Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

accomplished. If then he determines firmly and invariably to pursue his conquests: and if we are obstinately resolved against every vigorous and effectual measure: think, what consequences may we expect! In the name of Heaven, can any man be so weak, as not to know, that by neglecting this war, we are transferring it from that country to our own! And should this happen, I fear, Athenians, that as they who inconsiderably borrow money upon high interest, after a shortlived affluence are deprived of their own fortunes; so we, by this continued indolence, by consulting only our ease and pleasure, may be reduced to the grievous necessity of engaging in affairs the most (hocking and disagreeable, and of exposing ourseli cs in the defence of this our native territory.

To censure, some one may tell me, is easy, and in the power of every man: but the true counsellor should point out that conduct which the present exigence demands.—Sensible as [ am, Athenians, that when your expectations have in any instance been disappointed, your.resentment frequently falls not on thole who merit it, bu: on him who hath spoken last; yet I cannot, from a regard to my own safety, suppress what I deem of moment to lay before you. I fay then, this occasion calls for a twofold aemament. First, we are to defend the cities of the Olynthians, and for this purpose to detoch a body of forces: in the next place, in order to infest his kingdom, we are to fend out our navy manned with other levies. If you neglect either of these, I fear your expedition will be fruitless. For, if you content yourselves with infesting his dominions, this he will endure, until he is master of Olynthtis, and then he can with ease repel the invasion; or, if you only send succours to the Olynthians, when he fees his own kingdom free from danger, he will apply with constancy and vigilance to the war, and at length weary out the besieged to a subBiistion. Your levies therefore must be considerable enough to serve both purposes.—These are my sentiments with respect to our armament.

And now, as to the expence of these preparations. You are already provided for the payment of your forces better than any other people. This provision is distributed among yourselves in themannermolt agreeable; but if you restore it to the army, the supplies will be complete without any addition; if not, an addition will be necefor he whole, rather, will remain to

be raised. "How then (I may be asked) "do you move fora decree to apply thole "funds to the military service?" By no' means! it is my opinion indeed, that an army must be railed; that this money rcallv belongs to the army; and that the fame regulation which entitles our citizen to receive, should oblige them also to aCt. At present you expend these sums on entertainments, without regard to your asfairs. It remains then that a general contribution be raised: a great one, isa great one be required: a small one, if such may be sufficient. Money must be found: without it nothing can be effected: various schemes are proposed by various persons: do you make that choice which you think most advantageous ; and, while you have an opportunity, exert yourselves in the care of your interests.

It is worthy your attention to consider, how the affairs of Philip are at this time circumstanced. For they arc by r.o means so well disposed, so very flourishing, as an inattentive observer would pronounce. Nor would he have engaged in this war at all, had he thought he should have been obliged to maintain it. He hoped that, the moment he appeared, all things would fall before him. But these hopes were vain. And this disappointment, in the first place, troubles and dispirits him. Then the Thessalians alarm him; a people remarkable for their perfidy on all occasions, and to all persons. A->d just as they have ever proved, even lo he finds them now. For the) have resolved in council to demand the restitution of Pegasæ, and have opposed his attempt to sonify Magnesia: and I am informed, that for the future he is to be excluded from their ports and markets, as these conveniencies belong to the states of Tl esTaly, and are nor to be intercepted by Philip. And, should he be deprived os such a fund of wealth, he must be greatly ltreightened 10 support his foreign troops. Besides this, we mull suppose that the Pxonian and the Illyrian, and all the others, would prefer freedom and independence to a state of slavery. They arc not accustomed to (ubjection, and the insolence of this man, it is (aid, knows no bounds; nor is this improbable: for great and unexpected success is apt to hurry weak minds into extravagancies. Hence it often proves much more difficult to maintain acquilit ens, than to acquire. It is your part, therefore, to regard the time of his distress as your most favourable opportunity; improve it to the S s 4 utmost;

utmost; send out your embassies; take the field yourselves, and excite a general ardor abroad; ever considering how readily Philip would attack us, if he were favoured by any incident like this, if a war had broken out on our borders. And would it not be lhameful to want the resolution to bring that distress on him, which, had it been equally in his power, he certainly would have made you feel i

This too demands your attention, Athenians! that you are now to determine whether it be most expedient to carry the war into his country, or to fight him here. If Olynthus be defended, Macedon will be the feat of war: you may harass his kingdom, and enjoy your own territories free from apprehensions. But, mould that nation be subdued by Philip, who will oppose his marching hither? will the Thebans } let it not be thought severe when I affirm, that they will join readily in the invasion. Will the Phocians? a people scarcely able to defend their own country, without your assistance. Will any others? —" But, Sir," cries someone, ■ he would "make no such attempt."—This would be the greatest of absurdities; not to execute those threats, when he hath full power, which, now when they appear so idle and extravagant, he yet dares to utter. And I think you are not yet to learn how great would be the difference between our engaging him here and there. Were we to be only thirty days abroad, and to draw all the necessaries of the camp from our own lands, even were there no enemy to ravage them, the damage would, in my opinion, amount to more than the whole expence of the late war. Add then the presence of an enemy, and how greatly must the calamity be increased: but, further, add the infamy; and to those who judge rightly, no distress can be more grievous than the scandal of misconduct.

