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MARGARET, DUCHESS of NEWCASTLE Publishd 10 Augt. 1799 by. S. Harding. 127
Pall Mall.
THE DESCRIPTION OF A NEW WORLD, CALLED The Blazing-World.
WRITTEN By the Thrice Noble, Illustrious, and Excellent PRINCESS, THE Duchess
of Newcastle.
LONDON, Printed by A. Maxwell, in the Year M.DC.LX.VIII.
TO THE DUCHESS OF NEWCASTLE, ON HER New Blazing-World.
OUr Elder World, with all their Skill and Arts,
Could but divide the World into three Parts:
Columbus, then for Navigation sam'd,
Found a new World, America 'tis named;
Now this new World was found, it was not made,
Only discovered, lying in Time's shade.
Then what are You, having no Chaos found
To make a World, or any such least ground?
But your Creating Fancy, thought it fit
To make your World of Nothing, but pure Wit.
Your Blazing-World, beyond the Stars mounts higher,
Enlightens all with a Celestial Fire.
William Newcastle.
To all Noble and Worthy LADIES.
THIS present Description of a New World; was made as an Appendix to my
Observations upon Experimental Philosophy; and, having some Sympathy and
Coherence with each other, were joined together as Two several Worlds, at their
Two Poles. But, by reason most Ladies take no delight in Philosophical
Arguments, I separated some from the mentioned Observations, and caused them to
go out by themselves, that I might express my Respects, in presenting to Them
such Fancies as my Contemplations did afford. The First Part is Romancical; the
Second, Philosophical; and the Third is merely Fancy; or, (as I may call it)
Fantastical. And if ( Noble Ladies) you should chance to take pleasure in
reading these Fancies, I shall account my self a Happy Creatoress: If not, I
must be content to live a Melancholy Life in my own World; which I cannot call
a Poor World, if Poverty be only want of Gold, and Jewels: for, there is more
Gold in it, than all the Chemists ever made; or, (as I verily believe) will
ever be able to make. As for the Rocks of Diamonds, I wish, with all my Soul,
they might be shared amongst my Noble Female Friends; upon which condition, I
would willingly quit my Part: And of the Gold, I should desire only so much as
might suffice to repair my Noble Lord and Husband's Losses: for, I am not
Covetous, but as Ambitious as ever any of my Sex was, is, or can be; which is
the cause, That though I cannot be Henry the Fifth, or Charles the Second; yet,
I will endeavour to be, Margaret the First: and, though I have neither Power,
Time, nor Occasion, to be a great Conqueror, like Alexander, or Caesar; yet,
rather than not be Mistress of a World, since Fortune and the Fates would give
me none, I have made One of my own. And thus, believing, or, at least, hoping,
that no Creature can, or will, Envy me for this World of mine, I remain,
Noble Ladies, Your Humble Servant, M. NEWCASTLE.
THE DESCRIPTION OF A NEW WORLD, CALLED The Blazing-World.
A Merchant travelling into a foreign Country, fell extremely in Love with a
young Lady; but being a stranger in that Nation, and beneath her, both in Birth
and Wealth, he could have but little hopes of obtaining his desire; however his
Love growing more and more vehement upon him, even to the slighting of all
difficulties, he resolved at last to Steal her away; which he had the better
opportunity to do, because her Father's house was not far from the Sea, and she
often using to gather shells upon the shore, accompanied not with above two or
three of her servants, it encouraged him the more to execute his design. Thus
coming one time with a little leight Vessel, not unlike a Packet-boat, manned
with some few Sea-men, and well victualled, for fear of some accidents, which
might perhaps retard their journey, to the place where she used to repair; he
forced her away: But when he fancied himself the happiest man of the World, he
proved to be the most unfortunate; for Heaven frowning at his Theft, raised
such a Tempest, as they knew not what to do, or whither to steer their course;
so that the Vessel, both by its own leightness, and the violent motion of the
Wind, was carried as swift as an Arrow out of a Bow, towards the North-pole,
and in a short time reached the Icy Sea, where the wind forced it amongst huge
pieces of Ice; but being little, and leight, it did by the assistance and
favour of the gods to this virtuous Lady, so turn and wind through those
precipices, as if it had been guided by some experienced Pilot, and skilful
Mariner: But alas! Those few men which were in it, not knowing whither they
went, nor what was to be done in so strange an Adventure, and not being
provided for so cold a Voyage, were all frozen to death; the young Lady only,
by the light of her Beauty, the heat of her Youth, and Protection of the Gods,
remaining alive: Neither was it a wonder that the men did freeze to death; for
they were not only driven to the very end or point of the Pole of that World,
but even to another Pole of another World, which joined close to it; so that
the cold having a double strength at the conjunction of those two Poles, was
insupportable: At last, the Boat still passing on, was forced into another
World; for it is impossible to round this Worlds Globe from Pole to Pole, so as
we do from East to West; because the Poles of the other World, joining to the
Poles of this, do not allow any further passage to surround the World that way;
but if any one arrives to either of these Poles, he is either forced to return,
or to enter into another World: and lest you should scruple at it, and think,
if it were thus, those that live at the Poles would either see two Suns at one
time, or else they would never want the Sun's light for six months together, as
it is commonly believed: You must know, that each of these Worlds having its
own Sun to enlighten it, they move each one in their peculiar Circles; which
motion is so just and exact, that neither can hinder or obstruct the other; for
they do not exceed their Tropicks: and although they should meet, yet we in
this World cannot so well perceive them, by reason of the brightness of our
Sun, which being nearer to us, obstructs the splendour of the Sun of the other
World, they being too far off to be discerned by our optic perception, except
we use very good Telescopes; by which, skilful Astronomers have often observed
two or three Suns at once.
But to return to the wandering Boat, and the distresed Lady; she seeing all
the Men dead, found small comfort in life; their Bodies which were preserved
all that while from putrefaction and stench, by the extremity of cold, began
now to thaw, and corrupt; whereupon she having not strength enough to fling
them over-board, was forced to remove out of her small Cabin, upon the deck,
to avoid that nauseous smell; and finding the Boat swim between two plains of
Ice, as a stream that runs betwixt two shores, at last perceived land, but
covered all with Snow: from which came, walking upon the Ice, strange
Creatures, in shape like Bears, only they went upright as men; those Creatures
coming near the Boat, catched hold of it with their Paws, that served them
instead of hands; some two or three of them entered first; and when they came
out, the rest went in one after another; at last having viewed and observed all
that was in the Boat, they spake to each other in a language which the Lady did
not understand; and having carried her out of the Boat, sunk it, together with
the dead men.
The Lady now finding her self in so strange a place, and amongst such
wonderful kind of Creatures, was extremely stricken with fear, and could
entertain no other Thoughts, but that every moment her life was to be a
sacrifice to their cruelty; but those Bear-like Creatures, how terrible soever
they appeared to her sight, yet were they so far from exercising any cruelty
upon her, that rather they showed her all civility and kindness imaginable; for
she being not able to go upon the Ice, by reason of its slipperiness, they took
her up in their rough arms, and carried her into their City, where instead of
Houses, they had Caves under ground; and as soon as they entered the City, both
Males and Females, young and old, flocked together to see this Lady, holding up
their Paws in admiration; at last having brought her into a certain large and
spacious Cave, which they intended for her reception, they left her to the
custody of the Females, who entertained her with all kindness and respect, and
gave her such victuals as they used to eat; but seeing her Constitution neither
agreed with the temper of that Climate, nor their Diet, they were resolved to
carry her into another Island of a warmer temper; in which were men like Foxes,
only walking in an upright shape, who received their neighbours the Bear-men
with great civility and Courtship, very much admiring this beauteous Lady; and
having discoursed some while together, agreed at last to make her a Present to
the Emperor of their World; to which end, after she had made some short stay in
the same place, they brought her cross that Island to a large River, whose
stream run smooth and clear, like Crystal; in which were numerous Boats, much
like our Fox-traps; in one whereof she was carried, some of the Bear- and
Fox-men waiting on her; and as soon as they had crossed the River, they came
into an Island where there were Men which had heads, beaks, and feathers, like
wild-Geese, only they went in an upright shape, like the Bear-men and Fox-men:
their rumps they carried between their legs, their wings were of the same
length with their Bodies, and their tails of an indifferent size, trailing
after them like a Lady's Garment; and after the Bear- and Fox-men had declared
their intention and design to their Neighbours, the Geese-or Bird-men, some of
them joined to the rest, and attended the Lady through that Island, till they
came to another great and large River, where there was a preparation made of
many Boats, much like Birds nests, only of a bigger size; and having crossed
that River, they arrived into another Island, which was of a pleasant and mild
temper, full of Woods and the Inhabitants thereof were Satyrs, who received
both the Bear- Fox- and Bird-men, with all respect and civility; and after some
conferences (for they all understood each others language) some chief of the
Satyrs joining to them, accompanied the Lady out of that Island to another
River, wherein were many handsome and commodious Barges; and having crossed that
River, they entered into a large and spacious Kingdom, the men whereof were of
a Grass-Green Complexion, who entertained them very kindly, and provided all
conveniences for their further voyage: hitherto they had only crossed Rivers,
but now they could not avoid the open Seas any longer; wherefore they made
their Ships and tacklings ready to sail over into the Island, where the Emperor
of the Blazing-world (for so it was called) kept his residence. Very good
Navigators they were; and though they had no knowledge of the Load-stone, or
Needle, or pendulous Watches, yet (which was as serviceable to them) they had
subtle observations, and great practice; in so much that they could not only
tell the depth of the Sea in every place, but where there were shelves of Sand,
Rocks, and other obstructions to be avoided by skilful and experienced Sea-men:
Besides, they were excellent Augurers, which skill they counted more necessary
and beneficial then the use of Compasses, Cards, Watches, and the like; but,
above the rest, they had an extraordinary Art, much to be taken notice of by
Experimental Philosophers, and that was a certain Engine, which would draw in a
great quantity of Air, and shoot forth Wind with a great force; this Engine in
a calm, they placed behind their Ships, and in a storm, before; for it served
against the raging waves, like Cannons against an hostile Army, or besieged
Town; it would batter and beat the waves in pieces, were they as high as
Steeples; and as soon as a breach was made, they forced their passage through,
in spite even of the most furious wind, using two of those Engines at every
Ship, one before, to beat off the waves, and another behind to drive it on; so
that the artificial wind had the better of the natural; for, it had a greater
advantage of the waves, then the natural of the Ships: the natural being above
the face of the Water, could not without a down right motion enter or press
into the Ships; whereas the artificial with a sideward-motion, did pierce into
the bowels of the Waves: Moreover, it is to be observed, that in a great
Tempest they would join their Ships in battel-aray: and when they feared Wind
and Waves would be too strong for them, if they divided their Ships; they
joined as many together as the compass or advantage of the places of the Liquid
Element would give them leave. For, their Ships were so ingeniously contrived,
that they could fasten them together as close as a Honey-comb, without waste of
place; and being thus united, no Wind nor Waves were able to separate them. The
Emperor's Ships, were all of Gold; but the Merchants and Skippers, of Leather;
the Golden Ships were not much heavier then ours of Wood, by reason they were
neatly made, and required not such thickness, neither were they troubled with
Pitch, Tar, Pumps, Guns, and the like, which make our Woodden-Ships very heavy;
for though they were not all of a piece, yet they were so well sodder'd, that
there was no fear of Leaks, Chinks, or Clefts; and as for Guns, there was no
use of them, because they had no other enemies but the Winds: But the Leather
Ships were not altogether so sure, although much leighter; besides, they were
pitched to keep out Water.
Having thus prepared, and ordered their Navy, they went on in despite of Calm
or Storm: And though the Lady at first fancied her self in a very sad
condition, and her mind was much tormented with doubts and fears, not knowing
whether this strange Adventure would tend to her safety or destruction; yet she
being withal of a generous spirit, and ready wit, considering what dangers she
had past, and finding those sorts of men civil and diligent attendants to her,
took courage, and endeavoured to learn their language; which after she had
obtained so far, that partly by some words and signs she was able to apprehend
their meaning, she was so far from being afraid of them, that she thought her
self not only safe, but very happy in their company: By which we may see, that
Novelty discomposes the mind, but acquaintance settles it in peace and
tranquillity. At last, having passed by several rich Islands and Kingdoms, they
went towards Paradise, which was the seat of the Emperor; and coming in sight
of it, rejoiced very much; the Lady at first could perceive nothing but high
Rocks, which seemed to touch the Skies; and although they appeared not of an
equal height, yet they seemed to be all one piece, without partitions: but at
last drawing nearer, she perceived a clift, which was a part of those Rocks,
out of which she spied coming forth a great number of Boats, which afar off
showed like a company of Ants, marching one after another; the Boats appeared
like the holes or partitions in a Honey-comb, and when joined together, stood
as close; the men were of several Complexions, but none like any of our World;
and when both the Boats and Ships met, they saluted and spake to each other
very courteously; for there was but one language in all that World: nor no more
but one Emperor, to whom they all submitted with the greatest duty and
obedience, which made them live in a continued Peace and Happiness; not
acquainted with Foreign Wars, or Home-bred Insurrections. The Lady now being
arrived at this place, was carried out of her Ship into one of those Boats, and
conveyed through the same passage (for there was no other) into that part of
the World where the Emperor did reside; which part was very pleasant, and of a
mild temper: Within it self it was divided by a great number of vast and large
Rivers, all ebbing and flowing, into several Islands of unequal distance from
each other, which in most parts were as pleasant, healthful, rich, and
fruitful, as Nature could make them; and, as I mentioned before, secure from
all Foreign Invasions, by reason there was but one way to enter, and that like
a Labyrinth, so winding and turning among the Rocks, that no other Vessels but
small Boats, could pass, carrying not above three passengers at a time: On each
side all along this narrow and winding River, there were several Cities, some
of Marble, some of Alabaster, some of Agate, some of Amber, some of Coral, and
some of other precious materials not known in our world; all which after the
Lady had passed, she came to the Imperial City, named Paradise, which appeared
in form like several Islands; for, Rivers did run betwixt every street, which
together with the Bridges, whereof there was a great number, were all paved.
The City it self was built of Gold; and their Architectures were noble,
stately, and magnificent, not like our Modern, but like those in the Romans
time; for, our Modern Buildings are like those Houses which Children use to
make of Cards, one story above another, fitter for Birds, then Men; but theirs
were more Large, and Broad, then high; the highest of them did not exceed two
stories, besides those rooms that were under-ground, as Cellars, and other
Offices. The Emperor's Palace stood upon an indifferent ascent from the
Imperial City; at the top of which ascent was a broad Arch, supported by
several Pillars, which went round the Palace, and contained four of our English
miles in compass: within the Arch stood the Emperor's Guard, which consisted of
several sorts of Men; at every half mile, was a Gate to enter, and every Gate
was of a different fashion; the first, which allowed a passage from the
Imperial City into the Palace, had on either hand a Cloister, the outward part
whereof stood upon Arches sustained by Pillars, but the inner part was close:
Being entered through the Gate, the Palace it self appeared in its middle like
the Isle of a Church, a mile and a half long, and half a mile broad; the roof
of it was all Arched, and rested upon Pillars, so artificially placed that a
stranger would lose himself therein without a Guide; at the extreme sides, that
is, between the outward and inward part of the Cloister, were Lodgings for
Attendants; and in the midst of the Palace, the Emperor's own Rooms; whose
Lights were placed at the top of every one, because of the heat of the Sun: the
Emperor's apartment for State was no more enclosed then the rest; only an
Imperial Throne was in every apartment, of which the several adornments could
not be perceived until one entered, because the Pillars were so just opposite
to one another, that all the adornments could not be seen at one. The first
part of the Palace was, as the Imperial City, all of Gold; and when it came to
the Emperors apartment, it was so rich with Diamonds, Pearls, Rubies, and the
like precious Stones, that it surpasses my skill to enumerate them all. Amongst
the rest, the Imperial Room of State appeared most magnificent; it was paved
with green Diamonds (for there are in that World Diamonds of all Colours) so
artificially, as it seemed but of one piece; the Pillars were set with Diamonds
so close, and in such a manner, that they appeared most Glorious to the sight;
between every Pillar was a Bow or Arch of a certain sort of Diamonds, the like
whereof our World does not afford; which being placed in every one of the
Arches in several rows, seemed just like so many Rainbows of several different
colours. The roof of the Arches was of blew Diamonds, and in the midst thereof
was a Carbuncle, which represented the Sun; and the Rising and Setting-Sun at
the East and West-side of the Room were made of Rubies. Out of this Room there
was a passage into the Emperor's Bed-Chamber, the Walls whereof were of Jet,
and the Floor of black Marble; the Roof was of Mother of Pearl, where the Moon
and Blazing-Stars were represented by white Diamonds, and his Bed was made of
Diamonds and Carbuncles.
No sooner was the Lady brought before the Emperor, but he conceived her to be
some Goddess, and offered to worship her; which she refused, telling him, (for
by that time she had pretty well learned their Language) that although she came
out of another world, yet was she but a mortal. At which the Emperor rejoicing,
made her his Wife, and gave her an absolute power to rule and govern all that
World as she pleased. But her subjects, who could hardly be persuaded to
believe her mortal, tendered her all the Veneration and Worship due to a Deity.
Her Accoustrement after she was made Empress, was as follows: On her head
she wore a Cap of Pearl, and a Half-moon of Diamonds just before it; on the top
of her Crown came spreading over a broad Carbuncle, cut in the form of the Sun;
her Coat was of Pearl, mixed with blew Diamonds, and frindged with red ^ her
Buskins and Sandals were of green Diamond^ left hand she held a Buckler, to
sig^ the ^ence of her Dominions; which Buckler was made of that sort of Diamond
as has several different Colours; and being cut and made in the form of an
Arch, showed like a Rain-bow; In her right hand she carried a Spear made of a
white Diamond, cut like the tail of a Blazing-Star, which signified that she
was ready to assault those that proved her Enemies.
None was allowed to use or wear Gold but those of the Imperial Race, which
were the only Nobles of the State; nor durst any one wear Jewels but the
Emperor, the Emrpess, and their Eldest Son; notwithstanding that they had an
infinite quantity both of Gold and precious Stones in that World; for they had
larger extents of Gold, then our Arabian Sands; their precious Stones were
Rocks, and their Diamonds of several Colours; they used no Coin, but all their
Traffic was by exchange of several Commodities.
Their Priests and Governors were Princes of the Imperial Blood, and made
Eunuchs for that purpose; and as for the ordinary sort of men in that part of
the World where the Emperor resided, they were of several Complexions; not
white, black, tawny, olive- or ash-coloured; but some appeared of an Azure,
some of a deep Purple, some of a Grass-green, some of a Scarlet, some of an
Orange-colour, c. Which Colours and Complexions, whether they were made by the
bare reflection of light, without the assistance of small particles; or by the
help of well-ranged and ordered Atoms; or by a continual agitation of little
Globules; or by some pressing and re-acting motion, I am not able to determine.
The rest of the Inhabitants of that World, were men of several different sorts,
shapes, figures, dispositions, and humours, as I have already made mention,
heretofore; some were Bear-men, some Worm-men, some Fish-or Mear-men, otherwise
called Sirens; some Bird-men, some Fly-men, some Ant-men, some Geese-men, some
Spider-men, some Lice-men, some Fox-men, some Ape-men, some Jack-daw-men, some
Magpie-men, some Parrot-men, some Satyrs, some Giants, and many more, which I
cannot all remember; and of these several sorts of men, each followed such a
profession as was most proper for the nature of their Species, which the
Empress encouraged them in, especially those that had applied themselves to the
study of several Arts and Sciences; for they were as ingenious and witty in the
invention of profitable and useful Arts, as we are in our world, nay, more; and
to that end she erected Schools, and founded several Societies. The Bear-men
were to be her Experimental Philosophers, the Bird-men her Astronomers, the
Fly- Worm- and Fish-men her Natural Philosophers, the Ape-men her Chemists, the
Satyrs her Galenick Physicians, the Fox-men her Politicians, the Spider-and
Lice-men her Mathematicians, the Jackdaw- Magpie- and Parrot-men her Orators
and Logicians, the Giants her Architects, c. But before all things, she having
got a Sovereign power from the Emperor over all the World, desired to be
informed both of the manner of their Religion and Government; and to that end,
she called the Priests and States-men, to give her an account of either. Of the
States-men she enquired, first, Why they had so few Laws? To which they
answered, That many Laws made many Divisions, which most commonly did breed
Factions, and at last brake out into open Wars. Next, she asked, Why they
preferred the Monarchical form of Government before any other? They answered,
That as it was natural for one Body to have but one Head, so it was also
natural for a Politic body to have but one Governor; and that a Common-wealth,
which had many Governors was like a Monster with many Heads. Besides, said
they, a Monarchy is a divine form of Government, and agrees most with our
Religion: For as there is but one God, whom we all unanimously worship and
adore with one Faith; so we are resolved to have but one Emperor, to whom we
all submit with one obedience.
Then the Empress seeing that the several sorts of her Subjects had each their
Churches apart, asked the Priests, whether they were of several Religions? They
answered her Majesty, That there was no more but one Religion in all that
World, nor no diversity of opinions in that same Religion; for though there
were several sorts of men, yet had they all but one opinion concerning the
Worship and Adoration of God. The Empress asked them, Whether they were Jews,
Turks, or Christians? We do not know, said they, what Religions those are; but
we do all unanimously acknowledge, worship and adore the Only, Omnipotenr, and
Eternal God, with all reverence, submission, and duty. Again, the Empress
enquired, Whether they had several Forms of Worship? They answered, No: For our
Devotion and Worship consists only in Prayers, which we frame according to our
several Necessities, in Petitions, Humiliations, Thanksgiving, c. Truly,
replied the Empress, I thought you had been either Jews, or Turks, because I
never perceived any Women in your Congregations: But what is the reason, you
bar them from your religious Assemblies? It is not fit, said they, that Men and
Women should be promiscuously together in time of Religious Worship; for their
company hinders Devotion, and makes many, instead of praying to God, direct
their Devotion to their Mistresses. But, asked the Empress, Have they no
Congregation of their own, to perform the duties of Divine Worship, as well as
Men? No, answered they: but they stay at home, and say their Prayers by
themselves in their Closets. Then the Empress desired to know the reason why
the Priests and Governors of their World were made Eunuchs? They answered, To
keep them from Marriage: For Women and Children most commonly make disturbance
both in Church and State. But, said she, Women and Children have no Employment
in Church or State. 'Tis true, answered they; but, although they are not
admitted to public Employments, yet are they so prevalent with their Husbands
and Parents, that many times by their importunate persuasions, they cause as
much, nay, more mischief secretly, then if they had the management of public
Affairs.
The Empress having received an information of what concerned both Church and
State, passed some time in viewing the Imperial Palace, where she admired much
the skill and ingenuity of the Architects, and enquired of them, first, Why they
built their Houses no higher then two stories from the Ground? They answered
her Majesty, That the lower their Buildings were, the less were they subject
either to the heat of the Sun, or Wind, Tempest, Decay, c. Then she desired to
know the reason, why they made them so thick? They answered, That, the thicker
the Walls were, the warmer were they in Winter, and cooler in Summer; for their
thickness kept out both Cold and Heat. Lastly, she asked, Why they Arched their
Roofs, and made so many Pillars? They replied, That Arches and Pillars, did not
only grace a Building very much, and caused it to appear Magnificent, but made
it also firm and lasting.
The Empress was very well satisfied with their answers; and after some time,
when she thought that her new founded societies of the Vertuoso's had made a
good progress in the several Employments she had put them upon, she caused a
Convocation first of the Bird-men, and commanded them to give her a true
relation of the two Celestial Bodies, viz. the Sun and Moon, which they did
with all the obedience and faithfulness befitting their duty.
