Obrazy na stronie

acts of tyranny or rapacity in which they might please | indolence. On this numerous and dangerous class to indulge on their own account. The fertility and the tax pressed with enormous severity, to use their opulence of the Neapolitan dominions would have own expression, recorded by a contemporary writer, enabled them to bear very heavy exactions, but the it took the food out of their very mouths." Acts more the Spaniards obtained, the more they desired, of violence succeeded to their disregarded murmurs ; and the very ease with which existing taxes were the viceroy could not appear abroad without being paid, became an excuse and encouragement for fresh subjected to seditious clamours, and even personal impositions. Thus matters proceeded, until, as an insults; insurrectionary placards were posted in the Italian historian justly remarked. “The secret fires of market-place; and the booth erected for the collecVesuvius were not só numerous, nor so dangerous, tion of the tax was burned to the ground. Arcos at as the revengeful flames which burned in the bosoms length, greatly alarmed, summoned his council, and of the Neapolitan populace."

went through the mockery of deliberation ; but every During the reigns of Philip the Third and Philip other source of revenue was pledged and mortgaged the Fourth of Spain, the sufferings of the Neapoli- to the outside of its value, money was to be raised tans were aggravated by the custom which prevailed at all hazards, and, of course, the consultations of farming the taxes. The Genoese brokers, who ended in ordering the continuance of the tax. Some purchased them from the King of Spain, extorted efforts were made to punish those who publicly profit in every shape and way, from the unfortunate testified their dissatisfaction; but this only increased peasant and artisan, and when profits no longer sup- the number of secret conspirators, and the viceroy plied their rapacity, compelled the unfortunate victims soon received an alarming warning of the perils by of their rapacity to yield up their little capital. Under which he was environed. A Spanish flotilla lay in such a system it is not wonderful that the wealth of the Bay of Naples, the admiral's galley was remarkNaples at length became exhausted ; and when the able for its strength and beauty, and 300,000 ducats Admiral of Castile, the ruling viceroy, demanded a were placed on board her for transmission to Spain. subsidy from the assembled estates, he received a On the night of the 12th of May, she was discovered refusal which he was convinced arose from absolute to be on fire, and ere means could be taken to save poverty. He wrote to Philip the Fourth, that Naples her, she blew up with all her treasure, and a portion in its present exhausted state, could not meet the new of her crew. There was not one who saw the specdemand; he received in reply, peremptory orders to tacle that did not feel convinced that it was the work exact the subsidy, but the gallant admiral refused to of treachery, and the viceroy felt so much alarmed, become the agent of oppression, and immediately that though he was pre-eminently superstitious, he resigned the government.

forbade the annual procession on the 24th of June, This excellent nobleman was succeeded by the in honour of John the Baptist, lest the collection of Duke of Arcos, a man of a very opposite character. a multitude should lead to a sudden outbreak of inLike most Spaniards, he was haughty, vindictive, and surrection, obstinate, but unlike his countrymen, he was crafty Among those who exclaimed most bitterly against and treacherous, He had not been long in office, when the fruit tax, was Tomasso Aniello, better known by the French, then at war with Spain, sent out a fleet the abbreviation Mas-aniello, whose destiny it was which threatened to invade Naples, and consequently to experience more rapid changes of condition in the forced the viceroy to prepare an armament for the ensuing troubles, than any mortal ever underwent in protection of his province. The practice of that day the same space of time. He was a handsome, lightin such an emergency, was to borrow the amount of built, active, young man, not more than twenty-four the parliamentary grant from some capitalist, to years of age, but already recognised as a leader whom a branch of the public revenue was mortgaged among his associates, from his readiness of wit, and for the interest and repayment of the loan, and who great personal activity in the manly sports which generally derived an exorbitant profit from the trans- delight the fishermen of Naples. His wife, was action. Such was the general opinion of the Neapo- detected by the tax collectors concealing a bag of litan resources, that a lender and money were easily four, to evade the duty; she was grossly insulted and found, but such, also, was the exhaustion of the dragged to prison. The rest of the history must country, that the viceroy's council were at their wits' now assume the form of a journal, that our readers end to devise an impost for its repayment. At length may the better appreciate the rapidity with which it was proposed by Andrea Nauclerio, the provost of events followed each other. the merchants, to levy a tax of one carlin per pound, July 7, 1647. This was the second Sunday before on all the fruits and vegetables which were brought the feast of our lady of Carmel, one of the festivals to market, and which then, as now, formed the prin- celebrated by the superstitious Neapolitans with circipal articles of food to the lower classes at Naples. cumstances of peculiar solemnity, Among other The proposition was adopted, and an edict for its en amusements, it was customary to erect a wooden forcement issued on the 3rd of January, 1647. fortress, which the fishermen defended disguised as

