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voutly acknowledged; and let men be aroused from the habitual thoughtlessness into which they sink, and taught to see and tremble at the hand, which shakes their empires, scatters their generations, and fulfils, in their passing fortunes, eternal purposes of wisdom and love. But do not think to produce this effect by a perpetual cry of 'miracle,' in which there is no devotion, no reason. We hold it something worse than misguided zeal deliberately to attribute such events as the burning of Guatimozin, and the cutting off of the hands of the Tlascalan spies to the Almighty arm thus exerted, to open a way' for the church of the Son of God. And if it is wicked and profane, as it certainly is, in an unguarded moment of levity or passion to take the divine name in vain; we hold it very little better to be repeating the same name, page after page, without pertinence, and without force. The command against taking that name in vain is no where, that we read, limited to cases of anger or mirth. It is taken in vain whenever it is injudicious
and needlessly introduced. These three volumes have the appearance of having been put together, in a few months. We should think a person who stepped out of the common path of private duty as a man and citizen, to write the history of his country with the still higher professed object of promoting the glory of the Almighty, would think it decent to bend his whole soul to the task; to labor for many years, to read, search, and pray over it; and then if he had gathered into one work the best of his talents, life, and means, he might scarcely, without arrogance, consecrate it to this solemn design. If he is not willing to take this pains, let him at least not pretend to this serious purpose, but be content to publish his compilations, professing the ordinary motives for like efforts.
ART. IX.-Sketches of the domestic manners and institutions of the Romans. Reprinted, Philadelphia, 1822, 12mo.
WHEN our fathers were children, they learned nothing, without paying for it a full price, in labor; our children have all sorts of expedients and facilities contrived, by which they may play and learn too, and perhaps the result will be, that their children will refuse to be cheated into learning, and so play all. In these days, every science and every art is made
a plaything. One child is putting together dissected maps, and thereby learns geography; another is diverting himself with a musical game, very scientific in its principles, and no doubt equally amusing and instructive; and another is set to work upon the royal game of Goose, by way of becoming an expert arithmetician. Now there is some danger perhaps, lest the children should carry the sport too far, and when their instructers turn the things they would teach into games, the children may possibly make game of the things they should learn.
Man must work; he cannot earn physical or intellectual sustenance or wealth, but by physical or intellectual labor. All the concerns of this world must undergo a great change, and stand in very different relations to each other, before this decree will be revoked; at all events it stands now, and is not to be evaded; and therefore, a knowledge of the elements of the sciences, that is, a superficial, indistinct, indigested knowledge of certain desultory and very general elements of a few sciences, is hardly recompense enough for the abandonment of a habit of prompt, willing, and earnest exertion, which a boy may and should acquire while his character is growing. But it may be asked, since children must and ought to play, why not make their amusements edifying and useful, in such measure and manner as may be possible? We have no objections to this, so long as their amusements are known and regarded as what they really are. It is only when they are considered important vehicles of instruction, that they become worse than useless by favoring the prevalent mistake, that the principal object of education is not to invigorate but replenish the mind, and the yet more injurious notion, that a good thing may be gotten without toil. Set your child at work upon a task, suited to his age and capacity; make him work as hard as you can without doing him harm, and compel him to learn and feel that labor, the necessary evil of life, must be borne, and if borne patiently, diminishes, till in the end it disappears. A distinct practical conviction of this truth is worth a hundred times over all the music, or geography, or history, or mathematics that a child ever learned from his playthings, since the fashion of this day came in.
The same principle has been applied to literary amusements which are calculated for children of a larger growth, and perhaps with more good. Learning has thrown by her stilts and
has come down from the study into the parlor. She no longer loves only the light of the midnight-lamp or the solitary toil of the student, but gathers much homage in warm summer afternoons, and often exhibits her charms to some joyous circle round a cheerful fire. True it is, that the intense respect and admiration which were formerly paid her, have become rather scarce, and the sincerity and entire devotion of most of her worshippers may well be doubted. But perhaps this is compensated by their increased number, and the wide extension of her empire. Many who would have fled from a book, between whose covers learning was suspected to lie, are tolerably willing to meet her, when she comes only as an additional charm and ornament to something they like better.
If there be no royal road to learning, there is at least a fashionable one, and many walk therein, who would not have followed the old paths. Now out of this state of things much blue stockingism,--male and female,-has no doubt arisen, and this is a sore evil. But evil and good generally keep close to each other in this world of compensation, and the good caused by the easy access to literature, is indubitable and important; the tone of small talk,-the great cement of society, --is much elevated; better and higher things are made the subject of conversation; a lady or a gentleman must know more and think more than formerly; and this is all extremely well, for it is much better to discuss the last books than the latest scandals, however the change be effected.
