Part 5: Later Seventeenth Century

THOMAS HOBBES. Leviathan. 1651.

Book 1, Ch. 5: The sixth [cause of absurd conclusions, I ascribe] to the use of metaphors, tropes, and other rhetorical figures, instead of words proper. For though it be lawful to say, for example, in common speech, the way goeth, or leadeth hither, or thither; the proverb says this or that, whereas ways cannot go, nor proverbs speak; yet in reckoning, and seeking of truth, such speeches are not to be admitted. . . . Metaphors and senseless and ambiguous words, are like ignes fatui; and reasoning upon them is wandering amongst innumerable absurdities; and their end, contention and sedition, or contempt. ["Ignes fatui" are "false fires," will-of-the-wisps.] [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]

DOROTHY OSBORNE. From Letters to Sir William Temple.

Sept 11, 1653. God forgive me, I was as near laughing yesterday where I should not. Would you believe that I had the grace to go hear a sermon upon a week day? In earnest, 'tis true; and Mr. Marshall was the man that preached, but never anybody was so defeated. He is so famed that I expected rare things of him, and seriously I listened to him at first with as much reverence and attention as if he had been St. Paul; and what do you think he told us? Why, that if there were no kings, no queens, no lords, no ladies, nor gentlemen, nor gentlewomen, in the world, 'twould be no loss to God Almighty. This we had over some forty times, which made me remember it whether I would nor not. The rest was much at this rate, interlarded with the prettiest odd phrases, that I had the most ado to look soberly enough for the place I was in that ever I had in my life. He does not preach so always, sure? If he does, I cannot believe his sermons will do much towards the bringing anybody to heaven more than by exercising their patience. Yet, I'll say that for him, he stood stoutly for tithes, though, in my opinion, few deserved them less than he; and it may be he would be better without them. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]

THOMAS TRAHERNE. Centuries of Meditations. 1660s.

First Century: 28: Your Enjoyment of the World is never right, till every Morning you awake in Heaven: see your self in your fathers Palace: and look upon the Skies and the Earth and the Air, as Celestial Joys: having such a Reverend Esteem of all, as if you were among the Angels. The Bride of a Monarch, in her Husbands Chamber, hath no such Causes of Delight as you.

29: You never Enjoy the World aright, till the Sea it self floweth in your veins, till you are Clothed with the Heavens, and Crowned with the Stars: and perceiv your self to be the Sole Heir of the whole World: and more then so, becaus Men are in it who are evry one Sole Heirs, as well as you. Till you can Sing and Rejoyce and Delight in GOD, as Misers do in gold, and Kings in Scepters, you never Enjoy the World.

30: Till your Spirit filleth the whole World, and the Stars are your Jewels, till you are as Familiar with the Ways of God in all Ages as with your Walk and Table: till you are intimatly Acquainted with that Shady Nothing out of which the World was made: till you lov Men so as to Desire their Happiness, with a Thirst equal to the zeal of your own: till you Delight in GOD for being Good to all: you never Enjoy the World. Till you more feel it then your Privat Estate, and are more present in the Hemisphere, Considering the Glories and the Beauties there, then in your own House. Till you remember how lately you were made, and how wonderfull it was when you came into it: and more rejoyce in the Palace of your Glory, then if it had been made but to Day Morning. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]

JOHN TILLOTSON From a sermon, "On the Rule of Equity to be observed among men." 1661.

