; hence all living race of men and beasts are fed, our gallant cities filled with youth, our leafy woods resound with songs of birds new fledged; the weary flocks grow fat, repose their bodies on the fertile plains, while the white milky humour from their dugs distended flows; and hence their sprightly young, in wanton play, frisk with their tender limbs over the soft grass, cheering their little hearts with the pure milk; and therefore things we see do not entirely die. Nature still renews one being by another, nor does she suffer one thing to be unless supplied with matter from something else that was dissolved before.+[251] Lastly, the rains that Father Aether pours into the womb of mother earth do seem to perish there, but strait fair fruits spring up; the boughs grow green upon the trees, their limbs increase, and bend beneath a load of fruit; hence all living race of men and beasts are fed, our gallant cities filled with youth, our leafy woods resound with songs of birds new fledged; the weary flocks grow fat, repose their bodies on the fertile plains, while the white milky humour from their dugs distended flows; and hence their sprightly young, in wanton play, frisk with their tender limbs over the soft grass, cheering their little hearts with the pure milk; and therefore things we see do not entirely die. Nature still renews one being by another, nor does she suffer one thing to be unless supplied with matter from something else that was dissolved before.
  
-And now, since I have taught that nothing can proceed from nothing, nor can things, once formed, to nothing be reduced, lest you by chance should doubt my reasons, since the seeds of things cannot be seen with naked eyes; hear further, that there are seeds of bodies (and you must confess there are) impervious to the sight.+[267] And now, since I have taught that nothing can proceed from nothing, nor can things, once formed, to nothing be reduced, lest you by chance should doubt my reasons, since the seeds of things cannot be seen with naked eyes; hear further, that there are seeds of bodies (and you must confess there are) impervious to the sight.
  
-And first, the raging force of winds does lash the sea, o'​erthrow vast ships, and chase the clouds; sometimes they scour the plains with furious storms, and spread them o'er with tallest trees, and vex the lofty hills with blasts that rend the woods. And so they bluster with a dreadful sound, and roar with threatening noise through the air. These winds are therefore bodies to the eyes unseen, which scour the sea, the lands, the clouds, and toss them, thus tormented, with their blasts. They act the same, and spread destruction round as a still stream, increased by sudden rain, and swelled by torrents pouring from the hills, the effect of driving showers, is born along, rending the limbs of trees, and then whole woods: Nor can the strongest bridges bear the force, so sudden, of the rushing flood; the stream, made mad by hasty rains, beats on the dams with force impetuous, swells through the breach with horrid noise, and rolls the massy stones under its waves, and breaks what stops its tide. Just so the hurricanes of wind drive on which way they point their blasts, like mighty floods, force all before them, beat with frequent strokes; sometimes they snatch with rapid turns, and while things as they roll in eddies through the air. These winds, 'tis plain, are bodies still unseen, since by their furious blasts they rival in their force the largest streams, which bodies are we own.+[272] And first, the raging force of winds does lash the sea, o'​erthrow vast ships, and chase the clouds; sometimes they scour the plains with furious storms, and spread them o'er with tallest trees, and vex the lofty hills with blasts that rend the woods. And so they bluster with a dreadful sound, and roar with threatening noise through the air. These winds are therefore bodies to the eyes unseen, which scour the sea, the lands, the clouds, and toss them, thus tormented, with their blasts. They act the same, and spread destruction round as a still stream, increased by sudden rain, and swelled by torrents pouring from the hills, the effect of driving showers, is born along, rending the limbs of trees, and then whole woods: Nor can the strongest bridges bear the force, so sudden, of the rushing flood; the stream, made mad by hasty rains, beats on the dams with force impetuous, swells through the breach with horrid noise, and rolls the massy stones under its waves, and breaks what stops its tide. Just so the hurricanes of wind drive on which way they point their blasts, like mighty floods, force all before them, beat with frequent strokes; sometimes they snatch with rapid turns, and while things as they roll in eddies through the air. These winds, 'tis plain, are bodies still unseen, since by their furious blasts they rival in their force the largest streams, which bodies are we own.
  
-Besides, we feel the various smells of things, but can't discern how they affect the nose; nor can we see the raging heat, nor with our eyes perceive the cold, nor can we see a voice; all which by nature are of bodies formed, because they make an impression on the sense, for nothing but body can be touched, or touch.+[298] Besides, we feel the various smells of things, but can't discern how they affect the nose; nor can we see the raging heat, nor with our eyes perceive the cold, nor can we see a voice; all which by nature are of bodies formed, because they make an impression on the sense, for nothing but body can be touched, or touch.
  
-Again, a garment hung up nigh the shore, that breaks the waves, grows wet, and, to the Sun expanded, dries; yet no one ever saw how the moist vapor fix'd, or how again it fled before the heat; the watery drops must be dissolved into small parts too subtle to be at all discovered by the eye.+[306] Again, a garment hung up nigh the shore, that breaks the waves, grows wet, and, to the Sun expanded, dries; yet no one ever saw how the moist vapor fix'd, or how again it fled before the heat; the watery drops must be dissolved into small parts too subtle to be at all discovered by the eye.
  
-But further, after circling many years, a ring upon the finger wears away, the fall of dropping water hollows stones, the crooked plough-share,​ though of iron, wastes in the fields insensibly by use; we see the streets, paved with hard stones, worn out by frequent tread of passengers; the brazen statues nigh the gates shew their right hands made less by many a kiss of those who worship, or who pass along. These things we see shew less and less, and wear; but what a share of matter every time is brushed off, nature in envy to us has not indulged the faculty to see.+[312] But further, after circling many years, a ring upon the finger wears away, the fall of dropping water hollows stones, the crooked plough-share,​ though of iron, wastes in the fields insensibly by use; we see the streets, paved with hard stones, worn out by frequent tread of passengers; the brazen statues nigh the gates shew their right hands made less by many a kiss of those who worship, or who pass along. These things we see shew less and less, and wear; but what a share of matter every time is brushed off, nature in envy to us has not indulged the faculty to see.
  
-Lastly, what every day and nature do bestow on beings, to make them grow by just degress, not the most piercing eye could ever find, nor yet the particles that fly and waste by age or by decay; nor can you see by what degrees the rocks are eaten through by the corroding salt of dashing waves: thus Nature works by bodies not discerned.+[323] Lastly, what every day and nature do bestow on beings, to make them grow by just degrees, not the most piercing eye could ever find, nor yet the particles that fly and waste by age or by decay; nor can you see by what degrees the rocks are eaten through by the corroding salt of dashing waves: thus Nature works by bodies not discerned.
  
-And yet all beings are not formed of close and solid parts; in things there is a void, which in your searches into nature will be of use to know. This will preserve your wandering mind from doubt, prevent your constant toil by judging right of nature'​s laws, and make my words believed.+[330] And yet all beings are not formed of close and solid parts; in things there is a void, which in your searches into nature will be of use to know. This will preserve your wandering mind from doubt, prevent your constant toil by judging right of nature'​s laws, and make my words believed.
  
-Wherefore there is a place we call a void, an empty space intangible, or else no bodies could be moved, or stir; the quality all bodies have to stop and to oppose does never fail, so that to move would be in vain to try, no body first by yielding would give way. But now we see before our eyes that things move various ways in seas, in Earth, and in the heaven above; but where there no void, they would not be deprived of that activity of motion only, but would not be at all; for matter wedged and crowded close on every side had ever been at rest.+[335] Wherefore there is a place we call a void, an empty space intangible, or else no bodies could be moved, or stir; the quality all bodies have to stop and to oppose does never fail, so that to move would be in vain to try, no body first by yielding would give way. But now we see before our eyes that things move various ways in seas, in Earth, and in the heaven above; but where there no void, they would not be deprived of that activity of motion only, but would not be at all; for matter wedged and crowded close on every side had ever been at rest.
  
-Besides, though things appear of solid parts composed, yet you will find them, in some measure, formed of bodies that are rare; the liquid moisture of the water sweats through rocks and stones, and all things weep with drops abundand; the food that every creature eats disperses through the body; the trees increase and grow and in due season shew their fruit; because the juice is from the lowe roots spread through the trunk, and over all the boughs. Sounds pass through strong partitions, and fly quick through walls of houses, and the piercing cold srikes through the very bones; but were no void, no empty space, that bodies ever should pass, you'd find a thing impossible to prove.+[347] Besides, though things appear of solid parts composed, yet you will find them, in some measure, formed of bodies that are rare; the liquid moisture of the water sweats through rocks and stones, and all things weep with drops abundand; the food that every creature eats disperses through the body; the trees increase and grow and in due season shew their fruit; because the juice is from the lowe roots spread through the trunk, and over all the boughs. Sounds pass through strong partitions, and fly quick through walls of houses, and the piercing cold srikes through the very bones; but were no void, no empty space, that bodies ever should pass, you'd find a thing impossible to prove.
  
