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near the miraculous tomb of St. Felix, which the public devotion had already surrounded with five large and populous churches. The remains of his fortune, and of his understanding, were dedicated to the service of the glorious martyr; whose praise, on the day of his festival, Paulinus never failed to celebrate by a solemn hymn; and in whose name he erected a sixth church, of superior elegance and beauty, which was decorated with many curious pictures, from the history of the Old and New Testament. Such assiduous zeal secured the favor of the saint,” or at least of the people; and, after fifteen years' retirement, the Roman consul was compelled to accept the bishopric of Nola, a few months before the city was invested by the Goths. During the siege, some religious persons were satisfied that they had seen, either in dreams or visions, the divine form of their tutelar patron; yet it soon appeared by the event, that Felix wanted power or inclination, to preserve the flock of which he had formerly been the shepherd. Nola was not saved from the general devastation;” and the captive bishop was protected only by the general opinion of his innocence and poverty. Above four years elapsed from the successful invasion of Italy by the arms of Alaric, to the voluntary retreat of the Goths under the conduct of his successor Adolphus; and, during the whole time, they reigned without control over a country, which, in the opinion of the ancients, had united all the various excellences of nature and art. The prosperity, indeed, which Italy had attained in the auspicious age of the Antonines, had gradually declined with the decline of the empire. The fruits of a long peace perished under the rude grasp of the Barbarians; and they themselves were incapable of tasting the more elegant refinements of luxury, which had been prepared for the use of the soft and polished Italians. Each soldier, however, claimed an ample portion of the substantial plenty, the corn and cattle, oil and wine that was daily collected and consumed in the Gothic camp ; and the principal warriors insulted the villas and gardens, once inhabited by Lucullus and Cicero, along the beauteous coast of Campania. Their trembling captives, the sons and daughters of Roman senators, presented, in goblets of gold and gems, large draughts of Falernian wine to the haughty victors; who stretched their huge limbs under the shade of plane-trees,” artificially disposed to exclude the scorching rays, and to admit the genial warmth, of the sun. These delights were enhanced by the memory of past hardships: the comparison of their native soil, the bleak and barren hills of Scythia, and the frozen banks of the Elbe and Danube, added new charms to the felicity of the Italian climate.” Whether fame, or conquest, or riches, were the object of Alaric, he pursued that object with an indefatigable ardor which could neither be quelled by adversity nor satiated by success. No sooner had he reached the extreme land of Italy, than he was attracted by the neighboring prospect of a fertile and peaceful island. Yet even the possession of Sicily he considered only as an intermediate step to the important expedition, which he already meditated against the continent of Africa. The Straits of Rhegium and Messina" are twelve miles in length, and, in the narrowest passage, about one mile and a half broad ; and the fabulous monsters of the deep, the rocks of Scylla, and the whirlpool of Charybdis, could terrify none but the most timid and unskilful mariners. Yet as soon as the first division of the Goths had embarked, a sudden tempest arose, which sunk, or scattered, many of the transports; their courage was daunted by the terrors of a new element; and the whole design was ão. by the premature death of Alaric, which fixed, after a short illness, the fatal term of his conquests. The ferocious character of the Barbarians was displayed in the funeral of a hero whose valor and fortune they celebrated with mournful applause. By the labor of a captive multitude, they forcibly diverted the course of the IBusentinus, a small river that washes the walls of Consentia. The royal sepulchre, adorned with the splendid spoils and trophies of Rome, was constructed in the vacant bed; the waters were then restored to their natural channel; and the secret spot, where the remains of Alaric had been deposited, was forever concealed by the inhuman massacre of the prisoners, who had been employed to execute the Work.” The personal animosities and hereditary feuds of the Barbarians were suspended by the strong necessity of their affairs; and the brave Adolphus, the brother-in-law of the deceased monarch, was unanimously elected to succeed to his throne: The character and political system of the new king of the Goths may be best understood from his own conversation with an illustrious citizen