Presently doth fillFrom thence the descending air disposes a part of her brightness to the sea and lakes, and the hidden depths of profound rivers laugh and smile so far as the air penetrates into them. Only the earth of all bodies remains without light, and impenetrable to the beams of the sun and moon. But it is cherished and comforted by them, and suffers a small part of it to be warmed and softened by entrance of the heat. But the solidness of it will not admit the brightness of light, only the surface of it is enlightened; but the innermost parts of it are called by the names of Darkness, Chaos, and Hades; and Erebus is nothing else but that same perpetual darkness and horror in the body of the earth. Besides, the mythologists tell us that Night was the daughter of the Earth; and the mathematicians show that it is the shadow of the earth eclipsing the body of the sun. For the air is filled with darkness by the earth, as with light by the sun; and that part of the air which is void of all light is that same length of the night which is caused by the shadow of the earth. And therefore both men and many beasts make use of the exterior air, and ramble in the dark, guided only by some footsteps of light and certain effluxes of a dim twinkling that are scattered through it; but he that keeps house and shuts himself up in his chamber, as being encompassed by the earth, remains altogether blind and without light. Also the hides and horns of beasts will not admit of light by reason of their solidness; but being burnished and shaved, they become transparent, the air being intermixed with them. Moreover, I am of opinion that the earth is everywhere by the poets said to be black, by reason of the darkness of it and want of light. So that the antithesis of light and darkness is much more remarkable in reference to the earth, than in respect of the air. [p. 326]
The spacious house of the air-prancing winds.
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