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but one that I know of (to verify that books have their fate from the capacity of the reader) that hath had the face to appear against it; that is Mr. Alexander Rosse ;but he is dead, and it is uncomely to skirmish with his shadow. It shall be sufficient to remember to the reader, that the noble and most learned knight, Sir Kenelm Digby, has delivered his opinion of it in another sort, who though in some things he differ from the author's sense, yet hath he most candidly and ingenuously allowed it to be a “very learned and excellent piece;" and I think no scholar will say there can be an approbation more authentick. Since the time he published his Observations upon it, one Mr. Jo. Merryweather, a Master of Arts of the University of Cambridge, hath deemed it worthy to be put into the universal language, which about the year 1644 he performed; and that hath carried the author's name not only into the Low Countries and France, (in both which places the book in Latin hath since been printed, but into Italy and Germany, and in Germany it hath since fallen into the hands of a gentleman of that nation' (of his name he hath given us no more than L. N. M. E. N.) who hath written learned Annotations upon it in Latin, which were printed together with the book, at Strasbourg, 1652. And, for the general good opinion the world had entertained both of the work and author, this stranger tells you :* “ Inter alios auctores incidi in librum cui titulus Religio Medici, jam ante mihi innotuerat lectionem istius libri multos præclaros viros delectasse, imo occupasse. Non ignorabam librum in Anglia, Gallia, Italia, Belgio, Germania, cupidissime legi; constabat mihi eum non solum in Anglia, Batavia, sed et Parisiis cum præfatione, in qua auctor magnis laudibus fertur, esse typis mandatum. Compertum mihi erat multos magnos atque eruditos viros censere auctorem (quantum ex hoc scripto perspici potest) sanctitate vitæ ac pietate elucere, &c." But for the worth of the book it is so well known to every Englishman that is fit to read it, that this attestation of a foreigner may seem superfluous.

2 In his Medicus Medicatus.

3 That he was a German appears by his notes, page 35, where he useth these words, Dulcissima nostra Germania, fc.

4 In Prefat. .Innotat.

The German, to do him right, hath in his annotations given a fair specimen of his learning, shewing his skill in the languages, as well ancient as modern; as also his acquaintance with all manner of authors, both sacred and profane, out of which he hath amassed a world of quotations : but yet, not to mention that he hath not observed some errors of the

press, and one or two main ones of the Latin translation, whereby the author is much injured; it cannot be denied but he hath past over many hard places untouched, that might deserve a note; that he hath made annotations on some, where no need was; in the explication of others hath gone besides the true sense.

And were he free from all these, yet one great fault there is he may be justly charged with, that is, that he cannot manum de tabula even in matters the most obvious: which is an affectation ill-becoming a scholar; witness the most learned annotator, “Claud. Minos. Divion. in præfat. commentar. Alciat. Emblemat. præfix. præstat (saith he) brevius omnia persequi, et leviter attingere quæ nemini esse ignota suspicari possint, quam quasi gaywdeñ, perque locos communes identidem expatiari.” I

go not about, by finding fault with his, obliquely to commend my own; I am as far from that, as it is possible others will be: all I seek by this preface, next to acquainting the reader with the various entertainment of the book, is, that he would be advertised, that these Notes were collected ten years since, 5 long before the German's were written; so that I am no plagiary, (as who peruseth his notes and mine will easily perceive,) and in the second place, that I made this recueil merely for mine own entertainment, and not with any intention to evulge it; truth is my witness, the publication proceeds merely from the importunity of the bookseller (my special friend), who, being acquainted with what I had done, and about to set out another edition of the book, would not be denied these notes to attex to it; 't is he (not I) that divulgeth it, and whatever the success be, he alone is concerned

5 Excepting two or three particulars, in which reference is made to some books that came over since that time.

H

in it: I only say for myself what my annotations bear in the frontispiece.

Nec satis est vulgasse fidemthat is, that it was not enough to all persons (though pretenders to learning) that our physician had published his creed, because he wanted an exposition. I say further, that the German's is not full; and that (quicquid sum ego quamvis infra Lucilli censum ingeniumq;-) my explications do in many things illustrate the text of my author.

24 MARTII, 1654.

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A Letter sent upon the information of animadversions to come forth, upon the imperfect and surreptitious copy of Religio Medici, whilst this true one was going to press.

HONOURABLE SIR,

Give your servant, who hath ever honoured you, leave to take notice of a book at present in the press, intituled (as I am informed,) animadversions upon a treatise lately printed under the name of Religio Medici; hereof, I am advertized, you have descended to be the author. Worthy Sir, permit your servant to affirm there is contained therein nothing that can deserve the reason of your contradictions, much less the candour of your animadversions; and to certify the truth thereof, that book (whereof I do acknowledge myself the author) was penned many years past, and (what cannot escape your apprehension) with no intention for the press, or the least desire to oblige the faith of any man to its assertions. But what hath more especially emboldened my pen unto you at present, is, that the same piece, contrived in my private study, and as an exercise unto my self, rather than exercitation for any other, having past from my hand under a broken and imperfect copy, by frequent transcription it still run forward into corruption, and after the addition of some things, omission of others, and transposition of many, without my assent or privacy, the liberty of these times committed it unto the press; whence it issued so disguised, the author without distinction could not acknowledge it. Having thus miscarried, within a few weeks I shall, God willing, deliver unto the press the true and intended original (whereof in the mean time your worthy self may command a view) otherwise when ever that copy shall be extant, it will most clearly appear, how far the text hath been mistaken, and all observations, glosses, or exercitations thereon, will in a great part impugn the printer or transcriber, rather than the author. If, after that, you shall esteem it worth your vacant hours to discourse thereon, you shall but take that liberty which I assume myself, that is, freely to abound in your sense, as I have done in my own. However ye shall determine, you shall sufficiently honour me in the vouchsafe of your refute, and I oblige the whole world in the occasion of your pen.

Your servant, Norwich,

T.B. March 3, 1642.

WORTHY SIR, SPEEDILY upon the receipt of your letter of the third current, I sent to find out the printer that Mr. Crook (who delivered me yours) told me was printing something under my name, concerning your Treatise of Religio Medici, and to forbid him any further proceeding therein; but my servant could not meet with him; whereupon I have left with Mr. Crook a note to that purpose, entreating him to deliver it to the printer. I verily believe there is some mistake in the information given you, and that what is printing must be from some other pen than mine; for such reflexions as I made upon your learned and ingenious discourse, are so far from meriting the press, as they can tempt no body to a serious reading of them; they were notes hastily set down, as I suddenly ran over your excellent piece, which is of so weighty subjects, and so strongly penned, as requireth much time, and sharp attention, but to comprehend it; whereas what I writ

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