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oxen, Hercules perforce drew him out of that place; from whence the conceits of those days affirmed no less than that Hercules descended into hell, and brought up Cerberus into the habitation of the living. Upon the like grounds was raised the figment of Briareus, who, dwelling in a city called Hecatonchiria, the fancies of those times assigned him an hundred hands. 'Twas ground enough to fancy wings unto Dædalus, in that he stole out of a window from Minos, and sailed away with his son Icarus ; who, steering his course wisely, escaped, but his son carrying too high a sail was drowned. That Niobe, weeping over her children, was turned into a stone, was nothing else but that during her life she erected over their sepulchres a marble tomb of her

When Acteon had undone himself with dogs, and the prodigal attendants of hunting, they made a solemn story how he was devoured by his hounds. And upon the like grounds was raised the anthropophagie* of Diomedes his horses. Upon a slender foundation was built the fable of the Minotaure ; for one Taurus, a servant of Minos, gat his mistress, Pasiphae, with child, from whence the infant was named Minotaurus. Now this unto the fabulosity of those times, was thought sufficient to accuse Pasiphae of beastiality, or admitting conjunction with a bull; and in succeeding ages gave a hint of depravity unto Domitian to act the fable into a reality. In like manner, as Diodorus plainly delivereth, the famous fable of Charon had its nativity; who, being no other but the common ferry-man of Egypt that wafted over the dead bodies from Memphis, was made by the Greeks to be the ferry-man of hell, and solemn stories raised after of him.?

own.

* Eating of man's flesh. 1 In like manner, as Diodorus plainly delivereth, the famous fable of Charon had its nativity, &c.] Two circumstances, for the knowledge of which we are indebted to the modern researches into the literature and antiquities of Egypt (for which the late Dr. Thomas Young opened the way, by his discovery of the method of deciphering the Hieroglyphics), concur to prove, not only that Diodorus has faithfully reported the information he received from the Egyptian priests, but also that he was truly informed by them respecting their rites and ceremonies. Both of these occur in the very passages (Diod. Sic. Bib. Hist. Wess. $ 92, 96) in which is delivered the statement alluded to in the text, relative to the fable of Charon. One of them is a remarkable numerical coincidence, pointed out and commented upon by Dr. Young, (Art. EGYPT,

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Lastly, we shall not need to enlarge, if that be true which grounded the generation of Castor and Helena out of an Supp. Ency. (Brit. p. 52) between the statement of Diodorus, and the delineations as well as enumerations, of the Egyptian papyri. The other, the importance of which Dr. Young appears not to have observed, although it has become apparent through his researches alone, relates to the name Charon. Dr. Young, in his translation of one of the passages in question (Account of Recent Discoveries in Egypt. Antiq. p. 104), has, from his knowledge of the Egyptian language, interpolated “the Silent," as the literal meaning of this appellation. Now, that Charon should be an Egyptian word, and that such should be its signification, are circumstances in themselves further strongly corroborative of the truth of the relation of Diodorus ; for, with respect to the latter, it was the office of the "ferry-man of Egypt, that wafted over the dead bodies from Memphis,to wait with his boat, in the presence of the judges, until judgment had been passed upon the deceased, which, as Charon had no part to take in the ceremony, until judgment had been pronounced, he would of course do in solemn silence.

But that the Greeks actually derived their mythus, of Charon and his office, from the mere funeral ceremonies of the Egyptians, as represented to Diodorus by the priests, is a notion which rests, it will be perceived, upon their testimony alone ; and that it is untrue various considerations concur to evince. From our present knowledge of the Egyptian mythology, it appears that the ceremonies through which every mummy had to pass, before it was allowed sepulture, formed a kind of mythic drama, intended to represent the successive stages of the judgment, through which the soul of the deceased had to pass, prior to its final allotment to happiness or misery. But the object of all the allegations of the Egyptian priests to Diodorus, being, as is manifest, the aggrandizement of their own country, while they truly related their ceremonies to him, they appear sedulously to have concealed the dogmas, or mythi, of which those ceremonies were representative. Hence their statement, that the Greek mythus of Charon had been derived from their mere funeral ceremony; while the fact doubtless was, as the entire tenour of mythological literature shows, either that the Greek mythi in general (and that of Charon as one of them) were derived originally, not from the mere ceremonies, as the priests would have had us believe, but from the mythi themselves, of the Egyptians; or that both nations had derived their mythi from an anterior common source. Charon was in all probability originally the name of the mythic boatman, and subsequently applied also to his mortal representative, so that the proof of the veracity of Diodorus, derived from it, will remain equally valid under the view of the subject now taken. The recent investigations of the mythi of the Greeks by Heyne, and other scholars equally competent to the inquiry, have shown that the origins assigned to them by Palæphatus and others, which Browne usually adopts, are for the most part untenable ; and even some of those related, from the Egyptian priests, by Diodorus, notwithstanding the authenticity we have found to belong to his relations,

egg, because they were born and brought up in an upper room, according unto the word wor, which with the Lacedæmonians had also that signification.

Fifthly, We applaud many things delivered by the ancients, which are in themselves ordinary, and come short of our conceptions. Thus we usually extol, and our orations cannot

escape the sayings of the wise men of Greece. Nosce teipsum, of Thales; Nosce tempus, of Pittacus; Nihil nimis, of Cleobulus ; which, notwithstanding, to speak indifferently, are but vulgar precepts in morality, carrying with them nothing above the line, or beyond the extemporary sententiosity of common conceits with us. Thus we magnifie the apothegms or reputed replies of wisdom, whereof many are to be seen in Laertius, more in Lycosthenes, not a few in the second book of Macrobius, in the Salts of Cicero, Augustus, and the comical wits of those times : in most whereof there is not much to admire, and are, methinks, exceeded, not only in the replies of wise men, but the passages of society, and urbanities of our times. And thus we extol their adages or proverbs ; and Erasmus hath taken great pains to make collections of them, whereof, notwithstanding, the greater part will, I believe, unto indifferent judges, be esteemed no extraordinaries; and may be paralleled, if not exceeded, by those of more unlearned nations, and many of

our own.

