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Friday, 28 November 2014

Margaret Lucas Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle: Of Many Worlds in This World


The Earring: George Hendrik Breitner, c. 1893, oil on canvas, 85 x 58 cm (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam)

Just like as in a Nest of Boxes round,
Degrees of sizes within each Boxe are found.
So, in this World, may many Worlds more be
Thinner, and lesse, and lesse still by degree;
Although they are not subject to our Sense,
A World may be no bigger than two-pence.
Nature is curious, and such worke may make,
That our dull Sense can never finde, but scape.
For Creatures, small as Atomes, may be there,
If every Atome a Creatures Figure bear.
If four Atomes a World can make, then see
What severall Worlds might in an Eare-ring be:
For Millions of those Atomes may bee in
The Head of one small, little, single Pin.
And if thus small, then Ladies may well wear
A World of Worlds, as Pendents in each Eare. 

Margaret Lucas Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle (1623-1673): Of Many Worlds in This World, from Poems and Fancies, 1653