Browne Jokes/ Alphabetical Table

In almost equal measure to his Stoic sobriety, a strong vein of humour courses throughout Sir T.B.'s  writings. If humour is the best medicine, then reading the wit of the worthy  physician  can be a real tonic.

I must find and perhaps reproduce, an unpublished M.A thesis by O' Geary of Trinity College Dublin, 1955, which argues that in fact cheerfulness and humour are  dominant components of Browne's psychological make-up. Anyway, here's a few examples, several from Pseudodoxia Epidemica , a work which contains some of the best examples which immediately spring to mind.  More to be added. Included  also is the hilarious 'To an illustrious friend on his wearisome Chatter'.  Browne's longest, sustained piece of humour.

I can look a whole day upon a handsome picture, though it be but of an Horse.  R.M. Part 2:

The relation of Averroes and now common in every mouth, of the woman that conceived in a bath, by attracting the sperm or seminall effluxion of a man admitted to bath in some vicinity unto her, I have scarce faith to believe; and had I been of the jury, should have hardly thought I had found the father in the person that stood beside her.                    P.E. Bk 7: 16

The first shall be of the Elephant; whereof there generally passeth an opinion it hath no joints; and this absurdity is seconded to another, that being unable to lie down, it sleepeth against a tree; which the Hunters observing do saw almost asunder; whereon the beast relying, by the fall of the tree falls also down it self, and is able to rise no more.   P.E. Bk. 3: 1

Some commendably affected Plantations of venomous vegetables, some confined their delights unto single plants, and Cato seemed to dote upon Cabbage.  (Dedicatory Epistle, The Garden of Cyrus)

The Egyptian Mummies that I have seen, have had their Mouths open, and somewhat gaping, which affordeth a good opportunity to view and observe their Teeth, wherein 'tis not easy to find any wanting or decayed: and therefore in Egypt, where one Man practised but one Operation, or the Diseases but of single Parts, it must needs be a barren Profession to confine unto that of drawing of Teeth, and little better than to have been Tooth-Drawer unto King Pyrrhus, who had but two in his Head.  - Letter to a Friend

If Cardan saith that a Parrot is a beautiful Bird, Scaliger will set his Wits o' work to prove it a deformed Animal.    - Christian Morals  Part 2 : 3

A work of this nature is not to be performed upon one leg. P. E. Intro

I wish we knew more clearly the aids of the ancients, their sauces, flavours, digestives, tasties, slices, cold meats, and all kinds of pickles. Yet I do not know whether they would have surpassed salted sturgeons’ eggs, anchovy sauce, or our royal pickles.

Of white powder and such as is discharged without report, there is no small noise in the World:          P.E. Bk 2 chapter 5
Upon my first Visit I was bold to tell them who had not let fall all hopes of his Recovery, That in my sad Opinion he was not like to behold a Grasshopper, much less to pluck another Fig;            -Letter to a Friend.

 To an illustrious friend on his wearisome chatterer

A ventriloquist stretches me to the fifth hole and tortures me on the cruellest rack; yours is a parasite, a busy-body of the Sacred Way, who wearies me with his stories, trifles and unceasing word-nonsense when I am looking for quiet, does not spare me when I am going to bed, hands me over half-asleep to the torturer.

I bring the day to its close with a murderous weariness of words, I lie sleepless at night, my wakeful nose snores in vain. The moon will die before that lunatic is silent; unless Mercury soothes him down with his wand or turns him into a fish, it is hopeless to think of sleep.

It is useless for you to spread your table, vain to invite your guests; where that pea and nut merchant dines, the cross-river walker or anyone from the bridge will refuse. Even those who cultivate the long shadow are less afraid of a shade from the dead than of your shadower. Starving men would rather dine at home than face his inanities and even those who lick the salt at home will flee unfed, except the chairman pounce on him when he fools at the feast.

Like a novice on the stage of affairs he offers commonplaces as novelties. In all this chatter he mixes earth and sky, marries Tiber to Araxis, Tagus to Liger. So as to seize control of the talk he rejoices in comets, floods, earthquakes, cheerfully looks out for omens, prodigies, marvels which other men pray to avoid. And if he is short of these he pours forth out of the way tales and astrologers’ nonsense. Or butts in out of turn with what happened in his childhood or his last night’s dream and, babbling pot-bearer and rumour-monger, puts his hearers in a fever. What could be said all at once is wrapped in a large packet, he can never talk briefly unless I prod him in the side. I ask him the time of day and if he stops talking in half an hour I think it laconic; if I ask him how old he is, I am told his life-history, and there he makes a long trail to arrive at trivialities, and finally he lets me go at sunset, riddled with weariness, like a frog in the desert. Reticence and philosophical reserve he considers the dumbness of a madman and an invalid’s whim. He would have Harpocrates hanged, chatters in church and, a Siren in himself, sings even to the deaf. You must hit him with your stick if you want him to stop, it is the only argument he admits.

That raucous fellow, that wandering Homer who recites to me without a pause, needs an elocution master. I wish his voice were black, dark, Neronian, so that I may either escape the epic of Ulysses or yield to a milder fate.

That chafferer and chatterer does not know that he makes more noise than the sea-shore rattling its pebbles, while he holds me with his talkativeness, nor what tragedies his comic face enacts while he murders with his grin. With his stale words as he flows on in talk he holds over you a shining ivy-wreath of agreeability like a kind of friendly yoke. Now countrified and uncouth, with his tasteless blanket of words, with his village jokes from beyond the pale, the little wretch, who ought to be sent to the gladiators, stirs my bile and stomach and soaks me in a veritable English sweat.

