« AnteriorContinuar »
Ephorus lived in his time—he wrote a history commencing with the return of the Hcraclidae and ending with the 20th year of Philip of Macedon. It was in 30 books and is frequently quoted by Strabo and others.
Almost nil the writings of ,'lristollc arc extant. Diogenes Laertes has given a catalogue of them. Iiis Art of Poetry has been imitated by Horace.
JEschines, his contemporary, wrote 5 orations and 9 epistles. The orations alone are extant. 340.
Demosthenes was his contemporary and rival.
Theophrastus composed many books and treatises— Diogenes enumerates 200. Of these 20 are extant— among which are a history of stones—treatises on plants, on the winds, signs of fair weather, etc—also, his Characters, a moral treatise. 320.
Menander was his pupil; he was called prince of the new comedy. Only a few fragments remain of 108 comedies which he wrote.
Philemon was contemporary with these two. The fragments of some of his comedies are printed with those of Menander.
Megasthcncs lived about this time. He wrote about the Indians and other oriental nations. His history is often quoted by the ancients. There is a work now extant which passes for his composition, but which is spurious.
Epictiruj also lived now. He wrote 300 -volumes according to Diogenes.
Chrysippus indeed, rivalled him in the number, but not in the merit of his productions. They were contemporaries. 280.
Bion, the pastoral poet, whose Idyllia are so celebrated, lived about this time. It is probable that Moschus, also a pastoral pet, was his contemporary—from the affection with which he mentions him.
Theocritus distinguished himself by his poetical compositions, of which 30 Idyllia and some epigrams remain—also, a ludicrous poem called Syrinx. Virgil imitated him. B. C.2S0.
Jlratus flourished now; he wrote a poem on Astronomy, also some hymns and epigrams.
Lycophron also lived at this time. The titles of 20 of his tragedies are preserved. There is extant a strange work of this poet, call Cassandra, or Alexandra,—it contains about 1500 verses, from whose obscurity the author has been named Tenebrosus.
In the Anthology is preserved a most beautiful hymn to Jupiter, written by Cieanthes,—of whose writings none except this is preserved.
Manetho lived about this period,—an Egyptian who wrote, in the Greek language, a history of Egypt. The writers of the Universal History suspect some mistake in the passage of Eusebius which contains an account of this history.
This was also the age of Jlpollonins of Perga, the Geometrician. He composed a treatise on conic sections in eight books—seven of which remain. It is one of the most valuable remains of antiquity.
Micandcr's writings were held in much estimation. Two of his poems, entitled Theriaca, and Alexipharniaca, are still extant. He is said to have written 5 books of Metamorphoses, which Ovid has imitated. He wrote also history. 150.
About this time flourished Polybius. He wrote an universal History in Greek, divided into 40 books;
which began with the Punic wars, and finished with the conquest of Macedonia by Paulus. This is lost, except the first 5 books, and fragments of the 12 followirj. Livy has copied whole books from him, almost word for word—and thinks proper to call him in return "haudquaquam spernendus auctor." r.
TO AN ARTIST,
Who requested the writer's opinion of a. Pencil Sketch of a very Lovely Woman.
The sketch is somewhat happy of the maid;
But where's the dark ethereal eye—
The lip of innocence—the sigh,
That lights her youthful cheek with pleasure,
Where health and beauty hoard their treasure,
Surrounded by the laughing hours:
Her very foot-prints glow with flowers!
Too dull thy daring pencil's light
To shadow forth the vision bright, Which flowed from Jove's own hand without a stain. What mortal skill can paint her wond'rous eye
Or catch the smile of woman's face,
When all the virtues seem to i*rnce
To him alone the pow'r is given
To blend the radiant hues of heaven, And in the look the very soul portray; Then hold, proud Artist! 'tis the God's command; Eugenia's face requires thy master's hand! u.
