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Dinocrates is the architect who proposed to Alexander to cut Mount Athos into the form of a statue, holding a city in one hand and in the other a bason, into which all the waters of the mountain should empty themselves.
In his masquerade equipment, with his lion's skin, club, &c. we may suppose he meant to represent Hercules.
LXI. THEATRES AT VENICE, IN 1608.
“I was at one of their playhouses, where I saw a comedy acted. The house is very beggarly and base, in comparison of our stately playhouses in England: neyther can their actors compare with us for apparell, shewes, and musick. Here I observed certaine thinges that I never saw before; for I saw women acte, a thing that I never saw before, though I have heard that it hath been sometimes used in London ; and they performed it with as good a grace, action, gesture, and whatsoever convenient for a player, as ever I saw any masculine actor. Also their noble and famous courtezans came to this comedy, but so disguised that a man cannot know them: for they wore double maskes upon their faces, to the end they might not be seene; one maske reaching from the toppe of their forehead to their chimne and under their necke; another with twiskes of downy or woolly stuffe covering their noses. And as for their neckes round about, they were so covered and wrapped with cobweb lawn and other things, that no part of their skin could be discerned. Upon their heads they wore little blacke felt caps, very like to those of the Clarissemoes ; also each of them wore a black, short taffeta cloake. They were so graced that they sate on high, alone by themselves, in the best roome of all the playhouse. If any man should be so resolute as to unmaske one of them but in merriment onely to see their faces, it is said that, were he never so noble or worthy a personage, he shoulde be cut in pieces before he should come forth of the roome, especially if he were a stranger. I saw some men also in the playhouse disguised in the same manner with double wizards ; those were said to be the favourites of the same courtezans. They sit not here in galleries, as we doe in London; for there is but one or two little galleries in the house, wherein the courtezans only sit. But all the men doe sit beneath in the yard or court; every man upon his several stoole, for which he payeth a gazet.” “–Coryat's Crudities.
LXII. THE MODERN CORN ARO.
EveRY one has heard of Lewis Cornaro. He was a rakish Venetian, who, at the age of forty, finding that he had lived too fast, as the phrase is, determined to follow the advice of his physicians and pursue a more temperate course of life. He diminished the quantity of
* Gazet, or more properly Gazzetta, an old Venetian coin of small value, from which we have derived our word Gazette, a newspaper. Mr. d’Israeli says that the gazetta (gazzetta) was the common price of the newspapers at Venice; but as the Venetian papers were in manuscript, (according to Mr. d’Israeli “even to our own days,”) and as, on the same authority, the coin was only worth an English farthing, it seems rather more probable that a gazzetta was the price paid for the loan or reading of a newspaper.—See Curiosities of Literature: art. “Origin of Newspapers.”
his food until his daily allowance was reduced to half the yolk of an egg, and by his rigid abstinence revived so effectually, that he lived to the age of one hundred. His death took place in 1566. A more recent instance of a similar abstinence is recorded in the Medical Transactions of the College of Physicians. Thomas Wood, a miller of Billericay, in Essex, was in the habit of eating voraciously of fat meat three times a day, and he also swallowed large quantities of butter, cheese, and strong ale. For a long time he suffered no inconvenience from his gluttony, but in his forty-fourth year he began to be disturbed in his sleep, had a constant thirst, great lowness of spirits, and many other bad symptoms. The most formidable one was a sense of Suffocation, which often attacked him, especially after meals. He grew worse, until the month of August 1764, when he was in the forty-fifth year of his age. At this time Mr. Powley, a neighbouring clergyman, put the Life of Cornaro into his hands. The miller read it, and was convinced; but, believing that a bit-by-bit reform was the best, he retrenched his diet by degrees. At first, he confined himself to a pint of ale a-day, and used animal food sparingly. His health immediately improved; so that, after he had pursued this regimen for two months, he diminished his allowance of ale by one half, and was still more sparing of gross animal food. On the 4th of January 1765 he discontinued the use of malt liquor; and between this period and July 31, 1767, he successively gave up meat, butter, cheese, and all drinks whatever, excepting what he took in the form of medicine. After the last-mentioned date, his diet was chiefly confined to pudding made of sea-biscuit. “The poor diet to which he has accustomed himself is now as agreeable to his palate as his former food used to be ; and he has the additional satisfaction to find his health established, his spirits lively, his sleep no longer disturbed by frightful dreams, and his strength of muscles so far improved that he can carry a quarter of a ton weight, which weight he in vain attempted to carry when he was about the age of thirty years. His voice, which was entirely lost for several years, is now become clear and strong. In short, to use his own expression, he is metamorphosed from a monster to a person of a moderate size; from the condition of an unhealthy, decrepit old man, to perfect health, and to the vigour and activity of youth. His flesh is now firm, his complexion wellcoloured, and, what is very remarkable,” says Dr. Baker, the relator of the case, “the integuments of his belly, which I expected to have found loose and pendulous, are contracted nearly in proportion to his diminished bulk.” “Prejudiced by a commonly prevailing superstition, Mr. Wood never suffered himself to be weighed, either during the state of his extreme corpulence or since his reduction; but it is conjectured that he has lost ten, or perhaps eleven, stone weight.” A very remarkable point in the regimen of this strongminded and strong-bodied miller was the time he allotted to sleep: he went to bed at eight in the evening, or earlier, and rose at one or two in the morning, sleeping no more than five or six hours.
“I have thrice had an opportunity,” says Dr. Baker, “ of examining his pulse, about ten o'clock in the morning, after his having walked six hours. The first time, I counted 45 pulsations in a minute ; the next time, 47; the last, only 44.”
This is about 30 pulsations slower than the ordinary pulse of a healthy man, and in most persons a walk of six hours would certainly quicken the action of the heart.
The most extraordinary part of the case, however, is Mr. Wood's entire abstinence from drink, of which there is, we believe, no other well-authenticated instance. The narration goes as far as the 22nd of August 1771, when the miller, then in his fifty-second year, was still pursuing the same system, and still deriving the same advantages from it.
LXIII. ON THE DECLINE AND FALL OF SERENADING.
A SERENATA, as explained by the great dictionary della Crusca, is that singing and playing lovers make by night al Seremo before the houses of their ladies.
In former times, the practice was very general in Spain and Italy among the great and high-born. A serenata, indeed, was held to be an essential part of gallantry; and the towns of the south, during the beautiful nights of summer, were kept musical from midnight to day-dawn by amorous cavaliers. As all knights had not good voices, many of them employed vocalists; but during many ages the proudest of them thought it not beneath