It is not me alone that he crucifies. That fool talker, that A 1 blatherer, empties the theatre. When he crows every wind-player slips away at once: the flutes, the pipers, the keeners, the singers to the waxing moon, betake themselves to flight.

Yet that Ardelio rages with his pen as well as his tongue, equally loquacious and scribacious. There is no pleasure for me in reading, still less in studying his rubbish, so while I skim it, I feel at my last gasp and have to pause frequently. For besides all that he enjoys writing on the face of the sheet he punishes me with what he has written overleaf and on the back. Not satisfied with the folds in the paper, he fills up the margin, ploughs his field both ways and uses the blank space too. And he never uses complete words but writes in abbreviations. From all this weariness I can only get off by fire and sword; and so escape the tyranny of his notebooks and a Cassian’s martyrdom.

He wears out your best friends not only by pestering them with nonsensical and vexatious letters but by the fear of his papers piling up with a final flourish (which the talkative love to happen). But I would rather gather his bones than his writings, which are drunk with hellebore, not divinely inspired; I should never display them in peragamen splendour; I should either put them down the drain or send them round the barber’s shops or to the worthless crowd that follows Pompey or Agenor’s girl.

They listen too late, poor wretches, who lend their ears to this spinner, for no one who tries to say a word, let alone put an end to his talk, can spend enough words to upset him, no one is fluent enough to stop his impudence or leave him speechless. When poor friends visit him he batters them miserably at both ears. He has no shame in wearing out with talk the people he meets in the street and only lets them go at dusk broken-backed and leg-weary. That black, that wrinkled Ardelio talks not merely broken glass but poison, while (what is common in mouthers) he is a vile whisperer and insinuator, spreads abuse on every side, creates disputes, opens up secrets and with mutterings like this spoils friends and time. He should envy the purblind, for he looks so sharply at his friends’ peccadilloes that he overlooks his own follies; and without troubling himself ruins others.

If there is room for Pythagorean theory, I believe this fellow was a cuckoo and has become a man without putting his voice into human dress. Now he ought to change, under heaven’s ban, into a cricket, and twittering in the lanes crack the branches rather than men’s ears. Perhaps he is one of those who cry out in the mother’s womb before birth, who talk in their sleep, roar when in pain, whom no gorgon silences. He would be a much abler watchman for the Capitol than all the geese. When he is there, no one can doze on guard, still less in their tents. If I had my way he would be sent to Sparta not to Anticycra, to change his talkativeness to silence, or be whipped before the altars till he learns silence the hard way.

Swinging my arms and with my longest stride I fly him in vain; you could hardly get away from him in a race. Anyone whom flight could encourage must be an Achilles for speed or born under the Dolphin. But seizing my hand more fiercely than the gout with Vulcan-like bonds he prevents my fleeing, and while I breathlessly attempt it, while I search my pockets to buy myself off, I make a fool of myself and a show for the bystanders.

So, wholly upset, I long for the deserts of Scythia, I envy those happy dwellers near the falls of the Nile, and think the deaf in heaven. In my misery I seek cover, I escape into darkness, but it is easier to avoid the sunlight than this dark-face. Unless some goddess out of Homer carries me off in a cloud, I hasten to the majority.

On the verge of despair, crushed, broken-winded, with no incense to offer I call wildly on the Deliverer, I pray in vain to heaven for deliverance and safety; what Innocentia or Aurea Mica will set me free? I am more exposed to bears, tigers, elephants than a gladiator, I am down on the show-ground- for I find all these perils in this single busy-body.

But enough of these chestnuts. Send this bore away, or slip out of the back door. Fly swiftly to Norwich, where fair and learned minds await you. Eat up the road, then, if you are sensible. Farewell.

Source British Museum MS 1827
A Latin translation from the Collected Works of Sir Thomas Browne, vol. 4 ed. Simon Wilkins Fletcher and Sons 1835-6 Norwich

An Alphabeticall Table

The source of the following Alphabetical Table is from  my very own edition of Sir Thomas Browne's  Pseudodoxia Epidemica: or, Enquiries into Very many Received Tenents, and commonly Presumed Truths. I bought it via an ebay auction in March 2006 from Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. The first edition was published in 1646,  the second in 1650, the third and fourth editions in 1658, the fifth in 1659 and the  sixth and final edition in 1672. My edition is  the fourth edition of 1658 . It has  Urn-Burial and The Garden of Cyrus appended.
Browne's encyclopaedia  includes a so-called An Alphabetical Table which in all probability was compiled by him.  Never previously published in any edition of Browne's works it is  thus available online for the  first time.  A quick scroll of the topics listed  soon show the breadth and depth of Browne's curiousity, knowledge and scientific investigations, and indicates the wide spectrum of subjects covered . The Index lists Browne's main sources under authors commended, his many experiments as well as the astronomical, historical, biblical and zoological queries which preoccupied him. Queries range from the cosmological , such as - 'Cosmographers, why they divide their Globe into East and West', to the theological - 'whether our B. Saviour ever laughed', to the aesthetic - 'Beauty- Determined chiefly by opinion, or the several apprehensions of people', to the medical  - 'Drunkenness, or to be drunk once a moneth, whether it be healthfull', to the revealing esoteric entry, - Philosophers Stone, not improbable to be procured' . However an entry such as, 'Abilities, (scientifical especially,) ought to be improved' and-  'Candle, one discharged out of a Musket through an inch board', are indicative of the empirical nature of Browne's essentially Baconian quest.

