DIALOGUES Upon the Usefulness of ANCIENT MEDALS.

DIALOGUES UPON THE USEFULNESS OF ANCIENT MEDALS. Especially in relation to the Latin and Greek Poets.

—quoniam haec Ratio plerumque videtur
Tristior esse, quibus non est tractata, retroque
Volgus abhorret ab hac: volui tibi suaviloquenti
Carmine Pierio rationem exponere nostram,
Et quasi musaeo dulci contingere melle,
Si tibi forte animum tali ratione tenerem.

Printed in the Year MDCCXXVI.

VERSES Occasion'd by Mr. ADDISON'S Treatise OF MEDALS.

SEE the wild waste of all-devouring years!
How Rome her own sad sepulchre appears:
With nodding arches, broken temples spread!
The very tombs now vanish'd like their dead!
[...]ome felt the silent stroke of mould'ring age;
[...]ome, hostile fury; some, religious rage:
[...]arbarian blindness, Christian zeal conspire▪
[...]nd Papal piety, and Gothick fire.
[...]erhaps by its own rains sav'd from flame,
[...]me bury'd marble half preserves a Name;
[...]hat Name, the learn'd with fierce disputes purse,
[...]d give to Titus old Vespasian's due.
Ambition sigh'd. She found it vain to trust
[...]he faithless Column, and the crumbling Bust;
[Page 6]Huge Moles whose shadow stretch'd from shore to shore,
Their ruins perish'd, and their place no more!
Convinc'd, she now contracts her vast design;
And all her triumphs shrink into a Coin.
A narrow orb each crowded conquest keeps;
Beneath her Palm here sad Judea weeps;
Now scantier limits the proud Arch confine,
And scarce are seen the prostrate Nile and Rhine:
A small Euphrates thro' the piece is roll'd;
And little Eagles wave their wings in Gold.
The Medal, faithful to its charge of fame,
Thro' climes and ages bears each form and name:
In one short view, subjected to our eye,
Gods, Emp'rors, Heroes, Sages, Beauties lye.
With sharpen'd sight pale Antiquaries pore,
Th' Inscription value, but the Rust adore:
This, the Blue vernish, that, the Green endears,
The sacred Rust of twice ten hundred years.
To gain Pescennius one employs his schemes;
One grasps a Cecrops in ecstatic dreams:
Poor Vadius, long with learned spleen devour'd,
Can taste no pleasure since his Shield was scour'd;
And Curio, restless by the fair one's side,
Sighs for an Otho, and neglects his Bride.
Theirs is the Vanity, the Learning thine.
Touch'd by thy hand, again Rome's glories shine:
Her Gods, and godlike Heroes rise to view,
And all her faded garlands bloom anew.
Nor blush, those studies thy regard engage;
These pleas'd the Fathers of poetic rage;
The Verse and Sculpture bore an equal part,
And Art reflected images to Art.
Oh when shall Britain, conscious of her claim,
Stand emulous of Greek and Roman fame?
[Page 7]In living Medals see her wars enroll'd,
And vanquish'd realms supply recording Gold?
Here, rising bold, the Patriot's honest face;
There, Warriors frowning in historic brass.
Then future ages with delight shall see,
How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's looks agree:
Or in fair Series laurel'd Bards be shown,
A Virgil there, and here an Addison.
Then shall Thy Craggs (and let me call him Mine)
On the cast Ore, another Pollio, shine;
With aspect open shall erect his head,
And round the Orb in lasting notes be read:
"Statesman, yet friend to Truth! in soul sincere,
"In action faithful, and in honour clear;
"Who broke no promise, serv'd no private end,
"Who gain'd no title, and who lost no friend;
"Ennobled by Himself, by all approv'd,
"And prais'd, unenvy'd, by the Muse he lov'd.

[Page]DIALOGUES Upon the Usefulness of ANCIENT MEDALS.


CYNTHIO, Eugenius and Philander had retired together from the town to a country village, that lies upon the Thames. Their design was to pass away the heats of the Summer [...]mong the fresh breezes, that rise from the river, [...]d the agreeable mixture of shades and fountains, [...] which the whole country naturally abounds, [...]hey were all three very well versed in the po­ [...]er parts of learning, and had travelled into the [...]ost refined nations of Europe: so that they [...]ere capable of entertaining themselves on a [Page 10] thousand different subjects without running into the common topics of defaming publick parties, or particular persons. As they were intimate friends they took the freedom to dissent from one another in discourse, or upon occasion to speak a Latin sentence without fearing the imputation of pedantry or ill-breeding.

They were one evening taking a walk together in the fields when their discourse accidentally fell upon several unprofitable parts of learning. It was Cynthio's humour to run down every thing that was rather for ostentation than use. He was still preferring good sense to arts and sciences, and often took a pleasure to appear ignorant, that he might the better turn to ridicule those that valued themselves on their books and studies, though at the same time one might very well see that he could not have attacked many parts of learning so successfully, had not he borrowed his assistances from them. After having rally'd a set or two of Virtuoso's, he fell upon the Me­dallists.

These gentlemen, says he, value themselves upon being critics in Rust, and will undertake to tell you the different ages of it, by its colour. They are possessed with a kind of learned avarice, and are for getting together hoards of such mony only as was current among the Greeks and La­tins. There are several of them that are better acquainted with the faces of the Antonines, than of the Stuarts, and would rather chuse to count out a Sum in Sesterces, than in pounds sterling, I have heard of one in Italy that used to swear by the head of Otho. Nothing can be pleasanter than to see a circle of these Virtuoso's about a cabinet [Page 11] of Medals, descanting upon the value, rarity and authenticalness of the several pieces that lie before them. One takes up a coin of gold, and after having well weighed the figures and inscription, [...]ells you very gravely, if it were brass, it would be invaluable. Another falls a ringing a Pescen­ [...]ius Niger, and judiciously distinguishes the [...]ound of it to be modern. A third desires you [...]o observe well the Toga on such a reverse, and asks you whether you can in conscience believe the sleeve of it to be of the true Roman cut.

I must confess, says Philander, the knowledge of Medals has most of those disadvantages that can [...]ender a science ridiculous, to such as are not well versed in it. Nothing is more easy than to represent as impertinences any parts of learning that have no immediate relation to the happiness or convenience of mankind. When a man spends his whole life among the Stars and Planets, or lays out a twelve-month on the spots in the Sun, however noble his speculations may be, they are very apt to fall [...]nto burlesque. But it is still more natural to [...]augh at such studies as are employed on low and vulgar objects. What curious observations have been made on Spiders, Lobsters, and Cockle­ [...]hells? yet the very naming of them is almost suf­ficient to turn them into raillery. It is no won­der therefore that the science of Medals, which [...]s charged with so many unconcerning parts of knowledge, and built on such mean materials, [...]hould appear ridiculous to those that have not ta­ [...]en the pains to examine it.

Eugenius was very attentive to what Philander [...]aid on the subject of Medals. He was one that [...]ndeavoured rather to be agreeable than shining [Page 12] in conversation, for which reason he was more beloved, though not so much admired as Cynthio. I must confess, says he, I find my self very much inclined to speak against a sort of study that I know nothing of. I have however one strong Prejudice in favour of it, that Philander has thought it worth his while to employ some time upon it. I am glad then, says Cynthio, that I have thrown him on a science of which I have long wished to hear the Usefulness. There, says Philander, you must excuse me. At present you do not know but it may have its usefulness. But should I endeavour to convince you of it, I might fail in my attempt, and so render my sci­ence still more contemptible. On the contrary, says Cynthio, we are already so persuaded of the unprofitableness of your science, that you can but leave us where you find us, but if you succeed you increase the number of your party. Well, says Philander, in hopes of making two such considerable proselytes, I am very well content to talk away an evening with you on the subject; but on this condition, that you will communicate your thoughts to me freely when you dissent from me, or have any difficulties that you think me capable of removing. To make use of the li­berty you give us, says Eugenius, I must tell you what I believe surprizes all beginners as well as my self. We are apt to think your Medallists a little fantastical in the different prices they set upon their coins, without any regard to the an­cient value or the metal of which they are com­posed. A silver Medal, for example, shall be more esteemed than a golden one, and a piece of brass than either. To answer you, says Philander, it [Page 13] [...]he language of a Medallist, you are not to look upon a cabinet of Medals as a treasure of mony, but of knowledge, nor must you fancy any charms in gold, but in the figures and inscriptions [...]at adorn it. The intrinsic value of an old coin does not consist in its metal but its erudition. It is the Device that has raised the species, so that at present an As or an Obolus may carry a higher price than a Denarius or a Drachma; and a piece of mony that was not worth a peny fif­teen hundred years ago, may be now rated at fifty crowns, or perhaps a hundred guineas. I find, says Cynthio, that to have a relish for anci­ent coins it is necessary to have a contempt of the modern. But I am afraid you will never be able, with all your Medallic eloquence, to per­suade Eugenius and my self that it is better to have a pocket full of Otho's and Gordians than of Jaco­ [...]us's or Louis d'ors. This however we shall be judges of, when you have let us know the several uses of old coins.

The first and most obvious one, says Philan­ [...]r, is the shewing us the Faces of all the great persons of antiquity. A cabinet of Medals is a collection of pictures in miniature. Juvenal calls them very humorously,

Concisum argentum in titulos, faciesque minutas.
Sat. 5.

You here see the Alexanders, Caesars, Pompeys, [...]rajans, and the whole catalogue of Heroes; [...]ho have many of them so distinguished them­ [...]elves from the rest of mankind that we almost [...]ook upon them as another species. It is an a­ [...]reeable amusement to compare in our own [Page 14] thoughts the face of a great Man with the chara­cter that authors have given us of him, and to try if we can find out in his looks and features either the haughty, cruel, or merciful temper that discovers it self in the history of his actions. We find too on Medals the representations of Ladies that have given occasion to whole volumes on the account only of a face. We have here the pleasure to ex­amine their looks and dresses, and to survey at leisure those beauties that have sometimes been the happiness or misery of whole kingdoms: Nor do you only meet the faces of such as are famous in history, but of several whose names are not to be found any where except on Medals. Some of the Emperors, for example, have had Wives, and some of them Children, that no authors have mentioned. We are therefore obliged to the study of coins for having made new discoveries to the learned, and given them 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 my self 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 it self 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, distinguish­ [...]d [Page 15] from each other by their proper titles and or­ [...]aments. You see the copies of several statues that have had the politest nations of the world f [...]ll down before them. You have here too seve­ [...]l persons of a more thin and shadowy nature, [...]s Hope, Constancy, Fidelity, Abundance, Ho­ [...]our, Virtue, Eternity, Justice, Moderation, Hap­ [...]iness, and in short a whole creation of the like [...]maginary substances. To these you may add the Genies of nations, provinces, cities, high-ways, 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. I [...] is doubtless for this reason, says Philander, that Painters have not a little contributed to bring the [...]udy of Medals in vogue. For not to mention several others, Caraccio is said to have assisted [...]etine by designs that he took from the Spintriae of Tiberius. Raphael had thoroughly studied the figures on old Coins. Patin tells us that Lo [...]run had done the same. And it is well known [...]at Rubens had a noble collection of Medals in his [...]wn possession. But I must not quit this head [...]efore I tell you, that you see on Medals not on­ly the names and persons of Emperors, Kings, consuls, Pro-consuls, Praetors, and the like cha­ [...]acters of importance, but of some of the Poets, [Page 16] 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 Moor-fields 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 stampt upon their Coins. But these were the wise ancients, who had more esteem for a Milo than a Homer, and heapt up greater Honours on Pindar's Jockies, 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 shewn us all conditions, sexes and ages, emperors and empresses, men and children, gods and wrestlers. Nay you have con­jured up persons that exist no where 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 stampt. 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. 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 [Page 17] 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 hanging-sleeves, as on the Bulla and Praetexta. The reason is, that we are familiar with the names of the one, and meet with the other no where but in learned authors. An Antiquary will scorn to mention a pinner or a 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 Ha­bit [...] of the present age, distinguished into the fol­lowing Titles and Chapters.

  • Of the old British Trowser.
  • Of the Ruff and Collar-bana.
  • The opinion of several learned me 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 it self very lit [...]e 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 [Page 18] wardrobe, where you should see Toga's and Tuni­ca's, 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 Trabeat [...] was of such a particular fashion, Scaliger is fo [...] another, and Dacier thinks them both in the wrong. These are, says Cynthio, I suppose the names of three Roman taylors: 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 fou [...] 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 o [...] 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 Sacristie 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 [Page 19] show a man in an afternoon more than he could [...]earn out of books in a twelve-month. This would [...]ut short the whole study of antiquities, and perhaps [...] much more useful to Universities than those [...]ollections of Whale-bone and Crocodile-skins in [...]hich 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 foun­tain-head. Pray consider what a figure a man would make in the republick 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 every thing 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 musick, mathematics and mechanics. One might make an entire gally 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, lecti­ [...]erniums, and a thousand other antiquated names [...]d ceremonies that we should not have had so j [...]st 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 spel­ [...]ng in the old Roman inscriptions. That is, says [Page 20] Cynthio, we find that Felix is never written with an oe dipthongue, 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 with one cast of an eye the substance of above a hundred pages. Another use of Medals is, that they not only shew 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 [Page 21] periods. Here therefore it is much safer to quote a Medal than an Author, for in this case [...]ou do not appeal to a Suetonius or a Lampri­ [...]ius, but to the Emperor himself, or to the whole [...]ody of a Roman Senate. Besides that a Coin is in no danger of having its characters altered by copiers 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 Amphi-theatre 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 his Tribuneship when he entertained the people with such a Horse-race or Bull-baiting? Yet it is the fixing of these great periods that gives a man the first rank in the republic of letters, and re­commends him to the world for a person of va­rious reading and profound erudition.

You must always give your men of great reading leave to show their talents on the meanest subjects, says Eugenius; it is a kind of shooting at rovers: where a man lets fly his arrow without taking any aim, to shew his strength. But there is one advantage, says he, turning to Philander, that seems to me very considerable, although your Medallists sel­ [...]om throw it into the account, which is the great [...]lp to memory one finds in Medals: for my own part I am very much embarrassed in the names and ranks of the several Roman Emperors, and find it difficult to recollect upon occasion the different parts of their history: but your Medal­ [...]sts upon the first naming of an Emperor will [Page 22] immediately tell you his age, family and life. To remember where he enters in the succession, they only consider in what part of the cabinet he lies; and by runinng over in their thoughts such a par­ticular drawer, will give you an account of all the remarkable parts of his reign.

I thank you, says Philander, for helping me to an use that perhaps I should not have thought on. But there is another of which I am sure you could not be but sensible when you were at Rome. I must own to you it surprized me to see my Ci­ceroni so well acquainted with the busts and sta­tues of all the great people of antiquity. There was not an Emperor or Empress but he knew by sight, and as he was seldom without Medals in his pocket, he would often shew us the same face on an old Coin that we saw in the Statue. He would discover a Commodus through the disguise of the club and lion's skin, and find out such a one to be Livia that was dressed up like a Ceres. Let a bust be never so disfigured, they have a thousand marks by which to decipher it. They will know a Zenobia by the sitting of her Dia­dem, and will distinguish the Faustina's by their different way of tying up their hair. Oh! Sir, says Cynthio, they will go a great deal farther, they will give you the name and titles of a Sta­tue that has lost his nose and ears; or if there is but half a beard remaining, will tell you at first sight who was the owner of it. Now I must con­fess to you, I used to fancy they imposed upon me an Emperor or Empress at pleasure, rather than appear ignorant.

All this however is easily learnt from Medals, says Philander, where you may see likewise the [Page 23] plans of many the most considerable buildings of Old Rome. There is an ingenious Gentleman of our own nation extremely well versed in this stu­d [...], who has a design of publishing the whole hi­story of Architecture, with its several improve­ments and decays as it is to be met with on an­cient Coins. He has assured me that he has ob­served all the nicety of proportion in the figures of the different orders that compose the buildings on the best preserved Medals. You here see the copies of such Ports and triumphal Arches as there are not the least traces of in the places where they once stood. You have here the models of seve­ral ancient Temples, though the Temples them­selves, and the Gods that were worshipped in them, are perished many hundred years ago. Or if there are still any foundations or ruines of for­mer edifices, you may learn from Coins what was their Architecture when they stood whole and entire. These are buildings with the Goths and Vandals could not demolish, that are infinite­ly more durable than stone or marble, and will perhaps last as long as the earth it self. They are in short so many real monuments of Brass.

Quod non imber edax non aquilo, impotens
Possit diruere, aut innumerabilis
Annorum series, & fuga temporum.
Which eating show'rs, nor northwind's feeble blast,
Nor whirle of time, nor flight of years can waste.
Mr. Creech.

This is a noble Panegyric on an old copper Coin, says Cynthio. But I am afraid a little ma­licious [Page 24] rust would demolish one of your braze [...] edifices as effectually as a Goth or Vandal. Yo [...] would laugh at me, says Philander, should I mak [...] you a learned dissertation on the nature of Rusts I shall only tell you there are two or three sort of them which are extremely beautiful in the ey [...] of an Antiquary, and preserve a Coin better tha [...] the best artificial varnish. As for other kinds, skilful Medallist knows very well how to de [...] with them. He will recover you a Temple o [...] a triumphal Arch out of its rubbish, if I may [...] call it, and with a few reparations of the gravin [...] tool restore it to its first splendour and magnif [...] cence. I have known an Emperor quite hid u [...] der a crust of dross, who after two or three day [...] cleansing has appeared with all his Titles abo [...] him as fresh and beautiful as at his first comi [...] out of the Mint. I am sorry, says Eugenius, did not know this last use of Medals when I w [...] at Rome. It might perhaps have given me a greater taste of its Antiquities, and have fixed in m [...] memory several of the ruins that I have now fo [...] gotten For my part, says Cynthio, I think the [...] are at Rome enow modern works of Architectu [...] to employ any reasonable man. I never cou [...] have a taste for old bricks and rubbish, nor wou [...] trouble my self about the ruines of Augustus's P [...] lace so long as I could see the Vatican, t [...] Borghese, and the Farnese as they now stand; must own to you at the same time this is talki [...] like an ignorant man. Were I in other comp [...] ny I would perhaps change my style, and t [...] them that I would rather see the fragments [...] Apollo's Temple than St. Peter's. I rememb [...] when our Antiquary at Rome had led us a who [...] [Page 25] day together from one ruin to another, he at last brought us to the Rotunda, And this, says he, is the most valuable Antiquity in Italy, notwith­standing it is so entire.

The same kind of fancy, says Philander, has formerly gained upon several of your Medallists, who were for hoording up such pieces of money only as had been half consumed by time or rust. There were no Coins pleased them more than those which had passed through the hands of an old Roman Clipper. I have read an Author of this taste that compares a ragged Coin to a tattered Colours. But to come again to our Subject. As we find on Medals the plans of several buildings that are now demolished, we see on them too the Models of many ancient Statues that are now lost. There are several Reverses which are own­ed to be the representations of antique figures, and I question not but there are many others that were formed on the like Models, though at pre­sent they lie under no suspicion of it. The Her­c [...]les Farnese, the Venus of Medicis, the Apollo in the Belvidera, and the famous Marcus Aurelius on horse-back, which are perhaps the four most beautiful Statues extant, make their appearance all of them on ancient Medals, though the figures that represent them were never thought to be the [...]pies of statues till the statues themselves were discovered. There is no question, I think, but t [...] same reflexion may extend it self to antique P [...]ctures: for I doubt not but in the designs of se­veral Greek Medals in particular, one might of­ten see the hand of an Apelles or Protogenes, were we as well acquainted with their works as [...]e are with Titian's or Vandike's. I might here [Page 26] make a much greater show of the Usefulness of Medals, if I would take the method of others, and prove to you that all arts and sciences receive a considerable illustration from this study. I must however tell you, that Medals and the Civil Law, as we are assured by those who are well read in both, give a considerable light to each other, and that several old Coins are like so many maps for explaining of the ancient Geography. But besides the more solid parts of learning, there are severa [...] little intimations to be met with on Medals tha [...] are very pleasant to such as are conversant in thi [...] kind of study. Should I tell you gravely, tha [...] without the help of Coins we should never have known which was the first of the Emperors tha [...] wore a beard, or rode in stirrups, I might turt my science into ridicule. Yet it is certai [...] there are a thousand little impertinencies of this nature that are very gratifying to curiosity, tho' per­haps not very improving to the understanding To see the dress that such an Empress delighte [...] to be drawn in, the titles that were most agreeabl [...] to such an Emperor, the flatteries that he lay mo [...] open to, the honours that he paid to his chi [...] dren, wives, predecessors, friends or collegue with the like particularities only to be met with o [...] Medals, are certainly not a little pleasing to th [...] inquisitive temper which is so natural to the min [...] of man.

I declare to you, says Cynthio, you have ast [...] nished me with the several parts of knowledg [...] that you have discovered on Medals. I cou [...] never fancy before this evening, that a Coin cou [...] have any nobler use in it than to pay a recko [...] ing.

[Page 27]You have not heard all yet, says Philander, there is still an advantage to be drawn from Me­dals, which I am sure will heighten your esteem for them. It is indeed an use that no body has hitherto dwelt upon. If any of the Antiquaries have touched upon it, they have immediately quitted it, without considering it in its full latitude, light and extent. Not to keep you in suspence, I think there is a great affinity between Coins and Poetry, and that your Medallist and Critic are much nearer related than the world generally imagines. A reverse often clears up the passage of an old poet, as the poet often serves to unrid­dle a reverse. I could be longer on this head, but I fear I have already tired you. Nay, says Eugenius, since you have gone so far with us, we must beg you to finish your lecture, especial­ly since you are on a subject, that I dare promise you will be very agreeable to Cynthio, who is so professed an admirer of the ancient poets. I must only warn you, that you do not charge your Coins with more uses than they can bear. It is generally the method of such as are in love with any particular science to discover all others in it. Who would imagine, for example, that archite­cture should comprehend the knowledge of histo­ [...]y, ethics, music, astronomy, natural philosophy, [...]hysic and the civil law? Yet Vitruvius will give [...]ou his reasons, such as they are, why a good ar­chitect is master of these several arts and sciences. Sure, says Cynthio, Martial had never read Vitru­vius when he threw the Cryer and the Architect into the same class.

Duri si puer ingeni videtur
Preconem facias vel architectum.

[Page 28]
If of dull parts the stripling you suspect,
A herald make him, or an architect.

But to give you an instance out of a very cele­brated discourse on poetry, because we are on that subject, of an author's finding out imaginary beauties in his own art. I have obser­ved, Vossius de viribus Rythmi. says he, (speaking of the natura [...] propension that all men have to num­bers and harmony) that my barber ha [...] often combed my head in Dactyls an [...] Spondees, that is, with two short strokes and a lon [...] one, or with two long ones successively. Nay, say he, I have known him sometimes run even int [...] Pyrrhichius's and Anapoestus's. This you wil [...] think perhaps a very extravagant fancy, but I mus [...] own I should as soon expect to find the Prosodu [...] in a Comb as Poetry in a Medal. Before I en­deavour to convince you of it, says Philander, I mus [...] confess to you that this science has its visionarie [...] as well as all others. There are several, for example, that will find a mystery in every tooth o [...] Neptune's trident, and are amazed at the wisdo [...] of the ancients that represented a thunder-bol [...] with three forks, since, they will tell you, nothing could have better explained its triple quality of piercing, burning and melting. I have see a long discourse on the figure and nature of horn to shew it was impossible to have found out a fitte [...] emblem for plenty than the Cornu-copiae. These a [...] a sort of authors who scorn to take up with appearances, and fancy an interpretation vulg [...] when it is natural. What could have been mor [...] proper to shew the beauty and friendship of th [...] three Graces, than to represent them naked an [...] [Page 29] knitt together in a kind of dance? It is thus they always appear in ancient sculpture, whether on Medals or in Marble, as I doubt not but Horace alludes to designs of this nature, when he de­scribes them after the same manner.

Junctis nuda sororibus:
—Segnesque nodum solvere Gratiae.

The Sister-Graces hand in hand
Conjoin'd by love's eternal band.

Several of your Medallists will be here again a­stonished at the wisdom of the ancients, that knew how to couch such excellent Precepts of morality under visible objects. The nature of Gratitude, they will tell you, is better illustrated by this single device, than by Seneca's whole book d [...] Beneficiis. The three Graces teach us three things. I. To remark the doing of a cour­tesie. II. The return of it from the receiver. III. The obligation of the receiver to acknow­ledge it. The three Graces are always hand in hand, to show us that these three duties should be never separated. They are naked, to admonish us that Gratitude should be returned with a free and open heart; and dancing, to shew us that no virtue is more active than Gratitude. May not we here say with Lucretius?

Quae bene & eximie quanquam disposta ferantur,
Sunt longè tamen a verâ ratione repulsa.

It is an easy thing, says Eugenius, to find out designs that never entered into the thoughts of the [...]ulptor or the coiner. I dare say, the same [Page 30] Gentlemen who have fixed this piece of morality on the three naked Sisters dancing hand in hand, would have found out as good a one for them, had there been four of them sitting at a distance from each other, and covered from head to foot. It is here therefore, says Philander, that the old Poets step in to the assistance of the Medallist, when they give us the same though in words as the masters of the Roman min [...] have done in figures. A man may see a meta­phor or an allegory in picture, as well as rea [...] them in a description. When therefore I con­front a Medal with a Verse, I only shew yo [...] the same design executed by different hands, and appeal from one master to another of the sam [...] age and taste. This is certainly a much sure way than to build on the interpretations of a [...] author who does not consider how the ancient used to think, but will be still inventing mysteries and applications out of his own fancy. T [...] make my self more intelligible, I find a shield o [...] the reverse of an Emperor's Coin, designed as [...] compliment to him from the senate of Rome. meet with the same metaphor in ancient poets t [...] express protection or defence. I conclude therefore that this Medal compliments the Emper [...] in the same sense as the old Romans did the Dictator Fabius when they called him the Buc [...] ler of Rome. Put this reverse now if you pleas [...] into the hands of a mystical antiquary; He sha [...] tell you that the use of the shield being to defen [...] the body from the weapons of an enemy, it ver [...] aptly shadows out to us the resolution or co [...] tinence of the Emperor, which made him pro [...] to all the attacks, of fortune or of pleasure. [...] [Page 31] the next place, the figure of the shield being round it is an emblem of perfection, for Aristotle has said the round figure is the most perfect. It may likewise signify the immortal reputation that the Emperor has acquired by his great actions, ro­tundity being an emblem of eternity that has nei­ther beginning nor end. After this I dare not an­swer for the shield's convexity that it does not co­ver a mystery, nay there shall not be the least wrinkle or flourish upon it which will not turn to some account. In this case therefore * Poe­try being in some respects an art of designing as well as Painting or Sculpture, they may serve as Comments on each other. I am very well satisfied, says Eugenius, by what you have said on this subject, that the Poets may contribute to the explication of such reverses as are purely emblematical, or when the persons are of that shadowy allegorical nature you have before men­tioned, but I suppose there are many other re­verses that represent things and persons of a more real existence. In this case too, says Phi­lander, a Poet lets you into the knowledge of a device better than a Prose-writer, as his de­scriptions are often more diffuse, his story more naturally circumstanced, and his language en­riched with a greater variety of epithets: So that you often meet with little hints and suggestions in a Poet that give a great illustration to the cu­stoms, actions, ornaments, and all kinds of Antiqui­ties that are to be met with on ancient Coins. I fancy, says Cynthio, there is nothing more ridicu­lous than an Antiquary's reading the Greek or [Page 32] Latin Poets. He never thinks of the beauty of the thought or language, but is for searching in­to what he calls the Erudition of the Author. He will turn you over all Virgil to find out the figure of an old Rostrum, and has the greatest esteem imaginable for Homer, because has given us the fashion of a Greek scepter. It is indeed odd enough to consider how all kinds of Readers find their account in the old Poets. Not only your men of the more refined or solid parts of Learning, but even your Alchymist and Fortune-teller will discover the secrets of their art in Ho­mer and Virgil. This, says Eugenius, is a pre­judice of a very ancient standing. Read but Plu­tarch's discourse on Homer, and you will see that the Iliad contains the whole circle of arts, and that Thales and Pythagoras stole all their philosophy out of this Poet's works. One would be amazed to see what pains he takes to prove that Homer understood all the figures in Rhetoric, before they were invented. I do not question, says Philander, were it possible for Homer to read his praises in this Author, but he would be as much surprized as ever Monsieur Jordain was when he had found he had talked Prose all his life-time without ever knowing what it was. But to finish the task you have set me, we may observe that not only the Virtues, and the like imaginary persons, but all the heathen Divinities appear generally in the same Dress among the Po­ets that they wear in Medals. I must confess, I believe both the one and the other took the Mode from the ancient Greek Statuaries. It will not perhaps be an improper transition to pass from the heathen gods to the several monsters of antiquity, [Page 33] as Chimaeras, Gorgons, Sphinxes, and many others that make the same figure in verse as on coins. It often happens too, that the Poet and the Se­nate of Rome have both chosen the same Topic to flatter their Emperor upon, and have some­times fallen upon the same thought. It is cer­tain, they both of them lay upon the catch for a great action: It is no wonder therefore, that they were often engaged on one subject, the Medal and the Poem being nothing else but oc­casional compliments to the Emperor. Nay, I question not but you may sometimes find certain passages among the Poets that relate to the par­cular device of a Medal.

I wonder, says Eugenius, that your Medallists have not been as diligent in searching the Poets as the Historians, since I find they are so capable of enlightning their art. I would have some bo­dy put the Muses under a kind of contribution to furnish out whatever they have in them that bears any relation to Coins. Though they taught us but the same things that might be learnt in other writings, they would at least teach us more agreeably, and draw several over to the study of Medals that would rather be instructed in verse than in prose. I am glad, says Philander, to hear you of this opinion, for to tell you truly, when I was at Rome, I took occasion to buy up many Imperial Medals that have any affinity with passages of the ancient Poets. So that I have by me a sort of poetical Cash, which I fancy I could count over to you in Latin and Greek verse, If you will drink a dish of Tea with me to-mor­row morning, I will lay my whole collection before you. I cannot tell, says Cynthio, how the [Page 34] Poets will succeed in the explication of coins, t [...] which they are generally very great strangers. We are however obliged to you for preventing us with the offer of a kindness that you might well imagine we should have asked you.

Our three friends had been so intent on thei [...] discourse, that they had rambled very far int [...] the fields without taking notice of it. Philande [...] first put them in mind, that unless they turne [...] back quickly they would endanger being benighted. Their conversation ran insensibly into othe [...] subjects, but as I design only to report such part of it as have any relation to Medals, I shall leav [...] them to return home as fast as they please, with out troubling my self with their talk on the w [...] thither, or with their ceremonies at parting.



SOME of the finest treatises of the most po­lite Latin and Greek writers are in Dialogue, as many very valued pieces of French, Itali­an, and English appear in the same dress. I have sometimes however been very much distasted at this way of writing, by reason of the long Pre­faces and exordiums into which it often betrays an author. There is so much time taken up in ceremony, that before they enter on their subject the Dialogue is half ended. To avoid the fault I have found in others, I shall not trouble my self nor my Reader with the first salutes of our three friends, nor with any part of their discourse over the Tea-table. We will suppose the China dishes taken off, and a Drawer of Medals supply­ing their room. Philander, who is to be the He­roe in my Dialogue, takes it in his hand, and ad­dressing himself to Cynthio and Eugenius, I will first of all, says he, show you an assembly of the most virtuous Ladies that you have ever perhaps conversed with. I do not know, says Cynthio, re­garding them, what their virtue may be, but me­thinks they are a little fantastical in their dress. You will find, says Philander, there is good sense in it. They have not a single ornament that they cannot give a reason for. I was going to ask you, says Eugenius, in what country you find these Ladies. But I see they are some of those [Page 36] imaginary persons you told us of last night that inhabit old Coins, and appear no where else but on the reverse of a Medal. Their proper coun­try, says Philander, is the breast of a good man: for I think they are most of them the figures of Virtues. It is a great compliment methinks to the sex, says Cynthio, that your Virtues are gene­rally shown in petticoats. I can give no other reason for it, says Philander, but because they chanced to be of the feminine gender in the learn­ed languages.First Series. FIGURE I. You find however something bold and masculine in the air and posture of the first figure, which is that of Virtue her self, and agrees very well with the description we find of her in Silius Italicus.

Virtutis dispar habitus, frons hirta, nec unquam
Compositâ mutata comâ, stans vultus, et ore
Incessuque viro propior, laetique pudoris,
Celsa humeris, niveae fulgebat stamine pallae.
Sil. It. L. 15.

A different form did Virtue wear,
Rude from her forehead fell th' unplaited hair,
With dauntless mien aloft she rear'd her head,
And next to manly was the virgin's tread;
Her height, her sprightly blush, the Goddess show,
And robes unsullied as the falling snow.

Virtue and Honour had their Temples bordering on each other, and are sometimes both on the same coin,FIG. 2. as in the following one of Galba. Silius Italicus makes them companions in the glorious equipage that he gives his Virtue.

[Page 37]
[Virtus loquitur.]
Mecum Honor, et Laudes, et laeto Gloria vultu,
Et Decus, et niveis Victoria concolor alis.

[Virtue speaks.]
With me the foremost place let Honour gain,
Fame, and the Praises mingling in her train;
Gay Glory next, and Victory on high,
White like my self, on snowy wings shall fly.

Tu cujus placido posuere in pectore sedem
Blandus Honos, hilarisque (tamén cum pondere) Virtus.
Stat. Sil. l. 2.

The head of Honour is crowned with a Laurel, as Martial has adorned his Glory after the same manner, which indeed is but another name for the same person. ‘Mitte coronatas Gloria maesta comas.’ I find, says Cynthio, the Latins mean Courage by the figure of Virtue, as well as by the word it self. Courage was esteemed the greatest perfe­ction among them, and therefore went under the name of Virtue in general, as the modern Italians give the same name on the same account to the Knowledge of Curiosities. Should a Roman Painter at present draw the picture of Virtue, in­ [...]ead of the Spear and Paratonium that she bears [...]n old coins, he would give her a Bust in one hand and a Fiddle in the other.

The next, says Philander, FIG. 3. is a Lady of a more peaceful character, and had [...]er Temple at Rome. [Page 38]—Salutato crepitat Concordia nido.’ She is often placed on the reverse of an Imperi [...] coin to show the good understanding betwee [...] the Emperor and the Empress. She has alway [...] a Cornu-copiae in her hand, to denote that Plent [...] is the fruit of Concord. After this short accou [...] of the Goddess, I desire you will give me you [...] opinion of the Deity that is described in the fo [...] lowing verses of Seneca, who would have he propitious to the marriage of Jason and Creus: He mentions her by her qualities, and not b [...] her name.

Martis sanguineas quae cohibet manus,
Quae dat belligeris foedera gentibus,
Et cornu retinet divite copiam.
Sen. Med. Act. 1

Who sooths great Mars the warriour God,
And checks his arm distain'd with blood,
Who joins in leagues the jarring lands,
The horn of Plenty fills her hands.

The description, says Eugenius, is a copy of th [...] figure we have before us: and for the future, in stead of any further note on this passage, 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 wel [...] with Concord: and that this was a Goddess wh [...] [Page 39] [...]ed to interest her self in marriages, we may see the following description.

—Jamdudum poste reclinis,
Quaerit Hymen thalamis intactum dicere carmen,
Quo vatem mulcere queat; dat Juno verenda
Vincula, et insigni geminat Concordia taedâ.
Statii Epithalamion. Silv. li. 1.
Already leaning at the door, too long
Sweet Hymen waits to raise the nuptial Song,
Her sacred bands majestick Juno lends,
And Concord with her flaming torch attends.

Peace differs as little in her Dress as in her Character from Concord. FIG. 4. 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-copiae. It is to this part of the Dress that Tibullus alludes.

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

Kind Peace appear,
And in thy right hand hold the wheaten ear,
From thy white lap th' o'erflowing fruits, shall fall.

Prudentius has given us the same circumstance in his description of Avarice.

—Avaritia gremio praecincta capaci.
Prud. Psychomachia.

[Page 40] How proper 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 uvae,
Funderet ut nato testa paterna merum:
Pace bidens vomerque vigent.—
Tibul. El. 10. Lib. 1.

She first, White Peace, the earth with plough­shares broke,
And bent the oxen to the crooked yoke,
First rear'd the vine, and hoarded first with ca [...]
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—
Virg. Aen. 10.

Ingreditur, ramumque tenens popularis Olivae.
Ov. Met. lib. 7.

In his right hand an Olive-branch he holds.

Indomitum duramque viri deflectere mentem
Pacifico sermone parant, hostemque propinquum
Orant Cecropiae praelatâ fronde Minervae.
Luc. lib. 3.

—To move his haughty soul they try
Intreaties, and perswasion soft apply;
Their brows Minerva's peaceful branches wear,
And thus in gentlest terms they greet his ear.
Mr. Rowe.

