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old minnikin of a man, dressed all in think Peter must have had Tam green and gold, with gold buckles to O'Shanter read to him, for his overhis shoes, each of them as large as a crazed cranium would scarce have oripancake, and a gold chain dangling ginated this story. Thegale is now fast from his fob, and real gold spectacles subsiding, yet the great ocean plain on his nose like a complete gentleman, still heaves as remembering the ills as no doubt he was ; and the weeshy that o'er'- Look upon the sea ; do creature was seated on a three-legged you remember those magnificent lines stool in the middle of the table, and of the greatest of modern poets ? sawing away with his fiddle at • Planxty O'Connor Dhu' Aud all Hark! 'tis the rushing of a wind that this time, said Peter, the great waves sweeps were rolling and rushing into the cave,
Earth and the ocean. See the lightnings and whirling round its sides, but yawn, never touched or wet the good people
Delaging Heaven with fire, and the lashed or their table; and big tishes were
Glitter and boil bencath: it rages on there—whales, and sharks, and dol
One migiity stream, whirlwinds and wares phins, and congour eels, grinning and
upthrown, gaping and glaring at the little folk,
Lightning and hail and darkness eddying by. and swimming round them, but did
There is a pause--the sea-birds which were not touch or harm them, or offer to gone lay a hand on them, but kept still Into their caves to shriek, come forth to spy going round and round the inside of Wbat calm has fallen on earth, what light is the cave, listening to the fairy music,
in the sky. and humouring it too: the sharks whisking their tails to and fro, and Come, Walter, can you help me out snapping their white teeth ; and the with the remainder ? dolphins splashing the salt water up I immediately took up the desinto Peter's face in their admiration cant:of the performance; and the congour eels wagging and wriggling their
For where the irresistible storm had cloven bodies, and winking with their eyes ;
That fearful darkness, the blue sky was seen and the whales swimming slowly, and
Fretted, with many a fair cloud interwoven beating time steadily with their fins
Most delicately, and the ocean green on their long fat sides to the Planxty;
Beneath that opening spot of blue serene and the little people, all the time,
Quirered like burning err.erald : calm was
spread sitting in the hollow of the water,
On all below; but far on high, between quite dry and comfortable. At last
Earth and the upper air, the vast clouds Peter became so excited that he could
fled, stand it no longer, but got desperate ; Countless and swift as leares on autumn's so pulling off his boots, he seized his
tempest shed. kit, and was just in the act of slipping on his dancing shoes, that he might “Now," said my uncle, " that is hark in with the concert, and fling enough ; if I permitted the youngster and foot it to the Planxty, when the to go on, Mrs. Cardonald, he would wind ceased, and the mist fell thick mercilessly finish the poem, and we and heavy, and the music died away should be found all asleep in a deep mournful wail ; and when M‘Laughlin's Head, and by the brink Peter bent over the funnel to look of the Thubber-a-Thallin." down, all was dark and still; he heard The scene had now become most nothing but the sobbing of the waves, beautiful, the clouds had all parted, and the hollow plashing of the water and the whole heaven was of a dazagainst the sides of the cavern. And zling blue, arching down on and conso ends my version of Peter Sleveen's trasting strongly with the white and vision at the Fairy Hole."
foamy waters, all glittering like a “Which,” said 'my uncle, smiling, heaving mass of melting silver in the " would have been told with more sparkle of the sun. Thousands of spirit and about as much truth by rock-nesting and aquatic birds were Peter himself, whose semi-insane issuing from the clefts and ledges of stories please my fancy, though I dis- the broken rocks, or mural cliffs, and like his dancing, and pronounce it a putting out to sea ; and whole Rocks satire upon our common manhood. I of puffins, gannets, auks, skarts, pe
trels, and others of the great gull dark eyes of the Spanish girl Marellos, tribe, were now seen flying and alight- and I caught the glitter of her large ing on the breast of the unquiet ocean. ear-rings in the suu.
