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nificent triumph that had ever ascended the Capitol by the Sacred Way. He was overwhelmed with honors.67
Soon afterwards, however, on the presentation of his demands 68 to have his proceedings ratified and his veterans rewarded, the resistance prepared against him was led by Cato and Lucullus with so much resolution or vainglory in the Senate as to end in the denial of his claims. The annoyance of Pompey was the very point which Cæsar would have most desired to gain ; and on his return from his province in Spain, where he had spent a year in amassing a wonderful fortune,69 he found the execution of his designs almost forestalled. While the Knights and the Senate were separating, in consequence of the refusal by the latter of a petition preferred by the former, or by the Publicans amongst their order, to be released from a disadvantageous contract in relation to the Eastern revenues, there was no possibility of protracting the defence of the laws, whose defenders were thus severed, against their opponents united in the persons of Cæsar and of Pompey. Their covenant, in which Crassus was included by Cæsar's will, partly on account of his wealth, but chiefly on that of his ancient enmity to Pompey, was called the First Triumvirate in after years, when men looked back to
61. Plut., Pomp., 45. App., Bell. Dion Cass., XXXVII. 49, 50. Mithr., 116, 117.
Plut., Lucull., 42 ; Pomp., 46. 67 Dion Cass., XXXVII. 21. 69 Plut., Cæs., 12.
68 Through the Tribune Lucius 70 See the views of Cicero, Ad Flavius. Cic., Ad Att., I. 19. Att., I. 16, 17.
its formation as to the mortal wound of liberty in Rome.71
The influence of Cicero had long before departed. His confidence in the achievements of his consulship, at first confirmed 72 by the assault of his enemies, or rather those of his country, was soon upon the wane. There is a letter of a few months later date, addressed by him to Pompey, who, it seems, had replied but coldly to the intelligence received from Cicero concerning the events of his consulship. “Lest you be ignorant,” he says, “ of what I thought wanting in your letter to me, I will write with the frankness required by my own nature, as well as by the friendship between us. I expected some congratulation, on account both of our connection and of the Commonwealth, for the deeds I have done; and I think you may have omitted it for fear of offending some one. But be sure” – yet the tone is not itself secure " that what you and I have done for the safety of our country is approved by the judgment and the testimony of the world.” 73 Some hopes, however ungrounded they may have been, were raised in Cicero by the return of Pompey, in whom he trusted a faithful citizen might be brought back to the Commonwealth.74 "I am protecting,” he writes, -as well as I am able, the union I cemented as my own policy and institution; yet, since it is really infirm, I trust that one way, at least, to preserve it will be well guarded,” 75 — referring to his confidence in Pompey's protection. His language rapidly becomes more mournful. “You must be ready,” he says, “ to exclaim, that the Commonwealth can last no longer. The Senate is harassed; the Knights are alienated. A single year has thus overturned the two foundations I alone established; for it has not only cast down the authority of the Senate, but has dissolved the concord between the higher orders. A statesman and a patriot is not to be found even in dreams.” 76 As for Cato, he urges, that no one could love him more than he himself; yet, “ that, with the best intentions and the purest honesty, he was doing harm by living and speaking as though he were in the commonwealth of Plato rather than in the dregs of that of Romulus.” 77
71 A. C. 60. “ Conspiratio.” 72 See his letter to Metellus Celer, Liv., Epit. CIII. Horat., Carm., the brother of Nepos. Ad Div., II. 1. App., Bell. Civ., II. 9. V. 2. Dion Cass., XXXVII. 57. Plut., 73 Ad Div., V. 7. Pomp., 47; Cæs., 13; Cat., 31. 74 Ad Att., I. 14.
This, then, was the end of the labors by which Cicero, in his prime, would have defended the laws and the liberties of his country. Not, indeed, that he knew it to be the end; for his hopeful heart, warm with love both to the institutions of the past and to the living men of the present, still trusted that the cup of dregs might be filled with fresh draughts, and be committed to hands less violent than Cato's in its care, less stained than Cæsar's in its overturn. But the only classes that could be distinguished from such as Cæsar or as Cato were formed of others indifferent to the fate of the Commonwealth, except in its rela
77 Ibid., II. 1.
75 Ad Att., I. 17. 76 Ibid., I. 18.
tion to their own; and neither to Senators nor Knights nor to common citizens was there any knowledge of what liberty might be, scarcely of what it had been. Even Cicero himself bestowed his affections upon the great rather than upon the lowly amongst his countrymen. Even he, too, was often freer in the indulgence of his errors and his insecurity than in the practice of his firmness and his virtues.
CHAPTER VI I.
PHILOSOPHY AND FAITH OF THE LATER ROMANS.
"Ne si grandi Magelli distruggevano soltanto le cittadinanze, ma insieme con esse a grado a grado perivano i monumenti pubblici, le scritture, la letteratura, l' arti migliori : in somma, quasi che ogni retaggio della virtù degli avi.” — MICALI, Storia Ant. Popoli Italiani. Cap. VII.
“Quem deum, si cupiat, opitulari posse reipublicæ credamus ? ” — CICERO, Pro Marcello, 7.
The pomp, prodigality, and authority, so often apparent in the lives of the great at Rome, were present in their obsequies. Lictors, clad in black, led forth the funeral procession, in which minstrels with rude instruments, wailing women, buffoons, and slaves emancipated by their master's testament, composed the van; the other extremity of the train being formed by the relatives of either sex, whose duty or whose will it was to mourn the dead. Between the mourners and the attendants, the corpse, decked in the lordliest attire, was borne upon a splendid couch, in front of which appeared the crowns or insignia belonging to the hero or the dignitary in life. But the especial feature of the long array, as it swept from out the palace into the Forum, where the eulogy was pronounced, or to the pile on which the body was consumed with perfumes and to the ringing of weapons in the hands of gladiators, was the representation of the ancestors of the departed before his bier.