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Now on his face, lifeless and colorless,
Then on those forms divine that lived and breathed,
And would live on for ages all were moved;
And sighs burst forth, and loudest lamentations.

NATIONAL PREJUDICES.

"ANOTHER assassination! This venerable city," I exclaimed, "what is it, but as it began, a nest of robbers and murderers ? We must away at sunrise, Luigi.” -- But before sunrise I had reflected a little, and in the soberest prose. My indignation was gone; and, when Luigi undrew my curtain, crying, “Up, signor, up! The horses are at the gate !” “Luigi," I replied, "if thou lovest me, draw the curtain.” 242

It would lessen very much the severity with which men judge of each other, if they would but trace effects to their causes, and observe the progress of things in the moral as accurately as in the physical world. When we condemn millions in the mass as vindictive and sanguinary, we should remember that wherever justice is ill-administered the injured will redress themselves. Robbery provokes to robbery ; murder to assassination. Resentments become hereditary; and what began in disorder ends as if all hell had broke loose.

Laws create a habit of self-restraint, not only by the influence of fear, but by regulating in its exercise the passion of revenge. If they overawe the bad by the prospect of a punishment certain and well-defined, they console the injured by the infliction of that punishment; and, as the infliction is a public act, it excites and entails no enmity. The laws are offended; and the community for its own sake pursues and overtakes the offender - often without the concurrence of the sufferer, sometimes against his wishes.243

Now, those who were not born, like ourselves, to such advantages, we should, surely, rather pity than hate; and when, at length, they venture to turn against their rulers, 24 we should lament, not wonder at, their excesses; remembering that nations are naturally patient and long-suffering, and seldom rise in rebellion till they are so degraded by a bad government as to be almost incapable of a good one.

"Hate them, perhaps," you may say, "we should not ; but despise them we must, if enslaved, like the people of ROME, in mind as well as body, if their religion be a gross and barbarous superstition." — I respect knowledge ; but I do not despise ignorance. They think only as their fathers thought, worship as they worshipped. They do no more; and, if ours had not burst their bondage, braving imprisonment and death, might not we at this very moment have been exhibiting, in our streets and our churches, the same processions, ceremonials, and mortifications?

Nor should we require from those who are in an earlier stage of society what belongs to a later. They are only where we once were; and why hold them in derision? It is their business to cultivate the inferior arts before they think of the more refined ; and in many of the last what are we as a nation, when compared to others that have passed away ? Unfortunately it is too much the practice of governments to nurse and keep alive in the governed their national prejudices. It withdraws their attention from what is passing at home, and makes them better tools in the hands of ambition. Hence, next-door neighbors are held up to us from our childhood as natural enemies ; and we are urged on like curs to worry each other. 245

Who can say,

In like manner we should learn to be just to individuals.

66 In such circumstances I should have done otherwise ?” Who, did he but reflect by what slow gradations, often by how many strange concurrences, we are led astray; with how much reluctance, how much agony, how

many efforts to escape, how many self-accusations, how many sighs, how many tears,— who, did he but reflect for a moment, would have the heart to cast a stone ? Happily these things are known to Him from whom no secrets are hidden; and let us rest in the assurance that His judgments are not as ours are.

246

THE CAMPAGNA OF ROME.

248

249

HAVE none appeared as tillers of the ground, 247
None since they went — as though it still were theirs,
And they might come and claim their own again?
Was the last plough a Roman’s ?

From this seat,
Sacred for ages, whence, as VIRGIL sings,
The Queen of Heaven, alighting from the sky,
Looked down and saw the armies in array,
Let us contemplate; and, where dreams from Jove
Descended on the sleeper, where, perhaps,
Some inspirations may be lingering still,
Some glimmerings of the future or the past,
Let us await their influence; silently
Revolving, as we rest on the green turf,
The changes from that hour when he from TROY
Came up the TIBER; when refulgent shields, ,
No strangers to the iron-hail of war,

250

Streamed far and wide, and dashing oars were heard
Among those woods where Silvia’s stag was lying,
His antlers gay with flowers; among those woods
Where by the moon, that saw and yet withdrew not,
Two were so soon to wander and be slain,
Two lovely in their lives, nor-in their death
Divided.

Then, and hence to be discerned,
How many realms, pastoral and warlike, lay
Along this plain, each with its schemes of power,
Its little rivalships ! 21 What various turns
Of fortune there; what moving accidents
From ambuscade and

open

violence !
Mingling, the sounds came up; and hence how oft
We might have caught among the trees below,
Glittering with helm and shield, the men of TIBER,25
Or in Greek vesture, Greek their origin,
Some embassy, ascending to PRÆNESTE ;
How oft descried, without thy gates, ARICIA, 294
Entering the solemn grove for sacrifice,
Senate and people ! -- each a busy hive,
Glowing with life !

But all ere long are lost
In one. We look, and where the river rolls
Southward its shining labyrinth, in her strength
A city, girt with battlements and towers,
On seven small hills is rising. Round about,
At rural work, the citizens are seen,
None unemployed; the noblest of them all
Binding their sheaves or on their threshing-floors,
As though they had not conquered. Everywhere
Some trace of valor or heroic toil !

253

IIere is the sacred field of the HORATII.255
There are the QUINTIAN meadows. 266 Here the hill 257
How holy, where a generous people, twice,
Twice going forth, in terrible anger sate
Armed; and, their wrongs redressed, at once gave way,
Helmet and shield, and sword and spear thrown down,
And every hand uplifted, every heart
Poured out in thanks to Heaven.

Once again
We look; and, lo! the sea is white with sails
Innumerable, wafting to the shore
Treasures untold ; the vale, the promontories,
A dream of glory; temples, palaces,
Called up as by enchantment; aqueducts
Among the groves and glades rolling along
Rivers, on many an arch high overhead;
And in the centre, like a burning sun,
The Imperial City! They have now subdued
All nations. But where they who led them forth;
Who, when at length released by victory
(Buckler and spear hung up -- but not to rust),
Held poverty no evil, no reproach,
Living on little with a cheerful mind,
The DECII, the FABRICII ? Where the spade,
And reaping-hook, among their household-things
Duly transmitted ? In the hands of men
Made captive; while the master and his guests,
Reclining, quaff in gold, and roses swim,
Summer and winter, through the circling year,
On their Falernian in the hands of men
Dragged into slavery with how many more
Spared but to die, a public spectacle,

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