The Five BOOKS OF M. MANILIUS, Containing a SYSTEM OF THE Ancient Astronomy AND ASTROLOGY: Together with The Philosophy of the STOICKS.

Done into English Verse with Notes. By Mr. THO. CREECH.

Nunc autem quid est sine his cur vivere volimus? Mihi vero cum his ipsis vix: His autem detractis, ne vix quidem.

Cicero ad Var.

LONDON, Printed, and Sold by the Booksellers of London and Westminster. 1700.




THE Campaign being over, and Councils not yet begun, the World is very much at quiet; nor can I find News enough to fill a Letter: But to keep up our usual Correspondence, I send you an Account of an old Latin Poet, very little known, tho' as worthy your Acquaintance, as many of those who [Page 2] are in Credit. He lay buried in the German Libraries, not heard of in the World, till Poggius Publish'd him from some old Manuscripts found there; and tho'1 Burde Cotzus, thinks Lucian consulted this Poet when he wrote his little Treatise of Astrologie; tho' Julius Firmizus is2 ac­cus'd as an ungrateful Plagiary, for not acknowledging from whom he Transcrib'd the chiefest parts of his Books; yet there is no good Evi­dence, that any one Writer menti­on'd this Author before Poggius. Pli­ny is suppos'd to speak of him as a3 Mathematician, and Gerbertus, as an4 Astrologer; but concerning the [Page 3] Poet, there is as dead a silence as if he had never been; nor can his greatest Admirers find any Character of him in old Writers.

Yet it must be own'd, that he is an Author of some considerable Age; for the Manuscripts which Poggius, Bonincontrius, Scaliger, and Franciscus Junius us'd, were ancient: Tanaquil Fa­ber, Spanhemius, and the severest Cri­ticks allow him to be as old as Theo­dosius the Great, and pretend to find some particular Phrases in him, which are certain Characters of that Time.

Others, who believe they have ve­ry good Reasons to place him higher, find it very difficult to account for this universal silence: What they offer, is either bare May-be and Shift, and scarce ever amounts to a tolerable Reason: 'Tis true, they say, he is not mention'd by Ovid in his5 Ca­talogue [Page 4] of Poets, and no wonder, since he did not begin to write before the6 Banishment of Ovid, and Pub­lished nothing before his Death; Perhaps he was one of those Young Men,

7 Quorum quod inedita cura est
Appellandorum nil mihi juris adest.

or his Fame did not reach so far as Pontus: Otherwise they are confident there are too many Graces in his Poem to be neglected; at least, the singularity of his Subject would have deserved to be taken notice of, as well as that of8 Gratius. But why Quintilian doth not propose him to his Orator, tho' he encourages him [Page 5] to9 read Macer and Lucretius, and 1 affirms, that a competent skill in Astronomy is necessary to make him perfect in his Profession? Why the following Philologers never use his Authority, tho' it might very often have been pertinently cited by Gelli­us and Macrobius? Why the Gramma­rians and Mythologists, seem to be altogether unacquainted with his Writings? They confess these are Questions not easie to be answer'd.

Of this Poet, who is acknowledged by all Parties to have lain very long unknown, and about whom, since he first appear'd in the World, so many Controversies have risen, I am now to give you an account.

His Name is commonly said to be Marcus Manilius, which in some Co­pies of his Poem is shortned into [Page 6] Manlius, in others softned into Mal­lius: This variation is inconsiderable, and the common fault of unaccurate Transcribers; but2 Bonincontrius af­firms, that the Title of his very Ancient Copies was, C. Manilii Poetae illustris Astronomicon; and that he had seen a Medal, in which was the Fi­gure of a Man, but in a Foreign Habit, with a Sphere plac'd near his Head, and this Inscription, C. MA­NILI. 3 Lilius Gyraldus mentions another of the same stamp; But that these Medals belong'd to this Poet, may be as easily deny'd, as 'tis affirm'd, or rather, as 'tis con­jectured: However all Parties agree, that the most Ancient Copies con­stantly bear the Title of Manilius; but whether the Books of Poggius and Bonincontrius, which call him [Page 7] Caius, or those of Scaliger and others, in which we find Marcus written, are to be follow'd, is submitted to every Man's Discretion; the Matter is not of any Consequence, nor a fit Sub­ject for Dispute, because impossible to be determin'd: Tho' if Conjecture may be admitted, I should fancy that it is more probable a Transcriber may err, when he puts M. before Manilius, than when he writes a C. be­cause in the former case, the Sound of the following Word, which is the most considerable in the Title, and consequently the chiefest in his Thoughts, may pervert him; but in the latter, He hath no temptation to mistake. This M. or C. Manilius, was born a Roman, and liv'd in Rome when Rome was in her Glory; com­manding the biggest part of the known World, and full of the greatest Men that ever any time produc'd: For the [Page 8] same Age that saw Manilius enjoy'd Varro, Lucretius, Cicero, Caesar, Virgil, Varius, Horace, and (to close the Catalogue) Augustus. In the begin­ning of this Astronomical Poem that Emperour is4 invok'd, that very Emperour who was the5 adopted Son of Julius Caesar, who6 beat Bru­tus and Cassius at Philippi, 7 overthrew Pompey the Great's Son,8 who sent Tiberius to Rhodes, 9 who lost three Legions in Germany under the Com­mand of Varus; who1 routed Antho­ny and Cleopatra at Actium, and sav'd the Roman Empire by turning that overgrown dissolute Republick into a well regulated Monarchy. Here are so many Characters, that the Per­son cannot be mistaken, not one of them agreeing to any but the first [Page 9] Great Augustus. So that this Author liv'd in that Age to which He pre­tends by so many very particular Cir­cumstances, or else He is a most no­torious Cheat, and one of the greatest Impostors in the World.

It seems2 Tanaquil Faber thought him to be so, since without giving any Reason He brings him down as low as the time of Theodosius: 3 Vos­sius was once of the same Opinion, having observed, as He then thought, some Measures, Words and Phrases peculiar to that Age, and therefore He concludes against Scaliger, that Julius Firmicus did not follow Manili­us, but Manilius wrote in Verse what Firmicus had published in Prose under the Reign of Constantine the Great: But upon second Reading this4 Cri­tick alter'd his first Sentiments, and [Page 10] allows him to be as ancient as the Po­et himself desires to be thought. 5 Gassendus often quotes him, and al­ways sets him after Firmicus, as may be seen in many places of his Writings; but gives no reason why he constantly observes that order: But Gevartius, who had study'd and design'd to pub­lish Notes upon this Author, says in a Letter to Mr. Cambden, 6 ‘I have been long acquainted with this Wri­ter, and know him well, but can­not, with Scaliger and other learned Criticks, allow him to be as anci­ent as Augustus, for in my Notes I will demonstrate that he liv'd in the Age of Theodosius and his Sons Ar­cadius and Honorius, and that he was the same with Manlius Theodo­rus, [Page 11] upon whose Consulship Claudi­an writes a Panegyrick, in which he mentions his Astronomicon. The same thing he asserts in his Comments upon7 Statius, and promises to do Wonders in his8 Electa upon this Subject; what his performance was I do not find taken notice of by any of the Criticks, nor am I concern'd for it, being certain that he fail'd in his Attempt, because it was ridiculous and rash: Yet the learn'd Ezechiel Spanhemius endeavours to support this Conjecture of Gevartius, 9 and tells us, that sub Armis, a Phrase familiar to Manilius, as lib. 1. v. 795.

—Matrisque sub Armis
Miles Agrippa suae—

[Page 12] Lib. 4. v. 656.

—Regnum sortita sub Armis.

And in another place,

—Quumque ipsa sub Armis
Pax agitur—

was us'd in the time of Theodosius, as appears by the following passage in that Emperour's Code, 1 Quicunque sub Armis Militiae munus Comitatense su­bierunt. Scaliger himself unwarily gave a very great advantage to this Opinion, when he2 affirm'd, that the word Decanus, which Mani­lius uses, was brought from the Camp, and that a Sign which govern'd ten Degrees was call'd Decanus, because [Page 13] an Officer who commanded ten Men in the Army had the same Title: But3 Salmatius, who discover'd the Mistake, (for Decanus was not heard of in the Roman Camp before the time of Constantine the Great) hath so well corrected it, or rather 4 Huetius hath given so good an Ac­count of that Word, that tho' an Argument drawn from it may be strong against the Critick, it will ne­ver be of any force against the Author. It is almost needless to mention the Exceptions of those Criticks who think his Stile impure, or, as they please to speak, too barbarous for the Age he pretends to; Indeed5 Gyraldus en­deavours by this very Argument to prove he was no Roman born: But 6 Scaliger laughs at him for his At­tempt, [Page 14] tells him that he does not di­stinguish between Idiotisms and Bar­barisms, and that Vitruvius (to whom he should have added Lucre­tius) might be call'd barbarous as well as he:7 Franciscus Junius com­mends the propriety of his Language, 8 Salmatius and9 Huetius have appro­ved many passages which lesser Cri­ticks thought to be impure; And the accurate Vossius, 1 after he had studi­ed and considered him well, found nothing in him inconsistent with the Age of Augustus, and the Politeness of his Court. Indeed most of the Instances that are produc'd upon this head, do not fasten on the Author him­self, but on the Transcribers and Pub­lishers of his Writings. There ought to be a new Edition of his Astrono­micon, and I do not despair of seeing [Page 15] one which will have a pure genuine Text, and free that Text from many of his Interpreters Comments, espe­cially from the Notes of the misera­ble wretched2 Fayus.

You see, Sir, I have brought this diffus'd Controversie within a very narrow Compass; Tanaquil Faber and Gassendus keep their (if they had any) Reasons to themselves. Their Au­thority I confess had been perswasive, had they considered, and after a fair hearing determin'd the Controversie; but an incident declaration, and an unweigh'd Sentence concerning the Age of any Writer ought not to be submitted to, but appeal'd from: And therefore if I can shew the Ob­servation of Spanhemius to be uncon­cluding, and refute the bold Conje­ctures of Gevartius, I shall leave Ma­nilius [Page 16] in possession of that Age, which he so often, and with so much assurance claims. And here I am sure we should not have been troubled with Spanhemius's Obser­vation, had he been pleas'd to consider, that sub Armis, and sub Armis Militiae, being very different from one another, might be us'd in very different Ages of the Empire; and that he argues very ill, who says, the one was known in the Time of Theodosius, and therefore the other was not common in the Court of Augustus: 'Tis certain that it was, for Virgil (whom Manilius often imitates) hath

—Sedet circum castella sub Armis,
—Equitem docuere sub Armis
Insultare solo—

[Page 17] And in another place, ‘—Ludunt Belli simulachra sub Armis.’ And this Virgil himself borrow'd from Ennius, who says, ‘Ter me sub Armis malim vitam cernere.’ I could produce more Authorities, were not these sufficient to secure Ma­nilius from Spanhemius's Observation.

But Gevartius, as he is bolder, so he is much more unhappy in his Conjectures; he fixes upon the Man, and says this Manilius is Mallius Theo­dorus, celebrated by the Poet Claudian; for the Author of this Astronomicon, is in many of the old Copies call'd Mallius, and this Mallius Theodorus, was a good Astronomer, and a Writer of great Industry and Repu­tation: [Page 18] But did Gevartius ever meet with the Astronomicon, under the Title of Fl. Mallius Theodorus? Or of Fl. Mallius and not alwaies of C. or M. Manlius, Mallius or Manilius? Doth Claudian com­mend the Poetry of his Consul, or men­tion his Acquaintance with the Muses? or could a Poet forget, or not celebrate that Talent which he himself must look upon as a very great Perfection, and the Age would have highly valued, had he been the Author of this Poem? Doth he say he wrote Books of A­stronomy, knew the Depths of Astrolo­gy, and was admitted into the Coun­cils of the Stars? Here was a large Field for that luxuriant Wit to have wanton'd in, and it cannot be thought he would have conceal'd the deserts of his Patron when he study'd to com­mend him: But instead of this he praises his Justice, Integrity, Cle­mency and Honor; he extols his E­loquence, [Page 19] and prefers the sweetness of it before all the delicate Charms of Poetry and Musick.

3 Ut quis non sitiens Sermonis Mella politi
Deserat Orpheos blanda Testudine cantus?

And tho' all the Muses are concern'd for him, and busie in his Service, yet he is devoted to none of them but Ura­ [...]ie, who assisted him in his Astronomi­cal Diversions.

4 Uranie redimita comas, quâ saepe Magistra
Mallius igniferos radio descripserat Axes.

[Page 20] Gevartius very well observes that this Consul Mallius was an Astronomer.

5 Invenit aetherios signantem pulvere cursus,
Quos pia sollicito deprendit pollice Mem­phis:
Quae moveant momenta polum, quam certus in Astris
Error: Quis tenebras Soli causisque meantem
Defectum indicat numerus. Quae linea Phoeben
Damne, et excluso pallentem fratre relinquat

That he publish'd some admir'd Books

6 Consul per populos, idemque gravissi­mus Author
Eloquij, duplici vita subnixus in aevu [...]
[Page 21] Procedat, libris pariter, fastisque le­gendus.

But how doth it appear that Astro­nomy was his Subject, when Claudi­an himself tells us it was the Origine and Constitution of the World? He re­presents him as well vers'd in all the several Hypotheses of the Natural and Moral Philosophers, acquainted both with the Physicks and Ethicks of the Greeks, and able to discourse of their Opinions very properly, and very e­legantly in Latin.

7 Graiorum obscuras Romanis floribus Artes Irradias—

But when he speaks of his Writings he says he describ'd the Origine and Disposition of the World,44 and gave [Page 22] very convincing proofs of his own Wit, Capacity, and Judgment, by his exact account of the beautiful Order, and regular Contrivance of that won­derful Machine.

8 Qualem te legimus teneri Primordia Mundi.
Scribentem, aut Partes Animae per Singula, Talem
Cernimus, et similes agnoscit Pagi­na mores.

From these Verses and other passages in Claudian, as

9 Quae vis animaverit Astra,
Impuleritque Choros, quo vivat Machi­na motu;

it may be inferr'd that this Consul [Page 23] Mallius, was as to Natural Philoso­phy a Stoick, and built his World according to the Hypothesis of that Sect, and therefore wrote something very like what we find at large in the first Book, and hinted at in several passa­ges of the other Books of Manilius. But this being the least part of our Author, and subservient to his great­er and general design, it must not be suppos'd that Claudian should enlarge only upon this, and leave his whole Astrology untoucht; unless we think Claudian as ridiculous as that Painter would be, who being to fill his Can­vas with a noble Family should draw a single Servant, or paint only a Fin­ger or a Nail when he had a large beau­tiful Body to represent.

I have been the more particular in this matter, because Gevartius pretends to demonstration, tho' to confute his conjecture it had been sufficient only [Page 24] to observe, that it is the most ridi­culous thing in the World to ima­gine that Mallius a Man well known both for his personal Endowments and publick Employments, who had been Governour of several Provinces, and at last Consul should publish a Treatise under his own Name, and yet in almost every Page of the Book endeavour to perswade his Readers it was written four hundred years be­fore. For it must be granted that the Prince whom he1 invokes in the beginning of his Poem, who is stiled Patriae Princepsque Paterque, who is deify'd whilst2 alive, and (not to repeat the other particulars I have al­ready reckon'd up) whose3 Horos­cope was Capricorn, was the first Great Augustus, and therefore there is no need of calling in the Authori­ties [Page 25] of4 Horace, 5 and6 Sue­tonius to prove it.

This last Character puts me in mind of another Objection that may be drawn from F. Harduin's7 Observation, for he says that Suetoni­us was himself deceiv'd, and hath de­ceiv'd all those who have thought Ca­pricorn was concern'd in the Nativity of Augustus: For if this be true all the Pretences of Manilius are ruin'd; but since that Writer doth not back his Assertion with any Reasons, I shall not submit to his bare Authority, nor wast my time in guessing what Arguments he may rely on, being not bold enough to conjecture what the daring Author may produce. Having thus fixt the Age of this Author, and prov'd him to have [Page 26] liv'd in the time of Augustus Caesar, I shall venture farther to affirm that he was born under the Reign of that Emperour, not only a Roman, but of illustrious Extraction, being a branch of that noble Family the Manilij, who so often fill'd the Consul's Chair, and supply'd the best and greatest Offices in the Roman Commonwealth. And here I must oppose many of the Cri­ticks, and be unassisted by the rest: For8 Scaliger confesses, that from his own Writings, it cannot be known what Countryman he was, and no other Authors give us any Informa­tion. Bonincontrius and Gyraldus en­deavour to prove from the Medal already mention'd, that he was no Roman; the Learned9 Isaac Vossius thinks he was a Syrian, and all who [Page 27] look upon him to be the same with that Manilius mention'd by Pliny, Nat. Hist. lib. 35. cap. 17. say he was a Slave: Only Petrus Crinitus 1 affirms, he was Nobly Born, and Mr. Tristan will2 have him to be that Manilius, of whom Pliny gives a very Honourable Character, in the Tenth Book and Second Chapter of his Natural History; where he says, He was of Senatorian Dignity, an excel­lent Scholar, and (If we believe Mr. Tristan) a very good Astronomer. But since Crinitus doth not prove what he says, and Mr. Tristan but conje­ctures at best, and upon Examinati­on, will be found to be very much mistaken in his Conjectures, there­fore I cannot expect any assistance from either of these Authors. Now it is not certain that the Gentleman [Page 28] whom Pliny speaks of in the Second Chapter of his Tenth Book was Nam'd Manilius. Copies differ, and in the M. SS. of Salmasius 3 he is call'd Mamilius: Pliny doth not say one word of his skill in Astronomy; he only4 affirms, ‘That he was the first of all the Romans who wrote concerning the Phoenix, that never any Man saw it feed, that in Ara­bia it is Sacred to the Sun, that it lives 660 Years, and that with the Life of this Bird is consummated the Conversion of the Great Year, in which the Stars return again to their first points, and give significa­tions of the same Seasons as at the beginning:’ And all this any one may write who is in an entire Igno­rance of the Courses and Influence of the Stars: But when Mr. Tristan [Page 29] farther observes that Pliny insinuates, besides a particular respect, a kind of Intimacy and Acquaintance between this Manilius and himself, he gives us a very convincing Argument against his own conjecture: for there is good reason to believe this Manilius the Po­et dy'd before Augustus, and therefore could not be intimate with Pliny.

To set this whole matter in its due light, I shall, as the learned and in­genious Sr. Edward Shirburn hath al­ready done in his Preface to the Sphere of Manilius take a view of those, who have been by the name of Manilius deliver'd down to Posterity as Men of Letters, and then consider which of all those, or whether any one of them was this Manilius the Poet.

Of that Manilius whom Pliny men­tions in the second Chapter of his tenth Book I have already said enough; and about that Manilius, whom Varro [Page 30] 5 cites, I shall not be concern'd, there being no ground to think he was the Author of this Poem.6 Pli­ny lib. 35. cap. 17. tells us of one Manilius surnam'd Antiochus, who with Publius Syrus, and Staberius E­ros were brought to Rome, all three of Servile Condition, but persons of good Literature. His words are these, Pedes Venalium trans mare advect­orum [Creta] denotare instituerunt Ma­jores; Talemque Publium [Syrum] mi­micae Scenae conditorem, et Astrologiae consobrinum ejus Manilium Antiochum, item Grammaticae Staberium Erotem, eadem navi advectos videre Proavi. Our Ancestors us'd to mark with Chalk the Feet of those Slaves who were brought over from beyond Sea to be sold; And such an one was Publius [Syrus] the Founder of [Page 31] the Mimick Scene, and his Cousin German Manilius Antiochus of Astro­logy, and Staberius Eros of Gram­mar; whom our great Grandfathers saw in that manner brought over in one and the same Ship: This Mani­lius Laurentius Bonincontrius (who near two ages agoe commented on our Author) conceives the same with Manilius who wrote this Astro­nomical Poem, to confirm which opi­nion he produces the evidence of a Silver Medal in his possession where­on was the figure of a Man, in an Exotick Habit with a Sphere plac'd near his Head, and this Inscription MANILI: The same is affirm'd says Lilius Gyraldus by Stephanus Dul­cinus, and the said Gyraldus farther assures us that a familiar Friend of his, one Nicolaus Trapolinus, had an­other Medal of the like Stamp and Inscription.’

[Page 32] ‘But against this opinion of Bonin­contrius and Gyraldus, Scaliger oppo­ses a double Argument, one drawn from the seeming inveracity of that suppos'd Evidence; no such Medal being at this day to be found in the Cabinets of any, no not the most curious Antiquaries; the other from the reason of Time, for Manilius An­tiochus being brought to Rome in the beginning of Sylla's days (for he was brought in the same Ship with Sta­berius Eros, who open'd his Gram­mar School in Rome whilst Sylla was alive) must needs, if he were the Author of this Poem have been 120 Years old when he began to write, this piece being written in the latter years of Augustus. Besides, the Author in the Proem of this work wishes for long life to compleat his intend­ed Poem, and therefore certainly he was not of that Age, it being ridi­culous [Page 33] for a Man to wish for long life, when he is at the Extream al­ready.’

‘The same Pliny, lib. 36. cap. 10. speaks of one Manilius a Mathemati­cian, who when the Obelisk which Augustus erected in the Campus Mar­tius for finding out the Hours of the day by the Shadow of the Sun, with the Increase or Decrease of the Days and Nights, plac'd a guilded Ball, Cujus Vertice Umbra colligeretur in se­metipsam, alia atque alia incrementa ja­culantem Apice, ratione (ut ferunt) à capite hominis intellecta, says Pliny, who commends the design.’

‘To this Person Scaliger conceives this work may with fairer probability be ascrib'd than to the former; which Opinion is by divers other judicious Men embrac'd.’

‘The excellently learn'd Isaac Vos­sius conceives yet, that the Manilius [Page 34] Antiochus, and the Manilius Mathema­ticus before mention'd are not two distinct Persons, but one and the same under different Titles and Ap­pellations, and the very Author of the Poem we now publish, whose particular Sentiments upon this Subject, and Arguments confir­ming the same, he was pleas'd not long since to impart to me, by his most obliging Letter, in answer to some Queries by me propounded in one of mine to him upon occasion of my intended publication of this piece, which for the Readers satis­faction, I shall here make publick, tho' not in his own words, yet as near as may be in his own Sense.’

‘And first in answer to Scaliger's Argument drawn from Reason to Time, against Manilius Antiochus, up­on the supposition of Staberius Eros (one of the Three before mention'd) set open his Grammar School in the [Page 35] time of Sylla ninety five years before the death of Augustus; and that there­fore Manilius could not probably be (according to Scaliger's Computati­on) less than 120 Years old at the time when this Poem was written; he urges by way of reply, that Su­etonius (from whom Scaliger takes the ground of his Argument) doth not say that Staberius Eros open'd his School in Sylla's time, but that he taught gratis the Children of those who in Sylla's time were proscrib'd. The Words of Suetonius are these, Sunt qui tradunt tanta eum (Staberi­um) honestate praeditum, ut temporibus Syllanis Proscriptorum liberos gratis, et sine mercede ulla in Disciplina receperit. How long that was after the times of Proscription will be needless here to declare; and that Manilius was not so old as Scaliger conceives, when this piece was written, may be made out from this, that he was the Cou­sin [Page 36] German of Publius Syrus, who that he was brought a young Boy to his Patron, Macrobius affirms, from whom likewise, and from the Ver­ses of Laberius it may be collected, that he was but a Youth when he came upon the Stage against Laberi­us, which was but a little before the death of Julius Caesar and Laberius al­so; to whom he succeeded on the Mimick Stage in the second year of 184 Olympiad, that is in the Year of Rome 711, as Eusebius testifies. And therefore seeing it is, manifest that Manilius publish'd this Poem soon after the Varian Defeat, which happened in the Year 762 of Rome, it is as evident likewise that between the Youth or Adolescence of Manilius, and the time wherein he wrote this piece, there could not pass above one and fifty Years, and consequent­ly there is no reason to assign so [Page 37] great an Age to Manilius, as Scali­ger here doth, since perhaps he was not seventy years old when he had finish'd this his Astronomical Poem.

‘As to what Scaliger subjoyns touch­ing Manilius his wish for long life toge­ther with a cheerful old Age, and the Inference he thence makes that he could not reasonably be thought to be old then, who wish'd he might live to be so. The Argument is but weak, for Senium is one thing, and Senium An­nosum is another; Nor doth he sim­ply wish for Vitam Annosam, but Vi­tam Annosam quae conjuncta sit cum molli Senecta, which may be wish'd for even by those who are very old.’

‘As for the name of Antiochus, he seems to have taken it from the fa­mous Philosopher Antiochus Ascaloni­ta, often mention'd by Cicero, Plu­tarch, Sextus Empiricus, and others, whose School not only Cicero, but [Page 38] Varro, Brutus, and divers others are said to have frequented, and in all probability this our Manilius also, as being not only of the same Nation, but happily born in the same Town (Ascalon.) So that it may seem no wonder if after the manner of those times, he took upon him the Name of his worthy Tutor and Instructor. For that he was a Syrian is not only manifest from his Consanguinity with Publius Mimus, but may like­wise be collected from the Title or Inscription of this work, which is an ancient and excellent Manuscript in the Possession of Vossius is this M. MALLII POENI ASTRONO­MICON DIVO OCTAVIO QUI­RINO AUG. That the Phaenicians were by the Romans called POENI is manifest out of Horace, Cicero apud Nonium, and our Author in this ve­ry Poem; he concludes therefore than [Page 39] this our Manilius, or (as he is rather pleased to call him) Manlius was a Phaenician, and in all probability Na­tive of the same Town as Antiochus his Tutor, whose name he assum'd.’

‘From this Dedication of his Work to Augustus, by the Name of Quirinus, as the Inscription shews, will appear the Error of those, who who imagine the same to be Dedi­cated to Tiberius, or some later Ro­man Emperour: And the Reason of attributing the Name of Quirinus to Augustus, may be made clear from the Words of Suetonius, Censentibus quibusdam Romulum appellari oportere quasi et ipsum conditorem Urbis, &c. Dion likewise tells us [...], That Au­gustus Caesar extremely desir'd to be call'd Romulus: and Joannes Philadelphensis (Scripto de Mensibus in Aug.) [...] [Page 40] Octa­vianus Son of Octavius was after his great Victories honoured with divers Names, for by some he was called Quiri­nus, as another Romulus, &c.’

‘As to that Manilius stiled by Pliny Mathematicus, he conceives that titu­lar distinction to make no difference in the Person, but that he is the same with the former, further adding, Om­nino existimo et illum quoque de nostro Manilio accipi debere. And whereas Salmasius affirms that the name Man­lius or Manilius is not to be found in that place of Pliny in any ancient Ma­nuscripts, he makes it appear that Salmasius is extreamly mistaken by the testimony of several antient Ma­nuscript Copies of Pliny in his Pos­session, one of which was written a­bove 8 or 900 Years agoe, in all which the Word Manlius is found, [Page 41] though with some small difference in writing of the name. Nor doth he think the name of Marcus prefixd to Manilius ought to be scrupled at, up­on the Account that none of the Man­lian Family after the 360th Year from the building of Rome could or did use that Praenomen, seeing the prohi­bition as Cicero intimates is only to be understood of the Patrician Race, Now that this Manilius, or (as he calls him) Manlius was before his Manumission a Slave, not only the place of Pliny already cited, but the very Agnomen of Antiochus sufficiently demonstrates, for as much as a Greek Agnomen joyn'd to a Roman Name is always a most certain Token of a Servile Condition.’

Thus far Sir Edward Shirburn, who is very much inclin'd to rest satisfied with this rational discourse of the in­comparable Vossius, and thinks others [Page 42] should be so too; but upon examina­tion it will appear that Scaliger's Ob­jections are still in force, and that Vos­sius's his reasonings are all to little pur­pose. It must be granted that the Agnomen Antiochus proves that Manilius to be of Servile Condition, tho' there is no need of this Argument, since Pli­ny in very express Terms asserts that he is so: Tis likewise true that that Manilius was a Syrian, being a near Kinsman to Publius Syrus, and brought to Italy in the same Ship with him: But that that Manilius the Syrian was the same with Manilius the Poet, is a Question that still returns, and will not, I fear, be determin'd by the Title of that ancient and excellent Manuscript of Vossius: For if instead of M. MALLII POENI, we read M. MALLII POETAE, which is found in other Manuscripts, (and every body knows there is so little difference in the [Page 43] traits of the Letters of those two words in ancient Copies, that they may ve­ry easily by Ignorant Transcribers be mistaken for one another) then the Evidence drawn from this Inscription is lost: Besides that Title is not to be regarded, it not being written by the Author but affixt by some heedless Copyer of the Poem: For it is Divo Octavio, whereas Augustus was never stil'd Divus though often Deus before his Death, and the Writer of the Astro­nomicon, as will by and by appear, dy'd before Augustus.

To speak out what I think will not be deny'd, Manilius the Author of this Poem was young when he wrote it, and dy'd young; and therefore cannot be that Manilius Antiochus whom Scaliger reckons to be 120, and Vossi­us is forced to confess was 70 years of Age about the time Varus was de­feated by the Germans. The first part [Page 44] of this Assertion may be demonstra­ted from almost all the Pages of his Book, in which we meet with many things that are not to be accounted for on the Hypothesis of Sixty: He is too fierce and fiery for that Age, and bounds every Step he takes: In a Man of years when we find a Warmth we feel it to be regular, he never starts, his Pace is equal, and seldom varies but when his Subject forces him to a more than ordinary quickness.

Judgment appears all thro', and a strength well govern'd: When he rises he doth not affect to climb but to walk, like a sober Traveller, who knowing his own force seeks the easiest ascent, when his Ground is uneven, or he is oblig'd to take the advantage of a Prospect. But 'tis not so in Youth whose Fancies as well as Passi­ons are impetuous; that pleases them most which is most daring, finding [Page 45] they have strength they use it to the utmost, and when at last they sink they seem rather worn out, than ti­red. I cannot compare the Spirit of Poetry possessing a Youth, of a strong generous Imagination and vigorous Constitution, to any thing better than to a Flame seizing on the Body of a Meteor, the whole Mass blazes, and mounts upon a sudden; but its motion is all the way uneven, and it quickly falls in a despicable Gelly: He that looks on the Latin of Manilius will see that I do him no Injury when I compare him to this Meteor, for e­ven when he is oblig'd to give rules, and is ty'd almost to a certain form of words, he struggles against those necessary Fetters, he reaches after the strongest Metaphors, uses the boldest Catachresis, and against all the rules of Decency labours after an obscure Sub­lime, when he should endeavour to be [Page 46] plain, intelligible and easy: But as soon as he hath room to get loose, how wildly doth he rove? he is not free but licentious, and strives to err greatly. 'Tis needless to produce par­ticulars, since they are so visible in the Prefaces, Fables, and Descriptions thro' his Books: And upon the whole it may be affirm'd, there are so many boldnesses scatter'd thro' his Poem, and so much of Toysomness just by them, that a Man may read his Youth in his writings, as well as his Contem­poraries could do it in his Face.

I would mention and enlarge up­on his conspicuous Vanity, and from thence endeavour to support the Judg­ment I have already pass'd; but that I consider that fault when it hath once possess'd a Man is not to be cool'd by all the Frost and Snow of Age: Yet from the Vanity of Manilius I think a particular Argument may be [Page 47] drawn to prove him to be young, for he had a design to rival or perfect the inimitable Virgil. This is evident from the Preface to his third Book:

7 Romanae Gentis Origo,
Totque Duces Orbis, tot bella, tot otia, et omnis
In Populi unius leges ut cesserit Orbis

For here it is plain he had this migh­ty project in his head, and after he had prepar'd himself by this Astrono­mical Poem, rais'd his Fancy and got a good turn of Verse, was resolv'd to prosecute it with his utmost vigour; he saw the vastness of the design

8 Spatio majore canenda
Quam si tacta loquor—

[Page 48] Yet he hop'd to live to finish it, though in the beginning of this Poem he wishes for old Age that he might compleat the Work he then had in hand; yet having gone through the most difficult part of it sooner, and with more ease than at first he thought he should have done; he sets up for new Schemes and thinks he shall have years enough before him pru­dently to begin, and Strength succes­fully to carry on so great an Under­taking. In this very Preface he rec­kons up a great many other Subjects fit to employ a Poet, but in express terms lays them all aside.

Colchida nec referam, &c.
Non annosa canam, &c.

But the Roman History is in his Thoughts tho' he will not begin to [Page 49] write, till his greater leisure gives him opportunity to do it.

These two Observations perswade me, that Manilius was Young when he began this Poem, and that he dy'd Young, and did not live to finish his design, or accurately Re­vise what he had written, will I think be very evident from what follows: It cannot be deny'd, that this Poet had advanc'd very far in his Work, whilst Tiberius was at Rhodes, for in his fourth Book, he gives this Cha­racter of that Island:

9 Virgine sub casta felix Terraque Marique,
Et Rhodos, Hospitium recturi Prin­cipis Orbem,
Tuque domus verè solis, cui tota sa­crata es,
[Page 50] Cum caperes lumen magni sub Caesare Mundi.

Now1 Tiberius retired to Rhodes, when C. Antistius and L. Balbus, were Consuls; he continu'd there Seven 2 Years, and return'd in the Consul­ship of P. Vinicius and P. Alfinius Va­rus; and yet in the first Book we meet with the3 Description of the Pro­digies that appeared before the defeat of Varus in Germany which hapned when Poppaeus Sabinus and Q. Sulpici­us Camerinus were Consuls, about eight years after the Return of Tiberius from Rhodes: What shall we say then? was the fourth Book written and publish'd before the first? or would the Poet have strain'd for that Complement to Rhodes after the Varian Defeat? with [Page 51] what Propriety could that Island be call'd Hospitium recturi Principis Orbem, or with what Truth could it be said to contain the most glorious Lumina­ry next to Caesar, when that imagin'd Star had not for many years been in that Horizon, and now shone in other quarters of the World? No, this had been Banter and inexplicable Riddle: But if we suppose Manilius to have had this Work under his hand several years, to have revis'd it, and added what he thought would adorn his Po­em, then we can easily give an ac­count why his fourth Book should appear to be eight years younger than his first: A little before Tiberius's re­turn from Rhodes he wrote his fourth Book, after that he composs'd his fifth, and sixth which is now lost; then at several times revising his Work, and about the time of the Va­rian Defeat being upon the end of his [Page 52] first Book, he added to his discourse of Comets a short Account of those prodigious Meteors that then appear­ed, and which Historians4 tell us were the most amazing that were ever seen: Soon after this he dy'd be­fore he had corrected the fourth Book, as appears from the Character which in that Book he gives the Island Rhodes, and which his last and finish­ing hand could not have left there.

These Observations will help us to give some tolerable account of the o­ther difficulties relating to this Author, for to any one who enquires why the first Book is more correct than the rest? why the Impurities of Stile the Criticks charge upon him are for the most part pickt out of the four last Books? I would answer, we have on­ly [Page 53] the first and rude Draughts of them; and that as Poets and Painters are said to be very near ally'd, so they agree in nothing more than they do in this, that though in their Scetches we see the Master, yet we may find something that the Finisher would cor­rect: To him who asks why there is no mention of this Poet in any of the Antients, I would reply, That Mani­lius having left an unfinisht Piece, his Family was studious both of his Cre­dit and their own, they carefully pre­serv'd the Orphan, but would not ex­pose it: In that Age when Poetry was rais'd to its greatest highth, it had argued the utmost Fondness or the ex­treamest Folly in a Noble Family to have publish'd a crude uncorrect Po­em, and thereby engage their Honors to defend it.

Besides, Augustus who was infinite­ly jealous of his reputation [Page 54] (—Si palpere recalcitrat undique tutus,’ says Horace who knew his Temper very well) would not have born the too officious Complement of being in­vok'd, unless the Poem had been as correct as Virgil's Georgicks, and fit for his Genius to inspire. Lucan after­ward suffer'd for the like Complement, though indeed upon a far different ac­count: He lost his Life for pretending to be inspir'd by Nero, when he made better Verses than the Emperour him­self; his Flattery to Nero was too great, as this of Manilius to Augustus had been too little, and a Defect in such Addresses was as dangerous un­der the wise, as an Excess in them was under the vain Emperors of Rome.

[Page 55] You are sufficiently tired, I fear, with this long Discourse about Manili­us full of guesses and conjectures, yet I cannot dismiss this Subject without adding something concerning his Qua­lity, and place of Birth. His Quali­ty he carries in his name, the Manilij being one of the best Families in Rome, which so often fill'd the Consul's Chair, and was employ'd in the greatest Offices of that Common­wealth. Indeed some have affirm'd that he was of Servile Condition, and being made free, according to Cu­stom, took the name of his Patron: But since I have already prov'd, that he was not the Manilius Antiochus in Pliny, there is no reason left for any one to say he was a Slave; he himself very expresly, I think, declares him­self to be a Roman born, for in his fourth Book he shews a Concern for the Interests of the Roman Common­wealth [Page 56] down as low as the Age of Hannibal. 5 Speratum Hannibalem nostris ceci­disse catenis:’ which he could not with any Propri­ety have done, had his relation to that State commenc'd so lately, or had his Ancestors had no Interest in the then Losses or Victories of Rome. And seeing he was born a Roman, and of the Family of the Manilij, we may farther from some other Evidences con­clude that he sprung from a very con­siderable, if not one of the noblest Branches of it; for if we reflect that tho' he dy'd young, yet he had been well instructed in the several Hypothe­ses of the Antient Philosophers, accu­rately taught the Doctrine of the Sto­icks, [Page 57] led thro' all the intricate mazes and Subtilties of Astrology, that he was acquainted with the Mathematicks, knew all the Mythology of the Antients, and had run thro' the Greek Poets, we shall find in him all the signs of a very li­beral and costly Education, and con­sequently of a considerable Quality, or at least a great Fortune. But if we reflect farther that he was conversant at Court, and acquainted with the mo­dish, and nicest Flattery of the Palace, that he made his Complements in the same Phrase that the most intimate and finisht Courtier ever us'd, we may raise another probable Argument that his Quality was great: Now this reflection may be supported by one observation made on the Complement he pays Tiberius when at Rhodes: He stiles him6 Magni Mundi Lumen, using [Page 58] the very same Word, which we meet with in Velleius Paterculus, who wrote all Court Language, upon the very same occasion.7 Alterum Reipublicae Lumen is Tiberius, and he retir'd to Rhodes, ne Fulgor suus orientium Juve­num, C. et L. Caes. obstaret initiis, says that Historian.

As to his place of Birth, since we find him at Rome when he wrote this Poem, 8 Qua genitus cum fratre Remus hanc condidit Urbem:’ and no Author settles him any where else, it may with some shew of Pro­bability be concluded, that he was born in that City, in which we are certain he both studeid, and led his [Page 59] life: But if we consider farther that he takes all occasions to shew his respect for Rome, that with Zeal he mentions those extravagant Honours which the Flattery9 of Asia, and the Vanity of her own Citizens had put upon her, we shall find so much Ve­neration in his Writings, that it could not well rise from any other Spring than that Piety which Men of gene­rous Sense and Spirit always retain for the Places of their Birth.

To close this Discourse, I have prov'd this Author was not the Mani­lius Antiochus mention'd by Pliny, Nat. Hist. lib. 35. cap. 17. Nor that Manili­us lib. 10. cap. 2. and that both Vossius and Mr. Tristan are very much mista­ken in their Conjectures. There re­mains [Page 60] another Manilius whom the same1 Pliny, commends for his Skill in Mathematicks; this Mathematician Scaliger thinks to be the same with the Poet, because he liv'd in the time of Augustus, and was conversant in the same Studies with our Author; These I must own are not convincing proofs; but as there are no good Arguments for, so there are no Objections against his pretences, and therefore he still stands fairest for the Person.

This Manilius of a Noble Family, born in Rome, and living in the Age of Augustus, had a liberal Education suitable to his Quality and the time in which he liv'd: his Writings shew him to be well acquainted with the Principles of the several Sects of Philo­sophers, but addicted to the Stoicks, [Page 61] whose Hypothesis in all its out-lines bears a very near resemblance to some of the Theories that are now in Fa­shion. The Modern Philosophers build Worlds according to the Mo­dels of the Antient Heathens, and Ze­no is the Architect.

The Stoicks Principles were in short these: They say there is one Infinite, Eternal, Almighty Mind, which being diffus'd thro' the whole Universe of well order'd and regularly dispos'd Matter, actuates every part of it, and is as it were, the Soul of this vast Bo­dy: The Parts of this Body they say are of two Sorts, the Celestial, viz. the Planets and the fixt Stars, and the Ter­restrial, viz. the Earth, and all the o­ther Elements about it: The Celesti­al continue still the same without any Change or Variation; but the whole Sublunary World is not only liable to [Page 62] Dissolution, but often hath been, and shall again be dissolv'd by Fire: From this Chaos which, because it is made by Fire, they call Fire, they say ano­ther System would arise, the several particles of it settling according to their respective Weights: Thus the Earth would sink lowest, the Water would be above that, the Air next, and the Fire encompass the other Three: But because all the Earthy parts are not e­qually rigid, nor equally dispers'd thro' the Chaos, therefore there would be Cavities and Hollows in some pla­ces fit to receive the Water, and to be Channels for Rivers: In other places Hills and Mountains would rise, and the whole System appear in that very form and figure which it now bears. They farther add, that this Infinite Mind hath made one general decree concerning the Government of the lower World, and executes it by give­ing [Page 63] such and such Powers to the Ce­lestial Bodies, as are sufficient and pro­per to produce the design'd Effects: This Decree thus executed they call Fate, and upon this Principle their whole System of Astrology depends: That some things happen'd in the World which were very unaccountable every days Experience taught them; they learn'd also or pretended to have learn'd from very many accurate, and often repeated Observations, that there was a constant Agreement between those odd unaccountable Accidents and such and such Positions of the Hea­venly Bodies, and therefore conclud­ed that those Bodies were concern'd in those Effects: Hence they began to settle Rules, and to draw their scat­ter'd Observations into an Art; And this was the State of the Hypothe­sis and Astrology of the Stoicks, (I must call it so for distinction sake, tho', [Page 64] neither the Hypothesis it self, nor the Astrology built upon it was invented by Zeno, but deliver'd down to him and his Scholars by the Chaldeans and other Philosophers of the East) 'till the Greeks ambitious of making it appear their own, endeavour'd to e­stablish support and adorn it with their Fables, and by that means made that which before seem'd only preca­rious, (as all Arts which are drawn from bare Observation and not from any settled Principles in Nature must appear to be) ridiculous Fancies, and wild Imaginations: But I do not de­sign an Account, nor a defence of the Astrology of the Antients: You know, Sir, it hath been spoken a­gainst and derided on the one Hand, and supported and applauded on the other by Men of great Wit, Judg­ment, Piety, and Worth: and he who shall take a View of it, will al­ways [Page 65] find enough in it to divert his leisure, if not to satisfie his Curio­sity, and raise his Admiration.

This is the Hypothesis which Mani­lius endeavour'd to explain in La­tin Verse: Had he liv'd to revise it, we had now had a more beau­tiful and correct piece; he had a Ge­nius equal to his Undertaking, his Fancy was bold and daring, his Skill in the Mathematicks great e­nough for his Design, his Know­ledge of the History, and Acquain­tance with the Mythology of the Antients general: As he is now, some of the Criticks place him a­mongst the Judicious and Elegant, and all allow him to be one of the useful, instructive, profitable Poets: He hints at some Opinions which later Ages have thought fit to glo­ry [Page 66] in as their own Discoveries. Thus he defends the Fluidity of the Hea­vens against the Hypothesis of Aristo­tle.

He asserts that the fixed Stars are not all in the same concave Superfi­cies of the Heavens, and equally di­stant from the Center of the World: He maintains that they are all of the same Nature and Substance with the Sun, and that each of them hath a particular Vortex of his own; and lastly he affirms that the Milkie Way is only the undistinguish'd Lustre of a great many small Stars, which the Moderns now see to be such, thro' the Glass of Galilaeo: In short, we do not give him too great a Cha­racter, when we say he is one of the most discerning Philosophers that An­tiquity can shew.

[Page 67] In my Version I have endeavou­red to render this Author in [...]lligi­ble and easie, and therefore have been sometimes forc'd to take a lar­ger Compass than a strict Tra [...]sla­tion would allow; and have [...]d­ded some Notes to make him [...]ess obscure: Amongst those Notes y [...]u will find one relating to the Th [...] ­ory of the Earth, which I must de­sire you to lay aside, it being written and printed several years ago, and before I had well consi­dered the weak unphilosophical Prin­ciples, and pernicious Consequences of that vain Hypothesis.

And now, Sir, you are near the End of this long Letter, give me [...]eave to tell you, that I have not tired [...]ou half so much, as at first I de­sign'd [Page 68] to do; having left unsaid a great many things relating both to the Author and his Writings: Those perhaps will appear at the Head of a Latin Edition of his Works, which I shall think my self oblig'd to under­take, unless a very learned Gentle­man, from whom I have long expect­ed it, frees me from that trouble, and obliges the World with his own Ob­servations.

I am Your Humble Servant, T. C.

MANILIUS. The First Book.

