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ing burnt all the ships she possessed there, she was kind and generous treatment, but nevertheless conobliged to abandon her design.
tinued to advance towards the city by great marches. Changing, therefore, her resolution, she thought Upon arriving there, he encamped near the Hiponly of gaining Octavius, whom she looked upon as podrome. He was in hopes of making himself her conqueror, and to make him a sacrifice of An master of the city immediately, by means of the tony, whose misfortunes had rendered him indiffer- intelligence which he held with Cleopatra, upon ent to her. Such was the princess's disposition. which he relied no less than upon his army. Though she loved even to madness, she had still Antony was ignorant of that princess's intrigues, more ambition than love; and the crown being and, being unwilling to believe what was told him dearer to her than her husband, she entertained of them, prepared for a good defence. He made a thoughts of preserving it at the price of Antony's rigorous sally; and after having severely handled life. But concealing her sentiments from him, she the besiegers, and warmly pursued to the gates of persuaded him to send ambassadors to Octavius, to their camp a detachment of the horse which had negotiate a treaty of peace with him. She joined been sent against him, he returned victorious into her ambassadors with his; but gave them instruc the city. This was the last effort of expiring valor; tions to treat separately for herself. Octavius would for, after this exploit, his fortitude and sense of not so much as see Antony's ambassadors.
glory abandoned him, or were never after of any missed Cleopatra's with a favorable answer. He service to him. passionately desired to make sure of her person and Cleopatra's treason opened Antony's eyes, and treasures; her person to adorn his triumph, her made him, when too late, give credit to what his treasures to enable him to discharge the debts he friends had told him of the queen's perfidy. In had contracted upon account of this war. He this extremity he was for signalizing himself by an therefore gave her reason to conceive great hopes, extraordinary act of valor, capable, in his opinion, in case she would sacrifice Antony to him.
of doing him abundance of honor. He sent to chalOctavius knowing how important it was to him not lenge Octavius to a single combat. Octavius made to leave his victory imperfect, marched in the be answer, that if Antony was weary of life, there were ginning of the spring into Syria, and from thence other ways to die besides the one proposed. Antony, sat down before Pelusium. He sent to summon the seeing himself ridiculed by Octavius, and betrayed governor to open the gates to him; and Seleucus, by Cleopatra, returned into the city, and was a mowho commanded there for Cleopatra, having re ment after abandoned by all his cavalry. Seized with ceived secret orders upon that head, surrendered rage and despair, he then flew to the palace, with the place without awaiting a siege. The rumor of design to avenge himself upon Cleopatra, but failed this treason spread in the city. Cleopatra, to clear to find her there. herself of the accusation, put the wife and children That artful princess, who had foreseen what hapof Seleucus into Antony's hands, in order that he pened, to escape the rage of Antony, had retired might revenge his treachery by putting them to into the quarter where stood the tombs of the kings death.
of Egypt, which was fortified with strong walls, and Adjoining to the temple of Isis she had caused the gates of which she had ordered to be closed. tombs and halls to be erected, superb as well for She caused Antony to be told, that, preferring an their beauty and magnificence, as their loftiness and honorable death to a shameful captivity, she had extent. Thither she ordered her most precious killed herself in the midst of her ancestors' tombs, effects and moveables to be carried, gold, silver, where she had also chosen her own sepulchre. Anjewels, ebony, ivory, and a large quantity of per tony, too credulous, did not give himself time to fumes and aromatic wood; as if she intended to examine a piece of news which he ought to have raise a funeral pile, upon which she would consume suspected after all Cleopatra's other infidelities; and herself and her treasures. Octavius, alarmed for the horrified with the idea of her death, passed immelatter, and apprehending lest her despair should in diately from excess of rage to the most violent duce her to burn them, despatched every day some transports of grief, and thought only of following person to her, to give her great hopes of the most
her to the grave.
