Page images
PDF
EPUB

their provisions in a vile condition, deformed with filth and blood; a night big with horror hung over their heads; and the ensuing day, to a number of brave and gallant inen, might prove the last.

CÆcina feeing this abased spirit of the legions addressed them from the part of the camp assigned for the eagles. Having commanded filence, he explained their situation, and the necessity that called upon them to act like men. They had nothing to depend upon except “ their valour ; but their valour must be cool, delibe“ rate, guided by prudence. Let all remain within the « lines, till the barbarians, in hopes of carrying the “ works, should advance to the assault. Then will be " the time to shew themselves. If they fled, other “ woods, and deeper fens, remained behind ; perhaps “ more favage enemies. By one glorious victory they “. were sure of gaining every advantage ; honoured by “ their country, loved by their families, and applauded “ by the whole army.”

The GERMANS, in the mean time, were no less in agitation; their hopes of conquest, the love of plunder, and the jarring counsels of the chiess, distracted every mind. ARMINIUS proposed " to let the Romans break up

o their

their camp, and surround them again in the narrow “ defiles, and in the bogs and marshes.” INGUIMER, more fierce and violent, and for that reason more acceptable to the genius of barbarians, “ was for storming "! the camp: it would be carried by a general assault; " the number of prisoners would be great, and the booty * more entire." His advice prevailed.

At the point of day the march began : at the first onset the GERMANS levelled the foffe, threw heaps of hurdles, and attempted a scalade.

The ramparts were thinly manned; and the SOLDIERS, who appeared to defend them, as if panic struck, fled.

The BARBARIANS soon clainbered over the works to pursue the flying enemy.

In that moment the signal was given to the cohorts ; clarions and trumpets founded through the camp; the Romans in a body, and with a general shout, rushed on to the attack. They furiously fell upon the enemy, crying aloud, as they advanced, 66 Here are no woods,

no treacherous fens; we are here on equal ground.”

The BARBARIANS had promised themselves an easy conquest. The affair they imagined would be with a handful of men; but their surprise rose in proportion, when they heard the clangour of trumpets, and saw the field

glittering glittering with opposing arms.

The sudden terror magnified their danger. A dreadful slaughter immediately cnsued. The two chiefs betook themselves to flight; ARMINIUS unhurt, and INGUIMER dangerously wounded.

No quarter was given. The pursuit continued as long as day-light, and resentment lafted. Night coming on, the LEGIONS returned to their camp, covered with new wounds, and their provisions no better than the day before: but health, and food, and vigour, all things were found in victory,

[ocr errors][merged small]

SECT. LXXXVIII.

OPPOSITION OF LIGHT AND SHADE.

Let there be light,said God, and forthwith light
ethereal, first of things, quintessence pure,
sprung from the deep, and from her native caft
to journey through the airy gloom began,
spher'd in a radiant cloud, for yet the sun
was not : God saw the light was good;
and light from darkness by the hemisphere
divided'; light the day, and darkness night
he nam’d. Thus was the first day ev'n and morn,
nor paft uncelebrated, nor unsung
by the celestial quires, when orient light
exhaling first from darkness they beheld;

-with joy and thout,
the hollow universal orb they fill'd
and touch'd their golden harps, and hymning prais’d
God and his works, CREATOR him they sung
both when first ev’ning was, and when first morn.

MILTON.

PAINTERS, says PLUTARCH, increase the effect of the light and splendid parts of a picture by the neighbourhood of dark tints and shades; and MAXIMUS TYRIUS observes, that bright and vivid colours are always pleasant to the eye ; but this pleasure is considerably hightened if you accompany them with tints somewhat dark and gloomy. These passages of the ancients seem to imply an acquaintance with the use of cold and dark tints, where a brilliancy of tone in other parts is required, although the discovery of the claro-obscuro is chiefly attributed to the moderns. One of the main excellencies of Raphael is his fondness for great masses of light, and deep shadows, which he observes equally in the naked as in the attired figure. The painters of the Venetian school more especially endeavoured by the opposition of coloured objects, and by the contrast of light and shade, to produce a vigorous effect, which demands and fixes the attention. This is more particularly the characteristic of the Dutch school. By their knowledge of contrast, they arrived at the difficult art of painting even light itself. REMBRANT more especially delighted in the great opposition of light and shade. The room where he used to paint was darkened, and he received the light only by a small aperture in the shutter, which he contrived so as to fall and illumine the object he was designing. Hence REMBRANT's manner of painting appears like magic. None exceeded him in the knowledge he had of the effects of different colouis mingled together, nor could better distinguish those which did not agree with thofe which did. He placed every tone

dark

« PreviousContinue »