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a struggle “ of life and death"--was the face of politics, disabused every awaiting them; and that in his opi- body of their delusions, and showed nion nothing could avert it, short of a how large a portion of the panic had great Parthian invasion, deluging been due to monstrous misconceptions. the Eastern provinces_Greece, Asia For already, in March, multitudes of Minor, Syria-such as might force refugees had returued to Cæsar. By the two chieftains into an instant dis- the first week of April, that “monster traction of their efforts. Out of that of energy," (that tipus of
superhuman would grow the absence of one or dispateli,) as Cicero repeatedly styles other; and upon that separation, for Cæsar, bad marched through Italythe present, might hang an incalcu- bad received the submission of every lable series of changes. Else, and but strong fortress—bad driven Pompey for this one contingency, be announced into his last Calabrian retreat of Brun. the fate of Rome to be sealed.
dusium, (at which point it was that The new year came, the year 705, this unhappy man unconsciously took and with it new consuls. One of his last farewell of Italian ground)-these, C. Marcellus, was distinguished had summarily kicked him ont of amongst the enemies of Cæsar by his Brundusium-an!, having thus cleared personal rancour-a feeling which he all Italy of enemies, was on his road shared with his twin-brother Marcus. back to Rome. From this city, within In the first day of this month, the the first ten days of April he moved senate was to decide upon Cæsar's onwards to the Spanish war, where, proposals, as a basis for future ar. in reality, the true strength of Bomrangement. They did so ; they voted pey's cause-strong legions of solthe proposals, by large majority, diers, chiefly Italian---awaited him in unsatisfactory-instantly assumed a strong positions, chosen at leisure, fierce martial attitude--fulminated the under Afranius and Petreius. For most hostile of all decrees, and au- the rest of this year, 705, Pompey thorized shocking outrages upon those was unmolested. In 706, Cæsar, vicwho, in official situations, represented torious from Spain, addressed himself Cæsar's interest. These men fled for to the task of overthrowing Pompey their lives. Cæsar, on receiving their in person ; and, on the oth of August report, gave the signal for advance; in that year, took place the ever-meand in forty.eight hours had crossed the morable battle on the river Pharsalus little brook called the Rubicon, which
in Thessaly. determined the marches or frontierline
During all this period of about ono of his province. Earlier by a month year and a half, Cicero's letters, at than this great event, Cicero had tra- intermitting periods, hold the same velled southwards. Thus his object language. They fluctuate, indeed, was-to place hiniself in personal strangely in temper; for they run communication with Pompey, whose through all the changes incident to vast Neapolitan estates drew him often hoping, trusting, and disappointed into that quarter. But, to his great friendship. Nothing can equal the consternation, he found himself soon expression of his scorn for Pompey's followed by the whole stream of Ro- inertia, when contrasted with energy man grandees, flying before Cæsar so astonishing on the part of his antathrough the first two months of the gonist. Cicero had also been deceived year. A majority of the senators had as to facts. The plan of the cam. chosen, together with the consuls, to paign had, to him in particular, not become emigrants from Rome, rather been communicated he had been althan abide any compromise with lowed to calculate on a final resistance Cæsar. And, as these were chiefly in Italy. This was certainly imposthe rich and potent in the aristocracy, sible. But the policy of maintaining naturally they drew along with them. a show of opposition, which it was inselves many humble dependants, both tended to abandon at every point, or of in a pecuniary and a political sense. procuring for Cæsar the credit of so A strange rumour prevailed at this many successive triumphs, which moment, to which even Cicero showed might all have been evaded, has never himself malieiously credulous, that received any explanation. Cæsar's natural temper was cruel, and Towards the middle of February, that his policy also had taken that di- Cicero acknowledges the receipt of rection. But the brilliant result withletters from Rome, which in one sense n the next six or seven weeks changed are valuable, as exposing the system of
