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The figure of Equity1 differs but little from that our painters make of her at present. The scales she carries in her hand are so natural an emblem of justice, that Persius has turned them into an allegory to express the decisions of right or wrong.


Hoc puto non justum est, illud male, rectius istud;
Scis etenim justum gemina suspendere lance

Ancipitis Libræ.


Romans, know,

Against right reason all your counsels go :

This is not fair; nor profitable that;

Nor t'other question proper for debate.

But thou, no doubt, canst set the business right,
And give each argument its proper weight:

Know'st with an equal hand to hold the scale, &c. MR. DRYDEN. The next figure I present you with is Eternity. She holds in her hand a globe with a Phoenix on it. How proper a type of Eternity is each of these you may see in the following quotations. I am sure you will pardon the length of the latter, as it is not improper to the occasion, and shows at the same time the great fruitfulness of the poet's fancy, that could turn the same thought to so many different ways. Hæc æterna manet, divisque simillima forma est, Cui neque principium est usquam, nec finis: in ipso Sed similis toto remanet, perque omnia par est.


This form's eternal, and may justly claim

A godlike nature, all its parts the same;
Alike, and equal to itself 'tis found,
No end and no beginning in a round:

Nought can molest its being, nought control,
And this ennobles, and confines the whole.


Par volucer superis: stellas qui vividus æquat
Durando, membrisque terit redeuntibus ævum.---
Nam pater est prolesque sui, nulloque creante
Emeritos artus fœcundà morte reformat,
Et petit alternam totidem per funera vitam.-
O senium positure rogo, falsisque sepulchris
Natales habiture vices, quæ sæpe renasci
Exitio, proprioque soles pubescere letho.-
O felix, hæresque tui! quo solvimur omnes,
Hoc tibi suppeditat vires, præbetur origo
Per cinerem, moritur te non pereunte senectus
Vidisti quodcunque fuit. Te secula teste

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Cuncta revoluntur: nosti quo tempore pontus
Fuderit elatas scopulis stagnantibus undas:
Quis Phaëtonteis erroribus arserit annus.
Et clades Te nulla rapit, solusque superstęs
Edomitâ tellure manes, non stamina Parcæ

In Te dura legunt, non jus habuere nocendi. DE PHON. CLAUD.
A godlike bird! whose endless round of years
Outlasts the stars, and tires the circling spheres ;-
Begot by none himself, begetting none,

Sire of himself he is, and of himself the son:
His life in fruitful death renews its date,
And kind destruction but prolongs his fate:-
O thou, says he, whom harmless fires shall burn,
Thy age the flame to second youth shall turn,
An infant's cradle is thy funeral urn.—
Thrice happy Phoenix! heaven's peculiar care
Has made thyself thyself's surviving heir.
By death thy deathless vigour is supplied,
Which sinks to ruin all the world beside.
Thy age, not thee, assisting Phoebus burns,
And vital flames light up thy funeral urns.
Whate'er events have been, thy eyes survey,
And thou art fixed while ages roll away.
Thou saw'st when raging ocean burst his bed,
O'er-topped the mountains, and the earth o'erspread;
When the rash youth inflamed the high abodes,

Scorched up the skies, and scared the deathless gods.
When nature ceases, thou shalt still remain,

Nor second Chaos bound thy endless reign;

Fate's tyrant laws thy happier lot shall brave,

Baffle destruction, and elude the grave.

The circle of rays that you see round the head of the Phoenix, distinguish him to be the bird and offspring of the sun.

Solis avi specimen

Una est quæ reparet, seque ipsa reseminet ales
Assýrii Phonica vocant: non fruge neque herbis,
Sed thuris lacrymis, et succo vivit amomi.
Hæc ubi quinque suæ complevit secula vitæ,
Ilicis in ramis, tremulæve cacumine palmæ,
Unguibus et duro sibi nidum construit ore:
Quo simul ac casias, ac nardi lenis aristas
Quassaque cum fulvâ substravit cinnama myrrhâ,
Se super imponit, finitque in odoribus ævum.
Inde ferunt totidem qui vivere debeat annos
Corpore de patrio parvum Phonica renasci.
Cum dedit huic ætas vires, onerique ferendo est,
Ponderibus nidi ramos levat arboris altæ,

Fertque pius cunasque suas, patriumque sepulchrum,
Perque leves auras Hyperionis urbe potitus
Ante fores sacras Hyperionis æde reponit.

OV. MET. lib. xv.

-Titanius ales. CLAUD. DE PHŒNICE.

From himself the Phoenix only springs:
Self-born, begotten by the parent flame,
In which he burned, another and the same.
Who not by corn or herbs his life sustains,
But the sweet essence of Amomum drains:
And watches the rich gums Arabia bears,
While yet in tender dew they drop their tears.
He (his five centuries of life fulfilled)
His nest on oaken boughs begins to build,
Or trembling tops of palm, and first he draws
The plan with his broad bill and crooked claws,
Nature's artificers; on this the pile

Is formed, and rises round; then with the spoil

Of cassia, cinnamon, and stems of Nard,

(For softness strewed beneath,) his funeral bed is reared:

Funeral and bridal both; and all around

The borders with corruptless myrrh are crowned,

On this incumbent; till æthereal flame

First catches, then consumes the costly frame;
Consumes him too, as on the pile he lies;

He lived on odours, and in odours dies.

