Now although this elegant ordination of vegetables, hath found coincidence or imitation in sundry works of Art, yet is it not also destitute of naturall examples, and though overlooked by all, was elegantly observable, in severall works of nature.

Could we satisfie ourselves in the position of the lights above, or discover the wisedom of that order so invariably maintained in the fixed Stars of heaven; Could we have any light, why the stellary part of the first masse, separated into this order, that the Girdle of Orion should ever maintain its line, and the two Starres in Charles’s Wain never leave pointing at the Pole-Starre, we might abate the Pythagoricall Musick of the Spheres, the sevenfold Pipe of Pan; and the strange Cryptography of Gaffarell in his Starrie Booke of Heaven.

But not to look so high as Heaven or the single Quincunx of the Hyades upon the head of Taurus, the Triangle, and remarkable Crusero about the foot of the Centaur; observable rudiments there are hereof in subterraneous concretions, and bodies in the Earth; in the Gypsum or Talcum Rhomboides, in the Favaginites or honey-comb-stone, in the Asteria and Astroites, and in the crucigerous stone of S. Iago of Gallicia.

The same is observably effected in the Julus,[1] Catkins, or pendulous excrescencies of severall Trees, of Wallnuts, Alders, and Hazels, which hanging all the Winter, and maintaining their Net-worke close, by the expansion thereof are the early foretellers of the Spring, discoverable also in long Pepper, and elegantly in the Julus of Calamus Aromaticus, so plentifully growing with us in the first palmes of Willowes, and in the Flowers of Sycamore, Petasites, Asphodelus, and Blattaria, before explication. After such order stand the flowery Branches in our best spread Verbascum, and the seeds about the spicous head or torch of Tapsas Barbatus, in as fair a regularity as the circular and wreathed order will admit, which advanceth one side of the square, and makes the same Rhomboidall.

In the squamous heads of Scabious, Knapweed, and the elegant Jacea Pinea, and in the Scaly composure of the Oak-Rose, which some years most aboundeth.2 After this order hath Nature planted the Leaves in the Head of the common and prickled Artichoak; wherein the black and shining Flies do shelter themselves, when they retire from the purple Flower about it; The same is also found in the pricks, sockets, and impressions of the seeds, in the pulp or bottome thereof; wherein do elegantly stick the Fathers of their Mother.3 To omit the Quincunciall Specks on the top of the Miscle-berry, especially that which grows upon the Tilia or Lime-Tree. And the remarkable disposure of those yellow fringes about the purple Pestill of Aaron, and elegant clusters of Dragons, so peculiarly secured by nature, with an umbrella or skreening Leaf about them.

The Spongy leaves of some Sea-wracks, Fucus,[4] Oaks, in their severall kindes, found about the Shoar,5 with ejectments of the Sea, are over-wrought with Net-work elegantly containing this order, which plainly declareth the naturality of this texture; And how the needle of nature delighteth to work, even in low and doubtful vegetations.

The Arbustetum or Thicket on the head of the Teazell, may be observed in this order: And he that considereth that fabrick so regularly palisadoed, and stemm’d with flowers of the royall colour; in the house of the solitary maggot,[6] may finde the Seraglio of Solomon, And contemplating the calicular[7] shafts, and uncous[8] disposure of their extremities, so accommodable unto the office of abstersion, not condemne as wholly improbable the conceit of those who accept it, for the herbe Borith.9 Where by the way, we could with much inquiry never discover any transfiguration, in this abstemious insect, although we have kept them long in their proper houses, and boxes. Where some wrapt up in their webbs, have lived upon their own bowels, from September unto July.

In such a grove doe walke the little creepers about the head of the burre. And such an order is observed in the aculeous prickly plantation, upon the heads of several common thistles, remarkably in the notable palisadoes about the flower of the milk-Thistle; and he that inquireth into the little bottome of the globe-thistle, may finde that gallant bush arise from a scalpe of like disposure.

The white umbrella or medicall bush of Elder, is an Epitome of this order: arising from five main stemms Quincuncially disposed, and tollerably maintained in their subdivisions. To omit the lower observations in the seminal spike of Mercurie, weld,[10] and Plantane.

Thus hath nature ranged the flowers of Santfoyne, and French honey suckle; and somewhat after this manner hath ordered the bush in Jupiters beard, or houseleek; which old superstition set on the tops of houses, as a defensative against lightening, and thunder. The like in Fenny Seagreen or the water Souldier;11 which, though a militarie name from Greece, makes out the Roman order.

A like ordination there is in the favaginous[12] Sockets, and Lozenge seeds of the noble flower of the Sunne. Wherein in Lozenge figured boxes nature shuts up the seeds, and balsame which is about them.

But the Firre and Pinetree from their fruits doe naturally dictate this position. The Rhomboidall protuberances in Pineapples maintaining this Quincuncial order unto each other, and each Rhombus in it selfe. Thus are also disposed the triangular foliations, in the conicall fruit of the firre tree, orderly shadowing and protecting the winged seeds below them.

The like so often occurreth to the curiosity of observers, especially in spicated seeds and flowers, that we shall not need to take in the single Quincunx of Fuchsius in the grouth of the masle fearn,[13] the seedie disposure of Gramen Ischemon, and the trunk or neat Reticulate work in the codde of the Sachell palme.[14]

For even in very many round stalk plants, the leaves are set after a Quintuple ordination, the first leaf answering the fifth, in laterall disposition. Wherein the leaves successively rounding the stalke, in foure at the furthest the compass is absolved, and the fifth leafe or sprout, returns to the position of the other fift before it; as in accounting upward is often observable in furre pellitorye,[15] Ragweed, the sproutes of Oaks, and thorns upon pollards, and very remarkably in the regular disposure of the rugged excrescencies in the yearly shoots of the Pine.