Now if any shall desire to be more particularly satisfied, what that exact righteousness is, which in matter of contracts ought to be observed betwixt man and man? I must confess this is a difficult question, and to be handled very modestly by such as acknowledge themselves unacquainted with the affairs of the world, and the necessities of things, and the particular and hidden reasons of some kind of dealings; for he who is ignorant of these may easily give rules which will not comply with the affairs of the world. He may complain of that which cannot be otherwise, and blame some kind of dealings which are justifiable from particular reasons, not obvious to any man, who is unseen in the way of trade. Besides, there are many cases fall under this question, which are very nice, but of great consequence; and the greater caution and tenderness ought to be used in the resolution of them, because they are matters of constant practice, and the greatest part of mankind are concerned in them. Now it is a dangerous thing to mistake in those things, in which many persons are interested, especially if they be things of such a vast difference, as good and evil, right and wrong are: for if that be determined to be lawful, which is unlawful, men are led into sin; if that be determined to be unlawful, which is lawful, men are led into a snare: for if this determination has to be the prejudice of men in their callings, it is a hundred to one but common example and private interest will make many continue in that practice; and then the mischief is this--though men do that which is lawful and right, yet they are staggered by the authority and confidence of him, who hath determined it unlawful; and so have some reluctance in their consciences in the doing of it; and this, by accident, becomes a great sin to them. And when upon a sick-bed, or any other occasion, they come to be touched with the sense of sin, this will be matter of greater horror and affrightment to them than a real sin, which they committed ignorantly, and were afterwards convinced of. Upon all these considerations, I ought to proceed with great wariness in the answering of this question. Therefore I shall content myself with speaking those things which are clear and evident, though they be general, rather than venture out of my depth, by descending into particulars, and such things as are out of my notice. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]

MARGARET CAVENDISH, Duchess of Newcastle. Female Orations. 1662.

1. Ladies, gentlewomen, and other inferior women, but not less worthy: I have been industrious to assemble you together, and wish I were so fortunate as to persuade you to make frequent assemblies, associations, and combinations amongst our sex, that we may unite in prudent counsels, to make ourselves as free, happy, and famous as men; whereas now we live and die as if we were produced from beasts, rather than from men; for men are happy, and we women are miserable; they possess all the ease, rest, pleasure, wealth, power, and fame; whereas women are restless with labour, easeless with pain, melancholy for want of pleasures, helpless for want of power, and die in oblivion, for want of fame. Nevertheless, men are so unconscionable and cruel against us that they endeavour to bar us of all sorts of liberty, and will not suffer us freely to associate amongst our own sex; but would fain bury us in their houses or beds, as in a grave. The truth is, we live like bats or owls, labour like beasts, and die like worms. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]


from Sept 2 (Lord's Day), 1665: Some of our maids sitting up late last night to get things ready against our feast to-day, Jane called us up about three in the morning, to tell us of a great fire they saw in the City. So I rose, and slipped on my night- gown, and went to her window; and thought it to be on the back- side of Market-Lane at the farthest; but, being unused to such fires as followed, I thought it far enough off; and so went to bed again, and to sleep. About seven rose again to dress myself, and there looked out at the window, and saw the fire not so much as it was, and further off. So to my closet to set things to rights, after yesterday's cleaning. By and by Jane comes and tells me that she hears that above 300 houses have been burned down to-night by the fire we saw, and that it is now burning down all Fish Street, by London Bridge. So I made myself ready presently, and walked to the Tower; and there got up upon one of the high places, Sir J. Robinson's little son going up with me; and there I did see the houses at that end of the bridge all on fire, and an infinite great fire on this and the other side the end of the bridge; which, among other people, did trouble me for poor little Michell and our Sarah on the bridge. So down, with my heart full of trouble, to the Lieutenant of the Tower, who tells me that it begun this morning in the King's baker's house in Pudding-lane, and that it hath burned down St. Magnus's Church and most part of Fish Street already. So I down to the water- side, and there got a boat, and through bridge, and there saw a lamentable fire. Poor Michell's house, as far as the Old Swan, already burned that way, and the fire running further, that, in a very little time, it got as far as the Steele-yard, while I was there. Every body endeavouring to remove their goods, and flinging into the river, or bringing them into lighters that lay off; poor people staying in their houses as long as till the very fire touched them and then running into boats, or clambering from one pair of stairs, by the waterside, to another. And, among other things, the poor pigeons, I perceive, were loth to leave their houses, but hovered about the windows and balconys, till they burned their wings, and fell down. Having staid, and in an hour's time seen the fire rage every way; and nobody, to my sight, endeavouring to quench it, but to remove their goods, and leave all to the fire; and, having seen it get as far as the Steele-yard, and the wind mighty high, and driving it into the City; and everything, after so long a drought, proving combustible, even the very stones of churches; and, among other things, the poor steeple by which pretty Mrs. --- lives, and whereof my old schoolfellow Elborough is parson, taken fire in the very top, and there burned till it fell down; I to White Hall, with a gentleman with me, who desired to go off from the Tower, to see the fire, in my boat; and there up to the King's closet in the Chapel, where people came about me, and I did give them an account dismayed them all, and word was carried in to the King. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]


