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images and forms." The departure of Æneas from Ilion opened the poem, and the poet, it is probable, brought him to the Sibyl at Cuma; the building of Rome formed a part of it, but Romulus was in it the grandson of Eneas; the various succeeding events were probably concisely related, and the poet poured forth the abundance of his powers on the scenes in which be had himself been an actor, and which had occurred after the plebeians had gained their due elevation. Nævius was a thoroughly national poet; his works, long after Rome had been completely Græcised, still formed the delight of the people.
Nævius in manibus non est, et mentibus hæret
Pene recens, adeo sanctum est vetus omne poëma;
says a chief agent in the change. Cicero, Quintillian, Gellius and others speak with affection of this genuine Roman poet, the loss of whose works is perhaps more to be deplored than that of any other portion of Roman literature.
Q. Ennius, the contemporary of the old age of Nævius, was a poet of another stamp. By birth and education connected with Greece, and the friend and companion of the greatest men of Rome, he was ambitious to introduce into her the forms of Grecian literature and the then prevalent tone of philosophy. He therefore enriched, if we are so to term it, the literature of Rome with numerous translations and imitations in verse or prose; among others he made the Romans acquainted with the work of Euhemerus, which exercised such a fatal influence on the subsequent ideas of religion and mythology. Ennius loved to dwell upon the glorious recollections of the country of his patrons, he took the ballads which had hitherto preserved them, and in his Annals moulded them in hexameters, into a continuous narrative from the days of Romulus down to those of Scipio. This is in reality the long poem, that floats before the view of Mr. Niebuhr, from which and not directly from the ballads, even if they were still in existence-Livy derived the poetic tinge of his first decade. Dr. Blum, however, thinks that the account of the war against the Samnites in Campania in the 7th book owes its poetic hue to the verses of Nævius, who sung with rapture the events of his native country.
Dr. Blum observes a similar difference between the two oldest prose writers of Rome, the patrician Fabius and the plebeian Cincius. The former, full of the dignity of his family, of his order and the city, sought on all occasions to exalt them; eagerly catching at the old family traditions and personal panegyrics, he gave to Roman history the tone which it ever after retained, and spread along it the glories of the Fabian house, which thence makes such
a figure in the early history. The latter, to whom the ancient times of Rome presented chiefly the oppression of his order, and its often unavailing struggles against it, felt his best compensation in the love of truth and the diligent inspection of ancient monuments; the facts which Livy and others have given from him are not only valuable in themselves, but prove him to have been a man whose sagacity was far beyond that of Varro, who alone followed him in his thorny path, while the crowd gaily strolled along the flowery one trodden by Fabius.
A glance over the earliest developement of Roman prose is next presented to us. Here Dr. Blum considers the character of the Annales Maximi, the Twelve Tables, the family records, and the other sources of Roman history. With respect to the first, he quotes a passage from the Origines of Cato, which does not appear to have sufficiently attracted the attention of Niebuhr. "I have little inclination," says the old Roman, " to write what is on the tables of the Pontifex Maximus, how often corn was dear, how often darkness or any thing else interfered with the light of the sun or the moon;" coupling this with a passage of Pliny, which says "the Annals were full of accounts of how the auspices were interrupted by the squeaking of shrew-mice," and other circumstances, he infers that the contents of the Annals were of extremely little value.
A very interesting subject occupies the next division of the work, namely, what was the early influence of Greece on Rome? This, Dr. Blum thinks, and we fully agree with him, was much greater, and commenced at a more early period than is usually supposed. Greece of course is to be taken in an extensive sense, inclusive of Magna Græcia. It is to be recollected that Agylla or Cære, with which Rome stood in such intimate relation, had always been connected with Greece; the origin of the Tarquins was referred to that country, which, however devoid of truth it is, still seems to intimate a connection between them and the Greeks; the elder introduced a large portion of Grecian religion at Rome; the younger is said to have sent to Delphi, and was intimately connected with the prince of Cumæ, and we think it a much more probable supposition than that of Niebuhr given above, that it was through this last channel that Grecian ceremonies came to Rome. It should also be steadily kept in view that Rome must, under the kings, have had a good deal of maritime commerce, or Carthage would never have made the treaties she did with her, and a large portion of that commerce must have been directed to the Greek states of Italy and Sicily. The following passage which occurs in this place, is somewhat opposed to Mr. Niebuhr's theory of the origin of the Latin language; we do not, however, think it so just as his.
"Cuma belonged to the Eolian colonies of Magna Græcia. Eolian forms, as was discerned by antiquity, and is also abundantly discerned in modern times, exist to superfluity in the Latin language. If we then reflect on that early connection of Roman kings with Cumæ, on the legend of the Cumaan sibyl in Rome, and moreover on the highly probable importation of religious ideas and ceremonies to it from Cumæ, we might easily trace the veins of Æolian forms, as they ramified themselves through the very earliest growth of the Latin language, to another quarter than that whence they are usually derived."
The probability having been shown of an early influence of Greece on Rome, Dr. Blum proceeds to prove that the first Roman historians were entirely guided by the spirit of the coutemporary Grecian ones. He adopts as a matter of certainty, the assertion of Plutarch, that Diocles of Peperethus, was the first who wrote the early history of Rome; and that Fabius followed him implicitly. The age of the work of Diocles he places between the time of Pyrrhus, and the second Punic war. To those who have observed how slavishly writers in an obscure period, the middle ages for instance, follow each other, there will be no difficulty in conceiving that Fabius, though writing in Greek himself, should have copied out the work of Diocles; yet still we cannot help thinking, that though Fabius may have been thoroughly embued with the then prevalent spirit of Grecian literature, he might have been the original, and Diocles the copyist. Dr. Blum takes a survey of Grecian historic writing from Hecateus down to the Alexandrine period. Hecatæus was the father of rational history-of that species which taking the old legends of a people, endeavours to give them a form accordant to the actual state of nature and course of events-and he gave the tone to all subsequent Grecian history.
