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pavement, till it hath made it fit for the impression of a child's foot; and it was despised, like the descending pearls of a misty morning, till it had opened its way and made a stream large enough to carry away the ruins of the undermined strand, and to invade the neighbouring gardens: but then the despised drops were grown into an artificial river, and an intolerable mischief. So are the first entrances of sin, stopped with the antidotes of a hearty prayer, and checked into sobriety by the eye of a reverend man, or the counsels of a single sermon: but when such beginnings are neglected, and our religion hath not in it so much philosophy as to think anything evil as long as we can endure it, they grow up to ulcers and pestilential evils; they destroy the soul by their abode, who at their first entry might have been killed with the pressure of a little finger.
He that hath passed many stages of a good life, to prevent his being tempted to a single sin, must be very careful that he never entertain his spirit with the remembrances of his past sin, nor amuse it with the fantastic apprehensions of the present. When the Israelites fancied the sapidness and relish of the fleshpots, they longed to taste and to return.
So when a Libyan tiger, drawn from his wilder foragings, is shut up and taught to eat civil meat, and suffer the authority of a man, he sits down tamely in his prison, and pays to his keeper fear and reverence for his meat; but if he chance to come again, and taste a draught of warm blood, he presently leaps into his natural cruelty. He scarce abstains from eating those hands that brought him discipline and food.* So is the nature of a man made tame and gentle by the grace of God, and reduced to reason, and kept in awe by religion and laws, and by an awful virtue is taught to forget those alluring and sottish relishes of sin; but if he diverts from his path, and snatches handfuls from the wanton vineyards, and remembers the lasci- | viousness of his unwholesome food that pleased his childish palate, then he grows sick again, and hungry after unwholesome diet, and longs for the apples of Sodom.
The Pannonian bears, when they have clasped a dart in the region of their liver, wheel themselves upon the wound, and with anger and malicious revenge strike the deadly barb deeper, and cannot be quit from that fatal steel, but in flying bear along that which themselves make the instrument of a more hasty death: so is every vicious person struck with a deadly wound, and his own hands force it into the entertainments of
the heart; and because it is painful to draw it forth by a sharp and salutary repentance, he still rolls and turns upon his wound, and carries his death in his bowels, where it first entered by choice, and then dwelt by love, and at last shall finish the tragedy by divine judgments and an unalterable decree.
[The Resurrection of Sinners.]
So have we seen a poor condemned criminal, the weight of whose sorrows sitting heavily upon his soul, hath benumbed him into a deep sleep, till he hath forgotten his groans, and laid aside his deep sighings: but on a sudden comes the messenger of death, and unbinds the poppy garland, scatters the heavy cloud that encircled his miserable head, and makes him return to acts of life, that he may quickly descend into
* Admonitæque tument gustato sanguine fauces :
death, and be no more. So is every sinner that lies down in shame, and makes his grave with the wicked; he shall, indeed, rise again, and be called upon by the voice of the archangel; but then he shall descend into sorrows greater than the reason and the patience of a man, weeping and shrieking louder than the groans of the miserable children in the valley of Hinnom.
Look upon pleasures not upon that side which is next the sun, or where they look beauteously, that is, as they come towards you to be enjoyed: for then they paint and smile, and dress themselves up in tinsel and glass gems and counterfeit imagery; but when thou false beauties, and that they begin to go off, then behast rifled and discomposed them with enjoying their
hold them in their nakedness and weariness. See what a sigh and sorrow, what naked unhandsome proportions and a filthy carcass they discover; and the next time they counterfeit, remember what you have already discovered, and be no more abused.
