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ment, and willing to abandon both his empire and his mistress for a sight of the Fountains of the Nile. Such did Julius Caesar appear to his cotempor aries and to those of the subsequent ages, who were the most inclined to deplore and execrate his fatal genius.
But we must not be so much dazzled with his surpassing glory or with his magnanimous, his amiable qualitics, as to forget the decision of his impartial countryman:
HE WAS JUSTLY SLAIN. I
Sanguine Thessalicae cladis perfusus adulter
Admisit Venereni curis, et miscuit armis. After feasting with his mistress, he sits up all night to converse with the Aegyptian sages, and tells Achoreus,
Spes sit mihi certa videndi Niliacos fontes, bellum civile relinquam. "Sic velut in tuta securi pace trahebant
Noctis iter medium." Immediately afterwards, he is fighting again and defending every position.
“Sed adest defensor ubique
Praecipiti cursu bellorum et tempore rapto.” 1 “Jure caesus existemetur,” says Suetonius after a fair estimation of his character, and making use of a phrase which was a formula in Livy's time. “Melium jure corsum pronuntiavit, etiam si regni crimine insons fuerit :" [lib. iv. cap. 48.] and which was continued in the legal judgments pronounced in justifiable homicides, such as killing housebreakers. See Sueton. in vit, C. J. Caesar, with the commentary of Pitiscus, p. 184.
Note 48, page 139, lines 10 and 11, What from this barrén being do we reap? Our senses narrow, und our reason frail. no... omnes pene veteres, qui nihil cognosci, nihil percepi, nihil sciri posse dixerunt; `augustos sensus; imbecillos animos, brevia curricula vitae, in profundo veritatem demersam; opinionibus et institutis omnia teneri ; nihil veritati relinqui: deinceps omnia tenebris circumfusa esse dixerunt.” I The eighteen hundred years which have elapsed since Cicero wrote this, have not removed any of the imperfections of humanity: and the complaints of the ancient philosophers may, without injustice or affectation, be transcribed in a poem written yesterday,
i Note 49, page 142, line 10. There is a stern round tower of other days. Alluding to the tomb of Cecilia Metella, called Capo di Bove, in the Appian Way. See - Historical Illustrations of the IVth Canto of Childe Harold.
Note 51, page 146, line 18. Behold the Imperial Mount ! 'tis thus the mighty falls.
The Palatinc is one mass of ruins, particularly on the side towards the Circus Maximus. The very soil is formed of crumbled brick - work. Nothing has been told, nothing can be told, to satisfy the belief of any but a Roman antiquary. -See-Historical Illustrations, p. 206.
Note 52, page 147, lines 1, 2 and 3.
The author of the Life of Cicero, speaking of the opinion entertained of Britain by that orator and his cotemporary Romans, has the following eloquent paskage: “From their railleries of this kind, on the barbarity and misery of our island, one cannot help reflecting on the surprising fate and revolutions of kingdoms, how Rome, once the mistress of the world, the seat of arts, empire and glory, now lies sunk in sloth, ignorance and poverty, enslaved to the most cruel as well as to the most contemptible of tyrants, superstition and religious imposture: while this remote country, anciently the jest and contempt of the polite Romans, is become the happy seat of liberty, plenty and letters; flourishing in all the arts and refinements of civil life; yet running perhaps the same course which Rome itself had run before it, from virtuous industry to wealth; from wealth to luxury to an impatience of discipline, and corruption of morals: till by a total degeneracy and loss
of virtue, being grown ripe for destruction, it fall a prey at last to some hardy oppressor, and with the loss of liberty, losing every thing that is valuable, sinks gradually again into its original barbarism." I
Note 53, page 148, lines 8 and 9.
And apostolic statues climb To crush the imperial urn, whose ashes slept sublime.
The column of Trajan is surmounted by St. Peter; that of Aurelius by St. Paul. See - Historical Illustrations of the IVth Canto, etc.
Note 54, page 148, line 18.
Trajan was proverbially the best of the Roman princes : 2 and it would be easier to find a sovereign uniting exactly the opposite characteristics, than one possessed of all the happy qualities ascribed to this emperor. “When he mounted the throne,” says the historian Dion, 3 “he was strong in body, he was rigorous,
I The History of the Life of Mr. Tullius Cicero, sect. vi. vol. ii. p. 101. The contrast has been reversed in a late extraordinary instance. A gentleman was thrown into prison at Paris; efforts were made for his release. The French minister continued to detain him, under the pretext that he was not an Englishmann, but only a Roman. See “Interesting facts relating to Joachim Murat,” p. 139.
2. Hujus tantùm memoriae delatum est ut, usque ad nostram aetatem non aliter in Senatu principibus acclamatur, nisi, felicior . AVGVSTO . MELIOR. TRAJANO. »S Eutrop. Brev. Hist. Rom. lib. viii, cap. v. .
3 rý te yag oumato zgowto ........ sal tñ yung
in mind; age had impaired none of his faculties ; he was altogether free from envy and from detraction; he honoured all the good and he advanced them; and on this account they could not be the objects of his fear, or of his hate; he never listened to informers ; he gave not way to his anger; he abstained equally from unfair exactions and unjust punishments; he had rather be loved as a man than honoured as a sovereign; he was affable with his people, respectful to the senate, and universally beloved by both; he inspired none with dread but the enemies of his country.”
Note 55, page 150, line 5. Rienzi, last of Romans. The name and exploits of Rienzi must be familiar to the reader of Gibbon. Some details and inedited manuscripts relative to this unhappy hero, will be seen in the Illustrations of the IVth Canto,