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the soldiers, who saw that he could scarcely find the material for this sacrifice to the remains of the friend he had poisoned.
"Caracalla's excesses had destroyed his health; his mind was as much diseased as his body. He thought himself pursued by the ghosts of his father and of his brother; his crimes arose before his eyes. He consulted Esculapius, Apollo, Serapis, and that Jupiter Olympus whose immortality resided only in his statue. Caracalla was not tranquillized; there is no cure for remorse.
"Macrinus, prefect of the pratorium, being threatened with death by Caracalla, caused him to be assassinated before he could execute his menace. This Macrinus, proclaimed Emperor by the legions, was a man of a character ordinary in every respect. He wished for empire; he obtained it; and was embarrassed by the power he had acquired. He had the instinct of wickedness, but he had not the requisite genius to turn it to advantage. He knew not how to give fertility and effect to his crimes. When he had committed one, he was at a loss to what purpose to turn it. This is the case whenever ambition outstrips capacity when a lofty destiny befalls a feeble and narrow soul, instead of receiving its fulfilment from an elevated genius and a noble heart. After a reign of fourteen years, the legions took the empire from Macrinus.
"A young Syrian, a priest of the sun, with eyelids painted, with cheeks tinged with vermillion, wearing a train, a necklace, bracelets, a tunic of cloth of gold, a robe of Phoenician silk, and sandals ornamented with gems; surrounded by eunuchs, courtezans, buffoons, singers, and dwarfs, was soon called to reign in the birth-place of Horatius, to rekindle the chaste fire of Vesta, to bear the sacred shield of Numa, and to touch the venerable emblems of the sanctity of Rome.
"The peculiar kind of vice which ruled the world under Heliogabulus was obscene brutality. Political power was vested in the hands of consummate and beastly depravity. None were called to the exercise of authority who could not attest their pretensions by a course of every variety of debauchery. Heliogabalus submitted himself by turns to be governed by a charioteer of the Circus, and by the son of a cook. Had he devoted himself to the service of Cybele, as he at one time intended, he would not have been less impure. He had prepared as instruments of death, in case of need, a silken cord, a golden poignard, poisons enclosed in crystal vases, and an inner court paved with precious stones, into which he might throw himself from the summit of a tower. All these resources failed him; he died as he had lived, in a receptacle of uncleanness. His head was cut off; his body was dragged along by the populace, who tried to throw it into a sewer, but the mouth of the sewer was too narrow, and to this accident Heliogabalus owed the honours of the Tiber.
"Alexander Severus, cousin of Heliogabalus, succeeded. economical and rational prince reigned thirteen years. The legions, weary of an Emperor who permitted his subjects to live, were impatient for the tribute which the army claimed at every new election. The empire was a farm, which every succeeding Emperor took on lease at a stipulated sum, but with a tacit clause, by which he bound himself to die.
"Maximinus excited the legions to revolt, and Alexander Severus
fell under the blows of assassins commissioned by him. Maximinus seized the reins of government. Thus was the throne first filled by a barbarian; a barbarian of that very tribe from which sprang the first destroyer of Rome. He was born in Thrace, and drew his origin from the Goths. We now behold a new race of men who had an excess of those qualities which were nearly extinct in the descendants of the ancient conquerors of the world. This one generation of Romans, in less than a quarter of a century, had as masters, an African, an Assyrian, and a Goth; we shall presently see an Arab on the throne. The Romans, recovering from their surprise, revolted; they could not endure the idea of being governed by a Goth;-as if slaves like them could pretend to any dignity or pride.
"Gordianus Pius and his son perished in Africa, where they had been proclaimed emperors; but Maximinus was killed by his soldiers at the siege of Aquilea. The Prætorian guard massacred Macrinus and Balbinus, who succeeded him, and the purple mantle was at length thrown to the third Gordian, grandson of Gordianus Pius. Gordian obtained great advantages over that Sapor, who was destined to be fatal to the empire. These advantages he owed in great part to his father-in-law, Mysoteus, who has been called the Guardian of the Republic. Gordian had the candour to confess this; the man who can ascribe his glory to him to whom he owes it, gives the best proof of deserving it but Rome could no longer support a great man. If by chance she produced one, like an exhausted mother, she had no longer strength to nourish him. Mysoteus died, probably poisoned by Philip, who succeeded him in the important office of Prefect of the Prætorium.
"Philip was an Arab, and the son of a captain of robbers. His ambition could only be satisfied by obtaining at once supreme power, and the death of the prince to whom he owed his fortune. Nobody was shocked at this; crimes had ceased to attract any attention. Betrayed in his turn by Decius, his lieutenant, Philip was killed on the fields of Verona, and the Senate confirmed the military election of Decius.
