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altogether sombre colors. The tide of successful battle would sweep in spoils and riches to those who took it at its flood; while many, sunk in poverty, would be impelled, by the very depth of their despair, to activity and recovery, — this latter spirit being of all others the most necessary to the destiny of Rome. 46 Nor could things be altogether bad where the Sabine Attus Clausus, with five thousand followers, preferred, at this identical period, to make his home. He was received, as a Patrician, into the Senate, under the name of Appius Claudius, and they who came with him were enrolled in a new Tribe, called, after their chief, the Claudian.47 The migration and the reception are both characteristic of a nation capable of bearing the brunt of worse disasters than had yet befallen Rome.
The Sabine, however, as will be observed, may have been tempted to Rome by the offer of being made a Patrician; he would scarcely have come to be a Plebeian. It was not long after, that the efforts of the lower estate to rid themselves of some of the afflictions they were obliged to bear provoked still 'more decided oppression. Some conduct in which the Plebeians were forward to show their reliance on the Valerian law of appeal, rather than any increasing danger from abroad, determined the Patricians to appoint a Dictator from amongst those of their own order who had been Consuls, whose authority should defy alike all laws and all appeals. Or if the motive to establish so singular a magistracy were actually the peril in which the Commonwealth was involved, and from which it could not or would not be extricated by the existing Consuls, the terror excited in the Plebeians, on the appearance of the Dictator with the twenty-four axes borne before him, explains the relations between them and the Patricians to be such as connect the feeble and the powerful.48 One of the highest men, though his name is now uncertain, was first nominated by the Senate, and next appointed by either of the Consuls, — his Imperium, or absolute authority, being then conferred upon him by the Curies. The title he and many of his successors assumed was the Master-Patrician ; 49 while another, selected by himself to serve as his lieutenant, was called the Master-Knight.50 Certain restrictions, indeed, were placed upon both these offices; but the only real limitation to their use or their abuse was the will of the mighty order from which they emanated. The enemy abroad, as well as the seditious at home, grew pale, it was related, and yielded to the majesty which
46 “ Effecturi,” as Seneca says Senate is stated to have been made (Epist. 87), “ut populus Romanus by ń Bovin kai ó onuos, i. e. “Senapaupertatem, fundamentum et cau. tus populusque Romanus." The sam imperii sui requirat ac laudet." elections to the Senate were, as Livy
47 Plut., Publ., 21. Liv., II, 16. (IV. 4) says, “ post reges exactos Dion. Hal., V.40; where the man- jussu populi.” ner of Clausus's election to the
48 “ Magnus plebem metus inces- 3. He was called Dictator, says sit.” Liv., II. 18. The two differ- Varro (De Ling. Lat., V. 14), “quod ent versions may be read in Liv., a Consule dicebatur, cui dicto auloc. cit.; Dion. Hal., V. 63 et seq. dientes omnes essent." See Festus,
49 Or, more exactly, the Magister $. v. Opt. Lex. Populi; populus meaning the Pa- 50 “ Magister Equitum.” Liv., trician estate. Cic., De Legg., III. II. 18.
as no more
the first Dictator wore or to the tremor he inspired. It was easier, however, to subdue a host of foes than to crush the Plebeians, whose growth to the full stature of such liberty as Rome admitted was no more to be hindered than the growth of children to be men could be prevented, if life and strength were given them from Heaven.
Valerius, the People's Friend, was dead, and others of the braver Patricians had fallen in battle, before the survivors elected their Dictator. But it is to be remembered, though commonly forgotten, that the trials of the superior were, in many respects, as bitter as those of the inferior class, through these first years of doubtful liberty. It may be easy to write of the duties in which either failed; yet they were stout hearts that strengthened the Commonwealth against its manifold weaknesses, even if amongst them there were no gentle ones, in whom the love of countrymen outweighed the hate of their superiors or the contempt of their inferiors. The Patrician was still able to exact service in war, submission in peace, and bondage in poverty, from the Plebeian ; yet it was the consent of his order that had granted to the lower estate the protection of the Valerian laws; but these, on the other hand, were like ponderous gates which grated upon their hinges, without yet opening wide to the Plebeians. There was much to urge the claims and to arouse the passions on either side of such a nation.
CHAPTER I V.
THE MEANS AND ENDS OF EARLY ROME.
“Now in those days valiantness was honored in Rome above all other virtues; which they called Virtus, by the name of Virtue itself, as including in that general name all other special virtues besides. So that Virtue in the Latin was as much as Valianiness." -- PLUTARCH, COriol., I., North's transl.
The title at the head of the chapter may appear to affect a quaintness it is not intended to assume. Some things there are, seldom to be included in a narrative, and yet without which the narrative is unintelligible, that must here be laid down, as upon a chart, before we venture farther into our history. Without knowing the means of obtaining and the ends for employing freedom in Rome, there can be no knowledge either of the Commonwealth or of the men who constituted the Commonwealth, — the very points, as scarcely needs be added, on which the history of Roman liberty most depends. In connection, therefore, with the foregoing chapters, it is here proposed to take such an account of the personal and the general relations existing amongst the early Romans, as shall complete our survey of the foundation, and prepare that of the increase of their liberty.
In Rome, as among all nations of antiquity, there were two classes, to one or the other of which every human being belonged by birth or fortune. One was of the free, the other of the slave, – the freeman being
Opeful cated to ase his pri
born or made free, and the bondman being born in or reduced to slavery. The slaves, of whom the lowest were always permitted to hope for liberation, formed a single class; on the other hand, the Roman state comprised a twofold class of freemen, to one division alone of whom the fear of slavery, at least within the sway of Roman laws, could never come. The hope of the slave and the security of the higher freeman are easily accounted for by the existence of the intermediate order. If the real freeman were secure of his freedom, it was because his privileges were not lightly communicated to any man; and if the bondman were hopeful of being liberated, it was because he did not aspire to more than an inferior degree of liberty. None were considered to be wholly free, unless sprung of parents born, themselves, in possession of all the rights which freedom could convey ;? and to such the lower classes of the freemen were originally as inferior as emancipated, or even, to strain the point, as actual slaves.
Hence arose the distinctions between the orders of citizens; for though none could attain to citizenship without possessing freedom, yet rank in one was somewhat rudely graduated according to rank in the other scale. The Patrician, especially, was considered the citizen, because he, especially and solely, was born with perfect title to pure and free descent; and for the same reason, the Plebeian of alien or humble
I See Gaii Instit., I. sect. 9, or VI. 40. “Qui ab ingenuis oriundi Heinecc., Antiq. Rom. Jurisp., Lib. sunt.” Cic., Topic., 6. The InI. Tit. iv. v. sect. 1.
genuus was the real freeman. See 2 - Duobus ingenuis ortus." Liv. Ch. II. note 39.