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fabric of arcades, high over all the remains however, the gloom lessened around us aas of that forest of elms and sycamores, by we approached the mansion itself, till at which Nero had once dared to replace the length, over an open space of lawn, we per, unhoused tenants of the Palatine. Behind ceived the simple but elegant porch of enme, the Flavian Amphitheatre, the newest trance, and the line of colonnade that ex. and the most majestic of all Roman edi. tended all along that front of the building. fices, detained the eye for a space from all We passed under the porch, and across a that lay beyond it—the whole splendid paved court, in which a fountain was playmass, namely, of the Esquiline and those ing, into the great hall, the windows of innumerable aqueducts which lie stretched which commanded all the other side of the out, arch after arch, and pillar after pillar, place-a most noble prospect of elaborate quite over the peopled champaign to the gardens gradually rising intoshady hills, and very ridge of the mountains. But why lost in a distance of impenetrable wood. should I vainly essay to give to you, by Here a freedınan attended us, who informcold words of description, any idea of the ed us that Capito had retired from the house peerless prospect that every where sur- into a sequestrated part of the grounds with rounded me! Lost amidst the pomp of some friends from the city ; but that if we this unimagined human greatness, I was chose we could easily join him there. We glad to rest my sight, ever and anon, upon assented, and, following his guidance, ere the cool waters of old Tiber, in whose face long traversed no narrow space of luxuriant nothing of all this was truly depicted, ex- cultivation. From one perfumed terrace cept the serene and cloudless beauty of that we descended to another; till, having at last Italian sky; temple and tower, and every reached a certain green and mossy walk, monument of art, being mellowed down in- darkened all its length by a natural arching to a softer and more tolerable grandeur.” of vines and mulberries, the freedman point
There is a love story even in this ed to statue at the further end of it, and early part of the novel, and Valerius told us it stood over against the entrance is made the confidant of young Sextus, reached the statue, however, we could not
of his master's summer-house. When we whom he accompanies to the Forum. at first perceive any traces of a summerThe pleadings in this celebrated place house. The shaded avenue terminated in have strong attraction for the new cu
face of a precipitous rock, from which there riosity of the stranger. Licinius dis- fell a small stream that was received beneath plays all his powers ; is impassioned, in a massive basin, where its waters foamed touching, sarcastic; and Valerius re- into spray without transgressing the marceives, for the first time, the full con- gin. A thousand delicious plants and farviction of the supremacy of eloquence. sought flowers clustered around the base of His feelings suggest soine striking ob- the rock and the brink of the fountain, and servations on the means and objects of the humming of innumerable bees mingled this noble accomplishment. But liis with the whispers of the stream. We stood
for a moment uncertain whether we should companion has a deeper interest at
move on or retire, when we heard some one stake than is to be found in the peri- calling to us from the centre of the rock ; ods of the orator, and he draws Vale- and presently, passing to the other side of rius away to the Suburban Villa, where the basin, descried, between the rock and the "smiles his lady and his love." falling water, a low entrance into what seem
* A sharp walk of about an hour and a half ed to be a natural cave or grotto. We stoopbrought us within sight of the Suburban of ed, and passingits threshold found ourselves Capitol. A lofty wall protected the fields within one of the most luxurious retirements of this retirement from the intrusive eyes that was ever haunted by the foot of Dryad. of passengers on the public road, over whose A sparry roof hung like a canopy of gems summit nothing could be discovered but and crystals over a group of sculptured the tall green boughs of planes and syca- Nymphs and Fawns, which were placed mores waving to and fro in the gentle agi- on a rustic pedestal within a circular bath, tation of the western breeze. We entered shaped out of the living stone. Around the by a small side-door, and immediately found edge of the waveless waters that slumbered ourselves, as if by some magical delusion, in this green recess, were spread carpets rich transported from the glare of a Roman high- with the dyes of Tyrian art, whereon Caway, and the hum of men, into the depth pito was reposing with his friends. He reand silence of some primeval forest. No ceived Sextus with the warmest kindness, nicely trimmed path conducted our feet and me with distinguished politeness, introthrough the mazes of this venerable place. ducing us both to his companions, who were Every thing had at least the appearance of three in number-all of them, like himself, being left as nature had formed it. The tall advanced in years, and two of them wearfern rustled beneath us as we moved; the ing long beards, though their demeanour untaught ivy was seen spreading its careless was destitute of any thing like the affecttresses from tree to tree overhead ; the fawn ed stateliness of our friend Xerophrastes. bounded from the thicket, and the scared These two, as our host informed us, were owl screamed on the pine top. By degrees, Greeks and Rhetoricians--the third, a Patrician of the house of Pontii, devoted, like man widow, with whom Valertus and himself, to the pursuits of philosophy, and his friends sup. the pleasures of a literary retirement.” On bis return from the luxurious
The young Briton here first sees the supper of this handsome and opulent arbiter of his fate.
