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plain, simple, familiar, and admirably adapted to secure the interest of the student.

Major Jones's Sketches of Travel, comprising the Scenes,

Incidents, and Adventures, in his Tour from Georgia to Canada. With eight original engravings, from designs

by Darley. Philadelphia : Carey & Hart. This is a humorous production of considerable merit, from our friend Thompson, the accomplished editor of the Baltimore Western Continent. Whoever, from dyspepsia, hypochondria, or any kindred malady, wants to laugh for an hour or two-and laughing is sometimes attended with the happiest medicinal effects, to say nothing about the moral aspect of the thing, which Carlyle says onght not to be overlooked--will find the Major's Sketches especially applicable to their case.

Eliza Atxood, or, the Resemblance. An Authentic Tale.

By E. OAKLEY. New York: Samuel Raynor. A very pleasing and useful book, inculcating lessons of morality, particularly adapted to Sabbath schools. Chambers's Miscellany of Useful and Entertaining Knowl.

edge. Boston: Gould, Kendall & Lincoln. We have just received the 21st number of this excellent series, through the politeness of Messrs. Long & Brother. Take it altogether, this work is perhaps the most complete and best of its kind ever published in this country; and the mechanical style in which it appears is tasteful and elegant. The embellishments, of which there are a profusion, add not a little to its attractiveness and intrinsic value. A Map of the Countries mentioned in the New Testament,

and the Travels of the Apostles-with Ancient and Modern Namcs. From the most authentic sources. New

York: J. H. Colton. This map must be of great service to every student of the Bible, and especially of the New Testament. It is very neatly and tastefully got up, and is convenientiy mounted for suspension. It is withal so cheap as to be within the reach generally of clergymen in moderate pecuniary circumstances, and Sabbath school teachers,

The La Fayette Fusiliers' Quick Step, as performed by

Dod worth's Cornet Band. By CHARLES KESS. New

York: F. Riley & Company. This is the title of a very creditable piece of music just issued in sheet form. The Constitution of Man, Considered in Relation to Exter

nal Objects. By GEORGE COMBE. Illustrated with twenty engravings. Twentieth edition, revised and en

larged. New York : Fowler & Wells. As some three hundred thousand copies of this work have been circulated in Europe and America, it is, perhaps, too late in the day for an extended critique. Its general character ought to be pretty well known, one would suppose. For ourselves, we think the book has been too bighly extolled on the one hand, and too unceremoniously and vindictively assailed on the other. In our view, it contains a great many hints in relation to physical and intellectual training which are valuable in the highest degree ; while, we are forced to admit, many of the notions of the author on moral and religious subjects are unsound, antenable, unsafe.

1

Principles of Zoology, touching the Structure, Development,

Distribution, and Natural Arrangements of the Races of Animals, Living and Extinct. With numerous illustratious. For the use of Schools and Colleges. Part I,

Comparative Physiology. By Louis Agassiz and Au-
GUSTUS A. GOULD. Boston: Gould, Kendall & Lin-

coln. Through the favor of Messrs. L. Colby & Company, of this city, we have received a neat duodecimo volume with the above title, which is the first of a series of some three or more similar treatises on the science of Zoology. No one can give even a glance at this book, without perceiving that tbe anthors were thoroughly acquainted with their subject; and we cannot doubt that the series will be of great advantage to those who wish to learn the first principles of Zoology-a science, the knowledge of which, to some extent at least, seems to us greatly desirable.

William the Cottager. By the author of “Ellen Herbert,

or, Family Changes." New York: Harper & Brothers. A juvenile tale, well written, entertaining, and incalcating the best of moral and religious principles.

