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what is the reason of this, their only life. In the first place, these shell. fish that serve either for purple colours, or other lighter dyes of the Conchylia, are all one in matter; the difference only is in temperature, more or less. And indeed they may all be reduced into two principal sorts; for the less shell, called Buccinum, fashioned like unto that horn or cornet wherewith they used to wind and sound, whereupon it took that name, hath a round back, and is cut like a saw in the edges. The other is named Purpura, shooteth out a long back, like a gutter, and within the one side it doth writhe and turn hollow, in form of a pipe, out of which the fish puts forth a tongue. Moreover, this purple is shaded, as it were, even as far as to the sharp top or turbant thereof, round about with sharp knobs, pointed lightly, seven in number, which the sea-cornet buccinum, hath not.” (This seems to be the murex.) “ But this is common to both, that look how many roundles they have, like tendrils clasping about them, so many years old are they. As for the cornet Buccinum, it sticketh always to great rocks and stones, and therefore is ever found and gathered about them.
“ CHAPTER XXXVII.
** HOW MANY SORTS THERE BE OF PURPLES.
“Purples have another name, and are called Pelagiæ, as one would say, fishes of the deep sea. But in truth there are many sorts of them, and those differing either in place where they keep, or in food whereon they live. The first, Lutense, i. e. muddy, because it is nourished of the corrupt and rotten mud; the second, Algense, (the worst of all,) feeding upon reits or sea-weeds named alga; the third, Tæniense, (better than the former two,) for that it is gathered and taken up about the brims and borders of the sea, called, for the resemblance to fillets or lists in a cloth, Tæniæ.' (Probably a species of serpula.) “And yet this kind yieldeth but a light colour, and nothing deep. There are of them also which they term Calculosæ, of the sea gravel, which is wondrous good for all these kind of wilkes and shell fishes. And, last of all, which simply are the very best, the Purples Dialetæ, i. e. wandering to and fro, changing their pasture and feeding in sundry soils of the sea (the muddy, the weedy, and the gravelly). Now these purples are taken with small nets, and thinly wrought, cast into the deep. Within which, for a bait to bite at, there must be certain winkles and cockles, that will shut and open, and be ready to snap such as are without ; these limpids are called Mituli. Half dead they should be first, that being now put into the sea again, and desirous to revive and live, they might gape for water; and then the purples make at them with their pointed tongue, which they thrust out to annoy them, but the others feeling themselves pricked therewith, presently shut their shells together, and bite hard. Thus the purples, for their greediness, are caught and taken up hanging by their tongues.
" THE FISHING-TIME FOR PURPLES.
“ The best time to take purples is after the dog-star is risen, and before the spring ; for, when they have made that viscous mucilage in manner of wax, their juice and humour for colour is over liquid, thin, and waterish. And yet the purple-dyers know not so much, nor take heed thereof; whereas, indeed, the skill thereof is a special point of their art, and wherein lieth all in all. Well, when they are caught, as is above said, they take forth that vein before-mentioned, and they lay it in salt, or else they do not do well, with this proportion ordinarily, namely, to every hundred-weight of the purple liquor a sestier, or pint and a half of salt. Full three days, and no more, it must thus lie soaking in powder; for the fresher that the colour is, so much is it accounted richer and better. This done, they seethe it in leads, and to every amphore (containing about eight wine gallons) they put one hundred pounds and a half just of the colour so prepared. It ought to boil with a soft and gentle fire, and therefore the tunnel, or mouth of the furnace, must be a good way off from the lead and cauldron ; during which time the workmen that tend the lead must often skim off and cleanse away the fleshy substance, which cannot choose but stick to the veins which contain the juice or liquor of purple aforesaid. And thus they continue ten days, by which time, ordinarily, the lead or vessel will show the liquor clear, as if it were sufficiently boiled; and to make a trial thereof they dip into it a fleece of wool, well rinsed, and washed out of one water into another; and, until such time that they see it give a perfect dye, they still ply the fire, and give it a higher seething.
