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And first, although there were more things in nature, than words which did express them, yet even in these mute and silent discourses, to express complexed significations, they took a liberty to compound and piece together creatures of allowable forms into mixtures inexistent. Thus began the descriptions of griffins, basilisks, phonix, and many more ; which emblematists and heralds have entertained with signications answering their institutions ; hieroglyphically adding martegres, wivernes, lion-fishes, with divers others. Pieces of good and allowable invention unto the prudent spectator, but are looked on by vulgar eyes as literal truths or absurd impossibilities; whereas indeed they are commendable inventions, and of laudable significations.
Again, beside these pieces fictitiously set down, and having no copy in nature, they had many unquestionably drawn, of inconsequent signification, nor naturally verifying their intention. We shall instance but in few, as they stand recorded by Orus. The male sex they expressed by a vulture, because of vultures all are females, and impregnated by the wind; which authentically transmitted hath passed many pens, and became the assertion of Ælian, Ambrose, Basil, Isidore, Tzetzus, Philes, and others. Wherein notwithstanding what injury is offered unto the creation in this confine
and imperfect fragment of an extinct lan- be entertained till it has been proved ;guage, itself when living the remnant and it would be no easy matter to shew only of that elder form of speech which that many of the monsters enumerated, we are seeking to decypher ; but of were really Egyptian:....."Considerwhich, alas ! through so imperfect a me. ing how absurdly and monstrously comdium, but slight traces and lineaments plicated the Egyptian superstitions really can be here and there faintly reflected. were, it becomes absolutely essential to The article, EGYPT, in the Sup. to Ency. separate that which is most fully estabBrit. and HIEROGLYPHICKS, in Ency. lished, or most generally admitted, from Metrop. together with articles in the 45th the accidental or local varieties, which and 57th vols. of the Edinburgh Review, may have been exaggerated by different will give those disposed to go further into authors into established usages of the the subject a full and interesting view of whole nation, and still more from those all that has hitherto been effected in this which have been the fanciful productions most difficult, if not hopeless, field of of their own inventive faculties." - Dr. labour.
Young, EGYPT, Sup. Ency. Brit. iv, 43. But our author's special object in this The authors on whom Browne relies, chapter is to bring against the Egyptians especially Pierius, are by no means to be the twofold charge; first, of “describing received without the caution expressed in their hieroglyphicks creatures of their in the foregoing quotation. own inventions;" and secondly,of“ erect 4 the male sex, &c.] See Pierius, ing, from known and conceded animals, llieroglyphica, fol. 1626, lxxiii, c. 1, 4. significations not inferible from their Horapollo (4to. curá Pauw.) No. 12. natures." No charge, however, can fairly
ment of sex, and what disturbance unto philosophy in the concession of windy conceptions, we shall not here declare. By two drachms they thought it sufficient to signify an heart;s because the heart at one year weigheth two drachms, that is, a quarter of an ounce, and unto fifty years annually increaseth the weight of one drachm, after which in the same proportion it yearly decreaseth; so that the life of a man doch not naturally extend above an hundred. And this was not only a popular conceit, but consentaneous unto the physical principles, as Hernius hath accounted it.*
A woman that hath but one child, they express by a lioness; for that conceiveth but once. Fecundity they set forth by a goat, because but seven days old it beginneth to use coition.? The abortion of a woman they describe by an horse kicking a wolf; because a mare will cast her foal if she tread in the track of that animal. Deformity they signify by a bear, and an unstable man by a hyæna, because that animal yearly exchangeth its sex. A woman delivered of a female child they imply by a bull looking over his left
* In his Philosophia Barbarica.
