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make way for himself amongst the magistrates of the ensuing year. Servilius Glaucia, a designing man," long leagued with Saturninus in his factious schemes, and recently appointed Prætor by the same party that had failed to return his confederate to the tribunate, called the Tribes together to vote in the mur derer; and the election to which they consented is proof, not so much of Saturninus's strength, as of the weakness of the Commonwealth.
The year2 opened ominously with two such magistrates upon its lists as Saturninus and Glaucia; nor were the spirits of better men reassured when they saw that Caius Marius, then elected to his sixth consulship, was plainly inclined to join the Prætor and the Tribune in their headlong charge upon the aristocracy. The few months which followed his return from destroying the invaders in the North had soon been overcast by the evil spirit to whose revival he was necessarily more open than to the continuance of the moderation and the amicableness in which we left him some time past. His recklessness and utter destitution of any thing that could be called refinement had not been amended by the habits of camps and victories, nor were they likely to be improved under the derision and the malignity with which he was fairly persecuted by the envious and many of the serious amongst his fellow-citizens. It
ongos co by
72 A. C. 100.
71 " Longe autem post natos homines improbissimus C. Serv. Glaucia, sed peracutus et callidus," etc. Cic., Brut., 62.
is true, that he often exposed himself to censure; as when, in the heat of his gratitude for the services rendered in the campaign against the barbarians by some thousand of the inhabitants of Camerinum, a town in Umbria, he endowed them all with citizenship, declaring, on being afterwards called to account for his unwarranted munificence, that he had not heard the law amid the noise of arms. But though he gave his adversaries occasion to assail him on open grounds, it might have been remembered, in his extenuation, that he had done more service to his country than any man alive, and that his age, now seven-and-fifty years, would naturally dispose him to obstinacy in his own impressions, however faulty or ill-starred.
The venom with which he was nevertheless pursued took effect in his rude and jealous soul; and when Saturninus assumed the leadership of the populace against the faction which, with Metellus Numidicus at its head, was turning the small measure of human kindness in Marius to bitter gall, the old man joined the young man in his seditions. One of his earlier nominations to the consulship’ had been strenuously supported, and at his own request, by Saturninus, then in his first tribuneship; and so thoroughly was their subsequent alliance prepared and finally cemented, that, in the canvass upon which
73 Plut., Mar., 28. So Val. oportebat.” Cf. Cic., Pro Balb., Maximus, who adds (V. 2. 8): - 20. "Et sane id tempus tunc erat quo 74 That for A. C. 102, his fourth Inagis defendere quam audire leges term. See Plut., Mar., 14.
they engaged together, the one was as free of his bribes to be made Consul"5 as the other was reckless of his crimes to be appointed Tribune. Immediately after their irruption into their respective offices, the Tribune preferred a bill, under the title of Agrarian, to divide the lands in Gaul, first conquered and then lost by the Cimbri and their followers, among the soldiers, Roman and Italian, of the Commonwealth ; 76 a clause being attached to exact the adherence of the Senate to the bill within five days, under penalty of fine and degradation. A more artful measure could not have been proposed. It contented the populace, delighted the soldiery, and embarrassed the Senate; while Marius was further flattered by being designated as the commissioner to whom the division and the settlement of the lands were to be intrusted, with the unusual privilege of bestowing the full rights of citizenship upon three individuals in every colony that should be formed.78 But the craftiness of calculation apparent in the bill of Saturninus was not nearly so amazing as the extravagant and passionate ambition by which it had evidently been framed ; and none could doubt that it was the first move in the game of the Tribune and the Consul for overpowering authority.
Even the faction they led hesitated to follow them, when the direction of their efforts was made more
75 Rutilius, ap. Plut., Mar., 28. A trustworthy authority, if the story of his trial (Cic., De Orat., I. 53 ; Val. Max., II. 10. 5; and Yell. Pat., II. 13) be true.
76 App., Bell. Civ., I. 29. De Vir. III., LXXIII.
77 Appian., loc. cit.
manifest. In the midst of the doubts and the agitations of their opponents, on the proposal of the bill before the Tribes, a peal of thunder, an evil omen at which an assembly always dispersed, was declared to have been heard. “It shall hail,” cried Saturninus, “ if ye be not silent”;79 and a brutal riot ensued, in which the bill was passed. Marius averred in the Senate, that he would not swear to the law, according to the clause requiring their adhesion within five days; but if he really had any momentary compunction concerning the violence of his partisans, he was the first, when the fifth day arrived, to take the oath as Consul. Metellus Numidicus, who denied from the beginning that he would obey a law thus forced upon the Senate, and equally upon the people, refused, at the last, to break his resolution, and, with a firmness worthy of greater respect than it received, went into voluntary exile.S' The enmity of the Tribune and of the Consul against him was appeased.
But it was yet too soon for such a triumph as theirs to be of any duration in the Commonwealth. Saturninus, indeed, went on to renew the law of Caius Gracchus, concerning the distribution of grain, this time at a merely nominal price. He also united with Servilius Glaucia in promoting the bills brought forward by this notorious Prætor, as though he himself had been immaculate, against bribery and corruption, of which, however, the main object seems to
79 De Vir. Ill., LXXIII.
81 Cic. (if the work be his), Ad 80 App., Bell. Civ., I. 30, 31. Herenn., I. 12. Plut., Mar., 29.
have been the reëstablishment of the Knights in exclusive possession of judicial authority.52 Meanwhile, the support of Marius was either gradually or suddenly withdrawn from his confederates, against whom, for reasons now unfathomable, he was presently in open opposition.' In the most uncharitable view of his character, it may be surmised that he was disappointed at the ill-success of the first schemes in which he had engaged with his sometime associates, and angered, perhaps, at the little concern they showed to devote themselves entirely to his service. It would be gentler, perhaps juster, to believe that the preserver of his country in time of war was for the moment convinced of the wickedness of sedition in time of peace.
At the approach of the next elections, Saturninus, yet young, impassioned, and resolved, again presented himself as a candidate before the Tribes, with a youth, professing to be the son of Tiberius Gracchus, whose association bade fair to make up for the withdrawal of Marius's support. Two years previously, in Saturninus's first tribunate, the attempt had been made to pass off the same person, who, as all men
82 Cic., Pro Balbo, 23, 24 ; In being applied to the laws against Verr. Act. II., I. 9. Servilius bribery, etc., merely, as to any juGlaucia is supposed to have re- dicial reforms. There is no doubt, pealed the law of Servilius Cæpio however, but that the law of Cæpio, restoring the judicial authority to if it really ordered the selection of the Senate ; yet it appears impos- judges to be made from the Senate, sible to draw any exact inference was very soon afterwards repealed. from the only reliable passage to be See note 55 in this, and note 18 in adduced, viz., that in Cic., Brut., the next chapter 62, which is just as susceptible of