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measures which were adopted against them, saying often that they were a sect and not a party, and that their numbers would be increased by persecutions.
In 1820 the outbreak of the Neapolitan revolution alarmed him for the safety of Rome. His abhorrence of Jacobinism, and his well-founded contempt for those meanest of all slaves who ever yet pretended to freedom, combined with his anxiety for his family to make the approach of the Austrians a welcome event. When they halted on the frontier for want of money, he used his own personal credit to procure it for them, a service which the Emperor acknowledged by sending him the Grand Cross of Leopold. His judgement of the Spanish revolution was the same. He saw that a people without knowledge or principle could by no possible combination arrange themselves into a free government. Their separation into distinct states would, he thought, be the best possible result, except that it would place Spain at the mercy of the compact power of France. He doubted not that anarchy and military tyranny would succeed each other, and that, at best, they could only hope for a political condition, which he thought the most meagre and depressing of any–American republicanism. The interference of France in 1823 he reprobated as an unwise and dangerous act; but his bitterness was chiefly directed against the English House of Commons and Mr. Canning, whom he considered an ambitious and dangerous demagogue. His views on these subjects, which, whether we may differ from them or not, are entitled to respectful attention, will be found fully developed in the (French) letters to the Count de Serre, which are published in the third volume. With this distinguished man, who was at the time ambassador of France at Naples, Niebuhr formed a friendship, such as rarely commences except between the young. He fully agreed in his political views, and admired him as the greatest orator
M. de Serre once asked him for a summary of his views on Roman history, reminding him at the same time that he was himself not a man of learning. “You are neither more nor less learned,” replied Niebuhr, “than Demosthenes.”
Simultaneously with the beginning of the troubles at Naples his instructions at last arrived, and notwithstanding the necessary interruptions, his activity and his influence with the Pope
of the age.
and his minister enabled him to bring the arrangements to a satisfactory conclusion in the space of eight months. To avoid any unnecessary delay, he willingly conceded to Hardenberg, who visited Rome at the time, the honour of making the final settlement. His fears of the death of the Pope, and the probable bigotry of his successor, weighed more with him than the desire of diplomatic fame.
When the main object of his mission was accomplished Niebuhr began to consider the prospects of his future life. He had become acclimatized to Rome, and expected that his health would suffer by leaving it. In Germany the lapse of seven years had made great changes : he feared to find his old connexions broken up, and knew that his undisguised opposition to Liberalism had greatly affected his popularity. A desponding temperament is always disinclined to change, and he would have determined to remain at Rome, but for his fear of making his children Italians, and the still more urgent motive of his wife's inclination, who found the climate as injurious to her health as the country had been from the first disagreeable to her tastes. In the spring of 1823, after a short stay at Naples in the society of his friend De Serre, he left Rome on leave of absence for a year; a middle course which had been suggested to him by his government, in reply to his application for a recall. He travelled through Lombardy and the Tyrol, to St. Gall, where he spent several weeks in researches in the library. The admiration for the Tyrolese, which he had cherished since the glorious war in 1809, was renewed by his closer acquaintance with their country; and contrasted strongly with his anger at the Jacobinism of the Swiss, which had destroyed, as he thought, every particle of their patriotic spirit. Towards the autumn he arrived at Bonn, which he had determined to make his temporary residence, partly from its neighbourhood to De Serre, who, however, never returned to France, and partly from a wish, under existing political circumstances, to be as far as possible from the Russian frontier.
It was fortunate that the first event which occurred to him after his return to Germany, was the publication by Steinacker, of an attack on his History. In preparing to answer it he discovered a clue to the third great change in the Roman VOL, X. No. XX.
constitution, and at once determined to recommence the labour which he had so long intermitted. He considered it a good omen, that his resolution was fixed on the anniversary of his betrothing with Amalie. During his residence at Rome he had been constantly increasing the stock of his materials, both by familiarizing himself on the spot with the topography, and by collateral studies, of which his investigations into the municipal constitutions of Italy and Germany, in the middle ages, were among the most important. In his letter to Savigny, the philological reader will find much important information. As a specimen of his characteristic acuteness we may refer to his discovery of the identity between the rubbio of seven pezze, and the ancient plebeian allotment of seven jugera. (Vol. ü. p. 380. ff.)
