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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 after his Death and Consecration, but in whose Time it is not clear in History.
TO A FRIEND,
OPON OCCASION OF THE DEATH OF HIS INTIMATE
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 Nuncios 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 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 Humane Predictions; yet they who shall live to see the Sun and Moon darkned, and the Stars to fall from Heaven, will hardly be deceived 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 sentenced by a Physician as 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 seemed 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 maintained not his proper Countenance, but looked 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 settled 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 fruitlessly 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, and the most healthful Air of little effect, where Death had set her Broad Arrow;2 for he lived not unto the middle of May, and confirmed the Observation of Hippocratesof 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
? Cum mors venerit, in medio Tibure Sardinia est.
* In the King's forests they set the figure of a oad upon trees that are to be cut down.
inclined, 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.
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 needed the civil Ceremony of closing his Eyes; contrary unto the common way wherein Death draws up, Sleep lets fall the Eye-lids. With what strife 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 but seldom happen, Miracles more rarely, in physick, Angelus Victorious 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, though some may be 1 Bellonius de Avibus.
Monstra contingunt in medicina. Hippoc.—" Strange and rare escapes there happen sometimes in physick."
• Angeli Victorii Consultationes.
contained 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 make dust of all. And therefore the Stoicks could not but think that the firy 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, 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 persuade me, that the greatest part of Men died; but herein I confess I could never satisfy my Curiosity; although from the time of Tides in Places upon or near the Sea, there may be considerable Deductions ; and Plinya 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 entered it, and about what time many conceive he will return again unto it. Cardan 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
1 Matt. iv. 25.
· Aristoteles nullum animal nisi æstu recedente expirare affirmat ; observatum id multum in Gallico Oceano et duntaxat in homine compertum, lib. 2, cap. 101.