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take not in any Infant which was Minor igne rogi, before Seven Months, or Appearance of Teeth, nor should account this Practice of burning among the Britains higher than Vespasian, when it is said by Tacitus, that they conformed unto the Manners and Customs of the Romans, and so both Nations might have one Way of Burial; yet from his Days, to the Dates of these Urnes, were about Two Hundred Years. And therefore if we fall so low, as to conceive there were buried in this Nation but Twenty Thousand Persons, the Account of the buried Persons would amount unto Four Millions, and consequently so great a Number of Urnes dispersed through the Land, as may still satisfy the Curiosity of succeeding Times, and arise unto all Ages.
The bodies, whose Reliques these Urnes contained, seemed thoroughly burned; for beside pieces of Teeth, there were found few Fragments of Bones, but rather Ashes in hard Lumps, and pieces of Coals, which were often so fresh, that one sufficed to make a good draught of its Urne, which still remaineth with me.
Some persons digging at a little Distance from the Urne Places, in hopes to find something of Value, after they had digged about Three-Quarters of a Yard deep, fell upon an observable Piece of Work. The Work was Square, about Two Yards and a Quarter on each Side. The Wall, or outward Part, a Foot thick, in Colour Red, and looked like Brick; but it was solid, without any Mortar or Cement, or figur'd Brick in it, but of an whole Piece, so that it seemed to be Framed and Burnt in the same place where it was found. In this kind of Brick-work were Thirty-two Holes, of about Two Inches and an Half Diameter, and Two above a Quarter of a Circle in the East and West Sides. Upon Two of these Holes, on the East Side, were placed Two Pots, with their Mouths downward; putting in their Arms they found the Work hollow below, and the Earth being clear'd off, much Water was found below them, to the Quantity of a Barrel, which was conceived to have been the
Rain-water which soaked in through the Earth above them.
The upper Part of the Work being broke, and opened, they found a Floor about Two Foot below, and then digging onward, Three Floors successively under one another, at the Distance of a Foot and Half, the Stones being of a Slatty, not Bricky, Substance; in these Partitions some Pots were found, but broke by the Workmen, being necessitated to use hard Blows for the breaking of the Stones; and in the last Partition but one, a large Pot was found of a very narrow Mouth, short Ears, of the Capacity of Fourteen Pints, which lay in an inclining Posture, close by, and somewhat under a kind of Arch in the solid Wall, and by the great care of my worthy Friend, Mr. William Masham, who employed the Workmen, was taken up whole, almost full of Water, clean, and without Smell, and insipid, which being poured out, there still remains in the Pot a great Lump of an heavy crusty substance. What Work this was we must as yet reserve unto better Conjecture. Meanwhile we find in Gruter that some Monuments of the Dead had divers Holes successively to let in the Ashes of their Relations, but Holes in such a great Number to that Intent, we have not anywhere met with.
About Three Months after, my Noble and Honoured friend, Sir Robert Paston, had the Curiosity to open a Piece of Ground in his Park at Oxnead, which adjoined unto the former Field, where Fragments of Pots were found, and upon one the Figure of a wellmade Face; But probably this Ground had been opened and digged before, though out of the Memory of Man, for we found divers small Pieces of Pots, Sheeps Bones, sometimes an Oyster-shell a Yard deep in the Earth, an unusual Coin of the Emperor Volusianus, having on the Obverse the head of the Emperor, with a Radiated Crown, and this Inscription, Imp. Cas. C. Volusiano Aug. ; that is, Imperatori Cæsari Caio Vibio Volusiano Augusto. On the Reverse an Human Figure, with the Arms somewhat extended, and at the
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,
UPON 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
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 a 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 Hippocrates of 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
1 Cum mors venerit, in medio Tibure Sardinia est.
? In the King's forests they set the figure of a broad arrow upon trees that are to be cut down.