Abel, his Epitaph, and age at death.424

Abilities, (scientifically especially,) ought to be improved. 20

Abraham. 328,406

Absolo, how hanged. 441

Abstinence from meat how (possibly) prolonged by some animals. 201

Abundance of flyes, maggots, what they signifie. 113

Accubation, the ancient gesture at meals. 293,294

Achitphel how he might dies. 441

Adam. 2,3,169,184,242,292,334,273

    Adams Navel 292

    How elder then Methusalah 224

Adrian the Emperour 28

Aegypt, how primitively it became firm land. 335

    How called anciently 376

    Subject to rain. 392

    Aegyptians 335

    Their antiquity. 336

Aegyptian Pollinctors, or annointers of the dead, their prodigous carnality. 446

Aelian, his Character, 22,33

Aequator. 354

Aequinoxes their Anticipation. 270

Aequvocation. 14

Aschylus his death. 463

Aetna’s, or fiery hills. 391

Age of our B. Saviour. 342

Age of the world. 332

Agriculture. 349,350

Advent of Christ. 342

Air. 199

Albertus Magnus his Character. 35

Aldrovandus, his diligence commended. 258

Alexander. 307

Allegorical precepts of Pythagoras. 14

Almonds not good against drunkeness. 113

Alphonsus Duke of Ferrara, his power. 99

Alvarez a Jesuit. 102

Amber how engenderd. 91

Ambodexters. 239,242

America, 70

Amphibologie. 14

Amphisbana? 177

Amulets. 95

Amulets against Agues. 330

Analogie, or correspondence betwixt the globes coelestial and terrestial. 350

Anchovy. 143

Andes, a hill in Peru. 390

Animals the transmutation of their Sex and Species. 183

Anibal, his eating through the Alps with vinegar. 462

Antaci, who they be. 84

Antropomorphites, what they were 324

Antidotes. 460

Commonly had from Animals nourished by posionous aliments. Ibid

Antimony. 249

Antipathies 220

Antipodes. 26,381

Antiquity. 21

- Primitively how fabulous. 23

Antonius Mizaldus 36

Anus, Etymologically what 305

Ape, of exquisite taste. 449

Apis, the Aegyptian Idol 402

Apetite sensual 9

Apuleius. 23

Aqua forte 412

Aqudeucts, why commonly adorned with Lyons heads 325

Arabian learning what 455

Arcadians, their antiquity. 336

- In what sense elder then the moon. Ibid.

Archimedes his burning glasses, 463

- His removing the earth. 464

Arepagus what. 42

Argus. 192

Aristotles errors 15,22.

    His arguing for the eternity of the world. 334

    Never disputed the ebbing and flowing of the Sea. 445

    His maxim touching felicity. 311

Aristotle, a Proselyte of Moses Law. 44

    His death. Ibid.

    Where he dies. Ibid.

Art. 409

Ashes what proportion of water they will contain. 96

    Why they are white. 409

Ascendent in the Astrologicall Scheme, what. 383

Asp the Serpent. 305

Asphaltides, or the lake of Sodom. 451

Why bodies sink not easily therein. Ibid.

Ass, the Animal of that kind. 409

Astomi or Plinies men without mouths 198

Astrologers. 12,270

Astrologie. 283

Atheism rejected. 40

    Whether any Atheist. Ibid.

Athenaeus his Character. 22,34

Athenians. 334

Attraction Electrical 86,87,88,89

    Attraction magnetical. 73

Aurum potabile 201

Authority, 27,28,29

Azores,or Islands of S.Michael 386

Babel tower, why attempted to be built. 429

Babylon, where situated. 397

Badger, the Animal 147

Baptista Porta, his Character 36

Barley 183

Baronius 439

Basil, the herb: whether it propagates Scorpions. 116

Basils Hexameron 35

Basilisk the Serpent 150-153

Bayes, whether good against thunder 112

Bear, the Animal 148,149

Beasts clean and unclean 210

Beauty, what it is 407,408

    Determined chiefly by opinion, or the several apprehensions of people. Ibid.

Bees. 221

Beeves of England, A Million of them killed yearly. 372

Beginning of the world 334,345

Belisarius his glories, and supposed misfortunes at last. 457

    His hard usage of Pope Sylerrius 458

Bellonius, his diligence commended. 11

Belomancy,or divination by Arrows 330

Belus 16,429

    Belus and Nimrod, Gen.10. the same person. 376

Bemata, anciently what they were. 307

Bersus 369

Bernacles, or the Goose-trees. 227

Bever the Animal. 144,145, 146,

Bezoar, commonly so esteemed. 205

Bible corrupted by the Jews. 337

    Depravations in the original text. 339

    Hebrew and Greek copies discordant ibid. 340

Birth. 149.

