THE WONDERS Of the World: OR, Choise Observations and Passages, concerning the beginning, continuation, and endings, of Kingdomes and Commonwealths.

With an exact division of the several Ages of the World, and the most remarkable passages and memorable accidents that have come to pass therein: Also divers weighty grounds and reasons both from Scripture and natural experience, why men lived longer in former Ages then at this present. With the seven several ages of men.

The opinions of divers great Emperours and Kings touching the person of Christ, and the life of mankinde; with the strange events that have befaln several of them: Also a discovery of divers crea­tures bred in the Sea, and other obscure places of the World, retaining the similitude and likeness of men and women.

Together with the miserable death that befel Pontius Pilate, after that he had condemned our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST; The place of his birth and burial, and how he appears once every year in the said place, in the shape and likeness of a Judge.

A Work very profitable and necessary for all.

Written originally in Spanish, translated into French, and now made English, by that pious and learned Gentleman JOSHUA BAILDON.

Imprimatur, John Downam.

London Printed for John Andrews, at the white Lion in the Old Baily. 1656.


The WONDERS Of the VVORLD, Discovering Many secret Rarities, that have been hidden since the Creation.


Why men lived longer in former ages, than now in these days.

ALL those that are studious in Divine Writ may read, that in the time of the first age and before that for sin a generall De­luge came over the earth, mans life then was longer than it is at this present. It is certain that Adam lived nine hun­dred and thirty years, Seth nine hun­dred and twelve, Cain nine hundred and ten. And descending from the one unto the other, the shortest of their lives was seven hundred years; and in these [Page 2]times we see few attain to fourscore or ninety years, and if some one passe that, it is rare and marvellous, so that we come not to the tenth of the age of former men.

The learned, either Divines or Philosophers, who have discoursed thereupon, seeing that nature that brings us forth now, is the same that it was in times past, and that those first men lived so long by nature, and not miracle, became astoni­ed thereat, and have curiously searched out the causes and reasons, as Marcus Varro, and an infinite number of others, who have found these things so difficult in natures appearance, that they have thought the years in ancient times not to be the same with ours in these modern times: which opinion and belief, is a great and vain errour, as will be made appear in this following Chapter. The truth is, when I see the works of others, and descend to that which agrees with my opinion, that the principall reason why men live not so long now a days as formerly, is that the Ancients had not in their times the causes that engender now in us those diseases, where­by comes so soon old age and death. Then we must consider, that the first Parents of all humane linnage, Adam and Eve, were created by the immediate hand of God, without any other means or help; and therfore it is presumed that he created them of a most excellent complexion, perfect Sympa­thie and proportion of humours, which caused them to live in health so long and many years.

By means whereof the children that proceed from Parents so full of health, must needs resemble their Progenitors, in the same good and healthful complexion, as men descended of excellent matter, even till the change of ages, (the property whereof is to change and impair all things) all humane kind began to grow weaker, and the days of men to grow short­er. Now in those times there was one thing that made much toward their long life, which in these times is very hurtfull and contrary to us, which was their great temperance in drink, both in quality and quantitie, and the small varietie of meats; for they had not of so many sorts as now we have, nor with so many inventions of cooking. We do nor find that before [Page 3]the Deluge, men knew what it was to eat flesh: besides, some hold it for certain, that the fruits and hearbs were of far greater virtue and substance without comparison than now they are: because then they proceeded out of new earth, and not as it is at this day, weak, weary, and as it were fallow: for the Deluge was the cause of taking away its fat, leaving it more infertile with a salt savour, lesse perfect by the inundati­on of the Sea, which floted for many weeks over it. All these reasons are, and every one of them sufficient (how­ever there are more if they were all put together) to prove that this is no strange thing but naturall, that men lived long­er then, than in these times. Moreover, it is to be noted, (and we hold it for certain) that Adam knew all the vir­tues of Hearbs, Plants, and precious Stones, and his children learned from him more than any man could learn since. This was in part for health, and the support of life, and to cure dis­eases, if peradventure any should happen, by using such re­medies as were simple and perfect, and leaving out venemous compositions, used in these present times; the which instead of purging and cleansing, weaken and kill those that take them: and which is more in those former times, the life and health of man was more supported and helped, by the course of the heavens, and influence of the Stars, more benevolent in those times, than they are now; because they had not passed so many aspects, conjunctions, eclipses, and other celestiall impressions, from whence are proceeded these alterations, va­riations and changes upon the earth: and amongst the ele­ments, principall occasions of life and health in those former times, and on the contrary infirmities and death in these. But above all that that we have said and founded upon naturall reason, I maintain that the cause of the long life of men in those days, proceeded from the providence of God, who would have their lives such, and that the occasions aforesaid might help one the other, to the end, that onely of two might be bred many, that the earth might be filled and human kind multiplied. So we see that men not living so long after the Deluge as before God suffered them to go into the ark, and [Page 4]so saved more men and women then he did create at the first to the end that the world might be replenished more easily. St. Augustine speaking of these things, sayeth. That our fore-Fathers had the advantage of us, not onely in health and long life, but also in stature of body, as it is evident in ma­ny Sepulchres, and bones which have been found under great Mountains; so that one may verily believe they were the bones of men living before the Deluge. The same St. Augu­stine affirms, that being in Vtica a Town in Affrica, he did see the bones of a humane body, which had the Jaws as great and as heavy as of an hundred men of our age. And never­thelesse although our life be so short, yet ought we not to complain, because applying it in evil, and to the contempt and neglect of God, the Lord is mercifull unto us in short­ening it, for we shal cease to be wicked any more: and yet if we will serve him, we have time enough to do so, for as much as the goodnesse of God is so great, that he takes for payment the good desires, and the will.


That the opinion of those which think the years in times past, to have been shorter then these in our times is false. Which was the first Town in the World. And that the Ancients had more children than are named in the holy Scripture.

BEcause it hath seemed to some, that the age of nine hundred years of men in former times was impossible, though they could not comprehend nor admit of the naturall rea­sons thereof, which are alledged in the for­mer Chapter. And not daring to deny such number of years, so clearly manifested by holy writ, (they say) that the years in those times, were shorter than the years now in our days. So that the long life which they [Page 5]enjoyed in those days beyond us now, was not so great as is cried up. Some amongst them would make us believe, that one of our years now, equals ten of theirs in times past. Ma­ny of them say, that every Moon makes a year, and have called them Lunary years. Some others of our opinion, That three of our moneths makes one of their years. And by this means four of their years equalled but one of ours. Because in this sort the Caldeans, and the Arcadians divided their years, as Lactantius recites in his second book of Divine In­stitutions, And Marcus Varro a learned Roman in many things (except in this) was of opinion, that the Lunary years, took their number from the conjunction of one Moon to the other, which consists of 29 days and odde hours. In like man­ner Plinie holds for a fable the long life of the Ancients or first of men, and says, that those of Arcadia counted their years, as we have before recited, of three of our moneths.

There is even yet amongst us Christians, Eliconien­se, 1 Book of Anti­quities. a book of the Age of the World, whereof Elicontensis is Authour, where it seems that he is of this opinion. Nevertheless, it is most clear, That the years that were quoted in the holy Scripture, were such as these that we have now in these times: Which Iosephus main­tains and proves; and so Lactantius Firmian: but much better, and more distinctly St. Augustine, whose Reasons and Authority will confute all the false opinions which have smelt or savoured of the contrary.

As for the first, which is, That every Moon made then a year, to take it from one Conjunction to another, it is a ma­nifest error; because, we know very well, that such a space of time contains not full thirtie days, so that in that case, an hun­dred years now, would amount to more than twelve hundred years then; from whence would grow (against the opinion of all the World) that men should live longer now than they did then, forasmuch as there was not then found a man, which lived twelve hundred years; which ariseth not to one of our Ages. And nevertheless, we may find some that have lived an hundred, and an hundred and twelve years, which would be more than thirteen hundred years, to reckon the years by [Page 6]the Moons. Is it not also a folly in them, which affirm, that ten of those years in times past, countervailed but one of ours at present; for if their affirmation were true, men in those days, would have had strength to beget children at seven, eight, and ten years, which is against all natural Philosophie,

That it is so, Gen. 5 we read in Genesis, That Seth, the son of Adam, begat Enos at the age of an hundred and five years: If therefore ten years then, had made but one of our years now, it must needs follow, that men in those former ages, begat children at ten years and an half old, of these present times. Cain also begetting children at seventy years, would by that reckoning, have been a Father at seven years of our age. And nevertheless, we should find much lesse, if one of our years now, made twelve then, as some of them affirm. Their false opinions shall be made yet more clear by this ensuing dedu­ction. If their year were but the tenth or twelth part of ours now, it would follow, that the year had not twelve moneths, or the moneth but three days, Gen. 7 which were an abuse; because the same text of Scripture saith, that the general Deluge began the seventeenth day of the second moneth; by which we evi­dently know, that the moneths then were like to ours.

As for that other opinion of those that say, The years of old times, made the fourth part of a year of our times now, and that the year consisted of three moneths; the same Scripture likewise declares that to be false; forasmuch as in the same place it saith, That the Ark of Noah floated upon the waters, and that the seven and twentieth day of the seventh moneth, it rested, because the waters were abated, and it rested it self up­on the mountains of Ararat. A little after he saith, that the waters decreased daily, even till the tenth moneth, and that the first day of the moneth, the tops of the mountains began to appear. By this it appears, their opinion is errour, that say, the year consisted but of three moneths, seeing it names the se­venth and the tenth. We may see then, that the ancient years had twelve moneths, in that it names the tenth moneth, and doth not say the last: And as ill may one say, the moneth to have but three days; for the text carries it expresly, the seven [Page 7]and twentieth day of the moneth: Yet lesse may one say the day to have but two or three hours; because the same text saith, that it rained, and the windows of Heaven were open­ed by the space of fourty days and fourty nights: so that it is clear, that the daies were natural, of four and twentie hours, and the moneths, and the years as long as now, or little lesse: I say it, because they kept reckoning of the course of the Hea­vens as we do; so that the same order hath been alwaies kept a­mong the Learned, as well Hebrews as Egyptians, amongst whom Moses was brought up a Historiographer, and Authour of those holy Books, in which are writ the Chronicles of those long lives. And now, if we would yield to the opinion of ma­ny, which hold, that the Hebrews reckoned the moneths by the Moons, and that the year was twelve Lunarie moneths, and that every moneth contained twentie nine days, and four­teen hours, a few more, or a few less, and that the year was shorter by twelve dayes, than that which we reckon by the course of the Sun, which is three hundred sixtie five daies, and six hours; yet this difference shall not make us doubt­full, or uncertain of the lives of our ancient Fathers; for this is but a small matter in nine hundred or a thousand years, to fail twenty or thirtie, the Lunarie moneth not accomplish­ing thirtie daies. By this authoritie then we are certain, that the nine hundred and thirtie years that Adam lived, and the nine hundred years of others, were the same, as the hundred and seventie five of Abraham, and the seventie, or eightie that men live now in these daies; he that shall beleeve other­wise is in an errour. There is likewise another consideration to be noted, alledged by St. Augustine to this purpose, which is, Put the case, that the Scripture makes not mention, that Adam and his had other children before those which are there named; yet it is to be beleeved, that before and after, they had many, in condition, at younger years than the Scripture makes mention they could have children; and to make there­of a more ample proof, when it is said, that Cain had built a Town, Jos. 1 lib. de Antiq. (the first that was in the World) whereof Iosephus speaks, saying, That it had Towers, and that it was walled [Page 8]round, and that he named it after his sons name, Henoc, which was newly born unto him: It is very unlikely, that there was then in the World, but three or four men onely, (yet the Scripture makes no mention of any more) because to build such a Town, would require the help of a great number of men, albeit the text names but the principal and chief that built it, as appears when is said, That their sons and their daughters begat others, which are not named. We see the ho­ly Evangelists have done the like in their Evangelical History; for St. Matthew treating of the linage of Christ, according to the flesh, begins at Abraham, and willing to reckon even unto David, saith, [Abraham begat Isaac] using no words of Ishmael; a little after, [Isaac begat Iacob] speaking no­thing of Esau, although he were the first-born, because having an intention to come by degrees even to David, which was not of the Line of Ishmael, he reckons neither Ishmael nor E­sau. Afterwards [Iacob begat Iudas and his brethren,] and yet Iudas was not the eldest. In such manner treating of the ge­neration, he reckons those by the which he might descend to David. A sufficient proof to incite the contrary part to be­lieve that Moses did the like in his history; and that our first Parents, had other children then those which are named and declared in the holy Scripture.


That the sign of the Crosse was in estimation before our Saviour Christ was crucified.

LOng time before our Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ suffered upon the Crosse, the sign of the Crosse was in esteem, as a Prog­nostick sign and fatall; especially by the E­gyptians and Arabians. The Egyptians engraved it upon the brest of their Idoll Se­rapis which they adored for their God. But better to de­clare [Page 9]how this figure came in such veneration. You must understand that the ancient Arabes, most skilfull in the know­ledge of the heavens and the force of the Stars, made for di­vers causes, Images and Figures graven in Stone, Mettals, Rings and other things; observing thereby certain points, and certain days: amongst which signs, this of the crosse was by them most esteemed, attributing thereunto more virtue and effi­cacy than any of the others; and esteemed reverently of it, in their houses, and other private places. Now let us set a part the respect that we may have of it. In that thereupon was made our Redemption, as Facinus writes, and let us consi­der this figure of the Crosse by it self, in contemplation of Geometry, it will be found an excellent and perfect figure, because it conteins equal length and breadth. It is composed of two streight lines equall, the joining whereof, taken at the Center (to the extreamest of each end) makes a perfect round, it conteins in it four streight corners, and therefore in it are the greatest effects of the Stars; because they have the greatest force and virtue, then when they are in their extreamest, and corners of the East, West North, and South, and so seated, form (by the splendor that they give) the figure of a crosse, all which things are considerable: Besides, it is not amisse to note the reasons why the Egyptians esteemed it amongst their other notes and figures, and what they signified by it. But I will speak first of some of the Figures, and Hieroglifiques of Egypt, and their significations. Before the Egyptians had let­ters, they writ their conceptions by Figures, Characters, and Ciphers of divers things, as Trees, Birds, and Beasts, or by some of their particular members, in which they were so cun­ning and accustomed, that they quickly learned to know what every thing signified, by the great experience which they had made, which the children learned from their Parents, and one from another by succession. Cornelius Tacitus, Stra­bo Diodorus, and Plinie, in many places gives reasons hereof.

First, by the Figure of a vulture, they understood na­ture, because say they of this sort of bird is found no Male, [Page 10]as Amian Marcellin writes. Lib. 4 [...] By the Sparrow-hawk or Falcon, they signified any thing that was done with great diligence, because of the readinesse and swiftnesse of these Birds. The Honey Bee, signified a King; because a King ought to have sweetnesse and a sting. By the Serpent Basilisk hold­ing his tale in his mouth, they understood the revolution of the year; because it ends where it began. The head of a Wolf shewed the Time past; because this beast hath no re­membrance. The head of a Lion, the time present; because of his strength and power. The head of a Dog licking and made sharp to signifie the time future; for alwaies we cherish him and use him kindly in hope. The Ox signified the earth; because of the great pains this beast taketh. Justice was sig­nified in the Stork, because it is said this bird susteins and nourishes the old ones in their age, in acknowledgment to have been bred and brought up by them in the nest. They demon­strated Envy by an Eel; because it accompanies not with other fish. The bountifull man was declared by the right hand o­pen, and on the contrary, the covetuous man by the left hand shut. The Crocodile, which is a very noisome beast, signified the malicious man. The eye open did denote a man obser­ving justice. By the Ear, they understood memory. To shew a man of great memory, they painted a Hare having his ears open; and so discoursing of all things, they practised these Figures, as though they had been to them written letters. Now let us return to our purpose of the Crosse. It is strange that amongst so many signs and figures, this was the most evi­dent and known figure or character, yea even to be placed upon the breast of their God, to signifie the hope of the hour which was to come: and as it were to prognosticate the ever­lasting salvation, which thereby succeeds unto us: so says Ruffinus in his Ecclesiasticall history, Marcellus and others. Here you see how the crosse was in esteem amongst that Na­tion. But on the contrary, amongst the Jews, Romans, and other people, the death upon the Crosse was reputed ignomi­nious. And the Emperour Constantine was the first, that forbad any person condemned to death should be crucified, [Page 11]for the honour he bare to the holy Crosse. But ordeined the contrary, that it should be honoured and reverenced of all; be­cause God had shewed him a Crosse in the air, with promise of victory, so that under this sign and hope of the promise, he fought with his enemie Maxentius, a Persecutor of the Chri­stians, and overcame him, as is recited by Eusebius. So the Emperour Theodosius (though it be not observed to this day) ordeined that the sign of the Crosse should not be engraven in stone or in metal, to be placed afterwards in any place where it might be broken or defaced, because such substances are apt to break, and he would perpetuate them unto us.


Of the excellency of keeping Counsell, and how it ought to be kept, with some good examples to that purpose.

ONe of the principall things which makes a man known to be wise, is that he can keep counsel, & be secret in that which hath been declared unto him by ano­ther, and to keep his own proper affairs silent. Those that shall read ancient Histories, will find infinite good enter­prises to have failed of their desired end either in peace or in war, for want of keeping counsel, and thereupon have followed an infinite number of mischiefs. But among all examples we wil consider one notable above all the rest, as proceeding from God, who so well keeps his own counsell, that he lets not any one know, (whatsoever he be) what shall happen to morrow. Nor those of times past could ever know what should happen at this hour. So in truth we may see that God himself hath loved secresie. For albeit he should declare, or hath declared some things, yet is it not possible for any to make him alter his will, For this cause un­derstanding [Page 12]men have always loved to do their business secret­ly. We read that Cato Censor, would often say to his friends, that he always repented of three things, if at any time he should happen to do any of them. The first, if he should de­clare asecret to any one, especially to a woman. The second, to have travelled by Sea when he might have gone by Land. And the third, if he should spend one day idly without per­forming some vertuous act,. The two last deserves to be no­ted, but the first serves to our purpose. Alexander had re­ceived from his mother a letter of some importance, and after he had read it in the presence of Hephestion, he closed up his mouth with his Seal-Ring, wherewith he was wont to seal his most secret letters, whereby he shewed, that he to whom one reveals his secrets should have his mouth sealed up. When King Lisymachus bid the Poet Philipides ask what he would and it should be granted, the Poet answered him, the great­est good you can do me, is that you communicate not to me any of your secrets. Antonius Sebellicus writes a notable ex­ample to this purpose. In the time of Pope Eugenius saith he, The Senate of Venice had a Captain named Cremignol, by whose treason & means the whole army wasdiscomfited. By means whereof the Senators assemble to determin what should be done in this case. Some advised that he should be sent for & apprehended, and receive justice; others were of the contrary o­pinion. At the last it was concluded that there should be no notice taken of his fault, waiting for a better opportunity: all agreeing neverthelesse that he should suffer death for his fault. This conclusion and occasion was deferred for eight moneths, with such secrecy, that there was no speech of it during all that time, which was a marvellous thing seeing there were so many Senators, whereof there was many of them great friends to Cremignol, and many of them poor, which had received from him many gifts and much riches, yet gave him no ad­vertisement. Nevertheless this thing was kept secret among them, till those eight moneths were past. Then it was ordein­ed that he should come for Venice, where the Senate recei­ved him with great welcomming and loving embracings. [Page 13]And the next morning he was apprehended, and condemned to be beheaded, which was done accordingly. This may serve for an example to all our Modern Senators, Judges, and Counsellours, that it may not happen to them as it hath done to some, which have by and by discovered those secrets which they ought to have concealed; to the shame of whom I will tell you a pleasant discourse of Aulus Gaelius in his Attique nights, and by Macrobius in his Saturnals, which is thus.

The Senators of Rome, when they entred into the Senate-house, had a custome to bring every one of them along with them, one of their children so soon as he could go, and the children of the noblemen had this priviledge, even to the age of seventeen years, that being accustomed to see the good orders that their fathers kept there, afterward coming at age to govern they might be the better instructed in publick affairs: these children neverthelesse, were so well instructed and taught, that they kept precisely the secrets that were there treated of. It happened one day amongst the Senate was put a matter to treat on of great consequence, so that they stayed long­er in the house that day than they were accustomed, and yet were forced to defer the determination of this mat­ter till the next day forbidding, to speak any thig of it in the mean time in any sort.

Now amongst the children that were brought thither that day, there was one young child, son to the Sena­tour Papyrius, who was of one of the most illustrious and famousest family in Rome. At the childs return home, the Mother would know of him, what businesse that was, that was treated of there that day, that kept them there so late: to whom the child answered, It was a thing that he might not declare, and that he was forbidden to speak any thing of it. The Mother hear­ing this answer (as it is the custome of women) was much more desirous to know it than before, so that at first by fair means and promises, she assayed to draw it from him, and at last by threatnings and beating would constrain him, which to avoid the child devised a pretty shift, [Page 14]and told her, that which was in debate and would be deter­mined the next day was, that it seemed good to divers of the Senators as well for the publick good, as for the increase of people, that every man should have two wives, and that there were some that were of the contrary opinion, maintain­ing that every woman ought rather to have two husbands, and that the next day it would be resolved on. Which when the mother heard she believed, and was mightily moved thereat, which caused her to advertise the rest of the Roman Dames, that they might provide to hinder, that men should not have two wives, but rather women might have two husbands. Hereupon the day following, a great number of the Matrons of Rome, came to the door of the Senate, praying and request­ing the Senators effectually not to make so unjust a law, as that one man might marry two wives, and that it would be better to make the contrary. The Senators which knew no­thing were abashed in such sort, that entring one after another into the Senate house, enquired of one another, from whence proceeded that dishonest incivillity of their wives, but no one of them could give a reason.

At the last little Papyrius put them out of their pain, de­claring in full councel what had hapned to him with his mo­ther, and for fear that she put him into, he was constrained to use this deceipt towards her. This being heard by the Se­nators they greatly commended the constancy of this little child, Neverthelesse, they ordered that they should bring their children no more to the Senate, onely this Papyrius who was admitted to enter.

Certainly the old men in these times, may take example by this discreet youth, and consider, that if a private secret ought to be kept, much more a publick, and especially among peo­ple of age and judgement. Brutus Caessius, and all those that conspired the death of Caesar, because they saw it expe­dient for the profit and the liberty of their Country, fully de­termined it, but would not let Cicero know of it, one of their great friends, and one that desired more than any in Rome the abolition of that Tyrannie, not for any distrust they had [Page 15]in him, but because he was not reputed a good counsel keep­er, a secret worthy admiration seeing there were so many conspirators, and neverthelesse they concealed it so long from him their singular friend.

Fulvius declares a great secret to his wife, which had been communicated to him by the Emperour Octavian, which being discovered by the wife, and came to the ears of the Prince, the Senator was sharply reprehended for his lightnesse by his Lord, whereby growing in dispair, determined to kill himself; wherefore upbraiding his wife of the wrong which she had done him, she answered him, he had no reason to be angry with her, seeing that during so long time as they had li­ved together, he could not take notice of her light temper, or having known it, would abuse it in trusting her with such a se­cret. Wherefore though her husband was the cause of her fault, yet she determined to suffer first, and indeed presently killed her self, and so did her husband after her.

We read in the life of Nero that when his death was plotted in Rome, (a thing very necessary to the Romans, be­cause of his strange cruelties) he which had the charge to give him the blow, meeting by chance one who was led prisoner, by the Ordinance of the Tyrant, and considering with himself that the perverse nature of the Emperour was such, that who­soever he caused to be apprehended never scaped death, and therefore this poor prisoner (which shed tears in abundance) could not escape it, came to him, and not considering of what importance it was to him to keep counsel, said unto him, I pray God keep thee till to morrow, for if thou scape this day, I as­snre thee Nero cannot put thee to death. Which the prisoner un­derstanding, suspected the cause to be as indeed it was, and so found out the means to save his life, by declaring it to Nero, bidding him have a care of himself. Who sent presently to ap­prehend him that comforted the prisoner, and by extream tor­ments made him to confess the Plot, and so he lost his life, and their design was lost. Plinie reports the quite contrary of Anaxarchus, for being taken for such a like thing, he bit off his tongue with his teeth; because he would not declare a se­cret, [Page 16]and spit it in the Tyrants face. The Athenians caused the Statue of a Lyon made in brasse, to be set up in the honour of a woman whose name was Lion, in memory of her con­stancy, in keeping secret a conspiracy, and this Statue had no tongue to denote secresie. The servants and slaves of Planeus are also much commended, in that there was not torments sufficient to make them confesse to the enemies of their Ma­ster (who sought to kill him) in what place he was hid. The servant of Cato having seen his Master commit some fault, was put to great torment to make him speak, and yet they could never make him bear such testimony against his Master. Quintus Curtius recounts, that the Persians held it inviolable to punish grievously (and more than for any other offence) he that revealed any secret; for confirmation whereof, he says, that King Darius being overcome by Alexander, and not knowing whither to flie, hid himself: but there was no tor­ture that could be inflicted upon them that knew it, nor any hope of recompence could make them reveal it to any person. And sayth, that the Persian held an opinion, that none ought to be trusted with any thing of consequence, that cannot keep a secret. Secrecy then is necessary in all matters, principally in War, which the valiant Captains of old observed very well. Philip son to Antigonus, successour to Alexander, asked his father (in the presence of some) when the army should move, to whom the King replied in anger, Art thou so deaf that thou fearest thou shalt not hear the Trumpets with the rest; wil­ling to make him understand thereby that he had made a fault in asking that question, which must not be answered in the presence of witnesses. There was one Mettellus a Tribune of Cicily, in the army a Roman Captain came to him and ask­ed him what he had determined concerning the war; to whom Mettellus answered, if I thought my shirt knew, I would take it of and burn it presently. Horace amongst the laws of festivals, wils that every one keep secret the things that are there done and spoken. To this purpose the Athenians had a custome, when they met at a feast, the ancientest in the company, shewed all the rest the door at which they came in, [Page 17]bidding them take heed, that by any means not a word of any thing that should be there done or spoken, should go out beyond that door. The first thing that Pythagorus taught his Schollars was to be silent, wherefore he kept them a cer­tain time without speaking, to the end that he might teach them to keep counsel, and not to speak but in fit time, which shew­ed that the virtue of secresie was the rarest.