[Page 41] Which by the way one would think had been spoken rather of an Attila, or a Maximin, than Julius Caesar.

You see Abundance or Plenty makes the same figure in Medals as in Horace. FIG. 5.

—tibi Copia▪
Manabit ad plenum benigno
Ruris honorum opulenta cornu.
Hor. Lib. 1. Od. 17.

—Here to thee shall Plenty flow
And all her riches show,
To raise the honour of the quiet plain.
Mr. Creech.

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. 1.
—Golden Plenty with a bounteous hand
Rich harvests freely scatters o'er our land.
Mr. Creech.

But to return again to our Virtues.FIG. 6. You have here the picture of Fidelity, who was worshipped as a Goddess among the Romans.

Situ oblitus es at Dij meminerunt, meminit Fides.
Catul. ad Alphen.

I should fancy, from the following verses of Vir­gil [Page 42] and Silius Italicus, that she was represented under the figure of an old woman.

Cana Fides, et Vesta, Remo cum fratre Quirin [...]
Jura dabunt—
Virg. Aen. Lib. 1
Then banish'd Faith shall once again return,
And vestal fires in hallow'd temples burn,
And Remus with Quirinus shall sustain
The righteous laws, and fraud and force restrain.
Mr. Dryde [...]
—ad limina sanctae
Tendebat Fidei, secretaque pectora tentat.
Arcanis dea laeta, polo tum forte remoto
Coelicolum magnas volvebat conscia curas.
Ante Jovem generata, decus divumque hom [...] numque,
Quâ sine non tellus pacem; non aequora norunt,
Justitiae consors—
Sil. It. Lib.
He to the shrines of Faith his steps addrest.
She, pleas'd with secrets rowling in her breast
Far from the world remote, revolv'd on high
The cares of gods, and counsels of the sky.
Ere Jove was born she grac'd the bright abodes
Consort of Justice, boast of men and gods;
Without whose heavenly aid no peace below
The stedfast earth, and rowling ocean know.

FIG. 7.There is a Medal of Heliogabal [...] inscrib'd 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 [Page 43] [...]her of preserving the publick 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 [...]nd 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 —
Hor. Od. 35. Lib. 1.

Sure Hope and Friendship cloath'd in White,
Attend on thee. —
Mr. Creech.

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.

— quem ducit hiantem
Cretata ambitio—
Pers. Sat. 5.

And how properly the Epithet of Rara agrees with her, you may see in the transpa­rency of the next figure.FIG. 8. She is here dressed in such a kind of Vest as the [...]atins call a Multicium from the fineness of its issue. Your Roman Beaus had their summer [...]a of such a light airy make.

Quem tenues decuere togae nitidique capilli.
Hor. Ep. 14. Lib. 1.

[Page 44]
I that lov'd—
Curl'd powder'd locks, a fine and gawdy gow [...]
Mr. Cree [...]

I remember, says Cynthio, Juvenal rallys Cre [...] cus, that was otherwise a brave rough fellow, very handsomely, on this kind of garment.

— sed quid
Non facient alij cum tu multitia sumas,
Cretice? et hanc vestem populo mirante peror [...]
In Proculas et Pollineas. —
Juv. Sat.
Acer et indomitus Libertatisque magister,
Cretice, pelluces —
Ibi [...]
— Nor, vain Metellus, shall
From Rome's Tribunal thy harangues prevail
'Gainst harlotry, while thou art clad so thin,
That thro' thy Cobweb-robe we see thy skin,
As thou declaim'st —
Mr. Tat [...]
Can'st thou restore old manners, or retrench
Rome's pride, who com'st transparent to th [...] Bench?

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 nothin [...] without a meaning. Besides, I suppose there a moral precept at least couch'd under the figur [...] she holds in her other hand. She draws bac [...] her garment, says Philander, that it may not in cumber 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.

[Page 45]
[...]t canis in vacuo leporem cum Gallicus arvo
[...]idit, et hic praedam pedibus petit, ille salutem:
[...]lter in-haesuro similis, jam jamque tenere
[...]perat, et extento stringit vestigia rostro;
[...]lter 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. 1.
As when th' impatient Greyhound slipt from far,
[...]ounds 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'er-runs her at the sitting turn, and licks
His chaps in vain, and blows upon the flix:
She 'scapes, and for the neighb'ring covert strives,
And gaining shelter doubts if yet she lives: —
Such was the god, and such the flying fair,
She, urg'd by Fear, her feet did swiftly move,
But he more swiftly who was urg'd 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 blossome that you see in the right hand is a proper ornament for Hope, since they are these that we term in poetical language th [...] Hopes of the year.

[...]ere novo, tunc herba nitens, et roboris expers
[...]urget et insolida est, et Spe delectat agrestes.
Omnia tum florent florumque coloribus almus
Ridet ager —
Ov. Met. Lib. 15.
The green stem grows in stature and in size,
But only feeds with Hope the Farmer's eyes;
[Page 46]Then laughs the childish year with flowre crownd,
And lavishly perfumes the fields around.
Mr. Dryde [...]

The same Poet in his De fastis, speaking of [...] Vine in flower, expresses it

In spe vitis erat —
Ov. de Fast. Lib.

FIG. 9.The next on the List is a Lady of contrary character, and therefore in quite different posture. As Security is free from pursuits, she is represented leaning carelesly on pillar. Horace has drawn a pretty metaphor fro [...] this posture.

Nullum me a labore reclinat otium.
No ease doth lay me down from pain.
Mr. Cree [...]

She rests her self on a pillar, for the same reas [...] as the Poets often compare an obstinate resol [...] tion or a great firmness of mind, to a rock th [...] is not to be moved by all the assaults of win or waves.

Non civium ardor prava jubentium,
No vultus instantis tyranni,
Mente quatit solidâ, neque Auster
Dux inquietae turbidus Adriae, &c.
The man resolv'd, and steady to his trust,
Inflexible to ill, and obstinately just,
May the rude rabble's insolence despise,
Their senseless clamours and tumultuous cri [...]
The tyrant's fierceness he beguiles,
And the stern brow and the harsh voice defies,
And with superior greatness smiles.
[...]ot the rough whirlwind that deforms
[...]dria's black gulf—&c.
Mr. Creech.

I am apt to think it was on Devices of this na­ture that Horace had his eye in his Ode to Fortune. It is certain he alludes to a pillar that figured out Security, or something very like it; and till any body finds out another that will stand better in [...]s place, I think we may content our selves with this before us.

[...]e Dacus asper, te profugi Scythae
[...]rbesque gentesque et Latium ferox,
Regumque matres harharorum, et
Purpurei metuunt tyranni:
Injurioso nè pede proruas
Stantem columnam; neu populus frequens
Ad arma cessantes, ad arma
Concitet, imperiumque frangat.
Ad Fortunam. Hor. Lib. 1. Od. 35.

To thee their vows rough Germans pay,
To thee the wandring Scythians bend,
Thee mighty Rome proclaims a friend:
And for their Tyrant sons
The barb'rous Mothers pray
[...]o thee, the greatest guardian of their Thrones.
They bend, they vow, and still they fear,
Lest you should kick their Column down,
And cloud the glory of their Crown;
They fear that you would raise
[Page 48]The lazy crowd to war,
And break their Empire, or confine their prai [...].
Mr. Cree [...]

I must however be so fair as to let you know th [...] Peace and Felicity have their pillars in sever [...] Medals as well as Security, so that if you do [...] like one of them, you may take the other.

FIG. 10.The next Figure is that of Chasty, who was worshipped as a Go [...] dess, and had her Temple.

—deinde ad superos Astraea recessit
Hâc comite, atque duae pariter fugere sorores.
De pudicitia. Juv. Sat.

At length uneasy Justice upwards flew,
And both the Sisters to the Stars withdrew.
Mr. Drya [...]

Templa pudicitiae quid opus statuisse puellis,
Si cuivis nuptae quidlibet esse licet?
Tib. Lib

Since wives whate'er they please unblam'd can
Why rear we useless Fanes to Chastity?

How her posture and dress become her, you [...] see in the following verses.

Ergo sedens velat vultus, obnubit ocellos
Ista verecundi signa Pudoris erant.
Al [...]

She sits, her visage veil'd, her eyes conceal'd
By marks like these was Chastity reveal'd.

[Page 49]
[...] procul vittae tenues, insigne pudoris,
Quaeque tegit medios instita long a pedes.
Ov. de Art. Aman.

— frontem limbo velata pudicam.
Claud. de Theod. Cons.

Hence! ye smooth fillets on the forehead bound,
Whose bands the brows of Chastity surround,
And her coy Robe that lengthens to the ground.

Sh [...] represented in the habit of a Roman Matron.

[...]atronae praeter faciem nil cernere possis,
[...]etera, ni Catia est, demissâ veste tegentis.
Hor. Sat. 2. Lib. 1.

[...]sides, a Matron's face is seen alone;
[...]ut Kate's, that female bully of the town,
[...]r all the rest is cover'd with a gown.
Mr. Creech.

Th [...] ni Catia est, says Cynthio, is a beauty un­known to most of our English Satyrists. Ho­race knew how to stab with address, and to give a thrust where he was least expected Boileau ha [...] nicely imitated him in this, as well as his o­the [...] beauties. But our English Libellers are for he [...]ng a man down-right, and for letting him see at [...]istance that he is to look for no mercy. I own to you, says Eugenius, I have often admi­red this piece of art in the two Satyrists you men­tion and have been surprized to meet with a man in Satire that I never in the least expected to [Page 50] find there. They have a particular way of hiding their ill-nature, and introduce a criminal rather to illustrate a precept or passage, than out of any seeming design to abuse him. Our English Poets on the contrary show a kind of malice prepense in their Satires, and instead of bringing in the per­son to give light to any part of the Poem, let you see they writ the whole Poem on purpose to abuse the person. But we must not leave the Ladies thus. Pray what kind of head-dress is that of Piety?

As Chastity, says Philander, appears in the habit of a Roman matron, in whom that Virtue was sup­posed to reign in its perfection, Piety wears the dress of the Vestal Virgins,FIG. 11: who were the greatest and most shining exam­ples of it. Vittata Sacerdos is you know an Expres­sion among the Latin Poets. I do not question but you have seen in the Duke of Florence's gallery a beautiful antique figure of a woman standing before an Altar, which some of the Antiquaries call a Piety and others a Vestal Virgin. The woman, Altar and fire burning on it, are seen in marble exactly as in this coin, and bring to my mind a part of [...] speech that Religion makes in Phaedrus's fables.

Sed ne ignis noster facinori praeluceat,
Per quem verendos excolit Pietas deos.
Fab. 10. Li. 4

It is to this Goddess that Statius addresses him­self in the following lines.

Summa deum Pietas! cujus gratissima coelo
Rara profanatas inspectant numina terras,
Huc vittata comam, niveaque insignis amictu,
[Page 51] [...]alis adhuc praesens, nullâque expulsa nocentum
[...]ude rudes populos atque aurea regna colebas,
M [...]tibus exequiis ades, et lugentis Hetrusci
[...]ne pios fletus, laudataque lumina terge.
Statius Silv. Li. 3.

C [...]ief of the Skies, celestial Piety!
Whose god-head, priz'd by those of heavenly birth,
Re [...]isits rare these tainted realms of Earth,
M [...]ld in thy milk-white vest, to sooth my friend,
With holy fillets on thy brows descend,
S [...]ch as of old (ere chac'd by Guilt and Rage)
A [...]ace unpolish'd, and a golden age,
[...]eld thee frequent. Once more come below,
M [...] in the soft solemnities of woe,
S [...], see, thy own Hetruscus wastes the day
In [...]ious grief; and wipe his tears away.

The little trunk she holds in her left hand is the [...] that you so often find among the Poets, in w [...]ich the frankincense was preserv'd that Pi­ [...]ty [...]ere supposed to strow on the fire.

D [...]tque sacerdoti custodem thuris acerram.
Ov. Met. Li. 13.
Haec tibi pro nato plenâ dat laetus acerrâ
P [...]be —
Mart. Li. 4. Epig. 45.

T [...] figure of Equity differs but lit­ [...]e from that our painters make of [...]er a [...] present.FIG. 12. The scales she carries in her hand [...]re so natural an emblem of justice, that Persius [...]as [...]med them into an allegory to express the deci­ [...]o [...] [...]f right or wrong.

[Page 52]
— Quirites
Hoc puto non justumest, illud male, rectius istus
Scis etenim justum geminâ suspendere lance
Ancipitis Librae. —
Socrat. ad Alcibiad. Sat.
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 rig [...]
And give each argument its proper weight:
Know'st with an equal hand to hold the scale, &
Mr. Dryde

FIG. 13.The next figure I present you wi [...] is Eternity. She holds in her ha [...] a globe with a Phaenix on it. How proper a [...] of Eternity is each of these you may see in [...] following quotations. I am sure you will p [...] don the length of the latter as it is not impro [...] to the occasion, and shows at the same time [...] great fruitfulness of the Poet's fancy, that co [...] turn the same thought to so many different wa [...]

Haec Aeterna manet, divisque simillima forma [...]
Cui neque principium est usquam, nec finis: ipso
Sed fimilis toto remanet, perque omnia par est
de Rotunditate Corporum. Manil. Li.

This form's eternal, and may justly claim
A god-like nature, all its parts the same;
Alike, and equal to its self 'tis found,
No end's and no beginning in a round:
[Page 53] [...]ought can molest its Being, nought controul,
And this enobles, and confines the whole.
Mr. Creech.

[...]ar volucer superis: Stellas qui vividus aequat
[...]urando, membrisque terit redeuntibus aevum.—
[...]am pater est prolesque sui, nulloque creante
Emeritos artus foecunda morte reformat,
Et petit alternam totidem per funera vitam.—
O [...]senium positure rogo, falsisque sepulchris
[...]atales habiture vices, qui saepe renasci
Exitio, proprioque soles pubescere letho. —
[...] felix, haeresque tui! quo solvimur omnes,
[...]c tibi suppeditat vires, praebetur origo
[...]r cinerem, moritur te non pereunte senectus.
[...]disti quodcunque fuit. Te secula teste
[...]uncta revolvuntur: nosti quo tempore pontus
[...]derit elatas scopulis stagnantibus undas:
[...]is Phaetonteis erroribus arserit annus.
E [...] clades Te nulla rapit, solusque superstes
[...]omitâ tellure manes, non stamina Parcae
[...] Te dura legunt, non jus habuere nocendi.
de Phoenice. Claud.

A God-like bird! whose endless round of years
Outlasts the stars, and tires the circling spheres;—
Begot by none himself, begetting none,
Si [...]e of himself he is, and of himself the son;
[...]is life in fruitful death renews its date,
[...]d kind destruction but prolongs his fate.—
[...]hou, says he, whom harmless fires shall burn
[...]y age the flame to second youth shall turn,
A [...] infant's cradle is thy fun'ral urn. —
Thrice happy Phaenix! Heav'n's peculiar care
Has made thy self thy self's surviving heir.
[Page 54]By Death thy deathless vigour is supply'd,
Which sinks to ruine all the world beside.
Thy age, not thee, assisting Phoebus burns,
And vital flames light up thy fun'ral Urns.
Whate'er events have been thy eyes survey,
And thou art fix'd while ages roll away.
Thou saw'st when raging ocean burst his b [...]
O'er-top'd the mountains, and the earth o [...] spread;
When the rash youth inflam'd the high abo [...]
Scorch'd up the skies, and scar'd the death Gods.
When nature ceases, thou shalt still remain,
Nor second Chaos bound thy endless reign
Fate's tyrant laws thy happier lot shall bra [...]
Baffle destruction, and elude the grave.

The circle of rays that you see round the hea [...] the Phaenix distinguish him to be the bird and spring of the Sun.

Solis avi specimen —
Una est quae reparet seque ipsa reseminet al [...]
Assyrii Phaenica vocant: non fruge neque h [...]
Sed Thuris lacrymis, et succo vivit amomi.
Haec ubi quinque suae complevit secula vitae,
Ilicis in ramis, tremulaeve cacumine palmae,
Unguibus et duro sibi nidum construit ore:
Quo simul ac casias, ac nardi lenis aristas
Quassaque cum falvâ substravit cinnama myr [...]
Se super imponit, finitque in odoribus aevum
Inde ferunt totidem qui vivere debeat anno [...]
Corpore de patrio parvum phaenica renasci.
Cum dedit huic aetas vires, onerique ferend [...]
Ponderibus nidi ramos levat arboris altae,
[Page 55] [...]ertque pius cunasque suas, patriumque sepulcrum,
[...]erque leves auras Hyperionis urbe potitus
[...]nte fores sacras Hyperionis aede reponit.
Ov. Met. Li. 15.

—Titanius ales.
Claud. de Phaenice.

— From himself the Phaenix only springs:
Self-born, begotten by the parent Flame,
In which he burn'd, another and the same.
Who not by corn or herbs his life sustains,
[...]ut the sweet essence of Amomum drains:
[...]nd watches the rich gums Arabia bears,
While yet in tender dew they drop their tears.
[...]e (his five centuries of life fulfill'd)
[...]is nest on oaken boughs begins to build,
[...]r trembling tops of Palm, and first he draws
[...]he plan with his broad bill and crooked claws,
Nature's artificers; on this the pile
[...] form'd, and rises round; then with the spoil
[...]f Casia, Cynamon, and stems of Nard,
For softness strew'd beneath) his fun'ral bed is rear'd:
[...]un'ral and bridal both; and all around
[...]he borders with corruptless Myrrh are crown'd,
On this incumbent; 'till aetherial flame
First catches, then consumes, the costly frame;
Consumes him too, as on the pile he lies;
He liv'd on odours, and in odours dies.
An Infant-Phaenix from the former springs,
[...]is father's heir, and from his tender wings
[...]akes off his parent dust, his method he pursues,
[...]nd 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,
[Page 56]He lightens of its load the tree, that bore
His father's royal sepulchre before,
And his own cradle: This (with pious care
Plac'd on his back) he cuts the buxom air,
Seeks the Sun's city, and his sacred church,
And decently lays down his burthen in porch.
Mr. Dry [...]

Sic ubi foecundâ reparavit morte juventam,
Et patrios idem cineres, collectaque portat
Unguibus ossa piis, Nilique ad littora tende [...]
Unicus extremo Phoenix procedit ab Euro:
Conveniunt Aquilae, cunctaeque ex orbe volu [...]
Ut Solis mirentur avem —
Claud. de laud. Stil. L.

So when his parent's pile hath ceas'd to bu [...]
Tow'rs the young Phaenix from the teeming t [...]
And from the purple east, with pious toil
Bears the dear reliques 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 prais

The radiated head of the Phaenix gives us meaning of a passage in Ausonius, which I formerly surprized to meet with in the desc [...] tion of a Bird. But at present I am very well [...]tisfied the Poet must have had his eye on the [...]gure of this Bird in ancient sculpture and pai [...] ing, as indeed it was impossible to take it fr [...] the life.

Ter nova Nestoreos implevit purpura fusos,
Et toties terno cornix vivacior aevo,
[Page 57]Quam novies terni glomerantem secula tractûs
V [...]ncunt aeripedes ter terno Nestore cervi,
[...]es quorum aetates superat Phoebeijus oscen,
[...]em novies senior Gangeticus anteit ales,
[...]es cinnameo radiatus tempora nido.
Auson. Eidyll. 11.

[...]canum radiant oculi jubar. igneus ora
Cingit honos, rutilo cognatum vertice sidus
[...]tollit cristatus apex, tenebrasque serenâ
I [...]ce secat—
Claud. de Phaen.

His fiery eyes shoot forth a glitt'ring ray,
[...]nd round his head ten thousand glories play:
[...]gh on his crest, a Star celestial bright
[...]vides the darkness with its piercing light.

— Procul ignea lucet
Ales, odorati redolent cui cinnama busti.
Cl. de laud. Stil. L. 2.

If you have a mind to compare this scale of Be­ [...] with that of Hesiod, I shall give it you in a [...]lation of that Poet.

[...]er binos deciesque novem super exit in annos
Justa senescentum quos implet vita virorum.
Hos novies superat vivendo garrula Cornix:
[...]t quater egreditur cornicis saecula cervus.
[...]lipedem cervum ter vincit Corvus: at illum
[...]ultiplicat novies Phoenix, reparabicis ales.
[...]am vos perpetuo decies praevertitis aevo
[...]mphae Hamadryades: quarum longissima vita est:
[...]i cohibent fines vivacia fata animantum.
Auson. Eidyll. 18.

[Page 58]
The utmost age to man the Gods assign
Are winters three times two, and ten times nine
Poor man nine times the prating Dawes excee [...]
Three times the Dawe's the Deer's more la [...] ing breed:
The Deer's full thrice the Raven's race outru [...]
Nine times the Raven Titan's feather'd son:
Beyond his age, with youth and beauty crown
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, sa [...] Cynthio, to understand this Author's works. H [...] descriptton runs on like a Multiplication Tab [...] But methinks the Poets ought to have agreed little better in the calculations of a Bird's life th [...] was probably of their own creation.

We generally find a great confusion in the [...] ditions of the ancients, says Phil [...] der. FIG. 14. It seems to me, from the n [...] Medal, it was an opinion among the [...] that the Phoenix renewed her self at the beginni [...] of the great year, and the return of the Gold [...] Age. This opinion I find touched upon in [...] couple of lines in Claudian.

Quicquid ab externis ales longaeva colonis.
Colligit, optati referens exordia saecli.
Claud. de rapt. Pros. Li.

The person in the midst of the circle is suppos [...] to be Jupiter, by the Author that has publish [...] this Medal, but I should rather take it for t [...] figure of Time. I remember I have seen at Ro [...] [Page 59] antique Statue of Time, with a wheel or [...]p of marble in his hand, as Seneca describes [...] and not with a serpent as he is generally re­p [...]ented.

— properat cursu
[...]ita citato, volucrique die
[...]ota praecipitis volvitur anni.
Herc. fur. Act. 1.

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

[...] the circle of marble in his hand represents the [...]mon year, so this that encompasses him is a [...]er representation of the great year, which [...]e whole round and comprehension of Time. [...] when this is finished, the heavenly bodies [...] supposed to begin their courses anew, and to [...]sure over again the several periods and divi­ [...]s of years, months, days, &c. into which the [...]t year is distinguished.

—consumto, Magnus qui dicitur, anno
[...]ursus in antiquum venient vaga sidera cursum:
Qualia dispositi steterant ob origine mundi.
Auson. Eidyl. 18.
When round the great Platonick year has turn'd,
[...]n their old ranks the wandring stars shall stand'
[...]s when first marshall'd by th' Almighty's hand.

T [...] sum up therefore the thoughts of this Medal. The inscription teaches us that the whole design [...]st refer to the Golden Age which it lively re­presents, [Page 60] if we suppose the circle that encompases Time, or if you please Jupiter, signifies th [...] finishing of the great year; and that the Phaen [...] figures out the beginning of a new series of tim [...] So that the compliment on this Medal to the Emperor Adrian, is in all respects the same that V [...] gil makes to Pollio's son, at whose birth he su [...] poses the annus magnus or platonical year [...] out, and renewed again with the opening of [...] Golden Age.

Magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo;
Jam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna:
Et nova progenies coelo demittitur alto.
Virg. Ec.
The time is come the Sibyls long foretold,
And the blest maid restores the Age of Gold
In the great wheel of Time before enroll'd.
Now a new progeny from Heav'n descends
Ld. Laudera
— nunc adest mundo dies
Supremus ille, qui premat genus impium
Coeli ruinâ; rursus ut stirpem novam
Generet renascens melior: ut quondam tulit
Juvenis tenente regna Saturno poli.
Sen. Oet. Act
—The last great day is come,
When earth and all her impious sons shall
Crusht in the ruines of the falling sky,
Whence fresh shall rise, her new-born rea [...] to grace,
A pious offspring and a purer race,
[Page 61] [...]uch as ere-while in golden ages sprung,
When Saturn govern'd, and the world was young.

[...] may compare the design of this reverse, if yo [...] please, with one of Constantine, so far as the P [...]enix is concerned in both. As for the other figure, we may have occasion to speak of it in a­nother place. Vid. 15 figure. King of France's Medalions.

The next figure shadows out Eter­ni [...] to us,FIG. 16. by the Sun in one hand [...] the Moon in the other, which in the lan­ [...]e of sacred poetry is as-long as the Sun and [...]n endureth. The heathens made choice of th [...]e Lights as apt symbols of Eternity, because, contrary to all sublunary Beings, though they seem to perish every night, they renew themselves every morning.

[...]les occidere et redire possunt;
Nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,
[...]ox est perpetua una dormienda.
The Suns shall often fall and rise:
But when the short-liv'd mortal dies
A night eternal seals his eyes.

[...]ace, whether in imitation of Catullus or not, [...] applied the same thought to the Moon: and [...] too in the plural number.

Damna tamen celeres reparant coelestia lunae:
Nos ubi decidimus
[Page 62]Quò pius Aeneas, quò Tullus dives, et Ancus,
Pulvis et umbra sumus.
Hor. Od. 7. Lib. [...]
Each loss the hastning Moon repairs again.
But we when once our race is done,
With Tullus and Anchises' son,
(Tho' rich like one, like t'other good)
To dust and shades, without a Sun,
Descend, and sink in dark oblivion's flood.
Sir W. Tem [...]

FIG. 17.In the next figure Eternity sits a globe of the heavens adorned w [...] stars. We have already seen how proper an e [...] ­blem of Eternity the globe is, and may find [...], duration of the stars made use of by the Poets [...]n expression of what is never like to end.

— Stellas qui vividus aequas
Durando —
—Polus dum sidera pascet,
Semper honos nomenque tuum laudesque maneb [...]
Virg. Aen. [...]
Lucida dum current annosi sidera mundi, &
Sen. M

Vid. FIG. 13.I might here tell you that Eter [...] ty has a covering on her he because we can never find out her beginni [...] that her legs are bare, because we see only th [...] parts of her that are actually running on; that fits on a globe and bears a scepter in her hand, shew that she is sovereign Mistress of all thing [...] but for any of these assertions I have no war [...] from the Poets.

[Page 63]You must excuse me, if I have been longer than ordinary on such a subject as Eternity. FIG. 18. The next you see is Victo­ry [...]o whom the Medallists as well as [...]oets never fail to give a pair of wings.

Adfuit ipsa suis Ales Victoria —
Claud. de 6. Cons. Honor.
—dubiis volitat Victoria pennis.
— niveis Victoria concolor alis.
Sil. It.

T [...] palm branch and lawrel were both the re­w [...]s of Conquerors, and therefore no impro­per ornaments for Victory.

—lentae Victoris praemia palmae.
Ov. Met.
[...]t palmae pretium Victoribus.
Virg. Aen. 5.
[...] ducibus haetis aderis cum laeta triumphum
[...]x canet, et longas visent capitolia pompas.
Apollo ad Laurum. Ov. Met.
Thou shalt the Roman festivals adorn;
Thou shalt returning Caesar's triumphs grace,
When pomps shall in a long procession pass.

I [...] [...]e way you may observe the lower plaits of the [...]rapery that seem to have gathered the wind into them. I have seen abundance of antique fi­gures in Sculpture and Painting, with just the [...] turn in the lower foldings of the Vest, [Page 64] when the person that wears it is in a posture tripping forward.

Obviaque adversas vibrabant flamina Vestes.
Ov. Met. Lib.

—As she fled, the wind
Increasing spread her flowing hair behind;
And left her legs and thighs expos'd to view
Dryd [...]

—tenues sinuantur flamine vestes.
Id. Lib

It is worth while to compare this figure of Vic [...] ry with her Statue as it is described in a very be [...] tiful passage of Prudentius.

Non aris non farre molae Victoria felix
Exorata venit: labor impiger, aspera virtus,
Vis animi, excellens ardor, violentia, cura,
Hanc tribuunt, durum tractandis robur in a [...],
Quae si defuerint bellantibus, aurea quamvis
Marmoreo in templo rutilas Victoria pinnas
Explicet, et multis surgat formata talentis:
Non aderit vestisque offensa videbitur hastis.
Quid miles propriis diffisus viribus optas
Irrita foemineae tibimet solatia formae?
Nunquam pennigeram legio ferrata puellam
Vidit anhelantum regeret quae tela virorum.
Vincendi quaeris dominam? sua dextra cuique
Et Deus omnipotens. Non pexo crine virag
Nec nudo suspensa pede, strophioque revincta,
Nec tumidas fluitante sinu vestita papillas.
Prudentius contra Symm. Lib.
Shall Victory intreated lend her aid
For cakes of flower on smoaking Altars la [...]
[Page 65] [...]er help from toils and watchings hope to find,
From the strong body, and undaunted mind:
[...]hese be wanting on th' embattel'd plain,
[...] sue the unpropitious maid in vain.
[...]ough in her marble temples taught to blaze
[...]er dazling wings the golden dame displays,
[...]nd many a talent in due weight was told
To shape her God-head in the curious mould,
Shall the rough soldier of himself despair,
And hope for female visions in the air?
What legion sheath'd in iron e'er survey'd
Their darts directed by this winged maid!
Do'st thou the power that gives success demand?
' [...]is He th' Almighty, and thy own right hand;
Not the smooth Nymph, whose locks in knots are twin'd,
Who bending shows her naked foot behind,
Who girds the virgin zone beneath her breast,
And from her bosom heaves the swelling vest.

You have here another Victory that I fa [...]cy Claudian had in his view when he mentions her wings,FIG. 19. palm and trophy in the following description. It appears on a Coin of Constantine who lived about an age before Clau­dian, and I believe we shall find that it is not the only piece of antique sculpture that this Poet has copied out in his descriptions.

—cum totis exurgens ardua pennis
[...] duci sacras Victoria panderet aedes,
[...] palma viridi gaudens, et amicta trophaeis.
Claud. de Lau. Stil. Li. 3.
[Page 66]
On all her plumage rising, when she threw
Her sacred shrines wide-open to thy view,
How pleas'd for thee her emblems to displ [...]
With palms distinguish'd, and with trophies

FIG. 20,The last of our imaginary B [...] is Liberty. In her left hand she [...]ries the wand that the Latins call the Rud [...] Vindicta, and in her right the cap of Lib [...] The Poets use the same kinds of metaphor express Liberty. I shall quote Horace for first, whom Ovid has imitated on the same [...] sion, and for the latter Martial.

—donatum jam rude quaeris
Mecaenas iterum antiquo me includere ludo.
Hor. Lib. 1. Ep [...]

—tardâ vires minuente senectâ
Me quoque donari jam rude tempus erat.
Ov. de Tr. Lib. 4.

Since bent beneath the load of years I stan [...]
I too might claim the freedom-giving wa [...]

Quod te nomine jam tuo saluto
Quem regem, et dominum priùs vocabam,
Nè me dixeris esse contumacem
Totis pilea sarcinis redemi.
Mar. Lib. 2. Epig.

By thy plain name though now addrest,
Though once my King and Lord confest,
Frown not: with all my goods I buy
The precious Cap of Liberty.

[Page 67] I cannot forbear repeating a passage out of Per­sius says Cynthio, that in my opinion turns the cer [...]mony of making a Freeman very handsomely in [...] ridicule. It seems the clapping a Cap on hi [...] [...]ead and giving him a Turn on the heel were ne [...]ssary circumstances. A Slave thus qualified be [...]me a Citizen of Rome, and was honoured w [...]th a name more than belonged to any of his Forefathers, which Persius has repeated with a great deal of humour.

— Heu steriles veri, quibus una Quiritem
[...]rtigo facit! hic Dama est, non tressis agaso,
[...]ppa, et lippus, et in tenui farragine mendax.
[...]rterit hunc dominus, momento turbinis exit
[...]arcus Dama. Papae! Marco spondente, recusas
[...]redere tu nummos? Marco sub Judice palles?
Marcus dixit, ita est: assigna, Marce, tabellas.
Haec mera libertas: hanc nobis pilea donant.
Pers. Sat. 5.

[...]at false Enfranchisement with ease is found:
[...]aves are made Citizens by turning round.
[...]ow! replies one, can any be more free?
Here's Dama, once a Groom of low degree,
Not worth a farthing, and a Sot beside;
So true a Rogue, for lying's sake he ly'd:
But, with a Turn, a Freeman he became;
Now Marcus Dama is his Worship's name.
[...]ood Gods! who wou'd refuse to lend a sum,
[...] wealthy Marcus surety would become!
[...]arcus is made a Judge, and for a proof
Of certain truth, he said it, is enough.
A Will is to be prov'd; put in your claim;
'Tis clear, if Marcus has subscrib'd his name.
[Page 68]This is true liberty, as I believe;
What farther can we from our Caps receive,
Than as we please without controul to live
Mr. Dry

Since you have given us the ceremony of the [...] says Eugenius, I'll give you that of the W [...] out of Claudian.

Te fastos ineunte quater, sollennia ludit
Omina libertas. deductum Vindice morem
Lex celebrat, famulusque jugo laxatas herili
Ducitur, et grato remeat securior ictu.
Tristis conditio pulsata fronte recedit:
In civem rubuere genae, tergoque removit
Verbera promissi felix injuria voti.
Claud. de 4. Cons. H [...]

The Grato ictu and the felix injuria, says Cyn [...] would have told us the name of the Aut [...] though you had said nothing of him. T [...] is none of all the Poets that delights so much these pretty kinds of contradictions as Clau [...] He loves to set his Epithet at variance with substantive, and to surprize his Reader wit [...] seeming absurdity. If this Poet were well e [...] mined, one would find that some of his gre [...] beauties as well as faults arise from the freq [...] use of this particular figure.

I question not, says Philander, but you are t [...] by this time with the company of so mysteriou [...] sort of Ladies as those we have had before [...] We will now, for our diversion, entertain [...] selves with a sett of Riddles, and see if we [...] find a key to them among the ancient Po [...] [Page 69] The first of them, says Cynthio, is [...] Sh [...] under sail,Second Series. FIG. 1. I suppose it has it h [...] a metaphor or moral pre­cep [...]or its cargo. This, says Philander, is an [...]m of Happiness, as you may see by the in­ [...]cription it carries in its sails. We find the same Device to express the same thought in several of [...]he Poets: as in Horace, when he speaks of the moderation to be used in a flowing fortune, and [...]n Ovid when he reflects on his past happiness.

Rebus angustis animosus atque
Fortis appare: sapienter idem
Co [...]trahes vento nimiùm secundo
Turgida vela.
Hor. Od. 10. Lib. 2.
When Fortune sends a stormy wind,
Then shew a brave and present mind;
And when with too indulgent gales
Sh [...] swells too much, then furl thy sails.
Mr. Creech.
N [...]minis et famae quondam fulgore trahebar,
Dum tulit antennas aura secunda meas.
Ov. de Tris. Lib. 5. El. 12.
En ego, non paucis quondam munitus amicis,
Dum flavit velis aura secunda meis.
Id. Epist. ex Ponto 3. Lib. 2.
[...]'d the darling Theme of ev'ry tongue,
[...]e golden Idol of th' adoring throng;
G [...]rded with friends, while Fortune's balmy gales
Wanton'd auspicious in my swelling sails.

Yo [...] see the metaphor is the same in the Verses is [...]e Medal, with this distinction only, that [Page 70] the one is in words and the other in figur [...] The Idea is alike in both, though the manner representing it is different. If you would see [...] whole Ship made use of in the same sense by old Poet, as it is here on the Medal, you [...] find it in a pretty Allegory of Seneca.

Fata si liceat mihi
Fingere arbitrio meo,
Temperem zephyro levi
Vela, nè pressae gravi
Spiritu antennae tremant▪
Lenis et modicè fluens
Aura, nec vergens latus,
Ducat intrepidam ratem.
Sen. OEdip. Chor. Act

My fortune might I form at will,
My canvas Zephyrs soft should fill
With gentle breath, lest ruder gales
Crack the main-yard, or burst the sails.
By winds that temperately blow
The Barque should pass secure and slow,
Nor scar me leaning on her side:
But smoothly cleave th' unruffled tide.

After having considered the Ship as a Metaph [...] we may now look on it as a Reality, and obser [...] in it the Make of the old Roman vessels, as th [...] are described among the Poets. It is carried [...] by oars and sails at the same time.

Sive opus est velis minimam bene currit ad aura [...]
Sive opus est remo remige carpit iter.
Ov. de. Tris. Li. 1. El. 1 [...]

[Page 71] [...] [...]op of it has the bend that Ovid and Vir­ [...] mo [...]ion.

—puppique recurvae.
Ibid. Li. 1. El. 3.
—littora curvae
Pr [...]exunt puppes—

[...]u see the description of the Pilot, and the place sits on, in the following quotations.

Ipse [...]ubernator puppi Palinurus ab altâ.
Virg. Aen. Li. 5.

Ips [...] ante oculos ingens a vertice pontus
In puppim ferit. excutitur, pronusque magister
Vol [...]ur in caput.—
Id. Aen. Li. 1.

Oro [...]tes' bark, that bore the Lycian crew,
(A [...]orrid sight) ev'n in the Hero's view,
From stem to stern, by waves was overborn;
Th [...] [...]rembling Pilot from his rudder torn,
W [...] headlong hurl'd;—
Mr. Dryden.