of Narbonne; who afterwards, in a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, related it to St. Jerom, in the presence of the historian Orosius. “In the full confidence of valor and victory, I once aspired (said Adolphus) to change the face of the universe; to obliterate the name of Rome; to erect on its ruins the dominion of the Goths; and to acquire, like Augustus, the immortal fame of the founder of a new empire. By repeated experiments, I was gradually convinced, that laws are essentially necessary to maintain and regulate a well-constituted state; and that the fierce, untractable humor of the Goths was incapable of bearing the salutary yoke of laws and civil government. From that moment I proposed to myself a different object of glory and ambition; and it is now my sincere wish that the gratitude of future ages should acknowledge the merit of a stranger, who employed the sword of the Goths, not to subvert, but to restore and maintain, the prosperity of the IRoman empire.”” With these pacific views, the successor of Alaric suspended the operations of war; and seriously negotiated with the Imperial court a treaty of friendship and alliance. It was the interest of the ministers of Honorius, who were now released from the obligation of their extravagant oath, to deliver Italy from the intolerable weight of the Gothic powers; and they readily accepted their service against the tyrants and Barbarians who infested the provinces beyond the Alps.” Adolphus, assuming the character of a Roman general, directed his march from the extremity of Campania to the southern provinces of Gaul. His troops, either by force or agreement, immediately occupied the cities of Narbonne, Toulouse, and Bordeaux; and though they were repulsed by Count Boniface from the walls of Marseilles, they soon extended their quarters from the Mediterranean to the Ocean. The oppressed provincials might exclaim, that the miserable remnant, which the enemy had spared, was cruelly ravished by their pretended allies; yet some specious colors were not wanting to palliate, or justify, the violence of the Goths. The cities of Gaul, which they attacked, might perhaps be considered as in a state of rebellion against the government of Honorius: the articles of the treaty, or the secret instructions of the court, might sometimes be alleged in favor of the seeming usurpations of Adolphus; and the guilt of any irregular, unsuccessful act of hostility might always be imputed, with an appearance of truth, to the ungovernable spirit of a Barbarian host, impatient of peace or discipline. The luxury of Italy had been less effectual to soften the temper, than to relax the courage of the Goths; and they had imbibed the vices, without imitating the arts and institutions, of civilized society.”
124 The humble Paulinus once presumed to say that he believed St. Felix did love him ; at least, as a master loves his little dog.
126 See Jornandes, de Reb. Get. c. 30, p. 653. Philostorgius, l. xii, c. 3. Augustin, de Civ. Dei, l. i. c. 10. Baronius, Annal. Eccles. A. D. 410, No. 45, 46.
126 The !!!!"; or plane-tree, was a favorite of the ancients, by whom it was propagated, for the sake of shade, from the East to Gaul. o: IIist. Natur. xii. 3, 4, 5. He mentions several of an enormous size; one in the Imperial villa, at Velitrae, which Caligula called his nest, as the branches were capable of holding a large table, the proper attendants, and the emperor himself, whom Pliny quaintly styles pars umbrae; an expression which might, with equal reason, be applied to Alaric. 127 The prostrate South to the destroyer yields IIer boasted titles and her golden fields; With grim delight the brood of winter view A brighter day, and skies of azure hue ; Scent the new fragrance of the opening rose, And quaff the pendent vintage as it grows.
See Gray's Poems, published by Mr. Mason, p. 107. Instead of compiling tables Of o and natural history, why did not Mr. Gray apply the powers of his genius o lish the philosophic poem, of which he has left such an exquisite specimen
123 For the perfect description of the Straits of Messina, Scylla, Charybdis, &c., see Cluyerius (Ital. Antiq. l. iv. p. 1293, and Sicilia Antiq. l. i. pp. 60–76), wh;6 nad diligently studied the ancients, and surveyed with a curious eye thé *ctual face of the country.
* Jornandes, de Reb. Get. c. 30, p. 654.
* Orosius, 1. vii. c. 43, pp. 584, 585. He was sent by St. Augustin, in the year 415, from Africa to Palestine, to visit St. Jerom, and to consult with him on the subject of the Pelagian controversy.
* Jornandes supposes, without much probability, that Adolphus visited and plundered Rome a second time (more locustarum erasit). Yet he agrees with Orosius in supposing that a treaty of peace was concluded between the Gothic prince and Honorius. See Oros. 1. vii. c. 43, pp. 584, 585. Jornandes, de Ikeb. Geticis, c. 31, pp. 654, 655.