The Sun, as much as they could observe, they related to be a firm or solid
Stone, of a vast bigness; of colour yellowish, and of an extraordinary
splendour: But the Moon, they said, was of a whitish colour; and although she
looked dim in the presence of the Sun, yet had she her own light, and was a
shining body of her self, as might be perceived by her vigorous appearance in
Moon-shiny-nights; the difference only betwixt her own and the Sun's light
was, that the Sun did strike his beams in a direct line; but the Moon never
respected the Centre of their World in a right line, but her Centre was always
excentrical. The Spots both in the Sun and Moon, as far as they were able to
perceive, they affirmed to be nothing else but flaws and stains of their stony
Bodies. Concerning the heat of the Sun, they were not of one opinion; some
would have the Sun hot in it self, alleging an old Tradition, that it should
at some time break asunder, and burn the Heavens, and consume this world into
hot Embers, which, said they, could not be done, if the Sun were not fiery of
it self. Others again said, This opinion could not stand with reason; for Fire
being a destroyer of all things, the Sun-stone after this manner would burn up
all the near adjoining Bodies: Besides, said they, Fire cannot subsist without
fuel; and the Sunstone having nothing to feed on, would in a short time consume
it self; wherefore they thought it more probable that the Sun was not actually
hot, but only by the reflection of its light; so that its heat was an effect
of its light, both being immaterial. But this opinion again was laughed at by
others, and rejected as ridiculous, who thought it impossible that one
immaterial should produce another; and believed that both the light and heat of
the Sun proceeded from a swift Circular motion of the Ethereal Globules, which
by their striking upon the Optic nerve, caused light, and their motion
produced heat: But neither would this opinion hold; for, said some, then it
would follow, that the sight of Animals is the cause of light; and that, were
there no eyes, there would be no light; which was against all sense and reason.
Thus they argued concerning the heat and light of the Sun; but, which is
remarkable, none did say, that the Sun was a Globous fluid body, and had a
swift Circular motion; but all agreed, It was fixed and firm like a Center, and
therefore they generally called it the Sun-stone.
Then the Empress asked them the reason, Why the Sun and Moon did often appear
in different postures or shapes, as sometimes magnified, sometimes diminished;
sometimes elevated, otherwhiles depressed; now thrown to the right, and then to
the left? To which some of the Bird-men answered, That it proceeded from the
various degrees of heat and cold, which are found in the Air, from whence did
follow a differing density and rarity; and likewise from the vapours that are
interposed, whereof those that ascend are higher and less dense then the
ambient air, but those which descend are heavier and more dense. But others did
with more probability affirm, that it was nothing else but the various patterns
of the Air; for like as Painters do not copy out one and the same original just
alike at all times; so, said they, do several parts of the Air make different
patterns of the luminous Bodies of the Sun and Moon: which patterns, as several
copies, the sensitive motions do figure out in the substance of our eyes.
This answer the Empress liked much better then the former, and enquired
further, What opinion they had of those Creatures that are called the motes of
the Sun? To which they answered, That they were nothing else but streams of
very small, rare and transparent particles, through which the Sun was
represented as through a glass: for if they were not transparent, said they,
they would eclipse the light of the Sun; and if not rare and of an airy
substance, they would hinder Flies from flying in the Air, at least retard
their flying motion: Nevertheless, although they were thinner then the thinnest
vapour, yet were they not so thin as the body of air, or else they would not be
perceptible by animal sight. Then the Empress asked, Whether they were living
Creatures? They answered, Yes: Because they did increase and decrease, and were
nourished by the presence, and starved by the absence of the Sun.
Having thus finished their discourse of the Sun and Moon, the Empress desired
to know what Stars there were besides? But they answered, that they could
perceive in that World none other but Blazing Stars, and from thence it had the
name that it was called the Blazing-World; and these Blazing-Stars, said they,
were such solid, firm and shining bodies as the Sun and Moon, not of a
Globular, but of several sorts of figures: some had tails; and some, other
kinds of shapes.
After this, The Empress asked them, What kind of substance or creature the Air
was? The Bird-men answered, That they could have no other perception of the
Air, but by their own Respiration: For, said they, some bodies are only
subject to touch, others only to sight, and others only to smell; but some
are subject to none of our exterior Senses: For Nature is so full of variety,
that our weak Senses cannot perceive all the various sorts of her Creatures;
neither is there any one object perceptible by all our Senses, no more then
several objects are by one sense. I believe you, replied the Empress; but if
you can give no account of the Air, said she, you will hardly be able to inform
me how Wind is made; for they say, that Wind is nothing but motion of the Air.
The Bird-men answered, That they observed Wind to be more dense then Air, and
therefore subject to the sense of Touch; but what properly Wind was, and the
manner how it was made, they could not exactly tell; some said, it was caused
by the Clouds falling on each other; and others, that it was produced of a hot
and dry exhalation: which ascending, was driven down again by the coldness of
the Air that is in the middle Region, and by reason of its leightness, could
not go directly to the bottom, but was carried by the Air up and down: Some
would have it a flowing Water of the Air; and others again, a flowing Air moved
by the blaze of the Stars.
But the Empress, seeing they could not agree concerning the cause of Wind,
asked, Whether they could tell how Snow was made? To which they answered, That
according to their observation, Snow was made by a commixture of Water, and
some certain extract of the Element of Fire that is under the Moon; a small
portion of which extract, being mixed with Water, and beaten by Air or Wind,
made a white Froth called Snow; which being after some while dissolved by the
heat of the same spirit, turned to Water again. This observation amazed the
Empress very much; for she had hitherto believed, That Snow was made by cold
motions, and not by such an agitation or beating of a fiery extract upon water:
Nor could she be persuaded to believe it until the Fish- or Mear-men had
delivered their observation upon the making of Ice, which, they said, was not
produced, as some had hitherto conceived, by the motion of the Air, raking the
Superficies of the Earth, but by some strong saline vapour arising out of the
Seas, which condensed Water into Ice; and the more quantity there was of that
vapour, the greater were the Mountains or Precipices of Ice; but the reason
that it did not so much freeze in the Torrid Zone, or under the Ecliptic, as
near or under the Poles, was, that this vapour in those places being drawn up
by the Sun-beams into the middle Region of the Air, was only condensed into
Water, and fell down in showers of Rain; when as, under the Poles, the heat of
the Sun being not so vehement, the same vapour had no force or power to rise so
high, and therefore caused so much Ice, by ascending and acting only upon the
surface of water.
This Relation confirmed partly the observation of the Bird-men concerning the
cause of Snow; but since they had made mention that that same extract, which by
its commixture with Water made Snow, proceeded from the Element of Fire, that
is under the Moon: The Empress asked them, of what nature that Elementary Fire
was; whether it was like ordinary Fire here upon Earth, or such a Fire as is
within the bowels of the Earth, and as the famous Mountains Vesuvius and AEtna
do burn withal; or whether it was such a sort of fire, as is found in flints,
c. They answered, That the Elementary Fire, which is underneath the Sun, was
not so solid as any of those mentioned fires; because it had no solid fuel to
feed on; but yet it was much like the flame of ordinary fire, only somewhat
more thin and fluid; for Flame, said they, is nothing else but the airy part of
a fired Body.
Lastly, the Empress asked the Bird-men of the nature of Thunder and Lightning?
and whether it was not caused by roves of Ice falling upon each other? To which
they answered, That it was not made that way, but by an encounter of cold and
heat; so that an exhalation being kindled in the Clouds, did dash forth
Lightning, and that there were so many rentings of Clouds as there were Sounds
and Cracking noises: But this opinion was contradicted by others, who affirmed
that Thunder was a sudden and monstrous Blaze, stirred up in the Air, and did
not always require a Cloud; but the Empress not knowing what they meant by Blaze
(for even they themselves were not able to explain the seuse of this word)
liked the former better; and, to avoid hereafter tedious disputes, and have the
truth of the Phaenomena's of Celestial Bodies more exactly known, commanded
the Bear-men, which were her Experimental Philosophers, to observe them through
such Instruments as are called Telescopes, which they did according to her
Majesties Command; but these Telescopes caused more differences and divisions
amongst them, then ever they had before; for some said, they perceived that the
Sun stood still, and the Earth did move about it; others were of opinion, that
they both did move; and others said again, that the Earth stood still, and the
Sun did move; some counted more Stars then others; some discovered new Stars
never seen before; some fell into a great dispute with others concerning the
bigness of the Stars; some said, The Moon was another World like their
Terrestrial Globe, and the spots therein were Hills and Valleys; but others
would have the spots to be the Terrestrial parts, and the smooth and glossy
parts, the Sea: At last, the Empress commanded them to go with their Telescopes
to the very end of the Pole that was joined to the World she came from, and try
whether they could perceive any Stars in it: which they did; and, being
returned to her Majesty, reported that they had seen three Blazing-Stars appear
there, one after another in a short time, whereof two were bright, and one dim;
but they could not agree neither in this observation: for some said, It was but
one Star which appeared at three several times, in several places; and others
would have them to be three several Stars; for they thought it impossible, that
those three several appearances should have been but one Star, because every
Star did rise at a certain time, and appeared in a certain place, and did
disappear in the same place: Next, It is altogether improbable, said they, That
one Star should fly from place to place, especially at such a vast distance,
without a visible motion; in so short a time, and appear in such different
places, whereof two were quite opposite, and the third side-ways: Lastly, If it
had been hut one Star, said they, it would always have kept the same splendour,
which it did not; for, as above mentioned, two were bright, and one was dim.
After they had thus argued, the Empress began to grow angry at their
Telescopes, that they could give no better Intelligence; for, said she, now I
do plainly perceive, that your Glasses are false Informers, and instead of
discovering the Truth, delude your Senses; Wherefore I Command you to break
them, and let the Bird-men trust only to their natural eyes, and examine
Celestial Objects by the motions of their own Sense and Reason. The Bear-men
replied, That it was not the fault of their Glasses, which caused such
differences in their Opinions, but the sensitive motions in their Optic organs
did not move alike, nor were their rational judgments always regular: To which
the Empress answered, That if their Glasses were true Informers, they would
rectify their irregular Sense and Reason; But, said she, Nature has made your
Sense and Reason more regular then Art has your Glasses; for they are mere
deluders, and will never lead you to the knowledge of Truth; Wherefore I command
you again to break them; for you may observe the progressive motions of
Celestial Bodies with your natural eyes better then through Artificial
Glasses. The Bear-men being exceedingly troubled at her Majesties displeasure
concerning their Telescopes, kneeled down, and in the humblest manner
petitioned, that they might not be broken; for, said they, we take more delight
in Artificial delusions, then in Natural truths. Besides, we shall want
Employments for our Senses, and Subjects for Arguments; for, were there nothing
but truth, and no falsehood, there would be no occasion to dispute, and by this
means we should want the aim and pleasure of our endeavours in confuting and
contradicting each other; neither would one man be thought wiser then another,
but all would either be alike knowing and wise, or all would be fools;
wherefore we most humbly beseech your Imperial Majesty to spare our Glasses,
which are our only delight, and as dear to us as our lives. The Empress at
last consented to their request, but upon condition, that their disputes and
quarrels should remain within their Schools, and cause no factions or
disturbances in State, or Government. The Bear-men, full of joy, returned their
most humble thanks to the Empress; and to make her amends for the displeasure
which their Telescopes had occasioned, told her Majesty, that they had several
other artificial Optick-Glasses, which they were sure would give her Majesty a
great deal more satisfaction. Amongst the rest, they brought forth several
Microscopes, by the means of which they could enlarge the shapes of little
bodies, and make a Louse appear as big as an Elephant, and a Mite as big as a
Whale. First of all they showed the Empress a gray Drone-flye, wherein they
observed that the greatest part of her face, nay, of her head, consisted of two
large bunches all covered over with a multitude of small Pearls or Hemispheres
in a Trigonal order: Which Pearls were of two degrees, smaller and bigger; the
smaller degree was lowermost, and looked towards the ground; the other was
upward, and looked sideward, forward and backward: They were all so smooth and
polished, that they were able to represent the image of any object, the number
of them was in all 14000. After the view of this strange and miraculous
Creature, and their several observations upon it, the Empress asked them, What
they judged those little Hemispheres might be? They answered, That each of them
was a perfect Eye, by reason they perceived that each was covered with a
Transparent Cornea, containing a liquor within them, which resembled the watery
or glassy humour of the Eye. To which the Empress replied, That they might be
glassy Pearls, and yet not Eyes; and that perhaps their Microscopes did not
truly inform them. But they smilingly answered her Majesty, That she did not
know the virtue of those Microscopes; for they never delude, but rectify and
inform the Senses; nay, the World, said they, would be but blind without them,
as it has been in former ages before those Microscopes were invented.
After this, they took a Charcoal, and viewing it with one of their best
Microscopes, discovered in it an infinite multitude of pores, some bigger, some
less; so close and thick, that they left but very little space betwixt them to
be filled with a solid body; and to give her Imperial Majesty a better
assurance thereof, they counted in a line of them an inch long, no less then
2700 pores; from which Observation they drew this following Conclusion, to wit,
That this multitude of pores was the cause of the blackness of the Coal; for,
said they, a body that has so many pores, from each of which no light is
reflected, must necessarily look black, since black is nothing else but a
privation of light, or a want of reflection. But the Empress replied, That if
all Colours were made by reflection of light, and that Black was as much a
colour as any other colour; then certainly they contradicted themselves in
saying that black was made by want of reflection. However, not to interrupt
your Microscopical Inspections, said she, let us see how Vegetables appear
through your Glasses; whereupon they took a Nettle, and by the virtue of the
Microscope, discovered that underneath the points of the Nettle there were
certain little bags or bladders, containing a poisonous liquor, and when the
points had made way into the interior parts of the skin, they like
Syringe-pipes served to conveigh that same liquor into them. To which
Observation the Empress replied, That if there were such poison in Nettles,
then certainly in eating of them, they would hurt us inwardly, as much as they
do outwardly? But they answered, That it belonged to Physicians more then to
Experimental Philosophers, to give Reasons hereof; for they only made
Microscopical inspections, and related the Figures of the Natural parts of
Creatures acording to the representation of their glasses.
Lastly, They showed the Empress a Flea, and a Louse; which Creatures through
the Microscope appeared so terrible to her sight, that they had almost put her
into a swoon; the description of all their parts would be very tedious to
relate, and therefore I'll forbear it at this present. The Empress, after the
view of those strangely-shaped Creatures, pitied much those that are molested
with them, especially poor Beggars, which although they have nothing to live on
themselves, are yet necessitated to maintain and feed of their own flesh and
blood, a company of such terrible Creatures called Lice; who, instead of
thanks, do reward them with pains, and torment them for giving them nourishment
and food. But after the Empress had seen the shapes of these monstrous
Creatures, she desired to know, Whether their Microscopes could hinder their
biting, or at least show some means how to avoid them? To which they answered,
That such Arts were mechanical and below that noble study of Microscopical
observations. Then the Empress asked them, Whether they had not such sorts of
Glasses that could enlarge and magnify the shapes of great Bodies as well as
they had done of little ones? Whereupon they took one of their best and largest
Microscopes, and endeavoured to view a Whale thorough it; but alas! the shape of
the Whale was so big, that its Circumference went beyond the magnifying quality
of the Glass; whether the error proceeded from the Glass, or from a wrong
position of the Whale against the reflection of light, I cannot certainly tell.
The Empress seeing the insufficiency of those Magnifying-Glasses, that they
were not able to enlarge all sorts of Objects, asked the Bear-men, whether they
could not make Glasses of a contrary nature to those they had showed her, to
wit, such as instead of enlarging or magnifying the shape or figure of an
Object, could contract it beneath its natural proportion: Which, in obedience
to her Majesties Commands, they did; and viewing through one of the best of
them, a huge and mighty Whale appeared no bigger then a Sprat; nay, through
some no bigger then a Vinegar-Eele; and through their ordinary ones, an
Elephant seemed no bigger then a Flea; a Camel no bigger then a Louse; and an
Ostrich no bigger then a Mite. To relate all their Optic observations through
the several sorts of their Glasses, would be a tedious work, and tire even the
most patient Reader, wherefore I'll pass them by; only this was very remarkable
and worthy to be taken notice of, that notwithstanding their great skill,
industry and ingenuity in Experimental Philosophy, they could yet by no means
contrive such Glasses, by the help of which they could spy out a Vacuum, with
all its dimensions, nor Immaterial substances, Non-beings, and Mixt-beings, or
such as are between something and nothing; which they were very much troubled
at, hoping that yet, in time, by long study and practice, they might perhaps
attain to it.
The Bird- and Bear-men being dismissed, the Empress called both the Syrens-or
Fish-men, and the Worm-men, to deliver their Observations which they had made,
both within the Seas, and the Earth. First, she enquired of the Fish-men whence
the saltness of the Sea did proceed? To which they answered, That there was a
volatile salt in those parts of the Earth, which as a bosom contain the Waters
of the Sea, which Salt being imbibed by the Sea, became fixed; and this imbibing
motion was that they called the Ebbing and Flowing of the Sea; for, said they,
the rising and swelling of the Water, is caused by those parts of the volatile
Salt as are not so easily imbibed, which striving to ascend above the Water,
bear it up with such a motion, as Man, or some other Animal Creature, in a
violent exercise uses to take breath. This they affirmed to be the true eause
both of the saltness, and the ebbing and flowing-motion of the Sea, and not the
jogging of the Earth, or the secret influence of the Moon, as some others had
made the World believe.
After this, the Empress enquired, Whether they had observed, that all Animal
Creatures within the Seas and other waters, had blood? They answered, That some
had blood, more or less, but some had none. In Crea-fishes and Lobsters, said
they, we perceive but little blood; but in Crabs, Oysters, Cockles, c. none at
all. Then the Empress asked them, in what part of their Bodies that little
blood did reside? They answered, in a small vein, which in Lobsters went
through the middle of their tails, but in Crea-fishes was found in their backs:
as for other sorts of Fishes, some, said they, had only blood about their
Gills, and others in some other places of their Bodies; but they had not as yet
observed any whose veins did spread all over their Bodies. The Empress wondering
that there could be living Animals without Blood, to be better satisfied,
desired the Worm-men to inform her, whether they had observed Blood in all
sorts of Worms? They answered, That, as much as they could perceive, some had
Blood, and some not; a Moth, said they, had no Blood at all, and a Louse had,
but like a Lobster, a little Vein along her back: Also Nits, Snails, and
Maggots, as well as those that are generated out of Cheese and Fruits, as those
that are produced out of Flesh, had no blood: But, replied the Empress, If
those mentioned creatures have no blood, how is it possible they can live? for
it is commonly said, That the life of an Animal consists in the blood, which is
the seat of the Animal spirits. They answered, That blood was not a necessary
propriety to the life of an Animal; and that that which was commonly called
Animal spirits, was nothing else but corporeal motions proper to the nature and
figure of an Animal. Then she asked both the Fish-and Worm-men, whether all
those Creatures that have blood, had a circulation of blood in their veins and
arteries? But they answered, That it was impossible to give her Majesty an
exact account thereof, by reason the circulation of blood was an interior
motion, which their senses, neither of themselves, nor by the help of any
Optic Instrument could perceive; but as soon as they had dissected an Animal
Creature, to find out the truth thereof, the interior corporeal motions proper
to that particular figure or creature, were altered. Then said the Empress, If
all Animal Creatures have not blood, it is certain, they all have neither
Muscles, tendons, nerves, c. But, said she, Have you ever observed Animal
Creatures that are neither flesh, nor Fish, but of an intermediate degree
between both? Truly, answered both the Fish- and Worm-men, We have observed
several Animal Creatures that live both in Water, and on the Earth,
indifferently, and if any, certainly those may be said to be of such a mixed
nature, that is, partly Flesh, and partly Fish: But how is it possible, replied
the Empress, that they should live both in Water, and on the Earth, since those
Animals that live by the respiration of Air, cannot live within Water; and
those that live in Water, cannot live by the respiration of Air, as Experience
doth sufficiently witness. They answered her Majesty, That as there were
different sorts of Creatures, so they had also different ways of Respirations;
for Respiration, said they, is nothing else but a composition and division of
parts, and the motions of nature being infinitely various, it is impossible
that all Creatures should have the like motions; wherefore it was not
necessary, that all Animal Creatures should be bound to live either by the Air,
or by Water only, but according as Nature had ordered it convenient to their
Species. The Empress seemed very well satisfied with their answer, and desired
to be further informed, Whether all Animal Creatures did continue their Species
by a successive propagation of particulars, and whether in every Species the
off-springs did always resemble their Generator or Producer, both in their
interior and exterior Figures? They answered, her Majesty, That some Species or
sorts of Creatures, were kept up by a successive propagation of an off-spring
that was like the producer, but some were not. Of the first rank, said they,
are all those Animals that are of different sexes, besides several others; but
of the second rank are for the most part those we call Insects, whose
production proceds from such causes as have no conformity or likeness with
their produced Effects; as for example, Maggots bred out of Cheese, and several
others generated out of Earth, Water, and the like. But said the Empress, there
is some likeness between Maggots and Cheese, for Cheese has no blood, nor
Maggots neither; besides, they have almost the same taste which Cheese has.
This proves nothing, answered they; for Maggots have a visible, local.
progressive motion, which Cheese hath not. The Empress replied, That when all
the Cheese was turned into Maggots, it might be said to have local, progressive
motion. They answered, That when the Cheese by its own figurative motions was
changed into Maggots, it was no more Cheese. The Empress confessed that she
observed Nature was infinitely various in her works, and that though the
species of Creatures did continue, yet their particulars were subject to
infinite changes. But since you have informed me, said she, of the various
sorts and productions of Animal Creatures, I desire you to tell me what you
have observed of their sensitive perceptions? Truly, answered they, Your
Majesty puts a very hard question to us, and we shall hardly be able to give a
satisfactory answer to it; for there are many different sorts of Creatures,
which as they have all different perceptions, so they have also different
organs, which our senses are not able to discover, only in an Oystershell we
have with admiration observed, that the common sensorium of the Oyster lies
just at the closing of the shells, where the pressure and reaction may be
perceived by the opening and shutting of the shells every tide.
After all this, the Empress desired the Worm men to give her a true Relation
how frost was made upon the Earth? To which they answered, That it was made
much after the manner and description of the Fish- and Bird-men, concerning the
Congelation of Water into Ice and Snow, by a commixture of saline and acid
particles; which relation added a great light to the Ape-men, who were the
Chemists, concerning their Chemical principles, Salt, Sulphur and Mercury. But,
said the Empress, if it be so, it will require an infinite multitude of saline
particles to produce such a great quantity of Ice, Frost and Snow: besides,
said she, when Snow, Ice and Frost, turn again into their former principle, I
would fain know what becomes of those saline particles? But neither the
Worm-men, nor the Fish- and Bird-men, could give her an answer to it.
