Project Gutenberg's The Works of Sir Thomas Browne, by Thomas Browne

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: The Works of Sir Thomas Browne
       (Volume 3 of 3)

Author: Thomas Browne

Editor: Charles Sayle

Release Date: November 5, 2012 [EBook #39962]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Jonathan Ingram, KD Weeks and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive/Canadian Libraries.)


The role of marginal notes differs from text to text in this collection. Please see the detailed Notes for how they are rendered.

A small number of punctuation errors and apparent typos have been corrected, and are noted in detail in the Notes. The original versions of any corrections may be viewed as you read as mouseover text.

The Index of this book contains links to other books in the Project Gutenberg collection. The pages listed following 'i.' and 'ii' are linked to the corresponding Volumes I and II of the Works of Sir Thomas Browne, and are linked to pages in those volumes. Those following 'iii.', obviously, are linked to the current book. Although we verify the correctness of these links at the time of posting, these links may not work, for various reasons, for various people, at various times.







Edited by








In concluding the present edition of Sir Thomas Browne’s works, attention may be drawn to the reprint of the Hydriotaphia, from the first edition of 1658. The copy collated was the one preserved in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. In this, in addition to the corrections made at the time of publication on the printed label attached, there are a few others made by a contemporary hand, which deserve consideration. Among these is the excision of a sentence hitherto preserved in the text, and now relegated to the margin (p. 205). If further sanction were needed for the change indicated, it may be gathered from the inscription on the title-page, ‘Ex dono Auctoris.’ The text of the Christian Morals of 1716 has been collated with the copy in the same Library.

For the account of Birds and Fishes found in Norfolk (pp. 513-539), Professor Alfred Newton generously placed his annotated copy at the disposal of the editor. As those actual pages were in the press, Professor Newton passed away, and Death has deprived us of[vi] the pleasure of placing this volume in his hands. In this edition Professor Newton’s readings have been in the main followed, with the additional help of the valuable recension, published by Mr. Thomas Southwell of Norwich, in 1902, to which every serious student of this treatise must always refer.

For further assistance in questions of identification, I am again indebted to the kindness of Mr. W. Aldis Wright; and for one correction to Mr. A. R. Waller.

Sir Thomas Browne’s Latin treatises and his correspondence are not included in these volumes. It was the determination of the original publisher of this edition that they should be omitted; and indeed they do not form the most characteristic part of Sir Thomas Browne’s work. His erudition, and the resources from which he drew, his amazing industry, his marvellous diction, and natural piety—all these are apparent to the general reader of his English text; and it is to such that the present edition of Sir Thomas Browne’s works, as they originally appeared, will primarily appeal.

C. S.

16th June 1907.



Prefatory Note by the Editor v
The Seventh Book:(continued):
1. Of the Forbidden Fruit, 1
2. That a Man hath one Rib less then a Woman, 5
3. Of Methuselah, 8
4. That there was no Rain-bow before the Flood, 11
5. Of Sem, Ham, and Japhet, 15
6. That the Tower of Babel was erected against a Second Deluge, 17
7. Of the Mandrakes of Leah, 19
8. Of the three Kings of Collein, 25
9. Of the food of John Baptist, Locust and Wild Honey, 27
10. That John Evangelist should not die, 29
11. More compendiously of some others, 36
12. Of the Cessation of Oracles, 39
13. Of the death of Aristotle, 42
14. Of the Wish of Philoxenus, 49
15. Of the Lake Asphaltites, 52
16. Of divers other Relations, 56
17. Of some others, 65
18. More briefly of some others, 74
19. Of some Relations whose truth we fear, 81
Epistle to Thomas Le Gros, 89
Epistle to Nicholas Bacon, 93
Hydriotaphia, 97
The garden of Cyrus, 145
The Stationer to the Reader, 211
The Publisher to the Reader, 215
1. Observations upon several Plants mentioned in Scripture, 218
2. Of Garlands and Coronary or Garden-plants, 281
3. Of the Fishes eaten by Our Saviour, 286
4. An Answer to certain Queries relating to
     Fishes, Birds, Insects,
5. Of Hawks and Falconry, 286
6. Of Cymbals, etc., 301
7. Of Ropalic or Gradual Verses, etc., 304
8. Of Languages, and particularly of the Saxon Tongue, 307
9. Of Artificial Hills, Mounts or Burrows, 322
10. Of Troas, etc., 326
11. Of the Answers of Apollo at Delphos to Crœsus, 333
12. A Prophecy concerning several Nations, 342
13. Musæum Clausum, or Bibliotheca Abscondita, 350
A LETTER TO A FRIEND (1690), 367
Repertorium, or some Account of the
         Tombs and Monuments in the Cathedral
         Church of Norwich in 1680,
1. An Account of Island, alias Ice-land, in 1662, 427
2. Concerning some Urnes found in Brampton-Field, in Norfolk, in 1667, 430
3. Concerning too nice Curiosity, 437
4. Upon reading Hudibras, 438
Dedication, 441
Preface, 442
Christian Morals, 443
Notes on certain Birds found in Norfolk, 513
Notes on certain Fishes and Marine Animals found in Norfolk, 526
On the Ostrich, 540
Boulimia Centenaria, 544
Upon the dark Mist, 27th November 1674, 545
Account of a Thunderstorm at Norwich, 1665, 548
On Dreams, 550
Observations on Grafting, 555
Corrigenda, 559
Index, 561


En sum quod digitis Quinque, to face page 97
Quid Quincunce speciosius, " 147



Concerning many Historical Tenents generally received, and some deduced from the history of holy Scripture.

Of the Forbidden Fruit.

Opinions, of what kind the forbidden fruit was.

That the Forbidden fruit of Paradise was an Apple, is commonly believed, confirmed by Tradition, perpetuated by Writings, Verses, Pictures; and some have been so bad Prosodians, as from thence to derive the Latine word malum, because that fruit was the first occasion of evil; wherein notwithstanding determinations are presumptuous, and many I perceive are of another belief. For some have, conceived it a Vine; in the mystery of whose fruit lay the expiation of the transgression: Goropius Becanus reviving the conceit of Barcephas, peremptorily concludeth it to be the Indian Fig-tree; and by a witty Allegory labours to confirm the same. Again, some fruits pass under the name of Adams apples, which in common acception admit not that appellation; the one described by Mathiolus under the name of Pomum Adami, a very fair fruit, and not unlike a Citron, but [2]somewhat rougher, chopt and cranied, vulgarly conceived the marks of Adams teeth. Another, the fruit of that plant which Serapion termeth Musa, but the Eastern Christians commonly the Apples of Paradise; not resembling an apple in figure, and in taste a Melon or Cowcomber. Which fruits although they have received appellations suitable unto the tradition, yet can we not from thence infer they were this fruit in question: No more then Arbor vitæ, so commonly called, to obtain its name from the tree of life in Paradise, or Arbor Judæ, to be the same which supplied the gibbet unto Judas.

Again, There is no determination in the Text; wherein is only particulared that it was the fruit of a tree good for food, and pleasant unto the eye, in which regards many excell the Apple; and therefore learned men do wisely conceive it inexplicable; and Philo puts determination unto despair, when he affirmeth the same kind of fruit was never produced since. Surely were it not requisite to have been concealed, it had not passed unspecified; nor the tree revealed which concealed their nakedness, and that concealed which revealed it; for in the same chapter mention is made of fig-leaves. And the like particulars, although they seem uncircumstantial, are oft set down in holy Scripture; so is it specified that Elias sat under a juniper tree, Absalom hanged by an Oak, and Zacheus got up into a Sycomore.

And although to condemn such Indeterminables unto him that demanded on what hand Venus was wounded, the Philosopher thought it a sufficient resolution to re-inquire upon what leg King Philip halted; and the Jews not undoubtedly resolved of the Sciatica-side of Jacob, Jacobs Sciatica, see Gen. 32. 25, 31, 32. do cautelously in their diet abstain from the[3]sinews of both: yet are there many nice particulars which may be authentically determined. That Peter cut off the right ear of Malchus, is beyond all doubt. That our Saviour eat the Passover in an upper room, we may determine from the Text. And some we may concede which the Scripture plainly defines not. That the Dyal of Ahaz was placed upon the West side of the Temple, we will not deny, or contradict the description of Adricomius. That Abrahams servant put his hand under his right thigh, we shall not question; and that the Thief on the right hand was saved, and the other on the left reprobated, to make good the Method of the last judicial dismission, we are ready to admit. But surely in vain we enquire of what wood was Moses rod, or the tree that sweetned the waters. Or though tradition or humane History might afford some light, whether the Crown of thorns was made of Paliurus; Whether the cross of Christ were made of those four woods in the Distick of Durantes, Pes ceorus est, truncus cupressus, oliva supremum, palmaq; transversum Christi sunt in cruce lignum. or only of Oak, according unto Lipsius and Goropius, we labour not to determine. For though hereof prudent Symbols and pious Allegories be made by wiser Conceivers; yet common heads will flie unto superstitious applications, and hardly avoid miraculous or magical expectations.

Now the ground or reason that occasioned this expression by an Apple, might be the community of this fruit, and which is often taken for any other. So the Goddess of Gardens is termed Pomona; so the Proverb expresseth it to give Apples unto Alcinous; so the fruit which Paris decided was called an Apple; so in the garden of Hesperides (which many conceive a fiction drawn from Paradise) we read of golden Apples guarded by the Dragon. And to speak strictly in this appellation, they placed it more safely then any other; for [4]beside the great variety of Apples, the word in Greek comprehendeth Orenges, Lemmons, Citrons, Quinces; and as Ruellius defineth, Ruel. de stirpium natura. such fruits as have no stone within, and a soft covering without; excepting the Pomegranate. And will extend much farther in the acception of Spigelius, Isagoge in rem Herbariam. who comprehendeth all round fruits under the name of apples, not excluding Nuts and Plumbs.

It hath been promoted in some constructions from a passage in the Canticle,Can. 8. as it runs in the vulgar translation, Sub arbore malo suscitavi te, ibi corrupta est mater tua, ibi violata est genetrix tua; Which words notwithstanding parabolically intended, admit no literal inference, and are of little force in our translation, I raised thee under an Apple-tree, there thy mother brought thee forth, there she brought thee forth that bare thee. So when from a basket of summer fruits or apples, as the vulgar rendreth them, God by Amos foretold the destruction of his people, we cannot say they had any reference unto the fruit of Paradise, which was the destruction of man; but thereby was declared the propinquity of their desolation, and that their tranquility was of no longer duration then those horary or soon decaying fruits of Summer. Nor when it is said in the same translation, Fructus horæi. Poma desiderii animæ tuæ discesserunt à te, the apples that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, is there any allusion therein unto the fruit of Paradise. But thereby is threatned unto Babylon, that the pleasures and delights of their Palate should forsake them. And we read in Pierius, that an Apple was the Hieroglyphick of Love, and that the Statua of Venus was made with one in her hand. So the little Cupids in the figures of Philostratus Philostrat. figur. 6. De amoribus. do play with apples in a garden; and[5] there want not some who have symbolized the Apple of Paradise unto such constructions.

Since therefore after this fruit, curiosity fruitlesly enquireth, and confidence blindly determineth, we shall surcease our Inquisition; rather troubled that it was tasted, then troubling our selves in its decision; this only we observe, when things are left uncertain, men will assure them by determination. Which is not only verified concerning the fruit, but the Serpent that perswaded; many defining the kind or species thereof. Opinions of what kind the Serpent was, etc. So Bonaventure and Comestor affirm it was a Dragon, Eugubinus a Basilisk, Delrio a Viper, and others a common snake. Wherein men still continue the delusion of the Serpent, who having deceived Eve in the main, sets her posterity on work to mistake in the circumstance, and endeavours to propagate errors at any hand. And those he surely most desireth which concern either God or himself; for they dishonour God who is absolute truth and goodness; but for himself, who is extreamly evil, and the worst we can conceive, by aberration of conceit they may extenuate his depravity, and ascribe some goodness unto him.

That a Man hath one Rib less then a Woman.

That a Man hath one Rib less then a Woman, is a common conceit derived from the History of Genesis, wherein it stands delivered, that Eve was framed out of a Rib of Adam; whence ’tis concluded the sex of man still wants that rib our Father lost in Eve. And this is not only passant with the [6]many, but was urged against Columbus in an Anatomy of his at Pisa, where having prepared the Sceleton of a woman that chanced to have thirteen ribs on one side, there arose a party that cried him down, and even unto oaths affirmed, this was the rib wherein a woman exceeded. Were this true, it would ocularly silence that dispute out of which side Eve was framed; it would determine the opinion of Oleaster, that she was made out of the ribs of both sides, or such as from the expression of the TextOs ex ossibus meis. maintain there was a plurality of ribs required; and might indeed decry the parabolical exposition of Origen, Cajetan, and such as fearing to concede a monstrosity, or mutilate the integrity of Adam, preventively conceive the creation of thirteen ribs.

How many ribs commonly in men and women.

But this will not consist with reason or inspection. For if we survey the Sceleton of both sexes, and therein the compage of bones, we shall readily discover that men and women have four and twenty ribs, that is, twelve on each side, seven greater annexed unto the Sternon, and five lesser which come short thereof. Wherein if it sometimes happen that either sex exceed, the conformation is irregular, deflecting from the common rate or number, and no more inferrible upon mankind, then the monstrosity of the son of Rapha, or the vitious excess in the number of fingers and toes. And although some difference there be in figure and the female os inominatum be somewhat more protuberant, to make a fairer cavity for the Infant; the coccyx sometime more reflected to give the easier delivery, and the ribs themselves seem a little flatter, yet are they equal in number. And therefore while Aristotle doubteth the relations made of Nations, which had but seven ribs on a side, and yet delivereth, that[7] men have generally no more than eight; as he rejecteth their history, so can we not accept of his Anatomy.

Again, Although we concede there wanted one rib in the Sceleton of Adam, yet were it repugnant unto reason and common observation that his posterity should want the same. For we observe that mutilations are not transmitted from father unto son; the blind begetting such as can see, men with one eye children with two, and cripples mutilate in their own persons do come out perfect in their generations. For the seed conveyeth with it not only the extract and single Idea of every part, whereby it transmits their perfections or infirmities; but double and over again; whereby sometimes it multipliciously delineates the same, as in Twins, in mixed and numerous generations. Parts of the seed do seem to contain the Idea and power of the whole; so parents deprived of hands, beget manual issues, and the defect of those parts is supplied by the Idea of others. So in one grain of corn appearing similary and insufficient for a plural germination, there lyeth dormant the virtuality of many other; and from thence sometimes proceed above an hundred ears. And thus may be made out the cause of multiparous productions; for though the seminal materials disperse and separate in the matrix, the formative operator will not delineate a part, but endeavour the formation of the whole; effecting the same as far as the matter will permit, and from dividing materials attempt entire formations. And therefore, though wondrous strange, it may not be impossible what is confirmed at Lausdun concerning the Countess of Holland, nor what Albertus reports of the birth of an hundred and fifty. And if we consider[8] the magnalities of generation in some things, we shall not controvert its possibilities in others: nor easily question that great work, whose wonders are only second unto those of the Creation, and a close apprehension of the one, might perhaps afford a glimmering light, and crepusculous glance of the other.

Of Methuselah.

What hath been every where opinioned by all men, and in all times, is more then paradoxical to dispute; and so that Methuselah was the longest liver of all the posterity of Adam, we quietly believe: but that he must needs be so, is perhaps below paralogy to deny. For hereof there is no determination from the Text; wherein it is only particulared he was the longest Liver of all the Patriarchs whose age is there expressed; but that he out-lived all others, we cannot well conclude. For of those nine whose death is mentioned before the flood, the Text expresseth that Enoch was the shortest Liver; who saw but three hundred sixty-five years. But to affirm from hence, none of the rest, whose age is not expressed, did die before that time, is surely an illation whereto we cannot assent.

Again, Many persons there were in those days of longevity, of whose age notwithstanding there is no account in Scripture; as of the race of Cain, the wives of the nine Patriarchs, with all the sons and daughters that every one begat: whereof perhaps some persons might out-live Methuselah; the Text intending only the[9] masculine line of Seth, conduceable unto the Genealogy of our Saviour, and the antediluvian Chronology. And therefore we must not contract the lives of those which are left in silence by Moses; for neither is the age of Abel expressed in the Scripture, yet is he conceived far elder then commonly opinioned; and if we allow the conclusion of his Epitaph as made by Adam, and so set down by Salian, Posuit mœrens pater, cui à filio justius positum foret, Anno ab ortu rerum 130. Ab Abele nato 129, we shall not need to doubt. Which notwithstanding Cajetan and others confirm, nor is it improbable, if we conceive that Abel was born in the second year of Adam, and Seth a year after the death of Abel: for so it being said, that Adam was an hundred and thirty years old when he begat Seth, Abel must perish the year before, which was one hundred twenty nine.

And if the account of Cain extend unto the Deluge, it may not be improbable that some thereof exceeded any of Seth. Nor is it unlikely in life, riches, power and temporal blessings, they might surpass them in this world, whose lives related unto the next. For so when the seed of Jacob was under affliction and captivity, that of Ismael and Esau flourished and grew mighty, there proceeding from the one twelve Princes, from the other no less then fourteen Dukes and eight Kings. And whereas the age of Cain and his posterity is not delivered in the Text, some do salve it from the secret method of Scripture, which sometimes wholly omits, but seldom or never delivers the entire duration of wicked and faithless persons, as is observable in the history of Esau, and the Kings of Israel and Judah. And therefore when mention is made that Ismael lived 137 years, some conceive he adhered unto the faith of[10] Abraham;Job thought by some to be of the race of Esau. for so did others who were not descended from Jacob; for Job is thought to be an Idumean, and of the seed of Esau.

Lastly (although we rely not thereon) we will not omit that conceit urged by learned men, that Adam was elder then Methuselah; inasmuch as he was created in the perfect age of man, which was in those days 50 or 60 years, for about that time we read that they begat children; so that if unto 930 we add 60 years, he will exceed Methuselah. And therefore if not in length of days, at least in old age he surpassed others; he was older then all, who was never so young as any. For though he knew old age, he was never acquainted with puberty, youth or Infancy; and so in a strict account he begat children at one year old. And if the usual compute will hold, that men are of the same age which are born within compass of the same year, Eve was as old as her husband and parent Adam, and Cain their son coetaneous unto both.

Now that conception, that no man did ever attain unto a thousand years, because none should ever be one day old in the sight of the Lord, unto whom according to that of David, A thousand years are but one day, doth not advantage Methuselah. And being deduced from a popular expression, which will not stand a Metaphysical and strict examination, is not of force to divert a serious enquirer. For unto God a thousand years are no more then one moment, and in his sight Methuselah lived no nearer one day then Abel, for all parts of time are alike unto him, unto whom none are referrible; and all things present, unto whom nothing is past or to come. And therefore, although we be measured by the Zone of time, and the flowing and continued instants thereof, do weave[11] at last a line and circle about the eldest: yet can we not thus commensurate the sphere of Trismegistus; or sum up the unsuccessive and stable duration of God.

That there was no Rain-bow before the Flood.

That there shall no Rain-bow appear forty years before the end of the world, and that the preceding drought unto that great flame shall exhaust the materials of this Meteor, was an assertion grounded upon no solid reason: but that there was not any in sixteen hundred years, that is, before the flood, seems deduceable from holy Scripture, Gen. 9. I do set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be for a token of a Covenant between me and the earth. From whence notwithstanding we cannot conclude the nonexistence of the Rain-bow; nor is that Chronology naturally established, which computeth the antiquity of effects arising from physical and setled causes, by additionall impositions from voluntary determinators. Now by the decree of reason and Philosophy, the Rain-bow hath its ground in Nature, as caused by the rays of the Sun, falling upon a roride and opposite cloud: whereof some reflected, others refracted, beget that semi-circular variety we generally call the Rain-bow; which must succeed upon concurrence of causes and subjects aptly predisposed. And therefore, to conceive there was no Rain-bow before, because God chose this out as a token of the Covenant, is to conclude the existence of things from their signalities, or of what is objected unto the sense, a[12] coexistence with that which is internally presented unto the understanding. With equall reason we may infer there was no water before the institution of Baptism, nor bread and wine before the holy Eucharist.

That there is a Rain-bow of the Moon.

Again, while men deny the antiquity of one Rain-bow, they anciently concede another. For, beside the solary Iris which God shewed unto Noah, there is another Lunary, whose efficient is the Moon, visible only in the night, most commonly at full Moon, and some degrees above the Horizon. Now the existence hereof men do not controvert, although effected by a different Luminary in the same way with the other. And probably appeared later, as being of rare appearance and rarer observation, and many there are which think there is no such thing in Nature. And therefore by casual spectators they are lookt upon like prodigies, and significations made, not signified by their natures.

Lastly, We shall not need to conceive God made the Rain-bow at this time, if we consider that in its created and predisposed nature, it was more proper for this signification then any other Meteor or celestial appearancy whatsoever. Thunder and lightning had too much terrour to have been tokens of mercy; Comets or blazing Stars appear too seldom to put us in mind of a Covenant to be remembred often: and might rather signifie the world should be once destroyed by fire, then never again by water. The Galaxia or milky Circle had been more probable; for (beside that unto the latitude of thirty, it becomes their Horizon twice in four and twenty hours, and unto such as live under the Æquator, in that space the whole Circle appeareth) part thereof is visible unto any situation; but being only discoverable in the night, and when the ayr is clear, it becomes of unfrequent and comfortless[13] signification. A fixed Star had not been visible unto all the Globe, and so of too narrow a signality in a Covenant concerning all. But Rain-bows are seen unto all the world, and every position of sphere. Unto our own elevation they may appear in the morning, while the Sun hath attained about forty five degrees above the Horizon (which is conceived the largest semi-diameter of any Iris) and so in the afternoon when it hath declined unto that altitude again; which height the Sun not attaining in winter, rain-bows may happen with us at noon or any time. Unto a right position of sphere they may appear three hours after the rising of the Sun, and three before its setting; for the Sun ascending fifteen degrees an hour, in three attaineth forty five of altitude. Even unto a parallel sphere, and such as live under the pole, for half a year some segments may appear at any time and under any quarter, the Sun not setting, but walking round about them.

The natural signification of the rain-bow.

But the propriety of its Election most properly appeareth in the natural signification and prognostick of it self; as containing a mixt signality of rain and fair weather. For being in a roride cloud and ready to drop, it declareth a pluvious disposure in the air; but because when it appears the Sun must also shine, there can be no universal showrs, and consequently no Deluge. Thus when the windows of the great deep were open, in vain men lookt for the Rain-bow: for at that time it could not be seen, which after appeared unto Noah. It might be therefore existent before the flood, and had in nature some ground of its addition. Unto that of nature God superadded an assurance of his Promise, that is, never to hinder its appearance, or so to replenish the heavens again, as that we should behold it no more. And thus without disparaging the[14] promise, it might rain at the same time when God shewed it unto Noah; thus was there more therein then the heathens understood, when they called it the Nuncia of the gods, and the laugh of weeping Heaven;Risus plorantis Olympi. and thus may it be elegantly said; I put my bow, not my arrow in the clouds, that is, in the menace of rain the mercy of fair weather.

Cabalistical heads, who from that expression in Esay,Isa. 34. 4. do make a book of heaven, and read therein the great concernments of earth, do literally play on this, and from its semicircular figure, resembling the Hebrew letter כ Caph, whereby is signified the uncomfortable number of twenty, at which years Joseph was sold, which Jacob lived under Laban, and at which men were to go to war: do note a propriety in its signification; as thereby declaring the dismal Time of the Deluge. And Christian conceits do seem to strain as high, while from the irradiation of the Sun upon a cloud, they apprehend the mysterie of the Sun of Righteousness in the obscurity of flesh; by the colours green and red, the two destructions of the world by fire and water; or by the colours of blood and water, the mysteries of Baptism, and the holy Eucharist.

Laudable therefore is the custom of the Jews, who upon the appearance of the Rain-bow, do magnifie the fidelity of God in the memory of his Covenant; according to that of Syracides, look upon the Rain-bow, and praise him that made it. And though some pious and Christian pens have only symbolized the same from the mysterie of its colours, yet are there other affections which might admit of Theological allusions. Nor would he find a more improper subject, that should consider that the colours are made by refraction of Light, and the shadows that limit that light; that the Center of[15] the Sun, the Rain-bow, and the eye of the Beholder must be in one right line, that the spectator must be between the Sun and the Rain-bow; that sometime there appear, sometime one reversed. With many others, considerable in Meteorological Divinity, which would more sensibly make out the Epithite of the Heathens;Thaumancias. and the expression of the son of Syrach. Very beautifull is the Rain-bow, it compasseth the heaven about with a glorious circle, and the hands of the most High have bended it.

Of Sem, Ham and Japhet.

Concerning the three sons of Noah, Sem, Ham and Japhet, that the order of their nativity was according to that of numeration, and Japhet the youngest son, as most believe, as Austin and others account, the sons of Japhet, and Europeans need not grant: nor will it so well concord unto the letter of the Text, and its readiest interpretations. For so is it said in our Translation, Sem the father of all the sons of Heber the brother of Japhet the elder: so by the Septuagint, and so by that of Tremelius. And therefore when the Vulgar reads it, Fratre Japhet majore, the mistake as Junius observeth, might be committed by the neglect of the Hebrew account; which occasioned Jerom so to render it, and many after to believe it. Nor is that Argument contemptible which is deduced from their Chronology: for probable it is that Noah had none of them before, and begat them from that year when it is said he was[16] five hundred years old, and begat Sem, Ham and Japhet. Again it is said he was six hundred years old at the flood, and that two years after Sem was but an hundred; therefore Sem must be born when Noah was five hundred and two, and some other before in the year of five hundred and one.

Now whereas the Scripture affordeth the priority of order unto Sem, we cannot from thence infer his primogeniture. For in Sem the holy line was continued: and therefore however born, his genealogy was most remarkable. So is it not unusuall in holy Scripture to nominate the younger before the elder: so is it said, That Tarah begat Abraham,Gen. 11. Nachor and Haram: whereas Haram was the eldest. So Rebecca Gen. 28. is termed the mother of Jacob and Esau. Nor is it strange the younger should be first in nomination, who have commonly had the priority in the blessings of God, and been first in his benediction. In divine benedictions the younger often preferred. So Abel was accepted before Cain, Isaac the younger preferred before Ishmael the elder, Jacob before Esau, Joseph was the youngest of twelve, and David the eleventh son and minor cadet of Jesse.

Lastly, though Japhet were not elder then Sem, yet must we not affirm that he was younger then Cham, for it is plainly delivered, that after Sem and Japhet had covered Noah, he awaked, and knew what his youngest son had done unto him υἱὸς ὁ νεὡτερος, is the expression of the Septuagint, Filius minor of Jerom, and minimus of Tremelius. And upon these grounds perhaps Josephus doth vary from the Scripture enumeration, and nameth them Sem, Japhet and Cham; which is also observed by the Annian Berosus; Noah cum tribus filiis, Semo, Japeto, Cham. And therefore although in the priority of Sem and Japhet, there may be some[17] difficulty, though Cyril, Epiphanius and Austin have accounted Sem the elder, and Salian the Annalist, and Petavius the Chronologist contend for the same, yet Cham is more plainly and confessedly named the youngest in the Text.

That Noah and Saturn were the same person.

And this is more conformable unto the Pagan history and Gentile account hereof, unto whom Noah was Saturn, whose symbol was a ship, as relating unto the Ark, and who is said to have divided the world between his three sons. Ham is conceived to be Jupiter, who was the youngest son: worshipped by the name of Hamon, which was the Egyptian and African name for Jupiter, who is said to have cut off the genitals of his father, derived from the history of HamGen. 9. 22. , who beheld the nakednes of his,and by no hard mistakeReading Veiaggod et abscidit, for Veiegged et nunciavit. might be confirmed from the Text, as Bochartus Bochartus de Geographia sacrâ. hath well observed.

That the Tower of Babel was erected against a second Deluge.

An opinion there is of some generality, that our fathers after the flood attempted the Tower of Babel to secure themselves against a second Deluge. Which however affirmed by Josephus and others, hath seemed improbable unto many who have discoursed hereon. For (beside that they could not be ignorant of the Promise of God never to drown the world again, and had the Rain-bow before their eyes to put them in mind thereof) it is improbable from the nature of the Deluge; which being not possibly[18] causable from natural showers above, or watery eruptions below, but requiring a supernatural hand, and such as all acknowledg irresistible; must needs disparage their knowledg and judgment in so succesless attempts.

Again, They must probably hear, and some might know, that the waters of the flood ascended fifteen cubits above the highest mountains. Now, if as some define, the perpendicular altitude of the highest mountains be four miles; or as others, but fifteen furlongs, it is not easily conceived how such a structure could be effected. Although we allowed the description of Herodotus concerning the Tower of Belus; whose lowest story was in height and bredth one furlong, and seven more built upon it; abating that of the Annian Berosus, the traditional relation of Jerom, and fabulous account of the Jews. Probable it is that what they attempted was feasible, otherwise they had been amply fooled in fruitless success of their labours, nor needed God to have hindred them, saying, Nothing will be restrained from them, which they begin to do.

History of the world.

It was improbable from the place, that is a plain in the land of Shinar. And if the situation of Babylon were such at first as it was in the days of Herodotus, it was rather a feat of amenity and pleasure, than conducing unto this intention. It being in a very great plain, and so improper a place to provide against a general Deluge by Towers and eminent structures, that they were fain to make provisions against particular and annual inundations by ditches and trenches, after the manner of Egypt. And therefore Sir Walter Raleigh accordingly objecteth: If the Nations which followed Nimrod, still doubted the surprise of a second flood, according to the opinions of the ancient Hebrews, it soundeth ill to the ear of Reason, that they would[19] have spent many years in that low and overflown valley of Mesopotamia. And therefore in this situation, they chose a place more likely to have secured them from the worlds destruction by fire, then another Deluge of water: and as Pierius observeth, some have conceived that this was their intention.

Lastly, The reason is delivered in the Text. Let us build us a City and a Tower, whose top may reach unto heaven, and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the whole earth; as we have already began to wander over a part. These were the open ends proposed unto the people; but the secret design of Nimrod was to settle unto himself a place of dominion, and rule over his Brethren, as it after succeeded, according to the delivery of the Text, the beginning of his kingdom was Babel.

Of the Mandrakes of Leah.

We shall not omit the Mandrakes of Leah, according to the History of Genesis. And Reuben went out in the daies of Wheat-harvest, and found Mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah; then Rachel said unto Leah, give me, I pray thee, of thy sons Mandrakes: and she said unto her, is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband, and wouldest thou take my sons Mandrakes also? and Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee this night for thy sons Mandrakes. From whence hath arisen a common conceit, that Rachel requested these plants as a medicine of fecundation[20], or whereby she might become fruitfull. Which notwithstanding is very questionable, and of incertain truth.

For first from the comparison of one Text with another, whether the Mandrakes here mentioned, be the same plant which holds that name with us, there is some cause to doubt. The word is used in another place of Scripture,Cant. 7. when the Church inviting her beloved into the fields, among the delightfull fruits of Grapes and Pomegranates, it is said, The Mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits. Now instead of a smell of Delight, our Mandrakes afford a papaverous and unpleasant odor, whether in the leaf or apple, as is discoverable in their simplicity or mixture. The same is also dubious from the different interpretations: for though the Septuagint and Josephus do render it the Apples of Mandrakes in this Text, yet in the other of the Canticles, the Chaldy Paraphrase termeth it Balsame. R. Solomon, as Drusius observeth, conceives it to be that plant the Arabians named Jesemin. Oleaster, and Georgius Venetus, the Lilly, and that the word Dudaim may comprehend any plant that hath a good smell, resembleth a womans breast, and flourisheth in wheat harvest. Tremelius interprets the same for any amiable flowers of a pleasant and delightfull odor: but the Geneva Translators have been more wary then any: for although they retain the word Mandrake in the Text, they in effect retract it in the Margin: wherein is set down the word in the original is Dudaim, which is a kind of fruit or Flower unknown.

The vegetables in H. Scripture how variously expounded.

Nor shall we wonder at the dissent of exposition, and difficulty of definition concerning this Text, if we perpend how variously the vegetables of Scripture are[21] expounded, and how hard it is in many places to make out the species determined. Thus are we at variance concerning the plant that covered Jonas; which though the Septuagint doth render Colocynthis, the Spanish Calabaca, and ours accordingly a Gourd: yet the vulgar translates it Hedera or Ivy; and as Grotius observeth, Jerom thus translated it, not as the same plant, but best apprehended thereby. The Italian of Diodati, and that of Tremelius have named it Ricinus, and so hath ours in the Margin, for palma Christi is the same with Ricinus. The Geneva Translators have herein been also circumspect, for they have retained the Original word Kikaion, and ours hath also affixed the same unto the Margin.

Nor are they indeed alwayes the same plants which are delivered under the same name, and appellations commonly received amongst us. So when it is said of Solomon, that he writ of plants from the Cedar of Lebanus, unto the Hysop that groweth upon the wall, that is, from the greatest unto the smallest, it cannot be well conceived our common Hysop; for neither is that the least of vegetables, nor observed to grow upon wals; but rather as Lemnius well conceiveth, some kind of the capillaries, which are very small plants, and only grow upon wals and stony places. Nor are the four species in the holy oyntment, Cinnamon, Myrrhe, Calamus and Cassia, nor the other in the holy perfume, Frankincense, Stacte, Onycha and Galbanum, so agreeably expounded unto those in use with us, as not to leave considerable doubts behind them. Nor must that perhaps be taken for a simple unguent, which Matthew only termeth a precious oyntment; but rather a composition as Mark and John imply by pistick Nard,V. Mathioli. Epist. that is faithfully dispensed, and may be that famous composition[22] described by Dioscorides, made of oyl of Ben, Malabathrum, Juncus Odoratus, Costus, Amomum, Myrrhe, Balsam and Nard; which Galen affirmeth to have been in use with the delicate Dames of Rome; and that the best thereof was made at Laodicea; from whence by Merchants it was conveyed unto other parts. But how to make out that Translation concerning the Tithe of Mint, Anise and Cumin, we are still to seek; for we find not a word in the Text that can properly be rendred Anise; the Greek being ἄνηθον, which the Latines call Anethum, and is properly Englished Dill. Lastly, What meteor that was, that fed the Israelites so many years, they must rise again to inform us. Nor do they make it out,V. Doctissimum Chrysostom. Magnenum de Manna. who will have it the same with our Manna; nor will any one kind thereof, or hardly all kinds we read of, be able to answer the qualities thereof, delivered in the Scripture; that is, to fall upon the ground, to breed worms, to melt with the Sun, to taste like fresh oyl, to be grounded in Mils, to be like Coriander seed, and of the colour of Bdellium.

Again, It is not deducible from the Text or concurrent sentence of Comments, that Rachel had any such intention, and most do rest in the determination of Austin, that she desired them for rarity, pulchritude or suavity. Nor is it probable she would have resigned her bed unto Leah, when at the same time she had obtained a medicine to fructifie her self. And therefore Drusius who hath expresly and favourable treated hereof, is so far from conceding this intention, that he plainly concludeth, Hoc quo modo illis in mentem venerit conjicere nequeo; how this conceit fell into mens minds, it cannot fall into mine; for the Scripture delivereth it not, nor can it be clearly deduced from the Text.[23]

Thirdly, If Rachel had any such intention, yet had they no such effect, for she conceived not many years after of Joseph; whereas in the mean time Leah had three children, Isachar, Zebulon and Dinah.

Lastly, Although at that time they failed of this effect, yet is it mainly questionable whether they had any such vertue either in the opinions of those times, or in their proper nature. That the opinion was popular in the land of Canaan, it is improbable, and had Leah understood thus much, she would not surely have parted with fruits of such a faculty; especially unto Rachel, who was no friend unto her. As for its proper nature, the Ancients have generally esteemed in Narcotick or stupefactive, and it is to be found in the list of poysons, set down by Dioscorides, Galen, Ætius, Ægineta, and several Antidotes delivered by them against it. It was I confess from good Antiquity, and in the days of Theophrastus accounted a philtre, or plant that conciliates affection; and so delivered by Dioscorides. And this intent might seem most probable, had they not been the wives of holy Jacob: had Rachel presented them unto him, and not requested them for her self.

Now what Dioscorides affirmeth in favour of this effect, that the grains of the apples of Mandrakes mundifie the matrix, and applied with Sulphur, stop the fluxes of women, he overthrows again by qualities destructive unto conception; affirming also that the juice thereof purgeth upward like Hellebore; and applied in pessaries provokes the menstruous flows, and procures abortion. Petrus Hispanus, or Pope John the twentieth speaks more directly in his Thesaurus pauperum: wherein among the receits of fecundation, he experimentally commendeth the wine of Mandrakes[24] given with Triphera magna. But the soul of the medicine may lie in Triphera magna, an excellent composition, and for this effect commended by Nicolaus. And whereas Levinus Lemnius that eminent Physitian doth also concede this effect, it is from manifest causes and qualities elemental occasionally producing the same. For he imputeth the same unto the coldness of that simple, and is of opinion that in hot climates, and where the uterine parts exceed in heat, by the coldness hereof they may be reduced into a conceptive constitution, and Crasis accommodable unto generation; whereby indeed we will not deny the due and frequent use may proceed unto some effect, from whence notwithstanding we cannot infer a fertilitating condition or property of fecundation. For in this way all vegetables do make fruitful according unto the complexion of the Matrix; if that excel in heat, plants exceeding in cold do rectifie it; if it be cold, simples that are hot reduce it; if dry moist, if moist dry correct it; in which division all plants are comprehended. But to distinguish thus much is a point of Art, and beyond the Method of Rachels or feminine Physick. Again, Whereas it may be thought that Mandrakes may fecundate, since Poppy hath obtained the Epithite of fruitful, and that fertility was Hieroglyphically described by Venus with an head of Poppy in her hand; the reason hereof was the multitude of seed within it self, and no such multiplying in humane generation. And lastly, whereas they may seem to have this quality, since Opium it self is conceived to extimulate unto venery, and for that intent is sometimes used by Turks, Persians, and most oriental Nations; although Winclerus doth seem to favour the conceit, yet Amatus Lusitanus, and Rodericus à Castro are against it;[25] Garcias ab horto refutes it from experiment; and they speak probably who affirm the intent and effect of eating Opium, Opium, of what effect in venery. it not so much to invigorate themselves in coition, as to prolong the Act, and spin out the motions of carnality.

Of the three Kings of Collein.

Three magi or wise men (Mat. 2.) What manner of Kings they were.

A common conceit there is of the three Kings of Collein, conceived to be the wise men that travelled unto our Saviour by the direction of the Star, Wherein (omitting the large Discourses of Baronius, Pineda and Montacutius,) that they might be Kings, beside the Ancient Tradition and Authority of many Fathers, the Scripture also implieth. The Gentiles shall come to thy light, and Kings to the brightness of thy rising. The Kings of Tharsis and the Isles, the Kings of Arabia and Saba shall offer gifts, which places most Christians and many Rabbins interpret of the Messiah. Not that they are to be conceived potent monarchs, or mighty Kings; but Toparks, Kings of Cities or narrow Territories; such as were the Kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Kings of Jericho and Ai, the one and thirty which Joshuah subdued, and such as some conceive the Friends of Job to have been.

But although we grant they were Kings, yet can we not be assured they were three. For the Scripture maketh no mention of any number; and the numbers of their presents, Gold, Myrrhe and Frankincense, concludeth not the number of their persons; for these[26] were the commodities of their Country, and such as probably the Queen of Sheba in one person had brought before unto Solomon. So did not the sons of Jacob divide the present unto Joseph, but are conceived to carry one for them all, according to the expression of their Father—Take of the best fruits of the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present. And therefore their number being uncertain, what credit is to be given unto their names, Gasper, Melchior, Balthazar, what to the charm thereof against the falling sickness,Gaspar fert myrrham, etc. or what unto their habits, complexions, and corporal accidents, we must rely on their uncertain story, and received pourtraits of Collein.

Lastly, Although we grant them Kings, and three in number, yet could we not conceive that they were Kings of Collein. For though Collein were the chief City of the Ubii, then called Ubiopolis, and afterwards Agrippina, yet will no History inform us there were three Kings thereof. Beside, these being rulers in their Countries, and returning home, would have probably converted their subjects: but according unto Munster, their conversion was not wrought until seventy years after by Maternus a disciple of Peter. And lastly, it is said that the wise men came from the East; but Collein is seated West-ward from Jerusalem; for Collein hath of longitude thirty four degrees, but Jerusalem seventy two.

And why of Collein.

The ground of all was this. These wise men or Kings, were probably of Arabia, and descended from Abraham by Keturah, who apprehending the mystery of this Star, either by the Spirit of God, the prophesie of Balaam, the prophesie which Suetonius mentions, received and constantly believed through all the East, that out of Jury one should come that should rule the[27] whole world: or the divulged expectation of the Jews from the expiring prediction of Daniel: were by the same conducted unto Judea, returned unto their Country, and were after baptized by Thomas. From whence about three hundred years after, by Helena the Empress their bodies were translated to Constantinople. From thence by Eustatius unto Millane, and at last by Renatus the Bishop unto Collein: where they are believed at present to remain, their monuments shewn unto strangers, and having lost their Arabian titles, are crowned Kings of Collein.

Of the food of John Baptist, Locusts and Wild-honey.

Concerning the food of John Baptist in the wilderness, Locusts and Wild-honey, lest popular opiniatrity should arise, we will deliver the chief opinions. The first conceiveth the Locusts here mentioned to be that fruit which the Greeks name κεράτιον mentioned by Luke in the diet of the Prodigal son, the Latins Siliqua, and some Panis Sancti Johannis; included in a broad Cod, and indeed a taste almost as pleasant as Honey. But this opinion doth not so truly impugn that of the Locusts: and might rather call into controversie the meaning of Wild-honey.

Opinions concerning ἀκρίδες, or the Locusts of S. John Baptist.

The second affirmeth that they were the tops or tender crops of trees: for so Locusta also signifieth: which conceit is plausible in Latin, but will not hold in Greek, wherein the word is ἀκρίς, except for [28]ἀκρίδες, we read ἀκρόδυα, or ἀκρέμονες, which signifie the extremities of trees, of which belief have divers been: more confidently Isidore Peleusiota, who in his Epistles plainly affirmeth they think unlearnedly who are of another belief. And this so wrought upon Baronius, that he concludeth in neutrality; Hæc cum scribat Isidorus definiendum nobis non est et totum relinquimus lectoris arbitrio; nam constat Græcam dictionem ἀκρίδες, et Locustam, insecti genus, et arborum summitates significare. Sed fallitur, saith Montacutius, nam constat contrarium, Ἀκρίδα apud nullum authorem classicum Ἀκρόδρυα significare. But above all Paracelsus with most animosity promoteth this opinion, and in his book de melle, spareth not his Friend Erasmus. Hoc à nonnullis ita explicatur ut dicant Locastus aut cicadas Johanni pro cibo fuisse; sed hi stultitiam dissimulare non possunt, veluti Jeronimus, Erasmus, et alii Prophetæ Neoterici in Latinitate immortui.

The more probable what.

A third affirmeth that they were properly Locusts: that is, a sheath-winged and six-footed insect, such as is our Grashopper. And this opinion seems more probable than the other. For beside the authority of Origen, Jerom, Chrysostom, Hillary and Ambrose to confirm it: this is the proper signification of the word, thus used in Scripture by the Septuagint, Greek vocabularies thus expound it. Suidas on the word Ακρὶς observes it to be that animal whereon the Baptist fed in the desert; in this sense the word is used by Aristotle, Dioscorides, Galen, and several humane Authors. And lastly, there is no absurdity in this interpretation, or any solid reason why we should decline it, it being a food permitted unto the Jews, whereof four kinds are reckoned up among clean meats. Beside, not only the Jews, but many other Nations long before and since,[29] have made an usual food thereof. That the Æthiopians, Mauritanians and Arabians did commonly eat them, is testified by Diodorus, Strabo, Solinus, Ælian and Pliny: that they still feed on them is confirmed by Leo, Cadamustus and others. John therefore as our Saviour saith, came neither eating nor drinking: that is, far from the diet of Jerusalem and other Riotous places: but fared coursly and poorly according unto the apparel he wore, that is of Camels hair: the place of his abode, the wilderness; and the doctrin he preached, humiliation and repentance.

That John the Evangelist should not die.

The conceit of the long-living, or rather not dying of John the Evangelist, although it seem inconsiderable, and not much weightier than that of Joseph the wandring Jew: yet being deduced from Scripture, and abetted by Authors of all times, it shall not escape our enquiry. It is drawn from the speech of our Saviour unto Peter after the prediction of his Martyrdom; Peter saith unto Jesus. John 21. Lord what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry until I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me; then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that this disciple should not die.

Now the belief hereof hath been received either grosly and in the general, that is not distinguishing the manner or particular way of this continuation, in which sense probably the grosser and undiscerning party received it. Or more distinctly apprehending[30] the manner of his immortality; that is, that John should never properly die, but be translated into Paradise, there to remain with Enoch and Elias until about the coming of Christ; and should be slain with them under Antichrist, according to that of the Apocalyps. I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesie a thousand two hundred and threescore days cloathed in sack-cloth, and when they shall have finished their Testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. Hereof, as Baronius observeth, within three hundred years after Christ, Hippolytus the Martyr was the first assertor, but hath been maintained by Metaphrastes, by Freculphus, but especially by Georgius Trapezuntius, who hath expresly treated upon this Text, and although he lived but in the last Century, did still affirm that John was not yet dead.

The same is also hinted by the learned Italian Poet Dante, who in his Poetical survey of Paradise, meeting with the soul of St. John, and desiring to see his body; received answer from him that his body was in earth, and there should remain with other bodys, until the number of the blessed were accomplished.

In terra è terra il mio corpo, et saragli
Tanto con gli altri, che l’ numero nostro
Con l’ eterno proposito s’ agguagli.

As for the gross opinion that he should not die, it is sufficiently refuted by that which first occasioned it, that is the Scripture it self, and no further off than the very subsequent verse: Yet Jesus said unto him, he should not die, but if I will that he tarry till I come, What is that to thee? And this was written[31] by John himself, whom the opinion concerned; and as is conceived many years after, when Peter had suffered and fulfilled the prophesie of Christ.

For the particular conceit, the foundation is weak, nor can it be made out from the Text alledged in the Apocalyps: for beside that therein two persons are only named, no mention is made of John, a third Actor in this Tragedy. The death of St. John Evangelist, where and when. The same is also overthrown by History, which recordeth not only the death of John, but assigneth the place of his burial, that is Ephesus, a City in Asia minor, whither after he had been banished into Patmos by Domitian, he returned in the reign of Nerva, there deceased, and was buried in the days of Trajan. And this is testified by Jerom,De Scriptor. Ecclesiast. by Tertullian, De Anima. by Chrysostom and Eusebius, in whose days his Sepulchre was to be seen; and by a more ancient Testimony alleadged also by him, that is of Polycrates Bishop of Ephesus, not many successions after John; whose words are these in an Epistle unto Victor Bishop of Rome, Johannes ille qui supra pectus Domini recumbebat, Doctor optimus, apud Ephesum dormivit; many of the like nature are noted by Baronius, Jansenius, Estius, Lipellous, and others.

Now the main and primitive ground of this error, was a gross mistake in the words of Christ, and a false apprehension of his meaning; understanding that positively which was but conditionally expressed, or receiving that affirmatively which was but concessively delivered. For the words of our Saviour run in a doubtful strain, rather reprehending than satisfying the curiosity of Peter; as though he should have said, Thou hast thy own doom, why enquirest thou after thy Brothers? What relief unto thy affliction, will be the society of anothers? Why pryest thou into[32] the secrets of Gods will? If he stay until I come, what concerneth it thee, who shalt be sure to suffer before that time? And such an answer probably he returned, because he fore-knew John should not suffer a violent death, but go unto his grave in peace. Which had Peter assuredly known, it might have cast some water on his flames, and smothered those fires which kindled after unto the honour of his Master.

Of all the Apostles St. John only is thought to have suffered a natural death: And why?

Now why among all the rest John only escaped the death of a Martyr, the reason is given; because all others fled away or withdrew themselves at his death, and he alone of the Twelve beheld his passion on the Cross. Wherein notwithstanding, the affliction that he suffered could not amount unto less than Martyrdom: for if the naked relation, at least the intentive consideration of that Passion, be able still, and at this disadvantage of time, to rend the hearts of pious Contemplators; surely the near and sensible vision thereof must needs occasion Agonies beyond the comprehension of flesh; and the trajections of such an object more sharply pierce the Martyred soul of John, than afterward did the nails the crucified body of Peter.

Again, They were mistaken in the Emphatical apprehension, placing the consideration upon the words, If I will: whereas it properly lay in these, when I come. Which had they apprehended as some have since, that is, not for his ultimate and last return, but his coming in Judgment and destruction upon the Jews; or such a coming, as it might be said, that that generation should not pass before it was fulfilled; they needed not, much less need we suppose such diuturnity. For after the death of Peter, John lived to behold the same fulfilled by Vespasian: nor had he then his Nunc dimittis, or went out like unto[33] Simeon; but old in accomplisht obscurities, and having seen the expire of Daniels prediction, as some conceive, he accomplished his Revelation.

But besides this original and primary foundation, divers others have made impressions according unto different ages and persons by whom they were received. For some established the conceit in the disciples and brethren, which were contemporary unto him, or lived about the same time with him; and this was first the extraordinary affection our Saviour bare unto this disciple, who hath the honour to be called the disciple whom Jesus loved. Now from hence they might be apt to believe their Master would dispense with his death, or suffer him to live to see him return in glory, who was the only Apostle that beheld him to die in dishonour. Another was the belief and opinion of those times, that Christ would suddenly come; for they held not generally the same opinion with their successors, or as descending ages after so many Centuries; but conceived his coming would not be long after his passion, according unto several expressions of our Saviour grosly understood, and as we find the same opinion not long after reprehended by St. Paul: Thes. 2. and thus conceiving his coming would not be long, they might be induced to believe his favorite should live unto it. Saint John, how long surviving our B. Saviour. Lastly, the long life of John might much advantage this opinion; for he survived the other twelve, he was aged 22 years when he was called by Christ, and 25 that is the age of Priesthood at his death, and lived 93 years, that is 68 after his Saviour, and died not before the second year of Trajan. Now having out lived all his fellows, the world was confirmed he might live still, and even unto the coming of his Master.[34]

The grounds which promoted it in succeeding ages, were especially two. The first his escape of martyrdom: for whereas all the rest suffered some kind of forcible death, we have no history that he suffered any; and men might think he was not capable thereof: For as History informeth, by the command of Domitian he was cast into a Caldron of burning oyl, and came out again unsinged. Now future ages apprehending he suffered no violent death, and finding also the means that tended thereto could take no place, they might be confirmed in their opinion that death had no power over him, that he might live always who could not be destroyed by fire, and was able to resist the fury of that element which nothing shall resist. The second was a corruption crept into the Latin Text, reading for Si, Sic eum manere volo; whereby the answer of our Saviour becometh positive, or that he will have it so; which way of reading was much received in former ages, and is still retained in the vulgar Translation; but in the Greek and original the word is ἐάν, signifying Si or if, which is very different from οὕτως, and cannot be translated for it: and answerable hereunto is the translation of Junius, and that also annexed unto the Greek by the authority of Sixtus Quintus.

The third confirmed it in ages farther descending, and proved a powerfull argument unto all others following; because in his tomb at Ephesus there was no corps or relique thereof to be found; whereupon arose divers doubts, and many suspitious conceptions; some believing he was not buried, some that he was buried but risen again, others that he descended alive into his tomb, and from thence departed after. But all these proceeded upon unveritable grounds, as Baronius hath observed; who alledgeth a letter of Celestine Bishop of Rome,[35] unto the Council of Ephesus, wherein he declareth the reliques of John were highly honoured by that City; and by a passage also of Chrysostome in the Homilies of the Apostles, That John being dead, did cures in Ephesus, as though he were still alive. And so I observe that Esthius discussing this point concludeth hereupon, Quod corpus ejus nunquam reperiatur, hoc non dicerent si veterum scripta diligenter perlustrassent.

Now that the first ages after Christ, those succeeding, or any other should proceed into opinions so far divided from reason, as to think of immortality after the fall of Adam, or conceit a man in these later times should out-live our fathers in the first; although it seem very strange, yet is it not incredible. For the credulity of men hath been deluded into the like conceits; and as Ireneus and Tertullian mention, one Menander a Samaritan obtained belief in this very point; whose doctrin it was, that death should have no power on his disciples, and such as received his baptism should receive immortality therewith. Twas surely an apprehension very strange; nor usually falling either from the absurdities of Melancholy or vanities of ambition. Some indeed have been so affectedly vain, as to counterfeit Immortality, and have stoln their death, in a hope to be esteemed immortal; and others have conceived themselves dead; but surely few or none have fallen upon so bold an errour, as not to think that they could die at all. The reason of those mighty ones, whose ambition could suffer them to be called gods, would never be flattered into immortality; but the proudest thereof have by the daily dictates of corruption convinced the impropriety of that appellation. And surely although delusion may run high, and possible it is that for a while a man may forget his[36] nature, yet cannot this be durable. For the inconcealable imperfections of our selves, or their daily examples in others, will hourly prompt us our corruption, and loudly tell us we are the sons of earth.

More compendiously of some others.

Many others there are which we resign unto Divinity, and perhaps deserve not controversie. Whether David were punished only for pride of heart in numbring the people, as most do hold, or whether as Josephus and many maintain, he suffered also for not performing the Commandment of God concerning capitation; that when the people were numbred, for every head they should pay unto God a shekell, we shall not here contend. Surely, if it were not the occasion of this plague, we must acknowledge the omission thereof was threatned with that punishment, according to the words of the Law. Exod. 30. When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the Lord, that there be no plague amongst them. Now how deeply hereby God was defrauded in the time of David, and opulent State of Israel, will easily appear by the sums of former lustrations. For in the first, Exod. 38. the silver of them that were numbred was an hundred Talents, and a thousand seven hundred three-score and fifteen shekels; a Bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary; for every one from twenty years old and upwards, for six hundred thousand, and three thousand and[37] five hundred and fifty men. Answerable whereto we read in Josephus, Vespasian ordered that every man of the Jews should bring into the Capital two dragms; which amounts unto fifteen pence, or a quarter of an ounce of silver with us: and is equivalent unto a Bekah, or half a shekel of the Sanctuary. What the Attick dragm is. What the didrachmum and the stater, Mat. 17. 27. For an Attick dragm is seven pence halfpeny or a quarter of a shekel, and a didrachmum or double dragm, is the word for Tribute money, or half a shekel; and a stater the money found in the fishes mouth was two Didrachmums, or an whole shekel, and tribute sufficient for our Saviour and for Peter.

We will not question the Metamorphosis of Lots wife, or whether she were transformed into a real statua of Salt: though some conceive that expression Metaphorical, and no more thereby then a lasting and durable column, according to the nature of Salt, which admitteth no corruption: in which sense the Covenant of God is termed a Covenant of Salt; and it is also said, God gave the Kingdom unto David for ever, or by a Covenant of Salt.

That Absalom was hanged by the hair of the head, and not caught up by the neck, as Josephus conceiveth, and the common argument against long hair affirmeth, we are not ready to deny. Although I confess a great and learned party there are of another opinion; although if he had his Morion or Helmet on, I could not well conceive it; although the translation of Jerom or Tremelius do not prove it, and our own seems rather to overthrow it.

How Judas might die.

That Judas hanged himself, much more, that he perished thereby, we shall not raise a doubt. Although Jansenius discoursing the point, produceth the testimony of Theophylact and Euthimius, that he died not[38] by the Gallows, but under a cart wheel, and Baronius also delivereth, this was the opinion of the Greeks, and derived as high as Papias, one of the Disciples of John. Although also how hardly the expression of Matthew is reconcilable unto that of Peter, and that he plainly hanged himself, with that, that falling head-long he burst asunder in the midst, with many other, the learned Grotius plainly doth acknowledge. And lastly, Although as he also urgeth, the word ἀπήγξατο in Matthew, doth not only signifie suspension or pendulous illaqueation, as the common picture discribeth it, but also suffocation, strangulation or interception of breath, which may arise from grief, despair, and deep dejection of spirit,Strangulat inclusus dolor. in which sense it is used in the History of Tobit concerning Sara, ἐλυπήθη σφόδρα ὥστε ἀπάγξασθαι. Ita tristata est ut strangulatione premeretur, saith Junius; and so might it happen from the horrour of mind unto Judas. So do many of the Hebrews affirm, that Achitophel was also strangled, that is, not from the rope, but passion. For the Hebrew and Arabick word in the Text, not only signifies suspension, but indignation, as Grotius hath also observed.

Many more there are of indifferent truths, whose dubious expositions worthy Divines and Preachers do often draw into wholesome and sober uses whereof we shall not speak; with industry we decline such Paradoxes, and peaceably submit unto their received acceptions.


Of the Cessation of Oracles.

That Oracles ceased or grew mute at the coming of Christ, is best understood in a qualified sense, and not without all latitude, as though precisely there were none after, nor any decay before. For (what we must confess unto relations of Antiquity) some pre-decay is observable from that of Cicero, urged by Baronius; Cur isto modo jam oracula Delphis non eduntur, non modo nostra ætate, sed jam diu, ut nihil possit esse contemptius. That during his life they were not altogether dumb, is deduceable from Suetonius in the life of Tiberius, who attempting to subvert the Oracles adjoyning unto Rome, was deterred by the Lots or chances which were delivered at Preneste. After his death we meet with many; Suetonius reports, that the Oracle of Antium forewarned Caligula to beware of Cassius, who was one that conspired his death. Plutarch enquiring why the Oracles of Greece ceased, excepteth that of Lebadia: and in the same place Demetrius affirmeth the Oracles of Mopsus and Amphilochus were much frequented in his days. In brief, Histories are frequent in examples, and there want not some even to the reign of Julian.

What therefore may consist with history, by cessation of Oracles with Montacutius we may understand their intercision, not abscission or consummate desolation; their rare delivery, not total dereliction, and yet in regard of divers Oracles, we may speak strictly, and say there was a proper cessation. Thus may we reconcile the accounts of times, and allow those few[40] and broken divinations, whereof we read in story and undeniable Authors. For that they received this blow from Christ, and no other causes alledged by the heathens, from oraculous confession they cannot deny; whereof upon record there are some very remarkable. The first that Oracle of Delphos delivered unto Augustus.

Me puer Hebræus Divos Deus ipse gubernans
Cedere sede jubet, tristemq; redire sub orcum;
Aris ergo dehinc tacitus discedito nostris.
An Hebrew child, a God all gods excelling,
To hell again commands me from this dwelling.
Our Altars leave in silence, and no more
A Resolution e’re from hence implore.

A second recorded by Plutarch, of a voice that was heard to cry unto Mariners at the sea, Great Pan is dead; which is a relation very remarkable, and may be read in his defect of Oracles. A third reported by Eusebius in the life of his magnified Constantine, that about that time Apollo mourned, declaring his Oracles were false and that the righteous upon earth did hinder him from speaking truth. And a fourth related by Theodoret, and delivered by Apollo Daphneus unto Julian upon his Persian expedition, that he should remove the bodies about him before he could return an answer, and not long after his Temple was burnt with lightning.

All which were evident and convincing acknowledgements of that Power which shut his lips, and restrained that delusion which had reigned so many Centuries. But as his malice is vigilant, and the sins of men do still continue a toleration of his mischiefs, he resteth not, nor will he ever cease to circumvent the sons of the first deceived. The devils retreat when expelled the Oracles. And therefore expelled from Oracles[41] and solemn Temples of delusion, he runs into corners, exercising minor trumperies, and acting his deceits in Witches, Magicians, Diviners, and such inferiour seducers. And yet (what is deplorable) while we apply our selves thereto, and affirming that God hath left to speak by his Prophets, expect in doubtfull matters a resolution from such spirits, while we say the devil is mute, yet confess that these can speak; while we deny the substance, yet practise the effect and in the denied solemnity maintain the equivalent efficacy; in vain we cry that Oracles are down; Apollos Altar still doth smoak; nor is the fire of Delphos out unto this day.

Impertinent it is unto our intention to speak in general of Oracles, and many have well performed it. The plainest of others was that of Apollo Delphicus recorded by Herodotus, and delivered unto Crœsus; who as a trial of their omniscience sent unto distant Oracles; and so contrived with the Messengers, that though in several places, yet at the same time they should demand what Crœsus was then a doing. Among all others the Oracle of Delphos only hit it, returning answer, he was boyling a Lamb with a Tortoise, in a brazen vessel, with a cover of the same metal. The stile is haughty in Greek, though somewhat lower in Latine.

Æquoris est spatium et numerus mihi notus arenæ
Mutum percipio, fantis nihil audio vocem.
Venit ad hos sensus nidor testudinis acris,
Quæ semel agninâ coquitur cum carne labete,
Aere infra strato, et stratum cui desuper æs est.
I know the space of Sea, the number of the sand,
I hear the silent, mute I understand.
A tender Lamb joined with Tortoise flesh,
Thy Master King of Lydia now doth dress.
The scent thereof doth in my nostrils hover,
From brazen pot closed with brazen cover.


Hereby indeed he acquired much wealth and more honour, and was reputed by Crœsus as a Diety: and yet not long after, by a vulgar fallacy he deceived his favourite and greatest friend of Oracles into an irreparable overthrow by Cyrus. And surely the same success are likely all to have that rely or depend upon him. ’Twas the first play he practised on mortality; and as time hath rendred him more perfect in the Art, so hath the inveterateness of his malice more ready in the execution. ’Tis therefore the soveraign degree of folly, and a crime not only against God, but also our own reasons, to expect a favour from the devil; whose mercies are more cruel than those of Polyphemus; for he devours his favourites first, and the nearer a man approacheth, the sooner he is scorched by Moloch. In brief, his favours are deceitfull and double-headed, he doth apparent good, for real and convincing evil after it; and exalteth us up to the top of the Temple, but to humble us down from it.

Of the death of Aristotle.

That Aristotle drowned himself in Euripus, as despairing to resolve the cause of its reciprocation, or ebb and flow seven times a day, with this determination, Si quidem ego non capio te, tu capies me, was the assertion of Procopius, Nazianzen, Justin Martyr, and is generally believed amongst us. Wherein, because we perceive men have but an imperfect knowledge, some conceiving Euripus to be a River, others not knowing where or in what part to[43] place it; we first advertise, it generally signifieth any strait, fret, or channel of the Sea, running between two shoars, as Julius Pollux hath defined it;What an Euripus is generally. as we read of Euripus Hellespontiacus, Pyrrhæus, and this whereof we treat, Euripus Euboicus or Chalcidicus, that is, a narrow passage of Sea dividing Attica, and the Island of Eubœa, now called Golfo de Negroponte, from the name of the Island and chief City thereof; famous in the wars of Antiochus, and taken from the Venetians by Mahomet the Great.

Touching the death of Aristotle.

Now that in this Euripe or fret of Negropont, and upon the occasion mentioned, Aristotle drowned himself, as many affirm, and almost all believe, we have some room to doubt. For without any mention of this, we find two ways delivered of his death by Diogenes Laertius, who expresly treateth thereof; the one from Eumolus and Phavorimus, that being accused of impiety for composing an Hymn unto Hermias (upon whose Concubine he begat his son Nichomachus) he withdrew into Chalcis, where drinking poison he died; the Hymn is extant in Laertius, and the fifteenth book of Athenæus. Another by Apollodorus, that he died at Chalcis of a natural death and languishment of stomach, in his sixty third, or great Climacterical year; and answerable hereto is the account of Suidas and Censorinus. And if that were clearly made out, which Rabbi Ben Joseph affirmeth, he found in an Egyptian book of Abraham Sapiens Perizol; that Aristotle acknowledged all that was written in the Law of Moses, and became at last a Proselyte;Licetus de quæsitis, epist. it would also make improbable this received way of his death.

Again, Beside the negative of Authority, it is also deniable by reason; nor will it be easie to obtrude such desperate attempts upon Aristotle, from unsatisfaction[44] of reason, who so often acknowledged the imbecillity thereof. Who in matters of difficulty, and such which were not without abstrusities, conceived it sufficient to deliver conjecturalities. And surely he that could sometimes sit down with high improbabilities, that could content himself, and think to satisfie others, that the variegation of Birds was from their living in the Sun, or erection made by deliberation of the Testicles; would not have been dejected unto death with this. He that was so well acquainted with ἢ ὅτι, and πότερον utrum, and An Quia, as we observe in the Queries of his Problems: with ἴσως and ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ, fortasse and plerumque, as is observable through all his Works: had certainly rested with probabilities, and glancing conjectures in this: Nor would his resolutions have ever run into that mortal Antanaclasis, and desperate piece of Rhetorick, to be compriz’d in that he could not comprehend. Nor is it indeed to be made out that he ever endeavoured the particular of Euripus, or so much as to resolve the ebb and flow of the Sea. For, as Vicomercatus and others observe, he hath made no mention hereof in his Works, although the occasion present it self in his Meteors, wherein he disputeth the affections of the Sea: nor yet in his Problems, although in the twenty-third Section, there be no less than one and forty Queries of the Sea. Some mention there is indeed in a Work of the propriety of Elements, ascribed unto Aristotle: which notwithstanding is not reputed genuine, De placitis Philosophorum. and was perhaps the same whence this was urged by Plutarch.

Lastly, the thing it self whereon the opinion dependeth, that is, the variety of the flux and the reflux of Euripus, or whether the same do ebb and flow seven times a day, is not incontrovertible. For though[45] Pomponius Mela, and after him Solinus and Pliny have affirmed it, yet I observe Thucydides, who speaketh often of Eubœa, hath omitted it. Pausanias an ancient Writer, who hath left an exact description of Greece, and in as particular a way as Leandro of Italy, or Cambden of great Britain, describing not only the Country Towns, and Rivers; but Hills, Springs and Houses, hath left no mention hereof. Æschines in Ctesiphon only alludeth unto it; and Strabo that accurate Geographer speaks warily of it, that is, ὡς φασὶ, and as men commonly reported. And so doth also Maginus, Velocis ac varii fluctus est mare, ubi quater in die, aut septies, ut alii dicunt, reciprocantur æstus. Botero more plainly, Il mar cresce e cala con un impeto mirabile quatra volte il di, ben che communimente si dica sette volte, etc. This Sea with wondrous impetuosity ebbeth and floweth four times a day, although it be commonly said seven times, and generally opinioned, that Aristotle despairing of the reason, drowned himself therein. In which description by four times a day, it exceeds not in number the motion of other Seas, taking the words properly, that is, twice ebbing and twice flowing in four and twenty hours. And is no more than what Thomaso Porrcacchi affirmeth in his description of famous Islands, that twice a day it hath such an impetuous flood, as is not without wonder. Livy speaks more particularly, Haud facile infestior classi statio est et fretum ipsum Euripi, non septies die (ficut fama fert) temporibus certis reciprocat, sed temere in modum venti, nunc hunc nunc illuc verso mari, velut monte præcipiti devolutus torrens rapitur. There is hardly a worse harbour, the fret or channel of Euripus not certainly ebbing or flowing seven times a day, according to common report: but being uncertainly, and in[46] the manner of a wind carried hither and thither, is whirled away as a torrent down a hill. But the experimental testimony of Gillius is most considerable of any: who having beheld the course thereof, and made enquiry of Millers that dwelt upon its shore, received answer, that it ebbed and flowed four times a day, that is, every six hours, according to the Law of the Ocean: but that indeed sometimes it observed not that certain course. And this irregularity, though seldom happening, together with its unruly and tumultuous motion, might afford a beginning unto the common opinion. Thus may the expression in Ctesiphon be made out: And by this may Aristotle be interpreted, when in his Problems he seems to borrow a Metaphor from Euripus: while in the five and twentieth Section he enquireth, why in the upper parts of houses the air doth Euripize, that is, is whirled hither and thither.

A later and experimental testimony is to be found in the travels of Monsieur Duloir; who about twenty years ago, remained sometime at Negroponte, or old Chalcis, and also passed and repassed this Euripus; who thus expresseth himself. I wonder much at the Error concerning the flux and reflux of Euripus; and I assure you that opinion is false. I gave a Boat-man a Crown, to set me in a convenient place, where for a whole day I might observe the same. It ebbeth and floweth by six hours, even as it doth at Venice, but the course thereof is vehement.

Now that which gave life unto the assertion, might be his death at Chalcis, the chief City of Eubœa, and seated upon Euripus, where ’tis confessed by all he ended his days. That he emaciated and pined away in the too anxious enquiry of its reciprocations,[47] although not drowned therein, as Rhodiginus relateth, some conceived, was a half confession thereof not justifiable from Antiquity. Surely the Philosophy of flux and reflux was very imperfect of old among the Greeks and Latins; nor could they hold a sufficient theory thereof, who only observed the Mediterranean, which in some places hath no ebb, and not much in any part. Nor can we affirm our knowledg is at the height, who have now the Theory of the Ocean and narrow Seas beside. While we refer it unto the Moon, we give some satisfaction for the Ocean, but no general salve for Creeks, and Seas which know no flood; nor resolve why it flows three or four foot at Venice in the bottom of the Gulf, yet scarce at all at Ancona, Durazzo, or Corcyra, which lie but by the way. And therefore old abstrusities have caused new inventions; and some from the Hypotheses of Copernicus, or the Diurnal and annual motion of the earth, endeavour to salve flows and motions of these Seas,Rog. Bac. doctis, Cabeus Met. 2. illustrating the same by water in a boal, that rising or falling to either side, according to the motion of the vessel; the conceit is ingenuous, salves some doubts, and is discovered at large by Galileo.

How the Moon may cause the ebbing and flowing of the Sea.

But whether the received principle and undeniable action of the Moon may not be still retained, although in some difference of application, is yet to be perpended; that is, not by a simple operation upon the surphace or superiour parts, but excitation of the nitro-sulphureous spirits, and parts disposed to intumescency at the bottom; not by attenuation of the upper part of the Sea, (whereby ships would draw more water at the flow than at the ebb) but inturgescencies caused first at the bottom, and carrying the upper part before them: subsiding and falling again, according to the[48] Motion of the Moon from the Meridian, and languor of the exciting cause:Why Rivers and Lakes ebb and flow not. Why some Seas flow higher than others, and continue longer. and therefore Rivers and Lakes who want these fermenting parts at the bottom, are not excited unto æstuations; and therefore some Seas flow higher than others, according to the Plenty of these spirits, in their submarine constitutions. And therefore also the periods of flux and reflux are various, nor their increase or decrease equal: according to the temper of the terreous parts at the bottom: who as they are more hardly or easily moved, do variously begin, continue or end their intumescencies.

Whence the violent flows proceed in some Estuaries and Rivers.

From the peculiar disposition of the earth at the bottom, wherein quick excitations are made, may arise those Agars and impetuous flows in some æstuaries and Rivers, as is observable about Trent and Humber in England; which may also have some effect in the boisterous tides of Euripus, not only from ebullitions at the bottom, but also from the sides and lateral parts, driving the streams from either side, which arise or fall according to the motion in those parts, and the intent or remiss operation of the first exciting causes, which maintain their activities above and below the Horizon; even as they do in the bodies of plants and animals, and in the commotion of Catarrhes.

However therefore Aristotle died, what was his end, or upon what occasion, although it be not altogether assured, yet that his memory and worthy name shall live, no man will deny, nor grateful Scholar doubt, and if according to the Elogy of Solon, a man may be only said to be happy after he is dead, and ceaseth to be in the visible capacity of beatitude, or if according unto his own Ethicks, sense is not essential unto felicity, but a man may be happy without the apprehension thereof; surely in that sense he is pyramidally happy; nor can[49] he ever perish but in the Euripe of Ignorance, or till the Torrent or Barbarism overwhelmeth all.

Homers death.

A like conceit there passeth of Melisigenes, alias Homer, the Father Poet, that he pined away upon the Riddle of the fishermen. But Herodotus who wrote his life hath cleared this point; delivering, that passing from Samos unto Athens, he went sick ashore upon the Island Ios, where he died, and was solemnly interred upon the Sea side; and so decidingly concludeth, Ex hac ægritudine extremum diem clausit Homerus in Io, non, ut arbitrantur aliqui, Ænigmatis perplexitate enectus, sed morbo.

Of the Wish of Philoxenus.

That Relation of Aristotle, and conceit generally received concerning Philoxenus, who wished the neck of a Crane, that thereby he might take more pleasure in his meat, although it pass without exception, upon enquiry I find not only doubtful in the story, but absurd in the desire or reason alledged for it. For though his Wish were such as is delivered, yet had it not perhaps that end, to delight his gust in eating; but rather to obtain advantage thereby in singing, as is declared by Mirandula. Aristotle (saith he) in his Ethicks and Problems, accuseth Philoxenus of sensuality, for the greater pleasure of gust desiring[50] the neck of a Crane; which desire of his, assenting unto Aristotle, I have formerly condemned: But since I perceive that Aristotle for this accusation hath been accused by divers Writers. For Philoxenus was an excellent Musician, and desired the neck of a Crane, not for any pleasure at meat; but fancying thereby an advantage in singing or warbling, and dividing the notes in musick. And many Writers there are which mention a Musician of that name, as Plutarch in his book against usury, and Aristotle himself in the eighth of his Politicks, speaks of one Philoxenus a Musician, that went off from the Dorick Dithyrambicks unto the Phrygian Harmony.

Again, Be the story true or false, rightly applied or not, the intention is not reasonable, and that perhaps neither one way nor the other. For if we rightly consider the Organ of tast, we shall find the length of the neck to conduce but little unto it. For the tongue being the instrument of tast, and the tip thereof the most exact distinguisher, it will not advantage the gust to have the neck extended; Wherein the Gullet and conveying parts are only seated, which partake not of the nerves of gustation, or appertaining unto sapor, but receive them only from the sixth pair; whereas the nerves of tast descend from the third and fourth propagations, and so diffuse themselves into the tongue. And therefore Cranes, Herns and Swans have no advantage in taste beyond Hawks, Kites, and others of shorter necks.

Nor, if we consider it, had Nature respect unto the taste in the different contrivance of necks, but rather unto the parts contained, the composure of the rest of the body, and the manner whereby they feed. Thus animals of long legs, have generally long necks; that is, for the conveniency of feeding, as having a necessity to apply their mouths unto the earth. So have Horses, Camels, Dromedaries long necks, and all tall animals, except the Elephant, who in defect thereof is furnished with a Trunk, without which he could not[51] attain the ground. So have Cranes, Herns, Storks and Shovelards long necks: and so even in Man, whose figure is erect, the length of the neck followeth the proportion of other parts: and such as have round faces or broad chests and shoulders, have very seldom long necks. For, the length of the face twice exceedeth that of the neck, and the space betwixt the throat-pit and the navell, is equall unto the circumference thereof. Again, animals are framed with long necks, according unto the course of their life or feeding: so many with short legs have long necks, because they feed in the water, as Swans, Geese, Pelicans, and other fin-footed animals. But Hawks and birds of prey have short necks and trussed leggs; for that which is long is weak and flexible, and a shorter figure is best accomodated unto that intention. Lastly, the necks of animals do vary, according to the parts that are contained in them, which are the weazon and the gullet. Such as have no weazon and breath not, have scarce any neck, as most sorts of fishes; and some none at all, as all sorts of pectinals, Soals, Thornback, Flounders; and all crustaceous animals, as Crevises, Crabs and Lobsters.

All which considered, the Wish of Philoxenus will hardly consist with reason. More excusable had it been to have wished himself an Ape, which if common conceit speak true, is exacter in taste then any. Rather some kind of granivorous bird then a Crane, for in this sense they are so exquisite that upon the first peck of their bill, they can distinguish the qualities of hard bodies; which the sense of man discerns not without mastication. Rather some ruminating animal, that he might have eat his meat twice over; or rather, as Theophilus observed in Athenæus, his desire had been more reasonable, had he wished himself an Elephant,[52] or an Horse; for in these animals the appetite is more vehement, and they receive their viands in large and plenteous manner. And this indeed had been more sutable, if this were the same Philoxenus whereof Plutarch speaketh who was so uncivilly greedy, that to engross the mess, he would preventively deliver his nostrils in the dish.

As for the musical advantage, although it seem more reasonable, yet do we not observe that Cranes and birds of long necks have any musical, but harsh and clangous throats. But birds that are canorous, and whose notes we most commend, are of little throats and short necks, as Nightingales, Finches, Linnets, Canary birds and Larks. And truly, although the weazon, throtle and tongue be the instruments of voice, and by their agitations do chiefly concurr unto these delightfull modulations, yet cannot we distinctly and peculiarly assign the cause unto any particular formation; and I perceive the best thereof, the nightingale, hath some disadvantage in the tongue; which is not accuminate and pointed as in the rest, but seemeth as it were cut off, which perhaps might give the hint unto the fable of Philomela, and the cutting off her tongue by Tereus.

Of the Lake Asphaltites.

Concerning the Lake Asphaltites, the Lake of Sodom, or the dead Sea, that heavy bodies cast therein sink not, but by reason of a salt and bituminous thickness in the water float and swim[53] above, narrations already made are of that variety, we can hardly from thence deduce a satisfactory determination; and that not only in the story it self, but in the cause alledged. As for the story, men deliver it variously: some I fear too largely, as Pliny, who affirmeth that bricks will swim therein. Mandevil goeth farther, that Iron swimmeth, and feathers sink. Munster in his Cosmography hath another relation, although perhaps derived from the Poem of Tertullian, that a candle Burning swimmeth, but if extinguished sinketh. Some more moderately, as Josephus, and many others: affirming only that living bodies float, nor peremptorily averring they cannot sink, but that indeed they do not easily descend. Most traditionally, as Galen, Pliny, Solinus and Strabo, who seems to mistake the Lake Serbonis for it. Few experimentally, most contenting themselves in the experiment of Vespasian, by whose command some captives bound were cast therein, and found to float as though they could have swimmed: divers contradictorily, or contrarily, quite overthrowing the point. Aristotle in the second of his Meteors speaks lightly thereof, ὥσπερ μυθολογοῦσι, which word is variously rendred, by some as a fabulous account, by some as a common talk. Biddulphus divideth the common accounts of Judea in three parts, the one saith he, are apparent Truths, the second apparent falshoods, the third are dubious or between both; in which form he ranketh the relation of this Lake.Biddulphi intinerarium Anglice. But Andrew Thevet in his Cosmography doth ocularly overthrow it; for he affirmeth, he saw an Ass with his Saddle cast therein and drowned. Now of these relations so different or contrary unto each other, the second is most moderate and safest to be embraced, which saith, that living bodies swim therein,[54] that is, they do not easily sink: and this, untill exact experiment further determine, may be allowed, as best consistent with this quality, and the reasons alledged for it.

As for the cause of this effect, common opinion conceives it to be the salt and bituminous thickness of the water. This indeed is probable, and may be admitted as far as the second opinion concedeth. For certain it is that salt water will support a greater burden then fresh; and we see an egg will descend in salt water, which will swim in brine. But that Iron should float therein, from this cause is hardly granted; for heavy bodies will only swim in that liquor, wherein the weight of their bulk exceedeth not the weight of so much water as it occupieth or taketh up. But surely no water is heavy enough to answer the ponderosity of Iron, and therefore that metal will sink in any kind thereof, and it was a perfect Miracle which was wrought this way by Elisha. Thus we perceive that bodies do swim or sink in different liquors, according unto the tenuity or gravity of those liquors which are to support them. So salt water beareth that weight which will sink in vineger, vineger that which will fall in fresh water, fresh water that which will sink in spirits of Wine, and that will swim in spirits of Wine which will sink in clear oyl; as we made experiment in globes of wax pierced with light sticks to support them. So that although it be conceived an hard matter to sink in oyl, I believe a man should find it very difficult, and next to flying, to swim therein. And thus will Gold sink in Quick-silver, wherein Iron and other metals swim; for the bulk of Gold is only heavier then that space of Quick-silver which it containeth: and thus also in a solution of one ounce of Quick-silver in two of Aqua[55] fortis, the liquor will bear Amber, Horn, and the softer kinds of stones, as we have made triall in each.

But a private opinion there is which crosseth the common conceit, maintained by some of late, and alleadged of old by Strabo, that the floating of bodies in this Lake proceeds not from the thickness of the water, but a bituminous ebullition from the bottom, whereby it wafts up bodies injected, and suffereth them not easily to sink. The verity thereof would be enquired by ocular exploration, for this way is also probable. So we observe, it is hard to wade deep in baths where springs arise; and thus sometime are bals made to play upon a spouting stream.

And therefore, until judicious and ocular experiment confirm or distinguish the assertion, that bodies do not sink herein at all, we do not yet believe; that they not easily, or with more difficulty descend in this than other water, we shall readily assent. But to conclude an impossibility from a difficulty, or affirm whereas things not easily sink, they do not drown at all; beside the fallacy, is a frequent addition in humane expression, and an amplification not unusual as well in opinions as relations; which oftentimes give indistinct accounts of proximities, and without restraint transcend from one another. Thus, forasmuch as the torrid Zone was conceived exceeding hot, and of difficult habitation, the opinions of men so advanced its constitution, as to conceive the same unhabitable, and beyond possibility for man to live therein. Thus, because there are no Wolves in England, nor have been observed for divers generations, common people have proceeded into opinions, and some wise men into affirmations, they will not live therein, although brought from other Countries. Thus most men affirm, and few here will[56] believe the contrary, that there be no Spiders in Ireland; but we have beheld some in that Country; and though but few, some Cob-webs we behold in Irish wood in England. Thus the Crocodile from an egg growing up to an exceeding magnitude, common conceit, and divers Writers deliver, it hath no period of encrease, but groweth as long as it liveth. And thus in brief, in most apprehensions the conceits of men extend the considerations of things, and dilate their notions beyond the propriety of their natures.

In the Mapps of the dead Sea or Lake of Sodom, we meet with the destroyed Cities, and in divers the City of Sodom placed about the middle, or far from the shore of it; but that it could not be far from Segor, which was seated under the mountains neer the side of the Lake, seems inferrible from the sudden arrival of Lot, who coming from Sodom at day break, attained Segor at Sun rising; and therefore Sodom to be placed not many miles from it, and not in the middle of the Lake, which is accounted about eighteen miles over; and so will leave about nine miles to be passed in too small a space of time.

Of divers other Relations.

1. The relation of Averroes, and now common in every mouth, of the woman that conceived in a bath, by attracting the sperm or seminal effluxion of a man admitted to bath in some vicinity unto her, I have scarce faith to believe; and had I been of the Jury, should have hardly thought I had[57] found the father in the person that stood by her. ’Tis a new and unseconded way in History to fornicate at a distance, and much offendeth the rules of Physick, which say, there is no generation without a joynt emission, nor only a virtual, but corporal and carnal contaction. And although Aristotle and his adherents do cut off the one, who conceive no effectual ejaculation in women, yet in defence of the other they cannot be introduced. For, if as he believeth, the inordinate longitude of the organ, though in its proper recipient, may be a means to inprolificate the seed; surely the distance of place, with the commixture of an aqueous body, must prove an effectual impediment, and utterly prevent the success of a conception. And therefore that conceit concerning the daughters of Lot, that they were impregnated by their sleeping father, or conceived by seminal pollution received at distance from him, will hardly be admitted. Generations by the Devil very improbable. And therefore what is related of devils, and the contrived delusions of spirits, that they steal the seminal emissions of man, and transmit them into their votaries in coition, is much to be suspected; and altogether to be denied, that there ensue conceptions thereupon; however husbanded by Art, and the wisest menagery of that most subtile imposter. And therefore also that our magnified Merlin was thus begotten by the devil, is a groundless conception; and as vain to think from thence to give the reason of his prophetical spirit. For if a generation could succeed, yet should not the issue inherit the faculties of the devil, who is but an auxiliary, and no univocal Actor; Nor will his nature substantially concur to such productions.

And although it seems not impossible, that impregnation may succeed from seminal spirits, and vaporous[58] irradiations containing the active principle, without material and gross immissions; as it happeneth sometimes in imperforated persons, and rare conceptions of some much under pubertie or fourteen. As may be also conjectured in the coition of some insects, wherein the female makes intrusion into the male; and from the continued ovation in Hens, from one single tread of a cock, and little stock laid up near the vent, sufficient for durable prolification. And although also in humane generation the gross and corpulent seminal body may return again, and the great business be acted by what it caryeth with it: yet will not the same suffice to support the story in question, wherein no corpulent immission is acknowledged; answerable unto the fable of the Talmudists, in the storie of Benzira, begotten in the same manner on the daughter of the Prophet Jeremie.

