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ful in the three provincial languages, declares that after many essays he never could effect it.
The principal design of this letter is to show the affinity between the modern English and the ancient Saxon; and he observes, very rightly, that “though we have borrowed many substantives, adjectives, and some verbs, from the French; yet the great body of numerals, auxiliary verbs, articles, pronouns, adverbs, conjunctions, and prepositions, which are the distinguishing and lasting parts of a language, remain with us from the Saxon." To
prove this position more evidently, he has drawn up a short discourse of six paragraphs, in Saxon and English ; of which every word is the same in both languages, excepting the terminations and orthography. The words are, indeed, Saxon, but the phraseology is English ; and, I think, would not have been understood by Bede or Elfric, notwithstanding the confidence of our author. He has, however, sufficiently proved his position, that the English resembles its parental language more than any modern European dialect.
There remain five tracts of this collection yet unmentioned; one, Of artificial Hills, Mounts, or Barrows, in England; in reply to an interrogatory letter of E. D. whom the writers of the Biographia Britannica suppose to be, if rightly printed, W. D. or sir William Dugdale, one of Browne's correspondents. These are declared by Browne, in concurrence, I think, with all other antiquaries, to be for the most part funeral monuments. He proves, that both the Danes and Saxons buried their men of eminence under piles of earth, “ which admitting (says he) neither ornament,
epitaph, nor inscription, may, if earthquake's spare them, outlast other monuments: obelisks have their term, and pyramids will tumble; but these mountainous monuments may stand, and are like to have the same period with the earth.”
In the next, he answers two geographical questions; one concerning Troas, mentioned in the Acts and Epistles of St. Paul, which he determines to be the city built near the ancient Ilium; and the other concerning the Dead Sea, of which he gives the same account with other writers.
Another letter treats Of the Answers of the Oracle of Apollo, at Delphos, to Croesus king of Lydia. In this tract nothing deserves notice, more than that Browne considers the oracles as evidently and indubitably supernatural, and founds all his disquisition upon that postulate. He won. ders why the physiologists of old, having such means of instruction, did not inquire into the secrets of nature: but judiciously concludes, that such questions would probably have been vain ; " for in matters cognoscible, and formed for our disquisition, our industry must be our oracle, and reason our Apollo."
The pieces that remain are, A Prophecy concerning the future State of several Nations; in which Browne plainly discovers his expectation to be the same with that entertained lately with more confidence by Dr. Berkeley, “that America will be the seat of the fifth empire," and Museum clausum, sive Bibliotheca abscondita ; in which the author amuses himself with imagining the existence of books and curiosities, either never in being, or irrecoverably lost.
These pieces I have recounted as they are ranged in Tenison's collection, because the editor has given no account of the time at which any of them were written. Some of them are of little value, more than as they gratify the mind with the picture of a great scholar, turning his learning into amusement; or show upon how great à variety of inquiries the same mind has been successfully employed.
The other collection of his posthumous pieces, published in octavo, London, 1722, contains Re. pertorium; or some Account of the Tombs and Monuments in the Cathedral of Norwich; where, as Tenison obseryes, there is not matter proportionate to the skill of the antiquary.
The other pieces are, “ Answers to Sir William Dugdale's inquiries about the fens; a letter concerning Ireland ; another relating to urns newly discovered; some short strictures on different subjects; and a letter to a friend on the death of his intimate friend,” published singly by the author's son in 1690.
There is inserted, in the “Biographia Britannica, a letter containing instructions for the study of physick ; ” which, with the essays here offered to the publick, completes the works of Dr. Browne.
To the life of this learned man, there remains little to be added, but that in 1665 he was chosen honorary fellow of the college of physicians, as a man, “Virtute et literis ornatissimus ;—eminently embellished with literature and virtue:" and, in 1671, received, at Norwich, the honour of knighthood from Charles II. a prince, who, with many frailties and vices, had yet skill to discover excel. lence, and virtue to reward it with such hono
rary distinctions at least as cost him nothing, yet, conferred by a king so judicious and so much beloved, had the power of giving merit new lustre and greater popularity.
Thus he lived in high reputation, till in his seventy-sixth year he was seized with a colick, which, after having tortured him about a week, put an end to his life at Norwich, on his birthday, October 19, 1682 *. Some of his last words were expressions of submission to the will of God, and fearlessness of death.
He lies buried in the church of St. Peter, Mancroft, in Norwich, with this inscription on a mural monument, placed on the south pillar of the altar :
In agro Cestriensi oriundus.
In Coll. Pembr.
Haud leviter imbutus;
Scriptis quibus tituli, RELIGIO MEDICI
Per orbem notissimus.
Obiit Octob. 19, 1682. Pie posuit moestissima conjux
Da. Doroth. Br.
* Browne's remains. Whitefoot.
Near the foot of this pillar Lies Sir Thomas Browne, kt. and doctor in physick, Author of Religio Medici, and other learned books,
Who practised physick in this city 46 years, And died Oct. 1682, in the 77th year of his age.
In memory of whom, Dame Dorothy Browne, who had bin his affectionate Wife 47 years, caused this monument to be
Besides his lady, who died in 1685, he left a son and three daughters. Of the daughters nothing very remarkable is known; but his son, Edward Browne, requires a particular mention.
He was born about the year 1642; and, after having passed through the classes of the school at Norwich, became bachelor of physick at Cambridge; and, afterwards removing to Merton College in Oxford, was admitted there to the same degree, and afterwards made a doctor. In 1668 he visited part of Germany; and in the year following made a wider excursion into Austria, Hungary, and Thessaly; where the Turkish sultan then kept his court at Larissa. He afterwards passed through Italy. His skill in natural history made him particularly attentive to mines and metallurgy. Upon his return he published an account of the countries through which he had passed; which I have heard commended by a learned traveller, who has visited many places after him, as written with scrupulous and exact veracity, such as is scarcely to be found in any other book of the same kind. But whatever it may contribute to the instruction of a naturalist, I cannot recommend it as likely to give much