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8. That King Ahasuerus feasted apart from the queen, is confirmable from Scripture account. Whether the queen were present at the fatal feast of Belshazzar seems of greater doubt; forasmuch as it is said in the text, that, upon the fright and consternation of the king, when none of the Chaldeans could read the hand-writing on the wall, the queen came in, and recommended Daniel unto him. But if it be only meant and understood of the queen-mother, the draught may hold, and the licentia pictoria not culpable in that notable piece of Tintoret or Bassano describing the feast of Bel. shazzar, wherein the queen is placed at the table with the king.
9. Though some hands have failed, yet the draught of St. Peter in the prison is properly designed by Rubens, sleeping between two soldiers, and a chain on each arm; and so illustrateth the text, that is, with two chains fastened unto his arms, and the one arm of each of the soldiers, according to the custom of those times, to fasten the prisoner unto his guard or keeper; and after which manner St. Paul is conceived to have had the liberty of going about Rome.
10. In the picture of our Saviour sleeping in the ship, while in many draughts he is placed not far from the middle, or in the prow of the vessel, it is a variation from the text, which distinctly saith" at the poop,” which being the highest part, was freest from the billows. Again, in some pieces he is made sleeping with his head hanging down; in others, on his elbow; which amounteth not unto the textual expression, “upon a pillow," or some soft support, or at least, (as some conceive that emphatical expression may imply,) some part of the ship convenient to lean down the head. Besides, this picture might properly take in the concurrent account of the Scripture, and not describe a single ship, since the same delivereth that there went off other navicula, or small vessels with it.
11. Whilst the text delivereth that the tempter placed our Saviour (as we read it) upon the pinnacle of the temple, some draughts do place him upon the point of the highest turrets; which, notwithstanding, Josephus describeth to have been made so sharp that birds might not light upon them; and the
word reguyov signifying a pinna, or some projecture of the building, it may probably be conceived to have been some plain place or jetty, from whence he might well cast himself down upon the ground, not falling upon any part of the temple; if there were no wing or prominent part of the building peculiarly called by that name.
12. That piece of the three children in the fiery furnace, in several draughts, doth not conform unto the historical accounts : while in some they are described naked and bareheaded ; and in others with improper coverings on their heads. Whereas the contrary is delivered in the text, under all learned languages, and also by our own, with some expositions in the margin: not naked in their bodies, (according to their figure in the Roma Sotterranea of Bosio, among the sepulchral figures in the monument of St. Priscilla,) but having a loose habit, after the Persian mode, upon them, whereby it might be said that their garments did not so much as smell of the fire; nor bare on their beads, as described in the first chamber of the cemetery of Priscilla, but having on it a tiara, or cap, after the Persian fashion, made somewhat reclining or falling agreeable unto the third table of the fifth cemetery, and the mode of the Persian subjects; not a peaked, acuminated, and erected cap, proper unto their kings, as is set down in the medal of Antoninus, with the reverse, Armenin. A standard direction for this piece might probably be that ancient description set down in the calendar used by the Emperor Basilius Porphyrogenitus, and by Pope Paul the Fifth, given unto the Vatican, where it is yet conserved.8
of a portico.
6 the word, fc.] Unquestionably it ther be made to our author's collection of could not have been any thing like a pictorial inaccuracies, if such were fairly turret or pinnacle. Some commentators within our province. It may be allowed (Le Clerc) consider it a projecting por to us, at least, to give one or two referention of the building outside the parapet. ces to such additions. John Interian de Others (Rosenmüller) call it the flat roof Avala, a Spanish Monk, who died at
Madrid, in 1770, published a work on Roma, fc.) Jacques Bosio, Roma Sol- the errors of painters in representing reterranea ; left imperfect by him, but pub- ligious subjects ; it is entitled Pictor lished by his executor, Aldrovandini, fol. Christianus Eruditus, fol. 1720. 1632; since translated into Latin, and In the European Magazine, for 1786, reprinted several times, with additions. vol. ix, p. 241, is noticed a very curious
work, (little known) by M. Phil. Rohr, * Numerous additions might yet fur- entitled Pictor Errans, which was aVOL. III.
