Pulter is outspokenly political in this emblem, the fourth to last poem in her series. Criticising Cromwell and his republican supporters, she draws parallels between their sacrilegious behaviour and the actions of the Gauls’ army, led by Brennus, Chief of Senones, in the Battle of Allia in 390 BCE. Plutarch records the battle: in the events preceding the conflict, the Gallic army spent “many dayes spoyling and sacking all thinges they founde in the houses, and in the ende dyd set them all a fyer, and destroyed them every one”. Finding those that “kept the forte of the Capitoll” unresponsive, they began to “put all to the sworde that came in their handes, young and olde, man, woman, and childe”. This then erupted into a long siege in which many were killed, lasting until the Romans were provoked to weigh a thousand pounds of gold to offer in surrender. Brennus, “in scorne and mockey” of this acquiescence, placed his sword on the scales where the gold was being weighed and declared “vae victis”, meaning “sorrowe to the vanquished”. Soon after, however, the banished Roman statesman and general Camillus returned and viciously retaliated, leading the Roman army to conquer the Gauls. See Plutarch, The lives of the noble Grecians and Romanes. Trans. by Thomas North , 154-58.
Pulter compares Cromwell to the tyrannical Brennus in her opening epithet, "British Brennus", and proceeds with a description of the Civil War and the injustice displayed via this ancient story. She shortens the names of the crucial parties in both conflicts, so that Camillus, Cromwell, Charles I, and Charles II all appear as the “C.”, cleverly denoting both the ancient and contemporaneous parties in the analogy she is drawing. She confirms the analogy in a final rhyming quatrain, calling for a Camillus-type to restore England to glory, just as he did to Rome. Pulter turns to God, pleading for Charles II, as the rightful king, to return to the throne, to vanquish Oliver Cromwell. Pulter’s reference to Charles I’s execution and Charles II’s banishment, and her appeals for him to be restored (lines 13-14), suggest this emblem was written between 1651 and 1660.