2. The Relation of Lucillius, and now become common, concerning Crassus the grand-father of Marcus the wealthy Roman, that he never laughed but once in all his life, and that was at an Ass eating thistles, is something strange. For, if an indifferent and unridiculous object could draw his habitual austereness unto a smile, it will be hard to believe he could with perpetuity resist the proper motives thereof. Laughter. What kind of Passion it is. For the act of Laughter which is evidenced by a sweet contraction of the muscles of the face, and a pleasant agitation of the vocal Organs, is not meerly voluntary, or totally within the jurisdiction of our selves: but as it may be constrained by corporal contaction in any, and hath been enforced in some even in their death, so the new unusual or unexpected jucundities, which present themselves to any man in his life, at some time or other will have activity enough to excitate the earthiest[59] soul, and raise a smile from most composed tempers. Certainly the times were dull when these things happened, and the wits of those Ages short of these of ours; when men could maintain such immutable faces, as to remain like statues under the flatteries of wit and persist unalterable at all efforts of Jocularity. The spirits in hell, and Pluto himself, whom Lucian makes to laugh at passages upon earth, will plainly condemn these Saturnines, and make ridiculous the magnified Heraclitus, who wept preposterously, and made a hell on earth; for rejecting the consolations of life, he passed his days in tears, and the uncomfortable attendments of hell.

3. The same conceit there passeth concerning our blessed Saviour, and is sometimes urged as an high example of gravity. And this is opinioned, because in holy Scripture it is recorded he sometimes wept, but never that he laughed. Which howsoever granted, it will be hard to conceive how he passed his younger years and child-hood without a smile, if as Divinity affirmeth, for the assurance of his humanity unto men, and the concealment of his Divinity from the devil, he passed this age like other children, and so proceeded untill he evidenced the same. And surely herein no danger there is to affirm the act or performance of that, whereof we acknowledge the power and essential property; and whereby indeed he most nearly convinced the doubt of his humanity. Nor need we be afraid to ascribe that unto the incarnate Son, which sometimes is attributed unto the uncarnate Father; of whom it is said, He that dwelleth in the heavens shall laugh the wicked to scorn. For a laugh there is of contempt or indignation, as well as of mirth and Jocosity; and that our Saviour was not exempted from the ground hereof,[60] that is, the passion of anger, regulated and rightly ordered by reason, the schools do not deny: and besides the experience of the money-changers and Dove-sellers in the Temple, is testified by St. John, when he saith, the speech of DavidZelus domus tuæ comedit me. was fulfilled in our Saviour.

Now the Alogie of this opinion consisteth in the illation; it being not reasonable to conclude from Scripture negatively in points which are not matters of faith, and pertaining unto salvation. And therefore although in the description of the creation there be no mention of fire, Christian Philosophy did not think it reasonable presently to annihilate that element, or positively to decree there was no such thing at all. Thus whereas in the brief narration of Moses there is no record of wine before the flood, we cannot satisfactorily conclude that Noah was the first that ever tasted thereof. Only in the vulgar Latin. Judg. 9. 53. And thus because the word Brain is scarce mentioned once, but Heart above an hundred times in holy Scripture; Physitians that dispute the principality of parts are not from hence induced to bereave the animal Organ of its priority. Wherefore the Scriptures being serious, and commonly omitting such Parergies, it will be unreasonable from hence to condemn all Laughter, and from considerations inconsiderable to discipline a man out of his nature. For this is by a rustical severity to banish all urbanity; whose harmless and confined condition, as it stands commended by morality, so is it consistent with Religion, and doth not offend Divinity.

4. The custom it is of Popes to change their name at their creation; and the Author thereof is commonly said to be Bocca di porco, or swines face; who therefore assumed the stile of Sergius the second, as being[61] ashamed so foul a name should dishonour the chair of Peter; wherein notwithstanding, from Montacutius and others I find there may be some mistake. For Massonius who writ the lives of Popes, acknowledgeth he was not the first that changed his name in that Sea; nor as Platina affirmeth, have all his Successors precisely continued that custom; for Adrian the sixt, and Marcellus the second, did still retain their Baptismal denomination. Nor is it proved, or probable, that Sergius changed the name of Bocca di Porco, for this was his sirname or gentilitious appellation: nor was it the custom to alter that with the other; but be commuted his Christian name Peter for Sergius, because he would seem to decline the name of Peter the second. A scruple I confess not thought considerable in other Seas, whose Originals and first Patriarchs have been less disputed; nor yet perhaps of that reality as to prevail in points of the same nature. For the names of the Apostles, Patriarchs and Prophets have been assumed even to affectation; the name of Jesus hath not been appropriate; but some in precedent ages have born that name, and many since have not refused the Christian name of Emmanuel. Thus are there few names more frequent then Moses and Abraham among the Jews; The Turks without scruple affect the name of Mahomet, and with gladness receive so honourable cognomination.

And truly in humane occurrences there ever have been many well directed intentions, whose rationalities will never bear a rigid examination, and though in some way they do commend their Authors, and such as first began them, yet have they proved insufficient to perpetuate imitation in such as have succeeded them. Thus was it a worthy resolution of Godfrey, and most[62] Christians have applauded it, That he refused to wear a Crown of Gold where his Saviour had worn one of thorns. Yet did not his Successors durably inherit that scruple, but some were anointed, and solemnly accepted the Diadem of regality. Thus Julius, Augustus and Tiberius with great humility or popularity refused the name of Imperator, but their Successors have challenged that title, and retain the same even in its titularity. And thus to come nearer our subject, the humility of Gregory the Great would by no means admit the stile of universal Bishop; but the ambition of Boniface made no scruple thereof, nor of more queasie resolutions have been their Successors ever since.

Turkish History.

5. That Tamerlane was a Scythian Shepherd, from Mr. Knolls and others, from Alhazen a learned Arabian who wrote his life, and was Spectator of many of his exploits, we have reasons to deny. Not only from his birth, for he was of the blood of the Tartarian Emperours, whose father Og had for his possession the Country of Sagathy; which was no slender Territory, but comprehended all that tract wherein were contained Bactriana, Sogdiana, Margiana, and the nation of the Massagetes, whose capital City was Samarcand; a place though now decaid, of great esteem and trade in former ages. But from his regal Inauguration, for it is said, that being about the age of fifteen, his old father resigned the Kingdom and men of war unto him. And also from his education, for as the storie speaks it, he was instructed in the Arabian learning, and afterward exercised himself therein. Now Arabian learning was in a manner all the liberal Sciences, especially the Mathematicks, and natural Philosophy; wherein not many ages before him there flourished[63] Avicenna, Averroes, Avenzoar, Geber, Almanzor and Alhazen, cognominal unto him that wrote his History, whose Chronology indeed, although it be obscure, yet in the opinion of his Commentator, he was contemporary unto Avicenna, and hath left sixteen books of Opticks, of great esteem with ages past, and textuary unto our days.

Now the ground of this mistake was surely that which the Turkish Historian declareth. Some, saith he, of our Historians will needs have Tamerlane to be the Son of a Shepherd. But this they have said, not knowing at all the custom of their Country; wherein the principal revenews of the King and Nobles consisteth in cattle; who despising gold and silver, abound in all sorts thereof. And this was the occasion that some men call them Shepherds, and also affirm this Prince descended from them. Now, if it be reasonable, that great men whose possessions are chiefly in cattle, should bear the name of Shepherds, and fall upon so low denominations; then may we say that Abraham was a Shepherd, although too powerful for four Kings: that Job was of that condition, who beside Camels and Oxen had seven thousand Sheep: and yet is said to be the greatest man in the East. Thus was Mesha King of Moab a Shepherd, who annually paid unto the Crown of Israel an hundred thousand Lambs, and as many Rams. Surely it is no dishonourable course of life which Moses and Jacob have made exemplary: ’tis a profession supported upon the natural way of acquisition, and though contemned by the Egyptians, much countenanced by the Hebrews, whose sacrifices required plenty of Sheep and Lambs. And certainly they were very numerous; for, at the consecration of the Temple, beside two and twenty thousand Oxen, King Solomon[64] sacrificed an hundred and twenty thousand Sheep: and the same is observable from the daily provision of his house: which was ten fat Oxen, twenty Oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred Sheep, beside row Buck, fallow Deer, and fatted Fowls. Description of the Turkish Seraglio, since printed. The daily provision of the Seraglio. Wherein notwithstanding (if a punctual relation thereof do rightly inform us) the grand Seignior doth exceed: the daily provision of whose Seraglio in the reign of Achmet, beside Beeves, consumed two hundred Sheep, Lambs and Kids when they were in season one hundred, Calves ten, Geese fifty, Hens two hundred, Chickens one hundred, Pigeons an hundred pair.

And therefore this mistake concerning the noble Tamerlane, was like that concerning Demosthenes, who is said to be the Son of a Black-smith, according to common conceit, and that handsome expression of Juvenal.

Quem pater ardentis massæ fuligine lippus,
A carbone et forcipibus, gladiosq; parante
Incude, et luteo Vulcano ad Rhetora misit.
Thus Englished by Sir Robert Stapleton.
Whom’s Father with the smoaky forg half blind,
From blows on sooty Vulcans anvil spent.
In ham’ring swords, to study Rhet’rick sent.

But Plutarch who writ his life hath cleared this conceit, plainly affirming he was most nobly descended, and that this report was raised, because his father had many slaves that wrought Smiths work, and brought the profit unto him.


Of some others.

1. We are sad when we read the story of Belisarius that worthy Chieftain of Justinian; who, after his Victories over Vandals, Goths, Persians, and his Trophies in three parts of the World, had at last his eyes put out by the Emperour, and was reduced to that distress, that he begged relief on the high-way, in that uncomfortable petition, Date obolum Belisario. And this we do not only hear in Discourses, Orations and Themes, but find it also in the leaves of Petrus Crinitus, Volaterranus, and other worthy Writers.

But, what may somewhat consolate all men that honour vertue, we do not discover the latter Scene of his Misery in Authors of Antiquity, or such as have expresly delivered the stories of those times. For, Suidas is silent herein, Cedrenus and Zonaras, two grave and punctual Authors, delivering only the confiscation of his goods, omit the History of his mendication. Paulus Diaconus goeth farther, not only passing over this act, but affirming his goods and dignities were restored. Agathius who lived at the same time, declareth he suffered much from the envy of the Court: but that he descended thus deep into affliction, is not to be gathered from his pen. The same is also omitted by Procopius a contemporary and professed enemy unto Justinian and Belisarius, who hath left an opprobrious book Ἀνέκδοτα, or Arcana historia. against them both.

And in this opinion and hopes we are not single, but Andreas Alciatus the Civilian in his Parerga, and[66] Franciscus de Cordua in his Didascalia, have both declaratorily confirmed the same, which is also agreeable unto the judgment of Nicolaus Alemannus, in his notes upon the bitter History of Procopius. Certainly sad and Tragical stories are seldom drawn within the circle of their verities; but as their Relators do either intend the hatred or pitty of the persons, so are they set forth with additional amplifications. Thus have some suspected it hath happened unto the story of Oedipus; and thus do we conceive it hath fared with that of Judas, who having sinned beyond aggravation, and committed one villany which cannot be exasperated by all other: is also charged with the murther of his reputed brother, parricide of his father, and Incest with his own mother, as Florilegus or Matthew of Westminster hath at large related. And thus hath it perhaps befallen the noble Belisarius; who, upon instigation of the Empress, having contrived the exile, and very hardly treated Pope Serverius, Latin pens, as a judgment of God upon this fact, have set forth his future sufferings: and omitting nothing of amplification, they have also delivered this: which notwithstanding Johannes the Greek makes doubtful, as may appear from his Iambicks in Baronius, and might be a mistake or misapplication, translating the affliction of one man upon another, for the same befell unto Johannes Cappadox,Procop. Bell. Persic. 1. Ἀρτον ἠ ὀβολὸν αἰτεῖσθαι. contemporary unto Belisarius, and in great favour with Justinian; who being afterward banished into Egypt, was fain to beg relief on the high-way.

2. That fluctus Decumanus, or the tenth wave is greater and more dangerous than any other, some no doubt will be offended if we deny; and hereby we shall seem to contradict Antiquity; for, answerable unto the litteral and common acception, the same is[67] averred by many Writers, and plainly described by Ovid.

Qui venit hic fluctus, fluctus supereminet omnes,
Posterior nono est, undecimoq; prior.

Which notwithstanding is evidently false; nor can it be made out by observation either upon the shore or the Ocean, as we have with diligence explored in both. And surely in vain we expect a regularity in the waves of the Sea, or in the particular motions thereof, as we may in its general reciprocations whose causes are constant, and effects therefore correspondent. Whereas its fluctuations are but motions subservient; which winds, storms, shores, shelves, and every interjacency irregulates. With semblable reason we might expect a regularity in the winds; whereof though some be statary, some anniversary, and the rest do tend to determinate points of heaven, yet do the blasts and undulary breaths thereof maintain no certainty in their course; nor are they numerally feared by Navigators.

Of affinity hereto is that conceit of Ovum Decumanum, so called, because the tenth egg is bigger than any other, according unto the reason alledged by Festus, Decumana ova dicuntur, quia ovum decimum majus nascitur. For the honour we bear unto the Clergy, we cannot but wish this true: but herein will be found no more of verity than in the other: and surely few will assent hereto without an implicite credulity, or Pythagorical submission unto every conception of number.

For, surely the conceit is numeral, and though not in the sense apprehended, relateth unto the number of ten, as Franciscus Sylvius hath most probably declared. For, whereas amongst simple numbers or Digits, the[68] number of ten is the greatest: therefore whatsoever was the greatest in every kind, might in some sense be named from this number. Now, because also that which was the greatest, was metaphorically by some at first called Decumanus; therefore whatsoever passed under this name, was literally conceived by others to respect and make good this number.

The conceit is also Latin; for the Greeks to express the greatest wave, do use the number of three, that is, the word τρικυμία, which is a concurrence of three waves in one, whence arose the proverb, τρικυμία κακῶν, or a trifluctuation of evils, which Erasmus doth render, Malorum fluctus Decumanus. And thus, although the terms be very different, yet are they made to signifie the self-same thing; the number of ten to explain the number of three, and the single number of one wave the collective concurrence of more.

3. The poyson of Parysatis reported from Ctesias by Plutarch in the life of Artaxerxes, whereby anointing a knife on the one side, and therewith dividing a bird; with the one half she poysoned Statira, and safely fed her self on the other, was certainly a very subtile one, and such as our ignorance is well content it knows not. But surely we had discovered a poyson that would not endure Pandoraes box, could we be satisfied in that which for its coldness nothing could contain but an Asses hoof, and wherewith some report that Alexander the great was poysoned. Had men derived so strange an effect from some occult or hidden qualities, they might have silenced contradiction; but ascribing it unto the manifest and open qualities of cold, they must pardon our belief, who perceive the coldest and most Stygian waters may be included in glasses; and by Aristotle who saith, that glass is the[69] perfectest work of Art, we understand they were not then to be invented.

And though it be said that poyson will break a Venice glass, yet have we not met with any of that nature. Were there a truth herein, it were the best preservative for Princes and persons exalted unto such fears: and surely far better than divers now in use. And though the best of China dishes, and such as the Emperour doth use, be thought by some of infallible vertue unto this effect; yet will they not, I fear, be able to elude the mischief of such intentions. In what sense God Almighty hath created all things double. And though also it be true, that God made all things double, and that if we look upon the works of the most High, there are two and two, one against another; that one contrary hath another, and poyson is not without a poyson unto it self; yet hath the curse so far prevailed, or else our industry defected that poysons are better known than their Antidotes, and some thereof do scarce admit of any. And lastly, although unto every poyson men have delivered many Antidotes, and in every one is promised an equality unto its adversary, yet do we often find they fail in their effects: Moly will not resist a weaker cup then that of Circe; a man may be poysoned in a Lemnian dish; without the miracle of John, there is no confidence in the earth of Paul;Terra Melitea. and if it be meant that no poyson could work upon him, we doubt the story, and expect no such success from the diet of Mithridates.

A story there passeth of an Indian King, that sent unto Alexander a fair woman fed with Aconites and other poysons, with this intent, either by converse or copulation complexionally to destroy him. For my part, although the design were true, I should have[70] doubted the success. For, though it be possible that poysons may meet with tempers whereto they may become Aliments, and we observe from fowls that feed on fishes, and others fed with garlick and onyons, that simple aliments are not alwayes concocted beyond their vegetable qualities; and therefore that even after carnall conversion, poysons may yet retain some portion of their natures; yet are they so refracted, cicurated and subdued, as not to make good their first and destructive malignities. And therefore the Stork that eateth Snakes, and the Stare that feedeth upon Hemlock, though no commendable aliments, are not destructive poysons. For, animals that can innoxiously digest these poysons, become antidotall unto the poyson digested. And therefore whether their breath be attracted, or their flesh ingested, the poysonous reliques go still along with their Antidote: whose society will not permit their malice to be destructive. And therefore also animals that are not mischieved by poysons which destroy us, may be drawn into Antidote against them; the blood or flesh of Storks against the venom of Serpents, the Quail against Hellebore, and the diet of Starlings against the drought of Socrates.Hemlock. Upon like grounds are some parts of Animals Alexipharmacall unto others; and some veins of the earth, and also whole regions, not only destroy the life of venemous creatures, but also prevent their productions. For though perhaps they contain the seminals of Spiders and Scorpions, and such as in other earths by suscitiation of the Sun may arise unto animation; yet lying under command of their Antidote, without hope of emergency they are poysoned in their matrix by powers easily hindring the advance of their originals, whose confirmed forms they are able to destroy.


5. The story of the wandring Jew is very strange, and will hardly obtain belief; yet is there a formall account thereof set down by Mathew Paris, from the report of an Armenian Bishop; who came into this kingdom about four hundred years ago, and had often entertained this wanderer at his Table. That he was then alive, was first called Cartaphilus, was keeper of the Judgement Hall, whence thrusting out our Saviour with expostulation of his stay, was condemned to stay untill his return;Vade quid moraris? Ego vado, tu autem morare donec venio. was after baptized by Ananias, and by the name of Joseph; was thirty years old in the dayes of our Saviour, remembred the Saints that arised with him, the making of the Apostles Creed, and their several peregrinations. Surely were this true, he might be an happy arbitrator in many Christian controversies; but must impardonably condemn the obstinacy of the Jews, who can contemn the Rhetorick of such miracles, and blindly behold so living and lasting conversions.

6. Clearer confirmations must be drawn for the history of Pope Joan, who succeeded Leo the fourth, and preceeded Benedict the third, then many we yet discover. And since it is delivered with aiunt and ferunt by many;Confutatio fabulæ de Joanna Papissa cum Nihusio. since the learned Leo Allatius hath discovered, that ancient copies of Martinus Polonus, who is chiefly urged for it, had not this story in it; since not only the stream of Latine Historians have omitted it, but Photius the Patriarch, Metrophanes Smyrnæus, and the exasperated Greeks have made no mention of it, but conceded Benedict the third to bee Successor unto Leo the fourth; he wants not grounds that doubts it.

Many things historicall which seem of clear concession, want not affirmations and negations, according to[72] divided pens: as is notoriously observable in the story of Hildebrand or Gregory the seventh, repugnantly delivered by the Imperiall and Papal party. In such divided records partiality hath much depraved history, wherein if the equity of the reader do not correct the iniquity of the writer, he will be much confounded with repugnancies, and often find in the same person, Numa and Nero.Of Luther, Calvin, Beza. In things of this nature moderation must intercede; and so charity may hope, that Roman Readers will construe many passages in Bolsech, Fayus, Schlusselberg and Cochlæus.

7. Every ear is filled with the story of Frier Bacon,Rog. Bacon. minor ita. Oxoniensis vir doctissimus. that made a brazen head to speak these words, Time is, Which though there want not the like relations, is surely too literally received, and was but a mystical fable concerning the Philosophers great work, wherein he eminently laboured: implying no more by the copper head, then the vessel wherein it was wrought, and by the words it spake, then the opportunity to be watched, about the Tempus ortus, or birth of the mystical child, or Philosophical King of Lullius: the rising of the Terra foliata of Arnoldus, when the earth sufficiently impregnated with the water, ascendeth white and splendent. Which not observed, the work is irrecoverably lost; according to that of Petrus Bonus. Margarita pretiosa. Ibi est operis perfectio aut annihilatio; quoniam ipsa die, immo horâ, oriuntur elementa simplicia depurata, quæ egent statim compositione, antequam volent ab igne.

Now letting slip this critical opportunity, he missed the intended treasure. Which had he obtained, he might have made out the tradition of making a brazen wall about England. That is, the most powerfull defence, and strongest fortification which Gold could have effected.

[73]8. Who can but pitty the vertuous Epicurus, who is commonly conceived to have placed his chief felicity in pleasure and sensual delights, and hath therefore left an infamous name behind him? How true, let them determine who read that he lived seventy years, and wrote more books then any Philosopher but Chrysippus, and no less then three hundred, without borrowing from any Author. That he was contented with bread and water, and when he would dine with Jove, and pretend unto epulation, he desired no other addition then a piece of Cytheridian cheese. That shall consider the words of Seneca, Non dico, quod pleriq; nostrorum, sectam Epicuri flagitiorum magistrum esse: sed illud dico, malè audit infamis est, et immerito. Or shall read his life, his Epistles, his Testament in Laertius, who plainly names them Calumnies, which are commonly said against them.

The ground hereof seems a mis-apprehension of his opinion, who placed his Felicity not in the pleasures of the body, but the mind, and tranquility thereof, obtained by wisdom and vertue, as is clearly determined in his Epistle unto Menœceus. Now how this opinion was first traduced by the Stoicks, how it afterwards became a common belief, and so taken up by Authors of all ages, by Cicero, Plutarch, Clemens, Ambrose and others, De vita et moribus Epicuri.the learned Pen of Gassendus hath discovered.


More briefly of some others.

Other relations there are, and those in very good Authors, which though we do not positively deny, yet have they not been unquestioned by some, and at least as improbable truths have been received by others. Unto some it hath seemed incredible what Herodotus reporteth of the great Army of Xerxes, that drank whole rivers dry. And unto the Author himself it appeared wondrous strange, that they exhausted not the provision of the Countrey, rather then the waters thereof. For as he maketh the account, and Budeus de Asse correcting the mis-compute of Valla, delivereth it; if every man of the Army had had a chenix of Corn a day, that is, a sextary and half; or about two pints and a quarter, the Army had daily expended ten hundred thousand and forty Medimna’s, or measures containing six Bushels. Which rightly considered, the Abderites had reason to bless the Heavens, that Xerxes eat but one meal a day; and Pythius his noble Host, might with less charge and possible provision entertain both him and his Army. And yet may all be salved, if we take it hyperbolically, as wise men receive that expression in Job, concerning Behemoth or the Elephant; Behold, he drinketh up a river and hasteth not, he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.

2. That Annibal eat or brake through the Alps with Vinegar, may be too grosly taken and the Author of his life annexed unto Plutarch affirmeth only, he used this artifice upon the tops of some of the highest mountains.[75] For as it is vulgarly understood, that he cut a passage for his Army through those mighty mountains, it may seem incredible, not only in the greatness of the effect, but the quantity of the efficient and such as behold them, may think an Ocean of Vinegar too little for that effect. ’Twas a work indeed rather to be expected from earthquakes and inundations, then any corrosive waters, and much condemneth the Judgement of Xerxes, that wrought through Mount Athos with Mattocks.

3. That Archimedes burnt the ships of Marcellus, with speculums of parabolical figures, at three furlongs, or as some will have it, at the distance of three miles, sounds hard unto reason, and artificial experience: and therefore justly questioned by Kircherus,De luce et umbra. who after long enquiry could find but one made by Manfredus Septalius that fired at fifteen paces. And therefore more probable it is, that the ships were nearer the shore, or about some thirty paces: at which distance notwithstanding the effect was very great. But whereas men conceive the ships were more easily set on flame by reason of the pitch about them, it seemeth no advantage. Since burning glasses will melt pitch or make it boyle, not easily set it on fire.

4. The story of the Fabii, whereof three hundred and six marching against the Veientes, were all slain, and one child alone to support the family remained; is surely not to be paralleld, nor easie to be conceived, except we can imagine, that of three hundred and six, but one had children below the service of war; that the rest were all unmarried, or the wife but of one impregnated.

5. The received story of Milo, who by daily lifting a Calf, attained an ability to carry it being a Bull, is[76] witty conceit, and handsomly sets forth the efficacy of Assuefaction. But surely the account had been more reasonably placed upon some person not much exceeding in strength, and such a one as without the assistance of custom could never have performed that act; which some may presume that Milo without precedent artifice or any other preparative, had strength enough to perform. For as relations declare, he was the most pancratical man of Greece, and as Galen reporteth, and Mercurialis in his Gymnasticks representeth, he was able to persist erect upon an oyled plank, and not to be removed by the force or protrusion of three men. And if that be true which Atheneus reporteth, he was little beholding to custom for this ability. For in the Olympick games, for the space of a furlong, he carried an Ox of four years upon his shoulders; and the same day he carried it in his belly: for as it is there delivered he eat it up himself. Surely he had been a proper guest atIn Rabelais. Grandgousiers feast, and might have matcht his throat that eat six pilgrims for a Salad.

6. It much disadvantageth the Panegyrick of Synesius,Who writ in the praise of baldness. and is no small disparagement unto baldness, if it be true what is related by Ælian concerning Æschilus, whose bald-pate was mistaken for a rock, and so was brained by a Tortoise which an Æagle let fall upon it. An argument or instance against the motion of the earth. Certainly it was a very great mistake in the perspicacy of that Animal. Some men critically disposed, would from hence confute the opinion of Copernicus, never conceiving how the motion of the earth below should not wave him from a knock perpendicularly directed from a body in the air above.

7. It crosseth the Proverb, and Rome might well be built in a day; if that were true which is traditionally[77] related by Strabo; that the great Cities Anchiale and Tarsus, were built by Sardanapalus both in one day, according to the inscription of his monument, Sardanapalus Anacyndaraxis filius, Anchialem et Tarsum unâ die edificavi, Tu autem hospes Ede, Lude, Bibe, etc. Which if strictly taken, that is, for the finishing thereof, and not only for the beginning; for an artificial or natural day, and not one of Daniels weeks, that is, seven whole years; surely their hands were very heavy that wasted thirteen years in the private house of Solomon: It may be wondred how forty years were spent in the erection of the Temple of Jerusalem, and no less than an hundred in that famous one of Ephesus. Certainly it was the greatest Architecture of one day, since that great one of six; an Art quite lost with our Mechanicks, a work not to be made out, but like the wals of Thebes, and such an Artificer as Amphion.

The Syracusia or King Hiero’s Galleon, of what Bulk.

8. It had been a sight only second unto the Ark to have beheld the great Syracusia, or mighty ship of Hiero, described in Athenæus; and some have thought it a very large one, wherein were to be found ten stables for horses, eight Towers, besides Fish-ponds, Gardens, Tricliniums, and many fair rooms paved with Agath, and precious Stones. But nothing was impossible unto Archimedes, the learned Contriver thereof; nor shall we question his removing the earth, when he finds an immoveable base to place his Engine upon it.

9. That the Pamphilian Sea gave way unto Alexander in his intended March toward Persia, many have been apt to credit, and Josephus is willing to believe, to countenance the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea. But Strabo who writ before him delivereth another account; that the Mountain Climax adjoyning[78] to the Pamphilian Sea, leaves a narrow passage between the Sea and it, which passage at an ebb and quiet Sea all men take; but Alexander coming in the Winter, and eagerly pursuing his affairs, would not wait for the reflux or return of the Sea; and so was fain to pass with his Army in the water, and march up to the navel in it.

A List of some historical Errata’s in this and the following Sections.

10. The relation of Plutarch of a youth of Sparta, that suffered a Fox concealed under his robe to tear out his bowels, before he would either by voice or countenance betray his theft; and the other of the Spartan Lad, that with the same resolution suffered a coal from the Altar to burn his arm, although defended by the Author that writes his life, is I perceive mistrusted by men of Judgment, and the Author with an aiunt, is made to salve himself. Assuredly it was a noble Nation that could afford an hint to such inventions of patience, and upon whom, if not such verities, at least such verisimilities of fortitude were placed. Were the story true, they would have made the only Disciples for Zeno and the Stoicks, and might perhaps have been perswaded to laugh in Phaleris his Bull.

11. If any man shall content his belief with the speech of Balaams Ass, without a belief of that of Mahomets Camel, or Livies Ox: If any man make a doubt of Giges ring in Justinus, or conceives he must be a Jew that believes the Sabbatical river in Josephus. If any man will say he doth not apprehend how the tayl of an African Weather out-weigheth the body of a good Calf, that is, an hundred pound, according unto Leo Africanus, or desires before belief, to behold such a creature as is the Ruck in Paulus Venetus, for my part I shall not be angry with his incredulity.

12. If any one shall receive as stretcht or fabulous[79] accounts what is delivered of Cocles, Scævola and Curtius, the sphere of Archimedes, the story of the Amazons, the taking of the City of Babylon, not known to some therein three days after; that the nation was deaf which dwelt at the fall of Nilus, the laughing and weeping humour of Heraclitus and Democritus,Farsalloni Historici. with many more, he shall not want some reason and the authority of Lancelotti.

13. If any man doubt of the strange Antiquities delivered by Historians, as of the wonderful corps of Antæus untombed a thousand years after his death by Sertorius. Whether there were no deceit in those fragments of the Ark so common to be seen in the days of Berosus; whether the Pillar which Josephus beheld long ago, Tertullian long after, and Bartholomeus de Saligniaco, and Borchardus long since, be the same with that of Lots wife; whether this were the hand of Paul, or that which is commonly shewn the head of Peter, if any doubt, I shall not much dispute with their suspicions. If any man shall not believe the Turpentine Tree, betwixt Jerusalem and Bethlem, under which the Virgin suckled our Saviour, as she passed between those Cities; or the fig-tree of Bethany shewed to this day, whereon Zacheus ascended to behold our Saviour; I cannot tell how to enforce his belief, nor do I think it requisite to attempt it. To compel Religion, somewhat contrary to Reason. For, as it is no reasonable proceeding to compel a religion, or think to enforce our own belief upon another, who cannot without the concurrence of Gods spirit have any indubitable evidence of things that are obtruded: So is it also in matters of common belief; whereunto neither can we indubitably assent, without the co-operation of our sense or reason, wherein consists the principles of perswasion. For, as the habit of Faith[80] in Divinity is an Argument of things unseen, and a stable assent unto things inevident, upon authority of the Divine Revealer: So the belief of man which depends upon humane testimony is but a staggering assent unto the affirmative, not without some fear of the negative. And as there is required the Word of God, or infused inclination unto the one, so must the actual sensation of our senses, at least the non-opposition of our reasons procure our assent and acquiescence in the other. So when Eusebius an holy Writer affirmeth, there grew a strange and unknown plant near the statue of Christ, erected by his Hæmorrhoidal patient in the Gospel, which attaining unto the hem of his vesture, acquired a sudden faculty to cure all diseases. Although he saith he saw the statue in his days, yet hath it not found in many men so much as humane belief? Some believing, others opinioning, a third suspective it might be otherwise. For indeed, in matters of belief the understanding assenting unto the relation, either for the authority of the person, or the probability of the object, although there may be a confidence of the one, yet if there be not a satisfaction in the other, there will arise suspensions; nor can we properly believe until some argument of reason, or of our proper sense convince or determine our dubitations.

And thus it is also in matters of certain and experimented truth: for if unto one that never heard thereof, a man should undertake to perswade the affections of the Load-stone, or that Jet and Amber attracteth straws and light bodies, there would be little Rhetorick in the authority of Aristotle, Pliny, or any other. Thus although it be true that the string of a Lute or Viol will stir upon the stroak of an Unison or Diapazon in another of the same kind; that Alcanna being green,[81] will suddenly infect the nails and other parts with a durable red; that a Candle out of a Musket will pierce through an Inch-board, or an urinal force a nail through a Plank; yet can few or none believe thus much without a visible experiment. Which notwithstanding fals out more happily for knowledge; for these relations leaving unsatisfaction in the Hearers, do stir up ingenuous dubiosities unto experiment, and by an exploration of all, prevent delusion in any.

Of some Relations whose truth we fear.

Lastly, As there are many Relations whereto we cannot assent, and make some doubt thereof, so there are divers others whose verities we fear, and heartily wish there were no truth therein.

1. It is an unsufferable affront unto filiall piety, and a deep discouragement unto the expectation of all aged Parents, who shall but read the story of that barbarous Queen, who after she had beheld her royall Parents ruin, lay yet in the arms of his assassine, and carowsed with him in the skull of her father. For my part, I should have doubted the operation of antimony, where such a potion would not work; ’twas an act me thinks beyond Anthropophagy, and a cup fit to be served up only at the table of Atreus.

2. While we laugh at the story of Pygmaleon, and receive as a fable that he fell in love with a statue; we cannot but fear it may be true, what is delivered by Herodotus concerning Egyptian Pollinctors, or such as[82] annointed the dead; that some thereof were found in the act of carnality with them. From wits that say ’tis more then incontinency for Hylas to sport with Hecuba, and youth to flame in the frozen embraces of age, we require a name for this: wherein Petronius or Martial cannot relieve us. Who tied dead and living bodies together. The tyrannie of Mezentius did never equall the vitiosity of this Incubus, that could embrace corruption, and make a Mistress of the grave; that could not resist the dead provocations of beauty, whose quick invitements scarce excuse submission. Surely, if such depravities there be yet alive, deformity need not despair; nor will the eldest hopes be ever superannuated, since death hath spurs, and carcasses have been courted.

3. I am heartily sorry, and wish it were not true, what to the dishonour of Christianity is affirmed of the Italian, who after he had inveigled his enemy to disclaim his faith for the redemption of his life, did presently poyniard him, to prevent repentance, and assure his eternal death. The villany of this Christian exceedeth the persecution of Heathens, whose malice was never so Longimanous Long-handed. as to reach the soul of their enemies; or to extend unto the exile of their Elysiums. And though the blindness of some ferities have savaged on the bodies of the dead, and been so injurious unto worms, as to disinter the bodies of the deceased; yet had they therein no design upon the soul: and have been so far from the destruction of that, or desires of a perpetual death, that for the satisfaction of their revenge they wisht them many souls, and were it in their power would have reduced them unto life again. It is a great depravity in our natures, and surely an affection that somewhat savoureth of hell, to desire the society, or comfort our selves in the fellowship of[83] others that suffer with us; but to procure the miseries of others in those extremities, wherein we hold an hope to have no society our selves, is me thinks a strain above Lucifer, and a project beyond the primary seduction of hell.

4. I hope it is not true, and some indeed have probably denied, what is recorded of the Monk that poysoned Henry the Emperour, in a draught of the holy Eucharist. ’Twas a scandalous wound unto Christian Religion, and I hope all Pagans will forgive it, when they shall read that a Christian was poysoned in a cup of Christ, and received his bane in a draught of his salvation. Had he believed Transubstantiation, he would have doubted the effect; and surely the sin it self received an aggravation in that opinion. It much commendeth the innocency of our forefathers, and the simplicity of those times, whose Laws could never dream so high a crime as parricide: whereas this at the least may seem to out-reach that fact, and to exceed the regular distinctions of murder. I will not say what sin it was to act it; yet may it seem a kind of martyrdom to suffer by it. For, although unknowingly, he died for Christ his sake, and lost his life in the ordained testimony of his death. Certainly, had they known it, some noble zeales would scarcely have refused it; rather adventuring their own death, then refusing the memorial of his.

Many other accounts like these we meet sometimes in history,Hujus farinæ multa in historia horribili. scandalous unto Christianity, and even unto humanity; whose verities not only, but whose relations honest minds do deprecate. For of sins heteroclital, and such as want either name or president, there is oft times a sin even in their histories. We desire no records of such enormities; sins should be accounted new, that[84] so they may be esteemed monstrous. They omit of monstrosity as they fall from their rarity; for men count it veniall to err with their forefathers, and foolishly conceive they divide a sin in its society. The pens of men may sufficiently expatiate without these singularities of villany; For, as they encrease the hatred of vice in some, so do they enlarge the theory of wickedness in all. And this is one thing that may make latter ages worse then were the former; For, the vicious examples of Ages past, poyson the curiosity of these present, affording a hint of sin unto seduceable spirits, and soliciting those unto the imitation of them, whose heads were never so perversly principled as to invent them. In this kind we commend the wisdom and goodness of Galen, who would not leave unto the world too subtile a Theory of poisons; unarming thereby the malice of venemous spirits, whose ignorance must be contented with Sublimate and Arsenick. For, surely there are subtiler venenations, such as will invisibly destroy, and like the Basilisks of heaven. In things of this nature silence commendeth history: ’tis the veniable part of things lost; wherein there must never rise a Pancirollus,Who writ De Antiquis deperditis, or of inventions lost. nor remain any Register but that of hell.

And yet, if as some Stoicks opinion, and Seneca himself disputeth, these unruly affections that make us sin such prodigies, and even sins themselves be animals; there is an history of Africa and story of Snakes in these. And if the transanimation of Pythagoras or method thereof were true, that the souls of men transmigrated into species answering their former natures; some men must surely live over many Serpents, and cannot escape that very brood whose sire Satan entered. And though the objection of Plato should take place,[85] that bodies subjected unto corruption, must fail at last before the period of all things, and growing fewer in number, must leave some souls apart unto themselves; the spirits of many long before that time will find but naked habitations: and meeting no assimilables wherein to react their natures, must certainly anticipate such natural desolations.

Primus sapientiæ gradus est, falsa intelligere.














Of Crostwick Esquire.

When the Funerall pyre was out, and the last valediction over, men took a lasting adieu of their interred Friends, little expecting the curiosity of future ages should comment upon their ashes, and having no old experience of the duration of their Reliques, held no opinion of such after-considerations.

But who knows the fate of his bones, or how often he is to be buried? who hath the Oracle of his ashes, or whether they are to be scattered? The Reliques of many lie like the ruines of [A]Pompeys, in all parts of the earth; And when they arrive at your hands, these may seem to have wandred farre, who in a [B] direct and Meridian Travell, have but few miles of known Earth between your selfe and the Pole.

That the bones of Theseus should be seen again [C]in Athens, was not beyond conjecture, and hopeful expectation; but that these should arise so opportunely to serve your self, was an hit of fate and honour beyond prediction.

We cannot but wish these Urnes might have the effect of Theatrical vessels, and great [D]Hippodrome Urnes in[90] Rome; to resound the acclamations and honour due unto you. But these are sad and sepulchral Pitchers, which have no joyfull voices; silently expressing old mortality, the ruines of forgotten times, and can only speak with life, how long in this corruptible frame, some parts may be uncorrupted; yet able to out-last bones long unborn, and noblest [E]pyle among us.

We present not these as any strange sight or spectacle unknown to your eyes, who have beheld the best of Urnes, and noblest variety of Ashes; Who are your self no slender master of Antiquities, and can daily command the view of so many Imperiall faces; Which raiseth your thoughts unto old things, and consideration of times before you, when even living men were Antiquities; when the living might exceed the dead, and to depart this world, could not be properly said, to go unto the [F]greater number. And so run up your thoughts upon the ancient of dayes, the Antiquaries truest object, unto whom the eldest parcels are young, and earth it self an Infant; and without [G]Ægyptian account makes but small noise in thousands.

We were hinted by the occasion, not catched the opportunity to write of old things, or intrude upon the Antiquary. We are coldly drawn unto discourses of Antiquities, who have scarce time before us to comprehend new things, or make out learned Novelties. But seeing they arose as they lay, almost in silence among us, at least in short account suddenly passed over; we were very unwilling they should die again, and be buried twice among us.

Beside, to preserve the living, and make the dead to live, to keep men out of their Urnes, and discourse of humane fragments in them, is not impertinent unto our profession; whose study is life and death, who[91] daily behold examples of mortality, and of all men least need artificial memento’s, or coffins by our bed side, to minde us of our graves.

’Tis time to observe Occurrences, and let nothing remarkable escape us; The Supinity of elder dayes hath left so much in silence, or time hath so martyred the Records, that the most industrious[H] heads do finde no easie work to erect a new Britannia.

’Tis opportune to look back upon old times, and contemplate our Forefathers. Great examples grow thin, and to be fetched from the passed world. Simplicity flies away, and iniquity comes at long strides upon us. We have enough to do to make up our selves from present and passed times, and the whole stage of things scarce serveth for our instruction. A compleat peece of vertue must be made up from the Centos of all ages, as all the beauties of Greece could make but one handsome Venus.

When the bones of King Arthur were digged up[I], the old Race might think, they beheld therein some Originals of themselves; Unto these of our Urnes none here can pretend relation, and can only behold the Reliques of those persons, who in their life giving the Laws unto their predecessors, after long obscurity, now lye at their mercies. But remembring the early civility they brought upon these Countreys, and forgetting long passed mischiefs; We mercifully preserve their bones, and pisse not upon their ashes.

In the offer of these Antiquities we drive not at ancient Families, so long out-lasted by them; We are farre from erecting your worth upon the pillars of your Fore-fathers, whose merits you illustrate. We honour your old Virtues, conformable unto times before you, which are the Noblest Armoury. And[92] having long experience of your friendly conversation, void of empty Formality, full of freedome, constant and Generous Honesty, I look upon you as a Gemme of the Old Rock[J], and must professe my self even to Urne and Ashes,

Your ever faithfull Friend,
and Servant

Norwich, May 1.




Of Gillingham Esquire.

Had I not observed that [K]Purblinde men have discoursed well of sight, and some [L]without issue, excellently of Generation; I that was never master of any considerable garden, had not attempted this Subject. But the Earth is the Garden of Nature, and each fruitfull Countrey a Paradise. Dioscorides made most of his Observations in his march about with Antonius; and Theophrastus raised his generalities chiefly from the field.

Beside, we write no Herball, nor can this Volume deceive you, who have handled the [M]massiest thereof: who know that thre [N]Folio’s are yet too little, and how New Herbals fly from America upon us, from persevering Enquirers, and [O]old in those singularities, we expect such Descriptions. Wherein [P]England is now so exact, that it yeelds not to other Countreys.

We pretend not to multiply vegetable divisions by Quincuncial and Reticulate plants; or erect a new Phytology. The Field of knowledge hath been so traced, it is hard to spring any thing new. Of old things we write something new, If truth may receive addition, or envy will have any thing new; since the Ancients[94] knew the late Anatomicall discoveries, and Hippocrates the Circulation.

You have been so long out of trite learning, that ’tis hard to finde a subject proper for you; and if you have met with a Sheet upon this, we have missed our intention. In this multiplicity of writing, bye and barren Themes are best fitted for invention; Subjects so often discoursed confine the Imagination, and fix our conceptions unto the notions of fore-writers. Beside, such Discourses allow excursions, and venially admit of collaterall truths, though at some distance from their principals. Wherein if we sometimes take wide liberty, we are not single, but erre by great [Q]example.

He that will illustrate the excellency of this order, may easily fail upon so spruce a Subject, wherein we have not affrighted the common Reader with any other Diagramms, then of it self; and have industriously declined illustrations from rare and unknown plants.

Your discerning judgement so well acquainted with that study, will expect herein no mathematicall truths, as well understanding how few generalities and [R]Vfinita’s there are in nature. How Scaliger hath found exceptions in most Universals of Aristotle and Theophrastus. How Botanicall Maximes must have fair allowance, and are tolerably currant, if not intolerably over-ballanced by exceptions.

You have wisely ordered your vegetable delights, beyond the reach of exception. The Turks who passt their dayes in Gardens here, will have Gardens also hereafter, and delighting in Flowers on earth, must have Lillies and Roses in Heaven. In Garden Delights ’tis not easie to hold a Mediocrity; that insinuating pleasure is seldome without some extremity. The Antients venially delighted in flourishing Gardens; Many were Florists[95] that knew not the true use of a Flower; And in Plinies dayes none had directly treated of that subject. Some commendably affected Plantations of venemous Vegetables, some confined their delights unto single plants, and Cato seemed to dote upon Cabbadge; While the Ingenuous delight of Tulipists, stands saluted with hard language, even by their own [S]Professors.

That in this Garden Discourse, we range into extraneous things, and many parts of Art and Nature, we follow herein the example of old and new Plantations, wherein noble spirits contented not themselves with Trees, but by the attendance of Aviaries, Fish-Ponds, and all variety of Animals, they made their gardens the Epitome of the earth, and some resemblance of the secular shows of old.

That we conjoyn these parts of different Subjects, or that this should succeed the other; Your judgement will admit without impute of incongruity; Since the delightfull World comes after death, and Paradise succeeds the Grave. Since the verdant state of things is the Symbole of the Resurrection, and to flourish in the state of Glory, we must first be sown in corruption. Beside the ancient practise of Noble Persons, to conclude in Garden-Graves, and Urnes themselves of old, to be wrapt up flowers and garlands.

Nullam sine venia placuisse eloquium, is more sensibly understood by Writers, then by Readers; nor well apprehended by either, till works have hanged out like Apelles his Pictures; wherein even common eyes will finde something for emendation.

To wish all Readers of your abilities, were unreasonably to multiply the number of Scholars beyond the temper of these times. But unto this ill-judging age, we charitably desire a portion of your equity, judgement,[96] candour, and ingenuity; wherein you are so rich, as not to lose by diffusion. And being a flourishing branch of that [T]Noble Family, unto which we owe so much observance, you are not new set, but long rooted in such perfection; whereof having had so lasting confirmation in your worthy conversation, constant amity, and expression; and knowing you a serious Student in the highest arcana’s of Nature; with much excuse we bring these low delights, and poor maniples to your Treasure.

Your affectionate Friend,
and Servant

Norwich, May 1.


[A] Pompeios juvenes Asia, atque Europa, sed ipsum terra tegit Lybies.

[B] Little directly, but Sea between your house and Greenland.

[C] Brought back by Cimon. Plutarch.

[D] The great Urnes in the Hippodrome at Rome conceived to resound the voices of people at their shows.

[E] Worthily possessed by that true Gentleman Sir Horatio Townshend my honored Friend.

[F] Abiit ad plures.

[G] Which makes the world so many years old.

[H] Wherein M. Dugdale hath excellently well endeavoured, and worthy to be countenanced by ingenuous and noble persons.

[I] In the time of Henry the second, Cambden.

[J] Adamas de rupe veteri præstantissimus.

[K] Plempius, Cabeus, etc.

[L] D. Harvy.

[M] Besleri Hortus Eystetensis.

[N] Bauhini Theatrum Botanicum, etc.

[O] My worthy friend M. Goodier an ancient and learned Botanist.

[P] As in London and divers parts, whereof we mention none, lest we seem to omit any.

[Q] Hippocrates de superfœtatione, de dentitione.

[R] Rules without exceptions.

[S] Tulipo mania, Narrencruiid, Laurenberg. Pet. Hondius. in lib. Belg.

[T] Of the most worthy Sr Edmund Bacon prime Baronet, my true and noble Friend.


En sum quod digitis Quinque Levatur onus Propert


Or, a brief Discourse of the Sepulchrall Urnes lately found in Norfolk.


In the deep discovery of the Subterranean world, a shallow part would satisfie some enquirers; who, if two or three yards were open about the surface, would not care to wrack the bowels of Potosi,[1] regions towards the Centre. Nature hath furnished one part of the Earth, and man another. The treasures of time lie high, in Urnes, Coynes, and Monuments, scarce below the roots of some vegetables. Time hath endlesse rarities, and shows of all varieties; which reveals old things in heaven, makes new discoveries in earth, and even earth it self a discovery. That great antiquity America lay buried for thousands of years; and a large part of the earth is still in the Urne unto us.

Though if Adam were made out of an extract of the Earth, all parts might challenge a restitution, yet few have returned their bones far lower then they might receive them; not affecting the graves of Giants under hilly and heavy coverings, but content with lesse then[98] their own depth, have wished their bones might lie soft, and the earth be light upon them; Even such as hope to rise again, would not be content with central interrment, or so desperately to place their reliques as to lie beyond discovery, and in no way to be seen again; which happy contrivance hath made communication with our forefathers, and left unto our view some parts, which they never beheld themselves.

Though earth hath engrossed the name yet water hath proved the smartest grave; which in fourty dayes swallowed almost mankinde, and the living creation; Fishes not wholly escaping, except the salt Ocean were handsomly contempered by a mixture of the fresh Element.

Many have taken voluminous pains to determine the state of the soul upon disunion; but men have been most phantastical in the singular contrivances of their corporall dissolution: whilest the soberest Nations have rested in two wayes, of simple inhumation and burning.

That carnal interrment or burying, was of the elder date, the old examples of Abraham and the Patriarches are sufficient to illustrate; And were without competition, if it could be made out, that Adam was buried near Damascus, or Mount Calvary, according to some Tradition. God himself that buried but one, was pleased to make choice of this way, collectible from Scripture-expression, and the hot contest between Satan and the Arch-Angel, about discovering the body of Moses. But the practice of Burning was also of great Antiquity, and of no slender extent. For (not to derive the same from Hercules) noble descriptions there are hereof in the Grecian Funerale of Homer, in the formal Obsequies of Patroclus, and Achilles; and somewhat elder in the Theban war, and solemn combustion of Meneceus,[99] and Archemorus, contemporary unto Jair the Eighth Judge of Israel. Confirmable also among the Trojans, from the Funeral Pyre of Hector, burnt before the gates of Troy, and the burning[2] of Penthisilea the Amazonian Queen: and long continuance of that practice in the inward Countries of Asia; while as low as the Reign of Julian, we finde that the King of Chionia[3] burnt the body of his Son, and interred the ashes in a silver Urne.

The same practice extended also far West,[4] and besides Herulians, Getes, and Thracians, was in use with most of the Celtæ, Sarmatians, Germans, Gauls, Danes, Swedes, Norwegians; not to omit some use thereof among Carthaginians and Americans: Of greater antiquity among the Romans then most opinion, or Pliny seems to allow. For (beside the old Table Laws of burning[5] or burying within the City, of making the Funeral fire with plained wood, or quenching the fire with wine) Manlius the Consul burnt the body of his son: Numa by special clause of his will, was not burnt but buried; And Remus was solemnly buried, according to the description of Ovid.[6]

Cornelius Sylla was not the first whose body was burned in Rome, but of the Cornelian Family, which being indifferently, not frequently used before; from that time spread and became the prevalent practice. Not totally pursued in the highest run of Cremation; For when even Crows were funerally burnt, Poppæa the wife of Nero found a peculiar grave enterment. Now as all customs were founded upon some bottom of Reason, so there wanted not grounds for this; according to several apprehensions of the most rational dissolution. Some being of the opinion of Thales, that water was the original of all things, thought it most[100] equal to submit unto the principle of putrifaction, and conclude in a moist relentment. Others conceived it most natural to end in fire, as due unto the master principle in the composition, according to the doctrine of Heraclitus.

And therefore heaped up large piles, more actively to waft them toward that Element, whereby they also declined a visible degeneration into worms, and left a lasting parcel of their composition.

Some apprehended a purifying virtue in fire, refining the grosser commixture, and firing out the Æthereal particles so deeply immersed in it. And such as by tradition or rational conjecture held any hint of the final pyre of all things; or that this Element at last must be too hard for all the rest; might conceive most naturally of the fiery dissolution. Others pretending no natural grounds, politickly declined the malice of enemies upon their buried bodies. Which consideration led Sylla unto this practice; who having thus served the body of Marius, could not but fear a retaliation upon his own; entertained after in the Civil wars, and revengeful contentions of Rome.

But as many Nations embraced, and many left it indifferent, so others too much affected, or strictly declined this practice. The Indian Brachmans seemed too great friends unto fire, who burnt themselves alive, and thought it the noblest way to end their dayes in fire; according to the expression of the Indian, burning himself at Athens,[7] in his last words upon the pyre unto the amazed spectators, Thus I make my self immortal.

But the Chaldeans the great Idolaters of fire, abhorred the burning of their carcasses, as a polution of that Deity. The Persian Magi declined it upon the like[101] scruple, and being only solicitous about their bones, exposed their flesh to the prey of Birds and Dogs. And the Persees now in India, which expose their bodies unto Vultures, and endure not so much as feretra or Beers of Wood; the proper Fuell of fire, are led on with such nicities. But whether the ancient Germans who burned their dead, held any such fear to pollute their Deity of Herthus, or the earth, we have no Authentick conjecture.

The Ægyptians were afraid of fire, not as a Deity, but a devouring Element, mercilesly consuming their bodies, and leaving too little of them; and therefore by precious Embalments, depositure in dry earths, or handsome inclosure in glasses, contrived the notablest wayes of integrall conservation. And from such Ægyptian scruples imbibed by Pythagoras, it may be conjectured that Numa and the Pythagorical Sect first waved the fiery solution.

The Scythians who swore by winde and sword, that is, by life and death, were so far from burning their bodies, that they declined all interrment, and made their grave in the ayr: And the Ichthyophagi or fish-eating Nations about Ægypt, affected the Sea for their grave: Thereby declining visible corruption, and restoring the debt of their bodies. Whereas the old Heroes in Homer, dreaded nothing more than water or drowning; probably upon the old opinion of the fiery substance of the soul, onely extinguishable by that Element; And therfore the Poet emphatically implieth the total destruction in this kinde of death, which happened to Ajax Oileus.[8]

The old Balearians[9] had a peculiar mode, for they used great Urnes and much wood, but no fire in their burials; while they bruised the flesh and bones of the[102] dead, crowded them into Urnes, and laid heaps of wood upon them. And the Chinois[10] without cremation or urnal interrment of their bodies, make use of trees and much burning, while they plant a Pine-tree by their grave, and burn great numbers of printed draughts of slaves and horses over it, civilly content with their companies in effigie, which barbarous Nations exact unto reality.

Christians abhorred this way of obsequies, and though they stickt not to give their bodies to be burnt in their lives, detested that mode after death; affecting rather a depositure than absumption, and properly submitting unto the sentence of God, to return not unto ashes but unto dust again, conformable unto the practice of the Patriarches, the interrment of our Saviour, of Peter, Paul, and the ancient Martyrs. And so far at last declining promiscuous enterrment with Pagans, that some[11] have suffered Ecclesiastical censures, for making no scruple thereof.

The Musselman beleevers will never admit this fiery resolution. For they hold a present trial from their black and white Angels in the grave; which they must have made so hollow, that they may rise upon their knees.

The Jewish Nation, though they entertained the old way of inhumation, yet sometimes admitted this practice. For the men of Jabesh burnt the body of Saul. And by no prohibited practice to avoid contagion or pollution, in time of pestilence, burnt the bodies of their friends.[12] And when they burnt not their dead bodies, yet sometimes used great burnings near and about them, deducible from the expressions concerning Jehoram, Sedechias, and the sumptuous pyre of Asa; And were so little averse from Pagan[13] burning,[103] that the Jews lamenting the death of Cæsar their friend, and revenger on Pompey, frequented the place where his body was burnt for many nights together. And as they raised noble Monuments and Mausolæums for their own Nation,[14] so they were not scrupulous in erecting some for others, according to the practice of Daniel, who left that lasting sepulchral pyle in Echbatana, for the Median and Persian Kings.[15]

But even in times of subjection and hottest use, they conformed not unto the Romane practice of burning; whereby the Prophecy was secured concerning the body of Christ, that it should not see corruption, or a bone should not be broken; which we beleeve was also providentially prevented, from the Souldiers spear and nailes that past by the little bones both in his hands and feet: Nor of ordinary contrivance, that it should not corrupt on the crosse, according to the Law of Romane Crucifixion, or an hair of his head perish, though observable in Jewish customes, to cut the haires of Malefactors.

Nor in their long co-habitation with the Ægyptians, crept into a custome of their exact embalming, wherein deeply slashing the muscles, and taking out the braines and entrailes, they had broken the subject of so entire a Resurrection, nor fully answered the tipes of Enoch, Eliah, or Jonah, which yet to prevent or restore, was of equall facility unto that rising power, able to break the fasciations and bands of death, to get clear out of the Cere-cloth, and an hundred pounds of oyntment, and out of the Sepulchre before the stone was rolled from it.

But though they embraced not this practice of burning, yet entertained they many ceremonies agreeable unto Greek and Romane obsequies, And he that observeth[104] their funeral Feasts, their Lamentations at the grave, their musick, and weeping mourners; how they closed the eyes of their friends, how they washed, anointed, and kissed the dead; may easily conclude these were not meer Pagan Civilities. But whether that mournful burthen, and treble calling out after Absalom, had any reference unto the last conclamation, and triple valediction, used by other nations, we hold but a wavering conjecture.

Civilians make sepulture but of the Law of nations, others do naturally found it and discover it also in animals. They that are so thick skinned as still to credit the story of the Phœnix, may say something for animal burning: More serious conjectures finde some examples of sepulture in Elephants, Cranes, the Sepulchral Cells of Pismires and practice of Bees; which civil society carrieth out their dead, and hath exequies, if not interrments.


[1] The rich mountain of Peru.

[2] Q. Calaber lib. 1.

[3] Ammianus Marcellinus, Gumbrates King of Chionia a Countrey near Persia.

[4] Arnoldis Montanis not in Cæs. Commentar. L. L. Gyraldus. Kirkmannus.

[5] 12 Tabul. part. 1 de jure sacro. Hominem mortuum in urbe ne sepelito, neve urito. tom. 2. Rogum asciâ ne polito. to. 4 Item vigeneri Annottat in Livium, et Alex. ab Alex. cum Tiraquello Roscinus cum dempstero.

[6] Ultima prolato subditu flamma rogo. De Fast. lib. 4. cum Car. Neapol. anaptyxi.

[7] And therefore the Inscription of his Tomb was made accordingly. Nic. Damasc.

[8] Which Magius reads ἐξαπόλωλε.

[9] Diodorus Siculus.

[10] Ramusius in Navigat.

[11] Martialis the Bishop. Cyprian.

[12] Amos 6. 10.

[13] Sueton. in vita. Jul. Cæs.

[14] As that magnificent sepulchral Monument erected by Simon. Mach. 1. 13.

[15] Κατασκέυασμα θαυμασίως πεποιημένον, whereof a Jewish Priest had alwayes the custody unto Josephus his dayes. Jos. Lib. 10. Antiq.


The Solemnities, Ceremonies, Rites of their Cremation or enterrment, so solemnly delivered by Authours, we shall not disparage our Reader to repeat. Only the last and lasting part in their Urns, collected bones and Ashes, we cannot wholly omit, or decline that Subject, which occasion lately presented, in some discovered among us.

In a Field of old Walsingham, not many months past, were digged up between fourty and fifty Urnes, deposited in a dry and sandy soile, not a yard deep, nor far from one another: Not all strictly of one figure, but most answering these described; Some containing[105] two pounds of bones, distinguishable in skulls, ribs, jawes, thigh-bones, and teeth, with fresh impressions of their combustion. Besides the extraneous substances, like peeces of small boxes, or combs handsomely wrought, handles of small brasse instruments, brazen nippers, and in one some kinde of Opale[16].

Near the same plot of ground, for about six yards compasse were digged up coals and incinerated substances, which begat conjecture that this was the Ustrina or place of burning their bodies, or some sacrificing place unto the Manes, which was properly below the surface of the ground, as the Aræ and Altars unto the gods and Heroes above it.

That these were the Urnes of Romanes from the common custome and place where they were found, is no obscure conjecture, not far from a Romane Garrison, and but five mile from Brancaster, set down by ancient Record under the name of Brannodunum. And where the adjoyning Town, containing seven Parishes, in no very different sound, but Saxon termination, still retaines the Name of Burnham, which being an early station, it is not improbable the neighbour parts were filled with habitations, either of Romanes themselves, or Brittains Romanised, which observed the Romane customes.

Nor is it improbable that the Romanes early possessed this Countrey; for though we meet not with such strict particulars of these parts, before the new Institution of Constantine, and military charge of the Count of the Saxon shore, and that about the Saxon Invasions, the Dalmatian Horsemen were in the Garrison of Brancaster: Yet in the time of Claudius Vespasian, and Severus, we finde no lesse then three Legions dispersed through the Province of Brittain. And as high as the[106] Reign of Claudius a great overthrow was given unto the Iceni, by the Romane Lieutenant Ostorius. Not long after the Countrey was so molested, that in hope of a better state Prasatagus bequeathed his Kingdom unto Nero and his Daughters; and Boadicea his Queen fought the last decisive Battle with Paulinus. After which time and Conquest of Agricola the Lieutenant of Vespasian, probable it is they wholly possessed this Countrey, ordering it into Garrisons or Habitations, best suitable with their securities. And so some Romane habitations, not improbable in these parts, as high as the time of Vespasian, where the Saxons after seated, in whose thin-fill’d Mappes we yet finde the Name of Walsingham. Now if the Iceni were but Gammadims, Anconians, or men that lived in an Angle wedge or Elbow of Brittain, according to the Original Etymologie, this countrey will challenge the Emphatical appellation, as most properly making the Elbow or Iken of Icenia.

That Britain was notably populous is undeniable, from that expression of Cæsar[17]. That the Romanes themselves were early in no small numbers, Seventy Thousand with their associats slain by Boadicea, affords a sure account. And though many Roman habitations are now unknown, yet some by old works, Rampiers, Coynes, and Urnes do testifie their Possessions. Some Urnes have been found at Castor, some also about Southcreake and not many years past, no lesse then ten in a field at Buxton,[18] not near any recorded Garrison. Nor is it strange to finde Romane Coynes of Copper and Silver among us; of Vespasian, Trajan, Adrian, Commodus, Antoninus, Severus, etc. But the greater number of Dioclesian, Constantine, Constans, Valens, with many of Victorinus Posthumius,[107] Tetricus, and the thirty Tyrants in the Reigne of Gallienus; and some as high as Adrianus have been found about Thetford, or Sitomagus, mentioned in the itinerary of Antoninus, as the way from Venta or Castor unto London.[19] But the most frequent discovery is made at the two Casters by Norwich and Yarmouth[20] at Burghcastle and Brancaster.[21]

Besides, the Norman, Saxon and Danish peeces of Cuthred, Canutus, William Matilda,[22] and others, some Brittish Coynes of gold have been dispersedly found; And no small number of silver peeces neer Norwich[23]; with a rude head upon the obverse, and an ill formed horse on the reverse, with inscriptions Ic. Duro T. whether implying Iceni, Duroriges, Tascia, or Trinobantes, we leave to higher conjecture. Vulgar Chronology will have Norwich Castle as old as Julius Cæsar, but his distance from these parts, and its Gothick form of structure, abridgeth such Antiquity. The British Coyns afford conjecture of early habitation in these parts, though the City of Norwich arose from the ruines of Venta, and though perhaps not without some habitation before, was enlarged, builded, and nominated by the Saxons. In what bulk or populosity it stood in the old East-angle Monarchy, tradition and history are silent. Considerable it was in the Danish Eruptions, when Sueno burnt Thetford and Norwich,[24] and Ulfketel the Governour thereof was able to make some resistance, and after endeavoured to burn the Danish Navy.

How the Romanes left so many Coynes in Countreys of their Conquests, seemes of hard resolution, except we consider how they buried them under ground, when upon barbarous invasions they were fain to desert their habitations in most part of their Empire, and the[108] strictnesse of their laws forbiding to transfer them to any other uses; Wherein the Spartans[25] were singular, who to make their copper money uselesse, contempered it with vinegar. That the Britains left any, some wonder; since their money was iron, and Iron rings before Cæsar; and those of after stamp by permission, and but small in bulk and bignesse; that so few of the Saxons remain, because overcome by suceeding Conquerours upon the place, their Coynes by degrees passed into other stamps, and the marks of after ages.

Then the time of these Urnes deposited, or precise Antiquity of these Relicks, nothing of more uncertainty. For since the Lieutenant of Claudius seems to have the first progresse into these parts, since Boadicea was overthrown by the Forces of Nero, and Agricola put a full end to these Conquests; it is not probable the Country was fully garrisoned or planted before; and therefore however these Urnes might be of later date, not likely of higher Antiquity.

And the succeeding Emperours desisted not from their conquests in these and other parts; as testified by history and medal inscription yet extant. The Province of Britain in so divided a distance from Rome, beholding the faces of many Imperial persons, and in large account no fewer than Cæsar, Claudius, Britannicus, Vespasian, Titus, Adrian, Severus, Commodus, Geta, and Caracalla.

A great obscurity herein, because, no medall or Emperours coyne enclosed, which might denote the dates of their enterrments, observable in many Urnes, and found in those of Spittle Fields by London,[26] which contained the Coynes of Claudius, Vespasian, Commodus, Antoninus, attended with Lacrymatories, Lamps, Bottles of Liquor, and other appurtenances[109] of affectionate superstition, which in these rurall interrments were wanting.

Some uncertainty there is from the period or term of burning, or the cessation of that practise. Macrobius affirmeth it was disused in his dayes. But most agree, though without authentick record, that it ceased with the Antonini. Most safely to be understood after the Reigne of those Emperours, which assumed the name of Antoninus, extending unto Heliogabalus. Not strictly after Marcus; For about fifty years later we finde the magnificent burning, and consecration of Severus; and if we so fix this period or cessation, these Urnes will challenge above thirteen hundred yeers.

But whether this practise was onely then left by Emperours and great persons, or generally about Rome, and not in other Provinces, we hold no authentick account. For after Tertullian, in the dayes of Minucius it was obviously objected upon Christians, that they condemned the practise of burning.[27] And we finde a passage in Sidonius,[28] which asserteth that practise in France unto a lower account. And perhaps not fully disused till Christianity fully established, which gave the final extinction to these Sepulchral Bonefires.

Whether they were the bones of men or women or children, no authentick decision from ancient custome in distinct places of burial. Although not improbably conjectured, that the double Sepulture or burying place of Abraham, had in it such intension. But from exility of bones, thinnesse of skulls, smallnesse of teeth, ribbes, and thigh-bones; not improbable that many thereof were persons of minor age, or women. Confirmable also from things contained in them: In most were found substances resembling Combes, Plates like Boxes, fastened with Iron pins, and handsomely overwrought[110] like the necks or Bridges of Musicall Instruments, long brasse plates overwrought like the handles of neat implements, brazen nippers to pull away hair, and in one a kinde of Opale yet maintaining a blewish colour.

Now that they accustomed to burn or bury with them, things wherein they excelled, delighted, or which were dear unto them, either as farewells unto all pleasure, or vain apprehension that they might use them in the other world, is testified by all Antiquity. Observable from the Gemme or Beril Ring upon the finger of Cynthia, the Mistress of Propertius, when after her Funeral Pyre her Ghost appeared unto him. And notably illustrated from the Contents of that Roman Urne preserved by Cardinal Farnese,[29] wherein besides great number of Gemmes with heads of Gods and Goddesses, were found an Ape of Agath, a Grashopper, an Elephant of Ambre, a Crystal Ball, three glasses, two Spoons, and six Nuts of Crystall. And beyond the content of Urnes, in the Monument of Childerick the first,[30] and fourth King from Pharamond, casually discovered three years past at Tournay, restoring unto the world much gold richly adorning his Sword, two hundred Rubies, many hundred Imperial Coyns, three hundred Golden Bees, the bones and horseshoe of his horse enterred with him, according to the barbarous magnificence of those dayes in their sepulchral Obsequies. Although if we steer by the conjecture of many and Septuagint expression; some trace thereof may be found even with the ancient Hebrews, not only from the Sepulcral treasure of David, but the circumcision knives which Josuah also buried.

Some men considering the contents of these Urnes, lasting peeces and toyes included in them, and the[111] custome of burning with many other Nations, might somewhat doubt whether all Urnes found among us, were properly Romane Reliques, or some not belonging unto our Brittish, Saxon, or Danish Forefathers.

In the form of Burial among the ancient Brittains, the large Discourses of Cæsar, Tacitus, and Strabo are silent: For the discovery whereof, with other particulars, we must deplore the loss of that Letter which Cicero expected or received from his Brother Quintus, as a resolution of Brittish customes; or the account which might have been made by Scribonius Largus the Physician, accompanying the Emperor Claudius, who might have also discovered that frugal Bit[31] of the Old Brittains, which in the bigness of a Bean could satisfie their thirst and hunger.

But that the Druids and ruling Priests used to burn and bury, is expressed by Pomponius; That Bellinus the Brother of Brennus, and King of Brittains was burnt, is acknowledged by Polydorus, as also by Amandus Zierexensis in Historia, and Pineda in his Universa historia. Spanish. That they held that practise in Gallia, Cæsar expressly delivereth. Whether the Brittains (probably descended from them, of like Religion, Language and Manners) did not sometimes make use of burning; or whether at least such as were after civilized unto the Romane life and manners, conformed not unto this practise, we have no historical assertion or denial. But since from the account of Tacitus the Romanes early wrought so much civility upon the Brittish stock, that they brought them to build Temples, to wear the Gown, and study the Romane Laws and Language, that they conformed also unto their Religious rites and customes in burials, seems no improbable conjecture.


That burning the dead was used in Sarmatia, is affirmed by Gaguinus, that the Sueons and Gothlanders used to burn their Princes and great persons, is delivered by Saxo and Olaus; that this was the old Germane practise, is also asserted by Tacitus. And though we are bare in historical particulars of such obsequies in this Island, or that the Saxons, Jutes, and Angles burnt their dead, yet came they from parts where ’twas of ancient practise; the Germanes using it, from whom they were descended. And even in Jutland and Sleswick in Anglia Cymbrica, Urnes with bones were found not many years before us.

Roisold, Brendetiide. Ild tyde.

But the Danish and Northern Nations have raised an Æra or point of compute from their Custome of burning their dead: Some deriving it from Unguinus, some from Frotho the great; who ordained by Law, that Princes and Chief Commanders should be committed unto the fire, though the common sort had the common grave enterrment. So Starkatterus that old Heroe was burnt, and Ringo royally burnt the body of Harald the King slain by him.

What time this custome generally expired in that Nation, we discern no assured period; whether it ceased before Christianity, or upon their Conversion, by Ansgurius the Gaul in the time of Ludovicus Pius the Son of Charles the Great, according to good computes; or whether it might not be used by some persons, while for a hundred and eighty years Paganisme and Christianity were promiscuously embraced among them, there is no assured conclusion. About which times the Danes were busie in England, and particularly infested this Countrey: Where many Castles and strong holds were built by them, or against them, and great number of names and Families still derived from them. But[113] since this custome was probably disused before their Invasion or Conquest, and the Romanes confessedly practised the same, since their possession of this Island, the most assured account will fall upon the Romanes, or Brittains Romanized.

However certain it is, that Urnes conceived of no Romane Original, are often digged up both in Norway and Denmark, handsomely described, and graphically represented by the Learned Physician Wormius,[32] And in some parts of Denmark in no ordinary number, as stands delivered by Authors exactly describing those Countreys.[33] And they contained not only bones, but many other substances in them, as Knives, peeces of Iron, Brass and Wood, and one of Norway a brasse guilded Jewes harp.

Nor were they confused or carelesse in disposing the noblest sort, while they placed large stones in circle about the Urnes, or bodies which they interred: Somewhat answerable unto the Monument of Rollrich stones in England,[34] or sepulcral Monument probably erected by Rollo, who after conquered Normandy. Where ’tis not improbable somewhat might be discovered. Mean while to what Nation or person belonged that large Urne found at Ashburie,[35] containing mighty bones, and a Buckler; what those large Urnes found at little Massingham,[36] or why the Anglesea Urnes are placed with their mouths downwards, remains yet undiscovered.


[16] In one sent me by my worthy friend Dr. Thomas Witherley of Walsingham.

[17] Hominum infinita multitudo est, creberrimaque ædificia ferè Gallicis consimilia. Cæs. de bello Gal. l. 5.

[18] In the ground of my worthy Friend Rob. Jegon, Esq., wherein some things contained were preserved by the most worthy Sir William Paston, Bt.

[19] From Castor to Thetford the Romans accounted thirty-two miles, and from thence observed not our common road to London, but passed by Combretonium ad Ansam, Canonium, Cæsaromagus, etc., by Bretenham, Coggeshall, Chelmeford, Burntwood, etc.

[20] Most at Caster by Yarmouth, found in a place called East-bloudyburgh furlong, belonging to Mr. Thomas Wood, a person of civility, industry and knowledge in this way, who hath made observation of remarkable things about him, and from whom we have received divers Silver and Copper Coynes.

[21] Belonging to that Noble Gentleman, and true example of worth Sir Ralph Hare, Baronet, my honoured Friend.

[22] A peece of Maud the Empresse said to be found in Buckenham Castle with this inscription, Elle n’a elle.

[23] At Thorpe.

[24] Brampton Abbas Jorvallensis.

[25] Plut. in vita Lycurg.

[26] Stowes Survey of London.

[27] Execrantur rogos, et damnant ignium sepulturam. Min. in Oct.

[28] Sidon. Apollinaris.

[29] Vigeneri Annot. in 4. Liv.

[30] Chifflet in Anast. Childer.

[31] Dionis excerpta per Xiphilin. in Severo.

[32] Olai Wormii monumenta et Antiquitat. Dan.

[33] Adolphus Cyprius in Annal. Sleswic. urnis adeo abundabat collis, etc.

[34] In Oxfordshire; Cambden.

[35] In Cheshire, Twinus de rebus Albionicis.

[36] In Norfolk, Hollingshead.


Playstered and whited Sepulchres, were anciently affected in cadaverous, and corruptive Burials; And the rigid Jews were wont to garnish the Sepulchres of the righteous;[37] Ulysses in[114] Hecuba[38] cared not how meanly he lived, so he might finde a noble Tomb after death. Great Princes affected great Monuments, and the fair and larger Urnes contained no vulgar ashes, which makes that disparity in those which time discovereth among us. The present Urnes were not of one capacity, the largest containing above a gallon, Some not much above half that measure; nor all of one figure, wherein there is no strict conformity, in the same or different Countreys; Observable from those represented by Casalius, Bosio, and others, though all found in Italy: While many have handles, ears, and long necks, but most imitate a circular figure, in a spherical and round composure; whether from any mystery, best duration or capacity, were but a conjecture. But the common form with necks was a proper figure, making our last bed like our first; nor much unlike the Urnes of our Nativity, while we lay in the nether part of the Earth,[39] and inward vault of our Microcosme. Many Urnes are red, these but of a black colour, somewhat smooth, and dully sounding, which begat some doubt, whether they were burnt, or only baked in Oven or Sun: According to the ancient way, in many bricks, tiles, pots, and testaceous works; and as the word testa is properly to be taken, when occurring without addition: And chiefly intended by Pliny, when he commendeth bricks and tiles of two years old, and to make them in the spring. Nor only these concealed peeces, but the open magnificence of Antiquity, ran much in the Artifice of Clay. Hereof the house of Mausolus was built, thus old Jupiter stood in the Capitol, and the Statua of Hercules made in the Reign of Tarquinius Priscus, was extant in Plinies dayes. And such as declined burning or Funeral Urnes, affected[115] Coffins of Clay, according to the mode of Pythagoras, and way preferred by Varro. But the spirit of great ones was above these circumscriptions, affecting Copper, Silver, Gold, and Porphyrie Urnes, wherein Severus lay, after a serious view and sentence on that which should contain him.[40] Some of these Urnes were thought to have been silvered over, from sparklings in several pots, with small Tinsel parcels; uncertain whether from the earth, or the first mixture in them.

Among these Urnes we could obtain no good account of their coverings; only one seemed arched over with some kinde of brickwork. Of those found at Buxton some were covered with flints, some in other parts with Tiles, those at Yarmouth Caster, were closed with Romane bricks. And some have proper earthen covers adapted and fitted to them. But in the Homerical Urne of Patroclus, whatever was the solid Tegument, we finde the immediate covering to be a purple peece of silk: And such as had no covers might have the earth closely pressed into them, after which disposure were probably some of these, wherein we found the bones and ashes half mortered unto the sand and sides of the Urne; and some long roots of Quich, or Dogs-grass wreathed about the bones.

No Lamps, included Liquors, Lachrymatories, or Tear-Bottles attended these rural Urnes, either as sacred unto the Manes, or passionate expressions of their surviving friends. While with rich flames, and hired teares they solemnized their Obsequies, and in the most lamented Monuments made one part of their Inscriptions.[41] Some finde sepulchral Vessels containing liquors, which time hath incrassated into gellies. For beside these Lachrymatories, notable Lamps, with Vessels of Oyles and Aromatical Liquors attended[116] noble Ossuaries. And some yet retaining a Vinosity[[42] and spirit in them, which if any have tasted they have far exceeded the Palats of Antiquity. Liquors not to be computed by years of annual Magistrates, but by great conjunctions and the fatal periods of Kingdoms.[43] The draughts of Consulary date, were but crude unto these, and Opimian[44] Wine but in the muste unto them.

In sundry graves and Sepulchres, we meet with Rings, Coynes, and Chalices; Ancient frugality was so severe, that they allowed no gold to attend the Corps, but onely that which served to fasten their teeth.[45] Whether the Opaline stone in this Urne were burnt upon the finger of the dead, or cast into the fire by some affectionate friend, it will consist with either custome. But other incinerable substances were found so fresh, that they could feel no sindge from fire. These upon view were judged to be wood, but sinking in water and tried by the fire, we found them to be bone or Ivory. In their hardnesse and yellow colour they most resembled Box, which in old expressions found the Epithete[46] of Eternal, and perhaps in such conservatories might have passed uncorrupted.

That Bay-leaves were found green in the Tomb of S. Humbert,[47] after an hundred and fifty yeers, was looked upon as miraculous. Remarkable it was unto old Spectators, that the Cypresse of the Temple of Diana, lasted so many hundred years: The wood of the Ark and Olive Rod of Aaron were older at the Captivity. But the Cypresse of the Ark of Noah, was the greatest vegetable Antiquity, if Josephus were not deceived, by some fragments of it in his dayes. To omit the Moore-logs, and Firre-trees found underground in some parts of England; the undated ruines[117] of winds, flouds or earthquakes; and which in Flanders still shew from what quarter they fell, as generally lying in the North-East position.[48]

But though we found not these peeces to be Wood, according to first apprehension, yet we missed not altogether of some woody substance; for the bones were not so clearly pickt, but some coals were found amongst them; A way to make wood perpetual, and a fit associat for metal, whereon was laid the foundation of the great Ephesian Temple, and which were made the lasting tests of old boundaries, and Landmarks; Whilest we look on these we admire not observations of Coals found fresh, after four hundred years.[49] In a long deserted habitation,[50] even Egge-shels have been found fresh, not tending to corruption.

In the Monument of King Childerick, the Iron Reliques were found all rusty and crumbling into peeces. But our little Iron pins which fastened the ivory works, held well together, and lost not their Magneticall quality, though wanting a tenacious moisture for the firmer union of parts, although it be hardly drawn into fusion, yet that metal soon submitteth unto rust and dissolution. In the brazen peeces we admired not the duration but the freedom from rust, and ill savour; upon the hardest attrition, but now exposed unto the piercing Atomes of aire; in the space of a few moneths, they begin to spot and betray their green entrals. We conceive not these Urns to have descended thus naked as they appear, or to have entred their graves without the old habit of flowers. The Urne of Philopœmen was so laden with flowers and ribbons, that it afforded no sight of it self. The rigid Lycurgus allowed Olive and Myrtle. The Athenians might fairely except against the practise of Democritus[118] to be buried up in honey; as fearing to embezzle a great commodity of their Countrey, and the best of that kinde in Europe. But Plato seemed too frugally politick, who allowed no larger monument then would contain four Heroick verses, and designed the most barren ground for sepulture: Though we cannot commend the goodnesse of that sepulchral ground, which was set at no higher rate then the mean salary of Judas. Though the earth had confounded the ashes of these Ossuaries, yet the bones were so smartly burnt, that some thin plates of brasse were found half melted among them: whereby we apprehended they were not of the meanest carcasses, perfunctorily fired as sometimes in military, and commonly in pestilence, burnings; or after the manner of abject corps, hudled forth and carelessly burnt, without the Esquiline Port at Rome; which was an affront continued upon Tiberius, while they but half burnt his body,[51] and in the Amphitheatre, according to the custome in notable Malefactors; whereas Nero seemed not so much to fear his death, as that his head should be cut off and his body not burnt entire.

Some finding many fragments of sculs in these Urnes, suspected a mixture of bones; In none we searched was there cause of such conjecture, though sometimes they declined not that practise; The ashes of Domitian[52] were mingled with those of Julia, of Achilles with those of Patroclus: All Urnes contained not single ashes; Without confused burnings they affectionately compounded their bones; passionately endeavouring to continue their living Unions. And when distance of death denied such conjunctions, unsatisfied affections conceived some satisfaction to be neighbours in the grave, to lye Urne by Urne, and touch but in their[119] names. And many were so curious to continue their living relations, that they contrived large, and family Urnes, wherein the Ashes of their nearest friends and kindred might successively be received,[53] at least some parcels thereof, while their collateral memorials lay in minor vessels about them.

Antiquity held too light thoughts from Objects of mortality, while some drew provocatives of mirth from Anatomies,[54] and Juglers shewed tricks with Skeletons. When Fidlers made not so pleasant mirth as Fencers, and men could sit with quiet stomacks while hanging was plaied before them.[55] Old considerations made few memento’s by sculs and bones upon their monuments. In the Ægyptian Obelisks and Hieroglyphical figures, it is not easie to meet with bones. The sepulchral Lamps speak nothing lesse then sepulture; and in their literal draughts prove often obscene and antick peeces: Where we finde D. M.[56] it is obvious to meet with sacrificing patera’s, and vessels of libation, upon old sepulchral Monuments. In the Jewish Hypogæum[57] and subterranean Cell at Rome, was little observable beside the variety of Lamps, and frequent draughts of the holy Candlestick. In authentick draughts of Anthony and Jerome, we meet with thigh-bones and deaths heads; but the cemiterial Cels of ancient Christians and Martyrs, were filled with draughts of Scripture Stories; not declining the flourishes of Cypresse, Palms, and Olive; and the mystical Figures of Peacocks, Doves and Cocks. But iterately affecting the pourtraits of Enoch, Lazarus, Jonas, and the vision of Ezechiel, as hopeful draughts, and hinting imagery of the Resurrection; which is the life of the grave, and sweetens our habitations in the Land of Moles and Pismires.


Gentile inscriptions precisely delivered the extent of mens lives, seldome the manner of their deaths, which history it self so often leaves obscure in the records of memorable persons. There is scarce any Philosopher but dies twice or thrice in Laertius; Nor almost any life without two or three deaths in Plutarch; which makes the tragical ends of noble persons more favourably resented by compassionate Readers, who finde some relief in the Election of such differences.

The certainty of death is attended with uncertainties, in time, manner, places. The variety of Monuments hath often obscured true graves: and Cenotaphs confounded Sepulchres. For beside their real Tombs, many have found honorary and empty Sepulchres. The variety of Homers Monuments made him of various Countreys. Euripides[58] had his Tomb in Africa, but his sepulture in Macedonia. And Severus[59] found his real Sepulchre in Rome, but his empty grave in Gallia.

He that lay in a golden Urne[60] eminently above the earth, was not like to finde the quiet of these bones. Many of these Urnes were broke by a vulgar discoverer in hope of inclosed treasure. The ashes of Marcellus[61] were lost above ground, upon the like account. Where profit hath prompted, no age hath wanted such miners. The Commission of the Gothish King Theodoric for finding out sepulchrall treasure. Cassiodor. Var. l. 4.For which the most barbarous Expilators found the most civil Rhetorick. Gold once out of the earth is no more due unto it; What was unreasonably committed to the ground is reasonably resumed from it: Let Monuments and rich Fabricks, not Riches adorn mens ashes. The commerce of the living is not to be transferred unto the dead: It is no injustice to take that which none complaines to lose, and no man is wronged where no man is possessor.

What virtue yet sleeps in this terra damnata and[121] aged cinders, were petty magick to experiment; These crumbling reliques and long-fired particles superannate such expectations: Bones, hairs, nails, and teeth of the dead, were the treasures of old Sorcerers. In vain we revive such practices; Present superstition too visibly perpetuates the folly of our fore-fathers, wherein unto old Observation this Island was so compleat, that it might have instructed Persia.[62]

Plato’s historian of the other world, lies twelve dayes incorrupted, while his soul was viewing the large stations of the dead. How to keep the corps seven dayes from corruption by anointing and washing, without exenteration, were an hazardable peece of art, in our choisest practise. How they made distinct separation of bones and ashes from fiery admixture, hath found no historical solution. Though they seemed to make a distinct collection, and overlooked not Pyrrhus his toe. Some provision they might make by fictile Vessels, Coverings, Tiles, or flat stones, upon and about the body. And in the same Field, not far from these Urnes, many stones were found under ground, as also by careful separation of extraneous matter, composing and raking up the burnt bones with forks, observable in that notable lamp of Galuanus. Martianus,[63] who had the sight of the Vas Ustrinum, or vessel wherein they burnt the dead, found in the Esquiline Field at Rome, might have afforded clearer solution. But their insatisfaction herein begat that remarkable invention in the Funeral Pyres of some Princes, by incombustible sheets made with a texture of Asbestos, incremable flax, or Salamanders wool, which preserved their bones and ashes[64] incommixed.

