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marches slowly, and is without transportation, and was sunning himself upon the rocky shore, espied a often hindered, and never hasty, and is full of mercy: man rolled upon his floating bed of waves, ballasted prayer is the peace of our spirit, the stillness of our with sand in the folds of his garment, and carried by thoughts, the evenness of recollection, the seat of his civil enemy, the sea, towards the shore to find a meditation, the rest of our cares, and the calm of our grave. And it cast him into some sad thoughts, that tempest: prayer is the issue of a quiet mind, of un- peradventure this man's wife, in some part of the troubled thoughts; it is the daughter of charity, and continent, safe and warm, looks next month for the the sister of meekness ; and he that prays to God with good man's return; or, it may be, his son knows an angry, that is, with a troubled and discomposed nothing of the tempest; or his father thinks of that spirit, is like him that retires into a battle to medi- affectionate kiss which still is warm upon the good tate, and sets up his closet in the out-quarters of an old man's cheek, ever since he took a kind farewell, army, and chooses a frontier-garrison to be wise in. and he weeps with joy to think how blessed he shall Anger is a perfect alienation of the mind from prayer, be when his beloved boy returns into the circle of his and therefore is contrary to that attention which pre- father's arms. These are the thoughts of mortals; sents our prayers in a right line to God. For so have this is the end and sum of all their designs. A dark I seen a lark rising from his bed of grass, and soaring night and an ill guide, a boisterous sea and a broken upwards, singing as he rises, and hopes to get to cable, a hard rock and a rough wind, dashed in pieces heaven, and climb above the clouds ; but the poor the fortune of a whole family; and they that shall bird was beaten back with the loud sighings of an weep loudest for the accident are not yet entered into eastern wind, and his motion made irregular and in the storm, and yet have suffered shipwreck. Then, constant, descending more at every breath of the looking upon the carcass, he knew it, and found it to tempest, than it could recover by the libration and be the master of the ship, who, the day before, cast frequent weighing of his wings, till the little creature up the accounts of his patrimony and his trade, and was forced to sit down and pant, and stay till the named the day when he thought to be at home. See storm was over; and then it made a prosperous flight, how the man swims, who was so angry two days since ! and did rise and sing, as if it had learned music and His passions are becalmed with the storm, his accounts motion from an angel, as he passed sometimes through cast up, his cares at an end, his voyage done, and his the air, about his ministries here below. So is the gains are the strange events of death, which, whether prayer of a good man : when his affairs have required they be good or evil, the men that are alive seldom business, and his business was matter of discipline, trouble themselves concerning the interest of the dead. 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 childhood; from the vigoand 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 useful ness, and to decline to softness and the symptoms of bee, loaden with a blessing and the dew of heaven. a sickly age; it bowed the head, and broke its stalk;
and at night, having lost some of its leaves, and all [On Death.]
