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Simoni sancto deo. They should at least have consulted Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who gives this inscription in his fourth book. Semo-sanco was an old Sabine word, signifying half God and half man: we find in Livy, Bona Semoni sanco censuerunt consecranda. This God was one of the most ancient in Roman worship, having been consecrated by Tarquin the Proud; and was considered as the God of alliances and good faith. It was the custom to sacrifice an ox to him, and to write any treaty made with a neighbouring people upon the skin. He had a temple near that of Quirinus: offerings were sometimes presented to him under the name of Semo the father, and sometimes under that of Sancus fidius ; whence Ovid says in his Fasti
Quærebam nonas Sanco, Fidiove referrem,
An tibi, Semo pater. Such was the Roman divinity, which, for so many ages, was taken for Simon the Magician. St. Cyril of Jerusalem had no doubts on the subject; and St. Augustin, in his first book of Heresies, tells us that Simon the Magician himself procured the erection of this statue, together with that of his Helena, by order of the emperor
and senate. This strange fable, the falsehood of which might so easily have been discovered, was constantly connected with another fable, which relates that Simon and St. Peter both appeared before Nero, and challenged each other which of them should soonest bring to life the corpse
á near relative of Nero's, and also raise himself highest in the air; that Simon caused himself to be carried up by devils in a' fiery chariot; that St. Peter and St. Paul brought him down by their prayers; that he broke his legs, and in consequence died; and that Nero, being enraged, put both St. Peter and St. Paul to death.* Abdias, Marcellinus, and Hegesippus, have each
ed this story, with a little difference in the details. Arnobius, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Sulpicius Severus,
* See article ST. PETER,
Philaster, St. Epiphanius, Isidorus of Damietta, Maximus of Turin, and several other authors, successively gave currency to this error, and it was generally adopted; until, at length, there was found at Rome a statue of Semo sancus deus fidius, and the learned father Mabillon dug up an ancient monument with the inscription, Semoni sanco deo fidio.
It is nevertheless certain, that there was a Simon, whom the Jews believed to be a magician, as it is certain that there was an Apollonius of Tyana. It is also true that this Simon, who was born in the little country of Samaria, gathered together some vagabonds, whom he persuaded that he was one sent by God; he baptised, indeed, as well as the Apostles, and raised altar against altar.
The Jews of Samaria, always hostile to those of Jerusalem, ventured to oppose this Simon to Jesus Christ, acknowledged by the Apostles and Disciples, all of whom were of the tribe of Benjamin or that of Judah. He baptised like them; but to the baptism of water he added fire, saying, that he had been foretold by John the Baptist in these words—“He that cometh after me is mightier than 1; he shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost and with fire."*
Simon lighted a lambent flame over the baptismal font with naphtha, from the Asphaltic lake. His party was very strong; but it is very doubtful whether his disciples adored him; St. Justin is the only one who believes it.
Menander, like Simon, said he was sent by God to be the saviour of men. All the false Messiahs, Barcochebas especially, called themselves sent by God; but not even Barcochebas demanded to be adored. Men are not often erected into divinities while they live; unless, indeed, they be Alexanders or Roman emperors, who expressly order their slaves so to do. But this is not, strictly speaking, adoration; it is an extraordinary homage, an anticipated apotheosis, a flattery as ridiculous as those which are lavished on Octavius by Virgil and Horace.
* Matthew, chap. iii, verse !!,
ADULTERY We are not indebted for this expression to the Greeks; they called adultery moicheia, from which came the Latin machus, which we have not adopted, We owe it neither to the Syriac tongue nor to the HeBrew, a jargon of the Syriac, in which adultery is called niuph. In Latin, adulteratio signified alteration-adulteration, one thing put for another—a counterfeit, as false keys, false bargains, false signatures; thus he, who took possession of another's bed, was called adulter.