How the bulk of a man should sink into so few pounds of bones and ashes, may seem strange unto any[122] who considers not its constitution, and how slender a mass will remain upon an open and urging fire of the carnal composition. Even bones themselves reduced into ashes, do abate a notable proportion. And consisting much of a volatile salt, when that is fired out, make a light kind of cinders. Although their bulk be disproportionable to their weight, when the heavy principle of Salt is fired out, and the Earth almost onely remaineth; Observable in sallow, which makes more Ashes then Oake; and discovers the common fraud of selling Ashes by measure, and not by ponderation.

Some bones make best Skeletons,[65] some bodies quick and speediest ashes: Who would expect a quick flame from Hydropical Heraclitus? The poisoned Souldier when his Belly brake, put out two pyres in Plutarch.[66] But in the plague of Athens,[67] one private pyre served two or three Intruders; and the Saracens burnt in large heaps, by the King of Castile,[68] shewed how little Fuel sufficeth. Though the Funeral pyre of Patroclus took up an hundred foot,[69] a peece of an old boat burnt Pompey; And if the burthen of Isaac were sufficient for an holocaust, a man may carry his own pyre.

From animals are drawn good burning lights, and good medicines[70] against burning; Though the seminal humor seems of a contrary nature to fire, yet the body compleated proves a combustible lump, wherein fire findes flame even from bones, and some fuel almost from all parts. Though the Metropolis[71] of humidity seems least disposed unto it, which might render the sculls of these Urnes less burned then other bones. But all flies or sinks before fire almost in all bodies. When the common ligament is dissolved, the attenuable parts ascend, the rest subside in coal, calx or ashes.

To burn the bones of the King of Edom[72] for Lyme,[123] seems no irrational ferity; But to drink of the ashes of dead relations,[73] a passionate prodigality. He that hath the ashes of his friend, hath an everlasting treasure: where fire taketh leave, corruption slowly enters; In bones well burnt, fire makes a wall against it self, experimented in copels, and tests of metals, which consist of such ingredients. What the Sun compoundeth, fire analyseth, not transmuteth. That devouring agent leaves almost alwayes a morsel for the Earth, whereof all things are but a colony; and which, if time permits, the mother Element will have in their primitive mass again.

He that looks for Urnes and old sepulchral reliques, must not seek them in the ruines of Temples: where no Religion anciently placed them. These were found in a Field, according to ancient custome, in noble or private burial; the old practise of the Canaanites, the Family of Abraham, and the burying place of Josua, in the borders of his possessions; and also agreeable unto Romane practise to bury by highwayes, whereby their Monuments were under eye: Memorials of themselves, and memento’s of mortality into living passengers; whom the Epitaphs of great ones were fain to beg to stay and look upon them. A language though sometimes used, not so proper in Church-Inscriptions.[74] The sensible Rhetorick of the dead, to exemplarity of good life, first admitted the bones of pious men, and Martyrs within Church-wals; which in succeeding ages crept into promiscuous practise. While Constantine was peculiarly favoured to be admitted unto the Church Porch; and the first thus buried in England was in the dayes of Cuthred.

Christians dispute how their bodies should lye in the grave.[75] In urnal enterrment they clearly escaped[124] this Controversie: Though we decline the Religious consideration, yet in cemiterial and narrower burying places, to avoid confusion and crosse position, a certain posture were to be admitted; which even Pagan civility observed, The Persians lay North and South, The Megarians and Phœnicians placed their heads to the East: The Athenians, some think, towards the West, which Christians still retain. And Beda will have it to be the posture of our Saviour. That he was crucified with his face towards the West, we will not contend with tradition and probable account; But we applaud not the hand of the Painter, in exalting his Cross so high above those on either side; since hereof we finde no authentick account in history, and even the crosses found by Helena pretend no such distinction from longitude or dimension.

To be gnawd out of our graves, to have our sculs made drinking-bowls, and our bones turned into Pipes, to delight and sport our Enemies, are Tragical abominations, escaped in burning Burials.

Urnal enterrments, and burnt Reliques lye not in fear of worms, or to be an heritage for Serpents; In carnal sepulture, corruptions seem peculiar unto parts, and some speak of snakes out of the spinal marrow. But while we suppose common wormes in graves, ’tis not easie to finde any there; few in Church-yards above a foot deep, fewer or none in Churches, though in fresh decayed bodies. Teeth, bones, and hair, give the most lasting defiance to corruption. In an Hydropical body ten years buried in a Church yard, we met with a fat concretion, where the nitre of the Earth, and the salt and lixivious liquor of the body, had coagulated large lumps of fat, into the consistence of the hardest castle-soap; whereof part remaineth[125] with us. After a battle with the Persians, the Romane Corps decayed in few dayes, while the Persian bodies remained dry and uncorrupted. Bodies in the same ground do not uniformly dissolve, nor bones equally moulder; whereof in the opprobrious disease we expect no long duration. The body of the Marquess of Dorset seemed sound and handsomely cereclothed, that after seventy eight years was found uncorrupted.[76] Common Tombs preserve not beyond powder: A firmer consistence and compage of parts might be expected from Arefaction, deep burial or Charcoal. The greatest Antiquities of mortal bodies may remain in petrified bones, whereof, though we take not in the pillar of Lots wife, or Metamorphosis of Ortelius,[77] some may be older then Pyramids, in the petrified Reliques of the general inundation. When Alexander opened the Tomb of Cyrus, the remaining bones discovered his proportion, whereof urnal fragments afford but a bad conjecture, and have this disadvantage of grave enterrments, that they leave us ignorant of most personal discoveries. For since bones afford not only rectitude and stability, but figure unto the body; It is no impossible Physiognomy to conjecture at fleshly appendencies; and after what shape the muscles and carnous parts might hang in their full consistences. A full spread Cariola shews a well-shaped horse behinde, handsome formed sculls, give some analogy of flesh resemblance. A critical view of bones makes a good distinction of sexes. Even colour is not beyond conjecture, since it is hard to be deceived in the distinction of Negro’s sculls. Dantes[78] Characters are to be found in sculls as well as faces. Hercules is not onely known by his foot. Other parts make out their comproportions, and inferences upon whole, or parts. And since the dimensions[126] of the head measure the whole body, and the figure thereof gives conjecture of the principal faculties; Physiognomy out-lives our selves, and ends not in our graves.

Severe contemplators observing these lasting reliques, may think them good monuments of persons past, little advantage to future beings. And considering that power which subdueth all things unto it self, that can resume the scattered Atomes, or identifie out of any thing, conceive it superfluous to expect a resurrection out of Reliques. But the soul subsisting, other matter clothed with due accidents, may salve the individuality: Yet the Saints we observe arose from graves and monuments, about the holy City. Some think the ancient Patriarchs so earnestly desired to lay their bones in Canaan, as hoping to make a part of that Resurrection, and though thirty miles from Mount Calvary, at least to lie in that Region, which should produce the first-fruits of the dead. And if according to learned conjecture, the bodies of men shall rise where their greatest Reliques remain, many are not like to erre in the Topography of their Resurrection, though their bones or bodies be after translated by Angels into the field of Ezechiels vision, or as some will order it, into the Valley of Judgement, or Jehosaphat.[79]


[37] Matt. 23.

[38] Euripides.

[39] Psa. 63.

[40] Χωρήσεις τον ἅνθρωπον ὄν ἡ οἰκουμένη οὐκ ἠχώρησεν. Dion.

[41] Cum lacrymis posuere.

[42] Lazius.

[43] About five hundred years. Plato.

[44] Vinum Opiminianum annorum centum. Petron.

[45] 12. Tabul. l. xi. de Jure sacro. Neve aurum addito, ast quoi auro dentes vincti erunt, im cum illo sepelire et utere, se fraude esto.

[46] Plin. 1. xvi. Inter ξύλα ἀσαπῆ numerat Theophrastus.

[47] Surius.

[48] Gorop. Becanus in Niloscopio.

[49] Of Beringuccio nella pyrotechnia.

[50] At Elmeham.

[51] Sueton. in vitâ Tib. et in Amphitheatro semiustulandum, not. Casaub.

[52] Sueton. in vitâ Domitian

[53] S. the most learned and worthy Mr. M. Casaubon upon Antoninus.

[54] Sic erimus cuncti, etc. Ergo dum vivimus vivamus.

[55] Ἀγχόνην παίζειν. A barbarous pastime at Feasts, when men stood upon a rolling Globe, with their necks in a Rope, and a knife in their hands, ready to cut it when the stone was rolled away, wherein if they failed, they lost their lives to the laughter of their spectators. Athenæus.

[56] Diis manibus.

[57] Bosio.

[58] Pausan. in Atticis.

[59] Lamprid. in vit. Alexand. Severi.

[60] Trajanus. Dion.

[61] Plut. in vit. Marcelli.

[62] Britannia hodie eam attonitè celebrat tantis ceremoniis, ut dedisse Persis videri possit. Plin. l. 29.

[63] Topographiæ Roma ex Martiano. Erat et vas ustrinum appellatum quod in eo cadavera comburerenur. Cap. de Campo Esquilino.

[64] To be seen in Licet. de reconditis veterum lucernis.

[65] Old bones according to Lyserus. Those of young persons not tall nor fat according to Columbus.

[66] In vita. Gracc.

[67] Thucydides.

[68] Laurent. Valla.

[69] Ἑκατόμπεδον ἔνθα ἥ ἔνθα.

[70] Sperm ran. Alb. Ovor.

[71] The brain. Hippocrates.

[72] Amos 2. 1.

[73] As Artemisia of her Husband Mausolus.

[74] Siste viator.

[75] Kirckmannus de funer.

[76] Of Thomas Marquesse of Dorset, whose body being buried 1530, was 1608 upon the cutting open of the Cerecloth found perfect and nothing corrupted, the flesh not hardened, but in colour, proportion, and softnesse like an ordinary corps newly to be interred. Burtons descript. of Leicestershire.

[77] In his Map of Russia.

[78] The Poet Dante in his view of Purgatory, found gluttons so meagre, and extenuated, that he conceived them to have been in the siege of Jerusalem, and that it was easie to have discovered Homo or Omo in their faces: M being made by the two lines of their cheeks, arching over the Eye-brows to the nose, and their sunk eyes making O O which makes up Omo. Parean l’occhiaie anella senza gemme che nel viso de gli huomini legge huomo Ben’hauria quiui conosciuto l’emme.

[79] Tirin. in Ezek.


Christians have handsomely glossed the deformity of death, by careful consideration of the body, and civil rites which take off brutal terminations. And though they conceived all reparable by a resurrection, cast not off all care of enterrment.[127] And since the ashes of Sacrifices burnt upon the Altar of God, were carefully carried out by the Priests, and deposed in a clean field; since they acknowledged their bodies to be the lodging of Christ, and temples of the holy Ghost, they devolved not all upon the sufficiency of soul existence; and therefore with long services and full solemnities concluded their last Exequies, wherein[80] to all distinctions the Greek devotion seems most pathetically ceremonious.

Christian invention hath chiefly driven at Rites, which speak hopes of another life, and hints of a Resurrection. And if the ancient Gentiles held not the immortality of their better part, and some subsistence after death; in several rites, customes, actions and expressions, they contradicted their own opinions: wherein Democritus went high, even to the thought of a resurrection,[81] as scoffingly recorded by Pliny. What can be more express than the expression of Phocyllides?[82] Or who would expect from Lucretius[83] a sentence of Ecclesiastes? Before Plato could speak, the soul had wings in Homer, which fell not, but flew out of the body into the mansions of the dead; who also observed that handsome distinction of Demas and Soma, for the body conjoyned to the soul and body separated from it. Lucian spoke much truth in jest, when he said, that part of Hercules which proceeded from Alchmena perished, that from Jupiter remained immortal. Thus Socrates[84] was content that his friends should bury his body, so they would not think they buried Socrates, and regarding only his immortal part, was indifferent to be burnt or buried. From such Considerations Diogenes might contemn Sepulture. And being satisfied that the soul could not perish, grow careless of corporal enterrment. The[128] Stoicks who thought the souls of wise men had their habitation about the Moon, might make slight account of subterraneous deposition; whereas the Pythagorians and transcorporating Philosophers, who were to be often buried, held great care of their enterrment. And the Platonicks rejected not a due care of the grave, though they put their ashes to unreasonable expectations, in their tedious term of return and long set revolution.

Men have lost their reason in nothing so much as their Religion, wherein stones and clouts make Martyrs; and since the Religion of one seems madness unto another, to afford an account or rational of old Rites, requires no rigid Reader; That they kindled the pyre aversly, or turning their face from it, was an handsome Symbole of unwilling ministration; That they washed their bones with wine and milk, that the mother wrapt them in Linnen, and dryed them in her bosome, the first fostering part, and place of their nourishment; That they opened their eyes towards heaven, before they kindled the fire, as the place of their hopes or original, were no improper Ceremonies. Their last valediction[85] thrice uttered by the attendants was also very solemn, and somewhat answered by Christians, who thought it too little, if they threw not the earth thrice upon the enterred body. That in strewing their Tombs the Romanes affected the Rose, the Greeks Amaranthus and myrtle; that the Funeral pyre consisted of sweet fuel, Cypress, Firre, Larix, Yewe, and Trees perpetually verdant, lay silent expressions of their surviving hopes: Wherein Christians which deck their Coffins with Bays have found a more elegant Embleme. For that tree seeming dead, will restore it self from the root, and its dry and exuccous leaves[129] resume their verdure again; which if we mistake not, we have also observed in Furze. Whether the planting of Yewe in Churchyards, hold not its original from ancient Funeral Rites, or as an Embleme of Resurrection from its perpetual verdure, may also admit conjecture.

They made use of Musick to excite or quiet the affections of their friends, according to different harmonies. But the secret and symbolical hint was the harmonical nature of the soul; which delivered from the body, went again to enjoy the primitive harmony of heaven, from whence it first descended; which according to its progresse traced by antiquity, came down by Cancer, and ascended by Capricornus.

They burnt not children before their teeth appeared, as apprehending their bodies too tender a morsel for fire, and that their gristly bones would scarce leave separable reliques after the pyral combustion. That they kindled not fire in their houses for some dayes after, was a strict memorial of the late afflicting fire. And mourning without hope, they had an happy fraud against excessive lamentation, by a common opinion that deep sorrows disturbed their ghosts.[86]

That they buried their dead on their backs, or in a supine position, seems agreeable unto profound sleep, and common posture of dying; contrary to the most natural way of birth; Nor unlike our pendulous posture, in the doubtful state of the womb. Diogenes was singular, who preferred a prone situation in the grave, and some Christians[87] like neither, who decline the figure of rest, and make choice of an erect posture.

That they carried them out of the world with their feet forward, not inconsonant unto reason: As contrary unto the native posture of man, and his production[130] first into it. And also agreeable unto their opinions, while they bid adieu unto the world, not to look again upon it; whereas Mahometans who think to return to a delightful life again, are carried forth with their heads forward, and looking towards their houses.

They closed their eyes as parts which first die or first discover the sad effects of death. But their iterated clamations to excitate their dying or dead friends, or revoke them unto life again, was a vanity of affection; as not presumably ignorant of the critical tests of death, by apposition of feathers, glasses, and reflexion of figures, which dead eyes represent not; which however not strictly verifiable in fresh and warm cadavers, could hardly elude the test, in corps of four or five dayes.

That they suck’d in the last breath of their expiring friends, was surely a practice of no medicall institution, but a loose opinion that the soul passed out that way, and a fondnesse of affection from some Pythagoricall[88] foundation, that the spirit of one body passed into another; which they wished might be their own.

That they powred oyle upon the pyre, was a tolerable practise, while the intention rested in facilitating the accension; But to place good Omens in the quick and speedy burning, to sacrifice unto the winds for a dispatch in this office, was a low form of superstition.

The Archimime or Jester attending the Funeral train, and imitating the speeches, gesture, and manners of the deceased, was too light for such solemnities, contradicting their funerall Orations, and dolefull rites of the grave.

That they buried a peece of money with them as a Fee of the Elysian Ferriman, was a practise full of[131] folly. But the ancient custome of placing coynes in considerable Urnes, and the present practice of burying medals in the Noble Foundations of Europe, are laudable wayes of historicall discoveries, in actions, persons, Chronologies; and posterity will applaud them.

We examine not the old Laws of Sepulture, exempting certain persons from burial or burning. But hereby we apprehend that these were not the bones of persons Planet-struck or burnt with fire from Heaven: No Reliques of Traitors to their Countrey, Self-killers, or Sacrilegious Malefactors; Persons in old apprehension unworthy of the earth; condemned unto the Tartara’s of Hell, and bottomlesse pit of Pluto, from whence there was no redemption.

Nor were only many customes questionable in order to their Obsequies, but also sundry practises, fictions, and conceptions, discordant or obscure, of their state and future beings; whether unto eight or ten bodies of men to adde one of a woman, as being more inflammable, and unctuously constituted for the better pyrall combustion, were any rational practise: Or whether the complaint of Perianders Wife be tolerable, that wanting her Funerall burning she suffered intolerable cold in Hell, according to the constitution of the infernal house of Pluto, wherein cold makes a great part of their tortures; it cannot passe without some question.

Why the Female Ghosts appear unto Ulysses, before the Heroes and masculine spirits? Why the Psyche or soul of Tiresias is of the masculine gender; who being blinde on earth sees more then all the rest in hell; Why the Funeral Suppers consisted of Egges, Beans, Smallage, and Lettuce, since the dead are made to[132] eat Asphodels about the Elysian medows? Why since there is no Sacrifice acceptable, nor any propitiation for the Covenant of the grave: men set up the Deity of Morta, and fruitlesly adored Divinities without ears? it cannot escape some doubt.

The dead seem all alive in the humane Hades of Homer, yet cannot we speak, prophesie, or know the living, except they drink blood, wherein is the life of man. And therefore the souls of Penelope’s Paramours conducted by Mercury chiriped like bats, and those which followed Hercules made a noise but like a flock of birds.

The departed spirits know things past and to come, yet are ignorant of things present. Agememnon fortels what should happen unto Ulysses, yet ignorantly enquires what is become of his own Son. The ghosts are afraid of swords in Homer, yet Sybilla tells Æneas in Virgil, the thin habit of spirits was beyond the force of weapons. The spirits put off their malice with their bodies, and Cæsar and Pompey accord in Latine Hell, yet Ajax in Homer endures not a conference with Ulysses: And Deiphobus appears all mangled in Virgils Ghosts, yet we meet with perfect shadows among the wounded ghosts of Homer.

Since Charon in Lucian applauds his condition among the dead, whether it be handsomely said of Achilles, that living contemner of death, that he had rather be a Plowmans servant then Emperour of the dead? How Hercules his soul is in hell, and yet in heaven, and Julius his soul in a Star, yet seen by Æneas in hell, except the Ghosts were but images and shadows of the soul, received in higher mansions, according to the ancient division of body, soul, and image or simulachrum of them both. The particulars of future beings[133] must needs be dark unto ancient Theories, which Christian Philosophy yet determines but in a Cloud of opinions. A Dialogue between two Infants in the womb concerning the state of this world, might handsomly illustrate our ignorance of the next, whereof methinks we yet discourse in Platoes denne, and are but Embryon Philosophers.

Pythagoras escapes in the fabulous hell of Dante,[89] among that swarm of Philosophers, wherein whilest we meet with Plato and Socrates, Cato is to be found in no lower place then Purgatory. Among all the set, Epicurus is most considerable, whom men make honest without an Elyzium, who contemned life without encouragement of immortality, and making nothing after death, yet made nothing of the King of terrours.

Were the happinesse of next world as closely apprehended as the felicities of this, it were a martyrdome to live; and unto such as consider none hereafter, it must be more then death to die, which makes us amazed at those audacities, that durst be nothing, and return into their Chaos again. Certainly such spirits as could contemn death, when they expected no better being after, would have scorned to live had they known any. And therefore we applaud not the judgment of Machiavel, that Christianity makes men cowards, or that with the confidence of but half dying, the dispised virtues of patience and humility, have abased the spirits of men, which Pagan principles exalted, but rather regulated the wildenesse of audacities, in the attempts, grounds, and eternal sequels of death; wherein men of the boldest spirits are often prodigiously temerarious. Nor can we extenuate valour of ancient Martyrs, who contemned death in the uncomfortable scene of their lives, and in their decrepit[134] Martyrdomes did probably lose not many moneths of their dayes, or parted with life when it was scarce worth the living. For (beside that long time past holds no consideration unto a slender time to come) they had no small disadvantage from the constitution of old age, which naturally makes men fearful; And complexionally superannuated from the bold and couragious thoughts of youth and fervent years. But the contempt of death from corporal animosity, promoteth not our felicity. They may set in the Orchestra, and noblest Seats of Heaven, who have held up shaking hands in the fire, and humanely contended for glory.

Mean while Epicurus lies deep in Dante’s hell, wherin we meet with Tombs enclosing souls which denied their immortalities. But whether the virtuous heathen, who lived better then he spake, or erring in the principles of himself, yet lived above Philosophers of more specious Maximes, lye so deep as he is placed; at least so low as not to rise against Christians, who beleeving or knowing that truth, have lastingly denied it in their practise and conversation, were a quæry too sad to insist on.

But all or most apprehensions rested in Opinions of some future being, which ignorantly or coldly beleeved, beget those perverted conceptions, Ceremonies, Sayings, which Christians pity or laugh at. Happy are they, which live not in that disadvantage of time, when men could say little for futurity, but from reason. Whereby the noblest mindes fell often upon doubtful deaths, and melancholly Dissolutions; With these hopes Socrates warmed his doubtful spirits, against that cold potion, and Cato before he durst give the fatal stroak, spent part of the night in reading the immortality of[135] Plato, thereby confirming his wavering hand unto the animosity of that attempt.

It is the heaviest stone that melancholy can throw at a man, to tell him he is at the end of his nature; or that there is no further state to come, unto which this seemes progressional, and otherwise made in vaine; Without this accomplishment the natural expectation and desire of such a state, were but a fallacy in nature; unsatisfied Considerators would quarrel the justice of their constitutions, and rest content that Adam had fallen lower; whereby by knowing no other Original, and deeper ignorance of themselves, they might have enjoyed the happinesse of inferiour Creatures; who in tranquillity possess their Constitutions, as having not the apprehension to deplore their own natures. And being framed below the circumference of these hopes, or cognition of better being, the wisedom of God hath necessitated their Contentment: But the superiour ingredient and obscured part of our selves, whereto all present felicities afford no resting contentment, will be able at last to tell us we are more then our present selves; and evacuate such hopes in the fruition of their own accomplishments.


[80] Rituale Græcum opera J. Goar in officio exequiarum.

[81] Similis reviviscendi promissa Democrito vanitas, qui non revixit ipse. Quæ, malùm, ista dementia est; iterari vitam morte. Plin. l. 7 c. 55.

[82] Καὶ τάχα δʼ ἐκ γαίης ἐλπίζομεν ἐς φάος ἐλθεῖν λειψαν ἀποιχομένων.

[83] Cedit enim retro de terra quod fuit ante In terram, etc. Lucret.

[84] Plato in Phæd.

[85] Vale, vale, vale, nos te ordine quo natura permittet sequemur.

[86] Tu manes ne læde meos.

[87] Russians, etc.

[88] Francesco Perucci Pompe funebr.

[89] Del inferno. cant. 4.


Now since these dead bones have already out-lasted the living ones of Methuselah, and in a yard under ground, and thin walls of clay, out-worn all the strong and specious buildings above it; and quietly rested under the drums and tramplings of three conquests; What Prince can promise such diuturnity unto his Reliques, or might not gladly say,

Sic ego componi versus in ossa velim.[90]


Time which antiquates Antiquities, and hath an art to make dust of all things, hath yet spared these minor Monuments. In vain we hope to be known by open and visible conservatories, when to be unknown was the means of their continuation and obscurity their protection: If they dyed by violent hands, and were thrust into their Urnes, these bones become considerable, and some old Philosophers would honour them,[91] whose soules they conceived most pure, which were thus snatched from their bodies; and to retain a stronger propension unto them: whereas they weariedly left a languishing corps, and with faint desires of reunion. If they fell by long and aged decay, yet wrapt up in the bundle of time, they fall into indistinction, and make but one blot with Infants. If we begin to die when we live, and long life be but a prolongation of death; our life is a sad composition; we live with death, and die not in a moment. How many pulses made up the life of Methuselah, were work for Archimedes: Common Counters sum up the life of Moses his man.[92] Our dayes become considerable like petty sums by minute accumulations; where numerous fractions make up but small round numbers; and our dayes of a span long make not one little finger.[93]

If the nearnesse of our last necessity, brought a nearer conformity unto it, there were a happinesse in hoary hairs, and no calamity in half senses. But the long habit of living indisposeth us for dying; When Avarice makes us the sport of death; When even David grew politickly cruel; and Solomon could hardly be said to be the wisest of men. But many are to early old, and before the date of age. Adversity stretcheth our dayes, misery makes Alcmenas nights,[94] and time hath no wings unto it. But the most tedious being[137] is that which can unwish it self, content to be nothing, or never to have been, which was beyond the male-content of Job, who cursed not the day of his life, but his Nativity; Content to have so far been, as to have a title to future being; Although he had lived here but in an hidden state of life, and as it were an abortion.

The puzling questions of Tiberius unto Grammarians. Marcel. Donatus in Suet. Κλυτὰ ἔθνεα νεκρῶν Hom. Job.

What Song the Syrens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzling questions are not beyond all conjecture. What time the persons of these Ossuaries entred the famous Nations of the dead, and slept with Princes and Counsellors, might admit a wide solution. But who were the proprietaries of these bones, or what bodies these ashes made up, were a question above Antiquarism. Not to be resolved by man, nor easily perhaps by spirits, except we consult the Provincial Guardians, or tutelary Observators. Had they made as good provision for their names, as they have done for their Reliques, they had not so grosly erred in the art of perpetuation. But to subsist in bones, and be but Pyramidally extant, is a fallacy in duration. Vain ashes, which in the oblivion of names, persons, times, and sexes, have found unto themselves a fruitlesse continuation, and only arise unto late posterity, as Emblemes of mortal vanities; Antidotes against pride, vainglory, and madding vices. Pagan vain glories which thought the world might last for ever, had encouragement for ambition, and finding no Atropos unto the immortality of their Names, were never dampt with the necessity of oblivion. Even old ambitions had the advantage of ours, in the attempts of their vain-glories, who acting early, and before the probable Meridian of time, have by this time found great accomplishment[138] of their designes, whereby the ancient Heroes have already out-lasted their Monuments, and Mechanical preservations. But in this latter Scene of time we cannot expect such Mummies unto our memories, when ambition may fear the Prophecy of Elias,[95] and Charles the fift can never hope to live within two Methusela’s of Hector.[96]

And therefore restlesse inquietude for the diuturnity of our memories unto present considerations, seemes a vanity almost out of date, and superannuated peece of folly. We cannot hope to live so long in our names, as some have done in their persons, one face of Janus holds no proportion to the other. ’Tis to late to be ambitious. The great mutations of the world are acted, or time may be too short for our designes. To extend our memories by Monuments, whose death we dayly pray for, and whose duration we cannot hope, without injury to our expectations, in the advent of the last day, were a contradiction to our beliefs. We whose generations are ordained in this setting part of time, are providentially taken off from such imaginations. And being necessitated to eye the remaining particle of futurity, are naturally constituted unto thoughts of the next world, and cannot excusably decline the consideration of that duration, which maketh Pyramids pillars of snow, and all that’s past a moment.

Circles and right lines limit and close all bodies, and the mortal right-lined-circle[97] must conclude and shut up all. There is no antidote against the Opium of time, which temporally considereth all things; Our Fathers finde their graves in our short memories, and sadly tell us how we may be buried in our Survivors. Grave-stones tell truth scarce fourty yeers:[98] Generations[139] passe while some trees stand, and old Families last not three Oakes. To be read by bare inscriptions like many in Gruter,[99] to hope for Eternity by Ænigmatical Epithetes, or first letters of our names, to be studied by Antiquaries, who we were, and have new Names given us like many of the Mummies, are cold consolations unto the Students of perpetuity, even by everlasting Languages.

To be content that times to come should only know there was such a man, not caring whether they knew more of him, was a frigid ambition in Cardan:[100] disparaging his horoscopal inclination and judgement of himself, who cares to subsist like Hippocrates Patients, or Achilles horses in Homer, under naked nominations, without deserts and noble acts, which are the balsame of our memories, the Entelechia and soul of our subsistences. To be namelesse in worthy deeds exceeds an infamous history. The Canaanitish woman lives more happily without a name, then Herodias with one. And who had not rather have been the good theef, then Pilate?

But the iniquity of oblivion blindly scattereth her poppy, and deals with the memory of men without distinction to merit of perpetuity. Who can but pity the founder of the Pyramids? Herostratus lives that burnt the Temple of Diana, he is almost lost that built it; Time hath spared the Epitaph of Adrians horse, confounded that of himself. In vain we compute our felicities by the advantage of our good names, since bad have equal durations; and Thersites is like to live as long as Agamemnon. Who knows whether the best of men be known? or whether there be not more remarkable persons forgot, then any that stand remembred in the known account of time? Without the[140] favour of the everlasting Register the first man had been as unknown as the last, and Methuselahs long life had been his only Chronicle.

Oblivion is not to be hired: The greater part must be content to be as though they had not been, to be found in the register of God, not in the record of man. Twenty seven names make up the first story, and the recorded names ever since contain not one living Century. The number of the dead long exceedeth all that shall live. The night of time far surpasseth the day, and who knows when was the Æquinox? Every houre addes unto that current Arithmetique, which scarce stands one moment. And since death must be the Lucina of life, and even Pagans could doubt whether thus to live, were to die; Since our longest Sun sets at right descensions, and makes but winter arches, and therefore it cannot be long before we lie down in darknesse, and have our light in ashes; Since the brother of death daily haunts us with dying memento’s, and time that grows old it self, bids us hope no long duration: Diuturnity is a dream and folly of expectation.

Darknesse and light divide the course of time, and oblivion shares with memory, a great part even of our living beings; we slightly remember our felicities, and the smartest stroaks of affliction leave but short smart upon us. Sense endureth no extremities, and sorrows destroy us or themselves. To weep into stones are fables. Afflictions induce callosities, miseries are slippery, or fall like snow upon us, which notwithstanding is no stupidity. To be ignorant of evils to come, and forgetful of evils past, is merciful provision in nature, whereby we digest the mixture of our few and evil dayes, and our delivered senses not relapsing[141] into cutting remembrances, our sorrows are not kept raw by the edge of repetitions. A great part of Antiquity contented their hopes of subsistency with a transmigration of their souls. A good way to continue their memories, while having the advantage of plural successions, they could not but act something remarkable in such variety of beings, and enjoying the fame of their passed selves, make accumulation of glory unto their last durations. Others rather then be lost in the uncomfortable night of nothing, were content to recede into the common being, and make one particle of the publick soul of all things, which was no more then to return into their unknown and divine Original again. Ægyptian ingenuity was more unsatisfied, contriving their bodies in sweet consistences, to attend the return of their souls. But all was vanity, feeding the winde,[101] and folly. The Ægyptian Mummies, which Cambyses or time hath spared, avarice now consumeth. Mummie is become Merchandise, Mizraim cures wounds, and Pharaoh is sold for balsoms.

In vain do individuals hope for immortality, or any patent from oblivion, in preservations below the Moon: Men have been deceived even in their flatteries above the Sun, and studied conceits to perpetuate their names in heaven. The various Cosmography of that part hath already varied the names of contrived constellations; Nimrod is lost in Orion, and Osyris in the Dogge-starre. While we look for incorruption in the heavens, we finde they are but like the Earth; Durable in their main bodies, alterable in their parts: whereof beside Comets and new Stars, perspectives begin to tell tales. And the spots that wander about the Sun, with Phaetons favour, would make clear conviction.


There is nothing strictly immortal, but immortality; whatever hath no beginning may be confident of no end. All others have a dependent being, and within the reach of destruction, which is the peculiar of that necessary essence that cannot destroy it self; And the highest strain of omnipotency to be so powerfully constituted, as not to suffer even from the power of it self. But the sufficiency of Christian Immortality frustrates all earthly glory, and the quality of either state after death makes a folly of posthumous memory. God who can only destroy our souls, and hath assured our resurrection, either of our bodies or names hath directly promised no duration. Wherein there is so much of chance that the boldest Expectants have found unhappy frustration; and to hold long subsistence, seems but a scape in oblivion. But man is a Noble Animal, splendid in ashes, and pompous in the grave, solemnizing Nativities and Deaths with equal lustre, nor omitting Ceremonies of bravery, in the infamy of his nature.

Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us. A small fire sufficeth for life, great flames seemed too little after death, while men vainly affected precious pyres, and burn like Sardanapalus, but the wisedom of funeral Laws found the folly of prodigal blazes, and reduced undoing fires, unto the rule of sober obsequies, wherein few could be so mean as not to provide wood, pitch, a mourner, and an Urne.

Five Languages secured not the Epitaph of Gordianus; The man of God lives longer without a Tomb then any by one, invisibly interred by Angels, and adjudged to obscurity, though not without some marks directing humane discovery. Enoch and Elias[143] without either tomb or burial, in an anomalous state of being, are the great Examples of perpetuity, in their long and living memory, in strict account being still on this side death, and having a late part yet to act upon this stage of earth. If in the decretory term of the world we shall not all die but be changed, according to received translation; the last day will make but few graves; at least quick Resurrections will anticipate lasting Sepultures; Some Graves will be opened before they be quite closed, and Lazarus be no wonder. When many that feared to die shall groan that they can die but once, the dismal state is the second and living death, when life puts despair on the damned; when men shall wish the coverings of Mountaines, not of Monuments, and annihilation shall be courted.

While some have studied Monuments, others have studiously declined them: and some have been so vainly boisterous, that they durst not acknowledge their Graves; wherein Alaricus[102] seems most subtle, who had a Rever turned to hide his bones at the bottome. Even Sylla that thought himself safe in his Urne, could not prevent revenging tongues, and stones thrown at his Monument. Happy are they whom privacy makes innocent, who deal so with men in this world, that they are not afraid to meet them in the next, who when they die, make no commotion among the dead, and are not toucht with that poeticall taunt of Isaiah.[103]

Pyramids, Arches, Obelisks, were but the irregularities of vain-glory, and wilde enormities of ancient magnanimity. But the most magnanimous resolution rests in the Christian Religion, which trampleth upon pride, and sets on the neck of ambition, humbly pursuing that infallible perpetuity, unto which all others[144] must diminish their diameters and be poorly seen in Angles of contingency.[104]

Pious spirits who passed their dayes in raptures of futurity, made little more of this world, then the world that was before it, while they lay obscure in the Chaos of preordination, and night of their fore-beings. And if any have been so happy as truly to understand Christian annihilation, extasis, exolution, liquefaction, transformation, the kisse of the Spouse, gustation of God, and ingression into the divine shadow, they have already had an handsome anticipation of heaven; the glory of the world is surely over, and the earth in ashes unto them.

To subsist in lasting Monuments, to live in their productions, to exist in their names, and prædicament of Chymera’s, was large satisfaction unto old expectations and made one part of their Elyziums. But all this is nothing in the Metaphysicks of true belief. To live indeed is to be again our selves, which being not only an hope but an evidence in noble beleevers; ’Tis all one to lie in St. Innocents Church-yard,[105] as in the Sands of Ægypt: Ready to be any thing, in the extasie of being ever, and as content with six foot as the Moles of Adrianus.[106]

——Tabesne cadavera solvat
An rogus haud refert.


[90] Tibullus.

[91] Oracula Chaldaica cum scholiis Pselli et Phethonis. Βίη λιπóντων σῶμα ψυχαὶ καθαρώταται. Vi corpus relinquentium animæ purissimæ.

[92] In the Psalme of Moses.

[93] According to the ancient Arithmetick of the hand wherein the little finger of the right hand contracted, signified an hundred. Pierius in Hieroglyph.

[94] One night as long as three.

[95] That the world may last but six thousand years.

[96] Hectors fame lasting above two lives of Methuselah, before that famous Prince was extant.

[97] Θ The character of death.

[98] Old ones being taken up, and other bodies laid under them.

[99] Gruteri Inscriptiones Antiquæ

[100] Cuperem notum esse quod sim, non opto ut sciatur qualis sim. Card. in vita propria.

[101] Omnia vanitas et pastio venti, νομὴ ἀνέμου, βόσκησις ut olim Aquila et Symmachus.

V. Drus. Eccles.

[102] Jornandes de rebus Geticis.

[103] Isa. 14.

[104] Angulus contingentiæ, the least of Angles.

[105] In Paris where bodies soon consume.

[106] A stately Mausoleum or sepulchral pyle built by Adrianus in Rome, where now standeth the Castle of St. Angelo.










Printed in the Year, 1658


Quid Quincunce speciosius, qui, in quam cunqȝ partem spectaueris, rectus est. Quintilian;//



Or, The Quincuncial, Lozenge, or Net-work Plantations of the Ancients, Artificially, Naturally, Mystically considered.


That Vulcan gave arrows unto Apollo and Diana the fourth day after their Nativities, according to Gentile Theology, may passe for no blinde apprehension of the Creation of the Sunne and Moon, in the work of the fourth day; When the diffused light contracted into Orbes, and shooting rayes, of those Luminaries. Plainer Descriptions there are from Pagan pens, of the creatures of the fourth day; While the divine Philosopher[107] unhappily omitteth the noblest part of the third; And Ovid (whom many conceive to have borrowed his description from Moses) coldly deserting the remarkable account of the text, in three words,[108] describeth this work of the third day; the vegetable creation, and first ornamental Scene of nature; the primitive food of animals, and first story of Physick, in Dietetical conservation.

For though Physick may pleade high, from the medicall act of God, in casting so deep a sleep upon[148] our first Parent; And Chirurgery[109] finde its whole art, in that one passage concerning the Rib of Adam, yet is there no rivality with Garden contrivance and Herbery. For if Paradise were planted the third day of the Creation, as wiser Divinity concludeth, the Nativity thereof was too early for Horoscopie; Gardens were before Gardiners, and but some hours after the earth.

Of deeper doubt is its Topography, and locall designation, yet being the primitive garden, and without much controversie[110] seated in the East; it is more then probable the first curiosity, and cultivation of plants, most nourished in those quarters. And since the Ark of Noah first toucht upon some mountains of Armenia, the planting art arose again in the East, and found its revolution not far from the place of its Nativity, about the Plains of those Regions. And if Zoroaster were either Cham, Chus, or Mizraim, they were early proficients therein, who left (as Pliny delivereth) a work of Agriculture.

However the account of the Pensill or hanging gardens of Babylon, if made by Semiramis, the third or fourth from Nimrod, is of no slender antiquity; which being not framed upon ordinary level of ground, but raised upon pillars admitting under-passages, we cannot accept as the first Babylonian Gardens; But a more eminent progress and advancement in that art, then any that went before it: Somewhat answering or hinting the old Opinion concerning Paradise it self, with many conceptions elevated above the plane of the Earth.

Nebuchodonosor, whom some will have to be the famous Syrian King of Diodorus, beautifully repaired that City; and so magnificently built his hanging gardens;[111] that from succeeding Writers he had the[149] honour of the first. From whence over-looking Babylon, and all the Region about it, he found no circumscription to the eye of his ambition, till over-delighted with the bravery of this Paradise; in his melancholy metamorphosis, he found the folly of that delight, and a proper punishment, in the contrary habitation, in wilde plantations and wandrings of the fields.

The Persian Gallants who destroyed this Monarchy, maintained their Botanicall bravery. Unto whom we owe the very name of Paradise: wherewith we meet not in Scripture before the time of Solomon, and conceived originally Persian. The word for that disputed Garden, expressing in the Hebrew no more then a Field enclosed, which from the same Root is content to derive a garden and a Buckler.

Cyrus the elder brought up in Woods and Mountains, when time and power enabled, pursued the dictate of his education, and brought the treasures of the field into rule and circumscription, So nobly beautifying the hanging Gardens of Babylon, that he was also thought to be the authour thereof.

Ahasuerus (whom many conceive to have been Artaxerxes Longimanus) in the Countrey and City of Flowers,[112] and in an open Garden, entertained his Princes and people, while Vasthi more modestly treated the Ladies within the Palace thereof.

But if (as some opinion) Plutarch in the life of Artaxerxes. King Ahasuerus were Artaxerxes Mnemon, that found a life and reign answerable unto his great memory, our magnified Cyrus was his second brother: who gave the occasion of that memorable work, and almost miraculous retrait of Xenophon. A person of high spirit and honour, naturally a King, though fatally prevented by the harmlesse chance of post-geniture: Not only a Lord[150] of Gardens, but a manuall planter thereof: disposing his trees like his armies in regular ordination. So that while old Laertas hath found a name in Homer for pruning hedges, and clearing away thorns and bryars; while King Attalus lives for his poysonous plantations of Aconites, Henbane, Hellebore, and plants hardly admitted within the walls of Paradise; While many of the Ancients do poorly live in the single names of Vegetables; All stories do look upon Cyrus, as the splendid and regular planter.

According whereto Xenophon[113] describeth his gallant plantation at Sardis, thus rendered by Stobæus, Arbores pari intervallo sitas, rectos ordines, et omnia perpulchrè in Quincuncem directa.[114] Which we shall take for granted as being accordingly rendered by the most elegant of the Latines;[115] and by no made term, but in use before by Varro. That is, the rows and orders so handsomely disposed; or five trees so set together, that a regular angularity, and through prospect, was left on every side. Owing this name not only unto the Quintuple number of Trees, but the figure declaring that number, which being doubled at the angle, makes up the Letter Χ, that is the Emphatical decussation, or fundamental figure.

Now though in some ancient and modern practice the area or decussated plot, might be a perfect square, answerable to a Tuscan Pedestal, and the Quinquernio or Cinque-point of a die; wherein by Diagonal lines the intersection was regular; accommodable unto Plantations of large growing Trees; and we must not denie our selves the advantage of this order; yet shall we chiefly insist upon that of Curtius[116] and Porta, in their brief description hereof. Wherein the decussis is made within a longilateral square, with oposite angles, acute[151] and obtuse at the intersection; and so upon progression making a Rhombus or Lozenge figuration, which seemeth very agreeable unto the Original figure; Answerable whereunto we observe the decussated characters in many consulary coynes, and even in those of Constantine and his Sons, which pretend their pattern in the Sky; the crucigerous Ensigne carried this figure, not transversly or rectangularly intersected, but in a decussation, after the form of an Andrean or Burgundian cross, which answereth this description.

Where by the way we shall decline the old Theme, so traced by antiquity of crosses and crucifixion: Whereof some being right, and of one single peece without traversion or transome, do little advantage our subject. Nor shall we take in the mystical Tau, or the Crosse of our blessed Saviour, which having in some descriptions an Empedon or crossing foot-stay, made not one single transversion. And since the Learned Lipsius hath made some doubt even of the crosse of St. Andrew, since some Martyrological Histories deliver his death by the general Name of a crosse, and Hippolitus will have him suffer by the sword; we should have enough to make out the received Crosse of that Martyr. Nor shall we urge the labarum, and famous Standard of Constantine, or make further use thereof, then as the first letters in the Name of our Saviour Christ, in use among Christians, before the dayes of Constantine, to be observed in Sepulchral Monuments of Martyrs,[117] in the Reign of Adrian, and Antoninus; and to be found in the Antiquities of the Gentiles, before the advent of Christ, as in the Medal of King Ptolomy, signed with the same characters, and might be the beginning of some word or name, which Antiquaries have not hit on.


We will not revive the mysterious crosses of Ægypt, with circles on their heads, in the breast of Serapis, and the hands of their Geniall spirits, not unlike the character of Venus, and looked on by ancient Christians, with relation unto Christ. Since however they first began, the Ægyptians thereby expressed the processe and motion of the spirit of the world, and the diffusion thereof upon the Celestiall and Elementall nature; implyed by a circle and right-lined intersection. A secret in their Telesmes and magicall Characters among them. Though he that considereth the plain crosse[118] upon the head of the Owl in the Laterane Obelisk, or the crosse[119] erected upon a pitcher diffusing streams of water into two basins, with sprinkling branches in them, and all described upon a two-footed Altar, as in the Hieroglyphicks of the brazen Table of Bembus: will hardly decline all thought of Christian signality in them.

We shall not call in the Hebrew Tenapha, or ceremony of their Oblations, waved by the priest unto the four quarters of the world, after the form of a cross; as in the peace-offerings. And if it were clearly made out what is remarkably delivered from the Traditions of the Rabbins, that as the Oyle was powred coronally or circularly upon the head of Kings, so the High-Priest was anointed decussatively or in the form of a X; though it could not escape a typical thought of Christ, from mystical considerators; yet being the conceit is Hebrew, we should rather expect its verification from Analogy in that language, then to confine the same unto the unconcerned Letters of Greece, or make it out by the characters of Cadmus or Palamedes.

Of this Quincuncial Ordination the Ancients practised, much discoursed little; and the Moderns have nothing enlarged; which he that more nearly considereth,[153] in the form of its square Rhombus, and decussation, with the several commodities, mysteries, parallelismes, and resemblances, both in Art and Nature, shall easily discern the elegancy of this order.

That this was in some wayes of practice in diverse and distant Nations, hints or deliveries there are from no slender Antiquity. In the hanging Gardens of Babylon, from Abydenus, Eusebius, and others, Curtius[120] describeth this rule of decussation. In the memorable Garden of Alcinous anciently conceived an original phancy, from Paradise, mention there is of well contrived order; For so hath Didymus and Eustachius expounded the emphatical word. Diomedes describing the Rurall possessions of his Father, gives account in the same Language of Trees orderly planted. And Ulysses being a boy was promised by his father fourty Fig-trees, and fifty rows of vines,[121] producing all kind of grapes.

That the Eastern Inhabitants of India, made use of such order, even in open Plantations, is deducible from Theophrastus; who describing the trees whereof they made their garments, plainly delivereth that they were planted kaτʼ ὄρχους, and in such order that at a distance men would mistake them for Vineyards. The same seems confirmed in Greece from a singular expression in Aristotle[122] concerning the order of Vines, delivered by a military term representing the orders of Souldiers, which also confirmeth the antiquity of this form yet used in vineal plantations.

That the same was used in Latine plantations is plainly confirmed from the commending penne of Varro, Quintilian, and handsome Description of Virgil.[123]

That the first Plantations not long after the Floud were disposed after this manner, the generality and[154] antiquity of this order observed in Vineyards, and Wine Plantations, affordeth some conjecture. And since from judicious enquiry, Saturn who divided the world between his three sonnes, who beareth a Sickle in his hand, who taught the Plantations of Vines, the setting, grafting of trees, and the best part of Agriculture, is discovered to be Noah, whether this early dispersed Husbandry in Vineyards, had not its Original in that Patriarch, is no such Paralogical doubt.

And if it were clear that this was used by Noah after the Floud, I could easily beleeve it was in use before it; Not willing to fix such ancient inventions no higher original then Noah; Nor readily conceiving those aged Heroes, whose diet was vegetable, and only, or chiefly consisted in the fruits of the earth, were much deficient in their splendid cultivations; or after the experience of fifteen hundred years, left much for future discovery in Botanical Agriculture. Nor fully perswaded that Wine was the invention of Noah, that fermented Liquors, which often make themselves, so long escaped their Luxury or experience; that the first sinne of the new world was no sin of the old. That Cain and Abel were the first that offered Sacrifice; or because the Scripture is silent that Adam or Isaac offered none at all.

Whether Abraham brought up in the first planting Countrey, observed not some rule hereof, when he planted a grove at Beer-sheba; or whether at least a like ordination were not in the Garden of Solomon, probability may contest. Answerably unto the wisedom of that eminent Botanologer, and orderly disposer of all his other works. Especially since this was one peece of Gallantry, wherein he pursued the specious part of[155] felicity, according to his own description. I made me Gardens and Orchards, and planted Trees in them of all kindes of fruit. I made me Pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth Trees,[124] which was no ordinary plantation, if according to the Targum, or Chaldee Paraphrase, it contained all kindes of Plants, and some fetched as far as India; And the extent thereof were from the wall of Jerusalem unto the water of Siloah.

And if Jordan were but Jaar Eden, that is, the River of Eden, Genesar but Gansar or the prince of Gardens; and it could be made out, that the Plain of Jordan were watered not comparatively, but causally, and because it was the Paradise of God, as the learned Abramas[125] hinteth, he was not far from the Prototype and originall of Plantations. And since even in Paradise it self, the tree of knowledge was placed in the middle of the Garden, whatever was the ambient figure; there wanted not a centre and rule of decussation. Whether the groves and sacred Plantations of Antiquity, were not thus orderly placed, either by quaternio’s, or quintuple ordinations, may favourably be doubted. For since they were so methodical in the constitutions of their temples, as to observe the due scituation, aspect, manner, form, and order in Architectonicall relations, whether they were not as distinct in their groves and Plantations about them, in form and species respectively unto their Deities, is not without probability of conjecture. And in their groves of the Sunne this was a fit number, by multiplication to denote the dayes of the year; and might Hieroglyphically speak as much, as the mystical Statua of Janus[126] in the Language of his fingers. And since they were so critical in the number of his horses, the strings of his Harp,[156] and rayes about his head, denoting the orbes of heaven, the Seasons and Moneths of the Yeare: witty Idolatry would hardly be flat in other appropriations.


[107] Plato in Timæo.

[108] fronde tegi silvas.

[109] διαίρεσις in opening the flesh. ἐξαίρεσις, in taking out the rib. σύνθεσις, in closing up the part again.

[110] For some there is from the ambiguity of the word Mikedem, whether ab oriente or a principio.

[111] Josephus.

[112] Sushan in Susiana.

[113] Xenophon in Oeconomico.

[114] Καλὰ μὲν τὰ δένδρα, διʼ ἴσου δὲ τὰ πεφυτευμένα, ὀρθοὶ δὲ ὁι στίχοι τῶν δένδρον, εὐγώνεα δὲ πάντα καλῶς.]

[115] Cicero iæ Cat. Major.

[116] Benedict Curtius de Hortis. Bapt. Portainvilla.

[117] Of Marius, Alexander, Roma Sotterranea.

[118] Wherein the lower part is some what longer, as defined by Upton de studio militari, and Johannes de Bado Aureo, cum comment. clariss. et doctiss. Bi sæi.

[119] Casal. de Ritibus. Bosio nella Trionfante croce.

[120] Decussatio ipsa jucundum ac peramænum conspectum præbuit. Cart. Hortar. l. 6.

[121] ὄρχοι, στίχοι ἀμπελῶν, φυτῶν στίχος, ἡ κατὰ τάξιν φυτεία. Phavorinus ὄρχοι, στίχοι ἀμπελῶν, φυτῶν στίχος, ἡ κατὰ τάξιν φυτείαPhiloxenus.

[122] συστάδας ἀμπέλων. Polit. 7.

[123] Indulge ordinibus, nec secius omnis in unguem Arboribus positis, secto via limite quadret. Georg. 2.

[124] Eccles. 2.

[125] Vet. Testamenti Pharus.

[126] Which King Numa set up with his fingers so disposed that they numerically denoted 365. Pliny.


Nor was this only a form of practise in Plantations, but found imitation from high Antiquity, in sundry artificial contrivances and manual operations. For to omit the position of squared stones, cuncatim or wedgwise in the walls of Roman and Gothick buildings; and the lithostrata or figured pavements of the ancients, which consisted not all of square stones, but were divided into triquetrous segments, honeycombs, and sexangular figures, according to Vitruvius; The squared stones and bricks in ancient fabricks, were placed after this order. And two above or below conjoyned by a middle stone or Plinthus, observable in the ruines of Forum Nervæ, the Mausoleum of Augustus, the Pyramid of Cestius, and the sculpture draughts of the larger Pyramids of Ægypt. And therefore in the draughts of eminent fabricks, Painters do commonly imitate this order in the lines of their description.

In the Laureat draughts of sculpture and picture, the leaves and foliate works are commonly thus contrived, which is but in imitation of the Pulvinaria, and ancient pillow-work, observable in Ionick peeces, about columns, temples and altars. To omit many other analogies, in Architectonicall draughts, which art itself is founded upon fives,[127] as having its subject, and most gracefull peeces divided by this number.

The Triumphal Oval, and Civicall Crowns of Laurel,[157] Oake, and Myrtle, when fully made, were pleated after this order. And to omit the Crossed Crowns of Christian Princes; what figure that was which Anastatius described upon the head of Leo the third; or who first brought in the Arched Crown; That of Charles the great, (which seems the first remarkably closed Crown), was framed after this manner;[128] with an intersection in the middle from the main crossing barres, and the interspaces, unto the frontal circle, continued by handsome network-plates, much after this order. Whereon we shall not insist, because from greater Antiquity, and practice of consecration, we meet with the radiated, and starry Crown, upon the head of Augustus, and many succeeding Emperors. Since the Armenians and Parthians had a peculiar royall Capp; And the Grecians from Alexander another kinde of diadem. And even Diadems themselves were but fasciations, and handsome ligatures, about the heads of Princes; nor wholly omitted in the mitrall Crown, which common picture seems to set too upright and forward upon the head of Aaron: Worne[129] sometimes singly, or doubly by Princes, according to their Kingdomes; and no more to be expected from two Crowns at once, upon the head of Ptolomy. And so easily made out when historians tell us, some bound up wounds, some hanged themselves with diadems.

The beds of the antients were corded somewhat after this fashion: That is not directly, as ours at present, but obliquely, from side to side, and after the manner of network; whereby they strengthened the spondæ or bedsides, and spent less cord in the work: as is demonstrated by Blancanus.[130]

And as they lay in crossed beds, so they sat upon seeming crosse legg’d seats: in which form the noblest[158] thereof were framed; Observable in the triumphall seats, the sella curulis, or Ædyle Chayres, in the coyns of Cestius, Sylla, and Julius. That they sat also crosse legg’d many noble draughts declare; and in this figure the sitting gods and goddesses are drawn in medalls and medallions. And beside this kinde of work in Retiarie and hanging tectures, in embroderies, and eminent needle-works; the like is obvious unto every eye in glass-windows. Nor only in Glassie contrivances, but also in Lattice and Stone-work, conceived in the Temple of Solomon; wherein the windows are termed fenestræ reticulatæ, or lights framed like nets.[131] And agreeable unto the Greek expression concerning Christ in the Canticles,[132] looking through the nets, which ours hath rendered, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himselfe through the lattesse; that is, partly seen and unseen, according to the visible and invisible side of his nature. To omit the noble reticulate work, in the chapters of the pillars of Solomon, with Lillies, and Pomegranats upon a network ground; and the Craticula or grate through which the ashes fell in the altar of burnt offerings.

That the networks and nets of antiquity were little different in the form from ours at present, is confirmable from the nets in the hands of the Retiarie gladiators, the proper combatants with the secutores. To omit the ancient Conopeion or gnatnet of the Ægyptians, the inventors of that Artifice: the rushey labyrinths of Theocritus; the nosegaynets, which hung from the head under the nostrils of Princes; and that uneasie metaphor of Reticulum Jecoris, which some expound the lobe, we the caule above the liver. As for that famous network[133] of Vulcan, which inclosed Mars and Venus, and caused that unextinguishable[159] laugh in heaven; since the gods themselves could not discern it, we shall not prie into it; Although why Vulcan bound them, Neptune loosed them, and Apollo should first discover them, might afford no vulgar mythologie. Heralds have not omitted this order or imitation thereof, whiles they Symbollically adorn their Scuchions with Mascles, Fusils and Saltyrs,[134] and while they disposed the figures of Ermins, and vaired coats in this Quincuncial method.

The same is not forgot by Lapidaries while they cut their gemms pyramidally, or by æquicrural triangles. Perspective pictures, in their Base, Horison, and lines of distances, cannot escape these Rhomboidall decussations. Sculptors in their strongest shadows, after this order doe draw their double Haches. And the very Americans do naturally fall upon it, in their neat and curious textures, which is also observed in the elegant artifices of Europe. But this is no law unto the wool of the neat Retiarie Spider, which seems to weave without transversion, and by the union of right lines to make out a continued surface, which is beyond the common art of Textury, and may still nettle Minerva the goddesse of that mystery.[135] And he that shall hatch the little seeds, either found in small webs, or white round Egges, carried under the bellies of some Spiders, and behold how at their first production in boxes, they will presently fill the same with their webbs, may observe the early, and untaught finger of nature, and how they are natively provided with a stock, sufficient for such Texture.

The Rurall charm against Dodder, Tetter, and strangling weeds, was contrived after this order, while they placed a chalked Tile at the four corners, and one in the middle of their fields, which though ridiculous[160] in the intention, was rationall in the contrivance, and a good way to diffuse the magick through all parts of the Area.

Somewhat after this manner they ordered the little stones in the old game of Pentalithismus, or casting up five stones to catch them on the back of their hand. And with some resemblance hereof, the Proci or Prodigal Paramours disposed their men, when they played Penelope.[136] For being themselves an hundred and eight, they set fifty four stones on either side, and one in the middle, which they called Penelope, which he that hit was Master of the game.

In Chesse-boards and Tables we yet finde Pyramids and Squares, I wish we had their true and ancient description, far different from ours, or the Chet mat of the Persians, and might continue some elegant remarkables, as being an invention as High as Hermes the Secretary of Osyris,[137] figuring the whole world, the motion of the Planets, with Eclipses of Sunne and Moon.

Physicians are not without the use of this decussation in several operations, in ligatures and union of dissolved continuities. Mechanicks make use hereof in forcipal Organs, and Instruments of incision; wherein who can but magnifie the power of decussation, inservient to contrary ends, solution and consolidation, union, and division, illustrable from Aristotle in the old Nucifragium or Nutcraker, and the Instruments of Evulsion, compression or incision; which consisting of two Vectes or armes, converted towards each other, the innitency and stresse being made upon the hypomochlion or fulciment in the decussation, the greater compression is made by the union of two impulsors.

The Romane Batalia[138] was ordered after this manner,[161] whereof as sufficiently known Virgil hath left but an hint, and obscure intimation. For thus were the maniples and cohorts of the Hastiti, Principes and Triarii placed in their bodies, wherein consisted the strength of the Romane battle. By this Ordination they readily fell into each other; the Hastati being pressed, handsomely retired into the intervals of the principes, these into that of the Triarii, which making as it were a new body, might joyntly renew the battle, wherein consisted the secret of their successes. And therefore it was remarkably singular[139] in the battle of Africa, that Scipio fearing a rout from the Elephants the Enemy, left not the Principes in their alternate distances, whereby the Elephants passing the vacuities of the Hastati, might have run upon them, but drew his battle into right order, and leaving the passages bare, defeated the mischief intended by the Elephants. Out of this figure were made two remarkable forms of Battle, the Cuneus and Forceps, or the Sheare and wedge Battles, each made of half a Rhombus, and but differenced by position. The wedge invented to break or worke into a body, the forceps to environ and defeat the power thereof composed out of selectest Souldiery and disposed into the form of an V, wherein receiving the wedge, it inclosed it on both sides. After this form the famous Narses[140] ordered his battle against the Franks, and by this figure the Almans were enclosed, and cut in peeces.

The Rhombus or Lozenge figure so visible in this[162] order, was also a remarkable form of battle in the Grecian Cavalry,[141] observed by the Thessalians, and Philip King of Macedon, and frequently by the Parthians, As being most ready to turn every way, and best to be commanded, as having its ductors, or Commanders at each Angle.

The Macedonian Phalanx (a long time thought invincible) consisted of a long square. For though they might be sixteen in Rank and file, yet when they shut close, so that the sixt pike advanced before the first, though the number might be square, the figure was oblong, answerable unto the Quincuncial quadrate of Curtius. According to this square Thucydides delivers, the Athenians disposed their battle against the Lacedemonians brickwise,[142] and by the same word the Learned Guellius expoundeth the quadrat of Virgil[143] after the form of a brick or tile.

And as the first station and position of trees, so was the first habitation of men, not in round Cities, as of later foundation; For the form of Babylon the first City was square, and so shall also be the last, according to the description of the holy City in the Apocalyps. The famous pillars of Seth before the floud had also the like foundation, if they were but antidiluvian Obelisks, and such as Cham and his Ægyptian race, imitated after the Floud.

But Nineveh which Authours acknowledge to have exceeded Babylon, was of a longilaterall[144] figure, ninety five Furlongs broad, and an hundred and fifty long, and so making about sixty miles in circuit, which is the measure of three dayes journey, according unto military marches, or castrensiall mansions. So that if Jonas entred at the narrower side, he found enough for one dayes walk to attain the heart of the City, to[163] make his Proclamation, And if we imagine a City extending from Ware to London, the expression will be moderate of six score thousand Infants, although we allow vacuities, fields, and intervals of habitation, as there needs must be when the monument of Ninus took up no lesse then ten furlongs.

And, though none of the seven wonders, yet a noble peece of Antiquity, and made by a Copy exceeding all the rest, had its principal parts disposed after this manner, that is, the Labyrinth of Crete, built upon a long quadrate, containing five large squares, communicating by right inflections, terminating in the centre of the middle square, and lodging of the Minotaur, if we conform unto the description of the elegant medal thereof in Agostino.[145] And though in many accounts we reckon grosly by the square, yet is that very often to be accepted as a long-sided quadrate which was the figure of the Ark of the Covenant, the table of the Shew-bread, and the stone wherein the names of the twelve Tribes were engraved, that is, three in a row, naturally making a longilateral Figure, the perfect quadrate being made by nine.

What figure the stones themselves maintained, tradition and Scripture are silent, yet Lapidaries in precious stones affect a Table or long square, and in such proportion, that the two laterall, and also the three inferiour Tables are equall unto the superiour, and the angles of the laterall Tables, contain and constitute the hypothenusæ, or broder sides subtending.

That the Tables of the Law were of this figure, general imitation and tradition hath confirmed; yet are we unwilling to load the shoulders of Moses with such massie stones, as some pictures lay upon them, since ’tis plainly delivered that he came down with[164] them in his hand; since the word strictly taken implies no such massie hewing, but cutting, and fashioning of them into shape and surface; since some will have them Emeralds, and if they were made of the materials of Mount Sina, not improbable that they were marble: since the words were not many, the letters short of seven hundred, and the Tables written on both sides required no such capacity.

The beds of the Ancients were different from ours at present, which are almost square, being framed oblong, and about a double unto their breadth; not much unlike the area, or bed of this Quincuncial quadrate. The single beds of Greece were six foot,[146] and a little more in length, three in breadth; the Giant-like bed of Og, which had four cubits of bredth, nine and a half in length, varied not much from this proportion. The Funeral bed of King Cheops, in the greater Pyramid, which holds seven in length, and four foot in bredth, had no great deformity from this measure; And whatsoever were the bredth, the length could hardly be lesse, of the tyrannical bed of Procrustes, since in a shorter measure he had not been fitted with persons for his cruelty of extension. But the old sepulchral bed, or Amazonian Tomb[147] in the market-place of Megara, was in the form of a Lozenge; readily made out by the composure of the body. For the armes not lying fasciated or wrapt up after the Grecian manner but in a middle distention, the including lines will strictly make out that figure.


[127] Of a structure five parts, Fundamentum, parietes, Aperturæ, Compartitio tectum, Leo. Alberti. Five Columes, Tuscan, Dorick, Ionick, Corinthian, Compound. Five different intercolumniations, Pycnostylos, dystylos, Systylos, Areostylos, Eustylos. Vitru.

[128] Uti constat ex pergamena apud Chifflet; in B. R. Bruxelli, et Icon. f. Stradæ.

[129] Macc, 1. 11.

[130] Aristot. Mechan. Quæst.

[131] δικτυοτά.

[132] Cant. 2.

[133] Ἄσβεστος δʼ ἅρʼ ἐνῶρτο γελως. Hom.

[134] De armis Scaccatis, Masculatis, invectis fuselatis vide Spelm. Aspilog. et Upton. cum erudit. Bissæo.

[135] As in the contention between Minerva and Arachne.

[136] In Eustachius.

[137] Plato.

[138] In the disposure of the Legions in the Wars of the Republike, before the division of the Legion into ten cohorts by the Emperours. Salmas. in his Epistle a Mounsieur de Peyresc. & de Re militari Romanorum.

[139] Polybius Appianus.

[140] Agathius Ammianus.

[141] Ælian. Tact.

[142] ἐν πλασίω.

[143] Secto via limite quadret. Comment. in Virgil.

[144] Diod. Sic.

[145] Antonio Agostino delle medaglie.

[146] Aristot. Mechan.

[147] Plut. in vit. Thes.



Now although this elegant ordination of vegetables, hath found coincidence or imitation in sundry works of Art, yet is it not also destitute of natural examples, and though overlooked by all, was elegantly observable, in severall works of nature.

Could we satisfie our selves in the position of the lights above, or discover the wisedom of that order so invariably maintained in the fixed Stars of heaven; Could we have any light, why the stellary part of the first masse, separated into this order, that the Girdle of Orion should ever maintain its line, and the two Stars in Charles’s Wain never leave pointing at the Pole-Starre, we might abate the Pythagoricall Musick of the Spheres, the sevenfold Pipe of Pan; and the strange Cryptography of Gaffarell in his Starrie Book of Heaven.

But not to look so high as Heaven or the single Quincunx of the Hyades upon the neck of Taurus, the Triangle, and remarkable Crusero about the foot of the Centaur; observable rudiments there are hereof in subterraneous concretions, and bodies in the Earth; in the Gypsum or Talcum Rhomboides, in the Favaginites or honey-comb-stone, in the Asteria and Astroites, and in the crucigerous stone of S. Iago of Gallicia.

The same is observably effected in the Julus, Catkins, or pendulous excrescencies of severall Trees, of Wallnuts, Alders, and Hazels, which hanging all the Winter, and maintaining their Net-work close, by the expansion thereof are the early foretellers of the[166] spring, discoverable also in long Pepper, and elegantly in the Julus of Calamus Aromaticus, so plentifully growing with us in the first palms of Willowes, and in the flowers of Sycamore, Petasites, Asphodelus, and Blattaria, before explication. After such order stand the flowery Branches in our best spread Verbascum, and the seeds about the spicous head or torch of Tapsus Barbatus, in as fair a regularity as the circular and wreathed order will admit, which advanceth one side of the square, and makes the same Rhomboidall.

In the squamous heads of Scabious, Knapweed, and the elegant Jacea Pinea, and in the Scaly composure of the Oak-Rose,[148] which some years most aboundeth. After this order hath Nature planted the Leaves in the Head of the common and prickled Artichoak: wherein the black and shining Flies do shelter themselves, when they retire from the purple Flower about it; The same is also found in the pricks, sockets, and impressions of the seeds, in the pulp or bottome thereof; wherein do elegantly stick the Fathers of their Mother. To omit the Quincunciall Specks on the top of the Miscle-berry, especially that which grows upon the Tilia or Lime-Tree. And the remarkable disposure of those yellow fringes about the purple Pestill of Aaron, and elegant clusters of Dragons, so peculiarly secured by nature, with an umbrella or skreening Leaf about them.

The Spongy leaves of some Sea-wracks, Fucus, Oaks, in their several kindes, found about the shoar,[149] with ejectments of the Sea, are overwrought with Net-workEspecially the porus cervinus Imperati, Sporosa, Alga πλατυκέρως. Bauhini. elegantly containing this order, which plainly declareth the naturality of this texture; And how the needle of nature delighteth to work, even in low and doubtful vegetations.


The Arbustetum or Thicket on the head of the Teazell, may be observed in this order: And he that considereth that fabrick so regularly palisadoed, and stemm’d with flowers of the royal colour; in the house of the solitary maggot, may finde the Seraglio of Solomon. And contemplating the calicular shafts, and uncous disposure of their extremities, so accommodable unto the office of abstersion, not condemn as wholly improbable the conceit of those who accept it, for the herb Borith.[150] Where by the way, we could with much inquiry never discover any transfiguration, in this abstemious insect, although we have kept them long in their proper houses, and boxes. Where some wrapt up in their webbs, have lived upon their own bowels, from September unto July.

In such a grove doe walk the little creepers about the head of the burre. And such an order is observed in the aculeous prickly plantation, upon the heads of several common thistles, remarkably in the notable palisados about the flower of the milk-thistle; And he that inquireth into the little bottome of the globe-thistle, may finde that gallant bush arise from a scalpe of like disposure.

The white umbrella or medicall bush of Elder, is an Epitome of this order: arising from five main stemms Quincuncially disposed, and tollerably maintained in their subdivisions. To omit the lower observations in the seminal spike of Mercurie weld, and Plantane.

Thus hath nature ranged the flowers of Santfoyne, and French honey suckle; and somewhat after this manner hath ordered the bush in Jupiters beard, or house-leek; which old superstition set on the tops of houses, as a defensative against lightening and thunder. The like in Fenny Seagreen or the water Souldier;[151][168] which, though a military name from Greece, makes out the Roman order.

A like ordination there is in the favaginous Sockets, and Lozenge seeds of the noble flower of the Sunne. Wherein in Lozenge figured boxes nature shuts up the seeds, and balsame which is about them.

But the Firre and Pinetree from their fruits doe naturally dictate this position. The Rhomboidall protuberances in Pineapples maintaining this Quincuncial order unto each other, and each Rhombus in it self. Thus are also disposed the triangular foliations, in the conicall fruit of the firre tree, orderly shadowing and protecting the winged seeds below them.

The like so often occurreth to the curiosity of observers, especially in spicated seeds and flowers, that we shall not need to take in the single Quincunx of Fuchsius in the grouth of the masle fearn, the seedie disposure of Gramen Ischemon, and the trunck or neat Reticulate work in the codde of the Sachell palme.

For even in very many round stalk plants, the leaves are set after a Quintuple ordination, the first leaf answering the fift, in lateral disposition. Wherein the leaves successively rounding the stalk, in foure at the furthest the compass is absolved, and the fifth leafe or sprout, returns to the position of the other fift before it; as in accounting upward is often observable in furze pellitorye, Ragweed, the sproutes of Oaks, and thorns upon pollards, and very remarkably in the regular disposure of the rugged excrescencies in the yearly shoots of the Pine.

But in square stalked plants, the leaves stand respectively unto each other, either in crosse or decussation to those above or below them, arising at crosse positions; whereby they shadow not each other, and better[169] resist the force of winds, which in a parallel situation, and upon square stalkes would more forcibly bear upon them.

And to omit, how leaves and sprouts which compasse not the stalk, are often set in a Rhomboides, and making long and short Diagonals, do stand like the leggs of Quadrupeds when they goe: Nor to urge the thwart enclosure and furdling of flowers, and blossomes, before explication, as in the multiplied leaves of Pionie; And the Chiasmus in five leaved flowers, while one lies wrapt about the staminous beards, the other foure obliquely shutting and closing upon each other; and how even flowers which consist of foure leaves, stand not ordinarily in three and one, but two, and two crosse wise unto the Stilus; even the Autumnal budds, which awaite the return of the Sun, doe after the winter solstice multiply their calicular leaves, making little Rhombuses, and network figures, as in the Sycamore and Lilac.

The like is discoverable in the original production of plants which first putting forth two leaves, those which succeed, bear not over each other, but shoot, obliquely or crossewise, untill the stalk appeareth; which sendeth not forth its first leaves without all order unto them; and he that from hence can discover in what position the two first leaves did arise, is no ordinary observator.

Where by the way, he that observeth the rudimental spring of seeds, shall finde strict rule, although not after this order. How little is required unto effectual generation, and in what deminutives the plastick principle lodgeth, is exemplified in seeds, wherein the greater mass affords so little comproduction. In beans the leaf and root sprout from the Germen, the[170] main sides split, and lye by, and in some pull’d up near the time of blooming, we have found the pulpous sides intire or little wasted. In Acorns the nebb dilating splitteth the two sides, which sometimes lye whole, when the Oak is sprouted two handfuls. In Lupins these pulpy sides do sometimes arise with the stalk in a resemblance of two fat leaves. Wheat and Rye will grow up, if after they have shot some tender roots, the adhering pulp be taken from them. Beanes will prosper though a part be cut away, and so much set as sufficeth to contain and keep the Germen close. From this superfluous pulp in unkindely, and wet years, may arise that multiplicity of little insects, which infest the Roots and Sprouts of tender Graines and pulses.

In the little nebbe or fructifying principle, the motion is regular, and not transvertible, as to make that ever the leaf, which nature intendeth the root; observable from their conversion, until they attain their right position, if seeds be set inversedly.

In vain we expect the production of plants from different parts of the seed, from the same corculum or little original proceed both germinations; and in the power of this slender particle lye many Roots and Spoutings, that though the same be pull’d away, the generative particle will renew them again, and proceed to a perfect plant; And malt may be observed to grow, though the Cummes be fallen from it.

The seminal nebbe hath a defined and single place, and not extended unto both extremes. And therefore many too vulgarly conceive that Barley and Oats grow at both ends; For they arise from one punctilio or generative nebbe, and the Speare sliding under the husk, first appeareth nigh the toppe. But in Wheat and Rye being bare the sprouts are seen together.[171] If Barley unhulled would grow, both would appear at once. But in this and Oat-meal the nebbe is broken away, which makes them the milder food, and lesse apt to raise fermentation in Decoctions.

Men taking notice of what is outwardly visible, conceive a sensible priority in the Root. But as they begin from one part, so they seem to start and set out upon one signall of nature. In Beans yet soft, in Pease while they adhere unto the Cod, the rudimentall Leafe and Root are discoverable. In the Seeds of Rocket and Mustard, sprouting in Glasses of water, when the one is manifest the other is also perceptible. In muddy waters apt to breed Duckweed, and Periwinkles, if the first and rudimentall stroaks of Duckweed be observed, the Leaves and Root anticipate not each other. But in the Date-stone the first sprout is neither root nor leaf distinctly, but both together; For the Germination being to passe through the narrow navel and hole about the midst of the stone, the generative germ is faine to enlengthen it self, and shooting out about an inch, at that distance divideth into the ascending and descending portion.

And though it be generally thought that Seeds will root at that end, where they adhere to their Originals, and observable it is that the nebbe sets most often next the stalk, as in Grains, Pulses, and most small Seeds, yet is it hardly made out in many greater plants. For in Acornes, Almonds, Pistachios, Wallnuts, and acuminated shells, the germ puts forth at the remotest part of the pulp. And therefore to set Seeds in that posture, wherein the Leaf and Roots may shoot right without contortion, or forced circumvolution, which might render them strongly rooted, and straighter, were a Criticisme in Agriculture. And nature seems[172] to have made some provision hereof in many from their figure, that as they fall from the Tree they may lye in Positions agreeable to such advantages.

Beside the open and visible Testicles of plants, the seminall powers lie in great part invisible, while the Sun findes polypody in stone-wals, the little stinging Nettle, and nightshade in barren sandy High-wayes, Scurvy-grasse in Greeneland, and unknown plants in earth brought from remote Countries. Beside the known longevity of some Trees, what is the most lasting herb, or seed, seems not easily determinable. Mandrakes upon known account have lived near an hundred yeares. Seeds found in Wilde-Fowls Gizards have sprouted in the earth. The Seeds of Marjorane and Stramonium carelessly kept, have grown after seven years. Even in Garden-Plots long fallow, and digged up, the seeds of Blattaria and yellow henbane, and after twelve years burial have produced themselves again.

That bodies are first spirits Paracelsus could affirm, which in the maturation of Seeds and fruits, seems obscurely implied by [152]Aristotle, when he delivereth, that the spirituous parts are converted into water, and the water into earth, and attested by observation in the maturative progresse of Seeds, wherein at first may be discerned a flatuous distention of the husk, afterwards a thin liquor, which longer time digesteth into a pulp or kernell observable in Almonds and large Nuts. And some way answered in the progressionall perfection of animall semination, in its spermaticall maturation, from crude pubescency unto perfection. And even that seeds themselves in their rudimentall discoveries, appear in foliaceous surcles, or sprouts within their coverings, in a diaphanous gellie, before deeper incrassation, is also visibly verified in Cherries, Acorns, Plums.


From seminall considerations, either in reference unto one mother, or distinction from animall production, the holy Scripture describeth the vegetable creation; And while it divideth plants but into Herb and Tree, though it seemeth to make but an accidental division, from magnitude, it tacitely containeth the naturall distinction of vegetables, observed by Herbarists, and comprehending the four kinds. For since the most naturall distinction is made from the production of leaf or stalk, and plants after the two first seminall leaves, do either proceed to send forth more leaves, or a stalk, and the folious and stalky emission distinguisheth herbs and trees, in a large acception it compriseth all Vegetables, for the frutex and suffrutex are under the progression of trees, and stand Authentically differenced, but from the accidents of the stalk.

The Æquivocal production of things under undiscerned principles, makes a large part of generation, though they seem to hold a wide univocacy in their set and certain Originals, while almost every plant breeds its peculiar insect, most a Butterfly, moth or fly, wherein the Oak seemes to contain the largest seminality, while the Julus, Oak, apple, dill, woolly tuft, foraminous roundles upon the leaf, and grapes under ground make a Fly with some difference. The great variety of Flyes lyes in the variety of their Originals, in the Seeds of Caterpillars or Cankers there lyeth not only a Butterfly or Moth, but if they be sterill or untimely cast, their production is often a Fly, which we have also observed from corrupted and mouldred Egges, both of Hens and Fishes; To omit the generation of Bees out of the bodies of dead Heifers, or what is strange yet well attested, the production of Eeles[153] in the backs of living Cods and Perches.


The exiguity and smallnesse of some seeds extending to large productions is one of the magnalities of nature, somewhat illustrating the work of the Creation, and vast production from nothing. The true seeds of Cypresse[154] and Rampions are indistinguishable by old eyes. Of the seeds of Tobacco a thousand make not one grain, The disputed seeds of Harts tongue, and Maidenhair, require a greater number. From such undiscernable seminalities arise spontaneous productions. He that would discern the rudimentall stroak of a plant, may behold it in the Originall of Duckweed, at the bignesse of a pins point, from convenient water in glasses, wherein a watchfull eye may also discover the puncticular Originals of Periwincles and Gnats.

That seeds of some Plants are lesse then any animals, seems of no clear decision; That the biggest of Vegetables exceedeth the biggest of Animals, in full bulk, and all dimensions, admits exception in the Whale, which in length and above ground measure, will also contend with tall Oakes. That the richest odour of plants surpasseth that of Animals, may seem of some doubt, since animall-musk, seems to excell the vegetable, and we finde so noble a scent in the Tulip-Fly, and Goat-Beetle.[155]

Now whether seminall nebbes hold any sure proportion unto seminall enclosures, why the form of the germe doth not answer the figure of the enclosing pulp, why the nebbe is seated upon the solid, and not the channeld side of the seed as in grains, why since we often meet with two yolks in one shell, and sometimes one Egge within another, we do not oftener meet with two nebbes in one distinct seed: why since the Egges of a Hen laid at one course, do commonly outweigh the bird, and some moths coming out of their[175] cases, without assistance of food, will lay so many Egges as to outweigh their bodies, trees rarely bear their fruit, in that gravity or proportion: Whether in the germination of seeds according to Hippocrates, the lighter part ascendeth, and maketh the sprout, the heaviest tending downward frameth the root; Since we observe that the first shoot of seeds in water, will sink or bow down at the upper and leafing end: Whether it be not more rational Epicurisme to contrive whole dishes out of the nebbes and spirited particles of plants, then from the Gallatures and treddles of Egges; since that part is found to hold no seminall share in Oval Generation, are quæries which might enlarge but must conclude this digression.

And though not in this order, yet how nature delighteth in this number, and what consent and coordination there is in the leaves and parts of flowers, it cannot escape our observation in no small number of plants. For the calicular or supporting and closing leaves, do answer the number of the flowers, especially in such as exceed not the number of Swallows Egges; as in Violets, Stichwort, Blossomes, and flowers of one leaf have often five divisions, answered by a like number of calicular leaves; as Gentianella, Convolvulus, Bell-flowers. In many the flowers, blades, or staminous shoots and leaves are all equally five, as in cockle, mullein and Blattaria; Wherein the flowers before explication are pentagonally wrapped up, with some resemblance of the blatta or moth from whence it hath its name; But the contrivance of nature is singular in the opening and shutting of Bindeweeds, performed by five inflexures, distinguishable by pyramidicall figures, and also different colours.

The rose at first is thought to have been of five[176] leaves, as it yet groweth wilde among us; but in the most luxuriant, the calicular leaves do still maintain that number. But nothing is more admired then the five Brethren of the Rose, and the strange disposure of the Appendices or Beards, in the calicular leaves thereof, which in despair of resolution is tolerably salved from this contrivance, best ordered and suited for the free closure of them before explication. For those two which are smooth, and of no beard are contrived to lye undermost, as without prominent parts, and fit to be smoothly covered, the other two which are beset with Beards on either side, stand outward and uncovered, but the fifth or half-bearded leaf is covered on the bare side but on the open side stands free, and bearded like the other.

Besides a large number of leaves have five divisions, and may be circumscribed by a Pentagon or figure of five Angles, made by right lines from the extremity of their leaves, as in Maple, Vine, Figge-Tree: But five-leaved flowers are commonly disposed circularly about the Stylus; according to the higher Geometry of Nature, dividing a circle by five Radii, which concurre not to make Diameters, as in Quadrilaterall and sexangular Intersections.

Now the number of five is remarkable in every Circle, not only as the first sphærical Number, but the measure of sphærical motion. For sphærical bodies move by fives, and every globular Figure placed upon a plane, in direct volutation, returns to the first point of contaction in the fift touch, accounting by the Axes of the Diameters or Cardinall points of the four quarters thereof. And before it arriveth unto the same point again, it maketh five circles equall unto it self, in each progresse from those quarters, absolving an equall circle.


By the same number doth nature divide the circle of the Sea-starre, and in that order and number disposeth those elegant Semi-circles, or dentall sockets and egges in the Sea Hedge-hogge. And no mean Observations hereof there is in the Mathematicks of the neatest Retiary Spider, which concluding in fourty four Circles, from five Semidiameters beginneth that elegant texture.

And after this manner doth lay the foundation of the Circular branches of the Oak, which being five-cornered, in the tender annual sprouts, and manifesting upon incision the signature of a Starre, is after made circular, and swel’d into a round body: Which practice of nature is become a point of art, and makes two Problemes in Euclide.[156] But the Bryar which sends forth shoots and prickles from its angles, maintains its pentagonall figure, and the unobserved signature of a handsome porch within it. To omit the five small buttons dividing the Circle of the Ivy-berry, and the five characters in the Winter stalk of the Walnut, with many other Observables, which cannot escape the eyes of signal discerners; Such as know where to finde Ajax his name in Gallitricum, or Arons Mitre in Henbane.

Quincuncial forms and ordinations are also observable in animal figurations. For to omit the hioides or throat bone of animals, the furcula or merry-thought in birds; which supporteth the scapulæ, affording a passage for the winde-pipe and the gullet, the wings of Flyes, and disposure of their legges in their first formation from maggots, and the position of their horns, wings and legges, in their Aurelian cases and swadling clouts: The back of the Cimex Arboreus, found often upon Trees and lesser plants, doth elegantly discover the[178] Burgundian decussation; And the like is observable in the belly of the Notonecton, or water-Beetle, which swimmeth on its back, and the handsome Rhombusses of the Sea-poult, or Weazell, on either side the Spine.

The sexangular Cels in the Honey-combs of Bees are disposed after this order, much there is not of wonder in the confused Houses of Pismires; though much in their busie life and actions, more in the edificial Palaces of Bees and Monarchical spirits; who make their combs six-corner’d, declining a circle, whereof many stand not close together, and compleatly fill the area of the place; But rather affecting a six-sided figure, whereby every cell affords a common side unto six more, and also a fit receptacle for the Bee it self, which gathering into a Cylindrical Figure, aptly enters its sexangular house, more nearly approaching a circular figure, then either doth the Square or Triangle. And the Combes themselves so regularly contrived, that their mutual intersections make three Lozenges at the bottom of every Cell; which severally regarded make three Rows of neat Rhomboidall Figures, connected at the angles, and so continue three several chaines throughout the whole comb.

As for the Favago found commonly on the Sea-shoar, though named from an honey-comb, it but rudely makes out the resemblance, and better agrees with the round Cels of humble Bees. He that would exactly discern the shop of a Bees mouth, need observing eyes, and good augmenting glasses; wherein is discoverable one of the neatest peeces in nature, and must have a more piercing eye then mine; who findes out the shape of Buls heads, in the guts of Drones pressed out behinde, according to the experiment of Gomesius[157]; wherein notwithstanding[179] there seemeth somewhat which might incline a pliant fancy to credulity of similitude.

A resemblance hereof there is in the orderly and rarely disposed Cels, made by Flyes and Insects, which we have often found fastened about small sprigs, and in those cottonary and woolly pillows, which sometimes we meet with fastened unto Leaves, there is included an elegant Net-work Texture, out of which come many small Flies. And some resemblance there is of this order in the Egges of some Butterflies and moths, as they stick upon leaves, and other substances; which being dropped from behinde, nor directed by the eye, doth neatly declare how nature Geometrizeth, and observeth order in all things.

