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Ev'n Hell's grim guardian might surcease to roar; And furies fear, unknown to fear before.

Sudden Arion ey'd the sight from far, And loudly snorting stopp'd the driving car: Cold darts of ice shot thrilling through his blood, His fearful flesh all trembled as they stood: Abruptly shock'd, and mindless of the rein, Th' Aonian hero tumbled to the plain; Again recover'd, fleeter than the wind Arion flies, and leaves his chief behind. Beside the prostrate chief, the rival throng Obliquely bending, swiftly rush'd along. Slow from the dust he rose, and sadly went Through the long crowd in sullen discontent. O happy hour! had fate but deign'd to close Thy eyes in death; the period of our woes! Thee Thebes should honour, and her tyrant shed Some tears in public to bewail the dead. Larissa's groves should fall, to raise thy pyre And Nemee's woods augment the fun'ral fire. All Greece a nobler monument should raise Than this, now sacred to Opheltes' praise.

Furious the prophet drove with rapid pace
Sure of the prize, yet second in the race:
Before, afar the sea-born courser drew
His empty chariot rat❜ling as he flew.
Yet still the prophet thunders o'er the plain,
Eager of praise, amaz'd, enrag'd,—in vain ;
The pow'r of wisdom more than mortal strong,
Swells ev'ry nerve to lash the steeds along:
Instinct with rage divine his steeds renew
The rapid labour bath'd in streams of dew.
The glowing axle kindles as they fly,
And drifts of rising dust involve the sky.
Earth opening seems to groan, (a fatal sign!)
Still they rush on, advancing in a line:
Now with redoubled swiftness Cycnus flies,
But partial Neptune the whole palm denies :
Arion won the race, the prophet bore the prize.
A massy bowl (the pledge design'd to grace
The gen'rous chief victorious in the race)
Two youths present him: antique was the mould,
Blazing with gems, and rough with rising gold:
In this, Alcides each revolving night
Was wont to drown the labours of the fight:
Grav'd on the sides was seen the dreadful fray
When brutal Centaurs snatch'd the bride away.
With living terrours stare the chiefs around,
These aim the dart, and those receive the wound:
Each in distorted postures heaves for breath,
And seems to threaten in the pangs of death.
A costly vesture was reserv'd to grace
Admetus, next in merit as in place;
Embroider'd figures o'er the texture shine,
And Tyrian purple heightens the design.
Here pale and trembling with the wintry air,
Leander stands, an image of despair.
Now bending from the beach, he seems to glide
With eyes uplifted through the rolling tide;
Aloft, alone the melancholy dame
Eyes the rough waters, and extends the flame.
Half-weeping Polynices takes his prize,
A beauteous handmaid with celestial eyes.

Ang ust rewards are destin'd next to grace
The spritely youth contending in the race.
A blameless sport! and sacred sure the praise
To grace a festival in peaceful days:
Nor yet unuseful in th' embattel'd plain
When death is certain, and resistance vain.

First cheerful Idas in the lists appears, Idas, a lovely boy in blooming years (Idas who late his honour'd temples bound With palms that flourish'd on th' Olympian ground).

Loud shouts each chief that from bigh Elis leads
His native train, and Pisa's watry meads:
Then Phædimus proclaim'd in Isthmian games,
And Alcon first of Sicyonian names;
Next aged Dymas rose, whose youthful speed
Surpass'd the swiftness of the flying steed:
And last in infamous disorder came
A clam'rous multitude unknown to fame.
But ev'ry voice cheers Atalanta's son,
And ev'ry eye devours him ere they run.
Lives there a warrior in the world of fame,
Who never heard of Atalanta's name?
Like Cynthia's self she seem'd, a sylvan grace:
Matchless alike in beauty or the race.
The mother's glories all their thoughts employ,
And raise expectance from the lovely boy.
He too in speed out-strips the wings of wind,
As thro' the lawns he drives the panting hind:
Or when he catches sudden with a bound
The flying jav❜lin e'er it touch the ground,

