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Which is present, why he should last till these times-
Troy being safe, Priam had come to the shades
not been slain by Achilles, but had survived his father, and have, as the custom was, been one of his bearers to the funeral pile.
260. The rest of the shoulders, &c.] Reliquis cervicibus—for cer. vicibus reliquorum, &c. Hypallage. According to Homer, Priam had fifty sons and twelve daughters; the former of which would have assisted Hector in carrying their father's corpse. Pliny says, (lib. vii. 4. 44.) Quintus Metellus Macedonicus, a quatuor filiis illatus est rogo.
Priam was slain in the siege by Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles, and most of his children were destroyed." See Æn. ii. 501-54.
261. As soon as, &c.] This was the signal for the funeral proces. sion to move forward towards the pile.
Cassandra, &c.] She was the daughter of Priam and Hecuba. It was customary to hire women to mourn at burials, who went before the corpse to lament the dead ; the chief of them who began the ceremony was called præfica, (a præficio, planctuum princeps. Ainsw.) This part must here most naturally have been taken by Cassandra, Priam's daughter, who would, doubtless, have put her. self at the head of the mourning women.-See 2 Chron. xxxv. 25.
After the taking of Troy, she fell to the share of Agamemnon. She was married to Choroebus, and debauched by Ajax Oileus, in the temple of Minerva. See Æn. i. 44. and ï. l. 4037.
262. Polyxena, &c.] The daughter also of Priam, who gave her in marriage to Achilles ; but he, coming into the temple of Apollo to perform the nuptial rites, was there treacherously slain by Paris. She was afterwards sacrificed at the tomb of Achilles. See before, 1. 256, note.
Rent garment.] Rending the garments, in token of grief, vas very ancient. 263. Been extinct.] i.e. If he had died.
At another time, &c.] i.e. Before Paris prepared to sail into Greece, in order to ravish Helen from her husband Menelaus. Had this been the case, Priam would have been borne to the grave by his sons, and his funeral solemnized by the public lamentations of his daughters
Coeperat audaces Paris ædificare carinas.
264. Daring ships.] So called from the daring design they were employed in ; the execution of which occasioned the Trojan war, and the destruction of the country by the Greeks.
265. What therefore, &c.] The poet here applies this instance of old king Priam to his main argument against wishing to live to old. age, seeing with how many sorrows it may be accompanied
266. Àsia falling. ] See Virg. Æn. iii. l. 1, By Asia is here meant the Lesser Asia, containing the Greater and Lesser Phrygias the kingdom of Priam. · 267. Trembling soldier.] Priam, now trembling, and almost worn out by age.
Diadem being laid aside.] Having laid aside all ensigns of - royalty.
Bore arms.] In defence of his country. See Æn. ii. 507 -558. where these parts of Priam's history are described.
268. Fell before the altar.] Of Jupiter Herceus, erected by Priam in an open court belonging to the palace : hither he fled for succour and protection, but was slain by Pyrrhus. Æn. ii. 501, 2.
270. Ungrateful plough.] Prosopopeia.- The plough is here represented as ungrateful as forgetting the labours of the old wornout ox, and despising him as now useless. Some understand aratro for agricola-meton.
271. Exit of a man.] He died, however, like a man this was not the case of his wife.
- Fierce wife, &c.] 1. e. Hecuba, wife of Priam, who, after the sacking of Troy, railed so against the Greeks, that she is feigned to have been turned into a bitch. Ovid. Met. lib. xii, 1. 567—9.
273. To our own.] To mention instances and examples among our own people.
The king of Pontus.] Mithridates, who maintained a long war with the Romans, but was at last routed by Pompey. He
Had not begun to build the daring ships.
would have shortened his days by poison, but had so fortified him. self by an antidote, invented by him, and which still bears his name, that none would operate upon him. See sat. vi. l. 660, and note.
274. Cræsus, whom, &'c.] Cræsus was the last king of Lydia, so rich, that Crosi divitiæ was a proverbial saying. He asked Solon (one of the wise men of Greece, and lawgiver of the Athenians) who was the happiest man ?-The philosopher told him—"no man * could be said to be happy before death."- This, afterwards, Croesus found to be true ; for, being taken prisoner by Cyrus, and ordered to be burned, he cried out." Solon ! Solon ! Solon!” Cyrus asked the reason of this, and was told what Solon had said : whereupon, considering it might be his own case, he spared his life, and treated him with much respect. --Respicere to considermind
276. Marshes of Minturnæ, &c.] Caius Marius being overcome in the civil war by Sylla, was forced to skulk in the marshes of Minturnæ, a city by the river Liris, where he was found, taken, and imprisoned; he then escaped into Africa, where he lived in exile, and begged his bread in the streets of Carthage, which had been conquered by the Romans.
