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prehended from the dense population of the city, than the extension of it which takes place in newly settled colonies, employed Cicero to dissuade them from the measure; and “great must have been that eloquence,” says his admirer Pliny, “which could have prevailed on the greedy multitude to give up this agrarian law, their very subsistence-(agrarias leges, hoc est, alimenta sua)*.”

But the system must have an end. Italy was fully colonized, and the masters of the republic felt no difficulty in paying their victorious legions with the lands of the colonists themselves, who were forcibly expelled to make room for the Roman soldiers T.

The populace, who clung to the comforts of Rome, so delightfully described I in the elegant irony of Cicero, as long as the Roman imperial power kept together, still continued to be fed, to excess and abuse, by the tributary corn from the subject provinces. But the revolt or the falling off of these provinces gradually reduced these

Pliny, Hist. Nat. 1. 7. c. 30. + "Divisiones agrorum ne ipsis quidem qui fecere laudatas." -- Tacitus, An. 1. 10.

“ Neque veteranorum neque possessorum gratiam tenuit : alteris pelli se, alteris non pro spe meritorum tractari querentibus." --Suetonius in Vita Augusti.

“Retinete istam possessionem gratiæ, libertatis, suffragiorum, dignitatis, urbis, fori, ludorum, festorum dierum, ceterorum omnium commodorum."-Orat. de Lege Agrariâ.

supplies: famine, and tumult, and poverty, followed in their natural order; and Rome lost that direct dominion which enabled her to feed an useless and pernicious population. The increase of slaves and the diminution of the free people of Rome took place under the imperial government, from the increased luxury of the higher orders, and the difficulty and expense of procuring the increasing supply of food which was necessary *. But slavery still continued to exist ; under the feudal system which succeeded, slaves still continued to be the only cultivators of the soil. In the middle ages the practice of freedmen selling themselves or their children for slaves in times of distress, was common and legal. Their condition might be, and undoubtedly was, alleviated by the moral feeling which Christianity had introduced. It was under Antoninus Pius that the first legal check was put to the excessive cruelty of masters towards their slaves ; but the Christian Councils, by precepts, by laws, and by the privileges of sanctuary, interposed their authority for this purpose. The asylums of Paganism were naturally enough converted into the sanctuaries of Christianity. There

* “Urbem trepidam ob multitudinem familiarum quæ gliscebat immensam, minore in diei plebe ingenua.”—Tacitus, Annal. 4. 27.

For the number of slaves see Annal. 12. 65 ; and Plin. xxxiii. 10. Claudius Isidorus left 4117 slaves to be sold, in his will.

was in the forum of Athens an altar to mercy, where slaves and debtors fled for refuge from the persecution of their masters or their creditors. The Romans sent their slaves when sick to the Temple of Æsculapius, on the Tiber. If a master deserted his slave in sickness, the slave obtained his liberty. Although I cannot find the fact positively stated, yet I think there is little doubt but that, in these asylums and temples, the miserable wretches who had recourse to them partook of the superfluities of the sacerdotal feasts.

Still it was by slow degrees that the services of slaves were exalted from arbitrary and indefinite to definite and certain, and gradually to complete emancipation. In the same degree, however, as the great mass of the people were released from their dependence on their particular masters, were their claims, when reduced to indigence, transferred to the general state. Concurrent with, and probably arising from, this great change, were the establishments founded for religious and charitable purposes : and it appears that the state, which acknowledged the claims of its indigent subjects for relief, made it a condition with the founders of these establishments, that a very large proportion of their settled revenues should be applied to the latter purposes. To this purpose a law, in 816, of the Emperor Louis, is very remarkable ; “that of the oblations to the church, two-thirds in rich situations, and one-half in lesser places, should be appropriated to the relief of the

poor *

Rome, although its territorial influence had ceased, still reigned the moral inistress of the world, the soul and centre of civilization to the nations who professed the Christian religion. The great law of charity, of which we find but faint traces before the Christian æra, had now become interwoven with the institutions of its professors ; and the spirit of that legislation was diffused to regions where the positive enactments of the imperial laws had no force. Institutions, similar in spirit, and generally in form, existed throughout Europe, combining the revenues of the state with the contributions of private charity. The fears and the hopes of the living, and still more of the dying, were excited during temporary pressures of famine or distress, to the relief of indigence; and I agree with Mr. Hallam f, in thinking “ that the members of monastical institutions did not fall very short of their profession of charity.”

*" Statutum est ut quidquid tempore imperii nostri a fidelibus ecclesiæ sponte conlatum fuerit ; in ditioribus locis duas partes in usus pauperum, tertiam in stipendia cedere clericorum aut monachorum ; in minoribus vere locis æque inter clerum et pauperes fore dividendum."-Baluz. lib. i. c. 80. Capitul. cited by Muratori, Dissert. 37.

+ Middle Ages, vol. 3. p. 350.

In England emancipation had proceeded with progressive steps, owing to increasing civilization, which, by multiplying the artificial wants of the great and rich, had driven population into towns, and its monastic institutions had satisfied or alleviated the claims of indigence; but at length the violent convulsion which broke them up, seized on their revenues, and dispersed their inhabitants, rendered it necessary for the state to throw this burthen upon its secular subjects. This gradation can be traced in a series of laws in our statute. books; until the varying legislation, after first authorizing, (by 22 Henry VIII. c. 12.) and then violently punishing, mendicity, settled in the statute 27 Henry VIII. c. 25,-a great landmark in the science of English legislation on the subject, as leading to the establishment of the present system of compulsory assessment, not less remarkable than the imperial law above mentioned. | By this statute it was enacted, “ that the municipal officers should succour all poor people within their several districts, by way of voluntary and charitable alms, to be collected by them every Sunday and holiday; so that the poor, impotent, lame, feeble, sick, and diseased people, being not able to work, might be provided for, holpen, and relieved'; and preachers, in their sermons, and at the times of confession, and of making wills, were to exhort persons to be charitable towards

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