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From the Examiner.

last gathered into one fold the greater pro. THE HISTORY OF EGYPT UNDER THE RO

portion of the before scattered tribes and MANS.

nations; from the Euphrates to the Atlantic, from the shores of Britain and the borders

of the German forests to the sands of the The History of Egypt under the Romans, by African deserts, the bonds of a common Samuel Sharpe. Moxon.

and apparently well settled system now Tue battle of Actium dates some twenty held together the inhabitants of the world ; nine years before the birth of Christ, and it nay more, between these widely separated was in the six hundred and fortieth year of regions a free and common intercourse had the Christian era that haughty Amrou son been recently established by public pathof Asi, wrote word to his Caliph Omar that ways opened for the conquering legions ;* he had taken a city which passed all de when suddenly appeared the first RELIGION scription, in which he found four thousand that had ever aimed at a conquest as great palaces, four thousand baths, forty thou and universal, which did not proclaim sand Jews paying tribute, four hundred itself the religion of a nation or a tribe, but theatres, and twelve thousand sellers of invited all who lived to come within its herbs. He meant Alexandria.

ample shelter, as the universal family and The period of Mr. Sharpe's history, then, brotherhood of MAN. The Poor had the includes six hundred and seventy years : tidings first, but in good time they reached memorable years, for account of which be- the Philosopher: and then, upon Christianfore we received his excellent volume, ity, rose the Church. Gibbon, Lardner, and Mosheim, were our No one in the least acquainted with this only accessible authorities. The book is a great subject fails to perceive the effect, to great advance on Mr. Sharpe's former re. this day, of the Alexandrian Schools of searches in connexion with his favorite New Platonism on the character of our restudy, learned as these were. For not the ligious establishment. They date at the learning only have we here; but the feel commencement of the second century, but ing and life of the subject. Within the through all the prior struggles of the faith, province of history is rightly brought what. Alexandrians had played an important part. soever can vivify its scenes, reanimate its Mr. Sharpe rightly thinks they have hardly actors. The style is not ambitious, but had justice done them by the moderns, has a certain measured dignity which we either in regard to the improvement they find appropriate—a happy mean to have wrought in Paganism, or to the share they kept, within sound of the sonorous march have had in forming the present opinions of Gibbon. And having undergone the of the world. He refers to what their colabor of original research, with materials piers and libraries did for us in preserva. in ach or a book of any conceivabletion of the great Greek writers, and of our size, Mr. Sharpe has been wise enough to earliest manuscripts of the Bible—“while," write a small book, of little more than two he adds, “whatever help we have received hundred and fifty pages.

from grammarians and critics, whatever in of the influence of the scenes it records, history we have gained from chronology, on habits, feelings, and opinions, which in poetry from prosody, in geography froin have been the main-spring of modern civili. mathematics, and in medicine from anatozation, this is hardly the place to speak. my, was first taught by the Alexandrians." Soon it fixes the thoughtful reader's atten. The glib remark, so often repeated since tion. The opening picture has in itself its incautious use by a great writer, which the germ of much. Octavian-we beg his would associate the rise of the Christian pardon-AUGUSTUS enters the conquered belief with the decline of all literature, is Alexandria on foot, leaning on the arm of the philosopher Arius, and, with the sounding * Two centuries later the poet Claudian alluded pretence of a lover of learning as well as

to these facilities of intercourse, then settled on a mercy, gives out to the motley crowd as- refers to the passage in his excellent Treatise on

firmer basis by the prevalence of peace. Mr. Lewis sembled-small swarthy dark Egyptians, Dependencies. By the grace of modern science, it lively volatile Greeks, depressed Hebrews, is no longer a flight of poetry. and sour, discontented Romans--that he Hujus pacificis debemus moribus omnes had spared the place to the prayers of his Quod veluti patriis regionibus utitur hospes; philosophic friend. To thai picture, with Quod sedem mutare licet; quod cernere Thulen Conquest and Philosophy in the front-the Lusus, et horrendos quondam penetrare recessus;

Quod bibimus passim Rhodanum, potamus Oronfield won and the culiivator ready, a background silently rises. Rome had here at Quod gens una sumus.


certainly, independent of these special con-jpied a hill near the shores of the lake Masiderations offered by Mr. Sharpe, not ria, and who seem to have left us one of founded in the fact. Christianity was as the earliest known examples of a monasyet without influence when the old classic tic system. Mr. Sharpe here uses almost literature, sinking continuously through the exact words of the historian Philo, to the interval between Augustus and the An- whom we owe this beautiful picture of the tonnines, dropped at last into irretrievable contemplative life. decay. Not the new Faith, but the civil distractions of the Empire, the increased worldly wealth to their families or friends; they

