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th's contrived by concurrence of causes and providence of nacure, securing every species in their production, is not yet de ermined. Surely many things fall out by the design of the general motor and undreamt-of contrivance of nature which are not imputable unto the intention or knowledge of the particular actor. So, though the seminality of ivy be almost in every earth, yet that it ariseth and groweth not, but where it may be supported;? we cannot ascribe the same unto the distinction of the seed, or conceive any science therein which suspends and conditionates its eruption. So if, as Pliny and Plutarch report, the crocodiles of Egypt so aptly lay their eggs, that the natives thereby are able to know how high the flood will attain, it will be hard to make out how they should divine the extent of the inundation, depending on causes so many miles remote; that is, the measure of showers in Ethiopia; and whereof, as Athanasius in the Life of Anthony delivers, the devil himself upon demand could make no clear prediction. So are there likewise many things in nature which are the forerunners or signs of future effects, whereto they neither concur in causality or prenotion, but are secretly ordered by the providence of causes and concurrence of actions collateral to their signations.
It was also a custom of old to keep these birds in chests, upon opinion that they prevented moths. Whether it were not first hanged up in rooms, to such effects, is not beyond all doubt; or whether we mistake not the posture of pension, hanging it by the bill, whereas we should do it by the back, that by the bill it might point out the quarters of the wind; for so hath Kircherus described the orbis and the
not yet determined.] All creatures know not only the meanes but the times of their preservation : and therefore that the halcyon knowing that at the winter solstice there is such a calm, chooseth that time to hatch his young, as the crowes did in 1652, when the mildnes of January was such, that they, supposing the spring was come on, did build their nests, and as I was credibly informed, some did hatche their broode.- Wr.
? groweth not, but, &c.] The ground affords a sufficient support for the purpose ; for ivy will certainly grow where it has no other, and will cover the surface of the ground, growing among the herbage, and in some cases supplanting it.
3 So are there, &c.] See an interesting chapter on prognostics in Forster's Researches into Atmospheric Phænomena, p. 128.
sea-swallow. But the eldest custom of hanging up these birds was founded upon a tradition, that they would re jew their feathers every year as though they were alive: in expectation whereof, four hundred years ago, Albertus Magus was deceived.4
Of Griffins. THAT there are griffins in nature, that is, a mixed and dubious animal, in the forepart resembling an eagle, and behind the shape of a lion, with erected ears, four feet, and a
long tail, many affirm, and most, I perceive, deny not. The the same is averred by Ælian, Solinus, Mela, and Herodotusid countenanced by the name sometimes found in Scripture, bir and was an hieroglyphic of the Egyptians.6
Notwithstanding we find most diligent enquirers to be of a nich contrary assertion. For beside that Albertus and Pliny have Duct disallowed it, the learned Aldrovandus hath, in a large disthe course rejected it; Matthias Michovius, who writ of those atenie northern parts wherein men place these griffins, hath posi
tively concluded against it; and, if examined by the doctrine n ché of animals, the invention is monstrous, nor much inferior rith unto the figment of sphynx, chimæra, and harpies ; for though be there be some flying animals of mixed and participating e os natures, that is, between bird and quadruped, yet are their
4 It was a custom, doc.] First added in the 2nd edition.
5 That there are griffins, &c.] Ross, as usual, defends the ancient opi.
nion, at considerable length; and accounts for their not being now canest known to exist, by supposing them to have removed to places inacceson kimi sible to men, whereof he observes there are many such in the great and that he vast countries of Scythia, &c. &c. !-Arcana, p. 199.
6 and was an hieroglyphic, &c.] Pierius (p. 233, E.), on the authority te 01, of the Isiac table ; of which see note 1, at page 252.
? of mixed and participating natures.] Modern discovery has greatly
added to our knowledge of those animals which form connecting links rt for in the great chain. “There is nothing more wonderful and admirable
in nature than this sort of connection between the classes, orders, groups, and genera of the animal kingdom. It is not a regular gradation of being, like the steps of a ladder, according to the Platonic system, nor do we think that it can be very easily reduced to any defi
wings and legs so set together, that they seem to make each other, their being a commixion of both, rather than an adaptation or cement of prominent parts unto each other; as is observable in the bat, whose wings and fore-legs are contrived in each other. For though some species there be of middle and participating natures, that is, of bird and beast, as bats and some few others; yet are their parts so conformed and set together, that we cannot define the beginning or end of either; there being a commixion of both in the whole, rather than an adaptation or cement of the one unto the other.
