THE IMPROVEMENT OF HUMAN REASON
Exhibited in the Life
of Hai Ebn Yokdhan
Ibn Tufail (Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Tufail al-Qasi)
Newly Translated from the Original Arabick by Simon Ockley
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The Improvement of
Exhibited in the LIFE of
Hai Ebn Yokdhan:
Written in _Arabick_ above 500 Years _ago, by _Abu Jaafar Ebn Tophail_.
In which is demonstrated,
By what Methods one may, by the meer LIGHT OF NATURE, attain the Knowledg of things NATURAL and SUPERNATURAL; more particularly the Knowledg of God, and the Affairs of another Life.
Illustrated with proper FIGURES,
Newly Translated from the Original Arabick by SIMON OCKLEY, A.M. Vicar of Swanesey in Cambridgshire.
With an APPENDIX,
In Which the Possibility of Man's attaining the True Knowledg of GOD, and Things necessary to Salvation, without INSTRUCTION, is briefly consider'd.
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To the Reverend
Mr. Edward Pococke,
MINAL, in Wiltshire.
Hai Ebn Yokdhan returns to you again, in a Dress different from that which you sent him out in. Wherever he comes, he acknowledges you for his first and best Master; and confesses, that his being put in a Capacity to travel thro' Europe, is owing to your Hand. I could not in Equity send him to any other Person, you being the sole Proprietor. And as your Learning enables you to do him Justice, so your Candor will incline you to pardon what is by me done amiss. Both which Qualifications you enjoy, as a Paternal Inheritance, descending from the Reverend and Learned Dr. Pococke, the Glory and Ornament of our Age and Nation. Whose Memory I much reverence, and how much I acknowledge my self indebted to him for his Learned Works, I thought I could no way express better, than by taking some Opportunity to pay my Respects to you, Sir, the worthy Son of so great a Father. And no fitter Bearer than Hai Ebn Yokdhan, with whose Character and Language you are so well acquainted, and to whom you have long ago shown so great a Respect, that I have no reason to fear but he will be welcome.
Your most humble Servant,
* * * * *
When Mr. Pococke first publish'd this Arabick Author with his accurate Latin Version, Anno 1671. Dr. Pococke his Father, that late eminent Professor of the Oriental Languages in the University of Oxford, prefix'd a Preface to it; in which he tells us, that he has good Reason to think, that this Author was contemporary with Averroes, who died very ancient in the Year of the Hegira 595, which is co-incident with the 1198th Year of our Lord; according to which Account, the Author liv'd something above five hundred Years ago.
He liv'd in Spain, as appears from one or two Passages in this Book. He wrote some other Pieces, which are not come to our Hands. This has been very well receiv'd in the East; one Argument of which is, that it has been translated by R. Moses Narbonensis into Hebrew, and illustrated with a large Commentary. The Design of the Author is to shew, how Human Capacity, unassisted by any External Help, may, by due Application, attain to the Knowledge of Natural Things, and so by Degrees find out its Dependance upon a Superior Being, the Immortality of the Soul, and all things necessary to Salvation.
How well he has succeeded in this Attempt, I leave to the Reader to judge. 'Tis certain, that he was a Man of Parts and very good Learning, considering the Age he liv'd in, and the way of studying in those Times. There are a great many lively Stroaks in it; and I doubt not but a judicious Reader will find his Account in the Perusal of it.
I was not willing ('though importun'd) to undertake the translating it into English, because I was inform'd that it had been done twice already; once by Dr. Ashwell, another time by the Quakers, who imagin'd that there was something in, it that favoured their Enthusiastick Notions. However, taking it for granted, that both these Translations we're not made out of the Original Arabick, but out of the Latin; I did not question but they had mistaken the Sense of the Author in many places. Besides, observing that a great many of my friends whom I had a desire to oblige, and other Persons whom I would willingly incline to a more favourable Opinion of Arabick Learning, had not seen this Book; and withal, hoping that I might add something by way of Annotation or Appendix, which would not be altogether useless; I at last ventur'd to translate it a-new.
I have here and there added a Note, in which there is an account given of some, great Man, some Custom of the Mahometans explain'd, or something of that Nature, which I hope will not be unacceptable. And lest any Person should, through mistake, make any ill use of it, I have subjoin'd an Appendix, the Design of which the Reader may see in its proper place.
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THE BOOKSELLER TO THE READER.
When I first undertook the Publication of this English Translation, I thought it would not be amiss to present the World with a Specimen of it first. But since the Introduction is such, that the Reader can no more by it give a Guess at what is contain'd in the Book itself, than a Man can judge of his Entertainment by seeing the Cloath laid; I have thought it necessary to give him a Bill of Fare.
The Design of the Author (who was a Mahometan Philosopher) is to shew how Humane Reason may, by Observation and Experience, arrive at the Knowledge of Natural Things, and from thence to Supernatural; particularly the Knowledge of God and a Future State. And in order to this, he supposes a Person brought up by himself where he was altogether destitute of any Instruction, but what he could get from his own Observation.
He lays the Scene in some Fortunate Island situate under the Equinoctial; where he supposes this Philosopher, either to have been bred (according to Avicen's Hypothesis, who conceiv'd a possibility of a Man's being formed by the Influence of the Planets upon Matter rightly disposed) without either Father or Mother; or self-expos'd in his Infancy, and providentially suckled by a Roe. Not that our Author believ'd any such matter, but only having design'd to.
He lays the Scene in some Fortunate Island situate under the Equinoctial; where he supposes this Philosopher, either to have been bred (according to Avicen's Hypothesis, who conceiv'd a possibility of a Man's being formed by the Influence of the Planets upon Matter rightly disposed) without either Father or Mother; or self-expos'd in his Infancy, and providentially suckled by a Roe. Not that our Author believ'd any such matter, but only having design'd to contrive a convenient place for his Philosopher, so as to leave him to Reason by himself, and make his Observations without any Guide. In which Relation, he proposes both these ways, without speaking one Word in favour of either.
Then he shews by what Steps and Degrees he advanc'd in the Knowledge of Natural Things, till at last he perceiv'd the Necessity of acknowledging an Infinite, Eternal, Wise Creator, and also the Immateriality and Immortality of his own Soul, and that its Happiness consisted only in a continued Conjunction with this supream Being.
The Matter of this Book is curious, and full of useful Theorems; he makes most use of the Peripatetick Philosophy, which he seems to have well understood; it must be confess'd indeed, that when he comes to talk of the Union with God, &c. (as in the Introduction) there are some Enthusiastick Notions, which are particularly consider'd and refuted by the Editor in his Appendix.
Whose Design in publishing this Translation, was to give those who are as yet unacquainted with it, a Taste of the Acumen and Genius of the Arabian Philosophers, and to excite young Scholars to the reading of those Authors, which, through a groundless Conceit of their Impertinence and Ignorance, have been too long neglected.
And tho' we do not pretend to any Discoveries in this Book, especially at this time of Day, when all parts of Learning are cultivated with so much Exactness; yet we hope that it will not be altogether unacceptable to the curious Reader to know what the state of Learning was among the Arabs, five hundred Years since. And if what we shall here communicate, shall seem little in respect of the Discoveries of this discerning Age; yet we are confident, that any European, who shall compare the Learning in this Book, with what was publish'd by any of his own Country-men at that time, will find himself obliged in Conscience to give our Author fair Quarter.
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Abu Jaaphar Ebn Tophail's
To the LIFE of
Hai Ebn Yokdhan.
In the Name of the most Merciful God.
Blessed be the Almighty and Eternal, the Infinitely Wise and Merciful God, who hath taught us the Use of the PEN, who out of his great Goodness to Mankind, has made him understand Things which he did not know. I praise him for his excellent Gifts, and give him thanks for his continued Benefits, and I testify that there is but One God, and that he has no Partner; and that MAHOMET is his Servant and Apostle, endu'd with an excellent Spirit, and Master of convincing Demonstration, and a victorious Sword: the Blessing of God be upon him, and his Companions, (Men of great Thoughts, and vast Understandings,) and upon all his Followers, to the End of the World.
You ask'd me, Dear Friend, (God preserve you for ever, and make you Partaker of everlasting Happiness) to communicate to you what I knew concerning the Mysteries of the Eastern Philosophy, mention'd by the Learned Avicenna: Now you must understand, that whoever designs to attain to a clear and distinct Knowledge, must be diligent in the search of it. Indeed your request gave me a noble turn of Thought, and brought me to the understanding of what I never knew before; nay, it advanc'd me to such an elevation, as no Tongue, how eloquent soever, is able to express; and the reason is, because 'tis of a quite different nature and kind from the Things of this World; only this there is in it, that whoever has attain'd to any degree of it, is so mightily affected with joy Pleasure, and Exultation, that 'tis impossible for him to conceal his sense of it, but he is forc'd to utter some general Expressions, since he cannot be particular. Now if a Man, who has not been polish'd by good Education, happens to attain to that state, he tuns out into strange Expressions, and speaks he knows not what; so that one of this sort of Men, when in that state, cry'd out, Praise to be me! How wonderful am I! Another said, I am Truth!. Another, That he was God.
Abu Hamed Algazali, when he had attain'd to it, express'd himself thus,
'Twas what it was, 'tis not to be express'd; Enquire no further, but conceive the best.
But he was a Man that had good Learning, and was well vers'd in the Sciences. What Avenpace says at the end of his Discourse concerning the UNION, is worth your Observing; There he, says That 'twill appear plainly to any one that understands the design of his Book, that that degree is not attainable by the means of those Sciences which were then in use; but that he attain'd to what he knew, by being altogether abstracted from any thing which he had been acquainted with before; and that he was furnish'd with other Notions altogether independent upon matter, and of too noble a nature to be any way attributed to the Natural Life, but were peculiar to the Blessed, and which upon that account we may call Divine Proprieties, which God (whose Name be prais'd) bestows upon such of his Servants as he pleases.
Now this degree which this Author mentions, is attainable by Speculative Knowledge,(nor is it to be doubted but that he had reach'd it himself;) but not that which we have just now mention'd, which notwithstanding is not so much different from it in kind as in degree: for in that which I mention'd there are no Discoveries made which contradict those which this Author means; but the difference consists in this, viz. that in our way there is a greater degree of Clearness and Perspicuity than there is in the other; for in this we apprehend things by the help of something, which we cannot properly call a Power; nor indeed will any of those words, which are either us'd in common discourse, or occur in the Writings of the Learned, serve to express That, by which this sort of Perception do's apprehend.
This degree, which I have already mention'd, (and which perhaps I should never have had any taste of, if your request had not put me upon a farther search) is the very same thing which Avicenna means, where he says; Then when a Man's desires are raised to a good pitch, and he is competently well exercised in that way, there will appear to him some small glimmerings of the Truth, as it were flashes of Lightning, very delightful, which just shine upon him, and then go out; Then the more he exercises himself, the oftner he'll perceive 'em, till at last he'll become so well acquainted with them, that they will occur to him spontaneously, without any exercise at all; and then, as soon as he perceives any thing, he applies himself to the Divine Essence, so as to retain some impression of it; then something occurs, to him on a sudden, whereby he begins to discern the Truth in every thing; till, through frequent exercise, he at last attains to a perfect Tranquility; and that which us'd to appear to him only by fits and starts, becomes habitual; and that which was only a glimmering before, a constant Light; and he obtains a constant and steady Knowledge. Thus far Avicenna. Besides, he has given an account of those several steps and degrees by which a Man is brought to this perfection; till his Soul is like a polish'd Looking-glass, in which he beholds the Truth: and then he swims in pleasure, and rejoyces exceedingly in his Mind, because of the impressions of Truth which he perceives in it, When he is once attain'd thus far, the next thing which employs him is, that he sometimes looks towards Truth, and sometimes towards himself; and thus he fluctuates between both, till he retires from himself wholly, and looks only to-ward the Divine Essence; and if he do's at any time look towards his own Soul, the only reason is, because that looks to-wards God; and from thence arises a perfect Conjunction [with God.]
And, according to this manner which he has describ'd, he do's by no means allow that this Taste is attain'd by way of Speculation or Deduction of Consequences. And that you may the more clearly apprehend the difference between the perception of these sort of Men, and those other; I shall propose you a familiar instance. Suppose a Man born Blind, but of quick Parts, and a good Capacity, a tenacious Memory, and solid Judgment, who had liv'd in the place of his Nativity, till he had by the help of the rest of his Senses, contracted an acquaintance with a great many in the Neighbourhood, and learn'd the several kinds of Animals, and Things inanimate, and the Streets and Houses of the Town, so as to go any where about it without a Guide, and to know such people as he met, and call them, by their names; and knew the names of Colours, and the difference of them by their descriptions and definitions; and after he had learn'd all this, should have his Eyes open'd: Why, this Man, when he walk'd about the Town, would find every thing to be exactly agreeable to those notions which he had before; and that Colours were such as he had before conceiv'd them to be, by those descriptions he had receiv'd: so that the difference between his apprehensions when blind, and those which he would have now his Eyes were opened, would consist only in these two great Things, one of which is a consequent of the other, viz., a greater Clearness, and extream Delight. From whence 'tis plain, that the condition of those Contemplators, who have not yet attain'd to the UNION [with GOD] is exactly like that of the Blind Man; and the Notion which a Blind Man has of Colours, by their description, answers to those things which Avenpace said were of too noble a nature to be any ways attributed, to the Natural Life, and, which God bestows upon such his Servants as he pleases. But the condition of those who have attain'd to the UNION, to whom God has given that which I told you could not be properly express'd by the word POWER, is that second State of the Blind-man cur'd. Take notice by the way, that our Similitude is not exactly applicable in every case; for there is very seldom any one found that is born with his Eyes open, that can attain to these things without any help of Contemplation.
Now (my Dear Friend) I do not here, when I speak of the Ideas of the Contemplative, mean what they learn from the Study of Physicks; nor by the notions of those who have attain'd to the UNION, what they learn from the Study of Metaphysicks (for these two ways of learning are vastly different, and must by no means be confounded.) But what I mean by the Ideas of the Contemplative is, what is attain'd by the Study of Metaphysicks, of which kind is that which Avenpace understood; and in the apprehension of these things, this condition is necessarily requir'd, viz. that it be manifestly and clearly true; and then there is a middle sort of Speculation, between that, and those who have attain'd to the UNION, who employ themselves in these things with greater perspicuity and delight.
Now Avenpace blames all those that make any mention of this pleasure which is enjoy'd in the UNION, before the Vulgar; besides he said, that it belonged to the imaginative Faculty; and promis'd to write a Book about it, in which he design'd to give an account of the whole matter, and describe the condition of those who were so happy as to attain it clearly and perspicuously; but we may answer him with the Old Proverb, viz. Don't say a thing is sweet before you taste on't; for he never was so good as his word, nor performed any thing like it. But 'tis probable that the reason why he did not, was either because he was streightn'd for Time, being taken up with his Journey to Wahran; or else, because he was sensible, that if he should undertake to give a description of that State, the Nature of such a kind of Discourse, would unavoidably have put him upon a necessity of speaking some things, which would manifestly have reproach'd his own manner of living, and contradicted those Principles which he himself had elsewhere laid down; in which he encourages Men to heap up Riches, and proposes several ways and means in order to the acquiring them.
We have in this Discourse (as necessity required) disgress'd something from the main Design of what you desir'd; it appears from what has been already said, that you must either mean, 1. That I should describe to you, what they see and taste, who are so happy as to enjoy the UNION,(which is impossible to be described as it really is; and when any one goes about to express it, either by Speech or Writing, he quite alters the thing, and sinks into the speculative way. For when you once come to cloath it with Letters and Words, it comes nearer to the corporeal World, and does by no means remain in the same State that it was in before; and the Significations of these Words, which are used in the explaining it, are quite alter'd; so that it occasions a great many real Mistakes to some, and makes others believe, that they are mistaken, when indeed they are not; and the reason of this is, because it is a thing of infinite Extent, comprehending all things in it self, but not comprehended by any.) 2. Or else the meaning of your Request must be this, that I should shew you after what manner they proceed, who give themselves to Contemplation. And this (my good Friend) is a thing which is capable of being express'd both by Speech, and Writing; but 'tis as scarce as old Gold, especially in this part of the World where we live; for 'tis so rare, that there's hardly one of a thousand gets so much as a smattering of it; and of those few, scarce any, have communicated any thing of what they knew in that kind, but only by obscure Hints, and Innuendo's. Indeed the Hanifitick Sect, and the Mahometan Religion, doe forbid Men to dive too far into this matter. Nor would I have you think that the Philosophy which we find in the Books of Aristotle, and Alpharabius, and in Avicenna's Book, which he calls Alshepha, does answer the end which you aim at, nor have any of the Spanish Philosophers writ fully and satisfactorily about it. Because those Scholars which were bred in Spain, before the Knowledge of Logick and Philosophy was broach'd amongst them, spent their whole Lives in Mathematicks, in which it must be allow'd, they made a great Progress, but went no farther. After them came a Generation of Men, who apply'd themselves more to the Art of Reasoning, in which they excell'd their Predecessors, yet not so as to attain to true Perfection. So that one of them said,
T'is hard the kinds of Knowledge are but two, The One erroneous, the Other true. The former profits nothing when 'tis gain'd, The other's difficult to be attain'd.
After these came others, who still advanc'd further, and made nearer approaches to the Truth; among whom there was one that had a sharper Wit, or truer notions of things than Avenpace, but he was too much taken up with Worldly Business, and Died before he had time to open the Treasury of his Knowledge, so that most of those pieces of his which are extant, are imperfect; particularly his Book about the Soul) and his Tedbiro 'lmotawahhid, i.e. How a Man ought to manage himself that leads a Solitary Life So are his Logicks and Physicks. Those Pieces of his which are compleat, are only short Tracts and some occasional Letters. Nay, in his Epistle concerning the UNION, he himself confesses that he had wrote nothing compleat, where he says, That it would require a great deal of trouble and pains to express that clearly which he had undertaken to prove; and, that the method which he had made use of in explaining himself, was not in many places so exact as it might have been; and, that he design'd, if he had time, to alter it. So much for Avenpace, I for my part never saw him, and as for his Contemporaries, they were far inferiour to him, nor did I ever see any of their Works. Those who are now alive, are, either such as are still advancing forwards, or else such as have left off, without attaining to perfection; if there are any other, I know nothing of them.
