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THE Second Epistle of SALLUST TO CAIUS JULIUS CÆSAR: CONCERNING THE Regulation of the Commonwealth. - Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust), The Works of Sallust (Gordon’s Discourses, Cicero’s Orations against Catiline) 
The Works of Sallust, translated into English with Political Discourses upon that Author. To which is added, a translation of Cicero’s Four Orations against Catiline (London: R. Ware, 1744).
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THE Second Epistle of SALLUST TO CAIUS JULIUS CÆSAR: CONCERNING THE Regulation of the Commonwealth.
I AM not insensible, how difficult and nice a Task he undertakes, who ventures to offer Advice to Princes and Governors; or to any one invested with high Authority. The Number of Counsellors, with which such Persons are surrounded, and the great Uncertainty of future Contingencies, which the most cautious and penetrating Politician cannot sufficiently guard against, are very discouraging Considerations: And, what makes the Office still more ungrateful, the worst-laid Schemes will frequently have a more prosperous Event, than the most rational and prudent Counsels. So capricious is the Sway of Fortune in the Disposal of almost all human Affairs!
But, notwithstanding these Discouragements, since my early Inclinations led me to the Study of State Affairs, and as I have, with the utmost Application, pursued that Knowlege, nor so much with a View to obtain Employments, which I have often seen procured by means the most base and unworthy; but rather that I might throughly inform myself of the Nature of our Constitution, Civil and Military; what is the true State of her Strength, with regard to her Men, her Arms, and her Revenue: Therefore, though I may, perhaps, suffer in my Reputation, and be thought too forward in the Attempt, yet my Regard to your Dignity and Fame, has, after mature Deliberation, prevailed with me above such Apprehensions; and I am determined to run any Hazard, where I have the least Prospect of an Accession to your Glory. And be assured, it was not without previous Consideration, nor so much with a View to the Circumstances of your Fortune, that I took up this Resolution, as because, among your other distinguished Qualities, I have ever experienced in you this most admirable one, that the Greatness of your Soul is more conspicuous in Adversity than Prosperity.—But the Fame of your illustrious Qualities is a Subject I need not expatiate on: It is already so great, that sooner were Men wearied in admiring and celebrating, than you in performing glorious Actions. Nor was it out of any fond Conceit of my own Abilities, that I have presumed to lay before you my Sentiments concerning the Commonwealth; but as your Thoughts have been hitherto taken up with another Scene of Business, with the Toils of a Camp, with Battles, with Triumphs, and military Commands, I thought it not unseasonable to awake your Attention to the Regulation of Civil Affairs: For if your only Aim and Intention be to gratify your Resentment against your Enemies(a) , and secure the Favour of the People, to enable you to triumph over the Opposition of the Consul, these are Views utterly unbecoming Cæsar’s Dignity and Virtue. But if you are still animated by the same Spirit which first prompted you to oppose the Faction of the Nobility, and rescue the Roman People from the Yoke of Slavery, a Spirit by which you were enabled, unarmed as you were, to baffle all the Attempts of your armed Adversaries, and to perform such great and glorious Exploits, that even your Enemies had nothing to object against you, but your superior Greatness: If the same virtuous Spirit still possess you, give your Attention to the Plan I shall propose for the Regulation and Government of the whole Commonwealth; which Plan I am persuaded you will find to be proper and adviseable, or, at least, to require little Variation.
Now since Pompey, either from a kind of Infatuation, or rather blindly bent upon opposing you, has been so rash and imprudent, as to pursue Measures which have, in the Event, given the Power into his Enemy’s Hands, it is, therefore, incumbent upon you to make use of that Power, and to restore the Commonwealth by the very Means which he made use of to subvert it.
