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in the first place, because, though it or juristic, he had studied neither by
But all these bye-currents of in the execution. No man could start malignity emptied themselves into one from the assumption of Cicero's univast cloaca maxima of rancorous ani- form uprightness, and afterwards remosity to the mere spirit, temper, and tain any latitude of free judgment tendencies, of Christianity. Even in upon the most momentous transaction treason there is room for courage ;
of Cicero's life: because, unless some but Middleton, in the manner, was as plausible hypothesis could be framed cowardly as he was treacherous in the for giving body and consistency to the matter. He wished to have it whise pretences of the Pompeian cause, it pered about that he was worse than he must, upon any examination, turn out seemed, and that he would be a fort to have been as merely a selfish cabal, esprit of a high cast, but for the bigo- for the benefit of a few lordly families, try of his church. It was a fine thing, as ever yet has prompted a conspiracy. he fancied, to have the credit of infi. The slang words“ respublica" and delity, without paying for a license; causa," are caught up by Middleton to sport over those manors without a from the letters of Cicero; but never, qualification. As a scholar, meantime, in any one instance, has either Cicero he was trivial and incapable of labour. or a modern commentator, been able to Even the Roman antiquities, political explain what general interest of the
*“ Hatred.” - It exemplifies the pertinacity of this hatred to mention, that Middleton was one of the men who sought, for twenty years, some historical facts that might conform to Leslie's four conditions, (Short Meihod with the Deists,) and yet evade Leslie's logic. We think little of Leslie's argument, which never could have been valued by a sincerely religious man. But the rage of Middleton, and his perseverance, illustrate his temper of warfare.
Roman people was represented by all that they needed was a secret un. these vague abstractions. The strife, derstanding with each other, and the at that era, was not between the con- interchange of mutual pledges by servative instinct as organized in the means of marriage alliances. Any upper classes, and the destroying in- revolution which should put an end to stinct as concentrated in the lowest. this anarchy of selfishness, must reduce The strife was not between the pro- the exorbitant power of the paramount perty of the nation and its rapacious grandees. They naturally confederated pauperism--the strife was not between against a result so shocking to their the honours, titles, institutions, created pride. Cicero, as a new member of by the state, and the plebeian malice This faction, himself rich* in a degree of levellers, seeking for a commence- sufficient for the indefinite aggrandizement de novo, with the benefits of a ment of his son, and sure of support general scramble it was a strife be- from all the interior cabal of the sena. tween a small faction of confederated tors, had adopted their selfish sympaoligarchs upon the one hand, and the thies. And it is probable enough nation upon the other. Or, looking that all changes in a system which still more narrowly into the nature of worked so well for himself, to which the separate purposes at issue, it was, also he had always looked up from his on the Julian side, an attempt to make youngest days asthe reward and baven such a redistribution of constitutional of his toils, did seriously strike him functions, as should harmonize the as dreadful innovations. Names were necessities of the public service with now to be altered for the sake of the working of the republican machi. things; forms for the sake of subnery. Whereas, under the existing stances ; this already gave some ver. condition of Rome, through the silent bal power of delusion to the senatorial changes of time operating upon the faction. And a prospect still more relations of property and upon the stariling to them all, was the necessity, character of the populace, it had been towards any restoration of the old relong evident that armed supporters public, that some one eminent grandee now legionary soldiers, now gladia- should hold provisionally a dictatotors-enormous bribery, and the con. rial power during the period of transtant reserve of anarchy in the rear, sition. were become the regular counters for Abeken, and it is honourable to him conducting the desperate game of the as a scholar of a section not convermere ordinary civil administration. sant with politics, saw enough into Not the demagogue only, but the the situation of Rome at that time, to peaceful or patriotic citizen, and the be sure that Cicero was profoundly in constitutional magistrate, could now error upon the capital point of the move and exercise their public func- dispute ; that is, in mistaking a cabal tions only through the deadliest com- for the commonwealth, and the narbinations of violence and fraud. This rowest of intrigues for a public“cause.' dreadful condition of things, which no Abeken, like an honest man, had longer acted through that salutary sought for any national interest cloakopposition of parties essential to the ed by the wordy pretences of Pompey, energy of free countries, but involved and he had foúnd none. He had seen all Rome in a permanent panic, was
the necessity towards any regeneration acceptable to the senate only; and of of Rome, that Cæsar, or some leader the senate, in sincerity, to a very small pursuing the same objects, should be section. Some score of great houses armed for a time with extraordinary there was, that by vigilance of in- power. In that way only had both trigues, by far-sighted arrangements Marius and Sylla, each in the same for armed force or for critical retreat, general circumstances, though with and by overwhelming command of different feelings, been enabled to money, could always guarantee their preserve Rome from total anarchy. own domination. For this purpose We give Abeken's express words,
*“ Rich."- We may consider Cicero as worth, in a case of necessity, at least L.400,000. Upon that part of this property which lay in money, there was always a very high interest to be obtained; but not so readily a good security for the principal. The means of increasing this fortune by marriage, was continually offering to a leading senator, such as Cicero, and the facility of divorce aided this resource.