Compendiously of many popular Customs, Opinions, fc. viz.
of an Hare crossing the High-way; of the ominous appearing of Owls and Ravens; of the falling of Salt; of breaking the Egg-shell; of the True Lovers' Knot ; of the Cheek Burning or Ear Tingling; of speaking under the Rose; of Smoke following the fair; of Sitting crosslegged; of hair upon Moles ; of the set time of paring of Nails; of Lions' heads upon Spouts and Cisterns; of the saying, Ungirt, Unblest ; of the Sun dancing on Easter-day; of the Silly-how ; of being Drunk once a
Month ; of the appearing of the Devil with a Cloven hoof. If an hare cross the high-way,8 there are few above threescore years that are not perplexed thereat; which notwithstanding is but an augurial terror, according to that received expression, Inauspicatum dat iter oblatus lepus. And the ground of the conceit was probably no greater than this, that a fearful animal passing by us, portended unto us something to be feared : as upon the like consideration, the meeting of a fox presaged some future imposture; which was a superstitious observation prohibited unto the Jews, as is expressed in the idolatry of Maimonides, and is referred unto the sin of an observer of fortunes, or one that abuseth events unto good or bad signs; forbidden by the law of Moses; which notwithstanding sometimes succeeding, according to fears or desires, have left impressions and timorous expectations in credulous minds for ever.
bridged by Mr. W. Bowyer. Mr. Sin. Nlustrations which are constantly issuing ger, in his Anecdotes of Spence, and Mr. from the hands of our artists, with the D'Israeli, in his Curiosities of Literature, works they are intended to illustrate, in have given some very amusing collecta- order to be frequently reminded of the nea of the kind. In the Monthly Ma- proverbial conclusion of the whole matgazine for 1812, are noticed several ter ;--"it is even as pleaseth the painter." singular absurdities in costume; and 8 hare.] When a hare crosseth us, undoubtedly many other such examples wee thinke itt ill lucke shee should soe would reward a diligent forage through neerely escape us, and we had not a dog our numerous periodical publications : - as neere to catch her.--Wr. but it is only requisite to compare the
2. That owls and ravens are ominous appearers,
presignifying unlucky events, as Christians yet conceit, was also an augurial conception. Because many ravens were seen when Alexander entered Babylon, they were thought to preominate his death; and because an owl appeared before the battle, it presaged the ruin of Crassus. Which, though decrepit superstitions, and such as had their nativity in times beyond all history, are fresh in the observation of many heads, and by the credulous and feminine party still in some majesty among us.
And therefore the emblem of superstition was well set out by Ripa,* in the picture of an owl, an hare, and an old woman. And it no way confirmeth the augurial consideration, that an owl is a forbidden food in the law of Moses; or that Jerusalem was threatened by the raven and the owl, in that expression of Isa. xxxiv; that it should be “a court for owls, that the cormorant and the bittern should possess it, and the owl and the raven dwell in it;" for thereby was only implied their ensuing desolation, as is expounded in the words succeding; “He shall draw upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness."
• Iconologia de Casare.