This tax was by no means a new invention ; several Turks, while the Lazzaroni attacked it in their ordiviceroys had already attempted to establish it, but nary habiliments. So popular was this spectacle, that had finally abandoned the scheme, from a conviction it was always rehearsed on the three preceding Sunof its odious and oppressive nature. The Duke of days; on the Sunday of which we speak, Masaniello, Arcos, however, was deaf to all remonstrances, and who had been chosen leader of one of the parties, he even accused those counsellors of treason, who assembled a crowd of boys and young persons, at a ventured to remind him of the homely proverb, that very early hour, to practise their parts in the perHunger will break through stone walls.” Scarcely formance. It so happened that this was also a great was the edict published, when loud murmurs were market-day, and crowds of peasants from the neighheard throughout the entire city of Naples. It is a bouring districts had come in with fruit and vegetacity in which a large vagrant body, called the Lazza bles for sale. Either on account of the superabunroni, accustomed to support life at a very trifling ex dant supply, or the engagement of the multitude in pense, support themselves by chance jobs, because a their sports, the market was very heavy, and purtrifling remuneration, less than Englishmen frequently chasers could not be found for the articles. The fisbestow in alms, enables them to live in the luxury of cal oflicers insisted that the tax should be paid on

everything, whether it was sold or not; but it still they knew full well that a mob, after having used the remaived to be decided whether the tax should be nobles, whom deluded ambition has led to participate paid by the peasants or by the hucksters. The dis- in their efforts, must eventually yield to the natural pute was referred to Nauclerio, the provost of the jealousy with which the lower orders regard their merchants, whom we have already mentioned as the superiors and fling them away as broken tools, too proposer of the obnoxious impost, and he decided fine and too weak to execute the rough work required that the tax should be paid by those who brought the by an imperious democracy. Shocked at the excesses fruit to market. Tasaniello's brother-in-law, a he was compelled to witness, the Prince took the hard-working peasant from Pozzeroli, was one of the earliest opportunity of escape, while the confused persons aggrieved by this decision; he exclaimed masses spread over the city, began to direct their against the injustice of being compelled to pay for forces on one common centre and move towards the articles which had as yet produced him no profit, viceroy's palace. and his loud tones soon attracted the notice of Mas. The viceregal guards made a faint effort to resist aniello and his companions. They hurried into the the popular current, but they were soon overcome, market-place, and the peasant, now sure of support, and a body of the rioters forcing their way into the ventured to give free scope to his indignation, by viceroy's presence, imperiously demanded not only throwing about the figs, which had been the original the abolition of the obnoxious impost on fruit, but of cause of the dispute, crying out, “ Take these who all other taxes and impositions whatever. Terrified will, our tyrants shall have none of them!" In an by violence, destitute of any force on which he could instant, Masaniello, who stood by his side, seized a rely, and perceiving that the popular excitement bunch of figs, and flinging it violently into Nau- increased every hour, the Duke of Arcos readily asclerio's face, exclaimed, “ Let them take this at the sented to every demand ; but his compliance did not least !" This was the signal for a general riot, allay the tumult, the mob began to destroy his most missiles of every description were fung at the tax valuable furniture, and did not abstain from personal gatherers and their attendants, one act of violence violence. He attempted to escape in a coach, but led to another, the toll-bars were torn down, the was detected, abused, threatened and struck; by booths of the collectors burned, and in a very few Ainging money among the mob, he diverted their minutes the market-place was at the mercy of an in- attention for a moment, and while they were eagerly furiate populace. Masaniello seized the opportunity engaged in a scramble, he succeeded in making his of addressing his companions, indignation prompted escape. his eloquence, and though he had no advantages of After his departure, the moo proclaimed Masaniello education, his harangue was one well calculated to “ Captain General of the faithful people of Naples," ensure the support of the mob. He pointed out to his he who had been an humble fisherman in the morning, hearers the dangers they had already incurred by was an absolute sovereign ere the night closed in. He provoking the vengeance of the Spaniards, he declared nominated a council composed of the lowest and most that this was the crisis of their country's fate, he infamous of the rioters, but, in the true spirit of a conjured them to stand by him, and promised in the low democrat, Aushed by temporary power, he did strongest terms a redress of all the grievances of not permit his fellow rebels to deliberate on his which they had to complain.

