Imatges de pÓgina


on in the heart of the city, so that Then take the rose-leaf story. Suptheir sleep might be wholly undis- pose by good luck you were breakfastturbed by noise. . . And a Syba- ing with General Grant, or Pelissier, or rite who had gone to Lacedæmon, and the Duke of Wellington. Suppose you had been invited the public meal, said, " I hope you slept well,” and the after he had sat on their wooden bench- great soldier said, “No, I did not; I es and partaken of their fare, said that think a rose-leaf must have stood up he had been astonished at the fear- edgewise under me." Would you go lessness of the Lacedæmonians when off and say in your book of travels he knew it only by report ; but now that the Americans, or the French, or that he had seen them, he thought that the English are all effeminate pleasurethey did not excel other men, for he seekers, because one of them made this thought that any brave man had much nice little joke? Would you like to rather die than be obliged to live such have the name “ American " go down a life as they did.” Then there is an- to all time, defined as Webster * deother story, among the “miscellaneous fines Sybarite ? anecdotes," of a Sybarite who was

A-MĚR'I-CAN, n. [Fr. Américain, Lat. Americanus, asked if he had slept well. He said, from Lat. America, a continent noted for the efNo, that he believed he had a crum- feminacy and voluptuousness of its inhabitants.]


devoted to luxury and pleasure. pled rose-leaf under him in the night. And there is yet another, of one of Should you think that was quite fair them who said that it made his back for your great-grandson's grandson's ache to see another man digging. descendant in the twenty-seventh re

I have asked. Polly, as I write, to look move to read, who is going to be inin Mark Lemon's Jest-Book for these structed about Queen Victoria and stories. They are not in the index William the Conqueror ? there. But I dare say they are in Cot- Worst of all, and most frequently ton Mather and Jeremy Taylor. Any quoted, is the story of the copperway, they are bits of very cheap Greek. smiths. The Sybarites, it is said, orNow it is on these stories that the dered that the coppersmiths and brassreputation of the Sybarites in modern founders should all reside in one part times appears to depend.

of the city, and bang their respective Now look at them. This Sybarite at metals where the neighbors had volSparta said, that in war death was often untarily chosen to listen to banging. easier than the hardships of life. Well, What if they did ? Does not every is not that true ? Have not thousands manufacturing city practically do the of brave men said it ? When the Eng- same thing? What did Nicholas Tillish and French got themselves estab- linghast use to say to the boys and lished on the wrong side of Sebastopol, girls at Bridgewater ? “The tendency what did that engineer officer of the of cities is to resolve themselves into French say to somebody who came to order." inspect his works?

He was talking Is not Wall Street at this hour a of St. Arnaud, their first commander. street of bankers ? Is not the Boston “ Cunning dog," said he, “he went Pearl Street a street of leather men ? and died.” Death was easier than life. Is not the bridge at Florence given But nobody ever said he was a coward over to jewellers ? Was not my valise, or effeminate because he said this. there, bought in Rome at the street of Why, if Mr. Fields would permit an trunk-makers? Do not all booksellers excursus in twelve numbers here, on like to huddle together as long as they this theme, we would defer Sybaris can? And when Ticknor and Fields to the ist of April, 1868, while we illus- move a few inches from Washington trated the Sybarite's manly epigram, which these stupid Spartans could only Providence they believe in Webster.

* I am writing in Westerly's suggery, and in

I care say gape at, but could not understand.

it is worse in Worcester. A good many things are.

Street to Tremont Street, do not Rus- that whistle, and the fifty other whistles sell and Bates, and Childs and Jenks, of the factories that have since followed and De Vries and Ibarra, follow them its wayward and unlicensed example, I as soon as the shops can be got ready? have wished more than once that we

