Nonfiction > Henry Craik, ed. > English Prose > Vol. II. Sixteenth Century to the Restoration
Henry Craik, ed.  English Prose.  1916.
Vol. II. Sixteenth Century to the Restoration
Motion of the Earth Possible
By Bishop John Wilkins (1614–1672)
From A Discourse Concerning a New Planet

ANOTHER common argument against this motion is taken from the danger that would thence arise unto all high buildings, which by this would be quickly ruinated, and scattered abroad.
  I answer: this motion is supposed to be natural; and those things which are according to nature, have contrary effects to other matters, which are by force and violence. Now it belongs unto things of this latter kind to be inconsistent and hurtful; whereas those of the first kind must be regular, and tending to conversation. The motion of the earth is always equal and like itself; not by fits and starts. If a glass of beer may stand firmly enough in a ship, when it moves swiftly upon a smooth stream, much less then will the motion of the earth, which is more natural, and so consequently more equal, cause any danger unto those buildings that are erected upon it. And therefore to suspect any such event would be like the fear of Lactantius, who would not acknowledge the being of any antipodes, lest then he might be forced to grant that they should fall down unto the heavens. We have equal reason to be afraid of high buildings, if the whole world above us were whirled about with such a mad celerity as our adversaries suppose; for then there would be but small hopes that this little point of earth should escape from the rest.  2
  But supposing (saith Rosse) that this motion were natural to the earth, yet it is not natural to towns and buildings, for these are artificial.  3
  To which I answer: ha, he, he.  4

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