— Segnemque Menoeten,
Oblitus decorisque sui sociûmque salutis,
In m [...]re praecipitem puppi deturbat ab altâ:
Ipse [...]ubernaclo rector subit.
Id. Aen. Li. 5.

[...]ess of others lives, (so high was grown
H [...] [...]sing rage,) and careless of his own:
T [...] [...]rembling dotard to the deck he drew,
A [...] [...]noisted up, and overboard he threw;
This done, he seiz'd the helm—
Mr. Dryden.

[Page 72] I have mentioned these two last passages [...] Virgil, because I think we cannot have so [...] an idea of the Pilot's misfortune in each of th [...] without observing the situation of his post, as [...] pears in ancient Coins. The figure you see the other end of the ship is a Triton, a man in upper parts, and a fish below with a trumpe [...] his mouth. Virgil describes him in the s [...] manner on one of Aeneas's ships. It was p [...] bably a common figure on their ancient ve [...] for we meet with it too in Silius Italicus.

Hunc vehit immanis Triton, et caerula con [...]
Exterrens freta: cui laterum tenus hispida [...]
From hominem praefert, in pristim desinit al [...]
Spumea semifero sub pectore murmurat und [...]
Vir. Aen. Li.

The Triton bears him, he, whose trumpet's so
Old Ocean's waves from shore to shore rebo [...]
A hairy man above the waste he shews,
A Porpoise tail down from his belly grows
The billows murmur, which his breast oppo [...]
Ld. Laude [...]

Ducitur et Libyae puppis signata figuram
Et Triton captivus. —
Sil. It. Li.

I am apt to think, says Eugenius, from cer [...] passages of the Poets, that several ships made ch [...] of some God or other for their guardians, among the Roman Catholics every vessel is recomended to the patronage of some particular S [...] To give you an instance of two or three.

Est mihi sitque precor flavae tutela Minervae
Navis —
Ov. de Tris. Li. 1. El.
[Page 73]
[...]men erat celsae puppis vicina Dione.
Sil. It. Li. 14.
[...]mon numen erat Libycae gentile carinae,
[...]igerâque sedens spectabat caerula fronte.
The poop great Ammon Libya's god display'd,
Whose horned front the nether flood survey'd.

The figure of the Deity was very large, as I have seen it on other Medals as well as this you have show us, and stood on one end of the vessel that patronised. This may give us an image of a [...]ery beautiful circumstance that we meet with in a couple of wrecks described by Silius Italicus, and Hersius.

— Subito cum pondere victus
I [...]liente mari submergitur alveus undis.
[...]ta virûm cristaeque, et inerti spicula ferro
[...]elaeque Deûm fluitant.—
Sil. It. Li. 14.

Sunk by a weight so dreadful down she goes,
And o'er her head the broken billows close,
Bright shields and crests float round the whir­ling floods.
And useless spears confus'd with tutelary Gods.

—trabe ruptâ Bruttia saxa.
[...]ndit amicus inops, remque omnem surdaque vota
C [...]didit: Ionio jacet ipse in littore, et unà
I [...]entes de puppe Dei, jamque obvia mergis
[...]sta ratis lacerae. —
Pers. Sat. 6.

[Page 74]
My friend is shipwreck'd on the Brutian stra [...]
His riches in th' Ionian main are lost;
And he himself stands shiv'ring on the coast
Where, destitute of help, forlorn and bare,
He wearies the deaf Gods with fruitless pray
Their images, the relicks of the wrack,
Torn from their naked poop, are tided back
By the wild waves; and rudely thrown ashe
Lie impotent, nor can themselves restore.
The vessel sticks, and shews her open'd side
And on her shatter'd mast the Mews in umph ride.
Mr. Dry [...]

You will think perhaps I carry my conject [...] too far, if I tell you that I fancy they are ti [...] kind of Gods that Horace mentions in his Alle [...] rical vessel which was so broken and shattere [...] pieces; for I am apt to think that integra reli [...] to the Gods as well as the lintea.

—non tibi sunt integra lintea,
Non Dii, quos iterum pressa voces malo.
Hor. Od. 14. Li [...]
Thy stern is gone, thy Gods are lost,
And thou hast none to hear thy cry,
When thou on dang'rous shelves art tost,
When billows rage, and winds are high.
Mr. Cr [...]

Since we are engaged so far in Roman shipping,FIG. 2. says Philander, here show you a Medal that has on reverse a Rostrum with three teeth to it: whe [...] Silius's trifidum rostrum and Virgil's rostrisque [...] dentibus, which in some editions is stridenti [...] [Page 75] th [...] Editor chusing rather to make a false quantity tha [...] to insert a word that he did not know the m [...]ing of. Flaccus gives us a Rostrum of the sa [...] make.

—volat immissis cava pinus habenis
[...]finditque salum, et spumas vomit aere tridenti.
Val. Flac. Argon. Li. 1.

A Ship-carpenter of old Rome says Cynthio, could not have talked more judiciously. I am afr [...], if we let you alone, you will find out eve­ry [...]nk and rope about the vessel among the La­ti [...] [...]oets. Let us now, if you please, go to the n [...] Medal.

The next, says Philander, FIG. 3. is a pair of Scales, which we meet with on several old Coins. They are commonly interpreted as an emblem of the Emperor's Justice. But why may not we suppose that they allude sometimes to the Ba­lance in the Heavens, which was the reigning con­stellation of Rome and Italy? Whether it be so or no, the [...] are capable methinks of receiving a nobler in­terpretation than what is commonly put on them, if we suppose the thought of the reverse to be the same with that in Manilius.

Hesperiam sua Libra tenet, quâ condita Roma
[...] propriis fraenat pendentem nutibus orbem,
[...]bis et Imperium retinet, discrimina rerum
[...]ncibus, et positas gentes tollitque premitque:
[...]a genitus cum fratre Remus hanc condidit urbem.
Manil. Lib. 4.
[...]he Scales rule Italy, where Rome commands,
[...]nd spreads its empire wide to foreign lands:
[Page 76]They hang upon her nod, their fates are weigh [...]
By her, and laws are sent to be obey'd:
And as her pow'rful favour turns the poize,
How low some nations sink and others rise
Thus guide the Scales, and then to fix doom,
They gave us * Caesar, founder of our Rome
Mr. Cree [...]

FIG. 4.The Thunderbolt is a reverse Augustus. We see it used by the g [...] test Poet of the same age to express a terrible [...] irresistable force in battle, which is probably [...] meaning of it on this Medal, for in another pl [...] the same Poet applys the same metaphor to [...] gustus's person.

—duo Fulmina belli
Virg. Aen. Lib.
—Who can declare
The Scipio's worth, those Thunderbolts of w [...]
Mr. Dry [...]
—dum Caesar ad altum
Fulminat Euphratem bello —
Id. Georg. Li [...]
While mighty Caesar thund'ring from afar,
Seeks on Euphrates' banks the spoils of wa [...]
Mr. Dry [...]

I have sometimes wondered, says Eugenius, w [...] the Latin Poets so frequently give the Epith [...] of trifidum and trisulcum to the Thunderbolt. [Page 77] am [...]ow persuaded they took it from the sculp­tors and painters that lived before them, and had ge [...]ally given it three forks as in the present fi­gu [...]. Virgil insists on the number three in its de­scr [...]ion, and seems to hint at the wings we see on it. He has worked up such a noise and ter­ro [...] the composition of his Thunderbolt as cannot be expressed by a pencil or graving-tool.

Tres imbris torti radios, tres nubis aquosae
[...]diderant, rutili tres ignis, et Alitis Austri.
[...]gores nunc terrificos sonitumque metumque
[...]cebant operi, flammisque sequacibus iras.
Virg. Aen. Lib. 8.
Three rays of writhen rain, of fire three more,
Of winged southern winds, and cloudy store
A [...] many parts, the dreadful mixture frame,
And fears are added, and avenging flame.
Mr. Dryden.

Our next reverse is an Oaken Gar­ [...]and which we find on abundance of [...]mperial Coins.FIG. 5. I shall not here multiply quo­ [...]ations to show that the garland of Oak was the [...]eward of such as had saved the life of a citizen, [...]ut will give you a passage out of Claudian, where [...]he compliment to Stilico is the same that we have [...]ere on the Medal. I question not but the old Coin [...] gave the thought to the Poet.

[...] erat in veterum castris, ut tempora quer [...]
[...]ret, validis qui fuso viribus hoste
[...]rum potuit morti subducere civem.
At [...]ibi quae poterit pro tantis civica reddi
[...]ibus? aut quantae pensabunt facta coronae?
Clau. de Lau. Stil. Lib. 3.

[Page 78]
Of old, when in the war's tumultuous strife
A Roman sav'd a brother Roman's life,
And foil'd the threatning foe, our Sires decree [...]
An Oaken Garland for the victor's meed.
Thou, who hast sav'd whole crowds, who [...] towns set free,
What groves, what woods, shall furnish crown for thee?

It is not to be supposed that the Emperor h [...] actually covered a Roman in battle. It is enoug [...] that he had driven out a tyrant, gained a victor [...] or restored Justice. For in any of these or t [...] like cases he may very well be said to have save the life of a citizen, and by consequence ent [...] tled to the reward of it. Accordingly we fin [...] Virgil distributing his Oaken garlands to thos [...] that had enlarged or strength'ned the dominio [...] of Rome; as we may learn from Statius that t [...] statue of Curtius, who had sacrificed himself fo [...] the good of the people, had the head surround [...] with the same kind of ornament.

Atque umbrata gerunt civili tempora quercu.
Hi tibi Nomentum, et Gabios, urbemque Fidena [...]
Hi Collatinas imponent montibus arces.
Virg. Aen. Lib.

But they, who crown'd with Oaken wreath appear,
Shall Gabian walls and strong Fidena rear:
Nomentum, Bola, with Pometia, found;
And raise Colatian tow'rs on rocky ground.
Mr. Dryde [...]

[Page 79]
Ipse loci custos, cujus sacrata vorago,
[...]amosusque lacus nomen memorabile servat,
[...]numeros aeris sonitus, et verbere crudo
[...]t sensit mugire forum, movet horrida sancto
[...]ra situ, meritâque caput venerabile quercu.
Statius Sylv. Lib. 1.

The Guardian of that Lake, which boasts to claim
A sure memorial from the Curtian name;
Rous'd by th' artificers, whose mingled sound
From the loud Forum pierc'd the shades pro­found,
The hoary vision rose confess'd in view,
And shook the Civic wreath that bound his brow.

The two horns that you see on the [...]t Medal are emblems of Plenty. FIG. 8.

—apparetque beata pleno
Copia Cornu.
Hor. Car. Saec.

[...]ur Medallists tell us that two horns on a Coin [...]ify an extraordinary Plenty. But I see no [...]ndation for this conjecture. Why should [...] not as well have stamped two Thunder-bolts, [...]o Caduceus's, or two Ships, to represent an [...]raordinary force, a lasting peace, or an un­ [...]nded happiness. I rather think that the dou­ [...] Cornu-copia relates to the double tradition of its original. Some representing it as the horn of A [...]helous broken off by Hercules, and others as the ho [...]n of the Goat that gave suck to Jupiter.

—rigidum fera dextéra cornu
[...]um tenet, infregit; truncâque a fronte revellit.
[Page 80] Naiades hoc, pomis et odoro flore repletum,
Sacrârunt; divesque meo bona Copia cornu [...]
Dixerat: at Nymphe ritu succincta Dianae
Una ministrarum, fusis utrinque capillis,
Incessit, totumque tulit praedivite cornu
Autumnum, et mensas felicia poma secundas.
De Acheloi Cornu. Ov. Met. Lib

Nor yet his fury cool'd; 'twixt rage and scor
From my maim'd front he bore the stubborn he
This, heap'd with flowers and fruits, the Na [...] bear,
Sacred to Plenty and the bounteous year.
He spoke; when lo a beauteous Nymph pears,
Girt like Diana's train, with flowing hairs;
The horn she brings, in which all Autumn's stor [...]
And ruddy apples for the second board.
Mr. G [...]

Lac dabat illa Deo: sed fregit in arbore con
Truncaque dimidiâ parte decoris erat.
Sustulit hoc Nymphe; cinctumque recent [...] herbis,
Et plenum pomis ad Jovis ora tulit.
Ille, ubi res coeli tenuit, solioque paterno
Sedit, et invicto nil Jove majus erat,
Sidera nutricem, nutricis fertile cornu
Fecit; quod dominae nunc quoque nomen ha [...]
De Cornu Amaltheae. Ov. de Fast. Lib

The God she suckled of old Rhea born;
And in the pious office broke her horn,
As playful in a rifted Oak she tost
Her heedless head, and half its honours lost.
Fair Amalthaea took it off the ground,
With apples fill'd it and with garlands boun [...]
[Page 81]Which to the smiling infant she convey'd.
He, when the sceptre of the Gods he sway'd,
When bold he seiz'd his father's vacant throne,
And reign'd the tyrant of the skies alone,
Hid his rough nurse the starry Heavens adorn,
And grateful in the Zodiac fix'd her Horn.

Betwixt the double Cornu-copia you see Mercury's rod.

Cyllenes coelique decus, facunde minister,
Aurea cui torto virga dracone viret.
Mart. Lib. 7. Epig. 74.

Descend, Cyllene's tutelary God,
With serpents twining round thy golden rod.

It [...]ands on old Coins as an emblem of Peace, by [...]on of its stupifying quality that has gained it the title of Virga somnifera. It has wings, for another quality that Virgil mentions in his de­scription of it.

—hac fretus ventos et nubila tranat.

Thus arm'd, the God begins his airy race,
And drives the racking clouds along the liquid space.
Mr. Dryden.

The two heads over the two Cornu-copiae are of the Emperor's children, who are sometimes cal­led among the Poets the pledges of Peace, as they took away the occasions of war in cutting off all disputes to the succession.

—tu mihi primum
[...]ot natorum memoranda parens—
[Page 82] Utero toties enixa gravi
Pignora pacis.
Sen. Octav. Act.

Thee first kind author of my joys,
Thou source of many smiling boys,
Nobly contented to bestow
A pledge of peace in every throe.

This Medal therefore compliments the Emper [...] on his two children, whom it represents as pu [...] lic blessings that promise Peace and Plenty to [...] Empire.

FIG. 7.The two hands that joyn one an [...] ther are Emblems of Fidelity.

Inde Fides dextraeque datae—
Ov. Met. L. 1

Sociemus animos, pignus hoc fidei cape,
Continge dextram—
Sen. Herc. Fur. Act.

— en dextra fidesque
Quem secum patrios aiunt portare penates!
Virg. Aen. Lib. [...]

See now the promis'd faith, the vaunted nam [...]
The pious man, who rushing thro' the flame,
Preserv'd his Gods—
Mr. Dryde [...]

By the Inscription we may see that they represent in this place the Fidelity or Loyalty of the public towards their Emperor. The Caduces rising between the hands signifies the Peace tha [...] arises from such an union with their Prince, [...] the spike of Corn on each side shadows out th [...] Plenty that is the fruit of such a peace.

[Page 83]
Pax Cererem nutrit, pacis alumna Ceres.
Ov. de Fast. Lib. 1.

The giving of a hand, in the reverse of Claudius, is a token of good will.FIG. 8. For when, after the death of his nephew Caligula, Claudius was in no small apprehension for his own life, he was, contrary to his expectation, well received among the Praetorian guards, and afterwards declared their Emperor. His recep­tion is here recorded on a Medal, in which one of the Ensigns presents him his hand, in the same sense as Anchises gives it in the following verses.

Ipse pater dextram Anchises haud multa moratus
Dat juveni, atque animum praesenti munere firmat.
Virg. Aen. Lib. 3.

The old weather-beaten soldier that carries in his hand the Roman Eagle, is the same kind of offi­cer that you meet with in Javenal's fourteenth Satire.

Dirue Maurorum attegias, castella Brigantum,
Ut locupletem Aquilam tibi sexagesimus annus
Afferat —
Juv. Sat. 14.

I remember in one of the Poets the Signifer is de­scribed with a Lion's skin over his head and shoulders, like this we see in the Medal, but at present I cannot recollect the passage. Virgil has given us a noble description of a warrior ma­king his appearance under a Lion's skin.

—tegmen torquens immane Leonis
Terribili impexum setâ, cum dentibus albis
[Page 84] Indutus capiti, sic regia tecta subibat
Horridus, Herculeoque humeros indutus amict [...]
Virg. Aen. Lib.

Like Hercules himself his son appears,
In salvage pomp: a Lion's hide he wears;
About his shoulders hangs the shaggy skin,
The teeth, and gaping jaws severely grin.
Thus like the God his father, homely drest,
He strides into the hall, a horrid guest!
Mr. Dryd [...]

Since you have mentioned the dress of your Sta [...] dard-bearer, says Cynthio, I cannot forbear [...] marking that of Claudius, which was the us [...] Roman habit. One may see in this Medal, [...] well as in any antique Statues, that the old [...] mans had their necks and arms bare, and as m [...] exposed to view as our hands and faces are at p [...] sent. Before I had made this remark, I ha [...] sometimes wondered to see the Roman Poe [...] in their descriptions of a beautiful man, so oft mentioning the Turn of his Neck and Arm [...] that in our modern dresses lie out of sight, [...] are covered under part of the cloathing. N [...] to trouble you with many quotations, Hor [...] speaks of both these parts of the body in the begi [...] ning of an Ode, that in my opinion may be rec [...] oned among the finest of his book, for the na [...] ralness of the thought, and the beauty of the [...] pression.

Dum tu Lydia Telephi
Cervicem roseam, et cerea Telephi
Laudas brachia, vae meum
Fervens difficili bile tumet jecur.

[Page 85]
When Telephus his youthful charms,
His rosy neck, and winding arms,
With endless rapture you recite,
And in that pleasing name delight;
My heart, inflam'd by jealous heats,
With numberless resentments beats;
From my pale cheek the colour flies,
And all the Man within me dies.

It was probably this particular in the Roman ha­bit that gave Virgil the thought in the following verse, where Remulus, among other reproaches th [...] [...]he makes the Trojans for their softness and ef­fe [...]acy, upbraids them with the Make of their T [...]ca's that had sleeves to them, and did not leave the arms naked and exposed to the wea­t [...] like that of the Romans. [...]t tunicae manicas, et habent ridimicula mitrae.’ [...]il lets us know in another place, that the [...]ns preserved their old language and habits, [...]withstanding the Trojans became their Ma­ [...], and that the Trojans themselves quitted the [...] of their own country for that of Italy. [...] he tells us was the effect of a prayer that J [...]o made to Jupiter.

[...]llud te, nullâ fati quod lege tenetur,
[...]ro Latio obtestor, pro majestate tuorum:
[...]um jam connubiis pacem felicibus (esto;)
[...]omponent, cum jam leges et foedera jungent;
[...]e vetus indigenas nomen mutare Latinos,
[...]eu Troas fieri jubeas, Teucrosque vocari;
Aut vocem mutare viros, aut vertere vestes.
[Page 86] Sit Latium, sint Albani per saecula reges:
Sit Romana potens Italâ virtute propago:
Occidit, occideritque sinas cum nomine Troja.
Aen. lib. 12.

This let me beg (and this no Fates withstand)
Both for my self and for your father's land,
That when the nuptial bed shall bind the peace,
(Which I, since you ordain, consent to bless)
The laws of either nation be the same;
But let the Latins still retain their name:
Speak the same language which they spoke be­fore,
Wear the same habits, which their Grandsires wore.
Call them not Trojans: perish the renown
And name of Troy, with that detested town.
Latium be Latium still: let Alba reign,
And Rome's immortal Majesty remain.
Mr. Dryden.

By the way, I have often admired at Virgil for representing his Juno with such an impotent kind of revenge as what is the subject of this speech. You may be sure, says Eugenius, that Virgil knew very well this was a trifling kind of request for the Queen of the Gods to make, as we may find by Jupiter's way of accepting it,

Olli subridens hominum rerumque repertor:
Et germana Jovis, Saturnique altera proles:
Irarum tantos volvis sub pectore fluctus?
Verum age, et inceptum frustra submitte furorem.
Do, quod vis; et me victusque volensque remitto.
Sermonem Ausonii patrium moresque tenebunt.
Utque est, nomen erit: commixti corpore tantùm
[Page 87] Subsident Teucri: morem ritusque sacrorum
Adjiciam, faciamque omnes uno ore Latinos, &c.
Aen. Lib. 12.

Then thus the Founder of mankind replies.
(Unruffled was his front, serene his eyes,)
Can Saturn's issue, and Heav'n's other Heir,
Such endless anger in her bosom bear?
Be Mistress, and your full desires obtain;
But quench the choler you foment in vain.
From ancient blood th' Ausonian people sprung,
Shall keep their name, their habit, and their tongue.
The Trojans to their customs shall be ty'd,
I will my self their common rites provide;
The natives shall command, the foreigners subside:
And shall be Latium; Troy without a name:
And her lost sons forget from whence they came.
Mr. Dryden.

I am apt to think Virgil had a further view in this request of Juno than what his Commenta­tors have discovered in it. He knew very well that his Aeneid was founded on a very doubtful story, and that Aeneas's coming into Italy was not uni­versally received among the Romans themselves. He knew too that a main objection to this story was the great difference of Customs, Language and Habits among the Romans and Trojans. To obviate therefore so strong an objection, he makes this difference to arise from the forecast and prae­determination of the Gods themselves. But pray what is the name of the Lady in the next Medal? Methinks she is very particular in her Quoiffure.

[Page 88] FIG. 9.It is the emblem of Fruitfulness, says Philander, and was designed as a com­pliment to Julia the wife of Septimius Severus, who had the same number of children as you see on this Coin. Her head is crowned with towers in allusion to Cybele the mother of the Gods, and for the same reason that Virgil compares the city of Rome to her.

Felix prole virûm, qualis Berecynthia mater
Invehitur curru Phrygias turrita per urbes,
Leta Deûm partu —
Virg. Aen. Lib. 6.

High as the mother of the Gods in place,
And proud, like her, of an immortal race.
Then when in pomp she makes a Phrygian round,
With golden turrets on her temples crown'd.
Mr. Dryden.

The Vine issuing out of the Urn speaks the same sense as that in the Psalmist. Thy wife shall be as the fruitful vine on the walls of thy house. The four Stars overhead, and the same number on the Globe, represent the four children. There is a Medalion of Romulus and Remus sucking the wolf, with a Star over each of their heads, as we find the Latin Poets speaking of the children of Princes under the same metaphor.

Utque tui faciunt sidus juvenile nepotes,
Per tua perque sui facta parentis eant.
Ov. de. Tris. Lib. 2. El. 1.

—Tu quoque extinctus jaces,
Deftende nobis semper, infelix puer,
[Page 89] Modo sidus orbis, columen augustae domûs,
Sen. Octav. Act. 1.

Thou too dear youth, to ashes turn'd,
Eritannicus, for ever mourn'd!
Thou Star that wont this Orb to grace!
Thou pillar of the Julian race!

—Maneas hominum contentus habenis,
Undarum terraeque potens, et sidera dones.
Stat. Theb. Lib. 1.

—Stay, great Caesar, and vouchsafe to reign
O'er the wide earth, and o'er the watry main:
Resign to Jove his Empire of the skies,
And people Heav'n with Roman Deities.
Mr. Pope.

I need not mention Homer's comparing Astyanax to the Morning-star, nor Virgil's imitation of him in his description of Ascanius.

The next Medal was stampt on the marriage of Nero and Octavia;FIG. 10. you see the Sun over the head of Nero, and the Moon over that of Octavia. They face one another according to the situation of these two Planets in the Heavens.

— Phabeis obvia flammis
Demet nocti Luna timores.
Sen. Thyest. Act. 4.

And to shew that Octavia derived her whole lu­stre from the friendly aspect of her husband.

Sicut Luna suo tunc tantum deficit orbe,
Quum Phoebum adversis currentem non vidit astris.
Manil. Lib. 4.

[Page 90]
Because the Moon then only feels decay,
When opposite unto her brother's ray.
Mr. Creech.

But if we consider the history of this Medal, we shall find more Fancy in it than the Medallists have yet discovered. Nero and Octavia were not only husband and wife, but brother and sister, Claudius being the father of both. We have this relation between them marked out in the Tragedy of Octavia, where it speaks of her marriage with Nero.

Fratris thalamos sortita tenet
Maxima Juno: soror Augusti
Sociata toris, cur à patriâ
Pellitur Aula? —
Sen. Oct. Act. 1.

To Jove his sister consort wed,
Uncensur'd shares her brother's bed:
Shall Caesar's wife and sister wait,
An Exile at her husband's gate?

Implebit aulam stirpe caelesti tuam
Generata divo, Claudiae gentis decus,
Sortita fratris, more Junonis, toros.
Ibid. Act. 2.

Thy sister, bright with ev'ry blooming grace,
Will mount thy bed t'inlarge the Claudian race:
And proudly teeming with fraternal love,
Shall reign a Juno with the Roman Jove.

They are therefore very prettily represented by the Sun and Moon, who as they are the most glorious parts of the universe, are in a poetical [Page 91] [...]nealogy brother and sister. Virgil gives us a [...]ght of them in the same position that they regard [...]ch other on this Medal.

Nec Fratris radiis obnoxia surgere Luna.
Virg. Georg. 1.

The flattery on the next Medal is in [...]e same thought as that of Lucretius. FIG. 11.

Ipse Epicurus ob [...]t decurso lumine vitae;
Quigenus humanum ingenio superavit, et omneis
Praestinxit, stellas exortus uti aetherius Sol.
Lucret. Lib. 3.

Nay, Epicurus' race of life is run;
That man of wit, who other men outshone;
As far as meaner stars the mid-day Sun.
Mr. Creech.

The Emperor appears as a Rising Sun, and holds [...] Globe in his hand to figure out the Earth that is enlightned and actuated by his beauty.

Sol qui terrarum flammis opera omnia lustras.

—ubi primos crastinus ortus
Extulerit Titan, radiisque retexerit orbem.

When next the Sun his rising light displays,
And gilds the world below with purple rays.
Mr. Dryden.

On his head you see the rays that seem to grow out of it. Claudian in the description of his in­fant Titan descants on this glory about his head, but has run his description into most wretched fustian.

[Page 92]
Invalidum dextro portat Titana lacerto,
Nondum luce gravem, nec pubescentibus altè
Cristatum radiis; primo clementior aevo
Fingitur, et tenerum vagitu despuit ignem.
Claud. de rapt. Pros. Lib.
An infant Titan held she in her arms;
Yet sufferably bright, the eye might bear
The ungrown glories of his beamy hair.
Mild was the babe, and from his cries ther [...] came
A gentle breathing and a harmless flame.

FIG. 12.The Sun rises on a Medal of Commodus, as Ovid describes him in the sto­ry of Phaeton

Ardua prima via est, et quà vix manè recentes
Enituntur equi—
Ov. Met. Lib. 2.

You have here too the four horses breaking through the clouds in their morning passage.

—Pyroëis, et Eöus, et Aethon,
Solis equi, quartusque Phlegon —

Corripuere viam, pedibusque per aēra motis
Obstantes scindunt nebulas —

The woman underneath represents the Earth, as Ovid has drawn her sitting in the same figure.

Sustulit omniferos collo tenus arida vultus;
Opposuitque manum fronti, magnoque tremore
Omnia concutiens paulum subsedit.

[Page 93]
The earth at length—
Uplifted to the heav'ns her blasted head,
And clapt her hand upon her brows, and said,
(But first, impatient of the sultry heat,
Sunk deeper down, and sought a cooler seat)

[...]he Cornu-copiae in her hand is a type of her [...]itfulness, as in the speech she makes to Jupiter.

Hosne mihi fructus, hunc fertilitatis honorem,
Officiique refers? quod adunci vulnera aratri
Rastrorumque fero, totoque exerceor anno?
Quod pecori frondes, alimentaque mitia fruges
Humano generi, vobis quoque thura ministro?

And does the plow for this my body tear?
This the reward for all the fruits I bear,
Tortur'd with rakes, and harrass'd all the year?
That herbs for cattle daily I renew,
And food for man; and frankincense for you?

So much for the designing part of the Medal; as for the thought of it, the Antiquaries are divided upon it. For my part I cannot doubt but it was made as a compliment to Commodus on his s [...]ill in the chariot-race. It is supposed that the same occasion furnished Lucan with the same thought in his address to Nero.

Seu te flammigeros Phoebi conscendere currus,
Telluremque, nihil mutato sole, timentem
Igne vago lustrare juvet —
Luc. Lib. 1. ad Neronem.

[Page 94]
Or if thou chuse the empire of the day,
And make the Sun's unwilling steeds obey;
Auspicious if thou drive the flaming team,
While earth rejoices in thy gentler beam—
Mr. Ro [...]

This is so natural an allusion, that we find the course of the Sun described in the Poets by metaphors borrowed from the Circus.

Quum suspensus eat Phoebus, currumque reflect [...]
Huc illu [...] agiles, et servet in aethere metas.
Manil. Lib. 1▪

—Hesperio positas in littore metas.
Ov. Met. Lib. 2▪

Et Sol ex aequo metâ distabat utrâque.

However it be, we are sure in general it is [...] comparing of Commodus to the Sun, which is [...] simile of as long standing as poetry, I had almost said, as the Sun it self.

I believe, says Cynthio, there is scarce a grea [...] man he ever shone upon that has not been com­pared to him. I look on similes as a part of his productions. I do not know whether he raises fruits or flowers in greater number. Horace has turn'd this comparison into ridicule seventeen hundred years ago.

—laudat Brutum, laudatque cohortem,
Solem Asiae Brutum appellat—
Hor. Sat. 7. Lib. 1.

He praiseth Brutus much and all his train;
He calls him Asia's Sun—
Mr. Creech.

[Page 95]You have now shown us persons under the dis­ [...]uise of Stars, Moons and Suns. I suppose we [...]ave at last done with the coelestial bodies.

The next figure you see, says Philan­ [...]er, had once a place in the Heavens,FIG 13. [...] you will believe ecclesiastical story. It is the [...]gn that is said to have appeared to Constantine [...]efore the battle with Maxentius. We are told [...]y a Christian Poet, that he caus'd it to be wrought [...]n the military Ensign that the Romans call their Labarum. And it is on this Ensign that we find in the present Medal.

Christus purpureum gemmanti, textus in auro
Signabat Labarum.—
Prudent. contra Symm. Lib. 1.

A Christ was on th'Imperial standard born,
That Gold embroiders, and that Gemms adorn.

By the word Christus he means without doubt [...]he present figure, which is composed out of the [...]wo initial letters of the name.

He bore the same sign in his standards,FIG. 14. [...]s you may see in the following Me­ [...]al and verses.

Agnoscas, Regina, libens mea signa necesse est:
In quibus Effigies Crucis aut gemmata refulget,
Aut longis solido ex auro praefertur in hastis.
Constantinus Romam alloquitur. Ibid.

My Ensign let the Queen of nations praise,
That rich in gemms the Christian Cross displays:
[Page 96]There rich in gemms; but on my quiv'ring spean
In solid gold the sacred mark appears.

Vexillumque Crucis summus dominator adorat.
Id. in Apotheo [...]

See there the Cross he wav'd on hostile shores,
The Emperor of all the world adores.

FIG. 15.But to return to our Labarum; [...] you have a mind to see it in a state of Paganism you have it on a Coin of Tiberius. [...] stands between two other Ensigns, and is the mark of a Roman Colony where the Medal was stamped. By the way you must observe, the where-ever the Romans fixed their standards they looked on that place as their country, and thought themselves obliged to defend it with their lives. For this reason their standards were always carryed before them when they went to settle themselves in a Colony. This gives the meaning of a couple of verses in Silius Italicus, that make a very far-fetcht compliment to Fabius.

Ocyus huc Aquilas servataque signa referte,
Hic patria est, murique urbis stant pectore in un [...].
Sil. It. Li. 7.

FIG. 16.The following Medal was stamped on Trajan's victory over the Daci, you see on it the figure of Trajan presenting a little Victory to Rome. Between them lies the con­quered province of Dacia. It may be worth while to observe the particularities in each figure. We see abundance of persons on old Coins that hold a little Victory in one hand, like this of Tra­jan, [Page 97] which is always the sign of a Conquest. I [...]ave sometimes fancied Virgil alludes to this [...]ustom in a verse that Turnus speaks.

Non adeo has exosa manus Victoria fugit.
Virg. Aen. Li. 11.
If you consent, he shall not be refus'd,
Nor find a hand to Victory unus'd.
[Mr. Dryden.

The Emperor's standing in a Gown, and making [...] present of his Dacian Victory to the city of Rome, agrees very well with Claudian's chara­cter of him.

—victura feretur
Gloria Trajani; non tam quod, Tigride victo,
Nostra triumphati fuerint provincia Parthi,
Alta quod invectus stratis capitolia Dacis:
Quam patriae quod mitis erat— Claud. de 4to Cons. Honor.
Thy glory, Trajan, shall for-ever live:
Not that thy arms the Tigris mourn'd, o'ercome,
And tributary Parthia bow'd to Rome,
Not that the Capitol receiv'd thy train
With shouts of triumph for the Daci slain:
But for thy mildness to thy country shown.

The city of Rome carries the Wand in her hand that is the symbol of her Divinity.

Delubrum Romae (colitur nam sanguine et ipsa
More Deae) —
Prudent, cont. Sym. L. 1.

[Page 98]
For Rome, a Goddess too, can boast her shrine,
With victims stain'd, and sought with rites divine.

As the Globe under her feet betokens her domi­nion over all the nations of the earth.

Terrarum Dea, Gentiumque Roma;
Cui par est nihil, et nihil secundum.
Mart. Li. 12. Epig. 8.

O Rome, thou Goddess of the earth!
To whom no rival e'er had birth;
Nor second e'er shall rise.

The heap of arms she sits on signifies the Peace that the Emperor had procured her. On old Coins we often see an Emperor, a Victory, the city of Rome, or a slave, sitting on a heap of arms, which always marks out the Peace that arose from such an action as gave occasion to the Me­dal. I think we cannot doubt but Virgil copied out this circumstance from the ancient Sculptors, in that inimitable description he has given us of Military Fury shut up in the Temple of Janus and loaden with chains.

Claudentur belli portae: Furor impius intus
Saeva sedens super arma, et centum vinctus ahenis
Post tergum nodis, fremet horridus ore cruento.
Virg. Aen. Li. 1.

Janus himself before his fane shall wait,
And keep the dreadful issues of his gate,
With bolts and iron bars: within remains
Imprison'd Fury, bound in brazen chains:
[Page 99]High on a Trophy rais'd of useless arms
He sits, and threats the world with dire alarms.
Mr. Dryden.

We are told by the old Scholiast, says Eugenius, that there was actually such a statue in the Tem­ple of Janus as that Virgil has here described, which I am almost apt to believe, since you assure [...]s that this part of the design is so often met with on ancient Medals. But have you nothing [...]o remark on the figure of the Province? Her posture, says Philander, is what we often meet with in the slaves and captives of old Coins: a­mong the Poets too, sitting on the ground is a mark of Misery or Captivity.

Multos illa dies incomtis maesta capillis
Propert. Li. 1.

O utinam ante tuos sedeam captiva penates.
Id. L. 4.

O might I sit a captive at thy gate!

You have the same posture in an old Coin that celebrates a victory of Lucius Verus o­ver the Parthians. FIG. 17. The captive's hands are here bound behind him, as a farther instance of his slavery.

Ecce manus juvenem interea post terga revinctum,
Pastores magno ad Regem clamore ferebant.
Virg. Aen. L. 2.

Mean while, with shouts, the Trojan shepherds bring
A captive Greek in bands before the King.
Mr. Dryden.

[Page 100]
Cui dedit invitas victa noverca manus.
Ov. de Fast.

Cùm rudis urgenti brachia victa dedi.
Proper. L. 4.

We may learn from Ovid that it was sometimes the custom to place a slave with his arms bound at the foot of the Trophy, as in the figure before us.

Stentque super vinctos trunca trophaea viros.
Ov. Ep. ex Ponto L. 4.

You see on his head the cap which the Parthians, and indeed most of the eastern nations, wear on Medals. They had not probably the ceremony of veiling the Bonnet in their salutations, for in Me­dals they still have it on their heads, whether they are before Emperors or Generals, kneeling, sit­ting or standing. Martial has distinguished them by this cap as their chief characteristic.

Frustra blanditae venitis ad me
Attritis miserabiles labellis,
Dicturus dominum, deumque non sum:
Jam non est locus hâc in urbe vobis.
Ad Parthos procul ite pileatos,
Et turpes, humilesque supplicesque
Pictorum sola basiate regum.
Mart. Ep. 72. L. 10.
In vain, mean flatteries, ye try,
To gnaw the lip, and fall the eye;
No man a God or Lord I name:
From Romans far be such a shame!
Go teach the supple Parthian how
To veil the Bonnet on his brow:
Or on the ground all prostrate fling
Some Pict, before his barbarous King.

