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Erasmus Darwin

Data di nascita: 12. Dicembre 1731
Data di morte: 18. Aprile 1802

Erasmus Darwin è stato un filosofo, poeta, medico e naturalista britannico, nonno del più famoso Charles, nonché dello studioso Francis Galton.


„Un letto di piume per prendere un cristiano che sta cadendo.“

„Chi consente l'oppressione, condivide la colpa.“


„Birth after birth the line unchanging runs,
And fathers live transmitted in their sons;
Each passing year beholds the unvarying kinds,
The same their manners, and the same their minds:Till, as erelong successive buds decay,
And insect-shoals successive pass away,
Increasing wants the pregnant parent vex
With the fond wish to form a softer sex...“
The Temple Of Nature

„Organic life beneath the shoreless waves
Was born and rais’d in Ocean’s pearly caves
First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,
Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;
These, as successive generations bloom,
New powers acquire, and larger limbs assume;
Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,
And breathing realms of fin, and feet and wing.“

„The mass starts into a million suns;
Earths round each sun with quick explosions burst,
And second planets issue from the first.
[The first concept of a 'big bang' theory of the universe. ]“
The Botanic Garden A Poem in Two Parts. Part 1: the Economy of Vegetation

„Such is the condition of organic nature! whose first law might be expressed in the words 'Eat or be eaten!' and which would seem to be one great slaughter-house, one universal scene of rapacity and injustice!“ Phytologia; Or the Philosophy of Agriculture and Gardening. with the Theory of Draining Morasses, and with an Improved Construction of the Drill Plough. by Erasmus Darwin, M.D. F.R.S. Author of Zoonomia, and of the Botanic Garden.

„ORGANIC LIFE beneath the shoreless waves
Was born and nurs'd in Ocean's pearly caves;
First, forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,
Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;
These, as successive generations bloom,
New powers acquire, and larger limbs assume;
Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,
And breathing realms of fin, and feet, and wing.
Thus the tall Oak, the giant of the wood,
Which bears Britannia's thunders on the flood;
The Whale, unmeasured monster of the main,
The lordly Lion, monarch of the plain,
The Eagle soaring in the realms of air,
Whose eye undazzled drinks the solar glare,
Imperious man, who rules the bestial crowd,
Of language, reason, and reflection proud,
With brow erect, who scorns this earthy sod,
And styles himself the image of his God;
Arose from rudiments of form and sense,
An embryon point, or microscopic ens!“
The Temple Of Nature

„Hence when a person is in great pain, the cause of which he cannot remove, he sets his teeth firmly together, or bites some substance between them with great vehemence, as another mode of violent exertion to produce a temporary relief. Thus we have the proverb where no help can be has in pain, 'to grin and abide;' and the tortures of hell are said to be attended with 'gnashing of teeth.'Describing a suggestion of the origin of the grin in the present form of a proverb, 'to grin and bear it.“ Zoonomia, Vol. I


„No radiant pearl, which crested Fortune wears, No gem that twinkling hangs from Beauty's wars. Not the bright stars which Night's blue arch adorn, Nor rising suns that gild the vernal morn, Shine with such lustre as the tear that flows Down Virtue's manly cheek for others' woes.“ The Botanic Garden. Part II

„Soon shall thy arm, UNCONQUER'D STEAM! afar
Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car;
Or on wide-waving wings expanded bear
The flying-chariot through the fields of air.“
The Botanic Garden. Part 1: The Economy of Vegetation

„The late Mr., in his posthumous works, places the powers of generation much above those of our boasted reason; and adds, that reason can only make a machine, as a clock or a ship, but the power of generation makes the maker of the machine;... he concludes, that the world itself might have been generated, rather than created; that is, it might have been gradually produced from very small beginnings, increasing by the activity of its inherent principles, rather than by a sudden evolution of the whole by the Almighty fiat.“

„By firm immutable immortal laws Impress'd on Nature by the GREAT FIRST CAUSE,
Say, MUSE! how rose from elemental strife
Organic forms, and kindled into life;
How Love and Sympathy with potent charm
Warm the cold heart, the lifted hand disarm;
Allure with pleasures, and alarm with pains,
And bind Society in golden chains.“
The Temple Of Nature


„It is often hazardous to marry an heiress, as she is not unfrequently the last of a diseased family.“ The Temple Of Nature

„This compassion, or sympathy with the pains of others, ought also to extend to the brute creation, as far as our necessities will admit; for we cannot exist long without the destruction of other animal or vegetable beings either in their mature or embryon state. Such is the condition of mortality, that the first law of nature is 'eat, or be eaten.' Hence for the preservation of our existence we may be supposed to have a natural right to kill those brute creatures, which we want to eat, or which want to eat us; but to destroy even insects wantonly shows an unreflecting mind, or a depraved heart.“ A Plan for the Conduct of Female Education, in Boarding Schools

„Till o'er the wreck, emerging from the storm, Immortal Nature lifts her changeful form: Mounts from her funeral pyre on wings of flame, And soars and shines, another and the same.“ The Botanic Garden. Part 1: The Economy of Vegetation

„Each pregnant Oak ten thousand acorns forms
Profusely scatter'd by autumnal storms;
Ten thousand seeds each pregnant poppy sheds
Profusely scatter'd from its waving heads;
The countless Aphides, prolific tribe,
With greedy trunks the honey'd sap imbibe;
Swarm on each leaf with eggs or embryons big,
And pendent nations tenant every twig...
—All these, increasing by successive birth,
Would each o'erpeople ocean, air, and earth.
So human progenies, if unrestrain'd,
By climate friended, and by food sustain'd,
O'er seas and soils, prolific hordes! would spread
Erelong, and deluge their terraqueous bed;
But war, and pestilence, disease, and dearth,
Sweep the superfluous myriads from the earth...
The births and deaths contend with equal strife,
And every pore of Nature teems with Life;
Which buds or breathes from Indus to the Poles,
And Earth's vast surface kindles, as it rolls!“
The Temple Of Nature

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