Then the Empress enquired of them the reason, Why Springs were not as salt as
the Sea is? also, why some did ebb and flow? To which it was answered, That the
ebbing and flowing of some Springs, was caused by hollow Caverns within the
Earth, where the Sea-water crowding thorough, did thrust forward, and drew
backward the Spring-water, according to its own way of ebbing and flowing; but
others said, That it proceeded from a small proportion of saline and acid
particles, which the Spring-water imbibed from the Earth; and although it was
not so much as to be perceived by the sense of Taste; yet was it enough to
cause an ebbing and flowing-motion. And as for the Spring-water being fresh,
they gave, according to their Observation, this following reason: There is,
said they, a certain heat within the Bowels of the Earth, proceeding from its
swift circular motion, upon its own axe, which heat distills the rarest parts
of the Earth into a fresh and insipid water, which water being through the
pores of the Earth, conveyed into a place where it may break forth without
resistance or obstruction, causes Springs and Fountains; and these distilled
Waters within the Earth, do nourish and refresh the grosser and drier parts
thereof. This Relation confirmed the Empress in the opinion concerning the
motion of the Earth, and the fixedness of the Sun, as the Bird-men, had
informed her; and then she asked the Worm-men, whether Minerals and Vegetables
were generated by the same heat that is within the Bowels of the Earth? To
which they could give her no positive answer; only this they affirmed, That
heat and cold were not the primary producing causes of either Vegetables or
Minerals, or other sorts of Creatures, but only effects; and to prove this our
assertion, said they, we have observed, that by change of some sorts of
Corporeal motions, that which is now hot, will become cold; and what is now
cold, will grow hot; but the hottest place of all, we find to be the Center of
the Earth: Neither do we observe, that the Torrid Zone does contain so much
Gold and Silver as the Temperate; nor is there great store of Iron and Lead
wheresoever there is Gold; for these Metals are most found in colder Climates
towards either of the Poles. This Observation, the Empress commanded them to
confer with her Chemists, the Ape-men; to let them know that Gold was not
produced by a violent, but a temperate degree of heat. She asked further,
Whether Gold could not be made by Art? They answered, That they could not
certainly tell her Majesty, but if it was possible to be done, they thought
Tin, Lead, Brass, Iron and Silver, to be the fittest Metals for such an
Artificial Transmutation. Then she asked them, Whether Art could produce Iron,
Tin, Lead, or Silver? They answered, Not, in their opinion. Then I perceive,
replied the Empress, that your judgments are very irregular, since you believe
that Gold, which is so fixed a Metal, that nothing has been found as yet which
could occasion a dissolution of its interior figure, may be made by Art, and
not Tin, Lead, Iron, Copper or Silver, which yet are so far weaker, and meaner
Metals then Gold is. But the Worm-men excused themselves, that they were
ignorant in that Art, and that such questions belonged more properly to the
Ape-men, which were Her Majesties Chemists.
Then the Empress asked them, Whether by their Sensitive perceptions they could
observe the interior corporeal, figurative Motions both of Vegetables and
Minerals? They answered, That their Senses could perceive them after they were
produced, but not before; Nevertheless, said they, although the interior,
figurative motions of Natural Creatures are not subject to the exterior,
animal, sensitive perceptions, yet by their Rational perception they may judge
of them, and of their productions if they be regular: Whereupon the Empress
commanded the Bear-men to lend them some of their best Microscopes. At which
the Bearmen smilingly answered her Majesty, that their Glasses would do them
but little service in the bowels of the Earth, because there was no light; for,
said they, our Glasses do only represent exterior objects, according to the
various reflections and positions of light; and wheresoever light is wanting,
the glasses will do no good. To which the Worm-men replied, that although they
could not say much of refractions, reflections, inflections, and the like; yet
were they not blind, even in the bowels of the Earth: for they could see the
several sorts of Minerals, as also minute Animals, that lived there; which
minute Animal Creatures were not blind neither, but had some kind of sensitive
perception that was as serviceable to them, as sight, taste, smell, touch,
hearing, c. was to other Animal Creatures: By which it is evident, That Nature
has been as bountiful to those Creatures that live under ground, or in the
bowels of the Earth, as to those that live upon the surface of the Earth, or in
the Air, or in Water. But howsoever, proceeded the Worm-men, although there is
light in the bowels of the Earth, yet your Microscopes will do but little good
there, by reason those Creatures that live under ground have not such an optic
sense as those that live on the surface of the Earth: wherefore, unless you had
such Glasses as are proper for their perception, your Microscopes will not be
any ways advantageous to them. The Empress seemed well pleased with this answer
of the Worm-men; and asked them further, Whether Minerals and all other
Creatures within the Earth were colourless? At which question they could not
forbear laughing; and when the Empress asked the reason why they laughed? We
most humbly beg your Majesties pardon, replied they; for we could not choose but
laugh, when we heard of a colourless Body. Why, said the Empress, Colour is
only an accident, which is an immaterial thing, and has no being of it self,
but in another body. Those, replied they, that informed your Majesty thus,
surely their rational motions were very irregular; For how is it possible, that
a Natural nothing can have a being in Nature? If it be no substance, it cannot
have a being, and if no being, it is nothing; Wherefore the distinction between
subsisting of it self, and subsisting in another body, is a mere nicety, and
non-sense; for there is nothing in Nature that can subsist of, or by it self,
(I mean singly) by reason all parts of Nature are composed in one body, and
though they may be infinitely divided, commixed, and changed in their
particulars, yet in general, parts cannot be separated from parts as long as
Nature lasts; nay, we might as probably affirm, that Infinite Nature would be
as soon destroyed, as that one Atom could perish; and therefore your Majesty
may firmly believe, that there is no Body without colour, nor no Colour without
body; for colour, figure, place, magnitude, and body, are all but one thing,
without any separation or abstraction from each other.
The Empress was so wonderfully taken with this Discourse of the Worm-men, that
she not only pardoned the rudeness they committed in laughing at first at her
question, but yielded a full assent to their opinion, which she thought the
most rational that ever she had heard yet; and then proceeding in her
questions, enquired further, whether they had observed any seminal principles
within the Earth free from all dimensions and qualities, which produced
Vegetables, Minerals, and the like? To which they answered, That concerning the
seeds of Minerals, their sensitive perceptions had never observed any; but
Vegetables had certain seeds out of which they were produced. Then she asked,
whether those seeds of Vegetables lost their Species, that is, were annihilated
in the production of their off-spring? To which they answered, That by an
Annihilation, nothing could be produced, and that the seeds of Vegetables were
so far from being annihilated in their productions, that they did rather
numerously increase and multiply; for the division of one seed, said they, does
produce numbers of seeds out of it self. But replied the Empress, A particular
part cannot increase of it self. 'Tis true, answered they: but they increase
not barely of themselves, but by joining and commixing with other parts, which
do assist them in their productions, and by way of imitation form or figure
their own parts into such or such particulars. Then, I pray inform me, said the
Empress, what disguise those seeds put on, and how they do conceal themselves
in their Transmutations? They answered, That seeds did no ways disguise or
conceal, but rather divulge themselves in the multiplication of their
off-spring; only they did hide and conceal themselves from their sensitive
perceptions so, that their figurative and productive motions were not
perceptible by Animal Creatures. Again, the Empress asked them, whether there
were any Non- beings within the Earth? To which they answered, That they never
heard of any such thing; and that, if her Majesty would know the truth thereof,
she must ask those Creatures that are called Immaterial Spirits, which had a
great affinity with Non-beings, and perhaps could give her a satisfactory
answer to this question. Then she desired to be informed, What opinion they had
of the beginning of Forms? They told her Majesty, That they did not understand
what she meant by this expression; For, said they, there is no beginning in
Nature, no not of Particulars; by reason Nature is Eternal and Infinite, and
her particulars are subject to infinite changes and transmutations by virtue of
their own Corporeal, figurative self-motions; so that there's nothing new in
Nature, nor properly a beginning of any thing. The Empress seemed well
satisfied with all those answers, and enquired further, Whether there was no
Art used by those Crearures that live within the Earth? Yes, answered they: for
the several parts of the Earth do join and assist each other in composition or
framing of such or such particulars; and many times, there are factions and
divisions; which cause productions of mixed Species; as, for example, weeds,
instead of sweet flowers and useful fruits; but Gardeners and Husbandmen use
often to decide their quarrels, and cause them to agree; which though it shows
a kindness to the differing parties, yet 'tis a great prejudice to the Worms,
and other Animal-Creatures that live under ground; for it most commonly causes
their dissolution and ruin, at best they are driven out of their habitations.
What, said the Empress, are not Worms produced out of the Earth? Their
production in general, answered they, is like the production of all other
Natural Creatures, proceeding from the corporeal figurative motions of Nature;
but as for their particular productions, they are according to the nature of
their Species; some are produced out of flowers, some out of roots, some out of
fruits, some out of ordinary Earth. Then they are very ungrateful Children,
replied the Empress, that they feed on their own Parents which gave them life.
Their life, answered they, is their own, and not their Parents; for no part or
creature of Nature can either give or take away life; but parts do only assist
and join with parts, either in the dissolution or production of other Parts and
Creatures.
After this, and several other Conferences, which the Empress held with the
Worm-men, she dismissed them; and having taken much satisfaction in several of
their Answers, encouraged them in their Studies and Observations. Then she made
a Convocation of her Chemists, the Ape-men; and commanded them to give her an
account of the several Transmutations which their Art was able to produce. They
begun first with a long and tedious Discourse concerning the Primitive
Ingredients of Natural bodies; and how, by their Art, they had found out the
principles out of which they consist. But they did not all agree in their
opinions; for some said, That the Principles of all Natural Bodies were the
four Elements, Fire, Air, Water, Earth, out of which they were composed: Others
rejected this Elementary commixture, and said, There were many Bodies out of
which none of the four Elements could be extracted by any degree of Fire
whatsoever; and that, on the other side, there were divers Bodies, whose
resolution by Fire reduced them into more then four different Ingredients; and
these affirmed, That the only principles of Natural Bodies were Salt, Sulphur,
and Mercury: Others again declared, That none of the forementioned could be
called the True Principles of Natural Bodies; but that by their industry and
pains which they had taken in the Art of Chemistry, they had discovered, that
all Natural Bodies were produced but from one Principle, which was Water; for
all Vegetables, Minerals, and Animals, said they, are nothing else, but simple
Water distinguished into various figures by the virtue of their Seeds. But
after a great many debates and contentions about this Subject, the Empress
being so much tired that she was not able to hear them any longer, imposed a
general silence upon them, and then declared her self in this following
Discourse.
I am too sensible of the pains you have taken in the Art of Chemistry, to
discover the Principles of Natural Bodies, and wish they had been more
profitably bestowed upon some other, then such experiments; for both by my own
Contemplation, and the Observations which I have made by rational sensitive
perception upon Nature, and her works, I find, that Nature is but one Infinite
Self-moving Body, which by the virtue of its self-motion, is divided into
Infinite parts, which parts being restless, undergo perpetual changes and
transmutations by their infinite compositions and divisions. Now, if this be
so, as surely, according to regular Sense and Reason, it appears no otherwise;
it is in vain to look for primary Ingredients, or constitutive principles of
Natural Bodies, since there is no more but one Universal Principle of Nature,
to wit, self-moving Matter, which is the only cause of all natural effects.
Next, I desire you to consider, that Fire is but a particular Creature, or
effect of Nature, and occasions not only different effects in several Bodies,
but on some Bodies has no power at all; witness Gold, which never could be
brought yet to change its interior figure by the art of Fire; and if this be
so, Why should you be so simple as to believe that Fire can show you the
Principles of Nature? and that either the Four Elements, or Water only, or
Salt Sulphur and Mercury, all which are no more but particular effects and
Creatures of Nature, should be the Primitive Ingredients or Principles of all
Natural Bodies? Wherefore, I will not have you to take more pains, and waste
your time in such fruitless attempts, but be wiser hereafter, and busy your
selves with such Experiments as may be beneficial to the public.
The Empress having thus declared her mind to the Ape-men, and given them
better Instructions then perhaps they expected, not knowing that her Majesty
had such great and able judgment in Natural Philosophy, had several conferences
with them concerning Chemical Preperations, which for brevities sake, I'll
forbear to rehearse: Amongst the rest, she asked, how it came that the Imperial
Race appeared so young, and yet was reported to have lived so long; some of
them two, some three, and some four hundred years? and whether it was by
Nature, or a special Divine blessing? To which they answered, That there was a
certain Rock in the parts of that World, which contained the Golden Sands,
which Rock was hallow within, and did produce a Gum that was a hundred years
before it came to its full strength and perfection; this Gum, said they, if it
be held in a warm hand, will dissolve into an Oil, the effects whereof are
following: It being given every day for some certain time, to an old decayed
man, in the bigness of a little Pea, will first make him spit for a week, or
more; after this, it will cause Vomits of Phlegm; and after that it will bring
forth by vomits, humours of several colours; first of a pale yellow, then of a
deep yellow, then of a green, and lastly of a black colour; and each of these
humours have a several taste, some are fresh, some salt, some sower, some
bitter, and so forth; neither do all these Vomits make them sick, but they come
out on a sudden, and unawares, without any pain or trouble to the patient: And
after it hath done all these mentioned effects, and cleared both the Stomach
and several other parts of the body, then it works upon the Brain, and brings
forth of the Nose such kinds of humours as it did out of the Mouth, and much
after the same manner; then it will purge by stool, then by urine, then by
sweat, and lastly by bleeding at the Nose, and the Emeroids; all which effects
it will perform within the space of six weeks, or a little more; for it does
not work very strongly, but gently, and by degrees: Lastly, when it has done
all this, it will make the body break out into a thick Scab, and cause both
Hair, Teeth, and Nails to come off; which scab being arrived to its full
maturity, opens first along the back, and comes off all in a piece like an
armour, and all this is done within the space of four months. After this the
Patient is wrapped into a Cerecloth, prepared of certain Gums and Juices, wherein
he continues until the time of nine Months be expired from the first beginning
of the cure, which is the time of a Child's formation in the Womb. In the mean
while, his diet is nothing else but Eagles-eggs, and Hinds-milk; and after the
Cere-cloth is taken away, he will appear of the age of Twenty, both in shape,
and strength. The weaker sort of this Gum is sovereign in healing of wounds,
and curing of slight distempers. But this is also to be observed, that none of
the Imperial race does use any other drink but Lime-water, or water in which
Lime-stone is immerged; their meat is nothing else but Fowl of several sorts,
their recreations are many, but chiefly Hunting.
This Relation amazed the Empress very much; for though in the World she came
from, she had heard great reports of the Philosophers-stone, yet had she not
heard of any that had ever found it out, which made her believe that it was but
a Chymera; she called also to mind, that there had been in the same World a Man
who had a little Stone which cured all kinds of Diseases outward and inward,
according as it was applied; and that a famous Chemist had found out a certain
Liquor called Alkahest, which by the virtue of its own fire, consumed all
Diseases; but she had never heard of a Medicine that could renew old Age, and
render it beautiful, vigorous and strong: Nor would she have so easily believed
it, had it been a medicine prepared by Art; for she knew that Art, being
Natures Changeling, was not able to produce such a powerful effect; but being
that the Gum did grow naturally, she did not so much scruple at it; for she
knew that Nature's Works are so various and wonderful, that no particular
Creature is able to trace her ways.
The Conferences of the Chemists being finished, the Empress made an Assembly
of her Galenical Physicians, her Herbalists and Anatomists; and first she
enquired of her Herbalists the particular effects of several Herbs and Drugs,
and whence they proceeded? To which they answered, that they could, for the
most part, tell her Majesty the virtues and operations of them, but the
particular causes of their effects were unknown; only thus much they could
say, that their operations and virtues were generally caused by their proper
inherent, corporeal, figurative motions, which being infinitely various in
Infinite Nature, did produce infinite several effects. And it is observed, said
they, that Herbs and Drugs are as wise in their operations, as Men in their
words and actions; nay, wiser; and their effects are more certain then Men in
their opinions; for though they cannot discourse like Men, yet have they Sense
and Reason, as well as Men; for the discursive faculty is but a particular
effect of Sense and Reason in some particular Creatures, to wit, Men, and not a
principle of Nature, and argues often more folly than wisdom. The Empress
asked, Whether they could not by a composition and commixture of other Drugs
make them work other effects then they did, used by themselves? They answered,
That they could make them produce artificial effects, but not alter their
inherent, proper and particular natures.
Then the Empress commanded her Anatomists to dissect such kinds of Creatures
as are called Monsters. But they answered her Majesty, That it would be but an
unprofitable and useless work, and hinder their better employments; for when we
dissect dead Animals, said they, it is for no other end, but to observe what
defects or distempers they had, that we may cure the like in living ones, so
that all our care and industry concerns only the preservation of Mankind; but
we hope your Majesty will not preserve Monsters, which are most commonly
destroyed, except it be for novelty: Neither will the dissection of Monsters
prevent the errors of Nature's irregular actions; for by dissecting some, we
cannot prevent the production of others; so that our pains and labour will be
to no purpose, unless to satisfy the vain curiosities of inquisitive men. The
Empress replied, That such dissections would be very beneficial to Experimental
Philosophers. If Experimental Philosophers, answered they, do spend their time
in such useless Inspections, they waste it in vain, and have nothing but their
labour for their pains.
Lastly, her Majesty had some Conferences with the Galenick Physicians about
several Diseases, and amongst the rest, desired to know the cause and nature of
Apoplexies, and the spotted Plague. They answered, That a deadly Apoplexy was a
dead palsy of the Brain; and the spotted Plague was a Gangrene of the Vital
parts: and as the Gangrene of outward parts did strike inwardly; so the
Gangrene of inward parts, did break forth outwardly: which is the cause, said
they, that as soon as the spots appear, death follows; for then it is an
infallible sign, that the body is throughout infected with a Gangrene, which is
a spreading evil; but some Gangrenes do spread more suddenly than others, and
of all sorts of Gangrenes, the PlaguyGangrene is the most infectious; for other
Gangrenes infect but the next adjoining parts of one particular body, and
having killed that same Creature, go no further, but cease; when as, the
Gangrene of the Plague, infects not only the adjoining parts of one particular
Creature, but also those that are distant; that is, one particular body infects
another, and so breeds a Universal Contagion. But the Empress being very
desirous to know in what manner the Plague was propagated, and became so
contagious, asked, Whether it went actually out of one body into another? To
which they answered, That it was a great dispute amongst the Learned of their
Profession, Whether it came by a division and composition of parts; that is, by
expiration and inspiration; or whether it was caused by imitation: Some
Experimental Philosophers, said they, will make us believe, that by the help of
their Microscopes, they have observed the Plague to be a body of little Flies
like Atoms, which go out of one body into another, through the sensitive
passages; but the most experienced and wisest of our society, have rejected
this opinion as a ridiculous fancy, and do, for the most part, believe, that it
is caused by an imitation of Parts; so that the motions of some parts which are
sound, do imitate the motions of those that are infected and that by this
means, the Plague becomes contagions, and spreading.
The Empress having hitherto spent her time in the Examination of the Bird-
Fish Worm- and Apemen, c. and received several Intelligences from their several
employments; at last had a mind to divert her self after her serious
Discourses, and therefore she sent for the Spider-men, which were her
Mathematicians, the Lice-men which were here Geometricians, and the Magpie-
Parrot- and Jackdaw-men, which were her Orators and Logicians. The Spider-men
came first, and presented her Majesty with a table full of Mathematical points,
lines, and figures of all sorts, of squares, circles, triangles, and the like;
which the Empress, notwithstanding that she had a very ready wit, and quick
apprehension, could not understand; but the more she endeavoured to learn, the
more was she confounded: Whether they did ever square the Circle, I cannot
exactly tell, nor whether they could make imaginary points and lines; but this
I dare say, That their points and lines were so slender, small and thin, that
they seemed next to Imaginary. The Mathematicians were in great esteem with the
Empress, as being not only the chief Tutors and Instructors in many Arts, but
some of them excellent Magicians and Informers of Spirits, which was the reason
their Characters were so abstruse and intricate, that the Empress knew not
what to make of them. There is so much to learn in your Art, said she, that I
can neither spare time from other affairs to busy my self in your profession;
nor, if I could, do I think I should ever be able to understand your Imaginary
points, lines and figures, because they are Non-beings.
Then came the Lice-men, and endeavoured to measure all things to a
hairs-breadth, and weigh them to an Atom; but their weights would seldom agree,
especially in the weighing of Air, which they found a task impossible to be
done; at which the Fmpress began to be displeased, and told them, that there
was neither Truth nor Justice in their Profession; and so dissolved their
society.
After this, the Empress was resolved to hear the Magpie-Parrot-and
Jackdaw-men, which were her professed Orators and Logicians; whereupon one of
the Parrot-men rose with great formality, and endeavoured to make an Eloquent
Speech before her Majesty; but before he had half ended, his arguments and
divisions being so many, that they caused a great confusion in his brain, he
could not go forward, but was forced to retire backward, with great disgrace
both to himself, and the whole Society; and although one of his brethren
endeavoured to second him by another speech, yet was he as far to seek, as the
former. At which the Empress appeared not a little troubled, and told them,
That they followed too much the Rules of Art, and confounded themselves with
too nice formalities and distinctions; but since I know, said she, that you are
a people who have naturally voluble tongues, and good memories; I desire you to
consider more the subject you speak of, then your artificial periods,
connexions and parts of speech, and leave the rest to your natural Eloquence;
which they did, and so became very eminent Orators.
Lastly, her Imperial Majesty being desirous to know what progress her
Logicians had made in the Art of disputing, Commanded them to argue upon
several Themes or Subjects; which they did; and having made a very nice
discourse of Logistical terms and propositions, entered into a dispute by way of
Syllogistical Arguments, through all the Figures and Modes: One began with an
Argument of the first Mode of the first Figure, thus:
Every Politician is wise:
Every Knave is a Politician,
Therefore every Knave is wise.
Another contradicted him with a Syllogism of the second Mode of the same
Figure, thus:
No Politician is wise:
Every Knave is a Politician,
Therefore no Knave is wise.
The third made an Argument in the third Mode of the same Figure, after this
manner:
Every Politician is wise:
Some Knaves are Politicians,
Therefore some Knaves are wise.
The Fourth concluded with a Syllogism in the fourth Mode of the same Figure,
thus;
No Politican is wise:
Some Knaves are Politicians,
Therefore some Knaves are not wise.
After this they took another subject, and one propounded this Syllogism:
Every Philosopher is wise:
Every Beast is wise,
Therefore every Beast is a Philosopher.
But another said that this Argument was false, therefore he contradicted him
with a Syllogism of the second Figure of the fourth Mode, thus:
Every Philosopher is wise:
Some Beasts are not wise,
Therefore some Beasts are not Philosophers.
Thus they argued, and intended to go on, but the Empress interrupted them: I
have enough, said she, of your chopped Logic, and will hear no more of your
Syllogisms; for it disorders my Reason, and puts my Brain on the rack; your
formal argumentations are able to spoil all natural wit; and I'll have you to
consider, that Art does not make Reason, but Reason makes Art; and therefore as
much as Reason is above Art, so much is a natural rational discourse to be
preferred before an artificial: for Art is, for the most part irregular, and
disorders Men's understandings more then it rectifies them, and leads them into
a Labyrinth whence they'll never get out, and makes them dull and unfit for
useful employments; especially your Art of Logic, which consists only in
contradicting each other, in making Sophisms, and obscuring Truth, instead of
clearing it.
But they replied to her Majesty, That the knowledge of Nature, that is, Natural
Philosophy, would be imperfect without the Art of Logic; and that there was an
improbable Truth which could no otherwise be found out then by the Art of
disputing. Truly, said the Empress, I do believe that it is with Natural
Philosophy, as it is with all other effects of Nature; for no particular
knowledge can be perfect, by reason knowledge is dividable, as well as
composable; nay, to speak properly, Nature her self cannot boast of any
perfection, but God himself; because there are so many irregular motions in
Nature, and 'tis but a folly to think that Art should be able to regulate them,
since Art it self is, for the most part, irregular. But as for Improbable Truth
I know not what your meaning is; for Truth is more then Improbability: nay,
there is so much difference between Truth and Improbability, that I cannot
conceive it possible how they can be joined together. In short, said she, I do
no ways approve of your Profession; and though I will not dissolve your
Society, yet I shall never take delight in hearing you any more; wherefore
confine your disputations to your Schools, lest besides the Commonwealth of
Learning, they disturb also Divinity and Policy, Religion and Laws, and by that
means draw an utter ruin and destruction both upon Church and State.