But in square stalked plants, the leaves stand respectively unto each other, either in crosse or decussation to those above or below them, arising at crosse positions; whereby they shadow not each other, and better resist the force of winds, which in a parallel situation, and upon square stalkes would more forcibly bear upon them.

And to omit, how leaves and sprouts, which compasse not the stalk, are often set in a Rhomboides, and making long, and short Diagonals, doe stand like the leggs of Quadrupeds when they goe: Nor to urge the thwart enclosure and furdling of flowers, and blossomes, before explication, as in the multiplyed leaves of Pionie; And the Chiasmus in five leaved flowers, while one lies wrapt about the staminous beards, the other foure obliquely shutting and closing upon each other; and how even flowers which consist of foure leaves, stand not ordinarily in three and one, but two, and two crossewise unto the Stylus; even the Autumnal budds, which awaite the returne of the sun, doe after the winter solstice multiply their calicular leaves, making little Rhombuses, and network figures, as in the Sycamore and Lilac.

The like is discoverable in the original production of plants, which first putting forth two leaves, those which succeed, bear not over each other, but shoot obliquely or crossewise, untill the stalke appeareth; which sendeth not forth its first leaves without all order unto them; and he that from hence can discover in what position the two first leaves did arise, is no ordinary observator.

Where by the way, he that observeth the rudimental spring of seeds, shall finde strict rule, although not after this order. How little is required unto effectual generation, and in what diminutives the plastick principle lodgeth, is exemplified in seeds, wherein the greater mass affords so little comproduction. In Beanes the leaf and root sprout from the Germen, the main sides split, and lye by, and in some pull’d up near the time of blooming, we have found the pulpous sides intire or little wasted.* In Acorns the nebb dilating splitteth the two sides, which sometimes lye whole, when the Oak is sprouted two handfuls. In Lupins these pulpy sides do sometimes arise with the stalk in a resemblance of two fat leaves. Wheat and Rye will grow up, if after they have shot some tender Roots, the adhering pulp be taken from them. Beanes will prosper though a part be cut away, and so much set as sufficeth to contain and keep the Germen[16] close. From this superfluous pulp in unkindely, and wet years, may arise that multiplicity of little insects, which infest the Roots and Sprouts of tender Graines and pulses.

In the little nebbe or fructifying principle, the motion is regular, and not transvertible, as to make that ever the leaf, which nature intendeth the root; observable from their conversion, until they attain the right position, if seeds be set inversedly.

In vain we expect the production of plants from different parts of the seed, from the same corculum or little original proceed both germinations; and in the power of this slender particle lye many Roots, that though the same be pull’d away, the generative particle will renew them again, and proceed to a perfect plant; And malt may be observed to grow, though the Cummes be fallen from it.

The seminall nebbe hath a defined and single place, and not extended unto both extremes. And therefore many too vulgarly conceive that Barley and Oats grow at both ends; For they arise from one punctilio or generative nebbe, and the Speare sliding under the husk, first appeareth nigh the toppe. But in Wheat and Rye being bare the sprouts are seen together. If Barley unhulled would grow, both would appear at once. But in this and Oat-meal the nebbe is broken away, which makes them the milder food, and lesse apt to raise fermentation in Decoctions.

Men taking notice of what is outwardly visible, conceive a sensible priority in the Root. But as they begin from one part, so they seem to start and set out upon one signall of nature. In Beans yet soft, in Pease while they adhere unto the Cod, the rudimentall Leafe and Root are discoverable. In the seeds of Rocket and Mustard, sprouting in Glasses of water, when the one is manifest the other is also perceptible. In muddy waters apt to breed Duckweed, and Periwinkles, if the first and rudimentall stroaks of Duckweed be observed, the Leaves and Root anticipate not each other. But in the Date-stone the first sprout is neither root nor leaf distinctly, but both together; For the Germination being to passe through the Navell and hole about the midst of the stone, the generative germ is faine to enlengthen it self, and shooting out about an inch, at that distance divideth into the ascending and descending portion.

And though it be generally thought that Seeds will root at that end, where they adhere to their Originals, and observable it is that the nebbe sets most often next the stalk, as in Grains, Pulses, and most small Seeds, yet is it hardly made out in many greater plants. For in Acornes, Almonds, Pistachios, Wallnuts, and accuminated shells, the germ puts forth at the remotest part of the pulp. And therefore to set Seeds in that posture, wherein the Leaf and Roots may shoot right without contortion, or forced circumvolution, which might render them strongly rooted, and straighter, were a Criticisme in Agriculture. And nature seems to have made some provision hereof in many from their figure, that as they fall from the tree they may lye in Positions agreeable to such advantages.

Beside the open and visible Testicles of plants, the seminall pores[17] lie in great part invisible, while the Sun findes polypody in stone-wals, the little stinging Nettle, and nightshade in barren sandy High-wayes, Scurvy-grasse in Greeneland, and unknown plants in earth brought from remote Countries. Beside the known longevity of some Trees, what is the most lasting herb, or seed, seems not easily determinable. Mandrakes upon known account have lived near an hundred yeares. Seeds found in Wilde-Fowls Gizards have sprouted in the earth. The Seeds of Marjorane and Stramonium carelesly kept, have grown after seven years. Even in Garden-plots long fallow, and digged up, the seeds of Blattaria and yellow henbane, after twelve years burial have produced themselves again.

