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What help from J-~'s' opiates canst thou draw, Or H- k’so quibbles voted into law ?
C.,' that Roman in his nose alone, Who hears all causes, Britain, but thy own, Or those proud fools whom nature, rank, and fate Made fit companions for the sword of state.
Can the light packhorse, or the heavy steer, The sowzing prelate, or the sweating peer, Drag out with all its dirt and all its weight, The lumb’ring carriage of thy broken state? Alas! the people curse, the carman swears, The drivers quarrel, and the master stares.
The plague is on thee, Britain, and who tries To save thee in the infectious office dies. The first firm P y * soon resign’d his breath, Brave S- w loved thee, and was lied to death. Good M-m—t’so fate tore P- th' from thy side, And thy last sigh was heard when W- m died.
Thy nobles sl-s, thy se—510 bought with gold,
Alas! on one alone our all relies,
1 Jekyll. 2 Harkwick's. 3 Cummings, Lord Chief Justice of Common Pleas. 4 ? Pulteney. 6 Scarborow. Marchmont.
7 Polwarth. 8 Wyndham.9 Slaves. 10 Senates. 11 Kings. 12 He alludes probably to Frederick Prince of Wales.-Bowles.
THE FIRST BOOK OF
TRANSLATED IN THE YEAR 1703.
Edipus King of Thebes having by mistako slain his father Laius,
and married his mother Jocasta, put out his own eyes, and resigned the realm to his sons Eteocles and Polynices. Being neglected by them, he makes his prayer to the fury Tisiphone, to sow debate betwixt the brothers. They agree at last to reign singly, each a year by turns, and the first lot is obtained by Eteocles. Jupiter, in a couucil of the gods, declares his resolu tion of punishing the Thebans, and Argives also, by means of a marriage betwixt Polynices and one of the daughters of Adrastus, King of Argus. Juno opposes, but to no effect; and Mercury is sent on a message to the shades, to the ghost of Laius, who is to appear to Eteocles, and provoke him to break the agreement, Polynices, in the meantime, departs from Thebes by night; is overtaken by a storm, and arrives at Argos; where he meets with Tydeus, who had fled from Calydon, having killed his brother. Adrastus entertains them, having received an oraclo from Apollo that his daughter should be married to a boar and a lion, which he understands to be meant of these strangers by whom the hides of those beasts were worn, and who arrived at the time when he kept an annual feast in honour of that god. The rise of this solemnity he relates to his guests, the loves of Phæbus and Psamathe, and the story of Chorobus. He inquires, and is made acquainted with their descent and quaiity. The sacrifice is renewed, and the book concludes with a Hymn to Apollo..
an to Apodacrifice is acquain
The translator hopes he needs not apologise for his choice of this piece, which was made almost in his childhood. But finding the version better than he expected, he gave it some correction a few years afterwards.
FRATERNAL rage, the guilty Thebes alarms,
1 Publius Papinius Statius was born at Naples, 61, died 96, a Roman poet of some note. He wrote the “Thebais," “Achilleis," and “Sylvæ." He was a favourite of Domitian and flatters the tyrant in the following poem. The poet was twelve years com posing the "Thebais" and though the style is often inelegant, yet the poem is highly valuable for the information which it contains respecting the mythology and the less commonly known legends of ancient times,
O goddess! say, shall I deduce my rhymes
But waive whate'er to Cadmus may belong,
1 Jupiter under the form of a bull having carried of Europa the daughter of Agenor, king of Phænicia, her father ordered his son Cadmus to go in search of his sister and not to return without her. Cadmus sought long and far for her in vain, and not daring to go back without her, he consulted the oracle of Apollo to know where he should dwell. The oracle bade him follow a cow in the field, and where she stopped build a city and call the country Baotia. The cow led him to the pla: of Panope, where ultimately he built Thebes. Wishing to offer a sacrifice to Jupiter he sent his Syrian followers for water to a fountain issuing from a cave. Here a horrid serpent lurkc (sacred to Mars) which slew all the men by its breath, its fangs, or its folds. Cadmus attacked and destroyed the monster. Pallas descending, then ordered him to sow the dragon's teeth in the earth. He obeyed; the dragon's teeth produced a crop of armed men, who instantly fought with one another; till all were killed except five who joined Cadmus and assisted him to build the city. Such was the fabled origin of Thebes and its people, see “Ovid," Book III. Cadmus brought letters to Greece from Phoenicia..
2 Another legend averred that Amphion built Thebes; the walls rising to the music of his lyre.
3 Athamas, king of Thebes. Juno sent Tisiphone, one of the Furies, to the house of Athamas out of hatred to Ino. The Fury inflamed the king with a sudden frenzy. He took Ino to be a lioness and her sons whelps, and killed Learchus by dashing him against a wall. Ino threw herself with her other son Melicerta into the sea. The gods pitied her fate, and Neptune made her a sea deity under the name of Leucothoe. Melicerta became a sea god by the name of Palamon.
4 A compliment to Dumitian.
Twice taught the Rhine beneath his laws to roll,
The time will come when a diviner flame
What hero, Clio! wilt thou first relate ? The rage of Tydeus, or the prophet's fate?
1 Eteocles and Polynices fell slain by each other. They were first placed on the same funeral pile: but the flames rose apart as they mounted up as if even death was unwilling to unite the fratricides. Polynices was therefore left unburied till Antigone performed his funeral rites.
2 One of the seven chiefs of the army of Adrastus, king of Argos, during the Theban war. He was famous for savage barbarity.
3 The soothsayer Amphiaraus, the brother-in-law of Adrastus, who foretold the destruction of the Argive army before Thebes, but on the decision of his wife Eriphyle, consented to accompany the expe Hition, and was swallowed up in the earth.
Or how, with hills of slain on every side,
Now wretch ! Edipus, deprived of sight,
strook, While from his breast these dreadful accents broke.
“Ye gods! that o'er the gloomy regions reign, Where guilty spirits feel eternal pain; Thou, sable Styx! whose livid streams are rolled Through dreary coasts, which I though blind behold; Tisiphone !4 that oft has heard my prayer, Assist, if Edipus deserve thy care. If you received me from Jocasta's womb, And nursed the hope of mischief yet to come, If, leaving Polybus, I took my way To Cirrha's temple, on that fatal day, When by the son the trembling father died, Where the three roads the Phocian fields divide; If I the Sphinx's' riddles durst explain, 1 Another of the “Seven” chiefs.
2 Parthenopaus.-Pope. 3 He was consumed by lightning while scaling the walls of Thebes. 4 One of the Furies who avenged crimes.-See Argument.
5 The king of Corinth, who had adopted Edipus when he was brought to him by the shepherd. Laius, king of Thebes, warned that the babe would kill him, had it exposed on mount Cithæron. When Edipus grew up he also received a warning from the oracle of the crime he would coinmit, and acting on the prophecy of those fiends who “paltered to him in a double sense,” he fled from Corinth believing that his adopted parents were his real ones, and that by flight he might escape his doom. The terrible Destiny of the Greeks was, however, too strong for him. Near Thebes he met his real father Laius and slew him in a quarrel.
6 The temple of Delphi, where Edipus received the fatal oracle.
7 The story of the Sphinx is too well known to need repetition. The Thebans had promised the crown and widow of Laius to the man who should solve her riddle, and by doing so destroy her, Thus Edipus married his mother,