- To His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland.
- Political Discourses Upon Sallust.
- Discourse I.: Of Faction and Parties.
- Sect. I.: How Easily the People Are Led Into Faction, and Kept In It, By Their Own Heat and Prejudices, and the Arts of Their Leaders; How Hard They Are to Be Cured; and With What Partiality and Injustice Each Side Treats the Other.
- Sect. II.: How Apt Parties Are to Err In the Choice of Their Leaders. How Little They Regard Truth and Morality, When In Competition With Party. the Terrible Consequences of All This; Worthy Men Decried and Persecuted; Worthless and Wicked Men Popular and
- Sect. III.: Party Infers Public Weakness: Its Devilish Spirit, and Sirange Blindness: What Public Ruin It Threatens: the People Rarely Interested In It; Yet How Eager and Obstinate In It, and Bewitched By It.
- Discourse II.: Of Patriots and Parricides.
- Sect. I.: How Virtue and Vice, Public Services, and Public Crimes, May Be Said to Bring Their Own Rewards.
- Sect. II.: A Suffering Patriot More Happy Than a Successful Parricide: Public Oppressors Always Unhappy.
- Sect. III.: Cautions Against the Arts and Encroachments of Ambition. the Character of a Patriot, and That of a Parricide. How Much It Is the Duty, How Much the Interest, of All Governors to Be Patriots.
- Sect. IV.: How Apt the World Is to Be Deceived With Glare and Outside, to Admire Prosperous Iniquity, and to Slight Merit In Disgrace. Public Spirit the Duty of All Men. the Evils and Folly Attending the Want of It.
- Sect. V.: Considerations Upon Two Distinguished Romans, Cato and Cæsar; One In the Interest of His Country, the Other In His Own Interest: With the Fate and Issue of Cæsar’s Ambition, to Himself and His Race.
- Discourse III.: Of the Resignation of Sylla.
- Sect. I.: His Policy In Resigning; His Motives and Encouragement to Resign.
- Sect. II.: What Measures, and Precautions, He Had Taken For His Security, After His Resignation.
- Discourse IV.: Of the Pride and Ill Conduct of the Patricians, After the Expulsion of Kings.
- Sect. I.: The Roman Commonwealth Unequally Balanced. the Kingly Power, Upon the Expulsion of Tarquin, Engrossed, and Imperiously Exercised, By the Patricians. the Ill Policy of This to Themselves, the Injustice of It to the Plebeians.
- Sect. II.: The Plebeians, Long Oppressed, Obtain a Remedy By Force; But a Remedy Dangerous to the State.
- Discourse V.: Of the Institution and Power of the Popular Tribunes.
- Sect. I.: The Blind Confidence of the People In the Tribunes: the Ambition, and Violent Attempts, of Those Popular Leaders.
- Sect. II.: Reflections On the Plausible Professions, and Dangerous Conduct, of the Gracchi. Public Reformations, How Cautiously to Be Attempted.
- Sect. III.: The Boundless Power Assumed By the Tribunes: With What Boldness and Iniquity They Exercise It. the People Still Their Dupes.
- Discourse VI.: Of Public Corruption; Particularly That of the Romans.
- Sect. I.: The Interest of Virtue, and of the Public, Every Man’s Interest.
- Sect. II.: The Fatal Tendency of Public Corruption. the Public Sometimes Served By Encouraging Private Corruption. Other Means of Corruption, Beside That of Money. Corruption Sometimes Practised By Such Who Rail At It; In Some Instances, By Good Men, Who
- Sect. III.: Some Corruptions In the State to Be Borne, Rather Than Removed By the Introduction of Greater.
- Sect. IV.: How Hard to Prevent Corruption, Where the Means of Corruption Are Found.
- Sect. V.: Venal Men, With What Ill Grace They Complain of Any Ill Conduct, Or Corruption, In Him Who Bought Them: People Once Corrupted, How Abandoned to All Corruption.
- Sect. VI.: Amongst a Corrupt People, the Most Debauched and Desperate Leaders Are the Most Popular.
- Sect. VII.: When the People Are Thoroughly Corrupt, All True Sense of Liberty Is Lost. Outrage and Debauchery Then Pass For Liberty, Defiance of Law For Public Spirit, and Incendiaries For Patriots.
- Sect. VIII.: The Swift Progress of Corruption In the Roman Republic. Its Final Triumph In the Dissolution of the State.
- Discourse VII.: Of the Corruption In the Roman Seats of Justice, and the Oppression In the Provinces.
- Sect. I.: Of the Extreme Difficulty In Procuring Justice At Rome, Against Any Considerable Criminal.
- Sect. II.: The Wonderful Guilt and Enormities of Verres In Sicily, Confidently Committed, From Assurance of Impunity. Cicero’ S Character of the Judges: Their Bold and Constant Venality.
- Sect. III.: The Virtue of the Old Romans, In the Administration of Justice, and Government of Provinces. Their Posterity, and Successors, How Unlike Them. the Wise and Righteous Administration of Cicero, With That of the Provincial Governors In China
- Discourse VIII.: Of Civil Wars.
- Sect. I.: Who the First Authors of Civil War: What Inslames It Most, and Why It Is So Hard to Be Checked.
- Sect. II.: The Chief Power In a Civil War, Vested In the Generals, Yet Little Reverenced By the Soldiers. Both Soldiers and People Grow Hardened and Ungovernable.
- Sect. III.: The Shocking Corruption, and Dissolute Manners, Produced By Civil War; With the Dreadful Barbarities and Devastations Attending It.
- Sect. IV.: The Soldiery, In a Civil War, Only Consider Themselves: What Low Instruments and Causes Serve to Begin and Continue It.
- Sect. V.: How Hard to Put an End to a Civil War. the Tendency of One, to Produce More. How It Sharpens the Spirits of Men, Shocks the Civil Constitution, and Produces Tyranny.
- Sect. VI.: The Evils, and Sudden Changes, Brought By Civil War Upon Particular Families, and Upon a Country In General; With the Fierce Discontents, and Animosities, and Ill Morals, Which It Entails.
- Sect. VII.: A View of the Affecting Horrors, and Calamities, Produced By Civil War; Taken From the History of Greece.
- Discourse IX.: To His Grace Archibald, Duke of Argyll. of the Mutability of Government.
- Sect. I.: Why Free Governments Are More Changeable In Their Frame, Than Such As Are Single and Arbitrary.
- Sect. II.: The Danger to Free Government From Popular Maxims, and Popular Men; With the Advantages It Furnishes Against Itself.
- Sect. III.: The Signal Power of Enthusiasm, and Pious Imposture, In Settling, Changing, Or Perpetuating Government.
- Sect. IV.: The Surprising, Despotic, But Pacific Government, Established By the Jesuits, By the Force of Imposture, In Paraguay.
- Sect. V.: The Inevitable Danger of Trusting Ecclesiastical Persons With Any Worldly Power, Or Any Share In Government.
- Sect. VI.: The Profession of the Missionaries Abroad; How Notoriously Insincere, and Contradictory to Their Tenets and Practices At Home.
- Sect. VII.: The Duration of Tyrannical Single Governments, and the Changeable Nature of Such As Are Popular and Free, Further Considered and Illustrated.
- Sect. VIII.: An Inquiry, Which Is the Most Equal and Perfect Government: Our Own Proved to Be So.
- The Conspiracy of Cataline
- To His Grace Evelyn, Duke of Kingston.
- The First Oration of Cicero Against Catiline. Spoken In the Senate.
- The Second Oration of Cicero Against Catiline. Addressed to the People.
- The Third Oration of Cicero Against Catiline. Addressed to the People.
- The Fourth Oration of Cicero Against Catiline. Spoken In the Senate.
- The War Against Jugurtha.
- To the Right Honourable the Earl of Cholmondeley.
- The War Against Jugurtha.
- The Speech of M. Æmilius Lepidus, the Consul, Against Sylla.
- The Speech of L. Philippus Against Lepidus.
- Pompey ’s Letter to the Senate.
- The Oration of Licinius, the Tribune: Addressed to the People.
- The Letter Which Mithridates, King of Pontus, Sent to Arsaces, King of Parthia.
- The First Epistle of Sallust to Caius Julius CÆsar: Concerning the Regulation of the Commonwealth.
- The Second Epistle of Sallust to Caius Julius CÆsar: Concerning the Regulation of the Commonwealth.
THE WAR AGAINST JUGURTHA.
To the Right Honourable the Earl of CHOLMONDELEY.
WHEN I have told the World, as I now do, that the Whole of this Work lay long under Your Eye and Examination, You will pardon me, for leaving the World to presume, that You did not disapprove it. From the same Motive, a Motive, perhaps, selfish enough, I chearfully inscribe to Your Lordship the following Part of it, the famous Jugurthine War. It is thus that I am encouraged to present the Whole to the Public; and even frankly to leave all my Readers to take, what all my Readers will take, the Liberty of judging for themselves, in spite of all that I, or, even all that Your Lordship can say, in Defence of Your Judgment against Theirs. One Thing I presume confidently to hope, That most of my Readers will like it the better, for being informed, that Your Lordship did not dislike it. You will do me the Justice to own, that where-ever You proposed any Alterations, I was always ready to make them: Had You proposed many more, I fansy both my Readers and I should have found our Account in it.
If I do an injudicious Thing, in thus directing the Thanks of the Reader, where he finds Cause for any, not to myself, but to Your Lordship; by doing it, I still reap one Advantage; I think, a superior Advantage; that my Writings will appear to all my Readers to stand well in Your Opinion; at least, that I myself do. What Writer could desire a better Patent for general Approbation? Perhaps some of my Readers may think, that I am now pleading that Patent. I own I am; and claim the Benefit of it.
Fine Discernment, and just Taste, great Vivacity, much Reading, great Acquaintance with Business, and with Men, all joined to natural Candour, are the great Qualifications for judging of Books and Style; and such Writings as please a Judge so qualified, come before the Public with a competent Recommendation; and claim a Right to please All such Readers as are equally qualified to judge, and equally disposed to be pleased. Let me add, that he who is the quickest at discerning Faults, is often the least forward to expose them; and they who are most forward, are not always the most sagacious. Which of these Two Characters is most to be desired by a Reader, I leave every Reader to determine; and, for his further Inducement, as well as Encouragement, refer him to that of Your Lordship.
I knew a Man, who, at the Age of Forty, was learning Greek, on purpose to translate Thucydides; because he knew, without knowing Greek, that Mr. Hobbs had not translated that Greek Author well. It is probable, that the Person who told him so, if he were in earnest, knew as little as himself, either of Thucydides, or of Mr. Hobbes, who has most excellently translated that celebrated Historian; though his Language, in that Translation, be not so free as in his other Writings; a Fault (if it be one) intirely owing to his adhering to the Manner, as well as to the Sense, of the Original.
Your Lordship knows, that there is nothing so absurd, nothing so spiteful and stupid, as the Censure frequently passed upon Writings. The grossest Ignorance often sets up for Censure; the foulest Language often pronounces it: Yet such Grossness, and such Stupidity, are not more offensive than false Delicacy, and a Mind wrongly turned; nor are they half so ridiculous. A late celebrated and gentle Doctor of Gresham used to give it as his Opinion of Archbishop Tillotson, and Mr. Dryden, (both very excellent Writers of English, besides their other Merit) “That, indeed, they were able, but not delicate Writers:” And then, to explain himself, added, “That they had Strength, but wanted Saftness.” As if Strength excluded Elegance, or Elegance availed any thing without Strength.
My Lord, I venture to assert, what Your Lordship can so well demonstrate, That Sprightliness of Expression is Beauty of Expression. Ease and Force are so far from hurting, that they help and recommend each other; and have the least Influence when apart. So just, so natural, and necessary it is, to join Vigour to Elegance, and Elegance to Vigour! A harsh Style is unpleasing and tiresome: A smooth Style, without Life, is nauseous.
How many Volumes lie cheap and undisturbed in Stalls, without one Blemish in them, either in Fluency or Grammar? The last Qualification, particularly, is the great Boast, and constant Refuge, of dull Men and Pedants; though often wanting in the noblest Writers, Lord Clarendon, Mr. Locke, Mr. Trenchard, and many other great Men, subject to Inaccuracies in Grammar, and even in Spelling; as I have often found in their Manuscripts, some of them still to be seen.
Your Lordship is perfectly acquainted, how much the same Observation holds in public Speeches; some very strong, as well as very elegant, without being very correct; many very elegant, and very correct, but without Force, and without Use.
The great Difficulty in imitating Horace and Tacitus, seems to arise from the Rapidity of their Thoughts and Expression, as well as from their curious Choice of Phrases. For these Two, amongst the several Latin Classics, appear, to me, to have the most glowing Style. There is great Force in that of Sallust; but, I think, a Force not equal to Theirs. There is a great deal of it in Pliny the Elder. It is the great Talent of Demosthenes; and by it he fired and governed his Hearers. In it no Writer, antient or modern, no Poet, no Orator, ever exceeded Shakespear or Milton. There are admirable Strains in Otway and Rowe. Fontenelle is full of lively and striking Images; and no Man more so, than Savil Marquis of Halifax. Mr. Trenchard excels in strong Thoughts, and ardent Expression: And Bishop Atterbury’s Style hath great Elevation and Fire.
It may here, perhaps, look invidious, either to mention, or to omit, Mr. Addison, so justly admired for his beautiful Imagination, and polite Expression; and for his Works, so universally read, so deservedly applauded, many of them inimitable: A glorious Character, and abundant Merit! though, in Tragedy, and some other Subjects, his Style should not be found so powerful as that of some few Others. Whether it be so, or not, Your Lordship can tell.
By saying so much of so many Writers, I had, indeed, almost forgot, that I am writing to Your Lordship, who have read so many, and judge so justly of all. Permit me, however, to add, for the sake of my less-observing Readers, that, to recommend Dignity by Ease, Ease by Dignity, both by Force, is the great Perfection of Speaking and Writing. I could give Instances of each Sort; but, in doing it, I should be tempted to produce one, which, I fear, Your Lordship would not like to see produced, however others might like, and may even expect it. To withdraw myself, therefore, from the pleasing Temptation, I here cease to write. I shall never cease to be, with high and sincere Regard,
Your most Humble,
and most Obedient Servant,
August 30th, 1743.
THE WAR AGAINST JUGURTHA.
IT is unjust in Men to complain of human Nature, as if it were frail, fleeting, and rather actuated by Chance, than by Virtue. For, by different Reasoning, you will find nothing more noble, nothing more perfect; and that Men fail more in exerting their Talents, than doth human Nature in her Continuance and Power.
The Soul alone forms and controuls the Lot of human Life; and, where it travels to Renown by the Paths of Virtue, is always found sufficient, prevailing, and even rewarded with Glory, and far from needing the Aid of Fortune; since Integrity of Life, Assiduity, and Address, with other worthy Accomplishments, are out of her Reach, either to bestow or take away. But when the Soul is depraved by vicious Passions, and, resigning itself to Effeminacy, and sensual Delights, plunges into a fatal Course of Debauchery, and has thus wasted, in Sloth, all its Vigour, Time, and Parts, the Frailty of Nature is blamed. For it is the Custom of Men, to impute all the Evils of their own carning to Occurrences, and the Course of Things.
Now if Men would engage in righteous Pursuits, with the same Zeal which they exert in such as are uninteresting, unavailing, nay, such as portend their Ruin, they would be no more subject to be ruled by Fortune, than Fortune to be ruled by them; nay, they would then soar to such Elevation, as, from a Condition of Mortality, to become, through Glory, immortal.
Indeed, as Man is framed of a Body and a Soul, it follows, that all our Actions, all our Pursuits, participate of one or the other. Hence Beauty of Person, abundant Wealth, with bodily Strength, and every Endowment of the same Sort, soon pass away; whilst all illustrious Productions of the human Soul are, like the Soul itself, eternal. I add, that the Advantages of the Body, and of Fortune, as they had certainly a Beginning, have as certain an End: Indeed, whatever hath a Rise, hath likewise a Fall; and whatever hath the Faculty of Increasing, contains also the Principles of Decay. The Soul, ever immortal, nor ever subject to perish, is the Controuler of human Kind; actuates and comprises all Things; yet is itself comprised by nothing. Hence the greater Cause of Wonder at the Frowardness of such who waste their Life in Luxury and Sloth, abandoned to sensual Joys; and suffer their Reason, the most sublime and god-like Faculty cleaving to mortal Men, to deaden in Indolence, neglected and unimproved; especially, since the Mind is capable of so many, and such various Accomplishments, whence the highest Fame is to be obtained.
But, by such Pursuits, I mean not Magistracy, or public Sway, or, in a Word, any Share in the Government of the State; Stations which seem to me, at this Conjuncture, far from eligible: Since neither do our Preferments follow Virtue, nor are they who have gained them by base Means, the more secure, or the more honourable, for possessing them. Indeed, to rule over your Country, or your Parents and Kindred, against their Inclination, however you may succeed, and though you could even reform Abuses, is an invidious Situation, and full of Danger; especially, when all public Innovations ever threaten public Slaughter, Exile, and every hostile Calamity. Besides, to struggle for Power without Success, and to reap, by continual Fatigue, nothing but public Abhorrence, is Infatuation beyond measure; unless we suppose any Man possessed with a Spirit so infamous and frantic, as to sacrifice his Honour, and his Liberty, only to gratify the impotent Lust of a Few to govern All.
Now, amongst other Functions which employ the Talents of Men, the Registry of Things is of high Moment; though I forbear to inlarge upon its Excellency, since many have already shewn it; nor would I be thought vain, in extolling an Employment in which I myself am ingaged. I, however, expect, that there will be some, who, because I have determined to spend my Days far from any Share in the Administration, will call this my Undertaking, in itself so great and important, a lazy Vocation: It will be, at least, so called by those who account it the highest Task in Life, to salute the Multitude by their particular Names; and, court, by feasting them, their Favour. But if these Men will recollect, first, during what Conjunctures I obtained Promotion in the State; next, What great Men then failed in their Pursuit of it; then, What sort of Men have been since admitted into the Senate; they will surely conclude, that it was upon just Ground, and from no Want of Spirit, that I changed my Design; and that higher Benefit will accrue to the Commonwealth from my Recess, than from all the popular Efforts and Caballings of others.
For I have often heard, that Quintus Maximus, and Publius Scipio, with other illustrious Chiefs of our State, were wont to declare, that, when they beheld the Images of their Progenitors, they found their Minds passionately fired to Acts of Virtue and Renown. Not that the Wax, or any Figure formed of it, could produce such powerful Emotions: It was only the Recollection of the famous Exploits done by their Forefathers, which roused, in the Breasts of these excellent Persons, such Ardour as they could never subdue or extinguish, till, by virtuous Deeds, they had gained equal Applause and Immortality.
A different Character belongs to the present Race. Amongst them all, who is found otherwise to vie with his Ancestors, than in Wealth and Profusion? But never in Acts of Probity and Praise. Even Men, originally obscure, such as formerly used, by superior Merit, to anticipate Nobility, at present grasp at public Dignities and Command, rather by dark Devices, and by Money lawlesly got, than by any fair Recommendations: As if the Consular Authority, that of Prætor, and all the other great Offices, did, of themselves, convey Glory, and great Name, and derived not their Estimation from the Ability of such as administer them. But, whilst I am reviewing, with Regret and Shame, the depraved Habits of my Country, I have rambled too far, and too freely. I now return to my Undertaking.
I am going to give the History of a War, which the Roman People maintained against Jugurtha King of the Numidians: A Subject which I chuse, because, in the first place, it was in itself raging and tragical, and the Victory long wavering; next, because the haughty Sway of the Nobility was then first checked: A Struggle which produced universal Confusion of all Things, divine and human; with such Party-rage as ended in a domestic War, and the Desolation of Italy. But, before I enter directly upon my Task, I shall go somewhat backwards, and trace certain Events; whence all that follows will derive Clearness, and additional Light.
During the Second Punic War, in which Hannibal, Commander of the Carthaginians, wasted the Strength of Italy, beyond what had been known, since the Roman Power had become formidable, Scipio, afterwards, for his noble Atchievements, surnamed Africanus, received Masinissa, King of the Numidians, into the Friendship and Alliance of the Romans; a Prince who performed, on their Behalf, many glorious Exploits; for which, when Carthage was subdued, and Syphax taken Prisoner, whose Dominions in Africa were vast, and his Sway mighty, whatever Cities and Territories of his had been taken by Masinissa, were confirmed to him, by the Roman People, as their Gift: Insomuch that our Alliance with him always continued very honourable on his Part, and very beneficial on ours. When Death put an End to his Reign, his Son Micipsa succeeded him; at that time his only Son, as his other Two Manastabal, and Gulussa, had been carried off by Distempers. Micipsa had Two Sons, Atherbal and Hiempsal; but entertained, in his Court, and bred up, upon the same Foot with his own, a Son of his Brother Manastabal, called Jugurtha; one whom Masinissa had left in a private Condition; for that he was born of a Concubine.
This Jugurtha, when he grew up, with all the Advantages of a graceful Person, great Strength, and, above all, a superior Genius, suffered not himself to be impaired by the Baits of Indolence and Luxury; but, following the Bent of the Nation, enured himself to ride, to draw the Bow, to vie with his Companions in the Race; yet still continued dear to All, though, in Glory, he surpassed All. Add, that he was assiduous in the Chace, always foremost, or with the foremost, in wounding the Lion, and other wild Beasts; and continually performing Deeds of Praise; but never boasting of such Deeds.
Though Micipsa, at first, rejoiced in all this, from an Opinion, that the Merit of Jugurtha would prove to the Glory of his Reign; yet, when he beheld him, in the Prime of Life, improving daily more and more, himself now stricken in Years, together with the tender Age of his Children, he was terribly alarmed, and his Mind torn with many Perplexities. He considered, with Dread, the Mind of Man, ever thirsting after Power, and headstrong in the Gratification of Ambition; as also the Temptation arising from his own great Age, and from the render Years of his Children: A mighty Temptation! such as even transports Men otherwise moderate and calm: Besides the flaming Zeal of the Numidians towards Jugurtha; whence, were he, by Artifice, to take away his Life, he feared, lest an Insurrection, or even a Civil War, might ensue.
Whilst he was thus pressed with Difficulties on every Side, perceiving himself unable, either by Force or Guile, to destroy a Man so dear to his People, he purposed to expose him to the Hazards of War, and thence try what Fortune would produce; since Jugurtha was daring in his Person, and passionate for military Glory. Micipsa, therefore, who was dispatching Succours of Horse and Foot to the Romans, then engaged in the Siege of Numantia, sent him, as their Commander, over to Spain; in hopes, that, either from an Ostentation of his Bravery, or the Rage of that desperate Enemy, he could not fail to perish. But the Issue wholly contradicted his Conjecture: For Jugurtha, who had a Genius full of Vivacity and Discernment, as soon as he had learned the Temper of Publius Scipio, General of the Romans, as also the Character of the Enemy, exerted such infinite Vigour, with such infinite Attention and Care, added to his extreme Modesty in obeying Orders, and his Readiness to face all Dangers; and thence acquired, on a sudden, such high Esteem; that he was adored by our Army, and an Object of Dread to the Numantians. He was, doubtless, at once brave in Battle, and sage in Council; Qualities extremely hard to be found in the same Man; since Precaution usually falls into Timidity, and Boldness into Rashness.
Hence the Roman General chiefly employed Jugurtha to execute all his most perilous Attempts, held him amongst his intimate Friends, and cherished him daily more and more, as one who, in all his Projects, in all his Undertakings, never failed of Success. With these Advantages there concurred great Liberality of Heart, and a Spirit very able and artful: Whence he had gained a great Number of Romans to a close Friendship with him. There were, indeed, then in our Army, many, (some of them amongst the old Nobility, others Persons newly raised) with whom Wealth was preferable to Virtue and Honour; all of factious Behaviour, very powerful at Rome, and more distinguished by their Figure, than by their Integrity, amongst our Confederates. These Men inflamed the Mind of Jugurtha, (of itself nowise indifferent to Power) by strong Assurances, ‘That, were Micipsa to die, He alone would enjoy the Kingdom of Numidia; it was He who possessed the highest Worth; and, at Rome, all Things whatever were to be obtained by Money.’
Now, after the Sacking of Numantia, when Scipio determined to send back the auxiliary Troops, and to return himself to Italy, he distinguished Jugurtha with magnificent Presents, and equal Compliments, before the whole Army assembled; then led him into his own Pavilion, and there, secretly, warned him, ‘Rather publicly to court the Favour of the Roman People, than by private Application to particular Romans. It were, therefore, best, to forbear humouring such Men by his Bounties. It was a perilous Attempt, to purchase from a Few what appertained to All. If he would but persist in the Exercise of his own fine Accomplishments, both Glory and Royalty would fall, of course, to his Share; whereas, if he unduly hurried to grasp them, his very Largesses would push him headlong into Destruction.’
When Scipio had so spoken, he dismissed him with a Letter to Micipsa, in the following Strain: ‘Thy Nephew Jugurtha hath manifested the highest Merit, during the Siege of Numantia; an Information which, I am well aware, will yield Thee much Joy. To me he is very dear, for his signal Services: I shall use my best Endeavours that he be so, likewise, to the Senate and People of Rome. In truth, I congratulate with Thee on this Occasion, according to the Measure of my Friendship for Thee. In him Thou possessest a Man worthy of Thee, as also of his Grandfather Masinissa.’
The King, therefore, when he found the Contents of Scipio’s Letter to agree with all that he had learned from common Fame, was so affected with the great Merit, as well as with the great Credit, of the Man, that he dropped all his former Purposes towards him; and, henceforward, strove to secure him by the Force of Favours: He even strait adopted him; and, by his Will, appointed him Joint-heir, with his Sons, to the Kingdom. A few Years afterwards, when, wasted with Age and Distempers, he perceived his Life near its Close, he is said to have discoursed to Jugurtha, in the Presence of his Kindred and Friends, as likewise of Atherbal and Hiempsal, to this Purpose:
‘When thou wert yet a tender Infant, bereft of thy Father, without Hope, destitute of Means, I took thee, as my own, under my Care, and brought thee up in Royal State; as I conceived, that, in return for such Benefits, I should prove equally dear to thee, as if I were thy own Father. Neither hast thou frustrated these my Hopes: For, without recounting thy other Exploits, which are many and memorable, thou hast lately brought with thee, from Numantia, such abundant Glory, as derives Honour upon me, and even upon all Numidia. By thy brave Conduct thou hast made the Romans, before our Allies by Treaty, now our Allies in Affection. Thou hast restored in Spain the former Renown of our Family there. To say all (what is the most arduous Task amongst the Sons of Men) by the Lustre of thy Merit thou hast even vanquished Envy. In the mean time, since the Course of Nature is putting a Period to my Life, I request, I adjure thee, by this Right-hand, which I here present thee, and by the inviolable Faith of a Prince, to shew Tenderness to these my Sons, by Blood thy near Kinsmen; by my Favour in adopting thee, thy Brethren; nor to bestow thy Affections upon Strangers, preferably to those who are united to thee by Blood.
