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Come, now; one song more, and we shall close our summer-days' songs. Shut the window, for the night is darkening down, and the air is somewhat chill after the warm day and the close evening. Yes, it is night; and night, too, has her charms. Call her not dull and gloomy; she is social and joyous, and loves to look with her dark, starry eyes on true hearts and jocund spirits, turning the darkness into light, and making the silence ring with sweet sounds. And so let us sing her praises. Give the four best voices you have, Anthony, and let every one be ready to aid in the chorus :
O LOVELY NIGHT.
O lovely Night! thou hast a solemn lustre,
Which shames the glare of day,
And shine with tender ray.
But if the clouds sweep, over
Ne'er fear, we shall discover
Keen rays of wit shall glitter,
What stars for night are fitter
O lovely Night! thou hast a voice more holy
Than meets the ear by day,
And winds through greenwoods stray.
But if, nor waves nor breezes
Ne'er fear, we'll find, to please us,
With sweet accord of voices,
Till every heart rejoices
Mid wit, and song, and wine ! And now, Anthony, see your friends out, like a discreet host, for 'tis getting late. There, now – that's a good fellow - go to your bed ; and while I am lulled to rest by the sweet babbling of water, or the plaintive notes of the wood. pigeons, you can lie awake to enjoy those delectable noises which regale civilians—the melodious voices of some vinous young gentlemen, the rattling of a jaunting-car down Sackville-street from a concert at the Rotundo, or the stern, solemn, measured clank of the policeman's iron-shod heel upon the echoing flagway. So, good night! and God bless you! Ever yours,
JONATHAN FREKE SLINGSBY. To Anthony Poplar, Esq.
HEROES, ANCIENT AND MODERN.-NO, V.
BELISARIUS AND MARLBOROUGH.
“ How wretched
Never to hope again." - Shakspeare.
Tue annals of advancing Rome are sation of a soldier, a statesman, and a rich in bright names, illustrious cha- traveller; his style continually aspires, racters, and glowing actions. Ex- and often attains to the merit of amples of public heroism and private strength and elegance; his reflections, virtue which have descended to pos. more especially in his speeches, which terity, as ennobling human nature, he too frequently inserts, contain a and to excite emulation. But as the rich fund of political knowledge; and manly vigour of the republic subsides the historian, excited by the generous into the helpless decrepitude of the ambition of pleasing and instructing monarchy; as the stately tree totters future ages, appears to disdain the preto its fall, the branches wither, and judices of the people, and the flattery of the exhausted stem ceases to put forth courts.” That Procopius should prefer perennial life. During the century of his immediate commander, his personal doubtful struggle between indepen. friend and patron, with whom he lived dence and extinction, which marked and served, to the Emperor whom he the rapid decay of the Western Empire, never approached except with the the glories of the Scipios, the Marii, crouching humility of a slave, is the Catos, the Pompeys, and the equally natural and just. In his pages, Cæsars, are faintly represented by the the weak, inconsistent Justinian shows semi-barbarian Stilicho, and the pa- to disadvantage when contrasted with trician Ætius - men alike distin- the superior qualities and more comguished by lofty ambition, daring manding genius of his faithful oflicer valour, and approved skill in the com- and subject. But the sovereign demand of armies, though wavering and served the censure more than the flatquestionable on the higher points of tery, by which, in the six books of the loyalty and true patriotism. Pollen- “ Imperial Edifices," the severe retia and Chalons attest their claims to flections of the “ History," and the rank in the first class of successful ge- cutting satire of the “Anecdotes," nerals. The conquerors of Alaric and were sought to be balanced or obliteAttila invest expiring Rome with a rated. Procopius was read, believed, shadow of her early greatness. The
and admired by his contemporaries. still heavier records of Byzantine de- For many centuries his works were cline, for more than a thousand years, lost. « The History of the Gothic present a barren waste, relieved and War” was first published in 1470, in a fertilised by only a single Belisarius. Latin version by Leonard Aretin, who The praises of Stilicho, have warmed palmed it upon the world as his own the muse of Claudian with the fire of original composition. The discovery Virgil, and the eulogy of Belisarius of other manuscripts unveiled the has inspired his secretary, Procopius, fraud, and exposed the impostor to with the energetic diction of Thucy- the ignominy he courted and dedides. We speak of the annals and served. Literary piracy, and piracy not the scandalous anecdotes in which on the high seas, are crimes equal in he afterwards libelled the hero he had moral turpitude, and deserve to be in. exalted into a demigod. As an his- cluded in the same penal statute. A torical authority, Procopius may be complete edition of Procopius, in the safely followed." He describes events, original Greek, appeared in Paris in in which he participated, and without 1663, but he has never become suffi. any appearance of studied exaggera- ciently popular to call for an English tion, or undue partiality. Gibbon, translation, and is seldom taken from who delivered no hasty opinions, says the shelf, except as a reference on of him, “his facts are collected from some forgotten or disputed point conthe actual experience and free conver- nected with the times of which he wrote.