orders ; indeed he would scarcely deign to listen to Such, indeed, are the topics always used by 'a their advice demagogue to inflame a multitude; but Masaniello Even at this early stage of the revolution, symptoms was not an orator who traded on excitement, it was were perceptible of the insanity to which Masaniello a mere accident which elevated him to be the author ultimately fell a victim, and which was necessarily and leader of a movement. But his career fully ripened by the excitement of the strange circumproved the perils that arise from stimulating the pas stances in which he found himself placed. He sions of the ignorant, and added one to the many made the tower of the Carmelites his head-quarters, proofs which history affords of the impossibility of and there, while his council talked rather than delibe. correcting evils by an appeal to physical force, with rated, he stood in moody silence, warming his hands out producing calamities infinitely greater than the over a chafing-dish of coals. The only answer he oppressions which led to the insurrection.

made to repeated inquiries was, “ I feel a burning and Goaded onwards by the fiery harangue of Masani- a heaviness as if my brain were overflowed by molten ello, the mob rushed from the market-place; some lead; but the Blessed Virgin and the Holy Saints armed themselves with their ordinary implements of appear to me every night, and promise me their assistindustry, others broke open the shops of the gun ance and protection. I have promised freedom to the smiths and seized the weapons they contained ; the people and they shall be free, yes I promise it, I swear houses of the farmers of taxes were broken open, it, they shall be free.” This and similar broken shots were fired into the houses of persons supposed speeches were uttered with maniac vehemence, which to be favourable to the Spaniards, and many took the made them pass with his deluded votaries for words opportunity of revenging private quarrels under pre- of inspiration. They unhesitatingly obeyed his tence of zeal for the public cause. At first the insur-orders to break open all the prisons, and liberate the gents abstained from plunder, but in this as in count-captives; they massacred the few inhabitants who less other instances, the vehemence of patriotism was ventured to resist, and they set fire to the mansions of soon unable to restrain the lust of pillage ; the women several obnoxious individuals. One of the houses who had joined the rioters, gave the example of which became the prey of the incendiaries, contained pilfering, which soon extended into a regular system of a large quantity of gun-powder, it was blown up, robbery.

and eighty seven persons lost their lives. Sunday As yet the insurgents had no acknowledged leader ; night was spent - sleeplessly by the population of like all vulgar rioters they wished to have a member Naples; the flames of burning houses lighted every of the aristocracy, and accidentally meeting the Prince quarter of the city; the shrieks of the wounded and of Bisignano, they compelled him to act as their chief. the lamentations of the relatives of the slain were But though the Neapolitan nobles were justly indig-heard in every street, save where the imperious insurnant at the tyranny of the Spanish viceroy, they were gents forcibly compelled silence. too wise to countenance the outbreak of the populace;


HISTORY OF THE OLIVE TREE, AND THE points of resemblance are not sufficiently well marked MODE OF PREPARING THE OIL.

