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the specimens selected do not do credit to his taste or judginent, the gems being mostly small, unimportant specimens, chosen from his own, or other private collections utterly unknown to the general public. This is to be regretted, as the museums of Great Britain, France, Germany, or Russia, would have furnished him with specimens of greater interest, and of greater beauty of workmanship. At the present moment we have no edition of any classic author, illustrated in a fitting manner, from the many remains of the art of their own day, to be found stored in the cabinets and galleries of the European museums.
From an iconographic point of view, gems are exceedingly interesting. The portraits of the various emperors and empresses, who, in governing Rome, ruled the interests of the then-known world, being abundant. The largest known portrait cameo became the possession of the British Museum at the death of the late Duc de Blacas. It represents the Divas Augustus, wearing the ægis on his breast and holding a lance. The workman has cunningly brought out the strata of the various-colored sardonyx, which he has chosen as his material; the bust and features being carved on a white ground, the ægis and ornaments in a light brown, the background being of a much deeper and richer brown. The largest known cameo is the property of the Bibliothique Nationale of France, having been bequeathed to that institution by the late Duc de Luynes; it represents the "Apotheosis of Augustus,” and is generally considered to be the finest cameo extant, both for work and size, measuring (to the best of our recollection), a little over nine inches in length, by seven in breadth.
Portraits of Titus, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Puis, L. Venus, Gallienus, with the empresses are numerous; though some, like the portrait of Julia Titi, by Enodus; of “Care Mecenas eques," by Solonos, are considered unique account of the beauty of their finish. A small engraved chrysoprase has been labelled Horace, owing to its similarity to a contorniateis, or Roman prize medal, bearing the name of the genial author. Though cortorniati exist, bearing portraits of Virgil and Salust, no gem has yet been
VOL. XXV.-NO. L.
discovered bearing the portraits of these authors. traits exist, in the cabinet of the British Museum, of Pescennius Niger, Julius Didianus, Posthumus, Severus, which agree with the aurei of these emperors.
An intimate connection will be found to exist between the study of numismatics, and that of gems, and a knowledge of the former will ensure success towards an appreciation of the latter, more especially in portraiture, styles of art, and in affixing dates or periods. The gems in the collection of the Duke of Marlborough have lately been catalogued by Prof. Maskelyne. In this catalogue, the professor has asserted his ideas as to the periods and styles of art, and though not prepared to agree in all the dates mentioned, yet we acknowledge with pleasure his thorough appreciation and knowledge of art of ancient coinage.
The collector ought always to remember that gems are easier to imitate, and more often palmed off as genuine, than any other of the many branches of antiquarian lore. Even at the time of Pliny, forgers and forgeries were so common, that he begins a chapter, with the following lamentation, since uttered by many, who, like him, seek to winnow the real from the false: “ Veras e falsis discernendi magna difficultas." He then proceeds to state that authors, whose names he will not condescend to mention, give details as to how gems may best be imitated. A sardonyx is made by three stones fastened together with such art that it is impossible to tell the true from the false; first, a black, then a white, lastly a vermilion, all taken from the best stones of their kind, and so placed as to best imitate the various strata of the real stone, when carved by an artist. Neque est ulla fraus vitæ lucrosion. (Cf. Hardouni's edition.) Salomia, wife of the emperor Gallianus, herself a collector of gems, having been imposed upon by a jeweler, demanded from her husband that the unfortunate wretch should be cast to the lions at the approaching games. Forced into the arena, on the appointed day, shivering with fear, the unhappy forger prepared for death; but the door of the cage being flung open, with all due caution, out strutted a rooster, who greeted his supposed victim with a hearty crow. Gallienus considered the fright sufficient punishment; and we may well suppose,
that the jeweler left imitations to be attempted by those who had not faced the danger to which he had exposed himself.
It is very common even now, to find signatures on gems, which have been placed on modern works. The names ΑΥΛΟΥ. ΑΔΜΩΝ. ΔΙΟΙ (for Dioscorides), ΞΩΟΔΟι. ΠΥΡ (for Pyrgoteles), and many others, too numerous to mention, being generally affixed to a worthless intaglio, or cameo. The subject of signatures has often been discussed in the Archäologischer Zeitung, and other foreign perodicals; the general impression of the learned writers being, that general signatures, as a rule, are very rare, for the most part falsified. The many private and public collections of these beauteous remains of antique art, have, however, of late years, largely increased their numbers, and by a careful study of these, the amateur will get his mind so imbued with the love of art, that his eye will be guided in the detection of the many imitations which unscrupulous rogues may try to pass off as genuine antiques.
