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of its old cities exhibit no gigantic mass or solidity; its temples were rather remarkable for singularity of construction than magnificence. They were far more remarkable for their domestic, and, above all, their sepulchral architecture. In fact, the ruling habits of the Etruscan race seem to have been very different from that which Horace attributes to the old Romans
" Privatus illis census erat brevis,
Commune magnum.' They were, as we have seen, a people fond of comfort, luxury, and ostentation, in private life. Their houses were filled with objects of art; their persons adorned with almost effeminate love of show, in an age when the old Roman sternness absolutely for bade the display of either. But all this seems more consistent with the manners of a wealthy commercial people, than of a nation of lords and serfs. The custom already mentioned, of surrounding the principal tomb appropriated to a great family, with several little tombs, to all appearance the resting-places of the humble friends and dependents of the house, militates also against the supposition of distinct races. No difference of features or appearance seems observable in the sepulchral representations, On the contrary, in the great · Dance of Death' already alluded to, high and low are mingled together on terms of perfect equality; there is no distinction, no respect of persons, where they are hastening ;-the Lucumo in his chariot, the mechanic and countryman with the symbols of their respective crafts, must all follow alike the compulsion of their good or evil Genius; and all appear as children of the same family. Lastly, during the period in which history throws some light, however faint, on the condition of the Etruscan commonwealth; that is, the period of its relations with Rome—there were plainly three classes, as in other ancient states; nobles, freemen, slaves. The bloody civil wars of Volsinii, to which Dr Arnold refers as exemplifying the iron rule of the Tuscan patricians, were, according to the historians, raised by slaves against their masters; and may have been jast like other servile wars recorded in ancient history. And we are expressly told, that in the last war of Etruria against Rome, when the country had been almost exhausted of freemen, the slaves were armed, and formed a considerable host. These, at all events, must have been slaves in the proper sense, not serfs, composing the mass of the population.
The evidence seems therefore to preponderate in favour of the supposition, that the Etruscan nobles were not a caste, exercising an odious domination over a multitude of trembling bondsmen; but an honoured and national peerage of burgher nobles, although
no doubt often too tenacious of their privileges, and vindictive in maintaining them. Some of them continued to dwell in their own land, under Roman government, as provincials of weight and dignity. So late as the reign of the Emperor Honorius,
Cæcina Decius Albinus lived in a good old Etruscan style, in ! a villa on the banks of his native river, in the neighbourhood of • Volterra. And Mrs Gray informs us, that a family of the same name exists at Volterra to this day; could it but prove its descent, the most ancient house in Europe. But the greater part of these noble races, which escaped extermination in the long agony of the commonwealth, were absorbed into the huge vortex of Rome. The Romans, having no real antiquities of their own, felt the utmost respect for those of other nations, which they endeavoured to mask under abundance of conceited vapouring about the dignity of their republic.. As many of their noblest citizens could boast no higher descent than from some caitiff whom a merciful Lars or Lucumo had allowed to escape unhanged; so they could not help reverencing, in spite of themselves, the stainless genealogy of names which seemed coeval with the very rudiments of the world. This feeling peeps out in many passages of Horace, where the most refined compliment which can be paid to some high Roman, the lord of provinces or minister of Cæsar himself, is to introduce allusions to his descent from some chieftain of hoar antiquity, who held sway in an Etruscan or Campanian hill-fort before Rome was born.
But though the Romans made the Etruscans their pattern in the concerns of religious worship, and borrowed from them no trifling part of their civil institutions, they did not use the chance of war against the falling commonwealth with less unsparing ferocity. Our memorials of the conquest of Etruria are few, but terribly significant : Already enfeebled by Gaulish invasions and by civil wars, twice routed with terrible slaughter at the Vadimónian lake, the nation gave up the conflict; single cities carried it on to their own destruction. Three hundred and sixty-eight noble citizens of Tarquinii scourged to death in the forum, and the foundation of a Roman colony on its site these are all the records that remain of the downfall of that most curi. ous metropolis of ancient art, and head of the Tuscan federation. · The site of one of the mightiest cities of ancient Europe can scarcely be discovered; her works of piety and ornaments, her solemn temples, her solid aqueducts, her magnificent theatres and forum, the trophies of her glory, her triumphal arches and stately colonnades, all crumbled in the dust, and not even appearing above the rocks which supported them : the form of • her government, and the vicissitudes of her history being a cu* rious question of antiquarian doubt and speculation, and the • story of her downfall wrapped in mystery.'