to justify the comparison of an Olive-grove with an

ozier-holt. It is true that both trees are of about No. I

equal height, and have the under surface of their leaves of a lighter colour than the upper, which is very beautiful when their branches are turned or lifted by the wind. The cultivated Olive, too, is pollarded or deprived of some of its branches in order to develop the young wood; but as the fruit is the object and not merely the wood, as is the case with the willow, its branches are never destroyed year after year, and, consequently, it never has the unsightly appearance that that tree has when deprived of all its foliage. The poet Virgil contrasts the Olive with the willow. Making a shepherd praise one man at the expense of another, he says, “You are as much superior to him, as the dusky willow yields in beauty to the pale Olive." But it has charms superior, not only to the willow, but to most other trees. If the eye is not attracted towards it at first by any striking beauty, there are few natural objects that improve so much upon acquaintance. The more you see it, the more its graceful form and quiet beauty wins your admiration. It appears to greatest advantage in rocky situations,

in the country round Athens for example, where an Tae Olive-tree (Olea Europæa,) came originally from absence of general vegetation, during the warmer Asia, and grows abundantly about Aleppo and Leba- months, produces a beautiful contrast between the

It is naturalized in many parts of Southern naked and burning rocks and the luxurious OliveEurope, being found in woods and hedges, and in groves of the lower lands. A more beautiful scene this wild state produces a small fruit of no value. can hardly be imagined than that from the Acropolis, When cultivated, however, it becomes one of the a rocky fortress that rises abruptly on the south side richest productions of the South.

of the city: standing within the portico of its ParIt is an evergreen tree, with thick and leathery leaves, thenon, you look down upon Mars' Hill, where St. well calculated to resist the action of water, as they Paul declared unto the superstitious Greeks the unonce did for the space of two hundred and seventy-one known God whom they ignorantly worshipped; beyond days; the period that elapsed from the day on which is the scarcely less famous pulpit of Themistocles, “the fountains of the great deep were broken up," but it is to the plain to which the eye flies for relief, until the evening when the dove came in to Noah, for“and lo! in her mouth was an Olive-leaf pluckt off.”

See there the Olive-grove of Academe And ever since, in all ages and countries, wherever

Plato's retirement. this tree is known, has its branch been the favourite Previous to the late revolution, this grove

extended emblem of peace.

The same chapter of Genesis also from the walls of the city to the sea; but during the illustrates the locality of the Olive. The ark had rested war, 20,000 trees were burnt, and many an old tree on Mount Ararat one hundred and fourteen days, and may now be seen reduced to charcoal on one side, the tops of the mountains had been seen forty days, yet retaining its vitality on the other. The annexed yet when Noah sent forth the dove the first time, it figure represents one that had actually been burnt returned, finding "no rest for the sole of her foot;" into two separate trees, resting against each other for and it was not until seven more days had passed mutual support, yet loaded with fruit at the time the that the waters had retired from the plains, valleys, sketch was taken.

Some of these were purposely and rocky ravines where the dove is accustomed to destroyed by the enemy, and some were cut for fireseek its food, and in which the Olive delights to grow. wood. The facility with which this tree takes fire, The flowers are delicately small and white, are very

even when standing in the green state, was not numerous, and fall off in showers when the tree is unknown to the ancients, and is thus noticed by shaken; so Eliphaz, upbraiding Job for his sins and Virgil :misfortunes, and alluding to the loss of his children, Sparkling fire from hind's unwary hands says, “ The wicked man shall shake off his unripe

Is often scattered o'er their unctuous rinds, grape as the vine, and shall cast off his flower as the

And after spread abroad by raging winds : Olive.” (Job xv. 33.) The oval fruit has a delicate

For first the smould'ring flame the trunk receives,

Ascending thence, it crackles in the leaves, light-blue bloom upon it, but when this is rubbed off, At length victorious to the top aspires, is of a deep purple colour, shines, and has lost its Involving all the wood in smoky fires. beauty.

