I was not so curious to entitle the stars unto any concern of his death, yet could not but take notice that
* "Monstra contingunt in medicina." Hippoc.--"Strange and rare escapes there happen sometimes in physick." + Matt. iv. 23.
he died when the moon was in motion from the meri- dian; at which time an old Italian long ago would per- suade 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* 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 apprehen- sibly 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<3> 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 con- fess holdeth in my own. And Scaliger<4> to that purpose hath another from the tip of the ear:+ most men are begotten in the night, animals in the day; but whether more persons have been born in the night or 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 con- tingent 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 com- puted by the natural, not artificial day.
* "Aristoteles nullum animal nisi aestu recedente expirare affirmat; observatum id multum in Gallico Oceano et duntaxat in homine compertum," lib. 2, cap. 101.
+ "Auris pars pendula lobus dicitur, non omnibus ea pars, est auribus; non enim iis qui noctu sunt, sed qui interdiu, maxima ex parte."--Com. in Aristot. de Animal. lib. 1.
That Charles the Fifth<5> was crowned upon the day of his nativity, it being in his own power so to order it, makes no singular animadversion: but that he should also take King Francis<6> prisoner upon that day, was an unexpected coincidence, which made the same remarkable. Antipater, who had an anniversary feast every year upon his birth-day, needed no astro- logical revolution to know what day he should die on. When the fixed stars have made a revolution unto the points from whence they first set out, some of the ancients thought the world would have an end; which was a kind of dying upon the day of its nativity. Now the disease prevailing and swiftly advancing about the time of his nativity, some were of opinion that he would leave the world on the day he entered into it; but this being a lingering disease, and creeping softly on, nothing critical was found or expected, and he died not before fifteen days after. Nothing is more common with infants than to die on the day of their nativity, to behold the worldly hours, and but the fractions thereof; and even to perish before their nativity in the hidden world of the womb, and before their good angel is con- ceived to undertake them. But in persons who out- live many years, and when there are no less than three hundred and sixty-five days to determine their lives in every year; that the first day should make the last, that the tail of the snake should return into its mouth precisely at that time, and they should wind up upon the day of their nativity, is indeed a remarkable coincidence, which, though astrology hath taken witty pains to salve, yet hath it been very wary in making predictions of it.*
In this consumptive condition and remarkable exten-
* According to the Egyptian hieroglyphic.