Philemon Holland, translator (1601): C. Plinius Secundus The Historie of the World. Book VII. (Pages 152-191)
THE SEVENTH BOOKE OF
THE HISTORIE OF NATVRE,
WRITTEN BY C. PLINIVS
HUS as you see, we have in the former bookes sufficiently treated of the Universall world, of the Lands, Regions, Nations, Seas, Ilands, and renowmed Cities therein contained. It remaineth now to discourse of the living creatures comprised within the same, and their natures: a point doubtlesse that would require as deepe a speculation, as any part else thereof whatsoever, if so be the spirit and mind of man were able to comprehend and compasse all things in the world. And to make a good entrance into this treatise and historie, me thinkes of right wee ought to begin at Man, for whose sake it should seeme that Nature made and produced all other creatures besides: though this great favour of hers, so bountifull and beneficiall in that respect, hath cost them full deere. In so much, as it is hard to iudge, whether in so doing, she hath done the part of a kind mother, or a hard and cruell step-dame. For first and formost, of all other living creatures, man she hath brought forth all naked, and cloathed him with the good and riches of others. To all the rest, given she hath sufficient to clad them everie one according to their kind: as namely, shells, cods, hard hides, prickes, shagge, bristles, haire, downe feathers, quils, skailes, and fleeces of wooll. The verie trunkes and stemmes of trees and plants, shee hath defended with barke and rind, yea and the same sometime double, against the iniuries both of heat and cold: man alone, poore wretch, she hath laid all naked upon the bare earth, even on his birth-day, to cry and wraule presently from the very first houre that he is borne into this world: in such sort, as among so many living creatures, there is none subiect to shed teares and weepe like him. And verily to no babe or infant is it given once to laugh before he be fortie daies old, and that is counted verie early and with the soonest. Moreover, so soone as he is entred in this manner to enioy the light of the sunne, see how he is immediatly tyed and bound fast, and hath no member at libertie; a thing that is not practised upon the young whelpes of any beast among us, be he never so wild. The child of man thus untowardly borne, and who another day is to rule and commaund all other, loe how he lyeth bound hand and foot, weeping and crying, and beginning his life with miserie, as if he were to make amends and satisfaction by his punishment unto Nature, for this onely fault and trespaße, that he is borne alive. O follie of all follies, ever to thinke (considering this simple beginning of ours) that we were sent into this world to live in pride and carrie our head aloft! The first hope that wee conceive of our strength, the first gift that Time affourdeth us, maketh us no better than four-footed beasts. How long is it ere we can goe alone? how long before we can prattle and speake, feed our selves, and chew our meat strongly? what a while continueth the mould and crowne of our heads to beat and pant, before our braine is well setled; the undoubted marke and token that bewrayeth our exceeding great weakeneße above all other creatures? What should I say of the infirmities and sicknesses that soone seaze upon our feeble bodies? what need I speake of so many medicines and remedies devised against these maladies: besides the new diseases that come everie day, able to check and frustrate all our provision of Physicke whatsoever? As for all other living creatures, there is not one, but by a secret instinct of nature knoweth his owne good, and whereto he is made able: some make use of their swift feet, others of their flight wings: some are strong of limme; others are apt to swimme, and practise the same: man onely knoweth nothing unlesse hee be taught; he can neither speake, nor goe, nor eat, otherwise than he is trained to it: and to be short, apt and good at nothing he is naturally, but to pule and crie. And hereupon it is, that some have been of this opinion, That better it had been, and simply best for a man, never to have been borne, or else speedily to die. None but we doe sorrow and waile, none but we are given to excesse and superfluitie infinitely in every thing, and shew the same in every member that we have. Who but we againe are ambitious and vainglorious? who but we are covetous and greedie of gathering good? wee and none but we desire to live long and never to die, are superstitious, carefull of our sepulture and buriall, yea, and what shall betide us when we are gone. Mans life is most fraile of all others, and in least securitie he liveth: no creature lusteth more after every thing than he: none feareth like unto him, and is more troubled and amazed in his fright: and if he be set once upon anger, none more raging and wood than he. To conclude, all other living creatures live orderly and well, after their owne kind: we see them flocke and gather together, and readie to make head and stand against all others of a contrarie kind: the lyons as fell and savage as they be, fight not one with another: serpents sting not serpents, nor bite one another with their venimous teeth: nay the verie monsters and huge fishes of the sea, warre not amongst themselves in their owne kind: but beleeve me, Man at mans hand receiveth most harme and mischiefe.
The straunge and wondrous shapes of sundrie nations.
N our Cosmographie and reports of nations and countreys, wee have spoken in generall of all mankind, spred over the face of the whole earth: neither is it our purpose at this present to decipher particularly all their customes and manners of life, which were a difficult enterprise, considering how infinit they be, and as many in manner as there be societies and assemblies of men. Howbeit I think it good, not to over-passe all, but to make relation of some things concerning those people especially, who live farthest remote from our seas; among whome, I doubt not but I shall find such matter, as to most men will seeme both prodigious and incredible. And verily, who ever beleeved that the Æthiopians had been so blacke, before he saw them with his eye: nay what is it, I pray you, that seemeth not a wonder at the first sight? How many things are judged impossible before they are seene done and effected? And certes, to speake a truth, The power and majestie of Nature, in every particular action of hers and small things, seemeth incredible, if a man consider the same severally, and enter not into a generall conceit of her wholly as she is. For to say nothing of the painted peacocks feathers, of the sundrie spots of tygres, luzernes, and panthars, of the variable colours and markes of so many creatures besides: let us come to one only point, which to speake of seemeth but small, but being deeply weighed and considered, is a matter of exceeding great regard, and that is, The varietie of mens speech; so many tongues and divers languages are amongst them in the world, that one straunger to another seemeth well-neere to be no man at all. But come to view and marke the varietie that appeareth in our face and visage, albeit there be not past ten parts or litle more therein, see how among so many thousands as we are, you shall not find any two persons, who are not distinct in countenance and different one from another: a thing that no artificer nor painter (be he never so cunning and his craftsmaster every way) can perform, but in a few pictures, and take what heed he can with all his curious affectation. And yet thus must must I advertise the readers of this mine historie by the way, that I will not pawne my credit for many things that herein I shall deliver, nor bind them to beleeve all I write as touching straunge and forrein nations: referre them rather I will to mine authors, whome in all points (more doubtfull than the rest) I will cite and alledge, whom they may beleeve if they list: only let them not thinke much to follow the Greeke writers, who from time to time in this behalfe have been more diligent in penning, and more curious in searching after antiquities.
Of the Scythians, and the diversitie of other nations.
THAT there be Scythians, yea, and many kinds of them that feed ordinarily on mans flesh, wee have shewed alreadie in our former discourses. A report haply that would bee thought incredible, if wee did not consider and thinke withall, how in the very middle and heart of the world, even in Sicilie and Italie, here hard by, there have been such monsters of men, namely, the Cyclopes and Lystrigones: nay, if wee were not credibly enformed, that even of late daies, and goe no farther than to the other side of the Alpes, there be those that kill men for sacrifice after the maner of those Scythian people; and that wants not much of chewing and eating their flesh. Moreover, neere unto those Scythians that inhabite toward the pole Articke, and not farre from that climate which is under the very rising of the Northeast wind, and about that famous cave or hole out of which that wind is said to issue, which place they call Ges-clithron, [i. the cloisture or key of the earth] the Arimaspians by report doe dwell, who as wee have said before, are knowne by this marke, for having one eie onely in the mids of their forehead: and these maintaine warre ordinarily about the mettall mines of gold, especially with griffons, a kind of wild beasts that flie, and use to fetch gold out of the veines of those mines (as commonly it is received:) which savage beasts (as many authors have recorded, and namely Herodotus and Aristeas the Proconnesian, two writers of greatest name) strive as eagerly to keepe and hold those golden mines, as the Arimaspians to disseize them thereof, and to get away the gold from them. Above those, are other Scythians called Anthropophagi, where is a country named Abarimon, within a certain vale of the mountaine Imaus, wherein are found savage and wild men, living and conversing usually among the brute beasts, who have their feet growing backward, and turned behind the calves of their legs, howbeit they run most swiftly. These kind of men can endure to live in no other aire nor in any other clime els than their owne, which is the reason that they cannot be drawne to come unto other kings that border upon them, nor could be brought unto Alexander the great: as Beton hath reported, the marshall of that princes camp, and who also put downe his geasts and journies in writing. The former Anthropophagi or eaters of mans flesh whom we have placed about the North pole, tenne daies journey by land above the river Borysthenes, use to drinke out of the sculs of mens heads, and to weare the scalpes, haire and all, in steed of mandellions or stomachers before their breasts, according as Isogonus the Nicean witnesseth. The same writer affirmeth moreover, That in Albanie there bee a sort of people borne with eies like owles, whereof the sight is fire red: who from their childhood are grey headed, and can see better by night than day. He reporteth also, that tenne daies journie beyond Borysthenes, the Sauromates never eat but one meale of meat in three daies. Crates of Pergamus saith, That in Hellespont about Parium there was a kind of men (whom he nameth Ophiogenes) that if one were stung with a serpent, with touching onely, will ease the paine: and if they doe but lay their hands upon the wound, are wont to draw forth all the venome out of the bodie. And Varro testifieth, that even at this day there be some there who warish and cure the stinging of serpents with their spittle, but there are but few such as he saith. Agatharcides writeth, that in Affricke the Physilians1 (so called of king Psyllus, from whose race they were descended, and whose sepulchre or tombe is at this day present to bee seene in a part of the greater Syrtes) could doe the like. These men had naturally that in their owne bodies, which like a deadly bane and poyson would kill all serpents: for the very aire and sent that breathed from them, was able to stupifie and strike them starke dead. And by this meanes they used to trie the chastitie and honestie of their wives. For so soone as they were delivered of children, their manner was to expose and present the silie babes new borne, unto the most fell and cruell serpents they could find: for if they were not right but gotten in adultery, the said serpents would not avoid & flie from them. This nation verily in generall hath been defeated, & killed up in manner all, by the Nasamones, who now inhabit those parts wherein they dwelt: howbeit, a kind remaineth still of them, descended from those that made shift away and fled, or else were not present at the said bloudie battell, but there are very few of them at this day left. The Marsians in Italie at this present continue with the like naturall vertue against serpents: whom being reputed for to have descended from ladie Circes sonne, the people in this regard doe highly esteeme, and are verily persuaded, that they have in them the same facultie by kind. And what great wonder is this, considering that all men carrie about them that which is poyson to serpents: for if be true that is reported, they will no better abide the touching with mans spittle, than scalding water cast upon them: but if it happen to light within their chawes, or get into their mouth, especially if it come from a man that is fasting, it is present death. Beyond those Nasamones, and their neighbours confining them (the Machlyes) there bee found ordinarily Hermaphrodites, called Androgyni, of a double nature, and resemblnig both sexes, male and female, who have carnall knowledge one of another interchangeably by turns, as Caliphanes doth report. Aristotle saith moreover, that on the right side of their breast they have a little teat or nipple like a man, but on the left side they have a full pap or dug like a woman. In the same Affricke , both Isogonus and Nymphodorus doe avouch, there be certain houses and families of sorcerers: who, if they chance to blesse, praise, and speak good words, bewitch presently withall; insomuch as sheepe therewith die, trees wither, and infants pine and winder away. Isogonus addeth furthermore, That such like there are among the Triballians and Illyrians, who with their very eiesight can witch, yea, and kill those whom they looke wistly upon any long time, especially if they be angred, and that their eies bewray their anger: and more subject to this daunger bee men growne, than children under fourteene yeeres of age. This also is in them more notable and to be observed, that in either eie they have two sights or apples. Of this kind and propertie, as Apollonides mine authour saith, there be certain women in Scythia named Bithyæ. Philarchus witnesseth, That in Pontus also the whole race of the Thibians, and many others besides, have the same qualitie, and can do the like: & known they are (saith he) by these markes, In one of their eies they have two sights, in the other the print or resemblance of an horse. Hee reporteth besides of these kind of men, that they will never sink or drown in the water, be they charged never somuch with weightie & heavie apparel. Not unlike to these there are a sort of people in Æthyopia called Pharnaces,2 whose sweat if it chaunce to touch a mans bodie, presently he falleth into a phthisick or consumption of the lungs. And Cicero a Romane writer, here among us testifieth, that generally all women that have such double apples in their eies, have a venomous sight, and doe hurt therewith. See how Nature, having engrassed naturally in some men this unkind appetite (like wild beasts) to feed commonly upon the bowels and flesh of men, hath taken delight also & pleasure to give them inbred poysons in their whole bodie, yea, and venome in the very eies of some; that there should be no naughtinesse in the whole world againe, but the same might be found in man. Not farre from Rome cittie, within the territorie of the Falisci, there bee some few houses and families called Hirpiæ, which at their solmne yeerely sacrifice celebrated by them in the honour of Apollo upon the mount Soracte, walke upon the pile of wood as it is on fire, in great jolitie, and never a whit are burnt withall. For which cause ordained it is by an expresse arest or act of the Senate, that they should be priviledged, and have immunitie of warfare and all other services whatsoever. Some men there bee that have certaine members and parts of their bodies naturally working straunge and miraculous effects, and in some cases medicinable. As for example, king Pyrrhus, whose great toa of his right foot was good for them that had big, swelled, or indurate splenes, if he did but touch the parties diseased, with that toa. And they say moreover, that when all the rest of his bodie was burned (after the manner) in the funerall fire, that great toa the fire had no power to consume: so, that it was bestowed in a little case for the nones, and hung up in the temple for an holy relique. But principally above all other countries, India and the whole tract of Æthyopia is full of these straunge and miraculous things. And first and formost, the beasts bred in India be exceeding big, as it may appeare by their dogs, which for proportion are much greater than those in other parts. And trees be growing there to that talnesse, that a man cannot shoot a shaft over them. The reason hereof is the goodnesse and fatnesse of the ground, the temperate constitution of the aire, and the abundance of water: which is the cause also that under one fig tree [beleeve it that list] there may certaine troupes and squadrons of horsemen stand in covert, shaded with the boughs. And as for reeds, they be of such a length, that between every joint they will yeeld sufficient to make boats able to receive three men apeece, for to row therein at ease. There are to bee seene many men there above five cubites tall: never are they known once to spit: troubled they are not with paine in the head, toothach, or greese of the eies; and seldom or never complaine they of any sorance in other parts of the bodie, so hardie are they, and of so strong a constitution through the moderate heat of the Sunne. Over and besides, among the Indians be certaine Philosophers, whom they call Gymnosophists, who from Sunne rising to the setting thereof are able to endure all the day long, looking full against the Sunne, without winking or once moving their eies: & from morning to night can abide to stand sometimes upon one leg, and sometimes upon the other in the sand, as scalding hot as it is. Upon a certaine mountaine named Milus, there be men whose feet grow the tother way backward, and of either foot they have eight toes, as Megasthenes doth report. And in many other hils of that countrey, there is a kind of men with heads like dogs, clad all over with the skins of wild beasts, who in lieu of speech use to barke: armed they are and well appointed with sharpe and trenchant nailes: they live upon the prey which they get by chasing wild beasts, and fowling. Ctesias writeth that there were discovered and knowne of them above 120000 in number. By whose report also in a certaine countrey of India the women beare but once in their life, and their infants presently waxe grey so soone as they are borne into the world. Likewise that there is a kind of people named Monoscelli,3 that have but one leg apeece, but they are most nimble, and hop wonderous swiftly. The same men are also called Sciopodes, for that in hotest season of the Summer, they lie along on their backe, and defend themselves with their feet against the Sunnes heat: and these people as he saith are not farre from the Troglodites. Againe, beyond these Westward, some there bee without heads standing upon their necks, who carrie eies in their shoulders. Among the Westerne mountaines of India the Satyres haunt, (the countrey wherein they are, is called the region of the Cartaduli) creatures of all other most swift in footmanship: which one whiles run with all foure; otherwhiles upon two feet onely like men: but so light-footed they are, that unlesse they be very old or sicke, they can never bee taken. Tauron writeth, That the Choromandæ are a savage and wild people: distinct voice and speech they have none, but in steed thereof, they keepe an horrible gnashing and hideous noise: rough they are and hairie all over their bodies, eies they have red like the houlets, and toothed they be like dogs. Eudoxus saith, That in the Southerne parts of India, the men kind have feet a cubite long, but the women so short & small, that thereupon they be called Struthopodes, i. sparrow footed. Megasthenes is mine author, that among the Indian Nomades there is a kind of people, that in steed of noses have only two small holes, and after the manner of snakes have their legs and feet limmer, wherewith they crawle and creepe, and named they are Syrictæ. In the utmost marches of India, Eastward, about the source & head of the river Ganges, there is a nation called the Astomes, for that they have no mouths: all hairie over the whole bodie, yet clothed with the soft cotton and downe that come from the leaves of trees: they live onely by the aire, and smelling to sweet odours, which they draw in at their nosethrils: No meat nor drinke they take, onely pleasant savours from divers and sundrie roots, floures, and wild fruits growing in the woods they entertaine: and those they use to carrie about with them when they take any farre journey, because they would not misse their smelling. And yet if the sent be any thing strong and stinking, they are soone therewith overcome, and die withall. Higher in the countrey, and above these, even in the edge and skirts of the mountaines, the Pygmæi Spythamei are reported to bee: called they are so, for that they are but a *cubite or three **shaftments (or spannes) high, that is to say, three times nine inches. The clime wherin they dwell is very holesome, the aire healthie, and ever like to the temperature of the Spring: by reason that the mountaines are on the North side of them, and beare off all cold blasts. And these pretie people Homer also reporteth to be much troubled and annoied by cranes. The speech goeth, that in the Spring time they set out all of them in battell array, mounted upon the backe of rammes and goats, armed with bowes and arrowes, and so downe to the sea side they march, wheere they make foule worke among the egges and young cranelings newly hatched, which they destroy without all pitie. Thus for three moneths this their journey and expedition continueth, and then they make an end of their valiant service: for otherwise if they should continue any longer, they were never able to withstand the new flights of this foule, growne to some strength and bignesse. As for their houses and cottages, made they are of clay or mud, fouls feathers, and birds egge shels. Howbeit, Aristotle writeth, That these Pygmæans live in hollow caves & holes under the ground. For all other matters he reporteth the same that all the rest. Isogonus saith, that certaine Indians named Cyrni, live a hundred and fortie yeeres. The like he thinketh of the Æthhyopian Macrobij, and the Seres: as also of them that dwel upon the mount Athos: and of these last rehearsed, the reason verily is rendered to be thus, because they feed of vipers flesh, and therfore is it that neither lice breed in their heads, nor any other vermine in their cloths, for to hurt and annoy their bodies. Onesicritus affirmeth, That in those parts of India where there are no shaddowes to be seene, the men are five cubites of stature, and two hand breadths over: that they live 130 yeeres: and never age for all that and seeme old, but die then, as if they were in their middle and settled age. Crates of Pergamus nameth those Indians who live above an hundred yeere, Gymnetes: but others there be, and those not a few, that call them Macrobij. Ctesias saith there is a race or kindred of the Indians named Pandore, inhabiting certain vallies, who live two hundred yeeres: in their youthfull time the haire of their head is white, but as they grow to age, waxeth blacke. Contrariwise, others there be neere neighbours to the Macrobij, who exceed not fortie yeeres, and their women beare but once in their life time. And this also is avouched by Agatharcides, who affirmeth moreover, that all their feeding is upon locusts, and that they are very quicke and swift of foot. Clitarchus and Megasthenes both nameth them Mandri, and make account that they have three hundred villages in their countrey. Over and besides, that the women bring forth children when they are but seven yeeres old, and waxe aged at fortie. Artemidorus affirmeth, That in the Island Taprobana the people live exceeding long without any maladie or infirmitie of the body. Duris maketh report, That certaine Indians engender with beasts, of which generation are bred certaine monstrous mungrels, halfe beasts and halfe men. Also, that the Calingian women of India conceive with child at five yeeres of age, & live not above eight. In another tract of that countrey, there be certaine men with long shagged tailes most swift and light of foot: & some again that with their eares cover their whole bodie. The Orites are neighbours to the Indians, divided from them onely by the river Arbis, who are acquainted with no other meat but fish: which they split and slice into peeces with their nailes, and rost them against the Sunne, and then make bread thereof as Clitarchus makes report. Crates of Pergamus saith likewise, That the Troglodites above Æthyopia be swifter than horses: and that some Æthyopians are above eight cubites high. And these are a kind of the Æthyopian Nomades, called Syrbotæ, as he saith, dwelling along the river Astapus, toward the North pole. As for the nation called Menismini, they dwell from the Ocean sea twentie daies journey, who live of the milk of certaine beasts that we call Cynocephales, having heads and snouts like dogs. And whole heards and flockes of the females they keepe and feed, killing the male of them all, save only to serve for maintenance of the breed. In the deserts of Affricke yee shall meet oftentimes with fairies, appearing in the shape of men and women, but they vanish soone away like fantasticall illusions. See how Nature is disposed for the nones to devise full wittily in this and such like pastimes to play with mankind, thereby not onely to make her selfe merrie, but to set us a wondering at such strange miracles. And I assure you, thus daily and hourly in a manner plaieth she her part, that to recount every one of her sports by themselves, no man is able with all his wit and memorie. Let it suffice therefore, to testifie and declare her power, that wee have set downe those prodigious and strange workes of hers, shewed in whole nations. And then goe forward to discourse of some particulars, approved and knowne in man.