As to those Works of Alpharabius which are extant, they are most of them Logick. There are a great many things very dubious in his Philosophical Works; for in his Mellatolphadelah, i.e. The most excellent Sect, he asserts expressly, that the Souls of Wicked Men shall suffer everlasting Punishment; and yet says as positively in his Politicks that they shall be dissolv'd and annihilated, and that the Souls of the Perfect shall remain for ever. And then in his Ethicks, speaking concerning the Happiness of Man, he says, that it is only in this Life, and then adds, that whatsoever People talk of besides, is meer Whimsy and old Wives Fables. A principle, which if believ'd would make all Men despair of the Mercy of God, and puts the Good and Evil both upon the same Level, in that it makes annihilation the common end to them both. This is an Error not to be pardon'd by any means, or made amends for. Besides all this, he had a mean Opinion of the Gift of Prophecy, and said that in his Judgment it did belong to the faculty of Imagination, and that he prefer'd Philosophy before it; with a great many other things of the like nature, not necessary to be mention'd here.
As for the Books of Aristotle, Avicenna's Exposition of them in his Alshepha [i.e. Health] supplies their Room, for he trod in the same steps and was of the same Sect. In the beginning of that Book, says, that the Truth was in his opinion different from what he had there deliver'd, that he had written that Book according to the Philosophy of the Peripateticks; but those that would know the Truth clearly, and without Obscurity, he refers to his Book, Of the Eastern Philosophy. Now he that takes the pains to compare his Alshepha with what Aristotle has written, will find they agree in most things, tho' in the Alshepha there are a great many things which are not extant in any of those pieces which we have of Aristotle. But if the Reader, take the literal Sense only, either of the Alshepha or Aristotle, with, out penetrating into the hidden Sense, he will never attain to perfection, as Avicenna himself observes in the Alshepha.
As for Algazali, he often contradicts himself, denying in one place what he affirm'd in another. He taxes the Philosophers with Heresy in his Book which he calls Altehaphol, i.e. Destruction, because they deny the Resurrection of the Body, and hold that Rewards and Punishments in a Future State belong to the Soul only. Then in the beginning of his Almizan, i.e. The Balance, he affirms positively, that this is the Doctrine of the Suphians, and that he was convinc'd of the truth of it, after a great deal of Study and Search. There are a great many such Contradictions as these interspers'd in his Works; which he himself begs Pardon for in the end of his Mizan Alamal [The Ballance of Mens Actions]; where he says, that there are Three sorts of Opinions; 1. Such as are common to the Vulgar, and agreeable to their Notions of things. 2. Such as we commonly make use of in answering Questions propos'd to us. 3. Such private as a Man has to himself, which none understand but those who think just as he does. And then he adds, that tho' there were no more in what he had written than only this, viz. That it made a Man doubt of those things which he had imbib'd at first, and help'd him to remove the prejudices of Education, that even that were sufficient; because, he that never doubts will never weigh things aright, and he that does not do that will never see, hut remain in Blindness and Confusion.
Believe your Eyes, but still suspect your Ears, You'll need no Star-light, when the day appears.
This is the account of his way of Philosophizing, the greatest part of which is enigmatical and full of obscurity, and for that reason of no use to any but such as thoroughly perceive and understand the matter before, and then afterwards hear it from him again, or at least such as are of an excellent Capacity, and can apprehend a thing from the least intimation. The same Author says in his Aljawahir [i.e. The Jewels] that he had Books not fit to be communicated, but to such only as were qualified to read them, and that in them he had laid down the Naked Truth; but none of them ever came into Spain that we know of: we have indeed had Books which some have imagin'd to be those incommunicable ones he speaks of, but 'tis a mistake, for those are Almaareph Alakliyah [Intellectual notices] and the Alnaphchi walteswiyal [Inflation and AEquation] and besides these, a Collection of several Questions. But as for these, tho' there are some hints in them, yet they contain nothing of particular use to the clearing of things, but what you may meet with in his other Books. There are, 'tis true, in his Almeksad Alasna, some things which are more profound than what we meet with in the rest of his Books, but he expressly says, that that Book is not incommunicable; from whence it follows, those Books which are come to our hands are not those incommunicable ones which he means. Some have fancy'd that there were some great matters contain'd in that Discourse of his, which is at the end of his Meschal [i.e. Casement] (which Belief of theirs, has plung'd them into inextricable Difficulties) where speaking of the several sorts of those who are kept from nearer Approaches, by the Brightness of the radiation of the Divine light, and then of those who had attain'd to the UNION, he says of these later, That they apprehended such Attributes to belong to the Divine Essence as were destructive of its Unity; from, whence it appear'd to them that he believ'd a sort of Multiplicity in the Godhead, which is horrid Blasphemy. Now I make no Question but that the worthy Doctor Algazali was one of those which attain'd to the utmost degree of Happiness, and to those heights which are proper to those who enjoy the UNION; but as for his secret or incommunicable Books, which contain the manner of Revelation, they never came to my hands: and that pitch of knowledge which I have attain'd to, is owing to his other works and to Avicenna, which I read and compar'd with the Opinions of the present Philosophers, till at length I came to the Knowledge of the Truth. At first indeed, by way of Enquiry and Contemplation;but afterwards I came to have a perfect sense, and then I found that I could say something which I could call my own. Now I was resolv'd that you should be the first, to whom I would Communicate what I knew about these matters, both upon the account of the Intimacy of our Friendship, and your Candor and Integrity. Only observe, that my discovering to you the Ends which I attain'd in this way, without proving the Principles to you first, by which those Ends are attain'd, will do you no more Service, than any other Story which you receive by tradition, or any thing told you in general, of which you don't know how to make a particular application. Presuming that you will accept it kindly, not for any merit of the Author, but upon the account of our Friendship and Acquaintance; and I heartily desire that you mayn't stop here, but aspire to a loftier degree: for this is so far from being able to bring you to those heights, that is not sufficient to save you. Now I would lead you by the same paths which I have walk'd in before you, and make you steer by the same Compass, till you arrive at the same Point, and see with your own Eyes what I have seen before you, so as not to take it on trust any longer from me, but to experience it yourself. But this is a matter which will not only require considerable Time, but also that you are free and disingag'd from all manner of Business, and follow it close with great Application. And if you are really in earned, and set about it heartily, you will rejoyce as one that has Travelled all Night do's when the Sun rises upon him, and will receive a Blessing for your Labour, and take delight in your Lord, and he will delight in you. And for my own part, you will find me, according to your own Hearts desire, just such an one as you could wish; and I hope that I shall lead you in the right way, free from Evils and Dangers: and really I perceive some Glimmerings now, by the help of which I shall inflame your Desire, and put you upon entring this way, by telling you the Story of Hai Ebn Yokdhan and Asal, and Salaman (as Avicenna calls them); in which, those that understand themselves right will find matter of Improvement, and worthy their Imitation.
[Footnote 1: In the Name, &c—This is the usual Form with which the Mahometans begin all their Writings, Books and Epistles. Every Chapter in the Alcoran begins so, and all their Authors have followed this way ever price. The Eastern Christians, to distinguish themselves from the Mahometans, begin their Writings with Bismi'labi Wa'libni, &c. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, One God:and so do the AEthiopians. We here in England observe something like this in Wills, where the usual Form is, In the Name of God, Amen.]
[Footnote 2: These words,—Who hath taught us the Use of the Pen; who hath taught Man what he did not know, are taken out of the XCVI. Chapter of the Alcoran, according to those Editions of it which are now in use: but Joannes Andreas Maurus, (who was Alfaqui, or chief Doctor of the Moors in Sciatinia, in the kingdom of Valentia in Spain, and afterwards converted to the Christian Religion in the Year of our Lord 1487) says, that it is the first Chapter that was written of all the Alcoran. But be that how it will, we may from hence, and infinite other places, observe the strange way which these Eastern Writers have of Quoting the Alcoran; for they intermix those Expressions which they take out of it with their own words, without giving the Reader the least Notice or Hint whence they had them, or where to find them.]
[Footnote 3: And I testify, &c.—After be testified the Unity of the Godhead, be immediately adds La Sharica Leho, That he has no Partner. These words frequently occur in the Alcoran, and are particularly levell'd against the Christians, which Mahomet frequently will Mushricoun, i.e.. Associantes, Joyning Partners with God, because they acknowledge the Divinity of our Blessed Saviour.]
[Footnote 4: The whole Mahometan Creed consists only of these two Articles, 1. There is no God but God, [i.e. There is but One God] and 2. Mahomet is his Apostle. A very short Creed, but their Explications of it, make amends for its shortness. The Reader may see a Paraphrase of it out of Algazali, in Dr. Pocock's Specimen Historiae Arabum, p. 174.]
