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others, think there is one also ; and later times have discovered some lesser clouds moving round about him*. But as for Saturn, he hath two moons on each side. Jupiter hath four, that encircle him with their motion; which are likewise eclipsed by the interposition of his body, as the moon is hy our earth. Venus is observed to increase and decrease as the moon. And this perhaps hath been noted by former ages, as may be guessed by that relation of St. Austin out of Varrot. Mars, and all the rest, derive their light from the sun. Concerning Mercury, there hath been little or no observation, because, for the most part, he lies hid under the sun-beams, and seldom appears by himself. But when he does, yet the compass of his body is so little, and his light of so clear a brightness, by reason of his nearness to the sun, that the perspective cannot make the same discoveries upon him, as from the rest.
So that if you consider their quantity, their opacity, or these other discoveries, you shall find it probable enough, that each of them may be a several world. Especially since every one of them is allotted to a several orb, and not altogether in one, as the fixed stars seem to be. But this would be too much for to vent at the first : the chief thing at which I now aim in this discourse, is to prove that there may
be one in the moon. It hath been before confirmed, that there was a sphere of thick vaporous air encompassing the moon, as the first and second regions do this earth. I have now shewed, that thence such exhalations may proceed as do produce the comets: now from hence it may probably follow, that there may be wind also and rain, with such other meteors as are common amongst us.
This consequence is so dependant, that Fromondus dares not deny it, though he would (as he confesses himself t ;) for if the sun be able to exhale from them such fumes as may cause comets, why not then such as may cause winds, and why not such also
+ De Civit. Dei, l. 21. c. 8.
* Lactant. Inst. 1. 3. c. 23.
| De Meteor. l. 3. c. 2. art. 6. VOL. I.
as may cause rain, since I have above shewed, that there is sea and land, as with us? Now rain seems to be more especially requisite for them, since it may allay the heat and scorchings of the sun when he is over their heads. And nature hath thus provided for those in Peru, with the other inhabitants under the line.
But if there be such great and frequent alterations in the heavens, why cannot we discern them?
1. There may be such, and we not able to perceive them, because of the weakness of our eye, and the distance of those places from us; they are the words of Fienus (as they are quoted by Fromondus in the above-cited place) Possunt maximæ permutationes in cælo fieri, etiamsi a nobis non conspiciantur ; hoc visus nostri debilitas & immensa cæli distantia faciunt. And unto him assents Fromondus himself, when a little after he says, Si in sphæris planetarum degeremus, plurima forsan cælestium nebularum vellera toto æthere passim dispersa videremus, quorum species jam evanescit nimia spatii intercapedine. “ did live in the spheres of the planets, we might there “ perhaps discern many great clouds dispersed through “ the whole heavens, which are not now visible by reason “ of this great distance.
2. Mæslin and Keplar affirm, that they have seen some of these alterations. The words of Mæslin are these (as I find them cited.) In eclipsi lunari vespere dominice palmarum anni 1605, in corpore lunæ versus boream, nigricans quædam macula conspecta fuit, obscurior cætero toto corpore, quod candentis ferri figuram repræsentabat ; dirisses nubila in multam regionem extensa pluviis & tempestuosis imbribus gravida, cujusmodi ab excelsorum montium jugis in humiliora convallium loca videre non raro contingit*. “ In that lunary eclipse which happened in “ the even of Palm-Sunday, in the year 1605, there was a “ certain blackish spot discerned in the northerly part of
• If we
* Dissert. 2. cum nunc. Galil. item Somn, Astron. nota ultima.
“ the moon, being darker than any other place of her
body, and representing the colour of red hot iron ; you “ might conjecture that it was some dilated cloud, being
pregnant with showers; for thus do such lower clouds appear from the tops of high mountains.”
And a little before this passage, the same author speaking of that vaporous air about the moon, tells us; Quod circumfluus ille splendor diversis temporibus apparet linpidior plus minusve. That it does at divers times appear of a different clearness, sometimes more, and sometimes less : which he guesses to arise from the clouds and vapours that are in it.