-Again, why do we see some things exceed others in weight, though of equal size? For if as much of body went to form a ball of wool as made a ball of lead, their weight would be the same; for the quality of body is to press downward: but a perfect void by nature has no weight; so that a body of equal size, but lighter in is weight, proves it has more of empty space. So again, the heavier body has more of solid parts 'tis plain, and has within it less of void. And this is doubtless what with reason'​s searching eye we look for, mixed with things; we call it space.+[359] Again, why do we see some things exceed others in weight, though of equal size? For if as much of body went to form a ball of wool as made a ball of lead, their weight would be the same; for the quality of body is to press downward: but a perfect void by nature has no weight; so that a body of equal size, but lighter in is weight, proves it has more of empty space. So again, the heavier body has more of solid parts 'tis plain, and has within it less of void. And this is doubtless what with reason'​s searching eye we look for, mixed with things; we call it space.
  
-But I am forced to step before, and answer what some pretend, lest you should be seduced from truth: They say the waters yield to fish making their way, and open their liquid paths; for when the fish have left a space, that instant thither the yielding waters circling flow. By the same rule, all beings may be moved among themselves, and change their former place, though all things should be full: but this, 'tis plain, is false throughout; for how could fish advance at all, unless the waters gave them way? And whither should the waves retire, if the fish did not move, and leave a space behind? So that all bodies must be deprived of motion, or you must say a void is mixed with every thing from whence each being first derives a power to move.+[371] But I am forced to step before, and answer what some pretend, lest you should be seduced from truth: They say the waters yield to fish making their way, and open their liquid paths; for when the fish have left a space, that instant thither the yielding waters circling flow. By the same rule, all beings may be moved among themselves, and change their former place, though all things should be full: but this, 'tis plain, is false throughout; for how could fish advance at all, unless the waters gave them way? And whither should the waves retire, if the fish did not move, and leave a space behind? So that all bodies must be deprived of motion, or you must say a void is mixed with every thing from whence each being first derives a power to move.
  
-Lastly, if two broad bodies meet, and instantly are separated again, the air must needs fill up the void that is between; but this air, though it should hurry with its swiftest powers, it cannot all at once fill up the space these bodies will disclose at parting; first the nearest part will be filled up, and then the more remote, until the whole be full.+[385] Lastly, if two broad bodies meet, and instantly are separated again, the air must needs fill up the void that is between; but this air, though it should hurry with its swiftest powers, it cannot all at once fill up the space these bodies will disclose at parting; first the nearest part will be filled up, and then the more remote, until the whole be full.
  
-If one should say when these flat bodies meet the air is condensed, but when they part the air is rarified, 'tis a mistake; for then here must be void where there was none before, and that void that was before must now be full; in such a case, the air can't be condensed; and if it could, it can't without a void contract itself, and so reduce its parts into a closer space. Wherefore, perplex the matter as you please, you must confess in things there is a void.+[391] If one should say when these flat bodies meet the air is condensed, but when they part the air is rarified, 'tis a mistake; for then here must be void where there was none before, and that void that was before must now be full; in such a case, the air can't be condensed; and if it could, it can't without a void contract itself, and so reduce its parts into a closer space. Wherefore, perplex the matter as you please, you must confess in things there is a void.
  
-I could by many arguments confirm this system of a void, and fix your faith to what I say, but these small tracks I have drawn, to such a searching mind, will be enough; the rest you may find out without a guide. For as staunch hounds, once put upon the foot, will be nose soon rouse the mountain game from their thick covers, so you, in things like these, will one thing by another trace, will hunt for truth in every dark recess, and draw her thence.+[401] I could by many arguments confirm this system of a void, and fix your faith to what I say, but these small tracks I have drawn, to such a searching mind, will be enough; the rest you may find out without a guide. For as staunch hounds, once put upon the foot, will by nose soon rouse the mountain game from their thick covers, so you, in things like these, will one thing by another trace, will hunt for truth in every dark recess, and draw her thence.
  
-But if you doubt, or in the least object to what I say, I freely promise this, my Memmius, my tuneful tongue shall, from the mighty store that fills my heart, pour out such plenteous draughts from the deep springs, that tardy age I fear will first creep through my limbs, and quite break down the gates of life, before I can explain in verse the many arguments that give a light to one particular. But now I shall go on to finish regularly what I begun.+[411] But if you doubt, or in the least object to what I say, I freely promise this, my Memmius, my tuneful tongue shall, from the mighty store that fills my heart, pour out such plenteous draughts from the deep springs, that tardy age I fear will first creep through my limbs, and quite break down the gates of life, before I can explain in verse the many arguments that give a light to one particular. But now I shall go on to finish regularly what I begun.
  
 [420] All nature therefore, in itself considered, is one of these, is body or is space, in which all things are placed, and from which the various motions of all beings spring. That there is body common sense will show, this as a fundamental truth must be allowed, or there is nothing we can fix as certain in our pursuit of hidden things, by which to find the Truth, or prove it when 'tis found. Then if there were no place or space, we call it void, bodies would have no where to be, nor could they move at all, as we have fully proved to you before. [420] All nature therefore, in itself considered, is one of these, is body or is space, in which all things are placed, and from which the various motions of all beings spring. That there is body common sense will show, this as a fundamental truth must be allowed, or there is nothing we can fix as certain in our pursuit of hidden things, by which to find the Truth, or prove it when 'tis found. Then if there were no place or space, we call it void, bodies would have no where to be, nor could they move at all, as we have fully proved to you before.
  
-Besides, there is nothing you can strictly say, "It is neither body nor void," which you may call a third degree of things ​disctinct ​from these. For every being must in quantity be more or less; and if it can be touched, though ne'​er ​so so small or light, it must be body, and so esteemed; but if it can't be touched, and has not in itself a power to stop the course of other bodies as they pass, this is the void we call an empty space.+[431] Besides, there is nothing you can strictly say, "It is neither body nor void," which you may call a third degree of things ​distinct ​from these. For every being must in quantity be more or less; and if it can be touched, though ne'er so small or light, it must be body, and so esteemed; but if it can't be touched, and has not in itself a power to stop the course of other bodies as they pass, this is the void we call an empty space.
  
-Again, whatever is must either act itself, or be by other agents acted on; or must be something in which other bodies must have a place and move; but nothing without body can act, or be acted on; and where can this be done, but in a vacuum or empty space? Therefore, beside what body is or space, no third degree in nature can be found, nothing that ever can affect our sense, or by the power of thought can be conceived. All other things you'll find essential conjuncts, or else the events or accidents of these. I call essential conjunct what's so joined to a thing that it cannot, without fatal violence, be forced or parted from it; is weight to stones, to fire heat, moisture to the Sea, touch to all bodies, and not to be touched essential is to void. But, on the contrary, Bondage, Liberty, Riches, Poverty, War, Concord, or the like, which not affect the nature of the thing, but when they come or go, the thing remains entire; these, as it is fit we should, we call Events.+[439] Again, whatever is must either act itself, or be by other agents acted on; or must be something in which other bodies must have a place and move; but nothing without body can act, or be acted on; and where can this be done, but in a vacuum or empty space? Therefore, beside what body is or space, no third degree in nature can be found, nothing that ever can affect our sense, or by the power of thought can be conceived. All other things you'll find essential conjuncts, or else the events or accidents of these. I call essential conjunct what's so joined to a thing that it cannot, without fatal violence, be forced or parted from it; is weight to stones, to fire heat, moisture to the Sea, touch to all bodies, and not to be touched essential is to void. But, on the contrary, Bondage, Liberty, Riches, Poverty, War, Concord, or the like, which not affect the nature of the thing, but when they come or go, the thing remains entire; these, as it is fit we should, we call Events.
  
-Time likewise of itself is nothing; our sense collects from things themselves what has been done long since, the thing that present is, and what's to come. For no one, we must own, ever thought of Time distinct from things in motion or at rest.+[460] Time likewise of itself is nothing; our sense collects from things themselves what has been done long since, the thing that present is, and what's to come. For no one, we must own, ever thought of Time distinct from things in motion or at rest.
  
