Page images
PDF
EPUB

.

although they that heard its voice compare it to the crying or shreeking of a hoarse childe, but more mournfull and dismal.

The lungs are of a fine florid colour, but little in proportion to the vast aspera arteria : they stick close to the back, and are perforated surely like other birds; and upon blowing into the windepipe with a pair of bellows, we could not make them rise or fill.

The heart hath two ventricles, about the bignesse of a man's heart, but the right ventricle is much thinner, and the valves are more fleshy.

There are two stomachs, as in granivorous fowles, a crop and a gizzard; but the crop or first stomach differs much from that of all other fowles, in that it is not placed without the breast as with them, but within the sternon, in that it is not round, but larger like a mony bag, and of a vast bignesse, liing lengthwise in the body; but what was most satisfactory to us all in the dissection, was the glandules we found in the coates of the stomach, a rowe of them on the back part of it reaching almost from one end to another about a thousand of them, about ten in breadth and a hundred in length ; these lye between the coates of the stomach, and every particular glandule discharges itself by a peculiar orifice through the inward coate of the stomach, into the cavity thereof; we found some of these glandules round and globular, some oval, and some more flat, and of an irregular figure. Those which lye highest are roundest and thickest; those which lye more towards the bottome of the stomach, or where it unites with the gizzard, are more broad and flat. These surely bring in a juice which helps to digest that various nourishment which this fowle makes use of:-an oestridge feeding almost upon any thing, ours refused nothing but the draines from the brewhouse, and perhaps if hungry it would have eat them. The gizzard was very large; the inward coate did not adhere so firmly as in other fowles, but was very thick and like flannel, and upon a first looking into the gizzard from the first stomach, it appeared as a piece of flannel or napkin, which the oestridge had swallowed and so stuck there. The passage out of the gizzard into the small guts is very streight.

The guts are about twenty yards in length. The smaller guts beginning from the stomach, are ten yards long, and the larger guts down from thence to the anus are near as much.

At the beginning of the great guts there are two intestina cæca, each of them a yard long, and they have a skrue or spiral valve within them, after the manner of the cæcum of a rabbit; this skrue in the cæcum windes about twenty turnes, (so we may observe the guts of a dog fish, with a spirall valve or skrue in them,) but the extremity of the cæcum is little, not much different from the cæcum of a man.

The excrement which it throwes out by the guts is of two kindes—a white thin sticking excrement which it mutes like a hawke, and after that another sort of excrement comes, which is very like to that of a sheepe but bigger.

The mesentery although it holds together such a number of guts great and small, yet it is not thick, but onely a transparent membrane as generally in pennatis, but it is very large and in some places above a quarter and a half a quarter of a yard deepe, or broade, measuring from the centre to the guts.

The liver hath four lobes and is of a colour not much different from that of a man's ; we could finde no bladder of gall.

A glandule under the stomach, which might seeme to be a spleen, but pennata and insecta are said to have no spleens.

The kidnyes are large and of the length of my hand; as they lye both together they are of the shape of a guitar, a musical instrument.

The ureters are firme, strong, white, and long. Behinde the kidnyes lye two glandules, somewhat oval, of about an inch and half in length, close to the back bone.

What concernes the skeleton more particularly, I may afterwards set downe when the bones are cleane.

Your most obedient sonne,

EDWARD BROWNE. Feb. 7, 1681.

These for my honoured father Sir Thomas Browne,

at his house in Norwich.

Since the notice at the top of page 417 was printed, I received a most friendly intimation from Mr. W. H. Black, that in the course of his recent and most accurate examination of the Ashmolean manuscripts at Oxford, some original letters of Sir Thomas Browne's had caught his eye, of which he obligingly offered me transcripts, if I could wait for them.