its beauty, it fell into the portion of weeds and out
worn faces. The same is the portion of every man Nature calls us to meditate of death by those things and every woman; the heritage of worms and serwhich are the instruments of acting it; and God, by all pents, rottenness and cold dishonour, and our beauty the variety of his providence, makes us see death every- so changed, that our acquaintance quickly knew us where, in all variety of circumstances, and dressed up not; and that change mingled with so much horror, for all the fancies, and the expectation of every single or else meets so with our fears and weak discoursings, person. Nature hath given us one harvest every year, that they who, six hours ago, tended upon us either but death hath two; and the spring and the autumn with charitable or ambitious services, cannot, without send throngs of men and women to charnel-houses; some regret, stay in the room alone, where the body and all the summer long, men are recovering from their lies stripped of its life and honour. I have read of a evils of the spring, till the dog-days come, and then fair young German gentleman, who, living, often rethe Sirian star makes the summer deadly; and the fused to be pictured, but put off the importunity of fruits of autumn are laid up for all the year's provi- his friends' desire by giving way, that, after a few days! sion, and the man that gathers them eats and surfeits, burial, they might send a painter to his vault, and, if and dies and needs them not, and himself is laid up they saw cause for it, draw the image of his death for eternity; and he that escapes till winter, only unto the life. They did so, and found his face half stays for another opportunity, which the distempers eaten, and his midriff and back-bone full of serpents ; of that quarter minister to him with great variety. and so he stands pictured among his armed ancestors. Thus death reigns in all the portions of our time. The So does the fairest beauty change; and it will be as autumn with its fruits provides disorders for us, and bad with you and me; and then what servants shall the winter's cold turns them into sharp diseases, and we have to wait upon us in the grave? what friends the spring brings flowers to strew our hearse, and the to visit us? what officious people to cleanse away the summer gives green turf and brambles to bind upon moist and unwholesome cloud reflected upon our faces our graves. Calentures and surfeit, cold and agues, from the sides of the weeping vaults, which are the are the four quarters of the year; and you can go no longest weepers for our funeral. whither, but you tread upon a dead man's bones. A man may read a sermon, the best and most pag
The wild fellow in Petronius, that escaped upon a sionate that ever man preached, if he shall but enter broken table from the furies of a shipwreck, as he l into the sepulchres of kings. In the same Escurial
where the Spanish princes live in greatness and power, rowful influence ; grief being then strongly infectious, and decree war or peace, they have wisely placed a when there is no variety of state, but an entire kingcemetery, where their ashes and their glory shall sleep dom of fear; and amazement is the king of all our till time shall be no more ; and where our kings have passions, and all the world its subjects. And that been crowned their ancestors lie interred, and they shriek must needs be terrible, when millions of men must walk over their grandsire's head to take his and women, at the same instant, shall fearfully cry crown. There is an acre sown with royal seed, the out, and the noise shall mingle with the trumpet of copy of the greatest change, from rich to naked, from the archangel, with the thunders of the dying and ceiled roofs to arched coffins, from living like gods to groaning, heavens, and the crack of the dissolving die like men. There is enough to cool the flames of world, when the whole fabric of nature shall shake lust, to abate the heights of pride, to appease the itch into dissolution and eternal ashes ! of covetous desires, to sully and dash out the dissem Consider what an infinite multitude of angels, and bling colours of a lustful, artificial, and imaginary men, and women, shall then appear! It is a huge beauty. There the warlike and the peaceful, the for- assembly when the men of one kingdom, the men of tunate and the miserable, the beloved and the de one age in a single province are gathered together into spised princcs mingle their dust, and pay down their heaps and confusion of disorder ; but then, all kingsymbol of mortality, and tell all the world that, when doms of all ages, all the arinies that ever muswe die, our ashes shall be equal to kings', and our ac- tered, all that world that Augustus Cæsar taxed, all counts easier, and our pains for our crowns shall be less. those hundreds of millions that were slain in all the
Roman wars, from Numa's time till Italy was broken [The Day of Judgment.]
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 ihe wise and the foolish, the rich and the poor, the nine orders of blessed spirits, and the infinite numprerailing 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 cerament, 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 song 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 corered 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 food, 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, thanderings 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 cave. ns 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.
from Bishop Taylor in several marked particu(Religious Toleration.)
