Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

or to raise a new monarchy.” The latter law requires no commentary; but the former would be unintelligible without one. Not only had the privilege of appeal to the Curies been in possession of the Patricians from time almost immemorial, but it had also been possible, as it appears, for them, and perhaps for the Plebeians likewise, to appeal from the sentence of one to the decision of another officer, military or judicial, as he might be, during the kingly period.” The appeal to an assembly, however, was considered as much more important a right than that to a magistrate as trial by jury is than trial before a single judge; and it was this which the law of Valerius secured to the Plebeians, by giving them their appeal, either to the Centuries, or, as is much more probable, to the Tribes;” either of which, if convened for a trial, would be presided over by the Quaestors, as they were called, of Parricide,” two especial magistrates, elected by the Curies.” The operation of these laws, to be witnessed as we prosecute our history, will prove that Valerius deserved the name he gained by their proposal, of the People's Friend.” With the Plebeians the memory of the homes they had abandoned and the rights they had surrendered must, at last, have been exchanged for the hope of the rights and the homes to be had in Rome. The Commonwealth rested upon the Valerian laws.” The fair features of the early Commonwealth are tinted with the kindliness and the justice of which Valerius appears to have been the champion;” but there are darker aspects to which we must turn, covered with shadows cast on them, at first, by wars. Of the large number of subject or allied towns which an ancient treaty with Carthage” describes as,having been in the dependence of Rome, during the first months after the revolution, the greater part were soon in arms against their ally or mistress. Many joined their forces with those of the Tarquins, eager to humble the people by whom they had been conquered or in some way mortified; and at the first opportunity, one third, at least, of the Roman Tribes themselves” returned to their older alliance or independence. This opportunity of revolt and of revenge was given to the enemies of Rome by Porsena, the Lars or prince of the Etruscan Clusium, who undertook, it was said, to restore his brother monarch, by invading the territory and storming the city from which Tarquin had been expelled. The day of trial was unclouded in the traditions of later years. A single Patrician, with two companions, was able to keep back the “long array of spears,” as it pressed down from the Janiculum to the bridge leading into the very heart of Rome; nor did “the hero of the river-side” turn from the foe until the bridge had fallen and his countrymen stood safe on the other shore, to welcome him as he swam the waves unharmed.” But the bravery of Horatius Cocles, however much it was rewarded and extolled, could not foil the host which Porsena commanded; nor was the resolution of Mucius or the virgin Cloelia" sufficient to avert the humiliating terms which the Romans, worn and deserted, accepted from their conqueror." Nevertheless, Tarquin was not restored; and the Etruscans, defeated in the South, were obliged to evacuate Rome, which they left a city of but twenty instead of thirty Tribes. The loss of territory in consequence of Porsena's invasion was a trifling evil compared with losses in industry and individual independence. Peace failed; then labor; then bread; then hope. Warfare continued without intermission,” not only with the Etruscans, but with the Sabines, the Auruncians, the Latins, – with all, in short, who had been provoked in the time of prosperity. Every week brought the beginning or the end of a campaign, the exultations of victory or the lamentations of defeat; and it seems as if there were no other sight to see but triumphs or corpses, no other sound to hear but shouts and the clang of arms. It was fit, indeed, that these things should constitute the training of the Romans to the service required at their hands; but the truth has been allowed to remain clear, that the circumstances which make a people warlike to their enemies bring hate and wretchedness amongst themselves. There were sorrows in Rome for the loss of friends; passions for the loss of lands or fortunes; sufferings for the loss of harvests and actual necessities: and for the gains to be had, other sufferings, other passions, and other sorrows were indispensable. Conquests, we may be sure, were not so easy, nor were defeats so rare, as the old historians, to whom the history they wrote was all a blaze of glory, most piously believed.” The longer, too, the wars continued, the heavier were the taxes on the Tribes, while most men were daily in greater need of means to keep themselves and their families alive. For a little time, the poor could borrow from the rich; but the rich, likewise, were soon reduced, and when they sought for payment of their loans, they could only lay hold on the bodies which had been pledged to them by their debtors.” It was then a poor satisfaction to the creditor to have a hungry and an angry bondman where he wanted goods or money; but it was an evil to be felt throughout every order in the Commonwealth, that the debtor should lose his freedom and his patriotism. Most of the poor and all the bonded were of the Plebeians; for the Patricians were protected by law from any servitude,” and the class of clients, fewer in number than of old, was defended by its Patrician patrons. There is no necessity of looking into the prison or the workhouse to understand the terrible nature of the slavery to which the debtor was dragged when he could not pay for his freedom. Nor would it be truthful to paint these scenes, with

