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ants were left alone in the Forum, either to wonder at their own daring in assailing so great a man, or else to resolve, that, though the laws were that day set at naught, they should be the more piously vindicated, when the people, returning to their senses, should remember the freedom they not only allowed, but enjoined.
Not yet, indeed, could the liberty of Rome be laid waste and low; or Africanus would not merely have resisted, but overthrown, her laws, like those who triumphed over her and them in after years. The day of the procession to the Capitol was the last of any show, 102 as the historian phrases it, to Scipio. Again adduced before the Tribes, he did not wait his trial, but withdrew to an estate he had at Liternum, on the Campanian shore, whence it was at first proposed to bring him back by force, but where he was allowed, through the protection of his son-in-law, Gracchus, to end his days in silence and retirement.103 His brother Asiaticus was afterwards brought up to receive the sentence 104 he had before evaded; and though he strove to regain his lost position, it was over him that Cato was elected Censor,105 as if the ancient dispositions of Rome which Cato represented were prevailing against the changing temper which brought the Scipios in whom it was personified to shame.
102 « Hic speciosus ultimus di- 04 Liv., XXXVIII. 55. es P. Scipioni illuxit." Liv., 105 One of Cato's first judgments XXXVIII. 52.
was to deprive Scipio Asiaticus 103 Liv., XXXVIII. 52, 53. of his honors as a Knight. Liv., “ Silentium deinde," he adds, " de XXXIX. 40, 44. Africano fuit."
One other Scipio, the conqueror of Carthage, Africanus the Younger, whom we have met and shall meet again, belongs to these years. He was a member of the great family whose name he bore, by adoption, 106 not by birth; and though his life be characteristic, as that of every man must be to a greater or a less degree, of the contemporary history of his nation, the younger Africanus was of a totally different stamp from the elder. Of great renown as a general, and remarkable for his adherence to ancient virtues and institutions, he was also alive to some of the better influences, and sensitive to all the fearful perils, to which his country was exposed in its wonderful and expanding destinies. When Carthage was falling, he wept, and thought of the fate that might be in store for Rome; 107 and when he was praying before his countrymen as their Censor, he asked of the gods, not that the Roman dominions might be increased, but that they might simply be preserved.108 His name may stand for an introduction to the advancing age; but only, as we shall hereafter perceive, as that of one who dreaded alike the good and the evil that appeared.
The name of his friend and favorite, Polybius, may stand for a conclusion of the present period, and as a type of the highest and the most fortunate class amongst the conquered. Into the sorrow and the degradation which racked the universe, as it might be called, that now swung chained to Rome, we cannot penetrate; nor would any care to do so, were they able, unless they desired to see how deep the crimes and wrongs of warfare could sink beneath the tread of the ancient conquerors. It will suffice to measure the depression wrought amidst that portion of the vanquished who seemed to be particularly spared. Polybius, by birth an Arcadian, was the son of Lycortas, the friend, afterwards the successor, of Philopamen, in command of the Achæan league. He was, therefore, associated from his youth with all that yet remained of the freedom and the hopefulness of his nation; but his entrance upon manhood was saddened by the death of Philopemen, whose funeral urn Polybius himself bore,109 amongst the mourners of their last great man. Young as he was, Polybius saw the only chance of safety to his broken country was in bending before the gales that swept across the seas, and for some few years his policy was followed with advantage. But of a sudden, the charge was brought against the league that it had not aided the Romans as it ought in the overthrow of Macedonia ; and no assurances or exculpations could prevent the charge from being followed by a demand of one thousand Achæans as hostages for the future submission of their nation.
106 He was a son of Æmilius 108 Val. Max., IV. 1. 10. “SaPaullus, and adopted by the elder tis bonæ ac magnæ sunt res populi son of Scipio Africanus. His eu- Romani. Itaque precor ut eas logy may be read in Diod. Sic., perpetuo incolumes dii servent.” Reliq., XXXI. 26, 27.
107 Appian. (after Polybius), De Reb. Pun., 132.
109 Plut., Philop., 21. Philopæ- was between twenty and twenty-five men died A. C. 182, when Polybius years old.
Amongst the thousand was Polybius; but while many of his fellow-countrymen were languishing or dying in their seventeen years of banishment, he, through the protection of Scipio and by his own activity, was variously employed in expeditions, researches, and teachings, until the exiles were allowed to return, when he went back with them to Achaia. He tarried there only a year or two; the attraction of the power that was to be seen and felt amongst his Roman patrons being stronger by contrast with the exhaustion of all energies in his own country, whose very breath seemed to be retained only by the quarrels of his countrymen.
When these were ended, and the breath of Achaia and her confederates was actually smothered by the disastrous war in which Corinth fell, Polybius again returned home, to use his influence with the conquerors in protecting the conquered, amongst whom he travelled from place to place with words of advice and consolation, until the wounds of defeat were healed, and the Peloponnesus, ruined in constitution, was composed to slumber and subjection as a Roman province. The mission was as successful as it was benevolent; and the people, whom Polybius instructed how to exchange the nominal independence they could not preserve for the dependence to which alone they were adapted, set up his statues and inscribed them with grateful testimonies.110 Polybius has left his own confession of submission in his famous history, in which he follows the career of the Roman
110 Paus., VIII. 30, sect. 4 ; 37, sect. 1. Polyb., Reliq., XL. 9, 10.
armies through the three quarters of a century that ended with the downfall of his country. Even history was thus absorbed in Rome; and he who was far the greatest historian of his age, or of any age immediately preceding or succeeding, devoted his energies to describe her conquests, with but a single palliation for the vanquished, - that it was impossible to resist the impulse and the vigor which the institutions of Rome imparted to her citizens,'" in whose presence it became the dependent Greek to acknowl. edge the efficacy of liberty.
In reviewing a period like that embraced within the chapter here, at last, concluded, the Christian is naturally tempted to exaggerate the miseries, the discords, and the passions he has found, beyond all the evil which they actually wrought in the time of their existence. It is his consolation, on the other hand, to believe that the concentration of power and of corruption which he has seen to be prepared and partially achieved in a single city upon the earth, was ordered in mercy to mankind, however much they may appear to be worn and torn. The same faith foresees the retribution appointed to those who seem at first only to profit by the spoils of victory and the overthrow of foes. Already hated by their subjects,112 corrupted by their multiplying slaves, 113 and
111 Polyb., III. 2, VI. 1.
Il tuo orgoglio è un dì venuto ?
See the familiar lines in Juvenal,
113 See Blair's interesting Inquiry into the State of Slavery amongst the Romans, pp. 19 et seq.