That bodies are first spirits Paracelsus could affirm, which in the maturation of Seeds and fruits, seems obscurely implied by Aristotle,18 when he delivereth, that the spirituous parts are converted into water, and the water into earth, and attested by observation in the maturative progresse of Seeds, wherein at first may be discerned a flatuous distension of the husk, afterwards a thin liquor, which longer time digesteth into a pulp or kernell observable in Almonds and large Nuts. And some way answered in the progressionall perfection of animall semination, in its spermaticall maturation, from crude pubescency unto perfection. And even that seeds themselves in their rudimentall discoveries, appear in foliaceous surcles, or sprouts within their coverings, in a diaphonous gellie, before deeper incrassation, is also visibly verified in Cherries, Acorns, Plums.

From seminall considerations, either in reference unto one mother, or distinction from animall production, the holy Scripture describeth the vegetable creation; And while it divideth plants but into Herb and Tree, though it seemeth to make but an accidental division, from magnitude, it tacitely containeth the naturall distinction of vegetables, observed by Herbarists, and comprehending the four kinds. For since the most naturall distinction is made from the production of leaf or stalk, and plants after the two first seminall leaves, do either proceed to send forth more leaves, or a stalk, and the folious and stalky emission distinguisheth herbs and trees,[19] and stand Authentically differenced, but from the accidents of the stalk.

The Æquivocall production of things under undiscerned principles, makes a large part of generation, though they seem to hold a wide univocacy in their set and certain Originals, while almost every plant breeds its peculiar insect, most a Butterfly, moth or fly, wherein the Oak seems to contain the largest seminality, while the Julus,[20] Oak, apple, dill,[21] woolly tuft, foraminous roundles upon the leaf, and grapes under ground make a Fly with some difference. The great variety of Flyes lyes in the variety of their originals, in the seeds of Caterpillars or Cankers there lyeth not only a Butterfly or Moth, but if they be sterill or untimely cast, their production is often a Fly,[22] which we have also observed from corrupted and mouldred Egges, both of Hens and Fishes; To omit the generation of Bees out of the bodies of dead Heifers, or what is stranger yet well attested, the production of Eeles in the backs of living Cods and Perches.23

The exiguity and smallnesse of some seeds extending to large productions is one of the magnalities of nature, somewhat illustrating the work of the Creation, and vast production from nothing. The true24 seeds of Cypresse and Rampions are indistinguishable by old eyes. Of the seeds of Tobacco a thousand make not one grain. The disputed seeds of Harts tongue, and Maidenhair, require a greater number. From such undiscernable seminalities arise spontaneous productions. He that would discern the rudimentall stroak of a plant, may behold it in the Originall of Duckweed, at the bignesse of a pins point, from convenient water in glasses, wherein a watchfull eye may also discover the puncticular Originals of Periwincles and Gnats.

That seeds of some Plants are lesse then any animals, seems of no clear decision; That the biggest of Vegetables exceedeth the biggest of Animals, in full bulk, and all dimensions, admits exception in the Whale, which in length and above ground measure, will also contend with tall Oakes. That the richest odour of plants, surpasseth that of Animals may seem of some doubt, since animall-musk, seems to excell the vegetable, and we finde so noble a scent in the Tulip-Fly, and Goat-Beetle.25

Now whether seminall nebbes hold any sure proportion unto seminall enclosures, why the form of the germe doth not answer the figure of the enclosing pulp, why the nebbe is seated upon the solid, and not the channeld side of the seed as in grains, why since we often meet with two yolks in one shell, and sometimes one Egge within another, we do not oftener meet with two nebbes in one distinct seed: why since the Egges of a Hen laid at one course, do commonly out-weigh the bird, and some moths coming out of their cases, without assistance of food, will lay so many Egges as to outweigh their bodies, trees rarely bear their fruit, in that gravity or proportion: Whether in the germination of seeds according to Hippocrates, the lighter part ascendeth, and maketh the sprout, the heaviest tending downward frameth the root; Since we observe that the first shoot of seeds in water, will sink or bow down at the upper and leafing end: Whether it be not more rational Epicurisme to contrive whole dishes out of the nebbes and spirited particles of plants, then from the Gallatures and treddles of Egges; since that part is found to hold no seminal share in Oval Generation, are quæries which might enlarge but must conclude this digression.

And though not in this order, yet how nature delighteth in this number, and what consent and coordination there is in the leaves and parts of flowers, it cannot escape[26] our observation in no small number of plants. For the calicular or supporting and closing leaves, do answer the number of the flowers, especially in such as exceed not the number of Swallows Egges;[27] as in Violets, Stichwort, Blossomes, and flowers of one leaf have often five divisions, answered by a like number of calicular leaves; as Gentianella, Convolvulus, Bell-flowers. In many the flowers, blades, or staminous shootes and leaves are all equally five, as in cockle, mullein and Blattaria; Wherein the flowers before explication are pentagonally wrapped up, with some resemblance of the blatta[28] or moth from whence it hath its name: But the contrivance of nature is singular in the opening and shutting of Bindeweeds, performed by five inflexures, distinguishable by pyramidicall figures, and also different colours.

The rose at first is thought to have been of five leaves, as it yet groweth wilde among us; but in the most luxuriant, the calicular leaves do still maintain that number. But nothing is more admired then the five Brethren of the Rose,[29] and the strange disposure of the Appendices or Beards, in the calicular leaves thereof, which in despair of resolution is tolerably salved from this contrivance, best ordered and suited for the free closure of them before explication. For those two which are smooth, and of no beard are contrived to lye undermost, as without prominent parts, and fit to be smoothly covered; the other two which are beset with Beards on either side, stand outward and uncovered, but the fifth or half-bearded leaf is covered on the bare side but on the open side stands free, and bearded like the other.

