And here the buzz of eager nations ran,
In murmured pity, or loud-roared applause,
As man was slaughtered by his fellow man.
And wherefore slaughtered? wherefore, but because
Such were the bloody Circus' genial laws,
And the imperial pleasure.—"Wherefore not?
What matters where we fall to fill the maws
Of worms—on battle-plains or listed spot?
Both are but theatres—where the chief actors rot.
I see before me the Gladiator lie:
- Whether the wonderful statue which suggested this image be a laquearian gladiator, which, in spite of Winckelmann's criticism, has been stoutly maintained; or whether it be a Greek herald, as that great antiquary positively asserted;[a] or whether it is to be thought a Spartan or barbarian shield-bearer, according to the opinion of his Italian editor; it must assuredly seem a copy of that masterpiece of Ctesilaus which represented "a wounded man dying, who perfectly expressed what there remained of life in him." Montfaucon and Maffei thought it the identical statue; but that statue
Leaning upon his hand, his mut[e] brow
Yielding to death but conquering agony.—[MS. M. erased.]