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give a greater Air of Dignity and Awsulness to
a Place than some artful Laws made by the
Ancients; such as these: That nothing Male
should presume to set Foot in the Temple of
the Bona Dea, nor in that of Diana in the Pa­
trician Portico; and at Tanagra, that no Wo­
man should enter the sacred Grove, nor the in­
ner Parts of the Temple of Jerusalem; and
that no Person whatsoever, besides the Priest,
and he only in order to purify himself for Sa­
crisice, should wash in the Fountain near Pan­
thos; and that nobody should presume to spit
in the Place called Doliola near the great Drain
at Rome, where the Bones of Numa Pompilius
were deposited; and upon some Chapels there
have been Inscriptions, strictly forbidding any
common Prostitute to enter; in the Temple of
Diana at Crete, none were admitted, except
they were bare-footed; it was unlawful to bring
a Bond-woman into the Temple of the God­
dess Matuta; and all common Cryers were ex­
cluded from the Temple of Orodio at Rhodes,
and all Fiddlers from that of Temnius at Te­
nedos. So again, it was unlawful to go out of
the Temple of Jupiter Alfistius without sacri­
ficing, and to carry any Ivy into the Temple
of Minerva at Athens, or into that of Venus at
Thebes. In the Temple of Fauna, it was not
lawful so much as to mention the Name of
Wine. In the same Manner it was decreed,
that the Gate Janualis at Rome should never
be shut, but in Time of War, nor the Temple
of Janus ever opened in Time of Peace; and
that the Temple of the Goddess Hora should
stand always open. If we were to imitate any
of these Customs, perhaps it might not be a­
miss to make it criminal for Women to enter
the Temples of Martyrs; or Men, those dedi­
cated to Virgin Saints. Moreover there are some
Advantages very desirable, said to be procured
by Art, which when we read of, we could
scarcely believe, unless we saw something like
it in some particular Places even at this Day.
We are told that it was brought about by hu­
man Art, that in Constantinople Serpents will
never hurt any body, and that no Daws will fly
within the Walls; and that no Grasshoppers
are ever heard in Naples, nor any Owls in
Candy. In the Temple of Achilles, in the
Island of Boristhenes no Bird whatsoever will
enter, nor any Dog or Fly of any Sort in the
Temple of Hercules near the Forum Boarium
at Rome. But what shall we say of this sur­
prizing Particularity, that at Venice, even at
this Day, no Kind of Fly ever enters the pub­
lick Palace of the Censors? And even in the
Flesh-market at Toledo, there is never more than
one Fly seen throughout the Year, and that a
remarkable one for its Whiteness. These
strange Accounts which we find in Authors,
are too numerous to be all inserted here, and
whether they are owing to Nature or Art, I
shall not now pretend to decide. But then,
again, how can we, either by Nature or Art,
account for what they tell us of a Laurel-tree
growing in the Sepulchre of Bibrias King of
Pontus, from which if the least Twig is brok­
en, and put aboard a Ship, that Ship shall ne­
ver be free from Mutinies and Tumults till the
Twig is thrown out of it: Or for its never
raining upon the Altar in Venus's Temple at
Paphos: Or for this, that whatever Part of the
Sacrifice is left at Minerva's Shrine in Phrygia
minor, will never corrupt: Or this, if you
break off any Part of Anteus's Sepulchre, it
immediately begins to rain, and never leaves off
till it is made whole again? Some indeed af­
firm, that all these Things may be done by an
Art, now lost, by means of little constellated
Images, which Astronomers pretend are not
unknown to them. I remember to have read
in the Author of the Life of Apollonius Tyaneus,
that in the chief Apartments of the Royal Palace
at Babylon, some Magicians fastened to the
Cieling four golden Birds, which they called
the Tongues of the Gods, and that these were
endued with the Virtue of conciliating the Af­
fection of the Multitude towards their King:
And Josephus, a very grave Author, says that
he himself saw a certain Man named Eleazer,
who in the Prefence of the Emperor Vespasian
and his Sons, immediately cured a Man that
was possessed, by fastening a Ring to his Nose;
and the same Author writes that Solomon com­
posed certain Verses, which would give Ease
in Distempers; and Eusebius Pamphilus says,
that the Ægyptian God Serapis, whom we call
Pluto, invented certain Charms which would
drive away evil Spirits, and taught the Methods
by which Dæmons assumed the Shapes of brute
Beasts to do mischief. Servius too says, that
there were Men who used to carry Charms
about them, by which they were secured a­
gainst all unhappy Turns of Fortune; and that
those Charms were so powerful, that the Per­
sons who wore them could never die till they
were taken from them. If these Things could
be true, I should easily believe what we read
in Plutarch, that among the Pelenei there was
an Image, which if it were brought out of the