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flock of Proteus, seems to be no other than the ser-cropped before its time. Nay, the prime of life eneral kinds of animals, plants, and minerals, in which joyed to the full, or even to a degree of envy, does matter appears to diffuse and spend itself; so that not assuage or moderate the grief occasioned by the after having formed these several species, and as it untimely death of such hopeful youths; but lamenwere finished its task, it seems to sleep and repose, tations and bewailings fly, like mournful birds, about without otherwise attempting to produce any new their tombs, for a long while after; especially upon ones. And this is the moral of Proteus's counting all fresh occasions, new commotions, and the beginhis herd, then going to sleep.
ning of great actions, the passionate desire of them This is said to be done at noon, not in the morning | is renewed, as by the sun's morning rays. or evening; by which is meant the time best fitted and disposed for the production of species, from a matter duly prepared, and made ready beforehand,
XV.-TYTHONUS, OR SATIETY. and now lying in a middle state, between its first rudiments and decline; which, we learn from sacred EXPLAINED OF PREDOMINANT PASSIONS. history, was the case at the time of the creation ;
It is elegantly fabled by Tythonus, that being exwhen, by the efficacy of the divine command, matter
ceedingly beloved by Aurora, she petitioned Jupiter directly came together, without any transformation
that he might prove immortal, thereby to secure heror intermediate changes, which it affects, instantly
self the everlasting enjoyment of his company; but obeyed the order, and appeared in the form of crea
through female inadvertence she forgot to add, that tures. .
he might never grow old; so that, though he proved And thus far the fable reaches of Proteus, and his
immortal, he became miserably worn and consumed flock, at liberty and unrestrained. For the universe, with age 'insomnch that
| with age, insomuch that Jupiter, out of pity, at length with the common structures and fabrics of the crea
transformed him to a grasshopper. tures, is the face of matter, not under constraint, or
| EXPLANATION.—This fable seems to contain an as the flock wrought upon and tortured by human ingenious description of pleasure; which at first, means. But if any skilful minister of nature shall as it were in the morning of the day, is so welcome, apply force to matter, and by design torture and vex that men pray to have it everlasting, but forget that it, in order to its annihilation, it, on the contrary, satiety and weariness of it will. like old age over. being brought under this necessity, changes and take them, though they think not of it; so that at transforms itself into a strange variety of shapes and
| length, when their appetite for pleasurable actions is appearances; for nothing but the power of the
gone, their desires and affections often continue; Creator can annihilate, or truly destroy it; so that
whence we commonly find that aged persons delight at length, running through the whole circle of trans
themselves with the discourse and remembrance of formations, and completing its period, it in some de
the things agreeable to them in their better days. gree restores itself, if the force be continued. And
This is very remarkable in men of a loose, and men that method of binding, torturing, or detaining, will of
ing, Will of a military life; the former whereof are always prove the most effectual and expeditious, which falling ove
talking over their amours, and the latter the exploits makes use of manacles and fetters; that is, lays hold of their youth ; like grasshoppers, that show their and works upon matter in the extremest degrees.
vigor only by their chirping. The addition in the fable that makes Proteus a prophet, who had the knowledge of things past, present, and future, excellently agrees with the nature
XVI.-JUNO'S SUITOR, OR BASENESS. of matter; as he who knows the properties, the changes, and the processes of matter, must of neces EXPLAINED OF SUBMISSION AND ABJECTION. sity understand the effects and sum of what it does, has done, or can do, though his knowledge extends
THE poets tell us, that Jupiter, to carry on his not to all the parts and particulars thereot.
love-intrigues, assumed many different shapes; as of a bull, an eagle, a swan, a golden shower, etc.; but when he attempted Juno, he turned himself into the
most ignoble and ridiculous creature,-even that of a XIV.-MEMNON, OR A YOUTH TOO FORWARD.
wretched, wet, weather-beaten, affrighted, trembling,
and half-starved cuckoo. EXPLAINED OF THE FATAL PRECIPITANCY OF EXPLANATION.-This is a wise fable, and drawn YOUTH.
