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"Scap'd from the salt deep of th' -Egcan Beth
Behold me here"
And sit on to others, which, though in the original the terms bear some analogy, would be entirely lost in translation.
Athenseus relates, that it was customary with many of the guests who frequented the table of La'urentius, to bring sentences of this kind as the price of their admission, but that Charmus, who was a man of great learning, exct lied them all, as scarcely a dish was served up to which he did not apply some pointed allusion. He then speaks of the munificence of Tellias of Agrigentum, who, in the middle of winter, entertained five hundred knights of Gela, and presented to each a tunic and a mantle.
The greater part of the guests praised very highly the lampreys and eels of the Straits of Sicily—the p lunch or stomach of the tunny from Cape Pachynus—kids from the Isle of Melos —mullets from the Simathus (a river in Sicily)—oysters from Cape Pelorus —pilchards from Lipara—tu. nips from Mantinea, and beet from Asora.
Archestratus of Syracuse, or Gela, composed a poem on good eating. Chrysippus says it was called Pure-, others gave it different titles. It began thus:
"To universal Greece these rules I give, That each mayknow theprojier m »dc tulive; In number let the guests be three or four. Five at the most, and not a creature more: A crowded table is a vile excess, No banquet, but a soldier's noisy mess—" Athensus supposes that Arch' stratus was ignorant that at the banquet of Plato there were twenty-eight guests.
Antiphanes says there are persons, "Who know for certain where a feast is held. And, uninvited, sit them down as guests."
He adds further: "'Twere well if fellows of this sort were fed At the state's charge, or as they treat the flies When at Olympia they slay an ox, And leave the carcass, for this very purpose. To such unbidden guests."
* " Men of this description were, by the Greeks, called ftSim—by the I ..inns, musca?, flies, which was a general nune of reproach for such as insinuated themselves into company where they were not welcome. In Plautus, an entertainment, free from such unwelcome guests, is called * hospitium sine muscis.' In Egypt, a fly was the hieroglyphic of an impudent man."— Vide Potter, of Miiccllaneotu Customs of Greece.
Other authors are then mentioned, who had written on good cheer, with several quotations and anecdotes. Amon-st otners, he speaks of a glutton called Philoxenus, after whom certain cakes were named. Chrysippus speaks of him thus:—" I knew a glutton, a fellow of consummate impudence, who paid so little regard to the accommodation of others, th it it was his practice, in the bath, to immerse his hands in water heated to a great degree; to continue them for a long time, and wash his mouth with the same, to prevent, by use, their being injured by the hottest food, and to enable him to endure a greater degree of heat than others." It is moreover said, that he used to bribe the cooks to serve up the dishes as hot as possible, so that he might devour what he pleased before the other guests could touch any thing. "Clearchus says, of Philoxenus of Cythera, that having one day embarked for Ephesus, he no sooner arrived than he went to the fish-market. On finding it empty, he inquired the reason. The people told him that all the fish were bought up for the celebration of a wedding. He immediately goes to the bath, from thence to the house of the married couple, and, without invitation, takes his place at the table. After supper he sing* an extempore epithalaniium, for he *rto a dithyrambick poet The comprjjy were delighted, and the brid'gr'KKn gave him an invitation for the next day. * Yes,' said Philoxenus, 'if there be no fish in the market*"
"We should not," says Theophilus, "imitate Philoxenus, the son of Eryxis, who, not cont nt with the common gifts of nature, complained that he had not the neck of a crane, to prolong the pleasure of tasting his food. I f he had petitioned to be transformed to an ox, a camel, a horse, or an elephant, he would have done better. These animals have more voracious appetites, and the enjoyment is augmented in proportion to their strength and avidity."