When Aristotle was demanded what seemed to him the most difficult thing of all, he answered, to keep silence. To this purpose St. Ambrose in his offices, puts among the principal fundamentals of virtue, the patience of silence. The Ro­mans amongst other of the vanities of their Gods, had one a Deesse of silence, named Angeron, which they painted with her finger in her mouth, in sign of silence. And saith Plinie, they sacrificed to her the 21 of December, whereof Varro, Solinus, and Macrobius make mention. The God of silence was likewise adored by the Egyptians, and they pourtraied it with the finger in the mouth. Catullus and O­vid have also written the same thing; whereby one may know in what reverence they had secresie, seeing they adored it for a God. Solomon saith, that a King ought not to drink wine; for no other reason, but that where there is drunkenness, there can be no secrets kept, in his opinion; he being un­worthy to reign that could not keep his own secrets. And faith further, he which discovers a secret is a Traitor, and he that keeps it is a faithfull friend,


How commendable it is to speak little.

TO speak little, and in that little to be succinct and short is a great virtue, and very com­mendable for all men to know. Solomon saith, that much speech cannot be without much in, and he tht refrains his tonge is wise. And again he that keeps his tongue guards his soul. And on the contrary, he that speaks inconsiderate­ly, gives himself a prey to many mischiefs, one might bring here the testimony of many learned men. But the text in the holy Evangelists shall serve us, where it is said that we are bound to give an account for every idle word. The Lacede­monians amongst all the Nation of the Greeks, delighted most to speak short in such sort, that if any were succinct in his speech, one would say presently he spake Laconian. Philip the father of Alexander demanded to pass through their Country with his army, and in what manner they would have him pass a friend or an enemy. To whom they answer­ed briefly and without many words, neither the one, nor the other.

Artaxerxes King of Asia, threatned likewise that he would come and sack and pillage them, to which threatnings they answered, come and do what you will. My thinks they could not in many words have answered more gravely, The Ambassadors of the Samians made a long speech in their con­sistory, so that the Auditours being wearied with such a long discourse, gave them this answer, We have forgot the first part of your propositions, and for the rest we cannot understand it. Again, the other Ambassadors of the Abderits, for that they affected too much the exposition of their Ambassage, and desiring their dispatch for a return, was answered by Agis King of the Lacedomonians, Tell the Abderits we have heard [Page 19]you all along, and as long as you would speak. A man once speaking to Aristotle, held him with such a long prolix discourse, that himself finding his own fault, concluded with an excuse that he would pardon him, that he had used so ma­ny words to so wise a Philosopher, Aristotle answered him very mildly, Brother, you need not ask me pardon, for I was thinking of another matter, wherein Aristotle payed him, and answered in few words to purpose. We have another example of the Theeves that robbed and killed the Poet Livie, for as they were pillaging of him in the high-waies far from any company, and where none could espy them. He saw a flight of Cranes in the air, to whom he cried aloud, O Cranes you shall be witnesses of what these men do now unto me. After his death it was a long time before any could be known or suspected of the murther, till a time that there was a so­lemn meeting in the Country, at which were these two mur­therers, where they heard a great company of Cranes make a noise in the ait; whereat one of them said to his companion, in a jeering manner (not thinking any else had heard him) hark, hark, yonder are the witnesses of the death of Livie. But by chanee one that was by overheard them, and could not tell what it meant, but suspected some evill, which made him advertise the Judge and the Governours what he had heard. To make short, my two gallants were taken, and confessed the truth, and were executed according to justice proceeding from their too much talk without heed taking. For this rea­son ought to a man take heed what he would speak before he let a word escape from him, and to consider before whom and in what time and place to speak. Hecates the Greek Orator was reprooved, for that being at a feast he spake never a word, which Archimides understanding answered for him. Do not you know, that those which know when to speak well, know as well when to be silent; I might alledge infi­nite examples in divers histories, in severall times, of the dan­gers ignominies and death it self, which hath happened to men by their too much babling. Therefore a man ought well to consider before he opens his mouth, whether that which he [Page 20]intends to speak, may not turn to his prejudice. The great Ca­to called the Censorian, was from his infancy, naturally slow of speech, whereof being reprehended by many who conceit­ed that he affected too much extream taciturnity, made them this answer, I am not displeased that I am reproved for hold­ing my peace, seeing none hath occasion to reprove me for my course of life; for then (and not before) I shal break silence, and shall then know to speak what I cannot keep in. Iso­crates in his book to Dominicus writes, that there are two times set for to speak, one when the businesse is necessary, the other when a man speaks of what he knows. Plutarch compares him that speaks of what he knows not, to an emp­ty vessell, which sounds more than one that is full. The Phi­losopher Zeno shews us that nature hath given us two ears, & only one tongue for this cause, that we may hear much and speak little. Horace counsels us to shun those that ask many questions, because they are occasion of much babling. Sueto­nus reports, and divers others confirm it, that the principall reason that moved Octavian so much to favour Mecenas was, because of his Taciturnity and little speech. Cicero af­firms, that Cato the Oratour would never put any oration of his in writing, saying that if he should speak any thing he might repent of, he would not have his hand brought as a reproach against him, which he could not deny. And lest in reprehending too much speech I should run into the same er­rour, I will hold my peace with the Philosopher concluding, that I have repented me many times for speaking, but never for holding my peace.


Of the strange opinion of the Egyptians touching the life of Man, judging it by the proportion of the Heart.

WHat I shall say of this will seem novelty to some, & fabulous to others; because it is a dif­ficult thing to prove, neither do I intend to oblige my self to make it good, nevertheless me thinks the authority of those that have writ hereof is true or very likely, Plinie and Varro speaking of the time of mans life, affirm, that the learned Egyptians knew by experience, that man according to the or­der of nature, could not live above a hundred years, and if any one happen to live longer, it is by some particular influence and force of the stars, and a thing marvellous in nature. Of this they took their ground from the heart of man, in which by an A­notomy they have found experimentally marvellous secrets. For they say at the age of one year, the heart of man weighs two of their draghms, at the age of two year four, and so many years as he lives so many two draghms the heart en­creases, so that attaining to fifty years, the heart weighs a hun­dred draghms. And from that time afterwards it diminisheth its weight every year two draghms, as before it did increase. So that in a hundred years the heart annihilates it self, and the body dies, if by some other accident it be not advanced soon­er, for there are so many accidental causes which may and commonly cause death, that there are few men arrive half the way to make this experience. If this thing seem strange to some of us, yet the Egyptians hold it for certain according to divers Authors, and some, as Lewis Caelius, alledging Dies­corides to have spoken much of this amongst other notable things, as also Peter Crinit in his book of honest discipline, and Cornelius Agrippa. I scite all these Authors because it is a thing hard to be believed. Let every one then give what [Page 22]credit to it, seems good to himself. And now we are treating of the heart of man, and of so many excellencies that are in it, we will not speak of one alone, we must understand accord­ing to Aristo [...]le, that man onely hath the heart placed on the left side, and that all other creatures have it in the middest of the breast, which he affirms in the first book of the nature of beasts. Also, this is the common opinion of all naturall Philo­sophers, That the first part which is formed in man, is the heart, as the root of all the members in a humane body, fountain of all naturall heat, and the last member that dies in man, and looses its motion. It is so noble and delicate a member, that it cannot be touched, but it is present death. Pli­nie recites an other wonder which happens some times, say­ing that men have been fonnd to have the heart hairy, and he that hath it so is very valiant and strong of disposition, which was experimented in Aristomines, who killed with his own hand in battell three hundred Lacedemonians, who afterwards having escaped many dangers, by his great valour at last died, and being opened his heart was found hairy. Suetonus in the life of Caligula and Plinie, also saith, that if a man die of poison his heart cannot burn although you throw it in the fire; which was verified by the heart of Germanicus father of Caligula. So it fareth with them that die of the disease called the Cardi­ague, or griping at the heart. And we must know that a­mong the pellicles of the heart, is the seat of laughter, and to this purpose the ancient Historians write, that the Roman-Gladiators, having by any blow the caul or pellicles of the heart strook, died laughing. But even as laughter and joy proceeds from the heart, so melancholy proceeds from thence, and likewise good and evill thoughts. Speech is procreated there, and divers are of opinion that it is the principall seat and residence of the soul, which seems to be confirmed by Christ himself, when he says, that wicked and evill thoughts proceed from the heart. And that which enters in at the mouth soils not for those are indifferent things. So venerable Bede in his Commentaries upon Saint Mark, saith, The chiefest place of the soul is not in the Brain, as [Page 23] Plato maintains: but in the hearr as our Saviour Christ saith.


Of two Women; the one of which, in the habit of a man was made Pope, the other, Empresse.

I Beleeve many have heard of a woman Pope: But because, peradventure, all know not by what means, and that it was one of the stran­gest things that could happen amongst men, I will here speak of it, as it is extracted out of ve­ry true Histories. She was born in England, and in her youth grew acquainted with a learned man, of whom perceiving her self to be beloved, and she loved him no lesse, took the habit of a man, and named her self Iohn; and forsaking her Countrey, went along to dwell with him in the Town of Athens, where then flourished the Schools with all manner of Learning, and there lived some time; where by her industry she attained to so much Learning, that afterwards re­tiring her self to Rome, she read publickly in the Schools, in the habit of a Doctor: By which readings, and publick dis­putes, she so gained the opinion of the Auditors, that she was reputed one of the most Learnedst men of all her time; and obtained such favour and authority among all, that in the va­cancie of the Apostolick Chair, by the death of Leo the four­teenth of that name, in the year of our Lord Eight hundred fifty two, being taken for a man, she was chosen Great Bi­shop of Rome, and Universal Pope in the Church of God; and kept that Chair two years and thirty odde days. But be­ing in this estate, (as happens always to such ill enterprises) not having care of the preservation of her Chastitie, had the company of one of her Favourite Serviteurs, in whom she trusted most, in so much, that Madam the Pope proved with Child. Nevertheless, she hid her great belly with such care, [Page 24]that none but her Minion could know any thing of it. Howsoe­ver, God would not suffer such wickedness to last long, nor go unpunished; for as she went along, according to the common solemnity, to visit Saint Iean de Lateran, her time of bearing being come, she had publick correction for her secret sin; for comming near to a certain place which is between the Church of Saint Clement, and the Theatre (improperly called Colli­seus,) she was delivered (with great pain) of a humane creature, which died incontinently with the Mother, so both of them together (without any Pomp, or mourning) were put into the ground and buried: And for that cause, the com­mon opinion is, that all the Soveraign Bishops that have been ever since, come short of that place; and when they come near it, turn down another street, in detestation of so horrible an of­fence. And when they choose a Pope, they set him upon a thing like a Close-stool, pierced through, that they may secret­ly know, whether him that the choose be a male. Many Au­thors write of this, but I find not one that assures it: Platinus onely writes of the Election of Popes ever since, as is before recited. Of all the Authors, there is Martin and Platin in the Life of Popes and Sabollicus and St. Anthony in their Histo­ries, that write of it. I find written more, that in that street, upon the ground, there is an Image of stone, that represents the Birth of a Child, and the Death of that impudent and bra­zen faced woman. Whence we must know, (though that did come to pass as is before recited,) during the time this woman held the world in abuse, the Church was not maimed in Faith; because in it could not be wanting the Head, Christ, from whom proceeds the influence of all Grace, and the utmost ef­fects of the Sacraments, by means of which Head, the Sacra­ments have not been wanting to them that received them ho­lily, and by a lively faith; for Christ supplied this want in them by his Grace. And put the case that this woman, nor no other could be capable to receive or give any one onely Cha­racter of Orders, nor absolve any person, and that therefore they that have been made Ministers by her hands, must be or­dained a new: yet it is so, that Christ supplying that default [Page 25]in them by his grace, as we have said, there is no further need to do it over again; the truth is, she was for her wisedome to be admired in that she could for so many years, cover her estate, and live after that close manner.

But that which made Theodosia, Empress of Constanni­nople, is not lesse to be admired; because the wit the one used to counterfeit her self a man, the other used to make known to all that she was a woman; for in the vacancy of the Empire by the death of her brother Zoe, and of her husband Constantine, then made a Monk, she knew so well how to behave her self in the carrying through of affairs, she became Empress, and for the same was feared and obeyed. For without the help either of father, or brother, or husband, she governed the Empire excellently in peace and prosperity, for the space of two years, and no more, because she lived no longer; and died to the grief of all her subjects in the time of Pope Leo the ninth, in the year of grace, one thousand and fifty.


Why man goes upright: why he weigheth more fasting than when he hath eaten, and the cause why he weighteth more dead than alive, with other pretty discourses.

THe contemplative matters, concerning the com­position of man are infinite. Lactantius Firmian writes a book of them apart. And so have other learned men. In truth there is one thing amongst many others that deserves particular consideration to be known, that is, why God hath made all other creatures (except man, who is born the chief) whose eyes for the most part look downwards towards the earth, and not onely reasonable creatures, but also vegitables, as we see of Trees who have their head and foundation in the earth, and their boughs and branches above; as for man, he hath created him onely with his eys towards heaven, his [Page 26]face upwards, and his body streight up. And although by all reason, for these things it were sufficient to alledge the will of God, yet it seems this was done by a Mystery, and there­fore worthy of contemplation; so in truth our disposing or making, manifestly shews us, that we were not born for the earth, but we were created to contemplate high and heavenly things, which are not communicated to other creatures, not being capable of them, and there is none but man onely that is worthy of them; God hath created all beasts with their head downward, to shew that man onely reigns over them. One of these reasons is eloquently noted by Lactantius, saying, that God having determined to make man for heaven, and o­ther creatures for earth, he made man streight and upright and disposed to heavenly contemplation, that he might ad­mire the effects, and have in reverence the place of his origi­nall and his native Country, making all other creatures low and bowing towards the earth; because they have no par­ticipation in heaven. Aristotle that had no light of faith saith, That man onely amongst all creatures goes up-right, in respect that his substance, and his parts are Celestiall and not Terrestial. And the Office of the spirits is knowledge and understanding, in which man could not well know how to exercise, if his body were great and weighty; because the charge of his body would make his understanding dull.

Learned St. Thomas, who forgot not to discuss, and to examine any thing, leaves not this question undetermined, for in the exposition of youth and age he saith, that for two cau­ses man was formed upright towards heaven, The one that he might be the most perfect of all creatures, and he which participates and comes nearest to the quality of heaven. The other because in the proportion of his body, he is more hot then any other creature, and that the nature of heat is to ad­vance upward; other creatures keep the mean as less participa­ting of the heavenly quality, and having lesse of this heat which raiseth up. For this cause they are not of the same work and disposition as man. It seems in this St. Thomas would follow the opinion of the Platonists, maintaining that [Page 27]the heat and the spirit of man (in which be abounds more than any other creature, considering the proportion of his body) is the cause that man goeth upright and streight as he doth; be­cause by the force and vigour of the spirits & the bloud, he lifts himself upright, being helped by the composition and har­mony of the Elements, whereof man is composed, with such e­quality & weight, that he may lift up himself. Now something is in it seeing that by that part of the soul, & this of the body men are put forward to the love and contemplation of heaven, they ought then to consider and think of high, spirituall and good things, and on the contrary to despise and shun low, base, and earthly things. And yet neverthelesse, we leave our selves so to be overcome with the cares of this life, and earthly consider­ations, that most of our time we lift up our eys to heaven, but our spirits and thoughts are on the earth.

As for the propriety of the spirit of man, whereof we have spoken, Plinie alledges one thing more, which though it be not of such importance as the rest, yet it may give a tast of sa­tisfaction to him that knows it not, or would not have thought so much, though experience manifests it daily. He saith, that a man when he is dead, weigheth more than when he was a­live, and that it is so in all kind of creatures, and that he that hath eaten his break-fast weighs lesse than when he was fasting. Erasmus in one of his Problemes saith as much, and other things of note, giving the same reasons that Plinie doth, which are founded in the essence of thespirits and the air which doth lighten them as we said before. So likewise a man that is fasting weighs more than a man that hath eaten something, al­though one would think he should weigh less; forasmuch as he that hath eaten a meal, hath so much the greater charge and weight. And neverthelesse it is so, and we need not marvel at it, for eating and drinking augments the spirits and chears him, which makes him grow and increase in natural heat. From hence it comes, that when one man assays to lift up another; if he wil that is lifted up, he can make himself heavier by forcing forth his breath with in him, which if he should keep in he would weigh lighter, also one that runs breaths but little that [Page 28]he may run the more swift; because the air being a very light E­lement, desires to lift it self up high, where its place is naturally: as we see, a piece of skin of chejucel, or a bladder, unblown thrown into the water, it sinks presently; but blow it up with air and it swims above the water. In the same place Plinie saith, That a body dead in the water, when it comes to float, if it be a man his face will be upwards towards heaven, if it be a wo­man, she wil rise with her face downwards, which provident nature hath so ordeined, to cover the shamefull parts of a wo­man. There is yet an other natural reason for it. And that is, that women weigh heavier in the foreparts because of their breasts. And men in their back-parts because of their shoulders.


That death is to be judged good or evil, according to the con­dition one dies in, with examples of the death of divers.

IT is common to all, once to die, but to know when, or how, or what manner of death, is revealed to none, but all consists in being found in a good or evil estate. That death may not be termed unfortunate, unlesse that which finds not a man in that condition which he ought to be. It often hides it self, and keeps in houses and pla­ces where we least suspect. And for this cause, we ought not to live one day without consideration of it. To this purpose, examples are infinite, and I will bring some here, worthy note considering the effects are so strange, though such happen daily. Aullus Gelius writes, and after him Valerius, that there is in Italy a Town called Croton in Calabria, in which lived one called Milo, that was so strong and fit for any thing he undertook, that at all games, feasts, and publick wrestlings, never could be found his like, and for the most part carried away the victory, in such sort, that he was accounted the strongest and most valiant that could be found in his time. This [Page 29] Milo travelling over a Mountain, and withdrawing himself out of the common rode for refreshment, saw amongst other Trees, an Oak having two great branches, which some had begun to cleave by great force with wedges, and left them behind, not able to perform it, which he being very desirous to accomplish, put both his hands into the cleft, and drew till he had opened them a little more, so that the wedges fell to the ground: but whether because (it may be) his strength failed him, or that (it may be) he thought the branches were not of so great force, he let go a little, whereby the Tree closed on such a sudden, that both his hands were fast taken therein, so that he could not escape out, and none passing by to help him, he died there in great pain, and of famine, one of the most mi­serable and unhappiest deaths that could be imagined; for he was made a prey to the most salvage beasts, and so his own strength killed him. If the death of Milo was so strange, this of Echilus the Poet is no less strange; for he one day walking out of a Town in Sicilie, where he dwelt, to take a little warmth of the Sun, because it was then cold weather, and he being old and bald-hea­ded, whose head shone again with whiteness, seated him­self in a high place where the Sun beat, and having his head bare, an Eagle by chance flew over him in the Air, having in his tallons a Tortoise, and seeing the white head of Echilus, took it for a stone, and so let it fall a great heighth thereupon, so to break it, that afterwards he might get the flesh of the Tortoise to eat it; which broke his skull, whereof he died pre­sently. A wonderfull thing, seeing that he sate so high, in an open place, where one would have thought it impossible for a­ny thing to fall upon his head.

Baptista Fulgosa, in a near book that he hath writ­ten of Examples, recites the unfortunatee death of a King of Navarre, named CHARLES: this King was old, and very ill, and troubled with a great pain in all his Nerves; for which pain, by the counsel of all the learn­ed Physitians, there could be found no Remedie but one, [Page 30]which was to wrap him in a linnen cloath steeped in Aqua­vitae, and sow him in it round on every side, and he which sowed him in, having nothing by him to cut off the thread, took a candle lighted that was next him, the flame whereof took hold of the Aqua-vitae so suddenly, that before the King could be unsowed again, or have any help he was burned in the flame, and so he was cured of the pain he had in his Nerves, and likewise of all his other diseases. The death of Philemon was very pleasant, for seeing an Asse come near to a table where on there was figs, and fell to eating them, fell into so great a laughter that the end of his laugh accompa­nied the end of his life. And it is reported that Philiston the Commique Poet died laughing. And so we find ma­ny men that have died of joy, of which number was Dennis the Tyrant of Cicilie, Diagoras, and that Roman Dame, who seeing her son return home, who was thought to be slain in the battell, died presently. That death of the Shepheard Cratis, whether it be so or no, is likewise very strange, for be­ing asleep on a Mountain amongst his Goats, a Buck-Goat killed him, for jealousie he had of one of the She-Goats, with whom Cratis abhominably perverted the order of nature. Lewis Celius and Volateran recites this story, alledging for it some Greek authors. I leave divers other sorts of deaths as that of Pope Bonniface, who died mad being famished in prison. Of Richard the second of England. Of the Arch-Bishop of Magunce, who was killed and eaten up by a mul­titude of Rats. Of Decius the Emperour, of whom Familius Victor writes, that though victorious, he was found dead swimming in a Lake. In this sort in our time died Lewis King of Hungary. And Sforza (father to that gallant Cap­tain Duke Francis Sforza) drowned himself thinking to save one of his Pages. Andrew King of Provance died by the hand of his wife, assisted by some other women who stran­gled him and hanged him up. The Emperor Tiberius was al­so poisoned by his wife Agripina. So Kings, Princes, and great Lords, are subject to unfortunate and unhappy deaths as well as poor men, although somtimes they are advised thereof yet in vain.


How many Popes hath been since Saint Peter, and how the Popes came to change their names, also by whom they used to have been chosen.

ONe of the most excellent histories, and that Christians ought well to know, is the lives of the Soveraign Bishops, suc­cessours of Saint Peter, and Vicars of Jesus Christ. These are those which have been Bishops of Rome since the first Vicar of God, Saint Peter pla­ced the chair there, the Mark for his Successours, in which place it hath always been even to this day. And put the case that sometimes some of the Soveraign Bishops have been absent from that Chair and the Town, yet Rome ceased not to be the Bishoprick, and principall seat of the absent Bishop, for St. Peter placed it there first of all where it hath been ever since. But to return to our purpose, there hath been in Rome two hundred twenty and one Bi­shops, or universal Popes, as I can gather even to this day, in which Iulius the third governed; amongst which there hath been many Martyrs, most excellent Saints and learned Do­ctours; yet neverthelesse it is not without great admiration, and a consicieration of great mysterie, that none of them go­verned so long time as St. Peter did there. For it hath plea­sed God, as he excelled all the rest in sanctity, so in the posses­sion of that dignity, he passed them all, for he lived in it five and twenty years after the death of our Saviour Christ, the first leven whereof he lived at Antioch, and the other eigh­teen at Rome, where he placed the Chair. And some are of opinion that none of his successours, for the time to come, shall attain to that he did, no more than those that are past already. [Page 32]There is also another thing that I take notice of in reading the lives of the Popes, that is, that since Saint Peter to this very time I find not one that in changing of his name, hath called himself Peter, nor that had that name before his change. So that it seems, that God would put that name Peter for a foundation in the Church, and no where else.

The saying of the Translatour. ‘I know not in what place the Authour hath taken out this last opinion, for there is to be found seven (at the least) which before were named Peter. As Inno­cent the fifth, John the two and twentieth, Ce­lestine the fitfh, Clement the fixt, Gregory the e­levench, Boriniface the ninth, And Alexander the fifth, leaving out one Anti-pope.’

Yet it it is good to know from whence came the first chan­ging their name. Know that Pope Gregory the fourth being dead in the year eight hundred forty two, they chose for the Soveraign Bishop of Rome, a Roman, of Noble Bloud, il­lustrious, and of good breeding, who was called Hoge-face; and because this name seemed to him dirty, and ill agreeing with such a dignity, and remembring that our Saviour chan­ged the name of Saint Peter, would also change his, and na­med himself Sergius, which was his fathers name. From thence came the custome observed to this day, that he which is chosen Pope, may tak eat his pleasure what name pleaseth him best: And although they have changed their names, they keep still this custome, to take the name of some of their predecessors. Of these things, are the Authors, Platinus, Mat­thew Palmer, Eusebins and others, now we must understand according to what is found in histories, that even to the time of Constantine the great, (which gave so much Goods and Priviledges to the Church of Rome) because the Soveraign Bishops had been all Martyred, there was no canvasing or suite who should have it, for none desired it, but contrary, [Page 33]either by force or request, they were constrained to accept the charge, and so even till that time they were chosen to that dig­nity, onely by the Priests which were in the Roman Church.

But since the Emperours were Christians, and likewise ma­ny of the Citizens of Rome, they were chosen by the Clergy, with the voice and consent of the people. That done, they sent to the Emperour, which then kept at Constantinople, to desire a confirmation; and it seems this was to please them, or because they would have it so. Sometimes this confirmation was done by the Governour which they had at Rome, called Hyparcus, who had the authority of the Emperour, now was this confirmation by the Emperour or the Soveraign Bi­shops sure and firm, but whether for the Tyranny and per­mission of the Church, that after the death of Benet the first, Pelagius the second was chosen. But because at that time Rome was besieged by the Lombards, from whence are descended the Lombards, and also that there fell such an a­bundance of rain, that the Rivers were all overflown, in such sort, that (as Platinus saith) there was an infinite num­ber of persons drowned and perished, so that it was thought for certain it was a generall Deluge. This Pelagius was the first that governed the Bishoprick without making the Em­perour acquainted; yet nevertheless he feared that Maurice the Emperour of Constantinople would be angry at it, therefore sent his Embassadors to excuse it, and gave the rea­sons we have before recited. Afterwards, some years having past that this custome was continued without discontinuance, and Benet the second coming to be created Soveraign Bi­shop, the Emperour Constantine the fourth of that name, being advertized of his singular holinesse and great learn­ing, had respect of his authority, and sent this Pope a Char­ter or letter Patent, by which he renounced for himself and his successours, upon all reasons or pretences whatsoever, the confirmation of the Papall election, that from thence for­ward so soon as the Clergy or the people of Rome, should have chosen a Soveraign Bishop, he should be held for the Vicar of God, without other confirmation or amplification.

