Page images
PDF
EPUB

nothing. Aurelian, becoming aware of the stern Roman could not discern had the fact, despatched his light-horse in calmed and elevated the soul of Longiquick pursuit. They overtook the fugi- nus. He was above the fear of death. tive just as she was entering a boat to He submitted himself to the fate the tycross the Euphrates, and led her back in rant had decreed him to suffer, with a captivity.

fortitude that honored his high thought; When brought into the presence of Au- and while the executioner prepared him relian, he peremptorily demanded “How for the fatal stroke, he calmly counselled she had presumed to rise in arms against his fallen sovereign, and comforted his the Emperors of Rome ?” Zenobia's afflicted friends. answer was at once proud, respectful, and History has charged Zenobia with the politic. “ Because I disdained to consid- ingratitude of having purchased her own er as Roman Emperors those who have life by the sacrifice of her instructor and lately worn the purple. You, alone, I her friends. The charge is so inconsisacknowledge as my conqueror and my tent with her character, that I have taken sovereign. Such was the submission of some pains to investigate its authority. the Queen of the East.

It seems to rest on the assertion of ZosiThe capture of Zenobia was speedily mus, an historian 'whose veracity is none followed by the surrender of her capital, of the best, and whose statements Gibbon including - arms, horses, and camels, with declines to adopt in many instances, though an immense treasure of gold, silver, silk, he seems to credit this accusation against and precious stones.” Palmyra was the queen. I can only say that the charge treated with great lenity. Aurelian was is in utter violation of the generous

discontent to leave a garrison of six hun- position and intrepid bravery which are dred archers to preserve his authority in known to have characterized Zenobia above a city which had so long resisted his arms, most of her contemporaries; and that the and which had been, in reality, independ- sacrifice of her counsellors to her own ent since the reign of Valerian.

safety may be plausibly attributed to the With Zenobia and her leading counsel- policy of Aurelian, who might well be lors and friends, the emperor retired to proud to retain such a personage to adorn Emesa, where, in the name of justice, he his impending triumph. inflicted those barbarities which tarnish whatever glory he had acquired in this campaign.

We must now behold Zenobia in the No sooner was the Queen of the East captive train of the conqueror, making arraigned before his judgment-seat, than her humiliating journey to Rome. She the brutal soldiery clamored loudly for has crossed the straits that divide Europe her instant execution. It required all from Asia, and taken the last glance of the stern authority of Aurelian to restrain her subjugated dominions. But her pride their pitiless fucy. To atone, however, as a princess and her affection as a woman for the clemency which he extended to are destined to a new outrage. A swift Zenobia, and to appease the bloody desires courier arrives from Palmyra, with inof the troops, he doomed her captive no- formation that the citizens have massacred bility to instant death. Prominent among the Roman governor and garrison which these was Longinus, the disciple of Plato, Aurelian had left in charge of his conand the queen's highest counsellor. The quest, and filled the provinces with revoignorant and sanguinary Aurelian was lution. incapable of appreciating the lofty qual. With a fixed resolution of vengeance, ities of the philosopher; he knew not the indignant emperor turned his face that the life which he in consideratels ex- back toward Syria, Antioch, which had

X. -DOOM OF PALMYR 1.

extinguished in Aurelian's bloody retribu- der. The ambassadors of the most retion. The pitiless barbarian 'made no mote parts of the earth, — of Ethiopia, distinction between the armed soldier and Arabia, Persia, Bactriana, India, China, the defenceless woman; but immolated - all remarkable for their rich and sinboth sexes and all ranks and ages to his gular dresses, displayed the fame and inhuman resentment. Only a meagre power of the Roman Emperor, who exremnant of that proud and cultivated posed likewise to the public view the population survived. The city was de presents he had received, and particularly spoiled of its architectural grandeur and a great number of crowns of gold, the artistic beauty. It never recovered from offerings of grateful cities. the calamity. The spring of its energy « The victories of Aurelian were atwas broken; the flower of its enterprise tested by the long train of captives, who was withered.

