Sidor som bilder

Or Hirelings, at a Prize, their Fortunes try;
Certain to fall unpity'd if they Dye;
Since none can have the favourable Thought
That to Obey, a Tyrant's Will they fought,
But that their Lives they willingly expose,
Bought by the Prætors to adorn their shows,

Yet say the Stage and Lifts were both in light,
And you must either chuse to Act, or Fight;
Death never fure bears such a ghastly Shape,
That a rank Coward basely wou'd escape
By playing a foul Harlot's jealous Tool,
Or a feign'd Andrew to a real Fool.
Yet a Peer Actor is no Monstrous thing,
Since Rome has own'd a 23 Fidler for a King:
After such Pranks, the World it self at best
May be Imagin'd nothing but a Jeft.

Go 24 to the Lifts where Feats of Arms are nown,
There you'll find Gracchus, (from Patrician,) grown
A Fencer and the Scandal of the Town.

23 Meaning Nero, whom he right Hand a Javelin foik?d ceasures leverely, in the Pages like a Trident, calla Fufcina.; following, Fig. 33.

and on his left Arm a Net, in • 24 This Period is perplext, which he endeavour'd to catch

and I fear will not be under his Adversary, and from hence . dood in our Language, being was call'd Retiarius. The meanonly a Description of the Rosing of the Poet is, to repréhend man Gladiators, who were of Gracchus . (whom he had before svo forts, and had different rebuked in the second Satyr) Names according to the Arms for three Vices at once : For and Habit they appear'd with ; his Baseness, forasmuch as beone fought with a Cymiter in ing a Nobleman he will conhis right Hand, a Targer on descend to fight upon the pubhis left Arm, and an Helmet lick Theatre: For his Impùe on his Head ; he was calladence, in not chuling an Habit Mirmillo, or Secutor. The o which might have kept him ther wore a short. Coat without disguis'd, and hindred hita Sleeves, cail'd Tunica ; a Hat from being known: And for on his Head; be carried in his bis Covardise in running away.


[ocr errors]


Nor will he the Mirmillo's Weapons bear,
The Modest Helmet he Disdains to wear ;
As Retiarius be Attacks his Foe:
First waves his Trident ready for the throw,
Next casts his Net, but neither levelld right,
He stares about expos’d to publick fight,
Then places all his Safety in his Flight.
Room for the Noble Gladiator! See
His Coat and Hatband new his Quality;
Thus when at last the brave Mirmillo knew
'Twas Gracchus was the Wretch he did pursue,
To Conquer such a Coward grier'd him more,
Than if he many Glorious Wounds had bore.

Had 25 we the freedom to express our Mind,
There's not a Wretch so much to Vice inclin'de
But will


26 Seneca did far excell His Pupil, by whose Tyranny he fell:


A 2$ For the clearer under-, Knowledge of the Conspiracy standing of what follows, it which Piso was carrying on may be necessaryto give a short against his Perfos , Nero Abridgment of Nero's Cruel- laid hold on this opportunity ties, Follies and End: Which to rid himfelf of the uncaly may be found at large in his Cenfurer of his Vices, yet alLife, written by Suetonius and low'd him the Liberty of chuTacitus, and in the Continua- ling the Männer of his Death. tion which Mr. Saville has ad- Senecawas apprehenfive of Pain, ded to his Translation of the and therefore desir'd to have Jaft of these Authors, by way his Veins open’d, which he of Supplement to what is want- judg'd might be the moft easy ing betwixt the Annals and the and pleasant Method of Dy. History. But I shall only re. (ing; but finding it too tedious, late what i find' mention'd in he prevailed with his friend this Satyr, and shall begin with and Physician, Annans Statius, his Parricides,

to give him a Draught of Poy26 Upon Suspicion that Se- ron, which too operating very his Tutor had some' slowly, by reason his veins


[ocr errors]

To expiate whose Complicated Guilt, With some Proportion to the Blood he spilt, Rome 27 shou'd more Serpents, Apes, and Sacks provide Than one, for the Compendious Parricide. 'Tis true 28 Orestes a like Crime did act; Yet weigh the Cause, there's difference in the Fact: were exhausted, and bis Limbs 1 help of Egysthous, at his first chilld, the Standers-by, to Reception, and before he could make quicker Dispatch, smo- suspect such an Attempc. The ther'd him with the Steem of manner how they dispatch'd an hot Bath. Juvenal not un him, is reported differently. jaftly places this Murder of Some Authors relate, that as Seneca among Nero's Parricides, he was changing his Linnea, Gace a Tutor ought to be e- he was filled in a shirt sow'd teem'd as a Civil Parent. together at the Neck. But Ho

27 This bold Thought and mer in the 4th and 11th Books Expresfion of Juvenal is groun- of his Odyssey, where he deded on the Roman Laws, where- scribes this Murder, is of fuby Parricides were condemn'dvenal's Opinion, that he was to be fou'd up in a Bag (call's kill'd at a Banquet, when he Coleus) with a Cock, a Mon- little expe&ed such Treatment, key, a Serpent and a Dog, and Eggsthens after this Murder thrown together into the Sea, married Clytemnestra, and Uor any Neighbouring River. furp'd the Kingdom of Mycena, This Panillment of drowning 7 Years: During which time in a Sack is fill us'd in several Orestes grew up to Man'sEstate Parts of Germany, but without and by the instigation of his the Company of those Crea. Sifter Ele&ra, and the Allifttures above mention'd. ance of some Neighbouring

