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CHAP. for the safety, of the inhabitants and of the garrisons. * The desertion of the former, and the mutiny of the latter, must have been the fatal and inevitable consequences of famine. The tillage of the provinces of Gaul had been interrupted by the calamities of war; but the scanty harvests of the continent were supplied, by his paternal care, from the plenty of the adjacent island. Six hundred large barks, framed in the forest of the Ardennes, made several voyages to the coast of Britain; and returning from thence laden with corn, sailed up the Rhine, and distributed their cargoes to the several towns and fortresses along the banks of the river." The arms of Julian had restored a free and secure navigation, which Constantius had offered to purchase at the expense of his dignity, and of a tributary present of two thousand pounds of silver. The emperor parsimoniously refused to his soldiers the sums which he granted with a lavish and trembling hand to the barbarians. The dexterity, as well as the firmness, of Julian was put to a severe trial, when he took the field with a discontented army, which had already served two campaigns, without receiving any regular pay or any extraordinary donative." ... A tender regard for the peace and happiness of of Julian his subjects was the ruling principle which directed, or seemed to direct, the administration of Julian." He devoted the leisure of his winter-quarters to the offices of civil government; and affected to assume, with more pleasure, the character of a magistrate CHAP.
i We may credit Julian himself, Orat. ad S.P.Q. Atheniensem, p. 280, who gives a very particular account of the transaction. Zosimus adds two hundred vessels more, l. iii. p. 145. If we compute the 600 corn ships of Julian at only seventy tons each, they were capable of exporting 120,000 quarters (See Arbuthnot's Weights and Measures, p. 237); and the country which could bear so large an exportation must already have attained an improved state of agriculture.
# The troops once broke out into a mutiny immediately before the second passage of the Rhine. Ammian. xvii. 9.
* Ammian. xvi. 5. xviii. 1. Mamertinus in Panegyr. Wet. xi. 4.
than that of a general. Before he took the field, he devolved on the provincial governors most of the public and private causes which had been referred to his tribunal; but, on his return, he carefully revised their proceedings, mitigated the rigour of the law, and pronounced a second judgment on the judges themselves. Superior to the last temptation of virtuous minds, an indiscreet and intemperate zeal for justice, he restrained, with calmness and dignity, the warmth of an advocate who prosecuted, for extortion, the president of the Narbonnese province. “Who will ever be found guilty,” exclaimed the vehement Delphidius, “if it be enough to deny?” “and who,” replied Julian, “will ever be innocent, if it be sufficient to affirm * In the general administration of peace and war, the interest of the sovereign is commonly the same as that of his people; but Constantius would have thought himself deeply injured, if the virtues of Julian had defrauded him of any part of the tribute which he extorted from an oppressed and exhausted country. The prince who was invested with the ensigns of royalty might sometimes presume to correct the rapacious insolence of the inferior agents; to expose their corrupt arts, and to introduce an equal and easier mode of collection. But the management of the finances was more safely intrusted to Florentius, Praetorian praefect of Gaul, an effeminate tyrant, incapable of pity or remorse; and the haughty minister complained of the most decent and gentle opposition, while Julian himself was rather inclined to censure the weakness of his own behaviour. The Caesar had rejected with abhorrence a mandate for the levy of an extraordinary tax; a new superdiction, which the praefect had offered for his signature; and the faithful picture of the public misery, by which he had been obliged
go to justify his refusal, offended the court of Con
stantius. We may enjoy the pleasure of reading the sentiments of Julian, as he expresses them with warmth and freedom in a letter to one of his most intimate friends. After stating his own conduct, he proceeds in the following terms: “Was it possible for the disciple of Plato and Aristotle to act otherwise than I have done? Could I abandon the unhappy subjects intrusted to my care? Was I not called upon to defend them from the repeated injuries of these unfeeling robbers ? A tribune who deserts his post is punished with death, and deprived of the honours of burial. With what justice could I pronounce his sentence, if, in the hour of danger, I myself neglected a duty far more sacred and far more important? God has placed me in this elevated post; his providence will guard and support me. Should I be condemned to suffer, I shall derive comfort from the testimony of a pure and upright conscience. Would to heaven that I still possessed a counsellor like Sallust! If they think proper to send me a successor, I shall submit without reluctance; and had much rather improve the short opportunity of doing good, than enjoy a long and lasting impunity of evil.” The precarious and dependent situation of Julian displayed his virtues, and concealed his defects. The young hero who supported, in Gaul, the throne of Constantius, was not permitted to reform the vices of the government; but he had courage to alleviate or to pity the distress of the people. Unless he had been able to revive the martial spirit of the Romans, or to introduce the arts of industry and refinement among their savage enemies, he could not entertain any rational CHAP. XIX.
