Full text: Wilkins, John: A discovery of a new world

For the better Illuſtration oſ this, we may
conſider ſeveral ways whereby divers Bodies
are enlightned. Either as Water, by admit-
ting the Beams into its Subſtance; or as Air
and thin Clouds, by Tranſmitting their Rays
quite thorow their Bodies; or as thoſe things
which are of an Opacous Nature, and ſmooth
Superficies, which reflect the Light only in
one place; or elſe, as thoſe things which are
of an Opacous Nature, and Rugged Superſi-
cies, which by a kind of Circumfluous Re-
flexion, are at the ſame time Diſcernable in
many places, as our Earth, and the Moon.

2. It is Compact, and not a Spungey and
Porous Subſtance. But this is denyed by (a)
Diogenes, (b) Vitellio, (c) Reinoldus, and ſome
other, who held the Moon to be of the ſame
kind of Nature as a Pumice-Sone; and this,
ſay they, is the reaſon why in the Suns Eclipſes
there appears within her a duskiſh ruddy Co-
lour, becauſe the Sun Beams being Refracted
in paſſing through the Pores of her Body, muſt
neceſſarily be Repreſented under ſuch a Co-


a Plut. de
pla. phil.
l. 2. c. 13.
b Opt.lib.4.
c Com. Pur-
bac. Theo.p.

But I Reply, if this be the Cauſe of her
Redneſs, then why doth ſhe not appear under
the ſame Form when ſhe is about a Sextile Aſ-
pect, and the Darkned part of her Body is
Diſcernable? for then alſo do the ſame Rays
paſs through Her, and therefore in all likely-
hood ſhould produce the ſame Effect; and
notwithſtanding thoſeBeams are then diverted
from us, that they cannot enter into our Eyes
by a ſtraight Line, yet muſt the Colour ſtill
remain Viſible in her Body. And beſides, ac-

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