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Quandoquidem data sunt ipsis quoque fata sepulchris.
scription, which, in length of time, it will be in the power of a wild fig-tree to demolish.
146. Fates are given, &c.] Even sepulchres themselves must yield to fate, and, consequently, the fame and glory, which they are meant to preserve, must perish with them--how vain then the pursuit, how vain the happiness, which has no other motive or founda. tion !
147. Weigh Hannibal.] Place him in the scale of human greatness i e. consider him well, as a great man.
Hannibal was a valiant and politic Carthaginian commander; he gave the Romans several signal overthrows, particularly at Cannæ, a village of Apulia, in the kingdom of Naples.
How many pounds, &c.] Alas, how little is left of him! a few inconsiderable ashes ! which may be contained within the compass of an urn, though, when living, Africa itself was too small for him ! So DRYDEN :
Great Hannibal within the balance lay,
&c. &c. 148. Wash'd, c.7 By the Moorish sea. The poet describes the situation of Africa, the third part of the globe then known. From Asia it is separated by the Nile, on the west it is washed by the Atlantic ocean, which beats upon the shores of Æthiopia and Libya, joining to which were the people of Mauritania, or Moors, conquered by Hannibal.
149. Warm Nile.] Made so by the great heat of the sun, it lying under the torrid zone. : 150. Again.] Rursus--i.e. insuper, moreover--as sat. vi. 154.
- Other elephants.] Other countries where elephants are bred ; meaning, here, Libya and Mauritania, which were conquered by Hannibal.'
151. Spain is added, 3c.] To the empires he had conquered, he added Spain, yet was not content.
- The Pyrenean.] The Pyrenees, as they are now called--that immense range of high mountains which separate France from Spain.
Since fates are given also to sepulchres themselves. Weigh Hannibal-how many pounds will you find in that Great General ? this is he, whom Africa wash'd by the Moorish Sea, and adjoining to the warm Nile, does not contain : Again, to the people of Æthiopia, and to other elephants, 150 Spain is added to his empires: the Pyrenean He passes : nature opposed both Alps and snow:.. He severed rocks, and rent the mountain with vinegar. He now possesses Italy, yet endeavours to go farther : “ Nothing is done, says he," " unless, with the Punic army, we break
155 " The gates, and I place a banner in the midst of Suburra." O what a face! and worthy of what a picture !
152. Nature opposed, '&c.] For nature, as Pliny says, raised up the high mountains of the Alps, as a wall, to defend Italy from the incursions of the Barbarians. These are constantly covered with snow.
153. Severed rocks, &c.] By immense dint of labour and perse. verance he cut a way in the rocks, sufficient for his men, horses, and elephants to pass. '.
With vinegar.] Livy says, that in order to open and en. large the way above mentioned, large trees were felled, and piled round the rock, and set on fire ; the wind blowing hard, a fierce fame soon broke out, so that the rock glowed like the coals with which it was heated. Then Hannibal caused a great quantity of vinegar to be poured upon the rock, which piercing into the veins of it, which were now cracked by the intense heat of the fire, calcined and softened it, so that he could the more easily cut the path through it.
Polybius says nothing of this vinegar, and therefore many reject this incident as fabulous.
Pliny mentions one extraordinary quality of vinegar, viz. its being able to break rocks and stones which have been heated by fire. But, admitting this, it seems difficult to conceive how Hannibal could procure a quantity of vinegar sufficient for such a purpose, in so mountainous and barren a country. See Ant. Univ. Hist. vol. xvii. p. 597, 8.
154. Possesses Italy, &c.] i. e. Arrives there comes into Italy
which for sixteen years together he wasted and destroyed, beating the Roman troops wherever he met them; but he was not content with this, he determined to go further, and take Rome.
155. Nothing is done, &c.] This is the language of an ambitious mind, which esteemed all that had been done as nothing, unless Rome itself were conquered.
Punic army.] The Pæni (quasi Phæni a Phænicibus unde orti) were a people of Africa, near Carthage ; but being united to them, Pæni is used, per synec. for the Carthaginians in general.
156. Suburra.] One of the principal streets in Rome. See before, sat, iii. 5, note. 157. What a face!] What a figure was he all thię while ; how
Cum Gætula ducem portaret bellua luscum !
Unus Pellæo juveni non sufficit orbis :
curious a picture would he have made, mounted on his elephant, and exhibiting his one-eyed countenance above the rest ?
When Hannibal came into Etruria (Tuscany) the river Arno was swelled to a great height, insomuch that it occasioned the loss of many of his men and beasts, particularly of the elephants, of which the only one remaining was that on which Hannibal was mounted. Here, by the damps and fatigue, he lost one of his eyes.
158. Getulian beast.] i. e. The elephant. The Getulians were al people of Libya, bordering on Mauritania, where many elephants were found.
159. His exit. ] What was the end of all his exploits, as well as of himself?
O glory!] Alas, what is it all ! 160. Is subdued, &c.] He was at last routed by Scipio, and forced to fly for refuge to Prusias king of Bithynia.