Spend not your time in that which profits not; for your labour and your health, your time and your studies, are very valuable; and it is a thousand pities to see a diligent and hopeful person spend himself in gathering cockle-shells and little pebbles, in telling sands upon the shores, and making garlands of useless daisies.* Study that which is profitable, that which will make you useful to churches and commonwealths, that which will make you desirable and wise. Only I shall add this to you, that in learning there are variety of things as well as in religion: there | is mint and cummin, and there are the weighty things of the law; so there are studies more and less! useful, and everything that is useful will be required in its time: and I may in this also use the words of our blessed Saviour, These things ought you to look after, and not to leave the other unregarded.' But your great care is to be in the things of God and of religion, in holiness and true wisdom, remembering the saying of Origen, That the knowledge that arises from goodness is something that is more certain and | more divine than all demonstration,' than all other learnings of the world.
[Comforting the Afflicted.]
Certain it is, that as nothing can better do it, so there is nothing greater, for which God made our comfort to a weary soul. And what greater measure tongues, next to reciting his praises, than to minister can we have, than that we should bring joy to our brother, who with his dreary eyes looks to heaven and round about, and cannot find so much rest as to lay his eyelids close together-than that thy tongue should be tuned with heavenly accents, and make the weary soul to listen for light and ease; and when he perceives that there is such a thing in the world, and
in the order of things, as comfort and joy, to begin to break out from the prison of his sorrows at the door of sighs and tears, and by little and little melt into showers and refreshment? This is glory to thy voice, and employment fit for the brightest angel. But so have I seen the sun kiss the frozen earth, which was bound up with the images of death, and the colder breath of the north; and then the waters break from their enclosures, and melt with joy, and run in useful channels; and the flies do rise again from their little graves in walls, and dance a while in the air, to tell that there is joy within, and that the great mother of creatures will open the stock of her new refreshment, become useful to mankind, and sing praises to her Redeemer. So is the heart of a sorrowful man under the discourses of a wise comforter; he breaks from the despairs of the grave, and the fetters and chains of sorrow; he blesses God, and he blesses thee, and he feels his life returning; for to be miserable is death, but nothing is life but to be comforted; and God is pleased with no music from below so much as in the thanksgiving songs of relieved widows, of supported orphans, of rejoicing, and comforted, and thankful persons.
breath of heaven gently wafts us to our own purposes. But if you will try the excellency and feel the work of faith, place the man in a persecution; let him ride in a storm; let his bones be broken with sorrow, and his eyelids loosed with sickness; let his bread be dipped with tears, and all the daughters of music be brought low; let us come to sit upon the margin of our grave, and let a tyrant lean hard upon our fortunes, and dwell upon our wrong; let the storm arise, and the keels toss till the cordage crack, or that all our hopes bulge under us, and descend into the hollowness of sad misfortunes.
[Miseries of Man's Life.]
How few men in the world are prosperous! What an infinite number of slaves and beggars, of persecuted and oppressed people, fill all corners of the earth with groans, and heaven itself with weeping, prayers, and sad remembrances! How many provinces and kingdoms are afflicted by a violent war, or made desolate by popular diseases! Some whole countries are remarked with fatal evils, or periodical sicknesses. Grand Cairo, in Egypt, feels the plague every three years returning like a quartan ague, and destroying many thousands of persons. All the inhabitants of Arabia the desert are in continual fear of being buried in huge heaps of sand, and therefore dwell in tents and ambulatory houses, or retire to unfruitful mountains, to prolong an uneasy and wilder life. And all the countries round about the Adriatic sea feel such convulsions, by tempests and intolerable earthquakes, that sometimes whole cities find a tomb, and every man sinks with his own house, made ready to become his monument, and his bed is crushed into the disorders of a grave.
It were too sad if I should tell how many persons sions of the night. are afflicted with evil spirits, with spectres and illu
[Real and Apparent Happiness.]
