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lizard will have observed his short, swift | But the dog is referred to in every kind of rushes and absolute stillness, which the relation throughout the poems, some of poet in these lines brings prominently which we may mention later. The fox forward.
is not very
often mentioned ; “ foxlike in And this leads us to remark, that in the vine” reminds us of verses of Themore than one jostance a somewhat un-ocritus :usual trait has apparently been marked by the poet's mind in early life, and bas
αμφί δέ μιν δύ αλώπεκες· α μεν αν’ όρχως again and again presented itself in his
Φοιτη, σινομένα ταν τρώξιμον poems afterwards: We have already but it is no more than a passiog reference called attention to these in the mouse and in a passage of singular beauty; and so, the lizard, and we will now follow up what too, is the line : he has to say about the colt. Every reader
Lighter-footed than the fox, of Greek poetry will remember a passage in the “ Antigone” of Sophocles where of the prince who has the good fortune to the Daughter of the North Wind is called kiss and wake the Sleeping Beauty. åpent mos; and this rather untranslatable footed” occurs in the same sense in “ The word has been gracefully rendered in Princess." “ The Talking Oak," "gamesome as the
Insects are generally used by the poet colt,” in reference to young girl. But to suggest flashing light or swiftness : what we now want to call attention to is
The lightning-flash of insect or of bird; the fact that, wherever he may have had the idea suggested to him, thenceforward and also, without mention of species :the poet frequently efers to the colt as a Dull-coated things, that making slide apart symbol of the exuberance of youthful Their dark wing-cases, all beneath them burns activity and joyousness :
A jewell'd harness, ere they pass and fly. His babes were running wild,
The dragon-fly is honored by specific menLike colts about the waste,
tion: while Enoch Arden was far away. King With his clear plates of sapphire mail, Hildebrand says (to go to Mr. Gilbert for A living flash of light, he flew; nomenclat of Gama's daughter, rather and, again, we have the gleam of the fire. disrespectfully, we admit, “She's yet a
fiy: colt;" and, naving regard to the fact that
Glitter firefly-like; “all the swine were sows, and all the dogs
- ” he might, perhaps, have more accu- and the Pleiads shine rately described her as a filly. But Hil
Like fireflies tangled in a silver braid. debrand is a monarch of too hasty speech to care for accuracy. Again, in the “ Idylls
Among birds which occur most fre. of the King” we hear of Gawain, when a
quently may be mentioned the cock, the boy, that he
dove, the swan, "in among the stars," or “Auting a wild carol ere her death ;
the Ran like a colt, and leapt at all he saw. hawk, and the eagle. The latter is, as We do not know that a colt is referred to dominion and lofty aims, and we do not
usual' in poetry, employed to symbolize in any other sense, except only where St. know that there is anything special in the Simeon alleges that Asmodeus and Abaddon annoyed him sadly
poet's treatment of the king of birds ; he
is referred to in sonorous verses, such as: With colt-like whinny and with hoggish whine, The crane, I said, may chatter of the crane, and they perhaps were youthful fiends. The dove may murmur of the dove, but I,
Another noticeable trait brought out by An eagle clang an eagle to the sphere. Tennyson, which we fancy was suggested And again :by the classical studies of his youth, occurs twice in his earlier poems; the Shall eagles not be eagles? wrens be wrens? curious way in which a dog dreams of the If all the world were falcons, what of that? chase, and shows what he is dreaming of Passing from the king of birds to the With inward yelp and restless forefoot.
king of beasts, we are at once reminded
of that tremendous simile :
(Lucretius.) and the idea recurs in “ Locksley Hall,” in Slowly comes a hungry people, as a lion the bitter description of the squire
Glares at one that nods and winks behind a Like a dog, he hunts in dreams.
And it is interesting to note that, long after | He praised his hens, his geese, his guinea"Locksley Hall ” was written, in * Tiresias
the Demos is contemptuously com. His pigeons. pared by that seer once again to the lion : What can come nearer to the heart of To cast wise words among the multitude
every man than the bluff illustration in
“ The Revenge?” Was flinging fruit to lions.
For a dozen times they came with their pikes This may or may not be a fancied perma- and musqueteers, nence of the poet's impressions. Before And a dozen times we shook 'em off, as a dog we leave mountain and desert we may
that shakes his ears hear, with Jephthal's daughter, “the lion When he leaps from the water to the land. roaring from his den,” and then, descend. Who has not lain awake, like Mariana ing with the anonymous darling of the though, Heaven help her ! she lived in a shepherd, we may " let the wild, lean- moated grange — and headed eagles yelp alone."
heard the night-fowl crow, The lion appears in heraldry on Launcelot's shield, and “
The cock sing out an hour ere light, claspt by a passion
From the dark pen the oxen's low? flower” on Maud's gate; we_hear of French eagles flying over the Pyrenees, Indeed, what strikes the thoughtful and of Roman eagles barked at by the reader of Tennyson most is the homeliBritish raven. And, lastly, the term “lion” ness of the greater part of his illustra. is applied to Sir Richard Grenville in tions; we do not have to go far afield in “ The Revenge :
the realms of imagination to seek for The lion there lay dying, and they yielded to
Horses that have broken fence, the foe.