The present age is one of restless ac- shroud their vices. Faustina received tivity in science and speculation. divine honours during her life, decreed Great discoveries are being hourly by the dotage of her husband and the made; great events appear hurrying obsequious servility of the senate. Anto their fulllment, on which every one tonina and Theodora thought to purforms his own theory, and writes a chase the pardon and prayers of the pamphlet. The future excites more church, hy founding monasteries, coninterest than the past; but it is wise to vents, and Magdalen asylums; alterlook back as well as forward, if we wish nately assuming the parts of demireps to draw profit from recorded lessons, and devotees, as inordinate passion and to assist inquiry by the aid of ex- prompted, or the terrors of approachperience. An accurate critic, Sir Wil. ing death appalled. liam Temple, enumerates seven great It is painful and humiliating to rewarriors who deserved and might have flect on the depravity invested with worn a crown, but whose disinterested
power, by which millions have been ambition rejected the dazzling temp. scourged, and the minds of mighty tation. Ilis list comprises-Belisarius, men have been held in submissive Ætius, Hunniades, Gonzalo of Cor. thraldom. The patient incredulity of dova, Scanderbeg, Alexander Far- Belisarius under domestic wrongs, nese Duke of Parma, and the Great transparent to the humblest menials in Prince of Orange. To these might be his palace ; his unflinching loyalty to added three more - Scipio, Washing- an ungrateful master, ever jealous, ton, and Wellington--who extend the without cause or pretext; these anonumber, while they dignify the fellow- malies in a character nearly perfect, ship. The character of Belisarius ex- excite in equal proportion our astonishcites the greater admiration, inasmuch ment and admiration, until we are as he lived in a degenerate age, when forced to acknowledge, with Gibbon, public principle was extinct, patriotism that he either sinks below or soars had passed into a tradition, loyalty above the estimate by which ordinary was an expedient pretext, and the name humanity is to be judged. of Roman had become a mockery, a The reign of Justinian forms an imhissing scorn, and a by-word among portant epoch in the decline of the nations. Yet he was ever pure amid Roman Empire - a resting point in the corrupt; chaste with the dissolute; the march of time, replete with memobrave, though surrounded by recreants; rable events and lofty undertakings. constant in danger ; steadfast in alle- The victorious campaigns of Belisarius giance ; uninfluenced by selfish feel- restored the fairest provinces of the ings; unchanged by ingratitude; pre- West. The abolition of the consulship ferring to serve, when he was invited to extinguished the last symbolic vestige seize the reins of empire; and con- of ancient freedom; the nominal and tent with the station of first subject, only surviving, prerogative of the in preference to that of despotic sove- people which interfered with the abreign. In this noble portrait, the solute sway of the monarch. The searching, eye of truth can detect but suppression of the schools of philosoone prominent blemish, a solitary weak. phy at Athens, rooted out the sect of ness; the same which clouded the vir. Platonists, the last disciples of expiring tues of Marcus Aurelius--implicit con- Paganism. During the erection of the fidence in a wife, whose abandoned new cathedral of St. Sophia, to replace licentiousness was apparent to all the the edifice of Constantine, destroyed workl, and disbelieved by her husband for a second time by fire during the alone. Faustina and Antonina present recent sedition of the “Nika," the shameless examples of conjugal infi- piety of the Emperor induced him to delity, indulged equally without fear mingle with the workmen, survey their of detection, or any scruple of moral daily progress, and stimulate them to restraint. Theodora, the chosen part rapid exertion by extraordinary rener of Justinian, completes, with these wards. Within six years from its two, a congenial group; lovely in foundation, the stately temple rose in person as the Graces, or the three rival all its light and graceful architecture, goddesses who contended on Mount dedicated to the glory of the Redeemer, Ida for the prize of beauty; but foul and the spread of his Gospel. Twentyand fascinating in heart and influence as five other churches were built in ConStheno, Euryale, or Medusa. Re- stantinople alone, in honour of the ligion was profaned to sanctify or Virgin and the saints. Stupendous fortifications in all the frontier towns the code, the Pandects, and the Insti. concealed the actual weakness of the tutes remain. They will endure while empire, while they conveyed the ex- the external world exists in its present ternal aspect of impregnable strength. form, and the name of the imperial
