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Crimson, properly so called, is of a deep red, and is made with cochineal, an ingredient absolutely unknown to antiquity. Scarlet is of a lively and bright red. To make this dye, they use a sort of little reddish grains which they gather from a sort of French or holm oak, a dwarf-tree com. mon in Palestine, in the isle of Crete, and in many other countries. They find on the leaves and on the bark of this hruh, little nuts or bladders about the size of a juniper-berry. These excrescences are occasioned by the eating of little
The Arabians have given them the name of kermes ; we call them the scarlet grain, or vermilion", because they use it to make the most beautiful and lively red. Let us apply these principles to the question in hand.
It is certain, that the ancients had a red colour much esteemed, called coccus, which they distinguished from purple. The coccus differed from the purple, as well by its preparation, as by its shade and the effect of the colour. Purple, as we have feen, was of a deep red approaching to coagulated blood, and was dyed with the liquor of certain fhell-filhes. The coccus, on the contrary, was of a gay red, lively, bright, approaching to the colour of fire », This dye was made with a sort of little grains which they gathered on the holm oak . The ancients even called these grains, which at present we call Scarlet grain, fruits of the bolni onk » Neither were they ignorant, that these pretended fruits inclosed worms p. After this exposition, it clear
Voyage de la Terre-Sainte du P. Roger, recollet. 1. 1. C. 2.; Voyage de Monconys, part 1. p. 179.; Bellon, observat. I. 1. c. 17.1.2. c. 88.; Acad. des fcien. ann. 1714. mem. p. 435. ann. 1741. mem. p. 50. i Acad. des scien. ann. 1714. Mem. p. 13.
k Ibid. · Exod. c. 25. V.4. ; Plin. 1.9. sect. 65. p. 528. ; Quintil. inftit. orat. l. 1. C. 2. At Rome scarlet was allowed to every body, but the purple was reserved for the highest digniries.
su Plin. I. 9. fcet.05. p. 528.1. 21. fect. 22. p. 240..
1 Theophraft. hisor. plant. 1. 3. c. 16.; Plin. I. 16. fect. 12. p. 6.; Dioscorid. 1. 4. C. 48.; Paul. 1. 10. C. 36.
II póry xapwóv. Plut. in Thes. p. 7. ; Plin. l. 16. set. 12. p. 6. calls these little grains cuculia, from the Greek xccxúr.de«v, which signifies to cat little exprefiences; becaule in effeet they cut and scrape these small grains off the bark and the leaves of the holin oak.
P Coccum ilicis seberrime in vermicelom se mutans says Pliny, 1. 24. fect.4. 7.
ly appears, that the colour named coccus by the ancients, was our fcarlet *. The Septuagint and Vulgate having translated by that word, the Hebrew term used by Mofes to design a red colour, other than purple, it follows, that they believed he meant the scarlet. But independently of the authority and consideration which these interpreters deserve, the etymology of the terms of the original text proves the truth of the sentiment which I propose. We see there plainly intended a dye made with wornis 9.
But I do not think, that this colour was as brilliant as that which we now call fine scarlet. I even doubt whether the ancients could approach towards it. Let us not forget, that, before 'chymical discoveries, the art of dying must have been very imperfect'. Without the preparations which chymistry affords, we could not dye stuffs fine fcarlet. This is the most bright and beautiful colour in dying; but one of fbe most difficult to bring to its point of perfection ".
of the variety and richness of stuffs. WE have seen in the first part of this work, that the in
vention of embroidering stuffs, and varying the tissue with different colours, was very ancient. It was not possible, for want of monuments at that time, to enter into
detail of the progress of these two arts. The
ages treating of, give us a better opportunity of judging. We here see great magnificence and great taste in dress. To read some chapters in Exodus, is sufficient to convince us of
we are now
* This is also the opinion of Mathiolus on Diofcorides.
At present they make very little use of coccus or kermes in dying. The cochineal, far superior to all drugs heretofore used to dye red, lias made them leave it off. Acad. des Scien. ann. 1741. mem. p.69.
I See Senac, nouveau cours de Chymie, pref.p. -).
Pliny gives us to understand, that the colour of tuffs formerly dyed scarlet was not sufficiently durable nor adhesive, I. 22. 1eét. 3. p. 206. Sec also the remarkis of P. Hardouin, note 5. | Acad des scien. ann. 17.1. mem. 1.6.
this. What most deserves our attention, is the manner they could then employ the colours in the making of stuffs. It is certain, that they were not one and the same colour, Scripture speaks of works where there were many colours e, But in what way did they distribute them were these stuffs striped or shaded? The first of these operations does not require much art; the other requires much more skill and ability. Yet it is very probable, that they then knew che secret of shading stuffs
, Moses speaks of works in embroidery with a tissue of different colours with an agreeable variety , "The expression agreeable variety, which he uses to distinguish these sorts of stuffs, leads us to think, that the colours were not uniform, but that they had observed a gradation. But what completes the confirmation of this sentiment, is the force of the Hebrew word * used to design embroidered stuffs. To a tittle, this word signifies works of embroidered feathersy. Yet it does not appear, that the Hebrews then made use of the feathers of birds. It is not mentioned in the enumeration of the things used for the ornament of the tabernacle, and for the dresses of the high priest. The relation between the feathers of birds and the effect of embrodieries, expressed by the term of the original text, appears to me to fhew an imitation of the manner in which the colours are graduated in the plumage of birds, and consequently of shaded stuffs.