from the very entrails of morality. The moral is, THE poets made Memnon the son of Aurora, and
that men should not be conceited of themselves, and brought him to the Trojan war in beautiful armor, and
imagine that a discovery of their excellencies will flushed with popular praise; where, thirsting after
always render them acceptable ; for this can only farther glory, and rashly hurrying on to the greatest
succeed according to the nature and manners of the enterprises, he engages the bravest warrior of all the
person they court or solicit; who, if he be a man not Greeks, Achilles, and falls by his hand in single com
of the same gifts and endowments, but altogether of bat. Jupiter, in commiseration of his death, sent
a haughty and contemptuous behavior, here representbirds to grace his funeral, that perpetually chanted
ed by the person of Juno, they must entirely drop certain mournful and bewailing dirges. It is also
the character that carries the least show of worth, or
gracefulness; if they proceed upon any other footing, reported, that the rays of the rising sun, striking his
it is downright folly ; nor is it sufficient to act the statue, used to give a lamenting sound. EXPLANATION.—This fable regards the unfortu
deformity of obsequiousness, unless they really change nate end of those promising youths, who, like sons the
themselves, and become abject and contemptible in of the morning, elate with empty hopes and glittering
their persons. outsides, attempt things beyond their strength: challenge the bravest heroes ; provoke them to the
XVII.-CUPID, OR AN ATOM. combat; and proving unequal, die in their high attempts.
EXPLAINED OF THE CORPUSCULAR PHILOSOPHY. The death of such youths seldom fails to meet with The particulars related by the poets of Cupid, or infinite pity: as no mortal calamity is more moving Love, do not properly agree to the same person; yet and afficting, than to see the flower of virtue | they differ only so far, that if the confusion of per
sons be rejected, the correspondence may hold. They, nor the contractions and expansions of things, can be say, that Love was the most ancient of all the gods, reduced to this principle. And for the opinion of Epand existed before everything else, except Chaos, icurus, as to the declination and fortuitous agitation which is held coeval therewith. But for Chaos, the of atoms, this only brings the matter back again to a ancients never paid divine honors, nor gave the title trifle, and wraps it up in ignorance and night. of a god thereto. Love is represented absolutely Cupid is elegantly drawn a perpetual child; for without progenitor, excepting only that he is said to compounds are larger things, and have their periods have proceeded from the egg of Nox; but that him- of age; but the first seeds or atoms of bodies are self begot the gods, and all things else, on Chaos. His small, and remain in a perpetual infant state. attributes are four; viz., 1. perpetual infancy; 2. He is again justly represented naked; as all comblindness; 3. nakedness; and 4. archery.
pounds may properly be said to be dressed and There was also another Cupid, or Love, the young-clothed, or to assume a personage; whence nothing est son of the gods, born of Venus; and upon him remains truly naked, but the original particles of the attributes of the elder are transferred, with some things. degree of correspondence.
The blindness of Cupid, contains a deep allegory; EXPLANATION.—This fable points at, and enters, for this same Cupid, Love, or appetite of the world, the cradle of nature. Love seems to be the appetite, seems to have very little foresight, but directs his or incentive, of the primitive matter; or to speak steps and motions conformably to what he finds next more distinctly, the natural motion, or moving prin- | him, as blind men do when they feel out their way; ciple, of the original corpuscles, or atoms; this being which renders the divine and overruling Providence the most ancient and only power that made and and foresight the more surprising; as by a certain wrought all things out of matter. It is absolutely steady law, it brings such a beautiful order and rege without parent, that is, without cause; for causes are ularity of things out of what seems extremely , as parents to effects; but this power or efficacy could casual, void of design, and, as it were, really blind. have no natural cause ; for, excepting God, nothing The last attribute of Cupid is archery, viz., a vir was before it; and therefore it could have no efficient tue or power operating at a distance; for everything in nature. And as nothing is more inward with na- that operates at a distance, may seem, as it were, to ture, it can neither be a genus nor a form; and there- dart, or shoot with arrows. And whoever allows of fore, whatever it is, it must be somewhat positive, atoms and vacuity, necessarily supposes that the virthough inexpressible. And if it were possible to con- | tue of atoms operates at a distance; for without this ceive its modus and process, yet it could not be known operation, no motion could be excited, on account of from its cause, as being, next to God, the cause of the vacuum interposing, but all things would remain causes, and itself without a cause. And perhaps we sluggish and unmoved. are not to hope that the modus of it should fall, or be As to the other Cupid, he is properly said to be the comprehended, under human inquiry. Whence it is youngest sons of the gods, as his power could not properly feigned to be the egg of Nox, or laid in the take place before the formation of species, or particudark.