• By two drachms, fc.] Pierius says for her young foale, she will never cease that the Egyptians used the vulture to hunting with open mouth till shee drive symbolize two drachms, or a heart: and him quite away: the wolfe avoyding the he gives other reasons for the adoption gripe of her teeth, as much as the stroke of the symbol, though he deems that of her heeles : and to make up the promentioned by Browne, the most proba- bability hereof, itt is certaine that a ble. (Ibid. l. xviii, c. 20.) Horapollo generous horse will fasten on a dog with says, they used the vulture to represent his teeth, as fell out anno 1653, in Octotwo drachms, because unity was expressed ber, at Bletchinden (Oxon) a colt being by two lines; and, unity being the begin- bated by a mastive (that was set on by ning of numbers, most fitly doth its sign his master to drive him out of a pasture) express a vulture, because, like unity, tooke up the dog in his teeth by the it is singly the author of its own increase. back, and rann away with him, and at (Ibid. No. 12.)
last flinging him over his head lefte the A woman, &c.] Pierius, lib. i, c. 14, dog soe bruised with the gripe and the Horapollo, No. 82.
fall, that hee lay half dead; but the geFecundity, fc.] Pierius, lib. x, c. 10, nerous colte leapt over the next hedge, Horapolls, No. 48.
and ran home to his own pasture unThe abortion, &c.] Pierius, lib. xi, burt.-Wr. c. 9, Horapollo, No. 45.
9 Deformity, 8c.] Pierius, l. xi, c. 42. Whether the tracke of the wolfe will Horapollo, No. 83, says, “ Hominem, cause abortion in a mare is hard to bee qui initio quidem informis natus sit, sed knowne : but the mare does soe little postea formam acceperit, innuunt defeare the wolfe, that (as I have heard itt picta ursa prægannte.” from the mouth of a gentleman, an eye an unstable, fc.] Pierius, l. xi, c. witness of what he related) as soone as 24, Horapollo, No. 69. shee perceaves the wolfe tó lye in watch
shoulder;. because if in coition a bull part from a cow on that side, the calf will prove a female.3
All which, with many more, how far they consent with truth we shall not disparage our reader to dispute ; and though some way allowable unto wiser conceits who could distinctly receive their significations, yet carrying the majesty of hieroglyphicks, and so transmitted by authors, they crept into a belief with many, and favourable doubt with most, And thus, I fear, it hath fared with the hieroglyphical symbols of Scripture ; which, excellently intended in the species of things sacrificed, in the prohibited meats, in the dreams of Pharaoh, Joseph, and many other passages, are ofttimes racked beyond their symbolizations, and enlarged into constructions disparaging their true intentions.*
? A woman, &c.] Pierius, l. iii, c. 6. ensigns. Felix, Prince of Salernum, had Horapollo, who adds also the converse of for his device a tortoise with wings, flythe proposition, No. 43.
ing, with this motto, amor addidit; inti3 female.] I have heard this avowed mating, that love gives wings to the by auncient grave farmers.-Wr. slowest spirits. Lewis of Anjou, King
intentions. ] Ross dispatches the of Naples, gave for his device, a hand 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th chap- out of the clouds, holding a pair of scales, ters in the following summary remarks: with this motto, Æqua durant semper.
“ In some subsequent chapters the Henry the First, of Portugal, had a flydoctor questions the pictures of St. Chris- ing horse for his device. A thousand topher carrying Christ over the river; of such conceits I could allege, which are St. George on horseback killing the dra- symbolical, and therefore it were ridicugon; of St. Jerom with a clock hanging lous to question them, if they were hisby; of mermaids, unicorns, and some torical. As for the cherubims, I find others ; with some hieroglyphick pictures four different opinions. 1. Some write of the Egyptians. In this he doth luc- they were angels in the form of birds. tari cum larvis, and with Æneas in the 2. Aben Ezra thinks the word cherub poet, Irruit et frustra ferro diverberat signifieth any shape or form. 3. Joseumbras. He wrestles with shadows : phus will have them to be winged anifor he may as well question all the po- mals, but never seen by any. 4. The etical fictions, all the sacred parables, all most received opinion is, that they had tropical speeches; also escutcheons, or the shape of children : for rub in Hecoats of arms, signs hanging out at doors brew, and rabe in Chaldee, signifieth a —where he will find blue boars, white child; and che, as : so then, cherub siglions, black swans, double-headed eagles, nifieth as a child, and it is most likely and such like, devised only for distinc- they were painted in this form." tion. The like devices are in military
Of the Picture of Haman Hanged.
