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cose krown short deep snort of the wild boar, der the wing of this luxurious lady, in one
and the long hollow bark of the wolf ; but of the best situations which the range of uraries) 8 thousand fierce sounds, mingled with benches set apart for the females and their opules : these
, were equally new and terrific to my company, afforded. There was a general
eas. One voice, however, was so grand in silence in the place at the time we entered
help asking a soldier, who sate on horseback had just been made that the gladiators, ports of
Lear me, from what wild beast it proceed- with whose combats the exhibition of the
. The man answered, that it was a Lion; day was appointed to commence, were about
and then it seemed to me that the horses along the parapet of the arena, up to the reaning
could not away with the strong sickly smell impenetrable mass of plebeian heads which ndes.
of some of the beasts that were carried there, skirted the horizon, above the topmost wall
watne of the riders were thrown off in the tion went through their assembly, the noise 03 midst of the tumult, and others, with fierce of their rising up or sitting down could
and strong bits, compelled the frightened or be likened to nothing, except, perhaps, the
seen any very great multitude of men as-
sembled together, within any fabric of huof them with the huge lithe trunks lash man erection; so that you cannot doubt there ing and beating (for they too, as you have was, in the scene before me, enough to im heard, would rather die than snuff in the press my mind with a very serious feeling of breath of these monsters of the woods,) astonishment-not to say of veneration. Not while the tiara'd heads of their leaders would less than eighty thousand human beings, be seen tossed to and fro by the contortions (for such they told me was the stupendous of those high necks, whereon for the most capacity of the building,) were here met to. part they had their sitting-places. There gether. Such a multitude can nowhere be was such a cry of cursing, and such a regarded, without inspiring a certain indesound of whips and cords, and such blow- finite indefinable sense of majesty ; least ing of hors, and whistling and screaming; of all, when congregated within the wide and all this mixed with such roaring, and sweep of such a glorious edifice as this, and bellowing, and howling from the savage surrounded on all sides with every circumcreatures within the caged waggons,
that I stance of ornament and splendour, befitting stood, as it were, aghast and terrified, by an everlasting monument of Ronan victo reason of the tumult that was round about ries, the munificence of Roman princes, and
the imperial luxury of universal Rome. But an exhibition of more fearful Judge then, with what eyes of wonder ali interest follows. He is taken in Ru- this was surveyed by me, who had but of bellia's chariot to the Amphitheatre, litary stillness of a British galley--who had
yesterday, as it were, emerged from the sothe Coliseum ; that place in which the been accustomed all my life to consider as grandeur of imperial opulence, and the among the most impressive of human spechorrors of Heathenisn, seem to have tacles, the casual passage of a few scores of met in one unequalled consummation. legionaries, through some dark alley of a
passage is very eloquent, pictu- wood, or awe-struck village of barbarians. resque, and touching. The author
Trajan himself was already present, treads upon untried ground, and he but in nowise, except from the canopy over treads with a learned and manly step. other Consul that sate over against him ;
his ivory chair, to be distinguished from the " Behold me, therefore, in the midst of tall, nevertheless, and of a surety very mathe Flavian Amphitheatre, and seated, up. jestic in his demeanour; grave, sedate, and
benign in countenance, even according to upon their skins. Nor did our own remote the likeness which you have seen upon his island wanttheir representativesin the deadmedals and statues. He was arrayed in a ly procession, for I saw among the armed plain gown, and appeared to converse quite multitude and that not altogether with familiarly, and without the least affectation out some feelings of more peculiar interest of condescension, with such Patricians as two or three gaunt barbarians, whose breasts had their places near him ; among whom and shoulders bore uncouth marks of blue Sextus and Rubellia pointed out many re and purple, so vivid in the tints, that I markable personages to my notice; as for thought many months could not have elapexample, Adrian, who afterwards became sed since they must have been wandering emperor'; Pliny, the orator, a man of very in wild freedom along the native ridges of courtly presence, and lively, agreeable as some Silurian or Caledonian forest. As pect; and, above all, the historian Tacitus, they moved around the arena, some of these the worthy son-in-law of our Agricola, in men were saluted by the whole multitude whose pale countenance I thought I could with noisy acclamations, in token, I supeasily recognize the depth, but sought in posed, of the approbation wherewith the vain to discover any traces of the sternness feats of some former festival had deserved of his genius. Of all the then proud names to be remembered. On the appearance of that were whispered into my ear, could I others, groans and hisses were heard from recollect or repeat them now, how few some parts of the Amphitheatre, mixed with would awaken any interest in your minds ! contending cheers and huzzas from others Those, indeed, which I have mentioned, of the spectators. But by far the greater have an interest that will never die. Would part were suffered to pass on in silence ;that the greatest and the best of them all this being in all likelihood the first-alas! were to be remembered only for deeds of who could tell whether it might not also be greatness and goodness!
