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The popular triumph was of short duration. Scarcely had Octavia resumed her rank, when Nero, under colour of a false and infamous charge, again banished her. Never exile filled the hearts of the beholders with more affecting compassion. The first day of Octavia's nuptials was the commencement of her funeral. She was brought under a sad and dismal roof, from whence her father and brother had been carried off by poison. Though a wife, she was treated as a slave, and now she suffered the imputation of a crime more piercing than death itself. Add to this, she was a tender girl in the twentieth year of her age, surrounded by officers and soldiery devoted to her husband's will, and whom she viewed as sad presages of his ferocious purposes. Almost bereft of life by her fears, and yet unwilling to surrender herself to the rest of the grave, she passed the interval of a few days in unspeakable terror. At length it was announced to her that she must die; but while she implored that at
least her life might be spared, and conjured Nero to remember the relationship which before marriage they had borne to each other, by descent from a revered ancestor, she only exemplified the utter inefficacy of crouching to a truculent tyrant. Her appeals were answered by the seizure of her person, and the binding of her limbs; her veins were opened, but her blood, stagnant through fear, issued slowly, and she was stifled in the steam of a boiling bath. “For this execution the senate decreed gifts and oblations to the temples; a circumstance,” says Tacitus, “which I insert with design, that whoever shall, from me or any other writer, learn the events of those calamitous times, he may hold it for granted, that as often as sentences of murder and banishment were pronounced by the prince, so often were thanksgivings by the fathers paid to the deities.” Every decree of the senate was either a new flight of flattery, or the dregs of excessive tameness and servitude.
From this moment Nero butchered without distinction all he pleased, upon any idle pretence, and after an indiscriminate slaughter of men signal in name and quality, he became possessed with a passion to hew down virtue itself. His crimes would be incredible if they were not so enormous that it is scarcely possible imagination could invent atrocities of so foul a nature. He had attained to such indulgence in bloodshed, that the dagger itself was dedicated by him in the capitol, and inscribed to Jupiter Pinder, Jove the Avenger. Yet to this monster one of the consuls elect proposed that a temple should be ...] at the charge of the state, and consecrated to the deified Nero as to one who soared above mortality, and was therefore entitled to celestial worship. This, though designed as a compliment to the tyrant, was construed into an omen of his fate, “since to princes,” says Tacitus, “divine honours are never paid till they have finally forsaken all commerce with men,”
or, in other words, have ceased to be useful to them. Suetonius relates, that somebody in conversation saying, “When I am dead let fire devour the world"— “Nay,” rejoined Nero, “let it be whilst I am living;” and then he set Rome on file, in so barefaced a manner, that inany of the consular dignitaries detected the incendiaries with torches and tow in their own houses, and dared not touch them because they were officers of Nero's bedchamber. The fire, during six days and seven nights, consumed a prodigious number of stately buildings, the public temples, and everything of antiquity that was remarkable and worthy of preservation. The common people were driven by this conflagration to the tombs and monuments for shelter; and Nero himself beheld the flames from a tower on the top of Maecenas's house, and sung a ditty on the destruction of Troy, in the dress which he used to perform in on the public stage. This atrocious want of feeling occasioned the saying—“Nero fiddled while Rome was burning.” To divert the hideousness of this crime from himself, he transferred the guilt to the Christians. To their death and torture were added cruelderision and sport; “for,” says Tacitus, “either they were disguised
in the skins of savage beasts, and exposed
to expire by the teeth of devouring dogs; or they were hoisted up alive and nailed to crosses; or wrapt in combustible vestments, and set up as torches, that when the day set, they might be kindled to illuminate the night.” For this tragical spectacle Nero lent his own gardens, and exhibited at the same time the public diversions of the circus, sometimes driving a chariot in person, and at intervals standing as a spectator amongst the vulgar in the habit of a charioteer; and hence towards the miserable sufferers popular commiseration arose, as for people who were doomed to perish to gratify the bloody spirit of one man. At length, while plotting new and uncommon bar. barities, an insurrection broke out amongst the troops, and the senate, who had truckled to his wishes, and made him a tyrant by submitting to be slaves, took heart and issued a decree against him. He committed suicide, under circumstances of such mental imbecility, that his death was as ludicrous as his life was horrible.
of a steady and a grateful disposition and diffusive benevolence. Though naturally of a warm temper, and easily stirred up, yet was he a shining example of fervent and unreserved benignity. For though he might have been the most dangerous and dreadful of enemies, yet was he the best and warmest of friends. Nor did he ever look cool even on his worst foes, though his friends too often, and shamefully indeed, £urned their backs upon him. Oh! undeserving and licentious times, when such illustrious examples are wantonly made light of Such resplendent virtue basely blown upon Though rather a promoter of a cheerful glass in others, and somewhat given to smoking, yet was he himself never seen in liquor, which was his utter abhorrence. Raking, which ruins most constitutions, was far from spoiling his, though it often threw him into inflammatory disorders. His days, which were short, were ended by a gentle decay, his strength wasted, and his substance spent. A temporal period was put to his finite existence, which was more immediately effected by his being seized with a severe cold, and no help administered, in some of the warm days of the fatal month of May. His loss and cheerful influence are often and feelingly regretted by his sincere admirers, who erected this monument in memory of his endearing virtue, till that grateful and appointed day. when the dormant powers of his more illustrious nature shall be again called forth: When, inflamed with ardour, and with resplendence crowned, he shall again rise with songs of joy and triumph o'er the grave.