The Life of Rev. Orange Scott. Compiled from his Personal

Narrative, Correspondence, and other authentic sources of information. By Lucius C. MATLACK. New York:

Published at the Wesleyan Methodist Book Room. We have looked over this volume with no little interest and pleasure. Mr. Scott was a member of the Protestant branch of the Methodist Church, and a very active, spiritual Christian. Though we cannot endorse all the views he held, or approve of all his measures, yet we greatly love his earnestness and zeal, tempered as they were, or seemed to be, by so many other admirable qualities. His origin was obscure, and his early advantages by no means favorable to intellectual development; but he was not poorly edacated, for all that. The education of circumstances is sometimes worth more than the teachings of the schools. We think it was so in this instance. The Memoir contains a portrait of Mr. Scott, which those who knew him pronounce a truthful one.

Daily Scripture Readings. By the late Thomas CHAL

MERS, D.D., LL.D. In three volumes. Vol. IIL New

York: Harper & Brothers. This is a continuation of the commentary, already warmly commended, on the Old Testament ; and extends from Psalms to Jeremiah, inclusive. It cannot fail to be of great service to the general reader of the Bible.

The Practical Book of Composition. By EDWARD A. MOR

GAN, of Abbott's Institution, New York, No.2. Astronomical Engravings. New York: Clark, Austin &

Company. The plan of the series of books, of which tbis is a part, is to present engravings of the different subjects treated of, and to require the pupil, from these engravings, to write explanations and general descriptions. For this purpose each book is interleaved with letter paper, and a page lett blank, with the exception of the engraving at the head of it.

The Messrs. Harper have just brought ont a work in two duodecimo volumes, entitled Loiterings in Eurupe. If any one should happen to pass this book by under the impression that everything has been said by European travellers that is worth hearing, he will commit a great blander. We hope, for his own sake, he will do no such thing. In our estimation, he would be acting a much more sensible part to loiter for some half a dozen hours in company with this author.

THE THREE GREAT CRISES IN MODERN HISTORY.

No. ¥.

THE OVERTHROW OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.

There have been some epochs when a result different from that which actually took place would have changed the whole current of the world's history, and have given another development to the human race. Twice, for instance, in ancient history, the question was to be decided whether the Occident or the Orient should prevail. Had the Persian invasion of Greece been successful, or had Carthage been victorious over Rome in the Punic wars, Europe would at this day have been as Asia, and America as Africa.

The Roman empire belongs properly to the old-world civilization: modern history dates from its overthrow. The issue of that series of irruptions of the Northern Barbarians, which, in the fifth century, overthrew the Roman empire, and laid the foundations of the nations of Europe, constitutes the First Great Crisis in Modern History.

The twelve centuries of dominion, which according to the augurs were prefigured by the twelve vultures which appeared to Romulus at the foundation of Rome, were drawing to a close. The old Roman virtue was well nigh extinct ; the government was every day becoming more odious at home, and less formidable abroad. The public burdens grew heavier and heavier; the patricians and the wealthy shifted the weight from their own shoulders, which thus pressed still more heavily upon the poor. Throughout the provinces the magistrates were held personally liable for the collection of the taxes; and the severest penalties were imposed upon citizens who should decline the magistracy, or evade the performance of its duties ; so that the name of Roman citizen became a shame and a burden instead of a glory and a defence. The tendency of wealth to accumulate in masses, which is the most fatal symptom of national decay, was most strikingly developed. The only sure safeguard of a state, the race of free cultivators and craftsmen, declined, while the proportion of

slaves increased, till they finally amounted to more than half the population-more than half the population charged with no duties, capable of no trust, adding nothing to the strengh, because having no interest in the welfare of the state, yet requiring food and needing restraint and guidance! Corruption, effeminacy, and venality ruled in city, camp, and country.

Such was the net result of ancient civilization as embodied in the Roman empire. It had full opportunity for development, undisturbed from within and without, and here was its issue. Into such a civilization the Gospel was thrown; but it was insufficient to renovate the worn-out world. Or rather, the world that then was could not be purified, and a new race was to be raised up, and a new civilization to take the place of the old.

Where the carcass is there the eagles are gathered together. From countries unknown to the Romans; from the North and the East; from those lands which the Greeks in their ignorance styled Hyperborean-lying beyond the north-east wind-poured forth swarms of barbarians upon the degenerate empire.