lar bodies. The description given us of him transThe divine philosopher declares, that “God has fers the allegory to morality, though he still retains made everything beautiful in its season; and has | some resemblance with the ancient Cupid; for as given over the world to our disputes and inquires : Venus universally excites the affection of association, but that man cannot find out the work which God and the desire of procreation, her son Cupid applies has wrought, from its beginning up to its end." Thus the affection to individuals; so that the general disthe summary or collective law of nature, or the prin- position proceeds from Venus, but the more close ciple of love, impressed by God upon the original par- sympathy from Cupid. The former depends upon a ticles of all things, so as to make them attack each near approximation of causes, but the latter upon other and come together, by the repetition and multi- deeper, more necessitating and uncontrollable prin plication whereof all the variety in the universe is ciples, as if they proceeded from the ancient Cupid, produced, can scarce possibly find full admittance in- on whom all exquisite sympathies depend. to the thoughts of men, though some faint notion may be had thereof. The Greek philosophy is subtile, and busied in discovering the material principles of
XVIII.—DIOMED, OR ZEAL. things, but negligent and languid in discovering the principles of motion, in which the energy and efficacy
EXPLAINED OF PERSECUTION, OR ZEAL FOR of every operation consists. And here the Greek
RELIGION. philosophers seem perfectly blind and childish; for DIOMED acquired great glory and honor at the the opinion of the Peripatetics, as to the stimulus of Trojan war, and was highly favored by Pallas, who matter, by privation, is little more than words, or encouraged and excited him by no means to spare rather sound than signification. And they who refer Venus, if he should casually meet her in fight. He it to God, though they do well therein, yet they do it followed the advice with too much eagerness and inby a start, and not by proper degrees of assent; for trepidity, and accordingly wounded that goddess in doubtless there is one summary, or capital law, in her hand. This presumptuous action remained unwhich nature meets, subordinate to God, viz., the law punished for a time, and when the war was ended mentioned in the passage above quoted from Solomon; he returned with great glory and renuwn to his own or the work which God has wrought from its begin- country, where, finding himself embroiled with doning up to its end.
mestic affairs, he retired into Italy. Here also at first Democritus, who farther considered this subject, he was well received and nobly entertained by King having first supposed an atom, or corpuscle, of some Daunus, who, besides other gifts and honors, erected dimension or figure, attributed thereto an appetite, statues for him over all his dominions. But upon the desire, or first motion simply, and another compara- first calamity that afflicted the people after the
tively, imagining that all things properly tended to stranger's arrival, Daunus immediately reflected that - the center of the world; those containing more mat. he entertained a devoted person in his palace, an ter falling faster to the center, and thereby removing, enemy to the gods, and one who had sacrilegiously and in the shock driving away, such as held less. But wounded a goddess with his sword, whom it was imthis is a slender conceit, and regards too few particu- pious but to touch. To expiate, therefore, his counlars; for neither the revolutions of the celestial bodies try's guilt, he, without regard to the laws of hospi
tality, which were less regarded by him than the XIX.—DÆDALUS, OR MECHANICAL SKILL. laws of religion, directly slew his guest, and commanded his statues and all his honors to be razed | EXPLAINED OF ARTS AND ARTISTS IN KINGDOMS and abolished. Nor was it safe for others to com
AND STATES. miserate or bewail so cruel a destiny ; but even his The ancients have left us a description of mechancompanions in arms, whilst they lamented the death ical skill, industry, and curious arts converted to ill of their leader, and filled all places with their com- uses, in the person of Dædalus, a most ingenious but plaints, were turned into a kind of swans, whieh are execrable artist. This Dædalus was banished for the said, at the approach of their own death, to chant murder of his brother artist and rival, yet found a sweet melancholy dirges.