“ That which staineth red is nothing so rich as that which giveth the deep and sad blackish colour. When it is come to the perfection, they let the wool lie, to take the liquor, five hours. Then they have it forth, touse and card it, and put it in again, until it hath drunk up all the liquor as much as it will.
“Now this is to be observed, that the sea-cornet Buccinum makes no good colour by itself, for their dye will shed, and lose the lustre; and therefore they join it usually to the sea purple Pelagium, which maketh too deep and brown a colour, unto which it giveth a fresh and lively tincture, as it were in grain, and so make that sad purple which they desire. Thus, by mixing and medling the force of both together, they mend one another, whilst the lightness or sadness of the one doth quicken and raise, or else dim or take down, the colour of the other. To the dyeing of a pound of wool they use this proportion of two hundred Buccina, or seacornets, joined with a hundred and eleven Pelagian purples; and so cometh that rich amythist, or purple violet colour, so highly commended
above all other. But the Tyrians make their deep red purple by dipping their wool first in the liquor of the Pelagian purples only, while it is not thoroughly boiled to the height, but as were green and unripe; and therefore they let it take what it can drink. Soon after, they change it into another cauldron or lead, where the colour of the sea-cornets alone is boiled. And then it is thought to have a most commendable and excellent dye, when it is as deep a red as blood that is cold and settled, blackish at the first sight, and look between you and the light it carries a bright and shining lustre, and hereupon it is that Homer calleth blood purple.
* WHEN THEY BEGAN AT ROME TO WEAR PURPLE FIRST.
“I find in Chronicles that purple hath been used in Rome time out of mind. Howbeit K. Romulus never wore it but in his royal habit or mantle of estate called Trabea. And it is well known that Tullus Hostilius was the first Roman king who, after he had subdued the Tuscans, put on the long purple robe named pretexta, and the cassocks broached and studded with scarlet in broad guards. Cornelius Nepos, who died in the days of Augustus Cæsar, the emperor, says, 'when I was a young man, the light violet purple was rife and in great request, and a pound of it was sold for 100 deniers; and not long after, the Tarentine red purple or scarlet was much called for, and of the same price. But after it came the fine doubledyed purple of Tyros, called dibapha, and a man could not buy a pound of it for 1000 deniers, which was the price of ten pounds of the other. P. Lentulus Spinther, in his ædileship of the chair, first wore a long robe embroidered with it, and was checked and blamed therefore. But now-adays,' saith Nepos, 'what is he that will not hang his parlour and diningchamber therewith, and have carpets, cushions, and cup-board cloths thereof?' And it is no longer ago, when Spinther was ædile, than in the 700th year after the foundation of Rome, even when Cicero was consul. This purple in those days was called dibapha, i.e. twice-dyed, and that was counted a matter of great cost, and very stately and magnificent. But now you shall have no purple cloths at all, of any reckoning, but they shall have their double dye. As for the cloth dyed with the purple of the shell-fish, Conchylia, the manner of making the colour and of dying are in all respects the same, save that there are no sea-cornets used thereto. Moreover, the juice or liquor for that colour is tempered with water instead of the usual preparation of urea, altogether used in the other, and therein is sodden but the half proportion of colours to the foresaid tinc. tures. And thus it is made that light, pale, stammel, so highly commended for being short of the deep, rich, colour; and the less, while that the wool is suffered to drink the fill, the more bright and fresh it seemeth.
[Chap. xl. gives a description of the price of wool dyed with these colours.]
" THE MANNER OF DYEING THE AMETHYST, VIOLET, OR PURPLE, THE CHRYMSON, AND
SCARLET IN GRAIN, AND THE LIGHT STAMMEL OR LUSTIE-GALLANT.