A large barque, with all her snowy In a few minutes a third figure sails set, and her bright yellow sides came round a rock, and joined them, and smart taper spars, was fast leav- who I saw was Marellos himself, ing into sight. The General unslung when his daughter moved on and left a glass which we had used much in the men together. I gave the glass the glen; the ladies had a good view back to the General, intimating what of the handsome craft which appeared I had seen, and he continued looking to be an American packet-ship. My through it a long time, and no doubt uncle then took the telescope, and watching the motions of the distant after sweeping the horizon, he re- party. At last he said, “What can mained looking in the one direction Gilbert be doing with these people ; for some time. The ladies were now I thought he was twenty miles off at a distance from us, and he said, with his friend O'Skerrett. It is very “Walter, take the glass, and tell me strange ; but I shall ask him to exwho are those figures walking on the plain when we meet.” strand, near the mouth of the Trasna, We returned to where we had left and opposite Inniskeadallow Island ?" our car, by the cliffs, our ladies were
I took the glass, and plainly saw in great spirits, and oh how happy was my cousin Gilbert pacing the sands, I during that drive back to our house with a female whose back was towards in the evening ; and that the chain me. He was earnestly gesticulating, was weaving round me which so much while she appeared to hang her head, influenced my life to come, I did not and listen silently. Suddenly she then consider, though I cannot but turned her face, and I saw the great now regret.
MERIVALE'S HISTORY OF THE ROMANS. *
It is now just five years since we In our former remarks we made it reviewed the first two volumes of matter of charge against Mr. Merithis work. Within that time a third vale, that he brought the character of volume has been given to the public, the great Ceesar before us too much but great as are the actions therein as though Cæsar were the hero of his recorded, we did not consider that piece. We have now no ground for it comprised a suficiently important reiterating the complaint. Much as portion of history to demand a re- the history of Rome is comprised in parate notice.
We have, therefore, the life of Augustus for the fifty or waited for the continuation of the sixty years after the murder of Julius, work, which has now been vouchsafed our author has not found it necessary to us.
to merge Rome and the Romans in the Mr. Merivale's third volume in- biography of an emperor. cludes the triumphs of Antony after We, however, intend to adopt to the death of Ciesar, his coalition
extent the practice against with the young Octavius, his loves which we before ventured to warn with Cleopatra, and his final over- the historian ; and our present purthrow. It tells us of the battles of pose is to give to our readers, by the Philippi and of Actium, and finally aid of Ir. Merivale's researches, seats Octavius, or, as he must then some succinct account of the reign and be called, Augustus, on the imperial character of Augustus. throne. The fourth and fifth volumes But we would first say a word of contain the history of Rome under our author's style, and if in doing so the Emperors Augustus, Tiberius, we speak more in censure than in Caligula and Claudius.
praise, it is because we regret to see
* The History of the Romans under the Empire. Vol, 3. London : Longman and Co.
1851. Vols. 4 & 5. 1856.
one who can write such excellent of a peculiar family. We hear of English, driven into what appears to the “pronaos of a temple," and of be a pedantic Latinity, by the habits censure of Camillus." Now of his mode of study.
we venture to assert that no EnglishThis practice with Mr. Merivale man will attribute any but one meansprings not from pedantry, but from ing to this latter phrase, and yet that thoughtlessness. He has imbued, meaning is entirely different from Mr. as it were, the ears of his mind with Merivale's. speaks of the censure classic phraseology, till he has come of Camillus, as we speak of the to regard certain Latin terms as be- mayoralty of Mr. Moon ; Camillus longing to his own vernacular, and had held the office of censor, and, as has forgotten to reflect that they do such, had been very vigorous, and not, at any rate, belong to the verna- his “ censure" is spoken of as having cular of those numerous readers for been celebrated. The word, however, whom his studies are intended. We in every-day English, means blame, can forbear to blame him when he and we believe that it means nothing calls Pompey and Antony, Pompeius else. and Antonius, understanding, as we Mr. Merivale, though a scholar, is do, his desire to maintain the digni- no pedant. There is enough in the fied nomenclature of his heroes ; work now before us to prove what we though, as he does so, he should, we say in this respect ; but, nevertheless, think, also call Neptune, Neptunus, it should be worth his while to proand should not designate the King of tect hiinself from any such accusaJudea sometimes as lierod, and some- tion. And, moreover, we regard it to times Herodes. We can understand, be his imperative duiy as au English however, that he was embarrassed historian, to write his history in by a difficulty as to the extent to pure English. That he can do so is which he should carry the classicalism one of his greatest merits. While on of his proper names; but he should this subject, we will venture to point have had no dilliculty in abstaining out that there are one or two slips from writing Latin when his mother which a little more care in revision English would equally have served would have avoided. When he his purpose.
