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ger. Many a fearful glance is cast aloft, and many a prayer is breathed, that nothing may occur to render their presence there necessary. Men who quailed not from the fiercest fury of the storm, and whose cheeks no certain danger could blanch, have felt their heart suddenly grow faint, and their courage fail, at the sight of this dreaded object. What a benefit would a person confer on these men, who should convince them that in the calm still evenings, they had often with delighted eyes watched this same object floating by in its native element, clothed in light and beauty; and that it was merely the time and place which made it fearful. It is in fact, nothing but one of the medusa tribe, which has been blown from the top of some wave, and driven along by the gale till it encountered some obstacle in its progress, to which its numerous long feelers cause it to adhere. It is to be regretted in this as in many other cases, that those whose information is superior to the generality, should consider it beneath their dignity, or at least, unworthy their trouble, to dispel the false notions and combat the prejudices of the seaman ; forgetting that whatever makes men wiser, generally speaking also makes them better. If the few brief and hasty observations here presented should prove the means of removing the shadows of error or superstition from but one single mind, the writer will have much more than received his reward. The remarks in this article have been made, not without the hope of inducing some abler and better qualified hand to take up the pen, and describe as fully as they deserve, the wonders of the great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.'
[Furnished for the Tracts and Lyceum.] THE CAUSES OF THE PROSPERITY OF ROME.
COMMON histories do not develope the real causes of a nation's strength and prosperity. They are occupied too much with the recital of remarkable transactions, as the march of armies, the exploits of generals, the conquest or loss of provinces, and the great effusion of human blood. But conquest alone does not make a nation great. A general does not exalt his country by his skill and valor. There must be other causes beside the success of arms, to give a people prosperity. If we should inquire what has raised England to its present greatness, we should find that it was the genius of such men as Brindley, Watt, Wedgewood, Arkwright and Dayy. Canals, steam-engines, potteries, cotton-mills, safety-lamps and similar improvements have done more for England than famous victories.
It could not be military valor alone which maintained Rome for many centuries in her proud elevation as mistress of the world; yet history describes only her achievements in arms. It is proposed in this article, briefly to examine the causes which gave Rome her power, and which, for ages, bound remote provinces together under her sway.
One cause of Roman prosperity was the portion of republicanism in the state. In some monarchies, the people exist only for the prince, and they have no interest, therefore, in the existence of the state. Their welfare is not studied, but only his greatness. The resources of the nation are not employed in any works of public utility, but only in such as augment the glory, and administer to the pleasure of the monarch. Such were the useless monuments of Egypt, and the palaces of the eastern empires. But in Rome, there was a numerous body of citizens, not only in the capital, but over Italy and the provinces, and the accommodation of these was to be studied. Hence, stupendous temples, palaces, pyramids and mausolea were not reared, but aqueducts. were made, and roads were formed. The republicanism of Rome also secured the administration of law to some extent, while, in despotic countries, the prince and his officers ruled without law, and the subjects had no protection but in the caprice of their rulers.
The extensive public improvements were another ele ment of Roman greatness. The public ways,' says Dr. Adam, were perhaps the greatest of all the Roman works, made with amazing labor and expense, extending to the utmost limits of the empire, from the pillars of Hercules to the Euphrates, and to the southern confines of Egypt.' I do not wonder so much at Roman valor and success, as at the grandeur of mind that could plan and execute such roads. I do not know where the example was found, to teach the Romans to construct such magnificent and useful works. They did not find such an example in the eastern empires, nor in Greece; and, indeed, it is a striking fact, that there was not a mile of road for a carriage in all Peloponnesus, till the French constructed a short road for the transportation of their artillery, when they came to aid in the expulsion of Ibrahim a few years since. The facility with which the Romans could pass from one part of their empire to another, helped them to keep distant provinces under one government. So admirably were these roads made, that they stood firm for ages. The Appian way, which extended from Rome to Brundusium, on the way to Greece and Asia, about 350 miles, was paved with the hardest flint, so firmly, that in several places it remains entire to this day, above 2000 years since its construction. I know of no improvement like this, in any other ancient empire; and even modern nations fall far short of Roman greatness in this particular, when we take into view the imperfect state of the arts, in the days of Rome's growth. We do not look at Rome, as we look at Greece, and admire her temples; at Egypt, and wonder at her pyramids; at the east, and stand astonished at its works of superstition. We look at Rome, and are struck at the magnificence of her roads, and bridges, and distant colonies, and camps, that were designed to make of widely separated countries, one solid empire.