that we may not seem to tax him with have the same interest. This is one any responsibility beyond what he of the two facts which may be pleaded courted. At p. 342, (8th sect.) he in abatement of his disinterested meowns it as a rule of the sole conservå. rit. The other is, that, after all, he tive policy possible for Rome:-“ Dass did undeniably pocket a large sum of Cæsar der einzige war, der ohne inoney (more than twenty thuusand weitere stuerme, Rom zu dem ziele zu pounds) upon his year's administrafuehren vermochte, welchem es seit tion; whilst on the other hand the einem jahrhundert sich zuwendete;" utmost extent of that sum by which that Cæsar was the sole man who had he refused to profit was not large. it in his power, without further con- This at least we are entitled to say vulsions, to lead Rome onwards to that with regard to the only specific sum final mark towards which, in tendency, brought under our notice, as certainly she had been travelling throughout awaiting his private disposal. one whole century. Neither could it Here occurs a very important error be of much consequence whether Cæsar of Middletou's. The question of should personally fiod it safe to imitate money very much will turn upon the the example of Sylla in laying down specific amount. An abstinence which his authority, provided he so matured is exemplary may be shown in resistthe safeguards of the reformed consti- ing an enormous gain : whereas under tution, that, on the withdrawal of this a slight temptation the abstinence may temporary scaffolding, the great arch be little or none. Middleton makes was found capable of self-support. the extravagant, almost maniacal, asThus far, as an ingenuous student of sertion, that the sum available by cusCicero's correspondence, Abeken gains tom as a perquisite to · Cicero's suite a glimpse of the truth which bas been was "eight hundred thousand pounds so constantly obscured by historians. sterling.” Not long after the period But, with the natural incapacity for in which · Middleton wrote, practical politics which besieges all papers and the increased facilities for Germans, he fails in most of the sub- travelling in England, had begun to ordinate cases to decipher the intrigues operate powerfully upon the character at work, and ofttimes tinds special pal- of our English universities. Rectors liation for Cicero's conduct, where, in and students, childishly ignorant of reality, it was but a reiteration of that the world, (such as Parson Adams selfish policy in which he had united and the Vicar of Wakefield,) became himself with Pompey.
