LAOCOON, the son of Priam and HeCuba, and priest of Apollo, inflamed by love for his country, violently opposed the reception of the wooden horse within the walls of Troy. To awaken his country men to the impending danger, he dared to hurl his javelin against the fatal machine, consecrated to Minerva. . . . Those of the gods hostile to Troy, resolved to punish him, and shortly after, as Laocoon, crowned with laurel, was sacrificing to Neptune on the beach, two enormous serpents sprang from the waves, and instantly sprang upon his two children, . . . The distracted father flies to their aid: in vain he struggles against these monsters, they enclose him with his sons--they roll themselves around their bodies--they crush them in their coils--they tear them with their venomous teeth--in spite of their efforts to disengage themselves, this unfortunate father with his sons, the victims of an unjust vengeance, fall at the altar of the god--and turning their distracted eyes towards heaven, expire in the most cruel agonies. Such is the pathetic subject of . . . one of . [To] Pliny, . . . we owe the knowledge of the three skilful sculptors who executed it. Their names are Agesander, Polydorus, and Athenedorus. . . . [Pp. 6-8.]
Account of Statues, Busts, &c. in the Collection of the Academy of Arts. New-York: Printed at the Office of the Morning Chronicle. 1803.