Of Vacuum

Some think the world would fall and not hang so,
If it had any empty place to go.
One cannot think that vacuum is so vast
That the great world might1 in that gulf be cast.
But vacuum is like to a2 porous skin,                             5
Where vapor doth go3 out and air comes4 in,5
And since6 that vapor fills those places small,
We cannot think but they7 were empty all:
For were they all first full,8 they could not make
Room for succeeding atoms, place9 to take.                 10
Wherefore, if10 atoms pass and repass through,
They needs must11 empty places have to go.12

  1. might] should 1664, 1668
  2. is like to a] like is to the 1653
  3. doth go] goeth 1653
  4. comes] takes 1653
  5. A marginal note in Cavendish’s text reads: “Atoms do so.”
  6. since] though 1653
  7. they] first 1653
  8. first full,] fill’d up 1664, 1668
  9. succeeding atoms, place] succession, their places for 1653
  10. Wherefore, if] But as those 1653
  11. They needs must] Yet still in 1653
  12. have to go.] must they go. 1653