The first Step he took, was that of committing to a few Senators an absolute Authority in the Direction of the Revenue, the sumptuary Laws, and judicial Proceedings; whilst the People, in whom the sovereign Power had before been lodged, were, with the Equestrian Order, left in a State of Subjection and Slavery. The judicial Authority is, indeed, agreeably to the original Institution, nominally vested in the Three Orders of the Republic; but the real Power is in the Hands of the Faction, who, with unbridled Dominion, controul all Things; who give to one Man, and take from another, dispose of every thing, just as they please; who insnare the Virtuous and Innocent, and raise none but their own Creatures to Posts of Honour: How notorious soever their Crimes be, how flagitious soever their Lives, and infamous soever their Reputation, this scandalous Insufficiency excludes them not from the Magistracy; and, thus exalted, they seize, they plunder, whatever they have an Inclination to: In short, their whole Conduct is like that of a victorious Army ravaging an Enemy’s City: Lust and Passion animate them; Licentiousness their only Law. But, under these afflicting Circumstances, it would, I own, be some Alleviation to our Misfortunes, to see Men of Abilities in Possession of arbitrary Dominion acquired by Bravery and Courage: But, instead of that, we see a despicable Faction of base cowardly Wretches, whose only Strength and Courage lie in the feeble Efforts of Words, Masters of sovereign Power, which fell into their Hands by mere Accident, or the Inactivity of others; and exercising that Power with extreme Arrogance and Cruelty. For, in any of our former Contests and Civil Wars, were ever so many and such illustrious Families extirpated? Did ever any before pursue their Conquests with such impetuous Fury, such exorbitant unbridled Licentiousness? Even Sylla, who thought the Laws of War gave an unlimited Licence to the Conqueror, though he conceived, that the Terror of Punishment added Strength to his Cause; yet was satisfied with a few Instances of Severity to his Enemies, and chose to win others to his Party by Lenity and Benevolence, rather than the Dread of Revenge. But such moderate Resentment suits not the sanguinary Temper of Cato(a) , Domitius, and the rest of that Faction. No less than Forty Senators, together with Numbers of young Men of promising Abilities, have, by their Orders, been butchered, like so many Victims destined to Slaughter; nor could the Blood of all these miserable Citizens glut the Thirst of those most implacable Tyrants. The doleful Cries of helpless Orphans, the feeble Weakness of aged Parents, the Groans of Men, and the Lamentations of Women, made not the least Impression on their unrelenting Hearts: So far from it, that they grew every Day more and more inflamed, both in their Words and Actions; and, by injurious Practices, degraded many from their Employments, drove many into Exile(b) . And is there any Occasion to shew how they are affected towards You? Base Cowards as they are, they would yet gladly sacrifice their Lives to procure your Disgrace and Ruin! Yes—Far less is the Pleasure they taste in that Sovereignty, which is even unexpectedly fallen into their Hands, than the Anxiety they feel, when they view your exalted Glory: For, to accomplish your Destruction, they would even run the Hazard of Slavery, and esteem it a more eligible Situation, than to see You the happy Instrument of raising the Empire of Rome, great as as it was, to the highest Pitch of Glory and Dominion.
These Considerations will convince you, how absolutely necessary it is, to use the utmost Care and Circumspection in forming your Schemes for the Establishment and Security of the Commonwealth. What occurs to me, I shall freely offer without any Reserve: But how far the Methods I shall lay before you are just and practicable, I leave to the Determination of your own Judgment.
By the primitive Constitution of Rome, as our Histories inform us, the People were divided into Two Orders, Patricians and Plebeians: Originally the Exercise of the supreme Jurisdiction was lodged in the former; but, as the latter were the stronger Body, this superior Force often excited them to withdraw to Mount Aventine, in Defence of their Liberties: The constant Effect of which Secession was, that the Power of the Patricians was diminished, the Rights and Privileges of the People augmented. But what contributed most to the Security of their Liberty was this; the Laws had their due Force, and the Power of the Magistrate was subservient to them. Nor was it then Affluence of Fortune, or an arrogant Passion for Precedence, but the Character of a regular Life, and gallant Exploits, that distinguished the Patrician above the Plebeian: Even Men in the lowest Station, whether occupying their Farms at home, or serving in the Wars, just provided with the necessary and decent Supports of Life, were amply satisfied themselves, and gave ample Satisfaction to the State. But when once they degenerated from these Courses; when, stripped of their Inheritances through Sloth and Poverty, they had no longer any fixed Abode; then it was that they began to invade other Mens Properties; then to exchange their Liberty for Gold, and put the Commonwealth to Sale.
Thus fell, by degrees, the antient Power of the Roman People, who had before been Lords of the World, and given Laws to all Nations; and they, who jointly exercised sovereign Authority, have, each Individual separately, sold themselves to Slavery and Bondage.
