Page images
PDF
EPUB

cascade. The statuas are cast after diuers good originalls, which I saw at Rome. In the fish ponds I saw some of the greatest carpes that euer I beheld, and which followed us when wee whistld, like to the fish at Imperiall's palace in Genoa, or to those at Farrara, which they call together by the sounding of a bell. In the hall for the comedies is a good piece of basso relievo of Henry the Fourth fighting. From Fountainbleau wee went to Vaux, an house of Fouquet's;9 the king haueing seised upon all his goods, it is, at present, unfurnished, tis but small, but extreamly well built; hath good gardens, through which there is a cut riuer which hath water works on each side, esteem'd as good as any in France. For one fountaine, I haue not seen the like any where, but at Tiuoli and Frescati; it throughs up the water a great height in a stream bigger then a man's body, which is contriued so as to fall into diuers shapes, sometimes like hayle and snow. Wee return’d to Melun and came downe by water to Paris, where I met your letter of July xth, vet. Barlet's course of chymistry is not yet begun, so as I shall not see that, but

goe the oftner to Glaser's, and to his partner which is now parted from him, and workes in another place of the towne. I doe desighne to spende a great deall of my time this winter, if it please God to bring mee safe home, in distilling and dissecting.

Paris, July 13th (1665).

From a passage in the next letter, it appears,

that between July and September, Mr. Edward Browne was ill of small-pox ; which sufficiently accounts for the interruption in the correspondence. The following unfortunately is the only letter, which has been met with, from Sir Thomas to his son during his Tour in France and Italy. The letter to which it is a reply is wanting

9 Nicolas Fouquet, son of Francis, Viscount de Vaux, and Minister of Finance to Louis XIV, from 1652 to 1661; when through the intrigues of the celebrated Colbert, he was arrested, accused of high treason, his property seized, and himself condemned to perpetual imprisonment in the citadel of Pignerd, where he died, in 1680.

Dr. Browne to his Son Edward.

(Ms. SLOAN. 1847.]

DEARE SONNE EDWARD,

I recaived yours of Sep. 23. I am glad you have seene more cutt for the stone, and of different sex and ages; if opportunitie seemeth, you shall doe well to see some more, which will make you well experienced in that great operation, and almost able to performe it yourself upon necessitie, and where none could do it. Take good notice of their instruments, and at least make such a draught thereof, and especially of the dilator and director, that you may hereafter well remember it, and have one made by it. Other operations you may perhaps see, now the sumer is over; as also chymistrie and anatomie. The sicknesse? being great still, fewe I presume will hasten over. Present my services and thancks unto Dr. Patin. I hope Dr. Wren is still in Paris. I should be glad the waters of Bourbon might benefitt Sir Samuel :3 and those of Vic Mr. Trumbull. God bee praysed that you recovered from the small pox, which may now so embolden you, as to take of, at least abate, the sollicitude and fears which others have. Mr. Briot* may at his pleasure attempt at translation, for though divers short passages bee altered or added, and one [or] two chapters also added, yet there is litle to be expunged or totally left out; and therefore may beginne without finding inconvenience: in my next I will send you some litle directions for a chapter or two to be left out, and a coppy of the third and fourth editions, which are all one, as soone as pleaseth God to open an opportunitie. Whatever your gazette sayth, that the Indian fleet is come in without seeing any of our ships, wee are sure wee have two of their best in England, beside other shipps, making up in all the number of thirtie; and what shipps ether of warre or merchands came home unto them were such as wee could not meet or not watch, having got the start of us: it holds still that the prisoners amount to about three thousand. Wee here also that a caper7 of twentie gunnes was taken not far from Cromer, last Saturday, by a frigat, after two howers fight. God blesse you; I rest your loving father,

1 The plague, which was so fatal in England.
2 Afterwards Sir Christopher Wren.

3 Sir Samuel Tuke; see before, p. 68, note. 4 Briot. Peter Briot translated a number of English works into French-a History of Ireland ; an Account of the natural productions of England, Scotland, and Wales; Lord's History of the Banians; Ricault's History of the Ottoman Empire. He appears, from the present letter, to have had some intention of translating Pseudodoxia Epidemica, but probably abandoned it: for the only French translation I have seen bears the date of 1738, and is from the seventh edition, viz. that of 1672.

5 The third, fol. 1658, but published with Religio Medici, Hydriotaphia, and Garden of Cyrus, in 1659: the fourth, 4to. 1658, with the two latter pieces only.

THOMAS BROWNE. September 22, styl. v. [1665.]

The sicknesse which God so long withheld from us, is now in Norwich. I intend to send your sisters to Claxton, and if it encreaseth, to remove three or four miles of; where I may bee serviceable upon occasion to my friends in other diseases. Paris is a place which hath been least infested with that disease of such populous places in Europe. Write mee word what seale is that you use.