Of prodigious and monstrous births.
THAT women may bring forth three at one birth, appeareth evidently by the example of the three twins, Horatij and Curiatij. But to goe above that number, is reputed & commonly spoken to bee monstrous, and to portend some mishap: but onely in Ægypt, where women are more than ordinarie fruitfull, by drinking of Nilus water, which is supposed to help generation. Of late yeeres, and no longer since than in the latter end of the reigne of Augustus Cæsar, at Ostia there was a woman (a Commoners wife) delivered at one birth of two boies and as many girles, but this was a prodigious token, and portended no doubt the famine that ensued soone after. In Peloponnesus there is found one woman that brought forth at foure births twentie children, five at once, and the greater part of them all did well, and lived. Trogus is mine author, that in Ægypt it is an ordinarie thing for a woman to have seven at a burden. It falleth out moreover, that there come into the world children of both sexes, whom we cal Hermophrodites. In old time they were known by the name of Androgyni, and reputed then for prodigious wonders, howsoever now men take delight and pleasure in them. Pompey the great, in this Theatre which he adorned and beautified with singular ornaments and rare devises of antique worke, as well for the admirable subject and argument thereof, as the most curious and exquisite hand of cunning and skilfull artificers, among other images and pourtraicts there set up, represented one Eutiche, a woman of Tralleis, who after she had in her life time borne thirtie births, her corps was carried forth by twentie of her children to the funerall fire for to bee burnt, according to the manner of that countrey. As for Alcippe, she was delivered of an Elephant, marie that was a monstrous and prodigious token, & foreshewed some heavie fortune that followed after. As also in the beginning of the Marsians warre, there was a bondwoman brought forth a serpent. In summe, there be many mishapen monsters come that way into the world, of divers and sundrie formes. Claudius Cæsar writeth, That in Thessalie there was borne a monster called an Hippocentaur, i. halfe a man and halfe a horse: but it died the very same day. And verily, after he was come to wear the diademe, wee our selves saw the like monster, sent unto him out of Ægypt, embaulmed and preserved in honie. Among many strange examples appearing upon record in Chronicles, we read of a child in Sagunt, that very yeere that it was forced and rased by Anniball, which, so soone as it was come forth of the mothers wombe, presently returned into it againe.
Of the chaunge from one sex to another: and of twins borne.
IT is no lie nor fable, that females may turn to be males. For we have found it recorded in the yeerely Chronicles called Annales, that in the yeere when Pub. Licinius Crassus, and C. Cassius Longinus were Consuls of Rome, there was in Cassinum a maid child, under the very hand & tuition of her parents, without suspition of being a changeling, became a boy: and by an ordinance of the Southsaiers called Aruspices, was confined to a certaine desert Island, and thither conveighed. Licinius Mutianus reporteth, That himselfe saw at Argos one named Arescon, who beforetime had to name Arescusa, and a married wife: but afterwards in processe of time, came to have a beard, and the generall parts testifying a man, and therupon wedded a wife. After the same sort he saw (as he saith) at Smyrna, a boy changed into a girle. I my selfe am an eie-witnesse, That in Affricke one L. Coßieius, a citizen of Tisdrita, turned from a woman to bee a man, upon the very mariage day: and lived at the time that I wrote this booke. Moreover, this is observed, that if a woman bring twins, it is a great good hap if they all live, but either the mother dieth in childbed, or one of the babes, if not both. But if it fortune that the twins be of both sexes, the one male, the other female, it is ten to one if both of them escape. Moreover, this is well known, that as women age sooner than men, and seeme old: so they grow to their maturitie more timely than men, and are apt for procreation before them. Last of all, when a women goeth with child, if it be a man child, it stirreth oftener in the wombe, and lieth commonly more to the right side: whereas the female moveth more seldome, and beareth to the left.
Of the generation of man: the time of child birth from seven months to eleven, testified by many notable examples out of histories.
ALL other living creatures have a set time limitted by Nature, both of going with their young, and also of bringing it forth, each one according to their kind. Man onely is borne at all times of the yeere: and there is no certain time of his abode in the wombe, after conception. For one commeth into the world at the seven months end, another at the eight, and so to the beginning of the ninth and tenth. But before the seventh month, there is no infant ever borne that liveth. And none are borne at seven months end, unlesse they were conceived either in the very chaunge of the moone, or within a day of it under or over. An ordinarie thing it is in Ægypt for women to goe with young eight months, and then to be delivered. And even in Italie also now adaies, children so borne, live and doe well: but this is against the common received opinion of all old writers. But there is no certainetie for to ground upon in all these cases, for they alter divers waies. Dame Vestilia (the widdow of C. Herditius, wife afterwards of Pomponius, and last of all, maried to Orfitus; all right worshipfull cittizens, and of most noble houses) had foure children by her three husbands; to wit, Sempronius, whom she bare at the seven months; Suillius Rufus at the eleventh; with Corbulo likewise shee went seven months, yet they lived all: and these two last, came both to be Consuls. After all these sonnes, she brought forth a daugther, namely, Cæsonia, wife to the Emperour Caius (Caligula) at the eight moneths end. They that are borne thus in this month, have much adoe to live, and are in great daunger for fortie daies space. Yea, and their mothers are very sickly, and subject to fall into untimely travell all the fourth moneth and the eight: and if they fall to labour, and come before their time, they die for it. Massurius writeth, That L. Papyrius the Pretour or lord cheefe justice, when a second heire in remainder made claime, and put in plea for his inheritance of the goods, made an award, and gave judgement against him, in the behalfe of an infant the right heire, borne after the decease of his father: upon this, that the mother came in and testified how shee was delivered of that child, within thirteene months after the death of the testator: the reason was, because there is no definite time knowne, nor set downe for women to goe with child.
Of Conceptions: and signes distinguishing the sex in great bellied women, before they are delivered.
IF tenne daies after that a woman hath had the companie of a man, she feele an extraordinarie ach in the head, and perceive giddinesse in the braine, seeming that all things went round; find a dazeling and mistinesse in the eies, abhorring and lothing of meat, and withall, a turning and wambling of the stomacke: it is a signe that she is conceived, and beginneth to breed. If she goe with a boy, better coloured will she be all the time, and delivered with more ease: and by the fortieth day she shall feele a kind of motion and stirring in her wombe. But contrariwise it falleth out in the breeding of a girle: shee goeth more heavily with it, and findeth the burden heavier, her legs and thighes about the share will swell a little. And ninetie daies it will be before she perceive any moving of the infant. But bee it male or female that shee breeds, they put her to much paine and greevance when their haire beginneth to bud forth, and ever at the full of the moone: and even the very infants after they are borne, are most amisse and farthest out of frame about that time. And verily, great regard must be had of a woman with child all the while that shee goeth therewith, both in her gate, and in every thing els that can be named. For if women feed usually upon over-salt and powdered meat, they will bring forth a child without nailes: and if they hold not their wind in their labour, longer it will be ere they be delivered, and with more difficultie. Much yawning in the time of travell is a deadly signe: like as to sneese presently upon conception, threateneth abortion, or a slip.
Of the conception and generation of man.
I AM abashed much, and very sorrie to think and consider what a poore and ticklish beginning man hath, the prowdest creature of all others: when the smell onely of the snuffe of a candle put out, it the cause oftentimes that a woman falleth into untimely travell. And yet see, these great tyrants, and such as delight onely in carnage & bloudshead, have no better originall. Thou then that presumest upon thy bodily strength, thou that standest so much upon fortunes favors and hast thy hands full of her bountiful gfts, taking thy selfe not to be a foster child and nourceling of hers, but her naturall sonne born of her own bodie: thou, I say, that busiest thy head evermore, and settest thy mind upon conquests and victories: thou that art upon every good successe and pleasant gale of prosperitie puffed up with pride, and takest thy selfe for a god, never thinkest that thy life, when it was hung upon so single a thred, with so small a matter might have miscaried. Nay more than that, even at this day in more daunger art thou than so, if thou chance to be but stung or bitten with the little tooth of a serpent: or if no more but the very kernell of a raisin goe downe thy throte wrong, as it did with the poët Anacreon, which cost him his life. Or, as Fabius a Senatour of Rome, and lord cheefe justice besides, who in a draught of milke fortuned to swallow a small haire, and was strangled withall. Well then, think better of this point. For he verily that will evermore set before his eies and remember the frailetie of mans estate, shall live in this world uprightly and in even ballance, without enclining more to one side, than unto another.
Of those that be called Agrippæ.
TO be borne with the feet forward, is unnaturall and unkind. And such as come in that order into the world, the Latines were wont to name Agrippæ, as if a man should say, Born hardly and with much adoe. And in this manner M. Agrippa (as they say) came forth of his mothers wombe: the only man almost that is knowne to have brought any good fortune with him, and prospered in the world, of all that ever were in that sort borne. And yet as happie as hee was, and how well soever he chieved in some respects, hee was much pained with the gout, and passed all his youth and many a day after in bloudie warres, and in daunger of a thousand deaths. And when he had escaped all these harmeful perils, unfortunate he was in all his children, and especially in his two daugthers the Agrippinæ both: who brought forth those unhappie impes so pernicious to the whole earth, namely, C. Caligula and Domitius Nero, two Emperours, that is to say, two fierie flames for to consume and wast all mankind. Over and besides, his infelicitie herein appeared, that he lived so small a time, dying as he did a strong and lustie man, in the one and fiftie yeere of his age, tormented and vexed with the adulteries of his owne wife: oppressed with the heavie & intollerable servitude that he was in under his wives father. In which regards it seemeth he paid full deere for the præsage of his untoward birth and nativitie. Moreover, Agrippina hath left in writing, That her sonne Nero also, late Emperour, who all the time of his reigne was a verie enemie to all mankind, was borne with his feet forward. And in truth by the right order and course of Nature, a man is brought into the world with his head first, but is6 carried forth with his feet formost.
Births cut out of the wombe.
BUT more fortunate are they a great deale, whose birth costeth their mothers life, and part from their mothers by meanes of incision: like as Scipio Africanus the former, who came into the world in that wise: and the first that ever was surnamed Cæsar, so called because hee was ript out of his mothers bellie. And hereof commeth the fore-named also of the Cæsones. In like manner also was that Manlius borne, who entred Carthage with an armie.
Who are Vopisci.
THE Latines were wont to cal him ***Vopiscus, who being one of two twinnes happened to stay behind in the wombe the full tearme, when the other miscarried before by abortive and untimely birth. And in this case there chaunce right strange and wonderfull accidents, although they fall out but very seldome.
Examples of many infants at one birth.
FEW creatures there be but women again, that seeke after the male and can skill of their companie, after they be once conceived with young: one kind verily or two at the most there is, knowne to conceive double one upon the other. We find in bookes written by Physicians, and in their records who have studied such matters and gathered observations, that there have passed or been cast away from a woman at one onely slip, 12 distinct children: but when it falleth out that there is some prettie time betweene two conceptions, both of them may tarrie their complete time, and be borne with life: as it appeared in Hercules and his brother Iphiclus: as also in that harlot who was delivered of two infants, the one like her owne husband, the other resembling the adulterer: likewise in a Proconnesian bond-servant, who was in one day gotten with child, to wit, by her master, and his baily or procurator: and being afterwards delivered of two children, they bewraied plainly who were their fathers. Moreover, there was another who went her full time, even nine moneths for one child, but was delivered of another at the five moneths end. Furthermore in one other, who having dropped downe one child at the end of seven moneths, by the end of the ninth came with two twinnes more. Over and besides it is commonly seene, that children be not alwaies answerable to the parents in every respect: for of perfect fathers and mothers who have all their limmes, there are begotten children imperfect and wanting some members: and contrariwise, parents there are maimed and defective in some part, who nevertheles ingender children that are sound and entire, and with all that they should have. It is seene also, that infants are at a default of such parts as their parents misse: yea and they carrie often-times certaine markes, moles, blemishes; and skarres, of their fathers and mothers, as like as may be. Among the people called Dakes, the children usually carrie the markes imprinted in their armes, of them from whome they are descended, even to the fourth generation.
Examples of many that have been very like and resembled one another.
IN the rase and familie of the Lepidi, it is said there were three of them (not successively one after another, but out of order after some intermission) who had everie one of them when they were borne, a little pannicle or thinne skinne growing over the eye. Some have been knowne to resemble their grandsires: and of two twinnes, one hath been like the father, the other the mother: but hee that was borne a yeere after, hath beene so like his elder brother, as if hee had beene one of the twinnes. Some women there bee that bring all their children like themselves: and others againe, as like to their husbands: and some like neither the one nor the other. Yee shall have women bring all their daugthers like to their fathers, and contrariwise, their sonnes like the mothers. The example is notable, and yet undoubted true, of one Nicæus, a famous wrestler of Constantinople, who having to his mother a woman begotten in adulterie by an Æthyopian, and yet with white skin, nothing different from other women of that countrey, was himselfe blacke, and resembled his grandsire, the Æthyopian abovesaid. Certes, the cogitations and discourses of the mind make much for these similitudes and resemblances whereof wee speake: and so likewise many other accidents and occurrent objects, are thought to bee very strong and effectuall therein, whether they come by sight, hearing, and calling to remembrance; or imaginations onely conceived, and deepely apprehended in the very act of generation, or the instant of conception. The wandering cogitation also and quicke spirit either of father or mother, flying too and fro all on a suddaine, from one thing to another, at the same time, is supposed to bee one cause of this impression, that maketh either the foresaid uniforme likenesse, or confusion and varietie. And hereupon it commeth, and no marvell it is, that men are more unlike one another, than other creatures: For the nimble motions of the spirit, the quicke thoughts, the agilitie of the mind, the varietie of discourse in our wits, imprinteth diverse formes, and many markes of sundrie cogitations. Whereas the imaginative facultie of other living creatures is unmoveable,8 and alwaies continueth in one: in all it is alike, and the same still in every one, which causeth them alwaies to engender like to themselves, each one in their severall kind. Artenon a meane man among the Commons, was so like in all points to Antiochus king of Syria, that Laodicea the queene, after that Antiochus her husband was killed, served her owne turne by the said Artenon, and made him play the part of Antiochus, untill she had by his meanes, as in the kings peson, recommended whom shee would, and made over the kingdome and crowne in succession and reversion to whom shee thought it good. Vibius a poore Commoner of Rome, and Publicius, one newly of a bondslave made a free man, were both of them so like unto Pompeius the great, that unneth or hardly the one could bee discerned from the other: so lively did they represent that good visage of his so full of honestie, so fully expressed they and resembled the singular majestie of that countenance which appeared in Pompeius his forehead. The like cause it was that gave his father also the surname of Menogenes, his cooke, albeit hee was surnamed alreadie Strabo, for his squint eies: but hee would needs beare the name of a defect and infirmitie even in his bond-servant9 for the love hee had unto him, by reason of his likenesse. So was one of the Scipioes also surnamed Serapius upon such an occasion, after the name of one Serapia, who was but a base slave of his, and no better than his swine-heard, or dealer in buying and selling his swine. Another Scipio after him, of the same house, came to bee surnamed Salutio, because a certaine jester of that name was so like unto him. After the same manner one Spinter, a plaier of the second place or part, and Pamphilus another plaier of the third part, or in the third place, gave their names to Lentulus and Metellus, who were both Consuls together in one yeere, for that they resembled them so truly. And certes, mee thinkes this fell out very untowardly, and was but a ridiculous pageant, and a very unseemely shew upon a stage, to see both Consuls lively represented there at once in the persons of these two plaiers. Contrariwise, Rubrious the stage-plaier was surnamed Plancus, because hee was so like to Plancus the Oratour. Againe, Burbuleius and Menogenes, both plaiers of Enterludes, so resembled Curio the father or the elder, and Messalæ Censorius, for all he had been Censor, that the one could not shift & avoid the surname of Burbuleius, and the other of Menogenes. There was in Sicilie a certaine fisherman who resembled in all points Sura the pro-consull, not onely in visage and feature of the face, but also in mowing with his mouth when he spake, in drawing his tongue short, and in his huddle and thicke speech. Cassius Severus that famous Orator was reproched for being so like unto Mirmillo a drover or keeper of kine and oxen. Toranius a merchant slave-seller, sold unto Marcus Antonius (now one of the great Triumvirs) two most beautifull and sweet-faced boies, for twins, so like they were one to the other, albeit the one was borne in Asia, & the other beyond the Alpes. But when Antonie afterwards came to the knowledge thereof, and that this fraud and cousenage was bewraied and detected by the language and speech of the boies, he fell into a furious fit of choler, and all to berated the foresaid Toranius. And when among other challenges hee charged him with the high price that he made him pay (for they cost him two hundred Sesterces, as for twins, and they were none such) the wilie merchant that was his crafts-master, answered, That it was the cause why he held them so deere and sold them at so great a rate: For (quoth hee) it is no marvell at all, if two brethren twins that lay together in one bellie, doe resemble one the other; but that there should bee any found, borne as these were in diverse countries, so like in all respects as they, he held it for a most rare and wonderfull thing, and such a commodotie as could not be prised by a merchant to the worth. This answere of his was delivered in so good time, and so fitly to the purpose, that Antonie the great man, who never was well but when he outlawed cittizens of Rome, and did confiscate their goods, he I say that erewhile was all enraged and set upon reviling and reprochfull tearmes; was not onely appeased, but also contented so with his bargaine, that he made as great a reckoning of those two boies, as of any thing els that hee had in all that wealth of his.
