Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

xvi

NOTICE OF CAIUS VELLEIUS PATERCULUS.

edition of 1546, was made by Burer before it was returned to the convent'.

He intended to write a larger history, but whether he executed his intention is unknown.

His philosophical tenets seem to have been, or to have resembled, those of Epicurus?.

The time of his death is uncertain; but Lipsius conjectures that he may have been involved in the ruin of Sejanus, to whom he seems to have attached himself, and whom, as well as Tiberius, he is censured for having grossly flattered. His flattery, however, seems to have consisted rather in concealing their faults, than in attributing to them imaginary virtues.

His style is animated and energetic, but rough and unpolished; his sentences are too long, and often clogged with parentheses.

He has twice before been translated into English; by Newcomb, 1721, a rude and unfaithful version; and by Baker, 1814, a performance resembling in style the Livy of the same writer.

i Krause, p. 48, 49. ? ii., 48, 96, 99, atque alibi. 3 ii., 66, 123.

CONSPIRACY OF CATILINE.

[ocr errors]

His sup

THE ARGUMENT.
THE INTRODUCTION, 1.—IV. The character of Catiline, V. Virtues of the

ancient Romans, VI.-IX. Degeneracy of their posterity, X.-XIII. Cati-
line's associates and supporters, and the arts by which he collected them, XIV.
His crimes and wretchedness, XV. His tuition of his accomplices, and resolu-
tion to subvert the government, XVI. His convocation of the conspirators,
and their names, XVII. His concern in a former conspiracy, XVIII., XIX.
Speech to the conspirators, XX. His promises to them, XXI.
posed ceremony to unite them, XXII. His designs discovered by Fulvia,
XXIII. His alarm on the election of Cicero to the consulship, and his design
in engaging women in his cause, XXIV. His accomplice, Sempronia, charac-
terised, XXV. His ambition of the consulship, his plot to assassinate Cicero,
and his disappointment in both, XXVI. His mission of Manlius into Etruria,
and his second convention of the conspirators, XXVII. His second attempt
to kill Cicero; his directions to Manlius well observed, XXVIII. His machi-
nations induce the Senate to confer extraordinary power on the consuls, XXIX.
His proceedings are opposed by various precautions, XXX. His effrontery in
the Senate, XXXI. He sets out for Etruria, XXXII. His accomplice, Man-
lius, sends a deputation to Marcius, XXXIII. His representations to various
respectable characters, XXXIV. His letter to Catulus, XXXV. His arrival
at Manlius's camp; he is declared an enemy by the Senate; his adherents con-
tinue faithful and resolute, XXXVI. The discontent and disaffection of the
populace in Rome, XXXVII. The old contentions between the patricians and
plebeians, XXXVIII. The effect which a victory of Catiline would have
produced, XXXIX. The Allobroges are solicited to engage in the con-
spiracy, XL. They discover it to Cicero, XLI. The incaution of Catiline's
accomplices in Gaul and Italy, XLII. The plans of his adherents at Rome,
XLIII. The Allobroges succeed in obtaining proofs of the conspirators'
guilt, XLIV. The Allobroges and Volturcius are arrested by the contrivance
of Cicero, XLV. The principal conspirators at Rome are brought before the
Senate, XLVI. The evidence against them, and their consignment to cus-
tody, XLVII.

The alteration in the minds of the populace, and the suspicions entertained against Crassus, XLVIII. The attempts of Catulus and Piso to criminate Cæsar, XLIX. The plans of Lentulus and Cethegus for their rescue, and the deliberations of the Senate, L. The speech of Cæsar on the mode of punishing the conspirators, LI. The speech of Cato on the same subject, LII. The condemnation of the prisoners; the causes of Roman great

B

ness, LIII.

Parallel between Cæsar and Cato, LIV. The execution of the criminals, LV. Catiline's warlike preparations in Etruria, LVI. He is compelled by Metellus and Antonius to hazard an action, LVII. His exhortation to his men, LVIII. His arrangements, and those of his opponents, for the battle, LIX. His bravery, defeat, and death, LX., LXI.

