Page images


508 Sabina.

[Jan. 1, rather to hold my tonigué, Jest I should "of it for little Arbuscula, the dancer, expose myself still more to your raillery · who lives behind the Temple of Peace; and the laughter of your servants; espe- and it is asserted, that among all the cially as you have no occasion for ihe 'remedies for a foul breath, prescribed in secret virtues of this wonderful plant; the works of our Greek masters in the and as Clio told me, when I came in, cosmetic art,* this is the most natural, you have not a moment to lose on my the most effectual, and the most harmgossipping."

less. With respect to the cause of its The crafty Glykerion knew but too extraordinary name, you, perhaps, rewell that this address would only in- collect reading, in the ancient books, leat flame the curiosity of Sabina, and that you some time ago by the priestess of the Roman ladies of distinction were as isis, a tradition relative to the rebellious superstitious, and as easily gave credit smiths of Crete, called Cyclops or Coryto every ridiculous tale, as the lowest of bantes. They slew one of their comtheir slaves. On the very day the fleet rades, or their third brother, as the fable of Egyptian merchant vessels was un has it, covered the head of the deceased laden, she had brought Sabina some bot- with a purple cloth, and buried him at tles of upadulterated Nile-water, with the foot of Mount Olympus.

The parswhich the votary of Isis did not fail the ley is said to have sprung up immediately same evening to sprinkle the statue of from the blood of the sufferer; and for the great goddess in her temple. Nor this reason, in the mysteries and orgies was she deceived in her expectation. of the Corybantes, it has ever been con.

“ Stop. a moment,” said. Sabina, sidered as the greatest of crimes to lay a meanwhile I will have my nails pared. plant of this kind on the sacred table." But tell me how does your good friend “I shall take your chaplet of parsley," 1 At Tusculum contrive to give his parsley exclaimed Sabina, with sparkling eyes, by this admirable curly and frizzled appear " and you shall see that in a few days all ance ? Does he deal in magic?"

Rome will wear chaplets of parsley, as " No doubt,” replied Glykerion," he did our grandmothers fifty years ago, as makes use, in planting, of some secret we are told by Horace." arts, wbich he takes care not to commu The Domina had, in fact, more than nicate. So much, however, I know and one motive for chusing this chaplet. have witnessed with my own eyes, that Certain secret indulgences had given her

after treading down the young shoots breath, especially at rising in the morn. - with his feet, he every morning draws ing, a kind of odor not much more agree

the garden-roller over his parsley-bed. able than that of a fasting Jew. On this a In short, his parsley is the most beauti- account she was accustomed to take the

ful and curly of any in the whole coun first thing after rising, and sometimes try, and—" Here Glykerion paused, even before she was up, a decoction of and seemed preparing to depart. aniseed, and some honey boiled in wine.

“Go on, go on!" exclaimed Sabina At this very time, while she was engaged with impatience, “ you praised the se with her toilette, she was chewing myr. cret virtues of the plant, and said some tle pastils to cure an eril, which gave thing about the cred origin from which rise to an important question among the

18 derives its romantic name. Explain lawyers of old, namely, whether a per. "yourself, or I shall not buy one leaf of son with offensive breath were to be consi. all

the collection of a Rhizotomos, ** then was the chaplet, whose leaves comthan for the toilette of a lady of dis- bined such elegance with such salutary tinction." The secret virtue of this parsley, il

* Criton, Trajan's physieian, collected lustrious Domina,” rejoined Glykerion, and classed'in a voluminous work all the

is that, when chewed, it operates as a prescriptions of the authors who had written powerful sweetener of the breath. For on cosmetics. From an old index, it apthis reason I provide a regular supply pears that the first book made mention of

many remedies for purifying the breath. * Sabina every where affects Greek ap An offensive breath must, doubtless, have pellatives. She might have employed the been very common among the Romans; Roman word herbarists. What we call for they had a particular word 'to express it, hotanists, the Greeks denominated Rizoto- namely, fætor, fætere. Parsley was supi amous, cutters of roots. By Botanistai, the posed to be an effectual cure for this incon Greeks denoted only the labourers who were venience, which Pliny terms cet marine employed in wreeding.

pudendum vilium. 1999:19


1819.) Sabina.