The original impulse seems to have been given in the heart of those regions occupying the slopes of the Altay mountains, stretching from the Chinese wall on the south to the frozen ocean on the north. Here, as we learn by the dim light of Chinese history, was the seat of the Huns at the commencement of the Christian era. From these their ancient seats they were driven by the Tartars. The victors still pressing on their rear, the Huns fled westward, watering in their flight their herds in the Oxus and the Jaxartes. Turning finally toward the north, they passed the Aral and Caspian seas, and enter the light of Roman history. Crossing the Tanaïs and the Volga, they threw themselves

upon

the Goths, whose possessions extended from the Baltic to the Euxine. The force of the impact drove the Goths upon the Danube and the Roman frontier.

98

THE OVERTHROW OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.

was the answer. The respite was but brief. The city was soon again invested, captured, and abandoned to pillage. Forty thousand liberated barbarian blaves exercised a vengeance as deep as their wrongs had been, and washed out the ignominy of their stripes in the noblest blood of Italy.

When about to carry his arms into Sicily, Alaric was met by a mightier conqueror-death. His soldiers caused the river Busentius to be turned from its course, and dug the grave of their monarch in its bed. They piled the spoils of Rome above his body, and then restored the waters to their ancient channel, having massacred the slaves who had performed the task ; thus forever concealing the sepulchre, so that no man should ever be able to boast that he had set his foot above the body of the king of

kings.

Meanwhile the nations of Germany were roused by a sudden impulse. They drew together in vast and irregular hordes, received or assumed the name of Vandals or Wanderers, passed the Rhine, hastened through France, and poured over the Pyrenees into Spain.

When the hour for destruction came, there appeared almost simultaneously over the three barbarous nations, three great and wise monarchs, to each of whom was assured a share of the field to reap; but all of whom were to thrust their sickles into the Italian sheaves, already whitened for the harvest. In Thrace arose Alaric the Goth; Genseric the Vandal in Spain; and in Hungary Attila the Hun.

The first of this triad was Alaric. He crossed the Danube on the ice, traversed the plains of Macedonia and Thessaly, passed Thermopylæ, where no Leonidas opposed his progress, and overran the whole of Greece, leaving all along bloody traces of his path.

Having ravaged Greece, Alaric turned upon Italy. But though the heart of the empire was struck with disease, there was still spasmodic strength in those giant limbs which had

grasped the extremities of the earth. The legions were called from all the provinces to the defence of Italy. Thrice was the Goth repelled ; but urged on by an impulse which he declared he had no power to resist, he returned to the attack. The convulsive strength of Rome was exhausted, and Alaric stood a victor before her walls; the first stranger who, since Hannibal, six centuries before, had beheld the imperial city, save as an ally, a suppliant, or a captive. An attempt was made to extort favorable terms by setting forth the number of forces which the city contained “ So much the better," was the haughty reply; "the thicker the grass the more easily is it mown.” Famine at length assailed the beleaguered city. In the marble halls of her patricians, food from which a beggar would have turned with loathing, was eagerly devoured from golden dishes worth a monarch's ransom.

The horrors related of besieged cities were here realized. The living feasted upon the dead; mothers, it is said, slaughtered their own offspring for food. Pestilence trod hard upon the heels of famine. Alaric at last condescended to fix a rate of ransom. He demanded all the gold and silver; all the valuable movables in the city, whether public or private property, and all the barbarian slaves. “What,” asked the trembling citizens, “ will be left for us ?" “ Your lives!”