-For when the poets sing of Helen'​s rape, or of the Trojan State subdued by war, we must not say that these things do exis now in themselves, since Time, irrevocably past, has long since swept away that race of men that were the cause of those events; for every act is either properly the event of things, or of the places where those things are done.+[465] For when the poets sing of Helen'​s rape, or of the Trojan State subdued by war, we must not say that these things do exist now in themselves, since Time, irrevocably past, has long since swept away that race of men that were the cause of those events; for every act is either properly the event of things, or of the places where those things are done.
  
-Further, if things were not of matter formed, were there no place or space where things might act, the fire that burned in Paris' heart, blown up by love of Helen'​s beauty, had never raised the famous contests of a cruel war; nor had the wooden horse set Troy on fire, discharging from his belly in the night the armed Greeks: from whence you plainly see that actions do not of themselves subsist, as bodies do, nor are in nature such as is a void, but rather are more justly called the events of body, and of space, where things are carried on.+[472] Further, if things were not of matter formed, were there no place or space where things might act, the fire that burned in Paris' heart, blown up by love of Helen'​s beauty, had never raised the famous contests of a cruel war; nor had the wooden horse set Troy on fire, discharging from his belly in the night the armed Greeks: from whence you plainly see that actions do not of themselves subsist, as bodies do, nor are in nature such as is a void, but rather are more justly called the events of body, and of space, where things are carried on.
  
-Lastly, bodies are either the first seeds of things, or formed by the uniting of those seeds. The simple seeds of things no force can strain, their solid parts will never be subdued. Though it is difficult, I own, to think that any thing in nature can be found perfectly solid; for heaven'​s thunder passes through the walls of houses, just as sound or words; iron in the fire grows hot, and burning stones fly into pieces by the raging heat; the stiffness of the gold is loosed by fire, and made to run; the hard and solid brass, subdued by flames, dissolves; the heat and piercing cold passes through silver; both of hese we find as in our hand we hold a cup, and at the top pour water hot or cold: so nothing wholly solid seems to be found in nature. But because reason ​an the fixed state of things oblige me, here, I beg, while in few verses we evince that there are beings that consist of solid and everlasting matter which we call the seeds, the first principles of things, from whence the whole of things begin to be.+[484] Lastly, bodies are either the first seeds of things, or formed by the uniting of those seeds. The simple seeds of things no force can strain, their solid parts will never be subdued. Though it is difficult, I own, to think that any thing in nature can be found perfectly solid; for heaven'​s thunder passes through the walls of houses, just as sound or words; iron in the fire grows hot, and burning stones fly into pieces by the raging heat; the stiffness of the gold is loosed by fire, and made to run; the hard and solid brass, subdued by flames, dissolves; the heat and piercing cold passes through silver; both of these we find as in our hand we hold a cup, and at the top pour water hot or cold: so nothing wholly solid seems to be found in nature. But because reason ​and the fixed state of things oblige me, here, I beg, while in few verses we evince that there are beings that consist of solid and everlasting matter which we call the seeds, the first principles of things, from whence the whole of things begin to be.
  
-And, first, because we find two sorts of things unlike in nature, in themselves distinct, body and space, 'tis necessary each should be entire, and separate in itself; for where there is a space which we call void, there nothing is of body; so were body is, there nothing is of empty space: and therefore such things are as solids and first seeds, which nothing in them can admit of void.+[504] And, first, because we find two sorts of things unlike in nature, in themselves distinct, body and space, 'tis necessary each should be entire, and separate in itself; for where there is a space which we call void, there nothing is of body; so were body is, there nothing is of empty space: and therefore such things are as solids and first seeds, which nothing in them can admit of void.
  
-These solid seeds by no force from without can be dissolved, nor can they be destroyed by being pierced withinnor made to yield by any other meansas proved before. For nothing can be bruised without a voidor broken or by force be cleft in two, or receive moisture, or the piercing cold, or searching fire which all things ​else destroys. And the more of void the solid seeds confinethe sooner when they are struck will they dissolve ​and fall to pieces; ​therefore, if these first seeds are solid, ​free from void, they, as I said, must be eternal, and from death secure.+[512] Besides, because in all created things there is a void'tis necessary some solid matter should still include this void; nor can you provebu any rule of reasonthat any thing contains within itself an empty spaceunless you will allow what holds it in is perfect solid; and this is nothing ​else but the close union of the first seeds, ​which bind and do confine within themselves this void. Matter ​therefore ​composed of solid parts eternal iswhen all things else must die.
  
-Again, if matter had not been eternallong before now all beings had returned to nothing, and each being we behold ​again had been restored from nothing; butas before I provednothing ​from nothing can be made, and what was once in being can never to nothing be reducedit follows, those first seeds must be composed of principles immortal, into which at last each being must dissolve, and thence supply an everlasting stock of matter to repair the things decayed. These first seeds therefore are solid and simple, else they could not last entire through ages pas and infinite, to repair beings perished and dissolved.+[520] Further, if there was no such thing as we call voidevery thing would be solid; then again, ​unless there were some things solid to fill up the space they holdall would be empty space. Body from space therefore is in itself distinctfor all is neither fullnor is all void; and therefore ​there are solid seeds which make a difference between full and space.
  
-But still, if nature had prefixed ​no bounds in breaking things to piecesthe parts of matterbroken ​by every passing agehad been reduced so small that nothing ​could of them be formed tha would in any time become mature; for things ​we see much sooner are dissolved than are again restoredand therefore ​what an infinite tract of ages past has brokenand separated and dissolvedin future time can never be repaired; so that certain bounds of breaking and dividing ​must be set, because we see each being is repaired, and stated times are fixed to ever thing in which it feels the flower of its age.+[525] These solid seeds by no force from without can be dissolvednor can they be destroyed by being pierced withinnor made to yield by any other meansas proved before. For nothing ​can be bruised without a void, or broken or by force be cleft in two, or receive moisture, or the piercing cold, or searching fire which all things ​else destroys. And the more of void the solid seeds confine, the sooner ​when they are struck will they dissolve and fall to pieces; therefore, ​if these first seeds are solid, free from void, they, as I said, must be eternal, and from death secure.
  
-And yetthough the first seeds of things are solid, all beings ​that are compoundedsuch as air and waterearch and firemay be soft, (however ​made, or by what power formed) and from them be produced, because there is a void still mixed with thingsandon the contrary, if these first seeds were softwhat reason can there be assigned whence hardened flints ​and iron could be formed, for nature would want the proper principles to work upon; and therefore these first seeds must simple ​solids beby whose union close and compact all things are bound up firm, and so display their strength and hardy force.+[541] Againif matter had not been eternallong before now all beings ​had returned to nothing, and each being we behold again had been restored from nothing; butas before I provednothing from nothing can be made, and what was once in being can never to nothing ​be reducedit followsthose first seeds must be composed of principles immortal, into which at last each being must dissolve, and thence supply an everlasting stock of matter to repair ​the things decayed. These first seeds therefore are solid and simple, ​else they could not last entire through ages pas and infiniteto repair beings perished ​and dissolved.
  
-Againbecause each being in its kind has certain bounds prefixed ​to its increaseand to the preservation ​of its lifeand since by nature'​s laws it is ordained to each how far their powers to act or not extend; since nothing changes, and every thing goes on as it beganeach kind of birds, most steady ​in their courseshew the same colours painted on their wingsthe principles of matter whence they spring must be fixed and unchangeableif the seeds of things could change by any means, '​twould ​be unknown what could be formedwhat not; by what means every being is limited, and stops short within the bounds ​it cannot break; nor could the course ​of time in every age, the nature, moton, diet, and the manners of the old sire impress upon the young.+[552] But stillif nature had prefixed no bounds ​in breaking things ​to pieces, the parts of matterbroken ​by every passing agehad been reduced so small that nothing could of them be formed that would in any time become mature; for things we see much sooner are dissolved than are again restored; and therefore what an infinite tract of ages past has brokenand separated and dissolvedin future time can never be repairedso that certain bounds ​of breaking and dividing must be setbecause we see each being is repaired, and stated times are fixed to ever thing in which it feels the flower ​of its age.
  
