תמונות בעמוד

the swing wheel turns in an hard ruby, not for ornament but from neceflity; these stones in fome measure supplying the place of oil, which is usually applied to clocks, to leflen the friction ; but as part of the oil gradually hardens and becomes solid, thereby causing irregularities in the movement, the best way was to get rid of it in such parts of the machinery as are most liable to be affected by its variation or cohesion. This was the primary motive for fubftiiuring rubies; and it is doubtless in conís. quence of this, and oiher judicious alterations, such as cyclo. idal cheeks, that Mr. Arnold's time-keepers are so much fuperior to those of other artists. It has been found that agates are much too soft to answer the purpose of rubies; it is however to be wilhed, that something less costly could be found out to anfwer this purpose, and inake the discovery more generally useful.

When I see, says M. Maver, that in the course of a year, Mr. Arnold's clock will vary no more than 3 or 4 seconds, my expe&tations are raised, my pleasure is extreme; hereby astronomers will have opportunities of discovering fome still unknown irregularities in the diurnal rotation of the earth round her axis, in whatever situation it may be through the whole year, at each distance from the sun.

It is greatly to be lamented, says the Translator, that the few observatorics in Europe are not better provided with time-keepers, and instruments of the most exact construction. There are still many material points in astronomy to be retiled, and irregularities among the celestial bodies whose causes are yet undircovered, which probably might be investigated if greater exactness was employed in the observations. The variation of the places of several of the fixed stars, and the difference between the computed and observed longitudes of the moon and planets, notwithstanding the late improvements, make this more than conjectural; and it is much to be regretted, that astronomers have it not in their power to make farther and more accurate attempts, by being better provided with instruments. To furnish such additional encouragements to science, is beyond the ability of moft private persons; but, when considered as a national expence, it is of all concerns the most triling. Unfortunately the examples of our gracious Sovereign, and the Bavarian Elector, are more admired than imitated.

You well know, says M. Mayer, that, according to the experiments hitherto made, a change of 20 degrees in Reaumur's Thermometer makes an alteration of nearly 16 seconds in the daily going of common pendulum clocks; but in this, such alteration from the ift of September, to the soth of December, amounted only to 1", 119; and yet this was the greatest error that happened in 131 days: a thing almost incredible, and which does the highest honor to the English artist, Arnold!

ART. W-dGie

Sanne on the preseding art.

ART. VII. Continuation of the Account of Mfr. Gibbon's Hi/?ory of

obe Decline and Fail of the Roman Empire. M H E twenty-seventh chapter of this History (the first of

Vol. 3d.) opens with an account of the character and conduct of the Emperor Gratian, whose fame, before he had accomplithed the twentieth year of his age, was equal, Mr. Gibben observes, to that of the most celebrated princis. His gentle and amiable disposition endeared him to his private friends, the graceful affability of his manners engaged the affection of the people: men of letters, who enjoyed the liberality, acknowledged the taste and eloquence of their lovereign ; his valour and dexterity in arms were equally applauded by the foldiers; and the cle;gy confidered the humble piety of Gracian as the firit and most useful of his virtues.

• The vi&o:y of Colmar, continu's our fliforjan, had delivered the West from a formidable invarinn; and the grateful provinces of the East ascribed the merits of Theodotius, to the au:hor of his greatpels, and of the public safety. Gratian survived those memorable events only four or five years; but he survived his reputation ; and, before he tell a victim to rebellion, he had lost, in a great mealare, the respect and confidence or the koman world.

• The remarkable alteration of his character or conduer, may not be imputed to the aris of fattery, which had besieged the son of Valentinian from his infancy; nor to the head trong pallions which that gentle youth appears to have elcaped. A more attentive view of the life of Gratian, may perhaps suggest the true cause of the dir. appointment of the putlic hopes. His apparent virtues, insiead of being the hardy productions of experience and adversity, were the premature and artificial fruits of a royal education. The anxious tenderness of his father was continually employed to bellow on him those advantages, which he might perhaps ellcem the more highly, as he himself had been deprived of them; and the most skilful masters of every science, and of every art, had laboured to form the mind and body of the young prince. The knowledge which they painfully communicated was displayed with ottentation, and celebrated with lavish praise. His fofi and tractable disposition re. ceived the fair impression of their judicious precepts, and one ab. fence of paflion might easily be miltaken for the ftrength of reason. His preceptors gradually rose to the rank and consequence o mini. fters of state ; and, as they wisely diffembled their faciet authority, he seemed to act with firmness, with propriety, and with judgment, on the moft important occasions of his life and reign. But the influence of this elaborate inttruction did not penetrate beyond the sus. face; and the skilful preceptors, who lo ac urately guided the Iteps of their royal pupil, could not infuse into his feeble and indolent character, the vigorous and independent principle of action, which renders the laborious pursuit of glory effentially necessary to the happioess, and almost to the existence, of the hero. As soon as rime and accident had removed those faithful counsellors from the chronc, the emperor of the West inseofbly descended to the level