The modest youth unbinds with decent care
His damask vesture dancing to the air:
Then by degrees unveils to public view
His snowy limbs like marble, vein'd with blue.
His rosy cheeks that glow'd with warmth before,
His tresses wav'd in ringlets please no more;
A thousand charms appear! in stupid gaze
The crowd devours him, silent with amaze.
Conscious he stands, his head declining down,
And blushes oft; and chides them with a frown:
Decent confusion! mindful of the toil

He bathes his shining limbs in streams of oil;
Alike the chiefs-Intent, th' encircling host
Admires 'em all, Parthenopaus most.

So when the night in solemn silence reigns,
And one clear blue o'erspreads th' etherial plains:
The glitt'ring stars with living splendours glow,
And dance and tremble on the seas below;
High o'er them all exalted Hesper rolls,
Itself a sun, and gilds the distant poles.

The next in beauty, as in speed, appears
Fair Idas, in the strength of youthful years:
A party-coloured down but just began
To shade his chin, the promise of a man.

A signal sounds. The ready racers start, Double their speed, and summon all their art, Low at each step their straining knees they bend, Then springing with a bound, again ascend, Swifter than thought; nor seem to run, but fly, Stretch'd on the winds, half-vanish'd from the


Now side by side, or breast to breast they close, While each alike by turns outstrips his foes. Scarce half so swiftly o'er the Nemean plains Just now, the courser pour'd with loos'ned reins. Each, like an arrow from the Parthian yew Sent with full force, along the Circus flew.

So when a tim'rous herd of list'ning deer The roaring lion hears, or seems to hear, (What time the lordly savage haunts the wood, And longs to bathe his thirsty jaws in blood) Close and more close they join, a trembling


And wildly stare, and scour along the plain

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Yet furious still, Parthenopaus flies; Him step by step impatient Idas plies, And pants aloud, with vengeance in his eyes; Now hanging o'er, his hov'ting shade is seen, That lengthens still, and floats along the green: And sudden now, by unperceiv'd degrees Full on his neck he blows the sultry breeze. Next Phædimus and aged Dymes past Along the circus, Alcon came the last.

As the fair offspring of the sylvan Grace
With matchless swiftness speeds along the race,
His golden tresses wav'd in curls, behind
Flow loosely down, and dance upon the wind:
(These from a child with pious hopes he bore,
Sacred to her who treads the Delian shore 4;
What time from Thebe's distant plains he came
Renown'd for conquests of immortal fame:
Too fondly pious! in a Theban urn
Soon must thou sleep, ah, never to return!)
These vengeful Idas saw with ardent eyes:
Resolv'd by force or fraud t'obtain the prize;
Sudden he stretch'd his impious arın, and drew
Supine on earth the stripling, as he flew :
Then starting reach'd the goal, and claim'd the

Arms! arms! aloud th' Arcadian nation cries:
Vengeance at once they vow, or else prepare
To leave the Circus and renounce the war.
Tumultuous murmurs echo thro' the crowd,
Those praise the fraud, and these detest aloud.

Slow-rising from the plains the youth appears,
His eyes half angry, and half drown'd with tears,
He bends his head, the tears in silence flow;
A mournful image, beautiful in woe!
Now beats his bosom, frantic with despair;
And rends the ringlets of his golden hair.
A busy murmur deafens ev'ry ear,
Nor yet the crowd the royal judgment hear.
At last Adrastus rose with awful grace,
And thus bespoke the rivals in the race.
"Cease, gen'rous youths! once more your
fortunes try,

In sep'rate paths, each starting from the eye." So spake the king: and sudden from the view, In sep'rate paths the ready racers flew. But first th' Arcadian youth with lifted eyes Thus sent his soul in whispers to the skies. "Queen of the silver bow, and wood-land glades; [shades;

The Heav'ns fair light, and empress of the
Sacred to thee alone, with decent care

