On this page
- Text (2)
Note: This text has been automatically extracted via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. The text has not been manually corrected and should not be relied on to be an accurate representation of the item.
Additionally, when viewing full transcripts, extracted text may not be in the same order as the original document.
Newman On Regal Home. Beqal Borne: An In...
was dependent on the flight of birds , which were supposed to indicate the will of the gods . That a popular assembly , which met in the open air , should be liable to mental impressions from so striking a phenomenon as an eagle flying down in the midst of them , —or from other behaviour of powerful birds in a half-wild country , where they have little dread of man , —cannot at all astonish us . A belief in augury becomes ridiculous and monstrous , when it is methodized as in later JRpme ; when the domestic fowl has supplanted the eagle and vulture , and the solitary poulterer , watching his hencoop , reports how many morsels fall on the pavement from the chicken ' s mouth . " Here is a glance at THE WAT HOME WAS PEOPLED .
" But there is perfect unanimity among the ancients , as to the principle on which the rapid rise of Romulus's colony depended . Walls having been erected sufficient for defence , free reception was given to all who chose to come and claim it / The forms under which this was done remind us of Greek customs , if indeed we may trust the tale . A lofty and steep hill lay to the north-west of the new Rome . Its ' back had a depression in the centre ; the two heights on each side were afterwards called the Citadel and the Capitol . From the Capitol . the whole hill was called Capitoline : the rock of the Citadel was abrupt , and was named the Tarpeiaii . In the depression between , or the descent from it , a spot was consecrated , and called by the Greek name asylum : whoever fled to this was l'eceived , as a claimant of hospitable protection , to whom the walls must not remain closed . Whether such formalities have been correctly reported to us , is of very little
importance : that the policy herein implied was systematically followed in the whole period of kingly Rome , seems beyond reasonable donbt , and to be a clue to the whole course of events . To the same policy Thucydides ascribes the early aggrandizement of Attica . Defeated chieftains from all parts of Greece flocked thither , with their retinues , as to a safe refuge ; and brought their numbers , experience and skill in the arts of war or peace . Livy , indeed , calls the principle ' familiar to the founders of cities ; ' and undoubtedly it conduces to material prosperity . To harbour criminals is quite a separate matter , and in our days is an odious idea , when criminals are the dregs of society . Not so political offenders . Holland and England have long gloried in protecting those whom the despots of neighbouring communities'have" judged to deserve punishment ; and the arts and wealth of both countries have been increased by the industry and ingenuity of refugees . Hydria in Greece , though a barren rock unnoticed by antiquity , shot up into sudden
greatness by giving a home and a free port to those who suffered by Turkish tyranny ; and if any causes were at work to disorder the Latin or Etrurian cities , it is easy to believe that refugees may .-have rapidly aggrandized early Home . In that stage of rudeness , indeed , it " may be taken for granted that no distinction would be made between criminals and _ innocent men ; the mixed multitude is not likely to have been much purer than the later Romans represented it ; yet * h ere is an undeniable superiority in such a mass of outlaws in rude over civilized times . Where all men carry arms , and each has to defend himself , personal conflicts are of daily occurrence : the perpetrators of bloodshed are often among the best men of the community ; and if inade outlaws , may prove very valuable citizens to the foreign town which welcomes them . Alban Rome was clearly a robber city ; yet we do not know it to have been stained with blood-thirsty treachery like the Mamertines of Messene . She is rather to be compared to the petty cities of early Greece , when they practised piracy without scruple , and gloried in it .