[Page 101] [...] cannot hear, says Cynthio, without a kind of indignation, the satyrical reflections that Martial [...]as made on the memory of Domitian. It is certain so ill an Emperor deserved all the reproa­ches that could be heaped upon him, but he [...]ould not deserve them of Martial. I must con­fess I am less scandalised at the flatteries the Epi­ [...]rammatist paid him living, than the ingratitude [...]e showed him dead. A man may be betrayed [...]nto the one by an overstrained complaisance, or [...]y a temper extremely sensible of favours and obligations: whereas the other can arise from [...]othing but a natural baseness and villany of [...]oul. It does not always happen, says Philan­ [...]er, that the Poet and the honest man meet toge­ther in the same person. I think we need enlarge [...]o farther on this Medal, unless you have a mind [...]o compare the Trophy on it with that of Me­ [...]entius in Virgil.

Ingentem quercum decisis undique ramis
Constituit tumulo, fulgentiaque induit arma,
Mezentî ducis exuvias; tibi, magne, tropaeum,
Bellipotens: aptat rorantes sanguine cristas,
Telaque trunca viri, et bis sex thoraca petitum
Perfossumque locis; clypeumque ex aere sinistrae
Subligat, atque ensem collo suspendit eburnum.
Virg. Aen. Li. 11.
He bar'd an ancient Oak of all her boughs:
Then on a rising ground the trunk he plac'd;
Which with the spoils of his dead foe he grac'd.
The coat of arms by proud Mezentius worn,
Now on a naked Snag in triumph born,
Was hung on high; and glitter'd from afar:
A trophy sacred to the God of war.
[Page 102]Above his arms, fix'd on the leafless wood,
Appear'd his plumy crest, besmear'd with blood;
His brazen buckler on the left was seen;
Trunchions of shiver'd lances hung between:
And on the right was plac'd his Corslet, bor'd,
And to the neck was ty'd his unavailing sword.
Mr. Dryden.

FIG. 18.On the next Medal you see the Peace that Vespasian procured the Empire, af­ter having happily finished all its wars both at home and abroad. The woman with the olive-branch in her hand is the figure of Peace.

— pignora Pacis
Praetendens dextrâ ramum canentis olivae.
Sil. It. Li. 3.

With the other hand she thrusts a lighted torch under a heap of armour that lies by an Altar. This alludes to a custom among the ancient Ro­mans of gathering up the armour that lay scatter­ed on the field of battle, and burning it as an of­fering to one of their Deities. It is to this custom that Virgil refers, and Silius Italicus has descri­bed at large.

Qualis eram cùm primam aciem Praeneste sub ipsâ
Stravi, scutorumque incendi victor acervos.
Virg. Aen. Li. 8.
Such as I was beneath Praeneste's walls;
Then when I made the foremost foes retire,
And set whole heaps of conquer'd shields on fire.
Mr. Dryden.
[Page 103]
Ast tibi, Bellipotens, Sacrum, constructus acervo
Ingenti mons armorum consurgit ad astra:
Ipse manu celsam pinum, flammâque comantem
Attollens, ductor Gradivum in vota ciebat:
Primitias pugnae, et laeti libamina belli,
Hannibal Ausonio cremat haec de nomine victor.
Et tibi, Mars genitor, votorum haud surde meorum,
Arma electa dicat spirantum turba virorum.
Tum face conjectâ, populatur fervidus ignis
Flagrantem molem; et ruptâ caligine, in auras
Actus apex claro perfundit lumine campos.
Sil. It. Li. 10.
To thee the Warrior-God, aloft in air
A mountain-pile of Roman Arms they rear:
The Gen'ral grasping in his Victor-hand
A pine of stately growth, he wav'd the brand,
And cry'd, O Mars! to thee devote I yield
These choice first-fruits of Honour's purple field.
Join'd with the partners of my toil and praise,
Thy Hannibal this vow'd oblation pays;
Grateful to thee for Latian laurels won:
Accept this homage, and absolve thy son.—
Then, to the pile the flaming torch he tost;
In smould'ring smoke the light of Heav'n is lost:
But when the fire increase of fury gains,
The blaze of Glory gilds the distant plains.

As for the heap of Arms, and mountain of Arms, that the Poet mentions, you may see them on two Coins of Mar­cus Aurelius. FIG. 19.20. DE SARMATIS and DE GERMANIS allude perhaps to the form of words that might be used at the set­ting fire to them.—Ausonio de nomine. Those [Page 104] who will not allow of the interpretation I have put on these two last Medals may think it an ob­jection that there is no torch or fire near them to signifie any such allusion. But they may consi­der that on several Imperial Coins we meet with the figure of a funeral pile, without any thing to denote the burning of it, though indeed there is on some of them a Flambeau sticking out on each side, to let us know it was to be consumed to ashes.

You have been so intent on the burning of the Arms, says Cynthio, that you have forgotten the Pil­lar on your 18th Medal. You may find the history of it, says Philander, in Ovid de Fastis. It was from this Pillar that the spear was tossed at the o­pening of a war, for which reason the little figure on the top of it holds a spear in its hand, and Peace turns her back upon it.

Prospicit à templo summum brevis area Circum:
Est ibi non parvae parva columna notae:
Hinc solet hasta manu, belli praenuncia, mitti;
In regem et gentes cum placet arma capi.
Ov. de fast. Li. 6.
Where the high Fane the ample Cirque commands
A little, but a noted pillar stands,
From hence, when Rome the distant Kings defies,
In form the war-denouncing Javelin flies.

FIG. 21.The different interpretations that have been made on the next Medal seem to be forced and unnatural. I will therefore give you my own opinion of it. The vessel is here represented as stranded. The figure before it [Page 105] seems to come in to its assistance, and to lift it off the shallows: for we see the water scarce [...]eaches up to the knees, though it is the fi­gure of a man standing on firm ground. His attendants, and the good office he is employed upon, resemble those the Poets often attribute to Neptune. Homer tells us, that the Whales leap­ed up at their God's approach, as we see in the Medal. The two small figures that stand naked among the waves are Sea-Deities of an inferiour rank, who are supposed to assist their Sovereign in the succour he gives the distressed vessel.

Cymothoë, simul et Triton adnixus acuto
Detrudunt naves scopulo; levat ipse tridenti,
Et vastas aperit syrtes, et temperat aequor.
Virg. Aen. Li. 1.

Cymothoë, Triton, and the sea-green train
Of beauteous Nymphs, the daughters of the main,
Clear from the rocks the vessels with their hands;
The God himself with ready trident stands,
And opes the deep, and spreads the moving sands.
Mr. Dryden.

Jamplacidis ratis extat aquis, quam gurgite ab imo
Et Thetis, et magnis Nereus socer erigit ulnis.
Val. Flac. Li. 1.

The interpreters of this Medal have mistaken these two figures for the representation of two persons that are drowning. But as they are both naked and drawn in a posture rather of trium­phing o'er the waves than of sinking under them, so we see abundance of Water-Deities on other Medals represented after the same manner.

[Page 106]
Ite Deae virides, liquidosque advertite vultus,
Et vitreum teneris crinem redimite corymbis,
Veste nihil tectae: quales emergitis altis
Fontibus, et visu Satyros torquetis amantes.
Statius de Balneo Etrusci. Lib. 1.

Haste, haste, ye Naiads! with attractive art
New charms to ev'ry native grace impart:
With op'ning flourets bind your sea-green hair,
Unveil'd; and naked let your limbs appear:
So from the springs the Satyrs see you rise,
And drink eternal passion at their eyes.

After having thus far cleared our way to the Me­dal, I take the thought of the reverse to be this. The stranded vessel is the Commonwealth of Rome, that by the tyranny of Domitian, and the insolence of the Praetorian Guards under Nerva, was quite run aground and in danger of perish­ing. Some of those embarked in it endeavour at her recovery, but it is Trajan that by the adoption of Nerva stems the tide to her relief, and like another Neptune shoves her off the quick­sands. Your Device, says Eugenius, hangs very well together; but is not it liable to the same ex­ceptions that you made us last night to such expli­cations as have nothing but the writer's imagina­tion to support them? To shew you, says Phi­lander, that the construction I put on this Medal is conformable to the fancies of the old Romans, you may observe, that Horace represents at length the Commonwealth of Rome under the figure of a ship, in the Allegory that you meet with in the fourteenth Ode of his first book.

[Page 107]
O Navis, referent in mare te novi

And shall the raging waves again
Bear thee back into the main?
Mr. Creech.

Nor was any thing more usual than to represent a God in the shape and dress of an Emperor.

—Apelleae cuperent te scribere cerae,
Optassetque novo similem te ponere templo
Atticus Elei senior Jovis; et tua mitis
Ora Taras: tua sidereas imitantia flammas
Lumina, contempto mallet Rhodos aspera Phaebo.
Statius de Equo Domitiani Syl. 1.

Now had Apelles liv'd, he'd sue to grace
His glowing Tablets with thy godlike face:
Phidias, a Sculptor for the Pow'rs above!
Had wish'd to place thee with his Iv'ry Jove.
Rhodes and Tarentum, that with Pride survey,
The Thund'rer This, and That the God of day;
Each fam'd Colossus would exchange for Thee,
And own thy form the loveliest of the three.

For the thought in general, you have just the same metaphorical compliment to Theodosius in Claudian, as the Medal here makes to Trajan.

Nulla relicta foret Romani nominis umbra,
Ni pater ille tuus jamjam ruitura subisset
Pondera, turbatamque ratem, certâque levasset
Naufragium commune manu. — Claudian. de 4to Cons. Honorii.

[Page 108]
Had not thy Sire deferr'd th' impending fate,
And with his solid virtue prop'd the state;
Sunk in Oblivion's shade, the name of Rome,
An empty name! had scarce surviv'd her doom:
Half-wreck'd she was, 'till his auspicious hand
Resum'd the rudder, and regain'd the land.

I shall only add, that this Medal was stamped in honour of Trajan, when he was only Caesar, as appears by the face of it....SARI TRAIANO.

FIG. 22.The next is a reverse of Marcus Au­relius. We have on it a Minerva mounted on a monster, that Ausonius describes in the following verses.

Illa etiam Thalamos per trina aenigmata querens
Qui bipes, et quadrupes foret, et tripes omnia solus;
Terruit Aoniam Volucris, Leo, Virgo; triformis
Sphinx, volucris pennis, pedibusfera, fronte puella.

To form the monster Sphinx, a triple kind,
Man, bird, and beast, by nature were combin'd:
With feather'd fans she wing'd th' aerial space;
And on her feet the Lion-claws disgrace
The bloomy features of a Virgin-face.
O'er pale Aönia pannic horror ran,
While in mysterious speech she thus began:
"What animal, when yet the Morn is new,
"Walks on Four legs infirm; at Noon on Two:
"But day declining to the western skies,
"He needs a Third; a Third the Night supplies?

The monster, says Cynthio, is a Sphinx, but for her meaning on this Medal, I am not O Edipus [Page 109] enough to unriddle it. I must confess, says Phi­lander, the Poets fail me in this particular. There is however a passage in Pausanias that I will re­peat to you, though it is in prose, since I know no body else that has explained the Medal by it. The Athenians, says he, drew a Sphinx on the armour of Pallas, by reason of the strength and sagacity of this animal. The Sphinx therefore signifies the same as Minerva herself, who was the Goddess of arms as well as wisdom, and describes the Emperor, as one of the Poets ex­presses it,

—Studiis florentem utriusque Minervae.

Whom both Minerva's boast t'adopt their own.

The Romans joined both devices together, to make the emblem the more significant, as in­deed they could not too much extol the learn­ing and military virtues of this excellent Empe­ror, who was the best Philosopher and greatest General of his Age.

We will close up this Series of Me­dals with one that was stamped under Tiberius to the memory of Augustus. FIG. 23. Over his head you see the star that his father Julius Caesar was supposed to have been changed into.

Ecce Dionaei processit Caesaris astrum.
Virg. Ecl. 9.

See, Caesar's lamp is lighted in the skies.
Mr. Dryden.

[Page 110]
—micat inter omnes
Julium sidus, velut inter ignes
Luna minores.

Julius Caesar's light appears
As, in fair nights and smiling skies,
The beauteous Moon amidst the meaner stars.
Mr. Creech.

Vix ea fatus erat, mediâ cùm sede senatûs
Constitit alma Venus, nulli cernenda, suique
Caesaris eripuit membris, nec in aëra solvi
Passa recentem animam, coelestibus intulit astris.
Dumque tulit lumen capere atque ignescere sensit,
Emisitque sinu: Lunâ evolat altius illa,
Flammiferumque trahens spatioso limite crinem,
Stella micat.—
Ov. Met. Li. 15.

This spoke; the Goddess to the Senate flew;
Where, her fair form conceal'd from mortal view,
Her Caesar's heav'nly part she made her care,
Nor left the recent Soul to waste to air;
But bore it upwards to its native skies:
Glowing with new-born fires she saw it rise;
Forth springing from her bosom up it flew,
And kindling, as it soar'd, a Comet grew;
Above the lunar sphere it took its flight,
And shot behind it a long trail of light.
Mr. Welsted.

Virgil draws the same figure of Augustus on Ae­neas's shield as we see on this Medal. The Com­mentators tell us, that the star was engraven on Augustus's helmet, but we may be sure Virgil means such a figure of the Emperor as he used [Page 111] [...]o be represented by in the Roman sculpture, and [...]ch a one as we may suppose this to be that we [...]ave before us.

Hinc Augustus agens Italos in praelia Caesar,
Cum patribus, populoque, Penatibus, et magnis Diis,
Stans celsâ in puppi; geminas cui tempora flammas
Laeta vomunt, patriumque aperitur vertice sidus.
Virg. Aen. Li. 8.

Young Caesar on the stern in armour bright,
Here leads the Romans, and the Gods, to fight:
His beamy temples shoot their flames afar;
And o'er his head is hung the Julian star.
Mr. Dryden.

The thunderbolt that lies by him is a mark of his Apotheosis, that makes him as it were a compa­ [...]ion of Jupiter. Thus the Poets of his own age [...]hat deified him living,

Divisum Imperium cum Jove Caesar habet.

Hic socium summo cum Jove numen habet.

— regit Augustus socio per signa Tonante.
Manil. Li. 1.

Sed tibi debetur coelum, te fulmine pollens,
Accipiet cupidi Regia magna Jovis.
Ov. de. Augusto ad Liviam.

He wears on his head the Corona Radiata, which at that time was another type of his Divinity. The spikes that shoot out from the crown were to represent the rays of the Sun. There were [Page 112] twelve of them, in allusion to the Signs of the Zo­diac. It is this kind of crown that Virgil describes.

—ingenti mole Latinus
Quadrijugo vehitur curru, cui tempora circum
Aurati bis sex radii fulgentia cingunt,
Solis-avi specimen.—
Virg. Aen. Lib. 12.
Four steeds the chariot of Latinus bear:
Twelve golden beams around his temples play,
To mark his lineage from the God of day.
Mr. Dryden.

FIG. 24:If you would know why the corona radiata is a representation of the Sun, you may see it in the figure of Apollo in the next reverse, where his head is encompassed with such an arch of glory as Ovid and Statius mention, that might be put on and taken off at pleasure.

—at genitor circum caput omne micantes
Deposuit radios—
Ovid. Met. Lib. 2.

The tender Sire was touch'd with what he said,
And flung the blaze of glories from his head.

Imposuitque comae radios —

Then fix'd his beamy circle on his head.

—licet ignipedum fraenator equorum
Ipse tuis a [...]te radiantem crinibus arcum
Statius. Theb. Lib. 1. ad Domitian.

Tho' Phoebus longs to mix his rays with thine,
And in thy glories more serenely shine.
[Mr. Pope.

[Page 113] In his right hand he holds the whip with which [...]e is supposed to drive the horses of the Sun: as [...]n a pretty passage of Ovid, that some of his edi­ [...]ors must needs fancy spurious.

Colligit amentes, et adhuc terrore paventes,
Phoebus equos, stimuloque dolens et verbere saevit:
Saevit enim, natumque objectat, et imputat illis.
Ov. Met. Lib. 2.

Prevail'd upon at length, again he took
The harness'd steeds, that still with horrour shook,
And plies 'em with the lash, and whips 'em on,
And, as he whips, upbraids 'em with his son.

The double-pointed dart in his left hand is an emblem of his beams, that pierce through such an [...]nfinite depth of air, and enter into the very bow­els of the earth. Accordingly Lucretius calls [...]hem the darts of the day, as Ausonius to make a sort of witticism has follow'd his example.

Non rodii solis, neque lucida tela Diei.
Exultant udae super arida saxa rapinae,
Luciferique pavent letalia tela Diel.
de piscibus captis. Aus. Eid. 10.
Caligo terrae scinditur,
Percussa solis spiculo.
Prud. Hym. 2.

I have now given you a sample of such emble­matical Medals as are unriddled by the Latin Po­ets, and have shown several passages in the Latin Poets that receive an illustration from Medals. Some of the Coins we have had before us have [Page 114] not been explained by others, as many of them have been explained in a different manner. There are indeed others that have had very near the same explication put upon them, but as this explication has been supported by no authority, it can at best be looked upon but as a probable conjecture. It is certain, says Eugenius, there cannot be any more authentic illustrations of Roman Medals, especially of those that are full of fancy, than such as are drawn out of the Latin Poets. For as there is a great affinity between Designing and Poetry, so the Latin Poets, and the Designers of the Roman Medals, lived very near one ano­ther, were acquainted with the same customs, conversant with the same objects, and bred up to the same relish for wit and fancy. But who are the Ladies that we are next to examine? These are, says Philander, so many Cities, Nations and Provinces that present themselves to you under the shape of women. What you take for a fine Lady at first sight, when you come to look into her will prove a town, a country, or one of the four parts of the world. In short, you have now Afric, Spain, France, Italy, and several other na­tions of the earth before you. This is one of the pleasantest Maps, says Cynthio, that I ever saw. Your Geographers now and then fancy a coun­try like a Leg or a Head, a Bear or a Dragon, but I never before saw them represented like wo­men. I could not have thought your mountains, seas and promontories could have made up an assembly of such well-shaped persons. This therefore, says Philander, is a Geography particu­lar to the Medallists. The Poets however have sometimes given into it, and furnish us with very [Page 115] [...]ood lights for the explication of it.Third Series. FIG. 1. The first Lady you see on the List is Africa, she carries an Elephant's tooth [...]y her side.

Dentibus ex illis quos mittit porta Syenes,
Et Mauri celeres, et Mauro obscurior Indus:
Et quos deposuit Nabathaeo bellua saltu,
Jam nimios, capitique graves—
Juv. Sat. 11.

She is always quoiff'd with the head of an Ele­phant, to show that this animal is the breed of that Country, as for the same reason she has a Dragon lying at her feet.

Huic varias pestes, diversaque membra ferarum,
Concessit bellis natura infesta futuris;
Horrendos angues, habitataque membra veneno,
Et mortis partus, viventia crimina terrae;
Et vastos Elephantes habet, saevosque Leones,
In poenas faecunda suas, parit horrida tellus.
Manil. Lib. 4. de Africâ.

Here Nature, angry with mankind, prepares
Strange monsters, instruments of future wars;
Here Snakes, those Cells of poyson, take their birth,
Those living crimes and grievance of the earth;
Fruitful in its own plagues, the desart shore
Hears Elephants, and frightful Lions roar.
Mr. Creech.

Lucan in his description of the several noxious animals of this country, mentions in particular the flying Dragon that we see on this Medal.

[Page 116]
Vos quoque, qui cunctis innoxia numina terris
Serpitis, aurato nitidi fulgore dracones,
Pestiferos ardens facit Africa: ducitis altum
Aëra cum pennis, armentaque tota secuti
Rumpitis ingentes amplexi verbere tauros.
Nec tutus spatio est Elephas. datis omnia letho:
Nec vobis opus est ad noxia fata veneno.
Luc. Lib. 9.

And you, ye Dragons! of the scaly race,
Whom glittering gold and shining armours grace,
In other nations harmless are you found,
Their guardian Genii and Protectors own'd;
In Afric only are you fatal; there,
On wide-expanded wings, sublime you rear
Your dreadful forms, and drive the yielding air.
The lowing Kine in droves you chace, and cull
Some master of the herd, some mighty Bull:
Around his stubborn sides your tails you twist,
By force compress, and burst his brawny chest.
Not Elephants are by their larger size
Secure, but with the rest become your prize.
Resistless in your Might, you all invade,
And for destruction need not poison's aid.
Mr. Rowe.

The Bull that appears on the other side of the Dra­gon, shows us that Afric abounds in agriculture.

—tibi habe frumentum, Alledius inquit,
O Libye, disjunge boves, dum tuberae mittas.
Juv. Sat. 5.

—No more plough up the ground
O Libya, where such mushrooms can be found,
Alledius cries, but furnish us with store
Of mushrooms, and import thy corn no more.
Mr. Bowles.

[Page 117] This part of the world has always on Medals something to denote her wonderful fruitfulness, [...]s it was indeed the great granary of Italy. In the [...]wo following figures, the handful of wheat, the Cornu-copiae, and basket of corn, are all emblems of the same signification.

Sed quâ se campis squalentibus Africa tendit,
Serpentum largo coquitur faecunda veneno:
Felix quà pingues mitis plaga temperat agros;
Nec Cerere Ennaeâ, Phario nec victa colono.
Sil. It. Lib. 1.
Frumenti quantum metit Africa—
Hor. Sat. 3. Lib. 2.
— segetes mirantur Iberas
Horrea; nec Libyae senserunt damna rebellis
Jam transalpinâ contenti messe Quirites.
Claud. in Eutrop. Lib. 1.

FIG. 2.The Lion on the second Medal marks [...]er out for the

Arida nutrix.

The Scorpion on the third is ano­ther of her productions,FIG. 3. as Lucan mentions it in particular, in the long catalogue of her venomous animals.

—quis fata putaret
Scorpion, aut vires maturae mortis habere?
Ille minax nodis, et recto verbere saevus,
Teste tulit coelo victi decus Orionis.
Luc. Lib. 9.

[Page 118]
Who, that the Scorpion's insect form surveys.
Would think that ready Death his call obeys?
Threat'ning he rears his knotty tail on high,
The vast Orion thus he doom'd to die,
And fix'd him, his proud trophy, in the sky.
Mr. Rowe.

The three figures you have here shown us, say [...] Eugenius, give me an idea of a description or two in Claudian, that I must confess I did not before know what to make of. They represent Africa in the shape of a woman, and certainly allude to the corn and head-dress that she wears on old Coins

— mediis apparet in astris
Africa, rescissae vestes, et spicea passim
Serta jacent, lacero crinales vertice dentes,
Et fractum pendebat ebur—
Claud. de Bel. Gild

Next Afric, mounting to the blest Abodes,
Pensive approach'd the Synod of the Gods:
No arts of dress the weeping Dame adorn;
Her garments rent, and wheaten garlands torn:
The fillets, grac'd with teeth in Ivory rows,
Broke and disorder'd dangle on her brows.

Tum spicis et dente comas illustris eburno,
Et calido rubicunda die, sic Africa fatur.
Claud. de Cons. Stil. Lib. 2.

I think, says Philander, there is no question but the Poet has copied out in his description the fi­gure that Africa made in ancient sculpture and painting.FIG. 4. The next before us is Egypt. Her basket of wheat shows us the great fruitfulness of the country, which is cau­sed by the inundations of the Nile.

[Page 119]
Syrtibus hinc Libycis tuta est Aegyptus: at inde
Gurgite septeno rapidus mare summovet amnis:
Terra suis contenta bonis, non indiga mercis,
Aut Jovis; in solo tanta est fiducia Nilo.
Luc. Lib. 8.

By Nature strengthned with a dang'rous strand,
Her Syrts and untry'd channels guard the land.
Rich in the fatness of her plenteous soil,
She plants her only confidence in Nile.
Mr. Rowe.

The instrument in her hand is the Sistrum of the Egyptians, made use of in the worship of the Goddess Isis.

— Nilotica sistris
Ripa sonat —
Claud. de 4 to Cons. Honor.

On Medals you see it in the hand of Egypt, of [...]sis, or any of her Worshippers. The Poets too [...]ake the same use of it, as Virgil has placed it [...]n Cleopatra's hand, to distinguish her from an Egyptian.

Regina in mediis patrio vocat agmina sistro.
Virg. Aen. Lib. 8.
The Queen her self, amidst the loud alarms,
With Cymbals toss'd, her fainting soldiers warms.
Mr. Dryden.
—restabant Actia bella,
Atque ipsa Isiaco certârunt fulmina sistro.
Manil. Lib. 1.
—imitataque Lunam
Cornua fulserunt, crepuitque sonabile sistrum.
de Iside. Ov. Met. Lib. 9.
[Page 120]
—The lunar horns, that bind
The brows of Isis, cast a blaze around;
The trembling Timbrel made a murm'ring sound
Mr. Dryden.
Quid tua nunc Isis tibi, Delia? quid mihi prosu [...]
Ilia tuâ toties aera repulsa manu?
Tib. Lib. 1. El. 3.
Nos in templa tuam Romana accepimus Isin,
Semideosque canes, et sistra jubentia luctus.
Luc. Lib. 8.
Have we with honours dead Osiris crown'd,
And mourn'd him to the Timbrel's tinkling sound?
Receiv'd her Isis to divine abodes,
And rank'd her dogs deform'd, with Roman Gods?
Mr. Rowe.

The bird before her is the Egyptian Ibis. This figure however does not represent the living bird, but rather an idol of it, as one may guess by the pedestal it stands upon, for the Egyptians wor­shipped it as a God.

Quis nescit, Volusi Bithynice, qualia demens
Aegyptus portenta colat? crocodilon adorat
Pars haec, illa pavet saturam serpentibus Ibin;
Effigies sacri nitet aurea Circopitheci.
Juv. Sat. 15.
How Egypt, mad with superstition grown,
Makes Gods of monsters, but too well is known:
One sect devotion to Nile's serpent pays;
Others to Ibis, that on serpents preys.
[Page 121]Where, Thebes, thy hundred gates lie unrepair'd,
And where maim'd Memnon's magick harp is heard,
Where these are mould'ring left, the sots com­bine
With pious care a Monkey to enshrine.
Mr. Tate.
Venerem precaris? comprecare et Simiam.
Placet sacratus aspis Aesculapii?
Crocodilus, Ibis et Canes cur displicent?
Prudentius. Pas. 1. Romani.

We have Mauritania on the fifth Me­dal,FIG. 5. leading a horse with something like a thread, for where there is a bridle in old Coins you see it much more distinctly. In her other [...]and she holds a switch. We have the design of his Medal in the following descriptions that ce­ [...]ebrate the Moors and Numidians, Inhabitants of Mauritania, for their horsemanship.

Hic passim exultant Numidae, gens inscia freni:
Queis inter geminas per ludum mobilis aures
Quadrupedum flectit non cedens virga lupatis:
Altrix bellorum bellatorumque virorum,
Sil. It. Li. 1.

On his hot Steed, unus'd to curb or rein,
The black Numidian prances o'er the plain:
A wand betwixt his ears directs the course,
And as a Bridle turns th' obedient horse.

— an Mauri fremitum raucosque repulsus
Umbonum et nostros passuri, comminus enses?
Non contra clypeis tectos, galeisque micantes
[Page 122] Ibitis; in solis longè fiducia telis.
Exarmatus erit, cum missile torserit, hostis.
Dextra movet jaculum, praetentat pallia laevá,
Caetera nudus Eques; sonipes ignarus habenae:
Virga regit, non ulla fides, non agminis ordo;
Arma oneri.—
Claud. de Bel. Gildon.

Can Moors sustain the press, in close-fought fields,
Of shorten'd fauchions and repelling shields?
Against a host of quiv'ring spears ye go,
Nor helm nor buckler guards the naked foe;
The naked foe, who vainly trusts his art,
And flings away his armour in his dart:
His dart the right hand shakes, the left uprears
His robe, beneath his tender skin appears.
Their Steeds un-rein'd, obey the horseman's wand,
Nor know their legions when to march, or stand;
In the war's dreadful laws untaught and rude,
A mob of men, a martial multitude.

The Horse too may stand as an emblem of the warlike genius of the people.

Bello armantur Equi, bella haec armentà minantur.
Virg. Aen. Li. 3.

FIG. 6.From Africa we will cross over into Spain. There are learned Medallists that tell us, the Rabbet which you see before her feet, may signifie either the great multitude of these Animals that are found in Spain, or per­haps the several mines that are wrought within the bowels of that country, the Latin word Cu­niculus signifying either a Rabbet or a Mine. But these Gentlemen do not consider, that it is not [Page 123] the Word but the Figure that appears on the Me­dal. Cuniculus may stand for a Rabbet or a Mine, but the picture of a Rabbet is not the pi­cture of a Mine. A pun can be no more engra­ven than it can be translated. When the word is construed into its idea the double meaning va­nishes. The figure therefore before us means a real Rabbet, which is there found in vast multi­tudes.

Cuniculosae Celtiberiae fili.
Catul. in Egnatium.

The Olive-branch tell us, it is a country that a­bounds in Olives, as it is for this reason that Claudian in his description of Spain binds an O­live branch about her head.

—glaucis tum prima Minervae
Nexa comam foliis, fulvâque intexta micantem
Veste Tagum, tales profert Hispania voces.
Claud. de Laud. Stil. Li. 2.
Thus Spain, whose brows the olive wreaths in­fold,
And o'er her robe a Tagus streams in gold.

Martial has given us the like figure of one of the greatest rivers in Spain.

Boetis oliviferâ crinem redimite coronâ,
Aurea qui nitidis vellera tingis aquis:
Quem Bromius quem Pallas amat—
Mar. Li. 12. Ep. 99.

Fair Boetis! Olives wreath thy azure locks;
In fleecy gold thou cloath'st the neighb'ring flocks:
[Page 124]Thy fruitful banks with rival-bounty smile,
While Bacchus wine bestows, and Pallas oil.

And Prudentius of one of its eminent towns.

Tu decem sanctos revehes et octo,
Caesar Augusta studiosa Christi,
Verticem flavis oleis revincta
Pacis honore.
Prudent. Hymn. 4.

FIG. 7. France, you see, has a Sheep by her, not only as a sacrifice, but to shew that the riches of the country consisted chiefly in flocks and pasturage. Thus Horace mentioning the commodities of different countries,

Quanquam nec Calabrae mella ferunt apes,
Nec Laestrigoniâ Bacchus in amphorâ
Languescit mihi, nec pinguia Gallicis
Crescunt vellera pascuis.
Hor. Od. 16. Li. 3.

Tho' no Calabrian Bees do give
Their grateful tribute to my hive;
No wines, by rich Campania sent,
In my ignoble casks ferment;
No flocks in Gallic plains grow fat;—
Mr. Creech.

She carries on her shoulders the Sagulum that Virgil speaks of as the habit of the ancient Gauls.

Aurea caesaries ollis, atque aurea vestis:
Virgatis lucent sagulis—
Virg. Aen. Lib. 8.

[Page 125]
The gold dissembled well their yellow hair;
And golden chains on their white necks they wear;
Gold are their vests—
Mr. Dryden.

She is drawn in a posture of sacrificing for the [...]afe arrival of the Emperor, as we may learn [...]rom the inscription. We find in the several Medals that were struck on Adrian's progress [...]hrough the Empire, that at his arrival they offer­ [...]d a sacrifice to the Gods for the reception of so [...]reat a blessing. Horace mentions this custom.

Tum meae (si quid loquar audiendum)
Vocis accedet bona pars; et O Sol
Pulcher, ô laudande, canam, recepto
Caesare felix.—
Te decem tauri, totidemque vaccae;
Me tener solvet vitulus—
Hor. Od. 2. Lib. 4.
And there, if any patient ear
My Muse's feeble song will hear
My voice shall sound thro' Rome:
Thee, Sun, I'll sing, thee, lovely fair,
Thee, thee I'll praise, when Caesar's come. —
Ten large fair bulls, ten lusty cows,
Must die, to pay thy richer vows;
Of my small stock of kine
A calf just wean'd —
Mr. Creech.

Italy has a Cornu-copiae in her hand,FIG. 8. to denote her fruitfulness;

—magna parens frugum Saturnia tellus.
Virg. Geor. 3.

[Page 126] and a crown of towers on her head to figure out the many towns and cities that stand upon her. Lucan has given her the like ornament, where he represents her addressing herself to Julius Caesar.

Ingens visa duci patriae trepidantis Imago:
Clara per obscuram vultu maestissima noctem,
Turrigero canos effundens vertice crines,
Caesarie, lacerâ nudisque adstare lacertis,
Et gemitu permista loqui—
Lucan. Lib. 1.

Amidst the dusky horrors of the night,
A wondrous vision stood confest to sight;
Her awful head Rome's rev'rend image rear'd,
Trembling and sad the Matron form appear'd;
A tow'ry crown her hoary temples bound,
And her torn tresses rudely hung around:
Her naked arms uplifted ere she spoke,
Then groaning thus the mournful silence broke.
Mr. Rowe.

She holds a sceptre in her other hand, and sits on a globe of the heavens, to shew that she is the Sovereign of nations, and that all the influences of the Sun and Stars fall on her dominions. Claudian makes the same compliment to Rome.

Ipsa triumphatis quae possidet aethera regnis.
Claud. in Prob. et Olyb. Cons.
Jupiter arce suâ totum dum spectat in orbem,
Nil nisi Romanum quod tueatur habet.
Ov. de fast. Lib. 1.
Jove finds no realm, when he the globe surveys,
But what to Rome submissive homage pays.
[Page 127]
Orbem jam totum victor Romanus habebat,
Quà mare, quà tellus, quà sidus currit utrumque.
Now Rome, sole Empress reigns from pole to pole,
Where-ever earth extends, or oceans roll.

The picture that Claudian makes of Rome one would think was copied from the next Medal.FIG. 9.

—innuptae ritus imitata Minervae:
Nam neque caesariem crinali stringere cultu,
Colla nec ornatu patitur mollire retorto:
Dextrum nuda latus, niveos exerta lacertos,
Audacem retegit mammam, laxumque coercens
Mordet gemma sinum.—
Clipeus Titaná lucessit
Lumine, qúem totâ variarat Mulciber arte;
Hîc patrius, Mavortis amor, foetusque notantur
Romulei. post amnis inest, et bellua nutrix.
Claud. in Prob. et Olyb. Cons.
No costly fillets knot her hair behind,
Nor female trinkets round her neck are twin'd.
Bold on the right her naked arm she shows,
And half the bosom's unpolluted snows;
Whilst on the left is buckled o'er her breast,
In diamond clasps, the military-vest.
The Sun was dazled as her shield she rear'd,
Where, varied o'er by Mulciber, appear'd
The loves of Mars her Sire, fair Ilia's joys,
The wolf, the Tyber, and the infant boys.

The next figure is Achaia. FIG. 10.

[Page 128]I am sorry, says Cynthio, to find you running farther off us. I was in hopes you would have shown us our own nation, when you were so near us as France. I have here, says Philander, FIG. 11. one of Augustus's Britan­nia's. You see she is not drawn like other countries, in a soft peaceful posture, but is adorned with emblems that mark out the milita­ry genius of her Inhabitants. This is, I think, the only commendable quality that the old Poets have touched upon in the description of our country. I had once made a collection of all the passages in the Latin Poets, that give any account of us, but I find them so very malicious, that it would look like a libel on the nation to repeat them to you. We seldom meet with our fore-fathers, but they are coupled with some epithet or another to blacken them. Barbarous, Cruel and Inhospitable are the best terms they can afford us, which it would be a kind of injustice to publish, since their posterity are become so polite, good-natured, and kind to strangers. To mention therefore those parts only that relate to the pre­sent Medal. She sits on a globe that stands in water, to denote that she is Mistress of a new world, separate from that which the Romans had before conquered, by the interposition of the sea. I think we cannot doubt of this interpretation, if we consider how she has been represented by the ancient Poets.

Et penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos.
Virg. Ec. 1.
The rest among the Britons be confin'd;
A race of men from all the world disjoin'd.
Mr. Dryden.
[Page 129]
Adspice, confundit populos impervia tellus:
Conjunctum est, quod adhuc orbis, et orbis erat.
Vet. Poet. apud Scalig. Catul.
At nunc oceanus geminos interluit orbes.
Id. de Britanniâ et opposito Continente.
—nostro diducta Britannia mundo.
Nec stetit oceano, remisque ingressa profundum,
Vincendos alio quaefivit in orbe Britannos.

The feet of Britannia are washed by the waves, in the same Poet.

—cujus vestigia verrit
Coerulus, oceanique aestum mentitur, amictus.
Id. de Laud. Stil. Lib. 2.

She bears a Roman Ensign in one of her hands, to confess herself a conquered province.

—victricia Caesar
Signa Caledonios transvexit ad usque Britannos.
Sidon. Apollin.

