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WILLIS'S CURRENT NOTES.

No. XLV.)

“Takes note of what is done-
By note, to give and to receive."-SHAKESPEARE.

[SEPTEMBER, 1854,

Tae Roman ERA.
| Donatus remarks, “ Post triennium Æneæ, triginta

From HAVING occasion lately to refer to Sir N. Harris Ascanio, et trecenti Hectoreæ, genti dantur.” Nicolas' Chronology of History, I was much surprised

Justin xliii. 1, we learn that Æneas was slain in the at finding these words relative to the Roman Era.

war with Mezentius. He immediately adds: “In locum “ Dr. Hales has determined from history and astro

ejus Ascanius filius successit, qui, Lavinio relicto, Lonnomy,' that the Varronian computation is correct, viz.

gam Albam condidit, quæ trecentis annis caput regni B.C. 753."

fuit." Servius makes this period twenty years longer : That this date cannot be determined, from conflicting

“ Inter excidium Trojæ et ortum urbis Romæ anni inbistory, is obvious; but I am at a loss to conceive by

terveniunt 360.” what astronomical process Dr. Hales has proved the

With respect to the time when the city was founded, Varronian Era to be the true one. Many astronomers

Cicero says, Divin. II. 47. and writers on Chronology have totally failed in the at L. Tarutius Firmanus, familiaris noster, in primis Chaltempt. The Jesuit Denys Petau, in his chapter on the daicis rationibus eruditus, urbis nostræ natalem diem repesubject, makes this admission :

tebat ab iis Parilibus, quibus eam a Romulo conditam ac

cepimus: Romamque, in Jugo cum esset Luna natam esse Quod ad Solis deliquia pertinet duo, quorum alterum in

dicebat, ipso Romuli conceptu, alterum eo die, quo Urbs est fundari cæpta, contigisse dicitur; ea sunt hactenus ex Tabulis And Manilius, iv, 731quæsita frustra.

Hesperiam sua Libra tenet, qua condita Roma. There were two ancient traditions at Rome, concern

| Solinus also says the moon was in Libra; but he ing the first foundation of that city. One, that after

makes it an eclipse of the moon, by saying the “Sun the destruction of Troy, certain Trojan fugitives, driven

was in Taurus." Plutarch tells us more distinctly, in by the winds on the western coast of Italy, anchored at

the Life of Romulus, where he mentions the calculathe mouth of the Tiber; that their women tired with

tions of Tarutius, that there was a conjunction of the the hardships of the sea, and instigated by one of their

| sun and moon, attended by an eclipse, on the very day number, named Roma, conspired and burned the fleet:

when the first stone of Rome was laid. that the wanderers, thus constrained to remain, chose

That no eclipse of the sun took place on the 21st of the Palatine hill for their settlement, and called it

April, B.C. 753, nor for ninety-nine years previously, Roma. The other, that the exiled Trojans were con

nor half a century subsequently, I have fully proved by ducted by Æneas; that he, after seven years of wander

astronomical calculations, but I find that a total eclipse ing through various lands and seas, settled in Italy, and

of that luminary actually did happen on the 21st of built the city Lavinium, where he reigned three years :

April, B.O. 853. This is very remarkable-just one that his son Aseanius, after his death, relinquished La

| hundred years prior to Varro's date, and corresvinium to his step-mother, and built Alba, where he

ponding exactly with other circumstances. We learn and his descendants reigned three hundred and thirty

from Plutarch, 1. c. that Varro had his date from the years prior to the foundation of Rome : that a total

lips of Tarutins; is it not possible then, that he, by a eclipse of the sun occurred on the 21st of April, the

the slip of memory, might have committed an error in one festival of the Parilia, in the year when the building of

figure, and substituted one date for another-equivalent that city commenced.

to 753 for 853 ? To the latter, Virgil alludes, Æn. i. 264

This eclipse, according to modern tables, would have - Moresque viris et mænia ponet:

been invisible at Rome; but if Ptolemy's Lunation Tertia dum Latio regnantem viderit æstas,