After the Empress had thus finished the Discourses and Conferences with the
mentioned Societies of her Vertuoso's, she considered by her self the manner of
their Religion, and finding it very defective, was troubled, that so wise and
knowing a people should have no more knowledge of the Divine Truth; Wherefore
she consulted with her own thoughts, whether it was possible to convert them
all to her own Religion, and to that end she resolved to build Churches, and
make also up a Congregation of Women, whereof she intended to be the head her
self, and to instruct them in the several points of her Religion. This she had
no sooner begun, but the Women, which generally had quick wits, subtle
conceptions, clear understandings, and solid judgments, became, in a short
time, very devout and zealous Sisters; for the Empress had an excellent gift of
Preaching, and instructing them in the Articles of Faith; and by that means,
she converted them not only soon, but gained an extraordinary love of all her
Subjects throughout that World. But at last, pondering with her self the
inconstant nature of Mankind, and fearing that in time they would grow weary,
and desert the divine Truth, following their own fancies, and living according
to their own desires; she began to be troubled that her labours and pains
should prove of so little effect, and therefore studied all manner of ways to
prevent it. Amongst the rest, she called to mind a Relation which the Bird-men
made her once, of a Mountain that did burn in flames of fire; and thereupon did
immediately send for a wisest and subtilest of her Worm-men, commanding them to
discover the cause of the Eruption of that same fire; which they did; and
having dived to the very bottom of the Mountain, informed her Majesty, That
there was a certain sort of Stone, whose nature was such, that being wetted, it
would grow excessively hot, and break forth into a flaming-fire, until it
became dry, and then it ceased from burning. The Empress was glad to hear this
news, and forthwith desired the Worm men to bring her some of that Stone, but
be sure to keep it secret: She sent also for the Bird-men, and asked them
whether they could not get her a piece of the Sunstone? They answered, That it
was impossible, unless they did spoil or lessen the light of the World: but,
said they, if it please your Majesty, we can demolish one of the numerous Stars
of the Sky, which the World will never miss.
The Empress was very well satisfied with this proposal, and having thus
employed these two sorts of men, in the mean while builded two Chapels one
above another; the one she lined throughout with Diamonds, both Roof, Walls and
Pillars; but the other she resolved to line with the Star-stone; the Firestone
she placed upon the Diamond-lining, by reason Fire has no power on Diamonds;
and when she would have that Chapel where the Fire-stone was, appear all in a
flame, she had by the means of Artificial pipes, water conveyed into it,
which by turning the Cock, did, as out of a Fountain, spring over all the room,
and as long as the Fire-stone was wet, the Chapel seemed to be all in a
flaming-fire.
The other Chapel, which was lined with the Starstone, did only cast a
splendorous and comfortable light; both the Chapels stood upon Pillars, just
in the middle of a round Cloister, which was dark as night; neither was there
any other light within them, but what came from the Fire-and Star-stone; and
being every where open, allowed to all that were within the compass of the
Cloister, a free prospect into them; besides, they were so artificially
contrived, that they did both move in a Circle about their own Centres, without
intermission, contrary ways. In the Chapel which was lined with the
Fire-stone, the Empress preached Sermons of Terror to the wicked, and told them
of the punishments for their sins, to wit, That after this life they should be
tormented in an everlasting Fire. But in the other Chapel lined with the
Starstone, she preached Sermons of Comfort to those that repented of their
sins, and were troubled at their own wickedness: Neither did the heat of the
flame in the least hinder her; for the Fire-stone did not cast so great a heat
but the Empress was able to endure it, by reason the water which was poured on
the Stone, by its own self-motion turned into a flaming-fire, occasioned by the
natural motions of the Stone, which made the flame weaker then if it had been
fed by some other kind of fuel; the other Chapel where the Star-Stone was,
although it did cast a great light, yet was it without all heat, and the
Empress appeared like an Angel in it; and as that Chapel was an emblem of
Hell, so this was an emblem of Heaven. And thus the Empress, by Art, and her
own Ingenuity, did not only convert the Blazing-World to her own Religion, but
kept them in a constant belief, without enforcement or blood-shed; for she knew
well, that belief was a thing not to be forced or pressed upon the people, but
to be instilled into their minds by gentle persuasions; and after this manner
she encouraged them also in all other duties and employments: for Fear, though
it makes people obey, yet does it not last so long, nor is it so sure a means
to keep them to their duties, as Love.
Last of all, when she saw that both Church and State was now in a well-ordered
and settled condition, her thoughts reflected upon the World she came from; and
though she had a great desire to know the condition of the same, yet could she
advise no manner of way how to gain any knowledge thereof; at last, after many
serious considerations, she conceived that it was impossible to be done by any
other means, then by the help of Imm^terial Spirits; wherefore she made a
Convocation of the most learned, witty and ingenious of all the forementioned
sorts of Men, and desired to know of them, whether there were any Immaterial
Spirits in their World. First, she enquired of the Worm-men, whether they had
perceived some within the Earth? They answered her Majesty, That they never
knew of any such Creatures; for whatsoever did dwell within the Earth, said
they, was imbodied and material. Then she asked the Fly-men, whether they had
observed any in the Air? for you having numerous Eyes, said she, will be more
able to perceive them, than any other Creatures. To which they answered her
Majesty, That although Spirits, being immaterial, could not be perceived by the
Worm-men in the Earth, yet they perceived that such Creatures did lodge in the
Vehicles of the Air. Then the Empress asked, Whether they could speak to them,
and whether they did understand each other? The Fly-men answered, That those
Spirits were always clothed in some sort or other of Material Garments; which
Garments were their Bodies, made, for the most part, of Air; and when occasion
served, they could put on any other sort of substances; but yet they could not
put these substances into any form or shape, as they pleased. The Empress asked
the Fly-men, whether it was possible that she could be acquainted, and have
some conferences with them? They answered, They did verily believe she might.
Hereupon the Empress commanded the Fly-men to ask some of the Spirits, Whether
they would be pleased to give her a Visit? This they did; and after the Spirits
had presented themselves to the Empress, (in what shapes or forms, I cannot
exactly tell) after some few Complements that passed between them, the Empress
told the Spirits that she questioned not, but they did know how she was a
stranger in that World, and by what miraculous means she was arrived there; and
since she had a great desire to know the condition of the World she came from,
her request to the Spirits was, To give her some Information thereof,
especially of those parts of the World where she was born, bred, and educated;
as also of her particular friends and acquaintance: all which, the Spirits did
according to her desire. At last, after a great many conferences and particular
intelligences, which the Spirits gave the Empress, to her great satisfaction
and content; she enquired after the most famous Students, Writers, and
Experimental Philosophers in that World, which they gave her a full relation
of: amongst the rest she enquired, Whether there were none that had found out
yet the Jews Cabbala? Several have endeavoured it, answered the Spirits, but
those that came nearest (although themselves denied it) were one Dr. Dee, and
one Edward Kelly, the one representing Moses, and the other Aaron; for Kelly
was to Dr. Dee, as Aaron to Moses; but yet they proved at last but mere Cheats;
and were described by one of their own Country-men, a famous Poet, named Ben.
Johnson, in a Play called, The Alchemist, where he expressed Kelly by Capt.
Face, and Dee by Dr. Subtle, and their two Wives by Doll Common, and the Widow;
by the Spaniard in the Play, he meant the Spanish Ambassador, and by Sir
Epicure Mammon, a Polish Lord. The Empress remembered that she had seen the
Play, and asked the Spirits, whom he meant by the name of Ananias? Some Zealous
Brethren, answered they, in Holland, Germany, and several other places. Then
she asked them, Who was meant by the Druggist? Truly, answered the Spirits, We
have forgot, it being so long since it was made and acted. What, replied the
Empress, Can Spirits forget? Yes, said the Spirits; for what is past, is only
kept in memory, if it be not recorded. I did believe, said the Empress, That
Spirits had no need of Memory, or Remembrance, and could not be subject to
Forgetfulness. How can we, answered they, give an account of things present, if
we had no Memory, but especially of things past, unrecorded, if we had no
Remembrance? Said the Empress, By present Knowledge and Understanding. The
Spirits answered, That present Knowledge and Understanding was of actions or
things present, not of past. But, said the Empress, you know what is to come,
without Memory or Remembrance; and therefore you may know what is past without
memory and remembrance. They answered, That their foreknowledg was only a
prudent and subtle Observation made by comparing of things or actions past,
with those that are present; and that Remembrance was nothing else but a
Repetition of things or actions past.
Then the Empress asked the Spirits, Whether there was a threefold Cabbala?
They answered, Dee and Kelly made but a two-fold Cabbala, to wit, of the Old
and New Testament, but others might not only make two or three, but threescore
Cabbala's, if they pleased. The Empress asked, Whether it was a Traditional, or
merely a Scriptural, or whether it was a Literal, Philosophical, or Moral
Cabbala? Some, answered they, did believe it merely Traditional, others
Scriptural, some Literal, and some Metaphorical: but the truth is, said they,
'twas partly one, and partly the other; as partly a Traditional, partly a
Scriptural, partly Literal, partly Metaphorical. The Empress asked further,
Whether the Cabbala was a work only of Natural Reason, or of Divine
Inspiration? Many, said the Spirits, that write Cabbala's pretend to Divine
Inspirations; but whether it be so, or not, it does not belong to us to judge;
only this we must needs confess, that it is a work which requires a good wit,
and a strong Faith, but not Natural Reason; for though Natural Reason is most
persuasive, yet Faith is the chief that is required in Cabalists. But, said
the Empress, Is there not Divine Reason, as well as there is Natural? No,
answered they: for there is but a Divine Faith, and as for Reason it is only
Natural; but you Mortals are so puzzled about this Divine Faith, and Natural
Reason, that you do not know well how to distinguish them, but confound them
both, which is the cause you have so many divine Philosophers who make a
Gallimafry both of Reason and Faith. Then she asked, Whether pure Natural
Philosophers were Cabalists? They answered, No; but only your Mystical or
Divine Philosophers, such as study beyond Sense and Reason. She enquired
further, Whether there was any Cabbala in God, or whether God was full of
Idea's? They answered, There could be nothing in God, nor could God be full of
any thing, either forms or figures, but of himself; for God is the Perfection
of all things, and an Unexpressible Being, beyond the conception of any
Creature, either Natural or Supernatural. Then I pray inform me, said the
Empress, Whether the Jews Cabbala or any other, consist in Numbers? The Spirits
answered, No: for Numbers are odd, and different, and would make a disagreement
in the Cabbala. But, said she again, Is it a sin then not to know or understand
the Cabbala? God is so merciful, answered they, and so just, that he will never
damn the ignorant, and save only those that pretend to know him and his secret
Counsels by their Cabbala's; but he loves those that adore and worship him with
fear and reverence, and with a pure heart. She asked further, which of these
two Cabbala's was most approved, the Natural, or Theological? The Theological,
answered they, is mystical, and belongs only to Faith; but the Natural belongs
to Reason. Then she asked them, Whether Divine Faith was made out of Reason? No
answered they, for Faith proceeds only from a Divine saving Grace, which is a
peculiar Gift of God. How comes it then, replied she, that Men, even those that
are of several opinions, have Faith more or less? A Natural Belief, answered
they, is not a Divine Faith. But, proceeded the Empress, How are you sure that
God cannot be known? The several Opinions you Mortals have of God, answered
they, are sufficient witnesses thereof. Well then, replied the Empress, leaving
this inquisitive knowledge of God, I pray inform me, whether you Spirits give
motion to Natural Bodies? No, answered they; but, on the contrary, Natural
material bodies give Spirits motion; for we Spirits, being incorporeal, have no
motion but from our Corporeal Vehicles, so that we move by the help of our
Bodies, and not the Bodies by our help; for pure Spirits are immovable. If this
be so, replied the Empress, How comes it then that you can move so suddenly at
a vast distance? They answered, That some sorts of matter were more pure, rare,
and consequently more light and agil then others; and this was the reason of
their quick and sudden motions. Then the Empress asked them, Whether they could
speak without a body, or bodily organs? No, said they; nor could we have any
bodily sense, but only knowledge. She asked, Whether they could have Knowledge
without Body? Not a Natural, answered they, but a Supernatural Knowledge, which
is a far better Knowledge then a Natural. Then she asked them, Whether they had
a General or Universal Knowledge? They answered, Single or particular created
Spirits, have not; for not any Creature, but God Himself, can have an absolute
and perfect knowledge of all things. The Empress asked them further, Whether
Spirits had inward and outward parts? No, answered they; for parts only belong
to bodies, not to Spirits. Again, she asked them, Whether their Vehicles were
living Bodies? They are Self-moving Bodies, answered they, and therefore they
must needs be living; for nothing can move it self, without it hath life. Then,
said she, it must necessarily follow, that this living, Self-moving Body gives
motion to the Spirit, and not the Spirit motion to the Body, as its Vehicle.
You say very true, answered they, and we told you this before. Then the Empress
asked them, Of what forms of Matter those Vehicles were? They said they were of
several different forms; some gross and dense, and others more pure, rare, and
subtle. If you be not Material, said the Empress, how can you be Generators of
all Creatures? We are no more, answered they, the Generators of material
Creatures, then they are the Generators of us Spirits. Then she asked, Whether
they did leave their Vehicles? No, answered they; for we being incorporeal,
cannot leave or quit them: but our Vehicles do change into several forms and
figures, according as occasion requires. Then the Empress desired the Spirits
to tell her, Whether Man was a little World? They answered, That if a Fly or
Worm was a little World, then Man was so too. She asked again, Whether our
Fore-fathers had been as wise, as Men were at present, and had understood sense
and reason, as well as they did now? They answered. That in former Ages they
had been as wise as they are in this present, nay, wiser; for, said they, many
in this age do think their Fore-fathers have been Fools, by which they prove
themselves to be such. The Empress asked further, Whether there was any
Plastic power in Nature? Truly, said the Spirits, Plastic power is a hard
word, signifies no more then the power of the corporeal, figurative motions of
Nature. After this, the Empress desired the Spirits to inform her where the
Paradise was, Whether it was in the midst of the World as a Centre of pleasure?
or, Whether it was the whole World; or a peculiar World by it self, as a World
of Life, and not of Matter; or whether it was mixed, as a world of living animal
Creatures? They answered, That Paradise was not in the world she came from, but
in that world she lived in at present; and that it was the very same place
where she kept her Court, and where her Palace stood, in the midst of the
Imperial City. The Empress asked further, Whether in the beginning and Creation
of the World, all Beasts could speak? They answered, That no Beasts could
speak, but only those sorts of Creatures which were Fish-men, Bear-men,
Worm-men, and the like, which could speak in the first Age, as well as they do
now. She asked again, Whether they were none of those Spirits that frighted
Adam out of the Paradise, at least caused him not to return thither again? They
answered they were not. Then she desired to be informed, whither Adam fled when
he was driven out of the Paradise? Out of this World, said they, you are now
Empress of, into the World you came from. If this be so, replied the Empress,
then surely those Cabalists are much out of their story, who believe the
Paradise to be a world of Life only, without Matter; for this world, though it
be most pleasant and fruitful, yet it is not a world of mere Immaterial life,
but a world of living, Material Creatures. Without question, they are,
answered the Spirits; for not all Cabbala's are true. Then the Empress asked,
That since it is mentioned in the story of the Creation of the World, that Eve
was tempted by the Serpent, Whether the Devil was within the Serpent, or
Whether the Serpent tempted her without the Devil? They answered, That the
Devil was within the Serpent. But how came it then, replied she, that the
Serpent was cursed? They answered, because the Devil was in him; for are not
those men in danger of damnation which have the Devil within them, who
persuades them to believe and act wickedly? The Empress asked further, Whether
Light and the Heavens were all one? They answered, That that Region which
contains the Lucid natural Orbs, was by Mortals named Heaven; but the
Beatifical Heaven, which is the Habitation of the Blessed Angels and Souls, was
so far beyond it, that it could not be compared to any Natural Creature. Then
the Empress asked them, Whether all Matter was fluid at first? They answered,
That Matter was always as it is; and that some parts of Matter were rare, some
dense, some fluid, some solid, c. Neither was God bound to make all Matter
fluid at first. She asked further, Whether Matter was immovable in it self? We
have answered you before, said they, That there is no motion but in Matter; and
were it not for the motion of Matter, we Spirits, could not move, nor give you
any answer to your several questions. After this, the Empress asked the
Spirits, Whether the Universe was made within the space of six days, or,
Whether by those six days, were meant so many Decrees or Commands of God? They
answered her, That the World was made by the All-powerful Decree and Command of
God; but whether there were six Decrees or Commands, or fewer, or more, no
Creature was able to tell. Then she inquired, Whether there was no mystery in
Numbers? No other mystery, answered the Spirits, but reckoning or counting; for
Numbers are only marks of remembrance. But what do you think of the Number of
Four, said she, which Cabalists make such ado withal, and of the Number of
Ten, when they say that Ten is all, and that all Numbers are virtually
comprehended in Four? We think, answered they, that Cabalists have nothing
else to do but to trouble their heads with such useless Fancies; for naturally
there is no such thing as prime or all in Numbers; nor is there any other
mystery in Numbers, but what Man's fancy makes; but what Men call Prime, or
All, we do not know, because they do not agree in the number of their opinion.
Then the Empress asked, Whether the number of six was a symbol of Matrimony,
as being made up of Male and Female, for two into three is six. If any number
can be a symbol of Matrimony, answered the Spirits, it is not Six, but Two; if
two may be allowed to be a Number: for the act of Matrimony is made up of two
joined in one. She asked again, What they said to the number of Seven? whether
it was not an Emblem of God, because Cabalists say, That it is neither
begotten, nor begets any other Number? There can be no Emblem of God, answered
the Spirits; for if we do not know what God is, how can we make an Emblem of
him? Nor is there any Number in God, for God is the perfection Himself; but
Numbers are imperfect; and as for the begetting of numbers, it is done by
Multiplication and Addition; but Substraction is as a kind of death to Numbers.
If there be no mystery in Numbers, replied the Empress, then it is in vain to
refer the Creation of the World to certain Numbers, as Cabalists do. The only
mystery of Numbers, answered they, concerning the Creation of the World, is,
that as Numbers do multiply, so does the World. The Empress asked, how far
Numbers did multiply? The Spirits answered, to Infinite. Why, said she,
Infinite cannot be reckoned, nor numbered, No more, answered they, can the parts
of the Universe; for God's Creation, being an Infinite action, as proceeding
from an Infinite Power, could not rest upon a finite Number of Creatures, were
it never so great. But leaving the mystery of Numbers, proceeded the Empress,
Let me now desire you to inform me, Whether the Suns and Planets were generated
by the Heavens, or Ethereal Matter? The Spirits answered, That the Stars and
Planets were of the same matter which the Heavens, the Ether, and all other
Natural Creatures did consist of; but whether they were generated by the
Heavens or Ether, they could not tell: if they be, said they, they are not
like their Parents; for the Sun, Stars, and Planets, are more splendorous then
the Ether, as also more solid and constant in their motions: But put the case,
the Stars and Planets were generated by the Heavens, and the Ethereal Matter;
the question then would be, Out of what these are generated or produced? If
these be created out of nothing, and not generated out of something, then it is
probable the Sun, Stars and Planets are so too; nay, it is more probable of the
Stars and Planets, then of the Heavens, or the fluid Ether, by reason the
Stars and Planets seem to be further off from Mortality, then the particular
parts of the Ether; for no doubt but the parts of the Ethereal Matter, alter
into several forms, which we do not perceive of the Stars and Planets. The
Empress asked further, Whether they could give her information of the three
principles of Man, according to the doctrine of the Platonists; as first of the
Intellect, Spirit, or Divine Light. 2. Of the Soul of Man her self: and 3. Of
the Image of the Soul, that is, her vital operation on the body? The Spirits
answered, That they did not understand these three distinctions, but that they
seemed to corporeal sense and reason, as if they were three several bodies, or
three several corporeal actions; however, said they, they are intricate
conceptions of irregular Fancies. If you do not understand them, replied the
Empress, how shall human Creatures do then? Many, both of your modern and
ancient Philosophers, answered the Spirits, endeavour to go beyond Sense and
Reason, which makes them commit absurdities; for no corporeal Creature can go
beyond Sense and Reason; no not we Spirits, as long as we are in our corporeal
Vehicles. Then the Empress asked them, Whether there were any Atheists in the
World? The Spirits answered, That there were no more Atheists then what
Cabalists make. She asked them further, Whether Spirits were of a globous or
round Figure? They answered, That Figure belonged to body, but they being
immaterial, had no Figure. She asked again, Whether Spirits were not like Water
or Fire? They answered, that Water and Fire was material, were it the purest
and most refined that ever could be; nay, were it above the Heavens: But we are
no more like Water or Fire, said they, then we are like Earth; but our Vehicles
are of several forms, figures and degrees of substances. Then she desired to
know, Whether their Vehicles were made of Air? Yes, answered the Spirits, some
of our Vehicles are of thin Air. Then I suppose, replied the Empress, That
those airy Vehicles, are your corporeal Summer-suits. She asked further,
Whether the Spirits had not ascending and descending-motions, as well as other
Creatures? They answered, That properly there was no ascension or descension in
Infinite Nature, but only in relation to particular parts; and as for us
Spirits, said they, We can neither ascend nor descend without corporeal
Vehicles; nor can our Vehicles ascend or descend, but according to their
several shapes and figures, for there can be no motion without body. The
Empress asked them further, Whether there was not a World of Spirits, as well
as there is of Material Creatures? No, answered they; for the word World
implies a quantity or multitude of corporeal Creatures, but we being
Immaterial, can make no World of Spirits. Then she desired to be informed when
Spirits were made? We do not know, answered they, how and when we were made,
nor are we much inquisitive after it; nay, if we did, it would be no benefit,
neither for us, nor for you Mortals to know it. The Empress replied, That
Cabalists and Divine Philosophers said, Men's rational Souls were Immaterial,
and stood as much in need of corporeal Vehicles, as Spirits did. If this be so,
answered the Spirits, then you are Hermaphrodites of Nature; but your
Cabalists are mistaken, for they take the purest and subtilest parts of
Matter, for Immaterial Spirits. Then the Empress asked, When the Souls of
Mortals went out of their Bodies, whether they went to Heaven or Hell; or
whether they remained in airy Vehicles? God's Justice and Mercy, answered they,
is perfect, and not imperfect; but if you Mortals will have Vehicles for your
Souls, and a place that is between Heaven and Hell, it must be Purgatory, which
is a place of Purification, for which action Fire is more proper then Air; and
so the Vehicles of those Souls that are in Purgatory, cannot be airy, but
fiery; and after this rate there can be but four places for human Souls to be
in, viz. Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, and this World; but as for Vehicles, they are
but fancies, not real truths. Then the Empress asked them, Where Heaven and
Hell was? Your Saviour Christ, answered the Spirits, has informed you, that
there is Heaven and Hell, but he did not tell you what, nor where they are;
wherefore it is too great a presumption for you Mortals to inquire after it. If
you do but strive to get into Heaven, it is enough, though you do not know
where or what it is; for it is beyond your knowledge and understanding. I am
satisfied, replied the Empress; and asked further, Whether there were any
Figures or Characters in the Soul? They answered, Where there was no Body,
there could be no Figure. Then she asked them, Whether Spirits could be naked?
