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Chapter XVIII.

ALL the natural philosophers from Thales to Plato rejected a vacuum. Empedocles says that there is nothing of a vacuity in nature, nor any thing superabundant. Leucippus, [p. 127] Democritus, Demetrius, Metrodorus, Epicurus, that the atoms are infinite in number; and that a vacuum is infinite in magnitude. The Stoics, that within the compass of the world there is no vacuum, but beyond it the vacuum is infinite. Aristotle,1 that the vacuum beyond the world is so great that the heaven has liberty to breathe into it, for the heaven is fiery.

1 We should probably here read ‘Pythagoras.’ (G.)

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