a rare class. Possibly Middleton was By way of slightly reviewing this the last clergyman of that order ; policy, as it expressed itself in the though, in any good sense, having little acts or opinions of Pompey, we will enough of guileless simplicity. In pursue it through the chief stages of our own experience we have met with the contest. When was it that Ci- but one similar case of heroic ignocero first heard the appalling news of
This occurred near Caernara civil war inevitable? It was at
Welshwoman, leaving Ephesus; at the moment of reaching home to aitend an annual meeting of that city on his return homewards the Methodists, replied to us who bad from bis proconsular government in questioned her as to the numerical Cilicia, and the circumstances of his amount of members likely to assemposition were these. On the last day ble?-" That perhaps there would be of July 703, Ab Urb. Cond., he had a matter of four millions !" This in formally entered on that office. On little Caernarvon, that by no possibilithe last day but one of the same month ty could accommodate as many thou. in 704, he laid it down. The conduct sands! Yet, in justice to the poor of Cicero in this command was merin cottager, it should be said that she torious. And, if onr purpose had spoke doubtingly, and with an an. been generally to examine his merits, xious look, whereas Middleton anwe could show cause for making a nounces his little bonus of L.800,000 higher estimate of those merits than with a glib fluency that demonstrates has been offered by his professional him to have seen nothing in the amount eulogists. The circumstances, how- worth a comment. Let the reader ever, in the opposite scale, ought not take with him these little adjuncts of to be overlooked. He knew himself the case. First of all, the money was to be under a jealous supervision from a mere surplus arising on the public the friends of Verres, or all who might expenditure, and resigned in any case
to the suite of the governor, only un- to the creation of a fortune by emder the presumption that it must be bezzlement and by bribes, bad estatoo trivial to call for any more deli- blished the precedent of relinquishing berate appropriation. Secondly, it this surplus to their official “family. was the surplus on a single year's ex- This fact of itself shows that the penditure. Thirdly, the province it- amount must have been uniformly self was chiefly Grecian in the com- trifling : being at all subject to fluc. position of its population ; that is, tuations in the amount, most certainpoor, in a degree not understood by ly it would have been made to depend most Englishmen, frugally penurious for its appropriation upon the separate in its habits. Fourthly, the public merits of each annual case as it caine service was of the very simplest na
to be known. In this particular case, ture. The administration of justice, Cicero's suite grumbled a little at his and the military application of about decision : he ordered that the money 8000 regular troops to the local sedi- should be carried to the credit of the tions of the Isaurian freebooters, or public. But, had a sum so vast as to the occasional sallies from the Par. Middleton's been disposable in mere thian frontier-these functions of the perquisites, proh deûm atque homiproconsul summed up his public du- num fidem ! the honourable gentlemen ties. To us the marvel is, how then of the suite would have taken unpleacould arise a surplus even equal to sant liberties with the proconsular eight thousand pounds, which some throat. They would have been encopies countenance ? Eight pounds titled to divide on the average forty we should have surmised. But to thousand pounds a-man; and they justify Middleton, he ought to have would bave married into senatorian found in the text millies"-a read- houses. Because a score or so of ing which exists nowhere. Figures, monstrous fortunes existed in Rome, in such cases, are always so suspicious we must not forget that in any age as scarcely to warrant more than a of the Republic a sum of twenty-five slight bias to the sense which they es- thousand pounds would have constitablish : and words are little better, tuted a most respectable fortune for a since they may always have been de- man not embarked upon a public ca.. rived from a previous authority in reer; and with sufficient connexions figures. Meantime, simply as a blun. it would furnish the early costs even der in accurate scholarship, we should for such a career. think it unfair to have pressed it. But
We have noticed this affair with it is in the light of an evidence against some minuteness, both from its imMiddleton's good sense and thought- portance to the accuser of Verres, and fulness that we regard it as capital. because we shall here have occasion The man who could believe that a sum to insist on this very case, as amongst not far from a million sterling had those which illustrate the call for arisen in the course of twelve months, political revolution at Rome. Reas a little bagatelle of office, a pot-de- turning from Cicero the governor to vin, mere customary fees, payable to Cicero the man, we may remark, that, the discretional allotment of one who although his whole life had been held the most fleeting relation to the adapted to purposes of ostentation, and province, is not entitled to an opinion à fortiori this particular provincial upon any question of doubtful tenor. interlude was sure to challenge from Had this been the scale of regular his enemies a vindictive scrutiny, still profits upon a poor province, why we find cause to think Cicero very should
Verres create risk for him. sincere in his purity as a magistrate. self by an arbitrary scale ?
