« PreviousContinue »
Citharon's echoes answer to his call,
The eastern front was glorious to behold,
But on the south, a long majestic race
1 Cyrus was the beginner of the Persian as Ninus of the Assyrian monarchy. The Magi and the Chaldeans (the chief of whom was Zoroaster) employed their studies upon magic and astrology, which was in a manner almost all the learning of the ancient Asian people. We have scarce any account of a moral philosopher except Confucius. tbe great law.giver of the Chinese who lived about two thousand years ago.-Pope.
2 Congfutzee, for that was his real name, flourished just before Prthagoras. He taught justice, obedience to parents, humility, and miversal benevolence. He practised these virtues when a first minis. ter, and when reduced to poverty and exile.- Warton.
3 The leaming of the old Egyptian priests consisted of the most part in geometry and astronomy: they also preserved the history of their nation. Their greatest hero upon record is Sesostris, whose actions and conquests may be seen at large in “Diodorus," &c. He is said to have caused the kings he vanquished to draw him in his chariot. The posture of his statue, in these verses, is correspondent to be description which Herodotus gives of one of them remaining in nis own time. -Pope,
Between the statues obelisks were placed,
Of Gothic structure was the northern side,
1 The architecture is agreeable to that part of the world. The learning of the northern nations lay more obscure than that of the rest; Zamolxis was the disciple of Pythagoras, who taught the immortality of the soul to the Scythians. Olin, or Woden, was the great legislator and hero of the Goths. They tell us of him, that being subject to fits, he persuaded bis followers, that during those trances he received inspirations, from whence he dictated his laws: he is said to have been the inventor of the Ruuic cbaracters.-Pope.
2 These were the priests and poets of those people, so celebrated for their savage virtue. Those heroic barbarians accounted it a dishonour to die in their beds, and rushed on to certain death in the prospect of an after life, and for the glory of a song from their bards in praise of their actions.-Pope.
High on a throne with trophies charged, I viewed
Much-suff'ring heroes next their honours claim,
1 Alexander the Great: the Tiara was the crown pecaliar to the Asian princes: his desire, to be thought the son of Jupiter Ammon, caused him to wear the horns of that god, and to represent the same upon bis coins; which was continued by several of his successors. - Pope.
. 2 The warlıke and learned.
3 The great Theban general, in whom all the virtues were united, who won the battles of Leuctra and Mantinea.
4 Timoleon had saved the life of his brother Timophanes in the battle between the Argives and Corinthians : but afterwards killed bim when he affected the tyranny, preferring his duty to his country to all the obligations of blood.-Pope.
5 E:nperor of Rome.
6 Aristides, who for his great integrity was distinguished by the appellation of the Just. When his countrymen would have banished him by the Ostracism, where it was the custom for every man to sign the name of the person he voted to exile in an oyster-shell, a peasant, who could not write, came to Aristides to do it for him, who readily signed his own name.-Pope.
7 Who. when he was about to drink the hemlock, charged his son to forgive his enemies, and not to revenge his death on those Athenians who had decreed it. -- Warton.
8 Agis, king of Sparta, was beheaded because he tried to restore the ancient discipline of Lycurgus.
Unconquered Cato shows the wound he tore,'
But in the centre of the hallowed choir, 3
A golden column next in rank appeared,
1 Cato who had stabbed himself at Utica to avoid yielding to Cæsar, tore open his wound after it had been bound up, resolved to die.
2 We need scarcely remind the English reader of the “evil genius” which appeared to Brutus at Philippi-so graudly told by Shakespeare in “Julius Cæsar,” Act. 4, Sc. 3.
3 In the midst of the temple, nearest the throne of fame, are placed the greatest names in learning of all antiquity. These are described in such attitudes as express their different characters: the columns on which they are raised are adorned with sculptures, taken from the most striking subjects of their works; which sculpture bears a resem. blance, in its manner and character, to the manner and character of their writings.-Pope.
4 Diomed. Hector dragged by Achilles. Virgil. ? Dido. 8 Æneas carrying his old father Anchises from the flames of Troy,
Troy flamed in burning gold, and o'er the throne, "ARMS AND THE MAN” in golden cyphers shone.
Four swans sustain a car of silver bright,
Here happy Horace tuned th’ Ausonian lyre
Here in a shrine that cast a dazzling light,
1 Pindar being seated in a chariot, alludes to the chariot races le celebrated in the Grecian games. The swans are emblems of poetry, their soaring posture intimates the sublimity and activity of his genius. Neptune presided over the Isthmian.
resided over the Isthmian, and Jupiter over the Olympian games.- Warburton.
* This expresses the inixed character of the odes of Horace.-Bowles. 3 See Horace's ode to Augustus. 4 The action of the Doves hints at a passage in the fourth ode of his third book :
"Me fabulosæ Vulture in Apulo
Altricis extra limen Apuliæ,
Fronde nova puerum palumbes
Non sine Diis animosus infans.”
While yet a child I chanced to stray