Heimmediately began to remodel his History, in accordance with his more extended views; but the continuity of his labours was for a time interrupted by the necessity of visiting Berlin for the settlement of his future plans. During his absence there, in the spring of 1824, he lost an infant son, who had been born at Bonn, and had also to lament the death of De Serre. Before he returned, he resigned his appointment as ambassador, and received a grant of the same salary as a pension. In a few months he was again summoned to Berlin, to attend the meeting of the Council of State, which was principally occupied with a proposal for the establishment of a national bank, which he strongly opposed, and finally succeeded in defeating. He often complained of his detention in the capital, which continued till the autumn of 1825; but it amply repaid him by the change which it produced in his feelings. In his separation from his wife and children he found for the first time how completely his happiness was bound up with them, and resolved, instead of dwelling upon the past, to devote himself henceforward to the enjoyment and improvement of what remained. He entered generally into society, and maintained a constant and affectionate intercourse with his unchanging friend the Crown Prince, of whom he entertained the highest hopes; but he steadily resisted all attempts to attach him to the civil service of the state, and finally determined his future career by an offer, which the ministry thankfully accepted, to attach himself as an inde
pendent member to the University of Bonn. On his return he engaged zealously in his new duties, and continued for the remainder of his life to shed lustre on the place of his choice. He successively delivered lectures on Greek history, from the battle of Chæronea to the destruction of Corinth; on Roman history to the end of the republic, and again to the fall of the western empire; on ancient geography and ethnography; on Roman antiquities; on ancient universal history, and on the history of the last forty years. His vast accumulations of knowledge, and his unfailing memory, enabled him to dispense with the fatigue of preparing his lectures in writing; and his impressive though not fluent elocution, inspired by a vivid imagination, and an earnestness which knew no distinction of ancient and modern times, secured him the attention of the students, who honoured him for his uprightness, and loved him for his kindness. He never forgot the want of assistance which he had experienced in his youth, and kept as a sacred duty the resolution which he had then made, to supply the want to others. The whole pecuniary produce of his lectures he applied either to the assistance of deserving students or to the institution of prizes for the encouragement of philology.
On the eve of his fiftieth birthday, in August 1826, he completed the second edition of the first volume of his History. The alterations had grown upon him as he proceeded, and the book was now, as he states himself, a completely new work. It forms no part of our present purpose to point out the changes of his views ; but it is remarkable that they were only the development of his first discoveries, and had not been anticipated by his adversaries. According to his own statement, he had seen before that there was a road through the labyrinth, but now he was able to mark it out. In a third edition he made still further alterations, and at the same time occupied himself with the more laborious task of remodelling the second volume, which bore less relation to the studies to which he had devoted himself in Rome. The completion of his task was delayed by the bold undertaking which he formed of publishing an edition of the Byzantine historians, by a number of younger scholars, under his own general superintendence. He edited Agathias himself, and more particularly took pleasure in assisting his son's domestic tutor and his
own favourite disciple, Classen, to whom he assigned a considerable share in the work. The second volume of the History was at last ready for publication, when, on the 6th of February, 1829, an accidental fire consumed a considerable part of his house, of which he had taken possession only in the preceding spring, and, amongst many other papers, destroyed a part of the manuscript. He bore his misfortune with magnanimity, and devoted himself with great energy to replace what he had lost; but he was in some degree unsettled by new proposals which were made to induce him to remove to Berlin; and although he made up his mind not to interrupt the happy life which he had enjoyed at Bonn, he often said at this time that he could not persuade himself that he should remain there beyond the current year, because seven years would then be completed,--the longest period that he had ever spent in one place from the time when he left his father's house.
From the time of Ferdinand's restoration, thinking that the revolutionary spirit was at length effectually quelled, Niebuhr's political fears had been principally caused by the alliance of the Jesuits with the aristocracy in France and Catholic Germany. The disloyal and antinational influence which the priesthood exercised in Rhenish Prussia, by means of the pagan superstition which they maintained among the people, alarmed him the more from the disposition which the French royalists displayed to bid for popularity, by pandering to the unprincipled appetite of their countrymen for foreign conquest. He apprehended however no immediate danger, and while he reprobated the appointment of the Polignac ministry, he persuaded himself that the popular party would submit without resistance to the coup d'état, which he foresaw. The revolution of July came upon him like a thunderbolt. He admired the bravery of the Parisian populace, and acknowledged that they were justified; he also thought from the first that it would be a wise measure to raise the Duke of Orleans to the throne: but in the weakness and wickedness of the Bourbon party, which had raised again the long-laid demon of Jacobinism, he saw the cause of the imminent destruction of all civilization and freedom. He never doubted that the French hordes would pour across the Rhine, and again overthrow the