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Chambers, Ephraim, 1680 (ca.)-1740 / Cyclopædia, or, An universal dictionary of arts and sciences : containing the definitions of the terms, and accounts of the things signify'd thereby, in the several arts, both liberal and mechanical, and the several sciences, human and divine : the figures, kinds, properties, productions, preparations, and uses, of things natural and artificial : the rise, progress, and state of things ecclesiastical, civil, military, and commercial : with the several systems, sects, opinions, &c : among philosophers, divines, mathematicians, physicians, antiquaries, criticks, &c : the whole intended as a course of antient and modern learning

F - fenestra,   pp. 1-20 PDF (19.1 MB)

Page 1

F_     THI-T E  fixth Letter of the Alphabet, and the
fourth Confonant. See Letter.
The letter F may be either confider'd absolutely
and in it felf; or with regard to the particular Lan-
guages where it is found. In the firit view, F is placed by
fome Grammarians among the Mutes, like the ß among the
Greek Grammarians: But others give it the Quality of Se-
tni-vowel. See MUTE, SC.
7ob. Conrad Aman, in his DilTertation de Loquela, divides
the Confonants into fingle and double; and, the fingle into
hiffing and explofive. Among thofe called HiJing, there
are fome pronounc'd by the Application of the upper Teeth
to the lower Lip; and there are the f and the ph. The
Reafon why fome account it a Semi-vowel, and Aman places
it among the Hiiers, is, that one may produce a little
Sound, without any other Motion of the Organs, than what
is neceflary to the Pronunciation of the P.
This Letter is derived to us from the Romans, who bor-
towed it from the _Eolians; for the F does not at all difer
from the .Eolic Digamma, or double Gamma, thus call'd
as refembling two r's, one over the other: and the Digam-
ma feems no other than the Greek -, which being made at
three Strokes, degenerated at length into the Figure F;
for the Letter is being compounded of an o, Omicron, with
a Perpendicular drawn through it: If that Perpendicular be
made firfi, and the 0 at two Strokes afterwards, viz. firft
the upper, then the under part; it will happen, efpecially
in writing fafl, that the two Parts Thall not join; and even
inflead of two Arches of Circles, Hafte and Conveniency
may naturally enough make two firaight Lines.
Thus it is that the tranfverfe Stroke of the Letter P, is
frequently feen firaight; and the Letter, in form of a Crofs f.
And what confirms this Tranfmutation of the D into F fill
further, is, that on the Medals of Philip, and the Kings of
Syria, in the Words ErINIANO'Tt and $1 AA A E As O , the
tPhi 0 is frequently feen in the Form jufi mentioned, i. e.
it has no Circle or Omicron; but a-crofs the Middle of the
Perpendicular, is a kind of Right-line, form'd only of two
Dotts, the one on the right fide, and the other on the left,
reprefenting a Crofs, t. Such appears to be the Origin of
the Letter  ; which, of confequence is no other than a
Corruption of the Greek 0: And accordingly, on the Me-
dals of the Falifci, the F is ordinarily put in lieu of the
Greek o; but it mull be added, that tho' the G(reek and
Latin Letter were thus the fame thing, yet the Sound was
much fofter among the Latins, than among the Greeks: As
was long ago obferv'd by 7'erentianus.
The Romans, for fome time, ufed an inverted F, j3, in
lieu of an V confonant, which had no peculiar Figure in
their Alphabet: thus injnfcriptions we meet with TER-
MINAaIT, D14I, bec. Lipins, in his Comment on the
Annals of 2lacitus, L. XI; Covarruvias, and Daufquius in
his Treatife of Orthography, hold, that it was the Emperor
Claudius, who firfi introduced this Ufe of the inverted Di-
gamma, or it; which they call the Invention of a Letter,
as being equivalent to the Invention of the Letter V. In
ebb ITacitus, in the 4th Chapter of the faid Book, and
Suetonius in his Life of Claudius, c. 41. afure us, that the
Emperor invented three Letters; one of which Lipgids
1hews muff be the inverted Eolic Digamma: But, before
Claudius, Varro made an Attempt to introduce the fame
thing, but could not fucceed. All the Authority of an Em-
peror was necellary to make it take: Nor did it fublift long;
for after Claudius's Death it was thrown by again; as we
are told by the fame 2acitus; and Quintilian obferves, it
did not fblif in his time. So far is the Cuflom of a
Language from being fubjecd even to the Mafkers of the
World. It may be added, that the Pronunciation of the F
is almod the fame with that of the V; as will be evident
by attending to the manner of pronouncing the following
Words, Favour, Vauiity, Felicity, Vice, Foment, Vogue, Vc.
