As many bonds thrice told, and infinite.1Unless (by Jove) we are to understand the word treble as spoken by the ancients in a proper sense. For the humid nature, being in the beginning the chief source and origin of the universe, must of consequence produce the three first bodies,—the earth, air, and fire. For the story which is here told by way of surplusage to the tale—how that Typhon threw the privity of Osiris into the river, and that Isis could not find it, and therefore fashioned and prepared the resemblance and effigies of it, and appointed it to be worshipped and carried about in their processions, like as in the Grecian Phallephoria—amounts but to this, to instruct and teach us that the prolific and generative property of this God had moisture for its first matter, and that by means of moisture it came to immix itself with things capable of generation. We have also another story told us by the Egyptians,—how that once Apopis, brother to the Sun, fell at variance with Jupiter and made war upon him; but Jupiter, entering into an alliance with Osiris and by his means overthrowing his enemy in a pitched battle, afterwards adopted him for his son and gave him the name of Dionysus. It is easy to show that this fabular relation borders also upon the verity of physical science. For the Egyptians call the wind Jupiter, with which the parching and fiery property makes war; and though this be not the sun, yet hath it some cognation with the sun. But now moisture, extinguishing the excessiveness of drought, increases and strengthens the exhalations of wet, which give food and vigor to the air.
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1 Odyss. VIII. 340.
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