Commerce and luxury received an legislator is inscribed on a fair and important impetus in the home manu- lasting monument. facture of silk, hitherto confined to The reign of Justinian, to a cursory the Persian market, at exorbitant reader, appears to be a revival of the prices, but now established in the golden age, when all was contentment, capital and European provinces, by prosperity and happiness A closer the importation of the silk-worm from investigation shows the picture in anChina, concealed in a hollow cane to other light, and with very opposite deceive the jealousy of the natives. features. The nations under his conBut the greatest triumph of Justinian, trol, were oppressed by incessant taxes, and the most imperishable monument monopolies, and other grinding expeof his fame, is the celebrated code of dients of wasteful or avaricious tylaws which has survived his other ranny. They submitted sullenly to an labours, and has become the model for iron despotism they were unable to civil jurisprudence in every country of throw off, and were forced to express civilized Europe, England aloneexcept. public exultation for triumphs from ed. The code was long supposed to be which they derived no advantage. In lost. A copy had been brought hy a mer- every department of the state there chant from Constantinople to the little was corruption, dishonesty, peculation, city of Amalfi, a seaport of Naples, on embezzlement and plunder — the rich the Gulf of Salerno, but not used trampling on the poor, the wealth of there, as they had adopted that of one accumulated by the ruin of a thouTheodosius. When the Pisans took sand. Neither was the wrath of heaand pillaged Amalfi,* in the twelfth ven without palpable demonstration. century, they found and carried away Famine and pestilence weighed heavily the Pandects of Justinian, which were on the land, decimated the population, destined to as many travels and changes and produced a decrease of the human of residence as the Casa Santa of Lo- species, which has never been replaced, retto, or the coffins of St. Patrick and in some of the fairest countries of the St. Cuthbert. When the Floren- globe. I During the late destroying tines took Pisa in 1406, the Pandects sweep of the Asiatic cholera, we were were removed to the capital of Tus- struck with terror, when two or three cany, elevated to the dignity of sacred hundred deaths were recorded daily relics, bound in purple, and exhibited for two or three weeks, in some of the with reverence to curious travellers most thickly inhabited cities of western (duly qualified) by the monks and ma. Europe. When the plaguc burst gistrates, bareheaded and with lighted forth in the fifteenth year of the reign tapers. The Emperor Lotharius, when of Justinian, for three months, five, they arrived in Lombardy, caused them and at length ten thousand persons to be revised and arranged by Irnerius, died each day at Constantinople ; and to be taught in all the schools while many cities of the East were left throughout his dominions. They were at the mercy of the beasts of prey; and afterwards reduced to their present in several of the richest districts of form of codices and digests, by Accur- Italy, the harvest and the vintage sius, a celebrated legal scholiast. † withered on the ground for want of
The conquests of Justinian are for- hands to gather them in. And how gotten ; their political importance has were the mass of those occupied who been swept away with the extinction escaped the deadly visitation, which of his empire; his palaces and forti- languished and revived periodically fieations have long crumbled into dust; for more than half a century? In hu. the Christian church of St. Sopbia is mility, in prayer, in penitence? – in converted into a Turkish
but humble supplication to the offended
Amalá is entitled to double honour. First, as having been the safe sheltering place of the lost Pandects; and again, as being the native spot of Flavio Gioia, who invented the mariner's compass in 1302. The Majorcans claim this latter discovery, but without evidence, for their eccentric countryman Raymond Lulli. The variation of the needle was ascertained by Columbus in 1492.