(29 d. 12 h. 44 m. 3 s. 20""), were correct, and the calTernaque transierint Rutulis hyberna subactis.

culation made accordingly, the middle of the eclipse At puer Ascanius, cui nunc cognomen Julo,

would have been at 7 h. 13 m, P.m. and the commenceTriginta magnos volvendis mensibus orbes

ment visible for some time at Rome, there being no lunperio explebit, regnumque ab sede Lavini

doubt, that the calculations of Tarutius and Ptolemy Transferet, et Longam inulta vi muniet Albam. Hic jam ter centum totos regnabitur annos

were derived from the same source—“Chaldaicis raGente sub Hectorea; donec, etc.

tionibus,” “ Babylonian numbers." If, on the other

VOL. IV.

hand, the moon's, acceleration (?) be an incontrovertible

ISABELLA SFORZA. fact, and amount to so much in twenty-one centuries,

RENOUARD notices, under 1544, a work printed at as stated by Mr. Dunthorne in Phil. Trans, n. 492, the

Venice by Paul Manutius, entitled, Della Vera Trancommencement of this eclipse would be visible at

quillita dell' Animo. Opera utillissima et nuovamente Rome.*

composta dalla Illustrissima Signora, la Signora IsaVarious dates from B.c. 1271 to 1171, have been as

BELLA SFORZA," in 4to. 53 feuillets. Publié par Orsigned to the destruction of Troy.t That named by

tensio Lando, sous le nom supposé de Tranquillo, et par Apollodorus, B.C. 1184, is the date generally received,

lui dédiée à Otho Trúxes, évêque d'Augsbourg."* but only one, however, of those dates, seems to corres

In the Kendall Collection, at Colchester, is a manupond with the concurrent tests of tradition and astro

script translation of this work. The English title beingnomy. According to Timæus, as cited by Censorinus, de Die Natali, c. 21, Troy was taken and destroyed

The Heauen of the Mynde, or the Myndes Heauen.

A moste excellent, learned and religious Treatise, deB.C. 1193. It was midnight, between the 1st and 2nd

claring the way and rediest manner how to Attayne the of February; the moon was full and shone brightly. All writers agree in this particular. Lesches, the au

| True Peace and Quiet of the Mynde. Written in the

Italiane tongue by the right honourable Ladie, Madonna thor of the Ilias Parva, tells us,

ISABELLA SFORZA, sister to the Great Duke of Mylane; Νυξ μεν έην μεσάτη, λαμπρή δ'επέτελλε σελήνη. and translated into English by A[nthony] M[undy). The Greeks usually chose the time of full moon, as the This translation, on fifty-three leaves, quarto, closely most auspicious season for attacking an enemy. and fairly written, is preceded by a dedication to AlderClemens Alex. Strom. i. 10 ; and Aristides, Platon, ii. man Swynnerton, dated 22nd of December, 1602, and Callisthenes, in the second book of his Histories, 'wrote

signed An: Mundy. In the dedication occurs this that Troy was taken in the beginning of February. I passage—“Alphonso Ferreze writing in recommendation Hellanicus, Dionysius Argivus, Lysimachus also, and of the work] in Italyane saythe, That every lyne valued others mention this month as the time of that occur- is worthe an Ingot of Golde. It is the work of a moste rence. The Jesuit De la Cerda, on Virgil, Æn.fi. 250, honourable Lady written for comfort of her own conwithout giving any date or author, alludes to an eclipse, fusion, in the time of her imprisonment for the cause of and says he is far from thinking it an eclipse of the Christ." sun, "in coitu Lunæ," because the moon was full. Can any reader of Current Notes state whether this

Now, it is a certain fact, that the moon was full on Translation has appeared in print, and where any notice the morning of the 2nd of February, B.C. 1193, and of Isabella Sforza and her imprisonment may be found ? eclipsed; but invisible at Troy, as the sun had previously