-Besidesbecause ​the utmost point or the extreme ​of every body something is the eye canno discernit is not made of partiesbut is in nature ​what we call the least; which never exists of itself, divided ​from body, nor ever can, because ​it is the very first and last of something else. For 'tis by heaping up such parts as theseone by another, that complete ​the being of every body. Since then they can't subsist apartand separatethey must needs stick close, nor be divided by the utmost force. These seeds therefore are in their nature solid, ​and simple, ​formed ​of smallest parts bound close; not tied together by united seeds of various kindsbut in themselves entire, eternally unmixed and pure, from which nature ​will suffer nothing ​to be forced or lessened, reserving them as first seeds, ​to form and to repair those things ​that die.+[566] And yetthough ​the first seeds of things are solidall beings that are compounded, such as air and water, earth and fire, may be soft, (however ​made, or by what power formed) and from them be produced, because ​there is a void still mixed with things; ​and, on the contraryif these first seeds were softwhat reason can there be assigned whence hardened flints ​and iron could be formed, ​for nature ​would want the proper principles ​to work upon; and therefore these first seeds must simple solids beby whose union close and compact all things ​are bound up firm, and so display their strength and hardy force.
  
-Again, ​suppose there was no least, the smallest bodies mus be composed ​of parts boundless ​and infinitethe half of every being must then contain another halfso there would be no end of still dividing; and where would be the difference between ​the smallest ​and the largest bodies? None in the leastfor though ​the whole be entirely infiniteyet bodies that are smallest ​would contain infinite parts alikewhich, since true reason exclaims against, nor will allow the mind to give assentyou mustconvincedprofess that there are bodies which are void of parts, and are by nature least; since such there are, you must admit them solid and eternal.+[578] Again, ​because each being in its kind has certain bounds prefixed to its increaseand to the preservation ​of its life, and since by nature'​s laws it is ordained to each how far their powers to act or not extendsince nothing changes, and every thing goes on as it beganeach kind of birds, most steady in their course, shew the same colors painted on their wings, ​the principles of matter whence they spring must be fixed and unchangeableif the seeds of things could change by any meansit would be unknown what could be formedwhat not; by what means every being is limitedand stops short within the bounds it cannot break; ​nor could the course of time in every agethe naturemotiondiet, and the manners of the old sire impress upon the young.
  
-Lastlyif nature, parent ​of thingshad not compelled all things that perish then to be resolved into least parts, ​she could from them repair nothing that diesfor bodies that are formed ​of various parts can never be endued with propertieswhich the first seeds of things ought to possess, ​as unionweight, and forceagreementmotion, by which all things ​act.+[593] Besidesbecause the utmost point or the extreme ​of every body something is the eye cannot discernit is not made of parts, ​but is in nature what we call the leastwhich never exists ​of itself, divided from body, nor ever can, because it is the very first and last of something else. For 'tis by heaping up such parts as theseone by another, that complete the being of every body. Since then they can't subsist apart, and separatethey must needs stick closenor be divided by the utmost force. These seeds therefore are in their nature solidand simple, formed of smallest parts bound close; not tied together ​by united seeds of various kinds, but in themselves entire, eternally unmixed and pure, from which nature will suffer nothing to be forced or lessened, reserving them as first seeds, to form and to repair those things ​that die.
  
-And yet, suppose ​that nature had allowed ​no end to bodies being dividedyet some bodies ​from eternity ​must have beenwhich by no force could ever be subdued. But bodies that are formed of brittle seedsand to be brokencould not have remained for ages infinitevexed as they have been with endless blowsbut must have been dissolved.+[609] Again, suppose ​there was no leastthe smallest ​bodies must be composed of parts boundless and infinite; the half of every being must then contain another halfso there would be no end of still dividing; and where would be the difference between the smallest and the largest bodies? None in the least; for though the whole be entirely infinite, yet bodies that are smallest would contain infinite parts alikewhich, since true reason exclaims against, nor will allow the mind to give assentyou mustconvincedprofess that there are bodies which are void of parts, and are by nature least; since such there are, you must admit them solid and eternal.
  
-Whereforethose sages who have thought that fire is the first principle ​of things, ​and from that alone the whole is formed, ​do greatly erro from the true rule of reason. The chamption of theseHeraclitusenters first the listsmore famed for dark expression among empty Greeks than with the wisewho search for truth; for none but fools admireand love what they see couched in words abstruse; and that they take for truth which quaintly moves the earand painted over affecs ​by witty jingling of the sound.+[621] Lastlyif nature, parent ​of things, ​had not compelled all things that perish then to be resolved into least parts, she could from them repair nothing ​that dies; for bodies that are formed ​of various parts can never be endued with propertieswhich the first seeds of things ought to possessas unionweightand forceagreementmotion, by which all things act.
  
-For how such various beings could ariseI askif formed ​from pure and real fire? To say, that the hot fire is now condensed, and sometimes rarified, would nought avail; the several parts must still retain the nature of fire, the same which the fire had when whole; the heat would be more fiercethe parts condensedmore languid when divided and made rare. There'​s nothing more than this you can derive from causes such as these; much less so great variety of things can be produced from fire or flamecondensed or made rare.+[627] And yetsuppose that nature had allowed no end to bodies being dividedyet some bodies ​from eternity must have beenwhich by no force could ever be subdued. But bodies ​that are formed of brittle seeds, and to be brokencould not have remained for ages infinitevexed as they have been with endless blowsbut must have been dissolved.
  
-Indeedwould hey admit in things ​a voidfire then might be condensed or rarified; but thisbecause it contradicts their other schemesthey murmur atand will allow in things no empty space: Sowhile they fear to grant this difficult ​truth, ​they lose the way that's right, nor do they see, by not allowing there is in things a void, all bodies would be dense, ​and out of all one only would be made, which could by force emit nothing without itselfas the hot fire emits both light and heat, which shews it is not composed ​of crowded parts, without a void.+[635] Whereforethose sages who have thought that fire is the first principle of things, ​and from that alone the whole is formeddo greatly erro from the true rule of reason. The champion of theseHeraclitusenters first the lists, more famed for dark expression among empty Greeks than with the wisewho search for truth; for none but fools admireand love what they see couched ​in words abstruse; ​and that they take for truth which quaintly moves the ear, and painted over affecs by witty jingling ​of the sound.
  
-But if they think that fire in all its parts may be extinguished, and so its body changeif they insist that this may once be donethen the whole fire must be resolved to nothingand things new-form from nothing must arise; for whatsoever is changed, and breaks ​the bounds of its first naturedies, and is no more what must still remain whole and unhurt, lest things to nothing ​should perfectly returnand then revive, and should again from nothing ​be restored.+[646] For how such various beings could arise, I ask, if formed from pure and real fire? To say, that the hot fire is now condensed, and sometimes rarified, would nought availthe several parts must still retain the nature of fire, the same which the fire had when whole; the heat would be more fierce, the parts condensed, more languid when divided ​and made rare. There'​s ​nothing ​more than this you can derive from causes such as thesemuch less so great variety of things can be produced from fire or flame, condensed or made rare.
  
-But now, since there remain some certain seeds that keep their nature still the same, whose absence or their presence, and their change of order change the nature of compound bodies, you must not think that these first seeds are fiery; if they were, what would it signify what seeds are absent, or what retire, what others take their place, how others may their rank and order change, since all would still be in their nature fire, and beings formed from them must wholly be of fire? But, as I think, the case is thus: some certain seeds there are by whose concussion, motion, order, site, and figure, fire is formed; and when their order is changed, they change the nature of this fire; but these first seeds have nothing fiery in themselves, nor of such a nature are they as to send forth bodies to be perceived by sense, or be the object of our touch.+[656] Indeed, would they admit in things a void, fire then might be condensed or rarified; but this, because it contradicts their other schemes, they murmur at, and will allow in things no empty space: So, while they fear to grant this difficult truth, they lose the way that's right, nor do they see, by not allowing there is in things a void, all bodies would be dense, and out of all one only would be made, which could by force emit nothing without itself, as the hot fire emits both light and heat, which shews it is not composed of crowded parts, without a void. 
 + 
 +[666] But if they think that a fire in all its parts may be extinguished,​ and so its body change; if they insist that this may once be done, then the whole fire must be resolved to nothing, and things new-form from nothing must arise; for whatsoever is changed, and breaks the bounds of its first nature, dies, and is no more what must still remain whole and unhurt, lest things to nothing should perfectly return; and then revive, and should again from nothing be restored. 
 + 
 +[676] But now, since there remain some certain seeds that keep their nature still the same, whose absence or their presence, and their change of order change the nature of compound bodies, you must not think that these first seeds are fiery; if they were, what would it signify what seeds are absent, or what retire, what others take their place, how others may their rank and order change, since all would still be in their nature fire, and beings formed from them must wholly be of fire? But, as I think, the case is thus: some certain seeds there are by whose concussion, motion, order, site, and figure, fire is formed; and when their order is changed, they change the nature of this fire; but these first seeds have nothing fiery in themselves, nor of such a nature are they as to send forth bodies to be perceived by sense, or be the object of our touch.
  
