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The kingdoms of the world, and all their glory.
This emp'ror hath no son, and now is old,

90
Old and lascivious, and from Rome retir'd
To Capreæ an island small but strong
On the Campanian shore, with purpose

there His horrid lusts in private to enjoy, Committing to a wicked favourite

95 All public cares, and yet of him suspicious, Hated of all, and hating; with what ease, Indued with regal virtues as thou art, Appearing, and beginning noble deeds, Might'st thou expel this monster from his throne

100 Now made a sty, and in his place ascending

90. This emp'ror &c.] This Suetonius, c. 40. and Tacit. account of the emperor Tiberius Annal. iv. 67. See also Suetoretiring from Rome to the island nius, c. 42. and 43. and Tacit. Capreæ, and there enjoying his Annal. vi. 1. his neglect of all horrid lusts in private, and in public cares, Suetonius, c. 41. the mean while committing the and the character and authority government to his wicked fa- of Sejanus, Tacit. Annal. iv. 1. 2. vourite and minister Sejanus, 68. the suspicions of the emtogether with the character of peror, Annal. vi. 1. Sueton. 61. this emperor, is perfectly agree- Seneca, epist. lxxxiii. his being able to the Roman histories, and hated of all and hating, Sueton. particularly those of Suetonius 63, 66. Dunster. and Tacitus, who have painted 101. -and in his place ascendthis monster (as our author calls ing him) in such colours as he de- A victor people free &c.] served to be described in to po. There should be no comma after sterity.

victor according to the author's 90. This emp'ror hath no son, own correction; but yet I think &c.] The accuracy of the poet all the editors have preserved in every particular of this ac- the first mistaken pointing, count is well worth noticing. -and in his place ascending See the change in the conduct of A victor, people free from servile Tiberius after the death of Dru

yoke ? sus described by Dion Cassius, For the meaning is not that our lvii. Tacitus, Annal. iv. 1. the Saviour ascending a victor might increase of his vices with his free &c. but ascending might free age, Tacitus, Annal. vi. 51. Sue- a victor people, as the Romans tonius, Vit. Tiber. c. 44. the na- are afterwards called, ver. 132. ture of his retreat at Capreæ, That people victor once &c.

105

A victor people free from servile yoke?
And with my help thou may’st; to me the power
Is giv'n, and by that right I give it thee.
Aim therefore at no less than all the world,
Aim at the high’est, without the high’est attain'd
Will be for thee no sitting, or not long,
On David's throne, be prophesied what will.

To whom the Son of God unmov'd replied.
Nor doth this grandeur and majestic show
Of luxury, though call'd magnificence,
More than of arms before, allure mine eye,
Much less my mind; though thou should'st add to tell
Their sumptuous gluttonies, and gorgeous

feasts On citron tables or Atlantic stone, (For I have also heard, perhaps have read,)

110

115

103. to me the power

tic stone,] Tables made of ciIs given, and by that right I tron wood were in such request give it thee.]

among the Romans, that Pliny All this power will I give thee, calls it mensarum insania. They and the glory of them; for that is were beautifully veined and spotdelivered unto me, and to whom- ted. See his account of them, soever I will I give it. Luke iv. 6. lib. xiii. sect. 29. I do not find Dunster.

that the Atlantic stone or marble 114. Their sumptuous gluttonies, was so celebrated: the Numidicus and gorgeous feasts,] The poet lapis and Numidicum marmor are had here perhaps in his mind often mentioned in Roman authe account given by Suetonius, thors. c. 13. of the sumptuous gluttonies 115. It was one of Cicero's of Vitellius, or the immense sums charges against Verres that he expended in this way by the had seized upon a beautiful cifamous Apicius; see Seneca's ac- tron table belonging to Q. Lutacount of his end, De Consolat. tius Diodorus. This citron wood, ad Helv. c. 10. The gorgeousness which grew upon Mount Atlas of the Roman feasts is thus de- in Mauritania, was held by the scribed by Manilius, 1. v. 507. Romans equally valuable with -Triclinia templis

gold. See Martial, l. xiv. ep. Concertant; tectique auro jam ves

Ixxxix. and Varro de R. R. iii. 2. cimur aurum.

and Lucan, Pharsal. x. 144.

