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this warlike people invaded the Roman the bridge are the remains of some buildpossessions, and compelled the conquered ings, which, to any one who has seen emperor to pay tribute to them. Trajan, Italy, are readily recognized as the reon his accession, resolving to avenge this mains of a Roman city. affront, invaded Dacia with such success, The tourist, who descends the Danube, that its chief was forced to sue for peace, may see, between Skela, Gladova and which however was soon broken by a new Widdin, on the Wallachian side, one of revolt. The emperor, indignant at this these arches proudly standing near the want of faith, determined upon a con- Seneria tower—the latter one of those quest which should be final, and consumed majestic monuments which the Romans a year in preparations; the most remark planted in deserts as well as in cities, able of these were the bridge constructed among the mightiest nations and amid the over the Danube by his order, and the most obscure tribes. wall, still so well known, bearing his name. Perhaps nothing is more significant of Nothing could resist this attack. The the character of the conquered people than Dacian chief, seeing his cause utterly lost, the memorials which perpetuate the vicpoisoned himself that he might not fall tory over them. The emperor, Septimius into the hands of his conqueror alive. Severus, erected this tower in rememThe inhabitants either took to flight or brance of their submission; bas-reliefs were exterminated, and Dacia was de- | have also been found at Rome, representclared a Roman province.
ing the Dacians in the very costume still Great rejoicings followed this victory, worn by their descendants in the mountnot only at Rome but in the camp; the sol- | ainous regions where they dwell. These diers celebrated the glory of the emperor trophies of the glory of the conquerors imin military songs called ballettca, accom mortalize no less the valor of the conquerpanied by dancing. From this military ed. The victory must have been hardly term the Italian ballare is derived, and won, which was deemed of so much imfrom this amusement of the old Roman portance by the triumphant Romans. soldiers comes our ballet.
After the conquest, Trajan sent his The bridge over which the Roman le. | legions into the country to repeople it, gions crossed the Danube for the conquest and the present inhabitants, who are desof Dacia, was one of the chef-d'œuvres of ignated under the name of Romans, are the celebrated Damascus architect, Apol- | their descendants. Their language, which lodorus, who some years after immortal- was evidently derived from the Latin, is ized himself by the Trajan column-one a convincing proof; while many of their of the wonders of Rome. It was built of sentiments, habits, and expressions, are inimmense bricks, and the famous Roman contestable evidences. The lapse of cencement which gave such solidity to all turies has not dimmed the remembrance their constructions. This bridge must of their origin, They have never forgotten have been a bold undertaking, and modern that they are the sons of Trajan and children times have few structures comparable with of Rome ; and though they have yielded, it. An examination of its situation con- under the irresistible pressure of circumfirms the fame of the architect's genius, stances, and are still ready to suffer anyshowing that the course of the river must thing, they look forward to a future which have been carefully studied before the shall restore to them the glorious days of selection of the site. It is said to have Stephen and Michael, when they may been supported by twenty-one arches ; | again prove themselves worthy of their but the whole structure was afterward illustrious origin. They have not forgotdestroyed by Adrian, through fear, it is ten the immortal names which are their supposed, of the barbarians,
proudest national boast. Galerius ArIn 1834, the river being very low, sev- mentarius, the herdsman, who sat on the eral of the piers were discovered, which throne of the emperors; Dara, his nephew; had been concealed by the water. At the Constantine the Great; his wife, Faussame time many military relics were also tina; Licinius, who, though born a peasfound in the bed of the river-breast- ant, led forth the Roman armies as a plates, swords, and pieces of money general; and Justinian, as famous as Roproofs of the life and activity which once man law-all of them were natives of peopled these now deserted shores. Near these provinces.
RUINS OF THE BRIDGE OF TRAJAN AND THE TOWER OF SEVERUS.