The cause and manner of generation.
SOME bodies there be by a secret of Nature so disagreeing, that they are unfit for generation one with another. And yet as barren as they be themselves so coupled together, fruitful they are enough when they are joined with others. Such were Augustus the Emperor and his wife Livia. In like manner, some men there be as well as women, that can skill of getting and breeding none but daugthers: and others there bee againe that are good at none but sonnes. And many times it falleth out that folke have sonnes and daugthers both, but they by turns, this yeere a son and the next a daugther, in order. Thus [Cornelia] the mother of the Gracchi, who for twelve childbeds kept this course duly: and Agrippina the wife of Cæsar Germanicus for nine, ever changing from the male to the female. Some women are barren all their youth: and others againe beare but once in their whole life. Some never goe their full time with their children: & such women, if peradventure by the helpe of physicke and other good means, and choise-keeping, they overcome this infirmitie, bring daugthers ordinarily, and no other. The Emperour Augustus among other singularities that he had by himselfe during his life, saw ere hee died the nephew of his neece,10 that is to say, his progenie to the fourth degree of lineall descent, and that was Mar. Syllanus who happened to be borne that very yeere when he departed out of this world. Hee having beene Consull, and afterward lord governour of Asia, was poysoned by prince Nero, to the end that hee might thereby attaine to the Empire. Qu. Metellus Macedonicus, left behind him sixe children, and by them eleven nephewes: but daugthers in law, and sonnes in law, and of all such as called him father, seven.10a In the Chronicles of Augustus Cæsar his acts for his time, wee find upon record, that (in his twelfth Consulship, when L. Sylla was his companion and colleague in government, upon the eleventh day of Aprill) C. Crispinus Helarus, a gentleman of Fesulæ, came with a solemne pompe carried before him into the Capitoll, attended upon with his nine children, seven sonnes and two daugthers; with seven and twentie nephewes, the sonnes of his children: and nine and twentie nephewes more, once removed, who were his sonnes nephewes, and twelve neeces besides, that were his childrens daugthers, and with all these solemnly sacrificed.
Of the same matter more at large.
A WOMAN commonly is past child-bearing after fiftie yeeres of her age. And for the most part their monthly tearmes stay at fortie. As for men, it is cleere and well known, that king Massinissa when he was above fourescore and sixe yeeres old, begat a sonne whom he called Methymathmas. And Cato Censorius that famous Censor begat another upon the daugther of Salonius his vassale, when he was past fourescore yeers of age. And hereof it commeth, that the race which came of his other children, were surnamed Liciniani, but the off-spring of this last sonne, Salonini, from whom Cato Uticensis (who slew himselfe at Utica) is lineally descended. Moreover, it is not long since, that dame Cornelia of the house and linage of the Scipioes, bare unto Lu. Saturninus her husband (who died whiles he was Provost of the citie of Rome) a sonne named Volusius Saturninus, and who afterwards lived to bee Consull, who was begotten when his father was threescore and two yeeres old with the better. To conclude, there have been among meaner persons very many knowne to have gotten children after fourescore and five.
Of womens monthly sickneße.
OF all living creatures a woman hath a flux of bloud every moneth: and hereupon it is, that in her wombe onely there are found a false conception called Mola, i. a moone calfe, that is to say, a lumpe of flesh without shape, without life, and so hard withall, that uneth a knife will enter and pierce it either with edge or point. Howbeit, a kind of moving it hath, & staieth the course of her moneths: and sometime after the manner of a child indeed, it costeth the woman her life: otherwhiles it waxeth in her bellie as shee groweth, and ageth with her: now and then also it slippeth and falleth from her with a laske or looseness of the guts. Such a thing breeds likewise in the bellies of men, upon the hardnesse of live or splene, which the Physicians call Scirrhus, i. an hard wedge & cake under their short ribs. And such an one had Oppius Cato a nobleman of Rome, late Pretour. But to come againe to women, hardly can there be found a thing more monstrous than is that fluxe and course of theirs. For if during the time of this their sicknesse they happen to approch or goe over a vessel of wine, bee it never so new, it will presently soure: if they touch any standing corne in the field, it will wither and come to no good. Also, let them in this estate handle any grasses, they will die upon it: the hearbes and young buds in a garden if they doe but passe by, will catch a blast, and burne away to nothing. Sit they upon or under trees whiles they are in this case, the fruit which hangeth upon them will fall. Doe they but see themselves in a looking glasse, the cleare brightnesse therof turneth into dimnesse, upon their very sight. Look they upon a sword, knife, or any edged toole, be it never so bright, it waxeth duskish, so doth also the lively hue of yvorie. The very bees in the hive die. Yron and steele presently take rust, yea, and brasse likewise, with a filthie, strong, and poysoned stinke, if they lay but hand thereupon. If dogs chance to tast of womens fleures, they runne mad therewith: and if they bite any thing afterwards, they leave behind them such a venome, that the wounds are incurable: nay the very clammie slime Bitumen, which at certaine times of the yeere floteth and swimmeth upon the lake of Sodome, called Asphaltites in Iurie, which otherwise of the owne nature is pliable enough, soft and gentle, and ready to follow what way a man would have it, cannot be parted and divided asunder, (for by reason of the viscositie, it cleaveth and sticketh like glew, and hangeth all together, plucke as a man will at it) but onely by a thred that is stained with this venomous bloud. Even the silie Pismires (the least of all others) hath a perceivance & sence of this poyson, as they say: for they cast aside and will no more come to that corne, which they have once found by tast to bee infected with this poyson. This maladie, so venomous and hurtfull as it is, followeth a woman still every thirtie daies: and at three moneths end, if it stay so long, it commeth in greater abundance. And as there be some women that have it oftener than once a month, so there are others againe that never see ought of it. But such lightly are barren, and never bring children. For in very deed, it is the materiall substance of generation: and the mans seed serveth in steed of a runnet to gather it round into a curd: which afterwards in processe of time quickeneth and groweth to the forme of a bodie: which is the cause that if women with child have this fluxe of the moneths, their children are not long lived, or else proove feeble, sickly, and full of filthie humors, as Nigidius writeth.
In like manner, of births: and infants in the mothers womb.
THE same Nigidius is of opinion, that a womans milke, nource to her own child and giving it sucke, will not corrupt and be naught for the babe, if she conceive againe by the same man to whom she brought the former child. Also it is held, that in the beginning and end of the foresaid menstruall fleures, a woman is very apt to conceive. Moreover, it is commonly received for an infallible argument in women, that they are fruitfull and with child, if when they annoint their eyes with their own spittle as with a medicine, the same appeare infected and to chaunge the colour thereupon. Furthermore, doubtlesse it is, that children breed with their fore-teeth in the seventh moneth after they are borne, and first those in the upper chaw, for the most part: likewise, that they shed the same teeth about the seventh yeere of their age, and others come up new in the place. Certaine it is also, that some children are borne into the world with teeth, as M. Curius, who thereupon was surnamed Dentatus: and Cn. Papyrius Carbo, both of them very great men and right honourable personages. In women the same was counted but an unluckie thing, and presaged some misfortune, especially in the daies of the KK. regiment in Rome: for when Valeria was borne toothed, the wizards and soothsayers being consulted thereabout, answered out of their learning by way of prophesie, That looke into what citie she was carried to nource, she should be the cause of the ruine and subversion thereof: whereupon had away shee was and conveyed to Suessa Pometia, a citie at that time most flourishing in wealth and riches: and it prooved most true in the end, for that cittie was utterly destroyed. Cornelia the mother of the Gracchi is sufficient to prove by her owne example, that women are never born for good whose genitall parts for procreation are growne together, and yeeld no entrance. Some children are borne with an entire whole bone that taketh up all the gumbe, instead of a row of distinct teeth; as a sonne of Prusias king of the Bythinians, who had such a bone in his upper chaw. This is to be observed about teeth, that they onely checke the fire and burne not to ashes with other parts of the bodie: and yet as invincible as they are and able to resist the violence of the flame, they rot and become hollow with a litle catarrhe or waterish rheum that droppeth and distilleth upon them: white they may be made, with certaine mixtures and medicines called Dentifrices. Some weare their teeth to the very stumpes onely with use of chawing: others again loose them first out of their head: they serve not only to grind our meat for our daily food and nourishment, but necessarie also they be for the framing of our speech. The fore-teeth stand in good stead to rule and moderate the voice by a certaine concent and tuneable accord, answering as it were to the stroke of the tongue: and according to that row and ranke of their wherein they are set, as they are broader or narrower, greater or smaller, they yeeld a distinction and varietie in our words, cutting and hewing them thicke and short, framing them pleasant, plaine, and readie, drawing them out at length, or smuddering and drowning them in the end: but when they be once falne out of the head, man is bereaved of all meanes of good utterance and explanation of his words. Moreover, there are some presages of good or bad fortune, gathered by the teeth: men ordinarily have given them by nature two and thirtie in al, except the nation of the Turduli. They that have above this number, may make account (as it is thought) to live the longer. As for women, they have not so many: they that have on the right side in the upper jaw two eye-teeth, which the Latines call Dogs-teeth, may promise themselves the flattering favours of fortune, as it is well seene in Agrippina the mother of Domitius Nero: but contrariwise, the same teeth double in the left side above, is a signe of evill lucke. It is not the custome in any countrey to burne in a funerall fire the dead corps of any infant before his teeth be come up: but hereof will we write more at large in the Anatomie of man, when we shall discourse purposely of every member and part of the bodie. Zoroastres was the onely man that ever we could here of, who laughed the same day that he was borne: his brain did so evidently pant and beat, that it would beare up their hands that laid them upon his head: a most certein presage and fore-token of that great learning that afterwards he attained unto. This also is held for certein and resolved upon, that a man at three yeeres of age, is come to one moitie of his growth and heigth. As also this is observed for an undoubted truth, that generally all men come short of the full stature in times past, and decrease still every day more than other: and seldome shall ye see the sonne taller than his father: for the ardent heat of the elementarie fire (whereunto the world inclineth alreadie now toward the latter end, as sometimes it stood much upon the waterie element) devoureth and consumeth that plentifull humor and moisture of naturell seed, that engendreth all things: and this appeareth more evidently by these examples following. In Crete, it chaunched that an hill clave asunder in an earthquake, and in the chinke thereof was found a bodie standing, 46 cubits high: some say it was the bodie of Orion: others, of Otus. We find in chronicles and records of good credit, that the bodie of Orestes being taken up, by direction from the Oracles, was seven cubits long.† And verily that great and famous poët Homer, who lived almost a thousand yeeres agoe, complained and gave not over, That mens bodies were lesse of stature even then, than in old time. The Annales set not downe the stature and bignesse of Nævius Pollio; but that he was a mightie gyant, appeareth by this that is written of him, namely, That it was taken for a wonderfull straunge thing, that in a great rout and prease of people that came running togither upon him, he had like to have been killed. The tallest man that hath been seene in our age, was one named Gabbara, who in the daies of prince Claudius late Emperour, was brought out of Arabia; nine foot high was he, and as many inches. There were in the time of Augustus Cæsar 2 others, named ††Pusio and Secu[n]dilla, higher than Gabbara by halfe a foot, whose bodies were preserved and kept for a wonder in a charnell house or sepulchre within the gardens of the Salustians. Whiles the same Augustus sate as president, his neece Iulia had a little dwarfish fellow not above two foot and a hand breadth high, called Conopas, whome she set great store by and made much of: as also another shee-dwarfe named Andromeda, who somtime had been the slave of Iulia the princesse, and by her made free. M. Varro reporteth, that Manius Maximus, and M. Tullius, were but two cubits high, and yet they gentlemen and knights of Rome: and in truth we our selves have seene their bodies how they lie embalmed and chested, which testifieth no lesse. It is well knowne, that there be some that naturally are never but a foot and an halfe high; others again somewhat longer: and to this heigth they came in three yeeres, which is the full course of their age, and then they die. We read moreover in the Chronicles, that in Salamis one Euthimenes had a sonne, who in three yeeres grew to be three cubits high, but hee was in his gate slow and heavie, and in his wit as dull and blockish: howbeit in this time under-growne he was, and his voice chaunged to be great, and at three yeeres end died sodainly of a generall crampe or contraction of all the parts of his bodie. It is not long since I saw my selfe the like in all respects (saving that undergrowing aforesaid) in a sonne of one Cornelius Tacitus a Romane knight, and a procurator or generall receiver and treasurer for the State in Gaule Belgique: such the Greekes call ἐκτραπελος, i. Ectrapelos: we in Latine have no name for them.
Certaine notable observations in bodies of men and women.
WEE see tried by experience, that take measure of a man from the sole of the foot up to the crowne of the head, so farre it is betweene the ends of his two middle and longest fingers, when hee stretcheth out his armes and hands to the full. As also, that some men and women be stronger of the right side than of the left: others againe that be as strong of one as the other: and there be, that are altogither left handed, and best with that hand: but that is seldome or never seene in women. Moreover, men weigh heavier than women: and in everie kind of creature, dead bodies be more heavie than the quicke: and the same parties sleeping weigh more than waking. Finally, observed it is, that the dead corps of a man floteth upon the water with the face upward, but contrariwise women swimme groveling, as if Nature had provided to save their honestie and cover their shame, even when they are dead.
Examples of divers extraordinarie cases in mans bodie.
WEE have heard, that some mens bones are solide and massie, and so do live without any marow in them: you may know them by these signes, they never feele thirst, nor put forth any sweat: and yet we know that a man may conquer and master his thirst if hee list: for so a gentleman of Rome one Iulius Viator, descended from the race of the Vocontians our allies; being falne into a kind of dropsie betweene the skin and the flesh during his minoritie and nonage, and forbidden by the Physicions to drinke; so accustomed himselfe to observe their direction, that naturally he could abide it: in so much, that all his old age even to his dying day, he forbare his drinke. Others also have been able to command and over-rule their nature in many cases, and breake themselves of divers things.
Straunge natures and properties of divers persons.
IT is said, that Crassus (grandfather to that Craßus who was slaine in Parthia) was never knowne to laugh all his life time, and thereupon was called Agelastus: and contrariwise, many have been found that never wept. Also that sage and renowmed wise man Socrates, was seen alwaies to carrie one and the selfesame countenance, never more merrie and cheerfull nor more solemn and unquiet, at one time than at another. But this obstinate constancie and firme cariage of the mind, turneth now and then in the end into a certaine rigour and austeritie of nature, so hard and inflexible that it cannot be ruled, and in very truth despoileth men of all affections; and such are called of the Greekes, Apathes, who had the experience of many such: and (that which is a marveilous matter) those especially that were the great pillars of Philosophie and deepe learned Clerkes, namely Diogenes the Cinicke, Pyrrho, Heraclitus, and Timo, and as for him he was so farre gone in this humor, that he seemed professedly to hate all mankind. But these were examples of a corrupt, perverse, and froward nature. As for other things, there be sundrie notable observations in many, as in Antonia the wife of Drusus, who as it was well knowne, never spit: in Pomponius the poët, one that had sometimes beene Consull, who never belched. But as for such as naturally have their bones not hollow, but whole and solid, they be very rare and seldom seene, and called they are in Latine Cornei, i. hard as horne.
Of bodily strength and swiftneße.
VARRO in his treatise of prodigious and extraordinarie strength, maketh report of one Tritanus, a man that of bodie was but little and leane withall, howbeit of incomparable strength, much renowmed in the fense schoole, and namely, in handling the Samnites weapons, wearing their manner of armor, and performing their feats and masteries of great name. He maketh mention also of a sonne of his, a souldier, that served under Pompeius the Great, who had all over his bodie, yea and through his armes and hands, some sinewes running streight out in length, others crossing over-thwart lattise-wise: and he saith moreover of him, that when an enemie out of the campe gave him defiance and challenged him to a combat, he would neither put on defensive harnesse, ne yet arme his right hand with offensive weapon; but with naked hand made means to foile and overcome him, and in the end when he had caught hold of him, brought him away perforce into his owne campe with one finger. Iunius Valens a captain, pensioner, or centurion of the guard-souldiers about Augustus Cæsar, was wont alone to beare up a charriot laden with certaine hogsheads or a butt of wine, untill it was discharged therof, and the wine drawn out: also his manner was with one hand to stay a coach against all the force of the horses striving and straining to the contrarie: and to performe other wonderfull masteries, which are to be seene engraven upon his tombe: and therefore (qd. Varro) being called Hercules Rusticellus, he tooke up his mule upon his backe and carried him away. Fufius Salvius having two hundred pound weights at his feet, and as many in his hands, and twise as much upon his shoulders, went withall up a paire of staires or a ladder. My selfe have seene one named Athanatus, do wonderfull straunge matters in the open shew and face of the world, namely, to walke his stations upon the stage with a cuirace of lead weighing 500 pound, booted besides with a p aire of buskins or greives about his legges that came to as much in weight. As for Milo the great wrestler of Crotone, when hee stood firme upon his feet, there was not a man could make him stirre one foot: if he held a pomegranat fast within his hand, no man was able to stretch a finger of his and force it out at length. It was counted a great matter, that Philippides ran 1140 stadia, to wit, from Athens to Lacedæmon in two daies, untill Lanisis a courrier of Lacedæmon, and Philonides footman to Alexander the great, ran between Sicyone and Olis in one day, 1200 stadia. But now verily at this day we see some in the grand cirque, able to endure in one day the running of 160 miles. And but a while agoe wee are not ignorant, that when Fonteius and Vipsanus were Consuls, a young boy but nine yeers old, betweene noone and evening ran 75 miles. And verily a man may wonder the more at this matter, and come to the full conceit thereof, if hee doe but consider, that it was counted an exceeding great journey that Tiberius Nero made with three chariots (shifting from one to the other fresh) in a day and a night, riding post hast unto his brother Drusus then lying sicke in Germanie, and all that, was but 200 miles.
Examples of good eiesight.
WE find in histories as incredible examples as any be, as touching quicknesse of eiesight. Cicero hath recorded, that the whole Poëme of Homer called Ilias, was written in a peece of parchmin, which was able to be couched within a nut shell. The same writer maketh mention of one that could see and discerne outright 135 miles. And M. Varro nameth the man, and saith he was called Strabo: who affirmeth thus much moreover of him, that during the Carthaginian war hee was wont to stand and watch upon Lilybæum, a cape in Sicilie, to discover the enemies fleet losing out of the haven of Carthage, & was able to tell the very just number of the ships. Callicrates used to make Pismires and other such like little creatures, out of yvorie so artificially, that other men could not discerne the parts of their bodie one from another. There was one Myrmecides, excellent in that kind of workmanship: who of the same matter wrought a chariot with foure wheeles and as many steeds, in so little rowme, that a silie flie might cover all with her wings. Also he made a ship with all the tackling to it, no bigger then a little bee might hide with her wings.