Art. V.-The Student's Mythology. A Compendium of
Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Assyrian, Persian, Hindoo, Chinese, Thibetian, Scandinavian, Celtic, Aztec, and Peruvian Mythologies, in accordance with standard authorities. Arranged for the use of Schools and Academies. By C. A. WHITE. Pp. 315. New York. W.J. Widdleton, Publisher. 1870.
BEFORE asking any of our readers, Catholic or Protestant, whether this is the sort of " catechism" we should expect from a Christian convent, we beg leave to make a few remarks, which may serve as a prologue. This privilege, will, we trust, be granted to us all the more readily when we promise to examine the book carefully, and to pass no sentence upon it, until we have done so~until every impartial reader has had samples enough of the work to be able to form an opinion for himself of its character.
Just a year ago we deemed it our duty to intimate, but in as delicate a manner as possible, that one or two of the academies of the female Catholic orders were nothing the better, either intellectually or morally, but rather the worse, for being so near our New York Jesuits and the political friends whose projects the professors of St. Xavier's and St. John's aided so well. By this we did not mean to attribute any unchaste or dishonest conduct to either Sisters or Fathers; nor do we now. We have confined ourselves, in the past, exclusively to the qualifications and characters of each, as educators, and shall pursue no different course in the future.
But at present our attention must be directed chiefly to the ladies of the Sacred Heart. We regret that the language in which we feel called upon to discuss their system of education cannot be that of approbation. But as it is in the case of the Jesuits, so it is in the case of their spiritual sisters. On no occasion have we condemned the whole order of the former, as educators, but always cheerfully admitted that only a small number deserve to be censured; and still less have we condemned, or would we condemn, the whole order of the latter.
That ladies, in every sense exemplary and above reproach, belong to the order of the Sacred Heart, far be it from us to deny-nay, most cheerfully do we bear testimony to the fact that such belong to the institution, which, above all others of its kind in this country, is, in our opinion, in most need of reformation. There are ladies at Manhattan ville at least there were, not long since-who, if they had their own will, could not be induced by any influences, however potent, to swerve from the path of rectitude and honor, or to betray the confidence of those who, whether Protestants or Catholics, entrust them with the education of their daughters.
But, unfortunately, it is not ladies of this class that are always in power. They are much more likely, in certain circumstances, to be deprived of all power, and placed under subjection to those whose only capacity is a business capacity; whose only learning is the learning of Mrs. Sausage, the boardinghouse-keeper; whose only piety is the piety of thrift; and whose chief deity is Mammon, the deity who gives occasional contributions of money, even though it be stolen money. Ladies of culture and talent, however gentle and pious, however large their stock of patience, or however prone to resignation, sometimes find it rather humiliating and irksome to be obliged to render implicit obedience in all things to such a “superioress.” But they know that the mildest remonstrance a remonstrance that assumes no more rebellious form than that of a tear, renders them liable to be removed at an hour's notice, or subjected to certain other pains and penalties.
For years we have been listening to the regrets of educated and enlightened Catholics for this state of things; but although in several instances those Catholics were eye-witnesses, whose veracity we could not question for a moment, we long clung to the opinion that there must have been some mistake on the part of our informants. In short, we never believed the worst nntil it was impossible for us to be skeptical any longer; even then we found it difficult to believe our eyes and ears. What we allude to particularly, is this; we had long refused to believe that the ladies of the Sacred Heart could be induced by any influences, either spiritual or material, to become the allies of those politicians, who, boasting that they carry the Irish vote in their pocket-having secured it without troubling themselves with the voters--claimed the right to rule and plunder New York.
From what we knew of nuns and nuuneries in Europe and America, bearing in mind how often and how cruelly they have been wronged, even by their own people, it seemed to ns utterly impossible that the ladies of the Sacred Heart, could be induced to take the part of the Ring, when justly criticised for its notorious iniquities.
They may, thought we, have aided Sweeny and his gang in obtaining power, but surely they would not attempt to screen them from exposure, when they must know them to be guilty of systematic, wholesale thievery.
Such were our thoughts when, as inost of our readers are aware, we were assailed in the inost scurrilous and vile langnage by no fewer than fifty Ring organs, for having dared to write and publish such an article as “ The Central Park under Ring Leader Rule.” It is now well known that before