kind reception in his banishment from the kings and EXPLANATION.—This fable intimates an extraor- states where he came. He raised many incomparable dinary and almost singular thing, for no hero besides edifices to the honor of the gods, and invented many Diomed is recorded to have wounded any of the gods. new contrivances for the beautifying and ennobling Doubtless we have here described the nature and of cities and public places, but still he was most feat of a man who professedly makes any divine famous for wicked inventions. Among the rest, by worship or sect of religion, though in itself vain and his abominable industry and destructive genius, he light, the only scope of his actions, and resolves to assisted in the fatal and infamous production of the propagate it by fire and sword. For although the monster Minotaur, that devourer of promising youths. bloody dissensions and differences about religion And then, to cover one mischief with another, and were unknown to the ancients, yet so copious and provide for the security of this monster, he invented diffusive was their knowledge, that what they knew and built a labyrinth; a work infamous for its end not by experience they comprehended in thought and design, but admirable and prodigious for art and and representation. Those, therefore, who endeavor workmanship. After this, that he might not only be to reform or establish any sect of religion, though celebrated for wicked inventions, but be sought after, vain, corrupt, and infamous (which is here denoted as well for prevention, as for instruments of mischief, under the person of Venus), not by the force of rea- he formed that ingenious device of his clue, which son, learning, sanctity of manners, the weight of ar- | led directly through all the windings of the labyrinth. guments, and examples, but would spread or extir This Dedalus was persecuted by Minos with the pate it by persecution, pains, penalties, tortures, fire utmost severity, diligence, and inquiry; but he and sword, may perhaps be instigated hereto by always found refuge and means of escaping. Lastly, Pallas, that is, by a certain rigid, prudential consid- endeavoring to teach his son Icarus the art of flying, eration, and a severity of judgment, by the vigor the novice, trusting too much to his wings, fell from and efficacy whereof they see thoroughly into the his towering flight, and was drowned in the sea. fallacies and fictions of the delusions of this kind; EXPLANATION.—The sense of the fable runs thus. and through aversion to depravity and a well-meant It first denotes envy, which is continually upon the zeal, these men usually for a time acquire great fame watch, and strangely prevails among excellent artiand glory, and are by the vulgar, to whom no moder- ficers; for no kind of people are observed to be more ate measures can be acceptable, extolled and almost implacably and destructively envious to one another adored, as the only patrons and protectors of truth than these. and religion, men of any other disposition seeming, In the next place, it observes an impolitic and imin comparison with these, to be lukewarm, mean- provident kind of punishment inflicted upon Dædaspirited, and cowardly. This fame and felicity, how- lus,-that of banishment; for good workmen are ever, seldom endures to the end; but all violence, gladly received everywhere, so that banishment to unless it escapes the reverses and changes of things an excellent artificer is scarce any punishment at all; by untimely death, is commonly unprosperous in the whereas other conditions of life cannot easily flourish issue; and if a change of affairs happens, and that from home. For the admiration of artists is propasect of religion which was persecuted and oppressed gated and increased among foreigners and strangers ; gains strength and rises again, then the zeal and it being a principle in the minds of men to slight and warm endeavors of this sort of men are condemned, despise the mechanical operators of their own nation. their very name becomes odious, and all their honors. The succeeding part of the fable is plain, concernterminate in disgrace.
ing the use of mechanical arts, whereto human life As to the point that Diomed should be slain by his stands greatly indebted, as receiving from this treashospitable entertainer, this denotes that religious ury numerous particulars for the service of religion, dissensions may cause treachery, bloody animosities, the ornament of civil society, and the whole provision and deceit, even between the nearest friends.
and apparatus of life; but then the same magazine That complaining or bewailing should not, in so supplies instruments of lust, cruelty, and death. For, enormous a case, be permitted to friends affected by not to mention the arts of luxury and debauchery, the catastrophe without punishment, includes this we plainly see how far the business of exquisite prudent admonition, that almost in all kinds of wick-poisons, guns, engines of war, and such kind of edness and depravity men have still room left for destructive inventions, exceeds the cruelty and barcommiseration, so that they who hate the crime may barity of the Minotaur himself. yet pity the person and bewail his calamity, from The addition of the labyrinth contains a beautiful a principle of humanity and good nature; and to allegory, representing the nature of mechanic arts in forbid the overflowings and intercourses of pity upon general; for all ingenious and accurate mechanical such occasions were the extremest of evils; yet in inventions may be conceived as a labyrinth, which, the cause of religion and impiety the very commis by reason of their subtilty, intricacy, crossing, and erations of men are noted and suspected. On the interfering with one another, and the apparent resemother hand, the lamentations and complainings of blances they have among themselves, scarce any the followers and attendants of Diomed, that is, of power of the judgment can unravel and distinguish; men of the same sect or persuasion, are usually very so that they are only to be understood and traced by sweet, agreeable, and moving, like the dying notes of the clue of experience. swans, or the birds of Diomed. This also is a noble It is no less prudently added, that he who invented and remarkable part of the allegory, denoting that the windings of the labyrinth, should also show the the last words of those who suffer for the sake of re-use and management of the clue; for mechanical ligion strongly affect and sway men's minds, and arts have an ambiguous or double use, and serve as leavea lasting impression upon the sense and memory, I well to produce as to prevent mischief and destruc
tion; so that their virtue almost destroys or unwinds of the earth, which is esteemed the mother of all itself.
