Open main menu

Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 3.djvu/333

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


"Expende Annibalem:—quot libras in duce summo

Juvenal, [Lib. iv.] Sat. x. line 147.[2]

"The Emperor Nepos was acknowledged by the Senate, by the Italians, and by the Provincials of Gaul; his moral virtues, and military talents, were loudly celebrated; and those who derived any private benefit from his government announced in prophetic strains the restoration of the public felicity. * * By this shameful abdication, he protracted his life about five years, in a very ambiguous state, between an Emperor and an Exile, till!!!"—Gibbon's Decline and Fall, two vols. notes by Milman, i. 979.[3]



    London: Printed for J. Murray, Albemarle Street, By W. Bulmer and Co. Cleveland-Row, St. James's, 1814.—First Proof, title-page.]

  2. [The quotation from Juvenal was added in Second Proof.

    "Produce the urn that Hannibal contains,
    And weigh the mighty dust which yet remains;
    And is This All!"

    "I know not that this was ever done in the old world; at least with regard to Hannibal: but in the statistical account of Scotland, I find that Sir John Paterson had the curiosity to collect and weigh the ashes of a person discovered a few years since in the parish of Eccles.... Wonderful to relate, he found the whole did not exceed in weight one ounce and a half! And is This All? Alas! the quot libras itself is a satirical exaggeration."—Gifford's Translation of Juvenal (ed. 1817), ii. 26, 27.

    The motto, "Expende—Quot Libras In Duce Summo Invenies," was inscribed on one side of the silver urn presented by Byron to Walter Scott in April, 1815. (See Letters, 1899, iii. 414, Appendix IV.)]

  3. ["I send you ... an additional motto from Gibbon, which you will find singularly appropriate."—Letter to Murray, April 12, 1814, ibid., p. 68.]