entertainer, his Prætorian companion, “We advanced to meet the young ladies, Sabinus, visits the prison of an old who were walking slowly down the avenue, Christian convert, who is to be expoand their uncles having tenderly saluted sed next day in the bloody sports of them, soon presented us to their notice. Ses: the Amphitheatre. Valerius attends tus blushed deeply when he found himself him to the dungeon, and is overwhelmintroduced to Sempronia, while, in her smi although she looked at him, as if to say she Athanasia has visited the old man, and
ed with surprise at the discovery that had never seen him before, I thought I could detect a certain half-suppressed expression prayed with him. This clears up the of half-disdainfularchness—the colourin her mystery of that embarrassed sadness, cheeks at the same time being not entirely which had made all her movements so unmoved. She was, indeed, a very lovely inexplicable to the lover's eye. She is girl, and in looking on her light dancing a concealed Christian. Her zeal, her play of beautiful features, I could easily feminine fear, and her divine courage, sympathize with the young raptures of my impress her countenance with perplexfriend. Her dress was such as to set off hering and powerful emotion. He recogcharms to the utmost advantage, for the nizes her at the dungeon-gate, and exbrightgreen of her Byssine robe, although it cited by the resistless feeling which would have been a severe trial to any ordi- he cannot define, visits the old marnary complexion, served only to heighten the delicious brillancy of hers. A veil, of tyr. He finds him resigned and resothe same substance and colour, was richly lute, prepared to die, and rejoicing embroidered all over with flowers of silver that his death is for Christianity. Optissue, and fell in flowing drapery well nigh pressed by awe, pity, and wonder, Va. down to her knees. Her hair was almost lerius returns, and sees that the night entirely concealed by this part of her dress, has passed away in the cellbut a single braid of the brighest nut-brown “I had a pretty accurate notion of was visible low down on her polished fore- the way from that grand edifice to the head. Her eyes were black as jet, and full, house of Licinius, and therefore moved toas I have already hinted, of a nymph-like wards it immediately, intending to pass or Arcadian vivacity-altogether, indeed, straight down from thence into the Sacred she was such a creature as the Tempe of the Way. But when I came close to the Am. poets need not have been ashamed to shelter phitheatre, I found that, surrounded on all beneath the most luxurious of its bowers. sides by a city of sleep and silence, that
“ The other young lady—it is Athanasia region was already filled with all manner of whom I speak—she was not a dazzling of noise and tumult, in consequence of the beauty like Sempronia, but beautifulin such preparations which had begun to be made a manner as I shall never be able to describe. for the spectacles of the succeeding day. Taller than her cousin, and darker haired The east was just beginning to be streaked than she, but with eyes rather light than with the first faint blushes of morning ; but otherwise, of a clear, soft, somewhat melan- the torches and innumerable lanterns, in the choly grey—and with a complexion for the hands of the different workmen and artifimost part paler than is usual in Italy, and cers employed there, threw more light than with a demeanour hovering between cheer. was sufficient to give me an idea of all that fulness and innocent gravity, and attired was going forwards. On one side, the whole with a vestal simplicity in the old Roman way was blocked up with a countless throng tunic, and cloak of white cloth—it is possi- of waggons; the conductors of which, alble that most men might have regarded her most all of them Ethiopians and Numidi. less than the other ; butfor my part, I found ans, were lashing each other's horses, and her aspect the more engaging the longer I exchanging, in their barbarous tongues, surveyed it. A single broad star of diamonds, violent outcries of, I doubt not, more bar planted high up among her black hair, was barous wrath and execration. The fearthe only ornament of jewelry she wore, and ful bellowings that resounded from any of it shone there in solitary brightness, like the the waggons, which happened to be set in planet of evening. Alas! I smile at my. motion amidst the choaking throng, intiself that I should take notice of such trifles, mated that savage beasts were confined in describing the first time I ever gazed on within themi ; and when I had discovered Athanasia."