But to return to Achaia, FIG. 10. whom we left upon her knees before the Emperor Adrian. She has a pot before her with a sprig of Parsly rising out of it. I will not here trouble you with a dull story of Hercules's eating a sal­lade of Parsly for his refreshment, after his en­counter with the Nemean Lion. It is certain, there were in Achaia the Nemean Games, and that a garland of Parsly was the Victor's reward. You have an account of these Games in Ausonius.

[Page 130]
Quattuor antiquos celebravit Achaia Ludos,
Coelicolûm duo sunt, et duo festa hominum.
Sacra Jovis, Phoebique, Palaemonis, Archemorique:
Serta quibus pinus, malus, oliva, apium.
Aus. de Lustral. Agon.

Greece, in four games thy martial youth were train'd;
For Heroes two, and two for Gods ordain'd:
Jove bade the Olive round his Victor wave;
Phoebus to his an Apple-garland gave;
The Pine, Palaemon; nor with less renown,
Archemorus conferr'd the Parsly-crown.

Archemori Nemeaea colunt funebria Thebae.
Id. de locis Agon.

—Alcides Nemeae sacravit honorem.
de Auct. Agon. Id.

Archemori Nemeaea colunt funebria Thebae.

One reason why they chose Parsly for a Garland, was doubtless because it always preserves its ver­dure, as Horace opposes it to the short-lived Lilly.

Neu vivax apium, nec breve lilium.
Lib. 1. Od. 36.

Let fading Lillies and the Rose
Their beauty and their smell disclose;
Let long-liv'd Parsly grace the feast.
And gently cool the heated guest.
[Mr. Creech.

Juvenal mentions the Crown that was made of it, and which here surrounds the head of Achaia.

[Page 131]
—Graiaeque apium meruisse coronae.
Juv. Sat. 8.

And winning at a Wake their Parsly crown.
Mr. Stepney.

She presents herself to the Emperor in the same posture that the Germans and English still salute the Imperial and Royal family.

— jus imperiumque Phraates
Caesaris accepit genibus minor.—
Hor. Epis. 12. Li. 1.
The haughty Parthian now to Caesar kneels.
Mr. Creech.
Ille qui donat diadema fronti
Qaem genu nixae tremuere gentes.
Senec. Thyest. Act. 3.
—Non, ut inflexo genu.
Regnantem adores, petimus.
Te linguis variae gentes, missique rogatum
Foedera Persarum proceres cum patre sedentem,
Hac quondam videre domo; positâque tiarâ
Submisere genu.—
Claud. ad Honorium.
Thy infant Virtue various climes admir'd,
And various tongues to sound thy praise conspir'd:
Thee next the Sovereign seat, the Persians view'd,
When in this Regal Dome for peace they su'd:
Each Turban low, in sign of worship, wav'd;
And every knee confest the boon they crav'd.

Sicily appears before Adrian in the same posture.FIG. 12. She has a bundle of Corn [Page 132] in her hand, and a Garland of it on her head, as she abounds in wheat, and was consecrated to Ceres.

Utraque frugiferis est Insula nobilis arvis:
Nec plus Hesperiam longinquis messibus ullae,
Nec Romana complerunt horrea terrae.
de Sicilia et Sardinia. Luc. Li. 2.
Sardinia too, renown'd for yellow fields,
With Sicily her bounteous tribute yields;
No lands a glebe of richer tillage boast,
Nor waft more plenty to the Roman coast.
Mr. Rowe.
Terra tribus scopulis vatum procurrit in aequor
Trinacris, a positu nomen adepta loci,
Grata domus Cereri. multas ibi possidet urbes:
In quibus est culto fertilis Henna solo.
Ov. de Fast. Li. 4.
To Ceres dear, the fruitful land is fam'd
For three tall Capes, and thence Trinacria nam'd:
There Henna well rewards the tiller's toil,
The fairest Champian of the fairest Isle.

FIG. 13.We find Judaea on several coins of Vespasian and Titus, in a posture that denotes sorrow and captivity. The first figure of her is drawn to the life, in a picture that Seneca has given us of the Trojan matrons bewailing their captivity.

— paret exertos
Turba lacertos. Veste remissâ
Substringe sinus, uteroque tenus
Pateant artus—
[Page 133]— cadat ex humeris
Vestis apertis: imumque tegat
Suffulta latus. jam nuda vocant
Pectora dextras. nunc nunc vires
Exprome, Dolor, tuas.
Hecuba ad Trojan, chor. Sen. Troas. Act. 1.

Your arms, your vestures slackly ty'd
Beneath your naked bosoms, slide
Down to your wastes—
From your divested shoulders slide
Your garments, down on either side.
Now bared bosoms call for blows,
Now, Sorrow, all thy pow'rs disclose.
Sir Ed. Sherburn.

—apertae pectora matres
Significant luctum —
Ov. Met. Li. 13.

Who bar'd their breasts, and gave their hair to flow:
The signs of grief, and mark of publick woe.

The head is veiled in both figures, as another ex­pression of grief.

—ipsa tristi vestis obtentu caput
Velata, juxta praesides astat Deos.
Sen. Herc. fur. Act. 2.

Sic ubi fata, caput ferali obducit amictu,
Decrevitque pati tenebras, puppisque cavernis
Delituit: saevumque arctè complexa dolorem
Perfruitur lacrymis, et amat pro conjuge luct [...]m.
Luc. Li. 9. de Corneliâ.

[Page 134]
So said the Matron; and about her head
Her veil she draws, her mournful eyes to shade:
Resolv'd to shroud in thickest shades her woe,
She seeks the ship's deep darksome Hold below:
There lonely left, at leisure to complain,
She hugs her sorrows, and enjoys her pain;
Still with fresh tears the living grief would feed,
And fondly loves it, in her husband's stead.
Mr. Rowe.

I need not mention her sitting on the ground, be­cause we have already spoken of the aptness of such a posture to represent an extreme affliction. I fancy, says Eugenius, the Romans might have an eye on the customs of the Jewish nation, as well as of those of their country, in the several marks of sorrow they have set on this figure. The Psalmist describes the Jews lamenting their captivity in the same pensive posture. By the wa­ters of Babylon we sate down and wept, when we remembred thee, O Sion. But what is more re­markable, we find Judaea represented as a wo­man in sorrow sitting on the ground, in a passage of the Prophet that foretells the very captivity re­ed on this Medal. The covering of the head, and the rending of garments, we find very often in Holy Scripture, as the expressions of a raging grief. But what is the tree we see on both these Medals? We find, says Philander, not only on these, but on several other coins that relate to Judaea, the figure of a Palm-tree, to show us that Palms are the growth of the country. Thus Sili­us Italicus, speaking of Vespasian's conquest, that is the subject of this Medal.

[Page 135]
Palmiferamque senex bello domitabit Idumen.
Sil. It. Li. 3.

Martial seems to have hinted at the many pieces of painting and sculpture that were occasioned by this conquest of Judaea, and had generally some­thing of the Palm-tree in them. It begins an E­pigram on the death of Scorpus a chariot-driver, which in those degenerate times of the Empire was looked upon as a public calamity.

Tristis Idumaeas frangat Victoria palmas;
Plange Favor saeva pectora nuda manu.
Mart. Li. 10. Epig. 50.

The man by the Palm-tree in the first of these Medals, is supposed to be a Jew with his hands bound behind him.

I need not tell you that the winged figure on the other Medal is a Victory. FIG. 14. She is represented here as on many other coins, writing something on a shield. We find this way of registring a Victory touched upon in Virgil, and Silius Italicus.

Aere cavo clypeum, magni gestamen Abantis,
Postibus adversis figo, et rem carmine signo;
Aeneas haec de Danais victoribus arma.
Virg. Aen. Lib. 3.
I fix'd upon the Temple's lofty door
The brazen shield, which vanquish'd Abas bore:
The verse beneath my name and actions speaks,
"These arms Aeneas took from conqu'ring Greeks.
Mr. Dryden.
[Page 136]
Pyrettes tumulo clypeum cum carmine figunt;
Hasdrubalis spolium Gradivo Scipio victor.
Sil. Ital. Li. 15.
High on Pyrene's airy top they plac'd,
The captive Shield, with this inscription grac'd;
"Sacred to Mars, these votive spoils proclaim
"The fate of Asdrubal, and Scipio's fame.

FIG 15. Parthia has on one side of her the Bow and Quiver which are so much talked of by the Poets. Lucan's account of the Parthians is very pretty and poetical.

—Parthoque sequente
Murus erit, quodcunque potest obstare sagittae—
Illita tela dolis, nec Martem comminus unquam
Ausa pati virtus, sed longè tendere nervos,
Et, quo ferre velint, permittere vulnera ventis.
Luc. Li. 8.

Each fence, that can their winged shafts endure,
Stands, like a fort, impregnable, secure—
To taint their coward darts is all their care,
And then to trust them to the flitting air.
Mr. Rowe.

—Sagittiferosque Parthos.

The Crown she holds in her hand, refers to the crown of gold that Parthia, as well as other pro­vinces, presented to the Emperor Antonine. The presenting a Crown, was the giving up the so­vereignty into his hands.

Ipse oratores ad me, regnique coronam,
Cum sceptro misit—
Virg. Aen. Lib. 8.
[Page 137]
Tarchon, the Tuscan Chief, to me has sent
Their Crown, and ev'ry regal ornament.
Mr. Dryden.

Antioch has an Anchor by her,FIG. 16. in [...]emory of her founder Seleucus, whose [...]ace was all born with this mark upon them, if you'll believe Historians. Ausonius has taken notice of it in his verses on this city.

—Illa Seleucum
Nuncupat ingenuum, cujus fuit Anchora signum,
Qualis inusta solet; generis nota certa, per omnem
Nam sobolis seriem nativa cucurrit imago.
Aus. Ordo Nobil. Urbium.

Thee, great Seleucus, bright in Grecian fame!
The tow'rs of Antioch for their founder claim:
Thee Phoebus at thy birth his son confest,
By the fair Anchor on the babe imprest;
Which all thy genuine off-spring wont to grace,
From thigh to thigh transmissive thro' the race.

Smyrna is always represented by an Amazon, FIG. 17. that is said to have been her first foundress. You see her here entring into a league with Thyatira. Each of them holds her tutelar Deity in her hand.

Jus ille, et icti foederis testes Deos
Sen. Phaenissae. Act. 1.

On the left arm of Smyrna, is the Pelta or Buck­ler of the Amazons, as the long weapon by her is the Bipennis or Securis.

[Page 138]
Non tibi Amazonia est pro me sumenda securis,
Aut excisa levi pelta gerenda manu.
Ov. Li. 3. Epis. 1. ex Pont.
Lunatis agmina peltis.
In their right hands a pointed Dart they wield;
The left, for ward, sustains the lunar Shield.
Mr. Dryden.
Videre Rhaeti bella sub Alpibus
Drusum gerentem, et Vindelici; quibus
Mos unde deductus per omne
Tempus Amazonia securi
Dextras obarmet quaerere distuli.
Hor. Od. 4. Li. 4.
Such Drusus did in arms appear,
When near the Alps he urg'd the war:
In vain the Rhaeti did their axes wield,
Like Amazons they fought, like women fled the field:
But why those savage troops this weapon chuse,
Confirm'd by long establish'd use,
Historians would in vain disclose.

FIG. 18.The dress that Arabia appears in, brings to my mind the description Lu­can has made of these eastern nations.

Quicquid ad Eoos tractus, mundique teporem
Labitur, emollit gentes clementia coeli.
Illic et laxas vestes, et fluxa virorum
Velamenta vides.—
Luc. Lib. 8.

While Asia's softer climate, form'd to please,
Dissolves her sons in indolence and ease.
[Page 139]Here silken robes invest unmanly limbs,
And in long trains the flowing Purple streams.
Mr. Rowe.

She bears in one hand a sprig of frankincense.

—solis est thurea virga Sabeis.

And od'rous frankincense on the Sabaean bough.
Mr. Dryden.

Thuriferos Arabum saltus.
Claud. de 3. Cons. Hon.

Thurilegos Arabas—
Ov. de Fas. Lib. 4.

In the other hand you see the perfumed reed, as the garland on her head may be supposed to be woven out of some other part of her fragrant productions.

Nec procul in molles Arabas terramque ferentem
Delicias, variaeque novos radicis honores;
Leniter adfundit gemmantia littora pontus,
Et terrae mare nomen habet—
de sinu Arabico. Manil. Lib. 4.

More west the other soft Arabia beats,
Where incense grows, and pleasing odour sweats;
The Bay is call'd th' Arabian gulf; the name
The country gives it, and 'tis great in fame.
Mr. Creech.

Urantur pia thura focis, urantur odores,
Quos tener à terrâ divite mittit Arabs.
Tibul. Lib. 2. El. 2.

—sit dives amomo,
Cinnamaque, costumque suam, sudataque ligno
[Page 140] Thura ferat, floresque alios Panchaïa tellus,
Dum ferat, et Myrrham.
Ov. Met. Lib. 10.

Let Araby extol her happy coast,
Her Cinnamon, and sweet Amomum boast;
Her fragrant flowers, her trees with precious tears,
Her second harvests, and her double years:
How can the land be call'd so bless'd, that Myrrha bears?
Mr. Dryden.

—Odoratae spirant medicamina Sylvae.

The trees drop balsam, and on all the boughs
Health sits, and makes it sovereign as it flows.
Mr. Creech.

Cinnami sylvas Arabes beatos
Sen. OEdip. Act. 1.

What a delicious country is this, says Cynthio? a man almost smells it in the descriptions that are made of it. The Camel is in Arabia, I sup­pose, a beast of burden, that helps to carry off its spices. We find the Camel, says Philander, mentioned in Persius on the same account.

Tolle recens primus piper è sitiente Camelo.
Pers. Sat. 5.

—The precious weight
Of pepper and Sabaean incense, take
With thy own hands from the tir'd Camel's back.
Mr. Dryden.

He loads the Camel with pepper, because the a­nimal and its cargo are both the productions of the same country.

[Page 141]
Mercibus hic Italis mutat sub sole recenti
Rugosum piper—
Id. Sat. 5.
The greedy Merchants, led by lucre, run
To the parch'd Indies and the rising Sun;
From thence hot pepper, and rich drugs they bear,
Bart'ring for spices their Italian ware.
Mr. Dryden.

You have given us some quotations out of Persius this morning, says Eugenius, that in my opinion have a great deal of poetry in them. I have often wondered at Mr. Dryden for passing so severe a censure on this Author. He fancies the description of a Wreck that you have already ci­ted, is too good for Persius, and that he might be helpt in it by Lucan, who was one of his contemporaries. For my part, says Cynthio, I am so far from Mr. Dryden's opinion in this particu­lar, that I fancy Persius a better Poet than Lucan: and that had he been engaged on the same sub­ject, he would at least in his Expressions and De­scriptions have out-writ the Pharsalia. He was indeed employed on subjects that seldom led him into any thing like Description, but where he has an occasion of shewing himself, we find very few of the Latin Poets that have given a grea­ter beauty to their Expressions. His obscurities are indeed sometimes affected, but they generally arise from the remoteness of the Customs, Per­sons and Things he alludes to: as Satyr is for this reason more difficult to be understood by those that are not of the same Age with it, than any other kind of Poetry. Love-verses and [Page 142] Heroics deal in Images that are ever fixed and settled in the nature of things, but a thousand ideas enter into Satyr, that are as changeable and unsteady as the mode or the humours of mankind.

Our three friends had passed away the whole morning among their Medals and Latin Poets. Philander told them it was now too late to enter on another Series, but if they would take up with such a dinner as he could meet with at his Lodgings, he would afterwards lay the rest of his Medals before them. Cynthio and Euge­nius were both of them so well pleased with the novelty of the subject, that they would not refuse the offer Philander made them.

A PARALLEL between the Ancient and Modern MEDALS.

—causa est discriminis hujus
Concisum Argentum in titulos faciesque minutas.
Juv. Sat. 14.

PHILANDER used every morning to take a walk in a neighbouring wood, that stood on the borders of the Thames. It was cut [...]hrough by abundance of beautiful allies, which [...]erminating on the water, looked like so many [...]ainted views in perspective. The banks of the [...]iver and the thickness of the shades drew into them all the birds of the country, that at Sun-ri­sing filled the wood with such a variety of notes, as made the prettiest confusion imaginable. I know in descriptions of this nature the scenes are generally supposed to grow out of the Au­thor's imagination, and if they are not charming in all their parts, the Reader never imputes it to the want of sun or soil, but to the Writer's bar­renness of invention. It is Cicero's observation on the Plane-tree, that makes so flourishing a fi­gure in one of Plato's Dialogues, that it did not [Page 144] draw its nourishment from the fountain that ra [...] by it and watered its roots, but from the rich­ness of the style that describes it. For my own part, as I design only to fix the scene of the fol­lowing Dialogue, I shall not endeavour to give it any other ornaments than those which nature has bestowed upon it.

Philander was here enjoying the cool of the morning, among the dews that lay on every thing about him, and that gave the air such a freshness as is not a little agreeable in the hot part of the year. He not been here long before he was joined by Cynthio and Eugenius. Cyn­thio immediately fell upon Philander for breaking his night's rest. You have so filled my head, says he, with old Coins, that I have had nothing but figures and inscriptions before my eyes. If I chanced to fall into a little slumber, it was im­mediately interrupted with the vision of a Cadu­ceus or a Cornu-copiae. You will make me be­lieve, says Philander, that you begin to be recon­ciled to Medals. They say it is a sure sign a man loves money, when he is used to find it in his dreams. There is certainly, says Eugenius, something like Avarice in the study of Medals. The more a man knows of them, the more he desires to know. There is one subject in par­ticular that Cynthio, as well as my self, has a mind to engage you in. We would fain know how the Ancient and Modern Medals differ from one another, and which of them deserves the preference. You have a mind to engage me in a subject, says Philander, that is perhaps of a lar­ger extent than you imagine. To examine it thoroughly, it would be necessary to take them [Page 145] in pieces, and to speak of the difference that shews it self in their Metals, in the Occasion of stamp­ing them, in the Inscriptions, and in the Figures that adorn them. Since you have divided your subject, says Cynthio, be so kind as to enter on it without any further preface.

We should first of all, says Philander, consider the difference of the Metals that we find in an­cient and modern Coins, but as this speculation is more curious than improving, I believe you will excuse me if I do not dwell long upon it. One may understand all the learned part of this science, without knowing whether there were Coins of iron or lead among the old Romans, and if a man is well acquainted with the Device of a Medal, I do not see what necessity there is of being able to tell whether the Medal it self be of copper or Corinthian brass. There is how­ever so great a difference between the antique and modern Medals, that I have seen an Antiquary lick an old Coin, among other tryals, to distin­guish the age of it by its Taste. I remember when I laught at him for it, he told me with a great deal of vehemence, there was as much dif­ference between the relish of ancient and modern brass, as between an apple and a turnep. It is pity, says Engenius, but they found out the Smell too of an ancient Medal. They would then be able to judge of it by all the senses. The Touch, I have heard, gives almost as good evidence as the Sight, and the Ringing of a Me­dal is, I know, a very common experiment. But I suppose this last proof you mention relates only to such Coins as are made of your baser sorts of metal. And here, says Philander, we may ob­serve [Page 146] the prudence of the Ancients above that of the Moderns, in the care they took to perpetuate the memory of great actions. They knew very well that silver and gold might fall into the hands of the covetous or ignorant, who would not respect them for the Device they bore, but for the Metal they were made of. Nor were their apprehensions ill-founded; for it is not easily ima­gined how many of these noble monuments of history have perished in the goldsmiths hands, be­fore they came to be collected together by the learned men of these two or three last Centuries. Inscriptions, Victories, Buildings, and a thousand other pieces of antiquity were melted down in those barbarous Ages, that thought figures and letters only served to spoil the gold that was charged with them. Your Medallists look on this destruction of Coins, as on the burning of the Alexandrian Library, and would be content to compound for them, with almost the loss of a Vatican. To prevent this in some measure, the ancients placed the greatest variety of their devi­ces on their brass and copper Coins, which are in no fear of falling into the clippers hands, nor in any danger of melting till the general confla­gration. On the contrary, our modern Medals are most in silver or gold, and often in a very small number of each. I have seen a golden one at Vienna, of Philip the second, that weighed two and twenty pound, which is probably singular in its kind, and will not be able to keep it self long out of the furnace when it leaves the Emperor's Treasury. I remember another in the King of Prussia's collection, that has in it three pound weight of gold. The Princes who struck these [Page 147] Medals, says Eugenius, seem to have designed them rather as an ostentation of their Wealth, than of their Virtues. They fancied probably, it was a greater honour to appear in gold than in copper, and that a Medal receives all its value from the rarity of the metal. I think the next subject you proposed to speak of, were the dif­ferent Occasions that have given birth to ancient and modern Medals.

Before we enter on this particular, says Phi­lander, I must tell you by way of preliminary, that formerly there was no difference between Money and Medals. An old Roman had his purse full of the same pieces that we now pre­serve in Cabinets. Assoon as an Emperor had done any thing remarkable, it was immediately stamped on a Coin, and became current through his whole Dominions. It was a pretty contri­vance, says Cynthio, to spread abroad the virtues of an Emperor, and make his actions circulate. A fresh Coin was a kind of a Gazette, that pub­lished the latest news of the Empire. I should fancy your Roman Bankers were very good Hi­storians. It is certain, says Eugenius, they might find their profit and instruction mixed together. I have often wondered that no nation among the moderns has imitated the antient Romans in this particular. I know no other way of securing these kinds of monuments, and making them nu­merous enough to be handed down to future ages. But where Statesmen are ruled by a spi­rit of faction and interest, they can have no pas­sion for the glory of their country, nor any con­cern for the figure it will make among posterity. A man that talks of his nation's honour a thou­sand [Page 148] years hence, is in very great danger of being laught at. We shall think, says Cynthio, you have a mind to fall out with the Government, because it does not encourage Medals. But were all your ancient Coins that are now in Cabinets once current money? It is the most probable opinion, says Philander, that they were all of them such, excepting those we call Meda­lions. These in respect of the other Coins were the same as modern Medals, in respect of mo­dern money. They were exempted from all commerce, and had no other value but what was set upon them by the fancy of the owner. They are supposed to have been struck by Emperors for presents to their Friends, foreign Princes, or Ambassadors. However, that the smallness of their number might not endanger the loss of the devices they bore, the Romans took care gene­rally to stamp the subject of their Medalions on their ordinary Coins that were the running cash of the nation. As if in England we should see on our half-penny and farthing pieces, the several designs that show themselves in their perfection on our Medals.

If we now consider, continued Philander, the different Occasions or Subjects of ancient and modern Medals, we shall find they both agree in recording the great actions and successes in war, allowing still for the different ways of making it, and the circumstances that attended it in past ages, and in the present. I shall instance one. I do not remember in any old Coin to have seen the taking of a town mentioned: as indeed there were few conquerors could signalize themselves that way before the invention of powder and [Page 149] fortifications, a single battle often deciding the fate of whole kingdoms. Our modern Medals give us several sieges and plans of fortified towns, that show themselves in all their parts to a great advantage on the reverse of a Coin. It is indeed, a kind of justice, says Eugenius, that a Prince owes to posterity, after he has ruined or defaced a strong place to deliver down to them a model of it as it stood whole and entire. The Coin re­pairs in some measure the mischiefs of his Bombs and Cannons. In the next place, says Philan­der, we see both on the ancient and modern Me­dals the several noble pieces of Architecture that were finished at the time when the Medals were stamped. I must observe however, to the ho­nour of the latter, that they have represented their buildings according to the rules of perspe­ctive. This I remember to have seen but in ve­ry few of the plans on ancient Coins, which makes them appear much less beautiful than the modern, especially to a mathematical eye. Thus far our two setts of Medals agree as to their Subject. But old Coins go farther in their compliments to their Emperor, as they take occasion to celebrate his distinguishing Virtues; not as they showed themselves in any particular action, but as they shone out in the general view of his character. This humour went so far, that we see Nero's fid­ling, and Commodus's skill in fencing, on several of their Medals. At present, you never meet with the King of France's generosity, nor the Em­peror's devotion recorded after this manner. A­gain, the Romans used to register the great actions of Peace that turned to the good of the people, as well as those of War. The remission of a [Page 150] Debt, the taking off a Duty, the giving up a Tax, the mending a Port, or the making a Highway, were not looked upon as improper subjects for a Coin. They were glad of any opportunity to encourage their Emperors in the humour of do­ing good, and knew very well, that many of these acts of beneficence had a wider and more lasting influence on the happiness and welfare of a peo­ple, than the gaining a Victory, or the Conquest of a nation. In England perhaps it would have looked a little odd to have stamped a Medal on the abolishing of Chimney-money in the last Reign, or on the giving a hundred thousand pound a year towards the carrying on a war, in this. I find, says Eugenius, had we struck in with the practice of the ancient Romans, we should have had Medals on the fitting up our several Docks, on the making of our Rivers navigable, on the building our men of War, and the like subjects, that have certainly very well deserved them. The reason why it has been neglected, says Philander, may possibly be this. Our Princes have the coin­ing of their own Medals, and perhaps may think it would look like vanity to erect so many Tro­phies and Monuments of praise to their own merit; whereas among the ancient Romans, the Senate had still a watchful eye on their Emperor, and if they found any thing in his life and actions that might furnish out a Medal, they did not fail of making him so acceptable an offering. 'Tis true, their flatteries betray often such a base­ness of spirit, as one would little expect to find among such an order of men. And here by the way we may observe, that you never find any thing like Satyr or Raillery on old Coins.

[Page 151]Whatever victories were got on foreign ene­mies, or the several pretenders to the Empire obtained over one another, they are recorded on Coins without the least bitterness or reflection. The Emperors often jested on their rivals or predecessors, but their Mints still maintained their gravity. They might publish invectives against one another in their discourses or wri­tings, but never on their Coins. Had we no other histories of the Roman Emperors, but those we find on their money, we should take them for the most virtuous race of Princes that mankind were ever blessed with: whereas, if we look in­to their lives, they appear many of them such monsters of lust and cruelty, as are almost a re­proach to human nature. Medals are therefore so many compliments to an Emperor, that a­scribe to him all the Virtues and Victories he himself pretended to. Were you to take from hence all your informations, you would fancy Claudius as great a Conqueror as Julius Caesar, and Domitian a wiser Prince than his brother Ti­tus. Tiberius on his Coins is all Mercy and Mo­deration, Caligula and Nero are Fathers of their Country, Galba the patron of public Liberty, and Vitellius the restorer of the city of Rome. In short, if you have a mind to see the religious Commodus, the pious Caracalla, and the devout Heliogabalus, you may find them either in the inscription or device of their Medals. On the contrary, those of a modern make are often char­ged with Irony and Satyr. Our Kings no soon­er fall out, but their mints make war upon one another, and their malice appears on their Me­dals. One meets sometimes with very nice [Page 152] touches of Raillery, but as we have no instance of it among the ancient Coins, I shall leave you to determine, whether or no it ought to find a place there. I must confess, says Cynthio, I be­lieve we are generally in the wrong, when we deviate from the ancients: because their practice is for the most part grounded upon reason. But if our fore-fathers have thought fit to be grave and serious, I hope their posterity may laugh with­out offence. For my part, I cannot but look on this kind of Raillery as a refinement on Me­dals: and do not see why there may not be some for diversion, at the same time that there are o­thers of a more solemn and majestic nature, as a Victory may be celebrated in an Epigram as well as in an Heroic Poem. Had the ancients given place to Raillery on any of their Coins, I question not but they would have been the most valued parts of a collection. Besides the enter­tainment we should have found in them, they would have shown us the different state of Wit, as it flourished or decayed in the several ages of the Roman Empire. There is no doubt, says Philander, but our fore-fathers, if they had plea­sed, could have been as witty as their posterity. But I am of opinion, they industriously avoided it on their Coins, that they might not give us oc­casion to suspect their sincerity. Had they run into mirth or satyr we should not have thought they had designed so much to instruct as to di­vert us. I have heard, says Eugenius, that the Romans stamped several Coins on the same occa­sion. If we follow their example, there will be no danger of deceiving posterity: since the more serious sort of Medals may serve as Comments [Page 153] on those of a lighter character. However it is, the raillery of the Moderns cannot be worse than the flattery of the Ancients. But hitherto you have only mentioned such Coins as were made on the Emperor, I have seen several of our own time that have been made as a compliment to private persons. There are pieces of money, says Philander, that during the time of the Roman Emperors, were coined in honour of the Senate, Army or People. I do not remember to have seen in the upper Empire the face of any private person that was not some way related to the Im­perial family. Sejanus has indeed his Consulship mentioned on a Coin of Tiberius, as he has the honour to give a name to the year in which our Saviour was crucified. We are now come to the Legend or Inscription of our Medals, which as it is one of the more essential parts of them, it may deserve to be examined more at length. You have chosen a very short Text to enlarge upon, says Cynthio: I should as soon expect to see a Critique on the Posie of a Ring, as on the In­scription of a Medal.

I have seen several modern Coins, says Phi­lander, that have had part of the Legend running round the edges, like the Decus et Tutamen in our milled money; so that a few years will proba­bly wear out the action that the Coin was de­signed to perpetuate. The ancients were too wise to register their exploits on so nice a sur­face. I should fancy, says Eugenius, the mo­derns may have chosen this part of the Medal for the inscription, that the figures on each side might appear to a greater advantage. I have observed in several old Coins a kind of confusion between [Page 154] the legend and the device. The figures and let­ters were so mingled together, that one would think the Coiner was hard put to it on what part of the money to bestow the several words of his inscription. You have found out some­thing like an excuse, says Philander, for your milled Medals, if they carried the whole legend on their edges. But at the same time that they are lettered on the edges, they have other inscrip­tions on the face and the reverse. Your modern Designers cannot contract the occasion of the Medal into an inscription that is proper to the Volume they write upon: so that having scrib­bled over both sides, they are forced, as it were to write upon the margin. The first fault there­fore that I shall find with a modern legend, is its Diffusiveness. You have sometimes the whole side of a Medal over-run with it. One would fancy the Author had a design of being Ciceroni­an in his Latin, and of making a round period I will give you only the reverse of a Coin stampt by the present Emperor of Germany, on the rai­sing of the siege of Vienna. VIENNA AVSTRIA [...] 4/ [...]4 IVLII AB ACHMETE II. OBSESSA [...]/1 [...] SEPT. EX INSPERATO AB EO DESERTA EST. I should take this, says Cynthio, for the paragraph of a Gazette, rather than the inscription of a Medal. I remember you represented your ancient Coins as abridgements of history; but your modern, if there are many of them like this, should themselves be epitomized. Compare with this, says Philander, the brevity and comprehen­siveness of those legends that appear on ancient Coins. [Page 155]Salus Generis humani. Tellus stabilita. Gloria Orbis Terrae. Pacator Orbis. Restitutor Orbis Terrarum. Gaudium Reipublicae. Hilaritas po­ [...]uli Romani. Bono Reipub. nati. Roma rena­ [...]cens. Libertas restituta. Saeculum Aureum. Puellae Faustinianae. Rex Parthis datus. Vi­ctoria Germanica. Fides Mutua. Asia Subacta. Judaea capta. Amor mutuus. Genetrix orbis. Sideribus recepta. Genio Senatûs. Fides exer­citús. Providentia Senatûs. Restitutori Hispaniae. Adventui Aug. Britanniae. Regna Adsignata. Adlocutio. Discipulina Augusti. Felicitas publica. Rex Armenis datus.’ What a majesty and force does one meet with in these short Inscriptions! Are not you amazed to see so much history gathered into so small a compass? You have often the subject of a Vo­lume in a couple of words.

If our modern Medals are so very prolix in their prose, they are every whit as tedious in their verse. You have sometimes a dull Epigram of four lines. This, says Cynthio, may be of great use to immortalize Punns and Quibbles, and to let posterity see their forefathers were a parcel of blockheads. A Coin, I find, may be of great use to a bad Poet. If he cannot become im­mortal by the goodness of his verse, he may by the durableness of the Metal that supports it. I shall give you an instance, says Philander, from a Medal of Gustavus Adolphus, that will stand as an eternal monument of Dullness and Bravery.

Miles ego Christi, Christo duce sterno tyrannos,
Haereticos simul et calco meis pedibus.
[Page 156]Parcere Christicolis me, debellare feroces
Papicolas Christus dux meus en animat.

It is well, says Cynthio, you tell us this is a Medal of the Great Gustavus: I should have ta­ken it for some one of his Gothic Predecessors. Does it not bring into your mind Alexander the Great's being accompanied with a Chaerilus in his Persian expedition? If you are offended at the homeliness of this Inscription, says Philander, what would you think of such as have neither sense nor grammar in them? I assure you I have seen the face of many a great Monarch hemmed in with false Latin. But it is not only the stupi­dity and tediousness of these Inscriptions that I find fault with; supposing them of a moderate length and proper sense, why must they be in verse? We should be surprized to see the title of a serious book in rhime, yet it is every whit as ri­diculous to give the subject of a Medal in a piece of an Hexameter. This however is the practice of our modern Medallists. If you look into the ancient Inscriptions, you see an air of simplicity in the words, but a great magnificence in the thought; on the contrary, in your modern Me­dals you have generally a trifling thought wrapt up in the beginning or end of an Heroic verse. Where the sense of an Inscription is low, it is not in the power of Dactyls and Spondees to raise it; where it is noble, it has no need of such af­fected ornaments. I remember a Medal of Phi­lip the second, on Charles le Quint's resigning to him the Kingdom of Spain, with this Inscription, Ut Quiescat Atlas. The Device is a Hercules with the Sphere on his shoulders. Notwithstanding [Page 157] the thought is poetical, I dare say you would think the beauty of the Inscription very much lost, had it been — requiescat ut Atlas. To instance a Medal of our own nation. After the conclusion of the peace with Holland, there was one stampt with the following Legend — Re­deant Commercia Flandris. The thought is here great enough, but in my opinion it would have looked much greater in two or three words of prose. I think truly, says Eugenius, it is ridiculous enough to make the Inscription run like a piece of a verse, when it is not ta­ken out of an old Author. But I would fain have your opinion on such Inscriptions as are borrowed from the Latin Poets. I have seen several of this sort that have been very prettily ap­plied, and I fancy when they are chosen with art, they should not be thought unworthy of a place in your Medals.

Which ever side I take, says Philander, I am like to have a great party against me. Those who have formed their relish on old Coins, will by no means allow of such an innovation; on the contrary, your men of wit will be apt to look on it as an improvement on ancient Medals. You will oblige us however to let us know what kind of rules you would have observed in the choice of your quotations, since you seem to lay a stress on their being chosen with Art. You must know then, says Eugenius, I do not think it enough that a quotation tells us plain matter of fact, unless it has some other accidental orna­ments to set it off. Indeed if a great action that seldom happens in the course of human affairs, is exactly described in the passage of an old Poet, it [Page 158] gives the Reader a very agreeable surprize, and may therefore deserve a place on a Medal.

Again, if there is more than a single circum­stance of the action specified in the quotation, it pleases a man to see an old exploit copied out as it were by a Modern, and running parallel with it in several of its particulars.

In the next place, when the quotation is not only apt, but has in it a turn of Wit or Satyr, it is still the better qualified for a Medal, as it has a double capacity of pleasing.

But there is no Inscription fitter for a Medal, in my opinion, than a quotation that besides its aptness has something in it lofty and sublime: for such an one strikes in with the natural great­ness of the soul, and produces a high idea of the person or action it celebrates, which is one of the principal designs of a Medal.

It is certainly very pleasant, says Eugenius, to see a verse of an old Poet, revolting as it were from its original sense, and siding with a modern subject. But then it ought to do it wil­lingly of its own accord, without being forced to it by any change in the words, or the punctua­tion: for when this happens, it is no longer the verse of an ancient Poet, but of him that has converted it to his own use.

You have, I believe, by this time exhausted your subject, says Philander; and I think the criticisms you have made on the poetical quota­tions that we so often meet with in our modern Medals, may be very well applied to the Mottos of books, and other Inscriptions of the same nature. But before, we quit the Legends of Me­dals, I cannot but take notice of a kind of wit [Page 159] that flourishes very much on many of the mo­dern, especially those of Germany, when they re­present in the Inscription the year in which they were coined. As to mention to you another of Gustavus Adolphus. CHRISTVS DVX ER­GO TRIVMPHVS. If you take the pains to pick out the figures from the several words, and range them in their proper order, you will find they amount to 1627, the year in which the Me­dal was coined; for do not you observe some of the letters distinguish themselves from the rest, and top it over their fellows? these you must consider in a double capacity, as letters and as cy­phers. Your laborious German Wits will turn you over a whole Dictionary for one of these in­genious Devices. You would fancy perhaps they were searching after an apt classical term, but in­stead of that, they are looking out a word that has an L. an M. or a D. in it. When there­fore you see any of these Inscriptions, you are not so much to look in them for the thought, as for the year of the Lord. There are foreign U­niversities where this kind of wit is so much in vogue, that as you praise a man in England for being an excellent Philosopher or Poet, it is an or­dinary character among them to be a great Chro­nogrammatist. These are probably, says Cynthio, some of those mild provinces of Acrostic land, that Mr. Dryden has assigned to his Anagrams, Wings and Altars. We have now done, I sup­pose, with the Legend of a Medal. I think you promised us in the next place to speak of the Fi­gures.

