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Forth through the throng of gazers the young Icilius pressed,
"Now, by your children's cradles, now, by your father's graves, Be men to-day, Quirites, or be forever slaves!
For this did Servius give us laws? For this did Lucrece bleed!
No Tribune breathes the word of might that guards the weak from wrong
Riches, and lands, and power, and state-ye have them :-keep them still
The axes, and the curule chair, the car, and laurel crown:
Still fill your garners from the soil which our good swords have won.
And store of rods for freeborn backs, and holes for freeborn feet.
And breathe of Capuan odours, and shine with Spanish gold?
That turns the coward's heart to steel, the sluggard's blood to flame.
And learn by proof, in some wild hour, how much the wretched dare.
Straightway Virginius led the maid a little space aside,
To where the reeking shambles stood, piled up with horn and hide,
And how my darling loved me! How glad she was to hear
Then, for a little moment, all people held their breath;
When Appius Claudius saw that deed, he shuddered and sank down,
Then up sprang Appius Claudius: "Stop him; alive or dead!
And he hath passed in safety unto his woful home,
And there ta'en horse to tell the camp what deeds are done in Rome
By this the flood of people was swollen from every side,
Of them that were the nearest and dearest to the slain.
The face of Appius Claudius wore the Claudian scowl and sneer,
But a deep sullen murmur wandered among the crowd VOL. IV-71
Like the moaning noise that goes before the whirlwind on the deep,
The wailing, hooting, cursing, the howls of grief and hate,
No cries were there, but teeth set fast, low whispers, and black frowns,
Then Appius Claudius gnawed his lip, and the blood left his cheek;
"See, see, thou dog! what thou hast done; and hide thy shame in hell!
His vengeance and his mercy, live in our camp-fire songs.
And changes colour like a maid at sight of sword and shield.
A Fabius rushes like a boar against the shouting chase;
But the vile Claudian litter, raging with currish spite,
Still yelps and snaps at those who run, still runs from those who smite.
So now 'twas seen of Appius. When stones began to fly,
He shook, and crouched, and wrung his hands, and smote upon his thigh
His face and neck were all one cake of filth and clotted gore.
THE PROPHECY OF CAPYS.
It can hardly be necessary to remind any | rhus, King of Epirus, came to their help with reader that, according to the popular tradition, a large army; and, for the first time, the two Romulus, after he had slain his grand-uncle great nations of antiquity were fairly matched Amulius, and restored his grandfather Numi- against each other. tor, determined to quit Alba, the hereditary domain of the Sylvian princes, and to found a new city. The gods, it was added, vouchsafed the clearest signs of the favour with which they regarded the enterprise, and of the high destinies reserved for the young colony.
This event was likely to be a favourite theme of the old Latin minstrels. They would naturally attribute the project of Romulus to some divine intimation of the power and prosperity | which it was decreed that his city should attain. They would probably introduce seers foretelling the victories of unborn Consuls and Dictators, and the last great victory would generally occupy the most conspicuous place in the prediction. There is nothing strange in the supposition that the poet who was employed to celebrate the first great triumph of the Romans over the Greeks might throw his song of exultation into this form.
The fame of Greece in arms, as well as in arts, was then at the height. Half a century earlier, the career of Alexander had excited the admiration and terror of all nations from the Ganges to the Pillars of Hercules. Royal houses, founded by Macedonian captains, still reigned at Anticch and Alexandria. That ba:barian warriors, led by barbarian chiefs, should win a pitched battle against Greek valour guided by Greek science, seemed as incredible as it would now seem that the Burmese or the Siamese should, in the open plain, put to flight an equal number of the best English troops. The Tarentines were convinced that their country. men were irresistible in war; and this conviction had emboldened them to treat with the grossest indignity one whom they regarded as the representative of an inferior race. Of the Greek generals then living, Pyrrhus was indisputably the first. Among the troops who The occasion was one likely to excite the were trained in the Greek discipline, his Epistrongest feelings of national pride. A great rotes ranked high. His expedition to Italy was outrage had been followed by a great retribu- a turning-point in the history of the world. He tion. Seven years before this time, Lucius Pos- found there a people who, far inferior to the thumius Megellus, who sprang from one of the Athenians and Corinthians in the fine arts, in noblest houses of Rome, and had been thrice the speculative sciences, and in all the refineConsul, was sent ambassador to Tarentum, with ments of life, were the best soldiers on the face charge to demand reparation for grievous in- of the earth. Their arms, their gradations of juries. The Tarentines gave him audience in rank, their order of battle, their method of intheir theatre, where he addressed them in such trenchment, were all of Latian origin, and had Greek as he could command, which, we may all been gradually brought near to perfection, well believe, was not exactly such as Cineas not by the study of foreign models, but by the would have spoken. An exquisite sense of the genius and experience of many generations ridiculous belonged to the Greek character; of great native commanders. The first words and closely connected with this faculty was a which broke from the king, when his practised strong propensity to flippancy and imperti- eye had surveyed the Roman encampment, nence. When Posthumius placed an accent were full of meaning:-"These barbarians," wrong, his hearers burst into a laugh. When he he said, "have nothing barbarous in their mili remonstrated, they hooted him, and called him tary arrangements." He was at first victoribarbarian; and at length hissed him off the ous; for his own talents were superior to stage as if he had been a bad actor. As the those of the captains who were opposed to grave Roman retired, a buffoon, who, from his him, and the Romans were not prepared for the constant drunkenness, was nicknamed the Pint- onset of the elephants of the East, which were pot, came up with gestures of the grossest in- then for the first time seen in Italy-moving decency, and bespattered the senatorial gown mountains, with long snakes for hands.* But with filth. Posthumius turned round to the the victories of the Epirotes were fiercely dis multitude and held up the gown, as if appeal-puted, dearly purchased, and altogether unpro ing to the universal law of nations. The sight fitable. At length Manius Curius Dentatus, only increased the insolence of the Tarentines. who had in his first consulship won two triThey clapped their hands, and set up a shout umphs, was again placed at the head of the of laughter which shook the theatre. "Men Roman Commonwealth, and sent to encounter of Tarentum," said Posthumius, "it will take the invaders. A great battle was fought near not a little blood to wash this gown." Beneventum. Pyrrhus was completely defeat. ed. He repassed the sea; and the world learned with amazement that a people had been dis
Rome, in consequence of this insult, declared war against the Tarentines. The Tarentines sought for allies beyond the Ionian sea. Pyr
Dion. Hal. De Legationibus.