AS for hearing, there is one example wonderfull. For the bruit of that battell, whereupon Sybaris was forced and sacked, was heard the very same day as farre as to Olympia [in Greece.] As touching the news of the Cimbrians defeature, as also the report and tidings of the victorie over the Persians, made by the Romane Castores, the same day that it was atchieved, were held for divine revelations rather than humane reports, and the knowledge thereof came more by way of vision than otherwise.
Examples of patience.
MANY are the calamities in this life, incident to mankind, which have affourded infinite trials of mens patience, in suffering paines in their bodie. Among others for women, the example of Leæna the courtisan, is more rare and singular, who for all the dolorous tortures that could be devised, would never bewray Harmodius and Aristogiton, who slew the tyrannous king. And for men, Anaxarchus did the like, who being for such a cause examined upon the racke, in the middest of his torments bit off his owne tongue with his teeth, the onely meanes wherby he might haply reveale and disclose the matter in question, and spit it in the face of the Tyrant that put him to this torture.
Examples of memorie.
AS touching memorie, the greatest gift of Nature, and most necessarie of all others for this life; hard it is to judge and say who of all others deserved the cheefe honour therein: considering how many men have excelled, and woon much glorie in that behalfe. King Cyrus was able to call every souldior that he had through his whole armie, by his owne name. L. Scipio could doe the like by all the citizens of Rome. Semblably, Cineas, Embassador of king Pyrrhus, the very next day that he came to Rome, both knew and also saluted by name all the Senate, and the whole degrees of Gentlemen and Cavallerie in the cittie. Mithridates the king, reigned over two and twentie nations of diverse languages, and in so many tongues gave lawes and ministred justice unto them, without truchman: and when hee was to make speech unto them in publicke assemblie respectively to every nation, he did performe it in their owne tongue, without interpretor. One Charmidas or Carmadas, a Grecian,††† was of so singular a memorie, that he was able to deliver by heart the contents word for word of all the bookes that a man would call for out of any librarie, as if he read the same presently within a booke. At length the practise hereof was reduced into an art of Memorie: devised and invented first by Simonides Melicus, and afterwards brought to perfection and consummate by Metrodorus Scepsius: by which a man might learne to rehearse againe the same words of any discourse whatosever, after once hearing. And yet there is not a thing in man so fraile and brittle againe as it is, whether it be occasioned by disease, by casual injuries and occurrents, or by feare, through which it faileth sometime in part, and otherwhiles decaieth generally, and is cleane lost. One with the stroke of a stone, fell presently to forget his letters onely, and could read no more: otherwise his memorie served him well ynough. Another, with a fall from the roufe of a very high house, lost the remembrance of his own mother, his next kinsfolke, friends, and neighbours. Another, in a sicknesse of his forgot his owne servants about him: and Messala Corvinus the great Oratour, upon the like occasion, forgot his owne proper name. So fickle and slipperie is mans memorie: that oftentimes it assaieth and goeth about to leese it selfe, even whiles a mans bodie is otherwise quiet and in health. But let sleep creepe at any time upon us, it seemeth to be vanquished, so as our poore spirit wandereth up and down to seeke where it is, and to recover it againe.
The praise of C. Julius Cæsar.
FOR vigor and quicknesse of spirit, I take it, that C. Cæsar Dictatour, went beyond all men besides. I speake not now of his vertue and constancie, neither of his high reach and deep wit, whereby he apprehended the knowledge of all things under the cope of heaven; but of that agilitie of mind, that prompt, and readie conceit of his, as nimble and active as the very fire. I have heard it reported of him, that hee was wont to write, to read, to endite letters, and withall to give audience unto suiters and heare their causes, all at one instant. And being emploied, as you know he was, in so great and important affaires, hee ordinarily endited letters to foure secretaries or clearkes at once: and when he was free from other greater businesse, he would otherwhiles find seven of them worke at one time. The same man in his daies fought fiftie set battels with banners displaied against his enemies: in which point, he alone outwent M. Marcellus, who was seene fortie times save one in the field. Besides the carnage of citizens that hee made in the civile warres when he obtained victorie, he put to the sword 1192000 of his enemies, in one battell or other. And certes for mine owne part, I hold this for no speciall glorie and commendation of his, considering so great injurie done to mankind by this effusion of bloud: which in some part he hath confessed himselfe, in that he hath forborne to set downe the overthrowes and bloudshed of his adversaries (fellow-citizens) during the civile wars. Yet Pompey the great deserveth honor more justly for scouring the seas, and taking from the rovers 846 saile of ships. But to returne againe to Cæsar, over and above the qualities of worth before rehearsed, an especiall propertie of his owne he had, for clemencie and mercie, wherein he so farre forth surmounted all other men, that hee repented therof in the end. As for his magnanimitie, it was incomparable, and he left such a president behind him, as I forbid all men to match or second it. For to speake of his sumptuosities, of his largesses, of the magnificent shewes exhibited to the people, the exceeding cost & charges therein bestowed, with all the stately furniture thereto belonging, were a point of him that favoured such lavish expence and superfluities. But herein appeared his true hautinesse of mind indeed, and that unmatchable spirit of his, That when upon the battell at Pharsalia, as wel the cofers and caskets with letters & other writings of Pompey, as also those of Scipioes before Thapsus, came into his hands, he was most true unto them, & burnt al, without reading one script or scroll.
The commendation of Pompey the Great.
AS concerning all the titles and victorious triumphs of Pompey the great, wherein hee was equall in renowne and glorie, not onely to the acts of Alexander the great, but also of Hercules in a manner, and god Bacchus: if I should make mention thereof in this place, it would redound not to the honour onely of that one man, but also to the grandeur and majestie of the Romane Empire. In the first place then, after he had recovered Sicilie, and reduced it under obeisance (where his first rising was, and where he began to shew himselfe in the quarrel of the Commonweale, and to side with Sylla) having also conquered and subdued Affricke, and raunged it under the obedience of Rome, where hee acquired the surname of Magnus, by reason of the great bootie and pillage which hee brought from thence: being no higher of birth and calling, than a Romane gentleman or man of armes, entred with triumphant chariot into Rome: a thing that was never seene before in a man of that place and qualitie. Immediately after this, he made a voiage into the West, and having brought under obeisance of the Romanes 876 great townes, which he forced by assault betweene the Alpes and the marches of Spaine, he erected Trophees and triumphant columnes upon the mountaine Pyrenæus, with the title and inscription of these victorious exploits: and never made one word of his victorie over Sertorius, so brave a mind hee carried with him. And after the civile troubles and broiles appeased and quenched (which drew after them all forraine warres) hee triumphed againe the second time, being as yet but a knight of Rome: so oftentimes a generall of commaund and conduct: before hee ever served as soldiour in the field. These famous deeds atchieved, sent out he was in another expedition, to scoure and cleere all the seas, and so forward into the East parts. From whence he returned with more titles still of honor to his countrey, after the manner of those that win victories at the solemn festivall ¶Games. For as the victors use not themselves to accept the chaplets & guirlands in their own names, but to be crowned therwith in the behalf of their native countries: even so, Pompeius, in that temple which he caused to be built of the bootie and pillage woon from the enemies, and dedicated to ¶¶Minerva, entituled the cittie with the whole honour, and attributed all unto them in an inscription or table engraven in this manner: POMPEIUS the Great, lord generall, having finished the warres which continued thirtie yeares, during which hee had discomfited, put to flight, slaine, or received to mercie upon submißion 2183000 men: sunke or taken 846 saile: woon & brought to his devotion, of cities, townes, and castles, to the number of 1538: subdued and put under subiection all lands and nations, betweene the lake Mæotis and the red sea, hath dedicated of right and good desert this temple to MINERVA. This is the breefe and summarie of his service in the East. As for the triumph, wherein he rode the third day before the Calends of October, in the yeere wherein M. Messala and M. Piso were Consuls, the tenure or title ran in this forme. Whereas Cn. Pompeius hath cleared all the sea-coasts from pirates and rovers, and thereby recovered unto the people of Rome the lordship and soveraigntie of the seas: and withall subdued Pontus, Armenia, Paphlagonia, Cappadocia, Cilicia, Syria: the Scythians, Iudæa, & the Albanois: the Iland Creta, and the Bastarnians, hath triumphed over them all, as also for the vanquishing of the two kings Mithridates and Tigranes.16 But the greatest glorie of all glories in him was this (as himselfe delivered openly in a ful assembly, at what time as he discoursed of his own exploits) That wheras Asia when he received it, was the utmost frontier province and limit of the Roman Empire, he left the same in the very hart & mids therof, and so delivered it up to his country. Now if a man would set Cæsar on the other side against him, and likewise rehearse his noble acts, who indeed of the two seemed greater in the sight of the world, he had need verily to fetch a circuit abouut the world, & comprehend the whole globe thereof, which were an infinit peece of worke, and in all reason impossible.
The praise of Cato, the first of that name.
IN sundrie other kinds of vertues many men have diversly excelled. But Cato, the first of the Porcian house, was thought to be the only person who was able to perform three things in the highest degre that are most commendable in a man. For first and formost hee was a singular good Oratour: secondly, a most brave captaine and renowmed commander in the field: and last of all, a right worthie Senatour and approved counsellor. And yet in my conceit, all these excellent parts seeme to have shined more bright (although he came after the other) in Scipio Æmylianus. To say nothing of this blessed gift besides, that he was not hated and spigthed of so many men, as Cato was. But if you will seeke for one especiall thing in Cato by himselfe, this is reported of him, That he was judicially called to his answer 44 times, and never was there man accused oftener than he, yet went he ever cleare away and was acquit.17
Of Valour and Fortitude.
AN endlesse peece of worke it were to know and set downe who bare the price for valiancie, & namely if we admit the fabulous tales of poets. As for the poet Ennius, he had in greatest admiration T. Cæcilius Teucer, and especially his brother: and in regard of those two, he compiled the sixt booke of his Annales to the rest. But L. Siccius Dentatus, a Tribune of the Commons, not long after the banishment of the kings, when Sp. Tarpeius and A. Æternius were Consuls, by most voices surpasseth in this kind, if it be true that a number of men report of him: namely, that he served in 120 fougthen fields: 8 times maintained combate with his enemie, giving defiance, and evermore got the upper hand: carried before him the glorious markes of 45 skarres received by wounds, and never a one in the backe parts of his bodie. Moreover, hee woon the spoile of 34 severall enemies: and had given him of his captaines, for his proësse and good service, 18 headlesse speares, 25 caparisons and furnitures of great horses, 83 chains, 160 bracelets for to adorne his armes: 26 crowns, or triumphant chaplets, wherof 14 were civick, for rescuing of Roman citizens in jeopardie of death, 8 of beaten gold: three other murall, for mounting first over the enemies wall: and last of all, one obsidionall, for enforcing the enemie to levie and breake up his siege and depart: also with a stipend or pension-fee out of the Exchequer & chamber of the citie: and lastly, the price or raunsome of ten prisoners, with twentie oxen besides to make up the reward: and in this glorious pompe and shew he followed nine captaine Generals, going before him, who by his meanes triumphed all. Over and besides (which I suppose, was the worthiest act that ever he did) he accused in open court before the bodie of the people, one commander and great captaine, named T. Romulius, (notwithstanding he had been a Consull) & convicted him for his ill management and conduct of the warres. As for Manlius Capitolinus, he wan as many honourable testimonies of valour, but that he lost them all againe, with that unhappie end of his life that hee made. Before hee was full 17 yeeres of age, hee had gained alreadie two complete spoiles of his enemies. He was the first Roman knight or man of armes, that was honored with a murall crown of gold for skaling over the wall in an assault: with sixe civike chaplets for saving the life of cittizens sixe times out of the enemies hands. Moreover, he received 37 gifts of the people for his good service, and carried the skars in the fore-part of his bodie of 33 wounds. He rescued P. Servilius, generall of the Roman Cavallerie, and in the rescue was himselfe wounded for his labour in shoulder and thigh both. Above all other hardie acts, hee alone guarded and defended the Capitoll, and thereby the whole State of Rome, against the Gaules: a brave peece of service, but that he marred all againe in aspiring to bee king over the same. In these above rehearsed examples, certes vertue hath carried a great stroke, but yet fortune hath been the mightier, and prevailed more in the end. And in my judgement verily, none may right and justly preferre any man before M. Sergius: albeit Catiline his nephewes sonne discredited that name of his, and derogated much from the honour of his house. The second time that hee went into the field and served, his hap was to loose his right hand: and in two other services hee was wounded no fewer than three and twentie times: by meanes whereof hee had little use of either hand, and his feet stood him in no great steed. Howbeit, thus maimed and disabled as he was for to be a soldiour, he went many a time after to the warres, attended with one slave onely, and performed his devoire. Twise was he taken prisoner by Anniball, (for hee dealt not I may tell you with ordinarie enemies) and twise brake he prison and made escape, notwithstanding, that for twentie moneths space he was every day ordinarily kept bound with chaines and fetters. Foure times fought hee with his left hand only, untill two horses one after another, were killed under him. Then he made himselfe a right hand of yron, which he fastened to his arme, and fighting with the helpe of it, he raised the seedge from before Cremona, and saved Placentia. In Fraunce he forced twelve fortified campes of the enemies. All which exploits appear upon record in that Oration of his which hee made in his Pretourship, at what time as his Colleagues and companions in government would not permit him to be at the solemne sacrifices, because he had a maime, and wanted a lim. But what heapes of crownes and chaplets, thinke you, would hee have gathered together, if hee had been committed and matched with any other enemies but Anniball? Certes, to know a man of worth indeed, much materiall it is to consider in what time he liveth, and is emploied, for the proofe of his valour. For what store of civicke coronets and garlands, yeelded either the battell of Trebia and Ticinus, or of Thrasymenus the lake? what crowne could have gained and woon at the journey of Cannæ, where the best service was by good footmanship to flie and run away? To conclude, all others may vaunt verily, that they have vanquished men: but Sergius may boast, that he hath conquered and overcome even Fortune her selfe.
The commendations of some men for their quicke wits.
WHO is able to make a muster as it were of them that have been excellent in wit: so difficult a matter it is to run through so many kinds of sciences, and to take a survey of curious handie workes in such varietie, of most rare and singular artifanes? Unlesse haply wee agree upon this, and say, that Homer the Greeke poet excelled all other, considering either the subject matter, or the happie fortune of his worke. And hereupon it was, that Alexander the great (for in this so prowd a censure and comparison, I shall doe best to cite the judgement of the highest, and of those that bee not subject to envie) having found among the spoiles of Darius the king, his perfumier or casket of sweet ointments, and the same richly embellished with gold, with costly pearles and precious stones: when his friends about him, shewed him many uses whereto the said coffer or cabinet might bee put unto, considering that Alexander himselfe could not away with those delicate perfumes, being a warriour, and flurried with bearing armes, and following warfare: when, I say, his gallants about him could not resolve well what service to put it to: himselfe made no more adoe, but said thus, I will have it to serve for a case of Homers bookes: judging hereby, that the most rare and precious worke proceeding from that so admirable a wit of man, should bee bestowed and kept in the richest boxe and casket of all others. The same prince, in the forcing and saccage of the cittie of Thebes, caused by expresse commaundement, That the dwelling house and whole familie of Pindarus the Poet should bee spared. Hee built againe the native cittie wherein Aristotle the Philosopher was borne: and in so glorious a shew of his other worthie deeds, would needs intermingle this testimonie of his bountie, in regard of that rare clearke who gave light to all things in the world. The murderers of Archilochus the Poet, the verie Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, disclosed and revealed. When Sophocles the prince of all tragicall Poets was dead in Athens, at what time as the cittie was besieged by the Lacedæmonians, god Bacchus appeared sundrie times by way of vision in a dreame to Lysander their king, admonishing him to suffer his delight, and him whom he set most store by, for to bee enterred. Whereupon the king made diligent enquirie who lately was departed this life in Athens: and by relation of the citizens soone found it out and perceived who it was that the foresaid god meant, and so gave them leave to burie Sophocles in peace, and to performe his funerals without any molestation or impeachment.
Of Plato, Ennius, Virgil, M. Varro, and M. Cicero.
DENIS the tyrant, borne otherwise to pride and crueltie, being advertised of the comming and arrivall of Plato, that great clerke and prince of learning, sent out to meet him a ship adorned with goodly ribbands, and himselfe mounted upon a charriot drawne with foure white horses, received him as if hee had beene a K. at the haven, when hee disbarked and came a land. Isocrates sold one Oration that he made, for 20 talents of gold. Æschines, that famous oratour of Athens in his time, having at Rhodes rehearsed that accusatorie oration which hee had made against Demosthenes, read withall his adversaries defence againe; by occasion whereof he was confined to Rhodes, and there lived in banishment: and when the Rhodians that heard it wondred thereat; Nay (qd. Æschines) you would have marveiled much more at it, if you had heard the man himselfe pronouncing it, and pleading Viva voce: yeelding thus as you see a notable testimonie of his adversarie, in the time of his adversitie. The Athenians exiled Thucydides their Generall captain: but after he had written his Chronicle, they called him home again, wondring at the eloquence of the man, whose vertue and prowesse they had before condemned. The KK. of Ægypt and Macedonie gave a singular testimonie how much they honoured Mænander the Comicall poët, in that they sent embassadours for him, and a fleet to waft him for his more securitie: but he wan unto himselfe more fame and glorie by his owne setled judgement, for that he esteemed more of his owne privat studie and following his booke, than of all those savours offered unto him from great princes. Moreover, there have beene great personages and men of high calling at Rome, who have shewed the like in token, how they esteemed and regarded the learned crew of forrein nations. Cn. Pompeius, after he had dispatchd the warre against Mithridates, intended to go and visit Posidonius, that renowmed professor of learning; and when he should enter into the mans house, gave straight commandement to his Lictors or Huishers, that they should not (after their ordinarie manner with all others) rap at his dore: and this great warriour, unto whome both the East and West parts of the world had submitted, vailed bonet as it were, and based his armes and ensigns of state which his officers caried, before the very doore of this Philosopher. Cato surnamed Censorius, upon a time when there came to Rome that noble embassage from Athens, consisting of three, the wisest Sages among them; when hee had heard Carneades speake (who was one of those three) gave his opinion presently, That those embassadors were to be dispatched and sent away wih all speed; for feare least if that man argued the case, it would be an hard peece of worke to sound and find out the truth, so pregnant were his reasons and so wittie his discourses. But Lord! what a chaunge is there now in mens manners and dispositions! This Cato, the renowmed Censor, both now and at all times else, could not abide to have any Grecian within Italy, but alwayes gave judgement to them all in generall to be expelled: but after him there comes his nephew once removed, or his nephewes sonne, who brought one of their Philosophers over with him, when he had ben militarie Tribune or knight marshall: and another likewise upon his embassage to Cypres. And verily a wonder it is and a memorable thing, to consider how these two Catoes differed in another point: for the former of them could not away with the Greeke tongue; the other that killed himselfe at Utica, esteemed it as highly. But to leave straungers, let us now speake of our owne countreymen, so renowmed in this behalfe. Scipio Africanus the elder, gave expresse order and commaunded, That the statue of Q. Ennius the poët should be set over his tombe, to the end, that the great name and stile of Africanus, or indeed the bootie rather that hee had woon and carried away from a third part of the world, should in his monument upon the relickes of his ashes be read together with the title of this poët. Augustus Cæsar late emperour, expressely forbad that the Poëme of Virgil should be burned, notwithstanding that he by his last will and testament upon a modestie, gave order to the contrarie: by which means there grew more credit and authoritie unto the Poët, than if himselfe had approoved and allowed his owne verses. Asinius Pollio was the first that set up a publick librarie at Rome, raised of the spoile and pillage gained from the enemies. In the librarie of which gentleman, was erected the image of M. Varro, even whiles he lived: a thing that woon as great honour to M. Varro in mine opinion (considering that among those fine wits, whereof a great number then flourished at Rome, his hap onely was to have the guirland at the hands of a noble citizen and an excellent oratour beside:) as that other navall crowne gained him, which Pompey the Great bestowed upon him for his good service in the pyrats warre. Infinite examples more there are of us Romanes, if a man would seeke after them and search them out: for this onely nation hath brought forth more excellent and accomplished men in every kind, than all the lands besides of the whole world. But what a sinne should I commit, if I proceeded farther and spake not of thee, ô M. Cicero? and yet how should I possibly write of thee according to thy worthinesse? would a man require a better proofe of thy condigne praises, than the most honorable testimonie of the whole bodie of that people in generall, and the acts onely of thy Consulship, chosen out of all other vertuous deeds throughout thy whole life? Thine eloquence was the cause that all the Tribes renounced the law Agraria, as touching the division of lands among the commons, albeit their greatest maintenance and nourishment consisted therein. Through thy persuasion they pardoned Roscius, the first authour of that seditious bill and law, whereby the States and degrees of the cittie were placed distinctly in their seats at the Theatre: they were content, I say, and tooke it well, that they were noted and pointed at for this difference in taking place and rowmes, which he first brought in. By meanes of thy orations, the children of proscript and outlawed persons, were ashamed and abashed to sue for honorable dignities in common-weale: thy wittie head it was that put Catiline to flight, and banished him the cittie: thou, and none but thou didst out-law M. Antonius, and put him out of the protection of the state. All haile therefore, ô M. Tullius: faire chieve thee, thou that first was saluted by the name of Parens Patriæ, i. Father of thy countrey: first that deserved triumph in thy long robe, and the lawrell guirland, for thy language: the only father indeed of eloquence and of the Latin tongue: and (as Cæsar Dictator sometime thine enemie hath written of thee) hath deserved a crowne above all other triumphs, by how much more praise-worthie it is, to have amplified and set out the bounds and limits of Romane wit and learning, than of Romane ground and dominion.
