1714 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. William Ramesey

Joseph Addison, in Spectator No. 582 (18 August 1714) unpag.



I was lately reading a very whimsical Treatise, entitled, William Ramsay's Vindication of Astrology. This profound Author, among many mystical Passages, has the following one. "The absence of the Sun is not the Cause of Night, forasmuch as his Light is so great that it may illuminate the Earth all over at once as clear as broad Day, but there are tenebrificous and dark Stars, by whose Influence Night is brought on, and which do ray out Darkness and Obscurity upon the Earth, as the Sun does Light."

I consider Writers in the same View this Sage Astrologer does the heavenly Bodies. Some of them are Stars that scatter Light as others do Darkness: I could mention several Authors who are tenebrificous Stars of the first Magnitude, and point out a knott of Gentlemen, who have been dull in Concert, and may be looked upon as a dark Constellation. The Nation has been a great while benighted with several of these Antiluminaries [the source of the quotation has not been located].