Sept 7, 1665: I went this morning on foote from White hall as far as London bridge, thro the Late fleete streete, Ludgate hill, by St. Paules, Cheape side, Exchange, Bishopsgate, Aldersgate, and out to Moorfields, thence thro Cornehill, etc: with extraordinay difficulty, clambring over mountains of yet smoking rubbish, and frequently mistaking where I was, the ground under my feete so hott, as made me not onely Sweate, but even burnt the soles of my shoes, and put me all over in Sweate: In the meane time his Majestie got to the Tower by Water, to demolish the houses about the Graft, which being built intirely about it, had they taken fire, and attaq'd the white Tower, where the Magazines of Powder lay, would undoubtedly have not onely beaten down and destroyed all the bridge, but sunke and torne all the vessels in the river, and rendred the demolition beyond all expression for severall miles even about the Country at many miles distance: At my returne I was infinitly concern'd to find that goodly Church St Paules now a sad ruine, and that beautiful Portico (for structure comparable to any in Europ, as not long before repaird by the late King) now rent in pieces, flakes of vast Stone Split in sunder, and nothing remaining intire but the Inscription in the Architrave which shewing by whom it was built, had not one letter of it defac'd: which I could not but take notice of: It was astonishing to see what immense stones the heate had in a manner Calcin'd, so as all the ornaments, Columns, freezes, Capitels, and projectures of massie Portland stones flew off, even to the very roofe, where a Sheete of Leade covering no lesse than 6 akers by measure, being totaly mealted, the ruines of the Vaulted roofs, falling brake into St. Faithes, which being filled with the magazines of the bookes, belonging to the Stationers, and carried thither for safty, they were all consumed burning for a weeke following: It is also observable, that the lead over the Altar at the East end was untouch'd; and among the divers monuments, the body of one Bishop, remaind intire. Thus lay in ashes that most venerable Church, one of the most ancient Pieces of early Piety in the Christian World, beside neer 100 more; The lead, yronworke, bells, plate etc mealted; the exquisitely wrought Mercers Chapell, the Sumptuous Exchange, the august farbicque of Christ church, all the rest of the Companies Halls, sumptuous buildings, Arches, Enteries, all in dust. The fountains all dried up and ruind, whilst the very waters remained boiling; the Voragos of subterranean Cellars Wells and Dungeons, formerly Warehouses, still burning in stench and dark clowds of smoke like hell, so as in five or six miles traversing about, I did not see one loade of timber uncomsum'd, nor many stones but what were calcin'd white as snow, so as the people who now walked about the ruines appeard like men in some dismal desart, or rather in some great City, lay'd wast by an impetuous and cruel Enemy, to which was added the stench that came from some poore Creaturs bodys, beds, and other combustible goods. . . . [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]

THOMAS SPRAT, History of the Royal-Society of London, For the Improving of Natural Knowledge. 1667

There is nothing of all the works of Nature, so inconsiderable, so remote, or so fully known; but, by being made to reflect on other things, it will at once enlighten them, and shew it self the clearer. Such is the dependance amongst all the orders of creatures; the inanimate, the sensitive, the rational, the natural, the artificial: that the apprehension of one of them, is a good step toward the understanding of the rest: And this is the highest pitch of humane reason; to follow all the links of this chain, till all their secrets are open to our minds; and their works advanc'd, or imitated by our hands. This is truly to command the world; to rank all the varieties, and degrees of things, so orderly one upon another; that standing on the top of them, we may perfectly behold all that are below, and make them all serviceable to the quiet, and peace, and plenty of Man's life. And to this happiness, there can be nothing else added: but that we make a good second advantage of this rising ground, thereby to look the nearer into heaven: An ambition, which though it was punish'd in the old World, by an universal Confusion; when it was manag'd with impiety, and insolence: yet, when it was carried on by that humility and innocence, which can never be separated from true knowledg; when it was design'd, not to brave the Creator of all things, but to admire him the more: it must needs be the utmost perfection of humane Nature.

