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A third from stoné trough, whence the swine us'd
to guttle, Pretends to discover, with acumen subtle, Sarcophagus fam'd of the great Grecian youth, (b) Who whimper'd for more worlds to conquer, in sooth;
(6) It is to antiquarians in a body we must fly to acquire a knowledge of this walk of literature; wherefore, the Somersethouse society, dedicated to the pursuits in question, is perhaps the best criterion to go by; and to judge of their infallibility, from the labours they have produced, would, I much fear, place their acumen in a very dubious point of view. I shall not here lay any stress upon the hoax played off some years back, by the late commentator Steevens, nor shock their nerves by recording all which was said and written upon the subject by the society's then oracle, Mr. Pegg; it is sufficient to hint, that events of this nature are known to have taken place, whereby the whole body was gulled; and from thence we may infer how easy a matter it is to dupe those who rank as wisest in this dubious walk of literature. As the Sarcophagus of Alexander is mentioned by Sir Scribblecumdash, I cannot refrain from stating, that I have perused, with no small degree of mirthful feeling, the pros and cons that have been committed to the press respecting the Egyptian stone relic deposited in
While a fourth to his fellows demonstrates with pride,
the British Museum; which, with all due deference to the sticklers, who affirm the same to have been the tomb of Alexander, I no more conceive from tradition, and particularly external decorations, contained that prince's body, than it was originally intended to receive the remains of your humble servant. I am not much versed in Egyptian hieroglyphics, it is true, but I am not quite so blind as to mistake what was due to the idols of Egypt, and what would have been the decorations of a sarcophagus sculptured to receive the body of a sovereign of Greece.
(c) As I should be extremely sorry to involve any individual
Thus 'reft of Erugo a statue itself,
in disgrace, I will withhold the names of the parties concerned in the ensuing anecdote, which may be relied upon as matter of fact.
A living nobleman, of high celebrity, was in possession of a very valuable antique ring, the setting of which did not meet his approbation, and it was in consequence placed in his jeweller's hands for alteration; unfortunately, however, one of the family inspecting the stone, dropped the gem upon the hearth, and the antique was brokey into several pieces. In this dilemma, what course was to be pursued? The artizan knew the veneration in which the ring was held by the nobleman in question, and how essential it was for his interest not to forfeit his custom : thus critically circumstanced, he repaired to his engraver, who undertook to procure a similar stone, and execute an exact imitation of the antique, which in the course of a week was completed, and, upou being set, delivered to its present noble owner, who not only believes himself that he possesses his original antique, but, when displayed to the best judges, no doubt is ever entertained of its validity. As any comment would
Since the sterling criterions are green and blue mould, So an antique without 'em, by G-d, is not old.
be superfluous, I shall leave the reader to judge of the antiquarian's depth of discernment, and whether or not a modern may be found to equal many boasted labours of the Greek and Roman artists.