And glutted all night long breast-deep in
corn; Other persons, however, are not quite so complimentarily referred to by the names of animals : Maud's brother is the
Swallows coming out of time “oiled and curled Assyrian bull," and her Will wonder why they come; father a “lean, grey wolf; " the Spaniards are “dogs of Seville ; the Sepoy pioneer, "a murderous mole ” (but not in this case
The crested bird four-handed one); robbers are in the That claps his wings at dawn. “ Idylls" called "wild bees," and And then, how such lines as the follow“wolves, of woman born;” and we find a ing appeal even to children and the simminstrel referred to as a "grey cricket ” plest persons : chirping by the hearth. It now behoves us to see how far Tenny. The parrot scream'd, the peacock squall’d;
The martin flew son approaches, under our present head, the form of democratic art as set out by or its English exponent, Mr. J. A. Symonds. The cock couldn't crow, and the bull couldn't Does he avoid the note of condescension,
low, the unnatural transfiguration of rusticity And the dog couldn't bark ; and humble life in his poems, which mark the didactic pastoral? No doubt a large number of his efforts stand condemned, es 'ansom a tabby as iver patted a mouse; and, first and foremost, the famous “ Idylls of the King,” the romanticism of which, with their bigh-born heroes and lofty Like threaded spiders one by one we dropt; dames, stinks in the nostrils of the school
or the Newfoundland dog, of Walt Whitman. But many of his smaller poems, notably “ The Brook," " The Re- Two-footed at the limit of his chain, venge, The Siege of Lucknow," and the Roaring to make a third ; dialectical poems, appear to us to approach or the new ideal. How well we all know the loquacity of old Phillip in “ The Brook " And whit, whit, whit, in the bush beside me, when
Chirrupt the nightingale;
A neck to which the swan's his dogs;
Is tawnier than her cygnet's;
which is one of few references to the color be patronized by the younger Pliny must of the swan made by the poet, who sings have been a poor creature, and on the oftenest of her fight, and sometimes of whole lacking in a sense of humor. And her song, but rarely mentions her “pure, consistently with such an estimate of his cold plumes " for their dazzling whiteness ; character we find that Suetonius, in the or, lastly:
only work of his which has come down to A rough dog, to whom he cast his coat
us entire, the lives of the Cæsars, does not “Guard itì” and there was none to meddle attempt to make any display of humor on with it.
his own account. He makes no jokes ; as Anti - vivisectionists will sympathize remark. This shall be mentioned later.
far as I know, he makes only one facetious with the princess when she reviles
Yet there are jokes in Suetonius; nor is The monstrous males that carve the living his book without situations of pathetic hound;
interest. He has made it his business, And, perhaps, even with the hospital besides describing the habits and personal nurse, upon whose imagination a surgeon's appearance of the various emperors of red bair has such a powerful effect that Rome, to give specimens of their wit where she believes he could find it in his heart any are forthcoming. It does not seem
likely, on the whole, that Suetonius was
debarred from giving specimens of jokes Mangle the living dog that had loved him and by any consideration but their absence. fawned at his knee.
We may conclude, then, that while the We hope we have done something to principal jesters were Caligula, Vitellius, enable the reader to see the beasts of the and Vespasian, the remarks of Claudius field and the birds of the air with the are only sources of amusement at his poet's fanciful eye; but we trust he will own expense; while Galba, Otho, and glean the field for himself, where a plenti. Titus made no jokes. The jokes of Otho ful harvest is left ungathered. He will may, it is true, have been considered upfit find them touched with a brightness of for publication even by Suetonius, but fancy that does not fail to delight even the Galba was too old and had not time, and most artificial or borrowed ; but, more Titus too much oppressed with his sense often, throwing its soft charm upon some of responsibility as emperor. Tiberius slight or rarely noted beauty of form or was not without à certain dry humor. habit, the verse lingers with us, and sug. When a deputation came rather late in gests itself again and again. The man the day from the people of Ilium to con. who can read the poems of Tennyson dole with him on the death of his son without gathering some fresh interest in Drusus, he replied that be, too, was grieved animal life, and perceiving some novelty on their account that they had lost an ex. in its aspect towards himself, must indeed cellent citizen called Hector. But Tibe. be
rius was generally too depressed to make deafer than the blue-eyed cat, comings in this respect. Of course Cai
a joke. Caligula made up for his short. And thrice as blind as any noonday owl.
