The Complete Gentleman: The Truth of Our Times, and the Art of Living in London

By Henry Peacham; Virgil B. Heltzel | Go to book overview

star is not darkened with the shadow thereof. For if the smallest star, albeit in judgment of our sense, seemeth but a prick or point yet far exceedeth the body of the earth in greatness, it followeth in respect of heaven that the earth must seem as little.

Besides, if the earth were of any quantity in respect of the higher orbs, the stars should seem bigger or less in regard of those hypsomata (altitudes) or the climes. But it is certain that at the selfsame time sundry astronomers find the same bigness and elevation of the selfsame star observed by their calculation to differ no whir at all. Whereby we may see if that distance of place which is on the earth, in respect of the heavenly orbs, exceedeth all sense, it follows that the earth, poor little point as it is, seems the like, if it be compared with heaven. Yet this is that point which with fire and sword is divided among so many nations, the matter of our glory, our seat. Here we have our honors, our armies, our commands; here we heap up riches at perpetual war and strife among ourselves, who, like the toad, shall fall asleep with most earth in his paws, never thinking how of a moment of time well spent upon this poor plot or dunghill common to beasts as well as ourselves dependeth eternity and fruition of our true happiness in the presence of Heaven and court of King of Kings for ever and ever.10

Now I must take leave of our common mother, the earth, so worthily called in respect of her great merits of us; for she receiveth us being born, she feeds and clotheth us brought forth, and lastly, as forsaken wholly of nature, she receiveth us into her lap and covers us until the dissolution of all and the Last Judgment.

Thus have I only pointed at the principles of cosmography, having as it were given you a taste and stopped up the vessel again, referring the rest to your own diligence and search. And herein you shall have your helps: Master Blundeville in his treatise of cosmography and the sphere, Doctor Dee, Master

____________________
10
Augustine.

-82-

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