網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Englishmen, and the luminous source of all their glory. Shall we then forget the manly and dignified sentiments of our ancestors, to prate in the language of the mother or the nurse about our good old prejudices ? This is not the way to defend the cause of truth. It was not thus that our fathers maintained it in the brilliant periods of our history. Prejudice may be trusted to guard the outworks for a short space of time while reason slumbers in the citadel : but if the latter sink into a lethargy, the former will quickly erect a standard for herself. Philosophy, wisdom, and liberty, sup

ther; he who will not reason, is a bigot; he who cannot, is a fool ; and he who dares not, is a slave.” Preface, p. xiv, xv. vol. i. 1805.

port each

Note 58. Stanza cxxxii.

-great Nemesis !

Here, where the ancient paid thee homage long. We read in Suetonius that Augustus, from a warning received in a dream, * counterfeited once a-year the beggar, sitting before the gate of his palace, with his hand hollowed and stretched out for charity. A statue formerly in the Villa Borghese, and which should be now at Paris, represents the emperor in that posture of supplication. The object of this self-degradation was the appeasement of Nemesis, the perpetual attendant on good fortune, of whose power the Roman conquerors were also reminded by certain symbols attached to their cars of triumph. The symbols were the whip and the crotalo, which were discovered in the Nemesis of the Vatican. The attitude of beggary made the above statue pass for that of Belisarius : and until the criticism of Winkelmannt had rectified the mistake, one fiction was called in to support another. It was the same fear of the sudden termination of prosperity that made Amasis, king of Egypt, warn his friend Polycrates of Samos, that the gods loved those whose lives were chequered with good and evil fortunes. Nemesis was supposed to lie in wait particularly for the prudent : that is, for those whose caution rendered them accessible only to mere accidents; and her first altar was raised on the banks of the Phrygian Æsepus by Adrastus, probably the prince of that name who killed the son of Creesus by mistake. Hence the goddess was called Adrastea.

The Roman Nenesis was sacred and august; there was a temple to her in the Palatine under the name of Rhamnusia : 9 so great indeed was the propensity of the ancients to trust to the revolution of events, and to believe in the divinity of fortune, that in the same Palatine there was a temple to the fortune of the day.** This is the last superstition which retains its hold over the human heart; and from concentrating in one object the credulity so natural to man, has always appeared strongest in those unembarrassed by other articles of belief. The antiquaries have supposed this goddess to be synonymous with fortune and with fate: Ht but it was not in her vindictive quality that she was worshipped under the name of Nemesis.

* Sueton. in vit. Augusti, cap. 91. Casaubon, in the note, refers to Plutarch's Lives of Camillus and Æmilius Paulus, and also to his apophthegms, for the character of this deity. The hollowed hand was reckoned the last degree of degradation : and when the dead body of the præfect Rufinus was borne about in triumph by the people, the indignity was increased by putting his hand in that position.

+ Storia delle arti, &c., lib. xii. cap. iii. tom. ii. p. 422. Visconti calls the statue, however, a Cybele. It is given in the Museo Pio. Clement. tom. i. par. 40. The Abate Fea (Spiegazione dei Rami, Storia, &c., tom. iii. p. 513), calls it a Chrysippus.

Dict. de Bayle, article Adrastea.

It is enumerated by the regionary Victor.
** “ Fortunæ hujusce diei.” Cicero mentions her, de legib., lib. ii.

+ DEAE NEMESI
SIVE FORTVNA

PISTORIVS
RVGIANVS
V. C. LEGAT.
LEG. XIII. G.

GORD.
See Questiones Romanæ, &c., ap. Græv. Antiq. Roman. tom. v. p. 942. See also Muratori, Nov. Thesaur.
Inscript. Vet. tom, i. p. 88, 89; where there are three Latin and one Greek inscription to Nemesis, and
others to Fate.

or

Note 59. Stanza cxl.

I see before me the gladiator lie. Whether the wonderful statue which suggested this image be a laquearian gladiator, which in spite of Winkelmann's criticism has been stoutly maintained, whether it be a Greek herald, as that great antiquary positively asserted, † or whether it is to be thought a Spartan or barbarian shield-bearer, according to the opinion of his Italian editor, # it must assuredly seem a copy of that master-piece of Ctesilaus which represented a wounded man dying, who perfectly expressed what there remained of life in him." S Montfaucon ** and Maffeitt thought it the iden. tical statue ; but that statue was of bronze. The gladiator was once in the villa Ludovizi, and was bought by Clement XII. The right arm is an entire restoration of Michael Angelo. #

66

Note 60. Stanza cxli.

