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hand, and every eye is fixed on him as he turns over the leaves; but he returns it also into the casket with a sorrowful look, and Faustinius covers it with the veil.-In the same moment, a dreadful clap of thunder was followed by a sudden shuddering of the earth, and the doors of the capitol were closed with tremendous violence by a blast of cold and furious wind. The multitude, horror-struck by the thunder and the earthquake, fled in all directions; and the senators, priests, augurs, and vestal virgins, no less terrified, came rushing from the doors and windows, and precipitated themselves down the steps as if driven out of the building by some avenging demon. It was soon known, that, although this was but the effect of fear, inspired by the convulsions of Nature, the prophetic wisdom of the Sibylline books offered no consolation to the public despair. The report indeed is, that they are all blank, the writing having entirely vanished from the pages, and this the Christians suppose indicates, that the end of the world is come; while the idolators consider it as the evidence of the Gods having abandoned the protection of Rome."
"You see," said Egeria," that it is a very curious book, and may aspire to be ranked with those works of which the authors display at least some research and reading."
"The description of the last day of the Roman sovereignty is sketched as for a painting. I should not be surprised were Balshazzar Martin to take it up.”
THE LAST DAY OF THE ROMANS.
"Odoacer has acted with more moderation than was expected from the fierceness of his character. He has spared the life of Augustulus, the young emperor; but has confined him for the present to the castle of Lucul
kanum, after, however, stripping him of all the imperial insignia.
"He entered the city last night, and has taken possession of the palace. A vague rumour is abroad this morning, that he intends to assume the imperial dignity himself, and will re-assemble the senate. But some doubt the truth of this opinion; alleging, how can he wear the purple but as commander of the Roman armies? Many of the senators have been to the palace, and were received by him with respectful civility; but his conversation related to indifferent topics, and he did not recognise them as possessing any other rank than the common herd of the nobility. This has damped their expectation exceedingly; and they begin to fear that he entertains some undivulged project, fatal to their ancient dignity.
"A great sensation has been excited throughout the city. The heralds of Odoacer, in their garbs of ceremony, attended by a sumptuous retinue of his guards, have gone towards the Capitol. The whole population of Rome is rushing in that direction. It is a fearful crowd; the high-born and the ignoble, the freeman and the slave, all who have part or interest in the fate of the eternal city,—are animated by one sentiment, and press forward to hear the proclamation of Odoacer.
"I obtained by accident a favourable place, on the pedestal of a broken statue, for hearing the heralds. The soldiers lined the stairs ascending to the portico, and they made a gay and glittering appearance; the skies were overcast with masses of black clouds, but a splendid burst of sunshine fell on them, and they shone as it were in glorious contrast to the Romans, who were obscured with the shadows of the clouds. The assembled crowd was prodigious. The whole space around the foot of the hill, and as far as the eye could reach along the streets in every direction, was a mosaic of human faces.
It was an appalling sight to look on such a multitude. It was, as when the waters are out, and the landmarks are flooded, and a wide deluge overspreads the wonted bounds of the river. The slightest simultaneous action of so many thousands seemed, by its own physical mass, capable of treading into dust the conqueror and all his armies; but nothing could more effectually demonstrate the entire extinction of the Roman spirit, than the mercurial fluidity of this enormous multitude.
"Some little time passed before the chief herald was in readiness to read the proclamation. He at first ascended to the portico of the building, seemingly with the intention of reading it there; but, on some observations from the officer who commanded the guard, he returned between the ranks of the soldiers, about half way down the steps. At this moment a loud rushing sound rose from the crowd; and, when he had taken his station, the trumpets sounded a solemn flourish. My eye involuntarily turned towards the capitol, where, for so many ages, the oracle of the Roman people had proclaimed slavery and degradation to the kingdoms of the earth. It was in ruins. The roof, which had not been repaired since it was stripped of its golden covering by Genseric, had fallen in in several places.
"The trumpets ceased; there was a profound silence; and the herald, with a loud voice, proclaimed Odoacer king of Italy, without even mentioning the Roman name. An awful response rose from the multitude. It was not a sigh, nor a murmur, nor a sound like any thing I had ever before heard; but a deep and dreadful sob, as if some mighty life had in that ultimate crisis expired. It subdued the soldiers of Odoacer; and I saw them look at one another and grow pale, as if chilled with supernatural fear. The very flesh crawled on my own bones; and it was with difficulty that my faltering knees sustained me where I stood.
"But this sublime paroxysm did not last long. The soldiers soon recovered their wonted self-possession, and cried out, Long live Odoacer, king of Italy!' to which the crowd, as if suddenly transmuted from the Roman into another character, answered, with a magnificent shout, that reverberated through the empty halls of the Capitol, Odoacer, king of Italy!' Thus was the very name of Rome expunged from the sovereignties of the world; and all her glory, her greatness, and her crimes, reduced to an epitaph."
OUR Bachelor and his Egeria seldom differed in opinion, but when, as such things sometimes happen in the best-regulated families, a discord chanced to disturb the harmony of their conjugal duets,—if the gentleman was ever positively in the right, the lady certainly was rarely in the wrong. The only occasion on which any thing like a durable controversy arose between them, was one evening when, conversing, with their wonted taste and acumen, on the comparative merits of the ancient and modern poets of England, the nymph remarked, that no improvement had been made in our poetical phraseology since the age of Shakspeare, notwithstanding the manifest advancement of the language generally for every other purpose of communication.
"I do not know," said she, "any poet of our own time that, in the music of his numbers, excels Richard Lovelace for example, especially in those effusions which he appears to have written from the immediate impulse of his feelings. Tommy Moore himself has given us nothing more melodious than some of his songs; indeed, the Irish bard, with all his tenderness, is not often so truly impassioned. I wonder that the musical composers, who seem so sadly at a loss for tolerable verses, and who waste so much of their tuneful sweetness on the rancid rhymes of the lamplighting muses of the green-room, never think of applying to those amiable unfortunates, the neglected poets. I am sure that Bishop can find nothing more worthy of his best music than the following pretty little song by Lovelace."
"But although song-writing, particularly of the amatory strain, was, without question, the forte of