Now for the word yoùy or gryps, sometimes mentioned in Scripture, and frequently in human authors, properly understood it signifies some kind of eagle or vulture, from whence the epithet grypus, for an hooked or aquiline nose. Thus when the Septuagint makes use of this word,* Tremellius, and our translation, hath rendered it the ossifrage, which is one kind of eagle. And although the vulgar translation, and that annexed unto the Septuagint, retain the word gryps, which in ordinary and school construction is commonly rendered a griffin, yet cannot the Latin assume any other sense than the Greek, from whence it is borrowed. And though the Latin gryphes be altered somewhat by the addition of an h, or aspiration of the letter , yet is not this unusual; so what the Greeks call Tpóralov, the Latin will call trophæum ; and that person, which in the gospel is named Kléonas, the Latins will render Cleophas. And therefore the quarrel of Origen was unjust, and his conception erroneous, when he conceived the food of griffins forbidden by the law of Moses ; 8 that is, poetical animals, and things of no existence. And
* Lev. ii. nite plan, notwithstanding the very ingenious and laudable attempts, in this way, of some recent naturalists. But we find in every class, and every order of animals, connecting links with all the other classes, and all the other orders. Somewhere or other, we are sure to find the existing bond of affinity. Thus we have flying mammalia, and walking birds-swimming birds, and flying fishes-in short, some out of each borrow the characters of others, and lose some of those peculiar to their own division.”—Cuvier, by Griffith, vol. ix. p. 284. .8 Moses.] The most learned among the Jews can give us noe certaine information concerning the names of animals, plants, mettals, vestments, or instruments, saith Gesner, in his learned book, De Quadrupedibus. --Wr.
therefore, when in the hecatombs and mighty oblations of the Gentiles, it is delivered they sacrificed gryphes or griffins, hereby we may understand some stronger sort of eagles. And therefore also, when it is said in Virgil, of an improper match, or Mopsus marrying Nysa, Jungentur jam gryphes equis, we need not hunt after other sense, than that strange unions shall be made, and different natures be conjoined together.
As for the testimonies of ancient writers, they are but derivative, and terminate all in one Aristeus, a poet of Proconesus, who affirmed that near the Arimaspi, or one-eyed nation, griffins defended the mines of gold. But this, as Herodotus delivereth, he wrote by hearsay; and Michovius, who had expressly written of those parts, plainly affirmeth, there is neither gold nor griffins in that country, nor any such animal extant; for so doth he conclude, Ego vero contra veteres authores, gryphes nec in illa septentrionis, nec in aliis orbis partibus inveniri affirmârim.
Lastly, concerning the hieroglyphical authority, although it nearest approach the truth, it doth not infer its existency. The conceit of the griffin, properly taken, being but a symbolical fancy, in so intolerable a shape including allowable morality. So doth it well make out the properties of a guardian, or any person entrusted; the ears implying attentionthe wings, celerity of execution—the lion-like shape, courage and audacity—the hooked bill, reservance and tenacity. It is also an emblem of valour and magnanimity, as being compounded of the eagle and lion, the noblest animals in their kinds; and so is it appliable unto princes, presidents, gene. rals, and all heroic commanders; and so is it also borne in the coat-arms of many noble families of Europe.
But the original invention seems to be hieroglyphical, derived from the Egyptians, and of an higher signification; by the mystical conjunction of hawk and lion, implying either the genial or the syderous sun, the great celerity thereof, and the strength and vigour in its operations: and therefore, under such hieroglyphics Osyris was described ;9 and in
by the mystical conjunction, &c.] Most of the above statements are from Pierius ; but he does not mention Osiris. Horapollo has no griffias. Plutarch says, that Osiris is typified by a hawk.-Young, ut
ancient coins we meet with griffins conjointly with Apollo's tripodes and chariot-wheels; and the marble griffins at St. Peter's in Rome, as learned men conjecture, were first translated from the temple of Apollo. Whether hereby were not also (mystically implied the activity of the sun in Leo, the power of God in the sun, or the influence of the celestial Osyris, by Moptha, the genius of Nilus, might also be considered. And than the learned Kircherus, no man were likely to be a better Oedipus.?
Of the Phoenix. That there is but one phønix in the world, which after many hundred years burneth itself, and from the ashes thereof ariseth up another,2 is a conceit not new or altogether popular, but of great antiquity; not only delivered by human authors, but frequently expressed also by holy writers: by Cyril, Epiphanius, and others; by Ambrose in his Hexameron, and Tertullian in his poem, De Judicio Domini ; but more agreeably unto the present sense, in his excellent tract, De Resurrectione Carnis; Illum dico alitem orientis peculiarem, de singularitate famosum, de posteritate monstruosum; qui semetipsum libenter funerans renovat, natali fine decedens, atque succedens iterum phoenix. Ubi jam nemo, iterum ipse; quia non jam, alius idem. The Scripture also seems to favour it, particularly that of Job xxi. În the in
sup. 45. "The pictorial delineation of Osiris has indifferently a human head or that of a hawk ; but never that of any other animals.”—16.57. Champollion mentions these, as “quadrupèdes à tête d'oiseau."-Précis du Systême Hiéroglyphique, &c. 1828, p. 305.
· But the original, &c.] First added in the 3rd edition.
? That there is but one phonix, &c.] It is really amusing to observe the humorous obstinacy of honest master Ross in defending every thing, however absurd, which is derived from “the ancient sages. That the phenix is but rarely seen he thinks no marvel ; its instinct teaching it to keep out of the way of man, the great tyrant of the creatures ;-"for had Heliogabalus, that Roman glutton, met with him, he had devoured him, though there were no more in the world !" -Arcana, p. 202.