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This poet fays that they had in the gardens of Alcinous pear-trees, pomegranates, figs, and olives. And there is even room to fufpect that they had citron-trees. As to pulse and roots, Homer enters into no detail on this article; only one may conje&ure that they had many forts 5.
As to the distribution and arrangement of these gardens, we see that they had a sort of symmetry. They were divi. ded into three parts: an orchard, containing the fruit-trees, a vineyard, and kitchen-garden. The trees do not seem to have been planted confusedly in the orchard. It appears on the contrary, that they then knew the art of planting by the line *. The vineyard might likewife form an arbour. As to the kitchen-garden, Homer, as I imagine, gives us to understand, that the pulse and roots were ranged in different beds or compartments t. They knew likewise how to conduct and distribute running waters in their gar. dens. Homer remarks, that in those of Alcinous they had
Thips with which they were filled, in a word, of the experience of the Phaea. cians in maritime affairs, and of the extent of their commerce. I fhall support it by the ingenuity and address of the Phaeacians in making stuffs of a surprifing fineness and beauty. I say that all this description could not characterise an ile in Europe in the heroic times; and to convince us of this, it is sufficient to cast our eyes on the state in which the arts, commerce, and navigation . were at that time in Greece. I believe, on the contrary, that from thence we may trace the features of the Asiatics. "Tis to these people we ought to #scribe all that Homer says of the Phaeacians; and I do not imagine he had #ny other views. The poet was too knowing to be ignorant, that, at the time of Ulysses, there was no isle in Greece in a state like that in which he has painted the isle of the Phaeacians. I do not think then that all these conjectures, to which they are obliged to have récourse to place this ise in Europe, can outdo the text of Homer, which to me appears plainly to prove that the poet deligned fome Greck colony transported into some one of the ifles of Asia. f Odyff
. 1. 7. V. 115. &c. Mnnéar ayazéxapwon, literally, fruits glittering to fight. Which one may well interpret oranges, or citrons. 3 Ibid. v. 127. & 128.
I found my conje ture on this, because Homer uses the word ipxatos, rather than that of xñaos, in speaking of the gardens of Alcinous. Now, ibe - word õpxatos comes from the root opxos, which fignifies plants ranged with order and symmetry.
+ This, I think, is the induction we ought to infer from the terms xoguenta! #poolai, which Homer uses: bis scholiast explains them, and I think with great judgment, by sv 7xč& Succ7i0nurmes, of plants ranged in order.
two fountains : one dividing itself into different canals, watered all the garden : the other running along the walls of the court, came out at the end of the palace, and fun plied the whole city with water 1.
Yet we must agree, that this description does not give us a grand idea of the taste which then reigned in gardens. Those of Alcinous, to speak properly, were only inclosures or orchards. We fee nothing but fruit-trees or useful plants. No mention of elm, of beech, of plane, nor of any other trees, which in suéceeding times have made the ornament and beauty of gardens. No covered walks, no groves, no terrasses. There is nothing said of flowers, fill less of para terres. In a word, there is nothing in this description which gives any idea of what one may call the design and arrangement of a garden.
A more important point is to examine what knowledge they then had of the culture of trees. It is certain, that the art of planting them where they pleased, was very well known; but were they equally instructed in the art of managing them, to graft, for example on this I have already had an opportunity of proposing some conjectures i. I maintain that this secret was not known till late : let us give the motives which made me embrace this opinion.
There is no mention made of grafting in the writings of Mofes. Yet we see this legislator gives to the Israelites very useful precepts for the culture of fruit-trees. He orders them to pull off the fruit from the trees they have planted for the first three years. Those of the fourth must be consecrated to the Lord. They were not thefore permitted to eat them till the fifth year k. This precept was founded on the experience and knowledge which Mofes liad of the culture of fruit-trees. He was not ignorant that it weakens and exhausts a young tree when you suffer it to bring to malurity the fruit it produces at its first effort: thus in ordering the Israelites to pull off the fruit the first three years, the inten
h Odys. l. 7. V. 129. &C.
See part 1. book 2. chap. 1. art. 5:
tion of Moses has been to teach his people the means of preserving their fruit-trees, and to inake them bear good fruit.
After these details, I think we have a right to presume, that if Moses had known how to graft, he would not have neglected to have given some precept to the Hebrews.
We see likewise, that Homer says nothing of grafting, although he had occasion to speak of it many times.