Court day!—what an important day in Virginia I— what a day of bustle and business!—what a requisition is made upon every mode of conveyance to the little metropolis of the county! How many debts are then to be paid!—how many to be put off!—Alas! how preponderate the latter! If a man says " I Kill pay ymet Cowl," 1 give up the debt as hopeless, without the intervention of the la. But if court day be thus important, how much more so is March court! That is the day when our candidates are expected home from Richmond to give an account of their stewardship; at least it used to be so, before the number of our legislators was lessened with a view of facilitating the transaction of business, and with a promise of shortening the sessions. But somehow or other, the public chest has such a multitude of charms, it seems now to be more impossible than ever to get away from it.
"'Tie that capitol rising in grandeur on hi eh,
as the song says, which makes our sessions "of stiff a life," and there is no practicable mode of preventing the evisceration of the aforesaid chest, but deferring d* meeting of the Assembly to the month of February,
and thereby compelling the performance of the Commonwealth's business within the two months which would-intervene till the planting of corn. However, this is foreign to my present purpose, which is to describe a scene at which I have often gazed with infinite amusement. Would I had the power of Hogarth, that I might perpetuate the actings and doings of a March court; but having no turn that way, I must barely attempt to group the materials, and leave the painting to some regular artist to perfect. Picture to yourself, my gentle reader, our little town of Dumplinsburg, consisting of a store, a tarern, and a blacksmith shop, the common ingredients of a county town, with a court house and a jail in the foreground, as denoting the superior respect to which they are entitled. Imagine a number of roads diverging from the town like the radii of a circle, and upon these roads horsemen and footmen of every imaginable kind, moving, belter skelter, to a single point of attraction. Justices and jurymen— counsellors and clients—planters and pettifoggers—constables and cakewomen—farmers and felons—horsedrovers and horse-jockies, and so on, all rushing onward like the logs and rubbish upon the current of some mighty river swollen by rains, hurrying pell inell to the vast ocean which is to swallow them all up—a simile not altogether unapt, when we consider that the greater part of these people have law business, and the law is universally allowed to be a vortex worse than the Maelstrom. Direct the "fringed curtains of thine eyes" a little further to the main street—a street well entitled to the epithet main in all its significations, being in truth the principal and only street, and being moreover the political arena or cockpit, in which is settled pugilisiically, all the tough and knotty points which cannot be adjusted by argument. See, on either side, rows of na;s of all sorts and sizes, from the skeleton just unhitched from the plough, to the saucy, fat, impudent ponjr, with reached mane and bobtail, and the sleek and long tailed pampered horse, whose coat proclaims his breeding, all tied to the staggering fence which constitutes the boundary of the street. Behold the, motley assemblage within these limits hurrying to and fro with rapid strides, as if life were at stake. Who is he who slips about among the "greasy rogues," with outstretched pal n, and shaking as many hands as the Marquis La Fayette? It is the candidate for election, and he distributes with liberal hand that barren chronicle of legislative deeds, denominated the list of laws, upon which are fed a people starving for information. This is a mere register of the titles of acts passed at the last session, but it is caught at with avidity by the sovereigns, who are highly offended if they do not come in for a share of the Delegate's bounty. The purchase and distribution of these papers is a sort of carmen neccssarium, or indispensable lesson, and it frequently happens that a member of the Assembly who has been absent from his post the whole winter, except upon the yeas and nays, acquires credit for his industry and attention to business in proportion to the magnitude of the bundle he distributes of this uninstruclive record.
