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information of such persons as are to be met with on no other kind of records. You must give me leave, says Cynthio, to reject this last use of medals. I do not think it worth while to trouble myself with a person's name or face that receives all his reputation from the mint, and would never have been known in the world, had there not been such things as medals. A man's memory finds sufficient employment on such as have really signalized themselves by their great actions, without charging itself with the names of an insignificant people, whose whole history is written on the edges of an old coin.

If you are only for such persons as have made a noise in the world, says Philander, you have on medals a long list of heathen deities, distinguished from each other by their proper titles and ornaments. You see the copies of several statues that have had the politest nations of the world fall down before them. You have here, too, several persons of a more thin and shadowy nature, as Hope, Constancy, Fidelity, Abundance, Honour, Virtue, Eternity, Justice, Moderation, Happiness, and in short a whole creation of the like imaginary substances. To these you may add the genius of nations, provinces, cities, highways, and the like allegorical beings. In devices of this nature one sees a pretty poetical invention, and may often find as much thought on the reverse of a medal as in a canto of Spenser. Not to interrupt you, says Eugenius, I fancy it is this use of medals that has recommended them to several history painters, who, perhaps, without this assistance, would have found it very difficult to have invented such an airy species of beings, when they are obliged to put a moral virtue into colours, or to find out a proper dress for a passion. It is doubtless for this reason, says Philander, that painters have not a little contributed to bring the study of medals in vogue. For not to mention several others, Caraccio is said to have assisted Aretine by designs that he took from the Spintria of Tiberius. Raphael had thoroughly studied the figures on old coins. Patin tells us that Le Brun had done the same. And it is well known that Rubens had a noble collection of medals in his own possession. But I must not quit this head before I tell you,

1 To have invented.] He had said before, "who would have found"— it should, therefore, be "to invent," for an obvious reason.—

In vogue.] It should be "into."

that you see on medals not only the names and persons of emperors, kings, consuls, pro-consuls, prætors, and the like characters of importance, but of some of the poets, and of several who had won the prizes at the Olympic games. It was a noble time, says Cynthio, when trips and Cornish hugs could make a man immortal. How many heroes would Moorfields have furnished out in the days of old? A fellow that can now only win a hat or a belt, had he lived among the Greeks, might have had his face stamped upon their coins. But these were the wise ancients, who had more esteem for a Milo than a Homer, and heaped up greater honours on Pindar's jockeys than on the poet himself. But by this time, I suppose, you have drawn up all your medallic people, and, indeed, they make a much more formidable body than I could have imagined. You have shown us all conditions, sexes, and ages, emperors and empresses, men and children, gods and wrestlers. Nay, you have conjured up persons that exist nowhere else but on old coins, and have made our passions, and virtues, and vices visible. I could never have thought that a cabinet of medals had been so well peopled. But, in the next place, says Philander, as we see on coins the different faces of persons, we see on them, too, their different habits and dresses, according to the mode that prevailed in the several ages when the medals were stamped. This is another use, says Cynthio, that, in my opinion, contributes rather to make a man learned than wise, and is neither capable of pleasing the understanding or imagination.2 I know there are several supercilious critics, that will treat an author with the greatest contempt imaginable, if he fancies the old Romans wore a girdle, and are amazed at a man's ignorance, who believes the toga had any sleeves to it till the declension of the Roman empire. Now I would fain know the great importance of this kind of learning, and why it should not be as noble a task to write upon a bib and hang

But.] Better "And." "But" begins the next sentence.

And is neither capable of pleasing the understanding or imagination.] The disjunctive "neither" as placed before "capable," leads us to expect that two distinct capacities are going to be specified; whereas we have only one capacity, that of pleasing, here mentioned. Besides, the correlative of "neither" is "nor," and not "or." The whole should be given thus: "and is neither capable of informing the understanding, nor of pleasing the imagination; or else," and is not capable of pleasing either the understanding or imagination."

ing sleeves, as on the bulla and prætexta. The reason is, that we are familiar with the names of the one, and meet with the other nowhere but in learned authors. An antiquary will scorn to mention a pinner or night-rail, a petticoat or a manteau; but will talk as gravely as a father of the church on the vitta and peplus, the stola and instita. How would an old Roman laugh, were it possible for him to see the solemn dissertations that have been made on these weighty subjects! To set them in their natural light, let us fancy, if you please, that about a thousand years hence, some profound author shall write a learned treatise on the habits of the present age, distinguished into the following titles and chapters:

Of the old British trowser.

Of the ruff and collar-band.

The opinion of several learned men concerning the use of the shoulder-knot.