In a similar way, by antiphrasis, the name of coceyx, a cuckoo, was given to the poor husband into whose nest a stranger intruded. Pliny, the naturalist, says,* “ Coccyx ova subdit in nidis alienis ; ita plerique alienas uxores faciunt matres”
“ the cuckoo deposits its eggs in the nests of other birds; so the Romans not unfrequently make mothers of the wives of their friends." The comparison is not over just. Coccyx signifying a cuckoo, we have made of it cuckold. What a number of things do we owe to the Romans! But as the sense of all words is subject to change, the term applied to cuckold, which, according to good grammar, should be the gallant, is appropriated to the husband. Some of the learned assert, that it is to the Greeks we owe the emblem of the horns, and that they bestowed the appellation of goat + upon a husband, the disposition of whose wife resembled that of a female of the same species. Indeed, they used the epithet son of a goat in the same way as the modern vulyar do an appellation, which is much more literal.
These vile terms are no longer made use of in good company. Even the word adultery is never pronounced. We do not now say
• Madame la Duchesse lives in adultery with Monsieur le Chevalier — Madame la Marquise has a criminal intimacy with Monsieur l'Abbé;"
“ Monsieur l'Abbé is this week the lover of Madame la Marquise.” When ladies talk of their adul
but we say,
* Book x, chap. 9. + See GOAT.
teries to their female friends, they say,
" I confess I have some inclination for him.” They used formerly to confess that they felt some esteem; but since the time when a certain citizen's wife accused herself to her confessor of having esteem for a counsellor, and the confessor enquired as to the number of proofs of esteem afforded, ladies of quality have esteemed no
but little to confession. The women of Lacedæmon, we are told, knew neither confession nor adultery. It is true that Menelaus had experienced the intractability of Helen; but Lycurgus set all right by making the women common, when the husbands were willing to lend them and the wives consented. Every one may dispose of his own. In this case a husband had not to apprehend that he should foster in his house the offspring of a stranger; all children belonged to the republic, and not to any particular family, so that no one was injured. Adultery is an evil only in as much as it is a theft; but we do not steal that which is given to us. The Lacedæmonians, therefore, had good reason for saying that adultery was impossible among them.
It is otherwise in our modern nations, where every law is founded on the principle of meum and tuum.
It is the greatest wrong, the greatest injury, to give a poor fellow children which do not belong to him, and lay upon him a burden which he ought not to bear. Races of heroes have thus been utterly bastardised. The wives of the Astolphos and the Jocondos, through a depraved appetite, a momentary weakness, have become pregnant by some deformed dwarf-some little page, devoid alike of heart and mind: and both the bodies and souls of the offspring have borne testimony to the fact. In some countries of Europe the heirs to the greatest names are little insignificant apes, who have in their halls the portraits of their pretended fathers, six feet high, handsome, well-made, and carrying a broad-sword which their successors of the present day would scarcely be able to lift. Important offices are thus held by men who have no right to them, and whose hearts, heads, and arms, are unequal to the burden.
In some provinces of Europe, the girls make love, without their afterwards becoming less prudent wives. In France, it is quite the contrary; the girls are shut up in convents, where, hitherto, they have received a most ridiculous education. Their mothers, in order to console them, teach them to look for liberty in marriage. Scarcely have they lived a year with their husbands when they become impatient to ascertain the force of their attractions. A young wife neither sits, nor eats, nor walks, nor goes to the play, but in company with women who have each their regular intrigue. If she has not her lover like the rest, she is said to be unpaired; and ashamed of being so, she is afraid to show herself.*
The Orientals proceed quite in another way. Girls are brought to them and warranted virgins on the word of a Circassian. They marry them, and shut them up as a measure of precaution, as we shut up our maids. No jokes there upon ladies and their husbands! no songs !--nothing resembling our grave quodlibets about horns and cuckoldom! We pity the great ladies of Turkey, Persia, and India; but they are a hundred times happier in their seraglios than our young women in their convents.t
It sometimes happens amongst us, that a dissatisfied husband, not choosing to institute a criminal process against his wife for adultery, which would subject him to the imputation of barbarity, contents himself with obtaining a separation of person and property.
And here we must insert an abstract of a memorial, drawn up by a good man who finds himself in this situation. These are his complaints; are they just or not?
* This is a lively and by no means an exaggerated picture of the French domesticity under the old regime.-T.
+ So says Lady Mary Wortley Montague, who extends the assertion to wives. The Persian Letters of Montesquieu tell a different tale.-T.