And the fate of Tarquinia is but a type of that of the illustrious people to which it served for a time as a central point of union. The Etruscan soothsayers held, among their other recondite doctrines, that the earth was destined to be the inheritance of several nations or races of men in succession ; that to each nation its own allotted period, or Great Year, was measured out by Fate ; that this Great Year consisted of a certain number of sæcula, or ages. Their own fated number was ten ; that of the Romans, twelve. The sæculum, or age, was not a generation or a century; but it lasted as long as the life of the last survivor of those who were in being at its commencement. When death had gathered in the entire harvest of the sæculum, its end arrived. This period, undiscoverable by human sagacity, was announced to those who could interpret the will of the gods, by unerring tokens in the heavens and the earth. Such prodigies did occur in the days of Sylla, and the augurs announced that a new generation of mankind was begun. Such at least is the doctrine of the sæculum, as far as it can be collected from Censorinus and the other scanty and contradictory authorities which we possess; for we do not profess to follow exactly the calculations of the learned Müller, who makes out, with true German earnestness and simplicity, that the Etruscan nation ought to have come to an end about A.D. 850, if its prophetic books spoke the truth. But whenever the predestined cycle may have been completed, never, in the historical period, has there been so utter an extinction of a civilized people, with its arts, institutions, language, and refinement. Its monuments are riddles, partaking so strangely of a national and an exotic character, that they lead the mind a zigzag ignis fatuus dance, passing perpetually from one extreme of conjecture to another : its tongue, possibly the great key to all these mysteries, is the very despair and reproach of modern ingenuity. But the more abstruse the enigma, the more profound and impressive is the language in which these vast sepulchral cities address the imagination—and much, doubtless, remains that may be deciphered. • Late years,' Mrs Gray truly says, have brought such things * to light, that it is difficult to say, with respect to the nations prior to Rome, what may or may not have been. No one of
understanding can look upon these graves, and think lightly • either of their knowledge or their power.'
We should apologize to Mrs Gray for having brought this long article to a close with so little notice of the manner in which she has executed her very curious work; but the long extracts we have made, and the mode in which we have employed her researches, will show, we trust, that we do not undervalue them. Some things we could have wished otherwise in point of taste, and have taken here and there the liberty of remarking on them; but the attractiveness of her book is best evinced by its success, and the unusual interest which it has excited.
Art. VII.-- Schiller's Leben, Geistesentwickelung, und Werke
in zusammenhang. (Schiller's Life, Mental Development, and Works in connexion.) By Dr KARL HOFFMEISTER. 8vo.
Stuttgart : 1838-9. TH The numerous biographies and criticisms which, since the
death of Goethe, have appeared in Germany on the subject of Schiller, indicate, we think, a return to a sounder state both of feeling and taste. We are far from undervaluing the great services of Goethe to German literature. So far as regards the intellectual culture of its literary men, and the art of composition, they have been great indeed; but we could not but regret that, for a time, there appeared a disposition to claim for him too exclusive a supremacy, and to depreciate the powers of that writer, whom, after all, we are disposed to regard as the most favourable European representative of the literature of Germany. That error has of late been corrected. Much light has been thrown on portions of Schiller's life by the publications of his early friends; his poems have been commented upon by men of ability and poetical taste; while the whole substance of these existing materials has been condensed into an able biography by Dr Hoffmeister, exhibiting a singularly full and satisfactory account both of the incidents of his life, and of the development of his mind.
Of this biography we propose to present an outline. At all times, the study of a character so simply great as that of Schiller would be a useful one; but the union of genius and high principle which it exhibits, the lessons of self-reliance and self-respect which it impresses upon us, are of peculiar value in a period like the present, when talent and principle are so often found dissociated; when literature, like every thing else, has assumed so much of a mechanical aspect; and genius is so frequently regarded simply as so much 'exchangeable value, to be bartered for fame and fortune. Schiller was one who invested the literary character with its highest dignity; he entered on it as a vocation, not a profession : like our own Milton, 'he prepared himself for it . as for the service of a
sanctuary ;' and through a life of stern exertion, much suffering, and some temptation, he never compromised those high principles which formed his creed. His life and writings are throughout in graceful harmony.
FREDERICK SCHILLER was born at Marbach, on the 10th of November 1759. From his father few of his characteristics, physical or moral, seem to have been derived, except, perhaps, that unwearied activity of mind which distinguished his life even amidst sickness and pain. His mother, on the contrary, he closely resembled. He appears to have inherited from her his pious, earnest, enthusiastic temperament, his mild and loving disposition, and his early taste for poetry. Even in face and form the likeness was conspicuous ;—in the tall and slender figure, the light hair, weak eyes, broad forehead, and somewhat melancholy expression which was habitual to him. His naturally devotional feeling was increased by his intercourse with his first instructor, Moser, whom he has afterwards represented as the ideal of a clergyman in his · Robbers. The boy of seven determined to be a preacher. Some of his childish exhibitions in this character appear to rest on undoubted evidence. He would not unfrequently mount upon a chair, and deliver extemporary harangues, on religious subjects, to his mother and sister, with great fluency and unction at least, if not with much solidity or method. Any appearance of inattention on the part of his limited audience, he never failed to visit with the severest church censures, ex cathedra. With these clerical day-dreams, which lasted for several years, his poetical tendencies went hand in hand, though their first public display certainly had no very exalted origin. While residing at Ludwigsburg, the young poet, along with a friend, had proposed to invest the sum of four kreutzers, their whole pocketmoney, in the purchase of a dish of curds and cream at the neighbouring village of Harteneck; but, after a tiresome walk, they were disappointed in the object of their search. What they missed at. Harteneck, however, they found at Neckarweihingen, with the addition of a bunch of grapes into the bargain ; exhilirated by which purple cheer,' Schiller, mounting an eminence which commanded a Pisgah prospect of both villages, solemnly pronounced a poetical malediction against the curdless land, and bestowed his blessing on the hamlet in which such varied luxuries had been obtained for four kreutzers.
In Ludwigsburg he first became acquainted with the theatre ;