CAMBridge ExAMINATION. A good-humoured jeu d'esprit, intended to produce nothing but corresponding o humour in the persons whose names are mentioned, appeared in The Times on the 25th of January, 1816. This being the first day of Cambridge Term, the “freshmen” who have seen recent imitations may be much amused by perusal of the original witticism. Parody of a Cambridge Eramination. Uropi A UNIvens ITY. UNDECEMBER 9657. 1. Give a comparative sketch of the principal English theatres, with the dates of their erection, and the names of the most eminent candle-snuffers at each. What were the stage-boxes 2 What were the offices of prompter—ballet-master— and scene-shifter 2 In what part of the theatre was the one-shilling gallery : Distinguish accurately between operas and puppet-shows. 2. Where was Downing-street ! Who was prime-minister when Cribb defeated Molineux—and where did the battle take lace? Explain the terms milling—fibing—cross buttock—neck and crop— bang up—and—prime. 3. §w. the dates of all the parliaments from their first institution to the riod of the hard frost on the Thames. n what month of what year was Mr. Abbot elected Speaker? Why was he called “the little man in the wig P” When the Speaker was out of the chair, where was the mace put? 4. Enumerate the principal houses of call in and about London, marking those
of the Taylors, Bricklayers, and Shoe-
What celebrated teacher flourished at one of them —and who were his most eminent disciples? 13. What were the various sorts of paper in use amongst the English? To what urpose was whited-brown chiefly applied ? What was size 2 Distinguish be tween this and college Sizings, and state the ordinary expense of papering a room. 14. “For every one knows little Matt's an M.P." Frag. Com. Inc. ap. Morn. Chron. vol. 59, p. 1624. What reasons can you assign for the general knowledge of this fact? Detail at length, the ceremony of chairing a Member. What were the Hustings? Who paid for them? Explain the abbre viations — Matt. M.P. — Tom — DickF.R.S.—L.L.D.—and A.S.S. 15. What was the distinguishing title of the Mayors of London 2 Did any other city share the honour? Give a list of the Mayors of London from Sir Richard Whittington to Sir William Curtis, with an account of the Cat of the first, and the Weight of the last. What is meant by Lord Mayor's day ? Describe the Apothecaries' Barge, and give some account of Marrow-bones and Cleavers. 16. When was Spyring and Marsden's Lemon Acid invented: Distinguish be-, tween this and Essential Salt of Lemons. Enumerate the principal Patentees, especially those of Liquid Blacking. 17. Scan the following lines— But for shaving and tooth-drawing, Bleeding, cabbaging and sawing, Dicky Gossip, Dicky Gossip is the man What is known of the character and history of Dicky Gossip 2
FLORAL DIR ector-Y.
Green Narcisse. Narcissus Piridiflorus. Dedicated to St. Hermenigild.
Sts. Tiburtius, Palerian, and Marimus, a D. 229. Sts. Carpus, Bishop, Papylus, and Agathodorus, A. D. 251. Sts. Antony, John, and Eustachius, A. D. 1342. St. Benezet, or Little Bennet, A. D. 1184. B. Lidwina, or Lydwid, A. D. 1433.
1471. The battle of Barnet was fought in the wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, and the earl of Warwick,
called “the king-maker,” was slain on the field. 1685. Thomas Otway, the dramatic poet, died, at a public-house in the Minories, of want, by swallowing bread too eagerly which he had received in charity. 1759, George Frederick Handel, the illustrious musician, died. He was born at Halle, in Saxony, in 1684. 1793. Tobago, in the West Indies, taken by the English. 1809. , Beilby Porteus, bishop of London, died at Fulham, aged 78.
FLORAL DIRECTORY. Borage. Borago Officinalis. Dedicated to St. Lidwina.
The Floral appearances of the year are accurately described by Dr. Forster in his “Perennial Calendar.” He says, “In order to ascertain the varieties in the seasons, as indicated by the flowering of plants, we ought to become accurately acquainted with their natural periods, and the average time of flowering which belongs to each species. I have of late made an artificial division of the seasons of different plants into six distinct pe. riods, to each of which respectively a certain number of species belong. Dividing then the reign of the goddess of blooms into six principal portions, we shall begin with the first in the order of phenomena. The Primaveral Flora may be said to commence with the first breaking of the frost before February; it comprehends the snowdrop, the crocus, the coltsfoot, all the tribe of daffodils, narcissi, jonquils, and hyacinths, the primrose, cyclamen, heartsease, violet, cowslip, crown imperial, and many others. The Equinox being also past, and the leaves beginning to bud forth amidst a display of blossoms on the trees, another period may be said to begin, and May ushers in the Vernal Flora, with tulips, peonies, ranunculi, monkey poppy, goatsbeards, and others: at this time, the fields are bespangled with the golden yellow of the crowfoot, or blue with the harebells The whole bosom of earth seems spread with a beautiful carpet, to soften the path of Flora, at this delicious season. By and bye, towards the middle of June, the approach of the Solstice is marked by another set of flowers; and the scarlet