self-delusion prevailing. Domitius, it decision or award by which he had seems, who soon after laid down his ever benefited- and to view his own arms at Corfinium, and with Corfinium, national distinctio as of name, trophy, parading his forces only to make a laurel crown,* as all but so many more solemn surrender, had, as the stakes provisionally resumed, which despatches from Řome asserted, an must be redeemed by services tenfold army on which he could rely; as to more difficult than those by which Cæsar, that nothing was easier than to originally they had been earned. intercept him; that such was Cæsar's Here was a trial painful, unexpected, own impression; that honest men were sudden; such as any man, at any age, recovering their spirits; and that the might have honourably declined. The rogues at Rome (Romæ improbos) very best contingency in such a were one and all in consternation. It struggle was, that nothing might be tells powerfully for Cicero's sagacity, lost; whilst, along with this doubtful that now, amidst this general explo- hope, ran the certainty-that nothing sion of childish hopes, he only was could be gained. More glorious in the sterniy incredulous. “ Hæc metuo, popular estimate of his countrymen, equidem, ne sint somnia.” Yes, he had Pompey could not become, for his learned by this time to appreciate the honours were already historical, and windy reliances of his party. He had touched with the autumnal hues of
argument from experience for antiquity, having been won in a geneslighting their vain demonstrations ; ration now.gone by; but on the other and he had better argument hand, he night lose every thing, for, from the future, as that future was in a contest with so dreadful an antareally contemplated in the very coun- gonist as Cæsar, he could not hope to sels of the leader. Pompey, though come off unscorched ; and, whatever nominally controlled by other men of might be the final event, one result consular "rank, was at present an must have struck him as inevitable, autocrat for the management of the viz. that a new generation of men,
What was his policy? Cicero who had come forward into the arena bad now discovered, not
of life witbin the last twenty years, through confidential interviews, as by would watch the approaching collision the mute tendencies of all the measures with Cæsar as putting to the test a adopted— Cicero was satisfied that his question much canvassed of late, with total policy bad been, from the first, a regard to the soundness and legitimacy policy of de pair.
of Pompey's military exploits. As a The position of Pompey, as an old commander-in-chief Pompey was invalid, from whom his party exacted known to have been unusually fortuthe services of youth, is worthy of nate. The bloody contests of Marius, separate notice. There is not, per- Cinna, Sylla, and their vindictive, but haps, a more pitiable situation than perhaps, unavoidable, proscription, that of a veteran reposing upon his had thinked the ranks of natural compast laurels, who is summoned from petitors, at the very opening of Pombeds of down, and from the elaborate pey's career. That interval of about system of comforts engrafted upon a eight years, by which he was senior to priocely establishment, suddenly to Cæsar, happened to make the whole re-assume his armour-to prepare for difference between a crowded list of personal hardships of every kind-to candidates for offices of trust, and no renew his youthful anxieties, without list at all. Even more lucky, had support from youthful energies-once Pompey found himself in the characagaiuto dispute sword in hand the title ter of his appointments, and in the to his own honours—to pay back into quality of his antagonists. All his the chancery of war, as into some fund wars had been of that class which of abeyance, all his own prizes, and yield great splendour of external show, palms of every kind to re-open every but impose small exertion and less
** Laurel crown:"_Amongst the honour's granted to Pompey at a very early period, was the liberty to wear å diadem or corona on ceremonial occasions. The common reading was auream coronam,” until Lipsius suggested.lauream ; which correction has since been generallý adopted into the text. This distinction is remarkable when contrasted with the same trophy as afterwards conceded to Cæsar, in relation to the popular feelings, so different in the two cases.
risk. In the war with Mithridates he ness of his kingdom, its remoteness, succeeded to great captains who had his power of retreat into Armeniasapped the whole stamina and resis. all enabled him to draw out the war tance of the contest; besides that, after into a lingering struggle. These local all the varnishings of Cicero, when advantages were misinterpreted. A speaking for the Manilian law, the man who could resist Sylla, Lucullus, enemy was too notoriously effeminate. and others, approved himself to the The bye-battle with the Cilician raw judgments of the multitude as a pirates, is more obscure; but it is cer- dangerous enemy.
