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subsists with the same tails. From this time they seem to have communicated themselves only to those men, who retired from the converse of their own species to a more uninterrupted life of contemplation. I am much inclined to believe, that in the midst of those solitudes they instituted the so much celebrated order of gymnosophists. For whoever observes the scene and manner of their life, will easily find them to have imitated with all exactness imaginable the manners and customs of their masters and instructors. They are said to dwell in the thickest woods, to go naked, to suffer their bodies to be over-run with hair, and their nails to grow to a prodigious length. Plutarch * says, “they eat what they could get in the “fields, their drink was water, and their bed made of “ leaves or moss”. And Herodotus f. tells us, that they esteemed it a great exploit to kill very many ants or creeping things. Hence we see, that the two nations which contend for the origin of learning, are the same that have ever most abounded with this ingenious race. Though they have contested, which was first blest with the rise of science, yet have they conspired in being grateful to their common masters. Egypt is so well known to have worshipped them of old in their own images; and India may be credibly supposed to have done the same from that adoration, which they paid in latter times to the tooth of one of these hairy philosophers; in just gratitude, as it should seem, to the mouth, from which they received their knowledge. Pass we now over into Greece: where we find * Plutarch in his Orat. on Alexander's fortune.

f Herodot. L, i. Orpheus

Orpheus returning out of Egypt, with the same in-
tent as Osiris and Bacchus made their expeditions.
From this period it was, that Greece first heard the
name of satyrs, or owned them for semidei. And
hence it is surely reasonable to conclude, that he
brought some of this wonderful species along with
him, who also had a leader of the line of Pan, of the
same name, and expressly called king by Theo-
critus *. If thus much be allowed, we easily account
for two of the strangest reports in all antiquity. One
is, that of the beasts following the musick of Or-
pheus; which has been interpreted of his taming
savage tempers, but will thus have a literal applica-
tion. The other, which we most insist upon, is the
fabulous story of the Gods compressing women in
woods under bestial appearances; which will be
solved by the love these sages are known to bear to
the females of our kind. I am sensible it may be
objected, that they are said to have been compressed
in the shape of different animals; but to this we
answer, that women under such apprehensions hardly
know what shape they have to deal with.
From what has been last said, it is highly credible,
that to this ancient and generous race the world is
indebted, if not for the heroes, at least for the acutest
wits of antiquity. One of the most remarkable in-
stances, is that great mimic genius AEsop f, for whose
extraction from these sylvestres homines we may gather
an argument from Planudes, who says, that Æsop
signifies the same thing as Æthiop, the original na-
tion of our people. For a second argument we may
offer the description of his person, which was short,

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deformed, and almost savage; insomuch that he might have lived in the woods, had not the benevolence of his temper made him rather adapt himself to our manners, and come to court in wearing apparel. The third proof is his acute and satirical wit; and lastly, his great knowledge in the nature of beasts, together with the natural pleasure he took to speak of them upon all occasions. The next instance I shall produce is Socrates *. First, it was a tradition, that he was of an uncommon birth from the rest of men: secondly, he had a countenance confessing the line he sprung from, being bald, flat-nosed, with prominent eyes, and a downward look: thirdly, he turned certain fables of Æsop into verse, probably out of his respect to beasts in general, and love to his family in particular. In process of time the women, with whom these Sylvans would have lovingly cohabited, were either taught by mankind, or induced by an abhorrence of their shapes, to shun their embraces; so that our sages were necessitated to mix with beasts. This by degrees occasioned the hair of their posterity to grow higher than their middles; it rose in one generation to their arms, in the second it invaded their necks, in the third it gained the ascendant of their heads, till the degenerate appearance, in which the species is now immersed, became completed. Though we must here observe, that there were a few, who fell not under the common calamity; there being some unprejudiced women in every age, by virtue of whom a total extinction of the original race was prevented. It is remarkable also, that even where they were

* Vid. Plato and Xenophon. mixed

mixed, the defection from their nature was not so
entire, but there still appeared marvellous qualities
among them, as was manifest in those, who followed
Alexander in India. How did they attend his army
and survey his order! how did they cast themselves
into the same forms for march or for combat! what
an imitation was there of all his discipline ! the an-
cient true remains of a warlike disposition, and of
that constitution, which they enjoyed, while they
were yet a monarchy.
To proceed to Italy: at the first appearance of
these wild philosophers, there were some of the
least mixed who vouchsafed to converse with man-
kind; which is evident from the name of Fauns",
a fando, or speaking. Such was he, who coming
out of the woods in hatred to tyranny, encouraged
the Roman army to proceed against the Hetruscans,
who would have restored Tarquin. But here, as
in all the western parts of the world, there was a
great and memorable era, in which they began to
be silent. This we may place something near the
time of Aristotle, when the number, vanity, and
folly of human philosophers increased, by which men's
heads became too much puzzled to receive the simpler
wisdom of these ancient Sylvans; the questions of
that academy were too numerous to be consistent
with their ease to answer: and too intricate, extra-
vagant, idle, or pernicious, to be any other than a
derision and scorn unto them. From this period, if
we ever hear of their giving answers, it is only when
caught, bound, and constrained, in like manner as
was that ancient Grecian prophet, Proteus.

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Accordingly we read in Sylla’s “ time of such a philosopher taken near Dyrrachium, who would not be persuaded to give them a lecture by all they could say to him, and only showed his power in sounds by neighing like a horse. But a more successful attempt was made in Augustus's reign by the inquisitive genius of the great Virgil; whom, together with Varus, the commentators suppose to have been the true persons, who are related in the sixth Bucolick to have caught a philosopher, and doubtless a genuine one of the race of the old Silenus. To prevail upon him to be communicative (of the importance of which Virgil was well aware) they not only tied him fast, but allured him likewise by a courteous present of a comely maiden called Ægle, which made him sing both merrily and instructively. In this song we have their doctrine of the creation, the same in all probability as was taught so many ages before in the great pygmaean empire, and several hieroglyphical fables under which they couched or embellished their morals. For which reason I look upon this Bucolick as an inestimable treasure of the most ancient science. In the reign of Constantine we hear of another taken in a net, and brought to Alexandria, round whom the people flocked to hear his wisdom; but as Ammianus Marcellinus reporteth, he proved a dumb philosopher; and only instructed by action. The last we shall speak of, who seemeth to be of the true race, is said by St. Jerome to have met St. Anthony f in a desert ; who inquiring the way of

* Vid. Plutarch. in Vit. Syllae. + Vit. St. Ant. him,

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