After a short Account of his Design, and a com­plemental Address to Augustus, he begins, 1. With the Rise and Progress of Astronomy, and other Arts: 2. Discourseth of the se­veral Opinions concerning the Beginning of the World: 3. Describes the Order of it: 4. Proves the Earth to be the Centre of the World: 5. Proves it to be round: 6. As­serts the Soul of the World: 7. Reckons up the Signs of the Zodiack: 8. Describes the Axis: 9. The Northern Constellations: 10. The Constellations between the Tropicks and the South-pole: 11. Explains the Fi­gures of the Constellations: 12. Asserts Pro­vidence against Epicurus: 13. Discovers the Bigness of the World: 14. Treats of the mo­vable and immovable Circles: 15. Makes a long description of the Milky-way: 16. Rec­kons up the Planets: 17. Discourseth of Comets and Meteors, and concludes that they presage.

[Page 2] STars conscious of our Fates and Arts 1 Divine,
The Subject of the Po­em.
The wondrous work of Heaven's first wise design,
In numerous Verse I boldly first inclose;
Too high a Subject, and too great for Prose.
At what the Ancients with a wild amaze
And ignorant wonder were content to gaze,
My Verse brings down from Heav'n, design'd to show
Celestial secrets to the World below:
What yet the Muses Groves ne'er heard, I sing,
And bring unusual offerings to their spring.
Rome's Prince and Father,
The Invo­cation.
Thou whose wide com­mand
With awfull sway is stretcht o'er Sea and Land,
Who dost deserve that Heaven thy Love bestow'd
On thy great Father, Thou thy self a God,
Now give me Courage, make my Fancy strong,
And yield me vigour for so great a Song.
Nor doth the World this curious search refuse,
It kindly courts the daring of my Muse,
And will be known; whilst You serenely reign,
Instruct our Labour, and reward our Pain.
Wings raise my Feet, I'm pleas'd to mount on high
Trace all the Mazes of the liquid Sky,
Their various turnings, and their whirls declare,
And live in the vast regions of the Air:
I'll know the Stars, which yet alone to gain
Is knowledge mean, unequal to the Pain;
For doubts resolv'd it no delight affords,
But fills soft empty heads with ratling words:
I'll search the Depths, the most remote recess,
And flying Nature to Confession press;
[Page 3] I'll find what Sign and Constellation rule,
And make the difference 'twixt the Wise and Fool;
My Verse shall sing what various Aspect reigns
When Kings are doom'd to Crowns and Slaves to Chains.
I'll turn Fate's Books, there reade proud Parthia's doom,
And see the sure Eternity of Rome.
Two Temples rais'd with sacred Incense shine,
The Diffi­culty.
I bow at Nature's and the Muses shrine;
Both aids I need, for double Cares do throng,
And fill my Thought; the Subject and the Song:
And whilst I'm bound to Verse with Orbs immense
The World rouls round me, and distracts my sense;
Vast is my Theme, yet unconceiv'd, and brings
Untoward words scarce loosned from the Things.
Who first below these wondrous secrets knew?
Who stole that knowledge which the World with­drew?
Whose soaring mind those Airy mazes trod
And spight of Heaven desir'd to seem a God!
Open the Skies, and teach how Stars obey,
And run their race as Nature marks the way,
Their Power and Influence, what directs their Course
What whirls them round, and what confines their force.
First Mercury disclos'd these mysteries,
I. The Rise and Pro­gress of A­stronomy,
By Him we view the Inside of the Skies,
And know the Stars, and now Mankind admires
The Power, not onely Lustre of their Fires:
By Him all know how great, how just and wise,
And good is the Contriver of the Skies;
At whose Command the Stars in order met,
Who times appointed when to rise and set;
That Heaven's great secrets may lie hid no more,
And Man instructed gratefully Adore.
[Page 4] Nature disclos'd her self, and from her Springs
Pure streams deriv'd o'erslow'd the Minds of Kings,
Kings next to Heaven, who o'er the East did sway,
Where swift Euphrates cuts his rapid way,
Where 2 Nile o'erflows, and whence the Whirl re­stores
The Day to Us, and passing burns the Moors.
And next o'er Priests, whose constant Cares em­ployd
In publick service did obleige the God,
His Presence did their holy minds inspire
With sacred flames, and rais'd their fancies higher,
Till by degrees to due perfection wrought
He made himself the Object of their thought:
Such were those wondrous Men who first from far
Lookt up, and saw Fates hanging at each Star:
Their thoughts extended did at once comprise
Ten thousand revolutions of the Skies,
They markt the Influence, and observ'd the Power
Of every Sign, and every fatal Hour;
What Tempers they bestow'd, what Fortunes gave,
And who was doom'd a King, who born a Slave;
How Aspects vary, and their change creates,
Though little, great variety in Fates.
Thus when the Stars their mighty Round had run,
And all were fixt whence first their Race begun,
What Hints Experience did to search impart
They join'd, and Observation grew to Art;
Thus Rules were fram'd, for by Example shown
They knew what would be, from what had been done;
They saw the Stars their constant Round maintain
Perform their Course, and then return again;
They on their Aspects saw the Fates attend,
Their change on their Variety depend;
[Page 5] And thence they fixt unalterable Laws,
Settling the same Effect on the same Cause.
Before that time Life was an artless State
Of Reason void, and thoughtless in debate:
Nature lay hid in deepest Night below,
None knew her wonders, and none car'd to know:
Upward men look, they saw the circling light,
Pleas'd with the Fires, and wondred at the sight:
The Sun, when Night came on, withdrawn, they griev'd,
As dead, and joy'd next Morn when he reviv'd;
But why the Nights grow long or short, the Day
Is chang'd, and the Shades vary with the Ray,
Shorter at his approach, and longer grown
At his remove, the Causes were unknown:
For Wit lay unimprov'd, the desart plains
Were unmanur'd, nor fed the idle Swains:
Ev'n Gold dwelt safe in Hills, and none resign'd
Their lives to Seas or wishes to the Wind;
Consin'd their search, they knew themselves alone,
And thought that onely worthy to be known:
But when long time the Wretches thoughts resin'd,
When Want had set an edge upon their Mind;
When Men encreast, and Want did boldly press,
And forc'd them to be witty for redress;
Then various Cares their working thoughts em­ploy'd,
And that which each invented all enjoy'd.
Then Corn first grew, then Fruit enricht the grounds,
And barbarous noise was first confin'd to sounds:
Through Seas unknown the Sailer then was hurl'd,
And gainfull Traffick joyn'd the distant World:
Then Arts of War were found, and Arts of Peace,
For Vse is always fruitfull in encrease.
[Page 6] New hints from settled Arts Experience gains,
Instructs our Labour, and rewards our Pains:
Thus into many Streams one Spring divides,
And through the Valleys rouls refreshing Tides.
But these were little things compar'd, they knew
The voice of Birds, in Entrails Fates could view;
Burst Snakes with charms, and in a Bullock's bloud,
See Rage appeas'd, or fear an angry God.
They call'd up Ghosts, mov'd deepest Hell, the Sun
Could stop, and force a Night upon his Noon;
Then make him rise at Night, for all submit
To constant Industry, and piercing Wit.
Nor stopt they here, unwearied Industry
Rose boldly up and mounted through the Sky,
Saw all that could be seen, view'd Nature's Laws,
And young Effects still lying in their Cause.
What wings the Lightning, why from watry Clouds
The Thunder breaks, and roars the wrath of Gods.
What raiseth Storms, what makes the Winds to blow,
Why Summer's Hail's more stiff than Winter's Snow:
What fires Earth's Entrails, what doth shake the Ball,
Why Tempests rattle, and why Rain doth fall:
All this she view'd, and did their modes explain,
And taught us to admire no more in vain.
Heaven was disarm'd, mad Whirlwinds rul'd above
And Clouds and Vapors thundred instead of Jove.
These things explain'd, their hidden Cause known,
The Mind grew strong, and ventur'd boldly on;
For rais'd so high, from that convenient rise
She took her flight, and quickly reacht the Skies;
To every Constellation Shapes and Names
Assign'd, and markt them out their proper frames
[Page 7] Then view'd their Course, and saw the Orbs were mov'd
As Heaven did guide, and as the World approv'd;
That Chance was baffled whilst their Whirls create
The interchang'd Variety of Fate.
This is my Theme, ne'er yet in Numbers wrought,
Assist me, Fortune, and improve my thought;
Equal my Mind to my vast task; prolong
My life in ease, smooth as my flowing Song;
That while my Muse is working o'er the Heap,
And forms this Chaos to a pleasing shape,
I may with equal care, and equal heat,
Declare the Little and disclose the Great.
But now since Fate and Verse do joyntly flow
From Heaven, and both rule equally below.
First let my Muse whole Nature's Face design,
Its Figure draw, and finish every Line.
Whether from Seed it ne'er 3 began to be,
II. Different Opinions a­bout the be­ginning of the World.
Secure from Fate, and from Corruption free;
Knew no Beginning, and no Ending fears,
But was, and will be, as it now appears.
Or huddled 4 Chaos by a wondrous Birth
Archt the vast Sky and fixt the solid Earth;
And when this shining World once rais'd its Head
To Shades Infernal banisht Darkness fled.
Or whether unseen 5 Atoms blindly thrown
Compos'd it, and as Years whirle nimbly on,
It must dissolve, and as it first was wrought
From almost Nothing, fall to almost Nought.
Or rose from working 6 Fire's enlivening Rays,
Which form Heaven's Eyes, and live in every Mass.
In Thunder roar, and in the Lightning blaze.
[Page 8] Or whether 7 Water which combines the Frame
Compos'd, and keeps it from the loosning Flame.
Or whether 8 Water, Air, and Flame and Earth
Knew no beginning, no first seeds of Birth;
But first in Being from themselves arose,
And as four Members the vast God compose;
In which Thin, Thick, Hot, Cold, and Moist and Dry,
For mutual Actions mutual parts supply.
From whose agreeing disagreement springs,
The numerous odd Variety of Things.
These Qualities to act provoke the Seed,
Make Vital Elements and Bodies breed.
What 'twas at first,
III. The Order of the Frame.
and whence the All began
Is doubted, and the Doubt too deep for Man;
And let it be, but whencesoe'er it came
Its Face is certain, 'tis an order'd Frame.
Upward the 9 Flame on active Pinions fled,
To Heaven's high Arch it rais'd its shining Head,
There stopt as weary grown, and round the Frame
For Nature's Bullwark roll'd a Wall of Flame.
Then liquid Air spread through the empty space
Less light and active took the second place.
But next the Flame the lightest parts aspire
To waste themselves, and feed the greedy Fire.
The heavyer Water makes an humbler Claim,
And lies the third in order in the Frame;
That Vapours rising may, like Seed, repair
What Fire destroys, and feed decaying Air:
Weight sank round Earth to the remotest place,
And floating Sand in clinging Mud's embrace
Stuck fast, whilst Seas squeez'd out flow'd o'er the Mass:
As those grew limpid, and diffus'd the Waves,
Through spacious Hollows and descending Caves
[Page 9] Rocks started forth, their Heads the Mountains rear'd,
And Earth surrounded by the Floud appear'd.
Lowest of all, and in the midst it lies
Compass'd by Seas, and cover'd by the Skies.
The Place doth fix it, for still rising higher
The other Elements equally retire,
And that by falling stops its farther fall,
And hangs the midst and lowest of them all,
Its parts to one fixt point press jointly down,
And meet, and stop each other from moving on.
For did not Earth hang midst the airy space,
IV. The Earth lies in the midst of the World.
How could the Sun perform his constant race?
Drive on the Day, fall headlong down the West,
Force up the Stars, and rise again at East?
How could the Moon her usual Round maintain,
Rise, set, and rise near the same point again?
Or He that leads the Stars at Night return
To East again, and usher forth the Morn?
But since Earth did not to a Bottom fall,
But hangs, and yielding Air surrounds the Ball,
The way is open, and no stop to force
The Stars return, or to impede their course.
For who can think that when the 10 Sun doth rise
He's born anew, or when He sets He dies?
That when one Day He hath display'd his Light
His Race is finisht, and goes out at Night?
Since He the same doth every Morn appear,
And as He drives a Day He whirls a Year.
From the same East He comes with equal pace,
To the same West He still directs his Race;
And not one Change is seen in Nature's Face.
The same Moon shines, and at a certain Day,
Her light encreases, and Her Horns decay.
[Page 10] The track she made Nature doth still pursue,
Nor like a Novice wanders in a new.
Phoebus still warms those signs where first he shone,
And Day goes round with one eternal Sun.
Thus prov'd: because by just Degrees the Hours
In different Countries are the same with Ours.
The Eastern Nations view the rising Fires
Whilst Night shades us, and lazily retires.
And as to distant West we nimbly run,
That still removes, nor can we reach the Sun.
No East begins, no West his race doth bound,
But he drives on in one continued Round.
Nor is it wondrous that one single Ball
Should hang, since 'tis the Nature of the All.
No prop supports, but as their motions prove,
The whole World hangs, and all that whirls above.
The Sun doth drive his Race through yielding Skies,
Wheel round the liquid Bound, and set and rise.
Through Aether, Moon and Stars direct their Race,
Like these Earth unsupported keeps its place,
Though no fixt Bottom props the weighty Mass.
Well then,
V. The Earth is round.
the Earth hangs midst the yielding Air
Not stretcht into a Plain, but every where
It rises and declines into a Sphere.
In other Parts this Figure Nature drew,
The Sun and Stars, if we exactly view,
Seem round, the Moon is vary'd every Night,
Nor with an equal Face receives her Brother's Light.
This proves her round since different rays adorn,
Now shape, now bend, now fill her borrow'd Horn,
This Form's Eternal and may justly claim
A Godlike Nature, all its parts the same;
[Page 11] Alike and equal to its self 'tis found,
No End's and no Beginning in a Round.
Nought can molest its Being nought controul,
And this enobles and confines the Whole.
Hence every Countrey sees not every Sign,
First Argu­ment.
What Sailer views the bright 11 Canopus shine
O'er Egypt's Shores, and when its Rays appear
Who sees the little Circles of the Bear?
For Earth still rising to a Round denies,
A larger Scene, and bounds our feeble Eyes.
This Truth the 12 Moon confirms when deep in Night
Earth interposes,
Second Ar­gument.
and diverts her Light,
She doth not all the World at once surprize,
But now seems dark to these, now other Eyes.
The Eastern Parts first view her darkned Face,
Then o'er the South she rolls her broken Rays;
And then still prest by the obscuring shade,
She hears the Western Brass resounding to her Aid.
Now if the Earth were flat the darkned Moon
Would seem to all Eclypst as well as one.
At once presenting to the common view
Her gloomy looks, and prove this fancy true.
But since its Figure's round, dim Cynthia's beams
By just degrees must visit the Extremes;
Not all at once; she must divide the Skies,
And while she sets to some, to others rise.
For in the mighty Concave whirl'd above
She rising must, and must declining move;
Now climb this rising, and her Glories show,
Then sink again, and scatter Beams below.
This proves (nor shall the subtlest Wits escape
These twining Reasons) the disputed Shape.
By various Animals this Globe's possest,
The Common House of Man, of Bird, and Beast;
[Page 12] The Northern 13 parts rise high, the Southern fall
Beneath our Fee, the Adverse of the Ball.
Yet as it lies its surface a Flat,
Though false, its bigness doth improve the Cheat,
And take the Roundness off, though every where
It riseth and declines into a Sphere.
Hence when with setting Beams the Sun with­drawn
Beholds our East, they see the Morning dawn;
And when their Toils He with his Light restores,
Sleep sits on Us, and gently easeth Ours.
The Sea 14 runs round,
VI. God the Soul of the World.
and with its circling Waves
The Floud at once divides, and joyns the Halves.
To that vast Frame in which four parts conspire
Of different form, Air, Water, Earth and Fire,
United 15 God the World's Almighty Soul
By secret methods rules and guides the Whole;
By unseen passes He himself conveys
Through all the Mass, and every part obeys.
To proper Patients He kind Agents brings
In various Leagues binds disagreeing Things.
Makes some Powers act, and some receive their Force;
And thus whilst Nature keeps her Vital Course,
Though different Powers the several Things divide,
The World seems One, and all its parts ally'd.
Now Constellations,
VII. The Signs of the Zo­diack.
Muse, and Signs rehearse,
In order, let them sparkle in thy Verse.
Those which obliquely bound the burning Zone,
And bear the Summer and the Winter Sun,
Those first: then those which roll a different way
From West: nor Heaven's Diurnal whirl obey:
Which Nights serene disclose, and which create
The steddy Rules, and six the Laws of Fate.
[Page 13] First Aries, glorious in his Golden Wool,
Looks back, and wonders at the mighty Bull,
Whose back-parts first appear: He bending lies
With threatning Head, and calls the Twins to rise,
They clasp for fear, and mutually embrace;
And next the Twins with an unsteady pace
Bright Cancer rolls: Then Leo shakes his Mane:
And following Virgo calms his Rage again:
Then Day and Night are weigh'd in Libra's Scales,
Equal a while, at last the Night prevails,
And longer grown the heavyer Scale inclines
And draws bright Scorpio from the Winter Signs:
Him Centaur follows with an aiming Eye
His Bow full drawn and ready to let fly:
Next narrow Horns the twisted Caper shows,
And from Aquarius Urn a floud o'erflows.
Near their lov'd Waves cold Pisces take their Seat,
With Aries joyn and make the Round compleat.
Now view the point where turn the shining Bears,
VIII. The Axis.
And from their height look down on other Stars.
Which never set but onely change their Sites
To the same point; and whirl the meaner Lights;
Thither the Axis runs, whose adverse Poles
Bears the poiz'd World, and Heaven about it rolls;
No solid substance that the weight might bear
But an imagin'd Line stretcht through the Air;
Begun from either Pole the Line extends
Earth's Centre through, and in the other ends.
For since the frame turns round, that fancy'd Line
Which cuts the middle, too minutely thin
By turning round it self to measure space,
But still confin'd to one imagin'd place,
[Page 14] Is call'd the Axis; cause unapt to move
It sees Stars whirl, the shining Planets rove,
And swiftly measure the vast space above.
Fixt near the Pole appear those friendly Stars
Well known to wretched greedy Mariners;
IX. The great Bear.
Which guide their Sails, and which direct their Oars,
When mad for gain they fly to foreign Shores.
(Whilst Heaven it self befriends their Avarice,
What Pleas may wretched Mortals make for Vice?)
Seven equal Stars adorn the greater Bear,
Which measure larger Circles of the Sphere,
And teach the Grecian Sailers how to steer.
The smaller Bear,
The little Bear.
though less in size and light
In narrower Circles she commands the Night,
Yet Tyre prefers, for through the Ocean tost
They sail by her and find the foreign Coast;
These stand not front to front, but each doth view
The others Tayl, pursu'd as they pursue.
Betwixt and round these two the Serpent twines,
The Ser­pent.
At once divides, and to their place confines;
Secure from meeting they're distinctly roll'd,
Nor leave their Seats, and pass the dreadfull fold:
These keep the Vertex, but betwixt the Bear
And shinning Zodiack where the Planets Err,
A Thousand Figur'd Constellations roll,
Some near the Zodiack, some plac'd near the Pole:
Whose differing Powers by tempering Skies com­bin'd
Make Seasons fruitfull, and refresh Mankind.
First near the North,
as conscious of his shame
A Constellation kneels without a Name;
And next Bootes comes,
whose order'd Beams
Present a Figure driving of his Teams.
Below his Girdle, near his Knees, He bears
The bright Arcturus,
fairest of the Stars.
[Page 15] Behind his Back the radiant Crown is view'd,
The Crown.
And shines with Stars of different magnitude;
One plac'd i'th' front above the rest displays
A vigorous light, and darts surprizing rays.
This shone since Theseus first his faith betray'd,
The Monument of the forsaken Maid.
Nor far from these distended Lyra lies,
The Harp.
Well strung, the sounding glory of the Skies.
This Orpheus struck when with his wondrous Song
He charm'd the Woods, and drew the Rocks along;
When Hell obey'd, when Death resign'd her Chain,
And loos'd his dear Eurydice again;
This gain'd it Heaven, and still its force appears,
As then the Rocks it now draws on the Stars.
The Planets dance, and to the tunefull sound
The Heaven consents, and moves the fatal Round.
Next Ophiuchus strides the mighty Snake,
Untwists his winding Folds, and smooths his Back,
Extends its Bulk, and o'er the slippery Scale
His wide stretcht Hands on either side prevail:
The Snake turns back his Head, and seems to rage,
That War must last where equal Powers engage.
Next view the Swan,
The Swan.
whom Jove advanc'd above,
That Form's reward by which He caught his Love.
When shrouded in the fair deceitfull shape,
He cheated trusting Leda to a Rape:
Now grac'd with Stars his Wings stretcht o'er the Skies.
And next the Swan the shining Arrow flies:
The Arrow.
The towring Eagle next doth boldly soar,
The Eagle.
As if the thunder in his Claws he bore:
He's worthy Jove, since He, a Bird, supplies
The Heaven with sacred Bolts, and arms the Skies.
Next rais'd from Seas the Dolphin's Tail appears,
The Dol­phin.
The Glory of the Floud and of the Stars.
[Page 16] Whom while the Horse (one radiant Star doth grace
His generous Breast) pursues with eager pace,
The Horse.
His Legs before, as running, He extends,
But clos'd in fair Andromeda he ends.
Her Perseus joyns, her Foot his Shoulder bears
Proud of the weight,
and mixes with her Stars.
Five splendid Stars in its unequal Frame
Deltoton bears,
The Tri­angle.
and from the shape a Name;
But those that grace the sides dim Light display
And yield unto the Basis brighter Ray.
Next with her Cepheus Cassiopeia shines,
Cepheus and Cassi­opcia.
Her posture sad, and mourns amongst the Signs;
She sees her Daughter chain'd, the rolling Tide
The Monster spout, and curses her old Pride:
She fears that Perseus will inconstant prove,
And now in Heaven forget his former Love;
But He attends, and bears the Gorgon's head,
His Spoil, and witness of a coming aid.
Near the bent Bull a seat the Driver claims,
Whose skill conferr'd his Honour and his Names,
His Art great Jove admir'd, when first he drove
His rattling Carr, and fixt the Youth above.
Next stormy Hoedi shine which shut the Main,
The Hoedi.
And stop the Sailers hot pursuit of gain.
Then shines the Goat,
The Goat.
whose Brutish Duggs supply'd
The Infant Jove, and nurst his growing Pride.
From that wild Food He did to Heaven aspire,
Fierce Thunder throw, and dart the blasting Fire.
Then mindfull of her Care the gratefull God
Repaid her with those Skies which she bestow'd.
Then Pleiades and Hyades appear,
The Pleia­des and Hyades.
The sad Companions of the turning Year.
Born by the Bull they lead they Tempests forth,
And close the Constellations of the North.
[Page 17] Farewell cold North,
thy Ice benums my Muse,
I fly from Thee, and warmer Regions chuse;
Betwixt the Tropicks of the Traveling Sun,
I'll trace the Signs that burn the torrid Zone,
Then pass those bounds and view the Stars that roll
Between cold Caper and the lower Pole.
First next the Twins,
see great Orion rise,
His Armes extended stretch o'er half the Skies:
His stride as large, and with a stately pace
He marches on, and measures a vast space.
On each broad Shoulder a bright Star's display'd,
And three obliquely grace his hanging Blade.
In his vast Head immerst in boundless spheres
Three Stars less bright, but yet as great, he bears.
But farther off remov'd, their Splendor's lost,
Thus grac'd and arm'd He leads the Starry Host.
Next barks the Dog,
The Dog-Star.
and from his Nature flow
The most afflicting Powers that rule below,
Heat burns his Rise, Frost chills his setting Beams,
And vex the World with opposite Extremes.
He keeps his Course, nor from the Sun retreats,
Now bringing Frost, and now encreasing Heats:
Those that from Taurus view this rising Star,
Guess thence the following state of Peace and War,
Health, Plagues, a fruitfull or a barren Year.
He makes shrill Trumpets sound, and frightens Peace,
Then calms and binds up Iron War in Ease.
As he determines, so the Causes drawn,
His Aspect is the World's supremest Law.
This Power proceeds from the vast Orb He runs,
His Brightness equals or exceeds the Sun's.
[...]ut far remov'd he through the distant space
[...]arts feeble splendour from his Azure face.
[Page 18] Yet others He excells, no fairer Light
Ascends the Skies, none sets so clear a bright.
Next Procyon view,
view, and next the nimble Hare,
Then Argo sailing through the liquid Air;
The Hare.
Advanc'd from all the Dangers of the Tides,
Which first she stem'd, she now securely rides.
Heaven is her Port, and now she rules the Flouds,
A Goddess made for saving of the Gods.
Close by the Serpent spreads;
The Ser­pent.
whose winding Spires
With order'd Stars resemble scaly Fires.
Next flies the Crow,
The Crow.
and next the generous Bowl
Of Bacchus flows,
The Cup.
and chears the thirsty Pole.
The Centaur next in double shapes exprest,
A Humane Body joyns a Horse's Breast.
The World's great Temple next,
The Altar.
and Altar lies
Grac'd with the Gifts of conquering Deities,
When Earth-born Giants did the Skies invade,
The lesser Gods implor'd the greater's Aid;
His Power Jove doubted when he view'd from far
The threatning force of the unequal War.
When He inverted Nature's Frame beheld,
That Earth rose upward, and that All rebell'd.
That Hills on Hills heap'd, rais'd their threatning Head,
And frighted Stars approaching Mountains fled;
When impious Armies at a monstrous Birth
Broke through the Bowels of the gaping Earth,
Of disagreeing Forms, and frightfull Makes,
Vast Humane Bodies twisted into Snakes.
E'er this no Danger and no fear was known,
And wanton Jove sate idly in his Throne.
But lest some greater Power (soft ease betray'd
His Mind to doubt) should yield the Rebels aid,
[Page 19] He rais'd this Altar, and the Form appears
With Incense loaded, and adorn'd with Stars.
Next on his Belly floats the mighty Whale
He twists his Back,
The Whale.
and rears his threatning Tail;
He spouts the Tide, and cuts the foaming Way,
Wide gapes his Mouth, as eager on his Prey;
Such on Andromede He rusht, and bore
The troubled Waves beyond their usual shore.
Next Swims the Southern Fish,
The Sou­thern Fish.
which bears a Name
From the South-wind, and spreads a feeble Flame.
To him the Flouds in spacious windings turn,
The Flouds.
One Fountain flows from cold Aquarius Urn;
And meets the other where they joyn their Streams
One Chanel keep, and mix the Starry Beams.
Betwixt th' Eclyptick and the latent Bears
Whose creaking Axis turns the rolling Spheres,
Those stranger Skies are painted with these Stars.
Which ancient Artists in their wondrous Lines
Transmit to Fame, and call the Southern Signs.
The other part lies hid, the vast abode
Of unknown Nations, by our Feet untrod.
From the same Sun they take their common Light,
But different Shades: in an inverted site,
Their Signs o'th' left Hand 16 set, and rise o'th' right.
Their Skies as large, their Stars as splendid run,
Equal i'th' rest, but are excell'd by One,
By Caesar's Star which doth o'er us preside,
Earth's present joy, and Heaven's future pride.
For that the lower Pole resemblance bears
To this Above,
The Sou­thern Pole.
and shines with equal Stars;
With Bears averse, round which the Draco twines,
At once divides them, and at once consines,
[Page 20] That there as many Constellations move,
We must believe from what we find above.
For Fancy, which decaying Sense supplies,
Not onely feigns a Vertex like to This,
But all resembling Beauties of the Skies.
These are the Stars which scattered o'er the Pole
In different Places fixt complete the Whole;
But raise thy thought from sense,
XI. The Figures of the Con­stellations onely fan­sied.
nor think to find
Such Figures there, as are in Globes design'd;
Nor think that Stars set close compose the Frames,
Or that the Signs are all continued Flames.
For then we soon should see the World expire,
Frail Nature could not bear so great a Fire;
Some Places vacant conscious of her State
She leaves, unable for so vast a Heat.
For 'tis her kind intent alone to show
By certain Stars, those Signs that rule below;
Such notice give, and such fair hints impart;
As Men may take, and may improve to Art:
The Stars mark out the Shapes, the lower Beams
Answer the high, the middle the extremes.
Fansie those parts that lie obscur'd between,
For 'tis enough that some of them are seen:
But chiefly then when Cynthia's beams are clear,
And full, but few, though still the same, appear;
And whilst the vulgar fly, their place possess;
Nor lose their Light, nor mingle with the Less.
Yet these still keep one Course, They still pursue
Their constant track nor vary in a New.
From one fixt point they start, their Course main­tain
Repeat their whirl, and visit it again:
And this is strange, and this doth more surprize
Than all the other wonders of the Skies,
[Page 21] That such unwieldy frames their signs should draw,
As mov'd by Reason, and confin'd by Law;
No change in distance nor in site appear,
Though great their Number, long the rolling year.
A most convincing Reason drawn from Sense,
XII. Providence against the Epicure­ans.
That this vast Frame is mov'd by Providence.
Which like the Soul doth every Whirl advance;
It must be God, nor was it made by Chance;
As Epicurus dreamt, He madly thought
This beauteous Frame of heedless Atoms wrought,
That Seas and Earth, the Stars and spacious Air
Which forms New Worlds, or doth the Old repair,
First rose from these, and still supply'd remain,
And All must be, when Chance shall break the Chain,
Dissolv'd to these wild Principles again.
Absurd and Nonsense! Atheist use thine Eyes,
And having view'd the order of the Skies,
Think, if Thou canst, that Matter blindly hurld,
Without a Guide should frame this wondrous World.
But did Chance make, and Chance still rule the Whole
Why do the Signs in constant order roll?
Observe set Times to shut and open Day,
Nor meet, and justle, and mistake their Way?
Perform their Course as if by Laws confin'd,
None hasten on, and leave the rest behind.
Why every Day doth the discovering Flame,
Show the same World, and leave it still the same?
E'en then when 17 Troy was by the Greeks o'er-thrown,
The Bear oppos'd to bright Orion shone;
She near the Pole in narrow Rounds did move,
He fac'd her then, and measur'd the vast space above.
And e'en at Night when Time in secret flies,
And veils himself in Shades from humane Eyes;
[Page 22] They by the Signs could know how fast He fled,
And in the Skies the hasty Minutes read.
How many Towns have fall'n, what well-built States,
Since Troy, have sunk below oppressing Fates?
How many Times hath sporting Fortune hurld
The Chance of Rule and Slavery through the World?
How hath she now reverst Troy's ancient Doom,
And built her Relicks greater up in Rome?
Reviv'd old Ilium doth new Spoyls enjoy,
And Greece now bends beneath the Fate of Troy.
Why should I count how oft the Earth hath mourn'd
The Sun's retreat, and smil'd when he return'd?
How oft he doth his various Course divide
'Twixt Winter's Nakedness and Summer's Pride?
All Mortal Things must change. The fruit full Plain,
As Seasons turn, scarce knows her self again;
Such various forms she bears: large Empires too
Put off their former Fance, and take a new.
Yet safe the World, and free from Change doth last,
No Years encrease it, and no Years can waste;
Its Course it urges on, and keeps its Frame,
And still will be, because 'twas still the same.
It stands secure from Time's devouring Rage,
For 'tis a God, nor can it change with Age.
And that the Sun ne'er drives the rising Day
From North to South, nor leaves the beaten way;
That weary grown He still falls down the West
At Night, nor turns his Horses to the East;
That Light by just Degrees the Moon adorns,
First shews, then bends, then fills her borrow'd Horns,
And that the Stars in constant order roll,
Hang there, nor fall, and leave the liquid Pole;
'Tis not from Chance; The Motion speaks aloud
The wise and steddy conduct of the God.
[Page 23] These equally dispos'd in Order lye,
Make various Shapes, and chequer all the Skie.
Above them nought; To the World's Top they rose,
Painting the Roof of Natures Common House;
Which in a wide Embrace doth all contain,
The spatious Air, the Earth, and raging Main;
These Set in order, and in order Rise,
As West drives down, or East brings up the Skies.
But now how vast the Arch,
XIII. The bigness of the World.
how next immense
The Zodiack's Round, though far remov'd from Sense,
Plain Reason shews; whose Active Force can pierce,
The deep Recesses of the Universe.
No Bars can stop it, through the World it flies,
And Heaven it self lies open to its Eyes.
As great a space as Earth, and humble Seas
From Heaven divide, so great two Signs possess.
The World's 18 Diameter by Art is found,
Almost the third Division of the Round.
Therefore as far as four bright Signs comprize,
The distant Zenith from the Nadir lies.
And two thirds more almost surround the Pole,
The Twelve Signs measure, and complete the Whole.
But since the Earth hangs midst the spacious All,
The Solid Centre of the Liquid Ball,
Therefore as far as e'er our Eyes can pass
Upward, or downward, could they pierce the Mass,
Till bounding Sky the wearied Sight confines,
Is equal to the distance of two Signs.
And six such spaces the vast Round complete
Where All the Signs their constant Whirls repeat,
And each lies distant in an equal Seat.
[Page 24] Nor must you wonder such Varieties
Of different Fates from the same Stars should rise.
Since great their Empire, and unlike their force,
Their Seats so large▪ and so immense their Course.
Thus far advanc't my towring Muse must rise,
And sing the Circles that confine the Skies,
Describe the track, and mark the shining Way,
Where Planets Err, and Phoebus bears the Day.
One towards the North sustains the Shining Bear
And lies divided from the Polar Star;
The Nor­thern Po­lar Circle.
Exactly 19 six divisions of the Sphere.
Another drawn through Cancer's Claws confines,
The Tropi­cal Circle of Cancer, or Summer Solstice.
The utmost Limits of the Fatal Signs;
There when the Sun ascends his greatest height
In largest Rounds He whirls the lazy Night.
Pleas'd with his Station there He seems to stay,
And neither lengthens nor contracts the Day.
The Summer's Tropick call'd.—
It lies the fiery Sun's remotest Bound,
Just five Divisions from the other Round.
A third twines round,
The Equi­noctial.
and in the midst divides
The Sphere, and see the Pole on both its sides.
And there when Phoebus drives, He spreads his Light,
On all alike, and equals Day and Night.
For in the midst, He doth the Skies divide,
And chears the Spring, and warms the Autumn's Pride.
And this large Circle drawn from Cancer's Flame,
Just four Divisions parts the Starry Frame.
Another Southward drawn exactly sets
The Utmost Limits to the Sun's retreats;
The Tropick of Capri­corn.
When hoary Winter calls his Beams away,
Obliquely warms us with a feeble Ray,
And whirls in narrow Rounds the freezing Day.
[Page 25] To Us his Journey's short, but where He stands
With Rays direct, He burns the barren Sands.
To wisht-for Night he scarce resigns the Day,
But in vast Heats extends his hated Sway.
The last drawn round the Southern point confines
Those Bears,
The Sou­thern Polar Circle.
and lies the Utmost of the Lines.
Wise Nature constant in her Work is found:
As five Divisions part the Northern [...]ound;
From the North point, This Southern Round appears
Just five Divisions distant from its Bears.
Thus Heaven's divided, and from Pole to Pole
Four Quadrants are the Measure of the Whole.
The Circles five, by these are justly shown,
The Frigid, Temperate and the Torrid Zone.
All these move Parallel, they set, they rise,
At equal Distance moving with the Skies;
Turn'd with the Orbs the common Whirl repeat,
Are fixt, nor vary their allotted Seat.
From Pole all round to Pole two Lines exprest,
The Colure.
Adversely drawn, which intersect the rest
And one another; They surround the Whole,
And crossing make right Angles at each Pole:
These into four just parts, by Signs, the Sphere
Divide, and mark the Seasons of the Year.
One drawn from Heaven's high top descends from far,
The Aequi­noctial Co­lure.
And cuts the Serpent's Tail, and the dry Bear:
The Equinoctial Scales, the Snake's Extremes,
And next the Southern Centaur's middle Beams;
Then thwarts the Adverse Pole, and next divides
The mighty Whale, and parts its scaly sides;
Bright Aries point, and splendid Trigon past,
The fair Andromeda below the Waste,
And next her Mother's Head it cuts, and then
The Pole, and closeth in it self agen.
[Page 26] Cross this,
The Solsti­cial Colure.
and from the Pole doth first appear
The Other, through the forefeet of the Bear,
And through its Neck; (which when the Sun retires
First shines, and spreads black Night with feeble Fires)
Then parts the Twins and Crab, the Dog divides,
And Argo's keel that broke the frothy tides.
And then the Pole and other Circle crost
To Caper turns contracted in his Frost:
The Eagle cuts, and the inverted Lyre,
Black Dracos folds—
The hinder Paws o'th' Bear, and near the Pole
It's Tail, and closing there compleats the Whole.
These Rounds immovable, their site the same,
Here Seasons fix, nor vary in the frame.
Two more are movable:
The Meri­dian.
one from the Bear
Describ'd surrounds the middle of the Sphere,
Divides the Day, and marks exactly Noon
Betwixt the rising and the setting Sun:
The Signs it changes as we move below,
Run East or West, it varies as You go;
For 'tis that Line, which way soe'er we tread,
That cuts the Heaven exactly o'er our head,
And marks the Vertex; which doth plainly prove
That it must change as often as we move.
Not one Meridian can the World suffice,
It passes through each portion of the Skies;
Thus when the Sun is dawning o'er the East
'Tis their sixth hour, and sets their sixth at West:
Though those two hours we count our days ex­tremes,
Which feebly warm us with their distant Beams.
To find the other Line cast round thine Eyes,
The Hori­zon.
And where the Earth's high surface joyns the Skies,
[Page 27] Where Stars first set, and first begin to shine,
There draw the fancy'd Image of this Line:
Which way soe'er you move 'twill still be new,
Another Circle opening to the view;
For now this half, and now that half of Sky
It shews, its Bounds still varying with the Eye.
This Round's Terrestrial, for it bounds contains
That Globe, and cut the middle with a Plain;
'Tis call'd the Horizon, the Round's design,
(For 'tis to bound) gives title to the Line.
Two more Oblique,
The Zodi­ack.
and which in adverse Lines
Surround the Globe, Observe: One bears the Signs
Where Phoebus drives and guides his fiery Horse
And varying Luna follows in her Course.
Where Planets err as Nature leads the Dance,
Keep various measures undisturb'd by Chance;
Its highest Arch with Cancer's beams do glow,
Whilst Caper lies, and freezes in the low:
Twice it divides the Equinoctial line,
Where fleecy Aries, and where Libra shine.
Three Lines compose it, and th' Eclyptick's found
Ith' midst; and all decline into a Round.
Nor is it hid, nor is it hard to find,
Like others open onely to the Mind;
For like a Belt with studs of Stars the Skies
It girds and graces; and invites the Eyes:
To twelve Degrees its Breadth, to thrice sixscore
Its Length extends, and comprehends no more:
Within these bounds the wandring Planets rove,
Make Seasons here, and settle Fate above.
The other Round from Bears oppos'd begun
Runs adverse to the Chariot of the Sun,
XV. The Milky way.
It leaves the Pole, and from its Round retires,
And cuts inverted Casiopeia's Fires:
[Page 28] Thence still descending and obliquely drawn
It passes through the Body of the Swan,
Then Cancer's fires, the headlong Bird of Jove,
The Line and Zodiack where the Planets rove:
And thence in various windings turns to meet
The other Centaur, and entwines his feet:
And thence to mount through Argo's Sails begins,
The Line, and lowest portion of the Twins;
Then joyns the Driver, and from thence ascends
O'er Perseus, and to Cassiopeia tends,
There 'tis receiv'd in her inverted Chair,
In her the Round begins, and ends in Her.
Twice cuts the Tropicks, Zodiack and the Line,
And is as often cut by those agen.
Nor need we with a prying Eye survey
The distant Skies to find the Milky way,
It must be seen by All, for every night
It forcibly intrudes upon our sight,
And will be mark'd for shining streaks adorn
The Skies as opening to let forth the Morn.
And as a beaten Path that spreads between
A troden Meadow, and divides the Green.
Or as when Seas are plow'd behind the Ship,
Foam curls on the green surface of the Deep.
In Heaven's dark surface such this Circle lies,
And parts with various Light the Azure Skies.
Or as when Iris draws her radiant Bow
Such seems this Circle to the World below.
It all surpriseth, our inquiring sight
It upward draws, when through the Shades of Night
It spreads its Rays, and darts amazing Light.
Fond Men the sacred Causes strive to find,
And vainly measure with a feeble Mind:
[Page 29] And yet they strive, they madly whirl about
Through various Causes, still condemn'd to Doubt.
Whether the Skies 20 grown old,
Various O­pinions a­bout the Milky way.
here shrink their Frame,
And through the Chinks admit an upper Flame.
Or whether here the Heavens two Halves are joyn'd
But odly clos'd, still leave a Seam behind:
Or here the parts in 21 Wedges closely prest,
To fix the Frame, are thicker than the Rest,
Like Clouds condens'd appear, and bound the Sight,
The Azure being thickned into White.
Or whether that old 22 Tale deserves our Faith,
Which boldly says, that this was once the Path
Where Phoebus drove; and that in length of Years
The heated track took Fire and burnt the Stars.
The Colour chang'd, the Ashes strew'd the Way,
And still preserve the marks of the Decay:
Besides, Fame tells, by Age Fame reverend grown,
That Phoebus gave his Chariot to his Son,
And whilst the Youngster from the Path declines
Admiring the strange Beauty of the Signs;
Proud of his Charge, He drove the fiery Horse,
And would outdoe his Father in his Course.
The North grew warm, and the unusual Fire
Dissolv'd its Snow, and made the Bears retire;
Nor was the Earth secure, each Countrey mourn'd
The Common Fate, and in its City's burn'd.
Then from the scatter'd Chariot Lightning came,
And the whole Skies were one continued Flame.
The World took Fire, and in new kindled Stars
The bright remembrance of its Fate it bears.
Thus Fame, nor must the softer Fable die
That Juno's Breast o'erflowing stain'd the Skie,
[Page 30] And made that Milky way, which justly draws
Its Name, the Milky Circle from its Cause.
Or is the spatious Bend serenely bright
From little Stars, which there their Beams unite,
And make one solid and continued Light?
Or Souls which loos'd from the ignoble Chain
Of Clay, and sent to their own Heaven again,
Purg'd from all dross by Vertue, nobly rise
In Aether wanton, and enjoy the Skies.
Great Atreus Sons, Tydides fixt above,
And stout Achilles equal to our Jove;
With three-ag'd Nestor: He that bravely stood
The Dangers of the Land and of the Floud.
Vlysses, Nature's Conquerour, enjoy
The Skies deserv [...]d; with all the Chiefs at Troy.
Jove's Son Sarpedon, He that Lycia sway'd:
The black Merione, the Martial Maid,
Had Fate stood Neuter, Troy's securest Aid.
With all those Kings that Greece or Asia bore,
Or Pella 23 greatest in her Conquerour.
Next these the grave and prudent Heroes rise,
Whose solid Riches lay in being Wise;
There good Zeleucus, stout Lycurgus shine,
Solon the just, and Plato the Divine.
His Master next, whose Bloud unjustly spilt
On Athens still reflects a real Guilt.
Next Persia's Scourge who strew'd the joyfull Floud
With Xerxes fleet, and check'd the growing God:
Who broke his Force, when Neptune bore the chain,
And prov'd his juster Title o'er the Main.
Here Romans joyn'd, the greatest Croud, reside,
The Kings, e'er Tarquin stain'd the Throne with Pride.
The Horaces our Army in our Wars,
The Town which he defended, Cocles bears;
[Page 31] Next Clelia rides, the brightest Maid in Fame,
And Scevola more glorious by his Maim.
Then He on whom the Helping Crow bestow'd
A Name, and in the Figure brought a God.
Camillus who the Stars deserv'd to gain
For saving Jove, when Thunder roar'd in vain;
Patient of wrongs, and whilst alive ador'd,
The Founder of that Rome that He restor'd.
Next Brutus sits, and next, unlearn'd in Fear,
The fierce Revenger of the Pyrrick War,
Papyrius shines; The Decii, o'er their Foes
In Triumphs Equal, Rivals in their Vows.
Fabritius, Curius, for their Country bold,
Alike in Courage, and too great for Gold.
Marcellus, Sword of Rome, the third that bore
A Royal spoyl, and Cossus grac'd before:
Next Fabius sits, who left the Common way
To Victory, and Conquer'd by Delay.
Livy and Nero glorious for the fall
Of haughty Carthage in her Asdrubal.
The Scipio's Africks Fate both joyn'd in One,
The latter ending what the first begun.
Pompey by Thrice the Conquer'd World ador'd,
Before God Caesar stoopt to be our Lord:
The fam'd Metelli; Tully, Rome's defence,
Deserving Heaven for pretious Eloquence.
The Claudian Race, and the Emilian Line
With Fortune's Conquerour great Cato shine.
But Venus Julian race, who drew their rise
From Heaven▪ return again and fill the Skies;
Where great Augustus, with his partner Jove
Presides, and views his Father fixt above.
Quirinus joyns him, and is pleas'd to see
The Caesars grow Rome's Founders more than He.
[Page 32] The highest Arch contains the greater Gods,
The Godlike Heroes fill these next Abodes;
Those generous Souls, that ran an equal race
In Vertues Paths, and claim a second place.
Thus far my Muse hath with success been crown'd,
Or sound no stops, or vanquisht those she found.
And thus incourag'd now she boldly dares
To sing the Fatal compacts of the Stars.
But stop thy flight, sing all the Fires that shine
And influence too, and finish thy design.
Seven Fires refuse the Worlds Diurnal force,
XVI. The Pla­nets.
From West to East they roll their proper Course.
Cold Saturn, Jove, fierce Mars, the fiery Sun,
With Mercury 'twixt Venus and the Moon.
Some swift▪ some slow, they measure different Years,
And make the wondrous Musick of the Spheres.
But these are constant,
XVII. Meteors.
these adorn the Night,
Whilst Others seldom shine and then affright.
For few have view'd a Comet's dreadfull train,
Which Wars foretells, and never shines in vain,
Soon catch on Fire, and die as soon again.
The Reason's this; when days serenely fair
Have chas'd the Clouds, and cleans'd the lower Air,
And mists breath'd out from Earth rise through the Sky,
The moister parts are conquer'd by the Dry.
And Fire entic'd by the Convenient Mass
Descends, and lights it with a sudden blaze:
But since the Body's thin, the Parts are rare
And Mists, like smoak, lie scattered through the Air;
As soon as e'er begun, the feeble fire
Must waste, and with the blazing Mass expire.
For did they long exist, their constant Light
Would seem to bring new Day upon the Night;
[Page 33] Whole Nature's Course would change, and from the Deep
The Sun would rise, and find the World a-sleep.
But since in various Forms the Mists must rise,
Several sorts of Me­teors.
And shine in the same Figures o'er the Skies,
These sudden Flames thus born by Chance at Night,
Must shew as much variety of Light.
Some equally diffus'd,
Stella Cri­nita.
like flaming Hair,
Draw fiery Tresses through the Liquid Air.
And streight the Mass that fiery Locks appear'd
Grows short,
and is contracted to a Beard.
Whilst some in even and continu'd streams,
Are round like Pillars,
or are squar'd like Beams.
And some with Belly'd Flames large Tuns present,
Alike in shape, and equal in extent.
Some ty'd in knots like hairy Curls are spread,
A narrow Covering o'er the Comets Head.
The Meteor Lamp in parted Flames appears,
The Sheaf uneven shakes her bended Ears.
But still when wandring Stars adorn the Night,
Stipulae ar­dentes.
The falling Meteors draw long trains of Light.
Stella ca­dens.
Like Arrows shot from the Celestial Bow,
They cut the Air,
and strike our Eyes below:
Fire lies in every thing, in Clouds it forms
The frightfull Thunder, and descends in storms.
[...]t passes through the Earth, in Aetna raves,
And imitates Heaven's Thunder in its Caves.
[...]n hollow vales it boyls the rising Flouds,
[...]n Flints 'tis found, and lodges in the Woods,
[...]or tost by storms, the Trees in Flames expire,
[...]o warm are Nature's parts, so fill'd with Fire.
Therefore when Mists, which wandring Flames retain,
[...]ursue and catch, and leave as soon again,
[Page 34] Blaze o'er the Skies when through the parted Frame
The Meteors break in one continued Flame,
Or when midst Rain, or through a Watry Cloud
Quick Lightning flies, or Thunder roars aloud,
Wonder no more; for o'er the spatious All
Is fire diffus'd, and must consume the Ball.
When eating Time shall waste confining Clay,
And fret the feeble Body to decay.
Thus far through paths untrod my Muse has gone,
Found different Causes, but not fixt on One,
Such various Flowers in Nature's field invite
Her gathering Hand, and tempt her greedy sight;
That drawn by many she scarce one enjoys,
Lost in the great Variety of Choice.
For Earthy Mists involving Seeds of Flame
May rise on high,
Different Opinions about Me­teors.
and fiery Comets frame;
Or little Stars by Nature joyn'd in One
May shine, though undiscover'd when alone.
Or they are constant Stars, whose Natural Course
The Sun o'er powers by his prevailing Force,
Draws from their Orbs, and shadows by his Light,
Then frees again, and opens to our sight.
Thus Mercury, thus Venus disappears,
Then shines again, and leads the Evening Stars.
Or God in pity to our Mortal state
Hangs out these Lights to shew approaching Fate;
Comets pre­sage.
They never idly blaze, but still presage
Some coming Plague on the unhappy Age.
No Crop rewards the cheated Farmer's toil,
He mourns, and curses the ungratefull Soil;
The meagre Ox to the successless Plow
He yoaks, and scarce dares make another Vow.
Or wasting Plagues their deadly Poisons spread,
Encreasing the large Empire of the Dead.
[Page 35] Men die by Numbers, and by heaps they fall,
And mighty Cities make one Funeral.
On groaning Piles whole huddled Nations burn,
And Towns lie blended in one Common Urn.
Such Plagues Achaia felt,
The Plague of Athens.
the fierce Disease
Laid Athens waste, and spoil'd the Town in Peace.
It bore the helpless Nation to the Grave,
No Physick could assist, no Vows could save;
Heaps fell on Heaps, and whilst they gasp'd for Breath,
Heaps fell on those, and finisht half their Death.
None nurst the Sick, the nearest Kinsmen fled;
None stay'd to bury, or to mourn the Dead.
The Fires grown weary dy'd beneath their Spoils,
And heapt-up Limbs supply'd the place of Piles.
Vast Emptiness and Desolation reign'd,
And to so great a People scarce one Heir remain'd.
Such are the Plagues that blazing Stars proclaim,
They light to Funerals their unlucky Flame.
They shew not onely private Plagues to come,
But threaten Mortals with the Day of Doom.
When Piles Eternal Heaven and Earth shall burn,
And sickly Nature fall into her Urn.
They sudden Tumults,
and strange Arms declare,
And when close Treach'ry shall start up to War.
When faithless Germans did of late rebell,
And tempt their Fate, when Generous Varus fell,
And three brave Legions bloud the Plains did drown,
O'er all the Skies the threatning Comets shone.
E'en Nature seem'd at War, and Fire was hurld
At Fire, and Ruin threatned to the World.
These things▪ are strange, but why should these surprize,
The Fault is Ours, since we with heedless Eyes
View Heaven, and want the Faith to trust the Skies.
[Page 36] They Civil-Wars foretell, and Brothers rage,
The Curse and the disgraces of an Age.
Never more Comets drew their dreadfull Hair
Than when Philippi saw the World at War.
Scarce had the Plains drunk up the former Bloud,
On scatter'd Bones and Limbs the Romans stood
And fought again; disdaining meaner Foes,
(A wretched Conquest where the Victors lose)
Our Empire's power did its own self oppose;
And great Augustus o'er the slaughter'd Heaps
Pursu'd bright Victory in his Father's steps.
Nor did the Rage end here, the Actian fight,
That bloudy dowry of a wanton Night,
Remain'd, and rais'd by Cleopatra's Charms
The headlong Nations ran again to Arms.
The Chance for the whole World was thrown again,
And the Skies Ruler sought upon the Main,
Then War obey'd a Woman, Timbrels strove
With Thunder, Isis with the Roman Jove.
Nor stopt it here, but the degenerate Son
Stain'd all the Glory that his Father won.
The Seas great Pompey freed He seiz'd again,
His Pirates lay like Tempests on the Main.
The Relicks of the Wars, the Impious Slaves
Were arm'd for fight, and ravag'd o'er the Waves.
Till the torn fleet di'd all the Seas with Bloud,
And Asia's Chains reveng'd the injur'd Floud.
Let this, O Fates! suffice; Let Discord cease,
And raging Tumults be confin'd by Peace.
Let Caesar triumph, let the World obey,
And long let Rome be happy in his Sway.
Long have him here, and when she shall bestow
A God on Heaven enjoy his Aid below.
The End of the First Book.