There is greater quaintness and obscurity The infinite variety of opinions in matters of reli- in his style; he is fond of discussing abstruse and gion, as they have troubled Christendom with inte conjectural points, such as only a humorist can rests, factions, and partialities, so have they caused seriously trouble himself about; and he displays great divisions of the heart, and variety of thoughts throughout his writings the mind rather of an and designs, amongst pious and prudent men. For they all, seeing the inconveniences which the disunion of persuasions and opinions have produced, directly or accidentaıly, 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 excelSent 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 endea roured 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
Bir Thomas Browne. was pretended. All men resolved upon this, that, though they yet had not hit upon the right, yet some amiable and eccentric scholar, than of a man who way must be thought upon to reconcile differences in takes an interest in the great concerns of humanity. opinion; thinking, so long as this variety should last, Browne was born in London in 1605, and, after being Christ's kingdom was not advanced, and the work of educated at Winchester and Oxford, proceeded to the gospel went on but slowly. Few men, in the mean travel, first in Ireland, and subsequently in France, time, considered, that so long as men had such variety Italy, and Holland. He belonged to the medical of principles, such several constitutions, educations, profession, and having obtained his doctor's degree tempers, and distempers, hopes, interests, and weak at Leyden, settled finally as a practitioner at Nor. nesses, degrees of light and degrees of understanding, wich. His first work, entitled Religio Medici— The it was impossible all should be of one mind. And Religion of a Physician'—was published in 1642, and what is impossible to be done, is not necessary it should immediately rendered him famous as a literary man. be done. And, therefore, although variety of opinions In this singular production, he gives a minute account was impossible to be cured, and they who attempted of his opinions not only on religious, but on a variety it did like him who claps his shoulder to the ground of philosophical and fanciful points, besides affording to stop an earthquake; yet the inconveniences arising the reader many glimpses into the eccentricities of from it might possibly be cured, not by uniting their his personal character. The language of that work beliefs, that was to be despaired of, but by curing that is bold and poetical, adorned with picturesque imawhich caused these mischiefs, and accidental inconveniences, of their disagreeings. For although these gery, but frequently pedantic, rugged, and obscure. inconveniences, which every man sees and feels, were
His next publication, entitled Pseudodoxia Epidemica, consequent to this diversity of persuasions, yet it was It is much more philosophical in its character than
or • Treatise on Vulgar Errors,' appeared in 1646. but accidentally and by chance; inasmuch as we see the Religio Medici,' and is considered the most solid that in many things, and they of great concernment, and useful of his productions. The following enumemen allow to themselves and to each other a liberty ration of some of the errors which he endeavours to of disagreeing, and no hurt neither. And certainly, if diversity of opinions were, of itself, the cause of dispel, will serve both to show the kind of matters mischiefs, it would be so ever'; that is, regularly and he was fond of investigating, and to exemplify the universally. But that we see it is not. For there notions which prevailed in the seventeenth century. are disputes in Christendom concerning matters of That crystal is nothing else but ice strongly congreater concernment than most of those opinions that gealed; that a diamond is softened or broken by the distinguish sects and make factions; and yet, because blood of a goat; that a pot full of ashes will contain men are permitted to differ in those great matters, as much water as it would without them; that bays such evils are not consequent to such differences, as preserve from the mischief of lightning and thunder; are to the uncharitable managing of smaller and more
that an elephant hath no joints; that a wolf, first inconsiderable questions. Since then, if men are quiet seeing a man, begets a dumbness in him; that moles and charitable in some disagreeings, that then and are bÌind; that the flesh of peacocks corrupteth not; there the inconvenience ceases ; if they were so in all that storks will only live in republics and free states; others where lawfully they might, and they may in that the chicken is made out of the yolk of the egg; most, Christendom should be no longer rent in pieces, that men weigh heavier dead than alive, and before but would be redintegrated in a new pentecost.
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 sneezSIR THOMAS BROWNE, another of the eloquent ing ; pigmies ; the canicular, or dog-days; the picand poetical writers of this great literary era, differs ture of Moses with horns; the blackness of negroes;
SIR THOMAS BROWNE.