I nurs❜d these curls of loug-descending hair:
At thy desires I fell; yet hear my pray'r!
If e'er my mother pleas'd thee in the chase,
If e'er I pleas'd thee-banish my disgrace;
Nor let these omens prophesy my fall
(Assure they must) beneath the Theban wall !"
So pray'd the youth. The goddess heard his

Rapid he shot along, half pois'd in air:
Fast and more fast the flying fields withdrew;
Scarce rose the dust beneath him as he flew.
Shouting, he reach'd the goal: with transport


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Th' Arcadian youth a brass-hoof'd courser gain'de
A buckler fraudful Idas next obtain'd:
But Lycian quivers for the rest remain❜d.
Adrastus next demands what chiefs prepare
To whirl the massy discus through the air.
A berald, bending with the burthen, threw
Th' enormous circles down in public view.
Starts ev'ry Grecian speechless with surprise;
Much wond'ring at the weight and shapeless

First two Achaians round the labour came,
With ardent Phlegyas, candidates for fame:
An Acarnanian next accepts the toil,
And three brave chieftains from Ephyre's soil,
With numbers more-but eager of renown,
Sudden Hippomedon flings thund'ring down
A disk of double weight; amaz'd they stand;
The vast orb rings, and shakes the trembling
"Warriors" (he cries) "in fighting fields re-
Whose arms must strike Thebe's bulwarks to
the ground:

On tasks like these your mighty prowess try :". Boastful he spoke, and whirl'd it up the sky. Amaz'd each chief the wond'rous cast admires, And conscious of th' event betimes retires.

Pisaan Phlegyas only keeps the field, With great Menestheus, yet untaught to yield: Brave warriors each, too noble to disgrace By one mean act the glories of their race. The rest inglorious leave the listed ground, And tremble to survey th' enormous round.

First Phlegyas rose the mighty toil to try: Dumb was each voice, attentive ev'ry eye; He rolls the quoit in dust with prudent care, And poises oft, and marks its course in air. Ev'n from a child, (where old Alpheus leads His mazy stream through Pisa's lowly meads) Not only when with mighty chiefs he strove At sacred games to please Olympian Jove : Thus with full force the massy weight he threw Far o'er the stream, half shaded, as it flew. At first he marks the skies and distant plain, Then summons all his strength from ev'ry vein. Couch'd on his knees the pond'rous orb he swung High o'er his head, along the air it sung. Now wasting by degrees, with hollow sound Fell heavily, and sunk beneath the ground.

Fond of his art and strength in days of yore, Well-pleas'd he stands, and waits th' event once


Loud shout the Greeks, and dwell on Phlegyas'


Hippomedon with scorn the chief surveys.
Some nobler arm the pond'rous orb must throw
With care, directly in a line below.

But fortune soon his mighty hopes withstood,
Fortune still envious to the brave or good!
Alas, can man confront the pow'rs on high?
While distant fields are measur'd in his eye,
Just when his arm he stretch'd at full extent,
Couch'd on one knee, his side obliquely bent;
Struck by some force unseen, th' enormous round
Dropt from his hand, and idly prints the ground. ·
Much griev'd the pitying host, yet griev'd not all;
Some inly smil'd to see the discus fall.

Next, sage Menestheus stands prepared to fling

The disk, and rolls it in the dusty ring:

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Intent of mind he marks its airy way,
And much implores the progeny of May.
Well-aim'd it flew half o'er the cirque; at låst
Heavy it fell. An arrow mark'd the cast.

Slow rose Hippomedon, and e'er he rose
Much weigh'd the fate and fortune of his foes.
He pois'd, and rear'd the mighty orb on high;
Swung round his arm, and whirl'd it thro' the

Forth-springing with the cast. Aloft it sung
Far o'er the mark where er'st Menestheus flung:
And o'er those hills with grassy verdure crown'd,
Whose airy summits shade the circus round-
There sunk, and sinking shook the trembling

So Polyphemus, more than mortal strong, Hurl'd a huge rock to crush th' Ulyssean throng: Blind as he was, the vengeful weight he threw, The vessel trembled, and the waters flew.

