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ALLEGORIES.

this method of Plato's. They have, inJUPITER, Neptune, and Mercury, tra- deed, been reproached with having carvelling one day in Thrace, called on a ried this taste for allegories and allusions certain king named Hyreus, who enter- a little too far. tained them very handsomely. After eat- St. Justin, in his Apology, says, that ing a good dinner, they asked him if they the sign of the cross is marked in the could render him any service. The good } limbs and features of man ;—that, when man, who was past the age at which it is he extends his arms there is a perfect usual for men to have children, told them cross; and that his nose and eyes form a he should be very much obliged to them cross upon his face. if they would make him a boy. The According to Origen's explanation of three gods then urined on the skin of a Leviticus, the fat of the victims signifies new fayed ox ; and from these sprang the Church, and the tail is a symbol of Orion, who became one of the constella- perseverance. tions known to the most remote antiquity. St. Augustin, in his sermon on the difThis constellation was named Orion by ference and agreement of the two geneathe ancient Chaldeans; it is spoken of in logies of Christ, explains to his auditors the Book of Job. It would be hard to why St. Matthew, although he reckons discover a rational allegory in this pretty } forty-two generations, enumerates only story, unless we are to infer from it that forty-one. It is, says he, because Jechonothing was impossible to the gods nias must be reckoned twice, Jechonias

There were in Greece two young rakes, having gone from Jerusalem to Babylon. who were told by the oracle to be beware This journey is to be considered as the of the melampygos or sable posteriors. corner-stone: and if the corner-stone is One day Hercules took them, and tied the first of one side of a building, it is them by the feet to the end of his club, also the first of the other side ; conseso that they hung down his back with quently this stone must be reckoned their heads downwards like a couple of twice; and therefore Jechonias must be rabbits, having a full view of his person. reckoned twice. He adds that, in the Ah ! said they, the oracle is accomplished ; } forty-two generations, we must dwell on this is the melampygos. Hercules fell a the number forty, because that number laughing, and let them go. Here again signifies life. The number ten denotes it would be rather difficult to divine the blessedness, and ten multiplied by four, moral sense.

which represents the four elements and Among the fathers of mythology, the four seasons, produces forty. there were some who had only imagina- In his fifty-third sermon, the dimention ; but the greater part of them pos- sions of matter have astonishing propersessed understandings of no mean order. ties. Breadth is the dilation of the heart, Not all our academies, not all our makers } length is long-suffering, height is hope, of devices, not even they who compose and depth is faith. So that, besides the the legends for the counters of the royal } allegory, we have four dimensions of treasury, will ever invent allegories more matter instead of three. true, more pleasing, or more ingenious, It is clear and indubitable (says he in than those of the Nine Muses, of Venus, } his sermon on the 6th psalm) that the the Graces, the God of Love, and so number four denotes the human body, many others, which will be the delight} because of the four elements, and the four and instruction of all ages.

qualities of hot, cold, moist, and dry; The ancients, it must be confessed, al- } and as four relates to the body, so three most always spoke in allegories. The relates to the soul; for we must love God earlier fathers of the church, the greater with a triple love with all our hearts, part of whom were Platonists, imitated with all our souls, and with all our minds.

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Four also relates to the Old Testament, devils. All these church possessions and three to the New. Four and three must pass through the three links of the make up the number of seven days, and Are Maria ; for benedicta tu stands for the eight is the day of judgment.

fat abbeys of Benedictines, in mulieribus One cannot but feel that there is in for monsieur and madame, and fructus these allegories an affectation but little ventris for banquets and gormandisers.” compatible with true eloquence. The The sermons of Barlet and Maillard Fathers, who sometimes made use of are all framed after this model, and were these figures, wrote in times and countries delivered half in bad Latin, and half in in which nearly all the arts were dege- bad French. The Italian sermons were nerating. Their learning and fine genius in the same taste ; and the German were were warped by the imperfections of the still worse. This monstrous medley gave age in which they lived. St. Augustin is birth to the macaroni style, the very clinot to be respected the less for having max of barbarism. The species of orapaid this tribute to the bad taste of Africa {tory, worthy only of the Indians on the and the fourth century.