“But it is the motive,” pipes up the had in Boston a little more of the firm old gray ghost of propriety, who started government of Sybaris. this abuse of the Sybarites in some For if, as it would appear from these stupid Spartan black-broth shop (Eng- instances, Sybaris were a city which lish that for café), two thousand two grew to wealth and strength by the rechundred and twenty-two years ago, ognition of the personal rights of each which ghost I am now belaboring, — "it individual in the state, - if Sybaris were is the motive. The Sybarites moved a republic, where the individual was rethe brass-founders, because they want- spected, had his rights, and was not ed to sleep after the brass-founders left to the average chances of the magot up in the morning.” What if they jority of men, — then Sybaris had found did, you old rat in the arras ? Is out something which no modern city there any law, human or divine, which has found out, and which it is a pity says that at one and the same hour all we have all forgotten. men shall rise from bed in this world ? I do not say that I went through My excellent milkman, Mr. Whit, all this speculation at the Latin school. rises from bed daily at two o'clock. If I got no further there than to see that he does not, my family, including Mat- the Sybarites had got a very bad name, thew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts, will and that the causes did not appear in not have their fresh milk at 7.37, at the Greek Reader. I supposed there which time we breakfast or pretend were causes somewhere, which it was to. But because he rises at two, must not proper to put into the Greek Readwe all rise at two, and sit wretchedly er. Perhaps there were. But if there whining on our respective camp-stools, were, I have never found them, - not waiting for Mr. Whit to arrive with the being indeed very well acquainted with grateful beverage ? Many is the time, the lines of reading in which those who when I have been watching with a wanted to find them should look for sick child at five in a summer morn- them. ing, when the little fellow had just dropped into a grateful morning doze, What I did find of Sybaris, when that I have listened and waited, dread- I could read Greek rather more easily, ing the arrival of the Providence morn- and could get access to some decent ing express. Because I knew that, atlases, was briefly this. a mile and a half out of Boston, the Well forward in the hollow of the engine would begin to blow its shrill arched foot of the boot of Italy, two whistle, for the purpose, I believe, of little rivers run into the Gulf of Tacalling the Boston station-men to their rentum. One was named Crathis, duty. Three or four minutes of that one was named Sybaris. Here stood skre-e-e-e must there be, as that train the ancient city of Sybaris, founded, swept by our end of the town. And about the time of Romulus or Numa hoping and wishing never did any Pompilius, by a colony from Greece. good; the train would come, and the For two hundred years and more, child would wake. Is not that a mag- almost as long, dear Atlantic, as your nificent power for one engine-man to beloved Boston has subsisted, - Sybahave over the morning rest of thirty ris flourished, and was the Rome of thousand sleeping people, because you, that region, ruling it from sea to sea. old Spartan croaker, who can't sleep It was the capital of four states, easy underground it seems, want to a sort of New England, if you will obhave everybody waked up at the same serve, — and could send three hundred hour in the morning. When I hear thousand armed men into the field. - NO. 117.



It re

The walls of the city were six miles in ers from their own property, would be circumference, while the suburbs cov- deprived of the most valuable disciered the banks of the Crathis for a pline.” There is FREE EDUCATION space of seven miles. At last the neigh- for you, two thousand and seventy-six boring state of Crotona, under the lead years before the date of your first Masof Milon the Athlete (he of the calf and sachusetts free school; and the theory ox and split log), the Heenan or John of free education completely stated. Morrissey of his day, vanquished the 4. Deserters or cowards in battle had more refined Sybarites, turned the wa- to sit in women's dresses in the Forum ters of the Crathis upon their prosper

three days. ous city, and destroyed it. But the 5. With regard to the amendment of Sybarites had had that thing happen laws, any man or woman who moved too often to be discouraged. Five times, one did it with a noose round his neck, say the historians, had Sybaris been de- and was hanged if the people refused it. stroyed, and five times they built it up Only three laws were ever amended, again. This time the Athenians sent therefore, all which are recorded in the ten vessels, with men to help them, history. Observe that the women might under Lampon and Xenocritus. And move amendments, -- and think of the they, with those who stood by the simplicity of legislation ! wreck, gave their new city the name 6. The law provided for cash payof Thurii. Among the new colonists ments, and the government gave no were Herodotus, and Lysias the orator, protection for those who sold on credit. who was then a boy. The spirit that 7. Their communication with other had given Sybaris its comfort and its nations was perfectly free. immense population appeared in the I might give more instances. I should legislation of the new state.

like to tell some of the curious stoceived its laws from CHARONDAS, one ries which illustrate this simple legisof the noblest legislators of the world. lation. Poor Charondas himself fell a Study these laws and you will see that victim to it. One of the laws provided in the young Sybaris the individual had that no man should wear a sword into his rights, which the public preserved the public assembly. No Cromwells for him, though he were wholly in a there! Unfortunately, by accident, minority. There is an evident deter- Charondas wore his own there one day. mination that a man shall live while he Brave fellow! when the fault was pointlives, and that, too, in no sensual inter- ed out, he killed himself with it. pretation of the words.

