ePub 版

of his government being disapproved of in Rome was his finding himself a prisoner in his own palace. The friends stood motionless with surprise, the centurion produced the emperor's order for what he was doing, and as no resistance was attempted, all passed off quietly; Flaccus was hurried on board the vessel on the same evening, and immediately taken to Rome.

ing bribes for which the idle of every country will sell all that a man should hold most dear. They were cool and quiet at their sacrifices and grave in business, but in the theatre or in the stadium, men, women, and children were alike heated into passion, and overcome with eagerness and warmth of feeling. They cared more for the tumble of a favorite charioteer than for 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 fear, 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 al 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 also have been quoted, for curious additions to the picture.

The general wisdom of the Roman polity and laws is admitted on every hand: Greece has not done more for Thought than her hardy conqueror for Government. Nor was ever this capacity for affairs more signally shown than in her management of subject provinces: we see here that even the Emperor whom savage passions obscured and blinded in Rome, could yet keep sagacious outlook upon Egypt. A perfect sycophancy never stood him in stead for something better: if he could not keep his province quiet he was brought away on the instant, and punished for his want of success. Here is the case of poor Flaccus, whose zealous determination to have Caligula's statue worshipped by the Jews, had been the cause of sudden riots in Alexandria. No mercy on that account for Flaccus!

We close with some general illustrations of the tone and style of Mr. Sharpe's admirable volume.


"The economist will perhaps ask from what source the oppressed Egyptians drew the wealth and where they found the encouragement necessary to finish these gigantic undertakings, which were begun in times of greater prosperity; but the only answer which we can give is, that the chief encouragement at all times to any and the only fund of wealth upon which men great work is a strong sense of religious duty, can draw for their generosity, or nations for their public works, is to be found in self-denial."


"We should almost think that the seasons the reigns of these good emperors, did we not were more favorable to the husbandman during set it down to the canals being better cleansed by the care of the prefect, and to the mildness of the government leaving the people at liberty to enjoy the bounties of nature, and at the same time making them more grateful in acknowledging 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 might so easily become a portico, in front of the great temples of Alexanformidable rebel. Accordingly a centurion, with dria, called upon the pagans to come near a trusty cohort of soldiers, was 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 whom he learned that the prefect was then at supper, entertaining a large company of friends. The freedman led the cohort quietly into the palace, into the very room where Flaccus was sitting at table; and the first tidings that he heard

drawn back in distrust from a summons which to him was so forbidding, and been glad to hear the good tidings of God's mercy offered by Christianity to those who labor and are heavy laden, and to the broken-hearted who would turn away 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 wait till it forced its way into the schools and the palace before we shall find many traces of the rapidity with which it spread."



"The Arabic historian tells us that when Alexandria was conquered by Amrou he set his seal upon the library, together with the other public property of the city. But John Philiponus begged that the books might be spared, as "The historian in his labors should never lose would have granted the request at once if he had being of no use to the conquerors; and Amrou 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 are still the living witnesses to which we appeal, to prove the truth of the authors who have told

us more."


obeyed this order, and sent the books, most of which were of papyrus, to the public baths of Alexandria, and the Arabic historian, in the poetic style of his nation, says that the baths were heated by them for the space of six months."



From Ainsworth's Magazine.

"It was grown in the pools of stagnant water 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 statues of the 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, 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 flow'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, whose 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 In such displays of overteeming store, the bark, and so much worse as to be sold by What can we dream of, think, or covet more? 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 other; and so in the reign of Claudius Cæsar a new kind was made, called Claudian, of two sheets thick, in which the fibres of one crossed those of the other."


"George had employed his wealth in getting together a large library, rich in historians, rhet oricians, and philosophers of all sects; and on the murder of the bishop, Julian wrote letter after letter to Alexandria, to beg the prefect and his friend Porphyrius to save these books, and send them to him in Cappadocia. He promised freedom to the librarian if he gave them up, and torture if he hid them; and further begged that no books in favor of Christianity should be destroyed, lest other and better books should be lost with them."

The balmy breeze, with its all-perfumed breath,
Wafts also on its wings the sighs of death:
And mark ye, on yon bed of roses placed,
The dying butterfly that oft has graced
Th' aerial regions with its splendid hue,
As o'er the modest flow'r it stray'd to sue;
And now, amid death's agonizing stings,
Suffers it less because its glorious wings
Are brighter than the brightest tints that deck
Ah, no! and thus it is that fairest skies,
The glossy peacock's most majestic neck?
And richest landscapes, that delight the eyes,
Can give small comfort to the suff'ring soul,
Which spurns the feeble aid of such control.
Within the spirit only can arise
The depths of wo, or joys of Paradise:
And when from this too treacherous earth we fly--
When reason totters on infinity,
Oh! then it is, the new-awaken'd sight
Views in Religion its eternal light!

LOUIS BLANC'S HISTORY OF TEN YEARS. | one idea to be sacred, and regard its op

[blocks in formation]

THIS is a remarkable work. So strong is the sensation it has created in Germany, as well as in France, that we must introduce it to the notice of our readers, in spite of its incomplete state. Three volumes of the promised five have already appeared. Three editions were demanded of the first volume before the second was published, although the publication takes place by weekly livraisons. The second and third volumes have already had two large editions, the demand increasing.

ponents as priests; you cannot believe one course of policy tyrannous and destructive, yet look upon its ministers as enlightened patriots. All that impartiality can do is to make allowance for difference of opinion, and not deny the sincerity of an opponent: to anathematize the doctrine, not the man. M. Louis Blanc is, in this sense, tolerably impartial.

L'Histoire de dix Ans' is not conspicuous for any profound views; its philosophy is often but philosophic rhetoric. But it is not without excellent aperçus, and acute penetration of motives. There is a great deal of the Journalist visible in the work. M. Blanc is a young man still, edits La 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 at 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 himpretend. 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 unusually 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 impuisbetween rhetoric and epigram. The spirit sance.'t of the work is avowedly republican. The author never disguises his sympathies or convictions; yet at the same time is fully alive to all the errors of his party, and reveals the true causes of their ill success. Impartial he is not; no convictions can be so.

man with strong
You cannot hold

An excellence not to be overlooked in his book is the portraiture of remarkable

*Revolutions are effected by means of strong hatreds and violent desires: the legitimatists had scarcely any thing but hatreds.

t It had a Banner rather than a Principle. Therein lay the invincible cause of its impotence.

cisive acts."

men. Louis Philippe, Lafayette, Lafitte, adapted to small intellects, because amidst those Casimir Périer, Guizot, Thiers, Odillon sterile agitations, they deluded themselves reBarrot, Manguin, Armand Carrel, and Du- specting the terror which they felt for all depont (de l'Eure,) with many others, are brought out in strong relief. But M. Louis Blanc describes a character mostly by epigrams. This has the advantage of effect, and of producing a lasting impression; with the disadvantage of all epigrams, in sacrificing a portion of the truth to effect. Nothing can be happier than the way he hits off the restlessness of Thiers: 'plus d'inquiétude que d'activité, plus de turbulence que d'audace.' But it is surely too much un homme d'état

to talk of Metternich as 6 sans initiative et sans portée.'

The portrait of Lafayette may be quoted as a fair specimen of the author's judgment

of men.

M. Louis Blanc, in several cases, shows the fatal effects to the republican party of Lafayette's want of audacity. It is certain that this quality, which served Danton instead of genius, is indispensable in revolu. tions: as M. Blanc admirably says: 'In times of struggle, audacity is prudence; for in a revolution confidence has all the advantages of chance.'

'L'Histoire de Dix Ans' opens with a preliminary sketch of the state of parties from the return of the Bourbons and banishment of Napoleon to Elba, down to the commencement of the revolution of 1830. This is one of the best portions of the book. The author vividly shows how completely "As to M. de Lafayette, at that time he could the Restoration was the work of the bourhave done every thing and he decided on no-geoisie. Napoleon fell because he wished thing. His virtue was brilliant yet fatal. In to make France military, and the tendencreating for him an influence superior to his ca-cies of the nation at large were commer pacity, it only served to annul in his hands a

power, which, in stronger hands, would have cial. Rome and Carthage have been and altered the destinies of France. Nevertheless will ever be too adverse in principle to be Lafayette had many qualities essential to a com- united; one or the other must succumb. mander. His language as well as his manners Napoleon did not see this, and he fell. M. presented a rare mixture of finesse and bonhom- Louis Blanc takes great pains to exhibit mie, of grace and austerity, of dignity with the cruel egotism of the bourgeoisie throughhaughtiness, and of familiarity without coarse


To the one class he would always have out the calamities which have befallen remained a grand seigneur, although mixed up France. He points with withering sneers with the mob; to the others he was born one of to every testimony of it, without seeing the people, in spite of his illustrious origin. Hap- that egotism is the vice of the middle class. py privilege of preserving all the advantages of es. They are exclusively bent upon the high birth, and of making them be pardoned! bien être-the main chance.' They have Add moreover that M. de Lafayette possessed at the same time the penetration of a skeptical and the warmth of a believing soul; that is to say, the double power of fascinating and containing his audience. In the carbonari meetings he spoke with fiery energy. At la chambre he was a witty and charming orator. What then did he want? Genius-and more than that, will. M. de Lafayette willed nothing hardily, because, unable to direct events, he would have been pained at seeing them directed by another. In this sense he was afraid of every one, but more than all of himself. Power enchanted, but frightened him; he would have braved its perils, but he dreaded its embarrassments. Full of courage, he was entirely deficient in audacity. Capable of nobly suffering violence, he was incapable of employing it with profit. The only head that he could have delivered to the executioner, without trembling, was his own.

