Page:A Collection of Several Philosophical Writings of Dr. Henry More.djvu/117
Chap. XI. 75
An Antidote Against Atheism
have describ'd it accordingly. The Contrivances whereof, is the Matter were certainly true, are as evident Arguments of a Divine Providence, as that Copper-Ring, with the Greek ** The Inscription runs thus; εἰμὶ ἐκεῖνος ἰχθὺς ταύτη λίμνη παντοπρωτος ἐπιτεθεὶς διὰ τοὺ κοσμητοῦ Φεδηρίκου β. τὰς χεῖρας, ἐν τῆ έ. ἡμέρα τοῦ Ὀκτωβρίου. α. σ. λ. This Pike was taken about Hailprun, the Imperial City of Suevia, in the year 1497. Gesner. Inscription upon it, was an undeniable monument of the Artifice and finger of man.
7. But that the reproach of over-much credulity may not lye upon Cardan alone, Scaliger, who lay at catch with him to take him tripping whereever he could, cavils not with any thing in the whole Narration but the bigness of the Wings and littleness of the Body; which he undertakes to correct from one of his own which was sent him by Orvesanus from Java. Nay he confirms what his Antagonist has wrote, partly by History, and partly by Reason; affirming that himself in his own Garden found two little birds with membranaceous wings utterly devoid of Legs, their form was near to that of a Bat's. Nor is he deterr'd from the belief of the perpetual flying of the Manucodiata, by the gaping of the feathers of her wings, (which seem thereby less fit to sustain her body) but further makes the narration probable by what he has observed in Kites hovering in the Aire, as he saith, for a whole hour together without any flapping of their wings or changing place. And he has found also how she may sleep in the Aire from the Example of Fishes, which he has seen sleeping in the water without sinking themselves to the bottome, and without changing place, but lying stock still, Jul. Scalig. de Subtil. exercit. 228. §. 2. & 229. §. 2., onely wagging a little their fins, as heedlesly and unconcernedly as Horses while they are asleep wag their ears, to displace the flyes that sit upon them. Wherefore Scaliger admitting that the Manucodiata is perpetually on the wing in the Aire, he must of necessity admit also that manner of IncubationCardan. de Subtile. l. 10. that Cardan describes; else how could their generations continue?
Franciscus Hernandes affirms the same with Cardan expresly in every thing: as also ** Nieremberg. Hist. Natur. lib. 10. cap. 13. Eusebius Nierembergius, who is so taken with the story, of this Bird, that he could not abstain from celebrating her miraculous properties in a short but elegant copie of Verses, and does after, though confidently opposed, assert the main matter again in Prose.
8. Such are the Suffrages of Cardan, Scaliger, Hernandes, and Nierembergius. But Aldrovandus rejects that Fable of her feeding on the dew of Heaven, and of her Incubiture on the back of the Male, with much scorn and indignation. And as for the former, his reasons are no waies contemptible, he alledging that Dew is near the Earth, and not at all times of the year, nor unless in clear daies, and that only in the Morning, and that the perpetual flying of the Bird must needs exhaust her spirits; lastly, that Dew is a body not perfectly-enough mixt, or heterogeneal enough for food, nor the hard Bill of the Bird made for such easy uses as sipping this soft moisture.
To which I know not what Cardan and the rest would answer, unless this. That they mean by Dew the more unctuous moisture of the Aire, which as it may not be alike every where, so these Birds maybe fitted with a natural sagacity to finde it out where it is: That there is Dew in this sense day and night (as well as in the morning) and in all seasons of the year; and therefore a constant supply of moisture and spirits to