 [691] And now to say that every thing is fire, and no true thing in nature does exist but fire, as this man does, is madness all; he contradicts his senses by his sense, and overthrows those tests of truth by which all things are known: for 'tis by them we know what thing which he calls fire, and this sense concludes, it truly knows the nature of this fire; but then all other things it will deny, which equally are true. This is to me a vain and foolish way to judge; for to what shall we apply? And what can be more sure than our senses to us, by which we fully know falsehood and truth? [691] And now to say that every thing is fire, and no true thing in nature does exist but fire, as this man does, is madness all; he contradicts his senses by his sense, and overthrows those tests of truth by which all things are known: for 'tis by them we know what thing which he calls fire, and this sense concludes, it truly knows the nature of this fire; but then all other things it will deny, which equally are true. This is to me a vain and foolish way to judge; for to what shall we apply? And what can be more sure than our senses to us, by which we fully know falsehood and truth?
  
-Besides, why any one should all things else disclaim, and only fire allow, or say there'​s no such thing as fire, and all things else allow, either of this is in vain, and equal madness to believe.+[702] Besides, why any one should all things else disclaim, and only fire allow, or say there'​s no such thing as fire, and all things else allow, either of this is in vain, and equal madness to believe
 + 
 +[706] Wherefore, those sages who contend that fire is the first principle, and that of fire all things consist, and those who make he air the first seeds of bodies, and such who lay the water is the sole cause of beings, or that the Earth all things creates, and can infuse itself into the nature of all things, do strangely err, and wander wide from the truth. 
 + 
 +[713] And so do those who doubt the first elements of things, and to produce all beings, join the air to fire, the earth to water, or believe that from all four all beings are produced, and spring from air, and water, earth and fire. 
 + 
 +[716] The chief of these we rank Empedocles of Agrigentum, born in Sicily, the island famed for its three promontories,​ whose sides the Ionian sea flows all around, with mighty windings, from whose coast the sea, by a narrow Frith, divides the bounds of Italy. Here is the fierce Charybdis, here Aetna roars, and threatens loud to suck in flames of vengeance, with greater force to belch them out again, burst from his jaws, and throw the flashing fire high as he sky. This island, though renowned by men for many things, and worth their sight, rich in the best advantages of life, by mighty men defended, yet produced nothing more glorious than this one great man, nothing more venerable, admired, and dear. Besides his verse, that from his soul divine flows sweetly, so clearly proves, and so explains the noble secrets he has found, he seems scarce born of human race, but from the gods. 
 + 
 +[735] Yet he, with others inferior note we named before, remarkably, by great degrees, and uch below him, though these have succeeded well in their search, and many things have found as if inspired, and have pronounced their oracles (from the most close recesses of their souls) much more divine, and founded more on reason than Pythia, sacred prophetess, from Tripod, or from Apollo'​s laurel ever spoke. Yet they have made sad havoc, when they search into the principles of things and fell with this great man's mistakes together with him. 
 + 
 +[743] And first, because, denying there is void in bodies, they admit of motion, and allow that things are soft or rare; as the air, the sun, the fire, the earth, the creatures, fruits, and yet will mix no empty space in the contexture of bodies that are formed.
  
-Whereforethose sages who contend ​that fire is the first principleand that of fire all things consist, and those who make he air the first seeds of bodiesand such who lay the water is the sole cause of beingsor that the Earth all things ​creates, and can infuse itself into the nature of all things, do strangely err, and wander wide from the truth.+[747] And then they set no bounds to bodies being dividednor will admit an end to blows that break their frame; nor will they grant that such a thing as least is found in bodieswhen we plainly see that every being has a part, a point that utmost lies, and obvious to our sensewhich is the least of all; and thence conclude, that utmost pointis that same least in things ​too small to be discovered by the sight.
  
-And so do those who doube the first elements ​of things, and to produce all beingsjoin the air to fire, the earth to water, or believe that from all four all beings are produced, and spring ​from air, and water, earth and fire.+[754] Besides, these men make their principles ​of things ​consist in soft seeds, which we see are born, and altogether mortal in their frame; if so, the whole of things must have returned ​to nothing, and be again from thence restored; how distant both from truth you have heard before.
  
-The chief of these we rank Empedocles of Agrigentum, born in Sicily, the island famed for its three promontories,​ whose sides the Ionian sea flows all around, with mighty windings, from whose coast the sea, by a narrow Frith, divides the bounds of Italy. Here is the fierce Charybdis, here Aetna roars, and threatens loud to suck in flames of vengeance, with greater force to belch them out again, burst from his jaws, and throw the flashing fire high as he sky. This islandthough renouned by men for many thingsand worth their sight, rich in the best advantages of life, by mighty men defended, yet produced nothing more glorious than this one great man, nothing more venerable, admired, and dear. Besides his verse, that from his soul divine flows sweetly, so clearly proves, ​and so explains the noble secrets he has found, he seems scarce born of human race, but from the gods.+[760] And then such seeds are many times at war among themselves, and poison ​to each other, and so will perish in the attackor fly scatteredas in a tempest we observe ​the thunder, and the showers ​and wind disperse.
  
-Yet hewith others inferior note we named beforeremarkably, by great degrees, and uch below himthough ​these have succeeded well in their searchand many things ​have found as if inspired, and have pronounced their oracles (from the most close recesses of their souls) much more divine, ​and founded more on reason than Pythia, sacred prophetess, from Tripod, or from Apollo'​s laurel ever spoke. Yet they have made sad havocwhen they search into the principles ​of things ​and fell with this great man's mistakes together with him.+[764] Lastlyif all things from four elements are formedand into them are finally dissolvedwhy should they rather the first principles of things be called, than things the principles of them? For they are produced alternately,​ are ever changing their form and their whole nature mutually into each other; but if by chance you think the body of the fire and earth is joined, that air is joined to water, and this unitedeach element preserves its nature still entire; nothing from seeds like these could have been formednot men, nor things ​inanimate, ​as trees: for every element in this various heap of matter, ever changing, would display its proper nature still; you'd see air mixed with the earth, and fire and water joined. But the first principles whence things are formed should be in nature ​close and undiscernedthat nothing might appear which should oppose ​or jarand thus prevent ​the compound body from being uniform, and make it consist ​of parts dissimilar, confused ​and void.
  
-And first, ​becausedenying there is void in bodiesthey admit of motion, and allow that things are soft or rareas the air, the sun, the fire, the earth, the creaturesfruits, and yet will mix no empty space in the contexture ​of bodies that are formed.+[782] Besides, philosophers like these derive their transmutation from celestial fire; and first, ​they make this fire change to airfrom air is water formedthe earth from waterand then again, from earth these elements return, first water, then the air, then last the fire. Nor do these constant changes ever cease among themselvesbut still proceed from heaven to earth, ​from earth to stars, that light the world. But the first seeds of things must by no means be thus disposed; for something immutable must needs remainlest things should utterly to nothing be reduced: For whatsoever suffers change, by passing over the bounds of its first nature, dies, and is no more what it first was. Those elements therefore, which, as we said above, admit of change, must needs consist of other seeds which never can change at all, lest things should utterly to nothing be reduced: Then rather say, there are some certain principles ​in nature which are the seeds of fire, suppose, and some of these being taken away, or else by adding more, by changing of their order or their motion, they compose the air, and so all other beings may be produced by changes such as these.
  
-And then they set no bounds to bodies being dividednor will admit an end to blows that break their frame; nor will they grant that such a thing as least is found in bodieswhen we plainly see that every being has a part, a point that utmost lies, and obvious to our sensewhich is the least of all; and thence concludethat utmost pointis that same least in things too small to be discovered by the sight.+[803] But you say, that common fact does clearly show that all things grow and rise into the air and are supported by the earth; and unless the season, ​in happy timeindulges rain, and shakes the trees with driving showers, unless the sun, on his part, cherishes and gives his heatnor fruits, nor trees, nor creatures could increase. 'Tis true, but these are not first seeds; ​and we likewise, unless dry food and kindly juice preserve ​our bodies, they must perish, and every spark of life, out of our nerves and bones, must be extinct. We are upheld, no doubt, and nourished by certain means; and other things are staid by certain others; for many common principles of many things are mixed in each. And therefore, the various kinds of things we find supported in a different mannerbut yet it much concerns with what, and in what orderthese first seeds unite, and what motion they give and take among themselves; for the same seeds compose heaven, earth, ​the sea, the rivers, and the sun, the same compose the creatures, fruits, and trees, they differ only as they are moved by others, and as their mixture differs in themselves.
  
