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MITHRIDAT E S.
A. U. C. 680.
Too oft, 'tis true, the historian's record shows, Fortune with Rome, and justice with her foes; Too oft, alas! the impartial eye must find Conquest with guilt in all her wreaths entwin'd: But cruel Mithridates urg'd his fate, 3 And fell unpitied, though unfortunate. Resolvid to be destroy'd, or to o'ercome, His hate surpass'd ev'n Hannibal's to Rome.+ 1005 More fierce and not less brave, nor forc'd, like him, To hang for succours on a faction's whim;
had there been any other more brief and sanguinary, he would have preferred it: and as he was uncommonly brave, he had not even the despicable plea of fear and cowardice to palliate his barbarities.
3 Nam quid atrocius uno ejus edicto, quum omnes, qui in Asia forent, Romanæ civitatis homines interfici jussit? Flor. l. iii. c. 5.
* Mithridates---odio in Romanos Hannibal, Vel. Par. 1. ii. c. 18.
s Mithridates was a prince of great courage and capacity. His ani
Like him, to court a senate, far remov'd
and boiling veins, and clamorous tongues, Cause and proclaimers of the people's wrongs; Just perch'd like birds of baleful note on high, To feed and scream, while famish'd veterans die. Not so the Pontus' king; a despot born, 1016 He heard of laws, and heard them but to scorn.
mosity to the Romans surpassed, if possible, that of Hannibal. He made head against their ablest generals for a period of more than forty years; and his resources being very great, had the discipline or courage of his troops equalled that of the Romans, it seems doubtful whether they would ever have been able entirely to subdue him. Finding it next to impossible to destroy him completely in the field, they resorted to their usual policy of raising internal divisions in his dominions, and of drawing off or intimidating his allies. His cruel and tyrannous government made this no very difficult undertaking; for he ruled entirely by fear, and was more hated by his subjects than his enemies.
Fatal alike in all his fierce designs,
• Amant avec transport, mais jaloux sans retour,
Sa haine va toujours plus loin que son amour. Racine. Mith.
* Prælio victus, venena violentissima festinandæ necis gratiâ frustrà
expertus, suo se ipse gladio transegit. A. Gell. Noc. Att. dificient alien tengucs were known
And Familiar to thi, Tyrant ad his owiz
Gobling and Fiends before hið foorsteprise And none like himnin fature's goi'din skilld
To kunt hij noalko, and searchim with you' siw. Explord the herby Play sic cithe filol:. Sul ciud was the subich, malign
Perniciou lecch! heeulld the springing flower Driverum fi fiera from chinamental pain, on prostrate Slaved hiv baleful for w. sheiun, scomes to yiolate your beauteous icica The bure l'eserving for himself alone. -hind their essence with some fiagizat soll, May's life he prizd bur foi esperiment; first by a Sonceitss, 1019 - Murdere staind, His felom potho let'deadly, Hanlock strely, iclceld Solin she'd chlopious clerg
And found at length his self-destroying sword
Where the vast ridge of Caucasus lies stretch'd,
No fact has been more frequently repeated by the ancient writers, or seems to have been received more indisputably, than that Mithridates had so fortified his constitution by antidotes against poison as not to be able to destroy himself by it; (See Dion Cassius, lib. xxxvii. p. 119. cdit. Reimari: « Το, τε γαρ φαρμακον, καιτοι θανασιμου ον, ου συνειλεν αυλο», επειδη πολλη καθ' εκάστην ημεραν προφυλακη αλεξιφαρμακων εκεκρατηθο”) but 1 believe there is some reason not to admit the certainty of this notion. He might perhaps have been skilful enough in the nature of antidotes to know by their application how to expel the strongest poison soon after it was administered; but by using remedies so efficacious as to keep the anatomy in a constant state of resistance to it, he must have destroyed the vessels capable of admitting infection: so that the means to prevent mortality would have been as mortal as any which could have been employed to produce it. He put himself to death by the sword, probably because at the time he had no poison within his reach; or he might have thought that manner of dying more expeditious and less painful. Upon this point physicians must be the best judges.
Mithridates put an end to his life, A. U. C. 690, the year in which Augustus Cæsar was born.
Fresh Scythian armies by his gold were gain'd,
' Ille per quadraginta annos restitit. Flor. 1. iii. c. 5.
ut major clariorque in restaurando bello resurgeret, damnisque suis terribilior redderetur. Just. 1. xxxvii. c. I.