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exhibited in the daintiness of his style,26 compared with the rougher but manlier language of those who went before him ; a change in the nation, – that is, in its highest classes, — as well as in its literature, of which it will be more appropriate to take an account in relating the uses which were made in Rome of elder or foreign cultivation generally. Terence died in the midst of voyages and labors 27 to find some more plays of the Greeks to put, in their new dress, upon the Roman stage.
Thus lie along the ancient strand the earlier pebbles, as it were, cast out from the mighty sea into which they had been thrown; and different though they be in forms, we know that the same waves have worn upon them all. More than this, however, can be told but insecurely, unless we were to linger over the hue of one or the shape of another, as if the places wherein they had rested and the eddies wherein they had been tossed could thus be traced. Of two, apparently the two greatest poets of the four, nothing remains but pieces of what they put together with fervor or with toil; and the other two, though much is left of more they did, are hardly fitter for merely literary criticism. The powers in them which illustrate the powers of the Roman people are those they showed in the subjects they chose, or the thoughts they uttered, without relation to the manner in which the expression and the composition were achieved.
26 Montaigne calls Terence “La 27 Terent. Vit., Sect. 4, 5. He mignardise et les graces du langage died near A. C. 159, at the age of latin." Essais, Livre II. ch. 10. thirty-five.
The degree of liberty that there was to be a dramatist or a poet may be apparent without any exacter definition.
It is plain, on the one hand, that all the four names over which we have passed belonged to an inferior estate ; and yet, on the other, that the enterprises they denote could never have been ended, or even been begun, without the protection and the appreci. ation of the higher classes. The pursuits, however, which interested the eminent Romans so much as to induce them to make them their own, with persevering eagerness, were the triad, so to speak, of the military, the legal, and the oratorical sciences,28 each, so far as it was then advanced, having something to contribute to the success of the citizen. We have had occasion to notice various personages like Appius the Blind, in whom oratory, jurisprudence, and the art of war,29 together, had an earnest votary; and there are but few names like Papirius, 30 preserved in such a manner as to mark that they who bore them were distinguished in but a single branch of this not very widely spread knowledge. It must have been the high-born Roman, too, that repeated or composed many of the lays concerning which mention has several times been made; though the most zealous minstrels whom the memories of earlier times inspired were probably those who chanted their verses in the streets or at the festivals amongst the multitude. When it became the turn of history to take the legends to itself, the greater dignity that they then assumed abashed the lower classes, but induced the Patrician, like Fabius Pictor, to esteem the subject worthy of his patriotism, and therefore of his highest faculties of mind.
28 « Artes honestas, et sive ad connection with his colleague, Vorem militarem, sive ad juris scien- lumnius (Ch. X.), is against his tiam, sive ad eloquentiam inclinas- reputation as a warrior. set.” Cited by Savigny from the 30 The first Roman jurist, proper. • treatise entitled “ De Caussis Cor- ly speaking, and the collector of the ruptæ Eloquentiæ.”
royal laws, as those of the Monarchy 29 See the testimony in Orelli, In- were called. He was Chief Pontiff script. Lat., 539; to which I refer, at the time of the Patrician revolubecause the account of Appius, in tion. Dion. Hal., III. 36.
It cannot but be wonderful, although strictly consistent with the Roman character, that the intercourse with various people, in all directions, should not have been sooner followed by a love of art or poetry, or some humanizing knowledge, even if the rudeness of the conquerors were such as to make philosophy difficult, and abstract science impossible, to their understanding. There is always danger, as we have before observed, in professing to interpret the designs of our Infinite Creator; but it does not seem presumptuous to believe that the Romans were allowed the freedom, first of warriors, then of rulers, but never of a humane and cultivated nation. In this light it seems fit that their intellectual powers should have been employed as they were, in the works of conquest, dominion, and destruction.
FOREIGN CONQUESTS AND PROVINCES.
"Post Carthaginem vinci neminem puduit.” – FLORUS, II. 7.
Till, the bold summit gained, ....
Thomson, Liberty, Part III.
The rapid conquests of the Romans taught them to love warfare but too well for their own improvement or continuing prosperity. Alike with all classes, with the soldier as well as the general, and the ally as well as the citizen, the excitement or the authority of a campaign was nearly enough to make it the most attractive of all occupations, even had its close brought no glory or no booty to those who survived its perils and enjoyed its manifold rewards. We must go into the wars themselves, as it were, in order to comprehend how passion and policy could unite to turn the energies of a free nation into so rocky and so turbid a course as that pursued by the Romans almost from one end to the other of the . earth. There were some, after the peace with Carthage, to be weary of the trials and the struggles in
1 “ Fessi diuturnitate et gravi- laborum periculorumque.” tate belli sua sponte homines tædio XXXI. 6.
which their lives appeared to have been consumed ; but they were neither sufficiently numerous nor sufficiently steadfast to prevent the immediate declaration of hostilities against Macedonia. The wars of the next sixty or seventy years? made it as plain as it is now, that the armies which had achieved the conquest of Italy, Spain, and Carthage were destined to overrun the fairest countries of the ancient world.
At about the middle of this period, on the occasion of some 'difficulty in an enlistment at Rome, a “ few words," as the historian styles them, were addressed to the multitude by one whose military experience gave him the right of advising any men who hesi. tated to serve as soldiers. “I am Spurius Ligustinus,” he said, “ of Sabine stock and the Crustuminian Tribe. My father left me a juger of land and a little cottage, where I was born and bred, and where I still dwell. Thirty years ago, I enlisted for the first time, and served in Macedonia, as a private soldier, for two years, when the command of a company was given me, because of the valor I had shown. As soon as we got back to Italy and were disbanded, I set out, as a volunteer, for Spain, but was there promoted to a higher post than that I had held in Greece. Afterwards I volunteered in the great Eastern expedition, and was put at the head of the first company of all. Then I came back, but still kept myself in service, going twice to Spain, and having had, within a few years, the first company four times under my com
2 A. C. 200 to 137.
3 The translation here and throughout the speech is free. VOL. II.