"How closely," says Dr. Blum, "his immediate successors in historic composition have followed him in their conception and narration of the old stories and legends, is apparent from the work of Herodotus, who, by his frequent refutation of Hecatæus, evidently shows the importance which he attached to the views of that writer. The more the Grecian mind, henceforward on the path of the boldest mode of thinking, emancipated itself from the old traditionary restraint, the more boldly did the historians who were influenced by this spirit seize on what had been handed down in various forms from antiquity, and model it after their own pleasure. They had no suspicion that every people has an antiquity of its own, whose mysteries no later eye has power to penetrate, and that the enigmas which from thence descend to later generations, derive all their importance from appearing and being regarded as such. Hence then, already in Hecatæus, much as he is to be admired as the author of free historic inquiry, that mode of exposition is displeasing, by which he, after shallow fashion, labours to extract a rationalsense from religious traditions."
But this mode of writing became still more insipid when writers tinctured with philosophy and brought up in the schools of the Rhetoricians, began to write history, and instead of searching for truth, aimed only to please. The most distinguished of these was Ephorus, a writer however of no ordinary merit; but the creations of early piety had in his time ceased to have any meaning. It was therefore easy to draw down the images of inspiration to the mere exterior of earthly form, to bestow upon them, in place of the sense they had lost, the insipid reality of insignificant history. After the time of Alexander, this spirit increased more and more every day, and the " Sacred History" of Euhemerus gave a final establishment to the system of assigning a terrestrial existence to the gods of the nations, and thus turning mythology into history. Dr. Blum goes at length into an account of this writer and his work, which he considers to have exercised such powerful influence on after-times, of which Creuzer alone appears to him to have been sufficiently aware. To him we may now, however, add Schlosser, who, in the last published-volume of his history, devotes considerable attention to Euhemerus. The translation of the "Sacred History," by Ennius, was perhaps the first prose Latin version of a Greek original, and its influence on the Roman mind was powerful and lasting; the mere inspection of the Æneid will suffice to show how Janus, Saturn, and the other ancient Italian deities were, like the Grecian Kronos and Zeus, made mortal kings. Its influence has continued even down to the present day, but the most remarkable instance of it is, perhaps, that which we have already more than once noticed in the case of the ancient mythology of Scandinavia. Dr. Blum gives the more consideration to this subject, as according to his theory, Romulus and Remus were ancient deities worshipped by the shepherds of Latium.
In a survey of the succeeding Roman writers down to Livy, Dr. Blum undertakes to show that they were feeble searchers into antiquity. Niebuhr, it is well known, bestows excessive praise on the first book of Livy, while Schlegel on the other hand, regards it as inferior to the subsequent books; the present writer thus expresses himself, and with him and Schlegel we perfectly
"But in Livy, we easily discern the haste with which he hurried over the earlier times of Rome, to come to the firmer ground of history, where he might move sure and unimpeded in the entire fulness of his power of narration. Hence the obscure regal period is compressed into a single book, which is perhaps the feeblest of the whole work; hence the long period from the commencement of the republic to the war with Pyrrhus is disposed of in the following ten books, in order that 130
books might be devoted to the clear historic times of Rome, down to her late years. The ancients would narrate, not inquire. Their mode of narration has a freshness, a dignity, and a perspicuity, with which modern times have rarely produced anything to compete."
The latter part of this passage contains Dr. Blum's correct and just idea of the ancient historians, and the next shows in an animated view how admirably those of Rome, down to Tacitus, narrated the events of their own days, while on every thing relating to remote antiquity their inquiries and reflections are of little value; hence it is that modern times are able to form a juster conception of the remote ages of Greece and Italy, than were the Greeks and Italians themselves.
The remainder of the volume is devoted to the developement of the author's idea of the supposed founder of Rome having been an ancient pastoral deity, and it contains some extremely curious and original remarks on the old Roman religion. The work of Dr. Blum is of moderate compass, and the style is agreeable; it contains many new and just observations, and the possession of it we hold to be essential to all who take an interest in the early history of the Eternal City.
ART. IX.-Quatre Mois dans les Pays Bas, Voyage Episodique et Critique dans la Belgique et la Hollande. Par M. De -2 vols. 8vo. Paris. 1829.
M. DE calls himself a poet-a title, by the way, which an ordinary man has about the same right to assume as he has that of peer, or pope. M. de is nothing but a pert pretender, (and it is difficult to say whether he has most of pertness or pretence) who just skips over the Netherland provinces, ignorant of the Dutch language, prejudiced against the Dutch people, and then comes back to Paris, in order to visit a nation with his poetical judgments, and to add something more to the too much of crudity, precipitancy, and ignorance, which fixes the fate of mankind, and submits millions to the foppish condemnation of some little Unknown.
Nations, that cannot rank in the first line of influence, and yet are not so contemptible as to count for nothing in the balance of politics, are generally the favourite objects of foolish speculations, and hasty decisions. Great nations impose by their magnificence, their omnipresence, and smaller political societies are not worth the" honouring" of those who dispose of futurity. To be in its turn petted and calumniated, has been long the portion of Holland. Sir William Temple is the best and the shrewdest observer on a large scale. The fact is, that generalities are