« AnteriorContinuar »
the shores of the Pacific. But notwithstanding all the opposition that could be mustered against it from the north, it failed; and Missouri is a slave State. The Union was never more thoroughly agitated on a question of domestic and local policy, than at this time, and on this particular question: the north and the advocates of equal rights, pitted against the south and against the advocates/ of slavery. The disappointment and chagrin of the north, their mortification at this victory of the south, will never be effaced. It would not have been believed, as a subject of prediction, that this triumph could ever be achieved.
Again, Mr. Colton tells us, that another fact shews the paramount influence of the slave States, viz. that slavery is permittedi to exist in the district of Columbia, the proper national domicile, which is under the sole jurisdiction of Congress. Many efforts have been made to purge that territory of this stain; but the antislave influence, as yet, has proved insufficient to wipe away that national disgrace, for which, before the world, no apology can be
Such being the ascendancy of slavery influence in the Union, it is not difficult to see, that, as a moral cause, it may have controlled, and in Mr. C.'s opinion, it has controlled, the recent usur pations and outrages committed on the rights of the Indians. The sources are obvious and palpable. What State has first thrown off the disguise, and taken this bold step, and done such a shock to the moral sense of mankind?. Georgia-one of the oldest and most inveterate of the slave-holding States.
It is not credible, that the bold design of breaking down the rights of the Indians at a single blow, could have been conceived and matured and actually forced into a train of execution, from any other quarter of the United States, except where slavery had blunted the moral sense of the community, and reduced the Indian to a level with the African in bondage. Accordingly we find, that the project was born and cradled in that nursery, and from that region has been pushed forward into execution.
The lass two chapters of the work are dedicated to the task of proving that the Indians never waged unprovoked war on the white inhabitants, notwithstanding the assertion of the President to the contrary, and next to the elucidation of a curious branch indeed of American policy, the revenue accruing to the United States from the sale of Indian lands. Mr. C. contends that nature and jus tice and religion cry aloud for the appropriation of this revenue to the benefit of the Indians; and to wipe off, if possible, some portion of the foul stain which blackens the American character in its connexion with the Aborigines of the country.
The work of Mr. Colton is one in every respect remarkable, for it is an offering at the shrine of truth and humanity, which could only be prompted by the noblest sentiments of virtue. It exhibits all the native traits peculiar to such an odious object, the base
and hypocritical policy which the American government, (after the wicked example of those veteran monarchies whose principles she professed to renounce,) adopted in her whole treatment of the betrayed simpletons of the forest. It is written with a manly force and an eloquence which reflect credit alike on the heart and understanding of the author.
ART. VI.-A Treatise on the Arts, Manufactures, Manners, and Institutions of the Greeks and Romans, being the 47th number of Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopædia; Vol. the First. London: Longman, Rees, & Co. 1833.
ALTHOUGH the study of the classics, by which are meant the chief works of the Greek and Roman authors, now employed in the teaching of those languages, has been pursued for many hundred years in all parts of the civilized world, yet the curiosity of even the learned has only been in comparatively modern times directed to an inquiry into the manners, the occupations, the arts, and domestic lives of these celebrated nations. Not that these subjects were altogether neglected, because the necessity of explaining the import of many passages in their works would have required some insight into their customs and employments, but, until the Germans devoted their acute powers of investigation to Greek and Roman antiquities, until enterprising men, endowed with the adequate abilities to accomplish the task, went forth from the cities of Europe, to examine the remains, and in them to read the history of Greece and Rome, until then we are justified in stating that nothing very certain, or of great importance, was known of either people in their character as social communities. The application of the fruits of ancient learning, which has been carried to a vast extent in the present era, the discoveries which accident has occasioned, as in the cases of Hercula+ neum and Pompeii, the restoration of various authentic records, such as Niebuhr, the late professor of history at the University of Bonn, had access to, all these new resources have been instrumental in changing completely the remote relations which had hitherto subsisted between us and ancient Greece and Rome, and now we can dwell on the accounts of their domestic condition with ast much confidence almost as we can on the reports which travellers bring us home of the state of some peculiar cotemporary people residing in a distant region in the ocean.
The work before us appears to be a very full, a very careful, and complete collection of all the scattered authentic facts which it has been the very creditable boast of modern enterprise to have redeemed from impending oblivion. The most important and interesting traits of the celebrated people alluded to, are il
lustrated in a manner which is highly calculated to give the work a great degree of attraction, not only on account of the nature of their habits, their customs, arts, and institutions, but because those habits and arts also belong to nations who have long been objects of consideration to us on other accounts. The first pora tion of the present volume is devoted to an account of the archi tecture of the Greeks, a subject which is illustrated with much learning and industry, and the most important inferences respecting the earliest state of the practice of building, from the examinations which have been made of the remains, and the historical notices which exist, of the renowned city of Babylon. Such a degree of prominence is due to that ancient capital in the annals of architecture, that all historians agree in assigning to it the origin of most of the forms of the structures built even in our time for man's convenience. Thus Babylon is the city where we can trace the earliest known example of pyramids, walls and gates of towns, towers, turrets, bridges, brazen chambers, sphinxes, colossal lions, bricks, and stone-work (the latter very partially), and various minor forms and materials of building, but no columns, epistyles, or other indicia of scientific architecture.
