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[7] In living Medals see her wars enrolld, And vanquish'd realms supply recording Gold? Here, rising bold, the Patriot's honest face; There, Warriors frowning in historic brass. Then future ages with delight shall see, How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's looks agree: Or in fair Series laureld Bards be shown, A Virgil there, and here an Addison. Then shall Thy Craggs(and let me call him Mine) On the cast Ore, another Pollio, shine; With aspect open shall erect his head, And round the Orb in lasting notes be read : “ Statesman, yet friend to Truth! in soul sincere, “ In action faithful, and in honour clear; “ Who broke no promise, serv'd no private end, “Who gain'd no title, and who loft no friend, “ Ennobled by Himself, by all approv'd, “ And prais’d, unenvy'd, by the Muse he lov’d.”

A. POPE.

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1

DIALOGUES

Upon the Usefulness of

ANCIENT MEDALS.

DIALOGUE I.

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YNTHIO, Eugenius and Philander had retired together from the town to a coun

try village, that lies upon the Thames, Their design was to pass away the heats of the Summer among the fresh breezes, that rise from the river, and the agreeable mixture of shades and fountains, in which the whole country naturally abounds. They were all three very well versed in the politer parts of learning, and had travelled into the most refined nations of Europe : so that they were capable of entertaining themfelves on a thousand different subjects without A 5

running

running into the common topics of defaming public parties, or particular persons. As they were intimate friends they took the freedom to dissent from one another in discourse, or upon occasion to speak a Latin sentence without fearing the imputation of pedantry or ill-breeding.

They were one evening taking a walk together in the fields when their discourse accidentally fell upon several unprofitable parts of learning. It was Cynthio's humour to run down every thing that was rather for ostentation than use. He was still preferring good fenfe to arts and sciences, and often took a pleasure to appear ignorant, that he might the better turn to ridicule those that valued themselves on their books and studies, though at the same time one might very well see that he could not have attacked many parts of learning so successfully, had not he borrowed his Amistances from them. After having rally'd a set or two of Virtuofos, he fell upon the Medallifts.

These gentlemen, says he, value themselves upon being critics in Rust, and will undertake to tell you the different ages of it, by its colour. They are poffeffed with a kind of learned avarice, and are for getting together hoards of such money only as was current among the Greeks and Latins. There are several of them that are better 'acquainted with the faces of the Antonines, than of the Stuarts, and would rather choose to count out a Sum in Sesterces, than in pounds sterling. I have heard of one in Italy that used to swear by the head of Otho. Nothing can be pleasanter than to see a circle of these Virtuosos about a cabinet of Medals, descanting upon the value, rarity and

authen

authenticalness of the several pieces that lie before them. One takes up a coin of Gold, and after having well weighed the figures and inscription, tells you very gravely if it were brass, it would be invaluable. Another falls a ringing a Pefcennius Niger, and judiciously distinguishes the sound of it to be modern. A third desires

you

to obferve well the Toga on such a reverse, and asks you whether you can in conscience believe the sleeve of it to be of the true Roman cut.

I must confess, says Philander, the knowledge of Medals has most of those disadvantages that can render a science ridiculous, to such as are not well versed in it. Nothing is more eafy than to represent as impertinences any parts of learning that have no immediate relation to the happiness or convenience of mankind. When. nan spends his whole life among the Stars ana Planets, or lays out a twelvemonth on the spots in the Sun, however noble his speculations may be, they are very apt to fall into burlesque. But it is still more natural to laugh at such studies as are employed on low and vulgar objects. What curious obfervations have been made on Spiders, Lobsters and Cockle-Thells ? yet the very naming of them is almost sufficient to turn them into raillery. It is no wonder therefore that the science of Médals, which is charged with so many unconcerning parts of knowledge, and built on such . mean materials, should appear ridiculous to those that have not taken the pains to examine it.

Eugenius was very attentive to what Philander said on the subject of Medals. He was one that endeavoured rather to be agreeable than shining in conversation, for which reason he was more

beloved,

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