Page:Sir Thomas Browne's works, volume 4 (1835).djvu/66

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therefore the stoics could not but think that the fiery principle would wear out all the rest, and at last make an end of the world, which notwithstanding without such a lingering period the Creator may effect at his pleasure: and to make an end of all things on earth, and our planetical system of the world, he need but put out the sun,

I was not so curious to entitle the stars unto any concern of his death, yet could not but take notice that he died when the moon was in motion from the meridian; at which time an old Italian long ago would persuade me that the greatest part of men died: but herein I confess I could never satisfy my curiosity; although from the time of tides in places upon or near the sea, there may be considerable deductions; and Pliny[B 1] hath an odd and remarkable passage concerning the death of men and animals upon the recess or ebb of the sea. However, certain it is, he died in the dead and deep part of the night, when Nox might be most apprehensibly said to be the daughter of Chaos, the mother of sleep and death, according to old genealogy; and so went out of this world about that hour when our blessed Saviour entered it, and about what time many conceive he will return again unto it. Cardan hath a peculiar and no hard observation from a man's hand to know whether he was born in the day or night, which I confess holdeth in my own. And Scaliger to that purpose hath another from the tip of the ear:[B 2] most men are begotten in the night, animals in the day; but whether more persons have been born in the night or the day, were a curiosity undecidable, though more have perished by violent deaths in the day; yet in natural dissolutions both times may hold an indifferency, at least but contingent inequality. The whole course of time runs out in the nativity and death of things; which whether they happen by succession or coincidence, are best computed by the natural not artificial day.

That Charles the Fifth was crowned upon the day of his nativity, it being in his own power so to order it, makes no

  1. Pliny.] Aristoteles nullum animal nisi æstu recedente expirare affirmat: observatum id multum in Gallico Oceano et duntaxat in homine compertum, lib. 2, cap. 101.
  2. Scaliger, &c.] Auris pars pendula lobus dicitur, non omnibus ea pars est auribus; non enim iis qui noctu nati sunt, sed qui interdiu, maxima ex parte.—Com. in Aristot. de Animal. lib. 1.