† See "Swinburne's Travels in the Two Sicilies." Gibbon, “Decline and Fall," ch. xliv. Deity?-in systematic temperance and amerced; restored to freedom and strenuous efforts to discover a resisting honour with a broken heart ; but his antidote ? No; they laughed, and re- person was unprofaned, and he died in velled, and drank, and gambled, and his own palace. The massive ruins intrigued, and blasphemed, as usual. of that palace, still bearing his name, War succeeded war; sedition followed are shown to this day, as among the sedition; and all the evil passions of most interesting antiquities of Con. man’s nature appeared to gain strength stantinople. The story loses in moral from the surrounding terrors which application, in sympathetic excitement, should have checked or extinguished and in painful interest ; but the me. them. In those ages there were mory of the hero gains in dignity, and neither sanatory restrictions nor qua- preserves the halo
of respect with which rantine laws, and the cleanliness of mo. heroes require to be surrounded. Cato dern habits was unpractised even falling on his sword at Utica; Cæsar, among the highest classes. The mor. slaughtered in the senate house; Brutus tality arising from pestilence alone, and Cassius dying on the field of Phil. in the Roman dominions, during a lippi, are more in keeping than Hanni. single reign of thirty-eight years, has bal flying from court to court a penbeen computed vaguely and somewhat sioner on sufferance; or Bajazet expoetically, by a credible writer, * as hibited in an iron cage. In spite of amounting to several myriads of reason and philosophy, it is as difficult myriadst in reasonable interpreta- as unpleasant, to associate the lofty tion, one hundred millions.
image of the conqueror of many kingThe ingenious fiction of Marmontel, doms, the victor of a hundred battles, derived originally from a fable of the the restorer of his country's power and twelfth century, in the “Chiliads” of glory, with the squalid attributes of Tzetzes, $ has long taught us to believe an old blind street mendicant, led by that the illustrious general of Justinian a boy, with a dog, and a hat or a was deprived of his
eyes, and reduced bowl. || howling forth the professional in old age to beggary. As children cry of " Give a penny to Belisarius the we have wept over his wrongs, and general.” That he should stand at wished to revenge them. The tale has the gates of the convent of Laurus to served for a leading illustration in all beg his bread is much less likely than treatises on the vicissitudes of fortune, that he should knock at those gates to the fickle nature of popularity, and claim admission and sanctuary, while the ingratitude of princes. Lord his wife Antonina was still able, from Mahon believes it, $ in opposition to the wreck of their fortunes, to pay his other modern historians, and tries to entrance fee. The legend, as it stands, establish his view by argument and would embellish Fox's “ Book of Mar. evidence, but neither, in our humble tyrs," in which the persevering and opinion, sufficient for the purpose. We accurate Professor Jamieson detected are much consoled by the conclusion, three thousand nine hundred and that the whole bas no foundation in ninety-nine fallacies in one night, and truth. That Belisarius was ill-treated declared that he certainly would have by a heartless sovereign, who owed to made up the four thousand, only he him his life and empire, is as certain
fell asleep as that Ætius was slain by the cow- Some authorities claim for Belisaardly hand of Valentinian, and that rius the advantages of noble blood, and the Admiral Coligny was murdered the inheritance of a patrimonial forthrough the treachery of Charles IX. tune. The general silence of Procopius He was falsely accused of joining in a on these points, and one or two indi. conspiracy against the life of Justinian; rect passages, favour the opinion, but disgraced, inprisoned, and heavily preponderating testimony places his
Procopius, Anecdot.," c. 18.
ή Μυριαδας μυριάδων μυρίας. † John Tzetzes, a learned Greek poet and critic, famed for his prodigious memory, of which miraculous anecdotes are told, almost equal to those recorded of Magliabecchi of Florence.
“Life of Belisarius," 1828 - See Preface and Postscript.
A statue in the Louvre, formerly in the collection of Prince Borghese at Rome, represents Augustus propitiating Nemesis. The attitude of Leggary made this statue pass for Belisarius, until the criticism of Winkelman rectificd the mistake: as Lord Byron observes, “One fiction was called in to support another."