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ong while ago. Some think it Without giving credit to these circut by the ancient Britons, and cumstances, this vase is however that they worshipped it ; others valuable from its antiquity, of believe it to be the work of the which there can be no doubt. papists, as here was formerly an abbey, &c. &c. But however that

IN

N the treasury belonging to the be, the dimensions, by actual ad cathedral of Genoa is premeasurement, are as follows : : served, with the greateft venera

tion, for upwards of fix, hundred

Feet. years, a dish, or rather an hexagon Length of his foot

bowl, which they pretend to be Breadth of the same

8 made of emerald. It has two small Ditto of the small of the leg 5 handles, and consists of one single Ditto of the calf

9 piece: its greatest diameter is about Ditto of the thigh

17 { fourteen inches and an half; its Length of the leg and thigh 80

height, five inches nine lines; its From the top of the thigh to thickness, three lines. This mo

head

nument is kept under several keys, Whole length

180

deposited in different hands. When Breadth of the face

14 it is thewn, which happens but felDitto of the chin

4 dom, and by virtue only of a deDitto of the mouth

3}

cree of the senate, the vessel is let Ditto of the nose

5 down by a cord, passed through its Breadth of the nose

2į two handles, and suspended around Length of the face

22 the priest's neck, who prefides at Diameter of the eye

the exhibition ; but never

goes out Dicto of the breasts

of his hands. By an ancient deLength of the ribs

18

cree of the senate, bearing date Ditto of the fingers

5 1 24th of May 1476, it is forbid, Breadth of the fingers i under severe penalties, to approach Ditto of the hand

7 ź too near this sacred vessel (il facro Ditto of the wrist

5 catino), and much more to touch From the wrist to the elbow 41 it with any metal whatsoever. All From the elbow to the houlder 60 ș this apparatus, and these difficalLength of the arın

; ties, leem only, so many precauBreadth of the shoulder

22; tions taken against those who might Ditto of the elbow

19

want to satisfy themselves by some Length of the club

121 proof, fuch as that of the file, or Breadth at the knots

graving-tool, whether the matter Ditto at other places

of which this vesel is composed, be really of the hardness of an

emerald.

e Nevertheless they produce, an An accoubt of the famous vale, Jaidia act, by which it appears that the

have been made use of by Sclomon): vessel was pledged by deliberation and that also » which our Savis of the fenate, in 1319, during the weer celebrated his last suppor. Frem fiege of Genoa, to cardinal Luke Mr. Condanine's Tout to Italy. de Fiesqui, fór á sum equivalent to

twelve

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2을

109

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twelve hundred marks of gold, not that any modern traveller has and this sum was paid off and combated it; and the Geographical the pledge withdrawn twelve years Dictionary of Martinere, edition after. This seems to prove, that 1740, says positively, " that they the great value of the matter of preserve at Genoa a precious veffel this deposit was at that time with.. of inestimable value," which arout fufpicion.

fertion I am the more aftonished at, I see not what prefumption in as my doubt is by no means new. favour of the matter of this veffel. It is clearly indicated in the excan be drawn from the circum- presfione employed by William fance of ore of its handles being archbishop of Tyre, about four cracked; nor how this proof, centuries ago, where he fays, that which is fupposed to have been at the taking of “ Cæfarea this made in the presence of the em- ' vessel fell by lot, for a large fum peror Charles V. could ascertain of money, to the Genoese, who the genuineness of the emerald. believed it to be an emerald, and

The princes Corfini, grand ne- who shew it still as such, and as phe vs to pope Clement XII. whom fomething wonderful, to ftrangi had the honour of accompanying ers.*" For the rest, it belongs from Marseilles to Genoa, having only to those whom thefe fufpicions obtained from the fenate the ne may displease, to destroy them, if ceffary decree to see this monu- they are not well founded ; and I ment, I availed myself of the op- have not entered into this detail, portunity in order to examine it. but in the hope that a fact, the 1 viewed it attentively, opposing clearing up of which is so easy, 'it co the light of a large taper. will not remain any longer in obThe colour appeared to me of a scurity; or that this obscurity, if very deep green: 1 perceived not it should continue, will change

in it the least trace of those icicles, these fufpicions into certainty. Itraws, clouds, and other defects I drew the figure and dimenfions of transparence so common in eme. of the vessel of Genoa, such as I ralds and other precious stones of now lay them before this assembly, the least thicknefs, even in rock from a work published at Genoa in cryftal; but I diftinguished very 1726, by a religious of the Ayevidently several little voids, re- guftine order, and filled with hissembling small bubbles of air, of torical researches on this fubject. a round or oblong form, fuch as The author leaves undecided the are commonly found in crystals, question which he proposes to him. or glass, whether white or co- felf, whether this precious moveloured.

