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venture to raise a doubt whether II. The Roman judicial system.Verres ought really to be cousidered This would require a separate volume, that exorbitant criminal whose guilt and chiefly upon this ground that in has been so profoundly impressed no couatry upon earth, except Rome, upon us all by the forsenic artifices of has the ordinary administration of Cicero. The true reasons for his justice been applied as a great politicondemnation must be sought, first, in cal engine. Men, who could not the proximity to Rome of that Sicilian otherwise be removed, were constantly province where many of his alleged assailed by impeachments; and oftenoppressions had occurred—the fluent times for acts done forty or titty years intercourse with this island, and the before the time of trial. But this multiplied inter-connexions of indivi- dreadful aggravation of the injustice dual towns with Roman grandees, was not generally needed. aggravated the facilities of making tem of trial was the most corrupt that charges; whilst the proofs were any has ever prevailed under European thing but satisfactory in the Roman civilization. The composition of their judicature. Here lay one disadvan- courts, as to the rank of the numerous tage of Verres; but another was- jury, was continually changed: but that the ordinary system of bribes, no change availed to raise them above viz. the sacrifice of one portion from bribery. The rules of evidence were the spoils in the shape of bribes to simply none at all. Every hearsay, the jury (judices) in order to redeem erroneous rumour, atrocious libel, was the other portions, could not be applied allowed to be offered as evidence.. in this case. The spoils were chiefly Much of this never could be repelled, works of art: Verres was the very as it had not been anticipated. And, first man who formed a gallery of art even in those cases where no bribery in Rome; and a French writer in the was attempted, the issue was dependAcadémie des Inscriptions has written ent, almost in a desperate extent, upon a most elaborate catalogue raisonnée to the impression made by the advocate. this gallery-drawn from the materi. And fiaally, it must be borne in mind als left by Cicero and Pliny. But that there was no presiding judge, in this was obviously a sort of treasure our sense of the word, to sum up to that did not admit of partition. And mitigate the effect of arts or falsehood the object of Verres would equally in the advocate-10 point the true have been defeated by selling a part bearing of the evidence-still less to for the costs of " salvage" on the state and to restrict the law. Law rest. In this sad dilemma, Verres there very seldom was any, in a preupon the whole resolved to take his cise circumstantial shape.
The verchance : or, if bribery were applied to dict might be looked for accordingly. some extent, it must have stopped far And we do not scruple to saythat short of that excess to which it would so triumphant a machinery of oppreshave proceeded under a more disposa- sion has never existed, no, not in the ble form of his gains. But we will dungeons of the inquisition. not conceal the truth which Cicero lil. The license of public libelling. indirectly reveals. The capital abuse -Upon this we had proposed to enin the provincial system was not that large. But we must forbear. One the guilty governor might escape, but only caution we must impress upon that the innocent governor might be the reader; he may fancy that Cicero ruined. It is evident that, in a major. would not practise or defend in others ity of cases, this magistrate was thrown the absolute abuse of contidence on upon his own discretion.
Nothing the part of the jury and audience by could be so indefinite and uncircum- employing direct falsehoods.
But stantial as the Roman laws on this this is a mistake. Cicero, in his justihead. The most upright administra- fication of the artifices used at the bar, tor was almost as cruelly laid open to evidently goes the whole length of the fury of calumnious persecution as advising the employment of all misthe worst: both were often cited to statements whatsoever which wear a answer upon parts of their adminis. plausible air. His own practice leads tration altogether blameless; but, to the same inference. Not the falsewhen the original rule had been só hood, but the defect of probability, is wide and lax, the final resource must what in his eyes degrades any possible be in the mercy of the tribunals. assertion or insinuation. And he holds also-that a barrister is not last the poisoned chalice came round accountable for the frequent self- to his own lips, and at a moment when contradictions in which he must be it wounded the most acutely. thus involved at different periods of V. The continued repetition of contime. The immediate purpose is vulsions in the stute.- Under the last paramount to all extra-judicial con. bead we have noticed a consequence sequences whatever, and to all subse. of the long Roman anarchy dreadful qnent exposures of the very grossest enough to contemplate, viz. the neinconsistency in the most calumnious cessity of murder as å sole relief to falsehoods.
