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gular request. It was long since the king of Africa had tasted bread ; a defluxion had fallen on his eyes, the effect of fatigue or incessant weeping; and he wished to solace the melancholy hours, by singing to the lyre the sad story of his own misfortunes. The humanity of Pharas was moved; he sent the three extraordinary gifts; but even his humanity prompted him to redouble the vigilance of his guard, that he might sooner compel his prisoner to embrace. a resolution advantageous to the Romans, but salutary to' himself. The obstinacy of Gelimer at length yielded to reason and necessity; the solemn assurances of safety and honorable treatment were ratified in the emperor's name, by the ambassador of Belisarius; and the king of the Vandals descended from the mountain. The first public interview was in one of the suburbs of Carthage; and when the royal captive accosted his conqueror, he burst into a fit of laughter. The crowd might naturally believe, that extreme grief had deprived Gelimer of his senses; but in this mournful state, unseasonable mirth insinuated to more intelligent observers, that the vain and transitory scenes of human greatness are unworthy of a serious thought.” Their contempt was soon Justified by a new example of a vulgar truth ; that flattery adheres to power, and envy to superior merit. The chiefs of the Roman army presumed to think themselves the rivals of a hero. Their private despatches maliciously affirmed, that the conqueror of Africa, strong in his reputation and the public love, conspired to seat himself on the throne of the Vandals. Justinian listened with too patient an ear; and his silence was the result of jealousy rather than of confidence. An honorable alternative, of remaining in the province, or of returning to the capital, was indeed submitted to the discretion of Belisarius; but he wisely concluded, from intercepted letters and the knowledge of his sovereign's temper, that he must either resign his head, erect his standard, or confound his enemies by his presence and submission. Innocence and courage decided his choice; his guards, captives, and treasures, were diligently embarked; and so prosperous was the navigation, that his arrival at Constantinople preceded any certain account of his departure from the port of Carthage. Such unsuspecting loyalty removed the apprehensions of Justinian; envy was silenced and inflamed by the public gratitude; and the third Africanus obtained the honors of a triumph, a ceremony which the city of Constantine had never seen, and which ancient Rome, since the reign of Tiberius, had reserved for the auspicious arms of the Caesars.” From the palace of Belisarius, the procession was conducted through the principal streets to the hippodrome; and this memorable day seemed to avenge the injuries of Genseric, and to expiate the shame of the Romans. The wealth of nations was displayed, the trophies of martial or effeminate luxury; rich armor, golden thrones, and the chariots of state which had been used by the Vandal queen; the massy furniture of the royal ban: quet, the splendor of precious stones, the elegant forms of statues and vases, the more substantial treasure of gold, and the holy vessels of the Jewish temple, which after their long peregrination were respectfully deposited in the Christian church of Jerusalem. A long train of the noblest Vandals reluctantly exposed their lofty stature and manly countenance. Gelimer slowly advanced: he was clad in a No. robe, and still maintained the majesty of a king.
*. Herodotus elegantly describes the strange effects of grief in another royal captive, Psammetichus of Egypt, who wept at the lesser and was silent at the #. of his calamities (l. iii. c. 14). In the interview of Paulus AEmilius and 'erses, Belisarius might study his part; but it is probable that he never read i. Livy or Plutarch ; and it is certain that hss generosity did not need a utor.
ot a tear escaped from his eyes, not a sigh was heard; but his pride or piety derived some secret consolation from the words of Solomon,” which he repeatedly pronounced, VANITY vANITY 1 ALL Is v ANITY' Instead of ascending a triumphal car drawn by four horses or elephants, the modest conqueror marched on foot at the head of his brave companions; his prudence might decline an honor too conspicuous for a subject; and his magnanimity might justly disdain what had been so often sullied by the vilest of tyrants. The glorious procession, entered the gate of the hippodrome; was saluted by the acclamations of the senate and
32 After the title of imperator had lost the old military sense, and the Roman auspices were abolished by Christianity. (see La Bleterie, Mém. de l'Académie, tom. xxi. pp. 302–332), a triumph might be given with less inconsistency to a private general. -
33 if the Ecclesiastes be truly a work of Solomon, and not, like Prior's poem, a pious and moral composition of more recent times, in his name, and on the subject of his repentance. The latter is the opinion of the learned and free-spirited Grotius (Opp. Theolog. tom. i. p. 253); and indeed the Ecclesiastes and Proverbs display a larger compass of thought and experience than seem to belong either to a Jew or a king.”