It is incumbent therefore, upon us all, (justly influenced by these considerations) to unite vigorously in the common cause, and repel the danger that threatens this territory. Let the rich exert themselves on this occasion; that, by contributing a small portion of their affluence, they may secure the peaceful possession of the rest. Let those who arc of the age for military duty; that, by learning the art of war in Philip's dominions, they may become formidable defenders of iheir native land. Let our orators, that they may safely submit their conduct to the public inspection. For

your judgment of their administration! will ever be determined by the event of things. And may we all contribute to render that favourable! Leland.

§ 5. Oration against Cat aline.
THE ARGUMENT.

L. Scrgius Cataline was of Patrician ex-
traction, and had sided with Sylla,
during the civil wars between him
and Marius. Upon the expiration oF
his prætorfhip, he was sent to the
government of Africa; and after his
return, was accused of mal-adroinistra-
tion by P. Clodius, under the consul-
ship of M. Emilius Lepidus, and L.
Volcatius Tullus, It is comir. only
believed, that the design of the con-
spiracy was formed about this time,
three years before the oration Cicero
here pronounces against it. Cataline,
after his return from Africa, had sued
for the consulship, but was rejected.
The two following years he likewise
stood candidate, but still met with
the same fate. It appears that he
made a fourth attempt under the con-
sulship of Cicero, who made use of all
his credit and authority to exclude
him, in which he succeeded to his
wish. After the picture SJIust has
drawn of Cataline, it were needless to
attempt his character here; besides
that the four following orations will
make the reader sufficiently acquaint-
ed with it. This first speech was pro-
nounced in the senate, convened in the
temple of J upiter Stator,on the eighth
of November, in the six hundred and
ninth year of the city, and forty-fourth
of Cicero's age. The occasion of it
was as follows: Cataline, and the other
conspir.itors, had met together in the
house of one Marcus Lecca; where
it was resolved, that a general insur-
rection should be raised through Italy,
the different parts of which were as-
signed to different leaders; that Ca-
taline should pot himself at the head
of the troops in Etruria; that Rome
should be fired in many places at once,
and a massacre begun at the fame
time of the whole senate and all their
enemies, of whom none were to be
spared except the sons of Pompey,
who were to be kept as hostages of
their peace and reconciliation with
their father; that in the consternation

of of the fire and massacre, Cataline should be ready with his Tuscan army to take the benefit of the public confusion, and make himself master of the city; where Lentulus in the mean while, as first in dignity, was to preside in their general councils; Calli us tomanage the affair of firing it; Cetbegus to direct the massacre. But the vigilance of Cicero being the chief obstacle to all their hopes, Cataline was very desirous to fee him taken off before he left Rome; upon which two knights of the company undertook to kill him the next morning in his bed, in an early visit on pretence of business. They were both of his acquaintance, and used to frequent his house; and knowing his custom of giving free access to all, made no doubt of being readily admitted, as C. Cornelius, one of the two, afte rwards confessed. The meeting was no sooner over, than Cicero had information of all that passed in it: for by the intrigues of a woman named Fulvia, he had gained over Curius her gallant, one of the conspirators of senatorial! rank, to send him a punctual account of all their dt liberations. He presently imparted his intelligence to some of the chiefs of the city, who were assembled that evening, as usual, at his house, informing them not only of the design, but naming the men who were to execute it, and the very hour when they would be at his gate: all which fell out exactly as he foretold; for the two knights came before break of day, but had the mortification to find the house well guarded, and all admittance refused to them. Next day Cicero summoned the senate to the temple of Jupiter in the capitol, where it was not usually held but in times of public alarm. There had been several debates before this on the fame subject of Cataline's treasons, and his design of killing the consul; and a decree had passed at the motion of Cicero, to offer a public reward to the first discoverer of the plot; if a slave, his liberty, and eight hundred pounds; if a citizen, his pardon, and sixteen hundred. Yet Cataline, by a profound dissimulation, and the conslant professions of his innocence, still deceived many of all ranks; repre