able was brought by the Genoefe One would not expect that a 'from the fiege of Cæfarea in Paleprejudice of the twelfth century fine, in the year 1101 (as appears moald be blindly respected in the evident by the teftimony of Wileighteenth ; nevertheless I know ' liam of Tyre) or from the fiege

Fanuenfes Smaragdinum reputantes, pro multâ pecunia fummâ in fortem recipientes,

.... ufque hodie tranfeuntibus .... Yas idem quafi pro miraculo folent oliendere, &c. Guill. Tyr. Archiepisc. ķib. x.chap. 16.

af

af Almeria, taken by the Moors gave room to the fable, that two in 1147; but he discusses with pigeons having taken wing from great erudition through what hands Thebes, one of them filed into the vessel has passed, since the Lybia, where it occafioned the queen of Sheba made a present of establishing of the oracle of Jupiof it-to. Solomon, to the time ter Hammon; and the other, havwherein it was employed to serve ing stopped on the oaks of the foup the paschal lamb to our Saviour rest of Dodona, informed the inhaon the eve of his passion : this is bitants of the neighbouring parts, A point on which our author has that it was Jupiter's intention there not the least doubt. As for what should be an oracle in that place. refpects the matter of it, he main. Herodotus has thus explained this tains that is certainly an emerald.; fable: there were formerly two and his strongest argument is, that priesteffes of Thebes, who were the matter of a vessel which served carried off by Phenician merchants. for the supper wherein our Lord She that was sold into Greece, setinstituted the august facrament of tled in the forest of Dodona, where the Eucharift, could not be too great numbers of the ancient inprecious. This principle once ad- habitants of Greece went to gamitted, would lead the author far- ther acorns. She there erected a ther than he desires, and prove little chapel at the foot of an oak, that the dish ought to be a dia- in honour of the same Jupiter, mond.

whose priesters she had been ; and here it was this oracle was esta

blished, which in after-times beA differtation on Oracles. came so famous, The manner of

delivering the cracles of Dodona FE

E W superstitions have been so was very singular. There was a

famous, and have so powerfully great number of kettles suspended operated on the minds of mankind from treęs near a copper statue, during a number of ages, as oracles. which was also suspended with a In treaties of peace or truces, the bunch of rods in its hand. When Greeks never forgot to stipulate the wind happened to put it in mothe liberty of going to oracles. tion, it ftruck the first kettle, which No colony. undertook new settle- communicating its motion to the ments, no war was declared, no · rest, all of them tingled, and proimportant affair begun, without duced a certain sound which confirft consulting the oracles.: tinued for a long time; after which

The most renowned were those the oracle spoke. of Delphos, Dodona, Trophonius, The oracle of Jupiter Hammon Jupiter Hammon, and the Clarian - was in the desert, in the midst of Apollo. Some have attributed the the burning sands of Africa. This the oracles of Dodona to oaks, oracle declared to Alexander, that ochers to pigeons. The opinion Jupiter was his father. After feof those pigeon prophetesses was veral questions, having asked if the introduced by the equivocation of death of his father was sufficiently a Theftalian word, which fignified revenged, the oracle answered, a pigeon and a woman; and That the death of Philip was re

