Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

The Hiſtory of Life and Death. wife of Monomachus, and reigned alone after her deceaſe) lived above eighty years: a pragmatical woman, and one that took delight in Governing; fortunate in the higheſt
degree, and through her good fortunes credulous,



We will proceed now from theſe Secular Princes to the princes in the Church. St. John, an Apoſtle of our saviour, and the Beloved Diſciple, lived ninety three years. He was rightly denoted under the Emblem of the Eagle, for his piercing ſight into
the Divinity; and was a seraph amongſt the Apoſtles in reſpect of his burning Love. St. Luke the Evangeliſt fulfilled fourſcore and four years: an eloquent man, and a
Traveller, St. Paul’s inſeparable Companion, and a Phyſician, Simeon the ſon
of Cleophas, called the Brother of our Lord, and Biſhop of feruſalem, lived an hun-
dred and twenty years though he was cut ſhort by Martyrdom: a ſtout man, and
conſtant, and full of good works. Polycarpus, Diſciple unto the Apoſtles, and
Biſhop of smyrna, ſeemeth to have extended his age to an hundred years and more; though he were alſo cut off by Martyrdom: a man of an high mind, of an heroi-
cal patience, and unwearied with labours. Dyoniſius Areopagita, Contemporary
to the Apoſtle St. Paul, lived ninety years: he was called the Bird of Heaven
for his high flying Divinity, and was famous as well for his holy life as for his
Meditations. Aquilla and Priſcilla, firſt St. Paul the Apoſtle’s Hoſts, After ward
his Fellow helpers, lived together in a happy and famous Wedlock at leaſt to an
hundred years of age a piece; for they were both alive under Pope Xiſtus the firſt: a noble Pair, and prone to all kind of charity, who amongſt other their com-
forts (which no doubt were great unto the firſt Founders of the Church) had this
added, to enjoy each other ſo long in an happy marriage. St. Paul the Hermite
lived an hundred and thirteen years: now he lived in a Cave; his diet was ſo flender
and ſtrict, that it was thought almoſt impoſſible to ſupport humane nature there-
withal: he paſſed his years onely in Meditations and Soliloquies; yet he was notilli-
terate or an Idiot, but learned. St. Anthony, the firſt Founder of Monks, or (as
ſome will have it) the Reſtorer onely, attained to an hundred and five years of age: a man devout and contemplative, though not unfit for Civil affairs; his life
was auſtere and mortifying, notwithſtanding he lived in a kind of glorious ſoli-
tude; and exerciſed a command, for he had his Monks under him. And beſides,
many Chriſtians and Philoſophers came to viſit him as a living Image, from which
they parted not without ſome adoration. St. Athanaſius exceeded the term of eighty
years: a man of an invincible conſtancy, commanding fame, and not yielding
to Fortune: he was free to wards the Great ones, with the People gracious and
acceptable, beaten and practiſed to oppoſitions, and in delivering himſelf from them
ſtout and wiſe. St. Hierom, by the conſent of moſt Writers, exceeded ninety years of
age: a man powerful in his Pen, and of a manly Eloquence, variouſly learned both
in the Tongues and Sciences, alſo a Traveller, and that lived ſtrictly towards his old
age, in an eſtate private, and not dignified; he bore high Spirits, and ſhined far out of



The Popes of Rome are in number to this day two hundred forty and one. Of ſo great
a number five onely have attained to the age of fourſcore years, or upwards. But in
many of the firſt Popes their full age was intercepted by the Prerogative and Crown
of Martyrdom. John the twenty third, Pope of Rome, fulfilled the ninetieth year oſ his
age: a man of an unquiet diſpoſition, and one that ſtudied novelty: he altered ma-
ny things, ſome to the better, others onely to the new, a great accumulator of Riches
and Treaſures. Gregory, called the twelfth, created in Schiſm, and not fully acknow-
ledged pope, died at ninety years: of him, in reſpect of his ſhort Papacy, we find no-
thing to make a judgment upon. Paul the third lived eighty years and one: a tempe-
rate man, and of a profound wiſdom: he was Learned, an Aſtrologer, and one that
tended his health carefully; but, after the example of old Eli the Prieſt, over-indul-
gent to his Family. Paul the fourth attained to the age of eighty three years: a man of
an harſh nature and ſevere, of an haughty mind and imperious, prone to anger; his
ſpeech was eloquent and ready. Gregory the thirteenth fulſilled the like age of eighty
three years: an abſolute goodman, ſound in mind and body, politick, temperate, full of
good works, and an alms-giver.



Thoſe that follow are to be more promiſcuous in their order, more doubtful in their
faith, and more barren of obſervation. King Arganthenius, who reigned at Cadiz in


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