Now do you wonder that a city where Of the laws made by Charondas for there were no calumniators, no long the new Sybaris a few are preserved. credit, no bills at the grocers, no fight

1. A calumniator was marched round ing at town meetings, no amendments the city in disgrace, crowned with tam- to the laws, no intentional and open arisk. “In consequence,” says the association with profligates, and where Scholiast, “they all left the city.” O everybody was educated by the state to for such a result, from whatever legis- letters, proved a comfortable place to lation, in our modern Pedlingtons, great live in? It is of the old Sybaris that or little !

the coppersmith and the rose-leaf sto2. All persons were forbidden to as- ries are told; and it was the new Syba-: sociate with the bad.

ris that made the laws. But do you not 3. “He made another law, better see that there is one spirit in the whole ? than these, and neglected by the older Here was a nation which believed that legislators. For he enacted that all the the highest work of a nation was to sons of the citizens should be instructed train its people. It did not believe in in letters, the city paying the salaries fight, like Milon or Heenan or the old of the teachers. For he held that the Spartans ; it did not believe in legislapoor, not being able to pay their teach- tion, like Massachusetts and New York; it did not believe in commerce, like ary, that “the whole subject is very obCarthage and England. It believed in scure, and a careful examination still men and women. It respected men much needed ”; in the Cyclopædia, and women. It educated men and wo- that the site of Sybaris is lost. Craven men. It gave their rights to men and saw the rivers Crathis and Sybaris. women. And so the Spartans called He seems not to have seen the wall them effeminate. And the Greek Read- of Sybaris, which he supposed to be er made fun of them. But perhaps under water. He does say of Cassano, the people who lived there were indif- the nearest town he came to, that “no ferent to the opinions of the Spar- other spot can boast of such advantatans and of the Greek Reader. Herod- ges.” In short, no man living who has otus lived there till he died ; wrote his written any book about it dares say history there, among other things. Ly- that anybody has looked upon the cersias, the orator, took part in the ad- tain site of Sybaris for more than a ministration. It is not from them, you hundred years.* If a man wanted to may be sure, that you get the an- write a mythical story, where could he ecdotes which ridicule the old city of find a better scene ? Sybaris !

Now is not this a very remarkable You and I would probably be satis- thing? Here was a city, which, under fied with such company as that of He- its two names of Sybaris or of Thurium, rodotus and Charondas and Lysias. So was for centuries the regnant city of all we hunt the history down to see if there that part of the world. It could call may be lodgings to let there this sum- into the field three hundred thousand mer, but only to find that it all pales men, -an army enough larger than Athout in the ignorance of our modern ens ever furnished, or Sparta. It was days. The name gets changed into a far more populous and powerful state Lupiæ ; but there it turns out that Pau- than ever Athens was, or Sparta, or the sanias made “a strange mistake," and whole of Hellas. It invented and carshould have written Copia, — which was ried into effect free popular education, perhaps Cossa, or sometimes Cosa. - a gift to the administration of free Pyrrhus appears, and Hadrian rebuilds government larger than ever Rome something, and the “Oltramontani,” rendered. It received and honored whoever they may have been, ravage it, Charondas, the great practical legislaand finally the Saracens fire and sack tor, from whose laws no man shall say it; and so, in the latest Italian itinerary how much has trickled down into the you can find, there is no post-road goes Code Napoleon or the Revised Statnear it, only a strada rotabile (wheel- utes of New York, through the humble track) upon the hills ; and, alas ! even

* The reader who cares to follow the detail is rethe rotabile gives way at last, and all ferred to Diodorus Siculus, XII. ; Strabo, VI. ; the map will own to is a strada pe- Ælian, V. H. 9, C. 24 ; Athenæus, XII. 518: Plu

tarch in Pelopidas ; Herodotus, V. and VI. Comdonale, or foot-path. But the is


pare Laurent's Geographical Notes, and Wheeler and of the less consequence, when you find Gaissord : Pliny, III, 15, VII. 22, XVI, 33, VIII. that the man who edited it had no later 64, XXXI. 9; Aristotle, Polit. Iv. dates than the beginning of the last Heyne's Opuscula, II. 74: Bentley's Phalaris 367