* Rosenmüller, arguing from the difference of style from that of the greater part of the book of Proverbs, and from its near approximation to the Aramaic dialect than any book of the Old Testament, assigns the Ecclesiastes to some period between Nehemiah and Alexander the Great. Schol. in Wet. Test. ix. Proemium ad Eccles. p. 19.—M.
Seople; and halted before the throne where Justinian and Theodora were seated to receive the homage of the captive monarch and the victorious hero. They both performed the customary adoration ; and falling prostrate on the ground, respectfully touched the footstool of a prince who had not unsheathed his sword, and of a prostitute who had danced on the theatre: some gentle violence was used to bend the stubborn spirit of the grandson of Genseric; and however trained to servitude, the genius of Belisarius must have secretly rebelled. He was immediately declared consul for the ensuing year, and the day of his inauguration resembled the pomp of a second triumph : his curule chair was borne aloft on the shoulders of captive Vandals; and the spoils of war, gold cups, and rich girdles, were profusely scattered among the populace. But the purest reward of Belisarius was in the faithful execution of a treaty for which his honor had been pledged to the king of the Vandals. The religious scruples of Gelimer, who adhered to the Arian heresy, were incompatible with the dignity of senator or patrician: but he received from the emperor an ample estate in the province of Galatia, where the abdicated monarch retired, with his family and friends, to a life of peace, of affluence, and perhaps of content.” The daughters of Hilderic were entertained with the respectful tenderness due to their age and misfortune; and Justinian and Theodora accepted the honor of educating and enriching the female descendants of the great Theodosius. The bravest of the Vandal youth were distributed into five squadrons of cavalry, which adopted the name of their benefactor, and supported in the Persian wars the glory of their ancestors. But these rare exceptions, the reward of birth or valor, are insufficient to explain the fate of a nation, whose numbers, before a short and bloodless war, amounted to more than six hundred thousand persons. After the exile of their king and nobles, the servile crowd might purchase their safety by abjuring their character, retigion, and language; and their degenerate posterity would be insensibly mingled with the common herd of African subjects. Yet even in the present age, and in the heart of the Moorish tribes, a curious traveller has discovered the white complexion and long flaxen hair of a northern race;” and it was formerly believed, that the boldest of the Vandals fled beyond the power, or even the knowledge, of the Romans, to enjoy their solitary freedom on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.” Africa had been their empire, it became their prison; nor could they entertain a hope, or even a wish, of returning to the banks of the Elbe, where their brethren, of a spirit less adventurous, still wandered in their native forests. It was impossible for cowards to surmount the barriers of unknown seas and hostile Barbarians; it was impossible for brave men to expose their nakedness and defeat before the eyes of their countrymen, to describe the kingdoms which they had lost, and to claim a share of the humble inheritance, which, in a happier hour, they had almost unanimously renounced.” In the country between the Elbe and the Oder, several populous villages of Lusatia are inhabited by the Vandals: they still preserve their language, their customs, and the purity of their blood; support, with some impatience, the Saxon or Prussian yoke; and serve, with secret and voluntary allegiance, the descendant of their ancient kings, who in his garb and present fortune is confounded with the meanest of his vassals.” The name and situation of this unhappy people might indicate their descent from one common stock with the conquerors of Africa. But the use of a Sclavonian dialect more clearly represents them as the last remnant of the new colonies, who succeeded to the genuine Vandals, already scattered or destroyed in the age of Procopius.” 