‘Monarchies are sustained, not by Armies, nor by Treasures, but by the Assistance of Friends cordially attached to the Monarch; Friends whom you cannot acquire by the Force of Arms, or of Gold: They are, indeed, only produced by a Course of Kindness and Fidelity. Now, upon whom can the Tie of Friendship be stronger, than upon one Brother to another? Or what Stranger can be found faithful to one, who proves an Enemy to his own Blood? I, in truth, bequeath you a Kingdom, well-established and strong, if you prove virtuous and agree together; but weak and tottering, if you act unworthily, and differ. For small Communities increase by Coalition; the mightiest perish by Disunion.
‘It is, however, more incumbent upon Thee, Jugurtha, than upon these thy Brethren, seeing thou surpassest them in Years, and in Wisdom, so to concert Measures, that no such Dissention happen: For, in all Quarrels whatever, the Strongest, even where he has suffered Wrong, is still reckoned to have done it, merely because he is most able. Now, for your Parts, Atherbal and Hiempsal, mark well, and reverence, this extraordinary Person: Imitate his brave Character; and be it your constant Endeavour, to avoid the Reproach that will follow you, if I should appear to the World to have been more happy in adopting Sons, than in begetting them.’
To all this, Jugurtha, acting a Part suitable to the Occasion, replied with Professions full of Duty; though he was apprised, that those of the King were all feigned; and he himself had conceived Purposes widely different from his Words. In a few Days after, Micipsa died; and the Princes, having celebrated his Funeral with great Magnificence, suitable to the Royal Mode there, had an Interview to regulate all public Affairs.
There Hiempsal, the Youngest of the Three, of a Spirit naturally violent, and before accustomed to manifest his Scorn of Jugurtha’s mean Birth by his Mother, seated himself on the right Side of Atherbal, to hinder Jugurtha from sitting between them; a Place esteemed the most honourable amongst the Numidians: Nay, it was with great Difficulty that he removed to the further Side, in Compliance with his Brother’s pressing Representations, that he should yield to superior Age. Then, as they fell into various Reasonings about the Direction of the State, Jugurtha, amongst other Overtures, made one, To rescind all the public Acts and Regulations of Micipsa for Five Years backwards; for that, during all that Space, he was under Dotage, and his Faculties utterly impaired. To this Hiempsal immediately answered, ‘That he was intirely of the same Sentiments; since it was but within these Three Years, that Micipsa had, by Adoption, intitled Jugurtha to a Partnership in the Sovereignty.’
This Expression sunk deeper into the Breast of Jugurtha, than any then apprehended: So that, from thenceforward, as he was under the constant Agitation of Rage and Fear, he was continually studying the Destruction of Hiempsal, and employing all his Thoughts, by what deadly Snares to effect it. But, as insidious Methods were found to operate slowly, and as his implacable Spirit felt no Remission, he determined to execute his Purpose by any means whatsoever. The Princes, at their first Meeting, which I have just mentioned, agreed, as a Remedy against mutual Contests, to divide the public Treasure; and to ascertain to each, by fixed Limits, his Portion of Empire: Insomuch that, for executing both these Designs, certain Times were settled; but the Distribution of the Treasure was to take place first.
In the mean time, the Princes retired severally to certain Towns nearest to that where the Royal Treasure lay: Hiempsal, particularly, to Thirmida, where he happened to lodge in the House of one who was principal Mace-bearer to Jugurtha; nay, one who had ever been been far in his Confidence and Favour. Jugurtha, therefore, finding this Man presented to him by Chance as a proper Instrument, loaded him with mighty Promises, and, by Force of Persuasion, engaged him to repair thither, feigning only to see his House, and then procure counterfeit Keys to the Gates; for the true Keys were constantly carried to Hiempsal. He concluded, that, whenever Matters were ripe, he would come himself, accompanied with a powerful Band.
The Numidian soon fulfilled his Orders; and, agreeably to the Scheme, introduced the Soldiers of Jugurtha by Night. They, the Moment they had Possession of the House, ran in Parties to search for the Prince; slew all whom they found asleep, with all such as they met; examined every obscure Place, forced open all that were fast, and filled the Whole with Uproar and Affright. Hiempsal, the while, was discovered, lurking in a Loft belonging to a Servant-maid; whither he had fled upon the first Tumult, full of Dread, and unacquainted with the Place. The Numidians carried his Head to Jugurtha, according to their Orders from him.
The News of a Murder so enormous instantly flew over all Africa. Terror seized Atherbal, with all who had lived under the Sovereignty of Micipsa: The Numidians formed Two Parties; the greater Number adhered to Atherbal, but all the best Soldiers to his Rival. The latter, therefore raised an Army as numerous as possible, subdued several Cities, some by Force, others by Consent, and pushed for the intire Monarchy of Numidia. Atherbal, though he had dispatched Ambassadors to Rome, to apprise the Senate of the Murder of his Brother, and of his own distressed Situation; yet, confiding in the Number of his Men, would risque a Battle; but, upon the first Encounter, he was routed; and fled for Shelter to our Province, and from thence proceeded to Rome.
When Jugurtha had thus accomplished his Views, and was Master of all Numidia, as soon as he paused, and reviewed his Misdeeds, he began to dread the Wrath of the Roman People: Neither conceived he any Hope against their Vengeance, but in the Avarice of the Nobility, and in his own Treasure. He, therefore, in a few Days, sent Ambassadors to Rome, with great Sums of Money. To them his Orders were, first, By ample Presents, to secure his former Friends; then, To engage new: In a Word, To spare no Cost to purchase whoever could be purchased.
Now, when the Ambassadors were arrived at Rome, and, in pursuance of the King’s Orders, had conveyed mighty Presents to such with whom he had lived in Intimacy and Hospitality; as also to others who then bore chief Sway in the Senate; so vast a Change ensued there, that Jugurtha, lately an Object of Abhorrence, was suddenly grown into special Favour and Regard amongst the Nobility; insomuch that many of these, some gained by Bribes, others in Hopes to be bribed, applying to every Senator apart, laboured to prevent any rigorous Resolutions against him. Then, when the Ambassadors were sufficiently secure of their Cause, a Day was assigned for the Senate to hear both Parties. It is related, that before them, Atherbal spoke in this manner:
‘Conscript Fathers, it was my Father’s Orders to me, in his last Moments, that I should consider myself as vested only with the Administration of Numidia, since the Title and Sovereignty were, indeed, Yours. He added, that I should endeavour to render all possible Aid to the Roman People, whether in Peace, or in War; should esteem you as my Kindred, consider you as supplying the Place of Relations and Affiances. If I observed these Conditions, he said, that, in your Friendship, I should find Armies and Wealth, with every Stay and Support to my Monarchy. Whilst I was setting myself strictly to perform these Injunctions of my Father, Jugurtha, a Man, of all that the Earth bears, the most barbarous and sanguinary, despoiled me of my Kingdom, with whatever else I possessed, in utter Defiance of your Authority, nor regarding, that I am the Grandson of Masinissa, and, from my Birth, a Friend and Confederate of the Roman People.
‘The Truth is, Conscript Fathers, seeing I was to fall to this Degree of Wretchedness, I earnestly wish I could have sought your Aid, rather on account of my own Merits, than those of my Forefathers; especially, that I could have merited such Aid from the Roman People, without wanting it, or, at worst, have received it as my Due. But, since Innocence proves rarely its own Defence, and as it lay not in my Breast to direct the Heart of Jugurtha, to You, Conscript Fathers, I have fled for Refuge.
‘What is my severest Misery, I am constrained to be burdensome to you, without ever having been serviceable. Other Kings, your Confederates, have been either subdued by your Arms, and then received into your Alliance, or, urged by Perils at Home, have implored your Friendship. Our Family commenced Allies to the Roman People during the War with Carthage; a Period, when the Roman Honour was more to be courted, than the Roman Fortune.
‘Consider me, O Conscript Fathers, as sprung from that Family; nor suffer the Grandson of Masinissa to apply in vain for Succour from you. If, in order to obtain it, I had no Argument to urge, besides my deplorable Fortune, that I, very lately a King, redoubtable in my Descent, in my Wealth, and in Royal Renown, am now covered with Variety of Wretchedness, beggarly, forlorn, and waiting for Assistance from others; it still became the Majesty of the Roman People, to curb Oppression, and to suffer no Man to extend his Dominion by Iniquity and Violence. Consider me in yet a stronger Light, driven out of the very Possessions, which the Roman People conferred, as their Gift, upon my Ancestors; those very Possessions, from whence my Father, and his Father, joining their Forces to yours, expulsed Syphax and the Carthaginians. They are the Effects of your Bounty, that are rent from me, Conscript Fathers: In my Sufferings you are insulted.
‘Alas! my deplorable Fate! Is this the Return to thy Generosity and Favour, O my Father! that Jugurtha, He, whom thou didst place upon the same Foot with thy own Children; He, whom thou didst leave equal Partner with them in thy Kingdom, is, of all others, the bloody Instrument to extinguish thy Race for ever? Shall our House never enjoy Tranquillity and Rest? Shall we be for ever visited with a bloody Lot; with the murdering Sword, with Flight and Expulsion?
‘Whilst the Power of Carthage subsisted, we were of course exposed to Hostility and Violence. The Enemy was at our Doors; You, our Friends, were far from us; our whole Reliance upon our Arms. After Africa was rescued from that pestilent Tyranny, we chearfully enjoyed a State of Peace: For, indeed, we had no Enemies, though still disposed to treat as such, whomsoever you should command us; when, on a sudden, Jugurtha, hardening his Heart to Cruelty, and glorying in Pride and Butchery, murders my Brother, who was also his near Kinsman, and seizes his Principality, as the Prize of the Murderer. Then, seeing he could not circumvent me by the same bloody Snares, he attacked me openly, whilst I, confiding in your supreme Power, apprehended any thing, rather than Violence and War; drove me from my Houshold, and my Country; reduced me to be an Exile, and a Wanderer; such as you behold me, destitute of all Comfort, and so overwhelmed with every Species of Wretchedness, as to find more Safety anywhere, than in my own Dominions.
‘My own Judgment was, Conscript Fathers, what I have often heard my Father declare, that whoever applied themselves with Zeal to merit your Amity, undertook, indeed, a heavy Task, but, by it, rendered themselves secure, beyond all others. Whatever lay in the Power of our Family to do for you, we have done, so as always to aslist you in all your Wars. It is in your Power, Conscript Fathers, to settle our Family in a State of Security. Our Father left behind him us Two Brothers, and, adopting Jugurtha for a Third, thought to engage him to us inviolably by such high Acts of Favour. One of the Two he has already butchered: I, who remain, have, with Difficulty, escaped his accursed Hands.
‘What shall I do? Or whither, thus forlorn, had I best have recourse? I am deprived of all Succour and Defence from those of my Lineage. Old-age has subjected my Father to the Lot of Nature: Jugurtha, against every Tye of Duty and Nature, has traiterously shed the Blood of my Brother. The rest of my Kindred, my Friends, and the Allies of my House, he has caused, where-ever he took them, to perish by various Dooms, all very tragical; some nailed to the Cross, some thrown to savage Beasts. Such of them, as are left to breathe, (very few in Number) are shut up in Dungcons, dark and hideous, there, in utter Woe, and Anguish, to protract a Life worse than Death.
‘Indeed, if I yet possessed intire whatever I have lost; if such Persons and Fortune, as now persecute me, proved now, as formerly, all smiling and friendly; I should still have recourse, for Help, to You, Conscript Fathers, whenever any public Disaster unawares befel me; to You, whom it behoves, as possessing such infinite Puissance and Empire, to protect the Cause of Justice every-where, and to remove all Oppression. In my present Distress, to whom shall I repair, or what other Assistance implore; a solitary Vagabond, driven an Exile from my native Country and Abode; a wretched Prince, destitute of all princely Fortune? Shall I apply to such People and Potentates, as are, to a Man, the sworn Enemies of our House, ever since we became your Friends? Can I possibly seek Relief from any Quarter, where there are not still remaining numberless Monuments of the Ravages committed by my Forefathers, warring on your account? Or, can any of those, who were once your Enemies, shew the least Compassion to me?
‘Add to all this the constant Documents of Masinissa to us his Descendants, that, postponing all other Nations whatsoever, we should cultivate Union only with the Roman People, nor admit of any other Engagements, or any other Confederacies; that in your Friendship we should ever find abundant Protection; and, if evil Fortune should hasten the Downfal of your Empire, we, too, must perish with you. You are still, by your own Magnanimity, and the Appointment of the Deities, mighty and opulent. All things tamely yield to your Power; all your Undertakings prosper: Whence you are able, with great Ease, to redress and avenge the Wrongs done to your Friends.
‘One Thing only I fear; lest some here, too little knowing the Spirit of Jugurtha, may be misguided by their Favour for him. Such, I am informed, are employing indefatigable Pains in his Behalf, forming Intrigues in the Senate, and importuning particular Senators, that you may decree nothing against him, whilst he is absent, and before you have heard his Defence; for that my Grievances are all forged, and that I only feign a Necessity for flying, when I might have remained with Security at home.
‘O that I could see Jugurtha here, just so circumstanced, and practising just such Fiction; him, by whose inhuman Iniquity I am exposed to these extreme Miseries! O that, in time, either You, or the immortal Gods, would manifest such Regard for the Affairs of Men, that the Parricide, who triumphs and flourishes in his Guilt and Enormities, may be doomed to suffer every racking Woe; and atone, by a Course of Agonies, for his unnatural Behaviour to his adopting Father; for spilling the Blood of my Brother; and for all the deplorable Calamities, which he has brought upon me!
‘Here, O my Brother, ever dear to my Soul! what though thou wert bereft of Life, even in thy Youth, by one, too, from whom, of all Men, it was never to have been apprehended; still I esteem thy Fall rather Matter of Joy, than of Wailing; since, by it, though thou hast lost thy Kingdom, thou hast likewise escaped Expulsion, Exile, Poverty, and all the various Miseries under which I groan. Behold me, who survive thee, plunged, forlorn, into a Sea of Affliction! driven from my paternal Throne! exposed a sad Spectacle of the Mutability of all Things human! perplexed, and uncertain what Course to take; whether I shall prosecute Vengeance for thy crying Wrongs, whilst I myself want Help to redress my own; or whether I shall try to recover my Kingdom, when my own Lot of Life or Death lies yet in the Breast and Power of others. What I wish for myself, is, by a voluntary Death, to find an honourable Issue to all my Evils and Sorrows; since I cannot live amongst Men without Scorn, should they see me despairing under my Misfortunes, and tamely submitting to Oppression.
‘Under this Difficulty, therefore, when I cannot live, but with Regret, nor die, but with Reproach, I adjure you, Conscript Fathers, by Yourselves, by your Children and Parents, by the Majesty of the Roman People, to succour the wretched Atherbal; to oppose Oppression; and not to suffer the Kingdom of Numidia, which is your own, to be contaminated by Usurpation, and by the total Slaughter of our Royal House.’
As soon as the King had done speaking, the Ambassadors from Jugurtha, relying more upon the Force of their Presents, than upon the Righteousness of their Cause, returned a short Answer, that ‘Hiempsal was slain, by the Numidians, for his Cruelty: Atherbal, who had recourse to War, unprovoked, after he was vanquished in it, complained, that his oppressive Pursuits had failed him. Jugurtha only requested the Senate, not to believe him changed from what he had approved himself at Numantia, nor lay more Stress upon the bare Words of his Enemy, than upon his own Actions and Conduct.’ Then both Atherbal and the Ambassadors withdrew; and the Debate immediately began.
All the Patrons of Jugurtha, as also a great many corrupted by their Influence and Authority, treated with Scorn whatever had been alleged by Atherbal; but exalted, with high Strains of Praise, the Bravery of Jugurtha, solicited for him, pleaded for him, and, indeed, exerted all their Endeavours, every way, to defend the Crimes and Infamy of another, as if they had been vindicating their own Character and Fame. In Opposition to these, there were some few, who, preferring Justice, and good Conscience, to Money, proposed it, as their Advice, To succour Atherbal, and severely to revenge the Murder of his Brother. He who urged this with the greatest Keenness, was Marcus Æmilius Scaurus, a Man of high Quality, of a restless Spirit, full of Faction, passionate for Power, and Honours, and Riches; but, withal, very dextrous in concealing his Vices. Scaurus, observing the King’s Treasures to be distributed to the Senators, in a way so open and shameless, as to be publicly infamous, apprehended, what usually happens on the like Occasion, that such prostitute Venality would rouse popular Indignation; and, therefore, now restrained his natural Passion for Money.
In the Senate, however, that Party prevailed, who hearkened to Price and Influence, rather than to Right. A Decree was made, appointing Ten Commissioners to divide the whole Dominions possessed by Micipsa between Jugurtha and Atherbal. The leading Man in the Commission was Lucius Opimius, one highly distinguished, and, then, of prevailing Credit in the Senate; because he had, when Consul, slain Caius Gracchus, and Marcus Fulvius; and, by furious Havock amongst the Populace, terribly avenged the Nobility upon the Plebeians. Jugurtha well knew Opimius to be one of his Patrons at Rome, yet received and courted him anew, with the most studied Caresses, presented him liberally, promised him copiously, and, indeed, gained him so effectually, that he came to prefer the King’s Interest to his own Reputation and Conscience, and to every near Concern. Jugurtha accosted the other Commissioners with the same Arts, and gained most of them: To some few their Faith and Honour proved dearer than Money. In dividing the Kingdom, that Part of Numidia which is bounded by Mauritania, and excels in Men and Soil, was assigned to Jugurtha. Atherbal had the other Share; indeed better provided with Harbours, and more improved with Buildings, but of much more Shew than of Strength and Importance.
My Undertaking seems here to require me briefly to describe the Situation of Africa, and to present a short Account of such Nations there, with whom we have ever maintained Amity or War. Of the other Countries and People, such as excessive Heat, or the Rigour and Pain of Travelling, or even mighty and unhospitable Desarts, have rendered less accessible and frequented; as I want sufficient Information about them, I shall attempt no Account at all. What I have to say of the rest, I shall dispatch very succinctly.
In the Partition of the Globe, most Writers consider Africa as a third Part of the Whole. There are but very few who divide it into Two Parts only, namely Asia and Europe, and in Europe include Africa. It is bounded, on the West, by the Streights which join the Ocean to our Sea; on the East, by immense Plains, proceeding in a continual Slope; and called, by the Natives, Catabathmos. The Sea of Africa is tempestuous, and unfurnished with Harbours; the Soil fruitful in Corn, kindly to Cattle, barren of Trees: Here the Sky yields little Rain; the Earth few Sources of Water. The People have hale Bodies, are very fleet, and easily bear Fatigue: Most of them die only of Age; unless it be such as the Sword or wild Beasts destroy; for few are cut off by Discases. Of destructive Creatures they have, indeed, great Store.
Concerning the original Inhabitants of Africa, and such as afterwards passed thither, with the Manner of their intermixing together, I shall here subjoin a very short Account, different, I own, from the current Opinion with us, but taken from their Books, said to have been those of Hiempsal, as the same were explained to me, agreeably to the constant Persuasion of the Natives. For the Truth, however, of the Relation, let the Authors of it be answerable.
The first Possessors of Africa were the Getulians and Libyans; a Race altogether brutal and savage, eating the Flesh of Beasts, or seeding upon wild Herbs, like Cattle; subject to no Rules or Discipline, nor to social Laws, nor to any Authority or Ruler whatsoever. As they lived roaming and vagabond, where-ever Night constrained them to rest, there they found their Mansion. But after Hercules died, as the Africans conjecture, in Spain, and his Army, formed of divers Nations, now bereft of their Leader, coming soon to disperse, whilst numerous Competitors to succeed him in the Command started up on all hands, such of his Followers as were Persians, Medes, and Armenians, sailed over to Africa, and possessed themselves of the Territory lying along our Sea; the Persians settling more Westerly than the rest, and nearer to the Ocean. These latter made themselves Dwellings of their Ships turned upside-down: For the Country yielded no Timber; nor was there an Opportunity of procuring it, by Money, or Traffick, from Spain; such was the great Distance by Sea, and such their Language, not understood there, as to restrain them from all Intercourse in Trade. By degrees, they mixed, through Intermarriages, with the Getulians; and, because they rambled continually hither and thither, seeking out and trying fresh Pasture, they called themselvesNumidians. Moreover, the Houses of the Numidian Peasants, by them called Mapalia, or Huts, are, to this Day, shaped like the Hulls of Ships, long and narrow, the Covering of the Roof swelling in the Middle, and sloping at each End.
Now, the Libyans, whose Abode was near the African Sea, chose to incorporate themselves with the Medes and Armenians: For the Getulians lay more to the Sun; indeed, almost under his perpendicular Rays. The Libyans had reared Cities very early; since, as they were separated from Spain only by the Streight, they held mutual Commerce with that Country. By little and little the Name of the Medes was lost, in the barbarous Language of Libya, and corruptly turned into that of Moors.
Now the Persians suddenly rose to great Power and Prosperity; insomuch that, because of their mighty Numbers, the Youth left their Parents; and, under this new Name of Numidians, took Possession of the Regions which border upon Carthage, and are still called Numidia. Thenceforward, continuing to support each other, they brought, by Force or Fear, the Nations on every Side under their Dominion. Thus they procured to themselves high Reputation and Glory; more especially those of them who advanced farthest along our Sea-coast; for that the Libyans were sound less warlike than the Getulians.
At last, the lower Africa was almost intirely occupied and ruled by the Numidians; and the Conquered, becoming all one People with the Conquerors, were called by the same Name. Afterwards arrived the Phœnicians; some sent from Home, to case their native Country, oppressed with Numbers; others, from Ambition, decoyed away the Populace, with Design to govern them; and many were led by a Passion for Novelty and Change. The Phœnicians, founded Hippo, Adrumetum, Leptis, and other maritime Cities, which soon became powerful and flourishing, and proved, some of them, a Support, others an Honour, to those from whence they sprang. For, concerning Carthage, I hold it more just to speak nothing, than to speak but little; seeing it is also time to pursue another Task.
From the Plains of Catabathmos, (which are the Boundaries separating Egypt from Africa) following the Sea-coast, the first City is that of Cyrene, a Greek Colony from Thera. Next are the Two Syrtes: Between them stands Leptis; and then the Altars, raised to the Two Brothers Phileni, which limited the Dominions of Carthage towards Egypt: Afterwards are found other Punic Cities. All the other Territories, quite to Mauritania, are occupied by the Numidians. The Moors are situated nearest to Spain. Above Numidia, as I have learned, live the Getulians; some in Huts, others wild and roaming. Beyond these are the Ethiopians; and, further on, Regions utterly scorched by the Rays of the Sun. Now, during this War, the Roman People had Governors of their own, in most of the Punic Cities, and in the Territories lately belonging to Carthage. Great Part of the Getulians were subject to Jugurtha; so were the Numidians, as far as the River Mulucha. The Moors were all under the Sovereignty of Bocchus, who knew nothing of the Romans, farther than their Name; neither was He before known to Them, by any Intercourse of War or Peace. I have now discoursed of Africa, and its Inhabitants, sufficiently for my present Purpose.
After this new Partition of the Numidian Monarchy, by the Roman Deputies, and their Return Home, when Jugurtha, contrary to what he dreaded, found his Usurpation and Parricide crowned with high Rewards, he held for certain, what he had learned from his Friends at Numantia, That all Things whatsoever were subject to Sale at Rome. He was also animated, by the Offers of Assistance from such as he had lately loaded with Liberalities; and thus determined to seize the Principality of Atherbal: He was, indeed, himself extremely daring, and a complete Warrior; but he whose Destruction he sought, was meek, spiritless, of a gentle Temper, and obnoxious to Violence; more subject to be terrified, than to create Terror.
He, therefore, on a sudden, invades his Territories, at the Head of a powerful Band; takes numerous Captives, Flocks and Herds, and other Booty; sets Fire to the Dwellings; and, scouring with his Horse from Quarter to Quarter, ravaged all, as an open Enemy. He then returned home, with all his Prisoners and Spoil: For he judged, that Atherbal would be so sharpened by Resentment, as to seek Redress by Arms, and thence furnish Pretence for a War. But he, besides that he thought not himself a Match for Jugurtha in War, and, withal, relying more upon the Friendship of the Romans, than upon his own Subjects, sent Deputies to complain to Jugurtha of such Outrages: And, though these Deputies returned with Answers full of Insult and Scorn, yet he determined, rather to suffer all Things, than have recourse to War, which he had tried before to his Loss.
Neither thus could he allay the Lust of Usurpation in Jugurtha; as one who had, in his own Mind, already conquered the intire Dominions of Atherbal: Insomuch that, ceasing his late Incursions by predatory Bands, and forming a great Army, he made open War at the Head of it, and, avowedly, pushed for the Sovereignty of all Numidia. With this View, on every hand as he marched, he seized Towns, ravaged the Country, and committed universal Plunder; striving, at once, to heighten the Courage of his own Men, and the Consternation of his Enemy.
Atherbal, when he perceived himself so pushed, that he must either abandon his Kingdom, or try, by Arms, to defend it, yielding to Necessity, levies Forces, and marches against Jugurtha: So that both Armies encamped by the City of Cirta, not far from the Sea; but as it was very late in the Day, no Engagement immediately ensued; nor till most of the Night was past: Then, just upon the Dawn of Day, Jugurtha’s Soldiers, upon a Signal given, assailed the Intrenchments of the Enemy; where, falling upon some searce awake, upon others just betaking themselves to Arms, they utterly vanquished and routed them. Atherbal, accompanied with a few Horse, escaped to Cirta; and, had not such of the Citizens as were Italians, in great Numbers, repulsed the pursuing Numidians from the Walls, upon the same Day had been begun and concluded the War between the Two Kings.
Jugurtha, thus disappointed, begirt the City; and, by Towers, and covered Galleries, and every other Engine of Battery, laboured to force it; as he was eager to take it, ere the Deputies, whom he had learned to have been dispatched to Rome, by Atherbal, before the Battle, were arrived there: But, as the Senate were first advertised of the War, they sent, forthwith, into Africa, Three Embassadors, all young Men, with Orders, to repair to each of the Two Kings; and, in solemn Form, declare to them the express Will and Appointment of the Senate and People of Rome; ‘That they should forbear contending at Arms; and refer their Differences rather to the Decision of the Civil Tribunal, than to that of the Sword: Thus they would act suitably to the Dignity of Rome, as well as to their own respective Interests.’
The Ambassadors arrived in Africa, with great Expedition; the more, because, at Rome, whilst they were preparing to depart, a Report had arrived both of the Fight, and of the Siege of Cirta; though it was but a feeble Report, not much credited. When they had declared their Commission to Jugurtha, he answered, ‘That, by him, nothing was held higher, nothing dearer, than the Authority of the Senate: From his tender Years, he had bent his Endeavours to gain the Esteem of all Men of distinguished Merit. He had procured the Friendship of that excellent Person, Publius Scipio, by virtuous Actions, not by base Practices. Micipsa, from the same Recommendations, and no Want of Children of his own, had adopted him Coheir with them to his Sovereignty. Yet still the brighter and braver his Course had been, the less could his Soul brook Insults and Wrongs. Atherbal had contrived Snares against his Life: When he had discovered them, he applied himself to defeat the intended Parricide. The Roman People would act neither wisely nor uprightly, were they to restrain him from pursuing the common Righr of Nations. Finally, he would very soon send to Rome certain Deputies; such as would explain and adjust all Affairs whatsoever.’
