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ficial. For although the world had long before arrived at maturity of thought and knew better once; yet, as said above, by their depravity and this Gothic millenary innovation, men had all their former work to do again. And in the devastation there was no distinction; but the innocent suffered with the guilty! (for though men Inay sin individually, yet, in national tumults, they are punished en masse !)
Indeed, the excesses and arbitrary pride of the Romans, as far as related to their governors and military, had long rendered them extremely offensive to all their neighbours, so that in effect what was done by these savages was no more than retaliation for their own oppressions of others, who happened to be too weak to defend themselves, or resist their tyranny! And the proud maxim," aut Cæsar aut nullus!" (so often quoted with approbation by modern tyrants) may be taken for a sample, characteristic of their general feature, as well as applicable to Cæsar himself; and can never be selected for imitation, but by persons equally overbearing and proud! The sentence certainly has a very grand sound, but this untamed principle of human pride is a very bad next-door neighbour! and generally prognostic of a fall to its owner; and such maxims are seldom reducible to harmless, peaceable, or innocent practice, or, indeed, to any continuance; for, being a principle at war with all the world, all the world will naturally be at
war with it; indeed it is the first born of pride, self-confidence, self-love, and tyranny, and can only be tolerable to its own possessor; and the indulgence of it, (together with its associate, luxury,) proved the downfal of the Romans ! ! !
They had had their day of exaltation and proud triumph over other nations! Persia, Egypt, Iberia, Britain, Gaul, &c. &c. had bowed to their yoke, and in the second Punic war, the forum had rung with the ferocious exultation," Delende est Carthago!” when that antient city, whose legions had so long withstood them, fell! It was now their turn to fall, and feel the effects of all their former violence! and retaliation was made by these barbarians for every crime from chaste Lucretia's rape, by Tarquinius Superbus, in their infant state, to the persecutions of Nero and Domitian, the last of the twelve Cæsars, in their decline, the awful consequences of which have been described. And if a judgment might be formed in the present day of the frightful retrogradation produced by these barbarians, from the fruit of it, (which is generally the best rule), the whole of their works disgrace them! And a man has only to open his intellectual eyes, and take notice of the unhealthy, inelegant, and inconvenient, streets houses, &c. of only one or two centuries back, to be convinced that the projectors had either been crushed by barbarism, or had never emerged from its frightful customs!
At length, by slow degrees, the intellectual
sun began to rise and disperse the inveterate mist that had darkened, Europe for a thousand years!
A Bacon, a Lord Verulam,* a Newton, a Boyle, a Locke, a Pope, &c. were born in England. Alhazan, Copernicus, Galileo, Torricelli, Otto Guericke, and a number of other luminaries of the first magnitude on the continent, beside a variety of inferior ones, (all reciprocal auxiliaries to one another,) and all tending to irradiate the world afresh, and (astounding fatality!) to convince reason that not only men but states, nations, and intellect, perhaps worlds themselves, are all limited in their duration, and are all subject to decay and death!
All have their time of gestation proportioned to their continuance! all are subject to the vicissitudes of health and disease, prosperity and adversity! all have their infancy, adolescence, maturity, declension, and mortality! and in whose vast vortices men, as moving monades, by
* The name of Bacon stands pre-eminent in the annals of intellectuality; for England has furnished two first-rate luminaries of that name. The first, Roger Bacon, the friar, born 1214, (see page 62.) The second, Sir Francis Bacon, born 1560, who was created Lord Verulam, and afterward Viscount St. Albans, the first man who submitted dogmatic opinions to the honest test of experiment, and made the proud à priori rule, submit to common sense, and the inference à posteriori, against the Peripatetics, who used to lay down their doctrine à priori, and then torture the inference to make it comport with the dogmatic induction; and as all things are great or small by comparison, he was a giant, to the pigmies of his own times; and many are of opinion, that this great man was the philosophic progenitor of the immortal Sir Isaac Newton.
simultaneous impulse, are drawn and involved! and, by the omnipotent laws of nature and universal sympathy, become assimilated into the very predicament of the state in which they live! So far the antient heathens were right, when they made this fatality, or "the fates," superior to even Jupiter himself!" See Appendix, No. VI.
Well then might the corrected Agrippa, (after wading through the intricate mazes and devious labyrinths of occult philosophy,) coalesce with Solomon, and inscribe his last work "De Vani"tate Scientiarum." For, indeed, all human acquirements have hitherto been extremely transitory and vain, but "nil desperandum!" A person has a better chance of success in opposing an inveterate habit in these days, than he would have had 500 years ago, when the human mind was fast bound in the fetters of ignorance and bigotry! The greatest difficulty now is for a man to make his feeble voice be heard so as to be identified amidst such a number of dissimilar clamours, as the human ears are daily assailed by, but still it is an arduous undertaking to attempt the eradication of long standing prejudices, which the following, as well as the former pages, are intended to accomplish, by a statement of the fearful consequences entailed upon the world by that dreadful revolution, which destroyed the very seat of intellect of all Europe! and (without saying with Lord Monboddo that they became "Mutum et turpe pecus !") reduced them to pristine savagism! But" Sic transit gloria mundi!!!”
THESAURUS OF HORROR;
CASES OF PREMATURE INTERMENT.
[Extracted from the Encyclopædia Britannica.]
"EMPEDOCLES, in the 84th Olympiad, restored to life Ponthia, a woman of Agrigentum, who was about to be interred, (See Diogenes Laertius de Vitæ et Moribus Philosophorum, lib. 8.) which induced the Greeks, for the future protection of the supposed dead, to establish laws which enacted that no person should be interred until the sixth or seventh day!
"But even this extension of time was not found sufficient to give general satisfaction; therefore we read that when Hephestion, at whose funeral obsequies Alexander the Great attended, was to be burned, it was not suffered to be done till the tenth day. Acilius Aviola fell a victim to the premature disposal of the supposed dead,