Whence a very tain that the extraordinary powers disproportionate appreciation of Pomconferred on Pompey by the Gabinian pey-as of a second Scipio who had law, gave to him, as compared with his destroyed a second Hannibal. If predecessors in the same effort at Hannibal had transferred the war to cleansing the Levant from a nuisance, the gates of Rome, why not Mithrisomething like the unfair superiority dates, who had come westwards as far above their brethren enjoyed by some as Greece? And, upon that argument, of Charlemagne's paladins, in the pos. the panic-struck people of Rome fansession of enchanted weapons. The cied that Mithridates might repeat the success was already ensured by the experiment. They overlooked the great armament placed at Pompey's changes which nearly one hundred disposal; aud still more by bis unlimited and fifty years had wrought. As commission, which enabled him to possible it would have been for Scinforce these water-rats out of their holes, dia and Holkar forty years ago, as and to bring them all into one focus; possible for Tharawaddie at this mowhilst the pompous name of Bellum ment, to conduct an expedition into Piraticum, exaggerated to all after England, as for Mithridates to have years a success which had been at
invaded Italy at the era of 670–80 of the moment too partially facilitated. Rome. There is a wild romantic Finally, in bis triumplı over Sertorius, legend, surviving in old Scandinavian where only he would have found a literature, that Mithridates did not die great Roman enemy capable of apply- by suicide, but that he passed over ing some measure of power to himself, the Black Sea; from Pontus on the by the energies of resistance, although south-east of that sea to the Baltic; the transaction is circumstantially crossed the Baltic; and became that involved in much darkness, enough Odin whose fierce vindictive spirit reremains to show that Pompey shrank acted upon Rome, in after centuries, from open contest-passively, how far through the Goths and Vandals, his co-operatively it is hard to say, supposed descendants: just as the Pompey owed his triumph to mere blood of Dido, the Carthaginian queen, acts of decoy and subsequent assassi. after mounting to the heavens—under nation.
her dying imprecation, Upon this sketch of Pompey's mili.
“ Exoriare aliquis nostro de sanguine tary life, it is evident that he must
vindex"have been regarded, after the enthusiasm of the moment had gone by, as came round in a vast arch of blood. a hollow scenical pageant. But what shed upon Rome, under the retaliahad produced this enthusiasm at the tion of Hannibal, four or five centuries moment? It was the remoteness of later. This Scandinavian legend the scenes.
The pirates had been a might answer for a grand romance, troublesome enemy, precisely in that carrying with it, like the Punic legend, sense which made the Pindarrees of a semblance of mighty retribution ; India such to ourselves; because, as but, as an historical possibility, any flying marauders, lurking and watch- Mithridatic invasion of Italy would be ing their opportunities, they could sel- extravagant. Having been swallowed, dom be brought to action ; so that not however, by ,Roman credulity as a their power, but their want of power, danger, always in procinctu, so long made them formidable, indisposing as the old Pontic lion should be un. themselves to concentration, and con- chained, naturally it had happened sequently weakening the motive to a that this groundless panic, from its combined effort against them. Then, very indistinctness and shadowy outas to Mithridates, a great error pre- line, became more available for Pomvailed in Rome with regard to the pey's immoderate glorification than quality of his power. The spacious- any service so much nearer to home
as to be more rationally appreciable. once or twice there is absolutely a
But a special Nemesis haunts the a subsequent stage of the contest,
“ Live through a speare, with his unusual warpings, had brief season of calamity ; live long then proclaimed the dark retribution enough for total ruin ; live for a which awaited his final year: but the morning on which it will be said_ali sentiment of Shakspeare (see bis son- is lost; as a panic. stricken fugitive, nets) is eternal; and must have whis. sue to the mercies of slaves; and in pered itself to Pompey's heart, as he return, as a headless trunk, lie like a saw the billowy war advancing upon poor mutilated mariner, rejected by bim in his old age
the sea, a wreck from a wreck-owiog “ The painful warrior, famoused for even the last rites of burial to the pity fight,
of a solitary exile.” This doom, and
But, in features that were