A like correspondency in figure is found in the skins and outward teguments of animals, whereof a regardable part are beautiful by this texture. As the backs of several Snakes and Serpents, elegantly remarkable in the Aspis, and the Dart-snake, in the Chiasmus, and larger decussations upon the back of the Rattlesnake, and in the close and finer texture of the Mater formicarum, or snake that delights in Anthils; whereby upon approach of outward injuries, they can raise a thicker Phalanx on their backs, and handsomely contrive themselves into all kindes of flexures: Whereas their bellies are commonly covered with smooth semicircular divisions, as best accommodable unto their quick and gliding motion.

This way is followed by nature in the peculiar and remarkable tayl of the Bever, wherein the scaly particles are disposed, somewhat after this order, which is the plainest resolution of the wonder of Bellonius, while he saith, with incredible Artifice hath Nature framed the tayl or Oar of the Bever: where by the way we[180] cannot but wish a model of their houses, so much extolled by some Describers: wherein since they are so bold as to venture upon three stages, we might examine their Artifice in the contignations, the rule and order in the compartitions; or whether that magnified structure be any more then a rude rectangular pyle or meer hovell-building.

Thus works the hand of nature in the feathery plantation about birds. Observable in the skins of the breast,[158] legs and Pinions of Turkies, Geese, and Ducks, and the Oars or finny feet of Water-Fowl: And such a naturall net is the scaly covering of Fishes, of Mullets, Carps, Tenches, etc. even in such as are excoriable and consist of smaller scales, as Bretts, Soals, and Flounders. The like Reticulate grain is observable in some Russia Leather. To omit the ruder Figures of the ostracion, the triangular or cunny fish, or the pricks of the Sea-Porcupine.

The same is also observable in some part of the skin of man, in habits of neat texture, and therefore not unaptly compared unto a Net: We shall not affirm that from such grounds, the Ægyptian Embalmers imitated this texture, yet in their linnen folds the same is still observable among their neatest Mummies, in the figures of Isis and Osyris, and the Tutelary spirits in the Bembine Table. Nor is it to be over-looked how Orus, the Hieroglyphick of the world is described in a Net-work covering, from the shoulder to the foot. And (not to enlarge upon the cruciated Character of Trismegistus, or handed crosses, so often occurring in the Needles of Pharaoh, and Obelisks of Antiquity) the Statuæ Isiacæ, Teraphims, and little Idols, found about the Mummies, do make a decussation or Jacobs Crosse, with their armes, like that on the head of[181] Ephraim and Manasses, and this decussis is also graphically described between them.

This Reticulate or Net-work was also considerable in the inward parts of man, not only from the first subtegmen or warp of his formation, but in the netty fibres of the veines and vessels of life; wherein according to common Anatomy the right and transverse fibres are decussated by the oblique fibres; and so must frame a Reticulate and Quincuncial Figure by their Obliquations, Emphatically extending that Elegant expression of Scripture. Thou hast curiously embroydered me, thou hast wrought me up after the finest way of texture, and as it were with a Needle.

Nor is the same observable only in some parts, but in the whole body of man, which upon the extension of arms and legges, doth make out a square, whose intersection is at the genitals. To omit the phantastical Quincunx, in Plato of the first Hermaphrodite or double man, united at the Loynes, which Jupiter after divided.

A rudimental resemblance hereof there is in the cruciated and rugged folds of the Reticulum, or Net-like Ventricle of ruminating horned animals, which is the second in order, culinarily called the Honey-comb. For many divisions there are in the stomack of severall animals; what number they maintain in the Scarus and ruminating Fish, common description, or our own experiment hath made no discovery. But in the Ventricle of Porpuses there are three divisions. In many Birds a crop, Gizard, and little receptacle before it; but in Cornigerous animals, which chew the cudd, there are no lesse then four of distinct position and office.

The Reticulum by these crossed cels, makes a further digestion, in the dry and exuccous part of the Aliment[182] received from the first Ventricle. For at the bottome of the gullet there is a double Orifice; What is first received at the mouth descendeth into the first and greater stomack, from whence it is returned into the mouth again; and after a fuller mastication, and salivous mixture, what part thereof descendeth again, in a moist and succulent body, it slides down the softer and more permeable Orifice, into the Omasus or third stomack; and from thence conveyed into the fourth, receives its last digestion. The other dry and exuccous part after rumination by the larger and stronger Orifice beareth into the first stomack, from thence into the Reticulum, and so progressively into the other divisions. And therefore in Calves newly calved, there is little or no use of the two first Ventricles, for the milk and liquid aliment slippeth down the softer Orifice, into the third stomack; where making little or no stay, it passeth into the fourth, the seat of the Coagulum, or Runnet, or that division of stomack which seems to bear the name of the whole, in the Greek translation of the Priests Fee, in the Sacrifice of Peace-offerings.

As for those Rhomboidal Figures made by the Cartilagineous parts of the Wezon, in the Lungs of great Fishes, and other animals, as Rondeletius discovered, we have not found them so to answer our Figure as to be drawn into illustration; Something we expected in the more discernable texture of the lungs of frogs, which notwithstanding being but two curious bladders not weighing above a grain, we found interwoven with veins, not observing any just order. More orderly situated are those cretaceous and chalky concretions found sometimes in the bignesse of a small fech on either side their spine; which being not agreeable[183] unto our order, nor yet observed by any, we shall not here discourse on.

But had we found a better account and tolerable Anatomy of that prominent jowle of the Sperma Ceti Whale,[159] then questuary operation, or the stench of the last cast upon our shoar, permitted, we might have perhaps discovered some handsome order in those Net-like seases and sockets, made like honey-combs, containing that medicall matter.

Lastly, The incession or locall motion of animals is made with analogy unto this figure, by decussative diametrals, Quincunciall Lines and angles. For to omit the enquiry how Butterflies and breezes move their four wings, how birds and fishes in ayre and water move by joynt stroaks of opposite wings and Finnes, and how salient animals in jumping forward seem to arise and fall upon a square base; As the station of most Quadrupeds is made upon a long square, so in their motion they make a Rhomboides; their common progression being performed Diametrally, by decussation and crosse advancement of their legges, which not observed begot that remarkable absurdity in the position of the legges of Castors horse in the Capitoll. The Snake which moveth circularly makes his spires in like order, the convex and concave spirals answering each other at alternate distances; In the motion of man the armes and legges observe this thwarting position, but the legges alone do move Quincuncially by single angles with some resemblance of an V measured by successive advancement from each foot, and the angle of indenture great or lesse, according to the extent or brevity of the stride.

Studious Observators may discover more analogies[184] in the orderly book of nature, and cannot escape the Elegancy of her hand in other correspondencies. The Figures of nails and crucifying appurtenances, are but precariously made out in the Granadilla or flower of Christs passion; And we despair to behold in these parts that handsome draught of crucifixion in the fruit of the Barbado Pine. The seminal Spike of Phalaris, or great shaking grasse, more nearly answers the tayl of a Rattle-Snake, then many resemblances in Porta: And if the man Orchis[160] of Culumna be well made out, it excelleth all analogies. In young Wall-nuts cut athwart, it is not hard to apprehend strange characters; and in those of somewhat elder growth, handsome ornamental draughts about a plain crosse. In the root of Osmond or Water-fern, every eye may discern the form of a Half Moon, Rain-bow, or half the character of Pisces. Some finde Hebrew, Arabick, Greek, and Latine Characters in Plants; In a common one among us we seem to reade Acaia, Viviu, Lilil.

Right lines and circles make out the bulk of plants; In the parts thereof we finde Helicall or spirall roundles, voluta’s, conicall Sections, circular Pyramids, and frustums of Archimedes; And cannot overlook the orderly hand of nature, in the alternate succession of the flat and narrower sides in the tender shoots of the Ashe, or the regular inequality of bignesse in the five leaved flowers of Henbane, and something like in the calicular leaves of Tutson. How the spots of Persicaria do manifest themselves between the sixth and tenth ribbe. How the triangular capp in the stemme or stylus of Tuleps doth constantly point at three outward leaves. That spicated flowers do open first at the stalk. That white flowers have yellow thrums or knops. That the nebbe of Beans and Pease do all[185] look downward, and so presse not upon each other; And how the seeds of many pappous or downy flowers lockt up in sockets after a gomphosis or mortis-articulation, diffuse themselves circularly into branches of rare order, observable in Tragopogan or Goats-beard, conformable to the Spiders web, and the Radii in like manner telarely inter-woven.

And how in animall natures, even colours hold correspondencies, and mutuall correlations. That the colour of the Caterpillar will shew again in the Butterfly, with some latitude is allowable. Though the regular spots in their wings seem but a mealie adhesion, and such as may be wiped away, yet since they come in this variety, out of their cases, there must be regular pores in those parts and membranes, defining such Exudations.

That Augustus[161] had native notes on his body and belly, after the order and number in the Starre of Charles wayne, will not seem strange unto astral Physiognomy, which accordingly considereth moles in the body of man, or Physicall Observators, who from the position of moles in the face, reduce them to rule and correspondency in other parts. Whether after the like method medicall conjecture may not be raised, upon parts inwardly affected; since parts about the lips are the criticall seats of Pustules discharged in Agues; And scrophulous tumours about the neck do so often speak the like about the Mesentery, may also be considered.

The russet neck in young Lambs seems but adventitious, and may owe its tincture to some contaction in the womb; But that if sheep have any black or deep russet in their faces, they want not the same about their legges and feet; That black Hounds[186] have mealy months and feet; That black Cows which have any white in their tayls, should not misse of some in their bellies; and if all white in their bodies, yet if black-mouth’d, their ears and feet maintain the same colour, are correspondent tinctures not ordinarily failing in nature, which easily unites the accidents of extremities, since in some generations she transmutes the parts themselves, while in the Aurelian Metamorphosis the head of the canker becomes the Tayl of the Butterfly. Which is in some way not beyond the contrivance of Art, in submersions and Inlays, inverting the extremes of the plant, and fetching the root from the top, and also imitated in handsome columnary work, in the inversion of the extremes; wherein the Capitel, and the Base, hold such near correspondency.

In the motive parts of animals may be discovered mutuall proportions; not only in those of Quadrupeds, but in the thigh-bone, legge, foot-bone, and claws of Birds. The legs of Spiders are made after a sesquitertian proportion, and the long legs of some locusts, double unto some others. But the internodial parts of Vegetables, or spaces between the joints, are contrived with more uncertainty; though the joints themselves in many Plants, maintain a regular number.

In vegetable composure, the unition of prominent parts seems most to answer the Apophyses or processes of Animall bones, whereof they are the produced parts or prominent explantations. And though in the parts of plants which are not ordained for motion, we do not expect correspondent Articulations; yet in the setting on of some flowers, and seeds in their sockets, and the lineall commissure of the pulp of severall seeds, may be observed some shadow of the Harmony; some show of the Gomphosis or mortis-articulation.


As for the Diarthrosis or motive Articulation, there is expected little Analogy, though long-stalked leaves doe move by long lines, and have observable motions, yet are they made by outward impulsion, like the motion of pendulous bodies, while the parts themselves are united by some kinde of symphysis unto the stock.

But standing Vegetables, void of motive-Articulations, are not without many motions. For beside the motion of vegetation upward, and of radiation unto all quarters, that of contraction, dilatation, inclination, and contortion, is discoverable in many plants. To omit the rose of Jericho, the ear of Rye, which moves with change of weather, and the Magical spit, made of no rare plants, which windes before the fire, and rosts the bird without turning.

Even Animals near the Classis of plants, seem to have the most restlesse motions. The Summer-worm of Ponds and plashes makes a long waving motion; the hair-worm seldome lies still. He that would behold a very anomalous motion, may observe it in the Tortile and tiring stroaks of Gnatworms.[162]


[148] Capitula squammata Quercum Bauhini, whereof though he saith perraro reperiuntur bis tantum invenimus, yet we finde them commonly with us and in great numbers.

[149] Antho. Græc. inter Epigrammata γριφώδη ἐνδον ἐμῶν μητρὸς λαγονων ἔχω πατέρα.

[150] Jer. 2, 22.

[151] Stratiotes.

[152] In met. cum Gabeo.

[153] Schoneveldus de Pisc.

[154] Doctissim. Laurenburg horr.

[155] The long and tender green Capricornus rarely found, we could never meet with but two.

[156] Elem. li. 4.

[157] Gom. de Sale.

[158] Elegantly conspicuous on the inside of the striped skins of Dive-Fowl, of the cormorant, Goshonder, Weasell, Loon, etc.

[159] 1652. described in our Pseudo Epidem. Edit. 3.

[160] Orchis Anthropophora, Fabii Columnæ.

[161] Suet. in vit. Aug.

[162] Found often in some form of redmaggot in the standing waters of Cisterns in the Summer.


As for the delights, commodities, mysteries, with other concernments of this order, we are unwilling to fly them over, in the short deliveries of Virgil, Varro, or others, and shall therefore enlarge with additionall ampliations.

By this position they had a just proportion of Earth, to supply an equality of nourishment. The distance being ordered, thick or thin, according to the magnitude[188] or vigorous attraction of the plant, the goodnesse, leannesse, or propriety of the soyl, and therefore the rule of Solon, concerning the territory of Athens, not extendible unto all; allowing the distance of six foot unto common Trees, and nine for the Figge and Olive.

They had a due diffusion of their roots on all or both sides, whereby they maintained some proportion to their height, in Trees of large radication. For that they strictly make good their profundeur or depth unto their height, according to common conceit, and that expression of Virgil,[163] though confirmable from the plane Tree in Pliny, and some few examples, is not to be expected from the generation of Trees almost in any kinde, either of side-spreading or tap-roots: Except we measure them by lateral and opposite diffusions; nor commonly to be found in minor or hearby plants; If we except Sea-holly, Liquorish, Sea-rush, and some others.

They had a commodious radiation in their growth; and a due expansion of their branches, for shadow or delight. For trees thickly planted, do runne up in height and branch with no expansion, shooting unequally or short, and thinne upon the neighbouring side. And therefore Trees are inwardly bare, and spring, and leaf from the outward and Sunny side of their branches.

Whereby they also avoided the perill of συνολεθρισμὸς or one tree perishing with another, as it happeneth ofttimes from the sick effluviums or entanglements of the roots, falling foul with each other. Observable in Elmes set in hedges, where if one dieth the neighbouring Tree prospereth not long after.

In this situation divided into many intervals and open unto six passages, they had the advantage of a fair perflation from windes, brushing and cleansing[189] their surfaces; relaxing and closing their pores unto due perspiration. For that they afford large effluviums perceptible from odours, diffused at great distances, is observable from Onyons out of the Earth; which though dry, and kept until the spring, as they shoot forth large and many leaves, do notably abate of their weight. And mint growing in glasses of water, until it arriveth unto the weight of an ounce, in a shady place, will sometimes exhaust a pound of water.

And as they send forth much, so may they receive somewhat in: For beside the common way and road of reception by the root, there may be a refection and imbibition from without; For gentle showrs refresh plants, though they enter not their roots; And the good and bad effluviums of Vegetables, promote or debilitate each other. So Epithymum and Dodder, rootlesse and out of the ground, maintain themselves upon Thyme, Savory, and plants, whereon they hang. And Ivy divided from the root, we have observed to live some years, by the cirrous parts commonly conceived but as tenacles and holdfasts unto it. The stalks of mint cropt from the root stripped from the leaves, and set in glasses with the root end upward, and out of the water, we have observed to send forth sprouts and leaves without the aid of roots, and scordium to grow in like manner, the leaves set downward in water. To omit severall Sea-plants, which grow on single roots from stones, although in very many there are side-shoots fibres, beside the fastening root.

By this open position they were fairly exposed unto the rayes of Moon and Sunne, so considerable in the growth of Vegetables. For though Poplars, Willows, and severall Trees be made to grow about the brinks[190] of Acharon, and dark habitations of the dead; Though some plants are content to grow in obscure Wells; wherein also old Elme pumps afford sometimes long bushy sprouts, not observable in any above ground: And large fields of Vegetables are able to maintain their verdure at the bottome and shady part of the Sea; yet the greatest number are not content without the actual rayes of the Sun, but bend, incline, and follow them; As large lists of solisequious and Sun-following plants. And some observe the method of its motion in their own growth and conversion twining towards the West by the South, as Bryony, Hops, Woodbine, and several kindes of Bindeweed, which we shall more admire; when any can tell us, they observe another motion, and Twist by the North at the Antipodes. The same plants rooted against an erect North-wall full of holes, will finde a way through them to look upon the Sun. And in tender plants from mustard-seed, sown in the winter, and in a plot of earth placed inwardly against a South-window, the tender stalks of two leaves arose not erect, but bending towards the window, nor looking much higher then the Meridian Sun. And if the pot were turned they would work themselves into their former declinations, making their conversion by the East. That the Leaves of the Olive and some other Trees solstitially turn, and precisely tell us, when the Sun is entred Cancer, is scarce expectable in any Climate; and Theophrastus warily observes it; Yet somewhat thereof is observable in our own, in the leaves of Willows and Sallows, some weeks after the Solstice. But the great Convolvulus or white-flower’d Bindweed observes both motions of the Sunne, while the flower twists Æquinoctionally from the left hand to the right according to the daily[191] revolution; The stalk twineth ecliptically from the right to the left, according to the annual conversion.

Some commend the exposure of these orders unto the Western gales, as the most generative and fructifying breath of heaven. But we applaud the Husbandry of Solomon, whereto agreeth the doctrine of Theophrastus. Arise O North-winde, and blow thou South upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out; For the North-winde closing the pores, and shutting up the effluviums, when the South doth after open and relax them; the Aromatical gummes do drop, and sweet odours fly actively from them. And if his garden had the same situation, which mapps and charts afford it, on the East side of Jerusalem, and having the wall on the West; these were the winds, unto which it was well exposed.

By this way of plantation they encreased the number of their trees, which they lost in Quaternio’s, and square-orders, which is a commodity insisted on by Varro, and one great intent of nature, in this position of flowers and seeds in the elegant formation of plants, and the former Rules observed in naturall and artificiall Figurations.

Whether in this order and one Tree in some measure breaking the cold, and pinching gusts of windes from the other, trees will not better maintain their inward circles, and either escape or moderate their excentricities, may also be considered. For the circles in Trees are naturally concentricall, parallel unto the bark, and unto each other, till frost and piercing windes contract and close them on the weatherside, the opposite semi-circle widely enlarging, and at a comely distance, which hindreth oftentimes the beauty and roundnesse of Trees, and makes the Timber lesse serviceable; whiles[192] the ascending juyce not readily passing, settles in knots and inequalities. And therefore it is no new course of Agriculture, to observe the native position of Trees according to North and South in their transplantations.

The same is also observable underground in the circinations and sphærical rounds of Onyons, wherein the circles of the Orbes are ofttimes larger, and the meridionall lines stand wider upon one side then the other. And where the largenesse will make up the number of planetical Orbes, that of Luna, and the lower planets excede the dimensions of Saturne, and the higher: Whether the like be not verified in the Circles of the large roots of Briony and Mandrake, or why in the knotts of Deale or Firre the Circles are often eccentrical, although not in a plane, but vertical and right position, deserves a further enquiry.

Whether there be not some irregularity of roundnesse in most plants according to their position? Whether some small compression of pores be not perceptible in parts which stand against the current of waters, as in Reeds, Bull-rushes, and other vegetables toward the streaming quarter, may also be observed, and therefore such as are long and weak, are commonly contrived into a roundnesse of figure, whereby the water presseth lesse, and slippeth more smoothly from them, and even in flags or flat-figured leaves, the greater part obvert their sharper sides unto the current in ditches.

But whether plants which float upon the surface of the water, be for the most part of cooling qualities, those which shoot above it of heating vertues, and why? whether Sargasso for many miles floating upon the Western Ocean, or Sea-lettuce, and Phasganium[193] at the bottome of our Seas, make good the like qualities? Why Fenny waters afford the hottest and sweetest plants, as Calamus, Cyperus, and Crowfoot, and mudd cast out of ditches most naturally produceth Arsmart? Why plants so greedy of water so little regard oyl? Why since many seeds contain much oyl within them, they endure it not well without, either in their growth or production? Why since Seeds shoot commonly under ground, and out of the aire, those which are let fall in shallow glasses, upon the surface of the water, will sooner sprout then those at the bottom? And if the water be covered with oyle, those at the bottome will hardly sprout at all, we have not room to conjecture.

Whether Ivy would not lesse offend the Trees in this clean ordination, and well kept paths, might perhaps deserve the question. But this were a quæry only unto some habitations, and little concerning Cyrus or the Babylonian territory; wherein by no industry Harpalus could make Ivy grow: And Alexander hardly found it about those parts to imitate the pomp of Bacchus. And though in these Northern Regions we are too much acquainted with one Ivy, we know too little of another, whereby we apprehend not the expressions of Antiquity, the Splenetick[164] medicine of Galen, and the Emphasis of the Poet, in the beauty of the white Ivy.[165]

The like concerning the growth of Misseltoe, which dependeth not only of the species, or kinde of Tree, but much also of the Soil. And therefore common in some places, not readily found in others, frequent in France, not so common in Spain, and scarce at all in the Territory of Ferrara: Nor easily to be found where it is most required upon Oakes, lesse on trees[194] continually verdant. Although in some places the Olive escapeth it not, requiting its detriment, in the delightful view of its red Berries; as Clusius observed in Spain, and Bellonius about Hierusalem. But this Parasitical plant suffers nothing to grow upon it, by any way of art; nor could we ever make it grow where nature had not planted it; as we have in vain attempted by inocculation and incision, upon its native or forreign stock, and though there seem nothing improbable in the seed, it hath not succeeded by sation in any manner of ground, wherein we had no reason to despair since we reade of vegetable horns, Linschoten. and how Rams horns will root about Goa.

But besides these rural commodities, it cannot be meanly delectable in the variety of Figures, which these orders open, and closed do make. Whilest every inclosure makes a Rhombus, the figures obliquely taken a Rhomboides, the intervals bounded with parallel lines, and each intersection built upon a square, affording two Triangles or Pyramids vertically conjoyned; which in the strict Quincuncial order do oppositely make acute and blunt Angles.

And though therein we meet not with right angles, yet every Rhombus containing four Angles equal unto two right, it virtually contains two right in every one. Nor is this strange unto such as observe the natural lines of Trees, and parts disposed in them. For neither in the root doth nature affect this angle, which shooting downward for the stability of the plant, doth best effect the same by Figures of Inclination; Nor in the Branches and stalky leaves, which grow most at acute angles; as declining from their head the root, and diminishing their Angles with their altitude: Verified also in lesser Plants, whereby they better support[195] themselves, and bear not so heavily upon the stalk: So that while near the root they often make an Angle of seventy parts, the sprouts near the top will often come short of thirty. Even in the nerves and master veines of the leaves the acute angle ruleth; the obtuse but seldome found, and in the backward part of the leaf, reflecting and arching about the stalk. But why ofttimes one side of the leaf is unequal unto the other, as in Hazell and Oaks, why on either side the master vein the lesser and derivative channels stand not directly opposite, nor at equal angles, respectively unto the adverse side, but those of one part do often exceed the other, as the Wallnut and many more, deserves another enquiry.

Now if for this order we affect coniferous and tapering Trees, particularly the Cypresse, which grows in a conical figure; we have found a tree not only of great Ornament, but in its Essentials of affinity unto this order. A solid Rhombus being made by the conversion of two Equicrural Cones, as Archimedes hath defined. And these were the common Trees about Babylon, and the East, whereof the Ark was made; and Alexander found no Trees so accommodable to build his Navy; And this we rather think to be the tree mentioned in the Canticles, which stricter Botanology will hardly allow to be Camphire.

And if delight or ornamentall view invite a comely disposure by circular amputations, as is elegantly performed in Hawthorns; then will they answer the figures made by the conversion of a Rhombus, which maketh two concentrical Circles; the greater circumference being made by the lesser angles, the lesser by the greater.

The Cylindrical figure of trees is virtually contained[196] and latent in this order. A Cylinder or long round being made by the conversion or turning of a Parallelogram, and most handsomely by a long square, which makes an equal, strong, and lasting figure in trees, agreeable unto the body and motive parts of animals, the greatest number of Plants, and almost all roots, though their stalks be angular, and of many corners, which seem not to follow the figure of their Seeds; Since many angular Seeds send forth round stalks, and sphæricall seeds arise from angular spindles, and many rather conform unto their roots, as the round stalks of bulbous Roots, and in tuberous Roots stemmes of like figure. But why since the largest number of Plants maintain a circular Figure, there are so few with teretous or long round leaves; why coniferous Trees are tenuifolious or narrow leafed, why Plants of few or no joynts have commonly round stalks, why the greatest number of hollow stalks are round stalks; or why in this variety of angular stalks the quadrangular most exceedeth, were too long a speculation; Mean while obvious experience may finde, that in Plants of divided leaves above, nature often beginneth circularly in the two first leaves below, while in the singular plant of Ivy, she exerciseth a contrary Geometry, and beginning with angular leaves below, rounds them in the upper branches.

Nor can the rows in this order want delight, as carrying an aspect answerable unto the dipteros hypœthros, or double order of columns open above; the opposite ranks of Trees standing like pillars in the Cavedia of the Courts of famous buildings, and the Portico’s of the Templa subdialia of old; Somewhat imitating the Peristylia or Cloyster buildings, and the Exedræ of the Ancients, wherein men discoursed, walked and[197] exercised; For that they derived the rule of Columnes from trees, especially in their proportionall diminutions, is illustrated by Vitruvius from the shafts of Firre and Pine. And though the inter-arboration do imitate the Areostylos, or thin order, not strictly answering the proportion of intercolumniations; yet in many trees they will not exceed the intermission of the Columnes in the court of the Tabernacle; which being an hundred cubits long, and made up by twenty pillars, will afford no lesse then intervals of five cubits.

Beside, in this kinde of aspect the sight being not diffused but circumscribed between long parallels and the ἐπισκιασμὸς and adumbration from the branches, it frameth a penthouse over the eye, and maketh a quiet vision: And therefore in diffused and open aspects, men hollow their hand above their eye, and make an artificiall brow, whereby they direct the dispersed rayes of sight, and by this shade preserve a moderate light in the chamber of the eye; keeping the pupilla plump and fair, and not contracted or shrunk as in light and vagrant vision.

And therefore providence hath arched and paved the great house of the world, with colours of mediocrity, that is, blew and green, above and below the sight, moderately terminating the acies of the eye. For most plants, though green above-ground, maintain their original white below it, according to the candour of their seminall pulp, and the rudimental leaves do first appear in that colour; observable in Seeds sprouting in water upon their first foliation. Green seeming to be the first supervenient, or above-ground complexion of Vegetables, separable in many upon ligature or inhumation, as Succory, Endive, Artichoaks, and which is also lost upon fading in the Autumn.


And this is also agreeable unto water it self, the alimental vehicle of plants, which first altereth into this colour; And containing many vegetable seminalities, revealeth their Seeds by greennesse; and therefore soonest expected in rain or standing water, not easily found in distilled or water strongly boiled; wherein the seeds are extinguished by fire and decoction, and therefore last long and pure without such alteration, affording neither uliginous coats, gnatworms, Acari, hairworms, like crude and common water; And therefore most fit for wholsome beverage, and with malt makes Ale and Beer without boyling. What large water-drinkers some Plants are, the Canary-tree and Birches in some Northern Countries, drenching the fields about them do sufficiently demonstrate. How water it self is able to maintain the growth of Vegetables, and without extinction of their generative or medicall vertues; Beside the experiment of Helmonts tree, we have found in some which have lived six years in glasses. The seeds of Scurvy-grasse growing in water-pots, have been fruitful in the Land; and Asarum after a years space, and once casting its leaves in water in the second leaves, hath handsomely performed its vomiting operation.

Nor are only dark and green colours, but shades and shadows contrived through the great Volume of nature, and trees ordained not only to protect and shadow others, but by their shades and shadowing parts, to preserve and cherish themselves. The whole radiation or branchings shadowing the stock and the root, the leaves, the branches and fruit, too much exposed to the windes and scorching Sunne. The calicular leaves inclose the tender flowers, and the flowers themselves lye wrapt about the seeds, in their rudiment and first[199] formations, which being advanced the flowers fall away; and are therefore contrived in variety of Figures, best satisfying the intention; Handsomely observable in hooded and gaping flowers, and the Butterfly bloomes of leguminous plants, the lower leaf closely involving the rudimental Cod, and the alary or wingy divisions embracing or hanging over it.

But Seeds themselves do lie in perpetual shades, either under the leaf, or shut up in coverings; and such as lye barest, have their husks, skins, and pulps about them, wherein the nebbe and generative particle lyeth moist and secured from the injury of Aire and Sunne. Darknesse and light hold interchangeable dominions, and alternately rule the seminal state of things. Light unto Pluto[166] is darknesse unto Jupiter. Legions of seminall Idæa’s lye in their second Chaos and Orcus of Hippocrates; till putting on the habits of their forms, they shew themselves upon the stage of the world, and open dominion of Jove. They that held the Stars of heaven were but rayes and flashing glimpses of the Empyreall light, through holes and perforations of the upper heaven, took of the natural shadows of stars, while according to better discovery the poor Inhabitants of the Moon[167] have but a polary life, and must passe half their dayes in the shadow of that Luminary.

Light that makes things seen, makes some things invisible, were it not for darknesse and the shadow of the earth, the noblest part of the Creation had remained unseen, and the Stars in heaven as invisible as on the fourth day, when they were created above the Horizon, with the Sun, or there was not an eye to behold them. The greatest mystery of Religion is expressed by adumbration, and in the noblest part[200] of Jewish Types, we finde the Cherubims shadowing the Mercy-seat: Life it self is but the shadow of death, and souls departed but the shadows of the living: All things fall under this name. The Sunne it self is but the dark simulachrum, and light but the shadow of God.

Lastly, It is no wonder that this Quincunciall order was first and still affected as gratefull unto the Eye: For all things are seen Quincuncially; For at the eye the Pyramidal rayes from the object, receive a decussation, and so strike a second base upon the Retina or hinder coat, the proper organ of Vision; wherein the pictures from objects are represented, answerable to the paper, or wall in the dark chamber; after the decussation of the rayes at the hole of the hornycoat, and their refraction upon the Christalline humour, answering the foramen of the window, and the convex or burning-glasses, which refract the rayes that enter it. And if ancient Anatomy would hold, a like disposure there was of the optick or visual nerves in the brain, wherein Antiquity conceived a concurrence by decussation. And this not only observable in the Laws of direct Vision, but in some part also verified in the reflected rayes of sight. For making the angle of incidence equal to that of reflexion, the visuall ray returneth Quincuncially, and after the form of a V, and the line of reflexion being continued unto the place of vision, there ariseth a semi-decussation which makes the object seen in a perpendicular unto it self, and as farre below the reflectent, as it is from it above, observable in the Sun and Moon beheld in water.

And this is also the law of reflexion in moved bodies and sounds, which though not made by decussation, observe the rule of equality between incidence and reflexion; whereby whispering places are framed by[201] Elliptical arches laid side-wise; where the voice being delivered at the focus of one extremity, observing an equality unto the angle of incidence, it will reflect unto the focus of the other end, and so escape the ears of the standers in the middle.

A like rule is observed in the reflection of the vocall and sonorous line in Ecchoes, which cannot therefore be heard in all stations. But hapning in woody plantations, by waters, and able to return some words; if reacht by a pleasant and well-dividing voice, there may be heard the softest notes in nature.

And this not only verified in the way of sense, but in animall and intellectual receptions. Things entring upon the intellect by a Pyramid from without, and thence into the memory by another from within, the common decussation being in the understanding as is delivered by Bovillus.[168] Whether the intellectual and phantastical lines be not thus rightly disposed, but magnified, diminished, distorted, and ill placed in the Mathematicks of some brains, whereby they have irregular apprehensions of things, perverted notions, conceptions, and incurable hallucinations, were no unpleasant speculation.

And if Ægyptian Philosophy may obtain, the scale of influences was thus disposed, and the geniall spirits of both worlds, do trace their way in ascending and descending Pyramids, mystically apprehended in the Letter X, and the open Bill and stradling Legges of a Stork, which was imitated by that Character.

Of this Figure Plato made choice to illustrate the motion of the soul, both of the world and man; while he delivered that God divided the whole conjunction length-wise, according to figure of a Greek X, and then turning it about reflected it into a circle; By the[202] circle implying the uniform motion of the first Orb, and by the right lines, the planetical and various motions within it. And this also with application unto the soul of man, which hath a double aspect, one right, whereby it beholdeth the body, and objects without; another circular and reciprocal, whereby it beholdeth it self. The circle declaring the motion of the indivisible soul, simple, according to the divinity of its nature, and returning into it self; the right lines respecting the motion pertaining unto sense, and vegetation, and the central decussation, the wonderous connexion of the severall faculties conjointly in one substance. And so conjoyned the unity and duality of the soul, and made out the three substances so much considered by him; That is, the indivisible or divine, the divisible or corporeal, and that third, which was the Systasis or harmony of those two, in the mystical decussation.

And if that were clearly made out which Justin Martyr took for granted, this figure hath had the honour to characterise and notifie our blessed Saviour, as he delivereth in that borrowed expression from Plato: Decussavit eum in universo, the hint whereof he would have Plato derive from the figure of the brazen Serpent, and to have mistaken the Letter X for T, whereas it is not improbable, he learned these and other mystical expressions in his Learned Observations of Ægypt, where he might obviously behold the Mercurial characters, the handed crosses, and other mysteries not throughly understood in the sacred Letter X, which being derivative from the Stork, one of the ten sacred animals, might be originally Ægyptian, and brought into Greece by Cadmus of that Countrey.


[163] Quantum vertice ad auras Æthereas, tantum radice ad tartara tendit.

[164] Galen. de med. secundum loc.

[165] Hedera formosior alba.

[166] Lux orco, tenebræ Jovi, tenebræ orco, lux Jovi. Hippocr. de diæta.

[167] S. Hevelii Selenographia.

[168] Car. Bovillus de intellectu.



To enlarge this contemplation unto all the mysteries and secrets, accommodable unto this number, were inexcusable Pythagorisme, yet cannot omit the ancient conceit of five surnamed the number of justice[169]; as justly dividing between the digits, and hanging in the centre of Nine, described by square numeration, which angularly divided will make the decussated number; and so agreeable unto the Quincunciall Ordination, and rowes divided by Equality, and just decorum, in the whole complantation; And might be the Originall of that common game among us, wherein the fifth place is Soveraigne, and carrieth the chief intention. The Ancients wisely instructing youth, even in their recreations unto virtue, that is, early to drive at the middle point and Central Seat of justice.

Nor can we omit how agreeable unto this number an handsome division is made in Trees and Plants, since Plutarch and the Ancients have named it the Divisive Number, justly dividing the Entities of the world, many remarkable things in it, and also comprehending the generall[170] division of Vegetables. And he that considers how most blossomes of Trees, and greatest number of Flowers, consist of five Leaves; and therein doth rest the setled rule of nature; So that in those which exceed there is often found, or easily made a variety; may readily discover how nature rests in this number, which is indeed the first rest and pause of numeration in the fingers, the natural Organs thereof. Nor in the division of the feet of perfect animals doth nature exceed this account. And even[204] in the joynts of feet, which in birds are most multiplied, surpasseth not this number; So progressionally making them out in many, that from five in the foreclaw she descendeth unto two in the hindemost. And so in fower feet makes up the number of joynts, in the five fingers or toes of man.

Not to omit the Quintuple Section of a Cone,[171] of handsome practise in Ornamentall Garden-plots, and in some way discoverable in so many works of Nature; In the leaves, fruits, and seeds of Vegetables, and scales of some Fishes, so much considerable in glasses, and the optick doctrine; wherein the learned may consider the Crystalline humour of the eye in the cuttle-fish and Loligo.

He that forgets not how Antiquity named this the Conjugall or wedding Number, and made it the Embleme of the most remarkable conjunction, will conceive it duely appliable unto this handsome Oeconomy, and vegetable combination; May hence apprehend the allegoricall sence of that obscure expression of Hesiod,[172] and afford no improbable reason why Plato admitted his Nuptiall guests by fives, in the kindred of the married[173] couple.

And though a sharper mystery might be implied in the Number of the five wise and foolish Virgins, which were to meet the Bridegroom, yet was the same agreeable unto the Conjugall Number, which ancient Numerists made out by two and three, the first parity and imparity, the active and passive digits, the materiall and formall principles in generative Societies. And not discordant even from the customes of the Romans, who admitted but five[174] Torches in their Nuptiall Solemnities. Whether there were any mystery[205] or not implied, the most generative animals were created on this day, and had accordingly the largest benediction; And under a Quintuple consideration, wanton Antiquity considered the Circumstances of generation, while by this number of five they naturally divided the Nectar of the fifth Planet.

The same number in the Hebrew Mysteries and Cabalistical Accounts was the Character[175] of Generation; declared by the Letter He, the fifth in their Alphabet; According to that Cabalisticall Dogma: If Abram had not had this Letter added unto his Name, he had remained fruitlesse, and without the power of Generation: Not onely because hereby the number of his Name attained two hundred fourty eight, the number of the affirmative precepts, but because as in created natures there is a male and female, so in divine and intelligent productions, the mother of Life and Fountain of souls in Cabalisticall Technology is called Binah; whose Seal and Character was He. So that being sterill before, he received the power of generation from that measure and mansion in the Archetype; and was made conformable unto Binah. And upon such involved considerations, the ten[176] of Sarai was exchanged into five. If any shall look upon this as a stable number, and fitly appropriable unto Trees, as Bodies of Rest and Station, he hath herein a great Foundation in nature, who observing much variety in legges and motive Organs of Animals, as two, four, six, eight, twelve, fourteen, and more, hath passed over five and ten, and assigned them unto none.[177] And for the stability of this Number, he shall not want the sphericity of its nature, which multiplied in it self, will return into its own denomination,[206] and bring up the reare of the account. Which is also one of the Numbers that makes up the mysticall Name of God, which consisting of Letters denoting all the sphæricall Numbers, ten, five, and six; Emphatically sets forth the notion of Trismegistus, and that intelligible Sphear which is the Nature of God.

Many Expressions by this Number occurre in Holy Scripture, perhaps unjustly laden with mysticall Expositions, and little concerning our order. That the Israelites were forbidden to eat the fruit of their new planted Trees, before the fifth yeare, was very agreeable unto the naturall Rules of Husbandry; Fruits being unwholsome, and lash, before the fourth, or fifth Yeare. In the second day or Feminine part of five, there was added no approbation. For in the third or masculine day, the same is twice repeated; and a double benediction inclosed both Creations, whereof the one in some part was but an accomplishment of the other. That the Trespasser[178] was to pay a fifth part above the head or principall, makes no secret in this Number, and implied no more then one part above the principall; which being considered in four parts, the additionall forfeit must bear the Name of a fift. The five golden mice had plainly their determination from the number of the Princes; That five should put to flight an hundred might have nothing mystically implyed; considering a rank of Souldiers could scarce consist of a lesser number. Saint Paul had rather speak five words in a known then ten thousand in an unknown tongue: That is as little as could well be spoken. A simple proposition consisting of three words, and a complexed one, not ordinarily short of five.


More considerable there are in this mysticall account, which we must not insist on. And therefore why the radicall Letters in the Pentateuch should equall the number of the Souldiery of the Tribes; Why our Saviour in the Wildernesse fed five thousand persons with five Barley Loaves, and again, but four thousand with no lesse then seven of Wheat? Why Joseph designed five changes of Rayment unto Benjamin? and David took just five pibbles[179] out of the Brook against the Pagan Champion? We leave it unto Arithmeticall Divinity, and Theologicall explanation.

Yet if any delight in new Problemes, or think it worth the enquiry, whether the Criticall Physician hath rightly hit the nominall notation of Quinque; Why the Ancients mixed five or three but not four parts of water unto their Wine: And Hippocrates observed a fifth proportion in the mixture of water with milk, as in Dysenteries and bloudy fluxes. Under what abstruse foundation Astrologers do figure the good or bad Fate from our Children, in good Fortune,[180] or the fifth house of their Celestial Schemes. Whether the Ægyptians described a Starre by a Figure of five points, with reference unto the five[181] Capitall aspects, whereby they transmit their Influences, or abstruser Considerations? Why the Cabalisticall Doctors, who conceive the whole Sephiroth, or divine Emanations to have guided the ten-stringed Harp of David, whereby he pacified the evil spirit of Saul, in strict numeration doe begin with the Perihypate Meson, or ff fa ut, and so place the Tiphereth answering C sol fa ut, upon the fifth string: Or whether this number be oftner applied unto bad things and ends, then good in holy Scripture, and why? He may meet with abstrusities of no ready resolution.


If any shall question the rationality of that Magick, in the cure of the blinde man by Serapis, commanded to place five fingers on his Altar, and then his hand on his Eyes? Why since the whole Comœdy is primarily and naturally comprised in four[182] parts; and Antiquity permitted not so many persons to speak in one Scene, yet would not comprehend the same in more or lesse then five acts? Why amongst Sea-starres nature chiefly delighteth in five points? And since there are found some of no fewer then twelve, and some of seven and nine, there are few or none discovered of six or eight? If any shall enquire why the Flowers of Rue properly consist of four Leaves, The first and third Flower have five? Why since many Flowers have one leaf or none,[183] as Scaliger will have it, diverse three, and the greatest number consist of five divided from their bottomes; there are yet so few of two: or why nature generally beginning or setting out with two opposite leaves at the Root, doth so seldome conclude with that order and number at the Flower? he shall not passe his hours in vulgar speculations.

If any shall further quæry why magneticall Philosophy excludeth decussations, and needles transversly placed do naturally distract their verticities. Why Geomancers do imitate the Quintuple Figure, in their Mother Characters of Acquisition and Amission, etc. somewhat answering the Figures in the Lady or speckled Beetle? With what Equity, Chiromantical conjecturers decry these decussations in the Lines and Mounts of the hand? What that decussated Figure intendeth in the medall of Alexander the Great? Why the Goddesses sit commonly crosse-legged in ancient draughts, Since Juno is described in the same as a[209] venefical posture to hinder the birth of Hercules? If any shall doubt why at the Amphidromicall Feasts, on the fifth day after the Childe was born, presents were sent from friends, of Polipusses, and Cuttle fishes? Why five must be only left in that Symbolicall mutiny among the men of Cadmus? Why Proteus in Homer the Symbole of the first matter, before he setled himself in the midst of his Sea-Monsters, doth place them out by fives? Why the fifth years Oxe was acceptable Sacrifice unto Jupiter? Or why the Noble Antoninus in some sence doth call the soul it self a Rhombus? He shall not fall on trite or triviall disquisitions. And these we invent and propose unto acuter enquirers, nauseating crambe verities and questions over-queried. Flat and flexible truths are beat out by every hammer; But Vulcan and his whole forge sweat to work out Achilles his armour. A large field is yet left unto sharper discerners to enlarge upon this order, to search out the quaternio’s and figured draughts of this nature, and moderating the study of names, and meer nomenclature of plants, to erect generalities, disclose unobserved proprieties, not only in the vegetable shop, but the whole volume of nature; affording delightfull Truths, confirmable by sense and ocular Observation, which seems to me the surest path, to trace the Labyrinth of truth. For though discursive enquiry and rationall conjecture, may leave handsome gashes and flesh-wounds; yet without conjunction of this expect no mortal or dispatching blows unto errour.

But the Quincunx[184] of Heaven runs low, and ’tis time to close the five ports of knowledge; We are unwilling to spin out our awaking thoughts into the phantasmes of sleep, which often continueth præcogitations; making Cables of Cobwebbes and Wildernesses of handsome[210] Groves. Beside Hippocrates[185] hath spoke so little and the Oneirocriticall Masters,[186] have left such frigid Interpretations from plants, that there is little encouragement to dream of Paradise it self. Nor will the sweetest delight of Gardens afford much comfort in sleep; wherein the dulnesse of that sense shakes hands with delectable odours; and though in the Bed[187] of Cleopatra, can hardly with any delight raise up the ghost of a Rose.

Night, which Pagan Theology could make the daughter of Chaos, affords no advantage to the description of order: Although no lower then that Masse can we derive its Genealogy. All things began in order, so shall they end, and so shall they begin again; according to the ordainer of order and mystical Mathematicks of the City of heaven.

Though Somnus in Homer be sent to rowse up Agamemnon, I finde no such effects in the drowsy approaches of sleep. To keep our eyes open longer were but to act our Antipodes. The Huntsmen are up in America, and they are already past their first sleep in Persia. But who can be drowsie at that howr which freed us from everlasting sleep? or have slumbring thoughts at that time, when sleep it self must end, and as some conjecture all shall awake again?



[169] δίκη
. . .
. . .
. . .

[170] Δενδρον, Θάμνος, Φρύγανον, Πόα, Arbor, frutex, suffrutex, herba, and that fifth which comprehendeth the fungi and tubera, whether to be named Ἄσχιον or γύμνον, comprehending also conserva marina salsa, and Sea-cords, of so many yards length.

[171] Elleipsis, parabola, Hyperbole, Circulus, Triangulum.

[172] πεμπτας id est nuptias multas. Rhodig.

[173] Plato de leg. 6.

[174] Plutarch problem. Rom. 1.

[175] Archang. dog. Cabal.

[176] Jod into He.

[177] Or very few, as the Phalangium monstrosum Brasilianum, Clusii et Jac de Laet. Cur. poster. Americæ, Descript. If perfectly described.

[178] Lev. 6.

[179] τέσσαρα ἔν κε four and one, or five. Scalig.

[180] Ἀγαθὴ τυχὴ, or bona fortuna the name of the fifth house.

[181] Conjunct, opposite, sextile, trigonal, tetragonal.

[182] Πρότασις, ἐπíτασις, κατάστασις, καταστροφή.

[183] Unifolium nullifolima.

[184] Hyades near the Horizon about midnight, at that time.

[185] De insomniis.

[186] Artemodorus et Apomazar.

[187] Strewed with roses.



I cannot omit to advertise, that a Book was published not long since, Entituled, Natures Cabinet Unlockt, bearing the Name of this Authour: If any man have been benefited thereby this Authour is not so ambitious as to challenge the honour thereof, as having no hand in that Work. To distinguish of true and spurious Peeces was the Originall Criticisme, and some were so handsomely counterfeited, that the Entitled Authours needed not to disclaime them. But since it is so, that either he must write himself, or Others will write for him, I know no better Prevention then to act his own part with lesse intermission of his Pen.





Written by


and Doctour of Physick;

late of NORWICH.


Printed for Charles Mearne, and are to be sold

by Henry Bonwick, at the Red Lyon,

in St. Paul’s Church-Yard,




The Papers from which these Tracts were printed, were, a while since, deliver’d to me by, those worthy persons, the Lady and Son of the excellent Authour. He himself gave no charge concerning his Manuscripts, either for the suppressing or the publishing of them. Yet, seeing he had procured Transcripts of them, and had kept those Copies by him, it seemeth probable that He designed them for publick use.

Thus much of his Intention being presumed, and many who had tasted of the fruits of his former studies being covetous of more of the like kind; Also these Tracts having been perused and much approv’d of by some Judicious and Learned men; I was not unwilling to be instrumental in fitting them for the Press.

To this end, I selected them out of many disordred Papers, and dispos’d them into such a method as They seem’d capable of; beginning first with Plants, going on to Animals, proceeding farther to things relating to Men, and concluding with matters of a various nature.

Concerning the Plants, I did, on purpose, forbear to range them (as some advised) according to their Tribes and Families; because, by so doing, I should[216] have represented that as a studied and formal work, which is but a Collection of occasional Essaies. And, indeed, both this Tract, and those which follow, were rather the diversions than the Labours of his Pen: and, because He did, as it were, drop down his Thoughts of a sudden, in those little spaces of vacancy which he snatch’d from those very many occasions which gave him hourly interruption; If there appears, here and there, any uncorrectness in the style, a small degree of Candour sufficeth to excuse it.

If there be any such errours in the words, I’m sure the Press has not made them fewer; but I do not hold my self oblig’d to answer for That which I could not perfectly govern. However, the matter is not of any great moment: such errours will not mislead a Learned Reader; and He who is not such in some competent degree, is not a fit Peruser of these LETTERS. Such these Tracts are; but, for the Persons to whom they were written, I cannot well learn their Names from those few obscure marks which the Authour has set at the beginning of them. And these Essaies being Letters, as many as take offence at some few familiar things which the Authour hath mixed with them, find fault with decence. Men are not wont to set down Oracles in every line they write to their Acquaintance.

There, still, remain other brief Discourses written by this most Learned and ingenious Authour. Those, also, may come forth, when some of his Friends shall have sufficient leisure; and at such due distance from these Tracts, that They may follow rather than stifle them.

Amongst these Manuscripts there is one which gives a brief Account of all the Monuments of the [217]Cathedral of Norwich. It was written merely for private use: and the Relations of the Authour expect such Justice from those into whose hands some imperfect Copies of it are fallen; that, without their Consent first obtain’d, they forbear the publishing of It.

The truth is, matter equal to the skill of the Antiquary was not, there, afforded: had a fit Subject of that nature offer’d it self, He would scarce have been guilty of an oversight like to that of Ausonius, who, in the description of his native City of Burdeaux, omitted the two famous Antiquities of it, Palais de Tutele, and, Palais de Galien.

Concerning the Authour himself, I chuse to be silent, though I have had the happiness to have been, for some years, known to him. There is on foot a design of writing his Life: and there are, already, some Memorials collected by one of his ancient Friends. Till that work be perfected, the Reader may content himself with these present Tracts; all which commending themselves by their Learning, Curiosity and Brevity, if He be not pleased with them, he seemeth to me to be distemper’d with such a niceness of Imagination as no wise man is concern’d to humour.




Upon several

PLANTS mention’d in SCRIPTURE.


The Introduction.


Though many ordinary Heads run smoothly over the Scripture, yet I must acknowledge, it is one of the hardest Books I ever met with: and therefore well deserveth those numerous Comments, Expositions and Annotations which make up a good part of our Libraries.

However so affected I am therewith, that I wish there had been more of it: and a larger Volume of that Divine Piece which leaveth such welcome impressions, and somewhat more, in the Readers, than the words and sense after it. At least, who would not be glad that many things barely hinted were at large delivered in it? The particulars of the Dispute between the Doctours and our Saviour could not but be welcome to them, who have every word in honour which proceeded from his mouth, or was otherwise delivered by him: and so would be glad to be assured what he wrote with his Finger on the ground: But especially to have a particular of that instructing Narration or Discourse which he made unto the Disciples after his resurrection, where ’tis said: Luke 24. 27. And[219] beginning at Moses, and all the Prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

But to omit Theological obscurities, you must needs observe that most Sciences do seem to have something more nearly to consider in the expressions of the Scripture.

Astronomers find therein the Names but of few Stars, scarce so many as in Achilles his Buckler in Homer, and almost the very same. But in some passages of the Old Testament they think they discover the Zodiacal course of the Sun: and they, also, conceive an Astronomical sense in that elegant expression of S. JamesJam. 1. 17. concerning the father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning: and therein an allowable allusion unto the tropical conversion of the Sun, whereby ensueth a variation of heat, light, and also of shadows from it. But whether the Stellæ erraticæ, or wandring Stars in S. Jude, may be referr’d to the celestial Planets, or some meteorological wandring Stars, Ignes fatui, Stellæ cadentes et erraticæ, or had any allusion unto the Impostour Barchochebas, or Stellæ Filius, who afterward appeared, and wandred about in the time of Adrianus, they leave unto conjecture.

Chirurgions may find their whole Art in that one passage, concerning the Rib which God took out of Adam, that is their διαίρεσις in opening the Flesh, ἐξαίρεσις in taking out the Rib, and σύνθεσις in closing and healing the part again.

Rhetoricians and Oratours take singular notice of very many excellent passages, stately metaphors, noble tropes and elegant expressions, not to be found or parallel’d in any other Authour.


Mineralists look earnestly into the twenty eighth of Job, take special notice of the early artifice in Brass and Iron under Tubal-Cain: And find also mention of Gold, Silver, Brass, Tin, Lead, Iron; beside Refining, Sodering, Dross, Nitre, Saltpits, and in some manner also of Antimony.[188]

Gemmarie Naturalists reade diligently the pretious Stones in the holy City of the Apocalypse: examine the Breast-plate of Aaron, and various Gemms upon it, and think the second Row the nobler of the four: they wonder to find the Art of Ingravery so ancient upon pretious Stones and Signets; together with the ancient use of Ear-rings and Bracelets. And are pleased to find Pearl, Coral, Amber and Crystal in those sacred Leaves, according to our Translation. And when they often meet with Flints and Marbles, cannot but take notice that there is no mention of the Magnet or Loadstone, which in so many similitudes, comparisons, and allusions, could hardly have been omitted in the Works of Solomon: if it were true that he knew either the attractive or directive power thereof, as some have believed.

Navigatours consider the Ark, which was pitched without and within, and could endure the Ocean without Mast or Sails: They take special notice of the twenty seventh of Ezekiel; the mighty Traffick and great Navigation of Tyre, with particular mention of their Sails, their Masts of Cedar, Oars of Oak, their skilfull Pilots, Mariners and Calkers; as also of the long Voyages of the Fleets of Solomon; of Jehosaphat’s Ships broken at Ezion-Geber; of the notable Voyage and Shipwreck of S. Paul, so accurately delivered in the Acts.

Oneirocritical Diviners apprehend some hints of their [221]knowledge, even from Divine Dreams; while they take notice of the Dreams of Joseph, Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, and the Angels on Jacob’s Ladder; and find, in Artemidorus and Achmetes, that Ladders signifie Travels, and the Scales thereof Preferment; and that Oxen Lean and Fat naturally denote Scarcity or Plenty, and the successes of Agriculture.

Physiognomists will largely put in from very many passages of Scripture. And when they find in Aristotle, quibus frons quadrangula, commensurata, fortes, referuntur ad leones, cannot but take special notice of that expression concerning the Gadites; mighty men of war, fit for battel, whose faces were as the faces of lyons.

Geometrical and Architectonical Artists look narrowly upon the description of the Ark, the fabrick of the Temple, and the holy City in the Apocalypse.

But the Botanical Artist meets every where with Vegetables, and from the Figg Leaf in Genesis to the Star Wormwood in the Apocalypse, are variously interspersed expressions from Plants, elegantly advantaging the significancy of the Text: Whereof many being delivered in a Language proper unto Judæa and neighbour Countries are imperfectly apprehended by the common Reader, and now doubtfully made out, even by the Jewish Expositour.

And even in those which are confessedly known, the elegancy is often lost in the apprehension of the Reader, unacquainted with such Vegetables, or but nakedly knowing their natures: whereof holding a pertinent apprehension, you cannot pass over such expressions without some doubt or want of satisfaction in your judgment. Hereof we shall onely hint or discourse some few which I could not but take notice of in the reading of holy Scripture.


Many Plants are mention’d in Scripture which are not distinctly known in our Countries, or under such Names in the Original, as they are fain to be rendred by analogy, or by the name of Vegetables of good affinity unto them, and so maintain the textual sense, though in some variation from identity.

The Observations. Kikaion.

1. The Plant which afforded a shade unto Jonah,[189] mention’d by the name of Kikaion, and still retained at least marginally in some Translations, to avoid obscurity Jerome rendred Hedera or Ivy; which notwithstanding (except in its scandent nature) agreed not fully with the other, that is, to grow up in a night, or be consumed with a Worm; Ivy being of no swift growth, little subject unto Worms, and a scarce Plant about Babylon.


2. That Hyssope is taken for that Plant which cleansed the Leper, being a well scented, and very abstersive Simple, may well be admitted; so we be not too confident, that it is strictly the same with our common Hyssope: The Hyssope of those parts differing from that of ours; as Bellonius hath observed in the Hyssope which grows in Judæa, and the Hyssope of the Wall mention’d in the Works of Solomon, no kind of our Hyssope; and may tolerably be taken for some kind of minor Capillary, which best makes out the Antithesis with the Cedar. Nor when we meet with Libanotis, is it to be conceived our common Rosemary, which is rather the first kind thereof among several others, used by the Ancients.

Hemlock. Hosea 10. 4. Amos 6. 2.

3. That it must be taken for Hemlock, which is twice so rendred in our Translation, will hardly be made out, otherwise than in the intended sense, and implying some Plant, wherein bitterness or a poisonous quality is considerable.



4. What Tremelius rendreth Spina, and the Vulgar Translation Paliurus, and others make some kind of Rhamnus, is allowable in the sense; and we contend not about the species, since they are known Thorns in those Countries, and in our Fields or Gardens among us: and so common in Judæa, that men conclude the thorny Crown of our Saviour was made either of Paliurus or Rhamnus.


5. Whether the Bush which burnt and consumed not, were properly a Rubus or Bramble, was somewhat doubtfull from the Original and some Translations, had not the Evangelist, and S. Paul express’d the same by the Greek word Bάtos, which from the description of Dioscorides, Herbarists accept for Rubus; although the same word Bάtos expresseth not onely the Rubus or kinds of Bramble, but other Thorn-bushes, and the Hipp-briar is also named Κυνοσβάτος, or the Dog-briar or Bramble.

Myrica. Cant. 1. 14.

6. That Myrica is rendred, Heath, sounds instructively enough to our ears, who behold that Plant so common in barren Plains among us: But you cannot but take notice that Erica, or our Heath is not the same Plant with Myrica or Tammarice, described by Theophrastus and Dioscorides, and which Bellonius declareth to grow so plentifully in the Desarts of Judæa and Arabia.

Cypress. Cant. 1. 14.

7. That the βότρυς τῆς Κύπρου, botrus Cypri, or Clusters of Cypress, should have any reference to the Cypress Tree, according to the original Copher, or Clusters of the noble Vine of Cyprus, which might be planted into Judæa, may seem to others allowable in some latitude. But there seeming some noble Odour to be implied in this place, you may probably conceive that the expression drives at the Κύπρος of[224] Dioscorides, some oriental kind of Ligustrum or Alcharma, which Dioscorides and Pliny mention under the name of Κύπρος and Cyprus, and to grow about Ægypt and Ascalon, producing a sweet and odorate bush of Flowers, and out of which was made the famous Oleum Cyprinum.

But why it should be rendred Camphyre your judgment cannot but doubt, who know that our Camphyre was unknown unto the Ancients, and no ingredient into any composition of great Antiquity: that learned men long conceived it a bituminous and fossile Body, and our latest experience discovereth it to be the resinous substance of a Tree, in Borneo and China; and that the Camphyre that we use is a neat preparation of the same.

Shittah Tree, etc. Isa. 41. 19.

8. When ’tis said in Isaiah 41. I will plant in the wilderness the Cedar, the Shittah Tree, and the Myrtle and the Oil Tree, I will set in the Desart, the Firre Tree, and the Pine, and the Box Tree: Though some doubt may be made of the Shittah Tree, yet all these Trees here mentioned being such as are ever green, you will more emphatically apprehend the mercifull meaning of God in this mention of no fading, but always verdant Trees in dry and desart places.

Grapes of Eshcol. Num. 13. 23.

9. And they cut down a Branch with one cluster of Grapes, and they bare it between two upon a Staff, and they brought Pomegranates and Figgs. This cluster of Grapes brought upon a Staff by the Spies, was an incredible sight, in Philo Judæus,[190] seem’d notable in the eyes of the Israelites, but more wonderfull in our own, who look onely upon Northern Vines. But herein you are like to consider, that the Cluster was thus carefully carried to represent it entire, without bruising or breaking;[225] that this was not one Bunch but an extraordinary Cluster, made up of many depending upon one gross stalk. And however, might be parallel’d with the Eastern Clusters of Margiana and Caramania, if we allow but half the expressions of Pliny and Strabo, whereof one would lade a Curry or small Cart; and may be made out by the clusters of the Grapes of Rhodes presented unto Duke Radzivil,[191] each containing three parts of an Ell in compass, and the Grapes as big as Prunes.

Ingred. of holy Perfume. Stacte, etc. Exod. 30.34, 35.

10. Some things may be doubted in the species of the holy Ointment and Perfume. With Amber, Musk and Civet we meet not in the Scripture, nor any Odours from Animals; except we take the Onycha of that Perfume for the Covercle of a Shell-fish called Unguis Odoratus, or Blatta Byzantina, which Dioscorides affirmeth to be taken from a Shell-fish of the Indian Lakes, which feeding upon the Aromatical Plants is gathered when the Lakes are drie. But whether that which we now call Blatta Byzantina, or Unguis Odoratus, be the same with that odorate one of Antiquity, great doubt may be made; since Dioscorides saith it smelled like Castoreum, and that which we now have is of an ungratefull odour.

No little doubt may be also made of Galbanum prescribed in the same Perfume, if we take it for Galbanum which is of common use among us, approaching the evil scent of Assa Fœtida; and not rather for Galbanum of good odour, as the adjoining words declare, and the original Chelbena will bear; which implies a fat or resinous substance, that which is commonly known among us being properly a gummous body and dissoluble also in Water.

The holy Ointment of Stacte or pure Myrrh, distilling from the Plant without expression or firing, of[226] Cinnamon, Cassia and Calamus, containeth less questionable species, if the Cinnamon of the Ancients were the same with ours, or managed after the same manner. For thereof Dioscorides made his noble Unguent. And Cinnamon was so highly valued by Princes, that Cleopatra carried it unto her Sepulchre with her Jewels; which was also kept in wooden Boxes among the rarities of Kings: and was of such a lasting nature, that at his composing of Treacle for the Emperor Severus, Galen made use of some which had been laid up by Adrianus.

Husks eaten by the Prodigal. Luke 15. 16.

11. That the Prodigal Son desired to eat of Husks given unto Swine, will hardly pass in your apprehension for the Husks of Pease, Beans, or such edulious Pulses; as well understanding that the textual word Κεράτιον or Ceration, properly intendeth the Fruit of the Siliqua Tree so common in Syria, and fed upon by Men and Beasts; called also by some the Fruit of the Locust Tree, and Panis Sancti Johannis, as conceiving it to have been part of the Diet of the Baptist in the Desart. The Tree and Fruit is not onely common in Syria and the Eastern parts, but also well known in Apuglia, and the Kingdom of Naples, growing along the Via Appia, from Fundi unto Mola; the hard Cods or Husks making a rattling noise in windy weather, by beating against one another: called by the Italians Carobe or Carobole, and by the French Carouges. With the sweet Pulp hereof some conceive that the Indians preserve Ginger, Mirabolans and Nutmegs. Of the same (as Pliny delivers) the Ancients made one kind of Wine, strongly expressing the Juice thereof; and so they might after give the expressed and less usefull part of the Cods, and remaining Pulp unto their Swine: which being no gustless or unsatisfying[227] Offal, might be well desired by the Prodigal in his hunger.

Cucumbers etc. of Ægypt.

12. No marvel it is that the Israelites having lived long in a well watred Country, and been acquainted with the noble Water of Nilus, should complain for Water in the dry and barren Wilderness. More remarkable it seems that they should extoll and linger after the Cucumbers and Leeks, Onions and Garlick in Ægypt: wherein notwithstanding lies a pertinent expression of the Diet of that Country in ancient times, even as high as the building of the Pyramids, when Herodotus delivereth, that so many Talents were spent in Onions and Garlick, for the Food of Labourers and Artificers; and is also answerable unto their present plentifull Diet in Cucumbers, and the great varieties thereof, as testified by Prosper Alpinus, who spent many years in Ægypt.

Forbidden Fruit. Gen. 2. 17. etc.

13. What Fruit that was which our first Parents tasted in Paradise, from the disputes of learned men seems yet indeterminable. More clear it is that they cover’d their nakedness or secret parts with Figg Leaves; which when I reade, I cannot but call to mind the several considerations which Antiquity had of the Figg Tree, in reference unto those parts, particularly how Figg Leaves by sundry Authours are described to have some resemblance unto the Genitals, and so were aptly formed for such contection of those parts; how also in that famous Statua of Praxiteles, concerning Alexander and Bucephalus, the Secret Parts are veil’d with Figg Leaves; how this Tree was sacred unto Priapus, and how the Diseases of the Secret Parts have derived their Name from Figgs.

Balsam. Oil. Luke 10. 34.

14. That the good Samaritan coming from Jericho used any of the Judean Balsam upon the wounded[228] Traveller, is not to be made out, and we are unwilling to disparage his charitable Surgery in pouring Oil into a green Wound; and therefore when ’tis said he used Oil and Wine, may rather conceive that he made an Oinelæum or medicine of Oil and Wine beaten up and mixed together, which was no improper Medicine, and is an Art now lately studied by some so to incorporate Wine and Oil that they may lastingly hold together, which some pretend to have, and call it Oleum Samaritanum, or Samaritans Oil.

Pulse of Daniel. Dan. 1. 12.

15. When Daniel would not pollute himself with the Diet of the Babylonians, he probably declined Pagan commensation, or to eat of Meats forbidden to the Jews, though common at their Tables, or so much as to taste of their Gentile Immolations, and Sacrifices abominable unto his Palate.

But when ’tis said that he made choice of the Diet of Pulse and Water, whether he strictly confined unto a leguminous Food, according to the Vulgar Translation, some doubt may be raised, from the original word Zeragnim, which signifies Seminalia, and is so set down in the Margin of Arias Montanus; and the Greek word Spermata, generally expressing Seeds, may signifie any edulious or cerealious Grains besides ὄσπρια or leguminous Seeds.

Yet if he strictly made choice of a leguminous Food, and Water instead of his portion from the King’s Table, he handsomely declined the Diet which might have been put upon him, and particularly that which was called the Potibasis of the King, which as Athenæus informeth implied the Bread of the King, made of Barley, and Wheat, and the Wine of Cyprus, which he drank in an oval Cup. And therefore distinctly from that he chose plain Fare of Water, and[229] the gross Diet of Pulse, and that perhaps not made into Bread, but parched, and tempered with Water.

Now that herein (beside the special benediction of God) he made choice of no improper Diet to keep himself fair and plump and so to excuse the Eunuch his Keeper, Physicians will not deny, who acknowledge a very nutritive and impinguating faculty in Pulses, in leguminous Food, and in several sorts of Grains and Corns, is not like to be doubted by such who consider that this was probably a great part of the Food of our Forefathers before the Floud, the Diet also of Jacob: and that the Romans (called therefore Pultifagi) fed much on Pulse for six hundred years; that they had no Bakers for that time: and their Pistours were such as, before the use of Mills, beat out and cleansed their Corn. As also that the Athletick Diet was of Pulse, Alphiton, Maza, Barley and Water; whereby they were advantaged sometimes to an exquisite state of health, and such as was not without danger. And therefore though Daniel were no Eunuch, and of a more fatning and thriving temper, as some have phancied, yet was he by this kind of Diet, sufficiently maintained in a fair and carnous state of Body, and accordingly his Picture not improperly drawn, that is, not meagre and lean, like Jeremy’s, but plump and fair, answerable to the most authentick draught of the Vatican, and the late German Luther’s Bible.

The Cynicks in Athenæus make iterated Courses of Lentils, and prefer that Diet before the Luxury of Seleucus. The present Ægyptians, who are observed by Alpinus to be the fattest Nation, and Men to have breasts like Women, owe much, as he conceiveth, unto the Water of Nile, and their Diet of Rice, Pease, Lentils and white Cicers. The Pulse-eating Cynicks[230] and Stoicks, are all very long livers in Laertius. And Daniel must not be accounted of few years, who, being carried away Captive in the Reign of Joachim, by King Nebuchadnezzar, lived, by Scripture account, unto the first year of Cyrus.

Jacob’s Rods. Gen. 30. 31.

16. And Jacob took Rods of green Poplar, and of the Hazel and the Chesnut Tree, and pilled white streaks in them, and made the white appear which was in the Rods, etc. Men multiply the Philosophy of Jacob, who, beside the benediction of God, and the powerfull effects of imagination, raised in the Goats and Sheep from pilled and party-coloured objects, conceive that he chose out these particular Plants above any other, because he understood they had a particular virtue unto the intended effects, according unto the conception of Georgius Venetus.[192]

Whereto you will hardly assent, at least till you be better satisfied and assured concerning the true species of the Plants intended in the Text, or find a clearer consent and uniformity in the Translation: For what we render Poplar, Hazel and Chesnut, the Greek translateth Virgam styracinam, nucinam, plataninam, which some also render a Pomegranate: and so observing this variety of interpretations concerning common and known Plants among us, you may more reasonably doubt, with what propriety or assurance others less known be sometimes rendred unto us.

Lilies of the Field. Matt. 6. 28.

17. Whether in the Sermon of the Mount, the Lilies of the Field did point at the proper Lilies, or whether those Flowers grew wild in the place where our Saviour preached, some doubt may be made: because Κρίνον the word in that place is accounted of the same signification with Λείριον, and that in Homer is taken for all manner of specious Flowers: so received[231] by Eustachius, Hesychius, and the Scholiast upon Apollonius Rhodius, Καθόλου τὰ ἄνθη Λείρια λέγεται. And Κρίνον is also received in the same latitude, not signifying onely Lilies, but applied unto Daffodils, Hyacinths, Iris’s, and the Flowers of Colocynthis.

Under the like latitude of acception, are many expressions in the Canticles to be received. And when it is said he feedeth among the Lilies, therein may be also implied other specious Flowers, not excluding the proper Lilies. But in that expression, the Lilies drop forth Myrrhe, neither proper Lilies nor proper Myrrhe can be apprehended, the one not proceeding from the other, but may be received in a Metaphorical sense: and in some latitude may be also made out from the roscid and honey drops observable in the Flowers of Martagon, and inverted flowred Lilies, and, ’tis like, is the standing sweet Dew on the white eyes of the Crown Imperial, now common among us.

And the proper Lily may be intended in that expression of 1 Kings 7. that the brazen Sea was of the thickness of a hand breadth, and the brim like a Lily. For the figure of that Flower being round at the bottom, and somewhat repandous, or inverted at the top, doth handsomely illustrate the comparison.

But that the Lily of the Valley, mention’d in the Canticles, Cant. 2. I am the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the Valleys, is that Vegetable which passeth under the same name with us, that is Lilium convallium, or the May Lily, you will more hardly believe, who know with what insatisfaction the most learned Botanists reduce that Plant unto any described by the Ancients; that Anguillara will have it to be the Oenanthe of Athenæus, Cordus the Pothos of Theophrastus; and Lobelius that the Greeks had not described it; who[232] find not six Leaves in the Flower agreeably to all Lilies, but onely six small divisions in the Flower, who find it also to have a single, and no bulbous Root, nor Leaves shooting about the bottom, nor the Stalk round, but angular. And that the learned Bauhinus hath not placed it in the Classis of Lilies, but nervifolious Plants.

Fitches, Cummin, &c. in Isa. 28. 25

18. Doth he not cast abroad the Fitches, and scatter the Cummin Seed, and cast in the principal Wheat, and the appointed Barley, and the Rye in their place: Herein though the sense may hold under the names assigned, yet is it not so easie to determine the particular Seeds and Grains, where the obscure original causeth such differing Translations. For in the Vulgar we meet with Milium and Gith, which our Translation declineth, placing Fitches for Gith, and Rye for Milium or Millet, which notwithstanding is retained by the Dutch.

That it might be Melanthium, Nigella, or Gith, may be allowably apprehended, from the frequent use of the Seed thereof among the Jews and other Nations, as also from the Translation of Tremellius; and the Original implying a black Seed, which is less than Cummin, as, out of Aben Ezra, Buxtorfius hath expounded it.

But whereas Milium or Κέγχρος of the Septuagint is by ours rendred Rye, there is little similitude or affinity between those Grains; For Milium is more agreeable unto Spelta or Espaut, as the Dutch and others still render it.

That we meet so often with Cummin Seed in many parts of Scripture in reference unto Judæa, a Seed so abominable at present unto our Palates and Nostrils, will not seem strange unto any who consider the[233] frequent use thereof among the Ancients, not onely in medical but dietetical use and practice: For their Dishes were filled therewith, and the noblest festival preparations in Apicius were not without it: And even in the Polenta, and parched Corn, the old Diet of the Romans, (as Pliny recordeth) unto every Measure they mixed a small proportion of Lin-seed and Cummin-seed.

And so Cummin is justly set down among things of vulgar and common use, when it is said in Matthew 23. v. 23. You pay Tithe of Mint, Annise and Cummin: but how to make out the translation of Annise we are still to seek, there being no word in that Text which properly signifieth Annise: the Original being Ἄνηθον, which the Latins call Anethum, and is properly englished Dill.

That among many expressions, allusions and illustrations made in Scripture from Corns, there is no mention made of Oats, so usefull a Grain among us, will not seem very strange unto you, till you can clearly discover that it was a Grain of ordinary use in those parts; who may also find that Theophrastus, who is large about other Grains, delivers very little of it. That Dioscorides is also very short therein. And Galen delivers that it was of some use in Asia minor, especially in Mysia, and that rather for Beasts than Men: And Pliny affirmeth that the Pulticula thereof was most in use among the Germans. Yet that the Jews were not without all use of this Grain seems confirmable from the Rabbinical account, who reckon five Grains liable unto their Offerings, whereof the Cake presented might be made; that is, Wheat, Oats, Rye, and two sorts of Barley.

Ears of Corn. Matt. 12. 1.

19. Why the Disciples being hungry pluck’d the[234] Ears of Corn, it seems strange to us, who observe that men half starved betake not themselves to such supply; except we consider the ancient Diet of Alphiton and Polenta, the Meal of dried and parched Corn, or that which was Ὠμήλυσις, or Meal of crude and unparched Corn, wherewith they being well acquainted, might hope for some satisfaction from the Corn yet in the Husk; that is, from the nourishing pulp or mealy part within it.

Stubble of Ægypt Exod. 5.7, etc.

20. The inhumane oppression of the Ægyptian Task-masters, who, not content with the common tale of Brick, took also from the Children of Israel their allowance of Straw, and forced them to gather Stubble where they could find it, will be more nearly apprehended, if we consider how hard it was to acquire any quantity of Stubble in Ægypt, where the Stalk of Corn was so short, that to acquire an ordinary measure, it required more than ordinary labour; as is discoverable from that account, which Pliny[193] hath happily left unto us. In the Corn gather’d in Ægypt the Straw is never a Cubit long: because the Seed lieth very shallow, and hath no other nourishment than from the Mudd and Slime left by the River; For under it is nothing but Sand and Gravel.

So that the expression of Scripture is more Emphatical than is commonly apprehended, when ’tis said, The people were scattered abroad through all the Land of Ægypt to gather Stubble instead of Straw. For the Stubble being very short, the acquist was difficult; a few Fields afforded it not, and they were fain to wander far to obtain a sufficient quantity of it.

Flowers of the Vine. Cant. 2. 13.

21. It is said in the Song of Solomon, that the Vines with the tender Grape give a good smell. That the Flowers of the Vine should be Emphatically noted to[235] give a pleasant smell, seems hard unto our Northern Nostrils, which discover not such Odours, and smell them not in full Vineyards; whereas in hot Regions, and more spread and digested Flowers, a sweet savour may be allowed, denotable from several humane expressions, and the practice of the Ancients, in putting the dried Flowers of the Vine into new Wine to give it a pure and flosculous race or spirit, which Wine was therefore called Οἰνάθινον, allowing unto every Cadus two pounds of dried Flowers.

And, therefore, the Vine flowering but in the Spring, it cannot but seem an impertinent objection of the Jews, that the Apostles were full of new Wine at Pentecost when it was not to be found. Wherefore we may rather conceive that the word Γλεύκυ[194] in that place implied not new Wine or Must, but some generous strong and sweet Wine, wherein more especially lay the power of inebriation.

But if it be to be taken for some kind of Must, it might be some kind of Ἀεγίλευκος, or long-lasting Must, which might be had at any time of the year, and which, as Pliny delivereth, they made by hindring, and keeping the Must from fermentation or working, and so it kept soft and sweet for no small time after.

The Olive Leaf in Gen. 8. 11.

22. When the Dove, sent out of the Ark, return’d with a green Olive Leaf, according to the Original: how the Leaf, after ten Months, and under water, should still maintain a verdure or greenness, need not much amuse the Reader, if we consider that the Olive Tree is Ἀείφυλλον, or continually green; that the Leaves are of a bitter taste, and of a fast and lasting substance. Since we also find fresh and green Leaves among the Olives which we receive from remote Countries; and since the Plants at the bottom of[236] the Sea, and on the sides of Rocks, maintain a deep and fresh verdure.

How the Tree should stand so long in the Deluge under Water, may partly be allowed from the uncertain determination of the Flows and Currents of that time, and the qualification of the saltness of the Sea, by the admixture of fresh Water, when the whole watery Element was together.

And it may be signally illustrated from the like examples in Theophrastus[195] and Pliny[196] in words to this effect: Even the Sea affordeth Shrubs and Trees; In the red Sea whole Woods do live, namely of Bays and Olives bearing Fruit. The Souldiers of Alexander, who sailed into India, made report, that the Tides were so high in some Islands, that they overflowed, and covered the Woods, as high as Plane and Poplar Trees. The lower sort wholly, the greater all but the tops, whereto the Mariners fastned their Vessels at high Waters, and at the root in the Ebb; That the Leaves of these Sea Trees while under water looked green, but taken out presently dried with the heat of the Sun. The like is delivered by Theophrastus, that some Oaks do grow and bear Acrons under the Sea.

Grain of Mustard-seed in S. Matt 13. 31, 32.

23. The Kingdom of Heaven is like to a grain of Mustard-seed, which a Man took and sowed in his Field, which indeed is the least of all Seeds; but when ’tis grown is the greatest among Herbs, and becometh a Tree, so that the Birds of the Air come and lodge in the Branches thereof.

Luke 13. 19. It is like a grain of Mustard-seed, which a Man took and cast it into his Garden, and it waxed a great Tree, and the Fowls of the Air lodged in the Branches thereof.

This expression by a grain of Mustard-seed, will not[237] seem so strange unto you, who well consider it. That it is simply the least of Seeds, you cannot apprehend, if you have beheld the Seeds of Rapunculus, Marjorane, Tobacco, and the smallest Seed of Lunaria.

But you may well understand it to be the smallest Seed among Herbs which produce so big a Plant, or the least of herbal Plants, which arise unto such a proportion, implied in the expression; the smallest of Seeds, and becometh the greatest of Herbs.

And you may also grant that it is the smallest of Seeds of Plants apt to δενδρίζειν, arborescere, fruticescere, or to grow unto a ligneous substance, and from an herby and oleraceous Vegetable, to become a kind of Tree, and to be accounted among the Dendrolachana, or Arboroleracea; as upon strong Seed, Culture and good Ground, is observable in some Cabbages, Mallows, and many more, and therefore expressed by γίνεται τὸ δένδρον, and γίνεται εἰς τὸν δένδρον, it becometh a Tree, or arborescit, as Beza rendreth it.

Nor if warily considered doth the expression contain such difficulty. For the Parable may not ground it self upon generals, or imply any or every grain of Mustard, but point at such a grain as from its fertile spirit, and other concurrent advantages, hath the success to become arboreous, shoot into such a magnitude, and acquire the like tallness. And unto such a Grain the Kingdom of Heaven is likened which from such slender beginnings shall find such increase and grandeur.

The expression also that it might grow into such dimensions that Birds might lodge in the Branches thereof, may be literally conceived; if we allow the luxuriancy of plants in Judæa, above our Northern Regions; If we accept of but half the Story taken[238] notice of by Tremellius, from the Jerusalem Talmud, of a Mustard Tree that was to be climbed like a Figg Tree; and of another, under whose shade a Potter daily wrought: and it may somewhat abate our doubts, if we take in the advertisement of Herodotus concerning lesser Plants of Milium and Sesamum in the Babylonian Soil: Milium ac Sesamum in proceritatem instar arborum crescere, etsi mihi compertum, tamen memorare supersedeo, probè sciens cis qui nunquam Babyloniam regionem adierunt perquam incredibile visum iri. We may likewise consider that the word κατασκηνῶσαι doth not necessarily signifie making a Nest, but rather sitting, roosting, covering and resting in the Boughs, according as the same word is used by the Septuagint in other places[197] as the Vulgar rendreth it in this, inhabitant, as our Translation, lodgeth, and the Rhemish, resteth in the Branches.

The Rod of Aaron. Numb. 17. 8.

24. And it came to pass that on the morrow Moses went into the Tabernacle of witness, and behold the Rod of Aaron for the House of Levi was budded, and brought forth Buds, and bloomed Blossomes, and yielded Almonds. In the contention of the Tribes and decision of priority and primogeniture of Aaron, declared by the Rod, which in a night budded, flowred and brought forth Almonds, you cannot but apprehend a propriety in the Miracle from that species of Tree which leadeth in the Vernal germination of the year, unto all the Classes of Trees; and so apprehend how properly in a night and short space of time the Miracle arose, and somewhat answerable unto its nature the Flowers and Fruit appeared in this precocious Tree, and whose original Name[198] implies such speedy efflorescence, as in its proper nature flowering in February, and shewing its Fruit in March.


This consideration of that Tree maketh the expression in Jeremy Jer. 1. 11. more Emphatical, when ’tis said, What seest thou? and he said, A Rod of an Almond Tree. Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen, for I will hasten the Word to perform it. I will be quick and forward like the Almond Tree, to produce the effects of my word, and hasten to display my judgments upon them.

And we may hereby more easily apprehend the expression in Ecclesiastes;Eccles. 12. 5. When the Almond Tree shall flourish. That is when the Head, which is the prime part, and first sheweth it self in the world, shall grow white, like the Flowers of the Almond Tree, whose Fruit, as Athenæus delivereth, was first called Κάρηνον, or the Head, from some resemblance and covering parts of it.

How properly the priority was confirmed by a Rod or Staff, and why the Rods and Staffs of the Princes were chosen for this decision, Philologists will consider. For these were the badges, signs and cognisances of their places, and were a kind of Sceptre in their hands, denoting their supereminencies. The Staff of Divinity is ordinarily described in the hands of Gods and Goddesses in old draughts. Trojan and Grecian Princes were not without the like, whereof the Shoulders of Thersites felt from the hands of Ulysses. Achilles in Homer, as by a desperate Oath, swears by his wooden Sceptre, which should never bud nor bear Leaves again; which seeming the greatest impossibility to him, advanceth the Miracle of Aaron’s Rod. And if it could be well made out that Homer had seen the Books of Moses, in that expression of Achilles, he might allude unto this Miracle.

That power which proposed the experiment by[240] Blossomes in the Rod, added also the Fruit of Almonds; the Text not strictly making out the Leaves, and so omitting the middle germination: the Leaves properly coming after the Flowers, and before the Almonds. And therefore if you have well perused Medals, you cannot but observe how in the impress of many Shekels, which pass among us by the name of the Jerusalem Shekels, the Rod of Aaron is improperly laden with many Leaves, whereas that which is shewn under the name of the Samaritan Shekel seems most conformable unto the Text, which describeth the Fruit without Leaves.

The Vine in Gen. 49. 11.

25. Binding his Foal unto the Vine, and his Asses Colt unto the choice Vine.

That Vines, which are commonly supported, should grow so large and bulky, as to be fit to fasten their Juments, and Beasts of labour unto them, may seem a hard expression unto many: which notwithstanding may easily be admitted, if we consider the account of Pliny, that in many places out of Italy Vines do grow without any stay or support: nor will it be otherwise conceived of lusty Vines, if we call to mind how the same Authour[199] delivereth, that the Statua of Jupiter was made out of a Vine; and that out of one single Cyprian Vine a Scale or Ladder was made that reached unto the Roof of the Temple of Diana at Ephesus.

Rose of Jericho. Ecclus. 24. 14.

26. I was exalted as a Palm Tree in Engaddi, and as a Rose Plant in Jericho. That the Rose of Jericho, or that Plant which passeth among us under that denomination, was signified in this Text, you are not like to apprehend with some, who also name it the Rose of S. Mary, and deliver, that it openeth the Branches, and Flowers upon the Eve of our Saviour’s Nativity:[241] But rather conceive it some proper kind of Rose, which thrived and prospered in Jericho more than in the neighbour Countries. For our Rose of Jericho is a very low and hard Plant, a few inches above the ground; one whereof brought from Judæa I have kept by me many years, nothing resembling a Rose Tree, either in Flowers, Branches, Leaves or Growth; and so, improper to answer the Emphatical word of exaltation in the Text: growing not only about Jericho, but other parts of Judæa and Arabia, as Bellonius hath observed: which being a drie and ligneous Plant, is preserved many years, and though crumpled and furdled up, yet, if infused in Water, will swell and display its parts.

Turpentine Tree in Ecclus. 24. 16.

27. Quasi Terebinthus extendi ramos, when it is said in the same Chapter, as a Turpentine Tree have I stretched out my Branches: it will not seem strange unto such as have either seen that Tree, or examined its description: For it is a Plant that widely displayeth its Branches: and though in some European Countries it be but of a low and fruticeous growth, yet Pliny[200] observeth that it is great in Syria, and so allowably, or at least not improperly mentioned in the expression of Hosea[201] according to the Vulgar Translation. Super capita montium sacrificant, etc. sub quercu, populo et terebintho, quoniam bona est umbra ejus. And this diffusion and spreading of its Branches, hath afforded the Proverb of Terebintho stultior, applicable unto arrogant or boasting persons, who spread and display their own acts, as Erasmus hath observed.