reluctantly attended his triumph, -Goths, Aurelian, repenting too late his de- Vandals, Sarmatians, Alemanni, Franks, structive vengeance, gave permission to Gauls, Syrians, and Egyptians. Each rebuild the city, and lent his personal in- people was distinguished by their peculiar fluence toward restoring a temple of the inscription; and the title of Amazons was sun; but “it is easier to destroy than to bestowed on ten' martial heroines of the restore ;” and Palmyra declined more Gothic nation, who had been taken in rapidly than it had risen, until, in the arms. But every eye, disregarding the course of centuries, it became too obscure crowd of captives, was fixed on the Queen a town for recognition. A miserable vil- of the East. The beauteous figure of lage, consisting of thirty or forty families Zenobia was confined by fetters of gold. whose mud cottages are pitched within A slave supported the gold chain which the court of a ruined temple, is all that encircled her neck, and she almost fainted now marks the site of Palmyra, once the under the intolerable weight of jewels. seat of commerce, the home of letters, She preceded, on foot, the magnificent the refuge of Grecian art, and the pride chariot in which she once hoped to enter of Zenobia. Such are the solemn changes the gates of Rome. It was followed by wrought by the hand of Time, aided by two more chariots, still more sumptuous, the madness of human passion, on all of Odenathus and of the Persian monthat man cunningly contrives and labori- arch. The triumphal car of Aurelian " ously constructs!

came next in order, and “the most illus— ADORNS AURELIAN'S TRIUMPH.

trious of the Senate, the people, and the

army, closed the solemn procession." The crisis of Zenobia's destiny ap- Such was the manner in which Zenobia, proaches. The triumphal procession of the noblest and most renowned woman of Aurelian makes its stately entrance into her age, entered the capital of the Roman Rome. Never, since the foundation of Empire. Such was the reward which the city was beheld a more imposing spec- Roman justice meted out to her whose tacle.

courage in war, wisdom in government, Gibbon tells us, in one of his finest par- and proficiency in learning, had contribagraphs, how “the pomp was opened by uted to the empire its most enduring twenty elephants, four royal tigers, and glory! above two hundred of the most curious With the triumph of Aurelian, Zenoanimals, from every climate of the north, bia ceases to be an historic character. the east, and the south. They were fol. The last time that she is present to the lowed by sixteen hundred gladiators, de- eye of the world is when she walks, amid voted to the cruel amusements of the the splendid wrecks of her kingdom, in amphitheatre. The wealth of Asia, the that mournfully brilliant procession, and arms and ensigns of so many conquered ornaments, with her fettered charms, the nations, and the magnificent plate and imposing pomp that ascends the capitol. wardrobe of the Syrian Queen, were dis. The sequel of her history demands but a posed in exact symmetry or artful disor- moment. In exchange for the kingdom

XI.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

which he had wrested from her, " the em- And are wishing he were with them even now. peror presented Zenobia with an elegant And they say to one another, “When this villa at Tiber, or Tivoli, about twenty

“ cruel war is o'er, miles from the capital. The Syrian And our glorious cause has triumphed, he will queen insensibly sunk into a Roman ma

be with us once more.' tron, her daughters married into noble families, and her race was not yet extinct “And there is yet another, who is dearer than in the fifth century.

they all, In closing the history of Zenobia, I Who would have been my own true-hearted am reminded that an American woman,

wife. with a genius kindred to that which the Ah, Mary ! little thought we, in that last sad fair Syrian loved to foster, has sculptured

parting hour, her beauty in the pliant marble, and con

We should see each other nevermore in life! tributed to immortalize her glory and her Oh, my darling, you will miss me, and your misfortunes. It is pleasing to think that,

tears will fall like rain; in the immortal fellowship of fame, the But in heaven, when life’s over, we shall meet

and love again. genius of Miss Hosmer, reaching back, from America, through sixteen hundred years of history, locks hand with Ze- “Tell them, comrade, if you see them, that I nobia, in the last decay of the ancient

dearly loved them all,

And I ever strove to do my duty well;
empires, and binds the new with the old,
in the kindred glory of illustrious woman-

That my courage never faltered, when I faced

the rebe' host; hood.