Now a Multitude, thus disposed, not only corrupted and degenerate in their Manners, but also, by their different Courses and Pursuits, so alienated from each other, as to be incapable of any Coalition and Unanimity, are, I apprehend, very ill qualified to assume the Government of the Commonwealth. But if the Number of Citizens be augmented, such a Regulation would rouse up a general Ardour in Support of the Commonwealth; for then one Party of the People would be as much animated with a Passion to preserve, as the other to gain their Liberty. These new-enfranchised Citizens, joined to some of the old ones, should, I think, be settled in our Colonies; by which means we shall not only be furnished with greater Supplies for recruiting our Armies; but the People, being then employed in useful Occupations, will no longer disturb and embroil the State.
I am not insensible, that, when you attempt the Execution of this Scheme, you will expose yourself to the Fury and severe Resentments of the Nobility; who will immediately take Fire, grow angry, and exclaim, that the very Foundation of the Constitution is undermined, that the antient Citizens are robbed of their Privileges, and reduced to a State of Slavery, and this free State converted into a regal Government, when any single Person assumes an arbitrary Power of augmenting the Number of Citizens.—I confess, indeed, it is my settled Opinion, that whoever attempts to render himself popular at the Expence of the Commonwealth, is guilty of a Crime, the grievous Effects of which will fall on his own Head: Yet, at the same time, I will venture to say, he who has not Resolution enough to undertake such Designs, as are at once beneficial to the Public, as well as his own private Interests, is justly chargeable with the Imputation of Indolence and Pusilanimity. When Marcus Livius Drusus was Tribune of the People, it was his fixed Purpose and Resolution, to exert his utmost Endeavours in Favour of the Nobility; nor did he, at first, ever enter upon any Measures, without their Assent and Authority. And yet those Sons of Faction, ever influenced by the Maxims of Treachery and Falshood, rather than Fidelity and Honour, no sooner considered what a Number of Men, should Drusus succeed, would owe the mighty Obligation to one single Person; and, as it is reasonable to imagine, when each reflected on his own base and persidious Heart, conceived, that Drusus would act in the same manner, they were conscious, they themselves should act in the like Situation; apprehending, therefore, that his Professions of such singular Regard to their Interest, was only an Artifice to raise himself to Sovereignty, they opposed him with the utmost Vigour, and frustrated all his Designs in their Favour. These Observations will incite in You the greater Attention and Care, to fortify yourself by all Friendships, all the Assistance and Support you can possibly procure.
To subdue a fair and open Enemy, is, to the brave and gallant Man, no mighty Difficulty: But, in avoiding or contriving secret Stratagems, and latent Perils, generous and noble Souls are by no means adroit and expert. For your better Security therefore, when you have augmented the Number of Citizens, as the Power of the People will be restored, let it be your principal Concern to cultivate good Manners, and, by a firm Coalition, unite the old and new Citizens. But the greatest Service you can possibly do to your Country, to your Fellow-Citizens, to Yourself and your Posterity, is, to extinguish that extravagant Passion for Riches, which is so prevalent amongst us; or, at least, give such a Check to it, as the Circumstances of the Times will permit. And unless this be done, neither in the City, nor in the Camp, neither in the Administration of public or private Affairs, can any due Order, any regular Occonomy be expected. For, where the Love of Money once prevails, it proves always too powerful for Discipline, and suppresses all good Dispositions; nor is the firmest Mind able to resist its Efforts; but, sooner or later, falls a Victim to the predominant Passion. Numerous are the Instances that occur in History, what Princes, what States, and Nations, have intirely owed, to the oppressive Weight of