"Phanias relates the following anecdote of this Philoxenus of Cythera, who was a poet, and a notorious lover of good eating. supping one evening with Dionvsius, tyrant of Sicily, he observed a large mullet served up to the prince, and a very small one placed before him. In sight of Dionvsius he took up the little fish, and held it to his ear. The prince asked him why he did this? Philoxenus answered, that he was then engaged in the composition of his Galatea, and was inquiring of the little fish for some particulars relating to Kerens, but could obtain no satisfaction; he therefore supposed the fish was too young to give him the necessary information; 'but I am persuaded,' added the poet, 'that the elder one, which st nds before you, is fully acquaint: d with what I wish to know.' D'onysius smiled at the jest, and ordered the large mullet to be placed before Phtlox nus. '•
"This prince often dr. nk freely with Philoxenus; but having detected him in an illicit amour with his mistress, Galatea, he sent him to prison, where he composed his Cyclops, taking his own misfortune s for the argument. The Cyclops was Oionysius— the flute player Galatea, and the poet himself Ulyss s."
"There lived at Rome, in the time of Tiberius, a voluptuary of great wealth, named Alpicius, after whom certain cakes were called. In the gratification of his appetite he spent immense sums. He usually resided at Minturnum, a town in Campania,
* In an old book, under the title of "Wits, Pitts, and fancies, &c printed at London, by Richard Johnes, at the sign of the Rose and Crowne, next above St Andrewe's Church, in Holbome," 1595, 4to, in the chapter which treats of ** Table matter," many ancient witticisms are given; and, amongst others, the following, which is evidently borrowed from this anecdote of Philoxenus.
"At a nobleman's banquet, a ship of marchpane stuffe was set upon the board, wherein was all manner of fishes in the like stuffe. Every one snatched thereat—a sea captain, sitting far off, could not reach thereunto; but one of the company gave him a sprat, which hee receiving, hcldc it a good spare to his ear. The nobleman seeing it, asked him his conccipt therein. He then, in reference to, the little portion that came to him rut of that marchpane, thus merrily answered: ' And like your grace, my father before me (as your honour knows), was sometimes a sea captain; and it was his mischance, and my hard hap, that since his last urn ertaken voyage at sea, which was some twelve years ago, I never since could hcarc what was become of him; wherefore of every fish that fallcth into my hands I still aske, whether it can tell me any news of him :- and this pettie sprat (my lord) saith he was then a little one, and remembers no such matter."
where he regaled himself with shrimps or prawns, which he bought at a great price. They were so very large, that neither those of Smyrna, nor the crayfish of Alexandria, were to be compared to them. When he was informed that prawns of an immense size were to be had in Africa, without delaying a single day, he embarked for the coast of l.ybia. As he approached the land, where his fame had arrived before him, having experienced a dreadful storm in the course of his voyage, the tishcrnu n came on board his vi ssel, and offered him the best of their fish. 'Have you none of a larger size?' said he.—'None larger are to be met with on this coast,' they replied. Recollecting the delicious prawns of Minturnum, he ordered his pilot to steer immediately for the coast of Italy, without approaching nearer to that of Africa."
"Aristoxemis of Cyrene, a voluptuous philosopher, used to sprinkle the lettuces in his garden every evening with wine mixed with noney; and gathering them early in the morning, calk d them the green cakes which the earth produced for his use."
"Nicoinedcs, king of Bithynia, being at a great distance from the sea, expressed a desire to eat the small fish called *fn, or anchovy; his cook, not being able to procure them, contrived to imitate this fish so well, that he deceived his master; which, by a fragment from the comic poet, Euphron, was thus accomplished: He took a turnip, and cut it into small pieces, imitating, as much as possible, the form of the anchovy. These pieces he fried in oil, with a sufficient quantity of salt, then sprinkled them with the seed of twelve black poppies. By this ingenious artifice he deceived and gratified the palate of the king, who was at that time on the confines of Scythia, so that he bousted to his friends of the excellent anchovies which he had eaten."
DAVID HUME CHARGED BY MR COLERIDGE WITH PLAGIARISM FROM ST THOMAS AQUINAS.
Ik that rambling, confused, and inconclusive work, Mr Coleridge's Biographia Literaria, there is, nevertheless, to be found a vast quantity of singularly acute metaphysical disquisition; and there occur many very amusing illustrations and anecdotes. In his sixth chapter, where he treats of Hartley's system, and undertakes to shew that, as far as it differs from that of Aristotle, it is neither tenable in theory, nor founded on facts, he relates the following curious instance of delirium, in which, according to his belief, the ideas, or relicks of longbefore-received impressions, exactly imitated the order of those impressions,—the will and reason being to all appearance wholly suspended.
"A case of this kind occurred in a Catholic town in Germany a year or two before my arrival at Gbttingen, and had not then ceased to be a frequent subject of conversation. A young woman of four or five and twenty, who could neither read nor write, was seized with a nervous fever; during which, according to the asseverations of all the priests and monks in the neighbourhood, she became possessed, and, as it appeared, by a very learned devil. She continued incessantly talking Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, in very pompous tones, and with most distinct enunciation. This possession was rendered more probable by the known fact, that she was or had been an heretic Voltaire humorously advises the devil to decline all acquaintance with medical men; and it would have been more to his reputation, if he had taken this advice in the present instance. The case had attracted the particular attention of a young physician, and by his statement many eminent physiologists and psychologists visited the town, and cross-examined the case on the spot Sheets full of her ravings were taken down from her own mouth, and were found to consist of sentences, coherent and intelligible each for itself, but with little or no connexion with each other. Of the Hebrew, a small portion only could be traced to the Bible; the remainder seemed to be in the rabinical dialect. All trick or conspiracy was out of the question. Not only had the young woman ever been an harmless, simple creature; but she was evidently labouring under a nervous fever. In the town, in which she had been resident for many years as a servant in different families, no solution presented itself. The young physician, however, determined to trace her past life step by step; for the patient herself was incapable of returning a rational answer. He at length succeeded in discovering the place where her parents had lived: travelled thither, found them dead, but an uncle surviving; and from him learnt, that the patient had been charitably taken by an old protestant pastor at nine years old, and had remained with him some years, even till the old man's death. Of
this pastor the uncle knew nothing, but that he was a very good man. With great difficulty, and after much search, our young medical philosopher discovered a niece of the pastor's, who had lived with him as his house-keeper, and had inherited his effects. She remembered the girl; related, that her venerable uncle had been too indulgent, and could not bear to hear the girl scolded ; that she was willing to have kept her, but that after her patron's death, the girl herself refused to stay. Anxious inquiries were then of course made, concerning the pastor's habits; and the solution of the phenomenon was soon obtained. For it appeared, that it had been the old man's custom, for years, to walk up and down a passage of his house into which the kitchen door opened, and to read to himself with a loud voice, out of his favourite books. A considerable number at these were still in the niece's posvsaasShe added, that he was a very learned man and a great Hebraist. Among the books were found a collection of rabbinical writings, together with several of the Greek and Latin fathers; and the physician succeeded in identifying so many passages with those taken down at the young woman's bed-side, that no doubt could remain in any rational mind concerning the true origin of the impressions made on her nervous system."
Mr Coleridge observes, that this authenticated case furnishes both proof and instance that relicks of sensation may exist, for an indefinite time, in a latent state, in the very same order in which they were originally impressed; for, it cannot he supposed that, in a cast like this, the feverish state of the brain would act in any other way than as a stimulus. Mr Coleridge therefore thinks it probable that all thoughts are in themselves imperishable, and that if the intelligent faculty should be rendered more comprehensive, it would require only a different and apportioned organization, the body crlettiul instead of the body terrestrial, to bring before every human soul the collective experience of its whole past existence. "And all this," he adds, "perchance is the dread book of judgment, in whose mysterious hieroglyphics every idle word is recorded."