509 virtues. Isis herself, in a happy hour, her the half-withered chaplet which the sent this excellent remedy to her pious Domina had worn at the last entertainvotary.

ment, and had put off on retiring to bed.* Spatale now returned, and with great A fig of Chios,t of which Sabina had concern announced that the Domina's bitten off a piece, completed the symbomonkey had found means to introduce lical love-letter. Instead of the fig, she himself into her bed chamber, and had would undoubtedly have sent a lovebroken and destroyed the beautiful wax apple, had it not been too early in scafigures and garlands, suspended beneath son to procure any. the figure of Isis, in two small silver

SUPPLEMENT TO THE THIRD SCENE. cornucopiæ entwined in each other, pro

War Fruits and Flowers. bably mistaking these fruits for real ap

The Greeks were rich in little orna. ples, nuts, and pears. None appeared to be ments in wax: they made great use of this so distressed at this intelligence as Clio, pliable matter which is so easily moulded who had the care of that apartment, and according to the inclination of the artist. I who might certainly be accused, with In Greece the art of modelling in wax justice, of some degree of negligence.

was brought to high perfection; and withFortunately Sabina, in whom the visit out referring to what the ancient writers of Glykerion had awakened pleasing say on the subject, we may judge of it hopes, regarded the emptying of the by analogy. Those artists who, with cornucopiæ as a favourable omen. “Bles

wax ornaments and figures, formed after & pod and praised be Isis, the great god- the best models, presumed to rival seulpdess!" exclaimed she aloud." The goddess pours forth her favours on her * Crowns used in gallant intrigues. handmaid. I vow to present to her three One of the most marked gallantries of anof the fattest geese in our poultry-yard, cient times was for a lady to send to her and to place a silver lamp on her sacred lover'a withered wreath which she had table !"

An apple with a piece bitten out of “ The mischief may be very easily re

it was usually added to this presents for in paired," said Glykerion, “ for in this all ages the apple has been regarded as a basket I have some wax fruits of the messenger of love. On the subject of this greatest beauty, such as are sold at

Alex. allegory, so frequently employed by artists,

see a dissertation comprised in a note on the andria, at the great festival of Adonis, Prolusio altera de Medea Euripedea cum and as we shall have here in Rome at priscæ artis operibus comparata. Lucian our Saturnalia next December. It is speaking of the coquette Chariclea, says true your friend Calpurnia bad bespoken Sometimes love-letters are sent, some

them of me as a votive gift to her Isis ; times wreaths of flowers half-faded, bitten but you shall have the preference; so apples, and other spells employed by cotake and dedicate them to the benevo- quettes to draw young men into their lent goddess." Before Sabina had time snares, and to enflame their hearts.". Mar.

tial alludes to this custom in his distich adto answer her, the trembling Clio beld

dressed to Polla: both her hands, and ridded Glykerion of a commodity for which at that season of Intactas quare mittis mihi, Polla, coronas, the year, she would scarcely have been A te vexatas malo tenere rosas. able to find a customer.

“Why, Polla, do you send me fresh wreathe ?

have Glykerion was now dismissed with her 'I prefer the roses which you yourself, slaves with a gracious nod. Clio,"

These rosé tepata were the real charm said the Domina, “ pay

the Alexandrian immediately, and without any abate- nius, admirably explains the signification

of love. Burmann, in his notes on Petro ment, what we owe her. But hark, of the word recatæ. forget not to give her the chaplets left + Of the twenty-nine kinds of figs menfrom the last entertainment, and the tioned by Pliny, those of Chios were most other things that belong to them." esteemed for their excellent flavour, which,

For these thc sly procuress had long according to Martial, resembled that of the been waiting. Saturninus had best wine of Campania, Figs were the pressly enjoined her to bring him some

usual presents among friends. In Julian's token from Sabina that all was right, works there is an episte in praise of the figs and that the private signification of his which he sent to Serapio.

