Obrázky na stránke

of the righteous; (7) Ulysses, in Hecuba, (6) cared not how meanly he lived, so he might find a noble tomb after death. Great princes affected great monuments; and the fair and larger urns contained no vulgar ashes, which makes that disparity in those which time discovereth among us. The present urns were not of one capacity, the largest containing above a gallon, some not much above half that measure; nor all of one figure, wherein there is no strict conformity, in the same or different countries; observable from those represented by Casalius, Bosio, and others, though all found in Italy while many have handles, ears, and long necks, but, most imitate a circular figure, in a spherical and round composure; whether from any mystery, best duration, or capacity, were but a conjecture. But the common form with necks was a proper figure, making our last bed like our first; nor much unlike the urns of our nativity, while we

p. 73. On the practice of whitewashing, &c. he remarks:"As pollution was incurred by touching a sepulchre (Numb. xix. 16.) the tombs of the Jews were annually whitewashed, and those of the more opulent beautified, as a caution against approaching them." In Egypt, where the vast burial-grounds, beautiful in their quiet solitude, may truly be called "cities of the dead," tombs were erected more splendid than palaces. There, moreover, as I have remarked in my description of the tombs of the kings at Thebes, ("Egypt and Mohammed Ali," vol. ii. p. 57. ff.) no objection to enter the dwellings of the dead was felt; and, at this day, I know of few spots on earth so productive of calm thoughts, and hushed and delightful feelings, as that mysterious valley, where the dust of the Egyptian kings reposes in their subterraneous apartments.—ED. (67) Matthew, xxiii. (5) Euripides.

lay in the nether part of the earth,(69) and inward vault of our microcosm. (70) Many urns are red, these but of a black colour, somewhat smooth, and dully sounding, which begat some doubt, whether they were burnt, or only baked in oven or sun: according to the ancient way in many bricks, tiles, pots, and testaceous works; and as the word testa is properly to be taken, when occurring without addition: and chiefly intended by Pliny, when he commendeth bricks and tiles of two years old, and to make them in the spring. Nor only these concealed pieces, but the open magnificence of antiquity ran much in the artifice of clay. Hereof the house of Mausolus was built, thus old Jupiter stood in the Capitol, and the statue of Hercules, made in the reign of Tarquinius Priscus, was extant in Pliny's days. And such as declined burning or funeral urns, affected coffins of clay, (") according to the mode of Pythagoras, a way preferred by Varro. But the spirit of great ones was above these circumscriptions, affecting copper, silver, gold, and porphyry urns; wherein Severus lay, after a

(69) Psalm lxiii.

(70) This is a thought of remarkable beauty; and, perhaps, as the ancients were a curious and quaint people, the urns may have been designedly fashioned in the form of the womb, consistently with their notion that the earth was the great mother of all things.-Ed.

(71) In Egypt coffins were frequently of oriental porphyry, enclosing another of the sycamore, or Pharaoh's fig-tree, the wood of which is almost everlasting. Alexander's coffin, originally of gold, was exchanged in later times for one of glass, his successors finding themselves in need of the precious metal. Coffins of clay are alluded to in the book of Job.-ED.

serious view and sentence on that which should contain him. (72) Some of these urns were thought to have been silvered over, from sparklings in several pots, with small tinsel parcels; uncertain whether from the earth, or the first mixture in them. Among these urns we could obtain no good account of their coverings; only one seemed arched over with some kind of brickwork. Of those found at Buxton some were covered with flints, some in other parts with tiles; those at Yarmouth Caster were closed with Roman bricks; and some have proper earthen covers adapted and fitted to them. But in the Homerical urn of Patroclus, whatever was the solid tegument, (73) we find the immediate covering to be a purple piece of silk. And such as had no covers might have the earth closely pressed into them, after which disposure were probably some of these, wherein we found the bones and ashes half mortered unto the sand and sides of the urn; and some long roots of quich or dog's-grass about the bones.

