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dice for or against arises at first view, and
Thy head and beard are of a diff'rent dye;
cheat. No branch of natural knowledge has been more abused thân this of physiognomy : it was taken up, and professed as a science along with astrology, by ignorant pretenders, in the first ages of the revival of learning, to make a thew of fuperior knowledge, and caufe the rabble stare. But both are now happily exploded.
A very ingenious author on this subject, 'Baptista Porta, founds his fpeculations on the fuppofition, that as a man hath in the mould of his face a remote likeness to that of an ox, a sheep, a lion, an hog, or any other creature; he hath the same resemblance in the frame of his mind, and is subject to those passions which are predominant in the creature that appears in his countenance. Accordingly he gives the prints of several faces that are of a different mould, and, by a little overcharging the likeness, discovers the figures of these several kinds of brutal faces in human features.
Page 166. * How there should be any,&c.] The instances are indeed few, but some there are very remarkable, recorded by an
tiquity, as that betwixt King Antiochus and one. Antemon a plebeian of Syria, who were so like that Laodice the King's widow, by pretending this man was thc King, concealed his death, till she had fettled a successor according to her mind; betwixt Cn. Pompey and Vibius the orator ; betwixt C. Plancus and Rubrius the Stage-player ; Caflius Seycrus the orator, and one Mirmello; and that betwixt M. Messala Censorius, and one Menogenes. Vide Plin. hist. nat. lib. 7. CII. But the most extraordinary instance of this fimilitude of faces is the case of Martin Guerre and Arnauld de Tilh, recorded in the Gallick reports: The latter taking advantage of the absence of the former, and having made himself acquainted with the most minute circumstances of his life, thro' a confidence of this furprising resemblance, fo imposed himself not only on the relations of Martin Guerre, but even upon his wife, that he was not fulpected for several years; and when at length, from fome untoward circumstances, he fell under suspicion of being an impostor, he chearfully submitted to a regular prosecution ; in which he behaved with such address, that, of near 150 witnesses examined on the affair
, between 30 and 40 deposed he was the true Martin Guerre, among whom were four sisters of Martins, and two of
their husbands, and of the remainder of the witnesses, 60 and upwards declared the resemblance between the persons was so strong, that it was fimply impossible to affirm with certainty whether the accused was the true Martin or not. In short Arnauld de Tilh, for a long time, puzzled the parliament of Tholoufe, even after the true Martin Guerre was returned, and they appeared together face to face.
Page 171. * What a Barcaxou vope axia, &c.] In Lucian's book, de judicio vocalium; there is a long pleading before the vowels as judges, by Sigma complaining of the injuries done to it by Tau, which had thrust it out of many words, and taken possession of its place. This has been very hap; pily imitated by the Spektator, No. 78. and 80. in the perfons of Who, Which and That.
But their tongues are sharper than Altius's razor.] Actius, the Augur, admonishing Tarquinius Priscus to revere the gods, and their immediate servant, the Augur ; Tarquin, to ridicule him, asked him, if what he had conceived was possible ? to which the Augur answering it was, he desired him to cut a whetstone with a razor; which the Augur actually performed. Vide Flor. Ааа
lib. 1. cap. 5. and Liv. lib. 1. who' tell the story differently.
P. 172. † It is not mere zeal to learning, &c.] Our author's obfervation has been verified, since his time, in the person of Louis XIV. who, at a great expence, maintained the most eminent poets, panegyrists and historians, to found forth his praises, and hand thein down to pofterity; and the effect was answerable to the design. On the other hand, the pride of the literati has not blushed to ascribe a great part of the honour of their heroes to their own pens: Ignotus efSet Lucilius,nisi eum epistole Senecæ illustrarent. Laudibus Cefareis plus Virgilius Varus,LuCunufque adjecerunt, quan immensum illud erarium quo urbem do orbem Spoliavit. Namo prudentianı Ithaci, aut Pelida vires agnosceret, nisi eas Homerus divino publicaffet ingenio: unde nihil mihi videtur consultius, viro ad gloriam properanti, fidelium favore scriptorum. Joan Sarisb. Pol. Horace's ode to Censorinus is founded upon this thought, lib. 4. od. 8. where he exprelly prefers the poet's pen to the heroical deeds themselves.
Neque fi charta fileant, quod bene feceris
Dignum laude viruni musa vetat mori :