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Chapter VII.

PARMENIDES believes that there are small coronets alternately twisted one within another, some made up of a thin, others of a condensed matter; and there are others between them mixed mutually together of light and of darkness, and about them all there is a solid substance, which like a firm wall surrounds these coronets. Leucippus and Democritus wrap the world round about, as with a garment and membrane. Epicurus says that that which bounds some worlds is thin, and that which limits others is gross and condensed; and of these worlds some are in motion, others are fixed. Plato, that fire takes the first place in the world, the second the ether, after that the air, under that the water; the last place the earth possesseth: sometimes he puts the ether and the fire in the same place. Aristotle gives the first place to the ether, as [p. 136] that which is impassible, it being a kind of fifth body; after which he placeth those that are passible, fire, air, and water, and last of all the earth. To those bodies that are accounted celestial he assigns a motion that is circular, but to those that are seated under them, if they be light bodies, an ascending, if heavy, a descending motion. Empedocles, that the places of the elements are not always fixed and determined, but they all succeed one another in their respective stations.

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