Of diuers memorable things betweene the fall of Adam, and the floud of Noah

  • Walter Ralegh


… if we seeke for a cause of this long life in nature, then is it reasonable, that the first man, created in highest perfection, should also beget children of equall strength or little differing: for of the first and purest seede there must of necessitie spring vp the fairest and fruitfullest Plants. Secondly, the earth it selfe was then much lesse corrupt, which yeelded her increase, and brought forth fruit and foode for man, without any such mixture of harmefull qualitie, as since that time the curse of God for the crueltie of mans heart brought on it and mankinde: Neither had the waters of the floud infused such an impuritie, as thereby the naturall and powerfull operation of all Plants, Hearbes, and fruits vpon the earth receiued a qualification and harmefull change. And as all things vnder the Sunne haue one time of strength, and another of weakenesse, a youth and beautie, and then age and deformitie: so Time it selfe (vnder the deathfull shade of whose winges all things decay and wither) hath wasted and worne out that liuely vertue of Nature in Man, and Beasts, and Plants; yea the Heauens themselues being of a most pure and cleansed matter shall waxe old as a garment; and then much more the power generatiue in inferiour Creatures, who by the ordinance of God receiue operatiue vertue from the superiour.1


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  1. 1.
    Ralegh’s espousal of nature’s decay is placed within context of the controversy then in progress by Victor Harris, All Coherence Gone (Chicago, 1949) esp. pp. 133 f.Google Scholar

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© C. A. Patrides 1971

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  • Walter Ralegh

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