1 Whether Divinas is to be rendred Divining or Divine is not yet agreed by the Interpreters of the Poet; by rendring it Divine, Manilius is freed from a redundancy of Words, and the Origine of Astro­nomy, which he so often inculcates in other pla­ces, is hinted at: beside, Divinus seldom signifies Divining, but when a Substantive follows which determines it to that sense, as Divina imbrium, and the like, and in that case I find Milton venturing at it in his Poem: ‘—Divine of future Woe.’

2 It seems very plain that this whole descripti­on respects onely the Eastern Kings, and therefore Manilius must be reckoned amongst those who be­lieved the head of Nile to be in the East; and lest he might be thought to have forgotten the Egyp­tians, I am inclin'd to think he includes them un­der the Priests, to whose care Astronomical Obser­vations were peculiarly committed.

3 This was the Opinion of Xenophanes, Melissus, Aristotle and others; and Pliny thus concludes in the second Book cap. 1. of his Natural History: 'Tis reasonable to believe that the World is a Deity, eternal and immense, that never had a beginning, and never shall have an end. As absurd an Opinion as ever was propos'd, and repugnant to all the Ap­pearances of Nature; look upon the Rocks on the Sea shore, and having observ'd their continual wea­ring, consider how few thousands of years they [Page 38] must have stood: direct thy eye to Heaven, and view the several changes in that which was thought impassible; and in short, reflect on the essential vileness of matter, and its impotence to conserve its own being; aud then I believe you will find rea­son to put this Opinion amongst those absurdities which Tully hath allotted to one or other of the Philosophers to defend.

4 This blind fancy we owe to the Phoenicians, who (if Philo Biblius's Sancuniathon may be trusted) taught that the Principles of the Universe were a Spirit of dark Air, and a confus'd Chaos; this Spi­rit at last began to Love, and joyning with the Chaos, produced [...] or slime, and thence fashio­ned the World. And hence likely the more sober part of the Greek Philosophers, (for they were but borrowers of Learning) who requir'd two eter­nal principles, the one active and the other passive, such as Plato, Anaxagoras, &c. took their notions, and having added some few new ornaments, vented them for their own.

5 The Philosophy of Epicurus is too well known to need any explication.

6 The Opinion of Heraclitus, concerning which see the first Book of Lucretius.

7 Thales the Milesian endeavoured to establish this by Arguments drawn from the Origine and Continuation of most things: The seminal Prin­ciple of Animals is humid, Plants are nourished by mere Water; Fire it self cannot live without Air, which is onely water rarefied, and the Sun and Stars draw up vapors for their own nourishment and sup­port. These were the considerations upon which he grounded his Opinion; and hence 'tis easie to [Page 39] guess that he kept up the credit of his School ra­ther by those riches which he gain'd by his lucky conjecture at the scarcity of Olives, than by the strength of argument and reason.

8 The Assertion of Empedocles, agreeable to which Ovid sings,

Quatuor aeternus genitalia Corpora Mundus

9 There is something in this scheme of Manilius so like the ingenious conjecture of the excellent Au­thour of the Theory of the Earth, that what reflects on the one must have an influence on the other, and when the fiction is confuted the serious discourse will find it self concern'd: The Stoicks held the mate­rial part of their Deity to be changeable, and that too as often as the fatal Fire prevail'd, and reduc'd the Elements into one Chaos; in such a confusion the Poet supposeth the first matter of his World, and then makes the different parts separate, and take proper places, according as they were light or heavy: agreeable to this Opinion the Theory of the Earth supposeth a Chaos, which he defines to be a Mass of Matter, fluid, consisting of parts of diffe­rent sorts and sizes, blended together without any u­nion or connexion. The solid and heavyer parts of this Chaos descend to the Centre, by their own weight, and there fixing and growing hard, com­pose the inward Body of the Earth; the lighter parts fly upward, and being continually agitated, make that Body which we call Air; the middle sort being somewhat heavyer, and not so much agita­ted, cover-over the solid interiour Body of the Earth; and its fat and oily parts rising, and swim­ming on the surface, stop and detain those heavyer [Page 40] particles which upon the first separation were car­ried up by the Air, and afterward according to their several degrees of Gravity fell back again toward the Centre: These particles sticking in this oily matter, made a soft crust, which in time be­ing hardned by the Sun and those breezes which always attend its motion, became the habitable Earth. This Earth thus form'd was solid, and without Caverns, nor had it any inequalities on its surface; as to its site, its Axis was parallel to the Axis of the Ecliptick, both its Poles being e­qually inclin'd to the Sun; and as to its figure it was Oval. These are the few easie principal parts of that excellent Hypothesis, settled on the obvi­ous notions of Gravity and Levity, and on the ac­knowledged Nature, and allow'd Motion of a Fluid. And from these so many curious propositions are naturally deduced, so many difficulties concerning Paradise and the Floud happily explain'd, and all set off with that neatness and aptness of expression, and that variety of curious thought, that I am very much inclin'd to believe that Nature was never so well drest before, nor so artificially recommended. And it is pity that the first acknowledged Princi­ples of Philosophy will not allow it to be true. Inherent Qualities are now generally exploded, as unphilosophical, not to be understood, and unfit to explain the Phaenomena of Nature. The Acce­leration of a heavy Body in its descent (beside a thousand other Arguments) quite overthrows Gra­vity both as an accident of Aristotle, and as essen­tial to Matter, according to the fancy of Epicurus; so that this motion proceeds onely from external impulse, and depends upon the present order of [Page 41] the World. So that Philosophy will not allow the supposition of Gravity or Levity in a confus'd Chaos, since it can sufficiently demonstrate that they are neither inherent qualities, nor essential to matter, and that it is in vain to look after them, before the system of the World was settled in the present order. From this hint it is easie to infer that the supposed Chaos would have still continued such, the solid Parts would have been agitated this or that way indifferently by the restless particles of the Fluid, but there could have been no orderly separation, because no Principle of it.

But suppose such a separation, why must the out­ward Crust of the Globe be without Caverns in its Body, and Inequalities on its Surface? What Law of Nature doth necessarily prove that in such a confusion the solid parts must be equally dispersed through the Body of the Air? If we trust our Eyes, and look upon a Dust raised by the ruin of a House, or onely consider what Confusion is, it will be very hard to find such a regular and order­ly disposition. And since these solid Bodies may be unequally dispers'd, and every one of them tends to the Centre by a direct Line, whenever they set­tle, the Body which they compose must be une­qual in its surface.

Yet to let this Difficulty pass, its Figure accor­ding to this Hypothesis will be much more Oval than common observation will allow, for since it is said to be Oval because the Motion of the Ae­quator is swifter than that of the Polar Circles, the figure must be almost as much Oval, as the Circle of the Aequator is bigger than the Circle of the Pole; there being nothing to hinder the ut­most [Page 42] effect of this motion but the weight of the Fluid endeavouring to reduce it self to a Levell, which of what moment it will be in this Case I leave to be considered.

And as for its site, that renders the torrid and the frigid Zones unhabitable; intolerable Heats still burning the former, and the continual gathe­ring and dropping of the vapours making the o­thers too cold and moist to entertain either Man or Beast. And this one concession, I am afraid, spoils most part of the Contrivance; for these por­tions of the Crust could never grow hard, being continually moistned by the Vapours, and so little expos'd to the Sun, or that breeze which attends its motion: And therefore, whenever Vapours were drawn from the Abyss in the Torrid Zone, these parts of the Arch being not firm enough to sustain themselves, must sink in; and those Vapors that were imprisoned between the surface of the Abyss and the solid part of the Crust of the Earth, might have found an easie passage through this soft portion of the Crust, and therefore could not con­tribute to the general dissolution of the Frame. Besides, from such a muddy Fountain what could be expected but streams unwholsome and corrupted, and unfit for that end for which they were design'd, and for that use, to which sacred Scripture tells us they were imploy'd?

A great many other inconveniences in Nature may be observ'd to follow this Contrivance; but because this Hypothesis was not set up for its own sake, but to give an intelligible account of Noah's Floud; I shall close these reflexions with a few con­siderations upon that.

[Page 43] And first the Authour pleads for an universal Floud, it being inconsistent with the demonstrated Nature of a Fluid, that Water should stand up in Heaps fifteen Cubits above the tops of the highest Mountains. This I am willing to admit, though there is no reason why Omnipotence might not be immediately concern'd in this, since he him­self confesseth, that the forty days Rain cannot ac­cording to his Hypothesis be explain'd by any Na­tural Cause that he can find out.

Secondly, He compares the height of the Mountains and the Depth of the Sea, and having as to both made allowable suppositions (though the Course of the longest River, even the Nile it self, will not prove its head to be above three foot higher than its mouth) he infers that eight Oceans will be little enough to make an universal Deluge: The Waters above the Firmament are exploded; the Rain would afford but the hundredth part of such a Mass of Water, unless the showers were continual, and over the face of the whole Earth, and the Drops came down ninety times faster than usually they do. (Though here a Man would be apt to think from the expressions in Genesis, The Windows of Heaven were opened, that there was somewhat very extraordinary in this Rain, and that all those requir'd conditions were observ'd.) The Caverns of the Earth, if they threw out all the Water they contain'd, could afford but little in comparison of the great store that was requir'd; And if the whole middle region of the Air had been condens'd, still there had not been enough, because Air being turn'd into Water filleth onely the hundredth part of that space which it formerly [Page 44] possess'd. Though all the other ways by which some have endeavour'd to explain the Floud, were demonstrably insufficient, yet this last which gives an account of it from so natural and easie a Cause as the condensation of the Air deserved to be con­sidered a little more; but it is the Art of a Dispu­ter to touch that least which presseth most on that Opinion which he would advance. For it being allowed that Air by natural Causes may be chang'd into Water, and a Vacuum in this very Chapter being excluded, it necessarily follows, that as much Air as riseth fifteen Cubits higher than the tops of the Mountains is sufficient to make such a Deluge as is describ'd to have been in Noah's time. Be­cause where there is no Vacuum, there can be no contraction into a less space, and every particle of Matter, whatever form or schematism it puts on, must in all conditions be equally extended, and therefore take up the same Room. But sup­pose a Vacuum, or (as it happens in our imperfect condensations) that a hundred cubical feet of Air would make but one foot of Water, yet sure the Region is large enough to make amends for this disproportion: Now since Nature is sufficient for condensation, and since its powers may be consi­derably invigorated for the execution of the Al­mighty's wrath; why must it be thought so difficult to explain a Deluge? and why should an excellent Wit waste it self in fashioning a new World, onely to bring that about which the old one would per­mit easily to be done? It is above the Province of Philosophy to make a World, let that be suppos'd to have been form'd as it is reveal'd, it is enough for us to search by what Laws it is preserv'd; and a [Page 45] system erected on this foundation will be agreeable both to Reason and to Religion.

10 He explodes the Opinion of Xenophanes, and the Fancy of Epicurus. Vid. Lucretius's fifth Book.

11 Canopus is a Star in the Southern Keel of the Ship Argo, of the first magnitude: These particu­lars as to the Appearance of the two Stars are not mathematically true, yet serve well enough for the Poets design, sufficiently proving the roundness of the Earth.

12 This Argument being taken from the Eclipse and not from the increase or decrease of the Moon, the Poet must be understood, not as to divers mo­ments of Time, for the Moon at the same instant is seen Eclips'd by all to whom she appears above the Horizon, but as to the diversity of Hours at which the Eastern or Western People reckon the Eclipse to begin or end.

13 This is to be understood in respect of those who inhabit the Northern Hemisphere, to whom the North Pole is still elevated.

14 It was the Opinion of the ancient Poets, and some others, that the Sea was as a Girdle to the Earth, that it ran round it as an Horizon, and di­vided the upper Hemisphere from the lower.

15 Release this Soul from that union which the Stoicks foolishly assign'd, and then to hold a Soul of the World and Providence is all one.

16 Manilius is not constant in his Position; most commonly as a Poet he turns his face to the West, and then the North is on his right hand, and the South on the left: sometimes as an Astronomer he turns his face to the South, and this is the position in this place.

[Page 46] 17 Alluding to the two Verses in Homer's sixth Iliad,


18 Demonstrated by Archimedes in his [...], Prop. 3. That the Circumference of every Circle exceeds three times the Diameter thereof by a part that is less than 1/7th, and greater than 10/70.

19 Eudoxus divided the Sphere into sixty parts, and this division Manilius follows, and according to that describes the Position of the Celestial Circles.

20 The Opinion of Diodorus.

21 Macrobius reports Theophrastus to be the Au­thour of this Fancy.

22 From Plutarch we learn that Metrodorus and others asserted this, and Achilles Tacius fixes this foolish Opinion on Oenopides Chius.

23 The learned Mr. Hayns dislikes Scaliger's rea­ding, which I have followed, and thinks that he meant that Pella was a Woman; a more solemn foppery was never met with, and this Note, beside a great many others, may serve to credit the Dau­phin Editions of the Classick Authours.

MANILIUS. The Second Book.
MANILIUS. The Second Book.

Manilius takes care frequently to tell his Rea­der that he is the first that ever ventur'd on an Astrological Poem; He seems mightily pleas'd with his undertaking, hugs it as his First-born, and the Son of his strength, and is very troublesome in acquainting us with the pains which he suffered at its Birth; and then reckons up the Beauties of the Child, and what great hopes he conceives of it: If ever he deserv'd Scaliger's Character, that he knew not when to leave off, it must be acknowledged that this is the Case in which it may be chiefly apply'd: We need look no farther than the beginning of this Book to be satisfied in this matter; He spends about sixty Verses in reckoning up the chief Sub­jects of Homer, Hesiod, Theocritus and others; all which being laid aside, he de­clares his design to be wholly new; and then begins, 1. To prove the World to be one A­nimal: 2. The Influence of the Heavens: [Page 48] 3. He Describes the several species of the Signs. 4. The various configurations or aspects of the Signs; and tells us what are Trines, what Quadrates or Squares; what Hexagons or Sextiles; and what are Right and Left in each of these. 5. What Signs are said to be conjoyn'd, what not, and what oppos'd; to what Sign each part of Man's body is appropriate; what Signs are said to hear, what to see one another; what are friendly, and what not. 6. The friend­ly and unfriendly aspects of the Signs, and the various aspects of the Planets in the Signs. 7. The Twelfths or Dodecatemoria of the Signs and Planets. 8. The twelve Celestial Houses, and assigns to each its pro­per Planet.

IN lasting Verse the mighty Homer sings
The Trojan Wars,
the King of fifty Kings,
Stout Hector's brand, the bloudy dreadfull Field,
And Troy secure behind the Hero's Shield:
Vlysses wandrings, and his travelling years,
In time and glory equal to his Wars:
How twice with conquering Fleets he plough'd the Main,
Whilst Scylla roar'd, and Neptune rag'd in vain.
And how at Home he fixt his tottering Throne,
Redeem'd his honour, and secur'd his Son:
Usurping Woers felt his thundring Sword,
And willing Nations knew their Native Lord.
His Subjects these, and from his boundless Spring

Manilius takes care frequently to tell his Reader, that He is the first who ventur'd on an Astro­logical Poem: He seems mightily pleas'd with his Vndertaking, hugs it as his First-born, and the Son of his Strength: He at large ac­quaints us with the Pains which He suffer'd in bringing it to Perfection, and then reckons up the Beauty of the Child, and what great Hopes He conceives of it:' If ever he deserves Scaliger's Character, That he knew not when to leave off, it must be principally then when He speaks of himself and his own Perfor­mance. We need look no further than the Be­ginning of this Book to be satisfied in this matter: He spends about Sixty Verses in reck­oning up the chief Subjects of Homer, Hesiod, Theocritus, and other Poets, all which being laid aside. He declares his Design to be wholly new, and then begins, 1. To assert, that the whole Word is Animate, and God the Soul [Page 48] of it 2. The Influence of the Heavens. 3. He reckons up the several kinds or sorts of Signs, as, 4. Male and Female Signs: 5. Human and Brute Signs. 6. Single and Double Signs. 7. Pairs. 8. Double Signs made up of different Species. 9. Signs Double by Place, viz. Those that immediate­ly precede the Four Tropick Signs. 10. Signs of Natural or Unnatural Postures. 11. Day and Night Signs. 12. Earth and Water Signs. 13. Fruitful and Barren Signs. 14. Signs of different Postures. 15. Maim'd and intire Signs. 16. Season Signs. 17. He sings the various Configurations or Aspects of the Signs: As, 18. Trines. 19. Qua­drates or Squares; shews what are to be ac­counted Right and what Left in these Fi­gures: And, 20. Adds several Cautions con­cerning Squares and Trines. 21. He de­scribes the Intercourse or Agreement of Trines and Quadrates. 22. Of Hexagons or Sextiles, of which he gives a particular Account. 23. Of Contiguous Signs. 24. Of Unequal Signs. 25. Of Opposites. 26. He shews what Gods are the Guardians of each Sign. 27. The Signs for the several parts of the Body. 28. What Signs See, Hear, Love, or Hate each other. 29. He makes a short Digression about Friendship. 30. He treats of the Friendly and Unfriendly Aspects. 31. Of [Page 49] the Dodecatemoria, or Twelfths. 32. Of the Dodecatemoria of the Planets, and pro­poses two ways to find them. 33. He de­scribes the Celestial Houses, assigning them their Proper Charges and their Titles, toge­ther with the Planets which presided in them; and then concludes this Second Book.

THE mighty Bard in lasting Numbers sings
Ilium's long Wars,
the King of fifty Kings;
Brave Hector's Brand, the bloody dreadful Field,
And Troy secure behind the Hero's Shield.
He sings Vlysses, and his wandring Years
[...]n Time and Glory equal to his Wars:
He sings how twice He conquering plough'd the Main
Whilst Scylla roar'd, and Neptune rag'd in vain,
And how at Home He fixt his tottering Throne,
Redeem'd his Honour, and secur'd his Son:
Usurping Woers felt his thundering Sword,
And willing Nations knew their Native Lord.
His Subjects these, from whose 1 abundant Spring
[...]ucceeding Poets draw the Songs they sing;
[...]rom Him they take, from Him adorn their Themes,
[...]nd into little Channels cut his Streams, [...]ich in his store—
Next Hesiod sings the Gods Immortal Race,
[...]e sings how Chaos bore the Earthy Mass;
[...]ow Light from Darkness struck did Beams di­splay,
[...]nd Infant-Stars first stagger'd in their way:
[...]ow Name 2 of Brother vail'd an Husband's Love,
[...]nd Juno bore unaided by her Jove:
[...]ow twice-born Baccbus burst the Thunderer's Thigh,
[...]nd all the Gods that wander through the Sky.
[Page 50] Hence He to Fields descends, manures the Soil,
Instructs the Plowman, and rewards his Toil:
He sings how Corn in Plains, how Vines in Hills
Delight, how Both with vast Encrease the Olive fills:
How Foreign Graffs th'Adulterous Stock receives,
Bears stranger Fruit, and wonders at her Leaves:
An useful Work, when Peace and Plenty reign,
And Art joyns Nature to improve the Plain.
The Constellation's Shapes 3 some make their Themes,
Sing whence they came, and how adorn'd with Beams,
Andromeda enjoys kind Perseu's Aid,
The Sire unbinds, the Mother mourns the Maid:
Callisto ravisht now the Pole surveys,
Nor grieves to change her Honor for her Rays:
The Little Bear that rock'd the mighty Jove,
The Swan whose borrow'd Shape conceal'd his Love
Are grac'd with Light, the Nursing Goat's repaid
With Heaven, and Duty rais'd the Pious Maid;
The Lion for the Honors of his Skin,
The squeezing Crab, and stinging Scorpion shine
For aiding Heaven, when Giants dar'd to brave,
The threatned Stars; and Thunder fail'd to save:
And now the Fish ignoble Fates escape
Since Venus ow'd her Safety to their Shape:
The Ram having pass'd the Sea, serenely shines,
And leads the Year, the Prince of all the Signs.
Thus whilst by Fables They the Stars advance,
They vainly make the Heaven one large Romance;
Earth fills the Sky, the Mass ignobly reigns,
And Heaven's upheld by that which it sustains:
Fables absurd, which Nature's Laws reject,
To make the Cause depend on the Effect.
[Page 51] The sweet Theocritus with softest Strains
Makes piping Pan delight Sicilian Swains;
Thro' his smooth Reed no Rustick Numbers move,
But all is Tenderness, and all is Love;
As if the Muses sate in every Vale,
Inspir'd the Song, and told the melting Tale.
Some Birds,
some Wars of Beasts, or Serpents write,
Snakes in their Poems hiss, and Lions sight:
Some Fate in Herbs describe,
some Sovereign Roots,
Or see gay Health spring up in saving Fruits:
One breaks thro' Nature's stubborn Bars,
Some old Poet who describ'd Hell.
The rest, and sacred Silence of the Shades,
Turns up the inside of the World, and Night,
And brings Eternal Darkness into Light.
Of every Subject now the Muses sing,
And Floods confus'd come tumbling from their Spring,
Yet dry as fast, nor can Parnassian Streams
Suffice the Throngs that crowd to common Themes.
I seek new Springs which roul refreshing Waves
Thro' Plains untrod, and Purls in hidden Caves,
Kept pure for Me, which Birds did ne'er profane,
And thirsty Phoebus oft hath sought in vain:
My Verse shall be my Own, not stoln, but wrought;
Mine, not the Labor of Another's Thought.
My Vessel's trimm'd, tho' never launch'd before,
I spread my Sails, and boldly leave the Shore:
I'll sing how God the World's Almighty Mind
Thro' All infus'd,
1. The World an Animal, and God the Soul of it.
and to that All confin'd,
Directs the Parts, and with an equal Hand
Supports the whole, enjoying his Command:
How All agree, and how the Parts have made
Strict Leagues, subsisting by each others Aid;
[Page 52] How All by Reason move, because one soul
Lives in the Parts, diffusing thro' the whole.
For did not all the Friendly Parts conspire
To make one Whole, and keep the Frame intire;
And did not Reason guide, and Sense controul
The vast stupendous Machine of the whole,
Earth would not keep its place, the Skies would fall,
And universal Stiffness deaden All;
Stars would not wheel their Round, nor Day, nor Night,
Their Course perform, be put, and put to flight:
Rains would not feed the Fields, and Earth deny
Mists to the Clouds, and Vapors to the Sky;
Seas would not fill the Springs, nor Springs return
Their grateful Tribute from their flowing Urn:
Nor would the All, unless contriv'd by Art,
So justly be proportion'd in each part,
That neither Seas, nor Skies, nor Stars exceed
Our Wants, nor are too scanty for our Need:
Thus stands the Frame, and the Almighty Soul
Thro' all diffus'd so turns, and guides the whole,
That nothing from its setled Station swerves,
And Motion alters not the Frame, but still pre­serves.
This God or Reason,
2. The Influ­ence of the Heavens.
which the Orbs doth move,
Makes Things below depend on Signs above;
Tho' far remov'd, tho' hid in Shades of Night,
And scarce to be descry'd by their own Light;
Yet Nations own, and Men their Influence feel;
They rule the Publick, and the Private Will:
The Proofs are plain. Thus from a different Star
We find a fruitful, or a barren Year;
Now Grains encrease, and now refuse to grow;
Now quickly ripen, now their growth is slow:
[Page 53] The Moon commands the Seas, she drives the Main
To pass the Shores, then drives it back again:
And this Sedition chiefly swells the Streams,
When opposite she views her Brother's Beams;
Or when she neer in close Conjunction rides
She rears the Flood, and swells the flowing Tides;
Or when attending on his yearly Race
The Equinoctial sees her borrow'd Face.
Her Power sinks deep, it searches all the Main,
Testaceous 4 Fish, as she her Light regains,
Increase, and still diminish in her Wain:
For as the Moon in deepest Darkness mourns,
Then Rays receives, and points her borrow'd Horns,
Then turns her Face, and with a Smile invites
The full Effusions of her Brother's Lights;
They to her Changes due proportion keep,
And shew her various Phases in the Deep.
So Brutes, whom Nature did in sport create,
Ignorant both of themselves, and of their Fate,
A secret Instinct still erects their Eyes
To Parent Heaven, and seems to make them wise:
One at the New Moons rise to distant Shores
Retires, his Body sprinkles, and adores:
Some see Storms gathering, or Serenes foretel,
And scarce our Reason guides us half so well.
Then who can doubt that Man, the glorious Pride
Of All, is nearer to the Skies ally'd?
Nature in Man capacious Souls hath wrought,
And given them Voice expressive of their Thought;
In Man the God descends, and joys to find
The narrow Image of his greater Mind.
But why should all the other Arts be shown,
Too various for Productions of our own?
[Page 54] Why should I sing how different Tempers fall,
And Inequality is seen in All?
How many strive with equal Care to gain
The highest Prize, and yet how few obtain?
Which proves not Matter sways, but Wisdom rules,
And measures out the Bigness of our Souls:
Sure Fate stands fixt, nor can its Laws decay,
'Tis Heaven's to rule, and Matter's Essence to obey.
Who could know Heaven, unless that Heaven bestow'd
The Knowledge? or find God, but part of God?
How could the Space immense be e're confin'd
Within the compass of a narrow Mind?
How could the Skies, the Dances of the Stars,
Their Motions adverse, and eternal Wars,
Unless kind Nature in our Breasts had wrought
Proportion'd Souls, be subject to our Thought?
Were Heaven not interessed to advance our Mind,
To know Fate's Laws, and teach the way to find,
Did not the Skies their kindred Souls improve,
Direct, and lead them thro' the Maze above;
Discover Nature, shew its secret Springs,
And tell the Sacred Intercourse of things,
How impious were our Search, how bold our Course,
Thus to assault, and take the Skies by force?
But to insist on tedious Proofs in vain,
The Art defends it self, the Art is plain;
For Art well grounded forces to believe,
It cannot be deceived, nor can deceive;
Events foretold fulfil the Prophesie,
What Fortune seconds, how can Man deny?
The Proofs are Sacred, and to doubt would be
Not Reason's Action, but Impiety.
[Page 55] Whilst on these Themes my Songs sublimely soar,
And take their Flight, where Wing ne're beat be­fore;
Where none will meet, none guide my first Essay,
Partake my Labors, or direct my way,
I rise above the Crowd, I leave the Rude,
Nor are my Poems for the Multitude.
Heaven shall rejoyce, nor shall my Praise refuse,
But see the Subject equall'd by the Muse;
At least those favour'd few, whose Minds it shows,
The Sacred Maze, but ah! how few are Those!
Gold, Power, soft Luxury, vain Sports, and Ease
Possess the World, and have the luck to please:
Few study Heaven, unmindful of their state,
Vain stupid Man! but this it self is Fate.
My Subject this, and I must this pursue,
This wondrous Theme,
tho read, and prais'd by few;
And first the Signs in various Ranks dispose,
As Nature prompts, or their Position shows:
Six Male from Aries,
4. Male and Female Signs.
from the Bull comprise
(See how he rises backward in the Skies)
Six Female Signs; but intermixt they fall
In order turn'd, 6 one Female, and one Male.
Some Signs bear 7 Humane Shapes,
5. Humane and Brute Signs.
some Signs exprest
In single Figures bear the Form of Beast:
These Shapes direct us, and from those we know
How each inclines, what Tempers Signs bestow;
Their Figures will not let their Force escape,
Their Tempers are agreeing to their Shape.
These Signs are Single,
6. Single and Double Signs.
now observe the 8 Pairs,
Double Shapes confess a double Force in Stars:
And each Companion still in each creates
A Change, and vast Variety in Fates:
[Page 56] Ambiguous Force from both exprest combines,
No Single Influence flows from Double Signs.
What Powers, or good or bad, one Part displays,
They may be alter'd by the others Rays:
7. Pairs.
Two of this kind in all the round of Sky
Appear, the Pisces and the naked Gemini:
These different Powers, tho both Pair Signs, possess,
Because their Parts Position disagrees;
For tender Gemini in strict embrace
Stand clos'd, and smiling in each others Face:
Whilst Pisces glide in two divided Streams,
Nor friendly seem, nor mix agreeing Beams.
Thus tho in Both two parts compose the Frame,
In Form alike, their Nature's not the same.
These Pairs alone an equal Frame can boast,
8. Double Signs of different Species.
No stranger parts are mixt, no parts are lost
From their due Form; whilst other Pairs are join'd
Of Natures disagreeing in their kind;
Such is the Goat, he twists a Scaly Train,
The Centaur such, half Horse, and half a Man.
Observe this well, in these Mysterious Arts
VVhether the Signs are fram'd of different parts,
Or only Pairs, it much imports to know,
For hence comes great Variety below.
Midst double Signs the Pious Maid may claim
A place,
9. Double Signs by Place.
not from the Figure of her Frame,
But 'cause in Her the Summer's Heats decay,
And gentler Autumn spreads a weaker Ray.
But to be short; the same account defines
That Double still precede the Tropick Signs,
Because in those two Seasons mixt unite
Their Powers, and make them double by their Site.
Thus of the Twins the one the Bull requires,
The other feels the Crab's unruly Fires;
[Page 57] One sees the fading Flowers, and Spring decline,
The other Boy leads on the hottest Sign:
But naked both, for both feel scorching Rays
As Summer comes, or as the Spring decays.
Thy Face, bright Centaur, Autumn's Heats retain,
The softer Season suiting to the Man;
Whilst Winter's shivering Goat afflicts the Horse
With Frost, and makes him an uneasie Course.
Thus thou midst double Signs mightst doubly claim
A place, both from thy Seat, and from thy Frame:
The like in Pisces is observ'd, one brings
The Winter's end, the other leads the Springs;
In them Spring's Dews, with Winter's Rage combine,
Both moist, and both agreeing to the Sign:
How wise, and how obliging in her Grants
Is Nature's Bounty suited to our Wants!
With Moisture she the Watry Signs supplies,
And they enjoy their Ocean in the Skies.
But there is War, Sign disagrees with Sign,
And Three rise adverse to the other Nine:
Bull's Back,
Signs of natural or unnatural Postures.
Twins Feet, Crab's Shell do first appear,
And stop the progress of the rising year;
Whilst others in their usual Postures rise,
Nor shew unnatural Figures in the Skies:
Since then thro' adverse Signs the Summer's Sun
Makes way, no wonder that he drives so slowly on.
How vast this Knowledge, and how hard to gain,
The Subject still encreasing with the Pain;
Yet my swift Muse, like Larks on towring Wings
Mounts to the Skies, and as she mounts she sings:
She sees Signs various in her Aiery Flight
Some Signs of Day, and other Signs of Night:
Not so
Day Signs and Night Signs.
distinguish'd Cause those Signs maintain
Those times distinctly, and then choose to reign:
[Page 58] For then as Years roul round, the Circling Lights
Would all be of one kind Day's all, or all the Night's.
But 'cause wise Nature in her first Designs
By Laws Eternal fixt them to these Times:
The Centaur, Lion, and the golden Ram,
Fish, Crab, and Scorpio with his venom'd Flame
Or near in Site, or in an equal space
By two alike divided, are the Day's:
The rest the Night's. But who can hope to see
Opinion's join, or find the World agree!
Some with the Ram begin, and thence convey
The Five in Order following to the Day.
The rest from Libra are to Night confin'd:
Whilst others sing Male Signs affect the Light,
And Female safely wanton in the Night.
But others, this is plain from common sense, de­mand
Some Signs for
Earth and Water Signs.
Sea, and other Signs for Land:
Thus watery Pisces, and the Crab retain
Their proper Nature, and respect the Main:
The Bull and Ram possess their old Command,
They led the Herds, and still they love the Land,
Tho' there the Lion's Force their Rest invades,
And poysnous Scorpio lurks in gloomy Shades;
The Danger is despis'd, the Ram, the Bull
Keep Land, so powerful is the Lust of Rule:
The Twins, the Centaur, and the Scales dispose
In the same Rank; and join the Maid with those.
Of middle Nature some with Both agree,
One part respects the Land, and one the Sea:
The double Goat is such, whose wild Command
Now Sea affects, and now enjoys the Land:
And young Aquarius pouring out his Stream
Here spreads a watry, there an Earthy Beam.
[Page 59] How shall these things, yet they reward thy pain,
Reason's in All, and nothing's fram'd in vain:
The Crab
Fruitful and Bar­ren Signs.
is fruitful, and a numerous Brood
Pierce Scorpio yields, and Pisces fill the Flood;
The Lion's barren, and no Vows can gain
The Maid; Aquarius spends his Youth in vain,
Ah too remov'd, too far disjoyn'd to prove
The fruitful Pleasures of encreasing Love!
'Twixt these two kinds a Third nor fruitful Beams
Nor Barren spreads, but joyns the two Extreams:
The Goat all Beast above, and Fish below,
The Centaur glorious in his Cretian Bow,
The Scales that Autumn's Equinoctial rule,
The Twins, and Ram, to whom we join the Bull.
Nor must you think it undesign'd, a Cast
Of busie Nature as she wrought in haste;
That some shew running
Signs of different Postures.
Postures in their frame,
The Lion, Centaur, and the turning Ram;
Erected some, Aquarius rears his Head,
The Twins are upright, and the pious Maid:
Some crouching Signs a lazy Posture show,
Thus Taurus bends, as wearied by the Plough;
The Scales press'd down appear, and Caper lies
By his own Frost contracted in the Skies:
The Crab and Scorpio flat are found, they show
The Postures there which they maintain below,
Whilst watry Pisces low, and gently glide
In Streams divided, always on their side.
But search minutely, and you find a
Maimed and intire Signs.
In many Signs, the mighty Bull is lame,
His Leg turns under, Scorpio's Claws are lost
In Libra's Scales, nor can the Centaur boast
[Page 60] A Form compleat, tho' we distinctly find
One Eye, the other's lost, and Cancer's blind.
Thus Heaven to wretched Mortals sends Relief
By these Examples it corrects our Grief,
Since Signs, on which our Fates depend, do share
The like Misfortunes, which we grieve to bear.
The different
Season Signs.
Seasons likewise share the Signs,
From Pisces Spring, and Summer from the Twins,
From Centaur Winter, Autumn from the Maid begins:
Each hath three Signs, and as the Seasons fight
In the Years Round, so these lie opposite.
Nor is't sufficient that my Muse defines
The Kinds, and Figures of the Single Signs,
They work by Compact, they their Beams unite
To mutual Aid determin'd by their site.
From Aries rightways draw a Line, to end
In the same Round, and let that Line subtend
An equal Triangle; now since the Lines
Must three times touch the Round, and meet three Signs,
Where e're they meet in Angles those are
The various Configura­tions or A­spects.
See Fig. 1.
Because they are at equal distance seen
On either side, and leave three Signs between.
Thus Aries sees on either side below
The Lion roar, and Centaur draw his Bow:
The Bull with Caper and the Maid are found
In Trine: Thus fix the others of the Round.
Signs Left and
Right are in the Trines agreed;
The Left still follow, and the Right precede;
The Maid is Left, and Caper to the Bull
Is Right: Thus fix the others by this Rule.