Besides a large number of leaves have five divisions, and may be circumscribed by a Pentagon or figure of five Angles, made by right lines from the extremity of their leaves, as in Maple, Vine, Figge-Tree: But five-leaved flowers are commonly disposed circularly about the Stylus; according to the higher Geometry of nature, dividing a circle by five radii, which concurre not to make Diameters, as in Quadrilaterall and sexangular Intersections.

Now the number of five is remarkable in every circle, not only as the first sphærical number,[30] but the measure of sphærical motion. For sphærical bodies move by fives, and every globular figure placed upon a plane, in direct volutation, returns to the first point of contaction in the fifth touch, accounting by the Axes of the Diameters or Cardinall points of the four quarters thereof. And before it arriveth unto the same point again, it maketh five circles equall unto it self, in each progresse from those quarters, absolving an equall circle.[31]

By the same number doth nature divide the circle of the Sea-Starre, and in that order and number disposeth those elegant Semi-circles, or dentall sockets and egges in the Sea Hedge-hogge. And no mean Observations hereof there is in the Mathematicks of the neatest Retiary Spider, which concluding in fourty four Circles, from five Semidiameters beginneth that elegant texture.

And after this manner doth lay the foundation of the circular branches of the Oak, which being five-cornered, in the tender annual sprouts, and manifesting upon incision the signature of a Starre, is after made circular, and swel’d into a round body: Which practice of nature is become a point of art, and makes two Problemes in Euclide.32 But the Bryar which sends forth shoots and prickles from its angles, maintains its[33] pentagonnall figure, and the unobserved signature of a handsome porch within it. To omit the five small buttons dividing the Circle of the Ivy-berry, and the five characters in the Winter stalk of the Walnut, with many other Observables, which cannot escape the eyes of signal discerners; Such as know where to finde Ajax his name in Gallitricum,[34] or Aarons Mitre in Henbane.

Quincuncial forms and ordinations, are also observable in animal figurations. For to omit the hioides or throat-bone of animals, the furcula or merry-thought in birds, which supporteth the scapulæ, affording a passage for the windepipe and the gullet, the wings of Flyes, and disposure of their legges in their first formation from maggots, and the position of their horns, wings and legges, in their Aurelian cases[35] and swadling clouts: The back of the Cimex Arboreus, found often upon Trees and lesser plants, doth elegantly discover the Burgundian decussation; And the like is observable in the belly of the Notonecton, or water-Beetle, which swimmeth on its back, and the handsome Rhombusses of the Sea-poult, or Werrell, on either side the Spine.

The sexangular Cels in the Honeycombs of Bees, are disposeth after this order, much there is not of wonder in the confused Houses of Pismires, though much in their busie life and actions, more in the edificial Palaces of Bees and Monarchical spirits; who make their combs six-corner’d, declining a circle, whereof many stand not close together, and compleatly fill the area of the place; But rather affecting a six-sided figure, whereby every cell affords a common side unto six more, and also a fit receptacle for the Bee it self, which gathering into a Cylindrical Figure, aptly enters its sexangular house, more nearly approaching a circular Figure, then either doth the Square or Triangle. And the Combes themselves so regularly contrived, that their mutual intersections make three Lozenges at the bottome of every Cell; which severally regarded make three Rows of neat Rhomboidall Figures, connected at the angles, and so continue three several chains throughout the whole comb.

As for the Favago found commonly on the Sea[36] shoar, though named from an honey-comb, it but rudely makes out the resemblance, and better agrees with the round Cels of humble Bees. He that would exactly discern the shop of a Bees mouth, need observing eyes, and good augmenting glasses; wherein is discoverable one of the neatest peeces in nature, and must have a more piercing eye then mine; who findes out the shape of Buls heads, in the guts of Drones pressed out behinde, according to the experiment of Gomesius;37 wherein notwithstanding there seemeth somewhat which might incline a pliant fancy to credulity of similitude.

A resemblance hereof there is in the orderly and rarely disposed Cels, made by Flyes and Insects, which we have often found fastened about small sprigs, and in those cottonary and woolly pillows, which sometimes we meet with fastened unto Leaves, there is included an elegant Net-work Texture, out of which come many small Flies. And some resemblance there is of this order in the Egges of some Butterflies and moths, as they stick upon leaves, and other substances; which being dropped from behinde, nor directed by the eye, doth neatly declare how nature Geometrizeth, and observeth order in all things.

A like correspondency in figure is found in the skins and outward teguments of animals, whereof a regardable part are beautiful by this texture. As the backs of several Snakes and Serpents, elegantly remarkable in the Aspis, and the Dart-snake, in the Chiasmus and larger decussations upon the back of the Rattlesnake, and in the close and finer texture of the Mater formicarum, or snake that delights in Ant-hills; whereby upon approach of outward injuries, they can raise a thicker Phalanx on their backs, and handsomely contrive themselves into all kindes of flexures: Whereas their bellies are commonly covered with smooth semi-circular divisions, as best accommodable unto their quick and gliding motion.

This way is followed by nature in the peculiar and remarkable tayl of the Bever, wherein the scaly particles are disposed, somewhat after this order, which is the plainest resolution of the wonder of Bellonius, while he saith, with incredible Artifice hath Nature framed the tayl or Oar of the Bever: where by the way we cannot but wish a model of their houses, so much extolled by some Describers: wherein since they are so bold as to venture upon three stages, we might examine their Artifice in the contignations, the rule and order in the compartitions; or whether that magnified structure be any more then a rude rectangular pyle or meer hovell-building.

Thus works the hand of nature in the feathery plantation about birds. Observable in the skins of the breast,38 legs and Pinions of Turkies, Geese, and Ducks, and the Oars or finny feet of Water-Fowl: And such a naturall Net is the scaly covering of Fishes, of Mullets, Carps, Tenches, &c. even in such as are excoriable and consist of smaller scales, as Bretts, Soals, and Flounders. The like Reticulate grain is observable in some Russia Leather.[39] To omit the ruder Figures of the ostracion, the triangular or cunny fish, or the pricks of the Sea-Porcupine.

