Зображення сторінки

really were; but the glory vanishes even without arraigning the religion he believed or the general principles in which he spent his days. For other things are told about him than his eulogies contain. There was a general who took pains, at the end of his service in Spain, to destroy the efficiency of the army he had commanded, because his successor was a personal enemy.43 There was a rich man, and a noble, who came forth to reproach Tiberius Gracchus for the exertions he was making in behalf of the poor, and for the marks of their attachment that he received." The rich man and the general were one and the same Metellus, who could not have been born or taught in happiness through such animosities as these. 45

Yet hostility was like the atmosphere which all men breathed and through which they all beheld the neighbouring or the distant objects within their various spheres. Even the nooks and shady places, seemingly the most protected, were so penetrated and swept by the sharper air as to lose their quietness and verdure, with which, perhaps, they had never been permanently or even naturally visited. Some



43 Val. Max., IX. 3. 7.

"Cneius Cornelius Cneii filius Scipio Hispallus, 44 Plut., Tib. Gr., 14. Cic.,

Prætor, Ædilis Curulis, Quæstor, Tribunus

Militum II. (bis), Decemvir, Brut., 21.

Decemvir Litibus Judicandis, Decemvir Sacris 45 An epitaph upon a Scipio who Faciendis. seems to have died about this time Virtutes generis meis moribus accumulavi.

Progeniem genui. Facta patris petivi. would be a better testimony than the Majorum obtinui laudem ut sibi me esse eulogies of Metellus to the Roman ideas of prosperity, if it were cer

Lutentur. Stirpem nobilitavit honor." tain who its subject really was. I

Orelli, Inscrip. Lat., 554. give it with the abbreviations filled out:


names of poets, tragic and comic,46 succeeding to those already recounted, were followed by that of Lucilius,47 whose satires, though themselves lost, are nevertheless described with sufficient clearness to prove the prevalence of the error and the vehemence of the recrimination by which the poet was inspired. Ennius had left some satirical compositions, which may have served as models, at least in form, to Lucilius ; but the bitterness of the later satirist was much the bolder and keener. Of distinguished, though not of Roman descent,49 and admitted to the familiarity of many who were higher in rank than himself,49 Lucilius spent his days in the usual entertainments of a wealthy citizen, free from personal wants or grievances, yet dealing out his swift and piercing railleries on every side. He had served with Caius Gracchus in his youth ; and though there is no positive proof of any friendship between the two, it is not improbable to imagine that the poet may have been stirred to remonstrance against the fate of the Tribune, or else, if he were opposed to his former comrade, then that he let fly his shafts simply because he liked to aim at those he knew to be vulnerable. His lighter weap


46 Cæcilius Statius (died A. C. 48 Velleius Paterculus (II. 9) 168), a freedman from Insubria, was mentions his serving before Numanone of the comic writers. Marcus tia as an Eques, and he was then Pacuvius (died A.C. 130), a nephew very young. of Ennius, was renowned for his 49 He seems to have been the tragedies, and for his paintings like- boon-companion of Scipio Africawise. See also Aul. Gell., XV. 24. nus and Lælius " the Wise." See

47 Born, according to the Euse- Horat., Sat., II. 1. 71 et seq., bian chronology, A. C. 148, and with the Vet. Schol. thereupon. died in 103.

ons being spent, he seems to have drawn his sword, as one of his successors wrote,50 and to have pressed on hotly, as another describes,51 without regard to rank or numbers; until at length, as his own words bear witness, he dared to hurl defiance at the immortals.52

It is the want of faith in the gods or in any enduring justice that can alone explain the succession of events in the passing period of our history. The single tribunal to which the disputes of factions or the crimes of individuals could be referred was that which stood on earth, itself begirt with criminals and combatants; and if one like themselves appeared before it, he could meet acquittal or else be condemned only from private motives of revenge. When Quintus Metellus, the nephew of Macedonicus, returned to Rome, exasperated at the appointment of Marius to the Jugurthine war, he seems to have been accused of some extortion or oppression in Numidia.53 But on his appearance before his judges, such was their indifference to a charge of cruelty towards any foreigners, that they refused to examine his accounts, 54 as if it were unworthy to countenance a