Thus he and the Deputies parted; nor were they allowed any Access to Atherbal. Jugurtha, as soon as he conceived the Deputies to have left Africa, and seeing that Cirta, from the Strength of its Situation, could not be taken by Assault, invests it with a Trench and Palisade, builds Towers, and furnishes them with armed Men. He was also Night and Day trying all Schemes, both of Force and Artifice; now to tempt the Garison with great Rewards; anon to terrify them with Boasts of his Power; still rouseing the Courage of his own Men, by pathetic Speeches. He, in truth, exerted all his Art and Industry in all Points.
Atherbal, finding himself, and all his imperial Fortune, reduced to extreme Peril, his Enemy implacable, no Hopes of Relief, and, through Scarcity of Provisions, an Impossibility of protracting the War, chose, from amongst those who had accompanied him in his Flight to Cirta, Two of the most remarkable for Activity and Spirit; and, by many high Promises, as well as by the sad Representation of his Sufferings, engaged them to venture, by Night, through the Enemy’s Intrenchments, directly to the next Shore, and thence to Rome. The Two Numidians, in a few Days, executed their Orders: Atherbal’s Letter was presented to the Senate, and there read, in the following Strain:
‘It is not my Fault, that I am thus become a frequent Suitor to you, Conscript Fathers: The Fury of Jugurtha forces me; a Man possessed wirh such a Passion to destroy me, that he regards neither your Resentment, nor even that of the immortal Gods. It is my Blood which he seeks above all Things: Insomuch that, though I am an avowed Friend and Confederate of the Roman People, I have been besieged by him for near Five Months: Neither do the mighty Favours conferred upon him by my Father Micipsa, nor your awful Decrees in my Behalf, conduce at all to succour me. I am even unable to declare, whether Famine, or the Sword, doth most keenly assault me.
‘Such, however, is my unhappy Situation, as to discourage me from multiplying Complaints against Jugurtha; since I have had already sad Experience, what little Belief is given to the Words of the Miserable: Yet I will add, that I perceive his Aim to be much higher than me; and that he can never hope at once to enjoy your Friendship, and my Kingdom: For which of these he is most solicitous, is a Doubt to no Man. For, first, he murdered my Brother Hiempsal; then chased me out of my paternal Kingdom. Suppose these Barbarities to be only interesting to our Family, and nowise affecting you: He now possesses, by Violence, a Kingdom which is yours: So that I, who was, by you, established Monarch of Numidia, am, by him, shut up and besieged. What Regard he pays to an Embassy from you, delivered him by your own Deputies, my many Streights and Perils abundantly declare. What remains, but that you have present recourse to Arms; since by these only he can be reclaimed?
‘For myself, I would much rather chuse, that all these my present Representations to you, with all the Complaints which I have already made before the Senate, were alike false and groundless, than have them thus verified by my own deplorable Sufferings. But, since I am doomed, by Fate, to be a Spectacle of the bloody Iniquities of Jugurtha, I do not now implore you to redeem me from Death, nor from Distress, but only to preserve me from falling into the Hands of my cruel Enemy, and from the Agonies of the Rack. About the Kingdom of Numidia, which, indeed, belongs to you, direct such Measures to be taken as you best approve. In the mean time, rescue me from his savage Vengeance: To this I conjure you, by the Majesty of the Roman State, by the sacred Faith of mutual Friendship and Alliance, if any Veneration yet remains amongst you for your antient Confederate, my Grandfather Masinissa.’
When this Letter was read in the Senate, there were some Senators who proposed, to have an Army dispatched into Africa, Succours to be transmitted to Atherbal, and that the Senate should forthwith proceed to pass some Judgment upon Jugurtha, for having disobeyed their Orders, conveyed to him by their Deputies. But the King’s wonted Advocates there persisted, with notable Vigour, to oppose any such Ordinance against him: So that it happened in this, as in most Instances, that public Utility was forced to submit to private Interest. Ambassadors were, however, chosen, of Age and Dignity; such as had exercised the highest Offices; particularly, Marcus Scaurus, whom I have already mentioned, a Person of Consular Rank, and then Prince of the Senate.
These, perceiving the popular Indignation raised, and, being, moreover, earnestly implored by the Numidians, embarked within Three Days; and, quickly arriving at Utica, wrote to Jugurtha, ‘To come to them, with all Speed, into the Roman Province; for that they were sent to him by the Senate.’
He, when he had learned, that Men of such signal Eminence, who bore high Sway at Rome, were purposely come to cross his Pursuits, was distracted between Fear, and Thirst of Power. He dreaded the Indignation of the Senate, if he obeyed not their Ambassadors; but still his Soul, blinded by Ambition, drove him headlong to accomplish his bloody Undertaking. In his unbounded and unrelenting Spirit the criminal Counsel prevailed: Thus he assaulted the Town with his whole Army, on every Side; and strove, with all his Might, to force an Entrance; as he chiefly hoped, that, having thus separated the Enemy’s Forces, he should have a Chance for Victory, either from Strength or Stratagem. As the Event disappointed his Hopes, and as he could not effect what he had studied, to get Possession of Atherbal, before he met the Ambassadors, he would not, by more Delays, incense Scaurus, of whom he had exceeding Awe; but, accompanied with a few Horse, proceeded into the Roman Province. Yet there, though he heard the high Menaces denounced against him, in the Name of the Senate, for still persevering in the Siege, after a long Debate, the Ambassadors departed without Success.
When all this came to be known at Cirta, the Italians there, by whose Bravery only the Town was defended, persuading themselves, that the awful Power of the Roman People would procure certain Impunity to their Persons after a Surrender, counselled Atherbal, To yield himself, and the Place, to Jugurtha, stipulating only for his Life; for that the Senate would effectually interpose in whatever else concerned him. Atherbal was aware, that any Expedient of any kind was rather to be trusted than the Faith of Jugurtha; yet, considering, that they who advised him had Power to force him, if he refused, submitted to what the Italians proposed, and surrendered. The first Fury of Jugurtha fell upon Atherbal, whom he strait put to Death upon the Rack: Then his Soldiers butchered, on all hands, all the Numidian Youth, and all the foreign Traders without Distinction.
At Rome, when Intelligence of this arrived there, and began to produce Debates in the Senate, the same Men who had been the King’s former Champions in it, laboured to qualify the Horror of his Guilt, often by Intrigues, and Application to particular Senators, and often gaining Time by long Speeches and Cavilings. In truth, had not Caius Memmius, Tribune of the People elect, a Man of great Spirit, and a determined Foe to the mighty Sway of the Nobility, thoroughly apprised the Roman People, whither all this tended; even that, by the Intrigues of a small Cabal, Jugurtha might obtain Impunity for his crying Crimes; it is certain, that the public Horror against him would have vanished by their studiously protracting the Proceedings: So mighty was the Force of Favour, and that of the King’s Treasure.
But the Senate, who were struck with their own criminal Omission, and dreaded the Resentment of the People, in Compliance with the Sempronian Law, now decreed to the ensuing Consuls Numidia and Italy for their Provinces, the former to Lucius Bestia Calpurnius, Italy to Publius Scipio Nasica; for these Two were already nominated to the Consulship: Next, Forces were inrolled for an Army to be transported immediately to Africa; and an Ordinance made for their Payment, and for all the Appointments and Expence of the War.
Now when Jugurtha had Information of these Proceedings, so opposite to his Hopes, as an Opinion had strongly possessed him, That at Rome all Things whatsoever were obtainable by Money, he dispatched away his Son, accompanied with Two trusty Minions, on an Embassy to the Senate, furnished with the same Orders given to his former Ambassadors, sent thither after the Assassination of Hiempsal, ‘That they should, with Treasure, tempt all Sorts of Men.’ These were already advancing towards Rome, when Bestia had recourse to the Judgment of the Senate, ‘Whether they esteemed it proper to admit the Deputies of Jugurtha within the Walls?’ And it was decreed, ‘That, unless they came to deliver up both their King and Kingdom, they must quit Italy within Ten Days.’ This Resolution the Consul signified, as he was ordered, to the Numidians. Thus they returned without any Point gained.
Calpurnius, the while, having completed his Army, chose for his Lieutenant-Generals, such Persons as were, at once, signal in Quality and Caballing; Persons of sufficient Weight to justify whatever wrong Measures he might take: Of that Number was Scaurus, of whose Spirit and Conduct I have above given an Account. In truth, the Consul himself had many valuable Recommendations, both of Mind and Body, but all rendered fruitless by predominant Avarice: He was a Man capable of every Fatigue, of vigorous Spirit, of abundant Forecast; no-wise untrained in War, never to be moved by Peril, nor disconcerted by Surprize.
The Legions, marching through Italy to Rhegium, were transported to Sicily; thence to Africa: So that Calpurnius, who, indeed, had early furnished himself with all necessary Provisions, invaded Numidia with notable Vigour, took a Multitude of Prisoners, and stormed several Cities. But no sooner had Jugurtha begun, by his Emissaries, to tempt him with Treasure, and to represent to him the severe Discouragements and Hazards attending the War which he had undertaken, than his Soul, frail with Avarice, quickly yielded. He, however, engaged Scaurus with him, as a Sharer and Adviser in all his Measures: For though Scaurus, at first, even when most of his Faction were already corrupted, had opposed that King’s Cause with all his Might; yet now, by the Force of a mighty Sum, he deserted a Course of Justice and Honour, for one of Injustice and Venality.
In truth, Jugurtha, at first, aimed only at purchasing Time, and a Cessation of War; as he thought, that, in the mean while, by the Aid of his Friends, or that of his Money, he should find Success at Rome: But when he learned, that Scaurus had engaged in the Cause, he entertained high Hopes of gaining a final Peace; and thence determined, in Person, to concert the several Articles with these his Patrons. In the Interval, as a Pledge for his Security in coming, Sextus the Quæstor was dispatched, by the Consul, to Vacca, a Town where the King then was: For which Journey another Pretence was furnished; that of receiving a Quantity of Grain, which Calpurnius had publicly ordered the Deputies of Jugurtha to provide; since he was to grant them a Cessation of Arms, till the Treaty for Surrender was concluded.
At last, Jugurtha, pursuing his Scheme, entered the Roman Camp; where, after a short Address to the Council of Officers, to extenuate the Abhorrence of his Proceedings, he proposed to yield himself up to the Romans. The Conditions were all settled afterwards, in private, with Bestia and Scaurus. Next Day, his Surrender, all secretly concerted, was formally accepted, as if it had been concluded, after regular Debate, by the general Concurrence of Voices. There were, therefore, delivered to the Quæstor Thirty Elephants, a Number of Horses, with some Cattle, and a moderate Sum of Money; all agreeably to the Injunction from the Council of Officers. Calpurnius then proceeded to Rome, to assist at the Election of Magistrates. In Numidia, the while, and in our Army there, absolute Tranquillity reigned.
Now, when the Transactions in Africa were, by common Fame, divulged, as also under what Management they had passed, the Behaviour of the Consul was loudly canvased in all Companies and Assemblies at Rome: The People declared their Detestation: The Senate was sorely perplexed: Nor could it certainly be inferred, whether they would confirm the infamous Treaty, or condemn the Ordinance of the Consul.
What principally obstructed them from pursuing just and virtuous Counsels, was the great Sway and Influence of Scaurus; because he was affirmed to have been the Prompter and Associate of Bestia. During this Irresolution, and these Pauses of the Senate, Caius Memmius, whom I have before mentioned, as a Man of a bold and a free Spirit, and a declared Enemy to the mighty Sway of the Nobility, had recourse to the People; and, in their Assemblies, urged them, by pathetic Speeches, to vindicate their own Wrongs; warned them, never to abandon the Commonwealth, never to forsake the Cause of Liberty: He strongly represented all the Acts of Power of the Nobility, many very imperious, many very barbarous; and earnestly pursuing his Purpose, was daily, by all Methods, inflaming the Minds of the Populace.
Now, seeing the Eloquence of Memmius was, at this Juncture, in high Renown, and of powerful Influence, at Rome, I have judged it expedient, to transcribe one of his Speeches, out of many; and, above all, that which, upon the Return of Bestia, he made to an Assembly of the People, in the following Strain:
‘Were not my Passion for the Commonweal superior to all Things, there are many Considerations to withdraw me from this my Adherence to you, Romans; Considerations indeed! The terrible Puissance of the opposite Party; your own servile Patience; a scandalous Failure of all Justice; above all, Innocence and Integrity rather exposed to Danger, than attended with Recompence and Honour. For it is painful to me to recount, how, for Fifteen Years past, you have proved the Scorn of a few Grandees! how infamously your great Champions have perished, first undefended, then unrevenged! As if your wonted Vigour were overcome by Effeminacy and Stupidity; since, even now, you rouse not yourselves to make a Stand against your Enemies, though thus lying at your Mercy: Nay, even now, you are awed by those whom, by improving the present Conjuncture, you should cause to tremble.
‘Yet, though this be the sad Course of Things, still my Zeal forces me to encounter all the Power of the Cabal; not will I fail boldly to exercise that Liberty which my Father conveyed down to me: Indeed, in your own Hands it lies, O Romans, whether I exercise it fruitlessly, or with certain Advantage.
‘Still I mean not to persuade you, by Arms, to remove so many Wrongs; though it be what your Forefathers have frequently done. Here is no need of Violence; none of retreating out of Rome; since they must inevitably fall headlong in their own wild Pursuits. After the Assassination of Tiberius Gracchus, whom they charged to have aimed at Sovereignty, they doomed many of the Roman People to Executions, Racks, and Banishments. After the Murder of Caius Gracchus, and that of Marcus Fulvius, they doomed great Numbers of your Body to perish in Dungeons: Neither was it the Authority of the Law, but their own good Pleasure, that at last stayed the Progress of both these Massacres.
‘But be it so, that the restoring their Rights to the People, was to introduce single Sovereignty; be it so, that it was lawful, even by spilling the Blood of Roman Citizens, to redress what could not be otherwise redressed: Yet, remember, with what secret Regret you have, for a Series of Years, beheld the public Treasure robbed; beheld the Tribute from powerful Kings, Tribute from great independent Nations, all paid to a few of the Nobility; beheld those Few, Masters of all public Honours, of Rule without Controul, of Wealth without Bounds.
‘Nay, they hold it a small Matter, to have committed so many and so high Excesses with Impunity: They, therefore, as their last Effort, have betrayed to the common Enemy the Laws of the State, the Majesty of You the Roman People, with whatever is dearest to the Gods and to Men.
‘Neither, for all these enormous Doings, do the Authors of them feel Remorse or Shame: Quite otherwise; they pass daily in your View with magnificent Pomp; all proudly displaying, some their Pontifical, some their Consular, nay, some their Triumphal Dignities: As if such Dignities, so placed, were real Marks of Honour, and not the Trappings of Usurpation and Rapine. Slaves, purchased with Money, submit not to the unjust Commands of their Masters: Can you, that are Romans, born to command, tamely endure the Yoke of Slavery!
‘But who are they who have thus ingrossed the Commonwealth to themselves? The most criminal and guilty of all Men; their Hands dyed with Blood; enormously rapacious; of matchless Wickedness, and matchless Arrogance; Men who convert Faith and Honour, public Trust, and public Spirit, in a Word, whatever is just or unjust, into Traffick and Gain. Some of them derive their Security from the Murder of your Tribunes; others from the lawless Arraignments of your Brethren; most of all from their having butchered you in a Body: Insomuch that whoever hath done you the highest Mischief, is in the highest Safety. Instead of fearing you, after so many Crimes, from your Want of Spirit they make you fear them. As they all agree in the same Objects of Hate, Avidity, and Fear, they are thence all linked together in a common Band of Union; such a Union as, amongst worthy Men, constitutes Friendship, but, amongst guilty Men, proves only Faction and Conspiracy.
‘Doubtless, were You as zealous for your Liberty, as They are passionate for Tyranny, neither would the Commonwealth be rent piece-meal, as it is, nor the Honours in your Gift be conferred upon the most confident and assuming, but upon the most deserving. Twice did your Forefathers withdraw their Obedience from the Senate, and retire, under Arms, to Mount Aventine; in order to obtain equal Laws, and to establish the Dignity of the People: Will not you struggle, with your utmost Might, to maintain the Liberty which they have delivered down to you? Nay, will you not struggle with the more Ardour, as it is higher Infamy to abandon Blessings once procured, than never to have procured them?
‘Here some of you will desire to know my own Opinion: It is, That you punish those who have sacrificed the Commonwealth to a public Enemy: I do not mean by tumultuous Force, or any sudden Violence; a Method of Vengeance, indeed, more befitting Them to suffer, than You to inflict; but by strict Process and Arraignment, and even by the Evidence of Jugurtha himself: For, if that King have really delivered himself up, you will find him obsequious to all your Commands; whereas, if he reject them, you will clearly discern, what sort of Peace and Submission this is, from whence there accrues, to Jugurtha, Impunity for all his tragical Crimes; mighty Wealth to a few Grandees; and to the Roman State such mighty Loss and Disgrace.
‘But, possibly, you are not yet tired with the Domineering of these Men; nay, postpone any Change whatever to the late Course of Things; when Kingdoms, Provinces, Law, and Right, the public Tribunals, and all Decision of Process, with War and Peace; finally, every thing, divine and human; depended upon the sole Will of a Cabal: Whilst You, even You, the People of Rome, though still found invincible to your foreign Enemies, still confessed Lords of the World, continued satisfied, that you were allowed to live: For, in this general Bondage, was there one of you daring enough to resist it? For myself, though I judge it notorious Infamy in a Man, to bear an Insult tamely; yet I should, with Temper, see you spare the most guilty Offenders, because they are your Fellow-citizens; were not your Mercy to Them manifestly tending to your Own Destruction.
‘So determined, in truth, are these Men, that you will have gained little with them, by a Remission of their Enormities past, unless you bereave them of all Power to repeat them. Nay, eternal Anxiety would abide you, when you perceived, that you must either remain constant Slaves, or be constantly supporting your Liberty by Arms. For what Hope is there of any mutual Confidence and Union between Them and You? They study to be Lords; You to be free: They to oppress you; You to restrain Oppression: In short, they treat your Confederates like public Enemies; your Enemies like Confederates. Can there ever be Peace and Reconciliation amongst Minds of widely estranged from each other?
‘I, therefore, warn and exhort you, never to suffer Iniquity so high and insupportable to escape condign Vengeance. This is not a Charge of robbing the Exchequer, nor of Violence and Extortion upon our Confederates; Crimes very heinous, but grown habitual, and thence accounted for nothing. Behold now the Authority of the Senate, behold your own sovereign Power, both basely betrayed to a very dreadful Foe: The Republic has been exposed to Sale in our Assemblies at home, and in our Armies abroad; Crimes so daring, that if they be not prosecuted if they be not punished in the Persons of the Criminals, what other Choice remains, than to live under Bondage to those who committed them? For the Power of an absolute King is no more than to do what he lists.
‘After all, my Intention, O Romans, is not to raise a Wish in you, rather to find these your Fellow-citizens to have acted corruptly than worthily: I only warn you, that you do not, by pardoning the Wicked, expose the Righteous to perish. I add, that it behoves a State, to be rather forgetful of Services than of Injuries. A worthy Man, neglected, becomes only less active; whilst a bad Man, unchecked, grows daily worse. Besides, when Wrongs and Oppression cease, you will seldom need Recourse to Champions and Assistance.’
By frequently repeating these and the like Reasonings, Caius Memmius prevailed with the Roman People to send Lucius Cassius, then Prætor, on a Commission to Jugurtha; that, by pledging the public Faith to that Prince, he should bring him to Rome; whence, by the Testimony of Jugurtha in Person, the Iniquity of Scaurus and others, who had been purchased with Money to betray their Trust, might be exposed to full Light, Whilst these Measures were taking at Rome, the Officers left by Bestia to command the Army in Numidia, imitating the Conduct of their General, committed very many and very crying Enormities. Some, bribed by the King’s Money, restored him his Elephants; others sold him his Deserters; the rest plundered Places under Compacts of Peace with the Romans. So violent was the Spirit of Rapaciousness; which, like a Pestilence, had seized them all.
Now Cassius the Prætor, authorized by this popular Ordinance, gained at the Suit of Memmius, to the great Surprize and Abasement of the Nobility, proceeded to Jugurtha; and persuaded him, though under much Fear, and, from the Alarms of a guilty Mind, distrusting his own Cause, ‘That, since he was already bound, by surrendering himself up to the Roman People, he should now resolve, rather to try their Commiseration, than their Resentment and Power.’ He likewise plighted to him his own Faith; which Jugurtha esteemed an equal Security to that of the Public: In such high Estimation at that time was the Character of Cassius.
Jugurtha, therefore, accompanied Cassius to Rome; divested, however, of all Royal Magnificence, and in a Dress the most adapted to raise Compassion. But though he had naturally a very bold Spirit, and was hardened by all those upon whose Guilt and Sway he had relied, in perpetrating all his Iniquities, above recited; yet, at the Expence of a mighty Sum, he purchased the Aid of Caius Bæbius Tribune of the People; as one who had Impudence to support him, in spight of Law, and all Attacks whatsoever.
Now when the People were assembled by Caius Memmius, notwithstanding their Rage against Jugurtha was so high, that some of them loudly doomed him to Irons, as did others to Execution, like a public Enemy, according to the rigorous Usage of Antiquity, unless he discovered his Associates at Rome; yet Memmius, more studious to maintain the Dignity of the Roman People, than to humour their Fury, applied himself to calm their Uproar, and to appease their Spirit: He declared himself determined to observe inviolably the public Faith plighted to that Prince. At last, when Silence ensued, he caused Jugurtha to be brought forth; and then, pursuing his Speech, he recounted all his black Proceedings, in Rome, as well as in Numidia; exposed his foul Ingratitude to his adopting Father, with the Butchery of his Two Brothers: He declared, that the Roman People, though well apprised by whose Aid, and by what Instruments, he had gone through the Whole, still insisted upon particular Information from the King himself. If, in making it, he proved explicit and sincere, he had much to hope from the Clemency and plighted Faith of the People of Rome: If he suppressed the Truth, he would not only be disappointed in saving his Accomplices, but destroy himself, and all his Hopes, for ever.
When Memmius had concluded his Speech, and Jugurtha was ordered to answer, the Tribune Bæbius, whom I have mentioned to have been gained to his Interest by Money, injoined the King to be silent: Nay, though the whole Multitude, then assembled, were dreadfully enraged, so as to menace him with terrifying Looks and Cries, nay, with Efforts of Violence, and whatever else popular Indignation inspires, he had the extreme Impudence to brave it all. Upon this Mockery the People separated. Hence Jugurtha, Bestia, and the rest, though at first all terribly alarmed by this popular Prosecution, became now the more sanguine and secure.
During this Conjuncture, a certain Numidian was found at Rome, his Name Massiva, Son of Gulussa, and Grandchild of Masinissa: He, having, in the War amongst the Three Princes, joined against Jugurtha, when he afterwards saw Cirta surrendered, and Atherbal murdered, had fled out of Africa. This Numidian was persuaded, by Spurius Albinus, who, with Quintus Minutius Rufus for his Collegue, had succeeded Bestia in the Consulship, to make Suit to the Senate for the Kingdom; as he was descended from Masinissa, and Jugurtha was pursued by universal Abhorrence for his Barbarities, and under daily Dread of his Fate.
That Consul, who had a mighty Passion for directing the War, studied rather to promote public Commotions, than to see them composed. It was to his Lot the Province of Numidia had fallen; as had that of Macedonia to Minucius. When Massiva began to pursue his Suit, Jugurtha, who found the Succour of his Friends to fail him, some of them restrained by Guilt and Remorse, others by public Infamy and Dread, gave strict Orders to Bomilcar, his closest and most faithful Confident, ‘That, by the Power of Money, whence he had conquered numerous Difficulties, he should engage Assassins to dispatch Massiva; and to do it with the utmost Secrecy; but, if cautious Means proved ineffectual, to take any Method whatever to destroy him.’
Bomilcar forthwith complied with the King’s Commands; and, employing Persons well-skilled in such dark Adventures, discovered the Course of his Rambles and Sallies, with all his set Times and Haunts; and, when Things were ripe, concerted the Manner of the Assassination: When, therefore, the Gang were all properly posted to execute the Murder, one of them attacked Massiva; but so rashly, that, though he effectually slew him, he was himself seized; and, finding himself pressed by many, especially by Albinus the Consul, offered to confess all.
Bomilcar was arraigned, rather upon the Principles of eternal Reason and Justice, than according to the Law of Nations; for he accompanied a Prince who had come to Rome, on Security of the public Faith. Jugurtha, though manifestly guilty of this glaring Murder, spared no Efforts to baffle the Truth; till he perceived, that the Horror of the Crime surpassed the Power of Favour, and of all his Treasure: Insomuch that, notwithstanding he had, upon the Arraignment of Bomilcar, engaged the Persons of Fifty of his Friends, as Sureties, that Bomilcar should abide his Trial, he sent him secretly away to Numidia; as he preferred the Safety of his Crown to that of the Sureties: For he apprehended, that his other Subjects would be deterred from yielding him Obedience, were Bomilcar left to be executed.
In a few Days he himself withdrew, upon an Order to him from the Senate, To depart out of Italy. Upon his leaving Rome, it is reported, that, having cast his Eyes frequently back thither without uttering a Word, he, at last, pronounced it, ‘A City abandoned to Venality; and ripe for Perdition, whenever an able Purchaser appeared.’
As the War was the while revived, Albinus hastened to transport into Africa Subsistence and Pay for the Soldiers, with whatever else was necessary for the Use of an Army; and arrived himself presently amongst them, with Design speedily to terminate the War, either by beating the Enemy, or by a Treaty of Submission, or by any other Means, before the Return of the Time, then approaching, for the annual Election of Magistrates. Jugurtha, contrariwise, interposed perpetual Delays; urging now one Pretence, anon another; sometimes made Offers of an intire Surrender; then, presently, affected great Fear and Distrust; retreated, when pressed by the Foe; and, soon after, attacked, in his turn, that he might not dishearten his Men.
Thus he deluded the Consul, and gained Time, by a Succession of Hostilities and Stipulations. Nay, there were those, who conjectured Albinus to be privy to the King’s Measures: Nor could they believe, that, after such warm Preparations, the War could be so easily protracted, unless more through Fraud than Indolence.
Now, as the intervening Time was elapsed, and the popular Elections were at hand, Albinus, leaving his Brother Aulus to command in the Camp with the Authority of Prætor, returned to Rome. At this Juncture the Republic was sorely rent, by the Turbulence and Contention of the popular Tribunes there. Two of these, Publius Lucullus, and Lucius Annius, though opposed by all their Collegues, struggled to be continued in their Magistracy: This Contest prevented the holding any Assembly for Elections during the whole Year. From this Protraction of Time, Aulus, left, as has been said, in the Camp with the Commission of Proprætor, became inspired with Hopes of either terminating the War, or, at least, of forcing the King, by the Terror of his Army, to present him with great Treasure; and, therefore, leading the Soldiers out of their Winter Quarters, undertook an Expedition in the Month of January.
