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wbo had just been wishing in his new book Of those productions which take high rank that we might procreate like trees without in a formal list of opera omnia, the Garden of conjunction," and, " Whether the lady had Cyrus (1658) is the least inviting, though been yet informed of these contemptuous posi-eminently characteristic of its author, as is tions, or whether she was pleased with the at once shown by the second title, viz. "The conquest of so formidable a rebel, and con- Quincuncial Lozenge, or Net-work Plantation sidered it as a double triumph to attract so of the Ancients, artificially, naturally, mysmuch merit, and overcome so powerful pre- tically, considered.” Even Mr. Wilkin conjudices; or whether, &c. &c.
The corre- fesses that it has, by general consent, been spondence shows that Mrs. Dorothy, amidst regarded as one of the most fanciful of his her domestic duties, was not likely to care works, and that the most eminent even of two straws about what her man thought or his admirers have treated it as a mere sport wrote on such matters, so be it he did but of the imagination. There are, as Coleridge keep the pot boiling respectably, and provid- says, “quincunxes in heaven above, quined - sheus, cotts," "briches,” and “man. cunxes in earth below, quincunxes in the mind to-gowns” for the little Brownes, whether of man, quincunxes in tones, in optic nerves, cuttings or seedlings, which she presented in roots of trees, in leaves, in everything. him with in not slow succession. In author- The quinary theory of created things, as ship she would allow him to be eccentric; propounded by some few modern naturalists, but if, in family matters, he resembled other would have been a great God-send to every-day, good-sort of doctors, she was sat- Browne; and Mr. Wilkin is seriously inclined isfied and happy.
to regard the Garden of Cyrus in a higher The splendid success of the Religio Med point of view than a mere jeu d'esprit. ici most likely took Browne by surprise. How far," he asks, “has he anticipated in Though possessed of a modest sense of his this work those who have conducted their own ability and a respectable independence inquiries in the midst of incomparably greater of spirit, he was far above the arrogance of light and knowledge ?" (iii. 380.) But we vanity. It may be believed that most writers may safely surmise, that the pentangular who eventually attained great popularity, speculations of Messrs. Mackleay, Vigors, although they might have some instinctive and Swainson are just as capable of practical consciousness of the power within them, use and strict application, as are the decuswere yet unable to guess exactly how, or sated whimsies of the amiable physician and when, it would receive a public recognition. philosopher of Norwich. They just let their inspiration have its utter- The Garden of Cyrus is so styled because
Nor (in many cases at least) could they subsequently tell with precision what “all stories do look upon Cyrus as the first splendid it was in their writings which had fastened and regular planter. According whereto Xenoon them so universal a sympathy. The phon (in Economico) described his gallant planbond of attachment between an author and Arbores pari intervallo sitas, rectos ordines, el
tation at Sardis, thus rendered by Strobæus-his reader may be too subtle for analysis. omnia perpulchrè in quincuncem directa. That Perhaps, granting even a superabundance of is, the rows and orders so handsomely disposed, genius, with all the acquired skill of practice, or five trees so set together, that a regular angudisappointment would be the fate of him larity, and thorough prospect, was left on every who determined to sit down and compose, side; owing this name not only to the quintuple resolutely, a book which should take, as de number of trees, but the figure declaring that cidedly and confessedly as the Pilgrim's number, which, being double at the angle, makes Progress, Robinson Crusoe, or the Religio tion, or fundamental figure.
up the letter X :-that is the emphatical decussaMedici.
Now, though, in some ancient and modern All Browne's subsequent works were writ- practice, the area, or decussated plot, might be a ten in Norwich ; and not a few minor pieces, perfect square, answerable to a Tuscan pedestal, besides those already mentioned, are specially and the quinquernio or cinque point of a dye, local. In 1671, he was knighted by Charles wherein by diagonal lines the intersection was II., when on a visit at the ancient palace large growing trees—and we must not deny our
rectangular-accommodable unto plantations of (always so styled) of the Howards in Nor- selves the advantage of this order; yet shall we wich. Eleven years later he was seized with chiefly insist upon that of Curtius and Porta in a colic, which, after having tortured him their brief description hereof. Wherein the deabout a week, put an end to his life, on his cussis is made within in a longilateral square, birthday, Oct. 19, 1682—anno ætat. 76. He with opposite angles, acute and obtuse at the indid lie buried in the church of St. Peter tersection, and so upon progression making a Mancroft.
rhombus or lozenge figuration.”—iii. 388.