50 “Ense velut stricto quoties Lucilius ar. Max., II. 10. 1. It is not certain, deng

however, that the charges were Infremuit,” etc. — Juv., Sat., I. 165. 51 “ Primores populi arripuit populumque brought against him for what he had

tributim." - Hor., Sat., II. 1. 69. done in Numidia. 62 « Terriculas Lamias Fauni quas Pompi 54 Val. Max., Il. 10. 1. Cic.,

liique Instituere Nume, tremit has ; hic omnia ponit, Pro Balbo, 5. Of course the refusal Ut pueri infantes credunt signa omnia ahena was ascribed to Metellus's integrity. Vivere et esse homines; sic isti omnia ficia

Some years afterwards, a man was Vera putant; credunt signis cor inesse in ahe. nis

acquitted of corruption in Sicily by Pergula pictorum; veri nihil: omnia ficta,” showing his wounds. Cic., De

Ap. Lactant., Div. Instit., I. 22. Orat., II. 47. 53 “ Causa repetundarum.” Val.

similar prosecution; while the Senate or the people, in order, perhaps, to atone for the slights he had received in being both recalled and accused, celebrated his triumph with the greater zeal, and gave him the name of Numidicus, as the conqueror of the country in the subjugation of which Marius was then engaged.

But there were times when the condemnation passed upon offenders brought to trial was the perversion rather than the triumph of justice, on account · of the malignity with which it was declared. As animosity increased between the Knights, from whom the judges, according to the law of Caius Gracchus, were still selected, and the Senators, from whom the great governors and generals, commonly accused at the end of their terms as public criminals, were usually chosen, so the trials in which the shame of the Commonwealth lay bare became more frequent and more tumultuous. One of those most likely to feel the danger he ran on account of the wrongs formerly unpunished, but now pursued to the death with passion and party violence, was Servilius Cæpio, the son of him who murdered Viriathus, as proud and avaricious as any of the Senate to which he belonged. After holding the office of Prætor and doing some service in Spain, he was elected to the consulship, perhaps because he had pledged himself to the bill he soon preferred for restoring the judicial powers, in possession of the Knights, to the Senators.55 The

55 So Tacit., Ann., XII. 60. Jul. Obsequens (Prodig. Lib., 101), Some writers, however, following consider the bill as having proposed VOL. II.


strife immediately ensuing between the factions of the rich betrayed the alarming extent of the bitterness by which they were divided. The Senate sent their most persuasive orator into the midst of the assembly before which the Consul was probably urging his bill in their behalf. “Save us,” cried Licinius Crassus to the higher Centuries, whose votes alone were worth his entreating, “save us from miseries, – save us from the jaws of men whose cruelty can never be satiated with our blood; nor suffer us to serve any one man or order, but rather your whole body, whom we both can and ought to obey." 56 The auditors were many of them as eager as the orator or the Senate to pass the bill which would deliver them from the power of judges over whose appointment, and consequently over whose sentences, they had no possible authority. The law appears to have been carried; and Cæpio was rewarded by the Senate with the title of their Patron.57

He soon obtained the opportunity of rewarding himself in a more substantial manner, by procuring the office of Proconsul in Gaul, where spoils lay thickly heaped, or else could now be readily collected, without the fear of trial or rebuke at Rome. The severity of the judgments passed by the Knights upon their opponents amongst the Senators has not yet entirely been explained; for though it arose from party fervor much more than from zeal for justice, it

S rew


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

a division of the judicial powers between the Senators and the Knights. It is all doubtful. The consulship of Servilius was in A. C. 106.

« НазадПродовжити »