28 The Story of Orestes (be Princes, marchod from Athens, twist whom and Nero, Juvenal Destroy'd and Murther'd the wou'd draw a Parallel) is this ; Usurper; and at laft, under his Mocher Clytemneftra finding pretence of being Mad, stabb’d her Husband Agamemnon was his mother, Homer (as well return'd alive from the Siege as our Author) justifies this of Troy, and fearing he might Revenge, as being undertaken Revenge her Amours with E. by the Advice of the Gods: Syfthens, with whom the had And Paterculus in fers, they lived in Adultery during her must needs have approved the Husband'sabsence, she thought Axion, liące Orestes (after it) the safest way might be to ar lived long, and seigaed kapfaffinate Agamemnon, by the pily.


He 23 new his Mo:her ar the Gods' Command,
They tid him Atrike, and did direct his Hand;
To punish Falsehood, and appease the Ghost
Of his poor Father treacherously lost,
Just in the Minute when the flowing Bowl
With a full Tide inlarg'd his Chearful Soul.
Yer kill'd he not his 39 Sister, or his 31 Wife,
Nor 32 aim'd at any near Relation's Life:
Orestes, in the Heat of all his Rage,
Ne'er 33 Play'd or Sung upon a Publick Stage;


29 Nero cou'd not suffer his ter) was executed under preMother Agrippina, because of tence of a Conspiracy, but in her encroaching on his Go- truth because he refused to vernment; for which Reason marry Nero after the Death of he made frequent Attempts up. Poppaa. on her Life, but without Suco 32 He caus'd Rufinus Crifcess, till at laft Anicetus his pinus, Son to Poppaa, to be Bondman undertook to Atab drown'd as he was Fising: her;

which the perceiving, and and Aulus Plancus, a Relaguessing by whose Orders hetion of his Mother's, to be came, clapt her Hand upon her kill'd, because she was found Belly, and bid him (with great of him. Presence of Mind, Atrike there, I need mention no more of supposing it deserv'd that Pu- these unnatural Murders, but nimment for bearing such a go on to his other ExtravaMonster.

gancies. 30 He ordered his first wife 33 He was Industrious to be Ołtavia to be publickly execu- esteem'd the best Musician of ted, upon a false accusation his Age; and at his Death of Adultery, and kill'd his se- regretted nothing more feacond Wife Poppaa, when she fibly, than that the World was big with Child, by a kick Thou'd lose so great a Mafter. on the Belly.

To maintain this Reputation, 31 Britannicas (his Brother he frequently condescended to by Adoption) was poison'd by A& and Sing upon the Theater his Orders, out of jealousy among the ordinary Comeleft he shou'd supplant him. dians, and took a Journey to And Antonia (Clandins's Daugh-Greece on purpose to try his

Never 34 on Verse did his wild Thoughts employ,
To paint the horrid Scene of burning Troy,
Like Nero, who to raise his Fancy higher,
And finish the great Work, fet Rome on Fire.
Such 35 Crimes make Treason just, and right compel
Virginius, Vindex, Galba, to Rebel :

skill against the most famous of that country) foon perswa. Artists of that Country; fromded the Armies underhis Comwhom he bore away the Gar-mand to fall from their Alland (which was the usual Re- legiance; and sollicited Sero compence of the best Perfor- gius Galba, who was Licute. mer) return'd to Rome in fri-nant-General in Spain, to do umph, as if he had conquer'd the like, by offering him the a Province; and order'd both Empire in Favour of Mankind; the Garland and Instrument to which he at last accepted, be hung up among the Banners upon intimation that Nero had and Honours of his Family, iffu'd out secret Orders to dis

34 He had likewise a great patch him; and march'd with Vanity towards being thought, all the Forces he cou'd gathers a good Poet, and made Ver- towards Rome. Nero not being ses on the Destruction of Troy, in a Condition to oppose such callid Troica; and 'tis repor Troops, fell into Despair, ted he burnt Rome, to be more which turn'd to an Uncertainty lively and natural in his, De- what Measures to take, whether scription: Tho' 'cis more pro- to Poyson himself, or beg Parbable he destroy'd the Oid. don of the People, or endeaFashion'd Buildings, out of vour to make his Escape. The difike to the narrowners and last of these Methods Teem'd crookedness of the Sereets, most Adviseable; he therefore and to have the Honour of put himself into Disguise, and rebuilding the City better, crept with four Attendants only and calling it by his own Name. into a poor Cottage; where

35 These monstrous Frolicks 'perceiving he was pursued, as and Cruelties cou'd not but a Sacrifibe to the Publick Ven. make his people weary of his geance, and apprehending the Government. Virginius Rufus,' Rabble wou'd Treat him Barwho was his Lieutenant Gene- barously, if he fell into their ral in Gani, by the aflittance: Hands; with much ado he of Junjus Vindex (a Nobleman, resolv'd to Stab himself.


« FöregåendeFortsätt »