Thus they have directed, judg'd, conjectur'd upon, and improved Experiments. But lastly, in these, and all other business, that have come under their care; there is one thing more, about which the Society has been most sollicitous; and that is, the manner of their Discourse: which, unless they had been very watchful to keep in due temper, the whole spirit and vigour of their Design, had been soon eaten out, by the luxury and redundance of Speech. The ill effects of this superfluity of talking, have already overwhel'd most other Arts and Professions; insomuch, that when I consider the means of happy living, and the causes of their corruption, I can hardly forbear recanting what I said before; and concluding, that eloquence ought to be banish'd out of all civil societies, as a thing fatal to Peace and good Manners. To this opinion I should wholly incline; if I did not find, that it is a Weapon, whic may be as easily procur'd by bad men, as good: and that, if these should onely cast it away, and those retain it; the naked Innocence of vertue, would be upon all occasions expos'd to the armed Malice of the wicked. This is the chief reason, that should now keep up the Ornaments of speaking, in any request; since they are so much degenerated from their original usefulness. They were at first, no doubt, an admirable Instrument in the hands of Wise Men: when they were onely employ'd to describe Goodness, Honesty, Obedience; in larger, fairer, and more moving Images: to represent Truth, cloth'd with Bodies; and to bring Knowledge back again to our very senses, from whence it was at first deriv'd to our understandings. But now they are generally chang'd to worse uses: They make the Fancy disgust the best things, if they come found, and unadorn'd: they are in open defiance against Reason; professing, not to hold much correspondence with that; but with its slaves, the passions: they give the mind a motion too changeable, and bewitching, to consist with right practice. Who can behold, without indignation, how many mists and uncertainties, these specious Tropes and Figures have brought to our Knowledge? How many rewards, which are due to more profitable, and difficult arts, have been still snatch'd away by the easie vanity of fine speaking? For now I am warmed with this just anger, I cannot withhold my self, from betraying the shallowness of all these seeming Mysteries; upon which, we writers, and speakers, look so big. And, in few words, I dare say; that of all the studies of men, nothing may be sooner obtained, than this vicious abundance of phrase, this trick of metaphors, this volubility of tongue, which makes so great a noise in the world. But I spend words in vain; for the evil is now so inveterate, that it is hard to know whom to blame, or where to begin to reform. We all value one another so much, upon this beautiful deceipt; and labour so long after it, in the years of our education: that we cannot but ever after think kinder of it, than it deserves. And indeed, in most other parts of Learning, I look on it to be a thing almost utterly desperate in its cure; and I think it may be placed amongst those general mischiefs; such as the dissention of Christian Princes, the want of practice in religion, and the like; which have been so long spoken against, that men are become insensible about them; every one shifting off the fault from himself to others; and so they are only made bare common places of complaint. It will suffice my present purpose to point out, what has been done by the Royal Society, towards the correcting of its excesses in Natural Philosophy; to which it is, of all others, a most present enemy.

They have therefore been most rigorous in putting in execution, the only remedy that can be found for this extravagance: and that has been, a constant resolution, to reject all the amplifications, digressions, and swellings of style: to return back to the primitive purity, and shortness, when men delivered so many things, almost in an equal number of words. They have exacted from all their members, a close, naked, natural way of speaking; positive expressions; clear senses; a native easiness: bringing all things as near the mathematical plainness, as they can: and preferring the language of Artizans, Countrymen, and Merchants, before that, of Wits, or Scholars.

