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in which are collected the antiques lately dug up at Ostia : some are middling, some excellent; they consist of heads, feet, hands, basso-relievos, and fragments of architecture. It seemed as if we were walking in a field of battle, where war and destruction had been at work. The artist pointed out to us the different tastes of different ages, the infancy, the progress, and the decline of art; and he observed that among the antients, as among ourselves, much bad work was produced, which had no value but its antiquity. The finest of these remains is a head of a young Marcus Aurelius. A bust of Bacchus is in one respect very singular ; it is not only crowned with vine-leaves, but the beard is made to sprout into vine-leaves which issue from the cheeks and chin. A modern artist, said Canova, who should venture on such a freak, would be ridiculed by the critics. -On a colossal head of Minerva my attention was rivetted, when the artist observed to me that it announced the degeneracy of pure taste by gilded eye-brows and coloured pupils. In general, however, this collection fell short of my expectation : but illustrious foreigners are continually robbing it of any master-pieces which Canova collects, adds, or restores. At Worlitz, the Princess of Dessau shewed me a bust of Venus, which was once here, and which was copied from an entire statue found at Ostia, and taken by Prince Augustus to London. (Vol. iv. p. 55.)
A visit to Ostia, where excavations are still made with great success, is related in a letter dated 3d May. On the 11th of that month, M. DE LA RECKE was present in St. Peter's at the canonization of a new Jesuit-saint named Girolamo. After having described with feeling and eloquence this splendid solemnity, she adds: 'I should be glad if we Protestants had some such commemorations, and if festivals were instituted in honour of men eminently virtuous, who, in the career of piety and morality, have run an useful course and left examples to be followed. A solemnization of this kind, without any admixture of superstitions contrary to reason, would in my judgment have a happy influence. To relate aloud, in temples, the marked traits of the life and character of those men who have served their species, is at once to perform a duty of gratitude and to excite efforts at imitation.'
This whole work will be read with amusement and consulted with advantage by future travellers and by the public: it includes practical notices of the best inns, and of the most expedient forms of conveyance; and it has not the fault of forgetting the comforts for the refinements of life. It has been translated with much elegance, but with considerable freedom, by the Baroness of Montolieu, (formerly Madame de Crousaz, and authoress of “ Caroline de Lichtfeld,”) who varies what she does not understand, and skips when she does not admire. An appearance of recondite learning overspreads many pages, which is probably a second-hand distribotion of those common-places of the more accomplished Italian Cicerones which they derive from native antiquaries, and repeat to successive strangers.
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ART. VIII. Histoire de l'Empire de Russie, &c.; i.e. A History
of the Empire of Russia, by M, KARAMSIN ; translated by Messrs. St. Thomas and Jauffret. 8vo. 2 Vols. pp. 420. in each, Paris. 1819. Imported by Treuttel and Würtz. . Price 18s. H 'ISTORY, says M. KARAMSin in his eloquent introduction,
is in some sort the sacred book of nations, the book, by excellence, — the indispensable volume :- it is the picture of their existence and of their actions, the depositary of revelations and of principles, the testament bequeathed by our ancestors to posterity, the ark which contains a record of the past, an explanation of the present, and a guide for the future. Sovereigns and lawgivers act, or should act, by the indications of history, and attentively consult its pages, as the pilot consults his chart. So short is life that human wisdom, at its best, never gains sufficient experience: it is therefore important to listen to the voice of ages; to know how, of old, the seditious passions have troubled society; and to ascertain by what methods the beneficent power of reason has checked their impetuous shock, established lasting order, and procured to man as much happiness as he can enjoy on earth.
Every citizen even should read history; since it will reconcile him with the apparent imperfection of things, by presenting it as the successive inheritance of all generations. To console him amid public calamities, he will read of greater still which the state has overcome; and, to dispose his mind to justice, he will observe that almost every interruption of concord has arisen from the re-action of a force inequitably undervalued.
Such is the utility of history; and it is equally a source of pleasure. Curiosity is natural to the enlightened as well as to the savage man. At the Olympic games, the Greeks crowded around Herodotus and forsook the agitating combat to listen in silence to his recitals; and in the American wilderness young warriors throng about the aged man, to learn the deeds of him on whose high-heaped tomb they are asşembled. By opening sepulchres, by reviving the dead, and by removing the dust of ages from the buried foundations of empires, history enlarges the bounds of our existence, en
ables us to live with men of other times, and unites us by bonds of sympathy and gratitude with a series of generations, thus inuring us to patriotism and to philanthropy.
After these general remarks, applicable to all history, the author considers the subject in its more restricted operation, and thus brings it “ home to his own business and bosom :"
• If, as Pliny contends, all history is agreeable, even when illwritten, how especially attractive must be the annals of our own country! The true cosmopolite is so rare a phænomenon, that it is needless to speak of him well or ill: we are all citizens in Europe, or Hindustan, or Mexico, or Abyssinia: the existence of each is united with that of his country, and the love of our native land is a part of the love of ourselves. Be it that the Greeks and Romans have charms for our imagination; as members of the great family of the human race, nothing human should be alien to us: but the appellation of Russian has for us a mightier attraction, and my heart beats more warmly at the name of Pojarsky than at that of Themistocles or Scipio. Universal history, by the grand reminiscences which it excites, embellishes the earth in the mind's eye: but Russian history embellishes our birth-place, the centre of our existence and of our affections. With what glowing emotions do we wander along the banks of the Volga, the Dnieper, and the Don, when we know the deeds of which they were formerly witnesses. Not only Novgorod, Kief, and Vladimir, but even the mouldering hovels of Eletz, of Kozelzk, and of Galitsh, become to us interesting monuments: these inanimate objects speak to our hearts; and we behold the shades of ages deceased sitting in mournful majesty on their ruins.