See now he mounts some elevated stand and harangues the gaping crowd, while a jackass led by his groom is braying at the top of his lungs just behind him. The jack takes in his breath, like Fay's Snorer, "with the time of cm octatc flute, and lets it out icilh the profound
depth of a trombone" Wherever a candidate is seen, there is sure to be a jackass—surely, his long eared companion does not mean to satirize the candidate! iHowcver that may be, you perceive the orator is obliged to desist, overwhelmed perhaps by this thundering applause. Now the crowd opens to the right and left to make way for some superb animal at full trot, some Highflyer or Daredevil, who is thus exhibited adcaptandum vidgus, which seems the common purpose of the candidate, the jack, and his more noble competitor. But look—here approaches an object more terrible than all, if we may judge from the dispersion of the crowd who ensconce themselves behind every convenient corner and peep from their lurking holes, while the object of their dread moves onward with saddle bags on arm, a pen behind his ear, and an inkhorn at his button hole. Lest some of my readers should be ignorant of this august personage, I must do as they do in England, where they take a shaggy dog, and dipping him in red paint, they dash him against the signboard and write underneath, this is the Red Lion. This is the sheriff and he is summoning his jury—"Mr. Buckskin, you, sir, dodging behind the blacksmith's shop, I summon you on the jury;" ah, luckless wight! he is caught and obliged to succumb. In vain he begs to be let off, —"you must apply to the magistrates," is the surly reply. And if, reader, you could listen to what passes afterwards in the court house, you might hear something like the following colloquy— Judge. "What is your excuse, sir?" Juror. "I am a lawyer, sir." Judge. "Do you follow the law now, sir?" Juror. "No, sir, the law follows me." Judge. "Swear him, Mr. Clerk." Ah, there is a battle!!! see how the crowd rushes to the spot—"who fights?"— "part 'em"—"stand off"—"fair play" —"let no man touch"—" hurrah, Dick"—"at him, Tom." An Englishman thinking himself in England, bawls out, "sheriff, read the riot act"—a Justice comes up and commands the peace; inter ortna silent leges; he is unceremoniously knocked down, and Justice is blind as ought to be the case. Two of the rioters now attempt to ride in at the tavern door, and for awhile all Pandemonium seems broke loose. To complete this picture, I must, like Asmoduus, unroof the court house, and show you a trial which I had the good fortune to witness. It was during the last war, when the vessels of Admiral Gordon were making their way up the Potomac to Alexandria, that a negro woman was arraigned for killing one of her own sex and color; she had been committed for murder, but the evidence went clearly to establish the deed to be manslaughter, inasmuch as it was done in sudden heat, and without malice aforethought. The Attorney for the commonwealth waived the prosecution for murder, but quoted British authorities to show that she might be convicted of manslaughter, though committed for murder. The counsel for the accused arose, and in the most solemn manner, asked the court if it was a thing ever heard of, that an individual accused of one crime and acquitted, should be arraigned immediately for another, under the same prosecution? At ihtcrvals—boom—boom—boom went the British cannonsBritish authorities! exclaimed the counsel; British authorities, gentlemen!! Is there any one upon that bench so dead to the feelings of patriotism as at such a moment to listen to British authorities, when the British cannon is shaking the very walls of your court house to their
foundation? This appeal was too cogent to be resisted. Up jumped one of the Justices and protested that it was not to be borne; let the prisoner go; away with your British authorities! The counsel for the accused, rubbed his hands and winked at the attorney; the attorney stood aghast; his astonishment was too great for utterance, and the negro was half way home before he recovered Xrom his amazement. Nugator.
THE DEATH OF ROBESPIERRE.
Robespierre and St. Just meeting.
St. Just.—Danlon is gone!
Robespierre.—Then can I hope for all things,
St. Just.—Neither, sir:
Robes.—Ha! did they so?—but when the engine rattled, And the axe fell, didst thou perceive him shudder?
St. Just.—He turn'd his face to the descending steel, And calmly smil'd. A low and ominous murmur Spread through the vast assemblage—then, in peace, They all dispcrs'd.
Robes.—I did not wish for this.
Si. Just.—No man, since Louis Capet
Robes.—Say no more My worthy friend—the friend of France and freedom— Hasten to guard our interest in yon junto Of fools and traitors, who, like timid sheep, Nor fight nor fly, but huddle close together, Till the wolves come to gorge themselves among them— And in the evening, you and all my friends Will meet me here, deliberate, and decide To advance, or to recede. Be still, we cannot; And hear me, dear St. Just—A man like you, Firm and unflinching through so many trials, Who sooner would behold this land manured With carcases and moistened with their blood, Than yielding food for feudal slaves to cat, True to your party and to me your brother— For so I would bo term'd—has the best claim That man can have to name his own reward When France is all our own. Bethink you then What post of honor or of profit suits you, And tell me early, that 1 may provide, To meet your views, a part in this great drama.
