Page images
PDF
EPUB

that the candidate should address ers are found to have played upon every voter by his name; it was a as the most effectual chord in the fiction of Republican etiquette, that great system which they modulated; every man participating in the politi- some few, by a rare endowment of cal privileges of the state must be nature; others, as Napoleon Bonapersonally known to public aspi- parte, by elaborate mimicries of rants. But, as this was supposed to pantomimic art.* be, in a literal sense, impossible to Other modes he had of winning all men with the ordinary endow- affection from the army; in particuments of memory, in order to recon- lar that, so often practised before and cile the pretensions of Republican since, of accommodatiog himself to hauteur with the necessities of hu- the strictest ritual of martial disciman weakness, a custom had grown pline and castrensian life. He slept up of relying upon a class of men, in the open air, or, if he used a tent called noinenclators, whose express (papilio), it was open at the sides. business and profession it was to He ate the ordinary rations of cheese, make themselves acquainted with bacon, &c.; he used no other driok the person and name of every citi- than that composition of vinegar and zen. One of these people accompa- water, known by the name of posca, nied every candidate, and quietly which formed the sole beverage whispered into his ear the name of allowed in the Roman camps. He each voter as he came in sight. Few, joined personally in the periodiindeed, were they who could dis- cal exercises of the army — those pense with the services of such an

even which were trying to the most assessor; for the office imposed a vigorous youth and health: marchtwofold memory, that of names and ing, for example, on stated occasions, of persons; and to estimate the im- twenty English miles without intermensity of the effort, we must recol- mission, in full armour and comlect that the number of voters often pletely accoutred. Luxury of every far exceeded one quarter of a mil- kind he not only interdicted to the lion. The very same trial of me- soldier by severe ordinances, himmory he undertook with respect to self enforcing their execution, but his own army, in this instance re- discountenanced it (though elsecalling the well-known feat of Mi- where splendid and even gorgeous thridates. And throughout his life he in his personal habits) by his own did not once forget the face or name continual example. In dress, for of any veteran soldier whom he had instance, he sternly banished the ever had occasion to notice, no mat- purple and gold embroideries, the ter under what remote climate, or jewelled arms, and the floating draunder what difference of circum- peries so little in accordance with stances. Wonderful is the effect the severe character of “ war in proupon soldiers of such enduring and cinct.”+ Hardly would he allow himseparate remembrance, which ope- self an ivory hilt to his sabre. The rates always as the most touching same severe proscription he extendkind of personal flattery, and which, ed to every sort of furniture, or dein every age of the world, since the corations of art, which sheltered social sensibilities of men have been even in the bosom of camps those much developed, military command- habits of effeminate luxury—so apt

In the true spirit of Parisian mummery, Bonaparte caused letters to be written from the War-office, in his own name, to particular soldiers of high military reputation in every brigade, (whose private history he had previously caused to be investigated,) alluding circumstantially to the leading facts in their personal or family career; a furlough accompanied this letter, and they were requested to repair to Paris, where the Emperor anxiously desired to see them. Thus was the paternal interest expressed, which their leader took in each man's fortunes; and the effect of every such letter, it was not doubted, would diffuse itself through ten thousand other men.

“War in procinct"-a phrase of Milton's in Paradise Regained, which strikingly illustrates his love of Latin phraseology; for unless to a scholar, previously acquainted with the Latin phrase of in procinctu, it is so absolutely unintelligible as to interrupt the current of the feeling.