[Page] [Page]

Tr: 1.
Tr: 2.
Tr: 3.
Tr: 4.
Q: 1:
Q: 2:
Q: 3:
[Page 61] But more, in Quadrates; not in Trines alone
Signs Right and Left are by Position shown;
See Fig. 2.
which to know, the Round divide
By Squares exactly equal on each side;
Where Angles close the Perpendiculars
There lie the Signs agreeing in the Squares.
To give an Instance then, observe the Site,
The narrow Goat sees Libra on the Right,
Oth' Left the Ram, at equal distance lies
The Crab, and on the Left sees Libra rise,
To make a Square agreeing in the Skies.
This single Instance all the rest declares,
And shews that twice six Signs compose three Squares.
But now should any
Cautions concerning Squares and Trines.
think their Skill designs
The Squares aright, and well describes the Trines,
And that they hit the Rule when e're they' give
Four Signs to Squares, to Trines allotting Five;
And thence presume to guess what mutual Aid
The Signs afford, they'll find their Work betray'd:
For though on every side five Signs are found
To make the several Trines that fill the Round,
Yet Births in each Fifth Sign no Fates design
To share th'united Influence of the Trine.
They lose the Thing, though they preserve the Name,
For Place and Number still oppose their Claim:
For since the Round where Phoebus guides his Reins
Three hundred, and thrice twenty parts contains,
One third of those, as we the Round divide
By Trines, to every Trine must make one side;
But Sign apply to Sign, not Part to Part,
This Number's lost; and therefore false the Art.
For tho Three Signs appear to interpose
Between the Two in which the Angles close;
[Page 62] Yet take the Scheme as 'tis expos'd to sight,
And joyn the utmost parts of Left and Right;
Then count the number; on the slightest view
You'll quickly find it much exceeds the true:
Thrice fifty parts it holds, and thus one Line
Defrauds the other, and destroys the Trine;
And therefore though the several Signs retain
The Name of Trines, they claim the Parts in vain.
The like Mistake, when you design a Square,
Thy Art may baffle, and elude thy Care;
For as the Round we by Degrees divide
To every Quadrate Ninety make one side:
Now from the first from which begins the Line,
Toth' last degree of the succeeding Sign
If you count on, twice sixty parts prepare
To crowd upon thee, and deform the Square:
Or from preceding Signs last parts descend
To Signs succeeding, let the Reckoning end
I'th' first Degree of those: the space consines
But sixty parts, the number of Two Signs;
Thus count from Fourth to Fourth, Degrees too few,
Or else too many will thy Work pursue,
Elude thy Skill, and prove the Scheme untrue.
Then take Advice, nor from my Rules depart
Nor think thy Figures well design'd by Art,
'Cause Four in Squares, Three equal Lines in Trines
In Angles meeting there divide the Signs;
For in all Trines the single sides require
Sixscore Degrees to make the Scheme intire
Squares ninety ask: but more or less proclaim
The Figure, faulty, and destroy the Frame.
And where the several Lines in Angles close,
They there the Trines, or else the Squares dispose▪

[Page] [Page]

Sext: 1:
Sext: 1:
[Page 63] These mutual Aid by Nature's Laws convey,
And jointly act with an agreeing Ray.
And therefore every Birth, that Squares or Trines
Enjoys, not always carries all the Lines;
And tho' the Signs the name of Squares may gain,
Or Trines, they never shall their Force obtain:
They cannot jointly act, their Rays unite,
Tho Trines they seem, and shew like Squares to sight:
For wide the difference, whether those Degrees,
The Line takes up, which to it Art decrees;
Or from the Numbers, which the Circle fill,
Detracting somewhat, it cludes thy Skill:
For then of Signs too many or too few
It will possess; and make the Scheme untrue.
Thus far of these:
21. The Inter­course of Trines and Squares.
But now expect to share
More vigorous Influence from the Trine than Square;
For Lines that measure Squares remotely tend,
And almost close with the Celestial Bend;
But those that make up Trines to Earth repair,
Downwards they shoot,
See Fig. 3.
from Signs the Influence bear,
And with a nearer Ray infect our Air.
From Signs Alternate little Friendship's due,
22. Of Sentiles
Asquint they look, and with a partial view;
The Line that measures them obliquely drawn,
Thro' various Angles goes not freely on;
See Fig. 4.
Many its stops, in every other Sign
The Angle closing still diverts the Line;
Forward it darts, but soon it meets a Bound,
And six times broak, it leisurely creeps round:
From Taurus stretcht to Cancer, thence it bends
To Virgo's Sign, and thence to Scorpio tends;
[Page 64] Cold Caper meets it next, and thence it goes
To Aries, upward then to Taurus flows,
Where, whence it first began, we find the Fi­gure close.
The Other, for the Round contains no more,
Meets all the Signs the Second mist before;
Then passing those already sung, go on,
To all the Others let the Lines be drawn,
And equal Angles make the other Hexagon.
You see their Site, and thus Oblique they lie,
And view each other with a squinting Eye,
Too near, because thus plac'd, for mutual Aid,
Which freely flows in Lines direct convey'd.
High in the Concave Signs Alternate lie,
The Lines that mark them almost touch the Sky
And therefore far from Earth thro' distant way
They dart their Influence with a feeble Ray.
And yet some Intercourse in these we find,
For Signs Alternate are alike in Kind;
In the first He [...]agon six Males are found,
With Females only is the Second crown'd:
Thus Nature works, and, when the Place denies,
Sex makes Agreement, and unites the Skies.
In Concord no Contiguous Signs agree,
23. Of Contigu­ous Signs.
For what can love when 'tis deny'd to see?
They to themselves, which they behold alone,
Their Passion bend, and all their Love's their own
Alternately of different Kinds they lie,
One Male one Female fill the Round of Sky.
24. Of Vnequal Signs.
From Signs unequal any way remove
All Thoughts of Union, they're averse to Love:
Thus never think between the Sixths to find
An Intercourse, nor hope to see them kind;
[Page 65] Because the Lines, by which we mark their place,
In length unlike stretch thro' unequal space.
For take the Zodiack,
See Fig. 4.
from the Ram begin,
And thence on either side extend the Line
To meet the Sixth from Aries, then dispose
A Third, and let the Three in Angles close;
Between the Two first Lines Four Signs are found,
The Third includes but One, for that fills up the Round.
But more,
25. Of Oppo­sites.
the Signs oppos'd in Site, that lie
With Beams directly darting thro' the Sky;
Tho' much remov'd they seem, yet mix from far
Their friendly Influence, or declare for War;
As the Sun's Aspect and the Planet's Fire
For Peace determine, or to Rage inspire.
These Signs 21 adverse would you distinctly note?
Let Summer's Crab oppose the Winter's Goat.
The Scales the Ram where Day and Night appear
Equal in adverse Seasons of the Year:
See Fig. 4.
The Fish oppose the Maid, the watry Vrn
With adverse Fires sees raging Leo burn.
When Scorpio fills the highest Arch of Skies,
Then bending Taurus in the lowest lies,
And when the Centaur sets the Twins arise.
Yet though in Site oppos'd these rowl above,
Yet joyn'd by Nature or by Sex they love:
Thus Males to Males strict Leagues of Friendship bind,
And Female Signs to their own Sex are kind.
The Fish and Maid oppos'd are friendly Signs,
For Nature couples what the Place disjoyns:
But Nature sometimes yields, the Trines prevail,
And Females Females fight, and Males the Male:
Tho' Female both the Goat the Crab defies
Winter in this, in that the Summer lies;
[Page 66] Here Snow makes white, and Frost binds up the Fields;
There Sweat o'reflows and Winter's Rigor yields;
Here Day exults, there Night extends her Sway,
And Winter's Darkness equals Summer's Day:
Thus Nature sights, nor must we hope to find
The Signs of disagreeing Seasons kind.
Tho' differing Seasons hold the Scales and Ram,
They are half Friends, and mix agreeing Flame:
In this gay Flowers the painted Beds adorn,
This fills the Plains, and stores the Barns with Corn▪
Their Days and Nights in equal Balance meet,
Not vext with too much Cold, nor too much Heat:
They Summer's Wars and Winter's Rage compose,
Nor will these Seasons let their Signs be Foes.
Thus are the several Aspects taught—
These things considered,
26. The Guar­dians of the Signs.
press no more Divine▪
And know the Gods the Guardians of each Sign
Whom Nature order'd to controul their Course,
Direct their Influence, and assist their Force:
Great Powers are Godlike, we at least assign
Gods to great Powers, to make them seem Divine
For where Things want, high Titles there bestow
Admir'd Worth, and makes them great in show.
Pallas the Ram 2•, and Venus guides the Bull,
The Twins share Phaebus, and enjoy his Rule;
The Crab is Mercury's, and Jove divides
His Mother's Servant, and the Lion guides:
Ceres the Maid, for this her Sheaf declares,
And fighting Scorpio owns the God of Wars:
Juno pours out the Vrn, and Vulcan claims
The Scales, as the just Product of his Flames:
The frozen Goat kind Vesta's Aid requires,
She cheers his cold, and warms him with her Fire▪
[Page 67] Diana draws the hunting Centaur's Bow,
And mighty Neptune now is prov'd to know
The Fish above, which He had fed below.
And now that Reason guides, that Gods do move
The various Orbs, and govern all above,
Must needs erect thy Mind, it must impart
Strong Inclinations to pursue the Art;
Since Man securely may his Thoughts advance,
And hope to find, when undisturb'd by Chance.
Now learn what Signs the several Limbs obey,
27. Signs for the several parts of the Body.
Whose Powers they feel, and where Obedience pay.
The Ram defends the Head, the Neck the Bull,
The Arms, bright Twins, are subject to your Rule:
I'th' Shoulders Leo, and the Crab's obey'd
I'th' Breast, and in the Guts the modest Maid:
I'th' Buttocks Libra, Scorpio warms Desires
In Secret Parts, and spreads unruly Fires:
The Thighs the Centaur, and the Goat commands
The Knees, and binds them up with double Bands.
The parted Legs in moist Aquarius meet,
And Pisces gives Protection to the Feet.
But Stars have proper Laws,
28. Signs that See, Hear, Love, or Hate.
and Signs maintain
An Intercourse, and Compact in their Reign;
Some Hear each other, some each other See,
Some fight and Hate, whilst some in Leagues agree:
Some Foreign Passions cautiously remove,
But make Themselves the Object of their Love.
Thus Signs in Sex by Nature closely join'd
Are Foes, whilst Signs in Sex oppos'd are kind;
And Signs, whose opposite Position tends
To Disagreement, breed the greatest Friends.
When God ordain'd this mighty Frame to rise,
He setled these Affections in the Skies,
[Page 68] That some might Hear, and some each other See,
Some Hate and fight, and some in Leagues agree;
Some Love themselves alone; All this appears
In Men, who take their Tempers from the Stars.
The Ram, as it becomes the Prince of Stars,
Is his own Council,
See Fig. 5. 6, 7, and 8.
and Himself he hears;
He Libra sees, but unsuccessful proves
In loving Taurus, for in vain he Loves;
Taurus (for Aries finds but cold returns
For all those Fires with which he freely burns;
Nay more, by Treachery all his Love's repaid)
Sees, Hears the Fishes, and adores the Maid:
Thus from the Tyrian Pastures lin'd with Jove
He bore Europa, and still keeps his Love:
The Twins see Leo, and they hear the Vrn
Pouring out his Streams, but for the Fishes burn.
The Crab (as Caper adverse in the Skies)
First makes himself the Object of his Eyes;
He loves Aquarius Vrn, and then repays
The friendly Goat by hearkning to his Rays.
The Lion sees the Twins embracing Fires,
He hears the Centaur, and the Goat admires:
Mischief the Maid for Sagittarius brews,
She hears the Scorpion, and the Bull she views.
But Libra hears her self, her Mind applies
To following Scorpio, to the Ram her Eyes:
The Scorpion sees the Fish, the Maid he hears;
To Leo Sagittarius bends his Ears;
To young Aquarius he his Eyes resigns,
His Love prefers the Maid to other Signs.
The Goat admires, and loves himself alone,
(For since at 23 Caesar's Birth Serene he shone;
What Glory can be greater than his own?


[Page 69] He hears the Crab: Aquarius hears the Twins,
And sees the Centaur, and amidst the Signs
The towring Crab alone his Mind can move,
And is the only Object of his Love.
Whilst Pisces to the Bull their Ears apply,
And view the Scorpion with a longing Eye.
These Powers the Tempers of their Births de­fine,
Each carries the Affection of his Sign;
These love to See and love to Hear create,
And all the Intercourse of Love and Hate:
Hence some embrace, and some as odly fly
Each other; Love and Hate, but know not why.
Thus far of single Signs: But Trines engage
With Trines, and all the Heaven is full of Rage:
Signs War in Bodies, and in Parties fight,
As adverse in their Manners, as in Site:
The Ram, Lion, Centaur joyn'd in Trine oppose
The Heavenly Scales, and to their Trine are Foes.
And this on two Accounts; Three Signs to Three
Shine opposite, and who can hope to see
Two differing Natures, 24 Man and Beast agree?
For he that holds the Scales Celestial, bears
A Humane Shape, a Brute the Lion wears,
And therefore yields, for Reason's Force controuls
Brute Strength, and Bodies still submit to Souls.
The Lion conquer'd to the Skies was thrown,
And fleecy Aries flead before he shone;
The Centaur's Forepart still commands the rest,
So much the Humane Form exceeds the Beast.
No wonder therefore that with great Success
The Scales fight Aries, and his Trine oppress.
But this we may in one short rule comprise,
For view the Signs that fill the round of Skies,
[Page 70] And those that are in Humane Forms exprest
Are conquering Foes to all the shapes of Beast.
But yet their Hate not equally extends,
Signs have their proper Foes, as well as Friends;
The Ram's Productions Friendly Leagues refuse
To all the Fishes, Maid, or Scales produce:
What Scorpio, Cancer, Pisces, Scales create
Are Foes to Taurus, and his Births they hate:
Whilst those Productions that the Twins design
Are Enemies to Aries, and his Trine.
Against the Crab and Bull the Goat declares,
And Virgo too, and Libra feels his Wars:
Nor shall (could I write curious Verse, my Muse
To shew her Art in Precepts would refuse;
I teach an Art, and 'tis by all confest
Instruction when 'tis plainest than 'tis best:)
The furious Lion rous'd with desperate Rage
With fewer Enemies than the Ram engage.
The double Centaur with his threatning Bow
Affrights the Maid, the Bull that bends his Brow,
With Caper, and with Pisces is her Foe.
O're Libra's Sign a Crowd of Foes prevails,
The Icy Goat, the Crab which square the Scales,
With those of Aries Trine consent to hate
The Scales of Libra, and her Rays rebate.
Nor doth the Sign of fiery Scorpio find
Foes less in number, or of better Mind;
The Urn, Twins, Lion, Bull, the Scales, the Maid
He frights; and they of him are equally afraid:
Nor can the Centaur's Bow his Peace defend,
The Twins, Vrn, Virgin force his Sign to bend
By Nature's Law, nor are the Scales his Friend.
The same oppress thy Sign with equal Hate
Contracted Caper, and thy Force rebate.
[Page 71] Whilst those that are in Brutal Forms exprest
Afflict the Vrn, and all his Trine molest.
The neighbouring Fish the Vrn with Hate pursues,
And those the Maid, and those the Twins produce.
And those that own the Centaur's angry Star
He treats as Foes, and still afflicts with War.
These Rules are true, but somewhat else defines
The Friendship and the Enmity of Signs:
Thus Thirds are Foes, for with a squinting Ray
They view each other, and their Hate convey:
Signs opposite, whatever place they fill
Averse to Peace, and are unfriendly still:
Thus Sevenths their adverse Sevenths are doom'd to loath,
And Thirds from both, and which are Trines to both:
Nor is it strange that Trines unfriendly prove
When Kin to Signs that are averse to Love.
So many sorts of differing Signs dispose
Mens Tempers,
29. A short di­gression con­cerning Friendship.
and produce such Crowds of Foes;
Look o're the World, see Force and Fraud increase,
Rapine in War, and Treachery in Peace;
But look for Truth and Faith, the Search were vain,
No Mind is Honest, and no Thoughts are plain:
What bulky Villanies bestride the Age!
What Envy pusheth on Mankind to rage!
Envy not to be dispossest, her Throne
Is firmly fixt, and all the World's her own!
Friends kill their Friends, a Husband stabs his Wife,
Sons sell their Father's and their Mother's Life;
Bold Atreus feasts, and at the barbarous sight
The Sun retires, and leaves the World to night.
Whilst Brothers poyson, with a smiling Face
They mix the Cup, and kill where they embrace:
[Page 72] No place is safe, no Temple yields Defence
Against secret Stabs, or open Violence;
And many a slaughter'd Priest profanely dies
On the same Altar with his Sacrifice.
Those most betray who kindness most pretend,
And Crowds of Villains skulk behind the Name of Friend.
The World's infected, Wrong and Fraud prevails,
Whilst Honesty retires, and Justice fails;
Nay Laws support those Crimes they checkt before,
And Executions now affright no more.
For disagreeing Stars that Men produce,
Their Tempers fashion, and their own infuse:
Hence Peace is lost, pure Faith we seldom find,
Kind Leagues are rare, and then but feebly bind;
For as the Signs above, so Things below
Do differing Minds and Inclinations show;
They form Men's Thoughts, and the obedient Clay
Takes disagreeing Tempers from their Ray.
Hence 'tis that Friendship is so thinly sown,
It thrives but ill, nor can it last when grown;
Rare it's Production: and the World pretends
To boast but one poor single pair of Friends:
One Pylades and one 25 Orestes name,
And you have all the Instances of Fame;
Once Death was strove for, 'twas a generous Strife,
Not who should keep, but who should lose a Life
Was their Dispute, contending to deny
Each other the great Priviledge to die.
The Surety fear'd his guilty Friend's return,
The Guilty Friend did his own Absence mourn;
Careless of Life, impatient of Delay,
He broak thro' hindring Friends that choak'd his way,
[Page 73] And ran to Danger: Here they disagreed,
One hop'd to free, One fear'd to be so freed.
But now if you would know what Signs dispose
To Leagues, and Peace, and friendly Thoughts disclose;
The Ram's bright Births you may securely joyn
As Friends to the Productions of his Trine:
But the Ram's Births are more sincerely plain,
They give more Love than they receive again
From thine fierce Leo, or than his can show
That strides thro' Heaven, and draws the Cretan Bow:
For 'tis a Sign of thoughtless Innocence,
Expos'd to Harms, unpractis'd in Defence;
Unus'd to Fraud or Wrong, but gentle, kind,
And not more soft in Body than in Mind.
The others carry Fierceness in their Ray,
Their Nature's bruitish, and intent on Prey;
Ungrateful still, nor can they long retain
A sense of Kindness, and unjust for Gain:
But tho' by Nature these are both enclin'd
To frequent Quarrels, yet expect to find
More Force in that which is of double kind,
Than in the Single Lion: Hence increase
Some sudden Heats, but intermixt with Peace.
The Bull and Goat are equally inclin'd
To mutual Friendship, both alike are kind;
The Bull's Productions love fair Virgo's Race,
Yet frequent Jarrs disjoin their close Embrace.
The Scales and Vrn one friendly Soul inspire,
Their Love is setled, and their Faith intire;
To both their Births the Twins productions prove
The surest Friends, and meet an equal Love.
The Crab and Scorpion to their Births impart
A friendly Temper, and an open Heart;
[Page 74] Yet Scorpio's (Fraud amongst the Stars is found)
Tho' Friends they seem, yet give a secret Wound.
But those whom Pisces watry Rays create,
Are constant neither in their Love, nor Hate;
They change their Minds, now quarrel, now em­brace,
And Treachery lurks behind their fawning Face.
Thus Signs or Love, or Hate: and These bestow
Their differing Tempers on their Births below.
Nor is't enough to know the Signs alone,
The Planets Stations must be justly known,
30. The friend­ly and un­friendly Aspects.
And all Heaven's parts, because the Site and Line
And Aspect change the Influence of the Sign:
Thus when Oppos'd the Signs this Influence bear,
In Trine a different they are known to share,
In Sextile this, another when in Square.
And thus the Sky now gives, now takes away
The Influence, now it points, now blunts the Ray
Here Hate infects them, when they thence remove;
They lose that Hate, or change the Rage to Love.
For Signs, or when they rise, or culminate,
Or set, send down a different sort of Fate.
To Hatred Signs oppos'd in Site incline,
The Quadrates Kinsmen aid, and Friends the Trine;
The Reason's obvious: The Celestial Round
See Fig. 1.
there Signs of the same kind are found
In each fourth place: In each fourth Sign appear
The several Seasons that command the Year;
Thus Aries gives the Spring, flat Cancer glows
With Summer's Heat; the generous Bowl o're­flows
In Libra, Caper scatters Winter's Snows.
Besides, by Signs in double Forms exprest
Each fourth Celestial place is found possest,
[Page 75] Two Fishes glide; two smiling Boys embrace,
A double Figure we in Virgo trace,
The Centaur's double with a single Face.
Next Simple Signs with their refulgent Stars
Fill each fourth space, and still are found in Squares.
Without a Rival Taurus fills his Throne,
The dreadful Lion shakes his Mane alone,
Th'26 unbodied Scorpion no Companion fears,
And still the Vrn a simple Sign appears.
Therefore to each fourth place the Stars assign'd
In Time agree, in Number, or in Kind;
This makes them Kindred Signs, and these preside
O're Kinsmen's Minds, and their Affections guide.
But those four Signs on which the Hinges move
Belong to Neighbours, and direct their Love.
The other Square with all its Stars attends
On Guests, Acquaintance, and remoter Friends.
Thus all the Signs as they are plac't obtain
Their Rule, and with unequal Vigor reign.
For tho' the Site and Form of Squares they bear,
They work not like the other Signs in Square;
For whilst the Cardinals more Force confess,
The rest, which we from Number nam'd express
Double or Simple Signs, still work with less.
The Line extended thro' the larger space
With Trines determines,
Trines. See Fig. 1.
and makes out their place,
Presides o're Friends, whose mutual Faiths supply
The room of Blood, and draw a closer Tie:
For as it measures a long space, to joyn
The distant, stretching out from Sign to Sign.
So those, whom Nature doth in spight remove,
It brings together; and knits in Bands of Love.
[Page 76] And these before the others most commend,
For tho' the nearest Kinsmen oft pretend
Deluding Kindness; who deceives a Friend?
No Sign nor Planet serves it self alone,
Each blends the others Vertues with its own.
Mixing their Force, and interchang'd they reign,
Signs Planets bound, and Planets Signs again.
All this my Muse shall orderly reveal,
And keep the Method she begun so well;
She'll sing what Parts the several Signs require,
In what the Planets spread commanding Fire;
This must be shown, if in your search for Fate
The Signs of Love you'd know from those of Hate.
Now with expanded Thought go on to know
A Secret great in Use,
31. Dedecate­morion.
tho' small in show;
For which our scanty Language, poor in words,
No single fit expressive Term affords,
But Greek supplies, a Language born to frame
Fit Words, and show their Reason in the Name.
'Tis Dodecatemorion 27, thus describ'd—
Thrice ten Degrees with every Sign contains
Let Twelve exhaust, that not one part remains;
It follows streight that every Twelfth confines
Two whole, and one half Portion of the Signs:
These Twelfths in Number, as the Signs, are Twelve,
And these the wise contriver of the Frame
Plac't in each Sign, that all may be the same.
The World may be alike, each Star may guide,
And every Sign in every Sign preside;
That all may govern by agreeing Laws,
And friendly Aids be mutual as their Cause.
And therefore Births; o're which one Sign aspires,
In Powers are various, different in Desires;
[Page 77] Males follow Females, and from Man deprest
Weak Nature sinks, and errs into a Beast:
For all on Signs depend, in which succeed
The different Twelfths, and vary in the Breed.
Now whose, and how dispos'd, the Muse must sing,
And draw deep Knowledge from its secret Spring;
Lest this unknown you should from Truth decline,
Mistaking the chang'd Influence of the Sign:
Each Sign's first Twelfths is by its self possest,
The others shar'd in Order by the rest;
Each hath its Twelfth, they take their equal Shares,
(Ambition is a Vice too mean for Stars)
Thus every Sign hath for its proper Throne
Two whole, and one half Portion of its own;
Of other Signs that rowl in order on
Each takes as much, till all the thirty parts are gone.
But there are many sorts, to find the true
Wise Nature orders we must all pursue;
This is her Will: Tho partial Search may fail,
Yet He's secure of Truth who seeks for All.
For Instance,
32. The Dode­catemoria of the Pla­nets.
grant it were thy great Concern
To know the 28 Planet's Twelfths; securely learn;
I'll shew the Method: As you count the Signs,
First mark that Sign's Degree where Phoebe shine
And views the new-born Child; that multiply
By Twelve: (because Twelve Signs adorn the Sky)
Observe the Product, and from thence assign
To those gay Stars where Phaebe's found to shine
Thrice ten Degrees: Then go in Order on,
Assigning Thirty till the Number's done;
And where the Number ends there fix the Moon:
[Page 78] That is her Twelfth. The following Planets lie
In following Twelfths, and there enjoy the Sky.
Another Method claims my next Essay,
Another differing from the former way;
This too I must explain, its Rules impart,
And fix the subtle Niceties of Art,
First take the 29 Sun's true place, and that confest,
Observe the Portion by the Moon possest:
Count those Degrees the middle Space contains,
Take all the Thirtys thence, and what remains
Dividing into Twelfths, from thence assign
To those gay Stars in which the Moon does shine
One Twelfth: To Signs that orderly come on
Apply their Twelfths, till all the Number's done,
And where the number ends there fix the Moon.
That is her Twelfth. The following Planets lie
In following Twelfths, and there enjoy the Sky.
The Task's not done: The Muse must next unfold
A nicer thing, in fewer Numbers told:
Which less in show and in extent appears,
Yet than the Greater more of Force it bears:
In every 30 Twelfth a Twelfth the Planets claim,
The Thing is different though we use the Name;
'Tis thus describ'd. Five half Degrees do lie
In every Twelfth, Five Planets grace the Sky,
And every Planet in its proper Course
One half Degree possessing there exerts its Force.
'Tis useful therefore to observe the Sign,
And mark the Twelfth in which the Planets shine;
For where the Planets, as they rowl their Course,
A Twelfth possess, they there exert their Force.
These must be jointly sung: yet these belong
To future Thoughts, and claim another Song:
[Page 79] 'Tis now enough that I have clearly shown
Things hid before, and made their Vses known;
Let it suffice, that I have brought the Muse
Materials proper, and prepar'd for Use:
When all is ready, let her build the Frame,
And raise a lasting Monument of Fame:
The single Elements distinctly known
Thee sees her Way, and may go safely on;
And all the Parts describ'd the Verse will roul
With freer Force, and orderly erect the whole.
For as to Boys at School we first propound
The Letters, show their Form, and teach their Sound,
And then go on, instruct them how to Spell,
And join their Letters in a Syllable;
Then to frame Words, and thence their Fancies raise,
To bind these words in Verse, and reach the Bays.
And as the Boys proceed, they find their past,
And first Acquirements useful to their last;
For Precepts without Method got by pain,
Prove empty, and the labour is in vain:
So since my Songs Fate's dark Intrigues reherse,
Their Influence show, and bind the Stars in Verse;
Since they mount high, and from the Signs above,
Bring down the God, and open hidden Jove:
All must be taugth, and I must first impart
The Elements peculiar to this Art;
That thence, as she proceeds, my labouring Muse
May draw Materials, and go on to Use.
And as wise Builders, who design a Town,
First clear the Field, and cut the Forest down,
And streight new Stars behold as new a Sun:
[Page 80] From Antient Seats, and Hospitable Glades
The Beasts are forc'd, and Birds forsake their Shades.
Some Stones for Walls, some Marble square for Shrines,
And suit Materials to their great Designs;
And when they have provided sit Supplies
For future Art, the Piles begin to rise;
Nor doth the interrupted work disgrac't
By any stop, accuse their foolish haste:
So I, that raise this mighty Work, must choose
Materials proper to employ my Muse,
Bare fit Materials; and not build one part
'Till all lies ready to compleat the Art;
Lest whilst my Thoughts the noble work pursue,
As all Materials lay expos'd to view,
They start surpriz'd, and stop amaz'd with new.
Be careful then,
XXXIII. The Celesti­al Houses.
and with a curious Eye,
Observe the 31 four fixt Hinges of the Sky;
One constant point their settled place defines,
Altho' they vary in their moving Signs:
One fixt i'th' East,
The Hinges. See Fig. 10.
where with a gentle Ray
The Sun views half the Earth on either way,
And here brings on, and there bears off the Day.
One in the West, from whose declining steep
The Sun falls head-long, and enjoys the Deep:
The Third in Heaven's high point, where midst the Course
Bright Phoebus stops, and breaths his weary Horse;
He stands a while, and with an equal Ray,
Views East and West, and then drives down the Day.
Oppos'd to this, the Fourth securely lies,
The immoveable Foundation of the Skies;
[Page 81] The lowest point, to which with steddy Rein
The Stars descend, and whence they mount again:
These Points in Fate the greatest Interest claim,
Because they settle, and support the Frame;
In these fixt Points were not the Quarters ty'd.
Oth' Top, oth' Bottom, and on either side,
The Ball would cleave, the whirls would dissipate
The agitated parts; and break strong Fate.
Now different Powers these several Hinges grace
And vary with the dignity of Place;
The Medi­um Coeli.
The chiefest that which on the Top doth lie,
And with a narrow limit parts the Skye,
There Glory sits in all her Pomp and state,
The highest place requires the highest Fate;
Thence Places, Dignities, Preferments flow,
And all that Men admire and wish below;
High Honours, Offices, in Suits success,
Right to make Laws, and Power to give Peace;
Thence Scepters, and supreme Command accrne,
And Power to give them, where Rewards are due.
The next,
The Imum Coeli.
(tho' lowest and contemn'd it lies)
The fixt, and sure Foundation of the Skies,
Great in effect, altho' it seems but small;
It governs Wealth, and Wealth's the stay of all:
It rules Estates, it shows what Mines contain,
What secret Treasures we may hope to gain,
Without this Power the other Fates were vain.
As great in Power is that where Beams display
Their rising luster,
The Ho­roscope. or Eastern Point.
and renew the Day;
The Greek (no other scanty Tongues afford
A single proper and expressive Word)
Names this the Horoscope.
This governs, Life, and this marks out our Parts,
Our Humours, Manners, Qualities, and Arts;
[Page 82] This when and where the Birth is born declares
And guides the various Vertues of the Stars:
By this they are settled, and as this defines
The Birth, enjoys the influence of the Signs.
The Last,
The We­stern Point.
the Point, whence Stars descending fall,
And view the lower surface of the Ball;
This rules the Ends of things, this Point declare
The Period, and Result of all Affairs;
This governs Marriage, and on this depends
Religion, Recreation, Death, and Friends.
These Points considered, Their Powers distinct­ly seen,
Observe the Spaces that are plac't between;
The Points are little, but the Spaces large,
And every space has a proportion'd Charge.
First then the Space that rising from the East
The inter­mediate Spacers.
Mounts upward, is by Infancy possest,
There Childhood plays: From thence the Western space
Gay Youth demands, and fills the second place.
Next from the Western Point a space descends,
See Fig. 9.
Thro' under Heaven, and in the Lowest ends;
There Manhood, having past the various Maze
Of Infancy and Youth, compleats its Race:
To finish this; The space that upward tends,
And creeping slowly o're the steep Ascends
To join the Round at East, is made the way
Of feeble Age and flitting Life's decay.
But more all Signs, whatever Form they bear,
The several Vertues of their Stations wear;
With good or hurtful Powers those points their Ray,
The Places govern, and the Signs obey:


[Page] [Page 83] They turn the Round, and as they wheel their Course,
The Place now gives, and now takes off their Force;
For as the Planets thro' the stations Err,
Those Places their own Ifluence transfer;
And force them, whilst within their bounds, to take
Their ruling Vertues, and their own forsake.
Hence now they smile, and now severely frown
With Foreign Influence that Commands their own:
Here sovereign send, there showr malignant Rays,
And spread the fatal Venom of their Place.
That station which above the East doth lie,
The Twelfth and Sixth Houses.
The Third in order from the middle Sky,
[...]s an unhappy Seat; destructive still
To all Events, and too replete with Ill.
Nor is this bad alone, the Seat that lies
Below the Western Hinge oppos'd to this,
[...]s like it: Nor doth this that Seat surpass,
[...] Vertue of its Dignity of Place,
[...]s near the nobler Hinge:
See fig 9th.
But both decline,
[...]om both begin a wretched Round of time,
[...]f Labor full, for here you fall, and there you climb.
Nor is the World with better stations blest
The Second and Eighth Houses.
Above the West, nor yet below the East,
[...]hat hangs above, this downward seems to bend,
[...]his in the neighbouring Hinge still fears an end,
[...]hat unsustain'd is eager to descend.
See fig. 9th.
Unhappy Seats! Here Typho rules alone
And fills a dark inhospitable Throne:
[...]his Typho Earth produc't, when Giants strove
[...]o Conquer Heaven, and shook the Throne of Jove.
[Page 84] When Monsters rose, and at a wondrous Birth
In bigness equal to their Mother Earth,
Vast Sons broke forth: But Thunder stopt their Course,
And tumbling Mountains dasht the Rebells Force.
Typhorus fell: Earth was too weak to save,
And War and He lay buried in one Grave;
Yet now he heaves in his Aetnean T [...]b,
And Earth still fears new struglings in her Womb
That next Heaven's topmost point,
The Ele­venth house
which ri­seth high,
Almost it's equal in the middle Sky
With fairer Hopes, and better Fortune blest,
Erects its Head, and much excells the rest;
Plac't near the highest Hinge, it riseth higher,
This Empire's Seat, and almost fills desire:
It's Title, the exalted Place may claim
A glorious Patron, and as great a Name,
Is Happy; Happy, if that word can fill
The Greek Expression and commend my skill.
Here Jove presides in all his Pomp and State,
See fig. 9th.
And to this ruling Fortune trust thy Fate.
Oppos'd, and next the bottom of the Ball
There lies a Seat as wearied with its fall;
The fifth House. See fig. 9th.
And yet prepar'd, tho' with a world of Pain
For other Labour, and to mount again:
About to bear, and destin'd to obey
The Hinge's Power, submitting to its sway;
Yet prest not by the World, it gives a Scope
To haughty Thoughts, and still permits to hop [...]
In Greek Demonie: But our scanty Tongue
Affords no proper word to grace my Song:
Yet mind this station, it thy Thoughts may clai [...]
Observe its Patron, nor forget the Name:
[Page 85] Tho' troublesome it seems, no toil refuse
The Labour's great, but equal'd by the Vse.
Ith' Ninth,
The third and ninth Houses.
and Third gay strength and health Delight,
Or Sickness arms its venom'd Darts for fight;
Why Contraries should thus these Seats possess
'Tis hard to find, but Phoebus aids my guess;
The mighty Patrons, whom these Seats obey,
See fig. 9.
In one determin'd time bear different sway
And Day succeeds the Night, and Night the Day.
That Seat which next the Highest Hinge doth lie
The first declining from the middle Sky
The Sun possesses:
The ninth House.
From his Rays we draw
Our state of Health, He gives our Bodies Law:
Its Title God.
Oppos'd to this,
The third House.
which first begins to rise
From Heaven's low bottom, and brings up Skies,
A Seat appears just tipt with Light, and guides
The Starry Night, in this the Moon presides.
The Moon that sees her Brother's adverse Ray,
That looks up to him as he guides the Day.
And imitates his Influence the wrong way:
She rules our Bodies, but her Face derives
Moist rotting Powers, and wastes the Health He gives.
It's Title Goddess: But how mean these words
Compar'd with those, expressive Greece affords?
But as for Heaven's high top,
The tenth House.
the utmost point
Of Rising, and beginning of Descent,
Where 'twixt the Eastern rise,
See fig. 9.
and Western fall
Jove hangs the Beam at which He weighs the Ball;
[Page 86] This Venus graceth, here she seats her Throne,
And in the World's high Face erects her own;
That Face, whose awful force Mankind admires,
And yields Obedience to her pleasing Fires:
Her Charge is Marriage, for what else can prove
The Office of the beauteous Queen of Love?
Pleasure's her aim, yet she forgets her Ease,
And puts on Providence on design to please.
Fortune's the station's Name; observe the Place;
My Muse grows weary, and contracts her pace,
Refusing to expatiate in her Race.
But now go on,
The fourth House.
the lowest point of all
The fixt Foundation of the solid Ball,
Which looking upward, sees the circling Light,
And lies it self immerst in deepest Night,
Is Saturn's Seat;
See fig. 9.
tho' once he rul'd above,
Enjoy'd that Power, and fill'd the Throne of Jove;
But thence thrown down, he makes his last retreat
To this low place, and fills this humble Seat:
Himself a Father, He pretends to bear
Respect to Fathers, and makes Age his care:
This only station double Cares enlarge,
For Sons and Fathers Fortune are its charge:
Severe and thrifty; This the Greeks proclaim
Demonium, its power expressing in its Name,
Now turn thine Eye,
The first House.
and view the Eastern Plain,
The space whence Stars renew their Course again;
Where moistned Phoebus from the Floods retires,
Climbs up, and shakes the Water from his Fires,
Then gathers Beauties, whose enlivening Heat
First strike thee,
See fig. 9.
Mercury, and refresh thy Seat.
O happy Seat, on whom the Art that sways
O're Heaven it self, bestows its 32 Authors rays!
[Page 87] The Fates of Children this is doom'd to bear,
And all the Hopes of Parents are its care.
One Seat remains,
The seventh House.
from whose declining steep,
The Stars fall headlong, and enjoy the Deep,
Which turns the World, and now can only trace
The back of Phoebus, that once view'd his Face:
No wonder Nature doth this Seat bequeath
To Pluto, and inexorable Death;
For here the Day expires, this draws the light
From all the World, and buries Day in Night,
Nor is this all its care, on this depends,
Faith, solid Constancy, and Friends,
So great that Place's power, which waste the Ray,
Which takes in Phoebus, and puts out the Day.
The stations these, to which in constant Course
The Stars arriving give and take new Force,
Where Planets touching as they wheel their round,
Mix foreign Powers, and with their own confound:
Admitted once they make the Seat their own,
And turn Usurpers in another's Throne.
But this, if Fate my Life and Health prolong,
Shall make the 32 subject of a future Song:
Now ends the Book, which hath describ'd at large
The Heavenly Houses, Guardians, and their Charge;
For which the Masters of the Art have found
A proper Name, but of a foreign Sound;
'Tis Octotopos.
With mighty labour I these Rules prepare,
Forgetting Pleasure, and possest with Care:
So hard it is in numerous Verse to close
Unwieldy Words, and smooth uneven Prose.
The End of the Second Book.


1. Manilius having mention'd the chief Argu­ments of Homer's Poems, concludes with a high Character, stiling him the Fountain of all Poetry. Ovid. Amor. lib. 3. El. 8. to the same purpose,

A quo, ceu Fonte perenni,
Vatum Pieriis ora rigantur Aquis▪

And Longinus (de sublim. Sect. 13) says not only Stesichorus and Archilocus, but Herodotus the Histo­rian, and Plato the Philosopher, owe their chiefest Beauties to that Poet.

2. Several Poems of Hesoid are lost, and Scali­ger with other Criticks conjecture, That Manilius refers us to those lost Poems: But I think this and the preceding Verse ought to be Corrected, (of this Correction perhaps I may give an account in a Latin Edition of this Author) and then they will be found in those pieces of Hesiod that are now extant.

3. Eratosthenes a Greek Poet, flourished in the time of Ptolemy Euergetes, about the 138 Olymp. He wrote of the Stars and Constellations, and gave an account of all the Fables relating to them: I have not time to explain all these Fables and therefore shall only direct where they may be found. Concerning Perseus, Andromeda, her Fa­ther Cepheus, and her Mother Cassiopeia, vid. O­vid. [Page 89] Metam, lib. 4. ver. 665. Concerning Callisto, or the great Bear, Ovid. lib. 2. ver. 405. The Fable of the Little Bear may be found in Diodorus Siculus, lib. 4. Of the Swan in the First Book of Manilius. Of the Goat in the First Book of Ma­nilius, and in Casaubon's Animadversions on Athe­naeus: The Maid or Erigone, is said to be the Daughter of Icarus, who upon the Death of her Father, hang'd her self. The Nemean Lion being slain by Hercules, was plac'd amongst the Stars for his shining Skin. The Crab for pinching Her­cules when he fought the Hydra: The Scorpion for Killing Orion, or rather, for assisting the Gods against the Giants. The Stories of Venus taking the shape of a Fish when she fled from the Giant Typho, and of the Ram who swam over the Hel­lespont with Phryxus and Helle on his Back, are well known, and may be found in Manilius, and Selden de Diis Syris.

4. This was a Fancy of the Antients, which some are not asham'd, after Experience hath so of­ten Confuted it, to maintain still.

5. The Elephants do so, if we believe Pliny: Nat. Hist. lib. 8. cap. 1.

  • 6. Aries is Male.
  • Gemini M.
  • Leo M.
  • Libra M.
  • Sagittarius M.
  • Aquarius M.
  • Taurus Female.
  • Cancer F.
  • Virgo F.
  • Scorpius F.
  • Capricornus F.
  • Pisces F.

7. The Humane Signs are Gemini, Libra, Vir­go, Aquarius. The Brute, Aries, Taurus, Sagit­tarius, [Page 90] Capricornus, Leo, Cancer, Scorpius, Pisces.

8. Of Double Signs some are Pairs, as Gemini, and Pisces: Others are made up of two different Species, such as Sagittarius and Capricornus.

9. The Tropick Signs are Aries, Libra, Can­cer, and Capricorn.

10. Their Position is unnatural; but this, as well as the fore-going Differences, will be easily understood upon view of the Signs upon a Globe.

11. Concerning Day and Night Signs, there are different Opinions: Some fancy that Aries, Tau­rus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, are the Days, and the other six the Nights. Others teach that the Male and Female are the same with the Day and Night Signs. But the Opinion that Manilius fol­lows is this. Aries is a Day Sign, Taurus, Gemini, Night. Cancer, Leo, Day. Virgo, Libra, Night. Scorpius, Sagittarius, Day. Caper, Aquarius, Night. Pisces Day. So that begin with Pisces, and then you find two Day Signs together, and then two Night Signs, and so in Order.

12. The Water Signs are Pisces and Cancer. The Earth Aries, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Gemini, Sagitta­rius, Libra, Virgo: Capricornus and Aquarius be­long to both Earth and Water.

13. The fruitful Signs are Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. The Barren are Leo, Virgo, Aquarius. The re­maining six are partly Barren, partly Fruitful.

14. The Running Signs are Leo, Sagittarius, A­ries: The standing or Erected Signs, Aquarius, Ge­mini, Virgo. The Crouching Signs, Taurus, Cancer, Libra, Scorpius, Caper, Pisces.

15. The Maim'd signs, Taurus, Scorpius, Sagit­tarius, Cancer.

[Page 91] 16. The Season signs are Pisces, belonging to the Spring. Gemini to Summer. Virgo to Au­tumn; and Sagittarius to Winter.

17. Suppose in the Zodiack Circle Twelve Signs, and in every Circle 360 Parts or Degrees, and 30 of these Degrees to belong to each of the Twelve Signs. Begin at any of the Signs, for in­stance, Aries; and in this Circle inscribe a Tri­angle, all whose sides are equal; it is evident that the Arch of the Circle which each of these sides subtends, contains 120 Parts or Degrees; and therefore between that Sign from which you begin to draw each side of this Triangle, and that to which you draw it, there must be Three Signs. But see Fig. 1st.

18. To shew what Signs are to be accounted Right, and what Left, the Poet mentions only the Trine of Taurus: Yet it is sufficient, upon View of Fig. 1st. direction for all the rest.

19. To know the Quadrate, begin from any sign, and in the Circle inscribe a Square, all whose sides are equal; the Angles shew the Signs, and what are Right or Left, you may find that in Qua­drates, as you did in Trines.

20. The meaning of all these Cautions concern­ing Trines and Quadrates, is in short, this, You must reckon by Degrees, and not by Signs; for if you reckon by Signs, the Figures, as Manilius shews at large in each particular, will not be equilateral. See Fig. 1st. and 2d.

[Page 92] 21. The Signs which have an Opposite aspect are,

  • Aries.
  • Taurus.
  • Gemini.
  • Cancer.
  • Leo.
  • Virgo.
  • Libra.
  • Scorpius.
  • Sagittarius.
  • Capricornus.
  • Aquarius.
  • Pisces.

22. The Guardians of the Signs.

  • Of Aries.
  • Taurus.
  • Gemini.
  • Cancer.
  • Leo.
  • Virgo.
  • Libra.
  • Scorpius.
  • Sagittarius.
  • Capricornus.
  • Aquarius.
  • Pisces
  • Pallas.
  • Venus.
  • Phoebus.
  • Mercurius.
  • Jupiter.
  • Ceres.
  • Vulcan.
  • Mars.
  • Diana.
  • Vesta.
  • Juno.
  • Neptune.

The Reasons of this Assignment are to be ta­ken out of the Old Fables.

23. Whether Capricorn was in the Horoscope of Augustus, when he was Born, or when he was Conceived, Is disputed: However 'tis certain, Augustus took Capricorn for his Sign, and many times its Figure is found upon his Coins. vid. Sueton. vit. Aug. cap. 94. and Spanhemius de Num­mis. p. 210.

[Page 93] 24. See the Figures of these Signs on a Globe.

25. Pylades and Orestes being taken Prisoners, Orestes was condemned to Die, but was allow'd to go and settle some Affairs, upon Condition that Pylades would stay behind, and engage his Life for his return: Pylades becomes Surety: Orestes goes, settles his Affairs, and returns at the Day appointed.

26. So call'd, because in the Sign Scorpius we see nothing but the Claws.

27. The Dodecatemorion is the Twelfth part, or two Degrees and an half of a Sign. Every Sign containing Thirty Degrees; for Twelve times two and an half make Thirty. Scaliger gives this Instance. Let the propos'd Degree be the Thirteenth Degree of Gemini, multiply Thirteen by Twelve, the Product is one hundred fifty six: Of these give Thirty to Gemini the propos'd Sign, Thirty to Cancer, Thirty to Leo, to Virgo Thirty, and Thirty to Libra: There remain Six, and therefore the Dodecatimorion of Gemini is in the Sixth Degree of Scorpius: But this instance doth not seem to agree with the Doctrine of Ma­nilius.

28. Scaliger affirms, that Manilius proposeth two ways to find the Dodecatemoria or Twelfths of the Planets; Huctius says he gives but one: This Dispute will be best determin'd by observing the Poet himself, and illustrating his Doctrine by two Instances: Let the Moon be in the Sixth De­gree of Aries, multiply six by Twelve, the Product [...]s Seventy two: Out of this Seventy two give the first Thirty to Aries, the second to Taurus, and [...]hen there remain Twelve; and therefore the [Page 94] Dodecatemorion of the Moon is in the Twelfth De­gree of Gemini, that is, in the Second of the Five half Degrees of the Dodecatemorion of Gemini.

29. To this Method Scaliger applies this Ex­ample: Let the Sun be in the Thirteenth of Gemi­ni, the Moon in the Twenty Third of Scorpius, the Arch of the Zodiack between the two Planets, contains one Hundred and Sixty Degrees: In this Number there are five Thirties, which being ta­ken away there remain Ten; divide these Ten by Twelfths, or two and an half, the Quotient is four Twelfths, or Dodecatemoria; of which give one to Scorpius, another to Sagittarius, a third to Ca­pricorn, and the fourth falling in Aquarius, shews the Moons Dodecatemorion to be in the twenty third Degree of that Sign.

30. The third sort of Dodecatemorion is this. In every Dodecatemorion or Twelfth, there are five half Degrees, and the Planets (which the Antient Astrologers counted but five, not reckon­ing the Sun and Moon amongst the Planets) have in each Dodecatemorion or Twelfth, one half De­gree assign'd to every one of them.