“They had left, says the historian Philo, their license of the soldiery, the frequent inroads had forsaken wives, children, brethren, parents, of the barbarians, and above all, the pro- and the society of men, to bury themselves in gress of internal despotism, had given solitude, and pass their lives in the contemplacheck to lofty aspirations of genius as well tion of the divine essence. Seized by this heaas the quiet pursuits of learning. It was

venly love, they were eager to enter upon the

next world as though they were already dead an age of iron that preceded what was

to this. Each man or woman lived alone in his called the golden age of Trajan and the cell or monastery, caring neither for food nor Antonnines. The nervous hand of Gibbon for raiment, but having his thoughts wholly has marked with eternal reprobation the turned to the Law and the Prophets, or to savices of the successors of Augustus—the cred hymns of their own composing. They had dark unrelenting Tiberius, the furious Ca- God always in their thoughts, and even the ligula, the feeble Claudius, the profligate dreams were treasures of religious wisdom.

broken sentences which they uttered in their and cruel Nero, the beastly Vitellius, and They prayed each morning at sunrise, and then the timid, inhuman Domitian. That we spent the day in turning over the sacred volshould make farther inquiry as to the degra- umes, and the commentaries which explained dation of a people whom such men ruled, is the allegories or pointed out a secondary meannot incumbent upon us! In the midst of ing as hidden beneath the surface of even the the degradation, Trajan and the Anton historical books of the Old Testament. Ai sunnines were an accident: permanently affect- and only meal.

set they again prayed, and then tasted their first

Self-denial indeed was the ing nothing. And so-uninfluenced alike foundation of all their virtues. Some made only in its decline before the last-named Em- three meals in the week, that their meditations perors, or in its rapid and most precipi-might be more free; while others even attempttate fall between Marcus and Diocletian-ed to prolong their fast to the sixth day. During the old Literature went, to the last not ill. six days of the week they saw nobody, not even attended, to her tomb. For out of even in synagogue. Here they sat, each according

one another. On the seventh they met together the vices of these later Emperors had sprung o his age; the women separated from the men, the splendid genius of JUVENAL; the pro- Each wore a plain modest robe, which covered gress of science and the increased know the arms and hands, and they sat in silence ledge of man, which we cannot deny to while one of the elders preached. As they Rome's latter years, bad asserted them. studied the mystic powers of numbers, they selves in the composition of the immortal thought the number seven was a boly number,

and that seven times seven made a great week, history of Tacitus; the statesmanlike

and hence they kept the fiftieth day as a solemn musé of Lucan, the wise wit of Lucian, festival. On that day they dined together, the had sung requiem to a declining his- men lying on one side and the women on the tory and a disappearing faith ; the re- other. The rushy papyrus formed the couches; ceding forms of Greek and Roman civi- bread was their only meat, water their drink, lization had been struck into eternal salt the seasoning, and cresses the only delicacy. life by the hand of PLUTARCH ; while Epic. They had no slaves, since all men were born TETUS, Seneca, and the two Plinys, had equal. Nobody spoke unless it were to propose

a question out of the Old Testament, or to anhonorably associated the last efforts of their swer the question of another. The feast ended art, with science, philosophy, and virtue. with a hymn to the praise of God, which they That famous Literature could not have sang, sometimes in full chorus, and sometimes been better waited on to her grave than by in alternate verses.” such writers as these, her honored chil.

In good lively contrast to which, Dion dren.

It was not within the power of Chrysostom supplies the historian with this Christianity to have hastened or retarded not very favorable but very graphic por. the end. The Christians were as yet com trait of the popular characieristics of his posed of the middle and lower classes only Alexandrian countrymen :

Prominent among the Greek Jews of Alexandria, to whom Mr. Sharpe supposes which usually follow or cause the loss of nation