I had remarked, from the letter to Ashmole, at p. 413, that some previous correspondence must have passed between them respecting Dr. John Dee; and it immediately occurred to me, that among the treasure trove of my friend Black would very probably be found that correspondence, containing, no doubt, novel and curious information about Dee and Kelly, et id genus omne ; besides which, Browne's own opinions respecting the sublime mysteries, which enwrapped those men in musings long and deep, might possibly peep out in the course of his narrative. I therefore determined to await the arrival of this second supplement to a correspondence which I had intended to terminate at p. 416. Nor have I been disappointed. The closing series of letters will, I hope, be deemed fully as valuable and interesting as any portion of equal extent throughout the volume. It not only comprises additional particulars respecting Dee and Kelly, and replies to enquiries which Anthony Wood had put respecting various men with whom he supposed Browne to have been acquainted; but it presents us with his own biographical sketch of himself, the basis of Wood's and, indeed, of all subsequent accounts of his birth and earliest years.

Dr. Browne to Mr. William Lilly.

[FROM ASHMOLE's mss. vol. 423, fol. 166.]

WORTHY SIR,

Upon encouradgment from your self and sollicitation of Mr. Playford, I am bold to present these unto you. Whereto I confesse I was not readily induced, as being very desirous my first salutes should have come cleere unto you; not clogged with buisinesse, which might render the expression of my desire to serve you, accidentall. For truly, sir, the mayne of this letter is a friendly salutation of yourself, an acknowlegment ment of my ob

obligations, testimonie of my respects, with much readinesse to future communication, and wishes of happinesse unto you, unto all which I hope you will conceave the occasionall buisinesse butt appendant.

Mr. Playford, though a native of this place, hath been litle resident in it. Soe that I am not able to assure or highly commend his abillities upon ocular judgment of his practise, butt can affirme, that hee hath practised chirurgerie in the armie, as also in and about Yorke for diverse yeeres, and with good testimonie thereof; and had (as I understand) a good initiation of his practise under an able artist. How his abillities will accord with London to the betterment of his

present condition, you may please to consider, whoe well knowe the state of that place, and may bee informed by men of that profession: where practise is much confined and restrayned unto companies. However I conceave courtisies unto him may bee charitable offices, for his intents are good toward his kindred by severall misfortunes now under want, and hee is not unlikely to prove a gratefull servant unto yourself. But the proceeding herin I referre unto your owne goodnesse and judgment, not willing to engage you in any way, which shall not be judged advantageous unto your honour and repute, whereof I desire to bee an earnest promotor, who am yours affectionately and very respectfully,

THOMAS BROWNE. Norwich, Feb. 8. [not before 1650?]

P.S.-Sr. finding you so hard a student in Astrol. I had thoughts some yeeres past to present some few Astrologie bookes unto you; but finding your librarie in your introductionsoe compleat that litle could be added, I was fayne to deferre such expressions unto better opportunitie. To my worthy and much honord freind, Mr. William

Lillie, these present, London. (With a seal of arms.)

From Dr. Browne to Mr. Elias Ashmole.

[FROM ASHMOLE's mss. 1788, ART. 18, fol. 153.]

MOST WORTHY SR.

I returne you humble thancks for your courteous letter and the good newes of the hopefull recoverie of Mr. Dugdale, unto whom I shall be readie in any further service, and shall, God willing, send unto him concerning the fish bone, which I have not forgott. It can very hardly fall into my apprehension how I can afford any addition unto your worthy endeavours. Notwithstanding, I have enclosed a list of such tracts of that subject which I have by mee. Most whereof I receaved from Dr. Arthur Dee, my familiar freind, sonne unto old Dr. Dee the mathematician. He lived many yeares and dyed in Norwich, from whom I have heard many accounts agreable unto those which you have sett downe in your annotations concerning his father and Kelly. Hee was a persevering student in hermeticall philosophy, and had noe small encouragement. Having seen projection made, and with the highest asseverations he confirmed unto his death, that hee had ocularly undeceavably and frequently beheld it in Bohemia, and to my knowledge, had not an accident prevented, hee had not many yeares before his death retired beyond sea, and fallen upon the solemn processe of the great worke.

Sr. if you shall desire a viewe of any of these bookes, or all, I shall find some way to send them, and you may peruse or

9 That is, Lilly's Christian Astrology modestly treated of, in three books : or, an Introduction to Astrologie, London, 1647, 4to. of which his own copy is in the Ashmolean Museum.--W. H. B.

« PreviousContinue »