Imágenes de páginas

its inhabitants were so attached to the Roman interests, that rather than fall into the hands of their enemies, they set fire to their houses and other effects, and perished in the flames.

6. The capture of Saguntum is more celebrated for its being the commencement of the second Punic war, than for the magnitude of the city, or the force necessary to its reduction. It is nevertheless sufficiently memorable, when taken in connexion with the battle of Cannæ, that immediately followed it, to give Hannibal a place among the most distinguished warriors. The victory of Cannæ, is not only one of the most splendid achievements in the Carthagenian hero; but it is also one of the most splendid achievements recorded in the history of warfare. The whole army of Hannibal did not exceed 50,000; but so well directed were all his movements, that no less than 40,000 Romans were slain. This victory, although complete, proved of little use to the Carthagenians. The Romans, to free themselves from Hannibal, determined on invading his own dominions. When Carthage saw her coasts invaded, she recalled Hannibal, as it had been calculated by the Romans that she would.

7. Hannibal left Italy, which he had kept under perpetual alarms for sixteen years, with the greatest reluctance. He seemed aware of the reverse of fortune that soon awaited him. Shortly after his return to Africa, the two hostile armies met at Zama, where was a general engagement. The Roman victory was complete-23,000 Carthagenians were slain, and as many more taken prisoners. After this decisive battle, Hannibal seemed convinced of his own inability to revenge his country's wrongs; and therefore employed himself in persuading the neighbouring princes to make war against the Romans. But not succeeding in his attempts, and the Roman senate being apprised of his designs, and sending to Bythinia to demand him of Prusias, Hannibal terminated his own life by poison.

8. The city and republic of Carthage were destroyed by the termination of the third Punic war,

147 years before Christ. The city was in flames during sevena

teen days; and the news of its destruction caused the greatest joy at Rome. The Roman senate immediately appointed commissioners, not only to raze the walls of Carthage, but even to demolish and burn the very materials of which they were made ; and in a few days, that city, which had once been the seat of commerce, the model of magnificence, the common store-house of the wealth of nations, and one of the most powerful states in the world, left behind no traces of its splendour, of its power, or even of its existence. The history of Carthage is one of the many proofs that we have, of the transitory nature of worldly glory; for of all her grandeur, not a wreck remains. Her own walls, like the calm ocean, that conceals forever the riches hid in its unsèarchable abyss, now obscure all her magnificence.

QUESTIONS. 1. By whors, and when was Carthage founded ?--2. What circumstances gave rise to the building of this city ?-3. What was the condition of Carthage at the time of her greatest splendour?–4. What was the language of the Carthagenians ?-5. To what may the greatness and wealth of Carthage be attributed?-6. Under what general did the Carthagenians obtain a military name?-7. How many of the Romans were killed in the battle of Cannæ?-8. How many of the Carthagenians were slain and taken prisoners in the battle of Zama?-9. What were the circumstances of Hannibal's death?-10. When was the city of Carthage destroyed ?

THE WÁŘRÍÓR’S WREATH. BEHOLD the wreath which decks the warrior's brow. Breathes it a balmy fragrance'sweet ? Ah, no!

It rankly savours of the grave! 'Tis red-but not with roseate hues;

'Tis crimson'd o’er

With human gore!
"Tis wet-ut not with heavenly dews;
Tis drench'd in tears by widows, orphans shed.
Methinks in sable weeds I see them clad,

And mourn in vain, for husbands slain, Children belov’d, or brothers dear,

The fatherless

In deep distress,
Despairing, shed the scalding tear.
I hear, ʼmid dying groans, the cannon's crash,
I see, ’mid smoke, the musket's horrid flash
Here famine walks-there


stalks Hell in her fiery eye, she stains

With purple blood,

The crystal flood,
Heaven's altars and the verdant plains !

Scenes of domestic peace and social bliss
Are chang'd to scenes of woe and wretchedness,

The votaries of vice increase
Towns sack'd, whole-cities wrapt in flame !