speaks, for instance, of “commanders He tells us that the shrine of the too daring to overawe, and too dis. hero, Julius, had been erected on the tant to control,” he means that they "spot of his cremation," meaning, were too daring to be overawed, and thereby, the spot where his body too distant to be controlled. had been burnt. He tells that the It is difficult to invest with their voice of Angustus was more influen- popular and yet proper attributes tial than that of the "prerogative the heroes of the old classic times. century.” The word, century, in Those who in their youth became English, we take to mean a period of familiar with the great names of a hundred years, and that only. We antiquity, have generally carried all know that Mr. Merivale alludes away ideas formed rather by the ima. to that division of the Roman people gination of the poets than the records to which a certain franchise was in of the liistorians : and those who, old times allotted. He tells us of the in early years, had no such advantage perpetuation of a gens through its hardly care to trouble themselves, in clientete,” and of the perpetuation of after life, with much study as to " the Gentile cults." of this word, what was done in Greece or in Rome. cult, he is peculiarly fond. We hear The Trojan war, the wrath of Juno, of the "barren simplicity of the the quarrels of Agamemnon and Etruscan cult," and of the “ ancient Achilles, the wanderings of Ulysses cult." Why not say “worship?" and Æneas, the miseries of PromeTo Mr. Merivale's ears, the Saxon theus and (Edipus, the urbanity of word may not be so expressive as Maecenas, and the stern courage of that which he uses, but it is, at any Regulus--these are the classic inci. rate, English, and if it did not suit dents which boys carry with them him, it was his business to find some from school, never to be eradicated ; English phrase that did. “ The Gen- but they too generally fail to actile cult” does not, in our language, quire an historic knowledge of the signify the peculiar mode of worship üaries with which they are familiar.
Indeed, we may may much the same of Europe has been governed from of many incidents in our pown history. his time down to our own davs. We know, or fancy we know, much In reading the annals of Rome, inore of Henry V. than of Edward I. we are constantly tempted to ask or of the Black Prince, because we ourselves whether any Roman ever are familiar with Shakespere--and had a heart. The instances of so from Scott's novels we have acquired weak an organ beneath a toga were, a very defined, if not very correct, indeed, rare, and Augustus does not idea of the doings of the Scotch furnish one of them. covenanters.
It is singular that a man whose As regards the great names of public life commenced while he was Grecian and Roman history, this vet little more than a boy, should fault may not, in general, be very never have shewn pity, sensibility, or fatal to us. It is of much more in- sympathy. It was in his early years portance to us in the guidance of our that'stern cruelty, the sternest, most life, that we should have an accurate merciless cruelty, appeared to be idea of Lord Chatham than of Peri
necessary to his ambition, and in his cles ; of Mirabeau and Danton than earliest years he was cruel as of the Gracchi. Without the one, Robespierre when goaded to madness we cannot understand the true bear- by continual bloodshed, as reckless of ing of those popular aspirations with humanity as a Napoleon when driven which we, ourselves, to-day either on to Moscow by the fatality of his sympathise or contend ; we cannot
As a boy he exceeded the trace the cause of our present feel- massacres of Sulla ; and yet, in his ings as regards America, or France, after life, he learned to pardon. But or Russia. But no knowledge of in this there was no feeling of the Grecian or Roman history is neces- heart. Policy, in both cases, taught sary for this.
It is only by the phi- him the lesson which he followed. losophic and the learned, that true By true heartfelt emotion he was deduction can be made from the ex- rarely, if ever, actuated ; but his periences of antiquity for the guid- head never failed him. ance of the present day. And the When Caesar fell murdered in the philosophic and the learned are, as senate-house, his young nephew, yet, but a very small minority. then called Octavius, was practising
There are, however, a few among in Greece the studies of his youth. He the ancients who have left their own was still under twenty years of age, peculiar mark so plainly on the and it appears to have been the inhuman race, whose genius and indus- tention of Caesar, who had adopted try have done so much towards crea- him as his son, to take him with him ting the present state of the civilized in his approaching campaign against world, that some popular conception the Parthians. of their attributes and character is We have all learnt, and learnt with necessary to complete even a mode- tolerable accuracy, from Shakespere's rate store of historic knowledge ; and play, how MarkAntony got the better among these no other stands so con- of the conspirators, and by skill and spicuous as Augustus Cæsar. Though, policy cheated them of the influence in the common parlance of which they had expected to obtain on schools, he ranks as second of the the death of the tyrant. There have Roman emperors, he was, in truth, been no heroes of history, either anthe first. He formed the empire, cient or modern, more worthy of conbuilt the throne, created the despotic tempt than were these conspirators, power, and left it fixed on so firm a Brutus, and Cassius, the other basis, that all the follies and vices of Brutus, and the rest of them. They his immediate successors did not suf- had all the weakness of the French fice to dissipate the sovereign rule, Girondists, and apparently few, if any, though most of them obtained for of their virtnes. That they were not themselves a speedy and a blood opposed, on principle, to the shedding
He established a of blood is proved by the death of sceptre which maintained itself for Cæsar. Caesar, who had been personfifteen hundred years, and was the ally the friend of each of them, fell tirst to essay that mode of monarchical perforated by the dangers of them all. rule under whieh the greater portiou But though they slow Cæsar, they.