the river Nilus; gipsies; Methuselah ; the food of their tombs, the Romans affected the rose, the Greeks John the Baptist; the cessation of oracles; Friar amaranthus and myrtle; that the funeral pyre coilBacon's brazen head that spoke; the poverty of sisted of sweet fuel, cypress, fir, larix, yew, and trees Belisarius; and the wish of Philoxenus to have the perpetually verdant, lay silent expressions of their neck of a crane. In 1658, Browne published his surviving hopes; wherein Christians, which deck Hydriotaphia, or Urn Burial; a Discourse on the Se their coffins with bays, have found a more elegant pulchral 'Urns Lately Found in Norfolk, a work not emblem-for that it seeming dead, will restore itself inferior, in ideality of style, to the * Religio Medici.' from the root, and its dry and exsuccous leaves Here the author's learning appears in the details resume their verdure again ; which, if we mistake which he gives concerning the modes in which the not, we have also observed in furze. Whether the bodies of the dead have been disposed of in different planting of yew in churchyards hold not its original ages and countries; while his reflections on death, from ancient funeral rites, or as an emblem of resuroblivion, and immortality, are, for solemnity and rection, from its perpetual verdure, may also admit grandeur, probably unsurpassed in English litera-conjecture.' Among the beauties of expression in ture. The occasion would hardly have called forth Browne, may be quoted the following eloquent defia work from any less meditative mind. In a field nition ; • Nature is not at variance with art, nor art at Walsingham were dug up between forty and fifty with nature—they being both the servants of bis urns, containing the remains of human bones, some providence. Art is the perfection of nature. Were small brass instruments, boxes, and other fragmen- the world now as it was the sixth day, there were tary relics. Coals and burnt substances were found yet a chaos. Nature hath made one world, and art near the same plot of ground, and hence it was con- another. In belief, all things are artificial, for nature jectured that this was the Ustrina, or place of burn- is the art of God.' This seems the essence of true ing, or the spot whereon the Druidical sacrifices philosophy. To the ‘Hydriotaphia' is appended a were made. Furnished with a theme for his philo- small treatise, called The Garden of Cyrus; or the sophic musings, Sir Thomas Browne then comments Quincuncial Lozenge, or Network Plantations of the Anon that vast charnel-house, the earth.
cients, Artificially, Naturally, and Mystically considered, * Nature,' he says, “ hath furnished one part of This is written in a similar style, and displays much the earth, and man another. The treasures of time of the author's whimsical fancy and propensity to lie high, in urns, coins, and monuments, scarce be- laborious trifling. One of the most striking of these low the roots of some vegetables. Time hath end- fancies has been often quoted. Wishing to denote less rarities, and shows of all varieties ; which re- that it is late, or that he was writing at a late hour, veals old things in heaven, makes new discoveries he says that the Hyades (the quincunx of heaven) in earth, and even earth itself a discovery. That run low-that we are unwilling to spin out our great antiquity, America, lay buried for a thousand awaking thoughts into the phantasms of sleep-that years; and a large part of the earth is still in the to keep our eyes open longer were but to act our urn unto us. Though, if Adam were made out of antipodes—that the huntsmen are up in Americaan extract of the earth, all parts might challenge a and that they are already past their first sleep in restitution, yet few have returned their bones far Persia.' This is fantastic, but it is the offspring of lower than they might receive them ; not affecting genius. Browne lived in a world of ideal contemthe graves of giants, under hilly and heavy cover-plation, but before surrendering himself up to his ings, but content with less than their own depth, reveries, he had stored his mind with vast and mulhave wished their bones might lie soft, and the earth tifarious learning. In presenting its results to the be light upon them ; even such as hope to rise again public, he painted to the cye and imagination more would not be content with central interment, or so than he conveyed to the understanding. Among his desperately to place their relics as to lie beyond dis- posthumous pieces is a collection of aphorisms, encovery, and in no way to be seen again ; which titled Christian Morals, to which Dr Johnson prefixed happy contrivance hath made communication with a life of the author. He left, also, various essays, our forefathers, and left unto our view some parts on antiquarian and other subjects. Sir Thomas which they never beheld themselves.'