in all great empires to steal by im- the martial character and the proper perceptible steps from the voluptu- pursuits of men whose vocation ous palace to the soldier's tent-fol- obliges them to consider themselves lowing in the equipage of great eternally under marching orders, as leading officers, or of subalterns they are propitious to all the best highly connected. There was at interests of society in connexion that time a practice prevailing, in with the feelings of civic life. the great standing camps on the se- We dwell upon this prince not veral frontiers and at all the military without reason in this particular; stations, of renewing as much as pos- for amongst the Cæsars, Hadrian sible the image of distant Rome by stands forward in high relief as a the erection of long colonnades and reformer of the army. Well and piazzas—siugle, double, or triple; of truly might it be said of him—that, crypts, or subterranean* saloons, post Cæsarem Octavianum labantem (and sometimes subterranean galle- disciplinam, incuriâ superiorum prinries and corridors,) for evading the cipum, ipse retinuit. Not content sultry noontides of July and August; with the cleansings and purgations of verdant cloisters or arcades, with we have mentioned, he placed upon roofs high over-arched, constructed a new footing the whole tenure, duentirely out of flexile shrubs, box. ties, and pledges, of military offices.I myrtle, and others, trained and It cannot much surprise us that this trimmed in regular forms; besides department of the public service endless other applications of the to- should gradually have gone to ruin piaryt art, which in those days (like or decay. Under the Senate and the needle-work of Miss Linwood in People, under the auspices of those ours), though no more than a me- awful symbols-letters more significhanic craft, in some measure rea- cant and ominous than ever before lized the effects of a fine art by the had troubled the eyes of man, exo perfect skill of its execution. All cept upon Belshazzar's wall-S. P. these modes of luxury, with a policy Q. R., the officers of the Roman that had the more merit as it thwart- army had been kept true to their ed his own private inclinations, did duties, and vigilant by emulation and Hadrian peremptorily abolish ; per a healthy ambition. But, when the haps, amongst other more obvious ripeness of corruption had by dispurposes, sceking to intercept the solving the body of the state brought earliest buddings of those local at- out of its ashes a new mode of life, tachments which are as injurious to and had recast the aristocratic re

Crypts"-these, which Spartian, in his life of Iladrian, denominates simply crypta, are the same which, in the Roman jurisprudence, and in the architectural works of the Romans yet surviving, are termed hypogocce deambulutiones, i. e. subterranean parades. Vitruvius treats of this luxurious class of apartments in connexion with the Apotheca, and other repositories or store-rooms, which were also in many cases under ground, for the same reason as our ice-houses, wine cellars, &c. He (and from him Pliny and Apollonaris Sidonius,) calls them crypto-porticus (cloistral colonnades ;) and Ulpian calls them refugia (sanctuaries, or places of refuge); St Ambrose notices thein under the name of hypogaa and umbrosa penetralia, as the resorts of voluptuaries : Luxuriosorum est, says he, hypogæa quærere-captantium frio gus æstivum ; and again he speaks of desidiosi qui ignava sub terris agant otia.

The topiary arl”-so called, as Salmasius ibinks, from rotilor, a rope ; be. cause the process of construction was conducted chiefly by means of cords and strings. This art was much practised in the 17th century; and Casaubon describes one, which existed in his early days somewhere in the suburbs of Paris, on so elaborate a scale, that it represented Troy besieged, with the two hosts, their several leaders, and all other objects in their full proportion.

* Very remarkable it is, and a fact which speaks volumes as to the democratic constitution of the Roman army, in the midst of that aristocracy which enveloped its parent state in a civil sense, that although there was a name for a common soldier (or sentinel, as he was termed by our ancestors) – viz. miles gregarius, or miles manipularis—there was none for an officer ; that is to say, each several rank of officers had a name; but there was no generalization to express the idea of an officer ab. stracted from its several species or classes.

VOL. XXXV. NO. CCXXIII.

3 R

public, by aid of its democratic ele- this hazard at defiance. Hitherto, ments then suddenly victorious, in the highest regimental rank, that to a pure autocracy-whatever might of Tribune, had been disposed of be the advantages in other respects of in two ways, either civilly upon pothis great change, in one point it had pular favour and election, or upon certainly injured the public service, the express recommendation of the by throwing the higher military ap- soldiery. This custom had prevailed pointments, all in fact which confer- under the Republic, and the force of red any authority, into the channels habit had availed to propagate that of court favour-and by consequence practice under a new mode of gointo a mercenary disposal. Each vernment. But now were introduced successive Emperor had been too new regulations : the Tribune was anxious for his own immediate se- selected for his military qualities curity, to find leisure for the re- and experience: none was appointed moter interests of the empire: all to this important office, " nisi barbi looked to the army, as it were for plenâ." The Centurion's truncheon,* their own immediate security against again, was given to no man, "nisi competitors, without venturing to robusto et bone famæ.” The arms tamper with its constitution, to risk and military appointments (supelpopularity by reforming abuses, to lectilis) were revised; the register of balance present interest against a names was duly called over; and remote one, or to cultivate the pub- none suffered to remain in the lic welfare at the hazard of their camps who was either above or beown: contented with obtaining that, low the military age. The same they left the internal arrangements vigilance and jealousy were extendof so formidable a body in the state ed to the great stationary stores and to which circumstances had brought repositories of biscuit, vinegar, and it, and to which naturally the views of other equipments for the soldiery. all existing beneficiaries had gradu- All things were in constant readiness ally adjusted themselves. What these in the capital and the provinces, in might be, and to what further results the garrisons and camps, abroad and they might tend, was a matter of at home, to meet the outbreak of a moment doubtless to the empire. foreign war or a domestic sedition. But the empire was strong; if its Whatever were the service, it could motive energy was decaying, its vis by no possibility find Hadrian urinertie was for ages enormous, and prepared. And he first, in fact, of could stand up against assaults_re. all the Cæsars, restored to its ancient peated for many ages : whilst the Em- Republican standard, as reformed peror was in the beginning of his au- and perfected by Marius, the old thority weak, and pledged by instant martial discipline of the Scipios and interest, no less than by express pro- the Paulli—that discipline, to which, mises, to the support of that body morethan to any physical superiority whose favour had substantially sup- of her soldiery, Rome had been inported himself, Hadrian was the debted for her conquest of the earth; first who turned his attention effec- and which had inevitably decayed tually in that direction; whether it in the long series of wars growing were that he first was struck with out of personal ambition. From the the tendency of the abuses, or that days of Marius, every great leader he valued the hazard less which he had sacrificed to the necessities of incurred in correcting them, or that courting favour from the troops, as -having no successor of his own much as was possible of the hardblood-he had a less personal and ships incident to actual service, and affecting interest at stake in setting as much as he dared of the once