[Footnote 5: The Learned Avicenna—This great Man was born in Bochara, a City famous for the Birth of a great many very Learned Men; it lyes in 96 Degrees, and 50 Minutes of Longitude reckoning from the Fortunate-Islands, and 39 Degrees and 50 Minutes of Northern Latitude. A pleasant place, and full of good Buildings, having without the City a great many Fields and Gardens, round about which there is a great Wall of XII Parasangae, or 36 Miles long, which encompasses both the Fields and the City Abulphed. Golius 's Notes upon Alferganus. Thus much concerning the Place of his Nativity; he was born in the Year of the Hegira 370, which is about the 980 Year of Christ. He was indeed a prodigious Scholar; he had learn'd the Alcoran, and was well initiated into Human Learning before he was Ten years old; then he studied Logick and Arithmetick, and read over Euclid without any help, only his Master show'd him how to demonstrate the first five or six Propositions; Then he read Ptolemy's Almagest, and afterwards a great many Medicinal Books; and all this before be was sixteen years old. He was not only a great Philosopher and Physician, but an excellent Philologer and Poet. Amongst other of his Learned Works, he wrote an Arabick Lexicon; but it is lost. Besides all this, he was a Vizier, and met with a great many Troubles, which nevertheless did not abate his indefatigable Industry. The Soldiers once mutiny'd, and broke open his House, and carry'd him to Prison, and would fain have persuaded the Sultan Shemfoddaulah to have put him to Death, which he refusing, was forc'd to Banish him. After a Life spent in Study and Troubles, having written more Learned Books than he liv'd Years, he died, Aged 58 Years.]
[Footnote 6: Subhheni—Praise be to me. Which is an expression never us'd but when they speak of God.]
[Footnote 7: I am Truth—or, I am the True God. For the Arabick word Albakko signifies both, and is very often us'd for one of the Names or Attributes of God. Kamus. Dr. Pocock, Specimen pag. 168.]
[Footnote 8: Abu Hamed Algazali—What Abu Hamed Algazali thought concerning those Men who were so wild and Enthusiastick as to use such extravagant expressions, appears plainly from those words of his quoted by Dr. Pocock in his Specimen. p. 167, where he says, "People ran on to such a degree, (of madness you may be sure) as to pretend to an Union with God, and a fight of him without the interposition of any Veil, and familiarly discourse with him. And a little after, which sort of Speeches have occasion'd great mischiefs among the common People; so that some Country Fellows laying aside their Husbandry, have pretended to the same things: for Men are naturally pleas'd with such discourses, as give them a liberty to neglect their business, and withal promise them purity of Mind, and the attainment of strange degrees and proprieties. Now the most stupid Wretches in Nature may pretend to this, and have in their Mouths such false and deceitful expressions. And if any one denies what they say, they immediately tell you, that this Unbelief of yours proceeds from Learning and Logick: and that Learning is a Veil, and Logick labour of the brain, but that these things which they affirm, are discovered only inwardly then by the Light of the TRUTH. And this which they affirm, has spread it self through a great many Countries, and produc'd a great deal of Mischief." Thus far Algazali. How exactly this answers the wild extravagancies of our Enthusiasts, let themselves judge. And withal I would have them from hence learn the Modesty not to pretend to be the first after the Apostles who had endeavour'd to turn Men from Darkness to LIGHT, since they see so many worthy Persons among the Mahometans gone before them.]
[Footnote 9: Avenpace—This Author is oftentimes quoted by the Name of Ebn'olfayeg; he was accounted a Philosopher. of great Ingenuity and Judgment. Maimonides, in his Epistle to R. Samuel Aben Tybbon, gives him a great Character. Abu'l Hasen Ali, who collected all his Works, and reduced them into One Volume, prefers him before all the Mahometan Philosophers whatsoever. He was famous for his Poetry as well as Philosophy; he died young, being prison'd at Fez, in the Year of the Hegira 533. i.e. of Christ, 1138, or 39, others in the Year 525, which answers to 1131. Most of his Works are imperfect. See Dr. Pocock's Elenchus Scriptorum prefix'd to the Arabick Edition of this Book.]
[Footnote 10: Tho' this instance will serve to explain the meaning of the Author, yet 'tis very improper, because 'tis utterly impossible to give a Man that is born Blind, the least notion or idea of Light or Colours.]
[Footnote 11: The Hanifitick Sect, and the Mahometan Religion,—That is, not only the Hanifitick Sect, but even the Mahometan Religion too, of which that Sect is a Branch, does forbid the over curious enquiring into these abstruse Matters. This Sect was very early among the Mahometans, for it had its Name from Abu Hanifah Al Nooman, who was born,in the 80 year of Hegira, or according to others in the 70. I must confer, that it seems something odd, that he should mention that Sect first, and then the Mahometan Religion which includes it, and if it had not been for the word Asshariyato, which, if I mistake not, is never us'd to express any particular Sect, but signifies a Religion, or Law of God, I should have understood those Words of the Sect of Mahomet Ebn Edris Asshaphiensis. See Dr. Pocock 's Specimen p. 295. Or else the Hanifitick Sect and the Mahometan Religion may signifie the same thing, because Abraham, (whose Religion the Mahometans pretend to follow) is called in the Alcoran Hanif. Dr. Sike.]
[Footnote 12: Alpharabius,—Without Exception, the greatest of all the Mahometan Philosophers, reckon'd by some very near equal to Aristotle himself. Maimonides, in the Epistle which I just now mention'd, commends him highly; and tho' he allows Avicenna a great share of Learning, and Acumen; yet be prefers Alpharabius before him. Nay, Avicenna himself confesses, that when he had read over Aristotle's Metaphysicks forty times, and gotten them by heart; that he never understood them till he happened upon Alpharabius's Exposition of them. He wrote Books of Rhetorick, Musick, Logick, and all parts of Philosophy; and his Writings have been much esteemed; not only by Mahometans but Jews and Christians too. He was a Person of singular Abstinence and Continence,and Despiser of the things of this World. He is call'd Alpharabius from Farab, the place of bis Birth, which according to Abulpheda (who reckons his Longitude not from the Fortunate Islands, but from the extremity of the Western Continent of Africa) bar88 deg. 30 min. of Longitude and 44 deg. of Northern Latitude. He died at Damascus the Year of the Hegira 339, that is, about the Year of Christ 950, when he was about fourscore Years Old.]
[Footnote 13: The Spanish Philosophers.—This is not to be understood of any Christians in Spain, but Mahometans; for the Moors Conquer'd a great part of Spain in the Ninety Fifth Year of the Hegira, which answers partly to the Year of our Lord 710. Afterwards, as Learning grew up amongst the Eastern Mahometans, it increased proportionally among the Western too, and they had a great many Learned Men in Toledo and other Places. The Author of this Book was a, Spaniard, as appears from an Expression towards the end of this Preface.]
[Footnote 14: Algazali.—He was an Eminent Philosopher, Born at Thus a Famous City of Chorafan, in the Year of the Hegira 450, of Christ 1058. He died in the Year of the Hegira 505, of Christ 1111-2. Dr. Pocock's Elenchus Scriptor.]
[Footnote 15: Heresy.—In Arabick the Word Kafara, signifies to be an Infidel, but they use it commonly as we do the word Heresy, viz. when a Person holds any thing erroneous in Fundamentals, tho' Orthodox in other points.]
[Footnote 16: The Doctrine of the Suphians—The Suphians are an Enthusiastick Sect amongst the Mahometans, something like Quietists and Quakers; these set up a stricter sort of Discipline, and pretended to great abstinence and Contempt of the World, and also to a greater Familiarity and stricter Union with God than other Sects; they used a great many strange and extravagant actions and utter Blasphemous Expressions. Al Hosain Al Hallagi was eminent amongst them about the Year of the Hegira 300. 'Twas he that wrote in one of his Epistles, Blessed is he that possesses the shining light, &c. and pretended that God dwelt in him. The Learned among the Arabians are not agreed, about the derivation of the Word, Sufi, Suphian. It seems not to be known among them till about the 200 Year of the Hegira. The most probable Interpretation of it is from the Arabick word Suph, which signifies Wool, because those that followed this Sect refused to wear Silk, and Cloathed themselves only with Wool. Dr. Pocock and Golius follow this Interpretation; tho' the latter in his Lexicon seems to doubt whether it is deriv'd from the [Greek: sophos] or from the Arabick Suph. The Sultan of Persia is often call'd the Sophy, because Ismael the first Sultan of that Family now in Persia who began to Reign in the 605 Year of the Hegira, that is of our Lord the 1554/5 was of this Sect. viz, Sufi, a Suphian.]
[Footnote 17: The word which I have here rendred Starlight, is Zohal in Arabick which signifies Saturn. 'Tis a common way with the Arabian Authors, when they intend to shew a vast disproportion between things, to compare the greater to the Sun and the lesser to Saturn. The meaning of this Distich, is that there is as much difference between what a Man knows by hearsay, or what notions he imbibes in his Education, and what he knows when he comes to examin things to the bottom, and know them experimentally, as there is between Twilight and Noonday.]
* * * * *
THE HISTORY OF HAI EBN YOKDHAN.
