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of “ large black ants, many of them a full inch in length.” A mere trifle. Had Mr. B. been travelling in a certain part of India instead of through Mesopotamia, he might have had to encounter a tribe of ants, “not so large as a dog, but bigger than a fox." See Herodotus, Thalia, 102.'
The mode of destroying the termites, or white ant, in the East Indies, is a little singular,--that of turning the antipathy of the races to good account. As soon as they are observed, a little sugar is put down, which in a moment summons a tribe of black ants, who instantly attack and destroy the termites.
71. HERODOTUS ILLUSTRATED. “They who lived upon the lake Prasias, in dwellings of the following construction, were the objects of his (Darius) next attempt. In this lake, strong piles are driven into the ground, over which planks are thrown, connected by a narrow bridge with the shore. Upon these planks each man has his hut, from every one of which a trap door opens to the water. To prevent their infants from falling into the lake, they fasten a string to their legs." Herodotus Terpsichore, 16.
Dr. Clarke gives a similar description of old Cherkash-a city inhabited by the Chernomortzi Cossacks---and which may be almost said to float upon the water. Its houses are all raised upon piles, and accessible only by means of boats or narrow wooden bridges. Foot-1 paths, running like galleries before them, form a sort of causeway to every quarter of the town. The children play about on the tops of the houses, and “ as we sailed into this city, we beheld the younger part of its inhabitants sitting upon the ridges of the sloping roofs, while their dogs were actually running about and barking in that extraordinary situation. During our approach, children leaped from the windows and doors, like so many frogs, into the water, and in an instant were seen swimming about our boat. Every thing seemed to announce an amphibious race; not a square inch of dry land could be seen : in the midst of a very populous metropolis, at least one half of its inhabitauts were in the water, and the other half in the air." Dr. Clarke's Travels, vol. i. p. 361.
72. MAGIC-Magicians. Isaac Aaron, alearned Greek, in 1148, and who acted as interpreter to the Emperor Emanuel Comnenus, was convicted of practising magic, and in consequence was condemned to lose his eyes, and have his tongue cut out. A kind of tortoise, the image of a man, having irons on his feet, and his stomach pierced with a nail, was found in his possession, and which went a great way towards establishing his guilt. See Nicetas, Hist. Manuel Comnen. book iv.
One of the reasons alleged to prove that Agrippa practised magic, was, that when he was upon his travels he used to pay money at the inns, which at the time seemed very good ; but in a few days it was found to be nothing but pieces of horns or shells. See Martin del Rio's Disquis. Magic, book ii. quæst. 12. See also the 29th quæst: in the same book, where Rio relates that a scholar having unfortunately raised the Devil by reading one of Agrippa's magical books, nd being prevented by fright from answering his Satannic Majesty's
question of “what he wanted ?" the fiend became enraged, and strangled him on the spot.
Apion boasted that by the help of magic he had been enabled to obtain a conversation with Homer. See Pliny, hook xxx. ch. ii.
Baron (de Fæneste, p. 79) tells us, that Peter Cayet made him look into an egg shell, in which he made a little man with young birds; and that he shewed him images of wax which he wounded with a small arrow, and by that means could kill any prince at an hundred leagues distance.
Pliny, book xxx. ch. i. says that Pythagoras, Empedocles, Democritus, and Plato, went into foreign countries to learn magic; and that the Britons, in their fondness for magic, even exceeded the Persians.
Leonora Galligai, who was beheaded, and her body afterwards burnt, in 1617, among other accusations, was charged with practising magical arts; and we are told by Le Grain (Decade de Louis le Juste, liv. x, p. 407) that on the days devoted to the performance of certain diabolical ceremonies, she ate nothing but cocks' combs and rams' kidneys.
See Naude's Apologie des Grans Hommes, &c. pp. 607 ---631, edit. 1625, for an account of the numervus fables that have been told concerning Virgil's skill in magic. Lewis Sforza by means of a magical girdle prevented his nephew from consummating his marriage. See Guiccardini, book i. p. 15.
