« ZurückWeiter »
the boudoirs, still displaying the ele- wbich none are entitled to rouse, I gance of the taste that once delight walked away through the grounds. ed in their decoration-all had the They were still beautiful. The depth remark of the buoyant chevalier, and of the valley had secured their rich all impressed me with an additional vegetation from the heat which turns and indescribable pain. But there all the open country into the ashes was one spot which was like a shrine of a furnace. In one of the most to my anxious spirit—the spot where sheltered spots, under an arch of I had left Catalina in that night of clematis and myrtle, still remained terror, when, distracted by the fear a fallen statue; the pedestal remainof losing her, and unknowing how ed half-covered with the overgrown to protect her but by repelling the shrubs of the arbour. I withdrew a banditti who were at that moment veil of verdure from the forehead of firing on the palace, I rushed into the overthrown image, and saw in the centre of the conflagration. All the drapery, with the bow and quiappeared as I had left it six months ver of a wood-nymph, a form that I before. There lay the fragments of would have compassed the world to the sofa on which the head of the see again. The sculptor had eviwounded Count had been reposed dently taken Catalina for his model. 80 fruitlessly. There remained, still The countenance was Catalina's; the discoverable, even the traces of that same vividness of expression, the sanguine stream, which seemed to same beauty of feature, made captihave flown conjunctly from his heart vating by the same exquisite sweetand that of the mistress of my own. ness of smile, and archness of meanI turned, abhorrent, from the sight, ing, were all before me. But where with a depression of mind which was the lovely creature, who, in the approached nearer to the feeling of day of her living loveliness, had death than any that I had ever taught the hand and eye of art to known. In that eagerness of belief perpetuate such grace and enchantwhich will not be denied or discom- ment in his marble? A thousand fited, I asked Altuna whether any thoughts, bitter and sweet, flowed tidings had been heard of the head into my mind with this recollection. of the family, or of any of its mem- The strange delight of giving full bers ? He started to his feet at the vent to sorrow, is known to all who question, and, with a lipid smile, have ever known what sorrow is. asked me abruptly whether he could My eyes closed on all external things. be expected to solve a question The world seemed shut out, and which neither my money nor my with my forehead resting on my zeal had been able to develope ? 1 hand, I gave way to the wanderings admitted the improbability, and the into past dreams and future scenes, discourse turned away upon the fue into thoughts of what might have ries of faction, the madness of the been and what must be, that with populace in all countries when the the fevered spirit are almost substirevolutionary firebrand is thrown tutes for joy. among them, and the tenfold guilt A slight rustling of the shrubs of those in the higher ranks by suddenly aroused me. Could I bewhom that torch is thrown. My lieve my eyes ? The statue was on remark was slight and general; but its pedestal. The wood-nymph, it still evidently touched a string which I had seen flung on the ground, which accorded ill with his feelings. and heaped with the tendrils of the On raising my eyes, to account for wild vine and weeds, was standing the cause of his silence, I found him pure, bright, and perfect before me, io violent agitation; the drops of as if it had but that moment parted perspiration rolling down bis visage, from the artist's hand. I felt singu. his colour hectic, his lip quivering, larly perplexed by the completeness and the glance with which his eye of what I yet could not doubt to met mine, a sullen and fierce com- be an illusion of my overwrought pound of contempt and dejection. senses. At another time I should naI saw that he was not to be further turally have walked towards the fi. spoken to, and allowing for the na- gure, and ascertained the cause of tural irritations which every man this extraordinary change. But cherishes within his own bosom, and this must have been the act of
a less feverish period. I was familiar a hasty step sounded at my side. I with all the later theories of those felt a hand grasping me. visions and hallucinations, which so Altuna's. “I have been looking for often result from strong mental ex- you,” said he,“ in every part of citement, and which undoubtedly this unhappy place; the night is fallmake up so large a share of direct ing fast. It will be impossible to insanity. If there were a terror of find shelter here, and we have only terrors to nie, it was that of losing to trust to our chances of the highsuch degree of understanding as road. Up, we bave no time to lose." had been allotted to my share. 1 I raised my heavy eyes. My victherefore determined to conquer tory over the illusion was complete. this illusion by the force of reason, The pedestal was empty of all but to give my senses time to recover its vine tendrils and weeds, the stafrom the fever which had wrought tue was lying on its side on the this phenomenon into living force, ground. I gazed on it again with and to convince myself of the re- the feelings of a Pygmalion. I would covery of the healthful state of my have removed it with me, but the mind, by seeing the vision gradually sun was sinking behind the grove. disappear. I gazed, but the figure, Night had almost hidden its beauty ; instead of vanishing, seemed to to carry it with us, as Altuna justly make a gesture of actual life. The observed, would have been imposhand seemed to rise towards the sible at the moment, even if we lips, the lips themselves to wreathe were entitled thus to plunder the with a smile. The new force of property of whoever was the illusion only startled me the the inheritor of the Ildefonzo line. more. I felt myself powerless to I submitted to reasons which were move a limb; enfeebled by wounds thus unanswerable, and after one and weariness, exhausted by emo- long and sorrowful look at the retion, my eyes grew dim, and I sat, lics of the palazzo, suffered mywith their gaze fixed on the form, self to be placed in the calèche, and but fixed almost sightless. At length, driven away.