the last day of their sharing in that fearful “ The proclamation being repeated a se exhibition ! cond time, a door on the right hand of the 6. Their masters paired them shortly, and arena was laid open, and a single trumpet in succession they began to make proof of sounded, as it seemed to me, mournfully, their fatal skill. At first, Scythian was while the gladiators marched in with slow-matched against Scythian---Greek against steps, each man--naked, except being girt Greek - Ethiopian against Ethiopian with a cloth about his loins--bearing on Spaniard against Spaniard ; and I saw the his left arm a small buckler, and having a sand dyed beneath their feet with blood short straight sword suspended by a cord streaming from the wounds of kindred around his neck They marched, as I have hands. But these combats, although abunsaid, slowly and steadily ; so that the whole dantly bloody and terrible, were regarded assembly had full leisure to contemplate the only as preluides to the serious business of forms of the men ; while those who were, the day, which consisted of duels between or who imagined themselves to be skilled Europeans on the one side, and Africans in the business of the arenk, were fixing, in on the other ; wherein it was the well-nigh their own minds, on such as they thought intransgressible law of the Amphitheatre, most likely to be victorious, and laying that at least one out of every pair of comwagers concerning their chances of success, batants should die on the arena before the with as much unconcern as if they had been eyes of the multitude. Instead of shrinkcontemplating so many irrational animals, ing from the more desperate brutalities of or rather, indeed, I should say, so many these latter conflicts, the almost certainty senseless pieces of ingenious mechanism. of their fatal termination seemed only to The wide diversity of complexion and fea- make the assembly gaze on them with a ture exhibited among these devoted athletes, more interse curiosity, and a more inhuafforded at once a majestic idea of the ex man measure of delight. Methinks I feel tent of the Roman empire, and a terrible as if it were but of yesterday, when,-sickone of the purposes to which that wide ened with the protracted terrors of a congway had too often been made subservient. flict, that seemed as if it were never to The beautiful Greek, with a countenance have an end, although both the combatants of noble serenity, and limbs after which the were already covered all over with hideous sculptors of his country might have model. gashes,- I at last bowed down my head, led their god-like symbols of graceful pow- and clasped my hands upon my eyes, to er, walked side by side with the yellow. save them from the torture of gazing therebearded savage, whose gigantic muscles on farther : And I had scarce done so, when had been nerved in the freezing waves of Rubellia laid her hand upon my elbow, the Elbe or the Danube, or whose thick whispering, “Look, look, now look,' in a strong hair was congealed and shagged on voice of low steady impatience. I did look, his brow with the breath of Scythian or but not to the arena : No; it was upon Scandinavian winters. Many fierce Moors the beautiful features of that woman's face and Arabs, and curled Ethiopians, were that I looked, and truly it seemed to me as there, with the beams of the southern sun if they presented a spectacle almost as fear. burnt in every various shade of swarthiness ful as that from which I had just averted
mine eyes. I saw those rich lips parted At the close of those sanguinary exasunder, and those dark eyes extended in hibitions, Thraso the Christian is their sockets, and those smooth cheeks suf- brought forward to suffer. He is offused with a stedfast blush, and that lovely fered life on recantation, but the old bosom swelled and glowing ; and I hated
man is firm ; the questions of his perRubellia as I gazed, for I knew not before how utterly beauty can be brutalized by secutors are answered by the principles the throbbings of a cruel heart. But I looks of his belief; and in consideration of ed round to escape from the sight of her ; his ancient services, he is condemned and then the hundreds of females that I saw to the more merciful death by the with their eyes fixed, with equal earnest- sword of the executioner. Valerius, ness, on the same spot of horrors, taught already half a convert, looks on this me, even at the moment, to think with murder with the double abhorrence more charity of that pityless gaze of one. excited by humanity and religion ;
" At that instant all were silent, in the and retires to give himself up to mecontemplation of the breathless strife ; inso- ditations on the guilt of Heathenism, nuch, that a groan, the first that had esca- and the beauty of Athanasia. His ped from either of the combatants, although sleep is full of strange dreams, and he for and reluctant, and half-suppressed, rises still perplexed with the crowds, sounded quite distinctly amidst the deep hush of the assembly, and
being constrain the glare, the imperial presence, and ed thereby to turn mine eyes once more the bloody combats. In acknowleddown wards, I beheld that, at length, one of ging the strange and feverish interest the two had received the sword of his ad- which he felt in the gladiatorship, he Fersary quite through his body, and had touches on that mysterious question, sank before him upon the sand. A beauti, the source of human interest, in those ful young man was he that had received terrible trials which repel the eye by this harm, with fair hair, clustered in glossy the extremes of human struggle, grief, ringlets upon his neck and brows; but the and agony. He seems to us to have sickness of his wound was already visible
