Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/222

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NOTES AND QUERIES, [ii s. XL MAR. 13, m5.

the original, the design being flat, so that it rests on its rim. Mr. Stewart has engrav- ings of both (p. 7, Figs. I., II., p. 21). He remarks on another page : " The medals were struck at the Roman Mint, in which the Popes all took the greatest pride

and interest The die of this particular medal

may still be seen at the Roman Mint, and it bears the initials F. P., viz. Fredericus Parmensis, whose real name was Bonzagna, but who was called Parmensis from being a native of Parma. . . . .Moreover the original die may, as we have said, be seen in the Roman Mint, and is entered in its official Catalogue. . . .We give an illustration of the medal from one of several in my possession." Pp. 8, 9.

In reference to my particular medal, J. E. T. informs me that the medals were obtained at the Zecca Pontificia (Ponti- fical Mint), a house in that irregular void ground between the back of the Vatican and St. Peter's and the front of the Inquisition palace, an insignificant building towards the entrance to the narrow way that leads to the Vatican sculpture galleries.

This place is very much the same as it was before 1870. It was then taken by the Italian Government, and a custode placed in it. A quantity of these Gregory XIII. medals were then found heaped up in a corner and overlooked. They had been struck during Gregory XIII. 's reign, and remained in the Zecca Pontificia ever since.

While in Home, J. E. T. knew the wife of a man who had worked before 1870 for thirty- four years at the Zecca Pontificia, showing that the same building where the medals come from was formerly the Vatican Mint. It appears to be used now only for little school medals by the Municipio di Boma, who permitted the custode to give away these medals in order to show the effect of the massacre on Rome. But about 1903, when the medals that remained became much diminished, the custode said he must charge a trifle for them.

A gentleman in England wrote to J. E. T., saying these medals \vere at the Zecca Pontificia, and asking him to procure one. Afterwards J. E. T. sent several times for one, as any one could get them by asking. The building is still called the Vatican Mint. He sent some half-dozen to a person in Glas- gow ; he saw one of them at the Museum in John Knox's house, Edinburgh ; and he has had about 20 of them from the Vatican Mint.

As to the cause of the disuse and rejection of these medals, it may have been that the indignation against the massacre

in England and other countries caused the Vatican authorities to suppress so forcible an evidence of their approval as a medal,, and the issue being stopped, they may have become forgotten. Thus the Abbe Mignet in his reprint of the Benedictine account omits all mention of the medal ; and the Univers endeavours to free the Vatican from the charge of ever having struck it.

D. J.

ELLOPS (OR ELOPS) AND SCORPION (US. xi. 150). Dr. Johnson's stricture on Milton becomes intelligible when we read Bent^'s note on ' P. L.,' x. 524 :

" Our Editor, who for many Pages had in vain sought, where he might intrude something of his- own, found here a fit Opportunity : for the Devils being turn'd into Serpents, he whips into the Text all the Serpents that he knew. But he begins very unluckily, Scorpion and Asp. Is the Scor- pion then a Serpent t and one of the Hisser here ? If ever he can hiss, it should be now, this ignorant Editor. Ay, but Ellops drear, an Adjec- tive of Poetical Terror. Not so very drear neither : for Ellops is no Hissing Serpent, but a Mute Fish ; and one of the most admir'd too, the Acipenser. He has already disco ver'd himself ; so that we '11 leave him, and tack together the Author's genuine Verses : With complicated Monsters head and tail : But still the greatest He, and in the midst, Now Dragon grown. His Pow'r no less he seem'd Above the rest still to retain.

" Our Editor, instead of an Insect and a Fish, might have easily had good store of serpents to fill up with, Presters, Basilisks, Rattlesnakes, &c. But had he given the whole List out of Aldro- vandus without Error ; yet it had been all trifling here, neither Learning nor Poetry."

Zachary Pearce, after pointing out places in classical literature where the scorpion and asp are reckoned among serpents, and where " Elops " is the name of a serpent, con* eludes thus :

" After these authorities I hope that the Doctor will allow Milton to mention the Slops, as a ser- pent, without making this an article against the genuineness of the passage."


Milton disposed improperly of these crea- tures by making them serpents, which,, properly speaking, they are not, though both have been classed with serpents by other writers. For " ellops " see the ' N.E.D.,' where, however, the best reference to Holland's ' Pliny ' is not given ; accord- ing to this authority, " elops " is a name for the sturgeon (see book ix. chap. xvii.). Goldsmith (quoted in 'N.E.D.') makes it a name for the sea-serpent. In the notes to Bohn's edition of Milton it is said to be