THE ENGLISH BOY.
BY MRS HEMANS.
Go, call thy sons; instruct them what a debt
Look from the ancient mountains down,
My noble English Boy!
In sunlight and in joy.
Ages bave roll'd since foeman's march
Pass'd o'er that old firm sod;
To Freedom and to God!
Gaze proudly on, my English Boy!
And let thy kindling mind
From every chainless wind !
There, in the shadow of old Time,
The halls beneath thee lie,
Our England's chivalry.
How bravely and how solemnly
They stand, 'midst oak and yew ! Whence Cressy's yeomen haply framed
The bow, in battle true.
And round their walls the good swords hang
Whose faith knew no alloy,
Gaze on, my English Boy !
Gleams by the antique elm,
High thro' the air's blue realm.
That England's prayer might rise,
Along their aisles, beneath their trees,
This earth's most glorious dust, Once fired with valour, wisdom, song,
Is laid in holy trust.
Gaze on-gaze farther, farther yet
My gallant English Boy!
The billows' pride and joy!
Above her faithful dead;
Hath floated o'er their bed.
They perish'd-this green turf to keep
By hostile tread unstain’d;
Those churches unprofaned.
Along our shore is set,
Shall there be kindled yet!
And pray, like them to stand,
The altars of the land.
CHAPTER V. 2. The Roman Empire, and the Ro- events to which their history is atman Emperors, it might naturally be tached. Their whole interest lies supposed by one who had not as yet in their situation in the unaptraversed that tremendous chapter proachable altitude of their thrones. in the history of man, would be like. But, considered with a reference to ly to present a separate and almost their human qualities, scarcely one equal interest. The Empire, in the in the whole series can be viewed first place, as the most magnificent with a human interest apart from monument of human power which the circumstances of his position. our planet has beheld, must for that “ Pass like shadows, so depart !" single reason, even though its re- The reason for this defect of all percords were otherwise of little inter- sonal variety of interest in these est, fix upon itself the very keenest enormous potentates, must be sought gaze from all succeeding ages to the in the constitution of their power end of time. To trace the fortunes and the very necessities of their of. and revolutions of that unrivalled fice. Even the greatest among them, monarchy over which the Roman those who by way of distinction eagle brooded, to follow the dilapi. were called the Great, as Constan. dations of that aërial arch, which tine and Theodosius, were not great, silently and steadily through seven for they were not magnanimous; nor centuries ascended under the colos- could they be so under their tenure sal architecture of the children of of power, which made it a duty to be Romulus, to watch the unweaving of suspicious, and, by fastening upon all the golden arras, and step by step to varieties of original temper one dire see paralysis stealing over the once necessity of bloodshed, extinguished perfect cohesion of the republican under this monotonous cloud of creations,-cannot but ensure a se- cruel jealousy and everlasting panic vere, though melancholy delight. On every characteristic feature of genial its own separate account, the de- human nature, that would else have cline of this throne-shattering power emerged through so long a train of must and will engage the foremost princes. There is a remarkable story place amongst all historical reviews. told of Agrippina, that, upon some The “dislimning" and unmoulding occasion when a wizard announced of some mighty pageantry in the to her, as truths which he bad read heavens has its own appropriate in the heavens, the two fatal negrandeurs, no less than the gathering cessities impending over her son, of its cloudy pomps. The going one that he should ascend to empire, down of the sun is contemplated the other that he should murder herwith no less awe than his rising. Nor self, she replied in these stern and is any thing portentous in its growth, memorable words-Occidat, dum imwhich is not also portentous in the peret. Upon which a Continental steps and “moments” of its decay. writer comments thus : “Never beHence, in the second place, we might fore or since have three such words presume a commensurate interest in issued from the lips of woman; and the characters and fortunes of the in truth, one knows not which most successive Emperors. If the Empire to abominate or to admire-the aschallenged our first survey, the next piring princess, or the loving mother. would seem due to the Cæsars who Meantime, in these few words lies guided its course; to the great ones naked to the day, in its whole hideous who retarded, and to the bad ones deformity, the very essence of Rowho precipitated, its ruin.
