ΝΕΚΡΟΚΗΔΕΙΑ; Or, the Art of Embalming; Wherein Is Shewn the Right of Burial, and Funeral Ceremonies, Especially That of Preserving Bodies After the Egyptian Method. Together With an Account of the Egyptian Mummies, Pyramids, Subterranean Vaults and Lamps,
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Art of Embalming;
Wherein is shewn
The Right of Burial,
And the several Ways of
Preserving Dead Bodies
Most Nations of the WORLD.
With an Account of
The particular Opinions, Experiments and Inventions of modern Physicians, Surgeons, Chymists and Anatomists.
Some new Matter propos’d concerning a better Method of Embalming than hath hitherto been discover’d.
A Pharmacopœia Galeno-Chymica, Anatomia sicca sive incruenta, &c.
To the Right Honourable
Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery;Baron Herbert of Caerdiff; Lord Rosse,Par, Marmion, St. Quintin and Shurland;Lord Lieutenant of the County ofWilts and South-Wales; Knight of themost Noble Order of the Garter, andPresident of Her Majesties most HonourablePrivy Council.
I count it no small Happiness, in anAge so Censorious as this, to havefound a Patron so universally admir’d,that I am under no apprehensionof being thought a Flatterer,should I make use of and indulge all theLiberty of a profest Panegyrist; butthat is what a sense of my own Inabilityand Your Lordship’s Modesty forbids:It is sufficient for me, that, under YourLordship’s known Learning in Antiquityand History, both Antient and Modern,my weak Endeavours at restoringa lost Science may be secure from theAssaults of the Envious or the Ignorant.
I have nothing to fear from the Animositiesof Parties, since how inveteratesoever they may be against each other,yet they all agree in this one Point, toEsteem and Honour Your Lordship, whoare the Atticus of the Times, by YourVirtues endear’d to all sides, and eachbelieving that not to Value Your Lordship,would be to discover such anaversion to Honour and Virtue as theworst of Men would abhor.
Your Virtues, my Lord, are so conspicuous,that they give you that Naturaland Rational Right to true Nobility,which the Roman Satyrist so justlyexprest:
I will not dispute whether or no there beany Intrinsic Value in a long Descent,or whether that be deriv’d from the necessityof a Subordination essential toGovernment, or else from the just Rewardof Virtue, which ennobles all thePosterity of the Possessors of it, it beinghere a very useless Disquisition sinceYour Lordship’s Family is of so veryhigh an Original that none can boast agreater Antiquity, and that Your Lordshipis possest of all that Merit which firstdistinguish’d Man from Man, and gave aPreeminence to the Deserving. Amongall the Excellencies which thus dignifieYour Lordship’s Character, perhaps thereis none more eminent than Your Protectionand Encouragement of Arts andSciences, to which the English World owethe incomparable Mr. Lock’s Essays on HumanUnderstanding, and other Works extreamlybeneficial to the Public. Neitherdo I in the least question but YourLordship’s Protection of so excellent anduseful an Art as Surgery, will render it asflourishing here in England as it is in anyother part of the World. ’Tis true weare not wanting of some extraordinaryProfessors of that Art, but I could alsoheartily wish we had not a greater numberof Bad, and yet perhaps the chiefoccasion of this may be the want of a dueMethod of Encouragement, by whichthe modest Endeavours of young Proficientsare eclips’d, and which (to makea Comparison) like tender Plants, arenipp’d in the Bud and perish for wantof Watering.
Now as the want of Opportunity hasbeen in some respect a prejudice to myBusiness, so also the want of Encouragementhas in a great measure been a hindranceto this Work: For what regret ofMind must it needs occasion, to findnone esteem’d but such as speak Experiencein their Looks, and that Youthshould be despis’d tho’ never so hopefuland industrious, meerly because of a particularnumber of Years, and what aninterruption must it be to our painfulStudies, to think that even the best Performancesof this kind are contemn’dbecause they are chiefly a Collection,when on the contrary it is receiv’d as anestablish’d Maxim, that such as Travelinto Foreign Countries, are not only themost capable to describe them, but alsowhatsoever they relate is look’d upon asthe sole matter of Fact and Truth, whenmany times Business is better transactedby Correspondence, and those that havebeen at the trouble, expence and dangerof Travelling have come home no moreimprov’d than they went out, except inthe Fashions and Levities of the Age, yetare we commonly so imprudent as to valueThings meerly for their coming from afar and at a great deal of Expence; butwhilst we admire those Novelties,