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can never put Marius to death.” This event is the subject of the picture before us.
Having obtained permission to go into Africa, Marius landed near the spot where Carthage formerly stood. It was then that he sent this memorable message to the proconsul :-“Go, and tell Sulpicius, that you have seen Marius seated upon the ruins of Carthage.” Cinna, bis partizan, procured him the means of returning, with an army, to Rome; and, by the orders of a ferocious conqueror, the city was deluged by the blood of its inhabitants. Marius exercised, for the seventh time, the consular authority, when the intemperance into which he plunged, to overpower his remorse, led him to the tomb in the 86th year B. C.
The picture of Marius is one of those capital productions alone sufficient to place a painter upon a level with the greatest masters. The drawing is perfectly correct, and the head of Marius, for which Drouais consulted the antique medals, upites, to an elevated character, the most energetic expression. In point of execution the work is perfect.
THE DREAM OF ORESTES.
Orestes is one of the most celebrated personages of the heroic times. The events of his life have given birth to various traditions that often contradict each other. In some countries of Greece there existed one that
repre sented this prince as a giant of the height of more than seven feet. All these fables have acquired considerable interest, from the misfortunes which Orestes experienced after the murder of his mother.
Orestes, secreted from the fury of the assassins of Agamemnon, swore to avenge his father's death ; and, as soon as he conceived himself capable of accomplishing his design, he returned secretly to Mycenæ, where he killed his mother, Clytemnestra, and Ægisthus, in the temple of Apollo. From that moment the furies pursued him, and he attempted by various means, but in vain, to escape the torments which they caused him to endure. He at first presented himself before the Areopagites of Athens. The voices of the judges being equally divided, Minerva herself voted in his favour. Orestes did not, however, cease to become the prey of the furies. Træzepe was a celebrated place for expiations—there he travelled, but no Træzenian would receive him in his house. The magistrates, at length, softened by his misfortunes, gave him, by a decree, absolution of his crime. They performed the ceremonies of expiation; and Pausanias pretends, that in his time the laurel was existing, which it is said rose from the place where the water of Hippocrene descended, which they made use of to purify Orestes. They likewise preserve, at Træzene, the bench upon which it is believed that the judges were seated to pronounce judgment. This expiation did not deliver Orestes from the rage of the furies; and, upon the faith of an oracle, he went to the Chersonesus to carry away the statue of Diana. It was then that he was upon the point of being sacrificed by his sister Iphigenia, who, having recognised bim, aided him to deceive the king Thoas; and be facilitated, by various means, the removal of the famous statue. This expedition put an end to the sufferings of Orestes; for the furies, at the prayers of Minerva, ceased to torment him. It is related, that to shew his gratitude he gave to the three infernal divinities the name of the Eumenides, that is to say, beneficent-a name, which in reality has no relation with their ministry, unless by an indirect sense, the Greeks being unwilling to admit that the punishment of the guilty tends to the good of society.
M. Fleury has chosen, for the subject of his picture, the moment in which Orestes, while asleep, beholds in a dream the apparition of his mother, bearing in ber bosom the dagger with which he inflicted the fatal wound. One of the furies raises the veil of Clytemnestra, another presents to Orestes the poisoned cup, and the third environs him with her serpents.
This picture, of which the figures are of the natural size, was exhibited in 1806. It is very ably painted, and with good effect.