« הקודםהמשך »
ture of this most valuable biographer by North, must have still more widely extended the deviation from the original.
CHAP. xl. The infidelity of a wife proved by feeling her pulse in conversation. From Macrobius.
CHAP. xlii. Valerius Maximus is cited, concerning a column at Rome inscribed with four letters four times written.
CHAP. xliv. Tiberius orders a maker of ductile glass, which could not be broken, to be beheaded, left it should become more valuable than filver and gold.
This piece of history, which appears also in Cornelius Aggrippa DE VANITATE SCIENTIARUM”, is taken from Pliny, or rather from his transcriber Isidore P. Pliny, in relating this story, says, that the temperature of glass, so as to render it flexible, was discovered under the reign of Tiberius.
In the fame chapter Pliny observes, that glass is susceptible of all colours. “ Fit et album, et murrhinum, aut hyacinthos
sapphirosque imitatum, et omnibus aliis coloribus. Nec eft " alia nunc materia fequacior, aut etiam PICTURÆ ACCOMMO
Maximus tamen honor in candido?." But the Romans, as the last fentence partly proves, probably never used any coloured glass for windows. The first notice of windows of a church made of coloured glass occurs in chronicles quoted by Muratori. In the year 802, a pope built a church at Rome, and, “ feneftras ex vitro diversis coloribus conclufit atque deco• ravit." And in 856, he produces “ fenestras vero vitreis “ coloribus, &c.". This however was a sort of mosaic in glass. To express figures in glass, or what we now call the art of
P Orig. lib. xvi. cap. xv. p. 1224. Apud Auct. LING. LAT. 1602.
Ifidore's was a favorite REPERTORY of the middle age. He is cited for an account of the nature and qualities of the Falcon, in the Prologue to the second or metrical part of the old Phebús de deduiz de la chasse des Beftes sauvages et des oyseaux de Proye, printed early at Paris without date, and written, as appears by the ru.
bric of the last section, by Le Comte de Tankarville.
9 Sandford's English TRANSLAT, cap. go. p. 159. a. edit. Lond. 1569. 4to.
Nat. Hist. Lib. xxxvi. cap. xvi. p. 725. edit. Lugd. 1615.
Dissert. ANTICHIT. ITAL. tom. i. c. xxiv. p. 287.
• Ibid. p. 281.
painting in glass, was a very different work: and, I believe, I can fhew it was brought from Constantinople to Rome before the tenth century, with other ornamental arts. Guiccardini, who wrote about 1560, in his Descrittione de tutti Paeh Basi; ascribes the invention of baking colours in glass for churchwindows to the Netherlanders " : but he does not mention the period, and I think he must be mistaken. It is certain that this art owed much to the laborious and mechanical genius of the Germans; and, in particular, their deep researches and experiments in chemistry, which they cultivated in the dark ages with the most indefatigable assiduity, must have greatly assisted its operations. I could give very early anecdotes of this art in England. But, with the careless hafte of a lover, I am anticipating what I have to say of it in my HISTORY OF Gothic ARCHITECTURE IN ENGLAND,
CHAP. xlv. A king leaves four sons by his wife, only one which is lawfully begotten. They have a contest for the throne. The dispute is referred to the deceased king's secretary, who orders the body to be taken from the tomb; and decrees, that the son who can shoot an arrow deepest into it shall be king. The first wounds the king's right hand: the second his mouth : the third his heart, The last wound is supposed to be the successful one. At length the fourth, approaching the body, cried out with a lamentable voice, “ Far be it from me to wound my “ father's body!” In consequence of this speech, he is pronounced by the nobles and people present to be the true heir, and placed on the throne.
CHAP. xlviii. Dionysius is quoted for the story of Perillus's brafen bull.
Gower in the CONFESSIO AMANTIS has this story ; which he prefaces by saying that he found it in a Cronike". In Caxton's Golden Legende, Macrobius is called a chronicle. " Macrobius “ sayth in a cronike *.” Chronicles are naturally the first efforts
* Fol. lxii. b.
u Antw. Plantin. 1580. fol.
of the literature of a barbarous age. The writers, if any, of those periods are seldom equal to any thing more than a bare narration of facts: and such fort of matter is fuitable to the taste and capacity of their cotemporary readers. A further proof of the principles advanced in the beginning of this Dissertation.
CHAP. xlix. The duchess Rofmilla falls in love with Conan, king of Hungary, whom she sees from the walls of the city of Foro-Juli, which he is besieging. She has four fons and two daughters. She betrays the city to Conan, on condition that he will marry her the next day. Conan, a barbarian, executed the contract; but on the third day exposed her to his whole army, saying, 66 such a wife deserves such a husband.”
Paulus, that is, Paulus Diaconus, the historian of the Longobards is quoted. He was chancellor of Desiderius, the last king of the Lombards ; with whom he was taken captive by Charlemagne. The history here referred to is entitled GesTA LONGOBARDORUM '.
CHAP. 1. From Valerius Maximus.