ligula was mad. The man who could invite the moon to bis embraces, appear in public with his beard gilded, or in the garb of Venus and hold imaginary con.
versations, sometimes rising into angry WIT AND PATHOS IN SUETONIUS. altercation with the Capitoline Jupiter, I TAKE it that Suetonius was a thor was mad if any one ever was so. But it oughly dull man; dull, dismal and ob- was in one of his sane moments that he
He was a man to whom his friends described his grandmother Livia as Ulixes could venture to dictate. The younger stolata, “ Ulysses in petticoats,” and his Pliny writes to tell him that it is high time barbarities were generally so conceived his book should appear, as he was only that they should cause amusement to all spoiling it; and again, that it was absurd but the victims. At the contests of elo. of him to be alarmed by a dream about the quence which he instituted at Lyons, it issue of a law-suit in which he was en- was his practice to make the unsuccessful gaged. He requests a friend to get Sue competitors compose orations in praise of tonius a small estate or garden, but is the successful, while those whose produccareful to remark that one such as he, a tions he disapproved were compelled to student and a recluse, would require but a obliterate their own writings with their little one.
The man who could submit to | tongues, unless indeed they preferred to
From The National Review,
be chastised with rods or immersed in the so Suetonius is not kind to him, and renearest stream. When Caligula was ill, a lates unfeelingly how the poor man, perloyal subject vowed a gladiatorial exhibi- haps one of the most laborious students of tion in case of his recovery. Caligula his time, made a fiasco when he attempted recovered from his illness, made the man to realize the fruits of his industry. He carry out his vow, and forced him to fight was to recite part of a history he had as a gladiator at his own games. He written before a large audience. As luck used to compel parents to be present at would have it, at the beginning of the reci. the execution of their children. One such tation several benches gave way beneath unfortunate asked to be excused on the the weight of a fat man.
At this a laugh ground of ill-health. Caligula sent him a arose. But even when it was silenced, litter. On one occasion, a Roman knight the reciter could not help recurring to the who had been exposed to the wild beasts in incident again and again, and bursting the amphitheatre persisted in loudly pro- into renewed laughter, so that it was with testing his innocence. The emperor or. difficulty that he got through the recitation dered him to be removed, and had his at all. Claudius had a habit of making tongue cut out. After that, he again ex. uncalled-for and futile remarks. Thus at posed him to the beasts. Caligula asked a a mimic sea-fight which he gave on the man who had just returned to Rome after a lake Fucinus, the combatants, as usual long period of exile, how he had spent the before the engagements, saluted him with time during his banishment. He replied, the words, “Ave, Cæsar, morituri te salu“In praying the gods that Tiberius might tant.” “Aut non !” Claudius thought die, and you be emperor.” It occurred to it necessary to rejoin. In a moment all the emperor that those at present in exile was confusion. The gladiators were might be offering similar prayers. He pleased to understand the emperor's sent and had them all killed. He had words to mean that they were released been importuned for a long time by a cen- from the necessity of fighting, and they turion to grant him his dismissal, on the refused to fight. The emperor was in ground of ill-health. He ordered him to considerable embarrassment. For some be killed, with the remark that “Blood time he debated whether he should not letting was now necessary, as the man order them all to be destroyed with fire bad been taking hellebore so long without and sword, but eventually rose from his effect.”. One day he was fencing with a seat, ran along the edge of the lake amid professional fighter, with wooden weap- the laughter of the beholders, and at ons; whipping out a dagger, he stabbed length, by dint of threats and entreaties, bim and ran off with the garland of palm prevailed on the gladiators to begin the leaves usually bestowed on victors. On conflict. The Romans were in no awe of another occasion, all the preparations had Claudius. A speaker in a law-suit, at been made for a sacrifice. The victim which Claudius was presiding, had the was at the altar. Caligula, habited in the audacity to say to him, “You are an old garb of one whose duty it is to slay the fool” – kai où yépwv ei kaiuwpós. In fact, victim, stood ready, his dress girt up, mal. from the day when he was drawn out by let raised high in air for the stroke. Down his heels from behind the curtains till he it came, not on the victim but on the was first married and then poisoned by priest. Without approving of the em- his niece, Claudius had but a poor time. peror's conduct, one can understand his To Suetonius's spicilegium of jokes feeling a good deal of satisfaction at deal- Nero makes only a small contribution. ing the blow. The jokes of Caligula have He aspired to be an artist rather than a this common feature, that they are, as a wit, and his remark on the completion of rule, designed to add insult to injury, and the golden house, that now at last he was make his victims appear ridiculous. lodged as a man should be, is conceived