this, and then regarded the prodigious mul. With this stately beauty, Valerius horror came over me at thinking what cruel
titude of the waggons, I cannot say what falls in love. A brilliant contrast to sights, and how lavish in cruelty, were beher beauty, gravity, and dignity of come the favourite pastimes of the most heart, is given in the portrait of a Ro« refined of peoples. I recognized the well. • known short deep snort of the wild boar, der the wing of this luxurious lady, in one and the long hollow bark of the wolf ; but of the best situations which the range of & thousand fierce sounds, mingled with benches set apart for the females and their - these, were equally new and terrific to my company, afforded. There was a general ears. One voice, however, was so grand in silence in the place at the time we entered its notes of sullen rage, that I could not and seated ourselves, because proclamation help asking a soldier, who sate on horseback had just been made that the gladiators, near me, from what wild beast it proceed- with whose combats the exhibition of the ed. The man answered, that it was a Lion; day was appointed to commence, were about but then what laughter arose among some to enter upon the arena, and shew themof the rabble, that had overheard my in- selves in order to the people. As yet, howterrogation; and what contemptuous looks ever, they had not come forth from that were thrown upon me by the naked ne- place of concealment to which so many of groes, who sate grinning in the torch-light, their number were, of necessity, destined on the top of their carriages ! Then one or never to return ; so that I had leisure to two of the soldiers would be compelled to collect my thoughts, and to survey for a ride into the midst of the confusion, to sepa- moment, without disturbance, the mighty rate some of these wretches, fighting with and most motley multitude, piled above, their whips about precedence in the ap- below, and on every side around me, from proaching entrance to the Amphitheatre; the lordly senators, on their silken couches, and then it seemed to me that the horses along the parapet of the arena, up to the could not away with the strong sickly smell impenetrable mass of plebeian heads which of some of the beasts that were carried there, skirted the horizon, above the topmost wall for they would prance, and caper, and rear of the Amphitheatre itself. Such was the on end, and snort as if panic-struck, and dart enormous crowd of human beings, high and themselves towards the other side ; while low, assembled therein, that when any mosome of the riders were thrown off in the tion went through their assembly, the noise midst of the tumult, and others, with fierce of their rising up or sitting down could and strong bits, compelled the frightened or be likened to nothing, except, perhaps, the infuriated animals to endure the thing they far-off sullen roaring of the illimitable sea, abhorred—in their wrath and pride forcing orthe rushing of a great night-wind amongst them even nearer than was necessary to the the boughs of a forest. It was the first time hated waggons. In another quarter, this that I had ever seen a peopled amphitheatre close-mingled pile of carts and horses was —nay, it was the first time that I had ever surmounted by the enormous heads of ele. seen any very great multitude of men asphants, thrust high up into the air, some sembled together, within any fabric of hu. of them with the huge lithe trunks lash- man erection; so that you cannot doubt there ing and beating (for they too, as you have was, in the scene before me, enough to imbeard, would rather die than snuff in the press my mind with a very serious feeling of breath of these monsters of the woods,) astonishment-not to say of veneration. Not while the tiara'd heads of their leaders would less than eighty thousand human beings, be seen tossed to and fro by the contortions (for such they told me was the stupendous of those high necks, whereon for the most capacity of the building,) were here met to. part they had their sitting-places. There gether. Such a multitude can nowhere be was such a cry of cursing, and such a regarded, without inspiring a certain indesound of whips and cords, and such blow- finite indefinable sense of majesty ; least ing of horns, and whistling and screaming; of all, when congregated within the wide and all this mixed with such roaring, and sweep of such a glorious edifice as this, and bellowing, and howling from the savage surrounded on all sides with every circumcreatures within the caged waggons, that I stance of ornament and splendour, befitting stood, as it were, aghast and terrified, by an everlasting monument of Roman victoreason of the tumult that was round about ries, the munificence of Roman princes, and
the imperial luxury of universal Rome. But an exhibition of more fearful Judge then, with what eyes of wonder all interest follows. He is taken in Ru- this was surveyed by me, who had but of bellia's chariot to the Amphitheatre, litary stillness of a British galley, who had
yesterday, as it were, emerged from the sothe Coliseum; that place in which the been accustomed all my life to consider as grandeur of imperial opulence, and the among the most impressive of human spechorrors of Heathenism, seem to have tacles, the casual passage of a few scores of met in one unequalled consummation. legionaries, through some dark alley of a The passage is very eloquent, pictu- wood, or awe-struck village of barbarians. resque, and touching. The author " Trajan himself was already present, treads upon untried ground, and he but in nowise, except from the canopy over treads with a learned and manly step. his ivory chair, to be distinguished from the
other Consul that sate over against him ; “Behold me, therefore, in the micist of tall, nevertheless, and of a surety very ma, the Flavian Amphitheatre, and seated, un- jestic in his demeanour; grave, sedate, and Vol. XI.