W. risen. It is also a fact that the sun was eclipsed on the

Mundy's translation is unpublished, and unknown to 9th of August in the preceding year, B.c. 1194, the

those conversant with his works. Another point of interest greatest obscurity being about six in the morning.

is the dedication, as it would seem Mundy thus sought This eclipse is alluded to by Homer, Il. ii. 567, where

employment as a writer of London Pageants; he wrote that

in 1605, in honour of Sir Leonard Holliday, as also Chrysohe describes the battle in which Sarpedon was slain.

thriambos, the Triumphes of Golde, in 1611; but in the If, therefore, from 1193 we subtract the seven years following year Decker wrote the pageant for Sir John of Æneas' wanderings by sea and land, the three years Swinnerton, who is characterised by Robert Tailor in his of his reign in Italy, and the three hundred and thirty comedy entitled The Hogge hath Lost his Pearle, 1614, years, during which Ascanius and his descendants 4to. Mundy died in his eightieth year, August 10, 1633, reigned at Alba, we shall, I think, obtain the true and was buried in St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, Roman Era, B c. 853: Thus, 1193—(7 + 3 + 30 + 300) = 853.

V'ABALATHUS.-Dr. Martin Lister, in his Journey The only question now remaining is, how do Dr. to Paris, 1698, mentions his visit to Mons. Vaillant at Hales, and the other supporters of the Varronian com- his apartments in the Arsenal :putation, B.C. 753, account for one complete hundred He told me he had never seen any Coins of Odenatus, but years between these two dates ?

he had very lately parted with one of Zenobia, to the Duke Having thrown out these suggestions, I leave the sub- of Maine. As for Vabalathus, he had seen some of him, ject to be thoroughly investigated by more competent in brass, and one he had in silver, which he very obligingly scholars.

made me a present of, and this was the only silver coin he Hawkshead, Sept. 8.

D. B. H.
had ever met with of him. His reading of it-

VABALATHVS V. GR. IMP. R.
QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT, the motto of the Bri-

Vices gerens Imperii Romani. tish Artillery; whence is this derived ? A. T. Vaillant by this appears to have read the C as a G,

and the D as a P. * The Luñation now in use has been derived from two

W. F. eclipses distant only one hundred years. Borheck, App. in Herod. vol. i. p. 254.

* Annales de l'Imprimerie des Alde, 1825, vol. i. pp. 308,

BORDER HOSPITALITY.

RAPHAEL AND THE LOGGIE OF THE VATICAN. An inedited letter of Sir Walter Scott.

SURELY those august colonnades, seen nowhere but in My Lowy DUKE, I am equally flattered and ashamed Italy, and in Italy distinguished by the unpretending of the trouble which your Grace has had the great good- name of Loggia, are the very poetry of architecture; ness to take in order to gratify my idle curiosity. I creations of the Sun's own climate, they are pavilions own my curiosity was very much fascinated by the of the Sun himself. Upon the highest terrace of the report of a memoir found in the Bastille, and written, as Palace, upon the pinnacle of the green olive hill, glistenwas alleged, by one of an ancient family, with which I ing above the verdurous canopy of the great pine groves, have the honour to be connected. But the sense of your aloft they poise their stately arches, as if to meet their Grace's kindness, and the honour of your acquaintance welcome guest the Lord of day. Alas! that storm and with which you condescend to offer me, would be a rain should ever be their uninvited visitors. compensence for a far greater disappointment.

