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the matter, but the manner of experimenting it hee utterly leaves unmentioned. Therefore, my only addresse is to you, hoping to find as much willingnesse to communicate as ability to evince the certainty of this secret to The most engaged of your friends,
Sir, this enclosed is from a worthy friend of myne, who hath made bold, upon my incitement, to enwrappe a few lines to you; if you please to repay us both but with one single answer, it will not only evince us of your faire acceptance of them, but shall also challenge a double gratulatory as a due debt, in counterpoize and recompence thereof.
To the Right Worshipful Dr. Browne, resident in
Mr. Thomas Smith to Dr. Browne.
(BIBL. BODL. MS. RAWL. cccxci.]
Chr. Coll. St. Thomas. WORTHY DOCTOR,
Though this be the first time I venture upon so much boldness as to send you a letter, it is not the first that I have written. I once penned a large sheete of observations upon that exact manual of yours which our Greeke professor copied out, and I and other scholars were once about to learne memoriter. But considering with how many scriblings of that kind your serious studies might be interrupted, I consecrated not that paper to your hands, as I intended, but to the flames. Yet must confesse I never met with the articles of any religion which I could better subscribe to than to yours. I can as little digest Fr. Cheynel as Card. Bellarmine, and can, without indignation, peruse the Alcoran or the Talmud. I was never yet so hæreticall as to be frighted with bookes, those horrible ogronússia, I can live with pleasure among the dead, though they stinke, and dye among the living, yea, be buried among them, and not feare biting. Which hath made me so inquisitive after Ochinus De tribus mundi impostoribus (which you first acquainted me with '), that I have searched many libraries, inquired of most of the booksellers in London, yet could never see it. If you would be pleased to helpe me or my loving friend Sr.? Power with the sight of it, or tell us where we might see it, you would doe us such a courtesy as we mnight ever study but never be able to requite. But I intend not to rest here, seeing I have begun to beg favours, pardon my boldness, good sir, if I proceed.
It hath been my fortune, among other studies which my ingenium desultorium hath tasted of, to looke a little into your honourable profession, having been told by Drexelius that peri. tus Medicus ægroto Angelus, imo Deus est. And tis no small comfort to me, having perused some bookes, to see your directions to Sr. Power 3 (which I had the happiness to see even now) run parallell to my small readings. I first read Bartholinus, then Spigelius, Sennertus his Institutions and De febribus, and some few other small tracts, as Dr. Harvey De circul. Asellius De venis lacteis, Fienus. As for Lacuna, I have read here and there two or three leaves in him, but I saw nothing in him which was not in Sennertus ; perhaps I was too perfunctory, and did not see through him. I have some thoughts of reading over Sennertus his Praxis, and to that purpose bought his works printed at Venice, but I shall first crave your advice. Ingignerus his Physiognomia naturalis pleaseth me better than any booke I have seene in Italian. I have looked a little into the Arabicke, and gone so far as to read a peece of the Bible, but whether there be any thing in physick deserving and requiring my further progresse in it is a question desiring your resolution. Would you be pleased, when your leisure may permit, to condescend so low as to lend me a catalogue of such bookes, great and small, as you shall conceive to be the most rational and solid pieces in this, or that, or any language, I shall thinke my selfe eternally obliged, and ever subscribe myselfe, Sir, your thankfull servitour,
THO. SMITH. 1 Rel. Med. i. $ 20. 2 This title was, in the early ages, general to all who had taken a degree or entered into holy orders; and thus, in our writers, we continually meet with Sir prefixed to the name, which has occasionally given rise to a mistaken supposition that these persons were knighted.—Letters, fc. from the Bodleian, I. p. 117.
3 See letter at p. 357.
Dr. Henry Power to Dr. Browne.
(Ms. SLOAN. 3418.]