their Opulence, the Loss of those mighty Empires, which had been the glorious Acquisitions of virtuous Poverty. Nor is it at all surprising: For when an upright Man beholds one, of less Merit, more admired and applauded, more caressed and esteemed, upon no other Recommendation but a superior Fortune; at first, it has no farther Effect, than to rouse his Indignation, and stagger him with Perplexities: But when he has still every Day fresh Experience, that Pomp and Splendor triumph over genuine Glory and Honour; Wealth and Opulence, over Worth and Merit; his Mind is at last alienated; he deserts the Cause of Virtue, and flies to the Tents of Voluptuousness. It is doubtless the Love of Glory, that stimulates and supports Industry: Stript of that attracting Charm, Virtue, in herself, appears to Men with a very forbidding Aspect, and in a very unamiable Form. In short, where-ever Riches are in high Esteem, there all worthy Accomplishments, there Honour and Probity, Modesty and Chastity, must lose all their Regard, become neglected and despised. For, in the Pursuit of Virtue, Men are confined to one Road only, a Road, too, surrounded with Perils and Difficulties; but, in quest of Riches, great is the Latitude they take, and every one pushes forward what Way he pleases; and, by any means, Honourable or Dishonourable, strives to obtain his End. Above all things, therefore, you must determine to crush this prevailing Power of Gold. And, I am persuaded, that no one hereafter will judge a Man more or less qualified for judicial Offices, or the Administration of the Commonwealth, if you put the Election of Prætors and Consuls upon such a Footing, that real Worth and Merit, and not Wealth and Riches, must of necessity prevail in the Choice. As to the Appointment of Magistrates, it will be the safest and most convenient Method, to invest that Power in the People. If you confine it to a Few, you approach too near a regal Government: If you suffer the Elections to be carried by Bribery, that were base and dishonourable. It is my Opinion, therefore, that all of the first Class of the People should be intitled to the Privilege of standing Candidates for judicial Offices; but I think it adviseable, that their Number should be augmented. It is well known, that neither the People of Rhodes, nor any other free State, were ever dissatisfied with the Judgments of their Courts, where Rich or Poor, just as it fell out, were promiscuously joined together in all Consultations, even of the greatest, as well as the smallest Importance. But, as to the Election of Magistrates, the Law enacted by C. Gracchus, when Tribune of the People, is by no means to be despised; that, out of the Five Classes promiscuously, those Centuries, who were to give their Suffrages, should be chosen by Lot. When the People are thus reduced to an Equality, and Superiority of Fortune no longer gives superior Claim to Dignity and Honour, the only Contention that can then remain, will be, who shall surpass each other in Virtue and Merit. These Remedies, which I have prescribed, will, I apprehend, prove a very easy and effectual Cure, for the Evils attending Riches. For our Admiration, or Desire of any Objects, arises from the Use and Advantage we propose from them; it is from the Hopes of Gain, that Men are prompted to iniquitous Courses: Take away that Incitement, and you will find, no Man alive will be any longer a Villain, when a Villain can be no longer a Gainer. But whilst the Temptation to Riches remains, Avarice, like a savage Beast of the Desart, is insufferably outrageous and cruel: Which Way soever she flies, she lays waste whole Towns and Countries, Temples and Houses; confounds all things, Human and Divine, without Distinction: Nor Walls, nor Armies, are able to obstruct her impetuous Violence; she falls upon all in her Way, robs all she meets, robs them of their Reputation, their Chastity, their Children, Parents, and Country; all become the Prey of this universal Plunderer. And yet there is a Remedy for this mighty Evil: Follow the Advice I have given, take away all Esteem and Honour from Riches, and Virtue will instantly recover her Vigour, and be able to triumph over the Rage of this devouring Pestilence.