An infant Phoenix from the former springs,

His father's heir, and from his tender wings

Shakes off his parent dust, his method he pursues,

And the same lease of life on the same terms renews.

When grown to manhood he begins his reign,

And with stiff pinions can his flight sustain,

He lightens of its load the tree that bore

His father's royal sepulchre before,

And his own cradle (this with pious care
Placed on his back,) he cuts the buxom air,
Seeks the sun's city, and his sacred church,

And decently lays down his burthen in the porch. MR. DRYDEN.
Sic ubi fœcundâ reparavit morte juventam,
Et patrios idem cineres, collectaque portat
Unguibus ossa piis, Nilique ad littora tendens
Unicus extremo Phoenix procedit ab Euro:
Conveniunt aquilæ, cunctæque ex orbe volucres
Ut Solis mirentur avem-

CLAUD. DE LAUD. STIL. lib. ii.

So when his parent's pile hath ceased to burn,
Towers the young Phoenix from the teeming urn:
And from the purple east, with pious toil,
Bears the dear relics to the distant Nile:
Himself a species! Then the bird of Jove,
And all his plumy nation, quit the grove;
The gay, harmonious train delighted gaze,
Crowd the procession, and resound his praise.

The radiated head of the Phoenix gives us the meaning of a passage in Ausonius, which I was formerly surprised to

meet with in the description of a bird. But at present I am very well satisfied the poet must have had his eye on the figure of this bird in ancient sculpture and painting, as indeed it was impossible to take it from the life.


Ter nova Nestoreos implevit purpura fusos,
Et toties terno cornix vivacior ævo,

AUSON. Eidyl. 11.

Quam novies terni glomerantem secula tractûs
Vincunt æripides ter terno Nestore cervi,
Tres quorum ætates superat Phoebeius oscen,
Quem novies senior Gangeticus anteit ales,
Ales cinnameo radiatus tempora nido.
Arcanum radiant oculi jubar, igneus ora
Cingit honos, rutilo cognatuin vertice sidus
Attollit cristatus apex, tenebrasque serenâ
Luce secat-


His fiery eyes shoot forth a glittering ray,
And round his head ten thousand glories play :
High on his crest, a star celestial bright
Divides the darkness with its piercing light.
Procul ignea lucet

Ales, odorati redolent cui cinnama busti.

CL. DE LAUD. STIL. lib. ii.

you have a mind to compare this scale of beings with that of Hesiod, I shall give it you in a translation of that poet.

AusON. Eidyl. 18.

Ter binos deciesque novem super exit in annos
Justa senescentum quos implet vita virorum.
Hos novies superat vivendo garrula cornix :
Et quater egreditur cornicis sæcula cervus.
Alipedem cervum ter vincit corvus: at illum
Multiplicat novies Phoenix, reparabilis ales.
Quam vos perpetuo decies prævertitis ævo
Nymphæ Hamadryades: quarum longissima vita est:
Hi cohibent fines vivacia fata animantum.
The utmost age to man the gods assign
Are winters three times two, and ten times nine :
Poor man nine times the prating daws exceed :
Three times the daw's the deer's more lasting breed:
The deer's full thrice the raven's race outrun :
Nine times the raven, Titan's feathered son:
Beyond his age, with youth and beauty crowned,
The Hamadryads shine ten ages round:

Their breath the longest is the Fates bestow;
And such the bounds to mortal lives below.

A man had need be a good arithmetician, says Cynthio, to understand this author's works. His description runs on like a multiplication table. But methinks the poets ought

to have agreed a little better in the calculations of a bird's life that was probably of their own creation.

We generally find a great confusion in the traditions of the ancients, says Philander. It seems to me, from the next medal,1 it was an opinion among them that the Phoenix renewed herself at the beginning of the great year, and the return of the golden age. This opinion I find touched upon in a couple of lines in Claudian.

Quicquid ab externis ales longæva colonis
Colligit, optati referens exordia sæcli.

CLAUD. DE RAPT. PROS. lib. ii.

The person in the midst of the circle is supposed to be Jupiter, by the author that has published this medal, but I should rather take it for the figure of Time. I remember I have seen at Rome an antique statue of Time, with a wheel or hoop of marble in his hand, as Seneca describes him, and not with a serpent, as he is generally represented.

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Life posts away,

HERC. FUR. act. i.

And day from day drives on with swift career
The wheel that hurries on the headlong year.

As the circle of marble in his hand represents the common year, so this that encompasses him is a proper representation of the great year, which is the whole round and comprehension of Time. For when this is finished, the heavenly bodies are supposed to begin their courses anew, and to measure over again the several periods and divisions of years, months, days, &c., into which the great year is distinguished.

-consumpto, Magnus qui dicitur, anno,

Rursus in antiquum venient vaga sidera cursum :

Qualia dispositi steterant ab origine mundi. Auson. Eidyl. 18.
When round the great Platonic year has turned,

In their old ranks the wandering stars shall stand,
As when first marshalled by the Almighty's hand.

To sum up, therefore, the thoughts of this medal. The inscription teaches us that the whole design must refer to the golden age, which it lively represents, if we suppose the circle that encompasses Time, or if you please Jupiter, signifies the finishing of the great year; and that the Phoenix figures out

Fig. 14.

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