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y bers from the three races in the Roman state whose
foundation and increase are directly to be related. Each, willingly or unwillingly, yielded its contribution, perhaps simultaneously, but more probably successively, to the nation in which their habits, their laws, and their descents were commingled.”
These scanty statements concerning the formation of the Roman people excite some reasonable anticipations concerning the history we are here beginning. And as we, a moment since, obtained a clew by surveying the position, so now we may extend it by having reviewed the origin of the people on the seven hills. With them, another nation of warriors appears to have been born; while the impulses to assume and the circumstances to employ their arms are such as enable us to foretell, almost without foreseeing, the end. They will be conquerors of Italy, whose bloom is from the first united in them; conquerors of the world, perhaps, as soon as Italy is subdued: but whether they are to live and triumph for the melioration or the prostration of the vanquished has been already hinted, and may be left for us to decide hereafter.
13 “Quippe quum populus Ro- Flor., III. 18. The Italian Micali, manus Etruscos, Latinos, Sabinos- not content with this, would have que miscuerit, et unum ex omnibus Rome “una mescolanza di genti sanguinem ducat. Corpus fecit ex d'ogni nome.” Stor. Ant. Pop. membris, et ex omnibus unus est.” Ital., Cap. X.
“Temporum illorum tantum sere regum illustrata sunt nomina.”— Cicero, De Rep., II. 18. po
“Les fables sont de la tradition, les institutions sont de l'histoire.”—DUREAu De LA MALLE, Econ. Pol. Rom., Tom. I. p. 184.
THE legends or the lays of Rome possess, not only the freshness on which poetry, but, in many respects, the faithfulness on which history, depends. It is neither fit to scare them from existence by a lean and wasteful learning, nor necessary to repeat them, as if the only advantage to be gained were the illustration of the spirit by whose ardent faith they were, in after times, created. If they be attributed to any later generations, none can tell to which they must actually and definitely be assigned; but if credibility be denied them utterly, the only means of composing the early annals of their people must be abandoned as unserviceable. No reasoning against the personality of their heroes or the accuracy of their descriptions has as yet been made incontrovertible; and until both shall be more thoroughly gainsaid, we have some cause for confidence in their general probability. It does not seem that Romulus is to be considered as the name of a personification rather than a human being, simply because it can be derived from the name of Rome; nor that his successor is to be refused a place amongst the mortal kings of old, because it may be conjectured that the Greek word for Law' corresponds to his name of Numa. The history of Rome would suffer beyond relief by losing the assistance of its legends in the description of the early institutions; and so much has this consequence been dreaded, that the stoutest enemy of the king or the champion, the miracle or the adventure, in the ancient story, will lower his lance before the mention of a law or the outline of an assembly, as if he could not be too humble in presence of tattered pennons such as these. The distinction, however, if not pushed too far, is very fair; and the law may long outlast the history of the lawgiver: but it will scarcely endure beyond his memory. Let it, therefore, be stated here, that the following relation of the liberty existing under the monarchy in Rome, while it will avoid many details of the legends which are purely fabulous, will, nevertheless, be based upon the conviction that the names, at least, they mention were those of living men, and that the institutions they describe were the actual foundations of the Roman constitution.” It would be an affectation to change the tone of our narrative, in returning to the misty times when, as in the vapors of our own atmosphere, “what is paltry may be made to look vast, and what is ponderous, aerial.” But it is a positive necessity so to keep in mind the rudeness and the fervor which were the especial characteristics of early Rome, that we shall not fancy we are upon the history of a peaceful or a civilized nation. The earliest legend of which we need take notice related the birth of Romulus and Remus, the twin children of the priestess Silvia, unfaithful to her vows." She was of the royal house of Alba, but of a sire whose rights to the throne had been usurped by his younger brother; and he, either fearing the future claims of the new-born boys, or else indignant at the dishonor of his niece, ordered the mother and the infants to be thrown together into the Anio, to die. Silvia perished; but the babes, carried down the stream into the Tiber, were borne on farther to the foot of the hill still called the Palatine. A wolf was said to have lapped them with her tongue and fed them with her milk, until they were discovered by one of the settlers on the hills, a shepherd, who took them into his own hut and with his wife's aid saved them from death. The boys grew up, with their preserver's children, to be men, stronger and braver than any of their companions, who may have been herdsmen or colonists, of one race or of several, as we * As is said of the rain-cloud full legend, was the god Mars. As cannot now decide. Their occupations were doubtless such as their circumstances required or allowed; yet in after years, it was believed that the brothers were not only distinguished by personal endowments, but that they persuaded their foster-kinsmen and neighbours to deeds of greater benevolence and magnanimity than were common to their lawless times.” The spot in which they were thus bred, and where they supposed themselves to have been born, was still in all its ruggedness and humility; yet it is not impossible, but, on the contrary, exceedingly probable, that the different people living near, on either side, were already approaching one another by forming settlements upon the hills.” However this may have been, it does not appear that Romulus and Remus had any difficulty, when their parentage was discovered, in procuring a numerous band of followers, to aid them in revenging their mother's death and in replacing their grandfather, yet living, upon the throne of Alba. The young heroes returned to their huts on the Palatine, either bound by promises to their followers, who could not have been rewarded at Alba,’ or else themselves preferring their earlier home. New hopes,
1 “Nópos, d. h. der Sitten, Gebräuche, Ceremonier und Gesetze, oder den Urheber des Staats Organismus.” Hartung, Rel. der Römer, Wol. I. p. 216.
* Even calling them “compla
in the delightful work upon the Ovid hath it, —
Modern Painters, Vol. I. p. 243, 3d “Martigerae non sunt sine crimine nati edit. Romulus Iliades, Iliadesque Remus.”
* The father, according to the Amor, III.4. v. 39, 40. 5 Plut., Rom., 6.
6 See Plut., Fortun. Romanor., ed. Reiske, Tom. VII. p. 273. Cf. Liv., I. 5; Prop., IV. 4. 9.
Livy will be our almost inseparable, and, it need not be added, our invaluable guide. Something is said of him in the text of Book IV. ch. 3, of this history. His great work
originally consisted of one hundred