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upon and about the body. And in the same Field, not farre from these Urnes, many stones were found under ground, as also by carefull separation of extraneous matter, composing and raking up the burnt bones with forks, observable in that notable lamp of Galvanus, Martianus, who had the sight of the Vas Ustrinum2 or vessell 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 Funerall Pyres of some Princes, by incombustible sheets made with a texture of Asbestos, incremable flax, or Salamander's wool, which preserved their bones and ashes incommixed.
How the bulk of a man should sink into so few pounds of bones and ashes, may seem strange unto any who considers not its constitution, and how slender a masse will remain upon an open and urging fire of the carnall 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
the heavy principle of Salt is fired out, and the Earth almost only remaineth ; Observable in sallow, which makes more Ashes than Oake; and discovers the conimon fraud of selling Ashes by measure, and not by ponderation. .
Some bones make best Skeletons, some bodies quick and speediest ashes. Who would expect a quick flame from Hydropicall Heraclitus ? The poysoned Souldier, when his Belly brake, put out two pyres in Plutarch.4 But in the plague of Athens, 5 one private pyre served two or three Intruders; and the
1 To be seen in Licet. de reconditis veterum luccrnis.
i Typograph. Roma ex Martiano. Erat et vas ustrinum appellatum, quod in eo cadavera comburerentur. Cap. de Campo Esquilino.
3 Old bones according to Lyserus. "Those of young persons not tall nor fat according to Columbus. 4 In vitâ Gracc.
Saracens burnt in large heaps, by the King of Castile, 1 shewed how little Fuell sufficeth. Though the Funerall pyre of Patroclus took up an hundred foot,2 a peece of an old boat burnt Pompey; And if the burthen of Isaac were sufficient for an holocaust, a man may carry his owne pyre.
From animals are drawn good burning lights, and good medicines against burning ;3 Though the seminall humour seems of a contrary nature to fire, yet the body compleated proves a combustible lump, wherein fire findes flame even from bones, and some fuell almost from all parts. Though the Metropolis of humidity4 seems least disposed unto it, which might render the sculls of these Urnes lesse burned than other bones. But all flies or sinks before fire almost in all bodies: when the common ligament is dissolved,
calx or ashes.
To burn the bones of the King of Edom for lime, 5 seems no irrationall ferity ; But to drink of the ashes of dead relations, 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 itself; 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 always a morsell for the Earth, whereof all things are but a colonie ; and which, if time permits, the mother Element will have in their primitive masse again.
He that looks for Urnes and old sepulchrall reliques, must not seek them in the ruines of Temples : where no Religion anciently placed them. These were found Family of Abraham, and the burying-place of Josua, in the borders of his possessions; and also agreeable unto Roman practice to bury by highwayes, whereby their Monuments were under eye; Memorials of them. selves, and memento's of mortality unto living pas. sengers ; 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 ChurchInscriptions. 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 into the Church Porch ; and the first thus buried in England was in the dayes of Cuthred.
in a Field, according to ancient custome, in noble or in private buriall; the old practise of the Canaanites, the i Laurent. Valla.
2 Εκατόμπεδον ένθα ή ένθα. 3 Speran. Alb. Ovor,
• The brain. Hippocrates, B Amos ii. 1. o As Artemisia of her husband Mausolus.
Christians dispute how their bodies should lye in the grave.2 In urnall interrment they clearly escaped this controversie; though we decline the Religious consideration, yet in cemiteriall and narrower buryingplaces, 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 Phoenicians 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 toward the West, we will not contend with tradition and probable account; But we applaud not the hand of the Painter, in exalting his Crosse 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 knav'd out of our graves, to have our sculs made. drinking-bowls, and our bones turned into Pipes, to delight and sport our Enemies, are Tragicall abominations escaped in burning Burials.
Urnall interrments and burnt Reliques lye not in fear of worms, or to be an heritage for Serpents; In i Siste viator.
a Kirkmannus de funer.
carnall sepulture, corruptions seem peculiar unto parts, and some speak of snakes out of the spinall marrow, But while we suppose common wormes in graves, 'tis not easie to finde any there ; few in Churchyards 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 Hydropicall body, ten years buried in the 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 with us. Aftur a battle with the Persians, the Roman 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 Marquesse = of Dorset seemed sound and handsomely cereclothed,
that after seventy-eight years was found uncorrupted.1 Common Tombs preserve not beyond powder : A firmer consistence and compage of parts might be expected from Arefaction, deep buriall or charcoal. The greatest Antiquities of mortall bodies may remain in putrefied bones, whereof, though we take not in the pillar of Lot's wife, or Metamorphosis of Ortelius, 2 some may be older than Pyramids, in the putrefied Reliques of the generall inundation. When Alexander opened the Tomb of Cyrus, the remaining bones discovered his proportion, whereof urnall 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
i 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.-Burton's descript. of Leicestershire.
In his Map of Russia.
no impossible Physiognomy to conjecture at flesby appendencies; and after what shape the muscles and carnous parts might hang in their full consistences. A full-spread Cariolal shows a well-shaped horse behinde handsome formed sculls give some analogy to fleshy resemblance. A criticall 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.2 Dante's Characters are to be found in sculls as well as faces. Hercules is not only known by his foot. Other parts make out their comproportions and inferences upon whole or parts. And since the dimensions of the head measure the whole body, and the figure thereof gives conjecture of the principall faculties; Physiognomy outlives ourselves, 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 itself, 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
i That part in the skeleton of a horse, which is made by the baunch-bones.
3 For their extraordinary thickness.
3 The poet Dante in his view of Purgatory, found gluttons so meagre, and extenuated, that he conceited 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 0 0 which makes up Omo.
Parén l'occhiaje anella senza gemme :