The same is also observable in some parts of the skin of man, in habits of neat textures, and therefore not unaptly compared unto a Net: We shall not affirm that from such grounds, the Ægyptian Embalmers imitated this texture. Yet in their linnen folds the same is still observable among their neatest Mummies, in the figures of Isis and Osyris, and the Tutelary spirits in the Bembine Table.40 Nor is it to be over-looked how Orus, the Hieroglyphick of the world is described in a Net-work covering, from the shoulder to the foot. And (not to enlarge upon the cruciated character of Trismegistus, or handed crosses,[41] so often occurring in the Needles of Pharaoh, and Obelisks of Antiquity) the Statuæ Isiacæ, Teraphims, and little Idols,** found about the Mummies, do make a decussation or Jacobs Crosse, with their armes, like that on the head of Ephraim and Manasses, and this decussis is also graphically described between them.

This Reticulate or Net-work was also considerable in the inward parts of man, not only from the first subtegmen or warp of his formation, but in the netty fibres of the veins and vessels of life; wherein according to common Anatomy the right and transverse fibres are decussated, by the oblique fibres; and so must frame a Reticulate and Quincunciall Figure by their Obliquations, Emphatically extending that Elegant expression of Scripture, Thou hast curiously embroydered me, thou hast wrought me up after the finest way of texture, and as it were with a Needle.[42]

Nor is the same observable only in some parts, but in the whole body of man, which upon the extension of arms and legges, doth make out a square, whose intersection is at the genitals. To omit the phantastical Quincunx, in Plato of the first Hermaphrodite or double man, united at the Loynes, which Jupiter after divided.[43]

A rudimentall resemblance hereof there is in the cruciated and rugged folds of the Reticulum, or Net-like Ventricle of ruminating horned animals, which is the second in order, and culinarily called the Honey-comb. For many divisions there are in the stomack of severall animals; what number they maintain in the Scarus and ruminating Fish, common description, or our own experiment hath made no discovery. But in the Ventricle of Porpuses there are three divisions. In many Birds a crop, Gizard, and little receptacle before it; but in Cornigerous animals, which chew the cudd, there are no less then four of distinct position and office.[44]

The Reticulum by these crossed cels, makes a further digestion, in the dry and exuccous part of the Aliment received from the first Ventricle. For at the bottome of the gullet there is a double Orifice; What is first received at the mouth descendeth into the first and greater stomack, from whence it is returned into the mouth again; and after a fuller mastication, and salivous mixture, what part thereof descendeth again, in a moist and succulent body, it slides down the softer and more permeable Orifice, into the Omasus or third stomack; and from thence conveyed into the fourth, receives its last digestion. The other dry and exuccous part after rumination by the larger and stronger orifice beareth into the first stomack, from thence into the Reticulum, and so progressively into the other divisions. And therefore in Calves newly calved, there is little or no use of the two first Ventricles, for the milk and liquid aliment slippeth down the softer Orifice, into the third stomack; where making little or no stay, it passeth into the fourth, the seat of the Coagulum, or Runnet, or that division of stomack which seems to bear the name of the whole, in the Greek translation of the Priests Fee, in the Sacrifice of Peace-offerings.[45]

As for those Rhomboidal Figures made by the Cartilagineous parts of the Wezon, in the Lungs of great Fishes, and other animals, as Rondeletius[46] discovered, we have not found them so to answer our figure as to be drawn into illustration; Something we expected in the more discernable texture of the lungs of frogs, which notwithstanding being but two curious bladders not weighing above a grain, we found interwoven with veins not observing any just order. More orderly situated are those cretaceous and chalky concretions found sometimes in the bignesse of a small fech on either side their spine; which being not agreeable unto our order, nor yet observed by any, we shall not here discourse on.

But had we found a better account and tolerable Anatomy, of that prominent jowle of the Sperma Ceti Whale,47 then questuary operation, or the stench of the last cast upon our shoar, permitted, we might have perhaps discovered some handsome order in those Net-like seases and sockets, made like honey-combs, containing that medicall matter.

Lastly, The incession or locall motion of animals is made with analogy unto this figure, by decussative diametrals, Quincunciall Lines and angles. For to omit the enquiry how Butterflies and breezes move their four wings, how birds and fishes in ayre and water move by joynt stroaks of opposite wings and Finnes, and how salient animals in jumping forward seem to arise and fall upon a square base; As the station of most Quadrupeds, is made upon a long square, so in their motion they make a Rhomboides; their common progression being performed Diametrally, by decussation and crosse advancement of their legges, which not observed begot that remarkable absurdity in the position of the legges of Castors horse in the Capitol. The Snake which moveth circularly makes his spires in like order, the convex and concave spirals answering each other at alternate distances; In the motion of man the armes and legges observe this thwarting position, but the legges alone do move Quincuncially by single angles with some resemblance of an V measured by successive advancement from each foot, and the angle of indenture great or lesse, according to the extent or brevity of the stride.