• Besides the peculiar merit which the annals of Russia have in the eyes of its sons, they possess a more general claim to notice. In gauging at a glance the immensity of this monarchy, thought grows giddy with astonishment. Rome never equalled it in greatness when her empire stretched from Caucasus to the Pyrenees, and from the mouth of the Elbe to the cataracts of the Nile. Is it not admirable to behold countries, which nature seems to have separated by eternal barriers, by mountains, deserts, glaciers, and seas, united and coherent? Lapland and Astrakhan, Siberia and Bessarabia, peopled with races so dissimilar in origin, figure, temper, and civilization, all coalesce under the same imperial sway with Moscow. Like America, Russia in. cludes her savages ; like Europe, she can also exhibit the results of a long political existence. It is not necessary to be a Russian to take an interest in the annals of a nation, which by its valoại and unanimity has succeeded in consolidating a ninth part of the globe ; which has explored regions formerly unknown, introduced them into the general system of geography and policy, enlightened them with the torch of true religion, and, by the mere dint of good example, without any of those violences which have disgraced other Christian churches, has connected them with the bonds of piety and charity.'
Gratified, no doubt, by this glowing eulogy on his native land, M. KARAMSIN then proceeds to give an account of the authorities on which the subsequent history is founded. The earliest writers who mention the Russians are the Byzantine historians. Gibbon, in his fifty-fifth chapter, has condensed much of their curious information, and brilliantly illustrated the early piratical expeditions against Constantinople which were undertaken from the mouth of the Dnieper. Stritter, in his extracts from the Byzantine historians, has been careful to separate and preserve all that relates to the northern nations : but neither he nor any subsequent antiquary has satisfactorily ascertained the origin of the name Russian. Possibly it is of Gothic root, and signifies red; whether the Slavonians tatooed their persons or their ships with red ochre, or whether their natural complexion appeared relatively red both to the whiter Goths and to the browner Greeks. Assemani thinks that the Russians are first mentioned in the chronicle of Theophanes; that is, about the year 770; and, as the early Latin chronicles of the Germans give the name Ruthenia to Russia, it should seem that the people of the country were called by them dic Rothen, or the red men. M. DE K., however, prefers to suppose that the name Russian is derived from that of a Swedish province Rhos-lagen ; whence Rurik and his brothers, who were early adopted as chieftains, or sovereigns, by some Slavonian tribes, may probably have proceeded. We much suspect that the Slavonian tribes, who now form the nucleus of Russian population, are more recently civilized, and of more oriental origin, than the tribes whom Rurik and his Normans disciplined into pirates of the Euxine; and we should incline to seek in Prussia, which perhaps signifies West-Russia, the lineal descendants of those pirates of the Dnieper, whose posterity must have been pressed westward by the successive waves of barbaric population, although the sovereign families may have adhered to the cities of Kief and Novgorod. In the Vandal or Fennic tribes, who peopled Carinthia, Bohemia, and Moravia, the peasantry have Slavonian names, but the nobility have Gothic names; so that an early internal hereditary ascendancy was every where acquired by the Goths over the contiguous Slavonians: either because they were the more civilized of the two tribes, or from a physical admiration of their fairer complexion and appearance. From the Varangians especially, who were a corps of barbarian guards employed at Constantinople, and recruited chiefly from among the English, the Normans, and the Danes, the Slavonian cities were accustomed to import their chieftains; who were in fact little more than drill-serjeants, employed to teach the Greek discipline to the native soldiery; and who were rewarded with a rank as officers, which necessarily led to practical sovereignty over those tribes whose expeditions they had to conduct. Rurik was the first considerable commander of this description, and acquired in 862 that extensive autocracy which was to become the nucleus of the Russian empire: he died in 879, leaving his son Igor a minor, under the regency of a Slavonian named Oleg.
In 903, Igor married Olga, who was probably a natural daughter of Oleg by a Scandinavian woman; at least her name indicates some kinship with him; and she is stated to have been of a Varangian family in low condition. She was clever, assisted her father to govern Igor, and, after the death of the former, continued to preserve her ascendancy. Igor having been assassinated, she avenged his death spiritedly, and assumed the regency; which she preserved until the majority of her son Sviatoslaf, the first Russian prince who bore a Slavonian name, and both of whose parents were natives of the country. Having resigned the supreme power into the hands of this son, Olga undertook a journey to Constantinople, embraced Christianity there, was baptized by the name of Helen, and returned to Kief with a Greek chaplain, who could not prevail on Sviatoslaf to desert the national god Perown. Still this priest became the preceptor of the son of Sviatoslaf, and no doubt prepared the conversion of Vladimir; who married at Constantinople a Greek princess named Anne, was in 988 baptized there, and who soon afterward solemnly installed and established Christianity in his dominions.
With the religion of the Constantinopolitan Greeks, their monks, their arts, and their sciences, gradually penetrated into Russia; and already in 1056 was born Nestor, the first Russian annalist, who wrote about the end of the eleventh century, and died in the Pechzerian convent at Kief. He supplies the remains of tradition concerning the earlier history, and from his time onward other monkish chroniclers continue the narration. Cyrillus and Methodius, two brothers of Thessalonica, employed as missionaries by the Greek church, had first reduced the Slavonian language to writing, bestowed on it a peculiar alphabet, and about the year 870 had made a version of the Scriptures from the Septuagint into that tongue.
Sylvester, abbot of Perejaslavil, was the continuator of Nestor's Slavonian chronicle: he died in 1123; and to him succeeded Simeon, bishop of Susdal, who wrote in 1206. Many anonymous ecclesiastics have also contributed to preserve historical accounts, which have been collected under the