Their own valor was displayed in many | hausted in these successive attempts to hard-fought battles in their earlier his degrade them. tory; in their defeat of Alexis Commenes, The colonies thus planted by the misand the steady repulse of the Tartars in tress of the world were under the domitheir attempted passage toward Western nion of Roman governors, until two hunEurope. Their brave resistance to the dred and seventy-four years after Christ. Turkish encroachments in later times, During one of the barbarian invasions of claims our admiration : to their unconquer- the country, the inhabitants crossed the able bravery alone they owe their exist mountains and settled in Transylvania, ence; for the division of their territory where they established two important colowas several times arranged by Poland and nies. After several years of exile, two of Hungary. The process by which they their chiefs, assisted by the Hungarians, have been robbed of all their political drove out the Tartar possessors of their rights, and loaded with oppressions till country, and established themselves under they have at last sunk under the weight, the title of Vaivodes, which is still premust now be dismissed with a hasty served by their successors. It was at this glance, though centuries have been ex- | time the division of the provinces was
made; though their manners, language, and avaricious, and by their management and religion, remained the same. Their the provisional government became an ofindependence, however, was short-lived. fice of bargain and sale secured to the One of their vaivodes, or first commanders, highest bidder. Any governor was dismade an unprovoked attack upon a Turk-placed by a larger sum of money ; conseish colony, which had established itself quently, the only aim of this officer was to upon the opposite shore of the Danube. secure his fortune and those of his satelIt resulted in the complete defeat of the lites who were the necessary attendants Wallachians, who were obliged to pay of his suite, in the shortest possible time, tribute to their conquerors. During the With the constant fear of removal before fifteenth century many attempts were made them, they exhausted invention in their to free themselves from the galling yoke endeavors to repay the enormous debts of their oppressors, but it fell more heavily frequently contracted for the purchase of upon them.
the office, and also to amass sufficient Toward the end of the sixteenth cen- treasure for the inevitable displacement tury, a man of obscure birth was raised to which awaited them. The most unheard. the dignity of vaivode. His name was of extortions were practiced upon the Michael, and he was surnamed the Brave; people to pay the bribes of the subordi. a title which history has confirmed. He nates, or buy off the strife of competitors. bound himself by an oath to free his coun- These, perhaps, were the most favorable try from the Turkish oppression ; by an aspects of this monstrous system ; human alliance with the chiefs of Transylvania | life and family ties were often sacrificed and Moldavia he was successful; and to this avarice for riches and power. after five years of successive defeats, the Many a father bought the eagerly-craved conquered sultan was compelled to renounce office with the head of his son; and many his dominion; but the brave Michael was a son paid for his brief enjoyment of assassinated by an Austrian general, and power with the head of his father. with him the stately edifice of national The immediate suffering produced by independence which he had constructed the shameless and cruel extortion of these crumbled to dust. Before the people miserable rulers was one of the least evils had recovered from the consternation into resulting to them. The sentiments of which this calamity had thrown them, the morality were utterly destroyed ; they Turks resumed their sway; and the two were taught, and soon learned the lesson Principalities again becoming tributary well, that perfidy was another name for provinces, sunk into a state of lethargy for ability, cowardice for prudence, dishonmore than a century, during which the esty for foresight; that success was the unhappy population were oppressed by a only test of right. It was easy to persystem of government more fatal than the suade them that integrity and uprightness rapine and devastation of the barbarian were the conventional garbs of wickedinvasions. The conquered provinces were ness, adopted only that it might circulate divided into pashaliks ; and either through with decency in the world. As sometimes contempt of the office, or a remembrance | happens, the evil had the antidote within itof their own unfortunate experiences, they self; it was destroyed by its own excesses. chose as the instruments of their govern- | When vice, grown bold by the inpunity ment the Fanariotes, or descendants of the with which it ventured everywhere, stalked Greeks who remained in Constantinople abroad without the protecting robes which after it was taken by the Turks in 1453. had hitherto concealed its deformity, the The quarter of the city where they re- | people were horrified with its aspect. An sided was called the Fanac; and its resi- army was forbidden, and the two Principaldents were afterward known as Fanaciates. | ities, which had formerly maintained sixty Many of them devoted themselves to the thousand foot soldiers, were left utterly destudy of languages, and by this accom- fenseless. Turkish brigands pillaged and plishment became indispensable as inter- | murdered unnoticed ; entire cities were preters and private secretaries. They evacuated at the approach of their organsoon proved that knowledge is power, and lized bands, the inhabitants flying to the acquired great influence. With it, how- mountains or to Austria to escape death. ever, came the sordid passions which too | The police, (if the word is not too absurd,) often accompany it; they were ambitious | the very refuse of all countries, came forth
