Зображення сторінки

disputably certain what manner of death she died.9 Plutarch, in the life of Anthony, plainly delivereth, that no man knew the manner of her death; for some affirmed she perished by poison, which she always carried in a little hollow comb, and wore it in her hair. Beside, there were never any asps discovered in the place of her death, although two of her maids perished also with her; only it was said, two small and almost insensible pricks were found upon her arm; which was all the ground that Cæsar had to presume the manner of

whims of sculptors both ancient and mo- ple, and restored to Rome on the return dern, resembling the knobhead aud pout- of his successors to the ancient seat of ing mouth of the dolphin. While wri- government. Among the very many thing, it seems as if preparing to give things in and relating to art, this picture a second bite ; two minute indents of was overlooked, and remained in the the fangs were imprinted on the inside deep dark recesses of the wine cellar. of the left breast, and a drop or two The Chevalier Micheli carried it back to of blood flowed. Cleopatra was looking Italy, when he left England, about two upwards; a shuddering expression from years ago. What has become of it since quivering lips, and heavy tears falling i know not. down her cheeks, gave the countenance “ The title of the print is as follows: a singular effect; her right hand was - Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. The falling from the wrist as if life were de- original of which this present plate is a parting and convulsion commencing. The faithful representation, is the only known composition of the figure was erect and and hitherto discovered specimen of anjudiciously disposed for the confined space cient Greek painting. It has given rise it was placed in. The proportion of the to the most learned enquiries both in picture was about two feet nine inches, Italy and France, and been universally and narrow, like that sized canvass which admitted by cognoscenti, assisted by acartists in England call a kitcat. On de- tual analysis of the colours, to be an composing the colours, the learned men encaustic painting. The picture is atof Florence and of Paris were fully per- tributed to Timomachus, and supposed suaded that it was an encaustic painting; to have been painted by him for his wax and a resinous gum were distinctly friend and patron, Augustus Cæsar, 33 separated. The whole picture presented years before Christ, to adorn the triumph the strongest signs of antiquity; but that celebrated his Egyptian victories whether it is a real antique, remains still over Anthony and Cleopatra, as a substia doubt on many minds. It was attri- tute for the beautiful original, of whom buted to Timomachus, an artist of great he was disappointed by the heroic death eminence and a traveller, who lived at she inflicted on herself. This plate is the court of Augustus Cæsar. He fol- dedicated to the virtuosi and lovers of lowed the encaustic style of Apelles, and refined art in the British empire by the with him died or faded away that diffi- author, who is also the possessor of this cult art. The picture was painted (as is inestimable relic of Grecian art.' surmised) by the above-named Greek I remain your very obedient servant, artist, from memory (for he had seen

R. R. REINAGLE." Cleopatra often,) to supply her place in " To Mr. S. Wilkin." the triumph of Augustus, when he cele 9 the thing itself, fc.] The painters brated his Egyptian victories over An- have however this justification, that they thony and Cleopatra. She, by her des- follow authorities. “Cæsar, from the perate resolution, deprived him of the two small pricks presumed the manner honour of exposing her person to the of her death.” Suetonius and Eutrogaze of the Roman people. The picture pius mention one asp; Horace, Virgil, was said to have been taken, as a pre- Florus, and Propertius, two.-Ross and cious relic of art, by Constantine to By- Jeff zantium, afterwards named Constantino

her death. Galen, who was contemporary unto Plutarch, delivereth two ways of her death; that she killed herself by the bite of an asp, or bit an hole in her arm and poured poison therein. Strabo, that lived before them both, hath also two opinions; that she died by the bite of an asp, or else a poisonous ointment.

We might question the length of the asps, which are sometimes described exceeding short; whereas the chersæa, or land-asp, which most conceive she used, is above four cubits long. Their number is not unquestionable; for whereas there are generally two described, Augustus (as Plutarch relateth) did carry in his triumph the image of Cleopatra, but with one asp unto her arm. As for the two pricks, or little spots in her arm, they infer not their plurality; for like the viper the asp hath two teeth, whereby it left this impression, or double puncture behind it.

And lastly, we might question the place; for some apply them unto her breast, which notwithstanding will not consist with the history, and Petrus Victorius hath well observed the same. But herein the mistake was easy, it being the custom in capital malefactors to apply them unto the breast; as the author De Theriaca ad Pisonem, an eye-witness hereof in Alexandria, where Cleopatra died, determineth; "I beheld," saith he,“ in Alexandria, how suddenly these serpents bereave a man of life; for when any one is condemned to this kind of death, if they intend to use him favourably, that is, to dispatch him suddenly, they fasten an asp unto his breast, and bidding him walk about, he presently perisheth thereby."


Of the Pictures of the Nine Worthies.