Sec. 1. Our Ancestors, of Happy Memory, tell us, that there is an Island in the Indian Ocean, situate under the Equinoctial, where Men come into the world spontaneously without the help of Father and Mother. This Island it seems, is blest with such a due Influence of the Sun, as to be the most temperate and perfect of all places in the Creation; tho' it must be confess'd that such an Assertion is contrary to the Opinion of the most celebrated Philosophers and Physicians, who affirm that the fourth Climate is the most Temperate. Now if the reason which they give for this Assertion, viz. That these parts situate under the Equinoctial are not habitable; were drawn, from any Impediment from the Earth, 'tis allow'd that it would appear more probable; but if the reason be, because of the intense Heat (which is that which most of 'em assign) 'tis absolutely false, and the contrary is prov'd by undeniable demonstration. For 'tis demonstrated in Natural Philosophy, that there is no other cause of Heat than Motion, or else the Contact and Light of Hot Bodies. 'Tis also prov'd that the Sun, in it self, is not hot, nor partakes of any mix'd Quality: 'tis prov'd moreover, that the thickest and smoothest Bodies receive Light in the greatest degree of perfection; and next to them, the thicker which are not smooth, and those which are very thin receive no Light at all. (This was first demonstrated by Avicenna, never mention'd before by any of the Ancients.) From these Premises, this Consequence will necessarily follow, viz. That the Sun do's not Communicate his Heat to the Earth, after the same manner as hot Bodies heat those other Bodies which are near them because the Sun is not hot in it self. Nor can it be said that the Earth is heated by Motion, because it stands still, and remains in the same posture, both when the Sun shines upon it, and when it does not, and yet 'tis evident to Sense, that there is a vast difference in it, in respect of Heat and Cold, at those several times. Nor does the Sun first heat the Air, and so the Earth; because we may observe in hot weather, that the Air which is nearest the Earth, is hotter by much than that which is higher and more remote. It remains therefore that the Sun has no other way of heating the Earth but by its Light, for Heat always follows Light, so that when its Beams are collected, as in Burning-Glasses for instance, it fires all before it. Now 'tis Demonstrated in Mathematicks, that the Sun is a Spherical Body, and so is the Earth; and that the Sun is much greater than the Earth; and that part of the Earth which is at all times illuminated by the Sun is above half of it; and that in that half which is illuminated, the Light is most intense in the midst; both because that part is the most remote from Darkness, which is the Circumference of the Circle, as also, because it lies opposite to more parts of the Sun: and that those parts which are nearest the Circumference of the Circle, have less Light; and so gradually, till the Circumference of the Circle, which encompasses the illuminated part of the Earth, ends in Darkness.
Sec. 2. Now that is the Center of the Circle of Light, where the Sun is Vertical to the Inhabitants, and then in that place, the Heat is most extreamly intense; and so those Countries are the coldest, where the Sun is farthest from being Vertical. And if there were any such place where the Sun was always Vertical, it must needs be extream hot. Now 'tis demonstrated in Astronomy, that the Sun is Vertical twice a Year only, to those which live under the Equinoctial, viz. when he enters into Aries and Libra; and all the rest of the Year he declines from them, six months Northward, and six months Southward; and for that reason they are neither too hot nor too cold, but of a Moderate Temper between both. There's much more to be said about this Argument, in order to the explaining it fully, but it is not suitable to our purpose; I have only hinted it to you, because it helps the Story a little, and makes it something more probable that a Man may be form'd without the help of Father and Mother; and there are some which affirm positively that Hai Ebn Yokdhan was so, others deny it, and tell the Story thus:
* * * * *
* * * * *
Sec. 3. They say, that there lay, not far from this our Island, another Great Island very fertile and well peopled; which was then govern'd by a Prince of a Proud and Jealous Disposition: he had a Sister of exquisite Beauty, which he confin'd and restrain'd from Marriage, because he could not match her to one suitable to her quality He had a near Relation whose Name was Yokdhan, that courted this Princess, and Married her privately, according to the Rites of Matrimony then in use among them; it was not long before she prov'd with Child, and was brought to Bed of a Son; and being afraid that it should be discovered, she took him in the Evening, and when she had Suckled him she put him into a little Ark which she closed up fast, and so Conveys him to the Sea shore, with some of her Servants and Friends as she could trust; and there with an Heart equally affected with Love and Fear, she takes her last leave of him in these Words, O God, thou form'dst this Child out of nothing, and didst Cherish him in the Dark recesses of my Womb, till he was compleat in all his parts; I fearing the Cruelty of a Proud and unjust King, commit him to thy Goodness, hoping that thou who art infinitely merciful, will be pleas'd by thy gracious Providence to protect him, and never leave him destitute of thy Care.
Sec.4. Then she set him afloat, and that very Night the Tide carried him ashore on that Island we just now mention'd; it fortun'd that the Water being high, carried the Ark a great way on shore, farther than it would have done at another time, (for it rises so high but once a Year) and cast the Ark into a little shady Grove, thick set with Trees, a pleasant place, where he was secured both from Wind and Sun; when the Tide ebb'd, the Ark was left there, and the Wind rising blew an heap of Sand together between the Ark and the Sea, sufficient to secure him from any future danger of such another Flood.
Sec. 5. The Violence of the Waves had loosned the Joints of the Ark; the Boy was Hungry and Cry'd. It happen'd fortunately at that Juncture of time, that a Roe wandring about the Island in search of her Fawn, which straying was devoured by an Eagle, heard the Boy cry, and following the voice (imagining it to have been her Fawn) came up to the Ark, which she immediately attack'd, and what with her beating it with her hoofs without, and the Boy's struggling within, at last between 'em both they loosned a board: as soon as she saw him she shew'd the same natural Affection to him as if he had been her own, Suckled him and took care of him. This is the account which they give, who are not willing to believe that a Man can be produced without Father or Mother.
Sec. 6. On the other hand, those who affirm that Hai Ebn Yokdhan was produced in that Island without Father and Mother, tell us, that in that island, in a piece of Low ground, it chanc'd that a certain Mass of Earth was so fermented in some period of Years, that the four qualities, viz. Hot, Cold, Dry, Moist, were so equally mix'd, that none of 'em prevail'd over the other; and that this Mass was of a very great Bulk, in which, some parts were better and more equally Temper'd than others,and consequently fitter for Generation; the middle part especially, which came nearest to the Temper of Man's Body. This Matter being in a fermentation, there arose some Bubbles by reason of its viscousness, and it chanc'd that in the midst of it there was a viscous Substance with a very little bubble in it, which was divided into two with a thin partition, full of Spirituous and Aerial Substance, and of the most exact Temperature imaginable. That the Matter being thus dispos'd, there was, by the Command of God, a Spirit infus'd into it; which was join'd so closely to it, that it can scarce be separated from it even so much as in thought; which did as constantly influence this Mass of matter as the Sun do's the World. Now there are some Bodies from whence we perceive no Reflection of Light, as the thin Air: others from which we do but imperfectly; such are thick Bodies which are not smooth (but there is a difference in these, and the difference of their Colours arises from the different manner of their Reception of the Rays); and from others we receive the Reflection in the highest degree, as from Bodies which are smooth and polish'd, as Looking-Glasses and the like; so that those Glasses when ground after a particular manner will Collect so much Light as to kindle a Fire. So that Spirit which comes by the Command of God, do's at all times act upon all Creatures, in some of which notwithstanding, there appears no Impression of it, but the reason of that is, because of their Incapacity into whom it is infus'd; of which kind are things inanimate which are fitly represented in this similitude, by the thin Air. There are another sort again; in which there does appear something of it, as Vegetables and the like, which are represented by the thick Bodies we mention'd, which are not polish'd. And then lastly, there are others, (represented by those Glasses, in our last comparison) in which the impressions of this Spirit are visible, and such we reckon all sorts of Animals. But then, as these smooth and polish'd Bodies which are of the same figure with the Sun [i.e. Spherical] do receive the Rays in a more plentiful manner than any other whatsoever, so also do some Animals receive the Influence of that Spirit more than others, because they are more like to that Spirit and are form'd after his Image: such is Man particularly, which is hinted before where 'tis said that God made Man after his own Image.
Sec. 7. Now, when this Form prevails to such a degree that all others are nothing before it, but it remains alone, so as to consume, with the glory of its Light, whatsoever stands; in it's way; then it is properly compared to those Glasses, which reflect Light upon themselves, and burn every thing else; But this is a degree which is peculiar to the Prophets.
Sec. 8. But to return, and speak something more fully concerning the Opinion of those who account for this kind of generation; They tell us, that as soon as this Spirit was join'd to the Receptacle, all the other powers immediately, by the Command of God, submitted themselves to it. Now, opposite to this Receptacle, there arose another Bubble divided into three Receptacles by thin membranes, with passages from one to the other, which were fill'd with an aerial substance, not much unlike that which was in the first Receptacle, only the first was something finer; and in each of these three Ventricles,which were all taken out of one, were plac'd some of those Faculties, which were subject to this governing Spirit, and were appointed to take care of their respective Stations, and to communicate every thing, both great and small, to that Spirit, which we told you before was plac'd in the first Receptacle. Right against this Receptacle, opposite to the second, there arose another third Bubble, fill'd with an aerial substance, which was grosser than that which was in the other two; this was made for the Entertainment and preservation of some other of the inferior Faculties.