The 'Travels of Anacharsis' was the earliest book we now recollect of this kind,-unless we consider the Athenian letters' as entitled to precedence. In this class too, may perhaps be ranked the Waverly novels, in which magnificent productions the history of ages, over which forgetfulness had long since thrown her pall, has come forth from darkness into light, no longer an inert and shapeless mass, but moulded by the master spirit of the age, into living beauty. Valerius also and Sismondi's Julia Severa, and in some sort Anastasius, all mentioned in late numbers of this journal, belong to this class,and the book now under consideration holds a high rank among them.* It has not the form of a novel or a book of travels, but from the general liveliness of the style and its occasional
* Mr Böttiger, of Dresden, has published in German an esteemed work, of which the subject is in part that of our author, entitled 'Sabina, or the Morning of a Roman Lady.'
wit and satire, is about as entertaining as most tales and travels. The author shall tell for himself what his purpose was in making this book; the following extract is from the preface:
'It has often been remarked that, amongst all the labored volumes which have been written on the subject of the antiquities of the Romans, we possess no compendious account of their domestic customs alone; and that, although every well-educated person is acquainted with the Roman history, but few have an accurate idea of Roman manners. It is, indeed, only to be acquired by toiling through a variety of authors with which the generality of readers are but imperfectly acquainted; and ladies, in particular, are deterred from the study by the classical allusions and the learned quotations, in which the subject has been usually enveloped.
'It, therefore, occurred to the author, that a concise account of the state of society in ancient Rome, clothed in plain language, divested, as far as possible, of Latin terms, and pruned of all subjects which offend against delicacy, could not fail to be serviceable to young persons of both sexes who are completing their education; and might, perhaps, not prove unacceptable to some of riper years."
It contains much learning, that no where else perhaps is exhibited in a popular form. The author has displayed good taste in the arrangement of his subjects, and has managed very skilfully in treating each one with due respect, enlarging upon all which his readers would be likely to find interesting and dismissing with very few words, those which could not bear many. The distinctness and method observed throughout the book impress the facts and statements strongly upon the memory, and if we consider how much better we remember that, by which our attention is excited than that which fatigues us, it is hardly too much to say, that most readers may be taught as much by this little volume, as by Dr Adams' heavy work upon Roman antiquities. Moreover we find here a much more minute and exact account of a part of this subject than is to be gathered from the usual compends of Roman antiquities, and that is the domestic economy of the Romans,-their indoor life and manners.
It is often said that the want of all information upon this interesting topic is very great; and so it undoubtedly is in comparison with the knowledge which the good people who may chance to live in the world eighteen centuries hence, may
have of our family concerns, if they are lucky or unlucky enough to have our novels and comedies. But still much may be known relating to this subject, as many things are distinctly stated by Roman writers, and many more may be obtained by ingenious implication. At all events, the author of this work has collected a great deal of information, much of which we know to be correct, and the remainder we shall take to be so, having neither inclination nor leisure to examine his numerous refer
It is amusing to observe how little cleanliness and comfort the Romans enjoyed, with all their wealth and power and ingenious luxury. Many things with which our almshouses are supplied, were wanting in the imperial palaces of Rome. To give one instance for many, forks were utterly unknown to them; nor were they used in Europe till Henry IV, of France, somewhere in the sixteenth century, discovered that they were, for certain purposes,--quite as convenient as fingers. The first fork used in christendom,-a great steel thing, one prong of which would make ten forks of these degenerate days,
is now, or was lately, in the castle of Pau. It is true enough that while wants of this kind would affect our comfort prodigiously, they may not have been much felt by the Romans; since, however natural, as it were, they have become by habit and constant custom, they were originally factitious,-and the power of accommodation to circumstances,-of assimilation to the things about him, which exists in man, in greater perfection than in any other animal, soon makes him tolerably easy, wherever and however he lives. Notwithstanding all this, there is a difference between nations ;-between the Esquimaux Indians and the London cockneys, for instance,-in point of comfort; and certain it must be, that more of that most excellent and desirable article may be had, by any one among us, than could have been enjoyed by a Roman noble, who rode in a carriage without springs, or on a saddle without stirrups, or dined without knives and forks, or lived in a room without a chimney, heated by a brasier of burning charcoal.
Their want of cleanliness really appears to have been quite monstrous, and it is wholly inconceivable that a nation who exhibited so exquisite a perception and enjoyment of beauty, as is manifested both in their many works of art, and in all