banks of the Missouri, prevailed even so The discourses of our modern preachers lately as the reign of Louis XIII. The are not disfigured by similar faults. Not jesuit Garasse, one of the most distinthat we dare prefer them to the Fathers ; } guished enemies of common sense, never but the present age is to be preferred to preached in any other style. He likened the ages in which they wrote. Eloquence the celebrated Theophile to a calf, bewhich became more and more corrupted, cause Theophile's family name was Viaud, and was not revived until later times, fell, something resembling veau (a calf). after them, into still greater extrava- But," said he, “the flesh of a calf is gances; and the languages of all barba- } good to roast and to boil, whereas thine rous nations were alike ridiculous until { is good for nothing but to burn.the age of Louis XIV. Look at all the All these allegories, used by our bar old collections of sermons; they are far barians, fall infinitely short of those embelow the dramatic pieces on the Passion, {ployed by Homer, Virgil, and Ovid, which used to be played at the Hôtel de which proves, that if there be still some Bourgogne. But the spirit of allegory, Goths and Vandals who despise ancient which has never been lost, may be traced { fable, they are not altogether in the right. throughout these barbarous discourses.

ALMANACK. The celebrated Ménot, who lived in the reign of Francis I. did more honour, It is of little moment to know whether perhaps, than any other to the allegorical we have the word almanack from the vestyle.” “The worthy administrators of cient Saxons, who could not write, ur justice," said he, “are like a cat set to from the Arabs, who are known to have take care of a cheese, lest it should be been astronomers, and to have had some gnawed by the mice. One bite of the acquaintance with the courses of the cat does more damage to the cheese than planels, while the western nations were twenty mice can do."

still wrapped in an ignorance as great as Here is another very

their barbarism. I shall here confine my. “The woodmen, in a forest, cut large self to one short observation. and small branches, and bind them in Let an Indian philosopher, who has faggots ; just so do our ecclesiastics, with embarked at Meliapour, come to Badispensations from Rome, heap together yonne. I shall suppose this philosopher great and small benefices. The cardinal's to be a man of sense; which, you will hat is garnished with bishoprics, the say, is rare among the learned of India; bishoprics are garnished with abbeys and to be divested of all scholastic prejudices priories, and the whole is garnished with { -a thing which was rare everywhere not

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long ago ; and I shall suppose him to ship. The accounts which they sent to meet with a blockhead in our part of the Europe were extremely curious. Every world — which is not quite so great a statue was a devil ; every assembly, a rarity.

sabbath ; every symbolical figure, a talisOur blockhead, in order to make him man ; every Brahmin a sorcerer ; and conversant with our arts and sciences, } these are made the subject of never-endpresents him with a Liege almanack, ( ing lamentations. They hope that the composed by Matthew Lansberg, and harvest will be abundant; and add, by a the Lame Messenger ( Messager boiteur) { rather incongruous metaphor, that they by Anthony Souci, astrologer and histo- will labour effectually in the vineyard of rian, printed every year at Basle, and sold the Lord, in a country where wine has to the number of 20,000 copies in eight always been unknown. Thus, or nearly days. There you behold the fine figure} thus, have every people judged, not only of a man, surrounded by the signs of of distant nations, but of their neighbours. the Zodiac, with certain indications must The Chinese are said to be the most clearly demonstrating that the scales pre- ancient almanack-makers. The finest of side over the posteriors, the ram over the their emperor's privileges is that of sendo head, the fishes over the feet, &c. ing his Calendar to his vassals and neigh

Each day of the moon informs you } bours; their refusal of which would be when you must take Le Lievre's balm of considered as a bravado, and war would life, or Keiser's pills; when you must be } forthwith be made upon them, as it used bled, have your nails cut,' wean your to be made in Europe on feudal lords who children, plant, sow, go a journey, or put { refused their homage. on a pair of new shoes. The Indian, If we have only twelve constellations, the when he hears these lessons, will do well Chinese have twenty-eight, the names of to say to his guide, that he will have none which have not the least affinity with ours of his almanacks.

