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vaffals of the manor composed the judges of the manor court, or hallmote, whose sentences these magistrates carried into execution.
3dly, The ranks and privileges of the inhabitants appear to have been the same in town and country. Besides lagmen, as already noticed, we find mention made of thanes in general, as residing in towns, and performing the same
uties with those of the country. Next to the chanes, burgesses are enumerated, and these appear to have been in very different situations. Some of them are described as pofleffing lands and houses in full property with jurisdiction, and subject to no rent or census to any person; others of them as proprietors of manses fimply, and fill enjoying jurisdiction, even within this small property; and others, without this advantage, being subjected to the jurifdi&tion of particular persons, and yielding to them, or to others, a census or a consuetudo. In fine, others are mentioned, whose manses belonged in property to individuals, to whom they yielded rent and services: And, in some cases, these different ficuations appear to be more or less blended together. Besides these burgefses, notice is taken of bordarii soccomanni, & c. as assisting the burgesses to pay the customs or rents due by them. The burgesses indiscriminately are every where mentioned as yielding military service, and subject to the burdens attending it, according to a certain modus, establíthed, as it should seem, by custom chiefly. And citizens likewise parcook of the sports and amusements of the noblesse of the country.
• In the country, the same state of persons appear. We do not, indeed, find the term burgesses applied to them. But there are numbers of people mentioned among the inhabitants of the country, that seem to differ in no respect from burgesses, except in wanting that name, which, it is evident, the nature of their place of residence could not admit of giving them. Thus, we find there people posselling single manses, or single roods or half roods of land, and fometimes larger quantities, as ploughgates, and yielding military service, and various cuftoms, to the king or individuals. The rights of the owners of these lands likewise appear to have differed in the same way as those of burgesses, and to have been subjected to a similar diversity of burdens. I need not add, that we find the whole country abounding with soccomanni, bordarii, porcarii, bovarii, who appear to have been in some degree of servile condition, and distinguished from each other chiefly by names derived from the particular species of rent or service yielded by them, or other such little circumstances.
• The above particulars, and the authorities on which they are stated, appear to me, when maturely considered, to leave no reasonable doubt, that the towns enjoyed no peculiar system of adminiftration, but were distinguished merely as places of some strength, where authority was better enforced, and where the smaller proprietors, and persons of servile condition, who had preserved or obtained a degree of liberty, resorted in numbers, for the sake of mutual protection. If the town belonged to an individual, it was governed in the same manner as the rest of his estate. If the town belonged to different people, it formed, along with what was afterwards called its liberty (i.e. the banlieue or territory adjoining and
belonging to it), a division of the country, or a political community, and was ranked and governed accordingly.'
These observations are important and just. But the quotation, we are afraid, will ftill leave room for regretting, that in academical discourses, Mr. M. Mould not have paid more regard to precision of style, neatness of compofition, and beauty of illustration.
The next article is a dissertation to prove, that Troy was not taken by the Greeks. By John Maclaurin, Esq. Advocate, now a Lord of Session. In this Essay, the author follows the footsteps of GEBELIN DE LA Cour, in his Monde Primitif, and of Mr. Bryant, in his Mythology. In addition to the authorities cited by these writers, he produces that of Dio Chrysosomus, a Greek author, who lived in the time of Trajan, and whose works were much esteemed for purity of style, and depth of observation. Dio wrote iwo differtations on Homer : in one of which, he gives his panegyric.as a poet; but, in the other, takes him severely to talk as an historian. The latter dissertation of Dio Chrysostom (of which not one commentator on Homer makes mention) contains an account of the Trojan war, quite opposite, in most particulars, to that of Homer; and this, Chrysostom says, he made up, partly from the information of an Egyptian priest, and partly from what appeared to bimself the most probable. Chryfoftom then proceeds to prove by argument, that Homer's account must appear, when examined with attention, to be false, absurd, and contradictory to itself. Casaubon, who writes fome notes on Dio Chryfoftomus, says of this differtation : “ Dignus plane liber hic, quem legunt philologi, et quicunque in veterum scriptis cum judicio cupiunt verfari; quamvis et pro Homero multa dici poffunt.” The same criticism applies to Mr. Maclaurin's discourse, whose ingenuity amuses, though bis arguments do not convince. His style is a model of neatness and fprightliners, of which take the following specimen:
• The Greeks, by Homer's account, were always greatly superior in numbers to the Trojans and their auxiliaries; and, for more than nine years, they had Achilles with them *, whom Homer has, on all occasions, represented as perfectly irresistible to the Trojans. How then came it about that the war laited so long?