-he, their sire Butcher'd to make a Roman holiday, Gladiators were of two kinds, compelled and voluntary ; and were supplied from several conditions ; from slaves sold for that purpose; from culprits; from barbarian captives either taken in war, and, after being led in triumph, set apart for the games, or those seized and condemned as rebels; also from free citizens, some fighting for hire (auctoritati), others from a depraved ambition: at last even knights and senators were exhibited, a disgrace of which the first tyrant was naturally the first inventor.98 In the end, dwarfs, and even women, fought; an enormity prohibited by Severus. Of these the most to be pitied undoubtedly. were the barbarian captives ; and to this species a Christian writer*** justly applies the epithet“ innocent,to distinguish them from the professional gladiators. Aurelian and Claudius supplied great numbers of these unfortunate victims; the one after his triumph, and the other on the pretext of a rebellion.ttt No war, says Lipsius,#was ever so destructive to the human race as these sports. In spite of the laws of Constantine and Constans, gladiatorial shows survived the old established religion more than seventy years ; but they owed their final extinction to the courage of a Christian. In the year 404, on the kalends of January, they were exhibiting the shows in the Flavian amphitheatre, before the usual immense concourse of people. Almachius or Telemachus, an eastern monk, who had travelled to Rome intent on his holy purpose, rushed into the midst of the area, and endeavoured to separate the combatants. The Prætor Alypius, a person incredibly attached to these games, 98gave instant orders to the gladiators to slay him: and Telemachus gained the crown of martyrdom, and the title of saint, which surely has never, either before or since, been awarded for a more noble exploit. Honorius immediatel abolished the shows, which were never afterwards revived.

* By the Abate Bracci, dissertazione sopra un clipeo votivo, &c. Preface, p. 7, who accounts for the cord round the neck, but not for the horn, which it does not appear the gladiators themselves ever used. , Note (A) Storia delle arti, tom. ii. p. 205.

† Either Polifontes, herald of Laius, killed by Edipus; or Cepreas, herald of Eurytheus, killed by the Athenians when he endeavoured to drag the Heraclidæ from the altar of mercy, and in whose honour they instituted annual games, continued to the time of Hadrian; themocritus, the Athenian herald, killed by the Megarenses, who never recovered the impiety. See Storia delle arti, &c., tom. ii. p. 203, 204, 205, 206, 207. lib. ix. cap. ii. I Storia, &c., tom. ii. p. 207. Not. (A.)

"Vulneratum deficientem fecit in quo possit intelligi quantum restat animæ.” Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. xxxiv. cap. 8.

** Antiq. tom. iii. par. 2. tab. 155.
tt Racc. stat. tab. 64.
11 Mus. Capitol. tom. iii. p. 154, edit. 1755.

$$ Julius Cæsar, who rose by the fall of the aristocracy, brought Furius Leptinus and A. Calenus upon the arena.

*** Tertullian; “certe quidem et innocentes gladiatores in ludum veniunt, ut voluptatis publicæ hostiæ fiant." Just. Lips. Saturn. Sermon. lib. ii. cap. iii.

Itt Vopiscus, in vit. Aurel. and in vit. Claud, ibid.

111 “ Credo, imo scio, nullum bellum tantam cladem vastitiemque generi humano intulisse, quam hos ad voluptatem ludos.” Just. Lips. ibid. lib. i. cap. xii.

999 Augustinus (lib. vi. Confess. cap. viii.) “ Alypium suum gladiatorii spectaculi inhiatu incredibiliter abreptum," scribit. Ibid. lib. i. cap. xii.

The story is told by Theodore * and Cassiodorus, t and seems worthy of credit, notwithstanding its place in the Roman martyrology. Besides the torrents of blood which flowed at the funerals, in the amphitheatres, the circus, the forums, and other public places, gladiators were introduced at feasts, and tore each other to pieces amidst the supper tables, to the great delight and applause of the guests. Yet Lipsius permits himself to suppose the loss of courage, and the evident degeneracy of mankind, to be nearly connected with the abolition of these bloody spectacles. 8

