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was lately dug up in an adjoining Village, which an ingenious Antiquary obtained, by giving his Promissory Note to return it upon Demand of the proper Owner.
About the Centre of the Villa, there is a large Field, in which most probably the Feasts, the Stativa Feria on the yth of the Kalends of May, to Robigus, and from him called Robigalia, were celebrated: They were instituted to invoke the Aid of that Deity [x] ad arcendam a satis Rubiginem, &c. At these Feasts, as at the Saturnalia, Intemperance and all Kinds of Licentiousness had their full Swing; so that in early Times that Confusion of Sense, and Debility of Limbs which Intoxication occasions, was called a Robigation, or sometimes a Robigalation. These Feasts are now obsolete and unobserved, but there is another to Ceres at the Ending of Harvest, which always concludes, if I may be allowed the Expression, with a Robigation. From hence Superstition has possessed the Inhabitants, that, drunk or sober, it is impossible to find the Way out of this Field in the Dark, but that every one, that is so hardy as to make the Experiment, is Roblet-led; by which they mean led by some Ghost or Phantom; whereas in Truth nothing at first was intended, but only that those who had dipped too deep in the Pleasures of Festivity, and could not walk, were Robigated or Robigaleded, when they : iould not get out of the Field.
f>] Varr. Plin.
This Institution, pious in itself, was adopted by JWamercus Bishop of Vienne, afterwards by Sidonius Bishop of Clermont, and in the beginning of the sixth Century the first Council of Orleans appointed that it should be yearly observed to the true God. At the Reformation, when all Processions were abolished, yet, for retaining the Perambulations of the Circuits of Parishes, it was ordained that People shall, once a Year, at the Time accustomed, assemble together, to give Thanks to God for the Increase and Abundance of the Fruits upon the Face of the Earth, and to go the Circuit of their several Parishes ; which Ufage is still kept up, but, I am afraid, the religious Part is generally neglected ; for instead of Men's returning Thanks, they are too commonly engaged in filching and purloining, here and there, a little Piece of Land from their Neighbours; and the Day ends too frequently with an Abuse of those very Creatures for which they should return Thanks.
There are Disci, Sympuvia, and Patera [y], to be met with almost in every House, but they are not put to very religious Uses. Fibula are very rare, or unnoticed; owing, probably, to the confined Idea Men have of the Rotundity of a Button; whereas the Roman Fibula was of various Forms: I have lately been favoured with the Sight of one by a Lady: It is about three Inches long, regularly tapered, and sharp pointed ; in all Refpectslike the Roman Fibula found at [zj Ribchejier'm Lancajhire, except the Curvature, [y] Rosin. Antiq. [z] Leigh, Hist, Lancasli,
By the Devices engraved on it, viz. the Arcus and Sagitta, it seems to have been a Pin of the modest Goddess Diana ;—Subne£iit fibula vejiem. It has a small Eye at the larger End, as the Roman Acus, through which something of Lace or Bobin might be drawn (as a Nail through the [a] Linch-pin of an Axle-tree, to keep the Wheel on) that the Fibula might not at any Time flip out, and expose the Nakedness of chaste Deity. I shall not dispute it with the learned, if they choose to suppose, that this is a Fibula Chirurgica: and that the Arcus and Sagittæ are as well Emblems of Apollo,- he God of Physic; though such an Explanation subjects the Faculty to Idle Jokes and Reflexions; and it had certainly been more decent, if not more just, to have given Emblems of his healing, rather than of his murdering Capacity. This Instrument probably the Pollinfiores made use of to lard the dead Bodies, it had killed, with the more stringy, though unctious Sorts of Spices. It is now used, O Tempora! O Mores! as a Bodkin,
There are but two Names remaining in the Villa of Roman Extraction; (viz.) the RufilFamily, probably descended from that Fop Rufillus recorded by Horace; but it is much departed from all idle Taste of Essence and Perfumes: And the Vince Family, from those hardy People of Veientes, [b], or Vincentes, as they should be called, so early incorporated with the Romans: And much of that Robustness continues in this athletic Family.
After the Departure of the Romans, and upon the Irruptions of the Scots and Pitts, this Village wa again made a Settlement of the Enemy [c]; but they proved less cruel and oppressive than was expected; for when they had filled their hungry Bellies, they laid themselves down at their Ease, and gave little Molestation ; for the ancient Inhabitants, observing the pacific Power of Plenty and Fullness, took Care to avail themselves of it; and accordingly appointed Officers, not unlike the Keepers of wild Beasts, to ply them, whenever they seemed restless, with Dumpling; the Tertium quid- of chemical Cookery, from those two simple Ingredients, Meal and Water. Gildas, indeed, that sorrowful Historian, with a peculiar Propensity to turn every thing into Lamentation, deduces theirSavageness and Cruelty from some innocent Posts erected for a different Purpose, by supposing them Engines and Gibbets of Torture, for the poor Natives of this Place. But a late eminent Antiquary, though he has not given us the true Use of them, has certainly led us to it. He fancies from an old Manuscript, that these were Mile and rubbing Posts; and then, with an Imagination as airy as New-Market itself, talks of Matches and King's Plates being run for on this two Mile Course; not considering, that if the Soil has continued from the Flood, in the State it is now in, it was always too deep and heavy for such Diversions. 5Tis much more probable that Worms or Mould
0] Gild. Bed.
H 4 have have robbed his Manuscript of two Letters, S C, and that it was scrubbing instead of rubbing Posts; arGontrivance not less politic than the other of feeding their Enemies; Optimus, quos pa/cere etscabere, eft triumphus: For Naturalists inform us, that all cutaneous Distampsrs, even those that spring from Poverty of Blood, are always inflamed by high living; andthatathriving is constantly an itching Condition; a Senfation so pleasing with, and so intolerable without scratching, that Instinct has directed brute Beasts under such Titillations to afiist one another; and from thence comes the Latin Proverb, Scabunt mutua Midi.
The Religion of those People did by no means require Temples, and their want of Taste and Elegance made them quite indifferent about the Order of their other Buildings; so that the Huts they erected, which are the greater Part now standing, are rather Dormitories, than Houses of any other Accommodations. They left behind them no good, nor, indeed, wicked Customs; but many that were clownish and indelicate: Such as blowing the Nose without a Handkerchief,—sitting down to Dinner without a Table-cloth,—and doing the Occasions of Nature over a Rail, or a Battling. They left no Nostrums but what were culinary, such as how to make Frumentary and Hasty Pudding, and no Distemper, but the Itch, for which they will be always had in Remembrance. Many of these People, enamoured with the Plenty, and Change of Diet, peaceably fettled here, and some .of their Posteriety