This was observed for some time: but afterwards, the Church of Rome comming to be afflicted, and its inheritance to be molested by the Lombards, that reigned in that Country; and being seconded by Charls Martel, in the time of Grego­ry the third; and by Pepin his son, in the time of Stephen the second; and at some other times, having some little help from the Emperours of Constantinople. Lastly, Pope Leo the third of that name, after great discord and controver [...]ies, con­sidering the great succour and help that he had from Charle­main King of France, he made and named him Emperour, and repassed the seat of the Empire to the Western parts, where it hath remained to this day. By means whereof, we may know, that either by special Priviledge, or by Usurpation of the Successors of Charlemain to the Empire, they began to set up again the confirmation of the Pope, confirming him by the Emperours, and approving the Election that is made of the Soveraign Bishops, who acknowledged them for Empe­rours, having recourse to them in their necessities and affairs, Afterwards by succession of time, and in the year Eight hun­dred and seventeen, Pasquel the first was chosen by the death of Stephen the fourth, and obeyed, without waiting for con­firmation of the Emperour Lowes, son to Charls the great; wherefore he sent his Ambassadours to excuse it, and say, that he was constrained by the people not to stay for his confirm­ation; the Emperor Lewes accepted this excuse, and neverthe­less sent them word, that he would that the ancient customes should be retained and kept. A long time after, during which the malice of men increased, there were divers scandals and disorders found in the Elections, which to remedie, Pope Ni­cholas the second of that name, in the year One thousand se­venty nine, being in publick Councel, made a Decree, which begins, In nomini Domini, in the three and twentieth distin­ction, by which he gives the authority of choise onely to Bi­shops, Priests and Cardinals; following which Ordinance, even to this day, is made a worthy and Canonical Election, without seeking or waiting for the Imperial confirmation: for this Priviledge proceeds not so much from reason, as from the [Page 35]grace and permission of the Church and Pope, to which all Emperours and Kings submit and humble themselves, as their Superiour, and Head over all, Vicar and Lievtenant of Christ, the toleration and permission whereof ceasing, the use likewise ceaseth to Kings and Emperours.


Of Men that are bred in the Sea, and some other things of note.

IT is one marvelous thing, and that which draws men into a deep contemplation of the works of God, the great diversity of Fishes in the Sea, and likewise of the Beasts of the Earth: Plinie Albertus Magnus, Aristotle, and di­vers other Philosophers treat much of them. I know very well, that a reasonable man is found no where, but upon the earth, and men inhabit not in the water; Neverthe­less I have read, there are fishes in the sea that have the shape of a man, amongst which there are male and female; and the female hath the very form of a woman, and are called Nerei­des, and the male Tritons; whereof I will not recite many things, in reckoning up a great number of men of light and small authority, which I have heard report to this purpose things strange and variable: Yet nevertheless, I will say that which hath been written by men of authority, grave, and wor­thy of credit. Amongst the which Plenie saith, That in the time of the Emperour Tiberius, the inhabitants of Lisbon, a Town in Portugal, (then famous, and is yet,) sent Ambassa­dors to the Emperour, to certifie him, that they had seen one of these Tritons retire and hide himself, sometimes in a Cave near the Sea, and that there he made Musick with the shell of a fish; and sayes yet further, that Octavius Augustus was certified, that they had seen upon the coast of France, divers Nereides or Mer-maids, but indeed they were dead upon the [Page 36]sea-shote. And so hath Nero, that amongst many fishes that the sea had cast up upon the sands, there were found Nereides and other sorts of sea-beasts, of the likeness of many beasts that are upon the earth. Elian writes as much; and besides what the Ancients write of these things, and mo­ny other such like, modern writers declare also marvelous things; and amongst others, Theodore Gaze, a man very learned in divers Sciences, and lived in our times, of whom some have writ, and in especial, Alexander of Alexandria, who sayes, that Theodore Gaze being in Greece upon the sea­coast, he saw after a great tempest, the sea had cast up upon the sands a great number of fishes, amongst which was one Nereide, or fish with a perfect humane face, and a very fair woman even to the girdle, and the rest downwards was the shape of a fish, ending in the tail sharp like an Eel, just like that which we see painted, which we call a Mer-maid, and that this Syren was upon the sands, shewing by her gesture, that she was in great pain and sorrow. Alexander says fur­ther, that this Theodore Gaze caught it, and as well as he could, put it into the water, where it was no sooner entred, but it began to swim neatly, slinking it self out of sight on a sud­den, and was never after seen. Georgius Trapozensus, a man of no less learning and authority, affirms likewise, passing by the sea-shore, to have seen a fish raise it self above water, and all that was seen from the middle upwards was the shape of a very beautifull woman, whereat he stood no lesse affrighted then amazed with wonder, and so hid himself, to discover the shape; till she perceived that she was espied, by means where­of she put her self into the water, and was never after seen. All this is wonderfull, and yet who would not believe such men, being seconded with what I shall yet say. Alexander of Alexandria, saies, that he was advertized for a certain truth that in Epire, there is a fountain near the Sea to which children went often to fetch water, and that near to that place came out a Triton, and hid himself in a Cave, and there kept himself close, till he saw a young maid alone, whom he would take away and carry with him into the sea, which he had [Page 37]done oftentimes, whereof the inhabitants being advertised, set ambushes for him, so that he was taken, and brought before the Justice of the place, where he was found in all his mem­bers agreeable to a man, wherefore they assayed to keep him and gave him meat to eat but he would not touch a bit of any thing that was offered him, and so he died as well of famine, as that he was too many daies in an Element that was strange to him, and altogether contrary to his own proper nature. This History is also recounted by Peter Gellie a Modern Au­thour in his book, that he hath written of beasts, and saies, that while he lived at Marsellus, heard an old Fisher-man report, that his father had told him for truth, that he had seen a Tryton or Mer-man such a one as we have spoken of, which was presented to King Renus.

A thing therefore so approved, and by so many Authors, and that all the world holds for a certain, ought not to be repu­ted a lie, but held for a truth.


Of the division of the ages of the World, and the notable things that hapned in them. And also of the beginning of Kingdomes.

ALthough every one takes pleasure to speak of the ages of the world, and of things that have hapned in the one, and what hath been seen in the other, yet there are many that know not how this di­vision is made, nor how many years is given to every of them. The Age of the life of the world even unto this day, is divided by the greatest part of Authors, in six parts or Ages, Though some would perswade us there are seven, which is the division which the Hebrews make: But as for me I will follow the opinion of Eusebius, and the common opinion of [Page 38]all the Historians, that name but six. Afterwards upon the di­vision of these ages, there is yet so great confusion and diffe­rence amongst them, that none can resolvedly assure himself. It seems principally the Authors divided itinto two parts. The one whereof follows the computation of the seventy two interpreters, that Translated the old Testament out of the Hebrew tongue into Greek; The others follow the Hebrew and common text of the Bible. Of all which I will recite their opinions.

The first Age of the World is reckoned, from the begin­ing that God created it to the universall Deluge, which was the infancy of the World, which Age lasted a long time. And it is to be believed, that during that time, there happened a­mongst men many things of note, although we have neither history nor any memory thereof. But that which the holy Scripture saith, That after God had created Adam and Eve, and before them all other things, and that he had given him Soveraignty over all Creatures of the earth, and fishes in the Sea. Adam begat two children, Cain and Abel, which brought forth to the world many other children, whereof grew a great people. Moses writes afterwards, that Cain built a Town in the East, which he called Hen [...]c, according to his sons name. In this time Lainech having buried his wife Biga­mus, was the first that ever had two wives, of one of which he had a Son, named Tubal, which invented Musick of voices, Vi­ols and Organs, and wind instruments. Caein invented the Art of forging Iron and Iron works, and engraving during this time the people were, as divers Authors write, of a marvellous greatnesse, and strength, and spitefull, and puissant beyond humane power. And finally, for the sin of man came a ge­nerall Deluge over all the earth, by the which all humane li­nage was destroyed (except Noah) and those that were pre­served with him in the Ark.

And this Age lasted according to the Hebrews 1656 years, to which agrees Filo, Beda, and St. Ierom, and the common text of the Bible. According to the seventy two inter­preters, Eusebius, and other Historians, it lasted 2242 years. [Page 39]St. Augustine saith, 2272. And Alfonsus King of Spain, 2882 years.

The second Age began in Noah, after he was come out of the Ark; and lasted to the birth of Abraham; which lasted, according to the interpreters, Eusebius, Isoaorus, and the greatest part of the Chronicles, 942 years. But the Hebrews say much lesse, and make it but 292 years, of the same opi­nion are Filo, and Iosephus. St. Augustine makes it 1072 years.

We have likewise remaining very little of certainty of things happening in these times, neither is there any particu­lar history to be found of them, but onely of some things in generall, touching the beginning of Kingdomes, and inhabi­ters of Provinces.

Noah came out of the Ark and planted vines, and what happened to him, every one knows; he begat children, and they also begat more, in such sort, that the world began to be peopled. Cam the second son of Noah, begat Chus, from whence descended the Ethiopians; he also begat Misraim, from whom came the Egyptians; and Canaan, from whence came the Canaanites. The other son named Iaphet, begat Gomer and Magog, from whome are descended other people, too long to recite. In this time the Tower of Babel was built; and so came the confusion of languages, by means whereof hapned (according to Iosephus in his second book of Antiquities) that men se­parated themselves into divers Provinces, and Isles to live there.

During this Age, Tubal, the son of Iaphet, came to inha­bit Spain, which he erected into a Kingdome, and there began to reign, some say he was called Subal or Tubal, son of Fa­leth, Nephew to Eber. The reign of the Scythians began al­so in this time in the North parts, and have alwaies pretended their reign to precede all others for antiquity, as Trogius, Pom­peius, and Iustin recites; so that betwixt them and the Egyp­tians, for this, grew a great controversie. In this time was found out by Cam, the Magick-Art and Incantations, who was also named Zorcastes. Towards the end of this age, and [Page 40]a little before the birth of Abraham, (according to Eusebius and Beda) the most puissant reign of the Assyrians began to raise it self, having for their first King, Belus, which some say to be Iupiter. And the second Ninus, in whose time Abra­ham was born, the which Ninus conquered a great number of Towns and Provinces. There was yet in Egypt an other kind of Kingdome named Danastia, whose first King was called Veyor or Vezor (according to Eusebius) who like­wise towards the end of this age setled the reign of the Scy­thians, in Peleponensis, now called Moors, whereof Agesi­laus was the first King. In this very time began Idolatry and Gentilism. And this is all that we can confusedly ga­ther of this second Age, in the end whereof, the renowned City of Nineve was built of an admirable greatnesse, for ac­cording to histories it was three daies journy in circuit.

Presently after began the third Age, Age. 3 at the birth of Abra­ham, continuing even to David, and lasted without contra­riety of Authours, 942 years, to which onely Isiodore ads two, which Age we may well call the youth of the World, because all things in it encreased greatly. In the beginning whereof Semyramis wife of Ninus, began her memorable acts, who feigned her self to be young Ninus her son, and having chan­ged her feminine habit reigned a long time, and conquered by arms many Provinces. She re-edified and compassed a­bout with Walls the famous City of Babylon, in this very time was the Peregrination of Abraham by the commandement of God: and the victory which he had over four Kings to save Lot whom they led away prisoner. In this time we place the beginning of the Amazonians, & likewise in Egypt flourish­ed the Kings called Pharoes. Also Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed in these dayes. In the time of Isaac, began the Reign of the Argives in Thessaly. And in the time of his chil­dren Iacob and Esau, began to raign the Kings of Cestus, the first whereof was named Acre.

A little after, Ioseph was sold into Egypt, as the Hi­story recites. And likewise how his Father and his Bre­thren [...]nd their children went into Egypt, where the people of [Page 41]Israel which were descended of them, lived four hundred and thirty years (according to Beda) and St. Augustine in his Book of the City of God. During this time, Hercules of Lybia went into Spain, where he raigned, & after him, Iuer, Brigius, Tra­ga, Beto, Gerien, and others, whereof Berosus, and others make mention, in this time the City of Scivil was built, which will give place to none in the world for Antiquity, as we may ga­ther out of Berosus and others. It was first named Ispalis of Is­pale, the son or Nephew of Hercules, which reigned in it, and whom as it is said founded it. Although Isiodorus saies it was named Ispalis, because it was built in a Morish place, and they were fain to strike it ful of piles: but be it how it wil since it hath been called Spain, as Trogius, Pompeius, Iustin, and other Au­thors do certifie. It is true that Iulius Caesar since named it Sci­vil, and greatly enobled it, and made it a Collonie, and the Ro­mans dwelt in it, nevertheles, it was greatly enobled before. But to return to our first purpose, in succession of time Moses was born, under whose conduct the Hebrews came out of Egypt. In this time also was Iob the just. Then afterwards came the De­luge of Thessalie, and many Kingdomes began to encrease in divers Provinces. In Ethiopia first reigned Ethiop; In Sicily, Si­culus; In Boecia, Boecim, And so the Countries received their names of their Princes. Then flourished the Town of Troy, & Iaeson made a conquest of the Golden Fleece, from whence pro­ceeded the history of Medea. The Amazons were then in their force. And the beginning of the raign of the Latines in Italy. In this very age Paris ravished Helena, which was the cause of the war & destruction of Troy, & of the coming of Aeneas into I­taly, & of divers other things which wil not admit of brevity.

Then failed the third Age, which gave way to the fourth. And began at the raign of David the 2 K. of the Hebrews, which fourth age dured even to the Transmigration and Perigrinati­on of the Jews in Babylon, and lasted four hundred four-score & five years. Beda saith 474 years. This age may be called the youth of the world, during which happened an infinite many things, whereof histories are full, in it was the original of the victories of good King David, he conquered the Philistines, [Page 42]he avenged himself of the Amonites, for the injury which they did to his Ambastadours, and killed the Captain of the Assyrians. After him succeeded in the Kingdom the wise King Solomon, who built the rich Temple in Jerusalem, he dead, the Kingdome was divided, Jeroboam succeeded to ten families, and Roboam his son to two.

After the Empire of the Assyrians, which had lasted more than twelve hundred years, it was ruined by the death of Sardanaepalus, who was Lord thereof, and the most puis­sant King in the world, who was killed by Arbact. And then the Empire fell to the Medes. In ths very Age began the reigns of the most puissant Kings of Macedoma. And the Greeks began to count their years by Olimpiades, which were feasts that they made from five years to five years, with certain prizes for them that deserved best. Also was that puis­sant City of Carthage built by Dido. And a little while after Rome by Romulus and his brother Remus where the Kings began to reign. The great Town of Bizance was also built in this time, which is since called Constantinople Again there hapned great wars, and mutation of Signiories in many parts of the world, whereof histories are full. And principally, to­wards the end of this age, Nabucadonozor, King of the Medes and of Babylon, fell upon Jerusalem, which he de­stroyed and the Temple also. Then led the people of Judea prisoners along with them: and from that it is called the Transmigration in Babylon.

At which began the fifth Age of the world, Age. 5 which lasted even to the birth of Jesus Christ, God and Man, our Saviour and Redeemer. And this shall last five hundred eighty nine years, by the computation of all.

During this time, there was puissant Kings, and great Republicks in the world, such as it is marvellous to read, and contemplate of the great things that happened in this Age; The Changes; The ruine of Estates; The ordering of great Armies: In brief, it is better to be silent than to abreviate them. Almost at the beginning of this Age began the Monar­chy of the Persians, whose Kingdomes were then the greatest, [Page 43]by means of the victories of that great Cyrus, which reigned thirty years, during which time he conquered and discomfited the rich King Cresus of Lydia. Then was discomfited himself, and put to death by Tomoris Queen of the Scythians.

Seventy years of this Age being accomplished. The He­brews came out of their Captivity. And the Temple that had been destroyed was re-edified by Solomon at Jerusalem.

In Europe the Romans chased their Kings and were go­verned by Consuls of which L. I. Brut, was the first, and the L. Collatine.

In Greece flourished Arms, and letters, which brought forth many excellent Philosophers and Captains.

Xerxes came thither with an innumerable army, but he was constrained to retire with great losse and disgrace.

Then came to flourish in Macedonia King Philip, who subdued all Greece, the Mother of learning and of arms, and which in this time brought forth Demosthenes, Thomi­stocles, Epaminondas, Agifilaus, Teno, Plato, Aristotle, and others the like. After the death of Philip, his son Alexan­der went out of Greece, and entred Asia, which he conque­red, destroying the Empire of Persia. And by the Victories which he gained against King Darius, he lived the remainer of his life Monarch of all the world. But he dead, the Captains divided among themselves, the Signiories and Lordships; which being so mingled bred a discord, which raised wars through all Asia, and a great part of Europe.

In like manner the power of the Romans and Carthage­nians encreased beyond measure; for all of them strove to command the whole world, and to attribute to themselves the Empire. These two forces fought divers times against one ano­ther, so that each of these two Towns, brought forth Captains excellent skilfull in arms. Carthage, put forward Asdrubal, Hano, Hanibal. Rome, Fabius, Scipio, Marcellus, Emil­lus, and others. Finally, after a great quantity of bloudshed, Rome became victorious, and Carthage desolate, destroyed, and all Affrica tributary. This Victory obteined, the Ro­mans, proud, and envious of the Greeks prosperity, found out [Page 44]an occasion of war with them, in which Greece was taken and made Tributary.

Not contented with this. Their covetousnesse made them passe into Asia, where they overcame Antiochus, and then Mithridates, making themselves Lords of Asia the lesse, as also of Syria, and Palestina, and Egypt, and all the coast on this side of France, Spain, England, and the greatest part of Germany. Of all which Conquests, the chief Ministers were, Sylla, Marius, Lucullus, Pompeius, Caesar, and many o­thers: it happened that their envious ambition, swelled their hearts, whereof bred civill wars amongst them, that every one would be a Commander one over another: but at the last, the Empire fell to Caesar, whom after many fortunes had hap­pened unto him, his Nephew, or adopted son Octavian succee­ded, who after having overcome all his enemies, he rested peaceably in such sort, that seeing himself in peace and con­cord with all the Kings and Common-wealths in the world, he made them lock up the doors of his God Janus, which were never shut in time of war. Then the accomplishment of time being come, the Fifth age of the World ended, And our Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ was born, very God and very Man, in the year of the Creation of the World, ac­cording to the Hebrews, Three thousand nine hundred fifty and two years. And according to the seventy Interpretours, Eusebius and the greatest part of Historians. Five thousand a hundred ninety nine years. According to Orozine, five thou­sand twenty years. According to Isiodorus, one lesse. And ac­cording to Alfonsus, six thousand nine hundred eighty four; which is much more then any of the rest.

At this birth of our Lord begins the sixth age, which hath lasted to this hour, and shall last even to the end of the world. And during the which, a great party of men, are governed by one man, onely the Emperour of the Romans. These Em­perours have maintained themselves in prosperity for some time, from one succession to another: but aftewards came the Goths and other Nations, and then Mahomet, who have given so many traversings to this Empire, that it is much de­minished, [Page 45]in such sort, that in many quarters of it there are per­ticular Kingdomes and Signiories taken out. By which dis­cords and coldnesse of faith, the enemies of the Church of Christ hath found means to molest the faithfull Christians, ca­sting many of them out of their Teretories and Provinces.

These computations of the times of the ages which I have recited, are taken out of the Authors alledged, St. Augustine, Isiodorus, Beda, Eusebius, Filo, Orasine, singular Historians. And for Modern Pierre d' Aliaque, and above all John Driodon in his Ecclesiasticks. The Poets gives the world four ages and no more. The first of Gold; The second of Silver; The third of Brasse; And the fourth of Iron: shewing thereby, that the malice of men beginning to encrease, the excellency of mettals decreased, to which they compared the world. As Ovid speaks in his first book of Metamorphosis.


Of the distinction of the age of man, according to the Doctrine of the Astrologers.

BY the common division of Astrologers, A­rabes, Caldeans, Greeks, and Latines, and particularly Procleus a Greek Authour, Ptolomeus, and Aliben Rasellus, the life of man is divided into seven ages, upon eve­ry of which hath dominion and reigns, one of the seven Planets.

The first Age is named the infancy, continuing the time of 4 years, in which domineers the nearest Planet to the earth, which is the moon. Because the qualities of infancy, compels us to say that the influence of that Planet, is of all others agreeable to that Age, in which the body is moist, delicate, tender, weak, and moveable, and in al things like to the moon, for a smal thing al­ters it. Its members for a little smal thing is weakned, and the members are perceived to grow in a smal time even to ones eie. These things hapned in general to all, because of the moon, that [Page 46]governs then. Neverthelesse, more to one than to another, and not equally, for as much as the other particular qualities, which hold nothing of the Moon, takes effect as the child is brought into the world, according to the state and disposition of the other Planets.

The second Age lasteth ten years, Age. 2 while it comes to four­teen. Which the Latines call Pueritia, Childhood; wherein ends infancy, and begins youth. In this age reigns another Planet called Mercury, placed in the second Heaven, this is a Celestiall body easie to change being good, with the good, and nought in the aspect with the nought. Lasting this time, then nature composeth it self to the quality of this Planet; for then young children begin to shew some principle of their spirit, be it in reading, writing, or musick, and are then tractable, and docile, yet light in their purposes, inconstant and change­able.

The third Age is eight years more, Age. 3 called by the Ancients Adolescentia, youthfull age; and continues from fourteen to two and twenty, during which raigns the third Planet called Venus; for man then begins to prompt by nature, able and strong to engender, being enclined to love, and Ladies addict­ed to sports, voluptuous banquets, and worldly pleasures, and this we must search into whether nature provokes the man to do this. For we must believe that man keeps still his own free will, either to take or leave these inclinations or influences, and understand that neither the force of the Planets, nor the power of the Stars, can but nible at such liberty, although they encline the sensative appetite, and the members and organs of a hu­mane body.

The fourth age pursues it self till a man hath accomplish­ed forty two years, Age. 4 and is called Iuventus, youth; the course of which lasts nineteen years, and hath for its Governour and Master, the Sun which is in the fourth heaven, called by the most ancient Astrologers, The Fountain of Light; The principall eye of the universe; King of Planets; And Heart of all the World. And like to it this Age, is the Prince of all the rest. And the flower of the life. During which the sences, [Page 47]and the powers of the body and the spirits, maintain and hold their ful force. And then being a man of full understanding and courage, is made to know and chuse the best things. He desires to purchase wealth, and to get himself a good name, alwaies in­clining to do well, briefly in all things, generally he evidently shews that the sun raigns over him.

The fifth Age is called Viril, manly, Age. 5 and according to the said Authors, dures fifteen years, so goes on in pursuit to fifty six years, subject to the Planet Mars, which in it self is nought, dangerous and hot, inclining men to covetousnesse, and making them chollerick, sickly, temperate in eating and drinking, and constant in their actions.

Then joining twelve to fifty six, Age. 6 you shall find Three-score and eight years, which makes an end of the sixth Age, called old Age, whereof Iupiter is the great Governour, which is a noble Planet, betokening Equity, Religion, Piety, Tempe­rance and Chastity, provoking men to put an end to all la­bour, and hazard, and to seek rest. Men in this Age do all holy works, Love, Temperance, and Charity, seeking after credit accompanied with commendation, are honest and scar­ing shame and disgrace.

The seventh and last Age, Age. 7 hath been limitted from three­score and eight to fourscore and eight, and few are found that atteins unto it. It is called feeble and decrepit. Because Sa­turn commands-over it as the most flow and highest Planet, and environs all the others abovesaid. His complexion is cold, dry, and melancholy, angry, and envious. By which means he draws these old people to a solitarinesse, choller, pensivenesse, despite, and anger. He weakens their memory and their strength, and loads them with anguish, sorrow, languishing sicknesse, deep thoughts, and with a great desire to undertake secret and hidden things, and which is more, they would be superiors and masters above all and be obeyed. And if we ever find any that goes beyond this age (at which in these daies we may wonder) he will return and grow again to be as in his infancy, and will have one touch again of the moon for his Planet, which was the Governour (as is said [Page 48]before) of his first years. By reason whereof people do the same to them as you see them do to little children, following their humours and inclinations. I alledge, that this division was the invention of the Astrologers, but let every one believe what he please.

Now we will come to the division of the Philosophers, Physitians, and Poets, which are of divers opinions. And be­cause in this discourse there are some things of note, I will treat of some of them to exercise ingenious wits.

The great Philosopher Pythagoras, let a mans life be as long as may be, makes but four divisions of it. Comparing it to the four quarters of the year, saying, that infancy is the spring time, in which all things are in their flower, begins to grow and encrease. Youth he compares to Summer, for the heat and force which men have in that age. The Viril, or mans age, is to Autumn; because in this time men have experience, are ripe, apt for good Counsel, and certain knowledge in all things. And he represents old age to winter, a time without fruit, troublesome, displeasing, and hath not the happinesse of any fruit, but what hath been gathered in former times.

Varro a learned man amongst the Romans divided the life of man into five parts, attributing to every one of them the space of fifteen years. The first fifteen he calls Puerility be­longing to childishnesse. The second he calleth Adolescentia, youth; that is to say growing, because in that time men grow. The other fifteen reaches to forty five years, and calleth it Iu­ventus, which comes of the Latine word Juvare. To signifie a time of help, because in this age men serve in actions of war, and Common-wealth affairs. And this Age is the stable and confirmed time of the life. From forty five to sixty, he calls that the ripe age of man; because in Latine such men are called (Seniores) that is in respect of others behind them. Because in this time men decline, and grow into old age which accomplisheth the rest of the life after the sixty years. Thus have you Varroes division of the life of man.

The Philosopher Hypochras divides it into seven Ages. The first and second, each of them seven years, which makes four­teen; [Page 49]The third, of fourteen years, reacheth to twenty eight; The other two, each of them seven years; and reach to for­ty two; The sixt, of fourteen years, and reach to fifty six; And the rest of the life he attributes to the seventh Age. The Philosopher Solon, puts these seven parts into ten, dividing the third, the sixt, and the seventh in the middest, so that every one of the ten parts, lasts seven years, There is the description made by the Philosophers. But Isiodore hath distinguished them into six Ages. The two first agreeing with Hypocras, making every one of them seven, and naming the first, infancy; the second, puerility; from fourteen to twenty eight, he calls Adolescentia, or the growing age; from twenty eight to for­ty, he calleth youth, which is the fourth in order; the fifth, he calls the declining age, and which begins old age, he makes of twenty years, and are in all sixty. The rest of the life he attri­butes to old age, calling it the sixth age.

Horace that excellent Poet, divides also the age of man; but it is in four parts onely; so doth Pythagoras, Namely, pu­erilty, youth, and the viril age, and old age, the which is ele­gantly described in his Poetick-Art, with the qualities and conditions of men in every age.