As we had a great deal of talk on this part of a Coin, replied Philander, in our discourse on [Page 160] the Usefulness of ancient Medals, I shall only just touch on the chief heads wherein the Ancient and the Modern differ. In the first place, the Romans always appear in the proper Dress of their country, insomuch that you see the little variations of the Mode in the drapery of the Medal. They would have thought it ridiculous to have drawn an Emperor of Rome in a Gre­cian Cloak or a Phrygian Mitre. On the con­trary, our modern Medals are full of Toga's and Tunica's, Trabea's and Paludamentums, with a multitude of the like antiquated garments, that have not been in fashion these thousand years. You see very often a King of England or France dressed up like a Julius Caesar. One would think they had a mind to pass themselves upon posteri­ty for Roman Emperors. The same observation may run through several customs and religions, that appear in our ancient and modern Coins. Nothing is more usual than to see Allusions to Roman customs and ceremonies on the Medals of our own nation. Nay very often they carry the figure of a heathen god. If posterity takes its notions of us from our Medals, they must fancy one of our Kings paid a great devotion to Miner­va, that another was a professed Worshipper of Apollo, or at best that our whole religion was a mixture of Paganism and Christianity. Had the old Romans been guilty of the same extravagance, there would have been so great a confusion in their Antiquities, that their Coins would not have had half the uses we now find in them. We ought to look on Medals as so many monu­ments consigned over to Eternity, that may pos­sibly last when all other memorials of the same [Page 161] Age are worn out or lost. They are a kind of Present that those who are actually in Being make over to such as lie hid within the depths of Futu­rity. Were they only designed to instruct the three or four succeeding generations, they are in no great danger of being misunderstood: but as they may pass into the hands of a posterity, that [...]ie many removes from us, and are like to act their part in the world, when its governments, manners and religions may be quite altered; we ought to take a particular care not to make any false reports in them, or to charge them with any Devices that may look doubtful or unintelligible.

I have lately seen, says Eugenius, a Medallic history of the present King of France. One might expect, methinks, to see the Medals of that na­tion in the highest perfection, when there is a so­ciety pensioned and set apart on purpose for the designing of them.

We will examine them, if you please, says Phi­lander, in the light that our foregoing observa­tions have set them: but on this condition that you do not look on the faults I find in them any more than my own private opinion. In the first place then, I think it is impossible to learn from the French Medals either the religion, custom, or habits of the French nation. You see on some of them the Cross of our Saviour, and on others Hercules' his Club. In one you have an Angel, and in another a Mercury. I fancy, says Cynthio, posterity would be as much puzzled on the reli­gion of Louis le Grand, were they to learn it from his Medals, as we are at present on that of Constantine the Great. It is certain, says Phi­lander, there is the same mixture of Christian and [Page 162] Pagan in their Coins; nor is there a less confu­sion in their customs. For example, what rela­tion is there between the figure of a Bull, and the planting of a French colony in America? The Romans made use of this type in allusion to one of their own customs at the sending out of a co­lony. But for the French, a Ram, a Hog, or an Elephant, would have been every whit as signi­ficant an emblem. Then can any thing be more unnatural than to see a King of France dressed like an Emperor of Rome, with his arms stripped up to the elbows, a Laurel on his head, and a Chlamys over his shoulders? I fancy, says Euge­nius, the society of Medallists would give you their reasons for what they have done. You your self allow the Legend to be Latin, and why may not the customs and ornaments be of the same country as the language? especially since they are all of them so universally understood by the learned. I own to you, says Philander, if they only design to deliver down to posterity the several parts of their Great Monarch's histo­ry, it is no matter for the other circumstances of a Medal; but I fancy it would be as great a plea­sure and instruction for future ages, to see the Dres­ses and Customs of their ancestors, as their Buil­dings and Victories. Besides, I do not think they have always chosen a proper Occasion for a Me­dal. There is one struck, for example, on the English failing in their attempts on Dunkirk: when in the last reign they endeavoured to blow up a Fort, and bombard the town. What have the French here done to boast of? A Medal how­ever you have with this inscription, DVNKIRKA ILLAESA. Not to cavil at the two K's in [Page 163] Dunkirka, or the impropriety of the word Illaesa, [...]he whole Medal, in my opinion, tends not so much to the honour of the French as of the Eng­ [...]ish,

—quos opimus
Fallere et effugere est triumphus.

I could mention a few other faults, or at least what I take for such. But at same time must be forced to allow, that this Series of Medals is the most perfect of any among the moderns in the beauty of the Work, the aptness of the De­vice, and the propriety of the Legend. In these and other particulars, the French Medals come nearer the ancients than those of any other coun­try, as indeed it is to this nation we are indebted for the best lights that have been given to the whole science in general.

I must not here forget to mention the Medal­lic history of the Popes, where there are many Coins of an excellent workmanship, as I think they have none of those faults that I have spoken of in the preceding sett. They are always Roman-Catholic in the Device and in the Legend, which are both of them many times taken out of the ho­ly Scriptures, and therefore not unsuitable to the character of the Prince they represent. Thus when Innocent XI. lay under terrible apprehen­sions of the French King, he put out a Coin, that on the reverse of it had a ship tossed on the waves to represent the Church. Before it, was the figure of our Saviour walking on the waters, and St. Peter ready to sink at his feet. The in­scription, if I remember, was in Latin. Help [Page 164] Lord, or else I perish. This puts me in mind, says Cynthio, of a Pasquinade, that at the same [...]ime was fixed up at Rome. Ad Galli cantum Petrus flet. But methinks, under this head of the figures on ancient and modern Coins, we might expect to hear your opinion on the difference that appears in the Workmanship of each. You must know then, says Philander, that till about the end of the third Century, when there was a gene­ral decay in all the arts of designing, I do not re­member to have seen the head of a Roman Em­peror drawn with a full face. They always ap­pear in profil, to use a French term of art, which gives us the view of a head, that, in my opinion, has something in it very majestic, and at the same time suits best with the dimensions of a Medal. Besides that it shows the nose and eyebrows, with the several prominencies and fallings in of the fea­tures, much more distinctly than any other kind of figure. In the lower Empire you have abundance of broad Gothic faces, like so many full Moons on the side of a Coin. Among the moderns too, we have of both sorts, though the finest are made after the antique. In the next place, you find the figures of many ancient Coins rising up in a much more beautiful relief than those on the modern. This too is a beauty that fell with the grandeur of the Roman Emperors, so that you see the face sinking by degrees in the several declensions of the Empire, till about Constantine's time it lies al­most even with the surface of the Medal. After this it appears so very plain and uniform, that one would think the Coiner look'd on the flatness of a figure as one of the greatest beauties in Sculp­ture. I fancy, says Eugenius, the Sculptors of [Page 165] that age had the same relish as a Greek Priest that was buying some religious pictures at Venice. A­mong others he was shown a noble piece of Ti­tian. The Priest having well survey'd it, was ve­ry much scandalized at the extravagance of the relief, as he termed it. You know, says he, our religion forbids all idolatry: We admit of no I­mages but such as are drawn on a smooth sur­face: The figure you have here shown me, stands so much out to the eye, that I would no sooner suf­fer it in my Church than a Statue. I could re­commend your Greek Priest, says Philander, to a­bundance of celebrated Painters on this side of the Alps that would not fail to please him. We must own however, that the figures on several of our modern Medals are raised and rounded to a very great perfection. But if you compare them in this particular with the most finished among the ancients, your men of art declare universally for the latter.

Cynthio and Eugenius, though they were well pleased with Philander's discourse, were glad how­ever to find it at an end: for the Sun began to gather strength upon them, and had pierced the shelter of their walks in several places. Philan­der had no sooner done talking, but he grew sen­sible of the heat himself, and immediately propo­sed to his friends the retiring to his lodgings, and getting a thicker shade over their heads. They both of them very readily closed with the propo­sal, and by that means give me an opportunity of finishing my Dialogue.


THREE SETTS OF MEDALS Illustrated by the ANCIENT POETS, In the foregoing DIALOGUES.

Frons prima multos; rara mens intelligit
Interiori condidit quae cura angulo.
Multa poetarum veniet manus, Auxilio quae
Sit mihi —

Printed in the Year MDCCXXVI.



  • 1. VIRTVTI AVGVSTI. S. C. Reverse of Do­mitian.
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  • 3. CONCORDIA AVG. S. C. Reverse of Sabina.
  • 4. PAX ORBIS TERRARVM. Reverse of Otho.
  • 5. ABVNDANTIA AVG. S. C. Reverse of Gor­dianus Pius.
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  • 11. PIETAS AVG. S. C. Reverse of Faustina Senior.
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  • 13. AETERNITAS. S. C. Reverse of Antoninus Pius.
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  • 15. FELIX TEMPORVM REPARATIO. Re­verse of Constantine.
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  • 19. SARMATIA DEVICTA, A Victory. Reverse of Constantine.
  • 20. LIBERTAS PVBLICA. S. C. Reverse of Galb [...].



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THE PRESENT [...]TATE of the WAR, AND THE [...]cessity of an AUGMENTATION, considered.


THE Author of the following Essay has endeavoured to draw into one continued scheme the whole state of the present war, and the methods that appear to him the most proper [...]or bringing it to a happy conclusion.

After having considered that the French are the constant and most dangerous enemies to the British [...]ation, and that the danger from them is now grea­ [...]er than ever, and will still increase till their present Union with Spain be broken, he sets forth [...]he several advantages which this Union has already given France, and taken from Great Britain, in re­ [...]ation to the West-Indies, the woollen manufacture, the trade of the Levant, and the naval power of the two nations.

He shews how these advantages will still rise higher after a peace, notwithstanding our present conquests, with new additions, should be confirmed to us, as well because the monarchy of Spain would not be weakened by such concessions, as because no Guarantee could be found sufficient to secure them to us. For which reasons he lays it down as a fixt Rule, that no peace is to be made without an entire disunion of the French and Spanish Monarchies.

That this may be brought about, he endeavours to prove from the progress we have already made towards it, and the successes w [...] have purchased in [Page] the present war, which are very considerable if well pursued, but of no effect if we acquiesce in them.

In order to complete this disunion in which we have gone so far, he would not have us rely upon exhausting the French Treasury, attempts on the Spanish Indies, Descents on France, but chiefly upon out-numbring them in troops, France being already drained of her best supplies, and the con­federates masters of much greater forces for multi­tude and strength, both in men and horse, and pro­vided with Generals of greater fame and abilities.

He then considers the wrong measures we have hitherto taken in making too small levies after a suc­cessful campaign, in regulating their number by that of the enemies forces, and hiring them of our confederates; shewing at the same time the incon­veniences we suffer from such hired troops, and se­veral advantages we might receive from employing those of our own nation.

He further recommends this augmentation of our forces, to prevent the keeping up a standing bo­dy of them in times of peace, to enable us to make an impression on the Enemy in the present posture of the war, and to secure our selves against a Prince, who is now at the head of a powerful army, and has not yet declared himself.

In the last place, he answers by several conside­rations those two popular objections. That we fur­nish more towards the war than the rest of the Allies, and That we are not able to contribute more than we do already.

These are the most material heads of the follow­ing Essay, in which there are many other subordi­nate reflections that naturally grow out of so copious a subject.

November 1707.

THE PRESENT STATE of the WAR, AND The Necessity of an Augmentation, considered.

THE French are certainly the most implacable, and the most dangerous enemies of the British nation. Their form of government, their religion, their jealousy of the British power, as well as their prosecutions or commerce, and pursuits of universal Monarchy, will fix them for ever in their animosities and aversions to­wards us, and make them catch at all oppor­tunities of subverting our constitution, destroying our religion, ruining our trade, and sinking the figure which we make among the nations of [Page 242] Europe: Not to mention the particular ties of honour that lie on their present King to impose on us a Prince, who must prove fatal to our country if he ever reigns over us.

As we are thus in a natural state of war, if I may so call it, with the French nation; it is our misfortune, that they are not only the most inve­terate, but most formidable of our enemies; and have the greatest power, as well as the strongest inclination, to ruin us. No other state equals them in the force of their fleets and armies, in the nearness and conveniency of their situation, and in the number of friends and well-wishers, which, it is to be feared, they have among us.

For these reasons, our wars with France have always affected us in our most tender interests, and concerned us more than those we have had with any other nation; but I may venture to say, this Kingdom was never yet engaged in a war of so great consequence, as that which now lies up­on our hands. Our All is at stake, and irretrie­vably lost, if we fail of success. At other times, if a war ended in a dishonourable peace, or with equal loss, we could comfort our selves with the hopes of a more favourable juncture, that might set the balance right, or turn it to our advan­tage. We had still the prospect of forming the same alliance, or perhaps strengthning it with new confederacies, and by that means of trying our fortune a second time, in case the injustice or ambition of the enemy forced us into the field. At present, if we make a drawn game of it, or procure but moderate advantages, we are in a condition which every British heart must tremble at the thought of. There are no second tryals, [Page 243] no wars in reserve, no new schemes of alliance to which we can have recourse. Should the French King be able to bear down such an united force as now makes head against him, at a time when Spain affords him no greater assistance; what will he do when the trade of the Levant lies at his mercy; when the whole kingdom of Spain is supplied with his manufactures, and the wealth of the Indies flows into his coffers; and, what is yet worse, when this additional strength must arise in all its particulars from a propor­tionable decay in the States that now make war upon him? It is no wonder therefore that our late King of glorious memory, who, by the confes­sion of his greatest enemies, was a Prince that perfectly understood the interests of Europe, should in his last speech recommend to his Par­liament the declaring war against France in those memorable words: You have yet an opportunity, by God's blessing, to secure to you and your posteri­ty the quiet enjoyment of your religion and liber­ties, if you are not wanting to your selves, but will exert the ancient vigour of the English nation: but I tell you plainly, my opinion is, if you do not lay hold on this occasion, you have no reason to hope for another.

We have already a dreadful proof of the in­crease of power that accrues to France from its conjunction with Spain. So expensive a war as that which the French Monarchy hath been car­rying on in so many and so remote parts at once, must long since have drained and exhausted all its substance, had there not been several secret springs, that swelled their treasury from time to time, in proportion as the war has sunk it. The King's [Page 244] coffers have been often reduced to the lowest ebb, but have still been seasonably refreshed by frequent and unexpected supplies from the Spa­nish America. We hear indeed of the arrival but of very few ships from those parts; but as in eve­ry vessel there is stowage for immense treasures, when the cargo is pure Bullion, or merchandise of as great a value: so we find by experience they have had such prodigious sums of money con­veyed to them by these secret channels, that they have been enabled to pay more numerous armies, than they ever had on foot before; and that at a time when their trade fails in all its other branches, and is distressed by all the arts and contrivances of their neighbouring nations. During the last four years, by a modest computation, there have been brought into Brest above six millions of pounds sterling in bullion. What then shall we suppose wou'd be the effect of this correspondence with America, might the wealth of those parts come to them on squadrons of men of war, and fleets of galeons? If these little by-currents, that creep into the country by stealth, have so great a force, how shall we stem the whole torrent, when it breaks in upon us with its full violence? and this certainly will be our case, unless we find a means to dissolve the union between France and Spain. I have dwelt the longer on this consideration, be­cause the present war hath already furnished us with the experiment, and sensibly convinced us of the increase of power, which France has recei­ved from its intercourse with the Spanish West-Indies.

As there are many who look upon every thing which they do not actually see and feel as b [...] [Page 245] probability and speculation, I shall only touch on those other reasons of which we have already had some experience, for our preventing this coalition of interests and designs in the two monarchies.

The Woollen manufacture is the British strength, the staple commodity and proper growth of our country; if this fails us, our trade and estates must sink together, and all the cash of the nation be consumed on foreign merchandize. The French at present gain very much upon us in this great article of our trade, and since the acces­sion of the Spanish monarchy, supply with cloth, of their own making, the very best mart we had in Europe. And what a melancholy prospect have we, if ever a peace gives them leave to enrich their manufacture with mixtures of Spanish wool, to multiply the hands employed in it, to improve themselves in all the niceties of the art, and to vend their wares in those places where was the greatest consumption of our woollen works, and the most considerable gain for the British mer­chant? Notwithstanding our many seasonable re­cruits from Portugal and our plantations, we al­ready complain of our want of bullion; and must at last be reduced to the greatest exigencies, if this great source be dryed up, and our traffick with Spain continue under its present discourage­ment.

The trade of the Levant must likewise flourish or decay in our hands, as we are friends or ene­mies of the Spanish monarchy. The late con­quest of Naples will very little alter the case, though Sicily should follow the fate of her sister kingdom. The Streight's mouth is the key of the Levant, and will be always in the possession of [Page 246] those who are Kings of Spain. We may only add, that the same causes which straiten the British commerce, will naturally enlarge the French; and that the naval force of either nation will thrive or languish in the same degree as their commerce gathers or loses strength. And if so powerful and populous a nation as that of France become superior to us by sea, our whole is lost, and we are no more a people. The considera­tion of so narrow a channel betwixt us, of such numbers of regular troops on the enemy's side, of so small a standing force on our own, and that too in a country destitute of all such forts and strong places as might stop the progress of a victorious army, hath something in it so terrify­ing, that one does not care for setting it in its proper light. Let it not therefore enter into the heart of any one that hath the least zeal for his religion, or love of liberty, that, hath any regard either to the honour or safety of his country, or a well wish for his friends or posterity, to think of a peace with France, till the Spanish monar­chy be entirely torn from it, and the house of Bourbon disabled from ever giving the law to Eu­rope.

Let us suppose that the French King would grant us the most advantageous terms we can desire; without the separation of the two monar­chies they must infallibly end in our destruction. Should he secure to us all our present acquisi­tions; should he add two or three frontier-towns to what we have already in Flanders; should he join the kingdoms of Sicily and Sardinia to Mi­lan and Naples; should he leave King Charles in the peaceable possession of Catalonia; should [Page 247] he make over to Great Britain the town and harbour of Cadiz, as well as that of Gibraltar, and at the same time resign his conquests in Portugal: it would all be of no effect towards the common safety of Europe, while the bulk of the Spanish continent and the riches of America remain in the possession of the Bourbon family.

Boccalini when he weighs the States of Europe in his political balance, after having laid France ill one scale, throws Spain into the other, which wanted but very little of being a counter-poise. The Spaniards upon this, says he, begun to pro­mise themselves the honour of the ballance; reckoning that if Spain of it self weighed so well, they could not fail of success when the several parts of the monarchy were lumped in the same scale. Their surprise was very great when upon the throwing in of Naples they saw the scale rise, and was greater still when they found that Milan and Flanders had the same effect. The truth of it is, these parts of the Spanish monarchy are ra­ther for ornament than strength. They furnish out Vice-royalties for the Grandees, and posts of honour for the noble families; but in a time of war are incumbrances to the main body of the kingdom, and leave it naked and exposed by the great number of hands they draw from it to their defence. Should we therefore continue in the possession of what we have already made our selves masters, with such additions as have been mentioned, we should have little more than the excrescencies of the Spanish monarchy. The strength of it will still join it self to France, and grow the closer to it by its disunion from the rest. And in this case the advantages which must arise [Page 248] to that people from their intimate alliance with the remaining part of the Spanish dominions, would in a very few years not only repair all the damages they have sustained in the present war, but fill the kingdom with more riches than it hath yet had in its most flourishing periods.

The French King hath often entered on several expensive projects, on purpose to dissipate the wealth that is continually gathering in his coffers in times of peace. He hath employed immense sums on architecture, gardening, water-works, painting, statuary, and the like, to distribute his treasures among his people, as well as to hu­mour his pleasures and his ambition; but if he once engrosses the commerce of the Spanish Indies, whatever quantities of gold and silver stagnate in his private coffers, there will be still enough to carry on the circulation among his subjects. By this means in a short space of time he may heap up greater wealth than all the Princes of Europe joined together; and in the present consti­tution of the world, wealth and power are but different names for the same thing. Let us there­fore suppose that after eight or ten years of peace, he hath a mind to infringe any of his treaties, or invade a neighbouring State; to revive the pre­tensions of Spain upon Portugal, or attempt the taking those places which were granted us for our security; what resistance, what opposition can we make to so formidable an enemy? Should the same alliance rise against him that is now in war with him, what could we hope for from it, at a time when the States engaged in it will be comparatively weakened, and the enemy who is [Page 249] now able to keep them at a stand, will have re­ceived so many new accessions of strength?

But I think it is not to be imagined that in such a conjuncture as we here suppose, the same confederates, or any other of equal force, could be prevailed upon to join their arms, and endea­vour at the pulling down so exorbitant a power. Some might be bought into his interests by mo­ney, others drawn over by fear, and those that are liable to neither of these impressions, might not think their own interest so much concerned as in the present war; or if any appeared in a dis­position to enter into such a confederacy, they might be crushed separately before they could con­cert measures for their mutual defence.

The keeping together of the present alliance can be ascribed to nothing else but the clear and evident conviction which every member of it is under, that if it should once break without ha­ving had its effect, they can never hope for ano­ther opportunity of reuniting, or of prevailing by all the joint efforts of such an union. Let us therefore agree on this as a fixt rule, and an in­violable maxim, never to lay down our arms a­gainst France, till we have utterly disjoined her from the Spanish monarchy. Let this be the first step of a publick treaty, the basis of a general peace.

Had the present war indeed run against us, and all our attacks upon the enemy been vain, it might look like a degree of frenzy, or a mixture of obstinacy and despair, to be determined on so impracticable an undertaking. But on the contra­ry, we have already done a great part of our work, and are come within view of the end that we [Page 250] have been so long driving at. We remain victo­rious in all the seats of war. In Flanders we have got into our hands several open countries, rich towns, and fortified places. We have dri­ven the enemy out of all his alliances, dispossessed him of his strong holds, and ruined his allies in Germany. We have not only recovered what the beginning of the war had taken from us, but possessed ourselves of the kingdom of Naples, the dutchy of Milan, and the avenue of France in I­taly. The Spanish war hath given us a haven for our ships, and the most populous and wealthy province of that kingdom. In short, we have ta­ken all the outlying parts of the Spanish monar­chy, and made impressions upon the very heart of it. We have beaten the French from all their advanced posts in Europe, and driven them into their last entrenchments. One vigorous push on all sides, one general assault will force the ene­my to cry out for quarter, and surrender them­selves at discretion. Another Blenheim or Ramil­lies will make the confederates masters of their own terms, and arbitrators of a peace.

But notwithstanding the advantages already gained are very considerable if we pursue them, they will be of no effect unless we improve them towards the carrying of our main point. The enemy staggers; if you follow your blow, he falls at your feet; but if you allow him respite, he will recover his strength, and come upon you with greater fury. We have given him several repeated wounds that have enfeebled him, and brought him low; but they are such as time will heal, unless you take advantage from his present weakness to redouble your attacks upon him. [Page 251] It was a celebrated part in Caesar's character, and what comes home to our present purpose, that he thought nothing at all was done, while any thing remained undone. In short, we have been tugging a great while against the stream, and have almost weathered our point; a stretch or two more will do the work; but if instead of that we slacken our arms, and drop our oars, we shall be hurried back in a moment to the place from whence we first set out.

After having seen the necessity of an entire se­paration of the kingdoms of France and Spain, our subject naturally leads us into the considera­tion of the most proper means for effecting it.

We have a great while flattered our selves with the prospect of reducing France to our own terms by the want of money among the peo­ple, and the exigencies of the publick treasury; but have been still disappointed by the great sums imported from America, and the many new expedients which the Court hath found out for its relief. A long consumptive war is more likely to break the grand alliance, than disable France from maintaining sufficient armies to op­pose it. An arbitrary government will never want money so long as the people have it; and so active a people will always have it, whilst they can send what merchandises they please to Mexico and Peru. The French since their al­liance with Spain keep thirty ships in constant motion between the western ports of France and the south seas of America. The King himself is an adventurer in this traffick, and besides the share that he receives out of the gains of his subjects, has immense sums that come directly from it into his own hands.

[Page 252]We may further consider, that the French since their abandoning Bavaria and Italy have very much retrenched the expence of the war, and lay out among themselves all the money that is consumed in it.

Many are of opinion, that the most probable way of bringing France to reason would be by the making an attempt upon the Spanish West-Indies, and by that means to cut off all commu­nication with this great source of riches, or turn the current of it into our own country. This I must confess carries so promising an appear­ance, that I would by no means discourage the attempt: but at the same time I think it should be a collateral project rather than our principal de­sign. Such an undertaking (if well concerted, and put into good hands) would be of infinite advantage to the common cause: but certainly an enterprise that carries in it the fate of Europe, should not turn upon the uncertainty of winds and waves, and be liable to all the accidents that may befal a naval expedition.

Others there are that have long deceived them­selves with the hopes of an insurrection in France, and are therefore for laying out all our strength on a descent. These, I think, do not enough consider the natural love which the gross of mankind have for the constitution of their fa­thers. A man that is not enlightened by travel or reflexion, grows as fond of arbitrary power, to which he hath been used from his infancy, as of cold climates, or barren countries in which he hath been born and bred. Besides, there is a kind of sluggish resignation, as well as poorness and degeneracy of spirit, in a state of slavery, [Page 253] that we meet with but very few who will be at the pains or danger of recovering themselves out of it; as we find in history instances of per­sons who after their prisons have been flung open, and their fetters struck off, have chosen rather to lan­guish in their dungeons, than stake their miserable lives and fortunes upon the success of a revolution. I need not instance the general fate of descents, the difficulty of supplying men and provisions by sea against an enemy that hath both at hand, and without which it is impossible to secure those conquests that are often made in the first onsets of an invasion. For these and other reasons I can never approve the nursing up commotions and insurrections in the enemy's country, which for want of the necessary support are likely to end in the massacre of our friends and the ruin of their families.

The only means therefore for bringing France to our conditions, and what appears to me, in all human probability, a sure and infallible expe­dient, is to throw in multitudes upon them, and overpower them with numbers. Would the con­federacy exert it self as much to annoy the ene­my, as they themselves do for their defence, we might bear them down with the weight of our armies, and in one summer overset the whole power of France.

The French monarchy is already exhausted of its best and bravest subjects. The flower of the nation is consumed in its wars: the strength of their armies consists at present of such as have saved themselves by flight from some or other of the victorious confederates; and the only proper persons to recruit them are but the refuse of those [Page 254] who have been already picked out for the service. Mareschal de Vauban, though infinitely partial in his calculations of the power of France, reckons that the number of its inhabitants was two mil­lions less at the peace of Ryswick, than in the be­ginning of the war that was there concluded: and though that war continued nine years, and this hath as yet lasted but six, yet considering that their armies are more strong and numerous; that there hath been much more action in the present war; and that their losses sustained in it have been very extraordinary; we may, by a moderate computa­tion, suppose that the present war hath not been less prejudicial than the foregoing one in the ravage which it has made among the people. There is in France so great a disproportion between the num­ber of males and females; and among the former, between those who are capable of bearing arms, and such as are too young, sickly, or decrepit for the service; and at the same time such vast numbers of Ecclesiasticks, secular and religious, who live upon the labours of others, that when the several trades and professions are supplied, you will find most of those that are proper for war absolutely necessary for filling up the laborious part of life, and carrying on the underwork of the nation. They have already contributed all their superfluous hands, and every new levy they make must be at the expence of their farms and vine­yards, their manufactures and commerce.

On the contrary, the grand Alliance have in­numerable sources of recruits, not only in Bri­tain and Ireland, the United Provinces, and Flan­ders; but in all the populous parts of Germany that have little trade or manufactures, in propor­tion [Page 255] to the number of their inhabitants. We may add, that the French have only Switzerland, be­sides their own country, to recruit in; and we know the difficulties they meet with in getting thence a single regiment: whereas the Allies have not only the same resource, but may be supplied for money from Denmark and other neutral States. In short, the Confederates may bring to the field what forces they please, if they will be at the charge of them: but France, let her wealth be what it will, must content herself with the product of her own country.

The French are still in greater streights for sup­plies of horse than men. The breed of their coun­try is neither so good nor numerous as what are to be found in most of the countries of the Allies. They had last summer about threescore thousand in their several armies, and could not perhaps bring into the field thirty thousand more, if they were disposed to make such an augmentation.

The French horse are not only few, but weak in comparison of ours. Their cavalry in the battle of Blenheim could not sustain the shock of the British horse. For this reason our late way of attacking their troops sword in hand is very much to the advantage of our nation, as our men are more robust, and our horses of a stronger make than the French; and in such attacks it is the weight of the forces, supposing equal courage and conduct, that will always carry it. The English strength turned very much to account in our wars against the French of old, when we used to gall them with our long bows, at a greater di­stance than they could shoot their arrows: this advantage we lost upon the invention of fire-arms, [Page 256] but by the present method our strength as well as bravery may again be of use to us in the day of battle.

We have very great encouragement to send what numbers we are able into the field, because our Generals at present are such as are likely to make the best use of them, without throwing them away on any fresh attempts or ill-concert­ed projects. The Confederate armies have the happiness of being commanded by persons who are esteemed the greatest leaders of the present age, and are perhaps equal to any that have prece­ded them. There is a sort of resemblance in their characters; a particular sedateness in their conversation and behaviour, that qualifies them for council, with a great intrepidity and resolu­tion that fits them for action. They are all of them men of concealed fire, that doth not break out with noise and heat in the ordinary circum­stances of life; but shews it self sufficiently in all great enterprises that require it. It is true, the General upon the Rhine hath not had the same occasions as the others to signalize himself; but if we consider the great vigilance, activity and courage, with the consummate prudence, and the nice sense of honour which appears in that Prince's character, we have great reason to hope, that as he purchased the first success in the present war, by forcing into the service of the Confederates an army that was raised against them in the very heart of the Empire, he will give one of the fi­nishing strokes to it, and help to conclude the great work which he so happily begun. The sud­den check that he gave to the French army the last campaign, and the good order he established [Page 257] in that of the Germans, look like happy presa­ges of what we may expect from his conduct. I shall not pretend to give any character of the Generals on the enemies side; but I think we may say this, that in the eyes of their own nation they are inferior to several that have formerly com­manded the French armies. If then we have greater numbers than the French, and at the same time better Generals, it must be our own fault if we will not reap the fruit of such advantages.

It would be loss of time to explain any farther our superiority to the enemy in numbers of men and horse. We see plainly that we have the means in our hands, and that nothing but the application of them is wanting. Let us only con­sider what use the enemy would make of the ad­vantage we have mentioned, if it fell on their side; and is it not very strange that we should not be as active and industrious for our security, as they would certainly be for our destruction? But be­fore we consider more distinctly the method we ought to take in the prosecution of the war, un­der this particular view, let us reflect a little upon those we have already taken in the course of it for these six years past.

The Allies after a successful summer are too apt, upon the strength of it, to neglect their pre­parations for the ensuing campaign, while the French leave no art nor stratagem untried to fill up the empty spaces of their armies, and swell them to an equal bulk with those of the Confede­rates. By this means our advantage is lost, and the fate of Europe brought to a second decision. It is now become an observation, that we are to expect a very indifferent year after a very success­ful [Page 258] one. Blenheim was followed by a summer that makes no noise in the war. Ramillies, Turin, and Barcelona, were the parents of our last cam­paign. So many dreadful blows alarmed the ene­my, and raised their whole country up in arms. Had we on our side made proportionable prepara­tions, the war by this time had been brought to a happy issue. If after having gained the great vi­ctories of Blenheim and Ramillies, we had made the same efforts as we should have done had we lost them, the power of France could not have withstood us.

In the beginning of the winter we usually get what intelligence we can of the force which the enemy intends to employ in the campaigns of the succeeding year, and immediately cast about for a sufficient number of troops to face them in the field of battle. This, I must confess, would be a good method if we were engaged in a de­fensive war. We might maintain our ground with an equal number of forces; but our business is not only to secure what we are already in possession of; we are to wrest the whole Spanish Monarchy out of the hands of the enemy; and in order to it, to work our way into the heart of his country by dint of arms. We should there­fore put forth all our strength, and without hav­ing an eye to his preparations, make the greatest push that we are able on our own side. We are told that the enemy at present thinks of raising threescore thousand men for the next summer; if we regulate our levies in that view, we do no­thing; let us perform our utmost, as they do, and we shall overwhelm them with our multitudes. We have it in our power at least to be four times [Page 259] as strong as the French, but if ten men are in war with forty, and the latter detach only an e­qual number to the engagement, what benefit do they receive from their superiority?

It seems therefore to be the business of the Con­federates to turn to their advantage their apparent odds in men and horse; and by that means to out-number the enemy in all rencounters and en­gagements. For the same reason it must be for the interest of the Allies to seek all opportu­nities of battle, because all losses on the opposite side are made up with infinitely more difficulty than on ours; besides that the French do their business by lying still, and have no other con­cern in the war than to hold fast what they have already got into their hands.

The miscarriage of the noblest project that ever was formed in Europe, can be ascribed to no­thing else but our want of numbers in the several quarters of the war. If our armies on all sides had begun to busy and insult the enemy, at the same time that the forces marched out of Pie­mont, Toulon had been at present in the hands of the Duke of Savoy. But could that Prince ever have imagined that the French would have been at liberty to detach whole armies against him? or will it appear credible to posterity, that in a war carried on by the joint force of so many populous and powerful nations, France could send so great a part of its troops to one seat of the war, without suffering in any of the rest? Whereas it is well known, that if the Duke of Savoy had continued before Toulon eight days longer, he had been attacked by an army of sixty thousand men, which was more than double the [Page 260] number of his own; and yet the enemy was strong enough every where else to prevent the Confederates from making any impression upon them. However, let us fall into the right mea­sures, and we may hope that the stroke is only de­ferred. The Duke of Savoy hath secured a passage into Dauphiny, and if the Allies make such efforts in all parts, as we may reasonably expect from them, that Prince may still make himself Master of the French dominions on the other side of the Rhone.

There is another part of our conduct which may perhaps deserve to be considered. As soon as we have agreed with the States-General upon any augmentation of our forces, we immediate­ly negotiate with some or other of the German Princes, who are in the same confederacy, to fur­nish out our quota in Mercenaries. This may be doubly prejudicial to the alliance; First, as it may have an ill influence on the resolutions of those Princes in the Diet of the Empire, who may be willing to settle as small a quota as they can for themselves, that they may have more troops to hire out; and in the next place, as it may hin­der them from contributing the whole quota which they have settled This actually happened in the last campaign, when we are told the Ger­mans excused themselves for their want of troops upon the Rhine, as having already put most of their forces into the British and Dutch service. Such an excuse, indeed, is very unjust, but it would be better to give them no occasion of making it; and on such occasions to consider what men are apt to do, as well as what they may do with reason.

[Page 261]It might therefore be for our advantage that all the foreign troops in the British pay should be rai­sed in neutral countries. Switzerland in parti­cular, if timely applied to, might be of great use to us; no only in respect of the reinforcements which we might draw from thence, but be­cause such a draught of forces would lessen the number of those that might otherwise be employ­ed in the French service. The bulk of our levies should nevertheless be raised in our own coun­try, it being impossible for neutral States to fur­nish both the British and Dutch with a sufficient number of effective men; besides that the British soldiers will be more at the disposal of their Ge­neral, and act with greater vigour under the conduct of one for whom they have so just a va­lue, and whom they do not consider only as their leader, but as their country-man. We may like­wise suppose that the soldiers of a neutral state, who are not animated by any national interest, cannot fight for pay with the same ardour and alacrity, as men that fight for their Prince and country, their wives and children.

It may likewise be worth while to consider whether the military Genius of the English nation may not fall by degrees, and become inferior to that of our neighbouring states, if it hath no oc­casion to exert it self. Minds that are altogether set on trade and profit, often contract a certain narrowness of temper, and at length become un­capable of great and generous resolutions. Should the French ever make an unexpected de­scent upon us, we might want soldiers of our own growth to rise up in our defence; and might not have time to draw a sufficient number of [Page 262] troops to our relief from the remote corners of Germany. It is generally said, that if King Charles II. had made war upon France in the be­ginning of his reign, he might have conquered it by the many veterans which were scattered up and down this kingdom, and had been inured to service in the civil wars. It is to be hoped we shall never have such another nursery of soldiers; but if the present war gives a more military turn to all other nations of Europe, than to our own, it is to be feared we may lose in strength, what we gain in number. We may apply the same con­sideration nearer home. If all our levies are made in Scotland or Ireland, may not those two parts of the British monarchy, after the disbanding of the present army, be too powerful for the rest, in case of a revolt? though, God be thanked, we are not in any danger of one at present. However, as these considerations do not concern the more essential part of our design, it is suffi­cient to have mentioned them.