31. From this Verse to the end of this Book, Manilius treats of the Twelve Celestial Houses, which he divides into the Four Cardines or Hinges, and the Eight Spaces that lie between these Hin­ges: The Hinges are the Eastern Point, the Middle Point, the Western Point and the lowest point of Heaven: The Spaces, &c. but see Fig. 10.

32. Manilius in the beginning of his first Book tells us Mercury was the Inventor of that Art, which he intended for the Subject of his Astrological Poem.

33. Either the Poet never finish'd this Part which he here promises, or it is now lost.

MANILIUS. The Third Book.

Manilius begins this Third Book as he did the Second, reckoning up and slighting the seve­ral Subjects which have imploy'd other Poets, and declaring his Design to be new and diffi­cult: Then he proceeds to shew, 1. That the Twelve Signs of the Zodiack are the chief Disposers, and principal Governours of Fortunes. 2. That there are Twelve Lots belonging to these Twelve Signs. 3. He names and describes these Lots: The first is For­tune: The Second Warfare and Travelling: The Third, Civil Employments: The Fourth, Pleadings, and all the concerns of the Bar: The Fifth, Marriage Acquain­tance, Guests: The Sixth, Plenty, Wealth, and the means of preserving it. The Se­venth, Dangers: The Eighth, Nobility, Honour, Reputation: The Ninth, Chil­dren, Education. The Tenth, Manners, Institution, Family. The Eleventh, state [Page 96] of Health, Physick: The Twelfth, Wishes, and the ends of them. 4. He teaches how to suit these Lots, Labours, or Athla to the several Signs, when the Birth belongs either to Day, or Night. 5. He proposeth Rules how to find the Horoscope. 6. Refuting the Method prescrib'd by the Chaldaeans. 7. And shewing how to find the different lengths of Days and Nights, together with the several Risings and Settings of the Signs in order to find the Horoscope. 8. He re­sumes the Dispute against the Chaldaeans, and subjoins an Account of the several lengths of Days and Nights, in the three different Positions of the Sphere, Direct, Oblique, and Parallel. 9. He proposes another way to find the time of the Signs Rising and Set­ting. 10. He particularly Discourses of the Days Encrease from Capricorn to Cancer. 11. He shews what are the proper Years, Months, Days, and Hours of the Signs, and Confutes the Opinion of some Astrologers con­cerning them. 12. He sings how many Years belong to each Sign, and station. 13. And Concludes the Book with an Account of the Tropick Signs.

I am not to Answer for the Astronomy, it is enough if I have made the Poet speak intelligible English.

[Page 97] VVHilst I new ways attempt my groveling Name
To raise from Earth, and wing my Flight for Fame;
Thro' Woods untrodden whilst I take my way,
Ye Muses lead; for I extend your Sway
To larger Bounds, and make the World obey.
No Heaven's besieg'd, no Thunder thrown from far
Intombs the Giants, and concludes the War:
No fierce Achilles tells brave Hector's Spoil,
Nor Priam bears the Hero to his Pile.
No barbarous 1 Maid betrays her Father's trust,
Nor tears her Brother to secure her Lust.
No Bulls breath Fire, no Dragons guard the Prize,
Nor from the poysnous seed Arm'd Harvests rise:
No Youth returning here renews the Old,
Nor treacherous Presents carry Flame in Gold.
Nor will I sing the Babes Medea bore,
Got by much Guilt, but ah! destroy'd by more.
The Theban Siege, the highest Pride of Fame,
Nor how the Town by Thunder sav'd from Flame
Lost whilst it 2 conquer'd; nor how Spartans fought
Round old Messana, shall enlarge my thought.
No Sons 3 and Brothers shall be joyn'd in one,
Nor Mother bear a Granchild in a Son;
No Murder'd Babes 4 shall feast their injur'd Sire,
Nor Days break off, and frighted Suns retire.
None shall defy the Sea, the Floods enslave,
Sail o're the Mountains 5, and walk o're the Wave:
No Asian Kings. And thee, O mighty Rome,
Thy Arms, thy Conquests, and thy World o'recome
Thy Laws, thy Wars, thy Leagues my Verse refuse,
Those claim the leisure of a greater Muse.
[Page 98] Smooth Seas the Artless Sailer safely tries,
And Flowers undress'd in fruitful Gardens rise;
He works securely, who in Gold designs,
When e'en the rude unpolisht Metal Shines;
On specious Subjects common Wits compose,
For where the Matter takes, the Fancy flows;
And every vulgar Author writes with ease,
Secure of Credit, where the Themes can please.
This way some take to Fame: Thro' Words un­known,
And things abstruse my Muse goes boldly on,
Observes all Interchange of Times, compares
The fatal turns, and views the Leagues of Stars,
Things so remote, so intermixt, and wrought
With Parts in Parts; they are too fine for thought.
To know them is too much, but to explain
How great! to bind in Verse shews more than Man.
Then come, who e're thou art that bring'st a Mind
To know high Truth, and patient Thoughts to find;
Hear solid Reason, and go on to gain
True serious Knowledge, but neglect the vain:
No Kings at Aulis sworn, no tales of Troy
With Priam's tears, or Helen's fatal Joy,
Nor hope sweet Verse, and curious turns to find,
I'll leave thy Passions, and instruct thy Mind:
And tho' some Words of foreign Stamp appear,
Seem harsh, untun'd, uneasie to thy Ear;
This is the Subject's not the Writer's fault,
Some things are stiff, and will not yield to thought;
I must be plain: And if our Art hath found
Expressions proper, it neglects the Sound.
Thy Mind well purg'd from vainer Cares com­pose,
For now my Muse is eager to disclose,
[Page 99] The nicest Secrets; which observ'd, impart
Fate's Laws, and prove the surest Guides to Art.
When Nature order'd this vast Frame to rise,
Nature, the Guardian of these Mysteries,
And scatter'd Lucid Bodies o'er the Skies;
When she the Concave, whence directly fall
Streight Lines of Influence round the solid Ball,
Had fill'd with Stars; and made Earth, Water, Air,
And Fire, each other mutually repair;
That Concord might these differing parts controul,
And Leagues of mutual Aid support the whole;
That nothing which the Skies embrace might be
From Heaven's supreme Command and Guidance free,
On Man the chiefest Object of her Cares
Long time she thought, then hung his Fates on Stars;
Those Stars, which plac'd i'th' Heart of Heaven, display
The brightest Beams, and share the greatest sway;
Which keep a constant Course, and now restrain
The Planets Power, now yield to them again;
Thus sometimes ruling, sometimes rul'd, create
The strange and various Intercourse of Fate.
To these her Powers wise Nature's Laws di­spense
Submitting all things to their Influence:
2. The twelve Lots of the twelve Signs.
But then as Emperours their Realms divide,
And every Province hath its proper Guide,
So 'tis in Signs; they have not equal Shares
Of common Power, each Fortune claims its Stars.
Our Studies, Poverty, Wealth, Joy and Grief,
With all the other Accidents of Life
She parcels out; to proper Stars confines
The Lots in number equal to the Signs.
[Page 100] These grac'd with proper Names and Place contain
The various Fortunes incident to Man,
Yet so contriv'd, that they are always found
In the same 6 Order, in the fatal Round.
Yet are not Lots thus fixt to Signs to lie
Possessing the same 7 Station in the Sky;
And from one place directing down to Earth
An equal Influence work on every Birth;
But still the Time of every Birth confines
These Lots to Seats, and makes them change their Signs,
That every Lot from every Sign may flow,
And vary the Nativity below.
But lest Confusion too much Change produce,
And make the Art too intricate for Vse;
'Tis order'd thus:—
That when the Birth's first Minute hath decreed
The first Lot's Station, then the rest succeed
In following Signs; each Fortune takes its Seat
In proper Order, till the Round's compleat:
Take these short Rules till flowing Verse dilate,
Unfolding all the Mysteries of Fate.
These Lots which thus decreed to Signs contain
The various Fortunes incident to Man;
As Planets joyn with a malignant Ray,
Or Kind; or as the rolling Skies convey
To different Hinges, so the Fortune spreads,
And well or ill the whole Design succeeds:
Their Names and Kinds obliging Muse reherse,
And sing their Titles in no vulgar Verse,
That late Posterity with Joy may throng
To Themes unknown, and crowd to learn my Song.
Fortune's the first:
First Lot.
This Name our Art bestows,
And what it signifies the Title shows.


[Page] [Page 101] Here House is found, with all that may conduce
To House,
Vid. Fig. 11
either for Ornament or Use:
What train of Servants, what extent of Field
Shall aid the Birth, or give him room to build:
When large Foundations may be safely laid,
Or Houses roof'd; if Friendly Planets aid.
Warfare's the next:
Second Lot.
And 'tis in This decreed
How every Native shall in Arms succeed:
What Dangers wait them when abroad they roam,
To pick up Follies which they miss at home.
Civil Employments in the Third we find,
Third Lot.
Tho those too justly may be styl'd a kind
Of Warfare; when two different Interests jarr,
Oppos'd in sides, and make a sort of War.
Here's Patronage, and here our Art descries
What breaks its bands, what draws the closer ties,
Shows what Rewards our Services may gain,
And how too often we may court in vain:
All this as Planets friendly Aids conspire,
Or temper Signs with their unlucky Fire.
Proceed, my Muse,
Fourth Lot.
for in the next appear
The Court Concerns, and Fortunes of the Bar,
The pleading Patron with the fearful Throng
Of trembling Clients hanging on his Tongue.
The smooth Perswader who shall teach the Laws,
And settle Right, whilst Truth supports the Cause;
For from this Lot the Planets Rays dispense
The various Powers of winning Eloquence.
The Fifth to Marriage Sacred yet pretends
To Guests,
Fifth Lot.
Acquaintance, Company, and Friends;
Here we discern the Common League that binds
The Equal Souls, and joyns agreeing Minds.
[Page 102] But in the sixth,
Sixth Lot.
rich Plenty takes her Throne,
With Preservation: And from this 'tis known
What stores of Wealth shall come, how long their stay,
As Planets tamper with their ruling Ray:
The Seventh in horrid Dangers shall engage
The Birth,
Seventh Lot.
if Planets not correct its Rage.
The Eighth Nobility pretends to claim,
Eighth Lot.
Where Honour sits with her attendant Fame;
Where Family erect maintains her Place,
And smiling Favour with her winning Face.
The Ninth the doubtful Lot of Children bears
With all the Pious Parents hopes and Fears,
Ninth Lot.
The Tutor's Industry, and Guardian's Cares.
The next to this the Act of Life contains,
Tenth Lot.
And shews how far a good Example reigns:
How by their Masters form'd Slaves take their way
To Tasks assign'd, and chearfully Obey.
The following is a Lot of high concern,
Eleventh Lot.
For hence the state of strength and Health we learn,
When griev'd, we live obnoxious to Disease,
Or free from Sickness, and consign'd to Ease:
Let none who value Health, this Lot refuse,
When they would time for wholsome Physick choose;
For hence we are with most exactness taught
To gather Drugs, or mix the saving Draught.
The Last,
Twelfth Lot.
and which the Round concludes, con­tains
The End of all our Wishes and our Pains,
Shews if to what our several Aims address
Obtain'd, shall crown our Studies with Success;
Whether with fauning Arts we court the Great,
Or shunning Crouds, to Privacy retreat;
[Page 103] Whether we Plead at the Contentious Barr,
Or Plough the Sea, and gather Wealth from far;
Or tear the Earth, to crowd our stores with Grain,
Or bring unruly Bacchus to the Press again.
For these, if Planets prosper the Effect,
You may fit moments, and fit Days expect
From this one Lot, and all the rest neglect.
These Planets 8 Powers, and how their Rays infuse,
Or Good, or Bad, shall then engage my Muse,
When their Effects she Sings—
But now lest hudled things confusedly wrought,
Distract thy Mind, and discompose thy Thought;
Let Verse in Method orderly impart
The single naked Elements of Art;
And since my ventrous Muse hath bound in Rhime,
The various Labours of the Round of Time,
(What Greece calls Athla, happy Greece in Song,
Are now call'd Labours in a meaner Tongue)
Which to Twelve Lots conveniently assign'd
Determine all the Fortune of Mankind:
Her Theme pursuing,
IV. How the Lots are to be suited to the Signs.
she will next comprise
The several Signs with which the Labours rise;
For to one Seat they are not always ty'd,
Nor from one Sign at every Birth preside;
They change their station, as the Round they move,
Yet still their Order is the same above.
But lest you should imperfect Schemes compleat,
Nor justly suit each Labour to its Seat;
First find the place by Fortune's Lot possest,
(Fortune the first, and Leader of the rest)
[Page 104] That done, to following Signs in order join
The Lots, and give each Labour to its Sign:
And to secure thy search for Fortune's place
Two Rules shall guide thee, and enfold the Maze.
The moment known when first the Birth began,
When the Birth be­longs to Day.
The Planets join'd to Signs to form the Plan,
And Scheme erected for the future Man;
If then the Sun with an exalted Ray
Above the East and West commands his way,
Then safely fix, and give the Birth to Day:
But if through lower Skies he wheels the Light,
The Day resigns, and yields the Birth to Night.
This settled, if the Birth belongs to Day,
The Rule is short, and not obscure the Way;
From that Degree, where then the 9 Sun presides,
To that Degree where gloomy Luna rides:
Count thro' the following signs, and as you pass,
Exactly mark what Numbers fill the space:
Thence from the Eastern point, which artful Greece
Hath stil'd the Horoscope, an equal number of De­grees,
Following the circling Zodiack as it bends,
Count thro' the Signs; and where the Number ends,
There fix the Seat of Fortune; thence confine
In order, every Labor to its Sign.
But if when Night her sable Wings hath spread,
The Birth starts forward from his Genial Bed;
When to Night.
In different manner, then thy Numbers range,
With Nature's Order, let thy 10 Method change;
The Moon, who imitates her Brother's Light,
And governs in her own Dominion, Night,
Observe: Thence thro' the Signs in order run,
To find how far she's distant from the Sun.
[Page 105] The Native's Horoscope be next thy Care,
And from that Point, begin to count as far
As those Degrees permit thy Thoughts to pass;
And where they stop, there settle Fortune's place.
And then to following Signs the rest confine
In order, every Labor to its Sign.
Perhaps these Precepts may appear too nice,
V. How to find the Horoscope
For who can find the Horoscope in Skies
Immense, still circling with impetuous force,
In Motion restless, and so swift in Course?
Yet this not rightly fixt, our Art can boast
No certainty, and all our Labour's lost:
As wretched Travellers are doom'd to stray,
When those mistake, who should direct the Way.
Because the Points which all the rest controul,
Misplac'd at first, must influence the whole,
And since the rouling Skies move swiftly on,
A different Face is every moment shown,
The Scheme must be uncertain, and the Birth un­known.
Yet tho' of greatest Vse, 'tis hard to gain
This Knowledge; and our Search is oft in vain:
For who can in his narrow Breast comprise
The World immense, and who observe the Skies,
Which with eternal Revolutions move,
And Circling, measure the vast Orb above?
What Diligence can e're describe its Face,
What Art can fix in so immense a space?
Those Points where East and West exactly fall,
Which Crowns the Top, and which supports the Ball?
VI. The Chal­daeans re­futed.
I know the Method, the 11 Chaldaean Schools
Prescribe, but who can safely trust their Rules?
[Page 106] To each ascending Sign, to find their Powers,
They equal time allow, that time two Hours:
And then from that Degree, from which the Sun
Begins to start, his daily Course to run,
Two Hours to each succeeding Sign they give,
Still thus allowing, 'till their search arrive
At the Degree and Sign they seek, for where
The Number ends, the Horoscope is there.
But false the Rule; Oblique the Zodiack lies,
And Signs as near,
The first Argument against the Chaldae­ans.
or far remov'd in Skies,
Obliquely mount, or else directly rise:
In Cancer, so immense his Round, the Ray
Continues long, and slowly ends the Day;
Whilst Winter's Caper in a shorter Track
Soon wheels it round, and hardly brings it back:
Aries and Libra, equal Day with Night,
Thus middle 12 Signs to the Extreams are opposite
And Signs Extream too, vary in their Light.
Nor are the Nights less various than the Days
Equal their measure, only Darkness sways,
In Signs 13 adverse to those that bore the Rays:
Then who can think when Days and Nights are found,
In length so differing thro' the Yearly Round,
There should be given to every Sign in Skies,
An equal Space, an equal Time to rise?
But more than this: The 14 Hours no certain space
Of time contain,
The Second Argument.
but vary with the Days:
Yet every Day in what e're Sign begun,
Beholds six Signs above the Horizon,
Leaves six below; and therefore Rules despise,
Because the Hours no equal time comprise,
Which give two Hours to every Sign to rise.
[Page 107] The Hours in number Twelve divide the Day,
And yet the Sun with an unequal Ray
Now makes a shorter, now a longer stay.
Nay farther, tho' you many ways pursue
To find their length you'l never meet the true,
VII. How to find the different lengths of Days and Nights, and to find the Horo­scope.
But thus: Take all that space of time the Sun
Meets out, when every daily Round is Run,
Let equal Portions next that time divide;
And then those Portions orderly apply'd
To Days, will shew their length, from thence ap­pears
Their varying Measures through the rouling Years.
The Standard this, by which our Art Essays
Winter's slow Nights, and tries the Summer's Days.
This must be fixt, when from th' Autumnal Scales,
The Day declines, and Winter's Night prevails:
Or in the Ram whence Winter's Nights retire
The Hours restoring to the Summer's Fire:
In those two Points, the Day and Night contain
Twelve equal Hours. For with an even rein
The Sun then guides, and whilst his Care doth roul
Thro' Heaven's midd Line, he leans to neither Pole:
But when remov'd, he to the South declines,
And in the 15 Eighth Degree of Caper shines,
The Winter's hasty Day moves nimbly on,
Nine 16 Hours and half; so soon the Light is gone.
But Night drives slowly in her gloomy Carr,
Takes fourteen Hours and half for her unequal share;
Thus twice twelve Hours in Day and Night are found,
To fill the natural Measure of the daily Round.
[Page 108] Thence Light encreases still, as Nights decay,
'Till Cancer meets her in the Fiery way,
And sets sure bounds to her encroaching sway.
Then turns the Scene, and Summers day descends
Thro' Winter's Hours, still losing as it bends:
And then the Days of equal length appear,
With Nights, 'th' adverse Season of the Year,
And Nights with Days: For by the same Degrees
That once they lengthened, now the Times de­crease,
These Times our Art can shew, but these belong
To future Rhimes, and claim another Song.
Thus measure those, who live where fruitful Nile,
With Summer Torrents swoln o'reflows the Soil;
Whose seven large Mouths; the Skies can boast no more
Of Planets,
The rising and Set­ting of the Signs first. By Stadia: and Hours.
vomit with impetuous Roar,
And beat the Ocean from the foaming Shore.
Now learn what 17 Stadia, learn what times in Skies
Signs ask to Sett, and what they claim to Rise:
Observe, short rules my Muse, but full she brings,
And Words roul from Her, crowded up with Things.
For Aries, Prince of all the Signs comprise
Full forty Stadia, for his time to rise,
But Eighty give him when He leaves the Skies:
One Hour, and one third part his rise com­pleats,
This space of time, He doubles when He sets.
The following Signs to Libra rising, claim
Eight Stadia more, and Setting lose the same.
[Page 109] And thus in order following Signs require
Still sixteen Minutes more to raise their Fire,
And lose as much, when setting they retire:
Thus signs to Libra, 18 as they rise increase;
And thus they lose when they descend to Seas:
For all the Signs that do from Libra range,
Take equal measures, but the Order change;
For Signs adverse to equal times engross,
But setting Gain, and still arise with loss.
Thus Hours and Stadia which bright Aries gets
When rising, Libra loseth when she sets;
And all the time, which when He leaves the Skies,
The Ram possesses, Libra takes to rise:
By this Example, all the rest define,
The following imitate the leading Sign.
This rightly fixt, if you these Rules pursue,
The Horoscope lies open to thy view;
Securely work, since you can fix in Skies
The times, and Stadia, for the Signs to rise:
From that Degree and Sign, in which the Sun
Begins to start, his daily Course to run,
Count fairly on, and all the work is done.
Another method, if you this refuse,
Shall lead thee right,
Another Method.
and be as plain to use:
For if the Horoscope you seek by Day,
Observe these Rules, which shew the surest Way;
First find what 19 Hour, the Birth is born, and then
Add five to that, and multiply by Ten:
Add five, for every Hour the Signs ascend
Thrice five Degrees, in the Celestial Bend:
[Page 110] This done, take that Degree in which the Sign
Then rouls the Sun, and to this Number join;
From this whole Sum, one Thirty parts apply'd
To the Sun's Sign, nor to the rest deny'd,
As following they in order lie, will show
The thing you sought for, and design to know:
For where the Number ends, that Sign and Part
Is Horoscope: Thus speak the Rules of Art.
By Night your search demands a different way;
To the Nights Hour, 20 add all the twelve of Day,
From this whole Sum the Thirty parts apply
To following Signs as they in order lie;
And where the Number ends, that Sign and Part
Is Horoscope: Thus speak the Rules of Art.
Thus you may find the Horoscope in Skies,
And tho' Oblique the Circling Zodiack lies,
This Point determin'd, you may fix them all,
What Crowns the Top, and what supports the Ball:
The Signs true Setting, and true Rising trace,
Assign to each their proper Powers and Place,
And thus what stubborn Nature's Laws deny,
Our Art shall force, and fix the rowling Skie.
Nor is o're all the Earth,
VIII. Third Ar­gument a­gainst the Chaldae­ans.
the length of Night,
And Day the same; they vary with the sight;
Nor, would the Ram alone and Scales agree,
In Day and Night; in every Sign would be
The Equinox, if as these Rules devise,
Two Hours were given to every Sign to rise.
In that Position where Direct's the Sphere,
The length of Days and Nights in a Direct Sphere.
And in the Horizon both Poles appear;
The Day maintains an equal length to Night,
And that Usurps not on the others Right:
[Page 111] No Inequality in Skies is found,
But equal Day, and equal Night goes round.
Those Days and Nights which Spring and Autumn bear,
They see unvary'd thro' the rowling Year,
Because the circling Sun in every Sign
Runs round, and measures still an equal Line;
Whether thro' Cancer's height he bears the Day,
Or thro' the Goat oppos'd He bends his way,
The Day's alike, nor do the Nights decay.
For tho' Oblique the Zodiack Circle lies,
Yet all the Zones do at right Angles rise
Still Parallel; and whilst the Sphere is Right
Half Heaven is Hid, and half expos'd to sight.
Hence take thy way,
In an Ob­lique Sphere.
and o're Earth's mighty Bend
From this midst Region move to either End,
As weary Steps convey thee up the Ball
By Nature rounded and hung midst the All
To either Pole; whilst you your way pursue
Some parts withdraw, and others rise to view.
To you thus mounting as the Earth doth rise
So varies the Position of the Skies,
And all the Signs that rose Direct before
Obliquely mount, and keep that Site no more;
Oblique the Zodiack grows, for whilst we range,
Tho fixt its place, yet ours we freely change;
'Tis therefore plain that here the Days must prove
Of different Lengths, since Signs obliquely move,
Some nearer roul, whilst some remoter rove,
And measure still unequal Rounds above.
As nearer to the Arctick Round you go
The Hours increase,
On this side the Arctick Circle.
and Day appears to grow;
[Page 112] The Summer Signs in ample Arch invade
Our Sight, the Winter lie immerst in Shade;
The more you Northward move, the more your Eyes
Their Lustre lose; they set as soon as rise:
But pass this Round,
Beyond the Arctick Circle.
as you your way pursue,
Each Sign withdraws with all its parts from view,
Then Darkness comes, and chaces Light away,
And thirty Nights excludes the Dawn of Day:
Thus by degrees Day wasts, Signs cease to rise,
For bellying Earth still rising up denies
Their Light a Passage, and confines our Eyes.
Continued Nights, continued Days appear,
And Months no more fill up the rouling Year.
Should Nature place us where the Northern Skies
Creak round the Pole,
In an erect or parallel Sphere.
and grind the propping Ice;
Midst Snows eternal, where th' impending Bear
Congeal'd leans forward on the frozen Air;
The World would seem, if we survey'd the whole,
Erect, and standing on the nether Pole.
Its sides, as when a Top spins round, incline
Nor here nor there, but keep an even Line,
And there Six Signs of Twelve would fill the sight
And never setting at an equal Hight,
Wheel with the Heavens, and spread a constant Light.
And whilst thro' those the Sun directs his way
For long Six Months with a continued Ray
He chaces Darkness, and extends the Day.
But when the Sun below the Line descends
With full Career, and to the lower bends,
Then one long Night continued Darkness joins,
And whilst he wanders thro' the Winter's Signs
[Page 113] The Arctick Circle lies immerst in Shade,
And vainly calls to feeble Stars for Aid:
Because the Eyes that from the Pole survey
The bellying Globe, scarce measure half the way,
The Orb still rising stops the Sight from far,
And whilst we forward look, we find a Bar:
For from the Eyes the Lines directly fall,
And Lines direct can ne'er surround the Ball;
Therefore the Sun to those low Signs confin'd
Bearing all Day and leaving Night behind,
To those that from the Pole survey denies
His chearful Face, and Darkness fills their Eyes:
Till having spent as many Months, as past
Thro' Signs, he turns, and riseth to the North at last:
And thus, in this Position of the Sphere
One only Day, one only Night appear
On either side the Line, and make the Year.
What different sorts of Days and Nights are known
In all Positions thus my Muse hath shown;
Her Work goes on, and she must next comprise
What Signs appear, what Times they claim to rise
In all Positions of the moving Skies:
That when you follow Art, and boldly press
To find the Horoscope, a just Success
May meet thy search, and into knowledge raise thy guess.
But who can all their various times reherse?
Compute so much, and state Accounts in Verse?
Therefore this part let general Rules define,
Let those that follow my advanc'd Design
Apply them right, but let the Rules be mine.
[Page 114] Where-ever plac'd;
9. Another way to find the Trine the Signs Rising and Setting by Hours.
by these few Rules proceed,
By Nature settled, and by Art decreed;
First count how many 21 Hours compleat the Night
Or Day, when Cancer in the Summer's height
Bears Phoebus, and short darkness bounds the light.
Day's Hours by Six divide, one sixth devise
To following Leo as his time to rise:
Night so divided too one Sixth bestow
On Taurus, that his rising time will show:
But then observe the difference of the time
Which Leo takes, and which the Bull to climb,
That into Three divide, and thence apply,
Beside the time which Taurus takes to mount the Sky,
One single Third to Naked Gemini.
The like to Cancer, and the like Account
To fiery Leo as his time to mount;
Then reckon all, you'll find the Sum the same
Which from the first Division to Leo came,
When one sixth part of Day was given to raise his Flame.
By the same Method Virgo's time define:
But this Condition runs thro' every Sign,
The following keeps those Hours the Sign before
Obtain'd to rise, and vulgarly adds more:
As these an orderly Encrease maintain,
So Signs from Libra still decrease again;
But different Order they observe in Skies,
The Hours these claim to Set, those take to Rise.
But if you count by Stadia,
By Stadia.
change the Name,
But keep the Method, for the Rule's the same:
Seven Hundred Twenty Stadia fill the Round,
No more in Day, no more in Night are found:
[Page 115] Hence take as many as compleat the Night,
When glowing Cancer in the Summer's hight
Bears Phoebus, and short darkness bounds the light.
The rest by Six divide, one Sixth devise
To fiery Leo as his time to rise;
Night's Stadia so divide, one Sixth bestow
On Taurus: Take the Difference twixt the Two,
That Sum divide by Three, and thence apply,
Beside the Stadia Taurus takes to mount the Sky,
One single Third to naked Gemini.
Thus to the rest proceed, but still confine
To following Signs the Stadia of the former Sign,
With one Third Part's Encrease; till Libra's Ray
This Reckoning stops, and shews another way:
For Signs from Libra different Rules comprise,
A different Order they observe in Skies,
The Stadia others claim to Set they take to Rise.
Those Stadia too in which the rest ascend
These Winter Signs in slowly setting spend.
Thus having fixt the Stadia, now pursue
The Horoscope, 'tis open to thy view;
From that Degree in which the Sun doth mount
Observe my Method, and begin to count;
Give proper Hours to every Sign to rise,
And proper Stadia to ascend the Skies,
Work by those Rules which I have shewn before,
Securely work, for you can err no more.
By what advance the Winter Months encrease,
10. How Days encrease from Ca­pricorn [...] Cancer.
(For they advance not by the same Degrees
Thro' every Sign, till on the Ram they light,
Which equals Time, and Day adjusts to Night)
Must next be shewn to all that press to learn,
Short are the Rules, but yet of great Concern.
[Page 116] First take the measure of the shortest Day
And longest Night, when with unequal Ray
Thro' Caper Phoebus drives the narrow way.
Then count the 22 Hours which Day must yield to Shade,
And in three Portions let the Sum be laid;
One of these Parts to th' Middle Sign apply'd
Shews the Increase of Day on either side:
For as the First is by the Midst surpass'd
One Half, so that's exceeded by the last.
Thus thro' Three Signs the Day's Increase is shown,
The following takes what to the Last was grown,
And adds an equal Portion of its own.
For Instance: To the Conquest Night assign
Full Fifteen Hours, and give the Day but Nine:
Three Hours the difference. Now the Goat hath Power
To lengthen Day the space of half an Hour,
One Hour Aquarius adds, the Fishes joyn
As much as Both, and with the rest combine;
Thus three Hours fill'd, adjusted Time they bring
To Aries; and he equals Day and Night in Spring.
The Sixth part of the Time, or more or less,
Whate're it proves, is the first Sign's Increase;
The Second doubles what the First surpass'd,
And gives it to be trebled by the last.
But from the 23 Equinoctial point the Day
Receives increase, but in another way;
For Aries takes as many Hours from Night,
As Pisces seiz'd before in their own Right;
And to compleat the Rapine Taurus joins
One Hour, one Half is added by the Twins;
Thus whilst these Signs the Time to Day restore,
Night justly loses, as it gain'd before.
From Caper thus Decreasing Nights appear,
And Heaven turns up the right side of the Year;
[Page 117] The Day proceeds to lengthen all the way,
Till high in Cancer rais'd it finds a Stay;
The Solstice then: when Day and Night are found
Equal to Night and Day that drove the Winter round.
Then by the same degrees again the Light
Decreasing, what it took returns to Night.
Thus far advanc't in Art my Verse defines
The proper Years,
11. The Years, Months, Days, and Hours of Signs.
Months, Hours, and Days of Signs:
These must be shewn; for Signs have Days & Hours,
And Months, and Years when they exert their Pow­ers.
First then, that Sign in which the Sun appears,
Because the Sun measures out the time in Years,
Claims the first Year: On following Signs bestow
The following Years as they in Order go.
And so the Moon, for as she rounds the Skies,
She measures Months, to Signs the Months applies.
Of Days and Hours the Horoscope possest
Of the first parts, to following. Signs commits the rest.
This Nature orders, all her Months and Years,
And Days, and Hours, she parcels out to Stars;
That as they run their Course they all may find
The different Signs, and vary in their kind.
This Nature orders too; and hence there springs
That various Discord that is seen in Things;
In one continued Stream no Fortune flows,
Joy mixes Grief, and Pleasures urg'd by Woes:
Inconstancy in every part appears,
Which Wisdom never trusts, but Folly fears.
Thus Years from Years, and as they roul the round
The Months from Months, and Days from Days are found
To differ: no returning Hours restore
That sort of Fortune which they brought before:
Because the Times, as round their Course they run,
Meet different Signs, and are not bound to One;
[Page 118] The Days and Hours their ruling Signs obey,
The Month's the influence which they give convey
And temper all things by their fatal Ray.
Some Author's Write,
Some A­strologers Opinion. concerning the Years, Months and Days of Signs.
(for who can hope to see
Opinions join, or find the World agree?)
That from the Horoscope our Art defines
The Days, the Hours, the Years, and Months of Signs;
From that alone let the Account begin,
And all the rest will orderly fall in:
And whilst the others, as before 'twas shown,
Three Heads of reckoning ask, the Moon, the Sun,
And Horoscope, these still demand but One:
Yet still as great, their difference must appear,
Month disagrees with Month, and Year with Year,
And Hours and Days: For with uneven pace,
Tho' starting all together, they run the Race,
And never make Returns in equal space:
Twice to the Signs each 24 Hour the Days restore
Twice every Month, brings round the Days, and more:
Once every Year the Months to Signs are born,
And when Twelve Years are run, the Years re­turn.
'Tis hard to think,
and Nature's Laws reject
One single Time, so differing in effect:
That when one Sign for Years and Months ap­pears,
Bad Fate should clog the Months, Good Crown the Years:
Or that the Sign which thro' the Months conveys
Bright Fortune, should with Black infest the Days:
[Page 119] Or that the Star, which with afflicting Power,
The Day oppresseth, should exalt the Hour.
Vain therefore their attempt, who fondly hope,
The Times to reckon from the Horoscope,
And think because with an unequal Date,
They come to Signs, that these Returns create
Their different, odd varieties of Fate.
Absurd Opinion! which with fruitless pain,
They strive to prop with mighty Names in vain,
It sinks, and falls with its own stupid weight a­gain.
This sung,
12. How many Years be­long to each Sign and Station.
and Times to Signs apply'd, the Muse
Would beg release, and further Task refuse;
But lo the Subject grows: The next must show
What length of Times the several Signs bestow:
This must be known when in your search for Fate
You measure Life, and fix the gloomy Date.
Ten Years and One, but one third part with­drawn,
The 25 Ram extends the wretched Life of Man;
Poorly he gives, as frugal of his Store,
Whilst Taurus adds two Years to these; the Twins two more.
Full sixteen Years Eight Months, from Cancer flow,
But two Years more the Lion's rays bestow.
From Virgo twenty Years, eight Months convey'd,
Enlarge the Birth: The Scales give equal to the Maid:
Scorpio's as much as Leo's Rays dispense,
The Centaur equals Cancer's influence:
[Page 120] Of Years, twice seven, eight Months the Goat conveys;
Though young Aquarius shines with feebler rays,
Four Years he trebles, and doubles six score Days.
To the same space, with which the Ram began,
The Fish plac't, next extend the Age of Man.
But farther yet, 'tis not enough to know
The length of time which single signs bestow;
For you may Err, when in your search for Fate,
You measure Life, and fix the gloomy Date;
Because the Heavenly Stations claim their share,
As Planets intermix their Force declare,
In this Contrivance, and make Life their Care.
To single stations now what Years belong,
(With Planets join'd, they claim 26 another Song)
In well wrought Numbers let the Muse impart,
And teach the simplest Elements of Art;
This done, these things prepar'd and sitly join'd,
With greater Ease, she'll raise the Work design'd,
If when the Moon is in the Hinge at East,
The Birth breaks forward from its native rest;
Full Eighty Years, if you two Years abate,
This Station gives, and long defers its Fate:
But if in Heav'ns midst point, this large Decree
She shortens, giving fewer Years by three:
With Eighty Courses in the Zodiack Round,
Substracting Four, the Western Hinge is Crown'd.
The lowest Hinge on all its Births, derives
Years sixty two,
Vid. Fig. 9.
and then concludes their Lives.
The ninth, which makes upon the Right the Trine,
Gives sixty Years, and bates but One of Nine.
[Page 121] The Fifth o'th' Left, as frugal of its store,
Gives sixty three, and can enlarge no more;
Th' Eleventh station, that which rises high,
Almost an equal of the Middle Skie,
Yields six score Springs, and lest that Gift should be
Too scanty, lengthens that vast Summ by Three.
The Third which lies at equal space below
The Eastern point, doth fifty Years bestow,
Mean is the station, and its Gift is so.
The second Forty Courses of the Sun,
And two bestows, and when that term is done,
The Man goes off, e're half his race be run.
The Twelfth gives twenty three, then hasty Death,
Comes on, and in his Bloom, the Youth resigns his Breath.
The Eighth next o're the Western Hinge can bring
But fourteen Years, nor adds another Spring.
The sixth but Twelve bestows, then Death de­stroys
The Parents Hopes, and crops the growing Boys;
Diseases following, from their Birth create
A feeble Frame, and sit the Prey for Fate.
Now nicely view the Tropick Signs that lie
Oppos'd in the four Quarters of the Skie;
13. The Tro­pick Signs
Call'd Tropick Signs, because when these appear,
The World then Turns the Seasons of the Year:
Thus Spring in Cancer, in Autumnal Scales
The Summer turns, in Caper Autumn sails;
Thence shivering Winter creeps congeal'd with Frost,
Yet melts again; and in the Ram is lost:
These loose the Seasons, to their full Career,
And make the Course of the Revolving Year;
[Page 122] And these being Hingers of the World, create
New Powers in Stars; and fix new Rules for Fate.
In Heavens high Arch,
and on the utmost Line
Of Summers progross, Cancer seats his Sign:
There stretches out the greatest length of Day,
And then declines, and makes it soon decay;
But all the time which, as he bears the Light
He takes from Day, He still conveys to Night.
Then Corn grows yellow on the fruitful Soil,
And lusty Reapers bare their Limbs for toil:
Then Seas grow warm, the Floods forbear to roar,
And Billows languish on the quiet Shore.
Then Mars goes forth, nor is the Scythian Coast
From Roman Arms defended by her Frost:
And whilst their Pools and Marshy Grounds are dry,
Fearing our Force, the conquer'd Germans fly:
Then Nile o'reflows, and Egypt's fruitful Plain,
Rich Harvests yields, nor needs the aid of Rain.
Thus lies the World, when with exalted Ray,
I'th' Summer Solstice Phoebus bears the Day
Thro' Cancer's Sign, and drives the highest Way.
Oppos'd the Goat in narrowest rounds of Light,
Wheels Winter on,
but long extends the Night;
Yet soon Ascending, He contracts the Shade,
To Day returning all the waste he made;
The Fields unwrought, then lie, unplough'd the Seas,
And Mars in Quarters, lies consign'd to Ease:
Rocks cleave with Frost; and by the Cold, op­prest,
All Nature's Powers, are stiffned into Rest.
[Page 123] The next in Power are those two Signs that rise
With equal Revolutions of the Skies;
Which times of Day and Night adjust,
and bring
The Autumn on, or else advance the Spring.
The Sun returning in his Yearly Race,
To Cancer's Sign meets Aries midst the Space,
Seated between the Point, from whence he bends
His upward Course, and that in which he ends.
There plac'd as Umpire in the midst oth' way,
Contracted Night, he well adjusts to Day.
And as thro' him the Sun goes on to climb
The Heavenly steep, He makes a change in time;
For Day, that shorten'd in the Winter Bend,
The Ram first lengthens; and the next extend,
'Till rais'd in Cancer, to the utmost height
Of Summer's pitch, He wheels the longest Light.
Then Seas lie husht: Then Earth grows bold to bear,
And trusts young Flowers to the serener Air:
Then Beasts in Fields, and Birds in every Grove,
Press on with Fury to consummate Love.
With joyful Songs the vocal Forests Ring,
And various Leaves adorn the gawdy Spring:
With such brisk Powers are Nature's parts pos­sest,
When wak'd, she rouses from her Winter's Rest.
Oppos'd to Aries, Libra's Stars appear
With the like power to sway the rouling Year,
She equals Day and Night: But soon the Scale
O'repois'd by Darkness, lets the Night prevail;
And Day, that lengthned in the Summer's height,
Shortens 'till Winter, and is lost in Night.
Then from the burthen'd Elms, the generous Vine
Descends, and Presses over-flow with Wine:
[Page 124] Then Wheat is sown, whilst Autumn's heats remain
To loose the Clods, and mollifie the Grain.
These have their Powers, and as these Signs create
A turn in Seasons, so they doe in Fate:
From Tropick Signs (for by their name, we guess
Their turning Natures) who can hope for less?
But wide in their mistake, who think to see
These Powers spread equally in each Degree;
Not every Portion of the Tropick Signs
Turns Seasons,
What De­grees in the Tropick Signs are to be con­sidered.
and the Planets force confines,
But one Day only, in the blooming Prime
Of Spring, in Autumn One adjusts the Time,
One Day in Aries doth to Time restore
Equality, and Libra boasts no more;
One Longest Day in Cancer's Sign is born,
One Night of equal length in Capricorn:
The other Days roul on with different Light,
Now gaining from, now losing time to Night.
Thus One Degree in Tropick Signs creates
A change in Heaven, and turns the Rules of Fates;
No fixt Decree's secure, their boundless sway,
Extends to all, and makes the Stars obey.
But which that is that governs, Fate's Decree,
There Authors differ, nor can Art agree;
For some the Eighth, and some the Tenth assign,
The First Degree—is only Thine,
Thine, but the Muse with scorn, forbears the Name;
Unworthy mention, and too mean for Fame.
The End of the Third Book.


1. This and the seven following Verses relate to the several particulars of Medea's story.

2. I use this Interpretation rather than that of Scaliger and others, because I think Manilius speaks only of that famous Siege of Thebes, when the seven Generals attackt it; and as the Story says, Capaneus had almost ruin'd the Town before he was struck with Thunder.

3. Oedipus Married his own Mother Jocasta, and had Children by her; so that each Son was Brother to the Father, and Grand-Child to the Mother.

4. This respects the Story of Atreus and Thy­estes.

5. Xerxes is said to have dug a Channel round Mount Athos, and to have made a Bridge over the Hellespont.

6. Thus, for instance, in whatever Sign the Lot of Fortune is plac'd, the next that belongs to the next Sign, is the Lot of Warfare: Civil Em­ployments must be given to the third, &c.

7. For the Lot of Fortune being in all Nativities that belong to Day to be accounted for from the Sun, and in all Nativities that belong to Night from the Moon; and those two Planets not al­ways possessing the same place in every Nativity, and the other Lots following the disposition of that of Fortune; it is very evident that the same Lot is [Page 126] not to be always applyed to the same Sign.

8. The Poet never finisht this part, or it is now lost.

9. For instance, let the Sun be in the 20th De­gree of Aries, the Moon in the 10th Degree of Libra; from the 20th Degree of Aries (counting thro' the following Signs Taurus, Gemini, &c) to the 10th Degree of Libra; are 170 Degrees: Let the Horoscope be the 10th Degree of Cancer; from that 10th Degree of Cancer, count thro' the fol­lowing Signs, viz. Leo, Virgo, &c. and you will find the Number 170 to end in the 10th Degree of Capricorn: Therefore in the 10th Degree of Ca­pricorn place the Lot of Fortune: This I take to be the meaning of Manilius.

10. Suppose the Sun to be in the 21, 49''''' of Leo, the Moon in the 26, 31''''' of Virgo; the Horoscope in the, 1, 0''''' of Leo; The Moon is distant from the Sun 325, 18''''', which number being distributed amongst the Antecedent Signs, viz. Cancer, Ge­mini, Taurus, &c. ends in the 5, 42''''' of Virgo, that there is the place of the Lot of Fortune.

11. To explain this Method which the Chalde­ans us'd to find the Horoscope, Scaliger gives this instance: Let the Sun's place be the 13, 25' of Libra, let the Birth be at the end of the Seventh Hour of the Day: Now because every Sign hath thirty Degrees, and fifteen Degrees make one Hour, these Seven Hours are three Signs and an half, or one Hundred and five Degrees: Now reckon those Degrees thro' the following Signs, viz. Scorpius, Centaurus, &c. The Number ends in the 28125''''' of Capricorn, and therefore that is the Horoscope.

[Page 127] 12. Sic media extremis, &c. The middle Signs here are Aries and Libra, and these are said to be opposite to the Extremes, Cancer and Capricorn, because in them the Days are equal, but in the others unequal to the Nights: This I take to be the meaning of the Poet, rather than what Scaliger and other Interpreters pretend.

13. Thus in Cancer the Days are longest; in Capricorn, which is a Sign adverse to Cancer, the Nights are of the same length, that the Days were of in Cancer: The like holds in Leo, and Aquarius, and so in the rest.

14. The Italians divided all the time betwixt the Rising and Setting of the Sun into Twelve Hours, and all the time between the Setting and Rising of the Sun into Twelve Hours: And there­fore, those times being various and unequal, the Hours must likewise be unequal.

15. According to the Opinion of some Ancient Astronomers, who plac'd the Winter Solstice in the Eighth Degree of Capricorn, the Summer Sol­stice in the Eighth Degree of Cancer, and the E­quinox in the Eighth Degrees of Aries and Libra: Thus in the End of this Book,

Has quidam vires octava in parte reponunt.

16. Eudoxus wrote of the Sphere at the 36th Degree, Elevation of the Pole, and Manilius fol­lows him.

17. A Stadium in Manilius is half of a Degree, and therefore in the whole Zodiack there are 720 Stadia. In the Zodiack are 360 Degrees, to eve­ry Hour we reckon, 15 Degrees, therefore every [Page 128] Hour is equal to 30 Stadia, and for the same Reason, each Hour containing 60 Minutes, every Stadium is equal to two Minutes.

18. The rising and Setting of the Signs ac­cording to Manilius.


[Page 130]


19. Let the Child be born in the Fourth Hour of the Day, add five to four, the Sum is 9, Mul­tiply 9 by 10, the Product is 90. Let the Sun be in the 10th Degree of Gemini, add 10 to 90, the Sum is 100, of this 100 give 30 to Gemini, the Sign in which the Sun is, 30 more to the follow­ing Sign Taurus: 30 to the next Aries, 10 re­main, therefore the 10th Degree of Pisces is the Horoscope.

