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A36424 A voyage to the world of Cartesius written originally in French, and now translated into English.; Voyage du monde de Descartes. English Daniel, Gabriel, 1649-1728.; Taylor, Thomas, 1669 or 70-1735.; Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731. 1692 (1692) Wing D201; ESTC R5098 166,321 301

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preserve the strict Law of probability in my History will persuade those that shall read it that I envyed Lucian more than once this his so happy Expedient Nor can I but acknowledge the same Yet I must add that a second Consideration would inevitably have determin'd me to a different Choice although decency would have allow'd me to make use of the former I am a Philosopher And the Profession I pretend to bars all admittance unto such a management The Character of a Philosopher is always to speak Truth or to think he does at least indeavour to be thought to speak it For me to devest my self of all gayety of Humour and then to affect it to follow the Example of the greatest Enemy the Philosophers have known would have been poorly to support a Quality I extreamly value my self upon So that I should be cautious of using the like Preamble and acquainting my Readers that all they were to expect of me should be false I certify them therefore from this time forward that I have a quite contrary design and that I mean to set off my History with an Air of Truth such as may be able to persuade the most Incredulous did they lay by Prejudice in the reading of it that what I say is most undoubtedly true But such is the Nature of Prejudice and Prepossession that after all the pains I have take to appear credible I am conscious notwithstanding I shall not be believ'd Let it be how it will For after all I will by no means offer violence to the Iudgment of my Readers Now see in few Words the design of the Work I therein relate the Particulars of a Voyage which I made to the World of Cartesius I begin the Voyage very advantagiously upon an occasion that Fortune presented me and which seems worthy to be related Through the whole Thred of the History as I fall in with Emergencies I explain with as little difficulty and as pleasantly as the Subject will bear the most principal Points of Cartesius his Philosophy I examine many of them in the way and refute the greatest part of them in a manner clear as I think and intelligible enough and which commonly has in it something new and unreceiv'd I have made it my business to diversify and enliven a Subject naturally dry and melancholy as well by the variety of Accidents which give me occasion to digress upon them as by some peculiar and not incurious Instances of the History of Cartesianism And likewise with some brisk and warm Discourses of such Gentlemen as no one will be uneasy to hear Dispute To conclude my last and most principal Business to the Examination and Discussion of the general System of Cartesius his World and his managery of the chiefest Parts of it as he proposes it in his Book of Principles and in that which is Intituled A Treatise concerning Light or the World of M. Descartes which he mentions so often in his Letters to Father Mersennus but was not printed till after his death And I doubt not in that discussion to establish this one Proposition that hath been often advanc'd but still repuls'd and still I am confident will be as a Paradox to many That there is scarce any Philosophical Hypothesis more unjust and incoherent or whose Conclusions have less connexion with its Principles than that of Cartesius That Proposition I say hath always seem'd a Paradox because it thwarts the generally receiv'd Opinion of that Philosophy No one will deny but that some of his Principles being but meer Suppositions without Proof the Mind cannot find that satisfaction it demands But what they stand upon is That these Suppositions being once receiv'd all the rest doth follow in so direct a Line in so great order and perspicuity that the evidence of the Consqeuences expanding it self as I may say upon the Premises the mind begins of its own accord to imbrace for Truths what were before propos'd as bare Suppositions This may be true of some parts of his Philosophy and particularly of those wherein he treats of the Nature of some Sensible Qualities in which a Man must almost be forc'd to acquiesce that shall read them without Prepossession But I am of opinion it is false in respect of the general Constructure of his World and the Consequences he draws from it 'T is this part of his Philosophy which I shall more throughly examine and it is this of all other that hath hitherto best escap'd the Censure Plenty of Objections have been made against his Metaphysicks against the New Demonstrations he hath pretended to give for the existence of a Deity his distinction of the Soul and Body his System of Light his Rules of Motion as also those concerning Reflection and Refraction Scarce any yet have given him disturbance upon the Hypothesis of his Vortexes which is notwithstanding the Foundation of all he says touching the motion of the Planets the ebbing and flowing of the Sea the gravity and levity of Bodies and of his whole System concerning Light of which he himself has been so very fond I will not say but they have augmented the Difficulties upon each of these last Heads since a great many have attack'd him thereupon But I only say they have seldom or never examin'd them with relation to his general Hypothesis by which I undertake to shew that commonly what he writes of particular Matters is inconsistent with the whole and it is mostly in that the Relation of my Voyage hath something altogether new For what remains if I shall succeed in this last Affair which was almost the only occasion of this Enterprize I shall glory to have been the most mischievous Adversary Cartesius ever met with For that which distinguishes that great Man from all the other Philosophers is not the lucky Explication of some particular Phenomena's in Nature that Praise is shar'd by an abundance of Philosophers both Ancient and Modern but that vastness of Capacity and extent of Genius whereby he could frame an intire System of the World so well contriv'd that taking for granted a few Principles most simple and easy to be understood he could give a reason for all the Occurrencies of Nature It is that Attempt as most believe by which he obtain'd his end and which hath procur'd him so much Honour and Reputation To shew then his System to be full of Contradictions that it is incoherent that one Supposition destroys another is to undertake him in his strongest hold and to wound him in the part that is most sensible We shall see in the pursuit of the History what ought to be our Thoughts of it ERRATA PH●nomena's read Phaenomena where-ever it is p. 2. l. 15. r. lies ib. l. 35. r. scouted p. 18. l. 9. r. the. p. 19. l. 8. r. humors all those Natural Functions and all the ib. l. 27. r. Britanny l. 29. r. of her p. 21. l. 9. r. laxed p. 23. l. 15. r. Vortex p. 29. l.