venged,

both

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venged, but that the father of ject to waver, according to events, Alexander was immortal. This have recourse to oracles. For may oracle gave occasion to Lucan to part, I find in nature every thing put great sentiments in the mouth that can inspire the moft conftant of Cato. After the battle of Phar resolution. The daftard, as well falia, when Cæfar became master as the brave, cannot avoid death, of the world, Labienus said to Jupiter cannot tell us more. Cato Cato : As we have now so good thus fpoke; and quitted the counan opportunity of confulting to ce- try without confulting the oracle. Jebrated an oracle, let us know Diodorus Sicalas, Plutarch, and from it how to regulate our con- feveral other authors relate, that duct during this war. The Gods a herd of goats difcovered the will not declare themfelves more oracle of Delphos, or of the Pywillingly for any one than Cato. thian Apollo. When the goat hapYou have always been befriended pened to come near enough the by the Gods, and may therefore cavern, to breathe the air that pas. have the confidence to converse fed out of it, the returned kipwith Jupiter: Inform yourself of ping and bounding about, and her the destiny of the tyrant and the voice articulated some extraordi. fate of our country; whether we nary founds'; which having been are to preserve our liberty, or to observed by their keepers, they lose the fruit of the war; and you went to look in, and were seized may learn too what that virtue is with a fury that made them jump to which you have been devoted, about, and foretel future events. and what its reward. Cato, full Coretas, as Plutarch tells, was of the divinity that was within the name of the goat-herd that him, returned to Labienus an an discovered the oracle. One of the fwer worthy of an oracle: On guards of Demetrius, coming too what account, Labienus, would near the mouth of the cavern, was you have me confult Jupiter : Shall fuffocated by the force of the exI ask him whether it be better to halation, and died suddenly. The lofe life than liberty? Whether orifice or vent-hole of the cave was life, be a real good? Whether covered with a tripod confecrated virtue depends on fortune? We to Apollo, on which the priesteries, have within us, Labienus, an called Pythoneffes, fat, to fill themoracle that can answer all these felves with the prophetie vapour, questions. Nothing happens but and to conceive the spirit of diviby the order of God. Let us not nation, with the furor that made require of him to repeat to us what them know futurity, and foretel it he has fufficiently engraved on our in Greek hexameters. Plutarch hearts. Truth has not withdrawn fays, that, on the ceffation of into those deserts ; it is not graved oracles, a Pythonefs was fo excefon those fands. The abode fof fively tormented by the vapour, God is the heavens, the earth, the and 'fuffered such violent convalseas, and virtuou's hearts. Godfions, that all the priests ran away, speaks to us by all that we see, by: and the died soon after. -4314 all that surrounds us. Let the in ..99. Pausanias describes the ceremoconkant, and those that are fub h nies that were practised for consult

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ing the pracle of Trophonius. having taken some water out of a Every man that went down into well thár lies hid in it, he anfwers his cave, never-laughed his whole you in verfes to whatever you have life after. This gave occasion to thought of, though this man is the proverbial faying concerning often very ignorant. those of a melancholy air: He Dion Caffius explains the manhas consulted Trophonius.? Platoner, in which the oracle of Nymrelates that, the two brothers, A. phea in Epirus delivered its regamedes and Trophonius, having sponses. The party that consultbuilt the temple of Apollo, and ed took incense, and, having prayaked the God, for a reward, what ed, threw the incenfe into the fire. - he thought of most advantage to If the thing desired was to be men; both died in the night that obtained, the incenfe was immefucceeded their prayer. Paufanias diately in fames; and, even in the gives us a quite different account. case of its not falling into the fire, In the palace they built for the the flame purfucd and confumed it. king Hyrieus, they fo laid a stone, But, if the thing was not to succeed, that it might be taken away, and the incense did not come near the in the night they crept in through fire, or, if it fell into the flame, sit the hole they had thus contrived, ftarted out and fled. It fo hapto steal the king's treasures. The pened for prognosticating futurity, king, observing the quantity of in regard to every thing that was his gold diminished, though no asked, except death and marriage, locks or seals were broken open, about which it was not allowed to had traps fixed about his coffers, ask any questions. and, Agamedes being catched in Those who consulted the oracle one of them, Trophonius cut off of Amphiaraus, lay on the skins his head to prevent his discovering of victims, and received the anhim. Trophonius having disap- [wers of the oracle in a dream. peared that moment, it was given Virgil attests the fame thing of the out that the earth had swallowed oracle of Faunus in Italy. him in the same fpot, and impious A governor of Çilicia, who gave fuperftition went so far as to place little credit to oracles, and who this wicked wretch in the rank of was always surrounded by unbegods, and to confult his oracle lieving Epicureans, fent a letter with ceremonies equally painful sealed with his fignet to the oracle and mysterious.

of Mopfus, requiring one of those Tacitus fpeaks thus of the oracle answers that were received in a of the Clarian Apollo : Germáni- dream. The messenger, charged cus went to consult the oracle of with the letter, brought it back to Claros. - It is not a woman that him in the same condition, not delivers the oracle there as at Del-, having been opened ; and informed phos, but a man chofen out of cer-t him, that he had feen, in a dream, tain families, and always of Mile a very well made man, who said to tum, It is- fufficient to tell him him, Black,' without the addithe number and names of those tion of ever another word. Then who come to consult him; where the governor, opening the letter, upon he retires into a grot, and, affured his company, that he want

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