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Vis salis insoliti et subitus circumstet amaror,

Quam sacer ille chorus stupuit. The father then recounts to his son the circumstances of his own and his brother's death; and points out to him, among the choir of surrounding spirits, several of the heroes of the second Punic war. The death of Æmilius Paullus is described with some detail. Africanus then introduces himself to his uncle, with whom he enters into conversation on a variety of subjects, as the superiority of the heavenly life, the unlawfulness of suicide, and the rewards allotted to public virtue in the celestial world. The old Roman kings and patriots then pass under review; the poet dwells more particularly on the story of the three Horatii. There are a great many fine patriotic and philosophical passages in this book ; but as they are chiefly interesting on account of the reflection of the Roman mind in Petrarch, which they exhibit, and as the effect would be injured by detaching them from the text, we have not thought proper to make any quotations.

In the second book, Scipio, impelled by a natural curiosity, enquires the future destinies of Rome. His father complies with his request; and foretels, in the first place, the defeat and subsequent misfortunes of Hannibal; he then prophecies the glories of the second Africanus; the conquests of Rome; the civil wars; the subversion of liberty under Augustus; the gradual corruption of public morals, and the final fall of the empire, the name only remaining, as a gorgeous but unmeaning title, worn by a succession of barbarian kings, and transferred from nation to nation. The peroration of this part is too beautiful and too characteristic to be omitted. We need scarcely point out the obvious allusion to the tribune Rienzi.

Forte sub extremos annos, mundique ruentis
Interitum, ad proprias sedes Fortuna redibit.

Unum hoc de pluribus ille supremus
Abscondit sub nube Deus; sed noscere quantum
Permissum est animi augurio, non victa sub hoste
Roma ruet, nullique data est ea gloria genti,
Nulli tantus honos populo : vincetur ab annis,
Kimosoque situ paullatim fessa senescet,
Et per frusta cadet: nulla unquam, nulla vacabit
Civilique odio et bellis furialibus ætas.
Tempus adhuc veniet, cum vix Romanus in urbe
Civis erit verus, sed terras lecta per omnes
Fæx hominum : tamen et tunc se malesana cruentis
Turba premet gladiis, et ni fortissimus upus

Vir aliquis, dignus meliori tempore nasci,
Opponat sese medium, frontemque manumque
Litibus ostendat (obtendat?], superest quodcunque cruoris
Pectoribus miseris per mutua vulnera fundant.
Hoc solamen habe, nam Roma potentibus olim
Condita sideribus, quamvis lacerata malorum
Consiliis manibusque, diu durabit, eritque
Has inter pestes nudo vel nomine mundi
Regina; hic nunquam titulus sacer excidet illi.
Qualiter annosum vires animusque leonem
Destituunt, sed prisca manet reverentia fronti,
Horrificusque sonus; quanquam sit ad omnia tardus,
Umbra sit ille licet, circum tamen omnis inermi
Paret sylva seni. Sed quis vel noscere certam
Audeat, ant rebus tantis præfigere metam!
Vis loquar? in finem, quamvis ruinosa, dierum
Vivet, et extremum veniet tua Roma sub ævum,

Cum mundo peritura suo.
On the subject of fame, he has the following illustration.

Illa vel invitum, fugias licet, illa sequetur:
Ut sub Sole vagum comitatur corporis umbra
Ipsa tui; quocunque gradum tu flexeris, illa
Flectitur, et stat si steteris : sic fama volentem
Nolentemque simul sequitur; sed numquid ineptum
Dixeris arenti gradientem in pulvere, ut umbram
Aspiciat post terga suam? non sanior ille est,
Qui terit ætatem frustra, corpusque fatigat,
Aut animum curis onerat, nihil inde reposcens

Ni laudem, et varios populi per compita ventos. He then exhorts his son to perseverance in the path of virtue, as a preparation for the glories of heaven; and foretells his voluntary exile and death.

In the third book, Lælius is sent to Africa to request the alliance of Syphax. The palace of the Numidian monarch is described at too great a length, but not without fancy; we can only afford a short extract.

Niveis suggesta columnis
Atria surgebant; fulvo distincta metallo
Regia præfulgens,
Ordine gemmarum vario radiabat in orbem.
Hic croceos, illic virides fulgere lapillos
Aspiceres, altoque velut sua sidera tecto.
Signifer in medio sinuosi tramitis arcu
Aureus obliquos supremo culmine cursus
Assidue faciebat: ibi, ceu lumina septem
Quæ vaga mundus habet, septem vafer ordine gemmas
Clauserat ingenio, nondum lapis, optimus Atlas.
Tardior hæc, gelidoque seni magis apta placere:
Illa minax, longeque rubens, ast illa benignis

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Ire videbatur radiis, tenerumque' serena
Luce coruscabat: medio carbunculus ingens
Æquabat solare jubar, largoque tenebras
Lumine vincebat: mira virtute putares 2
Hunc proprios formare dies, hunc pellere noctes,
Solis ad exemplum : post hunc duo lumina motu
Splendebant parili; sed quæ rutilantius ibat,
Spectando subitos animis spargebat amores.
Cornua de fusco sinuans adamante deorsum
Impigra præcipiti celerabat luna meatu,

Atra quidem, et radiis circum illustrata supernis.3 The description of the infernal rivers, as represented in the portraiture on the walls, may have been read by Milton.