20. Let the Birth be in the Seventh Hour of Night, add to that the Twelve Hours of the Day, and that Seventh Hour will be the Nineteenth, from the Suns Rising: Then add, multiply, and work, as in the former Method.

[Page 132] 21. Let the longest Day in Cancer be of 16 Hours, the shortest Night of 8: Divide those 16 Hours into 6 parts, each part contains 2 Hours 40 Minutes: Therefore allow Leo 2 Hours 40 Min. for his Rising time: Divide likewise the 8 Hours of Night into 6 parts, each part will contain 1 Hour 20. m. and that is the rising time of Taurus. The Difference between the Rising Times of these two Signs is 1 Hour 20 Min. Divide this Diffe­rence into three equal parts, each part will contain 26 Min. 40 Sec. Add these 26 Min. and 40 Sec. to the Rising time of Taurus, and the whole Sum makes up the Rising time of Gemini, viz. 1 Hour, 46 Min. 40 Sec. To this add another third part to make up the Rising time of Cancer, viz. 2 Hours 13 Min. 20 Sec. And so of the rest, as in the following Scheme.


[Page 133] But it must always be observed, that the Sou­thern or Winter Signs are oppos'd to the Northern or Summer Signs. The Rising-time of the Sum­mer is the Setting-time of the Winter; and the Setting-time of the Summer the Rising-time of the Winter Signs.

22. The Example which Manilius himself gives, sets this Doctrine in its true Light. Let the lon­gest Night in Capricorn be of 15 Hours, the Day consequently must be of 9. Thus the Night ex­ceeds the Day by 3 Hours. Divide these 3 Hours into 3 Parts, give one Part, that is, 1 Hour to the Middle Sign, viz. Aquarius, and thence con­clude that in Capricorn the Day encreases half an Hour, and in Pisces an Hour and half; Aquarius being the Middle Sign in which the Days encrease one Hour.

23. According to the Doctrine of Manilius (let the Example be the same with that in the prece­ding Note) in Aries the Day encreases one Hour and half, in Taurus one Hour, in Gemini half an Hour.

24. There being 24 Hours belonging to each Day, and but 12 Signs, more than 24 Days in each Month, and 12 Months in every Year.

[Page 134] 25. A Table of the Years and Months that be­long to each Sign.


26. This was never finished by the Poet, or is now lost.

MANILIUS. The Fourth Book.

After a short Reflection on the vain Cares of Mankind, he brings several Arguments to prove Fate: 1. Several unaccountable pas­sages in the Roman and Grecian Histories: 2. Sudden Death, and unexpected Recove­ries, contrary to all the powers of Art and Physick: 3. The difference between the Children of the same Parents: 4. The few­ness of Worthy Men, and the certainty of Death: 5. The ill successes of Wise and Good Men, and the prosperity of Knaves and Fools▪ 6. Monstrous Births: 7. Prophesy: And then endeavours, 8. to take off some Objections that might be rationally propos'd against this Doctrin: Then. 9. He shews what Tempers and Inclinations the twelve Signs singly consider'd do bestow, and to what Arts they incline: 10. Vnder the Ram, are born all sorts of workers in Wool, Broakers, Men of unsetled Fortunes, fearful, inconstant, and covetous of Praise: 11. Vn­der [Page 2] the Bull, Plowmen, Aspiring, Reserv'd, Strong, and Amorous: 12. Vnder the Twins, Musicians, Songsters, Men of merry Tem­pers, and Astronomers: 13. Vnder the Crab, Covetous Fellows and Vsurers: 14. Vn­der the Lion, Hunters, Beast-keepers, Plain, Open-hearted, easily provok'd, and easily appeas'd: Vnder the Maid, Philoso­phers, Orators, Notaries, shamefac'd and indifferently good: 16. Vnder the Scales, Measurers, Gagers, Accountants, Lawgivers, Lawyers, and Judges: 17. Vnder the Scor­pion, Hunters, Gladiators, Men of War­like and Military Dispositions: 18. Vnder Sagittarius, Chariot-Racers, Horse-breakers, Tamers of Wild Beasts, Men of acute Vn­derstandings, and strong and nimble Bodies: 19. Vnder the Goat, Miners, Coyners, Gold­smiths, Bakers, Broakers, Inconstant and Lascivious in their Youth: 20. Vnder Aqua­rius, Men skill'd in making Aqueducts, and Water-works, and Spheres, and Globes, tracta­ble and prodigal: 21. Vnder Pisces, Ma­riners, Pilots, Shipwrights, Rowers, Fishers, Fruitful but Inconstant: 22. He Discourses of the Tenths of each Sign, and what Sign is Lord of each third part of every Sign: 23. He encourages his Scholar to go on, tho the Task seems to grow upon him, and to be [Page 3] very difficult, because 'tis a Noble Study, and the Object truly great: 24. He shews what degrees of each Sign are hurtful, what not: 25. He Teaches, that the Tempers of those that are Born when the Sign riseth, are diffe­rent from those that are Born at other times: 26. He draws a Map of the Earth and Seas, and Teaches what Signs govern particular Countries: 27. He shews what Signs are call'd Eccliptick, and why: 28. He propo­seth such Objections as are made to deter Men from this curious search, and answereth them.

WHy should our Time run out in useless years,
Short Re­flections on the Cares of Men.
Of anxious Troubles and torment­ing Fears?
Why should deluding Hopes disturb our ease,
Vain to pursue, yet eager to possess?
With no Success, and no Advantage crown'd,
Why should we still tread on th' unfinisht Round?
Grown gray in Cares, pursue the senseless strife,
And seeking how to Live, consume a Life?
The more we have, the meaner is our Store;
The unenjoying craving Wretch is Poor:
But Heaven is kind, with bounteous Hand it grants
A fit supply for Nature's sober wants:
She asks not much, yet Men press blindly on,
And heap up more, to be the more undone:
By Luxury, they Rapine's Force maintain,
What that scrapes up, flows out in Luxury again;
[Page 4] And to be squander'd, or to raise debate,
Is the great only use of an Estate.
Vain Man forbear, of Cares, unload thy Mind,
Forget thy Hopes, and give thy Fears to Wind;
For Fate rules all, its stubborn Laws must sway
The lower World, and Man confin'd obey.
As we are Born we Dye, our Lots are cast,
And our first Hour disposeth of our last.
Then as the influence of the Stars ordains,
To Empires Kings are doom'd, and Slaves to Chains.
Then Poverty, that common Fate comes down,
(Few Stars are Regal, and design a Crown)
What make a Wit, a Knave, a Saint, or Dunce,
Are hudled then together, and fixt at once.
The Ills that are ordain'd we must endure,
From not Decreed how fatally secure?
Prayers are too weak to check fixt Destinies,
And Vows too slow to catch the Fate that flies.
Whether with Glory rais'd, or clogg'd with Scorn,
The State, that then is setled, must be born.
For did not Fate preside,
1. The first Argument for Fate.
and Fortune lead,
Had parting Flames the good 1 Aenaeas fled?
Had Troy's sunk Fortune been sustain'd by 2 one?
And only Conquer'd then, when overthrown?
And did not Stars the rise of States dispose,
Had mighty Rome from such beginnings rose?
Had 3 Shepherds built, or Swains without controul
Advanc'd their 4 Cottage to a Capitol?
Plac'd on whose heights, our Caesars now survey
The lower Earth, and see the World obey?
From their 5 burnt Nest, had Conquering Eagles flown,
And the World yielded to a ruin'd Town?
[Page 5] Had Jove been storm'd; or 6 Mutius safe return'd
From baffled Flames, or vanquish'd whilst he burn'd?
Our Towns and Bridges guard, had 6 Cocles stood,
Or the weak 6 Virgin swam rough Tiber's Flood?
Had one 6 Horatius our sunk hopes restor'd,
Or Three have fall'n beneath a single Sword?
O Glorious Victory! what Arms before,
E're won so much, none ever fought for more;
Rome and her hopes of Empire hung on One,
His o're matcht Lot was Hers, a Yoke or Throne.
Why should I 8 Cannae's bloody Plains relate,
And Africk's Ensigns threatning at our Gate,
How Thrasymene Drown'd Flaminius's Shame,
And after Fabius, wise Retreats o'recame,
The Conquer'd Carthage shone with Roman flame?
How Hannibal on the Campanian Plains,
Rome's Terror once, then destin'd to our Chains;
Whilst waiting on his Proud Bithynian Lord,
Stole a base Death, and scap't our Nobler Sword?
But turn and view the 9 Civil Wars of Rome,
There opens wide a various Scene of Doom:
See Marcus ride with Cimbrian Lawrels Crown'd,
Then in the Dungeon stretcht upon the groun'd;
Now Slave, now Consul, Consul, Slave again,
His Curule Chair, succeeded by a Chain;
Now a mean Ruin on the Lybian Sands
Despis'd he lies, and streight the World Com­mands;
Like Thunder from low Earth exhal'd, he rose
From the Minturnian Pools,
And scatter'd Vengeance on his haughty Foes.
[Page 6] These wondrous Changes Fate and Stars advance,
O mighty turns, and much too great for Chance!
Who 10 Pompey could (that saw thy Conque­ring Fleet
Regain the Seas, and Kings beneath thy Feet,
Proud Pontus yield, fierce Tyrants make thy Train,
And crowding Monarchs beg thy leave to Reign,
That saw Victorious Lawrels Crown thy Head,
And Worlds in thy repeated Triumphs lead;
And all that Glory which thy Sword had won,
Fixt and supported by as great a 11 Son)
Have thought that Thou, upon a Foreign Sand,
Should'st steal a Burial from a common Hand;
That shatter'd Planks, the Sea's dishonest spoil
Should hiz beneath thy Trunk, and be thy Pile?
That Thou, the mighty Thou, should'st want an Urn,
What Power, but Fate, could work so strange a turn?
E'en 12 Caesar sprung from Heaven, and now a Star,
Tho' midst the dangers of the Civil War,
Secure He stood, and careless of Repose,
Was ne're surpriz'd by his most watchful Foes;
Yet Crown'd with Peace, in all his Pomp and State
He fell a Victim to o're-ruling Fate:
No dark suspitions, but bright hints were brought,
He knew what Cassius spoke, and Brutus thought;
How far advanc'd, how far they meant to go,
And saw the minute of the fatal Blow:
Yet dark Oblivion did his Memory blot,
He all his warnings, and Himself forgot;
And in the Senate, whilst his Right Hand held
The faithful Bill, which all the Plot reveal'd;
To prove that Fate will sway, and Stars controul,
He fell, and with his Blood defac'd the Scroul:
[Page 7] O mighty power of Fate, and prov'd too well!
The Best, the Wisest, and the Greatest fell.
Why should I mention Kings 13 and Empires falls,
Shew Conquering 13 Cyrus on the Sardian Walls?
Or Croesus shrinking at the rising Flame?
Or 13 Priam's Trunk, a thing without a Name?
Unhappy Prince! the Beasts and Vultur's spoil,
His Troy was burnt, but Priam wants a Pile.
The Wreck of 13 Xerxes, who wou'd scourge the Gods,
A Wreck, much greater than the threatned Floods?
Or 13 Tullus's Reign, who by the power of Fate,
Was born a Slave, yet Rul'd the Roman State?
Or shew 13 Metellus snatch the Vestal Fire,
And as he pass'd, prophaner Flames retire?
How oft do suddain Deaths the Healthy seize,
II. Second Ar­gument.
Without the formal warning of Disease?
And yet how often from the Piles retire,
E'en 14 fly themselves, and wander thro' the Fire?
Thus some have from their Graves return'd, and known
Two Lives, whilst others, scarce enjoy but One.
A small Disease destroys, whilst greater spare,
Good Methods fail, and Men are lost by Care.
Some temperate Diet, with Diseases fills,
And Poyson's Innocent, when Physick Kills.
Some Children prove a mean degenerate Race,
III. Third Ar­gument.
Some shew their Father's Mind, as well as Face;
In One, their Vertue, and their Fortune rise
To greater height, and in Another dyes.
One 15 mad in Love, to Troy will carry War,
Or swim the Flood, and view the Torch from far,
The Other is determin'd to the Bar.
[Page 8] A Son his Father, Father kills the Son
On mutual Wounds two headlong Brothers run;
These Combats prove the force of ruling Powers,
For they are too unnatural to be Ours.
That every Age no new Camilli's breath,
IV. Fourth Ar­gument.
The 16 Decij dye, or 16 Cato conquer Death,
'Tis not but that the Seed can still receive
As noble Stamps, but Fates refuse to give.
To fewer Days they do not cramp the Poor,
Nor brib'd by Wealth, enlarg'd the Rich with more;
There Riches lose their force, the shining Years
Of glorious Tyrants must be turn'd in Tears;
They dig a Grave for Kings, and fix the Day;
How great must be that Power which Crowns obey!
Successless Vertue sinks whilst Vice prevails,
V. Fifth Ar­gument.
And Folly wins the Prize when Prudence fails:
He argues ill that from the Fortune draws
The goodness or the badness of a Cause:
Success or Merit do not always Crown,
Midst good and bad Men they are blindly thrown,
Without Respect, sixt fatally on One.
For some superior Power's impetuous force
Marks out our way, and still directs the Course;
The Years that we must run, the length, the pace,
And all the various turnings of the Race.
VI. Sixth Ar­gument.
what Monstrous Births, the Nurses fear
And Mother's shame, half Man, half Beast appear?
Such wondrous Creatures ne're from Seed began,
For what hath Beast that's common to a Man?
And what mean Soul would with his Lust comply,
And Sin on purpose for a Prodigy?
No; Stars dispose, they Counterfeit a Rape,
And mix a Monster of amazing shape.
[Page 9] Besides,
VII. Seventh Argument.
were not Events by Fates enrol'd,
How can their certain Order be foretold?
How can the Prophets Sing of future Doom,
And in the present read the Age to come?
To this there's one Objection;
VIII. An Objecti­on an­swer'd.
Fate denies
Rewards to Vertue, and must plead for Vice:
Absurd; for who less hates a Poysonous Weed
Because 'tis bred from Necessary Seed?
Or who loves Corn the less; who hates the Vine.
Because by Nature rais'd, and not Design?
Thus Virtuous Minds deserve the greater Love,
Since Heaven consents, and all the Stars approve;
And we should hate those more whom Fates have sent
To commit Crimes and suffer Punishment;
For how, or whence these noxious faults begin
No matter, since each is certainly a Sin.
Nay this Opinion's settled by Debate,
'Tis Fate that we should thus dispute of Fate.
This settled,
IX. The Influ­ence of the Signs.
I must now attempt to climb
Celestial steps, and run the Round of Time,
The Zodiack travel, go through every Sign,
Their Powers rehearse, and sing how all incline.
First Aries shines,
X. Of Aries.
and as he oft doth lose
His Fleece, and then as frequently renews,
'Twixt sudden Ruin, and a fair Estate
He fixes the variety of Fate;
He gets, then loseth, then returns to Gain,
Then Loss steals in, and empties all his pain;
He rears new Lambs, he doth encrease the Fold,
And makes the Rams to shine in native Gold;
Betters the Wool, and whilst the Subject grows
He forms Mens Minds to use what he bestows;
To Pick, to Card, to Spin, and Weave, to deal
In Cloath with gain; to Buy, Exchange, and sell:
[Page 10] All useful Arts, whose constant Works supply
Mens real Wants, not only Luxury:
This 17 Pallas owns, nor doth disdain to claim
Arachne's conquest as her greatest Fame.
These are the manners, these the various Arts
Which Aries Rays, and secret force imparts;
To anxious fears he troubled Minds betrays
And strong Desires to venture all for Praise.
Dull Honest Plowmen to manure the Field
Strong Taurus bears,
XI. Of Taurus.
by him the Grounds are till'd:
No gaudy things he breeds, no Prize for worth,
But Blesseth Earth, and brings her Labour forth:
He takes the Yoke, nor doth the Plough disdain,
And teacheth Farmers to manure the Plain:
He's their Example, when he bears the Sun
In his bright Horns, the noble toyl's begun:
The useful Plowshare he retrieves from Rust,
Nor lies at ease, and wants his strength in Dust.
To him the 18 Curij, and to him we owe
The brave Serrani, he i'th' Fields did Rods bestow,
And sent a great Dictator from his Plow.
Reserv'd, aspiring Minds, Limbs slow to move
But strong in Bulk his powerful Rays improve,
And on his 19 Curled Front sits wanton Love.
Soft Gemini to easier Arts incline
For softer Studies fit an Infant Sign.
XII. Of Gemi­ni.
They tune rough Words, or they incline to Sing,
To stop the Pipe, or strike the speaking String;
Through Reeds they blow the Natural Sound in Measure,
Gay their delight, and e'en their Pains are Pleasure;
Wars they avoid, Old Age they chace with Song,
And when late Death o'retakes them they are Young.
[Page 11] Sometimes to Heaven they mount, and trace the Stars,
Then fix in Globes, or turn the Signs in Spheres:
Their Wit reigns o're their Nature, and refines
Its Powers; This is the Influence of the Twins.
But glowing Cancer (where the Summer Sun
With fiery Chariots bounds the Torrid Zone,
XIII. Of Cancer.
Drives fiercely up, then with a bending Rein
Sinks down, and runs in lower Rounds again.)
As close in's Shell he lies, affords his Aid
To greedy Merchants, and inclines to Trade:
His Births shall sail, through Seas and Dangers tost
To reap the Riches of a Foreign Coast.
What thrifty Nature hath but thinly sown
In Many Countries, they shall bring to One;
Intent on gain ne're heed the Poors complaint
But thrive on Scarcity, and live on Want:
For Wealth undaunted gather every Wind,
Out-sail good Fame, and leave Repute behind,
And when their greedy Hands have seiz'd the Store
Of this, search other Worlds, and seek for more.
Or else at home prove griping Vsurers,
Complaining at the slowness of the Years,
Wish swifter Suns, and set too vast a rate
On Time it self, to raise a quick Estate:
Their Bodies shall be Strong, inur'd to Pain,
Their Wits Contriving, and intent on gain:
What Inclinations Leo's Rays dispense
Is quickly known,
XIV. Of Leo.
'tis plain to Common Sense,
He gives his Own; for he the Woods infests
The mighty Terror of the meaner Beasts:
He lives on Rapine, ranges all the Day,
And sullenly at Night groans o're his Prey.
[Page 12] Hence he inclines Mens Minds to Hunt, and fills
Our Nobles spacious Halls with grinning spoyls;
There Skins and Horns do spread a dismal grace,
And stand as certain Heraulds of their Race;
This Beast was mine, and that my Father's Game,
They cry, these are the Annals of their Fame:
That generous Youth which France and Spain did fear
Now prove the Humble Terror of a Deer.
Nay some in 20 Towns pursue this wild delight,
There barbarous grow, and breed up Beasts to fight;
Then bring them out for sight in Theaters,
And feast their Luxury with Bruitish Wars;
Cruel in Sport: Their Posts are grac't with Spoyl,
And they get shameful Honour without Toyl:
He makes Men warm, their Passions quickly rais'd,
Like Boys soon angry, and as soon appeas'd:
But Plain and Honest all their Thoughts sincere;
Pure as the Sun, and like the Water clear.
But modest Virgo's Rays give polisht parts,
XV. Of Virgo.
And fill Mens Breasts with Honesty and Arts;
No tricks for Gain, nor love of Wealth dispense,
But piercing Thoughts, and winning Eloquence;
With words persuasive, and with Rhetorick strong
They rule, and are e'en Monarchs by their Tongue.
Through Nature's Secrets too, they boldly press,
Tho' deeply hid, and meet a just success;
In Short-Hand skill'd, where little Marks comprise,
Whole words, a Sentence in a Letter lies;
And whilst Obedient hands their Aid afford,
Prevent the Tongue, and Fix the falling Word.
But bashful Modesty, casts down their Eyes,
The best of Vices, yet 'tis still a Vice,
Because it stifles, checks, or nips like Frost
A blooming Vertue, and the Fruit is lost.
[Page 13] Besides, though strange such Influence should come
From Virgo's Rays, she gives a fruitful Womb.
XVI. Of Libra.
whose Scales, when Autumn turns the Signs,
And ruddy Bacchus treads the juicy Vines;
In equal Balance, poize the Night and Day,
Teach how to measure, and instruct to weigh:
And Rival 21 Palamed, (who Numbers found,
And into Letters fram'd unpolisht sound;
To Him the Art of Words, and Speech we owe,
Till then Men only Spoak, but knew not how.)
Besides, He'll know the Niceties of Law;
What guard the Good, and what the Guilty awe,
What Vengeance wait on Crimes, with Skill de­clare,
His private Chamber, still shall be the Bar.
What He determines, that for Right shall stand,
As Justice weigh'd her Balance in his Hand.
This Rul'd at 22 Servius's Birth, who first did give
Our Laws a Being, rather than Revive;
The Tables seem'd Old, Reverend Senseless Lines,
Meer waxen Things, and fit to serve Designs,
As Fools mistook, or Crafty Knaves would draw;
Till He infus'd a Soul, and made them Law.
Bright Scorpio Arm'd,
XVII. Of Scor­pio.
with poys'nous Tail prepares,
Mens Martial Minds, for Violence and Wars;
His Venom heats, and boyls their Bloods to Rage,
And Rapine spreads o're the unlucky Age.
Yet, when the Sun drives there, Men tear the Earth,
And cast their Seed to an increasing Birth,
As if he led mistaken Men to toil,
And sweat for Matter for a future spoil.
Yet 'tis not Prey they seek, as much as Blood,
For e'en in Peace they fiercely trace the Wood,
[Page 14] O're Forests range, and every Plain infest,
Now Fight with Man, and now Engage with Beast;
To please the Crowd, they unprovok'd engage,
And sell their Lives, to the dishonest Stage;
And when calm Peace doth Publick Rest bestow,
Yet still to Fight, each seeks himself a Foe.
They spend their leisure Hours in fierce Alarms,
And all their Recreation is in Arms.
The double Centaur different Tempers breeds,
XVIII. Of Sagitta­rius.
They break the Horse, and tame the fiery Steeds;
They love the sounding Whip, the Race, the Rein,
And whirl the Chariot o're the dusty Plain:
Nor is their Humor to the Fields confin'd,
They range the Woods, and tame the Savage Kind;
Young Bears they break, and Tygers heats asswage,
And hear Young Lions roaring without Rage.
Discourse the 23 Elephant, and Teach the Mass
A mimick Action, and a decent Grace;
To Act in Plays, or raise th' unweildly load,
To Dance, and be the Darling of the Crowd.
For in the Frame, in double forms exprest,
The Man is uppermost, and rules the Beast;
His Bow full drawn implies, his Rays impart,
Strength to the Limbs, and Vigor to the Heart.
Quick active Motions, full of warmth and heat,
Still pressing on, unknowing to retreat.
But Sacred Vesta guards thy fatal Fire,
XIX. Of Capri­corn.
And thence 'tis guess'd, what Minds thy Rays inspire,
Contracted Goat; by thee that Art's infus'd,
Which Fire assists, and where a Flame is us'd;
By thee the Miners burn the Womb of Earth;
And see the place of Metals fatal Birth:
By thee they melt; by thee they work the Mould,
Refine, and Stamp it into mighty Gold:
[Page 15] By thee, the Silver, Iron, Gold, and Brass,
The Forge dissolves, and forms the easie Mass:
By thee, the Ovens heat, and Baths acquire,
And Happy 24 Chymists blow enriching Fire:
Thy Cold (for thou o're Winter Signs dost reign,
Pull'st back the Sun, and send'st us Day again)
Makes Brokers Rich, for whilst you spread your Ice,
Their Wares go off, and they enhance the Price:
From thee our Youth unconstant Tempers prove,
And eagerly pursue unlawful Love,
'Cause Goat above; but these the Fish behind
Corrects in Age, and fixes the soft Mind.
Aquarius pouring out his Urn,
XX. Of Aqua­rius.
An useful Knowledge in resembling Arts,
To find out Springs, and with new Streams supply
The Barren Countries, and refresh the dry;
To raise in Pipes, or to extend in Beams,
And in high Rooms imprison Foreign Streams;
Affront the Sea, for State, not use, restrain
The Waves with Moles, and curb the raging Main;
Or Engins raise, whence Waters mount above,
And mix the lower, with the higher Jove.
A thousand other Arts, which Waters sway,
As Channels lead, or else as Pipes convey,
Depend upon the influence of his Ray.
And to his Births the World oblig'd shall owe
Spheres, Cycles, Orbs, and turn new Skies below.
Soft, easie Tempers, loving Coin for use,
Not sorbid, but inclin'd to be profuse;
Not pincht, nor yet too swelling in Estate;
Thus flows the Vrn, and fixes this for Fate.
Last double Pisces,
XXI. Of Pisces.
from their shining scale,
Spread watry influence, and incline to Sail;
[Page 16] To trust their Lives to Seas, to plow the Deep,
To make fit Rigging, or to build a Ship.
In short, what e're can for a Fleet be fram'd,
A thousand Arts, too numerous to be nam'd.
Beside to steer, observe the Stars, and guide
As they direct, and never lose the Tide;
To know the Coasts, the Winds, the Ports, and Shores;
To turn the Helm, or ply the bending Oars;
To sweep smooth Seas with Nets, to drag the Sand,
And draw the leaping Captives to the Land,
Lay cheating Wires, or with unfaithful bait,
The Hook conceal, and get by the deceit:
To fight at Sea, to stain the Waves with blood,
Whilst War lies floating on th' unstable flood:
Fruitful their Births, of Pleasure fond, engage
In Love, are quick, but changing with their Age.
Thus rule the Twelve,
XXII. The Tenths and the Lords of the third part of each sign.
these Powers they singly own,
And these would give if they could work alone.
But none rules All its own degrees, they joyn
Their friendly forces with some other Sign,
As 'twere compound, and equal parts receive
From Other Signs, as they to Others give:
Thus each hath Thirty parts, and each resigns
Two Thirds of those degrees to other Signs:
We call these portions (Art new words will frame,)
The Tenths, 25 the Number doth impose the Name:
So hid is Truth, so many Vails are spread
Coy Nature's Face, and hide her Gloomy Head,
So many are the little Niceties,
So intricate, and puzling are the Skies,
Not easie to be read by common Eyes.
[Page 17] For one appearance in another lies,
Conceals its Powers, and Acts in disguise;
And that which Lurks, and subtly interferes
Hath different Powers from that which then appears.
Not Day, but piercing Thought must clear this Sky,
The Labour of thy Mind, not of thy Eye;
Press bravely on, and pass the Gloomy Cloud,
Enter, and view the inside of the God;
The Path is dark, and lest thy Mind should stray
I'll boldly lead, and shew the nearest way;
I'll Sing what League the different Parts combines,
And shew how others Rule in other Signs.
For instance,
Of Aries.
Aries shakes his shining Fleece,
And governs the First Ten of his Degrees:
But next the Bull, and next the Twins do claim
The second, and third Portions of the Ram:
Thus three times Ten Degrees the Ram divide,
And He, as many others as preside
In his Degrees, so many Fates affords
His proper Powers being temper'd by his Lords.
Thus lies the Ram,
Of Taurus.
next view the threatning Bull,
His case is different, he hath none to Rule:
For in his First Ten Parts the Crab's obey'd,
I'th' Second Leo, and i'th' Third the Maid.
Yet he seems stubborn, and maintains his Throne,
And all Their Powers he mixeth with his Own.
The feeble Twins just Libra's Scales possess,
Of Gemi­ni.
Then Scorpio, and the rest of their Degrees
Bold Sagittarius subjects to his flame,
With Bow full drawn, as to defend his claim.
An equal share in Empire all maintain,
But keep not the same order in their Reign.
For Cancer's Sign,
Of Cancer▪
as in the Goat he sways,
Resigns his first third Portion to His Rays:
[Page 18] For when he bears the Sun oppos'd in site,
His Day is equal to the Others Night:
This is the Reason why these Two combine,
And each hath the same Portion in each Sign.
His second part the Vrn with watry Beams
O're-flows, and Pisces rule in the Extreams.
The Lion minds his Partner in the Trine,
Of Leo.
And makes the Ram first Ruler in his Sign;
And then the Bull, with whom he makes a Square,
I'th' Second Reigns; His Sextile Twins declare
Their Third pretence, and Rule the other share.
The Crab is chiefly Honour'd by the Maid,
In Cancer.
The first place his, and there his Sway's obey'd;
The next is Leo's, and the last her own,
She Rules unenvy'd in her petty Throne.
The Ram's Example Libra takes,
In Libra.
and bears
A likeness in this Rule, as in the Years;
For as He in the Spring, Her Scales do weigh
In Autumn equal Night with equal Day:
The first She Rules her self, next Scorpio's plac't,
And Sagittarius Lords it o're the last:
In Scorpio's first Degrees the Goat presides,
In Scor­pio.
Next Young Aquarius pours his flowing Tides;
Next Pisces Rules, for they in Waves delight,
The Flood pursue, and claim an easie Right.
The grateful Goat doth Cancer's Gift repay,
In Capri­corn.
His First Third part resigning to his Ray;
I'th' next the Lion shakes his flaming Manc,
The last feels modest Virgo's gentle Rein.
The Young Aquarius Libra's Scales command,
In Aqua­rius.
Restrain his Youth, and check his turning Hand;
The next Ten parts bright Scorpio's Rays enjoy,
Then Sagittarius Rules the giddy Boy:
[Page 19] Pisces comes last,
In Pisces.
and sheds a watry flame,
Its First Degrees resigning to the Ram:
The Bull's the next, his own the last are found,
Content with the last Portion of the Round.
This thing consider'd well thy Mind prepares
To know the secret guidance of the Stars;
The use­fulness of this Do­ctrin of the Lords.
They interchange their Powers, they mix their Laws,
And all agree to make one Common Cause;
For these Divisions do unite the Sky,
The more they part the closer is the Tye.
But now, lest Error should thy Mind surprise,
Believe not the Appearance of the Skies;
They make a shew, they spread a Glaring Light
To lead thee on, but never guide thee right;
Let Active Thought assisting Sense pursue
Goy Truth's retreat, and take an open view:
What ever Things are born, their Minds receive
The fatal Temper which that sign can give
That governs in the Tenths, the Foreign Ray,
Tempers the Mass, and forms the easie Clay.
A Thousand Reasons for this Truth appear
From different Births belonging to One Star;
Of all those Creatures, that at once do see
The Light, scarce Two can perfectly agree;
But different Tempers all the shapes adorn,
As various as the Bodies that are born:
For though one Chiefly Rules, yet others joyn
And change the proper influence of that Sign:
These Interchanges all our Thoughts distract,
We think on other Signs, whilst others Act.
Thus neither singly will the Ram bestow
A Love to Cloathing, nor the Bull to Plough;
To Hunt the Lion, nor the Crab to Trade;
Learning the Twins, nor Eloquence the Maid;
[Page 20] The Scales to weigh, to measure, and to gage,
Nor Poys'nous Scorpio arm unhappy Rage;
The Fish to Sail, nor the Youth's Urn inspire
To work in Water, nor the Goat in Fire.
But many joyn, and these mixt Signs bestow
Mixt Inclinations on the Births below:
A subtle and surprizing Task is shown,
XXIII. Encourage­ments to this Study.
Much have I past, yet still you lead me on;
These things seem dark, whilst I the rest explore,
Enjoy my Precepts, and complain no more.
'Tis God you search for, by my Aid you trie
To climb, and view the inside of the Sky;
Confin'd by Fate, you search its boundless sway,
And seek to know the Laws you must Obey:
The narrow Bounds of your own Breast you pass,
Enjoy the World, and rove in the vast space:
Painful, but always noble things are hard,
Great is the Task, but equal the Reward:
Nor let the various Maze thy Thoughts repress,
Enter, and you are certain to possess.
Is Gold thy Aim? What mighty Pains attend?
Mountains are level'd, and the Mines descend
Through Earth's deep Center; though she hides her Store
We tear her up, and reach the hidden Oar:
For shining Gems we cut the burning Zone,
Such Dangers are the value of a Stone:
The fearful Farmer makes his Yearly Vow,
And Pain still presseth the deceiving Plow:
In War no Danger's shun'd, we fight for Spoyl,
E'en lazy Luxury leads us on to Toyl;
For Food [...] and Cloaths from East to West we run,
And Spendchrists often sweat to be undone.
[Page 21] Are perishing Goods worth so much Pains and Cost,
Hard to be got, and in injoyment lost?
Then what must Heaven Deserve? 26 That Gold, that buys
The rest, how disproportionate a Price!
It asks a higher value, and to gain
The God, lay out thy self, The Price is Man:
Thus Fate's dispos'd,
XXIV. The Good and Bad Degrees of each Sign.
but yet the Work's not done;
For though the Powers of all the Signs are known,
And how they joyn, how each rules every part,
The Skill is small, and incompleat the Art:
Observe the numerous parts of the Degrees
What Heat doth scorch or what the Cold doth freeze,
(Unfruitful both) where too much Moisture flows,
Or Drought doth drain, and various Fates dispose:
For different Qualities in Signs controul,
There's nought all-over-equal in the whole.
For view the Earth, the gliding Streams, or Flood,
Faults are on all sides, Bad is mixt with Good.
Thus Barren Seasons midst the Best appear,
And a small Turn blasts all the Blooming Year.
A Port turns Shelf, and the inglorious Sand
Forfeits that Praise which once its Safety gain'd.
Now Streams through Plains in smooth Meanders play,
Then Roar o're Rocks, and force a rugged way.
Such Inequality above appears,
And thus the Sky is vary'd in the Stars;
As Sign from Sign, so from it self the same
Doth disagree, and spread unequal Flame;
And Signs, whose Sovereign influence Births do find
In One Degree, are in the next unkind:
[Page 22] Those things these parts o're-rule, no Joys shall know
Or little Pleasure over-mixt with Woe.
These parts,
The diffi­culty of put­ting this Doctrin in­to Verse.
if such can be to Verse confin'd,
My Muse must Sing, and ease my troubled Mind;
For though 'tis various, yet the Subject's bound
To words but few, and all of equal sound;
So that it must be mean, it must refuse
The turn of Verse, though fashion'd by a Muse.
And that, though labor'd, Line must bald appear
That brings ungrateful Musick to the Ear.
But since I must the Laws of Fate rehearse
The settled Matter must direct my verse;
No Room for Fiction, I must things declare,
Not as they may be feign'd, but as they are.
It is enough the God is barely shewn,
Rich in himself he shines, and great alone:
Nor should the World be so to Words betray'd
As to be thought ennobled by their Aid:
This spurs me on, and I forget my Ease,
The World must be oblig'd, and I must please;
I must, if plainly I these parts comprise;
Then learn the noxious portions of the Skies.
The Fourth,
The hurtful Degrees in Aries.
and the Sixth Portions of the Ram
Are hurtful parts, and spread unlucky flame;
Nor doth the Seventeenth or the next display
A kinder face, or shed a milder Ray:
The Twenty First, Fifth, Seventh spread noxious Beams
The Twelfth, and Fourteenth leaning to Extreams.
The Bull's Ninth portion,
In Taurus.
did the Sign depend
On me, should never shine upon a Friend:
Add Three to Ten, or double Ten and Three,
Take Two from Thirty, all these parts agree;
[Page 23] Twice Twelve, and twice Eleven count, and joyn
The Seventeenth part as noxious in this Sign,
Nor is the Thirtieth better than the Rest.
The Twins First part doth hurtful Rays dispense,
In Gemini.
Nor doth their Childhood prove their Innocence;
They're froward, pettish, and unus'd to smile,
Their Third, and Seventh Degrees agree in Ill:
The Fifteenth equals these, and Twenty sees
Close on each side immoderate Degrees:
To Twenty reckon Seven, or Five, or Nine,
And all are hurtful portions of this Sign.
Should Cancer boast a kind and gentle Reign,
In Cancer.
The First, and Third, and Sixth would plead in vain;
The Eleventh, Fifteenth, and the Eighth Degrees,
The Twentieth too could hope no more success:
The Twenty Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, severely sway,
The Seventeenth too with a malignant Ray
Rules o're the Birth, and stamps the easie Clay.
The flaming Lion in the First we fear,
In Leo.
Nor doth the Fourth a milder Image bear;
The Twenty Second, the Fifteenth, Tenth presage
With th' Eight and Twentieth an unhappy Age.
With hurtful Powers the Twenty Fifth is Curst,
The Thirtieth too as noxious as the First.
The First,
In Virgo.
and the Eleventh of the Maid,
The Sixth, the Fourteenth, Eighteenth parts are bad:
The Twenty First, and Fourth this Sign disgrace,
Nor can the Thirtieth shew a better Face.
Next view the Scales,
In Libra.
the Seventh, and Fifth degree
Is bad, add Eight to Ten, or Ten to Three:
To Ten twice told add Seven, or Four, or Nine,
All like the Thirtieth hurtful in this Sign.
[Page 24] I'th' First,
In Scorpio.
Third, Sixth, and Tenth black Scor­pio's Claws
And in the Fifteenth make Malignant Laws;
The Twenty Second, Eighth, Fifth, and Ninth betray
His poys'nous Rage in an unhappy Ray:
Would Fate allow thee choice,
In Sagitta­rius.
forbear to choose
The Centaur's Fourth Degree, the Eighth refuse;
The Twelfth, the Sixteenth, Twentieth parts portend
A wretched Life, and an untimely End:
The Twenty Fourth, Sixth, Eighth Degrees molest,
Nor is the Thirtieth better than the Rest.
The Thirteenth of the Goats contracted Star,
In Capri­corn.
Nor Seventh, nor Ninth shall be my earnest Prayer;
Nor that which Twenty doth of One deprive,
Or Three, or adding gives it Six or Five.
To Ten add One,
In Aqua­rius.
or Five, or Nine, or Three
And you are sure to find a bad Degree:
Add One, Five, Nine to Twenty, hurtful Streams
Flow from the Vrn, and spread unlucky Beams.
The Fishes close the Signs,
In Pisces.
their parts confest
As noxious, and as guilty as the Rest;
For Three, Five, Seven, or Ten when joyn'd with Seven,
Or One, mark hurtful Portions of the Heaven.
Five multiply'd by Five is hardly clear'd,
And Seven to Twenty added 's to be fear'd:
All these are noxious Portions of the Sky,
Too Hot, or Cold, or else too Moist, or Dry.
This known,
XXV. How the Signs Act when they rise.
the Work is not compleatly done,
The Labours still increase as you go on;
The Time makes difference, as they Rise, new force
They gain, and after lose it in their Course.
Thus when the Ram ascends,
and proudly turns
His bending backward Neck before his Horns
[Page 25] To Mortal Eyes, the wretched Births are Curst
With Ravenous Tempers, and inflam'd with Lust:
All Modesty shall be to Gold betray'd,
Nor Parents Care secure the easie Maid:
These Tempers are his own; as Fancy leads
He roves, and wantons o're the flowry Meads:
Forward to push, and as the Grass renews
His wasted Strength, he Courts the willing Ews.
To Travel he inclines through Lands unknown,
He Ploughs new Seas, and makes the World his own:
This he prefigur'd when his Back convey'd
Young Phryxus safe, and lost the falling Maid.
The Bulls bright part that first appears,
Vile Pathicks scandals to the other Fates.
The Cause, if it be fit to search for one
When Nature works, may easily be shewn;
His Back-part first appears, in that he bears
The narrow Cloudy Train of Female Stars:
And thus the Posture, and the Sex combine
To shew the Influence of the rising Sign:
He bends to Plow, and o're the Fruitful Plains
The Labouring Ox grows Fat upon his Pains.
But when their Feet the rising Twins do shew,
And half appear above, half lye below,
The Births are happy, all their Parts refind,
And Arts enrich the Treasures of their Mind;
Ready their Wit, persuasive is their Tongue,
In Musick skill'd, and excellent in Song:
These are the Powers their rising Rays dispense,
They Wit bestow, and fix that Wit with Sense.
When rouling Cancer riseth vaild in Clouds,
I'th' Skies as deeply hid as in the Floods,
[Page 26] The Moon resembling when depriv'd of Light;
The Births are Blind, and wish in vain for sight:
By Fates a Verse condemn'd to double Death,
Dead whilst Alive, and Buryed whilst they breath:
But when the Lion shews his ravenous Jaws
Prepar'd for Rapine,
and unsheaths his Paws,
A Spendthrift's born, who minds himself alone,
He wrongs his Father, and he cheats his Son;
His Race in vain with expectation wait,
For in himself he buries his Estate;
So vast his Gluttony, his Lust so wild
That he devours himself, yet is not fill'd:
And whilst his Appetite proceeds to crave
He eats his Funeral, and he spends his Grave.
When Virgo rises,
(who whilst Right prevail'd
Rul'd here below, retreating when it fail'd)
To awful Honors all the Births must rise
Profoundly skill'd in Sacred Mysteries:
Good, Pious, Just, Devout, unus'd to Rage
And great Examples to the looser Age:
But when Autumnal Scales do first appear
Happy the Birth,
he shall be known from far,
The Glory of the Bench, and of the Bar;
He justest Laws shall make, and Life and Death
Depend upon the Issues of his Breath;
Him Towns shall fear, the Earth observe his Nod,
And after Earth the Heaven enjoy a God.
Thus Act these Signs,
but Scorpio's Tayl displays
A double Influence from his Forked Rays;
For when that first appears, tho Peaceful Child
Shall Cities Raise, and be inclin'd to build;
The World shall see him with his 28 Plow surround
The place design'd, and mark the fatal Bound;
[Page 27] Or he shall wast what others Pains did raise,
Where Populous Cities stood, there Beasts shall graze,
Or Harvests grow; He leads to these Extreams,
And Power agreeing waits upon his Beams.
Bold Sagittarius,
when he first appears,
Heats the gay Birth, and makes him fam'd for Wars;
In Triumphs great, the Wonder of the Crowd,
By Captives carry'd, he almost a God
Shall climb the Capitol, bright Fame pursue,
Old Cities raze, or grace the Earth with New:
But ill succeess, (his Forehead's wreath'd with Frowns)
Shall wast his Fame, and blast his gather'd Crowns.
Thus Conquering Hannibal, by this Sign betray'd
Before his slight perceiv'd his Wreaths to f [...]de,
He paid for Trebia's and for Cannae's fame,
And recompenc'd our Losses by his shame.
But when the narrow Goat erects his Tail
He drives to Sea,
and much inclines to Sail,
Ignoble Trade then Ploughs the dangerous Main,
And precious Life is meanly stak'd for Gain.
The Good, the Pious, and the Just are born
When first Aquarius pours out his Vrn.
But could I rule,
could I the Fates design,
The rising Fishes ne're should govern mine;
They give a Hateful, Pratling, Railing Tongue,
Still full of Venom, always in the wrong;
That blows up Jealousies, and heightens Fears,
By mutterring Poys'nous Whispers in Mens Ears.
Faithless the Births, and full of wild desire;
Their Faith is Treachery, and their Love is Fire.
For when the Skies grew weak, when Giants strove,
And snaky Typhon shook the Throne of Jove;
[Page 28] Fair Venus fled, and in a Fish's shape
(This Syria knows) secur'd her mean escape;
Then did she through the Scaly Kind inspire
New Heats, and with the Ocean mixt her Fire.
No single Births, for when this Sign begins,
Twins shall be Born, or those that shall have Twins.
Now learn what Signs o're different Lands controle,
But first take this short figure of the whole:
The winds call'd Car­dinal.
West, and North, and South, on either side,
These Quarters lie oppos'd, the World divide:
As many Winds from these four Quarters flie,
And fight and rattle, thro' the empty Sky:
Rough Boreas from the North, bears Frost and Snows,
And from the East, the gentle Eurus blows.
Wet Auster from the torrid South is thrown,
And pleasing Zephyrus cools the setting Sun.
'Twixt these two other Winds their Seats do claim,
The Collate­ral winds.
Alike in Nature, different but in Name.
Around the Earth the liquid Ocean plays,
The Ball enclosing with a soft Embrace;
But yet on many parts, Earth's bending sides,
Or open Bays receive the flowing Tides.
The Sea admitted from the Western Shores,
The Medi­terranean Sea and and the se­veral parts of it.
Doth on the Right Hand wash the swarthy Moors;
And Lybia's Sands, where once great Carthage stood,
Then o're the Syrtes whirls the rapid Flood;
And thence to Egypt it directly flows,
Where what dry Heaven denies, the Nile bestows.
The Left Hand Sea by Spain and France extends,
And follows Conquering Italy as it bends;
[Page 29] Till into Streights the barking Sylla draws,
And whirls it round Charybdis greedy Jaws;
Loos'd from these Streights, the Flouds spread wide again,
And freely flow in the Ionian Main:
Then on the left they turn, and winding flow,
Fair Italy surround, and drink the Po.
Then make rough Adria's Gulph; the other side
Illyrium washes with a gentle Tide,
Sees Epire's Cliffs, and Corinth's lofty Towers,
Then winds round plain Morea's open Shores.
Thence Northward into vast recesses tost
The Sea confines the Learn'd Achaia's Coast:
Thence North and Eastward the unwilling Flood
Consin'd by Streights, and stain'd with Helle's Blood
To fam'd Byzantium cuts its winding way,
And joyns Propontis to the Euxine Sea;
Behind whose back the Lake Meotis lies
Receives full Tanais, and the Sea supplies.
Hence when the Circling Waves return again
The weary Sailer to the Open Main,
He cuts th' Icarian, and th' Aegaean Tide
By Asia's Coasts, and wonders at their Pride:
And whilst the left hand Course he still pursues
As many Trophies, as he places views;
A thousand Nations, 29 Taurus mount, that threats
The Floods, the Bay that from the Sea retreats
Parcht Syria's Plains, and the Cilician Seats,
Till he at last to Egypt turns his Oars
And sees the Waves dye on the swarthy Shores.
Thus ruling Nature draws her bounding Lines,
Checks midland Seas, and all their Rage confines.
Yet midst this Sea a thousand Islands rise;
The Islands of the Me­diter-ane­an.
Shap'd like a Foot the low Sardinia lies
[Page 30] Near Lybia's shores; Trina [...]rid fill'd with Fires,
But just cut off from Italy, retires,
And adverse Greece Euboean Cliffs admires.
Jove's Birth-place Crete appears, a goodly Isle,
And Cyprus beaten by the adverse Nile.
A thousand lesser Isles Command these Seas,
Rhodes, Delos, and the equal Cyclades,
Fam'd Aulis, Tenedos, and by Sardinia's side
Lies Corsica, and breaks the coming Tide;
Near the Streight's Mouth the Baleares Reign,
And strong Ebusus Triumphs o're the Main.
Ten thousand smaller Rocks the Waves disperse,
Too little to be nam'd, too mean for Verse.
Nor doth the Ocean but one single way
Attempt the Earth,
The Caspi­an Sea.
and force an open Bay,
It tries on every side, but Mountains bound
Insulting Billows, and preserve the Ground;
For 'twixt the Summer East and Northern Pole
Through narrow Channels secret Waters roul,
Till spread at last upon the open Plain
They make the Caspian like the Euxine Main.
Southward encroaching Waters doubly press,
The Persi­an Gulph.
O'reflow the Earth, and in a vast recess
One part more East runs on, and breaks a way
Through Persia's Banks, and makes the Persian Bay:
More West the other soft Arabia beats
Where Incense grows,
The Arabi­an Gulph.
and pleasing Odor sweats,
Which sends us Gums soft Luxury to please,
And reconcile the angry Deities:
Strange that the same, when differently apply'd,
Should calm the Rage of Heaven, and serve our Pride.
This Bay is call'd th' Arabian Gulph, the Name
The Country gives it, and 'tis great in Fame.
[Page 31] Thus lie the Seas;
Earth midst this mighty Flood
Contains, first Africk, where proud Carthage good;
Once great in Arms, and whose extended sway
O're Libya stretcht, and made the Spains obey:
When Hannibal wrapt Alban Towns in flame,
And eterniz'd the bloody Trebia's Name;
When led by Fate he March'd to overcome,
And pour'd his swarthy Libya upon Rome:
When gasping Consuls groan'd on every Plain,
And Canna's Fields were burd'ned with the slain.
Here Nature angry with Mankind prepares
Strange Monsters, Instruments 30 of future Wars;
Here Snakes, those Cells of Poyson, take their Birth,
Those living Crimes and grievance of the Earth;
Fruitful in its own Plagues, the Desart shore
Hears Elephants, and frightful Lions roar;
Serious it seems in all these Monstrous shapes,
But sports in the lewd Limbs of Mimick Apes.
The Country's large, the Barren Plains extend
A mighty space, and then in Egypt end.
Thence Asia spreads,
a fruitful Soil, the Streams
Roul Golden Sand, the Ocean shines with Gems;
The Trees drop Balsom, and on all the Boughs
Health sits, and makes it Sovereign as it flows.
Thence India lies, a Land more large than thought,
The Parthians oft, though not securely fought;
They flying still delude Rome's firmer Powers,
And yet Command a different World from Ours.
These Taurus bounds, whose threatning Mountains rise
To awful Hights, and wound the lower Skies;
A thousand Nations lie by Tanais flood
Which cuts the Scythia's, stain'd with humane blood;
[Page 32] By Lake Meotis, and the Euxine Tide
Which Nature sets as bounds to Asia's Pride.
Europe remains,
which first the Beauteous load
Receiv'd, and where the Bull confess'd the God;
Hence came its Name, in that the grateful Jove
Hath Eterniz'd the Glory of his Love:
Here Greece is seen, with Ruin'd Antient Troy,
And shew'd what Fates attend unlawful joy:
A Country Rich in Men of wondrous parts,
The place of Learning, and the Seat of Arts:
Here Athens stands, which makes the best pretence
To Sovereignty in Wit and Eloquence:
For Courage Sparta, and for Deities
Fam'd Thebes, whose Heroes People half the Skies:
Epirus, Thessaly, whose lasting Praise
One single Pyrrhus, and Achilles raise.
To these Illyrium joyns, and Warlike Thrace,
The Seat of Mars, and breeds a stubborn Race.
Thence 31 Germany, a mighty Country runs,
And wonders at the vastness of her Yellow Sons.
Thence South and Westward in a fertile Plain
Lies France, for Tribute fam'd, for Battels Spain:
But Italy Crowns all, whom Rome hath given
Command of Earth, and joyns 32 her self to Heaven:
These Bounds the Earth,
What Signs govern each Country.
and these the Seas con­fine,
And God allots to every part a Sign;
No Land is free, no stately Town deny'd
The kind Protection of a Starry Guide:
For as in Man, the work of Hands Divine,
Each Member lies allotted to a Sign;
And as the Body is the common care
Of all the Signs, each Limb enjoys a share:
[Page 33] (The Ram defends the Head, the Neck the Bull,
The Arms bright Twins are subject to your Rule;
I'th' Shoulders Leo, and the Crab's obey'd
I'th' Breast, and in the Guts the modest Maid;
I'th' Buttocks, Libra, Scorpio warms desires
I'th' secret parts, and spreads unruly fires:
The Thighs, the Centaur, and the Goat Commands
The Knees, and binds them up with double bands.
The parted Legs, in cold Aquarius meet,
And Pisces gives protection to the Feet.)
So in the greater World, the Members share
Celestial Rulers, and enjoy their Care:
Hence different Men,
Why diffe­rent Coun­treys bear Men of dif­ferent Shapes and Colours.
in different Climes we view,
They vary in their shape, or in their Hue;
The Matter's common, and in all the same,
But private Stamps, distinctly mark the Frame.
Vast Yellow Offsprings are the German's Pride,
Whilst Neighbouring France is not so deeply dy'd:
But hotter Climates narrower Frames obtain,
And low-built Bodies are the growth of Spain:
Hesperia mixeth sweet with many Grace,
And temper'd Mars appears in every Face:
Whilst active Greece produceth finer parts,
Their looks betray their Exercise and Arts:
Short Curl'd up Hair the Sons of Syria grace,
Whilst Ethiopia's Blackness stains the Face,
With Horrid Shapes she does her Sons expose,
Distends their swelling Lips, and flats their Nose:
Less India blackens, less it Crusts the Mass,
And mixeth Colours in the Tawny Face:
But Egypt's slimy Plains affect the sight
With brighter Colours, and approach to White.
Parcht Lybia burns her Sons, the vilest Shapes
She shews, and scarce divides her Men from Apes:
[Page 34] Whilst Mauritania doth disgust the Eye,
(Her Name betrays it) with the blackest Dye.
Tho' each Speech Organs fram'd alike employs,
How many Languages confound the Voice?
How different Vertues Reign, how different Crimes?
Mens Manners are as various as the Climes.
Like Trees transplanted by the Farmer's Toyl;
Vice turns to Vertue, in another Soyl.
Tho' Seed the same, yet different Fruits are born,
Thus Yellow Ceres varies in her Corn.
Nor doth the Vine on every Hill produce
Like Grapes, nor Bacchus press an equal Juice.
Rich Cinnamon, not every Country bears,
Nor are all Fields bedew'd with Myrrha's Tears.
Nor is this great variety exprest
In Man, and Fruits alone, but it divides the Beast:
Here Lions roar, and there in dreadful Wars
The high-built Elephant his Castle rears;
Looks down on Man below, and strikes the Stars
As many parts, so many Worlds appear,
For every part is subject to a Star;
They spread their Influence, and the Countreys pay
A due compliance to the Fatal Ray.
Plac't midst the pleasing Vernal Signs,
What Coun­treys are govern'd by Aries.
the Ram
Commands the narrow Streight o're which he swam;
When from the Mothers Rage, his Fleece convey'd
The Brothers safe, and dropt the falling Maid;
Content he swam, and with his Burthen pleas'd,
He mourn'd his Loss, and griev'd to be so eas'd:
The near Propontis too his Beams obeys,
And Syria feels the Influence of his Rays:
The loose Garb'd Persians, know his gentle Rule,
Their Garments bear Relation to his Wool:
[Page 35] With Nile that swells at Fiery Cancers Beams,
And Egypt drown'd by its ore-flowing Streams.
Cold Scythia's Rocks; Arabia's wealthy Groves,
And powerful Asia,
By Taurus.
Taurus Empire proves,
Rich in their Corn, and wanton in their Loves.
The boysterous Euxine,
By Gemi­ni.
bent like Scythian bows.
Beneath the Twins subjection gladly flows,
And they of Ganges infant Streams dispose.
The swarthy Indians Fiery Cancer sways,
By Cancer.
His Rule the Blackness of their Hue betrays,
And Ethiopia's heated with his Ray.
The Phrygian Plains the large Bithynian Woods
The 33 Servant of the Mother of the Gods,
The Lion own,
By Leo.
the Cappadocian Shoar
With fierce Armenia, hear the Lion Roar.
And Macedon, that all the World subdu'd,
Submits to the Great Monarch of the Wood.
In happy Rhodes the gentle Maids ador'd,
By Virgo.
Rhodes, the retirement of our future 34 Lord:
Blest Island truly Sacred to the Sun,
E're since in thee the Glorious Coesar Shone,
The World's great Light, whom with expecting Eyes;
Mankind desires, and longs to see him rise.
The Dorick Plains, the rich Ionian Towns,
Arcadia Rival to the waining Moons:
With Warlike Caria high in Antient Fame
Owe all Subjection to her modest Flame.
What Sign,
By Libra.
could you dispose the Signs, should fall
To Latium's share, but that which poizeth all;
To which by Nature, it must needs belong
To value things, and separate Right from Wrong.
In which the Times are weigh'd, and Day with Night
Are met, the Darkness equal to the Light:
[Page 36] The Scales rule Italy, where Rome Commands,
And spreads its Empire wide to Foreign Lands:
They hang upon her Nod, their Fates are weigh'd
By her, and Laws are sent to be obey'd:
And as her powerful Favour turns the Poize,
How low some Nation's sink and others rise:
Thus guide the Scales, and then to fix the Doom,
They gave us 35 Caesar, Founder of our Rome.
The following Sign rules Carthage Conquer'd Towers,
By Scor­pio.
Subject they lie, to Scorpio's Scaly Powers;
With Lybia's Sand, and Egypt's fruitful Soil,
The slimy 36 Gift of the o're-flowing Nile.
Large Bounds, but yet too narrow to confine
The vast Ambition of this craving Sign;
He claims the Isles of the Italian Main,
And low Sardinia's subject to his Reign.
To Crete the Centaur makes an hateful claim,
By Sagitta­rius.
And still keeps up the Memory of its shame:
It bore a Centaur once, and that confines
The Isle to the same Figure in the Signs:
To him their Skill and Darts, the Cretans owe,
And imitate the sureness of his Bow.
Trinacria follows, Crete's Example draws
Her Sister Isle, and yields it to his Laws;
And Latium's Shores, which narrow Friths dis­joyn,
Here baffle Nature, and in him combine,
Nor would be differenc'd by another Sign.
The West,
By Capri­cornus.
and Northern Parts, rich France and Spain,
Contracted Goat, are subject to thy Reign,
And Germany, since 37 Varus stain'd thy Shore,
A Seat for Beasts, and fit for Man no more:
[Page 37] This monstrous Sign hath variously engrost,
(He Rules at Sea and Land) thy doubtful Coast,
Now Earth appearing, now in Water lost.
But Young Aquarius with his watry Fires,
By Aqua­rius.
From Egypt to the Clydae Isles retires;
The stout Cilicians, and the Neighbouring Plain
With Sailing Tyre are subject to his Reign.
When Heaven grew weak,
By Pisces.
and a successful fight
The Giants rais'd, and Gods were sav'd by flight;
From Snaky Typhon's Arms, a Fishe's shape
Sav'd Venus, and secur'd her from a Rape:
Euphrates hid her, and from thence his Streams
Owe all Obedience to the Fish's Beams.
Wide Parthia's Plains confin'd by mighty Rocks,
The Nations round, long bent unto its Yokes
With Tigris Streams, the Red-Sea's shining Shores
Are Subject to the Heavenly Fish's Powers.
Thus Earth's divided,
What Influ­ence these Signs have in the seve­veral Coun­tries subject to their Rule.
these the Signs that sway
Its Portions, and the Parts their Beams obey;
These Signs the Tempers of their Empires show,
The Parts above, directing those below,
Their Powers infuse: And thus as Ruling Signs
Are now Oppos'd, and now agree in Trines,
Or other Site maintain, which Site directs
Their Fatal Influence, various in Effects;
So Towns with Towns, and roaring Seas with Seas,
And Land with Land, or differs or agrees.
And as these Signs direct, so Men should choose
This Town, this Country, or that Seat refuse;
Here Hate expect, there surest Friendship prove,
As Heaven directs, and Stars decree above.
[Page 38] But now attend,
XXVII. What Signs are Ecclip­tick.
for Signs Eccliptick claim
Thy Care, and learn the Reason of the Name:
For some, as weary'd in their tedious Race,
Grow restiff, dull, nor keep their usual pace.
Nor is this strange, for through the mighty Frame
There's nothing that continues still the same:
As Years wheel round, a change must needs ensue,
Things lose their former State, and take a new.
Now tir'd with Births, the Fields refuse to bear,
Now unmanur'd, prevent the Tiller's care.
Dilated Vapours tear the solid Earth,
Strong the Convulsions at the Fatal Birth;
Vast Mountains sink: And now his large Com­mand▪
Neptune extends, and Seas o're-spread the Land,
Contemning Shores: Thus were the Towns o're-flow'd
When Mankind's single Heir Deu [...]alion stood
On steep Parnassus, to repair the Stock,
The spacious World possessing in one Rock.
And when bold Phaeton, with unequal force
The Chariot fill'd, and drove the Flaming Horse;
The Earth took Fire, Heaven saw the Stars recoil,
And frighted Nature fear'd one common Pile.
So much as Years roul round, the mighty Frame
Is chang'd, yet still returns to be the same:
And so the Stars, whilst they revolve their Course,
Now lose their Power, and now regain their force.
The Reason's plain,
Why call'd Eccliptick.
for when depriv'd of Light,
The Moon Ecclipst, lies vail'd in sudden Night;
[Page 39] Whilst hindring Earth diverts her Brother's Ray,
These Signs Eccliptick feel the same decay;
They feeble grow, they hang their bending Head,
And mourn, and pine, as if the Moon were dead.
Now Signs Eccliptick (see the Name betray
Unusual Languor, and a weak decay,)
Grow weak by Pavis, and those not Neighbouring Signs,
But Opposite; for thus our Art defines,
Because the Moon then only feels decay,
When Opposite unto her Brother's Ray.
Nor is this Languor, nor these Times of Grief
Alike to All, fome quickly find relief;
Some Languish long, and e're their Mourning's done,
The Sun goes round, and all the Year is run.
But when their Grief is o're,
In what Order the Eccliptick succeed one another.
the next in turn
Begin to Languish, and prepare to Mourn;
The next in turn, that are in Order plac't
On either side, the Two that Languish't last:
To speak distinctly, 38 those two Signs that view
And leave the Earth before the former two.
Not that the Earth doth noxious Powers dis­pense,
Or Subject Heaven to its dull Influence;
But since the World turns round, the Orb obeys,
And Signs abate the vigour of their Rays,
Not by Earth's Influence, but by their place.
But what avail my Songs,
XXVIII. This Ar­tho' diffi­cult, yet may be ob­tain'd.
if all refuse
The profer'd Aid of my obliging Muse?
If puny fear forbids our Hopes to rise,
To enter boldly, and enjoy the Skies?
What Nature hides, (for thus Objections teach)
Is deeply hid, too deep for Man to reach.
[Page 40] Vast the Recess! Though stubborn Fate should Reign,
And we know this, yet all the search were vain,
Since none can find the Links that make the Chain.
Fond Mortals! why should we our selves abuse?
Nor use those Powers which God permits to use?
Basely detract from the Celestial mind,
And close our Eyes, endeavouring to be blind?
We see the Skies, then why should we despair
To know the Fatal Office of each Star?
To open Nature, to unvail her Face,
Go in, and tread the Order of the Maze?
Why should we not employ the Gifts bestow'd
By Heaven, in knowing the kind Author of the Good?
Our Work grows short, we may surround the Ball,
Make the whole World our own, and live in all:
Through what remains, we now with Ease may pierce,
Take, and enjoy the Captive Universe:
Our Parent Nature we, her parts, descry,
And Heaven-born Souls affect their Father Skie:
For who can doubt that God resides in Man,
That Souls from Heaven descend, and when the Chain
Of Life is broke, return to Heaven again?
As in the Greater World aspiring Flame,
Earth, Water, Air, make the Material Frame;
But through these Members a Commanding Soul
Infus'd, directs the Motions of the whole;
So 'tis in Man, the lesser World, the Case
Is Clay, unactive, and an Earthly Mass;
Bloods Circling Streams the Purple Soul convey,
The Ruling Mind uniting to the Clay:
[Page 41] Then who can wonder that the World is known
So well by Man, since he himself is One?
The same Composure in his Form is shew'd,
And Man's the little Image of the God.
Now other Creatures view, how mean their Birth,
The Rubbish, and the Burdens of the Earth:
Some hang in Air, some float upon the Waves,
Born for our use, and bred to be our Slaves.
All their Enjoyments are confin'd to Sense,
The easie Works of wary Providence.
But since they Reason want, their Tongues are mute,
How mean, how low a Creature is a Brute?
No Mysteries disclos'd, commend their Parts,
Nor are they Subjects capable of Arts;
How hard the Labour, yet how often vain
To bring them foolishly to Ape a Man?
But ruling Man extends his larger sway
Beyond himself, and makes the World obey;
Wild Beasts are tam'd, The Fields are forc't to bear,
And Recompence the Labours of the Share.
In vain the Sea disjoyns the distant Shores,
His Sails the Winds command, the Floods his Ores.
Alone erect his Form doth nobly rise,
Up to the Stars he lifts his Starry Eyes,
And takes a nearer Prospect of the Skies:
He searches Jove, and whilst his Thoughts do trace
His kindred Stars, in them he finds his Race.
No outside Knowledge fills his vast Desires,
The more he riseth, he the more aspires.
We think it Reason that in Augury
We should on Birds, and slaughter'd Beasts rely;
And can the Fates be less in Stars exprest,
Than in a Bird, or Entrails of a Beast?
[Page 42] When God his Mind in meaner things declares,
Should he neglect the Glory of the Stars?
Besides, the World is eager to be known,
Our search provoking still; for rouling on
It shews us all its parts, displays its Light,
And constantly intrudes upon our Sight:
His Face unvail'd, God doth so plainly shew,
That if we will but look, we needs must know:
He draws our Eyes, nor doth our search forbid;
What Powers he hides not, he would not have hid:
Then who can think it impiously bold
To search what we're encourag'd to behold?
Nor think thy force too small, too weak thy Mind
Because to Clay unequally confin'd;
Its Power is wondrous Great; how small a Mass
Of Gold or Gems, exceeds vast Heaps of Brass?
How little is the Apple of the Eye?
And yet at once, he takes in half the Sky:
Nor dreads the disproportion to the Sense,
The Organ small, the Object is immense:
And from the narrow limits of the Heart,
The Active Soul doth vigorous Life impart
To all the Limbs, its Sway the Members own,
Wide is its Empire from its petty Throne.
Man know thy Powers, and not observe thy Size,
Thy noble Power in piercing Reason lies,
And Reason conquers all, and rules the Skies.
Nor must you vainly doubt that Man's allow'd
To know Heaven's mind, since Man can make a God:
A Star 39 new rais'd, the Skie enlarg'd contains,
And Heaven must still encrease whilst Caesar Reigns.
The End of the Fourth Book.


