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would have her propitious to the marriage of Jason and Creusa. He mentions her by her qualities, and not by her name.
SEN. MED. act. i.
The description, says Eugenius, is a copy of the figure we have before us: and for the future, instead of any further note on this passage, I would have the reverse you have shown us stamped on the side of it. The interpreters of Seneca, says Philander, will understand the precedent verses as a description of Venus, though in my opinion there is only the first of them that can aptly relate to her, which at the same time agrees as well with Concord: and that this was a goddess who used to interest herself in marriages, we may see in the following description.
Jamdudum poste reclinis,
STATII EPITHALAMION. SILV. lib. i.
Already leaning at the door, too long
Peace1 differs as little in her dress as in her character from Concord. You may observe in both these figures, that the vest is gathered up before them, like an apron, which you must suppose filled with fruits as well as the cornu-copia. It is to this part of the dress that Tibullus alludes.
At nobis, Pax alma, veni, spicamque teneto,
Kind Peace, appear,
Prudentius has given us the same circumstance in his description of Avarice.
- Avaritia gremio præcincta capaci.
1 Fig. 4.
How proper the emblems of Plenty are to Peace, may be seen in the same poet.
Interea Pax arva colat, Pax candida primùm
Funderet ut nato testa paterna merum :
TIBUL. El. 10, lib. i.
She first, white Peace, the earth with ploughshares broke,
First reared the vine, and hoarded first with care
The father's vintage for his drunken heir.
The olive-branch in her hand is frequently touched upon in
the old poets as a token of peace.
Pace orare manu
VIRG. EN. 10.
Ingreditur, ramumque tenens popularis oliva. In his right hand an olive-branch he holds. -furorem Indomitum duramque viri deflectere mentem Pacifico sermone parant, hostemque propinquum Orant Cecropiæ prælatâ fronde Minervæ. To move his haughty soul they try Entreaties, and persuasion soft apply; Their brows Minerva's peaceful branches wear, And thus in gentlest terms they greet his ear. Which, by the way, one would think had been spoken rather of an Attila, or a Maximin, than Julius Cæsar.
You see Abundance or Plenty1 makes the same figure in medals as in Horace.
Luc. lib. iii.
-tibi copia Manabit ad plenum benigno Ruris honorum opulenta cornu.
HOR. lib. i. Od. 17.
Here to thee shall Plenty flow And all her riches show, To raise the honour of the quiet plain. The compliment on this reverse to Gordianus Pius is expressed in the same manner as that of Horace to Augustus.
Italiam pleno diffudit copia cornu. HOR. Epist. 12, lib. i.
Rich harvests freely scatters o'er our land. MR. CREECH.
But to return again to our virtues. You have here the
1 Fig. 5.
picture of Fidelity, who was worshipped as a goddess among the Romans.
Si tu oblitus es at Dii meminerunt, meminit Fides.
I should fancy, from the following verses of Virgil and Silius Italicus, that she was represented under the figure of an old woman.
Cana Fides, et Vesta, Remo cum fratre Quirinus
Then banished Faith shall once again return,
ad limina sanctæ
VIRG. EN. lib. i.
re Spes et albo rara Fides colit
He to the shrines of Faith his steps addrest,
There is a medal of Heliogabalus,2 inscribed Fides Exercitus, that receives a great light from the preceding verses. She is posted between two military ensigns, for the good quality that the poet ascribes to her, of preserving the public peace, by keeping the army true to its allegiance.
I fancy, says Eugenius, as you have discovered the age of this imaginary lady, from the description that the poets have made of her, you may find, too, the colour of the drapery that she wore in the old Roman paintings, from that verse in Horace,
Sure Hope and Friendship clothed in white,
SIL. IT. lib. ii.
2 Fig. 7.
HOR. Od. 35, lib. i.
One would think says Philander, by this verse, that Hope and Fidelity had both the same kind of dress. It is certain Hope might have a fair pretence to white, in allusion to those that were candidates for an employ.1
-quem ducit hiantem
PERS. Sat. 5.
And how properly the epithet of rara agrees with her, you may see in the transparency of the next figure. She is here dressed in such a kind of vest as the Latins call a multicium, from the fineness of its tissue. Your Roman beaus had their summer toga of such a light airy make.
Quem tenues decuere toga nitidique capilli. HOR. Ep. 14, lib. i.
Curled powdered locks, a fine and gaudy gown. MR. CREECH. I remember, says Cynthio, Juvenal rallies Creticus, that was otherwise a brave, rough fellow, very handsomely, on this kind of garment.
Cretice? et hanc vestem populo mirante perores
Juv. Sat. 2.
Acer et indomitus Libertatisque magister,
Juv. Sat. 2.
Nor, vain Metellus, shall
Canst thou restore old manners, or retrench
But pray what is the meaning that this transparent lady holds up her train in her left hand? for I find your women on medals do nothing without a meaning. Besides, I suppose there is a moral precept at least couched under the figure she holds in her other hand. She draws back her garment, says Philander, that it may not encumber her in her march. For she is always drawn in a posture of walking, it being as natural for Hope to press forward to her proper objects, as for Fear to fly from them.
Employ.] For "employment;" as before, "salute," for "salutation." This way of turning a verb into a substantive, has a grace in poetry, which it has not in prose.
Ut canis in vacuo leporem cum Gallicus arvo
But he more swiftly, who was urged by Love. MR. DRYDEN. This beautiful similitude is, I think, the prettiest emblem in the world of Hope and Fear in extremity. A flower or blossom that you see in the right hand is a proper ornament for Hope, since they are these that we term, in poetical language, the hopes of the year.
Vere novo, tunc herba nitens, et roboris expers
The green stem grows in stature and in size,
The same poet in his De Fastis, speaking of the vine in flower, expresses it,
In spe vitis erat
OV. DE FAST. lib. v.
The next on the list is a lady of a contrary character,1 and therefore in a quite different posture. As Security is free from all pursuits, she is represented leaning carelessly on a pillar. Horace has drawn a pretty metaphor from this posture.
Nullum me a labore reclinat otium.
No ease doth lay me down from pain. MR. CREECH.
She rests herself on a pillar, for the same reason as the poets often compare an obstinate resolution, or a great firmness of mind, to a rock that is not to be moved by all the assaults of winds or waves.
1 Fig. 9.