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and other conchifera, were carefully fattened in the cochlearia. The Roman fishponds are famous: they seem to have stood in the same relation to the Roman gentleman as his covers to an English squire; the lampreys and mullets were his pheasants and partridges. And perhaps the story of the man who fed his fish upon slaves may be in the nature of an allegory, and point only to the consumption of gamekeepers. Cicero dwells with indignation on the conduct of these piscinarii
, as he calls them, who were so wrapt up in their preserves that they would not come to Rome to organise a conservative party. “And what the mullet was, are foxes now," may be said perhaps without any violent exaggeration. The fish were often very tame, as we read in Martial; and would swim up to the edge of the pond to be fed, just as game, where it is plentiful, will come up to the breakfast-room window. The pleasant good-humoured noble, feeding his lampreys and talking to his humbler neighbours, recalls too the image of the last English king who had the habits of an English gentleman,
The Doctor makes less use of Martial in his pictures of country life than we should have anticipated. Martial has left us a genial and graphic description of the sights and sounds which encountered a Roman proprietor as he stepped into his outer farmyard on some fine day towards the close of autumn. The tribula (threshing-machines) are hard at work. The vinedresser passes him with a load of late grapes. The meadows below the house are dotted with cattle, and their lowing alternates pleasantly with the cooing of the pigeons from the turrets. At his feet strut the whole people of the poultry-yard, as various in their voice as in their plumage :--the goose, the peacock, and the flamingo,—the partridge, the guinea-hen, and the pheasant. And as the villicus comes by with a lapful of acorns,
, he is followed by a crowd of importunate porkers. From the sheepfold in his rear the master catches the bleating of the lambs separated from their mothers. Inside the house the children of the slaves are huddling over a good fire, while their elders are out in the woods and on the lake to replenish the fishpond and the thrush-house. Some neighbours from the town are taking a stroll in his garden; and presently a countryman approaches to pay his rospects with something better than mere compliments : “Will his honour accept this fine piece of virgin honeycomb, with this cone-shaped cheese from the pastures of Umbria ?"--or perhaps a few couple of dormice, or a live kid, or a brace of fat capons, constitute his humble offering, which is doubtless accepted with all graciousness; and perhaps too, before the day is over, some buxom dark-eyed Phyllis comes tripping up to the “Hall” with a “ basket” from the worthy couple, her parents. One cannot fail to be struck with the simplicity and kindliness of this rural picture,—which we strongly recommend to all our readers in the original,—written of a spot but a short distance from the voluptuous watering-place of Baiæ, and by one to whom none of the indulgences or vices of that self-indulgent and vicious age were unknown.
It is the unaffected attachment to a country life, breathing through such passages as these, which has contributed more than any other cause to the permanent popularity of the ancient literature. It is the salt of the Classics, which has rendered their baser elements innocuous. Through the grossest pictures of vice and the most degraded conceptions of religion by which their pages are disfigured, runs a vein of purity and tenderness which leavens the entire mass. Amid the fetid atmosphere of cities we catch the fresh breezes of the hills, and up over the “smoke and roaring bustle of Rome" floats a pleasant murmur of the country. The Athenians were litigious to a proverb, and as fond of public life as Lord Palmerston. Their law-courts and political assemblies were, next to the theatre, the favourite amusement of the people. Away from Athens, one would have supposed there was nothing in which the countrymen of Pericles were interested. Yet it was not so.
We are informed by Thucydides that the principal cause of their hostility to the Peloponnesian War was the necessity of leaving their country-houses, and exposing their gardens, olive-grounds, and orchards, to the devastations of the invader. In Aristophanes, a genuine man of the world, we find the same sentiments illustrated with as much force as humour; while Xenophon, the scholar and philosopher, was at the same time a country gentleman and a sportsman.
In Latin literature every other page is redolent of this rural spirit. We need not mention the professed writers on agriculture. Whether in the philosophic studies and deep poetic sympathies of Lucretius; in the flowers, and festivals, and lovers of Tibullus and Propertius; in the literary leisure of Horace, and Martial, and Pliny; or clinging to the rough song of Juvenal, like the moss upon an ancient wall, — we ever see the ruling instinct. The old Roman character was exactly suited to appreciate the dignity of country life, and to value the many pleasures it afforded, without permitting them to sink into mere luxuriousness. The Roman was still the man of action. Law, and conquest, and legislation, were the work of his massive nature : but still he looked to the country as the source of his purest delights; and, in the senate or the camp, had probably ever some well-loved spot in his memory, of which he would exclaim with his favourite, Sit meae sedes utinam senectae.
It is likely that much of the peculiar zest with which the Classics have been cultivated in England is due to this predominant characteristic. Athens was never to Attica, nor Rome to Italy, what Paris has become to France : but they were eminently what London is now to England. No scholar, however deeply learned in roots and particles, can catch the tone of the ancients so completely as an English scholar. The urbana rusticitas, as it has been happily termed, of the cultivated Roman, has never been so thoroughly reproduced as in the cultivated Briton. Burke at Beaconsfield was quite the Roman ideal. And perhaps there is no one relic of antiquity so highly prized, or so frequently perused amongst us, as the Georgics of Virgil. No one remembers that sad second eclogue as he reads these. The close and affectionate study of nature evinced by the first and third books, and the beautiful little country pictures in the second and fourth, have left us an impression of their author which no less favourable traditions have been able to impair. We forgive Horace his prurience, and Juvenal his coarseness, as we read the description of Ofellus, and the invitation to Persicus. And Martial's offences are condoned as we revel in his hearty description of the poultry-yard, the dove-cot, and the pigs, at the villa of his friend Faustinus. We feel certain that in such men this license of language could not have meant all it would mean among ourselves, or necessitate their banishment, like some writers of our own Augustan age, to the shelves of the antiquary.