Sixthly, We urge authorities in points that need not, and introduce the testimony of ancient writers, to confirm things evidently believed, and whereto no reasonable hearer but would assent without them; such as are nemo mortalium omnibus horis sapit. Virtute nil præstantius, nil pulchrius. Omnia vincit amor. Præclarum quiddam veritas. All which, although known and vulgar, are frequently urged by many men; and though trivial verities in our mouths, yet noted from Plato, Ovid, and Cicero, they become reputed appear, as Dr. Young has observed, (Account, &c. p. 111) to rest upon

analogies all too slight to be admitted as anything like evidence." The application to these doubtful points, however, so far as the relations of Diodorus are concerned, of the fact already noticed, that the Egyptian ceremonies alluded to were mythic dramas, would certainly contribute greatly to their elucidation.-Br.

The passage which forms the subject of Mr. Brayley's preceding note was first added in the second edition.

VOL. I.

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elegancies. For many

hundred to instance in one we meet with while we are writing. Antonius Guevara, that elegant Spaniard, in his book entituled, The Dial of Princes, beginneth his epistle thus : “ Apollonius Thyanæus, disputing with the scholars of Hiarchas, said, that among all the affections of nature, nothing was more natural than the desire all have to preserve life.” Which, being a confessed truth, and a verity acknowledged by all, it was a superfluous affectation to derive its authority from Apollonius, or seek a confirmation thereof as far as India, and the learned scholars of Hiarchas.? Which, whether it be not all one as to strengthen common dignities and principles, known by themselves, with the authority of mathematicians; or (to] think a man should believe, “the whole is greater than its parts,' rather upon the authority of Euclide, than if it were propounded alone, I leave unto the second and wiser cogitations of all men. 'Tis sure a practice that savours much of pedantry; a reserve of puerility we have not shaken off from school ; where, being seasoned with minor sentences, by a neglect of higher enquiries, they prescribe upon our riper ears, and are never worn out, but with our memories.

Lastly, While we so devoutly adhere unto antiquity in some things, we do not consider we have deserted them in several others. For they, indeed, have not only been imperfect in the conceit of some things, but either ignorant or erroneous in many more. They understood not the motion of the eighth sphere from west to east, and so conceived the longitude of the stars invariable. They conceived the Torrid Zone unhabitable, and so made frustrate the goodliest part of the earth. But we now know 'tis very

well empeopled, and the habitation thereof esteemed so happy, that some have made it the proper seat of Paradise; and been so far from judging it unhabitable, that they have made it the first habitation of all. Many of the ancients denied the Antipodes, and some unto the penalty of contrary affirmations ;4 but the experience of our enlarged navigations can now assert them beyond all dubitation. Having thus totally relinquished them in some things, it may not be presumptuous to examine them in others; but surely most unreasonable to adhere to them in all, as though they were infallible, or could not err in any.

2 Antonius Guevara, dc.] This practice is well ridiculed by Sterne ;“Tis either Plato, or Plutarch, or Seneca, or Xenophon, or Epictetus, or Theophrastus, or Lucian, or some one perhaps of later date, -either Cardan, or Buddæus, or Petrarch, or Stella, or possibly it may be some divine or father of the Church, St. Austin, or St. Cyprian, or Bernard, who affirms that it is an irresistible and natural passion to weep for the loss of our friends or children, &c., &c.”—J. Cr.

3 But we now know tis very well empeopled.] See Sir T. P. Blount's Essays, p. 137.-J. Cr.

CHAPTER VII.

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Of another of the more immediate Causes of Error ;--viz. Adherence

unto Authority. Nor is only a resolved prostration unto antiquity a powerful

enemy unto knowledge, but any confident adherence unto authority, or resignation of our judgments upon the testimony of any age or author whatsoever.

For, first, to speak generally, an argument from authority, to wiser examinations, is but a weaker kind of proof; it being but a topical probation, and as we term it, an inartificial argument, depending upon a naked asseveration, wherein neither declaring the causes, affections, or adjuncts, of what we believe, it carrieth not with it the reasonable inducements of knowledge. And therefore contra negantem principia, ipse dixit, or oportet discentem credere, although pos

* and some, &c.] Alluding to Virgilius ; See Rel. Med. p. 39, note 2.

5 contra negantem, dc.] These three rules althoughe they bee founded on the grounds of universall reason, yet they have theire limits and boundaryes, by which they must be circumscribed. The first reachinge only such perverse spirits, as denye those universall principles of reason and nature, wherein the wisest and soberest judgments of all times have held an unanimous and full consent, and whereon the perpetuall and uncontrouled experience all mankinde hath agreed. As that the snow is white ; and that fire does burne. The former whereof, althoughe some have made not only dispute, but deniall, yet they purchast nothing but scorne and the censure as of brainsick men.

The second is noe where of universall authoritye, save in the booke of God: all other dictates of men, how specious soever, being noe farther authenticall to enforce beleefe, then as the reasons are, whereon they are built : but the only reason in God's booke is, because wee know, Hee, whose word itt is, is truth ittselfe, and can neither lye, nor deceave, nor bee deceaved ; and therefore hath the whole and sole

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