" This stage of human society rises out of an immature morality , difficult at first to understand . We are apt to imagine , that men ready to shed blood for the gratification of their cupidity , can have no virtues at all ; but this is an illusion similar to that of supposing that a man who finds his sport in slaywig innocent animals is altogether savage . A line , not wholly arbitrary , is drawn between our own and foreign nations , as between men and brutes , which admits of cultivating many virtues in high perfection towards countrymen , while we disown all moral rights of the stranger . Unhappily , this immature morality propagates itself to a very late stage . Nations called Christian , and glorying in the gentleness of civilization , are often execrably cruel and unjust even towards one another , and much more towards those whom they call barbarians . In early Greece and Home , as in early Germany , the same principles were practised and avowed without disguise . No one criticised them ; all in turn were ready to act upon them ; and every successful warrior was honoured by his own pedple , however grpat had been his injustico to the foreigner . "
There is one point Newman has in common with Niebuhr , that , namely , of seeing the analogies between existing forms of society , and those of early Home ; and an example is given in this account of
THE SABINE SERFS . " The state of society in which the oldest Sabines lived , it has been ingeniously observed , seems to have originated the Homeric conception of a Cyclops , —a fierce and arbitrary being , who dwells on the tops of hills and tends his flocks , responsible to no one , but * giving laws to hia children and to his wife / Slavery had no general existence , but every noblo family had dependents permanently attached to it , who were called its Clients . It was a system of high , but kindly aristocracy . The client , like the- Russian serf , was attached to his patron or lord as to a father and a friend . The whole clan was in theory , or rather in feeling , a single largo family , accustomed to yield tho guidance of all external affairs to its leader , as nbsolutel y as Arabs to their sheikh . When wo have the most positive assurances that ovory father in Sabine Rorno possessed power of life and death over his grownup son ; and that the father might eoll him into slavory , and resume hia rights
over him twice , if twice sot free ; wo must bo prepared to boliovo in tho high authorit y of tho chieftain over tho serf . Yet , aa all tho dignity of tho Patron depended on tho number and well-being of his Clients ; as their swords und their properties wore his'to uho on ovory groat exigency ; it is not to be looked on as poetical fiction that he zealously cared for their physical wolfaro , and by kindly intercourse sustained their loyal symputhios . Tina oiYocb Was ascribed by later writers to tho influonco of religious oaths which bound the parties together ; but , independentl y of religion , a Snbino chief had little moro temptation to oppress his client , than to bo cruel to his son . Both of them crouched before his uiigor , both of them rojoicod in his greatness and pomp . To each wan assigned his & ppropi * iuto external comforts : custom and public opinion regulated tho pnymonts mudo by tho cultivator ; and' tho hardy ponsant was satisfied with so little , that ho must liavo boon a cruel lord indeod who grudged that little . " Many modern writors Bcom unable to conceive such a relation of lord and serf , except whoro it is founded on conquest by foreigners j yet there we instances to
the contrary so clear , that to impute a conquest is gratuitous . A future generation , on learning how peasants in the Scotch Highlands have been driven off the soil by the representatives of the chieftains for whom their fathers' broadswords won it , will be in danger of mistaking these free , hardy , and much-injured men for a conquered and inferior race . And in fact there is not only a very great similarity in the relations between a Chief of the Gaelic clans and his vassals , to those between a Sabine Patron and his Client , but , in so far as language , is any - test of blood , it would appear that the Sabines and the Gaels are of nearer kindred :, than Irish and Welsh . The patriarchal authority is not easily abused to griping and heartless covetousness in the rude days , when chief and clansman live in daily sight of one another , as in an Arab tribe ; when men are valuable for bravery and devotedness , and not only for the rent which they pay ; and when the arts of life are . so little advanced , that the great use of wealth is to maintain a more gorgeous retinue . But when with the progress of art and political development , the chief covets the land for the sake of rent and not of men , and a custom has hardened into law which enables him to appear as owner of the soil , the relation of Patron to Client is liable to become one of antagonism , and frequently of bitter hostility , as in republican Rome . " We will conclude with a passage on BOMAN" MAREIAGE . " There can be little doubt that the principles of marriage established in later Rome , when Latin influences had become dominant in social life , rose out of the Latin , in contrast to the Sabine customs . In the Latin practice , the wife never came ' into the hand * of her husband , but remained permanently in her father ' s power : in consequence of which , the father , if offended , might at any time recal his daughter , and even give her away to another : nor had the Latin father the same power over