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disputed his succession ; and on the first defeat of his forces by those of Vitellius, he committed suicide at Brixellum, near Parma, in April, A.D. 69. Eutropius says of him that he was in privata vita mollis ’ (Bk. viii. c. 17); and Martial calls him “mollis Otho,' in his epigram on his death (vi. 32). His habits were effeminate. Suetonius says of him, “munditiarum fuit paene muliebrium. Compare Juvenal, 'pathici gestamen Othonis '(ii. 99).
11. 69–70. Galba, who preceded Otho as Roman Emperor, had adopted Piso as his successor on account of his virtues. This adoption of Piso led Otho to revolt against Galba, who was slain in battle ; and then came Otho's very short reign.
11. 73–75. An ungrammatical construction ; what is meant is, “When Heaven had crost his early valour and he had lost all at Worcester,' &c. * All but the honour lost,' is a literal adaptation of the celebrated phrase ascribed to Francis I of France, when he is said to have announced to his mother his defeat and capture at Pavia by the Imperial troops in 1525, ' Tout est perdu hors l'honneur. The exact words of Francis I were, ‘De toutes choses ne m'est demeuré que l'honneur et la vie qui est sauvée.' See Fournier's L’Esprit dans l'Histoire; Paris, 1857.
1. 78. The meaning of this line is, that Charles was, as a royal agent, on the look-out for the kingdoms of foreign monarchs. All modern editions, including Scott's, have wrongly ‘his kingdoms,’instead of their kingdoms.
1. 79. banished David. The germ of the personification of Charles II as David, which plays so important a part in Absalom and Achitophel.
1. 94. By the honoured name of Counseller, given to Night by the ancients, Dryden perhaps refers to the Greek name for night, Euppóvn, which may be translated well-judging,' well-minded.' Or he may refer to εν νυκτί βουλή. .
1. 98. His famous grandsire is Henry IV of France, maternal grandfather of Charles II.
* l. 101. covenanting League. A comparison of the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643, to the Catholic League of 1576 in France. It is developed later in Dryden's Duke of Guise. See Preface, p. liii.
1. 106. chronicles here rhymes with ease, and must be pronounced chroniclees. This ancient pronunciation and rhyme occurs in later poems of Dryden ; with miracles, rhyming with these, in Threnodia Augustalis, 414, with articles, rhyming with ease, in Letter to Sir George Etherege, 37 (written in 1687); and with oracles, in the Translation of the Aeneid, Bk. ix.
• Their feats I fear not or vain oracles,
'Twas given to Venus they should cross the seas.' In lines 14 and 241, miracles pronounced as miraclees, distinctly of three syllables, improves the rhythm. In the Hind and the Panther, Part. ii. 16, miracle rhymes with tell and well. Oracles rhymes with spells in Hudibras :
• And like the devil's oracles,
Put into doggerel rhyme her spells.' Part ii. cant. 3. 374. 1. 108. epoches. Broughton changed this into epochas; Derrick into epocha, which has been followed in modern editions, including Scott's. The line as printed in the original edition of 1661 is,
'In story chasmes, in epoche's mistakes.'
“Howe'er, since we're delivered, let there be
Cleaveland, Poems, &c., 1660, p. 20. 1. Ill. too too. This double too, very common in old writers, is rare in Charles the Second's reign. It does not occur again in Dryden, but it is in Lord Mulgrave's Essay on Satire, which has been often erroneously ascribed to Dryden, said to be written in 1675:
• Till the shrewd fool by thriving too too fast.' It is to be found in Hudibras:
• But Mart was too too politic.' Part ii. cant. 3. 158. It occurs in Shakespeare :
• What, must I hold a candle to my shames ?
Merchant of Venice, Act ii. Sc. 6. 1. 115. who is wrongly replaced by which in modern editions, including Scott's.
1. 119. strows; printed strowes in the edition of 1661, strows in that of 1668. Strew is a common spelling in Dryden ; but strows rhymes with owes.
Scott has wrongly printed strews. In the translation of the Sixth Aeneid strew rhymes with yew :
• The fabric's front with cypress twigs they strew,
And stick the sides with boughs of baleful yew.' There are similar variations of spelling for rhyme in Dryden, with show and shew, choose and chuse. See notes on Poem on Cromwell, stanza 57, and on Absalom and Achitophel, line 527.
1. 121. Portunus was the protector of harbours in Roman mythology, and was always invoked for a happy return from a voyage. Dryden introduces him also in his address to the Duchess of Ormond prefixed to Palamon and Arcite, as helping to speed the passage of the Duchess across the Channel to Ireland:
* Portunus took his turn, whose ample hand
Heaved up the lightened keel and sunk the sand.' This is an obvious imitation of Virgil :
* Et pater ipse manu magna Portunus euntem
Aen. V. 241. 1. 122. the is wrongly replaced by ye, with a comma before it, in modern editions, including Scott's.
1. 144. As Heaven it self is took by violence. This idea is probably from St. Matthew xi. 12: And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of Heaven sufferetb violence, and the violent take it by force. Compare Pope, Imitation of Horace, ii. i. 240:
* And Heaven is won by violence of song.' In the preceding line,
Which stormed the skies and ravished Charles from thence,' Dryden probably had in his mind also the expulsion of Jupiter and the gods from heaven by the Titans, referred to in line 36, and again in Threnodia Augustalis, on the subject of prayers for Charles the Second's recovery:
“So great a throng not Heaven itself could bar,
'Twas almost borne by force, as in the giants' war.' * l. 145. Booth's forward valour. In Aug. 1659 a royalist rising took place, headed by Sir George Booth, but it was easily crushed by the parliamentary forces under Lambert.
