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consideration of colour it is named the Arabian Gulph. The Hebrews, who had best reason to remember it, do call it Zuph, or the weedy sea, because it was full of sedge, or they found it so in their passage. The Mahometans, who are now lords thereof, do know it by no other name than the Gulph of Mecca, a city of Arabia.
The stream of antiquity deriveth its name from King Erythrus, so slightly conceiving of the nominal deduction from redness, that they plainly deny there is any such accident in it. The words of Curtius are plainly beyond evasion Ab Erythro rege inditum est nomen, propter quod ignari rubere aquas credunt. Of no more obscurity are the words of Philostratus, and of later times, Sabellicus; Stultè persuasum est vulgo rubras alicubi esse maris aquas, quin ab Erythro rege nomen pelago inditum. Of this opinion was Andreas Corsalius, Pliny, Solinus, Dio Cassius, who although they denied not all redness, yet did they rely upon the original from King Erythrus.
Öthers have fallen upon the like, or perhaps the same conceit under another appellation, deducing its name not from King Erythrus, but Esau or Edom, whose habitation. was upon the coasts thereof.* Now Edom is as much as Erythrus, and the Red Sea no more than the Idumean, from whence the posterity of Edom removing towards the Mediterranean coast, according to their former nomination by the Greeks, were called Phoenicians, or red men, and from a plantation and colony of theirs, an island near Spain was by the Greek describers termed Erythra, as is declared by Strabo and Solinus.
* More exactly hereof Bochartus and Mr. Dickinson.
• the weedy sea.] Bruce however says that he never saw a weed in it: and attributes this name to the plants of coral with which it abounds.
"Heb. xi. 29, commonly called the Red Sea. But this is a vulgar error, and the appellation rather arose from its proper name Mare Erythraum, which (the commentators say) was derived from king Erythrus, undoubtedly the same with Esau and Edom, who was a red man-so Grotius and others. It is called by Moses, at Exod. xv. 22, D, the weedy sea, and such the accounts of modern tourists, as Niebuhr and others (see Huruen), testify it to be. But whether these weeds give a colour to it, so as to originate the name Red Sea, is, I think, very doubtful."-Bloomfield, Recensio Synoptica, in loc.
Very many, omitting the nominal derivation, do rest in the gross and literal conception thereof, apprehending a real redness and constant colour of parts. Of which opinion are also they which hold, the sea receiveth a red and minious tincture from springs, wells, and currents that fall into it; and of the same belief are probably many Christians, who conceiving the passage of the Israelites through the sea to have been the type of baptism, according to that of the apostle, "All were baptized unto Moses in the cloud, and in the sea, "* for the better resemblance of the blood of Christ, they willingly received it in the apprehension of redness, and a colour agreeable unto its mystery; according unto that of Austin,t Significat mare illud rubrum baptismum Christi, unde nobis baptismus Christi, nisi sanguine Christi con
But divers moderns not considering these conceptions, and appealing unto the testimony of sense, have at last determined the point, concluding a redness herein, but not in the sense received. Sir Walter Raleigh, from his own and Portugal observations, doth place the redness of the sea in the reflection from red islands, and the redness of the earth at the bottom, wherein coral grows very plentifully, and from whence in great abundance it is transported into Europe. The observations of Albuquerque, and Stephanus de Gama (as, from Johannes de Bairros, Fernandius de Cordova relateth), derive this redness from the colour of the sand and argillous earth at the bottom, for being a shallow sea, while it rolleth to and fro, there appeareth redness upon the water, which is most discernible in sunny and windy weather. But that this is no more than a seeming redness, he confirmeth by an experiment: for in the reddest part taking up a vessel of water, it differed not from the complexion of other seas. Nor is this colour discoverable in every place of that sea, for, as he also observed, in some places it is very green, in others white and yellow, according to the colour of the earth or sand at the bottom. And so may Philostratus be made out, when he saith, this sea is blue; or Bellonius denying this redness, because he beheld not that colour about Suez; or when Corsalius at the mouth thereof could not discover the same.
+Aug. in Johannem.
* 1 Cor. x. 2.
Now although we have enquired the ground of redness in this sea, yet are we not fully satisfied. For (what is forgot by many, and known by few) there is another Red Sea, whose name we pretend not to make out from these principles, that is, the Persian Gulph or Bay, which divideth the Arabian and Persian shore, as Pliny hath described it, Mare rubrum in duos dividitur sinus, is qui ab Oriente est, Persicus appellatur; or, as Solinus expresseth it, Qui ab Oriente est, Persicus appellatur, ex adverso unde Arabia est, Arabicus ; whereto assenteth Suidas, Ortelius, and many more. And therefore there is no absurdity in Strabo, when he delivereth that Tigris and Euphrates do fall into the Red Sea, and Fernandius de Cordova justly defendeth his countryman Seneca in that expression :
Et qui renatum prorsus excipiens diem
Nor hath only the Persian Sea received the same name with the Arabian, but what is strange and much confounds the distinction, the name thereof is also derived from King Erythrus, who was conceived to be buried in an island of this sea, as Dionysius, Afer, Curtius, and Suidas do deliver. Which were of no less probability than the other, if (as with the same authors Strabo affirmeth), he was buried near Caramania, bordering upon the Persian Gulph. And if his tomb was seen by Nearchus, it was not so likely to be in the Arabian Gulph; for we read that from the river Indus he came unto Alexander, at Babylon, some few days before his death. Now Babylon was seated upon the river Euphrates, which runs into the Persian Gulph; and therefore, however the Latin expresseth it in Strabo, that Nearchus suffered much in the Arabian Sinus, yet is the original Kóλπos πépσɩKos, that is, the Gulph of Persia.