manism and the Imperatorial power, Such might be the natural expec- and one might here consider the tation of an inexperienced reader. mother of Nero as the impersonation But it is not so. The Cæsars, through of that monstrous condition.” out their long line, are not interest- This is true : Occidat dum imperet, ing, neither personally in themselves, was the watchword and very cogninor derivatively from the tragic zance of the Roman Imperator. But almost equally it was his watchword we are to date its Decline? Gibbon, -Occidatur dum imperet. Doing or as we all know, dates it from the suffering, the Cæsars were almost reign of Commodus; but certainly equally involved in bloodshed; very upon no sufficient, or even plausible few that were not murderers, and grounds. Our own opinion we shall nearly all were themselves mur- state boldly: the Empire itself, from dered.
the very era of its establishment, was The Empire, then, must be re- one long decline of the Roman garded as the primary object of our power. A vast monarchy had been interest; and it is in this way only created and consolidated by the that any secondary interest arises for all-conquering instincts of a Rethe Emperors. Now, with respect to public-cradled and nursed in wars, the Empire, the first question which and essentially warlike by means of presents itself is,—Whence, that is, all its institutions* and by the habits from what causes and from what era, of the people. This monarchy had
Amongst these institutions, none appear to us so remarkable, or fitted to accomplish so prodigious a circle of purposes belonging to the highest state policy, as the Roman method of colonization. Colonies were, in effect, the great engine of Roman conquest; and the following are among a few of the great ends to which they were applied. First of all, how came it that the early armies of Rome served, and served cheerfully, without pay? Simply because all who were victorious knew that they would receive their arrears in the fullest and amplest form upon their final discharge, viz. in the shape of a colonial estate-large enough to rear a family in comfort, and seated in the midst of similar allotments, distributed to their old comrades in arms. These lands were already, perhaps, in high cultivation, being often taken from conquered tribes; but, if not, the new occupants could rely for aid of every sort, for social intercourse, and for all the offices of good neighbourhood upon the surrounding proprietors-who were sure to be persons in the same circumstances as themselves, and draughted from the same legion. For be it remembered, that in the primitive ages of Rome, concerning which it is that we are now speaking, entire legions-privates and officers—were transferred in one body to the new colony. “ Antiquitus,” says the learned Goesius, “ deducebantur integræ legiones, quibus parta victoria.” Neither was there much waiting for this honorary gift. In later ages, it is true, wben such resources were less plentiful, and when regular pay was given to the soldiery, it was the veteran only who obtained this splendid provision ; but in the earlier times, a single fortunate campaign not seldom dismissed the young recruit to a life of ease and honour. “Multis legionibus," says Hyginus, "contigit bellum feliciter transigere, et ad laboriosam agriculturæ requiem primo tyrocinii gradu pervenire. Nam cum signis et aquilâ et primis ordinibus et tribunis deducebantur.” Tacitus also notices this organization of the early colonies, and adds the reason of it, and its happy effect, when contrasting it with the vicious arrangements of the colonizing system in his own days. “Olim,” says he, “ universæ legiones deducebantur cum tribunis et centurionibus, et sui cujusque ordinis militibus, ut consensu et charitate rempublicam efficerent." Secondly, not only were the troops in this way paid at a time when the public purse was unequal to the expenditure of war-but this pay, being contingent on the successful issue of the war, added the strength of self-interest to that of patriotism in stimulating the soldier to extraordinary efforts. Thirdly, not only did the soldier in this way reap his pay, but also he reaped a reward (and that besides a trophy and perpetual monument of bis public services) so munificent as to constitute a permanent provision for a family; and accordingly he was now encouraged, nay enjoined, to marry. For here was an hereditary landed estate equal to the liberal maintenance of a family. And thus did a simple people, obeying its instinct of conquest, not only discover, in its earliest days, the subtle principle of Machiavel-Let war support war; but (which is far more than Machiavel's view) they made each present war support many future wars—by making it support a new off-set from the population, bound to the mother city by indissoluble ties of privilege and civic duties; and in many other ways they made every war, by and through the colonizing system to which it gave occasion, serviceable to future aggrandizement. War, managed in this way, and with these results, became to Rome what commerce or rural industry is to other countries, viz. the only hopeful and general way for making a fortune. Fourthly, by means of colonies it was that Rome delivered herself from her surplus population. Prosperous and well-governed, the Roman citizens of each generation outnumbered those of the gene.