And here, there is one thing, not to be passed by; which will render this established custom of the Society, well nigh everlasting; and that is, the general constitution of the minds of the English. I have already often insisted on some of the prerogatives of England; whereby it may justly claim, to be the head of a Philosophical League, above all other countries in Europe: I have urged its situation, its present genius, and the disposition of its merchants; and many more such arguments to incourage us, still remain to be used: But of all others, this, which I am now alledging, is of the most weighty, and important consideration. If there can be a true character given of the universal temper of any nation under Heaven; then certainly this must be ascribed to our Countrymen: that they have commonly an unaffected sincerity; that they love to deliver their minds with a sound simplicity; that they have the middle qualities, between the reserved subtle southern, and the rough unhewn northern people: that they are more concerned, what others will think of the strength, than of the fineness of what they say: and that an universal modesty possesses them. These qualities are so conspicuous, and proper to our soil; that we often hear them objected to us, by some of our neighbour satyrists, in more disgraceful expressions. For they are wont to revile the English, with a want of familiarity; with a melancholy dumpishness; with slowness, silence, and with the unrefined sullenness of their behaviour. But these are only the reproaches of partiality, or ignorance: for they ought rather to be commended for an honourable integrity; for a neglect of circumstances, and flourishes; for regarding things of greater moment, more than less; for a scorn to deceive as well as to be deceived: which are all the best indowments, that can enter into a Philosohical Mind. So that even the position of our climate, the air, the influence of the heaven, the composition of the English blood; as well as the embraces of the ocean, seem to joyn with the labours of the Royal Society, to render our country, a land of Experimental knowledge. And it is a good sign, that Nature will reveal more of its secrets to the English, than to others; because it has already furnished them with a genius so well proportioned, for the receiving, and retaining its mysteries.

And now, to come to a close of the second part of the Narration: the Society has reduced its principal observations, into one common-stock; and laid them up in publique registers, to be nakedly transmitted to the next generation of men; and so from them, to their successors. And as their purpose was, to heap up a mixt mass of experiments, without digesting them into any perfect model; so to this end, they confined themselves to no order of subjects; and whatever they have recorded, they have done it, not as compleat schemes of opinions, but as bare unfinished histories.

In the order of their inquisitions, they have been so free; that they have sometimes committed themselves to be guided, according to the seasons of the year: sometimes, according to what any foreiner, or English Artificer, being present, has suggested: sometimes, according to any extraordinary accident in the nation, or any other casualty, which has hapned in their way. By which roving, and unsettled course, there being seldom any reference of one matter to the next; they have prevented others, nay even their own hands, from corrupting, or contracting the work: they have made the raising of rules, and propositions, to be a far more difficult task, than it would have been, if their registers had been more methodical. Nor ought this neglect of consequence, and order, to be only thought to proceed from their carelesness; but from a mature, and well grounded praemeditation. For it is certain, that a too sudden striving to reduce the Sciences, in their beginnings, into Method, and shape, and beauty; has very much retarded their increase. And it happens to the invention of arts, as to children in their younger years: in whose bodies, the same applications, that serve to make them strait, slender, and comely; are often found very mischievuos, to their ease, their strength, and their growth.

By their fair, and equal, and submissive way of registering nothing, but Histories, and Relations; they have left room for others, that shall succeed, to change, to augment, to approve, to contradict them, at their discretion. By this, they have given Posterity a far greater power of judging them; than ever they took over those, that went before them. By this, they have made a firm confederacy, between their own present labours, and the industry of future ages; which how beneficial it will prove hereafter, we cannot better ghesse, than by recollecting, what wonders it would in all likelyhood have produced e'ere this; if it had been begun in the times of the Greeks, or Romans, or Scholemen; nay even in the very last resurrection of learning. What depth of nature, could by this time have been hid from our view? What faculty of the soul would have been in the dark? What part of human infirmities, not provided against? if our predecessors, a thousand, nay, even a hundred, years ago, had begun to add by little, and little to the store: if they would have indeavoured to be benefactors, and not tyrants over our reasons; if they would have communicated to us, more of their works, and less of their wit.