Ch. Coll. Camb. 15th Sept. 1648. RIGHT WORSHIPFULL,
I cannot but returne you infinite thankes for your excessive paynes in doubling of your last letter to mee, both pages whereof were so exceeding satisfactory to my requests, as that I know not wheather of them may more justly challenge a larger returne of thankes from mee. For the forepage I have traced your commands, and simpled in the woods, meadows, and fields, instead of gardens, which being obvious and in every countrey, I may easyly hereafter bee made a garden herbalist by any shee empirick. I have both Gerard with Johnson's addition, and Parkinson; the former has the cleerer cutt, and outvies the other in an accurate description of a plant; the latter is the better methodist, and has bedded his plants in a better ranke and order. I compared, also, Dodonæus with them, who does very well for a short and curt herbalist: yet I shall embrace Gerard above all, because you pleased to honour him with your approbation. For the back side of your letter, I am extreamely satisfied in your resolves of my quære, I confesse I run into too deepe a beliefe and too strong a conceipt of chymistry, (yet not beyond what some of those artists affirme) of the reproduction of the same plant by ordinary way of vegetation, for (say they) if the salt be taken and transferred to another countrey and there sowed, the plant thereof shall sprout out even from common earth. But it will be satisfaction enough, to the greatest of my desires, to behold the leafes thereof shaddowed in glaciation, of which experiment I hope I shall have the happynesse to be ocularly evinced at some opportunity by you.
Sir, I have a great desire to shift my residence a while, and to live a moneth or two in Norwich by you: where I may have the happynesse of your neighbourhood. Here are such fewe helpes here, that I feare I shall make but a lingering
progresse unlesse I have your personall discourse to further and prick forwards my slow endeavours. But I shall determine of nothing till I see you here, in which journey I could wish (were it not to the disadvantage of your affaires) you would prevent our expectations. Sir, I have now by the frequency of living and dead dissections of doggs, run through the whole body of anatomy, insisting upon Spigelius, Bartholinus, Fernelius, Columbus, Veslingius, but especially Harvey's circulation, and the two incomparable authors Des-Cartes and Regius, which, indeed, were the only two that answered my doubts and quæres in that art. I have likewise made some little proficiency in herbary, and by going out three or four miles once a weeke have brought home with mee two or three hundred hearbs. I have likewise run through Heurnius which I very well allow of for a peripateticall author ; hee is something curt De urina, which I conceive to bee a very necessary piece in physick now the circulation is discovered ; for since the urine is channelled all along with the blood, through almost all the parenchymata of the body, before it come to the kidneys to bee strained and separated, it must needes carry a tincture of any disaffected or diseased part through which it passes. For Sennertus I cannot yet procure him, but 'tis sayd hee is comming out in a new letter, and then I question not but I shall have him. Mr. Smith presents his humble respects to you, and shall bee extreame glad to give you a deserved welcome to Cambridge, who may doe it, perchance, more nobly yet not more heartyly then will Your most obliged friend and servant,
father Foxcroft and mother in their last to Cambridge forgott not to tender their best respects to you, which I have requited in the like returne of yours to them (according to your request) this last journey.
To his ever honoured friend Thomas Browne, Dr. of
Physick, at his house in Norwich, these.
Dr. Henry Power to Dr. Browne.
(Ms. SLOAN. 3418.]
Hallyfax, August 28th, 1649. HONOURED SIR,
I cannot by silence let fall that same interest you have beene pleased to grant mee in you; though this large distance twixt Hallyfax and Norwich might almost put mee to the dispaire of an answer from you. I sent a letter about three or four moneths since by Cambridge to you, wherein I made bold to raise some little discourse
little discourse upon those tene you pleased to deliver to mee in point of concoction; with which I shall not here trouble you againe, as accounting them unworthy of a repetition. But wheather those lines came to your hands or no, or miscarryed in the conveihance, I know not. I therefore send this letter, as a second arrow, to find out the first. Sir, the great satisfaction I have alwayes received from you in the resolve of such quæres as still puzled my progresse in study, emboldens mee still to some further proposealls: amongst which, the chiefe quære I desire to be resolved in, is wheather toads, froggs, snailes, swallows, and such like animals as wee usually say sleepe all winter, doe in that interim only lose the rise and motion of their lungs, (the heart still working and circulating the blood,) or cease from all motion both of heart and lungs, and for that season absolutely ly dead or no? Van Helmont peremtoryly asserts the former, page 189, fig. 33.
Du Roy (or Regius) will have both the motion of their heart and lungs also to cease, and they to ly that halfe yeare as perfectly dead. Fundament. Phys. page 154.
Harvey asserts neither the one nor the other, but, having demonstrated that insects ly void of all motion in the winter season, and the part analogous to the heart in them, utterly to cease from all palpitation, hee thus waryly concludes: “Sed an idem etiam quibusdam sanguineis animalibus accidat, ut ranis, serpentibus, etc. dubitare licet.”