-Besides, these men make their principles ​of things consist in soft seedswhich we see are born, and altogether mortal ​in their frame; if so, the whole of things ​must have returned to nothingand be again from thence restoredhow distant both from truth you have heard before.+[823] Soin these lines of minethe many letters you see are common to the make and form of many words; and yetyou must confess, the verses ​and the words are much unlike ​in sense and sound: Such is the force of lettersby change of order only. But the first seeds of things ​being moremust needs admit of changes more different; from whence proceeds that great variety of things we see produced.
  
-And then such seeds are many times at war among themselvesand poison to each otherand so will perish in the attackor fly scattered, as in tempest ​we observe the thunder, and the showers ​and wind disperse.+[829] Nowlet us inquire into the homoeomery of Anaxagorusthe Greeks ​so call it, but the poverty of the Latin tongue will not allow us to express it; but yetby short periphrasis, ​we can explain that thing which he calls homoeomery, and makes the principle of bodies. For instance, bones proceed from small and little bones; and flesh is made of small and little bits of flesh; and blood is formed of many drops of blood flowing together; and gold, he thinks, consists of little grains of gold; and Earth grows firm by particles of earth; fire is made of fire; water from water springs; and all things else, he thinks, from causes such as these arise.
  
-Lasly, if all things ​from four elements are formed, and into them are finally dissolved, why should they rather the first principles of things be called, than things the principles of them? For they are produced alternately,​ are ever changing their form and their whole nature mutually into each other; but if by chance you think the body of the fire and earth is joined, that air is joined ​to water, and this united, each element preserves its nature still entire; nothing from seeds like these could have been formed, not men, nor things inanimate, as treesfor every element ​in this various heap of matter, ever changing, whould display its proper nature still; you'd see air mixed with the earth, and fire and water joined. But the first principles whence things are formed should be in nature close and undiscerned,​ that nothing might appear which should oppose or jar, and thus prevent the compound body from being uniform, and make it consist ​of parts dissimilar, confused and void.+[843] And yet this man in no case will allow in things ​a voidnor that there is an end to bodies being dividedhe equally mistakes ​in both, and so do those sages spoken ​of before.
  
-Besides, ​philosophers like these derive their transmutation from celestial fire; and first, they make this fire change ​to airfrom air is water formed, the earth from water; ​and then again, from earth these elements returnfirst waterthen the air, then last the fire.  Nor do these constant changes ever cease among themselves, but still proceed from heaven to earth, from earth to stars, that light the world.  ​But  the first seeds of things ​must by no means be thus disposed; for something immutable must needs remainlest things ​should utterly to nothing be reduced: ​ For whatsoever suffers change, ​by passing over the bounds of its first naturediesand is no more what it first was.  Those elements thereforewhich, as we said above, admit of hange, must needs consist of other seeds which never can change at all, lest things should utterly ​to nothing ​be reduced: ​ Then rather say, there are some certain principles in nature which are the seeds of fire, suppose, and some of these being taken away, or else by adding more, by changing of their order or their motion, they compose the air, and so all other beings may be produced by changes such as these.+[847] Besides, ​the seeds he chose are much too weakif of the same frail nature ​they consist, as do the things themselves, they equally fall to decay, and perishnothing hinders them from death: for which of these can long hold out against the fierce jaws of deathand so escape destructioncrushed between his very teeth? Can fire? Can air? Can water? Which of these? Can blood? Can bone? In my opinion - none.  ​All things ​in nature then would be equally liable to deathas are such things ​we see before our eyes by any force destroyed. But thisI think, is fully proved beforethat nothing ​can fall to nothing, or from nothing rise.
  
-But you saythat common fact does clearly show that all things grow and rise into the air and are supported by the earth; and unless ​the seasonin happy time, indulges rain, and shakes ​the trees with driving showersunless ​the sunon his part, cherishes ​and gives his heatnor fruits, nor trees, nor creatures could increase '​Tis true, but these are not first seeds; and we likewise, unles dry food and kindly juice preserve our bodies, they must perish, and every spark of life, out of our nerves and bones, must be extinct. ​ We are upheld, no doubt, and nourished by certain means; ​and other things are staid by certain others; for many common principles ​of many things are mixed in each.  And thereforethe various kinds of things we find supported in a different manner; but yet it much concerns with whatand in what orderthese first seeds uniteand what motion they give and take among themselves; for the same seeds compose heaven, earth, the sea, the rivers, and the sun, the same compose the creatures, fruits, and trees, they differ only as they are moved by others, and as their mixture differs in themselves.+[859] Besidessince food increases ​and supports ​the body, then we know the veins, the blood, the bonesconsist of heterogeneous ​and parts dissimilaras does our foodBut if they say all food consists of parts various ​and mixed, and in itself contains the little strings ​of nerves and bones, and all the veins and parts of bloodthen all dry meat and drink must needs consist ​of parts dissimilarof bonesof nervesof veins, and mingled blood.
  
-So, in these lines of mine, the many letters you see are common to the make and form of many words; and yetyou must confess, the verses and the words are much unlike ​in sense and sound: ​ Such is the force of lettersby change of order only.  But the first seeds of things being more, must needs admit of changes more different; from whence proceeds that great variety of things we see produced.+[867] Furtherif all things which grow from the Earth are in the Earth containedthe earth must consist of parts dissimilaras do those things from which the earth arise. Now change the theme, but keep the terms the same; in wood if flame and smokeand ashes lay concealedthen wood must needs consist of parts of different ​frame.
  
-Now, let us inquire into the homeomery of Anaxagorus, the Greeks so call it, but the poverty ​of the Latin tongue will not allow us to express ​it; but yetby a short periphrasis,​ we can explain ​that thing when he calls homeomeryand makes the principle ​of bodies. ​ For instancebones proceed from small and little bonesand flesh is made of small and little ​bits of flesh; and blood is formed of many drops of blood flowing together; and goldhe thinksconsists ​of little grains ​of gold; and Earch grows firm by particles ​of earth; fire is made of fire; water from water springs; and all things ​elsehe thinksfrom causes such as these arise.+[874] But here a thin evasion seems to shake this argument a little; and Anaxagorus ​himself makes use of it:  he thinks all things are mixed with all things and lie hidbut that one thing only appears, of which it most abounds, and on the surface liesbut this reply is vain, and wide from truth, for then the little ​grains ​of corn, when ground, would show some signs of blood, or of some other parts which form our bodies; and when we wear the stones, the blood would flow. By the like reason herbs would sweat sweet drops of liquorso delightful to the taste as flow from dugs of woolly sheepand clods of crumbled earth would show the various kinds of fruits ​and herbs, and leaves distinct and hid in smallest ​particles ​within the earth. And then, in wood divided, might be seen concealed ashes and smoke, and smallest parts of fire. But since experience shows nothing of this appears, we must conclude there'​s no such mixture as this in thingsbut say, that common seeds of many things ​in various order joinedare mixed in every thingand lie concealed.
  
-And yet this man in no case will allow in things a voidnor that there is an end to bodies being divided: ​ he equally mistakes ​in both, and so do those sages spoken of before.+[894] But oftyou say, upon the mountain tops, the heads of lofty trees that grow together are by the violent blasts of forcing winds so rubbed by close collision that they soon are all on fire, and flames shine out. 'Tis true, and yet there's no actual fire within the wood, but many seeds of fire, which by hard rubbing ignite, and so the wood is all in flames. For if so much of fire had lain concealed within the wood, this fire would have appeared immediately, and so consumed the wood entirely, and burnt its root branches to the ground.
  
-Besidesthe seeds he chose are much too weakif of the same frail nature ​they consist, as do the things ​themselves, they equally fall to decay, and perish, nothing hinders them from death: ​ for which of these can long hold out against ​the fierce jaws of deathand so escape destructioncrushed between his very teech? ​ Can fire? Can Air? Can water? Which of these? ​ Can blood? ​ Can bone?  In my opinion none.  All things in nature then would be equally liable to death, ​as are such things ​we see before our eyes by any force destroyed. ​ But thisI thinkis fully proved before, that nothing can fall to nothing, or from nothing rise.+[906] You see therefore of what concern it isas we observed before, with what first principles those seeds are joinedand in what order placed, and what the motions are they give and take among themselves, and how the seeds remaining ever the samebut yet their order changedproduce a fire from wood; just as we write //ignis// and //lignum//though quite different wordsthey are yet composed of letters much the same.
  
