That Annihilated Place

τὸ δ᾽ ἔργον τοῦτο μὴ μόνον εἶναι κατὰ τὸ μέγεθος ἀποδοχῆς ἄξιον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῇ τέχνῃ θαυμαστὸν καὶ τῇ τοῦ λίθου φύσει διαφέρον, ὡς ἂν ἐν τηλικούτῳ μεγέθει μήτε διαφυάδος μήτε κηλῖδος μηδεμιᾶς θεωρουμένης. ἐπιγεγράφθαι δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ αὐτοῦ ‘βασιλεὺς βασιλέων Ὀσυμανδύας εἰμί. εἰ δέ τις εἰδέναι βούλεται πηλίκος εἰμὶ καὶ ποῦ κεῖμαι, νικάτω τι τῶν ἐμῶν ἔργων.’

Diod. 1.47.4.

[M]ox visit veterum Thebarum magna vestigia. Et manebant structis molibus litterae Aegyptiae, priorem opulentiam complexae: iussusque e senioribus sacerdotum patrium sermonem interpretari, referebat habitasse quondam septingenta milia aetate militari atque eo cum exercitu regem Rhamsen Libya, Aethiopia Medisque et Persis et Bactriano ac Scytha potitum quasque terras Suri Armeniique et contigui Cappadoces colunt, inde Bithynum, hinc Lycium ad mare imperio tenuisse. Legebantur et indicta gentibus tributa, pondus argenti et auri, numerus armorum equorumque et dona templis, ebur atque odores, quasque copias frumenti et omnium utensilium quaeque natio penderet, haud minus magnifica quam nunc vi Parthorum aut potentia Romana iubentur.

Tac. Ann. 2.60.

The New Zealander (1872) by Gustave Doré.

OZYMANDIAS;
or, On A Stupendous Leg of Granite, Discovered Standing by Itself in the Deserts of Egypt, with the Inscription Inserted Below.

In Egypt’s sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desert knows:—
“I am great OZYMANDIAS,” saith the stone,
“The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
“The wonders of my hand.”— The City’s gone,—
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.

We wonder,—and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro’ the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.

Horace Smith,
The Examiner, 1 February 1818.

Horace Smith by unknown artist, watercolour, c. 1840; NPG 2200.

Is it not odd that the only truly generous person I ever knew who had money enough to be generous with should be a stockbroker? He writes poetry and pastoral dramas and yet knows how to make money, and does make it, and is still generous.

Shelley on Smith.

To Robbery, Slaughter, Plunder, They Give the Lying Name of Empire

Calgacus speaking to the Caledonians.

Quotiens causas belli et necessitatem nostram intueor, magnus mihi animus est hodiernum diem consensumque vestrum initium libertatis toti Britanniae fore: nam et universi co[i]stis et servitutis expertes, et nullae ultra terrae ac ne mare quidem securum inminente nobis classe Romana. Ita proelium atque arma, quae fortibus honesta, eadem etiam ignavis tutissima sunt. Priores pugnae, quibus adversus Romanos varia fortuna certatum est, spem ac subsidium in nostris manibus habebant, quia nobilissimi totius Britanniae eoque in ipsis penetralibus siti nec ulla servientium litora aspicientes, oculos quoque a contactu dominationis inviolatos habebamus. Nos terrarum ac libertatis extremos recessus ipse ac sinus famae in hunc diem defendit: nunc terminus Britanniae patet, atque omne ignotum pro magnifico est; sed nulla iam ultra gens, nihil nisi fluctus ac saxa, et infestiores Romani, quorum superbiam frustra per obsequium ac modestiam effugias. Raptores orbis, postquam cuncta vastantibus defuere terrae, mare scrutantur: si locuples hostis est, avari, si pauper, ambitiosi, quos non Oriens, non Occidens satiaverit: soli omnium opes atque inopiam pari adfectu concupiscunt. Auferre trucidare rapere falsis nominibus imperium, atque ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.

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On Lost Virtue

Neque femina amissa pudicitia alia abnuerit.

— (Publius/Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus.