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"beasts was drowned in the louder shouts of the ferocious "spectators."
with populous thousands fraught:
"The people," says Ammianus, " spend all their earnings "in drinking and gaming, in shows and spectacles. In the "ford, the streets, and squares, multitudes assemble, and "dispute, some defending one, and some another. When "the wished-for day arrives, before sunrise, all run headlong "to the spot, passing in swiftness the chariots that are to "run ; upon the success of which their wishes are so divided, "that many pass the night without sleep."
Spreads the Velaria's sail.
This the crowd surveys
* Mr. Lockhart, in his classical " Roman Story" of " Valerius," has given so graphic a picture of the Amphitheatre, with a Gladiator-light, that, with a slight eflbrt of imagination, the coldest reader may imagine himself a spectator.
There Jills the Emperor his golden chair.
The Emperor had his seat somewhat raised above the others. The Senators occupied their curule chairs, and the Vestals, also, had allotted places.
He leans upon his shield.
Embrowned to almost the hue of life, and life-like in its full and manly proportions, his limbs strongly knit, and admirably developed, every nerve and sinew, every shadow of the anatomy implied, and a sinking and relaxed tension pervading the whole, this most impressive Statue—for no other is equally so in the same sense, they, all appealing to the imagination, this to our natural sympathies—arrests and fixes every eye, and causes a momentary suspension from every other pursuit. Vfefeel the attendant awe, as if we really looked upon a dying man; those who have imagined the object, see it realised, and are silent; those who have seen it, wonder that the slow hand of Art could give such a breathing resemblance. Not one word of this, surely, is exaggerated, we expect much—we could not imagine that which we behold.
Often, while sitting in a dark corner of the hall, I have noticed that large parties, entering in the full tide of gaiety, stood suddenly checked; they saw, and fell at once, the expression of the Statue, and were restrained. Which expression is, simply, that, says Pliny, of "a dying man "wounded to the death, in which you might see how much "life was remaining in him:" Vulneratum deficientem fecit, quo possit intelligi quantum restat aninue. What an acknowledgment, and what a tribute to the powers of the Sculptor! The other halls were full of noise and talking, but I observed that there was always a silence round "the Dying Gladiator." Journal.
Hurled to the dogs, his body who shall find.
The bodies of the slain were dragged with a hook through a gate called Libitinensis, the Gate of Death, to the spoliarium; the victor was rewarded with a sum of money contributed by the spectators, or bestowed from the treasury, or with a palm branch, or a garland of palm ornamented with coloured ribbons; ensigns of frequent occurrence in ancient monuments. Those who survived three years, were released from this service, and sometimes one, who had given great satisfaction, was enfranchised on the spot. Pompeii, i. 301.
Rienzi was fortunate in his time, for he had Petrarch as his poet and fellow-citizen, and a biographer, unpolished but impartial, who has fairly weighed his merits and defects; and as those who felt his justice were chiefly the rebellious barons, his half heroic, fantastic figure* has been delineated with fidelity. His incipient success proved that the allure of Liberty had lost none of its charms, and his fall arose rather from his own inconstancy, than from that of the Romans. "As the overthrower of patrician usurpation, as the assertor "of justice, as the punisher of violence, and the projector of "a splendid system, which was to restore the freedom of "Rome and of Italy—he did greatly; but, when the repub"lican aspired to perpetuate his own power; when the "tribune imitated the farce of royalty; when the reformer "declared himself the champion of superstition and the "church, he lost his distinctive character, and, like a mightier "character of our day, left an external proof that a revolu"tion can be maintained alone by the maxims, and even the "very forms, by which it was first ushered into life."t
Oh! let majestic Rome.
I quote Rienzi's eloquent and, indeed, magnificent language:
"May the Roman city, ascending the throne of her wonted "majesty, riseTor ever from the fall of her long prostration! "Let her cast off the garment of mourning and widowhood, "and put on the bridal purple! Let her head be adorned "with the diadem of liberty, and her neck strengthened with "collars! Let her resume the sceptre of justice, and, strong "and regenerate in every virtue, like a fair dressed bride, ■'let her show herself to her bridegroom." Ext. Tribune To The Senate And Roman People.
* Costrio era uomofantastico; dalT un canto facea la figure d'eroc dall' altro di pazzo.—Annali. ad an. 1347.
"But Rienzi," says the accurate and impartial Sismondi, "was neither a statesman nor a warrior; he knew not how "to consolidate this good state, to which he pretended to "have restored the Romans. His head was turned by vanity, "and he assumed a degree of pomp which excited ridicule: "and, in an ill-conducted attack at Rome by the Colonnas, "he gave proofs, in repelling them, of incapacity and cow"ardice." Every one will recal the masterly manner in which Gibbon has developed his character. Mr. Bulwer has invested Rienzi with all the powers of his fine genius, throwing over his character the richest tints of romance; it is the severer province of Truth and Poetry, inseparably linked as they are, to represent him as he was. £;
Glorious and godlike incarnation. The whole figure of the Apollo seems to breathe a sort of divinity, while it inspires a feeling almost of veneration in the beholder; the marble is so exquisitely polished, that there almost appears a nimbus, or radiance, round the head, emanating also from the eyes and forehead
His look with the reach of past ages was wise:
Liigr Hunt. Lines which require no praise; they assert themselves.