aasigned the true principle, though en his drooping eye-lids, and his lips were pale, as if the blood had rushed from them without sufficient limitations. He atto the untimely outlet. Nevertheless, the tributes this wild and stern anxiety
to Moorish gladiator who had fought with the intense and common desire of man, him, had drawn forth again his weapon, to see how death is met by man. But. and stood there awaiting in silence the de- his position seems too general for truth. cision of the multitude, whether at once to There are multitudes to whom a glaslay the defenceless youth, or to assist in diatorial exhibition would be a sight removing him from the arena, if perchance of unequivocal disgust and horror. the blood might be stopped from flowing, of the multitudes who yet would and some hope of recovery even yet extends throng, the place of butchery in our ed to him. Hereupon there arose, on the instant, a loud voice of contention ; and it be of low and ruffian habits, with no
day, the majority would undoubtedly seemed to me as if the wounded man regarded the multitude with a proud, and deeper stimulus than brute curiosity. withal contemptuous glance, being aware, Our bear-baitings, cock-fights, and without question, that he had executed all boxing-matches, the disgrace of our things so as to deserve their compassion, manners and our magistracy, are but aware, moreover, that even had that crowded from no motive but the gross been freely vouchsafed to him, it was too passions for novelty, for filling a rude late for any hope of safety. But the cruelty mind with some occupation for the of their faces, it may be, and the loudness time, for debauchery and gambling. of their cries, were a sorrow to him, and Here the interest is stirred without filled his dying breast with loathing. Whe
the ther or not the haughtiness of his counte
sympathy. nance had been observed by them with dis
But the position, that horror is nepleasure, I cannot say ; but so it was, that cessarily vanquished on those occasions, those who had cried out to give him a is untenable. The populace, who alone ehance of recovery, were speedily silent, flock to executions, have in general and the Emperor looking round, and seeing but little horror to combat a great deal all the thumbs turned downwards, (for that of the common inquisitiveness, which is, you know, the signal of death,) was con- makes the vulgar and idle eager to see strained to give the sign, and forthwith every thing that is to be seen. An exethe young man, receiving again without a
cution at Newgate, and a city processtruggle the sword of the Moor into his sion to Blackfriar's Bridge, are attendgashed bosom, breathed forth his life, and ed by the
and vagabond lay stretched out in his blood upon the place curiosity. In remote districts, where of guilt."
executions are rare, the peasantry at- that spot of dimness, melancholy, and tend in seriousness, and perhaps in pain, if the patient was dying of a dishorror, but also in the feeling of no ease which was certainly to break down velty, and the novelty is spread over a his own frame. The result seems to wider space of the mind, and presses it be, not that all men have a love for with a more penetrating feeling than sights of pain and peril, --because all the horror. At a London execution, men know that they must die,- but the habits of the populace are merely that individual circumstances can overcarried from the hovel to the street; power general horror. With Valerius, patah and robbery, ribaldry, and blasphemy, the anxiety to see death is the rule, ply at the foot of the scaffold." Vale- the horror the exception ; with us it is rius seems to think the desire to see the contrary, of what Death is made, the superior The interest felt in the sorrows of and universal impulse. In our concep- tragedy is another branch of this extion, the horror is the universal im- citing question. But if the accomplishpulse, overpowered only in peculiared and delicate are content to feel, it instances arising from the state of the must be without the presence of hore individual. The educated and humane ror; all objects of direct repulsiveness turn away from public executions, be- must be expelled from the temple cause their sensibility is alive to the where imagination is to offer its sahorror, and their education places them crifice of tears. The deaths of the line above the brute curiosity. But if any theatre are involved in every circumman, of whatever advantages of edue stance of gorgeous and lofty interest, cated humanity, were to be certain which can hide the actual desperate that he must die the death of a cul- pangs of dissolution. If the villain >h prit, it is probable that no restraint of dies, our eyes are fixed upon the inhorror at the struggle of his dying pre- creased glory of justice, and the condecessor, would withhold him from firmed perpetual security of the helpseeing how death was to be undergone. less, whom he would have undone. If In this case, the personal sympathy the hero falls, his bier is surrounded would vanquish the horror.