the extremities continually recurring, IV. The morality of expediency em- and as a permanent temptation to the ployed by Roman statesmen.– The vitiation of all moral ideas in the regular relief, furnished to Rome necessity of defending it imposed often under the system of anarchy which upon such men as Cicero. This was Cæsar proposed to set aside, lay in an evil which cannot be exaggerated : seasonable murders. When a man but a more extensive evil lay in the grew potent in political annoyance, recurrence of those conspiracies which somebody was employed to murder the public anarchy promoted. We him. Never was there a viler or have all been deluded upon this point. better established murder than that of the conspiracy of Catiline, to those Clodius by Milo, or that of Carbo who weigh well the mystery still and others by Pompey, when a young enveloping the names of Cæsar, of man, acting as the tool of Sylla. Yet the Consul C. Antonius, and others these and the murders of the two suspected as partial accomplices in this Graccbi, nearly a century before, plot, and who consider also what parCicero justifies as necessary. So ties were the exposers or merciless little progress had law and sound
avengers of this plot, was but a reitepolitical wisdom then made, that ration of the attempts made within Cicero was not aware of any thing the previous fifty years by Marius, monstrous in pleading for a most vil- Ciona, Sylla, and finally by Cæsar lanous act—that circumstances had and by his heir Octavius, to raise a made it expedient. Such a man is reformed government, safe and stable, massacred, and Cicero appeals to all upon this hideous oligarchy that annu. your natural feelings of honour against ally almost brought the people of the murderers. Such another is mas- Rome into the necessity of a war and sacred on the opposite side, and Cicero the danger of a merciless proscription. thinks it quite sufficient to reply- That the usual system of fraudulent « Oh, but I assure you he was a bad falsehoods was offered by way of eviman-I knew him to be a bad man. dence against Catiline, is pretty And it was his duty to be mur. obvious. Indeed, why should ii have dered as the sole service he could been spared ? The evidence, in a render the commonwealth.” So again, lawyer's sense, is after all none at all. in common with all his professional The pretended revelations of foreign brethren, Cicero never scruples to envoys go for nothing. These could ascribe the foulest lusts and abomina. have been suborned most easily. And ble propensities to any public antago- the shocking defect of the case is pist; never asking himself
any question that the accused party were never put but this— Will it look probable? He on their defence, never confronted personally escaped such slanders, be- with the base tools of the accusers, cause as a young man he was known and the senators amongst them were to be rather poor, and very studious. overwhelmed with clamours if they But in later life a horrible calumny attempted their defence in the senate. of that class settled upon himself, and The motive to this dreadful injustice one peculiarly shocking to his paren
is manifest. There was a conspiracy; tal grief; for he was then sorrowing that we do not doubt; and of the in extremity for the departed lady who same nature as Cæsar's. Else why had been associated in the slander. should eminent men, too davgerous Do we lend a moment's credit to the for Cicero to touch, have been implifoul insinuation ? No. But we see cated in the obscurer charges ? How the equity of this retribution revolving had they any interest in ihe ruin of upon one who had so often slandered Rome? How had Catiline any interothers in the same malicious way. At est in such a tragedy ?-- But all the
grandees, who were too much embar- nually exploded in sbocks dreadful to rassed in debt to bear the means of the quiet of the nation, which mere profiting by the machinery of bribes necessity, and the instincts of position, applied to so vast a populace, natu- prompted to the parties interested. rally wished to place the administra. Let the reader only remember the tion of public affairs on another long and really ludicrous succession footing; many from merely selfish of men sent out against Antony at purposes, like Cethegus or Lentu- Mutina by the sepate, viz. Octavius, lus-some, we doubt not, from purer Plancus, Asinius Pollio, Lepidus, every motives of enlarged patriotism. One one of whom fell away almost instantly charge against Catiline
