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cident, and continually liable to waste away in aimless wanderings, or to fester in morbid pride. Yet in one of the few cases where the novelist has allowed an Atheist to love happily, we see that even when affection is mutual and satisfying, it can never be relied upon by an Atheist as a permanent and integral part of his being. In the touching chapter entitled “ The Valley of the Shadow," narrating the death of Emily Sterne, we see the point from which the author endeavors to deal with this poignant grief of eternal separation, from the principle supplied by " the Religion of Duty.”
“ Ernest could not leave his friend in this great sorrow, and his presence was evidently a diversion to Sterne's melancholy, and a pleasure to the dying child. For dying she certainly was, — fading away from life like a gathered rose-bud, but slowly and quietly, herself half conscious but fearless, sorrowful only for the misery which all her adored brother's self-command could not conceal from her loving eyes. And she would make him sit close beside her, and clasp her little hand in his, while his thoughts were darkened by the shadow of the coming day, when he should never clasp that loving little hand again. Few of us know what is the anguish of the meaning he had uttered in those bitter words, . my all in life. She — this beautiful and innocent little one — was. the object of all his care, all his labor, all his hope. When she should be gone from him, what would he have left but a dreary, dark, cheerless path 'to a goal of utter nothingness? In those hours of torture, few could have seen further than this, even of men less capable of passionate love, filling the inmost recesses of existence; but Sterne was of a few. Men of his mould are not to be found in the every-day walks of life, though one or two such there are on earth, perhaps, if we but knew where to seek them when we want heroes to lead us and martyrs to die for us. Dark and waste and dreary indeed his after-life must be, but it might be trodden boldly and faithfully ; for the darkness was not all. Even amid that long and cruel agony he remembered the work that lay before him ; and knew that he would not do it the less bravely and constantly, because he had no other love on earth, no other hope on earth or in heaven. For him Duty was God and Nature was His prophet; and though the God's mandates were hard, and the prophet prophesied no smooth things, Sterne was not one to lose hold of his faith because of tribulation, nor to fling it aside in madly clasping at a staff which, in the utmost need of those who lean thereon, cannot but prove a broken reed. .....
“• What advantageth it us, if the dead rise not? Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.
“ Sterne sat by the side of his sleeping sister, who, lulled to rest for a short time by heavy opiates, was not to be roused by their low-toned conversation. He was bending over her, and his face was hidden. But as his proselyte spoke these bitter words, he looked up; and the first harsh sentence Ernest had ever heard him speak was his reply.
“ Ernest Clifford, look at your own life, and at mine ; look here, where all I have to love or hope in the Universe is passing away from me; and remember that I, in this utter desolation, have never forgotten that I have no right to die with my work undone. It may be, when you have known what such wretchedness as this is, that you will learn a better faith than that borrowed Epicureanism of Paul, and bethink you that those who have so much to do before they die tomorrow have need to make the utmost use of to-day.
“ Ernest was somewhat abashed, yet could not but recognize the justice of the rebuke. If this man did not sink into utter despair, what right had he to murmur?” .
Thus, one by one, fade the stars of love and hope from the Atheist's sight, and he is left alone, with nothing but the work which Duty prescribes. “ He would not do it the less bravely and constantly, because he had no other love on earth, no other hope on earth or in heaven.” But if it be possible for all love and hope on earth or in heaven to be thus destroyed, what work remains possible, and what objects remain to be worked for? What is then the value of life, — not merely its relative value to this or that sufferer, but its absolute value to man as man? How can such a mutilated and benumbing conception of Duty 6 exercise complete control over the affections, and wield their whole strength in the struggle" ? ". Nature” must be not only “ devoid of moral character,” — she must be absolutely diabolical, if she condemns her truest children to this terrible crushing of their noblest yearnings. The universal heart of man refuses to believe in such an anomalous dissonance, and, springing to the embrace of the Infinite Goodness, echoes the cry of St. Augustine, — “ Thou hast made us for thyself, and our heart is restless till it resteth in thee!”
Here we must close our remarks, although we have but
touched the mere outline of the subject. Our aim has not been to furnish a short and easy guide to the mysteries of this infinite Universe, but simply to indicate a few of the clews to the great underlying Reality, which no worshipper can ever wholly comprehend, but which unfolds itself ever more and more to wise and patient hearts. That Reality must be sought by each soul singly and alone. That such a mind as Mr. Holdreth's cannot seek it in vain, we feel assured. It may be nearly impossible for any one to help such seekers in solving a problem which so largely depends on the individual experience of life. But our task will not have been valueless if we have succeeded in showing that there is, in these recent professions of Atheism, a faith in truth and in virtue which contradicts their import, which commands the sympathy of religious thinkers, and which is in itself a hopeful sign of the times. “When people assume that an Atheist must live without God in the world,” says an able and generous writer, “they assume what is fatal to their own Theism.” And those who recognize in all human goodness the sustaining hand of the Creator, will hold fast to the faith that no genuine truthseeker can ever be forsaken by the tender care of Him of whom it is said that the pure in heart shall see God.