1 The Poet did not think of the Palladium as Scaliger imagines, but only of the Fire at Troy, which parted to let Aeneas go through with his Father, and his Household Gods.

2 Manilius makes only short Reflections on Hi­story, and therefore is frequently obscure: He says here, that it was impossible one single Ae­neas should have rais'd the Glory and Reputation of ruin'd Troy, and made it then conquer, when it was overthrown, by building Rome which sub­du'd the whole World; for Rome rose out of the Ruins of Troy; unless some over-ruling Power and Fate had ordain'd it should be so.

3 Romulus and Remus, the Founders of Rome, were but Shepherds.

4 I chuse to read Auxissent Culmina rather than vexissent, or duxissent Fulmina, and render Cul­mina a Cottage.

5 If Manilius be suppos'd to keep the Order of Time in his Historical Reflections, I must own I have not hit his meaning in this place; for no doubt he had an Eye upon the Wars between the Sabines and Romulus: but then I cannot imagine what those Words Captus & à Captis Orbis foret mean: I cannot think with Scaliger and Huetius that he runs back to Troy, which he had left seve­ral Verses before, and therefore apply this passage to the taking and burning of Rome, and the be­sieging the Capitol by the Gauls: And 'tis certain [Page 44] the Poet in his following Reflections neglects the Order of Time very much.

6 The Stories of Mutius Scaevola, Horatius Cocles, the Virgin Claelia, and the Combat be­tween the three Horatij on the Roman, and the three Curiatij on the Alban side, are well known.

8 Short Reflections on the great Accidents in the Second and Third Carthaginian Wars, toge­ther with the Death of Hannibal.

9 He goes on with the Roman History, the unaccountable Fortunes of the Great Marius.

10 Pompey the Great, was a very notable Ex­ample of the variety of Fortune, being on a sud­den rais'd to the highest, and as soon thrown down to the lowest Condition in the World.

11 Cum jam etiam posses alium cognoscere Mag­num: I hope I have given this Verse a better Sense, than the other Interpreters have done.

12 Caesar is said to be sprung from Heaven, because he was descended from Aeneas the Son of Venus: After his Murther an unusual Star ap­pear'd, which the Flatterers of Augustus said was the Soul of his Father Caesar.

13 The Poet closeth his Examples with Re­flections on the overthrow of Croesus, the Famous wealthy King of Lydia, who was taken by Cyrus; on the wretched Condition to which old Priam was reduc't; on the unaccountable overthrow of Xerxes; on the Advancement of Servius Tullus, who was the Son of a Bond-Woman, and yet came to be King of Rome, and on the Conduct of Metellus, who broke into the Temple of Vesta when it was on Fire, and brought out the Image of the Goddess.

[Page 45] 14—Mortes se (que) ipsae rursus fugiunt, er­rant (que) per Ignes.

15 To reconcile the different Interpreters, I have hinted at both Paris, (or rather Hercules) and Leander.

16 Furius Camillus was the restorer of Rome, after it had been taken and burnt by the Gauls: Of the Family of the Decij there were Three, who voluntarily devoted themselves to Death, for the Good and Prosperity of their Country: Cato Vticensis, who kill'd himself that he might not survive the Liberty of Rome.

17 Alluding to the Tryal of skill between Pal­las and Arachne, describ'd by Ovid, in the Sixth Book of his Metamorphosis.

18 M. Curius Dentatus and Serranus were both fetcht from the Plough, to Command the Roman Armies, fought bravely, and Triumpht.

19 For this the Poets fancy'd to be the Bull that carry'd Europa into Crete.

20 Scaliger thinks Manilius means such as keep Beasts for publick Shews, and to fight in the Theaters; and this Interpretation I rather follow than that of Huetius, who fancies the Poet means by this pompous Description no more than inno­cent, honest Butchers.

21 Palamedes is said to be the first Man amongst the Greeks, who invented Cyphers, and taught Men to cast Account: I have enlarg'd his Cha­racter, and taken notice of his invention of Let­ters.

22 Servius Sulpitius, the Great Lawyer, and Acquaintance of Cicero.

[Page 46] 23 Of the Docility of Elephants, we meet with numerous Examples: Seneca mentions one, that play'd at Ball: Another, that would Dance on a Rope, &c. The Travellers in the East are full of strange Stories concerning those Animals; and Lipsius in his Epistles, will furnish any Man with more Stories than he will readily believe.

24. If Alchymy was more Antient than Mani­lius, as Huetius himself grants, I see no Reason why the Poet might not speak of the Alchymists: The Interpretation I have given, I am sure, sounds better than that of Huetius.

25 The Tenths: This is a new word, but an­swers to Decanica in Manilius: Decanica signifies Ten Degrees, and the Decanus is Lord of Ten Degrees: The several Lords are these,

  • In Aries
    • Aries
    • Taurus
    • Gemini
      • In Taurus
        • Cancer
        • Leo
        • Virgo
  • In Gemini
    • Libra
    • Scorpius
    • Sagittar.
      • In Cancer
        • Capricor.
        • Aquarius
        • Pisces
  • In Leo
    • Aries
    • Taurus
    • Gemini
      • In Virgo
        • Cancer
        • Leo
        • Virgo
  • In Libra
    • Libra
    • Scorpius
    • Sagittar.
      • In Scorpius
        • Capricor.
        • Aquarius
        • Pisces
  • [Page 47] In Sagittar.
    • Aries
    • Taurus
    • Gemini
      • In Capricor.
        • Cancer
        • Leo
        • Virgo
  • In Aquarius
    • Libra
    • Scorpius
    • Sagittar.
      • In Pisces
        • Aries
        • Taurus
        • Pisces

26 Quantum est quo veniat Omne, I have fol­low'd the Interpretation of Scaliger; but do not reject the Opinion of Huetius: Though of less force than Scaliger's.

27 The Hurtful Degrees.

  • In Aries
    • 4. 6. 12.
    • 14. 17. 18.
    • 21. 25. 27.
      • In Taurus
        • 9. 13. 17.
        • 22. 24. 26.
        • 28. 30.
  • In Gemini
    • 1. 3. 7.
    • 15. 19. 21.
    • 25. 27. 29.
      • In Cancer
        • 1. 3. 6.
        • 8. 11. 15.
        • 17. 20. 25.
        • 27. 29.
  • In Leo
    • 1. 4. 10.
    • 15. 22. 25.
    • 28. 30.
      • In Virgo
        • 1. 6. 11.
        • 14. 18. 21.
        • 24. 30.
  • In Libra
    • 5. 7. 13.
    • 18. 24. 27.
    • 29. 30.
      • In Scorpio
        • 1. 3. 6.
        • 10. 15. 22.
        • 25. 28. 29.
  • In Sagittar.
    • 4. 8. 12.
    • 16. 20. 24.
    • 26. 28. 30.
      • In Capric.
        • 7. 9. 13.
        • 17. 19. 25.
        • 26.
  • [Page 48] In Aquarius
    • 11. 13. 15.
    • 19. 21. 25.
    • 29.
      • In Pisces
        • 3. 5. 17.
        • 11. 17. 25.
        • 27.

28 Alluding to the Custom of the Romans, who, when they design'd to build a City, took a Plow▪ and made Furrow a where the Walls were to stand.

29 Vossius, In his Observations on Catullus, P. 204. Reads,

—Taurum (que) minantem

30 Pyrrhus made use both of Elephants and Snakes, in his Wars against the Romans.

31 Germany, which comprehends all the Nor­thern tract of Land beyond Thrace.

32 Rome had Temples Dedicated to her, and was look'd upon to be a Goddess.

33 The Poets feign'd that Cybele, the Mother of the Gods, rode in a Chariot drawn by two Lions.

34 Tiberius being under the displeasure of Augu­stus, was sent to the Island Rhodes, and liv'd there some time.

35 Vossius out of his Ancient Manuscript Reads, Qua genitus Caesar (que) meus qui hanc condidit urbem.

36 I know Donata Regna may bear another Sense, but this will do as well.

37 Whom▪ in the time of Agustus, the Ger­mans destroy'd, and cut off all the Legions he Commanded.

38 Thus when Aries and Libra are Eccliptick, the two next Eccliptick are Pisces and Virgo.

39 Alluding to Julius Caesar, Deify'd by Au­gustus.

MANILIUS. The Fifth Book.

Having explain'd the general influence of the Twelve Signs of the Zodiack, and given a particular account of their interchanges with one another, and how they incline when they rise; after a short Preface, in which he mag­nifies his own Industry, and unweary'd dili­gence in this Subject: He goes on, 1. To shew what Constellations rise with the several Degrees of the Twelve Signs, and then what Tempers they bestow, and to what Studies they incline: For instance, 2. The Northern Rudder of the Ship, riseth with the fourth Degree of Aries, and those that are then Born, shall be inclin'd to Sail, and prove good Pilots: 3. Orion riseth with the same De­gree of Aries, and those that are Born under his Influence, shall be Men of busie, active Tempers, Solicitors, cringing Parasites and Flatterers: 4. Heniochus or the Driver, riseth with the fifteenth Degree of Aries, and makes Charioteers, Horse-Racers, and Men [Page 50] skill'd in all sorts of Horseman-ship: 5. With the Twentieth Degree of Aries, the Hoedi or the Kids rise, and those, being wanton Stars, produce nothing that is Vertuous or Noble: Their Births are wanton, light, and lustful, and never Couragious, but in pursuit of some shameful lewd Pleasure; some of their Births, are peculiarly delighted in feeding and keeping Goats: 7. With the Twenty-se­venth Degree of Aries, rise the Hyades: And their Births are always turbulent and Seditious, prone to Factions, restless Pha­naticks, or else, they give their Minds to Country Affairs, feed Cattle, or turn Wag­goners: 7. With the Thirtieth Degree of Aries, the Goat riseth; and those that are Born under that influence, shall be fearful, jealous, suspicious, and inconstant, or else inclin'd to Travel: 8. He says the Pleiades rise with the sixth Degree of Taurus; and the Men that are then Born, shall be gay, and humorous, witty, but too effeminate and soft, minding nothing but Dress, Gate, and Love: 9. The Hare riseth with the se­venth Degree of Gemini or the Twins; and her Births are active and nimble, fit for all sports, all feats of activity, and slight of hand: 10. The Asses rise with the first De­gree of Cancer; and those that are Born un­der [Page 51] their influence, shall be employ'd in all sorts of Hunting and Fishing: 11. With the twenty-seventh Degree of Cancer, Pro­cyon or the little Dog rises, and that pro­duceth such as weave Nets, make Spears, and all other Instruments of Huntsmen: 12. The Great Dog riseth with Leo, and being him­self a Constellation of excessive heat; those that are Born under his influence, shall be full of Passion, Hate, Jealousie, and ungo­vernable suspicion, and given to excess in Wine; their Heat shall lead them on to to dangers, and engage them to hunt wild Beasts. 13. With the last Degree of Leo, the Bowl appears, and inclines to plant and dress Vines; the Births shall be somewhat intemperate, inclin'd to Merchandise, and to trade in those Commodities, which cannot be brought to perfection without moisture: 14. With the fifteenth Degree of Virgo, the Crown of Ariadne riseth, and then the Births shall be Florists; they shall delight in making and perfuming Garlands, be Gay; Amorous, and affect neatness in their Habit. 15. The Sheaf riseth with the tenth Degree of Virgo, and inclines Men to look after Corn, to build Barns, to Grind and Bake Grain, and make it useful: 16. With the eighth Degree of Libra, the Arrow rises, and then [Page 52] are Born expert Darters, and good Bow-Men, such as Philoctetes, Teucer, and Alcon. 17. The Goat or Hoedus, riseth with some part of Libra, and produceth Tem­pers quick and active, fit for Business, and covetous of Employment: somewhat loose, but honest to their Country, and Enemies to Knaves. 18. The Harp rising with some part of Libra, breeds Songsters and Musici­ans; such as affect to Sing in Company, and are always humming to themselves. 19. The Altar rising with the eighth Degree of Scor­pio, breeds Priests, Servants in Temples, and such as take care of and consult Oracles. 20. The Southern Centaur rising with the twelfth Degree of Scorpio, breeds Horse-Men, Charioteers, and Farriers. 21. With the fifth Degree of Sagittarius, Arcturus appears, and breeds Collectors of Customs, Treasurers for Kings, or Stewards for pri­vate Mens Estates. 22. With the thirtieth Degree of Sagittarius, the Swan rises; and then are Born all kinds of Fowlers▪ such as Teach Birds to speak, to sing, or to decoy, &c. all their Employments shall be about Birds. 23. With some part of Ca­pricon, Ophieuchus, or the Snake-holder ri­seth, and produceth such as are skill'd in during poison'd Persons, and such as cannot [Page 53] be poison'd themselves. 24. With the last Degrees of Capricorn, the Southern Fish rising, breeds Anglers, Divers, Fishers for Pearls, &c. or at least, Traders for Fish and Pearls. 25. With some part of Capri­corn the Harp, (or rather the Strings of it, for of the Shell Manilius hath already spoken) riseth, and produceth subtle Accusers, Justi­ces that shall examine nicely, and determine justly; or such as shall torture, and force the Guilty to Confession. 26. With some Degree of Capricon, the Dolphin riseth, and breeds all sorts of Swimmers, such as are nimble and active, and perform feats of activity, either in the Water, or on Land. 27. Cepheus rising with some Degree of Aquarius, breeds Men of Morose Tempers, such as are design'd for Guardians, or Tutors, Tragick Poets, and sometimes Comedians, Stage-Players, Pan­tomimes, and all sorts of Actors. 28. With, the twelfth Degree of Aquarius, the Eagle riseth, and breeds Men of the most violent Tempers, head-strong, and bloody, greedy of spoyl, and destroying every thing that oppo­seth them; under-Officers in an Army, and▪ Armor-bearers to a General. 29. Cassiopeia rising with the twentieth Degree of Aquarius, breeds Founders in Metals, Goldsmiths, Jewellers, &c. 30. With the twelfth De­gree [Page 54] of Pisces, Andromeda riseth, and breeds Goalers, and all sorts of Exceutioners, cruel, pitiless and bloody. 31. With the twenty-first Degree of Pisces, the Horse riseth, and breeds strong, vigorous, active Men, excellent Horsemen, either for the Race or War, Farriers, and Physitians 32. With the thirtieth Degree of Pisces, the kneeling Constellation, or Hercules ap­pears; and his Births are Lewd, Treache­rous Villains, given to no useful Arts, at best Juglers and Rope-dancers. 33. With the same Degree of Pisces, the Whale riseth, and produceth Fishers, Fishmongers, makers of Salt, &c. 34. The Bears (Manilius tells us, what he means by their rising) are joyn'd with Leo and Scorpio, and breed such as are employ'd in breeding Beasts, and par­ticularly Bears. 35. There follows a frag­ment, in which the Poet Treats of the seve­ral magnitudes or sizes of the Stars, that make up the several Constellations.

It is confess'd that Manilius shews no great exactness in the Astronomical part of this Book▪ but the Astrology is perfect and, may for the most part be apply'd to the most cor­rect Astronomy.