It is well known that the Greeks emchaplet had been understood, Clio, obedient to the commands of her mis ployed wax for sealing, for encaustic-paint

ing, and for the varnish which was put on tress, paid Glykerion two hundred ces marble 'walls and statues. Pliny says terces, great part of which was to re- Cera pigmentis traditur ad innumeros compence her secret services. She gave mortalium usus.


510 Subina.

(Jan. 1, tors and statuaries, and who were in- even in the cities of Greece, uttering alcluded in the generic name of image- ternately complaints and acclamations of makers, fully availed themselves of the joy, and indulging in all the freedom advantages afforded by the facility of which might be expected in the slaves of moulding the matter which they em- a harem set at liberty. A sacred cusployed in the imitation of natural ob- tom required that offerings should be jects. One of the causes which enabled made in every house to Adonis, who the Greeks to attain that degree of per- was compared to a flower too early gafection in the arts which has inspired the thered in the garden of Venus, and too admiration of succeeding ages, was the soon withering. These offerings conskill with which they applied each sub- sisted of flower-pots filled with precostance to the object for which it was cious plants, and baskets of fruits of every most appropriate. The wax-modellers kind, similar to the custom which is still were aware that their art was confined kept up in Italy, and other southern to the production of little, light articles, countries, of making mangers (præsepio) playthings, &c.; and that their works adorned with flowers in honour of Christ would be eagerly purchased if they took and luis holy mother.* In the season at natural objects, such as branches of trees, which this festival was celebrated, eren fruit, and flowers for their models. Par- in warm countries, there could be but ticular circuinstances introduced the use few fruits and natural productions, such of artificial fruits, and there is every rea- as the religious customs required; art son to presume that these fruits were therefore furnished what was denied by made of wax. By means of wax, children nature: and wax fruits, made in such frequently displayed the first seeds of a perfection as almost to deceive the eye, talent for the arts;* for they scraped off supplied the place of natural fruits on the surface of their wax tablets, which these occasions ; as also in many other were then used for drawing and writing, religious ceremonies, where cornucopiæ and amused themselves by modelling vases, filled with fruit and garlands of figures of animals and horses, in the ab- flowers, were required to adorn the altars sence of their masters.

and gates of the temples. Theocritus The festival of Adonis, one of the has given an animated dramatic picture most solemn festivals of antiquity, was of the festival of Adonis, as it was celethe occasion on which the use of wax brated at Alexandria by Arsinöe, the ornaments was introduced. The wor- wife of Ptolemy Philadelphus. The ship of Thammutz, or Adonis as he was same passage contains a description of called by the Greeks, came from Syria the magnificent bier, or Castrum doloris, and Phenicia with the worship of Venus, on which tlie body of Adonis was laid ; with which it was connected. It was and gives some curious details respecting the emblem of dying and reviving na- the ornaments and emblems which surture. This festival fell precisely at the rounded the image of the lover of Veclose of winter, when the earth, exhaust- nus. " There were as many fruits as ed and torpid, received the first rays of the trees in our orchards were capable the sun, and had scarcely begun to feel of producing: Howers in silver baskets ; within her bosom the power of her plas- golden phials filled with Syrian nard; tic faculties. The wonen, in particular, the birds that soar in the air; creeping solemnized this festival for several days, animals and verdant foliage, intermingled

with the bending fennel," &c. * Lucian, speaking of himself, says :

