Page images

of death, of all that is to be known, and all that is not to be known concerning it, which so strangely fill up the latter half of this little work. A great part of these strange thoughts are contained in the above extracts.

4. Brown moreover wrote a brief account of Iceland, from information probably derived from Theodore Jonas, his friend, who lived in that island. These were the only works published in his life-time.

His posthumous works were numerous, the first collection of which was published by Dr. Tennison, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, under the title of " Miscellaneous Tracts," containing, 1. Observations upon several Plants mentioned in Scripture. 2. Of Garlands, and coronary or garland Plants. 3. Of the Fishes catched by our Saviour with his Disciples after the Resurrection. 4. An Answer to certain Queries relating to Fishes, Birds, and Insects. 5. Of Hawks and Falconry, ancient and modern. 6. Of Cymbals and other musical Instruments. 7. Of Ropalic or gradual Verses. 8. Of Languages, particularly the Saxon. 9. Of artificial Hills, Mounts, and Burrows in many places of England. 10. Of Troas, what place is meant by that name. Also the situation of Sodom, Go

morrah, and Zeboim. 11. Of the Answers of the Oracle of Apollo at Delphos to Croesus. 12. A Prophecy concerning the future state of several Nations. 13. Museum Clausum, containing some books, antiquities, pictures, and rarities of several kinds, scarce, or never seen by any man now living. These, with the other treatises published in his life-time, were printed in one volume, folio, Lond. 1686.-In 1690, his son, Dr. Edward Brown, published a "Letter" of his father's" to a Friend, upon occasion of the Death of his intimate Friend."

Besides this, Owen Brigstock, esq. his sonin-law by marriage, occasioned the publication of others of cur author's works, from his original MSS. 1. Repertorium, or the Antiquities of the Cathedral Church of Norwich. 2. Letters between Sir William Dugdale and Sir Thomas Brown. 3. Miscellanies. Lastly, there was published in 1761, a book in 12mo. entitled, "Christian Morals, by Sir Thomas Brown, of Norwich, M. D. and author of Religio Medici."

Another remarkable circumstance in the writings of Brown is his perpetual Latinisms; he was so familiar with learned writings, that he worked their style into his English. He

could not probably have expressed himself in pure English; Latin was his vernacular dialect, more natural to him than what he heard spoken; so that what in common pedants would have been affectation, (i. e. going out of their way) was in him the true way. His Latinisms are to be considered in the same light as Milton's Mythologics, which critics have condemned as pedantry; not considering that his imbibing mind had sucked in the old heathen stories, till they had acted upon him with as much force as his own faith and christian devotion. He gave a sort of Jewish or christian zeal to pagan religion, which none of their own poets or priests had in any like proportion. So of the language of Brown; its want of purity was the effect, not of pedantic affectation, but of extensive learning.


ROBERT GREVILLE, lord Brook, was grandson of Robert, younger brother of Fulk Greville, lord Brook, cousin and friend of sir PhiKip Sidney, &c, He was born in 1607, and was educated at Cambridge.

During the civil wars, he sided with the parliament, was made lieutenant of Warwickshire, and colonel in the army. Having reduced Warwickshire, he advanced into Staffordshire, in the command of those forces which were sent to attack the cathedral of Litchfield. This cathedral is dedicated to St. Chad. On the festival of that saint, he ordered his men to storm the adjoining close, to which lord Chesterfield had retired with a body of the king's forces. But before his orders

could be executed, he received a musket shot in the eye from a common soldier, of which he instantly expired. By some of the royalists, and particularly by the votaries of St. Chad, the shot was said to have been directed by the saint, and himself was considered as a monument of divine vengeance. By the opposite party, he was reverenced as a martyr to liberty. His death happened in 1643.

Lord Brook was a zealous patriot; he and lord Say had determined, should their own efforts and those of their countrymen be ineffectual to establish liberty, to transport themselves to New England; and the design was frustrated only by a sudden turn of affairs. He is one of those very few English cotemporary authors, whom Milton quotes with high commendation. He is curiously metaphysical; to most readers, he would probably appear dark; though the following passage, I imagine, will be found sufficiently intelligible. It contains the important metaphysical truth, that minds of the first order are the combined result of warm affections, of passion, and of intellectual excellence. The small treatise, whence the specimen is extracted, was printed in 1640, and is entitled "The Nature of Truth, its union

« PreviousContinue »