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Was she as those who love their lords, or they
To the soft side of the heart, or wisely bar
Perchance she died in youth : it may be, bow'd
With hectic light, the Hesperus of the dead,
Perchance she died in age — surviving all,
with the silver gray
but whither would Conjecture stray ?
I know not why .. but standing thus by thee
Till I had bodied forth the heated mind
(1) Ον οι θεοί φιλoύσιν, αποθνήσκει νέος.
And from the planks, far shatter'd o'er the rocke, Built me a little bark of hope, once more To battle with the ocean and the shocks Of the loud breakers, and the ceaseless roar Which rushes on the solitary shore Where all lies founder'd that was ever dear: But could I gather from the wave-worn store Enough for my rude boat, where should I steer? There woos no home, nor hope, nor life, save what is here.
Then let the winds howl on! their harmony
And sailing pinions. — Upon such a shrine
From her research hath been, that these are walls —
There is the moral of all human tales ; (*)
-'tis better written here,
All treasures, all delights, that eye or ear, Heart, soul could seek, tongue ask Away with words !
(1) The Palatino is one mass of ruins, particularly on the side towards the Circus Maximus. The very soil is formed of crumbled brickwork. Nothing has been told, nothing can be told, to satisfy the belief of any but a Roman antiquary. See Historical Illustrations, page 206.
(2) T'ho author of the Life of Cicero, speaking of the opinion entertained of Brr
Admire, exult-despise-laugh, weep,- for here
Till the sun's rays with added flame were fillid !
Tully was not so eloquent as thou,
Scoffing; and apostolic statues climb
Buried in air, the deep blue sky of Rome,
With household blood and wine, serenely wore
tain by that orator and his cotemporary Romans, has the following eloquent passage : “ From their railleries of this kind, on the barbarity and misory of our island, ono cannot help reflecting on the surprising fute and revolutions of kingdoms; how Roma, 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 tho most contemptible of tyrants, superstition 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 liso, yet running perhaps the same course which Rome itself had run before it, froin vir. iuous industry to wealth ; from wealth to luxury; from luxury to an impatience of discipline, and corruption of morals : till, by a total degeneracy and loss of virtue, being grown ripe for destruction, it fall a prey at last to sorne hardy oppressor, and, with the loss of liberty, losing every thing that is valuable, sinks gradually again into its original barbarism." *
(1) Tho column of Trajan is surmounted by St. Peter; that of Aurelius by St. Paul. See - Historical Illustrations of the I Vih Canto, &c.
* The History of the lifu of M. Tullius Cicero, sect. vi. vol. ii. p. 102. The con
The Forum, where the immortal accents glow,
The field of freedom, faction, fame, and blood :
Trod on the trembling senate's slavish mutes,
(2) Trajan was proverbially the best of the Roman princes ;* and it would bo casier to find a sovereign uniting exactly the opposito characteristics, than one posBessed of all the happy qualities ascribed to this emperor. “When he mounted the throne,” says the historian Dion," he was strong 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 bo 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 senato, and universally beloved by both; he inspired none with dread but the enemies of his country.”
trast has been reversed in a lato extraordinary instance. A gentleman was thrown into prison at Paris ; efforts were made for his release. Tho 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.
" Hujus tantum memoriæ delatum est, ut, usque ad nostram ætatem non aliter in Senatu principibus acclamatur, nisi, FELICIOR . AVGVSTO. MELIOR. TRAJANO.” 'Eutrop. Brev. Hist. Rom. lib. viii. cap. v.
+ Το τε γαρ σωματι ερρωτο. .... και τη ψυχη ήκμαζεν, ως μηθ' υπό γηρως αμΌλίνεσθαι και ουτ' εφθονει ουτε καθηρει τινά, αλλά και πάνυ πάντας τους αγαθούς ιτίμα και έμεγάλυνε» και διά τούτο ουτε εφοβείτο τινα αυτών, ουτε εμίσει .. διαβολαίς τε ηκιστα έπιστεύε, και οργή ηκιστα έδoυλούτο των τε χρημάτων των άλλωτρίων ίσα και φόνων των αδίκων απείχετο .. φιλούμενος τε ούν επ' αυτούς μάλλον η τιμωμενος έχαιρε, και των τε δημη μετ' επιείκειας συνεγίνετο, και τη γηρουσία σεμνπορεπώς ωμίλει: αγαπητός μεν πάσι φοβερός δε μηδενί, πλην πολεμίοις ων. Ηist. Rom. lib. Liviii. cap. vi. et vii. tom. ii. p. 1123, 1124, cdit. Hamb. 1760.
Then turn we to her latest tribune's namo,
The forum's champion, and the people's chief
Egeria! sweet creation of some heart (*)
a young Aurora of the air,
The mosses of thy fountain still are sprinkled
green, wild margin now no more erase
Fantastically tangled; the green hills
The sweetness of the violet's deep blue eyes,
(1) The name and exploits of Rienzi must be familiar to the reader of Gibbon. Some details and inedited manuscripts relativo to this unhappy hero will be seen in the Illustrations of the IVth Canto.
(2) Soe“ Historical Noros," at the end of this canto, No. XXVII.