It may therefore be said that architecture rose with the Assyrians. The next people who promoted it in ancient times were the Phoenicians, and there is every reason to believe that to these people belonged the Cyclopeans, men of gigantic stature, who raised walls and buildings by stones of immense size, leaving their name behind as the designation of such structures, which has lasted to the present moment. The author then proceeds at considerable length to dwell on the various edifices, public and private, formed by the Egyptians as well as the Greeks, including the religious buildings, the sepulchres, theatres, &c. of the latter, presenting a very curious and instructive series of explanations on the orders of architecture. The sculpture of ancient Greece forms the subject of another chapter, and references in its descriptions are made to the relics of Greek art in the British Museum, which will prove highly useful to those who may be induced to enter upon the gratifying study of that noble art. We shall leave these topics, however, which are best known to general readers, and come to those details that offer the greatest novelty. These will be found in those chapters which profess to treat of the manners and habits of the Greeks, and we need make no apology for proceeding to them without any fur-* ther delay.
It appears that the custom of the country people about cities, of visiting the latter every morning, and bringing provisions for sale, was practised round Athens, in precisely the same manner as it is carried on at this day amongst ourselves. The citizens used to rise early, and it is stated by historians universally, that the higher order of the citizens took only one meal a day. Our
author very wisely says that this must be understood as of one formal meal a day, for it is utterly impossible that the appetites of the ancient Greeks could be so extremely opposed to what we now know to be the natural one of man, as that they could be contented with a single meal in the day. The real truth then seems to be, that three meals per diem was the general allowance of the Greeks. They used in the afternoon to take a nap of play a game for amusement. Amongst those entertainments there is no doubt that some instruments like our dice-boxes and dice were used by the ancient Greeks. Indeed, Homer represents some of Penelope's suitors, whilst waiting outside her residence, beguiling the tedious hours with dice, which they threw out of a horn box. Montfaucon, a very learned antiquary, describes a sort of play closely resembling chess, which was known and practised by the Greeks. It appears from his account that the men with which the Greeks played in this game were of different colours, to distinguish the contending parties. Each party had a king or emperor, which they never moved but upon urgent occasions; and had a certain number of men besides, which they called indiffer ently soldiers or thieves. This game was an image of war, ats which there were attacks and combats; and he was the conqueror that could take all his adversary's men. As to the king, he coulds never be taken until all his men were fallen into his enemy's hands, and then he was looked upon as conquered. Every mana had on the board his proper station, called by the Greeks polis,as city, or chora, which signifies a region or place. He that had but one place to move to was looked upon as conquered, and heil that attacked the others was reckoned as one that made the as-d sault upon the city or place. The king that lost all his men was said to be reduced, ad incitas, i. e. to a place from whence he could not move.
At several periods of the day, in the forenoon particularly, the Athenians used to take the fresh air on the banks of the Ilissus, and sometimes used to frequent the Agora, or market, where not i only the general assembly was held, but the palace of the senate was situated, as also the tribunal of the chief archon. This was the place too where groups used to gather to talk politics, and, 2 during periods of war, the debates among them were very ani- I mated. The greater part of the houses at Athens were composedit of two compartments, one up stairs for the women, the other belowĂ for the men, and covered with terraces. At Athens there was? accounted to have been more than ten thousand of these houses.T Many had a garden behind, in front a small court, and more often a kind of portico, at the bottom of which was the gate of the house, b sometimes confided to the care of a eunuch. There was some-la times a figure of Mercury, to drive away thieves; sometimes al dog, that they feared much more; and almost always an altar inw honour of Apollo, where the master of the house came on certain
days to offer sacrifice. It is described as having been an almost invariable custom of the Greeks to ornament in every manner possible that part of the house into or through which persons entered or passed. Homer tells us, that the house of Nestor was. furnished with beds, tables, garments, carpets, and stores of new wine; and the ivory, and gold, and amber, which, according to the same authority, were to be seen in the residence of Menelaus, another of the Greek heroes, is enough to make us doubt the possibility of so many precious commodities being at the same time in the possession of the same person. In Homer's time the Greeks sat at meals, and three sorts of chairs are described, we should properly say, sung by the illustrious bard. The first species of chair was capable of holding two persons, and was therefore employed by the humble classes only: the next sort was of a nature to admit the person sitting in it to maintain an upright posture, and a footstool was always considered a necessary appendage to this seat: and the third description of chair was arranged in the best manner, with the view of rendering the person sitting in it as easy and as comfortable as possible, by the position which it allowed him to assume. The tables of the Greeks were supported by pillars, which were ornamented in the houses of the rich in a most profuse manner. They used nothing that could be considered even as the rudiment of a table cloth, but they kept the surfaces of their tables clean with sponges, as Homer declares, and as Martial confirms.
Antiquarian authors represent that the women of Greek families never dined in parties, except when they were all relatives; but Plutarch's testimony is altogether of a different description, for he distinctly states that the wife and daughter, without exception as to age, but, as he takes care to observe, always plainly attired, formed usually part of the company. We gather, indeed, from the most respectable ancient authorities some facts which tend to demonstrate this somewhat important position of Plutarch's respecting the gentler sex, for we should regret to find that the Greeks, with all their boasted civilisation, should yield no better proof of the influence of that benign principle upon them, than to join the savage races of mankind in their uniform contempt of woman. Hence we look with some satisfaction, as upon a true exemplification of the manners of the times, on the following facts which we have just stated to be in our judgment important. It appears from the works of the authors of which we spoke, that when Thales and Diocles were passing through a porticus to a dinner given by Periander, they were, after anointing and bathing, introduced to a particular room, also connected by a portico; which shows the abundance of passages, and insulations of parts of the house. In this piazza sat Eumetis, daughter of Periander: she was combing the head of old Anacharsis (a method of endearment), to coax him out of information, especially concerning the VOL. III. (1833) no. Iv.