-a sufficient proof that they have taken So soon as our simpleton shall have nothing from the Chaldean Zodiac, which shown the philosopher a few of our cere- we have adopted. But though they have monies, which every wise man disap- had a complete system of astrology for proves, but which are tolerated in order more than four thousand years, they reio amuse the populace, through pure con- semble Matthew Lansberg and Anthony tempt for that populace, the traveller, } Souci in the fine predictions and secrets of seeing these mummeries, followed by a health, with which they stuff their Impetamborine dance, will not fail to pity us }rial Almanuck. They divide the day and take us for madmen, who are, never- into ten thousand minutes, and know, theless, very amusing and not absolutely with the greatest precision, what minute cruel He will write home to the Presi- { is favourable or otherwise. When the dent of the Grand College of Benares, emperor Kam-hi wished to employ the that we have not common sense ; but Jesuit missionaries in making the almathat if His Paternity will send enlightened nack, they are said to have excused themand discreet persons among us, some-selves, at first, on account of the extravathing may, with the blessing of God, be gant superstitions with which it must be made of us.

filled. "I have much less faith than you It was precisely in this way that our in the superstitions,” replied the Empefirst missionaries, especially St. Francis ror; "only make me a good calendar, and Xavier, spoke of the people inhabiting the leave it for my learned men to fill up the peninsula of India. They even fell into { book with their foolery." still grosser mistakes respecting the cus- The ingenious author of the Plurality toms of the Indians, their sciences, their of Worlds ridicules the Chinese, because, opinions, their manners, and their wor-says he, they see a thousand stars fall ut once into the sea. It is very likely that } year at a time when it does not begin, the emperor Kain-hi ridiculed this notion that is, eight days after the winter solstice. as well as Fontenelle. Some Chinese al- { All the nations composing the Roman manack-maker had, it should seem, been empire submitted to this innovation ; even good-natured enough to speak of these the Egyptians, who had until then given meteors after the manner of the people, the law in all that related to almanacks, and to take them for stars. Every < received it; but none of these different country has its foolish notions. All the š nations altered anything in the distribunations of antiquity made the sun lietion of their feasts. The Jews, like the down in the sea, where for a long time we į rest, celebrated their new moons ; their sent the stars. We have believed that phase or pascha, the fourteenth day of the the clouds touched the firmament, that the moon of March, called the red-haired firmament was a hard substance, and that moon, which day often fell in April; it supported a reservoir of water. It has their Penticost, fifty days after the pascha; not long been known in our towns that the feast of horns or trumpets, the first the Virgin-thread (fil de la vierge) so day of July; that of tabernacles on the often found in the country, is nothing fifteenth of the same month, and more than the thread spun by a spider. { that of the great sabbath, seven days afterLet us not laugh at any people. Let us wards. reflect that the Chinese had astrolabes The first Christians followed the comand spheres before we could read, and putation of the Empire, and reckoned by that if they have made no great progress , calends, nones, and ides, like their masters; in astronomy, it is through that same re- they likewise received the Bissextile, spect for the ancients which we have had { which we have still, although ii was for Aristotle.

found necessary to correct it in the fifIt is consoling to know that the Ro- teenth century, and it must some day be man people, populus lutè rer, were, in corrected again ; but they conformed to this particular, far behind Matthew Lans- the Jewish methods in the celebration of berg, and the Lame Messenger, and the their great feasts. They fixed their Easastrologers of China, until the period ter for the fourteenth day of the red moon, when Julius Cæsar reformed the Roman until the council of Nice determined that year, which we have received from him, it should be the Sunday following. and still call by his name—the Julian Those who celebrated it on the fourCalendur, although we have no calends, teenth were declared heretics; and both and he was obliged to reform it himself. were mistaken in their calculation.