This complaint, which I here take up, will appear the juster; if we consider, that the first learned times of the ancients and all those, that followed after them, down to this day, would have received no prejudice at all; if their philosophers had chiefly bestowed pains, in making Histories of Nature, and not in forming of Sciences: perhaps indeed the names of some particular men, who had the luck to compile those Systemes and Epitomes which they gave us, would have been less glorious, than they are. Though that too may be doubted: and (if we may conclude any thing surely, upon a matter so changeable, as Fame is) we have reason enough to believe, that these later ages would have honoured Plato, Aristotle, Zeno, and Epicurus, as much, if not more, than now they do; if they had only set things in a way of propagating experiences down to us; and not imposed their imaginations on us, as the only truths. This may be well enough supposed; seeing it is common to all mankind, still to esteem dearer the memories of their friends, than of those that pretend to be their masters. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]

ROBERT HOOK. An Account of a Dog dissected.

(Printed in Part 2 of Sprat's History of the Royal Society, 1667)

In prosecution of some Inquiries into the Nature of Respiration in several Animals; A Dog was dissected, and by means of a pair of bellows, and a certain Pipe thrust into the Wind-pipe of the Creature, the heart continued beating for a very long while after the Thorax and Belly had been open'd, nay after the DIAPHRAGME had been in great part cut away, and the PERICARDIUM remov'd from the heart. And from several tryals made, it seem'd very probable, that this motion might have been continued, as long almost as there was any Blood left within the vessels of the Dog; for the motion of the Heart seem'd very little chang'd after above an hours time from the first displaying the THORAX; though we found, that upon removing the Bellows, the Lungs would presently grow flaccid, and the Heart begin to have convulsive motions; but upon removing the motion of the Bellows, the Heart recovered its former motion, and the convulsions ceased. Though I made a LIGATURE upon all the great Vessels that went into the lower parts of its Body, I could not find any alteration in the pulse of the Heart; the circulation, it seems, being perform'd some other way. I cou'd not perceive any thing distinctly; whether the Air did unite and mix with the Blood; nor did in the least perceive the Heart to swell upon the extension of the Lungs: nor did the Lungs seem to swell upon the contraction of the Heart. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]

ROBERT SOUTH. Sermon preached on the 30th of April, 1668.

A second property of the ability of speech, conferred by Christ upon his apostles, was its unaffected plainness and simplicity; it was to be easy, obvious, and familiar; with nothing in it strained or far-fetched; no affected scheme, or airy fancies, above the reach or relish of an ordinary apprehension. . . . For there is a certain majesty in plainness; as the proclamation of a prince never frisks it in tropes or fine conceits, in numerous and well-turned periods, but commands in sober, natural expressions. . . . In a word, the apostles' preaching was therefore mighty and successful, because plain, natural, and familiar, and by no means above the capacity of their hearers; nothing being more preposterous than for those who were professedly aiming at men's hearts, to miss the mark by shooting over their heads. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]

Edward Hyde, Earl of CLARENDON. The History of the Rebellion. Written 1640s, 1670s, pub. 1702- 4

It may easily be said, that the freedom of the parliament, and his own negative voice, being thus barbarously invaded, if his majesty [Charles I] had, instead of passing that act, come to the house and dissolved the parliament; or if he had withdrawn himself from that seditious city, and put himself in the head of his own army; much of the mischief, which hath since happened, would have been prevented. But whoever truly considers the state of affairs at that time; the prevalency of that faction in both houses; the rage and fury of the people; the use that was made by the schismatical preachers (by whom all the orthodox were silenced) of the late protestation in their pulpits; the fears and jealousies they had infused into the minds of many sober men, upon the discourse of the late plot; the constitution of the council-table, that there was not an honest man durst speak his conscience to the king, for fear of his ruin; and that those, whom he thought most true to him, betrayed him every hour, insomuch as his whispers in his bedchamber were instantly conveyed to those against whom those whispers were; so that he had very few men to whom he could breathe his conscience and complaint, that were not suborned against him, or averse to his opinions; that on the other side, if some expedient were not speedily found out, to allay that frantic rage and combination in the people, there was reason enough to believe, their impious hands would be lifted up against his own person, and (which he much apprehended) against the person of his royal consort; and lastly, that (besides the difficulty of getting thither except he would have gone alone) he had no ground to be very confident of his own army: I say, whoever contemplates this, will find cause to confess, the part which the king had to act was not only harder than any prince, but than any private gentleman, had been incumbent to; and that it is much easier, upon the accidents and occurrences which have since happened, to determine what was not to have been done, than at that time to have foreseen, by what means to have freed himself from the labyrinth in which he was involved. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]