and whether they were of a dark, or a light colour? As for our Nakedness, it is
a very odd question, answered the Spirits; and we do not know what you mean by
a Naked Spirit; for you judge of us as of corporeal Creatures; and as for
Colour, said they, it is according to our Vehicles; for Colour belongs to Body,
and as there is no Body that is colourless, so there is no Colour that is
bodiless. Then the Empress desired to be informed, Whether all Souls were made
at the first Creation of the World? We know no more, answered the Spirits, of
the origin of humane Souls, then we know of our Selves. She asked further,
Whether humane bodies were not burdensome to humane Souls? They answered, That
Bodies made Souls active, as giving them motion; and if action was troublesome
to Souls, then Bodies were so too. She asked again, Whether Souls did choose
Bodies? They answered, That Platonic believed, the Souls of Lovers lived in
the Bodies of their Beloved; but surely, said they, if there be a multitude of
Souls in a World of Matter, they cannot miss Bodies; for as soon as a Soul is
parted from one Body, it enters into another; and Souls having no motion of
themselves, must of necessity be clothed or imbodied with the next parts of
Matter. If this be so, replied the Empress, then I pray inform me, Whether all
matter be soulified? The Spirits answered, They could not exactly tell that;
but if it was true, that Matter had no other motion but what came from a
spiritual power, and that all matter was moving, then no soul could quit a
Body, but she must of necessity enter into another soulified Body, and then
there would be two immaterial substances in one Body. The Empress asked,
Whether it was not possible that there could be two Souls in one Body? As for
Immaterial Souls, answered the Spirits, it is impossible; for there cannot be
two Immaterials in one Inanimate Body, by reason they want parts, and place,
being bodiless; but there maybe numerous materials Souls in one composed Body,
by reason every material part has a material natural Soul; for Nature is but
one Infinite self-moving, living and self-knowing body, consisting of the three
degrees of inanimate, sensitive and rational Matter, so intermixed together,
that no part of Nature, were it an Atom, can be without any of these three
Degrees; the sensitive is the Life, the rational the Soul, and the inanimate
part, the Body of Infinite Nature. The Empress was very well satisfied with
this answer, and asked further, Whether souls did not give life to bodies? No,
answered they; but Spirits and Divine Souls have a life of their own, which is
not to be divided, being purer then a natural life; for Spirits are
incorporeal, and consequently indivisible. But when the Soul is in its Vehicle,
said the Empress, then methinks she is like the Sun, and the Vehicle like the
Moon. No, answered they; but the Vehicle is like the Sun, and the Soul like the
Moon; for the Soul hath motion from the Body, as the Moon has light from the
sun. Then the Empress asked the Spirits, Whether it was an evil Spirit that
tempted Eve, and brought all the mischiefs upon Mankind: or, Whether it was the
Serpent? They answered, That Spirits could not commit actual evils. The Empress
said, they might do it by persuasions. They answered, That Persuasions were
actions; But the Empress not being contented with this answer, asked, Whether
there was not a supernatural Evil? The Spirits answered, That there was a
Supernatural Good, which was God; but they knew of no Supernatural Evil that
was equal to God. Then she desired to know, Whether Evil Spirits were reckoned
amongst the Beasts of the Field? They answered, That many Beasts of the field
were harmless Creatures, and very serviceable for Man's use; and though some
were accounted fierce and cruel, yet did they exercise their cruelty upon other
Creatures, for the most part, to no other end, but to get themselves food, and
to satisfy their natural appetite; but certainly, said they, you Men are more
cruel to one another, then evil Spirits are to you; and as for their
habitations in desolate places, we having no communion with them, can give you
no certain account thereof. But what do you think, said the Empress, of good
Spirits? may not they be compared to the Fowls of the Air? They answered, There
were many cruel and ravenous Fowls as well in the Air, as there were fierce and
cruel Beasts on Earth; so that the good are always mixed with the bad. She asked
further, Whether the fiery Vehicles were a Heaven, or a Hell, or at least a
Purgatory to the Souls? They answered, That if the Souls were immaterial, they
could not burn, and then fire would do them no harm; and though Hell was
believed to be an undecaying and unquenchable fire, yet Heaven was no fire. The
Empress replied, That Heaven was a Light. Yes, said they, but not a fiery
Light. Then she asked, Whether the different shapes and sorts of Vehicles, made
the Souls and other Immaterial Spirits, miserable, or blessed? The Vehicles,
answered they, make them neither better, nor worse; for though some Vehicles
sometimes may have power over others, yet these by turns may get some power
again over them, according to the several advantages and disadvantages of
particular Natural parts. The Empress asked further, Whether Animal life came
out of the spiritual World, and did return thither again? The Spirits answered,
They could not exactly tell; but if it were so, then certainly Animal lives
must leave their bodies behind them, otherwise the bodies would make the
spiritual World a mixed World, that is, partly material, and partly immaterial;
but the Truth is, said they, Spirits being immaterial, cannot properly make a
World; for a World belongs to material, not to immaterial Creatures. If this be
so, replied the Empress, then certainly there can be no world of Lives and
Forms without Matter? No, answered the Spirits; nor a world of Matter without
Lives and Forms; for Natural Lives and Forms cannot be immaterial, no more then
Matter can be immovable. And therefore natural lives, forms and matter, are
inseparable. Then the Empress asked, Whether the first Man did feed on the best
sorts of the Fruits of the Earth, and the Beasts on the worst? The Spirits
answered, That unless the Beasts of the field were barred out of manured fields
and gardens, they would pick and choose the best Fruits as well as Men; and you
may plainly observe it, said they, in Squirrels and Monkeys, how they are the
best Choosers of Nuts and Apples; and how Birds do pick and feed on the most
delicious fruits, and Worms on the best roots, and most savoury herbs; by which
you may see, that those Creatures live and feed better then men do, except you
will say, that artificial Cookery is better and more wholesome then the natural.
Again, the Empress asked, Whether the first Man gave Names to all the several
sorts of Fishes in the Sea, and fresh Waters? No, answered the Spirits, for he
was an Earthly, and not a Watery Creature; and therefore could not know the
several sorts of Fishes. Why, replied the Empress, he was no more an Airy
Creature then he was a Watery one, and yet he gave Names to the several sorts
of Fowls and Birds of the Air. Fowls, answered they, are partly Airy, and
partly Earthly Creatures, not only because they resemble Beasts and Men in
their flesh, but because their rest and dwelling places are on Earth; for they
build their Nests, lay their Eggs, and hatch their Young, not in the Air, but
on the Earth. Then she asked, Whether the first Man did give Names to all the
various sorts of Creatures that live on the Earth? Yes, answered they, to all
those that were presented to him, or he had knowledge of, that is, to all the
prime sorts; but not to every particular: for of Mankind, said they, there were
but two at first; and as they did increase, so did their Names. But, said the
Empress, who gave the Names to the several sorts of Fish? The posterity of
Mankind, answered they. Then she enquired, Whether there were no more kinds of
Creatures now, then at the first Creation? They answered, That there were no
more nor fewer kinds of Creatures then there are now; but there are, without
question, more particular sorts of Creatures now, then there were then. She
asked again, Whether all those Creatures that were in Paradise, were also in
Noah's Ark? They answered, That the principal kinds had been there, but not all
the particulars. Then she would fain know, how it came, that both Spirits and
Men did fall from a blessed into so miserable a state and condition as they are
now in. The Spirits answered, By disobedience. The Empress asked, Whence this
disobedient sin did proceed? But the Spirits desired the Empress not to ask
them any such questions, because they went beyond their knowledge. Then she
begged the Spirits to pardon her presumption; for, said she, It is the nature
of Mankind to be inquisitive. Natural desire of knowledge, answered the Spirits,
is not blameable, so you do not go beyond what your Natural Reason can
comprehend. Then I'll ask no more, said the Empress, for fear I should commit
some error; but one thing I cannot but acquaint you withal: What is that, said
the Spirits? I have a great desire, answered the Empress, to make a Cabbala.
What kind of Cabbala, asked the Spirits? The Empress answered, The Jews
Cabbala. No sooner had the Empress declared her Mind, but the Spirits
immediately disappeared out of her sight; which startled the Empress so much,
that she fell into a Trance, wherein she lay for some while; at last being come
to her self again, she grew very studious, and considering with her self what
might be the cause of this strange disaster, conceived at first, that perhaps
the Spirits were tired with hearing and giving answers to her Questions; but
thinking by her self, That Spirits could not be tired, she imagined that this
was not the true cause of their disappearing, till, after divers debates with
her own thoughts, she did verily believe that the Spirits had committed some
fault in their answers, and that for their punishment they were condemned to
the lowest and darkest Vehicles. This belief was so fixed in her mind, that it
put her into a very Melancholic humour; and then she sent both for her Fly- and
Worm-men, and declared to them the cause of her sadness. 'Tis not so much, said
she, the vanishing of those Spirits that makes me Melancholic, but that I
should be the cause of their miserable condition, and that those harmless
Spirits should, for my sake, sink down into the black and dark abyss of the
Earth. The Worm-men comforted the Empress, telling her, That the Earth was not
so horrid a Dwelling, as she did imagine; for, said they, not only all
Minerals and Vegetables, but several sorts of Animals can witness, that the
Earth is a warm, fruitful, quiet, safe, and happy habitation; and though they
want the light of the Sun, yet are they not in the dark, but there is light
even within the Earth, by which those Creatures do see that dwell therein. This
relation settled her Majesties mind a little; but yet she being desirous to know
the Truth, where, and in what condition those Spirits were, commanded both the
Fly- and Worm-men to use all labour and industry to find them out; whereupon
the Worm-men straight descended into the Earth, and the Fly-men ascended into
the Air. After some short time, the Worm-men returned, and told the Empress,
that when they went into the Earth, they inquired of all the Creatures they met
withal, Whether none of them had perceived such or such Spirits; until at last
coming to the very Center of the Earth, they were truly informed, that those
Spirits had stayed some time there, but at last were gone to the Antipodes on
the other side of the Terrestrial Globe, diametrically opposite to theirs. The
Fly-men seconded the Worm-men, assuring her Majesty, that their relation was
very true; for, said they, We have rounded the Earth, and just when we came to
the Antipodes, we met those Spirits in a very good condition, and acquainted
them that your Majesty was very much troubled at their sudden departure, and
feared they should be buried in the darkness of the Earth: whereupon the
Spirits answered us, That they were sorry for having occasioned such sadness
and trouble in your Majesty; and desired us to tell your Majesty, that they
feared no darkness; for their Vehicles were of such a sort of substance as
Cats-eyes, Glow-worms tails, and rotten Wood, carrying their light along with
them; and that they were ready to do your Majesty what service they could, in
making your Cabbala. At which Relation the Empress was exceedingly glad, and
rewarded both her Fly- and Worm-men bountifully.
After some time, when the Spirits had refreshed themselves in their own
Vehicles, they sent one of their nimblest Spirits, to ask the Empress, Whether
she would have a Scribe, or, whether she would write the Cabbala her self? The
Empress received the proffer which they made her, with all civility; and told
them, that she desired a Spiritual Scribe. The Spirits answered, That they
could dictate, but not write, except they put on a hand or arm, or else the
whole body of Man. The Empress replied, How can Spirits arm themselves with
gantlets of Flesh? As well, answered they, as Man can arm himself with a
gantlet of steel. If it be so, said the Empress, then I will have a Scribe.
Then the Spirits asked her, Whether she would have the Soul of a living or a
dead Man? Why, said the Empress, can the Soul quit a living Body, and wander or
travel abroad? Yes, answered they, for according to Plato's Doctrine, there is
a Conversation of Souls, and the Souls of Lovers live in the Bodies of their
Beloved. Then I will have, answered she, the Soul of some ancient famous
Writer, either of Aristotle, Pythagoras, Plato, Epicurus, or the like. The
Spirits said, That those famous Men were very learned, subtle, and ingenious
Writers; but they were so wedded to their own opinions, that they would never
have the patience to be Scribes. Then, said she, I'll have the Soul of one of
the most famous modern Writers, as either of Galileo, Gassendus, Des Cartes,
Helmont, Hobbes, H. More, c. The Spirits answered, That they were fine
ingenious Writers, but yet so self-conceited, that they would scorn to be
Scribes to a Woman. But, said they, there's a Lady, the Duchess of Newcastle;
which although she is not one of the most learned, eloquent, witty and
ingenious, yet she is a plain and rational Writer; for the principle of her
Writings, is Sense and Reason, and she will without question, be ready to do
you all the service she can. That Lady then, said the Empress, will I choose for
my Scribe, neither will the Emperor have reason to be jealous, she being one of
my own sex. In truth, said the Spirit, Husbands have reason to be jealous of
Platonic Lovers, for they are very dangerous, as being not only very intimate
and close, but subtle and insinuating. You say well, replied the Empress;
wherefore I pray send me the Duchess of Newcastle's Soul; which the Spirit did;
and after she came to wait on the Empress, at her first arrival the Empress
embraced and saluted her with a Spiritual kiss; then she asked her whether she
could write? Yes, answered the Duchess's Soul, but not so intelligibly that any
Reader whatsoever may understand it, unless he be taught to know my Characters;
for my Letters are rather like Characters, then well formed Letters. Said the
Empress, you were recommended to me by an honest and ingenious Spirit. Surely,
answered the Duchess, the Spirit is ignorant of my hand-writing. The truth is,
said the Empress, he did not mention your hand-writing; but he informed me,
that you writ Sense and Reason, and if you can but write so, that any of my
Secretaries may learn your hand, they shall write it out fair and intelligible.
The Duchess answered, That she questioned not but it might easily be learned in
a short time. But, said she to the Empress, What is it that your Majesty would
have written? She answered, The Jews Cabbala. Then your only way for that is,
said the Duchess, to have the Soul of some famous Jew; nay, if your Majesty
please, I scruple not, but you may as easily have the Soul of Moses, as of any
other. That cannot be, replied the Empress, for no Mortal knows where Moses is.
But, said the Duchess, humane Souls are immortal; however, if this be too
difficult to be obtained, you may have the Soul of one of the chief Rabbis or
Sages of the Tribe of Levi, who will truly instruct you in that mystery; when
as, otherwise, your Majesty will be apt to mistake, and a thousand to one, will
commit gross errors. No, said the Empress, for I shall be instructed by
Spirits. Alas! said the Duchess, Spirits are as ignorant as Mortals in many
cases; for no created Spirits have a general or absolute knowledge, nor can they
know the Thoughts of Men, much less the Mysteries of the great Creator, unless
he be pleased to inspire into them the gift of Divine Knowledge. Then, I pray,
said the Empress, let me have your counsel in this case. The Duchess answered,
If your Majesty will be pleased to hearken to my advice, I would desire you to
let that work alone; for it will be of no advantage either to you, or your
people, unless you were of the Jews Religion; nay, if you were, the vulgar
interpretation of the holy Scripture would be more instructive, and more easily
believed, then your mystical way of interpreting it; for had it been better and
more advantageous for the Salvation of the Jews, surely Moses would have saved
after-Ages that labour by his own Explanation, he being not only a wise, but a
very honest, zealous and religious Man: Wherefore the best way, said she, is to
believe with the generality the literal sense of the Scripture, and not to make
interpretations every one according to his own fancy, but to leave that work
for the Learned, or those that have nothing else to do; Neither do I think,
said she, that God will damn those that are ignorant therein, or suffer them to
be lost for want of a Mystical interpretation of the Scripture. Then, said the
Empress, I'll leave the Scripture, and make a Philosophical Cabbala. The
Duchess told her, That, Sense and Reason would instruct her of Nature as much
as could be known; and as for Numbers, they were infinite; but to add non-sense
to infinite, would breed a confusion, especially in Humane Understanding. Then,
replied the Empress, I'll make a Moral Cabbala. The only thing, answered the
Duchess, in Morality, is but, To fear God, and to love his Neighbour, and this
needs no further interpretation. But then I'll make a Political Cabbala, said
the Empress. The Duchess answered, That the chief and only ground in
Government, was but Reward and Punishment, and required no further Cabbala;
But, said she, If your Majesty were resolved to make a Cabbala, I would advise
you, rather to make a Poetical or Romancical Cabbala, wherein you may use
Metaphors, Allegories, Similitudes, c. and interpret them as you please. With
that the Empress thanked the Duchess, and embracing her Soul, told her she
would take her Counsel: she made her also her Favourite, and kept her sometime
in that World, and by this means the Duchess came to know and give this
Relation of all that passed in that rich, populous, and happy World; and after
some time the Empress gave her leave to return to her Husband and Kindred into
her Native World, but upon condition, that her Soul should visit her now and
then; which she did: and truly their meeting did produce such an intimate
friendship between them, that they became Platonic Lovers, although they were
both Femals.
One time, when the Duchess her Soul was with the Empress, she seemed to be
very sad and melancholy; at which the Empress was very much troubled, and asked
her the reason of her Melancholic humour? Truly, said the Duchess to the
Empress, (for between dear friends there's no concealment, they being like
several parts of one united body) my Melancholy proceeds from an extreme
Ambition. The Empress asked, What the height of her ambition was? The Duchess
answered, That neither she her self, nor no Creature in the World was able to
know either the height, depth, or breadth of her Ambition; but said she, my
present desire is, that I would be a great Princess. The Empress replied, So
you are; for you are a Princess of the fourth or fifth Degree; for a Duke or
Duchess is the highest title or honour that a subject can arrive to, as being
the next to a King's Title; and as for the name of a Prince or Princess, it
belongs to all that are adopted to the Crown; so that those that can add a
Crown to their Arms, are Princes, and therefore a Duke is a Title above a
Prince; for example, the Duke of Savoy, the Duke of Florence, the Duke of
Lorrain, as also Kings Brothers, are not called by the name of Princes, but
Dukes, this being the higher Title. 'Tis true, answered the Duchess, unless it
be Kings Eldest Sons, and they are created Princes. Yes, replied the Empress,
but no Sovereign does make a subject equal to himself, such as Kings eldest
sons partly are: And although some Dukes be Sovereigns, yet I never heard that
a Prince by his Title is Sovereign, by reason the Title of a Prince is more a
Title of Honour, then of Sovereignty; for, as I said before, it belongs to all
that are adopted to the Crown. Well, said the Duchess, setting aside this
dispute, my Ambition is, That I would fain be as you are, that is, an Empress
of a World, and I shall never be at quiet until I be one. I love you so well,
replied the Empress, that I wish with all my soul, you had the fruition of your
ambitious desire, and I shall not fail to give you my best advice how to
accomplish it; the best informers are the Immaterial Spirits, and they'll soon
tell you, Whether it be possible to obtain your wish. But, said the Duchess, I
have little acquaintance with them, for I never knew any before the time you
sent for me. They know you, replied the Empress; for they told me of you, and
were the means and instrument of your coming hither: Wherefore I'll confer
with them, and enquire whether there be not another World, whereof you may be
Empress as well as I am of this? No sooner had the Empress said this, but some
Immaterial Spirits came to visit her, of whom she inquired, Whether there were
but three Worlds in all, to wit, the Blazing World where she was in, the World
which she came from, and the World where the Duchess lived? The Spirits
answered, That there were more numerous Worlds then the Stars which appeared in
these three mentioned Worlds. Then the Empress asked, Whether it was not
possible, that her dearest friend the Duchess of Newcastle, might be Empress of
one of them? Although there be numerous, nay, infinite Worlds, answered the
Spirits, yet none is without Government. But is none of these Worlds so weak,
said she, that it may be surprised or conquered? The Spirits answered, That
Lucian's World of Lights, had been for some time in a snuff, but of late years
one Helmont had got it, who since he was Emperor of it, had so strengthened
the Immortal parts thereof with mortal out-works, as it was for the present
impregnable. Said the Empress, If there be such an Infinite number of Worlds, I
am sure, not only my friend, the Duchess, but any other might obtain one. Yes,
answered the Spirits, if those Worlds were uninhabited; but they are as
populous as this your Majesty governs. Why, said the Empress, it is not
possible to conquer a World. No, answered the Spirits, but, for the most part,
Conquerors seldom enjoy their conquest, for they being more feared then loved,
most commonly come to an untimely end. If you will but direct me, said the
Duchess to the Spirits, which World is easiest to be conquered, her Majesty
will assist me with Means, and I will trust to Fate and Fortune; for I had
rather die in the adventure of noble achievements, then live in obscure and
sluggish security; since the by one, I may live in a glorious Fame; and by the
other I am buried in oblivion. The Spirits answered, That the lives of Fame
were like other lives; for some lasted long, and some died soon. 'Tis true,
said the Duchess; but yet the shortest-liv'd Fame lasts longer then the longest
life of Man. But, replied the Spirits, if occasion does not serve you, you must
content your self to live without such achievements that may gain you a Fame:
But we wonder, proceeded the Spirits, that you desire to be Empress of a
Terrestrial World when as you can create your self a Celestial World if you
please. What, said the Empress, can any Mortal be a Creator? Yes, answered the
Spirits; for every human Creature can create an Immaterial World fully
inhabited by Immaterial Creatures, and populous of Immaterial subjects, such as
we are, and all this within the compass of the head or scull; nay, not only
so, but he may create a World of what fashion and Government he will, and give
the Creatures thereof such motions, figures, forms, colours, perceptions, c. as
he pleases, and make Whirl-pools, Lights, Pressures and Reactions, c. as he
thinks best; nay, he may make a World full of Veins, Muscles, and Nerves, and
all these to move by one jolt or stroke: also he may alter that World as often
as he pleases, or change it from a Natural World, to an Artificial; he may make
a World of Ideas, a World of Atoms, a World of Lights, or whatsoever his Fancy
leads him to. And since it is in your power to create such a World, What need
you to venture life, reputation and tranquillity, to conquer a gross material
World? For you can enjoy no more of a material world then a particular Creature
is able to enjoy, which is but a small part, considering the compass of such a
world; and you may plainly observe it by your friend the Empress here, which
although she possesses a whole World, yet enjoys she but a part thereof;
neither is she so much acquainted with it, that she knows all the places,
Countries, and Dominions she Governs. The truth is, a Sovereign Monarch has the
general trouble; but the Subjects enjoy all the delights and pleasures in
parts; for it is impossible, that a Kingdom, nay, a Country, should be enjoyed
by one person at once, except he take the pains to travel into every part, and
endure the inconveniences of going from one place to another? wherefore, since
glory, delight and pleasure lives but in other men's opinions, and can neither
add tranquillity to your mind nor give ease to your body, Why should you desire
to be Empress of a Material World, and be troubled with the cares that attend
Government? when as by creating a World within your self, you may enjoy all
both in whole and in parts, without control or opposition; and may make what
World you please, and alter it when you please, and enjoy as much pleasure and
delight as a World can afford you? You have converted me, said the Duchess to
the Spirits, from my ambitious desire; wherefore, I'll take your advice, reject
and despise all the Worlds without me, and create a World of my own. The
Empress said, If I do make such a world, then I shall be Mistress of two
Worlds, one within, and the other without me. That your Majesty may, said the
Spirits; and so left these two Ladies to create two Worlds within themselves:
who did also part from each other, until such time as they had brought their
Worlds to perfection. The Duchess of Newcastle was most earnest and industrious
to make her World, because she had none at present; and first she resolved to
frame it according to the opinion of Thales, but she found her self so much
troubled with Daemons, that they would not suffer her to take her own will, but
forced her to obey their orders and commands; which she being unwilling to do,
left off from making a world that way, and began to frame one according to
Pythagoras's Doctrine; but in the Creation thereof, she was so puzzled with
numbers, how to order and compose the several parts, that she having no skill
in Arithmetic, was forced also to desist from the making of that World. Then
she intended to create a World according to the opinion of Plato; but she found
more trouble and difficulty in that, then in the two former; for the numerous
Idea's having no other motion but what was derived from her mind, whence they
did flow and issue out, made it a far harder business to her, to impart motion
to them, then Puppit-players have in giving motion to every several Puppit; in
so much, that her patience was not able to endure the trouble which those Ideas
caused her; wherefore she annihilated also that World, and was resolved to make
one according to the Opinion of Epicurus; which she had no sooner begun, but
the infinite Atoms made such a mist, that it quite blinded the perception of
her mind; neither was she able to make a Vacuum as a receptacle for those
Atoms, or a place which they might retire into; so that partly for the want of
it, and of a good order and method, the confusion of those Atoms produced such
strange and monstrous figures, as did more affright then delight her, and
caused such a Chaos in her mind, as had almost dissolved it. At last, having
with much ado cleansed and cleared her mind of these dusty and misty particles,
she endeavoured to create a World according to Aristotle's Opinion; but
remembering that her mind, as most of the Learned hold it, was Immaterial, and
that, according to Aristotle's Principle, out of Nothing, Nothing could be
made; she was forced also to desist from that work, and then she fully
resolved, not to take any more patterns from the Ancient Philosophers, but to
follow the Opinions of the Moderns; and to that end, she endeavoured to make a
World according to Des Cartes Opinion; but when she had made the Ethereal
Globules, and set them a moving by a strong and lively imagination, her mind
became so dizzy with their extraordinary swift turning round, that it almost
put her into a swoon; for her thoughts, by their constant tottering, did so
stagger, as if they had all been drunk: wherefore she dissolved that World, and
began to make another, according to Hobbs's Opinion; but when all the parts of
this Imaginary World came to press and drive each other, they seemed like a
company of Wolves that worry Sheep, or like so many Dogs that hunt after Hares;
and when she found a re-action equal to those pressures, her mind was so
squeezed together, that her thoughts could neither move forward nor backward,
which caused such an horrible pain in her head, that although she had dissolved
that World, yet she could not, without much difficulty, settle her mind, and
free it from that pain which those pressures and reactions had caused in it.