We fear that this extraordinary story will not greatly benefit the science of metaphysics; for, in the first place, all we know of it is, that it is said to haw occurred in a Catholic town in Germany, a year or two before Mr Coleridge's arrival at Gottingen, and on such a vague and indefinite statement, no true philosopher could, we think, venture to found any serious speculation. But, in the second place, the power or faculty here ascribed to the young German girl seems to remain altogether unaccounted for by any theory—whether of Hartley—Aristotle— or Mr Coleridge. Had this girl been taught by the old Protestant Pastor a number of Hebrew words and sentences,—and afterwards seemingly forgotten them,—till, in a nervous fever she again uttered them in her delirious ravings,—the fact would have been curious,—and, even without satisfactory explanation, would have been credible. For it would have amounted only to this,—the sudden resuscitation of ideas apparently dead, and the sudden reappearance of impressions apparently effaced. But as the story stands, we are forced to believe that this girl possessed, in her delirium, a knowledge which she never did possess at any previous period of her life. The Hebrew language is not to be acquired by any young servant girl whatever, when at work in the Kitchen, from the recitations of her learned master declaiming rabbinical wisdom to and fro before the said kitchen-door. Doubtless a word or two might so be picked up—but that long sentences and harangues from the Rabbins, and the Greek and Latin Fathers, afterwards capable of filling whole sheets with ravings, should have been distinctly, and accurately, and grammatically committed to memory by a girl who could neither read nor write, and under such circumstances, cannot be thought possible but by the most credulous. Mr Coleridge does not seem to think the acquisition of such knowledge, in the first case, any way remarkable; at least he makes no allusion to so wonderful a phenomenon. We suspect, indeed, that he is of opinion that the girl repeated, in her delirium, that which she never could repeat in her sound senses. If so, we do not comprehend his philosophy. The sounds uttered by a Protestant Pastor struck the ear of the girl, an impression was therefore made on her sense •f hearing. But does Mr Coleridge believe that this impression was that of distinct and separate sounds, of syllables, words, sentences, periods? It could not so have been. Her ravings must have borne some resemblance to the impression formerly received. But, if in her delirium she spoke good Hebrew and excellent Greek, she must Vol. III.
have spoken what she never could have learned. This story, therefore, seems to us to prove a great deal too much—certainly much more than that relicks of sensation may exist for an indefinite time in a latent state. If it be a true story, the wonder seems to us greater, that the girl should have ever acquired such knowledge by such means, than that the knowledge having been seemingly lost should, in delirium, have been restored.
A very singular case of sudden obliteration of the deepest impressions occurred in Oxford, somewhat later than the middle of the last century. The present writer heard it narrated by the late Mr Wyndham, and the fact is well known to many persons yet living. A woman, who was there executed, was restored to animation. She completely recovered her health—married—bore children—and conducted herself reputably through life. But the effect produced on her memory by the shock which her bodily frame had sustained was most extraordinary. She recollected every thing distinctly up to the day of her trial; but from that day she recollected nothing; and the period between her trial and execution for ever after remained a blank in her memory. She had behaved in prison with great composure and resignation—had partaken of the sacrament on the morning of execution—sung a hymn on the scaffold—taken a calm farewell of her friends—and betrayed no symptoms of terror. But all these scenes were for ever effaced from her mind—nor had she ever afterwards the faintest glimmer of recollection that she had been placed in such jeopardy, Her memory with regard to every thing else was unimpaired. It would seem as if the ideas that possessed her mind during her imprisonment, and were uppermost on it, had literally been all wiped away.
In Mr Coleridge's chapter on the Law of Association, in which he traces its history from Aristotle to Hartley, he relates an anecdote of David Hume, which is so curious, that we wish Sir James M'Intosh would either confirm or deny its truth. It is as follows:
"In consulting the excellent comment.
tary of St Thomas Aquinas on the Parva
Naturalia of Aristotle, I was struck at once
with its close resemblance w Hume's es
40 a very considerable difference between the Scottish sceptic and the angelk doctor, and he ought not to have said, that the illustrations of Hume differed only in the occasional substitution of more modern examples, for that is not the case, and such a groundless assertion is calculated to give a most false impression of Hume's beautiful essay to those who may not have read it, or who, like Mr Coleridge, may have wholly forgotten it. Hume tbu» states his theory,
"To me there appear to be only three principles of connexion among ideas, namely, resemblance, contiguity in time and place, and cause and effect. That these principles serve to connect ideas, will not, I believe, be much doubted. A picture naturally leads our thoughts to the original (resemblance). The mention of one apartment in a building naturally introduces as inquiry or discourse concerning the other* (contiguity). And if we think of a wound, we can scarcely, forbear reflecting on the pain which follows it (cause and effect)."