of his natural genius; abandoned the reins of government to the ambitious hands which were stretched forwards to grasp them; and amused his leisure with the most frivolous gratifications. A public sale of favour and injustice was instituted, both in the court, and in the provinces, by the worthless delegates of his power, whose merit, it was made sacrilege to question. The conscience of the credulous prince was directed by saints and bishops; who procured an Imperial edict to punih, as a capital offence, the violation, the negleët, or even the ignorance, of the divine law. Among the various arts which had exercised the youth of Gratian, he had applied himself, with fingular inclination and success, to manage the horse, to draw the bow, and to dart the javelin ; and these qualifications, which might be useful to a soldier, were proitituted to the viler purposes of hunt. ing. Large parks were inclosed for the Imperial pleasures, and plen. cifully stocked with every species of wild beasts; and Gratian neglected the duties, and even the dignity, of his raok, to consume whole days in che vain display of his dexterity and boldness in the chace. The pride and wish of the Roman emperor to excel in an art, in which he might be surpassed by the meanest of his faves, reminded the nume. sous fpe&tators of the examples of Nero and Commodus: but the chaite and temperate Gratian was a ftranger to their monftrous vices: and his hands were stained only with the blood of animals.

The behaviour of Gratian, which degraded his character in the eyes of mankind, could not have difturbed the security of his reign, if the army had not been provoked to refent their peculiar injuries. As long as che young emperor was guided by the inftructions of his malers, he profeffed himself the frieod and pupil of the soldiers ; many of his hours were spent in the familiar conversation of the camp; and the health, the comforts, the rewards, the honours, of his faithful troops, appeared to be the object of his attentive concern. But, after Gratian more freely indulged his prevailing taste for hunte ing and shooting, be naturally connected himself with the most dex. terous minifters of his favourite amusement. A body of the Alani was received into the military and domestic service of the palace ; and the admirable skill, which they were accustomed to display in the unbounded plains of Scythia, was exercised, on a more parrow theatre, in the parks and inclosures of Gaul, Gratian admired the talents and customs of these favourite guards, to whom alone he entrusted the defence of bis person; and, as if he meant to insult the public opinion, he frequently thewed himself to the foldiers and people, with the dress and arms, the long bow, the founding quiver, and the fur garments, of a Scythian warrior. The unworthy spectacle of a Roman prince, who had renounced the dress and manners of his country, filled the minds of the legions with grief and indignation. Even the Germans, so strong and formidable in the armies of the empire, affected to disdain the strange and horrid appearance of the savages of the North, who, in the space of a few years, had wandered from the banks of the Volga to those of the Seine. A loud and licencious murmur was echoed through the camps and garrisons of the Welt; and as the mild indolence of Gratian neglected to extinguish the first fymptoms of difcontent, the want of love and respect was not supplied by the influence of fear. But the subvertion of an established government is always a


