And so I return with
great alacrity to pursue a more important concern.
SECTION VIII.--A TALE OF A TUB.
The learned AEolists maintain the original cause of all things to be
wind, from which principle this whole universe was at first
produced, and into which it must at last be resolved, that the same
breath which had kindled and blew up the flame of Nature should one
day blow it out.
"Quod procul a nobis flectat Fortuna gubernans."
This is what the Adepti understand by their anima mundi, that is to
say, the spirit, or breath, or wind of the world; or examine the
whole system by the particulars of Nature, and you will find it not
to be disputed. For whether you please to call the forma informans
of man by the name of spiritus, animus, afflatus, or anima, what are
all these but several appellations for wind, which is the ruling
element in every compound, and into which they all resolve upon
their corruption. Further, what is life itself but, as it is
commonly called, the breath of our nostrils, whence it is very
justly observed by naturalists that wind still continues of great
emolument in certain mysteries not to be named, giving occasion for
those happy epithets of turgidus and inflatus, applied either to the
emittent or recipient organs.