“ With their wealth, they had all those vices we are indebted for preservation of the Old al independence. They seemed eager after noTestament, were a little colony who occu- thing but food and horse-races, those never-fail


ing bribes for which the idle of every country of his government being disapproved of in Rome will sell all that a man should hold most dear. was his finding himself a prisoner in his own They were cool and quiet at their sacrifices and palace. The friends stood motionless with surgrave in business, but in the theatre or in the prise, the centurion produced the emperor's orstadium, men, women, and children were alike der for what he was doing, and as no resistance heated into passion, and overcome with eager- was attempted, all passed off quietly ; Flaccus ness and warmth of feeling. They cared more

was hurried on board the vessel on the same for the tumble of a favorite charioteer than for evening, and immediately taken to Rome. the sinking state of the nation. A scurrilous " It so happened that on the night that Flacsong or a horse-race would so rouse them into cus was seized, the Jews had met together to a quarrel that they could not hear for their own celebrate their autumnal feast, the feast of the noise, nor see for the dust raised by their own Tabernacles; not as on former years with joy bustle in the hippodrome; while all those acts and pomp, but in sear, in grief, and in prayer. of their rulers which, in a more wholesome state Their chief men were in prison, their nation of society, would have called for notice, passed smarting under its wrongs and in daily fear of by unheeded. In the army they made but sec- fresh cruelties; and it was not without alarm ond rate soldiers, while as singing boys at the That they heard the noise of soldiers moving to supper tables of the wealthy Romans they were and fro through the city, and of the guards much sought after, and all the world acknow- marching by torch-light from the camp to the ledged that there were no fighting-cocks equal palace. But their fear was soon turned into joy to those reared by the Alexandrians.”

when they heard that Flaccus, the author of all

their wrongs, was already a prisoner on board Here in some sort we find explanation of the vessel in the harbor; and they gave glory the palaces, baths, theatres, and sellers of to God, not, says Philo, that their enemy was herbs, which crowded themselves by thou- going to be punished, but because their own sands into the Oriental brain of Amrou. own sufferings were at an end.” Hadrian, Athenæus, and many others might We close with some general illustrations also have been quoted, for curious addi- of the tone and style of Mr. Sharpe's admitions to the picture.

rable volume. The general wisdom of the Roman polity and laws is admitted on every hand: Greece

“ The economist will perhaps ask from what has not done more for Thought than her

source the oppressed Egyptians drew the wealth hardy conqueror for Government. Nor and where they found the encouragement ne. was ever this capacity for affairs more sig. cessary to finish these gigantic undertakings, nally shown than in her management of which were begun in times of greater prosperisubject provinces: we see here that even ty; but the only answer which we can give is, the Emperor whom savage passions obscur- that the chief encouragement at all times to any ed and blinded in Rome, could yet keep great work is a strong sense of religious duty, sagacious outlook upon Egypt. A perfect can draw for their generosity, or nations for sycophancy never stood him in stead for their public works, is to be found in self-denial.” something better: if he could not keep his province quiet he was brought away on the instant, and punished for his want of

“ We should almost think that the seasons success. Here is the case of poor Flaccus, the reigns of these good emperors, did we not

were more favorable to the husbandman during whose zealous determination to have Caligula's statue worshipped by the Jews, had the care of the prefect, and to the mildness of

set it down to the canals being better cleansed by been the cause of sudden riots in Alexan. the government leaving the people at liberty to dria. No mercy on that account for Flac- enjoy the bounties of nature, and at the same cus!

time making them more grateful in acknowledg.

ing them." “ To have found it necessary to call out the troops was of course a fault in a governor; but doubly so at a time and in a province where “When the crier, standing on the steps of the a successful general nicht so easily become a portico, in front of the greai temples of Alexanformidable rebel. Accordingly a centurion, with dria, called upon the pagans to come near a trusty cohort of soldiers, wiis sent from Rome and join in the celebration of their mysteries, he for the recall of the prefect. On approaching cried out; 'All ye who are clean of hands and the coast of Egypt, they kept the vessel in deep pure of heart, all ye who are guiltless in thought water till sunset, and then entered the harbor of and deed, come to the sacrifice.' But many a Alexandria in the dark. The centurion on land- repentant sinner and humble spirit must have ing met with a freedman of the emperor, from drawn back in distrust from a summons which whom he learned that the prefect was then at to him was so forbidding, and been glad to hear supper, entertaining a large company of friends. the good vidings of God's mercy offered by ChrisThe freedman led the cohort quietly into the rianity to those who labor and are heavy laden, palace, into the very room where Flaccus was and io the broken-hearted who would turn away sitting at table; and the first tidings that he heard from their wickedness. While such were the







chief followers of the gospel, it was not likely to be much noticed by the historians; and we must “ The Arabic historian tells us that when wait till it forced its way into the schools and Alexandria was conquered by Amrou he set his the palace before we shall find many traces of seal upon the library, together with the other the rapidity with which it spread.”

