Billeder på siden

would have her propitious to the marriage of Jason and Creusa. He mentions her by her qualities, and not by her name.


Martis sanguineas quæ cohibit manus,
Quæ dat belligeris fœdera gentibus,
Et cornu retinet divite copiam.

SEN. MED. act. i.

Who soothes great Mars the warrior god,
And checks his arm distained with blood,
Who joins in leagues the jarring lands,
The horn of plenty fills her hands.

The description, says Eugenius, is a copy of the figure we
have before us: and for the future, instead of any further
note on this passage, I would have the reverse you have
shown us stamped on the side of it. The interpreters of
Seneca, says Philander, will understand the precedent verses
as a description of Venus, though in my opinion there is only
the first of them that can aptly relate to her, which at the
same time agrees as well with Concord: and that this was a
goddess who used to interest herself in marriages, we may
see in the following description.

Jamdudum poste reclinis,

Quærit Hymen thalamis intactum dicere carmen,
Quo vatem mulcere queat; dat Juno verenda

Vincula, et insigni geminat Concordia tædâ.


Already leaning at the door, too long

Sweet Hymen waits to raise the nuptial song;
Her sacred bands majestic Juno lends,

And Concord with her flaming torch attends.

Peace1 differs as little in her dress as in her character from Concord. You may observe in both these figures, that the vest is gathered up before them, like an apron, which you must suppose filled with fruits as well as the cornu-copiæ. It is to this part of the dress that Tibullus alludes.

At nobis, Pax alma, veni, spicamque teneto,
Perfluat et pomis candidus ante sinus.

Kind Peace, appear,

And in thy right hand hold the wheaten ear,

From thy white lap the o'erflowing fruits shall fall.

Prudentius has given us the same circumstance in his de

scription of Avarice.

- Avaritia gremio præcincta capaci.

1 Fig. 4.





the emblems of Plenty are to Peace, may be seen in the same poet.

Interea Pax arva colat, Pax candida primùm

Duxit araturos sub juga curva boves;

Pax aluit vites, et succos condidit uvæ,

Funderet ut nato testa paterna merum:
Pace bidens vomerque vigent.

TIBUL. El. 10, lib. i.

She first, white Peace, the earth with ploughshares broke,

And bent the oxen to the crooked yoke,

First reared the vine, and hoarded first with care

The father's vintage for his drunken heir.

The olive-branch in her hand is frequently touched upon in

the old poets as a token of peace.

Pace orare manu

Ingreditur, ramumque tenens popularis oliva.
In his right hand an olive-branch he holds.


VIRG. N. 10.

Ov. MET. lib. vii.

Indomitum duramque viri deflectere mentem
Pacifico sermone parant, hostemque propinquum
Orant Cecropiæ prælatâ fronde Minervæ.

To move his haughty soul they try

Entreaties, and persuasion soft apply;
Their brows Minerva's peaceful branches wear,
And thus in gentlest terms they greet his ear.

Luc. lib. iii.


Which, by the way, one would think had been spoken rather of an Attila, or a Maximin, than Julius Cæsar.

You see Abundance or Plenty1 makes the same figure in medals as in Horace.

[blocks in formation]

The compliment on this reverse to Gordianus Pius is expressed in the same manner as that of Horace to Augustus. Aurea fruges

Italiam pleno diffudit copia cornu. HOR. Epist. 12, lib. i.
Golden Plenty with a bounteous hand

Rich harvests freely scatters o'er our land. MR. CREECH.

But to return again to our virtues. You have here the

1 Fig. 5.

picture of Fidelity, who was worshipped as a goddess among the Romans.

Si tu oblitus es at Dii meminerunt, meminit Fides.


I should fancy, from the following verses of Virgil and Silius Italicus, that she was represented under the figure of an old woman.

Cana Fides, et Vesta, Remo cum fratre Quirinus
Jura dabunt—

VIRG. EN. lib. i.

Then banished Faith shall once again return,
And vestal fires in hallowed temples burn,
And Remus with Quirinus shall sustain

The righteous laws, and fraud and force restrain.

ad limina sanctæ

Tendebat Fidei, secretaque pectora tentat.

Arcanis dea læta, polo tum forte remoto
Cœlicolum magnas volvebat conscia curas.


Ante Jovem generata, decus divumque hominumque,
Quâ sine non tellus pacem, non æquora norunt,
Justitiæ consors—

SIL. IT. lib. ii.

He to the shrines of Faith his steps addrest,
She, pleased with secrets rolling in her breast,
Far from the world remote, revolved on high
The cares of gods, and counsels of the sky.
Ere Jove was born she graced the bright abodes,
Consort of Justice, boast of men and gods;
Without whose heavenly aid, no peace below,
The stedfast earth and rolling ocean know.