Soon good Adrastus rises, to repay
With sumptuous gifts the labours of the fray.
Safe for Hippomedon apart was roll'd
A tiger's skin, the paws o'erwrought with gold.
His Gnossian bows and darts Menestheus took;
Then thus to Phlegyas with a mournful look
He said. "This sword, unhappy chief, re-

(A boon so just Hippomedon might give :)
This sword which once immortal honours gain'd,
Which sav'd Pelasgus, and his pow'r maintain'd,"
A warlike toil Adrastus next demands,
In iron gloves to sheath their hardy hands:
First Capaneus prepar'd for combat stands;
A mighty giant, large, and tow'ring high,
Dreadful in fight, and hideous to the eye.
Around his wrists the hard bull-hides he binds,
And vaunts his strength, and deals his blows in
winds :
[there be,
"Stand forth some chief," he cries, " (if such
Who dares oppose an enemy like me!)
Yet might some Theban sink beneath my blow;
Glorious and sweet is vengeance on a foe."
So spake the chief. Half-trembling with amaze,
In speechless horrour all the circle gaze.
At last Alcidimas, with gen'rous ire
Sprung forth, unask'd. The Doric bands admire.
All but his friends. They knew the daily care
Which Pollux us'd, to train him to the war.
(He taught him first to bind the gauntlets round
His nervous wrists, and aim the crashing wound:
Oppos'd in fight, he heav'd him high, or prest
The youth loud-panting on his naked breast.)

Him Capaneus survey'd with scornful eyes,
Insults his years, and clains a nobler prize.
Provok'd, he turns to fight. Each warrior stands
At full extent, and lifts his iron hands. [round,
WeH-temper'd casques their hardy brows sur-
To break at least the fury of the wound.
This towr'd like Tytius on the Stygian shore,
When the fierce vultures cease to drink his gore:
So high in air his spreading shoulders rise,
So swell his muscles, and so flame his eyes;
That at his side in blooming youth appears,
Yet promis'd wonders from maturer years:
The favours of the crowd alike succeed
On either side: none wish'd the chiefs to bleed.
Low'ring at first they met, nor silence broke,
Each lifts his arm, and only aims the stroke.
Some moments thus they gaz'd in wild surprise,
A hasty fury sparkled in their eyes;

Now conscious fear succeeds. The chiefs essay
Their arms, and slowly first provoke the fray.
This on nice art and diffidence relies,
That on mere courage and stupendous size;
Void of all fear, and without conduct brave,
He wastes that strength himself has pow'r to


Still blindly drives where fury leads the way,
And storms, and falls the victor and the prey.
With stedfast glances this surveys his foe,
And either shuns, or wards th' impending blows
Now lowly bends (his elbow o'er him spread)
The stroke impetuous sings above his head.
Now nearer draws, the more he seems to fly;
So much his motion varies from his eye!
Now with full force he aims a pond'rous blow,
And tow'ring high o'ershades his mighty foe.
Thus in some storm the broken billows rise
Round the vast rock, and thunder to the skies.
Once more with wary footsteps wheeling

Full on his front he deals a mortal wound:
Crashing it falls-unfelt the trickling blood
Spreads o'er his helmet in a crimson flood.
A sudden whisper murmurs round; alone
To Capaneus the cause remains unknown.
At last he lifts his hand on high, the gore
Forth-welling fast distains his cæstus o'er.
Grief swells his heart, and vengeance and dis-

So foams the lion, monarch of the plain,
And loudly roaring with indignant pride,
Gnaws the barb'd jav'lin griding in his side:
Now springs with rage; supine along the ground
Pants the bold youth whose hand infix'd the

Fast and more fast his lifted arms he throws
Around his head, and doubles blows on blows.
Part waste in air, part on the cæstus fall
With mighty force; his foe returns 'em all.
Still seems to fear him with dissembling eyes,
Yet still persists, and combats, while he flies.
Panting they reel; the youth retreats more slow,
The weary giant scarcely aims a blow,
They sink at once-so sailors on the main
Who long have toil'd through adverse waves in
All drop their hands. The signal sounds once
Again they start, and stretch the lab'ring oar.