Mr. Edward Browne to his Father.

(Ms. SLOAN. 1868.]

SIR,

Three days the last week I was abroad in the country with Dr. Wren and Mr. Compton. I did not thinke to see any thinge more about Paris, but was tempted out by so good company. Dr. Wren's discourse is very pleasing and satisfactory to mee about all manner of things. I asked him which hee took to bee the greatest work about Paris, he said the quay, or key upon the riuer side, which he demonstrated to me, to bee built with so uast expence and such great quantity of materialls, that it exceeded all manner of ways the buildings of the two greatest pyramids in Ægypt. I told him that upon the banks of the riuer Loyre for some miles, there was a wall built of square stone ; but because there could not be allowed any thicknesse proportionall to the key at Paris, hee did not know how to esteem of that, as not haueing euer seen it. Wee went the first day to Chantilly, where liues the Prince of Condy, but hee was gone out, and so wee mist Abbot Bourdelot 8 too; wee saw the princesse carried in a chair about the gardens, being with child. The hous is old built, and belonged formerly to the Duke of Montmorancy, whose statua on horseback in bronze stands before the house; the gardens and water works are neat. The next day wee went to Liancourt, belonging to the president of Liancourt; the house is built but on two sides, the gate makeing the third, and the fourth layeing open to haue a better prospect of the gardens. The waterworks here are in greater number then in any place in France, and the water throwne up in pretty shaps, as of a bell turned up or of a bell turned downe, out of frogs mouths in a broad thin streame, &c. The mill that serues to rayse the water is the largest I haue seen. The presidents chaise in which they draw him about the garden, is so well poised upon the wheels, made just like the chaises roulantes, that are here so much in fashion at present, that one may draw it with two fingers. His only son was killed the last yeare in Hungaria, so that hee and his wife will returne no more to court, but end there days here. The groves are stately, and cut through in many places into long shady walks. Wee went from hence to Vernueil, seated upon an high hill, a uery neat castel, but furnished with old fourniture. The duke I suppose is still embassador in England; hee keeps a pack of English dogs here, and liues in a good hunting country. The house is uery finely carued without side. Dr. Wren guest that the same man built this which built the Louure, there being the same faults in one as in the other. Wee lye at Jenlis this night, a great towne, and a

6 The Dutch East India fleet, of which the greater part reached their own ports in safety, in consequence of the failure of an attack on them in August, 1665, by an English squadron, under Sir Thomas Tyddiman, at Bergen, in Norway, where they had taken refuge. Lord

soon afterwards captured some of the larger Indiamen, and a number of others. Sir Thomas Browne's younger son, Thomas, distinguished himself on board the Foresight, at Bergen.

7 A privateer, or private ship.

8 Physician to the Prince of Condé.

bishops seat, with three or four good churches in it, and an od kind of hospitall without the towne, where the chambers are built like those of the Carthusians, at some distance one from another. The next day wee saw Rinsy, an house belonging to the Dutchesse of Longueville, sister to the Prince of Condé. The gardens and waterworks are not yet finished ; the house is small but extremely neat, and the modell pleased Dr. Wren very much ; the chambers are excellently well painted, and one roome with an handsome cupola in it is one of the best I haue seen. Returning to Paris, the King ouertook us in chaise roulante with his Mistress La Valière with him, habited uery prettily in a hat and feathers, and a just aucorps. Hee had dined that day with his brother, at a house of his in the country; and had left his company and came away full speed to Paris. Upon the news of the King of Spaines death, they prepare apace; Marischal Turenne is ordered for Flanders. The King of France doubts whether hee should imploye the Prince of Conde or no. Yesterday being Michaelmas day, Hostel Dieu was crammed up with people that came to pay their deuotion. I heareing there was an arm to be cut of in a roome apart, desired the fauour of the Chirurgien to see it, and after a little grumbling hee let mee in. The operation is the same with a leg, but sooner done, by reason there is but one bone, and the periosteum quicklyer separated. Pray present my duty to my mother, my seruice to all my friends. I haue not the least thoughts of staying here this winter. The anatomies beginning already, there will be nothing that can keep mee here much longer, unlesse it bee the chymick lecture ; if it begins within these ten days I will hear it, so as I may set out the first of your Nouember, if not, I believe I shall come sooner. I was the last week with Mr. Peti, a mathematician, that hath been once or twice to see me when I was not within. Hee hath got your Vulgar Errours translated, but tis halfe into English and halfe into Latin, so that it cannot bee printed so; hee doth not understand English, but hath got this done for his owne satisfaction. I beleeve he will present you with one of his books de Cometis, which he hath lately written, upon an hypothesis of his owne, different from Des Cartes. Hee bath

VOL. 1.

I

« PreviousContinue »