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and their labors have alike proved unavailing. Sad are they at heart, yet unmoved and undaunted, they look with composure on that vast array of undisciplined warriors. They have solemnly devoted themselves to expiate the sins of the republic, and they now calmly look forward to the repose of death.
A spectacle so majestic and imposing, was not lost upon the barbarians. · The splendid apparel, the stern dignity, the venerable appearance of those ancient men, awed them into reverence. They looked upon them as supernatural beings; and with one general and consentaneous impulse, they paused and bowed in adoration, as before the tutelar divinities of the place. At length, one more daring than the rest ventured to approach nearer, and, as if in derision, put forth his hand to grasp the flowing beard of one who had formerly been Dicta. tor of the Roman people. Indignant at this gross insult, the noble Roman raised his ivory sceptre and struck down the wretch at a single blow. This was the signal for destruction. The Gauls instantly rushed forward and with furious outcries butchered the defenceless old men, They then spread through the city, plundering and destroying. The temples of the gods were rifled of their treasures. Rich stores of gold, jewelry, and valuable furniture, were drawn forth from the palaces of wealthy nobles. Wine flowed freely, and the invaders gave themselves up to revelry and mirth. For three successive days these excesses continued. The city was then fired. The flames spread with fearful rapidity, and every house was soon reduced to ashes. In a few short hours, Rome, with all its splendor and magnificence, became a heap of smoking, smouldering ruins.
The subsequent history of this eventful period is full of interest, but space will allow us to pursue it no farther. Our narrative has already exceeded its intended limits, and we hasten to conclude. We would fain, however, linger for a moment, in order to glance at some of the truths which these incidents confirm. It has been said, that “ History is inexhaustible," and in one sense the remark is certainly true. Though historical facts are fixed and invariable, by investigating, analyzing, comparing, and combining them, an endless diversity of inferences and conclusions may be derived ; and hence may be understood, at least to some extent, the operation and purport of the vast system which regulates and controls human existence. Society is doubtless an institution of divine origin; yet it were impious to suppose, that one individual or one nation is justified in tyrannizing over another. But the lust of dominion has a strong hold both in the individual and the public mind, and in all nations and ages it has pervaded society to a greater or less extent. Mutual ambition, mutual distrust, and an insatiable thirst for power and conquest, have ever been the causes of national animosity and of contentions, the effects of which have been alike disastrous to aggressors and aggrieved. Still, we are far from supposing that Revolutions are at all times injurious in their tendency.
We have now been contemplating the history of a conquest, in which was unfolded many a scene of bloodshed, devastation, and ruin. We have seen that conquest result in the destruction of a great and populous
--- -------city, and in the overthrow of institutions, originated in distant periods and perfected by the lapse of ages. Yet we are far from believing, that the progress of society was retarded by this inroad of barbarian violence. We conceive that its effect may have been to infuse new life and energy into the hearts of men, and by sweeping away the innumerable evils which, together with luxury and wealth, had crept into the Roman commonwealth, to purify and reform the elements of Roman civilization. We believe that Rome rose from her ashes, with elements of strength and vitality within her walls, far more powerful than she possessed before her fall, and that the dreadful devastations of the Gauls were as beneficial to the real interests and lasting glory of that city, as the “wintry storms which clear away the decayed riches of summer vegetation, and prepare the earth for a new season of fruitfulness, are to the cultivation of fruits and flowers.
THE STRANGER. *
Thou seem'st woary and troubled, gray-headed old man.
Cold, piercing cold, was the wintry night,
But strangest of all those sad pictures, I ween,
And dark was his mind, and darkened his soul.
* During the winter of 1811, an old man was found near the walls of the Library Building, almost frozen to death.
All heedless and haggard he cringed to the blast
And where a rude buttress of half-finished wall
And when, the day peering again through the east,
He died, but he died like a fool. Can man's curse,
“ Though sluggards deem it but a foolish chase,
And marvel men should quit their easy-chair,
Oh! there is sweetness in the mountain air,
A PEDESTRIAN is certainly an object rarely met with in these days of nullifying time and space. He appears among us a stranger, belonging to by-gone days, when there were no railroads, steamboats, or yankee wagons. He is a “stickler for olden customs," whose spirit is at variance with the hurry-making and money-saving tone, which characterizes modern times. If ever seen, pilgrim-like, pack on his back, “ on foot, and in his hand a stave," traveling one of our paved highways, he is looked upon almost as an apparition of antiquity, laboring under a species of Quixotic mania, bound on some “ foolish chase," or meets with the suspicion of the careful housewife.
