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shalt not commit adultery," they printed off several thousand copies with “Thou shalt commit adultery.” Archbishop Laud, to punish this their negligence, laid a considerable fine upon that company in the Star-Chamber. By the practice of the world, which prevails in this degenerate age, I am afraid that very many young profligates of both sexes are possessed of this spurious edition of the Bible, and observe the commandment according to that faulty reading. But because a subject of this nature may be too serious for my ordinary readers, who are very apt to throw by my papers when they are not enlivened with something that is diverting or uncommon, I shall here publish the contents of a little manuscript lately fallen into my hands, and which pretends to great antiquity, though, by reason of some modern phrases and other particulars in it, I can by no means allow it to be genuine, but rather the production of a modern sophist. It is well known by the learned, that there was a temple upon Mount AEtna, dedicated to Vulcan, which was guarded by dogs of so exquisite a smell, say the historians, that they could discern whether the persons who came thither were chaste, or otherwise. They used to meet and fawn upon such who were chaste, caressing them as the friends of their master Vulcan; but flew at those who were polluted, and never ceased barking at them till they had driven them from the temple. My manuscript gives the following account of these dogs, and was prohably designed as a comment upon this story. “These dogs were given to Vulcan by his sister Diana, the goddess of hunting and of chastity, having bred them out of some of her hounds, in which she had observed this natural instinct and sagacity. It was thought she did it in spite to Venus, who, upon her return home, always found her husband in a good or bad humour, according to the reception which she met with from his dogs. They lived in the temple several years, but were such snappish curs, that they frighted away most of the votaries. The women of Sicily made a solemn deputation to the priest, by which they acquainted him, that they would not come up to the temple with their annual offerings, unless he muzzled his mastiffs, and at last compromised the matter with him, that the offering should always be brought by a chorus of young girls who were none of them above seven years old. It was wonderful, says the author, to see how different the treatment was which the dogs gave to these little misses, from that which they had shown to their mothers. It is said that the Prince of Syracuse, having married a young lady, and being naturally of a jealous temper, made such an interest with the priests of this temple, that he procured a whelp from them of this curious breed. The young puppy was very troublesome to the fair lady at first, insomuch that she solicited her husband to send him away; but the “good man cut her short with the old Sicilian proverb, ‘Love me, love my dog.' From which time she lived very peaceably with both of them. The ladies of Syracuse were very much annoyed with him, and several of very good reputation refused to come to court until he was discarded. There were indeed some of them that defied his sagacity; but it was observed, though he did not actually bite them, he would growl at them most confoundedly. To return to the dogs of the temple:—After they had lived here in great repute for several years, it so happened, that as one of the priests, who had been making a charitable visit to a widow who lived on the promontory of Lilybeum, returned home pretty late in the evening, the dogs flew at him with so much fury, that they would have worried him if his brethren had not come in to his assistance; upon which, says my author, the dogs were all of them hanged, as having lost their original instinct.” I cannot conclude this paper without wishing that we had some of this breed of dogs in Great Britain; which would certainly do justice, I should say honour, to the ladies of our country, and show the world the difference between pagan women and those who are instructed in sounder principles of virtue and religion. ADDISON.
ANTEDILUVIAN STORY. PAPER I. (No. 584).