from the prisons and mines to be the satel- | nation, the last-born of civilization, profit. lites of the reigning powers; they were ing by the experience of its elders, and its without uniform, order, or discipline ; they own bitter vicissitudes, may come forth were the accomplices of the thieves and purified by its sufferings. The thorough brigands whom they sometimes pretended education of the youthful nobility promises to pursue ; but, as the inhabitants knew well for the future; but at this very day only too well, always without success. the privileged classes are marked with that
During the century of the Fanariote do- | fatal carelessness for the future, which has minion, more than forty of its hospodars resulted from the oriental regime to which were displaced or beheaded. But one died it has so long been subjected. Vo fault peacefully upon the throne which he had | can be found with the elegant and somebought several times over. The sway what theatrical personal decorations of the of this dastardly rule was several times upper classes ; but a glance from the lord interrupted by Russian invasion ; but the of the mansion to the crowd of dirty idlers changes which took place in the fated who surround him—the numerous, but inprovinces seemed always only a change elegant equipages upon which he prides of oppressors. A ray of hope illumined himself- the vast, but dilapidated resitheir dark fate in 1792, when a stipulation dences, reveals the real poverty which was made that the term of a governor or pierces through all the display of luxury. hospodar should be fixed for seven years. You are charmed with the elegant manners In 1821, after a bloody insurrection, the of the master of the house with the talent Porte declared that the Fanariotes were and gracefulness of his wife—the taste and infidels, upon whom the sultan could rely brilliancy of conversation—the ease and no longer; seven native candidates were purity with which European languages are chosen, and from them his highness se- spoken by the family, and you are ready lected Gregoire Ghika for Wallachia, and to assert that more elegance and refineJean Stourza for Moldavia. It was the ment cannot exist in any other country. first breath of independence enjoyed by the But behind the doors of the saloon are a Principalities for more than a century—the crowd of filthy dependents, the halls are first princes of their own nation who had strewn with repulsive and sluggish Bohesat on the throne since the days of Michael mians, who sleep upon the very stairthe Brave. The hopes which sprang up cases; and as you make your way through in this new state of things were destined them, you are forcibly reminded that ihe to almost immediate extinction; for, in civilization which has so much delighted 1828, war was again declared between you, like the precious metal of the counTurkey and Russia; the two provincestry, has not been cleansed from the earthy were occupied by the armies of the czar; | incrustation that obscures its brilliancy. a famine was produced by the immense These brief glances at the transitions to exactions made for its support; a frightful which the Principalities have been subpestilence was brought into the country jected, will alone afford solutions of their by the soldiers, producing dreadful mor- present state. Their past history gives tality; and a winter of almost unparalleled a sufficient explanation of the disproportion severity added its rigors to the already of the population to the extent of the suffering inhabitants.
country, the barrenness existing in the At the close of this war a new era ap- midst of such natural fertility, the want parently dawned upon them. The ancient in the midst of such outward abundance, limits were restored; the governors were the failure of capital still more than of to be chosen for life from their own nation; men, and the foreign importations which the ancient standard again waved over are made notwithstanding its own wealthy native troops, who were organized for the resources. defense of the country; the navigation and Having thus entered this most interestfisheries of the Danube were guarantied ; ing region of Europe, I have at once introand a constitution was drawn up, by the duced you to it by its history and some genprovisions of which the government is in eral observationsman introduction which, the hands of the nobility, and its support however brief, may serve you in not only is entirely from the people. Time may my further letters, but in the most intermodify and improve them, especially if esting newspaper history of the next year pending events issue favorably ; and this / or two.