Africa was the field assigned to Genseric the Vandal. He passed the straits of Gibraltar in vessels furnished by the Spaniards, joyful to expedite his departure. A new city had sprung up upon the ruins of ancient Carthage, which almost rivalled the magnificence of Rome itself. Genseric appeared so suddenly before it, that while the Vandals were mounting the walls the inhabitants were thronging to the circus. The fertile African coast, the granary of Rome, crowded with the monuments of Roman magnificence, were overrun by the Vandals, whose name has become a synonym for havoc and destruction. No quarter was given where resistance was encountered. The inhabitants were summoned to deliver all their precious metals and jewels to the royal officers; and any attempt at concealment was rigorously punished. The lands of the provinces were divided among the conquerors, who thus prepared themselves for a permanent settlement. The fertile but narrow strip of territory along the African shore was too limited to satisfy the ambition and avarice of Genseric. The loss of Africa had severed the sinews of the Roman power. The Mediterranean formed a tempting liighway to further conquests. Once more the fleets of Carthage shadowed “our sea," as the Romans proudly styled the Mediterranean. Little cared Genseric whither he steered. When his pilot asked whither he should bend his course, “ Where God sends us," was the reply; "the winds will bear us against those with whom God is wroth.” Rome had partially recovered from the sack by the Goths; and thither the Vandals sailed. For fourteen days

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and nights the city was given up to plunder. Among the booty was the seven-branched candlestick, and the golden table, which Titus had taken from the temple at Jerusalem four centuries before.

Contemporary with Genseric was Attila. The Huns had lost none of their Oriental ferocity. Too rude to form a corporeal image of the god of war, they worshipped him under the symbol of a scimetar, which was annually consecrated with the blood of flocks and herds, and by the sacrifice of the tenth captive. Their great monarch himself was a barbarian who despised all the luxuries of civilized life, never tasted bread, and devoured the flesh of animals from wooden platters. For a long time it was doubtful where the Hunnish avalanche would descend; whether upon the Eastern or the Western Empire, or whether it would roll away and expend its fury upon Persia. Atila was himself in doubt. He sent at once a defiance to the two Emperors. “ Attila, my lord and thy lord, commands thee to provide a palace for him.” The East was first attacked and made tributary. Italy, plundered by the Goths, and ravaged by the Vandals, offered no temptation to his avarice or his ambition, and he turned his forces toward Gaul.

“ What city," said he, “ or fortress can hope to exist, if it be our pleasure that it should be erased from the earth?” He willed the destruction of the Gallic cities, and Troyes, Paris, and Orleans were alone left standing. The march of the Hung was announced by the blazing homes of the slanghtered inhabitants. Old men and maidens, if we may credit the ancient chronicles, were bound to the necks of wild horses ; children suspended to the branches of trees, and left to birds of prey. “ The very grass will not grow," was the boast of the Huns," where the steed of Attila has trampled.”

The Goths, meanwhile, who had been driven into Gaul before the Huns, united with the Roman legio who yet remained in the country. Ætius, the Roman prefect, had acquired the friendship of Merewig, or Merovæus, the leader of the Franks, and thus gained to his standard the various German tribes. The combined army encountered the Huns on the plains of Chalons. The fate of the world was at stake, and 160,000 slain attested the determination of the combatants. A rivulet which crossed the field of battle was so swollen with blood that the wounded soldiers who drarged themselves to its brink were compelled to slake their thirst

with the mixture their own veins had helped pollute.

Attila was defeated ; but the first defeat of the Huns was the last victory of Rome; the strength of the empire was exhausted in that desperate struggle. Attila turned towards Italy, carrying ruin and devastation ; but was finally induced to abandon his prey and pass beyond the Danube. Here he died. His followers inclosed his body in three coffins, of gold, of silver, and of iron, and buried it by night, gashing their faces with their swords, that their great leader might be mourned by the blood of warriors, not by the tears of women.

The death of Attila dissolved the empire which his hand held together. The work of the Huns was simply one of destruction, and that was accomplished. They had driven the ploughshare through the Roman empire, which thus became a field for the reception of new seed. Pressed upon by the nations of Germany, they retraced their steps towards the wilds of Tartary, and disappear from the pages of history.

