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own infamy in that of his wife. Antonina pursued her son with implacable hatred; and the gallant Photius” was ex
osed to her secret persecutions in the camp beyond the #. Enraged by his own wrongs, and by the dishonor of his blood, he cast away in his turn the sentiments of nature, and revealed to Belisarius the turpitude of a woman who had violated all the duties of a mother and a wife. From the surprise and indignation of the Roman general, his former credulity appears to have been sincere: he embraced the knees of the son of Antonina, adjured him to remember his obligations rather than his birth, and coufirmed at the altar their holy vows of revenge and mutual defence. The dominion of Antonina was impaired by absence; and when she met her husband, on his return from the Persian confines, Belisarius, in his first and transient emotions, confined her person, and threatened her life. Photius was more resolved to punish, and less prompt to pardon; he flew to Ephesus; extorted from a trusty eunuch of his mother the full confession of her guilt; arrested Theodosius and his treasures in the church of St. John the Apostle, and concealed his captives, whose execution was only delayed, in a secure and sequestered fortress of Cilicia. Such a daring outrage against public justice could not pass with impunity; and the cause of Antonina was espoused by the empress, whose favor she had deserved by the recent services of the disgrace of a praefect, and the exile and murder of a pope. At the end of the campaign, Belisarius was recalled; he complied, as usual, with the Imperial mandate. His mind was not prepared for rebellion : his obedience, however adverse to the dictates of honor, was consonant to the wishes of his heart; and when he embraced his wife, at the command, and perhaps in the presence, of the empress, the tender husband was disposed to forgive or to be forgiven. The bounty of Theodora reserved for her companion a more precious favor. “I have found,” she said, “my dearest patrician, a pearl of inestimable value; it has not yet been viewed by any mortal eye; but the sight and the possession of this jewel are destined for my friend.”.” As soon as the curiosity and impatience of Antonina were kindled, the door of a bed-chamber was thrown open, and she beheld her lover, whom the diligence of the eunuchs had discovered in his secret prison. fier silent wonder burst into passionate exclamations of gratitude and joy, and she named Theodora her queen, her benefactress, and her savior. The monk of Ephesus was nourished in the palace with luxury and ambition; but instead of assuming, as he was promised, the command of the Roman armies, Theodosius Kexpired in the first fatigues of an amorous interview.” The The grief of Antonina could only be assuaged by the sufferings of her son. A youth of consular rank, and a sickly constitution, was punished, without a trial, like a malefactor and a slave: yet such was the constancy of his mind, that Photius sustained the tortures of the scourge and the rack,t without violating the faith which he had sworn to Belisarius. After this fruitless cruelty, the son of Antonina, while his mother feasted with the empress, was buried in her subterraneous prisons, which admitted not the distinction of night and day. He twice escaped to the most venerable sanctuaries of Constantinople, the churches of St. Sophia and of the Virgin; but his tyrants were insensible of religion as of pity; and the helpless youth, amidst the clamors of the clergy and #"; was twice dragged from the altar to the dungeon. is third attempt was more successful. At the end of three years, the prophet Zachariah, or some mortal friend, indicated the means of escape: he eluded the spies and guards of the empress, reached the holy sepulchre of Jerusalem, embraced the profession of a monk; and the abbot Photius was employed, after the death of Justinian, to reconcile and regulate the churches of Egypt. The son of Antonina suffered all that an enemy can inflict: her patient husband imposed on himself the more exquisite misery of violating his promise and deserting his friend. In the succeeding campaign, Belisarius was again sent against the Persians: he saved the East, but he offended . Theodora, and perhaps the emperor himself. The malady of Justinian had countenanced the rumor of his death ; and the Roman general, on the supposition of that probable event, spoke the free language of a citizen and a soldier. His colleague Buzes, who concurred in the same sentiments, lost his rank, his liberty, and his health, by the persecution of the empress: but the disgrace of Belisarius was alleviated by the dignity of his own character, and the influence of his wife, who might wish to humble, but could not desire to ruin, the partner of her fortunes. Even his removal was colored by the assurance, that the sinking state of Italy would be retrieved by the single presence of its conqueror. But no sooner had he returned, alone and defenceless, than a hostile commission was sent to the East, to seize his treasures and criminate his actions; the guards and veterans, who followed his private banner, were distributed among the chiefs of the army, and even the eunuchs presumed to cast lots for the partition of his martial domestics. When he passed with a small and sordid retinue through the streets of Constantinople, his forlorn appearance excited the amazement and compassion of the people. Justinian and Theodora received him with cold ingratitude; the servile crowd, with insolence and contempt; and in the evening he retired with trembling steps to his deserted palace. An indisposition, feigned or real, had confined Antonina to her apartment; and she walked disdainfully silent in the adjacent portico, while Belisarius threw himself on his bed, and expected, in an agony of grief and terror, the death which he had so often braved under the walls of Rome. Long after sunset a messenger was announced from the empress: he opened, with anxious curiosity, the letter which contained the sentence of his fate. “You cannot be ignorant how much you have deserved my displeasure. I am not insensible of the services of Antonina. To her merits and intercession I have granted your life, and permit you to retain a part of your treasures, which might be justly forfeited to the state. Let your grati. tude, where it is due, be displayed not in words, but in your future behavior.” I know not how to believe or to relate the transports with which the hero is said to have received this ignominious pardon. He fell prostrate before his wife, he kissed the feet of his savior, and he devoutly promised to live the grw.cful and submissive slave of Antonina. A fine of one hundred and twenty thousand pounds sterling was levied on the fortunes of Belisarius; and with the office of count, or master of the royal stables, he accepted the conduct of the Italian war. At his departure from Constanti. nople, his friends, and even the public, were persuaded that as soon as he regained his freedom, he would renounce his dissimulation, and that his wife, Theodora, and perhaps the emperor himself, would be sacrificed to the just revenge of a virtuous rebel. Their hopes were deceived; and the unconquerable patience and loyalty of Belisarius appear either below or above the character of a MAN.” 117 The continuator of the Chronicle of Marcellinus gives, in a few decent words, CHAPTER XLII.