Pomegranate in 1 Sam. 14. 2.

28. It is said in our Translation. Saul tarried in the uppermost parts of Gibeah, under a Pomegranate Tree which is in Migron: and the people which were with him were about six hundred men. And when it is said in[242] some Latin Translations, Saul morabatur fixo tentorio sub Malogranato, you will not be ready to take in the common literal sense, who know that a Pomegranate Tree is but low of growth, and very unfit to pitch a Tent under it; and may rather apprehend it as the name of a place, or the Rock of Rimmon, or Pomegranate; so named from Pomegranates which grew there, and which many think to have been the same place mentioned in Judges.[202]

A Green Field in Wisd. 19. 7.

29. It is said in the Book of Wisedom, Where water stood before, drie land appeared, and out of the red Sea a way appeared without impediment, and out of the violent streams a green Field; or as the Latin renders it, Campus germinans de profundo: whereby it seems implied that the Israelites passed over a green Field at the bottom of the Sea: and though most would have this but a Metaphorical expression, yet may it be literally tolerable; and so may be safely apprehended by those that sensibly know what great number of Vegetables (as the several varieties of Alga’s, Sea Lettuce, Phasganium, Conferua, Caulis Marina, Abies, Erica, Tamarice, divers sorts of Muscus, Fucus, Quercus Marina and Corallins) are found at the bottom of the Sea. Since it is also now well known, that the Western Ocean, for many degrees, is covered with Sargasso or Lenticula Marina, and found to arise from the bottom of that Sea; since, upon the coast of Provence by the Isles of Eres, there is a part of the Mediterranean Sea, called la Prairie, or the Meadowy Sea, from the bottom thereof so plentifully covered with Plants: since vast heaps of Weeds are found in the Bellies of some Whales taken in the Northern Ocean, and at a great distance from the Shore: And since the providence of Nature hath provided[243] this shelter for minor Fishes; both for their spawn, and safety of their young ones. And this might be more peculiarly allowed to be spoken of the Red Sea, since the Hebrews named it Suph, or the Weedy Sea: and, also, seeing Theophrastus and Pliny, observing the growth of Vegetables under water, have made their chief illustrations from those in the Red Sea.


30. You will readily discover how widely they are mistaken, who accept the Sycamore mention’d in several parts of Scripture for the Sycamore, or Tree of that denomination, with us: which is properly but one kind or difference of Acer, and bears no Fruit with any resemblance unto a Figg.

But you will rather, thereby, apprehend the true and genuine Sycamore, or Sycaminus, which is a stranger in our parts. A Tree (according to the description of Theophrastus, Dioscorides and Galen) resembling a Mulberry Tree in the Leaf, but in the Fruit a Figg; which it produceth not in the Twiggs but in the Trunck or greater Branches, answerable to the Sycamore of Ægypt, the Ægyptian Figg or Giamez of the Arabians, described by Prosper Alpinus, with a Leaf somewhat broader than a Mulberry, and in its Fruit like a Figg. Insomuch that some have fancied it to have had its first production from a Figg Tree grafted on a Mulberry.

It is a Tree common in Judæa, whereof they made frequent use in Buildings; and so understood, it explaineth that expression in Isaiah:[203] Sycamori excisi sunt, Cedros substituemus. The Bricks are fallen down, we will build with hewen Stones: The Sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into Cedars.

It is a broad spreading Tree, not onely fit for[244] Walks, Groves and Shade, but also affording profit. And therefore it is said that King David[204] appointed Baalhanan to be over his Olive Trees and Sycamores, which were in great plenty; and it is accordingly delivered,[205] that Solomon made Cedars to be as the Sycamore Trees that are in the Vale for abundance. That is, he planted many, though they did not come to perfection in his days.

And as it grew plentifully about the Plains, so was the Fruit good for Food; and, as Bellonius and late accounts deliver, very refreshing unto Travellers in those hot and drie Countries: whereby the expression of Amos[206] becomes more intelligible, when he said he was an Herdsman, and a gatherer of Sycamore Fruit. And the expression of David[207] also becomes more Emphatical; He destroyed their Vines with Hail, and their Sycamore Trees with Frost. That is, their Sicmoth in the Original, a word in the sound not far from the Sycamore.

Thus when it is said,[208] If ye had Faith as a grain of Mustard-seed, ye might say unto this Sycamine Tree, Be thou plucked up by the roots, and be thou placed in the Sea, and it should obey you: it might be more significantly spoken of this Sycamore; this being described to be Arbor vasta, a large and well rooted Tree, whose removal was more difficult than many others. And so the instance in that Text, is very properly made in the Sycamore Tree, one of the largest and less removable Trees among them. A Tree so lasting and well rooted, that the Sycamore which Zacheus ascended, is still shewn in Judæa unto Travellers; as also the hollow Sycamore at Maturæa in Ægypt, where the blessed Virgin is said to have remained: which though it relisheth of the Legend,[245] yet it plainly declareth what opinion they had of the lasting condition of that Tree, to countenance the Tradition; for which they might not be without some experience, since the learned describer of the Pyramides[209] observeth, that the old Ægyptians made Coffins of this Wood, which he found yet fresh and undecayed among divers of their Mummies.

And thus, also, when Zacheus climbed up into a Sycamore above any other Tree, this being a large and fair one, it cannot be denied that he made choice of a proper and advantageous Tree to look down upon our Saviour.

Increase of Seed 100. fold in Matt. 13. 23.

31. Whether the expression of our Saviour in the Parable of the Sower, and the increase of the Seed unto thirty, sixty and a hundred fold, had any reference unto the ages of Believers, and measures of their Faith, as Children, Young and Old Persons, as to beginners, well advanced and strongly confirmed Christians, as learned men have hinted; or whether in this progressional assent there were any latent Mysteries, as the mystical Interpreters of Numbers may apprehend, I pretend not to determine.

But, how this multiplication may well be conceived, and in what way apprehended, and that this centesimal increase is not naturally strange, you that are no stranger in Agriculture, old and new, are not like to make great doubt.

That every Grain should produce an Ear affording an hundred Grains, is not like to be their conjecture who behold the growth of Corn in our Fields, wherein a common Grain doth produce far less in number. For barley consisting but of two Versus or Rows, seldom exceedeth twenty Grains, that is, ten upon each Στοῖχος, or Row; Rye, of a square figure, is very[246] fruitfull at forty: Wheat, besides the Frit and Uruncus, or imperfect Grains of the small Husks at the top and bottom of the Ear, is fruitfull at ten treble Glumæ or Husks in a Row, each containing but three Grains in breadth, if the middle Grain arriveth at all to perfection; and so maketh up threescore Grains in both sides.

Yet even this centesimal fructification may be admitted in some sorts of Cerealia, and Grains from one Ear: if we take in the Triticum centigranum, or fertilissimum Plinii, Indian Wheat, and Panicum; which, in every Ear, containeth hundreds of Grains.

But this increase may easily be conceived of Grains in their total multiplication, in good and fertile ground, since, if every Grain of Wheat produceth but three Ears, the increase will arise above that number. Nor are we without examples of some grounds which have produced many more Ears, and above this centesimal increase: As Pliny hath left recorded of the Byzacian Field in Africa. Misit ex eo loco Procurator ex uno quadraginta minus germina. Misit et Neroni pariter tercentum quadraginta stipulos, ex uno grano. Cum centessimos quidem Leontini Siciliæ campi fundunt, aliique, et tota Bœtica, et imprimis Ægyptus. And even in our own Country, from one Grain of Wheat sowed in a Garden, I have numbred many more than an hundred.

And though many Grains are commonly lost which come not to sprouting or earing, yet the same is also verified in measure; as that one Bushel should produce a hundred, as is exemplified by the Corn in Gerar;[210] Then Isaac sowed in that Land, and received in that year an hundred fold. That is, as the Chaldee explaineth it, a hundred for one, when he measured it.[247] And this Pliny seems to intend, when he saith of the fertile Byzacian Territory before mentioned, Ex uno centeni quinquaginta modii redduntur. And may be favourably apprehended of the fertility of some grounds in Poland; wherein, after the account of Gaguinus, from Rye sowed in August, come thirty or forty Ears, and a Man on Horseback can scarce look over it. In the Sabbatical Crop of Judæa, there must be admitted a large increase, and probably not short of this centesimal multiplication: For it supplied part of the sixth year, the whole seventh, and eighth untill the Harvest of that year.

The seven years of plenty in Ægypt must be of high increase; when, by storing up but the fifth part, they supplied the whole Land, and many of their neighbours after: for it is said,[211] the Famine was in all the Land about them. And therefore though the causes of the Dearth in Ægypt be made out from the defect of the overflow of Nilus, according to the Dream of Pharaoh; yet was that no cause of the scarcity of the Land of Canaan, which may rather be ascribed to the want of the former and latter rains, for some succeeding years, if their Famine held time and duration with that of Ægypt; as may be probably gather’d from that expression of Joseph,[212] Come down unto me [into Ægypt] and tarry not, and there will I nourish you: (for yet there are five years of Famine) lest thou and thy Household, and all that thou hast come to poverty.

How they preserved their Corn so long in Ægypt may seem hard unto Northern and moist Climates, except we consider the many ways of preservation practised by antiquity, and also take in that handsome account of Pliny; What Corn soever is laid up in the[248] Ear, it taketh no harm keep it as long as you will; although the best and most assured way to keep Corn is in Caves and Vaults under ground, according to the practice of Cappadocia and Thracia.

In Ægypt and Mauritania above all things they look to this, that their Granaries stand on high ground; and how drie so ever their Floor be, they lay a course of Chaff betwixt it and the ground. Besides, they put up their Corn in Granaries and Binns together with the Ear. And Varro delivereth that Wheat laid up in that manner will last fifty years; Millet an hundred; and Beans so conserved in a Cave of Ambracia, were known to last an hundred and twenty years; that is, from the time of King Pyrrhus, unto the Pyratick War under the conduct of Pompey.

More strange it may seem how, after seven years, the Grains conserved should be fruitfull for a new production. For it is said that Joseph delivered Seed unto the Ægyptians, to sow their Land for the eighth year: and Corn after seven years is like to afford little or no production, according to Theophrastus;[213] Ad Sementem semen anniculum optimum putatur, binum deterius et trinum; ultra sterile fermè est, quanquam ad usum cibarium idoneum.

Yet since, from former exemplifications, Corn may be made to last so long, the fructifying power may well be conceived to last in some good proportion, according to the region and place of its conservation, as the same Theophrastus hath observed, and left a notable example from Cappadocia, where Corn might be kept sixty years, and remain fertile at forty; according to his expression thus translated; In Cappadociæ loco quodam petra dicto, triticum ad quadraginta annos[249] fœcundum est, at ad sementem percommodum durare proditum est, sexagenos aut septuagenos ad usum cibarium servari posse idoneum. The situation of that Conservatory, was, as he delivereth, ἱψηλὸν, εὔπνουν, εὔαυρον, high, airy and exposed to several favourable winds. And upon such consideration of winds and ventilation, some conceive the Ægyptian Granaries were made open, the Country being free from rain. Howsoever it was, that contrivance could not be without some hazard:[214] for the great Mists and Dews of that Country might dispose the Corn unto corruption.

More plainly may they mistake, who from some analogy of name (as if Pyramid were derived from Πύρον, Triticum), conceive the Ægyptian Pyramids to have been built for Granaries; or look for any settled Monuments about the Desarts erected for that intention; since their Store-houses were made in the great Towns, according to Scripture expression,[215] He gathered up all the Food of seven years, which was in the Land of Ægypt, and laid up the Food in the Cities: the Food of the Field which was round about every City, laid he up in the same.

Olive Tree in Rom. 11. 24.

32. For if thou wert cut out of the Olive Tree, which is wild by nature, and wert grafted, contrary to nature, into a good Olive Tree, how much more shall these, which be the natural Branches, be grafted into their own Olive Tree? In which place, how answerable to the Doctrine of Husbandry this expression of S. Paul is, you will readily apprehend who understand the rules of insition or grafting, and that way of vegetable propagation; wherein that is contrary to nature, or natural rules which Art observeth: viz. to make use of a Cyons more ignoble than the Stock, or to graft wild upon[250] domestick and good Plants, according as Theophrastus[216] hath anciently observed, and, making instance in the Olive, hath left this Doctrine unto us; Urbanum Sylvestribus ut satis Oleastris inserere. Nam si è contrario Sylvestrem in Urbanos severis, etsi differentia quædam erit, tamen[217] bonæ frugis Arbor nunquam profecto reddetur: which is also agreeable unto our present practice, who graft Pears on Thorns, and Apples upon Crabb Stocks, not using the contrary insition. And when it is said, How much more shall these, which are the natural Branches, be grafted into their own natural Olive Tree? this is also agreeable unto the rule of the same Author; Ἔστι δὲ βελτίων ἐγκεντρισμὸς, ὁμοίων εἰς ὅμοια, Insitio melior est similium in similibus: For the nearer consanguinity there is between the Cyons and the Stock, the readier comprehension is made, and the nobler fructification. According also unto the later caution of Laurenbergius;[218] Arbores domesticæ insitioni destinatæ, semper anteponendæ Sylvestribus. And though the success be good, and may suffice upon Stocks of the same denomination; yet, to be grafted upon their own and Mother Stock, is the nearest insition: which way, though less practised of old, is now much imbraced, and found a notable way for melioration of the Fruit; and much the rather, if the Tree to be grafted on be a good and generous Plant, a good and fair Olive, as the Apostle seems to imply by a peculiar word[219] scarce to be found elsewhere.

It must be also considered, that the Oleaster, or wild Olive, by cutting, transplanting and the best managery of Art, can be made but to produce such Olives as (Theophrastus saith) were particularly named Phaulia, that is, but bad Olives; and that it was reckon’d among Prodigies, for the Oleaster to become an Olive Tree.


And when insition and grafting, in the Text, is applied unto the Olive Tree, it hath an Emphatical sense, very agreeable unto that Tree which is best propagated this way; not at all by surculation, as Theophrastus observeth, nor well by Seed, as hath been observed. Omne semen simile genus perficit, præter oleam, Oleastrum enim generat, hoc est sylvestrem oleam, et non oleam veram.

"If, therefore, thou Roman and Gentile Branch, which wert cut from the wild Olive, art now, by the signal mercy of God, beyond the ordinary and commonly expected way, grafted into the true Olive, the Church of God; if thou, which neither naturally nor by humane art canst be made to produce any good Fruit, and, next to a Miracle, to be made a true Olive, art now by the benignity of God grafted into the proper Olive; how much more shall the Jew, and natural Branch, be grafted into its genuine and mother Tree, wherein propinquity of nature is like, so readily and prosperously, to effect a coalition? And this more especially by the expressed way of insition or implantation, the Olive being not successfully propagable by Seed, nor at all by surculation."

Stork nesting on Firre Trees in Psal. 104. 17.

33. As for the Stork, the Firre Trees are her House. This expression, in our Translation, which keeps close to the Original Chasidah, is somewhat different from the Greek and Latin Translation; nor agreeable unto common observation, whereby they are known commonly to build upon Chimneys, or the tops of Houses, and high Buildings, which notwithstanding, the common Translation may clearly consist with observation, if we consider that this is commonly affirmed of the black Stork, and take notice of the description of Ornithologus in Aldrovandus, that such Storks are often found in[252] divers parts, and that they do in Arboribus nidulari, præsertim in abietibus; Make their Nests on Trees, especially upon Firre Trees. Nor wholly disagreeing unto the practice of the common white Stork, according unto Varro, nidulantur in agris: and the concession of Aldrovandus that sometimes they build on Trees: and the assertion of Bellonius,[220] that men dress them Nests, and place Cradles upon high Trees, in Marish regions, that Storks may breed upon them: which course some observe for Herns and Cormorants with us. And this building of Storks upon Trees, may be also answerable unto the original and natural way of building of Storks before the political habitations of men, and the raising of Houses and high Buildings; before they were invited by such conveniences and prepared Nests, to relinquish their natural places of nidulation. I say, before or where such advantages are not ready; when Swallows found other places than Chimneys, and Daws found other places than holes in high Fabricks to build in.

Balm, in Gen. 43. 11.

34. And, therefore, Israel said carry down the man a present, a little Balm, a little Honey, and Myrrhe, Nuts and Almonds. Now whether this, which Jacob sent, were the proper Balsam extolled by humane Writers, you cannot but make some doubt, who find the Greek Translation to be Ῥητίνη, that is, Resina, and so may have some suspicion that it might be some pure distillation from the Turpentine Tree, which grows prosperously and plentifully in Judæa, and seems so understood by the Arabick; and was indeed esteemed by Theophrastus and Dioscorides, the chiefest of resinous Bodies, and the word Resina Emphatically used for it.

That the Balsam Plant hath grown and prospered in Judæa we believe without dispute. For the same is[253] attested by Theophrastus, Pliny, Justinus, and many more; from the commendation that Galen affordeth of the Balsam of Syria, and the story of Cleopatra, that she obtain’d some Plants of Balsam from Herod the Great to transplant into Ægypt. But whether it was so anciently in Judæa as the time of Jacob; nay, whether this Plant was here before the time of Solomon, that great collectour of Vegetable rarities, some doubt may be made from the account of Josephus, that the Queen of Sheba, a part of Arabia, among presents unto Solomon, brought some Plants of the Balsam Tree, as one of the peculiar estimables of her Country.

Whether this ever had its natural growth, or were an original native Plant of Judæa, much more that it was peculiar unto that Country, a greater doubt may arise: while we reade in Pausanias, Strabo and Diodorus, that it grows also in Arabia, and find in Theophrastus,[221] that it grew in two Gardens about Jericho in Judæa. And more especially whiles we seriously consider that notable discourse between Abdella, Abdachim and Alpinus, concluding the natural and original place of this singular Plant to be in Arabia, about Mecha and Medina, where it still plentifully groweth, and Mountains abound therein. From whence it hath been carefully transplanted by the Basha’s of Grand Cairo, into the Garden of Matarea; where, when it dies, it is repaired again from those parts of Arabia, from whence the Grand Signior yearly receiveth a present of Balsam from the Xeriff of Mecha, still called by the Arabians Balessan; whence they believe arose the Greek appellation Balsam. And since these Balsam-plants are not now to be found in Judæa, and though purposely cultivated, are often lost in Judæa, but everlastingly live, and naturally renew[254] in Arabia; They probably concluded, that those of Judæa were foreign and transplanted from these parts.

All which notwithstanding, since the same Plant may grow naturally and spontaneously in several Countries, and either from inward or outward causes be lost in one Region, while it continueth and subsisteth in another, the Balsam Tree might possibly be a native of Judæa as well as of Arabia; which because de facto it cannot be clearly made out, the ancient expressions of Scripture become doubtfull in this point. But since this Plant hath not, for a long time, grown in Judæa, and still plentifully prospers in Arabia, that which now comes in pretious parcels to us, and still is called the Balsam of Judæa, may now surrender its name, and more properly be called the Balsam of Arabia.

Barley Flax, &c. in Exod. 9. 31.

35. And the Flax and the Barley was smitten; for the Barley was in the Ear, and the Flax was bolled, but the Wheat and the Rye was not smitten, for they were not grown up.[222] How the Barley and the Flax should be smitten in the plague of Hail in Ægypt, and the Wheat and Rye escape, because they were not yet grown up, may seem strange unto English observers, who call Barley Summer Corn sown so many months after Wheat, and, beside hordeum Polystichon, or big Barley, sowe not Barley in the Winter, to anticipate the growth of Wheat.

And the same may also seem a preposterous expression unto all who do not consider the various Agriculture, and different Husbandry of Nations, and such as was practised in Ægypt, and fairly proved to have been also used in Judæa, wherein their Barley Harvest was before that of Wheat; as is confirmable from that expression in Ruth, that she came into Bethlehem at the[255] beginning of Barley Harvest, and staid unto the end of Wheat Harvest; from the death of Manasses the Father of Judith, Emphatically expressed to have happened in the Wheat Harvest, and more advanced heat of the Sun; and from the custom of the Jews, to offer the Barley Sheaf of the first fruits in March, and a Cake of Wheat Flower but at the end of Pentecost. Consonant unto the practice of the Ægyptians, who (as Theophrastus delivereth) sowed their Barley early in reference to their first Fruits; and also the common rural practice, recorded by the same Authour, Maturè seritur Triticum, Hordeum, quod etiam maturius seritur; Wheat and Barley are sowed early, but Barley earlier of the two.

Flax was also an early Plant, as may be illustrated from the neighbour Country of Canaan. For the Israelites kept the Passover in Gilgal in the fourteenth day of the first Month, answering unto part of our March, having newly passed Jordan: And the Spies which were sent from Shittim unto Jericho, not many days before, were hid by Rahab under the stalks of Flax, which lay drying on the top of her House; which sheweth that the Flax was already and newly gathered. For this was the first preparation of Flax, and before fluviation or rotting, which, after Pliny’s account, was after Wheat Harvest.

But the Wheat and the Rye were not smitten, for they were not grown up. The Original signifies that it was hidden, or dark, the Vulgar and Septuagint that it was serotinous or late, and our old Translation that it was late sown. And so the expression and interposition of Moses, who well understood the Husbandry of Ægypt, might Emphatically declare the state of Wheat and Rye in that particular year; and if so, the same is [256] solvable from the time of the floud of Nilus, and the measure of its inundation. For if it were very high, and over-drenching the ground, they were forced to later Seed-time; and so the Wheat and the Rye escaped; for they were more slowly growing Grains, and, by reason of the greater inundation of the River, were sown later than ordinary that year, especially in the Plains near the River, where the ground drieth latest.

Some think the plagues of Ægypt were acted in one Month, others but in the compass of twelve. In the delivery of Scripture there is no account, of what time of the year or particular Month they fell out; but the account of these grains, which were either smitten or escaped, make the plague of Hail to have probably hapned in February: This may be collected from the new and old account of the Seed time and Harvest in Ægypt. For, according to the account of Radzevil,[223] the river rising in June, and the Banks being cut in September, they sow about S. Andrews, when the Floud is retired, and the moderate driness of the ground permitteth. So that the Barley anticipating the Wheat, either in time of sowing or growing, might be in Ear in February.

The account of Pliny[224] is little different. They cast the Seed upon the Slime and Mudd when the River is down, which commonly happeneth in the beginning of November. They begin to reap and cut down a little before the Calends of April, about the middle of March, and in the Month of May their Harvest is in. So that Barley anticipating Wheat, it might be in Ear in February, and Wheat not yet grown up, at least to the Spindle or Ear, to be destroyed by the Hail. For they cut down about the middle of March, at least[257] their forward Corns, and in the Month of May all sorts of Corns were in.

The turning of the River into Bloud shews in what Month this happened not. That is, not when the River had overflown; for it is said, the Ægyptians digged round about the River for Water to drink, which they could not have done, if the River had been out, and the Fields under Water.

In the same Text you cannot, without some hesitation, pass over the translation of Rye, which the Original nameth Cassumeth, the Greek rendreth Olyra, the French and Dutch Spelta, the Latin Zea, and not Secale the known word for Rye. But this common Rye so well understood at present, was not distinctly described, or not well known from early Antiquity. And therefore, in this uncertainty, some have thought it to have been the Typha of the Ancients. Cordus will have it to be Olyra, and Ruellius some kind of Oryza. But having no vulgar and well known name for those Grains, we warily embrace an appellation of near affinity, and tolerably render it Rye.

While Flax, Barley, Wheat and Rye are named, some may wonder why no mention is made of Ryce, wherewith, at present, Ægypt so much aboundeth. But whether that Plant grew so early in that Country, some doubt may be made: for Ryce is originally a Grain of India, and might not then be transplanted into Ægypt.

Sheaves of Grass, in Psal. 12. 6, 7.

36. Let them become as the Grass growing upon the House top, which withereth before it be plucked up, whereof the mower filleth not his hand, nor he that bindeth Sheaves his bosome. Though the filling of the hand, and mention of Sheaves of Hay, may seem strange unto us, who use neither handfulls nor Sheaves[258] in that kind of Husbandry, yet may it be properly taken, and you are not like to doubt thereof, who may find the like expressions in the Authours de Re rustica, concerning the old way of this Husbandry.

Columella,[225] delivering what Works were not to be permitted upon the Roman Feriæ, or Festivals, among others sets down, that upon such days, it was not lawfull to carry or bind up Hay, nec fœnum vincire nec vehere, per religiones Ponteficum licet.

Marcus Varro[226] is more particular; Primum de pratis herbarum cum crescere desiit, subsecari falcibus debet, et quoad peracescat furcillis versari, cum peracuit, de his manipulos fieri et vehi in villam.

And their course of mowing seems somewhat different from ours. For they cut not down clear at once, but used an after section, which they peculiarly called Sicilitium, according as the word is expounded by Georgius Alexandrinus, and Beroaldus after Pliny; Sicilire est falcibus consectari quæ fœnisecæ præterierunt, aut ea secare quæ fœnisecæ præterierunt.

Juniper Tree, in 1 King. 19. 5, etc.

37. When ’tis said that Elias lay and slept under a Juniper Tree, some may wonder how that Tree, which in our parts groweth but low and shrubby, should afford him shade and covering. But others know that there is a lesser and a larger kind of that Vegetable; that it makes a Tree in its proper soil and region. And may find in Pliny that in the Temple of Diana Saguntina in Spain, the Rafters were made of Juniper.

In that expression of David,[227] Sharp Arrows of the mighty, with Coals of Juniper; Though Juniper be left out in the last Translation, yet may there be an Emphatical sense from that word; since Juniper abounds with a piercing Oil, and makes a smart Fire. And the rather, if that quality be half true, which[259] Pliny affirmeth, that the Coals of Juniper raked up will keep a glowing Fire for the space of a year. For so the expression will Emphatically imply, not onely the smart burning, but the lasting fire of their malice.

That passage of Job,[228] wherein he complains that poor and half famished fellows despised him, is of greater difficulty; For want and famine they were solitary, they cut up Mallows by the Bushes, and Juniper roots for meat. Wherein we might at first doubt the Translation, not onely from the Greek Text but the assertion of Dioscorides, who affirmeth that the roots of Juniper are of a venomous quality. But Scaliger hath disproved the same from the practice of the African Physicians, who use the decoction of Juniper roots against the Venereal Disease. The Chaldee reads it Genista, or some kind of Broom, which will be also unusual and hard Diet, except thereby we understand the Orobanche, or Broom Rape, which groweth from the roots of Broom; and which, according to Dioscorides, men used to eat raw or boiled in the manner of Asparagus.

And, therefore, this expression doth highly declare the misery, poverty and extremity of the persons who were now mockers of him; they being so contemptible and necessitous, that they were fain to be content, not with a mean Diet, but such as was no Diet at all, the roots of Trees, the roots of Juniper, which none would make use of for Food, but in the lowest necessity, and some degree of famishing.

Scarlet Tincture, in Gen. 38. 28. Exod. 25. 4, etc.

38. While some have disputed whether Theophrastus knew the Scarlet Berry, others may doubt whether that noble tincture were known unto the Hebrews, which notwithstanding seems clear from the early and iterated expressions of Scripture concerning the Scarlet[260] Tincture, and is the less to be doubted because the Scarlet Berry grew plentifully in the Land of Canaan, and so they were furnished with the Materials of that Colour. For though Dioscorides saith it groweth in Armenia and Cappadocia, yet that it also grew in Judæa, seems more than probable from the account of Bellonius, who observed it to be so plentifull in that Country, that it afforded a profitable Commodity, and great quantity thereof was transported by the Venetian Merchants.

How this should be fitly expressed by the word Tolagnoth, Vermis, or Worm, may be made out from Pliny, who calls it Coccus Scolecius, or the Wormy Berry; as also from the name of that Colour called Vermilion, or the Worm Colour; and which is also answerable unto the true nature of it. For this is no proper Berry containing the fructifying part, but a kind of Vessicular excrescence, adhering commonly to the Leaf of the Ilex Coccigera, or dwarf and small kind of Oak, whose Leaves are always green, and its proper seminal parts Acrons. This little Bagg containeth a red Pulp, which, if not timely gathered, or left to it self, produceth small red Flies, and partly a red powder, both serviceable unto the tincture. And therefore, to prevent the generation of Flies, when it is first gathered, they sprinkle it over with Vinegar, especially such as make use of the fresh Pulp for the confection of Alkermes; which still retaineth the Arabick name, from the Kermesberry; which is agreeable unto the description of Bellonius and Quinqueranus. And the same we have beheld in Provence and Languedock, where it is plentifully gathered, and called Manna Rusticorum, from the considerable profit which the Peasants make by gathering of it.


Oaks, in Gen. 35. 4, 8. Josh. 24. 26. Isa. 1. 29. Ezek. 27. 6. Hosea. 4. 13, etc.

39. Mention is made of Oaks in divers parts of Scripture, which though the Latin sometimes renders a Turpentine Tree, yet surely some kind of Oak may be understood thereby; but whether our common Oak as is commonly apprehended, you may well doubt; for the common Oak, which prospereth so well with us, delighteth not in hot regions. And that diligent Botanist Bellonius, who took such particular notice of the Plants of Syria and Judæa, observed not the vulgar Oak in those parts. But he found the Ilex, Chesne Vert, or Ever-green Oak, in many places; as also that kind of Oak which is properly named Esculus: and he makes mention thereof in places about Jerusalem, and in his Journey from thence unto Damascus, where he found Montes Ilice, et Esculo virentes; which, in his Discourse of Lemnos, he saith are always green. And therefore when it is said[229] of Absalom, that his Mule went under the thick Boughs of a great Oak, and his Head caught hold of the Oak, and he was taken up between the Heaven and the Earth, that Oak might be some Ilex, or rather Esculus. For that is a thick and bushy kind, in Orbem comosa, as Dale-champius; ramis in orbem dispositis comans, as Renealmus describeth it. And when it is said[230] that Ezechias broke down the Images, and cut down the Groves, they might much consist of Oaks, which were sacred unto Pagan Deities, as this more particularly, according to that of Virgil,

Nemorúmque Jovi quæ maxima frondet Esculus.

And, in Judæa, where no hogs were eaten by the Jews, and few kept by others, ’tis not unlikely that they most cherished the Esculus, which might serve for Food of men. For the Acrons thereof are the sweetest of any Oak, and taste like Chesnuts; and so producing[262] an edulious or esculent Fruit, is properly named Esculus.

They which know the Ilex, or Ever-green Oak, with somewhat prickled leaves, named Πρίνος, will better understand the irreconcileable answer of the two Elders, when the one accused Susanna of incontinency under a Πρίνος, or Ever-green Oak, the other under a Σχῖνος, Lentiscus, or Mastick Tree, which are so different in Bigness, Boughs, Leaves and Fruit, the one bearing Acrons, the other Berries: And, without the knowledge hereof, will not Emphatically or distinctly understand that of the Poet,

Flaváque de viridi stillabant Ilice mella.

Cedars of Libanus.

40. When we often meet with the Cedars of Libanus, that expression may be used not onely because they grew in a known and neighbour Country, but also because they were of the noblest and largest kind of that Vegetable, and we find the Phœnician Cedar magnified by the Ancients. The Cedar of Libanus is a coniferous Tree, bearing Cones or Cloggs; (not Berries) of such a vastness, that Melchior Lussy, a great Traveller, found one upon Libanus as big as seven men could compass. Some are now so curious as to keep the Branches and Cones thereof among their rare Collections. And, though much Cedar Wood be now brought from America, yet ’tis time to take notice of the true Cedar of Libanus, imployed in the Temple of Solomon; for they have been much destroyed and neglected, and become at last but thin. Bellonius could reckon but twenty eight, Rowolfius and Radzevil but twenty four, and Bidulphus the same number. And a later account[231] of some English Travellers saith, that they are now but in one place, and in a small compass, in Libanus.

Uncircumcised Fruit, in Levit. 19. 23.


Quando ingressi fueritis terram, et Plantaveritis in illa ligna Pomifera, auferetis præputia eorum. Poma quæ germinant immunda erunt vobis, nec edetis ex eis. Quarto autem anno, omnis fructus eorum sanctificabitur, laudabilis Domino. Quinto autem anno comedetis fructus. By this Law they were injoyned not to eat of the Fruits of the Trees which they planted for the first three years: and, as the Vulgar expresseth it, to take away the Prepuces, from such Trees, during that time; the Fruits of the fourth year being holy unto the Lord, and those of the fifth allowable unto others. Now if auferre præputia be taken, as many learned men have thought, to pluck away the bearing Buds, before they proceed unto Flowers or Fruit, you will readily apprehend the Metaphor, from the analogy and similitude of those Sprouts and Buds, which, shutting up the fruitfull particle, resembleth the preputial part.

And you may also find herein a piece of Husbandry not mentioned in Theophrastus, or Columella. For by taking away of the Buds, and hindering fructification, the Trees become more vigorous, both in growth and future production. By such a way King Pyrrhus got into a lusty race of Beeves, and such as were desired over all Greece, by keeping them from Generation untill the ninth year.

And you may also discover a physical advantage of the goodness of the Fruit, which becometh less crude and more wholsome, upon the fourth or fifth years production.

Partition of Plants into Herb and Tree, in Gen. 1. 11.

41. While you reade in Theophrastus, or modern Herbalists, a strict division of Plants, into Arbor, Frutex, Suffrutex et Herba, you cannot but take notice of the Scriptural division at the Creation,[264] into Tree and Herb: and this may seem too narrow to comprehend the Classis of Vegetables; which, notwithstanding, may be sufficient, and a plain and intelligible division thereof. And therefore in this difficulty concerning the division of Plants, the learned Botanist, Cæsalpinus, thus concludeth. Clarius agemus si alterâ divisione neglectâ, duo tantùm Plantarum genera substituamus, Arborem scilicet, et Herbam, conjungentes cum Arboribus Frutices, et cum Herba Suffrutices; Frutices being the lesser Trees, and Suffrutices the larger, harder and more solid Herbs.

And this division into Herb and Tree, may also suffice, if we take in that natural ground of the division of perfect Plants, and such as grow from Seeds. For Plants, in their first production, do send forth two Leaves adjoining to the Seed; and then afterwards, do either produce two other Leaves, and so successively before any Stalk; and such go under the name of Πόα, Βοτάνη, or Herb; or else, after the first Leaves succeeding to the Seed Leaves, they send forth a Stalk, or rudiment of a Stalk before any other Leaves, and such fall under the Classis of Δένδρον, or Tree. So that, in this natural division, there are but two grand differences, that is, Tree and Herb. The Frutex and Suffrutex have the way of production from the Seed, and in other respects the Suffrutices, or Cremia, have a middle and participating nature, and referable unto Herbs.

The Bay Tree, in Psal. 37. 35

42. I have seen the ungodly in great power, and flourishing like a green Bay Tree. Both Scripture and humane Writers draw frequent illustrations from Plants. Scribonius Largus illustrates the old Cymbals from the Cotyledon Palustris, or Umbelicus Veneris. Who would expect to find Aaron’s Mitre in any Plant? yet Josephus hath taken some pains to make out the[265] same in the seminal knop of Hyoscyamus, or Henbane. The Scripture compares the Figure of Manna unto the Seed of Coriander. In Jeremy[232] we find the expression, Streight as a Palm Tree: And here the wicked in their flourishing state are likened unto a Bay Tree. Which, sufficiently answering the sense of the Text, we are unwilling to exclude that noble Plant from the honour of having its name in Scripture. Yet we cannot but observe, that the Septuagint renders it Cedars, and the Vulgar accordingly, Vidi impium superexaltatum, et elevatum sicut Cedros Libani; and the Translation of Tremelius mentions neither Bay nor Cedar; Sese explicantem tanquam Arbor indigena virens; which seems to have been followed by the last Low Dutch Translation. A private Translation renders it like a green self-growing[233] Laurel, The High Dutch of Luther’s Bible, retains the word Laurel; and so doth the old Saxon and Island Translation; so also the French, Spanish; and Italian of Diodati: yet his Notes acknowledge that some think it rather a Cedar, and others any large Tree in a prospering and natural Soil.

But however these Translations differ, the sense is allowable and obvious unto apprehension: when no particular Plant is named, any proper to the sense may be supposed; where either Cedar or Laurel is mentioned, if the preceding words [exalted and elevated] be used, they are more appliable unto the Cedar; where the word [flourishing] is used, it is more agreeable unto the Laurel, which, in its prosperity, abounds with pleasant flowers, whereas those of the Cedar are very little, and scarce perceptible, answerable to the Firre, Pine and other coniferous Trees.

The Figg Tree, in S. Mark. 11. 13, etc.

43. And in the morning, when they were come from[266] Bethany, he was hungry; and seeing a Figg Tree afar off having Leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon; and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves: for the time of Figgs was not yet. Singular conceptions have passed from learned men to make out this passage of S. Mark, which S. Matthew[234] so plainly delivereth; most men doubting why our Saviour should curse the Tree for bearing no Fruit, when the time of Fruit was not yet come; or why it is said that the time of Figgs was not yet, when, notwithstanding, Figgs might be found at that season.

Heinsius,[235] who thinks that Elias must salve the doubt, according to the received Reading of the Text, undertaketh to vary the same, reading οὕ γὰρ ἦν, καιρὸς σύκων, that is, for where he was, it was the season or time of Figgs.

A learned Interpreter[236] of our own, without alteration of accents or words, endeavours to salve all, by another interpretation of the same, Οὐ γὰρ καιρὸς σύκων, For it was not a good or seasonable year for Figgs.

But, because men part not easily with old beliefs, or the received construction of words, we shall briefly set down what may be alledged for it.

And, first, for the better comprehension of all deductions hereupon, we may consider the several differences and distinctions both of Figg Trees and their Fruits. Suidas upon the word Ἰschὰs makes four divisions of Figgs, Ὄλυνθος, Φήληξ, Σῦκον and Ἰschὰs and Ἰschὰs. But because Φήληξ makes no considerable distinction, learned men do chiefly insist upon the three others; that is, Ὄλυνθος, or Grossus, which are the Buttons, or small sort of Figgs, either not ripe, or not ordinarily proceeding to ripeness, but fall away[267] at least in the greatest part, and especially in sharp Winters; which are also named Συκάδες, and distinguished from the Fruit of the wild Figg, or Caprificus, which is named Ἐρινεὸς, and never cometh unto ripeness. The second is called Σῦκον, or Ficus, which commonly proceedeth unto ripeness in its due season. A third the ripe Figg dried, which maketh the Ἰσχάδες, or Carrier.

Of Figg Trees there are also many divisions; For some are prodromi, or precocious, which bear Fruit very early, whether they bear once, or oftner in the year; some are protericæ, which are the most early of the precocious Trees, and bear soonest of any; some are æstivæ, which bear in the common season of the Summer, and some serotinæ which bear very late.

Some are biferous and triferous, which bear twice or thrice in the year, and some are of the ordinary standing course, which make up the expected season of Figgs.

Again some Figg Trees, either in their proper kind, or fertility in some single ones, do bear Fruit or rudiments of Fruit all the year long; as is annually observable in some kind of Figg Trees in hot and proper regions; and may also be observed in some Figg Trees of more temperate Countries, in years of no great disadvantage, wherein, when the Summer-ripe Figg is past, others begin to appear, and so, standing in Buttons all the Winter, do either fall away before the Spring, or else proceed to ripeness.

Now, according to these distinctions, we may measure the intent of the Text, and endeavour to make out the expression. For, considering the diversity of these Trees, and their several fructifications, probable or possible it is, that some thereof were implied, and may literally afford a solution.


And first, though it was not the season for Figgs, yet some Fruit might have been expected, even in ordinary bearing Trees. For the Grossi or Buttons appear before the Leaves, especially before the Leaves are well grown. Some might have stood during the Winter, and by this time been of some growth: Though many fall off, yet some might remain on, and proceed towards maturity. And we find that good Husbands had an art to make them hold on, as is delivered by Theophrastus.

The Σῦκον or common Summer Figg was not expected; for that is placed by Galen among the Fructus Horarii, or Horæi, which ripen in that part of Summer, called Ὤρα, and stands commended by him above other Fruits of that season. And of this kind might be the Figgs which were brought unto Cleopatra in a Basket together with an Asp, according to the time of her death on the nineteenth of August. And that our Saviour expected not such Figgs, but some other kind, seems to be implied in the indefinite expression, if haply he might find any thing thereon; which in that Country, and the variety of such Trees, might not be despaired of, at this season, and very probably hoped for in the first precocious and early bearing Trees. And that there were precocious and early bearing Trees in Judæa, may be illustrated from some expressions in Scripture concerning precocious Figgs;[237] Calathus unus habebat Ficus bonas nimis, sicut solent esse Ficus primi temporis; One Basket had very good Figgs, even like the Figgs that are first ripe. And the like might be more especially expected in this place, if this remarkable Tree be rightly placed in some Mapps of Jerusalem; for it is placed, by Adrichomius, in or near Bethphage, which some conjectures[269] will have to be the House of Figgs: and at this place Figg Trees are still to be found, if we consult the Travels of Bidulphus.

Again, in this great variety of Figg Trees, as precocious, proterical, biferous, triferous, and always bearing Trees, something might have been expected, though the time of common Figgs was not yet. For some Trees bear in a manner all the year; as may be illustrated from the Epistle of the Emperour Julian, concerning his Present of Damascus Figgs, which he commendeth from their successive and continued growing and bearing, after the manner of the Fruits which Homer describeth in the Garden of Alcinous. And though it were then but about the eleventh of March, yet, in the Latitude of Jerusalem, the Sun at that time hath a good power in the day, and might advance the maturity of precocious often-bearing or ever-bearing Figgs. And therefore when it is said that S. Peter[238] stood and warmed himself by the Fire in the Judgment Hall, and the reason is added [for it was cold[239]] that expression might be interposed either to denote the coolness in the Morning, according to hot Countries, or some extraordinary and unusual coldness, which happened at that time. For the same Bidulphus, who was at that time of the year at Jerusalem, saith, that it was then as hot as at Midsummer in England: and we find in Scripture, that the first Sheaf of Barley was offer’d in March.

Our Saviour therefore, seeing a Figg Tree with Leaves well spread, and so as to be distinguished a far off, went unto it, and when he came, found nothing but Leaves; he found it to be no precocious, or always-bearing Tree: And though it were not the time for Summer Figgs, yet he found no rudiments thereof: and[270] though he expected not common Figgs, yet something might happily have been expected of some other kind, according to different fertility, and variety of production; but, discovering nothing, he found a Tree answering the State of the Jewish Rulers, barren unto all expectation.

And this is consonant unto the mystery of the Story, wherein the Figg Tree denoteth the Synagogue and Rulers of the Jews, whom God having peculiarly cultivated, singularly blessed and cherished, he expected from them no ordinary, slow, or customary fructification, but an earliness in good Works, a precocious or continued fructification, and was not content with common after-bearing; and might justly have expostulated with the Jews, as God by the Prophet Micah[240] did with their Forefathers; Præcoquas Ficus desideravit Anima mea, My Soul longed for, (or desired) early ripe Fruits, but ye are become as a Vine already gathered, and there is no cluster upon you.

Lastly, In this account of the Figg Tree, the mystery and symbolical sense is chiefly to be looked upon. Our Saviour, therefore, taking a hint from his hunger to go unto this specious Tree, and intending, by this Tree, to declare a Judgment upon the Synagogue and people of the Jews, he came unto the Tree, and, after the usual manner, inquired, and looked about for some kind of Fruit, as he had done before in the Jews, but found nothing but Leaves and specious outsides, as he had also found in them; and when it bore no Fruit like them, when he expected it, and came to look for it, though it were not the time of ordinary Fruit, yet failing when he required it, in the mysterious sense, ’twas fruitless longer to expect it. For he had come unto them, and they were nothing fructified by it, his[271] departure approached, and his time of preaching was now at an end.

Now, in this account, besides the Miracle, some things are naturally considerable. For it may be question’d how the Figg Tree, naturally a fruitfull Plant, became barren, for it had no shew or so much as rudiment of Fruit: And it was in old time, a signal Judgment of God, that the Figg Tree should bear no Fruit: and therefore this Tree may naturally be conceived to have been under some Disease indisposing it to such fructification. And this, in the Pathology of Plants, may be the Disease of φυλλομανία ἐμφυλλισμὸς; or superfolliation mention’d by Theophrastus; whereby the fructifying Juice is starved by the excess of Leaves; which in this Tree were already so full spread, that it might be known and distinguished a far off. And this was, also, a sharp resemblance of the hypocrisie of the Rulers, made up of specious outsides, and fruitless ostentation, contrary to the Fruit of the Figg Tree, which, filled with a sweet and pleasant pulp, makes no shew without, not so much as of any Flower.

Some naturals are also considerable from the propriety of this punishment settled upon a Figg Tree: For infertility and barrenness seems more intolerable in this Tree than in any, as being a Vegetable singularly constituted for production; so far from bearing no Fruit that it may be made to bear almost any. And therefore the Ancients singled out this as the fittest Tree whereon to graft and propagate other Fruits, as containing a plentifull and lively Sap, whereby other Cyons would prosper: And, therefore, this Tree was also sacred unto the Deity of Fertility: and the Statua of Priapus was made of the Figg Tree.


Olim Truncus eram Ficulnus inutile Lignum.

It hath also a peculiar advantage to produce and maintain its Fruit above all other Plants, as not subject to miscarry in Flowers and Blossomes, from accidents of Wind and Weather. For it beareth no Flowers outwardly, and such as it hath, are within the Coat, as the later examination of Naturalists hath discovered.

Lastly, It was a Tree wholly constituted for Fruit, wherein if it faileth, it is in a manner useless, the Wood thereof being of so little use, that it affordeth proverbial expressions,

Homo Ficulneus, argumentum Ficulneum,

for things of no validity.

The Palm Tree, in Cant. 7. 8.

44. I said I will go up into the Palm Tree, and take hold of the Boughs thereof. This expression is more agreeable unto the Palm than is commonly apprehended, for that it is a tall bare Tree bearing its Boughs but at the top and upper part; so that it must be ascended before its Boughs or Fruit can be attained: And the going, getting or climbing up, may be Emphatical in this Tree; for the Trunk or Body thereof is naturally contrived for ascension, and made with advantage for getting up, as having many welts and eminencies, and so as it were a natural Ladder, and Staves, by which it may be climbed, as Pliny[241] observeth, Palmæ teretes atque proceres, densis quadratisque pollicibus faciles se ad scandendum præbent, by this way men are able to get up into it. And the Figures of Indians thus climbing the same are graphically described in the Travels of Linschoten. This Tree is often mentioned in Scripture, and was so remarkable in Judæa, that in after-times it became the Emblem of that Country, as[273] may be seen in that Medal of the Emperour Titus, with a Captive Woman sitting under a Palm, and the Inscription of Judæa Capta. And Pliny confirmeth the same when he saith, Judæa Palmis inclyta.

Lilies, in Cant. 2. 1, 2, 16.

45. Many things are mention’d in Scripture, which have an Emphasis from this or the neighbour Countries: For besides the Cedars, the Syrian Lilies are taken notice of by Writers. That expression in the Canticles,[242] Thou art fair, thou art fair, thou hast Doves eyes, receives a particular character, if we look not upon our common Pigeons, but the beauteous and fine ey’d Doves of Syria.

When the Rump is so strictly taken notice of in the Sacrifice of the Peace Offering, in these words,[243] The whole Rump, it shall be taken off hard by the Back-bone, it becomes the more considerable in reference to this Country, where Sheep had so large Tails; which, according to Aristotle,[244] were a Cubit broad; and so they are still, as Bellonius hath delivered.

When ’tis said in the Canticles,[245] Thy Teeth are as a Flock of Sheep, which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth Twins, and there is not one barren among them; it may seem hard unto us of these parts to find whole Flocks bearing Twins, and not one barren among them; yet may this be better conceived in the fertile Flocks of those Countries, where Sheep have so often two, sometimes three, and sometimes four, and which is so frequently observed by Writers of the neighbour Country of Ægypt. And this fecundity, and fruitfulness of their Flocks, is answerable unto the expression of the Psalmist,[246] That our Sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our Streets. And hereby, besides what was spent at their Tables, a good supply was made for the great consumption of Sheep[274] in their several kinds of Sacrifices; and of so many thousand Male unblemished yearling Lambs, which were required at their Passeovers.

Nor need we wonder to find so frequent mention both of Garden and Field Plants; since Syria was notable of old for this curiosity and variety, according to Pliny, Syria hortis operosissima; and since Bellonius hath so lately observed of Jerusalem, that its hilly parts did so abound with Plants, that they might be compared unto Mount Ida in Crete or Candia: which is the most noted place for noble Simples yet known.

Trees and Herbs not expresly nam’d in Scripture.

46. Though so many Plants have their express Names in Scripture, yet others are implied in some Texts which are not explicitly mention’d. In the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths, the Law was this,[247] Thou shalt take unto thee Boughs of goodly Trees, Branches of the Palm, and the Boughs of thick Trees, and Willows of the Brook. Now though the Text descendeth not unto particulars of the goodly Trees, and thick Trees; yet Maimonides will tell us that for a goodly Tree they made use of the Citron Tree, which is fair and goodly to the eye, and well prospering in that Country: And that for the thick Trees they used the Myrtle, which was no rare or infrequent Plant among them. And though it groweth but low in our Gardens, was not a little Tree in those parts; in which Plant also the Leaves grew thick, and almost covered the Stalk. And Curtius[248] Symphorianus in his description of the Exotick Myrtle, makes it, Folio densissimo senis in ordinem versibus. The Paschal Lamb was to be eaten with bitterness or bitter Herbs, not particularly set down in Scripture: but the Jewish Writers declare, that they made use of Succory, and wild[275] Lettuce, which Herbs while some conceive they could not get down, as being very bitter, rough and prickly, they may consider that the time of the Passeover was in the Spring, when these Herbs are young and tender, and consequently less unpleasant: besides, according to the Jewish custom, these Herbs were dipped in the Charoseth or Sawce made of Raisins stamped with Vinegar, and were also eaten with Bread; and they had four Cups of Wine allowed unto them; and it was sufficient to take but a pittance of Herbs, or the quantity of an Olive.

Reeds in Scripture.

47. Though the famous paper Reed of Ægypt, be onely particularly named in Scripture; yet when Reeds are so often mention’d, without special name or distinction, we may conceive their differences may be comprehended, and that they were not all of one kind, or that the common Reed was onely implied. For mention is made in Ezekiel[249] of a measuring Reed of six Cubits: we find that they smote our Saviour on the Head with a Reed,[250] and put a Sponge with Vinegar on a Reed, which was long enough to reach to his mouth, while he was upon the Cross; And with such differences of Reeds, Vallatory, Sagittary, Scriptory, and others, they might be furnished in Judæa: For we find in the portion of Ephraim,[251] Vallis arundineti; and so set down in the Mapps of Adricomius, and in our Translation the River Kana, or Brook of Canes. And Bellonius tells us that the River Jordan affordeth plenty and variety of Reeds; out of some whereof the Arabs make Darts, and light Lances, and out of others, Arrows; and withall that there plentifully groweth the fine Calamus, arundo Scriptoria, or writing Reed, which they gather with the greatest care, as being of singular use and commodity at home and abroad; a hard Reed[276] about the compass of a Goose or Swans Quill, whereof I have seen some polished and cut with a Webb; which is in common use for writing throughout the Turkish Dominions, they using not the Quills of Birds.

And whereas the same Authour with other describers of these parts affirmeth, that the River Jordan not far from Jerico, is but such a Stream as a youth may throw a Stone over it, or about eight fathoms broad, it doth not diminish the account and solemnity of the miraculous passage of the Israelites under Joshua; For it must be considered, that they passed it in the time of Harvest, when the River was high, and the Grounds about it under Water, according to that pertinent parenthesis, As the Feet of the Priests, which carried the Ark, were dipped in the brim of the Water, (for Jordan[252] overfloweth all its Banks at the time of Harvest.) In this consideration it was well joined with the great River Euphrates, in that expression in Ecclesiasticus,[253] God maketh the understanding to abound like Euphrates, and as Jordan in the time of Harvest.

Zizania, in S. Matt. 13. 24, 25, etc.

48. The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good Seed in his Field, but while men slept, his Enemy came and sowed Tares (or, as the Greek, Zizania) among the Wheat.

Now, how to render Zizania, and to what species of Plants to confine it, there is no slender doubt; for the word is not mention’d in other parts of Scripture, nor in any ancient Greek Writer: it is not to be found in Aristotle, Theophrastus, or Dioscorides. Some Greek and Latin Fathers have made use of the same, as also Suidas and Phavorinus; but probably they have all derived it from this Text.

And therefore this obscurity might easily occasion such variety in Translations and Expositions. For[277] some retain the word Zizania, as the Vulgar, that of Beza, of Junius, and also the Italian and Spanish. The Low Dutch renders it Oncruidt, the German Oncraut, or Herba Mala, the French Turoye or Lolium, and the English Tares.

Besides, this being conceived to be a Syriack word, it may still add unto the uncertainty of the sense. For though this Gospel were first written in Hebrew, or Syriack, yet it is not unquestionable whether the true Original be any where extant: And that Syriack Copy which we now have, is conceived to be of far later time than S. Matthew.

Expositours and Annotatours are also various. Hugo Grotius hath passed the word Zizania without a Note. Diodati, retaining the word Zizania, conceives that it was some peculiar Herb growing among the Corn of those Countries, and not known in our Fields. But Emanuel de Sa interprets it, Plantas semini noxias, and so accordingly some others.

Buxtorfius, in his Rabbinical Lexicon, gives divers interpretations, sometimes for degenerated Corn, sometimes for the black Seeds in Wheat, but withall concludes, an hæc sit eadem vox aut species, cum Zizaniâ apud Evangelistam, quærant alii. But Lexicons and Dictionaries by Zizania do almost generally understand Lolium, which we call Darnel, and commonly confine the signification to that Plant: Notwithstanding, since Lolium had a known and received Name in Greek, some may be apt to doubt, why, if that Plant were particularly intended, the proper Greek word was not used in the Text. For Theophrastus[254] named Lolium Αἰρα, and hath often mentioned that Plant; and in one place saith that Corn doth sometimes Loliescere degenerate into Darnel. Dioscorides, who travelled[278] over Judæa, gives it the same name, which is also to be found in Galen, Ætius and Ægineta; and Pliny hath sometimes latinized that word into Æra.

Besides, Lolium or Darnel shews it self in the Winter, growing up with the Wheat; and Theophrastus observed that it was no Vernal Plant, but came up in the Winter; which will not well answer the expression of the Text, And when the Blade came up, and brought forth Fruit, or gave evidence of its Fruit, the Zizania appeared. And if the Husbandry of the Ancients were agreeable unto ours, they would not have been so earnest to weed away the Darnel; for our Husbandmen do not commonly weed it in the Field, but separate the Seeds after Thrashing. And therefore Galen delivereth, that in an unseasonable year, and great scarcity of Corn, when they neglected to separate the Darnel, the Bread proved generally unwholsome, and had evil effects on the Head.

Our old and later Translation render Zizania, Tares, which name our English Botanists give unto Aracus, Cracca, Vicia sylvestris, calling them Tares, and strangling Tares. And our Husbandmen by Tares understand some sorts of wild Fitches, which grow amongst Corn, and clasp upon it, according to the Latin Etymology, Vicia à Vinciendo. Now in this uncertainty of the Original, Tares as well as some others, may make out the sense, and be also more agreeable unto the circumstances of the Parable. For they come up and appear what they are, when the Blade of the Corn is come up, and also the Stalk and Fruit discoverable. They have likewise little spreading Roots, which may intangle or rob the good Roots, and they have also tendrils and claspers, which lay hold[279] of what grows near them, and so can hardly be weeded without endangering the neighbour Corn.

However, if by Zizania we understand Herbas segeti noxias, or vitia segetum, as some Expositours have done, and take the word in a more general sense, comprehending several Weeds and Vegetables offensive unto Corn, according as the Greek word in the plural Number may imply, and as the learned Laurenbergius[255] hath expressed, Runcare quod apud nostrates Weden dicitur, Zizanias inutiles est evellere. If, I say, it be thus taken, we shall not need to be definitive, or confine unto one particular Plant, from a word which may comprehend divers: And this may also prove a safer sense, in such obscurity of the Original.

And therefore since in this Parable the sower of the Zizania is the Devil, and the Zizania wicked persons; if any from this larger acception, will take in Thistles, Darnel, Cockle, wild strangling Fitches, Bindweed, Tribulus, Restharrow and other Vitia Segetum; he may, both from the natural and symbolical qualities of those Vegetables, have plenty of matter to illustrate the variety of his mischiefs, and of the wicked of this world.

Cockle, in Job 31. 40.

49. When ’tis said in Job, Let Thistles grow up instead of Wheat, and Cockle instead of Barley, the words are intelligible, the sense allowable and significant to this purpose: but whether the word Cockle doth strictly conform unto the Original, some doubt may be made from the different Translations of it; For the Vulgar renders it Spina, Tremelius Vitia Frugum, and the Geneva Turoye or Darnel. Besides, whether Cockle were common in the ancient Agriculture of those parts, or what word they used for it, is of great uncertainty. For the Elder Botanical Writers have[280] made no mention thereof, and the Moderns have given it the Name of Pseudomelanthium, Nigellastrum, Lychnoeides Segetum, names not known unto Antiquity: And therefore our Translation hath warily set down [noisome Weeds] in the Margin.


[188] Depinxit oculos stibio. 2 Kings 9. 30. Jerem. 4. 30. Ezek. 23. 40.

[189] Jona 4. 6. a Gourd.

[190] ἄπιστος θέα. Philo.

[191] Radzivil in his Travels.

[192] G. Venetus Problem 200.

[193] Lib. 18. Nat. Hist.

[194] Acts 2. 13.

[195] Theophrast. Hist. Lib. 4. Cap. 7. 8.

[196] Plin. lib. 13. cap. ultimo.

[197] Dan. 4. 9. Ps. 1. 14. 12.

[198] Sbacher from Sbachar festinus fuit or maturuit.

[199] Plin. lib. 14.

[200] Terebinthus in Macedonia fruticat, in Syria, magna est. Lib. 13. Plin.

[201] Hosea. 4. 13.

[202] Judges 20. 45, 47. Ch. 21. 13.

[203] Isa. 9. 10

[204] 1 Chron. 27. 28.

[205] 1 King. 10. 27.

[206] Amos 7. 14.

[207] Psal. 78 47.

[208] Luk. 17. 6.

[209] D. Greaves.

[210] Gen. 26. 12.

[211] Gen. 41. 56.

[212] Gen. 45. 9, 11.

[213] Theoph. Hist. l. 8.

[214] Ægypt ὁμιχλὼδης, καὶ δρόσερος Vid. Theophrastum

[215] Gen. 41. 48.

[216] De causis Plant. Lib. 1. Cap. 7.

[217] Καλλικαρπεῖν οὑκ ἔξει.

[218] De horticultura.

[219] Καλλιέλαιον Rom. 11. 42.

[220] Bellonius de Avibus.

[221] Theophrast. l. 9. c. 6.

[222] Linum folliculos germinavit, σπερματίζον Septuag. Serotina, Lat. ὄψιμα, Gr.

[223] Radzevil’s Travels.

[224] Plin. lib. 18. cap. 18.

[225] Columella lib. 2 cap. 22.

[226] Varro lib. 1. cap. 49.

[227] Psal. 120. 4.

[228] Job 30. 3, 4.

[229] 2 Sam. 18. 9, 14.

[230] 2 King. 18. 4.

[231] A journey to Jerusalem, 1672.

[232] Jer. 10. 5.

[233] Ainsworth.

[234] Matt. 21. 19.

[235] Heinsius in Nonnum.

[236] D. Hammond.

[237] Jer. 24. 2.

[238] S. Mark 14. 67. S. Luke 22. 55, 56.

[239] S. John 18. 18.

[240] Micah 7. 1.

[241] Plin. 13. cap. 4.

[242] Cant. 4. 1.

[243] Levit. 3. 9.

[244] Aristot. Hist. Animal. lib. 8.

[245] Cant. 4. 2.

[246] Psal. 144. 13.

[247] Levit. 23. 40.

[248] Curtius de Hortis.

[249] Ezek. 40. 5.

[250] S. Matt 27. 30, 48.

[251] Josh. 16. 17.

[252] Josh. 3. 13.

[253] Ecclus. 24. 26.

[254] ἐξαίρησθαι. Theophrast. Hist. Plant. l. 8.

[255] De Horticultura.



and Coronary or Garden-plants.



The use of flowry Crowns and Garlands is of no slender Antiquity, and higher than I conceive you apprehend it. For, besides the old Greeks and Romans, the Ægyptians made use hereof; who, beside the bravery of their Garlands, had little Birds upon them to peck their Heads and Brows, and so to keep them sleeping at their Festival compotations. This practice also extended as far as India: for at the Feast with the Indian King, it is peculiarly observed by Philostratus that their custom was to wear Garlands, and come crowned with them unto their Feast.

The Crowns and Garlands of the Ancients were either Gestatory, such as they wore about their Heads or Necks; Portatory, such as they carried at solemn Festivals; Pensile or Suspensory, such as they hanged about the Posts of their Houses in honour of their Gods, as of Jupiter Thyræus or Limeneus; or else they were Depository, such as they laid upon the Graves and Monuments of the dead. And these were made up after all ways of Art, Compactile, Sutile, Plectile; for which Work there were στεφανοπλόκοι or expert Persons to contrive them after the best grace and property.


Though we yield not unto them in the beauty of flowry Garlands, yet some of those of Antiquity were larger than any we lately meet with: for we find in Athenæus that a Myrtle Crown of one and twenty foot in compass was solemnly carried about at the Hellotian Feast in Corinth, together with the Bones of Europa.

And Garlands were surely of frequent use among them; for we reade in Galen[256] that when Hippocrates cured the great Plague of Athens by Fires kindled in and about the City; the fuel thereof consisted much of their Garlands. And they must needs be very frequent and of common use, the ends thereof being many. For they were convivial, festival, sacrificial, nuptial, honorary, funebrial. We who propose unto our selves the pleasure of two Senses, and onely single out such as are of Beauty and good Odour, cannot strictly confine our selves unto imitation of them.

For, in their convivial Garlands, they had respect unto Plants preventing drunkenness, or discussing the exhalations from Wine; wherein, beside Roses, taking in Ivy, Vervain, Melilote, etc. they made use of divers of small Beauty or good Odour. The solemn festival Garlands were made properly unto their Gods, and accordingly contrived from Plants sacred unto such Deities; and their sacrificial ones were selected under such considerations. Their honorary Crowns triumphal, ovary, civical, obsidional, had little of Flowers in them: and their funebrial Garlands had little of beauty in them beside Roses, while they made them of Myrtle, Rosemary, Apium, etc. under symbolical intimations: but our florid and purely ornamental Garlands, delightfull unto sight and smell, nor framed according to mystical and symbolical considerations, are of more[283] free election, and so may be made to excell those of the Ancients; we having China, India, and a new world to supply us, beside the great distinction of Flowers unknown unto Antiquity, and the varieties thereof arising from Art and Nature.

But, beside Vernal, Æstival and Autumnal made of Flowers, the Ancients had also Hyemal Garlands; contenting themselves at first with such as were made of Horn died into several Colours, and shaped into the Figures of Flowers, and also of Æs Coronarium or Clincquant or Brass thinly wrought out into Leaves commonly known among us. But the curiosity of some Emperours for such intents had Roses brought from Ægypt untill they had found the art to produce late Roses in Rome, and to make them grow in the Winter, as is delivered in that handsome Epigramme of Martial,

At tu Romanæ jussus jam cedere Brumæ
Mitte tuas messes, Accipe, Nile, Rosas.

Some American Nations, who do much excell in Garlands, content not themselves onely with Flowers, but make elegant Crowns of Feathers, whereof they have some of greater radiancy and lustre than their Flowers: and since there is an Art to set into shapes, and curiously to work in choicest Feathers, there could nothing answer the Crowns made of the choicest Feathers of some Tomineios and Sun Birds.

The Catalogue of Coronary Plants is not large in Theophrastus, Pliny, Pollux, or Athenæus: but we may find a good enlargement in the Accounts of Modern Botanists; and additions may still be made by successive acquists of fair and specious Plants, not yet translated from foreign Regions or little known unto our[284] Gardens: he that would be complete may take notice of these following,

Flos Tigridis.
Flos Lyncis.
Pinea Indica Recchi, Talama Ouiedi.
Herba Paradisea.
Volubilis Mexicanus.
Narcissus Indicus Serpentarius.
Helichrysum Mexicanum.
Aquilegia novæ Hispaniæ Cacoxochitli Recchi.
Aristochæa Mexicana.
Camaratinga sive Caragunta quarta Pisonis.
Maracuia Granadilla.
Cambay sive Myrtus Americana.
Flos Auriculæ Flor de la Oreia.
Floripendio novæ Hispaniæ.
Rosa Indica.
Zilium Indicum.
Fula Magori Garciæ.
Champe Garciæ Champacca Bontii.
Daullontas frutex odoratus seu Chamæmelum arborescens Bontii.
Beidelsar Alpini.
Amberboi Turcarum.
Nuphar Ægyptium.
Lilionarcissus Indicus.
Bamma Ægyptiacum.
Hiucca Canadensis horti Farnesiani.
Bupthalmum novæ Hispaniæ Alepocapath.
Valeriana seu Chrysanthemum Americanum Acocotlis.
Flos Corvinus Coronarius Americanus.
Capolin Cerasus dulcis Indicus Floribus racemosis.
Asphodelus Americanus.
[285] Syringa Lutea Americana.
Bulbus unifolius.
Moly latifolium Flore luteo.
Conyza Americana purpurea.
Salvia Cretica pomifera Bellonii.
Lausus Serrata Odora.
Ornithogalus Promontorii Bonæ Spei.
Fritallaria crassa Soldanica Promontorii Bonæ Spei.
Sigillum Solomonis Indicum.
Tulipa Promontorii Bonæ Spei.
Iris Uvaria.
Nopolxoch sedum elegans novæ Hispaniæ.

More might be added unto this List; and I have onely taken the pains to give you a short Specimen of those many more which you may find in respective Authours, and which time and future industry may make no great strangers in England. The Inhabitants of Nova Hispania, and a great part of America, Mahometans, Indians, Chineses, are eminent promoters of these coronary and specious Plants: and the annual tribute of the King of Bisnaguer in India, arising out of Odours and Flowers, amounts unto many thousands of Crowns.

Thus, in brief, of this matter. I am, etc.


[256] De Theriaca ad Pisonem.



with His Disciples after His Resurrection from the Dead.



I have thought, a little, upon the Question proposed by you [viz. What kind of Fishes those were of which our Saviour ate with his Disciples after his Resurrection?[257]] and I return you such an Answer, as, in so short time for study, and in the midst of my occasions, occurs to me.

The Books of Scripture (as also those which are Apocryphal) are often silent, or very sparing, in the particular Names of Fishes; or in setting them down in such manner as to leave the kinds of them without all doubt and reason for farther inquiry. For, when it declareth what Fishes were allowed the Israelites for their Food, they are onely set down in general which have Finns and Scales; whereas, in the account of Quadrupeds and Birds, there is particular mention made of divers of them. In the Book of Tobit that Fish which he took out of the River is onely named a great Fish, and so there remains much uncertainty to[287] determine the Species thereof. And even the Fish which swallowed Jonah, and is called a great Fish, and commonly thought to be a great Whale, is not received without all doubt; while some learned men conceive it to have been none of our Whales, but a large kind of Lamia.

And, in this narration of S. John, the Fishes are onely expressed by their Bigness and Number, not their Names, and therefore it may seem undeterminable what they were: notwithstanding, these Fishes being taken in the great Lake or Sea of Tiberias, something may be probably stated therein. For since Bellonius, that diligent and learned Traveller, informeth us, that the Fishes of this Lake were Trouts, Pikes, Chevins and Tenches; it may well be conceived that either all or some thereof are to be understood in this Scripture. And these kind of Fishes become large and of great growth, answerable unto the expression of Scripture, One hundred and fifty-three great Fishes; that is, large in their own kinds, and the largest kinds in this Lake and fresh Water, wherein no great variety, and of the larger sort of Fishes, could be expected. For the River Jordan, running through this Lake, falls into the Lake of Asphaltus, and hath no mouth into the Sea, which might admit of great Fishes or greater variety to come up into it.

And out of the mouth of some of these forementioned Fishes might the Tribute money be taken, when our Saviour, at Capernaum, seated upon the same Lake, said unto Peter, Go thou to the Sea, and cast an Hook, and take up the Fish that first cometh; and when thou hast opened his mouth thou shalt find a piece of money; that take and give them for thee and me.


And this makes void that common conceit and tradition of the Fish called Fabermarinus, by some, a Peter or Penny Fish; which having two remarkable round spots upon either side, these are conceived to be the marks of S. Peter’s Fingers or signatures of the Money: for though it hath these marks, yet is there no probability that such a kind of Fish was to be found in the Lake of Tiberias, Geneserah or Galilee, which is but sixteen miles long and six broad, and hath no communication with the Sea; for this is a mere Fish of the Sea and salt Water, and (though we meet with some thereof on our Coast) is not to be found in many Seas.

Thus having returned no improbable Answer unto your Question, I shall crave leave to ask another of your self concerning that Fish mentioned by Procopius,[258] which brought the famous King Theodorick to his end: his words are to this effect: '‘The manner of his Death was this, Symmachus and his Son-in-law Boëthius, just men and great relievers of the poor, Senatours and Consuls, had many enemies, by whose false accusations Theodorick being perswaded that they plotted against him, put them to death and confiscated their Estates. Not long after his Waiters set before him at Supper a great Head of a Fish, which seemed to him to be the Head of Symmachus lately murthered; and with his Teeth sticking out, and fierce glaring eyes to threaten him: being frighted, he grew chill, went to Bed, lamenting what he had done to Symmachus and Boëthius; and soon after died.’ What Fish do you apprehend this to have been? I would learn of you; give me your thoughts about it.

I am, etc.


[257] S. Joh. 21. 9, 10, 11, 13.

[258] De Bello Gothico, lib. 1.



relating to Fishes, Birds, Insects.



I return the following Answers to your Queries which were these,

[1. What Fishes are meant by the Names, Halec and Mugil?

2. What is the Bird which you will receive from the Bearer? and what Birds are meant by the Names Halcyon, Nysus, Ciris, Nycticorax?

3. What Insect is meant by the word Cicada?]

Answer to Query 1.

The word Halec we are taught to render an Herring, which, being an ancient word, is not strictly appropriable unto a Fish not known or not described by the Ancients; and which the modern Naturalists are fain to name Harengus; the word Halecula being applied unto such little Fish out of which they were fain to make Pickle; and Halec or Alec, taken for the Liquamen or Liquor itself, according to that of the Poet,

——Ego fæcem primus et Alec
Primus et inveni piper album——


And was a conditure and Sawce much affected by Antiquity, as was also Muria and Garum.

In common constructions, Mugil is rendred a Mullet, which, notwithstanding, is a different Fish from the Mugil described by Authours; wherein, if we mistake, we cannot so closely apprehend the expression of Juvenal,

——Quosdam ventres et Mugilis intrat.

And misconceive the Fish, whereby Fornicatours were so opprobriously and irksomely punished; for the Mugil being somewhat rough and hard skinned, did more exasperate the gutts of such offenders: whereas the Mullet was a smooth Fish, and of too high esteem to be imployed in such offices.

Answer to Query 2.

I cannot but wonder that this Bird you sent should be a stranger unto you, and unto those who had a sight thereof: for, though it be not seen every day, yet we often meet with it in this Country. It is an elegant Bird, which he that once beholdeth can hardly mistake any other for it. From the proper Note it is called an Hoopebird with us; in Greek Epops, in Latin Upupa. We are little obliged unto our School instruction, wherein we are taught to render Upupa, a Lapwing, which Bird our natural Writers name Vannellus; for thereby we mistake this remarkable Bird, and apprehend not rightly what is delivered of it.

We apprehend not the Hieroglyphical considerations which the old Ægyptians made of this observable Bird; who considering therein the order and variety of Colours, the twenty six or twenty eight Feathers in its Crest, his latitancy, and mewing this handsome outside in the Winter; they made it an Emblem of the[291] varieties of the World, the succession of Times and Seasons, and signal mutations in them. And therefore Orus, the Hieroglyphick of the World, had the Head of an Hoopebird upon the top of his Staff.

Hereby we may also mistake the Duchiphath, or Bird forbidden for Food in Leviticus;Levit. 11. 19. and, not knowing the Bird, may the less apprehend some reasons of that prohibition; that is, the magical virtues ascribed unto it by the Ægyptians, and the superstitious apprehensions which that Nation held of it, whilst they precisely numbred the Feathers and Colours thereof, while they placed it on the Heads of their Gods, and near their Mercurial Crosses, and so highly magnified this Bird in their sacred Symbols.

Again, not knowing or mistaking this Bird, we may misapprehend, or not closely apprehend, that handsome expression of Ovid, when Tereus was turned into an Upupa, or Hoopebird.

Vertitur in volucrem cui sunt pro vertice Cristæ,
Protinus immodicum surgit pro cuspide rostrum
Nomen Epops volucri, facies armata videtur.

For, in this military shape, he is aptly phancied even still revengefully to pursue his hated Wife Progne: in the propriety of his Note crying out, Pou, pou, ubi, ubi, or Where are you?

Nor are we singly deceived in the nominal translation of this Bird: in many other Animals we commit the like mistake. So Gracculus is rendred a Jay, which Bird notwithstanding must be of a dark colour according to that of Martial,

Sed quandam volo nocte nigriorem
Formica, pice, Gracculo, cicada.

Halcyon[259] is rendred a King-fisher, a Bird commonly[292] known among us, and by Zoographers and Naturals the same is named Ispida, a well coloured Bird frequenting Streams and Rivers, building in holes of Pits, like some Martins, about the end of the Spring; in whose Nests we have found little else than innumerable small Fish Bones, and white round Eggs of a smooth and polished surface, whereas the true Alcyon is a Sea Bird, makes an handsome Nest floating upon the Water, and breedeth in the Winter.

That Nysus should be rendred either an Hobby or a Sparrow Hawk, in the Fable of Nysus and Scylla in Ovid, because we are much to seek in the distinction of Hawks according to their old denominations, we shall not much contend, and may allow a favourable latitude therein: but that the Ciris or Bird into which Scylla was turned should be translated a Lark, it can hardly be made out agreeable unto the description of Virgil in his Poem of that name,

Inde alias volucres mimóque infecta rubenti

But seems more agreeable unto some kind of Hæmantopus or Redshank; and so the Nysus to have been some kind of Hawk, which delighteth about the Sea and Marishes, where such prey most aboundeth, which sort of Hawk while Scaliger determineth to be a Merlin, the French Translatour warily expoundeth it to be some kind of Hawk.

Nycticorax we may leave unto the common and verbal translation of a Night Raven, but we know no proper kind of Raven unto which to confine the same, and therefore some take the liberty to ascribe it unto some sort of Owls, and others unto the Bittern; which Bird in its common Note, which he useth out of the[293] time of coupling and upon the Wing, so well resembleth the croaking of a Raven that I have been deceived by it.

Answer to Query 3.

While Cicada is rendred a Grashopper, we commonly think that which is so called among us to be the true Cicada; wherein, as we have elsewhere declared,[260] there is a great mistake: for we have not the Cicada in England, and indeed no proper word for that Animal, which the French nameth Cigale. That which we commonly call a Grashopper, and the French Saulterelle being one kind of Locust, so rendred in the Plague of Ægypt, and, in old Saxon named Gersthop.

I have been the less accurate in these Answers, because the Queries are not of difficult Resolution, or of great moment: however, I would not wholly neglect them or your satisfaction, as being, Sir,

Yours, etc.


[259] See Vulg. Err. B. 3. c. 10.

[260] Vulg. Err. B. 5. c. 3.



Ancient and Modern.



In vain you expect much information, de Re Accipitraria, of Falconry, Hawks or Hawking, from very ancient Greek or Latin Authours; that Art being either unknown or so little advanced among them, that it seems to have proceeded no higher than the daring of Birds: which makes so little thereof to be found in Aristotle, who onely mentions some rude practice thereof in Thracia; as also in Ælian, who speaks something of Hawks and Crows among the Indians; little or nothing of true Falconry being mention’d before Julius Firmicus, in the days of Constantius, Son to Constantine the Great.

Yet if you consult the accounts of later Antiquity left by Demetrius the Greek, by Symmachus and Theodosius, and by Albertus Magnus, about five hundred years ago, you, who have been so long acquainted with this noble Recreation, may better compare the ancient and modern practice, and rightly observe how many things in that Art are added, varied, disused or retained in the practice of these days.

In the Diet of Hawks, they allowed of divers Meats[295] which we should hardly commend. For beside the Flesh of Beef, they admitted of Goat, Hog, Deer, Whelp and Bear. And how you will approve the quantity and measure thereof, I make some doubt; while by weight they allowed half a pound of Beef, seven ounces of Swines Flesh, five of Hare, eight ounces of Whelp, as much of Deer, and ten ounces of He-Goats Flesh.

In the time of Demetrius they were not without the practice of Phlebotomy or Bleeding, which they used in the Thigh and Pounces; they plucked away the Feathers on the Thigh, and rubbed the part, but if the Vein appeared not in that part, they opened the Vein of the fore Talon.

In the days of Albertus, they made use of Cauteries in divers places: to advantage their sight they seared them under the inward angle of the eye; above the eye in distillations and diseases of the Head; in upward pains they seared above the Joint of the Wing, and at the bottom of the Foot, against the Gout; and the chief time for these cauteries they made to be the month of March.

In great coldness of Hawks they made use of Fomentations, some of the steam or vapour of artificial and natural Baths, some wrapt them up in hot Blankets, giving them Nettle Seeds and Butter.

No Clysters are mention’d, nor can they be so profitably used; but they made use of many purging Medicines. They purged with Aloe, which, unto larger Hawks, they gave in the bigness of a Great Bean; unto less, in the quantity of a Cicer, which notwithstanding I should rather give washed, and with a few drops of Oil of Almonds: for the Guts of flying Fowls are tender and easily scratched by it; and upon the use of[296] Aloe both in Hawks and Cormorants I have sometimes observed bloody excretions.

In phlegmatick causes they seldom omitted Stave-saker, but they purged sometimes with a Mouse, and the Food of boiled Chickens, sometimes with good Oil and Honey.

They used also the Ink of Cuttle Fishes, with Smallage, Betony, Wine and Honey. They made use of stronger Medicines than present practice doth allow. For they were not afraid to give Coccus Baphicus; beating up eleven of its Grains unto a Lentor, which they made up into five Pills wrapt up with Honey and Pepper: and, in some of their old Medicines, we meet with Scammony and Euphorbium. Whether, in the tender Bowels of Birds, infusions of Rhubarb, Agaric and Mechoachan be not of safer use, as to take of Agary two Drachms, of Cinnamon half a Drachm, of Liquorish a Scruple, and, infusing them in Wine, to express a part into the mouth of the Hawk, may be considered by present practice.

Few Mineral Medicines were of inward use among them: yet sometimes we observe they gave filings of Iron in the straitness of the Chest, as also Lime in some of their pectoral Medicines.

But they commended Unguents of Quick-silver against the Scab: and I have safely given six or eight Grains of Mercurius Dulcis unto Kestrils and Owls, as also crude and current Quick-silver, giving the next day small Pellets of Silver or Lead till they came away uncoloured: and this, if any, may probably destroy that obstinate Disease of the Filander or Back-worm.

A peculiar remedy they had against the Consumption of Hawks. For, filling a Chicken with Vinegar, they closed up the Bill, and hanging it up untill the[297] Flesh grew tender, they fed the Hawk therewith: and to restore and well Flesh them, they commonly gave them Hogs Flesh, with Oil, Butter and Honey; and a decoction of Cumfory to bouze.

They disallowed of salt Meats and Fat; but highly esteemed of Mice in most indispositions; and in the falling Sickness had great esteem of boiled Batts: and in many Diseases, of the Flesh of Owls which feed upon those Animals. In Epilepsies they also gave the Brain of a Kid drawn thorough a gold Ring; and, in Convulsions, made use of a mixture of Musk and Stercus humanum aridum.

For the better preservation of their Health they strowed Mint and Sage about them; and for the speedier mewing of their Feathers, they gave them the Slough of a Snake, or a Tortoise out of the Shell, or a green Lizard cut in pieces.

If a Hawk were unquiet, they hooded him, and placed him in a Smith’s Shop for some time, where, accustomed to the continual noise of hammering, he became more gentle and tractable.

They used few terms of Art, plainly and intelligibly expressing the parts affected, their Diseases and Remedies. This heap of artificial terms first entring with the French Artists: who seem to have been the first and noblest Falconers in the Western part of Europe; although, in their Language, they have no word which in general expresseth an Hawk.

They carried their Hawks in the left hand, and let them flie from the right. They used a Bell, and took great care that their Jesses should not be red, lest Eagles should flie at them. Though they used Hoods, we have no clear description of them, and little account of their Lures.


The ancient Writers left no account of the swiftness of Hawks or measure of their flight: but Heresbachius[261] delivers that William Duke of Cleve had an Hawk which, in one day, made a flight out of Westphalia into Prussia. And, upon good account, an Hawk in this Country of Norfolk, made a flight at a Woodcock near thirty miles in one hour. How far the Hawks, Merlins and wild Fowl which come unto us with a North-west wind in the Autumn, flie in a day, there is no clear account; but coming over Sea their flight hath been long, or very speedy. For I have known them to light so weary on the coast, that many have been taken with Dogs, and some knock’d down with Staves and Stones.

Their Perches seem not so large as ours; for they made them of such a bigness that their Talons might almost meet: and they chose to make them of Sallow, Poplar or Lime Tree.

They used great clamours and hollowing in their flight, which they made by these words, ou loi, la, la, la; and to raise the Fowls, made use of the sound of a Cymbal.

Their recreation seemed m[299]ore sober and solemn than ours at present, so improperly attended with Oaths and Imprecations. For they called on God at their setting out, according to the account of Demetrius, τὸν Θεὸν ἐπικαλέσαντες, in the first place calling upon God.

The learned Rigaltius thinketh, that if the Romans had well known this airy Chase, they would have left or less regarded their Circensial Recreations. The Greeks understood Hunting early, but little or nothing of our Falconry. If Alexander had known it, we might have found something of it and more of Hawks in Aristotle; who was so unacquainted with that way, that he thought that Hawks would not feed upon the Heart of Birds. Though he hath mention’d divers Hawks, yet Julius Scaliger, an expert Falconer, despaired to reconcile them unto ours. And ’tis well if, among them, you can clearly make out a Lanner, a Sparrow Hawk and a Kestril, but must not hope to find your Gier Falcon there, which is the noble Hawk; and I wish you one no worse than that of Henry King of Navarre; which, Scaliger saith, he saw strike down a Buzzard, two wild Geese, divers Kites, a Crane and a Swan.

Nor must you expect from high Antiquity the distinctions of Eyess and Ramage Hawks, of Sores and Entermewers, of Hawks of the Lure and the Fist; nor that material distinction into short and long winged Hawks; from whence arise such differences in their taking down of Stones; in their flight, their striking down or seizing of their Prey, in the strength of their Talons, either in the Heel and fore-Talon, or the middle and the Heel: nor yet what Eggs produce the different Hawks, or when they lay three Eggs, that the first produceth a Female and large Hawk, the second of a midler sort, and the third a smaller Bird Tercellene or Tassel of the Masle Sex; which Hawks being onely observed abroad by the Ancients, were looked upon as Hawks of different kinds and not of the same Eyrie or Nest. As for what Aristotle affirmeth that Hawks and Birds of prey drink not; although you know that it will not strictly hold, yet I kept an Eagle two years, which fed upon Kats, Kittlings, Whelps and Ratts, without one drop of Water.

If any thing may add unto your knowledge in this noble Art, you must pick it out of later Writers than those you enquire of. You may peruse the two Books of[300] Falconry writ by that renowned Emperour Frederick the Second; as also the Works of the noble Duke Belisarius, of Tardiffe, Francherius, of Francisco Sforzino of Vicensa; and may not a little inform or recreate your self with that elegant Poem of Thuanus.[262] I leave you to divert your self by the perusal of it, having, at present, no more to say but that I am, etc.


[261] De Re Accipitraria, in 3 Books.

[262] De Re Rustica.





With what difficulty, if possibility, you may expect satisfaction concerning the Musick, or Musical Instruments of the Hebrews, you will easily discover if you consult the attempts of learned men upon that Subject: but for Cymbals, of whose Figure you enquire, you may find some described in Bayfius, in the Comment of Rhodius upon Scribonius Largus, and others.