CHAP. liv. The emperor Frederick's marble portico near Capua. .
I wonder there are not more romances extant on the lives of the Roman emperors of Germany, many of whom, to say no more, were famous in the crusades. There is a romance in old German rhyme, called TEUERDANK, on Maximilian the first, written by Melchior Pfinzing his chaplain. Printed at Nuremberg in 1517”.
y See Lib. iv. cap. xxviii, Apud Mu. ratorii SCRIPTOR. Ital. i. p. 465. edit. Mediolan. 1723. Where she is called Romilda. The king is Cacan, or Cacanus, a king of the Huns. There are some fine
circumstances of distress in Paulus's den scription of this fiege.
Fol: on vellum. It is not printed with moveable types: but every page is graved in wood or brass. With wooden cuts. It is a most beautiful book.
Chap. lv. Of a king who has one son exceedingly beautiful, and four daughters, named Justice, Truth, Mercy, and Peace.
CHAP. lvi. A nobleman invited a merchant to his castle, whom he met accordingly upon the road. At entering the castle, the merchant was astonished at the magnificence of the chambers, which were overlaid with gold. At supper, the nobleman placed the merchant next to his wife, who immediately shewed evident tokens of being much struck with her beauty. The table was covered with the richest dainties; but while all were served in golden dishes, a pittance of meat was placed before the lady in a dish made out of a human scull. The merchant was surprised and terrified at this strange spectacle. At length he was conducted to bed in a fair chamber; where, when left alone, he observed a glimmering lamp in a nook or corner of the room, by which he discovered two dead bodies hung up by the arms. He was now filled with the most horrible apprehensions, and could not sleep all the night. When he rose in the morning, he was asked by the nobleman how he liked his entertainment? He answered, “ There is plenty of
every thing ; but the scull prevented me from eating at sup
per, and the two dead bodies which I saw in my chamber «s from sleeping. With your leave therefore I will depart.” The nobleman answered, “ My friend, you observed the beauty 66 of
my wife. The scull which you saw placed before her at supper, was the head of a duke, whom I detected in her “ embraces, and which I cut off with my own sword. As a “ memorial of her crime, and to teach her modest behaviour, “ her adulterer's scull is made to serve for her dish. The bodies “ of the two young men hanging in the chamber are my two « kinsmen, who were murthered by the son of the duke. To
keep up my sense of revenge for their blood, I visit their “ dead bodies every day. Go in peace, and remember to judge “ nothing without knowing the truth.”
Caxton has the history of Albione, a king of the Lombards, who having conquered another king, “ lade awaye wyth hym
“ Rofamounde his wyf in captyvyte, but after he took hyr to
hys wyf, and he dyde do make a cuppe of the skulle of that “ kynge and closed in fyne golde and fylver, and dranke out “ of it." This, by the way, is the story of the old Italian tragedy of Messer Giovanni Rucellai planned on the model of the antients, and acted in the Rucellai gardens at Florence, before Leo the tenth and his court, in the year 1516 6. Davenant has also a tragedy on the same subject, called ALBovine king of the Lombards his Tragedy.
A most fanguinary scene in Shakespeare's Titus ADRONIcus, an incident in Dryden's, or Boccace's, TANCRED and SIGISMONDA, and the catastrophe of the beautiful metrical romance of the Lady of Faguel, are founded on the same horrid ideas of inhuman retaliation and savage revenge : but in the two last pieces, the circumstances are so ingeniously imagined, as to lose a considerable degree of their atrocity, and to be productive of the most pathetic and interesting situations.
Chap. lvii. The enchanter Virgil places a magical image in the middle of Rome', which communicates to the emperor Titus all the secret offences committed every day in the city ".
This story is in the old black-lettered history of the necromancer Virgil, in Mr. Garrick's collection.
Vincent of Beauvais relates many wonderful things, mirabiliter actitata, done by the poet Virgil, whom he represents as a magician. Among others, he says, that Virgil fabricated those brazen statues at Rome, called Salvacio Romæ, which were the gods of the Provinces conquered by the Romans. Every one of these statues held in its hand a bell framed by magic; and
: GOLDEN Leg. f. ccclxxxxvii. 2. edit. 1493. The compilers of the SanctiLOGE probably took this story from Paulus Dia. conus, Gest. LONGOBARD. ut supr. Lib. ii. cap. xxviii. p. 435. seq. It has been adopted, as a romantic tale, into the His. TOIRES TRAGIQUES of Belleforest, p. 297. edit. 1580. The English reader may find it in Heylin's COSMOGRAPHIE, B. i.col.i.
p. 57. And in Machiavel's HISTORY OF FLORence, in English, Lond. 1680. B. i. p. 5. seq. See allo Lydgate's Bochas, B. ix. ch. xxvii.
+ See fupr. vol. ii. p. 411,
· For the necromancer Virgil, fee fupr. vol. ii. p. 229
In the Cento NOYELLE ANTICHB.. Nov, vii. d