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Church was very sure to furnish the subject, and the order of Cordeliers was selected by the painter.
Erasmus treats the doctors of the Sorbonne and their sophistry with very little reserve. Among other imputations, he says, Theologicæ scientiæ laudem, omnibus prope summotis, sibi peculiariter arrogant.”
PASSAGE FROM SALLUST.
Postremo, corporis et fortunæ bonorum, ut initium, finis est ; omnia orta occidunt, et aucta senescunt: animus incorruptus, æternus, rector humani generis, agit atque habet cuncta, neque ipse habetur.” — Jugurth. cap. 2.
This is a noble common-place, and at the same time a fine and favourable specimen of the author's manner. Habet here bears the same sense as in the following passage of Ovid:
Cum mihi, qui fulmen, qui vos habeoque regoque,
MISCELLANEOUS PASSAGES FROM PLINY. THE
« Eorum medius Sol fertur, amplissima magnitudine ac potestate : nec temporum modo terrarumque, sed siderum etiam ipsorum, cælique rector. Hunc mundi esse totius animum, ac planius mentem: hunc principale naturæ regimen, ac numen credere decet, opera ejus æstimantés. Hic lucem rebus ministrat, aufertque tenebras : hic reliqua sidera occultat, illustrat: hic vices temporum, annumque semper renascentem ex usu naturæ temperat: hic cæli tristitiam discutit, atque etiam humani nubila animi serenat: hic suum lumen ceteris quoque sideribus fenerat. Præclarus, eximius, omnia intuens, omnia etiam exaudiens, ut principi literarum Homero placuisse in uno eo video.” — Hist. Nat. lib. ii. cap. 6. This description of the sun, as the great vivifying principle of material nature, is diffuse, but extremely fine. In some respects, it bears a considerable resemblance to the passage in the last article, where Sallust represents the mind as incorruptible and eternal, the mover of the human frame, and the governor of human actions.
“Ovium summa genera duo, tectum et colonicum : illud mollius, hoc in pascuo delicatius, quippe cum tectum rubis vescatur.” Lib. ii. cap. 47. The first kind had the wool soft, curly, and short. The last had it long, thick, and shaggy. The former were called tectæ oves, because their carcases were carefully covered to preserve the beauty of their fleeces. We find, therefore, that the modern practice among fashionable breeders and agricul-tural dandies, of dressing their sheep in jackets, is only the revival of an ancient custom: so true is it, that there is nothing new under the sun. The latter were denominated oves colonicæ, because they were left to take their chance in the pastures, with no better coat than what Nature in her tailor capacity had provided for them. Yet, clownish as they were, they had some advantage over their genteeler brethren: for the ancients had again anticipated us in the notable discovery and important maxim, that, as food, the hardiest sheep make the best mutton,
“Quod alii Orionis, alii Oti fuisse arbitrantur.”
Lib vii. cap. 16. These are the names of fabulous giants. There is another reading: Quod alii Orionis, alii Etionis, fc. But the most correct editions retain Oti. The black letter editions of Pliny write this latter name Othus : but the proper orthography is Otus. Two historical giants are mentioned by this author, as having appeared in the time of Augustus: -“Pusioni et Secundillæ erant nomina."
Leontium, a courtesan, no very dignified antagonist to an eloquent philosopher, is alluded to by Pliny in the preface to his Natural History, as the woman who wrote against Theophrastus, and gave rise to the proverbial expression in the fol
lowing passage :-“Ceu vero nesciam, adversus Theophrastum hominem in eloquentia tantum, ut nomen divinum inde invenerit, scripsisse etiam feminam, et proverbium inde natum, suspendio arborem eligendi. Non queo mihi temperare, quominus ad hoc pertinentia ipsa censorii Catonis verba ponam : ut inde appareat, etiam Catoni de Militari disciplina commentanti, qui sub Africano, immo vero et sub Annibale didicisset militare, et ne Africanum quidem ferre potuisset, qui imperator triumphum reportasset, paratos fuisse istos, qui obtrectatione alienæ scientiæ famam sibi aucupantur.” Cicero also mentions Leontium as writing against Theophrastus; Epicurus, Metrodorus, and Hermachus against Pythagoras, Plato, and Empedocles. Vegetius speaks of Cato's treatise on military discipline. Livy imputes to Cato an unworthy jealousy of Scipio Africanus, and Pliny here acquaints us that he experienced retaliation in an invidious attack on himself as a writer on military subjects.
The credulity of the ancient compilers of natural history was extreme. What are we to think of Pliny opening the twenty-fifth chapter of his ninth book with such gossips' tales as these ?
6 Est parvus admodum piscis adsuetus petris, echeneis appellatus : hoc carinis adhærente naves tardius ire creduntur, inde nomine imposito: quam ob causam amatoriis quoque veneficiis infamis est, et judiciorum ac litium mora; quæ crimina una laude pensat, fluxus gravidarum utero sistens, partusque continens ad puerperium.”
The following description of cups, fragile in their texture, in the preface to book xxxiii., goes very nearly to represent our modern china: