The Library of History

Page 2

Page 2 Cold, the Air grows hot on a sudden, without a gradual Alteration. And whereas Moisture generates Creatures from Heat, as from a Seminal Principle, things so generated, by being inwrapt in the dewy Mists of the Night, grew and increas'd, and in the Day solidated, and were made hard by the Heat of the Sun; and when the Births included in those Ventricles had received their due proportion, then those slender Skins being burst asunder by the Heat, the Forms of all sorts of Living Creatures were brought forth into the Light; of which those that had most of Heat mounted aloft, and were Fowl, and Birds of the Air; but those that were drossy, and had more of Earth, were number'd in the order of Creeping things, and other Creatures altogether us'd to the Earth. Then those Beasts that were naturally watery and moist (call'd Fishes) presently hasten'd to the place connatural to them; and when the Earth afterwards became more dry and solid by the Heat of the Sun, and the drying Winds, it had not power at length to produce any more of the greater living Creatures; but each that had an Animal Life, began to increase their Kind by mutual Copulation. And Euripides the Scholar of Anaxagoras, seems to be of the same Opinion, concerning the first Generation of all things; for in his Monalippe he has these Verses.

〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 .
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉
〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 .
A Mass confus'd, Heaven and Earth once were
Of one Form; but after Separation,
Then Men, Trees, Beasts of th' Earth, with Fowls of th' Air
First sprang up in their Generation.

But if this Power of the Earth to produce living Creatures at the first Origen of all things seem credible to any; the Aegyptians do bring Testimonies of this Energy of the Earth, by the same things done there at this day. For they say, that about Thebes in Egypt, after the overflowing of the River Nile, the Earth thereby being covered with Mud and Slime, many Places putrify through the heat of the Sun, and thence are bred multitudes of Mice. It is certain therefore, that out of the Earth when it's hardn'd, and the Air chang'd from its due and natural Temperament, Animals are generated. By which means it came to pass, that in the first beginning of all things, various living Creatures proceeded from the Earth. And these are the Opinions touching the Original of Things.

But Men, they say, at first, led a rude and brutish sort of Life, and wandered up and down in the Fields, and fed upon Herbs, and the natural Fruit of the Trees. Their Words were confus'd, without any certain signification; but by degrees they spoke articulately, and making Signs, and giving proper Terms to every thing upon occasion; at length their Discourse became intelligible one to another: But being dispers'd into several parts of the World, they spoke not all the same Language, every one using that Dialect proper to the Place, as his Lot fell: Upon which account there were various and all sorts of Languages in the World; and these Associations of Men, first planted all the Nations of the World.

But forasmuch as what was useful for Mans Life, was not at the beginning found out, this first Race of Mankind liv'd a laborious and troublesom Life, as being as yet naked, not inur'd to Houses, nor acquainted with the use of Fire, and altogether destitute of Delicacies for their Food. For not knowing as yet how to house and lay up their Food, they had no Barns or Granaries where to deposite the Fruits of the Earth; and therefore many through Hunger and Cold perisht in the Winter: But being at length taught by experience, they fled into Caves in the Winter, and laid up such Fruits as were fit to keep; and coming by degrees to the Knowledge of the usefulness of Fire, and of other Conveniences, they began to invent many Arts, and other things beneficial for Man's Life. What shall we say? Necessity was Man's Instructor, which made him skilful in every thing, being an Ingenious Creature, assisted (as with so many Servants) with Hands, Speech, and a Rational Soul, ready to put every thing in execution. But what

Bibliotheca Historica

The first five books