And neverthelesse, according to the Rule of the naturall Philosophers. The life of man ought to be divided but in to three ages; The first, the growing age; The second, that which a man continues all in one estate; The third, of the de­clining time, Because according to Aristotle, All things that are engendred have augmentation, a reteining of the essence, and a diminution: so they give to man three ages. The A­rabian Physitians have been of the same opinion. Yet ne­vertheless Avicen, a learned man, distinguisheth our life into four ages or principal parts. The first which lasts thirty years, he names Adolescen [...]ia youth; because in this time all things goes forward in growing. The second, from thirty to forty five, and he names it the time of standing at a stay, or the time of beauty; because in this time man is in perfection. From thence forward and even to sixty, he calls the time of secret de­clination, and the way to old age; and all the time that a man [Page 50]lives afterwards, he calls cleer, and open old age. Yet we must note, that although he make this his principall division, he di­vides the first of these four which is the thirty years, and makes them into three parts, so that we may say he confirms those which divide them into six. Now after al (considering these vari­able opinions) I do not know which to take to for the most true, nor indeed, can there be any certain rule given, in respect of the divers complexions and dispositions of men, as also the innabiting in divers Countries & Provinces, and feeding upon good or naughty meats, by means whereof men arrive sooner or later at old age. For this cause saith Gallen, we ought not to give a limitted time to ages, which being wel considered, wil make, that all these discordances of severall Authors not to seem so strange, seeing that every one of them have a divers considerati­on thereupon. As had Servius Tullius King of Rome, who ac­cording to Aulus Gelius had regard to nothing but the com­mon good, when he divided the people of Rome into five e­states. And separated the life of man into three parts, naming the first age to seventeen, Puerity; and then to forty six, he de­clared them men able and fit for war, and made them be listed in writing; And after forty six he named them men ripe and fit for Counsel. This division contraries not the others; because it is universal and incloses in it self the lesser and more particular, & seems to conform it self to the common divisions, which divide the ages into youth ripe age, and old age. The Viril from the time we are born to the end of youth, which continues to 45 years, a little more or lesse. So saith Virgil, Viredis (que) juventus; which is to say, green youth. The ripe age even to sixty years, which Servius names wise, and fit for Councel, and the rest de­crepit old age. The which three parts may be divided into lesse and by that means confirms the truth, which seems to be a­mongst the Authors.


What a dangerous thing it is to murmure against Princes, with a Commendation of their clemency.

THere is a very ancient saying, and prized a­mongst the old Proverbs. That Kings have large hands, and very long ears, inferring thereby, that Kings and mighty men, can take vengeance a far off, upon those that have offended against them, and also that they understand all things that are said against them in secret: For there are so many people insinuate themselves into the love of those that com­mand, that nothing can be hid from them. For this cause wise men Counsel, that no man speak any thing against the King, though in secret, forasmuch as in this case, the walls hear, and speak; and Plutarch saith, that the birds carry the words through the air. So then we see that for speaking truth, and freely, men fall into danger. What shall we judge then of him that murmurs against great ones? The examples that we may bring to this purpose are infinite. Amongst which, we may read in the Greek and Latine Histories, That Antigonus one of the Captains and successors to Alexander the great, his Army being in the field, & he being a bed in his Pavillion one night, heard some of his Souldiers without, that murmured a­gainst him, not thinking that he heard them, and indeed he made no shew, saving in changing his voice (as if it had been some other) said unto them, to hold such a discourse, you should draw yourselves further from the Kings Tent, least he should hear you. Another time this Antigonus causing his Ar­my to march one night through a muddy and a dirty place, his souldiers finding themselves weary, went murmuring & began to speak much evil of him, thinking that he had been a great way behind, and had not heard them; yet being hard by them, he understood many of their injurious words, and dis­contents, [Page 52]without being known; because it was night, after­wards relieving with all his power, a party of those very men that had spoken evill of him, spake unto them (changing his voice) saying, Speak against the King what you please, for lead­ing of you into this mirie place: but yet you ought to give me thanks, and love me, that I have brought you out of it again.

The patience of Pyrrus, King of the Epyrotes, was no lesse: For when he made war against the Romans in Italy, he and his people being lodged in the Town of Taraenta, there was some of his young souldiers, after they had supped together, began to speak evill of him at the Table, whereof be­ing advertised, and warning them before him, asked them if it were true that they had spoken such words? to which one of them answered boldly, yes; Sir, we have spoken all that you charge us with, and assure your self, if the wine had held out at table and had not failed us, we should have spoken much more, willing to shew thereby, in excuse of themselves, that the wine induced them to speak evill of him. Where­at Pyrrus was never a whit angry, but fell into laugh­ter, sending them away without any reproof or punish­ment.

The Emperour Tyberius, although he were a great Tyrant, amongst other things, hath left us to this pur­pose, notable examples. For knowing that one had made an infamous Libell against him, and that ma­ny of his people murmured at his cruelties, being per­swaded by some to do Justice upon them; answered magnanimously, That Tongues ought to be free in the Town. And being incited again by some of the Senate, to seek out for him that was the inventer of the Libell. Would not. Saying, he was not so out of businesse as to trouble himself with that.

The great mercy of Dennis the Tyrant of Sicily (al­though he were extream cruell) was marvellous kind towards an old woman; for being advertised, that this old woman prayed devoutly to the Gods for his [Page 53]health, and prosperity, sent out to seek for her to be brought before him, and asked her for what cause she prayed so heartily for him, seeing that all the rest of his people universally desired rather his death.

To whom the old woman made answer, Know Sir, that when I was young, we had over us a most cruell Tyrant; wherefore I prayed devoutly to God for his death, and my prayer was heard. After him succeeded an­other, which Tyrannized over this Kingdome more than the former, and I likewise desired his death, so that by incessant prayers and request to the Gods, desired that as they had heard me for the first, so they would for this, which came to passe, and he died. In whose place now you are come, farre worse than the two former. And because that after you, I fear another may come worse than all the three, I pray the Gods continually, that they would maintain you in long life. This free and bold an­swer of the old woman displeased him never a whit, but let her go cheerfully and freely. When Plato Prince of Philosophers (who lived a long time with this Tyrant Den­nis) asked him leave to return to Athens, and had obteined it. Dennis asked him, what he would say of him, in the Accademie amongst the Philosophers at Athens. To which Plato, with great boldnesse and freedome answered, Those which are at Athens, are not so idle, as to have leisure to speak of you or of your doings. Dennis understood well that he reproved him of his evill life; and yet neverthelesse, bore it patiently. I remember two other old women, which with no lesse freedome spake to their Kings, which was taken patiently. One was of Macedonia, to King Demetrius, son of Antigonus before named, and the other a Roman to the Emperour Adrian. To whom both made a like answer, when demanding justice to be done them: It was answered by Demetrius and Adrian, that they could not understand them. To whom they answered, that if they could not understand them, they should then leave the Empire; and yet neither of them both were angry at their [Page 54]answer, but heard them and did them true justice.

Philip King of Macedon, taking farewell of the Ambassa­dours of Athens, and making them fair offers as it is the cu­stomes in such cases, asked them if they would have him do any thing else for them, to whom, one of them, named Demo­critus, knowing well that Philip extreamly hated the Athe­nians, and could not conceal his mind, answered; We would have you hang your self by the neck. At which answer all the rest of his companions were much troubled. And those also that were there present, for fear least the King should do them some evill; but according to his Clemency (or it may be he dis­sembled) made no other shew, but turning towards the other Ambassadours said, you may tell the Athenians, That he that can bear such words, is much more modest then the wise Athenians, which have not had the discretion to hold their peace.

Demorates went to see this King Philip, at a time when he was angry with his wife, and his son Alexander. And a­mongst other discourse, Philip asked of their peace and union amongst the Towns in Greece. And Demorate knowing well that the King delighted to hear of discord between those Common-wealths, answered him indeed too freely, consider­ing whom he spake to, Truly King, because you are at dis­cord in your own house, you enquire after the discention of our Towns: But if you were at peace with your own, it would be more commendable than to enquire of the adversi­ties of others. And neverthelesse, the King was not angry, but seeing that he was justly taxed, sought peace with his wife and his son.

And if we would have examples of Christians, That of Pope Sextus the fourth, who was of the order of St. Francis, will fit well to this purpose. Being come to be Pope, one of his Religious Brothers very ancient, went to visit him in his Cordelier habit. To whom the Pope shewed his rich Jew­els and Rings, saying, Brother, I cannot now say as St. Peter said, Gold nor Silver have I none. It is true answered the Frier plainly; No more can you say as he sayed to the im­potent [Page 55]and sick of the Palsie, Rise, and walk: giving to un­derstand thereby, That the Popes were already more studi­ous to become rich, than to become Saints. And the Pope which knew his brother speak reason, took it patiently.

There hapned almost the same to an Arch-Bishop of Col­line, by a Country labouring man. For one day as this poor man was at work in the field, the Arch-Bishop passed by somewhat near him, having a Train of Guard armed in the German manner. And the Clown, at the passing by of the Arch-Bishop fel into a great laughter; which the Bishop perceiving, asked what moved him to laughter, The Country man an­swered, I laugh at St Peter Prince of Prelates, which lived and died in great poverty, to leave his successours rich. The Arch-Bishop who found himself touched, to justifie himself answer­ed, My friend, I go so well attended because I am a Duke as well as a Bishop, which the poor labourer hearing, he fell a laughing much more than before. And asking him again why he laughed, He answered very boldly, I would my Lord you would tell me, if this Duke you speak of should be in Hell, where do you think then would be the Atch-Bishop? inferring thereby, that two professions could not be in one man; for offending in one, he could not be justified in the other. To which answer the Arch-Bishop, ducking down his head, made no reply, but without any injury or displeasure shewed to the labourer, went his way ashamed.

To speak of Heathens, Artaxerxes King of Persia, knew that a Captain named Alcides, whom he had brought up from his youth murmured sore against him, for which he gave him no other chastisement but sent for him, and told him that he might speak what he would of his King, because the King could as well speak and do what he would with him. Philip the father of Alexander, having understood that Nicanor spake evill of him in publick, was counselled by some to send for him and punish him t [...]o which he answered, that Nicanor was not the worst man in his Kingdome, and he would know if he wanted not something; because he held himself tied to relieve him, when being advertized that Nicanor [Page 56]was in great poverty, instead of punnishing him for the fault he had committed, sent him a rich present; at which, he that had accused him said unto the King, that Nicanor, went a­bout the streets speaking graciously of him, to whom the King answered. Now I see Simicus (for so the accuser was named) that it is in my power to make men speak well, or ill of me.

This Philip was again counselled to banish out of his Kingdome an ill-tongued fellow, and one that scandalized him very much. To which he answered, that he would not have any such thing done; because he that would villifie him in his own Country; he would not have him go to do the like in a strange Country, giving to understand, that what he gain­ed by clemency, and noblenesse, proceeded from wisedome and good Counsel. This Prince was in these things and di­vers others very excellent; He would say he was bound to give thanks to the Governours and Princes of Athens; because by reason that they spake continually evill of him, and of his actions, to make them liars, he would every day grow better and better, in the amendment and correcting of his Govern­ment. He would never punish them that spake evill of him, but rather take away the occasion. Which rules be­ing well observed by us, would yeeld us great profit, two waies: The one to amend our lives: The other, that we should not have so many Detractors. It is truly a great vir­tue not to be much troubled at any evill, that we know is spo­ken against us in our absence. And it is a greater temperance not to be moved, or grow sour at an injury that is offered to us in our presence.


Of divers wonderfull things.

ALthough the works of nature are wonder­ful, and an argument of the infinit pow­er of the Creator of all things, yet these that are ordinary and well understood by learned and knowing men, cause not such wonder, as is the birth and growth of Man, Beasts, and Plants, and the production of their fruits, and all other like ordinary things. There are again others that are not so common, which neverthelesse do not so much a­stonish us with admiration of their nature, although we wonder to see things which seem to repugn, the common or­der and essence of themselves, as some are which are recited by the authority of great and learned men. Pontanus a knowing man, and very famous for learning, saith, That he and others have seen in a high Mountain by the Sea near Naples, a great piece of a stone or flint, which fell from thence by chance, to the which stone grew a great tree so fast joined, that it seemed nature brought it forth, and caused it to grow so together with the Stone, even as if it had been but one body, though it were perfect wood; which seems proceeded no other waies than the earth or the water mingled with the tree, which afterwards came to be converted into stone, and closed it in on all sides, and thus because it was (perhaps) in a place little frequented by any body, was wonderfull, and seemed hard to comprehend. An other thing is recited by Alexander of A­lexandria, as much wonderful, which hapned in Naples where he dwelt; which is, That an Artificer being at work upon a Marble stone, for a certain building, and sawing it in the mid­dle there was found in it a Diamond of great value, ready po­lished and trimmed by mans hand.

The same Alexander recites, that working upon an o­ther marble stone, and desiring to saw it in the middle, they found it very hard, so that they were forced to break it with a Pick-ax, which the Masons use, and there they found in the middest of it a great quantity of oyl closed up, as though it had been in a bottle or some other vessel, and that this oil was of a clear, fair, and very good savour. Baptista Fulgosa in his first book of Collections, saith. That there hath been seen, and certifies, that in a Mountain, a great way off from any Sea, there was found, a hundred fathams deep in the earth, a ship over-whelmed and consumed in the earth, but not so consumed, but that one might perceive the shape of a ship; where was also found Anchors of Iron, and the Mast, and the Sail-yard, though broken and consumed. And that which was most wonderfull is, that there was found the bones at the least of forty persons. And these things were seen in the year 1460. Some that saw it, would not believe but that it had there been covered with earth over [...]ince the universal De­luge (if before that time there were ships, and that men could fail) which may well be, for a smuch as before the Floud, all Arts, almost, were found out. Others were of opinion, that this might be some ship which had been cast away in the Sea, and that through the inward concavity or hollownesse of the earth, the water forced it even thither, whither since by the alteration of time, the earth became dry, and so there it re­mained fixt. But let it be which way it will, the chance was wonderful.

The same Author recites again, that a Stone being cut in the middle, there was found in it a living worm which was un­possible to have any nourishmen tbut from the stone.

Pope Martin the fifth, was presented with an other Stone that had a Serpent enclosed in the middest of it, which seem­ed as if nature had created it therein, and without any other nourishment it took its substance from the virtue and proprie­ty of the Stone.


That the Imagination is one of the principal interiour powers, proved by true examples, and notable Histories.

AS the outward Sences are five in number, as every one knows, that is to say Hearing. See­ing and the rest, So there are five interiour sences or powers in man, and yet some reduce them into four; but the first is the common opinion, namely the common sence. The Imagination (whereof we will onely speak now.) The Judgement The Fantasie, and the Memory. Of the Office and virtue of which sences, we do not intend now to treat of, but we will speak of the sence of Imagination, the property and office whereof is to retein and keep those Images and Figures that the common sence receives, first from the ex­teriour sence, and then sends it to the Judgement; from whence afterwards it comes to the Fancy, and there locked up and coffered in the memory. And we may he Imagination alter and move with the representation of things, although it have them not present, which, the common sence cannot have unlesse they be present. In which is shewed the greatness and marvellous force of the Imagination. We see a man a sleep, and his sences all at rest, and yet his Imagination ceaseth not to work, and to present things to him as if they were present, and the man awak. The Imagination is able to move the passions and affections of the soul, and can diversly provoke the body to change the accidents: Turn the spirits, the upper­most, lowermost, and turn the inside outwards, and likewise produce divers qualities to the members. Imagination can make a man sick or well. And so we see that it hath o­ther effects also. When the Imagination conceives something of pleasure, Joy casts the spirits out. And so of Fear, that [Page 60]draws them inward. Joy inlargeth the heart, Sorrow pens it up. The Imagination of fear, begets cold, and makes the heart to quake, puts heat to flight, and makes the tongue and words to tremble. The pitty, that is caused and put forward by the Imagination to see an other suffer, makes many times him that seeth to change more than him that suffers, as we know many times, some standers by will swoon to see another let­bloud, and alter more at the dressing of a wound, or the like, thau the Patient. A strong Imagination hath power to change things, as when we hear or see one eat any thing that is sharp or sower, we feel a kind of sowernesse in our mouth, and see­ing one cat sweet or savoury things, we seem to tast a kind of sweetnesse in our mouth, and so of bitter things.

If we would have examples of strange Imaginations we may have many. St. Augustine saith, he knew a man that as often as he list, would sweat aboundantly, stirring by his ima­gination the expulsive virtue.

He makes mention of an other, which at the hearing of a song or any mournful tune, or if a man should cry or weep, he would begin to imagine, and then faint and fall away in such sort, that he would be without any manner of sence, that even if you should burn him, he would not feel you; and yet if one had sung any pleasant tune, he would come to himself again. Plinie reports almost the like thing of one called Hermotim, who when he fel into Imagination, he changed in such sort that his spirits were gone out of his body, and then comming again to himself he would tel what he had seen.

Guillaum de Paris, saith, he knew a man that onely with see­ing a Purgation, and never tasted it, apprehending it by a strong Imagination, had as many stools as he that took it.

It is so with them which dream, for suppose it is the Imagina­tion that causeth it, yet if in the dream they are burned they will feel pain although there be no fire to burn. Strong Imagination can with such force move the kinds of things, that she imprints in them the Figure of things imagined, and then setteth them to work in the bloud, and this is of such force, that it even extends it self to the members of a third person, as we see in women [Page 61]with child, which by means of a strong imagination, that she hath of the thing she desires to eat (which is called longing) ma­ny times the print or figure of the thing is found upon the child; And sometimes she dies. So often times it happens with him that is bitten with a mad dog, by the Imagination that he hath of the dog, there will be seen in his urine, the shape of a dog. To this purpose it is written of one King Cypus, who having with great attention behold a combat betwixt two buls one day fell a sleep, having the imagination of this combat in his mind, and when he [...]kened he found two little horns like buls horns, growing upon his head; if this bet true, it must needs proceed from hence, that the vegitative virtue, being help­ed, and forced by the imagination, it carried the proper humors of engendring horns into the head, and so brought them forth.

As we have said before, the imaginative virtue hath such power and force ouer the bodies of the third person, that Da­mascene recites, That in the confines of Pisce, in a place called S. Peters, a woman was brought to bed of a savage she-child, having the skin in the form and likenesse of that of a Camel, which happened by reason, that at the conception of that child, she was contemplating upon the image of S. Iohn Baptist, that she had in her chamber: So that as we have said of chil­dren, the Imagination hath such power, that it can make the children resemble those persons that the parents do imagine and think of. Avicen also is of opinion, that the imaginati­on may be so strong, that it may make a man suddenly be deprived of the use of his limbs, and cast him to the ground, tormenting him as if he were mad. And he saith more, that the Enchantment which it brings by the eys, pierceth or stri­keth through one person to another, by the imagination of him that causeth the charm. So S. Thomas speaking after A­vicon, asks, which soonest kills a body, the melancholy ima­gination, or the delectable imagination, by the violence of the one or the other? Joy expels and forceth out the spirits, and leaves a man without life; the other binds them in so strong, that thereby grows a violent suffocation. We saw in Sivile James Osorius, who was taken by the Catholick King by [Page 62]the strong imagination of the fear which he conceived, became old, and white haired, onely in one night, being the day before strong and young. Again we see, that imagination many times makes men become fools: and at such times so ill and crazie, that its effects and power is wonderfull.


What Countrey-man Pilate was. How he died. And of the Lake called the Lake of Pilate, and of its property. And also of the Den of Dalmatia.

PIlate, the most wicked and unjust Judge that ever was, or ever shall be, was, according to common opinion, born at Lyons in France: yet some of that Nation will not have any such thing, but say, this name Pontius comes from a house in Italie, and of Pontius Ire­neas, Captian of the Samnites, which vanquished the Romans. Be it how it will, this Pilate (either for respect to his person, or to his parentage) came to be of great note in Rome; and being known to Tiberius, successour to Octavius, according to Josephus and Eusebius, was sent by him in the twelfth year of his Empire, to govern Jerusalem, and stiled him with the dignity of Proctor of the Empire. So then Pilate govern­ed the holy City, and all the Province of Judea, which is cal­led Palestina. And he held this Officeren years; in the se­venth of which, and the eighteenth of the Emperor Tiberius, according to Eusebius and Beda, he gave sentence of death upon the Saviour and Redeemer of all mankind, our Lord Je­sus Christ, God and Man: at which time came to passe those things which are written by the holy Evangelists, of his Death and Passion; whose Resurrection was so publick in Jerusalem, although they sought by all means to hide it; that Pilate thought (although he were wicked) that such Resurrection and Miracles were not of humane power, but of God. For [Page 63]this cause (as Eusebius and Tertullian recites) he adverti­sed the Emperour Tyberius, for it was the custome of Con­suls and Pro-consuls, to advertise the Emperour or the Senate what things happened in their Provinces.

This news marvellously amazed the Emperour, which made him refer it to the Senate, to sit ill Councel, to know if it migh [...] seem good that this Prophet should be worshipped for a God, which he did; because they could not without the authority of the Senate, worship any new God in Rome, without the slighting of their other Gods. But as the divi­nity of Christ hath no need to confirm it self, by the appro­bation of men onely, God suffered that the Senators would do nothing in it. On the contrary (as these Authours say) they were displeased that Pilate had not writ to them as well as to Tyberius, yet for all this, Tyberius forbad the further persecution of Christians, After these things Pilate coming to live in Rome, and confirmed by the Devil for his loyal ser­vant, did never after do any thing in his Office, but unjust and unlawfull acts. Whereof being accused before Ca­jus Caligula, Successour to Tyberius. And also to have profaned the Temple, by putting in Statues and Images, and to have robbed the common Treasury and other grievous crimes, was banished to the town of Lions; some say to Vi­enna in Dauphenie, and because this place was assigned for his banishment some say that this was the place of his birth, he was so handled, that he killed himself with his own hands, which was by divine permission, that he might die by the hand of the most wickeddest man in the world, Eusebius saith, that he killed himself eight years after the death of our Saviour, of which this accused Pilate made no profit to him­self, forasmuch as he died in despair. For the goodnesse of God is so great, that although he had condemned his son to death, yet if he had repented him of his sin, him whom he had condemned to die, would have given him eternall life. And now we speak of Pilate, I remember of a Lake so cal­led; this Lake is in Suisse, near a Town called Lucerna, in a Plain environed with very high Mountains, from the high­est [Page 64]of which (as some say) he casts himself into the water. And the common report is, that every year he shews himself there in his Judges habit, but whosoever it be that by chance happens to see him, either man or woman dies, within the year. Over and beyond this, I will bring upon the stage to witnesse it, Io­achin Vadian, a learned man, who expounded Pomponius Me­la; he writes also an other notable thing of this Lake, very true and wonderfull: he saith, it hath such a property, that if any one cast a stone into it, or a piece of wood, or any other thing, this Lake swels and grows into such a boisterous Tempest, that it runs beyond its bounds in great fury, in such sort that some­times it drowns a great part of the Country, from whence pro­ceeds great losse and damage, as well to trees and Plants as to beasts: and neverthelesse if these things are not cast in expresly it swels not at all. And this Ioachin saith further, that there are Edicts that forbids upon pain of life, for any one to cast any thing into this Lake; and that divers that have transgressed this edict have been executed; whether this proceeds of a naturall cause or by a miracle I know not, howsoever some waters have great and wonderfull properties, part whereof there may be reasons given for, and for others none.

Plinie recites a thing like to this, and saith, that in Dalma­cia, there is a very deep Pit or Den, into which if one cast a stone, or any other heavy thing, there arises such a boistrous and furions air out of it, that it breeds a dangerous tempest to the neighbours thereabout. It may very well be (but I am not cer­tain of it) that Pilates body was cast into it, and that Devil by divine permission, because of his ignominie, executes such ef­fects in that place.


Of a strange thing that happened to one of the sons of Cresus King of Lydia, and to the child of another King, a­mongst which there in a discourse. That is to say, whether speech be a thing natural to man, and whether man onely hath speech.

HErodotus writes a wonderfull thing that hap­ned to a son of Cresus King of Lydia, and so it is reported by Aulus Gelius. This Cre­sus was a rich King, and he which Cyrus destroyed, as many Historians have it. Whi­lest this King lived prosperously in his King­dome, he had by one of his wives lawfully born, a brave man­child, healthfull, and well accomplished in all his members and sences, which came to a convenient age, that he might have formed his voice to speak: neverthelesse, by some un­known string or hinderance of the tongue, he spake not, nor a long time after, although he were already grown, and fit for any enterprize. By means whereof he was reputed dumb, although he heard and understood, which is contrary to the or­der of nature, for never any was known to be dumb that was not deaf. Now it came to passe that Crosus was vanquished, and the town wherein he was, was taken by the enemy, so that the souldiers went up even to the Pallace, in which was this dumb child hidden with his father in a corner, and being found by a souldier which knew them not, the souldier drew near unto Cresus, and drew his sword to kill him, the child being affrighted at such a spectacle, wrought such a strong passion in him which made him speak aloud, the extream working that the Soveraignty of the soul hath over the body! immedi­ately the corporal organs obeyed to the strong determinati­on of the will, in such sort, that breaking the strings that tied the tongue, he pronounced, and spake with a high voice, [Page 66]saying, O kill him not, behold, it is King Cr [...]sus my father. Which being understood by the Souldier, he drew back his blow and killed him nor, who for that time escaped death: and from that time forward, the child spake, as if he could have spoken all his life time before, which is a wonderfull thing; and yet I know no naturall reason that can be suffici­ently given for it. Aristotle saith, that all men are common­ly born deaf and dumb, because they are not brought forth in­to the world with the disposition of these two sences, nor in such perfection that there is any need of them; and that af­terwards in growing, it disposeth it self and begins first to hear; and after a certain time that it can hear, it begins to speak. Pli­nie saith also, that he that is born and remains deaf, he must of necessity be dumb; for it is certain, if the deaf could hear he would learn to speak, & that it is unpossible to teach him that cannot hear. And Aristotle saith also, that it may happen that a child may pronounce some words before the ordinary time; yet neverthelesse, he shall loose that kind of speech, when the time comes that is granted to children to speak, and then they shall speak. To this purpose Plinie recounts of the child of Cresus, of whom we have spoken before, and saith, that at five moneths old he pronounced certain words, which were reputed the prognostication of his fathers ruine, and it seems that prognostication took effect, for he was never heard to speak after till that time hapned that we have spoken of be­fore. I remember an other thing that happened in the like case, recited by Alben Regel in his Judiciary, where he speaks, as an eye-witnesse, that a King in whose Court he lived, had a child, that at four and twenty hours after his birth began to speak perfectly and stir his hands, at which all that were by, wondering, understood that it said plainly. I am unhappily born, seeing that I must pronounce that the King my father must loose his Scepter, and that his Kingdome must be de­stroied. At the end of which words he also ended his life. This was a fearfull thing, and yet me thinks this was an advertise­ment sent from God, which wrought marvellously in nature. The Astrologers say, that he that is born under Mercury, as­cendant [Page 67]East, shal speak sooner then any other that speaks ac­cording to the ordinary course of nature.