In this land, where well-nigh every one possesses the means of self-transportation, at once rapid and agreeable, no other motives in the foot-traveler can be conceived of by most persons, save madness
or extreme penury. In Great Britain and on the continent the case is otherwise. The cost of journeying by horse or by steam is increased. The roads run through a pleasant country, and are kept in excellent condition, from the fact that so great a part of European travel is performed in the post-chaise. Grassy fool-walks often extend along the highway, designed expressly for pedestrians. The New England wagon has not yet usurped the place of a pair of stout legs. If one wishes to visit a spot five or six miles distant, he has recourse to that means of locomotion with which Nature herself has provided him; and in Scotland it is not an uncommon thing to see companies of “bonnie lassies" marching several miles to a fair in some neighboring village, or on the Sabbath morn, hieing, with hasty steps and gladsome hearts, to the distant “ kirk,”
“Shong and stockins in their hand,
And a' barefoot on the ground." Would that it were more the fashion with us to devote our limbs to their proper end and purpose! Surely, they who enjoy the gift of buoyant health, robust frames, and minds capable of relishing natural scenery and novel incident, neglect to take advantage of one of the highest sources of pleasure within their reach, when failing to try the charms of a journey on foot. To the business-man, steam may present itself as a very opportune agent; but as far as regards the pleasures of a trip, it were better that its powers, as applied to locomotion, had never been discovered.
You have no right to call by the name of traveling, those annual pilgrimages to distant parts, which are undertaken now-a-days by the man of fashion, the victim of ill health, the merchant who has by dint of labor scraped together a few dollars, or the lawyer who desires a month's relaxation. These men have not in them the spirit of the true traveler. What care they for the beauties of a new country, or the acquaintance of a new people, whose object is to pass over the most ground in the least possible time? Their trips are truly “pilgrimages,” whereof the present time is grievous, but whose pleasures are afterwards to come, when pride may be gratified in recounting, with an easy conscience, the many places of note they have visited. It is ludicrous to observe the manner in which they equip themselves for the journey with pinching boots, strapped pantaloons, tight dress. coats, and dickies so stiffly starched as to threaten the dismember. ment of their ears on the slightest attempt to look about them. I have often, while resting by the roadside on a grassy bank, under the shade of some wide-spreading tree, amused myself with contemplating the contrast between the dashing stage-and-four, and the dull, sleepy countenances of its weary occupants; suggesting the idea, as some one has said, of “a flash of lightning impelling a tortoise.”
But to the invalid, especially, does our mode of travel recommend itself. If the disease be not organic, nor the malady as yet deeprooted in the system, he may look forward with confidence to the restoration of perfect health. Of the beneficial influence of traveling
exercise to promote the health, no doubts are entertained; and no kind of traveling offers stronger attractions in this respect, than that which we are recommending. Change of air, with the quick succession of pleasurable excitements, and ever-varying sources of healthful enjoyment, which always accompany change of place, promotes calmness and serenity of mind, expels from our tempers that morbid sensibility so incident to sedentary life, elevates the spirits, and drives away those “ cerulean imps” that infest close rooms, and “ hover, gnat-like," round the easy-chair.
In comparing the respective advantages of traveling, by stage, on horseback, and on foot, I hesitate not a moment to give my testimony in favor of the latter. To my own mind, the chiefest pleasures of the traveler consist in his perfect independence, his entire freedom from all restraint. This gone, iny satisfaction has departed likewise. When I set out to become acquainted with the scenery of a country and the manners of a people, with the object, moreover, in view, of enjoying myself in the highest possible manner, I feel no disposition to brook the arbitrary restraints of a railroad company, or stage line. If I see a flower by the road-side to pluck, a bubbling spring hard by to visit, a foaming cascade to admire, or a mountain to ascend, it " galls me to the quick” to meet with a repulse in the growls of my stage-companions and the glance of the driver at his time-piece. It is impossible to obtain any knowledge of the general appearance of a country from the windows of a stage-coach, moving at the rate of six miles an hour. We have, at the close of the day, a confused recollection of wheatfields, fences, woods, rivers, and houses, seen dimly through clouds of dust, and all jumbled together, with no particular location or consecu. tive order assigned to each ; just as though a series of panoramas had been passing before the eye, yet in so rapid succession that no one has left a distinct impression on the mind. Countries wear very dif. ferent aspects to travelers in different circumstances. The man who is whirled through a country in the tiresome stage, and he who performs the tour on foot, happy and contented, will be ready to give very opposite accounts of it. Each one looks upon things through the medium of his present feelings.
These same objections apply, though with less force, to traveling on horseback. Moreover, without the incumbrance of a horse, one is easier provided with food and lodgings, and he finds one always in his way when he would leave the beaten track, and cross fields, ramble through woods, explore caverns, or scramble up rocky mountains. No; let him who is wise, provided only with a water-proof knapsack, a light, loose dress, a pair of stout, low-beeled boots, and a substantial walking-stick, set out on a “pedestrian tour,” and I dare pledge my word, that on returning, he will be ready to confess, that seldom has he spent the same amount of time, money, and toil, with so much happiness and real profit to himself.
Yet it is not every man that can taste, in full, the joys of the pedes. trian. There are those who were not "cut out" by nature for this. One needs rather a peculiar cast of mind, in order to make a proper