    Birth of the eighth moneth. 270

    Admirable Births. 423

Bittor. 218

Blackness, the causes therof probably. 410,411,412

Blindness. 187 188

Boats portable 77

Bochartus his Geographia Sacra, commended 378

Bodies incombustible 175

    Bodies drowned why they float after a time. 246

    Heavy bodies, in what quantity of liquor commonly they swim. 451

Boetius de Boot commended 77

Bos in lingua. 155,156

Boramez, a Plant animal, or the lamb of Tartary. 227

Brain of man. 233

Briareus. 24

Brimstone. 97

Brittains, their simplicity of old. 386

Brutes some of them were organized for speech. 139

Brutus and Cassius. 47

Cabala of the Stars. 416,427

Cabeus. 71,88

Cain whether he intended to kill Abel 3,371,425

Cairo. 390

Cambden his description of great Britain. 445

Camelion. 193,194,195

Camel. 156,404

Camp of the Israelites. 385

Camhries operation. 115,410

Canaan the son, why cursed for the fact of Cham his father, Gen, 9. 405

Canaries or the fortunate Islands. 386

Candle, one discharged out of a Musket through an inch board. 466

Candlemas day. 351

Candles burning blue. 328

Canibals. 404

Carbuncle whether it shine in the dark. 103

Cardans character. 36

Causes of common errours

1. Weaknesse of human nature 8

2.Erroneous disposition in man. 9

3. Misapprehension. Ibid.

4. Painters. 39

Centaures 13

Cham the son of Noah, he and Jupiter the same person. 429

    Cham’s progenie how extended. 405,406

Chaldeans, their Records how antient. 336

    By what years they compute the antiquity of their letters. 370

Charcaol how ‘tis made black. 410

Charon the ferry-man of hell, who he was 24

Cheek-burning. 321

Chiromancy or divination by inspection of the hand. 327,328

Cherry-stones. 201

Black-cherries. 413

China dishes of what matter. 102

    Their supposed vertue against poysons. 459

Chicken. 225

Choler. 140

    Cholerick men shorter liv’d. 269

Christian religion. 10

    Christian Chronology how uncertain. 337

Chus, his issue how dispersed. 406

Cinnamon what it is how made. 109

Clemens Alexandrinus. 23

Cleopatra dying. 305

Climactertical year. 260

    The opinion thereof whence (probably) promoted. 280

Climates. 348

Clocks no ancient invention. 315

Clouds, how far from the earth. 98

Clove what they be. 109

Cockatrice. 150,151

Cocks-egg. 153

Coition. 185,186

Colours. 152, 413

The principles of colour. 397

    Colours whether essential to beauty. 407

Columbus. 70

Comets. 417

Conception, 186,255.

    Conception in a Bath. 452

Congelation or freezing. 54,58

Conies, their numerous multiplication. 156

Constantinople. 374

Copperose, what it is. 411

Coral whether soft under water: 101

    How of a plant it becomes a stone . Ibid.

    Why worn about Chilldrens necks. 329

Cosmographers, why they divide their Globe into East and West. 386

Costiveness. 140

Countreys, their peculiar rarities, whence proceeding. 383

Creature, generally all of them meat for some people. 212

    Their dependence upon God. 292

    Creatures presaging Weather. 161

    Creatures subterraneous. 60

Credulity, what. 17

Cresses 183

Critical day, what it is. 264

Crystal not ice. 53

    Not snow congealed. Ibid.

    What it is. 59

    Severall differences. 56

Commonly six cornered. 58

Chrocodile, not proper only to Nilus. 391

    Why reported to have no period of growth, 452

Crocus Martis. 71

Crows, in some places white. 399

Ctesias Cnidius, his Character 31

Cucumbers whether obnoxious, 117

Cure of the Prussian knife. 81

    Cures Supersticious or Magical. 48

Q. Curtius 137

Customes supersticious &c. 320,321

Customes laudably begun, not alwaies necessarily followed. 455


Daedulus and Icarus 24

Dagon the Idol, of what figure or shape. 316

Daniels seventy weeks. 342

David, what his sin was in numbering the people. 440

David George. 11

Day natural what. 353

    Daies of the week, how anciently named from the Planets. 330

    Daies of the year, how they increase and decrease. 350

    Daies anciently held to be ominous or unfortunate. 352

Declination of the Sun. 350,351

Deer. 156,157

Deformities specifical not to be granted. 217

Delos the Isle, why said to be in the midst of the earth. 350

Deluge, whether universal. 369

    Mentioned by heathen Authors. Ibid.

    At what age of the world it was. 364,365

The Deity. 40

Demosthenes, why said to be the son of a Black-smith. 456

Denarius, or the penny of the Gospel, what 298

Devils illusion.

    1. that there is no god 41

    2. that there are many. Ibid

    3. that himself is god. 42

    4.that he is left then angels or men. 44

    5.that he is nothing at all. Ibid.

    6. by Dreams, stars and meteors. 42 augures 47

    8. by Philters, /ligaments and charms. 48

Devil painted white, by whom 407

Dextral activity, whence it is. 239

Diamond whether broken in goats blood. 91

Didrachmum, what 441

Differences of hours. 84

Diodorus Siculus 370

Diogenes Cynicus. 268

    Diogenes his Tub. 318

Diomedes his horses 24

Dionysus Heracleoticus. 268

Dionisius Petavius. 337

Dioscordes, his Character. 32

Diseases determined by seasons. 280

    Diseases Chronical and acute. 282

Dissolution of bodies concrete. 55

Dogs, how they single out their masters in the dark. 253

    The variety of their shape and colours. 404

Dog-star 274,275,276,280,401

Dog-days 273.

    Why so hot. 279

Dolphins. 287

Dooms-day. 345

Dove. 141,142,143,

Drachma what. 440

Dragon, how destroyed by Daniel. 3

Dreams. 42,43

Drowning 246,247

Drunkeness statary, or to be tipled once a moneth, whether it be healthfull 326

    How caused 113

Dyars their Art 413

Dyet of the Ancients 212

    Of the Tartars ibid.

Ear tinglings. 321

Earthquakes , how they are caused 198

The Earth, how ‘tis a Magnetical body. 62

    Earth habitable in all parts of it. 354

    How peopled before the flood 369,370,371

    Earths motion, one instance against it 463

East and West in nature 380,381

    Gesticulations towards the East 384,385

Education 39

Effluxions coporeal 63


    Eggshell, why it must be broken, when the meat is out. 321

Electrical bodies, what 86

    Differences in attracting. Ibid.

    How performed 87

Elderberies whether poyson or not. 117

Elephant 135,136,137,156,307

    Elephants, their docility. 138,138

    Their age commonly. 372

    Their trunk for what it serves them. 449

Elias the Rabbin 338

Elves-locks 323

Emblemes of a Guardian. 164

Of fecundity. 319

Of abortion. Ibid.

Of Deformity. Ibid.