and made illustrious by the spirits of The Roman looked; on the gladia- honour, and courage, and patriotism; tor's blood, urged by no lofty moral of the pain of the moment is overpaid by tezie the lot of human nature. He drank the gratitude of nations, and men are and gamed at it ; it was one of a course taught to covet his death for his imof amusements; and if he preferred its mortality. We follow the perils of desperate and fátal cruelty to them all, kings and chieftains on the stage, where are it was from the greater variety of the we can have no personal sympathy. combat, its longer suspense, its display But it is, because for the time we are of noble forms, and daring vigour, and unquestionably under the partial illueven from its effusion of blood, for man sion that they are true characters. We is by nature a savage. But with how feel for their distresses, not from our different an interest must this combat love to see distress, but from the comhave been witnessed by the gladiators passion which is a part of our nature; looking through the bars of the arena, we trace their casualties with an anand waiting for the next summons. xious eye, because we are naturally The crowds and splendour of the Co- anxious to know that they have escaped liseum must have been as air and emp- at last. This hope, that they will estiness before the eyes that watched the cape, and triumph, is so universal, that champions on the sand. With what the death of the innocent or the maga surpassing anxiety must they have nanimous always offends the imaginawatched the gestures, the sleights of tion. No glorious cloud of poetry copractice, the ways of evading giving the vering their untimely graves, can make mortal blow, and when it was given, us forget that they and we have been the boldest posture in which a gladia- wronged. tor could fall, and triumph as he fell. Next day, Valerius is led by the
Medical books are a repulsive study opulent widow through some of the to the generality, but there is no man "sights” of Rome. She finally introwho does not read the history of his duces him to the temple of Apollo. own disease.
“ So saying, she pointed to the solemn Mankind fly from death-beds, but Doric columns which sustain the portico there is noman who would not hangover of the famous Temple of Apollo Palatinus,
whose shade lay far out upon the marble 6“ So saying, she herself led the way
66 These words were spoken in a low and through the tall stem of the silver tree, from melancholy voice; but guess with what beneath the hollow floor of the Temple.
interest I heard them, when I perceived “Now, there was no one there when we that they proceeded from no other lips than first came into the place, but I had not half those of Athanasia herself. Sextus also, on satisfied myself with contemplating its hearing them, knew well enough who she beauties, when there advanced from be was that spoke; but when he looked at me hind the statue of Apollo, a very majestic to signify this, I motioned to the youth woman, arrayed in long white garments, that he should say nothing to disturb her and having a fillet of laurel leaves twined in her singing. above her veil, where, parting on her fore
66 Then please yourself,' said the priest. head, its folds began to fall downwards to. ess, laying her hand on Athanasia's shoulwards her girdle. Venerable and stately was ders ; but do sing, for I should fain have her mien, but haughty, rather than serene, my maidens to hear something truly of your the aspect of her countenance. Without music." once looking towards us, or the place where
“ With that Atlanasia again applied her He stood, she went up immediately to the fingers to the chords of the lyre, and stoopaltar
, and began to busy herself in trim- ing over them, began to play some notes of ming the sacred fire, which, as I have said, prelude, less sorrowful than what we had exhibited only a lambent and fleeting flame at first heard. upon its surface. But when, with many
“ • Ay, my dear girl,' says the priestess, kneelings and other ceremonies, she had ac • there now you have the very secret of that complished this solitary service, the priest- old Delian chaunt. Heavens! how many ess of Apollo at length turned herself again, lordly choirs have I heard singing to it in as if to depart into the secret place from unison! There are a hundred hymns that whence she had come forth; and it was may be sung to it-give us whichsoever of then that first, as it seemed, observing the them pleases your fancy the best.' presence of strangers, she stood still before "• I will try,' replied the maiden, 'to the altar, and regarding us attentively, sing the words you have heard from me began to recognize the Lady Rubellia,“ before. If I remember me aright, you liked whom, forthwith advancing, she saluted them.' courteously, and invited to come with the " Then boldly at once, yet gently, did rest of us into her privacy, behind the her voice rush into the current of that old shrine of the God.
strain that you have heard so often ; but it