Thus, by mighty Marches, under all the Inclemency of the Season, he reached as far as Suthul, a City in which the King’s Treasury was placed; a City, both from the Sharpness of the Weather, and the Strength of its Situation, so secure, as not to be taken, nor even to admit of a Siege: For, besides that it was founded upon the Summit of a steep Rock, and fortified with strong Walls, the Plains that surrounded it were so flooded by the Winter Inundations, as to form an inaccessible Marsh. But, for all these Difficulties, Aulus, whether as a Feint, to terrify the King, or, blinded by his rapacious Spirit, to master the Town for the sake of the Treasure, framed moving Galleries, raised Trenches, and dispatched all other Measures necessary to such an Enterprize.
Jugurtha, well apprized of the great Weakness and Vanity of the Proprætor, practised many Wiles to heighten his Phrenzy. He was continually dispatching Envoys with humble and supplicating Proposals; whilst he himself, feigning Fear and Flight, roamed at a Distance, with his Army, through wild Forests, and difficult Passes. At length, by frequent Offers of surrendering upon Articles, he so deluded Aulus, that, yielding to the Snare, he abandoned Suthul to pursue the King; who, appearing still to retreat from him, drew him into remote Territories utterly unknown to the Romans; that thence they might be exposed to all his dark Devices: He, therefore, dispersed dextrous Emissaries amongst our Men; such as were Night and Day debauching them from their Duty; bribing the Centurions, and Officers of Horse, some to desert directly to him; others, upon a Signal given, to abandon their Posts.
When he had thus far pushed his Projects, and found them successful, he at once rushed upon the Camp of Aulus; and, during the Dead of Night, invested it with a great Host of Numidians. As the Roman Soldiers were astonished with the unusual Alarm, some grasped their Arms; some sought Places to hide in; some few animated such as they saw dismayed. In all Quarters there prevailed Surprize and Affright: The Enemy assaulted in mighty Numbers: Thick Clouds heightened the Darkness of the Night: Dreadful Peril pressed on every Side; nor, in a Word, could it be determined, whether it was safest, to maintain their Ground, or to fly. At length, a whole Cohort of Ligurians, Two Troops of Thracian Horse, and certain common Men, deserted to Jugurtha; who had, by his Agents, seduced them, as I have just recounted: Nay, a Centurion of the first Rank, belonging to the third Legion, delivered up a strong Post, which he had undertaken to defend; and thence furnished a Passage to the Enemy into the Camp; whither the whole Host of the Numidians now furiously rushed. Our Army betook themselves to an infamous Flight; most of them even threw away their Arms, and retired to a neighbouring Hill.
What withheld the Enemy from improving their Victory, was Darkness, and the Allurement of Plunder in the Camp. Next Day, Jugurtha, at a Conference with Aulus, acquainted him, ‘That, though he held him and his Army fast shut up, under the double Pressure of Famine and the Sword; yet, remembering the Slipperiness and Mutability of all Things human, if the Proprætor would enter into a Treaty of Peace with him, he would release them all unhurt in their Persons; only obliging them to pass, like Captives, under a Gallows, and withal to retire out of Numidia in Ten Days.’ Conditions very grievous to undergo, and glaring with Infamy; yet, as by these they were all relieved from the Dread of Death, Peace was concluded upon such Terms as the King prescribed.
Now, when these Transactions were divulged at Rome, Fear and Sorrow seized the City. Many mourned for the faded Glory of the Roman Empire; others, unexperienced in the Events of War, dreaded Danger to their Liberty: All were incensed against Aulus, especially those who had themselves often served with Renown in War, that, at the Head of an Army, he sought his Security rather from infamous Submission, than from manly Defence.
Upon these Considerations, the Consul Albinus, who, from the miserable Misconduct of his Brother, feared public Abhorrence, and thence much Peril to himself, had recourse to the Senate for their Judgment concerning the late Treaty; yet omitted not, the while, to gather Recruits for the Army. He demanded Succours from the Latins and Confederates; and pushed with Vigour all Measures for War. The Fathers decreed, as they ought, ‘That, as neither the Senate nor the People had ever given any Authority to treat, no such Treaty could possibly be made.’
The Consul, finding himself restrained, by the Tribunes of the People, from transporting to Africa what Forces he had prepared, sailed thither himself a few Days after: For the whole Army had, according to the Agreement, retired out of Numidia; and were now in their Winter Quarters in our Province. When he arrived there, he had, indeed, an ardent Passion to march against Jugurtha; and thence soften the popular Asperity towards his Brother: But, having learned the Temper of the Soldiery, that, besides their Abasement from the late Rout, they were void of Discipline, and sunk in Licentiousness and Debauchery; he concluded, upon a full View of his Motives and Discouragements, that it behoved him to attempt nothing.
At Rome, the while, Caius Mamilius Limetanus, one of the Tribunes, recommended to the People the Form of an Ordinance, ‘For arraigning all such as had encouraged Jugurtha to disregard the Decrees of the Senate; all such as, in their Embassies to him, or in their conducting the War against him, had accepted Money from him; all such as had been concerned in restoring him his Elephants and Deserters; together with all who had presumed to enter into Capitulations with the public Enemy concerning Peace or War.’
They who were alarmed by this popular Ordinance, durst not openly oppose it: Some were conscious, that they deserved it; others feared sinking under the Heat and Odium of Party: Insomuch that both Sorts avowed their Approbation of this and the like Prosecutions. Yet, by secret Caballing amongst their Friends and Dependants, chiefly amongst those of Latium, and the other Confederates in Italy, they contrived many Obstacles to defeat it. But it is wonderful to recount, how passionately the Populace espoused, with what mighty Ardour they directed, authorized, and passed, the Ordinance; in truth, rather from Hatred to the Nobility, against whom all this terrible Chastisement was contrived, than out of any Zeal for the Commonweal. So irresistible was the Fury of Party!
Now, whilst the rest of the Nobility were struck with Dismay, Marcus Scaurns, who had been Lieutenant-General to Bestia, as I have above related, brought it to pass, during the general Uproar and Agitation over the whole City, between the tumultuous Rejoicings of the Populace, and the Fear and Flight of his Brethren the Patricians, that, as the Mamilian Ordinance appointed Three Trustees for putting it in Force, he himself was chosen one of them. The Arraignments followed; and were, indeed, conducted with great Asperity, by a Course of Violence, in Condescension to the mad Clamour and Caprice of the Multitude: So that, what the Nobility had often done, the Commonalty at this Conjuncture did; and exercised superior Fortune with notable Insolence.
It must be owned, that this Distinction of the People and Senate into opposite Factions, with all the evil Courses following, arose at Rome, not many Years before; and was the Effect of profound Repose, and of the profuse Enjoyment of whatever passes amongst Men for the prime Blessings of Life. For, before the Destruction of Carthage, the People and Senate proceeded with much Quiet and Concord in the joint Administration of the State: Neither was there any Struggle between Citizens and Citizens for Priority in excessive Splendor, or excessive Sway. Common Dread of Enemies abroad preserved decent Demeanour in the whole Community: But, as soon as that Dread forsook the Minds of Men, then instantly rushed in Ambition and Debauchery, Excesses which Prosperity delights in. Insomuch that what they had so passionately wished, in public Danger and War, a State of Peace and Repose; now they had obtained it, proved more destructive and calamitous than either; since, thenceforth, the Nobility began to turn their Dignity into Tyranny; the People their Liberty into Licentiousness: Individuals, considering only themselves, studied nothing but to ingross Property, and to usurp Power.
Thus, whilst, by one Party or the other, the Means of Power were boldly claimed, seized, and usurped, the Commonwealth, lying between both, was rent and defaced. It must, however, be owned, that, in the Efforts of Faction, the Nobility proved much more prevalent: The Authority of the Populace, as it is loose and diffused, was found to be of inferior Force in the Hands of a Multitude. Hence War abroad, and Civil Affairs at Rome, were only conducted by the Sway of a Few: In their Disposal lay the Treasury, the Provinces, the several Magistracies, public Dignities and Triumphs. The Commonalty were oppressed with Penury, and with serving in the Armies, where all the Plunder of the Foe was purloined by the Generals, and a few Grandees. Nay, the Parents and little Children of these very Soldiers were, at the same time, driven out of their rightful Settlements, if they chanced but to border upon any Man of Sway.
In this manner did Power, supporting Rapaciousness without Measure or Restraint, swallow, contaminate, and lay waste, all Things: A Power which proved utterly regardless of whatever was just, or whatever was sacred; and thus hurried headlong to its own Perdition: For, the Moment that, from amongst the Nobility, there arose such as preferred genuine Glory to unrighteous Rule, the State was in an Uproar; and such Civil Feuds ensued, as if the Universe had been tumbling into a Chaos.
For, after Tiberius Gracchus, and his Brother Caius, Men whose Ancestors had, by their Service in the Punic and several other Wars, procured signal Advantage to the Commonweal, attempted to recover to the People their ancient Liberties, and to expose to public View the Iniquity and Encroachments of a few domineering Grandees; the Nobility, conscious of their own Guilt, and thence sorely dismayed, had recourse sometimes to the Aid of our Italian Allies, and to such as enjoyed the Rights of Latium; sometimes to the Roman Knights (whom the Hopes of a Confederacy in Power with the Patricians had detached from the Interest of the Commonalty); and, thus assisted, set themselves forcibly to defeat the Pursuits of the Gracchi. First they assassinated Tiberius; in a few Years after, Caius, who was reviving the Attempts of his Brother, and with him Marcus Fulvius Flaccus: The first, whilst yet invested with the sacred Character of Tribune; and the Two last, with the Triunviral Authority of settling Colonies. Without doubt both Brothers were too vehemently bent to triumph over their Adversaries, and wanted a Spirit of Moderation; since it is more eligible to yield to Opposition, than, by unjust means, to conquer it.
The Nobility, having thus prevailed, exercised their Prosperity just according to their own wanton Caprice; and, dooming Numbers of Citizens to Execution, Numbers to Banishment, opened to themselves, for the time to come, a much greater Source of Dread than of Power: A sort of Politics which hath usually brought several mighty States to Perdition; whilst the factious Subjects strove, by whatever means, to subdue each other, and to inflict terrible Vengeance upon such as were subdued. But Time would fail me sooner than Matter, were I, minutely, or in a Manner suitable to so copious a Subject, to recount the cross Pursuits and Animosities of our Parties, with a Detail of the Proceedings of our Citizens: I, therefore, resume my Design.
After the Treaty made by Aulus, and the infamous Flight of our Army, Metellus and Silanus, now chosen Consuls, having shared the Provinces between them, Numidia fell to Metellus; a Man of vigorous Spirit; his Reputation unblemished; nay, equally valued by both Parties, though he opposed that of the People.
He, as soon as he began his Function, bent all his Thoughts upon the War, which he only was to conduct: For he considered, that, in all other Duties of that Magistracy, his Collegue bore an equal Part. He, therefore, made fresh Levies (for he could not depend upon the old Army); called together Succours from all Quarters; provided Store of Arms, of Horses, and of all other warlike Implements and Weapons; as also abundant Magazines of Victuals; finally, whatever else Experience finds serviceable in a War which required various Management, and craved many Things to support it. It must be owned, that, in accomplishing all these Measures, he was assisted, with notable Zeal, by the Senate; whence followed that of our Allies; particularly of all those of the Latin Denomination: Nay, our confederate Kings, unasked, supplied him with Forces: In a Word, he found the same warm Concurrence from all Orders of Men at Rome. So that, all Things being furnished and concerted according to his own Wishes, he proceeded to Numidia, followed with high Hopes from all his Fellow-citizens; not only for his excellent Accomplishments, but chiefly as he possessed a Soul never to be subdued by all the Stimulations of Riches. It was, indeed, from the Rapaciousness of our Magistrates, that all our Efforts in Numidia had, till this time, been baffled, and those of the Enemy successful.
Now, when he arrived in Africa, he had delivered to him the Army of the Proconsul Spurius Albinus; a spiritless Army, and unwarlike; neither able to suffer Fatigue, nor to encounter Danger; more petulant with their Tongues, than prompt with their Hands; spoiling our Friends and Allies, yet bearing to see themselves the Spoil of the public Enemy; trained neither to obey Command, nor to regard the Rules of Decency: So that there accrued more Anxiety to the General from the scandalous Insufficiency of the Men, than any Support, or, indeed, any Confidence, from their Numbers. But though, by the annual Elections being postponed, Metellus not only saw the Summer already far advanced, but considered the Minds of the Romans, bent upon the Issue, and thence full of Expectation from him; yet he determined to engage in no Operation of War, till he had first restored the ancient Discipline, and forced the Soldiers to endure Labour, by enuring them to it.
For, after Albinus, utterly dismayed with the Overthrow of his Brother Aulus and his Army, had formed a Resolution not to stir out of the Province, during so much of the Summer as he continued in Command, he kept the Soldiers chiefly confined within the same Camp, till Stench and Contagion, or Scarcity of Forage, constrained him to shift: Moreover, in the Camp no regular Watch was kept, nor Guard posted; such as the Laws of an Army always require: The Men abandoned their Ensigns, just as they listed: The low Retainers to the Camp, in Conjunction with the Soldiers, wandered abroad Nights and Days, ravaging the Fields, forcing and robbing the Farms, and vying with each other in the Droves of Beasts and Captives; all which they turned into Traffick with the Merchants for Wine, and such other Gratifications: Nay, they even sold the Grain given them at the public Expence, and lived upon Bread bought from Day to Day. To sum up all, whatever Excesses in Luxury and Effeminacy the Tongue can express, or the Fancy feign, were found in that Army: Nay, more and greater were found.
Now, in contending with all this Disorder and Distress, Metellus appears, to me, to have approved himself a Man no less great and wise, than in his Schemes and Operations of War: So just was the Temper and Balance which he held, between his Address to win the Hearts of the Soldiers, and his Severity in punishing them: By an Edict, which he published at first, he removed the principal Incitements and Supports of Effeminacy, by ordering, ‘That none should presume to sell, in the Camp, either Bread, or any other Victuals ready dressed: No Refuse-retainers should follow the Camp: No common Soldier should entertain any Slave, or any Beast of Burden, either in the Camp, or on a March.’ To other Excesses, too, he applied proper Restraints with great Address. Besides, he was daily shifting Stations; taking his Route through cross and unpractised Places, with the same Circumspection as if an Enemy had been at hand; caused, every Night, an Intrenchment to be made, and a Palisade to be raised, quite round the Camp; posted many Guards; changed them frequently; nay, constantly visited them all round in Person, accompanied by the Generals under him. With the same Vigilance, during a March, he was now in the Front, then strait in the Rear, anon in the Centre; still careful, that no Man should forsake his Rank, that they should be all found keeping close by their several Standards, and that every Man should at once carry his Victuals and his Arms: Insomuch that, rather by restraining Enormities, than by punishing them, he established sound Discipline and Vigour in the Army.
As Jugurtha, the while, had learned, from his Emissaries, what Measures Metellus was pursuing, and having been withal convinced, at Rome, of his untainted Honour, he came to distrust the Tendency of his own Affairs; and now, at length, seriously sought to be admitted to an absolute Submission: He, therefore, dispatched certain Envoys to the Consul, with a Tender of his Offers and Requests, and a Power to deliver up All to the Roman People, without any other Reserve or Concession, than that of his own Life, and the Lives of his Children.
Now Metellus, who had always found the Numidians to be a faithless Race, full of Fickleness, and eager for Revolutions, applied to the Envoys one by one; and when, by artfully sifting each apart, he perceived them all to be such Instruments as he wanted, he engaged them, by the Force of mighty Promises, to deliver him up Jugurtha, alive, if possible; or, if that failed, to kill him, and to bring, at least, his Carcase. For a formal Answer to their Embassy, he called them publicly before him; and there declared what Conditions he ordered them to carry to their King. Then, in a few Days, he advanced to Numidia, at the Head of a well-spirited Army, breathing War and Conquest: There, far from any Desolation, or the usual sad Symptoms of War, the Country-houses were full of Inhabitants; in the Fields the Flocks were feeding, and the Husbandmen all employed. From the Cities and Hamlets the King’s Officers advanced to meet the Consul; declaring their Readiness to furnish him and his Army with Grain, with Carriages and Convoys, and, indeed, to comply with whatsoever he should chuse to injoin them. Yet, for all this, Metellus relaxed not his Care; but, just as if the Enemy had been close by him, kept his Ranks, as he marched, compact and firm; and caused the Country, on all hands, to be viewed a great Way round; as he believed all these Signs of Submission to be only for Amusement and Shew, all concerted to cover some pernicious Plot of Jugurtha’s.
Metellus, therefore, accompanied with the Cohorts lightly armed, and a choice Band of Slingers and Archers, kept always in the Front; whilst Caius Marius, his Lieutenant-General, at the Head of the Cavalry, supported the Rear; and, on each Wing, he disposed the auxiliary Horse, commanded by the Tribunes of the Legions, and the Colonels of the Cohorts; with Design that, as the light Foot were mixed amongst these, the Enemy’s Cavalry, on whatever Quarter they attacked, might be certainly repulsed. For such was the subtile Spirit of Jugurtha, so signal his Abilities, as a Captain, and so complete his Knowlege of the Country, that it remained a Doubt, whether he were more mischievous, remote or near; when professing Peace, or when making open War.
Not far from the Route, which Metellus kept, there was a Numidian City, called Vacca; by much the most renowned for Commerce in all the Kingdom; and in it were many Italians, as well such who dwelt constantly there, as such who resorted thither for Traffick. Here the Consul established a Garison; either to try whether the same would be quietly borne, or that he was pleased with the Convenience and Situation of the Place. He likewise ordered the Natives to bring him thither Quantities of Grain, with other Necessaries for prosecuting the War: For he was convinced, that, from such a Conflux of Traders, and such Plenty of Stores, his Army would be amply supplied, and the Post itself serve to secure the Execution of the Measures already concerted.
During these Transactions, Jugurtha, redoubling his Applications to the Consul, still sent Ambassadors after Ambassadors, with repeated Supplications, imploring Peace; nay, reserving only his Life, and that of his Children, offered to surrender whatever else he had. The Consul, without either granting or denying the King the Peace which he thus intreated, sent him all these his Ambassadors back again, as he had the first; awaiting, the while, the Execution of what they had undertaken; for he had first engaged them all to betray their Master into his Hands.
When Jugurtha compared the Words of Metellus with his Actions, and perceived himself assailed, in his turn, by Devices like his own, since, whilst he was presented with the Sound of Peace, he was, in Fact, pursued with all the Fury of War; when he saw himself bereft of so powerful a City, his Territories well known by the Enemy, the People, in general, urged to revolt; thus constrained by his desperate Fortune, he determined to try the Chance of a Battle. With this View, having learned the Route taken by the Romans, and gathering Hopes of Victory from the Advantages which the Country afforded him, he formed a numerous Host of all Sorts of Men, and, by private Ways, out-marched the Army of Metellus.
In that Part of Numidia which had fallen to the Share of Atherbal, was a River, flowing from the South, called Muthul: Parallel to this is a Mountain, about Twenty Miles distant, and of equal Extent; naturally desert, and never subjected to human Culture. In the intermediate Space, about the Middle, arises a Hill immensly high; all covered with Olives, Myrtles, and other Trees, such as grow in a dry and sandy Soil: The Plain itself is destitute of Water, and thence barren; except such Parts as join to the River; and in these are found many Groves, with numerous Herds and Inhabitants. Of this Hill, which flanked the Romans, as they marched from the Mountain to the River, Jugurtha took Possession, forming his Men in a thin, but long Front; and, committing to Bomilcar the Command of the Elephants, and of Part of the Foot, with Instructions how to act, he sat down himself nearer the Mountain, with all the Horse, and the Flower of the Infantry.
He then passed through the several Divisions of Foot and Horse; warning and conjuring them all, ‘That, rousing their wonted Bravery, and remembering their late Victory, they should defend themselves, and their native Kingdom, from the Avidity of the Romans. They were only to encounter such as they had already first vanquished, and then forced to pass, like Captives, under a Gibbet; such as, possessing still the same dastardly Spirits, had changed nothing but their Leader. For himself, whatever Measures it was incumbent upon a General to take for the Security and Success of his Army, he had taken; and, particularly, gained them the Advantage of the Ground; whence they, who knew it well, were to engage with those who were Strangers to it: He had thus provided against an unequal Attack from Numbers upon a Few, or from Soldiers of superior Skill upon such as were raw. They should, therefore, upon the Signal given, assail the Romans with Vigour: This Day would either close all their Labours, and secure the Fruit of all their Victories, or introduce a dreadful Train of Calamities.’ Next, addressing himself, Man by Man, to all such as he had formerly distinguished, for any signal military Exploits, with Honours, or pecuniary Gifts; he urged them to remember what Proofs of his Grace they had received; then pointed them out as Patterns to others. In a Word, applying to all, suitably to the Character of each, here promising, there threatening, anon adjuring, he animated the Whole.
Metellus, the while, descending from the Mountain with his Army, as yet unapprised of the Motions of the Enemy, at last descries their Station upon the Hill. He, at first, was at a Loss to guess what meant a Spectacle so unusual; for the Numidians were posted, Men and Horses, in the Coppice; but, through the Lowness of the Bushes, not quite concealed, nor yet enough discerned; since, by the Obscurity of the Place, as well as by their own Lurking and Contrivance, they had disguised themselves, and their Standards: But, soon perceiving it to be the Enemy in Ambush, he, for a small Space, stayed his March; and, changing the Disposition of his Army, trebled the Flank next the Foe, dispersed the Archers and Slingers amongst the small Bands of Foot, placed his whole Cavalry on the Wings, and, having encouraged them by a short Speech suitable to the Exigency, led them, in this new Order, down towards the Plain.
But, when he observed the Numidians moved not, nor offered to stir from their Hill, he apprehended, both from the Heat of the Season, and the great Scarcity of Water, that his Army would be distressed by Thirst: He, therefore, ordered his Lieutenant-General Rutilius, with a Detachment of Horse, and the Cohorts lightly armed, to advance to the River; there to pre-occupy Ground proper to encamp on: For he judged, that the Enemy would, by continual Skirmishing, especially by attacking him on the Flank, strive to obstruct his Progress, and hold his Men continually harrassed under Toil and Thirst; since they thus distrusted their Success in a Battle. He then advanced with the rest of the Army; but with a gentle Pace, suitably to the Conjuncture, and the Ground; just as he had done in descending from the Mountain; having posted Marius in the main Battle, and himself on the Left Wing, at the Head of the Cavalry; which, in the Manner they marched, was come to be the Front.
Jugurtha no sooner perceived the Rear of the Romans advanced beyond the first Rank of the Numidians, but he sent a Detachment of Two thousand Foot, to possess the Part of the Mountain from whence Metellus had just descended; that the same might not serve the Romans for a present Refuge, if they fled, nor afterwards for a Place of Security: Then instantly, sounding to Battle, he assailed the Romans; and, whilst many of his Men slaughtered our Rear, others pressed our Right and Left: They came on with Fury, fought with Vigour, and every-where disconcerted our Ranks; even where they were opposed by the bravest Men; who found themselves baffled by an Attack so irregular and uncertain, were wounded from afar, and could not return Blow for Blow, or engage Hand to Hand: For the Numidian Horse, pre-instructed by Jugurtha, whenever any of the Roman Troops advanced against them, retreated immediately; not in close Order, or, indeed, in a Body, but all scattering as wide as possible. Hence, when, notwithstanding all this, they could not divert us from pursuing them; yet, as they surpassed us also in Number, they beset us in the Rear, or in the Flank, and, assaulting us there, put us into great Disorder: And when, in order to escape us, the Hill seemed more secure and inviting than the Plain, their Horses easily retreated thither, as they were daily enured to pass through Thickets; whilst a Situation so steep and difficult withheld ours from following them.
In truth, from the whole Transaction there arose a Spectacle strangely diversified and perplexed; very lamentable, very shocking; some yielding, others pursuing; all dispersed, and separate from their Fellows; no Observance of Ranks, none of Standards; each grappling with Danger, and repulsing the Foe, just as either happened to occur; a wild Mixture of Arms and Darts, of Men and Horses, of Enemies and Fellow-citizens; nothing conducted by Concert, nor by Authority, but blind Chance governing all. Insomuch that, though the Day was already far advanced, the Event was still very doubtful.
At length, when both Sides were spent with the Violence of Heat and Fatigue, Metellus, perceiving the Numidians to attack with abated Vigour, rallied his Men by little and little; and, having restored their former Compactness and Ranks, ranged Four Legionary Cohorts against the Numidian Infantry, who, overcome with Weariness, had, for the greater Part, retired, for Repose, to the higher Ground. He, moreover, besought and exhorted the Soldiers, ‘On no Account to be daunted; nor suffer a flying Enemy to carry the Victory: They themselves, if they turned their Backs, had neither Intrenchments nor Castles to retire to: In their Arms alone all their Hopes and Security rested.’
Neither was Jugurtha, the while, unactive. He was going continually about from Quarter to Quarter: He animated his Forces; again and again renewed the Attack; and, at the Head of some chosen Troops, tried every possible Expedient; seasonably reinforced his own Men, where most pressed; furiously urged the Romans, where they wavered; and, by Flights of Darts from afar, diverted such who still stood firm.
In this manner was the Field contested between the Two Generals, both consummate Officers; themselves of equal Abilities, but their Forces unequal. Metellus commanded brave Soldiers in a perverse Situation: Jugurtha possessed all other Advantages, but that of Soldiers. At length the Romans, convinced that no Place of Refuge was left them; that the Enemy still shunned all Occasions of engaging; seeing withal the Night approach, bravely advanced up the Hill, according to the Orders of the General, and gained it. The Numidians, bereft of their Ground, were immediately routed, and fled; yet very few slain. What saved most of them, was their own Swiftness of Foot, and the Country quite strange to their Enemies.
During these Transactions, Bomilcar, whom I have already mentioned to have been appointed by Jugurtha to command the Elephants, and Part of the Foot, no sooner observed Rutilius to have marched by him, but, by gentle Movements, he drew out his Men into the Plain; and there, without Interruption, imbattled them according to the Exigency of Time and Place; whilst the Roman Lieutenant-General was marching full Pace to the River, whither he was sent forward by the Consul. Neither did Bomilcar fail to inform himself what Steps the Romans took on every Side. Now, when he had learned, that Rutilius was already encamped, and void of all Apprehension; perceiving, moreover, the Uproar to increase in Jugurtha’s Host, and thence solicitous, lest the Lieutenant-General, upon discovering the Distress of our Men, still dangerously engaged in the Fight, might move to their Relief; he presently changed the Order of his Battle; which, distrusting the Sufficiency of his Soldiers, he had formed of a Body extremely condense; but now loosened and extended it in Front, in order to hinder Rutilius from marching.