Among the mirabilia of the Vatican, the Loggie I should not have ventured, considering that our immortalized by Raphael and his pupils, are much more accommodations cannot be of the first class, to offer the talked of than they are cither felt or understood. In Duchess of Buckingham any convenience that these can many melancholy instances, it is to be apprehended, afford her Grace, had I not been sensible that the they are confounded with the four stately Stanze embelDuchess's goodness will consider the meaning of the lished by the same illustrious school. invitation, and compare them not with those her Grace Erecting their triple tier about the Court of San is most accustoined to, but to such as are afforded by a Damaso, and approached by all the old Italian pomp of Scotch Inn. It is true, our late much lamented friend the staircase, these regal Porticoes scarcely required the Duchess of Buccleugh* used to make our roof her home exquisite elaborateness of Raphael's fancy, or the occasionally, but as the Lady of my Chief, she was masterly creations of Raphael's mind to illustrate the bound to think herself well entertained, providing on naked glory of Bramante's beautiful designs. our part there was nothing omitted which could show The noble Corridors command the most enchanting our sense of her kindness.

prospect of this thrice built city of Mars, besides the We do not live in the most romantic and picturesque mountains, the pine-woods, the castles, and the towns part of Scotland, but the country round us is very of its delightful Contorni; and when satiated with the pleasant, and full of romantic traditions and historical voluptuous view, you turn from the harmonious colourrecollections, besides having to boast of the ruins of ings of Nature to the more brilliant but not less finely Melrose and other objects of antiquarian interest. I modulated decorations of Art, amazement is impelled by can only add, that if your Grace should accompany the the prodigal luxuriance with which Painting opens up Duchess on her proposed tour, it will give us a double her every fountain there, Story, Design and Colour honour and pleasure to see the Lord of the far-famed join in august alliance to decorate the proud projections Stowe, among our wild hills and moors. Also, that we of her sister, Architecture. Vaults radiant with arahave room enough, such as it is, for any friends who | besques ; Panels glowing with Landscape ; Medallions, may belong to the Duchess's party, and that we have each a masterwork, and each a drama in itself; and enough of hard beds, forest mutton, and tolerable claret, Pilasters variegated with delightful imageries of Genii. which are the chief ingredients of Border hospitality, Birds, Flowers, and Fruits, worthy of their presumptive including always the sincere and respectful welcome, origin, from the Baths of Titus, absolutely bewilder which the Duke and Duchess of Buckingham are sure with the admiration which they excite. to find wherever they visit.

That Raphael should condescend to luxuriate in these I have the honour to be, with a sincere sense of your most elegant yet trivial intricacies of Art, is a proof of Grace's goodness,

the elasticity of true Genius! Men so great can well My Lord Duke,

afford to be little, but alas! before the first flood of enYour much obliged

thusiasm has ebbed away, comes the heart-sinking conAnd most respectful, humble servant, viction, that all this beauty, all this grandeur, all this

WALTER Scott. that ought to be Immortality, consigning a hundred Edinburgh, June 17, 1824.

great Names to the Archives of the world, is already P.S.- The Duchess of Buckingham must not quite

irremediably a ruin. form her expectations of Scotland on Mrs. Hughes' |

Yes! amidst all the sunshine that irradiates the report, for our good friend brings so much disposition to

distant landscapes, and floats over their pillared pavebe pleased wherever she comes, that she is, perhaps, if

ments; amidst all the soft airs that advance wooingly that be a fault, gratified with what is in itself not of

upon the brow, along their shadowed colonnades you very much value.

look upon these tarnished, mildewed, and dilapidated

triumphs of Art, and fancy you hear the Tempest howling, Qu.? Harriet Catherine, wife of Charles William Henry, the Rain streaming, the Snow and Hail rattling, or the the fourth Duke. Her Grace died August 24, 1814. His Lightning and Thunder holding their terrific revels amid Grace the Duke of Buccleugh died April 20, 1819. | these elegant Corridors, already bearing vestiges of the

pitiless havoc of the Spanish soldiery, whose wanton

ERASMUS AND LUTHER. violence, anticipating time, seems to have envied the

PHYSIOGNOMIsts observe in the visage of Erasmus, very seasons their charter to destroy.

the strongest indications of good sense, benignity and wit. Reckless, indeed, were these Pontiff Princes, even of When Luther was shewn à portrait of Erasmus, the their own Magnificence. In embellishing their Temples, ascetic reformer observed, “ Were I to look like this Palaces and Towns, they gave as much to the Sky, to picture. I should be the greatest knave in the world !" its Suns and to its Storms, as they bestowed upon the So much for prejudice more tranquil penctralia of their Cabinets, and the