Browne died in 1682, at the age of seventy-seven, He then successively describes and comments He was of a modest and cheerful disposition, retirupon the different modes of interment and decoming in his habits, and sympathised little with the position—whether by fire (' some apprehending a pursuits and feelings of the busy multitude. His purifying virtue in fire, refining the grosser commix- opinions were, in some respects, tinged with the ture, and firing out the ethereal particles so deeply credulity of his age. He believed in witchcraft, immersed in it'); by making their graves in the air, apparitions, and diabolical illusions; and gravely like the Scythians, . who swore by wind and sword:' observes, that to those who would attempt to teach or in the sea, like some of the nations about Egypt. animals the art of speech, the dogs and cats that • Men,' he finely remarks, ' have lost their reason usually speak unto witches may afford some encourin nothing so much as their religion, wherein stones agement.' and clouts make martyrs ; and since the religion of In the writings of Sir Thomas Browne, the pracone seems madness unto another, to afford an ac- tice of employing Latin words with English terniicount or rational of old rights, requires no rigid nations is carried to such excess, that, to persons reader. That they kindled the pyre aversely, or acquainted only with their native tongue, many turning their face from it, was a handsome symbol of his sentences must be nearly unintelligible. Thus, of unwilling ministration; that they washed their speaking in his . Vulgar Errors' of the nature of bones with wine and milk; that the mother wrapt ice, he says: 'Ice is only water congealed by the them in linen and dried them in her bosom, the first frigidity of the air, whereby it acquireth no new fostering part, and place of their nourishment; that form, but rather a consistence or determination of they opened their eyes towards heaven, before they its diffluency, and amitteth not its essence, but conkindled the fire, as the place of their hopes or origi- dition of fluidity. Neither doth there anything nal, were no improper ceremonies. Their last vale- properly conglaciate but water, or watery humidity; diction, thrice uttered by the attendants, was also for the determination of quicksilver is properly fixavery solemn, and somewhat answered by Christians, tion, that of milk coagulation, and that of oil and who thought it too little if they threw not the earth unctious bodies only incrassation.' He uses abunthrice upon the interred body. That, in strewing dantly such words as dilucidate, ampliate, manu
duction, indigitate, reminiscential evocation, farra- as some have done in their persons; one face of Janus ginous, advenient, ariolation, lapifidical.
holds no proportion unto the other. It is too late to Those who are acquainted with Dr Johnson's style, be ambitious. The great mutations of the world are will at once perceive the resemblance, particularly | acted, or time may be too short for our designs. To in respect to the abundance of Latin words, which extend our memories by monuments, whose death we it bears to that of Sir Thomas Browne. Indeed there daily pray for, and whose duration we cannot hope, can be no doubt that the author of the “Rambler' without injury to our expectations, in the advent of acquired much of his fondness for pompous and the last day, were a contradiction to our beliefs. sounding expressions from the writings of the learned We, whose generations are ordained in this setting knight of Norwich. Coleridge, who was so well part of time, are providentially taken off from such qualified to appreciate the writings of Browne, has imaginations; and being necessitated to eye the renumbered him among his first favourites. 'Rich in maining particle of futurity, are naturally constituted various knowledge, exuberant in conceptions and unto thoughts of the next world, and cannot excusconceits; contemplative, imaginative, often truly ably decline the consideration of that duration, which great and magnificent in his style and diction, maketh pyramids pillars of snow, and all that is past though, doubtless, too often big, stiff, and hyper- a moment. Latinistic. He is a quiet and sublime enthusiast,
Circles and right lines limit and close all bodies, with a strong tinge of the fantast : the humorist and the mortal right-lined circlel must conclude and constantly mingling with, and flashing across, the shut up all. There is no antidote against the opium philosopher, as the darting colours in shot silk play of time, which temporally considereth all things. Our upon the main dye.' The same writer has pointed fathers find their graves in our short memories, and out the entireness of Browne in every subject before sadly tell us how we may be buried in our survivors. him. He never wanders from it, and he has no
Grave-stones tell truth scarce forty years. Generaoccasion to wander; for whatever happens to be his tions pass while some trues stand, and old families subject, he metamorphoses all nature into it. We last not three oaks. To be read by bare inscriptions may add the complete originality of his mind. He like many in Gruter, to hope for eternity by enig. seems like no other writer, and his vast and solitary matical epithets, or first letters of our names, to be abstractions, stamped with his peculiar style, like studied by antiquaries who we were, and have new the hieroglyphic characters of the East, carry the
names given us, like many of the mummies, are cold imagination back into the primeval ages of the consolations unto the students of perpetuity, even by world, or forward into the depths of eternity.