work of some real, and of much apparent, dificulty; and the throne of Gratian was protected by the sanctions of custom, law, religion, and the nice balance of the civil and military powers, which had been establithed by the policy of Conftantine. It is not very important to inquire from what causes the revolt of Britain was produced. Accident is commonly the parent of disorder; the feeds of rebellion happened to fall on a soil which was supposed to be more fruitful than any other in tyrants and usurpers ; the legions of char sequeltered island had been long famous for a spirit of presumption and arrogance; and the name of Maximus was proclaimed by the tu. multuary, but unanimous voice, both of the soldiers and of the provincials. The emperor, or the rebel, for his title was not yet ascertained by fortune, was a native of Spain, the countryman, the fellow-foldier, and the rival of Theodolius, whose elevation he had not seen without some emotions of envy and relepiment: the events of his life had long since fixed him in Britain ; and I should not be onwilling to find some evidence for the marriage, which he is said to have contraded with the daughter of a wealthy lord of Caernarvonshire. But this provincial rank might justly be considered as a ftare of exile and obscurity ; and if Maximus had obtained any civil or military office, he was not invelled with the authority either of governor or general. His abilities, and even his integrity, are acknowledged by the partial writers of the age; and the merit mult indeed have been conspicuous, that could extort such a confession in favour of the vanquished enemy of Theodofius. The discontent of Maximus might incline bim to censure the conduct of his sovereign, and to encourage, perhaps, without any views of ambition, the murmurs of the troops. But in the midit of the tumult, he artfully, or modestly, refused to ascend the throne ; and some credit appears to have been given to his own poltive declaration, that he was compelled to accept The dangerous prefent of the Imperial purple.

In the remaining part of this chapter we have an account of the death of Gratian, the ruin of Arianism, the first civil war against Maximus, the character, administration, and penance of Theodofius, the death of Valentinian the second, the second civil war, against Eugenius, and the death of 'Theodofius.

The final destruction of paganism, and the introduction of the worship of saints and relics, among Christians, are the subjects of the twenty-eighth chapter. Mr. Gibbon introduces it with observing that the Christians, more especially the clergy, had impatiently supported the prudent delays of Constantine, and the equal toleration of the elder Valentinian, and that they could not deem their conquest perfect or secure, as long as their adversaries were permitted to exist. The influence, which Ambrose and his brethren had acquired over the youth of Gratian, and the piety of Theodosius, was employed to infuse the maxims of persecution into the breasts of their Imperial profelytes. Two specious principles of religious jurisprudence were established, we are told, from whence they deduced a di

rect sect and rigorous conclusion, against the subjects of the empire, who still adhered to the ceremonies of their ancestors; that the magistrate is, in some measure, guilty of the crimes which he neglects to prohibit, or to punilh; and that the idolatrous worthip of fabulous deities, and real dæmons, is the molt abominable crime against the supreme majelty of the Creator. The laws of Moses, and the examples of Jewish history, were har. tily, perhaps erroneously, (Mr. Gibbon says) applied by the clergy, to the mild and universal reign of Christianity. The zeal of the emperors was excited to vindicate their own honour, and that of the Deity: and the temples of the Roman world were subverted, about fixty years after the conversion of Conftantine.

The philofophic reader will bave peculiar fatisfaction in an attentive perusal of this chapter. The historian's general reflections tew evidently that he has a clear and comprehensive view of his subject, and afford striking proofs of his fagacity and discernment.

The twenty-ninth chapter contains an account of the final division of the Roman empire between the sons of Theodosius, of the reign of Arcadius and Honorius, the administration of Rufinus and Stilicho, the revolt and defeat of Gildo in Africa.

The revolt of the Goths, the two great invasions of Italy by Alaric and Radagaisus, the usurpation of Constantine in the Weft, the difgrace and death of Stilicho, are the subjects of the thirtieth"chapter.-In the thirty-first, we have an interesting and original picture of the manners of Rome from Ammianus Marcellinus, who prudently chose the capital of the empire, as the residence the best adapted to the historian of his own times, and who has mixed with the narrative of public events, a lively representation of the scenes with which he was familiarly conversant. The judicious reader, Mr. Gibbon observes, will not always approve the asperity of censure, the choice of circumstances, or the style of expression ; he will perhaps detect the latent prejudices, and personal resentments, which soured the temper of Ammianus himself; but he will surely observe, with philosophic curiosity, the striking picture of the manners of Rome.

Our historian explains, in a note, the liberties he has taken with the text of Ammianus—he has melted down into one piece the fixth chapter of the fourteenth, and the fourth of the twenty-eighth book-he has given order and connexion to the confused mass of materials - he has softened fome extravagant hyperboles, and pared away some superfiuities of the originalhe has developed some observations which were insinuated, rather than expresled. With these allowances, his version will be found, he thinks, not literal indeed, but faithful and exact.

and originesh chapter, and death Curpa

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