But though all Men, whether Friends or Enemies, allow this to be true; yet such is the factious Spirit of the Nobility, that you must expect violent Opposition from that Quarter. This is the grand Obstruction you will meet with; if you can remove That, by guarding yourself against their dark Deceit, and base Stratagems, all the rest of your Way will be smooth and easy. Base Stratagems I may justly call them: For were they influenced by any virtuous Principle, it would prompt them rather to emulate than envy the Worthy. But as Sloth and Indolence, and Dulness and invincible Stupidity, press heavy upon them, the only Efforts they can make, are clamorous Complaints, and invidious Reproaches, against that high Renown, which they look upon as a racit Reflection on their own infamous Reputations. But what Necessity is there to say any more about them? You want not to be informed of their Characters. You are no Stranger to M. Bibulus, the Man, who, by irresistible Courage, and great Abilities, forced his Way to the Consular Dignity! Yes——You must be sensible of this doubtless, because you know him to be a Creature, scarce endowed with the Faculty of Speech; who has, indeed, a Heart disposed to any Villainy, but not a Head to contrive and execute it! What is there to be apprehended from such a Man as this, a Man, to whom the very Consulship, the highest Office in the State, was the highest Disgrace? And, as to L. Domitius, what Magnanimity can there be in him, when every Part of his Body is defiled with some foul Vice, some detestable Crime or other; his Tongue with Falshood and Lyes, his Hands with Blood, his Feet with ignominious Flight; and his Pollutions, in other respects, are so abominably shameful, that even the bare Mention of them would be an unpardonable Indecency? Cato is the only Man amongst them, that has any sort of Merit: The Dexterity of his Parts, his Eloquence, his Artifice and Penetration, are no contemptible Qualifications: But they are no other, but what may be acquired by Grecian Discipline. The nobler Qualifications, Fortitude, Vigilance, and rigorous Assiduity, are not to be learned amongst the Greeks. For, can a People, who had neither Vigour nor Spirit to defend the Liberty of their own Country, be qualified to instruct others in those Arts and Accomplishments, that are necessary for the Support of Empire? As to the rest of the Faction, they are a Set of Noblemen so utterly insignificant, so excessively dull and senseless, that, like stupid Statues, their Names and Titles are their only Ornaments.
As for L. Posthumius, and Favonius, they appear to me not unlike the additional Lading which is taken into a large Ship, above the ordinary Burden: If she arrive safe at her Port, it may be of some Use; but, had the Mariners met with tempestuous Weather, those Goods would have been first thrown over-board, as they were of the least Value.
Having thus given you my Judgment and Opinion, concerning the Restitution of the Plebeian Power, and the Reformation of their Manners; I will now point out to you the Steps, which I apprehend it will be adviseable to take, with regard to the Senate.
No sooner was my Age and Reason ripe for Application, but I turned the Bent of my Thoughts to Literature, rather than to Exercise of Arms and Riding: And, as Nature had given me greater Strength of Mind than Body, I chose to inure the most able and vigorous Part to Fatigue and Labour. And, in the Pursuit of this Course, the Observations I have made, in my constant Application to Study, and the Informations of Men, as well as Books, have throughly convinced me, that all the Empires and States in the World have prospered and flourished, as long as they pursued wise and wholsome Counsels: But when Partiality, Fear, and Voluptuousness, corrupted those Counsels, their Strength soon began to decline; then they lost their Dominion, and, at last, their Liberty.
I confess, it is my settled Opinion, that whoever is the most illustrious in Figure, and has the greatest Share of Property in any State, is ever found to be most concerned about its Security and Preservation. As to others, they have but one Motive to engage their Attention, their Liberty. But the Man, who, by Virtue and Bravery, has acquired Riches, Fame, and Dignity, has those additional Incitements. And therefore, whenever he sees any Dangers threatening the State, the Apprehension alarms his Mind, rouses all his Thoughts and Cares, and excites his utmost Pains and Labour; his Liberty, his Glory, his Property, are at Stake, and he will defend them: His Vigilance is seen in all Places, his Activity in every Quarter: For, the more flourishing his Circumstances are, when the Constitution is secure, the more anxious, the more resolute and vigorous, will be his Endeavours, when he apprehends it to be in Danger. These Considerations convince me, that in a Constitution, where the People are to put in Execution the Determinations of the Senate, as the Body does the Dictates of the Mind, Prudence and Policy are indispensable Qualifications in the Fathers; Sagacity and Penetration, Talents unnecessary in the People.
It was the Observation of this Maxim, that enabled our Ancestors, when oppressed with grievous Wars, to hold out so long in Support of the Empire, after the Loss of infinite Numbers of Men and Horses, and even when their Money was exhausted. Such was their Magnanimity, that neither the formidable Strength of their Enemies, neither the Emptiness of their Treasury, nor any unprosperous Events, could subdue their invincible Spirits. The Acquisitions they gained by Virtue, by the same Virtue they secured to the End of their Lives. And this Success they owed, not so much to their military Capacities, as to the Wisdom and Solidity of their Councils. For in those happy Days, all the Members of the Commonwealth, firmly cemented together, acted as one Man; had no other Views, but her Welfare; entered into no Cabals, but against the public Enemies; and every Individual exerted his Abilities, both of Body and Mind, not to aggrandize himself, but his Country. Far different are the Practices which prevail in this Age; for now a Set of Noblemen, enervated with Indolence and Sloth, who never faced an Enemy in Battle, unexperienced in War, unacquainted with military Toils and Hardships, trained up to Faction only, within the Walls of the City, arrogantly usurp sovereign Authority over all the Nations upon Earth: Whilst the Fathers, whose salutary Counsels have hitherto preserved the State in all her Difficulties, now stript of all their Power and Vigour, are driven, like the Waves of the Sea, this Way or that, by arbitrary Impulse; one Day enact Laws, the next repeal them, just as it suits the Caprice, the Resentments, and Arrogance, of these lordly Oppressors; for that alone is allowed to be the Rule to estimate public Good or Evil.