With this lozenge as his sole semaphore "crambe verities and questions over-queand guide, Browne starts at full gallop on ried,” and informs us that “the noble Antohis literary steeple-chase; if he halts a mo- ninus doth in some sense call the soul itself ment for refreshment, it can only be at the a rhombus.” This proposition is the sum of sign of the Chequers. He gets more and all things, and therefore, as he says, “'tis more excited by the game, but diamonds are time to close the five ports of knowledge" trumps at every hand. He finds even the on this transcendental matter. But we canGarden of Eden laid out in the Dutch style, not even walk away from his symmetrical and probably full of quincunxes. “Since in garden without being reminded, finally, that Paradise itself the tree of knowledge was “the incession or local motion of animals is placed in the middle of the garden, what made with analogy unto this figure, by deever was the ancient figure, there wanted cussative diametrals, quincuncial lines, and not a centre and rule of decussation.” iii. angles;" and that even in the motion of man 393. Of course not; where there's a will the legs. “ do move quincuncially by single there's a way to lozenges.
angles with some resemblance of a V, meas
ured by successive advancement from each “The net-works and nets of antiquity were foot, and the angle of indenture greater or little different in the form from ours at present. less, according to the extent or brevity of the As for that famous net-work of Vulcan, which stride.” inclosed Mars and Venus, and caused that unextinguishable laugh in heaven-since the gods Cyrus is the Hydriotaphia-originally pub
Far more valuable than the Garden of themselves could not discern it, we shall not pry into it. . . . Heralds have not omitted this lished also in 1658. This “Discourse of order or imitation thereof, while they symbolically the Sepulchral Urns lately found in Noradorn their scutcheons with mascles, fusils, and folk” is made the homely ribbon on which saltyres, and while they dispose the figures of er pearls of learning and bright gems of fancy mines, and varied coats in this quincuncial method. The same is not forgot by lapidaries, while they few earthen vessels, containing the ashes of
are profusely strung. The disinterment of a cut their gems pyramidally, or by æquicrural triangles. Perspective pictures in their base, hori- our Roman conquerors, is the spell which zon, and lines of distances, cannot escape these calls up a complete kaleidoscope of sparkling rhomboidal decussations. Sculptors, in their visions, the changes and contrasts of which strongest shadows, after this order do draw their are inexhaustible. “Time,” he says, “which double hatches."-iii. 396.
reveals old things in heaven, makes new discoveries in earth, and even earth itself a
discovery. That great antiquity America And so on, ad infinitum it might be. Browne lay buried for thousands of years, and a large stops only because he chooses to stop, not part of the earth is still in the urn lo us. because he has run himself dry. There are When a writer is thus able to stretch forth digressions, it is true, but not of wide circuit. his tentacula in a thousand directions, it is We do not regret them when they contain quite impossible to follow him, or to compress passages like the following:
him within the limits of a Review. From
many treatises the cream may be skimmed ; “ Light that makes some things seen, makes but when an essay is all cream, a taste here some invisible; were it not for darkness and the and there is the only way to convey an idea shadow of the earth, the noblest part of the crea- 1 of the dish. tion had remained unseen, and the stars in heaven as invisible as on the fourth day, when they were created above the horizon with the sun, or there
“ That carnal interment was of the elder date, was not an eye to behold them. The greatest the old examples of Abraham and the patriarchs mystery of religion is expressed by adumbration, are sufficient to illustrate. God himself, that and in the noblest part of Jewish types we find buried but one, was pleased to make choice of this the cherubim shadowing the mercy-seat. Life way, collectible from Scripture expression, and itself is but the shadow of death, and souls de- the hot contest between Satan and the Archangel parted but shadows of the living. All things fall about discovering the body of Moses. Others, by under this name. The sun itself is but the dark preferring the fiery resolution, politically declined simulacrum, and the light but the shadow of the malice of enemies. Which consideration led God."-iii. 436.