Dion. Hal., 31 Festus, s. v.v. Quaestores,
Parici. “Nam parricida non utique

28 Plut., Publ., 11. W. 19. Liv., II. 8.

29 The appeal to the assembly was called Provocatio ; that to the magistrate Appellatio, of which there is a later instance in Liv., III. 13. It may have been of later origin than above described.

30 See references in note 28, and those in Niebuhr's notes 1177, 1178, Vol. I. Göttling makes the appeal to the Centuries. Röm. Staatsv., Sect. 100.

is, qui parentem occidisset, diceba-
tur, sed qualemcumque hominem,”
etc., after the law of Numa.
39 Tac., Ann., XI. 22.
& Publicola; which he obtained
in consequence of his legislation.
Liv., II. 8. He was the author of
other laws. Ibid., and Plut., Publ.,
11, 12. -

34 Be3atav re Torriv (rep ris éAev6eptas rots &muorukot's Aaffeiv, “Inasmuch as the Plebeians gained a sure confidence in their freedom.” Dion. Hal., W. 19.

35 “AEquo et modesto jure agitatum.” Sallust., Frag. Hist., Lib. I. See Liv., II. 9.

Sallust, born in A. C. 86, and dying in 34, wrote five books of Histories (Historiae), besides the War of Jugurtha and the Conspiracy of Catiline. See Book III. ch. 7, of this history.

36 Polyb., III. 22.

Polybius, an Arcadian by birth, came to Rome in A. C. 167, as one of the Achaean exiles. He wrote his history of the contemporary period from A. C. 220 to 146, in his old age.

97 Livy (II. 21) mentions the first increase from the number of twenty Tribes. Under Servius there had been thirty. It is probable that the lost ten were Etruscan.

Pueblo las voces, que aclamando grita:
Wiva Horacio ! de Horacio es la victoria!”

See Liv., II. 10, and Polyb., Rel.,

38 'Aptorre's trapamorápuos. Plut., De Fort. Rom., ed. Reisk., Tom.

VII. p. 259.
39 Every one knows Mr. Macau-
lay's gallant Lay of Horatius; but
the following lines, from a sonnet
by Arguijo, are not so familiar : —
“Oigo del roto puente el son fragoso,
Cuando al Tibre el varon se precipita

Armado, y sale de él con nueva gloria;
Yal mismo tiempo escucho del gozoso

WI. 55.
49 Mucius attempted to assassi-
nate Porsena; Cloelia, one of the
Roman hostages, escaped by her
daring. Liv., II. 12, 13.
41 “Dedita urbe.” Tac., Hist.,
III.7.2. Plin., Nat. Hist., XXXIV.
39. Dion. Hal., W. 35.

* “Assidui vero et anniversarii 43 The narrative, in Livy (II. hostes.” Flor., I. 12. “ Tumul- 16, 17), of the campaign against tus enim suit verius quam bellum.” Pometia, a Latin town, but partly Liv., II. 26. colonized from Rome, betrays the

difficulties with which the armies of the Commonwealth were obliged to

dictus when actually handed over
to his creditor as a bondman.

deal.
44 Called Nexi or Addicti, in re-
lation to their bondage; but of these
terms the explanations are innu-
merable. If the Nexus and the Ad-
dictus were not one and the same,
it is most probable that the debtor
was Nexus when he pledged him-
self in security for his debt, and Ad-

WOL. I. 43

45 Touching this, however, reference can only be made to a later law, Aul. Gell., XVI.10: –“ Assiduo vindex assiduus esto.” The word “assiduus ” is explained by the same writer to be “pro locuplete.” See Niebuhr's opinion, Vol. I. p. 273, Amer. edit.

« НазадПродовжити »