Vitis : and it deserves to be mentioned, that this staff, or cudgel, which was the official eusign and cognizance of the Centurion's dignity, was meant expressly to be used in caning or cudgelling the inferior soldiers : " propterea vitis in manum data,” says Salmasius,“ verberando scilicet militi qui deliquisset." We are no patrons of corporal chastisement, which, on the contrary, as the vilest of degradations, we abominate.

The soldier, who does not feel himself dishonoured by it, is already dishonoured beyond hope or redemption. But still let this degradation not be in. puted to the English army exclusively.

rigorous discipline. Hadrian first guardian of the public and private found himself in circumstances, or interests which composed the great was the first who had courage edifice of the social system as then enough to decline a momentary in- existing amongst his subjects. Above terest in favour of a greater in re- all, and out of his own private purse, version; and a personal object which he supported the heraldries of his was transient, in favour of a state one dominions—the peerage, senatorial continually revolving.

or prætorian, and the great gentry For a prince, with no children of or chivalry of the Equites. These his own, it is in any case a task of were classes who would have been peculiar delicacy to select a succes- dishonoured by the censorship of sor. In the Roman Empire the dif- a less august comptroller. And, ficulties were much aggravated. The for the classes below these, interests of the State were, in the by how much they were lower and first place, to be consulted; for a more remote from his ocular supermighty búrthen of responsibility intendence-by so much the more rested upon the Emperor in the most were they linked to him in a connexpersonal sense. Duties of every ion of absolute dependence. Cæsar kind fell to his station, which, from it was who provided their daily the peculiar constitution of the Go. food, Cæsar who provided their vernment, and from circumstances pleasures and relaxations. He charrooted in the very origin of the Im- tered the fleets which brought grain peratorial office, could not be de. to the Tiber-he bespoke the Sardi. volved upon a council. Council nian granaries whilst yet unformed there was none, nor could be recog- -and the barvests of the Nile whilst nised as such in the State-machineryyet unsown. Not the connexion The Emperor, bimself a sacred and between a mother and her unborn sequestered creature, might be sup- infant is more intimate and vital, posed to enjoy the secret tutelage of than that which subsisted between the Supreme Deity; but a council, the mighty populace of the Roman composed of subordinate and respon- capital and their paternal Emperor. sible agents, could not. Again, the They drew their nutriment from him; auspices of the Emperor, and his they lived and were happy by symedicts, apart even from any celestial pathy with the motions of bis will; or supernatural inspiration, simply to him also the arts, the knowledge, as emanations of his own divine cha- and the literature of the empire racter, had a value and a consecra- looked for support. To him the artion which could never belong to mies looked for their laurels, and those of a council-or to those even the eagles in every clime turned their which had been sullied by the breath aspiring eyes, waiting to bend their of any less august reviser. The flight according to the signal of his JoEmperor, therefore, or—as with a vian nod. And all these vast functions view to his solitary and unique cha- and ministrations arose partly as a racter we ought to call him-in the natural effect, but partly also they original irrepresentable term, the were a cause of the Emperor's own Imperator, could not delegate his divinity. He was capable of services duties, or execute them in any avow- so exalted, because he also was held ed form by proxies or representa- a god, and had his own altars, his tives. . He was himself the great own incense, his own worship and fountain of law-of honour of pre- priests. And that was the cause, and ferment-of civil and political regu- that was the result of his bearing, on lations. He was the fountain also his own shoulders, a burthen so of good and evil fame. He was the mighty and Atlantean. great Chancellor, or supreme dis- Yet, if in this view it was needful penser of equity to all climates, to have a man of talent, on the other nations, languages, of his mighty do- hand there was reason to dread a minions, which connected the tur- man of talents too adventurous-too baned races of the Orient, and those aspiring-or too intriguing. His siwho sat in the gates of the rising sun, tuation, as Cæsar, or Crown Prioce, with the islands of the West, and the Audg into his hands a power of founfathomed depths of the mysterious menting conspiracies, and of conceal. Scandinavia. He was the universal ing them until the very moment of

