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of Esop were written by him. Upon the whole it seems most probable, that Planudes was the compiler, and that the Collection is miscellaneous, the greater part of them having Æsop for their author. The matter of them shews that they were not all of the same age or country. The fable of the Fox and the Grapes must be Oriental, because it is not known that any European foxes eat grapes; though it hath always been observed of the foxes of Palestine. Having occasion lately to mention this circumstance, I was informed on the authority of a gentleman of Observation, who has spent some years abroad, that the dogs in the Madeiras are all confined under a very severe penalty upon the owners, during the season when the vineyards are in fruit, because they devour the grapes: which is, to me at least, a new article of Natural History.
VI. I ought to make some Apology for having derived the name of Nimrod, p. 22. from a word which signifies a Leopard. The Learned Mr. Bryant, in some part of his work, supposes it to come from to rebel; and another Gentleman, who has a critical knowledge of the Hebrew, has objected to my Etymology, being of the same opinion with
Mr. Bryant. I must confess also that the Lexicons are against me. What I have to answer is this; that the word, if interpreted a rebel, is not grammatical: it should then have
If it is taken in the sense .מריד or מורד been
I plead for, it must be deemed a quadriliteral word, and as such compounded of a double radix. If the latter root begins with the consonant which terminates the first root, it is the custom of the language to drop one of them, and leave four letters instead of five. By this rule, the two roots are a leopard, and orto domineer: of which senses both are equally pertinent when applied to the Character of Nimrod,
I. THE command of God, and the assent of Abraham, with respect to the offering up of Isaac, are things not very easy to be reconciled with our notions of wisdom and rectitude, if the differences and mistakes of learned men concerning any particular question are proofs of its obscurity. The whole affair, considered in itself, is indeed not very easy to be understood, and hath but an unpromising aspect. Yet it happens sometimes, that where the earth has a barren appearance at the surface, and is deformed with naked rocks, and frightful precipices, it is rich underneath with veins of precious ore. The traveller, who passes carelessly over the face of such a country, will perhaps see nothing but what is ungrateful to the sight: but the more patient miner, whose profession it is to search for hidden treasure, becomes acquainted with its value. However, as no person engaged