I. It becomes all men, who desire to excel other animals?, to strive, to the utmost of their power?, not to pass through life in obscurity", like the beasts of the field4, which nature has formed grovelling and subservient to appetite.

66

[ocr errors]

1 I. Desire to excel other animals] Sese student præstare cæteris animalibus. The pronoun, which was usually omitted, is, says Cortius, not without its force; for it is equivalent to ut ipsi: student ut ipsi præstent. In support of his opinion he quotes, with other passages, Plaut. Asinar. i., 3, 31: Vult piacere sese amicæ, i. e. vult ut ipse amicæ placeat; and Cælius Antipater apud Festum in “ Topper:” Ita uti sese quisque vobis studeat æmulari, i. e. studeat ut ipse æmuletur. This explanation is approved by Bernouf. Cortius might have added Cat. 7: sese quisque hostem ferire-properabat. “Student," Cortius interprets by piunt."

2 To the utmost of their power] Summâ ope, with their utmost ability. “A Sallustian mode of expression. Cicero would have said summâ operâ, summo studio, summâ contentione. Ennius has. Summa nituntur opum vi.'Colerus.

3 In obscurity] Silentio. So as to have nothing said of them, either during their lives or at their death. So in c. 2: Eorum ego vitam mortemque juxta æstumo, quoniam de utrâque siletur. When Ovid says, Bene qui latuit, bene vixit, and Horace, Nec vixit malè, qui vivens moriensque fefellit, they merely signify that he has some comfort in life, who, in ignoble obscurity, escapes trouble and censure. But men thus undistinguished are, in the estimation of Sallust, little superior to the brute creation. “Optimus quisque,” says Muretus, quoting Cicero, "honoris et gloriæ studio maximè ducitur;" the ablest men are most actuated by the desire of honour and glory, and are more solicitous about the character which they will bear among posterity. With reason, therefore, does Pallas, in the Odyssey, address the following exhortation to Telemachus:

“Hast thou not heard how young Orestes, fir'd
With great revenge, immortal praise acquir'd?
O greatly bless’d with ev'ry blooming grace,
With equal steps the paths of glory trace !
Join to that royal youth's your rival

name, And shine eternal in the sphere of fame.” * Like the beasts of the field] Veluti pecora. Many translators have rendered pecora “ brutes

“beasts ;” pecus, however, does not mean brutes in general, but answers to our English word cattle.

5 Grovelling] Prona. I have adopted grovelling from Mair's old translation. Beholds his own hereditary skies.” Dryden. Which Milton (Par. L. vii., 502) has paraphrased:

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

or

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

All our power is situated in the mind and in the bodyl. Of the mind we rather employ the government? ; of the body, Pronus, stooping to the earth, is applied to cattle, in opposition to erectus, which is applied to man; as in the following lines of Ovid, Met. i., 76:

Pronaque cum spectent animalia cætera terram,

Os homini sublime dedit, cælumque tueri
Jussit, et erectos ad sidera tollere vultus.”

while the mute creation downward bend
Their sight, and to their earthly mother tend,
Man looks aloft, and with erected eyes

There wanted yet the master-work, the end

Of all yet done; a creature, who not prone
And brute as other creatures, but endued
With sanctity of reason, might erect
His stature, and upright with front serene
Govern the rest, self-knowing, and from thence

Magnanimous to correspond with heaven.”
So Silius Italicus, xv., 84:

" Nonne vides hominum ut celsos ad sidera vultus

Sustulerit Deus, et sublimia finxerit ora,
Cùm pecudes, volucrumque genus, formasque ferarum,

Segnem atque obscenam passim stravisset in alvum.”
“ See'st thou not how the Deity has rais'd

The countenance of man erect to heav'n,
Gazing sublime, while prone to earth he bent
Th’ inferior tribes, reptiles, and pasturing herds,