As for Κύμβαλον ἀλαλάζον mentioned by S. Paul,[263] and rendred a Tinckling Cymbal, whether the translation be not too soft and diminutive some question may be made: for the word ἀλαλάζον implieth no small sound, but a strained and lofty vociferation, or some kind of hollowing sound, according to the Exposition of Hesychius, Ἀλαλάξατε ἐνυψώσατε τὴν φωνήν. A word drawn from the lusty shout of Souldiers, crying Ἀλαλὰ at the first charge upon their Enemies, according to the custom of Eastern Nations, and used by Trojans in Homer; and is also the Note of the Chorus in Aristophanes Ἀλαλαἰ ὶὴ παιών. In other parts of Scripture we reade of loud and high sounding Cymbals; and in Clemens Alexandrinus that the Arabians made use of Cymbals in their Wars instead[302] of other military Musick; and Polyænus in his Stratagemes affirmeth that Bacchus gave the signal of Battel unto his numerous Army not with Trumpets but with Tympans and Cymbals.

And now I take the opportunity to thank you for the new Book sent me containing the Anthems sung in our Cathedral and Collegiate Churches: ’tis probable there will be additions, the Masters of Musick being now active in that affair. Beside my naked thanks I have yet nothing to return you but this enclosed, which may be somewhat rare unto you, and that is a Turkish Hymn translated into French out of the Turkish Metre, which I thus render unto you.

O what praise doth he deserve, and how great is that Lord, all whose Slaves are as so many Kings!

Whosoever shall rub his Eyes with the dust of his Feet, shall behold such admirable things that he shall fall into an ecstasie.

He that shall drink one drop of his Beverage, shall have his Bosome like the Ocean filled with Gems and pretious Liquours.

Let not loose the Reins unto thy Passions in this world: he that represseth them shall become a true Solomon in the Faith.

Amuse not thy self to adore Riches, nor to build great Houses and Palaces.

The end of what thou shall build is but ruine.

Pamper not thy Body with delicacies and dainties; it may come to pass one day that this Body may be in Hell.

Imagine not that he who findeth Riches findeth Happiness; he that findeth Happiness is he that findeth God.

All who prostrating themselves in humility shall this day believe in Velè,[264] if they were Poor shall be Rich, and if Rich shall become Kings.

After the Sermon ended which was made upon a Verse[303] in the Alcoran containing much Morality, the Deruices in a Gallery apart sung this Hymn, accompanied with Instrumental Musick, which so affected the Ears of Monsieur du Loyr, that he would not omit to set it down, together with the Musical Notes, to be found in his first Letter unto Monsieur Bouliau, Prior of Magny.

Excuse my brevity: I can say but little where I understand but little.

I am, etc.


[263] Cor. 13. 1

[264] Velè the Founder of the Convent.



or Gradual Verses, Etc.

Mens mea sublimes rationes præmeditatur.



Though I may justly allow a good intention in this Poem presented unto you, yet I must needs confess, I have no affection for it; as being utterly averse from all affectation in Poetry, which either restrains the phancy, or fetters the invention to any strict disposure of words. A poem of this nature is to be found in Ausonius beginning thus,

Spes Deus æternæ stationis conciliator.

These are Verses Ropalici or Clavales, arising gradually like the Knots in a Ῥοπάλη or Clubb; named also Fistulares by Priscianus, as Elias Vinetus[265] hath noted. They consist properly of five words, each thereof encreasing by one syllable. They admit not of a Spondee in the fifth place, nor can a Golden or Silver Verse be made this way. They run smoothly both in Latin and Greek, and some are scatteringly to be found in Homer; as,

Ὦ μάκαρ Ἀτρείδη μοιρηγενὲς ὀλβιοδαίμον,

Liberè dicam sed in aurem, ego versibus hujusmodi Ropalicis, longo syrmate protractis, Ceraunium affigo.


He that affecteth such restrained Poetry, may peruse the Long Poem of Hugbaldus the Monk, wherein every word beginneth with a C penned in the praise of Calvities or Baldness, to the honour of Carolus Calvus King of France,

Carmina clarisonæ calvis cantate Camænæ.

The rest may be seen at large in the adversaria of Barthius: or if he delighteth in odd contrived phancies may he please himself with Antistrophes, Counterpetories, Retrogrades, Rebusses, Leonine Verses, etc. to be found in Sieur des Accords. But these and the like are to be look’d upon, not pursued, odd works might be made by such ways; and for your recreation I propose these few lines unto you,

Arcu paratur quod arcui sufficit.
Misellorum clamoribus accurrere non tam humanum quam sulphureum est.
Asino teratur quæ Asino teritur.
Ne Asphodelos comedas, phœnices manduca.
Cœlum aliquid potest, sed quæ mira præstat Papilio est.

Not to put you unto endless amusement, the Key hereof is the homonomy of the Greek made use of in the Latin words, which rendreth all plain. More ænigmatical and dark expressions might be made if any one would speak or compose them out of the numerical Characters or characteristical Numbers set down by Robertus de Fluctibus.[266]

As for your question concerning the contrary expressions of the Italian and Spaniards in their common affirmative answers, the Spaniard answering cy Sennor,[306] the Italian Signior cy, you must be content with this Distich,

Why saith the Italian Signior cy, the Spaniard cy Sennor?
Because the one puts that behind, the other puts before.

And because you are so happy in some Translations, I pray return me these two verses in English,

Occidit heu tandem multos quæ occidit amantes,
Et cinis est hodie quæ fuit ignis heri.

My occasions make me to take off my Pen. I am, etc.


[265] El Vinet. in Auson.

[266] Tract 2. Part lib. 1.



And particularly of the Saxon Tongue.



The last Discourse we had of the Saxon Tongue recalled to my mind some forgotten considerations. Though the Earth were widely peopled before the Flood, (as many learned men conceive) yet whether after a large dispersion, and the space of sixteen hundred years, men maintained so uniform a Language in all parts, as to be strictly of one Tongue, and readily to understand each other, may very well be doubted. For though the World preserved in the Family of Noah before the confusion of Tongues might be said to be of one Lip, yet even permitted to themselves their humours, inventions, necessities, and new objects, without the miracle of Confusion at first, in so long a tract of time, there had probably been a Babel. For whether America were first peopled by one or several Nations, yet cannot that number of different planting Nations, answer the multiplicity of their present different Languages, of no affinity unto each other; and even in their Northern Nations and incommunicating Angles, their Languages[308] are widely differing. A native Interpreter brought from California proved of no use unto the Spaniards upon the neighbour Shore. From Chiapa, to Guatemala, S. Salvador, Honduras, there are at least eighteen several languages; and so numerous are they both in the Peruvian and Mexican Regions, that the great Princes are fain to have one common Language, which besides their vernaculous and Mother Tongues, may serve for commerce between them.

And since the confusion of Tongues at first fell onely upon those which were present in Sinaar at the work of Babel, whether the primitive Language from Noah were onely preserved in the Family of Heber, and not also in divers others, which might be absent at the same, whether all came away and many might not be left behind in their first Plantations about the foot of the Hills, whereabout the Ark rested and Noah became an Husbandman, is not absurdly doubted.

For so the primitive Tongue might in time branch out into several parts of Europe and Asia, and thereby the first or Hebrew Tongue which seems to be ingredient into so many Languages, might have larger originals and grounds of its communication and traduction than from the Family of Abraham, the Country of Canaan and words contained in the Bible which come short of the full of that Language. And this would become more probable from the Septuagint or Greek Chronology strenuously asserted by Vossius; for making five hundred years between the Deluge and the days of Peleg, there ariseth a large latitude of multiplication and dispersion of People into several parts, before the descent of that Body which followed Nimrod unto Sinaar from the East.

They who derive the bulk of European Tongues[309] from the Scythian and the Greek, though they may speak probably in many points, yet must needs allow vast difference or corruptions from so few originals, which however might be tolerably made out in the old Saxon, yet hath time much confounded the clearer derivations. And as the knowledge thereof now stands in reference unto our selves, I find many words totally lost, divers of harsh sound disused or refined in the pronunciation, and many words we have also in common use not to be found in that Tongue, or venially derivable from any other from whence we have largely borrowed, and yet so much still remaineth with us that it maketh the gross of our Language.

The religious obligation unto the Hebrew Language hath so notably continued the same, that it might still be understood by Abraham, whereas by the Mazorite Points and Chaldee Character the old Letter stands so transformed, that if Moses were alive again, he must be taught to reade his own Law.

The Chinoys, who live at the bounds of the Earth, who have admitted little communication, and suffered successive incursions from one Nation, may possibly give account of a very ancient Language; but consisting of many Nations and Tongues; confusion, admixtion and corruption in length of time might probably so have crept in as without the virtue of a common Character, and lasting Letter of things, they could never probably make out those strange memorials which they pretend, while they still make use of the Works of their great Confutius many hundred years before Christ, and in a series ascend as high as Poncuus, who is conceived our Noah.

The present Welch, and remnant of the old Britanes, hold so much of that ancient Language, that they[310] make a shift to understand the Poems of Merlin, Enerin, Telesin, a thousand years ago, whereas the Herulian Pater Noster, set down by Wolfgangus Lazius, is not without much criticism made out, and but in some words; and the present Parisians can hardly hack out those few lines of the League between Charles and Lewis, the Sons of Ludovicus Pius, yet remaining in old French.

The Spaniards, in their corruptive traduction and Romance, have so happily retained the terminations from the Latin, that notwithstanding the Gothick and Moorish intrusion of words, they are able to make a Discourse completely consisting of Grammatical Latin and Spanish, wherein the Italians and French will be very much to seek.

The learned Casaubon conceiveth that a Dialogue might be composed in Saxon onely of such words as are derivable from the Greek, which surely might be effected, and so as the learned might not uneasily find it out. Verstegan made no doubt that he could contrive a Letter which might be understood by the English, Dutch and East Frislander, which, as the present confusion standeth, might have proved no very clear Piece, and hardly to be hammer’d out: yet so much of the Saxon still remaineth in our English, as may admit an orderly discourse and series of good sense, such as not onely the present English, but Ælfric, Bede and Alured might understand after so many hundred years.

Nations that live promiscuously, under the Power and Laws of Conquest, do seldom escape the loss of their Language with their Liberties, wherein the Romans were so strict that the Grecians were fain to conform in their judicial Processes; which made the[311] Jews loose more in seventy years dispersion in the Provinces of Babylon, than in many hundred in their distinct habitation in Ægypt; and the English which dwelt dispersedly to loose their Language in Ireland, whereas more tolerable reliques there are thereof in Fingall, where they were closely and almost solely planted; and the Moors which were most huddled together and united about Granada, have yet left their Arvirage among the Granadian Spaniards.

But shut up in Angles and inaccessible corners, divided by Laws and Manners, they often continue long with little mixture, which hath afforded that lasting life unto the Cantabrian and British Tongue, wherein the Britanes are remarkable, who, having lived four hundred years together with the Romans, retained so much of the British as it may be esteemed a Language; which either they resolutely maintained in their cohabitation with them in Britane, or retiring after in the time of the Saxons into Countries and parts less civiliz’d and conversant with the Romans, they found the People distinct, the Language more intire, and so fell into it again.

But surely no Languages have been so straitly lock’d up as not to admit of commixture. The Irish, although they retain a kind of a Saxon Character, yet have admitted many words of Latin and English. In the Welch are found many words from Latin, some from Greek and Saxon. In what parity and incommixture the Language of that People stood which were casually discovered in the heart of Spain, between the Mountains of Castile, no longer ago than in the time of Duke D’ Alva, we have not met with a good account any farther than that their words were Basquish or Cantabrian: but the present Basquensa one of the minor[312] Mother Tongues of Europe, is not without commixture of Latin and Castilian, while we meet with Santifica, tentationeten, Glaria, puissanea, and four more in the short Form of the Lord’s Prayer, set down by Paulus Merula: but although in this brief Form we may find such commixture, yet the bulk of their Language seems more distinct, consisting of words of no affinity unto others, of numerals totally different, of differing Grammatical Rule, as may be observed in the Dictionary and short Basquensa Grammar, composed by Raphael Nicoleta, a Priest of Bilboa.

And if they use the auxiliary Verbs of Equin and Ysan, answerable unto Hazer and Ser, to Have, and Be, in the Spanish, which Forms came in with the Northern Nations into the Italian, Spanish and French, and if that Form were used by them before, and crept not in from imitation of their neighbours, it may shew some ancienter traduction from Northern Nations, or else must seem very strange; since the Southern Nations had it not of old, and I know not whether any such mode be found in the Languages of any part of America.

The Romans, who made the great commixture and alteration of Languages in the World, effected the same, not onely by their proper Language, but those also of their military Forces, employed in several Provinces, as holding a standing Militia in all Countries, and commonly of strange Nations; so while the cohorts and Forces of the Britanes were quartered in Ægypt, Armenia, Spain, Illyria, etc. the Stablæsians and Dalmatians here, the Gauls, Spaniards and Germans in other Countries, and other Nations in theirs, they could not but leave many words behind them, and carry away many with them, which might make that in many[313] words of very distinct Nations some may still remain of very unknown and doubtfull Genealogy.

And if, as the learned Buxhornius contendeth, the Scythian Language as the Mother Tongue runs through the Nations of Europe, and even as far as Persia, the community in many words between so many Nations, hath a more reasonable original traduction, and were rather derivable from the common Tongue diffused through them all, than from any particular Nation, which hath also borrowed and holdeth but at second hand.

The Saxons settling over all England, maintained an uniform Language, onely diversified in Dialect, Idioms, and minor differences, according to their different Nations which came in to the common Conquest, which may yet be a cause of the variation in the speech and words of several parts of England, where different Nations most abode or settled, and having expelled the Britanes, their Wars were chiefly among themselves, with little action with foreign Nations untill the union of the Heptarchy under Egbert; after which time although the Danes infested this Land and scarce left any part free, yet their incursions made more havock in Buildings, Churches and Cities, than the Language of the Country, because their Language was in effect the same, and such as whereby they might easily understand one another.

And if the Normans, which came into Neustria or Normandy with Rollo the Dane, had preserved their Language in their new acquists, the succeeding Conquest of England, by Duke William of his race, had not begot among us such notable alterations; but having lost their Language in their abode in Normandy before they adventured upon England, they confounded[314] the English with their French, and made the grand mutation, which was successively encreased by our possessions in Normandy, Guien and Aquitain, by our long Wars in France, by frequent resort of the French, who to the number of some thousands came over with Isabel Queen to Edward the Second, and the several Matches of England with the Daughters of France before and since that time.

But this commixture, though sufficient to confuse, proved not of ability to abolish the Saxon words; for from the French we have borrowed many Substantives, Adjectives and some Verbs, but the great Body of Numerals, auxiliary Verbs, Articles, Pronouns, Adverbs, Conjunctions and Prepositions, which are the distinguishing and lasting part of a Language, remain with us from the Saxon, which, having suffered no great alteration for many hundred years, may probably still remain, though the English swell with the inmates of Italian, French and Latin. An Example whereof may be observ’d in this following.

English I.

The first and formost step to all good Works is the dread and fear of the Lord of Heaven and Earth, which thorough the Holy Ghost enlightneth the blindness of our sinfull hearts to tread the ways of wisedom, and leads our feet into the Land of Blessing.

Saxon I.

The erst and fyrmost stæp to eal gode Weorka is the dræd and feurt of the Lauord of Heofan and Eorth, whilc thurh the Heilig Gast onlihtneth the blindnesse of ure sinfull heorte to træd the wæg of[315] wisdome, and thone læd ure fet into the Land of Blessung.

English II.

For to forget his Law is the Door, the Gate and Key to let in all unrighteousness, making our Eyes, Ears and Mouths to answer the lust of Sin, our Brains dull to good Thoughts, our Lips dumb to his Praise, our Ears deaf to his Gospel, and our Eyes dim to behold his Wonders, which witness against us that we have not well learned the word of God, that we are the Children of wrath, unworthy of the love and manifold gifts of God, greedily following after the ways of the Devil and witchcraft of the World, doing nothing to free and keep our selves from the burning fire of Hell, till we be buried in Sin and swallowed in Death, not to arise again in any hope of Christ’s Kingdom.

Saxon II.

For to fuorgytan his Laga is the Dure, the Gat and Cæg to let in eal unrightwisnysse, makend ure Eyge, Eore and Muth to answare the lust of Sin, ure Brægan dole to gode Theoht, ure Lippan dumb to his Preys, ure Earen deaf to his Gospel, and ure Eyge dim to behealden his Wundra, whilc ge witnysse ongen us that wee œf noht wel gelæred the weord of God, that wee are the Cilda of ured, unwyrthe of the lufe and mænigfeald gift of God, grediglice felygend æfter the wægen of the Deoful and wiccraft of the Weorld, doend nothing to fry and cæp ure saula from the byrnend fyr of Hell, till we be geburied in Synne and swolgen in Death not to arise agen in ænig hope of Christes Kynedome.


English III.

Which draw from above the bitter doom of the Almighty of Hunger, Sword, Sickness, and brings more sad plagues than those of Hail, Storms, Thunder, Bloud, Frogs, swarms of Gnats and Grashoppers, which ate the Corn, Grass and Leaves of the Trees in Ægypt.

Saxon III.

Whilc drag from buf the bitter dome of the Almagan of Hunger, Sweorde, Seoknesse, and bring mere sad plag, thone they of Hagal, Storme, Thunner, Blode, Frog, swearme of Gnæt and Gærsupper, whilc eaten the Corn, Gærs and Leaf of the Treowen in Ægypt.

English IV.

If we reade his Book and holy Writ, these among many others, we shall find to be the tokens of his hate, which gathered together might mind us of his will, and teach us when his wrath beginneth, which sometimes comes in open strength and full sail, oft steals like a Thief in the night, like Shafts shot from a Bow at midnight, before we think upon them.

Saxon IV.

Gyf we ræd his Boc and heilig Gewrit, these gemong mænig othern, we sceall findan the tacna of his hatung whilc gegatherod together miht gemind us of his willan, and teac us whone his ured onginneth, whilc sometima come in open strength and fill seyle, oft stæl gelyc a Theof in the niht, gelyc Sceaft scoten fram a Boge at midneoht, beforan we thinck uppen them.


English V.

And though they were a deal less, and rather short than beyond our sins, yet do we not a whit withstand or forbear them, we are wedded to, not weary of our misdeeds, we seldom look upward, and are not ashamed under sin, we cleanse not our selves from the blackness and deep hue of our guilt; we want tears and sorrow, we weep not, fast not, we crave not forgiveness from the mildness, sweetness and goodness of God, and with all livelihood and stedfastness to our uttermost will hunt after the evil of guile, pride, cursing, swearing, drunkenness, overeating, uncleanness, all idle lust of the flesh, yes many uncouth and nameless sins, hid in our inmost Breast and Bosomes, which stand betwixt our forgiveness, and keep God and Man asunder.

Saxon V.

And theow they wære a dæl lesse, and reither scort thone begond oure sinnan, get do we naht a whit withstand and forbeare them, we eare bewudded to, noht werig of ure agen misdeed, we seldon loc upweard, and ear not ofschæmod under sinne, we cleans noht ure selvan from the blacnesse and dæp hue of ure guilt; we wan teare and sara, we weope noht, fæst noht, we craf noht foregyfnesse fram the mildnesse, sweetnesse and goodnesse of God, and mit eal lifelyhood and stedfastnesse to ure uttermost witt hunt æfter the ufel of guile, pride, cursung, swearung, druncennesse, overeat, uncleannesse and eal idle lust of the flæsc, vis mænig uncuth and nameleas sinnan, hid in ure inmæst Brist and Bosome, whilc stand betwixt ure foregyfnesse, and cæp God and Man asynder.


English VI.

Thus are we far beneath and also worse than the rest of God’s Works; for the Sun and Moon, the King and Queen of Stars, Snow, Ice, Rain, Frost, Dew, Mist, Wind, fourfooted and creeping things, Fishes and feathered Birds, and Fowls either of Sea or Land do all hold the Laws of his will.

Saxon VI.

Thus eare we far beneoth and ealso wyrse thone the rest of Gods Weorka; for the Sune and Mone, the Cyng and Cquen of Stearran, Snaw, Ise, Ren, Frost, Deaw, Miste, Wind, feower fet and crypend dinga, Fix yefetherod Brid, and Fælan auther in Sæ or Land do eal heold the Lag of his willan.

Thus have you seen in few words how near the Saxon and English meet.

Now of this account the French will be able to make nothing; the modern Danes and Germans, though from several words they may conjecture at the meaning, yet will they be much to seek in the orderly sense and continued construction thereof, whether the Danes can continue such a series of sense out of their present Language and the old Runick, as to be intelligible unto present and ancient times, some doubt may well be made; and if the present French would attempt a Discourse in words common unto their present Tongue and the old Romana Rustica spoken in Elder times, or in the old Language of the Francks, which came to be in use some successions after Pharamond, it might prove a Work of some trouble to effect.


It were not impossible to make an Original reduction of many words of no general reception in England but of common use in Norfolk, or peculiar to the East Angle Countries; as, Bawnd, Bunny, Thurck, Enemmis, Sammodithee, Mawther, Kedge, Seele, Straft, Clever, Matchly, Dere, Nicked, Stingy, Noneare, Feft, Thepes, Gosgood, Kamp, Sibrit, Fangast, Sap, Cothish, Thokish, Bide owe, Paxwax: of these and some others of no easie originals, when time will permit, the resolution may be attempted; which to effect, the Danish Language new and more ancient may prove of good advantage: which Nation remained here fifty years upon agreement, and have left many Families in it, and the Language of these parts had surely been more commixed and perplex, if the Fleet of Hugo de Bones had not been cast away, wherein threescore thousand Souldiers out of Britany and Flanders were to be wafted over, and were by King John’s appointment to have a settled habitation in the Counties of Norfolk and Suffolk.

But beside your laudable endeavours in the Saxon, you are not like to repent you of your studies in the other European and Western Languages, for therein are delivered many excellent Historical, Moral and Philosophical Discourses, wherein men merely versed in the learned Languages are often at a loss: but although you are so well accomplished in the French, you will not surely conceive that you are master of all the Languages in France, for to omit the Briton, Britonant or old British, yet retained in some part of Britany, I shall onely propose this unto your construction.

Chavalisco d’ aquestes Boemes chems an freitado lou[320] cap cun taules Jargonades, ero necy chi voluiget bouta sin tens embè aquelles. Anin à lous occells, che dizen tat prou ben en ein voz L’ ome nosap comochodochi yen ay jes de plazer, d’ ausir la mitat de paraulles en el mon.

This is a part of that Language which Scaliger nameth Idiotismus Tectosagicus, or Langue d’ oc, counterdistinguishing it unto the Idiotismus Francicus, or Langue d’ouy, not understood in a petty corner or between a few Mountains, but in parts of early civility, in Languedoc, Provence and Catalonia, which put together will make little less than England.

Without some knowledge herein you cannot exactly understand the Works of Rablais: by this the French themselves are fain to make out that preserved relique of old French, containing the League between Charles and Lewis the Sons of Ludovicus Pius. Hereby may tolerably be understood the several Tracts written in the Catalonian Tongue; and in this is published the Tract of Falconry written by Theodosius and Symmachus: in this is yet conserved the Poem Vilhuardine concerning the French expedition in the Holy War, and the taking of Constantinople, among the Works of Marius Æquicola an Italian Poet. You may find, in this Language, a pleasant Dialogue of Love: this, about an hundred years ago, was in high esteem, when many Italian Wits flocked into Provence; and the famous Petrarcha wrote many of his Poems in Vaucluse in that Country.

For the word [Dread] in the Royal Title [Dread Sovereign] of which you desire to know the meaning, I return answer unto your question briefly thus.

Most men do vulgarly understand this word Dread[321] after the common and English acception, as implying Fear, Awe or Dread.

Others may think to expound it from the French word Droit or Droyt. For, whereas in elder times, the Presidents and Supremes of Courts were termed Sovereigns, men might conceive this a distinctive Title and proper unto the King as eminently and by right the Sovereign.

A third exposition may be made from some Saxon Original, particularly from Driht, Domine, or Drihten, Dominus, in the Saxon Language, the word for Dominus throughout the Saxon Psalms, and used in the expression of the year of our Lord in the Decretal Epistle of Pope Agatho unto Athelred King of the Mercians, Anno, 680.

Verstegan would have this term Drihten appropriate unto God. Yet, in the Constitutions of Withred[267] King of Kent, we find the same word used for a Lord or Master, Si in vesperâ præcedente solem servus ex mandato Domini aliquod opus servile egerit, Dominus (Drihten) 80 solidis luito. However therefore, though Driht, Domine, might be most eminently applied unto the Lord of Heaven, yet might it be also transferred unto Potentates and Gods on Earth, unto whom fealty is given or due, according unto the Feudist term Ligeus à Ligando unto whom they were bound in fealty. And therefore from Driht, Domine, Dread Sovereign, may, probably, owe its Original.

I have not time to enlarge upon this Subject: ‘Pray let this pass, as it is, for a Letter and not for a Treatise. I am

Yours, etc.


[267] V. Cl. Spelmanni Concil.



In many parts of England.

What they are, to what end raised, and by what Nations.


My honoured Friend Mr. E. D.[268] his Quære.

‘In my last Summer’s Journey through Marshland, Holland and a great part of the Fenns, I observed divers artificial heaps of Earth of a very large magnitude, and I hear of many others which are in other parts of those Countries, some of them are at least twenty foot in direct height from the level whereon they stand. I would gladly know your opinion of them, and whether you think not that they were raised by the Romans or Saxons to cover the Bones or Ashes of some eminent persons?’


My Answer.

Worthy Sir,

Concerning artificial Mounts and Hills, raised without Fortifications attending them, in most parts of England, the most considerable thereof I conceive to be of two kinds; that is, either Signal Boundaries and Land-Marks, or else sepulchral Monuments or Hills of Interrment for remarkable and eminent persons, especially such as died in the Wars.

As for such which are sepulchral Monuments, upon bare and naked view they are not appropriable unto any of the three Nations of the Romans, Saxons or Danes, who, after the Britaines, have possessed this Land; because upon strict account, they may be appliable unto them all.

For that the Romans used such hilly Sepultures, beside many other testimonies, seems confirmable from the practice of Germanicus, who thus interred the unburied Bones of the slain Souldiers of Varus; and that expression of Virgil, of high antiquity among the Latins,

——facit ingens monte sub alto
Regis Dercenni terreno ex aggere Bustum.

That the Saxons made use of this way is collectible from several Records, and that pertinent expression of Lelandus,[269] Saxones gens Christi ignara, in hortis amœnis, si domi forte ægroti moriebantur; sin foris et bello occisi, in egestis per campos terræ tumulis (quos Burgos appellabant) sepulti sunt.

That the Danes observed this practice, their own Antiquities do frequently confirm, and it stands precisely delivered by Adolphus Cyprius, as the learned Wormius[270] hath observed. Dani olim in memoriam Regum et Heroum, ex terra coacervata ingentes moles,[324] Montium instar eminentes, erexisse, credibile omnino ac probabile est, atque illis in locis ut plurimum, quo sæpe homines commearent, atque iter haberent, ut in viis publicis posteritati memoriam consecrarent, et quodammodo immortalitati mandarent. And the like Monuments are yet to be observed in Norway and Denmark in no small numbers.

So that upon a single view and outward observation they may be the Monuments of any of these three Nations: Although the greatest number, not improbably, of the Saxons; who fought many Battels with the Britaines and Danes, and also between their own Nations, and left the proper name of Burrows for these Hills still retained in many of them, as the seven Burrows upon Salisbury Plain, and in many other parts of England.

But of these and the like Hills there can be no clear and assured decision without an ocular exploration, and subterraneous enquiry by cutting through one of them either directly or crosswise. For so with lesser charge discovery may be made what is under them, and consequently the intention of their erection.

For if they were raised for remarkable and eminent Boundaries, then about their bottom will be found the lasting substances of burnt Bones of Beasts, of Ashes, Bricks, Lime or Coals.

If Urns be found, they might be erected by the Romans before the term of Urn-burying or custom of burning the dead expired: but if raised by the Romans after that period; Inscriptions, Swords, Shields, and Arms after the Roman mode, may afford a good distinction.

But if these Hills were made by Saxons or Danes, discovery may be made from the fashion of their Arms, Bones of their Horses, and other distinguishing substances buried with them.


And for such an attempt there wanteth not encouragement. For a like Mount or Burrow was opened in the days of King Henry the Eighth upon Barham Down in Kent, by the care of Mr. Thomas Digges and charge of Sir Christopher Hales; and a large Urn with Ashes was found under it, as is delivered by Thomas Twinus De Rebus Albionicis, a learned Man of that Country, Sub incredibili Terræ acervo, Urna cinere ossium magnorum fragmentis plena, cùm galeis, clypeis æneis et ferreis rubigine ferè consumptis, inusitatæ magnitudinis, eruta est: sed nulla inscriptio nomen, nullum testimonium tempus, aut fortunam exponebant: and not very long ago, as Cambden[271] delivereth, in one of the Mounts of Barklow Hills in Essex, being levelled there were found three Troughs, containing broken Bones, conceived to have been of Danes: and in later time we find, that a Burrow was opened in the Isle of Man, wherein fourteen Urns were found with burnt Bones in them; and one more neat than the rest, placed in a Bed of fine white Sand, containing nothing but a few brittle Bones, as having passed the Fire; according to the particular account thereof in the description[272] of the Isle of Man. Surely many noble Bones and Ashes have been contented with such hilly Tombs; which neither admitting Ornament, Epitaph or Inscription, may, if Earthquakes spare them, out last all other Monuments. Suæ sunt Metis metæ. Obelisks have their term, and Pyramids will tumble, but these mountainous Monuments may stand, and are like to have the same period with the Earth.

More might be said, but my business, of another nature, makes me take off my hand. I am

Yours, etc.


[268] [Sir William Dugdale.—Ed.]

[269] Leland. in Assertione Regis Arthuri.

[270] Wormius in Monumentis Danicis.

[271] Cambd. Brit. p. 326.

[272] Published 1656, by Dan. King.



What place is meant by that Name.

Also, of the situations of Sodom, Gomorrha,
Admah, Zeboim, in the dead Sea.



To your Geographical Queries, I answer as follows.

In sundry passages of the new Testament, in the Acts of the Apostles, and Epistles of S. Paul, we meet with the word Troas; how he went from Troas to Philippi in Macedonia, from thence unto Troas again: how he remained seven days in that place; from thence on foot to Assos, whither the Disciples had sailed from Troas, and there, taking him in, made their Voyage unto Cæsarea.

Now, whether this Troas be the name of a City or a certain Region seems no groundless doubt of yours: for that ’twas sometimes taken in the signification of some Country, is acknowledged by Ortelius, Stephanus and Grotius; and it is plainly set down by Strabo, that a Region of Phrygia in Asia minor was so taken in ancient times; and that, at the Trojan War, all the Territory which comprehended the nine Principalities subject unto the King of Ilium, Τροίη λεγομένη, was called by the name of Troja. And this might seem[327] sufficiently to salve the intention of the description, when he came or went from Troas, that is, some part of that Region; and will otherwise seem strange unto many how he should be said to go or come from that City which all Writers had laid in the Ashes about a thousand years before.

All which notwithstanding, since we reade in the Text a particular abode of seven days, and such particulars as leaving of his Cloak, Books and Parchments at Troas: And that S. Luke seems to have been taken in to the Travels of S. Paul in this place, where he begins in the Acts to write in the first person, this may rather seem to have been some City or special Habitation, than any Province or Region without such limitation.

Now that such a City there was, and that of no mean note, is easily verified from historical observation. For though old Ilium was anciently destroyed, yet was there another raised by the relicts of that people, not in the same place, but about thirty Furlongs westward, as is to be learned from Strabo.

Of this place Alexander in his expedition against Darius took especial notice, endowing it with sundry Immunities, with promise of greater matters at his return from Persia; inclined hereunto from the honour he bore unto Homer, whose earnest Reader he was, and upon whose Poems, by the help of Anaxarchus and Callisthenes, he made some observations. As also much moved hereto upon the account of his cognation with the Æacides and Kings of Molossus, whereof Andromache the Wife of Hector was Queen. After the death of Alexander, Lysimachus surrounded it with a Wall, and brought the inhabitants of the neighbour Towns unto it, and so it bore the name of Alexandria;[328] which, from Antigonus, was also called Antigonia, according to the inscription of that famous Medal in Goltsius, Colonia Troas Antigonia Alexandrea, Legio vicesima prima.

When the Romans first went into Asia against Antiochus ’twas but a Κωμόπολις and no great City; but, upon the Peace concluded, the Romans much advanced the same. Fimbria, the rebellious Roman, spoiled it in the Mithridatick War, boasting that he had subdued Troy in eleven days which the Grecians could not take in almost as many years. But it was again rebuilt and countenanced by the Romans, and became a Roman Colony, with great immunities conferred on it; and accordingly it is so set down by Ptolomy. For the Romans, deriving themselves from the Trojans, thought no favour too great for it; especially Julius Cæsar, who, both in imitation of Alexander, and for his own descent from Julus, of the posterity of Æneas, with much passion affected it, and, in a discontented humour,[273] was once in mind to translate the Roman wealth unto it; so that it became a very remarkable place, and was, in Strabo’s time, ἐλλογίμων πόλεων, one of the noble Cities of Asia.

And, if they understood the prediction of Homer in reference unto the Romans, as some expound it in Strabo, it might much promote their affection unto that place; which being a remarkable prophecy, and scarce to be parallel’d in Pagan story, made before Rome was built, and concerning the lasting Reign of the progeny of Æneas, they could not but take especial notice of it. For thus is Neptune made to speak, when he saved Æneas from the fury of Achilles.

Verum agite hunc subito præsenti à morte trahamus
Ne Cronides ira flammet si fortis Achilles
Hunc mactet, fati quem Lex evadere jussit.
Ne genus intereat de læto semine totum
Dardani ab excelso præ cunctis prolibus olim,
Dilecti quos è mortali stirpe creavit,
Nunc etiam Priami stirpem Saturnius odit,
Trojugenum posthæc Æneas sceptra tenebit
Et nati natorum et qui nascentur ab illis.

The Roman favours were also continued unto S. Paul’s days; for Claudius,[274] producing an ancient Letter of the Romans unto King Seleucus concerning the Trojan Privileges, made a Release of their Tributes; and Nero Tacit. l. 13. elegantly pleaded for their Immunities, and remitted all Tributes unto them.

And, therefore, there being so remarkable a City in this Territory, it may seem too hard to loose the same in the general name of the Country; and since it was so eminently favoured by Emperours, enjoying so many Immunities, and full of Roman Privileges, it was probably very populous, and a fit abode for S. Paul, who being a Roman Citizen, might live more quietly himself, and have no small number of faithfull well-wishers in it.

Yet must we not conceive that this was the old Troy, or re-built in the same place with it: for Troas was placed about thirty Furlongs West, and upon the Sea shore; so that, to hold a clearer apprehension hereof than is commonly delivered in the Discourses of the Ruines of Troy, we may consider one Inland Troy or old Ilium, which was built farther within the Land, and so was removed from the Port where the Grecian Fleet lay in Homer; and another Maritime Troy, which was upon the Sea Coast placed in the Maps of Ptolomy, between Lectum and Sigæum or Port Janizam, Southwest from the old City, which was this of S. Paul, and whereunto are appliable the particular accounts of[330] Bellonius, when, not an hundred years ago, he described the Ruines of Troy with their Baths, Aqueducts, Walls and Towers, to be seen from the Sea as he sailed between it and Tenedos; and where, upon nearer view, he observed some signs and impressions of his conversion in the ruines of Churches, Crosses, and Inscriptions upon Stones.

Nor was this onely a famous City in the days of S. Paul, but considerable long after. For, upon the Letter of Adrianus, Philostrat. in Vita Herodis Attici. Herodes Atticus, at a great charge, repaired their Baths, contrived Aqueducts and noble Water-courses in it. As is also collectible from the Medals of Caracalla, of Severus, and Crispina; with Inscriptions, Colonia Alexandria Troas, bearing on the Reverse either an Horse, a Temple, or a Woman; denoting their destruction by an Horse, their prayers for the Emperour’s safety, and, as some conjecture, the memory of Sibylla, Phrygia or Hellespontica.

Nor wanted this City the favour of Christian Princes, but was made a Bishop’s See under the Archbishop of Cyzicum; but in succeeding discords was destroyed and ruined, and the nobler Stones translated to Constantinople by the Turks to beautifie their Mosques and other Buildings.

Concerning the Dead Sea, accept of these few Remarks.

In the Map of the Dead Sea we meet with the Figure of the Cities which were destroyed: of Sodom, Gomorrha, Admah and Zeboim; but with no uniformity; men placing them variously, and, from the uncertainty of their situation, taking a fair liberty to set them where they please.


For Admah, Zeboim and Gomorrha, there is no light from the Text to define their situation. But, that Sodom could not be far from Segor which was seated under the Mountains near the side of the Lake, seems inferrible from the sudden arrival of Lot, who, coming from Sodom at day break, attained to Segor at Sun rising; and therefore Sodom is to be placed not many miles from it, not in the middle of the Lake, which against that place is about eighteen miles over, and so will leave nine miles to be gone in so small a space of time.

The Valley being large, the Lake now in length about seventy English miles, the River Jordan and divers others running over the Plain, ’tis probable the best Cities were seated upon those Streams: but how the Jordan passed or winded, or where it took in the other Streams, is a point too old for Geography to determine.

For, that the River gave the fruitfulness unto this Valley by over watring that low Region, seems plain from that expression in the Text,[275] that it was watered, sicut Paradisus et Ægyptus, like Eden and the Plains of Mesopotamia, where Euphrates yearly overfloweth; or like Ægypt where Nilus doth the like: and seems probable also from the same course of the River not far above this Valley where the Israelites passed Jordan, where ’tis said that Jordan overfloweth its Banks in the time of Harvest.

That it must have had some passage under ground in the compass of this Valley before the creation of this Lake, seems necessary from the great current of Jordan, and from the Rivers Arnon, Cedron, Zaeth, which empty into this Valley; but where to place that concurrence of Waters or place of its absorbition, there is no authentick decision.


The probablest place may be set somewhat Southward, below the Rivers that run into it on the East or Western Shore: and somewhat agreeable unto the account which Brocardus received from the Sarazens which lived near it, Jordanem ingredi Mare Mortuum et rursum egredi, sed post exiguum intervallum à Terra absorberi.

Strabo speaks naturally of this Lake, that it was first caused by Earthquakes, by sulphureous and bituminous eruptions, arising from the Earth. But the Scripture makes it plain to have been from a miraculous hand, and by a remarkable expression, pluit Dominus ignem et Sulphur à Domino. See also Deut. 29. in ardore Salis: burning the Cities and destroying all things about the Plain, destroying the vegetable nature of Plants and all living things, salting and making barren the whole Soil, and, by these fiery Showers, kindling and setting loose the body of the bituminous Mines, which shewed their lower Veins before but in some few Pits and openings, swallowing up the Foundation of their Cities; opening the bituminous Treasures below, and making a smoak like a Furnace able to be discerned by Abraham at a good distance from it.

If this little may give you satisfaction, I shall be glad, as being, Sir,

Yours, etc.


[273] Sueton.

[274] Sueton.

[275] Gen. 13. 10.



of the Oracle of Apollo at Delphos to
Croesus King of Lydia.



Among the Oracles[276] of Appollo there are none more celebrated than those which he delivered unto Crœsus King of Lydia,[277] who seems of all Princes to have held the greatest dependence on them. But most considerable are his plain and intelligible replies which he made unto the same King, when he sent his Chains of Captivity unto Delphos, after his overthrow by Cyrus, with sad expostulations why he encouraged him unto that fatal War by his Oracle, saying,[278] Crœsus, if he Wars against the Persians, shall dissolve a great Empire. Why, at least, he prevented not that sad infelicity of his devoted and bountifull Servant, and whether it were fair or honourable for the Gods of Greece to be ingratefull: which being a plain and open delivery of Delphos, and scarce to be parallel’d in any ancient story, it may well deserve your farther consideration.

1. His first reply was, That Crœsus suffered not for himself; but paid the transgression of his fifth predecessour,[334] who kill’d his Master and usurp’d the dignity unto which he held no title.

Now whether Crœsus suffered upon this account or not, hereby he plainly betrayed his insufficiency to protect him; and also obliquely discovered he had a knowledge of his misfortune; for knowing that wicked act lay yet unpunished, he might well divine some of his successours might smart for it: and also understanding he was like to be the last of that race, he might justly fear and conclude this infelicity upon him.

Hereby he also acknowledged the inevitable justice of God; that though Revenge lay dormant, it would not always sleep; and consequently confessed the just hand of God punishing unto the third and fourth generation, nor suffering such iniquities to pass for ever unrevenged.

Hereby he flatteringly encouraged him in the opinion of his own merits, and that he onely suffered for other mens transgressions: mean while he concealed Crœsus his pride, elation of mind and secure conceit of his own unparallel’d felicity, together with the vanity, pride and height of luxury of the Lydian Nation, which the Spirit of Delphos knew well to be ripe and ready for destruction.

2. A Second excuse was, That it is not in the power of God to hinder the Decree of Fate. A general evasion for any falsified prediction founded upon the common opinion of Fate, which impiously subjecteth the power of Heaven unto it; widely discovering the folly of such as repair unto him concerning future events: which, according unto this rule, must go on as the Fates have ordered, beyond his power to prevent or theirs to avoid; and consequently teaching that his[335] Oracles had onely this use to render men more miserable by foreknowing their misfortunes; whereof Crœsus himself had a sensible experience in that Dæmoniacal Dream concerning his eldest Son, That he should be killed by a Spear, which, after all care and caution, he found inevitably to befall him.

3. In his Third Apology he assured him that he endeavoured to transfer the evil Fate and to pass it upon his Children; and did however procrastinate his infelicity, and deferred the destruction of Sardis and his own Captivity three years longer than was fatally decreed upon it.

Wherein while he wipes off the stain of Ingratitude, he leaves no small doubt whether, it being out of his power to contradict or transfer the Fates of his Servants, it be not also beyond it to defer such signal events, and whereon the Fates of whole Nations do depend.

As also, whether he intended or endeavoured to bring to pass what he pretended, some question might be made. For that he should attempt or think he could translate his infelicity upon his Sons, it could not consist with his judgment, which attempts not impossibles or things beyond his power; nor with his knowledge of future things, and the Fates of succeeding Generations: for he understood that Monarchy was to expire in himself, and could particularly foretell the infelicity of his Sons, and hath also made remote predictions unto others concerning the fortunes of many succeeding descents; as appears in that answer unto Attalus,

Be of good courage, Attalus, thou shalt reign
And thy Sons Sons, but not their Sons again.


As also unto Cypselus King of Corinth.

Happy is the Man who at my Altar stands,
Great Cypselus who Corinth now commands.
Happy is he, his Sons shall happy be,
But for their Sons, unhappy days they’ll see.

Now, being able to have so large a prospect of future things, and of the fate of many Generations, it might well be granted he was not ignorant of the Fate of Crœsus his Sons, and well understood it was in vain to think to translate his misery upon them.

4. In the Fourth part of his reply, he clears himself of Ingratitude which Hell it self cannot hear of; alledging that he had saved his life when he was ready to be burnt, by sending a mighty Showre, in a fair and cloudless day, to quench the Fire already kindled, which all the Servants of Cyrus could not doe. Though this Shower might well be granted, as much concerning his honour, and not beyond his power; yet whether this mercifull Showre fell not out contingently or were not contrived by an higher power, which hath often pity upon Pagans, and rewardeth their vertues sometimes with extraordinary temporal favours; also, in no unlike case, who was the authour of those few fair minutes, which, in a showry day, gave onely time enough for the burning of Sylla’s Body, some question might be made.

5. The last excuse devolveth the errour and miscarriage of the business upon Crœsus, and that he deceived himself by an inconsiderate misconstruction of his Oracle, that if he had doubted, he should not have passed it over in silence, but consulted again for an exposition of it. Besides, he had neither discussed,[337] nor well perpended his Oracle concerning Cyrus, whereby he might have understood not to engage against him.

Wherein, to speak indifferently, the deception and miscarriage seems chiefly to lie at Crœsus his door, who, if not infatuated with confidence and security, might justly have doubted the construction: besides, he had received two Oracles before, which clearly hinted an unhappy time unto him: the first concerning Cyrus.

When ever a Mule shall o’er the Medians reign,
Stay not, but unto Hermus fly amain.

Herein though he understood not the Median Mule of Cyrus, that is, of his mixed descent, and from Assyrian and Median Parents, yet he could not but apprehend some misfortune from that quarter.

Though this prediction seemed a notable piece of Divination, yet did it not so highly magnifie his natural sagacity or knowledge of future events as was by many esteemed; he having no small assistance herein from the Prophecy of Daniel concerning the Persian Monarchy, and the Prophecy of Jeremiah and Isaiah, wherein he might reade the name of Cyrus who should restore the Captivity of the Jews, and must, therefore, be the great Monarch and Lord of all those Nations.

The same misfortune was also foretold when he demanded of Apollo if ever he should hear his dumb Son speak.

O foolish Crœsus who hast made this choice,
To know when thou shalt hear thy dumb Son’s voice;
Better he still were mute, would nothing say,
When he first speaks, look for a dismal day.


This, if he contrived not the time and the means of his recovery, was no ordinary divination: yet how to make out the verity of the story some doubt may yet remain. For though the causes of deafness and dumbness were removed, yet since words are attained by hearing, and men speak not without instruction, how he should be able immediately to utter such apt and significant words, as Ἄνθρωπε, μὴ κτεῖνε Κροῖσον,[279] O Man slay not Crœsus, it cannot escape some doubt, since the Story also delivers, that he was deaf and dumb, that he then first began to speak, and spake all his life after.

Now, if Crœsus had consulted again for a clearer exposition of what was doubtfully delivered, whether the Oracle would have spake out the second time or afforded a clearer answer, some question might be made from the examples of his practice upon the like demands.

So when the Spartans had often fought with ill success against the Tegeates, they consulted the Oracle what God they should appease, to become victorious over them. The answer was, that they should remove the Bones of Orestes. Though the words were plain, yet the thing was obscure, and like finding out the Body of Moses. And therefore they once more demanded in what place they should find the same; unto whom he returned this answer,

When in the Tegean Plains a place thou find’st
Where blasts are made by two impetuous Winds,
Where that that strikes is struck, blows follow blows,
There doth the Earth Orestes Bones enclose.

Which obscure reply the wisest of Sparta could not make out, and was casually unriddled by one talking with a Smith who had found large Bones of a Man[339] buried about his House; the Oracle importing no more than a Smith’s Forge, expressed by a Double Bellows, the Hammer and Anvil therein.

Now, why the Oracle should place such consideration upon the Bones of Orestes the Son of Agamemnon, a mad man and a murtherer, if not to promote the idolatry of the Heathens, and maintain a superstitious veneration of things of no activity, it may leave no small obscurity.

Or why, in a business so clear in his knowledge, he should affect so obscure expressions it may also be wondred; if it were not to maintain the wary and evasive method in his answers: for, speaking obscurely in things beyond doubt within his knowledge, he might be more tolerably dark in matters beyond his prescience.

Though EI were inscribed over the Gate of Delphos, yet was there no uniformity in his deliveries. Sometimes with that obscurity as argued a fearfull prophecy; sometimes so plainly as might confirm a spirit of divinity; sometimes morally, deterring from vice and villany; another time vitiously, and in the spirit of bloud and cruelty: observably modest in his civil enigma and periphrasis of that part which old Numa would plainly name,[280] and Medea would not understand, when he advised Ægeus not to draw out his foot before, untill he arriv’d upon the Athenian ground; whereas another time he seemed too literal in that unseemly epithet unto Cyanus King of Cyprus,[281] and put a beastly trouble upon all Ægypt to find out the Urine of a true Virgin. Sometimes, more beholding unto memory than invention, he delighted to express himself in the bare Verses of Homer. But that he principally affected Poetry, and that the Priest not[340] onely or always composed his prosal raptures into Verse, seems plain from his necromantical Prophecies, whilst the dead Head in Phlegon delivers a long Prediction in Verse; and at the raising of the Ghost of Commodus unto Caracalla, when none of his Ancestours would speak, the divining Spirit versified his infelicities; corresponding herein to the apprehensions of elder times, who conceived not onely a Majesty but something of Divinity in Poetry, and as in ancient times the old Theologians delivered their inventions.

Some critical Readers might expect in his oraculous Poems a more than ordinary strain and true spirit of Apollo; not contented to find that Spirits make Verses like Men, beating upon the filling Epithet, and taking the licence of dialects and lower helps, common to humane Poetry; wherein, since Scaliger, who hath spared none of the Greeks, hath thought it wisedom to be silent, we shall make no excursion.

Others may wonder how the curiosity of elder times, having this opportunity of his Answers, omitted Natural Questions; or how the old Magicians discovered no more Philosophy; and if they had the assistance of Spirits, could rest content with the bare assertions of things, without the knowledge of their causes; whereby they had made their Acts iterable by sober hands, and a standing part of Philosophy. Many wise Divines hold a reality in the wonders of the Ægyptian Magicians, and that those magnalia which they performed before Pharaoh were not mere delusions of Sense. Rightly to understand how they made Serpents out of Rods; Froggs and Bloud of Water, were worth half Porta’s Magick.

Hermolaus Barbarus was scarce in his wits, when, upon conference with a Spirit, he would demand no[341] other question than the explication of Aristotle’s Entelecheia. Appion the Grammarian, that would raise the Ghost of Homer to decide the Controversie of his Country, made a frivolous and pedantick use of Necromancy. Philostratus did as little, that call’d up the Ghost of Achilles for a particular of the Story of Troy. Smarter curiosities would have been at the great Elixir, the Flux and Reflux of the Sea, with other noble obscurities in Nature; but probably all in vain: in matters cognoscible and framed for our disquisition, our Industry must be our Oracle, and Reason our Apollo.

Not to know things without the Arch of our intellectuals, or what Spirits apprehend, is the imperfection of our nature not our knowledge, and rather inscience than ignorance in man. Revelation might render a great part of the Creation easie which now seems beyond the stretch of humane indagation, and welcome no doubt from good hands might be a true Almagest, and great celestial construction: a clear Systeme of the planetical Bodies of the invisible and seeming useless Stars unto us, of the many Suns in the eighth Sphere, what they are, what they contain and to what more immediately those Stupendous Bodies are serviceable. But being not hinted in the authentick Revelation of God, nor known how far their discoveries are stinted; if they should come unto us from the mouth of evil Spirits, the belief thereof might be as unsafe as the enquiry.

This is a copious Subject; but, having exceeded the bounds of a letter, I will not, now, pursue it farther. I am

Yours, etc.


[276] See Vulg. Err. l. 7. c. 12.

[277] Herod. l. 1. 46, 47, etc. 90, 91.

[278] Προλέγουσαι Κροίσω, ἢν στρατεύηται ἐπὶ Πέρσας, μεγάλην ἀρχήν μιν καταλύσειν. Herod. Ibid. 54.

[279] Herod. l. 1. 85.

[280] Plut. in Thes.

[281] V. Herod.



Concerning the future state of several Nations,

In a Letter written upon occasion of an old
Prophecy sent to the Authour from a Friend,
with a Request that he would consider it.



I take no pleasure in Prophecies so hardly intelligible, and pointing at future things from a pretended spirit of Divination; of which sort this seems to be which came unto your hand, and you were pleased to send unto me. And therefore, for your easier apprehension, divertisement and consideration, I present you with a very different kind of prediction: not positively or peremptorily telling you what shall come to pass; yet pointing at things not without all reason or probability of their events; not built upon fatal decrees, or inevitable designations, but upon conjectural foundations, whereby things wished may be promoted, and such as are feared, may more probably be prevented.



When New England shall trouble New Spain.
When Jamaica shall be Lady of the Isles and the Main.
When Spain shall be in America hid,
And Mexico shall prove a Madrid.
When Mahomet’s Ships on the Baltick shall ride,
And Turks shall labour to have Ports on that side.
When Africa shall no more sell out their Blacks
To make Slaves and Drudges to the American Tracts.
When Batavia the Old shall be contemn’d by the New.
When a new Drove of Tartars shall China subdue.
When America shall cease to send out its Treasure,
But employ it at home in American Pleasure.
When the new World shall the old invade,
Nor count them their Lords but their fellows in Trade.
When Men shall almost pass to Venice by Land,
Not in deep Water but from Sand to Sand.
When Nova Zembla shall be no stay
Unto those who pass to or from Cathay.
Then think strange things are come to light,
Whereof but few have had a foresight.



When New England shall trouble New Spain.

That is, When that thriving Colony, which hath so much encreased in our days, and in the space of about fifty years, that they can, as they report, raise between twenty and thirty thousand men upon an exigency, shall in process of time be so advanced, as to be able to send forth Ships and Fleets, as to infest the American Spanish Ports and Maritime Dominions by depredations or assaults; for which attempts they are not like to be unprovided, as abounding in the Materials for Shipping, Oak and Firre. And when length of time shall so far encrease that industrious people, that the neighbouring Country will not contain them, they will range still farther and be able, in time, to set forth great Armies, seek for new possessions, or make considerable and conjoined migrations, according to the custom of swarming Northern Nations; wherein it is not likely that they will move Northward, but toward the Southern and richer Countries, which are either in the Dominions or Frontiers of the Spaniards: and may not improbably erect new Dominions in places not yet thought of, and yet, for some Centuries, beyond their power or Ambition.

When Jamaica shall be Lady of the Isles and the Main.

That is, When that advantageous Island shall be well peopled, it may become so strong and potent as to over-power the neighbouring Isles, and also a part of[345] the main Land, especially the Maritime parts. And already in their infancy they have given testimony of their power and courage in their bold attempts upon Campeche and Santa Martha; and in that notable attempt upon Panama on the Western side of America: especially considering this Island is sufficiently large to contain a numerous people, of a Northern and warlike descent, addicted to martial affairs both by Sea and Land, and advantageously seated to infest their neighbours both of the Isles and the Continent, and like to be a receptacle for Colonies of the same originals from Barbadoes and the neighbour Isles.

When Spain shall be in America hid;
Mexico shall prove a Madrid.

That is, When Spain, either by unexpected disasters, or continued emissions of people into America, which have already thinned the Country, shall be farther exhausted at home: or when, in process of time, their Colonies shall grow by many accessions more than their Originals, then Mexico may become a Madrid, and as considerable in people, wealth and splendour; wherein that place is already so well advanced, that accounts scarce credible are given of it. And it is so advantageously seated, that, by Acapulco and other Ports on the South Sea, they may maintain a communication and commerce with the Indian Isles and Territories, and with China and Japan, and on this side, by Porto Belo and others, hold correspondence with Europe and Africa.

When Mahomet’s Ships in the Baltick shall ride.

Of this we cannot be out of all fear; for, if the[346] Turk should master Poland, he would be soon at this Sea. And from the odd constitution of the Polish Government, the divisions among themselves, jealousies between their Kingdom and Republick; vicinity of the Tartars, treachery of the Cossacks, and the method of Turkish Policy, to be at Peace with the Emperour of Germany when he is at War with the Poles, there may be cause to fear that this may come to pass. And then he would soon endeavour to have Ports upon that Sea, as not wanting Materials for Shipping. And, having a new acquist of stout and warlike men, may be a terrour unto the confiners on that Sea, and to Nations which now conceive themselves safe from such an Enemy.

When Africa shall no more sell out their Blacks.

That is, When African Countries shall no longer make it a common Trade to sell away the people to serve in the drudgery of American Plantations. And that may come to pass when ever they shall be well civilized, and acquainted with Arts and Affairs sufficient to employ people in their Countries: if also they should be converted to Christianity, but especially unto Mahometism; for then they would never sell those of their Religion to be Slaves unto Christians.

When Batavia the Old shall be contemn’d by the New.

When the Plantations of the Hollanders at Batavia in the East Indies, and other places in the East Indies, shall, by their conquests and advancements, become so powerfull in the Indian Territories; Then their Original Countries and States of Holland are like to be contemned by them, and obeyed onely as they please.[347] And they seem to be in a way unto it at present by their several Plantations, new acquists and enlargements: and they have lately discovered a part of the Southern Continent, and several places which may be serviceable unto them, when ever time shall enlarge them unto such necessities.

And a new Drove of Tartars shall China subdue.

Which is no strange thing if we consult the Histories of China, and successive Inundations made by Tartarian Nations. For when the Invaders, in process of time, have degenerated into the effeminacy and softness of the Chineses, then they themselves have suffered a new Tartarian Conquest and Inundation. And this hath happened from time beyond our Histories: for, according to their account, the famous Wall of China, built against the irruptions of the Tartars, was begun above a hundred years before the Incarnation.

When America shall cease to send forth its treasure,
But employ it at home for American Pleasure.

That is, When America shall be better civilized, new policied and divided between great Princes, it may come to pass that they will no longer suffer their Treasure of Gold and Silver to be sent out to maintain the Luxury of Europe and other parts: but rather employ it to their own advantages, in great Exploits and Undertakings, magnificent Structures, Wars or Expeditions of their own.

When the new World shall the old invade.

That is, When America shall be so well peopled,[348] civilized and divided into Kingdoms, they are like to have so little regard of their Originals, as to acknowledge no subjection unto them: they may also have a distinct commerce between themselves, or but independently with those of Europe, and may hostilely and pyratically assault them, even as the Greek and Roman Colonies after a long time dealt with their Original Countries.

When Men shall almost pass to Venice by Land,
Not in deep Waters but from Sand to Sand.

That is, When, in long process of time, the Silt and Sands shall so choak and shallow the Sea in and about it. And this hath considerably come to pass within these fourscore years; and is like to encrease from several causes, especially by the turning of the River Brenta, as the learned Castelli hath declared.

When Nova Zembla shall be no stay
Unto those who pass to or from

That is, When ever that often sought for Northeast passage unto China and Japan shall be discovered; the hindrance whereof was imputed to Nova Zembla; for this was conceived to be an excursion of Land shooting out directly, and so far Northward into the Sea that it discouraged from all Navigation about it. And therefore Adventurers took in at the Southern part at a strait by Waygatz next the Tartarian Shore: and, sailing forward they found that Sea frozen and full of Ice, and so gave over the attempt. But of late years, by the diligent enquiry of some Moscovites, a better discovery is made of these parts, and a Map or Chart[349] made of them. Thereby Nova Zembla is found to be no Island extending very far Northward; but, winding Eastward, it joineth to the Tartarian Continent, and so makes a Peninsula: and the Sea between it which they entred at Waygatz, is found to be but a large Bay, apt to be frozen by reason of the great River of Oby, and other fresh Waters, entring into it: whereas the main Sea doth not freez upon the North of Zembla except near unto Shores; so that if the Moscovites were skilfull Navigatours they might, with less difficulties, discover this passage unto China: but however the English, Dutch and Danes are now like to attempt it again.

But this is Conjecture, and not Prophecy: and so (I know) you will take it. I am,

Sir, etc.




Bibliotheca Abscondita:

Containing some remarkable Books, Antiquities,
Pictures and Rarities of several kinds, scarce
or never seen by any man now living.



With many thanks I return that noble Catalogue of Books, Rarities and Singularities of Art and Nature, which you were pleased to communicate unto me. There are many Collections of this kind in Europe. And, besides the printed accounts of the Musæum Aldrovandi, Calceolarianum, Moscardi, Wormianum; the Casa Abbellitta at Loretto, and Threasor of S. Dennis, the Repository of the Duke of Tuscany, that of the Duke of Saxony, and that noble one of the Emperour at Vienna, and many more are of singular note. Of what in this kind I have by me I shall make no repetition, and you having already had a view thereof, I am bold to present you with the List of a Collection, which I may justly say you have not seen before.

The Title is, as above,

Musæum Clausum, or Bibliotheca Abscondita: containing[351] some remarkable Books, Antiquities, Pictures and Rarities of several kinds, scarce or never seen by any man now living.

1. Rare and generally unknown Books.

1. A poem of Ovidius Naso, written in the Getick Language,[282] during his exile at Tomos, found wrapt up in Wax at Sabaria, on the Frontiers of Hungary, where there remains a tradition that he died, in his return towards Rome from Tomos, either after his pardon or the death of Augustus.

2. The Letter of Quintus Cicero, which he wrote in answer to that of his Brother Marcus Tullius, desiring of him an account of Britany, wherein are described the Country, State and Manners of the Britains of that Age.

3. An Ancient British Herbal, or description of divers Plants of this Island, observed by that famous Physician Scribonius Largus, when he attended the Emperour Claudius in his expedition into Britany.

4. An exact account of the Life and Death of Avicenna confirming the account of his Death by taking nine Clysters together in a fit of the Colick; and not as Marius the Italian Poet delivereth, by being broken upon the Wheel; left with other Pieces by Benjamin Tudelensis, as he travelled from Saragossa to Jerusalem, in the hands of Abraham Jarchi, a famous Rabbi of Lunet near Montpelier, and found in a Vault when the Walls of that City were demolished by Lewis the Thirteenth.


5. A punctual relation of Hannibal’s march out of Spain into Italy, and far more particular than that of Livy, where about he passed the River Rhodanus or Rhosne; at what place he crossed the Isura or L’isere; when he marched up toward the confluence of the Sone and the Rhone, or the place where the City Lyons was afterward built; how wisely he decided the difference between King Brancus and his Brother, at what place he passed the Alpes, what Vinegar he used, and where he obtained such quantity to break and calcine the Rocks made hot with Fire.

6. A learned Comment upon the Periplus of Hanno the Carthaginian, or his Navigation upon the Western Coast of Africa, with the several places he landed at; what Colonies he settled, what Ships were scattered from his Fleet near the Æquinoctial Line, which were not afterward heard of, and which probably fell into the Trade Winds, and were carried over into the Coast of America.

7. A particular Narration of that famous Expedition of the English into Barbary in the ninety fourth year of the Hegira, so shortly touched by Leo Africanus, whither called by the Goths they besieged, took and burnt the City of Arzilla possessed by the Mahometans, and lately the seat of Gayland; with many other exploits delivered at large in Arabick, lost in the Ship of Books and Rarities which the King of Spain took from Siddy Hamet King of Fez, whereof a great part were carried into the Escurial, and conceived to be gathered out of the relations of Hibnu Nachu, the best Historian of the African Affairs.

8. A Fragment of Pythæas that ancient Traveller of[353] Marseille; which we suspect not to be spurious, because, in the description of the Northern Countries, we find that passage of Pythæas mentioned by Strabo, that all the Air beyond Thule is thick, condensed and gellied, looking just like Sea Lungs.

9. A Sub Marine Herbal, describing the several Vegetables found on the Rocks, Hills, Valleys, Meadows at the bottom of the Sea, with many sorts of Alga, Fucus, Quercus, Polygonum, Gramens and others not yet described.

10. Some Manuscripts and Rarities brought from the Libraries of Æthiopia, by Zaga Zaba, and afterward transported to Rome, and scattered by the Souldiers of the Duke of Bourbon, when they barbarously sacked that City.

11. Some Pieces of Julius Scaliger, which he complains to have been stoln from him, sold to the Bishop of Mende in Languedock, and afterward taken away and sold in the Civil Wars under the Duke of Rohan.

12. A Comment of Dioscorides upon Hyppocrates, procured from Constantinople by Amatus Lusitanus, and left in the hands of a Jew of Ragusa.

13. Marcus Tullius Cicero his Geography; as also a part of that magnified Piece of his De Republica, very little answering the great expectation of it, and short of Pieces under the same name by Bodinus and Tholosanus.

14. King Mithridates his Oneirocritica.[354]

Aristotle de Precationibus.

Democritus de his quæ fiunt apud Orcum, et Oceani circumnavigatio.

Epicurus de Pietate.

A Tragedy of Thyestes, and another of Medea, writ by Diogenes the Cynick.

King Alfred upon Aristotle de Plantis.

Seneca’s Epistles to S. Paul.

King Solomon de Umbris Idæarum, which Chicus Asculænus, in his Comment upon Johannes de Sacrobosco, would make us believe he saw in the Library of the Duke of Bavaria.

15. Artemidori Oneirocritici Geographia.

Pythagoras de Mari Rubro.

The Works of Confutius the famous Philosopher of China, translated into Spanish.

16. Josephus in Hebrew, written by himself.

17. The Commentaries of Sylla the Dictatour.

18. A Commentary of Galen upon the Plague of Athens described by Thucydides.

19. Duo Cæsaris Anti-Catones, or the two notable Books writ by Julius Cæsar against Cato; mentioned by Livy, Salustius and Juvenal; which the Cardinal of Liege told Ludovicus Vives were in an old Library of that City.

Mazhapha Einok, or, the Prophecy of Enoch, which Ægidius Lochiensis, a learned Eastern Traveller, told Peireschius that he had found in an old Library at Alexandria containing eight thousand Volumes.

20. A Collection of Hebrew Epistles, which passed[355] between the two learned Women of our age Maria Molinea of Sedan, and Maria Schurman of Utrecht.

A wondrous Collection of some Writings of Ludovica Saracenica, Daughter of Philibertus Saracenicus a Physician of Lyons, who at eight years of age had made a good progress in the Hebrew, Greek and Latin Tongues.

2. Rarities in Pictures.

1. A picture of the three remarkable Steeples or Towers in Europe built purposely awry and so as they seem falling. Torre Pisana at Pisa, Torre Garisenda in Bononia, and that other in the City of Colein.

2. A Draught of all sorts of Sistrums, Crotaloes, Cymbals, Tympans, etc. in use among the Ancients.

3. Large Submarine Pieces, well delineating the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, the Prerie or large Sea-meadow upon the Coast of Provence, the Coral Fishing, the gathering of Sponges, the Mountains, Valleys and Desarts, the Subterraneous Vents and Passages at the bottom of that Sea. Together with a lively Draught of Cola Pesce, or the famous Sicilian Swimmer, diving into the Voragos and broken Rocks by Charybdis, to fetch up the Golden Cup, which Frederick, King of Sicily, had purposely thrown into that Sea.

4. A Moon Piece, describing that notable Battel between Axalla, General of Tamerlane, and Camares the Persian, fought by the light of the Moon.


5. Another remarkable Fight of Inghimmi the Florentine with the Turkish Galleys by Moon-light, who being for three hours grappled with the Basha Galley, concluded with a signal Victory.

6. A delineation of the great Fair of Almachara in Arabia, which, to avoid the great heat of the Sun, is kept in the Night, and by the light of the Moon.

7. A Snow Piece, of Land and Trees covered with Snow and Ice, and Mountains of Ice floating in the Sea, with Bears, Seals, Foxes, and variety of rare Fowls upon them.

8. An Ice Piece describing the notable Battel between the Jaziges and the Romans, fought upon the frozen Danubius, the Romans settling one foot upon their Targets to hinder them from slipping, their fighting with the Jaziges when they were fallen, and their advantages therein by their art in volutation and rolling contention or wrastling, according to the description of Dion.

9. Socia, or a Draught of three persons notably resembling each other. Of King Henry the Fourth of France, and a Miller of Languedock; of Sforza Duke of Milain and a Souldier; of Malatesta Duke of Rimini and Marchesinus the Jester.

10. A Picture of the great Fire which happened at Constantinople in the Reign of Sultan Achmet. The Janizaries in the mean time plundring the best Houses, Nassa Bassa the Vizier riding about with a Cimetre in one hand and a Janizary’s Head in the other to deter[357] them; and the Priests attempting to quench the Fire, by Pieces of Mahomet’s Shirt dipped in holy Water and thrown into it.

11. A Night Piece of the dismal Supper and strange Entertain of the Senatours by Domitian, according to the description of Dion.

12. A Vestal Sinner in the Cave with a Table and a Candle.

13. An Elephant dancing upon the Ropes with a Negro Dwarf upon his Back.

14. Another describing the mighty Stone falling from the Clouds into Ægospotamos or the Goats River in Greece, which Antiquity could believe that Anaxagoras was able to foretell half a year before.

15. Three noble Pieces; of Vercingetorix the Gaul submitting his person unto Julius Cæsar; of Tigranes King of Armenia humbly presenting himself unto Pompey; and of Tamerlane ascending his Horse from the Neck of Bajazet.

16. Draughts of three passionate Looks; of Thyestes when he was told at the Table that he had eaten a piece of his own Son; of Bajazet when he went into the Iron Cage; of Oedipus when he first came to know that he had killed his Father, and married his own Mother.

17. Of the Cymbrian Mother in Plutarch who, after the overthrow by Marius, hanged her self and her two Children at her feet.


18. Some Pieces delineating singular inhumanities in Tortures. The Scaphismus of the Persians. The living truncation of the Turks. The hanging Sport at the Feasts of the Thracians. The exact method of flaying men alive, beginning between the Shoulders, according to the description of Thomas Minadoi, in his Persian War. Together with the studied tortures of the French Traitours at Pappa in Hungaria: as also the wild and enormous torment invented by Tiberius, designed according unto the description of Suetonius. Excogitaverunt inter genera cruciatûs, ut largâ meri potione per fallaciam oneratos repentè veretris deligatis fidicularum simul urinæque tormento distenderet.

19. A Picture describing how Hannibal forced his passage over the River Rhosne with his Elephants, Baggage and mixed Army; with the Army of the Gauls opposing him on the contrary Shore, and Hanno passing over with his Horse much above to fall upon the Rere of the Gauls.

20. A neat Piece describing the Sack of Fundi by the Fleet and Souldiers of Barbarossa the Turkish Admiral, the confusion of the people and their flying up to the Mountains, and Julia Gonzaga the beauty of Italy flying away with her Ladies half naked on Horseback over the Hills.

21. A noble Head of Franciscus Gonzaga, who, being imprisoned for Treason, grew grey in one night, with this Inscription,

O nox quam longa est quæ facit una senem.

22. A large Picture describing the Siege of Vienna[359] by Solyman the Magnificent, and at the same time the Siege of Florence by the Emperour Charles the Fifth and Pope Clement the Seventh, with this Subscription,

Tum vacui capitis populum Phæaca putares?

23. An exquisite Piece properly delineating the first course of Metellus his Pontificial Supper, according to the description of Macrobius; together with a Dish of Pisces Fossiles, garnished about with the little Eels taken out of the backs of Cods and Perches; as also with the Shell Fishes found in Stones about Ancona.

24. A Picture of the noble Entertain and Feast of the Duke of Chausue at the Treaty of Collen, 1673, when in a very large Room, with all the Windows open, and at a very large Table he sate himself, with many great persons and Ladies; next about the Table stood a row of Waiters, then a row of Musicians, then a row of Musketiers.

25. Miltiades, who overthrew the Persians at the Battel of Marathon and delivered Greece, looking out of a Prison Grate in Athens, wherein he died, with this Inscription,

Non hoc terribiles Cymbri non Britones unquam,
Sauromatæve truces aut immanes Agathyrsi.

26. A fair English Lady drawn Al Negro, or in the Æthiopian hue excelling the original White and Red Beauty, with this Subscription,

Sed quondam volo nocte Nigriorem.

27. Pieces and Draughts in Caricatura, of Princes, Cardinals and famous men; wherein, among others,[360] the Painter hath singularly hit the signatures of a Lion and a Fox in the face of Pope Leo the Tenth.

28. Some Pieces A la ventura, or Rare Chance Pieces, either drawn at random, and happening to be like some person, or drawn for some and happening to be more like another; while the Face, mistaken by the Painter, proves a tolerable Picture of one he never saw.

29. A Draught of famous Dwarfs with this Inscription,

Nos facimus Bruti puerum nos Lagona vivum.

30. An exact and proper delineation of all sorts of Dogs upon occasion of the practice of Sultan Achmet; who in a great Plague at Constantinople transported all the Dogs therein unto Pera, and from thence into a little Island, where they perished at last by Famine: as also the manner of the Priests curing of mad Dogs by burning them in the forehead with Saint Bellin’s Key.

31. A noble Picture of Thorismund King of the Goths as he was killed in his Palace at Tholouze, who being let bloud by a Surgeon, while he was bleeding, a stander by took the advantage to stab him.

32. A Picture of rare Fruits with this Inscription,

Credere quæ possis surrepta sororibus Afris.

33. An handsome Piece of Deformity expressed in a notable hard Face, with this Inscription,

Julius in Satyris qualia Rufus habet.

34. A noble Picture of the famous Duel between[361] Paul Manessi and Caragusa the Turk in the time of Amurath the Second; the Turkish Army and that of Scanderbeg looking on; wherein Manessi slew the Turk, cut off his Head and carried away the Spoils of his Body.

3. Antiquities and Rarities of several sorts.

1. Certain ancient Medals with Greek and Roman Inscriptions, found about Crim Tartary; conceived to be left in those parts by the Souldiers of Mithridates, when overcome by Pompey, he marched round about the North of the Euxine to come about into Thracia.

2. Some ancient Ivory and Copper Crosses found with many others in China; conceived to have been brought and left there by the Greek Souldiers who served under Tamerlane in his Expedition and Conquest of that Country.

3. Stones of strange and illegible Inscriptions, found about the great ruines which Vincent le Blanc describeth about Cephala in Africa, where he opinion’d that the Hebrews raised some Buildings of old, and that Solomon brought from thereabout a good part of his Gold.

4. Some handsome Engraveries and Medals, of Justinus and Justinianus, found in the custody of a Bannyan in the remote parts of India, conjectured to have been left there by the Friers mentioned in Procopius, who travelled those parts in the reign of Justinianus,[362] and brought back into Europe the discovery of Silk and Silk Worms.

5. An original Medal of Petrus Aretinus, who was called Flagellum Principum, wherein he made his own Figure on the Obverse part with this Inscription,

Il Divino Aretino.

On the Reverse sitting on a Throne, and at his Feet Ambassadours of Kings and Princes bringing presents unto him, with this Inscription,

I Principi tributati da i Popoli tributano il Servitor loro.

6. Mummia Tholosana; or, The complete Head and Body of Father Crispin, buried long ago in the Vault of the Cordeliers at Tholouse, where the Skins of the dead so drie and parch up without corrupting that their persons may be known very long after, with this Inscription,

Ecce iterum Crispinus.

7. A noble Quandros or Stone taken out of a Vulture’s Head.

8. A large Ostridges Egg, whereon is neatly and fully wrought that famous Battel of Alcazar, in which three Kings lost their lives.

9. An Etiudros Alberti or Stone that is apt to be always moist: usefull unto drie tempers, and to be held in the hand in Fevers instead of Crystal, Eggs, Limmons, Cucumbers.

10. A small Viol of Water taken out of the Stones[363] therefore called Enhydri, which naturally include a little Water in them, in like manner as the Ætites or Aëgle Stone doth another Stone.

11. A neat painted and gilded Cup made out of the Confiti di Tivoli and formed up with powder’d Egg-shells; as Nero is conceived to have made his Piscina admirabilis, singular against Fluxes to drink often therein.

12. The Skin of a Snake bred out of the Spinal Marrow of a Man.

13. Vegetable Horns mentioned by Linschoten, which set in the ground grow up like Plants about Goa.

14. An extract of the Inck of Cuttle Fishes reviving the old remedy of Hippocrates in Hysterical Passions.

15. Spirits and Salt of Sargasso made in the Western Ocean covered with that Vegetable; excellent against the Scurvy.

16. An extract of Cachundè or Liberans that famous and highly magnified Composition in the East Indies against Melancholy.

17. Diarhizon mirificum; or an unparallel’d Composition of the most effectual and wonderfull Roots in Nature.

Rad. Butuæ Cuamensis.
Rad. Moniche Cuamensis.
Rad. Mongus Bazainensis.
Rad. Casei Baizanensis.
Rad. Columbæ Mozambiguensis.
Gim Sem Sinicæ.
Fo Lim lac Tigridis dictæ.
Fo seu.
Cort. Rad. Soldæ.
Rad. Ligni Solorani.
Rad. Malacensis madrededios dictæ an. ℥ij.

M. fiat pulvis, qui cum gelatinâ Cornu cervi Moschati Chinensis formetur in massas oviformes.

18. A transcendent Perfume made of the richest Odorates of both the Indies, kept in a Box made of the Muschie Stone of Niarienburg, with this Inscription,

——Deos rogato
Totum ut te faciant, Fabulle, Nasum.

19. A Clepselæa, or Oil Hour-glass, as the Ancients used those of Water.

20. A Ring found in a Fishes Belly taken about Gorro; conceived to be the same wherewith the Duke of Venice had wedded the Sea.

21. A neat Crucifix made out of the cross Bone of a Frogs Head.

22. A large Agath containing a various and careless Figure, which looked upon by a Cylinder representeth a perfect Centaur. By some such advantages King Pyrrhus might find out Apollo and the nine Muses in those Agaths of his whereof Pliny maketh mention.

23. Batrachomyomachia, or the Homerican Battel between Frogs and Mice, neatly described upon the Chizel Bone of a large Pike’s Jaw.


24. Pyxis Pandoræ, or a Box which held the Unguentum Pestiferum, which by anointing the Garments of several persons begat the great and horrible Plague of Milan.

25. A Glass of Spirits made of Æthereal Salt, Hermetically sealed up, kept continually in Quick-silver; of so volatile a nature that it will scarce endure the Light, and therefore onely to be shown in Winter, or by the light of a Carbuncle, or Bononian Stone.

He who knows where all this Treasure now is, is a great Apollo. I’m sure I am not He. However, I am,

Sir, Yours, etc.


[282] Ah pudet et scripsi Getico sermone Libellum.




to a


upon occasion of the



Intimate Friend



Upon Occasion of the
Death of his Intimate Friend.

Give me leave to wonder that News of this Nature should have such heavy Wings that you should hear so little concerning your dearest Friend, and that I must make that unwilling Repetition to tell you, Ad portam rigidos calces extendit, that he is Dead and Buried, and by this time no Puny among the mighty Nations of the Dead; for tho’ he left this World not very many Days past, yet every Hour you know largely addeth unto that dark Society; and considering the incessant Mortality of Mankind, you cannot conceive there dieth in the whole Earth so few as a thousand an Hour.

Altho’ at this distance you had no early Account or Particular of his Death; yet your Affection may cease to wonder that you had not some secret Sense or Intimation thereof by Dreams, thoughtful Whisperings, Mercurisms, Airy Nuncio’s, or sympathetical Insinuations, which many seem to have had at the Death of their dearest Friends: for since we find in that famous Story, that Spirits themselves were fain to tell their Fellows at a distance, that the great Antonio was dead; we have a sufficient Excuse for our[370] Ignorance in such Particulars, and must rest content with the common Road, and Appian way of Knowledge by Information. Tho’ the uncertainty of the End of this World hath confounded all Human Predictions; yet they who shall live to see the Sun and Moon darkned, and the Stars to fall from Heaven, will hardly be deceiv’d in the Advent of the last Day; and therefore strange it is, that the common Fallacy of consumptive Persons, who feel not themselves dying, and therefore still hope to live, should also reach their Friends in perfect Health and Judgment. That you should be so little acquainted with Plautus’s sick Complexion, or that almost an Hippocratical Face should not alarum you to higher fears, or rather despair of his Continuation in such an emaciated State, wherein medical Predictions fail not, as sometimes in acute Diseases, and wherein ’tis as dangerous to be sentenc’d by a Physician as a Judge.

Upon my first Visit I was bold to tell them who had not let fall all Hopes of his Recovery, that in my sad Opinion he was not like to behold a Grashopper, much less to pluck another Fig; and in no long time after seem’d to discover that odd mortal Symptom in him not mention’d by Hippocrates, that is, to lose his own Face, and look like some of his near Relations; for he maintain’d not his proper Countenance, but look’d like his Uncle, the Lines of whose Face lay deep and invisible in his healthful Visage before: For as from our beginning we run through Variety of Looks, before we come to consistent and setled Faces; so before our End, by sick and languishing alterations, we put on new Visages: and in our Retreat to Earth, may fall upon such Looks which from Community of seminal Originals were before latent in us.


He was fruitlesly put in hope of advantage by change of Air, and imbibing the pure Aerial Nitre of these Parts; and therefore being so far spent, he quickly found Sardinia in Tivoli,[283] and the most healthful Air of little effect, where Death had set her broad Arrow; for he lived not unto the middle of May, and confirmed the Observation of Hippocrates[284] of that mortal time of the Year when the Leaves of the Fig-tree resemble a Daw’s Claw. He is happily seated who lives in Places whose Air, Earth and Water, promote not the Infirmities of his weaker Parts, or is early removed into Regions that correct them. He that is tabidly inclin’d, were unwise to pass his Days in Portugal: Cholical Persons will find little Comfort in Austria or Vienna: He that is weak-legg’d must not be in Love with Rome, nor an infirm Head with Venice or Paris. Death hath not only particular Stars in Heaven, but malevolent Places on Earth, which single out our Infirmities, and strike at our weaker Parts; in which Concern, passager and migrant Birds have the great Advantages; who are naturally constituted for distant Habitations, whom no Seas nor Places limit, but in their appointed Seasons will visit us from Greenland and Mount Atlas, and as some think, even from the Antipodes.[285]

Tho’ we could not have his Life, yet we missed not our desires in his soft Departure, which was scarce an Expiration; and his End not unlike his Beginning, when the salient Point scarce affords a sensible Motion, and his Departure so like unto Sleep, that he scarce[372] needed the civil Ceremony of closing his Eyes; contrary unto the common way wherein Death draws up, Sleep let fall the Eye-lids. With what Strift and Pains we came into the World we know not; but ’tis commonly no easie matter to get out of it: yet if it could be made out, that such who have easie Nativities have commonly hard Deaths, and contrarily; his Departure was so easie, that we might justly suspect his Birth was of another nature, and that some Juno sat cross-legg’d at his Nativity.

Besides his soft Death, the incurable state of his Disease might somewhat extenuate your Sorrow, who know that Monsters[286] but seldom happen, Miracles more rarely, in Physick. Angelus Victorius[287] gives a serious Account of a Consumptive, Hectical, Pthysical Woman, who was suddenly cured by the Intercession of Ignatius. We read not of any in Scripture who in this case applied unto our Saviour, tho’ some may be contain’d in that large Expression, that he went about Galilee healing all manner of Sickness, and all manner of Diseases. Amulets, Spells, Sigils and Incantations, practised in other Diseases, are seldom pretended in this; and we find no Sigil in the Archidoxis of Paracelsus to cure an extreme Consumption or Marasmus, which if other Diseases fail, will put a period unto long Livers, and at last makes Dust of all. And therefore the Stoicks could not but think that the fiery Principle would wear out all the rest, and at last make an end of the World, which notwithstanding without such a lingring period the Creator may effect at his Pleasure: and to make an end of all things on Earth,[373] and our Planetical System of the World, he need but put out the Sun.

I was not so curious to entitle the Stars unto any Concern of his Death, yet could not but take notice that he died when the Moon was in motion from the Meridian; at which time, an old Italian long ago would perswade me that the greatest Part of Men died: but herein I confess I could never satisfie my Curiosity; altho’ from the time of Tides in Places upon or near the Sea, there may be considerable Deductions; and Pliny[288] hath an odd and remarkable Passage concerning the Death of Men and Animals upon the Recess or Ebb of the Sea. However, certain it is he died in the dead and deep part of the Night, when Nox might be most apprehensibly said to be the Daughter of Chaos, the Mother of Sleep and Death, according to old Genealogy; and so went out of this World about that hour when our blessed Saviour entred it, and about what time many conceive he will return again unto it. Cardan[289] hath a peculiar and no hard Observation from a Man’s Hand to know whether he was born in the Day or Night, which I confess holdeth in my own. And Scaliger to that purpose hath another from the tip of the Ear: Most Men are begotten in the Night, Animals in the Day; but whether more Persons have been born in the Night or the Day, were a Curiosity undecidable, tho’ more have perished by violent Deaths in the Day; yet in natural[374] Dissolutions both Times may hold an Indifferency, at least but contingent Inequality. The whole Course of Time runs out in the Nativity and Death of Things; which whether they happen by Succession or Coincidence, are best computed by the natural not artificial Day.

That Charles the Vth was crown’d upon the Day of his Nativity, it being in his own Power so to order it, makes no singular Animadversion; but that he should also take King Francis Prisoner upon that Day, was an unexpected Coincidence, which made the same remarkable. Antipater who had an Anniversary Fever every Year upon his Birth-day, needed no Astrological Revolution to know what Day he should dye on. When the fixed Stars have made a Revolution unto the Points from whence they first set out, some of the Ancients thought the World would have an end; which was a kind of dying upon the Day of its Nativity. Now the Disease prevailing and swiftly advancing about the time of his Nativity, some were of Opinion that he would leave the World on the Day he entred into it: but this being a lingring Disease, and creeping softly on, nothing critical was found or expected, and he died not before fifteen Days after. Nothing is more common with Infants than to die on the Day of their Nativity, to behold the worldly Hours, and but the Fractions thereof; and even to perish before their Nativity in the hidden World of the Womb, and before their good Angel is conceived to undertake them. But in Persons who out-live many Years, and when there are no less than three hundred sixty five days to determine their Lives in every Year; that the first day should make the last, that the Tail of the Snake should return into its Mouth precisely at that[375] time, and they should wind up upon the day of their Nativity,[290] is indeed a remarkable Coincidence, which, tho’ Astrology hath taken witty Pains to salve, yet hath it been very wary in making Predictions of it.

