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thoughts the face of a great Man with the character that authors have given us of him, and to try if we can find out in his looks and features either the haughty, cruel, or merciful temper that discovers itfelf in the hiftory of his actions. We find too on Medals the reprefentations of Ladies that have given occafion to whole volumes on the account only of a face. We have here the pleasure to examine their looks and dresses, and to furvey at leifure those beautics that have sometimes been the happinefs or mifery of whole kingdoms: Nor do you only met the faces of fuch as are famous in history, but of several whose names are not to be found any where except on Medals. Some of the Emperors, for example, have had Wives, and fome of them Children, that no authors have mentioned. We are therefore obliged to the study of coins for having made new discoveries to the learned, and given them infor mation of fuch perfons as are to be met with on no other kind of records. You must give me leave, fays Cynthio, to reject this last use of Medals. I do not think it worth while to trouble myself with a perfon's name or face that receives all his reputation from the mint, and would never have been known in the world had there not been fuch things as Medals. A man's memory finds fufficient employment on fuch as have really fignalized themselves by their great actions, without charging itself with the names of an infignificant people whose whole history is written on the edges of an old coin.
If you are only for such persons as have made a noife in the world, fays Philander, you have on Medals a long list of heathen Deities, diftin
guifhed from each other by their proper titles and ornaments. You fee the copies of several statues that have had the politeft nations of the world fall down before them. You have here too feveral perfons of a more thin and fhadowy nature, as Hope, Conftancy, Fidelity, Abundance, Honour, Virtue, Eternity, Juftice, Moderation, Happiness, and in short a whole creation of the like imaginary fubftances. To thefe you may add the Genies of nations, provinces, cities, highways, and the like Allegorical Beings. In devices of this nature one fecs a pretty poetical invention, and may often find as much thought on the reverfe of a Medal as in a Canto of Spenfer. Not to interrupt you, fays Eugenius, I fancy it is this ufe of Medals that has recommended them to several history-painters, who perhaps without this affiftance would have found it very difficult to have invented fuch an airy fpecies of beings, when they are obliged to put a moral virtue into colours, or to find out a proper drefs for a paffion. It is doubtlefs for this reafon, fays Philander, that Painters have not a little contributed to bring the study of Medals in vogue. For not to mention feveral others, Caraccio is faid to have affifted Aretine by defigns that he took from the Spintrie of Tiberius. Raphael had thoroughly studied the figures on old Coins. Patin tells us that Le Brun had done the fame. And it is well known that Rubens had a noble collection of Medals in his own poffeffion. But I must not quit this head before I tell you, that you fee on Medals not only the names and perfons of Emperors, Kings, Confuls, Pro-confuls, Prætors, and the like characters of importance, but of fome of the Poets,
and of feveral who had won the prizes at the Olympic games. It was a noble time, fays Cynthio, when Trips and Cornish hugs could make a Man immortal. How many Heroes would Moorfields have furnished out in the days of old? A fellow that can now only win a hat or a belt, had he lived among the Greeks, might have had his face ftamped upon their Coins. But these were the wife ancients, who had more efteem for a Milo than a Homer, and heaped up greater Honours on Pindar's Jockies, than on the Poet himfelf. But by this time I fuppofe you have drawn up all your medallic people, and indeed they make a much more formidable body than I could have imagined. You have fhewn us all conditions, fexes and ages, emperors and empreffes, men and children, gods and wrestlers. Nay you have conjured up perfons that exift no where else but on old Coins, and have made our Paffions and Virtues and Vices vifible. I could never have thought that a cabinet of Medals had been fo well peopled. But in the next place, fays Philander, as we fee on Coins the different Faces of perfons, we fee on them too their different Habits and Dreffes, according to the mode that prevailed in the feveral ages when the Medals. were ftampt. This is another ufe, fays Cynthio, that in my opinion contributes rather to make a man learned than wife, and is neither capable of pleafing the understanding or imagination. I know there are feveral fupercilious Critics that will treat an author with the greatest contempt imaginable, if he fancies the old Romans wore a girdle, and are amazed at a man's ignorance, who believes the Toga had any Sleeves to it till the
the declenfion of the Roman Empire. Now I would fain know the great importance of this kind of learning, and why it fhould not be as noble a task to write upon a Bib and hanging fleeves, as on the Bulla and Prætexta. The reafon is, that we are familiar with the names of the one, and meet with the other no where but in learned authors. An Antiquary will fcorn to mention a pinner or a night-rail, a petticoat or a manteau; but will talk as gravely as a father of the church on the Vitta and Peplus, the Stola and Inftita. How would an old Roman laugh, were it poffible for him to fee the folemn differtations. that have been made on these weighty fubjects! To fet them in their natural light, let us fancy, if you please, that about a thousand years hence, fome profound author fhall write a learned treatife on the Habits of the prefent age, diftinguished into the following Titles and Chapters.
Of the old British Trowser.
Of the Ruff and Collar-band.
The opinion of feveral learned men concerning the use of the Shoulder-knot.
Such a one mistaken in his account of the Surtout, &c.
I must confefs, fays Eugenius, interrupting him, the knowledge of these affairs is in itself very little improving, but as it is impoffible without it to understand several parts of your ancient authors, it certainly hath its use. It is pity indeed there is not a nearer way of coming at it. I have fometimes fancied it would not be an impertinent defign to make a kind of an old Roman wardrobe, where you should see Toga's, and Tunica's, the Chlamys and Trabea, and in short all the different
different vefts and ornaments that are fo often mentioned in the Greek and Roman authors. By this means a man would comprehend better and remember much longer the fhape of an ancient garment, than he poffibly can from the help of tedious quotations and defcriptions. The defign, fays Philander, might be very useful, but after what models would you work? Sigonius, for example, will tell you that the Veftis Trabeata was of fuch a particular fashion, Scaliger is for another, and Dacier thinks them both in the wrong. These are, fays Cynthio, I fuppofe the names of three Roman taylors: for is it poffible men of learning can have any difputes of this nature? May we not as well believe that hereafter the whole learned world will be divided upon the make of a modern pair of breeches? And yet, fays Eugenius, the Critics have fallen as foul upon each other for matters of the fame moment. But as to this point, where the make of the garment is controverted, let them, if they can find. cloth enough, work after all the most probable fashions. To enlarge the defign, I would have another room for the old Roman inftruments of war, where you might fee the Pilum and the fhield, the eagles, enfigns, helmets, battering rams and trophies, in a word, all the ancient military furniture in the fame manner as it might have been in an Arsenal of old Rome. A third apartment fhould be a kind of Sacrifty for altars, idols, facrificing inftruments, and other religious utenfils. Not to be tedious, one might make a magazine for all forts of antiquities, that would show a man in an afternoon more than he could learn out of books in a twelvemonth. This would