« PreviousContinue »
Of long-forgotten liberty: when I
Julian fire, If bright ambition from her craggy seat Display the radiant prize, will mount undaunted, Gain the rough heights, and grasp the dangerous honour.
[steps, ACER. Thro' various life I have pursued your Have seen your soul, and wonder'd at its daring: Hence rise my fears. Nor am I yet to learn How vast the debt of gratitude which Nero To such a mother owes; the world, you gave him, Suffices not to pay the obligation.
I well remember too (for I was present) When in a secret and dead hour of night, Due sacrifice perform’d with barb'rous rites Of mutter'd charms, and solemn invocation, You bade the Magi call the dreadful powers, That read futurity, to know the fate
“ Hæc (exclamat) mihi pro tanto
Munere reddis præmia, gnate?
Agrippina's Speech in Seneca's Octavia, ver. 333. V. 64. On Nero's Magical studies, consult Plinii. Nat. Hist. lib. xxx. cap. 5.
Impending o'er your son: their answer was,
* In Gray's MS. Agrippina's was one continued speech from this line to the end of the scene. Mr. Mason informs us, that he has altered it to the state in which it now stands.
V. 91. “ Et c'est trop respecter l'ouvrage de mes mains.” Britannicus, act iii. sc. 3. V. 98. “ And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies.”
Hen. V. act ii. Chor. Rogers.
With equal power resume that gift, and raise
tell me! say
[passion, ACER. Did I not wish to check this dangerous I might remind my mistress that her nod Can rouse eight hardy legions, wont to stem With stubborn nerves the tide, and face the rigour Of bleak Germania's snows. Four, not less brave, That in Armenia quell the Parthian force Under the warlike Corbulo, by you Mark'd for their leader: these, by ties confirm’d, Of old respect and gratitude, are yours. Surely the Masians too, and those of Egypt, 115
V. 99. v. Senecæ Octav. 437. Nero enters, “ Perage imperata, mitte qui Plauti mihi, Sullæque cæsi referat abscissum
i. e. Plauti Rubellii. V. 110. But Tacitus says: “ Sed Corbuloni plus molis adversus ignaviam militum, quam contra perfidium hostium, erat.” V. Annales, xiii. 35.
Have not forgot your
Ha! by Juno,
Britannicus, act i. sc. 2. V. 124. “ The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife.”
Othello, act iii. sc. 3. " the spirit-stirring form Of Cæsar, raptur’d with the charms of rule.” Dyer. Rome.
V. 147. “ The swarm that in thy noontide beam were born." Bard.
To arm the hand of childhood, and rebrace
Yes, we may meet, ungrateful boy, we may !
But soft! why do I waste the fruitless hours In threats unexecuted ? Haste thee, fly These hated walls that seem to mock my shame, And cast me forth in duty to their lord.
ACER. 'Tis time to go, the sun is high advanc'd, And, ere mid-day, Nero will come to Baiæ.
V. 148. “Hi rectores imperatoriæ juventæ, et pari in societate potentiæ, concordes, diversâ arte, ex æquo pollebant. Burrus militaribus curis, et severitate morum: Seneca præceptis eloquentiæ, et comitate honestā.” Taciti Annales, xii.
V. 149. See Seneca Octav. V. 377.
V. 150. So in the speech of Burrhus in the Britannicus of Racine, act i. sc. 2:
“ Je répondrai, madame; avec la liberté
D’un soldat, que sait mal farder la vérité.” And again, act i. sc. 2: “ Burrhus pour le mensonge, eut toujours trop d'horreur."