Studious Observators may discover more analogies in the orderly book of nature, and cannot escape the Elegancy of her hand in other correspondencies.[48] The Figures of nails and crucifying appurtenances, are but precariously made out in the Granadilla or flower of Christs passion: And we despair to behold in these parts that handsome draught of crucifixion in the fruit of the Barbado Pine.[49] The seminal Spike of Phalaris, or great shaking grasse, more nearly answers the tayl of a Rattle-Snake, then many resemblances in Porta: And if the man Orchis50 of Columna be well made out, it excelleth all analogies. In young Wallnuts cut athwart, it is not hard to apprehend strange characters; and in those of somewhat elder growth, handsome ornamental draughts about a plain crosse. In the root of Osmond or Water fern, every eye may discern the form of a Half Moon, Rain-bow, or half the character of Pisces. Some finde Hebrew, Arabick, Greek, and Latine Characters in Plants; In a common one among us we seem to read, Acaia, Viviu, Lilil.[51]

Right lines and circles[52] make out the bulk of plants; In the parts thereof we finde Helicall or spirall roundles, voluta’s, conicall Sections, circular Pyramids, and frustums of Archimedes; And cannot overlook the orderly hand of nature, in the alternate succession of the flat and narrower sides in the tender shoots of the Ashe, or the regular inequality of bignesse in the five-leaved flowers of Henbane, and something like in the calicular leaves of Tutson.[53] How the spots of Persicaria do manifest themselves between the sixt and tenth ribbe. How the triangular capp in the stemme or stylus of Tuleps doth constantly point at three outward leaves. That spicated flowers do open first at the stalk.[54] That white flowers have yellow thrums or knops. That the nebbe of Beans and Pease do all look downward, and so presse not upon each other; And how the seeds of many pappous or downy flowers lockt up in sockets after a gomphosis[55] or mortis-articulation, diffuse themselves circularly into branches of rare order, observable in Tragopogon or Goats-beard, conformable to the Spiders web, and the Radii in like manner telarely[56] inter-woven.

And how in animall natures, even colours hold correspondencies, and mutuall correlations. That the colour of the Caterpillar will shew again in the Butterfly, with some latitude is allowable. Though the regular spots in their wings seem but a mealie adhesion, and such as may be wiped away, yet since they come in this variety, out of their cases, there must be regular pores in those parts and membranes, defining such Exudations.

That Augustus57 had native notes on his body and belly, after the order and number in the Starre of Charles wayne, will not seem strange unto astral Physiognomy, which accordingly considereth moles in the body of man, or Physicall Observators, who from the position of moles in the face, reduce them to rule and correspondency in other parts. Whether after the like method medicall conjecture may not be raised, upon parts inwardly affected; since parts about the lips are the critical seats of Pustules discharged in Agues; And scrophulous tumours about the neck do often speak the like about the Mesentery, may also be considered.

The russet neck[58] in young Lambs seems but adventitious, and may owe its tincture to some contraction in the womb; But that if sheep have any black or deep russet in their faces, they want not the same about their legges and feet; That black Hounds have mealy mouths and feet; That black Cows which have any white in their tayls, should not misse of some in their bellies; and if all white in their bodies, yet if black-mouth’d, their ears and feet maintain the same colour, are correspondent tinctures not ordinarily failing in nature, which easily unites the accidents of extremities, since in some generations she transmutes the parts themselves, while in the Aurelian Metamorphoses the head of the canker becomes the Tayl of the Butterfly.[59] Which is in some way not beyond the contrivance of Art, in submersions and Inlays,[60] inverting the extremes of the plant, and fetching the root from the top, and also imitated in handsome columnary work, in the inversion of the extremes; wherein the Capitel, and the Base, hold such near correspondency.

In the motive parts of animals may be discovered mutuall proportions; not only in those of Quadrupeds, but in the thigh-bone, legge, foot-bone, and claws of Birds. The legs of Spiders are made after a sesqui-tertian[61] proportion, and the long legs of some locusts, double unto some others. But the internodial parts of Vegetables, or spaces between the joints, are contrived with more uncertainty; though the joints themselves in many plants, maintain a regular number.

In vegetable composure, the unition of prominent parts seems most to answer the Apophyses[62] or processes of Animall bones, whereof they are the produced parts or prominent explanations. And though in parts of plants which are not ordained for motion, we do not expect correspondent Articulations; yet in the setting on of some flowers, and seeds in their sockets, and the lineal commissure of the pulpe of several seeds, may be observed some shadow of the Harmony; some show of the Gomphosis or mortis-articulation.

As for the Diarthrosis[63] or motive Articulation, there is expected little Analogy, though long-stalked leaves doe move by long lines, and have observable motions, yet are they made by outward impulsion, like the motion of pendulous bodies, while the parts themselves are united by some kind of symphysis unto the stock.

But standing vegetables, void of motive-Articulations, are not without many motions. For beside the motion of vegetation upward, and of radiation unto all unto all quarters, that of contraction, dilatation, inclination, and contortion, is discoverable in many plants. To omit the rose of Jericho, the ear of Rye, which moves with change of weather, and the Magical spit, made of no rare plants, which windes before the fire, and rosts the bird without turning.

Even Animals near the Classis of plants, seem to have the most restlesse motions. The Summer-worm of Ponds and plashes makes a long waving motion; the hair-worm seldom lies still. He that would behold a very anomalous motion, may observe it in the Tortile and tiring strokes of Gnatworms.64


1. [Or iulus; a catkin]

2. Capitula squamata quercuum, Bauhini, whereof though he saith perraro reperiuntur bis tantum invenimus, yet we find them commonly with us and in great numbers. [This marginal note is at the bottom of the previous page, page 122.]

3. Antho. Græc. inter Epigrammata γριφώδη ἐνδὸν ἐμῶν μετρὸς λαγώναν ἔχω πατέρα. [Anth. Gr. XIV.58, which has “ἢν δὲ ματεύσῃς ἔνδον ἐμῶν λαγόνων, μητρὸς ἔχω πατέρα”. The seeds]

4. [A seaweed. This use is earlier than the earliest OED citation for this meaning.]

