This example attests the great respect entertained by the Hebrews for the organs of generation; ‡ but we have a further proof of this reverence for them in the fact that, when taking a solemn oath, they placed their hand upon them in token of its inviolability : When Abraham, addressing " his oldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had," is made to say, "Put I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and I will make thee swear, by the Lord, the God of Heaven, and the God of the earth that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son, of the daughters of the Canaanites:" * and when Jacob, at the point of death, " called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace id thy sight, put, 1 pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me ; bury me not, I pray the, in Egypt,"+ the Hebrew text has been incorrectly translated in both these instances ; for, according to learned commentators, it is not the thigh, but the phallus that is meant; such tact having, in the opinion of the Rabbins, been introduced for the purpose of doing honour to circumcision.

* See Plate IV., figure 1.

‡ The indispensable and inseparable appendages to the male organ have thus been eulogized by Giov. Francesco Lazzarelli in his poem entitled, La Cicceide, p. 120.

Le Prerogativi Dr'testicoli.

Gran sostegni del mondo, almi C......

Del celeste Fattor, opre ingegnose;

Round Tower At Clondalkin. Ireland.


Three Headed Osiris.


Plate IV.

This custon obtains in Egypt, even in our own day, for many travellers assert that the Arabs, when desirous of saluting or making a promise with great solemnity, place their hand upon the part in question. A case in point is related in a letter of the Adjutant-General Julian to a member of the Institute of Egypt. * An Egyptian, who had been arrested as a spy, and brought before the general, finding that all his asservations of innocence could not be understood "leva sa chemise bleue, et prenant son phallus a la poignee, resta un moment dans l'attitude theatrale d'un dieu jurant par le Styx. Sa physionomie semblait me dire: Apres la serment terrible que je fais pour vans prouver mon inno-cence, osez-vous en douter? Son geste me rappela que du terns d'Abraham on jurait verite en portant la main aux organes de la generation." The vast antiquity of this custom among the ancient Egyptains is proved by figure 2, Plate IV. This figure, which is copied from Caylus, Vol. VI., Plate I., figure 4, represents Osiris grasping his phallus while taking an oath.

Da caricare i piccoli cannoni,

Ond' armata va 1'uom, Palle focose :

Robusli, anchore teneri Palloni,

Con cui guiocan tra lor, mariti e spose ;

Del corpo uman spermatid Embrioni;

De' venerei piacer fonti amorose;

Magazzini vitali, ove Natura,

L'uman seme riposto, a' figli suoi,

D' assicurar la succession procura ! etc.

• Genesis, chap. xxiv. v. 2, 3.

+ Genesis, chap, xlvii. v. 29.

A custom greatly resembling this manner of swearing existed also in the north of Europe, as is proved by an ancient law still extant: thus, one of the articles of the Welsh laws enacted by Hoel the Good, provides that,incasesof rape, if the woman wishes to prosecute the offender, she must, when swearing to the identity of the criminal, lay her right hand upon the relics of the saints and grasp with herleft one, the peccant member of the party accused.† It may be mentioned, en passant, that the low Irish in Dublin, and the London costermongers, often make use of an expression which, whether connected or not with the custom above noted, offers for our consideration a curious coincidence at least. If extra force is to accompany an assertion, it is very common for the vulgar to say in conclusion: "S'e/p my taters!" or "So help me testes"- equal to saying, "I swear by my member." That the word "taters" is a corruption of, and vulgarism for, "testes" we see very readily in the expression "strain my taters" - i.e., to pass urine or make water.

* Memoires sur l'Egypte, public pendant les Campagne de Bonaparte, Partie. 2, p. 193.

† The Latin text of the law is as follows: - "Si mulier stuprata lege com illo agere velit, membro virili sinistra prehenso el dextra reliquoi sanctorum imposita, juret super illas quod is per vim se, islo membro, viliaverit," - Voyage dans le Departement du Finisterre, Tom. iii., p. 233.

The Greeks had consecrated the same symbols of universal fecundity in their mysteries, the phallus and the cteis being publicly exhibited in the sanctuary of Eleusis. The membrum virile or active principle of generation was carried to the temple of Bacchus and there crowned with a garland by one of the most respectable matrons of the town or city. The Egyptian Osiris, and the female pudenda, or symbol of the passive principle of generation were, in like manner, carried in procession to the temple of Libera or Proserpine.

The worship of Priapus among the Romans was derived from the Egyptians, who, under the form of Apis, the sacred Bull, worshipped the generative power of nature; and, as the syllable prior pre signifies, in the Oriental tongue, principle, production, or natural or original source, the word Priapus may be trans-lated principle of production or of fecundation of Apis. The same symbol also bore among the Romans the names of Tutunus, Mutinus, and Fascinum. Among the many places where this divinity was worshipped, Lampsacus,* in Asia Minor, was the most noted on account of the obscene rites there practised. The Priapi were of different forms; some having only a human head and the Phallus; some with the head of Pan or of a faun - that is, with the head and ears of a goat.* Others, with their indecent attribute, were placed in the public roads, and were then confounded with the divinities Mercury and Terminus, who presided over boundaries. Scaliger says that he saw at Rome, in the palace of a cardinal,† a similar statue, whose phallus had served as a sign post. ‡ All the human part of these Priapi were invariably painted red.§

* Hunc locum tibi dedico consacroque, Priape, Quae domus tua, Lampsaei est, quaque silva, Priape. Nam te praeripue in suis urbibuscolit, ora Hellespontia, caeteris ostreosior oris. - Catullus, Carm. xviii.

When furnished with arms, which he was when representing Terminus, Priapus held in one hand a reaping hook, and, like Osiris, grasped with the other the characteristic feature of his divinity, which was always of a monstrous size and in a state of energy.

In the towns, Priapus had public chapels, whither such devotees as were suffering from maladies connected with his attributes repaired for the purpose of offering to him ex-votos representing the parts afflicted; these ex-votos being sometimes paintings and, at others, little figures made of wax or of wood, and occasionally, even of marble.

Females as superstitious, as they were lascivious, might be seen offering in public to Priapus, as many garlands as they had had lovers. These they would hang upon the enormous phallus of the idol, which was often hidden from sight by the number suspended by only one woman.

* See Plate II., figure 2.

† From possessing such an article of virtu, his Eminence must surely have been of the opinion of Cardinal Bembo - that there is no sin below the navel.

‡ Falce minax et parte tui majore, Priape, Ad fontem quaeso, dic mihi, qua sit iter. - Priapcia Carm. § See note†, p. 11.