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THE LIFE OF MAN SYMBOLISED.
OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.
NE of the most original, curious, and beautiful books produced since the days of Caxton.
Its very title-page is an invitation and promise, for it contains, in its flowers and fruits, its stars, crowns, and rubricated lines, a beauty all its own. To it succeeds a pictorial frontispiece, embodying Shakespeare's Seven Ages, the centre exhibiting the world a stage, with the actors coming and going like shadows, and the surrounding medal. lions portraying the seven ages of the poet; the shields—the transformation of life, as
in the egg, the worm, the chrysalis, and the butterfly; the corners of the plate showing Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Following in regular order throughout the book, are the months of the year as shown in the life and occupations of mankind, the growth of plants, the phenomena of the seasons, &c. Thus in January the birth of the year is symbolized by childhood rescued from the snow, the scion parted from the parent tree. April shows the youth and lover. September exhibits the philosopher and statesman, turning to bodily ease as the reward of mental toil; wbile in December we see the lamp of life growing dim, and the patriarch preparing for the end that must surely come; and so on through the other months, each portion being illustrated with a large engraving, an ornamental design, appropriate to the time, and several smaller pictures inserted in the text. The larger illustrations are enclosed in borders of conventional design, headed by a winged hour-glass through which the red sand is falling, while the name of the month and its proper motto are printed in crimson, which joins a delicate mosaic T pink at top and bottom, the whole forming a very chaste picture. Each page of type is embellished with engravings and typographical ornaments, and between the lines that surround the text are various proverbs and instructions, and quaint sayings; but so full of apt suggestions is every page of the volume, that it would take the whole of our present number, large as it is, fully to describe the whole. With regard to the text itself, immense industry and no small knowledge must have been exerted to collect all the passages, referring to the topics alluded to in the designs, from the works of various authors. In order to give credit to every one engaged in the production of this beautiful book-confessedly the book of the season-we have to add that the main design is by Mr. John Leighton, the selections by Mr. Richard Pigott, the engravings by Mr. H. Leighton, the Brothers Dalziel, H. Harrall, and W. T. Greene.— The Bookseller.
“D, APPLETON & COMPANY have now ready several of their splendid Christmas and NewYear Gift-Books. Conspicuous amongst them we may mention Mr. John Leighton's superb work, “The Life of Man Symbolised,' which, adopting the motto · All the world's a stage, points out the gradual development, ripening, and decay of man, accompanied by references to the months of the year, and the life of trees and plants.”— American Literary Gazette.
“A superb and elegant gift-book, illustrated in the highest style of art."— Christian Inquirer.
Subjects of the Thirteen Cardinal Illustrations
Frontispiece.-All the World's a Stage.
As the sapling is pruned and bent, 80 will it grow.
THE STRIPLING. March.-Mental and physical exercises combine to develop the youthful faculties. The supple tree bends to the breeze, buds, and strengthens.
THE LOVER. April.-Love and hope temper and teach the early man--as the tree develops under sunshine and shower,
THE GRANDSIRE. October.-Infirmities steal on. A man's so tions forin precedents for his grandchildreli.--AB the tree decays, it enriches the soil for a future generation.
THE CENSOR. Norember.-The senses grow dim, and strength gradually fails. The venerable tree, enable longer to support itself, requires aid.
THE PATRIARCH December.--The flape of life departs from the body, the spirit flies--as the withered trunk prostrated before the gale.
The Household Book of Poetry. Collected and Edited by Charles A.
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- THE PURSUITS OF AN INDUSTRIOUS, USEFUL LIFE TEND TO A PEACEFUL REST-AS THE FRUITFUL TREE REPOSES WHILST
YET CLOTHED WITH YERDURE."
DEC. 1, 1866.
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A most Important Contribution to Archæological Science.
A DISCOURSE ON THE WORSHIP OF PRIAPUS,
AND ITS CONNECTION WITH THE Mystic THEOLOGY OF THE ANCIENTS.
TO WHICH IS
4to., privately printed on heavy toned paper at the Chiswick Press. *** This is a very extraordinary volume upon a subject that is now attracting the almost universal attention of the learned and curious in Europe.
Ever since the revival of learning, strange objects have from time to time been discovered—objects which, although they may amaze or amuse the weak-minded, have induced earnest students to inquire into their origin and true meaning. Various matters and discoveries assisted in clearing up the mystery; the emblems and symbul3 gradually explained their full meaning, and the outlines of an extraordinary creed unfolded itself. It was the DIVINITE GENERATRICE-the worship or adoration of the God PRIAPUS—the ancient symbol of generation and fertility. The Round Towers in Ireland ; similar buildings in India ; the Maypole in England, and even tảe spires of our churches, are now shown to be nothing more nor less than existing symbols of this pagan and strange worship. Almost all the great relics of antiquity bear traces of this impious adoration-the rock caves of Elephanta, near Bombay, the earth and stone mounds of Europe, Asia, and America (North and South), the Druidical piles and the remains of the so-called Fire-worshippers in every part of the world. Even existing popular customs and beliefs are full of remnants of this extravagant devotion ; the horse-shoe placed over a stable or other door, or nailed to the orchard.gate (occasionally hung upon the branches of the fruit-bearing trees), is nothing more nor less than a bent priapus—the twisted and perverted emblem of an ancient creed, that numbered, probably, more devout followers than any other humanly-devised system of worship. Priapus, as the symbol of lively fructification, was esteemed the God of Gardens.
Some years ago, Mr. George Catlin discovered that the Mandan North American Indians still indulged in an extraordinary dance—a relic of the pre-Hispanic period—which was in reality only a violent and coarse display of the old Phallic dance of classic times, so exquisitely treated in the engravings of Salviati, and in the sculptures of the Italian masters. Mr. Catlin's account was very recently privately printed (fifty copies only) in London for the Philobiblion Society, and the colored drawings which he made of these Phallic exercises are now deposited in the new “secret” chamber of the British Museum. Throughout all our Indian tribes traces of the worship may be discovered ; in the Mounds of Ohio, Illinois, and in those on the banks of the Mississippi, curious pottery and carvings bearing these--what we should now regard as obscene--devices and figures may be found. "In Central and throughout South America numerous objects of this character have been discovered, and in all parts of Europe relics of this strangely extravagant creed are being continually dug up in the form of charms for ladies' necks or rings for the finger. Generally they appear to have been worn as protectives against the “EVIL EYE"—i. e., the eye, or evil influence, of the Devil.
R. P. Knight, the writer of the first “Essay," was a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Member of the British Parliament, and one of the most learned antiquaries of his time. His Museum of Phallic objects is now most carefully preserved in the British Museum. The second “Essay,'' bringing our knowledge of the worship of Priapus dosa to the present time, so as to include the most recent discoveries throwing any light upon the matter, is said to be by one of the most distinguished English antiquaries—the author of numerous works which are held in high esteem in this country. He was assisted, it is understood, by two prominent Fellows of the Royal Society, one of whom has recently presented a wonderful collection of Pballic objects to the British Museum authorities, who are fitting up an especial chamber for their reception and private display.
* During a recent visit to Europe, a few copies were intrusted to the undersigned, with the request that they be gold to students likely to take an interest in the inquiry (and who might collect information upon the subject from an American point of view), at the cost of production, no profit being sought by those concerned in its pab. lication. As only one hundred and twenty-five copies have been privately printed, and the great libraries of Europe have already absorbed most of these, the volume will soon become one of the VERY RAREST OF MODERN BOOKS.
One hundred and thirty-eight illustrations (many full page) explain the text.
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