* Ammian. xvii. 3. Julian. Epistol. xv. edit. Spanheim. Such a conduct almost justifies the encomium of Mamertinus. Ita illi anni spatia divisa sunt, ut aut Barbaros domitet, aut civibus jura restituat; perpetuum professus, aut contra hostem, aut contra vitia, certamen.
hopes of securing the public tranquillity, either by the peace or conquest of Germany. Yet the victories of Julian suspended, for a short time, the inroads of the barbarians, and delayed the ruin of the Western Empire.
His salutary influence restored the cities of Gaul, Description
which had been so long exposed to the evils of civil"
discord, barbarian war, and domestic tyranny; and the spirit of industry was revived with the hopes of enjoyment. Agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, again flourished under the protection of the laws; and the curiae, or civil corporations, were again filled with useful and respectable members: the youth were no longer apprehensive of marriage; and married persons were no longer apprehensive of posterity: the public and private festivals were celebrated with customary pomp; and the frequent and secure intercourse of the provinces displayed the image of national prosperity." A mind like that of Julian must have felt the general happiness of which he was the author; but he viewed with peculiar satisfaction and complacency the city of Paris; the seat of his winter residence, and the object even of his partial affection." That splendid capital, which now embraces an ample territory on either side of the Seine, was originally confined to the small island in the midst of the river, from whence the inhabitants derived a supply of pure and salubrious water. The river bathed the foot of the walls; and the town was accessible only by two wooden bridges. A forest overspread the northern side of the Seine; but on the south, the ground,
m Libanius, Orat. Parental in Imp. Julian, c. 38. in Fabricius Bibliothec. Graec. tom. vii. p. 263, 264.
* See Julian, in Misopogon, p. 340, 341. The primitive state of Paris is illustrated by Henry Walesius (ad Ammian. xx. 4), his brother Hadrian Valesius, or de Valois, and M. d’Anville (in their respective Notitias of ancient Gaul), the Abbé de Longuerue Description de la France, tom. i. p. 12, 13. and M. Bonamy (in the Mem. de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. xv. p. 656–691).
VOL. II. F F
CHAP. which now bears the name of the University, was
insensibly covered with houses, and adorned with a palace and amphitheatre, baths, an aqueduct, and a field of Mars for the exercise of the Roman troops. The severity of the climate was tempered by the neighbourhood of the ocean; and with some precautions, which experience had taught, the vine and fig-tree were successfully cultivated. But, in remarkable winters, the Seine was deeply frozen; and the huge pieces of ice that floated down the stream might be compared, by an Asiatic, to the blocks of white marble which were extracted from the quarries of Phrygia. The licentiousness and corruption of Antioch recalled to the memory of Julian the severe and simple manners of his beloved Lutetia;" where the amusements of the theatre were unknown or de
spised. He indignantly contrasted the effeminate
Syrians with the brave and honest simplicity of the Gauls, and almost forgave the intemperance, which was the only stain of the Celtic character.” If Julian could now revisit the capital of France, he might converse with men of science and genius, capable of understanding and of instructing a disciple of the Greeks; he might excuse the lively and graceful follies of a nation, whose martial spirit has never been enervated by the indulgence of luxury; and he must applaud the perfection of that inestimable art, which softens and refines and embellishes the intercourse of social life.
° Thy plany Asuzerizy. Julian, in Misopogon, p. 340. Leucetia, or Lutetia, was the ancient name of the city, which, according to the fashion of the fourth century, assumed the territorial appellation of Parisii. P Julian, in Misopogon, p. 359, 360.