Having taken this melancholy resolution, he shut could do so with honor; to be upon her guard himself up in his apartment with a slave; and hav against the traitors of her own court, as well as ing caused his armor to be taken off, he com the Romans in the train of Octavius, and to trust manded him to plunge his dagger into his breast. only Proculeius. He expired with these words. But the slave, full of affection, respect, and fidelity Not doubting but that Octavius intended to make for his master, stabbed himself with it, and fell her serve as an ornament to his triumph, she had dead at his feet. Antony, looking upon this action no other thoughts than to avoid that shame by dyas an example for him to follow, thrust his sword ing. She well knew that she was observed by the into his body, and fell upon the floor, in a torrent guards who had been assigned her, who, under the of his blood, which he mingled with that of his color of doing her honor, followed her everywhere; slave. At that moment, an officer of the queen’s and in addition, her time was short, Octavius being guards came to let him know that she was alive. about to depart. The better, therefore, to cajole He no sooner heard the name of Cleopatra pro him, she sent to desire that she might go to pay her nounced, than he opened his dying eyes; and being last duty at the tomb of Antony, and take her leave informed that she was not dead, he suffered his of him. Octavius having granted her that perwound to be dressed, and afterwards caused himself mission, she went thither accordingly to bathe the to be carried to the fort where she had shut herself tomb with her tears, and to assure Antony, to whom up. Cleopatra would not permit the gates to be she addressed her discourse as if he had been presopened to give him entrance, for fear of some sur ent before her eyes, that she would soon give him a prise; but she appeared at a high window, from more certain proof of her affection. whence she threw down chains and cords. Antony After that fatal protestation, which she accompawas made fast to these, and Cleopatra, assisted by nied with sighs and tears, she caused the tomb to two women, who were the only persons she had be covered with flowers, and returned to her chambrought with her into the tomb, drew him
ber. She then went into a bath, and from the Never was there a more piteous sight. Antony, bath to table, having ordered it to be served magall bathed in his blood, with death painted on his nificently face, was dragged up in the air, turning his dying When she arose from table, she wrote a letter to eyes, and extending his feeble hands towards Cleo- Octavius; and having made all quit her chamber expatra, as if to conjure her to receive his last breath; cept her two women, she shut the door, sat down whilst shė, with her features distorted and her arms upon a couch, and asked for a basket of figs which strained, pulled the cords with her whole strength; a peasant had lately brought. She placed it by her, the people below, who could give her no further and a moment after lay down as if she had fallen aid, encouraging her with their cries.
asleep. This was but the effect of the aspic, which When she had drawn him up to her, and had laid was concealed amongst the fruit, and which had him on a bed, she tore her clothes upon him; and stung her in the arm that she had held to it. The beating her breast, and wiping the blood from his poison immediately communicated itself to the wound, with her face close to his, she called him heart, and killed her without pain, or its workings her prince, her lord, her dearest spouse. Whilst being perceived by anybody. she made these mournful exclamations, she cut off The guards had orders to let nothing pass withAntony's hair, according to the superstition of the out a strict examination: but the disguised peasant, Pagans, who believed that it gave relief to those who was one of the queen’s faithful servants, played who died a violent death.
his part so well, and there seemed so little appearAntony, recovering his senses, and seeing Cleo ance of deceit in a basket of figs, that he was sufpatra's affliction, said to her, to comfort her, that fered to enter. Thus all the precautions of Oche thought himself happy since he died in her tavius were ineffectual. arms; and that, as to his defeat, he was not She died at thirty-nine years of age, of which she ashamed of it, it being no disgrace for a Roman to had reigned twenty-two from the death of her be overcome by Romans. He afterwards advised father. her to save her life and kingdom, provided she After Cleopatra's death, Egypt was reduced into
a province of the Roman empire, and governed by a ject of the Roman education. Plutarch informs us, præfect sent thither from Rome. The reign of the that among the sports of the children of Rome, one Ptolemies in Egypt, if we date its commencement was the pleading of causes before a mock tribunal, from the death of Alexander the Great, had con- and accusing and defending a criminal in the usual tinued two hundred and ninety-three years, from forms of judicial procedure. the year of the world 3681 to 3974.
The exercises of the body were likewise particu
larly attended to; whatever might harden the temTHE GENIUS AND NATIONAL CHARACTER OF
perament, and confer strength and agility. These
exercises were daily practiced by the youth, under System of Roman Education. -A virtuous but the eye of their elders, in the Campus Martius. rigid severity of manners was the characteristic of At seventeen the youth assumed the manly robe. the Romans under their kings, and in the first ages He was consigned to the care of a master of rhetof the Republic. The private life of the citizens, oric, whom he attended constantly to the forum, or frugal, temperate, and laborious, had its influence to the courts of justice; for to be an accomplished on their public character. The patria potestas gave gentleman, it was necessary for a Roman to be an to every head of a family a sovereign authority over accomplished orator. The pains bestowed on the all the members that composed it; and this power, attainment of this character, and the best instrucfelt as a right of nature, was never abused. Plu- tions for its acquisition, we learn from the writings tarch has remarked, as a defect of the Roman laws, of Cicero, Quintilian, and the younger Pliny. that they did not prescribe, as those of Lacedæmon, a system and rules for the education of youth. But
PROGRESS OF LITERATURE AMONG THE ROMANS. the truth is, the manners of the people supplied this want. The utmost attention was bestowed in the Before the intercourse with Greece, which took early formation of the mind and character. The place after the Punic wars, the Roman people were excellent author of the dialogue De Oratoribus utterly rude and illiterate. As among all nations (whether Quintilian or Tacitus) presents a valuable the first appearance of the literary spirit is shown in picture of the Roman education in the early ages of poetical composition, the Roman warrior had probthe Commonwealth, contrasted with the less virtu- ably, like the Indian or the Celtic, his war songs, ous practice of the more refined. The Roman ma- which celebrated his triumphs in battle. Religion, trons did not abandon their infants to mercenary likewise, employs the earliest poetry of most nations; nurses. They esteemed those duties sacred, and and if a people subsists by agriculture, a plentiful regarded the careful nurture of their offspring, the harvest is celebrated in the rustic song of the husrudiments of their education, and the necessary oc- bandman. The Versus Fescennini mentioned by cupations of their household, as the highest points Livy were probably of the nature of poetical diaof female merit. Next to the care bestowed in the logue, or alternate verses sung by the laborers, in a instilment of virtuous morals, a remarkable degree strain of coarse merriment and raillery. This shows of attention seems to have been given to the lan- a dawning of the drama. guage of children, and to the attainment of a cor- About the '390th year of Rome, on occasion rectness and purity of expression. Cicero informs of a pestilence, Ludiones (drolls or stage-dancers) us, that the Gracchi, the sons of Cornelia, were ed- were brought from Etruria, qui ad tibicinis modos ucated non tam in græmio quam in sermone matris. saltantes, haud indecoros motus more Tusco dabant. That urbanity which characterized the Roman citi- Livy tells us, that the Roman youth imitated these zens showed itself particularly in their speech and performances, and added to them rude and jocular gesture.
