A Svrveigh of Rare and Excellent Matters

Published in 1635 ‘Varieties: Or, A Svrveigh [Survey] of Rare and Excellent Matters, necessary and delectable for all sorts of persons’, contains the author’s knowledge (likely largely derived from other sources) on a whole host of subjects, ranging from the human and earthbound to the celestial. As is the case with so much written work from this long ago, the phraseology leaves even the contents sounding like poetry: chapter headings begin with lines like ‘Of time, whether it be the producer or consumer of things’;’That the mountains, dispersed over the earth, hindreth not the completenesse of its roundess’ and ‘Of flying fishes, if such things may be’ and the various treatise muse on topics as diverse as Meteors; Laughing and Mourning; Armies and Battles; Divine Philosophy; The Numbers Three and Seven; and Salamandra, or The Philosopher’s Stone.

Written by David Person, Printed by Richard Badger for Thomas Alchorn, London, £3,000

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