• The only answer that can be made to this is, that the Trojans kept within their walls as long as Achilles appeared; and this Homer himself suggests t, though it is contradictory to several other passages, where it is said, that many battles had been fought, and great numbers slain on both sides.
• But this will not prove satisfactory, when it is considered, that Andromache, in the interview she has with Hector in the fixch book, tells him, that the city was to be come at, and the wall easily scaled I;
* II. vii. 558.
+ II. vii. 352.; xviii. 287.
11. vi. 434.
and that Ajax, Agamemnon, Menelaus, and Diomed, had three. times attempted it. If so, what hindered Achilles to storm the town the day after he landed? How came Ajax, and the other chiefs, to be so long in threatening an assault? Madame Dacier, in a note on; this paffage, says, That the art of reconnoitering was not known, at this time, even to the Greeks. The absurdity of the answer thews the force of the observation. A wulf, fox, or other beast of prey, that wants to get into a fold or close where sheep or cattle are confned, would walk round it to discover at whac place the fence was lowest.
• But further, supposing the town to have been impregnable, how came the Greeks not to take it by blockade. They had a powerful feet, the Trojans none; so that it was ealy co hinder the town from being supplied with provisions by fea; and it was equally easy to have drawn lines around it, which would have cut off all communication between it and the country; the infallible consequence of which would have been, that the Trojans muit have surrendered as foon as their stuck of provisions was consumed. As the Greeks did not draw lines around the town, whilst, at the same time, we are told they threw up a rampare before their own ships, and as the Trojans received succours from their neighbours at different times, the fair conclufion is, that the Greeks were not masters of the country, nor superior to the 'Trojans in the field, but, on the contrary, found themselves overmatched. If it Thall be said, that the art of drawing lines was not known to the Greeks, I answer, that the method they took to secure their ships proves the contrary to be true; and, had they been ignorant of that art (if fo fimple an operation deserves that name), they never would have thought of the fiege, as they had no artillery or machinery of any kind for making a breach in the walls: besides, without any art or labour, they could, have placed bodies of troops so as to intercept all the Trojan convoys.
• Homer admits, that the Greeks suffered more before Troy than any mortal man could relate*: That they lost a great number of men, many excellent officers, and that Ajax, Antilochus, Patroclus, and Achilles, the greatest hero of them all, perished in the expedition. This, of itself, affords a prefumption that they were not fuccessful. It is very improbable that Achilles fell by the hand of Paris; the truth seems to be, that he died by that of a better man. Hector possessed himself of his armour, which is not at all surprising, if he flew its owner; but cannot otherwise be explained : for, as to the story of Patroclus dressing himself in the armour of Achilles, and being lain and stripped by Hector, it cannot posibly be true. Achilles was by far the strongest and stateliest of the Greeks: Hector was nothing to him; and Patrocius again was nothing to Hector, as is evident from the anxicty with which’Achilles charges him not 10 encounter Hector. Now, when Hector did get Achilles's armour, he found he could not use it; and, therefore, Homer t make's Ju. piter interpose to fit it to his body; though, after all, the god did not perform the work fufficiently; for Hector owed his death to fighting
* Odyss. iii. 105; Rev. June, 1789.
+ Book xvii, 210,
Achilles in that armour, as an aperture fill remained near the throat, through which Achilles drove his spear. If then the armour of Achilles could not be used by Hector, how is it possible, that it could be used by Patroclus, who was so much inferior to him? It is palpable, that he must have been almost as ill fitted with it as David was with Saul's. Homer himself admits *, that Patroclus could not wield Achilles's spear, how then could he support, not to say march and fight, under the load of his armour?
