attention of the Politician, and even of the Philosopher, than that which overturned the Roman Empire, and raised the Monarchies of Europe on its ruins. The glory, the grandeur, the strength, the knowledge of that great, that celebrated Empire, all perished in an inftant. Barbarians, unknown or despised, destroy the work of ages, the work of numberless heroes and immortal geniuses. They ori. umph over Rome, take possession of her provinces, convert them into independent States, and together with their power, establish their own laws and prejudices. The causes and effects of fo memorable an event might furnish matter for many volumes'; I hall endeavour to unite them in one view, confining myself to some useful reflections, and taking nothing from history but what is calculated to enlighten reason and inspire wisdom.

: The very name of Rome dazzles our eyes. We almost weep over the ruins of that mighty Empire, and look with abhorrence upon those who deftroyed it, as monsters no less contemptible than deteftable. But thould the Colossus, which crushed all other nations, and formed itself upon their ruins, intereft us more than the people whose blood Aows in our veins? Is an Honorius, an Arcadius, toge. ther with the heirs of their cowardice and stupidity, more worthy of our admiration than an Alaric, a Clovis, an Odoacer, a Theodoric, a Totila, &c. ? In a word, ought not we to look upon the victories and the establishment of the Barbarians as the consequences of moral causes, the influence of which, sooner or later, occalions the rise and fall of Empires ? For the truth of this let us have recourse to history, and let us recollect, for a moment, some important reflections fcattered

up and down the first part of chis work; they are the seeds of those consequences which are now to be laid before our Readers.

. It is to her manners, as much as to her policy and her arms, that Rome was indebted for her, fortune. Her noble sentiments, her love of liberty, her passion for glory, her invincible con tancy, her con: tempt of dangers and of death, her obedience to the laws, and; above all, her military discipline, extended and cemented her conquests. Her acts of injustice were even clothed with a kind of fplendid majesty, which made tyranny itself be respected.

Riches produced at Rome what they have produced every where; luxury corrupted manners, and the ambition of the great bought the suffrages of the multitude; liberty no longer animated the breasts of Roman citizens ; civil wars did nos cease till Rome received a master; intereft made courtiers, and force made Naves ; the legions became thc inftruments of despotism, and thought they had a right to dilpole of the Sovereignty ; the Pretorian Bands, which always sold them felves to the best bidder, sported with the lives of Princes and with the laws of the State; in a word, under their antient forms of go. vernment the most horrid crimes and abuses prevailed. A degenerate Senate, Magiftrates without honour or authority, troops without discipline or controul, a cowardly, oppressed, and infolent people, abandoned themselves to all manner of extravagance and disorder; the very air of the court was sufficient to infect the whole nation, debauchery, voluptuousness, and almost ezérý species of vice gene. rally filled the throne. App. Rev. Vol. 1,

• Some

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· Some great men, indeed, pofTefied of the virtues of ancient times, occasionally appeared, and Rome seemed to revive, but, like person's brought back from the bridk of the grave, and restored to fome degree of health, with the seeds of disease fill remaining, the relapsed, and the distemper raged with greater violence, as soon as the sources of corruption were opened again.

• The army created Emperors in order to extort from them im. mense largesses, and butchered them in order to extort the same rams from their fucceffors; and such was their licentiousness, that the very mention of discipline was a signal for revolt. They were no longer soldiers, they were the oppreflors of their country; they were no longer citizens armed for the common defence, they were lawless and insatiable robbers. Nay, a great number of those very Barba. rians, whose brethren and countrymen had so very lately iovaded the Roinan provinces, were enlisted among them, so that the enemy found, even in the Roman legions, men eager to receive them.

• Whilst a dangerous soldiery guarded or ruined the frontiers, the inhabitants of the capital, at a distance from war, which they were totally unacquainted with, were almolt equal Atrangers to labour, which is so necessary to the support of manners. Indigent and idle, they drew their subsistence from those largesses and ditributions, which a wretched policy had established in order to gain their suffrages, and they were ready to revolt as often as the State was unable to pay then this tribute. Italy, changed into a garden by Afiatic pomp and luxury, could no longer maintain its inhabitants. When it had no supplies from Africa or sicily, as was frequently the case in the time of wars and civil commotions, the people breathed nothing but sedition. When an enemy appeared at the gates of the capital, they could neither fight nor obey; for Rome now had not a single Roman to defend her.