things. Unlawful arts, and indeed frequently arts them- EXPLANATION.—This fable seems to reveal a secret selves, are persecuted by Minos, that is, by laws, of nature, and correct an error familiar to the mind, which prohibit and forbid their use among the peo- for men's ignorance leads them to expect the renovaple; but notwithstanding this, they are hid, con- tion or restoration of things from their corruption cealed, retained, and everywhere find reception and and remains, as the phenix is said to be restored out sculking-places; a thing well observed by Tacitus of its ashes; which is a very improper procedare, of the astrologers and fortune-tellers of his time. because such kind of materials have finished their "These," says he, "are a kind of men that will always course, and are become absolutely unfit to supply the be prohibited, and yet will always be retained in our first rudiments of the same things again; whence in
cases of renovation, recourse should be had to more But lastly, all unlawful and vain arts, of what kind common principles. soever, lose their reputation in tract of time; grow contemptible and perish, through their over-confidence, like Icarus; being communly unable to per
XXII.–NEMESIS, OR THE VICISSITUDE OF form what they boasted. And to say the truth, such
THINGS. arts are better suppressed by their own vain preten
EXPLAINED OF THE REVERSES OF FORTUNE. sions, than checked or restrained by the bridle of
NEMESIS is represented as a goddess venerated by laws."
all, but feared by the powerful and the fortunate
She is said to be the daughter of Nox and Oceanus. XX.-ERICTHONIUS, OR IMPOSTURE. She is drawn with wings, and a crown; a javelin of
ash in her right hand; a glass containing Ethiopians EXPLAINED OF THE IMPROPER USE OF FORCE IN in her left; and riding upon a stag. NATURAL PHILOSOPHY.
EXPLANATION.—The fable receives this explansTHE poets feign that Vulcan attempted the chastity tion. The word Nemesis manifestly signifies revenge, of Minerva, and impatient of refusal had recourse to or retribution; for the office of this goddess consisted force; the consequence of which was the birth of in interposing, like the Roman tribunes, with an “I Ericthonius, whose body from the middle upwards forbid it” in all courses of constant and perpetual was comely and well-proportioned, but his thighs felicity, so as not only to chastise haughtines, but and legs small, shrunk, and deformed, like an eel. also to repay even innocent and moderate happiness Conscious of this defect, he became the inventor of with adversity; as if it were decreed, that none of chariots, so as to show the graceful, but conceal the human race should be admitted to the banquet of the deformed part of his body.
gods, but for sport. And, indeed, to read over that EXPLANATION.—This strange fable seems to carry chapter of Pliny wherein he has collected the mis. this meaning. Art is here represented under the eries and misfortunes of Augustus Cæsar, whom of person of Vulcan, by reason of the various uses it all mankind one would judge most fortunate, -as he makes of fire; and nature under the person of Min- had a certain art of using and enjoying prosperity, erva, by reason of the industry employed in her with a mind no way tumid, light, effeminate, conworks. Art, therefore, whenever it offers violence fused, or melancholic,-one cannot but think this a to nature in order to conquer, subdue, and bend her very great and powerful goddess, who could bring to its purpose, by tortures and force of all kinds, sel-such a victim to her altar a dom obtains the end proposed; yet upon great strug- The parents of this goddess were Oceanus and gle and application, there proceed certain imperfect Nox: that is the Anctuating change
Nox; that is, the fluctuating change of things, and births, or lame abortive works, specious in appear- the obscure and secret divine decrees. The changes ance, but weak and unstable in use; which are, of things are aptly represented by the Ocean, on aenevertheless, with great pomp and deceitful appear-count of its perpetual ebbing and flowing ; and secret ances, triumphantly carried about, and shown by im- providence is justly expressed by Night. Even the postors. A procedure very familiar, and remarkable heathens have observed this secret Nemesis of the in chemical productions, and new mechanical inven-night, or the difference betwixt divine and humaa tions; especially when the inventors rather hug liudgment. b. their errors than improve upon them, and go on | Wings are given to Nome
Wings are given to Nemesis, because of the sudden struggling with nature, not courting her.