That therefore the Red Sea, or Arabian Gulph, received its name from personal derivation, though probable, is but uncertain; that both the seas of one name should have one common denominator, less probable; that there is a gross and material redness in either, not to be affirmed; that there is an emphatical or appearing redness in one, not well to be denied. And this is sufficient to make good the allegory of the Christians, and in this distinction may we justify the name
of the Black Sea, given unto Pontus Euxinus; the name of Xanthus, or the Yellow River of Phrygia; and the name of Mar Vermeio, or the Red Sea in America.
Of the Blackness of Negroes.
Ir is evident, not only in the general frame of nature, that things most manifest unto sense, have proved obscure unto the understanding; but even in proper and appropriate objects, wherein we affirm the sense cannot err, the faculties of reason most often fail us. Thus of colours in general, under whose gloss and varnish all things are seen, few or none have yet beheld the true nature, or positively set down their incontrollable causes. Which while some ascribe unto the mixture of the elements, others to the graduality of opacity and light, they have left our endeavours to grope them out by twilight, and by darkness almost to discover that whose existence is evidenced by light. The chemists have laudably reduced their causes unto sal, sulphur, and mercury, and had they made it out so well in this as in the objects of smell and taste, their endeavours had been more acceptable: for whereas they refer sapor unto salt, and odor unto sulphur, they vary much concerning colour; some reducing it unto mercury; some to sulphur; others unto salt. Wherein indeed the last conceit doth not oppress the former; and though sulphur seem to carry the master-stroke, yet salt may have a strong co-operation. For beside the fixed and terrestrious salt, there is in natural bodies a sal nitre referring unto sulphur; there is also a volatile or armoniack salt retaining unto mercury; by which salts the colours of bodies are sensibly qualified, and receive degrees of lustre or obscurity, superficiality or profundity, fixation or volatility.
Their general or first natures being thus obscure, there will be greater difficulties in their particular discoveries; for being farther removed from their simplicities, they fall into more complexed considerations; and so require a subtiler act of reason to distinguish and call forth their natures. Thus although a man understood the general nature of colours, yet
were it no easy problem to resolve, why grass is green? Why garlic, molyes, and porrets have white roots, deep green leaves, and black seeds? Why several docks and sorts of rhubarb with yellow roots, send forth purple flowers? Why also from lactory or milky plants, which have a white and lacteous juice dispersed through every part, there arise flowers blue and yellow? moreover, beside the special and first digressions ordained from the creation, which might be urged to salve the variety in every species, why shall the marvel of Peru produce its flowers of different colours, and that not once, or constantly, but every day, and variously? Why tulips of one colour produce some of another, and running through almost all, should still escape a blue?? And lastly, why some men, yea and they a mighty and considerable part of mankind, should first acquire and still retain the gloss and tincture of blackness? Which whoever strictly enquires, shall find no less of darkness in the cause, than in the effect itself; there arising unto examination no such satisfactory and unquarrellable reasons, as may confirm the causes generally received, which are but two in number;-the heat and scorch of the sun, or the curse of God on Cham and his posterity.
The first was generally received by the ancients, who in obscurities had no higher recourse than unto nature; as may appear by a discourse concerning this point in Strabo: by Aristotle it seems to be implied, in those problems which enquire, why the sun makes men black, and not the fire? why it whitens wax, yet blacks the skin? by the word Ethiops itself, applied to the memorablest nations of negroes, that is, of a burnt and torrid countenance. The fancy of the fable infers also the antiquity of the opinion; which deriveth the complexion from the deviation of the sun and the conflagration of all things under Phaeton. But this opinion, though generally embraced, was I perceive rejected by Aristobulus, a very ancient geographer, as is discovered by Strabo. It hath been doubted by several modern writers, particularly by Ortelius; but amply and satisfactorily discussed as we know by no man. We shall therefore endeavour a full delivery hereof, declaring the grounds of doubt, and reasons of denial,
7 should still escape a blue.] Dr. Shaw remarks, in his Panorama of Nature, p. 619, that shells are of almost all colours but blue. The reason seems to be the effects of salt water on that colour.-Jeff.