Sir ISAAC NEWTON. A Letter of Mr Isaac Newton, Professor of the Mathematics in the University of Cambridge, containing his New Theory about Light and Colours: sent by the Author to the Publisher from Cambridge, Febr. 6 1671/72, in order to be communicated to the R. Society.

To perform my late promise to you I shall without further ceremony acquaint you that in the beginning of the year 1666 (at which time I applyed my self to the grinding of Optick glasses of other figures than Spherical), I procured me a Triangular glass Prisme, to try therewith the celebrated Phaenomena of Colours. And in order thereto having darkened my chamber, and made a small hole in my window-shuts, to let in a convenient quantity of the Suns light, I placed my Prisme at his entrance that it might be thereby refracted to the opposite wall. It was at first a very pleasing divertisement to view the vivid and intense colours produced thereby, but after a while applying my self to consider them more circumspectly I became surprised to see them in an oblong form, which, according to the received laws of Refraction, I expected should have been circular.

They were terminated at the sides with streight lines, but at the ends the decay of light was so gradual that it was difficult to determine justly what was their figure; yet they seemed semicircular.

Comparing the length of this coloured spectrum with its breadth, I found it about five times greater; a disproportion so extravagant that it excited me to a more than ordinary curiosity of examining from whence it might proceed. I could scarce think that the various thickness of the glass, or the termination with shadow or darkness, could have any Influence on light to produce such an effect; yet I thought it not amiss first to examine those circumstances, and so tryed what would happen by transmitting light through parts of the glass of divers thicknesses, or through holes in the window of divers bignesses, or by setting the Prisme without, so that the light might pass through it and be refracted before it was terminated by the hole. But I found none of those circumstances material. The fashion of the colours was in all these cases the same. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]

JOHN BUNYAN. The Pilgrim's Progress. 1678

In this plight therefore he went home, and restrained himself as long as he could, that his wife and children should not perceive his distress; but he could not be silent long, because that his trouble increased: wherefore at length he brake his mind to his wife and children; and thus he began to talk to them: "O my dear wife," said he, "and you the children of my bowels, I your dear father am in myself undone, by reason of a burden that lieth hard upon me: moreover, I am for certain informed that this our city will be burned with fire from heaven, in which fearful overthrow, both myself, with thee, my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall miserably come to ruin; except (the which yet I see not) some way of escape can be found, whereby we may be delivered." At this his relations were sore amazed; not for that they believed that what he said to them was true, but because they thought that some frenzy distemper had got into his head; therefore, it drawing towards night, and they hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all haste they got him to bed; but the night was as troublesome to him as the day; wherefore instead of sleeping, he spent it in sighs and tears. So when the morning was come, they would know how he did and he told them worse and worse. He also set to talking to them again, but they began to be hardened; they also thought to drive away his distemper by harsh and surly carriages to him: sometimes they would deride, sometimes they would chide, and sometimes they would quite neglect him: wherefore he began to retire himself to his chamber to pray for, and pity them; and also to condole his own misery: he would also walk solitarily in the fields, sometimes reading, and sometimes praying: and thus for some days he spent his time. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]

JOHN AUBREY. Brief Lives. c 1680- 97.

[Life of] John Colet

John Colet, D.D., Deane of St Paule's, London. After the conflagration (his monument being broken) somebody made a little hole towards the upper edge of his Coffin, which was closed like the coffin of a pye and was full of a liquor which conserved the body. Mr Wyld and Ralph Greatorex tasted it and 'twas of a kind of insipid tast, something of an Ironish tast. The coffin was of lead, and layd in the wall about 2 foot 1/2 above the surface of the floore.

