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introduced, it soon began to show its benign influence on the manners of all classes, from the patrician to the domestic slave, and to produce its fruits in minds of every mould, wherein the seeds of know. ledge were sown. : About this era flourished Ennius and Plautus; and thenceforward Rome rose rapidly in letters as in arms: so that, within a generation or two, Lucretius, Catullus, and Cicero had advanced the intellectual glory of their country to the verge of its consummation. But even in the Augustan age, which followed, when we consider the base means by which the Roman people were bribed into slavery, held in gorgeous fetters, and their fero. cions passions glutted with cruel and bloody spectacles to restrain them from reflecting on their degradation, and conspiring against the new tyranny; who can doubt, that in morals and understanding, London, at this hour, is as classic as pagan Rome was in the proudest moment of her splendid infamy?
The verses of the elder Romans, so far as can be collected concerning their character, were burlesque and satirical (like those of the modern Greenlanders) rather than warlike and devotional, as the earliest poetry generally is. But from the 'expulsion of the Tarquins and the establishment of a consular government, eloquence was always in special esteem, and diligently cultivated, though of a kind corresponding with the simple habits, narrow learning, and turbulent circumstances of the times. The tongue was the weapon with which civil war was carried on, and political ascendency gained, in the conflicts between the patricians and the plebeians,--at everlasting strife with each other in the forum, but in perpetual league in every other field, where the sword was the arbiter, and the spoils of the world the prize of victory. Hence the Latin language, even before it was employed for the more brilliant exercises of literature, had been highly wrought, and condensed into a most energetic vehicle for the commerce of thought; and afterward, by the practice of its best speakers and writers, grace and vigour became equally blended in its construction and idiom. Inferior in copiousness, splendour, and flexibility, to the inimitable Greek, it is itself inimitable in pithy and sententious brevity; while in grandeur and beauty its orators and poets have left examples of its capabilities which those of its rival tongue can scarcely excel. From Ennius to Virgil, there was a rapidly ascending succession of master-minds, formed not only to rule the taste of conteniporaries, but to give laws of thinking to all posterity by whom their labours of thought should be possessed with the power of appreciating such models of excellence.
During the triumvirate of Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus, there were living at once in Italy the greatest number of poets, orators, historians, and philosophers that Rome ever knew; and many of ihese were of the highest rank in their respective professions. But in Rome, as in Greece, with liberty fell literature, not indeed at once, for she rose and fell frequently-rising weaker, and falling heavier each time; but from the hour when Aŭgustus assumed the purple, he put chains upon the Muses, -golden ones indeed, and sparkling with gems, but still they were chains,-chains that bound the soul. Adorned and degraded with these they were compelled to walk in his train-beautiful captives, smiling like infants, and singing like syrens, but sick at heart, pining in thought as they followed the triumphal car of the enslaver of their country ; at whoso wheels Roman freedom, Roman virtue, Roman glory, were dragged in the dust; and never, never again stood upright, and strong, and fearless as before.
Thenceforward literature and philosophy visibly declined ; slowly at first, but with accelerating tendency towards final .extinction; so that from the close of the reign of Trajan down to the fourth cen: fury of the Christian era, when the poet Claudian flourished, who, with all his faults, was worthy of a better age,-there is not a solitary monument of Roman genius to rank with the masterpieces of the fifty years which either preceded or followed the usurpation of supreme power by Augustus. There are, however, various useful and interesting productions amid this decay of learning, which throw light upon the public events and private manners of the intervening period of intestine turbulence and barbarian aggression by which the pride and power of Rome were gradually shaken, dilapidated, overthrown, and finally broken to pieces on the banks of the Tiber, never to be reinstated.
Literature during the Middle Ages. For nearly ten centuries succeeding, the literature both of Greece and Rome was of a character so heterogeneous, that this epithet alone will be sufficient to designate it,—the necessary brevity of the present review not allowing us to waste another word upon it in reference to antiquity. Meanwhile, revolution after revolution changed the condition of the people that inhabited the provinces of the western empire from the death of Constantine the Great. The Goths, Vandals, Huns, with. numberless' and nameless tribes of barbarians, emigrating in mass,like mountains undermined, and sliding from their base ; or forests on morasses, slowly ruptured, and ingulfing their own growth as well as inundating the adjacent plains-from Scythia, Sarmatia, Siberia, and the inexhaustible regions of Tartary, overran Germany, Gaul, Italy, and Spain; out of whose partitions of the spoil of Europe gradually arose its modern empires, kingdoms, and commonwealths. From the stern and summary principles of equity among these rude people, grafted upon the Roman institutes imbodied by Justinian, sprang the laws and policy of Christian nations at this day. In
Britain itself we owe more of the rights and freedom we enjoy to those hordes, which have been held up to indignation as the ravagers and destroyers of every thing great, and good, and glorious, in government and literature, during that revolutionary struggle, which compelled the Romans to withdraw their legions and their colonists from our remote island, and reduced the enfeebled natives to call in the aid of the Saxons to repel the inroads of the Picts and Scots; we owe more to these vilified savages than to their illustrious victims, whose fate has so osten excited the compassion of historians, poets, moralists, and declaimers of every class. Yet it must be acknowledged, after all, that the Romans, from their degeneracy, were worthy of no better a fate; nay, they were so irrecoverably corrupt and emasculate, that the infusion of purer blood from the full sountains of the north had become requisite to restore human nature itself in the south of Europe to health, vigour, and temperance,-the true standard both of niental and bodily enjoyment and perfection.
The fate of the Eastern Empire was longer held in suspense: it stood a thousand years on its new base, at the point where Europe and Asia meet on the opposite shores of the Hellespont; but it fell, in the sequel, after many a long and furious struggle against the encroachments of the Saracens and the Turks. Nothing in history is more extraordinary than the sudden rise, the rapid progress, and the amazing extension of the empire of the former. In less than a hundred and fifty years the Saracen arms had conquered all the western, southern, and eastern provinces of the Roman world, including Spain, Barbary, Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, and the adjacent regions; to which were added Arabia, whence they issued, with Persia, a great part of Tartary, and in process of time the whole of India within the Ganges, where the eagles of Rome had never even alighted, much less gathered themselves together upon the prey. It is true that all th:se countries were never, at the same time, under the immediate sovereignty of one prince; but it is not the caliphate of Bagdad alone of which we now speak, -the reference is to the domination at large of the Saracens, whom their kindred origin, language, manners, religion, and the rage, first for conquest, and afterward for knowledge, assiipilated with each other, and distinguished from every people under heaven besides.
Mahomet. At the beginning of the seventh century, an unlettered slave and a renegade mon! invented a new form of superstition,-a triple cord to bind the human spirit, composed of certain parts of Judaism, Christianity, and paganism, so sublly and inextrica. bly implicated, that to this day it continnes to hold in captivity as great a multitude of our divided race as ever professed the same form of faith.
Among the innumerable millions of those who have lived and died in this world of change and more tality, if we were to fix on one whose existence, opinions, and actions, in their results, have more extensively influenced the destinies of a larger proportion of their fellow-creatures than those of any other, we should name the false prophet of Mecca. There have been warriors, legislators, and fanatics, who, in their circle, have equalled and even excelled him in prowess, policy, and extravagance ; but not one can be brought into entire competition with Mahomet for the spread and permanence of his fame, either as conqueror, lawgiver, or impostor. . His empire, instituies, and superstition have been rooted and perpetuated over so vast a portion of the old world, that the tail of his elborach (the beast which carried him on his miraculous journey to Paradise), --the tail of his elborach, like that of the dragon in