But if now, in your Regulations, you restore to the Senators their common Privileges, and equal Liberty, or contrive for them some secret Method of giving their Suffrages, then would the exorbitant Power some of the Nobility possess, soon be diminished, and the Commonwealth would rise again and prosper. But though an Attempt to bring the Interest and Influence of the whole Body upon a Level, may be thought impracticable, since some of them made their Entrance into the World upon the Bottom of anticipated Honours and Dignity, and a numerous Train of Clients, whereas(a) the generality of the others, Senators not by Descent, but Creation, cannot have, in all respects, equal Influence and Advantages: Yet they should, at least, be freed from any Restraint of Awe or Terror in giving their Suffrages. When every one can thus act, as it were, in Obscurity, then the Dread of any Man’s arrogant Power, will no longer force him to comply with Measures prejudicial to his own Interest and Liberty. Liberty is a Jewel of high Estimation; the Worthy and Unworthy, the Coward and the Brave, equally love and admire it. But, admired as it is, we often see Men, alarmed by the Dread of superior Strength, tamely give up that inestimable Treasure to the Demands of a public Robber. Weak and infatuated Men! Liberty or Bondage is the Subject of Contention; and, whilst the Victory is yet uncertain, they receive the ignominious Yoke; the worst Lor that could have befallen them, had their Resistance been unsuccessful.
Two Expedients, therefore, I would propose, to confirm the Senatorial Power; first to augment their Number, and then to make it a Rule, that each shall give his Suffrage by Tablets. By the one, every Man, being skreened under the Protection of a Veil, will not be intimidated from the Freedom of acting agreeably to the Dictates of his own Mind. By the other, your additional Numbers will be an additional Service and Security to the State. For such is our present Situation, that our public Deliberations are very ill attended: Some few are engaged in judicial Offices; some are taken up with domestic Concerns, or the Service of their Friends; but the more general Cause of their Absence is, not so much any other Avocation, as the intolerable Arrogance of those lofty Oppressors, who have usurped such exorbitant Power. For now some of the antient Nobility, with a few of the new-created Senators, whom they have taken in as a farther Support to the Faction, censure, approve, and decree, by their own absolute Authority; and act, in every Instance, just as their own arbitrary Will inclines them.
But if you augment the Number of Senators, and oblige them to give their Suffrages by Tablets, then would those haughty Rulers soon abate their Arrogance, when they found they must be forced to submit to the Determinations of those very Men, over whom they before exercised such rigorous, such despotic Sway.
When you have examined these Expedients, you may, perhaps, ask me, What Number it is adviseable to add to the Senatorial Order; and in what Manner, and for what Purposes I would advise the Distribution of them into their several Parts, and distinct Offices; and, as I have proposed the committing the judicial Proceedings to the first Class of the People, in what Form they should be distributed, and what shall be the Number of each different Division? It would not be difficult to draw up a parricular Plan; but I thought it adviseable, first, to propose a general Scheme, and to have your Approbation of that, before I proceeded farther. If you think my Expedients just and true in general, you will find the rest very easy and obvious. I will not deny, that I have a strong Ambition to see the Justness and Propriety of these Regulations confirmed by their happy Consequences: For, from your Success and Prosperity, I shall expect to derive some Share of Glory and Reputation to myself. But yet far greater is my Desire, much more ardent my Passion, to see the Commonwealth restored, whatever Expedients are used, with as much Expedition as it can possibly be effected. Liberty is a Happiness I prefer infinitely above the highest Acquisitions of Fame and Glory. And let me intreat, let me beseech and exhort you, now that you have raised yourself to the highest military Renown, and gloriously triumphed over the warlike Nation of the Gauls, not to suffer the mighty Roman Empire, hitherto invincible, to perish and decay, or be dissolved by Civil Wars, or inveterate Discord. Should such a Calamity happen through your Fault, be assured, Cæsar, that neither Day nor Night will you be free from pungent Remorse; the Sense of such a corroding Guilt will ever disturb your Rest, and your afflicted Mind will be incessantly racked with Madness and Despair. For I look upon it as an incontestable Truth, that the Deity constantly inspects the Actions of all the human Race; nor will the Virtues or Vices of any one pass unregarded; but, agreeably to the different Nature of them, they will be followed with a different Retribution. These may not, indeed, be the immediate Effects, but they are the constant Expectation of every Man, arising from the Consciousness of his Actions.