If we should look under the skirt of the prosperous and prevailing tyrant, we should find, even in the days of his joys, such allays and abatements of his pleasure, as may serve to represent him presently miser-violent able, besides his final infelicities. For I have seen a young and healthful person warm and ruddy under a poor and a thin garment, when at the same time an old rich person hath been cold and paralytic under a load of sables, and the skins of foxes. It is the body that makes the clothes warm, not the clothes the body; and the spirit of a man makes felicity and content, not any spoils of a rich fortune wrapt about a sickly and an uneasy soul. Apollodorus was a traitor and a tyrant, and the world wondered to see a bad man have so good a fortune, but knew not that he nourished scorpions in his breast, and that his liver and his heart were eaten up with spectres and images of death; his thoughts were full of interruptions, his dreams of illusions: his fancy was abused with real troubles and fantastic images, imagining that he saw the Scythians flaying him alive, his daughters like pillars of fire, dancing round about a cauldron in which himself was boiling, and that his heart accused itself to be the cause of all these evils.
in love with this world, we need not despair but that He that is no fool, but can consider wisely, if he be a witty man might reconcile him with tortures, and make him think charitably of the rack, and be brought to dwell with vipers and dragons, and entertain his guests with the shrieks of mandrakes, cats, and screechowls, with the filing of iron and the harshness of rending of silk, or to admire the harmony that is made by of blood in their midnight revels. The groans of a a herd of evening wolves, when they miss their draught
Does he not drink more sweetly that takes his beverage in an earthen vessel, than he that looks and searches into his golden chalices, for fear of poison, and looks pale at every sudden noise, and sleeps in armour, and trusts nobody, and does not trust God for his safety?
man in a fit of the stone are worse than all these; and the distractions of a troubled conscience are sinner is worse than all that. But if we could, from worse than those groans; and yet a merry careless one of the battlements of heaven, espy how many men and women at this time lie fainting and dying for want of bread; how many young men are hewn down by the sword of war; how many poor orphans are now weeping over the graves of their father, by whose life they were enabled to eat; if we could but hear how mariners and passengers are at this present in a storm, and shriek out because their keel dashes
Can a man bind a thought with chains, or carry imaginations in the palm of his hand? can the beauty of the peacock's train, or the ostrich plume, be delicious to the palate and the throat? does the hand in-against a rock, or bulges under them; how many termeddle with the joys of the heart? or darkness, people there are that weep with want, and are mad that hides the naked, make him warm? does the body with oppression, or are desperate by too quick a sense live, as does the spirit? or can the body of Christ be of a constant infelicity; in all reason we should be like to common food! Indeed, the sun shines upon glad to be out of the noise and participation of so the good and bad; and the vines give wine to the drunkard, as well as to the sober man; pirates have many evils. This is a place of sorrows and tears, of fair winds and a calm sea, at the same time when the from hence, at least in affections and preparation of so great evils and a constant calamity; let us remove just and peaceful merchantman hath them. mind. although the things of this world are common to good and bad, yet sacraments and spiritual joys, the food of the soul, and the blessing of Christ, are the peculiar right of saints.
Prayer is an action of likeness to the Holy Ghost, the spirit of gentleness and dove-like simplicity; an imitation of the Holy Jesus, whose spirit is meek, up to the greatness of the biggest example, and a con
All is well as long as the sun shines, and the fair formity to God; whose anger is always just, and
marches slowly, and is without transportation, and often hindered, and never hasty, and is full of mercy:
prayer is the peace of our spirit, the stillness of our thoughts, the evenness of recollection, the seat of meditation, the rest of our cares, and the calm of our tempest: prayer is the issue of a quiet mind, of troubled thoughts; it is the daughter of charity, and the sister of meekness; and he that prays to God with an angry, that is, with a troubled and discomposed spirit, is like him that retires into a battle to meditate, and sets up his closet in the out-quarters of an army, and chooses a frontier-garrison to be wise in. Anger is a perfect alienation of the mind from prayer, and therefore is contrary to that attention which pregents our prayers in a right line to God. For so have I seen a lark rising from his bed of grass, and soaring upwards, singing as he rises, and hopes to get to heaven, and climb above the clouds; but the poor bird was beaten back with the loud sighings of an eastern wind, and