In this Order he advanced directly towards the Camp of Rutilius. The Romans there beheld a mighty Dust to arise on a sudden: For, the Bushes which covered the Country obstructing their View of the Numidians, they, at first, supposed it to be the Effect of the Wind, raising and driving the dry Soil. Presently, when they saw it continue in equal Agitation and Thickness, and approach nearer and nearer, in proportion to the Motion of the Army, perceiving what it portended, they armed, with great Celerity; and arrayed themselves, as they were ordered, before their Camp.
When the Enemy drew near, they encountered on both Sides with mighty Shouts. The Numidians maintained the Combat just as long as they trusted to the Aid of the Elephants: The Moment they saw these Beasts hampered amongst the Arms of Trees, vanquished and surrounded by our Men, they fled outright: Indeed, the greater Part, having cast away their Arms, escaped, unhurt, by the Advantage of the Hill, or of the Night, which now approached. Four Elephants were taken: All the rest, Forty in Number, were slain.
For the Romans, however tired with their March, with fortifying their Camp, lastly, with the Battle; and however pleased with the Issue; yet, as Metellus tarried beyond their Expectation, they advanced to meet him, in regular Array, and full of Spirit: Since such was the Subtilty of the Numidians, as to leave no room for Inactivity, none for Remissness. When they were near met, both Sides, deceived by the Darkness of the Night, and mistaking the Noise, which each made, for that of an approaching Enemy, mutually occasioned no small Commotion and Alarm: Nay, from this rash Conceit, deplorable Mischiefs were like to have followed; had not certain Horsemen, purposely sent out by each, discovered the true Cause. Hence sudden Gladness succeeded Fear: Now the Soldiers, full of Joy, calling to one another by Name, mutually recount their late Exploits, and hear them recounted; and every Particular extols his own brave Archievements to the Skies. Such is the Course of human Things! After Victory the very Cowards are allowed to boast: A Defeat brings Blemish even upon the Brave.
Metellus, who continued Four Days in the same Camp, carefully cherished the Wounded; presented the usual military Rewards to such as had well acquitted themselves in the late Battles; commended the whole Army, purposely assembled; and publicly thanked them; then exhorted them ‘To pursue, with equal Bravery, what remained further to be accomplished; a Task which they would find very light. They had already fought so as to gain abundant Victory: Their future Fatigues would only be to accumulate Wealth and Plunder.’ He omitted not, however, the while, to dispatch away Deserters, and other proper Instruments, ‘To discover where Jugurtha lay; how he was employed; whether he were still Master of an Army; and how he bore his Defeat.’ In Fact, the King had withdrawn into woody Desarts, Places fortified by Nature; and there already assembled an Army, in Number of Men larger than his former, but spiritless and raw; more practised in Tilling and Pasture, than in War; a Consequence which arose from hence, That, upon a Defeat, none of the Numidians follow their King, except his Horse-Guards only: All the rest retire whither their several Inclinations lead them. Neither doth this infer any Stain upon their Service. Such are the Habits and Genius of the Nation.
When Metellus had thus learned, that the Spirit of the King was still resolute and untamed; that the War was to be renewed; a War, too, subject to be conducted just according to the Pleasure and Caprice of Jugurtha; when he likewise foresaw upon what cruel Terms he must engage Enemies, that suffered less in being defeated, than he in defeating them; he determined, upon the Whole, to pursue the War, not, as usual, by regular Attacks and Battles, but in a far different Manner. He, therefore, directs his March into the most opulent Regions of Numidia; lays the Country utterly waste; takes a great Number of Castles and Towns, such as were carelesly fortified, or had no Garison to defend them, and burns them all; orders all the Youth to be slain; leaves every thing else as free Spoil to the Soldiers. Such Dread followed this Proceeding, that Numbers of Hostages were sent to him; Grain, with whatever else an Army required, was abundantly supplied; and, wherever he judged expedient, Garisons were allowed to be placed.
These were Measures which alarmed the King far more sensibly than the late Battle, so ill maintained by his Men. For now he, whose only Hopes consisted in flying before us, was forced to follow us; and, though unable to defend his own Territories, yet constrained to make War in those possessed by the Romans: Nevertheless, he formed a Design, which appeared most eligible to him in his present Streights; and, ordering the Body of the Army to remain encamped together, he himself, at the Head of a chosen Detachment of Horse, pursued Metellus; and, as he marched by Night through Ways utterly unfrequented, his Coming was quite concealed. Thus he fell, with great Suddenness and Surprize, upon such of our Forces as roamed over the Country: Of these the most Part, being found without Arms, were slain: Many were made Prisoners; nor did a single Man escapeunhurt. Nay, before any Succour could reach them from the Camp, the Numidians, as they were pre-instructed, had retired to the neighbouring Hills.
During these Transactions, mighty Joy arose at Rome, upon Tidings of the glorious Progress of Metellus; for that ‘He had conducted himself, and his Army, according to the strict Rules of the Ancients: Under all the Disadvantage of Soil and Situation, he had yet conquered by pure Fortitude and Ability: He even possessed the Enemy’s Country; and Jugurtha, lately elevated by the base Conduct of Aulus, was, by Metellus, driven, for a Refuge, to Flight, and the Desarts.’ The Senate, therefore, decreed Publick Thanks and Oblations to the immortal Gods to be solemnized, for so many successful Archievements.’ The City was now filled with Rejoicings, as hitherto with Anxiety for the Result of the War; and Metellus was the great Subject of popular Applause. Hence he strove with the stronger Efforts to obtain a final Victory; pushed and quickened every Measure; yet still with special Precaution against all Surprize from the Enemy; and always remembering, that ever after Glory marches Envy. Thus the more celebrated he was, the more circumspect he became; nor, since the late unforeseen Attack from Jugurtha, did he suffer his Army to spread loosely in quest of Plunder. Upon every Occasion of procuring Provisions or Forage, all the Cavalry, supported by Bands of Foot, were employed as Convoys to secure it. One Part of the Army was led by himself; the other by Marius. Indeed, the Country was more terribly wasted by Fire, than by Depredations. The Army, thus divided, always encamped in Two different Places, and, upon any Exigency, rejoined; but marched and acted apart, the further to extend popular Dread and Flight.
All this while Jugurtha followed them upon the Hills, and carefully sought some favourable Juncture or Situation, to assail them. Whenever he heard what Routes they intended, there he destroyed the Forage, and the Springs, of themselves very rare. Now he presented himself to Metellus, anon to Marius; sometimes assaulted their Rear; then, in an Instant, retreated to the Hills; but, appearing again, made a Feint, this Moment to fall upon one Quarter, by-and-by upon another; never venturing to engage, yet never ceasing to alarm them; still only aiming to frustrate the Attempts of the Romans.
The Roman General, perceiving the Design of the Enemy to be only to harrass him with continual Artifice and Surprize, and to elude all Occasion of Battle, formed a Design to besiege a mighty City; indeed, the Bulwark of the Kingdom on that Side, known by the Name of Zama; as he judged, that Jugurtha would do what was incumbent upon him, and advance to relieve his People there, hardly pressed by an Enemy, and thence an Engagement would ensue.
But Jugurtha, having learned, from Deserters, what was determined, by mighty Marches reached there before Metellus; and, applying to the Inhabitants, exhorted them bravely to defend their Walls, and strengthened them with a Reinforcement of the Roman Deserters; who, as they durst not betray him, were the most determined of all the King’s Forces. Besides, he promised, in due Time, to return to their Relief in Person, at the Head of an Army.
When he had thus settled Measures there, he withdrew into Places the most solitary and unfrequented; where, soon after learning, that Marius was, with a few Cohorts, detached from the Army as it marched, to bring Provisions from Sicca; a Town which, first of all others, had revolted from the King, immediately after his evil Success in Battle: Thither he now advances by Night, accompanied with the Flower of his Cavalry; and fell upon the Romans, just as they were returning through the Gate. He, at the same time, cried to the Townsmen with a loud Voice, ‘To beset the Cohorts in the Rear: Here was an Occasion offered to them, by Fortune, for a glorious Archievement: If they performed it, he should thenceforth enjoy his Kingdom, as would they their Liberties, without Molestation or Alarm.’ Nay, had not Marius, with notable Celerity, advanced the Standards, and got clear of the Town, doubtless the whole Inhabitants of Sicca, at best the greatest Part, would again have changed their Allegiance: Such a strange Spirit of Instability actuates the Numidians in all their Conduct! But the Troops of Jugurtha, who, animated and supported by him, had, for a small time, continued the Combat, as soon as they found themselves urged by the Romans with superior Vigour, retired in open Flight, when but few had yet fallen.
Marius proceeded, and arrived before Zama. The Town was built in a Plain, stronger by Bulwarks than by Situation, destitute of no necessary Stores, abounding in Arms, and in Men. Now Metellus, when he had concerted all his Measures, suitably to the Juncture and Undertaking, encompassing the Walls with his Army, assigned to his Lieutenants their several Stations and Command: Then strait, upon the Signal given, arose a loud and universal Shout. Yet all this dismayed not the Numidians: Full of Fierceness, and resolute in their Defence, they waited the Attack, without Surprize or Uproar. The Encounter followed: In it the Romans fought, each according to his particular Bent; some at a Distance, with Stones and Slings; some attacked and retired, others supplied their Place: Here they undermined the Walls; there they planted Ladders against them; all passionate to engage the Enemy Hand to Hand.
The Townsmen, to defeat so many Assaults, rolled down great Stones upon such as ventured nearest; and darted sharp Stakes and Javelins, with flaming Torches of Pitch and Sulphur. Nor, indeed, did such of our Men, who kept far off, find Security in their Cowardice; for most of them were wounded by missive Weapons, thrown by Engines, or by Force of Arm. So that the Cowards shared equal Danger with the Brave; but with unequal Glory.
Whilst this bloody Struggle was still subsisting at Zama, Jugurtha, with a mighty Band, assails, by Surprize, the Roman Camp: Nay, so utterly negligent were those left to guard it; indeed, apprehending any thing, rather than an Attack; that he even forced his Entrance at one of the Gates.
Our Men, struck with sudden Dismay, all tried to secure themselves, each according to his different Character: Some had recourse to Flight, others to their Arms; and a great Part were wounded or slain: In Fact, amongst all that Multitude of armed Men, there were only Forty found, who shewed the Spirit of Romans. These, closing together, posted themselves upon a rising Ground, from whence the most furious Efforts of their Enemies could not drive them; nay, what Darts and Javelins were thrown at them, they returned with more Success; as a Few could aim with more Certainty than a superior Number. Or, if the Numidians ventured a nearer Attack, then these few exerted their invincible Bravery; slaughtering, routing, and putting them to Flight, with wonderful Spirit.
Metellus, the while, as he was pursuing the Assault of Zama with the utmost Vigour, heard an Uproar and Shouts behind him, like those of an Enemy; and, turning his Horse, perceived Men flying towards him; a sure Indication, that they were his own. He, therefore, instantly dispatched the whole Cavalry with Expedition to the Camp; and, anon, Caius Marius, with the confederate Cohorts. He even besought him with Tears, ‘By the Dearness of their mutual Friendship, by that of the Commonweal, not to suffer such Infamy to stain a victorious Army, nor the Enemy to escape, without repaying them due Vengeance.’ Marius executed his Orders with great Dispatch.
Now Jugurtha, attacked in his Turn, found himself and his People embarrassed in our Intrenchments: Some of them flung themselves over the Palisade: The rest, in Crouds pressing to get out, as the Passages were too narrow, and each strove to be first, all hampered and obstructed one another: So that, after a great Loss of Men, he retired to strong and inaccessible Places. Metellus, having failed in this Attempt upon the Town, returned with his Army to the Camp.
The next Day, before he left it, to return to the Assault, he drew out all his Horse without the Camp; with Orders to guard that Side exposed to Insults from Jugurtha: The Guard of the Gates, and the Posts adjoining, he distributed amongst the Tribunes. He then advanced towards the Town, and assaulted the Walls the same Way as the Day before. Then Jugurtha, rushing from his Covert, all on a sudden assails our Men. Those of the advanced Ranks were somewhat affrighted, and put into Disorder, but quickly succoured by the rest; nor could the Numidians have maintained their Ground a Moment longer, had not their Foot, now mingled with their Horse, made great Havock amongst us: For the Horsmen, relying on Aid from the Foot, did not here, as their Horsmen were wont, advance and retire by turns, but steadily pushed forward, grappled with our Troops, and broke them; then left them, nigh quite vanquished, to be dispatched by their Foot, who found it an easy Task.
During this very Time, mighty was the Conflict at Zama. Wherever any of the Consul’s Lieutenants, or wherever any Tribune was posted, there each exerted the highest Bravery; all rather trusting for Victory to their own personal Atchievements, than to any Aid from their Fellows. The Townsmen, too, acquitted themselves with equal Ardour; boldly repulsing the Assailants, and every-where warmly engaged in all the Methods of Defence. In truth, both the Besiegers and the Besieged sought more eagerly to destroy their Enemies, than to shield and protect themselves. Various and confused were the Cries that continually arose; here of Exhortations, there of Joy, elsewhere of Groans. The Clangor of Arms reached the Sky; on all hands Darts flew thick and fast.
Now wherever they who maintained the Walls, found the Vigour of the Assailants ever so little to abate, they stood still, with great Earnestness, to behold the Battle between the Cavalry: Nay, you might have perceived them now exulting, anon dismayed, according to the various Success attending the Arms of Jugurtha; and, just as if they could have been distinctly heard or seen by these their Countrymen and Friends, some warned and advised them, others urged and exhorted them, at least beckoned to them with their Hands, and swayed their Bodies hither and thither, as if they, too, had been actually throwing Darts, or avoiding them.
Marius, who commanded on that Side, observing this, artfully slackened his Attack, and feigned to seem hopeless of Success. He even left the Numidians at Leisure, without Interruption or Alarm, to view the King thus engaged. Then, whilst their Eyes and Attention were fixed with much Zeal upon their Friends, he made a sudden and vehement Effort to master the Walls; nay, the Soldiers had already, by their scaling Ladders, nigh gained the Battlements, when the Besieged flew to their Defence, and poured upon the Besiegers whole Vollies of Stones and Fire, besides Showers of all Sorts of deadly Weapons. Our Men, for some time, maintained themselves against all: Anon, as several of the Ladders broke, and such who stood upon them were, by tumbling headlong, mortally bruised, the rest disengaged themselves, and retreated each as he could; hardly any unhurt, most of them covered with Wounds. Night soon after separated the Combatants, both at the Siege and in the Field.
Metellus, seeing his Enterprize fail, the Town not taken, Jugurtha resolved never to engage, unless by Surprize, or in Posts of Advantage, and the Summer already spent, departed from before Zama; and proceeded to place Garisons in the several Cities which had revolted to him; at least, in such as were naturally strong, or well fortified; then settled his remaining Forces, for the Winter, in those Parts of our Province, where it joins to Numidia. Neither did he consign his Time there, as others had done, to Inaction, or a Course of Delicacy: For, having tried how slowly the War was advanced by Fighting only, he concerted how to defeat the King by domestic Treason; and, instead of Arms, to employ against him the Treachery of his Confidents.
He, therefore, applies to Bomilcar, with infinite Promises; and, indeed, strait prevailed with him to come to a private Conference. There Metellus pledged his Credit, ‘That, if he would deliver Jugurtha into his Hands, either alive or dead, he would secure to him absolute Pardon from the Senate, together with the certain Enjoyment of his whole Fortune.’ For Bomilcar had attended Jugurtha, as his Minister, to Rome; and, falling under Prosecution there for the Murder of Massiva, had fled thence from Justice, and abandoned his Sureties; and, as he held the highest Trust with the King, he had the greatest Opportunity to betray him. The Consul found it not difficult to engage the Numidian in the Undertaking; for he was a Man naturally faithless, and now terrified with the Apprehension, that, were Peace made with the Romans, he himself should be excepted, and surrendered into the Hands of the Executioner.
This Man, who watched for the first convenient Hour, finding Jugurtha full of Anguish, and deploring his sad Lot, accosted him with a Flood of Tears; then warned and adjured him to consider, ‘That it was time to consult the Interest and Well-being of himself, of his Offspring, and of the People of Numidia; a People so devoted to him, and such Sufferers for him. In every Encounter he had been vanquished; the Country was desolate; great Numbers of his Subjects were made Captives, great Numbers slain; and the Strength of the Monarchy exhausted. Already he had abundantly tried both the Bravery of his Men, and the Inclination of Fortune. It now behoved him to beware, lest, whilst he thus lingered, the Numidian Nation might have recourse to Measures of Safety for themselves.’
By these and the like Representations, he brought the King to yield to an absolute Submission. Immediately Ambassadors were sent to the Roman Commander, to declare, that Jugurtha was prepared to comply with whatever he should injoin; nay, to surrender himself, and his Kingdom, without Reserve, to the Disposal of the Consul. Metellus forthwith summoned to Council, from their Winter Quarters, all who were invested with the Rank of Senators; and heard the Advice of these, and of others, whom he judged proper to consult.
The Consul, thus proceeding according to antient Rules, and following an Order of Council then made, sent Deputies to Jugurtha, commanding him, ‘To deliver over to the Romans Two hundred thousand Weight of Silver, all his Elephants, with a certain Number of Horses and Arms.’ As all this was executed without Delay, he further ordered ‘All our Deserters to be brought him in Chains.’ Indeed, most of them, in Obedience to the Order, were soon so brought: The rest, (very few) upon Jugurtha’s first Advances towards a Surrender, had fled into Mauritania, for Protection from King Bocchus.
Now, when Jugurtha, already bereft of his Arms, his Forces, and his Treasures, came next to be summoned to Tisidium, there to deliver up his Person to the Consul, his Mind began to waver and recoil, and his guilty Conscience to dread suitable Punishment. Under this Hesitation he spent several Days. Now, shocked with a continual Course of Calamities, he esteemed all Events whatever more eligible than War: Anon, he reflected what a dreadful Fall it was, from Sovereignty to Bondage: The Result was; that he chose to renew the War, when he had just divested himself fruitlesly of so many and so mighty Sources of Strength. At Rome, too, during this Juncture, the Senate, having met to deliberate concerning the Distribution of Provinces, had decreed Numidia to Metellus.
At this time Caius Marius, who happened to be at Utica, as he was offering Victims to the Gods, was apprised by the Diviner, ‘That mighty and marvelous Events were presaged to him: He should, therefore, pursue whatever Designs he entertained, with full Confidence in the Gods for their Accomplishment: He might try Fortune as freely as he pleased; all his Efforts would be prosperous.’ The Truth is, he had been long before transported with a vehement Passion for the Consulship: He was even abundantly furnished with every Qualification for acquiring it, except only that of an ancient Family: He had great Assiduity, great Probity, masterly Knowledge in War, infinite Spirit in Battle, exemplary Sobriety, a Soul superior to Wealth and Voluptuousness, and only thirsting after Glory.
He was born at Arpinum, and reared there till just past his tender Age. From that Moment he gave himself up wholly to the Life of a Soldier; without once engaging in the Study of the Grecian Eloquence, or in the Delicacies of Rome. Hence, in a little time, this warlike Genius, by a worthy Course of Improvements, grew an accomplished Officer: So that when he first sued to the People for the Office of military Tribune, though few of them knew his Face, his Character was so well known, that he gained it by the concurring Voices of all the Tribes: Then, when he had discharged this Magistracy, he opened his Way gradually to others; and, in every Post of Power, his Conduct was such, that he still was esteemed to merit a greater.
Yet this Man, so very deserving, till this time, (for afterwards Ambition transported him beyond all Measure) had not dared to solicit for the Consulship: For, though, at this Juncture, the People conferred all the other Dignities of State, that of Consul was by the Nobility confined to themselves: Every new Man, however shining his Character, however signal his Merits, was, by them, held to be unworthy of that supreme Honour; nay, as it were, a Person unhallowed.
Marius, therefore, when he perceived the Answer from the Diviner to co-operate with the Bent of his own Soul, applies to Metellus for Leave to go to Rome, there to sue for the Consulship. Metellus, though amply distinguished with Virtue, Honour, and every Recommendation pleasing to a worthy Man, yet possessed a Spirit full of Disdain, and great Haughtiness; the common Failing of the Nobility! So that, as he was, at first, struck with Pretensions so unusual, he expressed great Admiration at his Views; and advised him, as in Friendship, ‘Not to enter upon Measures so unwarrantable, nor suffer his Mind to soar above his Station: It became not all Men to aim at all Things: He ought to rest content with his present Circumstances. In short, he ought to be aware how he demanded of the Roman People what they had Reason to refuse him.’ When he had offered these and the like Objections, and found the Mind of Marius utterly unyielding, he promised to comply with what he asked, as soon as the Situation of public Affairs enabled him. After these and the like Replies, as Marius persisted in his Importunity, he is said to have answered, ‘You need be in no Hurry to go: It will be early enough for you to sue for the Consulship, when my Son is of Age to join with you.’ This Youth was then serving under his Father, without any Command, and not yet Twenty Years old.
This Rebuke fired Marius, who was passionate to obtain the Consular Dignity, and, therefore, equally incensed against Metellus: So that he was driven headlong by Anger and Thirst of Power, two very mischievous Counsellors. He spared no Attempt, no Language, that had the least Tendency to gain the Multitude, and his Ends: He forbore all his usual Strictness over the Troops under his Command in Winter Quarters: He discoursed amongst our Traders, then in great Crouds at Utica, concerning the War, in a Style that highly aspersed Metellus, and highly exalted himself: ‘That, were but half the Army consigned over to him, he would, in a few Days, have Jugurtha in Chains. It was the Policy of the General to prolong the War; as he was a vain Man, possessed with kingly Pride, and fond of holding Command.’ All these Suggestions appeared the more solid to those Traders, as, by the Continuance of the War, their Fortunes were much impaired; and, to an impatient Spirit, no Haste whatsoever seems sufficient.
There was, moreover, in our Army, a certain Numidian named Gauda; who, as he was the Son of Manastabal, and Grandson of Masinissa, had been, by King Micipsa his Uncle, appointed his next Heir after his immediate Successors. This Man, one broken with Distempers, and thence impaired in his Faculties, aiming at Royal Rank, had made Suit to Metellus for a Seat next that of the Consul; nay, afterwards, for a Troop of Roman Horse for his Guard, and was refused both; the Seat, because it belonged to none but those whom the Roman People distinguished with the Title of Kings; the Troop of Horse, because of the Scandal accruing to the Roman Horse, were any of them assigned as Bodyguards to a Numidian. In the Heat of this Discontent, Marius accosted him; and, urging him to apply for Vengeance against the General for such Indignities, tendered him his own Interest to procure it. He even intoxicated the Man, greatly weakened in his Faculties by Diseases; extolled him, in a soothing Discourse, ‘As a Monarch, a grand Personage, the Grandson of Masinissa; one who, were Jugurtha once taken or slain, would, without any Obstacle, sway the Sceptre of Numidia: An Event which would presently follow, if he himself were sent as Consul to conduct that War.’
Thus not only this Numidian, but even the Roman Knights, the Roman Soldiers, nay, the Body of Traders, became all engaged, some by the Arts of Marius, most of them by their Hopes of Peace, to write to their several Friends at Rome concerning the War, with keen Imputations upon Metellus, and to require Marius for his Successor. Hence, great Numbers of Men joining to solicit the Consulship in his Behalf, this Concurrence of Voices proved altogether honourable to him. Besides, at this very Conjuncture, the People, who, by the Mamilian Law, had quite sunk the Power of the Nobility, were proceeding to confer the great Offices upon Plebeians. Thus all Things contributed to the Advancement of Marius.
Jugurtha, the while, when once he had dropped his Purpose of surrendering, and again begun the War, concerted all his Measures with wonderful Attention, and pursued them with infinite Dispatch. He levied an Army: Whatever Cities had revolted from him, he strove to redeem, by Threats of Vengeance, or high Offers of Compensation. He fortified what Places he still held: In room of the Arms, and warlike Stores, which, to obtain a Pacification, he had abandoned to the Romans, he caused others to be made or purchased; enticed the Roman Slaves; strove, by Money, to corrupt such of the Romans as were in Garisons: Indeed, he left nothing unattempted, no Quarter without Commotion, and made restless Efforts every-where.
One Consequence of all this was a Conspiracy at Vacca; where Metellus had placed a Garison, immediately upon the first Overtures of Jugurtha for a Pacification. The principal Citizens, teized with Solicitations from the King, and hitherto no-wise disaffected towards him, combined together to relieve the City. For the Populace, like the Populace every-where, above all in Numidia, were eager for all public Changes, prone to Sedition and Disorder, and Enemies to Peace and Repose.
After they had settled their Scheme, they fixed the Execution for the third Day following; because it was a public Festival, to be celebrated throughout all Africa; and thus more resembled a Season of Pastime and Jollity, than of Distrust and Alarm. When the Day came, the Conspirators severally invited the Roman Officers to their Houses, the Centurions, the military Tribunes, nay, even Titus Turpilius Silanus, Governor of the City: So that each of them had his Guest; and all these Guests they butchered amidst the Feast; except only Turpilius; as they did next the common Soldiers, straggling at random, destitute of Arms, and (as it was a Day of Rejoicing) remote from all Coercion from their Officers. The Populace joined in the Massacre; some at the Instigation of their Superiors; the rest animated by a natural Passion for such savage Proceedings: For, to Them, all Tumults, and violent Revolutions, were greatly pleasing; though ignorant of what was transacting, or from what View it began.
The Roman Soldiers, beset with Peril so alarming, unknowing whence it proceeded, at a Loss how to behave under it, fled in Dismay towards the Castle; for there their Standards and Bucklers lay; but found the Castle shut, and guarded by the Enemy. Nor could they escape out of the Town, as the Gates were shut before the Massacre began. To complete their Calamity, the Women and Children strove to surpass each other, in pouring down upon them, from the Roofs of the Houses, Stones, and such other terrible Materials as the several Places presented.
Thus bereft of all Resource against Danger in so many Shapes, and the bravest Men unable to withstand the Assaults of the weakest Hands, they all yielded alike to the same common Slaughter; the Worthless and the Worthy, the Daring and the Timid, without Distinction, and unrevenged.
During a Massacre so furious, whilst the Numidians breathed unrelenting Cruelty and Slaughter; nay, when the Town was on all Sides shut; Turpilius the Governor escaped; the single Italian that did so; he even escaped unhurt: Whether such singular Fortune befel him from the Humanity of his Host, or from Collusion, or from pure Chance, I have not been able to learn: However it were, since, in a Calamity so afflicting to the State, he preferred an infamous Life to Honour and Fame, he must be considered as a wicked Man, branded with lasting Ignominy.
Metellus, after he had learned the Disaster at Vacca, for a short time, forbore, in the Fulness of his Anguish, to appear in public. Anon, his Indignation rising in proportion to his Grief, he used infinite Assiduity to take due Vengeance. He, therefore, drew out the Legion which wintered with him in the same Quarter; as also all the Numidian Cavalry that he could possibly assemble; and, marching, just as the Sun set, at the Head of this Detachment, all lightly armed, arrived, next Morning about the third Hour, in a certain Plain, encompassed with small Eminences.