Emblem of superstition. 321

Ephialites, or the night-mare.330

Epicurians. 42

Epicurius, his life and manners. 461

    His doctrine of felicity. 462

Epiphanius. 15

Errors in 5 speches in scripture before the deluge. 6,7

    13 Errors about Christ 45,46

Eternity. 293

Etymologies ridiculous 105

Eve. 1,2,291

    Why she wondered not at the Serpent speaking 290,291

Eunuchs. 157

Euripus what it is. 447

Whether that of Eubea or Negroponte, ebbs and flows is pretended. 444

Fabbi of Rome their story, what may be thought of it. 463

Fables Poetical.explicated. 24

Fallacies in words and deeds. 13,14

Famianus Strada a Jesuit. 85

Fascination. 152

Fasting. 199

Faith, Theological what it is. 465

Fear. 155

Hydrophobia or Fear of water upon biting of a mad dog. 283

Figure of nan erect, what 229

What Seiante or sitting? Ibid.

Figures of things whence.

Fire Culinary, or of the kitchin. 199

    Striking fire. Ibid.

Flesh not commonly eaten before the flood. 209

Flies. 221,224

Fluctus decumanus, or the tenth wave. 458

Food, possibly sufficient without eating flesh. 209

Forbidden fruit. 419

Formation in the matrix or womb. 149

Franciscus Sanctius. 29

Frogs. 171,172

Frier Bacon, the mysterie of his brazen head. 461

Fuligo, properly what. 409

Fumus what. 410

Galen. 10,28

    Galens honest intentions in his discourses of poisons. 468

Galilaeus, his Systema mundi 447

Gall of beasts. 139

Ganges the river. 389

Genealogies, those in H.Scripture differently reckoned. 265

Generation. 157,168,452

    Generation by gelded Animals. 241

    Generation by the devil not probable. 452

    Generations aequivoval, yet regular. 107

Genius, or the natural inclination of men, where especially to be regarded. 20

Geographers, not any compleat, or describing all the habitable parts of the earth 379

Geryon and Cerberus. 24

Gihon the river, Gen.2. how lost. 387

Dr. Gilbert commended. 70

Ginger what it is, and how made. 109

Girdle, its symbolical signification. 323

    Brides-Girdle. 321

Glass. 55,92.

    Glass what made of. 76

    Venice glass not broken by poyson. Ibid.

    Whether it be poyson. 92

    Whether malleable. 93

Glow-worm 222,223

Goat. 156,319,327.

    Goats blood. 91

Gold, whether a cordiall. 94

    Its swimming in Quicksilver. 451

Gold potable. 170

Goropius Becanus. 204

Graecia Mendax. 23

Grasshopper. 288,289

Mr. Greaves, his description of the Pyramids. 393

Gregorian Account. 352

Griffins. 163,164

Gunpowder its ingredients. 97

    Its Rarefaction in Gunns to what proportion. Ibid.

    Gunpowder which makes no reports, whether possibl. 70,98

Gypsies, their original. 414

    First known in Germany. Ibid.

Emissaries or Spies of the Grand Signior. 415

Hand, right and left 237,238

Hand-gout. 237

Hares, 182,183

- Hare and cabbage, Cato’s diet. 211

- The Indian Hare. 404

Heart of man, how placed. 231,232

Hebrew language. 528

Hector. 307

Dr. Heilins history of St. George. 313

Henry the Emperour, probably not poysoned in the Chalice. 467

Heraclitus his folly. 467

Hercules. 318

Heresies touching our B. Saviour. 45,46

Hermaphrodites. 169,185

Herod. 11

Herodotus Halicarnssaeus, his Character. 31

Hevelius, his Selenography or description of the Moon. 416

Hieroglyphicks, whose Invention. 38

- Hieroglyphicks of the Deity. 325

- Of Love. 421

- Of Fertility. 423

    Authors Hieroglyphical. 38

Hippocrates 21,279

    His Aphorisms. 380

Hollanders. 352

Homers death. 448

Horn, what it signifies Hieroglyphically. 301

Horizon rational and sensible. 354,355

Horse. 139

    Horse kicked by a wolf. 319

    Horses 280000 brought into field by Ninus,500000, by Semiramis. 372

Hugo Grotius commended. 28

Hum-bird in America, a bird little bigger then a beetle. 390

Hysop on the wall. 431

Ianus and Noah, by some taken for the same person. 377

Ice to be made at any time. 55

Idolatry, 11,12,13

Jepthah (Jud.11) killed not by his daughter. 309

Jeronymus Cardanus his Character. 36

Jews-ear. 116

Jews. 253

    How dispersed 254
    Some of their tribe quite lost. Ibid.
    Uncertain in their Chronologie, or account of their times. 336
    Why prescribed in their dyet. 211
    Not generally of any ill favour. 253,254
    Commonly of counsell to the Turks great Others, or Bvashas. Ibid.
    Their Captivities. 341
    Their Intercalary moneth. 349
    Their sedulity to preserve their Bible entire. 339
    Their Malignity against the Septuagint. 340
    Wandering Jew, his story. 460

Imagination the power therof. 402

Imposters. 1

Improlification or Barrenness in Women one cause of it. 452

Ink how made. 411,412

Insects. 114,222,223

Intercalation of dayes. 272

Intoxication. 113

Johannes Tzerzes his Character. 35

Job, an Idumaen or of the race of Esau. 424

Sr. John Mandevil, his Character. 32

St. John Baptist, his dyet what 435

St. John the Evangelist, his death 437

    Why natural, and not by martyrdom. 438

    When he wrote his Revelation. Ibid.

    How long he survived our B. Saviour. 439

    Cast into a caldron of burning oyl. ibid.

    Comming out untoucht. ibid.

