While we look for incorruption in the heavens, we find that they are but like the earth;--durable in their main bodies, alterable in their parts; whereof, beside comets and new stars, perspectives begin to tell tales, and the spots that wander about the sun, with Phæton's favour, would make clear conviction.There is nothing strictly immortal, but immortality.
But man is a noble animal, splendid in ashes, and pompous in the grave, solemnizing nativities and deaths with equal lustre, nor omitting ceremonies of bravery in the infamy of his nature.
Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us.
Best free online version to be found, printed and read here:
Of course, one could also simply purchase his complete works..hint...
Throughout history, some books have changed the world.
They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other.And since death must be the Lucina of life, and even Pagans6 could doubt, whether thus to live were to die; since our longest sun sets at right descensions, and makes but winter arches, and therefore it cannot be long before we lie down in darkness, and have our light in ashes; since the brother of death daily haunts us with dying mementoes, and time that grows old in itself, bids us hope no long duration;--diuturnity is a dream and folly of expectation.Darkness and light divide the course of time, and oblivion shares with memory a great part even of our living beings; we slightly remember our felicities, and the smartest strokes of affliction leave but short smart upon us.A small fire sufficeth for life, great flames seemed too little after death, while men vainly affected precious pyres, and to burn like Sardanapalus; but the wisdom of funeral laws found the folly of prodigal blazes and reduced undoing fires unto the rule of sober obsequies, wherein few could be so mean as not to provide wood, pitch, a mourner, and an urn.This was the book that got me hooked on Sir Thomas Browne.In vain do individuals hope for immortality, or any patent from oblivion, in preservations below the moon; men have been deceived even in their flatteries, above the sun, and studied conceits to perpetuate their names in heaven.