Note 61. Stanza cxli.
Here, where the Roman million's blame or praise

Was death or life, the playthings of a crowd. When one gladiator wounded another, he shouted “ he has it," “ hoc habet,” or “ habet.” The wounded combatant dropped his weapon, and, advancing to the edge of the arena, supplicated the spectators. If he had fought well, the people saved him; if otherwise, or as they happened to be inclined, they turned down their thumbs, and he was slain. They were occasionally so savage, that they were impatient if a combat lasted longer than ordinary without wounds or death. The emperor's presence generally saved the vanquished : and it is recorded as an instance of Caracalla's ferocity, that he sent those who supplicated him for life, in a spectacle at Nicomedia, to ask the people; in other words, handed them over to be slain. A similar ceremony is observed at the Spanish bull-fights. The magistrate presides ; and, after the horsemen and piccadores have fought the bull, the matadore steps forward and bows to him for permission to kill the animal. If the bull has done his duty by killing two or three horses, or a man, which last is rare, the people interfere with shouts, the ladies wave their handkerchiefs, and the animal is saved. The wounds and death of the horses are accompanied with the loudest acclamations, and many gestures of delight, especially from the female portion of the audience, including those of the gentlest blood. Every thing depends on habit. The author of Childe Harold, the writer of this note, and one or two other Englishmen, who have certainly in other days borne the sight of a pitched battle, were, during the summer of 1809, in the governor's box at the great amphitheatre of Santa Maria, opposite to Cadiz. The death one or two horses completely satisfied their curiosity. A gentleman present, observing them shudder and look pale, noticed that unusual reception of so delightful a sport to some young ladies, who stared and smiled, and continued their applauses as another horse fell bleeding to the ground. One bull killed three horses off his own horns. He was saved by acclamations, which were redoubled when it was known he belonged to a priest.

An Englishman, who can be much pleased with seeing two men beat themselves to pieces, cannot bear to look at a horse galloping round an arena with his bowels trailing on the ground, and turns from the spectacle and the spectators with horror and disgust.

Note 62. Stanza cxliv.

Like laurels on the bald first Cæsar's head. Suetonius informs us that Julius Cæsar was particularly gratified by that decree of the senate, which enabled him to wear a wreath of laurel on all occasions. He was anxious, not to show that he was the conqueror of the world, but to hide that he was bald. A stranger at Rome would hardly have guessed the motive, nor should we without the help of the historian.

Note 63. Stanza cxlv.

While stands the Coliseum, Rome shali stand," &c. This is quoted in the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire : and a notice on the

* Hist. Eccles. cap. xxvi. lib. v.
+ Cassiod. Tripartita, l. x. c. xi. Saturn. ib.

Baronius ad ann. et in notis ad Martyrol. Rom. 1. Jan. See Marangoni delle memorie sacre e profane dell' Amfiteatro Flavio, p. 25, edit. 1746.

“ Quod ? non tu Lipsi momentum aliquod habuisse censes ad virtutem ! Magnum. Tempora nostra, nosque ipsos videamus. Oppidum ecce unum alterumve captum, direptum est ; tumultus circa nos, non in nobis : et tamen concidimus et turbamur. Ubi robur, ubi tot per annos meditata sapientiæ studia? ubi ile animus qui possit dicere, si fractus illabatur orbis ?&c. ibid., lib. ii. cap. xxv. The prototype of Mr. Windham's panegyric on bull-baiting.

Coliseum may be seen in the Historical Illustrations to the IVth Canto of Childe
Harold.

Note 64. Stanza cxlvi.

-spared and blest by time. “ Though plundered of all its brass, except the ring which was necessary to preserve the aperture above, though exposed to repeated fires, though sometimes flooded by the river, and always open to the rain, no monument of equal antiquity is so well preserved as this rotunda. It passed with little alteration from the Pagan into the present worship ; and so convenient were its niches for the Christian altar, that Michael Angelo, ever studious of ancient beauty, introduced their design as a model in the Catholic church.”—FORSYTH’s Remarks, 8c., on Italy, p. 137 ; sec.

edit.

1

Note 65. Stanza cxlvii.
And they who feel for genius may repose

Their eyes on honour'd forms, whose busts around them close.
The Pantheon has been made a receptacle for the busts of modern great, or, at
least, distinguished men. The flood of light which once fell through the large orb
above the whole circle of divinities, now shines on a numerous assemblage of mor-
tals, some one or two of whom have been almost deified by the veneration of their
countrymen.

Note 66. Stanza cxlviii.

There is a dungeon, in whose dim drear light. This and the three next stanzas allude to the story of the Roman Daughter, which is recalled to the traveller, by the site or pretended site of that adventure now shown at the church of St. Nicholas in carcere. The difficulties attending the full belief of the tale are stated in Historical Illustrations, &c.

Note 67. Stanza clii.

Turn to the mole which Hadrian rear'd on high. The castle of Saint Angelo. See Historical Illustrations.

Note 68. Stanza cliïi.

But lo! the domethe vast and wondrous dome. This and the six next stanzas have a reference to the church of St. Peter. For a measurement of the comparative length of this basilica, and the other great churches of Europe, see the pavement of St. Peter's, and the Classical Tour through Italy, vol. ii. page 125, et seq. chap. iv.

Note 69. Stanza clxxi.