Luther was implacable in his resentment, and bitter richest decoration of their Banquet saloons, believing in his sarcasm : ardent and sincere in his great work of

hall be Reformation, he would maintain no friendly terms with as to-day, and yet more abundant;" they challenged the

enged those who would not go the whole length of his zeal: Time and the Tide to do their worst, relying on their own | Erasmus and the pious Augustine monk had once been resources against vicissitudes, confident they could soon friends. " repair the golden Flood,

The rare talents of Erasmus burst forth “when And warm the nations with redoubled ray."

learning was emerging out of barbarism." He was one

of the first who dared to attack superstition, which he Could Julius and Leo but look back upon those mouldering Loggie, and compare them with that glittering to the honour of the age was enriched with plate pre

had not the courage to relinquish. His cupboard, which illumination of Painting, and Marble, and Gold, match-sented to him by the most illustrious men, as an offering less productions of munificence and art, which under to his talents and private worth, was a subicct for intheir auspices, found in these Arcades an illustrious

vective in the independent spirit of Luther, whose sụshome; they might groan over their annihilated Pride,

ride, picions were excited to the belief of Erasmus' too great or grieve upon the phantoms of their beloved Delights.

| devotion to the good things of the world. Speak, ye Sibylline Leaves ! how long hence, before

“We must carry ourselves according to the times, the wild fig bursts beneath their crumbling balustrades, la

des, / and hang the cloak according to the wind," said Erasor the bright network of the ivy embroiders their pilas- mna

nbroders their pilas- mus mildly; those sentiments, however honest of purters, or the silken moss becomes their tapestry, or the

pose, were widely different from the straightforward jewelled lichens supplant the marbles of their inlaid

temper of the great apostle of Protestantism. pavements? Fate only knows !

Rubens, a Papist, in his celebrated picture of the Rome.

T. H. W.

Woman taken in Adultery, has introduced the portrait of

Luther, a visage without a single trait that even the TYTIES instead of being received by, were originally devotion of bigotry could convert into a Christian or levied on, the clergy. The “ Saladine tenth," was im- Cardinal virtue. Calvin is also rendered a prominent posed for the defence of Palestine during the Crusade, figure in the group, conceived in the same spirit of or holy wars between Richard Caur de Lion and that hatred to the reformed religion. victorious Infidel; as well on the clergy of the Latin Church, as on the laity: when the war ceased, the

SHAKESPEARE.—The following, recorded in the Lonpractice, as Gibbon observes, was too lucrative to expire

don Magazine, 1765, p. 377, appears to have escaped with the occasion.

the notice of the bard's biographers :

July 17. The old walnut tree that flourished before the ADVANTAGES OF A LIBRARY,

door of Shakespeare's father's house, at Stratford-upon

Avon, at the birth of the poet, has lately been cut down, In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their

and several gentlemen had images resembling that in Westmost precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours.

| minster Abbey carved from it. God be thanked for books! They are the voices of the distant and the dead, and make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages. Books are the true levellers. No

MAHOMMEDAN GALLANTRY. matter how poor I am: no matter though the prosperous of my own time will not enter my obscure dwelling; if IN Hammer-Purgstall's Extracts from Saalebi, the sacred writers will enter and take up their abode printed in the Journal of the German Oriental Society, under my roof, if Milton will cross my threshold to sing 1852, vol. vi. p. 511, it is intimated, the proof that to me of Paradise, and Shakespeare to open to me the women surpass the devil in cunning is derived from the worlds of imagination, and the workings of the human | Koran, chap. iv, verse 78, which says, “ The cunning of heart, and Franklin to enrich me with his practical | Satan is weak," and chap. xii. verse 28, in the address wisdom, I shall not pine for want of intellectual com to women, “ your cunning is great." panionship, and I may become a cultivated man, though The advice of women, bad, and to be rejected ; so excluded from what is called “the best society" in the says the Prophet, “ Ask their advice, and do the conplace where I live.- CHANNING.

trary.”.