: When Confiantine had founded his new capital, and, by an ill. judged pride, had conveyed thither almost all the riches of the State, the West being exhaufted fell into a kind of annihilation. It is con. fidently afferred, however, that when Rome was taken by Alaric, the revenue of several families amounted to upwards of four millions of our money. Now supposing this account to be greatly exagge. sated, it is itill an evident proof that the riches of the nation were swallowed up by a few, that luxury multiplied crimes incessantly, and that the provinces were a prey to courtiers and financiers."

Our Author draws a very just and striking but melancholy picture of the manners and principles of those times, and the proceeds;

• Undoubtedly,' says he, ! those northern nations that took up arms againit the Romans, deserved the name of Barbarians. Breathing nothing but war and rapine, they were in quest of a finer climate, and of more fertile countries, than their own mountains and forets. The right of the sword was their oply title, and this right they exercised without remorse, as if it had been a natural righe. But tho' I am far from being disposed to be their Panegyrik, how formidable were they, and how far superior to those civilized nations which they attacked! Their fimple and auftere manners were stranger even

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to the name of effeminacy; their wants were few, and very easily fatisfied; their bodies inured labour and toil seemed inaccessible to pain; war being, as it were, their very element, they sported with dangers, and smiled upon death; tho' free and enemies to conttraint, they were nevertheless attached to their Chiefs, because they made choice of the most deserving to be their Commanders. A ferocious valour, whatever may be Taid to the contrary, was not their only 'merit. We have a piclure of German manners drawn by a Philosophical Hiitorian ; and this picture presents to our view a generous hospitality, an inviolable regard to the sacred ties of marriage, an abhorrence of effeminacy, several itriking inltances of wisdom; in a word, nothing was wanting to make them a people of real, substantiaľ virtue, but the cultivation of reason, which leads to the true principles of social life. Does not hiltory affure us that even the Hans, those savage robbers, kept their word 'inviolably? Nay the Franks, the Goths, and several other Barbarians, had, by fighting against the Romans, or being in their service, acquired ideas and some degree of knowledge ; and their contempt for a people from whom they received tribute, is a fufficient proof what advantages they had over them. Their conquering Princes were great men ; these great men attacked a feeble and an effeminate enemy with formidable forces; the courage and the policy of the conquerors, the effeminácy and the cowardice of the conquered, explain the Revolution.

One is mocked with the account of the barbarities committed in Gaul, and afterwards on the other side of the Pyrenees by the Vandals and the Suevi, the first Conquerors of Spain. No sooner, however, are they matters of the couniry, than they are seen to foften their ferocity, to apply themselves to agriculture, to quiet the fears and apprehensions of the inhabitants, and, by their reputation for justice and clemency, bring back those whom fear had obliged to beta themselves to fight. Some years after, we fee Genferic, King of the Vandals, preferring a ftill more useful conquest to that of Spain, and depriving the Romans of Africa as much by his prudence 'as his valour. We see him, all at once, form a powerful marine, tho' at firit he had not a single ship; support himself like an able Politician; negociate and fight with equal success; in a word, wiumph over the empire till his death, by those very means which Rome, in its early days, had employed with so much fuccess.

The conduct of Alaric, King of the Visigoths, in Italy, deserves Atill greater applause.' The numberless perfidious acts of the Court of Honorius provoke him, without being able to make him either perfidious or cruel. He claims the faith of treaties, and avenges Nimfelf like a hero whose conduct is regulared by the principles of honour. Twice he fpares Rome; and when forced at last to take it iD 410, he does every thing in his power to lessen the borrors of vengeance, gives fri&t orders to offer no violence to women or churches, Ito be sparing of the blood of the conquered, and saves the lives of a great number of Romans."

This is part of what our Author has advanced concerning that wonderful revolution which overturned th: Roman Empire, the effecls of wbich, with regard to laws, government,

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manvers and religion, he points out in a very judicious and instructive manner.

His preliminary obfervations are followed by a tranflation of what Mr. Ferguson advances concerning rude nations, under the impressions of poverty and intereft, in the second part of his inge. nious Essay on the History of Civil Society.

Abbè Millot divides his work into fifteen epochs ; the first contains the history of about three centuries, reaching from Clovis to CHARLEMAGNE. This history is very short, and scarcely fills forty small pages; but it is clear, judicious, and diftinct, and concludes with some excellent general obser. vations.