In a note to another passage in his essay, Hume adds,
"Contrast, or contrariety, is a com among ideas which may perhaps be dered as a mixture of causation and i blance. When two objects are contrary, the one destroys the other, i. e. is the cause of its annihilation, and the idea of the annihilation of an object implies the idea of its former existence."
Hume therefore agrees with St Thomas Aquinas in thinking resemblaner and contiguity two principles of connexion among ideas. He holds a somewhat different view with regard to the principle of contrariety, anil he adds that of cause and effect. Hume expressly says, "/ do not find that any philosopher has attempted to enumerate or class all the principles of association." If he indeed had read and studied the commentary of Aquinas, this way of talking is not very candid, and therefore it would be important, both to his originality and fair-dealing, that the world should be told, by the only person who can teD them, if there be any truth in this anecdote.
This however is certain, that Mr Coleridge's dislike to Hume has betrayed him into a most unjust charge aguinst that philosopher. It is absolutely false, that "the main thoughts are the same in both, the order of the thoughts the same, and that even the illustrations differ only in Hume's occasional substitution of more moder*
say on association. The main thoughts were the same in both, the order of the thoughts was the same, and even the illustrations differed only by Hume's occasional substitution of modern examples. I mentioned the circumstance to several of my literary acquaintances, who admitted the closeness oi the resemblance, and that it seemed too great to be explained by mere coincidence; but they thought it improbable that Hume should have held the pages of the angelic Doctor worth turning over. But some time after Mr Payne, of the King's mews, shewed Sir James M'Intosh some odd volumes of St Thomas Aquinas, partly perhaps from having heard that Sir James (then Mr) M'lntosh had in his lectures past a high encomium on this canonized philosopher, but chiefly from the fact, that the volumes had belonged to Mr Hume, and had here and there marginal marks and notes of reference in liis own hand-writing. Among these volumes was that which contains the Pnrva NaturaTui, in the old Latin version, swathed and swaddled in the commentary afore mentioned!"
Mr Coleridge does not say, that this anecdote was communicated to him by Mr Payne, nor yet by Six James M'lntosh; and therefore it may, after all, be merely an idle piece of floating literary gossip. The anecdote would have been more valuable had Mr Coleridge, instead of dealing in such very general terms, quoted from the " excellent commentary of St Thomas Aquinas on the Parva Naturalia of Aristotle," that part from which David Hume is said to have so freely borrowed or stolen. This we shall now do. In Chap. V. of the said Commentary " de Memoria et Iteminiscentia" there is the following passage:
"Similiter ctiam quandoque reininiscitur aliquis incipiens ab aliqua re, cuius memoratur a qua proccdit ad aliam triptici ratione. Quandoque quidem ratione timilitudinis, sicut quando aliquis memoratur de Socrate, et per hoc occurrit ci Plato, qui est sirnilis ci m sapentia: quandoque vcro ratione contrarktaiii, sicut si aliquis memoretur Hcctoris et per hoc occurret ei Achilles. Quandoque veto ratione propinquitatis cujuscunque, sicut cum aliquis memor est patris, et per hoc occurrit ei filius. Et eadem ratio est de quacunque alia propinquitate vel societatis, vel loci, vel temporis, et propter hoc fit reniiniscentia, quia motus horum se invicem consequntur."
It is needless to quote more, for this is the whole theory ; and, without doubt, it bears a very strong resemblance to that of Hume. Mr Coleridge, however, •ught to have said, that there is also