Of a certaine maiestie in behaviour and carriage.
THOSE, who among other gifts of the mind have surpassed other men in sage advise and wisdome, were thereupon at Rome surnamed Cati, and Corculi. In Greece, Socrates carried the name away from all the rest, beeing deemed by the Oracle of Apollo Pythius, the wisest man of all others.
AGAINE, Chilo the Lacedemonian was of so great reputation among men, that his sayings were held for Oracles: and three precepts of his were written in letters of gold, and consecrated in the temple of Apollo at Delphi: where the first was this, Know thy selfe: the second, Set thy mind too much of nothing: the third, Debt and law are alwaies accompanied with miserie. His hap was to die for joy, upon tidings that his sonne wan the best prize and was crowned victour at the solemne game Olympia: and when he should be interred, all Greece did him honour, and solemnized his funerals.
Persons of a divine spirit and heavenly nature.
AMONG women, Sibylla was excellent at divination, and for a certaine fellowship and societie with cœlestiall wights, of great name. As for men, among the Greekes, Melampus: and with us Romanes, Martius, carried as great an opinion.
SCIPIO NASICA was judged once by the Senat (sworne to speake without passion and affection) to be the best and honestest man that ever was from the beginning of the world: howbeit the same man, as upright as hee was, suffered a repulse and disgrace at the peoples hands in his white robe when he sued for a dignitie: and to conclude, in the end his hap was not to depart this life in his owne countrey; no more than it was the will of God that Socrates the wisest man, (so deemed by the Oracle of Apollo) should die out of prison.
SULPITIA, daugther of Paterculus and wife to Fulvius Flaccus, by all the voices in generall of Romane dames, carried away the prize for continencie, and was elected out of the hundred principall matrons of Rome to dedicate and consecrate the image of Venus, according to an ordinance out of Sibyls bookes. Claudia likewise, was by a religious and devout experiment prooved to be such another, at what time as shee brought the mother of the gods, Cybele, to Rome.
Of Pietie, or kindnesse.
IN all parts verily of the world, there have been found infinite examples of naturall love and affection, but one example thereof at Rome hath been knowne singular above all others, and incomparable. There was a poore young woman of the common sort, and therefore base and of no account, who lately had been in childbed, whose mother was condemned to perpetuall prison, and there lay, for some great offence that she had committed: this daugther of hers and young nource aforesaid, obtained leave to have accesse unto her mother, and evermore by the goaler was narrowly searched for bringing to her any victuall, because her judgement was to be famished to death: thus shee went and came so long, untill at last she was found suckling of her mother with the milke of her breasts. This was reputed for such a straunge and wondrous example, that the mother was released and given to the daugther for her rare pietie and kindnes: both of them had a pension out of the cittie allowed them for their maintenance for ever; and the place where this hapned was consecrated to Pietie: in so much, as when C. Quintius and M. Acilius were Consuls, there was a temple to her built, in the very place where this prison stood, just where as now standeth the Theatre of Marcellus. The father of the Gracchi happened to light upon and take two serpents within his house, whereupon hee sent out to the soothsayers for to know, What this thing might presage? who made this answer, That if he would himselfe live, the female snake should be killed: Nay marry (qd. hee) not so, but rather kill the male; for my wife Cornelia is young enough, and may have more children. This said he, meaning to spare his wives life, in consideration of the good shee might doe to the common-weale. And in truth, like as the wizards prophesied, so it fell out soone after, and their words tooke effect. M. Lepidus so entirely loved his wife Apuleia, that he died for very thought and griefe of heart, after shee was divorced from him and turned away. P. Rutilius chaunced to be somewhat ill at ease and sickish, but hearing of his brothers repulse and that he was put by his Consulship (for which hee stood in suite) died sodainly for sorrow. P. Catienus Philotimus so loved his lord and master, that notwithstanding he was by him made his sole heir of all that ever he had, yet for kind heart, cast himselfe into the funerall fire to be burnt with him.
Of divers excellent men in many Arts and Sciences, and namely, in Astrologie, Grammer, and Geometrie.
IN the skill and knowlege of sundrie Sciences, an infinite number of men have excelled: howbeit, we will but take the very flower of them of them all, and touch those onely whome meet it is to be named for their speciall desert. In Astrologie, Berosius was most cunning: in so much as the Atheniens for his divine predictions and prognostications, caused his statue with a golden tongue, to be erected in the publicke schoole of their Universitie. For Grammer, Apollodorus was singular, and therefore was highly honoured of the States of Greece, called Amphictyones. In Physicke, Hippocrates excelled, so farre forth as by his skill he fore-told of a pestilence that should come out of Sclavonia: and for to cure & remedie the same, sent forth his disciples and schollers to all the citties about. In recompence of which good desert of his, all Greece by a publicke decree ordained for him the like honours, as unto Hercules. For the very same cunning and science, king Ptolomæ gave unto Cleombrotus of Cea (at the solemne feast holden in the honour of the great mother of the gods) a hundred talents, and namely for curing king Antiochus. Critobalus likewise acquired and got himselfe a great name, for drawing an arrow forth of king Philips eie, and curing the wound when he had done, so as the sight remained, and no blemish or deformity appeared. But Asclepiades the Prusian, surpassed al others in this kind, who was the first authour of that new sect which bare his name, rejected the Embassadors, the large promises and favours offered of king Mithridates: found out the way and meanes to make wine holesome and medicinable for sicke folke: and recovered a man to his former state of health, who was carried forth upon his beire to be buried: and lastly he attained to the greatest name, for laying a wager against fortune, and pawning his credite so farre, as hee should not to be reputed a Physician, in case he ever were knowne to be sicke, or any way diseased. And in truth the wager he woon. For his hap was to live in health untill he was very aged, and then to fall downe from a paire of staires and so to die suddainely. A singular testimonie of skill and cunning M. Marcellus gave unto Archimedes that notable Geometrician and Engineer of Syracusa, who in the saccage and rifling of that cittie, gave expresse commaundement concerning him alone, that no violence should bee done unto his person: howbeit his will failed of execution, by occasion of a soldior, who in that hurliburly slew him, and knew not who he was. Much commended & praised is Ctesiphon of Gnosos for his notable knowledge in Architecture, and namely, for the wonderfull frame of Dianaes temple at Ephesus. Philon likewise was highly esteemed for making the Arsenall at Athens, able to receive a thousand ships. Ctesibius also was much accounted of for devising wind instruments: and by the meanes of certaine engines to draw and send water to any place. Dinocrates moreover the Enginer, immortalised his name for casting the plot, and divising the Modell of Alexandria in Ægypt, at what time as Alexander the great founded it. To conclude, this mightie prince and commander Alexander, streightly forbad by expresse edict, That no man should draw his pourtrait in colours, but Apelles the painter: that none should engrave his personage, but Pyrgoteles the graver: and last of all, that no workman should cast his image in brasse, but Lysippus the founder. In which three feats, many Artisanes have excelled for their rare workmanship.
Singular workes of Artificers.
KING Attalus cheapened one picture wrought by Aristides the Thebane painter, and bad a hundred talents for it. Cæsar the Dictatour offered unto Timomachius eight talents18 for two pourtraits, to wit, of Medea and Aiax, which hee meant to set up and consecrate in the temple of Venus Genetrix, i. Mother Venus. King Candaulas bought of Butarchus a painted table, wherein was drawne the defeature and destruction of the Magnetes, which tooke up no great roume, and weighed out the poise thereof in good gold. King Demetrius surnamed Expugnator [i. the conquerour and great forcer of cities] forbare to set Rhodes on fire, because hee would not burne one painted table, the handie worke of Protogenes. Praxiteles was ennobled for a rare Imager, and cutter of stones and marble: hee eternised his memoriall by making one image of Venus, for the Gnidians, so lively, that a certaine young man became so amorous of it, that he doted for love thereof, and went besides himselfe: which peece of worke was esteemed of such price by king Nicomedes, that whereas the Gnidians owed him a great sum of money, hee would have taken it for full paiment and satisfaction of the whole debt. The statue of Iupiter Olympius is to be seene, and daily commendeth the workeman Phydias. Iupiter likewise Capitolinus, and Diana in Ephesus yeeld good testimonies of Mentors cunning: & the tooles or instruments of the said workeman were consecrated (for their exquisite making) unto them in their temples, and there remaine.
Of servants and slaves.
I HAVE not knowne or hard to this day of a man borne a slave, that was prised so high as Daphnis the Grammarian was: for Cn. Pisaurensis held him at 300700 Sesterces to M. Scaurus a great man, and a principall person of Rome. Howbeit, in this our age certaine stage plaiers have gone beyond this price, and that not a little, marry they were such as had bought out their freedome before, and were not then slaves. And no marvell, for we find upon record, that the great actor Roscius in former time might yeerely dispend by the stage 500000 Sesterces. Unlesse a man desire in this place to heare of the Treasurer and purveiour generall of the armie in Armenia for the late wars of king Tyridates, who was enfranchised by the meanes of Nero, for 120000 Sesterces. But it was the warre that cost thus much, and not the man. Like as Sutorius Priscus gave unto Seianus 3500 Sesterces, for Pæzon, one of his guelded Eunuches: for a man would say this was more to satisfie his filthie lust, than for any especiall beautie to be seen in the said Pæzon. But hee took the vantage of time, and went cleere away with this impious villanie: for at what time as hee bought him, the citie was in perplexitie and sorrow, and no man for thinking of greater affaires and troubles, had any leisure to find fault or say a word in reproofe of such enormities.19
The excellencie of Nations.
DOUBTLESSE it is, and past all question, that of all nations under the sunne, the Romanes excell and are the onely men for all kind of vertues: but to determine who was the happiest man in all the world, it is above the reach of humane wit; considering that some take contentment and repose felicitie in this thing, others in that; and every one measureth it according to his severall fancie and affection: but to say a truth and judge aright indeed, laying aside all the glosing flatteries of Fortune, and without courting her to determine this point, There is not a man to be counted happie in this world. Right well it is of our side, and Fortune dealeth in exceeding favour with us, if we may not justly be called unhappie: for, set case there be no other miserie and calamitie besides, yet surely a man is ever in feare least Fortune will frown upon him and doe him a shrewd turne one time or another: and admit this feare once, there can be no sound happinesse and contentment in the mind. What should I say moreover to this, That there is not a man, at all times wise and in his perfect wits? Would God that this were taken of most men for a poëts word only, and not a true said saw indeed. But such is the vanitie and follie of poore mortall men, that they flatter themselves, and are verie wittie to deceive themselves, making their accounts and reckonings of good and evill fortune, like to the Thracians; who by certaine white and blacke stones which they cast into a certaine vessell, and there laid up, for the better proofe and triall of every daies fortune; and at their last day and time of death they fall to parting these stones one from another and telling them apart: and according to the number of the white and the blacke, give judgement and pronounce of ech ones fortune. But what say they to this, that many times it falleth out that the day marked with a white stone for a good day, had in it the beginning and overture of some great misfortune and calamitie? How many a man hath seemed to fall into fortunes lap, and entred upon great empires and dominions, which in the end turned to their afflictions and miseries? How many have wee seene overthrowne, punished extreamely, and brought to utter ruine, even by the meanes of their owne good parts and commendable gifts? Certes these be good things and great favours, if a man could make full account to enjoy them but one houre with contentment. But thus verily stands the case, and this is the ordinarie course of this world; one day is the judge of another, and the day of death judgeth and determineth all: and therefore there is no trust in them, neither may wee assure our selves of any. To say nothing of this, That our good fortunes are not in number æquall to our bad: and say there were as many of the one as the other, Is there any one joy and mirth to be weighed in true ballance against the least griefe and sorrow that commeth? Foolish and sottish men that wee are with all our curiositie! for we reckon our dayes by tale and number, whereas we should ponder and poise them by weight.
Of the highest tipe and pitch of felicitie.
LAMPIDO a Lacedæmonian ladie, is the onely woman that ever was knowne, to have been the daugther to a king, a kings wife, and mother of a king. Also Pherenice was knowne alone to be the daugther, sister, and mother to them that wan the victorie and carried away the best prize at the Olympian games. In one house and race of the Curioes, there were knowne to have been three excellent oratours one after another, by descent from the father to the sonne. The onely familie and line of the Fabij affourded three Presidents of the Senate in course, one immediatly under another, to wit, M. Fabius Ambustus the father, Fabius Rullianus the sonne, and Q. Fabius Gurges the nephew.
Examples of Fortunes mutabilitie.
INFINITE examples otherwise wee have of the varietie and inconstancie of Fortune: for what great joyes to speake of gave she ever, but upon some mishap or other? Againe, the greatest miseries and calamities that have beene, have they not ensued upon the most joyes and contentments?
Of one twise outlawed and out of protection: as also of Q. Metellus, and L. Sylla.
FORTUNE preserved for sixe and thirtie yeeres M. Fidustius a Senator, outlawed by Sylla: yet was his hap afterwards to be outlawed the second time: for hee over-lived Sylla and continued unto the time of Marcus Antonius; and for certaine it is knowne, that by him he was banished and outlawed againe, for no other reason but because hee had been so before time. So kind was Fortune to P. Ventidius, as that shee would have him triumph alone over the Parthians: but shee had been before-time so good as to play with him, when shee saw him led (being a boy) as prisoner in Cn. Pompeius Strabo his triumph for the deffeiture and overthrow of the Assulanes. Although Massurius testifieth, that he was so led in triumph as a slave twise; Cicero saith, that he was at first but a mulitier & drave mules laden with meale for the oven, to serve the camp. Many others affirme, that in his youth he was a poore souldier, and served as a footman in his single trousses and grieves. Moreover, such good fortune had Balbus Cornelius, as to be the Senior Consull and declared Elect, before his fellow: but before-time he had been in trouble and judicially accused, yea and a jurie was empanelled to goe of him, so as in daunger he was to be whipped, upon their verdict. Well, this mans hap for all this, was to be the first Romane Consull of forreiners, and namely, Ilanders within the maine ocean: hee (I say) attained to that place of dignitie, which our fore-fathers denyed flatly to the Latines their neighbours. Among other notable examples, L. Fulvius may goe for one, who was Consull of the Tusculans when they revolted and rebelled against the Romanes: howbeit forsaking his owne citizens and returning to Rome, was presently by the whole people advanced to the same honour among them: and hee was the man alone knowne to have triumphed at Rome over them whose Consull hee was, even the same yeere that he was himselfe a Romane enemie in the field. L. Sylla was the only man untill our time, that challenged to himselfe the name of Fælix, i. happie, or fortunate. But how was he adopted as it were into this name? forsooth even by shedding and spilling so much blood of good Romane citizens, and by waging warre against his native country. And whereupon, I pray you, grounded he this happinesse of his, and had so great an opinion thereof, if this were not it, That hee was able to banish, confiscate, and put to death, so many thousand citizens? O false and deceitfull interpretation, daungerous, unhappie, and pernicious, even to posteritie and the time to come! For were not they more blessed and happie, who then fortuned to loose their lives, whose death at this day wee pittie, and whome we take compassion of, than Sylla, whome there is no man living at this day but he hateth and abhorreth? Moreover, was not his end more cruell and horrible, than the miserie of all those that by him were outlawed and their goods forfeit? for his owne wretched bodie did eat, gnaw, and consume it selfe, and bred daily and hourely vermine to put the same to paine and torment. And say that hee dissembled all this, and would not be knowne of it; and suppose we gave credit to that last dreame of his (wherein hee lay as it were dead and in a traunce) upon which he gave out this speech, That himselfe and none but he had his glorie to surmount all Envie: yet in this one thing he plainly confessed, That his felicitie came short and was defective, in that he had not time to consecrate the Capitoll temple. Q. Metellus in that funerall oration of his which he made in praise and commendation (as the manner was) for L. Metellus his father, gave these lawdable reports of him, That he had been the soveraigne Pontifie or high priest of Rome, twise Consull, Dictatour, Generall of the horse, one of the 15 Quindecemvirs deputed for division of lands among souldiers and commons, and that in the first Punicke warre hee shewed many Elephants in a triumph: moreover he left in writing, That he had accomplishd ten of the greatest and best points belonging to this life; in seeking whereof and in atteining thereunto, all the great Sages of the world spend their whole time: for (saith hee) his desire was, and therto he aimed, namely, to be a most doubtie and hardie warriour, an excellent orator, a right valiant captaine and commaunder: item, to have the conduct, charge, and execution of the greatest and most important affaires, to be in the highest place of honour, to be singular for wisdome, to be accounted the principall and chiefe in Senat, to come to great wealth and riches by good and lawfull meanes, to leave much faire issue behind him: and to conclude, to be simply the best man of all other, and the noblest personage in the cittie. To these perfections, he and none but he since the time that Rome was Rome, attained. Now to confute this, were a long and needlesse peece of worke, considering that one onely mischance checked these favours of Fortune, and fully disprooved all: for the very same Metellus became blind in his old age: for he lost both his eyes in a skare-fire,20 at what time as he would have saved and got away the Palladium, i. the image of Minerva, out of the temple of Vesta. His act, I confesse, was vertuous and memorable, but the event was ill for him and miserable. In regard whereof, I know not how he should be called unhappie and wretched: and yet I see not why he should be named happie and fortunate. This I must needs say in conclusion, that the people of Rome graunted unto him that priviledge, that never man before him in the world was known to have, namely, to ride in his coach to the Senat-house so oft as hee went to sit at the councell table. A great prerogative I confesse, and most stately, but it was allowed him for the want of his eyes.
Of another Metellus.
A SONNE likewise of this Q. Metellus, who gave out those commendations abovesaid of his father, may be put in the ranke of the most rare precedents of felicitie in this world: for over and besides the most honourable dignities and promotions that hee was advanced unto in his life time, and the glorious addition and surname of Macedonicus, which hee got in Macedonie; when he was dead, there attended upon his dead corps at his funerals to interre it, foure sonnes of his; the one Pretor for the time being: the other three had been Consuls in their time: and of these three, two had triumphed in Rome, and the third had ben Censor. These were points, I may tell you, of great marke and regard, and few men are to be found in comparison, that can come to any one of them. And yet see! in the very prime and flower of all these honours, it fortuned that Catinius Labeo surnamed Macerio, a Tribune or protector of the commons (whome he before-time by vertue of his Censorship had displaced out of the Senat) waited his time when he returned about noone from Mars field, and seeing no man stirring in the market place nor about the Capitoll, tooke him away perforce to the cliffe Tarpeius, with a full purpose to pitch him downe headlong from thence, and to breake his necke. A number came running about him of that crew and companie, which was wont to salute him by the name of Father; but not so soone as such a case required, considering this so sodaine an occurrent: and when they were come, went but slowly about any rescue, and kept a soft pace as if they had waited upon some corps to a buriall: and to make resistance and withstand perforce the Tribune, armed with his sacrosanct and inviolable authoritie, they had no warrant by law: in so much as he was like to have perished and come to a present mischiefe, even for his vertue and faithfull execution of his Censorship, had there not been one Tribune of ten found, hardly and with much adoe to step betweene, and oppose himselfe against his colleague, and so by good hap rescued him out of his clutches, and saved him as it were at the very pits brinkne, even from the utmost point of death. And yet he lived afterwares of the courtesie and liberalitie of other men: for why? all his goods from that day forward, were seized as forfeit and confiscate, by that Tribune whom before time he had condemned: as if he had not suffred punishment and sorrow enough at his hands, to have his necke so writhed by him, as that the bloud was squeased out at his verie eares. Certes, for mine owne part, I would reckon this for one of his crosses and calamities, That he was an enemie to the later Africanus Æmylianus, even by the testimonie and confession of Macedonicus himselfe. For after the death of the said Africanus, these were his words unto his owne sonnes: Go your waies sirs, and doe honour unto his obsequiess, for the funerals of a great personage and a better cittizen, shall ye never see. And this spake hee to them, when as they had conquered Creta and the Baleare Ilands, and therof wer surnamed Creticus and Balearicus, and had worne the lawrell diademe in triumph: being himselfe alreadie entituled with the stile of Macedonicus, for the conquest of Macedonie. But if wee consider and weigh that onely wrong and injurie offered unto him by the Tribune, who is it that can justly deeme him happie, being exposed so as he was to the pleasure, mercie, and devotion of his enemie, farre inferiour to Africanus, and so to come to confusion? What were all his victories to this one disgrace? what honours and triumphant charriots strooke not fortune downe with her foot, and overturned all againe, or at least wise set not backe againe with this her violent course, suffering a Romane Censor to bee haled and tugged in the very heart of the cittie (the onely way indeed to bring him to his death) to be harried I say up to that capitoll hill, there to make his end, whether aforetime he ascended triumphant, but never committed that outrage upon those prisoners and captives, whom he led in triumph, and for whose spoiles he triumphed, as to hale and pull them in that rude sort? And verily, the greater was this outrage, and seemed the more heinous, in regard of the felicitie which afterwards ensued: considering, that this Macedonicus was in danger to have lost so great an honour as he had in his solemne and stately sepulture, namely, wherein hee was carried forth to his funerall fire, by his triumphant children, as if hee had triumphed once againe at his very buriall. In summe, that can bee no sound and assured felicitie which is interrupted by any indignitie or disgrace whatsoever, much lesse then by such an one as this was. To conclude, I wot not well whether there be more cause to glorie for the modest carriage of men in those daies, or to greeve at the indignitie of the thing, in that so many Metelli as there were, so audacious a villaine as this was of Catinius, was never revenged to this day.
Of Augustus Cæsar, late Emperour.
AS touching the late Emperour Augustus, whome all the world raungeth in this ranke of men fortunate: if we consider diligently the whol course of his life, we shall find the wheele to have turned often, and perceive many chaunges of variable Fortune. First and formost his owne uncle by the mothers side put him by the Generalship of the horse; and notwithstanding all his earnest suite, preferred Lepidus to that place before him: secondly, he was noted and thought hardly of for those outlawries of Romane cittizens, and thereby purchased himselfe much hatred and displeasure: tainted also he was for being one of those three in the Triumvirate, yoked and matched with wicked companions and most daungerous members to the weale publick: and this galled him the more, That in this fellowship, the Romane Empire was not equally and indifferently parted among them three, but Antonie went away with the greatest share by ods. Also his ill fortune was in the battaile before Philippos to fall sicke, to take his flight; and for three daies, diseased as he was, to lurke and lye hidden within a marish: whereupon (as Agrippa and Mecænas do confesse) he grew into a kind of dropsie, so as his belly and sides were puft up and swelled with a waterish humor gotten and spred between the flesh and the skin. Furthermore he suffred shipwracke in Sicily, and there likewise he was glad to skulke within a cave in the ground. What should I say, how when he was put to flight at sea, and the whole power of his enemies hard at his heels, he besought Proculeius in that great danger to rid him out of his life: how he was perplexed for the quarels and contentions at Perusium: in what fear and agonie he was in the battell at Actium (a towne of Albanie,) as also for the issue of the Pannonian war, for the fall of a bridge, and a towne both. So many mutinies among his souldiours: so many dangerous diseases that put him to a plung. The jelousie and suspition that he had evermore of Marcellus. The reproch and shame that he sustained for confining and banishing Agrippa: his life so many times laid for, by poison and other secret traines: the death of his children, suspected to have beene wrought by indirect meanes: the double sorrow and greefe of heart thereby: and not altogether for his childlesse estate: the adulterie of his owne daugther, and her purpose of taking his life away, detected and made knowne to the world: the reprochfull departure and slipping aside of Nero, his wifes sonne: another adulterie committed by one of his neeces. Over and above all this, thus many crosses more and troubles comming one in the necke of another: namely, want of pay for his souldiours: the rebellion of Slavonia: the mustering of slaves and bond-servants to make up his armie, for want of other able youths to levie unto the warres: pestilence in Rome citie: famine & drought universally through Italie: and that which more is, a deliberate purpose and resolution of his to famish and pine himselfe to death, having to that end fasted 4 dayes and foure nights, and in that time received into his bodie the greater part of his own death. Besides, the overthrow and rout of Varius and his forces, the foule staine and blemish to the touch of his honour and majestie very neer: the putting away of Posthumius Agrippa after his adoption, and the misse that he had of him after his banishment: then, the suspicion that he conceived of Fabius, for disclosing his secrets: add hereto, the opinion and conceit that he tooke of his owne wife and Tiberius, which surpassed all his other cares. To conclude, that god, and hee who I wot not whether he obtained heaven or deserved it more, departed this life, and left behind him for his heire to the crowne, his enemies sonne.
Whome the Gods iudge most happie.
I CANNOT over-passe in this discourse and consideration, the Oracles of Delphos, delivered from that heavenly god to chastise and represse as it were, the folly and vanitie of men: and two there be which give answer to the point in question, after this manner: First, that Phedius (who but a while before died in the service of his countrey) was most happie. Moreover, Gyges (the most puissant K. in those daies of al the earth) sent a second time to know of the Oracle, Who was the happiest man next him? and answer was made, That Aglaus Psophidius was happier than the former: now this Aglaus was a good honest man well stept in yeeres, dwelling in a very narrow corner of Arcadia, where he had a little house and land of his own, sufficient with the yeerly commodities thereof to maintaine him plentifully with ease; out of which hee never went, but employed himselfe in the tillage and husbandrie thereof, to make the best benefite he could: in such sort, that (as it appeared by that course of life) as he coveted least, so he felt as little trouble and adversitie while he lived.
Who was canonized a god, here upon earth living.
BY the ordinance and appointment of the same Oracle, as also by the assent and approbation of Iupiter the soveraigne God, Euthymus the famous wrestler (who evermore wan the best prize at Olympia, save once) was reputed and consecrated a god whiles he lived, and knew thereof: borne he was at Locri in Italie, where one statue of his, as also another at Olympia, were both upon one day strucken with lightning: whereof I see Callimachus wondred at, as if nothing else were worthie admiration, and gave order that he should be sacrificed unto as a god: which was perfourmed accordingly, both whiles he lived and after he was dead. A thing, that I marveile more at than any thing else, That the gods were therewith contented, and would permit such a dishonour to their majestie.
Of the longest lives.
THE tearme and length of mans life is uncertein, not only by reason of the diversitie of climats, but also because the Historians have delivered such varietie of mens ages, and every man by himselfe hath a severall time limited unto him, at the very day of his nativitie. Hesiodus, the first writer (as I take it) who hath treated of this argument, and yet like a poët, in his fabulous discourse as touching the age of man, saith forsooth, That a crow liveth 9 times as long as we; and the harts or stags 4 times as long as the crow; but the ravens thrice as long as they. As for his other reports as touching the Nymphes and the bird Phœnix, they are more like poëticall tales, than historicall narrations. Anacreon the poët maketh report, that Arganthonius king of the Tartessians, lived 150 yeeres: and Cynaras likewise king of the Cyprians, ten yeeres longer. Theopompus affirmeth, that Epimenides the Gnossian, died when he was 157 yeeres old. Hellanicus hath written, that among the Epians in Ætolia, there be some that continue ful two hundred yeeres: and with him accordeth Damases; adding moreover, that there was one Pictoreus among them, a man of exceeding stature, mightie and strong withall, who lived 300 yeeres. Ephorus testifieth, that ordinarily the KK. of Arcadia were 300 yeeres old ere they died. Alexander Cornelius writeth of one Dando a Sclavonian, that lived 500 yeers. Xenophon in his treatise of old age, maketh mention of a king of the Latines, or as some say, over a people upon the sea coasts, who continued alive 600 yeeres: and because he had not lied long enough already, he goeth on still and saith, That his sonne came to 800. All those strange reports proceed from the ignorance of the times past, and for want of knowledge how they made their account: for some reckoned the summer for one yeere, and the winter for another. There were againe, that reckoned everie quarter for a yeer, as the Arcadians, whose yeere was but three moneths. Ye shall have some, and namely the Ægyptians, that count every chaunge or new moone, for a yeere: and therefore no marveile if some of them are reported to have lived 1000 yeeres. But to passe from these uncerteinties to things confessed and doubtlesse, held it is in manner for a certaine truth, that Arganthinus king of Calis, reigned full 80 yeeres: and it is supposed, that 40 yeeres old he was when he came first to the crowne. And as undoubted true it is, that Masanißa ware the crowne 60 yeeres: as also that Gorgias the Sicilian lived untill hee was 108 yeeres old. As for Q. Fabius Maximus (a Romane) he continued Augure 63 yeeres. M. Perpenna, and of late daies L. Volusius Saturninus, out-lived all those Senators who sat in counsell with them when they were Consuls, & whose opinions they were wont to aske. As for Perpenna, when he died, left but 7 of those Senators alive whom he had either chosen or re-elected in his Censorship: & he lived himself 98 yeers. Where by the way one thing commeth unto my mind worth the noting, That one Lustrum or 5 yeeres space there was, and never but one, in which there died not a Roman Senator: and that was from the time that Flaccus and Albinus the Censors, finished their survey and solemnly purged the citie after the order; unto the comming in of the next new Censors; which was from the yeere after the foundation of Rome 579. M. Valerius Corvinus lived 100 yeers complet: between his first consulate and sixt, were 46 yeers: he tooke his seat upon the yvorie chaire of estate, and was created a magistrate Curule 21 times; and no man ever beides him, so often. Metellus the Pontifie or soveraigne Priest, lived full as long as he.
To come now to women: Livia the wife of Rutilius lived 97 yeers with the better. Statilia a noble ladie of Rome, in the time of Claudius the Emperor, was knowne to be 99 yeers of age. Ciceros wife Terentia out-lived her husband, untill she was 103 yeers old. Clodia wife to Osilius, went beyond her, and saw 115 yeers, and yet she had in her youth 15 children. Luceia a common vice21 in a play, followed the stage and acted thereupon 100 yeeres. Such another vice that plaied the foole and made sport betweene whiles in enterludes, named Galeria Copiola, was brought againe to act her feats upon the stage, when Cn. Pompeius and Q. Sulpitius were Consuls, at the solemne plaies vowed for the health of Augustus Cæsar the Emperour, when she was in the 104 yeere of her age: the first time that ever she entred the stage to shew proofe of her skill in that profession, was 91 yeeres before, and then she was brought thither by M. Pomponius an Ædile of the Commons, in the yeere that C. Marius and Cn. Carbo were Consuls. And once againe Pompeius the Great, at the solemne dedication of his stately Theatre, trained the old woman to the stage for to make a shew, to the wonder of the world. Moreover, Asconius Pædianus is mine author, that one Samula lived 110 yeeres: and therefore I marveile the lesse, that one Stephanio (who was the first of the long robe that brought up dauncing and footing upon the stage) plaied his part and daunced in both the Secular plaies, as well those that were set out by Augustus late Emperour, as when Claudius Cæsar exhibited in his 4 Consulate., considering that betweene the one and the other there were but 63 yeeres: and yet lived Stephanio many a day after. Mutianus witnesseth, that in Tempsis (for so they call the crest or pitch of the mountaine Tmolus) folke lived ordinarily 150 yeeres. At that age, T. Fullonius of Bononia entred his name into the subsidie booke, at the time that Claudius Cæsar held the generall taxe: and that hee was so old indeed, appeared truly as well upon record in the Registers office, by conferring and laying togither severall paiments that he had made from time to time, as also by certain things that he had seen and known done in his life time (for the Emperor had a special care & regard that way to find out the truth.)
Of the divers Horoscopes, or nativities of men.
THIS point would require the conference and advice of Astrologers: for Epigenes saith, that it is not possible for a man to live an hundred and two and twentie yeeres:22 and Berosus is of opinion, that one cannot passe an hundred and seventeene. The proportion and reckoning holdeth still for good which Petosiris and Necepsos calculated and grounded upon their Quadrant, which they call Tetartemorion, that is to say, the compasse in the Zodiacke of three signes (Orientall, which determine of the life or death of men) according to which account it is evident, that in the tract or climat of Italie, men may reach to a hundred twentie and six yeeres. The above-named Astrologers affirmed, that a man could not possibly passe the space of 90 degrees from the Ascendent or erection of his nativitie (which they call Anaphoras) and that even this course through the degrees of three signes, is many times interrupted and cut short, either by the opposition and encounter of some wicked planets, or by the maligne aspects of them or the sunne. On the other side, Asclepiades and his sect affirme, that the length of our life proceedeth from the influence of the [fixed] starres: but as touching the utmost tearme therof, they set downe nothing definitively: mary thus much they say, That the fewer sort of men live any long time; for that the greatest number by farre, have their nativitie incident and liable to the daungerous houres and times either of the moones occurrence (as in her Quadrature, Opposition, and Sextile aspect) or of daies according to the number of seven or nine (which are daily and nightly marked and observed:) wherupon ensueth the rule of the dangerous graduall yeers, called Climactericke: and such as are in that wise borne, lightly live not above foure and fiftie yeeres. But here may wee see by the doubtfulnesse and incertitude of this Science of Astrologie, how uncertein this whole matter is which we have in hand. Over and besides, we found the contrarie by experience, and many examples; and namely, in the last taxation, numbring, and review of the provinces subject to Rome within Italie, that was taken under the Cæsars Vespasians the father and the sonne, both Emperours and Censors. And here we need not to search everie corner, and to ransacke every place narrowly; wee will onely give instance and set downe the examples of the one moitie thereof, namely that tract which lyeth betweene Apennine and the Po. At Parma, three men were found that lived a hundred and twentie yeeres: at Brixels, one that was an hundred twentie and five yeeres old; at Parma moreover two, an hundred and thirtie yeeres of age: at Plaisance, one elder by a yeere: at Faventia, there was one woman an hundred thirtie and two yeers old: at Bononie, L. Terentius the sonne of Marcus, and at Ariminum, M. Aponius, reckoned each of them an hundred and fiftie yeeres. Tertulla was knowne to be an hundred thirtie and seven yeeres old. About Plaisance, there is a towne situate upon the hills, named Velleiacium, wherein six men brought a certificate, that they had lived an hundred yeeres apeece: foure likewise came in with a note of an hundred and twentie yeeres: one, of an hundred and fourteen,23 namely M. Mutius sonne of Marcus surnamed Galerius Fœlix. But because we will not dwell long in a matter so evident and commonly confessed: in the review taken of the eigth region of Italie, there were found in the roll, foure and fiftie persons of a hundred yeeres of age: 57, of an hundred and ten: two, of an hundred and five and twentie: foure, of an hundred and thirtie: as many that were 135 or 137 yeeres old: and last of all, three men of an hundred and fortie. Let us leave these ages, and consider a while another inconstant varietie in the nature of mortall men: Homer maketh report, that Hector and Polydamas were borne in one night, men so different in nature and qualitie. Whiles C. Marius was Consull and Cn. Carbo with him, who had beene twise before Consull, the fifth day before the calends of Iune, M. Cæcilius Ruffus and C. Licinius Calvus were borne upon a day, and both of them verily prooved great Oratours: but the sped not alike, but mightily differed one from the other in the end. And this is a thing seene daily to happen throughout the world, considering that in one houre kings and beggars are borne, likewise lords and slaves.
Sundrie examples of divers diseases.