And beasts of prey, to appetite enslav'd ?”. “When Nature," says Cicero de Legg. i., 9, “had made other animals abject, and consigned them to the pastures, she made man alone upright, and raised him to the contemplation of heaven, as of his birthplace and former abode;" a passage which Dryden seems to have had in his mind when he translated the lines of Ovid cited above. Let us add Juvenal, xv., 146:

“ Sensum à cælesti demissum traximus arce,

Cujus egent prona et terram spectantia.” “ To us is reason giv'n, of heav'nly birth,

Denied to beasts, that prone regard the earth.” 1 All our power is situate in the mind and in the body] Sed omnis nostra vis in animo et corpore sita. All our power is placed, or consists, in our mind and our body. The particle sed, which is merely a connective, answering to the Greek dé, and which would be useless in an English translation, I have omitted.

2 Of the mind we-employ the government] Animi imperio-utimur. “What the Deity is in the universe, the mind is in man; what matter is to the universe, the body is to us; let the worse, therefore, serve the better."-Sen. Epist. lxv. At certain times the body may seem to have the mastery, as when we are under the irresistible influence of hunger or thirst.

6

the service?. , ' The one is common to-us with the gods; the other with the brutes. It appears to me, therefore, more reasonable to pursue glory by means of the intellect than of bodily strength, and since the life which we enjoy is short, to make the remembrance of us as lasting as possible. For the glory of wealth and beauty is fleeting and perishable ; that of intellectual power is illustrious and immortals.

Yet it was long a subject of dispute among mankind, Dux et imperator vitæ mortalium animus est, the mind is the guide and ruler of the life of mortals.-Jug. c. 1. "An animal consists of mind and body, of which the one is formed by nature to rule, and the other to obey."-Aristot. Polit. i., 5. Muretus and Graswinckel will supply abundance of similar passages.

1 Of the mind we rather employ the government; of the body, the service] Animi imperio, corporis servitio, magis utimur. The word magis is not to be regarded as useless. “It signifies," says Cortius, " that the mind rules, and the body obeys, in general, and with greater reason.

2 It appears to me, therefore, more reasonable, gc.] Quo mihi rectius videtur, $c. I have rendered quo by therefore. Quo," observes Cortius, “is propter quod, with the proper force of the ablative case. So Jug. c. 84: Quo mihi acrius adnitendum est, &c.; c. 2, Quo magis praritas eorum admiranda est. Some expositors would force us to believe that these ablatives are inseparably connected with the comparative degree, as in quo minus, eo major, and similar expressions; whereas common sense shows that they cannot be so connected." Kritzius is one of those who interprets in the way to which Cortius alludes, as if the drift of the passage were, Quanto magis animus corpori præstat, tanto rectius ingenië opibus gloriam quærere. But most of the commentators and translators rightly follow Cortius. Quo," says Pappaur, "is for quocirca."

3 That of intellectual power is illustrious and immortal] Virtus clara æternaque habetur. The only one of our English translators wlio has given the right sense of virtus in this passage, is Sir Henry Steuart, who was guided to it by the Abbé Thyvon and M, Beauzée. “It appears somewhat singular," says Sir Henry, " that none of the numerous translators of Sallust, whether among ourselves or among foreign nations—the Abbé Thyvon and M. Beauzée excepted—have thought of giving to the word virtus, in this place, what so obviously is the meaning intended by the historian; namely, 'genius, ability, distinguished talents. Indeed, the whole tenor of the passage, as well as the scope of the context, leaves no room to doubt the fact. The main objects of comparison, throughout the three first sections of this Proæmium, or introductory discourse, are not vice and virtue, but body and mind; a listless indolence, and a vigorous, honourable activity. On this account it is pretty evident, that by virtus Sallust could never mean the Greek åperń, 'virtue or moral worth,' but that he had in his eye the wellknown interpretation of Varro, who considers it ut viri vis (De Ling. Lat. iv.), as denoting the useful energy which ennobles a man, and should chiefly distinguish him among bis fellow-creatures. In order to be convinced of the justice of this

« ZurückWeiter »