1. 148. travellour, so spelt in first edition, rhyming with hour; in second edition of 1688 spelt travellor. Elsewhere spelt traveller, as in Religio Laici, where traveller rhymes with star. travellour is printed in the early editions of Oedipus, Act iii. Sc. I.
11. 148-150. The construction here is ungrammatical. There is a similar wrong construction with like in Palamon and Arcite, Bk. i. 339. Palamon, speaking of himself and Arcite hopelessly striving for Emily:
* And both are mad alike, since neither can possess :
A cur came by and snatched the prize away.' This passage was misunderstood by John Warton, who thinks that Palamon ceases to speak with the line ending with o'er, and that then Dryden begins to speak in his own person, ‘Like Æsop's hounds,' &c.; and this line is wrongly made to begin a new paragraph in the Wartons' edition, as well as in Scott. 1. 154. This idea of leaning from the stars is a favourite with Dryden :
“The gods came downward to behold the wars,
Palamon and Arcite, Bk. iii. 442.
1. 162. Like gold that chymists make, referring to the attempts of the alchemists to make gold out of baser metals. Compare :
• I'm tired of waiting for this chymic gold
Aurengzebe, Act iv. Sc. I. 1. 164. In most editions there is a stop at the end of this line; in Scott's, for instance, a note of exclamation. But this is wrong. The meaning is that Monk's task was to be what God ordained as the charge of muscles, &c., to dispense spirits through viewless conduits.
1. 173. This simile of the stomach and the food is used again by Dryden in his Dedication of The Rival Ladies, printed in 1664: 'As the stomach makes the best concoction when it strictly embraces the nourishment, and takes account of every little particle as it passes through.
1. 180. scape. It is always scape in the original editions from first to last, never 'scape or escape.
1. 182. The two occasions referred to in this line are Cromwell's ejection of the remnant of the Long Parliament in April 1653, and Lambert's violent interruption of its sitting in October, 1659, after it had been restored by the republicans and military chiefs acting together on Richard Cromwell's deposition.
11. 195–198. These lines contain a reference to the Story of Salmoneus, king of Elis, son of Aeolus, who excited the wrath of Jupiter by driving his chariot over a brazen bridge and flinging burning torches around him, to make it seem that he could make thunder and lightning, and so to induce his subjects to regard and treat him as a god. See Virgil, Aen. vi. 585:
• Vidi et crudeles dantem Salmonea poenas,
Dum flammas Jovis et sonitus imitatur Olympi.' 1. 201. Lodovico Sforza, who murdered his nephew Giovanni Galeazzo Sforza, duke of Milan, and usurped his dukedom, and, after a course of very successful intrigues, was in 1499 driven from Italy by Louis XII of France, and ultimately died a prisoner in France in 1508.
1. 203. fogue, from the French fougue, fury; the word thus Anglicised. The editors have all printed fougue. Dr. Johnson has said of Dryden, 'He had a vanity, unworthy of his abilities, to show, as may be suspected, the rank of the company with whom he lived, by the use of French words, which had then crept into conversation; such as fraicheur for “coolness,” fougue for “turbulence,” and a few more, none of which the language has incorporated or retained.' Fraischeur occurs in Dryden's Poem on the Coronation, line 102. But Johnson is probably wrong in assigning vanity as Dryden's motive: these French words which have not been retained in our language were not more strange then than others used by him, which have remained in use and do not sound strange to us.
1. 208. And glass-like clearness mixed with frailty bore. Scott has printed glass-like between two commas. Glass-like may
be understood, as Scott understood it, as agreeing with we of the preceding line, or as agreeing with clearness. Shakespeare has expressed that glass is fragile as well as reflective: • Angelo.
Nay, women are frail too.
Measure for Measure, Act ii. Sc. 4. The sense is better if glass-like is understood as applying to both clear. ness and frailty.
1. 212. May-game, sports or diversions such as are used on the first of May. “Not a May-game is this man's life.' Carlyle.
1. 219. Charles II embarked at Scheveling on May 23.
1. 224. lowered, pronounced as of one syllable; lowr'd in original editions.
1. 225. Standard. Standart in original editions. The royal standard is meant. Most editors have wrongly printed 'Standards.' Scott prints Standart,' following here the old spelling.
1. 230. The ship ‘Naseby,' in which Charles embarked for Dover, received from him, as he was on the point of starting, the name 'Royal Charles.'
11. 234, 235. The Duke of York, afterwards James II, came over in the ‘London,' and the Duke of Gloucester in the ‘Swiftsure.' The Duke of Gloucester died in September, 1660.
'The Swiftsure groans beneath great Gloucester's weight' is an imitation of Virgil's description of the great Aeneas, ‘ingens Aeneas,' in Charon's bark, Aen. vi. 412:
•Simul accipit alveo Ingentem Aenean. Gemuit sub pondere cymba.' 1. 249. submitted fasces. From Livy, 'submissis fascibus.' Publius Valerius, consul, called the Roman people together to vindicate himself from false accusations, and he made the lictors who preceded him with the fasces, the emblems of his consular rank, lower them in recognition of the people's superior power. 'Submissis fascibus in concionem escendit' (Livy, ii. 7).
11. 261–265. See Exodus xxxiii. and xxxiv.
*l. 276. Pepys gives a description of the landing of Charles II, in his ' Diary,' under May 25. Compare also Absalom and Achitophel, 11. 270-273
* 11. 276-291. Mr. Saintsbury quotes these lines as a specimen of