At last, when the Duchess saw that no patterns would do her any good in the
framing of her World; she was resolved to make a World of her own Invention,
and this World was composed of sensitive and rational self-moving Matter;
indeed, it was composed only of the Rational, which is the subtilest and
purest degree of Matter; for as the Sensitive did move and act both to the
perceptions and consistency of the body, so this degree of Matter at the same
point of time (for though the degrees are mixed, yet the several parts may move
several ways at one time) did move to the Creation of the Imaginary World;
which World after it was made, appeared so curious and full of variety, so well
ordered and wisely governed, that it cannot possibly be expressed by words, nor
the delight and pleasure which the Duchess took in making this
World-of-her-own.
In the mean time the Empress was also making and dissolving several Worlds in
her own mind, and was so puzzled, that she could not settle in any of them;
wherefore she sent for the Duchess, who being ready to wait on the Empress,
carried her beloved World along with her, and invited the Empress's Soul to
observe the Frame, Order and Government of it. Her Majesty was so ravished with
the perception of it, that her Soul desired to live in the Duchess's World: But
the Duchess advised her to make such another World in her own mind; for, said
she, your Majesty's mind is full of rational corporeal motions; and the
rational motions of my mind shall assist you by the help of sensitive
expressions, with the best Instructions they are able to give you.
The Empress being thus persuaded by the Duchess to make an imaginary World of
her own, followed her advice; and after she had quite finished it, and framed
all kinds of Creatures proper and useful for it, strengthened it with good
Laws, and beautified it with Arts and Sciences; having nothing else to do,
unless she did dissolve her Imaginary World, or made some alterations in the
Blazing-World, she lived in; which yet she could hardly do, by reason it was so
well ordered that it could not be mended; for it was governed without secret
and deceiving Policy; neither was there any ambitious, factions, malicious
detractions, civil dissentions, or home-bred quarrels, divisions in Religion,
Foreign Wars, c. but all the people lived in a peaceful Society, united
Tranquillity, and Religious Conformity. She was desirous to see the World the
Duchess came from, and observe therein the several Sovereign Governments, Laws
and Customs of several Nations. The Duchess used all the means she could, to
divert her from that Journey, telling her, that the World she came from, was
very much disturbed with Factions, Divisions and Wars; but the Empress would
not be persuaded from her design; and left the Emperor, or any of his subjects
should know of her travel, and obstruct her design, she sent for some of the
Spirits she had formerly conversed withal, and inquired whether none of them
could supply the place of her soul in her body at such a time, when she was
gone to travel into another World? They answered, Yes, they could; for not
only one, said they, but many Spirits may enter into your body, if you please.
The Empress replied, she desired but one Spirit to be Vice-Roy of her body in
the absence of her Soul, but it must be an honest and ingenious Spirit; and if
it was possible, a female Spirit. The Spirits told her, that there was no
difference of Sexes amongst them; but, said they, we will choose an honest and
ingenious Spirit, and such a one as shall so resemble your soul, that neither
the Emperor, nor any of his Subjects, although the most Divine, shall know
whether it be your own soul, or not: which the Empress was very glad at; and
after the Spirits were gone, asked the Duchess, how her body was supplied in
the absence of her soul? who answered Her Majesty, That her body, in the
absence of her soul, was governed by her sensitive and rational corporeal
motions. Thus those two Female Souls travelled together as lightly as two
thoughts into the Duchess her native World; and, which is remarkable, in a
moment viewed all the parts of it, and all the actions of all the Creatures
therein, especially did the Empress's Soul take much notice of the several
actions of humane Creatures in all the several Nations and parts of that World,
and wondered that for all there were so many several Nations, Governments,
Laws, Religions, Opinions, c. they should all yet so generally agree in being
Ambitious, Proud, Self-conceited, Vain, Prodigal, Deceitful, Envious,
Malicious, Unjust, Revengeful, Irreligious, Factious, c. She did also admire,
that not any particular State, Kingdom or Common-wealth, was contented with
their own shares, but endeavoured to encroach upon their Neighbours, and that
their greatest glory was in Plunder and Slaughter, and yet their victory's less
then their expenses, and their losses more than their gains; but their being
overcome, in a manner their utter ruin: But that she wondered most at, was,
that they should prize or value dirt more then men's lives, and vanity more then
tranquillity; for the Emperor of a world, said she, enjoys but a part, not the
whole; so that his pleasure consists in the Opinions of others. It is strange
to me, answered the Duchess, that you should say thus, being your self, an
Empress of a World; and not only of a world, but of a peaceable, quiet, and
obedient world. 'Tis true, replied the Empress: but although it is a peaceable
and obedient world, yet the Government thereof is rather a trouble, then a
pleasure; for order cannot be without industry, contrivance, and direction:
besides, the Magnificent state, that great Princes keep or ought to keep, is
troublesome. Then by your Majestie's discourse, said the Duchess, I perceive
that the greatest happiness in all Worlds consist in Moderation: No doubt of
it, replied the Empress; and after these two souls had visited all the several
places, Congregations and Assemblies both in Religion and State, the several
Courts of Judicature, and the like, in several Nations, the Empress said, That
of all the Monarchs of the several parts of that World, she had observed the
Grand-Seignior was the greatest, for his word was a Law, and his power
absolute. But the Duchess prayed the Empress to pardon her that she was of
another mind; for, said she, he cannot alter Mahomets Laws and Religion; so
that the Law and Church do govern the Emperor, and not the Emperor them. But,
replied the Empress, he has power in some particulars; as for example, To place
and displace Subjects in their particular Governments of Church and State; and
having that, he has the Command both over Church and State, and none dares
oppose him. 'Tis true, said the Duchess; but if it pleases your Majesty, we
will go into that part of the World whence I came to wait on your Majesty, and
there you shall see as powerful a Monarch as the Grand Signior; for though his
Dominions are not of so large extent, yet they are much stronger, his Laws are
easy and safe, and he governs so justly and wisely, that his Subjects are the
happiest people of all the Nations or parts of that World. This Monarch, said
the Empress, I have a great mind to see. Then they both went, and in a short
time arrived into his Dominions; but coming into the Metropolitan City, the
Empress's Soul observed many Gallants go into an House; and enquiring of the
Duchess's Soul, what House that was? She told her, It was one of the Theatres
where Comedies and Tragedies were acted. The Empress asked, Whether they were
real? No, said the Duchess, they are feigned. Then the Empress desired to enter
into the Theatre; and when she had seen the Play that was asked, the Duchess
asked her how she liked that Recreation? I like it very well, said the Empress;
but I observe that the Actors make a better show than the Spectators; and the
Scenes a better than the Actors, and the Music and Dancing is more pleasant
and acceptable than the Play it self; for I see, the Scenes stand for Wit, the
Dancing for Humour, and the Music is the Chorus. I am sorry, replied the
Duchess, to hear your Majesty say so; for if the Wits of this part of the World
should hear you, they would condemn you. What, said the Empress, would they
condemn me for preferring a natural Face before a Sign-post; or a natural
Humour before an artificial Dance; or Music before a true and profitable
Relation? As for Relation, replied the Duchess, our Poets defy and condemn it
into a Chimney-corner, fitter for old Women's Tales, than Theatres. Why, said
the Empress, do not your Poets Actions comply with their Judgments? For their
Plays are composed of old Stories, either of Greek or Roman, or some new-found
World. The Duchess answered Her Majesty, That it was true, that all or most of
their Plays were taken out of old Stories; but yet they had new Actions, which
being joined to old Stories, together with the addition of new Prologues,
Scenes, Music and Dancing, made new Plays.
After this, both the Souls went to the Court, where all the Royal Family was
together, attended by the chief of the Nobles of their Dominions, which made a
very magnificent Show; and when the Soul of the Empress viewed the King and
Queen, she seemed to be in a maze; which the Duchess's Soul perceiving, asked
the Empress how she liked the King, the Queen, and all the Royal Race? She
answered, that in all the Monarchs she had seen in that World, she had not
found so much Majesty and Affability mixed so exactly together, that none did
overshadow or eclipse the other; and as for the Queen, she said, that Virtue
sate Triumphant in her face, and Piety was dwelling in her heart; and that all
the Royal Family seemed to be endued with a Divine splendour: but when she had
heard the King discourse, she believed that Mercury and Apollo had been his
Celestial Instructors; and, my dear Lord and Husband, added the Duchess, has
been his Earthly Governor. But after some short stay in the Court, the
Duchess's soul grew very Melancholy; the Empress asking the cause of her
sadness? She told her, That she had an extreme desire to converse with the soul
of her Noble Lord and dear Husband, and that she was impatient of a longer
stay. The Empress desired the Duchess to have but patience so long, until the
King, the Queen, and the Royal Family were retired, and then she would bear her
Company to her Lord and Husband's Soul, who at that time lived in the Country
some 112 miles off; which she did: and thus these two souls went towards those
parts of the Kingdom where the Duke of Newcastle was.
But one thing I forgot all this while, which is, That although thoughts are
the natural language of Souls; yet by reason Souls cannot travel without
Vehicles, they use such language as the nature and propriety of their Vehicles
require, and the Vehicles of those two souls being made of the purest and
finest sort of air, and of a human shape: This purity and fineness was the
cause that they could neither be seen nor heard by any human Creature; when as,
had they been of some grosser sort of Air, the sound of that Air's language
would have been as perceptible as the blowing of Zephyrus.
And now to return to my former Story; when the Empress's and Duchess's Soul
were travelling into Nottinghamshire, (for that was the place where the Duke
did reside) passing through the Forest of Sherewood, the Empress's Soul was
very much delighted with it, as being a dry, plain and woody place, very
pleasant to travel in, both in Winter and Summer; for it is neither much dirty
nor dusty at no time: At last they arrived at Welbeck, a House where the Duke
dwelled, surrounded all with Wood, so close and full, that the Empress took
great pleasure and delight therein, and told the Duchess she never had observed
more Wood in so little compass in any part of the Kingdom she had passed
through. The truth is, said she, there seems to be more Wood on the Seas (she
meaning the Ships) than on the Land. The Duchess told her, The reason was, that
there had been a long Civil War in that Kingdom, in which most of the best
Timber-trees and Principal Palaces were ruined and destroyed; and my dear Lord
and Husband, said she, has lost by it half his Woods, besides many Houses,
Land, and movable Goods; so that all the loss out of his particular Estate, did
amount to above Half a Million of Pounds. I wish, said the Empress, he had some
of the Gold that is in the Blazing-world, to repair his losses. The Duchess
most humbly thanked her Imperial Majesty for her kind wishes; but, said she,
Wishes will not repair his ruins: however, God has given my Noble Lord and
Husband great Patience, by which he bears all his losses and misfortunes. At
last they entered into the Duke's House, an Habitation not so magnificent as
useful; and when the Empress saw it, Has the Duke, said she, no other House but
this? Yes, answered the Duchess, some five miles from this place he has a very
fine Castle called Bolesover. That place then, said the Empress, I desire to
see. Alas, replied the Duchess, it is but a naked House, and uncloath'd of all
Furniture. However, said the Empress, I may see the manner of its structure and
building. That you may, replied the Duchess; and as they were thus discoursing,
the Duke came out of the House into the Court, to see his Horses of Manage;
whom when the Duchess's Soul perceived, she was so overjoyed, that her Aereal
Vehicle became so splendorous, as if it had been enlightened by the Sun; by
which we may perceive, that the passions of Souls or Spirits can alter their
bodily Vehicles. Then these two Ladies Spirits went close to him, but he could
not perceive them; and after the Empress had observed that Art of Manage, she
was much pleased with it, and commended it as a noble pastime, and an exercise
fit and proper for noble and heroic Persons. But when the Duke was gone into
the house again, those two Souls followed him; where the Empress observing,
that he went to the exercise of the Sword, and was such an excellent and
unparalleled Master thereof, she was as much pleased with that exercise, as she
was with the former: But the Duchess's soul being troubled, that her dear Lord
and Husband used such a violent exercise before meat, for fear of overheating
himself, without any consideration of the Empress's Soul, left her AEreal
Vehicle, and entered into her Lord. The Empress's Soul perceiving this, did the
like: And then the Duke had three Souls in one Body; and had there been but
some such Souls more, the Duke would have been like the Grand-Signior in his
Seraglio, only it would have been a Platonic Seraglio. But the Duke's Soul
being wise, honest, witty, complaisant and noble, afforded such delight and
pleasure to the Empress's Soul by his conversation, that these two souls became
enamoured of each other; which the Duchess's soul perceiving, grew jealous at
first, but then considering that no Adultery could be committed amongst
Platonic Lovers, and that Platonism was Divine, as being derived from Divine
Plato, cast forth of her mind that Idea of Jealousy. Then the Conversation of
these three souls was so pleasant, that it cannot be expressed; for the Duke's
Soul entertained the Empress's Soul with Scenes, Songs, Music, witty
Discourses, pleasant Recreations, and all kinds of harmless sports, so that the
time passed away faster than they expected. At last a Spirit came and told the
Empress, That although neither the Emperor nor any of his Subjects knew that
her Soul was absent; yet the Emperor's Soul was so sad and melancholy for want
of His own beloved Soul, that all the Imperial Court took notice of it.
Wherefore he advised the Empress's Soul to return into the Blazing-world, into
her own Body she left there; which both the Duke's and Duchess's Soul was very
sorry for, and wished that, if it had been possible, the Empress's Soul might
have stayed a longer time with them; but seeing it could not be otherwise, they
pacified themselves. But before the Empress returned into the Blazing-world,
the Duchess desired a Favour of her, to wit, That she would be pleased to make
an Agreement between her Noble Lord, and Fortune. Why, said the Empress, are
they Enemies? Yes, answered the Duchess, and they have been so ever since I
have been his Wife: nay, I have heard my Lord say, That she hath crossed him in
all things, ever since he could remember. I am sorry for that, replied the
Empress; but I cannot discourse with Fortune, without the help of an Immaterial
Spirit, and that cannot be done in this V World; for I have no Fly nor Bird-men
here, to send into the Region of the Air, where, for the most part, their
Habitations are. The Duchess said, she would entreat her Lord to send an
Attorney or Lawyer to plead his Cause. Fortune will bribe them, replied the
Empress, and so the Duke may chance to be cast: Wherefore the best way will be,
for the Duke to choose a Friend on his side, and let Fortune choose another, and
try whether by this means it be possible to compose the Difference. The Duchess
said, They will never come to an agreement, unless there be a Judge or Umpire to
decide the Case. A Judge, replied the Empress, is easy to be had; but to get an
Impartial Judge, is a thing so difficult, that I doubt we shall hardly find one;
for there is none to be had, neither in Nature, nor in Hell, but only from
Heaven; and how to get such a Divine and Celestial Judge, I cannot tell:
Nevertheless, if you will go along with me into the Blazing-world, I'll try
what may be done. 'Tis my duty, said the Duchess, to wait on your Majesty, and
I shall most willingly do it, for I have no other interest to consider. Then
the Duchess spake to the Duke concerning the difference between him and
Fortune, and how it was her desire that they might be friends. The Duke
answered, That for his part he had always with great industry sought her
friendship, but as yet he could never obtain it, for she had always been his
Enemy. However, said he, I'll try and send my two Friends, Prudence and
Honesty, to plead my Cause. Then these two Friends went with the Duchess and
the Empress into the Blazing-World; (for it is to be observed, that they are
somewhat like Spirits, because they are Immaterial, although their actions are
corporeal:) and after their arrival there, when the Empress had refreshed her
self, and rejoiced with the Emperor, she sent her Fly-men for some of the
Spirits, and desired their assistance, to compose the difference between
Fortune, and the Duke of Newcastle. But they told her Majesty, That Fortune was
so inconstant, that although she would perhaps promise to hear their Cause
pleaded, yet it was a thousand to one, whether she would ever have the patience
to do it: Nevertheless, upon Her Majestie's request, they tried their utmost,
and at last prevailed with Fortune so far, that she chose Folly and Rashness,
for her Friends, but they could not agree in choosing a Judge; until at last,
with much ado, they concluded, that Truth should hear, and decide the cause.
Thus all being prepared, and the time appointed, both the Empress and Duchess's
Soul went to hear them plead; and when all the Immaterial Company was met,
Fortune standing upon a Golden-Globe, made this following Speech:
Noble Friends, We are met here to hear a Cause pleaded concerning the
difference between the Duke of Newcastle, and my self; and though I am willing
upon the persuasions of the Ambassadors of the Empress, the Immaterial Spirits,
to yield to it, yet it had been fit, the Duke's Soul should be present also, to
speak for her self; but since she is not here, I shall declare my self to his
Wife, and his Friends, as also to my Friends, especially the Empress, to whom I
shall chiefly direct my Speech. First, I desire your Imperial Majesty may know,
that this Duke who complains or exclaims so much against me, hath been always
my enemy; for he has preferred Honesty and Prudence before me, and slighted all
my favours; nay, not only thus, but he did fight against me, and preferred his
Innocence before my Power. His Friends Honesty and Prudence, said he most
scornfully, are more to be regarded, than Inconstant Fortune, who is only a
friend to Fools and Knaves; for which neglect and scorn, whether I have not
just reason to be his enemy, your Majesty may judge your self.
After Fortune had thus ended her Speech, the Duchess's Soul rose from her
seat, and spake to the Immaterial Assembly in this manner:
Noble Friends, I think it fit, by your leave, to answer Lady Fortune in the
behalf of my Noble Lord and Husband, since he is not here himself; and since
you have heard her complaint concerning the choice my Lord made of his Friends,
and the neglect and disrespect he seemed to cast upon her; give me leave to
answer, that, first concerning the Choice of his Friends, He has proved himself
a wise man in it; and as for the disrespect and rudeness her Ladyship accuses
him of, I dare say he is so much a Gentleman, that I am confident he would
never slight, scorn or disrespect any of the Female Sex in all his life time;
but was such a servant and Champion for them, that he ventured Life and Estate
in their service; but being of an honest, as well as an honourable Nature, he
could not trust Fortune with that which he preferred above his life, which was
his Reputation, by reason Fortune did not side with those that were honest and
honourable, but renounced them; and since he could not be of both sides, he
chose to be of that which was agreeable both to his Conscience, Nature and
Education; for which choice Fortune did not only declare her self his open
Enemy, but fought with him in several Battles; nay, many times, hand to hand;
at last, she being a Powerful Princess, and as some believe, a Deity, overcame
him, and cast him into a Banishment, where she kept him in great misery, ruined
his Estate, and took away from him most of his Friends; nay, even when she
favoured many that were against her, she still frowned on him; all which he
endured with the greatest patience, and with that respect to Lady Fortune, that
he did never in the least endeavour to disoblige any of her Favourites, but was
only sorry that he, an honest man, could find no favour in her Court; and
since he did never injure any of those she favoured, he neither was an enemy to
her Ladyship, but gave her always that respect and worship which belonged to
her power and dignity, and is still ready at any time honestly and prudently to
serve her; he only begs, her Ladyship would be his friend for the future, as
she hath been his enemy in times past.
As soon as the Duchess's Speech was ended, Folly and Rashness started up, and
both spake so thick and fast at once, that not only the Assembly, but
themselves were not able to understand each other: At which, Fortune was
somewhat out of countenance; and commanded them either to speak singly, or be
silent: But Prudence told her Ladyship, she should command them to speak
wisely, as well as singly; otherwise, said she, it were best for them not to
speak at all: Which Fortune resented very ill, and told Prudence, she was too
bold; and then commanded Folly to declare what she would have made known: but
her Speech was so foolish, mixed with such Non-sense, that none knew what to
make of it; besides, it was so tedious, that Fortune bid her to be silent; and
commanded Rashness to speak for her, who began after this manner:
Great Fortune; The Duchess of Newcastle has proved her self, according to
report, a very Proud and Ambitious Lady, in presuming to answer you her own
self, in this noble Assembly without your Command, in a Speech wherein she did
not only contradict you, but preferred Honesty and Prudence before you;
saying, That her Lord was ready to serve you honestly and prudently; which
presumption is beyond all pardon; and if you allow Honesty and Prudence to be
above you, none will admire, worship or serve you; but you'll be forced to serve
your self, and will be despised, neglected and scorned by all; and from a
Deity, become a miserable, dirty, begging mortal in a Church-yard-Porch, or
Noble-man's Gate: Wherefore to prevent such disasters, fling as many
misfortunes and neglects on the Duke and Duchess of Newcastle, and their two
friends, as your power is able to do; otherwise Prudence and Honesty will be
the chief and only Moral Deities of Mortals.
Rashness having thus ended her Speech, Prudence rose and declared her self in
this manner:
Beautiful Truth, Great Fortune, and you the rest of my noble Friends; I am
come a great and long journey in the behalf of my dear Friend the Duke of
Newcastle; not to make more wounds, but, if it be possible, to heal those that
are made already. Neither do I presume to be a Deity; but my only request is,
that you would be pleased to accept of my Offering, I being an humble and
devout supplicant; and since no offering is more acceptable to the Gods, then
the offering of Peace; in order to that, I desire to make an agreement between
Fortune, and the Duke of Newcastle.
Thus she spake, and as she was going on, up started Honesty (for she has not
always so much discretion as she ought to have) and interrupted Prudence.