In common draughts, Haman is hanged by the neck upon an high gibbet, after the usual and now practised way of suspension : but whether this description truly answereth the original, learned pens consent not, and good grounds there are to doubt. For it is not easily made out that this was an ancient way of execution in the public punishment of malefactors among the Persians, but we often read of crucifixion in their stories. So we find that Orostes, a Persian governor, crucified Polycrates the Samian tyrant. And hereof we have an example in the life of Artaxerxes, King of Persia, (whom some will have to be Ahasuerus in this story,) that his mother, Parysatis, flayed and crucified her eunuch. The same also seems implied in the letters patent of King Cyrus: Omnis qui hanc mutaverit jussionem, tollatur lignum de domo ejus, et erigatur, et configatur in eo.*
The same kind of punishment was in use among the Romans, Syrians, Egyptians, Carthaginians, and Grecians. For though we find in Homer that Ulysses in a fury hanged the strumpets of those who courted Penelope, yet is it not so easy to discover that this was the public practice or open course of justice among the Greeks.
And even that the Hebrews used this present way of hanging, by illaqueation or pendulous suffocation, in public justice and executions, the expressions and examples in Scripture conclude not, beyond good doubt.
That the King of Hai was hanged, or destroyed by the common way of suspension, is not conceded by the learned Masius in his comment upon that text; who conceiveth
* In Ezra vi.
Chup xxi.] The whole chapter first added in 6th edition.
thereby rather some kind of crucifixion, at least some patibulary affixion after he was slain, and so represented unto the people until toward the evening.
Though we read in our translation that Pharoah hanged the chief baker, yet learned expositors understand hereby some kind of crucifixion, according to the mode of Egypt, whereby he exemplarily hanged out till the fowls of the air fed on his head or face, the first part of their prey being the eyes. And perhaps according to the signal draught hereof in a very old manuscript of Genesis, now kept in the Emperor's library at Vienna, and accordingly set down by the learned Petrus Lambecius, in the second tome of the description of that library.
When the Gibeonites hanged the bodies of those of the house of Saul, thereby was intended some kind of crucifying, according unto good expositors, and the vulgar translation; crucifixerunt eos in monte coram domino. Nor only these, mentioned in Holy Scripture, but divers in human authors, said to have suffered by way of suspension or crucifixion might not perish by immediate crucifixion ;? but however otherwise destroyed, their bodies might be afterward appended or fastened unto some elevated engine, as exemplary objects unto the eyes of the people. So sometimes we read of the crucifixion of only some part, as of the heads of Juliaanus and Albinus, though their bodies were cast away. Besides, all crosses or engines of crucifixion were not of the ordinary figure, nor compounded of transverse pieces, which make out the name, but some were simple, and made of one arrectarium serving for affixion or infixion, either fastening or piercing through; and some kind of crucifixion is the setting of heads upon poles.
That legal text which seems to countenance the common
6 the Gibeonites, fc.] The Jews, as troduction, fc. part ii, ch. iii, $ iv. is just afterwards remarked, inflicted the nor only, fc.] This sentence is iniofamy (rather than punishment) of serted, in MS. SLOAN. 1827, instead of the hanging after death. And so might following: Many, both in Scripture these Gibeonites. But they were not Is- and human writers, might be said to be raelites, as Rev. T. H. Horne has observ- crucified, though they did not perish ed, but Canaanites, and probably retained immediately by crucifixion." their own laws. Sec his section on the cast away.) The succeeding sentence punishments mentioned in Scripture; In was added from Ms. SLOAN, 1827.