Pub. Cornelius Rufus, who was Consull togither with M. Curius, dreamed that hee had lost his sight: and it prooved true indeed, for in his sleepe he became blind and never saw again. Contrariwise, Phalereus [or Iason Phareus] being given over by the Physicions for an imposthume that he had in his chest, in despaire of all health (purposing to kill himselfe for to be rid out of his paine) stabbed his breast with a knife; but he found this deadly enemie to be his onely Physicion. Q. Fabius Maximus being long sicke of a quartane ague, strucke a battaile with the people of Savoy and Auvergne neer the river Isara, upon the sixt day before the Ides of August, wherein hee slew of his enemies 13000, and therewith was delivered from his fever, and never had fit more. Certes, this gift of life that wee have from Nature, be it more or be it lesse, is fraile and uncertein: and say that it be given to any in largest measure; it is but scant yet and very short, yea and of smalluse, if we consider the whole ccourse thereof from the beginning to the end. For first, if we count our repose and sleepe in the night season, a man may be truly said to live but the one halfe of his life: for surely a good moitie and halfe deale thereof which is spent in sleeping, may be likened well to death: and if hee cannot sleepe, it is a paine of all paines and a very punishment. I reckon not in this place the yeeres of our infancie, which age is void of reason and sense; ne yet of old age, which the longer that it continueth, the more are they plagued that be in it. What should I spake of so many kinds of daungers, so many diseases, so many feares, so many pensive cares, so many prayers for death, as that in manner we pray for nothing oftner? In which regards, how can a man be said to live the while? and therefore Nature knoweth not what better thing to give a man, than short life. First and formost, the senses waxe dull, the members and limmes grow benummed, the eye-sight decayeth betimes, the hearing followeth soon after, then faile the supporters, the teeth also and the verie instruments that serve for our food and nourishment: and yet forsooth, all this time so full of griefe and infirmities, is counted a part of our life. Hereupon it is taken for a miraculous example, and that to which againe we cannot find a fellow, That Xenophilus the musitian lived 105 yeeres, without any sicknesse or defect in all his bodie. For all other men, beleeve me, are vexed at certaine houres (like as no other creature besides) with the pestiferous heats and shaking colds of the fever in every joynt, sinew, and muskle of the bodie, which goe and come, keeping their times in their severall fits, not for certaine houres in a day onely, but from one day to another, and from night to night; one while every third day or night, other-whiles everie fourth, yea and sometime a whole yeere togither. Moreover, what is it but a very disease, To know the time and houre of a mans owne death, and so to die forsooth in wisdome? For maladies there be, in which Nature hath set downe certaine rules and laws: and namely, a quartane fever never lightly beginneth in the shortest daies of the yeere, neither in the three moneths of winter, [to wit, December, Ianuarie, and Februarie.] Some diseases are not incident to those that are above 60 yeeres of age: others againe, do end and passe away when youths begin to be under-growne, and especially this is observed in young maidens. Moreover, old folke of all other are least subject to take the plague. Furthermore, sicknesses there be, that follow this region or that, assailing and infecting the inhabitants generally therein. There be some againe, that surprize and take hold of servants onely, both all and some: others touch the best persons alone of the highest calling, and so from degree to degree. But in this place, observed usually it is by experience, That a pestilence beginning in the South parts, goeth alwaies toward the West; and never lightly but in winter, neither continueth it above three moneths.
Of the signes of death.
NOW let us take a view of deadly tokens in sicknesse. In rage and furious madnesse, to laugh is a mortall signe. In phrensie, wherein men are bestraught of their right wits, to have a care of the skirts, fringes, and welts of their garments, that they be in good order; to keepe a fumbling and pleiting of the bed-cloths; the neglect of such things as would trouble them in their sleepe and breake it; the voluntarie letting goe of their water; prognosticate death. A man may see death also in the eies and nose most certainly of all other parts: as also in the manner of lying; as namely, when the patient lieth alwaies upon his backe with his face upward. We gather signes also, by the uneven stroke of the arterie: as also when the pulse beateth so under the Physicians hand, as if he felt an ant creeping under it. Other signes moreover there be which Hippocrates, the prince and cheefe of all Physicians, hath very well observed and set down. Now, whereas there bee an infinite number of signes that presage death: there is not knowne so much as one that can assure a man certainely of life and health. For Cato that famour Censor, writing to his sonne as touching this argument, hath delivered, as it were out of an Oracle, That there is an observation of death to be collected even in them that are in perfect health. For (saith hee) youth resembling age, is an undoubted signe of untimely death, or short life.24 As for diseases, they are so innumerable, that Pherecydes of the Island Syros, died of a great quantitie of ¶¶¶creepers that came crawling out of his bodie. Some are knowne to be never free of the ague, as C. Mecænas. The same man for three yeeres together, before he died, never laid his eies together for sleep the minute of an houre. Antipater Sidonius the poet, once a yeere during his life, had an ague-fit upon his birth day onely. He lived for all that to be an old man, and upon the day of his nativitie died in such a fit.
Of such as were carried forth upon the biers to be buried, and revived againe.
A Viola, one that had been Consull, came againe to himselfe when he was cast or put into the funerall fire to be burnt: but because the flame was so strong that no man could come neere to recover him, burnt he was quick. The like accident (as it is reported) befell to Lu. Lamia, Pretour lately before. As for C. Ælius Tubero, that he was brought alive againe from the like fire, after he had been Pretour of Rome, both Messala Rufus, and many besides, doe constantly affirme. See how it goeth with mortall men: see, I say, our uncertaine state and condition, and how wee are borne, exposed, and subject to these and such like occasions of fortune: insomuch, as in the case of man, there is not any assurance at all, no not in death. We read in Chronicles, that the ghost of Herrmotimus Clazomenius was woont usually to abandon his bodie for a time, and wandering up and downe into farre countries, used to bring him newes from remote places, of such things as could not possibly bee knowne, unlesse it had been present there: and all the while his bodie lay, as it were, halfe dead in a traunce. This manner it continued so long, untill the Cantharidæ, who were his mortall enemies, tooke his bodie upon a time in that extasie, and burnt it to ashes: and by that meanes disappointed his poor soule when it came back again, of that sheath, as it were, or case, where shee meant to bestow her selfe. Moreover, wee find in records, That the spirit or ghost of Aristæas in the Island Proconnesus, was seene evidently to flie out at his mouth in forme of a raven; and many a like tale followeth therupon. For surely I take it to be no better than a fable, which is in like manner reported of Epimenides the Gnosian; namely, that when he was a boy, he being for heat and travell in his journey all wearie, laid him downe in a certaine cave, and there slept 57 yeeres. At length he wakened as it were upon the next morrow, and wondered at such a suddaine chaunge of every thing that hee saw in the world, as if hee had taken but one nights sleepe. Hereupon forsooth, in as many daies after, as hee slept yeeres, hee waxed old. Howbeit hee lived in all 175 yeeres. But to returne unto our former discourse, women of all others by reason of their sex, are subject to this daunger, to bee reputed for dead, when there is life within them: and namely, by occasion of the disease of the Matrice, called the rising of the Mother: which, if it be brought againe and settled streight in the place, they soone recover and take breath again. Not impertinent to this treatise, is that notable and elegant book among the Greekes, compiled by Heraclides, where he writeth of a woman, that for a seven-night lay for dead, and fetched not her breath sensibly, who in the end was raised againe to life. Moreover, Varro reporteth, That upon a time when the twentie deputed commissioners were deviding lands in the territorie of Capua, there was one carried forth in his bier to be burnt, & came home againe upon his feet. Also, that the like happened at Aquinum. Likewise, that in Rome one Corfidius who had married his owne aunt by the mothers side, after he had taken order for his funerals, and set out a certaine allowance therefore, seemed to yeeld up his ghost and die: howbeit he revived againe, and it was his chaunce to carie him forth indeed to buriall, who had provided the furniture before for his funerall. This Varro writeth besides, of other miraculous matters, which verily are worth the rehearsall at large. One of them is this. Two brethren there were, by birth and calling gentlemen of Rome: whereof the elder named Corfidius, happened (in all apparance) to die: and when his last will and testament was once opened and published, the younger brother, who was his heire, was verie busie and readie to set forward his funerall. In the meane while the man that seemed dead, fell to clap one hand against he other, and therewith raised the servants in the house: when they were come about him, hee recounted unto them, that hee was come from his younger brother, who had recommended his daugther to his tuition and guardenage: and moreover had shewed and declared unto him in what place hee had hidden certaine gold under the ground, without the privitie of any man: requesting him withall, to employ that funerall provision which he had prepared for him, about his owne buriall and sepulture. As hee was relating this matter, his brothers servitors came in great hast to the house of this elder brother, and brought word, that their maister was departed this life: and the treasure beforesaid was found in the place accordingly. And verily, there is nothing more common in our daily speech than of these divinations, but they are not to be weighed in equall ballance with these, nor to bee reported or credited all so consistently. For as much as for the most part they are meere lies, as we will prove by one notable example. In the Sicilian voiage it fortuned, that Gambienus, one of the bravest servitours that Cæsar had at sea, was taken prisoner by Sex. Pompeius: and by commaundement from him, his head was stricken off in a manner, and scarce hung to the necke by the skin, and so lay he all day long upon the sands in the shore. When it grew toward the evening, & that a companie were flocked about him, hee fetched a great grone, and requested that Pompeius would come unto him, or at leastwise send some one of his deere familiars that were neere unto him: and why? Come I am (quoth he) from the infernall spirits beneath, and have a message to deliver unto him. Then Pompey sent divers of his friends to the man, unto whom Gabienus related in this manner, That the infernall gods were well pleased with the just quarrell and cause of Pompey: and therefore hee should have as good an issue thereof as hee could wish. Thus much (quoth he) was I charged & commanded to deliver. And for a better proofe of the truth in effect, so soone as I have done mine errand, I shall forthwith yeeld up the ghost. And so it came to passe indeed. Histories also make mention of them that have appeared after they were committed to earth. But our purpose is to write of Natures workes, and not to prosecute such miraculous and prodigious matters.
Of suddaine deaths.
AS for suddaine death, that is to say, the greatest felicitie and happinesse that can fall unto a man; many examples we have thereof, that alwaies seeme strange and marvellous, notwithstanding they are common. Verrius hath set forth a number of them, but I will keepe within a meane; and make choise of them all. Besides Chilon the Lacedæmonian, of whom wee spake before, there died suddainely for very joy Sophocles the Poet; and Denis, a king or tyrant of Sicilie: both of them upon tidings brought unto them, that they had won the best price among the tragicall Poëts. Presently after that famous defeature at Cannæ, a mother died immediately upon the sight of her sonne alive, whom by a false messenger shee heard to have beene slaine in that battel. Diodorus a great professed Logician, for very shame that he could not readily assoile a frivolous question, nor answere to some demands proposed by Stilbo, swouned and never came againe. Without any apparent cause at all that could be seene, divers have left their life: namely, two of the Cæsars, the one Pretour for the time being: the other who had borne that dignitie, the father of Cæsar the Dictatour: both of them in the morning when they were new risen, and putting on their shoes: the one at Pisæ, the former at Rome. In like manner Q. Fabius Maximus in his very Consulship, upon the last day of December, [which was the last also of his magistracie, if hee had lived longer26] in whose place Rebilus made suit to bee Consull, for a very few houres that remained of that yeere. Semblably, C. Vulcatius Gurges a Senatour. All of them in perfect health, so lustie and well liking, that they thought to goe forth presently, and of nothing lesse than to die before. Q. Æmylius Lepidus, even as he was going out of his bed-chamber, hit his great toa against the dore sill, and therewith died. C. Aufidius was gotten forth of his house, and as hee was going to the Senate, stumbled with his foot in the Comitium or common place of assemblies, and died in the place. Moreover, a certaine Embassadour of the Rhodians, who had to the great admiration of all that were present, pleaded their cause before the Senate, in the very entrie of the Counsell house, as he was going forth, fell downe dead, and never spake word. Cn. Barbius Pamphilus, who had been Pretour, died suddainely, as he was asking a boy what it was a clocke. A. Pompeius, so soone as he had worshipped the gods in the Capitoll, and said his Oraisons, immediately died. So did M. Iuventius Talva the Consull, as he was sacrificing. and Caius Servelius Pansa, as hee stood at a shop in the market place, about eight of the clocke in the morning, leaning upon his brothre P. Pansa his shoulders. Bæbius the judge, as hee was adjourning the day of ones apparence in the court. M. Terentius Corax, whiles he was writing of letters in the market place. No longer since than the very last yeere, a knight of Rome, as he was talking with another that had been Consull, and rounding him in the eare, fell downe starke dead: and this happened before the yvorie statue of Apollo, which standeth in the Forum of Augustus. But above all others is it straunge, that C. Iulius a Chyrurgian, should die as he was dressing of a sore eie with a salve, and drawing his instrument along the eie. What should I say of L. Manlius Torquatus, a man who had beene sometime Consull, whose hap was to die sitting at supper, even in reaching for a cake or wafer upon the bourd. L. Durius Valla the Physician, died whiles hee was drinking a portion of mede or sweet honnie-wine. Appius Auseius being comee out of the Baine, after he had drunke a draught of honied wine, as hee was supping of a rere egge, died. P. Quintius Scapula, as he was at supper in Aquillius Gallus his house. Decimus Saufeius the Scribe, as hee sat at dinner in his owne house. Cornelius Gallus, one who had beene lord Pretour, and T. Ætherius a Romane knight, died both in the very act of Venus, whiles they lay upon women. The like befell in our daies to two gentlemen of Rome, who died both as they were dealing contrarie to kind with one and the same counterfet jester named Mithycus, a youth in those daies of surpassing beautie. But of all others, M. Ofilius Hilarus an actor and plaier in Comedies, as it is reported by auncient writerrs, died most secure of death, and with the greatest circumstances about it. For after he had done much pleasure to the people, and made them sport to their contentment upon his birth day, he kept a feast at home in his house: and when the supper was set forth upon the table, he called for a messe of hot broth in a porrenger to drinke of: and withall, casting his eie upon the maske or visor that he put on that day, fitted it againe to his visage, and took off the chaplet or guirland from his bare head, and set it thereupon: in this habite, disguised as he sat, hee was starke dead and key cold before any man perceived it: untill he that leaned next unto him at the bourd, put him in mind of his pottage that it cooled, and when he made no answere again, they found in what case he was. These examples all be of happie deaths. But contrariwise, there bee an infinite number of those that are as miserable and unfortunate. L. Domitius, a man descended of a most noble house and parentage, being vanquished by Cæsar before Marseils, and taken prisoner at Corfinium by the same Cæsar, for very irksomenesse of his tedious life, poysoned himselfe: but after he had drunke the poyson, repented of that which he had done, and did all that ever he could to live still, but it would not be. Wee find upon record in the publicke registers, That when Felix one of the carnation or flesh colour liverie, that ran with charriots in the great cirque or shew-place, was had forth dead to be burnt, one of his favourites and consorts flung himselfe into his funerall fire for companie. A frivolous and small matter it is to speake of: but they of the other side that tooke part with the adverse faction of other liveries, because this act should not turne to the honour and credite of their concurrent the active Chariotier abovenamed, gave it out and said, That this friend and well-willer of his, did it not for love, but that his head was intoxicate with the strong savor of the incense and odours that were in the fire, and so being beside himselfe, did he wist not what. Not long before that this chaunced, M. Lepidus, a gentleman of Rome, and descended of a most noble familie, who (as is abovesaid) died for thought and greefe of heart that he had divorced his wife, was by the violent force of the flame cast forth of the funerall fire: and because of the extreame heat thereof, no man could come neere to lay his corps againe in the place where it was and should be: they were faine to make another fire hard by of drie vine cuttings, and such like stickes, and so he was burnt bare and naked as he was.
Of Buriall and Sepulture.
TO burne the bodies of the dead, hath been no auncient custome among the Romanes: the manner was in old time to enterre them. But after that they were given once to understand that the corses of men slaine in the warres a farre off, and buried in those parts, were taken forth of the earth againe, ordained it was to burne them. And yet many families kept them still to the old guise and ceremonie of committing their dead to the earth: as namely, the house of the Cornelij, whereof there was not one by report burnt before L. Sylla the Dictatour. And hee willed it expressely, & provided for it aforehand, for fear himselfe should be so served as C. Marius was, whose corpes he caused to be digged up after it was buried. Now in Latine, hee is said to bee Sepultus, that is bestowed or buried any way, it makes no matter how: but humatus properly, who is enterred onely, or committed to the earth.
Of the ghosts or spirits of men departed.
AFTER men are buried, great diversitie there is in opinion, what is become of their souls and ghosts, wandering some this way, and others that. But this is generally held, that in what estate they were before men were borne, in the same they remain when they are dead. For neither body nor soule hath any more sence after our dying day, than they had before the day of our nativitie. But such is the follie and vanitie of men, that it extendeth still even to the future time, yea, and in the very time of death flattereth it selfe with fond imaginations, and dreaming of I wot not what life after this. For some attribute immortalitie to the soule: others devise a certaine transfiguration thereof. And there be againe who suppose, that the ghosts sequestred from the bodie, have sence: whereupon they do them honour and worship, making a god of him that is not so much as a man. As if the manner of mens breathing differed from that in other living creatures: or as if there were not to bee found many other things in the world, that live much longer than men, and yet no man judgeth in them the like immortalitie. But shew mee what is the substance and bodie as it were of the soule by it selfe? what kind of matter is it apart from the bodie? where lieth her cogitation that she hath? how is her seeing, how is her hearing performed? what toucheth she? nay, what doth she at all? How is she emploied? or if there bee in her none of all this, what goodnesse can there be without the same? But I would know where she setleth and hath her abiding place after her departure from the bodie? and what an infinite multitude of soules like shaddowes would there be, in so many ages, as well past as to come? now surely these be but fantasticall, foolish, and childish toies: devised by men that would fain live alwaies, and never make an end. The like foolerie there is in preserving the bodies of dead men. And the vanitie of Democritus is no lesse, who promised a resurrection thereof, and yet himselfe could never rise againe. And what a follie is this of all follies to thinke (in a mischeefe) that death should bee the way to a second life? what repose and rest should ever men have that are borne of a woman, if their soules should remaine in heaven above with sence, while their shaddowes tarried beneath among the infernall wights? Certes, these sweet inducements and pleasing persuasions, this foolish credulitie and light-beleefe, marreth the benefite of the best gift of Nature, to wit, Death: it doubleth besides the paine of a man that is to die, if he happen to thinke and consider what shall betide him the time to come. For if it bee sweet and pleasant to live, what pleasure and contentment can one have, that hath once lived, and now doth not. But how much more ease and greater securitie were it for each man to beleeve himselfe in this point, to gather reasons, and to ground his resolution and assurance upon the experience that hee had before hee was borne?
The first inventers of diverse things.