to the anti-senatorial cause, to say quote from many, as having tainted nothing of the consuls, Hirtius and the most plausible part of the pretended Pansa, who would undoubtedly have evidence with damnatory suspicions, followed the general precedent, had The reader may not have remarked- they not been killed prematurely: and but the fact is such--that one of the it will become apparent how irresiststanding artifices for injuring a man ible this popular cause was, as the with the populace of Rome, when all sole introduction to a patriotic reforother arts had failed, was to say, that mation, rarged too notoriously against amongst his plots was one for burning a narrow scheme of selfishness, which the city. This cured that indifference interested hardly forty families. It with which otherwise the mob listened does not follow that all men, simply as to stories of conspiracy against a sys- enemies of an oligarchy, would have tem which they held in no reverence afterwards exhibited a pure patriotism. or affection. Now, this most sense- Cæsar, however, did. His reforms, less charge was renewed against Cati. even before his Pompeian struggle, line. It is hardly worthy of notice. were the greatest ever made by an Of what value to him could be a heap individual, and those which he car. of ruins ? Or how could he hope to ried through after that struggle, and found an influence amongst those who during that brief term which his murwere yet reeking from such a calamity? derers allowed him, transcended by
But, in reality, this conspiracy was much all that in any one century had that effort continually moving under- been accomplished by the collective ground, and which would have conti. patriotism of Rome,
EXHIBITIONS-ROYAL ACADEMY. The Royal Academy have chosen age to take off this stock on hand ; a motto from Symmachus for their but then with this cry for patronage, catalogue this year that may be of there is a concurrent attempt to raise, ambiguous sense" Omne quod in not art, but artists by the thousands; cursu est viget." There are move- so that if we “ progress," and our ments in a circle, movements retro. English school “ of design" viget, gressive as progressive. The vitality an income tax will not provide all with shown in the course, the movement, a crust and porter. It may be very is not always healthy, not always in much doubted if the multiplication of dicative of vigour. A foundered post- artists is the advancement of art. It horse cannot keep on his legs at a encourages a taste for mediocrity, even quiet pace—you must spur him to the intentional mediocrity ; it sets before full trot or the gallop. A spent ball the public eye too conspicuously mitoo, viget, yet is nevertheless a spent nor fascinations, till it is content to ball, progressing to a dead stop ap- look no higher, and to leave the mind parentlyleisurelye nough, yet deadly unfed. We wish, therefore, it were a to encounter. A newly recruited rule to select the best pictures, best soldier in one of our battles, not be in their moral effect and dignity, to ing in the thick of the fray, saw one an amount not exceeding one hundred; of these spent cannon-balls hesitating and surely it would be very difficult ly and slowly rolling onwards near to find, ai any one exhibition, such a the ranks, and to make sport, ran out number, worthy to bear and carry to stop it as he would a cricket-ball, with them in the world's opinion the but it killed him on the spot. “ Omne stamp of the “ English school.” It quod in cursu est viget," was to him is not intended by these remarks that an epitaph. We do not see any very pictures of lower class should not be just application of the line to the aca- exhibited; they should have their apdemicians and their works.' We can propriate “ show rooms ;” but we not suspect them of the extreme mo- would have our Royal Academy come desty, that they should say in it, “ You forth with the sanction of genius, and see we keep moving, therefore are “ honoris causâ” the implied mark not defunct.” And yet it is more of distinction for every production it than possible that they may have some exhibits. We might then have an " spent balls” among them; and some “ English school." If the academy, who, like the post-horse, exhibit their however, will still go on upon the mulvitality in rapid and eccentric motions, tiplying scale, we should like to see with which public taste cannot keep a new establishment arise upon this pace. “ Symmachus" here then is limiting foundation, persuaded that it not a good - ally," as the name would would create ten times the interest import, and is rather ready to trip up of any other exhibition, and hold forth the heels of friend or foe. For our a noble object of emulation. We want part, we do most sincerely wish that to make not many painters, but great our academicians would go on at a painters; noble rewards, not frittered more sober pace, and not endeavour and minute distributions. We should to outrun each other at all, oftentimes not care if half the artists we already outrunning thereby all judgment, both have, and who have merit and dexo their own and the world's. And while terity of execution, were sent taylorin the wishing trim we may add, that ed tomorrow. We are overwhelm. we should be better pleased if they ed with mediocrity of talent--with did not admit so many candidates in works you cannot deny to be good in the race, though many of them do their kind, but of a bad kind, without happen to come with faunty colours meaning, or any meaning that the and ribbons flying. One thousand . mind will burden itself to remember. four hundred and nine works of art We paint