*Theophanes (Chronograph. p. 204) styles him Photinus, the son-in-law of Belisarius; and he is copied by the Historia Miscella and Anastasius.
*This and much of the private scandal in the “Anecdota” is liable to serious doubt. Who reported all these private conversations, and how did they reach the 3ars of Procopius 2–M. *
* This is a strange misrepresentation—he died of a dysentery; nor does, it ap. pear that it was immediately after this scene. Antonina proposed to raise him to the generalship of the army—dańd tos trporepigaag.orm vögq àAóvta èvge tepias &; 3,600 mov gyrov & bavige. Procop. Anecd; p. 14. The sudden change from the ão diet of a monk to the luxury of the court is a much more probable cause of his death.-M.
f The expression of Procopius does not appear to me to mean this kind of tor. ture–pottov Še aux, ouois re dAAous divöparodoğeat Tepúaw ovaa, kat $6 yage 8atá re was vópov (leg. ouww) kat row varov woods. Ibid, -M
the substance of the Anecdotes : 3elisarius de Orienteevocatus, in offensam periculumque incurreus grave, et invidiae subjacens rursus remittitur in Italiam (p.
STATE OF THE BARBARIC WORLD.— ESTABLISHMENT OF THE LOMBARDS ON THE DANUIEE.—TRIBES AND INROADS OF THE SCLAVONIANs.-ORIGIN, EMPIRE, AND EMBASSIES OF THE TURKS.—THE FLIGHT OF THE AWARS.–CHOSROES I. oR NUSHIRVAN, KING OF PERSIA.—HIS PROSPEROUS REIGN AND WARS WITH THE ROMANS.—THE COLCHIAN OR LAZIC WAR.—THE AETHIOPIANS. OUR estimate of personal merit is relative to the common faculties of mankind. The aspiring efforts of genius, or virtue, either in active or speculative life, are measured, not so much by their real elevation, as by the height to which they ascend above the level of their age or country; and the same stature, which in a people of giants would pass unnoticed, must appear conspicuous in a race of pygmies. Leonidas, and his three hundred companions, devoted their lives at Thermopylae; but the education of the infant, the boy, and the man, had prepared, and almost insured, this memorable sacrifice; and each Spartan would approve, rather than admire, an act of duty, of which himself and eight thousand of his fellow-citizens were equally capable." The great Pompey might inscribe on his trophies, that he had defeated in battle two millions of enemies, and reduced fifteen hundred cities from the Lake Maeotis to the lèed Sea : * but the fortune of Rome flew before his eagles; the nations were oppressed by their own fears, and the invincible legions which he commanded, had been formed by the habits of conquest and the discipline of ages. In this view, the character of Belisarius may be deservedly placed above the heroes of the ancient republics. His imperfections flowed from the contagion of the times; his virtues were his own, the free
1 It will be a pleasure, not a task, to read Herodotus (l. vii. c. 104,134, pp. 550 615). The conversation of Xerxes and Demara; us at Thermopylae is one of the most interesting and moral scenes in history. It was the torture of the loyal Spartan to bebold, with anguish and foe virtue of his country.
* See this proud inscription in Pliny (Hist. Natur. vii. 27). Few men have more exquisitely tasted of glory and disgrace; nor could Juvenal (Satir. x.) produce a
*...oriking example of the vicissitudes of sortune, and the vanity of human