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diurnal motion of the earth; which I am convinced is most false. But there is scarce any one who has made inquiries into the physical causes, as well of the substance of the heavens both stellar and interstellar, as of the relative velocity and slowness of the heavenly bodies; of the different velocity of motion in the same planet; of the course of motions from east to west, and contrary; of their progressions, stationary positions, •and retrogressions; of the elevation and tall of motions in apogee and perigee; of the obliquity of motions, either by spirals winding and unwinding towards the Tropics, or by those curves which they call Itrayunt; of the poles of rotation, why they are fixed in such part of the heaven rather than in any other; and of some planets l>eing fixed at a certain distance from the sun : — such an inquiry as this (I say) has hardly been attempted; but all the labour is spent in mathematical observations and demonstrations. Such demonstrations however onlv show how all these things mav be in<renionsly made out and disentangled, not how they may truly subsist in nature; and indicate the apparent motions only, and a system of machinery arbitrarily devised and arranged to produce them, — not the very ranscs and truth of things. Wherefore astronomy, as P is, n fairly enough ranked among the mathe•aatv aot ■ illx—I disparagement to its dignity; if h chose to maintain its proper office, it ooasSed as the noblest part of ill set aside the imaginary fit—rj and sublunary t J:.1 ike most universal appetite i 1 pis^HP^> powerful in both _•' • Ah J rough the universal frame of tilings), will obtain clear information of heavenly things from those which are seen amongst us; and on the other hand, from that which passes in the heavens he will gain no slight knowledge of some motions of the lower world as yet undiscovered; not only in as far as the latter are influenced by the former, but in as far as they have common passions. Wherefore this, the physical part of astronomy, I pronounce deficient; giving it the name of Living Astronomy, in distinction from that stuffed ox of Prometheus, which was an ox in figure only.
As for Astrology, it is so full of superstition, that scarce anything sound can be discovered in it. Notwithstanding, I would rather have it purified than altogether rejected. If however anyone maintains that this science is not based on reason or physical speculations, but on blind experience and the observations of many ages, and on that ground refuses the test of physical reasons (as the Chaldeans professed to do); he may on the same grounds bring back auguries, and believe in divination, entrails, and all kinds of fables; for all these are set forth as the dictates of long experience and traditions passed from hand to hand. But for my part I admit astrology as a part of Physic, and yet attribute to it nothing more than is allowed by reason and the evidence of things, all fictions and superstitions being set aside. To consider the matter however a little more attentively. In the first place what an idle invention is that, that each of the planets reigns in turn for an hour, so that in the space of twenty-four hours each has three reigns, leaving three hours over! And yet this conceit was the origin of our division of the week (a thing so ancient and generally received); as
IT evident front the alternation of days: for the ruling planet at the beginning of the succeeding day is always the fourth in order from the planet of the previous one. by reason of the three supernumerary hours of which I have spoken. Secondly. I do not hesitate To reject as an idle suj>erstition the doctrine of horoscopes and the distribution of houses; which is the very delight of astrology, and has held a sort of Bacchanalian revelry in the heavenly regions. Jsor can I sufficiently wonder how illustrious men and emilM.nl: in astrology have rested them on such slight foundation*: for tbev sav that as experience proves that the -. new moons, full moons,
and the greater revolutions of the stars, exercise a great and manifest influence over natural bodies, it follows that the more exact and subtle positions of the nasi produce effects likewise more exquisite and But they ought first to have excepted the operations of the sun by manifest heat, and likewise the magnetic influence of the moon on the half-nionthhr tides (for the daily ebb and flow of the sea is another thing"), and then they will find tl>e powers of the rest over natural tlunes ^as far as they are experience | very weak and slight, and in the prater revolutions. And •fanid tjgm i>> a manner directly conrevolutions have so little • t4i • Man* ami wwnmne dnTrrrencr* i(f position* mSL T"biraiy, tliose finalities, that «r Liaiti}Cian influences the fbrW*r rf ofipfncement the forv mipnry the fortune :i'r i • •:• ••
of nativities, elections, inquiries, and the like frivolities, have in my judgment for the most part nothing sure or solid, and are plainly refuted and convicted by physical reasons. It remains therefore to declare what I retain or approve of in astrology, and what is deficient in that which I approve. For this last it is (the pointing out of deficiencies) which is the object of this discourse ; i for otherwise (as I have often said) I cannot stay to censure. Among the received doctrines, then, I think that concerning revolutions has more soundness than the rest. But it will perhaps be better to lay down certain rules, as a standard by which we may weigh and examine astrological matters, so as to retain what is useful and to reject what is frivolous. First then, as I have before advised, let the greater revolutions be retained, but the smaller revolutions of horoscopes and houses be dismissed. The former are like great guns, and can strike from afar; the latter are like little bows, and cannot transmit their force over much space. Secondly; the operation of the heavenly bodies does not affect all kinds of bodies, but only the more tender; such as humours, air and spirit; here however the operations of the heat of the sun and heavenly bodies must be excepted; which doubtless penetrates both to metals and to a great number of subterraneous bodies. Thirdly; every operation of heavenly bodies extends rather to masses than to individuals; though it affects indirectly some individuals also; such, namely, as are more susceptible, and of softer wax as it were, than the rest of their species; as when a pestilent condition of air seizes on the less resisting bodies and passes by those which have more power of resistance. The fourth rule is not unlike the preceding; every operation of the 1=
4i'i TRANSLATION OF THE "DE AUGMEXTIS"
heavenly bodies sheds its influence and power, not on small periods of time or within narrow limits, but upon the larger spaces. And therefore predictions of the temperature of the year may possibly be trne; bnt those of particular days are rightly held of no account. The last rule ^ which has always been held by the wiser astrologers") is that there is no fatal necessity in the stars; but that they rather incline than coinpeL 1 will add one thine besides (^wherein I shall certainly seem to take pan with astrology, if it were reformed i: which k. that I hold it for certain that the celestial bodies liave in them certain other influences besides beat and light: which very influences however art by those rules laid down above, and not otherwise. Bnt these lie concealed in the depths of Physic, and require a longer dissertation. I have thought fit therefore i on due consideration of what has been said ) to set down as a desideratum an astrology framed in conformity with these principles: and as I have termed Astronomy based on Physical Seasons Urihti Attnmomtt, so Astrology similarly nriiunded I call Saw AtiriUKijh. Anc tii.irc" a I Imm ■beady said trOl in
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