Thus rose the chiefs, with recollected might
Rush'd Capaneus like thunder to the fight.
Low bends Alcidimas with watchful eyes:
Short of his aim the giant o'er him flies;
Up starts the youth, and as he stagger'd round,
Clasp'd firm his neck, and bow'd him to the

As rising from th' inglorious plain contends
Fierce Capaneus, a second blow descends
Full on his head: beneath the stroke he bent;
The youth turn'd pale, and trembled at th'

Loud shout the Greeks: the shore and forest


Then thus in haste exclaims the king of kings (As from the ground the furious Argive rose, And vow'd, and aim'd intolerable blows): "Seize him, ye chiefs, his bloody hands restrain, Give all the palm, but lead him from the plain. Haste, see, he raves! ab, tear him from my eyes, He lives, he rises, the Laconian dies !"


He said. Hippomedon, and Tydeus rose: Scarce both their hands restrain his mighty [give: Then thus they spoke. "The prize is thine, for'Tis double fame to bid the vanquish'd live ; A friend, and our ally"-he storms the more, Rejects the prize, and thus devoutly swore: "By all this blood, at present my disgrace, These hands shall crush that more than female face; [plain" These hands shall dash him headlong to the To Pollux then he weeps, but weeps in vain. He said. By force they turn'd his steps away. Stubborn he still persists, nor yields the day. Far off in secret, the Laconian host Smile at his fury, and their hero boast. Mean while with conscious virtue Tydeus burns,

Renown and praise inflame his heart by turns:
Swift in the race he still the guerdon bore,
Now toss'd the discus, now the gauntlets wore ;
But most for Pales' active arts renown'd,
To hurl his foe supine along the ground.
By Hermes tutor'd, on th' Etolian plain,
He made whole nations bite the dust in vain.
Full terrible he look'd. For arms he wore
The savage trophies of a mountain-boar,
Once Calydonia's dread! the bristly hide [pride.
Broad o'er his shoulders hung, with barb'rous
Unbound, he flings it down, then waits his

Besides him, tow'ring, huge Agylleus rose,
A monstrous giant, dreadful to mankind;
Yet weak he seem'd, his limbs were loosely

Low Tydeus was. What Nature there deny'd,
Strong nerves, and mighty courage well supply'd;
For Nature never since the world began
Lodg'd such a spirit in so small a man!

Soon as their shining limbs are bath'd in oil, Down rush the heroes to the wrestling toil. Deform'd with dust (their arms at distance spread)

Each on his shoulder half reclines his head.

Now bending 'till he almost touch'd the plain, Tydeus the giant heav'd, but heav'd in vain.

The mountain-cypress thus, that firmly stood From age to age, the empress of the wood, By some strong whirlwind's sudden blast declin'd, Bends arching down, and nods before the wind: The deep roots tremble till the gust blows o'er, And then she rises, stately as before.

So vast Agylleus scarcely mov'd below,
Hangs imminent upon th' Etolian foe.
Breast, shoulders, thighs, with mighty strokes

And all appears an undistinguish'd wound.
On tiptoe rais'd, their heads obliquely bent,
Each hangs on each, stretch'd out at full ex-

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Thus Tydens storm'd; nor heats nor toils asswage

His furious strength, or mitigate his rage.
Agylleus pants aloud, nor scarce contends;
Black'ned with dust a stream of sweat descends.
Tydeus press'd on, and seem'd to aim a blow
Full at his neck: the force was meant below,
Where well-knit nerves the knees firm strength