his motion made irregular and inconstant, descending more at every breath of the tempest, than it could recover by the libration and frequent weighing of his wings, till the little creature was forced to sit down and pant, and stay till the storm was over; and then it made a prosperous flight, and did rise and sing, as if it had learned music and motion from an angel, as he passed sometimes through the air, about his ministries here below. So is the prayer of a good man: when his affairs have required business, and his business was matter of discipline, and his discipline was to pass upon a sinning person, It is a mighty change that is made by the death of or had a design of charity, his duty met with the in- every person, and it is visible to us who are alive. firmities of a man, and anger was its instrument; and Reckon but from the sprightfulness of youth, and the the instrument became stronger than the prime agent, fair cheeks and full eyes of childhood; from the vigo and raised a tempest, and overruled the man; and rousness and strong flexure of the joints of five-andthen his prayer was broken, and his thoughts were twenty, to the hollowness and deadly paleness, to the troubled, and his words went up towards a cloud; and loathsomeness and horror of a three days' burial, and his thoughts pulled them back again, and made them we shall perceive the distance to be very great and very without intention; and the good man sighs for his strange. But so have I seen a rose newly springing infirmity, but must be content to lose that prayer, and from the clefts of its hood, and, at first, it was fair as he must recover it when his anger is removed, and his the morning, and full with the dew of heaven, as a spirit is becalmed, made even as the brow of Jesus, lamb's fleece; but when a ruder breath had forced and smooth like the heart of God; and then it open its virgin modesty, and dismantled its too youthascends to heaven upon the wings of the holy dove, ful and unripe retirements, it began to put on darkand dwells with God, till it returns, like the usefulness, and to decline to softness and the symptoms of bee, loaden with a blessing and the dew of heaven.
was sunning himself upon the rocky shore, espied a man rolled upon his floating bed of waves, ballasted with sand in the folds of his garment, and carried by his civil enemy, the sea, towards the shore to find a grave. And it cast him into some sad thoughts, that un-peradventure this man's wife, in some part of the continent, safe and warm, looks next month for the good man's return; or, it may be, his son knows nothing of the tempest; or his father thinks of that affectionate kiss which still is warm upon the good old man's cheek, ever since he took a kind farewell, and he weeps with joy to think how blessed he shall be when his beloved boy returns into the circle of his father's arms. These are the thoughts of mortals; this is the end and sum of all their designs. A dark night and an ill guide, a boisterous sea and a broken cable, a hard rock and a rough wind, dashed in pieces the fortune of a whole family; and they that shall weep loudest for the accident are not yet entered into the storm, and yet have suffered shipwreck. Then, looking upon the carcass, he knew it, and found it to be the master of the ship, who, the day before, cast up the accounts of his patrimony and his trade, and named the day when he thought to be at home. See how the man swims, who was so angry two days since! His passions are becalmed with the storm, his accounts cast up, his cares at an end, his voyage done, and his gains are the strange events of death, which, whether they be good or evil, the men that are alive seldom trouble themselves concerning the interest of the dead.
a sickly age; it bowed the head, and broke its stalk; and at night, having lost some of its leaves, and all its beauty, it fell into the portion of weeds and outworn faces. The same is the portion of every man and every woman; the heritage of worms and serpents, rottenness and cold dishonour, and our beauty so changed, that our acquaintance quickly knew us not; and that change mingled with so much horror, or else meets so with our fears and weak discoursings, that they who, six hours ago, tended upon us either with charitable or ambitious services, cannot, without some regret, stay in the room alone, where the body lies stripped of its life and honour. I have read of a fair young German gentleman, who, living, often refused to be pictured, but put off the importunity of his friends' desire by giving way, that, after a few days burial, they might send a painter to his vault, and, if they saw cause for it, draw the image of his death unto the life. They did so, and found his face half eaten, and his midriff and back-bone full of serpents; and so he stands pictured among his armed ancestors. So does the fairest beauty change; and it will be as bad with you and me; and then what servants shall we have to wait upon us in the grave? what friends to visit us? what officious people to cleanse away the moist and unwholesome cloud reflected upon our faces from the sides of the weeping vaults, which are the longest weepers for our funeral.
