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Non civium ardor prava jubentium,
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 anybody finds out another that will stand better in its place, I think we may content ourselves with this before us.
Te Dacus asper, te profugi Scythæ
Concitet, imperiumque frangat.
AD FORTUNAM. HOR. lib. i. Od. 35.
To thee their vows rough Germans pay,
The barbarous mothers pray
To thee, the greatest guardian of their thrones.
They bend, they vow, and still they fear,
They fear that you would raise
And break their empire, or confine their praise. MR. CREECH.
I must, however, be so fair as to let you know that Peace and Felicity have their pillars in several medals, as well as Security, so that if you do not like one of them, you may take the other.
The next figure is that of Chastity, who was worshipped as a goddess, and had her temple.
1 Fig. 10.
-deinde ad superos Astræa recessit Hâc comite, atque duæ pariter fugere sorores.
DE PUDICITIA, JUV. Sat. 6.
At length uneasy Justice upwards flew,
Templa pudicitiæ quid opus statuisse puellis,
Since wives whate'er they please unblamed can be,
TIB. lib. ii.
How her posture and dress become her, you may see in the following verses.
Ergo sedens velat vultus, obnubit ocellos
-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. MR. CREECH.
She is represented in the habit of a Roman matron.
Matronæ præter faciem nil cernere possis,
Besides, a matron's face is seen alone;
HOR. Sat. 2. lib. i.
MR. CREECH. That, ni Catia est, says Cynthio, is a beauty unknown to most of our English satirists. Horace knew how to stab with address, and to give a thrust where he was least expected. Boileau has nicely imitated him in this, as well as his other beauties. But our English libellers are for hewing a man downright, and for letting him see at a distance 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 satirists you mention, and have been surprised to meet with a man in a satire that I never in the least expected to 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, 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 antiquarians 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 a speech that religion makes in Phædrus's fables.
Sed ne ignis noster facinori præluceat,
Fab. 10, lib. iv.
It is to this goddess that Statius addresses himself in the following lines:
Summa deum Pietas! cujus gratissima cœlo
Cerne pios fletus, laudataque lumina terge. STATIUS SIL. lib. iii.
Chief of the skies, celestial Piety!
Whose godhead, prized by those of heavenly birth,
Mild in thy milk-white vest, to soothe my friend,
Beheld thee frequent. Once more come below,
See, see, thy own Hetruscus wastes the day
The little trunk she holds in her left hand is the acerra that
MART. lib. iv. Epig. 45.
1 Fig. 11.