Unto this I may .dd another testimony of Bapt. Cisatus, as he is quoted by Nierembergius, grounded upon an observation taken 23 years after this of Mæslin, and writ to this Euseb. Nieremberg. in a letter by that diligent and judicious astronomer. The words of it run thus; Et quidem in eclipsi nupera solari, quæ fuit ipso die natali Christi, observavi clare in luna soli supposita, quidpiam quod valde probat id ipsum quod cometæ quoque & maculæ solares urgent, nempe cælum non esse a tenuitate & variationibus aeris e.remptum ; nam circa lunam adverti esse sphæram seu orbem quendam vaporosum, non secus atque circum terram, adeoque sicut ex terra in aliquam usque sphæram vapores & exhalationes expirant, ita quoque ex luna*. “ In " that late solary eclipse which happened on Christmas“ day, when the moon was just under the sun, I plainly “ discerned that in her which may clearly confirm what “ the comet's and sun's spots do seem to prove, viz. That " the heavens are not so solid, nor freed from those * changes which our air is liable unto; for about the “ moon I perceived such an orb, or vaporous air as that is " which doth encompass our earth ; and as vapours and “ exhalations are raised from our earth into this air, so are “ they also from the moon.”
* Histor. nat. I. 2. c. 11.
You see what probable grounds, and plain testimonies I have brought for the confirmation of this proposition: many other things in this behalf might be spoken, which for brevity sake I now omit, and pass unto the next.
That it is probable there may be inhabitants in this other
world; but of what kind they are, is uncertain.
Have already handled the seasons, and meteors belong
ing to this new world : it is requisite that in the next place I should come unto the third thing which I promised, and say somewhat of the inhabitants : concerning whom there might be many difficult questions raised; as, whether that place be more inconvenient for habitation than our world (as Keplar thinks); whether they are the seed of Adam ; whether they are there in a blessed estate, or else what means there may be for their salvation? With many other such uncertain enquiries, which I shall willingly omit ; leaving it to their examination who have more leisure and learning for the search of such particulars.
Being for mine own part content only to set down such notes belonging unto these, which I have observed in other writers. · Cum tota illa regio nobis ignota sit, remanent inhabitatores illi ignoti penitus (saith Cusanus * ;) since we know not the regions of that place, we must be alto. gether ignorant of the inhabitants. There hath not yet been any such discovery concerning these, upon which we may build a certainty, or good probability: well may we
* De doct. ignorantia, l. 2. c. 12.
guess at them, and that too very doubtfully, but we can know nothing; for, if we do hardly guess aright at things which be upon earth, if with labour we do find the things that are at hand, how then can we arch out those things that are in heayen *? What a little is that which we know, in respect of those many matters contained within this great universe ? This whole globe of earth and water, though it seem to us to be of a large extent, yet it bears not so great a proportion unto the whole frame! of nature, as a small sand doth unto it; and what can such little creatures as we discern, who are tied to this point of earth? or what can they in the moon know of us? If we understand any thing (saith Esdras +) it is nothing but that which is upon the earth; and he that dwelleth above in the heavens, may only understand the things that are above in the height of the heavens.
So that it were a very needless thing for us to search after any particulars; however, we may guess in the general that there are some inhabitants in that planet: for why else did providence furnish that place with all such conveniences of habitation as have been above declared ?
But you will say, perhaps, is there not too great and intolerable a heat, since the sun is in their zenith every month, and doth tarry there so long before he leaves it?
I answer, 1. This may, perhaps, be remedied (as it is under the line (by the frequency of mid-day showers, which may cloud their sun, and cool their earth.
2. The equality of their nights doth much temper the scorching of the day; and the extreme cold that comes from the one, requires some space before it can be dispelled by the other; so that the heat spending a great while before it can have the victory, hath not afterwards much time to rage in. Wherefore notwithstanding this doubt, yet that place may remain habitable. And this was the opinion of the Cardinal de Cusa, when speaking of this planet, he says, Hic locus mundi est habitatio ho