Sylla unto this practice ; who having thus served
the body of Marius, could not but fear a retaliaBut the moment the clock strikes five in
tion upon his own." any way, Browne is back again amidst bis sylva of pentagons and lozenges. He nauseates Browne litttle suspected (in 1658) how shortly Cromwell was to afford a new in- “The particulars of future being must needs stance of posthumous indignity. Again :- be dark unto ancient theories, which Christian
philosophy yet determines but in a cloud of opin“ Christians dispute how their bodies should lie ions. A dialogue between two infants in the in the grave. In urnal interment they clearly womb, concerning the state of this world, might escaped this controversy. To be gnawed out of handsomely illustrate our ignorance of the next, our graves, to have our skulls made drinking whereof methinks we yet discourse in Plato's den, bowls, and our bones turned into pipes, to delight and are but embryo philosophers. and sport our enemies, are tragical abominations “ Happy are they which live not in that disadescaped in burning burials."
vantage of time, when men could say little for
futurity, but from reason; whereby the noblest But on the other hand :
minds fell often upon doubtful deaths and melan
choly dissolutions. With hopes, Socrates warmed “When Alexander opened the tomb of Cyrus, Cato, before he durst give the fatal stroke, spent
his doubtful spirits against that cold potion; and the remaining bones discovered his proportion, whereof urnal fragments afford but a bad conjec- part of the night in reading Plato, thereby conture, and have this disadvantage, that they leave firming his wavering hand unto the animosity of us ignorant of most personal discoveries." --p. 479. the attempt. It is the heaviest stone that Melan
choly can throw at a man, to tell him he is at the The passage is almost prophetic of the end of his nature; or that there is no further state fate of Browne's own remains. Strange spe- otherwise made in vain.”
to come, unto which this seems progressional, and cialties touching cremation are also given in great abundance:
The Christian Morals (posthumous, 1716), “ To burn the bones of the king of Edom for though searched out by an archbishop and lime, seems no irrational ferity; but to drink of published by an archdeacon, hardly answer to the ashes of dead relations a passionate prodi- the title which stands at their head. Those gality.
who refer to them for Christian morality, “ Šome bones make best skeletons, some bodies will find much that they did not go for, and quick and speediest ashes. Who would expect a be disappointed of much which they did quick flame from hydropical Heraclitus ?' The poisoned soldier (in Plutarch), when his belly expect. The treatise is not even a formal brake, put out two pyres. Though the funeral specimen of sound Gentile ethics, but a compyre of Patroclus took up an hundred foot, a piece pendium of sensible maxims of worldly wis. of an old boat burnt Pompey; and if the burthen dom, such as might have come from a less of Isaac were sufficient for an holocaust, a man insincere Chesterfield or a less cynical Rochemay carry his own pyre.”
foucauld. “Good admonitions," says Sir
Thomas, “knock not always in vain ;" but The Hydriota phia contains many passages his taps are as feeble as the didactic lesson of of a higher tone :
grandmamma: “Now, dear Johnny, be sure “ Oblivion is not to be hired. The greater part you be a good little boy!” Browne himself bad must be content to be as though they had not
a well-regulated, fully-employed mind, with been; to be found in the register of God, not in passions of but slight intensity, and seems the record of man. Twenty-seven names make scarcely to have known the force of the up the first story before the flood, and the recorded ejaculation, " The good that I would I do names ever since contain not one living century. not: but the evil which I would not, that I The number of the dead long exceedeih all that I do. O wretched man that I am! who shall shall live. “Who cares to subsist like Hippocrates' pa
deliver me from the body of this death ?” tients, or Achilles' horses in Homer, under naked nominations, without deserts and noble acts, “ Rest not in an ovation, but a triumph over thy which are the balsam of our memories, the entele- passions. Let anger walk hanging down the chia and soul of our subsistences ? To be name- head; let malice go manacled and envy fettered less in worthy deeds exceeds an infamous history. after thee. Behold within thee the long train of The Canaanitish woman lives more happily with thy trophies, not without thee. Make the quarout a name than Herodias with one. And who relling Lapithytes sleep and Centaurs within lie had not rather have been the good thief than quiet. Chain up the unruly legion of thy breast. Pilate?