One may add, that there is no mention of grafting in the poems of Hesiod that now remain *; notwithstanding his first work, where he treats so particularly of all that concerns agriculture, is come to us so entire. But the induction which we might draw from the filence of Hesiod, will not be equally conclusive. First, it is certain, that all the writings of this poet are not come down to us '. And secondly, we find in Manilius a passage that gives us to understand, that Hesiod had spoke of grafting in some of his works in. I will not therefore avail myself of the wri. tings of this poet to deny the antiquity of this discovery. But allowing, that this secret might be known to Hesiod, we can conclude nothing for the times of which I speak. This poet is much later than the epocha we are now em. ployed about.
* One might bring authority from ver. 731. Oper. & Dier. to maintain, that the art of grafting was not unknown to Heliod. But besides that the most able critics look upon the common reading as vitious, and substitute xxlpeyarbær for ivrpotao tal which we read in the editions, it would be very singular to see the verb evt pépety become synonymous to impúelv; a term consecrated to signify the operation of grafting.
See Fabric. bibli. Graec. t. 1. p. 379 * Atque arbusta vagis essent quod adultera pomis. l. 2. V.22.
It is certain, that by this expression Manilius meant grafting. Pliny uses the fume term in speaking of scions or grafts. Ob hoc insita & arborum quoque adulteria excogitata sunt. 1. 17. sect. 1.
Yet there is in all this a considerable difficulty, in so far, that Manilius attri'butes in this whole passage many things to Hesiod, which are not found in his works, or even what is contrary to what we find there. Scaliger thinks, that Manilius has confounded the poems which pass for Orpheus's with those of Hesiod. He even brings on this occasion nine verses of the beginning of one of these pretended poems which bears the fame title with that of Hefiod called ippa sig újcipar. In Manil. p. 102.& 103. We should remember, that all the poems attributed to Orpheus are supposititious, so that authority concludes nothing for the antiquity of grafts.
This is all that the history of Asia affords for this time with respect to agriculture.
As to the Egyptians, the reign of Sesostris ought to be looked upon as the most remarkable epocha for the attention of these people to try every thing that could contribute to increase the value of their grounds.
The reader will not have forgot, that from the first ages the Egyptian monarchs applied themselves to draw great ad. vantages from the overflowings of the Nile. They had made and preserved divers canals to receive and disperse at pleasure the waters of the river a. Sesostris augmented the number considerably ”. We must attribute to these works, the prodigious fertility which historians say Egypt anciently enjoyed. By means of inultiplied canals, they carried the water over all the lands. Each inhabitant could procure it easily. They had only the trouble of opening a trench each time they wanted water. Thus Egypt found itself watered in the parts the most remote from the Nilep.
The extreme fertility which this country anciently en-
Egypt is a country of small extent. All the grounds could
See part 1. book 2. chap. 1.
Herod. 1. 2. n.19.& 108, 9 See part 1. book 2. chap. 1.
i Ibid t. 11, p. 2150 VOL. II.
can we persuade ourselves after these reflections, that fuch a country could ever furnish such immense provisions as the ancients mention? The question becomes yet more difficult to decide, when we compare the recitals of different authors as well ancient as modern, and when we form, from their recitals, an exad idea of the fertility of Egypt.
Pliny compares the soil of Egypt to that of the Leontines, looked upon formerly as one of the most fertile districts of Sicily. He pretends, that in that country the bushel of corn gave an hundred for one e. But if we give credit to the testimony of Cicero, nothing is more exag. gerated than this fact advanced by Pliny. Cicero says in plain terms, that in the territory of the Leontines, the highest produce was ten for one, and that very seldom. Commonly it was not above eight, and they found them. selves then well done tou. The oraior from whom we have this account ought to have been well instructed. He had been questor in Sicily; besides, he pleaded before the Roman people the cause of the inhabitants of that province against Verres. Thus, on comparing, after Pliny, the fertility of Egypt to the territory of the Leontines, we shall find, that in Egypt the bushel did not give above ten for one.
This estimation agrees exactly with that which Granger gives us of the fertility of this country, author of an acçount of Egypt, which, on many accounts, is much to be esteemed *. He says, that the lands the nearest to the Nile, those on which, at the time of the inundation, the water rests forty days, do not give, in the best years, ac bove ten for one; and with respect to lands where the water does not remain above five days, it is much if they get
four for one *. The same traveller pretends, that they fow now as much land in Egypt, as they fowed anciently; leaving none
? L. 18. sect. 21. p. 111. v In Verrem, actio 2. 1. 3. n. 47. t.4. p. 304.
* The greatest part of this work has been reviewed and corrected by M. Pignon, who had been seventeen years consul at Cairo.
I had this from himself.
* Voyage en Egypte par le sieur Granger, p. 8. & 9. See also Maillet, descript, de l'Egypte, lettr. 9. p. 4. & S.