-Besidessince food increases and supports ​the bodythen we know the veins, the bood, the bones, consist of heterogeneous and parts dissimilaras does our food.  But if they say all food consists of parts various and mixed, and in itself contains the little ​strings of nerves and bones, and all the veins and parts of blood, then all dry meat and drink must needs consist of parts dissimilar, of bones, of nerves, of veins, and mingled blood.+[914] Lastlyif things most obvious to the senseyou thinkcannot be formed unless you make their seeds consist of principles the same in naturethose principles would be destroyed; you'd see some seeds would shake their little ​sides with laughing, and some bedew their face with tears.
  
-Furtherif all things which grow from the Earth are in the Earth contained, the earth must consist ​of parts dissimilaras do those things ​from which the earth arise Now change ​the theme, but keep the terms the same; in wood if flame and smoke, and ashes lay concealedthen wood must needs consist ​of parts of different frame.+[920] Nowwhat remains observe, attend me close. ​ I know my theme is dark, but the great love of praise pricks on my heart with sharpest spurs, and strikes my soul at once with sweet desire of the most tuneful line; but this urged onmy mind in rapture, I haunt the Muses' seats, ​of difficult accessand yet untrod. I love to approach the purest springs, and thence to draw large draughts. I love to crop fresh flowers, and make a noble garland for my head; from thence, where yet the Muses never bound another'​s temples with a crown like mineAnd first, I write of lofty things, and strive to free the mind from the severest bonds of what men call religion; then my verse I frame so clear, although my theme be dark, seasoning my lines with the poetic sweets of fancy, and reason justifies the method. For as the physicians, when they would prevail on children to take down a bitter draught of wormwood, first tinge the edges of the cup, that so the childrens'​ unsuspecting age may be deceived, at least their lips, and take the bitter juice, thus harmlessly betrayed, but not abused, they have their health restored. So I, because this system seems severe and harsh, to such who have not yet discerned its truth, and the common herd are utterly averse to this philosophy, I thought it fit to show the rigid principles ​in verse smooth ​and alluring, and tinge themas it were, with sweet poetic honey, thus to charm thy mind with my soft numbers, till you view the nature ​of all things clearly, and perceive the figure and order they display.
  
-But here a thin evasion seems to shakey this argument a little; and Anaxagorus himself makes use of it:  he thinks all things ​are mixed with all things and lie hidbut that one thing only appearsof which it most aboundsand on the surface liesbut this reply is vainand wide from truthfor then the little grains of corn, when ground, would show some signs of blood, or of some other parts which form our bodies; ​and when we wear the stonesthe blood would flow.  But the like reason herbs would sweat sweet drops of liquorso delightful to the taste as flow from dugs of woolly sheepand clods of crumbled earth would show the various kinds of fruits ​and herbs, and leaves distinct and hid in smallest particles within the earth; ​ And then, in wood dividedmight be seen concealed ashes and smokeand smallest parts of fire.  But since experience shows nothing of this appears, we must conclude there'​s no such mixture as this in things; but say, that common seeds of many things in various order joined, are mixed in every thing, and lie concealed.+[950] But since I taught the principles ​of matter ​are solidare eternalevermovingnor are destroyednowcomelet us inquire whether they have an end, or are by nature infinite: ​and since we have found a void or placeor space in which all things are movedlet us now see whether ​the universemade up of void and body, be circumscribedor does to a profound immensity extend.
  
-But oftyou sayupon the mountain tops, the heads of lofty trees that grow together are by the violent blasts of forcing winds so rubbed by close collision that they soon are all on fireand flames shine out.  'Tis trueand yet there'​s ​no actual fire within the woodbut many seeds of firewhich by hard rubbing ignite, and so the wood is all in flames For if so much of fire had lain concealed within ​the wood, this fire would have appeared immediatelyand so consumed the wood entirely, and burnt its root branches to the ground.+[957] This Allthereforedoes not admit of bounds; for if it didthen it must have something extreme: Now, no extreme can beunless it lies beyond those things whose boundsor whose extreme it is, from whence they may be seen, and beyond which our faculty of sight can reach no furtherNow since we must own, that nothing can be beyond ​the All, this All has therefore no extremeit has no endsno bounds; nor does it signify what spot of this great All you stand upon; for on what part soever you are fixed, you have a wide and infinite space around you every way.
  
-You see therefore ​of what concern it isas we observed before, with what first principles those seeds are joined, and in what order placed, and what the motions ​are they give and take among themselves, and how the seeds remaining ever the samebut yet their order changedproduce a fire from woodjust as we write ignis and lignumthough quite different wordsthey are yet composed of letters much the same.+[966] But if this wide extent ​of space be finite and circumscribedlet a man stand upon the utmost verge, and from thence throw a dart, whether you choose this dart, with mighty force thus cast, should reach the mark designed, and fly swift on, or whether you think that something should hinder or oppose its flight, and one of these you must confess; now either way you are caught, and can't escape: You are forced to own this All lies wide extended without bounds. For whether there be something that does hinder and stop its flight, so that it cannot reach the mark designedand there rest still and fixed; or whether it flies forwardthere this end you cannot fix: for if it stops, then something must lie beyond the utmost verge; and if it fliesthere is a space beyond the extremist brink. And thus I follow closeand wheresoever you place the extremes bounds, I still demand what comes of your dart? So that no bounds can anywhere be fixed, but space immense will always give a passage to its flight.
  
-Lastlyif things most obvious ​to the senseyou thinkcannot ​be formed unless you make their seeds consist ​of principles the same in nature, those principles ​would be destroyedyou'd see some seeds would shake their little sides with laughing, and some bedew their face with tears.+[983] Besideswere this All's extended space shut up by certain bounds in every side, and was by nature finite, then this mass of matter, pressed by its solid weight, had long ere now sunk to the lowest placeand therefore nothing under the vault of heaven could have a beingnor could there be heavens at all, or the sun's light. For then the seeds of things that had been sinking from all eternity ​would in confusion lie on heapsby now the principles of bodies having no rest at all, are ever moving, because there's no such thing as lowest place, to which they may descend, no fixed abode where they should rest; but things are ever carried by motion never-ending,​ through every part of this vast All, from whence the active ​seeds of things arise, and are eternally supplied.
  
-Nowwhat remains observe, attend me closeI know my theme is dark, but the great love of praise pricks on my heart with sharpest spurs, and strikes my soul at once with sweet desire of the most tuneful Nine; but this urged onmy mind in rapture, I haunt the Muses' seats, of difficult access, and yet untrod; I love to approach ​the purest springsand thence to draw large draughts. ​ I love to crop fresh flowers, and make a noble garland for my head; from thence, where yet the Muses never bound another'​s temples with a crown like mine.  And first, I write of lofty things, and strive to free the mind from the severest bonds of when men call religionthen my verse I frame so clear, although my theme be dark, seasoning my lines with the poetic sweets of fancy, and reason justifies the method For as the physicians, when they would prevail on children to take down a bitter draught ​of wormwoodfirst tinge the edges of the cup, that so the childrens unsuspecting age may be deceivedat least their lipsand take the bitter juicethus harmlessly betrayed, but not abused, they have their health restored: ​ So I, because this system seems severe and harsh, to such who have not yet discerned its truth, and the common herd are utterly averse ​to this philosophyI thought it fit to show the rigid principles in verse smooth and alluringand tinge them, as it were, with sweet poetic honey, thus to charm thy mind with my soft numbers, till you view the nature of all things clearly, and perceive the figure and order they display.+[997] Furtherwe see one thing bounds another; the air bounds in the hills, the hills the air, the earth shuts up the sea, and then again the sea surrounds ​the earthbut this great All nothing exterior to itself can bind. For the nature ​of this placethis empty space, is such, that rivers of the swiftest streamwere they to run for ages infinitewith a perpetual currentcould not run through itor ever by their running prove that they had less of their course ​to run; so vastly wide this mighty space of things extended lies on all sidesevery waywithout ​all bounds.
  
