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and when they came to the English, sometimes in sight of them, rather then want that ornament they woulde daube up one eye or one side of their face with clay or dirt. The whole country on this side from the river of Plate to Cape Plenty in the streights, or thereabouts, is one great plaine, the same with Pampas, where no trees growe, and the captain compared it to New Market heath. The other side it is all hilly, and the rivers runne downe so impetuously into the South sea, that they may see them runne a long way into the ocean, and have fresh water out of great rivers at the sea side. Beyond the streights they sailed up to Castro, an island where the Spaniards live, there being none of them now upon all the coast of America, between that place and the river of Plate ; from Castro they went to Baldavia, but I have not room to write what passed there.

Your m. 0. son,

E. B.

Dr. Edward Browne to his Father.

[RAWL. cccxci.]


These are the delineations of three lachrymatoryes which were given me lately. They were digged up some yeares since in Gun field, near Ratcliff, they are very fair ones, and of the same bignesse as they are drawne, the teares stick still to the inside of them. If you please to have them, I will sende you them downe, or if you thinke I may first showe them to Dr. Plot and let him have a copy of them to print in his description of Middlesex, or else I may reserve them for my self, to be mentioned or set downe when I speake of the upper and lower glandule of the eye from whence the teares come.

Your obedient sonne,

EDWARD BROWNE. January 1, 1677.

1 With the figure of a pot, of which a drawing accompanied the letter, with this memorandum written below: The figure of a pot digged out of the ground in Gun field, amongst many other Roman antiquities."

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Figures of three lachrymatories and a pot, from pen

drawings, which accompanied the opposite letter.

Dr. Edward Browne to his Father.

(MS. RAWL, LVIII, 45.]

Feb. 4, 1683


The oestridge died in the night; these colde nights I thinke killed him, so that I will set downe what we observed upon the dissection.

The neck a yard long, not measuring the head with it. The whole foot a calcareo ad extremum digitum, is three quarters of a yard, upon which he sits when he sleeps; but the foot or longest clawe is onely a quarter of a yard, the lesser clawe is half a quarter and half a nayle.

The nayle upon the larger clawe, is a nayle long, or the sixteenth part of a yard: above which stand one above another sixty-three large scales, reaching up all along his foot hefore; or before those bones which answer to the metatarsus. The lesser clawe hath no nayle, and onely eight or nine scales one above another, which reach not higher then the clawe itself.

The graine of the foot is like the graine of the skin of an elephant, but not so very hard, and is movable, and gives way upon pressure like to the foot of a camel, there being fat under it, whereby he treads soft and without noyse, and would come gently into the kitchen not heard when the servants were at dinner and stand behind them; but higher then the two clawes the skin looks scaly, every small scale constituting an irregular pentangle, quadrangle, and sometimes hexangle.

From the heele to the knee, or that part of the leg which answers to the tibia in man, is half a yard and half a quarter.

The thigh bone above a quarter of a yard, and very thick.

Upon the breast there is a hard callous darke substance of an orall figure, a nayle and a half in length, like to that of a camel ; upon which he rests himself when he sits with his head upright, and in that posture I think he sleeps, for we could never see him in any other; and his wing is too little to cover all his neck.

The length of his body from the lower part of his neck to the end of his rumpe, one yard.

The longest bone in his wing, a quarter and half a quarter.

The top of the head very flat, in length half a quarter and a nayle, measuring from behind the head to the end of the bille. The head seemes to be hairy rather then covered with feathers, contrary to what some affirme; and I thought I scarce sawe a stranger sight then one morning when I saw an oestridge of the largest sort carried in a cart through Fleet street, the body being inclosed in deale bordes and the neck stretched out so as the head was equall with the windowes above the balconyes. The neck white with feathers, yet the skin appeared very red between them, and as if it were transparent. And the aire throwne forcibly in three streames throwe the mouthe and nostrills, looked as if it were smoke blowne out in great quantity, which came throwe its fiery neck.

On the top of his head there is an ovall place flat, a nayle in length, which is all callous, and without any hayre or feathers, like the callous part upon his brest, but not so thick. This I thinke is to defende his braine from the injury of any thing that might sodenly fall upon his head, as also to preserve the braine from the sunne and injuryes of the aire, especially in the night, and the more considerably if he sleeps with his head upright, and not under his wing.

The gula is very large as well as long, but largest at the top near the head, where it is a nayle and a half broad.

The os hyoides stretcheth itself downe on each side the neck the length of half a quarter of a yard and half a nayle.

There is a callous part upon the os pubis longer than the former mentioned, but narrow; upon which, together with the callous part upon his breast, he rests himself.

Besides the many muscles in the neck for the motion of the numerous vertebræ and the head, there are two most elegant muscles which come from within the thorax, arising within the chest about the second rib, and insert themselves on each side of the

aspera arteria ; these I may name directores asperæ arteriæ.

At the first dividing of the aspera arteria, or its divarication to each side of the lungs, there is a ring bigger and stronger then any other ring of the windepipe.

There are divers glandules in the neck near the gula; these are of a pale colour like ashes. But there are two most beautiful glandules sticking to the carotidal arteryes, as they come out of the breast, one on each side, these are blewish. The peritonæum doubles and encompasses the stomach loosely.

He hath seven ribbs; and the intercostall muscles are broad, plaine, and beautifull.

The oestridge hath no prominent brestbone like other fowles; nor a narrow chest like most quadrupedes : but a broad brest, firme sternon, broader and flatter then that of a man; and indeed when he puts downe his head, and bends his neck to come in at a doore, his breast is so broad, and his tread so different, that it is not like the entrance of a fowle; but wonderfully like that of a camel, but with this advantage, that the oestridge bearing his waight upon two legges only, his entrance is more bolde and gracefull.

The ear of the oestridge is rounde, and the orifice will receive one's finger.

This was a male oestridge, and the penis about an inche long, with a little cartilaginous substance in it. The feathers of the inside of the wings upon the breast and the belly and neck were white, and the feathers on the tayle also white; but the rest are grayish and of a dun colour. A most beautiful creature surely in Barbary, where the heat of the country cryspes and curles all its feathers.

Your obedient sonne,

E. BROWNE. These for my honoured father Sir Thomas Browne,

at his house in Norwich.

Dr. Edward Browne to his Father.

(MS. RAWL. LVIII. 47, 48.]


In this I will give a further account of the oestridge, and of its more inward partes.

The rimula of the larynx is long and the cartilages about it strong; but no epiglottis or likenesse to a human larynx,

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