The garden of Cyrus (Google eBook)

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printed in the year, 1736 - Gardening - 40 pages
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Not on Gardening whatsoever but in fact the supreme work of Hermetic philosophy in 17th century English literature. This Google edition is the 1736 edition which omits the last 2 chapters. A good example of how Browne's mysticism was rejected in the 'Age of Reason'. W, A. Greenhill in 1911 lists it thus -
F. 1736 8vo London Curill (Price 1s. 6d ).
Title - " Hydriotaphia: or Urn-Burial. Two Discouses of the Sepulchral Urns found in Norfolk, 1658 and 1667".
Contains also the Brampton Urns, and chapters 1,2 and 3 of the Garden of Cyrus. The first chapter of the Urn-Burial is called the Introduction, and chapters 2 to 5 are called sections 1 to 4. Probably rather scarce. Sixth edition, though in the title-page wrongly described as the fourth. (British Museum).
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The Garden of Cyrus was first published in the peak year of publications on the Cabala, Rosicrucian, astrology, Paracelsus and Jacob Boehme (1658). Interest in such topics occurred during a period of Endzeitpsychosis and relaxation of printing licenses in the Interregnum or Protectorate of Cromwell (1649-1660).
The script on frontispiece 'This is part 2 of Hydriotaphia' dated 1736' is good evidence that the 2 Discourses of 1658 are in fact a diptych which mirror each other in theme, imagery and truths, as Frank Huntley first noted in 1963.
The Garden of Cyus may be the obverse and not the obverse of the literary coin forged by Browne.
Interesting to compare it with my 1658 edition of 'Pseudodoxia Epidemica' which has the two discourses appended to it in this order -First the two dedicatory epistles of each Discourse, followed by Urn then Cyrus.
This edition ends after chapter 3 with stamp-prints, but there should be 2 more chapters. Chapter 4 consisting of 34 paragraphs and chapter 5 14 chapters, all missing. Why this book is incomplete with colophons occurring after chapter 3 is probably due to the fact that the running title states artificially, naturally and mystically considered..
The same colophon of a crown occurs on opening page and after chapter 3.
Chapters one and two, the quincunx artificially considered.
Chapter three, the quincunx naturally considered.
Chapters four and five (not included here) the quincunx mystically considered.As stated before, a good example how editors even to this day have edited to reinforce their own prejudices. This continues to the present day (NYRB 2011 introduction by Stephen Greenblatt who erroneously publishes Urn-Burial WITHOUT its diptych companion , The Garden of Cyrus).
Of further interest title the title page here states Quincunxial- Lozenge, and not as has been erroneously duplicated ever since Quincunxiall, Lozenge. Not two separate sub-titles but one as in my 1658 first edition. It's the quincunxial Lozenge which Browne is writing on, NOT the Quincunxiall and Lozenge.
So all in all Google have screwed-up big time here, making available an edition of only 3 chapters of a 5 chaptered book. Incomplete therefore useless.
 

Review: The Garden of Cyrus

User Review  - Kevin - Goodreads

Just how Sir Thomas Browne's discourse The Garden of Cyrus (1658) has not been recognised as one of the greatest examples of hermetic philosophy remains a mystery. The very opening page of Browne's ... Read full review

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Page 9 - I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees...
Page 3 - From whence overlooking Babylon, and all the region about it, he found no circumscription to the eye of his ambition ; till over-delighted with the bravery of this Paradise, in his melancholy metamorphosis he found the folly of that delight, and a proper punishment in the contrary habitation — in wild plantations and wanderings of the fields.
Page v - That in this garden discourse, we range into extraneous things, and many parts of art and nature, we follow herein the example of old and new plantations, wherein noble spirits contented not themselves with trees, but by the attendance of aviaries, fish-ponds, and all variety of animals they made their gardens the epitome of the earth, and some resemblance of the secular shows of old.
Page 2 - ... and but some hours after the earth. Of deeper doubt is its topography and local designation; yet being the primitive garden, and without much controversy seated in the east, it is more than probable the first curiosity, and cultivation of plants, most flourished in those quarters.
Page 30 - Among the problems proposed by that true-spirited but eccentric philosopher, Sir Thomas Browne, is one, " Why, among Sea-stars, Nature chiefly delighteth in five points ?" and in his Garden of Cyrus he observes, "By the same number (five) doth Nature divide the circle of the Sea-star, and in that order and number disposeth those elegant semicircles or dental sockets and eggs in the Sea Hedge-hog.
Page 20 - ... leaves in the head of the common and prickled artichoke, wherein the black and shining flies do shelter themselves, when they retire from the purple flower about it. The same is also found in the pricks, sockets, and impressions of the seeds, in the pulp or bottom thereof; wherein do elegantly stick the fathers of their mother : to omit the quincuncial specks on the top of the...
Page iv - You have been so long out of trite learning, that 'tis hard to finde a subject proper for you; and if you have met with a Sheet upon this, we have missed our intention. In this multiplicity of writing, bye and barren Themes are best fitted for invention; Subjects so often discoursed confine the Imagination, and fix our conceptions unto the notions of fore-writers. Beside, such Discourses allow excursions, and venially admit of collaterall truths, though at some distance from their principals.

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