5. Especially the porus cervinus Imperari, Sporosa, or Alga πλατύκεῤως. Bauhini.

6. {From there being a single Maggot found almost in every head.}

7. [Possibly “cuplike” (from “calix”, a cup) or “calycular”, scaly, from “calycle”, the outer covering of a blossom. This is the earliest citation of this word in the OED.]

8. [Hooked, from Latin uncus, a hook (noun) or hooked (adj.). The earliest citation of this word in the OED.]

9. Jeremiah 2.22. ["Si laveris te nitro et multiplicaveris tibi herbam borith maculata es in iniquitate tua coram me dicit Dominus Deus” in the Vulgate. Variously translated as “nitre”, “lye”, “nitre and potash”, or “soap”. The Wilkin edition notes “The LXX, Jerome, and the Vulgate, consider the Hebrew word used in Jer. ii, 22, and Mal. iii, 2, to refer to a plant, herba fullonum. Goguet calls it salt-wort, in the ashes of which a strong alkaline salt is contained. Our author, on the other hand, suggests that it may be fullonum dypsacus [sic], or fuller’s teazel.” Browne’s marginal note is called “d” and there is a referent in the text, d.]

10. [Probably Reseda luteola; weld, wode, or wold; but there is no comma in 1658 and some editors emend to “Mercury wild”, or wild mercury, Mercurialis perennis. Several plants are referred to as “mercury”.]

11. Stratiotes [aloides; Greek “stratos”, an army, “strategos”, a general (“a militarie name from Greece”). The fruits (and the flowers) are hexagonous. The marginal note in 165 is numbered “e” and reads “Strutiotes”.]

12. [Latin favus, a honeycomb; this passage is the first OED citation of the word. Throughout GC Browne uses plant images to refer to animals and vice versa.]

13. [Lastrea filix-mas, the male fern or “osmund royal”. The OED (v. “Male”) notes: “The spelling masle was the prevailing one in Law French, and in legal use appears in Eng. down to the 17th c. Sir T. Browne is the only non-legal writer of the 17th c. who uses it: doubtless as suggesting the original Latin etymon.”]

14. [ Gramen Ischemon, Cocksfoot, Dactylis glomerata Petiver’s (1713) An Account of Divers Rare Plants, Observed Last Summer in Several Curious Gardens, and Particularly the Society of Apothecaries Physick Garden at Chelsea (accessed at JSTOR) describes it thus: “This is generally call’d Gramen Mannæ, to which some add esculentum, because its eaten among the Germans; it chiefly differs from our English broad-leaved Cocksfoot in its Culture. The Italians call both these Capriola, Sanguinaria, and Sanguinella (because the Boys there put the tops up their Nostrils to make them Bleed). The Germans call is Scwaden. Mr. Ray in his History p. 1272. pl 6 joyns this with our English broad-leav’d Cocksfoot, viz the wild and manured together. Its sown as Corn in many Places of Germany, and used by them in Pottage and Meal, as we do Oatmeal. Gesner says its eat in Sallets. It grew very plentifully in Chelsea Physick Garden from Seed, which Dr. Ludovicus Stockius, a curious Botanist, sent me.”

Sachell palme, Manicaria saccifera or Palma saccifera.]

15. [“furre pellitory” read “furze, pellitory”]

16. [1658 has “German”]

17. {powers}

18. In met. cum Cabeo. [Meteorologica, IV, 3, with Cabeus’s commentary.]

19. {In a large acception it compriseth all Vegetables: for the frutex and suffrutex are under the progression of trees.}

20. {These and more to be found upon our Oaks; not well described by any till the Edition of Theatrum Botanicum.}

21. {Read rather, “Oak-apple, pill…”}

22. [An incorrect explanation of a correct observation: parasitical wasps and flies lay their eggs in the larvae of butterflies and moths.]

23. Schoneveldus de Pisc. [These are in fact not eels, but parasitical worms, “in the case of perch, referrible to the genus Cucullanus” — Wilkin.]

24. Doctissim. Laurenburg hort.

25. The long and tender Capricornus rarely found, we could never meet with but two. [More commonly known as the goat-chafer.]

26. [1658: “eseape”]

27. {Which exceedeth not five.}

28. [Any of various light-shunning moths and beetles called “blatta” or “blat”. According to Gerard, the name derives not from a resemblance unto the moth, but from the fact that moths and various other insects are found on and about the plant (Verbascum blattaria: moth mullein). They may well, of course, be found upon the plant because it resembles the moth.]

29. [The five calycular leaves. The allusion is to “a rustic rhyme” (in Wilkin:

“On a summer’s day, in sultry weather,
Five brethren were born together
Two had beards, and two had none,
And the other had but half a one. —— Jeff.”)]

30. [A spherical number is one whose powers always end with the last digit of the number itself. There are only three: 5, 6, and 10. (5 × 5 = 25, 5 × 25 = 125, 5 × 125 = 625, etc.).]

31. [That is: (1) a circle with cardinal points 1, 2, 3, and 4, 1 (“south”) touching a plane, will have points 2, 3, and 4 touch the plane before returning to 1 (“the fifth touch”, though teh 1658 text has “first touch”). Probably I’m missing something: this is trivial in that a circle divided into, say, seven diameters will return to its original on the eighth touch. (2) The area covered by the circle during such a revolution will be equal to five times its area (a rectangle having the area circumference x diameter = 4 times the area of the circle, in addition to a “half-circle" at each end together having an area equal to the circle.]

32. Elem. li. 4. [Elements IV, problems 12 and 14.]

33. [1658: “itt"]

34. [1658 has “Gallitricum", clary or salvia; read instead Delphinium.]

35. [In the chrysalis (aurelia).]