"As soon as the Prætorian guard learnt the defeat and the death of Philip, they hastened to slaughter his son. It is related of this unfortunate young man, that from the age of five he had never been seen to laugh. He did not reach the throne, and he lost the pleasures of infancy. These at least he would have enjoyed if he had remained in an Arab tent. In these times an emperor never died alone. His children were generally massacred with him. This lesson, though incessantly repeated, produced no effect. There were a thousand competitors for the empire; there was not a single father.
"Such was the state of men and of things at the accession of Decius to the throne. Every thing tended to hurry on the dissolution of the Roman Empire; every thing was prepared for the invasion, and for the victory of the barbarians. Nothing was opposed to their progress except Christianity, which awaited them to take possession of their minds, and to render them capable of founding a new state of society, by blessing their swords.
"The terrible Goths are now about to appear: the other barbarians encamped on the frontier, will soon follow them, and the Capitol already seems to tremble before the shouts of these hordes. Then
will follow desolation without example; three nations will be beheld at once-the Pagans at the Circus; the Christians amid the tombs; the Barbarians every where. They will proclaim themselves the scourge of God, and they will earn the title. Some, a race of giants, with grey eyes, with flaxen hair, naked, or covered with skins of beasts, will combat on foot with clubs, or with two-edged axes; others mounted on small horses, swift as eagles, will sling on their saddle-bow the skulls of their conquered enemies. The Romans, in terror at the black and flattened countenances, the shrill voices, and the savage gestures of these frightful horsemen, will ascribe their origin to the union of Scythian witches with infernal spirits.
"Here Picts, or Caledonians, will eat the flesh of their prisoners; there Arabs will drink the blood of their enemies, wounded by their darts. Gengeric will wish his ships to bear him wherever God visits the nations in his wrath. Alaric will exclaim: "I cannot stop; I feel within me something which urges me on, and drags me to the walls of Rome." Atala will follow a mysterious sword, found in the bosom of the earth. "The grass grows no more," he will cry, "where the horse of Atala has trodden," and his king of the Huns will hesitate which prey to seize. He will not know which arm to extend; whether to take possession of the eastern or of the western empire; to raze Rome or Constantinople from the face of the earth.
"In these days there will be no shelter from death or from slavery. All the charioteers of the Circus; all the populace of the Amphitheatre; all the prostitutes of the Temple of Cybele, who made the world blush at their hideous excesses; all the senators, those successors of Cato, who could not support the heat of day, who travelled in the night, enclosed between curtains of silk, and borne on the backs of their slaves; all this race,-judged and condemned,-will be scattered by the blast of the divine wrath. To escape from the barbarians, the Romans will take refuge in Carthage, in Cyrene, in Alexandria, in Jerusalem, and in all the cities of Asia; but in the most remote places they will find other barbarians. Driven from the centre of the empire to its extremities, thrown back again from the frontiers to the centre, they will be entrapped like beasts in a park, surrounded by hunters: there will be no retreat, neither under the walls of the crumbling capitol, nor in the solitude of the desert.
Plague and famine will carry off those whom the sword had spared; the antique race of men will be extirpated; fields, strewed with the bones of the dead, will be clothed with forests; the desert borne along, as it were, by the barbarians, and shifting as they shift, will cover the face of provinces formerly the most populous; and in countries which had be enanimated by countless inhabitants, nothing will remain but the sky and the earth. After so many calamities, when the dust raised by the march of the armies of nations shall have subsided; when the clouds of smoke arising from the conflagration of cities shall be dissipated; when death shall have silenced the groans of multitudes; when the fall of the Roman colossus shall have ceased to resound; then will be beheld a cross,—and at the foot of this cross a new universe. All will be changed; men, religion, manners, langnage a few apostles with a gospel in their hands, sitting upon the ruins, will resuscitate society from the midst of the tombs, as for
merly their master restored to life those who believed in him. Pause at the aspect of this new world, to recognise, if you can, two men-the one is the son of a secretary of Atala, who quitted Rome for ever, with the empire; he lives in exile, in a country-house formerly belonging to Lucullus, without thinking of all that is associated with his name, indifferent to the lessons, ignorant of the recollections, which are given or recalled by the place he inhabits-the other personage has an axe for his sceptre, his long hair for a crown; he has conquered a little town called Lutetia.
"This son of the secretary of Atala is Augustulus: this barbarian king is Clovis."
The noble Vicomte finished this speech amidst the same applauses which were heard at its commencement.