abstained from the slaughter of An- him ; that he would find the unscrutony, which was indispensably neces- pulous Antony possessed of imperial sary to the accomplishment of their power and of the people's voices; and design. We have been told how dan- that the contest of an untried youth gerous is a little bloodshed. Their with such a man as Antony could not abstinence, as regards Antony, who fail being ruinous. The boy Octain a special manner had been Ciesar's vius, however, thought otherwise friend, was suicidal. "Twas in vain that they attempted, as did the Gi- “And it is difficult,” says Mr. Merivale, rondists, to allay the passions of men
“ to pronounce a harsh judgment on his amby logical deductions and well turned bition. The security that was promised 10 sentences. Antony came forward
him he felt to be illusory. His lot was cast with a rough tale which went to the
in an age of revolution, in which Cæsar's
nephew must be the mark for all the bolts of hearts of the Romans, and backed his
fortunc. The fearful alternative was manitalking with histrionic art, and, where
festly forced upon him; he must grasp necessary, with the swords of his sol
Cæsar's power to socure himself from Cæsar's diery. The conspirators were obliged fate." to abandon Italy, and strengthen themselves as they best could in such We will agree with our author that it of the provinces as were under their is difficult to blame his ambition ; we control.
may, perhaps, also acknowledge that Octavius had been left by Caesar as after having entered on his ambitious his heir. By this it is presumed that career, it became impossible for him he meant to name him as successor to to save his own head without taking his power in the state. This, we those of thousands of his countrymen; think, has never yet been made suffi
we may even have to declare that ciently clear. The portion of his pri- Rome required a despotic ruler, and vate inheritance which Cæsar left to that there was no one then on the his grand nephew has been named, world's stage so fit to rule as the and probably with accuracy. This young Octavius; but arguments such portion, however, Antony had seized, as these will not reconcile the English and squandered before the heir was reader to the character of the man. able to claim it. That Cæsar-who We will leave it to casuists and diwas as it were but a parvenu despot, vines to say whether or no Octavius a dictator of a day's making, a tyrant was wrong, and if wrong, when first whose throne had as yet scarce sup- he commenced his fault ; but we want ported his own weight, a governor no casuists or divines to tell us that who could hardly yet have taught his character was odious to humanity himself to look on his own power as and unworthy of sympathy. But what permanent—that Caesar should have Roman ever required the sympathy ventured to leave the empire to an beir, and have attempted to invest Octavius came to Rome, and every him with it by the mere strength of a
took is marked testamentary document, as a private by a policy supreme in its worldly man does with his house and chattels, wisdom. He made no single false we cannot think probable. That he step in his intricate path. And inhad recommended him to the Romans tricate as his path was, one false step as the heir of his love and the adopted might have plunged him into destrucchild of his house, is not only proba- tion. He met Antony at Rome, and ble, but we presume certain.
outwitted the wily veteran at his own When Octavius, in his Grecian game. Antony had declared to the academy, heard accurate tidings of people what was Cæsar's will, but he what had occurred in Rome, and that had omitted to pay to them that porCæsar's will, naming him his heir, tion, of which they were the inherihad been read to the people, he at tors; he not only omitted to do this, once resolved to make the utmost use but himself used the wealth with of the legacy. He resolved to throw which he might have done it. Octafor a great stake and play a mightyvius, on his return to Rome, found game. It seems that those around nothing but ransacked coffers, and yet him endeavoured to dissuade him from with such help as he got from his going to Italy ; they thought that the friends, he contrived to pay to the chances of success were much a crainst populace the pracies of his uncle. 16
of any one ?