Sec. 9. Thus these three Receptacles were made in the same order which we have describ'd, and these were the first part of that great Mass which was form'd; now they stood in need of one another's assistance; the first wanted the other two as Servants, and they again the assistance and guidance of the first, as their Master and Director; but both these Receptacles, tho' inferior to the first, were nevertheless superior to all those Members which were form'd afterwards. The first Receptacle, by the power of that Spirit which was joyn'd to it and its continual flaming Heat, was form'd into a Conical figure, like that of Fire, and by this means that thick Body, which was about it, became of the same figure, being solid Flesh cover'd with a thick Membrane. This is what we call the Heart. Now considering the great expence of Moisture, which must needs be where there is so much Heat, 'twas absolutely necessary, that there should be some part form'd, whose Office it should be continually to supply this defect; Otherwise it would have been impossible to have subsisted long. 'Twas also necessary that [this forming Spirit] should have a Sense both of what was convenient for him, and what was hurtful, and accordingly attract the one and repel the other. For these Services there were two parts form'd, with their respective Faculties, viz. the Brain and the Liver: the first of these presided over all things relating to Sense, the latter over such things as belong'd to Nutrition: both of these depended upon the Heart for a supply of Heat, and the recruiting of their proper Faculties. To establish a good Correspondence between all these, there were Ducts and Passages interwoven, some bigger, some lesser, according as necessity requir'd; and these are the Arteries and Veins.
Thus much for a Taste; they that tell the Story go on farther, and give you a particular account of the Formation of all the parts, as the Physicians do of the Formation of the Foetus in the Womb, omitting nothing till he was compleatly form'd, and just like an Embryo ready for the Birth. In this account they are forc'd to be beholding to this vast Mass of Earth, which you are to suppose was of a most exact mixture, and contain'd in it all manner of materials proper for the making Man's Body, and those Skins, &c. which cover it; till at last, when he was Compleat in all his parts, as if the Mass had been in labour, those Coverings, which he was wrapp'd up in, burst asunder, and the rest of the Dirt dry-d and crack'd in pieces. The Infant being thus brought into the World, and finding his Nourishment fail him, cry'd for want of Victuals, till the Roe which had lost her Fawn heard him. Now, both those who are of the other Opinion and those who are for this kind of generation, agree in all the other particulars of his Education: and what they tell us is this.
Sec. 10. They say that this Roe liv'd in good Pasture so that she was fat, and had, such plenty of Milk, that she was very well able to maintain the Child; she took great care of him, and never left him, but when hunger forc'd her: and he grew so well acquainted with her, that if at any time she staid away from him a little longer than ordinary, he'd cry pitifully, and she, as soon as she heard him, came running instantly; besides all this, he enjoy'd this happiness, that there was no Beast of prey in the whole Island.
Sec. 11. Thus he went on, Living only upon what he Suck'd till he was Two Years Old, and then he began to step a little and Breed his Teeth. He always followed the Roe and she shew'd all the tenderness to him imaginable; and us'd to carry him to places where Fruit Trees grew, and fed him with the Ripest and Sweetest Fruits which fell from the Trees; and for Nuts or such like, she us'd to break the Shell with her Teeth, and give him the Kernel; still Suckling him, as often as he pleas'd, and when he was thirsty she shew'd him the way to the water. If the Sun shin'd too hot and scorch'd him, she shaded him; if he was cold she cherish'd him and kept him warm; and when Night came she brought him home to his old Place, and covered him partly with her own Body, and partly with some Feathers which were left in the Ark, which had been put in with him when he was first expos'd. Now, when they went out in the Morning, and when they came home again at Night, there always went with them an Herd of Deer, which lay in the same place where they did; so that the Boy being always amongst them learn'd their voice by degrees, and imitated it so exactly that there was scarce any sensible difference; nay, when he heard the voice of any Bird or Beast, he'd come very near it, being of a most excellent Apprehension. But of all the voices which he imitated, he made most use of the Deers, which he was Master of, and could express himself as they do, either when they want help, call their Mates, when they would have them come nearer, or go farther off. (For you must know that the Brute Beasts have different Sounds to express these different things.) Thus he contracted such an Acquaintance with the Wild Beasts, that they were not afraid of him, nor he of them.
Sec. 12. By this time he began to have the Ideas of a great many things fix'd in his mind, so as to have a desire to some, and an aversion to others, even when they were absent. In the mean while he consider'd all the several sorts of Animals, and saw that they were all clothed either with Hair, Wool, or several sorts of Feathers: he consider'd their great Swiftness and Strength, and that they were all arm'd with Weapons defensive, as Horns, Teeth, Hoofs, Spurs, Nails, and the like. But that he himself was Naked and Defenceless, Slow and Weak, in respect of them. For whenever there happened any Controversy about gathering of such ripe Fruits as fell from the Trees; he always came off by the worst, for they could both keep their own, and take away his, and he could neither beat them, off, nor run away from them.
Sec. 13. He observ'd besides that his Fellow-Fawns, tho' their Fore-heads were smooth at first, yet afterwards had Horns bud out, and tho' they were feeble at first, yet afterwards grew very Vigorous and Swift. All these things he perceived in them, which were not in himself; and when he had consider'd the Matter, he could not imagine what should be the reason of this Difference; then he consider'd such Animals as had any Defect or Natural Imperfection, but amongst them all he could find none like himself. He took Notice that the Passages of the Excrements were cover'd in all other Creatures besides himself: that by which they voided their grosser Excrements, with a Tail; and that which serv'd for the voiding of their Urine, with Hair or some such like thing. Besides, he observ'd that their Privy parts, were more concealed than his own were.
Sec. 14. All these things were matter of great Grief to him, and when he had perplex'd himself very much with the thoughts of them, and was now near seven Years Old, he despair'd utterly of having those things grow upon him, the want of which made him so uneasy. He therefore resolv'd to help himself, and thereupon gets him some Broad Leaves of Trees, of which he made two Coverings, one to wear behind, the other before; and made a Girdle of Palm-Trees and Rushes Twisted together, to Hang his coverings upon, and Ty'd it about his waste, and so wore it. But alas it would not last long, for the Leaves wither'd and dropt away; so that he was forc'd to get more, which he doubled and put together as well as he could, Plaiting the Leaves one upon another, which made it a little more durable, but not much. Then having broke a Bough from a Tree and fitted the Ends of it to his Mind, he stript off the Twigs and made it smooth; with this he began to attack the Wild Beasts, assaulting the weaker, and defending himself against the stronger. By this means he began a little to know his own Strength, and perceiv'd that his Hands were better than their Feet; because by the help of them, he had provided wherewithal to cover his Nakedness, and also gotten him a Defensive Weapon, so that now he had no need of a Tail, nor of those Natural Weapons which he had so wish'd for at first.
Sec. 15. He was now above Seven Years Old, and because the repairing of his Covering of Leaves so often, was very troublesome to him, he had a design of taking the Tail of some Dead Beast, and wearing it himself; but when he perceiv'd that all Beasts did constantly avoid those which were Dead of the same kind, it made him doubt whether it might be safe or not; at last, by chance he found a Dead Eagle, and observing that none of the Beasts shew'd any aversion to that Carcass, he concluded that this would suit his purpose: and in the first place, he cuts off the Wings, and the Tail whole, and spreads the Feathers open; then he drew off the Skin,and divided it into two equal parts, one of which he wore upon his Back, with the other he covered his Navel and Secrets: the Tail he wore behind, and the Wings were plac'd upon each Arm. This Dress of his answer'd several Ends; for in the first place it cover'd his Nakedness, and help'd to keep him warm, and then it made him so frightful to the Beasts, that none of them car'd to meddle with him, or come near him; only the Roe his Nurse, which never left him, nor he, her; and when she grew Old and Feeble, he us'd to lead her where there was the best Food, and pluck the best Fruits for her, and give her them to eat.
Sec. 16. Notwithstanding this she grew lean and weak, and continu'd a while in a languishing Condition, till at last she Dyed, and then all her Motions and Actions ceas'd. When the Boy perceiv'd her in this Condition, he was ready to dye for Grief. He call'd her with the same voice which she us'd to answer to, and made what Noise he could, but there was no Motion, no Alteration. Then he began to peep into her Eyes and Ears, but could perceive no visible defect in either; in like manner he examin'd all the parts of her Body, and found nothing amiss, but every thing as it should be. He had a vehement desire to find, if possible, that part were the defect was, that he might remove it, and she return to her former State, of Life and Vigour. But he was altogether at a loss, how to compass his design, nor could he possibly bring it about.
Sec. 17. That which put him upon this search, was what he observ'd in himself. He took Notice that when he shut his Eyes, or held any thing before them, he could see nothing at all, till that Obstacle was removed; and so when he put his Fingers into his Ears, that he could not hear, till he took 'em out again; and when he closed his Nostrils together, he smelt nothing till they were open'd; from whence he concluded, that all his Senses and Actions were liable to Obstacles and Impediments, upon the removal of which, the same Operations return'd to their former course. Therefore, when he had examined every External Part of her, and found no visible defect, and yet at the same time perceiv'd an Universal Cessation of Motion in the whole Body, not peculiar to one Member, but common to them all, he began to imagine that the hurt was in some part, which was most remote from the sight, and hidden in the inward part of the Body; and that this Part was of such nature and use, that without its help, none of the other External Parts could exercise their proper Functions; and that if this Part suffer any hurt, the damage was Universal, and a Cessation of the whole ensu'd,
Sec. 18. This made him very desirous to find that part if possible, that he might remove the defect from it, that so it might be as it us'd to be, and the whole Body might enjoy the Benefit of it, and the same course of Actions follow as before. He had before observ'd, in the Bodies of Wild Beasts and other Animals, that all their Members were solid, and that there were only three Cavities, viz. The Skull, the Breast, and the Belly; he imagined therefore that this Part which he wanted, must needs be in one of these Cavities, and above all, he had a strong persuasion that it was in the middlemost of them. He verily believ'd, that all the Members stood in need of this part, and that from thence it must necessarily follow, that the Seat of it must be in the Centre. And when he reflected upon his own Body, he felt such a part in his Breast, of which he had this notion, viz. That it was impossible for for him to subsist without it, so much as the twinkling of an eye, tho' he could at the same time conceive a possibility of subsisting without his other parts, viz. his Hands, Feet, Ears, Nose, Eyes, or even his Head. And upon this account, whenever he fought with any Wild Beast, he always took particular care to guard his Breast; because of the Apprehension which he had of that Part, which was contain'd in it.