*Anguimanus is the old Latin epithet for an elephan Lucretius, ii. 538, v. 1302.
Lovered who, in fair fighting, were superior to | first Punic war to a triumphant close. It is the best troops that had been drilled on the impossible to recapitulate the names of these system of Parmenio and Antigonus. eminent citizens without reflecting that they The conquerors had a good right to exult were all, without exception, Plebeians, and in their success, for their glory was all their would, but for the ever memorable struggle own. They had not learned from their enemy maintained by Caius Lucinius and Lucius how to conquer him. It was with their own Sextius, have been doomed to hide in obscunational arms, and in their own national battle-rity, or to waste in civil broils, the capacity array, that they had overcome weapons and and energy which prevailed against Pyrrhus actics long believed to be invincible. The and Hamilcar. pilum and the broadsword had vanquished the Macedonian spear. The legion had broken the Macedonian phalanx. Even the elephants, when the surprise produced by their first appearance was over, could cause no disorder in the steady yet flexible battalions of Rome.
It is said by Florus, and may easily be believed, that the triumph far surpassed in magnificence any that Rome had previously seen. The only spoils which Papirius Cursor and Fabius Maximus could exhibit were flocks and herds, wagons of rude structure, and heaps of spears and helmets. But now, for the first time, the riches of Asia and the arts of Greece The following lay belongs to the latest age adorned a Roman pageant. Plate, fine stuffs, of Latin ballad-poetry. Nævius and Livius costly furniture, rare animals, exquisite paint-Andronicus were probably among the children ings and sculptures, formed part of the pro- whose mothers held them up to see the chariot cession. At the banquet would be assembled of Curius go by. The minstrel who sang on a crowd of warriors and statesmen, among that day might possibly have lived to read the whom Manius Curius Dentatus would take the first hexameters of Ennius, and to see the first highest room. Caius Fabricius Luscinus, then, comedies of Plautus. His poem, as might be after two consulships and two triumphs, Cen- expected, shows a much wider acquaintance sor of the Commonwealth, would doubtless oc- with the geography, manners, and production cupy a place of honour at the board. In situa- of remote nations, than would have been for d tions less conspicuous probably lay some of in compositions of the age of Camillus. B those who were, a few years later, the terror he troubles himself little about dates; and of Carthage; Caius Duilius, the founder of the having heard travellers talk with admiration maritime greatness of his country; Marcus of the Colossus of Rhodes, and of the struc Atilius Regulus, who owed to defeat a renown tures and gardens with which the Macedonian far higher than that which he had derived from kings of Syria had embellished their residence his victories; and Caius Lutatius Catulus, who, on the banks of the Orontes, he has never while suffering from a grievous wound, fought thought of inquiring whether these things exthe great battle of the gates, and brought the 'isted in the age of Romulus.
THE PROPHECY OF CAPYS.
A MAY SUNG AT THE BANQUET IN THE CAPITOL, ON THE DAY WHEN MANIUS CURIUS DENTATUS, A SECOND TIME CONSUL, TRIUMPHED OVER KING PYRRHUS AND THE TARENTINES, IN THE YEAR OF THE CITY CCCCLXXIX.
On such a day we may suppose that the patriotic enthusiasm of a Latin poet would vent itself in reiterated shouts of lo triumphe, such as were uttered by Horace on a far less exciting occasion, and in boasts resembling those which Virgil, two hundred and fifty years later, put into the mouth of Anchises. The superiority of some foreign nations, and especially of the Greeks, in the lazy arts of peace, would be admitted with disdainful candour; but pre-eminence in all the qualities which fit a people to subdue and govern mankind would be claimed for the Romans.
Now slain is King Amulius,
Of the great Sylvian line, Who reigned in Alba Longa,
Op the throne of Aventine. Slan is the Pontiff Camers,
Who spake the words of doom: "The children to the Tiber
The mother to the tomb."
In Alba's lake no fisher
His net to-day is flinging: