long resistance to the new religion was at an end, but

time:2023-11-29 04:36:39 source:Heartbreaker author:government

Although at this distance you had no early account or particular of his death, yet your affection may cease to wonder that you had not some secret sense or intima- tion thereof by dreams, thoughtful whisperings, mer- curisms, airy nuncios or sympathetical insinuations, which many seem to have had at the death of their dearest friends: for since we find in that famous story, that spirits themselves were fain to tell their fellows at a distance that the great Antonio was dead, we have a sufficient excuse for our ignorance in such particulars, and must rest content with the common road, and Ap- pian way of knowledge by information. Though the uncertainty of the end of this world hath confounded all human predictions; yet they who shall live to see the sun and moon darkened, and the stars to fall from heaven, will hardly be deceived in the advent of the last day; and therefore strange it is, that the common fallacy of consumptive persons who feel not themselves dying, and therefore still hope to live, should also reach their friends in perfect health and judgment;--that you should be so little acquainted with Plautus's sick com- plexion, or that almost an Hippocratical face should not alarum you to higher fears, or rather despair, of his continuation in such an emaciated state, wherein medical predictions fail not, as sometimes in acute dis- eases, and wherein 'tis as dangerous to be sentenced by a physician as a judge.

long resistance to the new religion was at an end, but

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 grasshopper,<1> much less to pluck another fig; and in no long time after seemed to discover that odd mortal symptom in him not mentioned 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 begin- ning 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.

long resistance to the new religion was at an end, but

He was fruitlessly put in hope of advantage by change of air, and imbibing the pure aerial nitre of these parts; and therefore, being so far spent, he quickly found Sar- dinia in Tivoli,* and the most healthful air of little effect, where death had set her broad arrow;+ for he lived not unto the middle of May, and confirmed the observation of Hippocrates of that mortal time of the year when the leaves of the fig-tree resemble a daw's claw. He is happily seated who lives in places whose air, earth, and water, promote not the infirmities of his weaker parts, or is early removed into regions that correct them. He that is tabidly<2> inclined, were unwise to pass his days in Portugal: cholical persons will find little comfort in Austria or Vienna: he that is weak- legged must not be in love with Rome, nor an infirm head with Venice or Paris. Death hath not only par- ticular stars in heaven, but malevolent places on earth, which single out our infirmities, and strike at our weaker parts; in which concern, passager and migrant birds have the great advantages, who are naturally constituted for distant habitations, whom no seas nor places limit, but in their appointed seasons will visit us from Greenland and Mount Atlas, and, as some think, even from the Antipodes.#

long resistance to the new religion was at an end, but

Though we could not have his life, yet we missed not our desires in his soft departure, which was scarce an expiration; and his end not unlike his beginning, when the salient point scarce affords a sensible motion, and his departure so like unto sleep, that he scarce needed the civil ceremony of closing his eyes; contrary unto the common way, wherein death draws up, sleep lets fall

* "Cum mors venerit, in medio Tibure Sardinia est." + In the king's forests they set the figure of a broad arrow upon trees that are to be cut down. # Bellonius de Avibus.

the eyelids. With what strife and pains we came into the world we know not; but 'tis commonly no easy matter to get out of it: yet if it could be made out, that such who have easy nativities have commonly hard deaths, and contrarily; his departure was so easy, that we might justly suspect his birth was of another nature, and that some Juno sat cross-legged at his nativity.

Besides his soft death, the incurable state of his disease might somewhat extenuate your sorrow, who know that monsters but seldom happen, miracles more rarely in physick.* Angelus Victorius gives a serious account of a consumptive, hectical, phthisical woman, who was suddenly cured by the intercession of Ignatius. We read not of any in Scripture who in this case applied unto our Saviour, though some may be contained in that large expression, that he went about Galilee healing all manner of sickness and all manner of diseases.+ Amulets, spells, sigils, and incantations, practised in other diseases, are seldom pretended in this; and we find no sigil in the Archidoxis of Paracelsus to cure an extreme consumption or marasmus, which, if other diseases fail, will put a period unto long livers, and at last makes dust of all. And therefore the Stoics could not but think that the fiery principle would wear out all the rest, and at last make an end of the world, which notwithstanding without such a lingering period the Creator may effect at his pleasure: and to make an end of all things on earth, and our planetical system of the world, he need but put out the sun.

I was not so curious to entitle the stars unto any concern of his death, yet could not but take notice that


recommended content