Many of bis acts were not mere showy The cases, therefore, where the renunciations of doubtful privileges ; merit turns upon money, unavoidably but were connected with painful cirthe ultimate question will turn upon cumstances of offence to intimate the amount. And the very terms of friends. Indirectly we may find in the transaction, as they are reported these cases a pretty ample violation of by Cicero, indicating that the sum the Roman morals. Pretended philowas entirely at his own disposal, ar- sophers in Rome who prated in set gue its trivial value. Another argu- books about “ virtue" and the “ ment implies the same construction. mum bonum,” made no scruple, in the Former magistrates, most of whom character of magistrates, to pursue took such offices with an express view the most extensive plans of extortion,
through the worst abuses of military the coming conflict; and many had license ; some, as the “ virtuous been already associated by pledges to Marcus Brutus, not stopping short of the one side or the other.
The fancy murder—a foul case of this descrip- faded away from Cicero s thoughts as tion bad occurred in the previous he drew nearer to Italy, that any effect year under the sanction of Brutus, and could now be anticipated for mediaCicero had to stand his friend in nobly torial counsels. The controversy, inrefusing to abet the further prosecu- deed, was still pursued through dition of the very same atrocity. Even plomacy; and the negotiations had in the case of the perquisites, as stated not yet reached an ultimatum from above, Cicero had a more painful duty either side. But Cicero was still dis. than that of merely sacrificing a small tant from the parties; and, before it sum of money: he was summoned by was possible that any general congress, bis conscience to offend those men representing both interests, could aswith whom he lived, as a modern semble, it was certain that reciprocal prince or ambassador lives amongst distrust would coerce them into irrethe members of his official “ family.” vocable measures of hostility. Cicero Naturally it could be no trifle to a landed at Otranto. He went forward gentle-hearted man, that he was cre- by land to Brundusium, where, on the ating for bimself a necessity of en- 25th of November, his wife and countering frowns from those who daughter, who had come forward from surrounded him, and who might think, Rome to meet him, entered the public with some reason, that in bringing square of that town at the same mo. theta to a distant land, he had author- ment with himself.
Without delay ized them to look for all such remu- he moved forward towards Rome; nerations as precedent had established. but he could not gratify his ardour for Right or wrong in the casuistical a personal interference in the great point- we believe bim to have been crisis of the hour, without enterwrong-Cicero was eminently right ing Rome; and that he was not at when once satisfied by arguments, liberty to do, without surrendering sound or not sound as to the point of his pretensions to the honour of a duty, in pursuing that duty through triumph. all the vexations which it entailed. Many writers have amused themThis justice we owe him pointedly in selves with the idle vanity of Cicero, a review which has for its general ob- in standing upon a claim so windy, ject the condemnation of his political under circumstances so awful. But, conduct.
on the one hand, it should be remem. Never was a child, torn from its bered how eloquent a monument it mother's arms to an odious school, was of civil grandeur, for a novus homo more homesick at this moment than to have established his own amongst was Cicero. He languished for Rome; the few surviving triumphal families and when he stood before the gates of of Rome ; and, on the other hand, Rome, about five months later, not at he could have effected nothing by his liberty to enter them, he sighed pro- presence in the senate.
No man foundly after the vanished peace of could at this moment; Cicero least of mind which he had enjoyed in his all; because his policy had been thus wild mountainous province. “ Quæ- arranged ultimately to support Pomsivit lucem-ingemuitque repertam. pey ;. but in the mean time, as strengthVainly he flattered himself that he ening the chances against war, to excould compose, by his single media- hibit a perfect neutrality. Bringing, tion, the mighty conflict which had therefore, nothing in his counsels, he now opened. As he pursued his voy- could hope for nothing influential in age homewards, through the months the result. Cæsar was now at Raof August, September, October, and venna, as the city nearest to Rome of November, he was met, at every port all which he could make his military where he touched for a few days' re- headquarters within the Italian (i. é. pose, by reports, more and more the Cisalpine) province of Gaul. gloomy, of the impending rupture But he held nis forces well in hand, between the great partizan leaders. and ready for a start, with his eyes These reports ran along, like the un- literally fixed on the walls of Rome, dulations of an earthquake, to the last 80 near had he approached. Cicero recesses of the east. Every king and warned his friend Atticus, that a dreadevery people had been canvassed forful and perfectly unexampled war-