Wilkins, John, A discovery of a new world : or a discourse tending to prove, that 'tis probable there may be another Habitable World in the Moon ; with a discourse concerning the Probability of a Passage thither; unto which is added, a discourse concerning a New Planet, tending to prove, that 'tis probable our earth is one of the Planets

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219That the Moon may be a World.
And thoſe Wizzards knowing the times of her
Eclipſes, would then threaten to ſhew their
Skill, by pulling her out of her Orb.
So that
when the ſilly Multitude ſaw that ſhe began to
look red, they preſently feared they ſhould
loſe the benefit of her Light, and therefore
made a great noiſe that ſhe might not hear the
ſound of thoſe Charms, which would other-
wiſe bring her down;
and this is rendred for a
reaſon of this cuſtom by Pliny and Propertius:
11Nat. Hiſt.
Lib. 2. c. 12
Cantus & ſi curru lunam deducere tentant,
Et facerent, ſi non æra repulſa ſonant.
Plutarch gives another reaſon of it, and he
ſays, ’tis becauſe they would haſten the Moon
out of the dark ſhade wherein ſhe was involv’d,
that ſo ſhe might bring away the Souls of thoſe
Saints that inhabit within her, which cry out
by reaſon they are then deprivd of their won-
ted Happineſs, and cannot hear the Muſick
of the Spheres, but are forced to behold the
torments and wailing of thoſe damned Souls
which are repreſented to them as they are
tortur’d in the Region of the Air.
But whether
this or whatever elſe was the meaning of this
Superſtition, yet certainly ’twas a very ridi-
culous cuſtom, and bewrayed a great ignorance
of thoſe ancient times;
eſpecially ſince it was
not only received by the vulgar, ſuch as were
Men of leſs Note and Learning, but believed
alſo by the more Famous and Wiſer ſort, ſuch
as were thoſe great Poets, Steſichorus and Pir-
And not only amongſt the more ſottiſh
Heathens, who might account that Planet to
be one of their Gods;
but the Primitive

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