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Of the twelve cities which composed the confederacy of Etruria, he would have named more than Care and Clusium, and he would not have dwelt on the crowd of secondary towns, which could not do otherwise than follow the standards of their respective capitals. 2. He would not have thought that seven or eight beautiful verses compensated for introducing the Ligurians, a foreign and hostile nation, into the civil wars of the Tuscans, which could only be interesting to the members of their own confederacy. 3. I see the camp of the Tuscans on the sea-shore near to Care; I see their vessels, and all the preparations for a distant expedition. They embark, but it is only for a voyage of thirty miles. They prefer this navigation to an easy march of two days, which would have brought them to the country of their ally Evander. There they would have passed the Tiber, and found themselves on the frontiers of the Rutuli. 4. This naval expedition affords matter of surprise; but that of the troops of Mantua is totally incredible. Five hundred warriors, embarking on the Mincius, could not arrive in the Tuscan sea without making the circumnavigation of the whole Italian coast. Virgil loved the place of his birth; but he might easily have discovered the means of bringing its ancient inhabitants to the assistance of Eneas, without offending against probability and geography:
Lausanne, 24th December, 1763. AY EXAMINATION OF THE CATA
LOGL'E OF SILIUS ITALICUS. I PROCEED to say a few words on the catalogue of Silius Italicus. 1. It would ill become me to speak of the general plan of a poem, of which I hare read only a detached passage : yet this passage is sufficient to convince me that Pliny well knew his contemporary, when he pronounced that Silius owed more to art than to nature. This art is less apparent in the style, which is easy and flowing, than in the thoughts, which are those of a man who is continually striving to be sublime, and continually struggling against his own genius in favour of his subject. I am persuaded that Silius would have judged better in taking Ovid than Virgil for his model. Wherever he does not offer violence to his genius, his-fancy is rich, easy, and natural. With such a character, it is surprising that he did not prefer the elegiac to the epic. The greatest part of those who have failed in this last species of poetry are distinguished by a severity of character, and a wild irregularity of fancy; and, as they had as little taste as talent, they easily mistook those qualities for strength, elevation, and originality of genius. Faults were confounded with excellencies, to which they bore some bastard resemblance. 9. Virgil was free, Silius in fetters. The former might choose among all the nations of Italy those who most suited his design:
the latter could not omit any of those nations without being guilty of a fault. He was under the hardi necessity of writing a poetical geography of the whole country between the Strait of Rhegium and the Alps; and this constraint is but too visible in his performance. 3. Silius followed his model with a respect bordering on superstition. Italy 10 longer contained in her bosom a multi. tude of different nations, whose arms, manners, and even lavguages, diffused a pleasing variety over the subject, while the story of their chiefs and founders invited the writer to agreeable excursions in the region of fancy. All those nations were become strictly Roman, and had exactly conformed to the laws, ensigns, and discipline of the republic; a vast but uniform olject, which was better fitted for suggesting reflections to a philosopher, than for animating the descriptions of a poet. Silius, after seeking for characteristic differences which no longer prevailed among the nations whom he describes, is continually introducing those of the countries which they inhabited. Ilis pictures have life and variety ; but they are not in their proper place. The character of the people who were to fight was of importance in deciding the issue of the battle; the nature of the countries which they left behind them was entirely foreign to the suject. 4. Silius ought to have remembered that Aquilina was not in existence during the second l'unic war;* and that we knew
* Silius Ital, vui. 606.
nothing of this place till it became the seat of a Latin colony, sent thither to check the incursions of the Gauls, thirty years after the battle of Cannæ. *
A MINUTE EXAMINATION OF HORACE'S
JOURNEY TO BRUNDUSIUM, AND OF CICERO'S JOURNEY INTO CILICIA.
25th December, 1763. Lausanne. An useful chapter might be added to the History of the great Roads of the Roman Empire, by Berger, explaining the uses to which the Romans applied them. He has indeed mentioned posts, which afforded conveniency to a small number of persons ; but has omitted many important particulars that still remain to be told. A critical examination of the ordinary journies of travellers would afford important information concerning the private life of the Romans, and even throw light on geography and chronology. I am sensible that the differences of age, condition, and circumstances, must render our general conclusions uncertain ; but as the means were universally the same, these uncertainties will be reduced within certain limits.
Augustus travelled with an extraordinary slowness in the neighbourhood of Ronie. A journey
* Tit. Liv. xxxix. 55.
Vell. Patercul, 1. i. c. 15.
to Tibur (20 Roman miles *), or to Preneste (95 miles T), consumed two days, or rather two nights. I But the situation of Augustus was as singular as his taste. The weakness of his health from his youth upwards compelled him to the strictest regimen; and by his own temper he would be inclined to carry the dictates of prudence to an extreme. It appears from his faithful biographer that this prince was soon tired of debauchery; and that he always despised luxury, though much addicted to effeminacy. We may add to these circumstances, that he travelled in a litter carried by slaves; and proceeded with great slowness, that his attention might not be withdrawn a moment from his usual occupations. The gentle motion of his carriage allowed him to read, write, and attend to the same affairs which employed him in his cabinet.Ş From such an example, no general consequence can be deduced.
The same may be said of those rapid and extraordinary journies of which the ancients sometimes make mention. How wide is the difference between the mode of travelling of Augustus and that of his son Tiberius, who accomplished a journey of two hundred miles in twenty-four hours, when he hastened to close the eyes of his brother Drusus;ll or that of Cæsar the dictator, who posted
• Itineraria Antiq. Edit. Wesseling, p. 309.