A man may read a sermon, the best and most passionate that ever man preached, if he shall but enter into the sepulchres of kings. In the same Escurial
Nature calls us to meditate of death by those things which are the instruments of acting it; and God, by all the variety of his providence, makes us see death everywhere, in all variety of circumstances, and dressed up for all the fancies, and the expectation of every single person. Nature hath given us one harvest every year, but death hath two; and the spring and the autumn send throngs of men and women to charnel-houses; and all the summer long, men are recovering from their evils of the spring, till the dog-days come, and then the Sirian star makes the summer deadly; and the fruits of autumn are laid up for all the year's provision, and the man that gathers them eats and surfeits, and dies and needs them not, and himself is laid up for eternity; and he that escapes till winter, only stays for another opportunity, which the distempers of that quarter minister to him with great variety. Thus death reigns in all the portions of our time. The autumn with its fruits provides disorders for us, and the winter's cold turns them into sharp diseases, and the spring brings flowers to strew our hearse, and the summer gives green turf and brambles to bind upon our graves. Calentures and surfeit, cold and agues, are the four quarters of the year; and you can go no whither, but you tread upon a dead man's bones.
The wild fellow in Petronius, that escaped upon a broken table from the furies of a shipwreck, as he
where the Spanish princes live in greatness and power,
rowful influence; grief being then strongly infectious, when there is no variety of state, but an entire kingdom of fear; and amazement is the king of all our passions, and all the world its subjects. And that shriek must needs be terrible, when millions of men and women, at the same instant, shall fearfully cry out, and the noise shall mingle with the trumpet of the archangel, with the thunders of the dying and groaning heavens, and the crack of the dissolving world, when the whole fabric of nature shall shake into dissolution and eternal ashes!
[The Day of Judgment.]
Consider what an infinite multitude of angels, and men, and women, shall then appear! It is a huge assembly when the men of one kingdom, the men of one age in a single province are gathered together into heaps and confusion of disorder; but then, all kingdoms of all ages, all the armies that ever mustered, all that world that Augustus Cæsar taxed, all those hundreds of millions that were slain in all the Roman wars, from Numa's time till Italy was broken into principalities and small exarchates: all these, and all that can come into numbers, and that did descend Even you and I, and all the world, kings and from the loins of Adam, shall at once be represented; priests, nobles and learned, the crafty and the easy, to which account, if we add the armies of heaven, the the wise and the foolish, the rich and the poor, the nine orders of blessed spirits, and the infinite numprevailing tyrant and the oppressed party, shall all bers in every order, we may suppose the numbers fit appear to receive their symbol; and this is so far to express the majesty of that God, and the terror of from abating anything of its terror and our dear con- that Judge, who is the Lord and Father of all that cernment, that it much increases it. For although unimaginable multitude! The majesty of the concerning precepts and discourses we are apt to Judge, and the terrors of the judgment, shall be neglect in particular what is recommended in general, spoken aloud by the immediate forerunning accidents, and in incidences of mortality and sad events, the which shall be so great violences to the old constitusingularity of the chance heightens the apprehension tions of nature, that it shall break her very bones, of the evil; yet it is so by accident, and only in re- and disorder her till she be destroyed. Saint Jerome gard of our imperfection; it being an effect of self-relates out of the Jews' books, that their doctors used love, or some little creeping envy, which adheres too to account fifteen days of prodigy immediately