Зображення сторінки



butchery to clear the city of his foes, the Consul spared the remaining citizens. He called an assembly of the people, and to such as obeyed his summons he declared the wrongs which he and the Commonwealth had sustained, as well as the means he saw fit to use in their redress. His colleague stood by, consenting and admiring; and the Tribes, or the Centuries, whichever he had convened, had no resistance to make against the repeal of the laws which Sulpicius had carried, and the proscription of their author, with Marius and all the principal partisans of both.22 One generous man there was to defend the fallen, and he was Mucius Scævola, an Augur, and formerly a Consul,23 who now avowed, in defiance of Sulla’s menaces, that he did not hold his old blood so precious as to save its last drops by consenting to the outlawry of Caius Marius, the preserver of Rome and of all Italy in days that might still be recollected. 24 Marius fled, through hairbreadth escapes,25 to Africa; but Sulpicius was betrayed by one of his own slaves, and put to death.26

Sulla was not yet the absolute master of Rome. Notwithstanding the terror inspired by his sanguinary triumph, and the situation of the Senate, confronted or set aside, the spirits of the citizens generally revived from day to day; and when Sulla

2 App., Bell. Civ., 1. 60. Plut., whose law against the Italians is Sull., 10. The account in the mentioned in the foregoing chapter. preceding section of Appian is 24 Val. Max., III. 8. 5. not trustworthy. Cf. Liv., Epit. 25 See Plut., Mar., 35 – 40. LXXVII.

26 App., Bell. Civ., 1. 60. Plut., 23 Apparently the uncle of him Sull., 10.

commended certain candidates to their choice, they elected others whom he especially disapproved. Some further events, such as the intrigues in favor of his enemies and the murder of his recent colleague in the consulship,27 may have caused him anxiety; but, contenting himself with an oath of fidelity from his successor, Cornelius Cinna, he departed without fear upon his long delayed expedition to the East.

Even before he went, the fidelity of his successor failed ; 23 and as soon as he was fairly out of Italy, Cinna came forward to urge the recall of the proscribed and the reënactment of the law concerning the new citizens, in whom the number, if not the strength, of that faction chiefly resided. The interests of their opponents, however, were upheld by the other Consul, Cneius Octavius, of little previous repute, 29 but a man preferred by Sulla, as one of his most capable followers. On Cinna's appearance in the assembly, with partisans secretly armed, Octavius was so well prepared for the same tumultuous course, as to be able to drive his colleague, with his partisans, not only from the Forum, but from Rome.30 Cinna was then deposed; but the memory of his predecessor's return did not escape him ; and whatever else might be his deficiencies, he had no scruple and showed no incapacity in achieving triumph and retaliation. The soldiers serving in Campania were



27 Pompeius Rufus was slain by 28 Plut., Sull., 10. It was now the soldiers of whom he was about A. C. 87. to take command, at the instigation 29 Cic., Brut., 47. of Pompeius Strabo. App., Bell. 30 App., Bell. Civ., I. 64. Civ., I. 63.

quickly gained; other troops swelled their ranks; exiles and adventurers and most of the country folk gathered about their Consul, as they called Cinna; and when Marius came over from Africa to join him, with the title of Proconsul,31 it was plain that wrath and slaughter were let loose upon a more fearful scent than they had followed under Sulla. Quintus Sertorius, the bravest and the wisest man in Cinna's camp, advised in vain that Marius should not be received ; 32 but the passions springing like armed monsters from the sowings of the last half-century were destined to have their way at Rome.

Meanwhile, the city was hastily fortified, and sundry measures for arming its willing and conciliating its unwilling 33 defenders were rapidly executed; until, after various manœuvres between the hostile parties, Octavius, the Consul, with his colleague in Cinna's place, Cornelius Merula, marched forth, at the head of all the forces they could collect, to offer battle. Their ranks, however, were soon so thinned by desertion and their counsels so baffled by discord amongst their partisans, that there was no other course for Merula but to resign,34 and none for Octavius but to acknowledge Cinna as his colleague, and leave the road unguarded by which Marius was hastening to his revenge. The old man, hot with ire that would have ill befitted the youngest blood, even in Roman

31 App., Bell. Civ., I. 65-67. Vell. was made to gain over the lately Pat., II. 20. Liv., Epit. LXXIX. enfranchised Italians. 32 Plut., Sert., 5.

34 See the noble manner of his 33 Liv., Epit. LXXX., whence resignation in Diod. Sic., Reliq., it seems that some especial effort XXXVIII. - XXXIX. 3.

veins, halted an instant without the gates, in order that the sentence of outlawry upon him might be finally repealed, but presently, too impatient to wait the vote of the people, he pressed on to do his work of blood and terror.

It can be the desire of no Christian reader to hear the groans of the dying or the curses of the murderers in the horror-stricken city. The violence of which Sulla had been guilty was sure to produce a reaction more violent still, and the swords that had put his adversaries to flight were now thrust back into the breasts of all who favored him or who were counted as inimical to them. During five days and nights that the massacre continued, Sertorius alone entreated mercy,35 while Octavius was murdered in his consular chair, and such as Lutatius Catulus or Cornelius Merula were compelled to die by their own hands. Cinna was entirely under the control of Marius, and Marius was as entirely under the control of passions too fiendish to bear with a moment's humanity:36 He was proclaimed Consul, at his own command, with Cinna; but eighteen days afterwards, he died in remorse, deserved, indeed, but fit to be commiserated.

35 Plut., Sert., 5. He not only Epit. LXXX. ; Vell. Pat., II. 22 ; entreated, but punished some of the App., Bell. Civ., I. 71 – 74; Plut., assassins, sword in hand.

Mar., 42-44; Flor., III. 21. Sul36 “ Non così lupo famelico sbra- la’s property was destroyed or conna gli agnelli intruso nell'ovile, fiscated, and his wife and children come lo spietato Mario esterminava were obliged to fly for their lives. i cittadini.” Verri, Notte Rom., 37 A. C. 86. He was seventyColl. III. The horrible details are one years old. Plut., Mar., 45. in Cic., De Orat., III. 2, 3 ; Liv.,

An interlude of nearly four years elapsed between the acts of this tragedy, in which the death of Marius really formed the next preceding scene to the return of Sulla. Men held their breaths, as it were, in awe at what they had beheld, and in more awful terror at what was yet to be enacted in Rome; and if a band of inferior performers were allowed to keep possession of the stage, it was because they who looked on were rather gazing behind the scenes, watching the movements of that fearful form at whose reappearance it was felt that not the stage only, but the whole amphitheatre, would swim in blood. A cabal, as it might be called, composed, besides Cornelius Cinna, of a few men like him, Valerius Flaccus, Papirius Carbo, Caius Norbanus, Scipio Asiaticus, and Caius Marius, the adopted son of the departed warrior, held fast to the government of the Commonwealth,38 as if it were to save them in the midst of universal insecurity, choosing themselves by their own proclamations, and declaring their edicts in the face of a palsied people.39 But in spite of laws, elections, and even numerous forces raised and kept on foot, it was impossible for such a usurpation to endure.

38 The chronology of these years Sulla lands in Italy. 82: Marius is enough for their history. A. C. and Carbo Consuls ; overthrown by 86 : Cinna Consul, first with Mari- Sulla. us, and next with Valerius Flaccus. 39 “ Temporibus iis quibus inter 85: Cinna and Carbo Consuls. 84: profectionem reditumque L. Sullæ Cinna and Carbo, again ; Cinna sine jure fuit et sine ulla dignitate being slain, and Carbo remaining respublica." This is Cicero's acsole Consul. 83: Norbanus and count (Brut., 63), and he lived Scipio Consuls ; Carbo Proconsul. through “ those times.VOL. II.


« НазадПродовжити »