benign in countenance, oven acoording to upon their skins. Nor did our own remote the likeness which you have seen upon his island want their representatives in the dead. medals and statues. He was arrayed in a ly procession, for I saw among the armed plain gown, and appeared to converse quite multitude—and that not altogether withfamiliarly, and without the least affectation out some feelings of more peculiar interest of condescension, with such Patricians as two or three gaunt barbarians, whose breasts had their places near him ; among whom and shoulders bore uncouth marks of blue Sextus and Rubellia pointed out many re- and purple, so vivid in the tints, that I markable personages to my notice ; as for thought many months could not have elapexample, Adrian,
who afterwards became sed since they must have been wandering emperor ; Pliny, the orator, a man of very in wild freedom along the native ridges of courtly presence, and lively, agreeable as- some Silurian or Caledonian forest. As pect; and, above all, the historian Tacitus, they moved around the arena, some of these the worthy son-in-law of our Agricola, in men were saluted by the whole multitude whose pale countenance I thought I could with noisy acclamations, in token, I supeasily recognize the depth, but sought in posed, of the approbation wherewith the vain to discover any traces of the sternness feats of some former festival had deserved of his genius. Of all the then proud names to be remembered. On the appearance of that were whispered into my ear, could I others, groans and hisses were heard from recollect or repeat them now, how few some parts of the Amphitheatre, mixed with would awaken any interest in your minds ! contending cheers and huzzas from others Those, indeed, which I have mentioned, of the spectators. But by far the greater have an interest that will never die. Would part were suffered to pass on in silence ;that the greatest and the best of them all this being in all likelihood the first-alas! were to be remembered only for deeds of who could tell whether it might not also be greatness and goodness!
the last day of their sharing in that fearful "The proclamation being repeated a se- exhibition ! cond time, a door on the right hand of the “ Their masters paired them shortly, and arena was laid open, and a single trumpet in succession they began to make proof of sounded, as it seemed to me, mournfully, their fatal skill. At first, Scythian was while the gladiators marched in with slow matched against Scythian-Greek against steps, each man-naked, except being girt Greek – Ethiopian against Ethiopian with a cloth about his loins—hearing on Spaniard against Spaniard ; and I saw the his left arm a small buckler, and having a sand dyed beneath their feet with blood short straight sword suspended by a cord streaming from the wounds of kindred around his neck They marched, as I have hands. But these combats, although abunsaid, slowly and steadily; so that the whole dantly bloody and terrible, were regarded assembly had full leisure to contemplate the only as preludes to the serious business of forms of the men ; while those who were, the day, which consisted of duels between or who imagined themselves to be skilled Europeans on the one side, and Africans in the business of the arena, were fixing, in on the other ; wherein it was the well-nigh their own minds, on such as they thought intransgressible law of the Amphitheatre, most likely to be victorious, and laying that at least one out of every pair of comwagers concerning their chances of success, batants should die on the arena before the with as much unconcern as if they had been eyes of the multitude. Instead of shrinkcontemplating so many irrational animals, ing from the more desperate brutalities of or rather, indeed, I should say, so many these latter conflicts, the almost certainty senseless pieces of ingenious mechanism. of their fatal termination seemed only to The wide diversity of complexion and fea- make the assembly gaze on them with a ture exhibited among these devoted athletes, more interise curiosity, and a more inhuafforded at once a majestic idea of the ex- man measure of delight. Methinks I feel tent of the Roman empire, and a terrible as if it were but of yesterday, when,-sickone of the purposes to which that wide ened with the protracted terrors of a consway had too often been made subservient. flict, that seemed as if it were never to The beautiful Greek, with a countenance have an end, although both the combatants of noble serenity, and limbs after which the were already covered all over with hideous sculptors of his country might have model. gashes,-1 at last bowed down my head, led their god-like symbols of graceful pow- and clasped my hands upon my eyes, to er, walked side by side with the yellow save them from the torture of gazing therebearded savage, whose gigantic muscles on farther : And I had scarce done so, when had been nerved in the freczing waves of Rubellia laid her hand upon my elbow, the Elbe or the Danube, or whose thick whispering, Look, look, now look,' in a strong hair was congealed and shagged on voice of low steady impatience. I did look, his brow with the breath of Scythian or
