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prayer. So with all their grand ceremonies, the triumphs of their generals, and their other public displays. They thus imprinted upon the minds of the people a respect for religion, and they also impressed upon them a profound reverence for oaths.
Next, let us inquire what kind of buildings were their temples? It is very difficult to describe their magnificence: their situation was frequently on a lofty hill. They built a temple, for instance, to what they called their Capitoline Jove, the description of which would partake more of a romance than a reality. Cæsar Augustus, for the purpose
of ornamenting this temple, gave 2000 pounds' weight of gold, and precious stones of immense value, brazen thresholds and rich pillars that he had torn from Athens : the interior was adorned with gold and silver, and a profusion of treasure was employed in the erection. The Emperor Domitian gave for the gilding of that single temple 12,000 talents. The Emperor Aurelian worshipped the sun ; on a hill he placed a temple to the sun; and after the conquest of Palmyra, 15,000 pounds' weight of gold was given by him for the
of adorning that single temple, which, for size, form, and beauty, was wonderful. There is another, still perfect, that is called the Pantheon, which was in the sixth century changed into a Christian church, and is therefore preserved entire. We may have some notion of their ideas of beauty and of architectural excellence by looking at that one extraordinary edifice, not very large, but of peculiar elegance. If you have a recollection, as you may have, of the Round Church, lately destroyed by fire, and could place before it a portico of surpassing beauty, consisting of sixteen columns of oriental granite of the Corinthian order, of exquisite construction, eight in the front, the other eight arranged in four lines behind them, niaking three porticoes instead of one-you might have some idea of the exterior of the Pantheon. It was intended to have been decorated with statues of the most eminent citizens; and it was covered with precious ornaments. There is a round aperture in the splendid dome—and to this hour the rain, wind, and storm beat in and around the venerable pile ; and yet, at the end of 1860 years, it stands unequalled in beauty.
Enough of their temples. What were their amusements ? The Romans were very particular on this subject, because, as their great business was agriculture and arms, of which they preferred the latter, they took great care of the bodies of their citizens. They were of opinion that the best thing a Roman could do, was to wash his body in pure water when he got up in the morning ; but as the population was large; they thought it necessary to accommodate that population with baths, of the capacity and splendour of which you can have no conception. The style and magnificence of those structures would fill
with astonishment. In one of these were seats for the bathers to the number of 1600 persons at a time. Nor must you suppose that these seats were of an uncomfortable character-quite the reverse. In another there was accommodation for no less than 3000 persons. The tubes through which the warm water passed (for those who preferred it) were of silver, and the supply of water boundless. There were, near the baths, lecture halls and apartments for literary enjoyment. In these baths the old Romans comforted themselves, I believe, more than once a day. How did they get a supply of water? If there be any members of the Corporation of Dublin present, they may derive some information from learning how the Romans obtained a supply of water for their city; and on this matter they were very particular, as all sensible people should be. In the infancy of the city the Romans drank the waters of the yellow Tiber (for they had nothing better), the colour of which was enough to give a man a distaste for it; but when they became rich and more civilized, they took care to supply their city with an abundance of pure water, which they brought from the distance of twenty, thirty, and even forty miles. In fact, they poured whole rivers into the city, piercing mountains and bridging over valleys for that purpose ; for they were determined, at any cost, to have abundance of water. In support of a single aqueduct they built 7000 arches; but these aqueducts were not used merely for the purpose of supplying the city with water; they were also used for the country, and were allowed to be tapped in certain places (under proper superintendents) for that object. Pliny, speaking of these aqueducts, says, that if we consider attentively the quantity of water brought into the city of Rome for baths, fish-ponds, private houses, artificial lakes, gardens, suburban villas, &c., as well as for the ordinary purposes of the cityand if we look at the lakes formed into canals for water, mountains pierced with tunnels, valleys filled up to a levelit must be admitted that there was nothing more wonderful in the world. The Romans did not like the use of lead, nor were they acquainted with cast iron ; therefore it was that their aqueducts were constructed of solid stone. The ruins of these aqueducts are picturesque and stupendous as they stretch across the desolate campagna.
As regards the amusements of this great people, they were characteristic. They laid out parks for exercising their young men.
The principal one was called the Campus Martius, which was about three-quarters of a mile long; in it they exercised the youth of the city. A Roman noble of the present day would die in a quarter of an hour under the exercise in which his forefathers took such pleasure. They wrestled, threw the ball, and used armour weightier than they were
ever called on to wear on the field of battle. There they practised horsemanship, exercising in verdant fields, on the banks of the Tiber, with every object around to gratify and please the eye. On the opposite side of the city there was another plain of the same description ; these national parks were adorned in such a manner as to be beautiful and attractive. Strabo, who visited Rome in the time of Augustus, gives a description of it, which is more like a fairy tale than the narrative of a geographer and traveller ; when he stood in the Campus Martius, and looked on the porticoes, the temples, and the other prominent buildings of the district, such as the Pantheon and Mausoleum of Augustus, he said that it appeared to him like a place fitted for the habitation of the gods.
In respect to their theatres, I must say that they were also objects of wonder. The principal of the buildings dedicated to the entertainment of the people, was the Coliseum, of which you can have but a slight conception from my description; very likely you have seen drawings of it. I have walked over it day after day, and each day with greater astonishment than I felt the day before. However, I may say that it was built with an idea of vastness, durability, and strength on the greatest scale; and, furthermore, it gives us a glimpse of the tendencies of the human heart before it was touched and softened by Christianity. As to its extent, I may mention that it covers no less than six acres. It is of an elliptical shape, and is four stories high. The first story is of the Doric order of architecture, the second Ionic, and the third Corinthian. The fourth was smaller than the other three, and furnished with an ingenious contrivance for drawing over a great awning—if I may so describe it—to shelter the audience from the heat of the sun, which is in that country not unfrequently too hot for endurance. The Coliseum was of such vast dimensions that it could accommodate with seats no less than 80,000 people; and every convenience was afforded the public for access and departure, so that no one need encroach upon his neighbour. There was accommodation in this building for every rank of persons in the state, who took their seats with facility. All round within there was a colonnade of pillars. The amusements of the arena usually consisted of the combats of gladiators, who were mostly slaves, and were taught to be gladiators. According as the spirit of the Roman people degenerated and became corrupt, they became fonder of these sanguinary displays. I find, for example, that Julius Cæsar diverted the people with a contest of 320 couples of gladiators. Titus devoted ten days to this sort of amusement, and he delighted the Romans by the fighting of wild beasts, and the representation of sea fights, which lasted for 100 days. Trajan entertained the people for 123 days, during which time he brought out 1000 pairs of gladiators, and 5000 wild beasts, all said to have been slain—that was doing the thing upon a considerable scale. At the bottom of the arena were doors whence the wild beasts darted out. Now, for a moment, if you can, imagine yourselves spectators of such a scene, beholding the enjoyments of Roman emperors. What an exhibition ! On one occasion the Emperor Commodus proposed to exhibit himself before the eyes of the common people ; and on the appointed day motives of curiosity attracted a numerous concourse of spectators. The Emperor aimed first at an ostrich, just as it entered the arena-stopping its rapid career on the moment, and cutting asunder the long bony neck of the bird; then a panther was let loose-the imperial archer waited till the beast had sprang upon the body of a malefactor-the shaft fell, and the beast dropped dead; the man escaped unhurt. I am sure that it was perfectly immaterial to the