• It cannot be denied, that Achilles fell during the fiege; and it is evident the Greeks must have been less able to take the town, aftet this and their other losses, than before. Accordingly it is admitted by Homer and his followers, that they did not take it by force, but it is pretended they took it by stratagem. Homer's aca count of which is precisely as follows t: Epeus made a wooden horse, into which Ulysses and the Grecian chiefs went with a body of troops; the rest of the Greeks burnt their tents, and set fail. Upon this, the Trojans came down, and, along with them, Helen. She, attended by Deiphobus, went three times round the horfe, calling each of the Grecian leaders by his name, and mimicking the voice of his wife. This made them all, except Ulysses, desirous to get ont, or return an answer; but he restrained them, and clapped his hand on the mouth of one of them, who was more eager to speak than the rest, and kept him gagged in that manner till Helen retired. The Trojans then drew up the machine to their citadel, and held a consultation as to what they should do with it. Some were for cutting it up; some for precipitacing it from the rock; but others thought it ought to be allowed to remain as a propitiatory figure. 'This last opinion prevailed, and the Greeks came out of it, and, after an obitinate itruggle, vanquished the Trojans, and plundered the town.
• The absurdity of all this is too gross and glaring to need refuta tion. Virgil saw well the objections to which it is liable, and, to obviate them, has strained bis invention to the utmost, but in vain. According to him, this horse was huge as a mountain I ; and it was necessary it should, as it was to contain an army in its belly. It fell to the lot of Ulyffes, Menelaus, Neoptolemus, the maker Epeus, and five other leaders, to enter this machine , which they did, with a body of armed men that filled it. The rest of the Greeks failed to Tenedos, which was in fighty, and there hidŞ themselves on the desart Thore. The Trojans, thinking them gone for good, came down, and consulted about the disposal of the horse, as in Homer. But upon Laocoon, who opposed its introduction into the city, being devoured by two serpents, they put wheels to its feet, and ropes to its neck, and drew it up to the town, through a breach made on purpose in the wall. The Greeks at Tenedos returned at midnight, having the benefit of a bright moon-fhine; and those in the horse having descended by means of a rope, opened the gates to them, and the Trojans, being buried in sleep and wine, were easily mattered.
* II. xvi. 140.
+ Odyff. viii. 500.; iv. 271.
| Æneid. ü.
• Every person who reads this with the least attention must perceive, that Virgil had better have couched the story in general obscure terms, as Homer does. By being particolar, instead of mending the matter, he makes it worse; and there is one striking incongruiry, into which it is altonishing he should have fallen. Tenedos, he says, was in sight; and, no doubt, it was; for its dil nce from the Trojan More is but forty stadia, or five miles; it was a bright moon-thine, and Troy stood on a hill; how then could a great army be hid from the Trojans on a desart More? At any rate, it is impossible that 1200 ships could be concealed from them. They must have seen the fleet at least. If so, it cannot be believed, that they would have made a large breach in the wall when the enemy was so near. But it would be improper to dwell longer here. Since the town, it is admitted, was not taken by force, and since the stratagem by which it is alleged to have been taken is absurd and impracticable, the fair conclusion is, that it was not taken at all, and that we should have read the repulse of the Greeks in verse, if time had not envied us the works of the poets of Troy.
· Let us now see what happened, according to the Greek writers, after Troy was, as they pretend, taken and lacked. If the Greeks had been, in reality, victorious, it is natural to suppose that they would have returned home in a body, in good order, observing due discipline and obedience to their general. But, instead of doing so, Homer tells us *, that they quarrelled among themselves, differed about the course they should steer; that some went one way, some another, and that several were shipwrecked.
• But this is not all: If the Greeks had been, in reality, victorious, those who returned would have been received as conquerors, with open arms by their families, and with acclamations by their subjects. But the reverse of this confefledly bappened. Agamemnon, their captain-general, upon his arrival, was slain in his own house, by a villain who had debauched his wife in his absence. Would such have been his fate, had he appeared at the head of an army of conquerors? And not only was he himself fain, but, according to Homer, all chose who returned with him; yet this exploit was performed, he says, by Egifthus, with no more than twenty men; and he reigned seven years in Agamemnon's stead t, till he was asfatinated, in his turn, by Orestes. Diomed was foon driven from his country, and Neoptolemus from Peloponnesus; and, according to the account of the former in Virgil, all who were concerned in the expedition against Troy were dispersed over the earth, and suffered every where remarkable hardships and distress, • Vel Priamo miseranda manus
Æn. xi. 259.' Mr. John Hill, Profesor of Humanity (of Latin) in the Univerlity of Edinburgh, has given two Essays on the principles of historical composition, with an application of those principles to the writings of Tacitus. Mr. Hill, with great success, defends Tacitus and his imitators, against the dulness of ig