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fishy and feminine mixture, as some conceive, were implied the moon and the sea, or the deity of the waters; and therefore, in their sacrifices, they made oblation of fishes. From whence were probably occasioned the pictures of Nereides and Tritons among the Grecians, and such as we read in Macrobius, to have been placed on the top of the temple of Saturn.

We are unwilling to question the royal supporters of England, that is, the approved descriptions of the lion and the unicorn. Although, if in the lion the position of the pizzle be proper, and that the natural situation, it will be hard to make out their retrocopulation, or their coupling and pissing backward, according to the determination of Aristotle ; all that urine backward do copulate Tuynoor, clunatim, or aversely, as lions, hares, lynxes.

As for the unicorn, if it have the head of a deer and the tail of a boar, as Vertomannus describeth it, how agreeable it is to this picture every eye may discern. If it be made bisulcous or cloven-footed, it agreeth unto the description of Vertomannus, but scarce of any other; and Aristotle supposeth that such as divide the hoof, do also double the horn; they being both of the same nature, and admitting division together. And lastly, if the horn have this situation and be so forwardly affixed, as is described, it will not be easily conceived how it can feed from the ground; and therefore we observe that nature, in other cornigerous animals, hath placed the horns higher and reclining, as in bucks; in some inverted upwards, as in the rhinoceros, the Indian ass, and unicornous beetles; and thus have some affirmed it is seated in this animal.

We cannot but observe that in the picture of Jonah and others, whales are described with two prominent spouts on their heads; whereas indeed they have but one in the forehead, and terminating over the windpipe.3 Nor can we overlook the picture of elephants with castles on their backs, made in the form of land castles, or stationary fortifications, and answerable unto the arms of Castile, or Sir John Old

3 two prominent points, &c.] The cetacea have all two spiracles, but on some they are considerably remote from each other, in others close together, and in some so near that they seem to unite in one and the same opening.

castle; whereas the towers they bore were made of wood, and girt unto their bodies, as is delivered in the books of Maccabees, and as they were appointed in the army of Antiochus.

We will not dispute the pictures of retiary spiders, and their position in the web, which is commonly made lateral, and regarding the horizon, although, if observed, we shall commonly find it downward, and their heads respecting the centre. We will not controvert the picture of the seven stars; although if thereby be meant the Pleiades, or subconstellation upon the back of Taurus, with what congruity they are described, either in site or magnitude, in a clear night an ordinary eye may discover from July unto April. We will not question the tongues of adders and vipers, described like an anchor, nor the picture of the fleur-de-lis though how far they agree unto their natural draughts, let every spectator determine.


Whether the cherubims about the ark be rightly described in the common picture,* that is, only in human heads, with two wings, or rather in the shape of angels or young men, or somewhat at least with feet, as the Scripture seems to imply. Whether the cross seen in the air by Constantine, were of that figure wherein we represent it, or rather made out of X and P, the two first letters of Xplorós. Whether the cross of Christ did answer the common figure; whether so far advanced above his head; whether the feet were so disposed, that is, one upon another, or separately nailed, as some with reason describe it, we shall not at all contend. Much less whether the house of Diogenes were a tub framed of wood, and after the manner of ours, or rather made of earth, as learned men conceive, and so more clearly make out that expression of Juvenal. We should be too critical

to question the letter Y, or bicornous element of Pythagoras, that is, the making of the horns equal;7 or the left less than

the right, and so destroying the symbolical intent of the 十一 Dolia magni non ardent Cynici, &c.

* 2 Chron. iii. 13.

7 the letter Y, &c.] An allusion to this letter, in Dr. Donne's ser

mon on "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also," is mentioned by Dr. Vicesimus Knox in his 38th Winter Evening; with some excellent observations on the style of the old sermon writers. -Jeff.

figure; confounding the narrow line of virtue with the larger road of vice, answerable unto the narrow door of heaven, and the ample gates of hell, expressed by our Saviour, and not forgotten by Homer in that epithet of Pluto's house.5*

Many more there are whereof our pen shall take notice, nor shall we urge their enquiry; we shall not enlarge with what incongruity, and how dissenting from the pieces of antiquity, the pictures of their gods and goddesses are described, and how hereby their symbolical sense is lost; although herein it were not hard to be informed from Phornutus,† Fulgentius, and Albricus.§ Whether Hercules be more properly described strangling than tearing the lion, as Victorius hath disputed; nor how the characters and figures of the signs and planets be now perverted, as Salmasius hath learnedly declared. We will dispense with bears with long tails, such as are described in the figures of heaven; we shall tolerate flying horses, black swans, hydras, centaurs, harpies, and satyrs, for these are monstrosities, rarities, or else poetical fancies, whose shadowed moralities requite their substantial falsities. Wherein indeed we must not deny a liberty; nor is the hand of the painter more restrainable than the pen of the poet. But where the real works of nature, or veritable acts of story are to be described, digressions are abberrations; and art being but the imitator or secondary representor, it must not vary from the verity of the example, or describe things otherwise than they truly are, or have been. For hereby introducing false ideas of things, it perverts and deforms the face and symmetry of truth,

* Ευρυπυλής. Fuly. Mythologia.