neither the refinement and the large ambition of the upper classes, nor the heroism and poetry of the lower. Their object in life is not to enjoy, but to collect the means of enjoyment. They are bent only on making fortunes. The rich think more of spending their money; the poor have no hope of fortune. Heroism, and its nurse ambition; self-sacrifice, generosity, and humanity; these are virtues of the higher and lower classes. Of the higher, because men need outlets for their activity, and because ambition is a stimulant powerful as the main chance' of the bourgeois; of the lower, because want feels for want, misery for misery, and generosity is the constant virtue of those who need it in re"As long as he had to preside over a pro- turn. With this conviction that egotism is visionary government, he was competent, he the bourgeois vice, it is somewhat diswas enchanted. Surrounded by a little court, couraging to trace the rapid increasing at the Hôtel de Ville, he enjoyed the boisterous development which that class is taking in veneration which was paid to his age and celebrity, enjoyed it with an almost infantile naïveté. European history. It impresses us the In that cabinet, where they governed by signa- more strongly with the necessity for doing tures, there was considerable fuss about very lit-all to counteract the narrow-minded utili tle action. This was a situation admirably | tarianism, which is usurping such a throne

Let us observe, however, that the suspicion of M. Blanc's accuracy refers only to minor and individual points. There is no error possible respecting the staple of this history, except such as may result from party views. The facts are known to all. The debates are registered. The actors

in men's souls; and endeavor to make peo- tions every one is justified in asking. No ple fully understand Göthe's profound say-man can read history with confidence who ing: That the beautiful needs every en- has not such authenticity before his eyes couragement, for all need it and few pro-as prevents the suspicion of hasty stateduce it; the useful encourages itself.' ment or party misrepresentation. Having brought his preliminary sketch down to the opening of the revolution of July, M. Louis Blanc then commences his history of the ten years, 1830-1840. The first volume is devoted to a spirited and detailed narrative of the 'Glorious Three Days,' with the unparalleled examples of mob heroism, and touching episodes of are mostly living, and the friends of the civil war. The second and third volumes deceased survive. It is the history of our continue the history down to the siege of own times; the youngest of us remember Antwerp. The accounts given of the St. its events. Error therefore on the great Simonians, of the cholera morbus, of the events is barely possible; and it is only various insurrections and abortive conspi- these that have a lasting interest for men. racies, of carbonarism, and of foreign poli- It is difficult to select passages from a cy, will be read with universal interest. history of sufficient interest by themselves M. Louis Blanc has not only preceding for quotation. The episodes are too long histories, pamphlets, and newspapers, from for extract, and any particular event would which to gain his information; it is appar-demand too much preliminary explanation. ent throughout that he has had access to We shall condense, therefore, the episode unpublished documents, and to the com- of the death of the Prince de Condé as much munications of various living actors in the as possible. The suspicions which attach scenes described. Some of these obliga- themselves to persons high in the state, tions he names; others he leaves the reader owing to the unfortunate transactions which to infer. Nevertheless the grave student preceded and succeeded the event; and, inof history will often demur. He will see deed, the mysteriousness of the whole inconversations reported at length which it is cident; give this episode a strong and highly improbable, if not impossible, should special interest. ever have been authenticated; he will see Our readers will probably recollect the motives purely inferential ascribed as un-name of La Baronne de Feuchères, which questionable; he will see accounts of min- recently went the round of the papers. isterial intrigues and royal falsehoods, re- This celebrated woman died, and left an ported as if the author had been present all immense heritage to be disputed, and an the while. Moreover M. Louis Blanc is a infamous reputation to be commented on. young man; he is a journalist; he is a She was by birth an Englishwoman, one partisan; yet the knowledge he displays, Sophy Dawes: she appeared at Covent or assumes, implies not only greater age Garden Theatre, which she quitted to beand experience than he can possess, but come the mistress of an opulent foreigner, also astounding universality of personal re- with whom she lived at Turnham Green. lations with opposite parties. We mention La Baron de Feuchères subsequently marthis as a caution to the reader. We by ried her, and his name served for some no means accuse M. Blanc of falsehood, time to cover the scandal of her adulterous or of misrepresentation; but when we find amours with the Duc de Bourbon, last of the him reporting at length important conver- Condés. Her power over the duke was sations held between two people, neither of omnipotent. He loved and dreaded her. whom he could possibly have known-nei- Gifted with rare beauty and grace, fasther of whom would for their own sakes cinating and imperious, tender and haughty have repeated these conversations-when by turns, she had considerable cleverness we find this, we confess our critical suspi- and no principle. The duke had settled on cions are aroused, and we ask, how came her the domains of St. Leu and Boissy, and these things known? We must again de- about a million of francs (£4000) in money. clare that M. Louis Blanc appears to us a She desired more, and was presented with perfectly earnest, honest man, and incapa- the revenue of the forest D'Enghien. But ble, we believe, of inventing these things. a secret uneasiness followed her: she But whence did he get them? Why are dreaded lest the prince's heirs might pronot distinct references given? Why are voke an action, and she lose all that she not authorities sifted? These are ques- had so dexterously gained. She conceived

« 上一頁繼續 »