men.

explosion-which made him an ob- that this distinguished mark of faject of almost exclusive terror to his vour was conferred in fulfilment of principal, the Cæsar Augustus. His a direct contract on the Emperor's situation again, as an heir voluntarily part, as the price of favours such as adopted, made him the proper object the Latin reader will easily underof public affection and caresses- stand from the strong expression of which became peculiarly embarrass- Spartian above cited. But it is far ing to one who had, perhaps, soon more probable that Hadrian relied found reasons for suspecting, fear- on this admirable beauty, and allowing, and hating him beyond all other ed it so much weight, as the readiest

and most intelligible justification to The young nobleman, whom Ha- the multitude, of a choice which drian adopted by his earliest choice, thus offered to their homage a public was Lucius Aurelius Verus, the son favourite—and to the nobility, of so of Cejonius Commodus. These invidious a preference, which placed names were borne also by the son; one of their own number far above but, after his adoption into the Ælian the level of his natural rivals. The family, he was generally known by necessities of the moment were thus the appellation of Ælius Verus. The satisfied without present or future scandal of those times imputed his danger ;-as respected the future, he adoption to the worst motives. knew or believed that Verus was Adriano,” says one author, “ (ut marked out for early death; and malevoli loquuntur) acceptior formâ would often say, in a strain of comquam moribus.And thus much un- pliment somewhat disproportionate, doubtedly there is to countenance applying to him the Virgilian lines so shocking an insinuation, that very on the hopeful and lamented Marlittle is recorded of the young prince cellus, but such anecdotes as illustrate his “Ostendent terris hunc tantum fata, excessive luxury and effeminate dedication to pleasure. Still it is our Esse sinent." private opinion, that Hadrian's real And, at the same time, to countenance motives have been misrepresented; the belief that he had been disapthat he sought in the young man's pointed, he would affect to sigh, extraordinary beauty--(for he was, exclaiming—“Ah! that I should thus says Spartian, pulchritudinis regiæ fruitlessly have squandered a sum of a plausible pretext that should be three* millions sterling!” for so sufficient to explain and to counte. much had been distributed in larnance his preference, whilst under gesses to the people and the army on this provisional adoption he was the occasion of his inauguration. enabled to postpone the definitive Meantime, as respected the present, choice of an Imperator elect, until the qualities of the young man were his own more advanced age might amply fitted to sustain a Roman po. diminish the motives for intriguing pularity; for, in addition to his ex. against himself. It was, therefore, treme and statuesque beauty of pera mere ad interim adoption ; for it is son, he was (in the report of one certain, however we may choose to who did not wish to colour his cha. explain that fact, that Hadrian racter advantageously)memor faforesaw and calculated on the early miliæ suce, comptus, decorus, oris redeath of Ælius. This prophetic nerandi, cloquentia celsioris, ver su knowledge may have been grounded facilis, in republicâ etiamnon inutilis.” on a private familiarity with some Even as a military officer, he bad a constitutional infirmity affecting his respectablet character; as an orator daily health, or with some habits of he was more than respectable; and life incompatible with longevity, or in other qualifications less interestwith both combined. It is pretended ing to the populace, he had that

neque ultra

• In the original ter millies, which is not much above two millions and 150 thousand pounds sterling ; but it must be remembered that one-third as much, in addition to this popular largess, had been given to the army.

t obtinuit ducis famam."

nam bene gestis rebus, vel potius feliciter, etsi non summi-medii tamen

« PreviousContinue »