St. Just.—Citizen Robespierre—my hearty thanks;
Robes.—'Tis well, St. Just,
St. Just.—Pardon me, sir, (or Sire, even as you please)
We may be sure that all his partisans
And personal friends are our most deadly foes,
And it were politic and kind in us
To spare their brains unnumbered schemes of vengeance
And seize at once the power to silence them.
To give them lime were ruin; some there are
Whose love of gold is such that were it wet
With Danton's blood they would not less receive it
These may be brib'd to league with us. Farewell.
Robes, (solus.) Blood on its base—upon its every step—. Yea, on its very summit—still I climb: But thickest darkness veils my destiny, And sLanding as 1 do on a frail crag Whence I must make one desperate spring to power, To safety, honor, and unbounded wealth, Or be as Danton is, why do I pause? Why do I gaze back on my past career, Upon those piles of headless, reeking dead? Those whitening sculls? those streams of guiltless blood Still smoking to the skies?—why think I hear The shrieks, the groans, the smothered execrations That swell the breeze, or seem as if I shrank Beneath the o'ergrown, yet still accumulating, Curse of humanity that clings around me? Is not my hate of them as fixed, intense, And all unquenchable as theirs of me? But they must tremble in their rage while I Destroy and scorn them. (reads a Utter.)
"Exert your dexterity to escape a scene on which you are to appear once more ere you leave il forever. Your dictatorial chair, if attained, will be only a step lo the KMfoM, through a rubble who will spit on you as on Eealhe. You have treasure enough. I expect you with anxiety. We will enjoy a hearty laugh at the expense of a people as croduloua aa greedy of novelty."
He but little knows,
(Madame de Cabana enters.)
Lady.—Your civic guard were sleeping;
(kneeling before him.)
Robes, (aside.) I know her now—the chosen of Tallicn How beautiful in tears! A noble dame
And worthy to be mine. 'Twould sting his heart
To lose his mistress ere I take his head;
If I would bribe her passions or her fears,
As well I trust I can, I must be speedy.
Those drunken guards—should any see her here,
Then what a tale to spread on Robespierre,
The chaste, the incorruptible, forsooth
(coldly approaching her.)
Daghttr.—Oh, say not so.
Roots.—If he were living
Dmghter.—For the dear mother's sake who gave thee birth And suffer'd agony that thou mighl'st live
Robes.—Not if her voice could hail me from the tomb, And plead in thy own words to save his life.
Daughter.—If thou host hope or mercy
Roots.—I have neither.
Daughter.—I trust I do not.
Roots.—And dare you scorn me, knowing who I am?
Daughter.—Let liim die.
Robes, (laughing.) Ha! ha! Wouldst tliou depart to
Daughter.—My choice is made, let me rejoin my sire.
Robes.—I'll furnish thee a passport—guards awake .' (seizing her arm.) V> ithout there! murder! treason! guards come hither!
(Jacobins rush in and seize her.) A watchful crew ye arc, to leave me thus To perish like Marat by the assassins; See that you guard her well, and keep this weapon Which, but I wrench'd it from her, would have slain me.
Daughter.—And thus my father dies and one as dear. 'Tis joy to suffer with them, though I perish. I feel assured thou canst not triumph long— And I adjure thee by the Heaven thou hast scorn'd, W linsc lingering fires are not yet louncliM against the, And by the Earth thou cumbcrest, which hath not Yet opened to entomb thec living, conic,
Meet me, and mine, and thy ten thousand victims,
(the guards take her out.) Robes.—She must have thought in sooth I was a Christian.
Servant—The Minister of Police
Tallien.—Attend him hither—
I yet may baffle him, and one more fatal
Fouchi.—So you arc in the scales with Robespierre, And which do you expect will kick the beam?
Tallien.—Why should you think that 1 will stake my power, Friends, interest, and life, in useless efforts To thwart the destined ruler of the land?
Fouchi.—Yourself have told me so. I did but mean
Tallien.—You see too far,
Fouchi. (sternly.) And do you hope to throw dust in
falhom'd you? The mystic writing on the palace wall Scar'd not Belshazzar more than this does you.
(Tallien goes to the door.) Nay, never call your men or make those signals, I have foreseen the worst that you can do.
