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Thee too, my Paridel ! she mark'd thee there.
But Annius, crafty seer, with ebon wand,
351 Where bask on-suuny banks the simple sheep, . Walk round and round, now prying here, now there, So he; but pious, whisper'd first his prayer:
Grant, gracious goddess ! grant me still to cheat, O may thy cloud still cover the deceit! Thy choicer mists on this assembly shed, But pour them thickest, on the noble head. So shall each youth, assisted by our eyes, See other Cæsars, other Homer's rise ;
S60 Through twilight ages hunt th' Athenian fowl, Which Chalcis gods, and mortals call an owl, Now see an Attys, now a Cecrops clear, Nay, Mahomet! the pigeon at thine ear:
Ver. 341. Thee too, my Paridel !] The poet seems to speak of this young gentleman with great affection. The name is taken from Spenser, who gives it to a wandering courtly 'squire, that travelled about for the same reason for which many young 'squires are now fond of travelling, and especially to Paris.
Ver. 347. Annius) The name taken from Annius, the monk of Viterbo, famous for many impositions and forgeries of ancient manuscripts and inscriptions, which he was prompted to by mere vanity, but our Annius had a more substantial motive.
Be rich in ancient brass, though not in gold,
Mummius o'erheard him; Mummius, fool-renown'd, Who like his Cheops stinks above the ground,
REMARKS. Ver. 363. Attys and Cecrops] The first king of Athens, of whom it is hard to suppose any coins are extant; but not so improbable as what follows, that there should be any of Mahomet, who forbad all images; and the story of whose pigeon was a monk. ish fable. Nevertheless one of these Anninses made a counterfeit medal of that impostor, now in the collection of a learned nobleman.
Ver. 571. Mummius] This name is not merely an allusion to the Mummius he was so fond of, but probably referred to the Roman general of that name, who burned Corinth, and committed the curious statues to the captain of a ship, assuring him, • that if any were lost or broken, he should procure others to be inade in their stead;' by which it should seem (whatever may be pretended) that Mummius was vo virtuoso.
Ibid.--Fool-renown'd,] A compound epithet in the Greek manner, renowned by fools, or renowned for making fools.
Ver. 372. Cheops] A king of Egypt whose body was certainly to be known, as being buried alone in his pyramid, and is therefore more genuine than any of the Cleopatras. This royal mummy, being stolen by a wild Arab, was purchased by the consul of Alexandria, and transmitted to the museum of Mummius; for proof of which he brings a passage in Sandy's Travels, where that accurate and learned voyager assures us that he saw the sepulchre emp
Fierce as a startled adder, swell’d, and said,
Speak'st thou of Syrian princes? Traitor base !
REMARKS. ty, which agrees exactly, saith he, with the time of the theft above mentioned. But he omits to observe that Herodotus tells the same thing of it in his time.
Ver. 375. Speak'st thou of Syrian princes? &c.] The strange story following, which may be taken for a fiction of the poet, is justified by a true relation in Spon's Voyages. Vaillant (who wrote the history of the Syrian kings as it is to be fouhd on medals) coming from the Levant, where he had been collect ing various coins, and being pursued by a corsair of Sallee, swallowed down twenty gold medals. A sudden bourasque freed him from the rover, and he got to land with them in his belly. On his road to Avignon he met two physicians, of whom he demanded assistance. One advised purgations, the other vomits. In this uncertainty he took neither, but pursued his way to Lyons, where he found his ancient friend the famous physician and antiquary Dufour, to whom he related his adventure. Dufour, without staying to inquire about the uneasy symptoms of the burthen be carried, first asked him, whether the medals were of the higher empire? He assured him they were. Dufour was ravished with the hope of possessing so rare a treasure; he bargained with him on the spot for the most curious of them, and was to recover them at his owa expense.
Receiv'd each demi-god, with pious care,
Witness great Ammon! by whose horns I swore,
The goddess, smiling, seem'd to give consent; So back to Pollio, hand in hand, they went.
Then thick as locusts black'ning all the ground. A tribe, with weeds and shells fantastic crown'd, Each with some wondrous gift approach'd the power, A nest, a toad, a fungus, or a flower.
400 But far the foremost, two, with earnest zeal, And aspect ardent, to the throne appeal.
The first thus open'd : * Hear thy suppliant's call, Great queen, and common mother of us all! Fair from its humble bed I rear'd this flower, Suckl’d, and cheer'd, with air, and sun, and shower: Soft on the paper ruff its leaves I spread, Bright with the gilded button tipt its head.
REMARKS. Ver. 387. Witness great Ammon!] Jupiter Ammon is called to wituess, as the father of Alexander, to whom those kings succeeded in the division of the Macedonian empire, and whose horns they wore on their medals.
Ver. 394. Douglas] A physician of great learning and no less taste; above all, curious in what related to Horace, of whom he collected every edition, translation, and comment, to the number of several hundred volumes.
Then thrond in glass and nam'd it Caroline:
REMARKS. Ver. 409. and nam'd it Caroline:] It is a compliment which the florists usually pay to princes and great persons, to give their names to the most curious flowers of their raising: some have been very jealous of vindicating this honour, but none more than that ambitious gardener, at Hammersmith, who caused his favourite to be painted on his sign, with this inscription : This is my Queen Caroline.