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ments made him of various countries. (95) Euripides (9%) had his tomb in Attica but his sepulture in Macedonia. And Severus (97) found his real sepulchre in Rome, but his empty grave in Gallia.
He that lay in a golden urn(9) eminently above the earth, was not like to find the quiet of these bones. Many of these urns were broken by a vulgar discoverer, in hope of inclosed treasure. The ashes of Marcellus (99) were lost above ground, upon the like account. Where profit hath prompted no age hath wanted such miners, for which the most barbarous expilators found the most civil rhetoric. (100) Gold once out of the earth is no more due unto it. What was unreasonably committed to the ground is reasonably resumed from it: let monuments and rich fabrics, not riches adorn men's ashes. The commerce of the living is not to be transferred unto the dead. It is not injustice to
(95) This remark is ingenious, and probably is not far from the truth. The practice took its rise in Greece, where, if a great man fell abroad, and his ashes could not be obtained, an empty tomb (kɛvorάpiov) was erected to his memory. There is a palpable error in the common text, which I have ventured to correct, he says:-" Euripides had his tomb in Africa." As this must be a mere typographical mistake for Attica, I have restored the true reading. Pausanius, speaking of certain tombs seen in his day between the Long Walls, observes that the cenotaph of Euripides was among them: Καὶ μνῆμα Εὐριπίδου κενόν. I. 2. 2. Bekk.-ED.
(96) Pausan. in Atticis.
(97) Lamprid. in Vit. Alexand. Severi. c. 62.
(96) Trajanus. Dion.
(99) Plut. in Vit. Marcelli. 30.
(100) The commission of the Gothish King Theodoric for finding out sepulchral treasure. Cassiodor. Var. 1. 4. Ep. 18.
take that which none complains to lose, and no man is wronged where no man is possessor.
What virtue yet sleeps in this terra damnata and aged cinders, were pretty magic to experiment; these crumbling relics and long-fired particles superannuate such expectations. Bones, hairs, nails, and teeth of the dead, were the treasures of old sorcerers. In vain we revive such practices; (101) present superstition too visibly perpetuates the folly of our forefathers, wherein unto old observation, this island was so complete that it might have instructed Persia. (102)
Plato's historian of the other world lies twelve days incorrupted, while his soul was viewing the large stations of the dead. How to keep the corpse seven days from corruption by anointing and washing, without exenteration, were an hazardable piece of art, in our choicest practice. How they made distinct separation of bones and ashes from fiery admixture, hath found no historical solution; though they seemed to make a distinct collection, and overlooked not Pyrrhus's toe. Some provision they might make by fictile vessels, coverings, tiles, or flat stones, upon and about the body. And in the same field, not far from these urns, many stones were found underground, as also by careful separation of extraneous matter, composing and raking up the burnt bones with forks, observable in that
(101) It is clear from this passage that sorcery was practised in Browne's time.-DOUGLAS.
(102) Britannia hodie eam attonitè celebrat tantis ceremoniis ut dedisse Persis videri possit. Plin. 1. 29.
notable lump, of Galuanus Martianus, (103) who had the sight of the vas ustrinum, or vessel wherein they burnt the dead, found in the Esquiline field at Rome, might have afforded clearer solution. But their insatisfaction herein begat that remarkable invention in the funeral pyres of some princes, by incombustible sheets made with a texture of asbestos, incremable flax, or salamander's wool, which preserved their bones and ashes incommixed. (104)
How the bulk of a man should sink into so few pounds of bones and ashes, may seem strange unto any who considers not its constitution, and how slender a mass will remain upon an open and urging fire of the carnal composition. Even bones themselves reduced unto ashes, do abate a notable proportion; and consisting much of a volatile salt, when that is fired out, make a light kind of cinders. Although their bulk be disproportionable to their weight when the heavy principle of salt is fired out and the earth almost only remaineth; observable in sallow, which makes more ashes than oak; and discovers the common fraud of selling ashes by measure, and not by ponderation.
Some bones make best skeletons, (105) some bodies quick and speediest ashes. (106) Who would expect
(103) Topographiæ Roma ex Martiano. Erat et vas ustrinum appellatum quod in eo cadavera comburerentur. Cap. de Campo Esquilino.
(104) To be seen in Licet. de reconditis veterum lucernis.
(105) Old bones, according to Lyserus. Those of young persons not tall nor fat, according to Columbus.
(106) A solution of this sentence has been furnished by the opening of barrows, Vid. Nænia Britannia.-DOUGLAS.
a quick flame from hydropical Heraclitus? The poisoned soldier, when his belly brake, put out two pyres, in Plutarch. (107) But in the plague of Athens (108) one private pyre served two or three intruders; and the Saracens burnt in large heaps, by the king of Castile (109) showed how little fuel sufficeth. Though the funeral pyre of Patroclus took up an hundred foot,(110) a piece of an old boat burnt Pompey; and if the burthen of Isaac were sufficient for a holocaust, a man may carry his own pyre.
From animals are drawn good burning lights, and good medicines against burning ;("") though the seminal humour seems of a contrary nature to fire, yet the body completed proves a combustible lump, wherein fire finds flame even from bones, and some fuel almost from all parts; though the metropolis of humidity (112) seems least disposed unto it, which might render the skulls of these urns less burned than other bones. But all flies or sinks before fire almost in all bodies: when the common ligament is dissolved, the attenuable parts ascend, the rest subside in coal, calx, or ashes.
To burn the bones of the king of Edom for lime(113) seems no irrational ferity; but to drink of the ashes of dead relations (14) a passionate prodi
(107) In vita Gracc. (108) Thucydides.
(109) Laurent. Valla.
(10) Εκατόμποδον ἔνθα καὶ ἔνθα. Iliad, ψ. 164.
(111) Speran. Alb. Ovor.
(112) The brain. Hippocrates.
(113) Amos, ii. 1.
(114) As Artemisia of her husband Mausolus.
gality. He that hath the ashes of his friend, hath an everlasting treasure. Where fire taketh leave, corruption slowly enters. In bones well burnt, fire makes a wall against itself; experimented in coppels, and tests of metals which consist of such ingredients. What the sun compoundeth, fire analyzeth, not transmuteth. That devouring agent leaves almost always a morsel for the earth, whereof all things are but a colony; and which, if time permits, the mother elements will have in their primitive mass again.
He that looks for urns and old sepulchral relics, must not seek them in the ruins of temples, where no religion anciently placed them. (115) These were found in a field, according to ancient custom in noble or private burial; the old practice of the Canaanites, the family of Abraham, and the bury
(115) Here Browne wanders widely from the truth. His reading lay too much among the compilers and antiquarians of modern times, and too little among the extant authors of antiquity, for him to be able with propriety to say what the ancients did or did not do. No doubt the common custom among the Romans, as the Campagna di Roma, and the environs of Pompeii still show, was, to bury their dead along the road-side, without their cities. But the exceptions were numerPrudentius contra Symmactrum, 1. i. observes :
"Et tot templa Deûm Romæ, quot in urbe sepulchra
Indeed Arnobius, 1. v. reproaches the Gentiles for their habit of polluting the temples with the ashes of men; and it may be almost demonstrated that temples generally arose over tombs, at least in Greece. Conf. Valer. Max. VIII. 16. And to what an extent the early Christians imitated the practice is well known.-ED.