S.

Roman PAVEMENT At Dorchester.

· PHENICIAN TAVERN Sign. Last week while breaking the ground for building the new gate and improvements of the Dorset County

Pownall in his Treatise on the Stnuly of Antiquitics, Gaol, about two feet below the surface, a portion, forir p. 23+, notices the following inscription that appears to or five feet wide, of a Roman pavement, or opus tes

have been placed over the door of a Tavern. selatum,' was exposed. Dorchester and its neighbourhood has much to interest the archæologist; named by the Romans · Durnovaria,' a word derived according to Hutchins from the British ; Ptolemy calls it Dunium (18vlov), which he says was the town or city (tolis) of the Durobriges; it was fortified by the Romans, and part of the wall is yet standing in " The Walks” at the western end of the town. At different times many similar pavements have been found; the part here drawn

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This inscription is taken from the Thesaurus Hieroglyphicorum, c Museo Georgii Herwart, Hogenburg, 1607. It is not there said from whence taken, but is here inserted to invite the ingenuity of the learned."

No elucidation appears to have resulted from this challenge, but the characters on this curious and interesting old Phænician inscription read thus.

BAAT OD HAT is apparently the ornamental portion of the border, in

Balo SIKIR which the tessera of white, black, blue, and red, are

TAYIL WAR OTIK. just one-fourth of the size of the red, employed in the inner surface. As so small a fragment remains it is The invitation to the wayfarer being simply in inpossible to decide as to what was its form or dimen- Englishsions. The colours, though clear, are not very bright;

An Inn for the pleasure of the multitude, but hitherto I have not found any other specimen dis

For drinking date wine, covered here of a similar pattern. A single brass coin

And also for the excellent comforts of life. of Vespasian, Emperor A.D. 69-79, was found at the

Southwick, Sept. 5.

T. R. BROWN. same time. The whole has been carefully raised, and

While adopting the abore communication from a respected set in two parts, one is to be laid down in the entrance

correspondent, the editor submits one or two observations. hall of the Governor's residence, and the other, it is

Since the above was engraved, the same inscription has presumed, will be deposited in the Dorset County

been discovered in the Cabinet ile Pierres Gravées, Paris, Museum.

1778, vol. ii. pl. ccvi. fig. 387, as the reverse of a gnostic Dorchester, August 18.

JOHN GARLAND.

gem. Mixed inscriptions like the present are extremely

problematical, and the attempt to explaiu Gnostic Mysteries TIE UNCERTAINTIES OF HISTORY,

is generally unsatisfactory. The idea of reading from

the left to right, and the referring to mixed alphabets, HENRY IV. of France, after the victory of Aumale, in aid of elucidation, have found objectors, while strong in which he was wounded, ordered the attendance doubts are also entertained that the caravansaries of the of his Generals to his bedside, to render him an account | East were at any period the places of such specific general of what had occurred after his being carried from the entertainment as our respected correspondent has con:

cluded. field; but no two agreed on the course of the events in which they had been the actors, and the king, struck forcibly with the difficulty of ascertaining facts so evi

AN UNTRANSLATABLE Pun.- Après la mort de Louis dent and so recent, exclaimed, Voila ce que c'est que

Onze, an commencement de la régence de Madame de l'Histoire ?

Bcanjen, plusieurs personnes furent disgraciées; entre

autres, Cotier, premier médecin de feu roi, qui s'apPHARMACEUTICAL.- Current Notes, p. 64. Sir F. plaudissant d'être échappé de cette cour orageuse, fit Kelly's opinion was in favour of the hardc,' which the sculpter sur la porte de sa maison, un abricotier, avec judicious remarks of your correspondent A. B. E. proves cette inscription : to be anything but correct.

S. M.

A L'ABRI, COTIER.

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