"The ancient Gauls,' says he, the Germans, the Bretons, the Scandinavians, and, in general, all the Celtic Nations that were spread over the face of Europe, had a strong resemblanee to each other in regard to government, manners, and opinions. This sesemblance is very striking in all the States that were formed by the Barbarians, when they dismembered the valt empire of Rome. Liberty and war were their prevailing passions. Being convinced that power gives right, and that victory is a certain proof of justice, they were no less careful to avoid being subject to the arbitrary will and pleasure of an individual, than they were ambitious to conquer and plunder their enemies. Their original form of government was a kind of military democracy, under a Commander who had generally the title of King. This dignity could not be hereditary. They had no thought but for the present, and only wanted a chief who was capable of heading an army, and inspiring obedience ; if they did not find him such, they initantly deprived him of the power wherewith they had invested him. When a warrior distinguished himself by eminent qualities, several others attached themselves to him, and a mutual engagement obliged them to fight for each other. Every one considered it as his duty to die for his Chief,' and it was looked upon as cowardice to survive him. These asociations seem to have been the first feeds of the feudal government.

• All affairs of importance were determined in national assemblies, in which these armed warriors, fensible of their power, and abhor, ring all manner of constraint, yielded to 'nothing but a firm convic tion of the utility of what was proposed to them. This national affembly was first called, in France, the Champ de Mars, because it was held in the open plain in the month of March ; afterwards, it was called the Champ de Mai, because the ose of cavalry having be. come common, Pepin put off this assembly till a season when they could be supplied with forage.

• When the Barbarians had fixed settlements, the democracy was quickly changed into a military aristocracy. The grandees, being in possession of lands and riches, were enabled to reduce the people to dependance. They assumed to themselves the power which the national body had enjoyed. The people were neglected and despised; the King and the grandees acted as they pleased, and the inequality of fortune introduced a new order of things. In France, however, under the two firit races, the people or free men had always a fare


of the legislative power: lays, according to the expression of the Capitulars, were made with the consent of the people. But this confent, it is more than probable, became a mere matter of form. The Maires du Palais would never have dared, nay, would never have been able to suppress the national assemblies, if the ancient Conftitu. tion had not been essentially violated.

As all authority has a tendency to aggrandize itself, that of Kings, especially in the French Monarchy, foon gained ground; and this was the effect of conquett and circumstances. On the one hand, the conquered nations, acculomed to the yoke of the Emperors, and trained by chriftianity to constant obedience, had princi. ples very favourable to the authority of Princes. As they mixed with the Conquerors, they must necessarily have had a considerable influence over their opinions, especially as the same religion was become common to both, and as the Bishops, who were all Romans, had great power over their undertandings and their hearts. On the other hand, the Kings, being in possession of vaft Domains, gave part of them to the grandees, under the title of Beneficia, when they wanted to gain them over to their interest, and took them back when they thought proper; and thus hope and fear, the two great springs of the human heart, became favourable to their political views.

• Laws shew the genius of nations, and are mild in proportion to the degree of liberty which they enjoy. Treachery and cowardice were, in general, the only unpardonable crimes among the Barbasians. There was no public punishment for murder, for these northern nations, being always at war, were particularly careful to avoid capital punishments, and established pecuniary oncs in their Itead,

• It is not at all surprising that they should appoint duels, in order to supply the want of judicial proofs. It was the common opinion that victory proves justice; in their system and in their language, is was the judgment of God; duelling was the shortest way that Barbarians could think of tor terminating their differences; it animated and supported that warlike fpirit, which they looked upon & the greateit of all virtues; and it was likewise, upon some occasions, a. preservative against the violation of an oath.

• What is laid of duels may be applied to those absurd and ridiculous trials by which persons charged with being guilty of crimes might clear themselves. Opinion established them, and opinion, for a long time, supported them. From the earliest ages, the elements were fupposed to have a kind of miraculous virtue, and to be animated by some intelligent prinçiple, which always directed their adion, and made them sublervient to the triumph of justice and equiry. It was the general opinion that fire would not burn an innocent person, that he might, without any danger, handle red hot iron, dip his hands in boiling water, &c. Such trials in some countries were named Ordeal, and Christianity could not put an end to them, because the Barbarians made it bend to their prejudices, inttead of subjecting their prejudices to its principles. Superstition did not fail to find texts of Scripture to authorize a practice so repuga nant to good sense. Accordingly, these trials became religious ceremonjes, which the Clergy had an interest in fupporting. Not to

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