There, as the Men were all spent with so excessive a March, and even refusing further to obey him, he apprised them, that they were no more than a Mile from the City of Vacca; that it was incumbent on them frankly to sustain their remaining Task; a Task so interesting; even to avenge the tragical Fate of their Fellow-Citizens; all brave Men, all miserably massacred: He added a ravishing Bait, an Offer of the whole Plunder. When he had thus rouzed their Courage, he directed the Cavalry to form a Line in Front; the Infantry to march in as close Order as possible; and all the Banners to be concealed.
The Inhabitants of Vacca, when they observed an Army advancing towards them, conceived, at first, what the Fact was; that it was Metellus; and shut their Gates. Anon, when they saw, not only that, in the Country where they passed, no Devastation was committed, but withal, that the foremost Ranks consisted of Numidian Horse, they next conjectured it be Jugurtha; and issued out with huge Joy to meet him. Instantly, upon the Signal given, our Forces, Foot and Horse, flew to the Attack: Some slaughtered the common Herd, who had poured in Crouds out of the City; others ran to secure the Gates; others mastered the strong Towers. Indeed, a Passion for Revenge, and Hope of Plunder, quite overcame all Sense of Weariness.
Thus the People of Vacca triumphed no more than Two Days in their bloody Treachery: This City, so mighty and opulent, was subjected without Reserve to Vengeance and Rapine. Turpilius, who, though Governor of the City, had alone, amongst so many, procured Safety by Flight, as I have above recounted, was ordered, by Metellus, to appear, and make his Defence: As he failed in clearing himself, he was condemned, doomed to be scourged, and punished capitally; a Sentence which he underwent as a Native of Latium.
About this time, Bomilcar, he by whose Solicitation Jugurtha had made an Offer to surrender, from whence he afterwards relapsed, through Fear, was eagerly set upon a Revolution, and even contriving by what Device to destroy the King: For he was already distrusted by Jugurtha, and himself filled with equal Distrust. He, therefore, employed his Thoughts Night and Day in plotting: At length, after having examined all Sorts of Schemes, he assumed Nabdalsa for his Associate; a Man of illustrious Quality, signal for his great Wealth, and beloved by his Countrymen; a Man who usually commanded an Army apart from that of the King, and conducted all Affairs discretionally, where Jugurtha, oppressed with others, could not dispatch them, or was engaged in dispatching greater. From all which he acquired much popular Renown, as well as much Weight and Opulence.
Now these Two having agreed only upon the Day for executing the Conspiracy, and leaving all previous Measures to be adjusted occasionally, as Occurrences should arise, Nabdalsa repaired to the Army; which, by the King’s Orders, he kept stationed in the Neighbourhood of our Winter-quarters; thence to restrain the Roman Forces from ravaging the Country with Impunity: But, as he returned not at the appointed Time, (for he was, indeed, dismayed at an Enterprize so black and daring, and Fear still obstructed his coming) Bomilcar, who was at once animated by his own Impatience to perpetrate his Design; and also full of Distrust of his Accomplice, lest, deserting their late Engagements, he should seek his own Safety in a Discovery; wrote to Nabdalsa, by such as he could confide in; upbraiding him with Effeminacy, and a dastardly Spirit; calling to witness the Gods by whom he had sworn, and warning him, ‘Not to convert to his own Perdition the ample Offers of Metellus: The Doom of Jugurtha was certainly at hand: The only Difficulty to be determined, was, whether he were to perish by a brave Stroke of theirs, or by one from Metellus: He should, therefore, consult his own Soul, which Alternative to prefer; a great Recompence, or a Rack.’
It so chanced, that, when this Letter was brought to Nabdalsa, he was retired to his Bed for Rest, after much Exercise and Fatigue: At first, after he had perused what Bomilcar alledged, sore Anguish seized his Spirit; then, what is usual to Minds overwhelmed with Cares, Sleep surprised him. In his Service he entertained a certain Numidian of tried Fidelity, at once his Favourite and his Secretary; indeed, privy to all his Counsels and Designs, except the last: This Man, when he heard, that a Packet was come, judging that, according to Custom, there would be Occasion for his Hand, or even for his Counsel, went into that Part of the Pavilion, where, finding his Master asleep, with the Letter lying negligently behind his Head on the Pillow, he took it, and read it attentively; and, thence learning the Conspiracy, instantly hasted away to the King.
Nabdalsa soon after waked; but, as he could not find the Letter, and learned withal, from certain Deserters, the several Circumstances as they had passed, his first Attempt was to have his Accuser pursued and intercepted: Failing in this Expedient, he strait repaired to the Presence of Jugurtha, there to try to appease him. He averred, that he himself had laid a Scheme to disclose the Whole, and was prevented only by the Treachery of his Officer: With Eyes full of Tears he conjured him, ‘By their mutual Confidence and Amity, by his many faithful Services past, not to hold him suspected of so black a Treason.’ To all this the King answered very graciously; far differently from what he thought. As he had already seen Bomilcar executed, with many others whom he had discovered to have been engaged in the Conspiracy, he now smothered his Vengeance; lest, by continuing to sacrifice such popular Subjects, he might excite an Insurrection.
From henceforward Jugurtha never enjoyed one Day or Night with a quiet Mind; never judged himself secure in any Place, nor with any human Creature, nor at any Time; equally distrusted his Subjects and his Enemies; was wary and watchful every-where; started and trembled at every Noise; passed his Nights now here, now there, often very unsuitably to the Dignity of a King: Sometimes suddenly roused from his Sleep, and snatching his Arms, he raised an Alarm during the Dead of Night. Thus his Fears, like a Phrensy, constantly worried and transported him.
Now Metellus, when he was, by Deserters, apprised of the Doom of Bomilcar, and the Discovery of the Conspiracy, concerted anew all his Measures, and proceeded with the same Ardour as if the War were but just beginning. Marius, continually reizing him for Leave to return home, was now dismissed by him, as a Man whom he knew to serve against his Inclination, to be actuated with personal Enmity towards him, and, upon all these Accounts, not fit to be trusted by him.
Moreover, at Rome, the Populace, having learned in what different Strains the Letters were written from Africa, concerning Metellus and Marius, readily agreed to whatever was said of both. The illustrious Quality of the General, hitherto a Motive for reverencing him, was become the Ground of popular Despight; whilst his Competitor derived popular Favour from the Obscurity of his Race: But still the Partiality of the different Parties had greater Influence than the Excellencies or Defects of the different Men. Besides that, the factious Magistrates intoxicated the Multitude, arraigning Metellus of capital Crimes, in all their Speeches to the People; and magnifying, beyond Bounds, the Merit of Marius. At length, the Croud became so transported, that the Artificers and Boors, a Tribe who derived their whole Worth and Substance from the daily Earnings of their Hands, abandoned their several Occupations, and flocked from all Quarters to attend the Person and Interest of Marius; as they were, indeed, more anxious for his Promotion, than for Necessaries of Life to themselves.
Whilst the Nobility were thus depressed and awed, the Consulship, which had been confined to their Body, during a long Succession, was conferred upon a new Man. After this Point was gained, when the People came to be asked, in a numerous Assembly, by Manlius Mantinus one of their Tribunes, To whom they pleased to commit the Conduct of the War against Jugurtha? they, with one Voice, assigned it to Marius: Indeed, the Senate had, not long before, decreed Numidia to Metellus; a Decree now rendered abortive.
During these Transactions at Rome, Jugurtha found himself quite bereft of his Confidents and Counsellors. He had, indeed, himself doomed most of them to perish: The rest, dreading the same bloody Lot, had fled, some to the Romans, some to King Bocchus. Now, as he saw it impossible to maintain the War without the Aid of Ministers and Officers, and yet held it exceeding perilous to risque the Fidelity of new, after having experienced such enormous Treachery in the old, he continued under sore Agitations of Mind, wavering and perplexed: Nor could any Incident, nor any Scheme, nor any Person, be, in any measure, approved by him. Every Day he shifted his March; every Day filled the Posts of Authority anew. Now he marched against the Enemy; anon retreated to the Wilderness: Oftentimes placed all his Security in Flight and Concealment; presently after in Resistance and Battle. Nor could he determine which he ought most to distrust in his People, their Want of Courage, or their Want of Fidelity: Insomuch that, on what Side soever he sought a Resource, he beheld nothing but Grief and Discouragement.
Whilst he was thus hesitating, Metellus, on a sudden, presents himself to View with his Army. Jugurtha improved what Time he had to dispose and embattle his Numidians; and instantly the Combat ensued. In that Quarter where the King fought in Person, the Conflict was for some time maintained: The rest of his Troops, elsewhere, were routed, upon the first Encounter, and put to Flight. The Romans gained all their Arms and Standards, with a certain Number of Prisoners. In truth, the Numidians, in all their Battles with the Romans, had found more Defence from their Speed, than from their Weapons of War.
Jugurtha, after this Overthrow, desponding still more and more of his Fortune, accompanied by the Deserters, and Part of his Cavalry, reached the Desarts; and then Thala, a City very strong and opulent. There the King’s Treasure was chiefly kept; there his Children were educated with very princely Care and Appointments.
As soon as Metellus was apprised of this, although he had learned, that, between the adjoining River and the City, he had a March to undertake of Fifty Miles, all through a parched and dreary Wilderness; yet such were his Hopes of terminating the War by the Reduction of that City, that he attempted to brave rhe rudest Obstacles, and even to triumph over the Stubbornness of Nature. He, therefore, orders all the Beasts of Carriage to be lightened of their usual Burdens, and to be laden only with Bread-corn for Ten Days, together with leathern Bottles, and other Implements proper for carrying Water. He, moreover, provided whatever domestic Beasts the neighbouring Territory afforded; and loaded them with Vessels of every Kind, mostly of Wood, procured from the Numidian Cottages. Besides, he commanded the adjoining Natives, who had yielded to him after the Defeat of the King, to furnish themselves with what Water they could possibly carry, and bring it him at a particular Time and Place, with which he then acquainted them. For a Supply to himself, he loaded his Beasts with Water from the River; which, though so remote from Thala, was yet the nearest River to it, as I have already related.
Thus furnished and prepared, he advanced towards Thala. When he was arrived where he had directed the Numidians to attend him, and had just pitched and fortified his Camp, such a Flood of Rain is reported to have fallen, as would of itself have more than sufficed the Army. Here was also brought such Store of Provisions as surpassed all Expectation: For the Numidians, like most other Nations, who have submitted to new Masters, had officiously exceeded in the Measure injoined. The Soldiers, out of Devotion, chose chiefly the Water which fell from the Heavens; and, by it, their Resolution was greatly heightened, as thence they conceived themselves under the immediate Guardianship of the immortal Gods. The next Day’s March brought them before the Walls of Thala, to the great Surprize of Jugurtha: The Inhabitants, who had thought themselves abundantly secured by the desperate Difficulties found in approaching them, were, indeed, astonished at an Event so terrifying and unparalleled; yet with not the less Courage prepared for Resistance. The same resolute Temper was seen in our Forces.
The King believed, that nothing now was too difficult for Metellus to accomplish; since such was his Vigour, as to have triumphed over all Efforts from Men and Arms; over Climates, Situations and Seasons; nay, over, what controuls all other Things, Nature herself. He, therefore, stole out of the City in the Dark, with his Children, and great Part of his Treasure. From henceforward, he never staid in one Place above a Day or a Night: His Pretence was Variety of Business, which hurried him hither and thither: But the Truth is, he lived under constant Dread of treasonable Attempts; which he reckoned to evade by the Quickness of his Motions; since such Designs, he thought, were only formed when Leisure and Opportunity presented.
Metellus, when he observed the Citizens bent upon fighting for their Defence, the City withal strong, both by Situation and Bulwarks, begirt it with a Trench and Palisade; then ordered moving Machines to be rolled to all convenient Stations, Mounds to be raised upon these Machines, and upon the Mounds Turrets; such as might serve to protect the whole Work, and those who conducted it. Against all these Preparations the Citizens contrived others; and exerted wonderful Activity and Spirit: Indeed, no Effort was left untried by both Sides. At length, the Romans, after a tedious Siege of Forty Days, added to their infinite former Toils, and to the many bloody Conflicts which had sorely exhausted them, gained Possession of the bare City. The whole Spoil was destroyed by the Deserters: These Men no sooner perceived the Walls shaken by the Battering-rams, and their own Lot desperate, than they removed from the City the Gold and Silver, with whatever else is esteemed of Value, into the Royal Palace: There they surcharged themselves with Wine and Feasting; then committed all to the consuming Flames, the Wealth, the Palace, and their own Lives. Thus they underwent, of their own Accord, the worst Doom, that, after a Defeat, they could have dreaded from their Enemy.
Just upon the Taking of Thala there came Deputies from the City of Leptis to Metellus, intreating him to send them a Garison and a Governor; because a Man of Quality there, extremely factious, his Name Hamilcar, was labouring to overthrow the present Government in it; and, as neither the Authority of the Magistrates, nor Fear of the Laws, availed to restrain him, sudden Ruin threatened a Community joined in Alliance with the People of Rome, unless Metellus sent them present Succour. It must be owned, that the People of Leptis had, from the Beginning of the War with Jugurtha, applied first to Bestia the Consul, afterwards directly to Rome, suing for Admission to Friendship and Confederacy. From that Time, having obtained their Suit, they ever continued our worthy and faithful Allies, ever chearfully complied with all the Orders of our successive Commanders there, Bestia, Albinus and Metellus. So that they easily procured from the General what they requested of him. He dispatched for the Guard of Leptis, Four Cohorts of Ligurians, and Caius Annius for Governor of the City.
The Founders of this City were Sidonians, such as, flying by Sea from the Rage of intestine Arms, landed on this Shore, where it is situated between the two Syrtes; Places which derive their Denomination from their Quality. These are two Bays almost in the Extremity of Africa, naturally alike, differing only in Size. Round the Shores of these, the Sea is exceeding deep; elsewhere it varies, and is deep or shallow, according to the occasional shifting of the Soil below. For when the Sea swells, and is furiously agitated by the Winds, the mighty Billows sweep along the Slime and Sand, and even huge Stones: Insomuch that when the Winds change, so does the Bed of the Waters; and from this their Force, in dragging and shifting their Channel, they are calledSyrtes.
The only Change which the Leptinians have undergone, is that of their native Language; occasioned by their intermarrying with the Numidians. Their Civil Institutions, and Domestic Customs, are still mostly such as they originally derived from Sidon: All which they the more easily retained, because they lived far remote from the Influence of the Numidian Court: Indeed, between them and such Territories of Numidia as are well peopled, there are infinite Desarts.
Here, since by the Story of the Leptinians I am led to discourse of these Regions, it seems not impertinent to recount a famed and marvellous Adventure of two Carthaginians: The Place reminds me of it.
Whilst the Carthaginians exercised Sovereignty over most Parts of Africa, the Cyrenians too were very mighty in Power and in Wealth. Between them there extended a great sandy Plain, quite uniform, without River or Mountain, whence to ascertain and distinguish their Boundaries: An Inconvenience which held them involved in constant and raging War. Now after their Armies, nay their Fleets too, had been frequently routed and put to flight by Turns, and they were both well exhausted; as they came to apprehend, lest a common Enemy might attack the Conquerors as well as the Conquered, thus equally low and reduced, they came first to a Truce, then to an Accommodation; namely, to dispatch certain Persons from each City, at a stated Time, and to hold the Place where they met, for the common Bounds between the two States. Two Brothers bearing the same Name, that of Philænus, were deputed from Carthage, and travelled with infinite Celerity. Those from Cyrene advanced more slowly, whether from Inactivity or from Mischance, I know not. It must be confessed, that those Regions are as liable as the Sea, to be agitated with vehement Tempests, and thence, at times, unpassable. For in these dreadful Plains, destitute of Shelter, and of every green Thing, when the Wind blows fiercely, the dry Sand, thus hurled from the Earth, and driven by a mighty Hurricane, fills the Mouths and Eyes of the Travellers, and, bereaving them of their Sight, stops their proceeding.
When the Cyrenians perceived, that they were surpassed in Speed, and foresaw a terrible Doom to abide them at home, as the Authors of such public Detriment; they reproached the Carthaginians with Perfidy, as having left Home before the limited Time: They wrangled, strove to frustrate the mutual Stipulation, and declared they would incur all Risques rather than yield and return. Now, when the Two Brothers from Carthage desired them to propose any Expedient that was but equal and fair, the Greeks from Cyrene offered them the Option, ‘Either of being buried alive in that very Place, where they contended to fix the Bounds of their State; or of suffering the Cyrenians to proceed as much farther as they chose, upon the same Terms.’ The Two Brothers accepted the Condition, and devoting their Persons and Lives to the Benefit of their Commonweal, were thus buried alive in that very Spot. There the Carthaginians reared Altars, sacred to these Brothers, besides other Solemnities instituted in Carthage itself, to perpetuate their Honour. I now return to my Subject.
Jugurtha, who after the Taking of Thala, judged nothing a sufficient Defence against Metellus, passing through immense Desarts, attended by a few Followers, arrived amongst the Getulians, a brutal Race, altogether barbarous, and then unacquainted even with the Name of Romans. Of these he amassed a huge Host, accustomed them by degrees to move in Ranks, to follow their Standards, to obey Orders; nay, to perform all other Military Functions. Moreover, by great Presents, and greater Promises, he allured such as had most Sway with King Bocchus, to espouse his Cause there; and, applying to that Prince, by their Intercession, prevailed with him to undertake a War against the Romans. This was the more easily accomplished, as it humoured the Resentment of Bocchus; who, at the Beginning of our War with Jugurtha, had sent Ambassadors to Rome, without Success, to desire mutual Friendship and Alliance; an Alliance highly seasonable and advantageous at such a Conjuncture; but obstructed by a few Grandees, who, blinded with the Lust of Lucre, made it their Custom to turn into Sale every public Counsel and Question, whether honourable or infamous. Some time before, too, Bocchus had married a Daughter of Jugurtha; though such an Alliance, in truth, be held but of small Importance amongst the Numidians and Moors: For, they all have a Plurality of Wives, each in Proportion to his Ability, some Ten, others more; their Kings therefore more than any. In such a Multiplicity of Women, the Heart of Man is necessarily distracted: Insomuch, that none of them being considered as his Companion, they are all treated with equal Contempt.
The Kings with their Armies met at a Place settled by Consent. There, after the Solemnity of pledging their mutual Faith, Jugurtha set himself to inflame the Spirit of Bocchus, by representing the Romans ‘As abandoned to all Injustice, to Avarice without Bounds; as common Enemies to human Kind; furnished with the very same Cause for making War upon Bocchus, as upon himself, and upon so many other Nations; even the ardent Lust of Domination: Hence their Antipathy to all independent Sovereigns. At present they pursued Him as an Enemy, as lately they had the Carthaginians, as also King Perses. Henceforward, whatever Potentate appeared most opulent, would, for that Reason, be treated by the Romans as their Foe.’
When he had offered these and the like Invectives, they bent their March to Cirta; because in this City Metellus had lodged all his Booty, Prisoners, and Baggage. From hence Jugurtha conceived an Opinion, that he should abundantly find his Account, either in taking the Town, or in fighting the Romans, if they came to relieve it. Such was the Craft of the Man, who therefore thus hasted to Action, purely to deprive Bocchus of all Views of Peace; lest, if Delays intervened, he might chuse Measures far different from those of War.
When the Roman General had learnt the Confederacy between the Two Kings, he was not forward, as before, when he had only to deal with Jugurtha, so often vanquished by him, to meet the Enemy in Battle at all Adventures. He therefore awaited the Approach of the Kings, in a well-fortified Camp, not far from Cirta. For, as the Moors, now joined with the Numidians, were an Enemy altogether strange to us, he deemed it the better Choice to reserve himself till he were acquainted with their Character, and only to fight when he found it advantageous.
In the mean time he was informed from Rome, that the Province of Numidia was conferred upon Marius: For he had before heard of his Advancement to the Consulship. With both Tidings he was sorely mortified, far unsuitably to the Rules of Decency, or indeed of Dignity, so as neither to restrain Tears, not to moderate his Tongue. So over-weakly did so great a Man sink under Vexation of Mind, though otherwise distinguished for every noble Quality and Acquirement. This Failing was by some ascribed to Haughtiness; by others, to a worthy Spirit, exasperated by contumelious Usage; by many to Anguish, to see the Victory, won by him, snatched from him. To me it hath been fully proved, that he was more irritated by the Promotion of Marius, than by his own Wrongs; and that he would have born his Removal from the Province with much less Regret, had any but Marius succeeded him in it.
His Indignation therefore restraining him from making any further Efforts in War, and esteeming it Folly to venture his own Person to advance the Interest of another, he dispatched certain Deputies to King Bocchus, to warn him ‘Against becoming an Enemy to the Roman People, without any Injury received from them. He had now a glorious Opportunity of joining with them in a League of Friendship; a Choice to him much more advantageous than that of War. Whatever Assurance he placed in the Greatness of his Forces, still he ought not to risque what was certain for what was uncertain. Any War was easily undertaken, but none brought to an Issue without very afflicting Incidents: He who had Power to begin it, had not also Power to conclude it. It was easy for any one, even for a Coward, to stir it up; but at the sole Pleasure of the Conquerors, when to suppress it. He should therefore study the Security of himself, and his Kingdom; and, on no Account, blend his own flourishing Fortune with the desperate Fate of Jugurtha.’
The King’s Answer was courteous; ‘He too desired Peace, but pitied the calamitous Lot of Jugurtha: If he also were to be included, a general Pacification would ensue.’ Again the Roman General sent his Deputies, with Answers to the Pretensions of Bocchus, who acquiesced in some Particulars, and rejected others. In this manner, by sending and returning Deputies, Time passed away, and the War was protracted without any Action, agreeably to the Design of Metellus.
Marius, as I have related, had been created Consul by the People, with all the Symptoms of flaming Affection; and, having next, by a popular Ordinance, been appointed Governor of Numidia, he, who had been long before exasperated against the Nobility, now braved them with high Insolence and Asperity: Sometimes he insulted particular Grandees, sometimes the whole Body. He was continually repeating, ‘That he had ravished the Consulship from them, as Spoil from a defcated Enemy;’ with many other Boasts, all to magnify himself, and to mortify them. In the mean while, it was his principal Attention to be furnished with whatever the War required: He demanded Recruits for the Legions; he drew Succours from Foreign Nations, from Kings and confederate States. He invited, moreover, all the bravest Men to be found in Latium, most of them well known to him by having served with him; insomuch that very few of them depended, for their Recommendation, upon Hearsay. Nay, such was his Address and Court, even to the discharged Veterans, that he induced them to arm again, and accompany him.
Neither did the Senate, though known to be his Enemies, dare to deny any Suit of his. Besides, they felt secret Joy in decreeing him a Body of Recruits; for they presumed, that the Populace would not bear to inlist, and then Marius must either remain disabled from pursuing the War, or lose the Hearts of the Commonalty. But such Expectations were quite disappointed; so vehement a Passion for attending Marius had seized most of them. Every Man promised himself to return with certain Victory, and enriched with Spoil; with the like pleasing Fancies, which now turned their Heads. Indeed, Marius had by his Speech elevated them in no small Degree. For, when the several Ordinances for granting all his many Suits, had passed, and his next Study was to raise Men, he assembled the People; and taking this Occasion for animating them to the Service, and withal for lashing the Nobility, as he was wont, he harangued in the following Strain.
‘I know, Romans, that most who are your Suitors for high Dignities, recommend themselves by a Conduct very different from what they observe when they have obtained them. In the Pursuit, they are indefatigable, condescending, and gentle: In the Possession, they consign themselves to Indolence and Haughtiness. To me, the contrary Conduct seems just. For, in proportion as the general Interest of the State is of more moment than the particular Offices of Consul or Prætor, higher Assiduity is required in administrating the Commonwealth, than in courting its Preferments.’
‘I am by no means unacquainted to what a high Task I am destined by this your generous Choice of me. To concert Measures for conducting the War; yet still to favour the Treasury; to oblige those to serve, whom it behoves you not to offend; to be exercised in continual Attention to all Transactions at Rome, and elsewhere; and to discharge all these Duties amidst a Combination of malignant Men, for ever thwarting you, for ever caballing against you, furnishes out an Undertaking more trying and painful, O Romans, than can well be conceived. Besides, when others prove faulty in Office, they find ready and powerful Protection, in the ancient Lustre of their House, in the brave Exploits of their Ancestors, in the great Credit of their Family, very potent, and widely allied; finally, in the Zeal of numerous Dependents and Retainers. To me no Resource remains, but in Myself only; such, too, as it is highly incumbent on me to preserve, as well by the Firmness as by the Integrity of my Conduct: Any other Support would fail me.
‘I am aware also, Romans, that all Eyes are fixed upon me; that all worthy, all unprejudiced Men, cordially espouse me; as they are pleased with my successful Efforts to serve the Commonweal. I am aware, too, that the Nobility are devising Ways to destroy me: Whence it behoves me to exert the greater Vigour; not only that you be not misled by them, but that all their Malice may be baffled. From my Childhood upwards, my Life has been so seasoned with Toils and Perils, that they are become habitual to me. As I had long served you disinterestedly, before your Favours reached me, it is far from my Heart, O Romans, to discontinue serving you now, when such noble Retribution is made me. Those Men, who, from Ambition, assume the Guise of Virtue to gain Power, find it difficult to exercise Moderation in it: In me, who have applied my whole Life to the most laudable Courses, the Habit of Well-doing is converted into Nature.
‘It is your Pleasure to ordain me General against Jugurtha; an Ordinance bitterly resented by the Nobility. Pray, consult your own Judgment once more, whether it were not better to alter your Choice; and to appoint, for this Undertaking, or for any other like it, one of that Herd of Nobles, a Man of very ancient Descent, abounding in the Images of his Ancestry, and utterly unacquainted with the Service: See how, under such an arduous Undertaking, he will shrink and hurry; and, ignorant himself of every Branch of his Duty, take a Plebeian for his Instructor in the Whole. Thus it hath, for the most part, happened, that the Man whom you appoint your General, is obliged to look out for another General to direct him: Nay, I myself, O Romans, know some, who began, after they were Consuls, to read the History of our Forefathers, and to study our military Precepts taken from the Greeks. Strange Inversion of Order and Time! For though the bearing Office be later than the Election to Office; yet, in the Nature of Things, Qualification and Sufficiency precede the Election.
‘Now, Romans, compare me, who am new in Preferments, with these Men, swelling with their high Quality. Whatever they are wont to gather from Hearsay, or from Reading, I have seen transacted, or transacted myself: What they have learned from Books, I have learned in the Service. Judge, from hence, whether real Actions, or bare Speculation, are most to be regarded. They scorn Me, as a Man of modern Dignity; I Them, as Sluggards of ancient Lincage: I am only upbraided with my Fortune; They with their flagitious Doings. In my Estimation, Nature is ever the same, shared in common amongst all Men; and whoever most excels in heroic Virtue, excels most in Quality. Suppose it were possible to inquire of the Fathers of Albinus and Bestia, Whether they would have chosen to have given Birth to Me or to Them? what do you believe would be their Answer, but that they would wish to have had for their Sons the most valuable Men?