    His Reliques at Ephesus doing cures. ibid.

    Jonah's gourd. 431

Josephus 369

Jovius, his Character. 32

Ireland. 409

    Spiders observed in Ireland. 452

Iron, its verticity. 65,66,,202

Isaac,at what age he should have been sacrificed. 300

Ishmael. 424

Isidorus Hispalensis. 35

Islands, whether any before the flood. 379

    Sundry Islands came to be stored with Animals. 404

Ithmum perfoder 394

Italy. 405

Judas whether he hang'd himself. 441

Judgements by urin. 11

Julia. 185

Julian account. 352

Julian the Apostate. 10

Julius Solinus his Character. 23,33

Ivy cup its property. 117

Sr. Kenelm Digby, commended 88,89

King of Serpents. 150

Kings of Collein. 434

Kings-fisher. 161

Kiranides, his Character. 30,35

Kircherus commended. 70,85

Knowledge intuitive, or that of Spirits. 50

Lamech. 7

Lamp. 197

Lampries. 189

Laughter, what kind of passion. 453

- The kinds of laughter. 454.

- Whether our B. Saviour never laughed. ibid.

Lead. 201

Leandro his description of Italy. 445

Learning and arts primitively from whence. 386

Leeches. 93

Levinus Lemnius 70,433

Licetus commended. 103

Lightning without Thunder why. 98

Limmon. 412

Line Ecliptick. 354

Liquation or melting. 57

Livia. 153

Livie's Ox. 464

Loadstone its verticity. 66,67

- not known to antiquity. 68

- its inclination. 67

- Declination and variation. 68

 - causes of this variety. 69

- the change of this variety. ibid

- its attraction not hindered by garlick or a diamond. 74

- whether it attracts any thing but Iron. 76

- how to preserve it. ibid

- how destroyed. ibid.

- errors of attraction in Loadstones. 77

- whether it can suspend a body in the ayr. 80

Loadstone powder what operation. ibid.

    whether it cures the gout. 81

Longevity of Animals, how collected. 156,157

Longomontanus 342

Lots wife,her transformation. 441

Lubim. 406

Lucian. 23

Lues venerea, wher it first began. 404

Lupus est in fabula. 155

Lybia, its driness 401

Mace, that is the skin of a nutmeg.109

Macrocephali, or people with long heads 403

Macroscelism or slender legs, how happen 308

Mahomet 10,11,16,18,38.

- Mahomets Camel 464

- Mahomets tomb hangs not in the ayr 79

- Mahomtans, partaking of all religion.384

Magi, or the Wise men (Mat.2.) what manner of Kings they might be. 434

    Magnes carneus. 73

Magneticall, body what 62

    Effects,  how wrought 63

    Rocks, whether Magneticall 79

    Magnetisms pretended,83,84,85

Man, his growth and decrement, how proportioned 351

Whether Mans body be Magneticall 77

Mandrake, imposture about the root. 107

    How produced.107

    Whether it endangerth life to pull it up. Ibid

Magots turne into flyes.114

Manna. 432

Marcellus Empericus, a Plagiarie. 23

Marcus Leo the Jew. 338

St. Mark where he wrote his Gospel. 299

Marrow Spinal, what it is. 386

Mauritania and the coast of Africk, ny whom peopled at first. 378

Mears, peculiar to some Nations, through custom or supersticion. 211,212,213


Medea 24

Meditation upon the Passion.438

Men, lighter before sleep, then after; dead then alive; in Summer then in Winter.248