Plato, in his first Alcibiades, declares positively that the magic of Zoroaster was nothing but the study of the divine nature, and the worship of the gods. See this fully proved by Brissonius De Regni Persarum, book ii. p. 178 (edit. 1596) Boulanger (Eclog. ad Arnobium, p. 346), and Naudé (Apologie, &c. p. 134.)
. Magicians offered up human sacrifices in the times of Heliogabalus and Hadrian. See Lampridius, vita Heliogab. ch. viii. and Justin in Apol. p. 65.
Apuleius, in his Apologia, p. 301, says, he has read in Varro, that Fabius having lost five hundred denarii, went and consulted Nigidius, who, by the power of his incantations, made some little boys say where the purse had been buried, which contained part of these denarii ; in what manner the rest had been distributed, and that Cato, the philosopher, had one of them in his possession. It is added, that Cato confessed it had been given to him by a footman.
Burton, in his Anatomy of Melancholy, vol. i. p. 79, says that “Erricus, King of Sweden, had an inchanted cap, by virtue of which, and some magical murmur or whispering terms, he could command spirits, trouble the ayre, and make the wind stand which way he would; insomuch, that when there was any great wind or storm, the common people were wont to say, “ the king now had on his conjuring cap."
See Montesquieu's Spirit of Laws, book xii. ch. v. for some able and philosophical remarks on the case of a certain magician being punished in consequence of a revelation made to a bishop.
- Voltaire wittily observes, “ nothing is more ridiculous than to condemn a true magician to be burnt; for we should presume that he can extinguish the fire, and twist the necks of his judges. All that we can do, is to say to him,---My friend, we do not burn you as a true sorcerer, but as a false one ; you boast of an admirable art which you possess not; we treat you as a man who utters false money; the more we love the gooil, the more severely we punish those who give us counterfeits; we know very well that there were formerly venerable conjurors, but we have reason to believe that you are not one, since you suffer yourself to be burnt like a fool.” Philosophical Dictionary, vol. iv. p. 387:
Elichius published at Frankfort, in the year 1670, a work, entitled, De Dæmonomagia, de Dæmonis cacurgia et Lamiarum energia. “ Of the Magic of the Devils, of their power to do evil, and of the power of Sorcerers.” If any of my readers are in possession of a copy of this work, they would confer a very great favor by allowing me a perusal of it.
73. The LANGUAGE OF Birds.-Coffetau (Réponse au Mysstere d'Iniquité, p. 704) says, that one day a sparrow chirping in presence of several prelates, some asked Laurence the archbishop, and companion of Pope Benedict IX., what that bird said; and he told them, that the bird was desiring its companions to fly immediately to Porta Maggiore, where a cart, loaded with millet, had just broken down. Upon hearing this, several of the prelates went to that gate, and found that such was the fact. This story is evidently taken from Philostratus, who relates, that once, when Apollonius was in the midst of his associates, a swallow happening to be present, and twittering, he told them that the swallow indicated to other birds. that an ass laden with corn had fallen down before the city, and that in consequence of the fall of the ass, the corn was spread on the ground.
Pliny (book x. ch. xlix.) relates of Democritus, that he used to say, that by mingling together the blood of certain birds which he named, a serpent would be produced of so wonderful a property, that whoever should eat it, would be able to understand what the birds said to one another.
" When Melampus lived in the country, an oak lay before his door, in which several serpents had nestled; his servants having killed the old serpents, he burnt the other reptiles, together with the wood, but brought up the young serpents. After they had now reached a reasonable size, they stood around him while he lay asleep, and resting upon each of his shoulders, fell a licking his ears with their tongues. At last awaking in a fright, he understood the language of birds as they flew over his head, and he foretold to mortals the future events which he was informed of by them.” Apollodorus, · book 2. p. 47.
“ An associate of mine informed me, that he once had a boy, who understood the meaning of all the sounds of birds, and who said, that all of them were prophetic, and declarative of what would shortly happen. He added, that he was deprived of this knowledge through his mother, who, fearing that he would be sent to the emVOL. I.
peror as a gift, poured urine into his ear when he was asleep." Porphyry on Abstinence, book iii. & 3. p. 96, Taylor's Translation.