Why were these events ordained ? Why was this nation of barbarians brought from the interior of Africa, and, not knowing whither they went, flung upon the seats of civilization in the Roman empire ? It is no sufficient answer to say that it was for the destruction of a corrupt people, for in a world of probation destruction is but an antecedent to a new creation, not an end sought for itself. The axe and firebrand of the woodman are but to prepare the way for the plough and sickle of the cul. tivator.

The civilization of the old world was incompatible with that which was to come. It shone upon the world like the sun upon an iceberg. The surface indeed was beautiful and gorgeous, but the interior was cold and unenlightened. It had built stately cities and gorgeous temples ; but it had enslaved the mass of mankind. It had no hope, no consolation to offer to him who toiled chained to his oar, who dug in the weary mines, and the unheeded flow of whose tears wet the cold marble of its temples. Yet in the eye of that religion which God had determined should be the basis of a world-wide civilization, the well-being of the meanest man is of as great importance as that of the proudest denizen of the royal palace. Each is an immortal spirit sent here to work out an eternal destiny: the greatest is no more; the ast is no less. That civilization which had enslaved

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axes have conquered this new world, of which

race are we.

half those who came under its influence, and whose inevitable tendency was to increase that fearful proportion, must be overthrown. But yet amid the ashes of the old were planted the seeds of the new.

The seeds of civilization were not destroyed by the barbarian incursions. They were trampled into the bosom of the earth beneath their iron feet. When now the smoke and dust had dispersed, when the vapors of the battle field had descended upon the earth in fertilizing rain, nations young and vigorous were beheld rising from the spots where the old had disappeared. Gaul, freed from the Roman fetters, became France. The cendants of the fierce Allemanni are the Germans, who have conquered for us the realm of thought. The very year when Attila turned his course towards Gaul was marked by another pilgrimage. That year Hengist and Horsa landed upon the mud-beach of the island of Thanet, prepared for the conquest of Britain, which the distresses of the Roman empire had bared of its legions. They were Saxons, about to become AngloSaxons. What world-wide results have come to pass from that invasion, which was rendered possible by these Gothic and Vandal and Hunnish ravages. Thence arose that race whose

Had the issue of this great crisis been different; had the Roman empire been able to have survived the shock of the barbarian attack, and the old race not been replaced by the new, the present condition of Asia Minor, of Egypt, of the whole world where the old civilization has been suffered to run its course, shows us what would have been that of Europe now. For like causes produce like effects; and here is the only interruption of that chain of causes which have made those lands what they are.

True, the growth of modern civilization was slow. We, in our folly, would partake of the fruit as soon as the seed is planted. Not so the sovereign Disposer. Patient, because eternal, he often suffers centuries to intervene. Yet effects are not less indissolubly linked to their causes because widely separated in time. Could we sweep away the centuries and view results in immediate connection with their producing causes, we should see that, if in the realizations of the present, or the anticipations of the future, the world is or hopes to be better or better off than it was fourteen hundred years ago, it is owing to the issue of this First Great Crisis in Modern History being what it was.

GRIEF FOR THE DEAD.

"And I have felt, too, those sick and weary yearnings for the dead, that feverish thirst for the sound of a departed voice or step, in which the heart seems to die away, and literally to become a fountain of tears."

Mrs. HEMANS.

Grier for the dead! the longing wish to clasp their forms again,
To list the voice, to hear the step, yet know that wild wish vain ;
To feel once more a father's hand laid on an aching head,
Then start in agony to know that hand is with the dead;
To hear a sister's gentle voice, to meet her loving eye,
Then from the feverish dream awake, and weep that she could die!
To see a brother's pleasant smile, yet know that he is gone ;-
Alas! such fancies only make our sad hearts feel alone.
To view in dreams a cherub form, white brow and beaming eye,
Bending o'er those so loved on earth to lure them to the sky;
And waking feel that only there “death's doings” ne'er can throw
O’er all we love the chilling blight, or cause the heart's deep woe.
On

every leaf of memory's book thoughts of the dead are laid,

And never, never, can their names from those bright
North B end, Ohio.

ANNA T. H. TAYLOR,

ges fade.

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