I remember yet an other thing answerable to this that we have said, which is. That some are of opinion. That speech is not a thing naturall to man, but gained and learned, as o­ther Arts and sciences. Others say, in that we speak natu­rally, it is not a thing proper and peculiar to man onely. The first that are of opinion that speech is not a natural thing strive to prove it, saying it must be of force, that that which meets naturally in one kind, must be agreeable to all of that kind, even as we see barking to all dogs, lowing to buls, and so in like case to all other kind of Beasts, and yet neverthelesse, we see in men one speaks in one manner, another in another, in such sort that naturally they understand not one another, whereby it seems that speech comes rather by art then na­ture. Again according to Plinie, there are a sort of people to be found that speak not, but their speech is rather a kind of lowing or bellowing, then words, which would not happen if all spoke by the gift of nature, for if it were so, all would speak in one self same manner, as for the opinion of others which say, that speech is not particularly proper to man, they ground themselves upon that which Luctantius Firmian faith, that we have some parts in us which seem proper one­ly to man, and neverthelesse we find them in other creatures, as the diversity of voice in birds, by whose chanting, we dis­cern one from another, and yet we see they hold secret intelli­gence one with another, in such manner as you would think they were all but of one kind of language, yet they take their argument from this, that we see divers birds speak as Parots, Magpies, and the like. But the truth of this thing is, (albeit their opinion had some appearance of truth) that speech hath been given by God to Man, not that he gains it by Art, and that it is proper and peculiar to him onely, and not to any other creature. True it is, that other creatures have voice, yet they have not speech. And such is the opinion of Quintillia [...] and likewise of Aristotle. So we have a good answer to the contrary reasons. As to the first argument we may answers [Page 68]That a thing may be natural universally. But in particular it may execute at pleasure; it is naturally ill done, and that man deserves punishment, which kils another, or robs him of his goods; yet nevertheless to punish him rather one way than an­other, proceeds from the pleasure of the Judge: Therefore, although men speak divers languages, yet we must not say that speech comes not to them by nature, and by so much the ar­gument is stronger, that such diversity and confusion of lan­guages, have been for the punishment of pride upon them which builded the Tower of Babel. For as we have said, there was but one language in the world, and that was natu­rall. And as for the Troglodites which scarce speak at all, they say the reason is, because their language is barbarous and imperfect, and savours nothing of humanity; neverthelesse this was a language by which they understood one another. And as it is said again, that there are some birds that speak, as Parots, as Lewis Celie recites, one of Cardinal Askanius, which in his presence pronounced word after word all the Creed in La­tine and missed not a syllable. One may answer, that this is not speech; for they know not what they say; but it is a certain cu­stome, in teaching them for many daies together, to frame such a voice. And then, true speech before it be pronounced is con­ceived in the heart, of which birds are defective, and also to that argument which saith, we know creatures by the diversity of their voice, and that they understand and call one to another a­mongst themselves; yet it is not to be said, that such a voice is a form of speech; for as Aristotle saith, the voice looseth it self: so may we without forming any word or speech, signifie or give to understand joy, or anger, and all other universall passi­ons, as we see by the voice which we make in laughing, and pleasure; and by the sighs and cries that are made, by those that mourn. And for brute beasts, which have a difference either in their note or in their voice, one may know when they are dis­pleased or pleasant, by moving of themselves, or by high flying, where they make some other sign according to the occasion; even so words and speech, by which we shew particularly what is profitable, what is necessary, what hurtful, malice, Just­ice, [Page 69]injustice, honesty, and goodnesse. And by which, more, one may tell of things past, and provide for the future by reasons and words which declares it, and produce other profitable things by speech which is onely given unto man, and he hath it of his proper nature.


Of divers customes that the ancients held at marriages.

MArriage is contracted with the consent onely of the man and woman. But to the end that this consent be better authorized, and remain inviolable, it is requisite to declare it in words and outward signs; because God onely knows and understands the heart. From hence it comes, that men have instituted divers ceremonies and solemn words. As for those of the Christians, they are wel enough known, and therefore there is no need that I should speak of them. Wherefore I will treat onely of some customes, which barbarous nations and the Ro­mans were wont to use at their marriages, the diversity where­fore may yield a little pleasure. The ancient Romans perhaps, according to Cicero, married two manner of waies, so had they two sorts of wives, according to the divers Ceremonies of their marriage. The one was more common, and called her self the Matron, the other called her self the mother of the family; these it seems married almost as the Christians do now. For the husband asked the wife, if she would be mo­ther and dame of his family, and she answered, Yes: she in the like case, asked the husband, if he would be father of her family, and he answered, he would. Then they took one another and clapt hands, and this form of marriage was held for the most excellent: so this wife hath in the house and family of her husband such a place, as if she were the daughter of the house; because she is now placed in the number of the proper linage, & as a daughter, comes to succeed in the heritage of her husband. Boecius speaks of it amply, writing upon the 2 of the Tropicks of Cicero.

The other Ceremony was common and by ordinary words, and did not take themselves for mothers of the family, but they were called Matrons. The Romans had further this custome, that bringing the Bride to the husbands house, she sets her down at the door, and will not enter till such time as she be drawn in by force, to let them know by that she is constrained by force into that place, where she must loose her virginity. Then when they give the wife into the power of the husband, they make her sit down in her mothers lap, from whence the husband must take her by force, and the Bride holds fast about the mother and embraces her hard; and this is done in memory, that anciently the daughters of the Sabins had been taken by force by the Romans: by means of which force it succeeded well to an encreasement of that people, yet before it came to this, the Bride must touch fire and water, which was done as Plutarch and Luctantius saith, to signi­fie the generation by these two elements, because these are the two principal generative causes of all things. Others say, it was to demonstrate to the woman the sincerity and loyalty of heart, which she ought to keep, because water washes and makes clean all filthinesse, and by fire are purged evil mix­tures and refines mettals. They hold it for an ill presage to marriages that are solemnized in the moneth of May, be­cause of some superstitious vanities that they have amongst them. These things Ovid certifies, and Plutarch. They had a further custome that when the Bride entred in at the door of the house of the Bride-groom. He pronounced with a high voice Caja Cecilia, and she Cajo Cecilio. And this was because that in the time of Tarquin Prisque, King of the Romans, he had a very chast wife, sober, wise, and endued with many virtues, named Caje Cecilie before she came to Rome, she was called Tanaquile. Therefore the husband pronounceth these words to put his wife in mind to imitate her. They carry also a distaff furnished with Flax, and a spindle before the Bride going to the Bridegrooms house, to put her in mind that she must exercise good housewifery. Of these things Plinie speaks. These Romans had yet another [Page 71]custome: That when a men married a widdow, the wed­ding was kept upon a Festival or Holy day. But if a Maid, they were kept upon a working day. Of this, Macrobius and Plutarch are the Authors: And Plutarch saith, that the ce­lebration of the wedding upon the Feast daies was expressely, because then all the people be taken up with recreations and pleasures, then the wedding of the widdows was lesse taken notice of. And on the contrary, they celebrated the Maids wedding upon working daies, that they might be seen of all: But Macrobius saith, that the Maids were not married upon the Feast daies, because (as we have said) they made it a cere­mony to take her by force from her mothers lap, which could not be done upon a Festival day. I forbear to speak of other ce­remonies and solemnities of the Romans, to come to those of the Babylonians: Whose manner of marrying their daugh­ters was, that upon one certain day in the year they brought their daughters to a publick place in the Town, and the fair­est of them were married, not for any portion was given with her, but to him that would give most mony to have her, and the same course they took with them that were lesse fair, to less fair, and from degree to degree till they come to the most ug­iest of all, which afterwards are married with mony to him that will take least, which portion proceeds out of the mony given by those that took the fairest at a high price; and by this means the foul one are as wel married as the fair ones, with­out giving any mony.

Marc [...]s Amonius S [...]belicus saith, that this was the custom amongst the ancient Venetians, but you must alwaies under­stand that those which were indifferent beautiful or fair, gave no portion, nor those that took them not. The ancient French to the end their daughters might not complain of marrying against their mind, had a custome, the day that they would marry their daughter, to invite a number of young men but all of such quality as might seem fitting for her estate; at which feast they suffered their daughter to choose a husband a­mongst those that were invited, and to shew a sign who she most liked, she presents him water to wash his hands.

In a Town in Affrica called Leptine, there was a custome, that the first day that the wife entred into the house of her hus­band, she sends to borrow an earthen pot of her mother in law who makes answer that she will not lend it her: which is done that she accustome her self from the first day to endure, and bear with her mother in law, and with that churlish answer, learn to endure when she gives a true one.

The Arabes, of Arabia the happy, had anciently a custom, that the married wife was common to all the kindred of the husband: And as Strabo saith, when any of them went to her, he left at the entry of the door a little wand, that if any other should come, he might know the place was taken up, and that he must not enter, for they had that respect one to another; and he was punished with death, which entred in to a woman if he were not of kindred. Now it happened that a very fair and beautiful woman, was for that cause often visited by the kindred of her husband, by means of which importunity and frequent visitation, she set at her door a little wand, to the end that whosoever should come, should think that there were an­other before him; and by this deceipt, for many daies, no man entred, till one day all the kindred and the husband were toge­ther in one place, one of them resolved to leave the rest & visite her; and finding the wand at the door, & knowing that he had left all the rest of the kindred together, thought that some adul­terer had been with her, wherefore he went presently to adver­tise the rest, & especially the husband; who being come thither, found her all alone, and confessed the cause why she had done so: which when they considered, and found that her intention was grounded upon virtue, to the end to shun the dishonest conversation of so great a number of kindred of her husbands, and also to live in greater temperance and chastity, which was contrary to the brutish use and custome of the Country, and having in their opinion just reason for what she did, she was rather praised and commended then blamed.


How necessary water is to the life of man. Of the excellen­cy of that element. How to know that which is good.

IT seems there is nothing more necessary for the life of man than water; because if at any time bread be wanting, a man may be nourished by Flesh and other Viands, and if fire fail, there are so many things found good to eat raw, that he may be sustained, for a time, with­out fire; but without water neither man nor beast can live; there is neither hearb nor any other kind of Plant that can bring forth seed or fruit without it; all things have need of wa­ter and of moisture. This is so true that Thales and H [...]siod, have thought that water was the beginning of all things, and the ancientest of all elements: and again the most powerfull; for as Plinio saith, and likewise Isiodorus, water ruines and dissolves Mountains, reigns over the earth, extinguisheth fire, and converting it self into vapours, surpasseth the Region of the air, whence afterwards it descends to engender and bring forth all things upon the earth. So God esteemed of water, that having concluded to regenerate man again By Baptism, that he would it should be by the means of that element. And that when he divided the waters; at the beginning of the world, he had them in such esteem as the text saith, that he set them a­part, and placed the waters above the firmament, without com­prehending that which compasseth the earth.

The greatest punishment which the Romans give to those that were condemned, was that they prohibited them water and fire, putting water before fire for its dignity. Seeing then that water is so necessary for mans life, we ought with dili­gence and care, to find out that which is the best. For which purpose I will note some properties of water, alledged by A­ristotle Plinie and Di [...]scorides, and others, speaking of the e­lection of waters.

The first instruction is, That if a man travell into strange Countries, and would know if the waters there are good for his use, either there, or to transport them some where else accor­ding to his occasion, let him observe and consider the neighbou­ring Rivers or Fountains, and of what life and disposition the people inhabiting thereabouts are; if they be healthful, strong & wel coloured in their faces, without sore eyes, or legs, such bear witnesse of the goodnesse of their water, if contrary then it is nought. But if the water be new found out, so that this expe­rience is wanting, there are other proofs.

You must take a clean brasse Bason very well polished, and cast into it certain drops of the water, whereof you would make the experience, and after the water is dried, if the Bason have no spots where the drops were, it is a sign that the water is good.

It is also a good proof to boil the water in the same Ba­son, and then let it cool and settle, and after it is poured out softly, if there remain no gravel nor slime in the bottome, it is a sign the water is good. And of two sorts of water, that which is least gravelly or slimy is the best.

If in this vessell or any other you boil pease, beans, or any other pulse that makes pottage, that is the best water that boils them soonest. You must also consider, when you would make a certain experiment of waters, from what place they take their head, or original, whether it be sandy, neat, and clear, or muddy, thick, & foul, or whether there grow any rushes or any other unwholsome or naughty hearbs. But for more safety and sure remedy, if you wil drink of an unknown water, or which is not reputed good, let it be boiled a little over a gentle fire, and let it cool again. Plinie saith, that the Emperour Nero boil­ed his water so, and cooled it again in snow, and magnified himself that he had found out such an invention. The reason why boiled water is more wholesome than others is because the water that we drink is not simple in its proper nature, but is mingled with earth and air; but by the fire the windi­nesse is exhaled into vapour, the earthy parts by the nature of the fire, (which doth refine and separate the divers natures) [Page 75]descends to the bottome and there rests. By this means wa­ter that is boiled becomes lesse windie than raw water; because the windy quality that it had at the first is evaporated, it is al­so more subtile and light, being purified from the earthy parts, and so much more easie to be kept and preserved, so that it cool again, and competently kept without much alter­ing.

And by this we may know, that Well-water is not so good as others; because it participates more of the earth, and is not purified by the heat of the Sun; and therefore is more easie to corrupt; yet the more water is drawn out of a Well, the lesse hurtfull it is, because the continuall moving, hinders the accustomed corruption that fastens to waters inclosed and have no course, and then nature sends new and fresh water according to the measure that hath been drawn out. For this reason the waters of Lakes and standing Pools is the worst of all; because for want of running, they corrupt and breed evill things, and many times infect the air, which breeds dis­eases to those that live near them. We must again consider, that those waters which have their course towards the South, are not so good as those which run towards the North; because in the South parts the air is more mingled with vapours, and moisture, which spoils the water and endamages it. And in the North parts, the air is more subtile and lesse moist, whereby it swels not, nor is made so heavy.

For this cause the water that is most clear, most light, most subtile, and most purified is the best, because, as we have said before, it is less mingled with other elements, and again, being set over the fire it heats sooner then other water. So it is a sin­gular triall between two sorts of water, to see which will be first hot in the same quantity, by the same fire, and the same space of time.

And also to see which will be the foonest cold, for those are two arguments of the penetrable and subtile substance: and forasmuch as the mingling of the earth among the water, ar­gues the weight of it, it is good to choose the lightest, which may be done by this experiment.

Take two pieces of linnen cloath, both of the same weight, and put one piece in one of the waters, and the other in the other water, and let them so remain till they be throughly wet, then take them out and spread them in the air, where the Sun comes not, and when they are dry weigh them again and that piece that weighs most shews that water to be the hea­viest.

Others weigh them in two neat glasse viols, both of a weight, Aristotle and Plinie say, that the greatest cause that diversifies the quality of waters is, from the substance of the earth, from Stones, Trees, Minerall, and Mettals by which Fountains and Rivers passe, and this makes the one hot, the other cold; one sweet, the other brackish. Wherefore it is a cer­tain rule, that that water which hath neither smach nor smell, is known to be the best.

All those that have writ of water maintain, that, that which pasteth through the Mines of gold is the best. And that those Rivers are the most excellent in the world, whose fine sands engender and preserve gold.

And now that we have spoken of Fountain and River, it is fit we should speak something of rain water, which is praised by some, and censured by others. Vitruvis, Collumellus, and some other Physitians, give great praise of rain water, when it falis clear and neat; because say they, it is light, and not blen­ded, for so much as it proceeds of vapour, which by its subtilty is mounted into the Region of the air, and it is to be believed, that the weighty and earthy part remains upon the earth. And although some say, that water that falls from the clouds corrupts presently, as we see in standing pools which ingend­ers much impurity, yet we must not say it is the fault of the water, but that it is receaved in some place where either mud, or some other pollution is: and again by the means of that filth it carrieth along with it as it fals upon the ground when it rains aboundantly. Wherefore the cause of its suddain corrup­tion proceeds from that it is subtile and delicate, and by the heat of the Sun, and moisture of the water, with the mixture of much filthinesse. Yet if this water so subtile, purged, and clear, [Page 77]were received falling from the tops of houses that were clean, or at least when it falls from the clouds through the air, before it touch any thing, and if it were so received in clean vessels, it would be better than others, and would keep longer time. There are some of the contrary opinion, as Plinie, who saith it is so unwholsome that one ought not to drink it; because the vapours from whence it issues, proceeds from many causes and places, whence it receives much different qualities, as well bad as good. And shewing yet further reasons, he answers those which we have before alledged, and saith that the triall is not sufficient, to say therefore it is good, because it is lighter, for be­ing drawn out of the region of the air, for such an evaporation is drawn on high by a secret violence of the Sun, and by the same reason that is also vapour whereof the stonie hardnesse of hail is formed in the air, which water is pernitious, and likewise that of snow, he saith further: that besides this defect, this rain water is made unwholsome by the vapour and heat of the earth, than when it Rains. And for an argument of its im­purity, we cannot but see how soon it will corrupt, whereof is made a true experience at Sea, where rain-water cannot be preserved. For this cause we find fault with Wells and Cis­terns.

Upon all these opinions every one may give his own as he thinks good, as for me, I approve lesse of rain-water then o­ther, although it be more necessary, and that Plinie who finds fault with it saith, That Fishes grow fat in Pools, Lakes and Rivers, and that when it rains they grow better, and that they have need of rain-water. Theophrastas saith, that Garden hearbs and all others, water them never so much, they grow not so well as with rain-water,


Of divers Lakes and Fountains, whose waters have great proprieties.

IN this Chapter (the first that we will speak of) shall be the Lake of Judea, called Asfaltide, which since hath been named Mare Mcriu­nm, The Dead-sea. Of this water is report­ed wonderfull things, by Plinie, [...]o [...]umel and Diodoras.

First, They say there is not any fish breeds in it, nor any other living thing, and that no living thing sinks into it. So that if a man be cast in, or any other creature, they can not swim in it, nor move. Plinie and Aristotle reports so much, to give a reason of this and of its effect, they say, The water of this Lake is grosse, very salt, and thick. Cornelius Tacitus adds to it this property, That for any great wind whatsoever it stirs not, nor makes any waves at all. The same Authors, and also Solon in his P [...]lihistor saith, that at certain times there conglutinates in this Lake, a certain kind of thick substance, or slime, which is a very strong Cyment, or glew, more strong than any other which is called Bitumen, and Asfalta. We read also of other Lakes that bring forth the like kind of Cyment.

As one in Babylon, with which Cyment, Semeramis caused the stones of the great and renowned Walls of Baby­lon to be joined. Into this Lake of Judea falls the River Jor­dan, whose water is excellent, but falling thereinto, this ex­cellent water looses its great virtue, by the unaptnesse of this Lake. It is said that Domitian sent to make experience of this Lake, and it was found as is aforesaid.

Plinie writes of another in Italy, named Avernus near the Sea, in the Gulf of Bagas. And that Lake hath this property that no bird flies over it, that drops not dead into the [Page 79]water. The Poet Lucretius gives a naturall reason for it, say­ing, that for the thicknesse of Trees that are there, and because of the great shade, there comes forth such a grosse and infected vapour, that it stifles the birds. And he saith fur­ther, that this proceeds from the Mines of Sulphire that are there.

Theophrastus and Plinie, reports of another Fountain, cal­led Licos in Judea, and an other in Ethiopia, whose water have a like efficacy, and are of the property of oil; because, being put in Lamps, they wil burn.

Pomponius Mela, and Solon, writing of Ethiopia, say, That there is a Lake there, whose water is very sweet and clear yet if any one bath himself in it, he cometh out as greasie, as if he had come out of a bath made of oil. The same Vituvius reports, and saith further, that in Cicilie there is a River, and near to Carthage a Fountain, that have these properties also.

Solon, Theophrastus, and Isio [...]rus; speaking of two Fountains, the one whereof if a woman should drink of it, she would become barren. And on the contrary, if a barren wo­man should drink of the other, it would make her become fruitfull. They write also of another in Arcadia, which who­soever drinks of dies immediately.

Aristotle in his naturall questions speaks of one in Thrace, that hath the like effect, and another in Sarmatie. Likewise, Heroditus saith in his fourth Muse, and Plinie and Solon affirms it, That the River Hippenis, which is great, its water is very sweet and good; yet neverthelesse, there is a little Foun­tain which comes into it, and the bitternesse of that Fountain is so great, that it makes all the rest of the River so bitter, that it is not possible to drink a drop of it.

The same Authors, and also Isiodorus writes of two other Fountains which are in Boecia, the one of which make one to­tally loose the memory, the other strengthens it, and makes those thar drink of it remember what the had forgotten; and of one that qualifies the prickings of the Flesh, and another that provokes them.

There is one in Cicily called Aretuse, of which (besides, as one writes, it hath an infinit abundance of Fish) they write on marvellous things that is, that within this Spring there hath been many times found many notable things, which have been cast into the River Alfice, which is in Achaye a Country in Greece. For this cause they all maintain that the water of this ri­vet goeth through the bowels of the earth to this Fountain un­der the sea, which is between. C [...]cilie and Achaye. The Authors that treat of it are such great persons, and so worthy of credit, that it makes me bold to recite them. Seneca astirms it, Pline and Pomponius Mela, Strabo, and Servius upon the tenth E­glogue of Virg [...]l.

Sol [...]n and Isiodore reports of a Fountain upon which if he put his hand, whom we would have to swear and take an oath, if he affirm by it a thing contrary to truth, the eies of the perjured drie up and grows blind. And Plinio saith the like of a River which burneth the hands of the perjured, who had sworn by it, by laying his hands upon the water of it.

Philostrat [...]s in his second book of the life of Apollo Ti­anc saith, That there is a River, that if he that had washed his hands and feet in it, had perjured and sworn false, he would have been incontinent turned to a Leaper, D [...]odorus saith as much of an other River.

And if it seems to any one that these things are hard to be believed, he must know that Isto [...]orus was a holy and a lear­ned man, and hath written of them, and followed in many places the Authors here alledged and speaks of many others. As of the Fountain of Iacob in Idumea saying, that four times a year it changeth its color. And of a Lake that is amongst the Troglodites which three times a day, and three times a night changeth its sweet tast into bitter, and the bitternesse into sweet again.

And also of a Brook in Judea, which every Sabboth day was dry, which is affirmed by Plinie. Writing again of ano­ther Fountain which is in the Country of the Garamonts the which in the day time is sweet, and so cold, that it is impossi­ble for any one to drink of it. And in the night so hot, that [Page 81]whosoever puts his hand into it would be burned, and was called the Fountain of the Sun. Of this Fountain hath written for truth, Arian Diodoras, and Quintus Curstus, Lucrecia the Poet gives the reason of it.

It is a wonderfull thing of the Fountain of Elusine, which is very clear, and still, yet if any one sound any instrument ve­ry near it, it will fall a boiling that the water will leap above the brinks, as though it rejoiced at the sound of the Musick. This is certified by Aristotle in his book of the wonders of nature by Solon, and the old Poet Ennius.

Vitruvius speaks also of a River named Chimere, which water is very sweet, neverthelesse, parting it self into two streams, the one is sweet the other is bitter; wherefore it is sup­posed that it draweth that bitternesse from the earth by which it passes, and therefore that seems no wonder. Albeit it be not easie to believe the divers qualities of other waters, whereof we have spoken before, let us not wonder any more when we shall know the reasons.

The same Authors make mention yet of another River na­med Silar, which turns to stone, whatsoever branch or twig is thrown into it.

In Illirica there is a Fountain of sweet water, which burns any thing that is put into it. There is another in Epire, in which if you put a burning Torch it puts it out, and if you put it in unlighted, it will light it, and alwaies at midday it is dry, then when the day darkneth it begins to encrease again, that at midnight it will be so full that it runs over.

In Persia, they say there is a Fountain, which makes their teeth fall out that drinks of it.

In Arcadia, there are certain Fountains, which run from some hils, which water is so cold, that there is no vessel, nei­ther gold nor silver, nor any other mettal could hold it; for as far as they fill it it breaks in pieces, nor can be held in any other vessel, but such as are made of the hoof of a Mule. We will scarce believe that amongst Rivers (although very great) there are some that run into the earth, and then rise again, a good way off: if we would have examples, even Vadian in [Page 82]Spain. Tigris doth so likewise in Armenia, and Licus in Asia.

There are also Fountains of sweet water, which entring in­to the Sea, keep above the salt water. Of which number there is one in Sicilie, and an Isle named Enarie, upon the coast of Naples.

We know wel that in Egypt it rains not: but that naturally the River Nilus overflows, and waters all the ground, leaving it moist, and fit to bring forth fruit.

There are two Rivers in Beocia; In the one of which, all sheep that are dipt, it makes their fleeces black, the other makes them white. In Arabia there is another Fountain, that makes all beasts that drink of it, vermilion red: of all which waters that have these properties, Aristotle speaks copiously.

The River Lyncestis hath this quality, that it makes any that drinks of it drunk, as if it were wine. In the Island Cea, ac­cording to Pliny, there is a fountain, which he that drinks of, becomes sottish. There is a Lake in Thrace, which if any one drink of, or if they but bathe in it they die incontinent.

There is also a River in Pontus, which brings forth a kind of Stones that burn; and when there is the least wind, they light, and the more they are in the water the more they burn. They also write of divers waters which heal diseases, whereof there is one in Italy, called Zize, which heals sore eys. Ano­ther in Achaia, which if a woman great with child drink of, she shall have a good delivery. Divers others also that heal other infirmities. As the Stone, the Leprosie, and the Tertian Ague, and the Quartan Ague whereof Therphrastus Plinie and Vitruvius, speaks. There is another River in Mesapoto­mia, that sends forth a sweet odour.