Weight and Moment Can we apprehend a greater Idea of God Almighty than that which M. Descartes hath given An Idea that he derived not from the Visible Creatures that sleight and faint Ray of an infinitely perfect Being but which his Mind found impressed upon it self and which left no room for him to doubt of the Existence of a Sovereign Being though he possessed neither Heaven nor Earth nor any Body nor indeed any other Soul than his Can the Omnipotence of a Deity be advanced to a more transcendent Degree than he hath done it God according to him can cause That Two and Three shall not make Five That four Sides shall not be requisite to make a Square That the Whole shall be no bigger than One of its Parts Effects that other Philosophers never scruple to place out of the Reach of the God head But has not an Author of a little Piece called A Letter wrote to a Learned Iesuite clearly shewn That 't is Descartes World that is described in the first Chapter of Genesis Another Book hath since been publish'd in Holland with the Title of Cartesius Mosaisans and is to the same effect The Author of the Treatise concerning The Influence of the Stars describes the End of the World upon Descartes his Hypothesis Monsieur Scottanus in a late Apology that he offered for M. Descartes against those that Endeavoured to render him obnoxious to the Suspicion of Atheism observes to us the Respect he had for Religion certifying us That one of his Reasons for the reducing his Meditations to the Number of Six was the Consideration of the Six Days which God imployed in the Creation of the World If we may credit Father Mersennus a Learned and Noted Minim and an intimate Acquaintance of Descartes we shall find nothing of a more Christian Temper and that inspires us more ravishingly with the Love of God than Descartes Philosophy In short there is nothing more edifying than the Letter that Philosopher wrote to the Sorbon Doctors in dedicating his Meditations to them which is so true that not long since a Friend of mine not wont to be very Nice in those Matters having read by chance the Letter at my House which touched him and finding farther the Title of Meditations in the Front of the Work he seriously entreated me to lend him that Godly Book to entertain his Devotions during Passion Week This so strange Variety of Opinions and Relations counter to one another of a World otherwise of no little Renown provoked my Curiosity and induced me to be convinced of the Truth or Falsity of the Reports in my own Person All the Difficulty was to find a Guide to conduct me to a Country to which there was no Road passable either for Horse or Foot for Coach or Barge by Land or Sea But presently after my Resolve I was happily favoured with the most lucky Occasion that could be wish'd for the undertaking my Voyage with all the Pleasure and Ease imaginable Having sojourned some Months in a Country Town I strook up Acquaintance with an Old Standard of about eighty Years a Man of Parts and that formerly had conversed much with M. Descartes That Commerce had begot in him an unaccountable Zeal for the Tenets of that Philosopher and exasperated him to declaim against the Method and Opinions of the School the Prejudices of Childhood and taught him to make external Elogies on the Cartesian Philosophy He had so given himself up to this Opinion that he could no ways suffer in Point of Philosophy any one to deviate never so little from it In a Conference that we had together upon such sort of Things I desired to know if he kept up his Correspondence with any Car●esians of Worth and Reputation No said he I have broke with all Sorts of Persons that call themselves by that Name I can no longer find among them that Zeal and Observance the first Cartesians without Reserve attributed to that great Man Every one now a days builds Systems according to his own Humor and allows himself the Liberty of Adding or Retrenching what he pleases in the Platform M. Descartes hath laid which is a concern of that critical Nature as cannot be once touch'd without spoiling the whole Since the Death of the Famous M. Chersilier I have forbore writing to any single Person for I am persuaded That the pure and unmixt Cartesianism was buried with him You Gentlemen reply'd I are of a strange Constitution All the Prefaces of your Books are fill'd with Invectives and Raileries against those who implicitely espouse the Sentiments of an Author and profess they will never desert him It looks as if you and the rest of the new Philosophers had banded together in an offensive Confederacy to make continual War upon the Followers of Aristotle on that Account and at the same time you fall into the same Error for which ye reproach them and are an hundred times more bigotted to your Descartes than they to Aristotle For my part I know not how to blame the Conduct of those that are somewhat moderate which you are so enrag'd against If their Reason hath discover'd to them another Path than what M. Descartes trod in why are you angry if they follow it Aristotle held Possession a long time and reign'd absolute Monarch in Philosophy The Prescription and Vassalage of several Ages confirm'd his Title of Prince of Philosophers Descartes is a Rebel who durst encourage a Party against his Prince What Right has he to demand a greater Submission