網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

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. 1

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,2 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.

2 Monstra contingunt in medicina. Hippoc. —" Strange and rare escapes there happen sometimes in physick."

3 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 Pliny? 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.

2 Aristoteles nullum animal nisi æstu recedente expirare affirmat ; observatum id multum in Gallico Oceano et duntaxat in homine compertum, lib. 2, cap. 101.

another from the tip of the Ear:' most men are begotten in the night, most animals in the day; but whether more Persons have been born in the Night or the Day, were a Curiosity undecidable, tho more have perished by violent Deaths in the Day; yet in natural Dissolutions both Times may hold an Indifferency, at least but contingent Inequality. The whole course of Time runs out in the Nativity and Death of Things; which whether they happen by Succession or Coin cidence, are best computed by the natural, not artificial Day.

That Charles the Fifth was Crowned upon the Day of his Nativity, it being in his own power so to order it, makes no singular Animadversion; but that he should also take King Francis Prisoner upon that day, was an unexpected Coincidence, which made the same remarkable. Antipater who had an Anniversary Feast every Year upon his Birth-day, needed no Astrological Revolution to know what day he should dye on. When the fixed stars have made a Revolution unto the points from whence they first set out, some of the Ancients thought the World would have an end;< which was a kind of dying upon the day of its Nativity. Now the disease prevailing and swiftly advancing about the time of his Nativity, some were of Opinion, that he would leave the World on the day he entred into it; but this being a lingring Disease, and creeping softly on, nothing critical was found or expected, and he died not before fifteen days after. Nothing is more common with Infants than to dye on the day of their Nativity, to behold the worldly Hours and but the Fractions thereof; and even to perish before their Nativity in the hidden World of the Womb, and before their good Angel is conceived to undertake them. But in Persons who out-live many Years, and when there are no less than three hundred and sixty-five days to determine their Lives in every Year; that the first day

Auris pars pendula lobus dicitur, non omnibus ea pars est auribus; non enim iis qui noctu nati sunt, sed qui interdiu, maxima ex parte.—Com. in Aristot. de Animal, lib. 1.

should make the last, that the Tail of the Snake should return into its Mouth precisely at that time, and they should wind up upon the day of their Nativity, is indeed a remarkable Coincidence, which tho Astrology had taken witty pains to salve, yet hath it been very wary in making Predictions of it.

In this consumptive Condition and remarkable Extenuation he came to be almost half himself, and left a great part behind him which he carried not to the Grave. And tho that story of Duke John Ernestus Mansfield be not so easily swallowed, that at his Death his Heart was found not to be so big as a Nut; yet if the Bones of a good Sceleton weigh little more than twenty pounds, his Inwards and Flesh remaining could make no Bouffage, but a light bit for the Grave. I never more lively beheld the starved Characters of Dantes in any living Face; an Aruspex might have read a Lecture upon him without Exenteration, his Flesh being so consumed that he might, in a manner, have discerned his Bowels without opening of him: so that to be carried sextâ cervice to the Grave, was but a civil unnecessity; and the Complements of the Coffin might outweigh the Subject of it.

Omnibonus Ferrarius in mortal Dysenteries of Children looks for a Spot behind the Ear; in consumptive Diseases some eye the Complexion of Moals; Cardan eagerly views the Nails, some the Lines of the Hand, the Thenar or Muscle of the Thumb; some are so curious as to observe the depth of the Throatpit, how the proportion varieth of the Small of the Legs unto the Calf, or the compass of the Neck unto the Circumference of the Head: but all these, with many more, were so drowned in a mortal Visage and last Face of Hippocrates, that a weak Physiognomist might say at first eye, This was a Face of Earth, and that Mortas had set her Hard-Seal upon his Temples,

1 According to the Egyptian hieroglyphic.
2 Turkish history.
3 In the poet Dante's description.
4 De Morbis Puerorum,
Morta, the deity of death or fate.

easily perceiving what caricatural Draughts Death makes upon pined Faces, and unto what an unknown degree a Man may live backward.

Tho the beard be only made a distinction of Sex and sign of masculine Heat by Ulmus, yet the Precocity and early growth thereof in him, was not to be liked in reference unto long life. Lewis, that virtuous but unfortunate king of Hungary, who lost his Life at the Battle of Mohacz, was said to be born without a Skin, to have bearded at Fifteen, and to have shewn some gray Hairs about Twenty ; from whence the Diviners conjectured that he would be spoiled of his Kingdom, and have but a short Life: but hairs måke fallible Predictions, and many Temples early gray have out-lived the Psalmist's Period. Hairs which have most amused me have not been in the Face or Head but on the Back, and not in Men but Children, as I long ago observed in that Endemial Distemper of little children in Languedock, called the Morgellons, 4 wherein they critically break out with harsh Hairs on their Backs, which takes off the unquiet Symptoms of the Disease, and delivers them from Coughs and Convulsions.

The Egyptian Mummies that I have seen, have had their Mouths open, and somewhat gaping, which affordeth a good opportunity to view and observe their Teeth, wherein 'tis not easie to find any wanting or decayed: and therefore in Egypt, where one Man practised but one Operation, or the Diseases but of single Parts, it must needs be a barren Profession to confine unto that of drawing of Teeth, and little better than to have been Tooth-drawer unto King Pyrrhus,5 who had but two in his Head. How the Bannyans of India maintain the Integrity of those parts, I find not particularly observed; who notwithstanding have

1 When men's faces are drawn with resemblance to some other animals, the Italians call it, to be drawn in caricatura.

2 Ulmus de usu barbæ humanæ.
3 The life of a man is' three-score and ten.
4 See Picotus de Rheumatismo.

• His upper and lower jaw being solid, and without distinct rows of teeth.

« 上一頁繼續 »