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secundine of a mare that had just foaled, together with the little bird called wag-tail; in Latin, motacilla.
But Apuleius was chiefly accused of having employed shell-fish, lobster patties, sea-hedgehogs, spiced oysters, and cuttle-fish, which was celebrated for its productiveness.
Apuleius clearly explains the real philtre, or charm, which had excited Pudentilla's affection for him. He undoubtedly admits, in his defence, that his wife had called him a magician. “ But what,” says he, “ if she had called me a consul, would that have made me one?”
The plant satyrion was considered, both among the Greeks and Romans, as the most powerful of philtres. It was called planta aphrodisia, the plant of Venus. That called by the Latins eruca, is now often added to the former. *
Et venerem revocans eruca morantem. A little essence of amber is frequently used. Mandragora has gone out of fashion. Some exhausted debauchees have employed cantharides, which strongly affect the susceptible parts of the frame, and often produce severe and painful consequences.
Youth and health are the only genuine philtres.
Chocolate was for a long time in great celebrity with our debilitated petit-maîtres. But a man may take twenty cups of chocolate without inspiring any attachment to his person.
ut amoris amabilis esto.
Ovid, A. A. ï. 107.
END OF THE WORLD.
The greater part of the Greek philosophers held the universe to be eternal, both with respect to commencement and duration. But as to this petty portion of the world or universe, this globe of stone and earth and water, of minerals and vapours, which we inhabit,
it was somewhat difficult to form an opinion: it was however deemed very destructible. It was even said that it had been destroyed more than once, and would be destroyed again. Every one judged of the whole world from his own particular country, as an old woman judges of all mankind from those in her own nook and neighbourhood.
This idea of the end of our little world, and its renovation, strongly possessed the imagination of the nations under subjection to the Roman empire, amidst the horrors of the civil wars between Cæsar and Pompey. Virgil, in his Georgics (book i. v. 468), alludes to the general apprehension which filled the minds of the common people from this cause :
Impiaque eternam timuerunt secula noctem.
And impious men now dread eternal night. ucan, in the following lines, expresses himself much more explicitly :
Hos Cæsar populos, si nunc non usserit ignis
PHARs. book vii. v. 812, 14.
Rowe. And Ovid, following up the observations of Lucan, says:
Esse quoque in fatis reminiscitur affore tempus,
MET. i. v. 256, 58.
And in fierce flames the blazing world expire. Consult Cicero himself, the philosophic Cicero. He tells us, in his book concerning the Nature of the Gods,* the best work perhaps of all antiquity, unless we make * On the Nature of the Gods, book ii. p. 46.
an exception in favour of his treatise on human duties, called " The Offices;" in that book, I say, he remarks:
“Ex quo eventurum nostri putantid, de quo Pancetium addubitare dicebant; ut ad extremum omnis mundus ignesceret, cum, humore consumpto, neque terra ali posset, neque remearet aër cujus ortus, aqua omni exhausta, esse non posset; ita relinqui nihil præter ignem, a quo rursum animante ac Deo renovatio mundi fieret; atque idem ornatus oriretur.”
According to the stoics, the whole world will eventually consist only of fire; the water being then exhausted will leave no nourishment for the earth; and the air, which derives its existence from water, can of course no longer be supplied. Thus fire alone will remain, and this fire, re-animating everything with, as it were, godlike power and energy, will restore the world with improved beauty.”
This natural philosophy of the stoics, like that indeed of all antiquity, is not a little absurd; it shows, however, that the expectation of a general conflagration was universal.
Prepare, however, for greater astonishment than the errors of antiquity can excite. The great Newton held the same opinion as Cicero. Deceived by an incorrect experiment of Boyle,* he thought that the moisture of the globe would at length be dried up, and that it would be necessary for God to apply his reforming hand - manum emendatricem.” Thus we have the two greatest men of ancient Rome and modern England precisely of the same opinion, that at some future period fire will completely prevail over water.
This idea of a perishing and subsequently to be renewed world was deeply rooted in the minds of the inhabitants of Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt, from the time of the civil wars of the successors of Alexander. Those of the Romans augmented the terror, upon this subject, of the various nations which became the victims of them. They expected the destruction of the world and hoped for a new one.
The Jews, who are
* Question at the end of the “ Optics.”
slaves in Syria, and scattered through every other land, partook of this universal terror.
Accordingly, it does not appear that the Jews were at all astonished when Jesus said to them, according to St. Matthew and St. Luke:* “ Heaven and earth shall pass away.” He often said to them :
“ The kingdom of God is at hand.” He preached the gospel of the kingdom of God.
St. Peter announcest that the gospel was preached to them that were dead, and that the end of the world drew near.
“We expect,” says he, “new heavens and a new earth.”.
St. John, in his first epistle, says,f“ There are, at present, many Antichrists, which shows that the last hour draws near.”
St. Luke, in much greater detail, predicts the end of the world and the last judgment. These are his words :
“ There shall be signs in the moon and in the stars, roarings of the sea and the waves; men's hearts failing them for fear shall look with trembling to the events about to happen. The powers of heaven shall be shaken ; and then shall they see the son of man coming in a cloud, with great power and majesty. Verily I say unto you, the present generation shall not pass away till all this be fulfilled.
We do not dissemble that unbelievers upbraid us with this very prediction; they want to make us blush for our faith, when we consider that the world is still in existence. The generation, they say, is passed away, and yet nothing at all of this is fulfilled. Luke, therefore, ascribes language to our Saviour which he never uttered, or we must conclude that Jesus Christ himself was mistaken, which would be blasphemy. But we close the mouth of these impious cavillers by observing, that this prediction, which appears so false in its literal meaning, is true in its spirit; that the whole world meant Judea, and that the end of the world signified the reign of Titus and his successors.
* Matthew, xxiv. Luke, xvi. † John, xvii, 18.
* I. Epistle of Peter, iv.
St. Paul expresses himself very strongly on the subject of the end of the world in his epistle to the Thessalonians: “ We who survive, and who now address you, shall be taken up into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air."
According to these very words of Jesus and St. Paul, the whole world was to have an end under Tiberius, or at latest under Nero. St. Paul's prediction was fulfilled no more than St. Luke's.
These allegorical predictions were undoubtedly not meant to apply to the times of the evangelists and apostles, but to some future time, which God conceals from all mankind.
Tu ne quæsieris (scire nefas) quem mihi, quem tibi
HORACE, book i. ode xi.
“ The end of the world being at hand, I, for the good of my soul, and to avoid being one of the number of the goats on the left hand, &c. leave such and such lands to such a convent.' Fear influenced the weak to enrich the cunning.
The Egyptians fixed this grand epoch at the end of thirty-six thousand five hundred years : Orpheus is stated to have fixed it at the distance of a hundred and twenty thousand years.
The historian Flavius Josephus asserts, that Adam, having predicted that the world would be twice destroyed, once by water and next by fire, the children of Seth were desirous of announcing to the future race of mon the disastrous catastrophe. They engraved astro