. . The professions of Adolphus were probably sincere, and his attachment to the cause of the republic was secured by the ascendant which a Roman princess had acquired over the heart and understanding of the Barbarian king. Placidia,” the daughter of the great Theodosius, and of Galla, his second wife, had received a royal education in the palace of Constantinople; but the eventful story of her life is connected with the revolutions which agitated the Western empire under the reign of her brother Honorius. . When Rome was first invested by the arms of Alaric, Placidia, who was then about twenty years of age, resided in the city ; and her ready consent to the death of her cousin Serena has a cruel and ungrateful appearance, which, according to the circumstances of the action, may be aggravated, or excused, by the consideration of her tender age.” The victorious Barbarians detained, either as a hostage or a captive,” the sister of Honorius; but, while she was exposed to the disgrace of following round Italy the motions of a Gothic camp, she experienced, however, a decent and respectful treatment. The authority of Jornandes, who praises the beauty of Placidia, may perhaps be counterbalanced by the silence, the expressive silence, of her flatterers: yet the splendor of her birth, the bloom of youth, the elegance of manners, and the dexterous insinuation which she condescended to employ, made a deep impression on the mind of Adolphus; and the Gothic king aspired to call himself the brother of the empelor. The ministers of Honorius rejected with disdain the proposal of an alliance so injurious to every sentiment of Toman pride; and repeatedly urged the restitution of Placidia, as an indispensable condition of the treaty of peace. But the daughter of Theodosius submitted, without reluctance, to the desires of the conqueror, a young and valiant prince, who yielded to Alaric in loftiness of stature, but who excelled in the more attractive qualities of grace and beauty. The marriage of Adolphus and Placidia” was consummated before the Goths retired from Italy; and the solemn, perhaps the anniversary, day of their nuptials was afterwards celebrated in the house of Ingenuus, one of the most illustrious citizens of Narbonne in Gaul. The bride, attired and adorned like a Roman empress, was placed on a throne of state; and the king of the Goths, who assumed, on this occasion, the Roman habit, contented himself with a less honorable seat by her side. The nuptial gift, which, according to the custom of his nation,” was offered to Placidia, consisted of the rare and magnificent spoils of her 133 Zosim. 1. vi. p. 383. Orosius (1. vii. c. 40, p. 576), and the Chronicles of Marcellinus and Idatius, seem to suppose that the Goths did not carry away Placidia till after the siege of Rome. 190 See the pictures of Adolphus and Placidia, and the account of their marriage, in Jornandes, de Reb. Geticis, c. 31, pp. 654, 655. With regard to the place where the nuptials were stipulated, or consummated, or celebrated, the MSS. of Jormandes vary between two neighboring cities, Forli and Imola (Forum Livii and Forum Cornelii). It is fair and easy to reconcile the Gothic historian with Olympiodorous (see Mascou, l. viii. c. 46); but Tillemont grows peevish, and
to The rétréat of the Goths from Italy, and their first transactions, in Gaul, are dark and doubtful. I have derived much assistance from Mascou (Hist. of the Ancient Germans, 1. viii. c. 29, 35, 36, 37), who has illustrated, and connected, the \roken chronicles and fragments of the times.
.* See an account of Placidia in Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 72; and Tillemont, Hist, des Empereurs, tom. v. pp. 200,386, &c., tom. vi. p. 246.
* Zosim. l. v. p. 350.
... that it is not worth while to try to conciliate Jormandes with any good authors. * The Visigoths (the subjects of Adolphus) restrained, by subsequent laws, the prodigality of conjugal love. It was illegal for a husband to make any gift or settlement for the benefit of his wife during the first year of their marriage; and his liberality could not at any time exceed the tenth part of his property. The Lombards were somewhat more indulgent: they allowed the morgingcap immediately after the wedding night ; and this famous gift, the reward of virginity, might equal the fourth part of the husband's substance. Some cautious maidens, indeed, were wise enough to stipulate beforehand a present, which they were too sure of not deserying. See Montesquieu, Esprit de Loix, 1.xix. a. * Muratori, delle Antichità Italiane, tom. i. Dissertazion, xx. p. 23.