Lead thine own captivity captive, and be Cæsar “ Were the happiness of the next world as within thyself. closely apprehended as the felicities of this, it “Be not a Hercules furens abroad and a polwould be a martyrdom to live; and unto such as troon within thyself. To chase our enemies out consider none hereafter, it must be more than of the field, and be led captive by our vices; to death to die, which makes us amazed at those au- beat down our foes, and fall down to our concudacities that durst be nothing and return into their piscences, are solecisms in moral schools, and no chaos again.
laurel attends them. To well manage our affections and wild horses of Plato, are the highest / of Jonathan, to fall beside the mark. Too many Circenses; and the noblest digladiation is in the there be to whom a dend enemy smells well, and theatre of ourselves; for therein our inward an- who find musk and amber in revenge. But patient tagonists, not only, like common gladiators, with meekness lakes injuries like pills, not chewing but ordinary weapons and down-right blows make at swallowing them down, laconically suffering, and us; but also,' like retiary and laqueary combat- silently passing them over; while angered pride ants, with nets, frauds, and entanglements, fall makes a noise, like Homerican Mars, at everyo upon us.”-iv. 70.
scratch of offences. Since women do most delight
in revenge, it may seem but feminine manhood It is true, he adds, that in such combats to be vindictive. If thou must needs have thy “not the armor of Achilles, but the armature revenge of thine enemy, with a soft tongue break of St. Paul, gives the glorious day, and tri- his bones, heap coals of fire on his head, forgive umphs, not leading up to capitols, but to the him, and enjoy it. If thou hast not mercy for highest heavens,” but he immediately falls others, yet be not cruel unto thyself
. To rumiback into the old strain—“Let right reason be ries, and be too acute in their apprehensions, is to
nate upon evils, to make critical notes upon injůthy Lycurgus!" &c.; and the treatise proceeds add unto our
own tortures, to feather the arrows as a pleasing bint-book for decent conduct, of our enemies, to lash ourselves with the scorand not in the least as a manual of Christian pions of our foes, and to resolve to sleep no more ; morals, or a foundation of Christian strength. for injuries long dreamt on take away at last all The Letter to a Friend, to which this is in rest, and he sleeps but like Regulus who busieth
his head about them." tended as a corollary and supplement, is far more edifying, as well as far more touching and beautiful.
The Religio Medici, though written much With this knowledge of what Browne's earlier, was first published, as we have seen, Christian Morals are not, they are well by a pirate in 1642. Its precise tendency worth looking into now and then for the time to this ; its ability has been unanimous
and object have puzzled the world from that shrewd, honest, practical notions they con; ly acknowledged. By some the writer has tain. As in his other works, metaphors and been stigmatized as an infidel, by others illustrations are produced in such rapid suc
lauded as a Roman Catholic under the comcession, as almost to fatigue the reader's attention. It is a Chinese feast of a hundred pulsory disguise of a member of the Church little dishes, served in a hundred different Rome the honors of the Index Expurgatorius.
of England. Meanwhile the book attained at ways, yet all rather stimulant than satisfy: Mr. Wilkin refers those who do not perceive ing One of his less decorated passages is in it its own vindication to the eloquent and as follows:
conclusive observations of the author's great “When thou lookest upon the imperfections of admirer and biographer, Dr. Johnson ;* others, allow one eye for what is laudable in while the annotator to the edition of 1656, them, and the balance they have from some ex- Mr. Thomas Keck, asserts that no more is cellency which may render them considerable. meant by the title Religio Medici, or en
“Since goodness is exemplary in all, if others deavored to be proved in the book, “ than have not our virtues, let us not be wanting in that contrary. to the opinion of the unlearnwe are free, be condemned by their virtues wherein ed) physicians have religion as well as other we are deficient. For perfection is not, like light, centred in any one body; but, like the dis- * “It is, indeed, somewhat wonderful that he persed seminalities of vegetables at the creation, should be placed without the pale of Christianity, scattered through the whole mass of the earth, no
who declares that he assumes the honorable style place producing all, and almost all some. So that of a Christian, not because it is the religion of his tis well if a perfect man can be made
out of country, but because, having in his riper years and
confirmed judgment seen and examined all, he finds many men, and, to the perfect eye of God, even
himself obliged, by the principles of grace and the out of mankind.”