and unforeseen changes of things; for, from the earliest account of time, it has been common for
great and prudent men to fall by the dangers they XXI.—DEUCALION, OR RESTITUTION. most despised. Thus Cicero, when admonished by
Brutus of the infidelity and rancour of Octavius, EXPLAINED OF A USEFUL HINT IN NATURAL
coolly wrote back,“ I cannot, however, but be obliged PHILOSOPHY.
to you, Brutus, as I ought, for informing me, though THE poets tell us, that the inhabitants of the old of such a trifle." world being totally destroyed by the universal Nemesis also has her crown, by reason of the indeluge, excepting Deucalion and Pyrrha, these vidious and malignant nature of the vulgar, who two, desiring with zealous and fervent devotion generally rejoice, triumph, and crown her, at the fall to restore mankind, received this oracle for answer, of the fortunate and the powerful. And for the isve that “they should succeed by throwing their lin in her right hand, it has regard to those whom mother's bones behind them.” This at first cast she has actually struck and transfixed. But whoever them into great sorrow and despair, because, as all escapes her stroke, or feels not actual calamity or things were levelled by the deluge, it was in vain to misfortune, she affrights with a black and dismal seek their mother's tomb; but at length they understood the expression of the oracle to signify the stones a As she also brought the author himself.
" --- cadit Ripbeus, justissimus unus,
Qui fuit ex Teucris, et servantissimus equi Bacon nowhere speaks with such freedom and per
Diis aliter visum."-Æneid, lib. ii. spicuity as under the pretext of explaining these ancient fables; for which reason they deserve to be the more cTe autem mi Brute sicut debeo, amo, quod istud quie read by such as desire to understand the rest of his works. I quid est nugarum me scire voluisti.
sight in her left hand; for doubtless, mortals on the sus. When born, he was committed, for some years, highest pinnacle of felicity have a prospect of death, to be nursed by Proserpina; and when grown up, apdiseases, calamities, perfidious friends, undermining peared with so effeminate a face, that his sex seemed enemies, reverses of fortune, etc., represented by the somewhat doubtful. He also died, and was buried Ethiopians in her glass. Thus Virgil, with great ele- for a time, but afterwards revived. When a youth, gance, describing the battle of Actium, says of Cleo- he first introduced the cultivation and dressing of patra, that, “ she did not yet perceive the two asps vines, the method of preparing wine, and taught behind her, but soon after, which way soever she the use thereof; whence becoming famous, he subturned, she saw whole troops of Ethiopians still be dued the world, even to the utmost bounds of the fore her.
Indies. He rode in a chariot drawn by tigers. There Lastly, it is significantly added, that Nemesis rides danced about him certain deformed demons called upon a stag, which is a very long-lived creature; for Cobali, etc. The Muses also joined in his train. He though perhaps some, by an untimely death in youth, married Ariadne, who was deserted by Theseus. may prevent or escape this goddess, yet they who | The ivy was sacred to him. He was also held the enjoy a long flow of happiness and power, doubtless inventor and institutor of religious rites and cerebecome subject to her at length, and are brought to monies, but such as were wild, frantic, and full of yield.
corruption and cruelty. He had also the power of striking men with frenzies. Pentheus and Orpheus
were torn to pieces by the frantic women at his XXIII.-ACHELOUS, OR BATTLE.
orgies; the first for climbing a tree to behold their EXPLAINED OF WAR BY INVASION.
