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Hic fitus eft THOMAS BROWNE, M. Ð.
Anno 1605, Londini natus;
Apud Oxonienfes bonis literis
In urbe hâc Nordovicenfi medicinam
Vir prudentiffimus, integerrimus, doctiffimus;
Pie pofuit moftiffima conjux
Near the foot of this pillar
Lies Sir Thomas Browne, kt. and doctor'in phyfick,
Befides his lady, who died in 1685, he left a son and three daughters. Of the daughters nothing very remarkable is known; but his fon, Edward Browne, requires a particular mention.
He was born about the year 1642; and, after having paffed through the claffes of the fchool at Norwich, became bachelor of phyfick at Cambridge; and, after wards removing to Merton-College in Oxford, was admitted there to the fame degree, and afterwards made a doctor. In 1668 he visited part of Germany; and in the year following made a wider excurfion into Auftria, Hungary, and Theffaly; where the Turkish fultan then kept his court at Lariffa. He afterwards paffed through Italy. His kill in natural history made him particularly attentive to mines and inetallurgy. Upon his return he published an account of the countries through which he had paffed; which I have heard commended by a learned traveller, who has vifited many places after him, as written with fcrupulous and exact veracity, fuch as is fcarcely to be found in any other book of the fame kind. But whatever it may contribute to the inftruction of a naturalift, I cannot recommend it as likely to give much pleasure to com mon readers; for whether it be that the world is very uniform, and therefore he who is refolved to adhere to truth will have few novelties to relate; or that Dr. Browne was, by the train of his ftudies, led to enquire most after those things by which the greateft part of mankind is little affected; a great part of his book feems to contain very unimportant accounts of his paffage from one place where he faw little, to another where he faw no more.
Upon his return, he practifed phyfick in London;
He was first cenfor, then elect, and treasurer of the college of physicians; of which in 1705 he was chofen prefident, and held his office till in 1708 he died in a degree of eftimation fuitable to a man fo variously accomplished, that king Charles had honoured him with this panegyrick, that he was as learned as any "of the college, and as well-bred as any of the 66 court."
Of every great and eminent character, part breaks forth into publick view, and part lies hid in domestick privacy. These qualities, which have been exerted in any known and lafting performances, may, at any dif tance of time, be traced and eftimated; but filent excellencies are foon forgotten; and thofe minute peculiarities which difcriminate every man from all others, if they are not recorded by thofe whom perfonal knowledge enables to obferve them, are irrecoverably lost. This mutilation of character muft have happened, among many others, to fir Thomas Browne, had it not been delineated by his friend Mr. Whitefoot, "who ❝esteemed it an efpecial favour of Providence, to have "had a particular acquaintance with him for two "thirds of his life." Part of his obfervations I fhall therefore copy.
"For a character of his perfon, his complexion and "hair was anfwerable to his name; his ftature was mo"derate, and habit of body neither fat nor lean, but σε εὐσάρκες.
"In his habit of cloathing, he had an averfion to all finery, and affected plainness, both in the fashion and " ornaments. He ever wore a cloke, or boots, when "few others did. He kept himself always very warm, "and thought it most safe fo to do, though he never
"loaded himfelf with such a multitude of garments, "as Suetonius reports of Auguftus, enough to cloath a "good family.
"The horizon of his understanding was much lar66 ger than the hemifphere of the world; all that was "vifible in the heavens he comprehended fo well, that "few that are under them knew fo much: he could tell "the number of the vifible ftars in his horizon, and "call them all by their names that had any; and of the "earth he had fuch a minute and exact geographical "knowledge, as if he had been by Divine Providence "ordained furveyor-general of the whole terreftrial orb, " and its products, minerals, plants, and animals. He "was fo curious a botanist, that, befides the specifical "diftinctions, he made nice and elaborate observations, "equally useful as entertaining.
"His memory, though not fo eminent as that of "Seneca or Scaliger, was capacious and tenacious, in"fomuch as he remembered all that was remarkable "in any book that he had read; and not only knew "all perfons again that he had ever seen at any dif "tance of time, but remembered the circumstances of "their bodies, and their particular difcourfes and "fpeeches.
"In the Latin poets he remembered every thing "that was acute and pungent: he had read most of the "historians, antient and modern, wherein his obferva❝tions were fingular, not taken notice of by common "readers; he was excellent company when he was at
leifure, and expreffed more light than heat in the "temper of his brain.
"He had no defpotical power over his affections "and paffions (that was a privilege of original per
“fection, forfeited by the neglect of the use of it) but "as large a political power over them, as any ftoick, 66 or man of his time, whereof he gave fo great expe«riment, that he hath very rarely been known to have “been overcome with any of them. The ftrongest "that were found in him, both of the irafcible and "concupifcible, were under the controul of his reafon. "Of admiration, which is one of them, being the only "product, either of ignorance, or uncommon know"ledge, he had more and less than other men, upon "the fame account of his knowing more than others; "fo that though he met with many rarities, he ad
mired them not fo much as others do.
"He was never feen to be tranfported with mirth, "or dejected with fadnefs; always chearful, but rarely merry, at any fenfible rate; feldom heard to break a "jeft; and, when he did, he would be apt to blush at the levity of it: his gravity was natural, without af❝fectation.
"His modefty was vifible in a natural habitual blush, "which was increafed upon the leaft occafion, and oft "difcovered without any obfervable cause.
"They that knew no more of him than by the "brifkness of his writings, found themselves deceived "in their expectation, when they came in his company, noting the gravity and fobriety of his afpect and converfation; fo free from loquacity, or much
"talkativeness, that he was fomething difficult to be "engaged in any difcourfe; though, when he was fo, "it was always fingular, and never trite or vulgar. "Parfimonious in nothing but his time, whereof he "made as much improvement, with as little lofs, as any man in it: when he had any to fpare from his