‘But suppose the Nobles have any Ground to despise me: They have the same to despise their Progenitors; Men who derived their original Nobility, as I do mine, from military Virtue. They behold with Envy my public Dignity: Let them envy, too, my long Course of Fatigues, my Morals void of Blemish, and my constant Perils; for by these only I gained it. In truth, these Men, blind with Insolence, lead such Lives, as if they were above accepting the public Dignities in your Gift; yet sue for them as confidently, as if, by their Course of Life, they had deserved them. Surely they are greatly deluded, at once to aim at Two Things so opposite; the Enjoyment of sensual Riot, and the Recompences due to heroic Virtue! What is equally strange, when they entertain you with Harangues, or make them in the Senate, most of their Eloquence is bestowed in boasting of their Ancestors; as by recounting the brave Exploits of these, they think to derive great Lustre upon themselves: But the Reverse ensues; since the more brightly the Lives of their Forefathers shone, the greater Scandal redounds upon their own unmanly Deportment. The Thing is plainly this; the Glory earned by dead Ancestors is like a great Light attending their Descendants; and suffering none of their Actions, good or evil, to lie concealed. I bear the Want of all such hereditary Lustre, O Romans: But, what is infinitely more noble, I can recount to you Deeds of Renown; Deeds atchieved by myself in Person.
‘Behold now how unjust these Men are! Whilst they arrogate to themselves high Distinction from the heroic Actions of others, they will allow me none from those done by myself: And all because I have no Images of Ancestry, and my Nobility is no older than myself. It is, surely, much more laudable to introduce Nobility into a new Family, than to debase the Nobility of an old.
‘Still I am aware, that, if they would reply to what I now say, they would do it with abundant Strains of Eloquence, with notable Art and Correctness: Yet I could not forbear speaking, as I was urged by the bitter Contumelies, which, upon all Occasions, they threw, not upon me only, but upon you, ever since you so highly distinguished me. I was, indeed, afraid, lest some might attribute my Silence to inward Conviction; though my own Heart persuades me, that no Speech whatever can annoy me, since, if the Speaker utter Truth, he cannot but commend me; if he deal falsly, my Life and Conduct will confute him.’
‘But since they arraign your Determination, in conferring upon me the supreme Magistracy, as well as a Task of the highest Moment, consider over and over, whether you ought not to change your Mind and your Orders. I can make no Display of the Images, of the Triumphs, or of the Consulships, of my Progenitors, as Pledges for well-executing public Trust: But, were it required, I could produce military Gifts and Distinctions great Store; Spears, Standards, Collars, and other Monuments of Service; besides Scars of Wounds, all honourably received before. These are my Images, these the Proofs of my Nobility; not bequeathed to me, like an Inheritance, (the only Title which they have to theirs) but such as I myself have earned by a Succession of Toils and Perils without Number.
‘My Language, too, is unpolished: Of small Concern is that to me. Virtue and Merit display themselves with abundant Clearness. To these Men the Art of Talking is necessary; thence to disguise their infamous Doings. Neither have I been instructed in the Learning of the Greeks: Little, surely, did I like such Instruction, as what never improved the Authors of it in any Degree of manly Virtue. Let it suffice, that I have learned such Lessons as are more interesting to the Commonweal; to wound the Foe; to lead Bands of Men to the Charge; to be fearless of all Things but Infamy; equally to undergo Cold and Heat; to repose myself upon the bare Ground; to endure at once Hunger and Fatigue. These are the Documents which shall animate my Soldiers; nor shall they ever find me treat them rigidly, and myself sumptuously; they shall never see me borrow my Glory from their Vigilance and Toils. Such shall be my Rule over them; Rule profitable to the Republic; Rule suited to the Equality of Citizens! Indeed, to subject the Army to merciless Service, whilst you live in all Delicacy yourself, is acting the Tyrant, not the Leader.
‘By pursuing Measures like these, your Ancestors gained immortal Glory to themselves and the Commonwealth. Upon their glorious Services the Nobility rest themselves, without the least Resemblance of Character; nay, despising us, who claim such Resemblance, they demand of you the Enjoyment of all public Dignities, from no Title of personal Merit, but as due to their Birth: A prodigious Strain of Arrogance! But in it they are widely deceived. Their Ancestors left them whatever was in their Power to leave; Riches, Images, and their own signal Renown: Their superior Genius and Virtue they left them nor; nor was it possible: It is a Qualification which can never be presented, never received as a Gift.
‘They report me to be a rough Man, my Manners low and coarse; because I want Skill curiously to direct a Banquet; have ne’er a Buffoon in my Train; and pay no higher Wages to the Slave that dresses my Meat, than to a Slave that looks after a Farm. Every Part of this Accusation I freely acknowledge, O Romans, to be true: For I learned from my Father, and other venerable Men, that Things of Delicacy were the Appurtenances of Women; Labour and Activity the Portion of Men: That all virtuous Minds entertained a higher Passion for Glory than for Riches; and that, in Arms, not in gaudy Living, true Ornament was found.
‘But, let the Nobles still do what delights them, still pursue what they hold so charming; riot in Love, riot in Wine; spend their old Age, where they wasted their Youth, in Banquetting; and continue under irredeemable Bondage to their Bellies, and most impure Organs: To Us, let them leave Sweat and Dust, and such other Hardships, as, to Us, they are more pleasing than all the Allurements of Feasting. Yet even this they refuse: For, after having contaminated themselves with all Sorts of Crimes and Impurities, they, the most detestable of all Men, strive to snatch away the public Rewards due to worthy Men for serving the Public. Thus it comes to pass, by a Course of the most crying Injustice, that the vilest Practices of Intemperance and Effeminacy prove no Obstacles to those immersed in them; yet threaten the unoffending Commonwealth with Destruction.
‘Since I have thus answered these Men, as far as the Vindication of my own Character required, though not so fully as their guilty Conduct deserved, I will now speak somewhat concerning the Administration of the Government: And, what is first to be considered, comfort yourselves, O Romans, with Assurance of Success in Numidia; since you have now crushed whatever hath proved the Security of Jugurtha till this very Hour; namely, the Rapaciousness, the Insufficiency, and Arrogance, of our Commanders against him. There is also an Army there well acquainted with the Country; but, surely, more brave than fortunate; for great Numbers of them have fallen Sacrifices to the Avarice or Temerity of their Generals. All you, therefore, who are of Age for Service, fly to assist my Endeavours with yours, and assume the Guardianship of the Commonweal: Nor let any of you fall into Apprehensions for himself, from the tragical Fate of others, or from the Pride of the late Commanders: I will be always present with you, in all your Marches, in all your Encounters; first concerting Measures for you to execute, then assisting you in the Execution.
‘In a Word, as you act, I shall act, and as you fare, I shall fare, in every Instance. Let me add, that, by the Favour of the Deities, all Things are ripe to meet our Wishes, Victory, Spoil, and Glory: Nay, were all these Acquisitions uncertain, or even remote, still it is incumbent upon every worthy Citizen to succour the Commonweal. To say Truth, no Man ever became immortal by Sloth and Lukewarmness. It was never yet the Wish of a Father for his Children, that they might never die; but rather that they might spend their Lives like useful and honourable Men. To what I have said I should still add more, if Words had Force to render Cowards brave; for I think I have, to the Valiant, spoken sufficiently.’
Marius, when he had made this Speech, perceiving the Minds of the People altogether elate and complying, immediately ordered his Provisions, Money, Arms, with all the other Appurtenances of War, to be embarked; and directed the Whole to sail, under the Command of Aulus Manlius his Lieutenant-General. He himself was busied, the while, in levying Men: Nor, in doing it, had he Regard to the primitive Rules of inrolling only those of certain Classes, but accepted all inclined to the Service; most of them such, indeed, as, by the Laws of the State, were, for their extreme Poverty, exempted from carrying Arms. There were some who attributed this his Conduct to the Scarcity of Men better qualified: Others ascribed it to a Design of making his Court to the Rabble; since, from them, he first derived his Fame, and now his Promotion. Besides that, the most seasonable Assistants to any Man who is grasping after Power, are ever the Needy and Desperate; such as, having no Property of their own, are under no Concern to secure it; but hold for honourable whatever is gainful.
Now Marius, setting Sail for Africa, accompanied with a Number of Troops something exceeding what were decreed him, landed in a few Days at Utica. There the Command of the Army was transferred to him by Publius Rutilius Lieutenant-General to Metellus: For Metellus had chosen to shun any Meeting with Marius; as he would not, in Person, see, what he could never bear to hear.
The Consul, having completed the Number of his Legions and auxiliary Cohorts, marched into a fertile Territory, abounding in Plunder: Whatever Spoil was taken there, he wholly bestowed upon the Soldiers. He next assailed such Fortresses and Towns as were not very strong, either by Nature, or in numerous Garisons. There followed many Encounters in several Places; most of them light. During all this Service, the late Recruits learned to join in an Onset without Fear: They saw such as fled, either killed or taken; the Bravest, every-where, the most secure: They saw, that it was by Arms, that public Liberty, our common Country, our Parents, and all Things in general, were protected; that, by Arms, Glory and Riches were procured to Particulars. Thus, in a short time, the new Men came to match the Veterans; and the Whole were found equally adroit and brave.
As to the Two Kings; as soon as ever they had learned, that Marius was arrived, they parted; and withdrew each into remote Places, hardly to be approached. Such was the Counsel of Jugurtha: For he hoped, that, as his Enemies would thus come to disperse, they would furnish him an Opportunity of falling upon them; since the Romans, like most other Nations, when their Fears ceased, would act with more Remissness, and less Regularity.
During these Transactions, Metellus, upon his Return to Rome, was received there, contrary to what he expected, with Hearts full of Affection and Transport; and, now that popular Prejudice and Disgust were vanished, he proved as dear to the Plebeians as to the Nobility.
Of Marius, too, it must be owned, that he exerted notable Quickness, as also notable Prudence, in learning the Measures of the Enemy, and in pursuing his own; in devising what might conduce to advance or frustrate either; in discovering the separate Marches of the Two Kings; in contriving how to baffle all their Machinations and Snares. In his own Quarters he suffered nothing remiss; no Abatement of Duty; and nothing quiet and secure in theirs: Insomuch that, as he frequently assailed not only the Getulians, but Jugurtha, too, in Person, when either he or they were carrying off the Plunder of our Confederates, he always routed both: Nay, not far from Cirta he even forced the King to cast away his Arms, and fly.
Yet, when he reflected, that all these Efforts produced only Smoak and Applause, but nothing to terminate the War, he resolved to lay Siege, by turns, to all such Towns, as, either in Strength of Garison or Situation, contributed most to the Benefit of the Enemy, and to his own Detriment; with Design, either thus to divest Jugurtha of all his Resources of Strength, if he suffered them to be taken; or to bring him to a Battle, if he attempted to relieve them. For from King Bocchus he had frequently received Deputies, signifying ‘how much he sought the Amity of the Roman People; and that no Sort of Hostility was to be apprehended from him.’ It was never discovered, whether he only feigned this pacific Disposition, thence to fall upon us unawares with more certain Slaughter; or whether he followed the Impulse of his own Spirit, naturally variable, prompting him, by sudden turns, now to War, anon to Peace.
The Consul, pursuing his Resolution, advances against the strong Towns and Castles; and gained them from the Enemy; some by Force, some by Fear, others by advantageous Conditions. In truth, his first Enterprizes were but moderately bold; as he judged, that Jugurtha, for the Protection of his Subjects, would risque an Encounter: But, having learned, that he continued at a great Distance, and was occupied in different Counsels, Marius thought it a seasonable Juncture to proceed to higher and more daring Adventures.
There stood, in the midst of boundless Desarts, a great fortified City, named Capsa, reported to have been founded by the Libyan Hercules. The Citizens, too, were accounted faithfully devoted to Jugurtha, for their large Immunities under him, and his gentle Government over them. Against their Enemies they were defended not only by powerful Bulwarks, by Magazines of Arms, and Numbers of Men, but by a greater Security than all, the dreadful Regions round them: For, except the Fields adjoining to the Town, on all Sides there stretched a dismal Tract; bare, barren, every-where void of Water, every-where infested with Serpents, whose Rage, like that of other wild and devouring Creatures, is sharpened by Famine: Add, that the Poison of Serpents, so deadly in its own Nature, is inflamed by nothing more than by Thirst.
Marius had a vehement Desire to master this Town; not only for the Advancement of the War, but because it was an arduous Undertaking: Moreover Metellus had acquired great Glory from the takeing of Thala; a Town not much different in Situation and Defence, except that a little Way without the Walls of Thala several Springs arose; whereas the People of Capsa had no more than one, and that within the City, without farther Supply, except from Rain. This Inconvenience is the more supportable here, and in all the other inland Parts of Africa, where rustic Habits prevail; since the Numidians, for Meat and Drink, satisfy themselves chiefly with Milk and Venison, without wanting so much as Salt, or, indeed, any other Stimulation to Appetite: Amongst them the sole Purpose of Eating is to resist Hunger; of Drinking to allay Thirst; never to gratify Intemperance and Luxury.
The Consul, in this Undertaking, took all possible Precaution and Informations; but relied, I presume, principally upon Aid from the Gods; since it was impossible that he could contrive any Scheme of his own, thoroughly to surmount so many alarming Difficulties: Nay, further Discouragement arose from the Scarcity of Corn; since the Numidians are much more solicitous about Grass for their Cattle, than the Production of Grain. Besides that, whatever had been then produced, they had, by Orders from the King, conveyed into Places of Defence; as it was now the Close of the Summer, a Season when the Ground is utterly parched and unbearing.
In proportion, however, to his Condition and Means, he concerted Measures with abundant Foresight and OEconomy. The Care of conducting all the Cattle, which, during some preceding Days, had been taken in Plunder, he committed to the auxiliary Horse. He ordered Aulus Manlius his Lieutenant to advance with the light Cohorts to the City Laris, where he had placed his military Chest, and his Stores: What he openly declared was, that he would himself rejoin them there in a few Days, after an Excursion in Pursuit of Spoil. Such was the Method which he took to conceal his Enterprize, and then marched directly towards the River Tana.
During this March, he distributed daily a certain Number of Beasts amongst the Army, so many to a Company of Foot, so many to a Troop of Horse, in equal Proportions; and caused withal Bottles to be made of their Hides: So that, by this Management, he at once compensated for the Scarcity of Corn, and provided such Implements as were soon to become necessary, though none then knew his Intentions. At length, when, in Six Days March, they had arrived at the River, they had already made vast Store of such Bottles. Having there pitched and slightly secured his Camp, he ordered the Soldiers to refresh themselves with Food, and be ready to move precisely with the setting Sun, to leave all their Baggage behind them, and to encumber themselves, and their Beasts of Burden, with nothing else but Water.
The Moment the Time was elapsed, he decamped; and, having marched the whole Night, encamped again in the Morning. Next Night he renewed his March; and the Third, long before Dawn, he came to a Place full of small Hills, not above Two Miles from Capsa: There he lay in wait with his Forces, concealing himself and them with all possible Closeness and Care: But, as soon as Day appeared, and the Numidians, far from apprehending any Enemy, had left the Town in great Numbers, he strait commanded the whole Cavalry, as also the swiftest of the Foot, to fly towards Capsa, and seize the Gates: He himself instantly followed with great Ardour and Dispatch, and suffered not a Man to stray after Plunder.
When the Inhabitants perceived what Dangers beset them, Amazement seized them: The Calamity was unexpected, and their Dismay terrible. To heighten it, many of their Fellow-Citizens were without the Walls, and already in the Hands of the Enemy. Thus they were forced to capitulate, and to surrender themselves and the City. It was nevertheless burned to the Ground; all the young Men in it put to the Sword; all the rest sold to Caprivity: The Plunder was distributed amongst the Soldiers. This severe Course, undoubtedly repugnant to the Laws of War, proceeded from no Spirit of Rapine, or of Treachery in the Consul; but was only taken because the Place was advantageous for Jugurtha, and to us scarcely accessible; the Citizens an unsteady Race, void of all Faith, hitherto never to be curbed, either by Benefits, or by Terrors.
From the Date of an Enterprize so daring, yet executed by Marius without Loss or Disaster to his Men, his Name, great, indeed, and celebrated, for some time past, became still greater, still more celebrated. All his Proceedings, even such as were not over-cautious, were attributed to his heroic Abilities: His Men, all mildly used, nay, enriched by him, sounded his Praises to the Skies: The Numidians dreaded him, as a Being more than human: In short, all our Confederates, and all our Enemies, believed that he possessed the Spirit of a Deity; at least, that the Favour of the Deities presaged him Success in all Things.
Now the Consul, after the happy Issue of his late Expedition, advanced against other Towns. In taking some few of them he found Resistance from the Inhabitants: In many more he found the Effect of the tragical Execution at Capsa, no Inhabitants at all; and all the Towns thus deserted he committed to the Flames. Thus Wailing and Slaughter filled all Quarters. At last, when he had conquered many Places, most of them without Loss of Blood, he attempted another Adventure, which, though not attended with such complicated Hazards as that at Capsa, yet portended not inferior Difficulties.
Not far from the River Molucha, which is the common Boundary between the Kingdoms of Jugurtha and Bocchus, in the midst of a vast Plain, stands a Fort, of a moderate Size, upon the large Level of a Rock infinitely high; on every Side formed by Nature as desperately steep as human Art and Labour could have made it, except one Path extremely narrow.
To take this Place, Marius exerted all his Application and Might, because the King’s Treasure was kept in it. But, in this Enterprize, Chance proved more prevalent than Counsel; for the Castle was abundantly supplied with Men, Arms, Provisions, and even with Water from a Spring: Besides, the Situation was such as to defy the Use of Mounds and Turrets, and all the Machinery of a Siege: The Avenue to it was remarkably streight; and, on each Side, a frightful Precipice: The moving Galleries were dragged against it with infinite Hazard, always without Success: For, when they approached ever so little, they were instantly consumed by Fire, or crushed with heavy Stones. The Soldiers could neither stand, steadily, to advance their Works, such was the Hardness and Steepness of the Rock; nor assist at the Batteries, such was the Execution from above. The bravest Men were certainly slain, at least wounded; and thence the Fears of all the rest redoubled.
Now Marius, who had thus wasted many Days, and much Toil, was, in great Anguish, debating with himself, whether to relinquish his Enterprize, as it proved utterly unprosperous, or to await the Interposition of Fortune, which he had often tried with Success. Whilst he was yet under this Ferment of Spirit, which for several Nights and Days had sorely distracted him, a certain Ligurian, a common Soldier belonging to the auxiliary Cohorts, happening to go out of the Camp in Search of Water, perceived Shell-snails crawling amongst the Rocks, on the Side of the Fortress, opposite to that where the Assault was made. As he gathered one, then another, and still continued climbing in Pursuit of more, he had insensibly reached almost to the Summit of the Mountain. There, when he saw that Quarter quite solitary and neglected, from a Propensity inherent in Men, of visiting Objects unknown, he was prompted to proceed. Luckily, in that very Place, there grew out of the Precipice a great Oak, which, bending downward at a little Distance from the Root, then rising again, towered strait upwards, as all Trees naturally do.
The Ligurian, still mounting, now upon the Branches of the Oak, then upon the prominent Rocks, at last found himself high enough to survey, at leisure, the Position and Frame of the Castle: For, all the Numidians were earnestly engaged on that Side where the Attack was made.
When he had well proved and examined whatever he judged would be, anon, conducing to the Execution of his Purpose, he returned the same Way; yet not at random, as he mounted; but constantly pausing, and examining carefully every Step and Difficulty on every Side. He then hastened to Marius, and, acquainting him with what he had performed and discovered, urged him to attempt the Fort, on that Quarter where he himself had ascended: He even offered to be at once the Guide, and the Foremost to face the Danger. Marius dispatched away, along with the Ligurian, such as he had then about him, to examine the Grounds of his Proposal. These made very different Reports; some, that the Undertaking was difficult; others, that it was easy; each agreeably to his particular Judgment. The Spirit of the Consul was however revived; so that he prepared a Guard of Four Centurions with their Companies, to which he joined Five Trumpets, the nimblest that could be found in the Army; and, commanding the Whole to submit to the Directions of the Ligurian, he assigned the Day following for the Undertaking.
Now when all things necessary were provided and contrived, he advanced to the Place at the Time ordained. Add that the Centurions, forewarned by their Guide, had changed their Dress and Armour, marching with their Head and Feet both bare, in order to enjoy a freer View, and to mount the easier over the Rocks. They carried their Swords over their Shoulders, as also their Bucklers, which were of the Numidian Sort, framed of Leather; because they were lighter, and, when struck, not sharply resounding. The Ligurian, always marching foremost, girt Cords round the projecting Cliffs, and such old Roots of Trees as appeared above the Surface, thence to aid his Fellows in climbing. From time to time, with the Help of his Hand, he raised those who were daunted at a March so singular and shocking. Whereever the Ascent proved yet more violent, he eased them of their Arms, saw them mount before him, then followed, bearing their Arms himself. Where the terrible Declivities seemed threatening, even to their best Efforts, he tried, and demonstrated, with infinite Patience and Care, how passable they were; and by ascending, then descending, over and over, inspired the rest with Courage, and then strait retired to make way for them.
Thus, after much tedious and painful Labour, they gained the Castle, which was quite unguarded on that Side; for the Enemy were then, as on the Days preceding they had been, engaged in the opposite Quarter. Marius, as soon as he was advertised of the Success of the Ligurian, though he had already, by continuing the Attack all Day long, thoroughly employed and amused the Numidians, yet now particularly heartened the Soldiers with fresh Exhortations. He even rushed out of his Galleries, formed his Men into the Fashion of a Shell, and made them thus advance against the Fort: Nay, at the same time, effectually to dismay the Enemy, all his Engines, all his Archers and Slingers, poured, from a proper Distance, continual Vollies. The Numidians, who had so often crushed to Pieces, nay, burnt to Ashes, the Roman Galleries, were grown so secure as not to keep, for Protection, within the Bulwarks of the Castle; but passed whole Nights and Days without their Walls. There they boldly reviled the Romans, charged Marius with Phrensy, threatened our Troops with Bondage to Jugurtha; and, indeed, from being successful, were become extremely insulting.
Now, whilst the Conflict was maintained on both Sides with surious Efforts; here in a Struggle for Glory and Empire, there for Life and Liberty; on a sudden, the Trumpets from behind sounded an Onset. Then it was, that the Women and Children, who had come out to behold the Engagement, betook themselves first to Flight, as did next such as were nearest the Walls, and at last the whole Body, the Armed as well as the Unarmed. As soon as this appeared, the Romans exerted fresh Ardour, urging and overthrowing the Enemy, often only wounding, without staying to kill; then, mounting over the Heaps of Slain, and all vying one with another in quest of Glory, they flew to gain the Bulwarks, with such Earnestness, that not a Soul stopped for Plunder. Thus accidental Success justified a wild Attempt of Marius, who gained great Praise from a rash Action.
During the Progress of this Undertaking, Lucius Sylla arrived in the Camp with a great Body of Horse, raised in Latium, and amongst our Allies; for which purpose he had been left at Rome by Marius. Since, therefore, this Incident concerning so extraordinary a Man invited me, it seemed pertinent to subjoin a short View of his Genius and Qualifications. For I shall nowhere else enter into the History of Sylla: Besides that Lucius Sisenna, though the best and most accurate of his Historians, seems to me to have recounted it with very defective Freedom.
Sylla sprang from a Patrician Race of eminent Lustre; but the Family was sunk in Obscurity, through the Degeneracy of his late Ancestors. He was equally and excellently accomplished in all the Learning of Greece and Rome; of a daring Spirit, passionate for Pleasures, more passionate for Glory; voluptuous during Recess from Affairs, but never suffering his Affairs to be retarded by his Gayeties, except in the Instance of his Divorce, in which he ought to have studied more Decency. He was very eloquent, very able; very complaisant in his Friendships; of profound Reach in disguising his Pursuits; profuse of every Bounty, of Money above all. He was indeed happy beyond all Men, before he became Master in our civil Dissensions; his Fortune, however great, never surpassing his Ability: So that many have doubted, whether he were more Fortunate, or Brave. In what Strains his consequent Proceedings are to be recounted, whether with greater Shame, or with greater Horror, I am unable to say.
When Sylla was arrived in Africa, and had, with his Cavalry, joined Marius in his Camp, as I have above recounted, he, who was hitherto raw and unpractised in War, improved so as in a short while to become a most accomplished Warrior. Add his engaging Affability to the Men; his great Liberality to all that asked, with his voluntary Bounties to others; his Shyness to receive Favours, his great Eagerness to repay them, greater than if they had been a Debt in Money; his Refusal of any Return for Benefits conferred; as indeed what he most aimed at was, by Gifts and good Offices to engage all Men; his Condescension in discoursing with the common Men, either ludicrously or gravely; his Assiduity in accompanying them on all Occasions, in their Marches, in their Works, and in their Guard; his Forbearance, at the same time, to court the Croud by the usual base Method of wounding the Character of the Consul, or of any other deserving Man. His great Aim was to suffer none to surpass him in Conduct, or in Bravery; and in both these he surpassed almost all others. By this Address, and these Abilities, he became, in a short time, highly endeared to Marius and the whole Army.
Now Jugurtha, seeing himself divested of Capsa, and other Places, of great Strength in themselves, and of great Importance to him, as also of vast Treasure, sends Ambassadors to Bocchus, to press his coming with his Forces into Numidia; for, that this was a proper Juncture for engaging the Romans. Upon Information that Bocchus paused, wavering between the Motives for War and those for Peace; he again, with great Gifts, purchased his most powerful Confidents: Nay, to tempt the Moor himself, he promised him a Third of Numidia, on condition, that either the Romans were driven out of Africa, or, by a Treaty with them, he recovered his whole Dominions. Bocchus, allured by such an Accession of Territory, advanced strait to Jugurtha. So that immediately upon this Conjunction of their Armies, they assailed Marius, then marching into Quarters for the Winter, near the Close of the Evening: For, they presumed, that, were they defeated, the approaching Night would secure them, and prove no Detriment, if they conquered; since they perfectly knew the Country; when, let the Result be what it would, the Darkness must, on the contrary, distress the Romans.
Whilst, by manifold Advices, the Consul was advertised of the Approach of the Enemy, the Enemy were in full View: Nay, before the Army could be formed, or the Baggage piled together, even before the Signal could be given, or any proper Orders distributed, the Moorish and Getulian Cavalry rushed upon them; not in Battle-array, not observing any Rule of engaging, but in several Crowds, just as Chance had huddled them together. Our Men, though most of them were startled with an Assault so unforeseen, yet, recalling their former Bravery, boldly wielded their Arms, all ready to encounter the Foe, or to protect against the Foe such as were yet not armed. Many mounted on Horseback, and advanced to meet the Enemy. The whole Action was conducted more like a Fray of Robbers than a Battle; Horse and Foot jumbled together at random, without Standards, without Ranks: Many were bereft of Life, many of their Limbs: Numbers, keenly attacking in Front, perished by being themselves attacked in Rear. Neither Bravery nor Arms proved an equal Defence; for the Enemy infinitely exceeded in Numbers, and thence every-where encompassed us. At length, the Romans, where-ever they met together in Parties, as Accident or Place happened to mingle them, both the Veterans and the late Recruits, (these, too, having learnt War by Practice, and the Example of the former) formed themselves into globular Bodies. Thus, guarded by a Front every Way, they withstood all the Fury of the Enemy.