-the strange fate

Which tumbles mightiest sovereigns. Mary died on the scaffold ; Elizabeth of a broken heart; Charles V. a hermit; Louis XIV. a bankrupt in means and glory; Cromwell of anxiety; and,—“ the greatest is behind,”— Napoleon lives a prisoner. To these sovereigns a long but superfluous list might be added of names equally illustrious and unhappy.

Note 70. Stanza clxxiii.

Lo, Nemi! navell'd in the woody hills. The village of Nemi was near the Arician retreat of Egeria, and, from the shades which embosomed the temple of Diana, has preserved to this day its distinctive appellation of The Grove. Nemi is but an evening's ride from the comfortable inn of Albano.

Note 71. Stanza clxxiv.

-and afar
The Tiber winds, and the broad ocean laves

The Latian coast, &c. &c.
The whole declivity of the Alban hill is of unrivalled beauty, and from the con-
vent on the highest point, which has succeeded to the temple of the Latian Jupiter,
the prospect embraces all the objects alluded to in the cited stanza : the Mediter-

ranean; the whole scene of the latter half of the Æneid; and the coast from beyond the mouth of the Tiber to the headland of Circæum and the Cape of Terracina.

The site of Cicero's villa may be supposed either at the Grotto Ferrata, or at the Tusculum of Prince Lucien Buonaparte.

The former was thought some years ago the actual site, as may be seen from Middleton's Life of Cicero. At present it has lost something of its credit, except for the Domenichinos. Nine monks, of the Greek order, live there, and the adjoining villa is a cardinals summer-house. The other villa, called Ruffinella, is on the summit of the hill above Frascati, and 'many rich remains of Tusculum have been found there, besides seventy-two statues of different merit and preservation, and seven busts.

From the same eminence are seen the Sabine hills, embosomed in which lies the long valley of Rustica. There are several circumstances which tend to establish the identity of this valley with the “ Ustica” of Horace : and it seems possible that the mosaic pavement which the peasants uncover by throwing up the earth of a vineyard, may belong to his villa. Rustica is pronounced short, not according to our stress upon—“ Usticæ cubantis.—It is more rational to think that we are wrong,

than that the inhabitants of this secluded valley have changed their tone in this word. The addition of the consonant prefixed is nothing : yet it is necessary to be aware that Rustica may be a modern name which the peasants may have caught from the antiquaries.

The villa, or the mosaic, is in a vineyard, on a knoll covered with chesnut-trees. A stream runs down the valley, and although it is not true, as said in the guidebooks, that this stream is called Licenza, yet there is a village on a rock at the head of the valley which is so denominated, and which may have taken its name from the Digentia. Licenza contains 700 inhabitants. On a peak a little way beyond is Civitella, containing 300. On the banks of the Anio, a little before you turn up into Valle Rustica, to the left, about an hour from the villa, is a town called Vico-varo, another favourable coincidence with the Varia of the poet. At the end of the yalley, towards the Anio, there is a bare hill, crowned with a little town called Bardela. At the foot of this hill the rivulet of Licenza flows, and is almost absorbed in a wide sandy bed before it reaches the Anio. Nothing can be more fortunate for the lines of the poet, whether in a metaphorical or direct sense :

“ Me quotiens reficit gelidus Digentia rivus,

Quem Mandela bibit rugosus frigore pagus.” The stream is clear high up the valley, but before it reaches the hill of Bardela looks green and yellow, like a sulphur rivulet.

Rocca Giovane, a ruined village in the hills, half an hour's walk from the vineyard where the pavement is shown, does seem to be the site of the fane of Vacuna, and an inscription found there tells that this temple of the Sabine victory was repaired by Vespasian.* With these helps, and a position corresponding exactly to every thing which the poet has told us of his retreat, we may feel tolerably secure of our site.

The hill which should be Lucretilis is called Campanile, and by following up the rivulet to the pretended Bandusia, you come to the roots of the higher mountain Gennaro. Singularly enough, the only spot of ploughed land in the whole valley is on the knoll where this Bandusia rises,

Tu frigus amabile
Fessis vomere tauris

Præbes, et pecori vago." The peasants show another spring near the mosaic pavement, which they call “ Oradina,” and which flows down the hills into a tank, or mill-dam, and thence trickles over the Digentia. But we must not hope

“ To trace the Muses upwards to their spring," by exploring the windings of the romantic valley in search of the Bandusian fountain.

* IMP. CÆSAR VESPASIANVS
PONTIFEX MAXIMVS. TRIB.

POTEST, CENSOR. ADEM VICTORIÆ. VETUSTATE ILLAPSAM

SVA. IMPENSA, RESTITVIT.

« 上一頁繼續 »