Mercurialis, his Gymnastica commended 136, 293

The Meridian. 68

Nayles, how to be made red. 466

- Nayl-spots, whether significative 327

Nordus pisticus, Mar.14 or the ointment in the Gospel, of what composition. 431

Names ridiculously derived.105,116

    Names cause of errors.61

Nations, generally now mixt by Commerce or Conquest.254

Nativites, why taken from the ascendent.383

Navill, what it is, and for what use 291

    Navil of Birds, Snakes, of Poriwiggles,&c. 293

Nazarite, by birt, or by vow. 441

Neck of Animals, how contrived by Nature, and for what. 448

Negroes, their blackness 397,398,399

    The particular causes thereof 402,403

    Negroes in America, not Indigene, or Natives of that Countrey.399

Nerves, whence they spring.235

    Nerves of taste. 448

Nicander, his Character.34

Nidor, properly what.409

Nierembergius a Jesuit, his conceit of man. 76

Niger, a river in Africa.389

Nigromancy in raysing spirits, souls &c. rejected.42

Nightingale, the tongue how fashioned.450

    Why said to sit with its breast against a Thorn.228

Nilus, the river, its Ostiaries, or severall fallings into the sea. 387,388

    What causeth its overflowing. 162,391

    Some years it overflows not. 392

Ninus, and Assur mentioned , Gen.10 the same person 376

Noah’s Ark, wher it first rested.386

Noah, whether he knew the effect of wine, before he was overtaken. 326

    Noah and Saturne , held to be the same person.429

Northern passsage to the Indies.69

Noses, the Moorish, the Persian, the Roman. 408

Numbers, their mysterious or supersticious consideration 260,261


Nutrition, of what qualities the ailment must be.195

Oates 183

Object, why sometimes appearing double. 192

Observations superticious 321,322

Oestridge, how it eats Iron. 200

Olas Magus. 78,399

Olympiads, in what year of the world they began. 370

Ophir, what place. 71

Opium, its effect in venery.433

Oppan, his Character. 34

Opticks, a Maxime in them.353

Oracles .15

    Their ceasing.422

    The acknowledged cause thereof. Ibid

    Oracle of Praneste, of Antium, of Delphos. 442

Oreglian, a river in America. 389

Orestes 10

Organs, in the intention of Nature infer the action proper for them.188,193

    Organ of taste.448

Orgasmus, what 180

Oribasius, Physitian to Julian.116

A Plagarie , or Transcriber of Galen 23

Orpheus, his Harp.24

Osorius 137

Osyris, and Mizraim mentioned, Gen 10. the same person 377

Ovid, a plagaries of whom.23

Ovum decumanum, the reason of the proverb 458

Owl, an ominous bird. 320

Palmestrie 327

Palmes, on which side most commonly they happen.242

Panama, an Isthmus in America 394

Pancirollus 70

Paracelsus, his Character. 29

    At what age he died.170

    Pretending a possibility of making men immortal. Ibid

Parricide, its punishment. 178

Parysatis, her poysoned knife.459

Passages of meat and drink.249,250


Passion, Irascible, Concupiscible, whence they rise. 142

Pausanias, his description of Greece. 445

Peacock 217

Pedantism 25

Pedamontanus 36

Pelican 285,286

People of Rome.12

St. Peter crucified.438

Petrcius, what it signifieth.373

Phaenicians, their several plantations or Colonies.378

    Whence descended 395

Phoenix, the bird. 165,166

Philes, his Character.35

Philosophers Stone, not improbable to be procured.170

Philoxenus his wish.448

    His Incivility.449

Phlebotomies,or letting blood.236

Physick, better prepared now , then anciently 282

Picture, of our B. Saviour, with long hair 229


    Of the four Evangelists 303

    Of the Sibyls 304

    Of Cleopatra 305

    Of the nine Worthies 306

    Of Jeptha 308

    Of St. John Baptist 311

    Of St. Christopher 312

    Of St. George 313

    Of Saint Hieronymus 314

    Of Mermaids, Unicorns &c. 316

Pigmies, no such people 257,258

Pineda 71

Pismire 224

Pitch, why black, and Rosin not so.410

Plagarism, or transcribing of Authors 23

A list of Plagaries ibid.

Planets 330,331

    Planets, or wandering stars, more then seven 262

Plants, whence probably, they receive their colours. 413

    Whether all have seed 114

Plate, a river in America 389

Plato 184,268

    His objection against the Pythagorean Metempsychosis 368

Pleiades, more then seven 262

Pleurisies 233

Pliny, his Character 33

Poets 39

Poisons 152

    No poisons, but hath its Antidote in Nature 459

Poisonous Animals, why not found in some Countries 460

Poles Northern and Aouthern, what they be.381

Polytheism or muliplicity of Gods. 41

Pompey 16

Popes, why commonly they change their names at their creation 454

Pope Joan, a suspected storie 461

Story of Hildebrand, or Pope Gregory 7th partially reported ibid.

Popular imperfections taxed 8,9,19

Popular error, from difficulties to conclude impossiblities 451

Porwiggles 173

Positions of the body 176

Pox. 255

Prarcolus 15

Predictions Augurial &c. whence they came. 47

Presages, from Spiders, Magots, deceitfull 114

Perga Dio, or the praying Locust of province.230

Priests, why they washed their feet commonly before Sacrifice. 324

Prester John, or the Emperour of Ethiopia 404

Procopius, his Arcana historia, an invective against Justinian 457

Progression of Animals. 135

Proportion betwixt the face and neck.449

Providence of Nature.194

Ptolomy, where he was born.388

Pythagoras, his allegoricall precepts morallized 14

    His precepts concerning Fish. 211

Quailes 228

Quince 412

Quinsay, a City in China 390

Rabbins 7,168,184

Radishes 183

Rahab, whether a harlot in the worst sense. 301

Rainbow, how produced.425

    The Lunary Rainbow 426

    Rainbow, how proper for the signification it beareth . ibid

    Colours of the Rainbow 427

Rain water 198 Wheat 115

Raven, an ominous bird. 320

Ragmund Sebund, his Theologia naturalis commended.28

Reason 3,27

Red-sea, what, and why so called 395

Religion, not to be compelled. 46,56

Remora a fish 227

Revenge, how prodigiously acted by an Italian 467

Reward of vertue and vice 40

Ribs how many commonly in men and women 422

Ridiculous receipts in Physick.30

Rings 234

    Rings, Bracelets, Jewels &c. how diversly worn 408

    Gyges his Ring 464

    Ring-finger 234

Rivers and estuaries, why subject to such violent flows 447

Rose of Jericho 112

Romes proper name unknown why 12

Under the Rose, the reason of the Proverb. 322

Sabbaton Deuteroproton, Luke. 6

What Sabbath it was 349


Salmasius commended. 273

Salomon. 7

Salt. 257

- The falling of Salt. 221

    Salt-peter, how made, its effects 97

    Salts 397

    Spirits of Salt. 54,413

    Salt waters bearing more weight then fresh.451

Samaritans, their care to preserve the Pentateuch, or five books of Moses.337

    Samaritan Chronology. Ibid.

Sammonicus 30

Sap of trees, how it nourisheth 115

Satan, his practises 6,15,40,41,42,43,49,290,443

    How he fell 51

Saturnius Egypticus and Cham, Gen. 10 the same person 377

Savours unpleasant in some men, whence possibly arising. 253

Scaliger 239

Scepticism censured 18

Schoolmen, a query among them concernning the ressurection of women 185

H. Scripture. 37,46.

    Translation of H. Scripture. 339

Scutcheons of the twelve Tribes. 302

    Antiquity of bearing Scutcheons.304

Scythians. 335

    Why commonly subject to the Sciatica or hip-gout.308

Seasons of the year, how made and distinguished.353

    Necessary for the production of things.354

Sea, its ebbing and flowing.446

    How possibly caused by the Moon. Ibid.