senting the whole as the fiction of his enemy Cicero, and offering to give security for his behaviour, and to deliver himself to the custody of any whom the senate would name ; os As. Lepidus, of the prxtor Metellus, or of Cicero himielf: but none of them would receive him; and Cicero plainly told him, that he IhouUi never think, himself safe in the lame house, when he was in danger by living in the fame city with him. Yet he still kept on the mask, and Ir.d the confidence to come to this very meeting in the capitol; which so shocked the whole assembly, that none even os his acquaintance durst venture to salute him; and the consular senators quitted that part of the house in which he fat, and left the whole bench clear to him. Cicero was so provoked by hit impudence, that instead of entering upon any business, as he designed, addresiing himself directly to Cataline, he broke out into the present most severe invective against him; and with all the fire and force of an incensed eloquence, laid open the whole course of his villainies, and the notoriety of his treasons.

HOW far, O Cataline, wilt thou abuse our patience? How long (hall thy frantic rage baffle the efforts of justice I To what height meanest thou to carry thy daring insolence? Art thou nothing daunted by the nocturnal watch posted to secure the Palatium? nothing by the city guards? nothing by the consternation of the people? nothing by the union of all the wise and worthy citizens? nothing by the senate's assembling in this place of strength? nothing by the looks and countenances of all here present? iiecst thou not that all thy designs are brought to light? that the senators are thoroughly apprized of thy coaspiracy? that they are acquainted with thy last night's practices; with the practices of the night before; with the place of meeting, the company summoned together, and the measures concerted? Alas for our degeneracy! alas for the depravity of the times! the senate is apprized of all this, the consul beholds it; yet the traitor lives. Lives! did I fay, he even comes into the senate; he shares in the public deliberations; he marks us out with his eye for destruction. While we, bold in our country's cause, think we have

sufficiently sufficiently discharged our duty to the state, if we can but escape his rage and deadly darts. Long since, O Cataline, ought the consul to have ordered thee for execution; and pointed upon thy own head that ruin thou hast been long meditating against us all. Could that illustrious citizen Publius bcipio, sovereign pontiff, but invested with no public magistracy, kill Tiberius Gracchus for raising some flight commotions in the commonwealth; and shall we consuls suffer Cataline to live, who aims at laying waste the world with fire and sword? I omit, as too remote, the example ot Servilius Ahala, who with his own hand flew Spurius Melius, for plotting a revolution in the state. Such, such was the virtue of this republic in former times, that her brave sons punished more severely a factious citizen, than the mod inveterate public enemy. We have a weighty anil vigorous decree of the senate against you, Cataline: the commonwealth wants not wisdom, nor this house authority: but we, the consuls, I speak it openly, are wanting in our duty.

A decree once passed in the senate, enjoining the consul L. Opimius to take care that the commonwealth received no detriment. The very fame day Caius Gracchus was killed for some flight suspicions of treason, though descended of a father, grandfather, and ancestors, all eminent for their services to the state. Marcus Fulvius too, a man of consular dignity, with his children, underwent the same fate. Bya like decree of the senate, the care of the commonwealth was committed to the consuls C. Marius and L. Valerius. Was a single day permitted to pass, before L. Suturninus, tribune of the people, and C. Servilius the prætor, satisfied by their death the justice of their country. But we, for these twenty days, have suffered the authority of the senate to languish jn our hands. For we too have a like decree, but it rests among our records like a sword in the scabbard; a .decree, O Cataline, by which you ought to have suffered immediate death. Yet still you live; nay more, you live, not to lay aside, but to harden yourself in your audacious guilt. I could wish, conscript fathers, to be merciful; [ could wish too not to appear remiss when my country is threatened .with danger; but J now begin to reproach myself with negligence and want of courage. A camp is formed in Italy, upon the very borders of Et: uria, against the commonwealth. The

2

enemy increase daily in number. At the same time we behold their general and leader within our walls; nay, in the senatehouse itself, plotting daily some intestine mischief against the state. Should I order you, Cataline, to be instantly seized and put to death: I have reason to believe, good men would rather reproach me with slowness than cruelty. But at present certain reasons restrain me from this step, which indeed ought to have been taken long ago. Thou shalt then suffer death, when not a man is to be found, so wicked, so desperate, so like thyself, as not to own it was done justly. As long as there is one who dares to defend thee,-thou shalt live; and live so as thoo now dost, surrounded by the numerous and powerful guards which I have placed about thee, so as not to suffer thee to stir a foot against the republic; whilst the eyes and ears of many shall watch thte, as they have hitherto done, when thou little thoughtelt of it.