Such-a-one mistaken in his account of the surtout, &c. I must confess, says Eugenius, interrupting him, the knowledge of these affairs is in itself very little improving, but as it is impossible without it to understand several parts of your ancient authors, it certainly hath its use. It is pity, indeed, there is not a nearer way of coming at it. I have sometimes fancied it would not be an impertinent design to make a kind of an old Roman wardrobe, where you shall see togas and tunicas, the chlamys and trabea, and in short all the different vests and ornaments that are so often mentioned in the Greek and Roman authors. By this means a man would comprehend better and remember much longer the shape of an ancient garment, than he possibly can from the help of tedious quotations and descriptions. The design, says Philander, might be very useful, but after what models would you work? Sigonius, for example, will tell you that the vestis trabeata was of such a particular fashion, Scaliger is for another, and Dacier thinks them both in the wrong. These are, says Cynthio, I suppose, the names of three Roman tailors: for is it possible men of learning can have any disputes of this nature? May not we as well believe that hereafter the whole learned world will be divided upon the make of a modern pair of breeches? And yet, says Eugenius, the critics have fallen as foul upon each other for matters of

the same moment. But as to this point, where the make of the garment is controverted, let them, if they can find cloth enough, work after all the most probable fashions. To enlarge the design, I would have another room for the old Roman instruments of war, where you might see the pilum and the shield, the eagles, ensigns, helmets, battering-rams, and trophies, in a word, all the ancient military furniture in the same manner as it might have been in an arsenal of old Rome. A third apartment should be a kind of sacristy for altars, idols, sacrificing instruments, and other religious utensils. Not to be tedious, one might make a magazine for all sorts of antiquities, that would show a man in an afternoon more than he could learn out of books in a twelvemonth. This would cut short the whole study of antiquities, and perhaps be much more useful to universities than those collections of whalebone and crocodile-skins, in which

they commonly abound. You will find it very difficult, says Cynthio, to persuade those societies of learned men to fall in with your project. They will tell you that things of this importance must not be taken on trust; you ought to learn them among the classic authors and at the fountainhead. Pray consider what a figure a man would make in the republic of letters, should he appeal to your university wardrobe, when they expect a sentence out of the Re Vestiaria? or how do you think a man that has read Vegetius, will relish your Roman arsenal ? In the mean time, says Philander, you find on medals everything that you could meet with in your magazine of antiquities, and when you have built your arsenals, wardrobes, and sacristies, it is from medals that you must fetch their furniture. It is here, too, that you see the figures of several instruments of music, mathematics, and mechanics. One might make an entire gallery out of the plans that are to be met with on the reverses of several old coins. Nor are they only charged with things, but with many ancient customs, as sacrifices, triumphs, congiaries, allocutions, decursions, lectisterniums, and a thousand other antiquated names and ceremonies, that we should not have had so just a notion of were they not still preserved on coins. I might add, under this head of antiquities, that we find on medals the manner of spelling in the old Roman inscriptions. That is, says Cynthio, we find

that Felix is never written with an a diphthong, and that, in Augustus's days, civis stood for cives, with other secrets in orthography of the same importance.

To come then to a more weighty use, says Philander, it is certain that medals give a very great light to history, in confirming such passages as are true in old authors, in settling such as are told after different manners, and in recording such as have been omitted. In this case a cabinet of medals is a body of history. It was, indeed, the best way in the world to perpetuate the memory of great actions, thus to coin out the life of an emperor, and to put every great exploit into the mint. It was a kind of printing, before the art was invented. It is by this means that Monsieur Vaillant has disembroiled a history that was lost to the world before his time, and out of a short collection of medals has given us a chronicle of the kings of Syria. For this too is an advantage medals have over books, that they tell their story much quicker, and sum up a whole volume in twenty or thirty reverses. They are, indeed, the best epitomes in the world, and let you see in one cast of an eye the substance of above a hundred pages. Another use of medals is, that they not only show you the actions of an emperor, but at the same time mark out the year in which they were performed. Every exploit has its date set to it. A series of an emperor's coins is his life digested into annals. Historians seldom break their relation with a mixture of chronology, nor distribute the particulars of an emperor's story into the several years of his reign: or, where they do it, they often differ in their several periods. Here, therefore, it is much safer to quote a medal than an author, for in this case you do not appeal to a Suetonius or a Lampridius, but to the emperor himself, or to the whole body of a Roman senate. Besides that, a coin is in no danger of having its characters altered by copyists and transcribers. This I must confess, says Cynthio, may in some cases be of great moment, but, considering the subjects on which your chronologers are generally employed, I see but little use that rises from it. For example, what signifies it to the world whether such an elephant appeared in the amphitheatre in the second or the third year of Domitian? Or what am I the wiser for knowing that Trajan was in the fifth year of

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