Baptista Fulgosa saith, in his collections, That in our time there was a Fountain in England, in which if you cast in a piece of wood, in the space of a year it would become Stone, Himself testifies, that which Albertus Magnus speaks of, which is, That there is a Fountain in high-Germany, and Albertus saith, that with his own hands he put a piece of wood into that water, which became perfect stone, and that part that touched not the water remained wood as before, [Page 83]The same Fulgosa, reports another property of a Fountain which is very strange, for if a man walk about it, viewing of it, and looking into it, without speaking any word, he shall find it clear and quiet; but if he speak never so little when he is near, or going away from it, the water will be roubled and begin to bubble, he himself witnesseth to have seen i [...], and to have tried the experience himself, for looking into the Foun­tain intentivery without speaking, he saw it fair and clear. But when he spake the water was troubled and moved with such force, as though one had been stirring in it with something. In France there is one (as he writes) that is extream cold yet many times there is flames of fire seen to come out of it. Plinie saith that divers make a conscience to join faith to these things. But they may be well perswaded, that the great effects of nature shew themselves more evidently in that element of water then in any other. Though the wonders are so many yet ought we not to think any one of them impossible, and espe­cially those that are cerufied by such Authors as I have alled­ged here.

Again we are sufficiently certified by the testimony of those that have seen in our time, in an Island in the Canaries called For, in a place well inhabited with people which serve there selves with no other water but what they draw out of a Trough or Cistern, into which distils and drains abundantly the juyce of a Tree, which is in the middle of this Island, at the foot of which Tree nor any place near it; there is neither Fountain nor Prock, and neverthelesse, this Tree is alwaies so moist, that from its leaves, branches, and boughs, the wa­ter drops necessantly, and runs into this trough or cistern in so great abundance, that night and day they receive enough to serve for their necessi [...]ies throughout the Island, which we should hardly believe if it were but onely put to writing. Therefore none ought to think strange that which we have be­fore recited; for this element of water is so powerfull, and so necessary that its forces and qualities are neverstrange.

As for the Sea, it is said, it is more hot in winter than in Summer, and more salt in Autumn than at any other time. [Page 84]And it is a thing of great wonder, that casting oil into the Sea, appeaseth the rage and fury thereof. Again, we know for certain, that it never snows in the places near about the Sea, that are far from firm land. Of all these things many give di­vers reasons, the greatest part of which is attributed to the pro­priety and quality of the earth, and Mines whence Fountains spring, and Rivers runs through.

That it is true, it is proved by that which we see daily, that Vines and other fruits of the earth, are better in one place than in another, because in one place they are sweet, and in another sharp and sower, the one good and profitable, the other da­mageable and hurtfull. The air it self is corrupted and becomes pestilential by passing through a naughty Country. What mar­vel is it then, if water which washes and penetrates the earth, stones, mettals, hearbs, roots, and trees, take their good or evil qualities, be they as strange as may be, especially being assist­ed by the force of the Planets and the Stars.


Of many things which happened at the Birth and Death of our Saviour: recited by many Historians: besides that which is recorded by the Evangelists.

ALthough the things certified by the Evan­gelists, to be manifested by great won­der, at the Birth and Death of our Sa­viour, are most certain and worthy of all belief, yet me thinks it convenient to make some mention of other won­derfull things, that were seen by other persons that have writ them.

Paul Horatius and Eutropius, Secretaries to Octavian, and likewise Eusebius, say, That at the time that Jesus Christ was born, it hapned in Rome, that in a publick Inne, was discovered and broke forth a Fountain of pure oil, which for the space of a whole day incessantly issued out in great abun­dance; and it seemed that such a sudden spring of oil would [Page 85]signifie the comming of Christ. That is to say, anointed, by which all Christians are so. And the publick Inne in which all are indisterently received and lodged, signifies our Mother Church the great Hostlery of Christians, from whence should issue and proceed incessantly all good people. Eutropius adds further. That in Rome, and adjacent places, at high noon, in a clear and fair day was seen a circle about the Sun, as shi­ning and resplendant as the Sun, which shewed as much brightnesse or more than the Sun. Paul Horatius, writes also, that at the same time the Senate and people of Rome, offred to Octavus Augustus the title of Lord, which he refu­sed and would not accept of, Prognosticating (unknowing) that a greater Lord than he was upon the earth, to whom that title belonged. Commestor in his scholastick history affirms, That the same day, the Temple in Rome, dedicated by the Romans to the Goddesse Paix, fell to the earth ruined. And he saith, that from the time it was built by the Romans, they addressed to the Oracle of Apollo, to know how long time it should endure? Who made them answer, even till a Virgin should bring forth a child, which they judged impossible, and by that means their Temple should last eternally, nevertheless, at the Virgins bearing a child (the King of heaven) it fell to the earth.

Luoas de Tuy, in his Chronicle of Spain, writes, that he hath found in ancient histories of the Country (having conferred and computed the time) that the same night in which our Savi­our was born, there appeared in Spain at the hour of midnight, a cloud which gave so great light, that it seemed as midday.

I remember also that I have read in St. Ierom. That when the Virgin fled with her son into Egypt, all the Idols and I­mages of the Gods which were there, tombled to the ground from above their Altars. And that the Oracles which hese Gods (or to say better these Devils) gave them ceased, and never after gave them any answers.

This miracle alledged by Saint Jerom, seems to be ap­proved by the excellent Plutarch, although he were a Pagan. Who not believing any thing of these things, [Page 86]nor knowing wherefore they were come to passe, hath writ a particular Treatise of the defects of Oracles; for already in his time, which was a little after the death of Christ, men per­ceived that such Oracles were wanting. And in that Trea [...]s;e could alledge no other reason, but that there were some Demons dead. But he said it as a man without faith, because he did not understand that the spirits were immortall. Never­thelesse this thing was wonderfull, and truly worthy of great consideration to see so apparently that the Devil should demonstrate himself incontinently beaten down and discom­fited, and that after the death of our Saviour he remained so vanqu [...]shed, that never since he could give an answer. And that the Gentiles without understanding the cause, had know­ledge of this defect, by means whereof Plutarch writ this Treatise, in which are these words (whereof Eusebius makes mention, writing to Theodoras as a thing of note) I remem­ber, saith he, to have heard say, upon the death of the Demons, to Emilius the Orator, a prudent and an humble man. That his father comming one time by Sea towards Italy, and coast­ing by night an Island not inhabited, named Paraxis, as all in the ship were silent and at rest, they heard a great and fearful voice which came from that Island. The which voice called Ataman who was the Pilot of the ship an Egyptian born. And although this voice was heard once or twice by Ataman and others, yet had they not the hardinesse to answer till the third time, he answered. Who is there, who is it that cals me what would you have: Then the voice spake more high and loud and said to him Ataman, I will that when you passe by near the Gulf called Laguna, you remember to cry aloud and m [...]ke them understand, that the great God Pan is dead. At which all that were in the ship were in great fear, and con­sulted all that the Pilot of the ship should not mind it, nor speak a word of it, nor stay in that Gulf, at least if they could passe beyond it but go forward on their voyage: but comming to the place where the voice had designed them, the ship ar­rested, and the sea was calm without wind; so that they could not sail: by means whereof, they all concluded that Ataman [Page 87]should do his Ambassage, and so he placed himself in the Poop of the ship, and cried as loud as he could, saying, I do make you know that the great Pan is dead. But as soon as he had spoke these words, they heard so many voices cry, and com­plain, that all the air resounded again, and this complaint lasted for a space of time, so that those in the ship being astonied, and having a prosperous wind followed on their course, and being arrived at Rome, told of this adventure, and what happened. Which being come to the ears of the Emperour, Tyberius would be truly informed, and found that it was truth; where­fore it is evident, that through all parts the Divels complained at the birth of our Saviour, because it was their destruction. For by the supputation of time, we shall find that these things happened at the time that he suffered for us, or a little before then, when he chased and banished them from the world. It is to be supposed that this great Pan (as to the restriction of great Pan God of the Shepheards) which they said was dead, was some great Master Divel, which then lost his Em­pire and power as the others had.

Besides these things Josephus writes in those very daies, there was heard in the Temple of Jerusalem, a voice (though there was no living creature in the Temple) which said, let us a­bandon and go out of this Country speedily, which was to say, they perceived the persecution that they were to suffer, and that it drew near by the death of him who was the giver of life. In the Gospel of the Nazarites it is found, that the day of the passion, that gate of the Temple fell, which was of a sumptuous and perpetual structure. Behold how we find these wonderfull things which happened in that time, though the Evangelists makes no mention of them, as things unne­cessary.

We must needs know that this great Eclipse of the Sun, which lasted three hours, whilest Christ was on the Crosse, was not naturall, as that which we see sometimes by the con­junction of the Sun and the Moon, the Moon being interposed between the Sun and the earth. And nevertheless, the Eclipse which happened then at the passion was in opposition the [Page 88]Moon being then at full, and distant from the Sun a hundred and eighty degrees in the other Hemisphere, inferiour to the Town of Jerusalem, to shew that it was true beyond that which Authors write.

The Text of holy Scripture proves it, for it is certain that they never offered up the Lamb in sacrifice, but upon the four­teenth day of the Moon. Which Lamb was eaten by Jesus Christ and his disciples, the day before his death. As it was commanded in Exodus the twelfth Chapter, and Leviticus the three and twentieth. The next day was the feast of unleven­ed bread. Christ the immaculate Lamb was crucified, the Moon of necessity being at ful, and opposite to the Sun, which could not possibly make an Eclipse, neither could any of the other Planets do it, therefore it was miraculous and contrary to the order of nature, and onely in the power of God who deprived the Sun of its light for that space of time. By means whereof St. Denn is the Areopagite, being that day in Athens, and seeing the Sun so darkned, and also knowing as a man learned in Astrologie and the course of the heavens, that such an Eclipse must needs be contrary to the rule of nature, spake with a loud voice, saying, Either the world would end, or the God of nature suffer. For this cause saith one, that the Sages of Athens, being astonied hereat, caused an Alter in­continently to be built to the unknown God, since which time, St. Paul arriving there, declared unto them who was the un­known God, which was Christ our Redeemer God and Man, which then had suffered, by means whereof he converted ma­ny to the faith.

Some have been in doubt to know of this Eclipse and darknesse of the Sun, were universal through all the world, and grounded their argument upon that which the Evangelists saith over all the earth, which is to say, by a manner of speaking, all the Country round about. And Origen was of this opini­on. But what? We see that in Greece, even at Athens, this tene­brosity was seen, which makes me believe that this Eclipse was universal, over all our Hemisphere, and over all where the Sun might be seen. I say so, because over all the other [Page 89]Hemesphere, where it was then night, it could not be seen, the sight of the Sun for that time being not there, for it can­not illuminate at one instant but one half of the earth, because of the shadow it makes:

Nevertheless we ought to know, that the Moon being then at full, and having no light but what she hath from the splendor of the Sun, and again being in the Hemesphere, which is under us, she came to be violently eclipsed and darken­ned, by the onely cause; and for default of the light of the Sun, and so the darkness was universall over all the world, because the Moon and the Stars can give no light unless they receive it first from the Sun.


Of many passages, quoted by divers Authors, wh [...]h have made mention of Christ.

I Have divers times heard many learned and curi­ous men, which would ask a reason why, and whence it proceeds, that the Gentiles and Ethnicks, have made so little mention in their writings, of the life of Jesus Christ, and of his miracles, which were in so great a number, and so publickly manifested even by his Disciples; seeing that these Ethnicks have not failed to make mention in their books of other things particularly hapning in their times, and yet not of so great importance.

To which I answer, First, that it is against truth to say, that the prophane Historiographers, have not spoken of them: For there is an infinite; whereof I will bring some examples for those that have no great knowledge in ancient histories.

My second reason is, that we must consider upon this, that saving faith and the law of grace given by Christ, be­gun by him and his Apostles to be published through all [Page 90]the world, was accepted by some which determined to live and die in it.

Others obstinate in their vices and sins, did not onely refuse it, but persecute it.

There was again others that kept the middle, for although this seemed good unto them, yet for fear of Tyrants and per­secutors, and other worldly considerations, which made this holy profession disesteemed, they would neither embrace it, nor accept it.

The world being thus divided in three opinions: those which confessed Christ, did notable and marvellous things, whereof many bear witnesse of their truth: of which number are St. Dennis, Tertullian, Lactantius, Firmian, Eusebi­ns, and many others too long to recite.

The other wicked sort which persecuted it as a strange thing, and utterly disagreeing to their law, did eagerly pursue totally to ruine it, and to hide the miracles, life, and doctrine of Christ. For this cause they speak not of them, or those among them which did speak any thing of them, was but to make them contemned, and to cloud them, as did the wicked Porfice, Iulian, Vincent, Celsus, African, Lucian, and others, such di­vellish men. Against whom Ciprian, Origen, St. Augustine, and others, have written learnedly.

The other, which either for fear or worldly considerati­ons, refused to be Christians, or to love and to know the truth, for the same reasons; abandoned to speak of it; and if some of them have touched any thing, it hath been with jests and lies, and that succinctly enough. And neverthelesse, even as when one would hide the truth, under the vail of some colorable truth It often happens, by a certain hidden propriety in the truth, that he which would hide it disguiseth it, and palliates it, in such sort, that by his own drift or discourse, he discovereth his lies, and the truth is discovered openly and manifestly. So it hap­ned in this sort to these two kind of people. For although they strove to put to an end, and destroy the miracles and doctrine of Christ, yet every time they spake of them, they spake some­thing by which they discovered their malice, and the sincerity of that doctrine.

I could speak of many things that the Sibils have said and written; but because that which they spake proceeded not from their own proper judgement, but from the spirit of prophesie, and as God had communicated it to them, although they were Heathens, I will leave them to come to other autho­rities.

The first and most evident testimony, though it be the most common, is that of our greatest enemies, in the number of which is Iosephus, by linage and nation a Jew, and also by his life and profession. He saith these words. [In these very times lived Jesus, a very wise man, if it be lawful to call him man, because in truth he doth marvellous things, and was master, and Tutor to them that loved him and sought the truth. The Jews and Gentiles assembled unto him and followed him in great troups. And he was the Christ. And although he were after­wards accused by the principals of our faith, and crucified, yet was he not cast off by them which had followed him before. And three days after his death he appeared alive unto them, ac­cording as the Prophets inspired by God, had foretold and prophesied of him. And yet in our time the doctrine and the name of Christians, continues all the world over.] These are the words of Josephus, who writ of the destruction of Jerusa­lem, as an eye-witnesse, which hapned fourty years after the death of Christ.

Pilate likewise, that gave the sentence of death against him, neverthelesse bears witnesse of his great miracles: sending word of them by letters to the Emperour Tyberius, so that the Senate was put to sit in Councell to advise, whether they should receive Jesus Christ for a God? and although they did not assent unto it, Tyberius forbad any further persecuting the Christians.

As for the Earth-quake and the darknesse of the Sun, du­ring the time that Christ suffered upon the Crosse, we have also Ethnicks for witnesses. Flegon the Greek Historiogra­pher born in Asia, of whom Suydas makes speciall mention. That in the fourth year of the two hundred and tenth Olym­piade, which will meet being well accounted, with the eigh­teenth [Page 92]year of the Emperour Tiberius, which was then when our Saviour suffered. There was an eclipse of the Sun, the greatest that ever was seen or found in any History: and that it endured from the sixth to the ninth hour. And that during this eclipse, the Earth-quake was so great in Asia, and Bithi­nia, that there were an infinite number of houses fell to the ground. It seems besides, Flegon, who lived in those times, and writ this, that Plinie vented and writ the same thing. For he saith, that in the time of the Emperour Tyberius, the Earth-quake was greater than ever was any before it: and saith, thereby was thrown to the earth and ruined twelve Towns in Asia, besides an infinite of other buildings. So that the Hi­storiographers who were Gentiles, (although they knew not the cause) forbear not to write of the miracles of Christ. The o­ther miracle of the vail of the Temple which rent in sunder Io­sephus recites it also.

Of the cruell death of the innocent children, which Herod caused to die, mention is made of it by another. Jew, named Filon a writer of great authority: In his abridgement of time; where he saith, that Herod caused many children to be put to death; and among them his own son: because that he had heard that Christ a King, promised to the Hebrews, was born: and this Authour was in the times of the other Herod, called the Tetrark, as he himself saith.

This History is again more amply recited by Macrob [...]us, an Ethnick Historioagrapher, who recites some pleasant and witty speeches of the Emperour Octavian, (in whose time our Saviour lived,) saying that the Emperour having heard of the cruelty of Herod towards his son, and the other innocents, said it was better in Herods house to be his hog than his child; be­cause the Jews killed no swine: which witty conceit is alledged also by Dion, in the life of the same Emperour. So that there are many miracles, whereof the Jews and the Gentiles (not thinking of it) be or witness to have been done by Christ, be­sides those that the Christians make mention of. What should we say any more, of that the ancient Emperours have tasted of our belief, and of that which they have done against the Chri­stians?

The first Vicar of God St. Peter, and likewise St. Paul, died by the commandment of Nero the Emperour, thirty six years after the death of our Saviour, and then was the great persecution of the Church, of which the Gentiles have not o­mitted to make mention. And particularly, Suetonus, Tran­quillus, and Corneli [...]s Tacitus, who lived in those times, and of great authority.

Suetonus, in the life of Nero, speaking of some of his de­crees and ordinances, saith, that he tormented and afflicted with great punishment, a sort of people which called them­selves Christians, and followed a certain belief and new Re­ligion, and Cernelius Tacitus. treatingon the acts of the same Nero, saith, that he persecuted and punished with terrible tor­ments, a sort of people which the vulgar called Christians. And that the Author of this name, was Christ of Jerusalem, whom Pilate the Governour of Judea, had caused to be cru­cified, and by the means of his death his doctrine began to be extolled. But now let us see what some other Gentiles write that are not of lesse authority.

Plinie in some of his elegant Epistles, writes to the Empe­rour Trajan, whose Proconful he was in Asia, to know how he would that he should punish the Christians, which were ac­cused and brought before him: that he might give his Lord a good account of what he found against them. Amongst other things he writes, that these Christians rose at certain hours in the night, and assembled themselves together to sing hymns and praises to Jesus Christ, whom they worshipped for God. And being assembled into a Congregation they made vows to do no evil or hurt to any; but promised not to steal, not to be a­dulterers, not to break their promises or vows, not to deny what hath been lent or given them to keep. And this Plinie saith further, that they eat altogether, without possessing any thing in proper.

By this we may know what was then the exercise of Chri­stians, and for what the world hated them and persecuted them. These things were written by a Heathen and an Idola­ter sixty years after the Passion of our Saviour.

To which letters the Emperour made answer, that seeing they were not accused for any excesse or other misdeeds, that he should not trouble himself to punish them, or make any in­quisition against them. Yet neverthelesse, if they were accused and brought before him, that he should find out a means to make them forsake their Religion; but if they would not leave it, yet he should do nothing to them.

Before this, it is true that this Emperour Traian, being a Heathen, and deceived by accusers, had persecuted the Christi­ans. To which Empire afterwards succeeded Adrian his Ne­phew, of whom Aelius Lampridius, a Heathen Historiagra­pher, and an Idolater writes, that he began to honour the Chri­stians, suffering them to live in their belief, and he himself worshipped Christ with the others, and built Temples; but afterwards he changed his copy, and became hatefull, odious, and cruell towards the Christians, being deceived and abused by the Masters and their false ceremonies, and by the Bishops of those false Gods; telling him, that if he favoured the Christi­ans, all the world would be converted to their belief; and they should loose the religion of their Gods. This is certified by Peter Criniff. It is found in the life of Saturninus, that to this Empeaour Adrian, there was a letter sent by Severinus the Consul, where he writes, that there was in Egypt divers Chri­stians, amongst which some called themselves Bishops, and that none of them were idle, but that all of them did work, and employed themselves in some action, and that there was not amongst them, even those that were blind and lame, that did not live by the labor of their hands, and that they all worship­ped one God, which was also worshipped by the Jews.

We also read in the History of these times, that this Em­perour beginning to persecute the Christians, by the perswa­sion of their chief Bishops, there was one of his Embassadors called Serene Eramy, an Ethnick like himself, which writ a letter unto him, in which he said in his opinion, it was cruelty to oppress the Christians, being accused for no other thing than observing their Religion, seeing that he found them not charged with any other crime or trespasse. By means of [Page 95]which letter. The Emperour Adrian, forbade Minus Fon­dan Proconful in Asia, to condemn any Christian if he were not convicted of any other crime, than that of Christian Re­ligion.


What opinions the ancient Emperours have had of the per­son of Christ, by the Testimony which Ethnick Historia­graphers, give of them.

TO this Emperour Adrian, of whom we have spoken in the last Chapter, succeeded An­toninus Debonair, who although he had that name, was perverse and wicked, he favour­ed ill the belief of Christ, and persecuted the Christians. But his Successour, Marcus Au­relius, was more moderate to them; for instead of persecuting them, he led them along with him in his army; by whose prayers he was delivered from the danger wherein he was for want of water, which his enemies had cut from him, because he sent them water, and to his enemies Thunder-bolts and Thun­der. Of these things are made mention in one of his leters, and Julius Capitoline also speaks of it, although he doth not attri­bute it all to the Christians, These hapned about the forty and five years after the Passion of our Saviour. The fifteenth or twentieth year following, Severus being chosen Emperor, Elius Spartine an Ethnick like himself (writ that he should make a law) by which he should forbid upon pain of great punishment that none should turn Christian nor Jew. After which Se­verus, Antoninus Heliogabolus was Emperor, who as Lam­pridius recites, that writ his life, caused a Temple to be built in Rome, dedicated to his God onely, to which he would have the Christians resort to perform their sacrifices, which the Christians would not do. After this Heliogabolus, succeeded the Emperour Alexander Severus, in the year of our Savi­our [Page 96]one hundred ninety two; and was in great doubt, whether or no he should become a Christian. Also we find by the hi­story that is written of him, that he had a good opinion of that belief, and that he much esteemed of the Christians, and gave them places, and plots for buildings, in Rome, to make their Temples and places for prayer. He kept the picture of our Saviour in his closset. This is written by Elius Lampridi­us, besides what the Christians write. And he saith further, that divers Victuallers and Pastry-Cooks, went to the Empe­rour with a complaint against the Christians, that they had ta­ken away their harbours and their houses, to make places for their superstitious hypocrisie, and that they observed a Religi­on contrary to that of the Romans. To which complaint the Emperour made answer, that he had rather God should be worshipped in those places, than to imploy them in the affairs of their vocations.

This Severus being dead, Maximinian succeeded him, an enemy and persecutor of the Christians; but he lived not long, and died an ill death.

Since whom and two others more, which lived but a short while, the Empire fell into the hands of Philip, who was baptized as some say, and was the first that received the Christians, Eusebius affirmeth it; yet the Heathen Historio­graphers, write nothing of it.

Every day God enlightned more and more the hearts of men, and a great number were converted to the Christian faith in spight of Decius and Dioclesian and others such like, and even till they being weary of persecuting them, they con­nived at them, and suffered them for a time, as appears clear­ly by a letter of Maximinian the Emperour, a companion to Dioclesian, which was two hundred years after our Re­demption. Which letter saith as followeth,

Caesar Maximinian invincible great Bishop of Germa­ny, Egypt, Thebes, Sarmacia, Persia, Armenia, and victo­rious over the Medes, and for his victories named nineteen times Emperour, and eight times Consul, and father of his Country. At the beginning of our Empire. Amongst other [Page 97]things which we determined to do for the publick good, we do ordain, that the order which was kept in all things, strength­ened by our ancient Laws, be conserved and kept. And for the same reason we command, that those men which call themselves Christians, and have forsaken our ancient Religion, be pressed, constrained, and forced to forsake the new Reli­gion which they have taken up; and that they observe our an­cient Religion, established by our predecessors. But being it is come to our knowledge, notwithstanding this commandment, and rigour used against them to make them observe it, they have not left to follow their own wils; and are so firm, and constant to their purposes, that there is neither force nor pu­nishment so grievous which can make them draw back from their Religion, or make them observe ours; but will rather ex­pose themselves to grievous torments, and death it self; and that they are still at this day in the same constancie, and will not reverence or worship any of the gods in Rome; our of­ten remembring of our accustomed clemencie and pity, deter­mined to be used towards the Christians, for that cause we do from hence-forward permit and suffer, that all persons may make and call themselves Christians, have places for their meetings, and build themselves Temples, where they may pray and sacrifice: Which licence and leave we grant unto them, upon condition they shall not do any thing contrary to our Common-wealth and Religion: and that in other things they shall observe our Laws and Constitutions; and that in acknowledgement of this permission, they shall be bound to pray to their God for our life, and health, and also for the estate of the Common-wealth of Rome, that the Town be­ing prosperous and entire, they themselves may live of their labour in rest and safety. O truly unfortunate Emperour! if thou shouldest force the Christians to leave and renounce their Faith as wicked, how wouldest thou have them pray for thee, and force them to have remembrance of thee in their prayers. At the least this Letter will serve us, in that thou thy self doest testifie of the Constancy, Virtue, and Spirit, that the Martyrs, and holy Christians had, in suffering patiently, [Page 98]for a long space of time, the torment, and punishments, that were inflicted upon them for the love of Christ.

Now sometime after Maximinian, there came to succeed in the Empire Constantine, which was surnamed The great, son of that good Dame Hellen, which found the true crosse, which was about two hundred and ninety years after the Re­demption of Mankind. He was a good Christian, and did so many good deeds for the honour of God, and the holy Church and the Ministers thereof, that it would be long to recite them. He suffered all indifferently to become Christians, for whom he built sumptuous Temples, and those which had been for­merly dedicated to Idols, he dedicated to the service of Christ, and his members. Since which time, although the Church of God hath suffered scandals and persecutions, as those of Iuli­an the Apostata; and others, yet alwaies, and in many places of the world, Christ hath been publickly worshipped and from thence forward, all histories are full of the acts of the Saints: and the greatest part of the subsequent Emperours, have been faithfull Catholicks, as Theodosius, Iustinian and others. I could bring many authorities of Ethnick Historiographers, that have written of Christ, but I would help my self with this small number onely, because they are famous and of great authority.


Of the Amity and Enmity, which by a secret property, are in many things.