I came not here, said she, to hear Fortune flattered, but to hear the Cause
decided between Fortune and the Duke; neither came I hither to speak
Rhetorically and Eloquently, but to propound the case plainly and truly; and
I'll have you know, that the Duke, whose Cause we argue, was and is my
Foster-son; For I Honesty bred him from his Childhood, and made a perpetual
friendship betwixt him and Gratitude, Charity and Generosity; and put him to
School to Prudence, who taught him Wisdom, and informed him in the Rules of
Temperance, Patience, Justice, and the like; then I put him into the University
of Honour, where he learned all Honourable Qualities, Arts, and Sciences;
afterward I sent him to travel through the World of Actions, and made
Observation his Governor; and in those his travels, he contracted a friendship
with Experience; all which, made him fit for Heavens Blessings, and Fortunes
Favours: But she hating all those that have merit and desert, became his
inveterate Enemy, doing him all the mischief she could, until the God of
Justice opposed Fortune's Malice, and pulled him out of those ruins she had
cast upon him: For this God's Favourites were the Dukes Champions; wherefore to
be an Enemy to him, were to be an Enemy to the God of Justice: In short, the
true cause of Fortunes Malice to this Duke, is, that he would never flatter
her; for I Honesty, did command him not to do it, or else he would be forced to
follow all her inconstant ways, and obey all her unjust commands, which would
cause a great reproach to him: but, on the other side, Prudence advised him not
to despise Fortune's favours, for that would be an obstrustion and hinderance
to his worth and merit; and He to obey both our advice and counsels, did
neither flatter nor despise Her; but was always humble and respectful to her so
far as Honour, Honesty and Conscience would permit: all which I refer to
Truth's Judgment, and expect her final Sentence.
Fortune hearing thus Honesty's plain Speech, thought it very rude, and would
not hearken to Truth's Judgment, but went away in a Passion: At which, both the
Empress and Duchess were extremely troubled, that their endeavours should have
no better effect: but Honesty chid the Duchess, and said, she was to be
punished for desiring so much Fortune's favours; for it appears, said she, that
you mistrust the gods blessings: At which the Duchess wept, answering Honesty,
That she did neither mistrust the gods blessings, nor rely upon Fortune's
favours; but desired only that her Lord might have no potent Enemies. The
Empress being much troubled to see her weep, told Honesty in anger, she wanted
the discretion of Prudence; for though you are commended, said she, yet you are
apt to commit many indiscreet actions, unless Prudence be your guide. At which
reproof Prudence smiled, and Honesty was somewhat out of countenance; but they
soon became very good friends: and after the Duchess's Soul had stayed some
time with the Empress in the Blazing-World, she begged leave of her to return
to her Lord and Husband; which the Empress granted her, upon condition she
should come and visit her as often as conveniently she could, promising that
she would do the same to the Duchess.
Thus the Duchess's soul, after she had taken her leave of the Empress, as also
of the Spirits, who with great civility, promised her, that they would
endeavour in time to make a Peace and Agreement between Fortune and the Duke,
returned with Prudence and Honesty, into her own World: But when she was just
upon her departure, the Empress sent to Her, and desired that she might yet
have some little conference with her before she went; which the Duchess most
willingly granted her Majesty; and when she came to wait on her, the Empress
told the Duchess, That she being her dear Platonic Friend, of whose just and
Impartial Judgment, she had always a very great esteem; could not forbear,
before she went from her, to ask her Advice concerning the Government of the
Blazing-world: For, said she, although this World was very well and wisely
ordered and governed at first, when I came to be Empress thereof; yet the
nature of Women being much delighted with Change and Variety, after I had
received an absolute Power from the Emperor, did somewhat alter the Form of
Government from what I found it; but now perceiving that the World is not so
quiet as it was at first, I am much troubled at it; especially there are such
continual Contentions and Divisions between the Worm-Bear-and Fly-men, the
Ape-men, the Satyrs, the Spider-men, and all others of such sorts, that I fear
they'll break out into an open Rebellion, and cause a great disorder, and the
ruin of the Government; and therefore I desire your advice and assistance, how
I may order it to the best advantage, that this World may be rendered peaceable,
quiet and happy, as it was before. Whereupon the Duchess answered, That since
she heard by her Imperial Majesty, how well and happily the World had been
governed when she first came to be Empress thereof, she would advise her
Majesty to introduce the same form of Government again, which had been before;
that is, to have but one Sovereign, one Religion, one Law, and one Language, so
that all the World might be but as one united Family, without divisions; nay,
like God, and his Blessed Saints and Angels: Otherwise, said she, it may in
time prove as unhappy, nay, as miserable a World as that is from which I came,
wherein are more Sovereigns then Worlds, and more pretended Governors then
Government, more Religions then Gods, and more Opinions in those Religions then
Truths; more Laws then Rights, and more Bribes then Justices; more Policies
then Necessities, and more Fears then Dangers; more Covetousness then Riches,
more Ambitions then Merits, more Services then Rewards, more Languages then
Wit, more Controversy then Knowledge, more Reports then noble Actions, and more
Gifts by partiality then according to Merit; all which, said she, is a great
misery, nay, a curse, which your blessed Blazing-World never knew, nor 'tis
probable, will never know of, unless your Imperial Majesty alter the Government
thereof from what it was when you began to govern it: And since your Majesty
complains much of the factions of the Bear- Fish- Fly- Ape- and Worm-men, the
Satyrs, Spider-men, and the like, and of their perpetual disputes and quarrels,
I would advise your Majesty to dissolve all their Societies; for 'tis better to
be without their intelligences, then to have an unquiet and disorderly
Government. The truth is, said she, wheresoever Learning is, there is most
commonly also Controversy and quarelling; for there be always some that will
know more, and be wiser then others: Some think their Arguments come nearer to
Truth, and are more rational then others; some are so wedded to their own
opinions, that they'll never yield to Reason; and others, though they find their
Opinions not firmly grounded upon Reason, yet, for fear of receiving some
disgrace by altering them, will nevertheless maintain them against all sense
and reason, which must needs breed factions in their Schools, which at last
break out into open Wars, and draw sometimes an utter ruin upon a State or
Government. The Empress told the Duchess, that she would willingly follow her
advice; but she thought it would be an eternal disgrace to her, to alter her
own Decrees, Acts, and Laws. To which the Duchess answered, That it was so far
from a disgrace, as it would rather be for her Majesties eternal honour, to
return from a worse to a better, and would express and declare Her to be more
then ordinary wise and good; so wise, as to perceive her own errors, and so
good, as not to persist in them, which few did: for which, said she, you will
get a glorious fame in this World, and an Eternal Glory hereafter; and I shall
pray for it so long as I live. Upon which Advice, the Empress's Soul embraced
and kissed the Duchess's Soul with an Immaterial Kiss, and shed Immaterial
Tears, that she was forced to part from her, finding her not a flattering
Parasite, but a true Friend; and in truth, such was their Platonic Friendship,
as these two loving Souls did often meet and rejoice in each others
Conversation.
THE SECOND PART OF THE DESCRIPTION OF THE New Blazing-World.
THe Empress having now ordered and settled her Government to the best advantage
and quiet of her Blazing-World, lived and reigned most happily and blessedly,
and received oftentimes Visits from the Immaterial Spirits, who gave her
Intelligence of all such things as she desired to know, and they were able to
inform her of: One time they told her, how the World she came from, was
imbroiled in a great War, and that most parts or Nations thereof made War
against that Kingdom which was her Native Country, where all her Friends and
Relations did live; at which the Empress was extremely troubled; insomuch that
the Emperor perceived her grief by her tears, and examining the cause thereof,
she told him that she had received Intelligence from the Spirits, that that
part of the World she came from, which was her native Country, was like to be
destroyed by numerous Enemies that made War against it. The Emperor being very
sensible of this ill news, especially of the Trouble it caused to the Empress,
endeavoured to comfort her as much as possibly he could; and told her, that she
might have all the assistance which the Blazing-World was able to afford. She
answered, That if there were any possibility of transporting Forces out of the
Blazing-World, into the World she came from, she would not fear so much the
ruin thereof: but, said she, there being no probability of effecting any such
thing, I know not how to show my readiness to serve my Native Country. The
Emperor asked, Whether those Spirits that gave her Intelligence of this War,
could not with all their Power and Forces, assist her against those Enemies?
She answered, That Spirits could not arm themselves, nor make any use of
Artificial Arms or Weapons; for their Vehicles were Natural Bodies, not
Artificial: Besides, said she, the violent and strong actions of war, will
never agree with Immaterial Spirits; for Immaterial Spirits cannot fight, nor
make Trenches, Fortifications, and the like. But, said the Emperor, their
Vehicles can; especially if those Vehicles be men's Bodies, they may be
serviceable in all the actions of War. Alas, replied the Empress, that will
never do; for first, said she, it will be difficult to get so many dead Bodies
for their Vehicles, as to make up a whole Army, much more to make many Armies
to fight with so many several Nations; nay, if this could be, yet it is not
possible to get so many dead and undissolved Bodies in one Nation; and for
transporting them out of other Nations, it would be a thing of great difficulty
and improbability: But put the case, said she, all these difficulties could be
overcome; yet there is one obstruction or hindrance which can no ways be
avoided: For although those dead and undissolved Bodies did all die in one
minute of time; yet before they could Rendezvous, and be put into a posture of
War, to make a great and formidable Army, they would stink and dissolve; and
when they came to a fight, they would moulder into dust and ashes, and so leave
the purer Immaterial Spirits naked: nay, were it also possible, that those dead
bodies could be preserved from stinking and dissolving, yet the Souls of such
Bodies would not suffer Immaterial Spirits to rule and order them, but they
would enter and govern them themselves, as being the right owners thereof,
which would produce a War between those Immaterial Souls, and the Immaterial
Spirits in Material Bodies; all which would hinder them from doing any service
in the actions of War, against the Enemies of my Native Country. You speak
Reason, said the Emperor, and I wish with all my Soul I could advise any manner
or way, that you might be able to assist it; but you having told me of your
dear Platonic Friend the Duchess of Newcastle, and of her good and profitable
Counsels, I would desire you to send for her Soul, and confer with her about
this business.
The Empress was very glad of this motion of the Emperor, and immediately sent
for the Soul of the said Duchess, which in a minute waited on her Majesty. Then
the Empress declared to her the grievance and sadness of her mind, and how much
she was troubled and afflicted at the News brought her by the Immaterial
Spirits, desiring the Duchess, if possible, to assist her with the best
Counsels she could, that she might show the greatness of her love and affection
which she bore to her Native Country. Whereupon the Duchess promised her
Majesty to do what lay in her power; and since it was a business of great
Importance, she desired some time to consider of it; for, said she, Great
Affairs require deep Considerations; which the Empress willingly allowed her.
And after the Duchess had considered some little time, she desired the Empress
to send some of her Sirens or Mear-men, to see what passages they could find
out of the Blazing-World, into the World she came from; for, said she, if there
be a passage for a Ship to come out of that World into this; then certainly
there may also a Ship pass thorough the same passage out of this World into that.
Hereupon the Mear-or Fish-men were sent out; who being many in number, employed
all their industry, and did swim several ways; at last having found out the
passage, they returned to the Empress, and told her, That as their Blazing
World had but one Emperor, one Government, one Religion, and one Language, so
there was but one Passage into that World, which was so little, that no Vessel
bigger than a Packet-Boat could go thorough; neither was that Passage always
open, but sometimes quite frozen up. At which Relation both the Empress and
Duchess seemed somewhat troubled, fearing that this would perhaps be an
hindrance or obstruction to their Design.
At last the Duchess desired the Empress to send for her Ship-wrights, and all
her Architects, which were Giants; who being called, the Duchess told them how
some in her own World had been so ingenious, as to contrive Ships that could
swim under Water, and asked, Whether they could do the like? The Giants
answered, They had never heard of that Invention; nevertheless, they would try
what might be done by Art, and spare no labour or industry to find it out. In
the mean time, while both the Empress and Duchess were in a serious Counsel,
after many debates, the Duchess desired but a few Ships to transport some of
the Bird- Worm-and Bear-men: Alas! said the Empress, What can such sorts of Men
do in the other World? especially so few? They will be soon destroyed, for a
Musket will destroy numbers of Birds at one shot. The Duchess said, I desire
your Majesty will have but a little patience, and rely upon my advice, and you
shall not fail to save your own Native Country, and in a manner become Mistress
of all that World you came from. The Empress, who loved the Duchess as her own
Soul, did so; the Giants returned soon after, and told her Majesty, that they
had found out the Art which the Duchess had mentioned, to make such Ships as
could swim under water; which the Empress and Duchess were both very glad at,
and when the Ships were made ready, the Duchess told the Empress, that it was
requisite that her Majesty should go her self in body, as well as in Soul; but
I, said she, can only wait on your Majesty after a Spiritual manner, that is,
with my Soul. Your Soul, said the Empress, shall live with my Soul, in my Body;
for I shall only desire your Counsel and Advice. Then said the Duchess, Your
Majesty must command a great number of your Fish-men to wait on your Ships; for
you know that your Ships are not made for Cannons, and therefore are no ways
serviceable in War; for though by the help of your Engines, they can drive on,
and your Fish-men may by the help of Chains or Ropes, draw them which way they
will, to make them go on, or fly back, yet not so as to fight: And though your
Ships be of Gold, and cannot be shot thorough, but only bruised and battered;
yet the Enemy will assault and enter them, and take them as Prizes; wherefore
your Fishmen must do you Service instead of Cannons. But how, said the Empress,
can the Fish-men do me service against an Enemy, without Cannons and all sorts
of Arms? That is the reason, answered the Duchess, that I would have numbers of
Fish-men, for they shall destroy all your Enemies Ships, before they can come
near you. The Empress asked in what manner that could be? Thus, answered the
Duchess: Your Majesty must send a number of Worm-men to the Burning-Mountains
(for you have good store of them in the Blazing-World) which must get a great
quantity of the Fire-stone, whose property, you know, is, that it burns so long
as it is wet; and the Ships in the other World being all made of Wood, they may
by that means set them all on fire; and if you can but destroy their Ships, and
hinder their Navigation, you will be Mistress of all that World, by reason most
parts thereof cannot live without Navigation. Besides, said she, the Fire-stone
will serve you instead of Light or Torches; for you know, that the World you
are going into, is dark at nights (especially if there be no Moon-shine, or if
the Moon be overshadowed by Clouds) and not so full of Blazing-Stars as this
World is, which make as great a light in the absence of the Sun, as the Sun
doth when it is present; for that World hath but little blinking Stars, which
make more shadows then light, and are only able to draw up Vapours from the
Earth, but not to rarify or clarify them, or to convert them into serene air.
This Advice of the Duchess was very much approved, and joyfully embraced by
the Empress, who forthwith sent her Worm-men to get a good quantity of the
mentioned Fire-stone. She also commanded numbers of Fish-men to wait on her
under Water, and Bird-men to wait on her in the Air; and Bear- and Worm-men to
wait on her in Ships, according to the Duchess's advice; and indeed the
Bear-men were as serviceable to her, as the North-Star; but the Bird-men would
often rest themselves upon the Decks of the Ships; neither would the Empress,
being of a sweet and noble Nature, suffer that they should tire or weary
themselves by long flights; for though by Land they did often fly out of one
Country into another, yet they did rest in some Woods, or on some Grounds,
especially at night, when it was their sleeping time: And therefore the Empress
was forced to take a great many Ships along with her, both for transporting
those several sorts of her loyal and serviceable Subjects, and to carry
provisions for them: Besides, we was so wearied with the Petitions of several
others of her Subjects who desired to wait on her Majesty, that she could not
possibly deny them all; for some would rather choose to be drowned, then not
tender their duty to her.
Thus after all things were made fit and ready, the Empress began her Journey;
I cannot properly say, she set Sail, by reasou in some Part, as in the passage
between the two Worlds (which yet was but short) the Ships were drawn under
water by the Fish-men with Golden Chains, so that they had no need of Sails
there, nor of any other Arts, but only to keep out water from entering into
the Ships, and to give or make so much Air as would serve, for breath or
respiration, those Land-Animals that were in the Ships; which the Giants had so
Artificially contrived, that they which were therein, found no inconveniency at
all: And after they had passed the Icy Sea, the Golden Ships appeared above
Water, and so went on until they came near the Kingdom that was the Empress's
Native Country; where the Bear-men through their Telescopes discovered a great
number of Ships which had beset all that Kingdom, well rigged and manned.
The Empress before she came in sight of the Enemy, sent some of her Fish- and
Bird-men to bring her intelligence of their Fleet; and hearing of their number,
their station and posture, she gave order that when it was Night, her Bird-men
should carry in their beeks some of the mentioned Fire-stones, with the tops
thereof wetted; and the Fish-men should carry them likewise, and hold them out
of the Water; for they were cut in the form of Torches or Candles, and being
many thousands, made a terrible show; for it appeared as if all the Air and Sea
had been of a Flaming-Fire; and all that were upon the Sea, or near it, did
verily believe, the time of Judgment, or the Last Day was come, which made them
all fall down, and Pray.
At the break of Day, the Empress commanded those Lights to be put out, and
then the Naval Forces of the Enemy perceived nothing but a Number of Ships
without Sails, Guns, Arms, and other Instruments of War; which Ships seemed to
swim of themselves, without any help or assistance: which sight put them into a
great amaze; neither could they perceive that those Ships were of Gold, by
reason the Empress had caused them all to be coloured black, or with a dark
colour; so that the natural colour of the Gold could not be perceived through
the artificial colour of the paint, no not by the best Telescopes. All which
put the Enemies Fleet into such a fright at night, and to such wonder in the
morning, or at day-time, that they knew not what to judge or make of them; for
they knew neither what Ships they were, nor what Party they belonged to,
insomuch that they had no power to stir.
In the mean while, the Empress knowing the Colours of her own Country, sent a
Letter to their General, and the rest of the chief Commanders, to let them
know, that she was a great and powerful Princess, and came to assist them
against their Enemies; wherefore she desired they should declare themselves,
when they would have her help and assistance.
Hereupon a Council was called, and the business debated; but there were so
many cross and different Opinions, that they could not suddenly resolve what
answer to send the Empress; at which she grew angry, insomuch that she resolved
to return into her Blazing-World, without giving any assistance to her
Countrymen: but the Duchess of Newcastle entreated her Majesty to abate her
passion; for, said she, Great Councels are most commonly slow, because many men
have many several Opinions: besides, every Councellor striving to be the
wisest, makes long speeches, and raise many doubts, which cause retardments. If
I had long-speeched Councellors, replied the Empress, I would hang them, by
reason they give more Words, then Advice. The Duchess answered, That her
Majesty should not be angry, but consider the differences of that and her
Blazing-World; for, said she, they are not both alike; but there are grosser
and duller understandings in this, than in the Blazing-World.
At last a Messenger came out, who returned the Empress thanks for her kind
proffer, but desired withal, to know from whence she came, and how, and in what
manner her assistance could be serviceable to them? The Empress answered, That
she was not bound to tell them whence she came; but as for the manner of her
assistance, I will appear, said she, to your Navy in a splendorous Light,
surrounded with Fire. The Messenger asked at what time they should expect her
coming? I'll be with you, answered the Empress, about one of the Clock at
night. With this report the Messenger returned; which made both the poor
Councellors and Sea-men much afraid; but yet they longed for the time to behold
this strange sight.
The appointed hour being come, the Empress appeared with Garments made of the
Star-stone, and was born or supported above the Water, upon the Fish-mens heads
and backs, so that she seemed to walk upon the face of the Water, and the Bird-
and Fish-men carried the Fire-stone, lighted both in the Air, and above the
Waters.
Which sight, when her Country-men perceived at a distance, their hearts began
to tremble; but coming something nearer, she left her Torches, and appeared
only in her Garments of Light, like an Angel, or some Deity, and all kneeled
down before her, and worshipped her with all submission and reverence: But the
Empress would not come nearer than at such a distance where her voice might be
generally heard, by reason she would not have that any of her Accoutrements
should be perceived, but the splendour thereof; and when she was come so near
that her voice could be heard and understood by all, she made this following
Speech:
Dear Country-men, for so you are, although you know me not; I being a Native
of this Kingdom, and hearing that most part of this World had resolved to make
War against it, and sought to destroy it, at least to weaken its Naval Force
and Power, have made a Voyage out of another World, to lend you my assistance
against your Enemies. I come not to make bargains with you, or to regard my own
Interest more than your Safety; but I intend to make you the most powerful
Nation of this World, and therefore I have chosen rather to quit my own
Tranquillity, Riches and Pleasure, than suffer you to be ruined and destroyed.
All the Return I desire, is but your grateful acknowledgment, and to declare my
Power, Love and Loyalty to my Native Country: for, although I am now a Great
and Absolute Princess, and Empress of a whole World, yet I acknowledge, that
once I was a Subject of this Kingdom, which is but a small part of this World;
and therefore I will have you undoubtedly believe, that I shall destroy all
your Enemies before this following Night, I mean those which trouble you by
Sea; and if you have any by Land, assure your self I shall also give you my
assistance against them, and make you triumph over all that seek your Ruin and
Destruction.
Upon this Declaration of the Empress, when both the General, and all the
Commanders in their several Ships, had returned their humble and hearty Thanks
to Her Majesty for so great a favour to them, she took her leave, and departed
to her own Ships. But, good Lord! what several Opinions and Judgments did this
produce in the minds of her Country-men! some said she was an Angel; others,
she was a Sorceress; some believed her a Goddess; others said the Devil deluded
them in the shape of a fine Lady.
The morning after, when the Navies were to fight, the Empress appeared upon
the face of the Waters, dressed in her Imperial Robes, which were all of
Diamonds and Carbuncles; in one hand she held a Buckler, made of one entire
Carbuncle; and in the other hand a Spear of one entire Diamond; on her head she
had a Cap of Diamonds, and just upon the top of the Crown, was a Star made of
the Starr-stone, mentioned heretofore; and a Half-Moon made of the same Stone,
was placed on her forehead; all her other Garments were of several sorts of
precious Jewels; and having given her Fish-men directions how to destroy the
Enemies of her Native Country, she proceeded to effect her design. The Fish-men
were to carry the Fire-stones in cases of Diamonds (for the Diamonds in the
Blazing-World, are in splendour so far beyond the Diamonds of this World, as
Peble-stones are to the best sort of this Worlds Diamonds) and to uncase or
uncover those Fire-stones no sooner but when they were just under the Enemis
Ships, or close at their sides, and then to wet them, and set their Ships on
fire; which was no sooner done, but all the Enemie's Fleet was of a Flaming
fire; and coming to the place where the Powder was, it straight blew them up;
so that all the several Navies of the Enemies, were destroyed in a short time:
which when her Countrymen did see, they all cried out with one voice, That she
was an Angel sent from God to deliver them out of the hands of their Enemies:
Neither would she return into the Blazing-World, until she had forced all the
rest of that World to submit to that same Nation.
In the mean time, the General of all their Naval Forces, sent to their
Sovereign to acquaint him with their miraculous Delivery and Conquest, and with
the Empress's design of making him the most powerful Monarch of all that World.
After a short time, the Empress sent her self, to the Sovereign of that Nation
to know in what she could be serviceable to him; who returning her many thanks,
both for her assistance against his Enemies, and her kind proffer to do him
further service for the good and benefit of his Nations (for he was King over
several Kingdoms) sent her word, that although she did partly destroy his
Enemies by Sea, yet, they were so powerful, that they did hinder the Trade and
Traffic of his Dominions. To which the Empress returned this answer, That she
would burn and sink all those Ships that would not pay him Tribute; and
forthwith sent to all the Neighbouring Nations, who had any Traffic by Sea,
desiring them to pay Tribute to the King and Sovereign of that Nation where she
was born; But they denied it with great scorn. Whereupon, she immediately
commanded her Fish-men, to destroy all strangers Ships that trafficked on the
Seas; which they did according to the Empress's Command; and when the
Neighbouring Nations and Kingdoms perceived her power, they were so discomposed
in their affairs and designs, that they knew not what to do: At last they sent
to the Empress, and desired to treat with her, but could get no other
conditions then to submit and pay Tribute to the said King and Sovereign of her
Native Country, otherwise, she was resolved to ruin all their Trade and
Traffic by burning their Ships. Long was this Treaty, but in fine, they could
obtain nothing, so that at last they were enforced to submit; by which the King
of the mentioned Nations became absolute Master of the Seas, and consequently
of that World; by reason, as I mentioned heretofore, the several Nations of
that World could not well live without Traffic and Commerce, by Sea, as well
as by Land.