To be content that times to come should only know
there was such a man, not caring whether they knew [Oblivion.]
more of him, was a frigid ambition in Cardan; disWhat song the syrens sang, or what name Achilles paraging his horoscopal inclination and judgment of assumed when he hid himself among women, though himself, who cares to subsist, like Hippocrates' patients, puzzling questions, are not beyond all conjecture. tions, without deserts and noble acts, which are the
or Achilles' horses in Homer, under naked nominaWhat time the persons of these ossuaries entered the balsam of our memories, the entelechia and soul of our famous nations of the dead, and slept with princes subsistences. To be nameless in worthy deeds exceeds and counsellors, might admit a wide solution. But who were the proprietaries of these bones, or what
an infamous history. The Canaanitish woman lives bodies these ashes niade up, were a question above And who had not rather have been the good thief,
more happily without a name than Herodias with one. antiquarianism; not to be resolved by inan, nor easily than Pilate? perhaps by spirits, except we consult the provincial guardians, or tutelary observators. Had they made
But the iniquity of oblivion blindly scattereth her as good provision for their names as they have done poppy, and deals with the memory of men without for their relics, they had not so grossly erred in the the founder of the pyramids? Herostratus lives that
distinction to merit of perpetuity: who can but pity art of perpetuation. But to subsist in bones, and be burnt the temple of Diana; he is almost lost that but pyramidally, extant, is a fallacy in duration built it: time hath spared the epitaph of Adrian's Vain ashes, which, in the oblivion of names, persons, horse ; confounded that of himself. In vain we comtimes, and sexes, have found unto themselves a fruitless continuation, and only arise unto late posterity, pute our felicities by the advantage of our good names, as emblems of mortal vanities, antidotes against pride, to live as long as Agamemnon, without the favour of
since bad have equal durations; and Thersites is like rain-glory, and maddening rices. Pagan vain-glories, the everlasting register. Who knows whether the best which thought the world might last for ever, had en- of men be known? or whether there be not more recouragement for ambition, and finding no Atropos markable persons forgot than any that stand rememunto the immortality of their names, were never bered in the known account of time? Without the damped with the necessity of oblivion. Even old ambitions had the advantage of ours, in the attempts of favour of the everlasting register, the first man had their vain-glories, who, acting early, and before the been as unknown as the last, and Methuselah's long probable meridian of time, have by this time found life had been his only chronicle. great accomplishment of their designs, whereby the be content to be as though they had not been ; to
Oblivion is not to be hired : the greatest part must ancient heroes have already outlasted their monu- be found in the register of God, not in the record of ments and mechanical preservations. But in this latter scene of time we cannot expect such mummies before the flood ; and the recorded names ever since
man. Twenty-seven names make up the first story unto our memories, when ambition may fear the pro- contain not one living century.
The number of phecy of Elias ;' and Charles V. can never hoție to live the dead long exceedeth all that shall live. The within two Methuselahs of Hector.2 And therefore restless inquietude for the diuturnity when was the equinox?
night of time far surpasseth the day, and who knows of our memories unto present considerations, seems a
Every hour adds unto that vanity almost out of date, and superannuated piece of And since death must be the Lucina of life ; and even
current arithmetic which scarce stands one moment. folly. We cannot hope to live so long in our names
Pagans could doubt whether thus to live were to die; 1 That the world may last but six thousand years. • Hector's fame lasting above two lives of Methuselah, before
1 The character of death, that famous prince was extant.
9 Gruteri Inscriptiones Antiquæ.