Imágenes de páginas

the beginning of a new series of time. So that the compliment on this medal to the Emperor Adrian, is in all respects the same that Virgil makes to Pollio's son, at whose birth he supposes the annus magnus or Platonical year run out, and renewed again with the opening of the golden age.

Magnus ab integro sæclorun nascitur ordo;
Jam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna:
Et nova progenies cœlo demittitur alto.

The time is come the Sibyls long foretold,
And the blest maid restores the age of gold
In the great wheel of Time before unrolled.
Now a great progeny from heaven descends.

VIRG. EC. 4.


-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.

The last great day is come,

When earth and all her impious sons shall lie
Crusht in the ruins of the falling sky;

Whence fresh shall rise, her new-born realms to grace,

SEN. OET. act. ii.

A pious offspring and a purer race,

Such as erewhile in golden ages sprung,

When Saturn governed, and the world was young.

Soles occidere et redire possunt;
Nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,
Nox est perpetua una dormienda.

You may compare the design of this reverse, if you please, with one of Constantine, so far as the Phoenix 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 medallions.

The next figure shadows out Eternity' to us, by the sun in one hand and the moon in the other, which in the language of sacred poetry is " as long as the sun and moon endureth." The heathens made choice of these lights as apt symbols of Eternity, because, contrary to all sublunary beings, though they seem to perish every night, they renew themselves every morning.

The suns shall often fall and rise:
But when the short-lived mortal dies
And night eternal seals his eyes.
1 Fig. 16.


Horace, whether in imitation of Catullus or not, has applied the same thought to the moon; and that too in the plural number.

Damna tamen celeres reparant cœlestia lunæ:
Nos ubi decidimus

Quò pius Æneas, quò Tullus dives, et Ancus,
Pulvis et umbra sumus.

Each loss the hastening moon repairs again.

But we, when once our race is done,
With Tullus and Anchises' son,

(Though rich like one, like t'other good,)
To dust and shades, without a sun,


HOR. Od. 7, lib. iv.

Descend, and sink in dark oblivion's flood. SIR W. TEMPLE, In the next figure Eternity1 sits on a globe of the heavens adorned with stars. We have already seen how proper an emblem of Eternity the globe is, and may find the duration of the stars made use of by the poets, as an expression of what is never like to end.

Stellas qui vividus æquas

1 Fig. 17.


Polus dum sidera pascet,
Semper honos nomenque tuum laudesque manebunt.


VIRG. EN. lib. i. Lucida dum current annosi sidera mundi, &c. SEN. MED. I might here tell you that Eternity has a covering on her head, because we never find out her beginning; that her legs are bare, because we see only those parts of her that are actually running on; that she sits on a globe and bears a sceptre in her hand, to show she is a sovereign mistress of all things; but for any of these assertions I have no warrant from the poets.


You must excuse me, if I have been longer than ordinary on such a subject as Eternity. The next you see is Victory,3 to whom the medallists as well as poets never fail to give a pair of wings.

Adfuit ipsa suis Ales Victoria- CLAUD. DE 6 CONS. HONOR.
-dubiis volitat Victoria pennis. Ov.
--niveis Victoria concolor alis.


The palm branch and laurel were both the rewards of conquerors, and therefore no improper ornaments for Victory.

3 Fig. 18.

2 Vid. Fig. 13.


-lentæ Victoris præmia palmæ.
Et palmæ pretium Victoribus.
Tu ducibus lætis aderis cum læta triumphum
Vox canet, et longas visent capitolia pompas.

Ov. MET.

Thou shalt the Roman festivals adorn;
Thou shalt returning Cæsar's triumphs grace,
When pomps shall in a long procession pass.


By the way, you may observe the lower plaits of the drapery that seem to have gathered the wind into them. I have seen abundance of antique figures in sculpture and painting, with just the same turn in the lower foldings of the vest, when the person that wears it is in a posture of tripping forward.

Obviaque adversas vibrabant flamina Vestes. Ov. MET. lib. i.

As she fled, the wind
Increasing, spread her flowing hair behind;
And left her legs and thighs exposed to view.
-tenues sinuantur flamine vestes.

Id. lib. ii.

It is worth while to compare this figure of Victory with her statue as it is described in a very beautiful passage of Prudentius.