This was a strange rare way of conserving a corps: perhaps it was a pickle, as for beefe, whose saltness in so many years the lead might sweeten and render insipid. The body felt, to the probe of a stick which they thrust into a chinke, like boyld brawne. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]

APHRA BEHN. Oroonoko. 1698

After the total defeat of Jamoan's army, which all fled, or were left dead upon the place, they spent some time in the camp; Oroonoko chusing rather to remain awhile there in his tents, than to enter into a palace, or live in a court where he had so lately suffer'd so great a loss. The officers therefore, who saw and knew his cause of discontent, invented all sorts of diversions and sports to entertain their prince: so that what with those amusements abroad, and others at home, that is, within their tents, with the persuasions, arguments, and care of his friends and servants that he more peculairly priz's, he wore off in time a great part of that chagreen, and torture of despair, which the first effects of Imoinda's death had given him; insomuch as having received a thousand kind embassies from the king, and invitation to return to court, he obey'd, tho with no little reluctancy: and when he did so, there was a visible change in him, and for a long time he was much more melancholy than before. But time lessens all extremes, and reduces 'em to mediums, and unconcern: but no motives of beauty, tho all endeavour'd it, cou'd engage him in any sort of amour, though he had all the invitations to it, both from his own youth, and others ambitions and designs. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]

ANNE BRADSTREET. Meditations divine and Morall. 1664.

1. There is no object that we see; no action that we doe; no good that we injoy; no evill that we feele, or fear, but we may make some spirituall advantage of all: and he that makes such improvement is wise, as well as pious.

5. It is reported of the peakcock that, prideing himself in his gay feathers, he ruffles them up; but, spying his black feet, he soon lets fall his plumes, so he that glorys in his gifts and adornings, should look upon his corruptions, and that will damp his high thoughts.

10. Diverse children have their different natures; some are like flesh which nothing but salt will keep from putrefaction; some again like tender fruits that are best preserved with sugar: those parents are wise that can fit their nurture according to their Nature.

15. A low man can goe upright under that door, where a taller is glad to stoop; so a man of weak faith and mean abilities, may undergo a crosse more patiently then he that excelleth him, both in gifts and graces. 19. Corne, till it have past through the Mill and been ground to powder, is not fit for bread. God so deales with his servants; he grindes them with grief and pain till they turn to dust, and then are they fit manchet for his Mansion. [manchet: fine white bread]

23. the skillfull fisher hath his severall baits for severall fish, but there is a hooke under all; Satan, that great Angler, hath his sundry baits for sundry tempers of men, which they all catch gredily at, but few perceives the hook till it be to late.

30. Yellow leaves argue want of sap, and gray haires want of moisture; so dry and saplesse performances are simptoms of little spiritall vigor. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]

MARY ROWLANDSON. The Captive. 1682.

THE EIGHTEENTH REMOVE: We took up our packs and along we went, but a wearisome day I had of it. As we went along I saw an Englishman stript naked, and lying dead upon the ground, but knew not who it was. Then we came to another Indian town, where we stayed all night. In this town there were four English children, captives, and one of them my sister's. I went to see how she did, and she was well, considering her captive-condition. I would have tarried that night with her, but they that owned her would not suffer it. Then I went into another wigwam, where they were boyling corn and beans, which was a lovely sight to see, but I could not get a taste thereof. Then I went to another wigwam, where there were two of the English children. The squaw was boyling horse's feet; then she cut me off a little piece, and gave one of the English children a piece also. Being very hungry I had quickly eaten up mine, but the child could not bite it, it was so tough and sinewy, but lay sucking, gnawing, chewing and slabbering of it in the mouth and hand. Then I took it of the child and ate it my self, and savory it was to my taste. Then I may as Job, Chapter 6:7, "The things that my soul refuseth to touch, are as my sorrowfull meat." Thus the Lord made that pleasant and refreshing, which another time would have been an abomination. Then I went home to my mistress wigwam, and they told me I disgraced my master with begging, and if I did so any more, they would knock me in the head. I told them they had as good knock me in the head as starve me to death. [Transcription by John F. Tinkler.]