The primitive Romans had, at first, T'he feasts of the Blessed V'irgin were, a year of ten months, making three hun- as far as possible, substituted for the new dred and four days; this was neither moons. The author of the Roman Casolar nor lunar, nor anything except bar- ; lendar (le Calendrier Romain) says, that barous. The Roman year was after the reason of this is drawn from the verse wards composed of three hundred and of the Canticle, pulchra ut luna, “fair as fifty-five days—another mistake, which { the moon;" but, by the same rule, these was corrected so imperfectly that, infeasts should be held on a Sunday, for in Cæsar's time, the summer festivals were the same verse we find electa ut sol, held in winter. The Roman generals al- “ chosen like the sun." The Christians ways triumphed, but never knew on what also kept the feast of Pentecost; it was day they triumphed.

fixed, like that of the Jews, precisely fifty Cæsar reformed everything : he seemed days after Easter. The same author asto rule both heaven and earth. I know serts that saint-days took the place of the not through what complaisance for the feasts of tabernucles. He adds, that St. Roman customs it was that he began the John's day was fixed for the 24th of June,

only because the days then begin to į the third century. Addressing the Roshorten, and St. John had said, when mans, he saysspeaking of Jesus Christ, “ He must grow, “ Putatis autem nos occultare quod and I must become less"-Oportet illum colimus, si delubra et aras non habemus. creuere, me autem minui. There is Quod enim simulacrum Deo fingam, something very singular in the ancient quùm, si rectè existimes, sit Dei homo ceremony of lighting a great fire on St. } ipse simulacrum ? quod templum ei ex John's day, in the hottest period of the struam, quùm totus hic mundus, ejus year. It has been said to be a very old opere fabricatus, eum capere non possit? custom, originally designed to commemo- et quùm homo latiùs maneam, intrà unam rate the ancient burning of the world, }ædiculum vim tantæ majestatis includam? which awaited a second conflagration. nonnè meliùs in nostra dedicandus est The same writer assures us, that the feast mente, in nostro imo consecrandus est of the Assumption is kept on the 15th of } pectore ?" August, because the sun is then in the 6. You think that we conceal what we sign of the Virgin. He also certifies that adore, because we have neither temples St. Mathias' day is in the month of Fe- nor altars. But what shall we erect like bruary, because he was, as it were, inter- } to God, since man himself is God's calated among the twelve Apostles, as a image?' What temple shall we build for day is added to February every leap-year. } him, when the whole world, which is the There would, perhaps, be something in work of his hands, cannot contain him ? these astronomical imaginings to make our How shall we inclose the power of such Indian philosopher smile ; nevertheless, majesty in one dwelling-place? Is it not the author of them was mathematical | better to consecrate a temple to him in master to the Dauphin, son of Louis XIV., our minds and in our hearts !" and moreover, an engineer and a very The Christians, then, had no temples worthy officer.

until about the commencement of the

reign of Dioclesian. The Church had ALTARS, TEMPLES, RITES,

then become very numerous; and it was SACRIFICES, &c.

found necessary to introduce those decoIt is universally acknowledged that the rations and rites which, at an earlier period, first Christians had neither temples, nor would have been useless and even danaltars, nor tapers, nor incense, nor holy gerous to a slender flock, long despised, water, nor any of those rites which the and considered as nothing more than a prudence of pastors afterwards instituted, small sect of dissenting Jews. in conformity with times and places, but It is manifest that, while they were conmore especially with the various wants of founded with the Jews, they could not the faithful.

obtain permission to erect temples. The We have ample testimony in Origen, Jews, who paid very dear for their synaAthenagoras, Theophilus, Justin, and Ter- gogues, would themselves have opposed tullian, that the primitive Christians held { it; for they were mortal enemies to the temples and altars in abomination ; and } Christians, and they were rich. We must that, not merely because they could not not say, with Toland, that the Christians, in the beginning obtain permission from who at that time made a show of despisthe government to build temples, but being temples and altars, were like the fox cause they had a real aversion for every { that said the grapes were sour. This thing which seemed to apply any affinity comparison appears as unjust as it is imwith other religions. This abhorrence pious, since all the primitive Christians, existed among them for two hundred and in so many different countries, agreed in fiftv years, as is proved by the following maintaining that there was no need ct passage of Minutius Felix, who lived in raising temples or altars to the true God.

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