verses, probably the Fescennine dialogues. It was The attention to the language of the youth had not, however, till the year 514 A.U.c. that the reganother source. It was by eloquence, more than ular drama was introduced at Rome from Greece by any other talent, that the young Roman could by Livius Andronicus. The earliest Roman plays rise to the highest offices and dignities of the state. were, therefore, we may presume, translations from The studia forensia were, therefore, a principal ob- the Greek.
-Post Punica bella quietus quærere cepit,
name of Seneca are generally esteemed the work of Quod Sophocles, et Thespis, et Æschylus utile ferrent."
different hands. They are none of them of superHor. Ep. 1. ii. 1.
lative merit. Of the early Roman drama, Ennius was a great
Velleius Paterculus remarks, that the era of the ornament, and from his time the art made rapid perfection of Roman literature was the age of Cicadvancement The comedies of Plautus, the con- ero; comprehending all of the preceding times temporary of Ennius, with great strength and spirit whom Cicero might have seen, and all of the sucof dialogue, display a considerable knowledge of ceeding who might have seen him. Cicero, Quinhuman nature, and, though rather adapted to the tilian, and Pliny, celebrate, in high terms, the taste of the lower orders, from their indelicacy, yet, writings of the elder Cato, whose principal works owing to the purity of the Latin in which they are were historical, and have entirely perished. We written, they are read at this day with pleasure; have his fragments, De Re Rustica, in which he many passages, indeed, are to be found in them was imitated by Varro, one of the earliest of the favorable not only to morality but religion.
good writers among the Romans, and a man of uniCæcilius improved so much on the comedy of versal erudition. Of the variety of his talents we Plautus, that he is mentioned by Cicero as perhaps may judge, not only from the splendid eulogium of the best of the Roman comic writers. Of his com- Cicero, but from the circumstance of Pliny having positions we have no remains. His patronage fos- recourse to his authority in every book of his Nattered the rising genius of Terence, whose first com
ural History. edy, the Andria, was performed A.U.C. 587. The Sallust, in order of time, comes next to Varro. merit of the comedies of Terence lies in that nature This writer introduced an important improvement and simplicity which are observable alike in the on history, as treated by the Greek historians, by structure of his fables, in the delineation of his applying (as Dionysius of Halicarnassus says) the characters, and in the delicacy and purity of the science of philosophy to the study of facts. Sallust sentiments of his pieces, the subjects, however, not is, therefore, to be considered as the father of being always so unexceptionable as his language. philosophic history; a species of writing which has They are deficient in comic energy, and are not cal- been so successfully cultivated in modern times. culated to excite ludicrous emotions. Being, as well He is an admirable writer for the matter of his as those of Plautus, chiefly borrowed from the compositions, which evince great judgment and Greek of Menander and Apollodorus, they furnish knowledge of human nature, but by no means comno description of Roman manners.
mendable for his style and manner of writing. He The Roman comedy was of four different species; affects singularity of expression, an antiquated the Comedia Togata or Prætextata, the Comedia phraseology, and a petulant brevity and sententiousTabernaria, the Atellanæ, and the Mimi. The ness, which has nothing of the dignity of the hisfirst admitted serious scenes and personages, and torical style. His exordiums are too long, and he was of the nature of the modern sentimental com- will never be forgiven for the injustice with which he edy. The second was a representation of ordinary treated the character of Cicero, with whose divorced life and manners. The Atellanæ were pieces where wife, Terentia, he had united himself in marriage. the dialogue was not committed to writing, but the He had composed a history of Rome, which is lost. subject of the scene was prescribed, and the dia- Cæsar has much more purity of style than Sallogue filled up by the talents of the actors. The lust, and more correctness and simplicity of expresMimi were pieces of comedy of the lowest species; sion; but his Commentaries, wanting that amplifarces, or entertainments of buffoonery; though tude of diction and fulness of illustration which is sometimes admitting the serious, and even the essential to history, are rather of the nature of anpathetic.