“ It would not suffice our prodigal spendthrifts to rob the precious stone amethyst of its name, and apply it to a colour, but when they had a perfect amethyst dye, they must have it to be drunken again with the Tyrian purple, that they might have a superfluous and double name, compounded of both, (Tyriamethistus,) correspondent to their two-fold cost, and double superfluity. Moreover, after they have accomplished fully the colour of the Conchylium, they are not content until they have a second dye in the Tyrian purple lead. It should seem that these double dies and compounded colours came first from the error and repentance of the workman when his hand missed, and so was forced to change and alter that which he had done before and utterly misliked ; and hereof forsooth is come now a pretty cunning and art thereof, and the monstrous spirits of our wasteful persons are grown to wish and desire that which was a fault amended first; and seeing the two-fold way of a double charge and expense trodden before them by the dyers, have found the means to lay colour upon colour, and to overcast and strike a rich dye with a weaker, so that it might be called a more pleasant and delicate colour. Nay, it will not serve their turn to mingle the abovesaid tinctures of sea-fishes, but they must also do the like by the dye of land-colours,” (probably the kermes ;) “ for when a wool or cloth hath taken a crimson or scarlet in grain, it must be died again in the Tyrian purple to make the light, red, and fresh lustiegallant.
“ As touching the grain, serving to this tincture, it is red, and cometh out of Galatia (as we shall show in our history of earthy plants) or else about Emerita in Portugal, and that, of all other, is of most account. But to knit up in one word these noble colours, note this—that when this grain is but of one year's age, it maketh but a weak tincture, but after four years, the strength thereof is gone. So that, neither young nor old is of any very great virtue. Thus, I have sufficiently and at large treated of those means which men and women both so highly esteem, and think to make most, for their state and honourable port, and setting out of themselves in the best manner.”—Pliny, 9th Book.
Aristotle likewise informs us, that the smaller species of shells were broken up, as it would be too difficult to separate the animals from them. Those in the breccia found at Tyre are all of a small species.
From the account of Pliny, it appears that four colours were produced, but all coming under the denomination of "the Tyrian," which is the ex
pression made use of by the older writers, particularly the Hebrew and Syriac; for Bochart and others consider the , and a inverted in the name PATX ARGAMEN, purple, and with that change the word would simply mean Syrian Colour.
The first was a sullen and melancholy colour, inclining to a blue or watchet, and resembling the angry and raging sea in a tempest, and was procured from what he termed the cornet sea-buccinum ; the second was obtained from the Pelagian, or deep-sea purples, and was in all probability a plain red, or, as it is termed, too deep and brown a colour; the third was formed by mixing these two together, and gave the rich amethyst, so highly esteemed above all others; and the fourth seems to have been a bright crimson or scarlet, and appears to be that mentioned by Homer as the colour of the blood when cold, and held between the examiner and the light. Besides, there was another, which the author states was obtained at a great price by again dipping the amethyst in the purple dye, and so getting a tint, called from being so dipped, Tyriamethystus. Some difference in colour may have arisen from the various species of mollusca used, and the different coasts from which the shells were obtained, as besides the Asiatic and African shores of the Mediterranean mentioned by Pliny, Chios and the islands in the vicinity were famous for their purple ; and it was true that Alexander, when revelling in Persia, sent for materials to clothe himself and his attendants in purple robes. They are likewise found at Sigetum, and on the coast of Caria.
The isles of Elisha, mentioned by Ezekiel in his glowing description of the manufactures of Tyre, appear to be Elis in the Peloponnesus, which, as well as Lesbos and Tenedos, produce shells affording a purple dye. Athenæus tells us of the largest being found about the promontory of Lectus; and it is probable that the best purples were those obtained from the deep sea. Different varieties of murices and buccina are found in the Gulf of Tarentum, conglomerated into a breccia, somewhat similar to that which I brought from Tyre.
The first written account of these Tyrian colours that we read of, is that contained in the 25th chapter of Exodus, where they are mentioned among the offerings that the children of Israel were commanded to offer as decorations of the tabernacle, when they wandered in the wilderness. The manufacture of these they in all probability learned from the Egyptians, and they may have been some of the wares of which that nation were despoiled on the departure of the Hebrews. “And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair ; and rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood."—(Exod. xxv. 3, 4, 5.) And the same articles are frequently enumerated in the subsequent descriptions of the decorations and ornaments of the priests and the sanctuary. Dr. Adam Clarke's observations on the original words used to express these colours, are well worthy of remark :