Claudius, as I have said, was a butt rather in the grand style. Yet I imagine rather than a wit. Still, he must have he thought he was saying something rather been the occasion of as much merriment funny when, on appointing officials, he inas many a jester. He was quite a well- troduced them to their new functions with ineaning person, and Augustus's remarks the words, “ And now to business. You about him are justified by the facts. know what I want. Nobody is to have a
Misellus åruyci (he writes to Livia), nam penny left.”. From whatever cause, Nero év rois orovdalous, ubi non aberravit eius met his tragic end having left few jokes, animus apparet ñs yuxös aurou eúyévea.” though many theatrical utterances, for
But he was ridiculous and undignified, and record on the pages of Suetonius. Galba E that the Romans could not stand. And - bald, blue-eyed, gouty Galba — was no
jester. Perhaps, as I said before, he had first attacked by the illness which caused not time. Tacitus described him as his death, he remarked: “Dear me, I Capax imperii nisi imperasset, and from suppose I am turning into a god.” our point of view he may be dismissed The name of Titus is associated witb the with the words, Capax jocandi nisi inte observation Diem perdidi, and thereby be risset. Otho was a man resembling his runs considerable danger of being set predecessor in nothing but the barrenness down as a prig. Domitian was first well of humorous production which he shares meaning though vicious, and afterwards with him. Vitellius, however, though not cracked, but there is one remark of his a wit, had a fund of exuberant jocularity, which is worth noticing. “I wish,” said born of good living and delight at finding he, “ I were as good-looking as Maevius himself an emperor. On his visiting the thinks himself.” This is really not a bad battle-field on which his generals had lately remark, and is capable of indefinitely ex. won him the imperial throne, some of his tended application. suite expressed disgust at the stench of There are a few jokes for which emthe corpses rotting on the field. Vitellius perors are not responsible scattered about reassured them that a slaughtered foe the book. The wit of Roman soldiers was smelt excellently well, and a slaughtered probably more distinguished by coarse. citizen still beiter. This opinion as to ness than merit. Still, I can not help the relative merits of corpses did not, thinking they made a food joke when, in however, prevent him from drinking reference to his fondness for drinking, large draughts of unmixed wine, and dis- they substituted for the name Tiberius tributing the same to his attendants, to do Nero that of Biberius Mero. away with the effects of the odor. (The It is time that I should turn to the remark is Suetonius's own, and is, I think, pathetic element in Suetonius's pages. his only attempt at a' humorous remark.) There was something tragical in the posiYet he was a coarse fellow, Vitellius, and tion of an early Roman einperor. He was it was from pure greed rather than any placed in a position far too exalted to be sense of humor that, when a Roman knight filled by a man. A Roman emperor was whom he had condemned to death begged incalculably more free to exercise bis for forgiveness on the ground that he had power according to his caprices than a made Cæsar his heir, he ordered the will modern despot. He was not only an ab. to be opened, and finding himself asso. solute ruler, from the constitutional point ciated in it with a freedman, commanded of view, but he was entirely unfettered by the freedman to be executed also. More what restrains the modern czar far more witty and less coarse than Vitellius, Ves- effectually than any written laws — the pasian is a man for whom one can feel a force of public opinion. People were quite certain amount of liking. He was a down- ready to believe that the emperor was a right fellow, and was not afraid to go to god, and rather expected him to act with sleep and snore loudly during the musical the carelessness for all restraint character. performances of Nero; and he was en- istic of an Olympian deity. And, again, dowed, too, with qualities which may com- it was not as though they were Oriental mand our respect. But the Romans did despots, who were used to this kind of not appreciate him. They were offended thing. They were still influenced by the by his vulgarity and avarice. They felt traditions of a free state. The power of that these post-Julian emperors were low despotism was advancing, by leaps and creatures; that there had been a great bounds. Nero declared that he was the come-down since the great Julian line had first to make the discovery how much was come to an end, and they were disposėd allowed an emperor. Not till Domitian to be critical of the present occupants of did the emperors assume a title hitherto the throne. Thus Suetonius relaies some reserved to the gods. Such a position stories illustrative of Vespasian's greed was intolerably irksome to reasonable in no friendly spirit. On receiving the men; but many emperors did not retain news from a deputation that the Senate their reason their heads were turned. had resolved to erect a statue in his honor They accepted the general estimate of at a large cost, Vespasian beld out his , their own position and acted accordingly. hand, and said : “ Raise it here at once; Der masstab aller dingen war verloren. the base is all ready.". A better-known Augustus was a reasonable man, and did remark of Vespasian's deserves to be as not like being taken for a god
- at least, well known as it is, as the satire of a sen- not more than was advisable for political sible man on the infatuation of those who reasons. Addressed by a petitioner with would make gods of mortals. On being the title of Dominus, he rebuked him