That for freedom and our starry flag I fell.

And tell them not to mourn me, for I died as AFTER THE BATTLE.

soldiers die;

And that, when life is over, we shall meet be-
By Mrs. Mary R. Robinson.

yond the sky.
“The battle now is over, and the victory is won,
While thousands dead and dying strew the

“And, comrade, never falter, though ofttimes plain;

the way looks dark; My life's blood fast is ebbing, and its sands will

For I know that there will surely come a day soon be run;

When God will bless our efforts in the cause of I shall never see my darling ones again.”

liberty, Thus spake a dying soldier to a comrade who

And shed the light of victory o'er our way; Fas nigh,

When slavery shall be ended, and war's dread Where on Virginia's "sacred soil" he'd laid him

tumult cease, down to die.

And from the east unto the west be nought but

joy and peace.
“I can seem to bear the rustle of the trees
around my home,

farewell, for I can feel death's chill
And the brooklet that goes singing by the
door;

upon my brow.

I shall sleep the sleep that nought can ever
And I know the bluebirds carol in the orchard

wake;
down the lane,
And the robin in the tall old sycamore;

Though the battle-guns may thunder, and the

trumpets loudly blare, And I know Dentle sisters, when they waken

Yet neyermure my slumbers will they break.

And now,

By J. K, Fisher.

THE VISIONARY.

more than we know. Perhaps a day's rest may keep you from an ill-turn; I

hope so, my dear Blake.” BLAKE, the artist, was a visionary. " Thank you, my dear Antiquity” (the He did not distinguish between what he visitor was usually called ' Antiquity saw and what he imagined. Many anec- Smith, to distinguish him from other ardotes of him used to be told among the tists named Smith). “ I have no doubt he artists when I was a student in England. had good reasons, which he might have Some of these artists are his acquaint- told me if he had not known that I would ances ; and many of their reports con- not appreciate them; so I try to content cerning him have not yet found their way myself, although it is hard to remain idle into print.

on such a fine day.” Hoby called him the gentle visionary Why, Blake, you sport a very dashBlake, on account of his extraordinary ing pair of boots, for you! I thought amiability and inoffensiveness. All who you eschewed such vanities as whiteknew him loved him, as they might have tops." loved a child ; and many were the com- “So I do, or did ; but what could I do forts received from friends, without whose in this case. You must know that there aid he and his wife might have suffered is a man of the right sort,

one of the from hunger and cold.

millennium men,

round in the third As an instance of Blake's habit of street; Richards is his name, a first-class mixing fancies with facts, Hoby gives a bootmaker. He is in the habit of calling letter which he received from him, describ- to look at my pictures and apologizing ing a cottage that had been provided by for not buying any. Last week he was a few friends, who asked him to have the looking at my picture of St. Peter and benefit of the country during the hot sea- the penitent woman, and regretting that

The letter begins by a tolerably he could not afford to buy it. You smile ; correct description ; followed by expres- you think such blarney is not uncommon. sions of gratitude to the friends whose Well, you are wrong. He is a man of kindness had given him the comfort, eu- great feeling, and uncommon love of art; logizing them as among the few who were I believe he is sincere in all he says. to make up the glorious and delightful Well, he went away; and as soon as he society in the happy state to come; and had gone I dressed to go out; but when gradually rises into the realm of imagin- I looked for my boots, I found only one ation, and winds up the description of of them; so I could not go out, as I had the cottage as a gorgeous palace, full of not another pair. I thought, of course, beauties that existing palaces could not I wasn't to go out; the weather was bad, rival.

