Page images

which runneth from Port Catherine downe to the Key Gate, and is called the Market; the other streets somewhat narrow and crooked; the mole will bee of great vse for the securitie of shippes, the road being too open. I take this to bee an ancient citty, as the old castle and stayres to the seaward, though now much ruined, do testifie; yet not that Tingis from whence Mauritania Tingitana had its name; and which is so often mentioned in ancient histories; as, namely, by Plutarch, in the Life of Sertorius, where it is set downe that hee passed over from Spayne and tooke Tingis, and finding a tomb, reported to bee that of Antæus, hee broake it open, and found therein bones of an exceeding length: which must surely bee understood of that which is now called Old Tangier, situated a little more eastward in the bay; where I have seen a great ruinous building and a broken bridg ouer the river, with ruins which shewe it to haue been a more ancient habitation then this of our Tangier.

[BIBL. BODL. MS. RAWL. cccxcı.]

Letter from Sir Thomas Browne to his Son, a Lieutenant of

his Majesty's ship the Marie Rose, at Portsmouth.

[May or June, 1667.] DEAR SONNE,

I am very glad you are returned from the strayghts mouth once more in health and safetie. God continue his mercifull providence over you. I hope you maintaine a thankful heart and daylie bless him for your great deliverances in so many fights and dangers of the sea, whereto you have been exposed upon several seas, and in all seasons of the yeare. When you first under tooke this service, you cannot butt remember that I caused you to read the description of all the sea fights of note, in Plutark, the Turkish history, and others; and withall gave you the description of fortitude left by Aristotle, “Fortitudinis est inconcussum δύσπληκτον a mortis metu et constantem in malis et intrepidum ad pericula esse, et malle honestè mori quam turpiter servari et victoriæ causam præstare. Præterea autem fortitudinis est laborare et tolerare. Accedit autem fortitudini audacia et animi præstantia et fiducia, et confidentia, ad hæc industria et tolerantia." That which I then proposed for your example, I now send you for your commendation. For, to give you your due, in the whole cours of this warre, both in fights and other sea affairs, hazards and perills, you have very well fullfilled this character in yourself. And allthough you bee not forward in commending yourself, yett others have not been backward to do it for you, and have so earnestly expressed your courage, valour, and resolution; your sober, studious, and observing cours of life; your generous and obliging disposition, and the notable knowledge you have obtayned in military and all kind of sea affayres, that it affoordeth no small comfort unto mee. And I would by no meanes omitt to declare the same unto yourself, that you may not want that encouragement which you so well deserve. They that do well need not commend themselves; others will be readie enough to do it for them. And because you may understand how well I have heard of you, I would not omitt to communicate this unto you. Mr. Scudamore, your sober and learned chaplaine, in your voyage with Sir Jeremie Smith, gives you no small commendations for a sober, studious, courageous, and diligent person ; that he had not met with any of the fleet like you, so civill, observing, and diligent to your charge, with the reputation and love of all the shippe; and that without doubt you would make a famous man, and a reputation to your country. Captain Fenne, a meere rough seaman, sayd that if hee were to choose, hee would have your company before any he knewe. Mr. W. B. of Lynn, a stout volunteer in the Dreadnought, sayd, in my hearing, that you were a deserving person, and of as good a reputation as any young man in the fleet. Another, who was with you at Schellinck's, highly commended your sobrietie, carefullnesse, undaunted and lasting courage through all the cours of the warre; that you had acquired no small knowledge in navigation, as well as the military part. That you understood every thing that belonged unto a shippe; and had been so strict and criticall an observer of the shipps in the fleet, that you could name any shippe sayling at some distance; and by some private mark and observation which you had made, would hardly mistake one, if seventie shippes should sayle at a reasonable distance by you. You are much obliged to. Sir Thomas Allen, who upon all occasions speakes highly of you ; 6 and is to be held to the fleet by encouragement and preferment: for I would not have him leave the sea, which otherwise probably he might, having parts to make himself considerable by divers other wayes. Mr. I. told mee you were compleately constituted to do your country service, honour, and reputation, as being exceeding faythfull, valiant, diligent, generous, vigilant, observing, very knowing, and a scholar. How you behaved yourself in the Foresight, at the hard service at Bergen, in Norway, captain Brookes, the commander, expressed unto many before his death, not long after, in Suffolk; and particularly unto my lord of Sandwich, then admiral, which thoughe you