HILPA was one of the hundred and fifty daughters of Zilpah, of the race of Cohu, by whom some of the learned think is meant Cain. She was exceedingly beautiful, and when she was but a girl of three-score and ten years of age received the addresses of several who made love to her. Among these were two brothers, Harpath and Shalum. Harpath, being the first-born, was master of that fruitful region which lies at the foot of Mount Tirzah, in the southern parts of China. Shalum (which is to say the planter, in the Chinese language) possessed all the neighbouring hills, and that great range of mountains which goes under the name of Tirzah. Harpath was of a haughty, contemptuous spirit; Shalum was of a gentle disposition, beloved both by God and man. It is said that among the antediluvian women, the daughters of Cohu had their minds wholly set upon riches; for which reason the beautiful Hilpa preferred Harpath to Shalum, because of his numerous flocks and herds, that covered all the low country which runs along the foot of Mount Tirzah, and is watered by several fountains and streams breaking out of the sides of that mountain. Harpath made so quick a dispatch of his courtship, that he married Hilpa in the hundredth year of her age, and, being of an insolent temper, laughed to scorn his brother Shalum for having pretended to the beautiful Hilpa, when he was master of nothing but a long chain of rocks and mountains. This so much provoked Shalum, that he is said to have cursed his brother in the bitterness of his heart, and to have prayed that one of his mountains might fall upon his head if ever he came within the shadow of it. From this time forward Harpath would never venture out of the valleys, but came to an untimely end in the two hundred and fiftieth year of his age, being drowned in a river as he attempted to cross it. This river is called to this day, from his name who perished in it, the river Harpath, and, what is very remarkable, issues out of one of those mountains which Shalum wished might fall upon his brother, when he cursed him in the bitterness of his heart. Hilpa was in the hundred and sixtieth year of her age at the death of her husband, having brought him but fifty children before he was snatched away, as has been already related. Many of the antediluvians made love to the young widow, though no one was thought so likely to succeed in her affections as her first lover Shalum, who renewed his court to her about ten years after the death of Harpath; for it was not thought decent in those days that a widow should be seen by a man within ten years after the decease of her husband. Shalum falling into a deep melancholy, and resolving to take away that objection which had been raised against him when he made his first addresses to Hilpa, began, immediately after her marriage with Harpath, to plant all that mountainous region which fell to his lot in the division of this country. He knew how to adapt every plant to its proper soil, and is thought to have inherited many traditional secrets of that art from the first man. This employment turned at length to his profit as well as to his amusement: his mountains were in a few years shaded with young trees that gradually shot up into groves, woods, and forests, intermixed with walks and lawns and gardens; insomuch that the whole region, from a naked and desolate prospect, began now to look like a second paradise. The pleasantness of the place, and the agreeable disposition of Shalum, who was reckoned one of the mildest and wisest of all who lived before the flood, drew into it multitudes of people, who were perpetually employed in the sinking of wells, the digging of trenches, and the hollowing of trees, for the better distribution of water through every part of this spacious plantation. The habitations of Shalum looked every year more beautiful in the eyes of Hilpa, who, after the space of seventy autumns, was wonderfully pleased with the distant prospect of Shalum's hills, which were then covered with innumerable tufts of trees, and gloomy scenes that gave a magnificence to the place, and converted it into one of the finest landscapes the eye of man could behold.
The Chinese record a letter which Shalum is said to have written to Hilpa in the eleventh year of her widowhood. I shall here translate it, without departing from that noble simplicity of sentiments and plainness of manners which appear in the original.
Shalum was at this time one hundred and eighty years old, and Hilpa one hundred and seventy.
4. shALUM, MASTER OF MOUNT TIRZAH, To HILPA, MISTREss
“In the 788th year of the creation.
“What have I not suffered, O thou daughter of Zilpah, since thou gavest thyself away in marriage to my rival! I grew weary of the light of the sun, and have ever since been covering myself with woods and forests. These threescore and ten years have I bewailed the loss of thee on the tops of mount Tirzah, and soothed my melancholy among a thousand gloomy shades of my own raising. My dwellings are at present as the garden of God; every part of them is filled with fruits and flowers and fountains. The whole mountain is perfumed for thy reception. Come up into it, O my beloved, and let us people this spot of the new world with a beautiful race of mortals; let us multiply exceedingly among these delightful shades, and fill every quarter of them with sons and daughters. Remember, O thou daughter of Zilpah, that the age of man is but a thousand years; that beauty is the admiration but of a few centuries. It flourishes as a mountain oak, or as a cedar on the top of Tirzah, which in three or four hundred years will fade away, and never be thought of by posterity, unless a young wood springs from its roots. Think well on this, and remember thy neighbour in the mountains.”
Having here inserted this letter, which I look upon as the only antediluvian billet-doux now extant, I shall in my next paper give the answer to it, and the sequel of this story. ADDISON.