278. Hence had their causes.] All these misfortunes were owing to Marius's living so long he died in the sixty-eighth year of his age.
- Than that citizen.] i. e. Than Marius. 280~2. If-when, 66.] If when, in his triumph after conquering the Cimbri, he had numbers of captives led around his triumphal car, and amidst all the pomp and glory of victory, he had breathed out his mighty soul, as he descended, after the triumph was over, from his chariot, he had been the happiest man in nature, or that Rome ever bred, and have escaped the miseries wlich afterwards befel him.
Bellorum pompa, animam exhalâsset opimam,
Formam optat modico pueris, majore puellis
282. Teutonic chariot.7 The Teutones were a people bordering on the Cimbri, conquered by Marius—the chariot in which Marius rode in his triumph over these people, is therefore called Teutonic, as used on that occasion.
283. Provident Campania.] When first Pompey engaged in the civil war against Cæsar, he had a violent fever at Naples, and ano. ther at Capua, of which he was like to have died :-these seem to have been provided against the miseries which afterwards befel him.
284. To be wished for.] In order to take him out of life, while he was great and happy.
285. Overcame them.] The united wishes and prayers of so many cities and people, for his recovery, prevailed against the effects of his sickness, and saved his life.
His own fortune.] Which reserved him to be slain in his flight to Ægypt, after his defeat by Cæsar.
That of the city.] Doomed to fall under the dominion of Pompey's enemy, after suffering so much by a civil war.
286. Took off, &c.] That life which had been preserved in a dangerous sickness (see note on 1. 285.) was destroyed after his defeat, and his head severed from his body by Achillas and Salvius, sent for that purpose from Ptolemy, who intended it as a present to Cæsar.
Of Pompey's death, see Ant. Univ. Hist. vol. xiii. p. 217.
287. Lentulus--Cethegus.] These were in the conspiracy with Ca. tiline, and being put into prison, by order of Cicero, then consul, were strangled, so that their bodies were not dismembered.
288. Catiline, &c.] The famous conspirator, whose designs were detected and frustrated by Cicero, died in battle, without the loss of any part of his body. See SALLUST. All these died young men, and thus were taken away from the miseries which those meet with who live to old age.
289. Moderate murmur. 7 The word murmur here implies that sort of muttering which they used at their prayers to the gods; this
The pomp of wars, he had breath'd forth his great soul,
With moderate murmur, the anxious mother desires beauty . For her boys with greater for her girls, when she sees the temple of Venus,
290 Even to the delight of her wishes. Yet, why, says she, Should you blame me? Latona rejoices in fair Diana But Lucretia forbids a face to be wished for, such As she had. Virginia would desire to accept the hump of Rutila,
was louder, and more distinct, on some occasions than on others, ac. cording to the degree of fervency in the suppliant. Comp. Pers. sat. ii. 6–8.
289. Anxious mother, &*c.] The poet here represents another po. pular folly, in supposing a mother anxious for having handsome chil. dren, and praying for this at the shrine of Venus, the fabled goddess of beauty.
291. Even to the delight, &c.] So that the highest and fondest of them might be gratified, and the delight of their accomplishment be equal to that which she felt in making them.
292. Blame me?] A question supposed from the mother to the poet, on his finding fault with her for what she did.
Latona rejoices, &c.] She defends what she does by quoting an example.--Latona, daughter of Cæus, one of the Titans, bore, to Jupiter, A pollo and Diana at the same birth.
293. Lucretia forbids, &c.] The poet answers the example brought for asking beautiful children, by the instance of Lucretia, whose beauty proved her undoing. She was a beautiful Roman lady, the daughter of Lucretius, prefect of the city, and wife of Tarquinius Collatinus, ravished by Sextus Tarquinius, son of Tarquivius Superbus, which she so resented, that she sent for her father and husband, and stabbed herself before them. The people of Rome, on this, rose in arms, expelled the Tarquins, and changed the monarchy to a commonwealth,
294. Virginia.] A Roman virgin exceedingly beautiful, whom her own father, to prevent her being exposed to the lust of Appius, one of the Decemviri, stabbed in the middle of the forum.
294-5. Rutila.) An ugly deformed old woman, above seventyseven years old, as Pliny says, was in no danger of such a death, and therefore happier in her deformity than Virginia in her beauty; so thát the latter might have gladly changed her person for that of Rutila.