The sparing of our selves in so important a conjuncture, when we have but this single op­portunity left for the preserving every thing that is precious amongst us, is the worst sort of ma­nagement that we can possibly fall into. The good husbandry of one age may intail an endless expence upon all posterity. We must venture the sacri­ficing a part of our lives and fortunes at present, if we will effectually secure both for the future. The British Kingdom is so well stock'd with people, and so much abounds in horse, that we have power enough in our own hands, did we make our outmost use of it, to humble France, and in a campaign or two to put an end to the war.

[Page 263]There is not a more disagreeable thought to the people of Great Britain than that of a standing ar­my. But if a peace be made before the disunion of France and Spain, there are few, perhaps, that will not think the maintaining a settled body of numerous forces indispensable for the safety of our country. We have it therefore in our choice to raise such a strong reinforcement of troops as at present may be sufficient, in conjunction with those of the allies, for breaking the strength of the enemy; or when the peace is concluded, to keep on foot such an army as will be necessa­ry for preventing his attempts upon us.

It is to be hoped that those who would be the most zealous against keeping up a constant body of regular troops after a general peace, will the most distinguish themselves for the promoting an augmentation of those which are now on foot; and by that means take care that we shall not stand in need of such an expedient.

We are indeed obliged by the present situation of our affairs to bring more troops into the field than we have yet done. As the French are retired within their lines, and have collected all their strength into a narrow compass, we must have greater numbers to charge them in their in­trenchments, and force them to a battle. We saw the last campaign that an army of fourscore thousand of the best troops in Europe, with the Duke of Marlborough at the head of them, could do nothing against an enemy that were too nume­rour to be assaulted in their camps, or attacked in their strong holds.

There is another consideration which deserves our utmost attention. We know very well, [Page 264] that there is a Prince at the head of a powerful ar­my, who may give a turn to the war, in which we are engaged, if he thinks fit to side with either party. I cannot presume to guess how far our ministers may be informed of his designs: but unless they have very strong assurances of his falling in with the grand alliance, or not opposing it, they cannot be too circumspect and speedy in taking their precautions against any contrary re­solution. We shall be unpardonable, if after such an expence of blood and treasure, we leave it in the power of any single Prince to command a peace, and make us accept what conditions he thinks fit. It is certain, according to the posture of our affairs in the last campaign, this Prince could have turn'd the ballance on either side; but it is to be hoped the liberties of Europe will not depend any more on the determination of one man's will. I do not speak this because I think there is any appearance of that Prince's uni­ting himself to France. On the contrary, as he hath an extraordinary zeal for the reformed reli­gion, and great sentiments of honour, I think it is not improbable we should draw him over to the con­federacy, if we press him to it by proper motives. His love for religion, and his sense of glory, will both have their effect on a Prince who hath already distinguished himself by being a patron of protestants, and guarantee of the Westphalian trea­ty. And if his interest hath any part in his acti­ons, the allies may make him greater offers than the French King can do in the present conjun­cture. There are large extents of dominion in the forfeited principalities of the Empire; doubt­ful successions, to which the King of Sweden seems [Page 265] to have very just pretensions; and at the same time a great title not yet disposed of, and a seat of war on the Moselle, where none of our gene­rals have signalized themselves. It would be pre­sumption to be particular in any proposals on such an occasion; it is enough to have shewn in gene­ral, that there are fair opportunities, of which the wisdom of the confederates may make use.

Common sense will direct us, when we see so warlike a prince at the head of so great an army [...]hovering on the borders of our confederates, ei­ther to obtain his friendship, or secure our selves against the force of his arms. We are sure, whatever numbers of troops we raise, we shall have no hands but what will turn to account. Nay, we are certain, that extraordinary funds and augmentations for one or two campaigns may spare us the expence of many years, and put an end to [...]axes and levies for a whole age; whereas a long parsimonious war will drain us of more men and money, and in the end may prove inef­fectual.

There is still a great popular objection, which will be made to every thing that can be urged on this subject. And indeed it is such a one as falls so much in with the prejudices and little passions of the multitude, that when it is turned and set off to advantage by ill-designing men, it throws a damp on the publick spirit of the nation, and gives a check to all generous resolutions for its honour and safety. In short, we are to be told, that England contributes much more than any other of the Allies, and that therefore it is not reasonable she should make any addition to her present efforts. If this were true in fact, I do [Page 266] not see any tolerable colour for such a conclu­sion. Supposing among a multitude embarqued in the same vessel, there are several that in the fu­ry of a tempest will rather perish than work for their preservation; would it not be madness in the rest to stand idle, and rather chuse to sink toge­ther than do more than comes to their share? Since we are engaged in a work so absolutely ne­cessary for our welfare, the remissness of our Al­lies should be an argument for us to redouble our endeavours rather than slacken them. If we must govern our selves by example, let us rather imi­tate the vigilance and activity of the common enemy, than the supineness and negligence of our friends.

We have indeed a much greater share in the war than any other part of the confederacy. The French King makes at us directly, keeps a King by him to set over us, and hath very lately aug­mented the salary of his court, to let us see how much he hath that design at his heart. Few of the nations in war with him, should they ever fall into his hands, would lose their religion or form of government, or interfere at present with him in matters of commerce. The Dutch, who are likely to be the greatest losers after the Bri­tains, have but little trade to the Levant in com­parison with ours, have no considerable planta­tions or commerce in the West-Indies, or any woollen-manufactures for Spain; not to men­tion the strong barrier they have already purcha­sed between France and their own country.

But after all, every nation in the confedera­cy makes the same complaint, and fancies it self the greatest sufferer by the war. Indeed in [Page 267] to common a pressure, let the weight be never so equally distributed, every one will be most sensible of that part which lies on his own shoulders. We furnish, without dispute, more than any other branch of the Alliance: but the question is, whether others do not exert them­selves in proportion according to their respective strength. The Emperor, the King of Prussia, the Elector of Hanover, as well as the States of Holland and the Duke of Savoy, seem at least to come up to us. The greatest powers in Germa­ny are borrowing mony where they can get it, in order to maintain their stated Quota's, and go thorough their part of the expence: and if any of the Circles have been negligent, they have paid for it much more in their late contributions, than what would have furnished out their shares in the common charges of the war.

There are others who will object the poverty of the nation, and the difficulties it would find in furnishing greater supplies to the war than it doth at present. To this we might answer, that if the nation were really as poor as this ob­jection makes it, it should be an argument for en­forcing rather than diminishing our present efforts against France. The sinking our taxes for a few years would be only a temporary relief, and in a little time occasion far greater impositions, than those which are now laid upon us. Whereas the seasonable expence of part of our riches, will not only preserve the rest; but by the right use of them procure vast additions to our present stock. It may be necessary for a person lan­guishing under an ill habit of body to lose several ounces of blood, notwithstanding it will weaken [Page 268] him for a time, in order to put a new ferment into the remaining mass, and draw into it fresh supplies.

But we can by no means make this concession, to those who so industriously publish the nation's poverty. Our country is not only rich, but abounds in wealth much more than any other of the same extent in Europe. France, notwith­standing the goodness of its climate, the fertility of its soil, the multitude of its inhabitants, its convenient harbours, both for the Ocean and Me­diterranean, and its present correspondence with the West-Indies, is not to compare with Great Britain in this particular. I shall transcribe word for word the passage of a late celebrated French Author, which will lay this matter in its full light; and leave the Reader to make the counter-part of the parallel between the two na­tions.

According to all the inquiries that I have been able to make during several years, in which I have applied my self to this sort of remarks, I have observed, that about a tenth part of the people of this kingdom are reduced to begga­ry, and are actual beggars. That among the nine other parts, five are not in a condition to give alms or relief to those aforementioned, being very near reduced themselves to the same miserable condition. Of the four other remain­ing parts, three are very uneasy in their cir­cumstances, and embarrassed with debts and law-suits. In the tenth part, I reckon the Sol­diers, Lawyers, Ecclesiasticks, Merchants and substantial Citizens, which cannot make up more than a hundred thousand families. And [Page 269] I believe I should not be mistaken, if I should say, that there are not above ten thousand of these families, who are very much at their ease: and if out of these ten thousand we should take the men that are employed in publick business, with their dependents and adherents, as also those whom the King supports by his boun­ty, with a few Merchants, the number of those who remain will be surprizingly little. Dixme Royale.

What a dreadful account is this of nineteen millions of people; for so many the author rec­kons in that kingdom. How can we see such a multitude of souls cast under so many subdivi­sions of misery, without reflecting on the absur­dity of a form of government that sacrifices the ease and happiness of so many reasonable Beings to the glory of one of their fellow-creatures? But this is not our affair at present.

If we run over the other nations of Europe that have any part in the present war, we shall only pass through so many different scenes of po­verty. Spain, Portugal, and Savoy are reduced to great extremities. Germany is exhausted to the last degree in many parts of it, and in others plundered of all she had left. Holland indeed flourishes above the rest in wealth and plenty: but if we consider the infinite industry and penu­riousness of that people, the coarseness of their food and raiment, their little indulgences of plea­sure and excess, it is no wonder that notwith­standing they furnish as great taxes as their neigh­bours, they make a better figure under them. In a common wealth there are not so many over­grown estates as in monarchies, the wealth of the [Page 270] country is so equally distributed, that most of the community are at their ease, though few are placed in extraordinary points of splendor and magnificence. But notwithstanding these cir­cumstances may very much contribute to the seem­ing prosperity of the United Provinces, we know they are indebted many millions more than their whole republick is worth, and if we consider the variety of taxes and impositions they groan under at a time when their private dissentions run high, and some of the wealthiest parts of the government refuse to bear their share in the pub­lick expence, we shall not think the condition of that people so much to be envied as some amongst us would willingly represent it.

Nor is Great Britain only rich as she stands in comparison with other States, but is really so in her own intrinsick wealth. She had never more ships at sea, greater quantities of merchandise in her warehouses, larger receipts of customs, or more numerous commodities rising out of her manufactures than she has at present. In short, she sits in the midst of a mighty affluence of all the necessaries and conveniences of life. If our silver and gold diminishes, our publick credit con­tinues unimpaired, and if we are in want of bul­lion, it lies in our own power to supply our selves. The old Roman General, when he heard his ar­my complain of thirst, shewed them the springs and rivers that lay behind the enemy's camp. It is our own case: the rout of a Spanish army would make us masters of the Indies.

If Prince Eugene takes upon him the com­mand of the confederate forces in Catalonia, and meets with that support from the alliance [Page 271] which they are capable of giving him, we have a fair prospect of reducing Spain to the entire obe­dience of the house of Austria. The Silesian fund (to the immortal reputation of those generous pa­triots who were concerned in it) enabled that Prince to make a conquest of Italy, at a time when our affairs were more desperate there, than they are at present in the kingdom of Spain.

When our Parliament has done their utmost, another publick-spirited project of the same na­ture, which the common enemy could not fore­see nor prepare against, might in all probability set King Charles upon the throne for which he hath so long contended. One pitched battle would determine the fate of the Spanish continent.

Let us therefore exert the united strength of our whole Island, and by that means put a new life and spirit into the confederates, who have [...]heir eyes fixed upon us, and will abate or increase [...]heir preparations according to the example that [...]s set them. We see the necessity of an aug­mentation if we intend to bring the enemy to rea­son, or rescue our country from the miseries that may befall it; and we find our selves in a condition of making such an augmentation as, by the blessing of God, cannot but prove effectual. If we carry it on vigorously, we shall gain for our selves and our posterity a long, a glorious and a lasting peace; but if we neglect so fair an opportunity, we may be willing to employ all our hands, and all our treasures, when it will be too late; and shall be tormented with one of the most melancholy reflexions of an afflicted heart, That it was once in our power to have made our selves and our children happy.

OF THE Christian Religion.

OF THE Christian Religion.

[Page]OF THE Christian Religion.


I. General division of the following discourse, with regard to Pagan and Jewish Authors, who men­tion particulars relating to our Saviour.

II. Not probable that any such should be mentioned by Pagan writers who lived at the same time, from the nature of such transactions.

III. Especially when related by the Jews:

IV. And heard at a distance by those who pretend­ed to as great miracles as their own.

V. Besides that, no Pagan writers of that age lived in Judaea or its Confines.

VI. And because many books of that age are lost.

VII. An instance of one record proved to be au­thentick.

VIII. A second record of probable, though not un­doubted, authority.

[Page 276]I THAT I may lay before you a full state of the subject under our con­sideration, and methodize the seve­ral particulars that I touched upon in discourse with you; I shall first take notice of such Pagan Authors, as have given their testimony to the history of our Saviour; re­duce these Authors under their respective classes, and shew what authority their testimonies carry with them. Secondly, I shall take notice of Jew­ish Authors in the same light.

II. There are many reasons, why you should not expect that matters of such a wonderful na­ture should be taken notice of by those eminent Pagan writers, who were contemporaries with Jesus Christ, or by those who lived before his Disciples had personally appeared among them, and ascertained the report which had gone abroad concerning a life so full of miracles.

Supposing such things had happened at this day in Switzerland, or among the Grisons, who make a gre [...]ter figure in Europe than Judaea did in the Roman Empire, would they be immediately be­lieved by those who live at a great distance from them? or would any certain account of them be transmitted into foreign countries, within so short a space of time as that of our Saviour's pub­lick ministry? Such kinds of news, though never so true, seldom gain credit, till some time after they are transacted and exposed to the examina­tion of the curious, who by laying together cir­cumstances, attestations, and characters of those who are concerned in them, either receive or re­ject what at first none but eye-witnesses could ab­solutely [Page 277] believe or disbelieve. In a case of this sort, it was natural for men of sense and learn­ing to treat the whole account as fabulous, or at farthest to suspend their belief of it, until all things stood together in their full light.

III. Besides, the Jews were branded not only for superstitions different from all the religions of the Pagan world, but in a particular manner ridiculed for being a credulous people; so that whatever reports of such a nature came out of that country, were looked upon by the heathen world as false, frivolous, and improbable.

IV. We may further observe that the ordina­ry practice of Magic in those times, with the ma­ny pretended Prodigies, Divinations, Apparitions, and local Miracles among the Heathens, made them less attentive to such news from Judaea, till they had time to consider the nature, the occasion, and the end of our Saviour's miracles, and were awakened by many surprizing events to allow them any consideration at all.

V. We are indeed told by St. Matthew, that the fame of our Saviour, during his life, went throughout all Syria, and that there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, Judaea, Decapolis, Idumaea, from beyond Jordan, and from Tyre and Sidon. Now had there been any historians of those times and places, we might have expected to have seen in them some account of those wonderful transactions in Judaea; but there is not any single Author extant, in any kind, of that age, in any of those countries.

VI. How many books have perished in which possibly there might have been mention of our Saviour? Look among the Romans, how few of [Page 278] their writings are come down to our times? In the space of two hundred years from our Saviour's birth, when there was such a multitude of wri­ters in all kinds, how small is the number of Au­thors that have made their way to the present age?

VII. One authentick Record, and that the most authentick heathen Record, we are pretty sure is lost. I mean the account sent by the Go­vernor of Judaea, under whom our Saviour was judged, condemned, and crucified. It was the custom in the Roman Empire, as it is to this day in all the governments of the world, for the praefects and vice-roys of distant provinces to transmit to their Soveraign a summary relation of every thing remarkable in their administration. That Pontius Pilate, in his account, would have touched on so extraordinary an event in Judaea, is not to be doubted; and that he actually did, we learn from Justin Martyr, who lived about a hundred years after our Saviour's death, resi­ded, made Converts, and suffered martyrdom at Rome, where he was engaged with Philosophers, and in a particular manner with Crescens the Cynick, who could easily have detected, and would not fail to have exposed him, had he quo­ted a Record not in being, or made any false cita­tion out of it. Would the great Apologist have challenged Crescens to dispute the cause of Chri­stianity with him before the Roman Senate, had he forged such an evidence? or would Crescens have refused the challenge, could he have trium­phed over him in the detection of such a forgery? To which we must add, that the Apology, which appeals to this Record, was presented to a learn­ed Emperor, and to the whole body of the Ro­man [Page 279] Senate. This father in his apology, speak­ing of the death and suffering of our Saviour, re­fers the Emperor for the truth of what he says to the acts of Pontius Pilate, which I have here mentioned. Tertullian, who wrote his Apology about fifty years after Justin, doubtless referred to the same Record, when he tells the Governor of Rome, that the Emperor Tiberius having recei­ved an account out of Palestine in Syria of the Divine person who had appeared in that country, paid him a particular regard, and threatned to punish any who should accuse the christians; nay, that the Emperor would have adopted him among the Deities whom they worshipped, had not the Senate refused to come into his pro­posal. Tertullian, who gives us this history, was not only one of the most learned men of his age, but, what adds a greater weight to his au­thority in this case, was eminently skilful and well read in the laws of the Roman Empire. Nor can it be said, that Tertullian grounded his quotation upon the authority of Justin Martyr, be­cause we find he mixes it with matters of fact which are not related by that Author. Eusebius mentions the same ancient Record, but as it was not extant in his time, I shall not insist upon his authority in this point. If it be objected that this particular is not mentioned in any Roman Historian, I shall use the same argument in a pa­rallel case, and see whether it will carry any force with it. Ulpian the great Roman Lawyer gather­ed together all the Imperial Edicts that had been made against the christians. But did any one ever say that there had been no such Edicts, be­cause they were not mentioned in the histories of [Page 280] those Emperors? Besides, who knows but this circumstance of Tiberius was mentioned in o­ther historians that have been lost, though not to be found in any still extant? Has not Suetoni­us many particulars of this Emperor omitted by Tacitus, and Herodian many that are not so much as hinted at by either? As for the spurious Acts of Pilate, now extant, we know the occa­sion and time of their writing, and that had there not been a true and authentick Record of this nature, they would never have been forged.

VIII. The story of Agbarus King of Edessa, relating to the letter which he sent to our Saviour, and to that which he received from him, is a re­cord of great authority; and though I will not in­sist upon it, may venture to say, that had we such an evidence for any fact in Pagan history, an Au­thor would be thought very unreasonable who should reject it. I believe you will be of my o­pinion, if you will peruse, with other Authors, who have appeared in vindication of these letters as genuine, the additional arguments which have been made use of by the late famous and learned Dr. Grabe, in the second volume of his Spicile­gium.


I. What facts in the history of our Saviour might be taken notice of by Pagan Authors.

II. What particular facts are taken notice of, and by what Pagan Authors.

III. How Celsus represented our Saviour's mira­cles.

IV. The same representation made of them by other unbelievers, and proved unreasonable.

V. What facts in our Saviour's history not to be expected from Pagan writers.

I. WE now come to consider what un­doubted authorities are extant among Pagan writers; and here we must premise, that some parts of our Saviour's history may be reasonably expected from Pagans. I mean such parts as might be known to those who lived at a distance from Judaea, as well as to those who were the followers and eye-witnesses of Christ.

II. Such particulars are most of these which follow, and which are all attested by some one or other of those heathen Authors, who lived in or near the age of our Saviour and his disciples. That Augustus Caesar had ordered the whole em­pire to be censed or taxed, which brought our Sa­viour's reputed parents to Bethlehem: This is mentioned by several Roman historians, as Taci­tus, [Page 282] Suetonius, and Dion. That a great light or a new star appeared in the east, which directed the wise men to our Saviour: This is recorded by Chalcidius. That Herod, the King of Pa­lestine, so often mentioned in the Roman history, made a great slaughter of innocent children, be­ing so jealous of his successor, that he put to death his own sons on that account: This cha­racter of him is given by several historians, and this cruel fact mentioned by Macrobius, a heathen Author, who tells it as a known thing, without any mark of doubt upon it. That our Saviour had been in Egypt: This Celsus, though he raises a monstrous story upon it, is so far from denying, that he tells us our Saviour learned the arts of magic in that country. That Pontius Pilate was Governor of Judaea, that our Saviour was brought in judgment before him, and by him condemned and crucified: This is recorded by Tacitus. That many miraculous cures and works out of the ordinary course of nature were wrought by him: This is confessed by Julian the Apostate, Por­phyry, and Hierocles, all of them not only Pa­gans, but professed enemies and persecutors of Christianity. That our Saviour foretold several things, which came to pass according to his predi­ctions: This was attested by Phlegon in his an­nals, as we are assured by the learned Origen against Celsus. That at the time when our Saviour died, there was a miraculous darkness and a great earthquake: This is recorded by the same Phlegon the Trallian, who was likewise a Pagan and Freeman to Adrian the Emperor. We may here observe, that a native of Trallium, which was not situate at so great a distance from Pale­stine, [Page 283] might very probably be informed of such remarkable events as had passed among the Jews in the age immediately preceding his own times, since several of his countrymen with whom he had conversed, might have received a confused report of our Saviour before his crucifixion, and probably lived within the Shake of the earth­quake, and the Shadow of the eclipse, which are recorded by this Author. That Christ was wor­shipped as a God among the Christians; that they would rather suffer death than blaspheme him; that they received a sacrament, and by it entered into a vow of abstaining from sin and wickedness, conformable to the advice given by St. Paul; that they had private assemblies of worship, and used to join together in Hymns: This is the account which Pliny the younger gives of Christianity in his days, about seventy years after the death of Christ, and which agrees in all its circumstances with the accounts we have in holy writ, of the first state of Christianity after the crucifixion of our Blessed Saviour. That St. Peter, whose mi­racles are many of them recorded in holy writ, did many wonderful works, is owned by Julian the apostate, who therefore represents him as a great Magician, and one who had in his possession a book of magical secrets left him by our Saviour. That the devils or evil spirits were subject to them, we may learn from Porphyry, who objects to Christianity, that since Jesus had begun to be worshipped, Aesculapius and the rest of the gods did no more converse with men. Nay, Celsus himself affirms the same thing in effect, when he says, that the power which seemed to reside in Christians, proceeded from the use of certain [Page 284] names, and the invocation of certain daemons. Origen remarks on this passage, that the Author doubtless hints at those Christians who put to flight evil spirits, and healed those who were pos­sessed with them; a fact which had been often seen, and which he himself had seen, as he de­clares in another part of his discourse against Cel­sus. But at the same time he assures us, that this miraculous power was exerted by the use of no other name but that of Jesus, to which were ad­ded several passages in his history, but nothing like any invocation to Daemons.

III. Celsus was so hard set with the report of our Saviour's miracles, and the confident atte­stations concerning him, that though he often in­timates he did not believe them to be true, yet knowing he might be silenced in such an answer, provides himself with another retreat, when beat­ed out of this; namely, that our Saviour was a magician. Thus he compares the feeding of so many thousands at two different times with a few loaves and fishes, to the magical feasts of those Egyptian impostors, who would present their spe­ctators with visionary entertainments that had in them neither substance nor reality: which, by the way, is to suppose, that a hungry and fainting multitude were filled by an apparition, or strength­ned and refreshed with shadows. He knew very well that there were so many witnesses and actors, if I may call them such, in these two miracles, that it was impossible to refute such multitudes, who had doubtless sufficiently spread the fame of them, and was therefore in this place forced to re­sort to the other solution, that it was done by ma­gic. It was not enough to say that a miracle [Page 285] which appeared to so many thousand eye-witnes­ses was a forgery of Christ's disciples, and there­fore supposing them to be eye-witnesses, he en­deavours to shew how they might be deceived.

IV. The unconverted heathens, who were pressed by the many authorities that confirmed our Saviour's miracles, as well as the unbelieving Jews, who had actually seen them, were driven to account for them after the same manner: For, to work by magic in the heathen way of speak­ing, was in the language of the Jews to cast out devils by Beelzebub the Prince of the devils. Our Saviour, who knew that unbelievers in all ages would put this perverse interpretation on his miracles, has branded the malignity of those men, who contrary to the dictates of their own hearts started such an unreasonable objection, as a blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, and decla­red not only the guilt, but the punishment of so black a crime. At the same time he condescen­ded to shew the vanity and emptiness of this ob­jection against his miracles, by representing that they evidently tended to the destruction of those powers, to whose assistance the enemies of his doctrine then ascribed them. An argument, which, if duly weighed, renders the objection so very fri­volous and groundless, that we may venture to call it even blasphemy against common sense. Would Magic endeavour to draw off the minds of men from the worship which was paid to stocks and stones, to give them an abhorrence of those e­vil spirits who rejoiced in the most cruel sacrifi­ces, and in offerings of the greatest impurity; and in short to call upon mankind to exert their whole strength in the love and adoration of that [Page 286] one Being, from whom they derived their exist­ence, and on whom only they were taught to de­pend every moment for the happiness and conti­nuance of it? Was it the business of magic to hu­manize our natures with compassion, forgiveness, and all the instances of the most extensive cha­rity? Would evil spirits contribute to make men sober, chaste, and temperate, and in a word to pro­duce that reformation, which was wrought in the moral world by those doctrines of our Savi­our, that received their sanction from his miracles? Nor is it possible to imagine, that evil spirits would enter into a combination with our Saviour to cut off all their correspondence and intercourse with mankind, and to prevent any for the future from addicting themselves to those rites and ceremonies, which had done them so much ho­nour. We see the early effect which Christianity had on the minds of men in this particular, by that number of books, which were filled with the secrets of magic, and made a sacrifice to Christianity by the converts mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. We have likewise an emi­nent instance of the inconsistency of our Religion with magic, in the history of the famous Aqui­la. This Person, who was a kinsman of the Emperor Trajan, and likewise a man of great learning, notwithstanding he had embraced Chri­stianity, could not be brought off from the studies of magic, by the repeated admonitions of his fel­low-christians: so that at length they expelled him their society, as rather chusing to lose the reputation of so considerable a Proselyte, than communicate with one who dealt in such dark and infernal practices. Besides we may observe, [Page 287] that all the favourers of magic were the most pro­fest and bitter enemies to the christian religion. Not to mention Simon Magus and many others, I shall only take notice of those two great perse­cutors of christianity, the Emperors Adrian and Julian the Apostate, both them initiated in the mysteries of divination, and skilled in all the depths of magic. I shall only add, that evil spi­rits cannot be supposed to have concurred in the establishment of a religion which triumphed over them, drove them out of the places they possest, and divested them of their influence on man­kind: nor would I mention this particular, though it be unanimously reported by all the ancient christian Authors; did it not appear from the authorities above-cited, that this was a fact con­fest by heathens themselves.

V. We now see what a multitude of Pagan testimonies may be produced for all those remark­able passages, which might have been expected from them: and indeed of several, that, I believe, do more than answer your expectation, as they were not subjects in their own nature so exposed to publick notoriety. It cannot be expected they should mention particulars, which were trans­acted amongst the Disciples only, or among some few even of the Disciples themselves; such as the transfiguration, the agony in the garden, the ap­pearance of Christ after his resurrection, and o­thers of the like nature. It was impossible for a heathen author to relate these things; because if he had believed them, he would no longer have been a heathen, and by that means his testimony would not have been thought of so much vali­dity. Besides, his very report of facts so favou­rable [Page 288] to Christianity would have prompted men to say that he was probably tainted with their doctrine. We have a parallel case in Hecataeus, a famous Greek Historian, who had several pas­sages in his book conformable to the history of the Jewish writers, which when quoted by Jose­phus, as a confirmation of the Jewish history, when his heathen adversaries could give no other answer to it, they would need suppose that He­cataeus was a Jew in his heart, though they had no other reason for it, but because his history gave greater authority to the Jewish than the Egyptian Records.


I. Introduction to a second list of Pagan Authors, who give testimony of our Saviour.

II. A passage concerning our Saviour, from a lear­ned Athenian.

III. His conversion from Paganism to Christianity makes his evidence stronger than if he had con­tinued a Pagan.

IV. Of another Athenian Philosopher converted to Christianity.

V. Why their conversion, instead of weakening, strengthens their evidence in defence of Christi­anity.

VI. Their belief in our Saviour's history founded at first upon the principles of historical faith.

[Page 289] VII. Their testimonies extended to all the parti­culars of our Saviour's history,

VIII. As related by the four Evangelists.

I. TO this list of heathen writers, who make mention of our Saviour, or touch upon any particulars of his life, I shall add those Authors who were at first heathens, and after­wards concerted to Christianity; upon which ac­count, as I shall here shew, their testimonies are to be looked upon as the more authentick. And in this list of evidences, I shall confine my self to such learned Pagans as came over to Christianity in the three first centuries, because those were the times in which men had the best means of infor­ming themselves of the truth of our Saviour's hi­story, and because among the great number of Philosophers who came in afterwards, under the reigns of christian Emperors, there might be seve­ral who did it partly out of worldly motives.

II. Let us now suppose, that a learned heathen writer who lived within 60 years of our Savi­our's crucifixion, after having shewn that false mi­racles were generally wrought in obscurity, and before few or no witnesses, speaking of those which were wrought by our Saviour, has the fol­lowing passage. But his works were always seen, because they were true, they were seen by those who were healed, and by those who were raised from the dead. Nay these persons who were thus healed, and raised, were seen not only at the time of their being healed, and raised, but long afterwards. Nay they were seen not only all the while our Saviour was upon earth, but survived after his departure out of [Page 290] this world, nay some of them were living in our days.

III. I dare say you would look upon this as a glorious attestation for the cause of Christianity, had it come from the hand of a famous Atheni­an Philosopher. These forementioned words however are actually the words of one who lived about sixty Years after our Saviour's crucifixion, and was a famous Philosopher in Athens: but it will be said, he was a convert to Christianity. Now consider this matter impartially, and see if his testimony is not much more valid for that rea­son. Had he continued a Pagan Philosopher, would not the world have said that he was not sincere in what he writ, or did not believe it; for, if so, would not they have told us he would have embraced Christianity? This was indeed the case of this excellent man: he had so thoroughly examined the truth of our Saviour's history, and the excellency of that religion which he taught, and was so entirely convinced of both, that he be­came a Proselyte and died a Martyr.

IV. Aristides was an Athenian Philosopher, at the same time, famed for his learning and wis­dom, but converted to Christianity. As it can­not be questioned that he perused and approved the apology of Quadratus, in which is the passage just now cited, he joined with him in an apolo­gy of his own, to the same Emperor, on the same subject. This apology, tho' now lost, was extant in the time of Ado Viennensis, A. D. 870, and highly esteemed by the most learned Atheni­ans, as that Author witnesses. It must have con­tained great arguments for the truth of our Sa­viour's history, because in it he asserted the divi­nity [Page 291] of our Saviour, which could not but engage him in the proof of his miracles.

V. I do allow that, generally speaking, a man is not so acceptable and unquestioned an evi­dence in facts, which make for the advancement of his own party. But we must consider that, in the case before us, the persons to whom we ap­peal, were of an opposite party, till they were per­suaded of the truth of those very facts, which they report. They bear evidence to a history in de­fence of Christianity, the truth of which histo­ry was their motive to embrace Christianity. They attest facts which they had heard while they were yet heathens, and had they not found rea­son to believe them, they would still have con­tinued heathens, and have made no mention of them in their writings.

VI. When a man is born under christian Parents, and trained up in the profession of that religion from a child, he generally guides himself by the rules of Christian Faith in believing what is deli­vered by the Evangelists; but the learned Pagans of antiquity, before they became Christians, were only guided by the common rules of Histori­cal Faith: That is, they examined the nature of the evidence which was to be met with in com­mon fame, tradition, and the writings of those persons who related them, together with the num­ber, concurrence, veracity, and private characters of those persons; and being convinced upon all accounts that they had the same reason to believe the history of our Saviour, as that of any other person to which they themselves were not actual­ly eye-witnesses, they were bound by all the rules of historical faith, and of right reason, to give [Page 292] credit to this history. This they did accordingly, and in consequence of it published the same truths themselves, suffered many afflictions, and very often death it self, in the assertion of them. When I say, that an historical belief of the acts of our Saviour induced these learned Pagans to em­brace his doctrine, I do not deny that there were many other motives, which conduced to it, as the excellency of his precepts, the fulfilling of prophecies, the miracles of his Disciples, the ir­reproachable lives and magnanimous sufferings of their followers, with other considerations of the same nature: but whatever other collateral arguments wrought more or less with Philoso­phers of that age, it is certain that a belief in the history of our Saviour was one motive with eve­ry new convert, and that upon which all others turned, as being the very basis and foundation of Christianity.

VII. To this I must further add, that as we have already seen many particular facts which are recorded in holy writ, attested by particular Pa­gan Authors: the testimony of those I am now going to produce, extends to the whole history of our Saviour, and to that continued series of actions, which are related of him and his Disci­ples in the books of the New-Testament.

VIII. This evidently appears from their quo­tations out of the Evangelists, for the confirma­tion of any doctrine or account of our blessed Sa­viour. Nay a learned man of our nation, who examined the writings of the most ancient Fathers in another view, refers to several passages in Ire­naeus, Tertullian, Clemens of Alexandria, Ori­gen, and Cyprian, by which he plainly shows that [Page 293] each of these early writers ascribe to the four E­vangelists by name their respective histories; so that there is not the least room for doubting of their belief in the history of our Saviour, as recor­ded in the Gospels. I shall add, that three of the five Fathers here mentioned, and probably four, were Pagans converted to Christianity, as they were all of them very inquisitive and deep in the knowledge of heathen learning and philosophy.


I. Character of the times in which the Christian religion was propagated:

II. And of many who embraced it.

III. Three eminent and early instances.

IV. Multitudes of learned men who came over to it.

V. Belief in our Saviour's history, the first motive to their conversion.

VI. The names of several Pagan Philosophers, who were Christian converts.

I. IT happened very providentially to the ho­nour of the Christian religion, that it did not take its rise in the dark illiterate ages of the world, but at a time when arts and sciences were at their height, and when there were men who made it the business of their lives to search after truth, and sift the several opinions of Phi­losophers [Page 294] and wise men, concerning the duty, the end, and chief happiness of reasonable crea­tures.

II. Several of these therefore, when they had informed themselves of our Saviour's history, and examined with unprejudiced minds the doctrines and manners of his disciples and followers, were so struck and convinced, that they professed themselves of that sect; notwithstanding, by this profession in that juncture of time, they bid fare­well to all the pleasures of this life, renounced all the views of ambition, engaged in an unin­terrupted course of severities, and exposed them­selves to publick hatred and contempt, to suffer­ings of all kinds, and to death itself.

III. Of this sort we may reckon those three early converts to Christianity, who each of them was a member of a Senate famous for its wisdom and learning. Joseph the Arimathean was of the Jewish Sanhedrim, Dionysius of the Athenian A­reopagus, and Flavius Clemens of the Roman Se­nate; nay at the time of his death Consul of Rome. These three were so throughly satisfied of the truth of the Christian religion, that the first of them, according to all the reports of an­tiquity, died a martyr for it; as did the second, unless we disbelieve Aristides, his fellow-citi­zen and contemporary; and the third, as we are informed both by Roman and Christian Authors.

IV. Among those innumerable multitudes, who in most of the known nations of the world came over to Christianity at its first appearance, we may be sure there were great numbers of wise and learned men, beside those whose names are in the Christian records, who without doubt [Page 295] took care to examine the truth of our Saviour's history, before they would leave the religion of their country and of their forefathers, for the sake of one that would not only cut them off from the allurements of this world, but subject them to every thing terrible or disagreeable in it. Tertullian tells the Roman Governors, that their corporations, councils, armies, tribes, compa­nies, the palace, senate, and courts of judica­ture were filled with Christians; as Arnobius as­serts, that men of the finest parts and learning, Orators, Grammarians, Rhetoricians, Lawyers, Physicians, Philosophers, despising the sentiments they had been once fond of, took up their rest in the Christian religion.

V. Who can imagine that men of this chara­cter did not thoroughly inform themselves of the history of that person, whose doctrines they em­braced? for however consonant to reason his pre­cepts appeared, how good soever were the ef­fects which they produced in the world, nothing could have tempted men to acknowledge him as their God and Saviour, but their being firmly persuaded of the miracles he wrought, and the many attestations of his divine mission, which were to be met with in the history of his life. This was the ground-work of the Christian re­ligion, and, if this failed, the whole superstru­cture sunk with it. This point therefore, of the truth of our Saviour's history, as recorded by the Evangelists, is every where taken for granted in the writings of those, who from Pagan Philoso­phers became Christian Authors, and who, by reason of their conversion, are to be looked upon as of the strongest collateral testimony for the [Page 296] truth of what is delivered concerning our Sa­viour.

VI. Besides innumerable Authors that are lost, we have the undoubted names, works, or frag­ments of several Pagan Philosophers, which shew them to have been as learned as any unconverted heathen Authors of the age in which the lived. If we look into the greatest nurseries of learn­ing in those ages of the world, we find in Athens, Dionysius, Quadratus, Aristides, Athenagoras; and in Alexandria, Dionysius, Clemens, Ammo­nius, Arnobius, and Anatolius, to whom we may add Origen; for though his father was a Christian martyr, he became, without all controversy, the most learned and able Philosopher of his age, by his education at Alexandria, in that famous semi­nary of arts and sciences.


I. The learned Pagans had means and opportuni­ties of informing themselves of the truth of our Saviour's history;

II. From the proceedings,

III. The characters, sufferings,

IV. And miracles of the persons who published it.

V. How these first Apostles perpetuated their tra­dition, by ordaining persons to succeed them.

VI. How their successors in the three first centuries preserved their tradition.

[Page 297] VII. That five generations might derive this tra­dition from Christ, to the end of the third cen­tury.

