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If she doth then the subtle sense excel,

How gross are they that drown her in the blood ? Or in the body's humours temper'd well;

As if in them such high perfection stood ?

As if most skill in that musician were,

Which had the best, and best tun'd instrument? As if the pencil neat, and colours clear,

Had power to make the painter excellent?

Why doth not beauty then refine the wit,

And good complexion rectify the will?
Why doth not health bring wisdom still with it?

Why doth not sickness make men brutish still.

Who can in memory, or wit, or will,

Or air, or fire, or earth, or water find ? What alchymist can draw, with all his skill,

The quintessence of these out of the mind?

If th’ elements which have nor life, nor sense,

Can breed in us so great a pow'r as this, Why give they not themselves like excellence,

Or other things wherein their mixture is ?

If she were but the body's quality,

Then she would be with it sick, maim'd, and blind: But we perceive, where these privations be,

An healthy, perfect, and sharp-sighted mind,
Vol. IV.


If she the body's nature did partake, cay :

Her strength would with the body's strength deBut when the body's strongest sinews slake,

Then is the soul most active, quick, and gay.

If she were but the body's accident,

And her sole being did in it subsist,
As white in snow she might herself absent,

And in the body's substance not be miss'd.

But it on her, not she on it, depends ;

For she the body doth sustain and cherish: Such secret pow’rs of life to it she lends,

That when they fail, then doth the body perish.

Since then the soul works by herself alone,

Springs not from sense, nor humours well agreeing, Her nature is peculiar, and her own;

She is a substance, and a perfect being.



But though this substance be the root of sense,

Sense knowsher not, which doth but bodies know: She is a spirit, and heav'nly influence,

Which from th' fountain of God's spirit doth ficw.

She is a spirit, yet not like air or wind;

Nor like the spirits about the heart or brain; Nor like those spirits which alchymists do find,

When they in every thing seek gold in vain.

For she all natures under Heav'n doth pass, (see,

Being like those spirits, which God's bright face do Or like himself, whose image once she was, Though now,

alas! she scarce his shadow be. For of all forms, she holds the first degree,

That are to gross material bodies knit; Yet she herself is bodyless and free;

And, though confin'd, is almost infinite. Were she a body,* how could she remain

Within this body, which is less than she? Or how could she the world's great shape contain,

And in our narrow breasts contained be?


All bodies are confin'd within some place,

But she all place within herself confines :
All bodies have their measure and their space;

But who can draw the soul's dimensive lines?

No body can at once two forms admit,

Except the one the other do deface; But in the soul ten thousand forms do sit,

And none intrudes into her neighbour's place. All bodies are with other bodies filld,

But she receives both Heaven and Earth together: Nor are their forms by rash encounter spilld,

For there they stand, and neither toucheth either.

Nor can her wide embracements filled be;

For they that most and greatest things embrace, Enlarge thereby their mind's capacity,

As streams enlarg’d, enlarge the channel's space.

* That it cannot be a body.

All things receiv'd do such proportion take,

As those things have wherein they are receiv'd; So little glasses little faces make,

And narrow webs on narrow frames are weav'd.

Then what vast body must we make the mind,

Wherein are men, beasts, trees, towns, seas, and And yet each thing a proper place doth find, (lands ;

And each thing in the true proportion stands ? Doubtless, this could not be, but that she turns

Bodies to spirits, by sublimation strange; As fire converts to fire the things it burns ;

As we our meats into our nature change. From their gross matter she abstracts the forms,

And draws a kind of quintessence from things; Which to her proper nature she transforms,

To bear them light on her celestial wings. This doth she, when, from things particular,

She doth abstract the universal kinds, Which bodyless and immaterial are,

And can be only lodg’d within our minds.
And thus, from divers accidents and acts

Which do within her observation fall,
She goddesses and pow’rs divine abstracts ;

As Nature, Fortune, and the Virtues all.
Again; how can she several bodies know,

If in herself a body's form she bear? How can a mirror sundry faces show,

If from all shapes and forms it be not clear?



Nor could we by our eyes all colours learn,

Except our eyes were of all colours void; Nor sundry tastes can any tongue discern,

Which is with gross and bitter humours cloy'd.

Nor can a man of passions judge aright,

Except his mind be from all passions free: Nor can a judge his office well acquit,

If he possess' of either party be.

If, lastly, this quick pow'r a body were,

Were it as swift as is the wind or fire, (Whose atoms do the one down side-ways bear,

And th' other make in pyramids aspire.)

Her nimble body yet in time must move,

And not in instants through all places slide : But she is nigh and far, beneath, above,

In point of time, which thought cannot divide :

She's sent as soon to China as to Spain ;

And thence returns, as soon as she is sent: She measures with one time, and with one pain,

An ell of silk, and Heav’n’s wide spreading tent.

As then the soul a substance hath alone,

Besides the body in which she's confin'd; So hath she not a body of her own,

But is a spirit, and immaterial mind,

Since body and soul have such diversities,

Well might we muse, how first their match began; But that we learn, that He that spread the skies, And fix'd the Earth, first form'd the soul in ?

D 2

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