unto him than he was willing to allow to Aristotle Because answer'd he Truth and Reason are manifestly on his side That reply'd I is exactly the first step Rebellion ever makes to inforce the justice of its Cause and proclaim the publick Welfare does depend upon it But notwithstanding Sir pursu'd I I am more inclin'd to Neutrality in this Affair than you imagine I have determin'd to dive to the bottom of Descartes's Philosophy of which I have as yet but a dark and confus'd Knowledg having never studied him in his own Works but in the Books of his Disciples as soon as they appear'd and that irregularly and without Method But as I am oblig'd to leave this Country very speedily and have but a short time to advantage my self by your Ability in this Affair therefore it was that I enquir'd Whether you had any Communication of Letters or Friendship with any good Cartesian of Paris to whose Acquaintance you might recommend me and who would be willing to instruct a Scholar so apt and forward as I pretend to be That Proposal extreamly inspirited my old Gentleman and I perceiv'd sudden Joy diffus'd it self all over his Countenance Ever since I knew you said he taking me by the Hand I have observ'd in you a passionate Concern for Truth which is the best and first Disposition Descartes requires to attain unto it Trouble not your self you have still two Months good which you
also frightning some to whom Lines crossing one another with A. B. C. are as terrible as Magick and the sight thereof enough to make them shut the Book and never open it after And this is the Reason I will make use of them as little as possibly I can He would not for any thing whatever have forgotten to remark to me those little ●●annel'd Parts whose Service is so very necessary to him nor the way that they are wrought Amongst the Parts of the first Element which are made of the filings of the Second there are some that by reason of their irregular Figure are not so rapid as the other Those of this Nature easily hook themselves together and make up little Bodies larger than the other parts of the first Element and as in their turning about they are often obliged to pass betwixt the Balls of the second Element Numb 90. they accommodate themselves for that Passage and as they squeeze betwixt them wrythe themselves into the Shape of a Skrew or become like little Pillars chamfer'd with three Furrows or gutterwork'd and tourn'd as you see the Shell of a Snail They are chiefly to be found toward the Poles of the Vortex having their Determination toward the Centre Now whereas some of them enter by way of the Northern Pole others by the Southern whilst the Vortex turns upon its Axis it is apparent to every Cartesian that those which proceed from the North-Coast must be turned Shell-wife a different way from those that proceed from the South And Instance M. Descartes took care to inculcate throughly in me For it is principally upon that the Power and Vertue of the Loadstone do depend Numb 91. But it shall not be long said he before you see some particular Effect of these little channel'd Parts Take notice said he how things go in that Star that 's next you How some of the chamf●r'd Parts that come fromward the Poles of their Vortex mingle themselves with the Matter of that Star and not being able to keep pace with it in Motion are thrown out of the Star just as the scummy Parts of a boiling Liquor are separated from the other and rise above the Liquor See how they link themselves to one another and by that Union lose the quality of the first Element and take on them that of the third Upon their gathering and condensing in a very great quantity it is manifest they must hinder the action of the first Element whereby it pushes the Balls of the Second Element to the Circumference Fig. Seq and consequently must interrupt that Motion and Pressure in which Light consists And now you may see exactly what those Stains are which you sometimes discover on the Face of the Sun of your World They are nothing else but the drossy and scummy Parts of the third Element gathered in Heaps and expanded on its Surface Now the wreek and scattering of those Stains which are still a gathering and as easily dissipanated diffusing it self far and near throughout the Circumference of the Vortex will constitute a thin and ra●ify'd Body like the Air about your Earth Numb 92. at least the finest part of it and I have formerly observed that that of the Vortex of your Sun is extended as far as the Sphere of Mercury Mean time of these Occurrences the old Gentleman in haste came and acquainted Descartes That on that Coast he had been on there were three or four Vortexes that began to jumble and fall to Loggerheads and that if he did not speedily come and part them there needed nothing more to tear and shatter all his World in pieces Poor honest old Gentleman said M. Descartes That which makes him so solicitous for my World is one of the finest Phenomena's that can possibly be seen and by which I 'll demonstrate to you how Comets are begot in yours and how in time a fix'd Star may become a Planet Let us go and cure him of his Fears When we came there we found two Stars whose Surface was almost wholly overgrown with Scurf and whose Vortexes began to be d●ain'd and suckt up by those round about them If you have read my Book