35 Shaw, p. 59. Yet since Procopius (1. ii. c. 13) speaks of a people of Mount Atlas, as already distinguished by white bodies and yellow hair, the phenomenon (which is likewise visible in the Andes of Peru, Buffon, tom. iii. p. 504), may naturally be ascribed to the elevation of the ground and the temperature of the air. * The geographer of Ravenna (l. iii. c. xi. pp. 129, 130, 131, Paris, 1688) describes the Mauritania Gaditana (opposite to Cadiz) ubi gens Wandalorum, a Belusario devicta in Africa, fugit, et numquam comparuit. * A single voice had protested, and Genseric dismissed, without a formal an: swer, the Vandals of Germany : but those of Africa derided his prudence, and affected to despise the poverty of their forests (Procopius, Vandal. l. i. c. 22) 88 From the mouth of the Fo: elector (in 1687) Tollius describes the secret royalty and rebellious spirit of the Vandals of Brandenburgh, who could muster five or six thousand soldiers who had procured some cannon, &c. (Itinerar. Hungar. p. 42, apud Dubos. Hist. de la Monarchie Françoise, tom. i. pp. 182, 183.) The veracity, not of the elector, but of Tollius himself, may justly be suspected.* * Procopius (l. i. c. 22) was in total darkness—oire uvmum tus oute ovou a €s éue googérat. Under the reign of Dagobert (A. D. 630) the Sclavonian tribes of the If Belisarius had been tempted to hesitate in his allegiance, he might have urged, even against the emperor himself, the indispensable duty of saving Africa from an enemy more barbarous than the Vandals. The origin of the Moors is involved in darkness: they were ignorant of the use of letters.” Their limits cannot be precisely defined; a boundless continent was open to the Libyan shepherds; the change of seasons and pastures regulated their motions; and their rude huts and slender furniture were transported with the same ease as their arms, their families, and their cattle, which consisted of sheep, oxen, and camels.” During the vigor of the Roman power, they observed a respectful distance from Carthage and the sea-shore; under the feeble reign of the Vandals, they invaded the cities of Numidia, occupied the sea-coast from Tangier to Caesarea, and pitched their camps, with impunity, in the fertile province of Byzacium. The formidable strength and artful conduct of Belisarius secured the neutrality of the Moorish princes, whose vanity aspired to receive, in the emperor's name, the ensigns of their regal dignity.” They were astonished by the rapid event, and trembled in the presence of their conqueror. But his approaching departure soon relieved the apprehensions of a savage and superstitious people; the number of their wives allowed them to disregard the safety of their infant hostages; and when the Roman general hoisted sail in the port of Carthage, he heard the crics, and almost beheld the flames, of the desolated province. Yet he persisted in his
* In the Bélisaire of Marmontel. the king and the conqueror of Africa meet, sup, and converse, without recollecting each other. It is surely a fault of that romance, that not only the hero, but all to whom he had been so conspicuously known, appear to have lost their eyes or their memory. so * Venedi already bordered on Thuringia (Mascou Hist. of the Germans, xv. 3, 4, 5).
* The Wendish population of Brandenburgh are now better known, but the Wends are clearly of the Sclavonian race; the Vandals most probably Teutonic, and nearly allied to the Goths.-M.
40 Sallust represents the Moors as a remnant of the army of Heracles (de Bell. Jugurth. c. 21), and Procopius (Vandal. l. ii. c. 10), as the posterity of the Cananaeans who fled from the robber Joshua (Amorrms). He quotes two columns, with a Phoenician inscription. I believe in the columns—I doubt the inscription—and I reject the pedigree.*
* Virgil (Georgic, ili 339) and Pomponius Mela (i. 8) describe the wanderin life of the African shepherds, similar to that of the Arabs and Tartars ; oš Shaw (p. 222) is the best commentator on the poet and the geographer.
42 The o gifts were a sceptre, a crown or cap, a white cloak, a figured tunic and shoes, all adorned with gold and silver; nor were these precious metals less acceptable in the shape of coin (Procop, Wandal. l. i. c. 25).
* It has been supposed that Procopius is the only, or at least the most ancient author who has spoken of this strange inscription, of which one may be tempted to attribute the invention to Procópius himself. Yet it is mentioned in the Armenian history of Moses of Chorene (l. i. c. 18), who lived and wrote more than a century before Procopius. This is sufficient to show that an earlier date must be assigned to this tradition. The same inscription is mentioned by Suidas (sub voc. Xavágv), no doubt from Procopius. According to most of the Arabian writers, who adopted a nearly similar tradition, the indigenes of Northern Africa were the people of Palestine expelled by David, who passed mto Africa, under the guidance of Goliath, whom they call Djalcut. It is impossible to admit traditions which bear a character so fabulous. St. Martin, t. xi. p. 324.—Unless my memory greatly deceives me, I have read in the works of Lightfoot a similar JewishModulon ; but I have mislaid the reference, and cannot recover the pasSage.—M.