BEFORE we depart from this discourse of mens nature, me thinkes it were meet and convenient to shew their sundrie inventions, and what each man hath devised in this world. In the first place, prince Bacchus brought up buying and selling: he it was also that devised the diademe that roiall ensigne and ornament, and the manner of triumph. Dame Ceres was the first that shewed the way of sowing corne, whereas beforetime men lived of mast. Shee taught also, how to grind corne, to knead dough, and make bread thereof, in the land of Attica, Italie, and Sicilie: for which benefite to mankind, reputed shee was a goddesse. Shee it was that began to make lawes, howsoever others have thought, that Rhadamanthus was the first law-giver. As for letters, I am of opinion, that they were in Assyria from the beginning, time out of mind: but some thinke, and namely Gellius, that they were devised by Mercurie in Ægypt, but others say they came first from Syria. True it is, that Cadmus brought with him into Greece from Phœnice to the number of sixteene, unto which, Palamedes in the time of the Trojane warre added foure more in these characters following, Θ. Χ. Φ. Ξ. And after him Simonides Melicus came with other foure, to wit, Ζ. Η. Υ. Ω. the force of all which letters we acknowledge and see evidently expressed in our Latine Alphaphet. Aristotle is rather of mind, that there were eigtheene letters in the Greeke Alphaphet from the beginning, namely, Α. Β. Γ. Δ. Ε. Ζ. Ι. Κ. Λ. Μ. Ν. Ο. Π. Ρ. Σ. Τ. Υ. Φ, and that the other two Θ. and Ξ. were set too by Epicharmus, and not by Palamedes. Anticlides writeth, That one in Ægypt named Menon, was the inventor of letters, fifteene years before the time of Phoroneus, the most auncient king of Greece: and he goeth about to prove the same by auncient records and monuments out of histories. Contrariwise, Epigenes, an authour as renowmed, and of as good credite as any other, sheweth, that among the Babylonians there were found Ephemerides containing the observations of the stars, for 720 yeeres, written in brickes & tiles: and they that speake of the least, to wit, Berosus and Critodemus, report the like for 480 yeeres. Whereby it appeareth evidently, that letters were alwaies in use, time out of mind. The first that brought the Alphabet into Latium or Italie, were the Pelasgians. Euryalus and Hyperbius, two brethren at Athens, caused the first bricke and tile kils, yea, and the houses therof to be made: wheras before their time men dwelt in holes and caves within the ground. Gellius is of opinion, that Doxius, the sonne of Cælus, devised the first houses that were made of earth and cley: taking his patterne from swallowes and Martines neasts. Cecrops founded the first towne that ever was, and called it after his own name Cecropia: which at this day is the castle or citadell in Athens. Some will have that Argos was built before it, by king Phoroneus: and others againe, that Sycione was before them both. And the Ægyptians affirme, That long before that, their citie Diospolis was founded. Cinyra, the sonne of Agriopa, devised tiling and slating of houses first, as also found out the brasse mines: both, within the Isle Cyprus. He invented besides pinsers, hammers, yron crows, and the Anvil or Stithe. Danaus sunk the first pits for wells in Greece, which then was called Argos Dipsion: & sailed out of Ægypt thither, for that purpose. Cadmus at Thebes (or, as Theophrastus saith) in Phœnice, found out stone quarries first. Thrason was the first builder of towne walls: of towers and fortresses, the Cyclopes, as Aristotle thinketh: but the Tyrinthians, according to Theophrastus. Weaving was the invention of the Ægyptians: and dying wooll, of the Lydians in Sardis. Closter the sonne of Arachne taught the first making of the spindle for woollen yearne: and Arachne her selfe was the first spinner of flax thred, the weaver of linnen, and of nets. Niceas the Megarean devised the fullers craft: Boethius shewed the art of sowing, as well for tailors, as Corviners and shoemakers. The Ægyptians would have the skill of physicke to have beene first among them: but others affirme, That Arabus, the son of Babylon & Apollo, was the author thereof. The first Herbalist and Apothecarie, renowmed for the knowledge of simples, & composition of medicines, was Chiron, son of Saturne and Phyllira. Aristotle thinketh, that Lydus the Scythian taught the feat of casting and melting brasse, with the tempering also of the same: howbeit, Theophrastus saith it was Delas the Phyrgian. As for the forges and furnaces of brasse, some think the Chalypes devised, others attribute that to the Cyclopes. The discoverie of the yron and steele mines, as also the working in them, was the invention (as Hesiodus saith) of those in Creet, who were called Dactyli Idæi. Likewise of silver, Erichthonius the Athenian beareth the name, or (after some) Aeacus. The gold mines, together with the melting & trying thereof, Cadmus the Phœnician first found out neere the montaine Pangæus: but there be that give the praise hereof to Thoas and Aeaclis in Panchaia:27 or els to Sol the sonne of Oceanus, unto whom Gellius attributeth the invention of Physicke, and making honny. Midacritus was the first man that brought lead out of the Island Cassiteris. And the Cyclopes invented first the yron-smiths forge. Corabus the Athenian devised the potters craft, shewing how to cast earthen vessels in moulds, and bake them in furnaces. And therin, Anacharsis the Scythian, or after some, Hyperbios the Corinthian, invented the cast28 of turning the roundell or globe. Carpenters art was the invention of Dædalus, as also the tooles thereto belonging, to wit, the saw, the chip, axe, and hatchet, the plumbe line, the augoer and wimble, the strong glew, as also fish-glew, and stone-Saudre. As for the rule & squire, the levell, the turners instrument, and the key, Theodorus Samius devised them. Phidon the Argive, or Palamedes as Gellius rather thinketh, found out measures and weights. Pyrodes the sonne of Cilix, devised the way to strike fire first out of the flint: and Prometheus, the meanes to preserve and keepe it in a stalke of Ferula, or Fennell geant. The Phrygians invented first the waggon and charriot with foure wheeles. As for trafficke and merchandise, the Carthaginians had the first honour thereof. Eumolpus the Athenian was of name for planting, pruning, and cutting vines: also for setting and graffing trees. Staphylus the sonne of Silenus taught men how to delay wine with water. Aristæus the Athenian invented the making of oyle olive, as also the presse and mill thereto belonging. The same man taught the cast of drawing honie out of the combes. Buzyges the Athenian, or as others would have it, Triptolemus, yoked oxen first for tillage of the ground, and devised the plough. The Ægyptians were the first of all men that were governed by the Monarchie: and the Athenians, by a Popular state. After the reigne of Theseus, the first king or tyrant was Phalaris, at Agrigentum in Sicilie. the Lacedæmonians brought in, bondage & slaverie, first. The first judgement that passed for life & death, was in the court of Ariopagus at Athens. The first battell that ever was fought, was betweene the Affricanes and Ægyptians; and the same performed by bastons, clubs, & coulstaves, which they call Phalangæ. Shields, bucklers, and targuets were devised by Prætus and Anisius, when they warred one against the other: or els by Calchus the son of Athamas. Midias of Messene made the first cuirace. And the Lacedæmonians, the mourian, the sword, and the speare. The Carians devised the grieves, the crests, and pennaches upon helmets. Scythes the sonne of Iupiter, devised bow and arrowes: although some say that Perses, the son of Perseus, invented arrowes. The Ætolians invented the launce and the pike: the dart with a loupe, Ætolus the sonne of Mars, devised. As for the light javelines, and the Partuisanes, Tyrrhenus brought them first into use: and Penthesilea the Amazon-queene, the gleive, bill, battell-axe, and halbard. Piseus found out the borespeare and the chasing staffe. Among engins of artillery, the Cretes invented the Scorpion or crosse-bow: the Syrians, the Catapult: the Phenicians the balist or brake, and the sling. Piseus the Tyrrhenian brought up the use of the brasen trumpet: and Artenon Clazomenius of the pavois, mantilets, targuet-roofes, for the assault of cities. The engine to batter walls (called sometime the horse, and now is named the ram) was the devise of Epeus at Troy. Bellerophon shewed first how to ride on horsebacke. Pelethronius invented saddle, bridle, and other furniture for the horse. The Thessalians, called Centaures, inhabiting neere to the montaine Pelius, were the first that fought on horsebacke. The Phrygians devised first to drive and draw a chariot with two horses: Erichthonius, with foure. Palamedes invented (during the Trojane warre) the manner of setting an armie in battaile array: also the giving of signall, the privie watch-word, the corps de guard, the watch and ward. In the time of the same warre, Sinon devised the sentinels and watch-towers, as also the espiall. Lycanor was the first maker of truce. Theseus, of leagues and alliances. Car, of whom Caria tooke the name, observed first the flight and crie of birds, and thereby gave præsages and fore-tokens. Orpheus went farther in this skill, and tooke markes from other beasts. Delphus pried into beasts inwards, and thereby foretold things to come. Amphiaraus was the first that had knowledge in Pyromancie, and gathered signs by speculation of fire: like as Tyresias the Thebane, by the feeding and gesture of birds. Amphictyon gave the interpretation of strange and prodigious sights, as also of dreames. Atlas the sonne of Libya (or as some say, the Ægyptians, and as others the Assyrians) invented Astrologie: and in that science Anaximander devised the Sphere. As for the knowledge & distinction of the winds, Æolus the sonne of Hellen, he professed it first. Amphion brought musicke first into the world. The flute and the single pipe or recorder, were the inventions of Pan, the son of Mercurie. The crooked cornet, Midas in Phrygia devised. And in the same countrey Marsyas invented the double fluit. But Amphion taught first to sing and play to the Lydian measures: Thamyras the Thracian to the Dorian: and Marsyas of Phrygia, to the Phrygian. Amphion likewise (or, as some say, Orpheus, and after others Linus) plaied first upon the Citterne or the Lute. Terpander put seven strings more unto it: Simonides added thereto an eight: and Timotheus the ninth. Thamyras was the first that plaied upon the stringed instrument, Lute, Citterne, or Harpe, without song: & Amphion sung withall, or according to some, Linus. Terpander was the first that set songs for the foresaid stringed instrument. And Dardanus the Trœzenian began first vocall musicke to the pipe. The Curets taught to daunce in armour; and Pyrhhus the Morisk, in order of battell: and both these were taken up first in Crete. The heroick or hexametre verse we acknowledge to have come first from the Oracle of Pythius Apollo. But about the originall of Poëmes and Poëtrie, there is a great question among authors. And it is probably gathered by histories, that there were Poëts before the time of the Trojane warre. Pherecydes of Syros, in the daies of king Cyrus, invented first the writing in prose. Cadmus the Milesian wrote Chronicles, and compiled the first historie. Lycaon hath the report of setting out the first publicke games, and proving of maistries and feats of strength and activitie, in Arcadia. To Acastus in Iolcum, wee are beholden for the first solemnities and games at funerals: and after him to Theseus, in the streights of Isthmus. Hercules instituted the exercise of wrestlers and champions at Olympia: and Pythus was the first player at tennise. Gyges the Lydian gave the first proofe of painting and limning, in Ægypt: but in Greece, Euchir a cousin of Dædalus was the first painter, as Aristotle supposeth: but after Theophrastus, it was Polygnotus the Athenien. Danaus was the first that sailed with a ship, and so hee passed the seas from Ægypt to Greece: for before that time they used but troughs or flat planks, devised by king Erythra to crosse from one Iland to another in the red sea. But we meet with some writers who affirme, that the Trojans and Mysians were the first sailers, and devised navigation before them in Hellespont, when they set out a voyage against the Thracians. And even at this day in the British ocean, there be made certaine wicker boats of twigs covered with leather and stitched round about: in Nilus, of paper, cane-reed, and rushes. Philostephanus witnesseth, that Iason first used the long ship or galley: but Egesias saith, that it was Paralus: Ctesias attributeth it to Samyras: Saphanus, to Semyramis: and Archimachus, to Ægeon. Damastes testifieth, that the Erythræans made the Bireme or galley with two bankes of oares. Thucydides writeth, that Aminocles the Corinthian built the first Trireme with three rowes of ores to a side. Aristotle saith, that the Carthaginians were the first that set to sea the Quadrireme with 4 rankes of oares to a side: and Nesichthon the Salaminian, set aflote the first Quinquereme with 5 course of oares on either side. Zenagoras of Syracusa brought up those of sixe: and so from it to those of ten, Mnesigeton was the inventer. It is said, that Alexander the Great built galleys for 12 bankes to a side: and Philostephanus reporteth, that Ptolomæ surnamed Soter, rose to fifteene: Demetrius the sonne of Antigonus, to thirtie: Ptolomæ Philadelphus, to fortie: and Ptolomæ Philopater surnamed Tryphon, to fiftie. As for ships of burden and merchandise, as hoyes, &c. Hippus Tyrius invented them. The Cyrenians, made fregates; the Phœnicians, the barke; the Rhodians, the pinnace and brigantine: and last of all, the Cyprians made the hulke and great carrack. The Phœnicians were the first that in sailing, observed the course of the stars. The Copeans devised the oare: the Plateans invented the broad and flat end thereof: Icarus the sailes: Dædalus the mast, and the crosse saile-yard. The vessels for transporting of horses, were the invention of the Samians, or else of Pericles the Athenien. The Thasij had the honour for framing the long shippes covered with hatch: for before-time they fought onely from out of the hindecke in the poupe, and the fore-castle in the proe. Then came Piseus the Tyrrhene, and armed the stemme and beake-head of the ship with sharpe tines and pikes of brasse: Eupalamus devised the anchor: Anacharsis made it first with two teeth or floukes: the grapling hookes and the yron hands were the devise of Pericles the Athenien: and finally, Typhis invented the helpe of the helme, for the pylot to steere and rule the ship. The first that set out an Armada to the sea for fight, was Minos. The first that killed beasts was Hyperbius the sonne of Mars: and Prometheus ventured to slay an oxe or a bœufe.
Wherein appeared first the generall agreement of all nations.
THE secret consent of all countries was shewed first in this, That they should univerally in all places use the Ionian letters.
Of Antique letters.
THE old characters of Greeke letters, were the same in manner that the Latine be in these daies: and this appeareth sufficiently by an antique table of brasse which came from the temple at Delphos, the which at this day is in the great librarie of the Palatium dedicated to Minerva, by the liberalitie of the Emperours, with this or such like inscription upon it, Ναυσικράτες Τισαμένου ἀθηαῖου, κόρα καῖ άθλῶα ἀνέθηκεν, i. Nausicrates (the sonne) of Tisamenus an Athenien, caused this table to be made and set up to the noble virgine Minerva.
When Barbers were first seene at Rome.
THE next thing that all people of the world agreed in, was to entertaine Barbers, but it was late first ere they were in any request at Rome. The first that entred into Italie came out of Sicilie, and it was inthe 454 yeere after the foundation of Rome. Brought in they were by P. Ticinius Mena, as Varro doth report: for before-time they never cut their haire. The first that was shaven every day was Scipio Africanus: and after him commeth Augustus the Emperour, who evermore used the rasour.
Of Horologes or Dials, when they were first devised.
THE third universall accord of all nations, was in the observation how the houres went; and this was a point grounded upon good reason: but at what time, and by whome this was devised in Greece, we have declared in the second booke of this worke: and how long it was before this order came up at Rome, as well as the use of the Barber. In the 12 tables of Romane lawes, there is no mention at all made but of East and West: after certein yeeres, the noon-steed point in the South quarter also was observed, and the Consuls bedle or cryer pronounced noon, when standing at the hall or chamber of the councell, hee beheld the sunne in that wise betweene the pulpit called Rostra, and the Grecostasis [which was a place where forrein embassadours gave their attendance:] but when that the same sunne enclined downward from the columne named Mœnia, to the common goale or prison, then hee gave warning of the last quarter of the day, and so pronounced. But this observation would serve but upon cleere daies when the sunne shined: and yet there was no other meanes to know how the day went, untill the first Punicke warre. Fabius Vestalis writeth, that L. Papyrius Cursor 12 yeeres before the warre with Pyrrhus, was the first, that for to doe the Romanes a pleasure, set up a sunne-dyall to know what it was a clocke, upon the temple of Quirinus at the dedication thereof, when his father had vowed it before him. Howbeit mine author sheweth not either the reason of the making of the diall, or the workman; ne yet from whence it was brought, nor in what writer hee found it so written. M. Varro reporteth, that the first diall was set up in the common market-place, upon a columne neere the foresaid Rostra, in the time of the first Punicke warre, by M. Valerius Messala the Consull, presently after the taking of Catana in Sicilie; from whence it was brought, thirtie yeeres after the report that goeth of the foresaid quadrant and dyall of Papyrius, namely, in the yeere after the foundation of the cittie 477. And albeit the strokes and lines of this Horologe or dyall agreed not fit with the houres, yet were the people ruled and went by it for an hundred yeeres save one, even untill Q. Martius Philippus (who together with L. Paulus was Censor) set another by it, framed and made more exquisitely according to Art. And this peece of worke among other good acts done by the Censor during his office, was highly accepted of the people as a singular gift of his. Yet for all this, if it were a close and cloudie daie wherein the sunne shone not out, men knew not what it was a clocke certeinly: and thus it continued five yeeres more. Then at last, Scipio Nasica being Censor with Lænas, made the devise first to divide the houres both of day and night equally by water, distilling and dropping out of one vessell into another. And this manner of Horologe or water-clocke, hee dedicated in the end within house, and that was in the 595 yeere from the building of Rome. Thus you see how long it was, that the people of Rome could not certainly tell how the day passed. Thus much concerning the Nature of man: let us returne now to discourse of other living creatures: and first of land beasts.
1. Pliny "gens Psyllorum".
2. Pliny "gens Pharmacum", "poisonous race".
3. "Monoscelli" = Pliny "Monocoli" = "single-limbed"; "Sciopodes" = "Sciapodas" = "shadow-foot".
6. 1601: "it" corrected to "is" 1634 and subsequent.
*** Opiscus rather. [This note is moved into the text in subsequent editions.]
8. 1601: "unmoveaable".
9. 1601: "bon- // servant".
10. That is, the grandson of his granddaugther. In addition to their current meanings, "nephew" is in regular use meaning "grandson" in the 17th century; "niece" is less specifically a female descendant more remote than a daughter, or a collateral descendant.
10a. Seven: obviously incorrect, but thus in all editions. Twenty-seven. I would warn the reader once again that Holland's numbers are highly inaccurate transcriptions, and those transcriptions from editions modern editors regard as somewhat dubious. Most of the numbers in the next sentence are also incorrect; also, read "grandson", "granddaughter" for "nephew", "niece", etc. (see the note above).
† Ten foot and an halfe. [This marginal note has no textual referrent in 1601.]
†† Such an one as little Iohn, for so the nick-name signifieth.
††† Carneades, according to Cicero and Quintilian.
¶ Olympia, Nemæa, Pythia, Isthmia.
¶¶ Or Victorie.
16. 1601 has quotation marks in the margin to set off the passage that I have put between marks.
17. A backhanded compliment if ever there was one, as a bit of reflection on recent American history will reveal.
18. Sc. "eighty" (Pliny, HNVII.126), but "eight" in all editions.
19. The numbers in this chapter should be thus: For 300700, read 700,000. 500,000 is correct. For 120000 read 13,000,000. For 3500 read 50,000,000. Pliny HN VII.128.
20. A flash fire, or sudden conflagration; "probably," says the OED, "from scathefire, as if from scare (noun) + fire".
21. I.e., comic "character actor" or perhaps "soubrette" (translating the Latin mima); originally referring to the actors playing vices in the morality play, then enlarged on obvious lines to mean a stage-jester, buffoon, clown, etc.
22. Sc. 112, not 122. Pliny HN VII.160.
23. Sc. 140. The numbers are not accurately reported in this section; see Pliny HN VII.163.
24. That is, the famous observation of the increasing resemblance of the dying to older relatives. Cf. Browne, A Letter to a Friend :
Upon my first Visit I was bold to tell them who had not let fall all hopes of his Recovery, That in my sad Opinion he was not like to behold a Grashopper, much less to pluck another Fig; and in no long time after seemed to discover that odd mortal Symptom in him not mention'd by Hippocrates, that is, to lose his own Face and look like some of his near Relations; for he maintained not his proper Countenance, but looked like his Uncle, the Lines of whose Face lay deep and invisible in his healthful Visage before: for as from our beginning we run through variety of Looks, before we come to consistent and settled Faces; so before our End, by sick and languishing Alterations, we put on new Visages: and in our Retreat to Earth, may fall upon such Looks which from community of seminal Originals were before latent in us.
¶¶¶ i. Life.
26. And indeed was the last day in any case.
27. "Aeaclis in Panchaia" = "Aeacus in Panchaia"; Pliny HN VII.197.
28. "cast", here as later, = "skill, art"; an obsolete use; the sole instance given in OED is from 1320; Holland uses it often, as also in the meaning "device".
This page is by James Eason.