of Principles and my Treatise concerning Light says M. Descartes to me you will easily conclude in what this little bu●tle and disorder ought to end and I strange said he to the old Gentleman you should be frighted at it Call to mind then what I there teach how that which preserves a Vortex in the midst of several others is that impulse caus'd by the Matter of the Star in its attempt to obtain a remove from the Centre towards the Circumference For the Star by that Impulse pushing and supporting the Matter of its Vortex keeps the other Vortexes within their Bounds and loses no Ground in the Dimensions of its Circuit For we must consider all these Vortexes as so many Antagonists that dispute it to an Inch and so long as their Forces are equally match'd gain no Advantage over each other but as soon as one of them is any ways weakned or disabled it becomes a Prey to all the rest each taking in a part of its Space and at last usurping it all Now when a Star begins to be over-run with this Scurf and crusted with a mass of the parts of the third Element it can no longer push with so much force as it did before the Matter of its Vortex towards the Circumference and then the other that surround it and whose Matter is indeavouring to get as far as possible from its Centre finding no longer so much Motion nor by consequence so much Resistance expatiate and stretch themselves out and oblige the Matter of that impoverisht Vortex to circuit along with them and by little and little each Inrich themselves In so much that some Moments hence you shall see those Vortexes increase their Circumference with the Spoils of this poor Vortex till at last they come to the Star it self which will be made their Sport That is to say it will descend towards the Center of some one of those Vortexes there to continue in the quality of a Pla●et to turn with that Vortex and to observe the Motions of the conquering Star Or it will beconstrain'd by the Motion that shall be given it to bound from Vortex to Vortex and to make a long Pilgrimage in Habit of a Comet until its Crusts shall break And then perhaps it will recover the eminency of a Star and will take its revenge on some other by appropriating its Vortex to its self We waited then some Moments and saw happen what M. Descartes had foretold all the the Vortex was drain'd dry the Matter of one of the neighbouring Vortexes surrounded the crusted Star and influencing it with a violent Motion carried it clever off But since that Star by reason of its Solidity that consisted partly in its Figure most proper for Motion partly in the close Connexion of the
to your Doctrin I have already made some Conquests among the Peripateticks many whereof appear there and excepting two or three who are ungovernably headstrong and conceited they will all be my own as soon as I shall have answer'd some pretty substantial Objections they have propos'd against several Points of your Philosophy The chief of which respect the general Construction of your World And whereas in that Affair they pretend to destroy your Conclusions by your own Principles and some amongst them are Men of Parts that give a specious and probable turn to their Arguments in so much that I have sometimes been put to 't to find the Fallacy I thought my self oblig'd to have recourse unto the Oracle and that I could do nothing better than consult You your self as you gave me Permission and intreat you to communicate your Thoughts as soon as possible thereupon A Voyage from the third Heaven to this Place is no great business for your little Moor. Thus then these Gentlemen to my best Remembrance fell to Work They began by proposing two or three trite Arguments daily made use of in the Desks to confute your System and to shew that it is a meer Chymera and not to be suffered as a simple Hypothesis should they grant the Principles you your self lay down M. Descartes say they supposes first That God creates Matter secondly That he divides it into infinite little cubical Parts and lastly determining several great Portions of this Matter he puts them in a circular Motion and at once makes the little cubical Parts of which the great Portions call'd by him Vortexes are compos'd to turn about their proper Center But it is impossible they adjoyn to conceive the division and motion of Matter upon his Principles For● as to the division it can be conceiv'd but by one of these two ways either by supposing betwixt the Parts divided some empty Spaces or imagining those Intervals fill'd up with some Bodies or Matter of a different Nature from the Parts And thus though Nature every where is full we conceive four Dice laid close to one another as four distinct cubical Bodies for though there is nothing of a void betwixt them we yet perceive a little Interval fill'd with Air that hinders our Conception of them as of one single Body But by the Principles of Cartesianism we can conceive it neither one way nor the other For we must not suppose a Vacuity betwixt the Parts divided since a Vacuum is utterly thrown out of that System Nor is it easier to conceive a Body of a different Nature since the distinction of Bodies according to the Author of the System is not to be conceiv'd till after the agitation and motion of Matter That division therefore is an Absurdity As to the business of Motion that 