VIII. Four eminent Christians that delivered it down successively to the year of our Lord 254.

IX. The faith of the four above-mentioned persons, the same with that of the Churches of the East, of the West, and of Egypt.

X. Another person added to them, who brings us to the year 343, and that many other lists might be added in as direct and short a succession.

XI. Why the tradition of the three first centuries, more authentick than that of any other age, pro­ved from the conversation of the primitive Chri­stians.

XII. From the manner of initiating men into their religion.

XIII. From the correspondence between the Chur­ches.

XIV. From the long lives of several of Christ's Di­sciples, of which two instances.

I. IT now therefore only remains to consider, whether these learned men had means and opportunities of informing themselves of the truth of our Saviour's history; for unless this point can be made out, their testimonies will ap­pear invalid, and their enquiries ineffectual.

II. As to this point, we must consider, that many thousands had seen the transactions of our Saviour in Judaea, and that many hundred thou­sands had received an account of them from the mouths of those who were actually eye-witnes­ses. I shall only mention among these eye-wit­nesses the twelve Apostles, to whom we must [Page 298] add St. Paul, who had a particular call to this high office, though many other disciples and fol­lowers of Christ had also their share in the pub­lishing this wonderful history. We learn from the ancient records of Christianity, that many of the Apostles and Disciples made it the express business of their lives, travelled into the remo­test parts of the world, and in all places gathered multitudes about them, to acquaint them with the history and doctrines of their crucified Ma­ster. And indeed, were all Christian records of these proceedings entirely lost, as many have been, the effect plainly evinces the truth of them; for how else during the Apostles lives could Christianity have spread itself with such an ama­zing progress through the several nations of the Roman empire? how could it fly like lightning, and carry conviction with it, from one end of the earth to the other?

III. Heathens therefore of every age, sex, and quality, born in the most different climates, and bred up under the most different institutions, when they saw men of plain sense, without the help of learning, armed with patience and courage, in­stead of wealth, pomp, or power, expressing in their lives those excellent doctrines of Morality, which they taught as delivered to them from our Saviour, averring that they had seen his mi­racles during his life, and conversed with him af­ter his death; when, I say, they saw no suspicion of falshood, treachery, or worldly interest, in their behaviour and conversation, and that they submit­ted to the most ignominious and cruel deaths, ra­ther than retract their testimony, or even be si­lent in matters which they were to publish by their [Page 299] Saviour's especial command, there was no rea­son to doubt of the veracity of those facts which they related, or of the Divine Mission in which they were employed.

IV. But even these motives to Faith in our Sa­viour would not have been sufficient to have brought about in so few years such an incredible number of conversions, had not the Apostles been able to exhibit still greater proofs of the truths which they taught. A few persons of an odious and despised country could not have filled the world with Believers, had they not shown undoubted credentials from the Divine person who sent them on such a message. According­ly we are assured, that they were invested with the power of working miracles, which was the most short and the most convincing argument that could be produced, and the only one that was a­dapted to the reason of all mankind, to the capa­cities of the wise and ignorant, and could over­come every cavil and every prejudice. Who would not believe that our Saviour healed the sick, and raised the dead, when it was published by those who themselves often did the same mi­racles, in their presence, and in his name! Could any reasonable person imagine, that God Almigh­ty would arm men with such powers to autho­rize a lye, and establish a religion in the world which was displeasing to him, or that evil spirits would lend them such an effectual assistance to beat down vice and idolatry?

V. When the Apostles had formed many as­semblies in several parts of the Pagan world, who gave credit to the glad tidings of the Gospel, that, upon their departure, the memory of what they [Page 300] had related might not perish, they appointed out of these new converts, men of the best sense, and of the most unblemished lives, to preside over these several Assemblies, and to inculcate with­out ceasing what they had heard from the mouths of these eye-witnesses.

VI. Upon the death of any of those substitutes to the Apostles and Disciples of Christ, his place was filled up with some other person of emi­nence for his piety and learning, and generally a member of the same Church, who after his de­cease was followed by another in the same man­ner, by which means the succession was continu­ed in an uninterrupted line. Irenaeus informs us, that every church preserved a catalogue of its Bishops in the order that they succeeded one a­nother, and (for an example) produces a cata­logue of those who governed the Church of Rome in that character, which contains eight or nine persons, though but at a very small remove from the times of the Apostles.

Indeed the lists of Bishops, which are come down to us in other churches, are generally filled with greater numbers than one would expect. But the succession was quick in the three first centuries, because the Bishop very often ended in the Martyr: for when a persecution arose in any place, the first fury of it fell upon this Order of holy men, who abundantly testified by their Deaths and Sufferings that they did not under­take these offices out of any temporal views, that they were sincere and satisfied in the belief of what they taught, and that they firmly adhe­red to what they had received from the Apostles, as laying down their lives in the same hope, and upon the same principles. None can be suppo­sed [Page 301] so utterly regardless of their own happiness as to expire in torment, and hazard their Eter­nity, to support any fables and inventions of their own, or any forgeries of their predecessors who had presided in the same church, and which might have been easily detected by the tradi­tion of that particular church, as well as by the concurring testimony of others. To this purpose, I think it is very remarkable, that there was not a single Martyr among those many Hereticks, who disagreed with the Apostolical church, and intro­duced several wild and absurd notions into the doctrines of Christianity. They durst not stake their present and future happiness on their own chimerical imaginations, and did not only shun persecution, but affirmed that it was unnecessary for their followers to bear their religion through such fiery tryals.

VII. We may fairly reckon, that this first age of Apostles and Disciples, with that second gene­ration of many who were their immediate con­verts, extended itself to the middle of the second Century, and that several of the third generation from these last mentioned, which was but the fifth from Christ, continued to the end of the third Century. Did we know the ages and numbers of the members in every particular church, which was planted by the Apostles, I doubt not but in most of them there might be found five persons who in a continued series would reach through these three centuries of years, that is till the 265th from the death of our Saviour.

VIII. Among the accounts of those very few out of innumerable multitudes, who had embra­ced Christianity, I shall single out four persons, eminent for their lives, their writings, and their [Page 302] sufferings, that were successively contemporaries, and bring us down as far as to the year of our Lord 254. St. John, who was the beloved Di­sciple, and conversed the most intimately with our Saviour, lived till Anno Dom. 100. Poly­carp, who was the Disciple of St. John, and had conversed with others of the Apostles and Disci­ples of our Lord, lived till Anno Dom. 167, though his life was shortened by martyrdom. Irenaeus, who was the Disciple of Polycarp, and had con­versed with many of the immediate Disciples of the Apostles, lived, at the lowest computation of his age, till the year 202, when he was likewise cut off by martyrdom; in which year the great Origen was appointed Regent of the Catechetick school in Alexandria, and as he was the miracle of that age, for industry, learning and philoso­phy, he was looked upon as the champion of Christianity, till the year 254, when, if he did not suffer martyrdom, as some think he did, he was certainly actuated by the spirit of it, as ap­pears in the whole course of his life and writings; nay, he had often been put to the torture, and had undergone tryals worse than death. As he con­versed with the most eminent Christians of his time in Egypt, and in the East, brought over multitudes both from heresy and heathenism, and left behind him several Disciples of great fame and learning, there is no question but there were considerable numbers of those who knew him, and had been his hearers, scholars, or proselytes, that lived till the end of the third century, and to the reign of Constantine the Great.

IX. It is evident to those, who read the lives and writings of Polycarp, Irenaeus, and Origen, that these three Fathers believed the accounts [Page 303] which are given of our Saviour in the four Evan­gelists, and had undoubted arguments that not only St. John, but many others of our Saviour's disciples, published the same accounts of him. To which we must subjoin this further remark, that what was believed by these Fathers on this sub­ject, was likewise the belief of the main body of Christians in those successive ages when they flou­rished; since Polycarp cannot but be looked up­on, if we consider the respect that was paid him, as the representative of the Eastern Churches in this particular, Irenaeus of the Western upon the same account, and Origen of those established in Egypt.

X. To these I might add Paul the famous her­mite, who retired from the Decian persecution five or six years before Origen's death, and lived till the year 343. I have only discovered one of those channels by which the history of our Savi­our might be conveyed pure and unadulterated, through those several ages that produced those Pagan Philosophers, whose testimonies I make use of for the truth of our Saviour's history. Some or other of these Philosophers came into the Christian faith during its infancy, in the seve­ral periods of these three first centuries, when they had such means of informing themselves in all the particulars of our Saviour's history. I must fur­ther add, that though I have here only chosen this single link of martyrs, I might find out others among those names which are still extant, that delivered down this account of our Saviour in a successive tradition, till the whole Roman em­pire became Christian; as there is no question but numberless series of witnesses might follow [Page 304] one another in the same order, and in as short a chain, and that perhaps in every single Church, had the names and ages of the most eminent pri­mitive Christians have been transmitted to us with the like certainty.

XI. But to give this consideration more force, we must take notice, that the tradition of the first ages of Christianity had several circumstances peculiar to it, which made it more authentick than any other tradition in any other age of the world. The Christians, who carried their reli­gion through so many general and particular per­secutions, were incessantly comforting and sup­porting one another, with the example and history of our Saviour and his Apostles. It was the sub­ject not only of their solemn assemblies, but of their private visits and conversations. Our virgins, says Tatian, who lived in the second century, dis­course over their distaffs on divine subjects. In­deed, when religion was woven into the civil go­vernment, and flourished under the protection of the Emperors, men's thoughts and discourses were, as they are now, full of secular affairs; but in the three first centuries of Christianity, men, who embraced this religion, had given up all their interests in this world, and lived in a perpe­tual preparation for the next, as not knowing how soon they might be called to it: so that they had little else to talk of but the life and doct­rines of that divine person, which was their hope, their encouragement, and their glory. We can­not therefore imagine, that there was a single person arrived at any degree of age or considera­tion, who had not heard and repeated above a thousand times in his life, all the particulars of [Page 305] our Saviour's birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension.

XII. Especially if we consider, that they could not then be received as Christians, till they had undergone several examinations. Persons of ri­per years, who flocked daily into the Church during the three first centuries, were obliged to pass through many repeated instructions, and give a strict account of their proficiency, before they were admitted to Baptism. And as for those who were born of Christian parents, and had been baptised in their infancy, they were with the like care prepared and disciplined for confirma­tion, which they could not arrive at, till they were found upon examination to have made a sufficient progress in the knowledge of Christi­anity.

XIII. We must further observe, that there was not only in those times this religious conversa­tion among private Christians, but a constant cor­respondence between the Churches that were e­stablished by the Apostles or their successors, in the several parts of the world. If any new doct­rine was started, or any fact reported of our Savi­our, a strict enquiry was made among the Chur­ches, especially those planted by the Apostles them­selves, whether they had received any such doct­rine or account of our Saviour, from the mouths of the Apostles, or the tradition of those Chri­stians, who had preceded the present members of the Churches which were thus consulted. By this means, when any novelty was published, it was immediately detected and censured.

XIV. St. John, who lived so many years after our Saviour, was appealed to in these emergen­cies [Page 306] as the living Oracle of the Church; and as his oral testimony lasted the first century, many have observed that, by a particular providence of God, several of our Saviour's Disciples, and of the early converts of his religion, lived to a very great age, that they might personally convey the truth of the Gospel to those times, which were very remote from the first publication of it. Of these, besides St. John, we have a remark­able instance in Simeon, who was one of the seventy sent forth by our Saviour, to publish the Gospel before his crucifixion, and a near kins­man of the Lord. This venerable person, who had probably heard with his own ears our Savi­our's prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem, presided over the Church established in that city, during the time of its memorable siege, and drew his congregation out of those dreadful and unpa­rallel'd calamities which befel his countrymen, by following the advice our Saviour had given, when they should see Jerusalem encompassed with armies, and the Roman standards, or abomi­nation of desolation, set up. He lived till the year of our Lord 107, when he was martyred under the Emperor Trajan.


I. The tradition of the Apostles secured by other ex­cellent institutions;

II. But chiefly by the writings of the Evangelists.

III. The diligence of the Disciples and first Chri­stian converts, to send abroad these writings.

IV. That the written account of our Saviour was the same with that delivered by tradition:

V. Proved from the reception of the Gospel by those Churches which were established before it was written.

VI. From the uniformity of what was believed in the several Churches.

VII. From a remarkable passage in Irenaeus.

VIII. Records which are now lost, of use to the three first centuries, for confirming the history of our Saviour.

IX. Instances of such records.

I. THUS far we see how the learned Pa­gans might apprize themselves from oral information of the particulars of our Saviour's history. They could hear, in every Church planted in every distant part of the earth, the account which was there received and preser­ved among them, of the history of our Saviour. They could learn the names and characters of those first missionaries that brought to them these [Page 308] accounts, and the miracles by which God Al­mighty attested their reports. But the Apostles and Disciples of Christ, to preserve the history of his life, and to secure their accounts of him from error and oblivion, did not only set aside certain persons for that purpose, as has been already shewn, but appropriated certain days to the commemora­tion of those facts which they had related con­cerning him. The first day of the week was in all its returns a perpetual memorial of his resur­rection, as the devotional exercises adapted to Fri­day and Saturday, were to denote to all ages that he was crucified on the one of those days, and that he rested in the grave on the other. You may apply the same remark to several of the annual festivals instituted by the Apostles themselves, or at furthest by their immediate Successors, in me­mory of the most important particulars in our Sa­viour's history; to which we must add the Sacra­ments instituted by our Lord himself, and many of those rites and ceremonies which obtained in the most early times of the Church. These are to be regarded as standing marks of such facts as were delivered by those, who were eye-witnesses to them, and which were contrived with great wisdom to last till time should be no more. These, without any other means, might have, in some measure, conveyed to posterity, the memo­ry of several transactions in the history of our Sa­viour, as they were related by his Disciples. At least, the reason of these institutions, though they might be forgotten, and obscured by a long course of years, could not but be very well known by those who lived in the three first Cen­turies, and a means of informing the inquisitive [Page 309] Pagans in the truth of our Saviour's history, that being the view in which I am to consider them.

II. But least such a tradition, though guarded by so many expedients, should wear out by the length of time, the four Evangelists within about fifty, or, as Theodoret affirms, thirty years, after our Saviour's death, while the memory of his actions was fresh among them, consigned to writing that history, which for some years had been published only by the mouth of the Apo­stles and Disciples. The further consideration of these holy penmen will fall under another part of this discourse.

III. It will be sufficient to observe here, that in the age which succeeded the Apostles, many of their immediate Disciples sent or carrried in per­son the books of the four Evangelists, which had been written by Apostles, or at least approved by them, to most of the Churches which they had planted in the different parts of the world. This was done with so much diligence, that when Pantaenus, a man of great learning and piety, had travelled into India for the propagation of Chri­stianity, about the year of our Lord 200, he found among that remote people the Gospel of St. Matthew, which upon his return from that country he brought with him to Alexandria. This Gospel is generally supposed to have been left in those parts by St. Bartholomew the Apo­stle of the Indies, who probably carried it with him before the writings of the three other Evan­gelists were publish'd.

IV. That the history of our Saviour, as recor­ded by the Evangelists, was the same with that which had been before delivered by the Apostles [Page 286] and Disciples, will further appear in the prosecu­tion of this discourse, and may be gathered from the following considerations.

V. Had these writings differed from the ser­mons of the first planters of Christianity, either in history or doctrine, there is no question but they would have been rejected by those Churches which they had already formed. But so con­sistent and uniform was the relation of the Apo­stles, that these histories appeared to be nothing else but their tradition and oral attestations made fixt and permanent. Thus was the fame of our Saviour, which in so few years had gone through the whole earth, confirmed and perpetuated by such records, as would preserve the traditionary account of him to after-ages; and rectifie it, if at at any time, by passing through several genera­tions, it might drop any part that was material, or contract any thing that was false or fictitious.

VI. Accordingly we find the same Jesus Christ, who was born of a Virgin, who had wrought many miracles in Palestine, who was crucified, rose again, and ascended into Heaven; I say, the same Jesus Christ had been preached, and was worshipped, in Germany, France, Spain, and Great-Britain, in Parthia, Media, Mesopotamia, Armenia, Phrygia, Asia, and Pamphylia, in Ita­ly, Egypt, Afric, and beyond Cyrene, India and Persia, and, in short, in all the islands and pro­vinces that are visited by the rising or setting sun. The same account of our Saviour's life and do­ctrine was delivered by thousands of Preachers, and believed in thousands of places, who all, as fast as it could be conveyed to them, received the [Page 287] same account in writing from the four Evange­lists.

VII. Irenaeus to this purpose very aptly re­marks, that those barbarous nations, who in his time were not possest of the written gospels, and had only learned the history of our Saviour from those who had converted them to Christianity be­fore the Gospels were written, had among them the same accounts of our Saviour, which are to be met with in the four Evangelists. An uncon­testible proof of the harmony and concurrence between the holy scripture and the tradition of the Churches in those early times of Christia­nity.

VIII. Thus we see what opportunities the learned and inquisitive heathens had of informing themselves of the truth of our Saviour's history, during the three first Centuries, especially as they lay nearer one than another to the fountain-head: beside which, there were many uncontroverted traditions, records of Christianity, and particular histories, that then threw light into these matters, but are now entirely lost, by which, at that time, any appearance of contradiction, or seeming dif­ficulties, in the history of the Evangelists, were fully cleared up and explained: though we meet with fewer appearances of this nature in the histo­ry of our Saviour, as related by the four Evange­lists, than in the accounts of any other person, published by such a number of different histori­ans who lived at so great a distance from the present age.

IX. Among those records which are lost, and were of great use to the primitive Christians, is the letter to Tiberius, which I have already men­tioned; [Page 312] that of Marcus Aurelius, which I shall take notice of hereafter; the writings of Hegesip­pus, who had drawn down the history of Christi­anity to his own time, which was not beyond the middle of the second Century; the genuine Sibyl­line oracles, which in the first ages of the Church were easily distinguished from the spurious; the records preserved in particular Churches, with many other of the same nature.


I. The sight of miracles in those ages a further confirmation of Pagan Philosophers in the Chri­stian faith.

II. The credibility of such miracles.

III. A particular instance.

IV. Martyrdom, why considered as a standing mi­racle.

V. Primitive Christians thought many of the Mar­tyrs were supported by a miraculous power:

VI. Proved from the nature of their sufferings.

VII. How Martyrs further induced the Pagans to embrace Christianity.

I. THERE were other means, which I find had a great influence on the learned of the three first Centuries, to create and confirm in them the belief of our blessed Savi­our's history, which ought not to be passed over in silence. The first was, the opportunity they en­joyed [Page 313] of examining those miracles, which were on several occasions performed by Christians, and appeared in the Church, more or less, during these first ages of Christianity. These had great weight with the men I am now speaking of, who, from learned Pagans, became fathers of the Church; for they frequently boast of them in their writings, as attestations given by God him­self to the truth of their religion.

II. At the same time, that these learned men de­clare how disigenuous, base and wicked it would be, how much beneath the dignity of Philosophy, and contrary to the precepts of Christianity, to utter falshoods or forgeries in the support of a cause, though never so just in it self, they con­fidently assert this miraculous power, which then subsisted in the Church, nay, tell us that they themselves had been eye-witnesses of it at several times, and in several instances; nay, appeal to the heathens themselves for the truth of several facts they relate, nay challenge them to be pre­sent at their assemblies, and satisfy themselves, if they doubt of it; nay we find that Pagan Au­thors have in some instances confessed this mira­culous power.

III. The letter of Marcus Aurelius, whose ar­my was preserved by a refreshing shower, at the same time that his enemies were discomfited by a storm of lightning, and which the heathen histori­ans themselves allow to have been supernatural and the effect of magic: I say, this letter, which ascribed this unexpected assistance to the prayers of the Christians, who then served in the army, would have been thought an unquestionable testimony of the miraculous power I am speaking of, [Page 314] had it been still preserved. It is sufficient for me in this Place to take notice, that this was one of those miracles which had its influence on the lear­ned Converts, because it is related by Tertullian, and the very letter appealed to. When these learned men saw sickness and frenzy cured, the dead raised, the oracles put to silence, the Daemons and evil spirits forced to confess themselves no Gods, by persons who only made use of prayer and adjurations in the name of their crucified Sa­viour; how could they doubt of their Saviour's power on the like occasions, as represented to them by the traditions of the Church, and the writings of the Evangelists?

IV. Under this head, I cannot omit that which appears to me a standing miracle in the three first Centuries, I mean that amazing and supernatural courage or patience, which was shewn by innu­merable multitudes of Martyrs, in those slow and painful torments that were inflicted on them. I cannot conceive a man placed in the burning iron chair at Lyons, amid the insults and mockeries of a crouded Amphitheatre, and still keeping his seat; or stretched upon a grate of iron, over coals of fire, and breathing out his soul among the ex­quisite sufferings of such a tedious execution, ra­ther than renounce his religion, or blaspheme his Saviour. Such tryals seem to me above the strength of human nature, and able to over-bear duty, reason, faith, conviction, nay, and the most absolute certainty of a future state. Humanity, unassisted in an extraordinary manner, must have shaken off the present pressure, and have deliver'd it self out of such a dreadful distress, by any means that could have been suggested to it. We can [Page 315] easily imagine, that many persons, in so good a cause, might have laid down their lives at the gib­bet, the stake, or the block: but to expire leisure­ly among the most exquisite tortures, when they might come out of them, even by a mental reser­vation, or an hypocrisy which was not without a possibility of being followed by repentance and for­giveness, has something in it, so far beyond the force and natural strength of mortals, that one cannot but think there was some miraculous pow­er to support the sufferer.

V. We find the Church of Smyrna, in that ad­mirable letter which gives an account of the death of Polycarp their beloved Bishop, mentioning the cruel torments of other early Martyrs for Christi­anity, are of opinion, that our Saviour stood by them in a vision, and personally conversed with them, to give them strength and comfort during the bitterness of their long-continued agonies; and we have the story of a young man, who, having suffered many tortures, escaped with life, and told his fellow-christians, that the pain of them had been rendered tolerable, by the presence of an Angel who stood by him, and wiped off the tears and sweat, which ran down his face whilst he lay under his sufferings. We are assured at least that the first Martyr for Christianity was encouraged in his last moments, by a vision of that divine per­son, for whom he suffered, and into whose pre­sence he was then hastening.

VI. Let any man calmly lay his hand upon his heart, and after reading these terrible conflicts in which the ancient Martyrs and Confessors were engaged, when they passed through such new in­ventions and varieties of pain, as tired their tor­mentors; [Page 316] and ask himself, however zealous and sincere he is in his religion, whether under such acute and lingring tortures he could still have held fast his integrity, and have professed his faith to the last, without a supernatural assistance of some kind or other. For my part, when I consider that it was not an unaccountable obstinacy in a single man, or in any particular sett of men, in some extraordinary juncture; but that there were multitudes of each sex, of every age, of different countries and conditions, who for near 300 years together made this glorious confession of their faith, in the midst of tortures, and in the hour of death: I must conclude, that they were ei­ther of another make than men are at present, or that they had such miraculous supports as were peculiar to those times of Christianity, when without them perhaps the very name of it might have been extinguished.

VII. It is certain, that the deaths and sufferings of the primitive Christians had a great share in the conversion of those learned Pagans, who lived in the ages of Persecution, which with some inter­vals and abatements lasted near 300 years after our Saviour. Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Lactan­tius, Arnobius, and others, tell us, that this first of all alarmed their curiosity, roused their attenti­on, and made them seriously inquisitive into the nature of that religion, which could endue the mind with so much strength, and overcome the fear of death, nay raise an earnest desire of it, though it appeared in all its terrors. This they found had not been effected by all the doctrines of those Philosophers, whom they had thoroughly studied, and who had been labouring at this great [Page 317] point. The sight of these dying and tormented Martyrs engaged them to search into the history and doctrines of him for whom they suffered. The more they searched, the more they were con­vinced; till their conviction grew so strong, that they themselves embraced the same truths, and ei­ther actually laid down their lives, or were always in a readiness to do it, rather than depart from them.


I. The completion of our Saviour's prophecies con­firmed Pagans in their belief of the Gospel.

II. Origen's observation on that of his Disciples being brought before Kings and Governours.

III. On their being persecuted for their religi­on;

IV. On their preaching the Gospel to all nati­ons;

V. On the destruction of Jerusalem, and ruin of the Jewish oeconomy.

VI. These arguments strengthened by what has hap­pened since Origen's time.

I. THE second of those extraordinary means, of great use to the learned and inquisitive Pagans of the three first Centuries, for evincing the truth of the history of our Saviour, was the completion of such prophecies as are [Page 318] recorded of him in the Evangelists. They could not indeed form any arguments from what he foretold, and was fulfilled during his life, be­cause both the prophecy and the completion were over before they were published by the Evange­lists; though, as Origen observes, what end could there be in forging some of these predictions, as that of St. Peter's denying his master, and all his Disciples forsaking him in the greatest extremity, which reflects so much shame on the great A­postle, and on all his companions? Nothing but a strict adherence to truth, and to matters of fact, could have prompted the Evangelists to re­late a circumstance so disadvantageous to their own reputation; as that Father has well obser­ved.

II. But to pursue his reflections on this Sub­ject. There are predictions of our Saviour re­corded by the Evangelists, which were not com­pleted till after their deaths, and had no likeli­hood of being so, when they were pronounced by our blessed Saviour. Such was that wonderful notice he gave them, that they should be brought before Governours and Kings for his sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles, Mat. 10.28. with the other like prophecies, by which he foretold that his Disciples were to be persecuted. Is there any other doctrine in the world, says this Father, whose followers are punished? Can the enemies of Christ say, that he knew his opinions were false and impious, and that therefore he might well conjecture and foretell what would be the treatment of those persons who should embrace them? Supposing his doctrines were really such, why should this be the consequence? what likeli­hood [Page 319] that men should be brought before Kings and Governours for opinions and tenets of any kind, when this never happened even to the Epicureans, who absolutely denied a Providence; nor to the Peripateticks themselves, who laughed at the prayers and sacrifices which were made to the Divinity? Are there any but the Christians who, according to this prediction of our Saviour, being brought before Kings and Governours for his sake, are pressed to their latest gasp of breath, by their respective judges, to renounce Christiani­ty, and to procure their liberty and rest, by of­fering the same sacrifices, and taking the same oaths that others did?

III. Consider the time when our Saviour pro­nounced those words, Matt. 10.32. Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven: but whoso­ever shall deny me before men, him will I also de­ny before my Father which is in heaven. Had you heard him speak after this manner, when as yet his Disciples were under no such tryals, you would certainly have said within your self, If these speeches of Jesus are true, and if, accord­ing to his prediction, Governours and Kings under­take to ruin and destroy those who shall profess themselves his Disciples, we will believe (not only that he is a Prophet) but that he has re­ceived power from God sufficient to preserve and propagate his religion; and that he would never talk in such a peremptory and discourag­ing manner, were he not assured that he was able to subdue the most powerful opposition, that could be made against the faith and doctrine which he taught.

[Page 320]IV. Who is not struck with admiration, when he represents to himself our Saviour at that time foretelling, that his Gospel should be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, or as St. Origen (who rather quotes the sense than the words) to serve for a conviction to Kings and people, when at the same time he finds that his Gospel has accordingly been preached to Greeks and Barbarians, to the learned and to the ignorant, and that there is no quality or con­dition of life able to exempt men from submitting to the doctrine of Christ. As for us, says this great Author, in another part of his book against Celsus? When we see every day those events exactly accomplished which our Saviour foretold at so great a distance: That his Gospel is preached in all the world, Mat­thew 24.14. That his Disciples go and teach all nations, Matthew 28.19. And that those, who have received his doctrine, are brought for his sake before Governours, and before Kings, Matthew 10.18. we are filled with admiration, and our faith in him is confirmed more and more. What clearer and stronger proofs can Celsus ask for the truth of what he spoke?

V. Origen insists likewise with great strength on that wonderful prediction of our Saviour, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, pronoun­ced at a time, as he observes, when there was no likelihood nor appearance of it. This has been taken notice of and inculcated by so many others, that I shall refer you to what this Father has said on the subject in the first book against Celsus. And as to the accomplishment of this remarka­ble [Page 321] prophecy, shall only observe, that whoever reads the account given us by Josephus, without knowing his character, and compares it with what our Saviour foretold, would think the hi­storian had been a Christian, and that he had no­thing else in view but to adjust the event to the prediction.

VI. I cannot quit this head without taking notice, that Origen would still have tri­umphed more in the foregoing arguments, had he lived an age longer, to have seen the Roman Emperors, and all their Governors and provin­ces, submitting themselves to the Christian religi­on, and glorying in its profession, as so many Kings and Soveraigns still place their relation to Christ at the head of their titles.

How much greater confirmation of his faith would he have received, had he seen our Saviour's prophecy stand good in the destruction of the temple, and the dissolution of the Jewish Oeco­nomy, when Jews and Pagans united all their endeavours under Julian the Apostate, to baffle and falsifie the prediction? The great preparations that were made for rebuilding the temple, with the hurricane, earthquake, and eruptions of fire, that destroyed the work, and terrified those em­ployed in the attempt from proceeding in it, are related by many historians of the same age, and the substance of the story testified both by Pa­gan and Jewish writers, as Ammianus Marcel­linus and Zemath-David. The learned Chry­sostome, in a sermon against the Jews, tells them this fact was then fresh in the memories even of their young men, that it happened but twen­ty years ago, and that it was attested by all the [Page 322] inhabitants of Jerusalem, where they might still see the marks of it in the rubbish of that work, from which the Jews desisted in so great a fright, and which even Julian had not the cou­rage to carry on. This fact, which is in it self so miraculous, and so indisputable, brought o­ver many of the Jews to Christianity; and shows us, that after our Saviour's prophecy against it, the temple could not be preserved from the plough passing over it, by all the care of Titus, who would fain have prevented its destruction, and that instead of being re-edified by Julian, all his endeavours towards it did but still more literally accomplish our Saviour's prediction, that not one stone should be left upon ano­ther.

The antient Christians were so entirely per­suaded of the force of our Saviour's prophecies and of the punishment which the Jews had drawn upon themselves, and upon their children, for the treatment which the Messiah had received at their hands, that they did not doubt but they would always remain an abandoned and dispersed people, an hissing and an astonishment among the nati­ons, as they are to this day. In short, that they had lost their peculiarity of being God's peo­ple, which was now transferred to the body of Christians, and which preserved the Church of Christ among all the conflicts, difficul­ties and persecutions, in which it was enga­ged, as it had preserved the Jewish government and oeconomy for so many ages, whilst it had the same truth and vital principle in it, notwithstand­ing it was so frequently in danger of being utterly abolished and destroyed. Origen, in his fourth [Page 323] book against Celsus, mentioning their being cast out of Jerusalem, the place to which their wor­ship was annexed, deprived of their temple and sacrifice, their religious rites and solemnities, and scattered over the face of the earth, ventures to assure them with a face of confidence, that they would never be re-established, since they had committed that horrid crime against the Sa­viour of the world. This was a bold assertion in the good man, who knew how this people had been so wonderfully re-established in former times, when they were almost swallowed up, and in the most desperate state of desolation, as in their deliverance out of the Babylonish captivity, and the oppressions of Antiochus Epiphanes. Nay, he knew that within less than a hundred years be­fore his own time, the Jews had made such a powerful effort for their re-establishment under Barchocab, in the reign of Adrian, as shook the whole Roman empire. But he founded his opi­nion on a sure word of prophecy, and on the punishment they had so justly incurred; and we find, by a long experience of 1500 years, that he was not mistaken, nay that his opinion gathers strength daily, since the Jews are now at a grea­ter distance from any probability of such a re-establishment, than they were when Origen wrote.


I. The lives of primitive Christians, another means of bringing learned Pagans into their religion.

II. The change and reformation of their manners.

III. This looked upon as supernatural by the learn­ed Pagans,

IV. And strengthened the accounts given of our Saviour's life and history.

V. The Jewish prophecies of our Saviour, an argu­ment for the heathens belief:

VI. Pursued:

VII. Pursued.

I. THERE was one other means enjoyed by the learned Pagans of the three first centuries, for satisfying them in the truth of our Saviour's history, which I might have flung under one of the foregoing heads; but as it is so shining a particular, and does so much honour to our religion, I shall make a distinct article of it, and only consider it with regard to the subject I am upon: I mean the lives and manners of those holy men, who believed in Christ during the first ages of Christianity. I should be thought to advance a paradox, should I affirm that there were More Christians in the world during those times of persecution, than there are at present in these which we call the [Page 325] flourishing times of Christianity. But this will be found an indisputable truth, if we form our calculation upon the opinions which prevailed in those days, that every one who lives in the ha­bitual practice of any voluntary sin, actually cuts himself off from the benefits and profession of Christianity, and whatever he may call himself, is in reality no Christian, nor ought to be esteem­ed as such.

II. In the times we are now surveying, the Christian religion showed its full force and effi­cacy on the minds of men, and by many examples demonstrated what great and generous souls it was capable of producing. It exalted and refined its proselytes to a very high degree of perfection, and set them far above the pleasures, and even the pains, of this life. It strengthened the infir­mity, and broke the fierceness of human nature. It lifted up the minds of the ignorant to the know­ledge and worship of him that made them, and in­spired the vicious with a rational devotion, a strict purity of heart, and an unbounded love to their fellow-creatures. In proportion as it spread through the world, it seemed to change mankind into another species of Beings. No sooner was a convert initiated into it, but by an easy figure he became a New Man, and both acted and look­ed upon himself as one regenerated and born a second time into another state of existence.

III. It is not my business to be more particular in the accounts of primitive Christianity, which have been exhibited so well by others, but ra­ther to observe, that the Pagan converts, of whom I am now speaking, mention this great refor­mation of those who had been the greatest sin­ners, [Page 326] with that sudden and surprising change which it made in the lives of the most profli­gate, as having something in it supernatural, mi­raculous, and more than human. Origen repre­sents this power in the Christian religion, as no less wonderful than that of curing the lame and blind, or cleansing the leper. Many others re­present it in the same light, and looked upon it as an argument that there was a certain divinity in that religion, which showed it self in such strange and glorious effects.

IV. This therefore was a great means not on­ly of recommending Christianity to honest and learned heathens, but of confirming them in the belief of our Saviour's history, when they saw multitudes of virtuous men daily forming them­selves upon his example, animated by his precepts, and actuated by that Spirit which he had promised to send among his Disciples.

V. But I find no argument made a stronger impression on the minds of these eminent Pagan converts, for strengthening their faith in the history of our Saviour, than the predictions rela­ting to him in those old prophetick writings, which were deposited among the hands of the greatest enemies to Christianity, and owned by them to have been extant many ages before his appearance. The learned heathen converts were astonished to see the whole history of their Sa­viour's life published before he was born, and to find that the Evangelists and Prophets, in their ac­counts of the Messiah, differed only in point of time, the one foretelling what should happen to him, and the other describing those very particu­lars as what had actually happened. This our [Page 327] Saviour himself was pleased to make use of as the strongest argument of his being the pro­mised Messiah, and without it would hardly have reconciled his Disciples to the ignominy of his death, as in that remarkable passage which men­tions his conversation with the two Disciples, on the day of his resurrection. St. Luke, chap. 24. verse 13. to the end.

VI. The heathen converts, after having travel­led through all human learning, and fortified their minds with the knowledge of arts and scien­ces, were particularly qualified to examine these prophecies with great care and impartiality, and without prejudice or prepossession. If the Jews on the one side put an unnatural interpretation on these prophecies, to evade the force of them in their controversies with the Christians; or if the Christians on the other side over-strained several passages in their applications of them, as it often happens among men of the best understanding, when their minds are heated with any consi­deration that bears a more than an ordinary weight with it: the learned Heathens may be looked upon as neuters in the matter, when all these prophecies were new to them, and their educa­tion had left the interpretation of them free and indifferent. Besides, these learned men among the primitive Christians, knew how the Jews, who had preceded our Saviour, interpreted these predictions, and the several marks by which they acknowledged the Messiah would be disco­vered, and how those of the Jewish Doctors who succeeded him, had deviated from the inter­pretations and doctrines of their forefathers, on purpose to stifle their own conviction.

[Page 328]VII. This sett of arguments had therefore an invincible force with those Pagan Philosophers who became Christians, as we find in most of their writings. They could not disbelieve our Saviour's history, which so exactly agreed with every thing that had been written of him many a­ges before his birth, nor doubt of those circum­stances being fulfilled in him, which could not be true of any person that lived in the world be­sides himself. This wrought the greatest confu­sion in the unbelieving Jews, and the greatest conviction in the Gentiles, who every where speak with astonishment of these truths they met with in this new magazine of learning which was opened to them, and carry the point so far as to think whatever excellent doctrine they had met with among Pagan writers, had been stole from their conversation with the Jews, or from the perusal of these writings which they had in their custody.


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