public property of the city. But John Philipo

nus begged that the books might be spared, as « The historian in his labors ould never lose

being of no use to the conquerors; and Amrou

would have granted the request at once if he had sight of the coins. They teach us by their work- not thought it necessary to ask leave of the manship the state of the arts, and by their caliph. He therefore wrote to Omar for orders, weight, number, and purity of metal the wealth who answered him that, if the books were the of the country. They also teach dates, titles, same as the Koran, they were useless, and if not and the places where they were struck; and the same they were worse than useless, and that even in those cases where they seem to add lit- in either case they were to be burnt. Amrou tle to what we learn from other sources, they obeyed this order, and sent the books, most of are still the living witnesses to which we appeal

, which were of papyrus, to the public baths of to prove the truth of the authors who have told Alexandria, and the Arabic historian, in the us more."

poetic style of his nation, says that the baths

were heated by them for the space of six “It was grown in the pools of stagnant water

months." which were left after the overflow of the Nile. Its thick knotted roots were used as wood, both for making fires and for furniture, and its graceful feathery head was often entwined round the

SESTRI. statues of ihe gods as a garland. Wicker-work boats were woven out of its stalk, while of the bark were made sails, cordage and cloth. It was chewed as food, both raw and cooked,

From Ainsworth's Magazine. though the juice only was swallowed. Paper There stands a rugged promontory o'er was made of it by splitting it into sheets as thin Fair Sestri, and its most enchanting shore, as possible. The best kind had been called Cover'd with cypresses of richest dyes, Hieratic paper, because it was used for the sa- With spiral verdure pointing to the skies ! cred books; but in the time of Augustus two While How'rs full prodigal of sweets, exhale better kinds were made, which were named Au- Their scents delicious to the mellow gale. gustan and Livian, after himself and his wife. The ripe-ripe fig, and luscious flowing grape, A fourth and fifth of worse quality were called Luxuriant grow, and fruits of every shape Fannian, from the name of a clever Roman And varied color, from the rarest gem maker, and Amphitheatric, from the name of the That decks Autumna's golden diadem, street in Rome where it was sold. A sixth kind To the wild strawberry, wbose tassel red was called Saitic, from the city Sais, near which | Droops in the woodlands on its leafy bed. it grew in greater quantity, but of a still worse Where herds recumbent chew the tranquil cud.

And distant hills the silvery olives stud, quality. A seventh, called Leneotic, was nearer the bărk, and so much worse as to be sold by What can we dream of, think, or covet more?

In such displays of overteeming store, weight.' The eighth and the last kind was the Imagination is at loss to guess Emporetic, which was not good enough to write What else desire could wish of plenteousness. on, and was used in the shop to wrap up parcels. And yet, alas! there are in scenes like these The first two were thirteen inches wide, the A blasting crowd of human agonies ! Hieratic eleven, the Fannian ten, the Amphithe - And can we deem it so? Alas! we find atric nine, while the Emporetic was not more within the Soul alone is bliss enshrined; than six inches wide. After a time the best And nature's gayety to grief can be, kinds were found too thin for books, as the writ-In its sad thought, but bitter mockery! ing on one side often made a blot through to the The balmy breeze, with its all-perfumed breath, other; and so in the reign of Claudius Cæsar a Wafts also on its wings the sighs of death : new kind was made, called Claudian, of two

And mark ye, on yon bed of roses placed, sheets thick, in which the fibres of one crossed The dying butterfly that oft has graced those of the other."

Th' aerial regions with its splendid hue,

As o'er the modest flow'r it stray'd to sue ; EMPEROR JULIAN-LOVER OF LEARNING. And now, amid death's agonizing stings, “George had employed his wealth in getting Suffers it less because its glorious wings together a large library, rich in historians, rhei- Are brighter than the brightest tints that deck oricians, and philosophers of all sects; and on

The glossy peacock's most majestic neck? the murder of the bishop, Julian wrote letter Ah, no! and thus it is that fairest skies,

And richest landscapes, that delight the eyes, after letter to Alexandria, to beg the prefect and can give small comfort to the suff'ring soul, his friend Porphyrius to save these books, and which spurns the feeble aid of such control. send them to him in Cappadocia. He promised within the spirit only can arise freedom to the librarian if he gave them up, and The depths of wo, or joys of Paradise : torture if he hid them; and further begged that And when from this too treacherous earth we fly-no books in favor of Christianity should be de- When reason totters on infinity, stroyed, lest other and better books should be Oh! then it is, the new-awaken'd sight lost with thein."