+ Phornut. De Natura Deorum.
§ Albric. De Deorum Imaginious.

5 Whether the cherubims, &c.] This paragraph first added in 2nd edition.

6 flying horses, &c.] Modern discoveries have lessened this list. The black swan, though rara avis, is no longer a poetical fancy. There was a time when the camelopard was deemed imaginary.


Of the Hieroglyphical Pictures of the Egyptians.

CERTAINLY of all men that suffered from the confusion of Babel, the Egyptians found the best evasion; for, though words were confounded, they invented a language of things, and spake unto each other by common notions in nature. Whereby they discoursed in silence, and were intuitively understood from the theory of their expresses. For they assumed the shapes of animals common unto all eyes, and by their conjunctions and compositions were able to communicate their conceptions unto any that coapprehended the syntaxes of their natures. This many conceive to have been the primitive way of writing, and of greater antiquity than letters; and this indeed might Adam well have spoken, who understanding the nature of things, had the advantage of natural expressions. Which the Egyptians but taking upon trust, upon their own or common opinion, from conceded mistakes they authentically promoted errors; describing in their hieroglyphicks creatures of their own invention, or from known and conceded animals, erecting significations not inferible from their natures.9

7 a language.] A common language might possibly bee framed which all should understand under one character, in their own tongue, as well as all understand in astronomy the 12 signes, the 7 planets, and the several aspects; or in geometry, a triangle, a rhombe, a square, a parallelogram, a helix, a decussation, a cross, a circle, a sector, and such like very many: or the Saracenicall and algebraick characters in arithmetick, or the notes of weight among physitians and apothecaryes: or lastly, those marks of punctuations and qualityes among grammarians in Hebrew under, in Arabick above, the words. To let pass Paracelsus his particular marks, and the common practice of all trades. -Wr.

8 by their conjunctions, &c.] More clearly, "by the conjunction and composition of those shapes of animals, &c."

Which the Egyptians, &c.] How little, alas, do we know of the picture-writing of the Egyptians, even after all the profound researches of Young, Champollion, Klaproth, Akerblad, De Sacy, and others: and how little (we may perhaps add) can we hope ever to see effected. We are told by Clemens Alexandrinus (and subsequent researches have done little more than enable us to comprehend his meaning) that the EgypVOL. II.


And first, although there were more things in nature, than words which did express them, yet even in these mute and tians used three modes of writing;-the epistolographic (called demotic by Herodotus and Diodorus, and enchorial in the Rosetta inscription), the hieratic (employed by the sacred scribes), and the hieroglyphick,consisting of the kuriologic (subsequently termed phonetic) and the symbolic, of which there are several kinds;-one representing objects properly, another metaphorically, a third enigmatically. The great discovery made by Dr. T. Young, from the Rosetta inscription, was that some of the hieroglyphs were the signs of sounds, each hieroglyph signifying the first letter of the Egyptian name of the object represented. Supposing all their picture-writing to be symbolical, then it would be manifestly impossible to hope to read it. For example, we are told that the figure of a bee expressed the idea of royalty; but who could have guessed this? Supposing on the other hand that the hieroglyphs were entirely phonetic (which was not the case, nor can we possibly ascertain in what proportion they were so), supposing them also to be certain and determinate signs of sounds, one and the same sign always employed to represent one and the same sound;-supposing in short that "we could spell syllables and distinguish words with as much certainty and precision as if they had been written in any of the improved alphabets of the west, there would yet always remain one difficulty over which genius itself could not triumph; namely, to discover the signification of the words, when it is not known by tradition or otherwise :"-when the original language has long since utterly vanished;—and when the only instrument left wherewith we can labour (the Coptic) is but the mutilated and imperfect fragment of an extinct language, itself when living the remnant only of that elder form of speech which we are seeking to decypher; but of which, alas! through so imperfect a medium, but slight traces and lineaments can be here and there faintly reflected. The article, EGYPT, in the Sup. to Ency. Brit. and HIEROGLYPHICKS, in Ency. Metrop. together with articles in the 45th and 57th vols. of the Edinburgh Review, will give those disposed to go further into the subject a full and interesting view of all that has hitherto been effected in this most difficult, if not hopeless, field of labour.

But our author's special object in this chapter is to bring against the Egyptians the twofold charge; first, of "describing in their hieroglyphicks creatures of their own inventions;" and secondly, of "erecting, from known and conceded animals, significations not inferible from their natures." No charge, however, can be fairly entertained till it has been proved; and it would be no easy matter to show that many of the monsters enumerated, were really Egyptian : "Considering how absurdly and monstrously complicated the Egyptian superstitions really were, it becomes absolutely essential to separate that which is most fully established or most generally admitted, from the accidental or local varieties, which may have been exaggerated by different authors into established usages of the whole nation, and still more from those which have been the fanciful productions of their own inventive faculties."-Dr. Young, EGYPT, Sup. Ency. Brit. iv. 43.

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