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themselves. The first general — the only triumphant politician-inferior to none in eloquencecomparable to any in the attainments of wisdom, in an age made up of the greatest commanders, statesmen, orators, and philosophers that ever appeared in the world - an author who composed a perfect specimen of military annals in his travelling carriage - at one time in a controversy with Cato, at another writing a treatise on punning, and collecting a set of good sayings — fighting ') and making love at the same moment, and willing to abandon both his empire and his mistress for a sight of the Fountains of the Nile. Such did Julius Caesar appear to his cotemporaries and to those of the subsequent ages, who were the nost inclined to deplore and execrate his fatal genins.
But we must not be so much dazzled with his surpassing glory, or with his magnanimons, his amiable qualities, as to forget the decision of his impartial countrymen:
HE WAS JUSTLY SLAIN ?). 1) In his tenth book, Lucan shows him sprinkled with the blood of Pharsalia in the arms of Cleopatra,
Sanguine Thessalicae cladis perfisus adalter
Admisit Venerem curis, et miscuit armis. After feasting with his mistress, he sits up all night to converse with the Aegyptian sages, and tells Achoreus,
Spes sit mihi certa videndi Niliacos fontes, bellum civile relinquam. „Sic velut in tuta securi pace trahebant
Noctis iter medium. »
"Sed adest defensor ubique
caeca nocte carinis
Praecipiti cursu bellorum et tempore rapto. » 2) «Jure caesus existimetur,» says Suetonius, after a fair esti
mation of his character, and making use of a phrase which was a formula in Livy's time. «Melium jure caesum propantiavit, etiam si regui crimine insons fuerit:» [lib. iv. cap. 48.]
Stanza xciii. lines 1 and 2. omnes pene veteres; qui nihil cognosci, nihil percipi, nihil sciri posse dixerunt; angustos sensus; imbecillos animos, brevia curricula vitae; in profundo veritatem demersam; opinionibus et institutis omnia teneri; nihil veritati relinqui: deinceps omnia tenebris circumfusa esse dixerunt '). » The eighteen hundred years which have elapsed since Cicero wrote this have not removed any of the imperfections of humanity; and the complaints of the ancient philosophers may, without injustice or affectation, be transcribed in a poeni written yesterday.
49. There is a stern round tower of other days.
Stanza xcix. line 1. Alluding to the tomb of Cecilia Metella, called Capo di Bove, in the appian Way. See — Historical Illustrations of the IVth Canto of Childe Harold.
Prophetic of the doom
Stanza cii. lines 5 and 6. Όν οι θεοί φιλoύσιν, αποθνήσκει νέος. Το γαρ θανείν ουκ αισχρον, αλλ' αίσ
χρώς θανείν. .
Rich. Franc. Phil. Brunck. Poetae Gnomici, p. 231, edit. 1784.
and which was continued in the legal judgments pronounced in justifiable homicides ; such as killing housebreakers. See Sueton, in Vit. C. J. Caesar. with the commentary of Pitis.
cus, P. 184. 1) Academ. I. 13.
51. Behold the Imperial Mount! 'tis thus the mighty falls.
Stanza cvii. line 9. The Palatine is one mass of ruins, particularly on the side towards the Circus Maximus. The very soil is formed of crumbled brick-work. Nothing has been told, nothing can be told, to satisfy the belief of any but a Roman antiquary. See storical Illustrations, page 206.
Stanza cviii. lines 1, 2, and 3. The author of the Life of Cicero, speaking of the opinion entertained of Britain by that orator and his cotemporary Romans, has the following eloquent passage:
« From their railleries of this kind, on the barbarity and misery of our island, one cannot help. reflecting on the surprising fate and revolutions of kingdoms; how Rome, once the mistress of the world, the seat of arts, empire, and glory, now lies sunk in sloth, ignorance, and poverty, enslaved to the most cruel as well as to the most contemptible of tyrants, su. perstition and religious imposture: while this remote country, anciently the jest and contempt of the polite Romans, is become the happy seat of liberty, plenty, and letters; flourishing in all the arts and refinements of civil life; yet running perhaps the same course which Rome itself had run before it, from virtuous industry to wealth; from wealth to luxury; from luxury to an impa. tience of discipline, and corruption of morals: till, by a total degeneracy and loss of virtue, being grown ripe for destruction, it fall a prep at last to some hardy oppressor, and, with the loss of liberty, losing every thing that is valuable, sinks gradually again into its original barbarism')..
1) The History of the Life of M. Tullius Cicero, sect. vi. vol. il. 53.
And apostolic statues climb To crush the imperial urn, whose ashes slept su
Stanza cx. line 9. The column of Trajan is surmounted by St. Peter; that of Aurelius by St. Paul. See-Historical Illustrations of the IVth Canto, etc.
Still we Trajan's name adore.
Stanza cxi. line 9. Trajan was proverbially the best of the Roman princes '); and it would be easier to find a s0. vereign uniting exactly the opposite characteristics, than one possessed of all the happy qualities as. cribed to this emperor. “When he mounted the throne,» says the historian Dion 2), «he was strong
The contrast has been reversed in a late extraordi.
A gentleman was thrown into prison at Paris; efforts were made for his release. The French minister continued to detain him, under the pretext that he was not an Englishman, but only a Roman. See “Interesting Facts
relating to Joachim Murat,» pag. 139. 1) “Hujus tantùm memoriae delatum est, ut, usque ad nostram
aetatem non aliter in Senatu principibus acclametur, nisi, FELICIOR . AVGVSTO. MELIOR. TRAJANO. Eutrop.
Brev. Hist. Rom. lib. viii. cap. v. 2) Τω τε γαρ σώματι έρρωτο........και τη
ψυχή ήκμαζεν, ως μήθ' υπό γήρως αμβλύνεσθαι....και ούτ' έφθόνει ούτε καθήρει τινα, αλλα και πάνυ πάντας τους αγαθούς ετίμα και έμεγάλυνε. και δια τούτο ούτε έφοβείτό τινα αιτων, ούτε έμίσει..διαβολαίς τε ήκιστα έπίστευε, και οργή ήκιστα έδoυλούτο των τε χρημάτων των αλλωτρίων ίσα
in body, he was vigorous in mind; age had impaired none of his faculties; he was altogether free from envy and from detraction; he honoured all the good, and he advanced them; and on this account they could not be the objects of his fear, or of his hate; he never listened to informers; he gave not way to his anger; he abstained equally from unfair exactions and unjust punishments; he had rather be loved as a man than honoured as a sovereign; he was affable with his people, respectful to the sena-e, and universally beloved by both; he inspired none with dread but the enemies of his country. .
Stanza cxiv. line 5.
The name and exploits of Rienzi must be famlliar to the reader of Gibbon. Some details and inedited manuscripts relative to this unhappy hero will be seen in the Illustrations of the Canto.
56. Egeria! sweet creation of some heart Which found no mortal resting-place so fair As thine ideal breast.
Stanza cxv. lines 1, 2, and 3. The respectable authority of Flaminius Vacca would incline us to believe in the claims of the
και φόνων των αδίκων απείχετο....φελούμενος τε ούν επ' αυτούς μαλλον ή τιμώμενος έχαιρε, και τω τε δήμω μετ' επιείκειας συνεγίνετο, και τη γηρουσία σεμνοπρεπως ωμίλει αγαπητός μέν πάσι φοβερός δε μηδενί, πλην πολεμίοις ών. Hist. Rom. Ixviii. cap. vi. et vii, tom. i. p. 1123, 1124, edit.