Just Heaven! say,

Is this the bay,
Which warriors gain—is this call’d FAME!


1. The peace and prosperity of Solomon's reign were well adapted to the prosecution of that work which David had designed, but which was to be accomplished by his successor. The king, therefore, took advantage of the time, and made preparations for building the house of the Lord. In the first place, he sent messengers to Hiram, king of Tyre, who had been the friend of his father, informing him of his intentions, and requesting from him a supply of cedar and fir. This was readily and cheerfully bestowed, and the two kings entered into a covenant of perpetual peace and friendship.

Solomon then levied thirty thousand workmen, and arranged them in three companies of ten thousand each, giving to Adoniram, one of his officers, the oversight and command of the whole.

2. These labourers were to be employed, with the servants of Hiram, in Mount Lebanon; but only one company was sent out at a time, which remained for a month, and then returned home, and was succeeded by another. In carrying on the work, there were, also, seventy thousand whose duty it was to bear burdens, and eighty thousand who were employed as hewers of stone in the mountains. The number of overseers amounted to thirty-three thousand. This magnificent undertaking was commenced in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, four hundred and forty years from the time of the settlement of the Israelites in the land of Canaan; and the building was completed, in all its parts, in seven years, during which, the sound of axe, or hammer, or any tool of iron, was not heard upon it, the timber being all made ready in the forest, and the stones in the quarries.

3. Solomon, also, built for himself two very superb and costly palaces, together with a house of equal beauty and splendour for the queen. In completing the temple, a distinguished artizan from Tyre, by the name of Hiram, had been employed, who cast two pillars of brass, each eighteen cubits in height, upon which were raised chapiters, adorned with lily work, net work, and pomegranates. These pillars. were placed at the entrance of the porch, one upon the right hand and the other

upon the left.

4. Hiram, also, made all the vessels and instruments which were to be used in the services of the sanctuary; and thus the building became ready for the, devotions and offerings of the people. Solomon then caused the ark to be removed to the place which he had prepared for it in the temple, upon which the glory of the Lord filled the house, and the king proceeded to the dedication in a solemn and fervent prayer, in which he implored the divine favour upon the work of bis hands, and the services to which it was appropriated. cluded, with a blessing which he pronounced upon the congregation ; and, after offering a vast number of sacrifices, and keeping a feast to the Lord seven days, he dismissed the people, who returned to their habitation

He con

[ocr errors]

rejoicing in the goodness of God, and praising the merits of their king.

5. Not long after the dedication of the temple, the Lord appeared a second time to Solomon, and told him that he had heard and accepted his prayer and supplication, and that his favour should forever rest upon the house which had been built. He declared, moreover, that the continuance of the government in the family of David would be dependent upon the constancy and fidelity with which the divine laws were observed. At the expiration of twenty years, probably, from the time of Solomon's coronation, a present was made by him to Hiram, king of Tyre, of certain cities, in return for his assistance in building the temple, with which the latter was not well pleased; wherefore, that part of the country was called Cabul, a name denoting dissatisfaction. Solomon then applied himself to the building, repairing, and fortifying of various towns within his dominions; engaging, also, extensively, in commerce, and sending his ships to Ophir for gold.

6. Among the persons who came from distant parts to witness the glory, and to be edified with the wisdom of Solomon, was the queen of Sheba, who resolved to make trial of his understanding by proposing for his 80lution many difficult questions upon various subjects. The answers of the king not only gave satisfaction to her mind, but filled her

with astonishment and admiration; and, having made him a valuable present of gold and spices, she returned to her own country, with the most exalted opinion of his knowledge and power. With the fame of Solomon, his riches, also, increased; for his vessels brought him an abundance of gold, insomuch that it was applied to the most common uses, silver being held in no estimation. In short, the richest gifts poured in upon him from every country; and to obtain his friendship, and to see his face, was the prevailing ambition of the princes and philosophers of the age.

7. But such is the imperfection of the human character, that even Solomon, surrounded as he was with every blessing, and exalted to the highest sutnmit of earth

« AnteriorContinuar »