The French particularly, in borrowing Words from other
Languages, ufually turn the final v into an f, as Chetif of
Cattivo; Neuf of Novus; Nef of Navis, &,c.
In the later Roman Writers we find the Latin F and
Greek Ph frequently confounded; as in Falanx, for Pha-
lanx; Filofophia, for Philofophia, &c. Which Abufe is fill
retain'd by many French Writers, who write Filofophie,
Filippe, Epifane, We. and even Sometimes by the Engli/,
as in Fantafyi Filtre, Uc.
F, in the Civil Law. Two ris join'd together, fignify ZDi-
gefi; See the Reafon thereof under the Article DIGEST.
P, in Mufick, is one of the figned Clefs or keys, plac'd
at the Beginning of one of the Lines of a piece of Mufick.
F is the Bafs-clef, and is plac'd on the fourth Line up-
wards. See BASS.
Indeed, the Charaqer or Sign by which thef and c Clefs
are mark'd, bear no Refemble to thofe Letters. Mr. Mal-
colm, thinks it were as well if we ufed the Letters them-
felves, but Cuffom has carried it otherwise. The ordinary
Charaaer of the F or Bafs-clef is ): which Kepler takes
a deal of pains to deduce, by Corruption, from the Letter F
it felf. See CHARACTER.
P, in our antient Cusoins. He that lhall malicioufly
frike any Perfon with a Weapon in Church or Church- ard,
or draw any Weapon there with Intent to firike, fhall have
one of his Ears cut off; and if he have no Ears, he Thall
be mark'd on the Cheek with an hot Iron, having the Let-
ter F, whereby he may be known for a Fray-maker or
F, in Phyfical Prefcriptions, hands for Fiat, let it be done;
as F. S. A. denotes as much as flat Jecundum artem.
F, among fuch as give us the numeral Value of the Let-
ters, fignifies 40, according to the Verfe,
Sexta quaterdenos gerit quit diz:at ab alpha
And when a Dafh was added a-top, T it hignified 40 thou-
FA is one of the Notes of Mufic, being the fourth in rif-
ing in this order of the Gamma, Ut, re, mi, fa. See NOTE.
.FABIANS, FABII, in Antiquity, a part of the Luperci.
See LurERci, and LUPERCALIA.
Thofe Priefls were divided into two Parts; one of
which was called the Fabians, and the fecond the Quin-
tilians, from their refpeffive Chiefs. The Fabians were
for Romulus, and the Raintilians for Remus. See QuiN-
FABLE, a 7"ale, or feign'd Narration, defign'd either to
itflru£1 or divert: Or, Fable1 as Monf. de la Motte defines
it, is an Infirufion difguis d under the Allegory of an
, 'Fable feems to be the mofl antient way of teaching:
The principal Difference between the Eloqcence of the
Adtients, and that of the Moderns, confirls, according to
eri .Pji, in this, that our manner of fpeaking is im-
pe and proper; and theirs, full of Myfferies and Allegories.
The Truth was ufually difguis'd under thofe ingenious In-
ventions, call'd by way of Excellence, lwuaio, Fabule, Fa-
bles, that is, Words; as intimating that there was the fame
Difference between thefefabulous Difcourfes of the learned,
and the common Language of the People, as between the
Words of Men, and the Voices of Beafts.
At firff, Pables were only employ'd in fpeaking of the Di-
vine Nature, as then conceiv'd: Whence, the antient Theo-
logy was all Fable. The Divine Attributes were feparated as
into fo many Perfons; and all the Oeconomy of the God-
head laid down in the feigned Relations and A 61ions there-
of; either by reafon the human Mind could not conceive
fo much Power and Afion in a fingle indivifible Being; or
perhaps, becaufe they thought fuch Things too great and
high for the Knowledge of the Vulgar. And as they could
not well fpeak of the Operations of this Almighty Caufe,
without fpeaking, likewife of its Effe&s; natural Philofo-
phy, and at length human Nature and Morality it felf came
thus to be veil'd under the fame fabulous allegoricExpref-
fion; whence the Origin of Poetry, and particularly of Epic
Poetry. See Ep I c Poem.
The Criticks, after Aphtanius and 72heon, reckon three
kinds of Fables, Rational, Moral, and Mix'd.
Rational FABLES, call'd alfo Parables, are Relations of
Things fuppofed to have been faid and done by Men; and
which might poflibly have been faid, or done, though in
reality they were not. Such, in the Sacred Writings, are
thofe of the ten Virgins; of Dives and Lazarus; the pro-
digal Son, Uec. Of thefe Rational Fables we have likewiki
about a dozen n Pbefdrus. See PARABLE.
Moral FABLES, call'd alfo Apologues, are thofe wherein
Beaffs are introduced as Aaors, Speakers, &c. Thefe Mo-
ral Fables are a]fo call'd Efopic Fables: not that Efop was
their Inventor, for they were in ufe long before him, viz.
in the times of Hoio7er and lefiod; but becaufe he excell'd
therein. In this kind not only Beafis, but even Sometimes
*   A                                  Trees,

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