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derstood by those that are not of the fame age with it, than any other kind of Poetry. Loveverses and Heroics deal in Images that are ever fixed and settled in the nature of things, but a thousand ideas enter into Satire, that are as changeable and unsteady as the mode or the humours of mankind.
Our three friends had passed away the whole morning among their Medals and Latin Poets. Philander told them it was now too late to enter on another Series, but if they would take up with such a dinner as he could meet with at his Lodgings, he would afterwards lay the rest of his Medals before them. Cynthio and Eugenius were both of them fo well pleafed with the novelty of the subject, that they would not refuse the offer Philander made them.
D I AL OG UE
-caufa eft difcriminis hujus Concifum Argentum in titulos faciesque minutas.
Juv. Sat. 14.
A PARALLEL between the Ancient
and Modern MEDALS.
PHILANDER used every Morning to take
a walk in a neighbouring wood, that stood on the borders of the Thames. It was cut through by abundance of beautiful allies, which terminating on the water, looked like so many painted views in perspective. The banks of the river and the thickness of the fhades drew into them all the birds of the country, that at Sun-rising filled the wood with such a variety of notes, as made the prettiest confusion imaginable. I know in descriptions of this nature, the scenes are generally supposed to grow out of the Author's imagination, and if they are not charming in all their parts, the Reader never imputes it to the want of sun or foil, but to the writer's barrenness of invention. It is Cicero's observation on the Plane-tree, that makes so flourifhing a figure in one of Plato's Dialogues, that it did not draw its nourishment from the fountain that ran by
it and watered its roots, but from the richness of the stile that describes it. For my own part, as I design only to fix the scene of the following Dialogue, I hall not endeavour to give it any other ornaments than those which nature has bestowed upon it.
Philander was here enjoying the cool of the morning, among the dews that lay on every thing about him, and that gave the air fuch a freshness as is not a little agreeable in the hot part of the year. He had not been here long before he was joined by Cynthio and Eugenius. Cynthio immediately fell upon Philander for breaking his night's rest. You have so filled my head, says he, with old Coins, that I have had nothing but figures and inscriptions before my eyes. If I chanced to fall into a little sumber, it was immediately interrupted with the vie fion of a Caduceus, or a Cornu-copie. You will make me believe, says Philander, that you begin to be reconciled to Medals. They say it is a sure sign a man loves money, when he is used to find it in his dreams. There is certainly, says Eugenius, something like Avarice in the ftudy of Medals. The more a man knows of them, the more he desires to know. There is one subject in particular that Cynthio, as well as myself, has a mind to engage you in. We would fain know how the Ancient and Modern Medals differ from one another, and which of them deserve the preference. You have a mind to engage me in a subject, says Philander, that is perhaps of a larger extent than you imagine. To examine it thoroughly, it would be neceffary to take them in pieces, and to speak of the difference that shews itself in their Metals, in the
Occasion of stamping them, in the Inscriptions, and in the Figures that adorn them. Since you have divided your subject, says Cynthio, be so kind as to enter on it without any further preface.
We should first of all, says Philander, consider the difference of the Metals that we find in ancient and modern Coins, but as this speculation is more curious than improving, I believe you will excusé me if I do not dwell long upon it. One may understand all the learned part of this science, without knowing whether there were Coins of iron or lead among the old Romans, and if a man is well acquainted with the Device of a Medal, I do not see what necessity there is of being able to tell whether the Medal itself be of copper or Corinthian brass. There is however so great a difference between the antique and modern Medals, that I have seen an Antiquary lick an old Coin, among other trials, to diftinguith the age of it by its Taste. I remember when I laughed at him for it, he told me with a great deal of vehemence, there was as much difference between the relish of ancient and modern brass, ás between an apple and a turnip. It is pity, says Eugenius, but they found out the Smell too of an ancient Medal. They would then be able to judge of it by all the senses. The Touch, I have heard, gives almost as good evidence as the Sight, and the Ringing of a Medal is, I know, a very common experiment. But I suppose this last proof you mention relates only to such Coins ás are made of your baser sorts of metal. And here, says Philander, we may observe the prudence of the Ancients above that of the Moderns, in the care they took to perpetuate Vol. III. G
the memory of great actions. well that silver and gold might of the covetous or ignorant, spect them for the Device t the Metal they were made of. apprehensions ill-founded; f imagined how many of these of history have perished in the before they came to be collec learned men of these two or t. Inscriptions, Victories, Build other pieces of antiquity we those barbarous Ages, that i letters only served to spoil charged with them. Your this destruction of Coins, a the Alexandrian Library, an to compound for them, witi a Vatican. To prevent this is ancients placed the greatest vices on their brass and copp: in no fear of falling into the in any danger of melting til. gration. On the contrary, are most in silver and gold, small number of each. I hai at Vienna, of Philip the secon and twenty pounds, which in its kind, and will not be long out of the furnace whe peror's Treasury. I remen King of Prusia's collection, pounds weight of gold. The these Medals, says Eugenius, signed them rather as an o. Wealth, than of their Virtu