-Bu since I taught ​the principles ​of matter are solidare eternalevermovingnor are destoyednowcomelet us enquire whether they have an end, or are by nature infinite: ​ and since we have found a void or placeor space in which all things are movedlet us now see whether ​the universemade up of void and body, be circumscribed, or does to a profound immensity extend.+[1006] Besides, ​the laws of nature do providethat this universe of things will not admit of limits to itselfbecause body is bound to voidand void a bound to bodyand by this mutual termination is isthat this great All becomes immense; for were not each a bound until the otherwere body not limit set to void, the void would be infinite, and all finite bodies would be dissolvedand so nor sea, nor earth, nor the bright heavensnor mortal race of mennor sacred bodies of gods could be one moment of an hour; for the seeds of bodies being disunited in themselveswould fly, and quite dissolved, be carried through the void; or rather, being never joined, had formed no being; for once scattered through this space, they could not be compelled ​to join again.
  
-This Allthereforedoes not admit of bounds; for if it didthen it must have something extreme: ​ Nowno extreme can beunless it lies beyond ​those things ​whose boundsor whose extreme it is, from whence they may be seen, and beyond which our faculty of sight can reach no further. ​ Now since we must own that nothing can be beyond ​the Allthis All has therefore no extremeit has no endsno bounds; nor does it signify what spot of this great All you stand upon; for on what part soever you are fixedyou have wide and infinite space around you every way.+[1020] For certainly the principles of things could never range themselves in form or orderby counselor by wisdom ​of the mind, nor any compact make how each should movebut being changed in various forms, and struck with many blows, they are driven through this void for many agesand having tried all kinds of motionand of unionthey at length by chance are so disposed to frame those bodies of which this Universe of things ​consists. And these seeds once thrown into convenient motions, and keeping in the same for many ages, is the true cause that riverswith a large supply of waters ​from their streams, fill up the greedy sea, and the earthsupported by the sun's heatrenews the fruitsand the race of living creatures flourishand the rolling stars of heaven ​are kept alive; all which could never beif from this infinite mass supply of seeds flowed not, from whence decaying things might rise, and live, and be from age to age repaired.
  
-But if this wide extent of space be finite and circumscribed,​ let a man stand upon the utmost vergeand from thence throw a dartwhether you choose this dart, with mighty force thus cast, should reach the mark designed, and fly swift on, or whether you think that something should hinder or oppose its flight, and one of these you must confess; now either way you are caught, and can't escape: ​ You are forced to own this All lies wide extended without bounds. ​ For whether there be something that does hinder and stop its flight, so that it cannot reach the mark designedand there rest still and fixed; or whether it flies forwardthere this end you cannot fix:  for if it stopsthen something must lie beyond the utmost verge; ​and if it flies, there is a space beyond ​the extremist brink. ​ And thus I follow close, and wheresoever you place the extremes bounds, I still demand what comes of your dart?  So that no bounds can anywhere be fixed, but space immense will always give a passage to its flight.+[1037] For as the animal creationdeprived of food, must perish, and their bodies ​be quite destroyed, so things must be dissolved as soon as matterturning from its coursefails to afford supply, and save the whole.
  
-Besideswere this All's extended space shut up by certain bounds in every sideand was by nature finitethen this mass of matterpressed by its solid weighthad long ere now sunk to the lowest place, and therefore nothing under the vault of heaven could have a beingnor could there be heavens at allor the sun's light. ​ For then the seeds of things that had been sinking from all eternity would in confusion lie on heaps; by now the principles of bodies having no rest at allare ever movingbecause there's no such thing as lowest place, to which they may descendno fixed abode where they should restbut things are ever carried by motion ​never-endingthrough every part of this vast All, from whence ​the active seeds of things arise, and are eternally supplied.+[1041] Noras some may objectcan outward blows on all sides givenpreserve ​this All of things we see compoundedfrom falling into pieces: They may indeed beat thickand stay some part, till other atoms come, and so supply ​the universe. But often they are compelled to boundand leap backand so afford ​the seeds both time and place to fly awayand thus to get their former liberty again. Therefore, 'tis fit that many seeds should still arisefrom time to timefor a supplyand that these blows might never cease to beat, the force of matter must be on all sides infinite.
  
-Further, we see one thing bounds another; the air bounds in the hills, the hills the air, the earth shuts up the sea, and then again the sea surrounds ​the earth; but this great All nothing exterior ​to itself can bind.  For the nature ​of this place, this empty space, is such, that rivers ​of the swiftest streamwere they to run for ages infinitewith a perpetual currentcould not run through it, or ever by their running prove that they had less of their course to run; so vastly wide this mighty space of things extended lies on all sidesevery way, without all bounds.+[1051] In these inquiries ​see that you avoid, my Memmius, to believe with some that say, all bodies strive to reach the middle place of this great Alland so the nature of the world stands fixednot struck at all by outward blows; nor can the upper or lower parts be scattered any way abroad, since all things by nature to the center tend (as if you could believe that any thing could stay and rest upon itself, that heavy bodies tend upwards, and fix their rest upon the surface of the earth opposite ​to us, just as we see the images ​of bodies show themselves in water.) By the same reason they contend ​that creatures walk underneath, as we above; nor can they fall into the regions ​of the air belowthan can our bodies naturally fly upwards ​to Heaven; and when they see the sunwe view the stars of nightand so by turns they share with us the seasons ​of the heavensand with us still divide night and days.
  
-Besides, the laws of nature do provide, that this universe ​of things ​will not admit of limits to itselfbecause body is bound to void, and void a bound to body; and by this mutual termination is isthat this great All becomes immense; for were not each a bound unti the otherwere body not a limit set to voidthe void would be infiniteand all finite bodies would be dissolvedand so nor sea, nor earthnor the bright heavensnor mortal race of mennor sacred bodies of gods could be one moment of an hour; for the seeds of bodies ​being disunited in themselveswould fly, and quite dissolved, be carried through the void; or rather, being never joined, had formed no being; for once scattered through ​this space, they could not be compelled ​to join again.+[1067] But vain mistake hath formed this scheme for foolswho judge perversely of the seeds of things. For there can be no Middlewhere there is void or space that's infinite; or if there wascan bodies, for this reasonrather stop their course in this mediumthan take up their abode in any part of space that's further off. For placeor empty space, which we call void, must equally give way to heavy movements through a mediumor through nonewhich way soever their motions tend; nor is there any place where bodieswhen they comethrow off their weight, and stand fixed in a voidand take their rest. Nor can a void support ​the weight ​of bodies, ​but must by its own nature still give way. It follows then that things are not preserved ​or held together by this meansas if they fondly strove ​to reach a middle space.
  
-For certainly the principles of things could never range themselves in form or orderby counselor by wisdom of the mindnor any compact make how each should move; but being changed in various forms, ​and struck with many blowsthey are driven through this void for many agesand having tried all kinds of motion, and of union, they at length by chance ​are so disposed to frame those bodies ​of which this Universe of things consists And these seeds once thrown into convenient motions, and keeping in the same for many ages, is the true cause that rivers, with a large supply ​of waters from their streams, fill up the greedy sea, and the earth, supported by the sun'​s ​heatrenews ​the fruits, and the race of living creatures flourish, and the rolling stars of heaven are kept alive; all which could never beif from this infinite mass a supply of seeds flowed notfrom whence decaying things might rise, and live, and be from age to age repaired.+[1082] Besidesall bodiesthey pretend, do not incline towards ​the center, but those of earth and waterthe seathe rivers rolling from the hills, and those that are composed ​of earthy partsBut the thin air, they say, and the hot fire are carried upwards from the middle; and hence it is the sky spangled every way with starsand the sun's flame in his celestial course ​is fed, because ​the fire flying from the center there binds up all its heat; (so from the earth all mortal things are fednor can the trees adorn their lofty heads with leaves unless the earth to every kind affords its due support.) They say sort of heavenly canopy above covers ​the whole, and holds it in; lest the world'​s ​wallstheir parts being all dissolved, should instantly be scattered through ​the void, like swiftest flames, and all things be overwhelmed in this great ruin; lest the thundering vaults ​of heaven should tumble from above, and earth should fail our trembling feet, and the whole race of mentheir bodies broken and dissolvedshould wander through the boundless voidamidst these mingles ruins of the earth and heavens; and in a moment nothing would be left but desert empty space, and senseless seeds. For in whatever part you will suppose the seeds to separate, here will be the gate of death to bodies; for matter through the breach will rush abroad, and press with mighty force.
  
-For as the animal creation, deprived ​of foodmust perish, and their bodies be quite destroyed, so things ​must be dissolved as soon as matter, turning from its course, fails to afford supply, and save the whole.+[1107] If this you thoroughly know, and little pains will serve (for one thing by another you'll explain) no more shall darkness interrupt your way, but you shall view the utmost depths ​of naturefor things ​will show themselves by mutual light.
  
  
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