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remained unnoticed in Europe, but it has never been generally pursued, either from an apprehension of the obliquity which it occasions in the Indian students, or because the science does not lead to the same degree of power and consequence among us, as in Asia.
The doctrine of noses was too common in Sterne's favourite writers, to be overlooked by him ; but there is a cause of perplexity in his allusions, which must be explained to an English reader.
Some languages, particularly the Latin, the French, and Italian, abound in figurative expressions respecting the understanding and manners, which refer to the nose. We have few expressions parallel to these in English; and every attempt to engraft such topics of raillery upon our language is necessarily attended with obscurity,
The Greeks, delicate to excess in whatever regarded the proportions of the body, attached great ridicule to noses of immoderate length, The Anthology contains
several epigrams on this subject, which Pope might have quoted as examples of hyperbole. Such is the epigram on Proclus; Ου δυναται τη χειρί Πρόκλου την ρίν'
απορύσσειν, δε. His vast proboscis Proclus never blows; His hand too small to grasp his salient nose. If when he sneezes, Proclus should refrain To cry, ' Jove bless me,' think him not profane; For his own sneeze in time he cannot hear, So distant either nostril from his ear.
Another epigram, written in the same taste, demands respect, because it was the produc, tion of the Emperor Trajan:
Αντιον ήελιέ, .*
wide for a trial; Your neighbours will find you an excellent dial,
A very different sentiment prevailed among the Hebrews, respecting large noses; they were considered as indicating prudence and long-suffering.-I must here transcribe from Camerarius : Atque hoc quidem epitheton inter cætera Deus sibi arrogat, qui Mosen alloquens, [Exod. 34.] proprietatibus decem hanc adjicit, 45x75x id est, MAGNO NASO,ut Hispanica editio Complutensis, et recentior Antverpiensis, ad verbum exprimunt, et aliis quoque
* Anthologia, tom, i. p. 412.
Bibliorum locis Deus ita vocatur, quod omnes interpretes exponunt patientem, ut contra à brevi naso Hebræi promptum ad iram vel iracundum interpretantur.*
As the nose furnishes the principal expression of derision in the countenance, several words and phrases in the Greek and Latin languages bear a reference to it, in denoting raillery or contempt. But it is sometimes assumed as the type of judgment and acuteness. Ipse denique Nasus, says Erasmus, in proverbium abiit, pro judicio. Horat. Non quia nullus illis nasus erat.t
* Horæ Subcisivæ, tom. i. p. 253. In p. 249, Nasus Domini is mentioned as a figure for Anger.
+ Adagia, p. 348.
Another phrase is not very refined in its origin; though it denotes acuteness and even polish:
Ęmunciæ naris duros componere versus.*
Martial has an epigram which cannot be translated into English, (though somewhat applicable to this book), on account of his adherence to this figure ;
Nasutus sis usque licet, sis denique nasus,
And in another place he employs a strong figure, equally intractable in English, to denote the early critical abilities of the Ro, man youth:
£t pueri nasum rhinocerotis habent. I
Lib, i, epigr: 4.
In the French and Italian languages, such allusions are very common.
I take the following remarks from the Nasea of Aretine, a writer whom Burton has quoted lavishly (from the Latin translation of Barthius) in some of the chapters on Love- Melancholy, where he seems to have unbended himself so completely. The frequent references to this author, in a book which seems to have been perpetually in Sterne's hands, would probably induce him to read the original.
The author of the Nasea, after magnifying his correspondent's nose, says, “ in somma egli é quel naso, che sendo veramente Re de' nasi, y’ha degnamente fatto Re de gli huomini, come voi sete : & tanto maggior Re, quanto egli é maggior naso, & piu magnifico, & piu onnipotente de gli altri. Laqual cosa procedendo per via di ragione si
puo per diversi modi provare : ma primamente le proveremo per l'autorità de' Persi, i quali dopo la morte di Ciro, (che secondo si scrive si trovó un bel pezzo di naso) giu