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at an elegant table in the atrocity of absolute discussion or disputation, ought to be summarily removed by a police officer; and possibly the law will warrant his being held to bail for one or two years, according to the enormity of his case. But men are not always enjoying or seeking to enjoy social pleasure; they seek also, and have need to seek continually, both through books and men, intellectual growth, fresh power, fresh strength, fresh health, to keep themselves a-head or a-breast of this moving, surging, billowing world of ours, in these modern times, when society, for reasons in part easily explained, revolves through so many new phases, and shifts its aspects with so much more velocity than in past ages. A King, especially of this country, needs, beyond most other men, to keep himself in a continual state of communication, as it were by some vital and organic sympathy, with the most essential of these changes. And yet this punctilio of etiquette, like some vicious forms of law, or technical fictions grown too narrow for the age, which will not allow of cases coming before the Court in a shape, desired alike by the plaintiff and the defendant, is so framed as to defeat equally the wishes of a prince disposed to gather knowledge wherever he can find it, and of those who may be best fitted to give it.
However, to leave dissertation behind me, and to resume the thread of my narrative, an incident, which about this period impressed me far more profoundly and more durably than my first introduction to a royal presence, was my first visit to London.
Ir was a most heavenly day in May of this year, (1800,) when I first beheld and first entered this mighty wilderness, as to me it was, the city-no! not the city, but the nation of London. Often have I since then, at distances of two and three hundred miles or more from this colossal emporium of men, wealth, arts, and intellectual power, felt the sublime expression of her enormous magnitude in one simple form of ordinary occurrence, viz. in the vast droves of cattle, suppose upon the great north roads, all with their heads directed to London, and expounding the size of the attracting body, by the force of its attractive power, as measured by the never-ending succession of the droves, and the remoteness from the capital of the lines upon which they were moving. A suction so powerful, felt along radii so vast, and a consciousness at the same time, that upon other radii still more vast, both by land and by sea, the same suction is operating night and day, summer and winter, and hurrying for ever into one centre the infinite means needed for her infinite purposes, and the endless tributes to the skill or to the luxury of her endless population, crowds the imagination with a pomp to which there is nothing corresponding upon this planet, either amongst the things that have been, or the things that
are, except in ancient Rome.* We, upon this occasion, were in an open carriage; and, chiefly (as I imagine) to
*Ancient Rome: - Vast, however, as the London is of this day, I am persuaded that it is far below the Rome of the Cæsars. It has long been a settled opinion amongst scholars, that the computations of Lipsius, on this point, were prodigiously overcharged; and formerly I shared in that belief. But a closer study of the question, and a laborious collation of the different data, (for any single record, independently considered, can here establish nothing,) have satisfied me that Lipsius was nearer the truth than his critics; and that the Roman population of every class, slaves, aliens, people of the suburbs, included, lay between five and six millions: in which case the London of 1833, which counts more than a million and a half, but less than two millions, may be taken, xατα лhαтоs, as lying between one-fourth and one-third of Rome. To discuss this question thoroughly, would require a separate memoir: meantime I will make this remark: That the ordinary computations of a million, or a million and a quarter, derived from the surviving accounts of the different regions,' with their circumstantial enumerations of the private houses and public edifices, are erroneous in two capital points: first, and chiefly, because these accounts apply to Rome within the Pomarium, and are, therefore, no more valid for the total Rome of Trajan's time, stretching so many miles beyond it, than the bills of mortality for 'London within the walls,' can serve at this day as a base for estimating the population of that total London which we mean and presume in our daily conversation. Secondly, Even for the Rome within these limits, the computations are not commensurate, by not allowing for the prodigious height of the houses in Rome, which much transcended that of modern cities. On this last point, I shall translate a single and very remarkable sentence from the Greek Rhetorician Aristides; it will be known to a few readers, but to many more it will be new and interesting: 'And, as oftentimes we see that a man who greatly excels others in bulk and strength, is not content with any display, however ostentatious, of his powers, short of that where he is exhibited surmounting himself with a pyramid of other men, one set standing upon the shoulders of another; so also this city, stretching her foundations over areas so vast, is yet not satisfied with those superficial dimensions; that contents her not; but upon one city rearing another of corresponding proportions, and upon that another, pile resting upon pile, houses overlaying houses, in aerial succession; in that way, she achieves a character of architecture justifying, as it were, the very promise of her name; and with reference to that name, and its Grecian meaning, we may say, that here nothing meets our eyes in any direction, but mere Rome! Rome!' (Note this
