Page:Three Books of Occult Philosophy (De Occulta Philosophia) (1651).djvu/52

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Book I.
25

Long since Metreas brought a very great wonderment upon the Greeks, and Romans concerning himself. He said that he nourished, and bred a beast that did devour it self. Hence many to this day are solicitous, what this beast of Matreas should be. Who would not wonder that Fishes should be digged out of the Earth, of which Aristotle, Theophrastus, and Polybius the Historian makes mention? And those things which Pausanias wrote concerning the singing Stones? All these are effects of occult vertues. So the Estrich concocts cold, and most hard Iron, and digests it into nourishment for his body; whose Stomack they also report, cannot be hurt with red hot Iron. So that little Fish called Echeneis doth so curb the violence of the Winds, and appease the rage of the Sea, that, let the Tempests be never so imperious, and raging, the Sails also bearing a full Gale, it doth notwithstanding by its meer touch stay the Ships, and makes them stand still, that by no means they can be moved. So Salamanders, and Crickets live in the Fire; although they seem sometimes to burn, yet they are not hurt. The like is said of a kind of Bitumen, with which the weapons of the Amazons were said to be smeared over, by which means they could be spoiled neither with Sword nor Fire; with which also the Gates of Caspia, made of Brass, are reported to be smeared over by Alexander the great. We read also that Noah's Ark was joyned together with this Bitumen, and that it endured some thousands of years upon the Mountains of Armenia. There are many such kind of wonderfull things, scarce credible, which notwithstanding are known by experience. Amongst which Antiquity makes mention of Satyrs, which were Animals, in shape half men, and half bruits, yet capable of speech, and reason; one whereof S. Hierome reporteth, spake once unto holy Antonius the Hermite, and condemned the errour of the Gentiles, in worshipping such poor creatures as they were, and desired him that he would pray unto the true God for him; also he affirms that there was one of them shewed openly alive, and afterwards sent to Constantine the Emperour.

Platonists say

CHAP.