Sec. 19. Having, by this way of reasoning, assur'd himself that the disaffected Part lay in the Breast; he was resolv'd to make a search, in order to find it out; that whatsoever the Impediment was, he might remove it if possible; but then again, he was afraid on the other side, lest his Undertaking should be worse than the Disease, and prove prejudicial. He began to consider next, whether or no he had ever remembred any Beasts, or other Animals, which he had seen in that condition, recover again, and return to the same State which they were in before: but he could call to Mind no such Instance; from whence he concluded, that if she was let alone there would be no hopes at all, but if he should be so fortunate as to find that Part, and find the Impediment, there might be some hope. Upon this he resolv'd to open her Breast and make enquiry; in order to which he provides himself with sharp Flints, and Splinters of dry Cane almost like Knives, with which he made an incision between the Ribs, and cutting through the Flesh, came to the Diaphragma; which he finding very Tough and not easily broken, assur'd himself, that such a Covering must needs belong to that part which he lookt for, and that if he could once get through that, he should find it. He met with some difficulty in his Work, because his Instruments were none of the best, for he had none but such as were made either of Flint or Cane.
Sec. 20. However, he sharpned 'em again and renewed his Attempt with all the Skill he was Master of. At last he broke through, and the first part he met with was the Lungs, which he at first sight mistook, for that part which he search'd for, and turn'd 'em about this way and that way, to see if he could find in them the cause of the Disease. He first happen'd upon that Lobe which lay next the side [which he had open'd] and when he perceiv'd that it did lean sideways, he was satisfy'd that it was not the part he look'd for, because he was fully perswaded, that that must needs be in the midst of the Body, as well in regard of Latitude as Longitude. He proceeded in his search, till at last he found the Heart, which when he saw closed with a very strong Cover, and fastned with strong Ligaments, and covered by the Lungs on that side which he had open'd; he began to say to himself. "If this part be so on the other side as it is on this which I have open'd, then 'tis certainly in the midst, and without doubt the same I look for; especially considering the Conveniency of the Situation, the Comliness and Regularity of its Figure, the Firmness and Solidity of the Flesh, and besides, its being guarded with such a Membrane as I have not observ'd in any part." Upon this he searches the other side, and finding the same Membrane on the inside of the Ribs, and the Lungs in the same posture, which he had observ'd on that side which he had open'd first, he concluded the Heart to be the part which he look'd for.
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Sec. 21. Therefore he first Attacks the Pericardium, which, after a long tryal and a great deal of pains, he made shift to tear; and when he had laid the Heart bare, and perceiv'd that it was solid on every side, he began to examin it, to see if he could find any hurt in it; but finding none, he squeez'd it with his Hands, and perceiv'd that it was hollow. He began than to think that what he look'd for, might possibly be contain'd in that Cavity. When he came to open it, he found in it two Cavities, one on the right side, the other on the left. That on the right side was full of clotted Blood, that on the left quite empty. "Then (says he,) without all doubt, one of those two Cavites must needs be the Receptacle of what I I look for; as for that on this side there's nothing in it but congealed Blood, which was not so, be sure, till the whole Body was in that condition in. which it now is" (for he had observ'd that all Blood congeals when it flows from the Body, and that this Blood did not differ in the least from any other,) "and therefore what I look for, cannot by any means, be such a matter as this; for that which I mean, is something which is peculiar to this place, which I find I could not subsist without, so much as the Twinkling of an Eye. And this is that which I look'd for at first. For as for this Blood, how often have I lost a great deal of it in my Skirmishes with the Wild Beasts, and yet it never did me any considerable harm, nor rendred me incapable of performing any Action of Life, and therefore what I look for is not in this Cavity. Now as for the Cavity on the left side, I find 'tis altogether empty, and I have no reason in the World to think that it was made in vain, because I find every part appointed for such and such particular Functions. How then can this Ventricle of the Heart, which I see is of so excellent a Frame, serve for no use at all? I cannot think but that the same thing which I am in search of, once dwelt here, but has now deserted his Habitation and left it empty, and that the Absence of that thing, has occasion'd this Privation of Sense and Cessation of Motion, which happen'd to the Body." Now when he perceiv'd that the Being which had inhabited there before, had left its House before it fell to Ruine, and forsaken it when as yet it continu'd whole and entire, he concluded that it was highly probable that it would never return to it any more, after its being so cut and mangled.
Sec. 22. Upon this the whole Body seem'd to him a very inconsiderable thing, and worth nothing in respect of that Being, he believed once inhabited, and now had left it. Therefore he applied himself wholly to the consideration of that Being. What it was? and how it subsisted? what joyn'd it to the Body? Whether it went, and by what passage, when it left the Body? What was the Cause of its Departure, whether it were forc'd to leave its Mansion, or left the Body of its own accord? and in case it went away Voluntarily, what it was that rendred the Body so disagreeable to it, as to make it forsake it? And whilst his Mind was perplext with such variety of Thoughts, he laid aside all concern for the Carcass, and threw it away; for now he perceiv'd that his Mother, which had Nurs'd him so Tenderly and had Suckled him, was that something which was departed: and from it proceeded all those Actions by which she shew'd her Care of him, and Affection, to him, and not from this unactive Body; but that the Body was to it only as an Instrument or Tool, like his Cudgel which he had made for himself, with which he used to Fight with the Wild Beasts. So that now, all his regard to the Body was remov'd, and transferr'd to that by which the Body is governed, and by whose Power it moves. Nor had he any other desire but to make enquiry after that.
Sec. 23. In the mean, time the Carcass of the Roe began to putrifie, and emit Noisome Vapours, which still increas'd his aversion to it, so that he did not care to see it. 'Twas not long after that he chanc'd to see two Ravens engag'd so furiously; that one of them struck down the other Stark Dead; and when he had done, he began to scrape with his Claws till he had digg'd a Pit, in which he Buried the Carcass of his Adversary. Our Philosopher observing this, said to himself, How well has this Raven done in Burying the Body of his Companion, tho' he did ill in Killing him? How much greater reason was there for me to have been forward in performing this Office to my Mother? Upon this he makes a Grave, and lays his Mother into it, and Buries her. He proceeded in his Enquiry concerning what that should be by which the Body was govern'd, but could not Apprehend what it was; when he look'd upon the rest of the Roes, and perceiv'd that they were of the same form and figure with his Mother, he believ'd that there was in every one of them something which govern'd and actuated them, like that which had actuated and govern'd his Mother: formerly: and for the sake of that likeness he us'd to keep in their Company, and shew affection towards them. He continued a while in this condition, Contemplating the various kinds of Animals and Plants, and walking about the Coast of his Island, to see if he could find any thing like himself; (as he observ'd that every Individual Animal, and Plant, had a great many more like it.) But all his search was in vain. And when he perceiv'd that his Island was encompass'd by the Sea, he thought that there was no other Land in the World but only that Island.
Sec. 23. It happen'd that by Collision a Fire was kindled among a parcel of Reeds or Canes; which fear'd him at first, as being a Sight which he was altogether a Stranger to; so that he stood at a distance a good while, strangely surpriz'd, at last he came nearer and nearer by degrees, still observing the Brightness of its Light and marvellous Efficacy in consuming every thing it touch'd, and changing it into its own Nature; till at last, his Admiration of it, and that innate Boldness and Fortitude, which God had implanted in his Nature prompted him on, that he ventur'd to come near it, and stretch'd out his Hand to take some of it. But when it burnt his Fingers and he found there was no dealing with it that way, he endeavour'd to take a stick, which the Fire had not as yet wholly seiz'd upon; so taking hold on that part which was untouch'd he easily gain'd his purpose, and carried it Home to his Lodging (for he had contriv'd for himself a convenient place) there he kept this Fire and added Fuel to it, admir'd it wonderfully, and tended it night and day; at night especially, because its Light and Heat supply'd the absence of the Sun; so that he was extreamly delighted with it, and reckon'd it the most excellent of all those things which he had about him. And when he observ'd that it always mov'd upwards, he perswaded himself that, it was one of those Celestial Substances which he saw shining in the Firmament, and he was continually trying of its power, by throwing things into it, which he perceiv'd it operated upon and consum'd, sometimes sooner, sometimes slower, according as the Bodies which he put into it were more or less combustible.