Hic-claustris distincta novem pallentia regna
Cernuntur, Stygiique nigræ stant gurgitis undæ;
Tristior hac Acheron fluctu perlabitur atro,
Concretam limo cogens fluitare paludem
Cocytusque gemens lacrymoso flumine Avernum
Circuit hinc oriens, et ripis antra pererrat,
Umbrarumque choros; nec non Phlegethontis adusta
Gurges aqua, tacitique satus + oblivia late

Funduntur. Lælius, after the conference, is invited by the king to a splendid banquet, where a minstrel is introduced as relating


In the original, “ tecumque:" we have ventured to substitute as above.

2 Alluding, perhaps, to the popular notion, that light was inherent in the carbuncle.

Darkness hath no dominion o'er its beams;
Intense it glows, an ever-flowing tide
Of glory, like the day-flood in its source.

Thalaba, Book 1.
Like the mystical gem of enchantment, that glows

Where there is not a ray to reflect back its gleam,
The soul of the Hero no darkening knows,

But shines thro' the gloom with unborrowing beam. MS. 3 The

of this passage seems to be borrowed from the planetarium of the Emperor Nero. A somewhat similar description is quoted by D'Israeli from an early poem of Orator Henley's. (Calamities of Authors, Vol. i. p. 157.)

Pillars of marble bore a silken sky,
While cords of purple and fine linen tie,
In silver rings, the azure canopy:
Distinct with diamond stars the blue was seen,
And earth and seas were feign'd in emerald green;
A globe of gold, ray'd with a pointed crown,

Form'd in the midst almost a real sun. 4 So in the original.

the stories of Atlas, of Dido, of the Philæni, and, in short, the history of Africa in general. Lælius, at the request of the monarch, gives a sketch of the origin and growth of the Roman state; the stories of Curtius and the Decii, and especially that of Lucretia, are commemorated at length. The descent of Curtius into the gulph is vividly described :

Dicens hæc, lumina coelo
Erexit, templumque Jovis quod præsidet arci
Suspiciens, tendensque manus sursum atque deorsum,
Atque omnes superosque Deos, manesque precatus,
Ad quos tendebat, validum calcaribus ultro
Urget equum, barathroque volens infertur aperto,
Arma ruente viro lucem sonitumque dedere.

Fit strepitus: coëunt ripæ, et junguntur in unum.
The death of Lucretia, with which the book concludes,
is feebly told.
In book iv. Lælius describes the person, manners,

and character of Scipio to the king.

The whole is written completely con amore: no poet, indeed, was ever more in love with his hero than Petrarch. The rest of the book is taken up with a narration of various exploits of Scipio's; his behavior in the secret assembly of the young nobility after the battle of Cannæ, his taking of New Carthage, and his reconciling the rival candidates for the obsidional crown. The effect of his presence in tranquillising the tumults attendant on a sanguinary victory, is thus illustrated :

Sic atra serenat
Nubila pacifico despectans Jupiter ore,
Continuoque silent venti, fugiuntque procellæ,
Sol nitet, emergunt fuscis sua noctibus astra,
Et mundo sua forma redit.


Ir may not be uninteresting to trace a few more instances of resemblance. For this purpose I have selected the Prometheus of Æschylus.

In the first instance, to renew the charge of imitation, Oceanus addressing Prometheus is represented as warning him not to incur the augmented wrath of Jupiter,

Εί δ' ώδε τραχείς και τεθηγμένους λόγους
Ρίψεις, τάχ' άν σου, και μακράν ανωτέρω
θακών, κλύοι Ζευς, ώστε σοι τον νύν χόλον

Πάροντα μόχθων παιδιών είναι δοκεϊν.
And Milton, in the first book of his Paradise Lost, makes
Beelzebub say to Satan,

But what if he, our conqueror, (whom I now
Of force believe almighty, since no less
Than such could have o'erpowered such force as ours)
Have left us this our spirit and force entire
Strongly to suffer and support our pains,
That we may so suffice his vengeful ire,
Or do him mightier service as his thralls

By right of war.
Again, Æschylus puts this language into the mouth of Oce-


Τον γηγενή τε Κιλικίων οικήτορα
*Αντρων ίδιων ώκτειρα, δάϊον τέρας,
Εκατοντακάρηνον, προς βίαν χειρούμενον
Τυφώνα θούρον, πάσιν δς αντέστη θεούς,

Σμερδναϊσι γαμφιλήσι συρίζων φόνον.
And Milton describes the arch-rebel :-

Thus Satan talking to his nearest mate
With head uplift above the wave, and eyes
That sparkling blaz’d; his other parts besides
Prone on the flood, extended long and large,
Lay floating many a rood; in bulk as buge
As whom the fables name of monstrous size
Titanian, or earth-born, that warr'd on Jove

Briareos or Typhon.
Also, immediately after, the dramatist says :-

'Εξ όμμάτων δ' ήστραπτε γοργωπόν σέλας,
Ως την Διός τυραννίδ' εκπέρσων βία

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