nals. The principal beauty of the Commentaries The Roman tragedy kept pace in its advancement is, that they make us acquainted with the author; with the comedy. The best of the Roman tragic the force of his genius, the depth of his designs, poets were Actius and Pacuvius, of whom we have and the extent and variety of his plans, are to be no remains. The tragedies published under the traced in almost every page.
In all the requisites of an historian, Livy stands bose, rugged, and perplexed, and at others display, unrivalled among the Romans; possessing consum ing all the elegance as well as the fire of poetry. mate, judgment in the selection of facts, perspicuity This may be in great part attributed to his subject. of arrangement, sagacious reflection, sound views of Philosophical disquisition is unsuitable to poetry. policy, with the most copious, pure, and eloquent It demands a dry precision of thought and expresexpression. It has been objected, that his speeches sion, rejecting all excursive fancy and ornament derogate from the truth of history; but this was a of diction. That luxuriance of imagery, which is prevalent taste with the ancient writers; and as the soul of poetry, is raving and impertinence when those speeches are always known to be the composi- applied to philosophy. His celebrated poem founded tion of the historian, the reader is not deceived. on the precepts of Epicurus, was undoubtedly calThe prodigies he relates must also be referred to culated to produce a gloomy scepticism in regard to the circumstances of the times. The ancient world some of the first principles of religion, whether believed such things, and had not the means we natural or revealed; but in declaiming against have of judging properly of their utter incredibility. various disorders and passions of the human mind As to the style of Livy, though in general excellent, he appears the friend of virtue. we sometimes perceive in it, and most commonly in Catullus, the contemporary of Lucretius, is the the speeches, an affectation of the pointed sentences earliest of the Roman lyric poets. His epigrams (the vibrantes sententiola) and obscurity of the de are pointed and satirical, but too licentious,-the claimers, which evinces the pernicious influence common fault of the times; his Idyllia, tender, acquired by those teachers at Rome since the time natural, and picturesque. He flourished in the age of Cicero and Sallust. It is truly melancholy to of Julius Cæsar. He was the countryman and think, how small a portion of so great a work has friend of Cornelius Nepos. escaped the ravages of time; but Velleius Patercu In the succeeding age of Augustus, poetry atlus affords us assistance, when we are compelled to tained to its highest elevation among the Romans. relinquish Livy.
Virgil, Horace, Ovid, and Tibullus, were all conIn the decline of Roman literature, Tacitus is an temporaries. Virgil is allowed the same rank historian of no common merit. He successfully among the Roman poets, as Homer among the cultivated the method pointed out by Sallust, of Greek. If Homer excels him in the sublime, he applying philosophy to history. In this he displays surpasses the Greek in the tender and the elegant. great knowledge of human nature, and penetrates, The transcendent merits of Homer are sullied by with singular acuteness, into the secret springs of occasional defects; Virgil is the model of a correct policy, and the motives of actions. But his fault taste. The difference of manner in the Bucolics, is, that he is too much of a politician, drawing his the Georgics, and the Æneid, shows that Virgil characters after the model of his own mind; ever was capable of excelling in various departments of assigning actions and events to pre-conceived poetry; and such is the opinion of Martial, who afschemes and design, and allowing too little for the firms, that he could have surpassed Horace in Lyric operation of accidental causes, which often have the Poetry, and Varius in Tragedy. greatest influence on human affairs. Tacitus, in Horace excels as a lyric poet, a satirist, and a his style, professedly imitated that of Sallust; adopt critic. In his Odes there is more variety than in ing all the ancient phraseology, as well as the new those of either Anacreon or Pindar; and he can idioms introduced into the Roman language by that alternately display the sublimity of the one, and the writer. To his brevity and abruptness he added jocose vein of the other. His Satires have that most of the faults of the declaiming school. His characteristic slyness and obliquity of censure, asexpression, therefore, though extremely forcible, is sociated with humor and pleasantry, which strongly often enigmatically obscure; the very worst property distinguish them from the stern and cutting sarthat style can possess.
casm of Juvenal. Horace, indeed, though a satirist Among the eminent Roman poets (after the of no common stamp, scems to have possessed a dedramatic) Lucretius deserves first to be noticed. gree of candor and equity, which rendered him inHe has great inequality, being at some times ver dulgent towards human frailties. As a critic, his