Non aris non farre molæ Victoria felix
Exorata venit: labor impiger, aspera virtus,
Vis animi, excellens ardor, violentia, cura,
Hanc tribuunt, durum tractandis robur in armis.
Quæ si defuerint bellantibus, aurea quamvis
Marmoreo in templo rutilas Victoria pinnas
Explicet, et multis surgat formata talentis:
Non aderit vestisque offensa videbitur hastis.
Quod miles propriis diffisus viribus optas
Irrita fœmineæ tibimet solatia formæ ?
Nunquam pennigeram legio ferrata puellam
Vidit anhelantum regeret quæ tela virorum.
Vincendi quæris dominam? sua dextera cuique est,
Et Deus omnipotens. Non pexo crine virago,
Nec nudo suspensa pede, strophioque revincta,
Nec tumidas fluitante sinu vestita papillas.


Shall Victory entreated lend her aid
For cakes of flour on smoking altars laid?
Her help from toils and watchings hope to find,
From the strong body, and undaunted mind:
If these be wanting on the embattled plain,
Ye sue the unpropitious maid in vain.
Though in her marble temples taught to blaze,
Her dazzling wings the golden dame displays,

And 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 sheathed in iron e'er surveyed
Their darts directed by this winged maid!
Dost thou the power that gives success demand ?
'Tis he, the Almighty, and thy own right hand;

Not the smooth nymph, whose locks in knots are twined,
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 Victory1 that I fancy Claudian had in his view when he mentions her wings, 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 of his descriptions.

-cum totis exurgens ardua pennis
Ipsa duci sacras Victoria panderet ædes,
Et palma viridi gaudens, et amicta trophæis.

CLAUD. DE LAU. SIL. lib. iii.


On all her plumage rising when she threw Her sacred shrines wide open to thy view, How pleased for thee her emblems to display, With palms distinguished, and with trophies gay. The last of our imaginary beings is Liberty. In her left hand she carries the wand that the Latins call the Rudis or Vindicta, and in her right the cap of liberty. The poets use the same kinds of metaphors to express liberty. I shall quote Horace for the first, whom Ovid has imitated on the same occasion, and for the latter, Martial.

-donatum jam rude quæris

HOR. lib. i. Ep. 1.

Mecænas iterum antiquo me includere ludo.
-tardâ vires minuente senectâ

Me quoque donari jam rude tempus erat. Ov. DE TR. lib. iv. El. 8.
Since bent beneath the load of years I stand,
I too might claim the freedom-giving wand.
Quod te nomine jam tuo saluto

Quem regem, et dominum priùs vocabam,
Ne me dixeris esse contumacem
Totis pilea sarcinis redemi.

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.

1 Fig. 19.


MAR. lib. ii. Epig. 68.

Fig. 20.

I cannot forbear repeating a passage out of Persius, says Cynthio, that in my opinion turns the ceremony of making a free-man very handsomely into ridicule. It seems, the clapping a cap on his head and giving him a turn on the heel were necessary circumstances. A slave thus qualified became a citizen of Rome, and was honoured with 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
Vertigo facit hic Dama est, nam tressis agaso,
Vappa, et lippus, et in tenui farragine mendax.
Verterit hunc dominus, momento turbinis exit
Marcus Dama. Papa! Marco spondente, recusas
Credere tu nummos? Marco sub Judice palles?
Marcus dixit, ita est; assigna, Marce, tabellas.

Hæc mera libertas: hanc nobis pilea donant. PERS. SAT. V.


That false enfranchisement with ease is found:
Slaves are made citizens by turning round.
How! 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 lied:
But, with a turn, a freeman he became ;
Now Marcus Dama is his worship's name.
Good gods! who would refuse to lend a sum,
If wealthy Marcus surety would become!
Marcus is made a judge, and for a proof
Of certain truth, he said it, is enough.
A will is to be proved; put in your claim;
'Tis clear, if Marcus has subscribed his name.
This is true liberty, as I believe;

What farther can we from our caps receive,
Than as we please without control to live.


Since you have given us the ceremony of the cap, says Eugenius, I'll give you that of the wand, out of Claudian."

Te fastos ineunte quater, solennia ludit

Omnia libertas, deductum Vindice morem

Lex celebrat, famulusque jugo laxatus herili

Ducitur, et grato remeat securior ictu.

Tristis conditio pulsata fronte recedit :

In civem rubuere genæ, tergoque removit

Verbera promissi felix injuria voti. CLAUD. DE 4. Cons. Hon. The grato ictu and the felix injuria, says Cynthio, would have told us the name of the author, though you had said nothing of him. There is none of all the poets that delights so much in these pretty kinds of contradiction as Claudian. He loves to set his epithet at variance with its substantive,

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