Another cause of the prosperity of Rome was the wisdom by which the city and its neighborhood was
made the centre of the world for enjoyment, for wealth, and the exercise of power. A distinct empire could not be set up in any other part of the world, by Roman generals and statesmen, for this would be only to exile themselves; for Rome was their home, and no other place on earth could compare with this. Here were the men of wealth, here was learning, here the luxuries of the world might be enjoyed altogether, and here were collected the renowned men of the earth. The accommodations of Rome had a mighty influence in keeping the empire together; and when the government was removed from this city to Constantinople, not only did the city of Rome decline, but the empire itself began to decay. Much was done to give Rome pre-eminence over other cities. Nebuchadnezzar laid out immense wealth upon Babylon; and his hanging gardens were stupendous works. But these only gratified his pride, and did not recommend Babylon as a residence for private persons. The great works of Rome were of public utility, and helped to make the city the most desirable place of residence on the globe. Such were the aqueducts. Some of these brought water to Rome,' says Dr. Adam, 'from a distance of more than sixty miles, through rocks and mountains, and over vallies, supported on arches, in some places above 109 feet high, one row being placed above another. In the vicinity of Rome were many beautiful villas or country seats, the sites of which were chosen with great taste. Here the wealth of all the provinces was brought, and there was much navigation to Italy, not to barter in commerce, but to bring revenue and rents from the provinces. Rome was to the empire what England is to all its dependencies. There is no danger that Englishmen will erect, at present, independent monarchies in the West Indies, in South Africa, or in India. England is their home; and if they gain wealth in India, they cannot enjoy it at Calcutta, or Bombay ; but England is the land of art, and refinement, and convenience; the land of friends and great men; of picturesque beauty, and of noble institutions, where they wish to enjoy the decline of life. Such was Rome and its vicinity to the prosperous citizens scattered over its wide dominions. There could be no inducement to break away from a spot of such attractions, and the empire would remain a consolidated whole.
But nothing could resist the ruinous influence of vice. Rome became luxurious, proud, tyrannical and profligate, and her decline commenced. Enemies crowded in upon her frontiers, and there was not principle enough at the centre to produce vigorous action at the extremities. Constantinople divided with Rome the attractions of wealth and power, while other rich capitals sprung up, and Rome decayed, until religion again gave it ascendancy, but not such as it once possessed.
The lessons which Roman history gives us, are not so much that a nation is made great by arms, but rather by a grand system of internal improvement, connecting together the different parts of a country, and making union important to the whole. It teaches us that the public good must be studied, and not pomp, or the aggrandizement of one or of a few; that the interest of the people must be sought by the administration of law, and the prosecution of works of public utility; and that vice will overthrow the best constructed government, and a nation of the highest natural advantages. Thus history may teach lessons, not to the soldier merely, but to the statesman, the economist and the moralist; and it may show that a nation is not exalted by the warrior, but by the peaceful inventor of public improvements, the man of general benevolence, and the advocate of morality and sound religion.
FRUIT TREES. It is presumable that the chesnut always grew in Italy, and the cherry in France; but different kinds, on account of their superior excellence arising from cultivation, were imported by the ancient Romans. Wherever their arms extended, they availed themselves of the choice fruits of-the conquered countries, and the great generals who