Imagine now, that the Genius of Rome, attended by your Ancestors, were to accost you at this important Crisis: You would hear them delivering their Sentiments in the following Strain: ‘Remember, Cæsar, that it is from Us you derive your Descent, from a Race of brave and valiant Heroes. We gave thee Existence in this flourishing City, to be a Support to our Dignity, a Strength to our Establishment, and a Terror to our Adversaries. And, when from Us you received your Life, you received, with it, all the Acquisitions which were the Fruits of our infinite Toils and Perils, a Country the most powerful and extensive, a Place and Family the most illustrious in that Country; to all which, we took care to add many excellent Accomplishments, joined to an affluent Fortune, acquired with Honour; in short, all the Felicities that adorn a settled Peace, all the Rewards that crown a successful War. Think not, that, in Return for these extensive Obligations, we require from thee any Undertaking inconsistent with Virtue and Probity. No—What we expect at thy Hands, is, the Restoration of falling Liberty. Accomplish this, and every Corner of the Universe will instantly be filled with the Applause of such a virtuous Atchievement. What! though you have already given many illustrious Proofs of great Abilities, both in your civil and military Capacity, yet in this, Cæsar, thou art not singular; there are many brave magnanimous Spirits, who have arrived to the same Degree of Glory. But, if you would surpass all others, arise now, and rescue, from the Brink of Ruin, this most renowned, this mighty Empire. Then, indeed, wilt thou rise to matchless Greatness, and shine in unrivalled Lustre! But should a different Fate attend this State, should it perish through the Malignity of the Distemper that afflicts it; who sees not, that universal Wars, Desolation, and Slaughter, will attend her Fall? But if you feel a generous Ardour to do the most acceptable Service to Us and your Country, assert the Liberty of the Commonwealth, and save the sinking State. Then will succeeding Ages view thee exalted above all the human Race, and even after Death, with singular Felicity, gathering fresh Laurels of Praise. For it sometimes happens, that the Clouds of adverse Fortune cast a Shade on living Grandeur, and oftentimes the Blasts of Envy check its Growth. But, when the Hero yields to Fate, Malice and Detraction expiring with him, his Merit becomes more and more conspicuous, and daily rises to higher Degrees of Fame and Glory.’
Thus, Cæsar, I have presented you with a brief Plan of such Regulations, as, I apprehend, will contribute most to the public Good, and your own Interest. But, whatever Scheme you think proper to pursue, I beseech the immortal Gods, that it may have a prosperous Event, and that both You and your Country may reap the Fruits of your successful Endeavours.
[(a) ]Uti te ab inimicorum impetu vindices. Vindicare se ab aliquo—signifies, to avenge himself upon any one.
[(a) ]There seems to be some Mistake here in the Original. It seems more probable, that Cato, and the rest here mentioned, were put to Death by the contrary Party. It is certain it was not Cato of Utica.
[(b) ]Or,—grew every Day more inflamed; constantly laying Schemes, by false Accusations, and other injurious Devices, to degrade many from their Employments, to drive many into Banishment.
[(a) ]Cortius, and several others, read it, Cætera multitudo pleraque insititia est. N. B. Insititius, i. e. non nativus, sed aliunde accersitus—Alluding here, to those who were not Senators by Descent, but chosen by the Censors, &c.—novi homines.