But what is it, Cataline, thou canst now have in view, if ntither the obscurity of night can conceal thy traitorous assemblies, nor the walls of a private house prevent the voice of thy treason from reaching our ears f If all thy projects are discovered, and burst into public view? Quit then your detestable purpose, and think no more of massacres and conflagrations. You are beset on all hands; your most secret councils are clear as noon-day; as you may easily gather, from the detail I am now to give you. You may remember that on the nineteenth of October List, 1 said publicly in the senate, that before the twenty-fifth of the same month, C. Manlius, the confederate and creature of your guilt, would appear in arms. Was I deceived, Cataline, I fay not as to this enormous, this detestable, this improbable attempt; but, which is still more surprizing, as to the very day on which it happened? I said likewise, in the senate, that you had fixed the twenty-sixth of the same month for the massacre of our nobles, which induced many citizens of the first rank to retire from Rome, not so much on account of their own preservation, as with a view to baiHe your designs. Can you deny, that on that very fame day you was so beset by my vigilance, and the guards I placed about you, that you found it impossible to attempt any thing against the state; though you had given out4 after the departure of the rest, that you would

■evernevertheless content yourself. with the blood of those who remained r Nay, when on the first of November, you consio'ently hoped to surprize Præneste by night; didjounot find iliat colony secured by my order, and the guards, oftitcrs. and garrison 1 hadappointed? There is nothing you either think, contrive, or attempt, but urat I both hear, fee, and plainly understand.

Call to mind only in conjunction with me, the transactions of last night. You will soon perceive, that I am much more active in watching over the preservation, than you in plotting the destruction of the state. I say then, and say it openly, tnat htl night you went to the hiute of M. Lccca, in the street called thr Gladiators: that you was met there by numbers of your associates in guilt and madness. Dare you deny this? Why are you silent? If you disown the charge, I will prove it: for I fee some in tMs very assembly, who were of your confederacy, immortal gods! what country do we inhabit? what city do we bc'ong 10? what government do we live unoer! Here, here, conscript fathers, wMiin the.e walls, and in this assembly, the molt awful and venerable upon earth, there are men w ho meditate rny ;uin and yours, the destruction of this city, and consequently of the world itself. Myself, your consul, beho.d these men, and ask their opinions on public affairs; and instead of dooming them to immediate execution, do not so much as vound them iviih my tengue. You went then that night, Cataline, to the house of Lccca; you cantoned out all Italy; you appointed the place to which every one was to repair; you singled out those who were to be lest at Rome, and those who were to accompany you in person; you marked out the parts of the city destined to conflagration; you declared your purpose of leaving it soon, and said you only waited a little to see me taken off. Two Roman knights undertook to ease you of that care, and assassinate me the same night in bed before day-break. Scarce was your assembly dismissed, when. I was informed of all this: I ordered an additional guard to attend, to secure my house from assault; 1 refused admittance to those whom you sent to compliment me in the morning; and declared to many worthy persons beforehand who they were, and at what time I "pected them.

Since then, Cataline, such is the state of your affairs, finish what you have begun; quit the city; the gates are open; nobody opposes your retreat. The troops in Manliu^'s camp long to put themselves under your command. Carry with you all your confederates; if not ail, at least as many as possible. Purge the city. It will take gieatly from my fears, to be divided from you by a wall. You cannot pretend to stay any longer with us: I will not bear, will not luster, will not allow of it. Great thanks arc due to the immortal gods, and chiefly to thee Jupiter Stator, the ancient protector of this city, for having already so often preserved us from this dangerous, this destructive, this pestilent scourge of his country. The supreme safety of the commonwealth ought not to be again and again exposed to danger for the lake of a single man. While 1 was only consul elect, Cataline, I contented mytelf with guarding against your many.plots, not by a public guard, but by my private vigilance. When at the last election of consuls, you had resolved to assassinate me, and your competitors in the field of Mars, I debated your wicked purpose by the aid of my friends, without disturbing the public peace. In a word, as often as you attempted my life, I singly opposed your fury; though I well saw, that my death would necessarily be attended with many signal calamities to the state. But now you openly strike at the very being of the republic. The temples of the immortal gods, the mansions of Rome, the lives of h;r citizens, and all the provinces of Italy, are doomed 10 slaughter and devastation. Since therefore I dare not pursue that course, which is moll agreeable to ancient discipline, and the genius of the commonwealth, I will follow another, less severe indeed as to the criminal, but more useful in its consequences to the public. For should I order you to be immediately put to death, the commonwealth would still harbour in its bosom the other conspirators; but by driving you from the city, I shall clear Rome at once of the whole baneful tribe of thy accomplices. How, Cataline! Do you hesitate to do at my command, what you was so lately about to do of your own accord? The consul orders a public enemy to depart thecity. You ask whether this be a real banishment? I say not expressly so: but was I to advise in the case, it is the bell course you can take.

Far

« ZurückWeiter »