INFIDELITY IN THE UNITED STATES.
perance reform, and organizes hostility to
the “ Maine Law” movement, even more ITS CHARACTER-ITS REMEDIES.
than the Irish, who bring with them someONE of our correspondents—a clergy. thing of the prestige of the Irish temperance
U man-wrote us some time ago, urging movement. Its more intelligent classes us, in very strong language, not to forget | are familiar with the technical sophistries the “ infidelity of the day" in our edito of German rationalism, and its ignorant rial essays on “ The Christianity for the masses know too well their practical, it Times." We have mislaid the letter, and not their theoretical applications. In many cannot recall the place of its date ; but it respects the most valuable portion of our was from the far south-west. We were foreign population, the Germans, are neversurprised, as we recollect, at its statement, theless the most dangerous in their rethat skepticism, especially in the form of ligious tendencies. Our chief hope for “ Rationalism," is invading generally that them is connected with the efforts for their large section of the country--that it is evangelical recovery, which are now made prevalent as the only religion, or rather by some of their noblest countrymen among the irreligion, of most of the thousands us. There are ten thousand of them at of German Protestant immigrants, and, least organized under the banner of Methunder the influence of Parkerism, Emer- odism in this country; there are also many sonism, Campbellism, &c., is infecting German Churches rising up within the extensively the more intelligent native pale of other denominations. Self-reform inind of that region. Our correspondent among any class is always more effectual wrote as if not a little despondent at the than reform from extraneous causes ; let prospect of its results to religion and us then hope for our Germans—in so many good morals in the yet forming commu- respects a noble and congenial peoplenities of the south-west. Had he read from these new tendencies which they are our earlier articles on “ The Christianity showing in this their new home. required by the Times," he would have! Now that our pen is in the ink, we feel seen that we have amply discussed this disposed, notwithstanding our frequent verv subject-that, in fact, it was the occasion of those articles, and that their something further and more emphatic, it chief aim has been to show how Chris possible, on the characteristics and remetianity could etlectually confront and van dies of the infidelity of the times. We quish the growing evil.
must understand its characteristics-its The growing evil, we say ; for not only genius-if we would apply to it the right by indigenous causes does it spread and remedies. prevail, but it comes upon us like an inun Down among " the people," infidelity is dation from abroad with the hordes of Eu- always the same--for “the people" are ropean and degraded immigration, which, frank, honest we were going to say, even in ware over-topping wave, pours in upon their corruptions. They have few motives the land. From Ireland we have hereto to hypocrisy, and not usually the requisite fore been invaded with Popery--bad enough skill for dissimulation. Hence infidelity, and dangerous enough in its scarcely serni- when once it prevails among them, is barbarous morals and sentiments ; but now thoroughly practical: it does not evade or we are threatened more especially with disguise its own consequences. The peothe popular corruptions of continental Eu- ple act as they think. When, in the form rope: the Custom House reports of the of a mob, they controlled public affairs, as in last two or three years show that the Ger- the first French revolution, they carried out man immigration is becoming more formni- their new infidel ideas, terrifically to be dable than the Irish.
sure, but the more honestly for that. And It is not more demoralized than the when they have not such power, you find Irish ; still it brings with it more settled them equally straightforward, as individsentiments of hostility to our religious uals, in pursuing opinions to their practical opinions and usages. It opposes our na- results. We know how to meet the peotional observance of the Sabbath, and ple, then, when thus fallen. They plunge seeks to repeal our Sabbath laws. It unceremoniously, and therefore honestly, avows loose ideas of the domestic rela- (if we may use the expression,) into the tions. It scorns our great national tem- perdition of error, and we have a direct