Dunster. Dunster. 115. On citron tables or Allan.

Their wines of Setia, Cales, and Falerne,
Chios and Crete, and how they quaff in gold,
Crystal and myrrhine cups imboss’d with gems
And studs of pearl, to me should'st tell who thirst 120

117. Their wines of Setia, Cales, Murrhæque in Parthis pocula cocta and Falerne,

focis, Chios and Crete,]

that they were like our porceThe three former were Italian, lain : but if they were so very and the two latter were Greek fragile as they are represented to wines, much admired and com- be, it is not easy to conceive how mended by the ancients. they could be imbossed with gems

117. Campania was famous for and studs of pearl. I suppose the wines of Setia, Cales, and our author asserted it from the Falerne. See Plin. Hist. Nat. iii. words immediately following in 5. The Falernian was commonly Pliny. Nec hoc fuit satis: turba considered as the best. See Virg. gemmarum potamus, et smaragGeorg. ii. 96. Tibullus, l. i. el.9. dis teximus calices: ac temuand Varro de R. R. i. 2. Setine lentiæ causa tenere Indiam juvat: wine, according to Pliny, xiv. 6. et aurum jam accessio est. Or was the favourite wine of Augus- perhaps the words imbossed with tus. Horace speaks of the Cale- gems, &c. refer only to gold first nian wine as a luxury of the mentioned, which is no unusual highest kind, 1. i. od. xxxi. 9. construction. They quaff in gold Horace also praises the Chian imbossed with gems and studs of wine, 2 sat. iii. 115. and 1. iii. pearl. od. xix. 5. as Cretan wine is 119. That the ancients quaffed celebrated by Martial, l. xiii. in gold embossed with gems, &c. ep. 106. and Juvenal, xiv. 270. appears from numberless pasDunster.

sages of their writers. See Cic. 119. Crystal and myrrhine cups in Verrem, iv. 27. Virgil, Æn. i. imboss'd with gems

728. Sil. Ital. xiv. 661. Juvenal, And studs of pearl,]

S. X. 27. v. 39. Juvenal also, StaCrystal and myrrhine cups are tius, and Martial mention crystal often joined together by ancient and myrrbine cups together. For authors. Murrhina et crystallina the great price given for these ex eadem terra effodimus, quibus cups, see Meursius de luxu Roprecium faceret ipsa fragilitas.manorum, c. 8. The myrrhine Hoc argumentum opum, hæc cups seem sometimes to have vera luxuriæ gloria existimata est, been considered as gems, see habere quod posset statim totum Seneca, De Benefic. vii. 9. Many perire. Plin. lib. xxxiii. sect. 2. suppose the large vases shewn We see that Pliny reckons myr- in Italy, as being onyx, agate, thine cups among fossils ; Sca- &c. to be of this myrrhine kind. liger, Salmasius, and others, con- See Mr. Holdsworth on Virg. tend from this verse of Proper. Georg. ii. 506. Dunster. tius iv. v. 26.

125

And hunger still; then embassies thou show'st
From nations far and nigh; what honour that,
But tedious waste of time to sit and hear
So

many hollow compliments and lies,
Outlandish flatt’ries? then proceed'st to talk
Of th' emperor, how easily subdued,
How gloriously; I shall, thou say’st, expel
A brutish monster : what if I withal
Expel a Devil who first made him such ?
Let his tormentor conscience find him out;
For him I was not sent, nor yet to free
That people victor once, now vile and base,

130

124. So many hollow compli- decline of the Roman empire, in ments and lies

this and the following ten lines, Outlandish flatteries ?]