DRYDEN's Virg. Georgics. II. To an English eye this tree has, at first sight, no Since the peace, many thousand trees have been striking characteristic of beauty. Its height, which destroyed by floods. Drainage has been neglected, rarely exceeds thirty feet, creates no idea of grandeur, and the water stood for months upon the roots, and which in countries like England, that abound with eventually killed the trees. A burning sun acting lofty forest trees, is considered one of, if not the chief, upon this mass of decayed vegetable matter, generated element of beauty in trees. Again, it has a most one of the most dreadful fevers that ever visited sober hue that ill agrees with our preconceived notions Athens. It paralysed the whole population; for of the golden tints of southern foliage; hence those, two seasons there was scarcely an indication of exerwho in the rapidity of travelling glance at it with a

tion to cultivate the soil. In the suburbs, where careless eye, are generally disappointed, and hence it scraps of land are generally so precious, there were is almost universally compared with our own willow. no gardens ; a few fig-trees and a solitary palm, Suuthey speaks of its "willowy foliage," but the which the war had spared, were almost the only

[ocr errors]

remnants of former industry : but the Government, in allusion to the above fable, Minerva was represented 1835, had succeeded in draining the whole of the standing in a very graceful attitude, resting her neighbouring country, and the Olive-grove of Athens right hand upon her young Olive-tree. It was found was rapidly recovering from its losses by fire and water. in that island, and was in the possession of Signor

A volume might be written upon the historical Marco Zavd, an Ithacan merchant of noble family, associations of the Olive. It is frequently mentioned whose house is ever open to English travellers, and in the Bible both in its cultivated and wild state. as there is no hotel in the island, his hospitality is The promised land abounded with Olives, it was "a not infrequently taxed. The figure is an enlarged land of Oil, olive, and honey.” It was cultivated by representation of an impression from the scal. kings as well as by their subjects. David set officers over his “Olive-trees in the low plains," "and over the cellars of oil.” (1 Chron. xxvii. 28.) To be deprived of it, was one of the temporal punishments of the disobedient Israelites. « Thou shalt have Olivetrees throughout all thy coast, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil: for thine Olive shall cast bis fruit." (Deut. xxviii. 40.) And Samuel, speaking of the oppressions of a king, says, “ He will take your Olive-yards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.” (1 Sam. viii. 14.)

We can trace the custom of using Olive-oil in religious ceremonies to the highest antiquity. _Jacob poured it upon the pillar that he set up in Beth-el. (Gen. xxviii. 18.) The holy anointing oil of the temple was Olive-oil, scented with myrrh, cinnamon, sweet calamus and cassia. The Mount of Olives is consecrated to us by the

As sacred history made the Olive emblematic of holiest associations. At the foot of the Mount, over peace, so, from its great value to man, has it been the brook Cedron, is the Garden of Gethsemane, universally considered the symbol of plenty. As and according to Major Skinner, one of the latest such we find it on the coins of those countries of travellers in the East, it abounds at the present day which it is not a native ; our own Britannia holds with exceedingly old Olive-trees. To this garden, “ Je in her right hand the Olive-branch of peace and plenty. sus ofttimes resorted with his disciples." It was the Scarcely an ancient custom existed in Greece scene of his prayer, of his agony, and betrayal. In one

with which we do not find this tree, in some way, of her beautiful sonnets, Mrs. Hemans has adverted associated. The wild Olive was never used on these to the awful circumstances connected with this spot. occasions, but there were plantations sacred to their The palm—the vine—the cedar-each hath power

religious rites and festivities; and it was sacrilege to To did fair oriental shapes glance by,

use them for any other purpose. A law existed, “ if And each quick glistening of the laurel bower

any one plucks up the sacred Olive-trees at Athens, Wafts Grecian images o'er fancy's eye:

beside the two yearly allowed at the public festivals But thou, pale Olive! in thy branches lie

and funerals, he shall pay one hundred drachms Far deeper spells than prophet-grove of old

(31. 4s. 7d.,) for every one unlawfully pulled up, the Might e'er enshrine :-I could not hear thee sigh To the wind's faintest whisper, nor behold

tenth part of which fine shall be due to Minerva.” One shiver of thy leaves dim silvery green,