's in a worse Case still for how is it possible to conceive that all those cubical Parts that are universally hard impenetrable and incapable of Compression should turn about their Center and break in pieces unless they find or make a Vacuum For the diminutiveness of them will not help us out since let them be as little as you can suppose them they are still hard and impenetrable as Adamant and all combine together to desist the Motion of each Particular That Hypothesis therefore is indefensible and Descartes his very first Supposition is deny'd These Monsieur were the first Passes these Gentlemen made at me the first Blows I was to ward off in the Defence of the System of your World They had been taken out of the Books of very Ingenious Men and whereas the Gentlemen your Disciples as if it was their Maxim and their Method never to be put out of their own Road which is barely to give an Exposition and a Proof of their Doctrin trouble not much their Heads with Objections that are made them since they are not oblig'd to the formal Answer of the Desk these Arguments pass'd for unanswerable and such as at the very entrance of Dispute baffled the Cartesian But the more impregnable my Adversaries appear'd in so good Accoutrements and Arms the more my Honour was advanc'd in disabling and disarming them As I had diligently read your Works and above all the Book of Principles and that Intitled a Treatise concerning Light or M. Descartes's World I answer'd the first Argument by pleading a false Indictment charg'd on you for making a distinction of Instants betwixt the Division and the Motion as if you had held that God divided the Matter in one Instant and mov'd it another I said you never suppos'd that Matter was divided before its Motion That the manner of proposing your System in the third Part of Principles suppos'd no such distinction and that in the Treatise of Light where you describ'd the formation of the World you said positively the contrary advertising your Reader That that Division of Matter consisted not in God's separating its Parts so as to leave a Vacuity betwixt them but that all the distinction you suppos'd God made in them consisted in the diversity of Motions that he gave causing some from the first instant of their Creation to commence their Motion one way some another so that in this Instance Division and Motion were the same Thing or at farthest one could not be without the other That you would be as forward as any of them to confess That nothing was more absurd in reference to your other Principles than to suppose the Parts of Matter still and in Repose and yet divided since according to you the Union of the Parts of a solid Body such as Matter must be conceiv'd before its Motion consists in that Rest they enjoy by one another And farther that it was full as easie to comprehend how Division was made by Motion and yet cotemporary with the same Motion as to understand how I can tear a Sheet of Paper by dividing it in two half Sheets one whereof I hand towards the East the other towards the West I hereupon produc'd the Books that I had cited and shew'd them the very Places in dispute They were convinc'd by plain Matter of Fact and had no more to urge against it But we had not so soon done with the Motion of Matter we must necessary still dispute tho' very calmly without the least Passion or wrangling since the generality of those I had to deal with were well bred honest Gentlemen that would submit to Reason The Question was to explain how the Parts of Matter which we conceiv'd so closely press'd against one another as not the least Interval was left betwixt them throughout the Mass and which we also suppos'd solid from a settl'd Rest could skip into Motion After these Gentlemen had copiously discours'd upon the Subject I ask'd them If as stanch Peripateticks as they were they were throughly convinc'd that the Fludity of Water for instance Was an absolute Quality that when it was congeal'd it became Solid by an absoute
I have laid out I shall make twenty fix'd Stars But at these fix'd S●ars you 'l be surpriz'd and will have the pleasure of observing that but one in twenty will continue which will represent your Sun All the rest will become partly Planets partly Comets Nor will there of those twenty above one great Vortex remain which will be that of the Sun in which will be form'd two little new ones to represent the Vortex of your Earth and that of Iupiter This will be sufficient Monsieur said he addressing himself to me in particular to qualify you for the comprehending the Work I am going to compleat For the rest of my Principles and Conclusions which you have seen in my Physicks I shall more commodiously explain them in the performance it self as occasion shall be offer'd With that M. Descartes Father Mersennus and my old Gentleman betook themselves to three different Stations in the Space and began to agitate and churn the Matter with a prodigious Alacrity The twenty Vortex were come in an Instant each having their Motion determin'd on every side and being so order'd that the Poles of one Vortex were terminated at the Eclyptick of an other And hence it is that M. Descartes calls the Circle of a Vortex Part. 3. P●incip that which is remotest from its Poles Whereas the parts of every Vortex were seen out of hand to be