and it might hurt my health. So I conOne day a friend called on him, and tented myself for four days, — four morfound him in his little parlor. “How tal days. Kate and I looked everywhere happens it that you are not painting this for the boot, and gave it up, supposing clear day? I always have found you at that the angel had put it out of the way: work, in all weathers. Are you unwell, But on Saturday in came Richards, and Blake?

said, Blake, you and your wife must go “No; I'm well as ever; but my angel to church with us to-morrow, and then told me this morning that I must not take potluck with us.' I explained that work to-day. I remonstrated; he insist- I was to keep at home for the present. ed; I dodged under his wing, and ran up · Pooh,' said he, “your angel didn't hide to my painting-room; but when I got the your boot; I borrowed it. Here it is; door open, there he stood before me with and here's a pair that will last you for his arms spread out. It's of no use, the winter. I was afraid to ask you to Blake,' said he, you must not work to- let me take your measure, lest you might day;' so here I am.”

refuse; but you won't refuse the boots, « Ah! well, I suppose angels know after giving me so much delight with your

son.

pictures. That's how I came to sport borg was sincere, and believed in the realsuch boots. Of course I couldn't tell ity of what he professed. the good fellow that I disliked the stylish Visionaries generally make religion the white-tops."

subject of their imaginings; at least, this "Certainly not. He's a true fellow; appears to be the case; but a closer scruand the boots are capital. As for the tiny might discover that there is a vein queer fashion, we artists must submit to of the visionary in many whose minds do it, and not make ourselves disagreeable not turn upon religion, nor even on spirby telling what we think of it. But let itual manifestations, or ghosts, witches, me see your • Peter and the Penitent.' sea-serpents, and the like. Some, in reAh! here it is! Why, Blake, this is one lating facts, so distort and vary them that of your best !”

their accounts are as unlike the realities “My very best. What do you think as the visions of Swedenborg and Blake Paseli says of it? Vell, Blake, dis is were unlike what sceptics hold to be the extraordinary; but

you

don't tink St. Pe- truth in their cases. We inconsiderately, ter looked like that old-clothes man?' if not uncharitably, deem them exagger

“Yes, he did,' I replied, promptly; ators, if not liars; but it may be questhe Virgin Mary told me it is a capital tioned whether they are not in the mental likeness of him. What do you think of condition which made Blake believe that that?'

he saw Robert Bruce and others, when he “• Vell, I tink her ladyship has not an painted, and Swedenborg believe that he immaculate taste,' said the learned pro- saw the apostles and others long ago refessor. What a strange talker is Faseli!” moved from the present state. I know a

“ Faseli aims to be a smart talker,” re- man who is regarded by some as half luplied Smith. “But come, Blake; now natic, by others as half knave, and by all that you have such fashionable boots, I as an excessively odd person. think I can invite you to meet some of tells a story correctly, always varies the my fashionable friends at a little junket details, and generally, though not always, to-morrow evening. You know I don't makes his accounts essentially improbable, pretend to ask people to dine. North while they are so plausible that an inatcote, Mulready, Hilton, and Constable tentive person might not distrust them. will be there; and that ghost-and-goblin What this man's name is would not be painter, Faseli, also; and I'll blow him proper to say publicly; but he is called up for his criticism on your Peter, for I Dozentongue by those who listen to his think it fine. Now you'll come, and stories of men and things. This nickbring Kate? We want her to help keep name has a general resemblance to his us in order."

true name, which is German. Half the “ Kate, my dear, answer for yourself, celebrated beauties in town are in love: and I'll answer just as you do,” said with him; half the men of talent, wealth, Blake.

political rank, or other distinction, are in

timate with him ; 'and you can hardly Emanuel Swedenborg relates that he name a person of whom he will not give wanted to inquire of Leibnitz about cer- a private history. tain writings of his that were not so clear Not long ago, Dozentongue intimated as might be desired; so he prayed that to me, for the hundredth time, that he

He never

• 110

« PreviousContinue »