The victors at the Olympic games were crowned Without high thoughts and solemn, of that scene with wreaths of a peculiar variety of the Olive, which When, in the Garden, the Redeemer prayed

was brought by Hercules (so fable will have it,) from When pale stars looked upon his fainting head, the Scythians, and planted near Olympia, where it And angels ministering in silent dread

flourished. It was called Callistephanos, that is, fit Trembled, perchance, within thy trembling shade.

for crowns ; and it was forbidden, under a great This tree was a great favourite with the ancient penalty, to cut it for any other use. Games, similar Greeks. They held it in such esteem, that the Athe- to these were revived at Athens in 1835, and Otho, nians imagined that Minerva, the patron goddess of the amiable young King of Greece, crowned the their city, created it peculiarly for them :-a super-victors with wreaths of Olives. stition which arose from the crafty policy so eminently In all festivals in which Minerva was concerned, characteristic of their nation. In the time of The we find the Olive used as believed to be most accept-, mistocles, some of the nobles, for the purpose of able to her. At the lesser Panathenæa, an Athenian opposing his views, which were directed towards festival in honour of her, the conqueror at the games making them a maritime and warlike nation, and to then held, was rewarded with a vessel of Olive-oil, induce the ignorant multitude to turn their attention which he was permitted to dispose of how and where more to agriculture, invented the fable of a conten- he pleased, whereas it was unlawful for any other to tion between Minerva and Neptune for the honour transport that commodity : further, he received a of protecting the city of Athens. The assembly of crown of those Olives which grew in the Academy the gods promised the preference to whichever of and were sacred to Minerva. the two gave the most necessary and useful present At their marriages every part of the bridegroom s, to the inhabitants of the earth. Neptune, upon this, house, and more particularly the door, was decorated struck the ground with his trident, and immediately with flowers and boughs upon the nuptial day. Plua horse issued from the earth. Minerva produced tarch says that the Olive was more particularly used the Olive, and obtained the victory by the unanimous for this purpose. The same custom is seen, at the voice of the gods, who observed, that the Olive, present day, both in private and public rejoicings. which is the emblem of peace, is far preferable to When the king of Bavaria, the father of Otho the the horse, which is the symbol of war and blood- First, paid a visit to his son, there was scarcely a doorshed. When in the island of Teaki, the ancient post in the streets of Athens through which he passed Ithaca, the writer saw an antique seal upon which, in that was not covered with myrtle and Olive-boughs.


At the ancient funerals the body, after being washed | EASY LESSONS ON CHRISTIAN EVIDENCES. was anointed with Olive-oil; cups of oil, together

No. XIV. with incense, were thrown upon the burning pile,

MODERN Jews. Part II. and the priests at the end of the ceremony ..dipped an Olive-branch in holy dew,

It is likely that when Jerusalem and its Temple Which thrice he sprinkled round; and thrice aloud were destroyed, several of the Jews who had till then Invoked the dead, and then dismissed the crowd.

rejected the Gospel, may have been at length conIt was a privilege of the citizens to use the oil in verted, by the strong additional evidence which was the schools of exercise, for one of the laws relating thus afforded. They saw the heavy judgment that to these schools was, that “no slave shall presume fell on their nation, and that it was such as to make to anoint.” In the ancient baths there was a room the observance of their law impossible. They saw, for the purpose of anointing with oil, to close the also, that the event agreed with what Jesus had prepores of the body after the use of the hot baths, and dicted forty years before. And they saw, too, that to prevent the skin from becoming rough after the those of his followers who had been living in Jeruwater was dried off. Pliny says that, at the time of

salem, had been enabled to escape destruction by folthe Trojan war, they had no better unguent than lowing his directions, and feeing to the mountains common olive oil perfumed with odoriferous herbs, as soon as they saw Jerusalem encompassed by an especially roses. It was considered effeminate for

army. It is, therefore, likely that several may have the men to use even this, and, at a much later period, been led by this additional evidence to embrace the the Greek virgins were not allowed to anoint them Christian faith. But of this we have no records; as selves with any odorous unguent, but used simple the book of Acts takes in only an earlier period. olive oil. Minerva and Diana are represented as And in that book we have no particulars of the numrejecting perfumed oils. Solon made a law that “no bers of those Jews who were converted; thongh it man shall sell perfumes;" but Socrates was of opinion appears they must have amounted to many thouthat it was decent enough for women to smell of sands, indeed, many myriads; that is, tens of thouperfumed unguents, but that men should rather smell

sands; as is said in the original Greek of Acts xxi. 20. of oil, an opinion which the modern Greeks seem But still these made but a small portion only of that very generally to have retained, and actual contact is great nation. And as the Jewish Christians would unnecessary to detect their partiality for it.