Sec. 25. Amongst other things which he put in to try its strength, he once flung in some Fish which had been thrown a-shore by the Water, and as soon as e're he smelt the Steam, it rais'd his Appetite, so that he had a Mind to Taste of them; which he did, and found 'em very agreeable and from that time he began to use himself to the Eating of Flesh, and applied himself to Fishing and Hunting till he understood those sports very well: upon this account he admir'd his Fire more and more, because it help'd him to several sorts of Provision which he was altogether unacquainted with before.
Sec. 26. And now when his Affection towards it was increas'd to the highest degree, both upon the account of its Beneficial Effects, and its Extraordinary Power; he began to think that the Substance which was departed from the Heart of his Mother the Roe, was, if not the very same with it, yet at least of a Nature very much like it. He was confirm'd in his Opinion, because he had observ'd in all Animals, that as long as they liv'd, they were constantly warm without any Intermission, and as constantly Cold after Death, Besides he found in himself, that there was a greater degree of Heat by much in his Breast, near that place where he had made the Incision in the Roe. This made him think that if he could dissect any Animal alive, and look into that Ventricle which he had found empty when he dissected his Dam the Roe, he might possibly find it full of that Substance which inhabited it, and so inform himself whether it were of the Substance with the Fire, and whether it had any Light or Heat in it or not. In order to this he took a Wild Beast and ty'd him down, so that he could not stir, and dissected him after the same manner he had dissected the Roe, till he came to the Heart; and Essaying the left Ventricle first, and opening it, he perceiv'd it was full of an Airy Vapour, which look'd like a little Mist or white Cloud, and putting in his Finger, he found it hotter than he could well endure it, and immediately the Creature Dyed. From whence he assuredly concluded, that it was that Moist Vapour which communicated Motion to that Animal, and that there was accordingly in every Animal of what kind soever, something like it upon the departure of which Death follow'd.
Sec. 27. He had then a great desire to enquire into the other parts of Animals, to find out their Order and Situation, their Quantity and the manner of there Connexion one with another, and by what means of Communication they enjoy the Benefit of that Moist Vapour, so as to live by it. How that Vapour is continu'd the time it remains, from whence it has its Supplies, and by what Means its Heat is preserv'd. The way which he us'd in this Enquiry was the Dissection of all sorts of Animals, as well Living as Dead, neither did he leave off to make an accurate Enquiry into them, till at length he arrived to the highest degree of Knowledge in this kind which the most Learned Naturalists ever attain'd to.
Sec. 28. And now he Apprehended plainly that every particular Animal, tho' it had a great many Limbs, and variety of Senses and Motions, was nevertheless One in respect of that Spirit, whose Original was from one firm Mansion, viz. the Heart, from whence, its Influence was diffus'd among all the Members. And that all the Members were subservient to it, or inform'd and supported by it, and that this Spirit made use of those Members, in the same manner as a Soldier do's of his Weapons, or an Huntsman or Fisherman of his Tackling, who makes use of different ways and things, according to the difference of the Creatures he intends to catch. Now the Soldiers Weapons are some of 'em defensive and offensive, and the Sportsman's too are some for Land, and some for Water: So the Anatomists Instruments, are some for Fission, others for Fraction, and others for Perforation. And thus tho' the Body was One, yet that governing Spirit made use of it several ways, according to the respective uses of each Member, and the several ends which it propos'd to obtain.
Sec. 29. Thus he perceiv'd that there was all this while but One Animal Spirit, whose Action when he made use of the Eye, was Sight; when of the Ear, Hearing; when of the Nose, Smelling; when of the Tongue, Tasting; and when of the Skin and Flesh, Feeling. When it employ'd any Limb, then its Operation was Motion; and when it made use of the Liver, Nutrition and Concoction. And that, tho' there were Members fitted to every one of these uses, yet none of them could perform their respective Offices, without having Correspondence with that Spirit, by means of the Nerves; and that if at any time it chanc'd that their passages were either broken off or obstructed, such a Member would be altogether useless. Now these; Nerves derive this Spirit from the Brain, which has it from the Heart (and contains abundance of Spirit, because it is divided into a great many partitions) and by what means soever any limb is depriv'd of his Spirit, it's Action ceases, and 'tis like a cast off Tool, not fit for use. And if this Spirit depart wholly from the Body, or is consum'd or dissolv'd by any means whatsoever, then the whole Body is depriv'd of Motion all at once, and reduced to a State of Death.
Sec. 30. Thus far had his Observations brought him about the end of the Third Seventh Year of his Age, viz. when he was One and Twenty Years Old. In which time, he had made abundance of pretty Contrivances. He made himself both Cloaths and Shoes of the Skins of such Wild Beasts as he had dissected. His thread was made of Hair, and of the Bark of the Stalks of Althaea, Mallows or any other Plants, which afforded such Strings as were fit for that purpose. He learn'd the making of these threads from the use which he had made of the Rushes before. He made Awls of sharp Thorns, and Splinters of Cane, sharpned with Flints. He learn'd the Art of Building, from the Observations he made upon the Swallows Nests. He Builds himself a Store-house and a Pantry, to lay up the remainder of his Provision in: and made a Door to it of Canes twisted together, to prevent any of the Beasts getting in, during his absence. He took Birds of prey and brought them up for Hawking; and kept tame
Poultry for their Eggs and Chickens. He took the tips of the Buffalo's Horns and fastned them upon the strongest Canes he could get, and Staves of the Tree Alzan and Others; and so, partly by the help of the Fire, and partly of sharp edg'd Stones, he so fitted them that they serv'd him instead of so many Spears. He made him a shield of Hides folded together. All this pains he took to furnish himself with Artificial Weapons, because he found himself destitute of Natural ones.
Sec. 31. Now when he perceiv'd that his Hand supplied all these defects very well, and that none of all the various kinds of Wild Beasts durst stand against him, but ran away from him, and were too Nimble for him. He began to contrive how to be even with them, and thought there would be no way so proper as to chuse out some of the strongest and swiftest Beasts of the Island, and bring 'em up tame, and feed them with proper Food, till they would let him back them and then he might persue the other kinds of Wild Beasts. There were in that Island both Wild Horses and Asses; he chose of both sorts, such as seem'd fittest for his purpose, and by exercise he made them so gentle and tractable that he was compleat Master of his Wishes. And when, he had made out of the Skins of Beasts, such things as serv'd him competently well, in the Room of Bridles and Saddles, he could very easily then overtake such Beasts, as he could scarce ever have been able to have catch'd any other manner of way. He made all these discoveries whilst he was employed in the Study of Anatomy, and the searching out of the Properties, peculiar to each Part, and the difference between them; and all this about that time I speak of, viz. of the Age of 21 Years.
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Sec. 32. He then proceeded further to examin the Nature of Bodies in this Sublunary World, viz. The different kinds of Animal, Plants, Minerals, and several sorts of Stones, Earth, Water, Exhalations, Ice, Snow, Hail, Smoak, Hoar, Frost, Flame, and Heat. In which he observ'd different Qualities, and different Actions, and that their Motions agreed in some respects, and differ'd in others: and considering these things with great Application, he perceiv'd that their Qualities also agreed in some things, and differ'd in others; and that so far as they agreed, they were One; but when consider'd with Relation to their differences, a great many: so that when he came to consider the Properties of things by which they were distinguish'd one from another,he found that they Multiplied so fast upon him, that 'twas impossible for him, to Comprehend them. Nay, when he consider'd the difference of his own Limbs, which he perceiv'd were all distinct from one another, by some Property and Action peculiar to each, it seem'd to him that there was a Plurality in his Own Essence. And when he look'd upon any one Member it self, he found that it might be divided into a great many parts, from whence he concluded, that there must needs be a Plurality in his own Essence, and not only in his own but in every other also.
Sec. 33. Then he enter'd upon another sort of Speculation of the second kind, by which he perceiv'd that tho' the parts of his Body were many, yet they were Conjoyned and Compacted together so as to make one Body, and that what difference there was between them consisted only in the difference of their Actions, which diversity proceeded from that Animal Spirit, the Nature of which he had before search'd into, and found out. Now he knew that his Spirit was One in Essence, and was really the Substance of his Being, and that all the rest of the Members serve that Spirit as Instruments, and in this Respect he perceiv'd his own Essence, to be One.
Sec.. 34. He proceeded from hence to the consideration of all the Species of Animals and found that every Individual of them was One. Next he consider'd them with regard to their different Species, viz. as Roes, Horses, Asses and all sorts of Birds according to their kinds, and he perceiv'd that all the Individuals of every Species were exactly like one another, in the shape of their Parts, both within and without, that their Apprehensions, Motions, and Inclinations were alike, and that those little differences which where visible amongst them, were inconsiderable in respect of those many things in which they agreed. From whence he concluded, that the Spirit which actuated any Species was one and the same; only distributed among so many Hearts, as there were Individuals in that Species, so that if it were possible for all that Spirit, which is so divided among so many Hearts, to be Collected into one Receptacle, it would be all the same thing, just as if any one Liquor should be pour'd out into several Dishes and afterwards put all together again in one Vessel; this Liquor would still be the same, as well when it was divided, as when it was altogether, only in respect of that division it may be said in some sort to be Multiplied. By this way of Contemplation he perceiv'd that a whole Species was One and the same thing, and that the Multiplicity of Individuals in the same Species is like the Multiplicity of Parts in the same Person, which indeed are not many [i.e. are only One.]