The pictures of the nine worthies à are not unquestionable, and to critical spectators may seem to contain sundry improprieties. Some will enquire why Alexander the Great is described upon an elephant : 2 for we do not find he used that animal in his armies, much less in his own person; but his horse is famous in history, and its name alive to this day.3 Beside, he fought but one remarkable battle wherein there were any elephants, and that was with Porus, king of India, in which notwithstanding, as Curtius, Arrianus, and Plutarch report, he was on horseback himself. And if because he fought against elephants he is with propriety set upon their backs, with no less (or greater) reason is the same description agreeable unto Judas Maccabeus, as may be observed from the history of the Maccabees, and also unto Julius Cæsar, whose triumph was honoured with captive elephants, as may be observed in the order thereof set forth by Jacobus Laurus. And if also we should admit this description upon an elephant, yet were not the manner thereof unquestionable, that is, in his ruling the beast alone; for beside the champion upon their back, there was also a guide

* In Splendore Urbis Antiqua. the nine worthies,] Namely, Joshua, 'Aléfavogos ó aios adv alavra Gideon, Sampson, David, Judas Macca- jnów; for he gave to this elephant the bæus, Alexander the Great, Julius Cæ

name of Ajax, and the inhabitants so sar, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of Bou- honoured this beast, that they beset him logne.

round with garlands and ribbons.- ArSome will enquire, &c.] Ross suggests that “this picture hath reference

3 but his horse, &c.] There is an to that story of the elephant in Philos- engraving of Alexander on Bucephalus, tratus (lib. i, c. 61,) which from Alex from an antique statue, without stirrups, ander to Tiberius, lived three hundred in the Youth's Magazine, for May, 1820. and fifty years. This huge elephant, Alexander, after he had overcome Porus,

- Jeff dedicated to the sun, in these words,


cana, p. 160.

or ruler which sat more forward to command or guide the beast. Thus did King Porus ride when he was overthrown by Alexander; and thus are also the towered elephants described, Maccabees ii, 6. Upon the beasts there were strong towers of wood, which covered every one of them, and were girt fast unto them by devices; there were also upon every one of them thirty-two strong men, beside the Indian that ruled them.

Others will demand, not only why Alexander upon an elephant, but Hector upon an horse; whereas his manner of fighting, or presenting himself in battle, was in a chariot,5 as did the other noble Trojans, who, as Pliny affirmeth, were the first inventors thereof. The same way of fight is testified by Diodorus, and thus delivered by Sir Walter Raleigh. “Of the vulgar, little reckoning was made, for they fought all on foot, slightly armed, and commonly followed the success of their captains, who rode not upon horses, but in chariots drawn by two or three horses." And this was also the ancient way of fight among the Britons, as is delivered by Diodorus, Cæsar, and Tacitus; and there want not some who have taken advantage hereof, and made it one argument of their original from Troy.

Lastly, by any man versed in antiquity, the question can hardly be avoided, why the horses of these worthies, especially of Cæsar, are described with the furniture of great saddles and stirrups; for saddles, largely taken, though some defence there may be, yet that they had not the use of stirrups, seemeth of lesser doubt; as Pancirollus hath observed, as Polydore Virgil and Petrus Victorius have confirmed, expressly discoursing hereon; as is observable from Pliny, and cannot escape our eyes in the ancient monuments, medals,

* De Inventione Rerum, Variæ Lectiones.


upon the beasts.] Yf wee reckon chariot.] The use of chariots and (in but 30015 weight for every man and his warr) of iron, and in private travayle of armour and weapons (which is the low- lighter substance is as olde as Jacob, as cst proportion) and allowing for the tower appeares Gen. xlv, 27. And in Gen. and harnessing, but 5 or 60015 more, the xiv, 7, the text sayes, that Pharoah had burthen of each elephant cannot be esteem- in his army 600 chosen chariots, besides ed less than 10,100lb weight; which is a all the chariots of Ægypt. Now the thing almost incredible: for 4,000ih or former of these two storyes was 500 5,00015 is the greatest loade that 8 or 10 yeares before the Trojan war, and the strong horse are usually put to drawe.-Wr. later 300.-Nr.

and triumphant arches of the Romans. Nor is there any ancient classical word in Latin to express them. For staphia, stapes, or stapeda, is not to be found in authors of this antiquity. And divers words which may be urged of this signification, are either later, or signified not thus much in the time of Cæsar. And therefore, as Lipsius observeth, lest a thing of common use should want a common word, Franciscus Philelphus named them stapedas, and Bodinus Subiecus, pedanos. And whereas the name might promise some antiquity, because among the three small bones in the auditory organ, by physicians termed incus, malleus, and stapes, one thereof from some resemblance doth bear this name; these bones were not observed, much less named by Hippocrates, Galen, or any ancient physician. But as Laurentius observeth, concerning the invention of the stapes or stirrup-bone, there is some contention between Columbus and Ingrassias; the one of Sicilia, the other of Cremona, and both within the compass of this century.

The same is also deducible from very approved authors. Polybius, speaking of the way which Annibal marched into Italy, useth the word B&Bnuáriotas, that is, saith Petrus

Victorius, it was stored with devices for men to get upon their horses, which assents were termed bemata, and in the life of Caius Gracchus, Plutarch expresseth as much. For endeavouring to ingratiate himself with the people, besides the placing of stones at every mile's end, he made at nearer distances certain elevated places and scalary ascents, that by the help thereof they might with better ease ascend or mount their horses. Now if we demand how cavaliers, then destitute of stirrups, did usually mount their horses, as Lipsius informeth, the unable and softer sort of men had their åvaBoxcīs, or stratores, which helped them upon horseback, as in the practice of Crassus, in Plutarch, and Caracalla, in Spartianus, and the later example of Valentinianus, who because his horse rose before, that he could not be settled on his back, cut off the right hand of his strator. But how the active and hardy persons mounted, Vegetius * resolves us, that they used to

De re Milit,



« НазадПродовжити »