soon become mingled with the Gentile Christians, The Olive-tree was scarcely less a favourite with the and cease to be a separate people, hence, all those Romans, although it was not held in the same sacred who are known as Jews at this day, are the descendlight as amongst the Greeks; the ivy and the vine ants of those who rejected the Gospel. in some measure superseding its use. Their garden They are computed to amount, at the present time, god, however, was adorned with it; this god, usually notwithstanding the prodigious slaughter of them, at cut out of the trunk of some old tree, was crowned the taking of their city, and on several other occasions, with various wreaths peculiar to each season. In to no less a number than 4,800,000, scattered through spring, it was decorated with flowers, with corn in various parts of the world; everywhere mixing summer, with the vine in autumn, and with the Olive and trading with other nations; but everywhere in winter, the most appropriate season for it, as at any kept distinct from them by their peculiar faith and other period either the flowers or fruit would be religious observances. And everywhere they preserve destroyed. In a poem ascribed to Catullus, this and read with the utmost reverence their sacred rustic god is represented as saying-

books which foretell the coming of the Messiah, or Soon as the vernal season smiles,

Christ, at a time which (by their own computations) I'm gaily crowned with flowery spoils ;

is long since past, namely, about the time when Jesus But yellow wreaths of ripened corn, 'Mid summer heat, my brows adorn ;

did appear. Their books foretell, also, such judgments The luscious vine's thick branches spread

as their nation is suffering; and foretell, too, what is In blushing autumn round my head;

most remarkable, that notwithstanding all this they And, when cold blows the wintry winds,

shall still remain a separate people, unmixed with the My temples pale-green Olive binds.

other nations. The Romans, ever superstitious, were in notning You should observe, too, that these prophecies are more so than the uses to which they religiously applied such as no one would ever have made by guess. certain woods, some of which they called “ fortunate,". Nothing could have been more unlikely than the others“unfortunate.” When they burnt anything bad events which have befallen the Jewish nation. Nothing or ill-omened, they made use of such unfortunate like them has ever been foretold of any other nation; trees that were under the protection of the infernal or has ever happened to any other. There are, ingods, as the holly and all kinds of thorny shrubs ; on deed, many cases recorded in history, of one nation the other hand, the Olive, fig, pear, and apple trees, conquering another, and either driving them out of and the vine, and many other trees, that were valuable the country, or keeping them in subjection. But in for their productions, they used on joyous and all these cases, the conquered people who have lost fortunate events. The wild Olive, as being unpro their country, either settle themselves in some other ductive and useless, was classed with the former, and land, or if they are wholly dispersed, generally the cultivated with the latter.

become gradually mixed and blended with other The oil was more used in their toilet than in that nations; as, for example, the Britons and Saxons, and of the Greeks. Catullus, accusing some luxurious Latin Danes and Normans, have been mixed up into one youth of effeminacy, says, that his couch was “fragrant people in England. with chaplets of flowers and perfumed with the Syrian The only people who at all resemble the Jews in Olive oil.” Any one would suppose that oil of a having been widely dispersed and yet remaining dissuperior quality was, at that period, an article of tinct, are the people commonly called Gipsies, and commerce between Syria and Italy; but any rich whose proper name is Zinganies, Jinganies. It has odour was termed Syrian with the Romans, and in been made out that they are an East-Indian nation, this case with great propriety, as the Olive came speaking a Hindoo dialect. And they are widely originally from that part of Asia.

scattered through the world, keeping up their language and some customs of their own, in all the countries

« PoprzedniaDalej »