Solinus, 2, $ 10,"luxuries grossly exaggerated"; century, when the family of Serra had Scyinnus, 337 – 360 ; Aristophanes, Vesp. 1427, 1436 ; transferred the title to Sybaris to a Lycophron, Alex. 1079; Polybius, Gen. Hist

. II. 3, Genoese family without a name, who

on the confederation of Sybaris, Kroton, and Kau

lonia, "a perplexing statement," says Grote, received from it forty thousand ducats "showing that he must have conceived the history yearly, and would have received more, of Sybaris in a very different form from that in

which it is commonly represented "; third volume if their agents had been more faithful.

of De Non, who disagrees with Magnan as to the There the place fades out of history, site of Sybaris and says the sea-shore is uninand you find in your Swinburne, “that habitable i Tuccagni Orlandini, Vol. XI., Supplethe locality has never been thoroughly ment

, p. 294 : besides the dictionaries and books of

travels, including Murray. I have availed myself, examined ”; in your Smith's Diction- without other reference, of most of these authorities.




studies of the Roman jurists. It main- ples, who may write to me, if he choostained in peace, prosperity, happiness, es, addressing Frederic Ingham, Esq., and, as its maligners say, in comfort, an Waterville, N. H. Nor is it anybody's immense population. If they had not business how long I had then been on been as comfortable as they were, — if Garibaldi's staff. From the number of a tenth part of them had received alms his staff-officers who have since visited every year, and a tenth part were flogged me in America, very much in want of in the public schools every year, — if a pair of pantaloons, or a ticket to New one in forty had been sent to prison York, or something with which they every year, as in the happy city which might buy a glass of whiskey, I should publishes the “ Atlantic Monthly,”- think that his staff alone must have then Sybaris, perhaps, would never have made up a much more considerable got its bad name for luxury. Such a army than Naples, or even Sybaris, city lived, flourished, ruled, for hun- ever brought into the field. But where dreds of years. Of such a city all that these men were when I was with him, you know now with certainty is, that its I do not know. I only know that there coin is “the most beautifully finished was but a handful of us then, hardin the cabinets of ancient coinage”; worked fellows, good-natured, and not and that no traveller even pretends to above our work. Of its military details be sure that he has been to the site we knew wretchedly little. But as we of it for more than a hundred years. had no artillery, ignorance was less danThat speaks well for your nineteenth gerous in the chief of artillery ; as we century.

had no maps to draw, poor draughtsNow the reader who has come thus manship did not much embarrass the far will understand that I, having come engineer in chief. For me, I was noththus far, in twenty-odd years since those ing but an aid, and I was glad to do days of teetering on the pea-green set- anything that fell to me as well as I tee, had always kept Sybaris in the knew how. And, as usual in human background of my head, as a problem life, I found that a cool head, a steady to be solved, and an inquiry to be fol- resolve, a concentrated purpose, and lowed to its completion. There could an unselfish readiness to obey, carried hardly have been a man in the world me a great way.

I listened instead better satisfied than I to be the hero of of talking, and thus got a reputation the adventure which I am now about to for knowing a great deal. When the describe.

time to act came, I acted without wait

ing for the wave to recede ; and thus I If the reader remembers anything sprang into many a boat dry-shod, while about Garibaldi's triumphal entry into people who believed in what is popPorto Cavallo in Sicily in the spring of ularly called prudence missed their 1859, he will remember that, between chance, and either lost the boat or fell the months of March and April in that into the water. year, the great chieftain made, in that This is by the way. It was under wretched little fishing haven, a long these circumstances that I received my pause, which was not at the time under- orders, wholly secret and unexpected, stood by the journals or by their military to take a boat at once, pass the straits, critics, and which, indeed, to this hour and cross the Bay of Tarentum, to comhas never been publicly explained. I municate at Gallipoli with no matter suppose I know as much about it as whom. Perhaps I was going to the any man now living. But I am not writ- “ Castle of Otranto.” A hundred years ing Garibaldi's memoirs, nor, indeed, hence anybody who chooses will know. my own, excepting so far as they relate Meanwhile, if there should be a reacto Sybaris ; and it is strictly nobody's tion in Otranto, I do not choose to business to inquire as to that detention, shorten anybody's neck for him. unless it interest the ex-king of Na- Well, it was five in the afternoon,

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