In this consumptive Condition and remarkable Extenuation he came to be almost half himself, and left a great Part behind him which he carried not to the Grave. And tho’ that Story of Duke John Ernestus Mansfield[291] be not so easily swallow’d, that at his Death his Heart was found not to be so big as a Nut; yet if the Bones of a good Skeleton weigh little more than twenty Pounds, his Inwards and Flesh remaining could make no Bouffage, but a light Bit for the Grave. I never more lively beheld the starved Characters of Dante[292] in any living Face; an Aruspex might have read a Lecture upon him without Exenteration, his Flesh being so consumed, that he might, in a manner, have discerned his Bowels without opening of him: so that to be carried sextâ cervice, to the Grave, was but a civil Unnecessity; and the Complements of the Coffin might out-weigh the Subject of it.

Omnibonus Ferrarius[293] in mortal Dysenteries of Children looks for a Spot behind the Ear; in consumptive Diseases some eye the Complexion of Moles; Cardan eagerly views the Nails, some the Lines of the Hand, the Thenar or Muscle of the Thumb; some are so curious as to observe the depth of the Throat-pit, how the Proportion varieth of the Small of the Legs unto the Calf, or the compass of the Neck unto the Circumference of the Head: but all these, with many[376] more, were so drown’d in a mortal Visage, and last Face of Hippocrates, that a weak Physiognomist might say at first Eye, This was a Face of Earth, and that Morta[294] had set her hard Seal upon his Temples, easily perceiving what Caricatura[295] Draughts Death makes upon pined Faces, and unto what an unknown degree a Man may live backward.

Tho’ the Beard be only made a Distinction of Sex, and Sign of masculine Heat by Ulmus, yet the Precocity and early Growth thereof in him, was not to be liked in reference unto long Life. Lewis, that virtuous but unfortunate King of Hungary, who lost his Life at the Battle of Mohacz, was said to be born without a Skin, to have bearded at fifteen,[296] and to have shewn some grey Hairs about twenty; from whence the Diviners conjectur’d, that he would be spoiled of his Kingdom, and have but a short Life: But Hairs make fallible Predictions, and many Temples early grey have out-liv’d d the Psalmist's Period.[297] Hairs which have most amused me have not been in the Face or Head, but on the Back, and not in Men but Children, as I long ago observed in that Endemial Distemper of little Children in Languedock, call’d the Morgellons,[298] wherein they critically break out with harsh Hairs on their Backs, which takes off the unquiet Symptoms of the Disease, and delivers them from Coughs and Convulsions.

The Egyptian Mummies that I have seen, have had their Mouths open, and somewhat gaping, which affordeth a good Opportunity to view and observe their[377] Teeth, wherein ’tis not easie to find any wanting or decay'd; and therefore in Egypt, where one Man practised but one Operation, or the Diseases but of single Parts, it must needs be a barren Profession to confine unto that of drawing of Teeth, and little better than to have been Tooth-drawer unto King Pyrrhus,[299] who had but two in his Head. How the Bannyans of India maintain the Integrity of those Parts, I find not particularly observed; who notwithstanding have an Advantage of their Preservation by abstaining from all Flesh, and employing their Teeth in such Food unto which they may seem at first framed, from their Figure and Conformation: but sharp and corroding Rheums had so early mouldred those Rocks and hardest parts of his Fabrick, that a Man might well conceive that his Years were never like to double or twice tell over his Teeth.[300] Corruption had dealt more severely with them than sepulchral Fires and smart Flames with those of burnt Bodies of old; for in the burnt Fragments of Urnes which I have enquired into, altho' I seem to find few Incisors or Shearers, yet the Dog Teeth and Grinders do notably resist those Fires.

In the Years of his Childhood he had languish’d under the Disease of his Country, the Rickets; after which notwithstanding many have been become strong and active Men; but whether any have attain’d unto very great Years, the Disease is scarce so old as to afford good Observation. Whether the Children of the English Plantations be subject unto the same Infirmity, may be worth the Observing. Whether Lameness and Halting do still encrease among the[378] Inhabitants of Rovigno in Istria, I know not; yet scarce twenty Years ago Monsieur du Loyr observed, that a third part of that People halted: but too certain it is, that the Rickets encreaseth among us; the Small-Pox grows more pernicious than the Great: the King's Purse knows that the King's Evil grows more common. Quartan Agues are become no Strangers in Ireland; more common and mortal in England: and tho' the Ancients gave that Disease[301] very good Words, yet now that Bell makes no strange sound which rings out for the Effects thereof.

Some think there were few Consumptions in the Old World, when Men lived much upon Milk; and that the ancient Inhabitants of this Island were less troubled with Coughs when they went naked, and slept in Caves and Woods, than Men now in Chambers and Feather-beds. Plato will tell us, that there was no such Disease as a Catarrh in Homer’s time, and that it was but new in Greece in his Age. Polydore Virgil delivereth that Pleurisies were rare in England, who lived but in the Days of Henry the Eighth. Some will allow no Diseases to be new, others think that many old ones are ceased and that such which are esteem’d new, will have but their time: However, the Mercy of God hath scatter’d the Great Heap of Diseases, and not loaded any one Country with all: some may be new in one Country which have been old in another. New Discoveries of the Earth discover new Diseases: for besides the common Swarm, there are endemial and local Infirmities proper unto certain Regions, which in the whole Earth make no small Number: and if Asia, Africa, and America should[379] bring in their List, Pandora’s Box would swell, and there must be a strange Pathology.

Most Men expected to find a consumed Kell, empty and bladder-like Guts, livid and marbled Lungs, and a wither’d Pericardium in this exuccous Corps: but some seemed too much to wonder that two Lobes of his Lungs adher’d unto his Side; for the like I had often found in Bodies of no suspected Consumptions or difficulty of Respiration. And the same more often happeneth in Men than other Animals; and some think in Women than in Men; but the most remarkable I have met with, was in a Man, after a Cough of almost fifty Years, in whom all the Lobes adhered unto the Pleura,[302] and each Lobe unto another; who having also been much troubled with the Gout, brake the Rule of Cardan,[303] and died of the Stone in the Bladder. Aristotle makes a Query, Why some Animals cough, as Man; some not, as Oxen. If Coughing be taken as it consisteth of a natural and voluntary motion, including Expectoration and spitting out, it may be as proper unto Man as bleeding at the Nose; otherwise we find that Vegetius and rural Writers have not left so many Medicines in vain against the Coughs of Cattel; and Men who perish by Coughs die the Death of Sheep, Cats and Lions: and tho' Birds have no Midriff, yet we meet with divers Remedies in Arrianus against the Coughs of Hawks. And tho' it might be thought that all Animals who have Lungs do cough; yet in cetaceous Fishes, who have large and strong Lungs, the same is not observed; nor yet[380] in oviparous Quadrupeds: and in the greatest thereof, the Crocodile, altho' we read much of their Tears, we find nothing of that Motion.

From the Thoughts of Sleep, when the Soul was conceived nearest unto Divinity, the Ancients erected an Art of Divination, wherein while they too widely expatiated in loose and inconsequent Conjectures, Hippocrates[304] wisely considered Dreams as they presaged Alterations in the Body, and so afforded hints toward the Preservation of Health, and prevention of Diseases; and therein was so serious as to advise Alteration of Diet, Exercise, Sweating, Bathing and Vomiting; and also so religious, as to order Prayers and Supplications unto respective Deities, in good Dreams unto Sol, Jupiter cœlestis, Jupiter opulentus, Minerva, Mercurius and Apollo; in bad unto Tellus and the Heroes.

And therefore I could not but take notice how his Female Friends were irrationally curious so strictly to examine his Dreams, and in this low State to hope for the Fantasms of Health. He was now past the healthful Dreams of the Sun, Moon and Stars, in their Clarity and proper Courses. 'Twas too late to dream of Flying, of Limpid Fountains, smooth Waters, white Vestments, and fruitful green Trees, which are the Visions of healthful Sleeps, and at good Distance from the Grave.

And they were also too deeply dejected that he should dream of his dead Friends, inconsequently divining, that he would not be long from them; for strange it was not that he should sometimes dream of the dead, whose Thoughts run always upon Death; beside, to dream of the dead, so they appear not in[381] dark Habits, and take nothing away from us, in Hippocrates his Sense was of good Signification: for we live by the dead, and every thing is or must be so before it becomes our Nourishment. And Cardan, who dream’d that he discoursed with his dead Father in the Moon, made thereof no mortal Interpretation: and even to dream that we are dead, was no condemnable Fantasm in old Oneirocriticism, as having a Signification of Liberty, vacuity from Cares, Exemption and Freedom from Troubles unknown unto the dead.

Some Dreams I confess may admit of easie and feminine Exposition; he who dream’d that he could not see his right Shoulder, might easily fear to lose the Sight of his right Eye; he that before a Journey dream’d that his Feet were cut off, had a plain Warning not to undertake his intended Journey. But why to dream of Lettuce should presage some ensuing Disease, why to eat Figs should signifie foolish Talk, why to eat Eggs great Trouble, and to dream of Blindness should be so highly commended, according to the Oneirocritical Verses of Astrampsychus and Nicephorus, I shall leave unto your Divination.

He was willing to quit the World alone and altogether, leaving no Earnest behind him for Corruption or After-grave, having small content in that common Satisfaction to survive or live in another, but amply satisfied that his Disease should die with himself, nor revive in a Posterity to puzzle Physick, and make sad Memento’s of their Parent hereditary. Leprosie awakes not sometimes before forty, the Gout and Stone often later; but consumptive and tabid[305] Roots[382] sprout more early, and at the fairest make seventeen Years of our Life doubtful before that Age. They that enter the World with original Diseases as well as Sin, have not only common Mortality but sick Traductions to destroy them, make commonly short Courses, and live not at length but in Figures; so that a sound Cæsarean[306] Nativity may out-last a Natural Birth, and a Knife may sometimes make Way for a more lasting Fruit than a Midwife; which makes so few Infants now able to endure the old Test of the River,[307] and many to have feeble Children who could scarce have been married at Sparta, and those provident States who studied strong and healthful Generations; which happen but contingently in mere pecuniary Matches, or Marriages made by the Candle, wherein notwithstanding there is little redress to be hoped from an Astrologer or a Lawyer, and a good discerning Physician were like to prove the most successful Counsellor.

Julius Scaliger, who in a sleepless Fit of the Gout could make two hundred Verses in a Night, would have but five[308] plain Words upon his Tomb. And this serious Person, tho' no minor Wit, left the Poetry of his Epitaph unto others; either unwilling to commend himself, or to be judg’d by a Distich, and perhaps considering how unhappy great Poets have been in versifying their own Epitaphs: wherein Petrarcha, Dante, and Ariosto, have so unhappily failed, that if their Tombs should outlast their Works,[383] Posterity would find so little of Apollo on them, as to mistake them for Ciceronian Poets.

In this deliberate and creeping Progress unto the Grave, he was somewhat too young, and of too noble a Mind, to fall upon that stupid Symptom observable in divers Persons near their Journey's End, and which may be reckoned among the mortal Symptoms of their last Disease; that is, to become more narrow minded, miserable and tenacious, unready to part with any thing, when they are ready to part with all, and afraid to want when they have no Time to spend; mean while Physicians, who know that many are mad but in a single depraved Imagination, and one prevalent Decipiency; and that beside and out of such single Deliriums a Man may meet with sober Actions and good Sense in Bedlam; cannot but smile to see the Heirs and concern’d Relations, gratulating themselves in the sober Departure of their Friends; and tho' they behold such mad covetous Passages, content to think they die in good Understanding, and in their sober Senses.

Avarice, which is not only Infidelity but Idolatry, either from covetous Progeny or questuary Education, had no Root in his Breast, who made good Works the Expression of his Faith, and was big with Desires unto publick and lasting Charities; and surely where good Wishes and charitable Intentions exceed Abilities, Theorical Beneficency may be more than a Dream. They build not Castles in the Air who would build Churches on Earth; and tho' they leave no such Structures here, may lay good Foundations in Heaven. In brief, his Life and Death were such, that I could not blame them who wished the like, and almost to have been himself; almost, I say; for tho' we may wish the prosperous Appurtenances of others, or to be an[384] other in his happy Accidents; yet so intrinsecal is every Man unto himself, that some doubt may be made, whether any would exchange his Being, or substantially become another Man.

He had wisely seen the World at home and abroad, and thereby observed under what variety Men are deluded in the pursuit of that which is not here to be found. And altho' he had no Opinion of reputed Felicities below, and apprehended Men widely out in the Estimate of such Happiness; yet his sober Contempt of the World wrought no Democratism or Cynicism, no laughing or snarling at it, as well understanding there are not Felicities in this World to satisfy a serious Mind; and therefore to soften the Stream of our Lives, we are fain to take in the reputed Contentations of this World, to unite with the Crowd in their Beatitudes, and to make ourselves happy by Consortion, Opinion, or Co-existimation: for strictly to separate from received and customary Felicities, and to confine unto the Rigor of Realities, were to contract the Consolation of our Beings unto too uncomfortable Circumscriptions.

Not to fear Death,[309] nor Desire it, was short of his Resolution: to be dissolved, and be with Christ, was his dying Ditty. He conceived his Thred long, in no long course of Years, and when he had scarce out-liv'd the second Life of Lazarus;[310] esteeming it enough to approach the Years of his Saviour, who so order’d his own human State, as not to be old upon Earth.

But to be content with Death may be better than to desire it: a miserable Life may make us wish for[385] Death, but a virtuous one to rest in it; which is the Advantage of those resolved Christians, who looking on Death not only as the Sting, but the Period and End of Sin, the Horizon and Isthmus between this Life and a better, and the Death of this World but as Nativity of another, do contentedly submit unto the common Necessity, and envy not Enoch or Elias.

Not to be content with Life is the unsatisfactory State of those which destroy themselves;[311] who being afraid to live, run blindly upon their own Death, which no Man fears by Experience: And the Stoicks had a notable Doctrine to take away the Fear thereof; that is, in such Extremities, to desire that which is not to be avoided, and wish what might be feared; and so made Evils voluntary, and to suit with their own Desires, which took off the Terror of them.

But the ancient Martyrs were not encouraged by such Fallacies; who, tho' they feared not Death, were afraid to be their own Executioners; and therefore thought it more Wisdom to crucify their Lusts than their Bodies, to circumcise than stab their Hearts, and to mortify than kill themselves.

His Willingness to leave this World about that Age, when most men think they may best enjoy it, tho' paradoxical unto worldly Ears, was not strange unto mine, who have so often observed, that many, tho' old, oft stick fast unto the World, and seem to be drawn like Cacus’s Oxen, backward, with great Struggling and Reluctancy unto the Grave. The long Habit of Living makes meer men more hardly to part[386] with Life, and All to be Nothing, but what is to come. To live at the rate of the old World, when some could scarce remember themselves young, may afford no better digested Death than a more moderate Period. Many would have thought it an Happiness to have had their Lot of Life in some notable Conjunctures of Ages past; but the Uncertainty of future Times hath tempted few to make a Part in Ages to come. And surely, he that hath taken the true Altitude of things, and rightly calculated the degenerate State of this Age, is not like to envy those that shall live in the next, much less three or four hundred Years hence, when no Man can comfortably imagine what Face this World will carry: And therefore since every Age makes a Step unto the End of all things, and the Scripture affords so hard a Character of the last Times; quiet Minds will be content with their Generations, and rather bless Ages past, than be ambitious of those to come.

Tho' Age had set no Seal upon his Face, yet a dim Eye might clearly discover Fifty in his Actions; and therefore since Wisdom is the grey Hair, and an unspotted Life old Age; altho' his Years came short he might have been said to have held up with longer Livers, and to have been Solomon’s[312] Old Man. And surely if we deduct all those Days of our Life which we might wish unliv’d, and which abate the Comfort of those we now live; if we reckon up only those Days which God hath accepted of our Lives, a Life of good Years will hardly be a Span long: the Son in this Sense may out-live the Father, and none be climacterically old. He that early arriveth unto the Parts and Prudence of Age, is happily old without[387] the uncomfortable Attendants of it; and ’tis superfluous to live unto grey Hairs, when in a precocious Temper we anticipate the Virtues of them. In brief, he cannot be accounted young who out-liveth the old Man. He that hath early arrived unto the measure of a perfect Stature in Christ, hath already fulfilled the prime and longest Intention of his Being: and one Day lived after the perfect Rule of Piety, is to be preferr’d before sinning Immortality.

Altho' he attain’d not unto the Years of his Predecessors, yet he wanted not those preserving Virtues which confirm the Thread of weaker Constitutions. Cautelous Chastity and crafty Sobriety were far from him; those Jewels were Paragon, without Flaw, Hair, Ice, or Cloud in him: which affords me an Hint to proceed in these good Wishes, and few Memento’s unto you.

Tread softly and circumspectly in this funambulous Track, and narrow Path of Goodness: pursue Virtue virtuously; be sober and temperate, not to preserve your Body in a sufficiency to wanton Ends; not to spare your Purse; not to be free from the Infamy of common Transgressors that way, and thereby to ballance or palliate obscure and closer Vices; nor simply to enjoy Health: By all which you may leaven good Actions, and render Virtues disputable: but in one Word, that you may truly serve God; which every Sickness will tell you, you cannot well do without health. The sick Man's Sacrifice is but a lame Oblation. Pious Treasures laid up in healthful Days, excuse the Defect of sick Non-performances; without which we must needs look back with Anxiety upon the lost Opportunities of Health; and may have cause rather to envy than pity the Ends of penitent Malefactors,[388] who go with clear Parts unto the last Act of their Lives; and in the Integrity of their Faculties return their Spirit unto God that gave it.

Consider whereabout thou art in Cebes his Table, or that old philosophical Pinax of the Life of Man; whether thou art still in the Road of Uncertainties; whether thou hast yet entred the narrow Gate, got up the Hill and asperous Way which leadeth unto the House of Sanity, or taken that purifying Potion from the Hand of sincere Erudition, which may send the clear and pure away unto a virtuous and happy Life.

In this virtuous voyage let not Disappointment cause Despondency, nor Difficulty Despair: Think not that you are sailing from Lima[313] to Manillia, wherein thou may'st tye up the Rudder, and sleep before the Wind; but expect rough Seas, Flaws, and contrary Blasts; and ’tis well if by many cross Tacks and Veerings thou arrivest at thy Port. Sit not down in the popular Seats, and common Level of Virtues, but endeavour to make them Heroical. Offer not only Peace-Offerings but Holocausts unto God. To serve him singly to serve our selves, were too partial a Piece of Piety, nor likely to place us in the highest Mansions of Glory.

He that is chaste and continent, not to impair his Strength, or terrified by Contagion, will hardly be heroically virtuous. Adjourn not that Virtue unto those Years when Cato could lend out his Wife, and impotent Satyrs write Satyrs against Lust: but be chaste in thy flaming Days, when Alexander dared not trust his Eyes upon the fair Daughters of Darius, and[389] when so many Men think there is no other Way but Origen’s.[314]

Be charitable before Wealth makes thee covetous, and lose not the Glory of the Mitre. If Riches increase, let thy Mind hold Pace with them; and think it not enough to be liberal, but munificent. Tho' a Cup of cold Water from some hand may not be without its Reward; yet stick not thou for Wine and Oyl for the Wounds of the distressed: and treat the poor as our Saviour did the Multitude, to the Relicks of some Baskets.

Trust not to the Omnipotency of Gold, or say unto it, Thou art my Confidence: kiss not thy Hand when thou beholdest that terrestrial Sun, nor bore thy Ear unto its Servitude. A Slave unto Mammon makes no Servant unto God: Covetousness cracks the Sinews of Faith, numbs the Apprehension of any thing above Sense, and only affected with the Certainty of Things present, makes a Peradventure of things to come; lives but unto one World, nor hopes but fears another; makes our own Death sweet unto others, bitter unto our selves; gives a dry Funeral, Scenical Mourning, and no wet Eyes at the Grave.

If Avarice be thy Vice, yet make it not thy Punishment: Miserable Men commiserate not themselves, bowelless unto themselves, and merciless unto their own Bowels. Let the Fruition of things bless the Possession of them, and take no Satisfaction in dying but living rich: for since thy good Works, not thy Goods, will follow thee; since Riches are an Appurtenance of Life, and no dead Man is rich, to famish in Plenty, and live poorly to die rich, were a multiplying Improvement in Madness, and Use upon Use in Folly.


Persons lightly dip’d, not grain’d in generous Honesty, are but pale in Goodness, and faint hued in Sincerity: but be thou what thou virtuously art, and let not the Ocean wash away thy Tincture: stand magnetically upon that Axis where prudent Simplicity hath fix’d thee, and let no Temptation invert the Poles of thy Honesty: and that Vice may be uneasie, and even monstrous unto thee, let iterated good Acts, and long confirm’d Habits make Vertue natural, or a second Nature in thee. And since few or none prove eminently vertuous but from some advantageous Foundations in their Temper, and natural Inclinations; study thy self betimes, and early find what Nature bids thee to be, or tells thee what thou may'st be. They who thus timely descend into themselves, cultivating the good Seeds which Nature hath set in them, and improving their prevalent Inclinations to Perfection, become not Shrubs, but Cedars in their Generation; and to be in the form of the best of the Bad, or the worst of the Good, will be no Satisfaction unto them.

Let not the Law of thy Country be the non ultra of thy Honesty, nor think that always good enough which the Law will make good. Narrow not the Law of Charity, Equity, Mercy; joyn Gospel Righteousness with Legal Right; be not a meer Gamaliel in the Faith; but let the Sermon in the Mount be thy Targum unto the Law of Sinai.

Make not the Consequences of Vertue the Ends thereof: be not beneficent for a Name or Cymbal of Applause, nor exact and punctual in Commerce, for the Advantages of Trust and Credit which attend the Reputation of just and true Dealing; for such Rewards, tho' unsought for, plain Vertue will bring with her, whom all Men honour, tho' they pursue not. To[391] have other bye Ends in good Actions, sowers laudable Performances, which must have deeper Roots, Motions, and Instigations, to give them the Stamp of Vertues.

Tho' human Infirmity may betray thy heedless Days into the popular Ways of Extravagancy, yet let not thine own Depravity, or the Torrent of vicious Times, carry thee into desperate Enormities in Opinions, Manners, or Actions: if thou hast dip’d thy Foot in the River, yet venture not over Rubicon; run not into Extremities from whence there is no Regression, nor be ever so closely shut up within the Holds of Vice and Iniquity, as not to find some Escape by a Postern of Resipiscency.

Owe not thy Humility unto Humiliation by Adversity, but look humbly down in that State when others look upward upon thee: be patient in the Age of Pride and Days of Will and Impatiency, when Men live but by Intervals of Reason, under the Sovereignty of Humor and Passion, when ’tis in the Power of every one to transform thee out of thy self, and put thee into the short Madness. If you cannot imitate Job, yet come not short of Socrates,[315] and those patient Pagans, who tir’d the Tongues of their Enemies while they perceiv’d they spet their Malice at brazen Walls and Statues.

Let Age, not Envy, draw Wrinkles on thy Cheeks: be content to be envied, but envy not. Emulation may be plausible, and Indignation allowable; but admit no Treaty with that Passion which no Circumstance can make good. A Displacency at the Good of others, because they enjoy it, altho' we do not want it, is an absurd Depravity, sticking fast unto human Nature from its primitive Corruption; which he that can well subdue, were a Christian of the first Magnitude,[392] and for ought I know, may have one Foot already in Heaven.

While thou so hotly disclaim'st the Devil, be not guilty of Diabolism; fall not into one Name with that unclean Spirit, nor act his Nature whom thou so much abhorrest; that is, to accuse, calumniate, backbite, whisper, detract, or sinistrously interpret others; degenerous Depravities and narrow-minded Vices, not only below S. Paul’s noble Christian, but Aristotle’s[316] true Gentleman. Trust not with some, that the Epistle of S. James is Apocryphal, and so read with less Fear that Stabbing Truth, that in company with this Vice thy Religion is in vain. Moses broke the Tables without breaking of the Law; but where Charity is broke the Law it self is shatter’d, which cannot be whole without Love, that is the fulfilling of it. Look humbly upon thy Vertues, and tho' thou art rich in some, yet think thy self poor and naked, without that crowning Grace, which thinketh no Evil, which envieth not, which beareth, believeth, hopeth, endureth all things. With these sure Graces, while busie Tongues are crying out for a Drop of cold Water, Mutes may be in Happiness, and sing the Trisagium[317] in Heaven.

Let not the Sun in Capricorn go down upon thy Wrath, but Write thy Wrongs in Water: draw the Curtain of Night upon Injuries; shut them up in the Tower of Oblivion,[318] and let them be as tho' they had not been. Forgive thine Enemies totally, and without any Reserve of Hope, that however, God will revenge thee.


Be substantially great in thy self, and more than thou appearest unto others; and let the World be deceived in thee, as they are in the Lights of Heaven. Hang early Plummets upon the Heels of Pride, and let Ambition have but an Epicyche or narrow Circuit in thee. Measure not thy self by thy Morning Shadow, but by the Extent of thy Grave; and reckon thy self above the Earth by the Line thou must be contented with under it. Spread not into boundless Expansions either to Designs or Desires. Think not that Mankind liveth but for a few, and that the rest are born but to serve the Ambition of those, who make but Flies of Men, and Wildernesses of whole Nations. Swell not into Actions which embroil and confound the Earth; but be one of those violent ones which force the Kingdom of Heaven.[319] If thou must needs reign, be Zeno, King, and enjoy that Empire which every Man gives himself. Certainly, the iterated Injunctions of Christ unto Humility, Meekness, Patience, and that despised Train of Vertues, cannot but make pathetical Impressions upon those who have well consider’d the Affairs of all Ages, wherein Pride, Ambition, and Vain glory, have led up the worst of Actions, and whereunto Confusion, Tragedies, and Acts denying all Religion, do owe their Originals.

Rest not in an Ovation,[320] but a Triumph over thy Passions; chain up the unruly Legion of thy Breast; behold thy Trophies within thee, not without thee: Lead thine own Captivity captive, and be Cæsar unto thy self.


Give no quarter unto those Vices which are of thine inward Family; and having a Root in thy Temper, plead a Right and Property in thee. Examine well thy complexional Inclinations. Raise early Batteries against those strong Holds built upon the Rock of Nature, and make this a great Part of the Militia of thy Life. The politick Nature of Vice must be oppos'd by Policy, and therefore wiser Honesties project and plot against Sin; wherein notwithstanding we are not to rest in Generals, or the trite Stratagems of Art: that may succeed with one Temper which may prove successless with another. There is no Community or Common-wealth of Virtue; every Man must study his own Oeconomy, and erect these Rules unto the Figure of himself.

Lastly, If Length of Days be thy Portion, make it not thy Expectation: Reckon not upon long Life, but live always beyond thy Account. He that so often surviveth his Expectation, lives many Lives, and will hardly complain of the Shortness of his Days. Time past is gone like a Shadow; make Times to come present; conceive that near which may be far off; approximate thy last Times by present Apprehensions of them: Live like a Neighbour unto Death, and think there is but little to come. And since there is something in us that must still live on, join both Lives together; unite them in thy Thoughts and Actions, and live in one but for the other. He who thus ordereth the Purposes of this Life, will never be far from the next, and is in some manner already in it, by an happy Conformity, and close Apprehension of it.



[283] Cum mors venerit, in medio Tibure Sardinia est.

[284] In the King's Forests they set the Figure of a broad Arrow upon Trees that are to be cut down. Hippoc. Epidem.

[285] Bellonius de Avibus.

[286] Monstra contingunt in Medicina Hippoc.

[287] Strange and rare Escapes there happen sometimes in Physick. Angeli Victorii Consultationes. Matth. iv. 25.

[288] Aristoteles nullum animal nisi æstu recedente expirare affirmat: observatum id multum in Gallico Oceano et duntaxat in Homine comertum, lib. 2. cap. 101.

[289] Auris pars pendula Lobus dicitur, non omnibus ea pars est auribus; non enim iis qui noctu nati sunt, sed qui interdiu, maxima ex parte. Com. in Aristot. de Animal. lib. 1.

[290] According to the Egyptian Hieroglyphick.

[291] Turkish History.

[292] In the Poet Dante his Discription.

[293] De Morbis Puerorum.

[294] Morta, the Deity of Death or Fate.

[295] When Men's Faces are drawn with Resemblance to some other Animals, the Italians call it, to be drawn in Caricatura.

[296] Ulmus de usu barbæ humanæ.

[297] The Life of a Man is threescore and ten.

[298] See Picotus de Rheumatismo.

[299] His upper and lower Jaw being solid, and without distinct Rows of Teeth.

[300] Twice tell over his Teeth, never live to threescore Years.

[301] Ἀσφαλέστατος καὶ ῥήιστος, securissima et facillima. Hippoc. Pro Febre quartana raro sonat campana.

[302] So A. F.

[303] Cardan in his Encomium Podagræ reckoneth this among the Dona Podagræ, that they are deliver’d thereby from the Phthysis and Stone in the Bladder.

[304] Hippoc. de Insomniis.

[305] Tabes maxime contingunt ab anno decimo octavo ad trigesimum quintum, Hippoc.

[306] A sound Child cut out of the Body of the Mother.

[307] Natos ad flumina primum deserimus sævoque gelu duramus et undis.

[308] Julii Cæsaris Scaligeri, quod fuit. Joseph. Scaliger in vita patris.

[309] Summum nec metuas diem nec optes.

[310] Who upon some Accounts, and Tradition, is said to have lived 30 Years after he was raised by our Saviour. Baronius.

[311] In the Speech of Vulteius in Lucan, animating his Souldiers in a great Struggle to kill one another. Decernite Lethum et metus omnis abest, cupias quodcunque necesse est. All Fear is over, do but resolve to die, and make your Desires meet Necessity.

[312] Wisdom, cap. iv.

[313] Through the Pacifick Sea, with a constant Gale from the East.

[314] Who is said to have castrated himself.

[315] Ira furor brevis est.

[316] See Arist. Ethicks Chapt. of Magnanimity.

[317] Holy, Holy, Holy.

[318] Even when the Days are shortest; alluding to the Tower of Oblivion mentioned by Procopius, which was the Name of a Tower of Imprisonment among the Persians: whosoever was put therein he was as it were buried alive, and it was Death for any but to name it.

[319] Matthew xi.

[320] Ovation, a petty and minor kind of Triumph.






Or, some Account of the Tombs and Monuments in the Cathedral Church of Norwich, in 1680.

In the Time of the late Civil Wars, there were about an hundred Brass Inscriptions stol'n and taken away from Grave-Stones, and Tombs, in the Cathedral Church of Norwich; as I was inform’d by John Wright, one of the Clerks, above Eighty Years old, and Mr. John Sandlin, one of the Choir, who lived Eighty nine Years; and, as I remember, told me that he was a Chorister in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.

Hereby the distinct Places of the Burials of many noble and considerable Persons become unknown; and, lest they should be quite buried in Oblivion, I shall, of so many, set down only these following that are most noted to Passengers, with some that have been erected since those unhappy Times.

First, in the Body of the Church, between the Pillars of the South Isle, stands a Tomb, cover’d with a kind of Touch-stone; which is the Monument of Miles Spencer, LL.D. and Chancellor of Norwich, who lived unto Ninety Years. The Top Stone was entire, but now quite broken, split, and depress’d by Blows: There was more special Notice taken of this[398] Stone, because Men used to try their Money upon it; and that the Chapter demanded certain Rents to be paid on it. He was Lord of the Mannor of Bowthorp and Colney, which came unto the Yaxley’s from him; also Owner of Chappel, in the Field.

The next Monument is that of Bishop Richard Nicks, alias Nix, or the Blind Bishop, being quite dark many Years before he died. He sat in this See Thirty Six Years, in the Reigns of King Henry VII. and Henry VIII. The Arches are beautified above and beside it, where are to be seen the Arms of the See of Norwich, impaling his own, viz. a Chevron between three Leopards Heads. The same Coat of Arms is on the Roof of the North and South Cross Isle; which Roofs he either rebuilt, or repair'd. The Tomb is low, and broad, and ’tis said there was an Altar at the bottom of the Eastern Pillar: The Iron-work, whereon the Bell hung, is yet visible on the Side of the Western Pillar.

Then the Tomb of Bishop John Parkhurst, with a legible Inscription on the Pillar, set up by Dean Gardiner, running thus.

Johannes Parkhurst, Theol. Professor, Guilfordiæ natus,
Oxoniæ educatus, temporibus Mariæ Reginæ pro
Nitida conscientia tuenda Tigurinæ vixit exul
Voluntarius: Postea presul factus, sanctissime
Hanc rexit Ecclesiam per 16 an. Obiit secundo die
Febr. 1574.

A Person he was of great Esteem and Veneration in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth. His Coat of Arms is on the Pillars, visible, at the going out of the Bishop's Hall.

Between the two uppermost Pillars, on the same[399] Side, stood a handsom Monument of Bishop Edmund Scamler, thus.

Natus apud Gressingham, in Com. Lanc. SS. Theol. Prof. apud Cantabrigienses. Obiit Ætat. 85. an. 1594 nonis Maii.

He was Houshold Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and died 1594. The Monument was above a yard and half high, with his Effigies in Alabaster, and all enclosed with a high Iron Grate. In the late Times the Grate was taken away, the Statue broken, and the Free-stone pulled down as far as the inward Brick-work; which being unsightly, was afterwards taken away, and the Space between the Pillars left void, as it now remaineth.

In the South-side of this Isle, according as the Inscription denoteth, was buried George Gardiner, sometime Dean.

Georgius Gardiner Barvici natus, Cantabrigiæ educatus,
Primo minor Canonicus, secundo Præbendarius, tertio Archidiaconus.
Nordovici, et demum 28 Nov. An. 1573. factus est Sacellanus
Dominæ Reginæ, et Decanus hujus Ecclesiæ, in quo loco per 16
Annos rexit.

Somewhat higher is a Monument for Dr. Edmund Porter, a learned Prebendary, sometime of this Church.

Between two Pillars of the North Isle in the Body of the Church, stands the Monument of Sir James Hobart, Attorney-General to King Henry VII. and VIII. He built Loddon Church, St. Olave’s Bridge, and made the Causeway adjoining upon the South-side. On the upper Part is the Atchievement of the Hobarts, and below are their Arms; as also of the[400] Nantons, viz. (three Martlets) his second Lady being of that Family. It is a close Monument, made up of handsom Stone-work: And this Enclosure might have been employ’d as an Oratory. Some of the Family of the Hobarts have been buried near this Monument; as Mr. James Hobart of Holt. On the South-side, two young Sons, and a Daughter of Dean Herbert Astley, who married Barbara, Daughter of John, only Son of Sir John Hobart of Hales.

In the Middle Isle, under a very large Stone, almost over which a Branch for Lights hangeth, was buried Sir Francis Southwell, descended from those of great Name and Estate in Norfolk, who formerly possessed Woodrising.

Under a fair Stone, by Bishop Parkhurst’s Tomb, was buried Dr. Masters, Chancellor.

Gul. Maister, LL. Doctor Curiæ Cons. Epatus Norwicen.
Officialis principalis. Obiit 2 Feb. 1589.

At the upper End of the Middle Isle, under a large Stone, was buried Bishop Walter de Hart, alias le Hart, or Lyghard. He was Bishop 26 Years, in the Times of Henry VI. and Edward IV. He built the Transverse Stone Partition, or Rood Loft, on which the great Crucifix was placed, beautified the Roof of the Body of the Church, and paved it. Towards the North-side of the Partition-Wall are his Arms the Bull and towards the South-side, a Hart in Water, as a Rebus of his Name, Walter Hart. Upon the Door, under the Rood Loft, was a Plate of Brass, containing these Verses.

Hic jacet absconsus sub marmore presul honestus
Anno milleno C quater cum septuageno
Annexis binis instabat ei prope finis
Septima cum decima lux Maij sit numerata
Ipsius est anima de corpore tunc separata.

Between this Partition and the Choir on the North-side, is the Monument of Dame Elizabeth Calthorpe, Wife of Sir Francis Calthorpe, and afterwards Wife of John Colepepper, Esq.

In the same Partition, behind the Dean's Stall, was buried John Crofts, lately Dean, Son of Sir Henry Crofts of Suffolk, and Brother to the Lord William Crofts. He was sometime Fellow of All-Souls College in Oxford, and the first Dean after the Restauration of his Majesty King Charles II. whose Predecessor, Dr. John Hassal, who was Dean many Years, was not buried in this Church, but in that of Creek. He was of New College in Oxford, and Chaplain to the Lady Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, who obtain’d this Deanry for him.

On the South-side of the Choir, between two Pillars, stands the Monument of Bishop James Goldwell, Dean of Salisbury, and Secretary to King Edward IV. who sat in this See Twenty five Years. His Effigies is in Stone, with a Lion at his Feet, which was his Arms, as appears on his Coat above the Tomb. On the Choir Side, his Arms are also to be seen in the sixth Escocheon, in the West-side over the Choir; as also in S. Andrew’s Church, at the Deanry in a Window; at Trowes, Newton-Hall, and at Charta-magna in Kent, the Place of his Nativity; where he also built, or repair’d the Chappel. He is said to have much repair’d the East End of this Church; did many good Works, lived in great Esteem, and died Ann. 1498 or 1499.

Next above Bishop Goldwell, where the Iron Grates[402] yet stand, Bishop John Wakering is said to have been buried. He was Bishop in the Reign of King Henry V. and was sent to the Council of Constance: He is said also to have built the Cloister in the Bishop's Palace, which led into it from the Church Door, which was cover’d with a handsom Roof, before the late Civil War. Also reported to have built the Chapter-house, which being ruinous, is now demolish’d, and the decay’d Parts above and about it handsomly repair’d, or new built. The Arms of the See impaling his own Coat, the Three Fleur des Lys, are yet visible upon the Wall by the Door. He lived in great Reputation, and died 1426, and is said to have been buried before S. George’s Altar.

On the North-side of the Choir, between the two Arches, next to Queen Elizabeth’s Seat, were buried Sir Thomas Erpingham, and his Wives the Lady Joan, etc. whose Pictures were in the Painted-Glass Windows, next unto this Place, with the Arms of the Erpingham’s. The Insides of both the Pillars were painted in red Colours, with divers Figures and Inscriptions, from the top almost to the bottom, which are now washed out by the late whiting of the Pillars. He was a Knight of the Garter in the Time of Hen. IV. and some Part of Hen. V. and I find his Name in the List of the Lord Wardens of the Cinque-Ports. He is said to have built the Black Friars Church, or Steeple, or both, now called New-Hall Steeple. His Arms are often on the Steeple, which are an Escocheon within an Orle of Martlets, and also upon the out-side of the Gate, next the School-House. There was a long Brass Inscription about the Tomb-stone, which was torn away in the late Times, and the Name of Erpingham only remaining. Johannes Dominus[403] de Erpingham Miles, was buried in the Parish Church of Erpingham, as the Inscription still declareth.

In the North Isle, near to the Door, leading towards Jesus Chappel, was buried Sir William Denny, Recorder of Norwich, and one of the Counsellors at Law to King Charles I.

In Jesus Chappel stands a large Tomb (which is said to have been translated from our Ladies Chappel, when that grew ruinous, and was taken down) whereof the Brass Inscription about it is taken away; but old Mr. Spendlow, who was a Prebendary 50 Years, and Mr. Sandlin, used to say, that it was the Tombstone of the Windham’s; and in all Probability, might have belonged to Sir Thomas Windham, one of King Henry VIII.'s Counsellors, of his Guard, and Vice-Admiral; for I find that there hath been such an Inscription upon the Tomb of a Windham in this Church.

Orate pro aia Thome Windham, militis, Elianore, et Domine
Elizabethe, uxorum ejus, etc. qui quidem Thomas fuit unus consiliariorum

Regis Henrici VIII. et unus militum pro corpore, ejusdem Domini, nec non Vice-Admirallus.

And according to the Number of the Three Persons in the Inscription, there are Three Figures upon the Tomb.

On the North Wall of Jesus Chappel there is a legible Brass Inscription in Latin Verses; and at the last Line Pater Noster. This was the Monument of Randulfus Pulvertoft custos caronelle. Above the Inscription was his Coat of Arms, viz. Six Ears[404] of Wheat with a Border of Cinque-foils; but now washed out, since the Wall was whiten'd.

At the Entrance of St. Luke's Chappel, on the Left Hand, is an arched Monument, said to belong to one of the Family of the Bosvile’s or Boswill, sometime Prior of the Convent. At the East End of the Monument are the Arms of the Church (the Cross) and on the West End another (three Bolt Arrows,) which is supposed to be his Paternal Coat. The same Coat is to be seen in the sixth Escocheon of the South-side, under the Belfry. Some Inscriptions upon this Monument were washed out when the Church was lately whiten'd; as among the rest, O morieris! O morieris! O morieris! The three Bolts are the known Arms of the Bosomes, an ancient Family in Norfolk; but whether of the Bosviles, or no, I am uncertain.

Next unto it is the Monument of Richard Brome, Esq. whose Arms thereon are Ermyns; and for the Crest, a Bunch or Branch of Broom with Golden Flowers. This might be Richard Brome, Esq. whose Daughter married the Heir of the Yaxley's of Yaxley, in the Time of Henry VII. And one of the same Name founded a Chappel in the Field in Norwich.

There are also in St. Luke's Chappel, amongst the Seats on the South-side, two substantial Marble and cross’d Tombs, very ancient, said to be two Priors of this Convent.

At the Entrance into the Cloister, by the upper Door on the Right Hand, next the Stairs, was a handsom Monument on the Wall, which was pulled down in the late Times, and a Void Place still remaineth. Upon this Stone were the Figures of two Persons in a praying Posture, on their Knees. I was told by Mr. Sandlin, that it was said to be the Monument for[405] one of the Bigots, who built or beautified that Arch by it, which leadeth into the Church.

In the Choir towards the high Altar, and below the Ascents, there is an old Tomb, which hath been generally said to have been the Monument of Bishop William Herbert, Founder of the Church, and commonly known by the Name of the Founder's Tomb. This was above an Ell high; but when the Pulpit, in the late Confusion, was placed at the Pillar, where Bishop Overall’s Monument now is, and the Aldermen's Seats were at the East End, and the Mayor's Seat in the middle at the high Altar, the height of the Tomb being a Hindrance unto the People, it was taken down to such a Lowness as it now remains in. He was born at Oxford, in good Favour with King William Rufus, and King Henry I. removed the Episcopal See from Thetford to Norwich, built the Priory for 60 Monks, the Cathedral Church, the Bishop's Palace, the Church of S. Leonard, whose Ruins still remain upon the Brow of Mushold-Hill; the Church of S. Nicolas at Yarmouth, of S. Margaret at Lynn, of S. Mary at Elmham, and instituted the Cluniack Monks at Thetford. Malmsbury saith he was, Vir pecuniosus, which his great Works declare, and had always this good Saying of S. Hierom in his Mouth, Erravimus juvenes, emendemus senes.

Many Bishops of old might be buried about, or not far from the Founder, as William Turbus, a Norman, the third Bishop of Norwich, and John of Oxford the fourth, accounted among the learned Men of his Time, who built Trinity Church in Ipswich, and died in the Reign of King John; and it is deliver’d, that these two Bishops were buried near to Bishop Herbert, the Founder.


In the same Row, or not far off, was buried Bishop Henry le Spencer, as lost Brass Inscriptions have declar'd. And Mr. Sandlin told me, that he had seen an Inscription on a Gravestone thereabouts, with the Name of Henricus de, or le Spencer: He came young unto the See, and sat longer in it than any before or after him: But his Time might have been shorter, if he had not escaped in the Fray at Lennam, (a Town of which he was Lord) where forcing the Magistrate's Tipstaff to be carried before him, the People with Staves, Stones, and Arrows, wounded, and put his Servants to Flight. He was also wounded, and left alone, as John Fox hath set it down out of the Chronicle of S. Albans.

In the same Row, of late Times, was buried Bishop Richard Montague, as the Inscription, Depositum Montacutii Episcopi, doth declare.

For his eminent Knowledge in the Greek Language, he was much countenanc’d by Sir Henry Savile, Provost of Eaton College, and settled in a Fellowship thereof: Afterwards made Bishop of Chichester; thence translated unto Norwich, where he lived about three Years. He came unto Norwich with the evil Effects of a quartan Ague, which he had about a Year before, and which accompany’d him to his Grave; yet he studied, and writ very much, had an excellent Library of Books, and Heaps of Papers, fairly written with his own Hand, concerning the Ecclesiastical History. His Books were sent to London; and, as it was said, his Papers against Baronius, and others transmitted to Rome; from whence they were never return'd.

On the other Side was buried Bishop John Overall, Fellow of Trinity College in Cambridge, Master of[407] Katherine Hall, Regius Professor, and Dean of St. Pauls; and had the Honour to be nominated one of the first Governours of Sutton Hospital, by the Founder himself, a Person highly reverenc’d and belov'd; who being buried without any Inscription, had a Monument lately erected for him by Dr. Cosin, Lord Bishop of Durham, upon the next Pillar.

Under the large Sandy-colour’d Stone was buried Bishop Richard Corbet, a Person of singular Wit, and an eloquent Preacher, who lived Bishop of this See but three Years, being before Dean of Christ Church, then Bishop of Oxford. The Inscription is as follows:

Richardus Corbet Theologiæ Doctor,
Ecclesiæ Cathedralis Christi Oxoniensis
Primum alumnus inde Decanus, exinde
Episcopus, illinc huc translatus, et
Hinc in cœlum, Jul. 28. Ann. 1635.

The Arms on it, are the See of Norwich, impaling, Or a Raven sab. Corbet.

Towards the upper End of the Choir, and on the South-side, under a fair large Stone, was interred Sir William Boleyn, or Bullen, Great Grandfather to Queen Elizabeth. The Inscription hath been long lost, which was this:

Hic jacet corpus Willelmi Boleyn, militis,
Qui obiit x Octobris, Ann. Dom. MCCCCCV.

And I find in a good Manuscript of the Ancient Gentry of Norfolk and Suffolk these Words. Sir William Boleyn, Heir unto Sir Tho. Boleyn, who married Margaret, Daughter and Heir of Tho. Butler, Earl of Ormond, died in the Year 1505, and was buried on the South-side of the Chancel of Christ Church in Norwich. And surely the Arms of few Families have[408] been more often found in any Church, than those of the Boleyn’s, on the Walls, and in the Windows of the East Part of this Church. Many others of this noble Family were buried in Bleckling Church.

Many other Bishops might be buried in this Church, as we find it so asserted by some Historical Accounts; but no History or Tradition remaining of the Place of their Interment, in vain we endeavour to design and point out the same.

As of Bishop Johannes de Gray, who, as it is delivered, was interr'd in this Church, was a Favourite of King John, and sent by him to the Pope: He was also Lord Deputy of Ireland, and a Person of great Reputation, and built Gaywood Hall by Lynn.

As also of Bishop Roger Skerewyng, in whose Time happened that bloody Contention between the Monks and Citizens, begun at a Fair kept before the Gate, when the Church was fir'd: To compose which King Henry III. came to Norwich, and William de Brunham, Prior, was much to blame. See Holingshead, etc.

Or, of Bishop William Middleton, who succeeded him, and was buried in this Church; in whose Time the Church that was burnt while Skerewyng sat was repair’d and consecrated, in the Presence of King Edward I.

Or, of Bishop John Salmon, sometime Lord Chancellor of England, who died 1325, and was here interr’d, his Works were noble. He built the great Hall in the Bishop's Palace; the Bishop's long Chappel on the East-side of the Palace, which was no ordinary Fabrick; and a strong handsom Chappel at the West End of the Church, and appointed four Priests for the daily Service therein: Unto which great Works he[409] was the better enabled, by obtaining a Grant of the first Fruits from Pope Clement.

Or, of Bishop Thomas Percy, Brother to the Earl of Northumberland, in the reign of Richard II. who gave unto a Chantry the Lands about Carlton, Kimberly, and Wicklewood; in whose Time the Steeple and Belfry were blown down, and rebuilt by him, and a Contribution from the Clergy.

Or, of Bishop Anthony de Beck, a Person of an unquiet Spirit, very much hated, and poison’d by his Servants.

Or likewise, of Bishop Thomas Browne, who being Bishop of Rochester, was chosen Bishop of Norwich, while he was at the Council of Basil, in the reign of King Henry VI. was a strenuous Assertor of the Rights of the Church against the Citizens.

Or, of Bishop William Rugge, in whose last Year happen’d Kett’s Rebellion, in the Reign of Edward VI. I find his Name, Guil. Norwicensis, among the Bishops, who subscribed unto a Declaration against the Pope's Supremacy, in the Time of Henry VIII.

Or, of Bishop John Hopton, who was Bishop in the Time of Queen Mary, and died the same Year with her. He is often mentioned, together with his Chancellor Dunning, by John Fox in his Martyrology.

Or lastly, of Bishop William Redman, of Trinity College in Cambridge, who was Archdeacon of Canterbury. His Arms are upon a Board on the North-side of the Choir, near to the Pulpit.

Of the four Bishops in Queen Elizabeth’s Reign, Parkhurst, Freake, Scamler and Redman, Sir John Harrington, in his History of the Bishops in her Time, writeth thus; For the four Bishops in the Queen’s[410] Days, they liv’d as Bishops should do, and were not Warriours like Bishop Spencer, their Predecessor.

Some Bishops were buried neither in the Body of the Church, nor in the Choir; but in our Ladies Chappel, at the East End of the Church, built by Bishop Walter de Suthfeild, (in the Reign of Henry III.) wherein he was buried, and Miracles said to be wrought at his Tomb, he being a Person of great Charity and Piety.

Wherein also was buried Bishop Simon de Wanton, vel Walton, and Bishop Alexander, who had been Prior of the Convent; and also, as some think, Bishop Roger Skerewyng, and probably other Bishops, and Persons of Quality, whose Tombs and Monuments we now in vain enquire after in the Church.

This was a handsom Chappel; and there was a fair Entrance into it out of the Church, of a considerable Height also, as may be seen by the out-side, where it adjoined unto the Wall of the Church. But being ruinous, it was, as I have heard, demolished in the Time of Dean Gardiner: But what became of the Tombs, Monuments, and Grave-stones, we have no Account: In this Chappel, the Bishop's Consistory, or Court, might be kept in old Time, for we find in Fox's Martyrology, that divers Persons accused of Heresy were examined by the Bishop, or his Chancellor, in St. Mary’s Chappel. This famous Bishop, Walter de Suthfeild, who built this Chappel, is also said to have built the Hospital not far off.

Again, divers Bishops sat in this See, who left not their Bones in this Church; for some died not here, but at distant Places; some were translated to other Bishopricks; and some, tho' they lived and died here, were not buried in this Church.


Some died at distant Places; as Bishop Richard Courtney, Chancellor of Oxford, and in great Favour with King Henry V. by whom he was sent unto the King of France, to challenge his Right unto that Crown; but he dying in France, his Body was brought into England, and interr'd in Westminster-Abbey among the Kings.

Bishop William Bateman, LL.D. born in Norwich, who founded Trinity-Hall, in Cambridge, and persuaded Gonvil to build Gonvil-College, died at Avignon in France, being sent by the King to Rome, and was buried in that City.

Bishop William Ayermin died near London.

Bishop Thomas Thirlby, Doctor of Law, died in Archbishop Matthew Parker’s House, and was buried at Lambeth, with this inscription:

[Hic jacet Thomas Thirlby, olim Episcopus Eliensis,
qui obiit 26 die Augusti, Anno Domini, 1570

Bishop Thomas Jann, who was Prior of Ely, died at Folkston-Abbey, near Dover in Kent.

Some were translated unto other Bishopricks; as Bishop William Ralegh was remov’d unto Winchester, by King Henry III.

Bishop Ralph de Walpole was translated to Ely, in the time of Edward I. He is said to have begun the building of the Cloister, which is esteemed the fairest in England.

Bishop William Alnwick built the Church Gates at the West End of the Church, and the great Window, and was translated to Lincoln, in the Reign of Henry VI.

And of later time, Bishop Edmund Freake, who succeeded Bishop Parkhurst, was removed unto Worcester, and there lieth entomb'd.


Bishop Samuel Harsnet, Master of Pembroke-Hall, in Cambridge, and Bishop of Chichester, was thence translated to York.

Bishop Francis White, Almoner unto the King, formerly Bishop of Carlisle, translated unto Ely.

Bishop Matthew Wren, Dean of the Chappel, translated also to Ely, and was not buried here.

Bishop John Jegon, who died 1617, was buried at Aylesham, near Norwich. He was Master of Bennet College, and Dean of Norwich, whose Arms, Two Chevrons with an Eagle on a Canton, are yet to be seen on the West Side of the Bishop's Throne.

My honour’d Friend Bishop Joseph Hall, Dean of Worcester, and Bishop of Exon, translated to Norwich, was buried at Heigham, near Norwich, where he hath a Monument. When the Revenues of the Church were alienated, he retired unto that Suburbian Parish, and there ended his Days, being above 80 Years of Age. A Person of singular Humility, Patience, and Piety; his own Works are the best Monument and Character of himself, which was also very lively drawn in his excellent Funeral Sermon, preach’d by my learned and faithful old Friend, John Whitefoot, Rector of Heigham, a very deserving Clerk of the Convocation of Norwich. His Arms in the Register Office of Norwich are, Sable three Talbots Heads erased Argent.

My honour’d Friend also, Bishop Edward Reynolds, was not buried in the Church but in the Bishop's Chappel; which was built by himself. He was born at Southampton, brought up at Merton Colledge in Oxford, and the first Bishop of Norwich after the King's Restauration: A Person much of the Temper of his Predecessor, Dr. Joseph Hall, of singular Affability, Meekness and Humility; of great Learning;[413] a frequent Preacher, and constant Resident: He sat in this See about 17 Years; and though buried in his private Chappel, yet his Funeral Sermon was preached in the Cathedral, by Mr. Benedict Rively, now Minister of S. Andrews: He was succeeded by Dr. Anthony Sparrow, our worthy and honoured Diocesan.

It is thought that some Bishops were buried in the old Bishops Chappel, said to be built by Bishop John Salmon [demolish’d in the Time of the late War] for therein were many Gravestones, and some plain Monuments. This old Chappel was higher, broader, and much larger than the said new Chappel built by Bishop Reynolds; but being covered with Lead, the Lead was sold, and taken away in the late rebellious Times; and the Fabrick growing ruinous and useless, it was taken down, and some of the Stones partly made use of in the building of the new Chappel.

Now, whereas there have been so many noble and ancient Families in these Parts, yet we find not more of them to have been buried in this the Mother Church. It may be consider’d, that no small numbers of them were interred in the Churches and Chappels of the Monasteries and religious Houses of this City, especially in three thereof; the Austin-Fryars, the Black-Fryars, the Carmelite, or White Fryars; for therein were buried many Persons of both Sexes, of great and good Families, whereof there are few or no Memorials in the Cathedral. And in the best preserved Registers of such Interments of old, from Monuments and Inscriptions, we find the Names of Men and Women of many ancient Families; as of Ufford, Hastings, Radcliffe, Morley, Windham, Geney, Clifton, Pigot, Hengrave, Garney, Howell, Ferris, Bacon, Boys, Wichingham, Soterley; of Falstolph, Ingham, Felbrigge,[414] Talbot, Harsick, Pagrave, Berney, Woodhowse, Howldich; of Argenton, Somerton, Gros, Benhall, Banyard, Paston, Crunthorpe, Withe, Colet, Gerbrigge, Berry, Calthorpe, Everard, Hetherset, Wachesham: All Lords, Knights, and Esquires, with divers others. Beside the great and noble Families of the Bigots, Mowbrays, Howards, were the most part interr’d at Thetford, in the Religious Houses of which they were Founders, or Benefactors. The Mortimers were buried at Attleburgh; the Aubeneys at Windham, in the Priory or Abbey founded by them. And Camden says, That a great part of the Nobility and Gentry of those Parts were buried at Pentney Abbey: Many others were buried dispersedly in Churches, or Religious Houses, founded or endowed by themselves; and therefore it is the less to be wonder’d at, that so many great and considerable Persons of this Country were not interr’d in this Church.

There are Twenty-four Escocheons, viz. six on a Side on the inside of the Steeple over the Choir, with several Coats of Arms, most whereof are Memorials of Things, Persons, and Families, Well-wishers, Patrons, Benefactors, or such as were in special Veneration, Honour, and Respect, from the Church. As particularly the Arms of England, of Edward the Confessor; an Hieroglyphical Escocheon of the Trinity, unto which this Church was dedicated. Three Cups within a Wreath of Thorns, the Arms of Ely, the Arms of the See of Canterbury, quartered with the Coat of the famous and magnified John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was Bishop of Ely before; of Bishop James Goldwell, that honoured Bishop of Norwich. The three Lions of England, S. George’s Cross, the Arms of the Church impaled with Prior Bosviles Coat, the Arms of the Church impaled with the private Coats of three Priors, the Arms of the City of Norwich.


There are here likewise the Coats of some great and worthy Families; as of Vere, Stanley, De la Pole, Wingfield, Heyden, Townshend, Bedingfield, Bruce, Clere; which being little taken notice of, and Time being still like to obscure, and make them past Knowledge, I would not omit to have a Draught thereof set down, which I keep by me.

There are also many Coats of Arms on the Walls, and in the Windows of the East End of the Church; but none so often as those of the Boleyns, viz. in a Field Arg. a Chev. Gul. between three Bulls Heads couped sab. armed or; whereof some are quartered with the Arms of noble Families. As also about the Church, the Arms of Hastings, De la Pole, Heyden, Stapleton, Windham, Wichingham, Clifton, Heveningham, Bokenham, Inglos.

In the North Window of Jesus Chappel are the Arms of Radcliff and Cecil; and in the East Window of the same Chappel the Coats of Branch, and of Beale.

There are several Escocheon Boards fastened to the upper Seats of the Choir: Upon the three lowest on the South-side are the Arms of Bishop Jegon, of the Pastons, and of the Hobarts; and in one above the Arms of the Howards. On the Board on the North-side are the Arms of Bishop Redmayn; and of the Howards.

Upon the outside of the Gate, next to the School, are the Escocheons and Arms of Erpingham, being an Escocheon within an Orle of Martlets; impaled with the Coats of Clopton and Bavent, or such Families who married with the Erpinghams who built the Gates. The Word, Pœna, often upon the Gates, shews it to have been built upon Pennance.


At the West End of the Church are chiefly observable the Figure of King William Rufus, or King Henry I. and a Bishop on his Knees receiving the Charter from him: Or else of King Henry VI. in whose Reign this Gate and fair Window was built. Also the maimed Statues of Bishops, whose Copes are garnished and charged with a Cross Moline: And at their Feet, Escocheons, with the Arms of the Church; and also Escocheons with Crosses Molines. That these, or some of them, were the Statues of Bishop William Alnwyck, seems more than probable; for he built the three Gates, and the great Window at the West End of the Church; and where the Arms of the See are in a Roundele, are these Words,—Orate pro anima Domini Willelmi Alnwyk.—Also in another Escocheon, charged with Cross Molines, there is the same Motto round about it.

Upon the wooden Door on the outside, there are also the Three Miters, which are the Arms of the See upon one Leaf, and a Cross Moline on the other.

Upon the outside of the End of the North Cross Isle, there is a Statue of an old Person; which, being formerly covered and obscured by Plaister and Mortar over it, was discovered upon the late Reparation, or whitening of that End of the Isle. This may probably be the Statue of Bishop Richard Nicks, or the blind Bishop; for he built the Isle, or that Part thereof; and also the Roof, where his Arms are to be seen, A Chevron between three Leopards Heads Gules.

The Roof of the Church is noble, and adorn’d with Figures. In the Roof of the Body of the Church there are no Coats of Arms, but Representations from Scripture Story, as the Story of Pharaoh; of Sampson towards the East End. Figures of the last Supper,[417] and of our Saviour on the Cross, towards the West End; besides others of Foliage, and the like ornamental Figures.

The North Wall of the Cloister was handsomly beautified, with the Arms of some of the Nobility in their proper Colours, with their Crests, Mantlings, Supporters, and the whole Atchivement quartered with the several Coats of their Matches, drawn very large from the upper Part of the Wall, and took up about half of the Wall. They are Eleven in Number; particularly these. 1. An empty Escocheon. 2. The Atchievement of Howard, Duke of Norfolk. 3. Of Clinton. 4. Russel. 5. Cheyney. 6. The Queen's Atchievement. 7. Hastings. 8. Dudley. 9. Cecill. 10. Carey. 11. Hatton.

They were made soon after Queen Elizabeth came to Norwich, Ann. 1578, where she remained a Week, and lodged at the Bishop's Palace in the Time of Bishop Freake, attended by many of the Nobility; and particularly by those, whose Arms are here set down.

They made a very handsome Show, especially at that Time, when the Cloister Windows were painted unto the Cross-Bars. The Figures of those Coats, in their distinguishable and discernable Colours, are not beyond my Remembrance. But in the late Times, when the Lead was faulty, and the Stone-work decayed, the Rain falling upon the Wall, washed them away.

The Pavement also of the Cloister on the same Side was broken, and the Stones taken away, a Floor of Dust remaining: But that Side is now handsomly paved by the Beneficence of my worthy Friend William Burleigh, Esq.


At the Stone Cistern in the Cloister, there yet perceivable a Lyon Rampant, Argent, in a field Sable, which Coat is now quartered in the Arms of the Howards.

In the Painted Glass in the Cloister, which hath been above the Cross-Bars, there are several Coats. And I find by an Account taken thereof, and set down in their proper Colours, that here were these following, viz. the Arms of Morley, Shelton, Scales, Erpingham, Gournay, Mowbray, Savage, now Rivers, three Coats of Thorpe’s, and one of a Lyon Rampant, Gules in a Field Or, not well known to what Family it belongeth.

Between the lately demolish’d Chapter-House and S. Luke’s Chappel, there is an handsom Chappel, wherein the Consistory, or Bishop's Court is kept, with a noble Gilded Roof. This goeth under no Name, but may well be call’d Beauchampe’s Chappel, or the Chappel of our Lady and All-Saints, as being built by William Beauchampe, according to this Inscription. In honore Beate Marie Virginis, et omnium sanctorum Willelmus Beauchampe capellam hanc ordinavit, et ex propriis sumptibus construxit. This Inscription is in old Letters on the outside of the Wall, at the South-side of the Chappel, and almost obliterated; He was buried under an Arch in the Wall, which was richly gilded; and some part of the Gilding is yet to be perceived, tho' obscured and blinded by the Bench on the inside. I have heard there is a Vault below gilded like the Roof of the Chappel. The Founder of this Chappel, William Beauchampe, or de Bello Campo, might be one of the Beauchampe’s, who were Lords of Abergevenny; for William Lord Abergevenny had Lands and Mannors in this Country. And in the Register of Institutions[419] it is to be seen, that William Beauchampe, Lord of Abergevenny was Lord Patron of Berg cum Apton, five Miles distant from Norwich, and presented Clerks to that Living, 1406, and afterward: So that, if he lived a few Years after, he might be buried in the latter End of Henry IV. or in the Reign of Henry V. or in the Beginning of Henry VI. Where to find Heydon’s Chappel is more obscure, if not altogether unknown; for such a Place there was, and known by the Name of Heydon’s Chappel, as I find in a Manuscript concerning some ancient Families of Norfolk, in these Words, John Heydon of Baconsthorpe, Esq.; died in the Reign of Edward IV. Ann. 1479. He built a Chappel on the South side of the Cathedral Church of Norwich, where he was buried. He was in great Favour with King Henry VI. and took part with the House of Lancaster against that of York.

Hen. Heydon, Kt. his Heir, built the Church of Salthouse, and made the Causey between Thursford and Walsingham at his own Charge: He died in the Time of Henry VII. and was buried in Heydon’s Chappel, joining to the Cathedral aforesaid. The Arms of the Heydon’s are Quarterly Argent, and Gules a Cross engrailed counter-changed, make the third Escocheon in the North-Row over the Choir, and are in several Places in the Glass-Windows, especially on the South-side, and once in the Deanry.

There was a Chappel to the South-side of the Goal, or Prison, into which there is one Door out of the Entry of the Cloister; and there was another out of the Cloister itself, which is now made up of Brickwork: The Stone-work which remaineth on the inside is strong and handsom. This seems to have been a much frequented Chappel of the Priory by the wearing[420] of the Steppings unto it, which are on the Cloister Side.

Many other Chappels there were within the Walls and Circuit of the Priory; as of S. Mary of the Marsh; of S. Ethelbert, and others. But a strong and handsom Fabrick of one is still remaining, which is the Chappel of St. John the Evangelist, said to have been founded by Bishop John Salmon, who died Ann. 1325, and four Priests were entertained for the daily Service therein: That which was properly the Chappel, is now the Free-School: The adjoining Buildings made up the Refectory, Chambers, and Offices of the Society.

Under the Chappel, there was a Charnell-House, which was a remarkable one in former Times, and the Name is still retained. In an old Manuscript of a Sacrist of the Church, communicated to me by my worthy Friend Mr. John Burton, the Learned, and very deserving Master of the Free-School, I find that the Priests had a Provisional Allowance from the Rectory of Westhall in Suffolk. And of the Charnell-House it is delivered, that with the Leave of the Sacrist, the Bones of such as were buried in Norwich might be brought into it. In carnario subtus dictam capellam sancti Johannis constituto, ossa humana in civitate Norwici humata, de licentia sacristæ, qui dicti carnarii clavem et custodiam habebit specialem utusque ad resurrectionem generalem honeste conserventur a carnibus integre demulata reponi volumus et obsignari. Probably the Bones were piled in good Order, the Sculls, Arms, and Leg-Bones, in their distinct Rows and Courses, as in many Charnell-Houses. How these Bones were afterwards disposed of, we have no Account; or whether they had not the like Removal with those in the Charnell-House of S. Paul kept under a Chappel on[421] the North-side of S. Paul’s Church-yard: For when the Chappel was demolish’d, the Bones which lay in the Vault, amounting to more than a Thousand Cart-Loads, were conveyed into Finnesbury Fields, and there laid in a moorish Place, with so much Soil to cover them, as raised the Ground for three Wind-mills to stand on, which have since been built there, according as John Stow hath delivered, in his Survey of London.

There was formerly a fair and large, but plain Organ in the Church, and in the same Place with this at present. (It was agreed in a Chapter by the Dean and Prebends, that a new Organ be made, and Timber fitted to make a Loft for it, June 6. Ann. 1607. repaired 1626. and 10l. which Abel Colls gave to the Church, was bestowed upon it.) That in the late tumultuous Time was pulled down, broken, sold, and made away. But since his Majesty's Restauration, another fair, well-tuned, plain Organ, was set up by Dean Crofts and the Chapter, and afterwards painted, and beautifully adorned, by the Care and Cost of my honoured Friend Dr. Herbert Astley, the present worthy Dean. There were also five or six Copes belonging to the Church; which, tho' they look’d somewhat old, were richly embroider'd. These were formerly carried into the Market-Place; some blowing the Organ-pipes before them, and were cast into a Fire provided for that purpose, with shouting and rejoicing: So that, at present, there is but one Cope belonging to the Church, which was presented thereunto by Philip Harbord, Esq. the present High Sheriff of Norfolk, my honoured Friend.

Before the late Times, the Combination Sermons were preached in the Summer Time at the Cross in the Green-Yard, where there was a good Accommodation[422] for the Auditors. The Mayor, Aldermen, with their Wives and Officers, had a well-contriv’d Place built against the Wall of the Bishop's Palace, cover’d with Lead; so that they were not offended by Rain. Upon the North-side of the Church, Places were built Gallery-wise, one above another; where the Dean, Prebends, and their Wives, Gentlemen, and the better Sort, very well heard the Sermon: The rest either stood, or sat in the Green, upon long Forms provided for them, paying a Penny, or Halfpenny apiece, as they did at S. Paul’s Cross in London. The Bishop and Chancellor heard the Sermons at the Windows of the Bishop’s Palace: The Pulpit had a large Covering of Lead over it, and a Cross upon it; and there were eight or ten Stairs of Stone about it, upon which the Hospital-Boys and others stood. The Preacher had his Face to the South, and there was a painted Board, of a Foot and a half broad, and about a Yard and a half long, hanging over his Head before, upon which were painted the Arms of the Benefactors towards the Combination Sermon, which he particularly commemorated in his Prayer, and they were these; Sir John Suckling, Sir John Pettus, Edward Nuttel, Henry Fasset, John Myngay. But when the Church was sequester’d, and the Service put down, this Pulpit was taken down, and placed in New-Hall Green, which had been the Artillery-Yard, and the Public Sermon was there preached. But the Heirs of the Benefactors denying to pay the wonted Beneficence for any Sermon out of Christ-Church, (the Cathedral being now commonly so call'd) some other Ways were found to provide a Minister, at a yearly Sallary, to preach every Sunday, either in that Pulpit in the Summer, or elsewhere in the Winter.


I must not omit to say something of the Shaft, or Spire of this Church, commonly called the Pinacle, as being a handsom and well proportioned Fabrick, and one of the highest in England, higher than the noted Spires of Litchfield, Chichester, or Grantham, but lower than that at Salisbury, [at a general Chapter, holden June 4. 1633, it was agreed that the Steeple should be mended] for that Spire being raised upon a very high Tower, becomes higher from the Ground; but this Spire, considered by itself, seems, at least, to equal that. It is an Hundred and five Yards and two Foot from the Top of the Pinacle unto the Pavement of the Choir under it. The Spire is very strongly built, tho' the Inside be of Brick. The upper Aperture, or Window, is the highest Ascent inwardly; out of which, sometimes a long Streamer hath been hanged, upon the Guild, or Mayor's Day. But at His Majesty’s Restauration, when the Top was to be mended, and a new gilded Weather-Cock was to be placed upon it, there were Stayings made at the upper Window, and divers Persons went up to the Top of the Pinacle. They first went up into the Belfry, and then by eight Ladders, on the Inside of the Spire, till they came to the upper Hole, or Window; then went out unto the Outside, where a Staying was set, and so ascended up unto the Top-Stone, on which the Weather-Cock standeth.

The Cock is three quarters of a Yard high, and one Yard and two Inches long; as is also the Cross-Bar, and Top-Stone of the Spire, which is not flat, but consists of a half Globe, and Channel about it; and from thence are eight Leaves of Stone spreading outward, under which begin the eight Rows of Crockets, which go down the Spire at five Foot distance.

From the Top there is a Prospect all about the[424] Country. Mourshold-Hill seems low, and flat Ground. The Castle-Hill, and high Buildings, do very much diminish. The River looks like a Ditch. The City, with the Streets, make a pleasant Show, like a Garden with several Walks in it.

Tho' this Church, for its Spire, may compare, in a manner, with any in England, yet in its Tombs and Monuments it is exceeded by many.

No Kings have honour’d the same with their Ashes, and but few with their Presence. And it is not without some Wonder, that Norwich having been for a long Time so considerable a Place, so few Kings have visited it: Of which Number, among so many Monarchs since the Conquest, we find but Four, viz. King Henry III. Edward I. Queen Elizabeth, and our Gracious Sovereign now reigning; King Charles II. of which I had particular Reason to take Notice.[321]

The Castle was taken by the Forces of King William the Conqueror; but we find not, that he was here. King Henry VII. by the Way of Cambridge, made a Pilgrimage unto Walsingham; but Records tell us not, that he was at Norwich. King James I. came sometimes to Thetford for his Hunting Recreation, but never vouchsafed to advance twenty Miles farther.

Not long after the writing of these Papers, Dean Herbert Astley died, a civil, generous, and public-minded Person, who had travell’d in France, Italy, and Turkey, and was interr’d near the Monument of Sir James Hobart: Unto whom succeeded my honoured Friend Dr. John Sharpe, a Prebend of this Church, and Rector of St. Giles’s in the Fields, London; a Person of singular Worth, and deserv’d Estimation, the Honour[425] and Love of all Men; in the first Year of whose Deanery, 1681, the Prebends were these:

Mr. Joseph Loveland,
Dr. Hezekiah Burton,
Dr. William Hawkins,
} { Dr. William Smith,
Mr. Nathaniel Hodges,
Mr. Humphrey Prideaux.

(But Dr. Burton dying in that Year, Mr. Richard Kidder succeeded,) worthy Persons, learned Men, and very good Preachers.


I have by me the Picture of Chancellor Spencer, drawn when he was Ninety Years old, as the Inscription doth declare, which was sent unto me from Colney.

Tho' Bishop Nix sat long in the See of Norwich, yet is not there much deliver’d of him: Fox in his Martyrology hath said something of him in the Story of Thomas Bilney, who was burnt in Lollard’s Pit without Bishopgate, in his Time.

Bishop Spencer lived in the Reign of Richard ii. and Henry iv. sat in the See of Norwich 37 Years: Of a Soldier made a Bishop, and sometimes exercising the Life of a Soldier in his Episcopacy; for he led an Army into Flanders on the Behalf of Pope Urban VI. in Opposition to Clement the Anti-Pope; and also over-came the Rebellious Forces of Litster the Dyer, in Norfolk, by North-Walsham, in the Reign of King Richard ii.

Those that would know the Names of the Citizens who were chief Actors in the Tumult in Bishop[426] Skerewyng’s Time, may find 'em set down in the Bull of Pope Gregory XI.

Some Bishops, tho' they liv’d and died here, might not be buried in this Church, as some Bishops probably of old, more certainly of later Time.

Here concludes Sir Thomas Browne's MS.


[321] Sir Thomas being then Knighted.



An Account of Island, alias Ice-land,
In the Year 1662.

Great Store of Drift-wood, or Float-wood, is every Year cast up on their Shores, brought down by the Northern Winds, which serveth them for Fewel, and other Uses, the greatest Part whereof is Firr.

Of Bears there are none in the Country, but sometimes they are brought down from the North upon Ice, while they follow Seales, and so are carried away. Two in this Manner came over, and landed in the North of Island this last Year, 1662.

No Conies, or Hares, but of Foxes great Plenty, whose White Skins are much desired, and brought over into this Country.

The last Winter, 1662, so cold, and lasting with us in England, was the mildest they have had for many Years in Island.

Two new Eruptions with Slime and Smoak, were observed the last Year in some Mountains about Mount Hecla.[322]

Some hot Mineral Springs they have, and very effectual, but they make but rude Use thereof.

The Rivers are large, swift, and rapid, but have many Falls, which render them less Commodious; they chiefly abound with Salmons.


They sow no Corn, but receive it from Abroad.

They have a kind of large Lichen, which dried, becometh hard and sticky, growing very plentifully in many Places; whereof they make use for Food, either in Decoction, or Powder, some whereof I have by me, different from any with us.

In one Part of the Country, and not near the Sea, there is a large black Rock, which Polished, resembleth Touchstone, as I have seen in Pieces thereof, of various Figures.

There is also a Rock, whereof I received one Fragment, which seems to make it one kind of Pisolithes, or rather Orobites, as made up of small Pebbles, in the Bigness and Shape of the Seeds of Eruum, or Orobus.

They have some large Well-grained White Pebbles, and some kind of White Cornelian, or Agath Pebbles, on the Shore, which Polish well. Old Sir Edmund Bacon, of these Parts, made Use thereof in his peculiar Art of Tinging and Colouring of Stones.

For Shells found on the Sea-shore, such as have been brought unto me are but coarse, nor of many Kinds, as ordinary Turbines, Chamas, Aspers, Laves, etc.

I have received divers Kinds of Teeth, and Bones of Cetaceous Fishes, unto which they could assign no Name.

An exceeding fine Russet Downe is sometimes brought unto us, which their great Number of Fowls afford, and sometimes store of Feathers, consisting of the Feathers of small Birds.

Beside Shocks, and little Hairy Dogs, they bring another sort over, Headed like a Fox, which they say are bred betwixt Dogs and Foxes; these are desired by the Shepherds of this Country.

Green Plovers, which are Plentiful here in the[429] Winter, are found to breed there in the beginning of Summer.

Some Sheep have been brought over, but of coarse Wooll, and some Horses of mean Stature, but strong and Hardy: one whereof kept in the Pastures by Yarmouth, in the Summer, would often take the Sea, swimming a great Way, a Mile or Two, and return the same, when its Provision fail’d in the Ship wherein it was brought, for many Days fed upon Hoops and Cask; nor at the Land would, for many Months, be brought to feed upon Oats.

These Accounts I received from a Native of Island, who comes Yearly into England; and by Reason of my long Acquaintance, and Directions I send unto some of his Friends against the Elephantiasis, (Leprosie,) constantly visits me before his Return; and is ready to perform for me what I shall desire in his Country; wherein, as in other Ways, I shall be very Ambitious to serve the Noble Society, whose most Honouring Servant I am,

Thomas Browne.

Norwich, Jan.
15, 1663.


Concerning some Urnes found in
Brampton-Field, in Norfolk,
Ann. 1667.

I thought I had taken Leave of Urnes, when I had some Years past given a short Account of those found at Walsingham,[323] but a New Discovery being made, I readily obey your Commands in a brief Description thereof.

In a large Arable Field, lying between Buxton and Brampton, but belonging to Brampton, and not much more than a Furlong from Oxnead Park, divers Urnes were found. A Part of the Field being designed to be inclosed, while the Workmen made several Ditches, they fell upon divers Urnes, but earnestly, and carelesly digging, they broke all they met with, and finding nothing but Ashes, or burnt Cinders, they scattered what they found. Upon Notice given unto me, I went unto the Place, and though I used all Care with the Workmen, yet they were broken in the taking out, but many, without doubt, are still remaining in that Ground.

Of these Pots none were found above Three Quarters of a Yard in the Ground, whereby it appeareth, that in all this Time the Earth hath little varied its Surface, though this Ground hath been Plowed to the utmost Memory of Man. Whereby it may be also conjectured, that this hath not been a Wood-Land, as[431] some conceive all this Part to have been; for in such Lands they usually made no common Burying-places, except for some special Persons in Graves, and likewise that there hath been an Ancient Habitation about these Parts; for at Buxton also, not a Mile off, Urnes have been found in my Memory, but in their Magnitude, Figure, Colour, Posture, etc. there was no small Variety, some were large and capacious, able to contain above Two Gallons, some of a middle, others of a smaller Size; the great ones probably belonging to greater Persons, or might be Family Urnes, fit to receive the Ashes successively of their Kindred and Relations, and therefore of these, some had Coverings of the same Matter, either fitted to them, or a thin flat Stone, like a Grave Slate, laid over them; and therefore also great Ones were but thinly found, but others in good Number; some were of large wide Mouths, and Bellies proportionable, with short Necks, and bottoms of Three Inches Diameter, and near an Inch thick; some small, with Necks like Juggs, and about that Bigness; the Mouths of some few were not round, but after the Figure of a Circle compressed; though some had small, yet none had pointed Bottoms, according to the Figures of those which are to be seen in Roma Soteranea, Viginerus, or Mascardus.

In the Colours also there was great Variety, some were Whitish, some Blackish, and inclining to a Blue, others Yellowish, or dark Red, arguing the Variety of their Materials. Some Fragments, and especially Bottoms of Vessels, which seem’d to be handsome neat Pans, were also found of a fine Coral-like Red, somewhat like Portugal Vessels, as tho' they had been made out of some fine Bolary Earth, and very smooth; but the like had been found in divers Places, as Dr.[432] Casaubon hath observed about the Pots found at Newington in Kent, and as other Pieces do yet testifie, which are to be found at Burrow Castle, an Old Roman Station, not far from Yarmouth.

Of the Urnes, those of the larger Sort, such as had Coverings, were found with their Mouths placed upwards, but great Numbers of the others were, as they informed me, (and One I saw my self,) placed with their Mouths downward, which were probably such as were not to be opened again, or receive the Ashes of any other Person; though some wonder’d at this Position, yet I saw no Inconveniency in it; for the Earth being closely pressed, and especially in Minor Mouth’d Pots, they stand in a Posture as like to continue as the other, as being less subject to have the Earth fall in, or the Rain to soak into them; and the same Posture has been observed in some found in other Places, as Holingshead delivers, of divers found in Anglesea.

Some had Inscriptions, the greatest Part none; those with Inscriptions were of the largest Sort, which were upon the reverted Verges thereof; the greatest part of those which I could obtain were somewhat obliterated; yet some of the Letters to be made out: The Letters were between Lines, either Single or Double, and the Letters of some few after a fair Roman Stroke, others more rudely and illegibly drawn, wherein there seemed no great Variety. NUON being upon very many of them; only upon the inside of the bottom of a small Red Pan-like Vessel, were legibly set down in embossed Letters, CRACUNA. F. which might imply Cracuna figuli, or the Name of the Manufactor, for Inscriptions commonly signified the Name of the Person interr’d, the Names of Servants Official to such Provisions, or the Name of the Artificer, or Manufactor of such[433] Vessels; all which are particularly exemplified by the Learned Licetus,[324] where the same inscription is often found, it is probably, of the Artificer, or where the Name also is in the Genitive Case, as he also observeth.

Out of one was brought unto me a Silver Denarius, with the Head of Diva Faustina on the Obverse side, on the Reverse the Figures of the Emperor and Empress joining their Right Hands, with this Inscription, Concordia; the same is to be seen in Augustino; I also received from some Men and Women then present Coins of Posthumus, and Tetricus, Two of the Thirty Tyrants in the Reign of Gallienus, which being of much later Date, begat an Inference, that Urne-Burial lasted longer, at least in this Country, than is commonly supposed. Good Authors conceive, that this Custom ended with the Reigns of the Antonini, whereof the last was Antoninus Heliogabalus, yet these Coins extend about Fourscore Years lower; and since the Head of Tetricus is made with a radiated Crown, it must be conceived to have been made after his Death, and not before his Consecration, which as the Learned Tristan Conjectures, was most probably in the Reign of the Emperor Tacitus, and the Coin not made, or at least not issued Abroad, before the Time of the Emperor Probus, for Tacitus Reigned but Six Months and an Half, his Brother Florianus but Two Months, unto whom Probus succeeding, Reigned Five Years.

There were also found some pieces of Glass, and finer Vessels, which might contain such Liquors as they often Buried in, or by, the Urnes; divers Pieces of Brass, of several Figures; and in one Urne was found a Nail Two Inches long; whither to declare[434] the Trade or Occupation of the Person, is uncertain. But upon the Monuments of Smiths in Gruter, we meet with the Figures of Hammers, Pincers, and the like; and we find the Figure of a Cobler’s Awl on the Tomb of one of that Trade, which was in the Custody of Berini, as Argulus hath set it down in his Notes upon Onuphrius, Of the Antiquities of Verona.

Now, though Urnes have been often discovered in former Ages, many think it strange there should be many still found, yet assuredly there may be great Numbers still concealed. For tho' we should not reckon upon any who were thus buried before the Time of the Romans, [altho' that the Druids were thus buried, it may be probable, and we read of the Urne of Chindonactes, a Druid, found near Dijon in Burgundy, largely discoursed of by Licetus,] and tho, I say, we take not in any Infant which was Minor igne rogi, before Seven Months, or Appearance of Teeth, nor should account this Practice of burning among the Britains higher than Vespasian, when it is said by Tacitus, that they conformed unto the Manners and Customs of the Romans, and so both Nations might have one Way of Burial: yet from his Days, to the Dates of these Urnes, were about Two Hundred Years. And therefore if we fall so low, as to conceive there were buried in this Nation but Twenty Thousand Persons, the Account of the buried Persons would amount unto Four Millions, and consequently so great a Number of Urnes dispersed through the Land, as may still satisfy the Curiosity of succeeding Times, and arise unto all Ages.

The Bodies, whose Reliques these Urnes contained, seemed thoroughly burned; for beside pieces of Teeth, there were found few Fragments of Bones, but rather[435] Ashes in hard Lumps, and pieces of Coals, which were often so fresh, that one sufficed to make a good Draught of its Urne, which still remaineth with me.

Some Persons digging at a little Distance from the Urne Places, in hopes to find something of Value, after they had digged about Three Quarters of a Yard deep, fell upon an observable Piece of Work, whose Description this Figure affordeth. The Work was Square, about Two Yards and a Quarter on each Side. The Wall, or outward Part, a Foot thick, in Colour Red, and looked like Brick; but it was solid, without any Mortar or Cement, or figur’d Brick in it, but of an whole Piece, so that it seemed to be Framed and Burnt in the same Place where it was found. In this kind of Brick-work were Thirty-two Holes, of about Two Inches and an Half Diameter, and Two above a Quarter of a Circle in the East and West Sides. Upon Two of these Holes, on the East Side, were placed Two Pots, with their Mouths downward; putting in their Arms they found the Work hollow below, and the Earth being clear’d off, much Water was found below them, to the Quantity of a Barrel, which was conceived to have been the Rain-water which soaked in through the Earth above them.

