Purple. The high estimation in which the color called purple has been held, dates back to a very remote period. The word is exceedingly common in the Scriptures, appearing there sometimes to signify a material of the name, and again as cloth of winch the texture was lost sight of in the value of the color. Tradition ascribes the discovery of the purple dye to a dog, which biting the Perpura mollusk, from which the dye is derived, had its mouth stained with the color. The discovery is said to have been made, and the manufacture carried on, at Tyre, the ancient city of Phoenicia, or Canaan, lying between northern Palestine and Syria on the Mediterranean. It is certain that the best purple dye was obtained from these mollusks, but it is almost equally as certain that the name of Tyrian Purple was given to more fabrics than could possible have been made or dyed at Tyre, or even dyed elsewhere from the purple secretions of the Purpura shell fish. In the time of Augustus, the price of dyeing a pound of wool with genuine Tyrian purple was $160; and in Nero's reign to wear this costly color without his authority was punished with death; a restrictive law which probably indicates that the particular sort of it known as Tyrian purple, may from its very great cost, have been confined to the exclusive use of the wealthy. So much confusion exists in the statements concerning these "fine" and "ordinary" purples that not a few have considered the whole matter of the Purpura shell-fish dye a sort of myth; not that there is no truth in the shell-fish producing a dye - that cannot be gainsaid - but that the many wonderful stories told about it in ancient times were used as a blind to cover and conceal the knowledge of cochineal and a tin mordant, which it is maintained the Tyrians possessed. When we consider the simple mode of fishing practiced at that time and the small intensity of the color, which required three pounds of the liquor to one pound of wool, we should say they could not have had a large trade; since according to modern researches into this dye, one single Purpura mollusk produces only about one drop of the liquor, then it would take 10,000 fish to dye one pound of wool. By whatever means the dye was produced, the purple of ancient times was the most beautiful, brilliant and dazzling of all colors in the world, and for ages has been the symbol of imperial power and majesty. Modern research has revived the process of producing purple from shellfish dyes, after the art had been lost several centuries; but to no purpose, for cheaper and finer methods had by that time been discovered. Purples are now produced from coal-tar. The ancient term "purple," however, has not always been used to designate the bluish-red or reddish-blue with which we associate the word, but frequently included distinct crimsons.