ravens] The raven by his accute place here. “ Plinie writeth that if, sense of smelling, discernes the savour when you first hear the cuckoo, you of the dying bodyes at the tops of chim- mark well where your right foot standnies, and that makes them flutter about eth, and take up of that earth, the the windows, as they use to doe in the fleas will by no means breed, either in searche of a carcasse. Now bycause your house or chamber, where any of whereever they doe this, itt is an evident the same earth is thrown or scattered !" signe that the sick party seldome escapes Hill's Natural and Artificial Conclusions, deathe : thence ignorant people counte 1650. In the North, and perhaps all them ominous, as foreboding deathe, and over England, it is vulgarly accounted in some kind as causing deathe, whereof an unlucky omen, if you have no money they have a sense indeed, but are noe in your pocket, when you hear the cause at all. Of owles there is not the cuckoo for the first time in a season. same opinion, especially in country-men, Queen Bee, ii, 20.—Jeff. who thinke as well of them in the barne It would perhaps be rather difficult to as of the cat in the house : but in great say under what circumstances most peocityes where they are not frequent, their ple would not consider such a state of shriking and horrid note in the night is pocket an “unlucky omen.' offensive to women and children, and It is a still more common popular disuch as are weake or sicklye.---Wr. vination, for those who are unmarried to
On the owl, as an ominous bird, see count the number of years yet allotted to The Queen Bee, ii, 22.-Jeff.
them of single blessedness, by the numWith the Parthians ber of the cuckoo's notes which they near Charræ.
count when first they hear it in the emptiness. ] It is rather singular spring. that the cuckoo is not honoured with a
I the battle,]
3. The falling of salt is an authentic presagement of illluck, nor can every temper contemn it; from whence not withstanding nothing can be naturally feared; nor was the same a general prognostick of future evil among the ancients, but a particular omination concerning the breach of friendship. For salt,* as incorruptible, was the symbol of friendship, and, before the other service, was offered unto their guests; which, if it casually fell, was accounted ominous, and their amity of no duration. But whether salt” were not only a symbol of friendship with man, but also a figure of amity and reconciliation with God, and was therefore observed in sacrifices, is an higher speculation.
4. To break the egg-shell after the meat is out, we are taught in our childhood, and practise it all our lives; which nevertheless is but a superstitious relique, according to the judgment of Pliny; Huc pertinet ovorum, ut exsorbuerit quisque calices protinus frangi, aut eosdem cochlearibus perforari; and the intent hereof was to prevent witchcraft;" for lest witches8 should draw or prick their names herein, and vene
salt] Where salt is deare, 'tis as ill 6 also a figure] In the first vol. of caste on the ground as bread. And soe Blackwood's Magazine will be found a itt is in France, where they pay for every paper on the symbolical uses of salt, bushel 40s. to the king; and cannot p. 579. In the same volume also occur have itt elsewhere : and soe when a glass several papers on the use made formerly is spilt 'tis ill lucke to loose a good cup of the salt-cellar (which was often large, of wine.—Wr.
ornamented and valuable, and placed 4 For salt, &c.] The hospitality most in the centre of the table) as a point of liberally shown by Mr. Ackerman of the separation between guests of higher and Strand, to the Cossack veteran, Alexan- lower degree.- To drink below the salt der Zemlenuten, in 1815, was highly was a condescension; to attain a seat above estimated by the stranger, who in de- it, an object of ambition.-See Bishop scribing his generous reception used the Hall's Satires, No. vi, b. 28. exclamation, "He gave me bread and Among the regalia used at the king's SALT." This is mentioned in the 41st coronation, is the salt of state, to be vol. of the Monthly Magazine—and il- placed in the centre of the dinner table, lustrated by a sketch of the opinions and in the form of a castle with towers, feelings of the ancients respecting this richly embellished with various coloured "incorruptible symbol of friendship.” stones, elegantly chased, and of silver, Leonardo da Vinci, in his picture of the richly gilt. This, it is said, was presenlast supper, has represented Judas Is- ted to King Charles II. by the City of cariot as having overturned the salt. Exeter.- Jeff Jeft.
7 to prevent witchcraft.] “ To keep Capt. M'Leod, in his voyage of the the fairies out," as they say in CumberAlceste, says that in an near the land.—Jeff. straits of Gaspar, “salt was received 8 lest witches] Least they percbance with the same horror as arsenic."
might use them for boates (as they 5 But whether salt, &c.] First added thought) to sayle in by night. -Wr. in 2nd edition,