before often to the unfortunate and miserable; or being ap- Christ's coming, and to every day assign a wonder, prehended to be in a rare case, and a singular unwor- any one of which, if we should chance to see in the thiness in him who is afflicted otherwise than is days of our flesh, it would affright us into the like common to the sons of men, companions of his sin, thoughts which the old world had, when they saw the and brethren of his nature, and partners of his usual countries round about them covered with water and accidents; yet in final and extreme events, the mul- the divine vengeance; or as these poor people near titude of sufferers does not lessen, but increase the Adria and the Mediterranean sea, when their houses sufferings; and when the first day of judgment hap- and cities were entering into graves, and the bowels of pened, that, I mean, of the universal deluge of waters the earth rent with convulsions and horrid tremblings. upon the old world, the calamity swelled like the The sea, they say, shall rise fifteen cubits above the flood, and every man saw his friend perish, and the highest mountains, and thence descend into hollowneighbours of his dwelling, and the relatives of his ness and a prodigious drought; and when they are house, and the sharers of his joys, and yesterday's reduced again to their usual proportions, then all the bride, and the new born heir, the priest of the family, beasts and creeping things, the monsters and the and the honour of the kindred, all dying or dead, usual inhabitants of the sea, shall be gathered todrenched in water and the divine vengeance; and then gether, and make fearful noises to distract mankind: they had no place to flee unto, no man cared for their the birds shall mourn and change their song into souls; they had none to go unto for counsel, no sanc- threnes and sad accents; rivers of fire shall rise from tuary high enough to keep them from the vengeance east to west, and the stars shall be rent into threads that rained down from heaven; and so it shall be at of light, and scatter like the beards of comets; then the day of judgment, when that world and this, and shall be fearful earthquakes, and the rocks shall rend all that shall be born hereafter, shall pass through the in pieces, the trees shall distil blood, and the mounsame Red Sea, and be all baptised with the same fire, tains and fairest structures shall return into their and be involved in the same cloud, in which shall be primitive dust; the wild beasts shall leave their dens, thunderings and terrors infinite. Every man's fear and shall come into the companies of men, so that shall be increased by his neighbour's shrieks, and the you shall hardly tell how to call them, herds of men amazement that all the world shall be in, shall unite or congregations of beasts; then shall the graves open as the sparks of a raging furnace into a globe of fire, and give up their dead, and those which are alive in and roll upon its own principle, and increase by direct nature and dead in fear shall be forced from the rocks appearances and intolerable reflections. He that whither they went to hide them, and from caverns of stands in a churchyard in the time of a great plague, the earth where they would fain have been concealed; and hears the passing bell perpetually telling the sad because their retirements are dismantled, and their stories of death, and sees crowds of infected bodies rocks are broken into wider ruptures, and admit a pressing to their graves, and others sick and tremulous, strange light into their secret bowels; and the men and death dressed up in all the images of sorrow being forced abroad into the theatre of mighty horrors, round about him, is not supported in his spirit by the shall run up and down distracted, and at their wits' variety of his sorrow; and at doomsday, when the end; and then some shall die, and some shall be terrors are universal, besides that it is in itself so changed; and by this time the elect shall be gathered much greater, because it can affright the whole world, together from the four quarters of the world, and it is also made greater by communication and a sor-Christ shall come along with them to judgment.