It is surprising, that the most learned "Even in my earliest infancy, my father commentators of Theocritus have not observed that I had a taste for sculpture; remarked the difficulty which even the for as soon as my masters left me, I scraped wife of a powerful sovereign might exwax and made oxen, horses, and, Heaven perience in procuring ripe fruit at this forgive me, even men. This amusement season of the rear. But all doubts are cost me many a box on the ear.". Thus we at an end, when it is considered that may explain a passage in the Clouds of Theocritus most probably alludes to war Aristophanes, where, alluding to the talents fruits; and it is only by this liypothesis of young Philippides, it is said that he knew that we can explain a proverb which how to make houses. # M. Wieland adds the words whererer

was frequently used by the ancients: I found it, but they are not in the text, and it is needless to introduce them, since the * M. Dapuis, in his Origine de tous les idea of the wax tablet, which was then used cultes, points out the resemblances which for writing on, inmediately occars to the appear to exist between the Christmas festa mind.

val and the festival of Adonis.

[ocr errors]

1910.) Sabina.

511 a thing with a promising outside, and pher, deceived by the sentos," may conof which the real value did not corre- ceive an erroneous idea !!'_" I beg par: spond with the external appearance, was don," replied Sperus, who at that critisaid to be a Garden of Adonis.

cal moment preserved all his presence of At Alexandria, in Egypt, which was mind,“ there is here no question of pomethen the central point of commerce and granates, but of the possibility of mistakthe arts, wax fruits have been found, ing this artificial fruit for real fruit. Bepresenting exquisite imitations of nature. tween what is and what may be, there is This wax fruit gave rise to a little anec- the same relation as between real admis. dote concerning a fact which is said to sion and probability: you see I only have taken place in Alexandria, but at a wanted an example to render my propomore recent period at the court of Pto- sition evident.”. Such is the anecdote lemy Philopater. Several ancient au- related by Diogenes of Leartius, in the thors relate this story as a remarkable Lives of the Greek Philosophers. Epicteinstance of the mania of disputing, so tus evidently alludes to this, when he common among philosophers, and it af- speaks of the necessity of guarding against fords a proof of the advantages which a the illusion of the senses; for the exterman of wit may take of the hypotheses nal appearance of a thing is po sufficient and doctrine of philosophic sects, to reason for supposing that what we see whatever age they may belong.

is in reality what we think we see. “ You Sperus, who was born on the banks may as well assert," says he, “ that a of the Borysthenes, had studied philoso- wax apple has the taste and perfume of phy at Athens, under Cleanthus the a real apple." Athenæus relates the Stoic. He was called to Alexandria by same story in his Table Dinlngues, with Ptolemy; and, as the philosopher lau- this difference, that instead of wax reat, or court philosopher, he frequently pomegranates, he introduces chickensim had the honour of being admitted to the tated in the same way. Nemesius, one royal table, to amuse, by his paradoxes of the Fathers of the Church, who has and theories, his Egyptian majesty and written a little theological work on the his courtiers. The king, and the grandees wonders of God, expressly speaks of about him, in spite of the boasted clear- wax fruits which were mistaken for natuness of the stoics, probably found some ral fruits; and mentions them as an exobscurity in the dissertations of the phi- ample of an illusion for which the eye losopher, respecting the character of the is not responsible, but which the insimple notions from which we deduce tuitive faculty within us must appreciate. our opinions. The stoical school main- A superficial notion of the encaustic tained, in opposition to the academy, painting of the ancients, and of the mixthe reality of the images and ideas which ture of colours with wax, which was the we receive by the impression of the only method of painting at the most senses, and asserted, that it was not ne. Aourishing period of the arts, will be cessary, like the academicians who doubt- sufficient to convince any one of the posed every thing, to regard that impression sibility of laying every variety of Vivid as a mere illusion, but as a truth existing colouring on a surface of wax. I am in the circle of the conception. The convinced that the ancients did not apply stoics carefully made a difference be- to their artificial fruit a covering of vartween this manner of being affected and nish, or any other composition, which is opinion ; and observed, with that mo- now absolutely necessary to preserve desty which in all ages has been a dis- them from dust and stains. For this tinctive characteristic of philosophers, reason, our modern wax fruit

mitted a thing. One day, as our philo- seen in nature; this destroys the illu-? real is to