would not tell me yourself, yet was I informed from a person of no ordinary qualitie, C. Harland, who when you came aboard the admiral after the taking of the East India shippes, heard my lord of Sandwich, to speak thus unto you. “Sir, you are a person whom I am glad to see, and must be better acquainted with you, upon the account which captain Brooke gave mee of you. I must encourage such persons and give them their due, which will stand so firmely and courageously unto it upon extremities, wherein true valour is best discovered. Hee told mee you were the only man that stuck closely and boldly to him unto the last, and that after so many of his men and his lieutenant was slayne, hee could not have well knowne what to have done without you.” Butt beside these I must not fayle to tell you how well I like it, that you are not only Marti but Mercurio, and very much pleased to find how good a student you have been at sea, and particularly with what success you have read divers bookes there, especially Homer and Juvenal with Lubines notes. Being much surprised to find you so perfect therein that you had them in a manner without booke, and could proceed in any verse I named unto you. I am glad you can overcome Lucan. The other bookes which I sent, are, I perceive, not hard unto you, and having such industrie adjoined unto your apprehension and memorie, you are like to proceed (not only] a noble navigator, butt a great schollar, which will be much to your honour and my satisfaction and content. I am much pleased to find that you take the draughts of remarkable things where ere you go; for that may bee very usefull, and will fasten themselves the better in your memorie. You are mightily improved in your violin, butt I would by no meanes have you practise upon the trumpet, for many reasons.

6 There is evidently some omission here, either in the original or the copy; the following sentence appears to be Sir Thomas Allen's remark, the beginning of which is apparently wanting.

Your fencing in the shippe may bee against the scurvie, butt that knowledge is of little advantage in actions of the sea.



The absence of any correspondence between Sir Thomas and his son Edward from 1665 to 1668, favours the supposition that the latter resided at Norwich during the greater portion of that period. He was incorporated of Merton College, Oxford, in June, 1666, and took his degree, Doctor of Physick, July 4th, 1667. In August, 1668, he went over to Holland, but probably intending only a short excủrsion. He remained abroad, however, for nearly a year and half, extending his travels from place to place, far beyond his original plan, and in direct opposition to his father's urgent and reiterated requests. It is, indeed, most edifying to contrast this persevering disobedience with repeated and verbose professions of profound respect and implicit obedience to his “most honoured father,” followed by a profusion of the humblest apologies and most sorrowful regrets for having disobeyed “such indulgent parents.” His letters to his father are so voluminous, that it was absolutely necessary to curtail or omit the far greater portion of them ; especially as the substance has been published in his Travels, fol. 1685.

Dr. Browne to his son Edward.

[Ms. SLOAN. 1847.]


Though the wind served, yet I was confident the shippe would not sayle, the wind being so high; pray God, when it groweth lower, the wind do not turn against you. My humblest service and thanks unto Mr. Johnson. Betty and I searched for the Transactions, butt could only find the lesser part, wherin that discours is not; butt I have sent you all myne, wch are loose. When it shall please God you are in the Netherlands, it were good to take notice of such plants as you see, obseruing what growes common, what not so, on the wayes and fields; and putt up some in a booke. If your bill of credit bee at Amsterdam, I know not whether you have mony enough with you, to carry you thither, being to land at Roterdam, God blesse and preserve you. I rest your loving father,

THO. BROWNE. Aug. xiii, [1668.]

Dr. Browne to his son Edward.


Though I haue nothing to adde, yet I could not omitt to send these few lines as a testimony of my true and deare affection towards



shall neuer want the reall expressions. Confirme still the good reports I haue euer heard of you. As I am alwayes sollicitous for you, so shall I euer endeauor and pray for you. The mercifull

« PreviousContinue »