outrageous ceremonies, and the other for the music THE ancients relate, that Hercules and Achelous of his harp. But the acts of this god are much enbeing rivals in the courtship of Deianira, the matter | tangled and confounded with those of Jupiter. was contested by single combat; when Achelous hav- EXPLANATION.-This fable seems to contain a ing transformed himself, as he had power to do, into little system of morality, so that there is scarce any various shapes, by way of trial; at length, in the better invention in all ethics. Under the history of form of a fierce wild bull, prepares himself for the Bacchus is drawn the nature of unlawful desire or fight; but Hercules still retains his human shape, affection, and disorder; for the appetite and thirst of engages sharply with him, and in the issue broke off apparent good is the mother of all unlawful desire, one of the bull's horns; and now Achelous, in great though ever so destructive, and all unlawful desires pain and fright, to redeem his horn, presents Hercules are conceived in unlawful wishes or requests, rashly with the cornucopia
indulged or granted before they are well understood EXPLANATION.—This fable relates to military ex- or considered, and when the affection begins to grow peditions and preparations; for the preparation of warm, the mother of it (the nature of good) is dewar on the defensive side, here denoted by Achelous, stroyed and burnt up by the heat. And whilst an appears in various shapes, whilst the invading side unlawful desire lies in the embryo, or unripened in has but one simple form, consisting either in an army, the mind, which is its father, and here represented or perhaps a fleet. But the country that expects the by Jupiter, it is cherished and concealed, especially invasion is employed infinite ways, in fortifying in the inferior part of the mind, corresponding to the towns, blockading passes, rivers, and ports, raising thigh of the body, where pain twitches and depresses soldiers, disposing garrisons, building and breaking the mind so far as to render its resolutions and down bridges, procuring aids, securing provisions, actions imperfect and lame. And even after this arms, ammunition, etc. So that there appears a new child of the mind is confirmed, and gains strength face of things every day; and at length, when the by consent and habit, and comes forth into action it country is sufficiently fortified and prepared, it repre- must still be nursed by Proserpina for a time; that sents to the life the form and threats of a fierce fight is, it skulks and hides its head in a clandestine maning bull.
ner, as it were under ground, till at length, when the On the other side, the invader presses on to the checks of shame and fear are removed, and the requifight, fearing to be distressed in an enemy's country. site boldness acquired, it either assumes the pretext. And if after the battle he remains master of the of some virtue, or openly despises infamy. And it field, and has now broke, as it were, the horn of his is justly observed, that every vehement passion apenemy, the besieged, of course, retire inglorious, pears of a doubtful sex, as having the strength of a affrighted, and dismayed, to their stronghold, there man at first, but at last the impotence of a woman. endeavoring to secure themselves, and repair their It is also excellently added, that Bacchus died and strength; leaving, at the same time, their country a rose again; for the affections sometimes seem to die prey to the conqueror, which is well expressed by the and be no more; but there is no trusting them, even Amalthean horn, or cornucopia.
though they were buried, being always apt and ready
to rise again whenever the occasion or object offers. XXIV.-DIONYSUS, OR BACCHUS.
That Bacchus should be the inventor of wine car
ries a fine allegory with it; for every affection is cunEXPLAINED OF THE PASSIONS.
ning and subtile in discovering a proper matter to THE fable runs, that Semele, Jupiter's mistress, nourish and feed it; and of all things known to morhaving bound him by an inviolable oath to grant her tals, wine is the most powerful and effectual for exan unknown request, desired he would embrace her citing and inflaming passions of all kinds, being inin the same form and manner he used to embrace deed like a common fuel to all. Juno; and the promise being irrevocable, she was It is again with great elegance observed of Bacchus burnt to death with lightning in the performance. that he subdued provinces, and undertook endless The embryo, however, was sewed up, and carried in expeditions, for the affections never rest satisfied with Jupiter's thigh till the complete time of its birth; what they enjoy, but with an endless and insatiable but the burthen thus rendering the father lame, and appetite thirst after something further. And tigers are causing him pain, the child was thence called Diony prettily feigned to draw the chariot; for as soon as d Regina in mediis patrio vocat agmina sistro; any affection shall, from going on foot, be advanced to Necdum etiam geminos a tergo respicit angues."
ride, it triumphs over reason, and exerts its cruelty
Æn. viii. 696. Ovid's Metamorpboses, b. iii. iv. and vi.; and Fasti, iii. fierceness, and strength against all that oppose it.
I It is also humorously imagined, that ridiculous
767 Uvid's M