    How unequal in some seas. 447

Sebastian Cabor. 69

Seed, an Idea of the whole Animal contained in every part of it. 423

Sem, whether the eldest son of Noah. 428

Semiramis, her army against the Indians. 379

Senag, a river. 399

Sense from the brain. 190

Septuagint translation of the Bible 339

    Its primitive authority and credit. Ibid

    Since impaired. Ibid.

Seraglio, the daily provision therof. 456

Serapis. 202

Serpent tempting Eve. 289,421

Serpents bicipitous. 177

Servius Commentary upon Virgil commended. 263

Sferra Cavallo, its pretended properties. 112

Shekel, that of the Sanctuary. 440

Sibyls. 304

Side, right and left in man. 240

Sight. 152

Silly-how, what it is. 325

Sin of the fruit, not first sin.2

Sitting coss-leg’d 322

Smal-coal, how made, of what use in Gun-powder. 97


    Smoak of Sulphur. 410

Snakes. 226

Snayls. 191,199


    Customs observed upon Sneezing. 252

Snow. 58

Spaniards, their Nation how ancient. 377,378

Speech, not by any natural instinct, but by imitation or instruction. 335

Spermatical parts. 160

Spider 220

Spigelius commended. 172

Spirits, those in Animals, what manner of substance they be. 248

Sponge. 93

Stars, their Ascent Heliacal, and Cosmical, what they be. 276

    Their Longitude what it is. 278

    Their Declination, what. Ibid.

    The seven Stars. 317

    Fixed Stars. 417

Stater, Matth. 17. what piece of money it was 441

Statists. 12

Steel. 63,64

Stirrops, their use not ancient. 307

Stoicks. 42

Stomack 176

Stones fusible 55

    Stone in the kidneys or blader, how bred. 90

    Stones retaining light in darkness.103

    Eagle Stone, of what vertue. Ibid.

Stork. 218

Stories suspected

    Of Cocles, Sevola, of Curtius,

    Of Archimedes his sphere

    Of the Amazons

    Upon the taking of Babylon

    Of the Catadupae

    Of Democritus and Heraclitus &c. 463,464

    Stories indiscreetly transmitted, what mischief they do to posterity. 468

Suetonius. 136

Sugar. 96

Sun, its site and motion, how admirably accomodated by God, to the necessities and state of the inferior world, 353,354,355.

    By what motion it makes the day, by what the year. Ibid

    Its Veneticall motion, what.ibid

    Its motion unequall, and how. 400

    How seen sometimes after it is set. 416

Superfoetation what 185

    Possible in women, unto a perfect birth. Ibid.

Supinity taxed. 17

Swallows 328

Swans 216, 217

Swimming, the faculty not to be lost by disuse. 245

Siracusia, or the Galleon of King Hiero 464

Tainct, an insect, whether so dangerous to cattell as ‘tis thought . 222

Taliacotius, his art 84, 160

Tamerlane how descended. 455

    Whence said to be the son of a shepheard ibid.

Tarantula, what. 227

Temperancy, of the modern Jews 255

Temple at Ephesus how long in building. 464

Tenariffa, an hill of the Canaries. 390

Tertullian. 165

Thargum. 2

Thomas Fazelli, his description of Sicilie commended. 377

Throat, the passages therof. 250

Thunder, how caused. 98

The thorne at Glassenbury. 112

Time. 346

    Time, what it is. 166

    Anciently how measured. 315

    The three great distinctions of time since the creation.

Adelon, Mythicon,Historicon, what they import. 369,370

Toads. 171,220

Torpedo. 223

Torrid Zone. 26

Tranparency of bodies, whence. 60

Triclinium, or the Table on which our B. Saviour instituted the Eucharist, reported to be at Rome. 297

Trinum Magicum. 36

Tropicks. 346,401

Truths in things, what 4

Tulips, never bearing a blew 398

Turnebus 71, 321

Turneps. 183

Tyger the Animall, nothing so swift as hath been though. 227

Tzertes,his Character 35

Variation of the compass, what it is . 68

    The particular causes of the Variation. Ibid. 69,75

    In some places none at all. 386

Ubiquity of God. 5

Venery 157

Verdigreese 412

Vespasian 50

Vegetables, their vertue impaired by the flood. 209

Vices epidemicall, or a general succession of them in all ages. 21

Vincentius Belluacensis, his Character. 35

Violl-string moved upon the touch of another. 466

Viper. 178, 306

Virgil, a Plagarie of whom. 23

Vision Beatifical 7

Vitriol 411, 412, 413

Umbrae at feasts, who they were. 294

Unguentum armarium 85

Unicorn 202,203

    Unicorns-horn, that commonly us’d in England, what 264

Universities 20

Vossius 301

Urinal, its forcing a nail through a plank. 466

Vultures, whether all females , as hath been reported. 319

Water, and watry humidity only freezeth. 54

Weight. 247

    Weight of men 248

Whelps 219

White-powder 99

Wine, how spoiled by Thunder. 113

    Whether good to be drunke once a moneth. 326

Witches 45

Wolf, a disease 256

Wolf the Animal. 155

    Wolves, why said to live in England 452

Women, changed into men. 183,184

Wormes 153,221

Wood, petrifying, or turning into stone. 54

Writing, the more ancient way. 319

Xenocrates Platonicus 268

Xerxes his Army, how probably said to drink up rivers. 462

Year Solary 271

    Year Lunary ibid.

    Year differently measured 271

    How divided 346

Zenith, what. 68

    Its certain distance from the Horizon. 355

Zeno his paradox. 18

Zodiack, the line of life. 351

Zone, the Torrid Zone whence conceived to be inhabitable 451, 452