36. [1658: “8ea"]

37. Gom. de Sale.

38. Elegantly conspicuous on the inside of the stripped skins of Dive-Fowl, of the Cormorant, Goshonder, Weasell, Loon, &c.

39. [“This grain is, however, artificially produced, and not, as the author seems to suppose, natural.” Wilkin]

40. Bembo’s “brazen table" of hieroglyphs; see the note in Chapter I.

41. {Cruces ansatæ, being held by a finger in the circle.}

42. [Psalm 139, verses 13-15, in a Brownean adaptation.]

43. [On the squareness of man: Vitruvius, de architecture III, i, 3 and the famous illustration of Leonardo; on hermaphrodites: Plato Symposium 189d-191; the hermaphrodites (“androgynes” is what Plato calls them) would seem to have been joined everywhere, as they are described as “globular”. Jupiter divided them “to weaken them and to make them more useful by their multiplying”. The story is lunatic, even regarded as metaphor.]

44. {Magnus venter, reticulum, omasus, abomasus. — Aristot.}

45. [Leviticus 7.31 in the Septuagint.]

46. [Guillaume Rondelet, 1507-1566.]

47. 1652. Described in our Pseudo. Epidem. Edit. 3 [Book III, Chapter XXVI.]

48. {Wilkin adds, from MS Sloan. 1847: “Considerations are drawne from the signatures in the rootes of plants resembling sometimes orderly shapes and figures; those are made according as the pores or ascending fibres are posited in the plants. Wherby alimental juce and stablishing fibre ascend. The brake makes an handsome figure of a tree; the osmund royall a semicircle or raynebowe; the sedge a neate print; the annual surcles of the oake a five poynted starre according to the figure of the twigge; the stalk of the figge a triangle; carrots and many other a flosculous figure; the first rudiments of the sprouts of pyonie give starres of an handsome posie; the budds of plants with large leaves and many flowers cutt, shew the artificiall complications in a wonderful manner.”}

49. [One recent edition informs us that this is the banana, not the pineapple, without giving reasons. I can find two references to a pine from Barbados in John Evelyn (he calls it King pine once and Queen pine once; both, presumably, pineapples, since there still existed varieties called King and Queen as late as the mid-nineteenth century); and to Barbados pine, a tillandsia (a genus closely allied to pineapples). None makes reference to crucifixion. This remains, therefore, a temporary mystery. A pineapple, cut longways, presents an image that, with squinting, could be made out to be a crucifixion of the Muppet character Beaker.]

50. Orchis Anthropophora, Fabii Columne.

51. [The “hyacinth” (whose identity is uncertain) is said to contain the (Greek) letters “AIAI”, held to be a record of Apollo’s lament for the death of Hyacinthus. The delphinium is likewise said to contain the letters, referring in this case to Ajax, as noted above by Browne. I’m still working on the other words. It is to be noted, however, that AIAI, UIUI, and LILI (when written in Greek characters, ΑΙΑΙ, ΛΙΛΙ, ΥΙΥΙ) are remarkably similar (you have to turn it upside down to get “UIUI", but in such a case, who’s to say which side is “up”?), and it is possible that Browne is merely providing various “transliterations” of the same floral figure. The identity of this plant was a mystery to at least one of Browne’s correspondents; the following letter is printed in the Wilkin editin, pp. 365-366:

Dr. Henry Power to Dr. Browne.

[Ms. Sloan. 3315.]

9th of 9ber, 1668.

Yours I receaved, together with the little tractate of urnes, for both which I returne you a thousand thankes. To tell you that I honour the piece for the author’s sake, were obliquely to disparage it; give mee leave to peruse it, and I doubt not but by its own merit it may well challenge the applause of the world; one thing as I glanced over the latter part of it I could not passe, and that is the peculiar signature of Acaia viviu, Lilil. In what plant these tearmes are inscribed, I would gladly know, though I have narrowly searched very many, yet either my fancy was not so active, or else my enquiries not so satisfactory, as to light of any plant where I could ever rudely imagine any such characters. I should have blamd the barrenesse of our soile in not producing it, had you not tould mee ’twas a common one. I shall desire you to be my Oedipus. 3 old Spanish bookes I have found of my fathers, I knowe not wheather they be worth the carriage to Norwich or noe, much less worthy of your acceptance, yet I have presumed to send them to you, hoping they will be entertained, if not for their own, yet for his sake that formerly ought them, who I am sure was one that did much honour you, and left one that can doe noe less whilst hee is

H. P.]

52. [Compare Hydriotaphia, chapter 4.]

53. [Tutsan or toutsayn, any of various vulnerary herbs, probably Hypericum androsæmum, St. John’s Wort.]

54. [Not always; liatris, for example, opens from the top.]

55. [Connected by a socket, as teeth in the jaw; opposed to diarthrosis later in the text, the “motive Articulation" or connection by joints, as the knee.]

56. [From tela, a web; relating to webs or to spiders.]

57. Suet. in vit. Aug. [80]

58. {To be observed in white young Lambs, which afterward vanisheth.}

59. [The question is somewhat more complicated that that, since by the time the chrysalis is fully formed, the head and the tail are pretty much at the same place.]

60. [Rooting cuttings in water and by layering?]

61. [4:3]

62. [A swelling or process that is part of a bone, especially on the spinal vertebrae. A symphysis is the more or less seamless unition of two bones that were originally separate, as in the pubic bone and as in the jawbone. Hence, Browne is saying that there is a sort of decussation between plants and animals: plant parts unite and form a “apophysis" or process, animal parts unite and form a “symphysis" and vice versa.]

63. [See note 55]

64. Found often in some form of redmaggot in the standing waters of Cisterns in the Summer.

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