No lamps, included liquors, lachrymatories, or tear-bottles attended these rural urns, either as sacred unto the manes, or passionate expressions of

(72) Χωρήσεὶς τὸν ἄνθρωπον, ὅν ἥ οἰκεμένη εκ ἠχώρησεν. Dion.

(73) The learning of Sir Thomas Browne was somewhat superficial. The "solid tegument," about which he seems to have been in doubt, was gold: ἄλλεγον ἐς χρυσέην φιάλην. Iliad. 253. and the covering cast over the urn in the tent, was not, as he supposes, a piece of purple silk, but a shroud of fine linen; javų λití káλv↓av. (Conf. Buttmann. Lexil. v. ¿avos, § 5.-ED.

their surviving friends; (7) while with rich flames and hired tears they solemnized their obsequies, and in the most lamented monuments made one part of their inscriptions. (7) Some find sepulchral vessels, containing liquors, which time hath incrassated into jellies. For beside these lachrymatories, notable lamps, with vesses of oils; and aromatical liquors, attended noble ossuaries; and some yet retaining a vinosity and spirit in them, (76) which if any have tasted they have far exceeded the palates of antiquity. Liquors not to be computed by years of annual magistrates, but by great conjunctions and the fatal periods of kingdoms. (7) The draughts of consulary date were but crude unto these, and Opimian wine but in the must unto them. (78)

In sundry graves and sepulchres we meet with rings, coins, and chalices. (79) Ancient frugality (74) This marks the distinction between the Roman urns and the British.-DOUGLAS.

(75) Cum lacrymis posuere.

(76) Lazius.

(77) About five hundred years.
(78) Vinum Opimianum annorum centum.


(79) In part a proof that the Nænia tumuli were not Roman.DOUGLAS. But this is jumping too easily to a conclusion. Browne was mistaken in his notions of ancient frugality; for though the laws of the twelve tables prohibited the interment of gold with the dead, affection quickly overruled their decisions, and indulged its own bent. The law occurs in Cicero, De Legg. II. 24. "Neve aurum addito." And again: "Quoi auro dentes vincti esunt, ast im cum ollo sepelire urereve, se fraude esto;" on which see the notes of Turnebus, who observes that im is here used archaically for eum, and se fraude, for sine fraude. Cicero observes, that the exception of the gold wherewith the false teeth were fastened was humane; that is, as Kirchmann observes,

was so severe that they allowed no gold to attend the corpse, but only that which served to fasten their teeth. (60) Whether the opaline stone in this urn were burnt upon the finger of the dead, or cast into the fire by some affectionate friend, it will consist with either custom. But other incinerable substances were found so fresh that they could feel no singe from fire. These, upon view, were judged to be wood, but sinking in water, and tried by the fire we found them to be bone, or ivory. In their hardness and yellow colour they most resemble box, which in old expressions found the epithet of eternal,(1) and perhaps in such conservatories might have passed uncorrupted.

That bay-leaves were found green in the tomb of St. Humbert, after a hundred and fifty years, was looked upon as miraculous. (8) Remarkable it was unto old spectators, that the cypress of the

it freed children and friends from the painful necessity of pulling out of the heads of their deceased parents such false teeth as they might have made use of during life. For old people among the Romans supplied lost teeth with ivory ones, which were fastened in the head with gold. De Funer. Rom. III. 14. Conf. Mart. Epig. I. 73. However, the Decemviral laws fell, as I have said, into desuetude, and people buried what they pleased with the dead, rich garments, gold, and money of every kind. Terent. in Prol. Eunuch.-Plaut. in Pseud. Act. I. sc. 4. The practice, as might have been expected, gave rise to a class of resurrection-men, called Tuμßopúxou by the Greeks, (Synes. Epist. 143.) who subsisted, as many do in England, by plundering the grave.-ED.

(80) 12 Tabul. 1. xi. de Jure sacro. Neve aurum addito. Quoi auro dentes vincti esunt, ast im cum ollo sepelire et urere, se fraude esto. xx. et xxi.

(81) Plin. l. xvi. inter ¿úλa àσaπñ numerat Theophrastus. (82) Surius.

« PredošláPokračovať »