161. Client. ] Cliens signifies a retainer--a dependent--one who has put himself under the protection of a patron, to whom he pays all honour and observance.
This great and wonderful man was thus reduced, after all his glo. rious deeds. ·a r Sits, &c.] Like a poor and mean dependent. '
162. Till it might please, &c.] The word tyrant is not always to be taken, as among us it usually is, in a bad sense. It was used in old time in a good sense for a king, or sovereign.
To awake.] When he came to prefer his petition for protection, he could gain no admission till the king's sleeping hours were over ; Hannibal was now in too abject and mean a condition to demand an audience, or even to expect one, till the king was perfectly at leisure.
It is the custom of the eastern princes to sleep about the middle of the day (2 Sam. iv. 5.) when the heats are intense, and none dare disturb them. This was the occasion of the deaths of many in our time at Calcutta; where, when taken by the Subah Surajah Dowlah, a number of gentlemen were put into a place called the Black-hole, where the air was so confined, that it suffocated the greatezt part of
When the Getulian beast carried the one-eyed general !
165 A ring.-Go, madman, and run over the savage Alps, That you may please boys, and become a declamation.
One world did not suffice the Pellæan youth; He chafes unhappy in the narrow limit of the world, As one shut up in the rocks of Gyaras, or small Seriphus. 170
them : but they could not be released while their lives might have been saved ; for, being put there by order of the Subah, who alone could order their release, the officers of that prince only answered their cries for deliverance, by saying, that the Subah was lain down to sleep, and nobody dared to wake him. · 163. Disturbed human affairs.] Miscuit---disordered--put into confusion—a great part of the world, by his ambitious exploits and undertakings.
166. A ring, &c.] When he overthrew the Romans at Cannæ, he took above three bushels of gold rings from the dead bodies, which, says the poet, were fully revenged by his ring, which he always carried about him, and in which he concealed a dose of poison; so that when the Romans sent to Prusias to deliver him up, Hannibal, seeing there were no hopes of safety, took the poison and died. Thus feil that great man, who had so often escaped the swords, and the darts, and kones hurled by the enemy, as well as the dangers of the horrid rocks and precipices of the Alps !. See sat. ii. 155, and note 2.
Go madman.) For such wert thou, and such are all who build their greatness and happiness on military fame.
-167. Please boys, &c.] The boys in the schools used to be ex. ercised in making and speaking declamations, the subjects of which were usually taken from histories of famous men. A fine end, truly, of Hannibal's Alpine expedition, to become the subject of a schoolboy's theme or declamation ! well worthy so much labour, fatigue, and danger !
168. Pellæan youth.] Alexander the Great, born at Pella, a city of Macedon, died of a fever, occasioned by drinking to excess at Babylon. He had lamented that, after having conquered almost all the East, all Greece, and, in short, the greatest part of the world, there were no more worlds for him to conquer. He died three hundred and twenty-three years before Christ, æt. thirty-three.
170. Gyaras. ] One of the Cyclades (islands in the Ægean sea) whereto criminals were banished : it was full of rocks. Sat. i. 73.
Seriphus.] See sat. vi, 563, and note. :
Cum tamen a figulis munitam intraverat urbem,
171. The city.] Babylon.
- Brickmakers.] This city was surrounded by a wall of brick, of an immense height and thickness. Ov. Met. iv. l. 58.-Figulus signifies any worker in clay; so a maker of bricks.
172. Sarcophagus.] A grave, tomb, or sepulchre. A ragg, flesh, . and Cayey, to eat because bodies there consume and waste away.
ac Death only, &c.] Death alone teaches us how vain and empty the pursuits of fame and earthly glory are ; and that, however the ambitious may swell with pride, yet, in a little while, a small urn will contain the hero, who, when living, thought the world not suffi.. cient to gratify his ambition.
174. Athos, &c.] A mountain in Macedon, running like a penin. sula into the Ægean sea. Xerxes is said to have digged through a part of it to make a passage for his feet.
175. Adventures in history.] ii e. Dares to record in history. The Grecian historians were very fond of the marvellous, and, of course, were apt to introduce great improbabilities and falsehoods in their narrations.
- Strowed. Covered, paved, as it were-for Xerxes is said to have had twelve thousand ships with him in his expedition, with which he formed the bridge after mentioned.
176. Those very ships.? Which had sailed through the passage ať mount Athos.
Put under wheels.] He, in order to march his forces from Asia into Europe, made a bridge with his ships over the sea, which joined Abydus, a city of Asia, near the Hellespont, to Sestos, a city of the Thracian Chersonesus, which was opposite to Abydus, and separated by an arm of the sea : this part is now known by the name of the Dardanelles. The sea being thus made passable by the help of the bridge, the army, chariots, horses, &c, went over, as if the sea had been solid under them; therefore, the poet says, sepositum rotis solidum mare, the firm sea. Hol.
- We believe.] i, e. If we give credit to such historians. 177. Rivers failed, &c.] It is said that Xerxes's army was so nu. merous, as to drink up a river at once, whenever they made a meale HERODOT. lib. ii.