law of his own reason, to embrace no other name but
this ;' who, to specify his persuasion yet more, tells The following may be taken as a good us that 'he is of the reformed religion; of the same specimen both of the style and temper of the belief our Saviour taught, the Apostles disseminated, writer :
the fathers authorized, and the martyrs confirmed ;'
who, though 'paradoxical in philosophy, loves in “ Make not one in the Historia Horribilis ; flay self, that he has no taint of heresy, schism, or
divinity to keep the beaten road,' and pleases himnot thy servant for a broken glass; supererogate error;' to whom, 'where the Scripture is silent, the not in the worst sense. Be not stoically mistaken church is a text; where that speaks, 'tis but a comin the equality of sins, nor commutatively iniqui- ment;' and who uses not the dictates of his own tous in the valuations of transgressions. Let thy ar-reason but where there is a joint silence of both.""rows of revenge fly short, or be aimed, like those | Life by Johnson.
men." The words of his personal friend Mr. “On metaphysic jade to prance, Whitefoot are perhaps those which ought to
Step high, and ne'er a foot advance." be relied upon in forming an opinion of the inmost sentiments of a mind so honorable The attempt of the soul thoroughly to grasp though flighty as his, who candidly says of itself and its relations to a higher order of himself , "When I cannot satisfy my reason, beings involves an utter impossibility. It is
as if a watchmaker were resolved to conI love to humor my fancy.”--ii. 14.
struct a watch that would regulate, and set, “ In his religion he continued in the same mind and wind up itself. The floating straw, carwhich he had declared in his first book, written ried along by the stream, demands to reguwhen he was about thirty years old, -his Religio late the force and direction of the current. Medici, wherein he fully assented to that of the An Irishman might liken the philosopher Church of England, preferring it before any in who would obey the guwde geautov with the the world, as did the learned Grotius. He attend. degree of intimate and transcendental knowwas not withheld by his practice; never missed ledge that has been attempted by certain the Sacrament in his parish, if he were in town; celebrities and unintelligibilities, to the Herread the best English sermons he could hear of, culean Paddy, who, by some sleight of with liberal applause, and delighted not in con- hand, took himself up in his own arms, lifted troversies."-i. xvl.
himself from the ground, and then ran away The hardest and most painful hits that with himself. Brown truly said, “God hath Browne ever received on account of the him ; 'tis a privilege of his own nature Religio Medici were those, probably, which ii. 16); but he might have used similar exwere given by the envious sneers of Sir pressions in reference to topics many degrees Kenelm Digby. The tone of the “ Observa- | lower than the nature of the Godhead. tions" is conveyed by a single sentence from them : “ Assuredly one cannot err in taking “ What do you read, my lord ? this author for a very fine ingenious gentle
Words, words, words!" man, but, for how deep a scholar, I leave unto them to judge that are abler than I am." —not half so entertaining, and perhaps not (ii. 129.) And the wounds were now and
so edifying as the “slanders—that old men then envenomed by the insertion of a minute have gray beards ; that their faces are point of stinging truth : "What should I say lack of wit, together with most weak hams.”
wrinkled; and that they have a plentiful personal things and private thoughts of his Browne's “ words” are neither better nor own, which I make account is the chief end of He might well say, that " with the wisdom
worse than many others of the same sample. his wriling this discourse ?” Digby thankful that he is not as other men are his eternity he confounds it.” The satisfac
of God he recreates his understanding—with superstitious and credulous, even Browne :
tory results which he attained may be be
lieved attributable to his making the study “I acknowledge ingenuously our physician's of the wisdom and the works of God a corexperience hath the advantage of my philosophy rective of his passion for the solitary recreadoubt as much of the efficacy of those magical tion of “posing his apprehension with inrules he speaketh of, as also of finding out of volved enigmas (ii. 13)—the same which mysteries by the courteous revelation of spir- are related to have been found baffling in its.”-ii. 29.
another sphere—where more potent intelli
gences And yet he, Digby, soberly explains why “terrene souls appear oftenest in cemeteries
-“ reasoned high and charnel-houses” (ii. 131), and that to the
Of providence, foreknowledge, will, and fate; same cause “ peradventure may be reduced
Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute; the strange effect which is frequently seen in
(Vain wisdom all, and false philosophy :) England, when, at the approach of the
And found no end, in wandering mazes lost.” murderer, the slain body suddenly bleedeth
Let us contrast two not far disjacent pasafresh.”-ii. 135.
The re-perusal of these deep debates be-sages of the Religio Medici :tween Browne and his assailants emboldens
“ The world was made to be inhabited by us to the confession that we never greatly beasts, but studied and contemplated by man: 'tis cared
the debt of reason we owe unto God, and the