CHARACTERS FROM THE UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPTS OF
Keeps his money in prison, and never lets it out but upon bail and good security, as Oliver Cromwell did the Cavaliers, to appear again upon warning. Lords and courtiers are apocryphal with him, but aldermen and country squires canonical; but above all, statute and mortgage-though he is often cheated with a buttered bun, and lays out his money a day after the fair; when land security proves under age; and elder mortgage goes away with all. He abhors a member of parliament as a malefactor, that takes sanctuary in the temple, and lurks in his Ram-alley privilege, against which varlets and bumbailiffs are void and of none effect. He undoes men by laying obligations upon them, and ruins them for being bound to them. He knows no virtue but that of an obligation, nor vice but that of failing to pay use. He makes the same use of men's seals as witches do of images in wax, to make the owners waste and consume to nothing. A man had better be bound to his good behaviour than to him; for he that is bound to him is bound prentice to a prison, and when he is out of his time is sure to be in. He curses the bones of those that made the act against extortion, as too great an imposition upon liberty of conscience. He ventures to break it out of zeal, and though he lose his principal, is contented, like a fanatic, to "suffer persecution for righteousness." He delights most of all to deal with a rich prodigal, who maintains his avarice as he does others' luxury. These two vices, like male and female vipers, keep together until the one has spent all, and then the other devours it, until the one bites off the other's head.
Is a journeyman sheriff, a minister of justice and injustice, right or wrong. He is a man of quick apprehension and very great judgment, for it seldom begins or ends without him. His business is to have and to hold the bodies of all those he has in his warrant. These are his tenements, no more in their own occupation, but his, till he delivers them over to Satan, that is, the jailer. He lays his authority, like a knighthood, on the shoulder, and it presently possesses the whole body, till bail and mainprize bring deliverance. He fears
nothing like a rescue, with which he is sometimes grievously afflicted, and beaten like a setting dog that springs the game. This never falls so heavy upon him as when he does his business too near home, (like an unskilful cur that runs at sheep,) for then the lawyers that set him at work pump and shave him for his pains. His greatest security is in his knavery, when he takes money of both sides, and is paid for not seeing, when he has no mind to it. His whole life is a kind of pickeering, and like an Indian cannibal, he feeds on those he takes prisoners. His first business is to convey their bodies to a tavern or an ale-house, where he eats and drinks their heads out. He is a greater enemy to liberty than Mr. Hobbes, and would reduce all men, if he could, to necessity. He eats his bread, not with the sweat, but the blood of his brows; and keeps himself alive, like those that have issues, by having holes made in his skin; for it is part of his vocation to be beaten when it falls in his way, and sometimes killed if occasion
Leaves his native earth to become an inhabitant of the sea, and is but a kind of naturalized fish. He is of no place, though he is always said to be bound for one or other, but a mere citizen of the sea, as vagabonds are of the world. He lives within the dominions of the water, but has protection from the contrary element, fire, without which his wooden castle were not tenable. He is confined within a narrow prison, and yet travels further and faster than those that are at liberty can do by land. He makes his own way by putting a stop to the wind's, that drives his house before it like a wheelbarrow. The waves of the sea are both the road and the wheels of his carriage, and the horses that draw it, without all question, of the breed of the wind. He lives, like Jonas, in the belly of a wooden whale, and when he goes on shore, does not land, but is vomited out as a crudity that lay on the fish's stomach. How far soever he travels he is always at home, for he does not remove his dwelling, but his dwelling removes him. The boisterous ruggedness of the element he lives in alters his nature, and he becomes more rude and barbarous than a landsman, as water dogs are rougher than land spaniels. He is a very ill neighbour to the fishes he dwells among, and, like one that keeps a gaming house, never gives them a treat without a design to feed upon them, like a sea cannibal that devours his own kind; and they, when they catch him out of his quarters, use him after the same manner, and devour him in revenge. A storm and a calm equally annoy him, like those that cannot endure peace, and yet are unfit for war. He ploughs the sea, and reaps a richer crop than those that till the land. He is calked all over with pitch and tar like his hull, and his cloathes are but sheathings. A pirate is a devil's bird to him, that never appears but before a storm. He endures a horse's back worse than foul weather, and rides as if he rode at anchor in a rough sea, and complains the beast heaves and sets uneasily. The land appears very dry to him, having been used to a moister element, and therefore he is fain to keep himself wet, like a fish that is to be shown, and is drunk as oft as he can, as the founder of his order, Noah, was when he came ashore, and he believes himself bound to conform to the practice of his fore-grandfather.