avoid the dust, we approached London by rural lanes and roads comparatively quiet and shady, collateral to the main ones, where any such could be found. In that mode of approach, we missed some features of the sublimity belonging to any of the common approaches upon a main road; what I mean is, the whirl and uproar, the tumult
word "Pon, on which the rhetorician plays, is the common Greek term for strength) 'And hence I derive the following conclusion: that, if any one, decomposing this series of strata, were disposed to unshell, as it were, this existing Rome, from its present crowdd and towering co-acervations; and thus degrading these aerial Romes, were to plant them on the ground, side by side, in orderly succession; according to all appearance, the whole vacant area of Italy would be filled with these dismantled storeys of Rome, and we should be presented with the spectacle of one continuous city, stretching its labyrinthine pomp to the shores of the Adriatic.' This is so far from being meant as a piece of rhetoric, that on the very contrary, the whole purpose is to substitute for a vague and rhetorical expression of the Roman grandeur, one of a more definite character, by presenting its dimensions in a new form, and supposing the city to be uncrested, as it were, the upper tiers to be what sailors call unshipped, and the dethroned storeys, (or flats as they are called in Scotland,) to be all drawn up in rank and file upon the ground; according to which assumption, he says, that the city would stretch about seventy or seventy-five miles.
The fact is, as Casaubon remarked, upon occasion of a ridiculous blunder in estimating the largesses of a Roman Emperor, the error on most questions of Roman policy or institutions, tends not, as usual, in the direction of excess, but of defect. All things were colossal there; and the probable, as estimated upon our modern scale, is not unfrequently the impossible, as regarded Roman habits. Lipsius certainly erred extravagantly at times, and was a rash speculator on many subjects; witness his book on the Roman amphitheatres; but not on the magnitude of Rome, or the amount of its population. I shall add upon this subject, that the whole political economy of the ancients, if we except Boeckh's accurate investigations, (Die Staatshaushaltung der Athener,) which, properly speaking, are mere political arithmetic or statistics, is a mine into which scarce a single shaft has yet been sunk. Yet I must also add, that everything will depend upon collation of facts, and the bringing of indirect notices into immediate juxtaposition, so as to throw light on each other. Direct and positive information there is little on these topics; and that little has been gleaned.
and the agitation, which continually thicken and thicken throughout the last eight or ten miles before you reach the suburbs. Already at three stages' distance upon some of the greatest roads, the dim presentiment of some vast capital reaches you obscurely, and like a misgiving. This blind sympathy with a mighty but unseen object in your neighborhood, continues to increase, you know not how. Arrived at the last station for changing horses, Barnet suppose, on one of the north roads, or Hounslow on the western, you no longer think (as in all other places) of naming the next stage; nobody says, on pulling up, 'Horses on to London'-that would sound ludicrous; one mighty idea broods over all minds, making it impossible to suppose any other destination. Launched upon this final stage, you soon begin to feel yourself entering the stream as it were of a Norwegian maelstrom; and the stream at length becomes a rush. What is meant by the Latin word trepidatio? Not anything peculiarly connected with panic; it belongs as much to the hurrying to and fro of a coming battle, as of a coming flight; agitation is the nearest English word. This trepidation increases both audibly and visibly at every half mile, pretty much as one may suppose the roar of Niagara and the vibration of the ground to grow upon the ear in the last ten miles of approach, with the wind in its favor, until at length it would absorb and extinguish all other sounds whatsoever. Finally, for miles before you reach a suburb of London, such as Islington for instance, a last great sign and augury of the immensity which belongs to the coming metropolis, forces itself upon the dullest observer, in the growing sense of his own utter insignificance. Everywhere else in England, you yourself, horses, carriage, attendants (if you travel with any) are regarded with attention, perhaps even curiosity at all events you are seen. But after passing