The upper Part of the Work being broke, and opened, they found a Floor about Two Foot below, and then digging onward, Three Floors successively under one another, at the Distance of a Foot and Half, the Stones being of a Slatty, not Bricky, substance; in these Partitions some Pots were found, but broke by the Workmen, being necessitated to use hard Blows for the breaking of the Stones; and in the last Partition but one, a large Pot was found of a very narrow Mouth, short Ears, of the Capacity of Fourteen Pints,[436] which lay in an enclining Posture, close by, and somewhat under a kind of Arch in the solid Wall, and by the great Care of my worthy Friend, Mr. William Masham, who employed the Workmen, was taken up whole, almost full of Water, clean, and without Smell, and insipid, which being poured out, there still remains in the Pot a great Lump of an heavy crusty Substance. What Work this was we must as yet reserve unto better Conjecture. Mean while we find in Gruter that some Monuments of the Dead had divers Holes successively to let in the Ashes of their Relations, but Holes in such a great Number to that Intent, we have not anywhere met with.

About Three Months after, my Noble and Honoured Friend, Sir Robert Paston, had the Curiosity to open a Piece of Ground in his Park at Oxnead, which adjoined unto the former Field, where Fragments of Pots were found, and upon one the Figure of a well-made Face; but probably this Ground had been opened and digged before, though out of the Memory of Man, for we found divers small Pieces of Pots, Sheeps Bones, sometimes an Oyster-shell a Yard deep in the Earth, an unusual Coin of the Emperor Volusianus, having on the Obverse the Head of the Emperor, with a Radiated Crown, and this Inscription, Imp. Cæs. C. Volusiano Aug. that is, Imperatori Cæsari Caio Vibio Volusiano Augusto. On the Reverse an Human Figure, with the Arms somewhat extended, and at the Right Foot an Altar, with the Inscription, Pietas. This Emperor was Son unto Caius Vibius Tribonianus Gallus, with whom he jointly reigned after the Decii, about the Year 254; both he, himself, and his Father, were slain by the Emperor Æmilianus. By the Radiated Crown this Piece should be Coined[437] after his Death and Consecration, but in whose Time it is not clear in History.

Concerning the too nice Curiosity of
censuring the Present, or judging
into Future Dispensations.

We have enough to do rightly to apprehend and consider things as they are, or have been, without amusing our selves how they might have been otherwise, or what Variations, Consequences and Differences might have otherwise arose upon a different Face of things, if they had otherwise fallen out in the State or Actions of the World.

If Scanderberg had joined his Forces with Hunniades, as might have been expected before the Battel in the Plains of Cossoan, in good probability they might have ruin’d Mahomet, if not the Turkish Empire.

If Alexander had march’d Westward, and warr’d with the Romans, whether he had been able to subdue that little but valiant People, is an uncertainty: We are sure he overcame Persia; Histories attest, and Prophecies foretel the same. It was decreed that the Persians should be conquered by Alexander, and his Successors by the Romans, in whom Providence had determin’d to settle the fourth Monarchy, which neither Pyrrhus nor Hannibal must prevent; tho' Hannibal came so near it, that he seem’d to miss it by fatal Infatuation: which if he had effected,[438] there had been such a traverse and confusion of Affairs, as no Oracle could have predicted. But the Romans must reign, and the Course of Things was then moving towards the Advent of Christ, and blessed Discovery of the Gospel: Our Saviour must suffer at Jerusalem, and be sentenc’d by a Roman Judge; St. Paul, a Roman Citizen, must preach in the Roman Provinces, and St. Peter be Bishop of Rome, and not of Carthage.

Upon Reading Hudibras.

The way of Burlesque Poems is very Ancient, for there was a ludicrous mock way of transferring Verses of Famous Poets into a Jocose Sense and Argument, and they were call’d Ὠδέαι or Parodiæ; divers Examples of which are to be found in Athenæus.

The first Inventer hereof was Hipponactes, but Hegemon Sopater and many more pursu’d the same Vein; so that the Parodies of Ovid’s Buffoon Metamorphoses Burlesques, Le Eneiade Travastito, are no new Inventions, but old Fancies reviv'd.

An Excellent Parodie there is of both the Scaligers upon an Epigram of Catullus, which Stephens hath set down in his Discourse of Parodies: a remarkable one among the Greeks is that of Matron, in the Words and Epithites of Homer describing the Feast of Xenocles the Athenian Rhetorician, to be found in the fourth Book of Athenæus, pag. 134. Edit. Casaub.


[322] A Burning Mountain in Island.

[323] See Hydriotaphia, Urne-Burial: or, A Discourse of the Sepulchral Urnes lately found in Norfolk, 8vo. Lond. printed 1658.

[324] Vid. Licet. de Lucernis.







And Author of


Published from the Original and Correct
Manuscript of the Author;
by John Jeffery, D.D.
Arch-Deacon of Norwich.


Printed at the University-Press,
For Cornelius Crownfield, Printer to the University;
And are to be sold by Mr. Knapton at the Crown
in St. Paul’s Churchyard; and Mr. Morphew near
Stationers-Hall, London, 1716.




viscount auchterhouse, Lord cardross
and glendovachie,
one of the Lords Commissioners of police, and Lord
Lieutenant of the Counties of Stirling
and Clackmannan in North-Brittain.

My Lord,

The Honour you have done our Family Obligeth us to make all just Acknowledgments of it: and there is no Form of Acknowledgment in our power, more worthy of Your Lordship's Acceptance, than this Dedication of the last Work of our Honoured and Learned Father. Encouraged hereunto by the Knowledge we have of Your Lordship's Judicious Relish of universal Learning, and sublime Virtue, we beg the Favour of Your Acceptance of it, which will very much Oblige our Family in general, and Her in particular, who is,

My Lord,

Your Lordship’s

most humble Servant,

Elizabeth Littelton.



If any One, after he has read Religio Medici, and the ensuing Discourse, can make Doubt, whether the same Person was the Author of them both, he may be Assured by the Testimony of Mrs. Littelton, Sr. Thomas Brown’s Daughter, who Lived with her Father when it was composed by Him; and who, at the time, read it written by his own Hand: and also by the Testimony of Others (of whom I am One), who read the MS. of the Author, immediately after his Death, and who have since Read the Same; from which it hath been faithfully and exactly Transcribed for the Press. The Reason why it was not Printed sooner is, because it was unhappily Lost, by being Mislay’d among Other MSS. for which Search was lately made in the Presence of the Lord Arch-bishop of Canterbury, of which his Grace, by Letter, Informed Mrs. Littelton, when he sent the MS to Her. There is nothing printed in the Discourse, or in the short notes, but what is found in the original MS of the Author, except only where an Oversight had made the Addition or transposition of some words necessary.

John Jeffery
of Norwich.





Tread softly and circumspectly in this funambulatory Track and narrow Path of Goodness: Pursue Virtue virtuously: Leven not good Actions, nor render Virtues disputable. Stain not fair Acts with foul Intentions: Maim not Uprightness by halting Concomitances, nor circumstantially deprave substantial Goodness.

Consider whereabout thou art in Cebes’s Table, or that old Philosophical Pinax of the Life of Man: whether thou art yet in the Road of uncertainties; whether thou hast yet entred the narrow Gate, got up the Hill and asperous way, which leadeth unto the House of Sanity; or taken that purifying Potion from the hand of sincere Erudition, which may send Thee clear and pure away unto a virtuous and happy Life.

In this virtuous Voyage of thy Life hall not about like the Ark, without the use of Rudder, Mast, or Sail, and bound for no Port. Let not Disappointment cause Despondency, nor difficulty despair. Think not that you are Sailing from Lima to Manillia, when you may fasten up the Rudder, and sleep before the Wind; but expect rough Seas, Flaws, and contrary Blasts: and ’tis well, if by many cross Tacks and Veerings you arrive at the Port; for we[444] sleep in Lyons Skins in our Progress unto Virtue, and we slide not, but climb unto it.

Sit not down in the popular Forms and common Level of Virtues. Offer not only Peace Offerings but Holocausts unto God: where all is due make no reserve, and cut not a Cummin Seed with the Almighty: To serve Him singly to serve ourselves were too partial a piece of Piety; not like to place us in the illustrious Mansions of Glory.


Rest not in an Ovation[325] but a Triumph over thy Passions. Let Anger walk hanging down the head; Let Malice go Manicled, and Envy fetter'd after thee. Behold within thee the long train of thy Trophies not without thee. Make the quarrelling Lapithytes sleep, and Centaurs within lye quiet. Chain up the unruly Legion of thy breast. Lead thine own captivity captive, and be Cæsar within thy self.


He that is Chast and Continent not to impair his strength, or honest for fear of Contagion, will hardly be Heroically virtuous. Adjourn not this virtue untill that temper, when Cato could lend out his Wife, and impotent Satyrs write Satyrs upon Lust: But be chast in thy flaming Days, when Alexander dar’d not trust his eyes upon the fair sisters of Darius, and when so many think there is no other way but Origen’s.[326]



Show thy Art in Honesty, and loose not thy Virtue by the bad Managery of it. Be Temperate and Sober, not to preserve your body in an ability for wanton ends; not to avoid the infamy of common transgressors that way, and thereby to hope to expiate or palliate obscure and closer vices; not to spare your purse, nor simply to enjoy health: but in one word, that thereby you may truly serve God, which every sickness will tell you you cannot well do without health. The sick Man's Sacrifice is but a lame Oblation. Pious Treasures lay’d up in healthful days plead for sick non-performances: without which we must needs look back with anxiety upon the lost opportunities of health; and may have cause rather to envy than pity the ends of penitent publick Sufferers, who go with healthful prayers unto the last Scene of their lives, and in the Integrity of their faculties return their Spirit unto God that gave it.


Be charitable before wealth make thee covetous, and loose not the glory of the Mite. If Riches encrease let thy mind hold pace with them; and think it not enough to be Liberal, but Munificent. Though a Cup of cold water from some hand may not be without it's reward, yet stick not thou for Wine and Oyl for the Wounds of the Distressed, and treat the poor, as our Saviour did the Multitude, to the reliques of some baskets. Diffuse thy beneficence early, and while thy Treasures call thee Master: there may be an Atropos of thy Fortunes before that of thy Life, and thy wealth cut off before that hour, when all Men shall be poor; for[446] the Justice of Death looks equally upon the dead, and Charon expects no more from Alexander than from Irus.


Give not only unto seven, but also unto eight,[327] that is, unto more than many. Though to give unto every one that asketh may seem severe advice,[328] yet give thou also before asking; that is, where want is silently clamorous, and mens Necessities not their Tongues do loudly call for thy Mercies. For though sometimes necessitousness be dumb, or misery speak not out, yet true Charity is sagacious, and will find out hints for beneficence. Acquaint thyself with the Physiognomy of Want, and let the Dead colours and first lines of necessity suffice to tell thee there is an object for thy bounty. Spare not where thou canst not easily be prodigal, and fear not to be undone by mercy. For since he who hath pity on the poor lendeth unto the Almighty Rewarder, who observes no Ides but every day for his payments; Charity becomes pious Usury, Christian Liberality the most thriving industry; and what we adventure in a Cockboat may return in a Carrack unto us. He who thus casts his bread upon the Water shall surely find it again; for though it falleth to the bottom, it sinks but like the Ax of the Prophet, to rise again unto him.


If Avarice be thy Vice, yet make it not thy Punishment. Miserable men commiserate not themselves, bowelless unto others, and merciless unto their own bowels. Let the fruition of things bless[447] the possession of them, and think it more satisfaction to live richly than dye rich. For since thy good works, not thy goods, will follow thee; since wealth is an appertinance of life, and no dead Man is Rich; to famish in Plenty, and live poorly, to dye Rich, were a multiplying improvement in Madness, and use upon use in Folly.


Trust not to the Omnipotency of Gold, and say not unto it Thou art my Confidence. Kiss not thy hand to that Terrestrial Sun, nor bore thy ear unto its servitude. A Slave unto Mammon makes no servant unto God. Covetousness cracks the sinews of Faith; nummes the apprehension of any thing above sense; and only affected with the certainty of things present, makes a peradventure of things to come; lives but unto one World, nor hopes but fears another; makes their own death sweet unto others, bitter unto themselves; brings formal sadness, scenical mourning, and no wet eyes at the grave.


Persons lightly dipt, not grain’d in generous Honesty, are but pale in Goodness, and faint hued in Integrity. But be thou what thou vertuously art, and let not the Ocean wash away thy Tincture. Stand magnetically upon that Axis, when prudent simplicity hath fixt there; and let no attraction invert the Poles of thy Honesty. That Vice may be uneasy and even monstrous unto thee, let iterated good Acts and long confirmed habits make Virtue almost natural, or a second nature in thee. Since virtuous superstructions have commonly[448] generous foundations, dive into thy inclinations, and early discover what nature bids thee to be, or tells thee thou may'st be. They who thus timely descend into themselves, and cultivate the good seeds which nature hath set in them, prove not shrubs but Cedars in their generation. And to be in the form of the best of the Bad, or the worst of the Good,[329] will be no satisfaction unto them.

SECT. 10

Make not the consequence of Virtue the ends thereof. Be not beneficent for a name or Cymbal of applause, nor exact and just in Commerce for the advantages of Trust and Credit, which attend the reputation of true and punctual dealing. For these Rewards, though unsought for, plain Virtue will bring with her. To have other by-ends in good actions sowers Laudable performances, which must have deeper roots, motives, and instigations, to give them the stamp of Virtues.

SECT. 11

Let not the Law of thy Country be the non ultra of thy Honesty; nor think that always good enough which the law will make good. Narrow not the Law of Charity, Equity, Mercy. Joyn Gospel Righteousness with Legal Right. Be not a mere Gamaliel in the Faith, but let the Sermon in the Mount be thy Targum unto the law of Sinah.

SECT. 12

Live by old Ethicks and the classical Rules of Honesty. Put no new names or notions upon Authentick Virtues and Vices. Think not that Morality is Ambulatory; that Vices in one age[449] are not Vices in another; or that Virtues, which are under the everlasting Seal of right Reason, may be Stamped by Opinion. And therefore though vicious times invert the opinions of things, and set up a new Ethicks against Virtue, yet hold thou unto old Morality; and rather than follow a multitude to do evil, stand like Pompey’s pillar conspicuous by thyself, and single in Integrity. And since the worst of times afford imitable Examples of Virtue; since no Deluge of Vice is like to be so general but more than eight will escape; Eye well those Heroes who have held their Heads above Water, who have touched Pitch, and not been defiled, and in the common Contagion have remained uncorrupted.

SECT. 13

Let Age not Envy draw wrinkles on thy cheeks, be content to be envy’d, but envy not. Emulation may be plausible and Indignation allowable, but admit no treaty with that passion which no circumstance can make good. A displacency at the good of others because they enjoy it, though not unworthy of it, is an absurd depravity, sticking fast unto corrupted nature, and often too hard for Humility and Charity, the great Suppressors of Envy. This surely is a Lyon not to be strangled but by Hercules himself, or the highest stress of our minds, and an Atom of that power which subdueth all things unto it self.

SECT. 14

Owe not thy Humility unto humiliation from adversity, but look humbly down in that State when others look upwards upon thee. Think not thy own shadow longer than that of others,[450] nor delight to take the Altitude of thyself. Be patient in the age of Pride, when Men live by short intervals of Reason under the dominion of Humor and Passion, when it’s in the Power of every one to transform thee out of thy self, and run thee into the short madness. If you cannot imitate Job, yet come not short of Socrates, and those patient Pagans who tired the Tongues of their Enemies, while they perceived they spit their malice at brazen Walls and Statues.

SECT. 15

Let not the Sun in Capricorn[330] go down upon thy wrath, but write thy wrongs in Ashes. Draw the Curtain of night upon injuries, shut them up in the Tower of Oblivion[331] and let them be as though they had not been. To forgive our Enemies, yet hope that God will punish them, is not to forgive enough. To forgive them our selves, and not to pray God to forgive them, is a partial piece of Charity. Forgive thine enemies totally, and without any reserve that however God will revenge thee.

SECT. 16

While thou so hotly disclaimest the Devil, be not guilty of Diabolism. Fall not into one name with that unclean Spirit, nor act his nature whom thou so much abhorrest; that is to Accuse, Calumniate, Backbite, Whisper, Detract, or sinistrously interpret others. Degenerous depravities, and narrow minded vices! not only below St. Paul’s[451] noble Christian but Aristotle’s true Gentleman.[332] Trust not with some that the Epistle of St. James is Apocryphal, and so read with less fear that Stabbing Truth, that in company with this vice thy religion is in vain. Moses broke the Tables without breaking of the Law; but where Charity is broke, the Law it self is shattered, which cannot be whole without Love, which is the fulfilling of it. Look humbly upon thy Virtues, and though thou art Rich in some, yet think thyself Poor and Naked without that Crowning Grace, which thinketh no evil, which envieth not, which beareth, hopeth, believeth, endureth all things. With these sure Graces, while busy Tongues are crying out for a drop of cold Water, mutes may be in happiness, and sing the Trisagion[333] in heaven.

SECT. 17

However thy understanding may waver in the Theories of True and False, yet fasten the Rudder of thy Will, steer strait unto good and fall not foul on evil. Imagination is apt to rove, and conjecture to keep no bounds. Some have run out so far, as to fancy the Stars might be but the light of the Crystalline Heaven shot through perforations on the bodies of the Orbs. Others more Ingeniously doubt whether there hath not been a vast tract of land in the Atlantick ocean, which Earthquakes and violent causes have long ago devoured. Speculative Misapprehensions may be innocuous, but immorality pernicious; Theorical mistakes and Physical Deviations may condemn our Judgments, not lead us into Judgment. But perversity of Will,[452] immoral and sinfull enormities walk with Adraste and Nemesis at their Backs, pursue us unto Judgment, and leave us viciously miserable.

SECT. 18

Bid early defiance unto those Vices which are of thine inward Family, and having a root in thy Temper plead a right and propriety in thee. Raise timely batteries against those strong holds built upon the Rock of Nature, and make this a great part of the Militia of thy life. Delude not thyself into iniquities from participation or community, which abate the sense but not the obliquity of them. To conceive sins less, or less of sins, because others also Transgress, were Morally to commit that natural fallacy of Man, to take comfort from Society, and think adversities less, because others also suffer them. The politick nature of Vice must be opposed by Policy; and therefore wiser Honesties project and plot against it. Wherein notwithstanding we are not to rest in generals, or the trite Stratagems of Art. That may succeed with one which may prove successless with another: There is no community or commonweal of Virtue: Every man must study his own œconomy, and adapt such rules unto the figure of himself.

SECT. 19

Be substantially great in thy self, and more than thou appearest unto others; and let the World be deceived in thee, as they are in the Lights of Heaven. Hang early plummets upon the heels of Pride, and let Ambition have but an Epicycle and narrow circuit in thee. Measure not thy self by thy morning shadow, but by the extent of thy grave, and Reckon thy self above the Earth by the line thou must[453] be contented with under it. Spread not into boundless Expansions either of designs or desires. Think not that mankind liveth but for a few, and that the rest are born but to serve those Ambitions, which make but flies of Men and wildernesses of whole Nations. Swell not into vehement actions which imbroil and confound the Earth; but be one of those violent ones which force the Kingdom of Heaven.[334] If thou must needs Rule, be Zeno’s king, and enjoy that empire which every Man gives himself. He who is thus his own Monarch contentedly sways the Scepter of himself, not envying the Glory of Crowned Heads and Elohims of the Earth. Could the World unite in the practise of that despised train of Virtues, which the Divine Ethicks of our Saviour hath so inculcated upon us, the furious face of things must disappear, Eden would be yet to be found, and the Angels might look down not with pity, but Joy upon us.

SECT. 20

Though the Quickness of thine Ear were able to reach the noise of the Moon, which some think it maketh in it's rapid revolution; though the number of thy Ears should equal Argus his Eyes; yet stop them all with the wise man's wax, and be deaf unto the suggestions of Tale-bearers, Calumniators, Pickthank or Malevolent Delators, who while quiet Men sleep, sowing the Tares of discord and division, distract the tranquillity of Charity and all friendly Society. These are the Tongues that set the world on fire, cankers of reputation, and, like that of Jonas his gourd, wither a good name in a night. Evil Spirits may sit still, while these Spirits walk about,[454] and perform the business of Hell. To speak more strictly, our corrupted hearts are the Factories of the Devil, which may be at work without his presence. For when that circumventing Spirit hath drawn Malice, Envy, and all unrighteousness unto well rooted habits in his disciples, iniquity then goes on upon its own legs, and if the gate of Hell were shut up for a time, Vice would still be fertile and produce the fruits of Hell. Thus when God forsakes us, Satan also leaves us. For such offenders he looks upon as sure and sealed up, and his temptations then needless unto them.

SECT. 21

Annihilate not the Mercies of God by the Oblivion of Ingratitude. For Oblivion is a kind of Annihilation, and for things to be as though they had not been, is like unto never being. Make not thy Head a Grave, but a Repository of God's Mercies. Though thou hadst the Memory of Seneca, or Simonides, and Conscience, the punctual Memorist within us, yet trust not to thy Remembrance in things which need Phylacteries. Register not only strange but merciful occurrences: Let Ephemerides not Olympiads give thee account of his mercies. Let thy Diaries stand thick with dutiful Mementos and Asterisks of acknowledgment. And to be compleat and forget nothing, date not his mercy from thy nativity, Look beyond the World, and before the Æara of Adam.

SECT. 22

Paint not the Sepulcher of thy self, and strive not to beautify thy corruption. Be not an Advocate for thy Vices, nor call for many Hour-Glasses to justify thy imperfections. Think not[455] that always good which thou thinkest thou canst always make good, nor that concealed which the Sun doth not behold. That which the Sun doth not now see, will be visible when the Sun is out, and the Stars are fallen from Heaven. Mean while there is no darkness unto Conscience; which can see without Light, and in the deepest obscurity give a clear Draught of things, which the Cloud of dissimulation hath conceal’d from all eyes. There is a natural standing Court within us, examining, acquitting, and condemning at the Tribunal of ourselves, wherein iniquities have their natural Theta's and no nocent is absolved by the verdict of himself. And therefore although our transgressions shall be tryed at the last bar, the process need not be long: for the Judge of all knoweth all, and every Man will nakedly know himself. And when so few are like to plead not Guilty, the Assize must soon have an end.

SECT. 23

Comply with some humours, bear with others, but serve none. Civil complacency consists with decent honesty: Flattery is a Juggler, and no Kin unto Sincerity. But while thou maintainest the plain path, and scornest to flatter others, fall not into self Adulation, and become not thine own Parasite. Be deaf unto thy self, and be not betrayed at home. Self-credulity, pride, and levity lead unto self-Idolatry. There is no Damocles like unto self opinion, nor any Siren to our own fawning Conceptions. To magnify our minor things, or hug ourselves in our apparitions; to afford a credulous Ear unto the clawing suggestions of fancy; to pass our days in painted mistakes of our selves; and though we behold[456] our own blood, to think ourselves the sons of Jupiter;[335] are blandishments of self love, worse than outward delusion. By this Imposture Wise Men sometimes are Mistaken in their Elevation, and look above themselves. And Fools, which are Antipodes unto the Wise, conceive themselves to be but their Periœci, and in the same parallel with them.

SECT. 24

Be not a Hercules furens abroad, and a Poltron within thy self. To chase our Enemies out of the Field, and be led captive by our Vices; to beat down our Foes, and fall down to our Concupiscences; are Solecisms in Moral Schools, and no Laurel attends them. To well manage our Affections, and wild Horses of Plato, are the highest Circenses; and the noblest Digladiation is in the Theater of our selves; for therein our inward Antagonists, not only like common Gladiators, with ordinary Weapons and down right Blows make at us, but also like Retiary and Laqueary Combatants, with Nets, Frauds, and Entanglements, fall upon us. Weapons for such combats are not to be forged at Lipara: Vulcan’s Art doth nothing in this internal Militia; wherein not the Armour of Achilles, but the Armature of St. Paul, gives the Glorious day, and Triumphs not Leading up into Capitols, but up into the highest Heavens. And therefore while so many think it the only valour to command and master others, study thou the Dominion of thy self, and quiet thine own Commotions. Let Right Reason be thy Lycurgus, and lift up thy hand unto the Law of it; move by the Intelligences of the superiour Faculties, not by the Rapt of Passion, nor[457] merely by that of Temper and Constitution. They who are merely carried on by the Wheel of such Inclinations, without the Hand and Guidance of Sovereign Reason, are but the Automatous part of mankind, rather lived than living, or at least under-living themselves.

SECT. 25

Let not Fortune, which hath no name in Scripture, have any in thy Divinity. Let Providence, not Chance, have the honour of thy acknowledgments, and be thy Œdipus in Contingences. Mark well the Paths and winding Ways thereof; but be not too wise in the Construction, or sudden in the Application. The Hand of Providence writes often by Abbreviatures, Hieroglyphicks or short Characters, which, like the Laconism on the Wall, are not to be made out but by a Hint or Key from that Spirit which indited them. Leave future occurrences to their uncertainties, think that which is present thy own; And since ’tis easier to foretell an Eclipse, than a foul Day at some distance, Look for little Regular below. Attend with patience the uncertainty of Things, and what lieth yet unexerted in the Chaos of Futurity. The uncertainty and ignorance of Things to come makes the World new unto us by unexpected Emergences; whereby we pass not our days in the trite road of affairs affording no Novity; for the novellizing Spirit of Man lives by variety, and the new Faces of Things.

SECT. 26

Though a contented Mind enlargeth the dimension of little things; and unto some ’tis Wealth enough not to be Poor; and others are well content, if they be but Rich enough[458] to be Honest, and to give every Man his due: yet fall not into that obsolete Affectation of Bravery to throw away thy Money, and to reject all Honours or Honourable stations in this courtly and splendid World. Old Generosity is superannuated, and such contempt of the World out of date. No Man is now like to refuse the favour of great ones, or be content to say unto Princes, stand out of my Sun. And if any there be of such antiquated Resolutions, they are not like to be tempted out of them by great ones; and ’tis fair if they escape the name of Hypocondriacks from the Genius of latter times, unto whom contempt of the World is the most contemptible opinion, and to be able, like Bias, to carry all they have about them were to be the eighth Wise-man. However, the old tetrick Philosophers look’d always with Indignation upon such a Face of Things; and observing the unnatural current of Riches, Power, and Honour in the World, and withal the imperfection and demerit of persons often advanced unto them, were tempted into angry Opinions, that Affairs were ordered more by Stars than Reason, and that things went on rather by Lottery, than Election.

SECT. 27

If thy Vessel be but small in the Ocean of this World, if Meanness of Possessions be thy allotment upon Earth, forget not those Virtues which the great disposer of all bids thee to entertain from thy Quality and Condition, that is, Submission, Humility, Content of mind, and Industry. Content may dwell in all Stations. To be low, but above contempt, may be high enough to be Happy. But many of low Degree may be higher than computed, and some Cubits above the common Commensuration;[459] for in all States Virtue gives Qualifications, and Allowances, which make out defects. Rough Diamonds are sometimes mistaken for Pebbles, and Meanness may be Rich in Accomplishments, which Riches in vain desire. If our merits be above our Stations, if our intrinsecal Value be greater than what we go for, or our Value than our Valuation, and if we stand higher in God's, than in the Censor's Book; it may make some equitable balance in the inequalities of this World, and there may be no such vast Chasm or Gulf between disparities as common Measures determine. The Divine Eye looks upon high and low differently from that of Man. They who seem to stand upon Olympus, and high mounted unto our eyes, may be but in the Valleys, and low Ground unto his; for he looks upon those as highest who nearest approach his Divinity, and upon those as lowest who are farthest from it.

SECT. 28

When thou lookest upon the Imperfections of others, allow one Eye for what is Laudable in them, and the balance they have from some excellency, which may render them considerable. While we look with fear or hatred upon the Teeth of the Viper, we may behold his Eye with love. In venemous Natures something may be amiable: Poysons afford Antipoysons: nothing is totally, or altogether uselessly bad. Notable Virtues are sometimes dashed with notorious Vices, and in some vicious tempers have been found illustrious Acts of Virtue; which makes such observable worth in some actions of king Demetrius, Antonius, and Ahab, as are not to be found in the same kind in Aristides, Numa, or David. Constancy, Generosity, Clemency, and Liberality, have[460] been highly conspicuous in some Persons not markt out in other concerns for Example or Imitation. But since Goodness is exemplary in all, if others have not our Virtues, let us not be wanting in theirs, nor scorning them for their Vices whereof we are free, be condemned by their Virtues, wherein we are deficient. There is Dross, Alloy, and Embasement in all human Temper; and he flieth without Wings, who thinks to find Ophyr or pure Metal in any. For perfection is not like Light center’d in any one body, but like the dispersed Seminalities of Vegetables at the Creation scattered through the whole Mass of the Earth, no place producing all and almost all some. So that ’tis well, if a perfect Man can be made out of many Men, and to the Perfect Eye of God even out of Mankind. Time, which perfects some Things, imperfects also others. Could we intimately apprehend the Ideated Man, and as he stood in the intellect of God upon the first exertion by Creation, we might more narrowly comprehend our present Degeneration, and how widely we are fallen from the pure Exemplar and Idea of our Nature: for after this corruptive Elongation from a primitive and pure Creation, we are almost lost in Degeneration; and Adam hath not only fallen from his Creator, but we ourselves from Adam, our Tycho and primary Generator.

SECT. 29

Quarrel not rashly with Adversities not yet understood; and overlook not the Mercies often bound up in them. For we consider not sufficiently the good of Evils, nor fairly compute the Mercies of Providence in things afflictive at first hand. The famous Andreas Doria being[461] invited to a feast by Aloysio Fieschi with design to Kill him, just the night before, fell mercifully into a fit of the Gout and so escaped that mischief. When Cato intended to Kill himself, from a blow which he gave his servant, who would not reach his Sword unto him, his Hand so swell’d that he had much ado to Effect his design. Hereby any one but a resolved Stoick might have taken a fair hint of consideration, and that some merciful Genius would have contrived his preservation. To be sagacious in such intercurrences is not Superstition, but wary and pious Discretion: and to contemn such hints were to be deaf unto the speaking hand of God, wherein Socrates and Cardan would hardly have been mistaken.

SECT. 30

Break not open the gate of Destruction, and make no haste or bustle unto Ruin. Post not heedlessly on unto the non ultra of Folly, or precipice of Perdition. Let vicious ways have their Tropicks and Deflexions, and swim in the Waters of Sin but as in the Asphaltick Lake, though smeared and defiled, not to sink to the bottom. If thou hast dipt thy foot in the Brink, yet venture not over Rubicon. Run not into Extremities from whence there is no regression. In the vicious ways of the World it mercifully falleth out that we become not extempore wicked, but it taketh some time and pains to undo ourselves. We fall not from Virtue, like Vulcan from Heaven, in a day. Bad Dispositions require some time to grow into bad Habits, bad Habits must undermine good, and often repeated acts make us habitually evil: so that by gradual depravations, and while we are but staggeringly evil, we are not left[462] without Parentheses of considerations, thoughtful rebukes, and merciful interventions, to recal us unto ourselves. For the Wisdom of God hath methodiz’d the course of things unto the best advantage of goodness, and thinking Considerators overlook not the tract thereof.

Sect. 31

Since Men and Women have their proper Virtues and Vices, and even Twins of different sexes have not only distinct coverings in the Womb, but differing qualities and Virtuous Habits after; transplace not their Proprieties, and confound not their Distinctions. Let Masculine and feminine accomplishments shine in their proper Orbs, and adorn their Respective subjects. However unite not the Vices of both Sexes in one; be not Monstrous in Iniquity, nor Hermaphroditically Vitious.

Sect. 32

If generous Honesty, Valour, and plain Dealing, be the Cognisance of thy Family or Characteristick of thy Country, hold fast such inclinations suckt in with thy first Breath, and which lay in the Cradle with thee. Fall not into transforming degenerations, which under the old name create a new Nation. Be not an Alien in thine own Nation; bring not Orontes into Tiber; learn the Virtues not the Vices of thy foreign Neighbours, and make thy imitation by discretion not contagion. Feel something of thyself in the noble Acts of thy Ancestors, and find in thine own Genius that of thy Predecessors. Rest not under the Expired merits of others, shine by those of thy own. Flame not like the central fire which enlightneth no Eyes, which no Man seeth, and most men think there’s[463] no such thing to be seen. Add one Ray unto the common Lustre; add not only to the Number but the Note of thy Generation; and prove not a Cloud but an Asterisk in thy Region.

SECT. 33

Since thou hast an Alarum in thy Breast, which tells thee thou hast a Living Spirit in thee above two thousand times in an hour; dull not away thy Days in sloathful supinity and the tediousness of doing nothing. To strenuous Minds there is an inquietude in overquietness, and no laboriousness in labour; and to tread a mile after the slow pace of a Snail, or the heavy measures of the Lazy of Brazilia, were a most tiring Pennance, and worse than a race of some furlongs at the Olympicks. The rapid courses of the heavenly bodies are rather imitable by our Thoughts, than our corporeal Motions; yet the solemn motions of our lives amount unto a greater measure than is commonly apprehended. Some few men have surrounded the Globe of the Earth; yet many in the set Locomotions and movements of their days have measured the circuit of it, and twenty thousand miles have been exceeded by them. Move circumspectly not meticulously, and rather carefully sollicitous than anxiously sollicitudinous. Think not there is a Lyon in the way, nor walk with Leaden Sandals in the paths of Goodness; but in all Virtuous motions let Prudence determine thy measures. Strive not to run like Hercules a furlong in a breath: Festination may prove Precipitation; Deliberating delay may be wise cunctation, and slowness no sloathfulness.


SECT. 34

Since virtuous actions have their own Trumpets, and without any noise from thy self will have their resound abroad; busy not thy best Member in the Encomium of thy self. Praise is a debt we owe unto the Virtues of others, and due unto our own from all, whom Malice hath not made Mutes, or Envy struck Dumb. Fall not however into the common prevaricating way of self commendation and boasting, by denoting the imperfections of others. He who discommendeth others obliquely commendeth himself. He who whispers their infirmities proclaims his own Exemption from them; and consequently says, I am not as this Publican, or Hic Niger,[336] whom I talk of. Open ostentation and loud vain-glory is more tolerable than this obliquity, as but containing some Froath, no Ink, as but consisting of a personal piece of folly, nor complicated with uncharitableness. Superfluously we seek a precarious applause abroad: every good Man hath his plaudite within himself; and though his Tongue be silent, is not without loud Cymbals in his Breast. Conscience will become his Panegyrist, and never forget to crown and extol him unto himself.

SECT. 35

Bless not thy self only that thou wert born in Athens;[337] but among thy multiplyed acknowledgments lift up one hand unto Heaven, that thou wert born of Honest Parents, that Modesty, Humility, Patience, and Veracity lay in the same Egg, and came into the World with thee. From such foundations thou may'st be Happy in a Virtuous[465] precocity, and make an early and long walk in Goodness; so may'st thou more naturally feel the contrariety of Vice unto Nature, and resist some by the Antidote of thy Temper. As Charity covers, so Modesty preventeth a multitude of sins; withholding from noon day Vices and brazen-brow’d Iniquities, from sinning on the house-top, and painting our follies with the rays of the Sun. Where this Virtue reigneth, though Vice may show its Head, it cannot be in its Glory: where shame of sin sets, look not for Virtue to arise; for when Modesty taketh Wing, Astræa[338] goes soon after.

SECT. 36

The Heroical vein of Mankind runs much in the Souldiery, and couragious part of the World; and in that form we oftenest find Men above Men. History is full of the gallantry of that Tribe; and when we read their notable Acts, we easily find what a difference there is between a Life in Plutarch and in Laërtius. Where true Fortitude dwells, Loyalty, Bounty, Friendship, and Fidelity, may be found. A man may confide in persons constituted for noble ends, who dare do and suffer, and who have a Hand to burn for their Country and their Friend. Small and creeping things are the product of petty Souls. He is like to be mistaken, who makes choice of a covetous Man for a Friend, or relieth upon the Reed of narrow and poltron Friendship. Pityful things are only to be found in the cottages of such Breasts; but bright Thoughts, clear Deeds, Constancy, Fidelity, Bounty, and generous Honesty are the Gems of noble Minds; wherein, to derogate from none, the true Heroick English Gentleman hath no Peer.



[325] Ovation, a petty and minor kind of Triumph.

[326] Who is said to have Castrated himself.

[327] Ecclesiasticus.

[328] Luke.

[329] Optimi malorum pessimi bonorum.

[330] Even when the Days are shortest.

[331] Alluding unto the Tower of Oblivion mentioned by Procopius, which was the name of a Tower of Imprisonment among the Persians: whoever was put therein was as it were buried alive, and it was death for any but to name him.

[332] See Aristotle’s Ethicks, chapter of Magnanimity.

[333] Holy, holy, holy.

[334] Matthew xi.

[335] As Alexander the Great did.

[336] Hic niger est, hunc tu Romane caveto. Horace.

[337] As Socrates did. Athens a place of Learning and Civility.

[338] Astræa Goddess of justice and consequently of all virtue.



Punish not thy self with Pleasure; Glut not thy sense with palative Delights; nor revenge the contempt of Temperance by the penalty of Satiety. Were there an Age of delight or any pleasure durable, who would not honour Volupia? but the Race of Delight is short, and Pleasures have mutable faces. The pleasures of one age are not pleasures in another, and their Lives fall short of our own. Even in our sensual days, the strength of delight is in its seldomness or rarity, and sting in its satiety: Mediocrity is its Life, and immoderacy its Confusion. The Luxurious Emperors of old inconsiderately satiated themselves with the dainties of Sea and Land, till, wearied through all varieties, their refections became a study unto them, and they were fain to feed by Invention. Novices in true Epicurism! which by mediocrity, paucity, quick and healthful Appetite, makes delights smartly acceptable; whereby Epicurus himself found Jupiter’s brain[339] in a piece of Cytheridian Cheese, and the Tongues of Nightingals in a dish of Onyons. Hereby healthful and temperate poverty hath the start of nauseating Luxury; unto whose clear and naked appetite every meal is a feast, and in one single dish the first course of Metellus;[340] who are cheaply hungry, and never loose[467] their hunger, or advantage of a craving appetite, because obvious food contents it; while Nero,[341] half famish’d, could not feed upon a piece of Bread, and lingring after his snowed water, hardly got down an ordinary cup of Calda.[342] By such circumscriptions of pleasure the contemned Philosophers reserved unto themselves the secret of Delight, which the Helluo’s of those days lost in their exorbitances. In vain we study Delight: It is at the command of every sober Mind, and in every sense born with us: but Nature, who teacheth us the rule of pleasure, instructeth also in the bounds thereof, and where its line expireth. And therefore Temperate Minds, not pressing their pleasures until the sting appeareth, enjoy their contentations contentedly, and without regret, and so escape the folly of excess, to be pleased unto displacency.


Bring candid Eyes unto the perusal of mens works, and let not Zoilism or Detraction blast well intended labours. He that endureth no faults in mens writings must only read his own, wherein for the most part all appeareth White. Quotation mistakes, inadvertency, expedition, and human Lapses may make not only Moles but Warts in Learned Authors, who notwithstanding being judged by the capital matter admit not of disparagement. I should unwillingly affirm that Cicero was but slightly versed in Homer, because in his work de Gloria he ascribed those verses unto Ajax, which were delivered by Hector. What if Plautus[468] in the account of Hercules mistaketh nativity for conception? Who would have mean thoughts of Apollinaris Sidonius, who seems to mistake the river Tigris for Euphrates; and though a good Historian and learned Bishop of Auvergne had the misfortune to be out in the Story of David, making mention of him when the Ark was sent back by the Philistins upon a Cart; which was before his time. Though I have no great opinion of Machiavel’s learning, yet I shall not presently say, that he was but a Novice in Roman History, because he was mistaken in placing Commodus after the Emperour Severus. Capital Truths are to be narrowly eyed, collateral Lapses and circumstantial deliveries not to be too strictly sifted. And if the substantial subject be well forged out, we need not examine the sparks, which irregularly fly from it.


Let well weighed Considerations, not stiff and peremptory Assumptions, guide thy discourses, Pen, and Actions. To begin or continue our works like Trismegistus of old, verum certè verum atque verissimum est,[343] would sound arrogantly unto present Ears in this strict enquiring Age, wherein, for the most part, Probably, and Perhaps, will hardly serve to mollify the Spirit of captious Contradictors. If Cardan saith that a Parrot is a beautiful Bird, Scaliger will set his Wits o' work to prove it a deformed Animal. The Compage of all Physical Truths is not so closely jointed, but opposition may find intrusion, nor always so closely maintained, as not to suffer attrition. Many[469] Positions seem quodlibetically constituted, and like a Delphian blade will cut on both sides. Some Truths seem almost Falshoods, and some Falshoods almost Truths; wherein Falshood and Truth seem almost æquilibriously stated, and but a few grains of distinction to bear down the ballance. Some have digged deep, yet glanced by the Royal Vein; and a man may come unto the Pericardium, but not the Heart of Truth. Besides, many things are known, as some are seen, that is by Parallaxis, or at some distance from their true and proper beings, the superficial regard of things having a different aspect from their true and central Natures. And this moves sober Pens unto suspensory and timorous assertions, nor presently to obtrude them as Sibyls leaves, which after considerations may find to be but folious apparances, and not the central and vital interiors of truth.


Value the Judicious, and let not mere acquests in minor parts of Learning gain thy preexistimation. 'Tis an unjust way of compute to magnify a weak Head for some Latin abilities, and to undervalue a solid Judgment, because he knows not the genealogy of Hector. When that notable King of France[344] would have his son to know but one sentence in Latin, had it been a good one, perhaps it had been enough. Natural parts and good Judgments rule the World. States are not governed by Ergotisms. Many have Ruled well who could not perhaps define a Commonwealth, and they who understand not the Globe of the Earth command a great part of it. Where natural Logick prevails not,[470] Artificial too often faileth. Where Nature fills the Sails, the Vessel goes smoothly on, and when Judgment is the Pilot, the Ensurance need not be high. When Industry builds upon Nature, we may expect Pyramids: where that foundation is wanting, the structure must be low. They do most by Books, who could do much without them; and he that chiefly ows himself unto himself is the substantial Man.


Let thy Studies be as free as thy Thoughts and Contemplations: but fly not only upon the wings of Imagination; Joyn Sense unto Reason, and Experiment unto Speculation, and so give life unto Embryon Truths, and Verities yet in their Chaos. There is nothing more acceptable unto the Ingenious World, than this noble Eluctation of Truth; wherein, against the tenacity of Prejudice and Prescription, this Century now prevaileth. What Libraries of new Volumes aftertimes will behold, and in what a new World of Knowledge the eyes of our posterity may be happy, a few Ages may joyfully declare; and is but a cold thought unto those, who cannot hope to behold this Exantlation of Truth, or that obscured Virgin half out of the Pit. Which might make some content with a commutation of the time of their lives, and to commend the Fancy of the Pythagorean metempsychosis; whereby they might hope to enjoy this happiness in their third or fourth selves, and behold that in Pythagoras, which they now but foresee in Euphorbus.[345] The World, which took[471] but six days to make, is like to take six thousand to make out: mean while old Truths voted down begin to resume their places, and new ones arise upon us; wherein there is no comfort in the happiness of Tully’s Elizium,[346] or any satisfaction from the Ghosts of the Ancients, who knew so little of what is now well known. Men disparage not Antiquity, who prudently exalt new Enquiries, and make not them the Judges of Truth, who were but fellow Enquirers of it. Who can but magnify the Endeavors of Aristotle, and the noble start which Learning had under him; or less than pitty the slender progression made upon such advantages? While many Centuries were lost in repetitions and transcriptions sealing up the Book of Knowledge. And therefore rather than to swell the leaves of Learning by fruitless Repetitions, to sing the same Song in all Ages, nor adventure at Essays beyond the attempt of others, many would be content that some would write like Helmont and Paracelsus; and be willing to endure the monstrosity of some opinions, for divers singular notions requiting such aberrations.


Despise not the obliquities of younger ways, nor despair of better things whereof there is yet no prospect. Who would imagine that Diogenes, who in his younger days was a falsifier of Money, should in the after course of his life be so great a contemner of Metal? Some Negros who believe the Resurrection, think that they shall Rise white.[347] Even in this life Regeneration may imitate Resurrection,[472] our black and vitious tinctures may wear off, and goodness cloath us with candour. Good admonitions Knock not always in vain. There will be signal Examples of God's mercy, and the Angels must not want their charitable Rejoyces for the conversion of lost Sinners. Figures of most Angles do nearest approach unto Circles, which have no Angles at all. Some may be near unto goodness, who are conceived far from it, and many things happen, not likely to ensue from any promises of Antecedencies. Culpable beginnings have found commendable conclusions, and infamous courses pious retractations. Detestable Sinners have proved exemplary Converts on Earth, and may be Glorious in the Apartment of Mary Magdalen in Heaven. Men are not the same through all divisions of their Ages. Time, Experience, self Reflexions, and God's mercies make in some well-temper’d minds a kind of translation before Death, and Men to differ from themselves as well as from other Persons. Hereof the old World afforded many Examples to the infamy of latter Ages, wherein Men too often live by the rule of their inclinations; so that, without any astral prediction, the first day gives the last,[348] Men are commonly as they were, or rather, as bad dispositions run into worser habits, the Evening doth not crown, but sowerly conclude the Day.


If the Almighty will not spare us according to his merciful capitulation at Sodom, if his Goodness please not to pass over a great deal of Bad for a small pittance of Good, or to look upon us in the Lump; there is slender hope for Mercy, or sound[473] presumption of fulfilling half his Will, either in Persons or Nations: they who excel in some Virtues being so often defective in others; few Men driving at the extent and amplitude of Goodness, but computing themselves by their best parts, and others by their worst, are content to rest in those Virtues, which others commonly want. Which makes this speckled Face of Honesty in the World; and which was the imperfection of the old Philosophers and great pretenders unto Virtue, who well declining the gaping Vices of Intemperance, Incontinency, Violence and Oppression, were yet blindly peccant in iniquities of closer faces, were envious, malicious, contemners, scoffers, censurers, and stufft with Vizard Vices, no less depraving the Ethereal particle and diviner portion of Man. For Envy, Malice, Hatred, are the qualities of Satan, close and dark like himself; and where such brands smoak the Soul cannot be White. Vice may be had at all prices; expensive and costly iniquities, which make the noise, cannot be every Man's sins: but the soul may be foully inquinated at a very low rate, and a Man may be cheaply vitious, to the perdition of himself.


Opinion rides upon the neck of Reason, and Men are Happy, Wise, or Learned, according as that Empress shall set them down in the Register of Reputation. However weigh not thyself in the scales of thy own opinion, but let the Judgment of the Judicious be the Standard of thy Merit. Self-estimation is a flatterer too readily intitling us unto Knowledge and Abilities, which others sollicitously labour after, and doubtfully think they attain. Surely such confident tempers do pass their days in best[474] tranquility, who, resting in the opinion of their own abilities, are happily gull’d by such contentation; wherein Pride, Self-conceit, Confidence, and Opiniatrity will hardly suffer any to complain of imperfection. To think themselves in the right, or all that right, or only that, which they do or think, is a fallacy of high content; though others laugh in their sleeves, and look upon them as in a deluded state of Judgment. Wherein notwithstanding ’twere but a civil piece of complacency to suffer them to sleep who would not wake, to let them rest in their securities, nor by dissent or opposition to stagger their contentments.


Since the Brow speaks often true, since Eyes and Noses have Tongues, and the countenance proclaims the Heart and inclinations; let observation so far instruct thee in Physiognomical lines, as to be some Rule for thy distinction, and Guide for thy affection unto such as look most like Men. Mankind, methinks, is comprehended in a few Faces, if we exclude all Visages, which any way participate of Symmetries and Schemes of Look common unto other Animals. For as though Man were the extract of the World, in whom all were in coagulato, which in their forms were in soluto, and at Extension; we often observe that Men do most act those Creatures, whose constitution, parts, and complexion do most predominate in their mixtures. This is a corner-stone in Physiognomy, and holds some Truth not only in particular Persons but also in whole Nations. There are therefore Provincial Faces, National Lips and Noses, which testify not only the Natures of those Countries, but of those which have them elsewhere.[475] Thus we may make England the whole Earth, dividing it not only into Europe, Asia, Africa, but the particular Regions thereof, and may in some latitude affirm, that there are Ægyptians, Scythians, Indians among us; who though born in England, yet carry the Faces and Air of those Countries, and are also agreeable and correspondent unto their Natures. Faces look uniformly unto our Eyes: How they appear unto some Animals of a more piercing or differing sight, who are able to discover the inequalities, rubbs, and hairiness of the Skin, is not without good doubt. And therefore in reference unto Man, Cupid is said to be blind. Affection should not be too sharp-Eyed, and Love is not to be made by magnifying Glasses. If things were seen as they truly are, the beauty of bodies would be much abridged. And therefore the wise Contriver hath drawn the pictures and outsides of things softly and amiably unto the natural Edge of our Eyes, not leaving them able to discover those uncomely asperities, which make Oyster-shells in good Faces, and Hedghoggs even in Venus’s moles.

SECT. 10

Court not Felicity too far, and weary not the favorable hand of Fortune. Glorious actions have their times, extent, and non ultra’s. To put no end unto Attempts were to make prescription of Successes, and to bespeak unhappiness at the last. For the Line of our Lives is drawn with white and black vicissitudes, wherein the extremes hold seldom one complexion. That Pompey should obtain the sirname of Great at twenty five years, that Men in their young and active days should be fortunate and perform notable things, is no observation of deep[476] wonder, they having the strength of their fates before them, nor yet acted their parts in the World, for which they were brought into it: whereas Men of years, matured for counsels and designs, seem to be beyond the vigour of their active fortunes, and high exploits of life, providentially ordained unto Ages best agreeable unto them. And therefore many brave men finding their fortune grow faint, and feeling its declination, have timely withdrawn themselves from great attempts, and so escaped the ends of mighty Men, disproportionable to their beginnings. But magnanimous thoughts have so dimmed the Eyes of many, that forgetting the very essence of Fortune, and the vicissitude of good and evil, they apprehend no bottom in felicity; and so have been still tempted on unto mighty Actions, reserved for their destructions. For Fortune lays the Plot of our Adversities in the foundation of our Felicities, blessing us in the first quadrate, to blast us more sharply in the last. And since in the highest felicities there lieth a capacity of the lowest miseries, she hath this advantage from our happiness to make us truly miserable. For to become acutely miserable we are to be first happy. Affliction smarts most in the most happy state, as having somewhat in it of Bellisarius at Beggers bush, or Bajazet in the grate. And this the fallen Angels severely understand, who having acted their first part in Heaven, are made sharply miserable by transition, and more afflictively feel the contrary state of Hell.

SECT. 11

Carry no careless Eye upon the unexpected scenes of things; but ponder the acts of Providence in the publick ends of great and notable Men, set out unto the view of all for no[477] common memorandums. The Tragical Exits and unexpected periods of some eminent Persons cannot but amuse considerate Observators; wherein notwithstanding most men seem to see by extramission, without reception or self-reflexion, and conceive themselves unconcerned by the fallacy of their own Exemption: Whereas the Mercy of God hath singled out but few to be the signals of his Justice, leaving the generality of Mankind to the pædagogy of Example. But the inadvertency of our Natures not well apprehending this favorable method and merciful decimation, and that he sheweth in some what others also deserve; they entertain no sense of his Hand beyond the stroak of themselves. Whereupon the whole becomes necessarily punished, and the contracted Hand of God extended unto universal Judgments: from whence nevertheless the stupidity of our tempers receives but faint impressions, and in the most Tragical state of times holds but starts of good motions. So that to continue us in goodness there must be iterated returns of misery, and a circulation in afflictions is necessary. And since we cannot be wise by warnings, since Plagues are insignificant, except we be personally plagued, since also we cannot be punish’d unto Amendment by proxy or commutation, nor by vicinity, but contaction; there is an unhappy necessity that we must smart in our own Skins, and the provoked arm of the Almighty must fall upon ourselves. The capital sufferings of others are rather our monitions than acquitments. There is but one who died salvifically for us, and able to say unto Death, hitherto shalt thou go and no farther; only one enlivening Death, which makes Gardens of Graves, and that which was sowed in Corruption to arise and flourish[478] in Glory: when Death it self shall dye, and living shall have no Period, when the damned shall mourn at the funeral of Death, when Life not Death shall be the wages of sin, when the second Death shall prove a miserable Life, and destruction shall be courted.

SECT. 12

Although their Thoughts may seem too severe, who think that few ill natur’d Men go to heaven; yet it may be acknowledged that good natur'd Persons are best founded for that place; who enter the World with good Dispositions, and natural Graces, more ready to be advanced by impressions from above, and christianized unto pieties; who carry about them plain and down right dealing Minds, Humility, Mercy, Charity, and Virtues acceptable unto God and Man. But whatever success they may have as to Heaven, they are the acceptable Men on Earth, and happy is he who hath his quiver full of them for his Friends. These are not the Dens wherein Falshood lurks, and Hypocrisy hides its Head, wherein Frowardness makes its Nest, or where Malice, Hard-heartedness, and Oppression love to dwell; not those by whom the Poor get little, and the Rich some time loose all; Men not of retracted Looks, but who carry their Hearts in their Faces, and need not to be look’d upon with perspectives; not sordidly or mischievously ingrateful; who cannot learn to ride upon the neck of the afflicted, nor load the heavy laden, but who keep the temple of Janus shut by peaceable and quiet tempers; who make not only the best Friends, but the best Enemies, as easier to forgive than offend, and ready to pass by the second offence, before they avenge the first; who make natural[479] Royalists, obedient Subjects, kind and merciful Princes, verified in our own, one of the best natur'd Kings of this Throne. Of the old Roman Emperours the best were the best natur'd; though they made but a small number, and might be writ in a Ring. Many of the rest were as bad Men as Princes; Humorists rather than of good humors, and of good natural parts, rather than of good natures: which did but arm their bad inclinations, and make them wittily wicked.

SECT. 13

With what shift and pains we come into the World we remember not; but ’tis commonly found no easy matter to get out of it. Many have studied to exasperate the ways of Death, but fewer hours have been spent to soften that necessity. That the smoothest way unto the grave is made by bleeding, as common opinion presumeth, beside the sick and fainting Languors which accompany that effusion, the experiment in Lucan and Seneca will make us doubt; under which the noble Stoick so deeply laboured, that, to conceal his affliction, he was fain to retire from the sight of his Wife, and not ashamed to implore the merciful hand of his Physician to shorten his misery therein. Ovid,[349] the old Heroes, and the Stoicks, who were so afraid of drowning, as dreading thereby the extinction of their Soul, which they conceived to be a Fire, stood probably in fear of an easier way of Death; wherein the Water, entring the possessions of Air, makes a temperate suffocation, and kills as it were without a fever. Surely many, who have had the Spirit to destroy themselves, have not been ingenious in the contrivance thereof. 'Twas a dull way practised by[480] Themistocles,[350] to overwhelm himself with Bulls-blood, who, being an Athenian, might have held an easier Theory of Death from the state potion of his Country; from which Socrates in Plato seemed not to suffer much more than from the fit of an Ague. Cato is much to be pitied, who mangled himself with poyniards; and Hannibal seems more subtle, who carried his delivery, not in the point but the pummel[351] of his Sword.

The Egyptians were merciful contrivers, who destroyed their malefactors by Asps, charming their senses into an invincible sleep, and killing as it were with Hermes his Rod. The Turkish Emperour,[352] odious for other Cruelty, was herein a remarkable Master of Mercy, killing his Favorite in his sleep, and sending him from the shade into the house of darkness. He who had been thus destroyed would hardly have bled at the presence of his destroyer; when Men are already dead by metaphor, and pass but from one sleep unto another, wanting herein the eminent part of severity, to feel themselves to dye, and escaping the sharpest attendant of Death, the lively apprehension thereof. But to learn to dye is better than to study the ways of dying. Death will find some ways to unty or cut the most Gordian Knots of Life, and make men’s miseries as mortal as themselves: whereas evil Spirits, as undying Substances, are unseparable from their calamities; and therefore they everlastingly struggle under their Angustia’s, and bound up with immortality can never get out of themselves.


[339] Cerebrum Jovis, for a delicious bit.

[340] Metellus his riotous Pontifical Supper, the great variety whereat is to be seen in Macrobius.

[341] Nero in his flight. Sueton.

[342] Caldæ gelidæque minister.

[343] In Tabula Smaragdina.

[344] Lewis the Eleventh. Qui nescit dissimulare nescit Regnare.

Ipse ego, nam memini, Trojani in tempore belli
Panthoides Euphorbus eram.

[346] Who comforted himself that he should there converse with the old Philosophers.

[347] Mandelslo.

[348] Primusque dies dedit extremum.

[349] Demito naufragium, mors mihi munus erit.

[350] Plutarch.

[351] Pummel, wherein he is said to have carried something, whereby upon a struggle or despair he might deliver himself from all misfortunes.

[352] Solyman. Turkish history.




'Tis hard to find a whole Age to imitate, or what Century to propose for Example. Some have been far more approveable than others: but Virtue and Vice, Panegyricks and Satyrs, scatteringly to be found in all. History sets down not only things laudable, but abominable; things which should never have been, or never have been known: So that noble patterns must be fetched here and there from single Persons, rather than whole Nations, and from all Nations, rather than any one. The World was early bad, and the first sin the most deplorable of any. The younger World afforded the oldest Men, and perhaps the Best and the Worst, when length of days made virtuous habits Heroical and immoveable, vitious, inveterate, and irreclaimable. And since ’tis said the imaginations of their hearts were evil, only evil, and continually evil; it may be feared that their sins held pace with their lives; and their Longevity swelling their Impieties, the Longanimity of God would no longer endure such vivacious abominations. Their Impieties were surely of a deep dye, which required the whole Element of Water to wash them away, and overwhelmed their memories with themselves; and so shut up the first Windows of Time, leaving no Histories of those longevous generations, when Men might have been properly Historians, when Adam might have read long Lectures unto Methuselah, and Methuselah unto Noah. For[482] had we been happy in just Historical accounts of that unparallel'd World, we might have been acquainted with Wonders; and have understood not a little of the Acts and undertakings of Moses his mighty Men, and Men of renown of old; which might have enlarged our Thoughts, and made the World older unto us. For the unknown part of time shortens the estimation, if not the compute of it. What hath escaped our Knowledge falls not under our Consideration, and what is and will be latent is little better than non existent.


Some things are dictated for our Instruction, some acted for our Imitation, wherein ’tis best to ascend unto the highest conformity, and to the honour of the Exemplar. He honours God who imitates him. For what we virtuously imitate we approve and Admire; and since we delight not to imitate Inferiors, we aggrandize and magnify those we imitate; since also we are most apt to imitate those we love, we testify our affection in our imitation of the Inimitable. To affect to be like may be no imitation. To act, and not to be what we pretend to imitate, is but a mimical conformation, and carrieth no Virtue in it. Lucifer imitated not God, when he said he would be like the Highest, and he imitated not Jupiter, who counterfeited Thunder. Where Imitation can go no farther, let Admiration step on, whereof there is no end in the wisest form of Men. Even Angels and Spirits have enough to admire in their sublimer Natures, Admiration being the act of the Creature and not of God, who doth not Admire himself. Created Natures allow of swelling Hyperboles;[483] nothing can be said Hyperbolically of God, nor will his Attributes admit of expressions above their own Exuperances. Trismegistus his Circle, whose center is every where, and circumference no where, was no Hyperbole. Words cannot exceed, where they cannot express enough. Even the most winged Thoughts fall at the setting out, and reach not the portal of Divinity.


In Bivious Theorems, and Janus-faced Doctrines, let Virtuous considerations state the determination. Look upon Opinions as thou dost upon the Moon, and chuse not the dark hemisphere for thy contemplation. Embrace not the opacous and blind side of Opinions, but that which looks most Luciferously or influentially unto Goodness. 'Tis better to think that there are Guardian Spirits, than that there are no Spirits to Guard us; that vicious Persons are Slaves, than that there is any servitude in Virtue; that times past have been better than times present, than that times were always bad, and that to be Men it sufficeth to be no better than Men in all Ages, and so promiscuously to swim down the turbid stream, and make up the grand confusion. Sow not thy understanding with Opinions, which make nothing of Iniquities, and fallaciously extenuate Transgressions. Look upon Vices and vicious Objects with Hyperbolical Eyes, and rather enlarge their dimensions, that their unseen Deformities may not escape thy sense, and their Poysonous parts and stings may appear massy and monstrous unto thee; for the undiscerned Particles and Atoms of Evil deceive us, and we are undone by the Invisibles of seeming Goodness. We are only deceived in what is not discerned, and to[484] Err is but to be Blind or Dim-sighted as to some Perceptions.


To be Honest in a right Line,[353] and Virtuous by Epitome, be firm unto such Principles of Goodness, as carry in them Volumes of instruction and may abridge thy Labour. And since instructions are many, hold close unto those, whereon the rest depend. So may we have all in a few, and the Law and the Prophets in a Rule, the Sacred Writ in Stenography, and the Scripture in a Nut-Shell. To pursue the osseous and solid part of Goodness, which gives Stability and Rectitude to all the rest; To settle on fundamental Virtues, and bid early defiance unto Mother-vices, which carry in their Bowels the seminals of other Iniquities, makes a short cut in Goodness, and strikes not off an Head but the whole Neck of Hydra. For we are carried into the dark Lake, like the Ægyptian River into the Sea, by seven principal Ostiaries. The Mother‑Sins of that number are the Deadly engins of Evil Spirits that undo us, and even evil Spirits themselves, and he who is under the Chains thereof is not without a possession. Mary Magdalene had more than seven Devils, if these with their Imps were in her, and he who is thus possessed, may literally be named Legion. Where such Plants grow and prosper, look for no Champain or Region void of Thorns, but productions like the Tree of Goa,[354] and Forrests of abomination.



Guide not the Hand of God, nor order the Finger of the Almighty, unto thy will and pleasure; but sit quiet in the soft showers of Providence, and Favourable distributions in this World, either to thyself or others. And since not only Judgments have their Errands, but Mercies their Commissions; snatch not at every Favour, nor think thy self passed by if they fall upon thy Neighbour. Rake not up envious displacences at things successful unto others, which the wise Disposer of all thinks not fit for thy self. Reconcile the events of things unto both beings, that is, of this World and the next: So will there not seem so many Riddles in Providence, nor various inequalities in the dispensation of things below. If thou dost not anoint thy Face, yet put not on sackcloth at the felicities of others. Repining at the Good draws on rejoicing at the evils of others, and so falls into that inhumane Vice,[355] for which so few Languages have a name. The blessed Spirits above rejoice at our happiness below: but to be glad at the evils of one another, is beyond the malignity of Hell, and falls not on evil Spirits, who, though they rejoice at our unhappiness, take no pleasure at the afflictions of their own Society or of their fellow Natures. Degenerous Heads! who must be fain to learn from such Examples, and to be Taught from the School of Hell.


Grain not thy vicious stains, nor deepen those swart Tinctures, which Temper, Infirmity, or ill habits have set upon thee; and fix not by iterated depravations what time might Efface, or[486] Virtuous washes expunge. He, who thus still advanceth in Iniquity deepneth his deformed hue; turns a Shadow into Night, and makes himself a Negro in the black Jaundice; and so becomes one of those Lost ones, the disproportionate pores of whose Brains afford no entrance unto good Motions, but reflect and frustrate all Counsels, Deaf unto the Thunder of the Laws, and Rocks unto the Cries of charitable Commiserators. He who hath had the Patience of Diogenes, to make Orations unto Statues, may more sensibly apprehend how all Words fall to the Ground, spent upon such a surd and Earless Generation of Men, stupid unto all Instruction, and rather requiring an Exorcist, than an Orator for their Conversion.


Burden not the back of Aries, Leo, or Taurus, with thy faults; nor make Saturn, Mars, or Venus, guilty of thy Follies. Think not to fasten thy imperfections on the Stars, and so despairingly conceive thy self under a fatality of being evil. Calculate thy self within, seek not thy self in the Moon, but in thine own Orb or Microcosmical Circumference. Let celestial aspects admonish and advertise, not conclude and determine thy ways. For since good and bad stars moralize not our Actions, and neither excuse or commend, acquit or condemn our Good or Bad Deeds at the present or last Bar, since some are Astrologically well disposed who are morally highly vicious; not Celestial Figures, but Virtuous Schemes must denominate and state our Actions. If we rightly understood the Names whereby God calleth the Stars, if we knew his Name for the Dog-Star, or by what appellation Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn obey[487] his Will; it might be a welcome accession unto Astrology, which speaks great things, and is fain to make use of appellations from Greek and Barbarick Systems. Whatever Influences, Impulsions, or Inclinations there be from the Lights above, it were a piece of wisdom to make one of those Wise men who overrule their Stars,[356] and with their own Militia contend with the Host of Heaven. Unto which attempt there want not Auxiliaries from the whole strength of Morality, supplies from Christian Ethicks, influences also and illuminations from above, more powerfull than the Lights of Heaven.


Confound not the distinctions of thy Life which Nature hath divided: that is, Youth, Adolescence, Manhood, and old Age, nor in these divided Periods, wherein thou art in a manner Four, conceive thyself but One. Let every division be happy in its proper Virtues, nor one Vice run through all. Let each distinction have its salutary transition, and critically deliver thee from the imperfections of the former, so ordering the whole, that Prudence and Virtue may have the largest section. Do as a Child but when thou art a Child, and ride not on a Reed at twenty. He who hath not taken leave of the follies of his Youth, and in his maturer state scarce got out of that division, disproportionately divideth his Days, crowds up the latter part of his Life, and leaves too narrow a corner for the Age of Wisdom, and so hath room to be a Man scarce longer than he hath been a Youth. Rather than to make this confusion, anticipate the Virtues of[488] Age, and live long without the infirmities of it. So may'st thou count up thy Days as some do Adams,[357] that is, by anticipation; so may'st thou be coetaneous unto thy Elders, and a Father unto thy contemporaries.


While others are curious in the choice of good Air, and chiefly sollicitous for healthful habitations, Study thou Conversation, and be critical in thy Consortion. The aspects, conjunctions, and configurations of the Stars, which mutually diversify, intend, or qualify their influences, are but the varieties of their nearer or farther conversation with one another, and like the Consortion of Men, whereby they become better or worse, and even Exchange their Natures. Since men live by Examples, and will be imitating something; order thy imitation to thy Improvement, not thy Ruin. Look not for Roses in Attalus[358] His Garden, or wholesome Flowers in a venemous Plantation. And since there is scarce any one bad, but some others are the worse for him; tempt not Contagion by proximity, and hazard not thy self in the shadow of Corruption. He who hath not early suffered this Shipwrack, and in his Younger Days escaped this Charybdis, may make a happy Voyage, and not come in with black Sails into the port. Self conversation, or to be alone, is better than such Consortion. Some School-men tell us, that he is properly alone, with whom in the same place there is no other of the[489] same Species. Nabuchodonozor was alone, though among the Beasts of the field; and a Wise Man may be tolerably said to be alone though with a Rabble of People, little better than Beasts about him. Unthinking Heads, who have not learn’d to be alone, are in a Prison to themselves, if they be not also with others: Whereas on the contrary, they whose thoughts are in a fair, and hurry within, are sometimes fain to retire into Company, to be out of the crowd of themselves. He who must needs have Company, must needs have sometimes bad Company. Be able to be alone. Loose not the advantage of Solitude, and the Society of thy self, nor be only content, but delight to be alone and single with Omnipresency. He who is thus prepared, the Day is not uneasy nor the Night black unto him. Darkness may bound his Eyes, not his Imagination. In his Bed he may ly, like Pompey[359] and his Sons, in all quarters of the Earth, may speculate the Universe, and enjoy the whole World in the Hermitage of himself. Thus the old Ascetick Christians found a Paradise in a Desert, and with little converse on Earth held a conversation in Heaven; thus they Astronomiz’d in Caves, and though they beheld not the Stars, had the Glory of Heaven before them.

SECT. 10

Let the Characters of good things stand indelibly in thy Mind, and thy Thoughts be active on them. Trust not too much unto suggestions from Reminiscential Amulets, or artificial Memorandums. Let the mortifying Janus of Covarrubias[360][490] be in thy daily Thoughts, not only on thy Hand and Signets. Rely not alone upon silent and dumb remembrances. Behold not Death's Heads till thou doest not see them, nor look upon mortifying Objects till thou overlook'st them. Forget not how assuefaction unto any thing minorates the passion from it, how constant Objects loose their hints, and steal an inadvertisement upon us. There is no excuse to forget what every thing prompts unto us. To thoughtful Observators the whole World is a Phylactery, and every thing we see an Item of the Wisdom, Power, or Goodness of God. Happy are they who verify their Amulets, and make their Phylacteries speak in their Lives and Actions. To run on in despight of the Revulsions and Pul-backs of such Remora's aggravates our transgressions. When Death's Heads on our Hands have no influence upon our Heads, and fleshless Cadavers abate not the exorbitances of the Flesh; when Crucifixes upon Mens Hearts suppress not their bad commotions, and his Image who was murdered for us with-holds not from Blood and Murder; Phylacteries prove but formalities, and their despised hints sharpen our condemnations.

SECT. 11

Look not for Whales in the Euxine Sea, or expect great matters where they are not to be found. Seek not for Profundity in Shallowness, or Fertility in a Wilderness. Place not[491] the expectation of great Happiness here below, or think to find Heaven on Earth; wherein we must be content with Embryon-felicities, and fruitions of doubtful Faces. For the Circle of our felicities makes but short Arches. In every clime we are in a periscian state, and with our Light our Shadow and Darkness walk about us. Our Contentments stand upon the tops of Pyramids ready to fall off, and the insecurity of their enjoyments abrupteth our Tranquillities. What we magnify is Magnificent, but like to the Colossus, noble without, stuft with rubbidge and coarse Metal within. Even the Sun, whose Glorious outside we behold, may have dark and smoaky Entrails. In vain we admire the Lustre of any thing seen: that which is truly glorious is invisible. Paradise was but a part of the Earth, lost not only to our Fruition but our Knowledge. And if, according to old Dictates, no Man can be said to be happy before Death, the happiness of this Life goes for nothing before it be over, and while we think ourselves happy we do but usurp that Name. Certainly true Beatitude groweth not on Earth, nor hath this World in it the Expectations we have of it. He Swims in Oyl, and can hardly avoid sinking, who hath such light Foundations to support him. 'Tis therefore happy that we have two Worlds to hold on. To enjoy true happiness we must travel into a very far Countrey, and even out of our selves; for the Pearl we seek for is not to be found in the Indian, but in the Empyrean Ocean.


SECT. 12

Answer not the Spur of Fury, and be not prodigal or prodigious in Revenge. Make not one in the Historia Horribilis;[361] Flay not thy Servant for a broken Glass, nor pound him in a Mortar who offendeth thee; supererogate not in the worst sense, and overdo not the necessities of evil; humour not the injustice of Revenge. Be not Stoically mistaken in the equality of sins, nor commutatively iniquous in the valuation of transgressions; but weigh them in the Scales of Heaven, and by the weights of righteous Reason. Think that Revenge too high, which is but level with the offence. Let thy Arrows of Revenge fly short, or be aimed like those of Jonathan, to fall beside the mark. Too many there be to whom a Dead Enemy smells well, and who find Musk and Amber in Revenge. The ferity of such minds holds no rule in Retaliations, requiring too often a Head for a Tooth, and the Supreme revenge for trespasses which a night's rest should obliterate. But patient Meekness takes injuries like Pills, not chewing but swallowing them down, Laconically suffering, and silently passing them over, while angered Pride makes a noise, like Homerican Mars[362], at every scratch of offences. Since Women do most delight in Revenge, it may seem but feminine manhood to be vindicative. If thou must needs have thy Revenge of thine Enemy, with a soft Tongue break his Bones,[363] heap Coals of Fire on his Head, forgive him, and enjoy it. To forgive our Enemies[493] is a charming way of Revenge, and a short Cæsarian Conquest overcoming without a blow; laying our Enemies at our Feet, under sorrow, shame, and repentance; leaving our Foes our Friends, and solicitously inclined to grateful Retaliations. Thus to Return upon our Adversaries is a healing way of Revenge, and to do good for evil a soft and melting ultion, a method Taught from Heaven to keep all smooth on Earth. Common forceable ways make not an end of Evil, but leave Hatred and Malice behind them. An Enemy thus reconciled is little to be trusted, as wanting the foundation of Love and Charity, and but for a time restrained by disadvantage or inability. If thou hast not Mercy for others, yet be not Cruel unto thy self. To ruminate upon evils, to make critical notes upon injuries, and be too acute in their apprehensions, is to add unto our own Tortures, to feather the Arrows of our Enemies, to lash our selves with the Scorpions of our Foes, and to resolve to sleep no more. For injuries long dreamt on take away at last all rest; and he sleeps but like Regulus, who busieth his Head about them.

SECT. 13

Amuse not thyself about the Riddles of future things. Study Prophecies when they are become Histories, and past hovering in their causes. Eye well things past and present, and let conjectural sagacity suffice for things to come. There is a sober Latitude for prescience in contingences of discoverable Tempers, whereby discerning Heads see sometimes beyond their Eyes, and Wise Men become Prophetical. Leave Cloudy predictions to their[494] Periods, and let appointed Seasons have the lot of their accomplishments. 'Tis too early to study such Prophecies before they have been long made, before some train of their causes have already taken Fire, laying open in part what lay obscure and before buryed unto us. For the voice of Prophecies is like that of Whispering-places: They who are near or at a little distance hear nothing, those at the farthest extremity will understand all. But a Retrograde cognition of times past, and things which have already been, is more satisfactory than a suspended Knowledge of what is yet unexistent. And the Greatest part of time being already wrapt up in things behind us; it's now somewhat late to bait after things before us; for futurity still shortens, and time present sucks in time to come. What is Prophetical in one Age proves Historical in another, and so must hold on unto the last of time; when there will be no room for Prediction, when Janus shall loose one Face, and the long beard of time shall look like those of David’s Servants, shorn away upon one side, and when, if the expected Elias should appear, he might say much of what is past, not much of what's to come.

SECT. 14

Live unto the Dignity of thy Nature, and leave it not disputable at last, whether thou hast been a Man, or since thou art a composition of Man and Beast, how thou hast predominantly passed thy days, to state the denomination. Un-man not therefore thy self by a Beastial transformation, nor realize old Fables. Expose not thy self by four-footed manners unto monstrous draughts, and Caricatura representations. Think not after the old[495] Pythagorean conceit, what Beast thou may'st be after death. Be not under any Brutal metempsychosis while thou livest, and walkest about erectly under the scheme of Man. In thine own circumference, as in that of the Earth, let the Rational Horizon be larger than the sensible, and the Circle of Reason than of Sense. Let the Divine part be upward, and the Region of Beast below. Otherwise, ’tis but to live invertedly, and with thy Head unto the Heels of thy Antipodes. Desert not thy title to a Divine particle and union with invisibles. Let true Knowledge and Virtue tell the lower World thou art a part of the higher. Let thy Thoughts be of things which have not entred into the Hearts of Beasts: Think of things long past, and long to come: Acquaint thy self with the Choragium of the Stars, and consider the vast expansion beyond them. Let Intellectual Tubes give thee a glance of things, which visive Organs reach not. Have a glimpse of incomprehensibles, and Thoughts of things, which Thoughts but tenderly touch. Lodge immaterials in thy Head: ascend unto invisibles: fill thy Spirit with Spirituals, with the mysteries of Faith, the magnalities of Religion, and thy Life with the Honour of God; without which, though Giants in Wealth and Dignity, we are but Dwarfs and Pygmies in Humanity, and may hold a pitiful rank in that triple division of mankind into Heroes, Men, and Beasts. For though human Souls are said to be equal, yet is there no small inequality in their operations; some maintain the allowable Station of Men; many are far below it; and some have been so divine, as to approach the Apogeum of their Natures, and to be in the Confinium of Spirits.


SECT. 15

Behold thy self by inward Opticks and the Crystalline of thy Soul. Strange it is that in the most perfect sense there should be so many fallacies, that we are fain to make a doctrine, and often to see by Art. But the greatest imperfection is in our inward sight, that is, to be Ghosts unto our own Eyes, and while we are so sharp sighted as to look thorough others, to be invisible unto our selves; for the inward Eyes are more fallacious than the outward. The Vices we scoff at in others laugh at us within our selves. Avarice, Pride, Falshood lye undiscerned and blindly in us, even to the Age of blindness: and therefore to see our selves interiourly, we are fain to borrow other Mens Eyes; wherein true Friends are good Informers, and Censurers no bad Friends. Conscience only, that can see without Light, sits in the Areopagy and dark Tribunal of our Hearts, surveying our Thoughts and condemning their obliquities. Happy is that State of Vision that can see without Light, though all should look as before the Creation, when there was not an Eye to see, or Light to actuate a Vision: wherein notwithstanding obscurity is only imaginable respectively unto Eyes; for unto God there was none, Eternal Light was ever, created Light was for the creation, not himself, and as he saw before the Sun, may still also see without it. In the City of the new Jerusalem there is neither Sun nor Moon; where glorifyed Eyes must see by the Archetypal Sun, or the Light of God, able to illuminate Intellectual Eyes, and make unknown Visions. Intuitive perceptions in Spiritual beings may perhaps hold some Analogy unto Vision: but yet how they see us, or one another,[497] what Eye, what Light, or what perception is required unto their intuition, is yet dark unto our apprehension; and even how they see God, or how unto our glorified Eyes the Beatifical Vision will be celebrated, another World must tell us, when perceptions will be new, and we may hope to behold invisibles.

SECT. 16

When all looks fair about, and thou seest not a cloud so big as a Hand to threaten thee, forget not the Wheel of things: Think of sullen vicissitudes, but beat not thy brains to fore-know them. Be armed against such obscurities, rather by submission than fore-knowledge. The Knowledge of future evils mortifies present felicities, and there is more content in the uncertainty or ignorance of them. This favour our Saviour vouchsafed unto Peter, when he fore-told not his Death in plain terms, and so by an ambiguous and cloudy delivery dampt not the Spirit of his Disciples. But in the assured fore-knowledge of the deluge, Noah lived many Years under the affliction of a Flood; and Jerusalem was taken unto Jeremy, before it was besieged. And therefore the Wisdom of Astrologers, who speak of future things, hath wisely softned the severity of their Doctrines; and even in their sad predictions, while they tell us of inclination not coaction from the Stars, they Kill us not with Stygian oaths and merciless necessity, but leave us hopes of evasion.

SECT. 17

If thou hast the brow to endure the Name of Traytor, Perjur’d, or Oppressor, yet cover thy Face when Ingratitude is thrown at thee. If that degenerous Vice possess thee, hide thy self in the shadow of thy[498] shame, and pollute not noble society. Grateful Ingenuities are content to be obliged within some compass of Retribution, and being depressed by the weight of iterated favours may so labour under their inabilities of Requital, as to abate the content from Kindnesses. But narrow self-ended Souls make prescription of good Offices, and obliged by often favours think others still due unto them: whereas, if they but once fail, they prove so perversely ungrateful, as to make nothing of common courtesies, and to bury all that's past. Such tempers pervert the generous course of things; for they discourage the inclinations of noble minds, and make Beneficency cool unto acts of obligation, whereby the grateful World should subsist, and have their consolation. Common gratitude must be kept alive by the additionary fewel of new courtesies: but generous Gratitudes, though but once well obliged, without quickening repetitions or expectation of new Favours, have thankful minds for ever; for they write not their obligations in sandy but marble memories, which wear not out but with themselves.

SECT. 18

Think not Silence the wisdom of Fools, but, if rightly timed, the honour of Wise Men, who have not the Infirmity, but the Virtue of Taciturnity, and speak not out of the abundance, but the well weighted thoughts of their Hearts. Such silence may be Eloquence, and speak thy worth above the power of Words. Make such a one thy friend, in whom Princes may be happy, and great Councels successful. Let him have the Key of thy Heart, who hath the Lock of his own, which no[499] Temptation can open; where thy Secrets may lastingly ly, like the lamp in Olybius his Urn,[364] alive, and light, but close and invisible.

SECT. 19

Let thy Oaths be sacred, and Promises be made upon the Altar of thy Heart. Call not Jove[365] to witness with a Stone in one Hand, and a Straw in another, and so make Chaff and Stubble of thy Vows. Worldly Spirits, whose interest is their belief, make Cobwebs of Obligations, and, if they can find ways to elude the Urn of the Prætor, will trust the Thunderbolt of Jupiter: And therefore if they should as deeply swear as Osman to Bethlem Gabor:[366] yet whether they would be bound by those chains, and not find ways to cut such Gordian Knots, we could have no just assurance. But Honest Mens Words are Stygian Oaths, and Promises inviolable. These are not the Men for whom the fetters of Law were first forged: they needed not the solemness of Oaths; by keeping their Faith they swear,[367] and evacuate such confirmations.

SECT. 20

Though the World be Histrionical, and most Men live Ironically, yet be thou what thou singly art, and personate only thy self. Swim smoothly in the stream of thy Nature, and live but one Man. To single Hearts doubling[500] is discruciating: such tempers must sweat to dissemble, and prove but hypocritical Hypocrites. Simulation must be short: Men do not easily continue a counterfeiting Life, or dissemble unto Death. He who counterfeiteth, acts a part; and is as it were out of himself: which, if long, proves so irksome, that Men are glad to pull of their Vizards, and resume themselves again; no practice being able to naturalize such unnaturals, or make a Man rest content not to be himself. And therefore since Sincerity is thy Temper, let veracity be thy Virtue in Words, Manners, and Actions. To offer at iniquities, which have so little foundations in thee, were to be vitious up hill, and strain for thy condemnation. Persons vitiously inclined, want no Wheels to make them actively vitious, as having the Elater and Spring of their own Natures to facilitate their Iniquities. And therefore so many, who are sinistrous unto Good Actions, are Ambi-dexterous unto bad; and Vulcans in virtuous paths, Achilleses in vitious motions.

SECT. 21

Rest not in the high strain’d Paradoxes of old Philosophy supported by naked Reason, and the reward of mortal Felicity, but labour in the Ethicks of Faith, built upon Heavenly assistance, and the happiness of both beings. Understand the Rules, but swear not unto the doctrines of Zeno or Epicurus. Look beyond Antoninus, and terminate not thy morals in Seneca or Epictetus. Let not the twelve, but the two Tables be thy Law: Let Pythagoras be thy Remembrancer, not thy textuary and final Instructer; and learn the Vanity of the World rather from Solomon than Phocylides. Sleep not in[501] the Dogma's of the Peripatus, Academy, or Porticus. Be a moralist of the Mount, an Epictetus in the Faith, and christianize thy Notions.

SECT. 22

In seventy or eighty years a Man may have a deep Gust of the World, Know what it is, what it can afford, and what ’tis to have been a Man. Such a latitude of years may hold a considerable corner in the general Map of Time; and a Man may have a curt Epitome of the whole course thereof in the days of his own life, may clearly see he hath but acted over his Fore-fathers; what it was to live in Ages past, and what living will be in all ages to come.

He is like to be the best judge of Time who hath lived to see about the sixtieth part thereof. Persons of short times may Know what ’tis to live, but not the life of Man, who, having little behind them, are but Januses of one face, and Know not singularities enough to raise Axioms of this World: but such a compass of Years will shew new Examples of old Things, Parallelisms of occurrences through the whole course of Time, and nothing be monstrous unto him; who may in that time understand not only the varieties of Men, but the variation of himself, and how many Men he hath been in that extent of time.

He may have a close apprehension what it is to be forgotten, while he hath lived to find none who could remember his Father, or scarce the friends of his youth, and may sensibly see with what a face in no long time oblivion will look upon himself. His Progeny may never be his Posterity; he may go out of the World less related than he came into it; and considering the frequent mortality in Friends and[502] Relations, in such a Term of Time, he may pass away divers years in sorrow and black habits, and leave none to mourn for himself; Orbity may be his inheritance, and Riches his Repentance.

In such a thred of Time, and long observation of Men, he may acquire a Physiognomical intuitive Knowledge, Judge the interiors by the outside, and raise conjectures at first sight; and knowing what Men have been, what they are, what Children probably will be, may in the present Age behold a good part, and the temper of the next; and since so many live by the Rules of Constitution, and so few overcome their temperamental Inclinations, make no improbable predictions.

Such a portion of Time will afford a large prospect backward, and Authentick Reflections how far he hath performed the great intention of his Being, in the Honour of his Maker; whether he hath made good the Principles of his Nature, and what he was made to be; what Characteristick and special Mark he hath left, to be observable in his Generation; whether he hath Lived to purpose or in vain, and what he hath added, acted, or performed, that might considerably speak him a Man.

In such an Age Delights will be undelightful and Pleasures grow stal