Art. III. — POLITICS OF EARLY ROME.
Römische Geschichte. Von THEODOR MOMMSEN. Erster Band, bis zur Schlacht von Pydna. Zweiter Band, bis auf Sullas Tod. Dritter Band, bis zur Schlacht von Thapsus. Zweite Auflage. Berlin : Weidmannsche Buchhandlung 1856 – 57. 8vo. pp. 924, 463, 609. - V iit,
ALTHOUGH a considerable interval has passed since the publication of the second edition of Mommsen's Roman History, still the importance of the work itself, as well as the changes made in this second edition, warrants us in laying before the public a brief summary of its most characteristic features. The changes in the new edition consist partly in a better paper and the addition of a marginal index, in which the dates before Christ are placed by the side of those of the city; also in the incorporation of the results of “a series of recent investigations, for example, with respect to the political position of the subjects of Rome, and the development of the arts.” “Further, in the third book, the internal relations of the Roman community, during the Carthaginian wars, are not merely sketched, as in the first edition, but treated with the fulness demanded as well by the importance as the difficulty of the subject.” .
If we were to attempt to point out the one feature which distinguishes Mommsen's History of Rome from those of all other writers, it would probably be this, that an intimate knowledge of the coins, inscriptions, and various languages of ancient Italy, to which he devoted years of study, has enabled him to make use of materials to which no former historian has had access. These studies have led him to explore every corner of the peninsula, to examine the relation of the different dialects — and so of the different races — to each other, to detect national and provincial usages which had until then lain hidden, and, most of all, to appreciate and bring clearly to light the grand fact of the unity of the Italian race, as distinguished from the various intruders, - Greek, Japygian, Gallic, Etruscan, or Ligurian. “ It is the history of Italy, not the history of the city of Rome, which is to be told here," is the foundation on which he has built. The great Italian race — brother to the Greek and cousin to the Celtic and Slavonian — was divided into two great branches, the Latin and the Sabellian ; this latter again comprised the Umbrians, Samnites, Sabines, Oscans, &c. The first two books, bis zur Einigung Italiens “ to the Union of Italy” — thus through the war with Pyrrhus) form of themselves a noble epic, telling how Rome, originally a simple Latin town, won first the leadership, then the rule of the Latin race; how then the mighty struggle followed between the two branches of the Italian race, headed respectively by Rome and Samnium, in which of course the centralized power of Rome prevailed at last over the brave and free but disunited Samnites; and how the Italian nation, now united and powerful, easily subdued the Greeks, Etruscans, and Gauls who had ventured on their soil. It is on philological grounds that this ethnological theory is built; Prof. Mommsen having proved, in his earlier works, (Die Unteritalischen Dialekte, and others, the essential identity in race of these Italian nations.
No less striking than the general point of view thus gained is the manner in which he traces the steady and pitiless determination by which Rome extended her sway, one slow step at a time, always binding her new possessions at once as with bars and chains, and never advancing a second step until the former one was made sure. The maxim of her rule was to push forward her military posts (or Latin colonies) to the very farthest point of the conquests, and bind them to the mother city by military roads, — the Appian and Latin ways to the south, the Valerian to the east, the Flaminian and Cassian to the north. Norba and Signia separated the Equians and Volscians, and threatened both; Nepe and Sutrium were a guard on the side of Etruria ; Cales overawed on the one hand the newly-acquired Capua, on the other the Samnite Teanum; Fregellæ, and afterwards Sora and Alba Fucensio, were thorns in the sides of the Pentrian Samnites ; Luceria and Venusia were boldly planted in the rear of the hostile Samnites, to give heart to the Apulian allies ; Narnia commanded the Flaminian way; Ilatria and Sena Gallica ruled the Adriatic coast ; Saticula guarded the most important pass between Samnium and Campania. These and others, at first equal members of the Latin confederacy, but, as Rome grew, her subject allies, were like so many iron locks, and the splendid roads which connected them like heavy chains, firmly riveted over the conquered country, and fastening it indissolubly to Rome.
It is natural that so stout a defender of Italian nationality should hold that the Etruscan influence on Rome was much less than it has been represented, and indeed that the Etruscan civilization has been much overrated. In Southern Etruria, indeed, where there was active commerce, and constant intercourse with the Greeks, we find a considerable degree of artistic culture, and a school of native art not much superior to the Chinese ; but in the purely Etruscan cities of the North, and particularly Volaterræ, the most secluded and unmixed of