men, have foreseen the bitter course To say the truth, in this instance as which he had to traverse. It did not in so many others, the great moral of require any extraordinary self-knowthe retribution escapes us - because ledge to guess, that continued opposiwe do not connect the scattered phe- tion upon the plan of the campaign nomena into their rigorous unity. would breed fretfulness in himself; Most readers pursue the early steps of that the irritation of frequent failure, this mightiest amongst all civil wars inseparable from a war so widely with the hopes and shifting sympa- spread, would cause blame or disthies natural to those who accom- honour to himself; that his coming panied its motions. Cicero must ever experience would be a mere chaos of be the great authority for the daily obstinacy in council, loud remonstrance fluctuations of public opinion in the in action, crimination and recriminaone party, as Cæsar, with a few later tion, insolent dictation from rivals, authors, for those in the other. But treachery on the part of friends, flight inevitably these coeval authorities, and desertion on the part of confidants. shifting their own positions as events Yet even this fell short of the shocking advanced, break the uniformity of the consummation into which the frenzy lesson. They did not see, as we may of faction ripened itself within a few if we will, to the end. Sometimes months. We know of but one case the Pompeian partizans are cheerful; which resembles it, in one remarkable sometimes even they are sanguine; feature. Those readers who are ac
quainted with Lord Clarendon's His- upon their tiger-training towards a tory, will remember the very striking great festival of coming revenge. portrait which he draws of the king's Lord Clarendon, however, it may small army of reserve in Devonshire be said, did not include the commander and the adjacent districts, subsequently of the Devonshire army in his denun. to the great parliamentary triumph of ciation. No: and there it is that the Naseby in June 1645. The ground two reports differ. Cicero did include was now cleared; no work remained the commander. It was the comfor Fairfax but to advance to Nor- mander whom he had chiefly in his thampton, and to sweep away the last eye. Others, indeed, were parties to relics of opposition. In every case the horrid conspiracy against the this would have proved no trying task. country which he charged upon Pom. But what was the condition of the pey: for non datur conjuratio aliter hostile forces ? Lord Clarendon, who quam per plures ; but these “others" had personally presided at their head- were not the private soldiers--they quarters whilst in attendance upon were the leading officers, the staff, the the Prince of Wales, describes them council at Pompey's headquarters, in these emphatic terins as “ a wicked and generally the men of senatorial beaten army." Rarely does history rank. Yet still, to complete the dispresent us with such a picture of mal unity of the prospect, these conutter debasement in an army-coming spirators had an army of ruffian fofrom no enemy, but from one who, reigners under their orders, such as at the very moment of recording his formed an appropriate engine for opinion, knew this army to be the their horrid purposes. king's final resource. Reluctant as a This is a most important point for wise man must feel to reject as irre- clearing up the true character of the deemable in vileness that which he war; and it has been utterly neglected knows to be indispensable for hope, by historians. It is notorious that this solemn opinion of Lord Claren. Cicero, on first joining the faction of don's, upon his royal master's last Pompey after the declaration of hosstake, had been in earlier ages anti- tilities, had for some months justified cipated by Cicero, under the very same his conduct on the doctrine--ihat the circumstances, with regard to the same “ causa,” the constitutional merits of ulimate resource, The army which the dispute, lay with Pompey. He Pompey had concentrated in the re- could not deny that Cæsar nad griegious of northern Greece, was the vances to plead; but he insisted on two ultimate resource of that party: be- things~1. that the mode of redress, cause, though a strong nucleus for by which Cæsar made his appeal, was other armies existed in other pro- radically illegal-2. that the certain vinces, these remoter dependencies tendency of this redress was to a civil were in all likelihood contingent upon revolution, Such had been the conthe result from this-were Pompey sistent representation of Cicero, until prosperous, they would be prosperous; the course of events made bim better if not, not. Knowing, therefore, the acquainted with Pompey's real temper fatal emphasis which belonged to his and policy. It is also notorious--and words, not blind to the inference which here lies the key to the error of all they involved, Cicero did, notwith- biographers -- tbat about two years standing', pronounce confidentially later, when the miserable death of that same judgment of despair upon Pompey had indisposed Cicero to rethe army soon to perish at Pharsalia, member his wicked unaccomplished which, from its strange identity of purposes, and when the assassination tenor and circumstances, we have of Cæsar had made it safe to resume quoted from Lord Clarendon. Both his ancient mysterious animosity to statesmen spoke confessedly of a last the very name of the great man, Cisheet anchor ; both spoke of an army çero did undoubtedly go back to his Vicious in its military composition: early way of distinguishing between but also, which is the peculiarity of them. As an orator, and as a philo. the case, both charged ihe onus of their sopher, he brought back his original own despair upon the non-professional distortions of the case. Pompey, it qualities of the soldiers ; upon their was again pleaded, had been a 'cham. licentivus uneivic temper; upon their pion of the state, (sometimes he venopen anticipations of plunder; and jured upon saying, of liberty,) Cæsar