Short of their reach, his hands the blow deny.
He sinks; o'er him, like some vast mountain fell
Agylleus, and half squeez'd his soul to Hell.
So when th' Iberian swain in search of ore
Descends, and views the light of Heav'n no more:
If some strong earthquake rocks the mould'ring

(High o'er him hung) down rush the ruins round,
Deep under earth his batter'd carcase lies,
Nor breathes its spirit to congenial skies.
Full of disdain Etolian Tydeus rose;
No peace, no bounds his fierce resen'ment
Swift from th' inglorious hold he springs like
And circles round, then firmly fix'd behind.
His hand embrac'd his side, his knees surround
The giant's knees, and bend 'em to the ground.

Nought boots resistance now. Agylleus makes One more essay. That moment Tydeus takes, And rears him high. The mingling shouts arise, And loud applause runs rattling thro' the skies.

So Hercules, who long had toil'd in vain, Heav'd huge Antheus from the Lybian plain; Erect in air th' expiring savage hung, Nor touch'd the kindred earth, from whence he


Long Tydeus held him thus. At length he found The point of time, and hurl'd him to the ground

Side-long-Himself upon the giant lies,

And grasps his neck, and firmly locks his thighs.

Prone o'er th' inglorious dust, Agylleus quakes Half-dead: his shame alone resistance makes: Then rose at last, and stagg'ring thro' the throng,

Slowly he trail'd his feeble legs along.

When Tydeus thus. (His nobler hand sustain'd The palm, his left the warlike gifts he gain'd:) "What though my blood o'erflow'd yon guilty [round;


When singly arm'd, whole numbers press'd me
(So prov'd all contracts with the Theban name,
Their honour such) yet Tydeus lives the same."
He spoke, and speaking sent the prize away;
Aside, a breast-plate for the vanquish'd lay.

Others in arms their manly limbs enclose;
To combat Epidaurian Agreus rose :
Him with his shining blade the Theban waits,
An exile still by unrelenting fates.

Thenthus Adrastus. "Gen'rous youths give o'er;
Preserve all rage: and thirst for hostile gore.
Ye gods! what slaughter and what combats call!
Then waste your fury, Thebes demands it all.
But you, O prince! a kinsman, and our friend,
Whose cause such numbers with their lives defend,
For whom, our native towns, and countries lay
Unpeopled half, to other foes a prey;
Trust not th' event of fight; nor bleed, to please
Th' inhuman hopes of base Etheocles.
Avert it Heav'n!" The ready chiefs obey'd:
Their brave attempt a glitt'ring helm repaid,

Howe'er in sign of conquest and renown,
He bids the warriors Polynices crown
With wreaths, and hail him victor-no portent,
(So will'd the Sisters) prophesy'd th' event.

Him too the chiefs with kind persuasions pray
To rise, and close the honours of the day:
(And lest one victory be lost) to throw
The missile lance, or bend the Lycian bow.
Well-pleas'd Adrastus to the plain descends
In pomp, his steps a youthful crowd attends.
Behind, a squire the royal quiver bore,
Deep fill'd with shafts, a formidable store.

'Tis plain (Shall man deny ?) each human


Proceeds, unseen, from Heav'n's eternal laws.
All fate appear'd: the chiefs perversely blind
Neglect the sign, nor see th' event behind.
We deem from chance unerring omens flow;
While fate draws near, and aims a surer blow.
By this the monarch strain'd the bending yew:
Full on its mark the feather'd weapon flew,
Nor enter'd there. Th'impassive ash resounds:
Again with double force the shaft rebounds,
In the same line wing'd back its airy way,
Then prone on earth before Adrastus lay.