all things, where few are in one exhibition is a fearful number, worthy. Our great academical experhaps enough to bring the arts into hibition wants a character. It has disrepnte. And then we are told of nothing great and important wherehundreds upon hundreds rejected; with to designate it. We happened, and yet a general cry is raised for before we had visited the Exhibition, patronage. That is well enough, for to ask a foreigner of great acknowit must require a great deal of patron- ledged taste and distinction, what he thought of it. His reply struck us body by another art, is no small test as not to the honour of our country of genius. Whatever defects Mr We felt a sting, which was probably Maclise may bave, and we think he not meant to wound. He said, “ there has many, they arise not from weak. are some exquisitely-painted dogs." ness-power is his chief quality ; it Is then, thought we, in our jealousy, even makes his faults more conspithe great depository of British Art cuous; and we had rather see it so ; little better than a kennel! Yet we for great and noble things may be do not depreciate the great artist, for struck off by it, and that which is now great he is, and immortal will be his wrong, nay, false and bad, may
find name and his works, who thus seemed in him a tempering hand, and be made to characterize our school: on the keep due place, and be converted into contrary,“ upon view,” we were al beauty. He fears no position of the most reconciled to the remark, so human figure, his drawing is bold and eminently excellent are the works of true, and his grouping artistically, Landseer, and at no exhibition that technically speaking, nearly perfect. we remember, more so than at this. If he chooses to make rules for himHe is, in fact, not only our most fine self, and to introduce more figures, workman, but perhaps our most poe- and more evident episode than the tical painter. He is, as the wisest old masters thought proper, he confabulists were in literature, moral and trives not to lose the entirety of his historical, instructing and delighting subject in so doing, and so groups all, men, women, and children, by his figures, that, however many, they other creatures than of their own kith do not oppress us with a crowd, and and kin, yet demanding a universal he makes them appear. essential to sympathy, and obtaining it easily. his story. We say not that this his Having thus spoken our sentiments rule is a good one. We wait to see concerning this admirable painter, we what he will ultimately do with it, may still regret that there should be unwilling to admit limits and shackles little in other walks of art, of compa- unnecessarily upon genius. We berative excellence, by which our Eng- lieve we have spoken of the two art. lish school might be worthily distin- ists that most people speak of who guished. And yet it cannot be de visit the academy this year, as giving, nied that there are works of preten. more than any others, or rather, we sion and great merit, and of suffi should say, tending to give, a characciently new cast to help to a designa- ter to our Exhibition; and therefore tion, they are, however, too few, it is fuir to give such notice of them, stand alone, and perhaps, we may add, even before we come to make any fall short of the perfection which is remarks upon their particular works. aimed at, and which is so nearly at- Upon the whole, we do not think tained. We allude chiefly to the this year's Exhibition any improveworks of Maclise. He dares to tell ment upon the last. Some artists the whole of a story, some will say, that should be greatest are inferior to do say, theatrically-that we consider themselves—far inferior; and some, no dispraise. It is the business of the so few or so unimportant are their picdramatist to make good pictures, and tures, may be scarcely considered exwhether it be done by the players or hibitors. Eastlake has but one picthe painter, what matter, so they be ture, and that a small one, and might effective, and the story worth telling ; be overlooked from its very modesty and how shall they be better told than and excellence; it is, however, exas the author intended they should quisitely beautiful. We bave lost be represented ? The boards of the Sir David Wilkie-for it would not theatre and the canvass are the same be fair to his name and fame to view thing-the eye is to behold, and the his pictures now exhibited as speci. mind is to be moved. Nor is there a mens of his power. Poor Sir David! lack of originality in Mr Maclise ; his was a melancholy end, just when he knows how to assist, and by his he was in the full hopes of realizing art to bring out the whole conception the fruits of his travail and his travel. of the poet ; a conception not to be Nor do we in the least sympathise discovered as embodied, 'or capable of with Mr Haydon in his ambiguous being embodied, in distinct words and eulogium upon his friend, in thinking in parts, but gathered from the feel it a glorious death that a painter's ing of the whole, and which to em- bones should be committed to the