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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!
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.
He shook, and crouched, and wrung his hands, and smote upon his thigh
That scarce the train with might and main could bring their lord along
His face and neck were all one cake of filth and clotted gore.
THE PROPHECY OF CAPYS.
Ir can hardly be necessary to remind any reader that, according to the popular tradition, Romulus, after he had slain his grand-uncle Amulius, and restored his grandfather Numitor, 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.
rhus, King of Epirus, came to their help witn a large army; and, for the first time, the two great nations of antiquity were fairly matched against each other.
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:
This event was likely to be a favourite theme of the old Latin minstrels. They would natu- barian warriors, led by barbarian chiefs, should rally attribute the project of Romulus to some win a pitched battle against Greek valour guiddivine intimation of the power and prosperity | ed by Greek science, seemed as incredible as it which it was decreed that his city should at- would now seem that the Burmese or the Siamtain. They would probably introduce seers ese should, in the open plain, put to flight an foretelling the victories of unborn Consuls and equal number of the best English troops. The Dictators, and the last great victory would ge- Tarentines were convinced that their countrynerally occupy the most conspicuous place in men were irresistible in war; and this convic the prediction. There is nothing strange in the tion had emboldened them to treat with the supposition that the poet who was employed to grossest indignity one whom they regarded as celebrate the first great triumph of the Romans the representative of an inferior race. Of the over the Greeks might throw his song of exulta- Greek generals then living, Pyrrhus was intion into this form. disputably 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 ticn. 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 buffeon, 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 dismultitude and held up the gown, as if appeal-puted, dearly purchased, and altogether unproing 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 defeated. 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 elephant Lucretius, ii. 538, v. 1302,
covered who, in fair fighting, were superior to the best troops that had been drilled on the system of Parmenio and Antigonus.
The conquerors had a good right to exult in their success, for their glory was all their own. They had not learned from their enemy how to conquer him. It was with their own national 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.
first Punic war to a triumphant close. It is impossible to recapitulate the names of these eminent citizens without reflecting that they were all, without exception, Plebeians, and would, but for the ever memorable struggle maintained by Caius Lucinius and Lucius Sextius, have been doomed to hide in obscu
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 But now, for the first spears and helmets. The following lay belongs to the latest age time, the riches of Asia and the arts of Greece 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 a tions less conspicuous probably lay some of in compositions of the age of Camillus. Bu 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 structures and gardens with which the Macedonian Atilius Regulus, who owed to defeat a renown 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 Ægates, and brought the isted in the age of Romulus.
THE PROPHECY OF CAPYS.
AAY 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.
Now slain is King Amulius,
Op he throne of Aventine.
Who spake the words of doom:
The mother to the tomb."
On such a day we may suppose that the patriotic enthusiasm of a Latin poet would vent itself in reiterated shouts of Io 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.
In Alba's lake no fisher
His net to-day is flinging:
Through all the Alban villages
Thou wast not made for lucre,
For pleasure, nor for rest; Thou that art sprung from the War-god's [loins, And hast tugged at the she-wolf's breast.
All earth shall hear thy fame:
"The ox toils through the furrow, Obedient to the goad;
The patient ass, up flinty paths,
17. "But thy nurse will hear no master, Thy nurse will bear no load.