Views in Religion its eternal light!

LOUIS BLANCS HISTORY OF TEN YEARS. one idea to be sacred, and regard its opFrom the Foreign Quarterly Review.

ponents as priests; you cannot believe one

course of policy tyrannous and destructive, L'Histoire de Dix Ans, 1830-1840. Par yet look upon its ministers as enlightened

M. Louis Blanc. Tomes I., II., n. patriots. All that impartiality can do is to Paris. 1843.

make allowance for difference of opinion, This is a remarkable work. So strong and not deny the sincerity of an opponent: is the sensation it has created in Germany, to anathematize the doctrine, not the map. as well as in France, that we must intro. M. Louis Blanc is, in this sense, tolerably duce it to the notice of our readers, in impartial. spite of its incomplete state. Three vol. L'Histoire de dix Ans' is not conspicuumes of the promised five have already ap- ous for any profound views; its philosophy peared. Three editions were demanded of is often but philosophic rhetoric. But it is the first volume before the second was not without excellent aperçus, and acute published, although the publication takes penetration of motives. There is a great place by weekly livraisons. The second deal of the Journalist visible in the work. And third volumes have already had two M. Blanc is a young man still, edits · La large editions, the demand increasing. Revue du Progrès,' and is more familiar

And this success is explained by the with Journalism than with social science. talent of the author no less than by the ab. His work manifests both the advantages sorbing interest of the theme. The ten and disadvantages of such a condition. If years, 1830-1840, were troubled, stirring, the Journalist is incapable of that calm reand important times to every European na- view of things, and those laborious genertion : to none so much as France. The alizations, which the social philosopher revolution of July—those Glorious Three elaborates from his abstract point of view; Days; the revolutions of Poland and Bel- yet is he the more conversant with the congium; the siege of Antwerp; the insurrec-crete special instances, more familiar with tions al Lyons and Grenoble, with the the motives and passions of political parcountless conspiracies and insurrections at ties, more ready to understand every coup Paris; the cholera morbus, with its eighteen d'état. M. Blanc shows a thorough penethousand victims in Paris alone; the Duch- tration into the spirit of each party, and esse de Berri and La Chouanerie ; the tak- sees the germs of strength or of disease. ing of Algiers; five attempts at regicide; St. He has lived amongst conspirators; dined Simonism; Republicanism, and innumerable with legitimatists, been familiar with Boother 'isms :' these are brilliant subjects, napartists. Above all, he understands the brilliantly treated by M. Louis Blanc. national spirit : its reckless daring, insou. 'L'Histoire de Dix Ans' is one of those çiance, gaiety, love of excitement, of miliworks so often libelled by being called 'as tary glory, idolatry of symbols, and facility interesting as a novel :' were novels a tithe of being led away by a sonorous word, or as interesting, they would be what they pompous formula. One of the people binipretend. It has all that we require in a self, he rightly understands the people's novel, and much more. It is a narrative of nature. We may illustrate this power of events real, striking, absorbing : the sub-penetration by the citation of two of the jects of immense interest to all readers, numerous epigrams with which his book and the style inusually excellent. As a abounds. Speaking of the incompetence narrative we know of few to compare with of the Legitimatists to shake the Orleans it, even in French History. Eloquent, dynasty he says : Les Révolutions se font earnest, rapid, brief, yet full of detail ; it avec des haines fortes et de violents désirs : has the vividness of Carlyle or Michelet, les légitimistes n'avaient guère que des without transgressing the rules of classic haines.'* The second is really a profound taste. The style, though not free from an mot: of the Buonapartist party he says: occasional inelegance, is remarkable for il avait un drapeau plutôt qu'un principe. concinnity and picturesqueness, alternating C'était là l'invincible cause de son impuis. between rhetoric and epigram. The spirit sance.'t of the work is avowedly republican. The An excellence not to be overlooked in author never disguises his sympathies or his book is the portraiture of remarkable convictions; yet at the same time is fully alive to all the errors of his party, and re

* Revolutions are effected by means of strong veals the true causes of their ill success. hatreds and violent desires : the legitimatists bad Impartial he is not; no man with strong

scarcely any thing but hatreds.

t It had a Banner rather than a Principle. convictions can be so. You cannot hold | Therein lay the invincible cause of its impotence.

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