« НазадПродовжити »
present could not be attracted nor could the future be controlled by the past through angry reproaches or bitter menaces like those its almost solitary advocate employed. · But there are spots where the snow of the sternest life dissolves and the verdure reappears. The zeal which hurried Cato into the midst of carnage and of civil strife found other, though rarer, utterances. He wrote a treatise upon Rural Affairs, which still remains in proof of his desire to recall his countrymen to the simple pursuits of their forefathers, by pictures of country life in which the mind might be best interested and tranquillized, though, at the same time, the prospect of return to wars and public duties was not neglected. The example he set in domestic life was much more touching : alone of all the Romans he declared that it was a higher praise to be a good husband than a great Senator ;91 and when a son was born to him, he fondled his infancy, instructed his childhood,92 and confided in his manhood, as if he had no truer obligation to fulfil than that of a father. It was a different spirit that induced his doctrine of sparing the conquered wherever the Commonwealth could be better served by mercy than by wrath ; for although there are repeated instances of his interfering in behalf of the subjects who came as suppliants to Rome,93 there are few campaigns of more horrible cruelty than that he led in Spain, and when Carthage was already weak with age and with defeat, Cato was the first and the foremost to urge its destruction. His errors, however, notwithstanding their frequency, have no further relation to the sketch we have here essayed in illustration of the attachment which might still linger amongst his countrymen towards their ancestors, than to take away all regret that the principles to which he clung had had their day.
he bore, is sufficient testimony to his Roman's darker traits might be power in accusing others and defend- drawn from the same source : ing himself. Aul. Gell., XVII. 21. “Plostrum vetus, ferramenta vete
90 “ Virum bonum quem lauda- ra, servum senem, servum morbobant (nostri majores), ita laudabant, sum, et si quid aliud supersit, venbonum agricolam, bonumque colo- dat.” Ibid., Cap. 2. Cf. Plut., num. ..... At ex agricolis et viri Cat. Maj., 21. fortissimi et milites strenuissimi 91 Plut., Cat. Maj., 20. gignuntur, maximeque pius quæ- 92 He wrote a history (iotopías) stus stabilissimusque consequitur, for his son “ in large letters,” that minimeque invidiosus : minimeque the boy might be able to study the male cogitantes sunt qui in eo studio institutions of his ancestors at home. occupati sunt.” Cato, De Re Rust. Plut., Cat. Maj., 20. Proem., 2. 4. Some of the old
No living men in Rome were more renowned, about the time of Cato's censorship, than Scipio Africanus and his brother Lucius, who obtained the title of Asiaticus in consequence of his victory, which Africanus % assisted him to gain, over king Antiochus,
93 As in preventing the triumph (Ibid., XLV. 25); and in procuring of a Proconsul who had done great the release of the Achæan exiles wrong to the people among whom (Plut., Cat. Maj., 19). he led his soldiers. Liv., XXXVII. 94 Florus, II. 15. Vell. Pat., I. 46. See fragments of Cato's ha- 13. Plin., Nat. Hist., XV. 20. rangue or harangues against him, in Cato died at the beginning of the Aul. Gell., X. 3, XIII. 24. So in war, A. C. 149, being about eightybacking the protest of the Spanish five years old, and having outlived envoys against the exactions of their Scipio Africanus some five-andRoman governors (Liv., XLIII. 2); thirty years. in defending the people of Rhodes 95 Unless Africanus had offered VOL. II.
near Magnesia. The glory they had thus acquired, literally throughout the ancient world, was acknowledged and gratefully honored by most of their countrymen ; but, like many men of great military distinction, the Scipios had conceived opinions of their own grandeur which no mere popularity could compensate, and they, therefore, soon lost that they had at first obtained. It was rumored, apparently before their return from the East, that they had carried matters there, the one as commander and the other as lieutenant, with much too high a hand; and after Asiaticus had delayed for two years 96 to produce the accounts of the treasures he had received from the Syrian monarch, he was openly required by the Senate to defend himself against the accusations of which he was too notoriously the object amongst a large number of his fellow-citizens. Asiaticus, who would never have gone beyond the most common limits of service or repute but for his renowned and active brother, straightway prepared to obey the di
to go with his brother as a lieu- narrative are so contradictory in the tenant, Asiaticus would never have ancient authorities, that my vergot his command or won his name. sion is very conjectural. See Liv., Liv., XXXVII. 1. He had been XXXVIII, 50 et seq. I give the Prætor before being Consul. Ibid., events, which some have separated, XXXIV. 54. Africanus had been connectedly, because the part of Censor, and again Consul, besides Gracchus, presently to be menbeing made the Princeps Senatus, tioned, in them all, must have been in the interval between his return in the single year of his tribunate. from Africa and his departure to It is less certain that he married the East. Ibid., XXXII. 7, Cornelia in the same year, or even XXXIV. 42, 44.
in her father's lifetime. See Plut., 96 Until A. C. 187.
Tib. Gr., 1, 4. 97 The details of the following
rections of the Senate; but when he appeared with his papers, they were snatched from his hand by Africanus, who tore them to pieces with some bitter expression against his adversaries.98 On the departure of Africanus to Etruria, where he was then employed on the public service, the proceedings he had apparently quashed were revived against his brother, and pressed with such earnestness, as if to make the most of his absence, that Asiaticus, helpless without him, was tried, condemned, and just on the point of being committed to prison, when Africanus, who had purposely hurried back, appeared in the Forum, and effected the release of the criminal by some forcible means of which the account fails. 99 With all his haughtiness, however, Scipio could not have prevented his brother from being taken into custody again, had he not procured the aid of Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, the same who was afterwards Prætor in Spain and Censor at Rome, then one of the Tribunes. He, though hitherto an enemy of the Scipios, and especially of Africanus, came forward to interfere in their behalf, and actually protected Asiaticus against the sentence of his colleagues, with some reproaches, however, upon the violence of which the Forum had been made the scene.100 It seemed as if the laws were to be set at defiance, although it might still be necessary to make a show of obe
98 Val. Max., III. 7. 1. Liv., kept back amounted to the moderate XXXVIII. 55. “ Indignantem, sum of four million sesterces. quod, quum bis millies in ærarium 99 Liv., XXXVIII. 56. intulisset, quadragies ratio ab se 100 All this is unusually confused. posccretur.” This “quadragies” Liv., XXXVIII. 56, 57, 60.
dience, as in this case, at the moment of their infringement.
But though Gracchus was rewarded by the hand of Cornelia, the famous daughter of Africanus, and honored, even amongst those whose designs he had baffled, for having sacrificed his enmity to the defence of the Scipios, the animosity against his new relatives was but increased by their escape from justice; and Africanus himself was soon after accused, on charges apparently extended wide in order to admit of no evasion, even if they could in part be broken down. He had no mind to be pursued, much less ensnared; and when his day of trial arrived, he advanced, with a crowd of friends and retainers, through the assembly to the rostra, from which he spoke in the midst of universal silence. “ It was on this day, O ye Tribunes and citizens, that I conquered Hannibal; and to-day I shall go to the Capitol to thank the gods who dwell there that I was allowed the will and the power to protect and exalt the Commonwealth. Come with me, if ye will, O men of Rome, and pray the gods that ye may have other leaders like to me!”101 From his youth, Scipio had believed himself, or pretended, to enjoy the peculiar favor of the immortals; and there were many in the assembly to think that the gods were speaking through him, as he stood firm and majestic in the presence of his enemies. And when he turned to ascend the Capitol, the Tribunes and their attend
101 Liv., XXXVIII. 52. Appian., De Reb. Syriac., 40.