Marius, during all this severe Conflict, continued void of Dismay; nor was his Spirit less elate and vigorous than before. Accompanied by his own Troop, which he had filled with Men chosen rather for their Valour than from any personal Friendship, he scoured through all Quarters; here succouring his own Men hardly pressed, there attacking the thickest and busiest of the Enemy in Person. Thus he assisted his Soldiers with his Sword; since, in a Combustion so universal, he found it impossible to direct like a General. Already the Day was closed; yet the Barbarians slackened nothing in their Efforts: They even pushed with redoubled Ardour, in pursuit of Orders from the Two Kings, who conceived the Darkness to be only advantageous to themselves.
Marius therefore, as the best Measure under so many Difficulties, chusing to provide a Place of Refuge for his Men, ordered Possession to be taken of two Hills contiguous to each other: In one, though not affording Space sufficient for an Encampment, there flowed a Spring plentiful of Water: The other seasonably served for a Camp; for, as it was, for the greatest part, exceeding high and steep, it required but small Labour to fortify it. He directed Sylla, with the Cavalry, to pass the Night by the Spring: He himself, having by degrees reassembled his scattered Forces, whilst the Enemy still remained in no less Disorder, led them all strait to the other Hill.
Thus the Two Kings, constrained by the Difficulty of the Ascent, forbore any further Attack, yet suffered not their Forces to retire, but, besetting both Hills, pitched all round them with their ill-concerted Multitudes. Then, kindling many Fires, they passed most of the Night in Riot usual to Barbarians, rejoicing, bounding to and fro, and uttering terrible Shouts. The Two Princes also, their Commanders, exulted highly, and behaved like Conquerors, because they had not been forced to fly.
All this wild Deportment was easily perceived by the Romans, from their higher Situation in the Dark; and greatly raised their Spirit. As Marius, particularly, had gathered high Assurance from the weak Conduct of the Enemy, he ordered a profound Silence to be kept; nor would he even suffer, what was always used, the Change of the Guard to be sounded. At last, as soon as Day appeared, when the Enemy, now utterly fatigued, were just fallen fast asleep, he directed all the Trumpets, both of Horse and Foot, in the whole Army, to sound at once to Battle, all the Men, at the same time, to give a mighty Shout, and sally down furiously upon the Foe.
The Moors and Getulians, suddenly roused by a Noise so strange to their Ears, and so frightful, were bereft of all Ability, either to fly, or to handle their Arms, to contrive, or to act: So that, struck with the Uproar and terrible Shouts, destitute of all Aid from their own Commanders, fiercely gored by our Forces, they sunk like Men benumbed, under all this alarming Tumult, Astonishment, and Dread. In a Word, they were utterly cut off and routed, most of their Arms and Ensigns of War taken, and more Men slain in this Engagement, than in all the foregoing; for Sleep, and extraordinary Dismay, had obstructed their Flight.
Marius now proceeded, as he had begun, in his March towards Winter Quarters in the Maritime Towns; as in these he had determined to fix them for the Conveniency of Provisions; himself still unchanged by his Victory, and become neither Negligent nor Imperious; but, with the same Circumspection, as if the Enemy had been in View, marching his Army in the Form of a Square. Sylla commanded the Cavalry on the Right, Aulus Manlius on the Left, at the Head of the Slingers and Archers, together with the Ligurian Cohorts. In the Front and Rear he had placed the Tribunes over the Infantry, lightly armed. The Deserters, as Men of small Account, yet perfectly skilled in the Situation of these Regions, were employed Abroad, to discover which Way the Enemy bent their Course. Besides, he so diligently contrived and attended to every Incident, as if he had committed no Trust to any other Person whatsoever. He was incessantly moving and visiting every Individual, extolling these, chiding those, as they severally deserved. As he kept himself continually armed, and prepared for Action, he obliged his Soldiers but to perform what he himself practised.
Neither was his Circumspection smaller in fortifying his Camp, than in conducting his March. The Guard of the Gates he committed to the Cohorts of the Legions: That without the Gates to the Cavalry of our Confederates. He likewise posted other intermediate Guards upon the Lines and Bulwarks: Besides, he was constantly visiting them all round, from no Diffidence, that his Orders would be neglected, but that the Men might find all their Fatigue lightened, when they saw their General bore as much as They. In truth it must be owned, that not only now, but during all the rest of the War against Jugurtha, he held his Army under due Restraints, rather by the Shame of Offending, than by the Fear of Punishment: A Conduct which many attributed to his Views of Popularity: Some derived it from Habit; because, having been hardened in a Course of Fatigues from his Childhood, these, and what else others hold for Instances of Misery, passed with him for Pleasures. Upon the Whole, by such Deportment the Business of the State was conducted with as much Success and Dignity, as had his Command been ever so stern and unmerciful.
Thus they continued their March, when at length, on the Fourth Day, not far from the City of Cirta, they perceived the Scouts approaching on all Sides with violent Speed; whence it was inferred, that the Enemy were near: But, as they returned from Quarters quite different, yet all agreed in the same Account, the Consul, for a while, at a Loss how to marshal his Army, resolved to alter nothing: And, thus fixed against all Events, awaited the Enemy in the same Order, and upon the same Spot. Thus he baffled the Views of Jugurtha; who had distributed his Forces into Four Bands, from a Persuasion, that, to one or other of these, the Romans would certainly be exposed to be successfully attacked in the Rear. Sylla, the while, upon whom the Enemy first fell, having, by a Speech, heartened his Men, putting himself at the Head of some Troops ranked extremely compact, boldly assailed the Moors: The rest of the Cavalry, without moving from their Posts, defended themselves from the Shafts thrown at a Distance, and certainly slew whoever ventured Hand to Hand.
Whilst the Horse thus fought, Bocchus assailed the Rear-band of the Romans, with a Body of Foot lately brought him by Volux his Son; such as, having lingered in their March, were not in the former Engagement. Marius was just then in the Front of the Battle, because there Jugurtha was making an Onset with his most numerous Body: But that Prince, having learned the Arrival of Bocchus, in an Instant wheeled silently about, attended only by a few Men, to our Infantry; where, addressing himself to them in Latin, which he had learned at the Siege of Numantia, he cried with a loud Voice, that ‘Their Fighting was no longer to any Purpose; for he was just come from killing Marius with his own Hand.’ He at the same time waved his Sword, all dyed with the Blood of one of our Foot, whom he had slain, during the Encounter, with great Bravery. When our Soldiers heard this, a Report so tragical shocked them more than suited with their small Credit in the Veracity of the Reporter. The Barbarians, too, breathed fresh Ardour; and, more furiously than ever, urged the Romans, already damped and disconcerted, and just betaking themselves to Flight, when Sylla, who had utterly overthrown all before him, in his Return from the Rout, assaulted the Moors on the Flank. Bocchus instantly fled.
Jugurtha still continued strenuously to sustain his Troops, as he was solicitous to preserve a Victory well-nigh gained, till he saw himself inclosed, both on the Right and Left, by our Troops; then, leaving all about him slain, he burst single through the Enemy’s Horse, and escaped amidst a Shower of Darts. At this very time, too, Marius, who had finally routed the Numidian Cavalry, was flown to succour his own; for he was told, that they had recoiled. And now the Foe was, on all Hands, intirely defeated.
Then it was, that, all over these extended Plains, might be seen a Spectacle very shocking and horrible; here Men flying, there pursuing; many killed, many taken; Horses and Men together prostrate and perishing; great Numbers sorely wounded; and thence unable to fly, but still alive; and thence impatient of being left; some striving to rise, and forthwith falling again, languishing and forlorn. In a Word, the whole Soil was covered, as far as the Eye could discern, with Darts, and Swords, and Carcases; and, in all the intermediate Spaces, with Blood and Gore.
Marius, now a Conqueror undisputed, proceeded to the Town of Cirta; whither, from the first, he meant to bend his March: Here, Five Days after the last Rout of the Barbarians, Ambassadors from Bocchus applied to him; with a Request, in his Name, to the Consul, to send any Two of his Friends, such as he intirely confided in, to the King; who wanted to confer with them upon Points not only touching his own Interest, but also that of the Roman People. Immediately the Consul deputed Lucius Sylla, and Aulus Manlius: These Two, notwithstanding it was at his own Desire they went, yet judged it advisable to accost him with a Speech, to reconcile his Spirit to Peace, if he appeared to disrelish it; or, if to desire it, then to rouze him with the more Ardour to conclude it. Sylla, therefore, to whom Manlius gave Precedence, on the score of his Eloquence, not of his Seniority, addressed himself to Bocchus in the following short Discourse:
‘King Bocchus, it is a sensible Pleasure to us, to find, that the Gods have disposed such a princely Person as Thee to chuse Peace rather than War; and no longer to contaminate thy own shineing Character, by involving it with That of Jugurtha, a Man of all others the most detestable. By this good Disposition thou dost also release us from the painful Necessity of equally pursuing you Both with the Sword: Him, for his infinite Guilt and Crimes; Thee, for Thy Mistake in assisting him. Let me observe, that the Roman People, even in the Infancy of their Power, whilst they were yet abundantly streightened, always judged it better Policy to procure Friends, than Subjects; always esteemed it safer to rule People by their own Consent, than by Compulsion. To Thyself, particularly, no Alliance whatsoever can be more commodious than Ours: One Reason is, that we are so remote, as to minister no Apprehension of Injury whatsoever; yet always prepared to furnish equal Proofs of Friendship, as if we lived contiguous. As another Motive, We have so many Nations obedient to our Sway, that we wish not for more. As to the Number of mutual Allies, neither We, nor any other State, can ever boast enough.
‘In truth, I wish that Thou hadst at first chosen to pursue the present Course; for then, assuredly, thou wouldst, long ere now, have received many signal Benefits from the Roman People; even many more than the Calamities thou hast since suffered from their Arms. But, since Fortune, which, indeed, mostly controuls the Transactions of Men, has so determined, that thou shouldst as well prove the Force of our Enmity, as of our Friendship; be quick to snatch the Occasion which she now presents, and to accomplish what thou hast so well begun. Thou hast in thy Hands many Expedients, many Opportunities; such as will enable thee to retrieve all thy wrong Measures by a seasonable and obliging Conduct. For a Conclusion, Let one Reflection never escape thy Thoughts; That, in an Intercourse of Generosity, the Roman People are never to be vanquished. Of their Power in War, Thou thyself hast made Trial.’
To all this Bocchus replied with great Complacency, and very courteous Words: He offered withal a brief Apology for having offended the Romans, ‘That he had recourse to Arms from no Spirit of Enmity, but purely to defend his own Dominions. He could not bear to let Marius ravage that Part of Numidia, which, by the Right of War, belonged to Himself; as what he had, with his Sword, conquered from Jugurtha: Nay, he had previously requested to be admitted to an Alliance with Rome, by Ambassadors purposely sent; and was rejected. He was willing, however, to pass over old Discontents; and, with the Consent of Marius, forthwith to renew his Suit to the Senate by a fresh Embassy.’ Presently, when his Offer was accepted, the fickle Spirit of the Royal Barbarian was again changed by his Confidents, all corrupted by great Presents from Jugurtha; who, having learned the Deputation of Sylla and Manlius to Bocchus, became filled with Apprehensions of what was really projecting against him.
Marius, during this, having fixed his Army in Winter Quarters, set out with a Detachment of Cohorts lightly armed, and Part of the Cavalry, into the Desarts; there to besiege a Royal Tower, where Jugurtha had placed for a Garrison all the Roman Deserters. And now again Bocchus, by a fortunate Impulse, resumed his former Sentiments. Whatever was the Cause, Retrospection to his late Defeats in Two Battles, or the Persuasion of some other Confidents, such as Jugurtha had not debauched, he singled out from amongst all his Train of Courtiers Five Ambassadors; Men not only of tried Integrity, but of the most signal Abilities: These he dispatched on a Commission to Marius; and afterwards, if Marius approved it, to Rome; with absolute Authority to treat at large, and to terminate the War upon any Conditions.
The Ambassadors, as they travelled with great Dispatch to the Winter Quarters of the Romans, were beset on the Road, and utterly plundered by Getulian Robbers: So that, greatly affrighted, and destitute of all their Equipage, they arrived at the Quarters of Sylla, with whom the Consul, when he began his Expedition, had left the Command of the Army, under the Title of Proprætor. Their Reception from him was not what such faithless Enemies deserved, but full of Respect and Liberality.
This obliging Usage so charmed the Barbarians, that they not only held for mere Forgeries, whatever they had heard of the Avarice of the Romans; but took Sylla, from his many Acts of Munificence towards them, to be their special Friend. For there were many, even in those Days, utterly ignorant that Bounties ever flowed from selfish Views. With such, no Man passed for Liberal, who was not reckoned equally Benevolent; and all Presents were thought to flow only from Benignity of Heart. To him, therefore, they explained their Orders from Bocchus; nay, asked him to assist them with his good Offices and Counsel. They likewise discoursed, in high Strains, of the Opulence, the Honour, the Power of their King; and urged every other Argument, which they judged either interesting or conciliating. When Sylla had assented to all their Demands, and taught them how to reason with Marius, how afterwards with the Senate, they still continued there Forty Days in Expectation of Marius.
The Consul, having failed in the Purpose of his Expedition, when he returned to Cirta, and was apprised of the Arrival of the Ambassadors, sent them Orders to attend him, and with them Sylla. He summoned too Lucius Bellienus the Prætor, from Utica; as likewise, all who bore the Rank of Senators, where-ever to be found. In Concert with them, he examined the Instructions from Bocchus to his Ambassadors, whence they were furnished with Powers to proceed to Rome, and with Orders to apply to the Consul for a Suspension of Arms, during the Interval. These Overtures were approved by Sylla, and, indeed, by most of the Council. Some few there were, who proposed Measures much more violent; Men, in truth, little acquainted with the Course of Human things, which are still fluctuating, never fixed, always changing for the Worse.
Now the Moors, having obtained their whole Suit, Three of them proceeded to Rome, in the Train of Caius Octavius Rufo, the Quæstor, who had brought Money for the Army: Two returned back to the King, who from them learnt, with great Pleasure, the whole Detail of their Transactions, but, above all, the signal Benevolence, and partial Regard, shewn by Sylla: His Ambassadors at Rome implored Pardon of the Senate, for the Misconduct of the King; alleged, that he had been seduced by the perfidious Wiles of Jugurtha; then proceeded to sue for Admission into mutual Friendship and Alliance. To all which, they received this Answer:
‘It is the constant Principle of the Senate and People of Rome, to be forgetful neither of Favours nor of Injuries. They, however, forgive the Transgressions of Bocchus, because he declares his Remorse. Mutual Alliance and Friendship will be granted him, when he has deserved them.’
When Bocchus was acquainted with what had passed, he intreated Marius, by a Letter, to send him Sylla, that, by his Counsel, the Pretensions on both Sides might be settled. Sylla was presently sent, with a Guard of Horse and Foot, and Slingers from the Islands Baleares; besides a certain Number of Archers, and a Cohort from Pelignum, lightly armed for the sake of Dispatch: Yet, by such light Arms, they were as effectually secured, as by any other, against the Enemies Darts; because these are made very slight. When they had marched Four Days, without any Surprize, on the Fifth, Volux, the Son of Bocchus, presented himself, all on a sudden, in the open Plains, at the Head of a Thousand Horse, who, as they moved hastily and without Order, raised in Sylla, and all his Men, at once an Apprehension of a much greater Number, and of their hostile Purposes. They therefore prepared themselves all to a Man, adjusted their Arms, and resolutely expected the Combat; sensible indeed of some Danger, but armed with superior Hopes, as Men already victorious, engaging with such as they had often vanquished. In the mean time, the Horsemen, sent out for Information, reported, as they had found, all to be pacific.
Volux, as soon as he arrived, accosted Sylla, declaring, that he was sent by his Father to receive and to guard him. They then joined and marched together that Day and the following, without any Alarm. But in the Evening, when they had already encamped, the Moorish Prince ran to Sylla, and, with a Face of Consternation, told him trembling, what he said he had learnt from his Scouts, ‘That Jugurtha was at a small Distance from the Camp:’ He withal asked, and even urged, the Quæstor ‘To fly away privately with him in the Dark.’ Sylla, with great Disdain, professed ‘Himself incapable of fearing a Numidian so often routed: He had abundant Confidence in the Bravery of his Men: Nay, though certain Destruction were at hand, he would stand firm, rather than, by an infamous Flight, betray such as he was trusted to lead, only to save a Life at best subject to many Uncertainties, and liable, perhaps, very soon after, to be snatched away by a Disease.’
Yet when the Prince moved him to decamp, and march during the Night, he approved the Proposal, and forthwith gave Orders, that, when they had supped, they should kindle a great Number of Fires in the Camp, and then issue forth in profound Silence at the first Watch of the Night. When they had marched the whole Night, all thoroughly tired, as Sylla, at Sun-rising, was making Lines for a Camp, the Moorish Horsemen informed him, that Jugurtha had gained Ground of us, and was encamped about Two Miles further. When this was divulged, it failed not to fill our Men with terrible Dismay, as they believed themselves betrayed by Volux, and caught in an Ambush. Some even averred, that ‘He should be doomed to capital Vengeance; since so foul a Traitor could not in Justice escape unpunished.’
Sylla, indeed, entertained the same Jealousy; yet restrained them from offering him any Violence. He exhorted them ‘To be of good Courage: A few brave Troops had frequently fought with Success against a numerous Host: The less Care they should take of their Security in the Time of Battle, the more secure they would be. It ill suited any Man, who had his Hands furnished with Arms, to seek Aid from his Heels, which were always unarmed; and to turn his Back, which was blind and defenceless, towards the Enemy, when urging Peril called most for Weapons and Eyes.’ Then solemnly appealing to the Almighry Jove, To witness the Guilt and traiterous Dealings of Bocchus,’ he commanded Volux to depart the Camp, as one engaged in hostile Designs.
The Prince besought him with Tears, ‘To entertain no such Distrust. In his own Conduct there was no Sort of Guile, but rather much Subtlety in that of Jugurtha, who, in continual Pursuit of Intelligence, had learnt his Rout. But still, as he was by no means mighty in Numbers, and for his whole Hopes and Support depended upon Bocchus, ’twas his Opinion, that he would not venture any glaring Attempt, where the Son of Bocchus was to behold it. Whence he judged it the best Course, to pass confidently through the Heart of his Camp. For himself, he was ready to accompany Sylla, single and separate from his Moors, whom he would order either to move on before, or to remain where they were.’ In a Situation so distressing, this Counsel prevailed. They therefore instantly advanced, and passed by Jugurtha, unmolested; for as they came up altogether unexpected, the Surprize kept him wavering and irresolute. In a few Days after, they reached the Place assigned.
There, a certain Numidian, named Aspar, frequented the Court of Bocchus, with whom he enjoyed great Confidence and Freedom, as a Minister whom Jugurtha, upon Advice that Sylla was invited to a Conference with the King, had first dispatched thither, to support his Interest, and to dive, with all possible Address, into all the Views and Measures of Bocchus. That King, at the same time, had for a Favourite, Dabar, the Son of Massugrada, and descended from Masinissa, but by his Grandmother not of equal Quality, for his Father was born of a Concubine. The Moorish King, who held him in exceeding Dearness and Trust, for his many and pleasing Talents, having moreover found him, upon many former Occasions, well-affected to the Romans, sent him strait to declare to Sylla, in his Name, ‘That he was disposed to comply with whatever the People of Rome required. He left it to Sylla to appoint the Day, the Place, and even the Hour of Conference: He had entirely reserved all Difficulties and Pretensions to be decided solely by Himself and Sylla. Nay, an Ambassador there from Jugurtha ought to minister no Distrust; since he was admitted purely to facilitate the general Treaty, as the only Means to defeat the insidious Devices of that Prince.’
Yet I am well informed, that Bocchus acted a double Part, more like a faithless African, than agreeably to his fair Professions, thus deceitfully amusing both the Romans, and the King of Numidia, with Hopes of Peace; and that he had frequent Struggles within himself, whether he should deliver up Jugurtha to the Romans, or Sylla to Jugurtha. His Inclinations led him to be against us: His Fears inclined him to be for us.
Sylla answered, ‘That he should say very little before Aspar. Whatever he had else to offer, he should communicate in Secret to the King alone, at least admit very few to be present.’ He withal explained to Dabar, what Answers he expected from Bocchus, in the Presence of others. The Interview followed, at which Sylla declared, ‘That he came commissioned by the Consul, to demand of him, Whether he meditated Peace or War?’ The King, as he was pre-instructed, directed Sylla to meet him again Ten Days thence; he had yet come to no Result, but would then return him a full Answer. So that they retired severally, each to his own Camp. But, when the Night was far advanced, Bocchus sent secretly for Sylla: None were suffered to be present besides trusty Interpreters; only Dabar, as a Man of perfect Honour, and employed as an equal Mediator, was sworn, by Consent, to make faithful Representations to both. Then the King immediately spoke thus:
‘I never conceived it possible to see myself under Obligations to a private Subject, I who am the mightiest Prince in this Part of the World, and the most opulent of all the Princes whom I know. And true it is, that, before I knew thee, Sylla, though I was wont to extend my Protection and Aid to great Numbers, at their own Request, to many of my own Option, I myself needed the Favour of no Man. Such absolute Independency is now lessened; a Change, for which others usually Mourn, and I Rejoice. It will always avail me, always be my Boast, once to have had Occasion for thy Friendship, since nothing is dearer than That to my Soul. For Proof of what I say, accept of my Troops, my Arms, my Treasure, and, indeed, whatever else thy Soul desires; use them all as thy own: Nay, even then, still reckon, that, as long as thou livest, I shall never have sufficiently requited thy Favour: My Gratitude will be still fresh and undischarged; nor, so long as I can know the Object of thy Pursuits, shalt thou ever pursue in vain. For ’tis my Principle, that less Disgrace accrues to a Monarch, from being vanquished in Arms, than in Generosity.
‘Now hear what I have shortly to allege concerning your Commonwealth, for which thou comest hither as a Minister. Against the People of Rome I never made War, and always intended never to make any. What I did was by Arms to defend my own Confines against Invasion and Arms: An Undertaking which I now drop, since such is your Pleasure. Prosecute the War against Jugurtha just as to you seems meet. Beyond the River Molucha, the settled Boundary between me and Micipsa, I shall not pretend to pass, nor will I permit Jugurtha to cross over to my Side. As a further Condescension, if you have aught else to ask, worthy of Bocchus and the Roman State, you shall not return with a Denial.’
Sylla was very brief, and very modest, in his Answer, to all that concerned himself: Upon the public Business of Peace and Negociation, he reasoned copiously; and particularly assured the King, ‘That what he proposed, would be accounted, by the Senate and People of Rome, no Gratification to them, since they were Masters in the Field. It was incumbent upon him, to perform something which should appear more conducing to their Advantage than to his own; a Task extremely feasible, as he had Jugurtha at his Mercy. If he delivered up to the Romans this their Enemy, he would then hold them indebted for a mighty Service; and in Return, without asking, be gratified with their Amity, their Alliance, and the free Grant of whatever Part he claimed of Numidia.’
At first, the King persisted in refusing the Condition. He pleaded ‘The Ties of Blood, those of Intermarriage, those of mutual Leagues.’ He urged ‘His Fears too of alienating the Hearts of his People, should he be seen forfeiting his Faith; since Jugurtha was as much their Darling, as the Romans were their Aversion.’ In the End, when long and incessantly pressed, he relaxed, and promised ‘To conform in all Things to the good Pleasure of Sylla.’ They next settled, by what Arts to conduct the mock Treaty of Peace, for which the King of Numidia ardently longed, as quite disheartened with his Fate in the War. Thus, when they had thoroughly framed their Intrigue, they parted.
Bocchus, next Day, called for Aspar, the Minister of Jugurtha; and told him what Dabar had learnt from Sylla, and he from Dabar, that on certain Terms the War might be concluded: He should therefore go and discover the Purposes of his King. The Minister repaired, with much Joy, to the Camp of Jugurtha; where amply furnished with Instructions from him, he returned to Bocchus, having travelled with such Speed, that in going and coming he spent but Eight Days. He reported to the Moorish King, that ‘Jugurtha was forward to yield to every thing required of him, but loth to trust to Marius only; since there had been many Pacifications made with Roman Generals, never ratified at Rome. If Bocchus would effectually consult the Interest of both Kings, and have the Peace sure and confirmed, he should procure a Congress of all the Parties, there to treat jointly about a general Pacification, and then deliver up Sylla to Jugurtha. If he had but such a great Officer in his Possession, then indeed a valid Peace would ensue, under the Sanction of the Senate and People of Rome: Nor would they ever suffer a Person of his high Character to remain in the Hands of the Enemy, through no ill Conduct in him, but for discharging his Duty to the Commonwealth.’
The Moorish King, after long Discussion and Balancing within himself, at last declared his Assent to this Proposition. Whether his Hesitation proceeded from Perfidy, or from Perplexity, is not clear. In truth, the Inclinations of Princes, as they are generally impetuous, are also unsteady, and subject to thwart one another. Now, as a Time and Place were settled for a Treaty, Bocchus, in the Interval, frequently called, now for Sylla, anon for the Minister of Jugurtha, caressed each, and made the same Promises to both. Thus they were equally pleased, and filled with equal Hopes. But the Night preceding the Day appointed for the Treaty, the Moorish King, after he had called together his Counsellors, and then, his Mind suddenly changing, sent them all away again, is reported to have had many and strong Conflicts within himself; insomuch that the frequent Changes of his Visage, and external Agitations, corresponding with the Distractions of his Spirit, manifested his Agonies, though he said nothing. At last, he sent for Sylla, and, conformably to his Counsel, prepared to deceive and seize the Numidian Prince.
When the Time came, and Bocchus was advertised, that Jugurtha was already near at Hand, he, accompanied by Sylla, and a few of his own Courtiers, went strait out, under Shew of Respect, to meet him as far as a rising Ground, in full View of such as were purposely posted to seize him. Thither came the Numidian Prince, attended by most of his Houshold, but without Arms, as it had been agreed; when instantly, on a Signal given, they who lurked for him, issued forth, and all at once encompassed him. His Train were put to the Sword. He himself was bound, and delivered to Sylla, who carried him away to Marius.
About this time, Quintus Cæpio, and Marcus Manlius, our Generals, had an unfortunate Battle with the Gauls: Whence all Italy was filled with great Dismay. It had been ever a traditionary Opinion amongst the Romans, and now no less strong, that to their own heroic Bravery all Nations else must yield; but, in engaging against the Gauls, they were not to aim at Glory and Conquest, but only at the Preservation of the Commonweal. When therefore it was known at Rome, that the War in Numidia was terminated, and that Jugurtha was on the Way thither in Chains, Marius was chosen Consul, even in his Absence, and appointed Commander in Gaul. On the First of January, he triumphed with exceeding great Glory. Indeed, at this Juncture, the City of Rome placed in him all her Hopes and Defence.
Or Nomades, Pastors.
Formed of a Greek Word, which signifies to suck, or draw.