his children as in Sabine law . How the Sabines looked on so lax a union , may be in part gathered from the singular phraseology of the later Roman law , which transfers to the marriages of those who are not Quirites terms which must once have been applicable to plebeian unions . A marriage made with the sacred auspices is called connubium ^ or nuptiee legilimcB , and the wife is ajusta uxor ; but a marriage valid in law , yet deficient in ceremonial sanctity , is designated only as matrimonivm , and the wife is oddly called injusta uxor ( an illegitimate wife ?) The name itself of Matrimony , now so honourable , may of itself indicate that the domestic morality of the oldest Latins was less elevated and more barbarous than that of the Sabines . In the savage or infantine state of human society , no union between the sexes is ratified until children are born . Prior to this event > the woman has no claims upon the man ; and if they separate without becoming-parents of a common offspring , society has nothing to do with their mutual intimacy , any more than with an ordinary friendship . But on the impending birth of a child , the weakness and helplessness of woman claims the cares , attentions , and solace of her-partner : the society discerns and avows that she is entitled to a motlier ' s support , ( matrimonium , ) stigmatizes the father as unjust , and punishes him by law if he neglects the duties-contingent on his paternal character . This is indeed a close description of the present state of sexual morality among the lower orders of Wales ; and the tone of grief and almost of disgust which pervades a recent Report to the English Parliament on this topic , may possibly represent to us the disdain and scorn with which the rigid Sabines viewed the matrimony of the Latin plebeian ' s . Whether , in the time of Tarquiu , the plebs of Rome were , in any true moral view , lower as to these matters than the Sabines , we have no sure means of knowledge : but it must not be left out of sight , that to the latest time of Rome a valid marriage was constituted by mere usus or habitual union ; so that , after all , Quirites had gained the right of sacred nuptial auspices , every wife was in danger of falling ' into the hand' of her husband , unless she absented herself froin , his house one day in every year . This total unimportance of any marriage ceremony * must apparently have been part of the same Latin custom . But the patricians , to the last , looked on a marriage so formed as less pleasing to the gods . No man could become a Roman priest , —no boys or girls could sing in sacred chorus on the public festivals , unless born of a marriage contracted by holy bride-cake , ( confarreatio , ) with religious auspices , sanctioned by an augur and pontiff . "
Newman On Regal Home. Beqal Borne: An In...
* Thisla still tho law in Scotland , and equally comos down lVoin primitive rudeness , It is now corrected by a practical oloyution of public moral fooling .
Afrii. 10, 1852.] The Leader. 351
Afrii . 10 , 1852 . ] THE LEADER . 351
Claret And Olives. Claret And Olives, Fr...
CLARET AND OLIVES . Claret and Olives , from the Garonne to tho Shone ; or Notes , Social , Ficturesquo , and Legendary by tho Way . By Angus B . Roach . David Boguc . Undeb the fanciful title of Claret and Olives , Mr . Reach has recorded the picturesque reminiscences of his journeys in tho south of France , whither he proceeded for the purpose of describing in the Moiminy Chronicle tho social and agricultural condition of that country . What claret and olives are to the feast , this volumo is to literature—a luxury , with no pretensions to bo more ; a pleasant flavour and a bright clear colour—the perfume , not the food ! Ho thus states his purpose : — " All sensible readers will bo gratified when I state that I have not tho remotest intontion of describing tho archaeology of Bordeaux , or any other town whatever .
Whoever wants to know tho height of a steeple , tho length of an aisle , or tho number of arches in a bridge , must betuko themselves to Murray nnd his compeers . I will neither be picturesquely profound upon ogives , tritbriu , clorcatorya , screens , or mouldings ; nor magniloquontly great upon tho arched , tho early pointed , the florid , or tho flamboyant schools . I will go into raptures neither about Virgins , nor Holy Families , nor Oriol windows , in tho fine old cut-and-dry school of tho traveller of ta « te , which means , of course , every traveller who over packed a shirt into a carpot-lmg ; but , leaving tho mero archeology and curved stones alono in their glory , I will try , to sketch living , and now and then historical , Franco—to move gossipingly along in tho byways rather than , tho highways—always moro prono to give a good legend of u grey old ciuitlc , than a correct iiftiumrouiont of tho height of tlio towora ; and always necking to bring up , m well us I can , a varying , shifting picture , well thronged with humanity , before tho reader ' s eye . "
Of course an author has a right to choose ' what ho will do ; neither tho subject nor tho point of view can bo prescribed for him by anothor ; but while recognising Mr . -Reach ' s right to compose his notes of whatever materials camo smeoroly in his way , the critic must put in a plea in favour of what has boon omittod . It ifl very proper in him to omit profundities upon ogives , triforia , screens and mouldings , if ho really had nothing to say
Leader (1850-1860), April 10, 1852, page 19, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/cld_10041852/page/19/