There is a medal of Heliogabalus, inscribed Fides Exercitus, that receives a great light from the preceding verses. She is posted between two military ensigns, for the good quality that the poet ascribes to her, of preserving the public peace, by keeping the army true to its allegiance.

I fancy, says Eugenius, as you have discovered the age of this imaginary lady, from the description that the poets have made of her, you may find, too, the colour of the drapery that she wore in the old Roman paintings, from that verse in Horace,

Te Spes et albo rara Fides colit
Velata panno—

Sure Hope and Friendship clothed in white,
Attend on thee-

HOR. Od. 35, lib. i.


1 Fig. 6.

2 Fig. 7.

One would think says Philander, by this verse, that Hope and Fidelity had both the same kind of dress. It is certain Hope might have a fair pretence to white, in allusion to those that were candidates for an employ.1

Cretata ambitio

-quem ducit hiantem

PERS. Sat. 5.


And how properly the epithet of rara agrees with her, you may see in the transparency of the next figure. She is here dressed in such a kind of vest as the Latins call a multicium, from the fineness of its tissue. Your Roman beaus had their summer toga of such a light airy make.

Quem tenues decuere toga nitidique capilli. HOR. Ep. 14, lib. i.
I that loved-

Curled powdered locks, a fine and gaudy gown. MR. CREECH. I remember, says Cynthio, Juvenal rallies Creticus, that was otherwise a brave, rough fellow, very handsomely, on this kind of garment.

-sed quid

Non facient alii cum tu multitia sumas,

Cretice? et hanc vestem populo mirante perores

In Proculas et Pollineas.

Juv. Sat. 2.

Juv. Sat. 2.

Acer et indomitus Libertatisque magister,
Cretice, pelluces-

Nor, vain Metellus, shall

From Rome's tribunal thy harangues prevail
'Gainst harlotry, whilst thou art clad so thin,
That through thy cob-web robe we see thy skin,
As thou declaim'st-


Canst thou restore old manners, or retrench


Rome's pride, who com'st transparent to the bench? Idem. But pray what is the meaning that this transparent lady holds up her train in her left hand? for I find your women on medals do nothing without a meaning. Besides, I pose there is a moral precept at least couched under the figure she holds in her other hand. She draws back her garment, says Philander, that it may not encumber her in her march. For she is always drawn in a posture of walking, it being as natural for Hope to press forward to her proper objects, as for Fear to fly from them.

1 Employ.] For "employment;" as before, "salute," for "salutation." This way of turning a verb into a substantive, has a grace in poetry, which it has not in prose.

2 Fig. 8.

Ut canis in vacuo leporem cum Gallicus arvo
Vidit, et hic prædam pedibus petit, ille salutem :
Alter inhæsuro similis, jam jamque tenere
Sperat, et extento stringit vestigia rostro ;
Alter in ambiguo est an sit comprensus, et ipsis
Morsibus eripitur, tangentiaque ora relinquit:
Sic deus et virgo est: hic spe celer, illa timore.
DE APOL. et DAPH. OV. MET. lib. i.
As when the impatient greyhound, slipt from far,
Bounds o'er the glebe to catch the fearful hare,
She in her speed does all her safety lay;
And he with double speed pursues the prey;
O'erruns her at the sitting turn, and licks
His chaps in vain, and blows upon the flix :

She 'scapes, and for the neighbouring covert strives,
And gaining shelter, doubts if yet she lives :-

Such was the god, and such the flying fair,

She, urged by Fear, her feet did swiftly move,

But he more swiftly, who was urged by Love. MR. DRYDEN. This beautiful similitude is, I think, the prettiest emblem in the world of Hope and Fear in extremity. A flower or blossom that you see in the right hand is a proper ornament for Hope, since they are these that we term, in poetical language, the hopes of the year.

Vere novo, tunc herba nitens, et roboris expers
Turget et insolida est, et spe delectat agrestes.
Omnia tum florent florumque coloribus almus
Ridet ager

Ov. MET. lib. xv.

The green stem grows in stature and in size,
But only feeds with hope the farmer's eyes;

Then laughs the childish year with flowerets crowned,

And lavishly perfumes the fields around. MR. DRYDEN. The same poet in his De Fastis, speaking of the vine in flower, expresses it,

In spe vitis erat—

V. DE FAST. lib. v.

The next on the list is a lady of a contrary character,1 and therefore in a quite different posture. As Security is free from all pursuits, she is represented leaning carelessly on a pillar. Horace has drawn a pretty metaphor from this posture.

Nullum me a labore reclinat otium.

No ease doth lay me down from pain. MR. CREECH. She rests herself on a pillar, for the same reason as the poets often compare an obstinate resolution, or a great firmness of mind, to a rock that is not to be moved by all the assaults of winds or waves.

1 Fig. 9.

« ForrigeFortsæt »