figured Angularwise for the generality and to move round about their Centre there was a mighty grating and clashing occasion'd by the Fraction of Angles that necessarily followed the Struggle every Part made to turn its self about its own Centre And that was the first Reflection M. Descartes occasioned me to make for the explaining to me the Origin and Production of the Elements as they are distinguish'd in his Physicks You see said he how from the agitation of Matter necessarily issue the Elements at which the Philosophers of your World have blanched and bogled so From a Cube or any Angular Body whatsoever to make a round one what more is required than the paring off the Angles and Inequalities that are found in the Surface of it And what but this is done in the Motion I have impressed on all the little parts about their Centre Is it possible they should turn thus without a mutual Unhorning one another And can that continual rubbing of one against another fail to polish them more exactly than if they had been turn'd in a Lathe These little Balls constitute that kind of Matter which I call my second Element But now in the Interim of the shivering of these Angles you see and 't is impossible to be otherwise there is a World of little Filings prodigiously less than the Balls of the second Element and it is that diminutive Dust which I call the Matter of the first Element But lastly among the parts of the first Element as minute as they are there are some less than others and whereas they are nothing but the Scrapings of the second Element they are of very irr●gular Figures and full of Angles Which is the reason they entangle and fetter themselves with one another and cake into a ragged and gross Mass which I call the Matter of the third Element And these are my three Elements which as you see I had reason to defy the World to find a fault with Here M. Descartes was some Moments without speaking to me being extraordinary busy in the management of his Project and the critical regulation of the first Motions of his Vortexes Mean while the little parts of the Matter of every Vortex by the means of their turning on their Centre and rubbing against each other even'd and polish'd themselves by little and little and still as they became perfectly Globular they lost of their Bulk and decreas'd in Size Then it was that I began to see the Consequences of the Rules of Motion which M. Descartes had readily suppos'd For seeing these little Balls took up less room than formerly and seeing they kept still a turning round and their Figure rendred them more fit for Motion I perceived them presently to quit the Centre of the Vortex and to gain the Circumference By that Effort obliging the Matter of the first Element that was dispers'd through all the Vortex to fall down to the Centre and to constitute a Mass of that extreamly fine and powdered Dust that still whirl'd round and attempted to recover the Circumference from which the Balls of the second Element had chas'd it But all in vain because the Figure of the parts of the second Element maintained them in their Post and all that could possibly be done by the Matter of the first was upon occasion to slip into the Intervals the Balls in the Circumference of the Vortex sometimes left betwixt them The Satisfaction M. Descartes observ'd I took at that petty Play and the Facility I manifested in perceiving or conceiving whatever he commanded me highly pleased him and engaged him to explain to me one of the most curious Mysteries in Philosophy I could wish said he you had your Body here you would let in those admirable Deductions from the Principles I have laid with a greater Gusto and Delight Now you only see in the Centre of the Vortexes a heap of Dust or of subtil Matter of the first Element but had you your Body and your Organs with you capable of the Impressions that heap of Dust would make you 'd see for every heap of Dust a Sun Monsieur continued he that very Sun whose Splendour and Beauty you so often have admir'd in your World is nothing in affect but an Amass of that same Dust but Dust instigated with such a Motion as I explain in my Philosophy and you at present see To give you a clear Insight in this Matter I need only suppose one thing which I am sure you wont deny me and which on occasion I could shew you in Aristotle himself to wit that Vision is caused meerly by the vibration of the Threds wherewith the optick Nerve is wrought And it is on Account of that vibration that a Man falling rudely on his Head or who walking in the dark runs his Face against a Post sees a sudden flash of Light like the glaring of a Candle It tortures the Naturalists to explain the manner how that vibration causes us to perceive all luminous and bright Objects Upon what Hypothesis soever they proceed they meet with inconquerable Difficulties But at the bottom and in earnest it is no more than this He then went on in explaining to me all the Properties of Light and the Demonstrations he hath given concerning the Reflection and Refraction of its Rays He was very large and copious upon that Subject For that piece of his Philosophy together with that where he explains the Phaenomena's of the Loadstone is his darling and beloved Theam I shall not descend to the Particulars of that Discourse for fear of wearying my Reader as