THe ancient Philosopher Heraclitus, and divers others since him, have been of opinion, that all things are occasioned by concord and dis­concord, and that by peace and enmity which is in all things, comes the generation and cor­ruption of them, of which Philosophie I will not now treat of, as well because the Subject would be difficult for me, as that [Page 99]the reader would receive little pleasure. Howsoever we will speak of the love and enmity which is between many things, that none knoweth truly from whence the cause proceeds, which in truth is a thing very wonderfull, as that which is be­tween the dog and the cat, between oyl and glew, between the stag and the adder, and such like, whereof we will speak that naturally hate one another, and yet this enmity proceeds not from the elements, for the contrariety and enmity which are between things of which they are composed, is most clear; as we see, that water is an enemy to fire, because the fire is hot and dry, and the water cold and moist, in such sort that these elements are totally contraries. The water and the earth are friends in as much as they are both cold, but they are contra­ry in this, that the water is moist, and the earth dry. Betwixt the fire and the earth there is some conformity, because of the drinesse of them both, and difference by the heat of the fire, and the cold of the earth. So betwixt the elements there is a contrariety, and yet in part of them there is some conformi­ty. All things then being composed of the elements, it must of necessity follow, that amongst them must be these contra­dictions and conformities which the elements have, whereof they are composed. Wherefore that thing in which the ele­menrary quality most governs, takes the name from that qua­lity, and that do we call hot or cold moist or drie, some in a more high degree than others, according as the thing is qua­lified, with one of these first four qualities. And so it comes to passe that one thing is contrary to another causing divers effects, which contradiction is most manifest, and we know it so sure, that now we will come to give the reasons.

But of this other enmity which proceeds not from the ele­ments, but from a secret or hidden propriety or superiour in­fluence, requires a deep contemplation to search out from whence the cause proceeds.

The dog and the cat (as we have said before) would do one another mischief, and yet we know not wherefore, we see also other things that agree and love one another, and yet this love is not derived from the elements whereof they are composed.

The Asse desires and loves an hearb called Sagapena or Giant Fennell, which is venemous to other beasts of the nature of horses. The Fox is a friend to the Adder which is an enemy to all other beasts.

This is not of the least consideration, that it is amongst men as among beasts, seeing that, not kowing wherefore, nor how one man that seeth another at the first sight, that never saw or knew one another before, will contemn and loath him, and another will be agreeable and pleasing unto him, and sometimes so soon as he shall see one he knoweth not, he will bear him affection and reverence him, although he be below him. Others will be dispised, although they be great persons, yea Lords. There are others to be found, that seem as though they were born to be Tutors and instructers to other, as you may see two men, whereof the one will suf­fer himself to be led and governed by the other, and in this ma­ny times the Lord by his servant, in such sort, as it seemeth he were naturally subject unto him, and we can give no reason for it.

In like case we see such subjection and enmity amongst beasts, as between the Eagle and the Swan, between the Raven and the Kite, and many times we see that the Kite snatches the prey out of the Ravens claws. There is also en­mity between the Kite and the Owl, the Eagle and the Goose, so that if one mingle the feathers of the Eagle with Goose feathers, the Eagles will consume them all.

The Stag persecutes the Adder, for with a strong respiration of his breath, which he makes at the mouth of the Adders hole he draws him out of his hole and eats him. That it is true that there is such an enmity between them, you may prove it by burning some of the Stags hair, for all the Adders wil fly from the smoak of it. There is also great enmity betwixt the Raven, the Asse, and the Bull, because the Raven attempts alwaies with his beak to strike out their eyes. The greatest enemies to the Wolf, are the Fox, the Asse, and the Bull.

There is also a naturall quarrell betwixt the Vulture and the Eel, The Lyon is afraid and shuns the house Cock, also [Page 101]the fire, and the noise of a Waggon. The Hienna is an ene­my to the Panther. The Scorpion hath a deadly hatred to the Tarantola, whose biting or sting cannot be healed (as it is said) but by musick, and there is so much enmity between these two beasts, that he that is stricken with the Scorpion is healed with the oil wherein Terantolaes have been steeped and suffocated. The Elephant which is one of the strong­est beasts, fears and shuns a Snake or an Adder, and also a Sheep, and is amazed at the gtunting of a hog. There is a kind of Faulcon which Aristotle calleth Tico, that hath a great war and debate alwaies against the Fox, and as often as he can, beats and persecutes him. Elian writes that there is a great enmity between the Raven, and a kind of Falcon called Pelagre, and between the Raven and the Turtle-Dove. There is also a deadly hatred between the Owl and the Stork, the Patridge and the Tortis. The Pellican persecutes the Quail, above all other birds. And the Horse is afraid more of a Camel then of any other beast. There is also great discord and enmity amongst fishes. The Dolphin is an enemy to the Whale. The Cougar is naturally an enemy to the Lampry.

The Adder if he seeth a man cloathed, he will hurt him if he can, and hath the boldnesse to venter at him, but if he see him naked he flieth from him. The Rats and the Snakes, or Adders, are great enemies, and when they cover their eggs in winter, and that they go not out, the Rats persecute them and make war against them, and the Snake which by instinct of nature knowes it, makes provision for the Rats to feed on, that so they may be busied and leave them. The Rat is so afraid of Beech-mast, that if you should put never so little into the curds that make cheese the Rat will never eat of it.

A Sheep doth so naturally hate a Wolf, that if one make a drum with the skin of a Wolf, the Sheep will flie from the sound of it, as if it were from a living Wolf. There are some also that say, if you should make Lute or Viol-strings of the guts of a Wolf, and of a Sheep, and string the instruments therewith, you should never make them agree nor make good harmony. The Monky shuns the Tortise and Craw-fish.

The Rat, by a secret property is so contrary to the Scorpion, that the biting of a Scorpion is healed by putting upon it a Rat. The Snake and the viper fears naturally the Crab, which hath such force over these kind of creatures, that if a Hog be bitten by a Viper, he is healed by eating a Crab-fish. And which is more strange, when the sun is in the sign of Cancer, those serpents suffer pain. The Scorpion fish and Crocodile, are continually at war, and kill one another. The Panther fears the Once and in such sort, that he will let it kill him without resistance; and if the skin of a Panther, be hung near the skin of an Once, that of the Panther will shed all the hair and consume. The enmity is so much, betwixt the Crow and the Owl, that Aristotle saith, they will rob one another of their eggs. The Wasp makes war ordinarily against the Spider. The Kite and the Fox, also hate one another. There is a sort of birds of prey, very little ones, which Pl [...]nte cals Esa­lous, that wish so much mischief to the Crow, that they search ou [...] their nests and break their eggs. The Swine, hate natu­rally the Weezle. The Wolf and the Lion hate so mortally, that the bloud of the one and the other will not mingle toge­ther. The Mole is so horribly afraid of the Ant, tha she shuns the Tree where they are. The Spider hath war with the Snake, and Plinie saith will kill it, when the Spider sees the Snake sleep under the Tree where she is, she lets her self down by a thred that she makes, and then gets into the head of the Snake, where she bites, and so fastens her self, that she will not forsake him till she hath killed him with her ve­nome.

There is also amongst other inanimate things, a naturall contradiction, and enmity. For oil is an enemy to glew, oil is an enemy to water, so is lime; but the oil and the lime a­gree together and join naturally.

The Olive hath a naturall property against the luxurious and fleshly given, so that if an unchast woman plant them they die, and take no root.

Coleworts will not thrive if they be planted near Mar­joram. Salt water becomes sweet, if it be mingled with [Page 103]meal flower, so that in two hours after it may be drunk.

We might bring so many examples of these naturall en­mities, which are between things animate and inanimate, that it might be brought to a great length, and likewise of things that love one another. As the Pehens love the company of the Pigeons. The Turtle the Popengay. The Black-bird, the Feldisare or the Thrush. Aristotle saith, that there is so much love betwixt a kind of Sparrow and a Crocodile, that this great beast opens his mouth, that this little bird may see to cure and cleanse his reeth and his gumms with his beak, and that these birds are nourished thereby: it is said also that there is great amity between the Fox and the Raven, betwixt the Crow and the Turkey-hen, and likewise betwixt the Lark, and the bird called the Jone. The Fox agrees-well enough with the Snake; and the Sheep are not in danger among them. The Sea-Mole is so beloved of the Whale, that Plinie saith, it goeth swimming before the Whale to warn him of ditches and holes.

Thus you see the marvellous works of nature, disposed by order and the will of God, by the influence of the Stars and Planets. The Authors are Plinie, Aristotle, Albertus Magnus, Elian, and divers others ancient and Modern Au­thours, that have written of the nature of beasts, and other things.


Of some properties of the Viper, and how the flesh of it may be safely eaten.

THe Viper is a kind of a serpent wel enough known to many, and although it be but little, yet it is vene­mous enough, for with a little prick it will kill a man. But as the Lord hath made nothing in vain without some profit, so this beast with all his venome, serves man to cure some diseases, and for Medicine, principally for [Page 104]the pain in the throat, it is good by a secret property by carry­ing about one the head of a Viper, so that alive it killeth, and dead it healeth. The Theriacle is proper against venome, and in making that Composition there goeth some of this beast (for else it is not perfect) that it may have the greater efficacie, and therefore it is called Theriacle, because Thirion in Greek, signifieth a Viper or a venemous beast. It is true, that some give another Etimologie and reason of that name. But before we speak of the profits that come by the Viper, let us hear what Plinie, Isiodorus, and Elian say of it.

They say that when the beast engendereth, the Male puts his head in the mouth of the Female, whereby she receiveth such pleasure that with her sharp teeth, she wrings and cuts off his head, so she remains widdow-like and bagged with young, which comes to be eggs, which are formed in the bo­dy; of which egs comes Vipers in a convenient time, by casting every day one, to twenty, and because they are so many, those which remain behind, cannot stay the time of their delivery, but break the belly of their mother, so that by her death they are born and live.

If it be so it is a wonderfull thing, for it seemeth the child revengeth the death of the Father. With this opinion of Plinie, divers others agree, yet there are many that con­tradict it, and deny that the Viper dieth in her bringing forth her young ones; in which opinion. I rest my self, because the other doth not seem naturall, neither have I ever seen the experience, nor know not any one that say they have seen it. Philostratus in the life of Apollo Trijan brings in Apol­lo, who recites to have seen a Viper, that after she had brought forth her young ones, licked them, and was well. One may gather as much out of the words of Aristotle, which saith. The Viper onely amongst other Serpents, makes her young ones; for first she forms them in her body of egs, as fishes spawn, then having formed them they remain three days wrapped up in a tender th [...] skin, which in due time breaks and sets the little ones at liberty: because of which Apuleus in his apologie, calls them Oviperes, and not Vipers; that is bred [Page 105]of egs. And many times it comes to passe, that this tender skin, breaking in the belly of the Viper, they come forth eve­ry day one, even to the number of above twenty, these are the words of Aristotle.

In another place, in the third book of beasts, he saith, speak­ing of the bringing forth of Serpents. The Viper before she brings forth little ones, forms the egs within her. And I think from thence proceeds this opinion, who say that the little ones eat themselves out of the belly of the Viper. For it hath seem­ed to them which maintain it, that when Aristotle spoke of this first coming forth, they would have it, that they brake, and gnawed the belly of the Viper.

Now leaving this discourse, I say the Viper, as venemous as she is, gives succour and help to man. Diascorides saith, that the flesh of a Viper sodden or dressed, may be eaten safely, and that it is very medicinable for the Nerves and for the fight.

And to dress him to eat, you must cut off the head & the tail, then the skin being taken off and well prepared, boil him in oil and wine with good store of Aniseeds. He saith also that of this flesh is made a kind of salt or pouder, which gives a good appetite, and is prepared in this manner,

Take a new earthen pot, and put the flesh of the Viper in it dressed as before, then put in salt and figs stamped with a competent quantity of Hony, and the pot being well covered, set it to bake a long time in an oven, till it may be beaten and brought to a powder. And whosoever afterwards would use it with other meats, will find it very profitable and savou­ry.

Paul Egenetta saith, that the flesh of the Viper is singular good for Lepers and Lazers, and for that purpose esteems much of the salt forespoken of. Plinie saith there is a certain nation in the Indies, that eat Vipers. Diascorides saith also, that those that use to eat of the flesh of Vipers, live long and in health.

Against the biting of this beast there are many reme­dies. [Page 106]But Theophrastus names one, saying, that to him which is bit with a Viper, melodie and musick help much. Galen saith, that the beast eats not all the time of win­ter, and that she keeps her self (as dead) hid in the earth, and then if you find her, touch her, or handle her, she bites not, and when Summer comes she recovers her force again. So much Plinie reports of Lisards Snakes, and all other sorts of creeping Serpents. Aristotle saith, they keep themselves so hidden in the earth three or four moneths without eating any thing. Elian saith, that the Vipers which breed in the Pro­vince of Arabia, although they bite, their teeth are not vene­mous; because they eat Baum, and lie under the shade of it. And Aristotle saith, they are very desirous to drink wine, and that many people take them by putting vessels of wine in places where they haunt, and so they make themselves drunk, then they take them sleeping. There are other things to be said of the quality and property of the Viper, which I leave for brevities sake.


Of the admirable property of a little beast, whose biting is cured by the sound of musick, and also of some ather infir­mities that are cured by the same means.

THat which is said in the former Chapter, by the authority of Theophrastus, that the biting of the Viper may be cured with the sound of musick, will make that which we shall speak now, more credible. Alexander of Alexandria, and Piere Gilie a modern Author, affirm and say that in Poville, a country in Italy, ther [...] is a kind of Spider which those of that country call Tatantola, and some Phalange, which in the beginning of Summer are so vene­mous that whosoever is bitten of them, if he have not help presently he looses his sences and dies, and if any escape death, [Page 107]they are sencelesse, and totally not themselves. For which evil, experience hath a remedie, which is musick, that which these Authors say, is as a testimony of their own experience, as eye-witnesses, who say, that as soon as any one is bitten, they send presently for one that can play upon the Vian or Flute, or some other instrument, which play and sing divers lessons, which being heard by him that is strucken by the venemous Spider, he begins to dance and stir as if all his life time he had been accustomed to dancing, in which sury and force of dan­cing he continues till the venome be dissipated and wasted. And this Alexander saies that he hath seen, that one that hath been wounded with this beast, hath continued so long in dancing, till the Musitians have been all weary and ceased, and the poor dancer fall to the ground as dead, having lost his strength, but as soon as they began to play again, he saw the poor sick man, raise himself anew, and begin to dance with as much force as before, even untill the wound was entirely cured.

He saith yet further, that if it happen that one that had not been well cured by Musick, a short time after hearing instru­ments of Musick, began to stir their feet and were forced to dance, even till they were cured, which truly is wonderfull in nature.

A sclepiades writes, that singing and a soft sound of musick is a great help to those that are Frantick. We read also that Esmineas the Thebean, hath cured divers diseases and mala­dies by a sweet soft noise of Flutes. Theophrastus and Aulus Gelius say, that musick appeaseth the pain of the Sciatica and the Gout.

Again, we find in the holy Scripture that David with mu­sick cast out the evill spirit out of Saul. Such is the great effect that proceeds from the cause of the great amity that the nature of man bears to musick. And if we well consider, we shal not find it strange, that divers infirmities are cured by the means of musick, forasmuch as we see that there are some beasts that kill laughing others weeping, and others sleeping. As Plutarch writes to Cleopatre.


Of a strange medicine; wherewith Faustina was cured of dishonest love. And of divers other remedies against that passion.

THat the affection and prison of the mind, which is ordinarily called Love, is a strong passion and of great effect in the soul; let us ask of such men, which by experience have known it, and of such of whom examples are notorious, namely of very excellent personages, that have suffered their wills to have been tran­sported even so far, that some of them have died. Jules Ca­pitolin, amongst other examples, recites that which happened to Faustina daughter to Antoninns, and wife to the Empe­rour Marcus Aurelius, who fell in love with a Master of Fence or Gladiator, in such sort, that for the desire which she had of his company, she was in danger of death she did so consume away. Which being understood by Marcus Au­relius, he presently called together a great companie of Astro­logians and Doctours, to have counsel and find remedy there­upon. At last it was concluded, that the Fencer should be kil­led, and that they should unknown to her, give Faustina of his bloud to drink, and that after she had drank it the Em­perour her husband should lie with her. This remedie wrought marvellously, for it put this affection so far from her, that she never afterwards thought of him. And the historie saith, of this Copulation, that the Emperor had then with her, was begotten Antoninus Commodus; which became so bloudy and cruel, that he resembled more the Fencer, whose bloud his mother had drank at the conception of him, than Marcus Aurelius, whose son he was: which Commodus was alwaies found amongst the Gladiators, as Eutropius witnesses in the life of the same Commodus.

The Greek and Arabick Physitians, place this disease of love, amongst the grievous infirmities of the body of man, and [Page 109]thereupon prescribe divers remedies. Cadmus Milesien, as Suydas reports in his collections, writes a whole book, treat­ing of the particular remedies to hunt out this disease of Love, Amongst other remedies which Physitians give for this dis­case, one is, That to him that is passionate in Love, one should put into his hands great affairs, importuning his credit, and his profit; that his Spirit being occupied in divers matters, it may draw away his imagination from that which troubles him: and they say further, that they should suffer him to be merry and conversant with other women.

Against this heat, Plinie saith, it is good to take the dust upon which a mule hath tumbled, and cast it upon the Lover, and all to be powder him; or else of the sweat of a cha­fed mule, as Cardanus affirms in his book of Subtilties.

The Physitians also teach how to know what person is loved of him that is sick in Love; and it is by the same Rule that Eristratus, Phyfitian to King Seleucus, knew the love that Antiochus bare to the Queen Stratonicus his Step mo­ther; for he being extream sick, and would rather die than dis­cover the cause of his sickness, proceeding from love which he bare to his fathers wife. She came into the chamber, just then when the Physitian was feeling the Patients pulse, which beat so strong when he saw the Queen come into the chamber, that Eristratus knew that he was in love with her, and that was the cause of his sickness: wherefore he found the way to make the King acquainted with it, by such a means as would be too tedious to recite. Which being experimented by the fa­ther, and seeing his son in danger, if he did not prevent it, thought it good (though contrary to the intention of the son, which chose rather death than to be healed by his fathers Ioss) to deprive himself of his Queen, and give her to his sick son. And so indeed, the age, and the beauty of the Lady, and like­wise marriage, was more proper for the son than for the fa­ther. And by this means, Antiochus lived well and gallantly many years with his wel-beloved Stratonicus. The History is very neatly recited by Plutark in the life of Demetrius. And thus you see why Physitians say, that you must feel the [Page 101]Pulse of those that are in love, and repeat to them divers names of persons, and if you name the right the pulse will beat thick and strong and by that you shall know whom they love. By divers other signs one may know when any is in love, and with whom, which I leave to speak of now.


Of the strange and furious love of a young At henian. And of the ridiculous love of King Xerxes. And how beasts have many times loved men and women.

TO see men affectioned to women and women to men is a naturall thing and to be believed. But here blindnesse is come to that height, that that which I intend to speak of, seems impossible and incredible. Historiographers write it for truth that in the Town of Achens there was a young man, of an honest family, competeutly rich and well known, who having curiously observed a Statue of Marble, excellently wrought, and in a publick place in Athens fell so in love with it, that he could not keep himself from the place where it stood, but be alwaies embracing of it, and al­waies when he was not with it, he was discontented, and blub­ber'd with tears.

This passion came to such an extremity, that he addressed himself to the Senate at Athens, and offering them a good sum of money, beseeching them to do him the favour that he might have it home with him. The Senate found that they could not by their authority, suffer it to be taken away, nor to sell any publick Statue, so that his request was denied, which made him marvellous sorrowfull even at the heart. Then he went to the Statue, and put a Crown of Gold upon it, and enriched it with garments, and Jewels of great price, then a­dored it, and seriously beheld it, musing alwaies upon it, and in this folly persevered many daies, that at last being forbidden [Page 111]these things by the Senate, he killed himself with grief; this thing was truly wonderfull. But if that be true which is writ­ten upon Xerxes, and affirmed by so many Authours, indeed he excelled in folly all the men in the world. They say he fell in love with a Plain tree, a tree well known though a stranger in England, and that he loved it, and cherished it, as if it had been a woman.

Seeing then these things happen to rationall men, we may believe that which is written of bruit beasts, which have loved certain men and women, especially when we find it certified by great and famous writers. As Glaucus: that was so loved of a sheep that it never forsook him. Every one holds that the Dolphin is a lover of men. Elian writes in his book of beasts a case worthy to be read. He saith, that a Dolphin seeing upon the Sea-shore, where children were a playing, one among the rest which he liked very well, he fell so in love with it, that every time that the Dolphin see him, he came as near as he could to the edge of the water to shew himself. At the first the child being afraid, did shun it, but afterwards, by the Dolphins perseverance one day after another, and shew­ing signs of love to the child, the child was encouraged, and upon the kind usage of the Dolphin, the child was embold­ened to swim upon the water near unto the fish even to go ride upon the back of it, and the fish would carry him for a good space of time even to the bottome of the water, till the child made a sign to rise again.

In this solace and sport they spent many daies, during which the Dolphin came every day to present himself to the brink of the Sea. But at one time, the child being naked, swimming in the Sea, and getting upon the Dolphin willing to hold fast, one of the sharp pricks in the Fin of the Dolphin run into his bel­ly, which wounded him so that the child died immediately in the water, which the Dolphin perceiving and seeing the bloud and the child dead upon his back, he swam presently to the shore, and as though he would punish himself for this fault, swimming in great fury he leaped out of the water, carrying with him as well as he could the dead child, which he so much loved, and died upon the shore with him.

This very thing is recited by Plinie, and others with exam­ples of Dolphins which have born love to men. And par­ticularly he saith, that in the time of the Emperour Octavian, another Dolphin, in the same manner, took love to a child up­on the Sea-coast near to Pusoll, and that every time this child called Simon (they say this fish will run at that name) it came presently to the Sea brink, & the child mounted upon the back of it, and the Child was carried into the sea as little away as he would and brought back again safe He saith also that this child dying by accident of sicknesse, and the Dolphin coming divers times to the accustomed place, not finding the child there, died also. Plinie the second, Nephew to the great Plinie, recites marvellous things of the Dolphin in his ninth book of his Epistles, in an Epistle which begins thus,

Incidi in materiam veram, &c,


Why Snow being covered with straw, it preserves it in its coldnesse, and hot water in its heat, seeing they are two contrary effects by one and the same thing, with some other secrets.

TO men of wit, and lovers of the contemplation of the works of nature, there shall not any thing pre­sent it self though never so slight, or of little worth, but they will find something of note in it, which may yield them content when they have found it out. We may find many men, that if we should ask them the reason, and what is the cause that Snow being covered with straw is preserved a long time in its cold nature of Snow with­out melting, they could not tell what to say. To this Alex­ander Aphrodise, an excellent Parepatetick, answers; That straw hath no manifest or known quality, it is neither hot nor cold, so that some have named it without any quality, for this cause, because it is so singularly temperate, and delicate, even to such a degree, as we cannot say whether it be hot or cold, [Page 113]and so easily converts it self unto the qualitie of the thing whereunto it is adjoined; so that putting it upon snow, which is cold, the straw pertakes of the cold quality of it, and by the means thereof aids and maintains the coldnesse of the Snow, as a thing of one quality helped by another, without heating it at all, because it hath none; so the Snow being accom­panied with cold, and defended from heat, which the straw keeps from it, preserves it self in the same being, a long time, and longer than if it were not covered with straw.

By the same reason it works a contrary effect in warm­water, because being covered with straw, the straw receiveth immediately, the quality of heat from the water, and being so heat, it aids and keeps the water in its heat, and defends and keeps away the air that would cool it.

By this reason we may understand and find out other di­ficulties and doubts, which curious persons may put unto us like unto this.

We know well, that besides our naturall and inward heat, that which causeth heat in us in Summer, is the air, which in that season is much more hot then at any other times in the year, so the hotter the air is, the more we feel the heat. If then it be so, now cometh it that we find more coldnesse and fresh­nesse, and lesse heat in giving our selves air in summer, by fanning and moving it, when Aristotle saith, motion causeth greater heat; so that the air by this agitation, ought to be hot it self, and heat us more than if it were left quiet and unmo­ved.

The cause proceeds from this, that we have more heat in our bodies, then there is in the air, as well naturally as what the air worketh in us. For the air coming freshly, (I say freshly because it is more temperate then our selves) it some­thing tempers us, but being at rest about us, it heats it self by our heat as we have said before of the straw, it preserves, nay augments this heat, howbeit if it be agitated and often renew­ed, in coming upon us more temperate than we are our selves, [Page 114]this temperature and difference which we find of lesse heat, moderates that which we have from our selves. This is the answer that Alexander and Aristotle gives to this question.

We must notwithstanding observe and note, That if the air be more hot than the heat which we have from our selves, the agitation and fanning of that air will not be so good, be­cause we shall find greater heat by so doing.

So let us see now, to come again to hot water, If we put our hands into it, we shall have much ado to keep them in, yet if we hold our hands still, we may endure it better than if we stir them up and down; because the water which surrounds the cold hand tempers a little that which is about it, but in stirring it in the water, the water renews its heat, and begets every time new force.

We may ask again, Why is it hotter in June and althrough July, the Sun being then farther from us, than at the beginning of June, when we are in the Solstice and longest daies in the year, & beats more right upon us with his rays. To which Ari­stotle answers in the second of his Meteors, that the heat of the Sun is not the cause, nor do we feel it the more by being near to us, but when it hath the longer time to be over us; because in June & July, it hath had a longer time to draw near unto us, so in declining it causes a greater heat, for it heats again in its descent the part and track of the air which it had before heat by its rising.


In what part of the Zodiack, the Sun, the Moon, and the rest of the Planets were placed when they were made. And which was the beginning of years and times.

AS the Philosopher saith, men are naturally curious to know, and again in this case, such is their covetousness & greedy de­sire of human understanding, that they content not themselves alone, with the things that they comprehend with ease. But beyond that, they search and strive, with great presumption, to know and understand impossible or very hard things, So it is neverthe­lesse that this toilsome desire, hath not been totally in vain, because contemplation and continuall study hath found out things which have seemed impossible and su­pernatuall to come to the knowledge of men, as are the motions of the Heavens, the course of the Planets and the Stars, with their power and influence, and such like things. Amongst which is comprehended that which I in­tend now to treat of, which is to know, At what time of the year, and upon what day the world began. Or to speak better, When and at what season God created the world, when be­gan the time, and the year, or where was the Sun, or where did God first place it, when it began its course, and likewise the Moon and other Planets? Aristotle troubles himself lit­tle with these questions, no more doth a number of other Philosophers, who for want of the light of faith, believe that the world was eternal and without beginning: yet those that have not been ignorant of these things, but have believed this beginning of time, are almost divided in two opinions.