sopher was seated at the king's table, sion, and is an imperfection, from which using this privilege of non opinundo, and the productions of the ancients in this zealously seeking to maintain the prin- department of art were exempt. We ciples of his sect, the king directed a may refer to a passage of the historian, slave to serve up some pomegranates, as Varro, which Pliny has preserved in his the heated philosopher seemed to be in Natural History. Varro relates that he want of refreshment. Sperus stretched knew a sculptor at Rome, named Posis, forth his hand to reach the fruit; but who could imitate pears and grapes 80 the king stopped him, observing, that the perfectly, that the most skilful artist pomegranates were made of wax. “You could not, by mere sight, distinguish been added he, “ that even a philoso-. them from natural fruit. It may, in

Peace Society-Quærist.

(Jan. 1, deed, be objected, that in this passage nature would only serve as plausible Pliny does not speak of wax models, but pretexts, through which the subjects of of thoreutic, or clay-works :—at least so a country might be enabled to raise it would appear, for in this chapter of powerful obstacles against any war de. his works he refers only to objects of clared by their rightful monarch-howthe latter class. But Pliny's careless- ever“ just and necessary” such a meaness as a compiler is well known; and as sure might be- and however much the it is improbable, for many reasons, that ultimate happiness and security of his clay fruit could produce such an illusion, dominions might depend upon the sucwe may be allowed to conjecture, that cessful issue of it. Varro, who makes use of the word plas- Not only, therefore, would one of the tes, alludes to a modeller of wax, and chief prerogatives of the crown become not to a potter.

obstructed, but the effect of these I shall conclude this article on wax “ Peace Societieswould be to create fruits, by relating what Lampridius says civil wars; and thus to increase, rather in his Life of Heliogabalus. That odious than diminish, the calamities of mankind. voluptuary frequently took a delight in At all events, they must be considered making his guests endure the torments of as an improper and impolitic interference Tantalus. Heordered dishes to be served with the administration of regular gobefore them containing perfect imita- vernments—with whom alone the imtions in wax of the different kinds of portant question of peace or war ought meat which he was himself eating. The ever to be vested. guests were obliged to put a good face

Yours, &c. upon the joke, to wash their hands after Bath,

E. T. PILGRIM. every course, (for at that time neither Dec. 10, 1818. knives nor forks were used, and all food was eaten with the fingers,) and to swal

QUÆRIST. low a large goblet full of water. Even in modern times, at great entertainments,

MR. EDITOR, little pasteboard tarts have been intro- IN answer to the query of “ X." in duced to fill up the table, and which, to your Magazine for November, permit the eye, perfectly well supply the place me to refer him to an old law book, enof real tarts, though they are far from titled, “ FORTESCUE DE LAUDIBUS LEproducing the same effect upon the

GUM ANGLIÆ,” c. 5), p. 124. It is petite of the guests.

there asserted to be derived from the French of Parois, and is thus explained :

Sed placitantes tunc, i.e. post meridiem, MR. EDITOR,

se diverlunt ad ParoisUM et alibi con I PERFECTLY coincide with your

sultes cum servientibus ad legem et aliis observations (in page 480 of your last consiliariis,&c. And Selden, in his Number), on the formation of a “ Peace notes on Fortescue, defines it to be an Society," as announced to the public afternoon's exercise, or moot, for the inthrough the medium of “The Worcester

struction of young students, retaining Herald, and request permission to add, It is also the present day practice of inns

the same name,

PAROISIÆ, as at Oxford. that the necessity for any measure of this description is happily precluded by of court for students-at-law during termthe “Peace Society" of Aix-la-Cha- time to perform their exercises in the

afternoon. pelle- where the future tranquillity of

Sam. HAWTHORN, Europe is fully secured and guaranteed

Norfolk. by an “ Association of Sovereigns," met We have also been favoured with a simitogether for this express purpose; and lar explanation from “ An unlettered Yorkthat any subordinate societies of this shireman."-EDITOR.



« PreviousContinue »