but not to the arena : No; it was upon Scandinavian winters. Many fierce Moors the beautiful features of that woman's face and Arabs, and curled Ethiopians, were that I looked, and truly it seemed to me as there, with the beams of the southern sun if they presented a spectacle almost as fear. burnt in every various shade of swarthinese ful as that from which I had just averted mine eyes. I saw those rich Hips parted At the close of those sanguinary exasunder, and those dark eyes extended in hibitions, Thraso the Christian is their sockets, and those smooth cheeks suf- brought forward to suffer. He is offused with a stedfast blush, and that lovely fered life on recantation, but the old bosom swelled and glowing ; and I hated Rubellia as I gazed, for I knew not before man is firm ; the questions of his perhow utterly beauty can be brutalized by secutors are answered by the principles the throbbings of a cruel heart. But I look- of his belief; and in consideration of ed round to escape from the sight of her his ancient services, he is condemned and then the hundreds of females that I saw to the more merciful death by the with their eyes fixed, with equal earnest- sword of the executioner. Valerius, ness, on the same spot of horrors, taught already half a convert, looks on this me, even at the moment, to think with murder with the double abhorrence more charity of that pityless gaze of one. excited by humanity and religion ;
“ At that instant all were silent, in the and retires to give himself up to mecontemplation of the breathless strife ; inso- ditations on the guilt of Heathenism, much, that a groan, the first that had escac and the beauty of Athanasia. ped from either of the combatants, although sleep is full of strange dreams, and he
His Low and reluctant, and half-suppressed, rises still perplexed with the crowds, sounded quite distinctly amidst the deep hush of the assembly, and being constrains the glare, the imperial presence, and ed thereby to turn mine eyes once more the bloody combats. In acknowleddownwards, I beheld that, at length, one of ging the strange and feverish interest the two had received the sword of his ad- which he felt in the gladiatorship, he versary quite through his body, and had touches on that mysterious question, sunk before him upon the sand. A beauti- the source of human interest, in those ful young man was he that had received terrible trials which repel the eye by this harm, with fair hair, clustered in glossy the extremes of human struggle, grief, ringlets upon his neck and brows; but the and agony. He seems to us to have sickness of his wound was already visible on his drooping eye-lids, and his lips were
aasigned the true principle, though pale, as if the blood had rushed from them without sufficient limitations. He ata to the untimely outlet
. Nevertheless, the tributes this wild and stern anxiety to Moorish gladiator who had fought with the intense and common desire of man, him, had drawn forth again his weapon, to see how death is met by man. But and stood there awaiting in silence the de- his position seems too general for truth. cision of the multitude, whether at once to There are multitudes to whom a glaslay the defenceless youth, or to assist in diatorial exhibition would be a sight removing him from the arena, if percliance of unequivocal disgust and horror, the blood might be stopped from flowing, of the multitudes who yet would and some hope of recovery even yet extends throng the place of butchery in our ed to him. Hereupon there arose, on the instant, a loud voice of contention ; and
it day, the majority would undoubtedly seemed to me as if the wounded man re
be of low and ruffian habits, with no garded the multitude with a proud, and deeper stimulus than brute curiosity. withal contemptuous glance, being aware, Our bear-baitings, cock-fights, and without question, that he had executed all boxing-matches, the disgrace of our things so as to deserve their compassion, manners and our magistracy, are but aware, moreover, that even had that crowded from no motive but the gross been freely vouchsafed to him, it was too passions for novelty, for filling a rude late for any hope of safety. But the cruelty mind with some occupation for the of their faces, it may be, and the loudness time, for debauchery and gambling. of their cries, were a sorrow to him, and Here the interest is stirred without filled his dying breast with loathing. Whe
her the sympathy. ther or not the haughtiness of his countenance had been observed by them with dis
But the position, that horror is nepleasure, I cannot say ; but so it was, that cessarily vanquished on those occasions, those who had cried out to give him a is untenable. The populace, who alone chance of recovery, were speedily silent, flock to executions, have in general and the Emperor looking round, and seeing but little horror to combat a great deal all the thumbs turned downwards, (for that of the common inquisitiveness, which is, you know, the signal of death,) was con- makes the vulgar and idle eager to see strained to give the sign, and forthwith every thing that is to be seen. An exethe young man, receiving again without a cution at Newgate, and a city processtruggle the sword of the Moor into his sion to Blackfriar's Bridge, are attends gashed bosom, breathed forth his life, and Lay stretched out in his blood upon the place ed by the same restless and vagabond of guilt."
curiosity. In remote districta, where