But after a short time, those Neighbouring Nations finding themselves so much
enslaved, that they were hardly able to peep out of their own Dominions without
a chargeable Tribute, they all agreed to join again their Forces against the
King and Sovereign of the said Dominions; which when the Empress received
notice of, she sent out her Fish-men to destroy, as they had done before, the
remainder of all their Naval Power, by which they were soon forced again to
submit, except some Nations which could live without Foreign Traffic, and some
whose Trade and Traffic was merely by Land; these would no ways be Tributary
to the mentioned King. The Empress sent them word, That in case they did not
submit to him, she intended to fire all their Towns and Cities, and reduce them
by force, to what they would not yield with a good will. But they rejected and
scorned her Majesties Message, which provoked her anger so much, that she
resolved to send her Bird-and Worm men thither, with order to begin first with
their smaller Towns, and set them an fire (for she was loath to make more spoil
then she was forced to do) and if they remained still obstinate in their
resolutions, to destroy also their greater Cities. The only difficulty was,
how to convey the Worm-men conveniently to those places; but they desired that
her Majesty would but set them upon any part of the Earth of those Nations, and
they could travel within the Earth as easily, and and as nimbly as men upon the
face of the Earth; which the Empress did according to their desire.
But before both the Bird-and Worm-men began their journey, the Empress
commanded the Bear-men to view through their Telescopes what Towns and Cities
those were that would not submit; and having a full information thereof, she
instructed the Bird-and Bear-men what Towns they should begin withal; in the
mean while she sent to all the Princes and Sovereigns of those Nations, to let
them know that she would give them a proof of her Power, and check their
Obstinacies by burning some of their smaller Towns; and if they continued still
in their Obstinate Resolutions, that she would convert their smaller Loss into
a Total Ruin. She also commanded her Bird-men to make their flight at night,
lest they be perceived. At last when both the Bird-and Worm-men came to the
designed places, the Worm-men laid some Fire-stones under the Foundation of
every House, and the Bird-men placed some at the tops of them, so that both by
rain, and by some other moisture within the Earth, the stones could not fail of
burning. The Bird-men in the mean time having learned some few words of their
Language, told them, That the next time it did rain, their Towns would be all
on fire; at which they were amazed to hear Men speak in the air; but withal
they laughed when they heard them say that rain should fire their Towns;
knowing, that the effect of Water was to quench, not produce Fire.
At last a rain came, and upon a sudden all their Houses appeared of a flaming
Fire; and the more Water there was poured on them, the more they did flame and
burn; which struck such a Fright and Terror into all the Neighbouring Cities,
Nations and Kingdoms, that for fear the like should happen to them, they and
all the rest of the parts of that World, granted the Empress's desire, and
submitted to the Monarch and Sovereign of her Native Country, the King of
ESFI; save one, which having seldom or never any rain, but only dews, which
would soon be spent in a great fire, slighted her Power: The Empress being
desirous to make it stoop as well as the rest, knew that every year it was
watered by a flowing Tide, which lasted some Weeks; and although their Houses
stood high from the ground, yet they were built upon Supporters which were fixed
into the ground. Wherefore she commanded both her Bird-and Worm-men to lay some
of the Fire-stones at the bottom of those Supporters, and when the Tide came
in, all their Houses were of a Fire, which did so rarify the Water, that the
Tide was soon turned into Vapour, and this Vapour again into Air; which caused
not only a destruction of their Houses, but also a general barrenness over all
their Country that year, and forced them to submit, as well as the rest of the
World had done.
Thus the Empress did not only save her Native Country, but made it the
Absolute Monarchy of all that World; and both the effects of her Power and her
Beauty, did kindle a great desire in all the greatest Princes to see her; who
hearing that she was resolved to return into her own Blazing-World, they all
entreated the favour, that they might wait on her Majesty before she went. The
Empress sent word, That she should be glad to grant their Requests; but having
no other place of Reception for them, she desired that they would be pleased to
come into the open Seas with their Ships, and make a Circle of a pretty large
compass, and then her own Ships should meet them, and close up the Circle, and
she would present her self to the view of all those that came to see her: Which
Answer was joyfully received by all the mentioned Princes, who came, some
sooner, and some later, each according to the distance of his Country, and the
length of the voyage. And being all met in the form and manner aforesaid, the
Empress appeared upon the face of the Water in her Imperial Robes; in some part
of her hair, near her face, she had placed some of the Starr-Stone, which added
such a luster and glory to it, that it caused a great admiration in all that
were present, who believed her to be some Celestial Creature, or rather an
uncreated Goddess, and they all had a desire to worship her; for surely, said
they, no mortal creature can have such a splendid and transcendent beauty, nor
can any have so great a power as she has, to walk upon the Waters, and to
destroy whatever she pleases, not only whole Nations, but a whole World.
The Empress expressed to her own Countrymen, who were also her Interpreters to
the rest of the Princes that were present, That she would give them an
Entertainment at the darkest time of Night: Which being come, the Fire-Stones
were lighted, which made both Air and Seas appear of a bright shining flame,
insomuch that they put all Spectators into an extreme fright, who verily
believed they should all be destroyed; which the Empress perceiving, caused all
the Lights of the Fire-Stones to be put out, and only showed her self in her
Garments of Light. The Bird-men carried her upon their backs into the Air, and
there she appeared as glorious as the Sun. Then she was set down upon the Seas
again, and presently there was heard the most melodious and sweetest Consort of
Voices, as ever was heard out of the Seas, which was made by the Fish-men; this
Consort was answered by another, made by the Bird-men in the Air, so that it
seemed as if Sea and Air had spoke, and answered each other by way of
Singing-Dialogues, or after the manner of those Plays that are acted by
singing-Voices.
But when it was upon break of day, the Empress ended her Entertainment, and at
full day-light all the Princes perceived that she went into the Ship wherein
the Prince and Monarch of her Native Country was, the King of ESFI, with whom
she had several Conferences; and having assured Him of the readiness of her
Assistance whenever he required it, telling Him withal, That she wanted no
Intelligence, she went forth again upon the Waters, and being in the midst of
the Circle made by those Ships that were present, she desired them to draw
somewhat nearer, that they might hear her speak; which being done, she declared
her self in this following manner:
Great, Heroic, and Famous Monarchs, I come hither to assist the King of ESFI
against his Enemies, He being unjustly assaulted by many several Nations, which
would fain take away His Hereditary Rights and Prerogatives of the Narrow Seas;
at which Unjustice, Heaven was much displeased, and for the Injuries He
received from His Enemies, rewarded Him with an Absolute Power, so that now he
is become the Head-Monarch of all this World; which Power, though you may envy,
yet you can no ways hinder Him; for all those that endeavour to resist His
Power, shall only get Loss for their Labour, and no Victory for their Profit.
Wherefore my advice to you all is, To pay him Tribute justly and truly, that
you may live Peaceably and Happily, and be rewarded with the Blessings of
Heaven: which I wish you from my Soul.
After the Empress had thus finished her Speech to the Princes of the several
Nations of that World, she desired that their Ships might fall back; which
being done, her own Fleet came into the Circle, without any visible assistance
of Sails or Tide; and her self being entered into her own Ship, the whole Fleet
sunk immediately into the bottom of the Seas, and left all the Spectators in a
deep amazement; neither would she suffer any of her Ships to come above the
Waters, until she arrived into the Blazing-World.
In time of the Voyage, both the Empress's and Duchess's Soul, were very gay
and merry; and sometimes they would converse very seriously with each other.
Amongst the rest of their discourses, the Duchess said, she wondered much at one
thing, which was, That since her Majesty had found out a passage out of the
Blazing-World, into the World she came from, she did not enrich that part of
the World where she was born, at least her own Family, though she had enough to
enrich the whole World. The Empress's Soul answered, That she loved her Native
Country, and her own Family, as well as any Creature could do; and that this
was the reason why she would not enrich them: for, said she, not only
particular Families or Nations, but all the World, their Natures are such, that
much Gold, and great store of Riches, makes them mad; insomuch as they
endeavour to destroy each other for Gold or Riches sake. The reason thereof is,
said the Duchess, that they have too little Gold and Riches, which makes them
so eager to have it. No, replied the Empress's Soul, their particular
Covetousness, is beyond all the wealth of the richest World; and the more
Riches they have, the more Covetous they are; for their Covetousness is
Infinite. But, said she, I would there could a Passage be found out of the
Blazing-World, into the World whence you came, and I would willingly give you
as much Riches as you desired. The Duchess's Soul gave her Majesty humble
thanks for her great Favour; and told her, that she was not covetous, nor
desired any more wealth than what her Lord and Husband had before the
Civil-VVarrs. Neither, said she, should I desire it for my own, but my Lord's
Posterities sake. Well, said the Empress, I'll command my Fish-men to use all
their Skill and Industry, to find out a Passage into that World which your
Lord and Husband is in. I do verily believe, answered the Duchess, that there
will be no Passage found into that World; but if there were any, I should not
Petition your Majesty for Gold and Jewels, but only for the Elixir that grows
in the midst of the Golden Sands, for to preserve Life and Health; but without
a Passage, it is impossible to carry away any of it: for, whatsoever is
Material, cannot travel like Immaterial Beings, such as Souls and Spirits are.
Neither do Souls require any such thing that might revive them, or prolong
their Lives, by reason they are unalterable: for, were Souls like Bodies, then
my Soul might have had the benefit of that Natural Elixir that grows in your
Blazing-World. I wish earnestly, said the Empress, that a Passage might be
found, and then both your Lord and your self, should neither want Wealth, nor
Long-life: nay, I love you so well, that I would make you as Great and Powerful
a Monarchess, as I am of the Blazing-World. The Duchess's Soul humbly thanked
her Majesty, and told her, That she acknowledged and esteemed her Love beyond
all things that are in Nature.
After this Discourse, they had many other Conferences, which for brevity's
sake I'll forbear to rehearse. At last, after several Questions which the
Empress's Soul asked the Duchess, she desired to know the reason why she did
take such delight, when she was joined to her Body, in being singular both in
Accoutrements, Behaviour, and Discourse? The Duchess's Soul answered, She
confessed that it was extravagant, and beyond what was usual and ordinary: but
yet her ambition being such, that she would not be like others in any thing, if
it were possible, I endeavour, said she, to be as singular as I can: for, it
argues but a mean Nature, to imitate others: and though I do not love to be
imitated, if I can possibly avoid it; yet, rather than imitate others, I should
choose to be imitated by others: for my Nature is such, that I had rather appear
worse in Singularity, than better in the Mode. If you were not a great Lady,
replied the Empress, you would never pass in the World for a wise Lady: for,
the World would say, your Singularities are Vanities. The Duchess's Soul
answered, She did not at all regard the Censure of this, or any other Age,
concerning Vanities: but, said she, neither this present, nor any of the future
Ages, can or will truly say, that I am not Virtuous and Chaste: for I am
confident, all that were, or are acquainted with me, and all the Servants which
ever I had, will or can upon their oaths declare my actions no otherwise than
Virtuous: and certainly, there's none even of the meanest Degree, which have
not their Spies and Witnesses, much more those of the Nobler Sort, which seldom
or never are without Attendants; so that their Faults (if they have any) will
easily be known, and as easily divulged. Wherefore, happy are those Natures
that are Honest, Virtuous, and Noble; not only happy to themselves, but happy
to their Families. But, said the Empress, if you glory so much in your Honesty
and Virtue, how comes it that you plead for Dishonest and Wicked persons, in
your Writings? The Duchess answered, It was only to show her Wit, not her
Nature.
At last the Empress arrived into the Blazing-world, and coming to her Imperial
Palace, you may sooner imagine than expect that I should express the joy which
the Emperor had at her safe return; for he loved her beyond his Soul; and there
was no love lost, for the Empress equalled his Affection with no less love to
him. After the time of rejoicing with each other, the Duchess's Soul begged
leave to return to her Noble Lord: But the Emperor desired, that before she
departed, she would see how he had employed his time in the Empress's absence;
for he had built Stables and Riding-Houses, and desired to have Horses of
Manage, such as, according to the Empress's Relation, the Duke of Newcastle
had: The Emperor enquired of the Duchess, the Form and Structure of her Lord
and Husband's Stables and Riding-House. The Duchess answered his Majesty, That
they were but plain and ordinary; but, said she, had my Lord Wealth, I am sure
he would not spare it, in rendering his Buildings as Noble as could be made.
Hereupon the Emperor showed the Duchess the Stables he had built, which were
most stately and magnificent; among the rest, there was one double Stable that
held a Hundred Horses on a side, the main Building was of Gold, lined with
several sorts of precious Materials; the Roof was Arched with Agates, the sides
of the Walls were lined with Cornelian, the Floor was paved with Amber, the
Mangers were Mother of Pearl; the Pillars, as also the middle Isle or Walk of
the Stables, were of Crystal; the Front and Gate was of Turquois, most neatly
cut and carved. The Riding-House was lined with Sapphires, Topases, and the like;
the Floor was all of Golden-Sand so finely sifted, that it was extremely soft,
and not in the least hurtful to the Horses feet, and the Door and Frontispiece
was of Emeralds curiously carved.
After the view of these Glorious and Magnificent Buildings, which the
Duchess's Soul was much delighted withal, she resolved to take her leave; but
the Emperor desired her to stay yet some short time more, for they both loved
her company so well, that they were unwilling to have her depart so soon:
Several Conferences and Discourses passed between them; amongst the rest, the
Emperor desired her advice how to set up a Theatre for Plays. The Duchess
confessed her Ignorance in this Art, telling his Majesty that she knew nothing
of erecting Theatres or Scenes, but what she had by an Immaterial Observation,
when she was with the Empress's Soul in the chief City of E. Entering into one
of their Theatres, whereof the Empress could give as much account to his
Majesty, as her self. But both the Emperor and Empress told the Duchess, That
she could give directions how to make Plays. The Duchess answered, That she had
as little skill to form a Play after the Mode, as she had to paint or make a
Scene for show. But you have made Plays, replied the Empress: Yes, answered the
Duchess, I intended them for Plays; but the Wits of these present times
condemned them as incapable of being represented or acted, because they were
not made up according to the Rules of Art; though I dare say, That the
Descriptions are as good as any they have writ. The Emperor asked, Whether the
Property of Plays were not to describe the several Humours, Actions and
Fortunes of Mankind? 'Tis so, answered the Duchess. Why then, replied the
Emperor, the natural Humours, Actions and Fortunes of Mankind, are not done by
the Rules of Art: But, said the Duchess, it is the Art and Method of our VVits
to despise all Descriptions of Wit, Humour, Actions and Fortunes that are
without such Artificial Rules. The Emperor asked, Are those good Plays that are
made so Methodically and Artificially? The Duchess answered, They were Good
according to the Judgment of the Age, or Mode of the Nation, but not according
to her Judgment: for truly, said she, in my Opinion, their Plays will prove a
Nursery of whining Lovers, and not an Academy or School for Wise, Witty,
Noble and well-behaved men. But I, replied the Emperor, desire such a Theatre
as may make wise Men; and will have such Descriptions as are Natural, not
Artificial. If your Majesty be of that Opinion, said the Duchess's Soul, then
my Plays may be acted in your Blazing-World, when they cannot be acted in the
Blinking-World of Wit; and the next time I come to visit your Majesty, I shall
endeavour to order your Majesty's Theatre, to present such Plays as my Wit is
capable to make. Then the Empress told the Duchess, That she loved a foolish
^rse added to a wise Play. The Duchess answered, That no World in Nature had
fitter Creatures for it than the Blazing-World: for, said she, the Lowsemen,
the Bird-men, the Spider- and Fox-men, the Ape-men and Satyrs appear in a ^rse
extraordinary pleasant.
Hereupon both the Emperor and Empress entreated the Duchess's Soul to stay so
long with them, till she had ordered her Theatre, and made Plays and ^rses fit
for them; for they only wanted that sort of Recreation: but the Duchess's Soul
begged their Majesties to give her leave to go into her Native World; for she
longed to be with her dear Lord and Husband, promising, that after a short time
she would return again. Which being granted, though with much difficulty, she
took her leave with all Civility and Respect, and so departed from their
Majesties.
After the Duchess's return into her own body, she entertained her Lord (when
he was pleased to hear such kind of Discourses) with Foreign Relations; but he
was never displeased to hear of the Empress's kind Commendations, and of the
Characters she was pleased to give of him to the Emperor. Amongst other
Relations, she told him all what had past between the Empress, and the several
Monarchs of that World whither she went with the Empress; and how she had
subdued them to pay Tribute and Homage to the Monarch of that Nation or Kingdom
to which she owed both her Birth and Education. She also related to her Lord
what Magnificent Stables and Riding-Houses the Emperor had built, and what fine
Horses were in the Blazing-world, of several shapes and sizes, and how exact
their shapes were in each sort, and of many various Colours, and fine Marks, as
if they had been painted by Art, with such Coats or Skins, that they had a far
greater gloss and smoothness than Satin; and were there but a passage out of
the Blazing-world into this, said she, you should not only have some of those
Horses, but such Materials as the Emperor has, to build your Stables and
Riding-Houses withal; and so much Gold, that I should never repine at your
Noble and Generous Gifts. The Duke smilingly answered her, That he was sorry
there was no Passage between those two VVorlds; but, said he, I have always
found an Obstruction to my Good Fortunes.
One time the Duchess chanced to discourse with some of her acquaintance, of
the Empress of the Blazing-world, who asked her what Pastimes and Recreations
her Majesty did most delight in? The Duchess answered, That she spent most of
her time in the study of Natural Causes and Effects, which was her chief
delight and pastime; and that she loved to discourse sometimes with the most
Learned persons of that World: And to please the Emperor and his Nobles, who
were all of the Royal Race, she went often abroad to take the air, but seldom
in the day-time, always at night, if it might be called Night; for, said she,
the Nights there, are as light as Days, by reason of the numerous
Blazing-Starrs, which are very splendorous, only their Light is whiter than
the Sun's Light; and as the Sun's Light is hot, so their Light is cool; not so
cool as our twinkling Starr-light, nor is their Sun-light so hot as ours, but
more temperate: And that part of the Blazing-world where the Empress resides,
is always clear, and never subject to any Storms, Tempests, Fogs or Mists, but
has only refreshing-Dews that nourish the Earth: The air of it is sweet and
temperate, and, as I said before, as much light in the Sun's absence, as in its
presence, which makes that time we call Night, more pleasant there than the
Day: And sometimes the Empress goes abroad by Water in Barges, sometimes by
Land in Chariots, and sometimes on Horse-back; her Royal Chariots are very
Glorious, the Body is one entire green Diamond; the four small Pillars that
bear up the Top-cover, are four white Diamonds, cut in the form thereof; the
top or roof of the Chariot, is one entire blew Diamond, and at the four corners
are great springs of Rubies; the Seat is made of Cloth of Gold, stuffed with
Ambergreece beaten small: the Chariot is drawn by Twelve Unicorns, whose
Trappings are all Chains of Pearl; and as for her Barges, they are only of
Gold. Her Guard of State (for she needs none for security, there being no
Rebels or Enemies) consists of Giants, but they seldom wait on their Majesties
abroad, because their extraordinary height and bigness does hinder their
prospect. Her Entertainment when she is upon the Water, is the Music of the
Fish- and Bird-men; and by Land are Horse and Foot-matches; for the Empress
takes much delight in making Race-matches with the Emperor, and the Nobility;
some Races are between the Fox- and Ape-men, which sometimes the Satyrs strive
to out-run; and some are between the Spider-men and Lice-men. Also there are
several Flight-matches, between the several sorts of Bird-men, and the several
sorts of Fly-men; and Swimming-matches, between the several sorts of Fish-men.
The Emperor, Empress, and their Nobles, take also great delight to have
Collations; for in the Blazing-world; there are most delicious Fruits of all
sorts, and some such as in this World were never seen nor tasted; for there are
most tempting sorts of Fruit: After their Collations are ended, they Dance; and
if they be upon the Water, they dance upon the Water, there lying so many
Fish-men so close and thick together, as they can dance very evenly and easily
upon their backs, and need not fear drowning. Their Music, both Vocal and
Instrumental, is according to their several places: Upon the Water, it is of
Water-Instruments, as shells filled with Water, and so moved by Art, which is a
very sweet and delightful harmony; and those Dances which they dance upon the
Water, are, for the most part, such as we in this World call Swimming-Dances,
where they do not lift up their feet high: In Lawns, or upon Plains, they have
Wind-Instruments, but much better than those in our World: And when they dance
in the Woods, they have Horn-Instruments, which although they are of a sort of
Wind-Instruments, yet they are of another Fashion than the former: In their
Houses they have such Instruments as are somewhat like our Viols, Violins,
Theorboes, Lutes, Citherins, Gittars, Harpsichords, and the like; but yet so
far beyond them, that the difference cannot well be expressed; and as their
places of Dancing, and their Music is different, so is their manner or way of
Dancing. In these and the like Recreations, the Emperor, Empress, and the
Nobility pass their time.
THE EPILOGUE TO THE READER
BY this Poetical Description, you may perceive, that my ambition is not only
to be Empress, but Authoress of a whole World; and that the Worlds I have made,
both the Blazing-and the other Philosophical World, mentioned in the first Part
of this Description, are framed and composed of the most pure, that is, the
Rational parts of Matter, which are the parts of my Mind; which Creation was
more easily and suddenly effected, than the Conquests of the two famous
Monarchs of the World, Alexander and Caesar. Neither have I made such
disturbances, and caused so many dissolutions of particulars, otherwise named
deaths, as they did; for I have destroyed but some few men in a little Boat,
which dyed through the extremity of cold, and that by the hand of Justice,
which was necessitated to punish their crime of stealing away a young and
beauteous Lady. And in the formation of those Worlds, I take more delight and
glory, than ever Alexander or Caesar did in conquering this terrestrial world;
and though I have made my Blazing-world a Peaceable World, allowing it but one
Religion, one Language, and one Government; yet could I make another World, as
full of Factions, Divisions and VVarrs, as this is of Peace and Tranquillity;
and the Rational figures of my Mind might express as much courage to fight, as
Hector and Achilles had; and be as wise as Nestor, as Eloquent as Ulysses, and
as beautiful as Hellen. But I esteeming Peace before VVarr, Wit before Policy,
Honesty before Beauty; instead of the figures of Alexander, Caesar, Hector,
Achilles, Nestor, Ulysses, Hellen, c. chose rather the figure of Honest
Margaret Newcastle, which now I would not change for all this Terrestrial
World; and if any should like the World I have made, and be willing to be my
Subjects, they may imagine themselves such, and they are such, I mean in their
Minds, Fancies or Imaginations; but if they cannot endure to be Subjects, they
may create Worlds of their own, and Govern themselves as they please. But yet
let them have a care, not to prove unjust Usurpers, and to rob me of mine: for,
concerning the Philosophical-world, I am Empress of it my self; and as for the
Blazing-world, it having an Empress already, who rules it with great Wisdom and
Conduct, which Empress is my dear Platonic Friend; I shall never prove so
unjust, treacherous and unworthy to her, as to disturb her Government, much
less to depose her from her Imperial Throne, for the sake of any other, but
rather choose to create another World for another Friend.
FINIS.