Tallien.—Chief of Police, while you are in this houso Your life is in my hands—when you are gone, Mine is in yours. Now till me why you came?
Fouchi.—To show you that I know of your designs.
Tallien.—.\n<\ is that all?
Fouchi.—Not quite. To offer service—
A politician should not start as you do
Tallien.—Ah—can I—dare I trust you 7
Foucht.—I do not ask created man to trust
Tallien.—Name your terms.
Foucht.—My present post and what Beside is mentioned in this schedule, (giving a paper.)
Tallien.—Your price is high, but I am pledged to pay it. (giving his hand.)
Foucht.—Thou knowest I never was over scrupulous, But he whom I was link'd with, Robespierre, Can stand no longer. Earth is weary of him. The small majority in the Convention He calculates upon to be his plea For wreaking summary vengeance on the heads Of all who, like yourself, are not prepared To grant him supreme power or dip their hands In blood for any, every, or no profit. A ravenous beast were better in the chair. Henriot and the civic force here, stand Prompt to obey him. Were we only sure To raise the citizens, these dogs were nothing— But, sink or swim, to-morrow is the day Must ruin him or us. Do you impeach him, And paint his crimes exactly as they are; Have a decree of arrest, and I and mine Will see he quits not the Convention Hall But in the custody of friends of ours. 'Tis true I bargain'd to assist the fiend The better to deceive him. Mark, Tallien, A presage of his fall—not only I Abandon him, but I can bring Barrere And all his tribe to give their votes against him. Give me carle blanche to pay them for their voices.
Tallien.—But think you I can move them to arrest him?
FouchC.—That is R chance unknown even to myself, There are so many waiters on the wind, Straws to be blown wherever it may list That surety of success we cannot have, But certain ruin if we pass to-morrow.
Tallien.— Is 't true she aim'd a weapon at his life?
Foucht.—A lie of his invention. I have seen
And offered peace between you; he knew not
Rtbts.-Then, friends, farewell until to-morrow dawns.
Foucht —And ere its night sets in we hail thee Ruler, Dictator of the land. • Robes.—If such your will— Without you I am nothing—fare you well.
(they leave him.) (looking up to the stars )—Unchang'd, unfading, neverdying lights— Gods, or coeval with them! If there be In your bright aspects aught of influence Which men have made a science here on earth, Shed it benignly on my fortunes now! Spirit of Terror! Rouse thee at my bidding— Shake thy red wings o'er Liberty's Golgotha— Palsy men's energies and stun their souls, That no more foes may cross my path to-morrow Than I and mine can drown in their own blood; Or, let them rise by thousands, so my slaves Fight but as heartily for gold and wine As they have done ere now. When I shall lead them, Then 'mid the artillery's roar and bayonet's flash I write my title to be Lord of France In flame and carnage, o'er this den of thieves. Beneath th' exterior, frozen, stern demeanor, H;iw my veins throb to bursting, while I think On the rich feast of victory and revenge The coming day may yield me! Yes, this land Of bigot slaves who tremble at a devil, Or frantic atheists who with lifted hands Will gravely Vote their Maker from his throne, This horde of dupes and miscreants shall feel And own in tears, blood, crime and retribution, The iron rule of him they trampled on— The outrag'd, ruin'd, and despised attorney. Though few the anxious hours that lie between My brightest, proudest hopes, or sure destruction, All yet is vague, uncertain, and obscure As what may chance in ages yet to come. How if the dungeon or the scaffold—Ha! That shall not be—my hand shall overrule it— Ingenious arbiter of life and death!
(looking to the charge of a small pistol) Be thou my bosom friend in time of need! No—if my star is doom'd to set forever, The cheeks of men shall pale as they behold The lurid sky it sinks in. Should I fall Leading my Helots on to slay each other, Then death, all hail!—for only thou canst quench The secret fire that rages in my breast; If there be an hereafter, which I know not, He who hath borne my life may dare its worst, And if mortality's last pangs end all, Welcome eternal sleep !—annihilation!
THE HALL OF THE NATIONAL CONVENTION.
Coulhon concluding a speech from the Tribune. Tallii»,