is at once concisely fine, and Possibly not without an allusion accurately just. The expression to the congratulatory embassies peeling their provinces might be on the Restoration. Dunster. suggested by the answer of Ti

130. Let his tormentor con- berius to some provincial governscience find him out ;] Milton had ors, who urged him to require an in view what Tacitus and Sue increase of tribute, boni pastoris tonius have related. Tacitus, Ann. esse tondere pecus, non deglubere. vi. 6. Insigne visum est earum Sueton. Tiber. 32. xsiger Bolt prov tu Caesaris litterarum initium ; nam προβατα, αλλ' ουκ αποξυρεσθαι, βουhis verbis exorsus est: Quid scria dopas. Dion Cassius, lvii. As to bam vobis P. C. aut quomodo scri- their provinces being exhausted bam, aut quid omnino non scribam by lust and rapine it is notorious. hoc tempore, Dii me Deæque pejus Some idea of iheir exactions and perdant quam perire quolidie sentio, oppressions may be gained from si scio. Adeo facinora atque fla- Cicero's Orations, In Verrem, and gitia sua ipsi quoque in suppli- In L. Pisonem, c. 35, 40. See cium verterant. Suetonius, Tiber. also his oration De Provinciis 67. Postremo semet ipse pertæ- Consularibus, c. 3, 4, 6. and Jussus talis epistolæ principio tan- tin, 1. xxxviii. c. 7. Aulus Geltum non summam malorum suo- lius, 1. xv. c. 12. and Livy, 1. rum professus est: Quid scribam xxix. 17. See also Cic. In Piso&c. where perhaps it should be, nem, c. 25. for a description of tali epistolæ principio. Jortin. that insulting vanity, a Roman

132. That people victor once, triumph. As to that connexion now vile and base, &c.] This between luxury, cruelty, and efdescription of the corruption and feminacy, which the poet de

135

Deservedly made vassal, who once just,
Frugal, and mild, and temp’rate, conquer'd well,
But govern ill the nations under yoke,
Peeling their provinces, exhausted all
By lust and rapine; first ambitious grown
Of triumph, that insulting vanity;
Then cruel, by their sports to blood inur'd
Of fighting beasts, and men to beasts expos’d,
Luxurious by their wealth, and greedier still,
And from the daily scene effeminate.
What wise and valiant man would seek to free
These thus degenerate, by themselves inslav'd,
Or could of inward slaves make outward free?

140

145

scribes, v. 139–142. it has been who might have been introduced often remarked in all ages. See so naturally, and easily here, Athenæus, p. 525. ed. Casaub. only by putting the word gladiaand p. 625. and Tacit. Hist. ii. 31. tors in place of the other two, Columella, l. i. miramur gestus that one may very well be sureffæminatorum &c. and Seneca, prised at the poet's omitting Procem. Controvers. Torpent ecce them. See Seneca's seventh episingenia desidiosæ juventutis, &c. tle. Calton. mark the effeminacy of the Ro- 141. Luxurious by their wealth, mans in their time. In their and greedier still,] So Manilius, cruel beast-fights there was a iv. 10. great variety. Sometimes, by

Lucuriamque lucris emimus, luxuque bringing water into the amphi- rapinas, theatre, even sea-monsters were

Dunster. introduced to combat with wild

145. Or could of inward slaves beasts. So Calphurnius, ecl. vii. make outward free] This noble 64.

sentiment Milton explains more Nec nobis tantum sylvestria cernere fully, and expresses more diffu

sively in his Paradise Lost, xii. Contigit, æquoreos ego cum certan- 90. tibus ursis

-Therefore since he permits Spectavi vitulos.

Within himself unworthy pow'rs to Dunster.

reign

Over free reason, God in judgment 140. Of fighting beasts, and

just men to beasts expos'd,] The fight- Subjects him from without to violent ing beasts are a poor instance of lords; fc. to ver. 101. the Roman cruelty in their sports, So also aşgain in his twelfth in comparison of the gladiators, Sonnet,

monstra

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