It was not only among the Hebrews, that the art of working embroidery was then in use. This art was equally known to many other people of Asia. Homer describing the occupations of Helen at Troy, fays, that tủis princess worked a wonderful piece of embroidery. She there represented the bloody fights fought between the Greeks and the Trojans ?, He speaks also of another work of the same kind, to which Andromache applied herself when she heard of the death of Hector. The subject of it was many sorts of flowers -. Before the war of Troy, the women of Sidon were famous
? Evodi. c. 25. v. 1. & 21. c. 39. V. 2.
2. Exod c. 26. v. 1. & 31. *7077, Rakamah, v. 36.
y Ezekiel, c. 17. V. 3. speaking of the wings of the great eagle, uses the word Kakamah. ? liiad. 1. 3. V. 125. 2 lbid. I. 22. V. 442. o.
for their address and dexterity in working embroidery, and Ituffs of different colours b.
At that time, they also knew the secret of putting gold into the tissue of stuffs and in embroideries. The scripture observes, that they used much gold in the habits of the high priest, and in the vails designed for the tabernacle . How did they then prepare that metal for the making of stuffs? was it, as at present, drawn into wire, beaten, wound, and wrapt round other threads? or was it merely gold hammered into very thin leaves, afterwards cut with a chifel into little plates, or long and small shreds, which they put into the texture of their stuffs? Moses says, “ And they did beat the “ gold into thin plates, and cut it into wires, to work it in the “ blue, and in the purple, and in the scarlet, and in the fine “ linen 1.” The sense of these expressions does not appear to me fufficiently determinate, absolutely to decide in favour of the first of these methods which I have shewn. I even think, that the passage in question gives us no idea of gold wire drawn as at present with a drawing-iron. Tle most natural interpretation, is to say, that they twisted the plates of gold about some of the different stuffs of which the ephod and the vails of the tabernacle must have been composed. They made, by this means, a fort of gold thread resembling ours, except that the basis of this thread was of pure gold cut into shreds, whereas ours is only silver gilt drawn by the drawing-iron.
We might perhaps raise a difficulty, and say, that the stuffs in question were made only of pure plates of gold interwoven : there is mention made of such habits in Pliny .. We also know, that they sometimes adorned the images of the gods in dresses of this fort'. But the text of Moses is absolutely repugnant to this notion : he says expressly, that the gold was reduced into very thin plates, that it might be wound and twisted to put it into the tissue of the other threads of divers colours. This detail removes all the difficulty.
b Iliad. 1. 6. v. 289. Lc. e Exod. c. 28. v. 8. c. 39. V. 3. dibid c. 39. V. 3. ¢ L. 33. sect. 19. p.616.
† Arist. de cura rei famil, 1.2. t. 2. p. 511.; Alian. var. hist. l. 1. c. 23. ; Cicero, de nat. deor. 1. 3. n. 34.; Valer. Max, l. 1. C. 1. sect. 3. externa. ; Paus. 1.5.C.11.
The art of putting gold into the tissue of stuffs, must have
been known in many countries in the ages we are now exaentions itin mining. Homer speaks of the girdle of Calypso, and of
that of Circe & We might likewise believe, that this poet mentions silver stuffs *. But all interpreters agree to understand the expressions which Homer uses in this passage, of white habits i. The ancients did not use to put silver into their stuffs k. We find in reality, since Moses and Homer, an uninterrupted tradition in antiquity about gold stuffs, whereas we find nothing like it as to silver ones.
We can. not bring one single passage, that is clear and precise, of any ancient author, where mention is made of silver wire. Pliny, who has expressly spoken of gold wire, would he have forgot or neglected to remark that they did the same work in Lilver? His subject, his ends, his method, all required that he should speak of it, if that art had been known in his time. The same author, in a particular chapter, treats at large of the use they made of filver for divers ornaments '. Yet in all the enumeration he gives of the many uses to which they put this metal, there is not one word of filver wire.
I shall finish what I have at present to say on the habits of the ancients, by an observation I think very important, We perceive a very sensible difference between the stuffs the ancients used, and those we use at present. All the dresses anciently might be wallied and bleached daily .. The greatest part of ours would be spoiled by such an operation. I only just mentioned this. The fear of falling into details, which, in the end, might become tiresome, hinders me from farther inquiring into them.
Odysł. 1. 5. V. 232. 1. 10. V. 543. &c. b Ibid, 1. 5. v. 230. 1. 10. V. 23. & 24. i See Hesychius, voce 'Apyupéolo. * See Vopisc. in Aurelian. p. 224. Ú'c. and the notes of Saumaise, p. 394, ? L. 33. C. 12.
* Scelliad, l. 22. V, 154. & 155.; Odyff. 1. 6. v: 95. & 92.; Herod. 1. 2. n. 37.