Each reasons, as his wayward thoughts decrec;
These think the shaft rebounded from the tree;
And those, that winds with unresisted force
Drove clouds on clouds, to intercept its course.
Mean while th' event and dreadful omen lies
Deep wrapt in night, nor seen by human eyes.
(ne chief in safety must return alone,
Through woes, and blood, and dangers yet un-





Mr. Dryden, in his excellent preface to the Eneid, takes occasion to quarrel with Statius, and calls the present book an ill-timed, and injudicious episode. I wonder so severe a remark could pass from that gentleman, who was an admirer of our author even to superstition. I own I can scarce forgive myself, to contradict so great a poet, and so good a critic; talium enim virorum ut admiratio maxima, ita censura difficilis. How ever the present case may admit of very alleviating circumstances. It may be replied in general, that the design of this book was to give a respite to the main action, introducing a mournful, but pleasing variation from terrour to pity. It is also highly probable, that Statius had an eye to the funeral obsequies of Polydore, and Anchises, mentioned in the 3d and 5th books of Virgil. We may also look upon them as a prelude, opening the mind by degrees to receive the miseries and horrour of a future war. This is intimated in some measure by the derivation of the word Archemorus.

Besides the reasons above mentioned, we have a fine opportunity of remarking upon chief of the heroes who must make a figure hereafter; this is represented to the eye in a lively sketch that distributes to each person his proper lights, with great advantage,

It must certainly be an infinite pleasure fo peruse the most ancient piece of history now extant, excepting that in holy scripture. This remark must be understood of the action of the Thebaid only, which Statius, without question, faithfully recited from the most authentic chronicles in his own age. The action of the Iliad and Odyssey happened several years after. This is evident from Homer's own words. Agamemnon, in the 4th Iliad, recites with great transport the expedition of Tydeus: and Ulysses mentions the story of Jocasta (or Epicaste, as he calls her) in a very particular manner. It is in his descent to Hell, Odyssey the eleventh :

Μητέρα δ' Οιδιπόδαο ἴδον, καλὴν Επικάςην,
"Η μέρα ἔργον ἔρεξεν ἀνδρεήσι νόμιο,
Γηραμένη ᾧ ὑει. ὁ δ ̓ ἐν παθές' ἐξαναρίξας

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̓Αλλ' ὁ μεν ἐν Θήβη πολυηράτω ἄλια πάχων
Καδμείων ἤνασσε, θεῶν ὀλοὺς διὰ βελάς,
Ἡ δ ἔβη εις αίδαο πυλάρικο κρατεροίο
Ὧι ἄχει χομενη, τῳ δ ̓ ἄλεα κάλλιπ ̓ ὀπίσσω
Πολλὰ μάλ ̓, ὅσσα τὲ μητρὸς ἐζίννυες ετελέωσι.


The antiquity of the Thebaid may be considered also in another view. As the poet was obliged to conform the manners of his heroes to the time of action, we in justice ought not to be so much shock'd with those insults over the dead which run through all the battles. This softens a little the barbarity of Tydeus, who expired gnawing the head of his enemy; and the impiety of Capaneus, who was thunderstruck while he blasphemed Jupiter. Whoever reads the books of Joshua and Judges will find about those times the same savage spirit of insolence and fiertè.


The Nemeaan games. v. 4.

I beg to be excused from giving a long account

of the Nemeæan games. What the world calls learning, differs very little from pedantry; and I am sensible many an honest man may deserve that imputation when he means no manner of harm: so much harder 'tis to conceal knowledge, than first get it. The best and most ancient information now extant is to be collected from Pindar's odes in general. However I must just take notice of a funeral oration spoken in honour of Archemorus, as it is mentioned by Clemens Alexandrinus, in his admonit. ad Gentes.


The youthful sailors thus with early care
Their arms experience- v. 23.

'Tis worth while here to take notice of Statius's similies in general. They are sometimes proper, but not often: a common fault with most young authors, who can reject nothing; though either suppress the thought, or at most content a more judicious writer at the same time would himself with a metaphor. I am apt to think similies must seldom be used, except they convey to the mind some very pleasing, or strong piece of painting. For all similies are descrip

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