74. GARLICK.—The charge for garlick and onions for the workmen employed in building the great pyramid amounted to 1600 silver talents=600,000 pounds sterling! See Herodotus, Euterpe, 125.
All those who had eaten garlick, were forbid to enter the temple of the Mother of the Gods. Stilpo, the disciple of Euclid, paid so little regard to this prohibition, that he not only entered the temple, after having eat garlick, but even lay in it. He thought he saw the Goddess, who said to him, “ Stilpo, do you, who are a philosopher, vio. late the sacred laws ?" He imagined that he answered her, “ Give me something better to eat, and I promise you to leave garlick." See Athenæus, book x. ch. 0.
Pliny reports, book xix. ch. v., that onions and garlicks were reckoned among the deities of Egypt, and that they even swore by them. See also Minucius Felix, ch. xxviii., and Dioscorides, book i. Hasselquist, however, says, p. 290, “ that garlick does not grow in Egypt, and, though it is much used, it is brought from the islands of the Archipelago.” Niebuhr states that garlick is made use of by the modern Arabs as a preservative against the deadly quality of their hot winds.
Who shall condemn thee 1-shall those brainless fops,
MR. EDITOR.--- In this age, when Englishmen have become very rare, and “ Rhodesmen*" very common; when it is considered the acme of fashion to dispute the intellectual capacities of woman ; you will confer a lasting favor on one who possesses greater respect for the fair sex, than ability to defend them, by inserting a few hasty thoughts (and be it remembered first impressions are often the strongest) in
•“ The inhabitants of Corinth and Rhodes were fops, weak of intellect, and effeminate in manners." Hence I infer, the name “ Corinthian" is given to the dandies of the present day.
“ Thus may you Corinth or weak Rhodes oppress,
your instructive and entertaining Magazine; convinced as I am, that the insinuations which the “Rhodesmen” of the age would throw out against womankind, owe their origin to the feelings, those very fops entertain of their own insignificance and inferiority :
“Since silence seems to carry Wisdom's pow'r,
Th' affected fools, like clocks, speak once an hour." I have been led into this species of championship purely from my abhorrence of the “ Niminipimini” discourse which the youths of the present day think it necessary to hold in female society; talking to women, at them, and with them, as if they doubted whether they were “ rational creatures." How is it possible (I would ask) that the fair sex should hold edifying conversation with “ Rhodesmen?"
To these, e'en common sense would be
Folly's the bait—the “catch,"-a fool. Too many of my sex (and to their shame I speak it) are apt, alas! to be of opinion with Lavater, “ That wonian knows not how to think: they perceive---can associate ideas, but can go no farther;" and acting upon this opinion, we treat them like children, and yet would condemn their state of innocency. I will ascribe the defamation of womankind to the true, the only real, source, namely, a vitiated taste, which judges others by the standard of its own inferiority. To some men, the amiable, virtuous, and unassuming woman is an object of awe! rather than admiration ; she can “ think,” but it is on the absurdities man (who lords it in the creation) is momentarily guilty of; she can “ perceive,” but it is that misplaced (and therefore disgusting) flattery is man's eloquence! she can “ associate ideas,” but it is to fancy what man might have been, if frivolity and fashion had not reduced him to a monkey, and might, indeed, with justice say,
“ Go back to what thy infancy began,
Be sullen, and refuse the lullaby." But woman can “ go farther;" and while she may lament man's degradation, she has the ability, by the winning and innocent arts of soft persuasion, not unfrequently to render the object of past ridicule an esteemed member of society. This change can her sex effect, has often effected ; and will still effect, when conscious that her endeavours are not bestowed upon an unworthy person, but on one whose errors are of the head, and not of the heart! I am the last person, however, to be an advocate for « petticoat government ;” neither would I be considered in the “ blue" interest ;. no,
“ For of all plagues, the greatest is untold,