HEre at the Signs,
The design of the Fifth Book.
those Paths of yearly light,
Weak Minds would stop; nor dare a far­ther flight:
But through the Planets Orbs would take their Course
At one full stoop from Heaven, and mark their force;
What Mercury design'd, what Mars did dare,
Or Luna thought on in her Gloomy care:
What Sol would work, how Saturn look'd on Jove,
And Venus manag'd her Intriegue of Love:
No farther would their feeble Thoughts aspire,
And other Stars had roul'd unheeded Fire.
But since I'm once on wing, and rais'd on high,
I'll boldly soar, and compass all the Sky;
I'll visit every Star, and strive to know
Their proper Powers, and how they Rule below:
Avoid no labour, and no toyl refuse,
Whilst constant Industry can aid my Muse.
Here vast Orion Heaven's great part,
The Sou­thern Con­stellations.
the Streams,
Whose Spacious Windings mix agreeing Beams;
The Hero's Ship which now midst Stars doth Sail,
The frightful Centaur, and the gaping Whale,
The Dog, whose Fires o're all the World are rould,
The watchful Keeper of the growing Gold;
And Heaven's high Altar grac't with Gifts invite
My eager Muse to take a larger flight.
There where the Serpent twines betwixt the Bears,
The Nor­thern Con­stellations.
Where rouls the Driver, and still minds his Cares:
Where slow Bootes drives his lingring Teams,
Or Ariadne's Crown spreads Heavenly Beams:
[Page 56] Where Perseus soars with Gorgon's Spoyls above,
And weilds his Fauchion to secure his Love:
Where wretched Cepheus and his Wife beside
The fair Andromeda still Curse their Pride;
Or where 1 oppos'd the scaly Dolphin lies
To the swift Shaft, or where the Eagle flies,
Or Starry Horse still runs, my Muse must move,
And boldly visit every Star above.
These I must Sing, their proper Powers explain,
How when they rise, how when they set they Reign:
And what Degrees they claim from every Sign,
And what extend their force, and what confine:
For when the World was Fram'd, the Mighty Cause
These Powers bestow'd, and did Enact these Laws;
How Signs should singly work, how Stars agree,
And settled all things by a firm Decree.
First Golden Aries Shines,
II. What Con­stellations rise with Aries.
(who whilst he swam
Lost part of's Freight, and gave the Sea a Name:
Whose 2 Skin destroy'd himself, whose Golden Spoyl
Forc't fierce Medea, from her Native Soyl;
Then Magick Arts to Cholchis Shores confin'd
First Sail'd abroad, and Poyson swell'd the Wind:)
And now as Victor o're the Conquer'd Deep
He keeps his Power,
The Ship.
and still Commands the Ship:
For when the 3 Northern Rudder rears its Flame,
And in the fourth Degree, first joyns the Ram:
Who ever's born, shall be to Sail inclin'd,
He'll Plow the Ocean, and he'll tempt the Wind;
He o're the Seas shall Love, or Fame pursue;
And other Months, another 4 Phasis view:
Fixt to the Rudder, he shall boldly Steer,
And pass those Rocks which 5 Tiphys us'd to fear.
[Page 57] Had no such Births been born Troy's Walls had stood,
No 6 Wind-bound Navy, bought a Gale with Blood;
No 7 Xerxes Persia o're the Ocean roul'd,
Dug a new Sea, nor yet confin'd an old.
No Athens sunk by 8 Syracusian Shores,
Nor Lybia's Seas been choakt with Punick Oars,
Nor had the World in doubt at Actium stood,
Nor 9 Heaven's great Fortune floated on the Flood:
Such Births as these their hopes to Seas resign,
Ships spread their Sails, and distant Nations joyn,
The World divided, mutual Wants invite
To close again; and Friendly Ships unite.
But when Orion on the left doth rise,
III. Orion.
Orion 10 the large Portion of the Skies;
At whose appearance Day the Night invades,
And frighted Darkness folds her Gloomy Shades:
One fit for Business, quick of Mind is wrought,
Of Body nimble, and of Active Thought:
As if he were the 11 People, all the Town
He shall inhabit, every House his own:
And one Salute, when 12 Morning peeps, extend
Through every Street, to All a Common Friend.
But when the Ram first shews thrice five De­grees,
IV. Henio­chus, or the Driver.
The Driver rears his Chariot from the Seas;
And climbs that Steep, whence blustering Boreas brings
His North-East Blasts, and shakes their freezing Wings.
He keeps his old Concern, and thence bestows
Those various Arts which here on Earth he chose.
[Page 58] To drive the 13 Chariot, to direct the Course,
And hang with forward Lashes on the Horse;
Now press directly, now wheel nimbly round,
Out-strip the Wind, nor raise the dusty Ground;
Or cross athwart, and force the rest to yield,
Disperse the Crowd, and clear the gapeing Field:
And tho' outstript, yet scorn to stoop to Fear,
But, drive on Hope, and leave behind Despair.
Or midst the Race from 14 Horse to Horse to leap,
Sport o're their Backs, and fix the dangerous step:
Or singly mounted break the Foaming Jaws,
Throw▪ well the Dart, and force a just applause.
Hence influenc't at his Birth 15 Salmoneus strove
To vye with Lightning, and to Rival Jove;
His Brazen Bridge, and Chariots fiercely hurl'd
Must roar like Thunder, and must shake the World.
Vain the attempt: But yet his Pride was high,
And now he thought he had brought down the Sky:
Proudly he rode, but winged Bolts pursue,
And his feign'd Thunder's noise provok'd the True;
He fell, and by his sad Example shew'd
'T was Fate for Man, to be esteem'd a God.
The fam'd Bellerophon first view'd the Light
When this appear'd, and took his Aery Flight:
O're Seas and Land he fled, and first began
Through pathless Skies, a way unknown to Man.
But when the Ram twice Ten Degrees doth shew,
V. The Hoedi, or the Kids.
Where on the Right rough Boreas Tempests blow;
The Kids appear: But never hope to find
Severe in Manners, nor correct in Mind
Their Births; from them no Censuring Catos come
To settle Vertue, and adorn their Rome.
[Page 59] No temperate Scipio's, whose obliging Charms
The Spaniards Conquer'd, and excell'd their Arms:
Too great a work for them, their Rays inspire
Soft Love, then heat that Love to fierce Desire:
Still urging on, they boyl that Lust to Rage,
And Lust, not Courage, make the Youth engage:
By Death bafe Pleasure is ignobly bought,
And the Misfortune hightned by the Fault:
By them are some to keeping Goats inclin'd,
The Kids being always mindful of their Kind:
Thence Goatherds rise, whose Pipes in every Vale
Soft Love inspire, and tell the moving Tale.
But when the Ram hath doubled Ten Degrees,
VI. The Hya­des.
And joyn'd seven more, then rise the Hyades;
Whose Births delight in Tumults, hate soft Peace,
Seditions seek, and live averse to Ease:
The Desks the 17 Gracchi, Souldiers crowd the Town
They love to see, and scorn the peaceful Gown.
They seek Contention, and when none appears
They heighten Jealousies, and nourish Fears.
Or meanly bent, they o're the fruitful Plain
Their Cattel feed, or drive the lazy Wain:
Such Minds these give, such Tempers these bestow,
Curst Influence! rais'd too high, or bent too low.
But when the Ram hath trebled Ten Degrees,
VII. The Goat.
Shines all above, excluded all from Seas;
The Goat (whose Bruitish Dugs did once improve
The mighty Babe, and nurst the growing Jove;
Who gave him strength to Thunder) first appears,
Breeds timorous Births, and fills their Breasts with Fears.
On slight Occasions, they with Doubts are Curst,
Suspicious, jealous, fearing still the worst.
[Page 60] Or Travellers bent on foreign Lands they breed;
Thus o're the Rocks Goats wander as they feed:
Now seek this Plain, and then as fast pursue
What tempts their sight, leave old, and seize the new.
Thus far the Ram's concern'd,
VIII. What Con­stellations rise with Taurus.
and next the Bull
Joyns other Stars, and varies in its Rule:
For mounting upward in his backward rise
When Six Degrees appear, and grace the Skies,
He shews the Pleiades:
The Plei­ades.
Whose Rays incline
To Joys of Venus, and the Charms of Wine:
Feasts their delight, where witty biting Drolls
Raise Mirth, and Health swims round in flowing Bowls.
Such are these Stars gay Births; their Face, their Dress
They chiefly mind, and 'tis their work to please:
Offended with their Sex, their Manly Hair
With Pumice kill, and Curse those Limbs that bear.
Female they seem; now borrow'd Curls must raise
Their Heads, and Love must play in every Maze:
Now Gems must bind them up, now loose behind
Their Locks must flow, and wanton in the Wind:
Affected in their Gate, grow Fops by Rule,
And with great study, finish Nature's Fool.
Yet high Ambition, and a Thirst to please
(The Name of Vertue covers the Disease:)
Still fire their Breasts, nor from their Souls re­move,
They would not only Love, but would be known to Love.
The Twins succeed,
IX. What Con­stellations rise with the Twins.
and when their Seventh De­gree
Swims rising o're the Surface of the Sea;
[Page 61] The Hare appears,
The Hare.
whose active Rays supply
A nimble force, and hardly Wings deny:
The Whirlbats falling Blow they nimbly shun;
And win the Race, e're they begin to run.
Let Feasts unbend the Clowns, let Labour yield
To Sport and Mirth, and Pastime Crown the Field;
None give so sure, and none avoid the Fall
So well; or catch and turn the flying Ball.
To vigorous stroak their active Arms command,
Or with their Foot supply the place of Hand.
Or when in Sport they shall the 18 Balls divide
From Hand to Hand, and toss on every side;
Now throw the flying Globes, and now retain,
Or play them back upon themselves again:
Now back, now forward, round, and every way
O're all their Limbs the active Balls shall play,
As taught to know their meaning, and obey.
Whilst Crowds admire, and think the constant cares
Of Art effect what is the work of Stars.
Wak't whilst asleep, they tame by active Plea­sure
Their growing Troubles, and Sports employ their leisure.
Thus those agree.
X. What Con­stellations rise with Cancer.
And next my Songs com­prise
Stars near the Crab, with whom the Asses rise:
Then Births appear, whose Skill infests the Woods,
Lay Snares for Beasts;
The Asses.
nor do they spare the Floods:
On all they Prey, they boldly search the Caves;
Nor are the Fish secure in deepest Waves:
Then 19 Meleager rose, whose fatal Brand,
And Life too wasted in his Mother's Hand;
[Page 62] Unhappy Noble Youth! who must attone
Her wretched Brothers Slaughter by thy own!
Half bury'd whilst alive! Whom Love betray'd
To give the Hero's Honors to the Maid;
To rob thy jealous Uncles of their Fame,
And by their Death secure the Beauty's claim.
Then Atalante rose, who prest for Fame
Through thickest Woods, and saw and overcame;
Her Dart first reacht the Boar, and wan the Prize,
She Conquer'd with her Arrow, and her Eyes;
The Monster groan'd, and Meleager found
As much disquiet, and as deep a Wound.
Some pitch strong Nets, and some the Woods surround
With 20 fear of Death, or slip the faithful Hound:
Some dig the treacherous Pits, some spread the Toyls,
Or hunt with Spears, and Grace their House with Spoyls.
Another puts to Sea, infests the Lakes,
Draws monstrous Fish, and starts at what he Takes.
Whilst some through Nets the wandring Waters strein,
Their Game they follow thro' the pathless Main,
Where no Scent lies, yet seldom Hunt in vain.
As if the Earth were not profusely stor'd,
They fly to Seas, they search what Floods afford,
And Nereus from his Waves supplies the Glut­ton's Board:
XI. Procyon, or the lit­tle Dog.
But when the Crab hath doubled Tèn Degrees,
And rear'd seven more, bright Procyon leaves the Seas:
His Influence mean; But tho' his feeble Flame
No Hunters breeds, yet it supports the Game:
[Page 63] Inclines to Weave strong Nets, to Train the Hound,
To know the Breed, and to improve the Sound.
To shave the Spear, and follow every Trade,
That Love of Sport, and Hope of Gain persuade.
But when the Lion's gaping Jaws aspire,
XII. What Con­stellations rise with the Lion.
The Dog appears, and foams unruly Fire.
In Caves scorcht Neptune mourns contracted Floods,
Herbs dye,
The great Dog.
and Beauteous Greenness leaves the Woods;
To other Climates Beasts and Birds retire,
And Feverish Nature burns in her own Fire.
So vast the Heat, such Flames increase the Sun,
As if all Heaven's great Fires were joyn'd in one.
Air's turn'd to Dust, the Earth's low Entrails burn,
And dying Nature fears one common Urn.
When this appears, his rising Beams presage
Ungovern'd Fury, and unruly Rage;
A flaming Anger, universal Hate
With Jealousie make up his Births unhappy Fate:
Each little Cause doth scorching Thoughts inspire,
Their Soul's inflam'd, and Words break out in Fire:
Yet crowd so fast, they justle as they rise,
And part flies out in Sparkles through their Eyes.
Their Tongue's on Foam, and with their Teeth they break
Their Words, and Bark when they design to Speak.
Besides, excess in Wine inflames their Fire,
And Bacchus makes their Fury blaze the higher.
They fear no Rocks, nor Woods, but love to Gore
The furious Lion, and the Foaming Boar;
[Page 64] They dread no Beasts, but with blind Warmth en­gage,
And to their natural strength infuse their Rage:
Nor is it strange that from his Beams should rise
Such Tempers; for above through yielding Skies
Averse to Peace, he cuts his furious way,
And hunts the Hare, intent upon his Prey.
The Lion mounts,
XIII. The Bowl.
and with his last the Bowl
Studded with Stars comes up, and cheers the Pole:
And then who e're are born, their Minds incline
To water Meadows, and to dress the Vine.
To Hills, Lakes; Rivers: To what e're produce
The generous Liquor, and improve the Juice:
Now Bridegroom Elms they shall in order place,
And bring the blushing Brides to their embrace;
Entwine their Boughs: Or when the Stock's dis­play'd
Without support, nor needs a Foreign Aid,
In Branches lead it; and uncurious grown
Trust reeling Bacchus to himself alone.
Or from the Stock, the hopeful Tendrils tear,
Plant them anew, and teach the Twigs to bear.
Use all improving ways that Art hath sought,
By long Experience, or wise Nature taught:
When ripe their Bowls the generous Wine shall Crown,
Soften their Cares, and all their Wishes drown;
They largely shall enjoy their Fruits, nor spare
The pleasing Recompences of their Care:
Happy this State; but Stars still force them on,
And urge their greedy Minds to be undone:
For Corn, and Foreign Stores which moisture yields,
They'll Plow the Ocean, and forsake their Fields
[Page 65] Till tost by Storms, they midst the Waves resign
Their baffled Hopes: And thus the Bowl inclines.
Next Shines the Maid,
XIV. What Con­stellations rise with Virgo.
and when the Maid ascends
Thrice Five Degrees, the glorious Crown attends.
The Crown, since Theseus first his Faith betray'd,
The Monument of the forsaken Maid:
The Crown [...]
They give Soft Arts, for here the Virgin Shines,
And there the Virgin's Crown, and each com­bines
Soft Beams agreeing in the same Designs.
Births influenc'd then shall raise fine Beds of Flowers,
And twine their creeping Jasmine round their Bowers;
The Lillies, Violets in Banks dispose,
The Purple Poppy, and the blushing Rose:
For Pleasure shades their rising Mounts shall yield▪
And real Figures paint the gawdy Field:
Or they shall wreath their Flowers, their Sweets entwine,
To Grace their Mistress, or to Crown their Wine▪
The Odors fair Arabia's Groves dispense
Sovereign for Health, or grateful to the Sense,
Shall bath these Wreaths; for when the Sweets u­nite,
The new Adultery heightens the delight.
Besides they'll study Neatness, learn to dress,
Affected grow, and think it Art to please:
The present Pleasures Court, and gay desires;
For this the Virgin's Age; and this the Crown re­quires.
When with her Tenth Degree,
XV. The Sheaf.
the Sheaf ap­pears,
Shews her full Corn, and shakes her loaden Ears:
[Page 66] The Fields may fear, for those that shall be born
Shall Plough the Ground, and be intent on Corn:
They'll trust their Seed to Clods, whose large produce
Shall yield the Sum, and give increase by Vse.
Build Barns for Grain, for Nature those contrives,
And in the Ear it self a Pattern gives;
In that the Corn lies safe, her Laws ordain
A proper different Cell for every Grain:
How blest the World, had this been only known,
Had Gold lain hid, and Corn been born alone!
Then Men were rich, when they could Want suffice,
And knew no Baits for Lust, and Avarice.
Yet had they still employ'd their Cares on Corn
Alone, those Arts would have been slowly born,
Which make Grain useful, and for Common good
Grind, Mould, and Bake, and work it up to Food.
Now Southward bend,
XVI. What Con­stellations rise with Libra.
and see in Southern Skies
With Libra's Eighth Degree the Arrow rise:
Their Beams are strong: They curious Arts be­stow,
To dart the Javelin, and to draw the Bow;
Or sling the Bullet; from the lofty Clouds
Swift Birds shall drop, nor shall the deepest Floods
Secure their Fish: But both shall surely feel
The fatal force of the unerring Steel:
What powerful Stars but these drew here below
Brave 21 Philoctete's and sure 22 Teucer's Bow?
One Hector's Flames repell'd, the angry Fire
Did fear his Shafts, and sullenly retire;
The other bore Troy's Fate, more dreadful far,
He sate Exil'd, than all the Greeks in War.
He own'd those Stars, 23 who when the Serpent lay
Twin'd round his Child, and Suckt the Bleeding Prey;
[Page 67] Ventur'd to shoot: The pious Arrow fled
As sent by Fate, and pierc'd the Dragon's Head:
To be a Father then was Art, and Love
By Stars unaided, had but vainly strove;
They drew the Bow, restor'd the flying Breath
To the lost Boy, and wak'd the Youth from Death.
But when the heedless Goat 24 Exalts his Beard,
XVII. The Goat.
Alone, as stragling from the other Herd;
Then Tempers quick, and piercing Minds are wrought,
With Cares unweary'd, and of active Thought:
They scorn that Rest, which private Minds enjoy,
But fawn upon the Crowd, and Court Employ;
That's their delight, and they're enlarg'd by Fate
To serve the Many, and be Slaves of State.
Whilst they survive, smooth Knaves shall fear to Cheat
In hopes of scapeing, or of grownig Great;
They shall espouse their injur'd Country's Cause,
And be severe, yet not exceed the Laws;
Imprison Cheats, or else with rigorous Fines
Break their Estates, and curb their lewd Designs.
Happy this Temper, would they still pursue
These useful Pleasures, and affect the True;
But they'll from Business, and from Court retire,
(Loose are their Words, and looser their Desire;)
Lewd Love and Wine indulge, and wast their Age
In Mimick Dancing, or affect the Stage.
Next shines the Harp,
XVIII. The Harp.
and through the Liquid Skies
The Shell as lightest, first begins to rise;
This when sweet Orpheus struck, to listning Rocks
He Senses gave, and Ears to wither'd Oaks;
[Page 68] Parch'd Pluto's 25 Cheeks grew moist, and Death resign'd
Her Spoil, and unrelenting Fates grew kind.
These skill in Musick, and in Songs impart;
How Sound is vary'd into Notes by Art
Their Births shall know: Their Mouths shall Pipes inspire
With voice; Their Hands shall strike the speak­ing Lyre:
At merry Feasts they shall the Guests delight,
Smooth Wine with Songs, and stay the flying Night.
Nay e'en when Troubles, and when Cares oppress,
Their Mournful Lays, shall give their Sorrows Ease.
Low Murmurs shall employ their warbling Tongue,
And their own Ears shall always hear a Song:
Below fierce Scorpio,
XIX. What Con­stellations rise with Scorpio.
when his Eighth Degree
Appears, the Altar riseth from the Sea:
No Lightning arm'd Jove's Hand, no Thunder roard
Till here as Priest he stood,
The Altar.
and first ador'd;
Then Powers unknown assisted, Clouds did swell
With Fire, and the Devoted Giants fell:
And who should then be born, but those that wait
On Sacred Temples, and converse with Fate?
That Hymn in Holy Quires, know what's to come,
Are almost Gods, and can dispose of Doom?
With Twelve Degrees the Centaur's Form ap­pears,
XX. The Cen­taur.
And gives a Temper from the shape he bears;
For he that then is born, and feels his force,
Shall harness Mules, or he shall drive the Horse;
Or he shall proudly mount the ratling Car,
Or Arm the Steed, and lead him forth to War;
[Page 69] Or he shall study what Disease infests,
And Ease apply to uncomplaining Beasts;
Or he shall keep them sound, his Art be shown
In sure Prevention, nor expect a Groan.
Next Sagittarius mounts with threatning Bow,
XXI. What Con­stellations rise with Sagittari­us.
Whose Fifth Degree doth bright Arcturus show:
And he that then is born shall ne're be Poor,
To him rich Fortune shall entrust her Store;
King's Treasures he shall keep, and Reign alone,
Whilst those sit only higher in the Throne:
Or if a Private House confine his Care,
Blest he shall live, and see the thriving Heir
In Wealth increast; Or he shall still defend
The People's Right, and be a Common Friend.
But when this Centaur hath advanc'd his Fire
Thrice Ten Degrees,
XXII. The Swan.
and shews his Horse entire;
The Swan displays his Wings; And then by Fate
The Birds for an Enployment, and Estate
Are given to every Birth: Nor can the Skies
Make better claim to every Fowl that flies;
And hence to seize their own, they oft declare
Against the Sky it self an open War;
They take them flying, or they set their Toyls
On Boughs or Fields, and catch the Feather'd Spoils.
Sometimes besiege their Nestswith treach'rous Reed,
Or draw the Net, and take them whilst they feed:
Thus Luxury toyls; bold Luxury ventures far
To Foreign Lands, and Travels more than War:
Numidia's Plains, and Cholcos Woods afford
Delicious Tribute to the Glutton's Board.
Or Nature's stubborn Laws their Art shall break,
Enlarge Converse, and teach the Birds to speak.
[Page 70] The 26 Swan still shrouds a God, 'tis more than Fowl,
The Feather'd part confines a noble Soul;
And when cold Death comes on, the God dilates
His Powers, and softly murmurs o're his Fates.
Or they on Doves shall all their Cares employ,
To make them Thrive, or teach them to decoy,
Or carry Messages; the Birds convey
Their Masters Orders, nor mistake their way:
They know this Star, and they this Influence own,
Who carry sportive Birds about the Town;
Who with one Sparrow wretched Life maintain;
These are his Powers, and thus inclines the Swan.
When Ophieuchus mounts,
XXIII. With Ca­pricorn riseth O­phieuchus.
and joyns the Goat,
Those that are born shall live an Antidote
To strongest Poyson; they may safely take
The frightful Serpent, and the Venom'd Snake
Into their Bosom: Whilst the Monster's Cling
About their Bodies kils their fiercest Sting.
When the South Fish doth leave the Floods,
XXIV. The South Fish.
and rise
To Airy Seats, and swims in Liquid Skies;
Those that are born in every Shore shall lay
Their Lines and Hooks, and catch the hanging Prey;
No Fish in their own Shells shall safely live
By Nature fortify'd, whilst these can dive,
All shall be dar'd; and they immerst shall rove
Thro' Depths, despair'd, and lost to those above;
Till with their dancing Prey they mount again;
So small is the reward of all this Pain!
Or Fish for Pearls, for Avarice cheats the Mind
By valuing Things not for their Worth, but Kind.
Vile Shells, which Nature midst the Floods hath laid,
Asham'd of the mean work that she hath made;
[Page 71] When drawn up hither equal Provinces;
Nor can the Land now bear the Riches of the Seas:
Such are the Tempers, and Success that waits
On these Stars Influence, and compleats their Fates.
Or free from danger they incline to gain
By Merchandise, what others get by Pain.
Before I sung the Harp's Commanding Powers,
XXV. The Strings of the Harp.
And taught the Influence of its fatal Hours;
Back to the same my Muse doth now retire,
Pleas'd with the sounding Vertues of the Lyre:
For when its gay Harmonious Strings appear,
Let Sin grow Pale, and Villains learn to fear:
For subtle Judges, whose Demands shall draw
Pale sculking Guilt within the reach of Law,
Shall then be born; or else the Births shall dare
To screw the Rack, and make the Wretch his Sin declare;
Steel'd against Pity, and averse to Spare.
All Pains inflict, be Cruel without Hate,
And make stern Justice wield the Sword of Fate:
Or if soft Methods can prevail, the Cause
They gravely shall determine by the Laws:
As Wisdom gave the Sentence, Strife shall cease,
Both sides be pleas'd, at least consent to Peace.
But when the Dolphin's Fires begin to rise
With Stars like Scales,
XXVI. The Dol­phin.
and swim in Liquid Skies;
It shall be doubtful which shall most Command
The Inclination for the Sea or Land:
Both shall conspire, and in one Mass combind,
Now this way draw, now that way force the Mind:
For as the Dolphin mounts, now dives again,
Now turns, now leaps, and figures all the Main:
[Page 72] So those that shall be born shall now divide
With wide stretcht Arms, and beat the swelling Tide;
Now thrust them downward, and with secret Oars
Their Bodies row, and visit Foreign Shores;
Now tread the Water, with their Feet maintain
Themselves Erect, and wade the deepest Main,
As t'were a shallow; like the firmest Field,
The Floods shall bear them, and refuse to yield:
Now on their Backs or Sides securely keep
One constant place, and lie upon the Deep:
No Oar to Boy them up; but Floods forget
Their natural yielding, and sustain the Weight:
Or they shall dive, through boundless Oceans go,
And visit Nereus, and the Nymphs below;
Or take up Shipwracks, Merchants Spoils restore,
And rob the greedy Ocean of its Oar.
To these joyn those, who from an 27 Engine tost
Pierce through the Air, and in the Clouds are lost;
Or poize on Timber, where by turns they rise
And sink, and mount each other to the Skies:
Or leap through Fire, and fall on hardest Ground
As on soft Seas, unhurt, and safe from Wound:
Tho' void of Wings, their Bodies boldly rear,
And imitate their Dolphin in the Air.
Or if they want the skill, yet Nature's part
Perform'd, they shall be nimble without Art:
Not run, but rather fly, be swiftly born
O're Fields of Wheat, nor bend the standing Corn.
When with Aquarius Cepheus mounts,
XXVII. What Con­stellations rise with Aquarius. Cepheus.
No sportive Tempers from so grave a Fire:
But stiff, morose, severe, affected Fools,
With Looks as starcht, and heavy as their Souls:
Whose Guardian's roughness, or an Uncle's force
Praise, and in Cato's Sentences Discourse:
[Page 73] Design'd for Tutors, whom the noble Heir,
Altho' he keeps them, shall be forc'd to fear;
Shrink at their Nods, and of their Looks afraid,
Worship th' Imperious Idol he hath made.
Or Tragick Poets; Those whose Style must slay
In Paper, and be Barbarous in a Play:
Who must kill Heroes to delight the Crowd,
And seek to please with Horror, and with Blood:
Antigone 28 must fall the Tyrant's Spoil,
And Brothers disagree upon their Pile:
Thyestes eat his Babes, the Sun retire,
And jealous Rage the mad Medea Fire;
Her Father, Brother, Sons must Murder'd lie,
Whilst Dragons bear her through the Guilty Sky:
Or she must Youth renew; such Themes as these
Shall raise their Thoughts, and make them strive to please.
But then if softer Themes their Fancies move
In Comedy, the heated Youth shall Love;
The Maid be stoln, the witty Slave defeat
The covetous Father, and enjoy the Cheat.
Thus fam'd 29 Menander in immortal Rhymes
Exposeth Humour and instructs the Times;
Nature to him her Parts might safely trust,
His Words expressive, and his Thoughts were just;
And when he copy'd her, she hardly knew
Her own Original; he wrought so true.
But if unequal to a Poet's Rage
They cannot Write, yet they shall serve the Stage.
Their graceful action and their voice shall raise
The native value of another's Plays;
The School's Simplicity, the Court's Address,
The Souldier's Huff so decently express;
[Page 74] As if they acted not another's part;
And all was simple Nature, and not Art.
In one short view they shall present to sight
Whole Crowds, make Kings engage, and Armies fight:
Before the pleas'd Spectators Troy shall lye
In ruins, and the wretched Priam dye.
But now the Eagle must my Songs employ,
XVIII. [...]he Ea­ [...]e.
He shines upon the left hand of the Boy,
Whom first from Earth he did to Skies convey,
And now with wide stretcht Wings hovers o're his Prey.
This Bird, the Armour-bearer of the Skies,
Brings back thrown Thunder, Jove with Arms supplies,
And with the Youth's twelfth part begins to rise.
And then shall spring a violent ravenous Brood,
Eager to rob, and purchase Spoil with Blood:
On Men and Beasts with equal Lust they seize,
Nor make a difference between War and Peace.
Their Friends and Enemies alike they awe,
They every thing to wild contention draw,
Their Will their Ruler, and their Sword their Law.
But if their Violence aright they place,
Their Vice turns Vertue; conquer'd Spoils shall grace
Their happy Country; when in Arms they dare,
Success shall wait, and Victory crown their War.
But since the Eagle is employ'd above
Not to throw Thunder, but to wait on Jove,
And bring him Arms, they hope in vain to bear
The highest Office, and Command in War;
They must be meaner, equal to their Star:
Wait on a General, bear his ponderous Shield,
And serve him bravely in the dangerous Field.
[Page 75] When mourning Cassiopeia,
XXIX. Cassiopeia.
grac'd with Stars,
Upon the left hand of the Youth appears,
And joins twice ten Degrees, her Beams impart
In Metals skill, and fill the Births with Art:
The precious Matter they shall nobly mold,
And raise the native value of the Gold;
Hence shine our Temples, and our Roman Jove
Fills here a Heaven as bright as that above;
Happy this Art employ'd on things Divine,
To frame a Statue, or adorn a Shrine;
But now how low her Head she strives to hide,
Whilst chain'd to Luxury, and a Slave to pride!
Now precious Metals common Roofs enfold,
Rival the Temples, and we feast in Gold.
But great Augustus doth its state maintain,
Shews its old worth, and makes it rise again;
His Temples shine, and now such Works are wrought
As Mithridates lost when Sylla fought;
The Sun's outshone, and Caesar's glorious Gems
Excel the native lustre of his Beams:
And hence with joy we view that wondrous Prize,
The Monuments of 30 Pompey's Victories;
Though those did first a Lust for Gems inspire,
Which still burns new, and spreads a growing fire;
The Ornaments of Kings now serve to grace
A shape, and raise the value of a Face;
Now Neck, Feet, Hands are deckt, and every Dress
Shines with the Spoils of groaning Provinces;
Yet 'tis the Ladies Sign, their wants supply'd
Advance its worth, they love what decks their Pride:
Lest want of Matter should the Work restrain,
The Art grow idle, and the Sign be vain,
[Page 76] By the same Powers are wretched Men decoy'd
To dig for Oar, and work to be employ'd;
To turn the Globe to search where Metals breed,
And see young Gold first blushing in its Seed;
Harmless it lies, 'till the mistaken worth
Deludes poor Man, and brings the Monster forth.
And lest Temptations too obscure should lye,
Too far remov'd from every common Eye,
Mixt with the Sands they shine on every Shore,
These he shall gather, and extract the Oar,
Or dive for Jewels, and, intent on Gain,
Pierce thro the Floods, and search the deepest Main;
Draw Gold and Silver from the Waves embrace,
And work them singly, and adorn the Mass;
Or in Electrum both ignobly join:
These are the Powers and Tempers of this Sign.
Next shines Andromeda;
XXX. What Con­stellations rise with Pisces.
she leaves the Sea,
And on the Right joins Pisces twelfth Degree.
Bright she appears, and gay with sparkling Fires,
As when young Perseus first felt warm desires.
Unhappy Maid!
expos'd to rage Divine,
A faultless Victim for her Mother's Sin:
When Seas let loose o'reflow'd the fruitful Plain,
And Earth now fear'd its ruin from the Main;
Nought could appease, but to the injur'd Flood
The Maid resign'd, to quench its rage with Blood.
This was her Bridal, in her Robes of State;
But not provided for so sad a Fate,
Glorious she lookt, and like the setting Sun,
Greater, tho not so sierce, her Beauty shone.
No joyful Torch its ominous Flames did spread,
No Vows were heard to crown her fruitful Bed;
But Groans and Tears, e're Death pronounc'd her doom
The Maid was born alive to her own Tomb.
[Page 77] Hence fly my Muse, and on the naked Shore
Leave the poor Maid, and dare to look no more;
'Twill melt thy Song to turn again to view,
The weeping Parents bid their last adieu;
To see her fetter'd, and expos'd to pain,
Design'd by Nature for another Chain:
To see her hang on Rocks, and by her side
Grim Death appear, and point to the swoln Tide.
Yet turn, and view how she her Shape retains,
How fair she looks, and glorious in her Chains:
With what becoming fear her flowing Vest
Forsakes her Limbs, and leaves her naked Breast:
What hidden Beauties are expos'd to sight,
Like Lightning glare, but must be lost in night.
By her the Halcyons mourn'd, and round the Coast,
That so much Beauty should in vain be lost,
The Nymphs repin'd; and Nereis from the Deep
Bewail'd her Fate, and did consent to weep:
The gentle Breeze that fann'd her golden Locks,
Turn'd into Sighs, and murmur'd to the Rocks:
All Nature seem'd concern'd, despairing Grief
Was general, but too weak to yield relief.
Then Perseus, glorious with the Gorgon's Spoil,
By Love directed to a nobler Toil,
Kind Fortune brought; and at the wondrous sight
He checkt his Horse, and stopt his airy flight;
His Hand scarce held his Spoil, Medusa's Eyes
He bore, but now grew stiff at this surprise;
The Chains that held her, and the burth'ned Stone
He happy call'd, and envy'd joys unknown.
Amaz'd a while he hung, her Form survey'd,
Then heard the Story from the weeping Maid;
Streight in his Breast high generous thoughts were bred,
To spoil the Ocean to adorn his Bed:
[Page 78] And should a thousand frightful Gorgons rise;
He would oppose them for so vast a Prize:
Fixt on these Thoughts he leaves the mournful Shore,
Her Parents chears, and bids them weep no more,
For Aid was come: And their Consent desir'd
Was granted soon, and nobler warmth inspir'd.
Back he returns: Now teeming Seas did roar,
Waves fled the Monster, and o'reflow'd the Shore;
High rais'd his Head, he spouts the Floods around,
All Nereus ecchoes, and the Shores resound:
Wide gapes his Mouth, and as on a vast Rock
Dasht on each Tooth the foaming Billows broke:
His winding Tail o're half the Main was spread,
The Ocean groan'd, Rocks fear'd, and Mountains fled:
Unhappy Maid! though such an Aid was near,
What was thy Mind, and how surpris'd with fear?
How pale thy Look? and how thy Spirit fled
In a deep sigh, and hover'd round thy Head?
How bloodless all thy Limbs, when from deep Caves
The Monster rush'd, and bore the foaming Waves
And Fate along? and all design'd for thee
A Prey how little, for so vast a Sea!
But Perseus nimble Aid descends, and hides
The Gorgon's Fauchion in his scaly Sides;
He twists upon the Wound, then strives to rear
His head, and shoots up forward thro the Air:
Perseus retires, and still deludes his Foe,
Hangs in the Sky, and aims a surer Blow:
He presses on, and casts his Jaws around,
Bites at the Air, but bites without a Wound.
Then tosses Seas to Heaven, spouts purple Floods
At his high [...]oe, and drowns him in the Clouds.
[Page 79] The Maid beheld this Fight, and, grateful grown,
Fear'd for his danger, but forgot her own;
Doubtful which way the various Fate inclin'd,
In Body less suspended than in Mind:
Her doubt not long; for now Success did prove
The great advantage, and the force of Love;
The Monster groan'd, and from his Wounds there flow'd
A mighty Stream, and stain'd the Seas with Blood.
Down deep he sinks, but soon he floats again,
And his vast Carcass covers all the Main;
Breathless he lay, yet then his shape did fright;
Tho dead, he was too dreadful for her sight.
Now big with Conquest, from the cleansing Flood
Bright Perseus rose, and more August he stood;
Then to the Rocks with eager haste he flies,
Unbinds the Virgin, and enjoys the Prize.
And thence Andromeda now shines a Star,
The Cause, and the Reward of such a War,
As freed the Ocean, and restor'd the Main
To Neptune's sway, and fixt him in his Reign.
And he that sees her rising Beams, shall draw
The Sword of Justice, and shall smite by Law;
Dungeons shall be, and Whips and Racks his care,
Steel'd against Pity, and averse to spare.
At his stern feet shall wretched Wives complain,
And weeping Mothers tell their grief in vain:
Though late at night to kiss a parting Son,
And draw his flying Soul into his own;
A Father sues, in unrelenting Ears
His Prayers are lost, nor shall he yield to Tears.
Or lean pale Hangmen shall her Beams create,
Those solemn Murderers and Salves to Fate:
[Page 80] Who on the Curses of the pitying Crowd
Ignobly thrive, and live on shedding Blood.
But he that sees her chain'd to Rocks, shall find
A meaner Fortune, though as fierce a Mind;
A Goaler he shall be, secure for pains
Poor Slaves, and be a 31 partner of their Chains.
With Pisces twenty first Degree to fly
The Horse begins,
XXXI. The Horse.
and beats the yielding Sky;
His Births shall Health, and vigorous Strength en­joy,
For Action quick, and nimble for employ.
They in thick rounds shall rein the manag'd Steed,
Or sweep the Plain, deceiving with their speed:
Or proudly mounted they shall boldly dare
Heroick Acts, and lead the Crowd to War:
Or else be nimble Messengers, and move
With greater swiftness than a flying Dove;
Send both with like Advice, the one shall bring
Returns, whilst t'other lags with lazy Wing.
Or they shall study Herbs, and strength impart
To Beasts, and e'en to Man enlarge their Art.
But now go on;
XXXII. Hercules, or the Kneeling Constella­tion.
with Pisces last Degrees,
The humble Constellation on his Knees
O'th' Right appears: And those that then are born
No vertuous Powers, nor useful Arts adorn,
But they're for treachery, mischief, spoil design'd,
Guilt's in their looks and Rapine in their mind.
Or if to Arts he shall incline the Breed,
Such, where the Danger doth the Skill exceed,
They chiefly follow; 'tis their only scope
To mount a Precipice, or dance a Rope;
Tread 32. Airy steps, and whilst thro Clouds they reel,
Draw up the Crowd, and hang them at their heel.
But on the Left is open'd to our view
The Whale,
XXXIII. The Whale
who now doth thro the Skies pursue
[Page 81] With eager haste, as thro' the injur'd Flood
The fair Andromeda, and still thirsts for Blood.
And He that then is born shall be inclin'd
To spoil the Sea, and kill the Scaly Kind,
No Fish shall swim secure whilst Nets can sweep
The troubled Ocean, and confine the Deep:
Those that but now could wanton or'e the Main
Shall lye fast bound, and wonder at their chain;
Till with a touch He shall the Cords command,
And draw the Dancing Captives to the Land.
Or whilst He shoals expects e'en midst the Flood
Destroy, and stain the Ocean with their Blood.
Yet then his works not cease, or pains decay,
His various Arts encreasing with his prey:
For on the Shore He shall his spoil divide
For different uses. This when lightly dry'd
Is better Meat; and that when moist is good,
Whilst other parts are hardned into Food.
Could Gluttons see, they would not bear the sight
Of preparations for their Appetite,
Whilst Blood and Guts in a polluted Mass
Lye mixt, and are corrupted into Sauce;
Till all in filthy Gore distils to treat
The fashionable Palate of the Great.
Or if to meaner Arts his Thoughts encline,
Then Salt's his care; he shall the Floods confine
In narrow Pitts, and to the Beams expose,
Till what was liquid now a solid grows,
Then lay the crusted froth with careful hand
In heaps, and cleanse it, and divide the Sand.
And thus the brackish and unwholesom Flood
Proves vital Salt, and Poyson's turn'd to Food.
[Page 82] The Great and Lesser Bear which still maintain
One constant Round,
The rising of the two Bears.
and never touch the Main,
Scarce know a Rise; yet when each front appears,
Take that to be the rising of the Bears.
The First with Leo, and the last is join'd
With Scorpio, and prove friendly to their kind.
For those that then are born to Beasts shall bear
Kind tempers, and oblige them by their Care;
Give Law to Lions, with a Panther play,
Teach Tigers peace, and make a Wolf obey;
Maintain Converse, and give them Arts unknown,
And such as Nature never thought her own.
But yet their thoughts to Bears shall most incline,
And there improve the Kindred of their Sign.
Or ride the Elephant, his Bulk command,
And make the Monster tremble at their Wand.
Base the submission, where such strength in vain
Possess't must tamely yield to feeble Man:
The third siz'd Stars the Pleiad's form do grace,
The several magnitudes of the Stars.
They shine with virgin blushes in their face:
Four in the Dolphin are observ'd to rise,
And in Deltoton Three of equal size:
The same the Eagle, and the Bear display,
Nor can the Draco boast a greater ray;
Of size the Fourth and Fifth securely take
A measure from the others of the Snake.
But yet the greatest part we spare to note,
Too small to be discern'd, or too remote:
These lye obscure, and seldom spread their light,
But when the Moon's withdrawn to lower Night,
[Page 83] When great Orion from the Skies retires,
Plunges in Waves, and quenches his bright Fires;
Or when gay Phoebus doth his sway resign
To shades, then They have a short leave to shine,
Then Heaven with little Lights is spangled o're,
That not the Sand upon the crooked Shore,
That not the Billows in Tempestuous Floods,
That not the leaves when Autumn shakes the Woods,
Can equal the great Train; they all surmount,
E'en Number is too short for the account.
And as in Cities, where in ranks decreed
First 33 Nobels go, and then the Knights succeed,
The next in order may the People claim;
The Rabble next, a Croud without a Name:
So is the Heaven by different ranks possest;
Some like the Nobles with more rays are drest,
Some shine with less, the numerous crowd with least:
Were these endow'd with a proportion'd heat,
Were they in Power, as they're in number great;
They long ago must have dissolv'd the Frame,
Nor could the world have born so fierce a Flame.
The End of the fifth Book.


1. —Celerique Sagittaè
Delphinus certans—

We may read,—Celerique Sagitta Delphinus certans—and interpret the words, not as others do, The Dolphin seated opposite to the Arrow: But The Dolphin of equal swiftness with the Arrow.

2. The Ram having a Golden Fleece, as the Poets fancy'd, the King of Jolcos kill'd him that he might enjoy the Treasure, and Jason being sent to fetch this Golden Fleece carried away Medea the King's Daughter.

3. The Ship hath two Rudders, a Northern, and a Southern Rudder.

4. A River of Jolchos, whither Jason with the Argonauts first Sailed.

5. Typhis, the Pilot to the Argonauts, who in his Voyage steer'd thro' the dangerous moving Rocks called the Symplegadae.

6. The Graecian Navy lay Wind-bound till Iphigenia was Sacrificed, and appeased the anger of Diana.

7. Vossius, in his Observations on Catullus, Reads—Invehet undis Persida—The Ex­pression is bold, and therefore proper for the Po­et. That Xerxes dug a new Channel, and made a Bridge over the Hellespont, are known stories.

8. Manilius mentions several notable defeats at Sea, such was that of the Athenians near Syracuse, [Page 85] which brought the Athenians very low: such were those of the Carthaginians by the Romans: And that of Antony by Augustus near Actium.

9. Heavens great Fortune: Because the Conque­rour was to be deify'd.

10. Orion is a very large and bright Constella­tion, and deserves this pompous Description.

11. Instar erit Populi: This is one of Manilius's bold Expressions, which my English cannot reach.

12. Alluding to the officious Salutations, which the Clients amongst the Romans carried early every Morning to their Patrons.

13. Manilius is very accurate in describing the particular Niceties observ'd in the Roman racing: Those are not now observ'd amongst us, and there­fore we must be content with such Expressions as our Language will afford.

14. An Exercise much us'd amongst the Ro­mans; the Horse-man rode one Horse, and led a­nother, and in the midst of the Race would throw himself on the led Horse, and so back again as of­ten as he was required; or else would stand upon the Horses back, and in that posture ride the Course.

15. Salmoneus built a Bridge of Brass, and dri­ving Chariots over it fancy'd he Thundred: This he did to procure himself divine Honours, but was kill'd by a Thunder-bolt for his impious attempt.

16. The Poets fancy'd Bellerophon rode upon the flying Horse Pegasus.

17. A Family amongst the Romans, famous for their seditious Harangues, which they made to the People of Rome out of the Desks, or Rostra, standing in the Market place.

[Page 86] 18. Amongst the Romans one Man would take several Balls, and toss them, sometimes behind, and sometimes before, now on this hand, and now on the other, so that some of them should be always up in the Air: And this feat of Activity Manilius Describes.

19. The Story of Meleager runs thus: At his Birth his Mother heard one of the Destinies say, the Child should live till the stick that then lay in the Fire was burnt: The Mother snatch'd the stick out of the Fire, and perserv'd it. When Meleager was grown a Man, he with a great many others went to hunt a Wild Bore; at the same time A­talante a Nymph of extraordinary Beauty came into the Field, and had the good Fortune to wound the Bore first: Meleager fell in Love with Atalante, and having kill'd the Bore presented the Head to her: His two Uncles who were present at the Hunting thought themselves injur'd, and would not suffer a Woman to carry off their Spoil. Meleager in defence of Atalante kills his two Uncles: Melea­ger's Mother, to revenge the Death of her two Bro­thers, puts the stick into the Fire, as that burnt Meleager wasted.

20. Formidine Mortis: Huetius Reads Formidine Pennae: For when they Hunted, they us'd to see stakes in the ground, to which they ty'd Feathers which frighted the Deer, and made them keep with­in that compass, or take that way the Hunters thought most convenient for their sport.

21. Philoctetes was Servant to Hercules, and when Hercules burnt himself, he left his Bow and Arrows to Philoctetes: Without these Arrows Troy could not be taken: Now it happened that Philoctetes, ei­ther [Page 87] by a contrivance of Vlysses, or because, being wounded by one of the Poisoned Arrows, he became offensive to the Grecian Camp, was sent away to Lem­nos: But the Siege going on slowly, he was fetcht back again: With his Arrows he killed the chiefest of the Remaining Commanders, and so Troy was ta­ken.

22. Teucer was Brother to Ajax, and he with his Bow beat back Hector when he came to burn the Grecian Navy.

23. The following Verses relate to Alcon the Cre­tan, who shot a Snake that lay twisted round the Head of his Son, and did not touch the Boy.

24. This Goat or Hoedus Scaliger could not find, but Huetius says, the Single Hoedus is put by Mani­lius for those two Haedi that are in the left hand of Heniochus, or the Driver. Thus Horace.

—Archeri cadentis
Impetus, aut orientis Hoedi,

and Propertius ‘Purus & Orion, purus & Hoedus erit.’

25. The Poets fancy'd Orpheus went down to Hell, charm'd Pluto and the Destinies, and brought back his Wife Eurydice.

26. Alluding to the Fable, which says Jupiter Courted Leda in the shape of a Swan.

27. Several Feats of Activity amongst the Ro­mans, in which they equall'd if not excell'd all the following Ages.

28. The common Subjects upon which Sopho­cles, Euripides, and other Tragaedians amongst the Ancients wrote their Plays.

[Page 88] 29. A fam'd Comedian, who flourish'd in the hundred and fourteenth Olympiad.

30. Pompey having conquered Mithridates, brought to Rome more valuable Jewels than ever had been seen there: And from that time, as Pliny in the first Chapter of his 37th. Book com­plains, the Romans began to value and admire Jewels.

31. The Romans did not only put Notorious Malefactors in Chains, but likewise chained them to their Keepers; and this Custom the Poet hints at.

32. Vossius out of his Ancient Manuscript reads,

Et Coeli meditatus iter vestigia perdet,
Et Perna pendens populum suspendet ab ipsa.

33. These were the several Orders in the Ro­man Common-Wealth.



  • AStronomy, its rise and progress, part 1. p. 3.
  • Axis of the World, part 1. p. 13.
  • Plague of Athens, part 1. p. 34.
  • Aspects, part 1. p. 60.
  • Aspects friendly and unfriendly, part 1. p. 74.
  • Aries's Influence, part 2. p. 9. et 24.
  • Aquarius's Influence, part 2. p. 15. et 27.
  • Astronomy to be studied, part 2. p. 39.
  • Aries's Influence when join'd with other Con­stellations, part 2. p. 56.
  • Aquarius's Influence when joyn'd with other Constellations, part 2. p. 72.
  • The Fable of Andromeda, part 2. p. 76.
  • Northern Constellations, part 1. p. 14.
  • [Page] Southern Constellations, part 1. p. 17.
  • Figures of the Constellations not real, part 1. p. 20.
  • Northern Polar Circle, part 1. p. 24.
  • Tropical Circle of Cancer, part 1. p. 24.
  • Equinoctial Circle, part 1. p. 24.
  • Tropick of Capricorn, part 1. p. 24.
  • Southern Polar Circle, part 1. p. 25.
  • The Colures, part 1. p. 25.
  • Comets presage, part 1. p. 34.
  • Chaldeans refuted, part 1. p. 106. and 110.
  • Cancer's Influence, part 2. p. 11 et 25.
  • Capricorn's Influence, part 2. p. 14. et 27.
  • Countries govern'd by particular Signs, part 2. p. 36.
  • The Influence of Cancer join'd with other Constellations, part 2. p. 61.
  • Capricorn's Influence when join'd with other Constellations, part 2. p. 70.
  • Dodecatemorion, part 1. p. 76.
  • Dodecatemoria of the Planets, part 1. p. 77.
  • Day Births, part 1. p. 104.
  • Bad and good Degrees of Signs, part 2. p. 21.
  • [Page]Earth the Center of the Vniverse, part 1. p. 9.
  • Earth round, part 1. p. 10.
  • Geographical description of the Earth, part 2. p. 28.
  • Eccliptick Signs, part 2. p. 38.
  • Friendship, part 1. p. 72.
  • Fortune's Lot, part 1. p. 103.
  • Fate, part 2. p. 4.
  • Guardians of the Signs, part 1. p. 66.
  • Gemini's Influence, part 2. p. 10. et 25.
  • The Influence of Gemini when join'd with other Constellations, part 2. p. 60.
  • Horizon, part 1. p. 26.
  • Influence of the Heavens, part 1. p. 51.
  • Signs hear and see, love and hate each other, part 1. p. 67.
  • [Page] The Celestial Houses, part 1. p. 80.
  • Horoscope, part 1. p. 105.
  • Hours various, part 1. p. 106.
  • Twelve Lots of the twelve Signs, part 1. p. 99.
  • Leo's Influence, part 2. p. 11. et 26.
  • Libra's Influence, part 2. p. 13. et 26.
  • Leo's Influence when join'd with other Con­stellations, part 2. p. 63.
  • Libra's Influence when join'd with other Con­stellations, part 2. p. 66.
  • Meridian part 1. p. 26.
  • Milky way, part 1. p. 27.
  • Various Opinions about the milky way, part 1. pag. 29.
  • Meteors, part 1. p. 32.
  • The several Magnitudes of the Stars, p. 2. p. 82.
  • Night Births, part 1. p. 104.
  • [Page]Southern Pole like the Northern, part 1. pag. 19.
  • Providence asserted against Epicurus, part 1. pag. 21.
  • Planets, part 1. pag. 32.
  • Pisces's Influence, part 2. p. 15. & 27.
  • Pisces Influence joyn'd with other Constella­tions, part 2. pag. 76.
  • Quadrates, part 1. pag. 61.
  • Soul of the World, part 1. p. 12. & 51.
  • The several kinds or sorts of Signs, part 1. p. 55.
  • Sextiles, part 1. p. 63.
  • Stadia, part 1. p. 108,
  • The several positions of the Sphere, part 1. p. 110.
  • Scorpio's Influence, part 2. p. 13. et 26.
  • Sagittarius Influence, part 2. p. 14. et 27.
  • Sagittarius Influence when join'd with other Constellations, part 2. p. 69.
  • Scorpio's Influence when join'd with other Con­stellations, part 2. p. 68.
  • [Page]Trines part 1. p. 60.
  • Taurus's Influence, part 2. p, 10. et 25.
  • Tenths, or Lords of the Signs, part 2. p. 16.
  • The Influence of Taurus join'd with other Constellations, part 2. p. 60.
  • Virgo's Influence, part 2. p. 12. et 26.
  • Virgo's Influence when join'd with other Con­stellations, part 2. p. 65.
  • Different Opinions about the Beginning of the World, part 1. p. 7.
  • The order of the World, part 1. p. 8.
  • The bigness of the World, part 1. p. 23.
  • The World animate, part 1. p. 51.
  • Winds cardinal and collateral, part. 2. p. 28.
  • Signs of the Zodiack, part 1. p. 13.
  • Zodiack, part 1. p. 27.


Part I.

PAg. 5. lin. 7. read lookt. pag. 12. l. 2. r. feet. p. 15. l. 27. r. stretch. p. 16. l. 33. r. the Tempests. p. 19. l. 15. r. their starry. p. 24 l. 15. r. Light. l. 18. r. Summer's Solstice. l. 22. r. sees. p. 46. l. 19. r. Fay­us. p. 47. last line r. World. p. 49. l. 6. r. preside. p. 51. l. 22. r. Purle. p. 53. l. 2. r. draws. p. 59. l. 13. r. Cretan. p. 65. l. 31. r. Times. p. 66. l. 17. r. to more. p. 70. l. 16. r. then. p. 75. l. 26. r. which, and marks. p. 76. l. 21. r. which. p. 77. l. 10. r. Twelfth. p. 82. l. 32. r. point. p. 83. l. 6. r. Influence. p. 84. l. 6. read Typhoeus. l. 16. r. tis. p. 86. l. 17. r. the. p. 97. l. 9. r. sells. p. 100. l. 27. r. speeds. p. 104. l. 4. r. unfold. p. 107. l. 23. r. Carr. p. 109. l. 8. r. do equal. p. 110. l. 26. r. site. p. 114. in the margin blot out the Trine. l. 24. r. regularly. p. 116. l. 13. r. longest. p. 119. l. 15. r. she. p. 121. l. 28. r. fails. p. 124. l. 8. r. is.

Part II.

PAg. 4. lin. 24. read Marius. p. 8. l. 10. r. enlarge. l. 19. r. Suc­cesses. p. 10. l. 18. r. wasts. p. 16. l. 28. r. o're-spread. p. 17. l. 2. r. in a Disguise. p. 26. l. 3. r. averse. p. 31. l. 2. r. stood. p. 32. l. 7. r. which. p. 33. l. 21. r. manly, l. 28. r. flats. p. 39. l. 7. r. Pairs. p. 55. l. 9. r. Carr. l. 30. r. Carrs. p. 59. l. 6. r. makes. p. 67. l. 18. r. growing. p. 70. l. 18. r. kiss. p. 72. l. 33. r. who. p. 83. l. 22. r. nor.

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