Some amongst them say, that at the instant when the world was created, the Sun was found in the first point of [Page 116]the sign of the Ram, which is in the summer Equinoxial, about the eleventh day of the moneth of March.

Others say, that the world began, the Sun being in the first point of Libra, which is the winter Equinoxial, com­monly beginning the thirteenth or fourteenth of September. Of this opinion were some Egyptians and Arabians, and like­wise some Greeks.

Those that follow that opinion alledge one reason, but at the last. I will shew how feeble and weak it is. For (say they) then the principal fruits of the earth were ripe and in sea­son. And also that it was reason, that the earth should pre­sent it self at the beginning perfect, and to this purpose alledge the authority in Deuteronomie, Deut. 12. where it is said, God made all things perfect and furnished.

There have been others which have said, that the begining of time and years, was the longest day of all the rest, which is then when the Sun enters in the sign of Cancer, which is the eleventh or twelfth of June.

Iulius Fermicus an ancient Author, and of great autho­rity in Astrologie saith, that at the beginning of the world the Sun was at fifteen degrees of the Lion, which is the sign in which it hath most Lordship, because it is called the house of the Sun, and so he saith in discoursing upon other of the Pla­nets. But the most reasonable of all these opinions. And the most agreeing to truth is,

That when time and the Heavens began to move, the Sun was in the first point of Aries, the Ram, which is to us in March, which is almost the beginning of Summer, which is affirmed (besides those reasons which we will give) by the greatest part of Historiographers, as well Christians as Ethnicks, amongst which are St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. Basil, and others, all which place the beginning of the world, and of the year in the Equinoxiall of our summer, and although there seemeth to be some difference amongst them. Because one will have this beginning to be in March, and the other will have it in April, that may be born [Page 117]with; for they both agree that it was in the Equinoxial which now is in March. Neverthelesse as we have said heretofore, the Equinoxiall is not constant, for our Saviour Christ, suffe­red the five and twentieth of March, which was then the E­quinoxiall, and now it is the eleventh; And therefore it may be supposed that heretofore it was in April: for this cause some have put April for the first moneth, and others March, and yet they would all say; that when the Sun enters into the first point of Aries, that is the Equinoxiall: and this opinion is founded upon the holy Scripture, namely out of the twelfth Chapter of Exodus, where it is said that the Mo­neth Nisan, which is our March, is the beginning of their year. Also Vincent saith, that the Hebrews began their year in March. because in that moneth is the Equinoxiall, where the world began.

This opinion is likewise held of divers Heathens, as El­paco in his Treatise of Astrologie, where he saith, that the Caldeans, who were very great Astrologers, believed also, that the first day in which the world was created, the Sun en­tred into the first point of the sign of Aries, which is also maintained by the greatest part of Astrologers, as well Anci­ent as Modern. When therefore the Sun joins himself there, that is the beginning of the year, and from thence comes the beginning or first day. For it is very clear, that the first day of the world was made the first day of the year, seeing that before, there was neither time nor year; for this cause the sign of Aries is of all accounted the first in the order of the twelve signs.

And as to judge of the revolution of years, and of things to come, it is necessary to even the figures, by the beginning of the world, so is it easie to prove, that God placed the Sun in the first point of this sign, at the beginning of the world, and the creation thereof, which may be more easily imagined, by that which we have proved in a former Chapter. That the Sun was in the same point at the Creation then, when the great Sun, framed the re-generation of the world, suffering death in humane flesh, which came to passe, as we have said, in this [Page 118]Equinoxial of Summer, which is an Argument and presuppo­sal, that he placed it so then when he created it.

Again, it seems credible, that it hath been so placed, because those that know any thing in Astrologie and the Sphears, will see very well, that the Sun entring the degree of this Sign, and performing his revolution in the space of one whole day, there is no part of the world but seeth it, and is illuminated by his light, which is not performed in any other part of the Zodiack; because in what other part soever it be, there is some part of the earth where it is not seen: But being in this first point, as we have said, there is not any place which is not en­lightened in making his days course.

Now it was convenient and fit, that the first day that the Sun should run his compasse, he should begin in such a place, that with his beams he might visit all the parts of the world: & that this should be rather in the Sign of Aries, than Libra, appears by that which I have said, That the day of the Passi­on of our Saviour, the Sun was in the same place, and hath also in that Sign a perticular force.

Holding then this opinion for the most certain, I say the reason alledged by those that say, The beginning of the world was in the September Equinoxial, is weak: Nor doth it help them to say, that all fruits were then ripe, and in season; because that is not an universal rule; for when fruit is ripe towards the latitude of the North, it is not so in the South, but quite contrary. And for this cause I will not help my self with their reasons, that say, the Epuinoxial in March (which I approve of) is the beginning of the Spring time and growth of flowers over all the earth, and that all things then increase; for if to us it be the beginning of Spring time, it is Winter to them in the Southern parts.

Let our reasons then suffice, and the authority of such great persons, and let none be longer in doubt, seeing that the Ro­mane year which is in use, begins likewise the first day of Ja­nuary; for this came to passe by the superstitious devotion which the Gentiles had to their God Ianus, and would have [Page 119]their year begin with his name, as the Christians begin theirs at the birth of Jesus Christ, although there the year begins not. So the Romans began the yeer in March, as Varro and Ma­crobius writes, and divers others.

So God shewed his large bounty, and infinite goodnesse, in placing our first Parents, Adam and Eve in the Northern parts of the earth, when he banished them out of the Earthly Paradice; for the first season that they saw in the world, was the Spring time, when they found the Earth green and flou­rishing, and the Air sweet and temperate; and this was for a consolation to their misery and nakednesse, which they would not have found, had it not been Spring time.

Now this being sufficiently proved, let us know that there are other Planets; and first the Moon, as one of the principals: which some say the first day that it was created, God placed it in conjunction with the Sun. Others say that it was in op­position, and that it was at full. Saint Augustiue recites both these two opinions, upon Genesis the fifth Chapter. And faith, That those that maintain, that it was in opposition, and at full, give for their reason, That it was not convenient that at it's beginning God should create it defective in any thing.

Others say the contrary, That it is rather to be believed, that it was created in the first day of the Moon, than other­wise. But to make short, I say, according to my opinion, That God when he created it, made it entirely full, and in oppositi­on to the Sun; and so it seems that this opinion is most recei­ved.

Saint Augustine, in the place alledged, and Raban upon the eleventh chapter of Exodus, say the same: and they agree with the holy Scripture, where it is said, God made two Lights: one great to govern the day, the other lesse to go­vern the night.

Now at the same instant that the Sun begins to shew his light, he enlightens half the world, so that in half the world it is day: but the other half cannot have the light of the Sun, because of the shadow of the Earth.

Neverthelesse it seems reasonable, that in the other half of the Earth where it is night, the Moon do her office of giving light; because as they were both created at one and the same instant, so do they both their office at one and the same in­stant, and one rules the day, and the other the night, as the Text saith; for then was verified the words of the holy Scrip­ture, And the world was enlightened throughout.

And on the contrary, If the Moon had been in conjuncti­on, that could not be but fifteen days after, and there would have been three or four days past before she could have given light to the Earth, although this had been but little, as we see when she is four or five days old: Wherefore it is conveni­ent, that these two lights enlighten the Earth at one and the same time.

I say further, That if the Moon had been in opposition of the Sun, of necessity she must be found one the other side, in the sign of Libra: which being so, she works that day the same effect of the Sun, enlightening all the world, in the mea­sure that she makes her course that day, which she could not do if she were in any other place, by means whereof this opi­nion seems to be most likely. Although Tulius Firmicus would say, That the Moon when it was created, had her first seat in the fifteenth Degree of the sign of Cancer, where she loves best to be. Of which opinion is Macrobius, in his first book of Scipio's Dream.

As for other Planets, It would be more difficult to avouch, and lesse profitable to know; therefore I mean not to em­ploy much time about them. Howsoever Iulius Firmicus in the second book before alledged, hath the boldnesse to name the places where every one of them were seated: say­ing, Saturn was in Capricorn, Iupiter in the sign of Sagit­tarius, Mars in Scorpio, Venus in Libra, Mercury in Vir­go, which are the signs in which they have most force; and so are they the signs denoted of these Planets.

Macrobius in the alledged book of Scipio's Dream, agrees with Firmicus, and names the same signs. And so there are [Page 121]others which think, that at this instant all the Planets are in conjunction with the Sun.

As for me, I am of opinion that God placed then the Pla­nets in such distant places one from the other, and especially from the Sun, that at that day every one of them might en­lighten the earth with their Beams, which could not be, if they were in conjunction with the Sun; because his presence, in a certain distance and proportion hinders, that their Raies and light cannot be seen upon the earth. Neverthelesse, ha­ving been created by the wil of God, it is sufficient (as St Au­gustine saith) that they were made in a perfect estate by the hand of God, whose works, of what sort soever, are per­fect.


Wherefore Sleep was given to man, and how too much Sleep is hurtful and naught.

SLeep was given naturally to man for his preservation, because there is no work of nature which hath not need of rest. Aristotle saith, that every living thing that hath bloud sleeps; and from thence he proves by rea­son and experience also, that fishes do sleep.

Sleep is a repose, and rest of all the sences, and proceeds from vapours and fumes, which by reason of meat, rise from the stomack to the Brain, by the coldnesse of which, these hot vapours are tempered, and set to sleep the motion and exteriour sences.

Then the vitall spirits retire to the heart, and all the [Page 122]members sleep and rest from travell, even untill the vitall spi­rits (which is the instrument by which the soul works, go­verns and commands the body) recover new force, and that these vapours diminishing or ceasing, the man begins to awake, and then the sences and the powers return a­new, with a greater force to perform the operati­on.

Of these occasions of Sleep, Aristotle treateth largely in his book of sleep and watching. And Plutarch recites divers opinions of Philosophers. But although this be rest and health to the body, yet it must be moderate, be­cause long sleep as Aristotle saith, weakens the spirits both of body and mind, even as the moderate use thereof gives them vigour and strength, for many things are necessa­ry, which neverthelesse are hurtfull, if they be taken in ex­cesse.

Eating is necessary and savoury, yet if it be past measure, It hurts and hath no taste. So moderate travel is healthful but if it be contrary it is hurtfull.

Likewise sleep should not be used but upon necessity, for the repose, and refreshing of the sences, the spirits, and the members.

Now too much sleep (besides that it make the sences and the members heavy and sluggish, and infeebled by lazi­ness) breedeth so much humidity in the body, that it maketh it sick and diseased, and kills; for sleeping, all the humidities in the body retires with the naturall heat to the exteriour parts and makes no evacuation of its superfluities and moistures. So that immoderate sleep is not onely forbidden by Phy­sitians and Philosophers, but reproved by wise men. Aristotle saith, while we sleep there is no difference betwixt a wise man and a fool.

And in truth, although the wise man hath no other reason to shorten his sleep, but, not to make himself like to him that hath no wit, yet he ought to abridge it (although it su­stain and keep life and health) considering that he which sleeps [Page 123]is not alive, As Plutarch saith, in his book of strife betwixt fire and water. He that sleeps hath no more strength nor knowledge while he sleeps, than if he were dead. Pl [...]nie is of the same opinion, saying that we spend half of our time in sleep, seeing that when we sleep, we neither know nor feel that we live.

Ovid▪ and divers other Poets and learned men call sleep the similitude of death. And in the holy Scripture slep is com­pared to death. St. Paul saith, [I would not have you to be ignorant, Brethren, concerning them which sleep:] and a little after. [God will bring along with him those that sleep by Je­sus Christ.]

Sleep is likewise the Image of negligence and slothfulnesse. The same Saint Paul sheweth it saying, Brethren it is now time to awake out of Sleep. It signifies also sin and guilt, as St Gregorie saith, That to sleep is to hold and persevere in sin. If sleep had not been taken for sin, Saint Paul would not have said so many times, Awake ye Iust and fin no more.

Let that man then be ashamed that spends most part of his life in bed and sleep; for he sinneth no lesse then he that sits all the day long at the table to eat, seeing that these things ought to be used, for the sustentation of life, and not for the the damage or hurt of it, and of the soul also.

So then sleep ought to be taken for the support of the body and not for pleasure. And seeing we must imploy it onely to the health of the body, let us now know in what manner a man ought to lay himself in his bed to sleep, that it may be pro­fitable unto him.

It is said that the best sleeping for a man in good order, and sound, is, to lie, during his first sleep, upon his right side, and then the most part of the night upon the left. And up­on conclusion of your sleep, to turn a little upon the right again.

The reason is, because the stomack of man is scituated so, that the mouth of it is a little more towards the right side [Page 124]then towards the left, and the bottome of it hollow declining something towards the left side. So that a man laying him­self to sleep upon the right side an hour or two, the stomack spreads it self, and lies upon the liver: and from thence proceeds two benefits. The one is, that the stomack is set right, and being set right, the meat descends more easily to the bot­tome.

The second is, That the moistnesse of the meat refresheth the Liver, and with this refreshment the naturall heat takes force in the stomack to begin to make digestion. After these two good effects have taken their turn, it would be good to turn upon the other side, because in so turning, the Liver comes to cover the stomack, and to embrace it with its skirts, so that the meat is reteined by the Liver, and digestion per­fected.

Nevertheless it is good, towards the conclusion of sleep to turn again upon the right side, that the stomack may begin to be set streight again, and be discharged of the Liver, and to expell the air, or superfluity of the forepassed digesti­on.

This Rule is good and well known to him, whose Liver is temperate, and stomack not could, and he who hath these two members sound and temperate.

But for him that hath the Liver too hot, and the stomack cold, as it happens often times, it is not good to sleep upon the right side, for the stomack falling upon the Liver, and com­passing it on all sides; it inflames and heats the Liver extream­ly; and the stomack being left uncovered, as uppermost, is made more cold: besides, the great heat that is in the Liver, takes away and draws to it self, that little heat which is in the stomack, from whence proceeds an ill digestion and conse­quently an il habit and unhealthfulness.

Wherefore for him that shall have a cold stomack and a hot Liver, it will be healthfull for him to sleep alwaies upon the left side, because the stomack being on all sides covered with the Liver, it makes its digestion. And as for the Liver be­ing [Page 125]so uppermost it is uncovered, and disburthened, and by that means is refreshed and not enflamed.

There are also some that sleep upon their belly, which helps and strengthens digestion, because it gathers together, and re­teins naturall beat in the parts about the stomack, and so is in better disposition to evacuate the superfluities.

The contrary of which happens to them that sleep upon their back, with their face uppermost; because the naturall heat spreads abroad, and by that means digestion is weakned, and the superfluities cannot be voided by the mouth nor by the ordinary courses, but rests in the Breast and the Throat, which causes many times, Stopping, Palsies, and other infir­mities.

Understanding men again advise not to sleep, with the Lims stretched out in bed, because it weakens disgestion. For according to the Philosopher, when the virtues and the pow­ers are united together the operation will be the better. And then being so moderately heaped together, the fleshy part which covers the stomack, joins better to it, and heats it, and strengthens it the more.

These Rules are necessary for those that are tender and weak. But for the healthfull and lusty, the best Rule is, for him to observe and keep the custome that he hath alwaies used.


How it comes to passe that some live long, and other some but a short time. And what complexions liveth longest. Also, how that is to be understood where it is said, the days of a man is numbred.

THe Apostle Saint Paul saith, that all men are subject once to die, and in that all men are alike: Neverthelesse, there is difference in the terms of life, for one liveth longer and another a shorter time, and yet according to Job the time of our life is measured, and it is not possible for man to passe the bounds which God hath set and determined for our life. Things standing so as in­deed they are, it will not be amisse to understand that which causes in the life of man, why one liveth longer than another; and what complexions makes best for a long life: and last­ly, how we shall understand that where it is said, that our daies are numbred and determined, and that it is not possible to go beyond that, which are obscure and difficult points and un­derstood but of few people.

To understand therefore that which concerns the length of our life.

We must presuppose in the first place, that the life of man and the maintenance of the humane body, consists in the ac­cord and harmony of the four elements or elementary quali­ties whereof it is composed. That is to say, hot, cold, moist, and dry.

And expressely in the proportionable harmony of heat and moisture, which Aristotle well demonstrates who makes one­ly [Page 127]mention of the agreement of these two qualities, for the con­tinuance of man.

So we see by experience that man fails not so long as he hath naturall heat, for this heat is the principall instrument that maintains the vegetative spirit.

And indeed the life of man consists in no other thing, than in maintaining the Instruments and Organs of the Soul, a­mongst which naturall heat holds by good right the first rank. For this heat is so necessary for th [...] maintenance of a humane body, that it failing, the soul is constrained to forsake the body, and put an end to the life of that man.

And because this naturall heat holds of fire, which con­sumes of its own nature all that it meets withall, it is convenient to oppose it, by an other contrary quality, for the preservation of inferiour bodies.

For this cause God placed the Radicall or naturall moist­ure with this naturall heat to nourish and maintain it, even as the fire is nourished and maintained with oil.

And because this Radicall moisture consumes and diminish­es daily, to maintain the same, all living creatures must drink and eat, that so by that means, the moisture caused by that di­gestion may supply the default of nature.

But seeing that (as Aristotle saith) the moisture caused of that digestion, is never so perfect as the Radicall and naturall although it serve much to maintain it, of necessity this Radicall moisture diminisheth daily (for the accidentall moisture cau­sed by digestion, is never so perfect as the Radicall which is vanished) and by this means vanishing totally the naturall heat is lost, and the body finisheth its end; for if the Radicall moisture caused of this digestion, were as perfect as the naturall moisture which is vanished, man would live endlesly (as Di­vines say) who maintain, that the nature of the Tree of life, which God placed in the earthly Paradice consisted princi­pally in this, that eating of its fruit, it restored the Radical moisture which would have been lost and vanished. From [Page 128]thence it came that this Tree was prohibited to Adam and Eve, after they were driven out of Paradice. But if our first Parents had continued in their originall righteousness, they and their Posterity eating of the fruit of that Tree, would have lived eternally in flourishing youth, without tasting cor­ruption, or old age, untill God had glorified their bodies, with­out passing through the gate of death.

But seeing that humane Race lost this Prerogative by sin, which hath brought in death into the world, it is no marvell if this offence be stamped upon us.

Now to return to our discourse. I say the life lasts long­er or shorter, according as heat, and Radicall moisture are con­cordant and proportionable. For those in whom these qua­lities meet most tempered, and best proportioned live longest. And not those in whom the said qualities most abound. From thence it comes that we see, many smal creatures, who have but little heat and moisture, live longer than those that are greater, and abound more in the said qualities; which happens as well to Trees as men.

So that we may say, long life consists in the temperature and just proportion of heat and moisture, which failing, the com­pany, that is to say, life, is dissolved and lost. For when heat sur­passeth moisture, it consumes in a short time the whole body, as we may see in chollerick men.

On the contrary, when by excessive moisture the heat is extinguished, as we see in phlegmatick persons, the like hap­pens.

By this neuerthelesse, we must not understand, that there ought to be as much moisture as heat. But it is meet, that the proportion be observed; that is to say, that the heat sur­passe the moisture proportionably.

For a thing active, hath no great power to work upon an other, if it exceed not the thing passive, which Aristotle co­vertly demonstrates, when he saith, that amongst the two qua­lities before spoken of, there ought to be some litle coldnesse mingled to moderate the heat of the Radicall fire, that it may [Page 129]not wholly consume the naturall moisture. And that drought is also requisite, to drie up the Radicall moisture, that it may not quench the naturall fire, as we see it of­ten happens to little children, who die of too much moisture. Yet amongst these four qualities the hot and the moist are held for the principals, as being vitall complexions, and causing life.

As for the cold and the dry, although they serve greatly for the preservation of life, yet nevertheless, we hold these two qualities to be the entrance to, and beginning of death. For cold is an enemy to heat, in which principally consists the point of life. And drought is opposite and contrary to moisture, which nourisheth nevertheless the naturall heat.

So we may see in old folks, which become dry and cold, when they approach near unto death; nay even in all dead bo­dies which ordinarily are dry and cold.

Man then, Heaven working this good temperature, ought to season his complexion amongst these four qualities, in such sort, that he maintain the heat in the first place, and after that the moisture making the cold and the dry to serve, ac­cording to their function and quarter. Even so, those that find themselves not thus proportionably temperate are naturally short lived.

See here then the causes of long and short life.

It rests now to speak of, which is the best complexion to shew long life.

In the first place then, we must note, that of the four com­plexions in man, to wit, cholerick, sanguine, phlegmatick and melancholy, the sanguine is the best to cause a man to live long.

For the bloud is hot and moist, which qualities are proper to maintain life. Also its moisture is not waterish, but airy, being hot and moist, and sorts with the sanguine complex­ion.

And so this Sanguine Complexion participating something of the temperate heat, and a sufficient moisture to nourish the heat, is the most proper of all the complexions to conduce to long life.

As for the Cholerick, that continues lesse, because the force and vivacity of its fire and heat, cannot long endure with the drought

The Phlegmatick and waterish cannot be digested by the heat, because of it excessive moisture, and so it easily corrupts, which in the end causes death.

The Melancholy, being earthy, shortens the life by its cold disposition and drinesse, which are contrary quali­ties to heat and moisture. Wherefore it is not marvel if they shorten the life, where they abound in any bo­dy.

Neverthelesse, if choler be mingled with phlegme, and that it do surmount proportionably the phlegme, this complexion is abiding enough to yeeld long life. Also when the bloud surpasses melancholy in a good proporti­on, this complexion is good; for the heat and moisture of the bloud, tempers the cold, and drinesse of the me­lancholy.

And so there are compounded complexions, which are much better then the simple Sanguine, to yeeld long life.

By that which is aforesaid, we may see that the life of man is limited, by the virtue and power of his complexion, and by the proportion of the elementary qaalities, in such fort, that the diversity of proportions cause a diversity of termes or time to the life of man.

So it is said, that a man may live as long as his naturall heat lasteth, and Radicall moisture is maintain­ed.

And whereas it is said, that the life of man is limited, be­yond which it is unpossible to passe. We must note, that [Page 131]although the complexion and naturall perfection of a man may bring him and support him, even to the last period, yet neverthelesse, of a thousand scarce one attains to that point.

For there are so many disasters which accidentally happen, either by some disorder, that the most part die be­fore nature fails them, be it, by Famine, Plague, Poison, Gluttony, Whoredome, ill diet; or by diseases, caused by in­finite excess.

And so the true naturall term of the life of man, is, when nature fails, so that it is unpossible to passe that point of time.

And so we must understand that passage in Iob, where it is said, Lord, thou hast established the bounds which it is unpo­sible for him to go beyond.

By this passage we may clearly see, that man may short­en his life, but not lengthen it. So that we see many of good complexion that might live a great number of years, which neverthelesse are short lived, by some exteriour cause, which hastens their days.

Yet this passage of Iob may be otherwise understood, in regard of Gods foreknowledge, who appoints to every one the term of hit life, be it by his naturall complexion, or by some other end, that he hath assigned to the life of man.

And because there is nothing hidden from the wisedome of God who knows all the accidentall causes, which may hap­pen to man it is impossible for man to lengthen his life, be­yond what God hath ordeined, although the causes be contin­gent.

And so one may say, there are two terms of a mans life. The one whereof depends upon the Harmony, and proportion of the elementary qualities. The other is ac­cording to the preordination, and fore-knowledge of God.

Between which terms there is onely this difference; that [Page 132]one may arrive even at the first, though not go beyond it; But all come to the second. And although by course of na­ture, one may passe the second, yet nevertheless, there is none that ever passeth it.


How great the mischief is, to desire a Reve­lation of things in the Life to come.

EVen as God, who hath creatted us, with­out us, will not save us without us; so hath he given us the ground of the means of our Salvation, which is faith with hope of the riches which he hath promised us in the life to come, by an ancient decree, which is revealed unto us by his onely son; which we can­not obtain, without beleeving and hoping in him. But mans weakness (or to say rather) the faith of man is so weak, that when it is preached unto him, the glory that God hath provided for him hereafter, he will say, he beleeveth it.

But nevertheless he will say, it is a great matter of so many men that are dead, there is not one returned to tell us the things of the other world.

The greatest sign of unbelief in the heart of man is (in my judgement) this great desire to have revelations from the other world. For seeing that faith consisteth in believing, and hoping for things that are not seen if they were reveal­ed unto us, there were no more faith, and so this sin­gular [Page 133]means of our Salvation were taken from us.

Again, I say further, That not onely by this Revelation Faith would be destroyed; but also it would be an occasion to make us run into great errours against God, as we may easily judge by this argument.

Put the case, that our Father, Mother, or Brother, after death should return into this world, and were cloath­ed with the same flesh they had left behind them, and that we should certainly beleeve they were the same, and that they should be conversant, drink, and eat with us, as our Saviour did with his Apostles, that they might not be in doubt he was a Spirit, or a Shadow; and that this our Brother, &c. should reveal unto us the things of the other world, there were no doubt but we should heark­en to him, and without all question beleeve that whidh he says to be true.

Now this must be a man, because he hath Soul and Bo­dy; and beleeving him, we beleeve a man, which by nature a Liar.

So by this it would follow, that giving him credit, we should rather beleeve a man, by nature a liar, than God, who is soveraign and passing truth, and cannot lie, who hath told us, and often repeated the reward which is prepared hereafter for the good, and the punishment for the wicked.

There is none then but will confesse, that this is a grie­vous sin, if we should give credit to this Revelation so much desired by men, beleeving rather the creature than the Creator.

Let not man then be any more desirous to know that which may turn to his Damnation.: And that he consider that all that God gives, or all that God de­nies us, is for our good, which he seeks more than our selves.

And if all men ought to order themselves thus, it belongs much more to Christians; to whom our Saviour shews, that we ought to believe that which is revealed to us by him, in the Scriptures, spoken by him in the parable of the Rich-man, You have Moses and the Prophets hear them.


John Downam.

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