The infinite variety of opinions in matters of religion, as they have troubled Christendom with interests, factions, and partialities, so have they caused great divisions of the heart, and variety of thoughts and designs, amongst pious and prudent men. For they all, seeing the inconveniences which the disunion of persuasions and opinions have produced, directly or accidentally, have thought themselves obliged to stop this inundation of mischiefs, and have made attempts accordingly. But it hath happened to most of them as to a mistaken physician, who gives excellent physic, but misapplies it, and so misses of his cure. So have these men; their attempts have, therefore, been ineffectual; for they put their help to a wrong part, or they have endeavoured to cure the symptoms, and have let the disease alone till it seemed incurable. Some have endeavoured to re-unite these fractions, by propounding such a guide which they were all bound to follow; hoping that the unity of a guide would have persuaded unity of minds; but who this guide should be, at last became such a question, that it was made part of the fire that was to be quenched, so far was it from extinguishing any part of the flame. Others thought of a rule, and this must be the means of union, or nothing could do it. But, supposing all the world had been agreed of this rule, yet the interpretation of it was so full of variety, that this also became part of the disease for which the cure was pretended. All men resolved upon this, that, though they yet had not hit upon the right, yet some way must be thought upon to reconcile differences in opinion; thinking, so long as this variety should last, Christ's kingdom was not advanced, and the work of the gospel went on but slowly. Few men, in the mean time, considered, that so long as men had such variety of principles, such several constitutions, educations, tempers, and distempers, hopes, interests, and weaknesses, degrees of light and degrees of understanding, it was impossible all should be of one mind. And what is impossible to be done, is not necessary it should be done. And, therefore, although variety of opinions was impossible to be cured, and they who attempted it did like him who claps his shoulder to the ground to stop an earthquake; yet the inconveniences arising from it might possibly be cured, not by uniting their beliefs, that was to be despaired of, but by curing that which caused these mischiefs, and accidental inconveniences, of their disagreeings. For although these inconveniences, which every man sees and feels, were consequent to this diversity of persuasions, yet it was but accidentally and by chance; inasmuch as we see that in many things, and they of great concernment, men allow to themselves and to each other a liberty of disagreeing, and no hurt neither. And certainly, if diversity of opinions were, of itself, the cause of mischiefs, it would be so ever; that is, regularly and universally. But that we see it is not. For there are disputes in Christendom concerning matters of greater concernment than most of those opinions that distinguish sects and make factions; and yet, because men are permitted to differ in those great matters, such evils are not consequent to such differences, as are to the uncharitable managing of smaller and more inconsiderable questions. Since, then, if men are quiet and charitable in some disagreeings, that then and there the inconvenience ceases; if they were so in all others where lawfully they might, and they may in most, Christendom should be no longer rent in pieces, but would be redintegrated in a new pentecost.
SIR THOMAS BROWNE.
SIR THOMAS BROWNE, another of the eloquent and poetical writers of this great literary era, differs
Sir Thomas Browne.
amiable and eccentric scholar, than of a man who takes an interest in the great concerns of humanity. Browne was born in London in 1605, and, after being educated at Winchester and Oxford, proceeded to travel, first in Ireland, and subsequently in France, Italy, and Holland. He belonged to the medical profession, and having obtained his doctor's degree at Leyden, settled finally as a practitioner at Norwich. His first work, entitled Religio Medici-The Religion of a Physician'-was published in 1642, and immediately rendered him famous as a literary man. In this singular production, he gives a minute account of his opinions not only on religious, but on a variety of philosophical and fanciful points, besides affording the reader many glimpses into the eccentricities of his personal character. The language of that work is bold and poetical, adorned with picturesque imagery, but frequently pedantic, rugged, and obscure. His next publication, entitled Pseudodoxia Epidemica, or Treatise on Vulgar Errors,' appeared in 1646. It is much more philosophical in its character than and useful of his productions. The following enumethe Religio Medici,' and is considered the most solid ration of some of the errors which he endeavours to dispel, will serve both to show the kind of matters he was fond of investigating, and to exemplify the
notions which prevailed in the seventeenth century. That crystal is nothing else but ice strongly congealed; that a diamond is softened or broken by the blood of a goat; that a pot full of ashes will contain as much water as it would without them; that bays preserve from the mischief of lightning and thunder; that an elephant hath no joints; that a wolf, first seeing a man, begets a dumbness in him; that moles are blind; that the flesh of peacocks corrupteth not; that storks will only live in republics and free states; that the chicken is made out of the yolk of the egg; that men weigh heavier dead than alive, and before meat than after; that Jews stink; that the forbidden fruit was an apple; that there was no rainbow before the flood; that John the Baptist should not die.' He treats also of the ring-finger; saluting upon sneez. ing; pigmies; the canicular, or dog-days; the picture of Moses with horns; the blackness of negroes;