To the concluding chapters in Dr. Daubeny's work, which relate to Roman horticulture, we can only refer in the wellknown lines :
“Atque equidem extremo ni jam sub fine laborum
Vela traham, et terris festinem advertere proram,
Arcana Cælestia. The Heavenly Arcana contained in the Holy
Scriptures, or Word of the Lord, unfolded. By Emanuel Swe
denborg. 12 vols. 8vo. London, 1818. The True Christian Religion; containing the Universal Theology of
the New Church, foretold by the Lord in Daniel and in the Apo
calypse. By Emanuel Swedenborg. 8vo. London, 1855. Heaven and Hell; also the Intermediute State, or World of Spirits :
a Relation of Things heard and seen. By Emanuel Swedenborg.
8vo. London, 1850. Conjugal Lore, fc. By Emanuel Swedenborg. A new edition re
vised. 8vo. London, 1855. Emanuel Swedenborg: a Biography. By J. J. G. Wilkinson. 8vo.
London, 1849. Life: its Nature, Varieties, and Phenomena. By Leo H. Grindon.
Second edition, improved and considerably enlarged. 8vo. Lon
don, 1857. Swedenborg's Writings and Catholic Teaching ; or, a Voice from the
New Church Porch, in answer to a Series of Articles on the Sreedenborgians. By the Vicar of Froome-Selwood, in the Old Church
Porch. 12mo. London, 1858. SWEDENBORG is more of a mystery and in some important particulars less of a mystic than any other founder of a sect. This opinion, which is the result of the perusal of a good many books by and about him, is exactly opposite to the opinion which is commonly held, and which is probably the result, in those who hold it, of their not having read any such books. We propose simply to present our readers with the mystery of Swedenborg, as far as we can in a few pages, without any attempt to solve it. Our readers may try, if they please, to do that for themselves; but they will probably find it a harder task than they may suppose, while they are as yet unacquainted with facts and writings which make it absurd to call him an impostor, and which, if they prove him to have been insane, prove also that insanity is compatible with powers of intellect which, in certain directions, stand almost unrivalled. We will not go so far as Coleridge, who called him “the man of ten centuries ;” since the last ten centuries, to say nothing of lesser lights, have produced Shakespeare and Dante-- the latter of whom was, in some respects, extremely like Swedenborg, and nearly if not quite equal to him in what constitutes his great and unquestionable intellectual claim, namely, the power of observing facts concerning the nature, capacities, and destiny of the human spirit, which, when they are stated, — or rather poetically suggested—for frequently
they do not admit of direct statement,-are by one set of hearers at once rejected, not as false but as simply unintelligible; while by another set, not the least respectable in point of admitted culture and capacity, they are welcomed as truths of the highest importance, and of such a nature that they are not opined but discerned. To this extraordinary power in the Swedish seer we shall not attempt to do justice. No adequate idea of it can be obtained without a somewhat deep and extensive study of his writings.
Emanuel Swedenborg was born in 1688, at Stockholm. He was the second son of the Bishop of Skara, a man of much influence and high family. The bishop gave his son an excellent moral and secular education, but seems to have left him curiously to himself in the matter of doctrinal instruction. Very little, however, is known of Swedenborg's childhood and youth beyond what is contained in a letter which he wrote late in life to one of his friends. “From my fourth to my tenth year,” he says, “my thoughts were constantly engrossed by reflecting on God, on salvation, and on the spiritual affections of man.” At this period he informs his friend that he often revealed things in his discourse which astonished his hearers, and made them declare that the angels spoke through his mouth. “From my sixth to my twelfth year it was my greatest delight to converse with the clergy concerning faith; to whom I often observed that charity, or love, is the life of faith ;” a doctrine which he lived to teach with an incomparable power of persuasion. “I knew of no other faith or belief at that time than that God is the Creator and Preserver of nature; that He endues man with understanding, good inclinations, and other gifts derived from these. I knew nothing at that time of the systematic or dogmatic kind of faith, that God the Father imputes the righteousness or merits of his Son to whomsoever, &c.” Dr. Swedberg, however, was a serious and earnest man; and in April 1729, he thus writes of his son: “Emanuel, my son's name, signifies ‘God with us;' a name which should constantly remind him of the nearness of God, and of that interior, holy, and mysterious connection in which, through faith, we stand with our good and gracious God.” At the proper time the young Swedenborg, or Swedberg as his name was then, went to the University of Upsal; and from this time forth until a late period in middle life, all his attention seems to have been devoted to secular learning, and particularly to mathematics and mineralogy. In 1709, at the age of twenty-two, he took his degree of Doctor of Philosophy; and in the following year he commenced the course of travel which was then looked upon as an essential part of a liberal education. He directed his course first to London. On his voyage thither his ship was fired